Tuesday, August 31, 2010

REVIEW: Beauty and the Bastard by David Bridger

ISBN 9781595787286
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) July 2010, Liquid Silver Books

Rating: 3 stars

Available at Liquid Silver Books! 

This novella is the debut of paranormal romance author, David Bridger. Beauty and the Bastard is a very serious, sometimes depressing, and tension-filled love story of a man fallen from Heaven, and a fiery-haired Demon who has a past hot on her tracks. From the very first page, the reader is taken straight into the life of Saul and you learn how he makes his living, trying to earn his way back into Heaven. How did he get banished you ask? Well, Saul doesn’t even know the answer to this yet.

The plot of this novella focuses on Saul, a fallen angel who is tormented knowing that he has to live life like a human, with only one odd thing that happens to him every night. Saul works for Demons, doing things that he thinks will get him back into Heaven. This is when he meets the beautiful Demon, Rebecca, who has just escaped a troubling past in Las Vegas to work for her uncle in New York. The attraction is apparent, though they don’t have direct contact with each other until Rebecca’s uncle hires Saul as protection for her from her encroaching past. 

The romance/love story in this novella is very fast-paced and happens too fast. Although it could be more of a love at first sight/destiny type of relationship, I would have liked to have seen more scenes of the two hanging out together and talking, learning about each other to make the love more believable. Though I do realize that is hard to do in a novella, maybe this book could have been a full length novel by adding some more development on the relationship area. That said, it is still believable when seen from the context of destiny or love at first sight. It is a sweet love that was built up very fast, but the characters are true in their love for each other, which you can plainly see as you are reading. It becomes a quick page turner and the reader will be devouring pages to find out how it all turns out. 

The characters of this novella are believable, but it is paranormal romance so the characters are paranormal beings, with human emotions and looks. They are both tormented with pasts that they must get through in order to move forward. It is a fun story of moving on, falling in love, and getting over life’s situations. The dialogue is witty at times, and depressing at others, mainly when Saul talks, until Rebecca livens him up a little. The steamy scenes are that; steamy, and you can feel the emotions of lust and love as the characters are feeling them. The characters grow in ways that only humans grow, so the reader can find themselves identifying with the characters throughout the novella.

The danger in this book is, from human eyes, very dangerous, meaning the climax is incredible. When the time comes that things must be faced in order for Rebecca and Saul to move forward, you are scared for the characters. The author did a wonderful job portraying the emotions of the characters in this book so that the reader feels them as the characters feel them.

I would recommend this book to paranormal romance readers. Especially those that enjoy the fallen angel type stories. This novella was very well written and the story is intriguing. Though I would suggest that any reader have another book on the side to work on after they finish this novella, because it is a very quick read and the way David Bridger wrote it, you will be devouring pages like chocolate cupcakes. My only warning would be that if a reader is sensitive to love scenes, they might want to pick up something in the clean romance section instead, because the love scenes are steamy. There is a bit of violence also, throughout the book, so if a reader is squeamish, they might want to stay away from this novella.

Reviewed by Paige

Summary from Publisher's website:

Saul the Bastard is a fallen angel who works as a bounty hunter for powerful urban demon families. Rebecca Drake, a modern day demon princess, is being hunted by dangerous desert demons. When Rebecca's family hires Saul to protect her, they are both unhappy with the arrangement, but before long sparks fly as they try to resist their strong mutual attraction. For the first time in living memory, Saul has someone to love; someone he is scared of losing; someone the desert demons have marked to be their next sacrifice.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wind Warrior Blog Tour Giveaway: Sept 1 to 30, 2010

Wind Warrior ~ The Iroquois Series ~ Book One

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep.  Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own.  Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams.  Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again.

Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s.  It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivates their hearts.

On Sale Now at Amazon, Book Depository, Borders, Barnes and Noble 
ISBN# 978-1-61663-162-8
Read more than a dozen reviews on her website at http://www.romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com. 

About the Author: 

Cynthia Roberts, author of her debut historical romance, Wind Warrior has something pretty darn dynamic for all of The Romance Reviews' visitors, friends and subscribers ... one of the largest blog tour promotional giveaways ever attempted.

Breaking into the world of romance fiction is a challenge unto itself but more so, when you’re a newly published author.  The Romance Reviews is excited to participate in this venture with Cynthia and help introduce Wind Warrior to the world of romance readers.  The bonus … every one has the chance to compete for not one, but five pretty extraordinary prizes which will include:

1.    Romantic Two-lid willow picnic basket with deluxe service for two ~ $125.00 value
2.    Succulent Godiva Chocolate Tier ~ $75.00 value
3.    Exquisite Pearl & Crystal Necklace ~ $50.00 value
4.    Amazon Gift Certificate ~ $25 value
5.    Amazon Gift Certificate ~ $25 value

To view the gifts and read further descriptions, click here.

