Friday, November 30, 2012

Audiobook: One Second After by William Forstchen

by:  William Forstchen
published by:  Forge Books
publish date:  March 17, 2009

A story which can be all too terrifyingly real...a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

The book tells the story of retired army Colonel John Matherson.  He's widowed and living with his two daughters in a small town in North Carolina where he teaches military history at the local college.  Before the EMP his biggest problems are dealing with his youngest daughter's diabetes and his oldest daughter dating.

When the EMP hits their lives turn upside down.  He has to figure out how to get his daughter the medicine she will need.  How to take care of his father in law with terminal cancer?  How is he going to feed his daughters and mother in law?  Add to the fact that the entire town is looking to him for answers.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book.  It was pretty well done.  Not my favorite, but decent.  I read a lot of pretty harsh reviews as to the grammatical errors in this book, as I listened to the audiobook, it's pretty hard to pick up on those kinds of things.  Also, there were some comments about the structure of the book.  How a lot of the action took place "off screen", through recollection, not direct observance.  I think it kind of made sense in a way.  The main character wasn't a 20 something soldier.  He was an older man that had to be out of the way in order to help run the town.  It made sense to learn things second hand.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good book.  It got a little bit preachy at times.  It was enlightening though.  With the popularity of shows like Doomsday Preppers I think this book will probably see a resurgence in interest.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Paradise County by Karen Robards

Author: Karen Robards
First published in 2000 by Atria 

Left bankrupt after her billionaire father's sudden death, Alexandra Haywood returns to Shelby County, Kentucky -- that bit of Southern splendor known as Paradise County -- to sell the family's magnificent horse farm. Part of her mission is to re Joe Welch, the sexy, stubborn farm manager who worked hard for the Haywoods while raising his children. But Joe refuses to be red, and he and Alex clash. They also fall for each other -- hard. Just as their attraction ares, a shocking murder with ties to the past rocks the county -- and cuts close to home when Joe's teenage son, Eli, and Alex's wild-spirited younger sister, Neely, vanish. Now, the evil that lurks beneath Paradise County raises its gruesome head -- and Alex is targeted as the next victim.

I'm not sure I really enjoyed Paradise County.  In truth, it was kind of dull. Even the mystery was just so-so.  Don't get me wrong, the killer is very twisted and some of the scenes are gruesome.  But the motivation behind his acts isn't totally clear.  Also,the identity of the killer came out of nowhere for me.

 I didn't really care for the heroine.  Other than lust, I didn't really see what Joe saw in her either.  Alex comes across as unemotional and kind of bitchy.  She just wasn't very likeable.  The only interesting character in the book was Joe.  I really felt for him when he realizes he is about to lose his horses as well as his job.  I also had to commend him for putting his family first.

I ended up listening to the audiobook. The narrator's voice annoyed me, especially when she was reading the part of the younger sister.  Think high pitched valley girl.  Yuck. I love Karen Robards, but I can't say I would recommend this one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Spotlight: Merry X-mas by Sheila Roberts

Today, we are spotlighting the latest book out by author Sheila Roberts, Merry X-mas.  Be sure to come back on December 2 to read my review of this cozy tale!  To check out what other readers are saying, make sure to click on the tour banner below.

Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Date of Publication: October 2012

Cass Wilkes, owner of the Gingerbread Haus bakery, was looking forward to her daughter Danielle’s wedding—until Dani announced that she wants her father, Cass’s ex, to walk her down the aisle. Seriously? Even worse, it appears that he, his trophy wife and their yappy little dog will be staying with Cass .

Her friend Charlene Albach arrives at their weekly chick-flick night in shock. She’s just seen the ghost of Christmas past: her ex-husband, Richard, who left a year ago when he ran off with the hostess from her restaurant, Zelda’s. Now the hostess is history and he wants to kiss and make up. Hide the mistletoe!

And bring out the hot buttered rum, because the holidays aren’t easy for Ella O’Brien, either. Ella, newly divorced, is still sharing the house with her ex while they wait for the place to sell. The love is gone. Isn’t it?

But watch as Christmas brings all kinds of surprises .

