Monday, October 29, 2012

Truth and Fairy Tales GUEST POST AUTHOR Miriam Kobras



Truth And Fairy Tales

Let me tell you a bit more about Naomi, the female protagonist in Under the Same Sun.

Imagine that, after years and years of living a lonely, quiet life, after having lost the one person you loved more than all others, your dream comes true, and he walks in your door. 
 Nothing else matters—the love, the heady passion, the desire are back, as alive and strong as they ever were. 
 Nothing will keep you from making this work; you want him back, you want him forever. Obstacles and misgivings are nothing more than motes of dust, easily wiped away. This is how it went for Naomi in The Distant Shore, and she got what she wanted: she is the wife of famous rock star Jon Stone, his beloved, his only love. But she paid a high price for it. After having been shot down at the Academy Awards by one of Jon’s former lovers, her health is impaired, her spirit broken. 

Under the Same Sun isn’t just another love story. I wanted to show how Naomi had grown from a woman who had hidden herself and her feelings away in a small town in Norway, into someone who makes her own decisions, and faces life boldly. Naomi is not by nature a bold person. She is a melancholic and very private person. She grew up with the knowledge that someday she would inherit her family’s hotel empire, and that she was expected to marry someone who would support the business. Her father, Olaf, kept telling her that it was her duty to take over the company someday, to accept her responsibilities, and live up to her family’s expectations. He is not happy with her marriage to Jon, or the other choices she has made. Naomi sees him as an enemy, a person who wants to take everything that matters away from her, and force her into a life that she doesn’t want. 

 It’s only when her own son, Joshua, refuses to take the path she wanted for him, that she sees how hard it is for parents to let their children make their own decisions. It takes all of Jon’s love and a near deadly situation for her to understand this, and it changes her attitude toward her father radically. Now, with this new understanding, she finally sees that hidden underneath Olaf’s cool and often brusque attitude there is deep love and worry for her welfare. This makes it possible for her to let Joshua go his own way, to allow herself to love her father, and most of all, it gives her the freedom to finally do what she always wanted to do: she begins to write. Last night a friend who had just finished reading Under the Same Sun asked me if this part was autobiographical. I laughed and replied that I wished I had Naomi’s figure, her husband, her wealth, her house in Brooklyn, her lovely dresses, and by saying so, avoided answering the question. But yes, there is something a little autobiographical here. 
 That moment in Hamburg, when Jon more or less forces Naomi into buying a computer, when he nearly shouts at her to stop dithering, dammit, and just do what she’s supposed to do and start writing already—that is almost a page out of my own past. It didn’t happen in summer, and certainly not in a posh Hamburg hotel, but in our living room, on a dreary November day. The words my husband used were nearly the same, though. I was huddled in the corner of the couch, nearly crying, my mouth full of “buts”, and he waved them away. It was one of the very few moments when my normally gentle, quiet and very, very patient husband told me to just do it and write. I don’t know why he did it, if he saw something in me that I didn’t, and I still don’t know where he got that utter conviction that I could do this. But convinced he was. I wasn’t. He dragged me downtown and into a store, made me stand before the laptops, and said, “Pick one!” I picked the cheapest one there was, scared out of my mind, certain that this was an enormous waste of money. The strange thing was, the moment I held the thing in my hands, the instant it was paid for and handed to me, the urge to write grew overwhelming. 

 It was all I could think of: get home, open that box, take out the computer, set it up, and write. The stories were all there; I could hear them clamoring in my head to be let out. I could see Naomi and Jon embarking on their adventures, and I swear, at one point Jon turned around and looked at me over his shoulder. There was a glint in his eyes, and he gave me a secret, amused grin. “Just, you know, write!” he whispered.

 And that’s exactly what I did. 

 This was the twelfth stop on Mariam’s Blog Hop, celebrating the launch of her latest book, Under the Same Sun (Book II in the Stone Trilogy). 

 We hope you enjoyed her guest post, and invite you to write a comment below about it for a chance to WIN one of three copies of Under the Same Sun (plus some pretty gosh, darn, yummy chocolate)!

 You can get additional chances by following Mariam at every stop on her hop and leaving comments after each post. 

And hey, while you’re here, why not follow this blog—you won’t regret it. 

 Join Mariam tomorrow, 10/30 when she stops by Lauri Rottmeier’s blog. 
 Check our blog for the full calendar and more details about Mariam and her books!



Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, where she met her husband. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and two cats.
Mariam is the author of Under the Same Sun and the IPPY Bronze Medal winning novel The Distant Shore, which was also released by Buddhapuss Ink.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

5 STARS For SUSAN MALLERY'S "ALREADY HOME"






After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She's supported her ex-husband's dreams for so long that she can't even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents' home and envisions her very own cooking store.Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna's adoptive mother. But just as she's gaining a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents--aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn.

Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her exes latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love...

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I'd like to start off my review by telling you how much of a compelling story this is.  I found that once I started reading it I had a hard time to put it down. When I did I was daydreaming about it.  I like the way the book begins and I also enjoyed how it progressed.  It seemed to fall into place at just the right  page all the way throughout.

Susan Mallery is an extremely talented writer who is not afraid of writing about the tough situations that come up in a person's life.  She doesn't hold back and tells the story as it's meant to be told.  I laughed when I was suppose to laugh and I cried when the characters cried.  This book was so well written that I rode the waves of emotions all the way through.

Susan's characters are great, she gives them true qualities like you would find in a real person.  I found Jenna was great when it came to her creative side and her loving ways toward her parents and friends.  I also found some of her other qualities to be quite annoying and self-depreciating.  Jenna often put herself down due to a low self-esteem which is very common, I could relate to her, but at the same time it annoyed me. It made me think that I may be annoying by doing the same thing sometimes.  LOL I learned a lesson from this book.

Not only are the characters realistic but the storyline is amazing.  Jenna is recently divorced from a Chef that she use to work with.  He was a real piece of work, he brought down her self-esteem and made her question herself. She gets smart and leaves the guy and goes back to her hometown and without thinking about consequences buys a store.  Divorce can make you loopy I guess.  She decided to make a kitchen/cooking store and hired a wonderful assistant called Violet, whom I think would make an awesome main character.

They make a go of the store together and during that time many things happen to them.  They have many, many ups and downs that are incredible and definitely worth reading.  From long lost birth parents to abusive boyfriends.  No punches had been held back in this book.

I hope you'll take the time to read this book.  It's not just a book but a true journey through someone's struggles and happiness.  I give this book a 5 because it's an amazing read.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Awesome Product Reviewed! Packaways Reusable Plastic Storage Boxes!!!

Hi everyone!  

I had a wonderful opportunity to review an awesome product.  I was so excited when I found out that Packaways would be sending me Reusable Plastic Storage boxes.  I thought it was a very innovative idea.  These boxes are made of heavy-duty corrugated plastic which is light-weight and water resistant.  If that's not cool enough it's also collapsible and your able to store them anywhere.  

When I collapsed the boxes I received I was able to hide them behind my bedroom dresser, I swear that's amazing because you save so much room and if your like me you need all the storage room you can get.  I could have put them under the bed but this way I have that space for something else.  By putting them behind my dresser it's well hidden and such a small space that I could never put anything else there.

When I received my boxes in the mail I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of the box they were shipped in lol I ripped it open and was in awe at how pretty the Collapsible Boxes are, they come in some great colours.   Check it out:



Now I got the pink and green ones.  Seriously!  I got 4 boxes to review, talk about an awesome company!  I'm usually lucky if I receive a sample size of anything.  Now, not only did they send me something I absolutely love, they sent it really quick!  Here are the ones I got:



I sat and stewed for awhile how I would use them.  You all know I recently moved and I had a ton of cardboard boxes left over from the move and of course lots and lots of those huge plastic 21L containers with blankets and household niknaks.  I already had most of that stuff stored and put away.  I could have emptied them into these boxes instead but I've been a bit laid up with a shoulder injury and couldn't do it.  So guess what I decided to use my awesome boxes for....

LAUNDRY BASKETS!  YES REALLY!

I am using them in each bedroom as laundry baskets because I love the colours, they weigh almost nothing and the kids can even carry them with no problem because of the great handle holes on each side.  I have one box left to use and while writing this review I thought of the perfect use for it.
I pulled out the box from behind my dresser and opened it up with one hand because I can't use the other, it's in a sling.. Ick!  anyhow I pulled it out and used my one good hand to push on the bottom of the box and Voila!  It was ready to be filled.  I decided to put all my extra sheets and pillow cases in it and put them in the closet.

Another great feature with these boxes is that there is a dry erase board where you can write what's in the box and erase it and put a new name on it when the contents changes.  Cool right?  LOVING IT!