Contest Rules Are As Follows

1.    Leave a comment at the end of this post

Additional Chances to Win:

1.    Tweet the following text: Wind Warrior by Cynthia Roberts A story of longing, wanting and a love so strong it conquers human evil. On sale now at Major Book Retailers
2.    Post the same tag on your Facebook and/or Myspace Profile
3.    Be a follower of this blog (old followers are automatically entered) 


1.    The list of participating blogs are registered on Cynthia’s website and you may enter to win on every one, however, only one family member may do so in a household.
2.    Open to ALL, not just the US and Canada
3.    Each participating blog will randomly choose five entrants to compete for the grand prize pool where the final 5 winners will be randomly selected
3.    Winners will be chosen on Sept. 30th and notified via email by Cynthia
4.    All finalists must provide their email, name and official delivery address at the time of finalist selection to The Romance Reviews at caroletrr(@)gmail.com
5.    All prizes will be shipped no later than Oct. 30th directly from the distributor
6.    The steps above will be checked to determine your eligibility.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Celebration Contest - Updates

I have faith. I have a lot of faith. But I don't think even if I have mountains of faith, we'll be able to achieve 500 followers by end of August. (Original Celebration Contest post here.)

What a shame! We have such awesome prices.


So, this is what we're going to do.

1. We've decided to extend the deadline by another seven weeks, on October 23 at 1159pm EST.

2. We've also adjusted our goal. We really really really want to give away those prizes. So...

If by October 23, we have 300 followers--
Top Prize = US$30GC from Amazon or Book Depository
Other prizes = 6 books and 7 ebooks (plus Evil's Witness, which is offered by Autumn Jordan) = 14 books in all!

If by October 23, we're able to reach 400 followers (yay!)--
Top Prize = US$40GC from Amazon or Book Depository
Other prizes = 8 books and 8 ebooks (plus Evil's Witness, which is offered by Autumn Jordan) = 17 books in all!

If by October 23, we're able to reach 500 followers (double yay!)--
Top Prize = US$50GC from Amazon or Book Depository
Other prizes = 10 books and 10 ebooks (plus Evil's Witness, which is offered by Autumn Jordan) = 21 books in all!

So whatever number we reach, by October 23, it'll be raining prizes!

3. Announcement of winners will be on October 31. Please come back to check if you won, because instructions will be posted then.

Yeah, I think this plan will work. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

REVIEW: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

ISBN 1439147973  
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
(c) January 2010, Pocket Books

Rating: 4 stars

Gin Blanco is known as the Spider, an untouchable assassin for hire who kills people for the right price. She kills those who prey on the innocent and makes certain they will never hurt anyone ever again. Gin is an Elemental who has control over the elements of stone and ice, and in dangerous crunch times she can use her powers if need be. But Gin prefers to use old fashioned weapons, like knives, to hit her mark.

Gin covers up her real job with a part-time one as a cook for the Pork Pit which serves the best barbecue in Ashland, the fictional southern metropolis where Spider’s Bite takes place. The Pork Pit is run by Fletcher Lane, the man who saved Gin when her family was killed when she was thirteen. He raised her as his own daughter and taught her all the tricks of the assassin trade, which she puts to use to become the most sought after assassin east of the Mississippi.

Gin longs for the chance to take a vacation, but Fletcher has a job that is just too good to pass up. Who could say no to the sweet siren call of five million dollars? She is paid to take out Gordon Giles, a local businessman who has been embezzling money from a powerful fire elemental named Mab Monroe, who runs the Ashland underworld and pretty much the mundane world too.

It should’ve been a quick “hit it and quit it”, to quote James Brown.

The job, which was to be done at the Ashland Opera house, goes awry, starting with the presence of Detective Donovan Caine. He was obsessed with exacting revenge on the assassin who killed his partner…and that assassin just so happens to be Gin. She is also attacked by a fellow assassin who was hired to kill her after she killed Gordon Giles and barely makes it out of the opera house with her life. She runs back to the Pork Pit only to find Fletcher flayed alive and laying in a pool of his own blood. Gin runs to save Finn, Fletcher’s son, before he is killed and they disappear. This is personal and Gin won’t rest until the people who have done this pay.

The web, pun intended, of drama continues when the people responsible for killing Fletcher and going after Gin and Finn went after Detective Caine as well. Gin saves him and introduces him to her world and most importantly herself. This brings one of the most interesting aspects of the book to life: the relationship between Caine and Gin. The lust is instantaneous. Gin wastes no time letting the reader know how her body responds to Caine. One of the first descriptions we hear about him is “I wonder if he holds himself with so much confidence in the bedroom…I bet he does. I wish I knew first hand.”

Caine on the other hand is fighting with the two halves of himself: the half that wants to turn Gin, The Spider, in to justice for killing his partner (a dirty cop) and the half that has those dark desires of a man who aches for a woman like Gin.