Merry Ex-mas, ladies!

About the author:

Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. Her books have been printed in several different languages and have been chosen for book clubs such as Doubleday as well as for Readers Digest Condensed books. Her best-selling novel ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a movie and appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network. Her novel ANGEL LANE was named one of Amazon’s Top Ten Romances for 2009.

When she’s not making public appearances or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

Her latest book is Merry Ex-Mas.

You can visit her website at
Visit her on Twitter:
Like her on Facebook:

Pick up your copy of Merry Ex-Mas at Amazon:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blog Tour: Ice Cold by Cherry Adair

Author: Cherry Adair
Date of Publication:

T-FLAC operative Rafael Navarro will never allow another woman to suffer the consequences of his dangerous life. But in a world where a terrorist can do more damage with a keyboard than a bomb, he needs the expert help of a cyber-geek. And fast.

Fellow operative, and cyber-crimes specialist Honey Winston prefers computers to people. But when a serial bomber threatens the world’s financial infrastructure, she’s forced to work closely with Navarro, whose notorious skill in the bedroom is as legendary as his dexterity defusing bombs.

Honey and Rafael must fight sparks hot enough to melt their resolve, and push beyond fear itself, as they join forces in a bid to race the clock before a sinister and lethal bomber proves just how much they both have to lose.

T-FLAC is back, and the timer is counting down in the most pulse-pounding explosive op yet—

Oh T-FLAC, how I have missed you!  I have been waiting for Ice Cold for a long time and boy it didn't disappoint!  After reading the T-FLAC psi ones, I was happy to get back to basics.  Ice Cold is a riveting , nail biting adventure.  It also has a very hot and steamy romance.  Ms. Adair really knows her way around a love scene!  

Honey and Rafael are so great together.  Honey is known as the "Ice Princess" because she never shows any emotion and seems to have no social skills at all.  Rafael is known as a stallion in the bedroom.  Deep down, though, they have a lot in common.  Both are loners and both are seeking a connection.  Boy, do these two connect.  I loved Honey's character. There is nothing better than an intelligent, kick-ass female lead! 

The overall story was very well planned out.  Someone is impersonating Honey and is setting her up to take the fall for several bombings.  They suspect it is an old T-FLAC foe, but she is currently  locked up in prison.  The twists and turns kept me on my seat.  Throw in a few bombs and you have a book that you can't put down.  I definitely think that Ice Cold could be read as a stand alone novel.  After you read this one, why not go back to the start (beginning with The Mercenary) and experience all that is T-FLAC? 

About the author:

New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair’s innovative action-adventure novels have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike. With the creation of her kick butt counterterrorist group, T-FLAC, years before action adventure romances were popular, Cherry has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced novels.  She loves to hear from readers.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense novel, Ice Cold.

Visit Cherry Adair’s website at

Blog Tour: Kiss of Surrender by Sandra Hill

Author: Sandra Hill
Date of Publication: November 2012

It’s not easy being a Vampire Angel

No one knows that better than Trond Sigurdsson. In the centuries since he last went out drinking and wenching with his Viking buds, Trond has been a gladiator, a cowboy, a ditch digger...even a sheik. But now he’s the baddest of them all: a kick-butt Navy SEAL.

It’s not easy being a Vangel’s lover

The “cop” part of Nicole  tells her there’s something bizarre about her gorgeous godlike teammate. But her “all-woman” side can’t help wondering how great it would be to have a virile Viking in her bed. Trond has secrets galore, but Nicole feels certain she can dig them out—and really get to the heart of this powerful, unnerving stranger whom she may be risking her soul to love.

Kiss of Surrender  is the second in the "Deadly Angels" series by Sandra Hill.  I definitely liked this one much better than the first one, Kiss of Pride.  Ms. Hill has created a unique take on vampires and angels by combining them into one.  Oh, and they are also vikings. In the 9th century, seven viking brothers are each guilty of one of the deadly sins.  In Trond's case, it is sloth.  The Archangel Michael intervened on their behalf and turned them into vampire angels (vangels). As penance, he has commissioned them to a 1000+ years of fighting against Lucifer's evil minions.  They are vampires as well (lucipires), but they feed off of the sins and evils of man.  There is more to the background, but that is the short version.

