Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review of Where All The Dead Lie by JT Ellison

Where All The Dead Lie
JT Ellison
368 pages
ISBN 13: 9780778312380

As Taylor recovers physically from the injuries she sustained at the hands of the ultimate madman serial killer known as the Pretender (So Close The Hand of Death) she finds her mental health not healing as well. She fights between feeling betrayed by Baldwin’s secrets to quilt over the harm to Sam and other’s she believes she’s responsible for. She’s been offered solace from a place she’s not sure she should trust, but it’s either run to Memphis Highsymthe or run screaming from all her demons.  With more reasons to go than to stay she finds herself on the bonnie Scottish shores only to find more than she bargained for in more ways than one.

 JT Ellison knows how to keep her audience not just perched on the edge of their seats but nearly falling off them from the tension. We’ve seen the ultimate warrior and strong Taylor in the past and now we’re exposed to a very vulnerable, and much more insecure side. Her story line is exquisite as she shows us her talent front and center where she deals with the ghosts that haunt Taylor and at the same time slipping in another all together different unbelievable plot point that JT is such as expert at. Her characters all deserve awards and not only the good guys because her bad guys could go into the Hall of Fame of evil doers. Her dialogue always impresses me but she goes above and beyond in that aspect too and as you read the novel you will see the not so subtle changes from the US to the UK speak she uses, in fact I can almost hear that Scottish Brogue rolling off the characters tongues. Taylor is the ultimate complex character and one that after all these years I’ve never tired of and with Baldwin as her counterpoint they steal the show.

Fans of Lisa Gardner and Lisa Jackson will love this series, these characters and this phenomenal author. If this is your first journey with Taylor it does okay as a stand a lone but the backstory is especially important to this novel and reading the previous in the series will answer the many questions that you’ll have.

JT thanks once again for shortness of breath, pounding heart and racing pulse, I’m never the same after finishing one of your books, but that’s a good thing.
Buy the book here, visit the author’s website here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sample Recipes from Debbie Macomber's Christmas Cookbook

Here are some recipes compliments of Harlequin
Thanks HQN
I think I'll get a head start on my holiday cooking.

Review of Debbie Macomber's Christmas Cookbook

Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook
240 pages
ISBN 13: 9780373982396

Whether you’re looking for old favorites or new traditions to add to your Holiday table it will be in this wonderful cookbook. It covers anything and everything you need to make a Holiday table something special from Merry Morning Breakfasts to Cooking with Grandma, Baked Gifts and Crafts plus you’ll find plenty of room in the back to add your own favorites to refer to year after year.
Inside it’s hardbound pages you will also find beautifully illustrated photos and many recipes that came down from Debbie’s family. At the introduction to each section Debbie will tell a special story that will bring back your own special holiday moments and memories I know they did for me. It’s obvious that she put something very special of herself inside this cookbook just like what her fans expect every time they open one of her novels and she takes this one step further by putting something very personal on each of these 240 pages of treats for the palate, the eyes and the stomach. She covers everything from sweet to savory and all the in between too from table setting, place holders and gifts from the oven and from the heart.
To share a personal note, when mine arrived in the mail my mother happened to be visiting and she was planning on spending most of the Christmas season with my sister, but upon seeing the wonderful recipes inside the book she altered her plans and will be instead staying with me, which makes me very happy.
It makes a wonderful gift as well as a keepsake and if you want your mother to spend the holidays with you make sure you have a copy she can see, or if you happened to want her to stay, say at your sister’s home instead make sure you get your sister a copy for a very early Christmas present.
If you didn’t love Debbie Macomber before you will now as she shares with us a very personal part of herself. Thank you Debbie!
Buy the book here, visit the author’s website here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review of the Fallen Trilogy by Claire Delacroix

This trilogy has been out for a while but I think it needs to be refreshed.
It's a Post-apocalyptic/Urban Fantasy threesome that fall into so many genres that all readers will find something to love. 
So if you've already read it, read it again, if you haven't now is your chance

The Fallen Trilogy

Fallen - Tor - ISBN 13: 9780765359490-372 pages
Guardian - Tor - ISBN 13: 9780765359506 -357 pages
Claire Delacroix