The world that Estep creates, or the slice of the world that Gin and her cohorts inhabit at least, is full and richly detailed. I loved the way she went about developing her idea of a world inhabited by Elementals, vampires, giants, dwarves, etc. The different types of Elemental magic: Ice, Stone, Air, and Fire (the big four) are well described and each has its advantages and its weaknesses over the other three. The world works very well and each supernatural aspect was crafted in a way like it was meant to be part of Estep’s world, thanks to her vivid descriptions and attention to detail. 

Sometimes Estep breached the line of 'telling' not 'showing', especially in the beginning as Gin explained the mechanics of magic users, elementals and everything not fully human in between, but as the book went on Estep grew more confident in letting Gin's narration and insights color her surroundings. The story is told from Gin's POV, and she admits (many times) that she leans more towards the pragmatic amoral gray side of life, so the tone of the book is darker than if it was told from a third person standpoint. 

From graphic fight scenes and assassinations to steamy scenes of lust that get the most liberal of folk heated, Spider’s Bite is a must read for any Urban Fantasy fan. A great start to a great series.

Well done Mrs. Estep, well done.

Reviewed by Kyle
Journey of KgB

Book Summary:

My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way -- good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Note: This book was provided by the publisher/author for review.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Dark Side: Larissa Ione

The Dark Side aims to shed light on that deep, dark, mysterious side of an author, a face that she rarely, if ever, shows to the public. What secret is she hiding behind that enigmatic smile on her official photo (if any)? what juicy tidbit is she keeping from the world? What are some of the things that she liked, things we would never know, because it's not part of her bio?

Today, we have with us LARISSA IONE, author of SIN UNDONE, who regaled us in a previous post with some fun facts about her book and an exclusive excerpt.

Remember, think dark, dark, dark...

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Wow...there are so many! I'll just go with my most recent, which happened this August while at my class reunion. I actually fell on the dance floor and broke my arm. These people haven't seen me in 25 years, and I manage to fall and break myself. Yep...nothing has changed...

Do you believe in ghosts and supernatural phenomenon? Have you ever had a close encounter? Do tell us about it.
I do believe. I've had several experiences with supernatural phenomenon, but the one that sticks with me most is meeting my spirit guide. See, when I was six, I lost a tooth, put it under my pillow, and expected to find money under the pillow the next morning, which was Easter. I woke up, rolled over, and in the morning sun, I saw a woman in a white dress standing by my bed. I thought it was the tooth fairy. Well, I blinked, and when I opened my eyes again, the beautiful blond woman was gone. (As a side note, instead of money, my parents left me a chocolate Easter bunny.)

Fast forward twenty-five years. I went to listen to the psychic Sylvia Brown speak. She was there with her son, who is also psychic, and I happened to run into him in the hotel hall. We chatted, and I asked him the name of my spirit guide. He told me it was Veronica...but I could call her Ronnie. Then, he smiled and said, "You've met her." I was like, um...okay. He said, "You were a child. You woke up one morning and saw her. She has blond hair, blue eyes, and she was wearing a white dress. You thought she was the tooth fairy. Oh, and it was Easter morning."

Yeah...if I wasn't a believer before, that pretty much did it!

Please share one deep, dark secret from your childhood/young adulthood.
This isn't really a secret as much as it is just...weird...but when I was around 5 years old, my mom put me down for a nap, and when I woke up, my memory was gone. I remembered nothing about the days/years leading up to my waking up. I still don't remember.

What did you learn from the dark time/s you’ve experienced?
That as bad as things might be at the moment, time eventually makes things better. Life can be hard, but I've learned that I'm a lot tougher than think.

What television series featuring dark themes did you enjoy the most? Why?
I love Angel. It's dark, but punctuated with moments of lightness that keep it from being too depressing. I love the atmosphere, the serious issues, the way happy endings are never easy, just like in real life.

Lightning Round.

white or dark chocolate : Ugh...neither! Gimme milk chocolate!
milk or coffee: Coffee!
night or day : Night
coke or 7-up : Coke. 7-Up takes like sickness and death...it was what my mom always gave me when I was ill. I still drink it, but only when I'm sick.
New York cheesecake or black forest cake : Tough one. I love cheesecake but I'm picky about it. Would rather have the black forest cake than most cheesecake.
vampire or werewolf : Vampire
football game or candlelit dinner : candlelit dinner
ebook or print : print
spring or autumn : autumn
sweet or salty : salty
kitten or puppy : kitten
cook or take-out : take-out

Larissa Ione's SIN UNDONE is now available at Book Depository (print). This title is also included in the list of giveaways for our ongoing contest.