I enjoyed this fresh take on the vampire and angel genre.  The one thing I liked about the book is that there is a lot of humor packed into the story.  The romance was very steamy and believable. I loved Trond and Nicole together. Along with humor and romance, there is some intrigue and action in the book, so I think most readers will be interested.

The one thing I didn't like about the book (as well as in the first book) is all of the pop culture references. In general, I'm not a fan of books that constantly include these because I really think that they date the book.  In 20 years, readers may have to keep looking up things like I did to remind themselves about something from the past. In my case, I had to look up the dance from the movie "Michael".  I've never seen the movie, so had I not looked up the dance on YouTube, I don't think I would have seen the humor in the bar scene quite as much.

The next book, Kiss of Temptation, comes out in the spring of 2013.  I look forward to reading it!
About the author:
Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories. She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blog Tour: A Political Affair by Mary Whitney

Author: Mary Whitney
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Date of publication: October 2012

No one expected Stephen McEvoy to fill his father’s U.S. Senate seat at such a young age, least of all him. The scion of a revered political dynasty, he’s appointed to the Senate after his father’s untimely death. Now he’s in a tough election battle against an archconservative. When clever Anne Norwood interns in his office, he dismisses her as another pretty face—until her independent streak catches his attention. She soon finds him far more interesting than his Senator McEvoy persona. They’re both too smart to fall for one another, yet they do. Their relationship becomes a political gamble in a tight election, and all the while, his opposition lies in wait for him to make a mistake. As Stephen’s past catches up with him, he and Anne must fight for their future. Their lives mean more than politics, and campaigns—like love—are either won or lost. 

I'm not really into politics  so I went into this book with reservations.  Especially with this year's elections, I was kind of all politic-ed out.  Boy, I am so glad I read this book. I thoroughly enjoyed A Political Affair.  Instead of a political rant, I got a very sweet romance. There is also a peek into the behind the scenes life of a politician and the scrutiny under which they live every day.

Stephen is taken by surprise at his reaction to seeing his new intern, Anne Norwood.  He knows that dating an intern would be the end of his political career.  When he finds out that Anne is just as interested, he decides to take a chance.  I really had to respect the way Stephen went about his courtship with Anne.  While it was kept a secret from most people  they are open with their families and allow them to be a part of the courtship.  I enjoyed watching Stephen and Anne fall in love.

This book really made me think about our political leaders.  I felt badly for Stephen   Because of his career, he almost loses his chance at happiness.  Should we allow such scrutiny of our politician's private lives?  Does everything have to be a scandal?  I have a feeling that this book will sit with me for a long time.
About the author:

Even before she graduated from law school, Mary Whitney knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.

Her website: 

Author interview: A B Bard

Last week, we spotlighted the book, The Killer Poet's Guide to Immortality by A. B. Bard.  We are pleased to have him back with an interview. Welcome Mr. Bard!

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?
A. B.: Writing came naturally to me as a child.  I wrote my first poem at age 8, and began stapling paper together to write chapter books while still in grade school. We're not talking professional grade; more like "Gimor, the Terrible Monster."  He really was a terrible monster, but it was a start.  Then in high school my creative writing teacher, Gladys LaFlamme Colburn, showed me real poetry, and I loved it both for the beauty and for the well-phrased ugliness.  It seemed only poets were speaking about what I was seeing and feeling.  Novels came later; poetry is like classical training for a musician; once you've got it, you can play anything. 
Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?
A. B.: To quote Yeats:

A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till.

