"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interview with Virgil Allen Moore

I am Virgil Allen Moore. I write the book Demon Vampire. I have been writing for over seventeen years. I began as a poet. Later, I turned to fiction. My voice carries presence in my pen as I write. It is a talent that I have used well in constructing my novel. My platform is visual aesthetics mixed with powerful character driven writing. My myths teach visceral morality in a palette that is captivating and fulfilling to readers. My type of vampire is above the fold as related to today's popular image. It is my vision that those who remember the era of Anne Rice will see my epic as the answer to the mundane vampire that has propagated in the ebb of recent social tide. There have never been vampires like mine. I have created a powerful, elegant, sophisticated type of vampires that have seeded desires and emotional ties to the world around them.

1- What was your inspiration for Demon Vampires?
   Several years ago I noticed a decline in the way vampire novels were written. I grew up in the Anne Rice era and still had a fine view of vampires as elegant and powerful. The idea that a human could attack a vampire, or even take blood from them, appalled me. I set out wanting to write a novel that solved that problem. I desired an epic story about vampires that were troubled by larger ideals, not the petty teen angst that most paranormal novels pour out these days.

2- Please tell the readers a little bit about your book.
    Demon Vampire is a morality tale that questions the choices of the reader. It asks if you would sell your soul for power. While this choice seems clear cut initially, you find there are complications. The demon inside Zack wants to eat his soul, part by part until he is the “abomination among monsters” as referred to in the book. Zack, and the reader are faced with the same issues, heavy morality in a dire circumstance. It presses the conventional ideals of all vampires books in existence.
      Demon Vampire as a whole is set up with multiple characters painted over an expanse of 6,000+ years of history. It is a poetic ride that melds artistry with a full cast of dynamic characters. It is nothing like the force-fed vampire many have come to see in popular writing today.

3- I hope I am correct on this. Demon Vampire is part of a trilogy. If so, can you give us a little insight as to what will come and when we can expect them?
      Actually, it's much bigger than that. When I originally wrote the book, it was just a stand alone. Then more ideas came up, and more, and so on. So far I have a full outline for book two, as well as concept outlines for books three through seven. And that's just the main series. The book actually has several spin offs that are full length novels. Since Demon Vampire is 242,000+ words and can literally stand on end at 500 pages, the side novels are modest by comparison. They will be your average 250 page novels. As of this interview, there is:
     Demon Vampire (the main novel being released 10/30/2011),
     Demon Vampire: Special Science Report 1192 (The free ebook that comes as a download companion to the main novel),
      Demon Vampire: The Elder Ritual (A book about the demon vampire Salas, reflecting all of his incarnations before the main novel). It is set to be released in late 2012,
      and Demon Vampire: Redgold (the direct continuation of the main storyline). It is currently being written and is suspected to come out in October of 2013 at near the length of the first novel (About 210,000+ words).
      Unlike other vampire novels that have all one view point or direction. Demon Vampire novels show the histories of all the characters and how they interact with each other. The true joy comes when the reader understands how and why one character might act differently in front of others apart from the main story. That is the main reason behind the side novels.

4- The main character in your book, Zack Giver, seems like such an unlikely person for the part. What brought his character to life?
   Life experiences. I wanted to show what a person with real personal issues could bring to the table. He's not the whiny or snarky teen that always has a fresh comment about every thing that comes up. When he's scared, you know it. When he's uncomfortable, you feel it. Zack Giver is the new archetype for a truly dynamic protagonist. He grows as the novel progresses. In the beginning, he's perfectly human. By the end of the novel, the reader questions if Zack is turning into a monster he fears.

5- Who has had the most influence on your writing and why?
I didn't begin as a fiction writer, I was first a poet. William Blake and Dante influenced me a great deal. When I got into fiction, Anne Rice helped to get me into vampires. I read her vision and was hooked in the elegance and demeanor of her characters.

6- Who provided the cover art for your book and did you have any input on the finished product?