So, I ran away from the computer for a moment to do that.  I am so glad I'm able to share this great product with you all.  They are super!  I have quite a few ideas on how these things can be used and plan to buy more in the future.  Let me share some of my ideas with you:

  • You can use it to store stuff
  • You can use it for laundry baskets
  • You can put it in your car, open to grab things needed like sporting equipment, tools, swimming gear
  • You can use it as a toy box outside
  • You can use them as moving boxes
  • Use these instead of bags at the grocery store 
  • You can use it as an open toy box inside
  • You can use it as a gift box
I'm sure if I sat here longer I would would come up with even more ideas but you get the idea I'm sure.  These boxes are great and I highly recommend you getting some from Packaways.com  The prices are very reasonable and these boxes will last years and years.

Go check the out at www.packaways.com

also,  thanks so much for taking the time to stop by :D

HUGS!

Leanne



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DEENA REMIEL'S NEW RELEASE!!! HOT! HOT! HOT! "THE BOOK WAITRESS"



The Book Waitress Serves Up Evil With A Side of Real Gooooood…


Deena Remiel here with my latest series release, The Book Waitress! Thanks to Leanne for offering up her blog today, and to all of you for sharing in the wicked fun. So I thought I’d share with you my journey to the dark side. Haha!

I started my writing career steeped in romance. I love all the facets involved in such an intricate relationship as love. But as I created my first paranormal romance series, The Brethren, I began to feel something else pulling me in. The DARK SIDE. I had a blast writing as Agremon and Namirha. Evil and snark go very well together. I felt so satisfied after writing those harrowing scenes with Emma enduring Namirha’s torture.


Now, don’t worry! It’s not because I’m sadistic or have turned evil myself. I found these scenes to actually be the hardest, the most challenging, and the most exhausting to write. And I loved it. And I love exploring the theme of Good versus Evil. If you’ve read my work to date, you’ll find that in all my books, no matter how dark, no matter how dire, the Good always find a way to remain sovereign.


So when the idea for The Book Waitress insinuated itself into the nooks and crannies of my brain, I couldn’t resist the call. I’m not saying the series doesn’t have romance. It does! But The Book Waitress is undeniably a foray into dark Urban Fantasy. It’s meaty and juicy, it’s dark and has dark humor, and ultimately, it takes us on a wild ride through Hell, and eventually it will bring us back.


Come enjoy all the tasty wickedness The Book Waitress has to offer. After all, nothing worth everything comes without a price!


Hugs,


Deena





Short bio:

It was the mystique of Arizona’s history and landscape that called to Deena and catapulted her career as an author. When she’s not writing romance novels and poetry in the wee, small hours of the morning or in the deep, dark of night, Deena teaches language arts to middle school students. She currently lives in Gilbert with her husband and two children, but New Jersey will always tug at her heartstrings. She loves connecting with her fans, so find her at deenaremiel.com.





The Book Waitress

Camille Dutton learned early in life Satan was not to be trifled with. Escaping his evil clutches as a child, he’s come back with a vengeance for her now.
Derek Galloway’s inquisitive nature has led him to be an award-winning investigative reporter and straight into the path of pure evil.
When a child vanishes from a sleepy island town, Camille, its subdued librarian, becomes embroiled in Derek’s investigation. A satanic cult has plans for the child, while Satan has plans for Camille and the rest of the world. Amidst evil of the most supernatural and human kind, Derek and Camille find a shred of light and goodness in the form of their budding relationship.
First in the Book Waitress Series, the portal between Hell and Earth will be torn asunder, and it will take everything Camille and Derek have and then some to close it. Satan won’t go down easy, but nothing worth everything ever comes without a price.

©DeenaRemiel2012


BUY ON SMASHWORDS

PLEASE JOIN DEENA IN CELEBRATING HER NEW RELEASE HERE, Chances at prizes!!!!!




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Sunday, August 12, 2012

TEMPTING THE MANNY BY LACEY WOLFE & GIVEAWAY


Please Welcome Author Lacey Wolfe!!!



Thank you so much for having me today. It wasn’t too long ago that I released an erotic romance novella titled, Tempting The Manny. Yum. And in my head, the manny is very similar looking to Mario Lopez. *Fans herself.*

So, what was my inspiration for this story? The story really began as something fun. As a writer, I always hit this spot in a story where I sit back and think. What’s next? Do I like what I just wrote? I would then take a step back and write something else. Tempting The Manny started as just something to help me keep my creative energy going.
 But then, all of a sudden, my heroine Olivia, demanded attention. Out of nowhere, she was weaving all these lies and really making a mess of things. And I had to stop all other stories and get this all taken care of. A tale that was meant to be a little fantasy about a single mom hiring a sexy manny, suddenly got a lot more plot. And when the story came to an end, I sat back and thought, I like this and I think others might too. Now the hard part, will others like it?

