At this time I will no longer be taking any new review requests or participating in any memes. There will still be author interviews, blasts, guest posts and occasionally reviews posted (as I climb through by TBR pile!!). Life is kind of hectic and I have to focus on a few other commitments before coming back full-time to my blog. Thank you to everyone that has supported me and I won't be gone forever. I will still be around on my social media sites!

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS


My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Friday 56: The Devil's Due

Freda over @ Freda's Voice has taken over the hosting of this fun weekly meme. All you have to do is:


* Grab a book, closest.
* Turn to page 56, find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of the blog.

*Post a link along with your post back to Freda's blog
*Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest or most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST!

The Devil's Due (Morgan Kingsley, Book 3)"Not gonna happen." Lugh was peeved enough at me to send a spike of pain through my eye, but that didn't exactly endear him to me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: The Devil You Know by Jenna Black

The Devil You Know (Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist, Book 2)
by Jenna Black
Publication Date: July 29, 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3 STARS
Book was personally purchased by me

BOOK BLURB (from Amazon)
The beautiful. The bad. The possessed.

Some people worship them. Some people fear them. And some people—like Morgan Kingsley—go up against them toe-to-toe, flesh to flesh, and power against power. An exorcist by trade, Morgan is one of the few humans with an aura stronger than her possessor, even though her demon can tease her body senseless. She’s also a woman who has just discovered a shocking truth: everything she once believed about her past, her identity, may have been a lie.

With a family secret exploding around her and a full-scale demon war igniting, Morgan is a key player in an unsettled world. Then a rogue sociopathic demon enters her life with a bang. His name is The Hunter. And since she is the prey, Morgan has only one choice: to hunt The Hunter down—no matter what heartbreaking truths she uncovers along the way….


MY REVIEW
Not as great as the first book but I still loved the characters. In this second book in the series Morgan is still possessed by the demon king, Lugh and she has decided to break up with Brian because she feels she is a danger to him. She is still the kick ass heroine that I have come to love but she is a little (and I do mean a little) bit better about thinking before she acts.

With the help of Adam, Dominic and her brother Andrew (who is no longer possessed by Rapheal) she must unravel the mystery of who her biological dad is (and what REALLY happened in the hospital when she was a child). Enter in the new threat to Morgan/Lugh's life a psychotic demon, Der Jager, who has been let loose by Lugh's brother, Dougal. Der Jager's job is to figure out where Lugh is because as far as they know Lugh has switched hosts. Once again Morgan must fight for her life (and Lugh's) otherwise a full scale demon war will happen. Morgan's interaction with Adam is slowly beginning to change her views on demons. She has learned so much that now nothing is black and white anymore.

I gave it 3 stars because it didn't come close to how interesting the first book was. I do hope that the third book is much more interesting!

READ CHAPTER 1 (click on full screen view)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

Enchanted No More (Luna Books)"About this Dark one--"
Hartha appeared, shook her finger at Aric's nose, rumbled something in her own language, gestured to Jenni.
Aric nodded. "The browniefem's right, such talk will definitely upset your digestion."
~17% (Kindle)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens

Stone Kissed
by Keri Stevens
Publication Date: December 27, 2010
My Rating: 4 STARS
Book was provided free from the publisher via Netgalley. 
I received no compensation for my review and my opinions are my own.

BOOK BLURB(from Netgalley)
When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back. She is, after all, the last of the Steward witches.
After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he'll allow her to oversee the restoration.
Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent-especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.
But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant's love, but for both their lives...


MY REVIEW

I really liked this book. It had great characters and a great storyline. Delia Forrest is the last of the Steward witches. She grew up being ashamed of her gifts (being able to speak to statues). Her father verbally abused her and always found a way to keep her away from home. Now an arsonist has set fire to her family home, Steward House, with her father in it. He is in critical care and she must come home to take care of him. Once she is home, Grant Wolverton makes her an offer she can't refuse. He wants to buy the house and restore it but he will pay her to oversee the entire operation. With the piling medical bills for her father, she has no choice.

Grant has his own unique abilities; he is able to find that one special and rare item which suits him well since him and his business partner, Lars, are art and antiques dealers. Grant himself has an abusive past and spent most his life protecting his sister, Randi. One of the main reasons for buying Steward House was to build a safe place for him and his sister.