  Leos Ng Okita. An amazing artist that I was able to find on DeviantArt.com. Thankfully, I was published through a small press that didn't have a full art department. I told them that I already had someone in mind for the cover and that I had the concept written out. They gave me the go, and I let Okita-Chan, as she likes to be called, do her best. A few weeks later, she wowed me and Erudite Small Press with a wrap around cover that was built to impress. A week after that, The cover was finalized and ready for distribution. It's been a wonderful process. I'm very happy that I was able to choose my artist. As long as she is available for Demon Vampire: Redgold, I will be contacting her for another cover.

7- I have to ask you. The pics on your blog are really classy. They remind me of Gary Oldman in the Dracula movie. Did that have any influence on the way your pics were done?

   Yes and no. I've always loved top hats and full three piece suits. Apart from the fact that I have long black hair, I did mimic some of Oldman's essence when posing for the author photos on the site.
    Although it hasn't been posted yet, I have a cane now to complete the picture. It has a black rose handle with a diamond shaped crystal on the far tip.
   The ironic part is that Gary Oldman is what one of my characters, Salas, looks like. There is a painting of “The Lich King” that another potential cover artist did a while back that highly resembling him.

8- I know you have been writing for about seventeen years and started with poetry, what can we expect from Virgil Moore in the future?
  Apart from the fourteen books that I have planned for this series alone. I do have a few contemporary pieces without any paranormal elements at all. They are nothing like the other writing I do. However, there will always be one thing that ties all of my novels together, morality. I believe that morality can be a career defining tool as a writer. The concept of reading a book knowing the end is one thing, but having to ask yourself who had it the best or worst by the end, makes you think. I've always loved the way the movie “Requiem for a Dream” did it. You see four characters and all of the hell they go through in life. All of my novels tie everyone into everything in a way that is entertaining and thought-provoking. The lowest lows are not felt unless the reader has a sense of depth. Dante said it best when he wrote, “The greatest woe is happiness recalled in misery.” I will always desire to have my readers feel the story I write, if they don't, it's lost. I want my novel to be remembered for how it made them feel the day they finished it, no matter which genre I write in. If I can give a moral that forces you to question who you are by page 500, then I have done my job.

Contact info:
Publisher: Erudite Small Press
Amazon.com: keyword “Demon Vampire”

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review of Midnight Waltz

Midnight Waltz
Jennifer Blake
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 97814022384899

   It is nineteenth century Louisiana  and Amalie has become the new mistress of Belle Grove. She knows how to act as mistress of the house; but she is totally unprepared for her marriage to Julien Declocet. He is cordial by day and distant to say the least; but at night he sends her passions into rampage. As the summer marches onward, her husband becomes even more mysterious and his dual personality intensifies. She finds herself drawn into a deception that takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotion that could only be played out by the filthy rich. Will Amalie be able to survive or will she be cast out through no fault of her own?
   This is an excellent story that takes the reader into the Louisiana bayou and their hot, steamy summer packed with even more hot, sensual romance. Amalie is a strong and determined woman who is thrilled with her husband's passion; but is unable to understand his daylight aloofness. Julien is not quite the man he appears to be. He carries secrets that are being protected at all costs. As the story progresses, Amalie discovers that life is not as it appears and she begins to question that which she does not understand. Their are more questions then answers until all is disclosed in the end. This story is full of romance, secrets, deception and mystery. It is well worth the read and I highly recommend it.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to read and review.

I give Midnight Waltz 4.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review of Emily Dahill CID Part 1