There are a lot of characters in this book. Besides Olivia, the heroine, and Jamie, the hot manny, we have Morgan and Emily who are the kids in the story. One is young school age and the other just a sweet baby. There is Kelly, the neighborhood gossip queen and her husband who is the guy in the neighborhood who jogs with shorts that are a bit too tiny and you just might get a little peak of a certain body part. And of course, Olivia’s ex has to cause some problems too.

If you’re looking for a story that might be a little different, I really hope you consider Tempting The Manny. I’d love to connect with you, come see me on Twitter, Facebook, and my website.
 And if you want to learn a little more aboutTempting The Manny, you can find out more at these retailers. 




Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

WANT TO FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR???




Link to schedule:



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Gaming Reviews at The Green Room

Just wanted to post a quick plug for my brother Devon and his new blog "The Green Room", a place to find all his latest game reviews written for various publications, as well as random musings and thoughts.


He's fairly new to writing, but has already been embraced by CanadianOnlineGamers.com as a talented and valuable writer under the pen name T.Monkey.  Since his modest start he's already published a couple reviews, and hopes to put out a lot more this year.

Check out a couple of his reviews below, all on for the publication above.





You can also keep up to date on his list of latest reviews directly on his blog here:

If you're into games and you want his latest impressions, make sure to check him out! :D 

Twitter - @tokingmonkey
Canadian Online Gamers - T.Monkey

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SUMMER SKIN TIPS

Hey all!  Here's a few tips for you summer skin woes!

Your skin's likely going through a lot this summer. Between the sunshine, chlorine, saltwater, sweat and heat, it can be tough to get your glow on. Try these simple tricks and your skin will thank you.


Count to 60 before you rinse off cleanser.
That's how long it takes to work, says David E. Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York.

Touch your face.
Derms say that massaging while you moisturize ups circulation for a healthy radiance.

Wear lipbalm in the shower.
Apply a thick coat, hop in; let the steam do its thing. Then gently wipe off dead loosened skin cells with a washcloth for seriously silky lips.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Toni's Review of Dream Bound by Kate Douglas ***5 Stars***





They are creatures of light in search of an energy source to help them survive. So when the Nyrians discover amazing power in the extreme passion and sexual pleasure of humans, they come to Earth to satisfy their needs. For years, Mac Dugan has been trying to find the mysterious being he once loved and then lost. Now he has gathered a group of six highly intuitive and extremely sexual men and women at a secret mountain hideaway. Here he hopes to focus their potent sensuality into highly erotic fantasies that will summon his lover, Zianne. What he doesn't anticipate is each team member making extraordinary sexual discoveries of their own.

*******************************

A man who knows his future is waiting for him fights hard and works harder to save the woman he loves and her people.

Twenty years ago Mac Dugan found the love of his life and lost her.  But he is a man that has a second chance.  His love is from the future, his present to be exact.  He spoke to her over time and space and she taught him what he needs to know to save her people.  The time is now!

Mac has brought together his Dream Team; three men and three women that have a little extra and a lot of sexuality.  With his equipment and their imaginations they are setting out to save Mac’s love Zianne and her people, the Nyrians.  Their connection as a group is instant, strong and amazing.  They are more than Mac ever expected and success is in his grasp.

I found the concept behind this story really quite remarkable.  Ms. Douglas has taken the notion of dreams and fantasy to a whole new level.  What if you were really able to project your fantasies into reality and in the same time save a whole race?  Dream Bound is wonderfully refreshing and beyond sexy.  Ms. Douglas can write love, sex and passion like nobody’s business and she will always be a must read for me and she didn’t disappoint here.

While the story revolves around the rescuing of Zianne and her people there are actually nine characters.  I was drawn to each and every one of them.  While some are more front-and-center than others, I could feel that by the time this tale is told they will all be well loved friends.  Each person is unique and the way they are written makes them all special yet familiar.

Dream Bound is marketed as an erotic romance novel.  However, there really isn’t a true “couple”.  The book does have love and discovery between its pages though.  There also isn’t a happy ever after ending, but a happily for now.  It is apparent that it is meant to be a series.  Even with the ending left open, Ms. Douglas doesn’t leave us with a cliff hanger.  You are left satisfied and ready for the next in the series.  I personally can’t wait for November, when Dream Unchained is scheduled to be released.

