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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review of The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden
Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN 9781402258589

   Eva Ward returns to the old house on the Cornish coast after her sister dies to spread her ashes. Some of her sisters fondest memories are there so, Eva feels it is only fitting to lay her to rest where she would be the happiest. Shortly after her arrival, she begins to hear voices from the room next door to her bedroom. The only problem, there is no one in the room. Or is there?
   As the days go by, strange things happen and the voices that Eva hears are truly there. She ends up being swept back into the eighteenth century to a time of a dethroned king and she becomes entwined in the lives of the Butler brothers. Each time she goes back in time, she begins to realize, she no longer feels at home in her own time; but chasing the past can be a dangerous thing to do.
   This book is an absolutely fantastic read. Once I started, I could not put it down. This book has mystery, romance and time travel. Three of my most favorite things. The author takes the heroine flawlessly from the present day back to the past and forward again. Eva never knows when and where she will leave. I found it rare to read a time travel book where the traveler goes back and forth that the transition is so flawless. It just happens here and is done with perfect timing. There is an underlying romance that develops that just seems to simmer under the surface and you wait for it to explode. Next to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, I have never encountered a romance that just leaves you wanting more.
   The heroine is not a super strong woman; but she fits the bill. Our hero, Daniel, is not your drop dead gorgeous kind of guy; but he has a sex appeal that draws you to him. He has traits that a woman cannot help but fall in love with. He is devoted, loving, caring, and loyal to a fault. This is one hauntingly, romantic story and I can't recommend it highly enough. I have never read this author before, but I most definitely will again. I for one hope that we may see more of this pair and the love that has crossed all boundaries of understanding. Tine and destiny await no man.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy for reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give The Rose Garden 5 out of 5 stars

Review of Demon Vampire

Demon Vampire
Virgil Allen Moore
Erudite Small Press
ISBN 9781937438067

   Zack Giver is one of the least likely guys to have any power you could ever come across. He has no friends to speak of. The only two he did have, moved away. He is now left to his own devices. With some encouragement from his dad, he goes out to a club that he had planned to go to with his friends. On the way, he comes across a young boy who is being beat up by some bullies. Even though Zack knows it is a mistake, he steps in to help. Zack ends up getting the crap beat out of him. He journeys onto the club where his troubles have only just begun. A sexy, young woman introduces herself to him and takes him under her wing.
   Zack tries to figure out why this gorgeous woman is showing any interest in him. As she steadily pulls him into her life, Zack discovers things about himself and the world that he never knew existed. Dreams begin to plague Zack that are nightmares to his soul. All of the dreams are surrounded by a sea of blood. A deep dark voice keeps calling out to him. The more it calls, the deeper Zack loses himself to the Demon inside of him.
   This story is a dark and treacherous ride through the horrors of the mind and soul. The author paints a poetic picture with his words that leaves nothing to the imagination. You will not see romance and sparkling vampires. You will, however, taste the hunger, blood lust and  horror of the new image of the vampire. You will encounter cruelty in its most basic form.
   The author takes you back and forth in time starting with our introduction of Zack where our story begins. Gradually, we are introduced to some of the worlds most powerful vampires and demons and how they came into being. All along you are painted an artistic picture with words, that leaves no doubt in your mind, that there are horrors beyond the human psyche. To quote the author, "This is the vampire redefined in the way we all wished it to be." If you are a fan of dark fiction, I highly recommend this book.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy for reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give Demon Vampire 4 out of 5 stars

Review of Halloween Fantasies

Halloween Fantasies
Halloween Fantasies
Katie Salidas
Rising Sign Books
Smashwords Edition
   Sasha and Angela are getting all dressed up for the Halloween Fantasy Ball, a place where a girl's wildest fantasies can come true. In an ironic twist of fate, Sasha's cat destroys her costume. This, however, does not dampen her friend Angela's plans. She gathers together a sexy vampire huntress costume for her friend to wear. Not too thrilled about going, Sasha gives in and wears the costume.
   Angela is "ripe and ready" as they say and is determined to have the time of her life. Sasha is not so thrilled; but is not long in changing her mind when a sexy dark haired stranger introduces himself. She throws caution to the wind when she discovers he is a real vampire because her one fantasy is to hook up with the real deal.
   Never let it be said that small does not pack a punch. This short, erotic, Halloween tale takes you on a true fantasy and will have you panting for more. Sasha is a bit cautious; but throws it to the wind when this dark and handsome vampire promises her a fantasy come true. His only stipulation is he is in control. This great little story will have you begging for more by the time you get to the end. A word of caution: This book contains adult content with explicit sexual scenes with multiple partners and graphic language. Some people may find it offensive. So, if you are one of them, don't pick it up to start with. If you happen to enjoy this type of book and love vampires, I have no doubt you will enjoy this one.
   I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.
I give Halloween Fantasies 4 out of 5 stars 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Press Release From Seventh Star Press