Claire Delacroix is an author that I follow religiously, well usually. I am ashamed to say that I’ve been remiss in that by only recently reading her new series/trilogy, well new in 2008. The essence of this new trilogy is set in post apocalyptic USA where after a series of nuclear explosions the world is a very different place, a place inhabited by “norms”, self explanatory and “S H A D E S” a human deformed by or as a result of the nuclear fallout, and in the words of the norms, sub-human. The new world order is run by The Republic which is a nice way of saying big brother and it has eyes and ears everywhere. The celestial community has seen this all happen and has asked for volunteers to “fall” of their own volition to help humanity. But humanity leaves a lot to be desired in these dire times and the angels and their co-conspirators on earth face obstacles far greater and more dangerous than we mere mortals could ever conceive. The question is, can the world be saved and even more grievous a question is, is the world worth saving.
In book one Fallen we have fallen angel Adam Montgomery who has volunteered to come to earth to save humanity by helping Lilia Desjardins, his path is clear and his intensions are noble but as he seeks out, finds and comes to know her, Lilia becomes more than he can imagine and he finds himself deeply attracted to her. Lilia has deep secrets and she’s spent her life learning not to trust many people so when this enigma of a man named Montgomery a cop for the Republic and in her eyes public enemy number one. The problem is that he keeps showing up wherever she is and she wonders what his motives are. The more she gets to know him the more she begins to trust him. And while fighting the attraction to him she knows he’s hiding something, something big. But they have a mission and their time-table is short and their odds of achieving it is long.
In book two Guardian we have fallen angel volunteer Rafe, the problem is he doesn’t know he’s a fallen angel, he can’t remember further than his arrival the previous autumn. He does know he’s on a mission, a mission to find and help Delilia Dejardins and although he doesn’t know why or what will come of it he’s determined to try. Helping her is not going to be easy and fighting his growing feelings for her is going to be the least of their worries. Delilia has spent her life in the shadows and that’s common for a S H A D E. When she begins having visions, visions that tell her she’s the next Oracle, visions she’s convinced are sent from the heavens she marks herself as an enemy of the state and becomes a fugitive. While running for their lives Rafe and Delilia come face to face with evil in many faces and the race is on to save themselves and help to save the world.
In these first two installments of Claire’s Fallen trilogy we readers will be amazed, appalled and saddened by how humanity has become or maybe we should just call it inhumanity and be done with it. Her story line/plot has been addressed countless times by many authors, but in hers we find a uniqueness that says it’s hers alone. She gives us gritty descriptive dialogue that let us visualize the society she’s drawn for us in cruel focus. Her heros and heroines to this point are very worthwhile characters and we will find ourselves holding our breath as they face perils that we only have nightmares about. Her co-starring characters are many and varied, some we will befriend, cheer for and cry with. And some are so vile that we will fear with bone chilling dread. The love stories are wonderfully written and while not ecclesiastically accurate I’m sure, she gives us a very human look at some very heavenly bodies and does it with sensuality and corporeality. Her love scenes are hot, spicy and she puts them on the sizzle burner, while making them incredibly sweet.
You will love this series, you will love getting to know her characters and you will chill at her new world order. If you are a lover of paranormal romance, of apocalyptic stories or if you just love a great romance. Give this trilogy a try. The next novel is due out in October 2010 and will be called Rebel. Put it on your wish list. Also try her paranormal romance series starring the Pyr, a shapeshifting dragon species sworn to protect Earth and her humans, this is written in her other pen name of Deborah Cooke.

Review of Rebel

Claire Delacroix
ISBN13: 9780765359513
408 pages

The final installment of Ms. Delacroix’s trilogy is an amazing finish. Just remember “The Eyes of the Republic are Everywhere”.

Angels have voluntarily surrendered their wings to live as humans and to help earth regain some sanity and humanity after leaders of the Republic have insidiously removed it by creating a sub-human labor force and in this the 3rd and final episode is the story of the fallen angel now known as Armand and the wraith Theodora whom we have met in the earlier novels. They will take it upon themselves to destroy the status quo and hopefully bring about a new beginning for the entire human race.

Those of us familiar with the previous works of Ms. Delacroix will not surprised by the amazing storytelling ability she has and she outshines even herself in this horrific look at a post apocalyptic USA now known as The Republic. Her plot is unique in this time of many such popular novels and I love how she intertwines the regular dialogue with snippets from supposed news articles and other publications to give her audience a better and fuller look at the world she’s created. With her direly descriptive dialogue and horrific glimpses of what the world has become, her readers will be able to picture every frightening experience her characters live and some don’t live through. Her characters are all amazing and clearly thought out and portrayed from the smallest part to the main protagonists and finally to the vilest villain, where she gives us a peek at the ultimate of evil doers, Lucifer, and I like the fact that we catch up with the lives of the characters of the previous novels in the series. Her hero Armand and heroine Theodora are exquisite examples of her vivid and brilliantly creative mind as they will literally jump off the pages and into her reader’s hearts as they torturously find their way to each other and out of harms way. Her romance is full of heat and innocence in equal parts and her love scenes are descriptive and physical and yet tender and endearing.