Larissa Ione's other titles:

Pleasure Unbound  (41% off at Book Depository!)
Tempting the Fire

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Release Party & Blog Tour : Cynthia Roberts

Exciting news! Come September, The Romance Reviews will be participating in a huge blog tour put on by Cynthia Roberts, author of the upcoming romance novel Wind Warrior!


There are some pretty exciting prizes for everyone involved - Cynthia is giving away $600 dollars worth of wonderful items! YOU could win one of five fabulous prizes! There will be something romantic, something succulent, something exquisite, and two others that will offer you lots of choices... Curious? Check out what you could win on the official blog tour giveaway website, here! You can also learn more about how this giveaway will operate.

I'm looking forward to being a part of this great blog tour, and I hope you are, too!

* This post is courtesy of Chelsea Young over at Twee Poppets.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Entwined by Elisabeth Naughton

From Elisabeth Naughton:

Thanks so much to the Romance Reviews for the chance to be with you today!

The second book in my Eternal Guardians series, ENTWINED, released recently, and I’m thrilled readers are loving the series so much. Those close to me know this book was a real labor of love – and not just because of the plot and characters. This was the hardest book I’ve ever written because I almost died in the process of writing it.

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? But it’s the truth. I was about 100 pgs into ENTWINED when I took a break from writing and went in for a minor medical procedure. During the procedure, I wound up contracting a Strep-A infection in my blood stream – also known as the flesh eating bacteria – and what was supposed to be a one-day surgery turned into a week in ICU (which I don’t remember, thank goodness), another week in intermediate care, and six plus months of recovery at home.

I don’t remember anything from my week in ICU. Apparently I wasn’t a good patient – escapee is a better word. Later, I learned the nurses call it “ICU Psychosis”, and they told me it happens to a lot of people. To this day I still have no idea what that means or what I did when I was there (and I’m not entirely sure I want to know!). However, my family has filled me in on bits and pieces, and one of the funniest things is that at one point I apparently told the nurses in my room that my husband wasn’t my husband at all and I rattled off some random name my hubby had never heard. His response when the nurses looked at him? “She’s a writer. She’s probably thinking about some character from her books.” My husband swears he can’t remember who I said I was married to, but I have a feeling it was probably Zander from ENTWINED. I was deeply immersed in the book when I got sick, and when I’m in a book, those characters are all I really think (and dream) about.

Joking aside, it took me months before the creative side of my brain was able to function again and I was able to complete the book. There were times when I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish it because there was nothing happening in my head. In the end, though, I was able to muddle through, and today I know ENTWINED is the best book I’ve written to date. Would it be if I hadn’t gotten sick and hadn’t forced myself to write through a difficult physical recovery? I don’t know. I do know I don’t ever want to go through something like that again, but I learned one valuable lesson from the whole thing: Anything is possible, and as long as there’s a breath left in me, I’ll be writing.

Here’s an Exclusive Excerpt from ENTWINED for your reading pleasure:

Callia hauled Zander to his feet. He swayed, but she caught him and managed to brace her feet on the rocks to keep them both from going down. Didn’t need her help? Bullshit.

“Hold on to me,” she said. She wrapped her arms up under his and around his back, supporting his weight. And holy cow, he weighed a lot.

He perched his palms on her shoulders. “I got it.” But he didn’t. Not even close.

She shifted under his left arm, slid her hand around his waist and grabbed his on her opposite shoulder to steady him. The blanket she’d tucked around him earlier slid to the ground and in the dim light she saw a flash of very male, very naked skin.

Ignore it.

She would. She was a professional. She’d seen plenty of naked bodies over the course of her career. And none— not even the really gorgeous ones— had ever turned her on.

None were Zander.

She shook off the thought, gripped his hand tighter at her shoulder. “Just a few feet to the pool. It’ll be hot.”

He didn’t say much as they moved slowly toward the water, and she was grateful for that. Even though the temperature in this section of the cave was like a sauna and perspiration slicked her skin, she was very much aware that she was wearing nothing more than underwear right now. But what were her options? She was obviously going to have to get in the water with him to hold him up, and she hadn’t brought a change of clothes. Wet undergarments were a small price to pay for making sure her patient survived and she didn’t freeze to death in the process.

They made it to the edge of the first pool. As she eased him down to sit on the rock ledge, she wished she’d thought to bring the lantern. It was darker on this side of the room.

Shadows played across his skin as he dipped one toe into the water and pulled it back quickly. “Skata.”

“I told you it was hot.”

She’d tested it earlier, just to make sure, and knew it was right around a hundred and four degrees, which wasn’t that bad except when you were already freezing. While he was preoccupied with trying to ease his feet into the steaming liquid, she slid into the pool and sucked in a breath as the hot water surrounded her legs and torso.

The bite was a shock to the system, but after a few seconds, her muscles began to relax. The water hit just below her breasts, the bottom of this part of the pool one continuous long flat rock that was smooth beneath her bare feet.

