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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interview With Brad Convissar

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I welcome my guest today author, Brad Convissar. He has graciously agreed to take time from his busy schedule and answer some questions for us. So lets get to it.

Bio: Not much interesting to say about me. I was born on Fort Benning Army Base in Georgia in 1977 but spent most of my formative years in southern NJ, outside if Philadelphia.

I attended Tulane University in New Orleans in the late nineties, where I earned my bachelors degree in evolutionary biology, then spent the next four years trapped in scenic Newark, New Jersey, earning my DMD from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Now in my thirties, I find myself living back in the same zip code I grew up in, but in a different house with my own family. I have a son and a daughter and a diabetic Daschund named Friday who is prematurely going blind. But I love him anyway. When I am not filling cavities or performing root canals or extracting teeth or fabricating dentures, I am writing, playing with my kids, playing video games, reading comic books(yes, I am a geek and proud of it) or watching my beloved Philadelphia Phillies or less than beloved Philadelphia Eagles.

My favorite writers are Stephan King, Clive Baker, Neil Gaiman, Jeffrey Deaver, Jim Butcher, Simon Green, and the duo of Preston and Child, both individually and when they write together.

Me 

Tell us a little bit about your book Dogs of War and how it came to be.
Dogs of War is a different type of ghost story.  I like to refer to it as a a brutal, heart-wrenching tale of love, sacrifice and revenge.  The story is told from the first person point of view, but the main character is not the narrator, Gary, but his dog, Molly. Gary is the vehicle through which Molly's story is told.  How did it come to be... that is tough to talk about.  Life can be difficult sometimes.  You look around at the news, on the internet, on the radio, and see bad people, evil people, get away with committing horrendous crimes.  And you feel powerless, even if it doesn't affect you directly, because there is a feeling that there is no justice in the world.  And sometimes the only way I can fell some semblance of justice is to write.  Because when I write, the bad people generally get what's coming to them.  Dogs of War is a story written for this reason.  I don't know if everyone remembers Michael Vick.  He was the quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons.  He committed awful crimes.  Heinous acts of torture and murder.  And he only got two years in jail. Because his victims were only dogs.  I was angry, but time heals wounds, and I forgot about it over the years.  But when my home town football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, signed him several years ago, I was disgusted and angry and I wrote Dogs of War in response to this monster being re-introduced back into my life.



The book cover is rather unusual and spooky. Did someone design it for you? Did you have any input?
I actually used a free graphics program called GIMP to take picture I found of a barking pit bull (from Flickr under the Creative commons attribution license) and transformed it into an eerie black and white sketch.  I wanted to do something professional, but the cost is prohibitive, especially for a $.99 novella, so I went at it on my own.  I was happy with the results.

How did you happen to go from evolutionary biology to dental school?
My dad's a dentist.  I always knew I was going to be a dentist.  36 hour work weeks, good pay, make my own hours, take vacations when I want to.  Plenty of free time to spend with the family I knew I would have, and plenty of time to write.  Not a bad life.  At Tulane, if you were going pre-med or pre-dental, you needed to be a biology major.  And it was either molecular biology or evolutionary biology.  And I hate molecular bio.  Funny thing... I needed recommendations for dental school, so I went to the two professors I was closest with, an English professor and a Biology professor.  Neither of them wanted to write me recommendations, because they both felt that my talents would be wasted.  My English professor thought I should be writing for a living, and my biology professor thought I should be traveling the world and studying animals, like Darwin or the late Stephen Jay Gould.  But both relented and finally wrote me recommendations.

I find it even more fascinating that a dentist ends up writing horror stories. How did that come about?
I grew up reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul and Clive Barker.  My dad was a fan, so the hardcovers were always lying around.  I love the psychological horror of the eighties and nineties.  And I miss it.  At the risk of stepping on other author's toes, I feel that the "horror" genre has changed in the past decade.  Now, when people think horror, they think vampires and zombies and viruses and post-apocalyptic futures and slashers and gore and violence.  Just as with movies today, when you say horror, people think the SAW movies, not Jaws and the Exorcist.  I struggle with my genre regularly.  What I write is horror, I think.  But not really, not by today's standards.  So is thriller, then?  Supernatural thriller?  Dark fiction?  Anyway, whatever it is I write, I do it because I like to explore the dark corners of the human mind, where men become monsters, monsters become men, and no one is truly safe from others or themselves.

I noticed on your bio on Smashwords that you listen to some rather strange and unusual CD's while driving your car. Can you enlighten us about that?
Some people write while listening to classical music. Some people write in silence. I like writing to loud, angry music. It just gets me in the proper mood for writing; I can't get into my work unless my blood is pumping and I'm snarling slightly.

Do you have any WIP? If so, can you tell us about it?
Let's see... I am in the process of combining the six short story collections I have released into two volumes, making it easier and cheaper for people to pick them up.  I am editing another novella, King of the Merge, for release around Halloween. Another ghost story, inspired by an episode a couple of years ago when when the driver next to me almost got crushed by an eighteen wheeler.  He was so intent on beating me to where our two lanes merged that he blew through a red light. And after that... I have several started novels that I can continue work on.  Haven't decided which one, though.