- The Circus Animals' Desertion

That's for THE KILLER POET'S GUIDE TO IMMORTALITY by "AB Bard", my pseudonym.  My first two novels, which were historical novels - obviously, history was the inspiration.  For JUST DECEITS, the beginning came when I stumbled across a footnote in a serious biography of Chief Justice John Marshall, describing a scandalous trial he'd defended as a young lawyer, and I wondered what he was like before he was famous.  For BONES BENEATH OUR FEET, it was the lure of Puget Sound history - the history of my home, and then uncovering the injustice of our treatment of Chief Leschi, and exploring the paradox that we've named an entire Seattle neighborhood for a man we hung for a supposed murder.  
Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?
A. B.: A comic mystery set in Seattle.  And my first purely poetry collection.  I say it this way, because THE KILLER POET'S GUIDE TO IMMORTALITY - although a rollicking and fast-paced dark comic novel - contains enough poetry to fill a collection.
Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
A. B.: There could not possibly be just one, but to honor the spirit of the question, let's focus on Ignatius J. Reilly from John Kennedy Toole's classic comic novel, A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES.  Ignatius is an extreme character - literally larger than life due to his broad girth, but also due to his outsized ego and wild opinions, and his total lack of insight paired with his spot-on critique of the larger culture of mid-20th Century America.  Though obnoxious he's very witty in a biting sort of way.  Ignatius is humanized by his constant aches and pains and his struggle to succeed, albeit at hot dog vending and in other bizarre pursuits.  He is doomed but he has the power to show us something important about ourselves - to grant us a bit of insight into our predicament, both personal and societal - through his failings.  I hope AB Bard of THE KILLER POET'S GUIDE TO IMMORTALITY is a bit like Ignatius in this regard. 
Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
A. B.: A clam because then I wouldn't have to answer questions of this sort.

Yes, it is true:  not all writers are chipper marketing muppets.  Indeed, there was a time when writers would not have considered hustling themselves, and it was a better time.  Just buy THE KILLER POET'S GUIDE TO IMMORTALITY and put me out of my misery.  Read it & I guarantee that it will do the same for you.  If it doesn't, I owe you a clam.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens

Author: Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: September 2012

Neville Roscoe, notorious and enigmatic, lives resolutely outside society, bound only by his own code of honor - until challenged by his desire for the one woman he cannot have.

Miranda Clifford is a lady imprisoned by rigid respectability - until tempted by a passion beyond her power to deny.

Flung together in peril, through danger and intrigue, they discover a love impossible to ignore ... or keep.

The Lady Risks All is the first full length book that I have read by this author.  I know I have read a few novellas that have been published in anthologies, but never a full length book.  Overall, I enjoyed the story.   I really loved Neville and Miranda together. Miranda was a great character.  Even though she believes herself firmly "on the shelf", she isn't afraid to take chances and experience all life can offer her.  She may be innocent in the ways of love, but once she gets a taste, there is no stopping her.  I loved that she wasn't a wilting wallflower.  I don't think a woman like that would be a good match for Roscoe.  Their fall into love was very sweet and, at the same time, heart-wrenching since neither of them believed they could have a life together.  I loved the HEA ending.

What I didn't like about the book was the length.  I thought it was just way too long. Coming in at almost 500 pages, there were quite a few scenes that I thought could have been cut and it wouldn't have taken away from the story.  They really did nothing to advance the story at all.  Because of them, I found myself getting a bit bored in the middle.  The writing was a bit repetitive at times, especially during the love scenes.  I also got tired of being told that Miranda was 29 years old.  I think I got the point after the 6th time I was reminded.

Despite all of this, the story was good.  It's definitely worth reading.  Just be prepared for a long book.  I read that Roscoe shows up in  a couple of earlier books, so I'll be looking for some of them.  Maybe I'll feature one in a Throwback Thursday post.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

By:  David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
published by:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
publish date:  October 26, 2012

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Dash finds the notebook that Lily leaves at The Strand Bookstore.  He decides to accept her challenge since he's alone for the Christmas break.  Once completed, he leaves her a dare in order for her to find the notebook again.  Passing the notebook back and forth through a series of dares they get to know each other.  It's not an easy road though, there are miscommunications, old girlfriends and enemies from kindergarten to get in the way.

I listened to the audiobook for this.   It was hands down the funniest audiobook I've listened to this year.  There's a part where Lily dares Dash to get the notebook from a mall Santa.  I laughed til I cried.  It was hysterical.  I can't imagine it would have been as funny reading it as it was listening to the audiobook.  The actor was awesome.