I would highly recommend that you read her short story Dream Catcher in the Nightshift anthology before you start this novel.  Dream Catcher sets the stage for Dream Bound beautifully and you get a good view into Mac’s reasoning for his lifelong passion.  I could have easily read Dream Bound without it, but I’m glad I didn’t.  Please don’t let not being able to read the prequel deter you from picking up this novel though.  You will not be lost; the experience will be just as fulfilling and enjoyable.  Dream Bound is full of sensual fantasies, likeable characters and a plot that is imaginative, vivid and fascinating.

Dream Bound is a spellbinding tale of second chances, new love and the power of fantasies.  It’s another keeper for my “Kate Douglas” section of my library.  Yes, she has a row all for herself.  Pick up Dream Bound and find out why!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

BOOK GIVEAWAY & Toni's Review of Waterborne by Katherine Irons ***3 Stars***



   

For details on how to enter to win this book and the other two in the series be sure to read the end of the review! 

A Force of Nature

Ree O’Connor is more than she seems to be. Despite her delicate appearance and her broken heart, she sees what others don’t. In fact, she is an agent of a clandestine world court, about to bring down a monster when a stranger springs her trap instead. The mistake nearly costs Ree not only her prey, but her life, too—until mysterious Alexandros spirits her to an underwater world she never suspected, even with all her secret knowledge.

As a prince of Atlantis, Alexandros has centuries of experience in love and battle. His magic draws from the power of the ocean itself, and he can be just as beguiling—and just as unfathomable. Could any man heal Ree enough to become more than a sometime lover? And can she trust her heart to a soldier-prince of the deep?

***************************

I have wanted to read this series for a while now.  So I jumped at the chance to read the third book in the series, Waterborne.

Alexandros has watched both his brothers recently fall for human women.  Humans have never done much for him, but for some reason Ree stirs something in him.  At first glance she seems like an unassuming woman.  She also seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Only Ree is not what she appears. 

From early childhood, Ree’s life has been shaped and controlled by a secret agency.  She was never a normal child and upon the death of her parents she has been in training to be more, much more.  She is a proficient killer.  Even though she knows there’s a different side to the world, she never expected to find a new dangerous world underwater.  Now she must trust a man to save her life, but the last time she trusted and loved a man, he died.  She will not allow that to happen again.

Alexandros is an assassin.  He has protected his family and Atlantis for countless years.  His current assignment is no different; kill a man found guilty of crimes against nature.  But when things go horrible wrong, he is forced to save a human.  Intrigue, deception and danger are around every corner.  Alexandros is now in a race to save Ree and the kingdom.

I think what helped this novel was Ms. Irons’ choice to spread the story amongst more than just the main couple.  There is a lot going on in this series and it was nice to see how some of the plots from prior books played out.  While all three brothers have found their mates, I am actually unsure if this series is complete.  It does have a finished feel to it, but the window for more is there.

The story in general was fine.  Nothing fantastic, but it was still engaging.  I had that feeling with most of the series.  There was just a little spark that was missing to make it great for me.

For instance, Ree never lived up to her title.  She was supposed to be an unparalleled assassin.  I just couldn’t see it.  She had a strong presence, but her skills were never really highlighted.  Yes, a majority of the book she was trying to survive, but when push came to shove, I expected more.

Alex was very heroic, but he took a bit to warm up to.  It even took Ree awhile too.  I enjoyed him, but he was just ok.  Morgan is probably still my favorite of the brothers.  I will say, without giving anything away, Morgan made the right choice in my book.  Alex is perfect for the job!

While their love story was pleasing to read about, their adventures were more enjoyable.  I was actually hoping they would be more involved with some of the other background battles that were going on, but it was not meant to be.  Ms. Irons has written a unique underwater world.  If you crave a new paranormal world, this series might be for you.  The creatures are diverse and she has developed a fascinating universe that is right under our noses.  I do have to give her credit for her colorful and amazing abilities to world build.  

Personally, I think Waterborne does not stand alone.  There are too many details that are enhanced by having the back story.  I feel it is necessary to read the prior books to fully appreciate this novel.

Ms. Irons has taken the tale of Atlantis into a remarkable new direction.  It is distinctively hers and for anyone who enjoys oceanic tales, Waterborne and this series might be for you.

