Welcome to The Romance Reviews first post-Apocalyptic post!
I, for one, can’t say I’m complaining.Because I was realizing today as I
heard everyone cracking jokes about The End Times that there were still things
to do!People to meet!And, honestly, I think we can all
agree—more books to read! Especially now.Because a few months back, I had the insane good fortune to be named an
What, precisely, is
an Avon Addict?Well, the official
A special program designed for die-hard romantics, who are
treated to a monthly package of reading-related happiness: book swag, author
goodies and most importantly, copies of some of Avon’s great books and upcoming
releases.There’s also an unspoken
law that states that the packages always seem to appear on rainy, grumpy days,
and immediately make everything right again.
In truth, it also means that I have met some of the
smartest, most supportive and most enthusiastic readers I could have hoped to
encounter.A group of ladies who
refer to characters as if they were family, and whose energy and insight make
this program so much more than about the books.I’m having a blast during my tenure as an Addict, and part
of this blog hop is to share that fun with you!
Thus, with these sensational new books arriving, I have a
whole new list of reasons for the world to go on spinning.I’d love to hear what is one everyone
else’s Reading List for 2013, Post-Apocalypse Vacation, or otherwise.Here’s mine!
One Good Earl Deserves Another, Sarah MacLean
Sarah MacLean has been a favorite author of mine for years
(ever since I found out we are alumni of the same college, which I share at
every occasion), and her first Rule of Scoundrels Book, A Rogue By Any Other Name was one of my very favorite reads of 2012.Now, we have the treat of reading about
Penelope’s younger sister, Philippa, a brilliant young woman who is about to
settle into a quiet, complacent and thoroughly respectable marriage…but before
that she is going to spend the next two weeks to experience all the life she
will be missing, and with none other than the secretive and seductive Cross,
creating a touching romance, and a chemistry that is utterly incendiary.
Wild About You, Kerrelyn Sparks
I have no good excuse for why I haven’t read Kerrelyn Sparks’
works until now.On the one hand,
I am realizing now that I’ve been deprived of a wonderfully funny, charming
voice in the world of romance, but on the other, it’s such a treat to begin
here, with the story of the shapeshifter Howard and his utterly adoration of
Elsa, the star of a home-improvement show whose skill with a sledgehammer is
unparalleled.Sparks has a rare
talent for making swoon-worthy romance and giggle-out-loud sarcasm go hand in
hand, and this book has made me an eager, if somewhat belated, fan of the Love
at Stake books—and with twelve other books in the series before this one, I’m
rather pleased by the amount of catching-up I get to do.
Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman, J.B. Lynn
This is one of the terrific perks of being an Addict.I don’t think I would ever have picked
up J.B. Lynn’s series by myself, but when this book, and the second in the
series, Further Confessions of a Slightly
Neurotic Hitwoman arrived in my package, I realized I was missing out on an
author with genuine talent and imagination.Anyone who thinks their family is a little crazy needs to
meet Maggie Lee and her more than memorable aunts; add to that her ability to
hear her pets speak and her under-the-table job as a hitwoman to help her
orphaned niece, and you have the perfect recipe for combating the winter doldrums.
Hope you find some inspiration in these titles, and be sure
to share yours, as well!
There are books available to two lucky commenters:
I'm a planner at heart. Not only do I like to make a plan, but I also like to announce my plans so I can't back out of doing whatever it was I said I'd do. But we all know life doesn't always unfold as planned. When I was younger, I thought I had my life all laid out. School, work, etc. It all seemed so easy. On paper.
Here are a some examples of my plans and how they worked out, uh, not on paper:
The plan: Marry somewhere around twenty-five, first kid by twenty-eight, done having kids by my early thirties.
The reality: At the age of thirty-two, I married a man with two children from his previous marriage and raised them as my own.
The plan: To become super-business-woman like Tess McGill in Working Girl and live the big city dream with Harrison Ford.
The reality: I stumbled into a career I didn't even know existed when I was in my twenties and married a small-town guy from the south who bears a striking resemblance to Sherriff Woody from Toy Story.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. At. All. Although my life has taken a different path than the one I envisioned when I was a young adult, I have no regrets. So far, it's been pretty darn awesome. That realization got me thinking about how lucky I was to have the nerve to jump out of line.
By letting go of 'The Plan', I lived my life instead of programming it.