This is a YA book, but it does deal with some mature topics.  So I might only recommend this one for the older teens.   Definitely parents read it first, I'm sure you'll love it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date of Publication: September 2012

Bellamy Lyston Price was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day.

Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a novel based on Susan's murder. It's her first book, and it's an instant sensation. When a sleazy reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on a real crime, Bellamy's identity - and dark family secrets -- are exposed.

 Suddenly, she finds herself embroiled in a personal conflict and at the mercy of her sister's killer, who for almost two decades has gotten away with murder...and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.
Low Pressure is the latest offering from Sandra Brown. Ms. Brown is one of my reliable authors who I know will give me a good solid read.  I wasn't disappointed.  I really enjoyed the book.  The mystery is solid and I loved the twist at the end.  Actually, there are a few twists in the book so that I was kept guessing right up until the end.   

I loved the characters.  Bellamy is haunted by the past and attempts to jog her memory by writing a book about her sister's murder.  The problem is that the book stirs up a lot of questions.  Was the right man convicted?  And what is it about that day that Bellamy can't remember?  I thought she was strong heroine, although her thoughts about her relationships with men were a bit misguided.  I have read in some reviews that readers thought Dent was a jerk.  I have to disagree.  I loved his character.  He wasn't afraid to be blunt and he made me laugh numerous times.  His behavior toward Bellamy and her family, IMHO, was justified.  He had been wrongly accused and treated appallingly by them after Susan was murdered.  Yes, he comes across as a jerk, but he isn't really.

I ended up listening to the audio book.  Stephen Lang narrates and did a very nice job.  I've heard him before on other audiobooks and enjoy his voice.  If you haven't read anything by Ms. Brown, why not start with this one?  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Open Season by Linda Howard

Author: Linda Howard
First published in 2001 by Pocket Books

On her thirty-fourth birthday, Daisy Minor decides to make over her entire life. The small-town librarian has had it with her boring clothes, her ordinary looks, and nearly a decade without so much as a date. It's time to get a life—and a sex life. The perennial good girl, Daisy transforms herself into a party girl extraordinaire—dancing the night away at clubs, laughing and flirting with abandon—and she's declared open season for manhunting. But her free-spirited fun turns to shattering danger when she witnesses something she shouldn't—and becomes the target of a killer. Now, before she can meet the one man who can share her life, first she may need him to save it. 

I'm definitely a fan of Ms. Howard's older works.  Open Season is definitely going to be one of my favorites!  Open season was such a great book.  I don't think I have laughed so much reading a book lately as I did with this one.  I know I won't be able to hear the phrase "Party Pack" ever again without giggling. I loved Daisy and Jack.  Jack has a way of flustering "Miss Prim and Proper" Daisy and that in turn makes for some very hilarious scenes.  Their love story is quick but sweet.  As hard as Daisy fights the attraction, Jack pushes back just as hard and into her heart. I think the thing I loved about Daisy was that even though she is a bit naive, she isn't dumb.  There are truly no TSTL moments in the book.  At one point she even remarks on that point saying she knows better than to go off on her own when her life is in danger.  Good girl!

I wouldn't say there was much mystery to this book.  You pretty much know who the bad guys are and what is going on behind the scenes.  I never really felt like Daisy's life was truly in any danger.  But, the story line was still very tight and satisfying.  I loved half of the epilogue as it made me laugh once again.  But the second half of the epilogue was puzzling.  I'm not sure why it was included and made me wonder if there was supposed to be a sequel to the book.  There isn't one that I can find.  I think you would be safe to skip the last scene in the epilogue and you wouldn't be missing out on anything.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Spotlight: The Killer Poet's Guide to Immortality by AB Bard

Today ,we are spotlighting The Killer Poet's Guide to Immortality written by A. B. Bard.  Enjoy!

Author:A. B. Bard
Publisher: Wry Ink Publishing
Date of publication: August 2012

The Killer Poet's Guide to Immortality is the riveting tale of a frustrated poet who decides that the best way to get his work read is by pinning it to corpses with a dagger. Alternately profound and hilarious, this novel chronicles in rapid-fire succession AB Bard's obsessive murder spree, rise to media notoriety, capture, trial, and execution by lethal injection.