So if you like me love that romantic suspense with an urban fantasy twist, this is definitely the one you should choose as you won’t find anywhere out there more vivid imagination that this series will give you. And finally you will love the exceptional climatic ending that will bring tears to your eyes and make you believe in the power of the divine. So I urge you to take a chance if you’ve never read her, and I know once you do you like me will become a fan for life.
This volume stands well alone, but I suggest to get all the history and events from the series read Fallen and Guardian also.
Also check out her other works in her alter ego Deborah Cooke as well as the many works as Claire Delacroix.
Claire kudos to you for one of the best in this genre that I have ever read!!
Buy the books here and check out her other titles too, visit the author's website here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review of Outlaw by Angus Donald - Featured Read of October at B& General Fiction Forum

October is a time to reflect, the weather is cooling down and the sun is setting earlier.
October at Fiction General Discussion we'll be featuring

By Angus Donald who will be joining us for the discussion of his novel.

Here's my review:

Angus Donald
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN 13: 9780312678364
352 pages

It’s long been debated whether Robin Hood actually existed, in a 14th Century poem he makes an appearance and in the 15th Century he’s been mentioned in ballads but whether he’s fact or fiction doesn’t seem to lessen his popularity as he’s been immortalized in print, song, poem and in present times on film. One of the reasons he stays alive for us is because of the astute storytelling ability of some of his tale-tellers like for example this one.

In this fictionalized tale of Robin Hood we may find the most truthful version yet in Outlaw, the first in a new series by Angus Donald first published in the UK.
Between the years 1188 and 1189 is the timeline in this novel, Robin is the still the ultimate outlaw, he’s still madly in love with lady Marie-Anne and is public enemy number 1 with the Sheriff of Nottingham, we’ll find all the usual cohorts too including Tuck and Little John in addition to a few new names to add to the lore.
Angus Donald brings us his vision of the ultimate noir hero in “Outlaw”, book number one in the Legend of Robin Hood series. He gives us the bigger than life hero/villain but shows him in a more realistic light, emphasizing the cruelty and barbarism of the 12th Century in the guise of authority, he shows us the leftover paganism melded with the Christian world and he shows us beauty the likes of which may no longer exist in this world and in fact showing a more factual Robin Hood who would have lived, loved and thieved in England in the late 1100’s. The novel is narrated by Alan Dale, Robin’s troubadour who was taken under wing as a young teen after being caught stealing in Nottingham and saved from certain death by the Sheriff. The dialogue is conversational, interesting and descriptive, readers will be able to picture Alan as an old man recounting his tumultuous youth, writing down the good, the bad and the ugly in excerpts as he also lets us know what’s going on in his present. The characters in this adventure go above and beyond in their portrayals as we get legend, myth and history in one piece of work.
This is far from the Robin Hood of our youths on TV or in the movies, this is truly an adult story with explicit scenes of violence and sex, so keep that in mind as you choose where to store it and who to share it with.

If you like your folklore with a huge slice of realism packed with danger, adventure, drama and action, Angus Donald is your man. If you love historical fiction with a bite this is for you. If you like your myths and legends on the wild side, here you go.
To learn more about the upcoming novels visit the author’s website
Buy the book
So Please join us for a bit of learning a bit of fun and a whole lot of interesting conversation.

I know you won't be sorry.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Interview with Angus Donald author of Outlaw

Outlaw is the featured read at Fiction General Discussion at B& in October and Mr. Donald will be joining us for the conversation here is the interview we did.

Interview with Angus Donald

Debbie - Angus, welcome and thank you for agreeing to participate in our conversation about Outlaw.

Angus - Hello Debbie, it’s great to be part of this forum. Thank you for inviting me.

D -Okay the first thing I have to ask is why Robin Hood?

A -He just popped into my thoughts nearly a decade ago when I first started thinking about writing historical fiction for a living.  I was looking for an English medieval hero to write about and he turned up in one way or another in almost every history book on the period that I read. I think Robin himself is a fascinating character: he is human but doesn’t live in human society. He lives in the wild, beyond the constraints of morality, religion and law. He is an outlaw – an outcast, an outsider, living free by his own violent rules. And someone who is quite content that way: Robin doesn’t really want to rejoin society – he lives happily beyond it. For me, there is something terribly appealing about that.
But, of course, Robin is not actually the hero of my books. He is one of the most important characters, to be sure, but the real hero is Alan Dale. The books are about the relationship between Alan and Robin. In the first book, Outlaw, Alan is a young teenager and is totally in awe of Robin. Alan (who becomes a trouvere, which is a musician and poet, during the course of the series) believes in the romantic notions of chivalry that were taking shape at that time – the end of the 12th century: he hero-worships Robin and expects him to behave like a preux chevalier, a good and noble Christian knight. But Robin has his own darker, more selfish agenda. Alan is an idealist; Robin a pragmatist, and Alan becomes bitterly disappointed when Robin does not live up to the chivalric ideal. As Alan grows up, and becomes a hardened warrior himself, he realized that many issues in the world are not black-and-white and he loses a little of his idealism as he experiences the true horror of war; over time Robin, on the other hand, begins to lose some of his single-minded ruthlessness and comes to recognize that we all have a duty to humanity.

