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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomorrow The Carnival Comes to Town!

What Book Is That Giveaway Carnival!

It's almost here! Tomorrow marks the beginning of the first ever Declare Your Independence Indie Author Giveaway Carnival! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that this event is finally about to start. Thank you in advance to all the great authors who are on board for the festivities!

In preparation for the start of the big event, here are some things to keep in mind:

For the month of July, I'll be refraining from using the letter grade system. You can still expect the same honesty in all my reviews, but there are so many good books coming up this month that trying to grade them was like splitting hairs.

For the month of July, I'll be using available synopses of books from sources like Goodreads, Amazon, and Smashwords instead of the 50 words or less. My focus this month is on getting the word out about some amazing indie books and authors, and using a synopsis that is already available for use is one way I saved time on setting up reviews and spent more time reading and organizing giveaways. Thanks for understanding!

For each giveaway, please be sure to read the terms carefully. Some giveaways are for print books, some are for digital books, some are open internationally, some are not. Following the directions will give you a better chance of winning! Also, please make sure to read the WBiT? Giveaway Policy prior to entering any giveaways here.

All giveaways will close on Friday, August 5th, at 11:59 pm EST. This is to give giveaways that post later in the month a chance to garner entries as well as the ones that post in the beginning.

For the lucky winners of the prize packs being offered up, please consider posting reviews of the books on your own sites.  What better way to say thank you for a story you really enjoyed than to recommend it to other people?

Strap in, folks, because the fun is just beginning!  Be sure to check back each day for new reviews and giveaways.  If you're not already a subscriber, there's no better way to ensure that you don't miss any of the fun.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

eBites: Finding Forgiveness

Blog With Bite
Finding ForgivenessThis is, I think, the first M/M story I've featured for eBites!  As the first book in the Poconos Pack series and featuring characters from other books I've loved, I'm totally excited to see what Dana Marie Bell has in store for Ben and Dave.
Ben Malone’s role as Marshall attunes him to every nuance of the pack’s wellbeing—which means he’s forced to feel every one of his mate’s hangovers. It’s the one reason Ben will never claim Dave Maldonado. Being alone is better than being with someone who lives in a bottle.

Dave was destined to be a pack Alpha until his first migraine hit at age fifteen, the day he caught his future mate holding hands with another boy. In the nine agonizing years since, he’s contented himself as Beta, but never learned to live with the pain and confusion of Ben’s rejection.

Dave’s worst attack yet sends him to the hospital—and brings them both face to face with the misunderstanding that’s kept them apart all these years. It’s too late, though. Dave is headed for Gay Pride Week at Disney World with one goal in mind. Forget Ben Malone.

Ben’s got a problem with that. Only one man is destined to hold his David. And he’ll give anything, even his last shred of pride, to win forgiveness—and the right to finally claim his mate.

Product Warnings: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, and male/male love scenes between two top dogs. Who knew Rock Paper Scissors could be such fun?
This will be the last installment of eBites until August, because July is full of giveaways for the Declare Your Independence Indie Author Giveaway Carnival!  What July ebooks are on your radar?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Creed's Honor

Creed's Honor (Hqn)Title: Creed's Honor
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Page Count: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN
Genre: contemporary romance
Copy for review provided by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. in anticipation of an honest review

50 words or less: Moving on is the name of the game as Tricia McCall tries to sell the failing RV park and drive in movie theater that her father left her, Connor Creed tries to forgive his oft-absent twin brother for alleged crimes long past and indifference, and both of them have to try to figure out if getting hurt is too high a price for being happy.  Just another day in Lonesome Bend, Colorado.

Here's another author I'd read before now, but am glad I had the chance to try.  Creed's Honor was a refreshing change of pace for me- the romance was still a strong element in the story but in many ways it was secondary to the characters getting to a place where they're actually ready to have that romance.  The whole shebang was set against a community that was believably drawn and detailed.  Add in a sort of parallel story about the loss of a pet and being ready to welcome a new one and you not only have a good metaphor, but a solid novel all the way around.

Tricia and Connor both have their share of drama going on- Tricia's father passed away and left her not one, but two failing businesses, her current love interest is lukewarm at best, and her life as she knows it or at least how she thinks it should be is far away in Seattle.  Connor, on the other hand, has his whole life in Lonesome Bend, Colorado, but the emphasis is always on the lonesome, and has been for awhile. He's running the family spread by himself and none too pleased when his twin brother Brody shows up and announces that he's come home to settle down and is ready to handle his half of the ranch, thank you very much.  The conflict between Connor and Brody came to a head and it will be interesting to see what becomes of Brody in the next book.

Both characters have to let the burdens of the past go; I enjoyed how finally dealing with these issues made the characters feel relieved and ready to move on.  Change is painful, certainly, but not changing just to spite everyone around you isn't a bright thing to do either.

As if I needed any assistance in making my to-read list longer, I will definitely be checking out additional titles by this author in the future.  I love new discoveries!

Overall Grade: B+

Jeannie Holmes giveaway WINNER!