For Immediate Release
October 25, 2011
H. David Blalock's Angelkiller Unleashes New Urban Fantasy Series With Limited Edition Hardcover Offer

Seventh Star Press proudly unveils the cover art and pre-order windows for the limited hardcover and softcover editions of Angelkiller, book one of a provacative new urban fantasy series by H. David Blalock.

With only 75 limited edition hardcovers to be issued, Angelkiller continues the Seventh Star Press tradition of producing one of the best value limited hardcover editions available anywhere.  The limited edition hardcover edition includes an exclusive illustration not found in any other version.  The artist for the book and series is Matthew Perry, whose artwork can be found in other Seventh Star Press titles from Jackie Gamber, Steven Shrewsbury, Michael West, and Stephen Zimmer.

(two interior images from Angelkiller.  Artwork by Matthew Perry)

Angelkiller introduces Jonah Mason, the oldest, and most experienced of the Angelkillers, an elite force in the Army of Light.  They are fighting an ancient war, one in which the Darkness achieved a great triumph long ago that has had profound influence on the fabric of life as we know it.  It is the simple answer as to why bad things happen to good people. The great battle may have been lost, but the war continues in a modern age, pitting Jonah against the Enemy in a way even he had never faced.  A provocative mixture of the supernatural and technological, Angelkiller is a very special, thought-provoking tale, one that shines forth in the upper realms of urban fantasy literature.

Based out of the Memphis area, H. David Blalock has an impressive writing career of 35 years and counting that has achieved numerous publishing credits in print and online mediums.  He is most known for his fantasy novel Ascendant (Sam's Dot Publishing), which was the basis for a twenty minute short film produced in 2010 that featured former WWE wrestler Al Snow.  The sequel to Ascendant, Emperor (Sam's Dot Publishing), was released in March of 2011.  David is also the founder of Imagicopter, an author-driven organization that creates an array of event opportunities for small press authors and artists, while also publishing the highly-regarded Imagyro magazine.

The limited edition hardcover and special softcover collectors packages include an assortment of collectible extras, such as a 14X20 art poster, bookmarks, a set of glossy art cards, an Angelkiller magnet, and a pair of Angelkiller buttons.  They are scheduled to be shipped the first week of December, when the trade paperback will be made available everywhere, along with several eBook formats, including the Kindle, iPad, Nook, and Sony eReaders and other electronic reading devices.

Angelkiller was edited by Amanda DeBord.  Book 2, Traitor Angel, and Book 3, Doom Angel, will be released over the course of 2012 and early 2013.

Those wanting to reserve one of the 75 limited edition hardcovers, or pre-order a softcover collectors package, should visit Seventh Star Press' online store at http://www.seventhstarpress.com/documents/books.html

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at www.seventhstarpress.com , or at the author's site at www.thrankeep.com

Contact:  C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
Seventh Star Press Mailing Address:
3801 Dylan Place Suite 116, #7
Lexington, Ky. 40514-1062

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review of Darn Good Cowboy Christmas

Darn Good Cowboy Christmas
Carolyn Brown
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402261572

   Raylen O'Donnell is one hot cowboy and could have any woman he wants. He has wanted plenty; but his heart was stolen years ago by a dark-haired girl who disappeared from his life; but not from his thoughts. Every woman he came across was measured against her, and not one ever measured up. When she suddenly appears next door to him, he sure as heck is not going to let her disappear again.
   Lizelle Hansom was raised in a traveling carnival. All she wants is to put down roots somewhere and get a sexy cowboy of her own. When her uncle gives her his farm, she is determined to do just that. Putting down those roots may take some getting used to and getting that cowboy may be tougher then she thought. It is the holiday season though and holidays are for magic. Aren't they?
   You lovers of cowboys have got to pick up this book. This is a wonderful holiday read that will get you in the spirit for love, romance and the wonderful holiday season that's coming. Raylen is a hot and sexy cowboy that is bound to set your heart to fluttering. Liz is a fiery, sexy carnie who will capture your heart. Sparks are flying as the two compete and have trouble keeping their hands off of each other. Liz is as high spirited as the horses that Raylen raises and sells. Did I mention she is a belly dancer and plans to give Raylen a private showing? Talk about getting a fella in the mood. Lets not forget that Raylen's best friend is a female viper who is determined to send Liz on her way; but she has met her match when she dumps on Liz. Oh, yeah! Let's not forget Lizelle's best friend, Blaze, who is a born womanizer that brings out the green eyed monster in Raylen. Sparks are going to fly this Christmas season in the little town of Ringgold. You won't want to miss a moment. Snuggle down and get ready for a holiday ride that will make you laugh out loud and get the romance flowing. I don't think you will be disappointed.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC for reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give Darn Good Cowboy Christmas 4.5 out of 5 stars