Emily Dahill, CID Part One by Lindsay Downs
Emily Dahill CID Part 1
Lindsay Downs
Astraea Press 2011
ISBN 978-1-963852-51-2
   Emily Dahill is assigned to a special mission to transfer a high profile prisoner of Al-Qaida, from Tuz to Baghdad. After the mission she is to begin training to become a CID Special Agent. The transfer does not go as planned and Emily awakens to find herself in the hospital. Once cleared for duty, she finds herself with a new partner. A very special collie, she has named Dakota.
   Because this is only Part 1 of the Emily Dahill CID book, I have over simplified the synopsis in an attempt to prevent spoilers. This first part was only thirty-seven pages long. This was quite an enjoyable read despite the short length. Emily is a rather feisty soldier who is not afraid to say what she thinks. Her partner, Dakota, is a rather interesting sidekick. He has his own personality and he manages to make you chuckle. I will be curious to see what the two of them get into next. My only complaint about the story was the shortness of it. I would like to see the story expanded and made into a full length book. At this point, I don't have any idea of how many parts will be in the finished work. If you like animals and a quick read that can be read in one sitting, check it out. I will be keeping my eye open for the next installment.
   I wish to thank Astraea Press for providing me with a copy to review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving a copy of the ebook to read.
I give Emily Dahill CID Part 1  4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review of Catriona

Jeanette Baker
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402255861

   Kate Sutherland goes to her ancestral home in the Shetland Islands to scatter the remains of her deceased mother. She hopes to find some of her family and also cure her visions of danger and a sexy Scottish border lord. Instead, she discovers she has been living the tormented memories of Catriona Wells who lived five centuries before.
   Catriona is shielding a secret from her past and is willing to do anything to save her brother from the politics of their royal family. She even agrees to an arranged marriage to the Scottish border lord, Patrick MacKendrick. Will loving him destroy her family or will his love set her free?
   Meanwhile, Kate is battling a growing attraction to Niall MacCormack, a sexy Scottish historian. As the pull from her visions beckons her, will she decide on a love from the present or risk all for a life of passion and peril from the past?
   I absolutely loved this book. Not only does it have mystery, intrigue and romance, but it is set in my all time favorite place, Scotland. The author has woven together in a flawless fashion, a blend of the past and present for an irresistible read that draws you in from the beginning. As Kate travels back and forth in time through her dreams, she is drawn into a mystery in the past that has her falling for the Scottish laird. In the present, she has a growing attraction to the Scottish historian that she is trying to deny. To top it off, she gets drawn into secrets of her own past that makes the story even more mysterious and amazing. If you are a fan of romance, highlanders and Scotland, you will love this book. If you just like a good story, you will love this book.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give Catriona 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review of Red's Hot Cowboy

Red's Hot Cowboy
Carolyn Brown
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402253614

   Will Marshall was only looking for a place to stay when the power to his house went out during a winter storm. The next thing he knows, he is involved with a murder investigation and that will ignite passions for the owner of the motel he stays in.
   Pearl Richland never plans to be running a motel out in the middle of no-where; but her great-aunt dies and leaves her a vintage motel. She leaves her cushy bank job and moves to no where land. Since she always wanted to be her own boss, Perlita's motel fits the bill just fine. The last thing she wants, however, is some sexy cowboy coming along to upset things. Fate and love may just have their say in the matter.
   This is a wonderfully sexy and humorous love story of two people who have very strong ideas about the way things are. I mustn't forget to mention the fact that they both  carry on frequent conversations with themselves. Neither one wants to give in to love; but sometimes love has its own say. This story made me laugh out loud on quite a few occasions and the action packed sex scenes are enough to steam up your glasses. This is a wonderful story of love, trust and caring. If you love cowboys or just love a good romance to curl up with, this is just the thing. Grab a cup of tea and kick off your shoes. I don't thing you will be disappointed.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give Red's Hot Cowboy 4 out of 5 stars

Interview With Author Karen Wheeler and Review of Tout Sweet

BIO: Karen Wheeler grew up in Northern England before she moved to London. There she attended Kings College, University of London and received her degree in modern history. She is a former fashion editor for the Mail on Sunday and currently writes for the Financial Times How to Spend It magazine and London's Daily Mail. Her work has appeared in the Evening Standard and You magazines, Sunday Times Style, and numerous international publications. Karen also has a great blog at http://www.toutsweet.net/ and Twitters @mimipompom1.

1- What made you decide to write Tout Sweet?
I was telling a friend about my chaotic final day- packing everything in my car in London, not knowing how to get to the ferry port etc, all of which is described in the opening chapter of Tout Sweet, and when he'd stopped laughing he said 'you should write a book about this.' It hadn't occurred to me to write about my move to France until that point.