She walked to where Zander was sitting on the edge of the pool, his feet now submersed in the water, his hands in his lap as he acclimated himself to the temperature.

Gods, he was really beautiful. For a moment, the look of him there, totally naked with the light from the lamp across the room highlighting the angles and planes of his very chiseled body, stole her breath. She’d seen him naked before, many times, but she wasn’t sure she’d ever stopped to appreciate his body aesthetically. Now she did. His shoulders were broad, his chest muscular and defined, the play of muscle over bone so smooth it was as if he’d been carved from marble. His abs were taut and ripped, his arms as thick as her legs. And that thin line of hair that ran from his chest to his navel, then lower, was like a blinking arrow, urging her to keep looking.

She drew in a breath and told herself to wise up. He was her patient, she was his healer. Their past was so over and done with it wasn’t even funny.

Summary from Author's website:

Forces of daemons are gathering and have broken through the barriers of the Underworld. Now more than ever the Eternal Guardians are needed to protect both their own realm and the humans’. Zander can’t afford to think about what might have been with the bewitching physician he once regarded as his soul mate. But with eternity stretching before him, he also can’t fathom spending his life without the one woman who makes him feel most alive. Perhaps he’s found his weakness, after all...

Available now in Book Depository (print).

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Dark Side: Marie Harte

The Dark Side aims to shed light on that deep, dark, mysterious side of an author, a face that she rarely, if ever, shows to the public. What secret is she hiding behind that enigmatic smile on her official photo (if any)? what juicy tidbit is she keeping from the world? What are some of the things that she liked, things we would never know, because it's not part of her bio?

Today, we have with us MARIE HARTE, author of JULIAN'S JEOPARDY, who regaled us in a previous post with some fun facts about her book and an exclusive excerpt.

Remember, think dark, dark, dark...

Do you believe in ghosts and supernatural phenomenon? Have you ever had a close encounter? Do tell us about it.
Yes, I do. There are too many unexplained phenomena in the world to discount life after death. I've never seen a ghost, but I've had plenty of instances of deja vu, and one really weird instance of what felt like someone looming over me while I lay in bed. Alone.

Have you played the Ouija Board? What was your experience?
I have. I had one as a kid. It never did much, mostly because my girl friends and I were too busy pushing it all over the place. And honestly, I couldn't get serious about it in the Parker Brothers game box. But I do believe contacting the spirits is possible. Just not for with something found in the game aisle at the store.

Imagine that for some reason, your lights suddenly went out! What would be the first thing you’d do or say?
"Crap. Where did I put the matches so I can light this *&^^%$$ candle?" Then I'd light the candle and go back to reading a book.

What television series featuring dark themes did you enjoy the most? Why?
I absolutely love the televisions show Supernatural. The dark theme of family is one I love the most. Surprisingly, it's not the monsters or the evil that the brothers work through each week that keeps me tuning in. It's the tough dynamic of family under pressure from things natural and supernatural that makes the show so great.

What dark-themed books do you enjoy and would recommend? Why?
For scary stuff that'll make you shiver, I recommend Clive Barker's Books of Blood, anything by H.P. Lovecraft, Robert McCammon's earlier works. I like Dean Koontz's earlier writing too, because he takes the everyday and turns it upside-down. Twilight Zone-ish, if I can use that description. I also like Christine Feehan's Carpathians, Lara Adrian's vampires--both romance, and Kim Harrison's books, which are actually urban fantasy, not romance.

Lightning Round.

white or dark chocolate : white
milk or coffee : coffee
night or day : night
coke or 7-up : Coke
New York cheesecake or black forest cake : NY Cheesecake, of course :)
vampire or werewolf : werewolf
football game or candlelit dinner : football game
ebook or print : ebook
spring or autumn : autumn
sweet or salty : sweet
kitten or puppy : kitten
cook or take-out : take-out

Marie Harte's JULIAN'S JEOPARDY is now available at Loose Id (ebook). This title is also included in the list of giveaways for our ongoing contest.

Marie Harte's other titles:

Foxy Lady

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Dark Side: Frank Tuttle

The Dark Side aims to shed light on that deep, dark, mysterious side of an author, a face that he rarely, if ever, shows to the public. What secret is he hiding behind that enigmatic smile on his official photo (if any)? What juicy tidbit is he keeping from the world? What are some of the things that he liked, things we would never know, because it's not part of his bio? 

Remember, think dark, dark, dark... 

Do you believe in ghosts and supernatural phenomenon? Have you ever had a close encounter? Do tell us about it.
I do in fact believe people have seen and experienced something.  Ghosts are as old as humanity.  Now, as to whether ghosts have any objective existence, or whether we see them because we’re wired that way somehow, I just don’t know.  I’ve never seen a ghost, but I have an interest in haunted places and people who believe they’re haunted.  In fact, I have an investigation scheduled for later this month.  Maybe I’ll finally come face to face with something science truly cannot explain.