Review of If I Tell

If I Tell
Janet Gurtler
Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN 9781402261039

   Jaz is smart and not popular. Her best friend is a girl four years older that works at the same coffee shop as Jaz. Her other friend is a girl who just moved to the area and is a lesbian. Jaz has been a bit of an outcast since she was younger. She is biracial and the small town she lives in frowns upon her kind. Her grandparents raised her from the beginning. She was able to tell her grandfather anything and now he is gone too. She is like a fish out of water. The only thing that keeps her sane is her guitar and her music.
   Jaz just doesn't communicate well with other people; but on impulse she goes to a party. She wanders around and runs across something she wished she hadn't seen. Why did she go to the party? She wouldn't have seen it. She wouldn't have let Jackson drive her home and she wouldn't be falling for a guy from reform school. She could just pretend everything was normal again. She wouldn't have to keep a secret from her mom. A secret that would surely blow her family apart.
   This is a wonderful YA book that takes in some very complicated issues. Jaz is a seventeen year old who tries to act so grown up but remains very immature. Her mother is dating a man who is much younger and not much older then Jaz herself. The author takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the life of a teenager who has been fighting prejudice her entire life. Sadly, some of the things she accuses other people of, she does herself. I won't go into specifics because I don't want to ruin the story for you. If you are interested in a good story with alot of emotional conflict, I highly recommend this book. My one and only complaint is that there is some distinct similarities between this story and I'm Not Her. This is no way takes away from the fact it is a great story. If not for this fact, I would have given it a 5 star rating.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give If I Tell 4.5 out of 5 stars

Interview with Janet Gurtler

It is my pleasure to introduce YA fiction author, Janet Gurtler to my blog today. Janet is the author of I'm Not Her which I reviewed last week and If I Tell which I will review and post later today. Help me welcome Janet today.

Janet Gurtler 

1-Tell us a little bit about your newest release, If I Tell.

If I Tell is a story about a girl forced to keep a terrible secret or risk ruining her mom’s life. Ultimately it’s a journey of self- discovery, finding out who you are and looking beyond the surface of who others appear to be. Me. I’m just Janet. J I like to write stuff.

2-What was the inspiration for this book?

This book started with the idea of a rather repressed biracial girl struggling with who she is. And then her world blows up when she sees something she shouldn’t and her relationships alter and shift.  Jaz is kind of the child I never had and things just rolled from there.

3-Do you plan to concentrate on writing for teens or do you write in other genres?

For now my focus is on Young Adult fiction. I just love writing and reading it so much that I don’t really have a desire to write for adults. But never say never. I am interested in writing in other genres, I’ve actually written some paranormal stories and we’ll see what happens with them.

4-I know you are being compared to Jodi Picoult. Did she have any influence on your writing?

I love Jodi Picoult’s intense characters and amazing plotting and wouldn’t dare compare myself to her caliber of writing. What I do think is that I like to write gritty stories and Jodi Picoult does this so incredibly well that I think she has influenced what I choose to write…contemporary stories that take things from real life and twist them around. 

5-Do you strictly write for a living or are you like many authors who have a day job and write whenever they can?

Depends on the year. Lol!  I usually work part time these days. Right now I’m not working but I’m looking for a part time sales or merchandising job. I like having a flexible schedule so I can work, write and get my son to and from school and swimming. 

6-Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes. I don’t think it was a conscious desire for many years when I was supporting myself and working in the corporate culture, but it was always there, waiting for me to return to it.