I was actually writing a novel based in the south of France and set in the fragrance industry but seemed to be getting nowhere. I was on the fourth rewrite and following my friends suggestion dropped it to start work on Tout Sweet. I set out to write the kind of book I would like to read about living in France- not geographical or historical facts and figures but an entertaining human experience. It was a very enjoyable book to write-I actually made myself laugh (and cry) at times and for that reason I managed to write it in six weeks.

2- What possessed you to buy the house without giving it some thought?
I've always acted on gut feeling and I knew the minute I saw the house that I was looking at my future. (What I didn't see was all the time I'd spend up a step ladder with a paintbrush.) I'm a great believer in recognizing an opportunity when it comes along and grabbing it with both hands. I've always been ruled by my heart rather than my head and I think that comes across very strongly in the book.

3- Did you do much of the work on the house yourself?
Yes, I did- with varying degrees of success. I went to France with a DIY manual the size of a breeze block and let's just say it was a steep learning curve. Many of my efforts are described in the book. Sometimes I look at the painted walls and varnished floors and can't believe that they are the result of my handiwork. Before moving to France the only thing I painted was my nails.

4- You seemed to have some difficulty in getting reliable professional help on the remodeling. Is that a problem in France?
The French artisans (as tradesman are poetically called) are generally very good. The problem is getting them to come to your house in the first place as the best are booked up months if not years in advance. To give you an example, one local roofer has a waiting list of two years.

5- Your neighbors in France seemed very supportive. How about your friends in London? Do you see much of them or did they provide any assistance?
My friends in London seemed very pleased to be getting rid of me (just kidding- I think!) The greatest help was one of my oldest friends, actually an American book editor, who came to visit very early on, via the Frankfort book fair. He rolled up his sleeves and very bravely set about clearing out the attic which was full of old and uninteresting junk (suitcases full of newspapers for example) I will always be hugely grateful to him for doing that particular job. Friends in London when they come out tend to want to sit around in the courtyard and drink lots of wine rather than immerse themselves in DIY and I really can't say I blame them.

6- Even though you wanted a simpler life, you seemed to be having difficulty getting rid of your shoes and bags even though they were not practical, as you said. What was holding you back?
Well, I think clothes have memories attached to them and sometimes it is difficult to let them go. For example, I had a pair of orange mohair kitten heels that I wore when I took my ex French boyfriend to dinner at Le Caprice in London and I didn't want to get rid of them because they reminded me of a really happy evening.

7- What was the hardest thing for you to adjust to?
To begin with the lack of amenities or what we call creature comforts in the UK. I went from living in relative luxury to really roughing it. For almost a year I lived in one room (my bedroom) with all my possessions piled up in boxes in the sitting room.

8- What do you miss the most?
British stores such as Marks&Spencer. It sounds deeply treacherous to say it but the food in French supermarkets- with the exception of the fabulous cheese and wine- is not that great and often full of unpleasant chemicals. It's very hard to find organic fruits and vegetables. And believe it or not I also miss British cuisine. French food is all about the cleverness of the chef- coulis of this and jus of that whereas I prefer simple, unpretentious dishes made with fresh ingredients. When I go back to London, the thing I most want to eat is Indian or Italian food.

I want to thank Karen so much for taking the time to stop by my blog and answering questions for us. If anyone has anything they would like to ask her, feel free to do so. Just make sure you stop back for her response.