Are you afraid of the dark? Why or why not?
I am not at all afraid of the dark.  It’s the same world it was when lit.  And yeah, parts of it are scary – but the dark just hides scary things.  It doesn’t create them, or make them any more dangerous than they were before.  Also, I have a big flashlight. :)

What did you learn from the dark time/s you’ve experienced? 
Life goes on, until it doesn’t anymore.  There’s an old Zen koan, I think it is, about a man who is chased by two tigers to the edge of a cliff.  He climbs down the cliff on a vine, only to find that the vine isn’t nearly long enough to reach to the bottom.  So he can’t go back up, or the tigers will eat him.  And he can’t go down, because the vine isn’t long enough.  He also can’t hang on forever.  He is clearly about to fall to his death or be eaten; there is no escape.  But then he looks at the cliff wall, and sees a strawberry plant growing there, loaded with red sweet ripe strawberries.  So he eats them, and enjoys them.  And that’s life, whether we realize it or not.  We all hang by threads, all the time.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy the good moments.  Does that make sense?  I’m heavily medicated, did I mention that?  Pretty colors…

What can you say to someone who is experiencing his/her own dark time now?
Muddle on.  When things get bad, contract.  By that, I mean pull back your focus.  Concentrate on the now.  Put one foot ahead of the other.  Experience one breath at a time.  Pull back your focus until you are literally experiencing your body in the moment.  No past.  No furutr.  There is only now.  Is your heart still beating?  Take a breath.  That is ultimately the essence of life.
What is the one thing fans wouldn’t know about you unless you tell them?
I’m a pretty good carpenter.  Seriously.  I’ve also built some good furniture.  I like building things, whether it’s an entertainment center or a complete house, and I’ve done both more than once.  Building a house from the foundations up is not something people expect of me, but I’ve done it!

Lightning Round. 

white or dark chocolate :  Dark! 
milk or coffee :  Coffee. 
night or day :  Night. 
coke or 7-up :  Coke. 
New York cheesecake or black forest cake :  New York cheesecake. 
vampire or werewolf :  Vampire. 
football game or candlelit dinner :  Candlelit dinner. 
ebook or print :  ebook. 
spring or autumn :  autumn. 
sweet or salty : Salty. 
kitten or puppy : Puppy. 
cook or take-out :  Take-out. 

Frank Tuttle's THE BANSHEE'S WALK is now available at Samhain Publishing (ebook). This title is also included in the list of giveaways for our ongoing contest.

Frank Tuttle's other titles:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Call of the Wilds by Gale Stanley

ISBN 1-60601-800-0
Genre: Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance
(c) May 2010, Siren Publishing
Gale Stanley's website

Rating: 5 stars

Available at Book Strand (ebook). 

The author did a great job writing this story. It was a page turner that kept me up late at night. The story flowed beautifully. It felt believable and made me feel like I lived the story. I felt all of the characters' emotions including fear, joy, anger, frustration and passion, not to mention how smoking hot it was. I also have to warn you that I cried, so have your tissues ready.

This was a new author for me and I was very pleasantly surprised. I loved this book! The story is about a woman named Karin who moved to a small town in the country after being assaulted in the city where she used to live. She is a veterinarian working for the wildlife department and they have found a hiker who appears to be killed by a wolf. In the small town, she is not respected because she's a woman. Yet she's tough and always keeps her head held up high, even if aggressive town members bring back memories of being assaulted in a dark alley. During a town meeting to discuss the fate of a wolf, one man gets out of hand and Malcolm jumps in to protect Karin even before they had met. 

Malcolm is a quiet man who doesn't normally get involved in town business but the wolf attack hits close to home. He is the only one left of his kind. His mate and family were murdered by humans because his sister fell in love with a human and told him their secret, which got out after they divorced. He suffers from guilt of being the only survivor and because he was unable to save his family even though he was severely injured. He has been deeply scared emotionally and physically.

For Karin and Malcolm it's almost love at first sight. Malcolm feels instantly protective of her. Their relationship is extremely hot and intense. Of course they have a few road blocks along the way but you never question their chemistry. The only thing throughout the whole book that didn't feel natural to me was that Karin admits to herself that she's in love a little too soon in their relationship.

This book is definitely for those who love a good paranormal romance with a little erotica and mystery. I highly recommend this book. This book gets 5 stars from me. I do feel like I should mention that I am a big cover person and I love a good cover. Having said that, I didn't feel that the cover of this book gave the book justice. But please don't be swayed by the cover of this book. It is a must read. 

Reviewed by Danielle
Romance Book Junkies

Book Summary:

Veterinarian Karin Stone escapes the crime-ridden city for a quiet life in the Pennsylvania wilds. Surrounded by acres of unspoiled forest, she tends a pack of relocated wolves. But the wolves aren't the only endangered species in Black Wolf Gorge.