Then it presses further, into the future . . 

Purchase info: Amazon

About the author:

Reclusive Seattle author AB Bard's poetry has twice been nominated for the Pushcart. He is the author under a pseudonym of two other hysterical novels, or perhaps historical novels, neither of which is funny. Mr. Bard is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of the Republican Party. Mr. Bard does not Tweet. He was awarded a sheepskin (BAaa) from Reed College Sleeper Cell. His one super power is the ability to repel all conventional measures of literary success. Mr. Bard is lap to a cat, pal to a girl, God to a dog, & dog to the Man.

To find out more, please visit him at

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

by:  S.A. Bodeen
published by: Feiwal and Friends
publish date: April 2008

Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy.

Eli's father is a computer and business genius.  This has made him billions of dollars.  He built a sprawling underground complex for his family to live in when a nuclear attack happens, because he feels one is imminent.  When Eli is 6 years old it seems like his father's predictions have come true.  There's a huge explosion when they were on vacation.  The family makes it to the bunker in the allotted 45 minutes only to find that Eli's twin brother and his grandmother didn't make it into the bunker before the door was sealed.  Once the door is sealed it won't open for 15 years.

6 years in the food situation has gotten dire, his dad has gotten bizarre and Eli thinks it's time to open the bunker and see what's going on in the outside world.  However, overriding the system is going to be far harder than he imagines.

I had this book on my shelf for a couple of years.  I finally picked it up after watching an episode of Doomsday Preppers.  The Compound was a really fascinating read.  I read it cover to cover in just a couple of hours.  I will say that it definitely put me off wanting to build any kind of underground bunker.

While I was kinda wishy-washy on my feelings about The Raft, also by SA Bodeen, that came out earlier this year, I thought this book was pretty solid.  The writing was solid, the pacing was good.  There were some things that I wasn't totally clear on, but that's probably a good thing.  It's probably a better left up to the imagination kinda thing.  So, I would definitely recommend this one to the YA Doomsday crowd out there.  I think most would like it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: The Devil's Thief by Samantha Kane

Author: Samantha Kane
Publisher: Loveswept
Date of Publication: 

 When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.

Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.

The Devil's Thief is the first book I have read by Ms. Kane.  It's the first in a new series published by Loveswept.  Just knowing Loveswept published it, I knew I was in for an enjoyable read.  I wasn't disappointed.   I loved the characters in the book.  Julianna and Alasdair were so perfect for each other.  While it was quick, their romance was very believable.  Their meeting helps them both to realize what id truly important.     

Along with the sweet romance, the peripheral characters, namely Alasdair's friends, made the book for me.  I loved the rapport between the men.  There are some very humorous exchanges that had me laughing.   Also, Ms. Kane does have a way with writing a love scene. They were well written and very sensual.  

This was a pretty quick read for me.  I think any lover of historical romance will enjoy this book.  Definitely give it a try!

About the author:

Samantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband of fifteen years and three children, two boys and one girl. She spent seven years as a high school history teacher before becoming a full time writer and mom. Ms. Kane has a Master's degree in American History.
She loves to hear from readers, so please email her today

Twitter: skaneauthor
Facebook:  Samantha Kane
MySpace:  Samantha Kane,     Author

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: Red Hot Holiday (Anthology)

Authors: Anne Calhoun, K.A. Mitchell, Leah Braemel
Publisher: Carina Press
Date of Publication: December 3, 2012

I'll be home for Christmas…to fulfill all your dreams.

This holiday, a Mountie is determined to get her man. A widow finds a fireman who ignites her passions again. And two men unsure of their commitment discover a happily ever after—and a blindfold—under their tree. No matter your desires, this collection of three shorts is bound to treat you to all the joys of the season.