Right away we feel the attraction Grant and Delia have for each other. It sizzles right off the pages and I was always waiting for that "moment" and when it finally happened I was cheering them on!

Enter the nemesis, Cecily Johnson, who is Delia's distant cousin. She is a succubus and wants everything Delia has. This women has some serious mental issues and makes for an interesting foe. She has tried many times to get the Steward house but Delia's father was immune to her "charm". Delia notices something odd about her also and has the feeling that she shouldn't let this women touch her at all.

Now that Delia is home it seems that the statues are becoming more alive. They even start to walk! Now on top of trying to hid from everyone that they talk to her (even though the whole town knows and don't care), she now has to go chasing down the statues that decide they want to explore the town at night!

This book had romance, intrigue and humor. Worth the read! I hope there is another book because I think there was something going on between Lars and Randi and I would definitely read that story!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

In My Mailbox: December 19-25

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. If interested please click the link above and sign up!

PAPERBACKSWAP
On the Prowl
On The Prowl by  Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, Sunny
These all-new paranormal romances from today's hottest authors feature a female werewolf who comes into her own; a Lord who crosses paths with a fiery mage; a mixed-blood Child of the Moon who faces an uncertain future; and a woman whose sixth sense proves to be a dangerous talent.
 


BOUGHT

Hush, HushHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
To Nora Grey, Patch seems like the completely unexpected, picture-perfect guy; handsome, friendly, attentive. But perhaps he's too perfect, too attentive, trespassing over the line between would-be boyfriend and stalker. At first confused and then frightened, Nora eventually discovers that both she and her ever-watchful companion are enmeshed in a primordial battle for souls.



GIFT
from my hubby for Christmas!!

The Red Queen: A Novel (The Cousins' War)The Red Queen The Cousin's War) by Philippa Gregory
The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas


Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Friday 56:

Freda over @ Freda's Voice has taken over the hosting of this fun weekly meme. All you have to do is:


* Grab a book, closest.
* Turn to page 56, find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of the blog.

*Post a link along with your post back to Freda's blog
*Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest or most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST!

Autumn 
There was a sudden unexpected noise behind him and he turned around to see Michael struggling to climb up through the tiny skylight.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Shirin Dubbin

I’ll Write It If You’ll Make It Your Own

from Goodreads
Years ago, three friends and I went to see the Matrix (the first one). We had an amazing time—doing chair-kung-fu along side Neo, Morpheus and Trinity. Our conversation rang with excitement as we exited the theater and we weren’t the only ones. The woman in front of us enjoyed the movie just as much… but as we listened to her describe her favorite parts it became clear she hadn’t “seen” the same movie we had. Her Matrix was a world of tangible holograms projected into reality, while humans fought to shut down the machines producing these killer projections. My friends and I were puzzled but it didn’t really matter. I doubt the writers/directors mind if her understanding of the film varies from their intent. This woman loved The Matrix. She probably saw it a second and third time, which would give any creator a big ole happy buzz.

During the editing of my new release, Dreams’ Dark Kiss, the editorial team—including myself—was split down the middle on how much we needed to define the dream-world setting of the book. In the end, it was decided The Dreaming should be outlined in great detail because it is so complex and the team dearly wanted readers to understand and enjoy the world to the fullest.

The reviews of DDK have started coming in and they range from “I liked it” to “I liked it a lot” to “I loved it” and everyone has asked about a sequel. Good stuff! But one type of comment is present in every review: too much explanation/exposition/confusing description. Ah.

As authors we remain students of the craft of writing. Some of the best writers, like Stephen King or Neil Gaiman, have become student teachers and they’ll tell you they are still learning. So, here’s what this burgeoning author learned:

Exposition, much like my editorial team’s thoughts on it, really needs to land right in the middle; there should be enough to introduce the parameters of the world, but not so much that the book becomes a dissertation. =giggle= One of my teacher’s for this lesson is our host, Kelsey. My heart nearly stopped when I read her DNF rating on GoodReads.

“Dear lord, was my work so terrible she couldn’t get past 16% of it?”

“OMG not a DNF!”