D -The next question I have to ask comes from reading about you on your website where you list your former occupations, they are a fruit picker in Greece, a waiter in New York and an anthropologist studying magic and witchcraft in Indonesia. The one I want to know about is the last one, can you tell us a little about that.

A -I have a Masters degree from the University of Edinburgh in Social Anthropology and in order to earn that I had to undertake six months’ field research in Indonesia and write a 20,000-word dissertation. I spent the time in a small, remote village in Bali – a place where no-one spoke English – and studied the local cultural traditions. I was particularly interested in their magical beliefs: the Balinese are a lovely people but behind their wide smiles lurk deep atavistic fears. Even today, most of them are convinced that the world is a very dangerous magical place inhabited by witches, demons and sorcerers (balian) who can cause ordinary mortals terrible harm. The only defence against these dark powers is to buy magical protection from a balian – a kind of shaman who claims he can communicate with the spirits and ancestors, cure diseases, exorcise demons, help businesses to perform well, make love potions, control the weather – among their many supernatural skills. I saw some extraordinary things while I was there, some of which I can’t easily explain in Western terms. For example, I saw a magical battle in between several balian, who took the form of coloured dots of light whizzing about the night sky. (They may have been some sort of fireflies – but they made an extraordinary spooky display.) I was visited at midnight by an apparition of Rangda – the terrifying Queen of the Dead, who did me no harm but left a putrid lingering smell in my bedroom. (A dead rat?) I saw a ball of fire – the manifestation of an evil witch in local belief – that followed me through the jungle. (Some sort of natural phenomenon? Marsh gas, perhaps.)
It was a fascinating time for me – if occasionally a little unnerving. When that ball of fiery light appeared, it coincided with the engine on my motorbike failing when I was alone on a path in thick jungle at night. All the electricity on the bike and the headlights died at the same time. I kept up my courage but telling myself I didn’t believe in evil witches and by singing a Christian hymn at the top of my lungs (it was Jerusalem, since you ask) until it went away and my motorbike mysteriously began to work again. My youthful experiences in Bali have influenced my books in various ways – particularly in King’s Man and Warlord (books three and four), which haven’t come out in the USA yet. A malevolent witch plays a big part in them.

D -You are working on the fourth book in the series, can you tell us how many books are planned for the series.

A -I have a contract with my UK publisher to write five books in this series: Outlaw, Holy Warrior, King’s Man, Warlord and a fifth one as yet untitled. I’m nearly done with Warlord. And after I’ve finished the fifth one, I’m going to take a break and write a trilogy set in Ancient Greece, but I do have plans for another three Robin Hood books after that, set in England around the time of Magna Carta (1215).

D -Was releasing them to the US readers a second thought and is it going to be available in other global markets as well, can you tell us about the process of a multi-national publication.

A- So far, only the first two books have been released in America, but I’m hoping that the rest of the series will make it over the Pond too. I think it depends on how well the first two sell to your countrymen. There is quite a cultural difference between the US and the UK when it comes to these kinds of books. In the UK, the genre “historical fiction” is well established and it tends to mean action-based books, often quite violent and usually with a soldier as the hero, which are aimed at men. I think of my books as fitting into this mold. In the US, I gather that “historical fiction” tends to mean more romantic books with beautiful heroines in elaborate gowns on the covers, which are aimed at women. Historical fiction is booming in the UK at the moment with authors such as Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane and Robyn Young regularly in the bestseller charts. This particular genre doesn’t seem to be quite so popular in the US just now – but who knows what the future holds.
My books have also been translated into Russian, Polish, German, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese. And for some reason they are particularly popular in Brazil.

D -I read on your FaceBook page that you spent a lot of last summer traveling to various Medieval festivals, did you go there strictly to sell your books or did you participate in any way.

A- Yes, this summer I went to medieval festivals in England at Colchester, Tewkesbury, Kelmarsh and Herstmonceaux. It was an experiment, really. I did dress up as a medieval monk (the writers of the middle ages) but I didn’t participate in the re-enactments of the famous battles that took place at these places. I wanted to sell a few more books, of course, but also mainly to meet some of my readers. Many of my fans had been asking when I was going to do a tour of the country and this seemed like a good way of getting about and giving readers a chance to come and meet me and to tell me which bits of the books they liked – and which bits they didn’t! It was a rewarding experience, in general, though pretty tiring. And it was nice to meet so many people who appreciate my work. Life as an author can be a bit lonely at times; you sit all day at a computer screen, on your own, week in, week out, and it was great to get out and about for a change.