Wolf-shifter Malcolm Connor believes he's the last of his kind, left for dead by the same hunters who murdered his family. When he catches the scent of the new wildlife manager, he can't deny the attraction, but he knows getting involved with a human woman will only lead to heartache.

The mutilated remains of a hiker are discovered, and a black wolf is captured. Karin protects the quarantined wolf, and the locals are angry. When Malcolm steps in to defend her, sparks fly. Karin loses her heart, but can she convince the man she loves that they belong together? Or will a jealous rival tear them apart forever?

*Note: This book was provided by the author/publisher.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Sin Undone by Larissa Ione

From Larissa Ione:

Series: Demonica, Book 5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: August 24, 2010

Summary from Author's Website:


As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she’ll die before she’ll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin’s innate ability to kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence.


Half-werewolf, half-vampire Conall Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face punishment for the plague. And she’s no stranger: He’s bound to her by blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left him hungering for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld’s most wanted and Con soon learns he’s the only one who can help her . . . and that saving her life might mean sacrificing his own.

Exclusive Excerpt:

On impulse, Con folded Sin into his arms. “Let it go."

For an unbearably long time, she shook. And then she cried out, an agonizing, terrified animal-like wail that made Con's heart clench.

“It hurts,” she moaned. “Oh, God.”

Her sobs came hard and fast, and he supposed he should be taking some measure of pleasure from her pain, but all he wanted to do was make it stop. Maybe he’d made a huge mistake. He almost released her, almost apologized, but when she started to push away, he tightened his arms around her. She was strong, and as her struggles grew more frantic, he had to crush her to him.

“Let go!” She tried to throw herself backward, tried to kick him, claw at him, bite him. He took it all, let her do as much damage as she wanted to. “Let...go...” The order came out as a moan and a plea, and as her struggles weakened, she began to sob again.

“Sin,” he whispered into her hair. “Shh..." Relaxing his grip just a little, he hooked a finger under her trembling chin and lifted her face to his. Black eyes swam in tears, which left a trail down her cheeks.

Without thinking, he kissed her wet face, first one side, then the other.

“No,” she groaned, but her body sagged against his. And when he pressed his lips to hers, she clung to him as if he were a life raft and she was drowning.

He licked at her lips, easing his way in, not wanting to rush this. In his arms she felt tiny, fragile, in a way she never had and in a way he hadn’t believed possible, and some crazy instinct surfaced, making him want to take care of her, pamper her, and make her strong again.

Though she wasn’t actively participating in the kiss, she wasn’t fighting, either, and he took his time, nibbling at her mouth, stroking her lips, her teeth, and finally, her tongue. He began an easy rhythm in and out of her mouth, and slowly, so slowly, heat built and she began to respond.

Sin’s hands eased up his back, tentatively at first, but as the kiss deepened, intensified, her touch became firmer, until she was rubbing not only her palms against him, but her breasts against his chest.

“That’s it,” he whispered against her lips. “Touch me.”

Sin dropped her hand to his fly, but he gripped her wrist to stop her.

“Not there. Not yet.”


He shut her up with another kiss, this one more urgent, as he carried her to the floor. With one hand, he cupped her buttocks and tucked her beneath him, and with the other, he cradled her head, holding her for his kiss.

Her thighs cradled him in a tight fit, her soft sex rubbing, driving his hips forward even though he wanted to keep this whole thing at a leisurely pace. But his loins were already full, his animal blood ran thick and hot in his veins, and the mountains, the wilderness around them called to his primitive nature.

It demanded that he take her with surety, a rough joining that would make them both howl. And as she came, he’d take her blood too...

Available at Book Depository (print). Now at 25% off with free international shipping!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

REVIEW: Demon Forged by Meljean Brook

ISBN 9780425230411
Series: The Guardians, Book 9 (inclusive of novellas in anthologies)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
(c) December 2009, Penguin Putnam Inc
Meljean Brook's website

Rating: 5 stars

Available in Book Depository (print).

Meljean Brook astounded me with her complex worldbuilding and amazing story arc. She has a talent for keeping you on your toes and on the edge of your seat, where you couldn't help but keep on turning the pages. Not only that, but she drew her characters with a bold pen, making them stand out, especially Irena. Her writing style has also improved a lot since Demon Angel and Demon Moon. I was one of those who couldn't follow the jumps in her thoughts and I hated reading a story that didn't flow, that required me to reread passages just so I could understand what the hell was going on. I was tempted to give all of her other books a miss, but at several bloggers' and friends' urging, I decided to give her another chance. I'm glad I picked this up.