7-Who is your biggest supporter?
Hmmm. My family. It’s hard sometimes for my husband to understand my compulsion to write and the huge cut in pay that went with it, since he is a businessperson. I was in a different career when we met and it’s kind of a new side to me. But he is very proud of me and my son is too and they mostly put up with me having a laptop attached to me most hours of the day and night. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review of Olga A Daughter's Tale

Olga: A Daughter's Tale

Olga A Daughter's Tale
Written and Published by
Marie-Therese Browne
ISBN 9781847530479

   This is a true story about a young, innocent, coloured, Catholic woman (Olga) who goes to England in 1939 to stay with her alcoholic aunt. Her intent is to remain there for six months; but war and circumstances prevent her from returning to her home and family in Jamaica. The story begins around 1900 and spans approximately fifty years.
   The book starts with a brief history of Jamaica. There is just enough history given so the reader knows what is happening and why; but does not smother you with so much it is boring. The major portion of the book is done in a diary format with entries by Olga's Aunt Lucy, her mother Becky and Olga herself. The entries were very well done and each one flowed nicely into the next. There were also pictures scattered throughout the book which I found quite effective in bringing the story to life.
   The story line was never dull. The history of this family and how they evolved was quite amazing. You have interracial marriage in a time and place where it just wasn't done. There is murder, voodoo, racial prejudice not only by the whites; but also those of color. This is only the beginning. You will have to read the book for yourself because I don't want to give away the story.
    I wish to thank Marie Campbell, (Marie-Therese Browne), for asking me to read and review her book. I must also thank Carol Bridgestock for giving my name to Marie and recommending me. I only hope I will have done the book justice. I have to say that this is not my usual type of read. I generally go for "no brainer" reads. I read for fun and enjoyment and don't want to think about what I am reading. This book pulled me in from the very start. I could not put it down. I got completely caught up in the history of this family. Even though I kind of knew where the story was headed, I was still thrown a little off guard at the end. This book can easily be read in one sitting and I highly recommend it.
    I obtained my copy from Smashwords for free in an eBook form for my kindle. It is also available in other formats on the same site. It can also be found on LuLu.com in paperback and PDF format.

didn't like itit was okliked itreally liked itit was amazing (my current rating)

Review of I'm Not Her

I'm Not Her
Janet Gurtler
Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN 9781402256363

   Kristina is athletic and beautiful. Her sister, Tess, is the complete opposite. She is smart, so not athletic, and has mediocre looks. Then, the unspeakable occurs. Kristina is diagnosed with cancer and their entire world comes crashing down. Kristina withdraws into herself and will allow no one to see her except for Jeremy. He is the first person to actually see her and speak to her like she is someone. Tess becomes the center of attention at school and all the popular kids now know her name. All she wants is to withdraw to the woodwork where she has always been.
   As times goes on, the idyllic world that Tess once knows is crumbling before her eyes. Her mother and father are in denial about Kristina and Tess has to become the grown-up at the young age of fifteen. Her mother copes by shopping and insisting that Tess spend increasing amounts of time with her sister, no matter the aspirations of the Honor Society that Tess has. Her father spends more and more time at the university, playing golf and retreating into his shell of oblivion. The worst scenario for Kristina takes place and Tess has to hold the family together. If she doesn't, who will?
   Janet Gurtler is being compared to Jodi Picoult with YA fiction. True or not? That is for you to decide. Either way, the author paints a wonderful story of family struggle, pain, sisterhood and friendship that will keep readers engrossed until the end. Young and old alike will not be able to put this book down without sheding some tears of pain and frustration. The love between the sisters is quite evident even with the differences that are more then obvious. Your frustrations will mount with the parents of these young girls as they try to cope with the turmoil of their lives. See what it means for a true friendship between a young man and a critically ill young woman. I highly recommend this debut novel to anyone who just loves a wonderful story.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give I'm Not Her 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review of Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish

Lady Sophia's Christmas Wish
Grace Burrowes
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402261541