But Kelsey was kind enough to provide insight into her thoughts. Here’s a bit of what she had to say, “I loved your storyline. :) For me personally though the dreaming world was way too complex…I think I might finish the book at a later date but as of now I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around it…”

Now, don’t get scared. From what I’ve heard, Dreams’ Dark Kiss is crazy fun; filled with action, hot guys, a feisty heroine, hard loving, LOL-moments, unusual weaponry, and many surprises [takes a breath]. I’ve been overjoyed at the response to the story. But if exposition is not your thing there’s a glossary in the back. Once you’ve read it you can skip the few expository paragraphs here and there ^_~ or, better, you could go the Matrix route and make the dream-world your own. If your version of The Dreaming turns out to be different from mine that’s cool. I wrote the book for you. As long as you have a good time that’s all that really matters.

Promo Blurb:

The nightmares will strike tonight…Ciaran Letang has taken care of preternatural business since childhood. Her job is soul conducting, ferrying the dead into the afterlife. She’s never had reason to be afraid. The ankou, nightmarish beasts escaped from the Dreaming, will change that tonight.

For Keoni Maka, protecting dreamers is business as usual. Meeting the enthralling, yet annoying, Ciaran is a life-altering event. One that will force him to face both his childhood demons, and those born of nightmares melded to hijacked human flesh.

The pair will have to suck-it-up and deal because the ankou pack leader plans to take dominion over the waking world—and he means to do it now. Together, Ciaran and Keoni must avert their enemy’s schemes or risk an invasion akin to dropping the Earth into the pits of hell. Oh, what a night

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Demons do not dream, my chile, but dare not close ya eyes. For while they dinna tarry sleep, from dreams they may yet rise.”- Cora’Delieye, Mad Mother of Shifting Magicks


“Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Dreaming…” Ciaran sighed, pressed the clutch and shifted the astral car into fourth gear. Time to go to work. The Otherside had beckoned, and she had responded by phasing through her dreams and into psychopomp-dreaming. In other words, soul-conductor duty called.

She couldn’t complain. At least now she understood the process of ferrying a soul into the afterlife. When she was ten things had been different. The uncertainty of where her dreams would lead had frightened her younger self into super-secret bedtime–coffee-drinking rituals—no easy feat for a little girl born in the land of high tea.

Nowadays she’d reached pro status, able to discern which direction her night would turn a blink before closing her eyes. This skill helped her prepare for the task ahead, and one had to be in the right frame of mind in her profession. The Otherside—neighbor to the dreamscape—where psychopomps punched the clock, exuded a realness that separated it from the subconscious, a sense of danger making it…ominous? Right. Just call her Charon. She only lacked a River Styx.

The man beside her was having the time of his life—irony duly noted. Her enthusiasm matched his, despite her businesslike pretense otherwise. After so many years on the job, she’d cultivated compassion without allowing herself to feel the soul’s passing too deeply. This mission was different. It felt amazing, speeding down the road in a little red convertible, top down, the breeze whipping through their hair like freedom. Tonight she rode with Wallace Flint. The Wallace Flint. Ciaran suppressed a squeal, twisting her lips to hide her glee.

How many times had she watched his classic American TV show? Too many. The show’s legions of international fans had elevated the character he’d played into a pop culture immortal. The four, almost five, decades since the final episode hadn’t changed a thing. Rockin’ Wally Flint would be missed.

A hill rose into view on the road ahead. She could just make out train tracks running along the ridge to outline the horizon. They’d cross over them shortly, transitioning from the dreamscape to the Otherside in the process. Psychopomp-dreaming always contained two things: something red and something to cross over; for one person, there’d be a crimson boat and passing beneath a bridge; for the celebrity beside her, a vermilion convertible and driving across train tracks—final bits of poetry to transition a life from living dreams to the perpetual dream of hereafter.

Wallace Flint whistled in exclamation. Ciaran sighed. His trademark grin, lopsided but dazzling, transported her back to childhood, and the reality of his death saddened her until she remembered the bliss awaiting him in the afterlife. Joy pierced the melancholy. He would be happy on the Otherside; she had no reason to doubt. She’d felt peace emanating from every soul she’d ferried across the realms.

Ciaran blew out a breath and echoed his smile. He laughed into the wind in return. The crisp current drew happy tears from his eyes.

“Think we should floor it?” she asked with a devilish arch to her brow.

More delighted laughter framed by his killer smile. Perfect teeth and dimples. No wonder he’d continued to make People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” list well past the age of sixty-five.

Ciaran mashed the accelerator into the floorboards. They became a red bullet, locked and loaded. No real car moved so fast.