Irena and Alejandro are Guardians, those who protect humans and vampires from the demons. (Meljean Brook's website contained a Guardian primer if you want to have an overview.) Irena once bargained with a demon for Alejandro's life, and the shame she felt made her believe she'd lost whatever she could have had with Alejandro. From then on, she hated demons with a passion and she couldn't understand how Alejandro could work for one. As for Alejandro, he couldn't stop blaming himself for Irena's decision and thought Irena hated him for the position he had put her in, that he'd destroyed whatever could've developed between them. Thus, for four hundred years, their contact was purely on a professional level, until a vampire's call for help brought them together on a case.

Irena is brash and blunt. Her temper rises all too quickly to the surface and she is the type to settle an argument with a fight. I thought the cover depicted her all too well. She is just what I imagined Irena to be. Yet, she is likeable, and underneath her tough exterior and bad-ass attitude, she has her own vulnerabilities, most of which stem from the horrific nightmare she experienced at the hands of the demon. She is strong, but not so strong that she is not receptive to change. And she has worked her way into me early on such that I was rooting for her all the way. No one deserves her hero more than Irena.

Alejandro was a Spanish nobleman in his past, and after being transformed into a Guardian, he is around eleven hundred years younger than Irena. Wow, talk about age difference. Though younger than Irena, Alejandro holds his own around her and he is able to meet her fight for fight. Her anger ignites his passion, but what I found to be profound about their relationship was that he knew her, really understood her--her moods, her reactions, even the things she wasn't saying. It speaks much of Alejandro's love for her, even four hundred years ago, that he would take the time to know her to that extent.

The tension, sexual and otherwise, between Irena and Alejandro sprang right out at you from that first time they met in Rome when they heeded the vampire's call and never let up. While they may not express their feelings for the other, their actions and words speak otherwise. Romance at its best. Sweet and bitter, poignant to the core. Then, as I had said, there's the way Alejandro understood her, the way he knew where she would go to meditate and to think, and the way he could pre-empt what she wants or needs.

What I found amazing about the story was that Irena's and Alejandro's story is but a part of a bigger tale. In fact, their story is woven seamlessly into the series story arc, and it's the series arc that has gotten me hooked and fascinated by this world that Ms Brook has created that I am seriously considering reading the previous books in the series just so I'll know the entire story. Something foul is going on in the Guardian universe--betrayal and uprisings and danger to humanity. Though Irena and Alejandro attained their HEA (read it to indulge in their romance), the book's ending has a bittersweet quality that tugged at the heart. I am definitely following this series and will be picking up the next book, Demon Blood.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Dark Side: Jaycee Clark

The Dark Side aims to shed light on that deep, dark, mysterious side of an author, a face that she rarely, if ever, shows to the public. What secret is she hiding behind that enigmatic smile on her official photo (if any)? what juicy tidbit is she keeping from the world? What are some of the things that she liked, things we would never know, because it's not part of her bio?

Today, we have with us JAYCEE CLARK, author of REVENGE, who regaled us in a previous post with some fun facts about her book and an exclusive excerpt.

Remember, think dark, dark, dark...

Imagine that for some reason, your lights suddenly went out! What would be the first thing you’d do or say?
"Damn", and then I’d wonder if the flashlight was where it was supposed to be.

Are you afraid of the dark? Why or why not?
Strangely enough, the dark itself doesn’t bother me, like outside at night. I love being out at night, on the water, in the mountains on my back porch, at the river, the city, it doesn’t matter. I love the night, love the night sky, the way everything looks. However, I loathe dark houses, buildings. I honestly cannot sleep in straight pitch dark. Maybe it’s a side effect of what I write, I’ve no idea. But really, I hate to wake up and it be perfectly dark.

How did you overcome a particular dark time in your life?
Praying, staying close to my friends, exercising and knowing that it would eventually pass.

What can you say to someone who is experiencing his/her own dark time now?
To hang in there, that sooner or later, as my grandmother always said, "This too shall pass."

What is the one thing fans wouldn't know about you unless you tell them?
I don't like horror movies.

Who is your favorite dark character? Why?
The Phantom. I’ve loved The Phantom as a dark character/villain since I read Phantom of the Opera in 8th grade. Though Barnabas from Dark Shadows is pretty close too.

Lightning Round.

white or dark chocolate : Dark definitely
milk or coffee : coffee (w/o milk)
night or day : night
coke or 7-up : neither
New York cheesecake or black forest cake : NY Cheesecake
vampire or werewolf : Hmmm… vamp I guess.
football game or candlelit dinner : Hook ‘em Horns!!!!
ebook or print : depends on my mood
spring or autumn : autumn
sweet or salty : salty
kitten or puppy : fish?
cook or take-out : take-out, no dishes.

Jaycee Clark's REVENGE is now available at Samhain Publishing (ebook). This title is also included in the list of giveaways for our ongoing contest.

Jaycee Clark's other titles:

Black Aura
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