Tell us something about Brad Convissar that the readers may not know about.
There is nothing more satisfying for me than when the tooth I've been struggling to extract for the past half hour finally comes out with a soft pop.

Where I can be found:
Purchase me at:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SHNS0K








Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Special Announcement from Seventh Star Press

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the title and brand new cover art
for Stephen Zimmer's third Rising Dawn Saga novel: The Seventh Throne.



A bold, ambitious series that pushes the boundaries of urban fantasy, The
Rising Dawn Saga has gained a steadily growing, very dedicated following
since the debut of The Exodus Gate in spring of 2009.  Showing the
epic-scale possibilities of urban fantasy, the series draws heavily upon
mythical and supernatural lore, weaving it into a modern day tale of a
world tilting swiftly towards a dystopian nightmare.

Readers who have been journeying along in the Rising Dawn Saga will need
to hold on to their seat, as a conflict of cosmic scope escalates rapidly.
They will join the human soul Friedrich as he accompanies the powerful
Avatar Enki into the depth of the Abyss, to discover the fate of
Erishkegal, who crossed the Veil to spare a horde of outcast Nephilim ages
ago.  It is a quest that will take them to the brink of hell itself, but
it is one that may hold astounding revelations.

Elsewhere, martial law is installed across the UCAS during the outbreak of
a deadly virus, and the onset of a war to the far east that threatens the
stability of the entire world.  The imposition of a diabolical technology
looms, as centuries-old organizations in the service of Adonai race to
confront the looming menace.

Gregory Andreas, an ex-marine, leads a budding resistance to the
authoritarian government, as Dagian Underwood, the mastermind behind the
oncoming Living ID technology, reaches out to the dark realm of Set to
gain the help of an ally with a rare, formidable ability.  Seth Engel and
his teenaged friends venture forth once again to seek proof of spreading
rumors; this time of rounded-up townspeople being herded into large
detainment facilities close to Godwinton.

Even the shapeshifting An-Ki are caught in the maelstrom of uncertainty,
as Godral and their others of Sargor's clan struggle to find their place
in the strange modern world, and Uria leads his renegade new clan into the
unknown.  His path leads to an encounter with a mysterious individual
possessed of supernatural powers; who expresses the desire to be his
guide.

Threads intertwine as the dangers increase, and nowhere is safe as the
things of the material and non-material worlds clash.  The Seventh Throne
will leave the reader hungry for the next installment, after a revelation
of tremendous magnitude culminates the latest Rising Dawn Saga adventure.

"I am very excited about this installment, as with three books out in the
Rising Dawn Saga I can really show readers how I build a series," Stephen
Zimmer commented.  "Everything builds, and threads that may have seemed
ambiguous in the earlier books pay off in droves.  For the dedicated
reader, I have worked hard to bring a level of range and depth that can be
explored again and again."

As with the previous Rising Dawn Saga books, readers can expect another
full set of Matthew Perry illustrations, with eight brand new ones
included in the regular edition of the book.  The extensive Matthew Perry
body of artwork produced for The Rising Dawn Saga is, without a doubt,
highly unique in the publishing of fantasy works today, regardless of
major press or small press classification.

A pre-ordering window is now open for readers interested in a limited
edition hardcover of The Seventh Throne, which features a Matthew Perry
illustration not included in the regular editon.  Only 75 numbered/signed
copies of the limited edition will be issued, at a price of just $35.95.

There is also a special pre-order offer for the regular trade paperback
edition.  Both of the pre-order offers include an array of collectibles
from The Seventh Throne.  Copies can be pre-ordered in the online store at
http://www.seventhstarpress.com/documents/books.html and all pre-ordered
packages will be shipped no later than August 16th.

The Seventh Throne will ultimately be available in trade paperback,
hardcover, and a variety of eBook editions.

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.stephenzimmer.com

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Soldier


The Soldier
Grace Burrows
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402245671

   Devlin St. Just is the illegitimate son of the Duke of Moreland. He arrives at his new estate, battered physically, as well as, emotionally. To make matters worse, the estate is no better off then he is. While working on the estate, St. Just discovers the previous owners illegitimate daughter is there, and has now become the responsibility of St. Just. He manages to connive Winnie's cousin to act as temporary governess to the girl; but he discovers she can nurture him as well.
   Devlin's broken spirit calls to Emmie; but she has secrets of her own that she is hiding. Devlin is determined to find out the truth and capture Emmie in the process. Will the three of them be able to find love and happiness together? Will the brokenness draw them together or further apart?
   This is the second book in the Duke's Obsession Series. I have not had the pleasure of reading the first book; but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It is a heart warming story of love and devotion. It is a witty, sensitive read full of seduction and romance. All three of the main characters are consumed with pain and heartache. All are suffering from pasts that have brought them to a place where their lives are full of desperation and need. Once I started reading this book, I was hard pressed to put it down. If you are fond of historical romance, I highly recommend this book.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC for reading and reviewing purposes. 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 Soldier 4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Interview with Author Kelvin O'Ralph


It is my pleasure to have as my guest, author, Kelvin O'Ralph on my blog today. My blog is todays stop on his LS: The Beginning Blog Tour

1-Tell us a little about your book, LS: The Beginning.
   LS: The Beginning
is the first book of a paranormal romance series, and it's set in a fictional city called, Sloutenville. It's written in first person and also in a style young adults would enjoy.