D -I’m going to go back to your bio for a moment, it says you were a journalist in many different countries and some very dangerous. Where you a war correspondent, can you tell us who you wrote for, were you ever in grave danger while working.

A -I was a journalist for twenty years before I became a novelist. Much of that time I worked as an editor, which is not at all glamorous. I spent my days commissioning stories, re-writing other people’s terrible copy, checking spellings, grammar and so on and writing headlines and captions for the pieces. But I did spend five years in Hong Kong writing features for various magazines and travelling all over South-East Asia, which was fascinating. And I spent two years in India as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. I suppose the most dangerous part of my career was the few weeks I spent as a war correspondent in Afghanistan. It was just after 9/11 and I was one of the first journalists to get into the country. This was before journalists were being embedded with US or UK army units; I was on my own, with a local driver and two Afghan gunmen that I paid $10 a day to watch my back. I was shot at, mortared and saw first-hand the effects of the American daisy-cutter bombs on the landscape – man, you do NOT want to be under one of those, believe me. Even in a deep cave.
It was a scary, exhilarating time – and exhausting, too – but I was approaching the age of forty and I realized that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do with the second half of my life. So I came home and took a quiet editing job with The Times in London and started to plan my Robin Hood series in my spare time. Seven years later, I was able to quit my job and write novels full-time. I don’t regret the decision: I’m happily married now with a two-year-old daughter and a small house in the country, and if I had carried on as a war correspondent there is a very good chance that I’d be dead or maimed. The casualty rates for journalists in war zones are horrendous – much worse than for our soldiers. So I’m happy I got out when I did. But in a funny way, I kinda miss it, too.

D -Have you thought about what you’ll write about when this series is over.

A -Next up is a trilogy set in Ancient Greece. I’ve just got back from a trip to Athens to watch a re-enactment of the Battle of Marathon. I’m fascinated by that period, by the styles of ancient warfare and how the foundations of our modern democratic civilization were laid. And I’m looking forward to doing all the necessary research.

D -And finally, what is one thing you’ve wanted to do but haven’t done it yet.

A -I’d like one day to take a year off and go travelling in South America with my family. It’s a part of the world that I know very little about, but I think it would be wonderful to have the time to travel slowly, maybe by train, all the way across that continent staying for a few weeks in any place that took my fancy. Maybe one day.

Oh, actually, can I have one more? I’d really like to drive all the way across America: from New York to LA – taking my time, stopping in little towns, eating in diners – cruising along in a big old Cadillac convertible.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Angus and I look forward to the discussion at B& in October here at Fiction General Discussion.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review of Paris Noire by Francine Thomas Howard

Paris Noire
Francine Thomas Howard
361 pages
ISBN13: 9791935597971
It’s the summer of 1944 and Paris is coming out from her dark Nazi occupation into the glorious light of rebirth. The Brillard family has more to celebrate than most, they immigrated from Martinique years before, descendants of both white French and tribal African and have settled in Montartre an eclectic and forward thinking part of Paris, home to artisans from around the globe, even some Black Jazz musicians and singers from America looking for more equality than was offered at home.
The matriarch Marie-Therese’s first and most important role is that of seeing to her children’s welfare even though they are grown and in doing so may just miss her one and only chance at happiness for herself.
Collette is in love with her banker boyfriend and they want to marry but she knows that her mother will not be happy that the man she loves is true French.
Christophe meets the woman of his dreams as the city welcomes the American liberators. But happiness is fleeting at best and impossible at worst as this family goes through the highs and lows of love.
Francine Thomas Howard brings this multi ethnic and cultural novel to life in a very personal way as she fictionalizes the story of one of her own Grandmother’s in Paris Noire and does so in a way that brings a taste of realism to the tale as we follow the suffering and the blessings of this family. She does this with a dialogue of broken English that let’s us not only understand the crisis and prejudice but feel it in the tone of her narrative while at the same time giving it a definite French flavor. Her characters will run the full spectrum from the Free French freedom fighters, to the American GI’s, to the ordinary everyday citizens of Paris. Her main characters are constantly pulling our heartstrings because we want the best but know in our heart of hearts that it’s not always possible. She uses realistic scenes of violence, lust and love so her readers have a bird’s eye view of the happenings.

This is a very different look at WWII and the people who fought and lived through that time. It’s also a wake up call that diversity is as natural as a turning leaf in fall and should be celebrated for the immense cultural medley it brings. So if you like your novels based on fact, if you like WWII novels, novels with ethnic tastes and characters or if you’re just looking for a great read to take you to a different place. This is your next must read.
Ms, Howard thank you for the first class passage to France and for the adventure once I got there, I’m looking forward to another adventure with you soon.
Buy the book here, visit the author’s site here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Review of New York to Dallas by J D Robb

New York to Dallas           
J D Robb
J.P. Putnam’s Sons
416 pages
ISBN 13:9780399157783

New York to Dallas is the 33rd in the series and they’re still fresh, exciting and as always your next must read.