Book Giveaway

There is a giveaway sponsored by Kensington Publishing over where I post my paranormal reviews (click here to enter).  They are kindly giving away the first two books of the series:


Open to US and Canada Only.

I am going to sweeten the deal!!
I have an unread copy of Waterborne to add.  So you will have the complete set!!



Happy Reading!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Toni's Review of Siren's Serenade by Dominique Eastwick ***5 Stars***



Loving her might just be the death of him. 

When Coast Guard rescue swimmer Kaleb Theldon sees what he's sure is a mermaid pulling his partner into the murky depths of the Bering Sea, they call it PTSD. In order to save his career, Kaleb agrees to a week at an island spa off the coast of Maine. But the spa is nothing like he expected, and he isn't prepared for the sexy siren that crosses his path. But will her passion be more than one mere human can take? 

Serena has a problem, and after four previous visits to the Wiccan Haus, she'd expected things to get easier. But on the mermaid’s fifth visit, Kaleb walks in and everything in her life becomes complicated. Never has she wanted to mate with a human man before. But can she love a man who has a chip on his shoulder a league long when it comes to mermaids? Can she deal with her own issues all while keeping her true self secret from the man she loves?

And will loving him prove deadly? 

This time, the staff have more than healing on their agenda. Can the siblings, Myron, and Rekkus prove to these two lovers that things aren't always how they appear on the surface? Or will Kaleb's demise be found in his Siren's Serenade?

Welcome back to the Wiccan Haus.

*********************************

Was this a short story? It sure didn’t feel like a short story. Are you sure?

The mermaids are living under a curse. To procreate they must steal the soul of a man at the time of conception. Serena has no desire to follow in her sister’s steps and refuses to kill innocent men. Unfortunately her mother is the queen and has given her a year to secure the line of succession or she will be forced to mate. Time is running out and she turns to the Rowan siblings and The Wiccan Haus Resort and Spa for help.

Kaleb knows he is not crazy. Yes, he may have PTSD, but he knows what he saw; a mermaid drag his diving partner down into the depths, never to be seen again. He just made the mistake to telling the truth and now is taking forced R&R at the resort. The required classes and instruction are driving him nuts, but when he meets a beautiful woman that sets him on fire, his little trip just got a lot more interesting. What will happen when he discovers that she is the same type of creature that killed his best friend and has possibly ruined his career? Can he look past the hurt of the past and forge ahead to the future?

Siren’s Serenade is such a smooth read. The plot is solid and exciting, the sex is hot and the characters are to die for. In regards to the characters, I know personally that I want to get to know them and call them friends. The contributing authors are doing a spectacular job transporting me into the Wiccan Haus universe and Ms. Eastwick has written my favorite addition to date.

I enjoyed this story from the very first page. Even though it was about Serena and Kaleb, I also got to revisit the siblings and other wonderful characters from previous books. That aspect made this story all the more special. They blended well with the main couple and didn’t intrude on their story. They only enhanced it.

I’m still shocked that this was a short story. While I enjoy short stories to fill in the little windows of time I may have that won’t warrant a full novel, I can’t recall a short story being more fulfilling than Siren’s Serenade. I was left giddy and the epilogue was the icing on the cake!

Don’t miss this beautiful sea glass gem. Siren’s Serenade is richly colored and spellbinding. I hope you will be as drawn in as I was. I would suggest that you read the prior books in the series first though. Without them you will not understand why I enjoyed this book so much. While it is not completely necessary, you minus well dive right in and get caught up in the storm. The Wiccan Haus series is a treasure that needs to be enjoyed to its fullest!

This has been my favorite to date!!  If you want to read my other reviews, click on the pictures below.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Toni's Review of Blood of Innocence by Tami Dane ***4 Stars***



Be sure to check out the details on how to win your own copy at the end of the review!!

Gifted profiler Sloan Skye joins the hunt for an elusive serial killer--and discovers a breed of criminal few know exists . . .


A cynic by nature, Sloan Skye wasn't thrilled when she was assigned to the FBI's Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit. But her doubts are slowly easing, especially when she sees that working on the fringe allows her to use some of her more unconventional tactics. Most of all, Sloan's grateful her career is on track--because her love life, if you can even call it that, is in shambles.

Sloan is searching for a suspect who slays his female victims at night, and bizarrely drains their bodies of blood. Bad enough, but when Sloan learns what the killer is really after, she can barely sleep at night. When the suspect guns for someone very close to Sloan, it's time to throw out the rules and face her deepest fears . . 