Blurb: A handshake between strangers has never held so much promise for discovery.

When Stephen Wilson meets Lisa Morgan at his new school in Sloutenville, it is the simple act of extending his hand in greeting that flips both of their worlds upside-down. With the gesture, both discover that in some way they are connected, and that they share the ability to manipulate the elements, fire and water. Though their abilities vary, they share the gift of telepathy allowing them to communicate without words, which creates a bond between them stronger than either had expected.

As the two begin to spend more and more time together, David, Lisa's ex becomes wild with jealousy, and launches multiple attacks on Lisa. In the fight against the dangers that await them around every corner, Stephen and Lisa soon discover that they are up against much greater odds than they had originally known, and that their struggles are far from over.

2-Does 'LS' have a particular significance to the story? If so, what is it?   The story is mainly about the adventures the male and female MC encounter. I wanted to name it "The Adventures of LS" but decided to stick with LS.

3-The title tells me there will be more to follow. Is that the case and if so, when can we expect them? Can you give us a little info?   As I aforesaid, this is the first book in series, and there's going to be definitely more. I've written the sequel to this book, and will release it during fall when it's been edited by a professional editor.

4-Are there any other WIP? Anything you can share with us?   Yes, certainly. I'm working on a fantasy romance comedy at the moment. it's not in a series, but all I can give out for now is that it's going to be epic. Hopefully, I should release it on Amazon Kindle before the year ends.

5-Who has had the most influence on your writing?   Hmm, I would say, Amanda Hocking. She'd inspired me to keep writing with her successful life as a writer. Same with J. K. Rowling.

6-What has been your biggest obstacle to date, as far as, your writing is concerned?   Meeting a deadline. I always get swamped in the process of writing, either work or college get in the way of my writing time. I hope someday I'll be able to focus fully on writing.

7-Do you design your own cover art or does someone do it for you?   As a matter of fact, I do design my own art. I use a bit of photoshop and fotoflexer to design the covers. I'm releasing the cover of my next book (the sequel to LS: The Beginning) very soon.

8-What do you do for fun and relaxation?   Read and go to the cinema. Occasionally, I go out with friends to the park or anywhere interesting to have fun.

9-Tell us something about Kelvin O'Ralph that your readers may not be aware of.   Some people read LS: The Beginning and wonder if I'm writing my life-story. Sadly, I'm not. It has 100% nothing to do with, and after reading the subsequent books, you'd understand better.

Kelvin is giving away two ebooks to two winners who comment on this post. The winners will be announced on the last day of the blog tour. You do not need to be a follower of my blog to comment. Please be sure to leave your email address so that Kelvin knows where to send the ebooks if you are a lucky winner.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heart of the Highland Wolf


Heart of the Highland Wolf
Terry Spear
Sourcebooks Casablanca June 2011
ISBN 9781402245527

   Ian MacNeill, modern day werewolf and laird of Argent Castle, allows a film production crew to use his castle for filming, albeit reluctantly, in an attempt to save his ancestral home from possible ruin from unpaid taxes. To make matters worse, his people are being used as extras in the filming.
   Beautiful Julia Wildthorn, an American werewolf romance author, slips in under the guise of working for the production company. She is actually there to do research for her new book and to steal an ancient relic for her grandfather. When she sees Ian, she decides he will make the perfect hero for her new book. She would even be willing to provide a tumble, for research purposes only!
   Julia is actually a red werewolf female and Ian knows she is trouble when she keeps showing up in places she is not wanted. The sexual tension starts flying between these two; but will Ian be able to trust her when she keeps withholding vital information from him.
   This is a wonderfully written paranormal romance set in Scottish Highlands with a storyline that draws you in from the beginning. The sexual tension between the two main characters practically sizzles from the beginning. The dynamics of the the wolf pack is so well written that you can actually believe in its existence. This is a wonderful romance with mystery, action, violence along with a passion that just won't quite. If you are a fan of the paranormal, I highly recommend this book. If you are into werewolves, you can't go wrong. If Scottish Highlanders are your scene, you will be panting after these hunks. You can bet I will be anxiously waiting for the next one in the series to come out.
   I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC for reading and reviewing purposes. 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 review.

I give Heart of the Highland Wolf 4.5 out of 5 stars
  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Interview with Author Liz Borino

I wish to introduce my guest today, Liz Borino. She has kindly agreed to stop by my blog and answer some questions for her fans and to tell us about her books. So, without further ado, lets get started.
Bio: Liz Borino is the debut author of Expectations and it's sequel What Money Can't Buy, released from Lazy Day Publishing. Throughout her education, including a Bachelor's Degree from Hofstra University, she's kept her stories to herself, but this only child is all grown up and wants to share them with the world. Her roots are in Bethlehem, Pa, but she loves to experience new cultures. As fun as that is Liz likes nothing better than curling up at home with a good book or her work in progress.