Review of Tout Sweet

Tout Sweet
Karen Wheeler
ISBN 9781402261183

   Karen Wheeler has a glamorus life in London. She has a great job, a wonderful boyfriend, a gorgeous home, and a fabulous assortment of shoes and handbags. Life is not always as it appears on the surface. On an impulse, Karen decides to chuck her city life and purchases a run down house in rural France.
   She jumps whole heartedly into her new lifestyle in rural France renovating her new home in the country. She makes new friendships, new loves, and finds out how different life can be with a much simper lifestyle. Even with her simpler life, don't handbags and shoes still have a place?
   This is the tale of how Karen Wheeler left her glamorus city life and moved to rural France. She tells the tale of how she purchased a run down house with no thought and then the months of hard work to make the house livable. I am sure there were times when she had second thoughts about what she did, especially when she had to live in one room for a year while other areas of the house were renovated. She humorously tells of her struggle to let go of the past while holding on to her future. She meets some rather unusual new friends along the way and surprises you with the mixed up mess their lives are in. I bet sometimes Karen felt like she had a normal life compared to those around her. I can't say more or it would spoil the story. Check out Karen's book and see how she transforms her life from the mad, everyday rush, to find satisfaction in some of life's simpler pleasures.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give Tout Sweet 3.5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review of Making Waves

Making Waves
Tawna Fenske
Sourcebooks Casa
ISBN 9781402257216

   Julie has trouble fitting in; but she prefers to keep the reasons a secret. She hops on a boat in the Caribbean to dispose of her Uncle Franks ashes. Unbeknownst to her, she boards on the wrong boat and finds herself a stowaway  with some disgruntled corporate misfits. It turns out the one is her make believe "husband."
   Alex is a bit disgruntled because he has been kicked to the curb by an unscrupulous boss after twenty years of service. The last thing he needs is to be shackled to a make believe "wife" who is not normal and has secrets she is not willing to share. Of course, Alex has a few secrets of his own. The thing is, meeting Julie makes his life a lot more exhilarating.
   This is one of the most hilarious books I have read in a long time. Sometimes you just need a no nonsence, no brainer, chick book, to lighten up the mood. This is just the read. I have to tell you I have no laughed so hard reading a book in a long time. The main female Julie is absolutely hilarious. Alex is a brooder, with good reason; but at times you want to slap him silly. Even though the story is a crazy ride, it is well written. You have a bunch of misfit pirates on the high seas,  a crazy jock woman who has her hormones in a twist, romance in the air, and a pirate who is a gourmet cook. We mustn't forget the sex on the beach. There is a scene on the balcony that had me rolling on the floor. If you want a wacky and quirky summer read, I can't recommend this one enough.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give Making Waves 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review of The Vampire Next Door

The Vampire Next Door
Ashlyn Chase
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402236631

   Vampire Sly devotes his undead life to keeping the neighborhood safe. He has no desire for anything else since he lost the love of his life many years ago. Unfortunately, on one of his nightly escapades, he chips a fang and loses his confidence. He seeks out the aid of a neighbor witch to help repair his fang. It appears, that which he thought was lost, just might be resurfacing. What, you ask? His desire for a woman, of course!
   Our heroine witch, Morgaine has spells to cure everything except for what ails herself, her fear of the dark. If anyone can help her overcome her fear, it would be Sly. Tall, dark, and brooding, Sly is someone she can trust.
    On a quest to find a cure for Sly's vampirism, they go off on a search for an acquaintance of Morgaines only to encounter more then they bargained for. Will they find what they are looking for and find the hope of a "normal" life?
   This is the third book in The Strange Neighbors series. I did not have the opportunity to read the first two books in the series. After reading this one, I have to say, sadly, I will not be checking them out. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I love vampires; but this has to be the strangest paranormal/fantasy read I have ever read. Generally speaking, the story is okay and is pretty good in and of itself. The characters, however, are just so strange that I actually had a hard time finishing the book. I am certain the book is supposed to be amusing; but I really did not find anything funny in it. We have a merman who swins in a tank in his living room. A woman dragon in another apartment who sneezes fire if she doesn't get sex on a regular basis. A cousin of Morgaine, another witch, who has a strange southern drawl that says y'all about one to many times. For me, this story was just to way over the top.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to read.