   Lady Sophie has managed to set herself up with a few days of peace and quiet all to herself at the ducal mansion in London. Even though she is not supposed to be alone, she out maneuvered her family in an attempt to have time to herself before she is supposed to join her family in Kent for the holidays. With an intense snow storm arising, she finds herself saddled with an abandoned baby and no idea how to care for him. A handsome stranger encounters her and ends up being the only thing between her and certain disaster as far as the child is concerned.
   Vim Charpentier is headed to his estate where his aunt and uncle live when he encounters Sophie. His attraction for Sophie grows; but he is not prepared to offer her anything because she has not been completely honest about her station in life. Sophie's brothers arrive and whisk her off to their home in Kent. In the process, Vim discovers who and where she comes from, and a former holiday nightmare resurfaces to haunt him. In amidst the turmoil,  will Sophie's Christmas wish come true?
   This is a wonderful historical romance. The storyline is well developed and flows smoothly from the beginning to the end. Sophie is a delightfully charming woman who is straight forward and innocent in her dealings with Vim. She is described as being level headed, consequently no one in the family thinks she will do anything untoward. Vim steels his heart because he doesn't want to leave himself vulnerable again. The big question, can he can save his heart from Sophie and "Lord Baby." The story is humorous and makes for a wonderful holiday read. I highly recommend this book to historical fiction fans, as well as, anyone looking for  a good read. Curl up with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the ride  with Sophie, Vim and "Lord Baby." You won't be disappointed.
   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 receiving a copy for reading and reviewing purposes.

I give Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review of Deep Blue Secret

Deep Blue Secret
Christie Anderson
CreateSpace 2011
ISBN 9781463768591

   Sadie James thinks her life just can't get any better. She has great friends, a wonderful mom she loves and the ocean is almost in her back yard. Her life turns upside down when she nearly drowns and is rescued by a young man with the most gorgeous green eyes. She is convinced she has seen him before; but he won't tell her his name.
   Everytime Sadie sees this young man, the attraction for him deepens along with needs she can't explain. The young man has been sent to protect Sadie; but why in heavens name does she need protecting? As time goes on, Sadie realizes her life is not as it appears on the surface. She finds herself pulled into a life of top secret agents that she never knew existed and an identity that is the biggest secret of all.
   This is the first book in the young adult paranormal  series, The Water Keepers. This is an absolutely fantastic read and one I could not put down. I was hooked from page one and read the book in one sitting. The storyline is fantastic and flows smoothly from the beginning. It ends in such a way that you know you have to read the next one because you want to know what is going to happen. The characters are very well developed. You fall in love with the handsome stranger from the start. Sadie, is another story. Even though you know her problem is related to her condition, I loved and hated her at the same time. The ending totally took me by surprise and I absolutely know I must read the next book in the series.
   All of you young adult and paranormal fans really must check out this book. I don't think you will be disappointed. Even if you just like a good story, I highly recommend this book.
   I wish to thank the author 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 receiving the book for review purposes.

I give Deep Blue Secret 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review of New Blood by Paul Dorset

New Blood
Part 1 of the Melrose Series
Paul Dorset
Ebook Edition 2011

   Beau is an up and coming rising star in the technology company that he works for. His friends are amazed and a little bewildered over the speed in which he is rising. His co-workers notice some unusual things about Beau. Sometimes his personality is a bit off and at other times he looks like he hasn't slept in days.
  Lucy is from England and is having difficulty adjusting to the weather in Seattle. She suddenly develops migraine headaches that she is attributing to something in Seattle because she never had them before. In amidst the migraine issues, Lucy tries to develop a relationship with a young man named Ben. The relationship between the two is growing nicely until Ben suddenly disappears. Lucy happens to be roommates with Sabrina, who works at Beau's company also. Enter Beau into Lucy's life.
   Honestly, I did not know what to make of this story until I was half way through the book. I vacillated between disliking the book and liking it. Paul Dorset has such a way with his storyline and characters that you don't know what to think. I am certainly glad I hung in there until the end. Now, I can't wait for the next installment to come out.
   This is a paranormal at its finest. You have a large technology company who is run by a group called Anons who is a group of people comprised of special souls as you will. Freaks of nature with special skills. As in the case of Beau, a single kiss may mean your demise. The problem is, these talents if not controlled can be your undoing. Not to mention, they are addictive. Lucy's migraines at first, seem to be so out of place in the scheme of the story. But, are they really? How appropriate is this story, at this time? You have power, greed and ambition, love and death, all rolled into one story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This story will have you asking for more by the time you reach the end. I for one, cannot wait until the second book in the Melrose series comes out.
   I wish to thank the author 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 receiving the book for reviewing purposes.