1-Okay Liz, I have to ask, why a story about gay guys?
   It's not about gay guys. Two of my main characters happen to be gay. When brainstorming Expectations, Chris spoke to me very strongly. He couldn't get married and have a son as easily as his father expected. Why? He's in love with his male roommate.

2-Are Expectations and What Money Can't Buy part of a trilogy or a series? If so, can you tell us a little bit about the next one?
   They are part of a series. In the third book, A Change of Heart, both couples deal with the changes parenthood brings to their lives and relationships. A loss rocks the family and once again everyone has to bond together to get through it. There will be new characters and we'll be reminded the past isn't always bad.

3-How did the twins, Chris and Matt come to be in the first place?
   I'd have to check with their father, but I believe they came from their mother, Victoria, four minutes apart. Judging from his domineering personality, he probably...No? Not what you want?

   I've always had an obsession with brothers. I find their relationship fascinating. Twins, especially identical twins like Matt and Chris, lend itself to a great exploration of this. They have such a great connection. Very few other people can understand it.

4-Have you been writing long and have you always wanted to be a writer?
   I've told stories my whole life. I don't actually think someone chooses to be a writer, they either are or they aren't. I've always had stories needing to be told. Writing was the best way to share them with most people.

5-What has been your greatest obstacles with your writing?
   Keeping my stories realistic, hands down. I have to remember, for example, parents with three kids cannot go out every night without feeling guilty, no matter how great their baby sitter. And if a kid is sick? No alone time. And my boys like their alone time.

6-Do you write full time or do you write whenever you are able like many authors?
   I also edit for two publishers. This makes my schedule more flexible, at least a little.

7-Who has had the most influence on your writing?
   I don't know that any one person really has. I take in life and it all affects my writing. Yes, even you.

8-What do you do for fun and relaxation?
   Relaxation? I think that's up there with weekend, as in a foreign concept. No, actually, I love playing with dogs, watching House, and reading a good book.

9-Is there anything you would like to tell your readers and fans that they may not know about you?
   First of all, thank you for being a reader! I love to hear from readers/fans. Please look me up!

   Secondly, I believe in the Law of Attraction. I think we get what we give in this life. So, please send love and positivity into the world around you. It'll make all the difference in your life and other peoples.



Expectations blurb: Expectations depicts the struggle between what we desire for ourselves and our familiar obligations. This is personified by Chris and Matt Taylor, identical twins who are trying to win their overbearing father's approval and acquire their trust funds. Their best friend and roommate, Aiden O'Boyle, left his family behind in Ireland to pursue a career in dance.

Robert Taylor, Matt and Chris's father has set certain conditions that must be met in order for them to receive their trust funds. Matt must work at a job he hates while struggling with alcoholism. Chris has to deny his own desires and deep love for Aiden, to get married to Matt's girlfriend. All the while, their father continues to use extreme measures to ensure his sons' compliance. Will they learn to lean on each other and discover their strength or succumb to their father's will? Amazon



What Money Can’t Buy blurb: What Money Can’t Buy, the sequel to Expectations, finds the two couples, Chris and Aiden and Matt and Carley, eagerly anticipating parenthood. However, their personal struggles continue. Though Matt overcame his dependency on alcohol, new temptations present themselves. And with Carley on bed rest, these temptations put a greater strain on their relationship. Chris continues to deal with issues regarding his father. These issues increase with greater proximity. When tragedy strikes, the best and worst in everyone is revealed. Can they stick together, or will their reactions tear them apart? Amazon




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review of A Dragon Forsaken


A Dragon Forsaken
Krystal McLaughlin
Kindle Edition

   This is the second book in the Enchanted Island Series. In this episode, we encounter Daphne. She is quite unique in this fantasy world of mystery and magic. Daphne was born a dragon, unlike her friends  who have become awakened to the magic inside themselves. In this installment, Daphne's past resurfaces to haunt her which forces her to form alliances and end up risking everything for love. This is the one thing she swore she would never do.
   This episode starts off with Daphne searching for her sister who has been lost for some time. Along the way, she encounters some sinister goings on that threaten her very existence and the lives of those around her. Will she be able to remain strong in her convictions and save the person she has grown to love?
   This story started off just a little slow and I was uncertain about it. After a few chapters, it took off and kept moving until the end. The ending was most definitely a surprise and I just did not see it coming. Daphne is a bit of a hard character and it was rather difficult getting into her. She was kind of a hard case. As the story progresses, her character grows in intensity and compassion. She becomes quite the likable young woman. The storyline is well written and even with the slow start was very enjoyable. If you are into fantasy reads, I highly recommend it. It contains love, hatred, betrayal, and murder.
   Keep your eyes open for the third book in the Enchanted Island Series coming in the fall 2011, The Goblins Daughter.
   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. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to read and review.

I give A Dragon Forsaken 4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guest Post with Grace Elliot


Bio:
Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. Grace lives near London and is addicted to cats, acting as housekeeping staff to five mischievous moggies.
Grace believes intelligent people need romantic fiction in their lives as an antidote to the modern world and as an avid reader of historicals she turned to writing as a release from the emotionally draining side of veterinary work. Her debut novel ‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ is now available from most eBook stores including Amazon, price $2.99.