I give The Vampire Next Door 2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review of A Wife for Mr. Darcy

A Wife for Mr. Darcy
Mary Lydon Simonsen
Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN 9781402246466

   Mr. Darcy insults Miss Elizabeth Bennett at the Meryton Assembly and he finds himself obliged to find her and apologize. Mr. Darcy is not quite prepared for the Elizabeth that stands up to him. She is a very different type of lady. One, in which he is not used to. There is something about her that most definitely pegs his interests.
   Darcy finds himself highly intrigued by Elizabeth; but there is one major problem. He is already involved in a courtship. You just don't drop a young lady and move on to the next, especially if her father moves in the right circles. Maybe a little harmless flirting will be okay, or will it? Will Darcy get more then he bargains for?
   This is a wonderful remake of the famous Jane Austen story that has touched the hearts of millions through the years. I think all of her fans will be thrilled with the results. Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth will enthrall you with their dry wit and sarcastic humor. Elizabeth will win you over with her point blank, no nonsense attitude. You will follow Darcy as he loses his heart to one he should not have. You know how society dictates that he marry into his own class. This is a must read for all the Jane Austen fans out there or if you just enjoy  great historical fiction. I don't think you will be disappointed.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give A Wife for Mr. Darcy 4.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review of Whispers in the Sand

Whispers in the Sand
Barbara Erskine
Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN 9781402261756

   Recently divorced, Anna is encouraged to take a holiday to get her life back on track. She decides to retrace a Nile cruise her great grandmother, Louisa, took in the mid 1800's. She takes along the diary outlining the original cruise and an Egyptian scent bottle that had been given to Louisa as a gift.
   While reading Louisa's diary, Anna discovers a love story from the past and a  distant secret of the bottle. Two passengers on the cruise show  increasing interest in Anna and her diary and bottle. Are they interested in Anna or are they more interested in the diary and scent bottle? As the story progresses, dark and sinister things begin to happen and Anna becomes involved with far more then she bargained for. The lives of three different eras become intertwined to make up the present.
   This was my first read of Barbara Erskine and it most certainly will not be my last. This book drew me in from the start and I was unable to put it down. The storyline is wonderful and it flows smoothly from the beginning to the end. The interweaving of the present day with the diary and the distant Egyptian past is absolutely incredible. The discriptions of the temples and the Nile are so effective you can see them in your mind without being there. There was quite the mix of characters and they all had a definite place in the story and all were important to the culmination of the events that transpired.  Anyone who enjoys a good story cannot go wrong by reading this one. I highly recommend it.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give Whispers in the Sand 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reviw of The Butterfly Cabinet

The Butterfly Cabinet
Bernie McGill
Free Press 2011
ISBN 9781451611595

   Maddie McGlade receives a letter from one of her charges. Maddie is in her nineties, living in a nursing home in Ireland. She realizes it is time to unburden herself of a secret she has kept for some seventy years. She knows what really happened on the last day in the life of Charlotte Ormond, the four year old daughter of the big house in which Maddie was employed. She tells the tale to her would be niece who is pregnant with her first child.
   Harriet Ormond is charged and held responsible with her daughter's death. She does not try to defend herself throughout the trial. She does not take to motherhood easily despite the fact she has numerous children. She is a proud and unforgiving woman whose only passions seem to be in riding free with her horses, and collecting butterflies that she stores in her beloved cabinet.
   I am generally not inclined to read stories that jump back and forth in time from person to person. In this case, the author  flawlessly paints a picture of the events that occurred when Maddie tells her tale in 1968, and of Harriet's side of the story that is written in her diary while she is in prison in 1892. The diary, discovered by Maddie in the confines of the butterfly cabinet, was kept hidden by Maddie for decades. In the sunset of her life, Maddie decides it is time to tell the story.
   The story is an engrossing portrayal of the dark histories of two lives that intertwine. The story is inspired by the death of an aristocratic Irish family who's daughter died at the end of the nineteenth century. As Maddie's life of sacrifice, poverty, fear, and lies unfold, she tells the truth to Anna in an attempt to set herself free at last. Harriet's life also unfolds in the pages of her prison diary. as she tells the tale of her daughter's death and the secrets and lies of her own family are revealed. What starts out as her prison, eventually sets her free also.
   This is an emotionally heartrending read; but is well worth the time. You will truly see what it means when someone says, "the truth shall set you free."
   I wish to thank Free Press for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give The Butterfly Cabinet 4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review of Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk
Freya North
Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN 9781402254468

