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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WWW Wednesday (February 27, 2013)

 Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?


What did you recently finish reading?


What do you think you'll read next? 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ARC Review: Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian



Series: Midnight Breed, Book 11
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Format: DRC
Source: publisher via edelweiss for an honest review

**SPOILER WARNING even though I try to make my reviews as spoiler free as possible, sometimes it is unavoidable**

Lara Adrian transports her Midnight Breed series to 20 years into the future after First Dawn. Tensions are high among the humans and the vampires. The Order's leader, Lucan, is trying to balance the prickly relationship but soon discovers that there are other forces inside and outside the Order working against them and these forces are trying to make the vampires out to be the bad guys.

Edge of Dawn focuses on the breed warrior Kellan and his breedmate, Mira. Kellan was supposedly killed eight years before and Mira has felt empty ever since. He was her best friend and only lover and it was all taken away from her in a ball of fire. Only revenge keeps her motivated and fighting for the Order. Then one day during a routine “babysitting” mission, Mira discovers a life shattering secret, Kellan is still alive. What is worse, he is the leader for the rebels. Kellan has lived with major regret this entire time but after what he saw in Mira’s eyes that night eight years before, he figured he had no choice.

Adrian takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster. Kellan thinks that disappearing was the way to protect Mira only to discover that he has been wrong all along. There is no way to avoid your destiny and his involves facing the Order and paying for what he has done. As Kellan and Mira try to figure out who the actual bad guys are; they also discover that they can no longer deny their love for each other.

This series definitely got a new makeover and the storyline is refreshed. I was unable to put the book down once I started. The ending reveals where Adrian is going with the series and I for one want to be first in line for this ride.


PURCHASE EDGE OF DAWN


Teaser Tuesday (February 26, 2013)

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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Teaser #1
"I wish you would accept me as a vampire and let go of this illusion that I'm something I'm not."
 
Teaser #2
Don't play games with my heart.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Post: A Petri Dish for Storytelling by Steve O'Brien


A Petri Dish for Storytelling

I was hooked on horse racing at an early age.

I grew up in Grand Island, Nebraska. In the spring of each year, the five-eighths mile track, known as Fonner Park becomes the focal point of horse racing in Nebraska.

When I was four or five years old, my parents would occasionally take me to the track. I had to sit in the car (okay, usually on the roof of the car), parked along the outside rail. Kids were not allowed inside the grandstand at that time. It was fine with me. I’d rather be near the track and feel the rush of competition as jockeys muscled their mounts through the turns of that bullring.

My dad used to tell the story that on one of these trips I told him to bet the purple one. The tote board declared the purple one to be twenty-five to one. No sane person would bet the purple one. Of course, the purple one won. Dumb luck, but I was hooked.

In high school I signed up to try out for the golf team, which happened to be in the spring. Those trying out for the team were released from school early to go play a round of golf at the local country club.

Somehow my car never made it to the country club and could be found parked at the racetrack.

A friend and classmate of mine, Rob Williams, was allowed to leave school early to work. He was an apprentice jockey at Fonner Park. Rob, or as he is known on the racetrack “RD Williams,” became one of the top jockeys on the Midwestern circuit. In those early days he would laugh as he rode by in the post parade because he knew I wasn’t supposed to be trackside, I was supposed to be in school.

By just hanging around I developed an appreciation for the industry. It was more than just the breathtaking majesty of the horses or the process of divining winning wagers from the numbers in a racing form.

It was the people.

The people at a racetrack provide the greatest diversity of personalities and backgrounds imaginable—from the well heeled owners in the luxury boxes to the teenager who mucks out stalls and everyone in between—trainers, hotwalkers, stewards, vets, farriers, professional gamblers, hunch bettors--everyone. There may be no greater socioeconomic and demographic mix in any other enterprise.

And somehow these people “need” one another.

The horses cause these lives to intersect and become interdependent. The natural conflict of competition and money is heightened by the clash of these diverse and disparate characters.