To find out more visit  http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com/

BUY LINKS.

Amazon.com   $2.99

Solstice publishing.

Smashwords.


Fictionwise
http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b115169/A-Dead-Mans-Debt/Grace-Elliot/?si=0



‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ by Grace Elliot.
Celeste Armitage has a plan…and that plan doesn’t include marriage.
After deliberately humiliating a suitor, Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country. But once there she discovers a sketch book of daring nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the thought of him…
Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a fa├žade. Only he can save the Charing’s from disgrace as a blackmailer seeks to ruin his late brother’s reputation. But just as Ranulf dares to open his heart to Celeste, the fury of his nemesis is unleashed… facing him with the stark choice between true love and family duty. However when Celeste guesses the truth behind his rejection, Ranulf underestimates her resolve to clear his name and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….

It my distinct pleasure to welcome my guest, Grace Elliot, to my blog today. She has kindly agreed to take over my post for the day. I will now turn things over to her. Grace, thank you so much for stopping by.

COVER STORY.

A picture is worth a thousand words – Ancient Chinese saying.

From the header of Eva’s blog, I suspect my host is a kindred spirit; Eva’s bookshelves are double stacked with books on top…just like mine!
Books! The weight in the hand, pages under the thumb, even the smell of them…there’s a tangible quality to books that’s addictive. My passion is historical romance which I both read and write…and yet I wonder if some historical romance covers do the genre a disservice and that eBooks grow readership.

Let me explain.
My house is full of books; shelves bursting with them, piled under the bed, a wardrobe full of books rather than clothes and TBR’s stacked against the bedroom wall. But with the closure of Borders in the UK (Nooooooooooo….the trauma!) and getting a Kindle, my book buying habits and taste have undergone a seismic revolution.

So what has this to do with book covers?
My first love is historical romance but rightly or wrongly, when reading a book with a ‘lovers’ clinch’ on the cover in public, I get the feeling strangers-on-the-train are judging me. With eReaders the book is anonymous; who’s to know if it’s Dostoyevsky or Rushdie, rather than Laurens or Quinn?
 I’ve read historical romance for many years and learnt to ignore the snobbery of the ill-informed (who, usually haven’t read the genre) but with my eReader I find myself reading books I might previously have rejected because the cover was too suggestive to leave around the house for my boys to see.
Just how much cover art previously influenced my purchases, has surprised me. I’m an intelligent woman, I know my own mind…so how is it that I was subconsciously editing my choice of books? Embarrassment, prudery, worry about what others thought of me? I’m honestly not sure…
What is your opinion of romance covers? Do they do the genre a favour or a disservice?
Does a raunchy cover influence your decisions one way or the other?
Leave a comment – I’d love to know.
Grace x

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Demons Prefer Blondes


Demons Prefer Blondes
Sidney Ayers
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402251740

   Lucy's beauty salon has become a center of chaos for the Underworld. Her world is being turned upside down and a gorgeous demon, Rafe Deleon, arrives on the scene and assures her that he can help her. Lucy is not your helpless female and plans to handle things herself and come out on top. There is one major drawback, she finds him extremely sexy and has the 'hots' for him. You see, Lucy has unleashed a Pandora's box and is now half-succubus.
   Rafe was sent to earth to recover the Chest of the Damned; but arrives too late to keep Lucy from opening it and unleashing the demonic forces within. Rafe is determined to exercise control around Lucy. After all, he is a demon and should be able to resist her charms. His resistance is slipping, however, and Lucy has no idea of the power she possesses. Will they be able to admit that they need each other before it is too late?
   I absolutely loved this book. I so enjoyed the fantasy storyline. It is  full of humor, sexual tension, gorgeous demons and not so gorgeous demons. We even encountered the devil himself. I don't know if there will be a follow-up to this book; but I certainly hope so. The story certainly leaves room for a sequel. I would be very disappointed if there is no further tales of Rafe and Lucy. Not to mention good old dad who is the king. I will say no more because I don't want to give away any surprises. If you enjoy the supernatural, I strongly suggest you read this book.
   I was provided an ARC from Sourcebooks to read and 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 the privilege of reading the book.

I give Demons Prefer Blondes 4.5 out of 5 stars

Muhammed's Wives

MUHAMMAD'S WIVES 

Muhammed's Wives
Aliya Anjum
Kindle Edition

   This is a historical account of Muhammed's eleven wives. It documents the family life of Muhammed and how it is a road map for all Muslim men and the true standing of women in Islam. It is a short account of the prophet Muhammed and gives insight into the personalities of his many wives. It also goes into some detail concerning the controversial Ayesha, one of the single greatest religious sources in Islam. It explains the debate in her age when she supposedly married Muhammed. There has apparently been debate that she was married to Muhammed when she was six and consummated the marriage at the age of nine. The author explains his theories of her marrying at the age of eighteen.
   This is not my usual type of read and I am not a fan of history. Sorry, historians, it is what it is. I was, however, quite fascinated with this book. I found this book extremely well written by this Indie author, and even though short and condensed. full of seemingly creditable information. I say seemingly, because I did not go to texts to verify information. I will leave this to those who have the desire and inclination to do so. I do highly recommend this book for those who may be interested in the subject matter and have a desire to explore this subject further.
   I wish to thank Aliya for providing me with a copy of her book to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review, only that I keep an open mind and write an honest review. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving a copy of the book to read.