Edited by Angela James, this anthology includes:
I Need You for Christmas by Leah Braemel
Breath on Embers by Anne Calhoun
Wish List by K.A. Mitchell

Red Hot Holiday is a great anthology filled with some pretty steamy and romantic tales.  All three stories were were well written and enjoyably 

The first story, Wish List, was sweet story of misunderstanding.  Jonah thinks his boyfriend is going to propose to him.  In a panic, he makes a wish list of all the things he wishes he could do before he gets ready to commit.  Evan is happy to find the list and realizes he can let his true self show through.  Jonah and Evan were a great couple, but I was troubled that they were together for so long, yet they weren't honest with each other about their needs.  Their HFN ending was satisfying though.

The middle story, Breath on Embers, was the least favorite of mine.  Thea has been having an affair with Ronan for a year.  She has managed to keep it to just sex, but Ronan wants more.  She lost her husband two years before, but she has yet to cry for him or really get heal over the loss of him.  Since Ronan and Thea spend much of their time having sex, I didn't really see where he would fall for her other than in lust.  But, maybe he saw the potential in her as a mate.  Who knows?

Of the three stories, I liked the last one, I Need You for Christmas, the best.  Ryan and Megan have been dating for 8 years, but have been living far apart because of their careers.  Megan has decided to move to be with Ryan, only he has plans of his own.  I loved this one because the couple are so obviously in love and deserve to be together. It was a very sweet story.

If you are looking for a great collection of Christmas tales with very steamy loves scenes, this book is for you!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

by:  Maggie Stiefvater
published by:  Scholastic Press
publish date:  September 18, 2012

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Blue Sergeant grew up in a family of clairvoyant women.  All her life they've been telling her that she will cause her true love to die.  Because of this she pretty much stays away from boys.  She especially stays aways from the Aglionby boys, the boys from the fancy prep school.  They are known as the Raven boys because of the ravens on their uniforms.

While Blue isn't a psychic, she has the ability to turn up the volume for other psychics.  She increases the energy around them.  So one of the psychic women is using her to help commune with the dead when Blue actually sees and talks to her first spirit.  The spirit's name is Gansey.  The pyschic tells Blue that the reason she can see him is because he will die within one year, he is her true love or she will kill him.

Gansey is in Henrietta going to Aglionby because of his life's pursuit of ley lines.  He's convinced they run through the town.  Blue gets involved with Gansey and his friend during his search for the ley lines despite all her mother's predictions and warnings.

I ended up really liking The Raven Boys.  I listened to the audiobook.  It was read by Will Patton.  If you don't know the name, you probably know the face from movies and television.  It was extremely well done. 

I have to give props to Maggie Stiefvater for keeping things fresh.  From werewolves to water horses to raven boy, she's definitely covering a lot of territory.  The writing is awesome.   I'm bummed that this is the first book in a series/trilogy/whatever but it's to be expected in YA now.  Hopefully we don't have to wait forever for the next book.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson

Author:  Elizabeth Nelson
Date of Publication: June 2012
Publisher: Bristlecone Books

Katherine ("Kat") thought she had the perfect marriage to International Lawyer Steven Flynn. Until he tried to kill her.

Katherine was the perfect obedient wife. She would do anything for her husband. That is, until she discovers he's the ring leader of a human trafficking organization. The action is fast and furious, the dialogue smart and the sex scenes hot. Meet Katherine in Curiosity Killed The Kat as she goes farther and farther down the rabbit hole of political intrigue, sex, and revenge. Will she let herself be saved by love or will curiosity and a thirst for killer justice kill the Kat?

I have really mixed feeling about this book. When I read the description about the book, I was excited to read it.  It sounded really interesting.  Imagine finding out the man you were married to for so long wasn't who you thought he was.  How would you handle that?  Kat finds out some secrets about her husband and is shocked to learn what kind of business he is running on the side.

The story had great potential   The problem I had with it was the length.  It was really short.  A little research shows that the book is the first in a trilogy and ends with a big cliff hanger.   If the other books are equally as short, I wonder why the three books weren't rolled into one.  Had they been, I think I would have enjoyed the story more and I would have believed Kat's transition out of role of abused wife a bit more.  Because the book was so short, there wasn't time for a lot of story development.  Essentially, it felt all a bit rushed.