I find it the perfect Petri dish for storytelling.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve O'Brien is the author of four novels: Elijah's Coin, Bullet Work, Redemption Day, and Dead Money. Elijah's Coin has been added to the reading curriculum in multiple secondary schools throughout the US and has been incorporated in a university ethics course. The e-book version of Redemption Day was an Amazon.com Bestseller. Steve is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and George Washington University Law School. He lives in Washington, DC.

ABOUT DEAD MONEY 


You Can’t Stop It.

The stranger’s menacing, dismissive laughter echoed in attorney Dan Morgan’s head. In the heart of thoroughbred country--Churchill Downs--a major con was about to be pulled. Despite Dan’s efforts, his filly, Aly Dancer, was somehow part of the scheme. 

You Can’t Stop It. Dan’s dream as a thoroughbred owner was to run in a Grade I race—a televised stakes race. That opportunity had finally appeared. So far it had only resulted in threats, violence and death.

You Can’t Stop It.

What was the scam? Who was involved? Who could he turn to?
Post time was nearing.
The man’s sinister voice would not leave him.

You Can’t Stop It.

PURCHASE DEAD MONEY

Stacking the Shelves (8)

What is Stacking The Shelves all about?

We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you’re anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles!

How to participate? Just head on over to Tynga's Reviews and sign up!

FOR REVIEW


Cherokee Talisman by David-Michael Harding (receive from author)
Stolen by Daniel Palmer (from author/publisher)

WON



Revival by Jena Leigh (from Supernatural Snark)

PURCHASED


Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick
Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell
The Blood Countess by Andrei Codrescu
Life Mask by Emma Donoghue
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WWW Wednesday (February 20, 2013)

 Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?


What did you recently finish reading?


What do you think you'll read next? 




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (February 19, 2013)

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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Teaser #1
In minutes, we had left the chaos behind.
 
Teaser #2
"The name is Cain, not 'freak'."

~pg. 19 The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs (DRC)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Deep Freeze Blog Tour + Giveaway: Heather Massey

The Heroic Journey in Steampunk Romance
by Heather Massey
 
Steampunk romance is a great place to read about couples who embark on a joint heroic journey. In these tales, couples often face a villain or some kind of threat. More often than not, the hero and heroine share equally in the responsibility of saving the day.

The concept is an exciting one, but why does it happen? Which ingredients in steampunk romance foster the joint heroic journey dynamic? I singled out three key reasons based on my reading experience.

1) The alternate history setting element in steampunk romance allows for more progressive interpretations of heroines. They can have occupations beyond those dictated by traditional gender roles. Heroines can be inventors, airship captains, spies, police inspectors, and business owners. Therefore, these women have more resources, influence, and control. They have the freedom to become part of the action and move the plot forward.

The alternate history setting creates a fertile ground in which authors can explore changing attitudes toward gender roles—in both women and men.

One thing I’ve noticed about the steampunk romance heroes I’ve encountered is they are quick to assume the heroines are as capable as they when it comes to solving the mystery or combating the villain. They recognize heroines don’t need permission from anyone to take charge or make important decisions—it’s just what they do.

2) Action-adventure elements also increase the extent to which a steampunk romance couple embarks on a joint heroic journey. Steampunk romance has roots in the Edisonade genre. Victorian-era people were fascinated by technology and engineering and their interest was channeled into tales about inventors and their fantastical devices.

Steampunk romance taps into a similar mindset. But instead of featuring one protagonist, these stories offer two. External threats, like rampaging giant automatons, are common in steampunk romances. The hero and heroine must unite and share their skills to overcome their common foe or risk losing each other. Plus, it’s fun to discover how they integrate their respective talents.

3) Steampunk technology often levels the playing field. You’re as likely to encounter a heroine familiar with steam-powered technology as a hero. Hence, heroines are often on an equal footing with the heroes, which leads to the inevitable joining of forces. Steampunk romance heroes recognize a good thing when they see it, you know?

Heroes and heroines in steampunk romances are excited about what their partner can accomplish with technology. Whether their love interest is piloting an airship or operating a difference engine, steampunk romance heroes and heroines develop an attraction to one another based on talent and skill. Quite the aphrodisiac, eh?