I give Muhammed's Wives 4 out of 5 stars

Fergyville Episode 1 The New Plan

Fergyville: Episode 1, The New Plan
 
Fergyville The New Plan
Episode 1
Katina Ferguson
Kindle Edition
 
   Catherine and Frank have devised  a schedule to make a more efficient way to manage their life and the lives of their three children. Unforeseen obstacles get in their way and life does not go as planned. Frank wonders if some of the events are from some of the people from the past. The fateful day comes when he returns from work and can't find his family.
   This is the first in a series of twelve short novelettes. This is a well written story about a family and their daily life together. A life that is hectic and at times over-whelming. Catherine devises a plan to help them cope and make their days run more smoothly. Sadly, just like reality, life gets in the way. Plans are usually made to go according to a set schedule. Life always has a way of turning your world upside down. Such is the case with this family, and by days end, things are not going according to schedule. I can't really say much more or it would ruin the storyline of this short novelette.
   On the surface, this couple appears much like everyone else; but with the ending to this episode, there just may be more to the story. The next installment may shed more light. We will have to wait and see. My only complaint is the length of the book. I have never been fond of novelettes and novellas. I prefer a full length book because the shorter ones leave you lacking and wanting for more.
   I wish to thank Katina for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review; but an honest one. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to review.
 
I give Fergyville 4 out of 5 stars 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review of Wish You Were Here


Wish You Were Here
Phillipa Ashley
Sourcebooks Landmark 2011
ISBN 9781402241444

   Newly appointed CEO, Jack Thornfield can't believe the resume that crosses his desk. Jack needs a new consultant and the resume is none other then Beth Allen. Years ago, him and Beth were very much an item and he has never been able to forget her.
   There is one problem, Beth doesn't want to see Jack again. Eight years ago when Beth was a naive student, Jack was leading a trekking holiday in Corsica and the two met and fell in love. They spent three wonderful weeks together and before they parted, Jack proposed. When he returned home, he was given a bombshell and Beth never heard from him again.
   Jack knows it is a bad idea; but he desperately wants to see her again. Can they both get beyond the past and have a workable relationship or will old hurts just get in the way?
   This is a wonderful chick book. It is full of romance with lots of sexual tension going on. You have a sexy main male character who knows what he wants and is not afraid to go after it. You have a strong willed female who is not afraid to go after what she wants and is able to set boundaries from the start. No story would be complete without another male who thinks he is somewhat of a "God's gift to woman". Why are you not falling for me? Of course, we have to have the femme fatale who has to be dressed to the nines and the "look at me, I am gorgeous" attitude.
   I thought the storyline was very well written and flowed nicely. Even though this is a chick book, the story is quite believable and you could see the events actually happening. This is a story of betrayal, love, romance, and strong family devotion. This was the first book by Phillipa Ashley I have read. I hope it is not my last.
   I received this book from Sourcebooks for reading and reviewing purposes. 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 review.

I give Wish You Were Here 4 out of 5 stars

Interview with Phillipa Ashley

I am pleased to have as my guest today, author, Phillipa Ashley. Phillipa studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University before working as a freelance copywriter and journalist. She lives in an English village with her husband and daughter. You can visit her on the web at:
http://www.phillipa-ashley.com/



1-Would you tell us a little about your book Wish You Were Here and how it came to be.



The blurb says: Jack Thornfield, new CEO, is shocked to see his long lost love, Beth Allen's resume come across his desk. After 8 years apart they have a second chance at happiness in this romantic story about love and secrets.

I wanted to explore what would happen when two people who once had a short but very intense relationship, were thrown together when they were older and wiser. Would their love be rekindled despite a devastating breach of trust on the part of the hero? I also took inspiration from a wonderful vacation in Corsica-a steamy, stunning French island which was the perfect setting for a passionate romance!

2-Do you have any WIP? If so, can you tell us about them?
   Right now, I'm editing the draft of a new contemporary romance called 'Miranda's Mount'. It's about a history-loving heroine who runs an island castle in England-then its bad boy owner, a Lord, returns and wants to sell it. There's lots of sexy banter, emotion and past hurts to uncover. I've had a ball writing it and hope to finish it in a few weeks.

3-What has been the most difficult part of your writing career?
   Every day, I wish I'd started writing romantic fiction earlier in life!

4-Who has had the most influence on your writing?
   Hard to say because I believe that everything you ever do infuses your writing. But author wise, I'd say the Romantic Novelists Association has played a big part. The RNA is a wonderfully supportive group of writers, a little like the RWA. They run a New Writers Scheme which offers critiques on manuscripts for unpublished writers. They offered some great advice on an early draft of my first book which went on to win the NWS Award in 2007.

5-Who is your favorite author and why?
   In my genre, probably Jill Mansell from the UK and the US writers, Jill Shalvis, and Rachel Gibson. My all time favorite author is Jane Austin. What all these writers have in common are great characters, witty dialogue and believable relationships.