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Blood of Innocence is book #2 in the Sloan Skye series.  About week after her first grueling case as an intern, Sloan is thrust into another disturbing case.  Pregnant women are dying of blood loss and their babies are missing.

The Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit (PBAU) is brought in for another grisly case.  Women are showing up dead in their beds, drained of all their blood and their babies removed from their bodies.  All done without a drop of blood wasted.  There is no sign of forced entry and most of the time; the fathers are sound asleep right next to them. 

Sloan is also learning about the other side of her family tree.  Since discovering she is part elf and that she has been betrothed to the Prince of the Sluagh’s, she is on a mission to find him a different more suitable wife.  She has a year and she hits the ground running.

If she doesn’t have enough trouble with her so called fiancé, she is also attracting two co-workers and another prince.  What is a girl to do?  Why help her mother plan a wedding to her father, of course.  Sloan’s life just keeps getting crazier and crazier and the only thing she really wants to do is focus on stopping this perp before another mother and baby is lost. 

This story was a slow burn.  Was there heart pounding action?  No.  Was there hot steamy sex?  No.  Or what about the usual paranormal suspects?  Nope not really.  What you do get is a steady story that I personally couldn’t put down.  Blood of Innocence really held on and I found I had to force myself to put it down at 4am.  I just couldn’t find a good stopping point and eventually had to say – ENOUGH!

Another aspect I enjoyed was that this story didn’t give you ordinary vampires.  The usual vampire; has fangs, can’t go out in daylight and is evil.  Ms. Dane’s plot dove deeper.  She is taking the paranormal into folklore.  You are meeting creatures that can be labeled as vampires, but are different creatures all together.  There are no standard paranormals making visits in her novels, no indeedy.  Ms. Dane is making Urban Fantasy all her own and she is owning it.

Ms. Dane also keeps you on the edge of knowing Sloan.  You can feel that Sloan is on the cusps of something remarkable and there are many signs that pop up.  But Sloan still has no idea who or what she really is and neither do you.  I kept expecting and wanting Ms. Dane to slip and tell me.  Well she doesn’t, but I’m not too terribly disappointed, I think a little mystery makes all the more fun.

If you want a unique Urban Fantasy novel that still gives you a touch of paranormal, but with a folklore twist, pick up Blood of Innocence.  It is a really nice change of pace from the norm.  I personally can’t wait to see what she has next in store for Sloan Skye!


Want to know what I thought of the first book - Blood of Eden.  Check it out here!


If you would like to enter to win both books in the series, head on over to Paranormal Addicts to enter.

Thanks for reading!! - Toni

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Toni's Review of An Apple Away by Kate Richards ***5 Stars***


   

A witch's spell great love may break

Aislinn never wants to see another doctor. Their painful and pointless treatments have done nothing to improve her rapidly deteriorating health. She hopes that the staff of Wiccan Haus can at least offer a change of scene, if not a return of a little of her former strength. She’s delighted to meet Punda, a masseuse, on her arrival and charmed by the cottage in the apple orchard where she will stay.

Dr. Hugo Peralta visits the island at the insistence of his boss. The distinguished brain surgeon is in desperate need of a respite before overwork makes him one of his own patients. He is surprised but pleased with the privacy and serenity of his cottage—across the orchard from Aislinn’s. An idyllic location on a magical island where love can blossom—if the Rowans can help the trio save Aislinn from whatever is killing her.

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Kate Richards took the old saying “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” and made it her own.

Hugo and Aislinn arrived separately but they both are staying at the orchards at the Wiccan Haus Resort and Spa and Spa.  A beautiful place filled with the sweet smells of apples and the enchantment of island.  Each are escaping the lives that are slowly killing them.  Each will find health and healing at this exclusive island paradise.

Dr. Hugo Peralta is a workaholic.  He lives, eats and breathes his job.  Emergencies and life don’t take a vacation, so why should he.  Though he has been forced to take this trip by his boss, he will take this time to catch up on journals and other important items he has hasn’t had time to catch up on.  The staff at the resort has another idea.  Every time he thinks he will have a moment to do what he wants, something comes up and changes his plans.  The best obstacle so far has been the mysteriously ill neighbor Aislinn, and the staff member assisting her, the beautifully alluring Punda.