It has gotten great reviews, so give it a try and see what you think.  Want to win a copy?  Just fill out the rafflecopter below to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Elizabeth wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills and relationship techniques have helped hundreds of others find their mojo. After earning a master's degree in secondary education from UNC, she worked abroad teaching English, bar-tended at late night clubs in Chicago, and continues various philanthropy projects that focus on empowering women. But she always returned to writing.

Though she'll forever be a free-spirit at heart, she now lives in Los Angeles with her two dogs. If she's not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rock concerts.

Elizabeth's Facebook Page:


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Night Fire by Catherine Coulter

Author: Catherine Coulter
First published in 1989 by Avon


Trapped into a loveless marriage, Arielle Leslie knew a life of shame and degradation. Even after the death of her brutal husband, she was unable to free herself from the shackles of humiliation. Only Burke Drummond's love could save her . . . if she let it. But as his passion blazed, his patience wore thin . . . and Arielle risked a future as terrifying as her past.

As much as I enjoy Ms. Coulter's romantic suspense, I love her historical romances even more.  Night Fire is the first in the "Night" Trilogy.  This one was very uncomfortable to read to at times.  The things that Arielle's first husband put her though were just brutal and despicable.  Ms. Coulter does not shelter the reader from the reality of the situation either.  While it was hard to read, I have to give her props for being willing to not sugar coat everything.  Had she done that, I don't think the love story that follows would have been believable.

Burke and Arielle's romance is a tender love story.  The way in which Burke helps Arielle to heal was so touching.  He show incredible patience and understanding and through this, Arielle is able to find her way back to herself. I love that he constantly reminds her that he loves her.  There is a little bit of a mystery, but the romance definitely shines through as the reason to read the book.

The peripheral characters are wonderful and seem to be featured in the other books of the trilogy.  The next book is Night Shadow and features Knight Wontrhop, Burke's best friend.  I look forward to reading that one soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Last Survivors Trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer

If you haven't read this YA Post-Apocalyptic trilogy by Susan Beth  Pfeffer, you should.  The books are a few years old now, but there's nothing in them that makes them dated. 

The first book in the trilogy is Life As We Knew It (2006, Harcourt Children's).  It tells the story of teenager Miranda living with her single mother and two brothers in Pennsylvania.  A meteor hits the moon knockings it's orbit closer to earth.  This sets off a series of events that are catastrophic.  Tsunamis wipe out coastal cities, earthquakes shake the entire planet and volcanoes long dormant start to erupt.  All of this seismic activity brings about major climactic change.  Life As We Knew It chronicles Miranda's daily struggle to survive when everyone around her is dying.

The Dead and the Gone (2008, Harcourt Children's) is the second book in the trilogy.  Instead of continuing Miranda's story, it tells the story of Alex Morales, living in New York city with his two sisters.  His father was in Puerto Rico the day of the meteor strike and his mother was at work and never heard from again.  As the oldest Alex has to make tough decisions to take care of his two sisters.  Alex lived in an apartment building that his father was the manager of.  His unwillingness to break into other apartments annoyed me.  I understood that he was proud and didn't want to damage his father's building, but seriously, I would have been ripping open walls if the doors couldn't be broken down.  That aside, I liked this contrast of surviving in the city versus Miranda's suburban story.

The third book, This World We Live In (2010, Harcourt Children's) ties the two stories together.  In the first book Miranda's father stops by to tell his children that he is going to try to go out west with his new wife.  The third book has Miranda's father coming back with Alex and one of his sisters and another traveling companion that they met while on the road.  They met Alex when he had gone looking for other relatives for his sister to stay with while he looked for work.  Finding neither, Alex decided to stick with Miranda's dad while he traveled back to the Northeast.   While Miranda is happy to have her father back, it puts a strain on everyone because the food is scarce and the weather is getting worse.  This book was really emotional.  Pfeffer really put the screws to her characters in this one.

I've been calling this a trilogy, but I decided to do a little poking around about this series.  Turns out, there might be a book 4.  Shade of the Moon is tentatively scheduled for release in the fall of 2013.  I promise I'll be all over that when it comes out.