The conflict between dreams and reality is a central theme in most of my novels. In Contentment, Tracy Sullivan almost flushes her idyllic life down the toilet because she can't let go of her old dreams. Commitment was the story of Maggie McCann, a woman who discovers unanticipated happiness in a change of plan. Spring Chickens focuses on a couple brave enough to take a chance on a second chance at happiness. Even my paranormal romances, Paramourand its sequel Inamorata, feature characters who must learn to let go of the past in order to move forward.
Was it my plan to weave a common theme through every novel I've written thus far?
*snort* Not at all.
As a matter of fact, I didn't even realize that I had until I was explaining the premise of one of the books to an acquaintance. How cool is that?
Tell me, what plans have you changed when the prospect for something different came along?
My name is Jianne Carlo and I write erotic romance in a variety of genres - contemporary, military, paranormal, suspense, time-travel, and historical. I relish mixing genres and my latest release, Death Blow, Viking Vengeance II, is a Viking, paranormal suspense.
The history and culture of the Vikings have fascinated me forever, or so it seems. I became obsessed with Erikk the Red and Leif the lucky around the age of nine when I watched a BBC documentary on the two men. We had a Britannia encyclopedia set at the time and I immediately began researching the two warrior-adventurers.
What I love most about the culture of the Norse is the amazing almost-equality of their females. A wife could actually divorce her own husband. She could own lands. Compared to other cultures during the period the Vikings ruled the seaways, the rights of Norse women were vast indeed. With the exception of Iceland, the main privilege women didn't have was that of voting in Viking law gatherings.
It seems obvious to me this near equality between males and females seeped into the culture via Norse mythology. Think of one small part of the legends – the jötunn goddess, female giantesses who were incredibly strong physically and powerful in their own rights. One tale particularly intrigued me - that of the Rán, consort of the sea-god Aegir, who used her net to capture mortal men for her own pleasure.
In Death Blow, Viking Vengeance II, the heroine Nyssa is a half-immortal, the daughter of the King of Moray and Rán.
Death Blow Blurb:
Can a mere Viking break the curse of a sea god?
Cursed by the sea-god Ægir to be burned at the stake, Lady Nyssa seeks the one man who can save her--the warrior who bears the mark of the Saracen. When she finds a Viking warrior wounded and senseless on a beach, she knows he is her savior. But Ægir's wrath extends to others in her life as well. He's killed her father and stepmother, turned her stepbrother into a mountain lion, and imprisoned her people. And worse, he's cursed any man who lays with her to have his manparts wither and die.
Konáll has traded coin a-plenty to gain a wife with lands, the daughter of the King of Moray. He expects a refined, comely, trainable damsel, not a doomed warrior princess with the strength of a giantess who cannot bear the touch of a man. But once he learns more about this woman who speaks to talking mountain cats and hides as a peasant among the rabble, he cannot deny his feelings. There's more than one way to breech a maidenhead, and if teaching her the ways of a woman's pleasure with a carved ivory dildo is what it takes to make her his, then he's more than happy to challenge the wrath of a god…
Here's an excerpt from Death Blow:
Once again he picked her up, turned her around, and brought them face to face. His eyes glittered like chips of frozen loch ice, deep blue and fathomless, and his lips thinned to a stubborn, grim line. "Lie to me and you will regret every breath you take for the rest of your life. I ask again, who are you?"
She lifted her chin and met his stare. "I am the lady Nyssa, heiress to Castle Carleah, daughter of Rán and Rurari. Do not test me, Viking, for not only am I of warrior size, I have the strength of my jötunn mother."
His gaze flickered from her shorn hair to the coarse garb 'borrowed' from a sleeping priest, to the tattered leggings, and her shoddy boots. "Though you be tall, you have naught the height for the daughter of a giantess."
Nyssa sneered. "How many jötunn goddesses know you?"
His jaw worked back and forth. He tightened his grip on her arms and she bit back a protest. "You will cease answering a question with a question."
She did not bother to hide her grin. "Pray tell, what question did you ask?"
"By Odin, you are insolent," he murmured so softly she had to strain to hear him. All at once the fierce frown he wore lifted and his lips curved.
Dread slithered across her nape.
"I have heard of a mark stamped on the lady Nyssa."
Her throat and face heated. "I have such a mark."
I will see it." He carried her to the cave's wall and pushed her back against the cold stone.
"Nay." She could barely think for the shame scalding her flesh and the musk-laden male scent of him filling her nose. "′Tis not your right to view."
"If you are who you say you are, then you are my betrothed, and I have such a right. Show me the mark. I tell you this once and once only." He dropped his hold on her and crossed his arms.
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