“Huzzah!” the man yelled as the car hit the base of the hill and went airborne. It sailed over the train tracks Thelma and Louise–style and landed, smooth as butter, on the Otherside. The TV star was gone. No need to check the empty passenger seat beside her. She’d done the job long enough to know.

Downshifting, she slowly released the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. Rockin’ Wally Flint would take the final leg of his journey alone.

Soulconductor mission complete.

A familiar sense of elation enveloped her, soothing away the sorrow of bidding yet another life good-bye. The job was done. Time to wake. She waited but remained in the Dreaming.

Something’s wrong.

The Otherside shifted beneath her, giving way to the Wastelands under, yet between it and the dreamscape. No. She shouldn’t be stuck in the Dreaming, and she definitely shouldn’t be here—no soul, living or dead, should walk the Wastelands. Psychopomps traveled directly from the dreamscape to the Otherside and back, never to this place. This wasn’t right.

Ciaran watched as jagged red peaks jutted upward from the fabric of the dreamscape, cutting into a bleak expanse of sky, and whorls of dust resembling powdered blood stirred on stale winds. She seriously needed to wake up; only creatures who devoured death and nightmares prowled the in-between places. While she understood the purpose of the Wastelands—they had to exist as surely as the Otherside, the dreamscape and the totality of the Dreaming; it was the nature of balance—she still wasn’t delusional enough to believe her presence here was natural. Just the flip side, actually. Being here felt as natural as dancing butt-ass naked down the middle of a cobra’s nest. Not good.

The convertible came to a stop, it also fading now its reason for being, the soul of Wallace Flint, had departed. Trust her to run out of petrol in a place where none should be required. Ciaran sighed, opened the ephemeral remnants of the car door and stepped out to search for a getaway. A repetitive thud reverberated across empty peaks.

She turned slowly round, scanning the landscape for a swatch of Otherside to escape into. Some part of it had to be nearb—

There!

Ciaran sprung into a headlong roll, hurling her body toward a fleeting bit of Otherside at the edge of her vision.

Thank God! Soon she’d phase back through dreams and land in bed as she should have after Wallace Flint’s crossing. Instead she landed backside in the sanguineous dust. A cloud of it puffed around her, the metallic taste coating her tongue and filling her nose.

She’d missed.

Shit.

The Otherside had no real geography. It would best be termed amorphous. Isles of it drifted through the Dreaming, appearing where they would.

Similarly, the Wastelands couldn’t be quantified by the rules of the Waking World. They were the border between the dreamscape and the Otherside in a wrong-side-up and inside-out sort of way. A kind of chasm, the Wastelands could most often be crossed as easily as a crack in the pavement. But the chasm could also split open and rise up, or swallow a traveler down—a dream turned nightmare before the dreamer could awaken.

Ciaran had learned the Dreaming didn’t have to make sense. It existed because consciousness existed and was without rules because the sleeping mind knew no boundaries. She’d also come to believe the Wastelands were the negative visions of death a soul shed before entering the Otherside—all the world’s imaginings of hell so to speak. This was not a Wonderland to wander through.

Time to wake up. She nervously tapped the rhythm of the words against her thigh. Time. To. Wake. Up.

~about the author (taken from author's website)~


Shirin Dubbin/Sherin Nicole is a megalomaniac prima donna…um, ok…not really. I’m actually a closet wallflower with an addiction to laughter. Besides being a voracious reader and lover of storytelling I host DC’s Fantastic Forum, a show celebrating comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

As Sherin Nicole, the orange, ass-kicking geek, I write graphic novels, screenplays, stage plays, TV pitches and do the secret identity thing as a graphic designer. My alter ego, Shirin Dubbin, writes Urban Fantasy with romantic edge. My first novella, Keeper of the Way, debuted in 2009 and I was overjoyed (and more than a little surprised) with the great response to the “modern Fae trapped in Washington, DC tale.”

Culturally, I’m half American, half British and very southern; right down to the accent and love of grits—they’re great with shrimp…try it! Government reports show a residence in DC but I spend most of my time on the astral plane and I’m certain I’ve seen you there.

~find Shirin Dubbin~

FACEBOOK   /   WEBSITE   /   GOODREADS   /   TWITTER

~her books~

Dreams' Dark Kiss Dusk Takes Dawn Keeper of the Way

~Shirin's Sweet Sampler~

Shirin has graciously decided to giveaway one copy of each of her books to one lucky winner! That's right! Since Shirin's name means "sweet" she has called this her Sweet Sampler! The winner will receive Keeper of the Way, Dusk Takes Dawn and her newest release Dreams' Dark Kiss.Just fill out the form below!