Aislinn has had it!  She has been poked and prodded for over a year.  The doctors have no clue what is wrong with her and she is tired of them and the direction her life is heading. If she never see another doctor, she will be perfectly fine.  On the advice of a friend, she decides to visit the resort.  She has nothing else to lose and if this is her last chance to enjoy life, she is bound and determined to do it.  From the moment she sips a delicious cup of spiced apple cider on the ferryboat, she knows she made the right decision.

Punda is surprisingly attracted to Hugo and Aislinn from the very beginning, but she knows her place at the resort.  She is to take care of Aislinn while she is here and since she seen the spark between the two of them, she feels the need to bring them together and not get in their way.  Too bad fate has other plans.

Hugo, Aislinn and Punda are all unsure about their feelings.  They each want the other two people in the relationship to succeed and be happy as a twosome, never quite realizing that they are all attracted to each other.  I enjoyed how Ms. Richards finally brought them together.  You could feel that they were all meant to be and their eventual joining was sexy and fantastic. 

Even though this is a short story and everything is in fast forward, this story felt natural.  The tale of this group relationship seems realistic and sweet.  In fact, I would say that their relationship felt more natural to me then the side plot.  Short of the necessity of it, I could have done without it.  That 10% spent on that other person could have been added to the development of their relationship and I would have been ecstatic and it still would have been a magical experience.

This is a short story pure and simple.  There is no huge backstory or deep character development.  You get a quick satisfying tale that will keep you interested and turning the pages.  Ms. Richards has written this ménage so well that I leave them knowing they will be happy and their love will only grow. *sigh*

This is another wonderful addition to the Wiccan Haus series.  Keep them coming!! 


Thanks for reading - Toni

Monday, July 9, 2012

Toni's Review of Tainted Night, Tainted Blood by E.S. Moore ***4 Stars***



   


In the darkness, it’s easy to lose your way…


Kat Redding is a vampire with a job to do—wiping out the vamps and werewolves who prey on Pureblood humans. Someone has to do it…as long as that someone is her. But suddenly Kat, also known as Lady Death, has competition, and it’s causing problems. Vampire houses and werewolf clans alike are blaming her for a spate of gruesome murders, and Kat needs to figure out who’s really responsible before she becomes the next target…


On the hunt, she forms an uneasy alliance with both the Luna Cult and a powerful rogue werewolf. But the truths Kat’s uncovering—about her enemies and her few remaining confidantes—are far from comforting. And when the chance comes to leave her life of vengeance behind, Kat must decide whether her real motive lies in protecting the innocent, or sating her own fierce hungers…

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Kat’s world is about to be turned upside down.

Kat is a one woman wrecking crew when it comes to taking down undesirable vampires and werewolves.  Now there is a new force in town.  One that is killing in what appears to be with Kat’s signature moves.  This does not bode well for her.  She is already trying to protect Purebloods, now it looks like she is going to have to work twice as hard to protect her own hide.

Kat begins to question her existence and the desire to continue down her chosen road.  When a side trip shows her a new way of life, she must take a long hard look at herself, her past and her future.  While Kat is fighting for her life, she must decide if she wants to start living again.

This novel had two very different storylines in it.  While one was playing out the other was in the background being a tempting mistress.  After Kat’s life takes an unexpected turn, you dive right into the next story with both feet.  Mr. Moore begins to set the stage for the next book with a bunch of questions and suspense.

The first storyline is classic Kat; action, suspense and strained alliances.  Knowing the circumstances behind Kat’s life, I really could see the outcome from a mile away.  But that was okay.  You were able to visit old enemies and have some burning questions answered.  I think personally, I would have enjoyed a deeper concentration into the main darker plot.  It felt short changed.  Mr. Moore makes it all seem better though by throwing in a new element, Ethan’s buddy – Beligral.

The second plot is very intriguing.  Mr. Moore’s writing made my skin crawl with how potentially sinister it felt.  I think the new direction in Kat’s life is going to make for some very interesting reading.  But again, it was just a tiny taste and not exactly fulfilling.  Kat is completely out of her element and it makes me excited to read the next book in the series, Blessed By a Demon’s Mark, which is currently scheduled for release in January 2013.

Tainted Night, Tainted Blood as a whole, came together in an interesting pleasant way.  I was drawn in and I came away with questions answered and my imagination soaring.  This is very good Urban Fantasy.  There is lots of action and a kick-butt heroine.  It makes for some very fun reading!

Wanna know what I think of the first in the series???  To Walk the Night

Thanks for reading! - Toni

PSST - If you head over to Paranormal Addicts I have a giveaway for the first in the series.  Click the picture below to head on over to the giveaway!