I give New Blood 4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review of A Dash of Scandal

A Dash of Scandal
Amelia Gray
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402239793

   The Earl of Dunraven is obsessed with finding a thief who has stolen a precious family heirloom from his home. The local runners are having little success in coming up with suspects so Dunraven decides to take matters into his own hands. As time goes on, he keeps running across newcomer Millicent Blair in places she shouldn't be. Could she be the Mad Ton Thief?
   Millicent Blair is hiding secrets; but they are a far cry from what the Earl thinks. If he only knew what she was doing, sparks might fly; but with each encounter between the two, more then sparks are flying. Despite the lovely Miss Blair's attempt to the contrary, an attraction is developing between the two that both are hard pressed to deny.
   This is a lovely Regency romance that sparkles with dialogue between the protagonist and a feisty, yet appealing heroine. The sexual tension that develops, all but leaps off the page. The storyline is quite amusing as the heroine tries her best to keep her secret while the tension mounts between her and the Earl. This is a witty and lighthearted read that will most definitely satisfy the historical romance lovers out there. Even if you are not into historical romance, you can't help but fall in love with the characters. I highly recommend this story to all.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the copy to review.

I give A Dash of Scandal 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cassiel Knight-Interview, Giveaway and Review

It is my pleasure to have Cassiel Knight on my blog today. She has agreed to answer some questions for us. The publisher is offering an ebook for giveaway, so just leave a comment with your email address to be entered.

Tell the readers a little about your book Relic Defender: Key of Solomon.
The heroine, Lexi, is a lonely archeology student seeking to forget her painful past. Against her will, she is swept into a fierce battle between good and evil and must team up with sexy Mikos, a fallen angel on the path to redemption, to find King Solomon’s legendary book of magic to save the human race.

What was the inspiration for the book?
I wanted to write something different then the market was selling. I never really found vampires sexy and I certainly didn’t werewolves (I’ve changed my mind a little), and I’d always loved the idea of angels. Like many, I’d grown up thinking of angels as beautiful beings decked in white with blue eyes and golden hair. While I wasn’t opposed to that, I still wanted something different. I wish I could remember when I fell on the idea of fallen angels. It was probably from something I researched but once I had the idea, and later learned that the stories go that God wouldn’t let them back into Heaven no matter what, Mikos and his story was born. Lexi went through several “career” fields before I settled on archeology and the reason for that is simple. I love reading and studying the past. Finally, I discovered the legends of King Solomon and the fact he was supposed to be a magic user and had a ring given to him by God that allowed Solomon to control and compel demons. I took all this and mixed it with a big spoon and ta-da! Key of Solomon.

How many books are going to be in the series and can you give us a hint of where it is headed?
I’m excited to say that book 2, The Death Skull, is going to be released from Samhain Publishing in August 2012. It is Jackson and Marisol’s story. Of course, if you haven’t read it, you have no idea who they are. Well, let me tell you a bit about them. Both Jackson and Marisol are in the first book. Marisol is a fallen angel who works with Mikos but she is different in that she doesn’t want to be redeemed or return to Heaven. She’s a warrior angel so all she knows is fighting. And winning. Jackson, a charming Texan, is a mercenary turned protector. When Archangel Michael throws these two together to find the Death Skull, sparks fly. And they aren’t just the ones coming from Marisol’s fingers. I have a rough first chapter of book 2 on my Relic Defender website at www.relicdefender.wordpress.com plus, if you are on the fence about Key of Solomon, you can find some excerpts there you can’t find elsewhere.

Book 3, is Ash and Cat’s story. They will be looking for a Templar Cross. Each book focuses on a new couple but the ultimate war is to stop a demon from finding a way to overthrow Lucifer and take over Hell. This is one bad-ass demon so it would literally be Hell on Earth if he wins. Book 3 is the final battle.

As far as how many books. Well, as you can tell from above I have three. However, I’m a writer so if readers want more stories set in this world, well, I think I can give them some. I actually (shush, my editor doesn’t know this yetJ) have toyed with the idea of a fourth book – another Lexi and Mikos story.

Have you always wanted to be a writer and how long have you been writing professionally?
I’ve always written but didn’t think about writing as a career until much later in life. Like in my late thirties. I don’t remember anything specific that led me in this direction. I just remember always writing. I loved English Composition and writing essays, I was the editor of my school’s newspaper and since then, it seems like I’ve always written. For company newsletters, produced training documents and handbooks and even did some legal writing. And once I started reading romances, I was hooked on writing fiction.

Who has had the most influence on your writing and why?
 Stephen King. I’ve also loved him and have admired his genuinely scary mind. How the heck does he come up with his stories? I imagine his mind is one wicked place to be. But that’s not why he influences me. I read his On Writing book, his, sort of, autobiography and book on writing. In it, he’s blunt about what it takes to be a writer and makes no apologies for his journey. But most of all, he’s an example of persevering and passion. When I grow up, I want to be Stephen King.