Thanks for reading my speculations about some of the building blocks of the joint heroic journey in steampunk romance. Here’s a list of books that will entertain you with them (in alphabetical order by author):

Skies of Steel by Zoe Archer

The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris (steampunk with romantic elements)

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

The Iron Heart by Leslie Dicken

Love in the Time of Airships by Meredith Holmes (from the anthology SteamPowered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories; Joselle Vanderhooft, Editor)

The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (steampunk with slight romantic elements, but worth mentioning given The X-Files nature of the story)

Steamed by Katie McAlister

Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti

Nights of Fire by Nico Rosso

And, if I may, you’ll also encounter the joint heroic journey in my new Western steampunk romance, Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts (Lyrical Press).

Now I’d like to know your opinion. What are your thoughts about the heroic journey? Would you be interested in reading more stories with that type of fantasy? Why or why not?

Giveaway Time!

Fill out the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a digital copy of Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts!


* Winner’s choice PDF, ePub, or .mobi.
* The deadline to enter is 2/28/2013.

Now for the blurb:

The West just got a whole lot wilder.

A woman on a mission... Scientific achievement isn't enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits…until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet's father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.

A man with a secret... Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can't let Violet waltz into the villain's lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she's also the most compelling woman he's ever known.

A perilous quest... Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father's latest invention and the world's most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan's resistance isn't clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion's diabolical devices, and by then, it's far too late.

About the author

Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit www.heathermassey.com


Stacking the Shelves (7)

What is Stacking The Shelves all about?

We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you’re anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles!

How to participate? Just head on over to Tynga's Reviews and sign up!

FOR REVIEW

from Simon & Schuster via edelweiss

Deadly Stakes by J.A. Jance
Iscariot by Tosca Lee

from Laura Briggs @ Potomac Books
Back from Tobruk by Croswell Bowen

PURCHASED

 Ghostland by Jory Strong


Thursday, February 14, 2013

ARC Review: Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel



Series: Vampire Queen, Book 2
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Format: ARC
Source: publisher for an honest review

**SPOILER WARNING even though I try to make my reviews as spoiler free as possible, sometimes it is unavoidable**

In Maizel’s follow-up to Infinite Days, the reader is right away thrown into the action. Stolen Nights begins just four days after Lenah performs the ritual on Vicken to make him human and also the night her friend Tony was killed. The ritual does not kill Lenah but instead transforms her back into her human self. The worst is definitely not over. Justin and Lenah witness a vampire killing one of Lenah’s friends on the beach and Lenah knows that this vampire is hunting her; someone wants her to pay for what she has done in her past and will make her suffer first. Not only has she discovered this threat but now the Aeris need her to decide her punishment for what she and her soul mate Rhode Lewin have done by performing the rituals that made them human. This choice along with the task of confronting the one hunting her will leave the reader breathless and torn.

Lenah still has many characteristics she had when she was a vampire. She loves hard and many times only thinks of herself. After finding out that Rhode is still alive she literally leaves Justin behind. As a reader we are torn between the undying love she has with Rhode and the fresh human love she had with Justin. But right away we know that Lenah and Justin’s relationship is not what it used to be. Until the moment that Lenah makes the ultimate sacrifice we wonder if she has really changed at all.

We learn more about Lenah and Rhode thru flashbacks and we also learn more of Vicken. I have to say Vicken is a great supporting character and I even laughed a few times at his antics. As I said before, Justin’s relationship with Lenah has changed. He is now in the backseat and not liking it at all.

Even though the mood of Stolen Nights is definitely darker than it was in Infinite Days we are enlightened and hopeful by the end. Maizel throws the punches without saying sorry to her readers and for that I am thankful. This wouldn’t be the book it is if she held back. Refreshing and heartbreaking, Stolen Nights will have you anxiously awaiting a possible third book (please).


PURCHASE STOLEN NIGHTS
 

BLOG CREATED JUNE 20, 2010