   Petra Flint is a talented jeweller by day; but by night she is troubled. She is a sleepwalker who is unable to put her past to rest. Nothing has been able to help her. Arlo Savidge was a heartthrob musician whom tragedy strikes. He leaves his dreams of stardom behind to become a music teacher in a quiet countryside, as well as, his dreams of falling in love.
   Petra and Arlo had feelings that ran deep when they were teenagers. Seventeen years later they run into each other again. Is it fate or accident? Will their first love get another chance or will what troubles their sleep keep them apart?
   This is an awesome romantic story that will help you escape for the day. It is a wonderful story of love, romance, tragedy, and enduring love. The storyline is so well written it moves flawlessly from the beginning to the end. Despite the tragedy, the story is humorous even though some of it is at the expense of Petra's sleepwalking. Petra and Arlo are such down to earth people, you have to fall in love with both of them. I think anyone who reads this would be hard pressed not to love it. Once I started reading, I was unable to put it down. This is my first read by the author; but it will not be my last.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give Pillow Talk 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review of Just My Blood Type

Just My Blood type
Carrie Clevenger/Nerine Dorman
Smashwords Edition 2011

   Romance author, Therese von Willyen, is bored to death sitting in her hotel room. She receives a mysterious text message telling her to meet in a bar called Pale Rider in a hole in the wall town of Pinecliffe, Colorado. She meets up with tall, dark, and brooding Xan Mercelles. Mind, he's a vampire. What could this bassist from the band Crooked Fang have to do with a romance author?
   The pair bat back and forth with questions and answers going from both sides. There is sexual tension just under the surface that never becomes full blown from either one of them. Therese never says anything about vampire; but there is a hedging under the surface where she may think without saying. Maybe it is just a wondering...
   This is not your usual vampire read. No sparkles in the sun for this vampire. There just seems to be a connection between our two characters with lots of tension going on. Therese sure made Xan smile or was it because he had the first Type O negative blood in a long time? This book is a collaboration between the two authors that is written flawlessly. The storyline reminds me of dialogue that you frequently see when you read a story involving a PI. It just fits so well and keeps you reading until the end. This was a short, fast read that is easily read in a single sitting. I am certainly psyched and ready to see more of Xan. He is definately tall, dark and brooding mixed with a little mystery.
   This book was offered free on Smashwords and reviewed by request of the author Carrie Clevenger. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book.

I give Just My Blood Type 4 out of 5 stars

Review of A Weekend With Mr. Darcy

A Weekend With Mr. Darcy
Victoria Connelly
Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN 9781402251320

   Dr. Katherine Roberts teaches at St. Bridget's College in Oxford. She is an authoress and also instructor of Jane Austen. She is addicted to Jane Austen; but secretly loves racy Regency novels by the author, Lorna Warwick. She is so looking forward to a Jane Austen weekend at Purley Hall in Austen country, in England, to escape her ex and fawning students. She has been secretly corresponding with the author of her racy romance novels and is hoping she will decide to attend the Austen weekend.
   Little does Katherine know that the author of the letters is actually a man and he is falling in love with her. He attends the conference with the intent of personally meeting her. Will the relationship survive the lies that have been perpetrated in the letters? 
   Love is in the air in Jane Austen novels, as well as, at the conference. This is a wonderfully humorous, modern take on an Austen novel. Fans of Jane Austen are sure to be pleased with the results. The storyline is quite catchy and the characters are a real mix. Katherine and Warwick (Lorna Warwick) are the major players; but there is also a secondary romance going on between another attendee, Robyn, and a gorgeous and sexy stable hand. The big problem is she has to dispose of her longtime boyfriend, Jace. Both women have  baggage that needs to be sorted before any relationship can bloom. The story revolves around these two women and their men and the Jane Austen weekend. It is a lovely story sure to please and makes a wonderful relaxing read.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with an ARC to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in anyway except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give A Weekend With Mr. Darcy 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review of Knight of Swords