Eve Dallas became a cop for a lot of reasons, one was to put monsters like her father away and as a rookie she by accident helped put away a truly evil pedophile Isaac McQueen. But Isaac’s escaped and Eve follows his crimes from New York to Dallas, where it all began for her. She’s without her team but she is able to take along her civilian consultant, Roarke. Being in Dallas brings back Eve’s nightmares and her memories of being a tiny brutalized girl and the longer she’s there the worse it becomes but she’s determined to catch this monster and put him back in his cage permanently so she and Roarke work with the Dallas PD to catch this demon and put him away for good.

You’d think after 33 novels in this series that it would loose it’s freshness, it’s intrigue, it’s pull and I have to admit that a few before have fit that description, but not this one, perhaps it’s the plot where Ms. Robb/Roberts takes her readers back to Eve’s origins, where her nightmares were born and she takes us successfully into the psyche of an evil so vile that we have to read it through the slats in our fingers like we used to watch scary movies. Perhaps it’s her characters that keeps it new that although we know these people very well they still surprise us, perhaps it’s because of how human she makes her characters so much so that we can feel their pain and their joy, their horror and their ecstasy. Perhaps it’s the love story between Eve and Roarke that keep it so new, the fact that they never should have been together in the first place and how they just keep making it work. Perhaps it’s the love scenes that keep it shiny and with these two there’s plenty of them. Or perhaps it’s all of these reasons that keep us coming back to Eve Dallas, her friends, her foes and especially her Roarke.

If you’ve never read one of these novels you’re either just a visitor on our planet or have lived under a rock but rest assured that you can read this and not suffer for not have read the 32 before it, but if that’s the case my suggestion would be, go back to the beginning, go back and see where and why it all started, go back and be wowed by this truly gifted storyteller. If you’re already a fan, this is all bla bla bla to you any way.
Thank you Ms. Robb/Roberts for probably the best romantic suspense fantasy series on this or any planet and as always I can’t wait to see what you come up for these characters next.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review of The Evil Inside by Heather Graham

The Evil Inside
Heather Graham
400 pages
ISBN13: 9780778312536

Salem Massachusetts has seen it’s share of horror and unfortunately it’s not over, the infamously legendary Lexington House is once again a crime scene of grisly proportions and the only surviving member of the family is also the only suspect, but there’s someone who believes in his innocence and decides to bring in the big guns.
Jenna Duffy has been called by her uncle Jamie to help prove the innocence of a boy accused of a bloody crime spree and her being part of the FBI’s special unit known as The Krewe of Hunters she’s used to things that go bump in the night and sometimes use those things to help solve the crime.
Sam Hall has retuned home for a rest after winning a big case and he deserves some R & R, unfortunately there’s no rest for the weary defense attorney because he’s just kissed the Blarney stone known as Jamie O’Neill who’s somehow talked him into not only defending a suspected killer of his family but he’s doing it pro-bono as well as accepting the help of Jamie’s niece Jenna.
The farther Sam and Jenna look into the case the more questions they raise and pretty soon it’s clear that someone wants them quiet, maybe permanently so. Even with all the danger and spectral sightings Sam and Jenna are developing deep feelings for each other and soon it means more than ever to keep each other safe.
Master of the paranormal romance Heather Graham gives us another gripping mystery with more than a touch of the woo woo that makes her famous and for a good reason because who better could make us believe the unbelievable especially in Salem MA at Halloween time. Ms. Graham supplies us with a plot straight out of the Twilight Zone and makes it believable, she does this with incredible characters that fill page after page with details that the reader will use to follow the clues that she lays out like crumbs. She uses a narrative that is clear and precise and easy to read in which she gives us all the details we need to fill in the blanks of her puzzles. Her romance is sweet and sexy and her love scenes are hot as Hades.
If you’re looking for that first spooky read to get you in the mood for All Hallows Eve, you want a contemporary romance that’s filled with history, you want a novel that delves into the paranormal range or you just want a great curl up on the sofa read, pick this one up.
This is part of a series that are loosely connected by characters but in no way need to be read in order, they stand on their own very well.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review of Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent

Blood Bound
Rachel Vincent
400 pages
ISBN 13:9780778312550

Blood Bound is book one of Rachel Vincent’s new Unbound series.
It’s hard when you’re not quite human, have abilities that go above and beyond what’s considered mortal and your kind is not sanctioned by the authorities, it also leaves few career choices.
Olivia Warren is just such a person, she’s a blood tracker and for years tried to freelance her services and stay out of the reach of the syndicates that rule her fair city and she was successful until one fateful day. She's also a far cry from the optimistic woman she was six years ago when life seemed full of possibilities and she thought she had the world by the tail, until that tail thumped her royally.
Cam Cabellero is also one of “those”, he’s a name tracker and can find anyone anywhere just by knowing their name. He was also an optimistic fool until Olivia (Liv) literally walked out of his life without an explanation six years ago. And he wasn’t as lucky as Liv, he’s deep into the syndicate only he’s playing for the opposite side from Liv.
In the face of a grim tragedy they are forced to work together for a common goal, to find the daughter of a friend. While on the search they have to dodge each other’s enemies, find neutral help and stay out of each other’s arms which is not going to be easy since they both still love each other.
Rachel Vincent has created a new world for us to explore, and understand and she fills this world with great characters who’s lives the readers will be anxious to learn more about. She first gives us a plot that is twisted, remarkable in it’s believability even at it’s improbable existence and she makes it all seem possible. She uses the dialogue that’s favored by the urban fantasy genre, direct in your face narrative, that flows superbly and is easily perceived. Her characters will delight and scare the bejesus out of you as you rush to turn pages with the need to find out what happens next, will the bad guys be defeated, will the good guys win, are there any good guys left. And she does this also by introducing and illustrating them very clearly for her audience. The romance is fraught with insurmountable obstacles and her readers will find themselves mentally pushing this couple up over that overwhelming hill that they seem never to be able to top. Her love scenes are racy, steamy and oh so satisfying for that paranormal romance fan that likes their romance on the sizzle burner.
This is my first read by Ms. Vincent, but I can honestly say that it won’t be my last as I will follow this series to see what happens in the next instillation and also look into her other works as well. If you like fast paced action in a setting that’s not quite home but close, if you like characters that you want to read more about and a love story that’s a little out of this world, dig in and read this novel. Ms. Vincent thank you for a tantalizing debut novel in a new series.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review of Black as Snow by Nick Nolan

Black As Snow
Nick Nolan
Amazon Encore
392 pages
ISBN 13: 9781612180052

Sebastian Black has known he was different from a very young age and with his mother Kitty’s guidance went from strange kid who heard voices to Telepathic Evangelistic Susperstar. He’s rich, he’s handsome and he has fans literally throwing themselves at him on and off stage. Kitty sees nothing wrong with this and has in fact encouraged it, so much so that Sebastian has throw away one night stands at every venue. After a tragedy at the ripe old age of nineteen he’s having a crisis of faith, in himself, in Kitty and in what he believes. In his search for answers he comes across people willing to give him solace and sanctuary, he’s found links to his past and hints at his future but the closer he gets to the truth he’s also unbeknown  to him getting in the crosshairs of a fanatic religious group out to put an end to his ministry and his life.

This is described as loosely based on the story of Snow White in my opinion the focus has to be on the loosely, because Sebastian is no innocent flower. Our author has given us a tale of a misdirected youth who leaves home for soul searching and self discovery. He does this with legible and understandable dialogue and an narrative that is strikingly colorful and animated. And although at times that dialogue tends to limp it doesn’t disturb the reading enjoyment. He gives us characters who will run the gamut from girl next door to lesbian couple to ex-drug addict, to overbearing cigarette smoking mother, in other words eclectic to the nth degree, but they will never the less reel you in and keep you turning pages to learn the outcome of this twisted tale of Snow White the dwarves and the evil Queen.  His characterization of Sebastian will make you hate and love him, mourn and curse him for his more than apt humanness and for his piety warring with his depravities. The other characters both minor and major are definitely worth getting to know and you will because Mr. Nolan intimates us to them all.

This is a coming of age story, it’s a love story, it’s a dysfunctional family drama, it’s a story about friendship about diversity about tolerance and about intolerance. It’s a morality tale, a good vs evil story and a lesson in compassion and kindness that we could all use a little more of.
Buy the book here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review of Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong

Where Demons Fear to Tread
Stephanie Chong
368 pages
ISBN 13:9780778312475

Her tragic and sudden death a year ago sends Serena St. Clair into a world she could not have imagined. Recruited by “The Company” a clestial organization headed by God himself is an immense grouping of angels sent to earth to perform duties to watch over and protect humans. Serena as a novice angel is given the job of Guardian and her assignment is a gifted and troubled actor and doing her job has landed her right in the sights of one of the most infamous archdemons of all.
Julian Ascher didn’t rise at his death, he instead went to the depths of hell and two centuries later is a force to be reckoned with, his chain of successful nightclubs gives humans all the decadent and immoral delights they can imagine. With his first sighting of Serena he wants her and vows to go to any length to have her. What this unlikely pair don’t know is that their meeting is not mere circumstance but destiny.