What gives you the most enjoyment in life?
Cuddling with my shih tzus, gardening and reading. I also love going to conferences and doing other writing-related stuff. It’s not a business to me – it’s truly my passion and gives me great enjoyment. I do it as much as I can.

Who is your favorite author and why?
I really have two - Jim Butcher but for his Harry Dresden series only. I tried to read his fantasy series but after Dresden, well, I can’t read him as anything else. I just love the world he created for Harry, and I’m in awe of his imagination. My second favorite is Stephen King. Seriously. He’s so wickedly scary and such a genius at creating terror on the page. I’ve read his On Writing book a number of times. It’s quite inspirational.

Who is your biggest supporter?
This is hard to answer. I’ve had a lot of support. I’d have to say my husband has been the most patient and supportive in that he has been willing to spend money on something that had no returns. Now that it does, I feel better but he’s never told me to stop because we can’t afford it. Even when he wasn’t working, I may have had to cut back but he was still there for me. So, maybe this isn’t as hard to answer as I thought. My husband of nearly 21 years has been my biggest supporter. My family and friends have been terrific, too, and I don’t want to leave them out. Writing may be solitary but the drive to publish is not and it really takes a village.

For a chance to win Key of Soloman: Relic Defender, just leave a comment and your email address so I can contact the winner. Contest is open to all and will remain open through Sunday, October 16, 2011 midnight EST.

Review of Key of Soloman: Relic Defender

Key of Soloman: Relic Defender
Cassiel Knight
Samhain Publishing
ISBN 9781609283728

   Anthropology PhD candidate, Lexi Harrison, works in a strip club to earn money for university. She doesn't bare all as she belly dances because she is beyond good and doesn't need to. Mikos Tyomni has never seen anyone dance the way she does. How can Archangel Michael send Mikos on assignment with someone like her? Fallen angel Mikos downfall was women. Now he is expected to protect Lexi at all costs. How will he ever make it back to heaven at this rate? Lexi feels someone watching her with steel gray eyes. Next thing she knows a customer is getting a bit too routy. Mikos lands on the stage faster then she can imagine to rescue her. She must be seeing things. Is that wings on his back?
   Mikos has thirty days to convince Lexi that she is the last line of defense against the forces of evil before Hell's deadliest demons attempt the mother of all prison breaks. Yeah, right! She really believes that until her university mentor and friend leaves her holding the key to hell. She is the Defender.  Things really heat up with the sexy archangel, demons, and fallen angels. Lets not forget the shape-shifting rock that is fond of 1920's gangsters.
   I absolutely loved this book. This book took off from page one and never stopped until the end. If you are a fan of fantasy, this is the book for you. Even if you are not, this is a wonderful story. You have fallen angels, one of which is trying to return to heaven. Another one who is on the side of good but is not interested in returning to heaven. We have the devil himself who is drop dead gorgeous. Demons coming from all directions and our shape-shifter rock. Lets not forget the devil's son. Yes, you heard me right. Go figure! The storyline  flows smoothly from the beginning to the end and all the characters just fit right in. Even though the story centers on the struggle between good and evil, we have a lot of sexual tension going on with some romance thrown in for good measure for all you romance lovers. This is the first book in the Key of Soloman series. I most definitely will have my eyes open for the next book in the series. I also hope there turns out to be a fourth one to bring back Lexi and Mikos.
   I wish to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book for review purposes.
   Don't  forget to leave a comment for your chance to win your copy.

I give Key of Soloman: Relic Defender 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interview with Mary Lynn Simonsen

It is my pleasure to welcome author, Mary Lynn Simonsen to my blog today. She has agreed to answer some questions for me and her readers.

Hi Eva. Thank you for having me on your blog. You have asked me to answer a few questions, and I am happy to do so.

1. Tell us a little bit about Mr. Darcy’s Bite.

Mr. Darcy's Bite

When Fitzwilliam Darcy was 14, he was bitten by a werewolf while on a visit to Germany’s Black Forest. In the subsequent years, he has had to adjust to the fact that he becomes a furry, fanged, four-footed creature for two nights of every moon cycle. But he is not a lone wolf. He is the Alpha male for a pack of three other wolves and helps in the protection of an extended wolf/werewolf community. Discovery of his other life is an ever-present danger. Into this reality, he wants to bring the love of his life: Elizabeth Bennet. But will she accept his dual nature and what will be required of her if she does?