6-Do you write in a specific genre or do you write in different genres?
   My books are all sexy, funny, contemporary romance/chick lit crossovers.

7-Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, when did you become serious about it?
   Since I left university, I've worked as a copywriter and journalist. I didn't realize I wanted to write romantic fiction until 2004 when I watch a BBC mini-series called North&South. That show and its complex male hero, John Thornton, inspired me to write a contemporary romantic fanfic. I loved writing the fanfic so much that I plunged straight into Dating Mr December, my first novel.

8-Tell us something about yourself that your readers may not know.
   I've recently had my first surfing lesson- and yes, I fell off the whole time!



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Xannu The Prophecy

Xannu - The Prophecy
 
Xannu The Prophecy
Paul Dorset
Smashwords Edition 2011
 
   Terry West is a twelve year old English boy who travels between alternate worlds using rune coins he found when digging for bottles. In his alternate world he is an eighteen year old soldier named Teern Truthbringer, who's task is to find the Xannu who will lead the people to deliverance.
   In both worlds, Terry is faced with tasks and challenges that force him to look deep inside himself. Terry has to learn to shift between his two worlds and is forced to face different obstacles in both. He must face a journey of discovery in his alternate world and attempt to remain an integral part with his friends in this world. Will he be able to balance both lives, solve the problems in both and learn the lessons that both provide?
   This is the first book in a five book series titled 'The Southern Lands.' This book is extremely well written and is an amazing story to say the least. The storyline flows very nicely considering the fact you are back and forth between the two worlds. I had absolutely no trouble following any of the story. If you are a fan of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, you will surely fall in love with this book.
   The more fantasy tales I read, the more I have come to love them. This is no exception. You have other world creatures, sorcery, giant men nine feet tall, warlocks, you name it. This book kept me glued and I could not put it down. I will anxiously await the next installment to see what adventures we are in for next. Check this book out for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
   I wish to thank Paul Dorset 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 any way except for the privilege of reading and reviewing the book.
 
I give Zannu The Prophecy 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sealed Forever


Sealed Forever
Mary Margaret Daughtridge
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402246197

   Navy Seal, Garth Vale, is undercover and finds an abandoned baby on an airplane at his hanger. He is well aware that his superiors do not want to know about this and so he decides to pose as the baby's father. He seeks out the help of a local doctor who he discovers was at his friend's wedding.
   Dr. Browyn Whitescarver left the frantic pass of the big city ER to start a small town medical practice. She has not even settled in and unpacked when the sexy seal knocks on her door with the sick baby he has taken under his wing. She eventually agrees to help him; but only under her conditions. Is she saving the baby or the gorgeous, sexy Navy Seal.
   Garth instantly decides he has found his soul mate in the doctor and is determined to win her heart. She, on the other hand, has no desire to get involved. She is still in the throes of grief from losing her former lover, an undercover cop who always had much of his life closed off to her.
   This story begins with Garth having an out of body experience so to speak where he is is on a battlefield in Afghanistan and brings his buddy back from the dead. The mission was  one of those the government doesn't like to publicize. It leads into his friends wedding to Browyn's best friend. The story takes off from there.
   I thought this was a nicely written story about love, betrayal, and cover up in the armed forces. As the story develops, the story behind the baby and the cover up becomes apparent. In addition, the issues that Browyn has faced as a doctor and as the daughter of well known prominent physicians comes to light. Of course, no love story would be complete without the sexual tension and sparks that fly between our two main characters. Will Browyn be able to lay to rest once and for all the death of her former lover and be able to give herself over to find true love? The answer lies in the reading.
   I received this book from Sourcebooks for reading and reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any way except for being provided the book .

I give Sealed Forever 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 10, 2011

Review of Easter's Lily


Easter's Lily
Judy Serrano
Black Rose Writing
ISBN 9781935605904

   On this particular Easter Sunday, Lily's life went from safe and comfortable to dangerous and unfamiliar. Lily goes from life in her small town where she is having an affair with a low life gangster to getting married to the head of the organization. Lily starts out as a naive, inexperienced woman and slowly turns into a woman who has no clue as to what she is doing or what she wants.
   She becomes involved with the Montiago brothers and is led down a dark path of unbridled passion and a life of violence and killing that has no limits.
   This book starts off the series with a bang and does not let up. Lily tells the story of her life and that of her children and how she becomes involved in a life of unrest and unparalleled passion.  The storyline is quite interesting and deals with the drug cartel in Mexico. The low life that Lily becomes involved with initially is charismatic and has women falling at his feet even though he is not handsome. Lily is obsessed with him and will not stay away from him until he dumps her. This is how she gets involved with the Montiagos and marries the head of the organization.
   Lily is surrounded by handsome men and is unable to resist any of them. She is quite the pathetic female and can't control herself. This leads to complications throughout the story and pits brother against brother. Lily is the type of woman you love to hate. On the other hand, the men are not much better. They all have trouble keeping their hands to themselves and are unable to keep their sexual urges in check.
   I was unable to put this book down once I started reading it. There was just one fiasco after another going on and you never knew where the story would take you next. There is sexual tension, drugs, murder, rape and dirty cops. If that doesn't spark your interest, I don't know what will. I know I will be watching for the next installment. Even though I can't stand Lily, I have to see what she gets herself into next. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a great, fast moving story. Once this one ends, you will have to read the next one.
   I was provided a copy of this book to read and 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 a copy of the book to read and review.