Knight Of Swords (The Swords Series, #1)
Knight of Swords
Sara Curran-Ross
Hellfire Publishing 2011
Ebook Edition

   The year is 1893 and Lord Nathan Valancourt is being haunted in his dreams by a vampire killer. Lord Valancourt is handsome, rich, and a womanizer. He doesn't believe in the supernatural; but the vampire killer, who dresses like a clergyman, is killing off, one by one, Nathan's former conquests.
   Nathan's uncle is dying and his last request is for Nathan to bring his charge, Juliet, to his home and see that she is taken care of. That may be more diificult then it sounds. Juliet's uncle has her locked up and guarded. He has been abusing and starving her and has no intentions of letting her go. Nathan has other plans. He has a strange psychic connection to her almost from the start and develops possessive ideas towards her. The plot thickens as the vampire killer turns his sights on Juliet.
   This is a wonderful paranormal/fantasy read. This is the first book in The Sword's Series and is an introduction to how the vampires came about and where they are headed. Their true heritage is from the union of a human and a vampire. When the story begins, Nathan is not a vampire yet, at least he is not aware that he is a vampire. The connection starts to become evident when he attempts to rescue Juliet from her uncle's home. As the story progresses, the strong connection between the two becomes apparent; as well as. the fact that Nathan will have to fight others to become her mate. Nathan is the Knight of Sword's and Juliet is to be their Queen. The Queen is more powerful as her abilities will attest to. The psyhic connection between the two is so pwerful that Nathan has physical ills when Juliet shuts down their connection. The storyline is quite fascinating and keeps you glued from the start. There are all sorts of creatures encountered and each has a definate place in the story. The initial story ends when Juliet is put into a coma like sleep and Nathan is forced to leave her side to find an antedote to awaken her. This book is sure to please every paranormal/fantasy reader. I for one am looking forward to the next book in the series, Ace of Swords.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me witha copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in anyway except for being provided a copy of the book.

I give Knight of Swords 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 1, 2011

Review of The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter

The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter
Mary Ellen Dennis
Sourcebooks Casablanca April 2011
ISBN 9781402246319

   Elizabeth Wyndham is the daughter of an innkeeper and a successful Gothic romance author. She has been content with being a spinster and has become obsessed with one of her book characters she has  "the raven-haired knight." Beth finds her knight in Rand Remington.
   Rand survived the American Wars and is unable to come to grips with his 18th century England. Rand has turned into somewhat of a Robin Hood/highwayman and  robs the rich to give to the poor. He knows full well he could be imprisoned and hanged; but he doesn't fear the consequences, until he meets Elizabeth. Together, they set on quite an adventurous path and fall madly in love.
   All the while, Elizabeth's family want her to marry Walter, a forty something man who is obsessed with Elizabeth and will stop at nothing to have her. He is certain he can change her mind and eventually she will love him. Unfortunately, he wants someone who will do his bidding and bow down to his wishes. That includes giving up her writing.
   The story is based on a poem about two lovers who will die for each other. All in all it is a very good story. The first chapter or so moves a little slow; but once Beth and Rand meet, the story takes off. It doesn't seem possible that two individuals could keep getting into such a tangle. You keep waiting for the next disaster to happen. The big problem I had with the entire story was Beth. She starts off looking like she is a strong character; but in truth she is rather wimpy. It is hard to imagine the pair falling so much in love. She wants you to think she is a self sufficient writer; but she will turn around and bow down to Walter and her family at every turn. Walter convinces her to believe him with little difficulty. She blames her maid for not keeping her mouth shut and she turns around and does the same thing.
   Even though I was not fond of the character of "bonny Bess," it was a very pleasant romance and actually keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next. If you are fond of historical fiction, I would definitely recommend  this book. It is not your usual romance.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing this ARC to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to read and review.

I give The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter 4 out of 5 stars