Stephanie Chong brings us a debut worth watching. She first off gives us a story line that will make the term Angels and Demons take on a whole new meaning and as she draws us into her unique world she will grab her readers with an engaging and adventurous tale. She does this with a narrative that lets us feel the evil of the demons and the goodness of the angels with a dialogue that will keep you turning pages to find out what happens next. Her characters deserve high marks for the in depth and detailed information we get, her evil doers violence and satanic acts will grip her audience and her angels will wow you by their not only angelic qualities but also by how human they remain. Her hero Julian is an enigma, evil and yet not and we will root for him all the way to the end. Her heroine Serena is sweet and innocent and yet a strong woman with great moral fiber. The romance is what you’d expect between an angel and a demon, impossible, but somehow the author pulls it all together. Will they get that HEA that we all want them to, well that you’ll have to see for yourself. The love scenes are very visual and very descriptive and yet the underlying gentleness and love come out for the reader.

All in all this is a must read new series starting off with a big bang that will bring the readers back for round two of this imaginative author’s next adventure. I know I’ll be there waiting to find out the questions she left us with and to find out where the story goes from here.
Thank you Ms. Chong for a most enjoyable journey to unimaginable and sometimes terrifying places, I can’t wait to return.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

Friday, September 2, 2011

Review of Only Yours by Susan Mallery

Only Yours
Susan Mallery
384 pages
ISBN 13: 9780373775941

Montana Hendrix has a loving family and has finally found purpose in her chosen career of training service dogs, she’s even ready for a permanent kind of relationship, of course the only problem is finding a man. That’s not as hard as it once was is estrogen laden Fools Gold California.
Dr. Simon Bradley is a brilliant reconstructive surgeon specializing in burn victims and he’s on loan at Fools Gold Hospital for a short time, he knows better than anyone that love is a pipedream and he has the scars both visible and not to show it.
But when these two people meet, there is instant attraction. Can he find the trust that’s been missing, can she find the forever love she’s looking for and can they find it in each other.
Only Yours is the Second book in the trilogy about the Hendrix triplets so the story line will be familiar to her fans of the series, plus you’ll get to meet new folks too and discover some important facts about both. She uses everyday easy to read and understand dialogue and it’s  fast easy read, but it doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as the first, but does not effect the read at all. The characters are like I said before both strangers and friends and all are very interesting and in depth. The hero Simon is this a truly damaged man and you will cry for and with him, at least I did, you will also cheer him on, push him forward and sometimes want to slap him. Montana the heroine is an easy going, loving woman who has a loving circle of family and friends and is just about done “discovering” herself to where she knows what she wants and she’s going after it. The romance is poignant, heartfelt and doomed from the get go. The love scenes sizzle on the page.
Thank you Ms. Mallery for the second in the series of the Fools Gold triplets and I can’t wait to read Nevada’s story next.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review of Deep Disclosure by Dee Davis

Deep Disclosure
Dee Davis
Grand Central Publishing
368 pages
ISBN 13:9780446582926

Alexis Markham knows life in the shadows but now those shadows are getting deeper. With the death of the only person who knows the real her she needs to dig herself deeper into her life of deception. When Tucker Flynn shows up out of nowhere and offers help it’s hard to trust, but she has no one left to turn to, so on a leap of faith she turns to him. Tucker Flynn has lived his life in the shadows of black ops and covert operations so when he’s assigned by A-Tac, a CIA covert organization, to get close to Alexis and discover the truth about her, he’s all for it. But things change when the feelings they have for each other go into dangerous territory. Can they depend on each other for security and can they keep this attraction they have for each other at arms length while they try to solve this mystery.

Dee Davis takes us into her world of unbelievable crimes, criminals and the ghost operative good guys who make the world safer right under our noses, these aren’t the tales you’d read in the paper unless of course the CIA has it’s own version of the New York Times. She does this with her spook-speak of the agents and bad guys and with her descriptive dialogue that make it easy for us mere humans to follow along, yes sometimes the plot gets thick with suppositions and twists but if you read carefully you will be able to follow the convoluted story line. Her characters are made up of not everyday people but folks pretending to be everyday people while living double lives and keeping us safe from the baddest of bad guys, and remarkably she does this by making them believable in their un-believability. Her hero and heroine of this escapade are likeable and inspiring. The romance is doomed from the beginning, so to find out if that all elusive HEA is possible for them you’ll have to read for yourself. The love scenes are descriptive but not overly explicit.
If you need something to remind you of the heat of August in September, you’ll find it here in your must read category of Autumn.
This reads well as a stand a lone, but for the back stories of all the other characters you’ll meet in here read the others in the series too.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here.