I give Easter's Lily 4.5 out of 5 stars.



  
  




Monday, June 6, 2011

Author Laina Turner Stilettos & Scoundrels

Laina Turner

Who am I? I used to think I was weird. I couldn't focus, scattered, you name it. Then I decided it was the okay to be all over the place as long as each avenue I wanted to explore had meaning and purpose or was fun. So I embrace the fact I am a college professor, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, promotor of other authors, human resource professional, business consultant, and all around interesting person (according to my closest friends).

Where you can find and follow me:
Author Website
Chiczofrenic NING
Twitter
Facebook
Five Seas Ink

Buy the BOOK at:

Barnes&Noble
Smashwords
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Books-A-Million

SECRET page on Laina Turner’s website
Find an an NURTURE Book Tour *exclusive* discount off Stilettos & Scoundrels!
Secret Password: 134438



Review of Stilettos & Scoundrels

Stilettos & Scoundrels
Stilettos & Scoundrels
Laina Turner Molaski
Five Star Ink Publishing 2011
ISBN 9780578034072

   Presley has lost her job; but decides this might just be a good thing. The only problem, she doesn't have a job to go to. Of course she is only concerned about her shopping and Starbucks habit needing money. She remembers her friend Trevor asked her to write stories for his on line magazine so she decides to check in with him. This will be a good thing because she has always wanted to be a writer.
   Her first assignment is to write a story about a U.S. Senator, so, she goes home to visit her folks for a few days. Low and behold the Senator is in town. The Senator has a gambling problem, as well as, being a womanizer. Presley starts asking the town gossips questions and finds her self knee deep in more then she bargained for. To make matters worse, she discovers Cooper Sands, a high school fling, works for the Senator. When the situation gets ugly with the Senator, Presley teams up with Cooper to do some investigating. He wants to protect Presley; but she doesn't want his protection. Do they both want more then to investigate the case?
   The story takes a while to unfold; but in general is an okay story. You have sex, love, murder, and lust. What more can you ask for? Presley, the main female character, is not very likable in my estimation. I find her shallow and extremely immature for the role she played. She wants to be a liberated woman; but comes across as a spoiled child in order to get her way. She goes off on her own to gather information and ends up causing more trouble. Cooper sounds like sex personified. He is handsome, muscular and has nice "buns" according to Presley. He tries to play the protector; but Presley wants none of it.
   Overall this is a good story. I just thought it moved too slowly. My biggest problem with the book is the continual descriptions to clothing and shoes. I know they went along with the character of Presley; but I felt they were just a bit over done and detracted from the story. I had the impression they were supposed to make the story amusing; but they had the opposite affect with me. 
   I wish to thank Laina for providing me with a copy of the book to read and 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 being provided a copy of the book to read.

I give Stilettos & Scoundrels 3 out of 5 stars
  






Friday, June 3, 2011

Review of Euphoria


Euphoria Part 1 of Book 1
Jourdan Alexander
2011
Kindle Edition

   Riley Dawson is preparing to leave her beloved sunny California community to go to college at Lyndon State in Vermont. Her mother is upset that Riley refuses to stay at home and go to college in California where she teaches. Her mother decides to give Riley one last reading from the Viking Runes before she departs. The stones show disruption and the unknown to come. Dismissing the prediction, Riley heads off to school.
   Riley eyes a dark, brooding, sensual student who goes by the name of Remaunt. She has an almost instant attraction to him that she tries desperately to fight. Her body does strange things when she is around him; but her head says "danger." Some unusual things are happening on and around the campus that starts to make Riley nervous including a barn owl that seems to be following her. Eventually, Riley can no longer deny the unusual when a situation arises with her friend, and she is forced to see that Remaunt is immortal, VAMPIRE!
   This story is quite unlike any other vampire story I have read. There is a strong sense of sexual tension going on that you wait to erupt; but it doesn't. It gives you just enough to keep you on the edge without going over. People are mysteriously disappearing from the campus; but no one knows where. There are hints about what is happening and you want to keep reading to see where it will lead.
   I hope I have this correct.This is the first book written by Jourdan. It is quite an awesome read. The storyline is well executed and follows a distinct path. The characters are well thought out and each one has a definite place in the story. Remaunt is a dark and brooding character who screams sex appeal at you. Riley I found to be a bit self righteous. She was a bit contradictory in her dealings with Remaunt. One minute she was flirting and teasing him. The next she was nasty to him and pushing him away. Even though I didn't like her, her character fit the part. The story leaves you hanging by the time you get to the end; but this only adds to the appeal of the book in order to get you psyched for the next installment. All in all, this is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. I am certainly looking forward to the second part of Book 1.
   I wish to thank Jourdan 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 any way except for the privilege of reading the book.

I give Euphoria 4 out of 5 stars