2. What made you decide to go with a paranormal twist to Pride and Prejudice?

Actually, Mr. Darcy’s Bite started off as a short story written for Halloween on a fan fiction site. It was a lark, nothing more. But the response was so tremendous I kept writing and ended up with a full-length novel. Before starting, what I knew about werewolves, you could have put in a thimble, so it was fun making it all up! Of course, I had Jane Austen’s excellent story to work with.

3. There are many rewrites of Elizabeth and Darcy. What is the fascination with Pride and Prejudice?

In my opinion, Pride and Prejudice is Austen’s masterpiece. In Elizabeth Bennet, we have a likeable heroine who is witty, intelligent, and engaging. Because we like Lizzy so much, we want her to marry a man who will appreciate her worth. Enter Fitzwilliam Darcy. Now that we have Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen’s portrayals of Darcy in our heads, the story got even better.

4. Do you have plans for following this theme or will you write something else?

Both. I have a few more Austenesque novels in the works, but in 2012, I want to write a modern murder mystery. I have worked out the plot. Now I have to see if I can get it down on paper without my muse, Jane Austen, watching over me.

5. Is Jane Austen your favorite author?

Austen is certainly in my top five, but I’m also a big fan of Charles Dickens. My favorite books are mysteries.

6. Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

Obviously, Jane Austen’s style greatly affected my Austen re-imaginings. But I am a big fan of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe mysteries. I like crisp, witty dialog and an atmosphere created with a minimum amount of words. I don’t write or read overly descriptive material because I want to set the scene in my head.
7. What has been the biggest obstacle in your writing career?

Because I didn’t start writing until I was 55 and my family was raised, there haven’t been all that many obstacles. I have two grandchildren. Kaelyn is eight, and Skyler is nine months. I am absolutely committed to giving them my maximum attention. There are times when I’m up late at night writing blog posts or chapters in a new book because I spent most of the day with my grandkids, but that’s the way I want it. (Work keeps their dad away from home for long periods of time, and my daughter needs my help.)

8. Who are my biggest supporters?

I’ve always written stories for my family, so my five sisters encouraged me to write and get published. They are my cold readers. Early on, my husband saw it as an avocation rather than a vocation, but he got on board with my first royalty check. J Finally, I have to say Jan Austen fan fiction fans were critical in my development. The support and comments I received for my stories on fan fiction sites was huge! I can’t say enough about them. As a result, I have hundreds of friends all over the world. It’s been a wonderful experience.

Mary, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and answering questions for us.

Again, thank you for having me on your blog. This has been fun.

Now, if anyone has any questions for Mary, ask away. Just be sure to stop back to see what she has to say to you.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review of Pattern of Wounds

Pattern of Wounds
J. Mark Bertrand
 Bethany House
ISBN 978-0-7642-0638-2

   Homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman is brutally murdered in an affluent neighborhood and bears some hallmark wounds to her body. The question is whether this is a serial killer. The real problem is he put that killer away ten years before.
   March is increasingly alienated from his colleagues and problems are developing in his marriage. Bodies are increasing and he starts receiving messages from the killer taunting him. The violence is increasing and reaches Marches' home and now he is in a race against the clock to catch the killer before he strikes again.
   This is my first read of Mark Bertrand; but it won't be my last. It starts off a little slow; but once it starts, it never lets up. This murder mystery takes the reader on twists and turns until you have no idea where you are going. There are all kinds of players in this story and it appears that the killer will never be apprehended. Finally, when March thinks he has the killer, another surprise comes along and you are off again. You come to the end of the book and  think all is well. Again you are blindsided, but this time, you have to wait for the next Roland March murder mystery. It just ends so perfectly that you can't wait for the next installment.
   I wish to thank Bethany House 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 receiving the book for reviewing purposes.

I give Pattern of Wounds 4.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Giveaway of Euphoria by Jourdan Alexandra

Euphoria (Part 1, Book 1)
Jourdan has asked me to post a giveaway of two (2) kindle ebooks for her. If you cannot use a kindle file, please let me know the type of file and Jourdan will substitute for you. All you have to do is leave a comment and your email address so I can chose a winner. The contest will be open until Friday, October 7, 2011, midnight EST. Since this is an ebook copy, the contest is open to everyone. I will announce the winner Saturday morning, October 8. I will contact the winners by email so be sure to leave your email address and please note if you need a file other then for a kindle. I will contact Jourdan and she will send your book to you. The link above will take you to the goodreads page for a synopsis of the book. Come on paranormal/fantasy readers and fans. Join in the fun!