GIVEAWAY RULES for entering
  • This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY! Yes my faithful followers EVERYONE can enter this one...:)
  • Must be 18 years old or older.
  • You don't have to be a follower but I would love your support and you will get an extra entry...:)
  • Please complete the form below - comments are nice but they will not count.
  • EXTRA ENTRY: Leave a question for Shirin and you will receive an extra entry.
  • The contest will end on January 5, 2011 at 11:59PM EST; 1 winner will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winner is contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam filters!).
  • Books will be shipped directly from the author.





    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday: The Devil's Due by Jenna Black

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

    Grab your current read
    Open to a random page
    Share two "teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

    The Devil's Due (Morgan Kingsley, Book 3)Whatever the message was, I wasn't getting it. I dropped my voice so it could barely be heard in the noisy restaurant. "Tell me who threatened you, and tell me what bad thing will happen if I keep investigating, and I'll consider your request."

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    In My Mailbox: December 12-18

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. If interested please click the link above and sign up!

    FOR REVIEW

    From author Daniel Palmer, 2 SIGNED copies of his book Delirious. He gave me one copy for review and one to giveaway! Thanks so much Daniel!! 

    As part of the campaign for this book a fictitious InVision blog has been set up that comes from the perspectives of Charlie Giles and Eddie Prescott, Charlie's business partner. This blog takes place before the novel and focuses on the back-story. Please check it out HERE. Now here is a little blurb about the book.

    DeliriousCharlie Giles, inventor of a new digital-entertainment system for automobiles, is stunned when his life abruptly falls to pieces around him. After being publicly humiliated by a seemingly self-destructive stunt at a high-level meeting, Charlie says he was set up by a colleague who, apparently, doesn’t exist. Then he’s fired from his company after an audit reveals that he used his computer to access pornographic web sites; he swears he never did, but the evidence is conclusive. Fearing he could be losing his mind, Charlie turns to his brother, Joe, who suffers from schizophrenia, for advice. But when Charlie’s former colleagues start getting murdered, he realizes that whatever is happening isn’t going on entirely inside his own head.

    PAPERBACKSWAP
     
    The Founding: The Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
    The Founding (Morland Dynasty)Seeking power and prestige, grim, ambitious Yorkshireman Edward Morland arranges a marriage between his meek son Robert and spirited Eleanor, young ward of the influential Beaufort family. Eleanor is appalled at being forced to marry a mere "sheep farmer"; she is, after all, secretly in love with Richard, Duke of York.
    Yet from this apparently ill-matched union, Robert and Eleanor form a surprising connection that soon will be tested by a bloody civil war that divides families, sets neighbor against neighbor, and brings tragedy close to home.
    WON

    from Cheryl @ CMash Loves To Read

    Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court JusticesScorpions by Noah Feldman
    A tiny, ebullient Jew who started as America's leading liberal and ended as its most famous judicial conservative. A Klansman who became an absolutist advocate of free speech and civil rights. A backcountry lawyer who started off trying cases about cows and went on to conduct the most important international trial ever. A self-invented, tall-tale Westerner who narrowly missed the presidency but expanded individual freedom beyond what anyone before had dreamed.
    Four more different men could hardly be imagined. Yet they had certain things in common. Each was a self-made man who came from humble beginnings on the edge of poverty. Each had driving ambition and a will to succeed. Each was, in his own way, a genius. 

    from Diana @ Book of Secrets

    Stronger than Sin (Sin 2)Stronger Than Sin by Caridad Pineiro
    Dr. Liliana Carrera nearly lost her life to Wardwell scientists. She won't let them harm other innocent victims, like her new patient, Jesse Bradford. The former pro athlete had the best hands in the NFL . . . until an injury forced him to undergo Wardwell's experimental gene therapy. Now Jesse's gorgeous body is superhuman-but his strength comes at a price.With Wardwell threatening his family, Jesse can't tell Liliana all he knows. Yet he can't resist her compassion . . . or her healing, erotic touch. As their passion flares, Jesse's body becomes dangerous and volatile. For evil men are plotting to change the face of humanity-and will destroy whoever stands in their way.
    THANKS SO MUCH CHERYL AND DIANA!!!

    BLOG CREATED JUNE 20, 2010