Thank you to everyone who entered for the signed copies of Blood Law and Blood Secrets by Jeannie Holmes, and thanks again to Jeannie for not only sponsoring the giveaway, but for her great responses to everyone's comments!

Random.org has spoken, and the winner of the two signed books is...Stacy (UFI)! She's been emailed and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Thanks again to all who entered!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: You Belong to Me

You Belong to MeTitle: You Belong to Me
Author: Karen Rose
Page Count: 512 pages
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Genre: romantic suspense
Copy for review obtained via NetGalley.com in anticipation of an honest review

50 words or less: Part murder mystery, part forensic/police procedural, part romantic suspense.  This book has it coming and going- an old atrocity, new atrocities, a little sizzle, twists, turns, and an ending that the reader has to work for.  Take this one to the beach!

I'm a newcomer to the world of Karen Rose books, but after finishing You Belong to Me it definitely won't be the last.  This book is an excellent mashup of a police procedural along the lines of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport books combined with the gory psychological squick of Jack Kerley with a dash of Nora Roberts thrown in to make things interesting.

Sure, there are the normal idiosyncrasies (why is a medical examiner interviewing a murder victim's family, even if she was close to them?) that seem to pop up in these sorts of books.  I was able to overlook them in this case because the story really grabbed me- details and layers are revealed with each passing chapter- the story is definitely the star here, moreso than the setting or the characters.

If anything, I have to say the characters were something of a disappointment- Lucy, the medical examiner, is something of a wilter, despite everyone talking about how she never loses her cool.  J.D., the homicide detective, is so gorgeous your eyeballs fall out when you look at him and has all kinds of emotional baggage that would stunt a regular person but somehow lend him depth and intrigue.  The secondary characters are okay- I know from the endnote from the author that we'll be seeing more of them in future books.

Anyway, this is a story where many threads come together, and in this case, all roads lead back to Anderson Ferry; it's from there that we see the start of the twisted trail that lead not only to multiple murders, but the complete rocking of the foundation of Lucy's life as she realizes that her past is littered with scumbags.

The path that J.D. and Lucy take to happily ever after is a dangerous one that's filled with emotional potholes. I was way more interested in how they were going to end up as a couple and how they were going to catch the killer and finally reveal all the secrets than I was in their internal struggles.

There are two parallel, yet interconnected stories going on here- the story of the murders that Lucy and J.D. are trying to solve, and then there's the angle of a PI firm that's trying to track down a client who's gone a litle too deep undercover.  I thought the way that these two stories interacted was definitely unique.

This book weighs in at a little on the longer side too, which is nice because we get more details that contribute to the plot than we probably would have in a shorter book.  This is a good candidate for a beach book.

Overall Grade: B

Friday, June 24, 2011

Illustrated Friday: John, Paul, George & Ben

John, Paul, George & BenThis is one of my favorite illustrated history books.  In true Lane Smith fashion, quips and comedy are worked in with the facts so that learning about the Founding Fathers is fun and informative at the same time.  The true or false page at the end is one of the best parts.  Take this as an example:

George chopped down his father's cherry treep
[FALSE]This fable was invented by Mason "Parson" Weems (1759-1825).  Pretty funny, considering he made up ye olde tale to teach kids a lesson in honesty.

I love it!  Have a fantastic Friday everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

eBites: Break Out

Blog With Bite

Entangled Publishing is a new voice on the scene with their first ten titles ready to release on August 10th.  You won't even have to wait that long for their early release title, Break Out by Nina Croft, which releases on July 5th.  The premise: vampires in space.  I love it!

The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.
Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Kisri

KisriTitle: Kisri
Author: Moira Rogers
Page Count: 216 KB Kindle format (novella)
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

50 words or less: As second in command to the ruler of the lion shifters, Ennon is trying to disband a huge army after three years of war.  When his ruler's cousin, Kisri, shows up in disguise in his camp, Ennon knows that getting her back to her cousin is his top priority.  Well, it won't his top priority for long, if Kisri has anything to say about it.

After reading and loving Sabine I was super excited to have Kisri on tap to enjoy.  This is a good thing, because the And the Beast stories are rapidly becoming some of my favorites.  Kisri was released today, and at $2.80 on Amazon it's a super sweet deal.

This story employs some of my favorite story elements that don't show up often in paranormal romance, specifically, the "she's his sister/cousin/female relative and therefore off limits, but I'm still attracted" element.  Ennon tries his darndest to be noble and to maintain his honorable intentions towards Kisri, but she is just not having any of it.  Kisri is aware enough of her position and her "value" to other nobles as a way to gain an alliance with the royal house that she makes her own decisions about what will please her in her life without guilt or shame, and I enjoyed that.

Ennon falls fast for Kisri too, and even though it means that he'll have to slink away like a thief in the night, he's determined to do what he thinks is right.  Mal, Kisri's cousin, is pissed when he finds out how far things went between Ennon and Kisri, but only because he's worried that someone will get a terminal attack of the noble and do something that everyone will regret.

Do yourself a favor and grab Kisri and Sabine together.  Short, spicy and with happily ever afters that are worthy of any fairy tale, you can't go wrong here.

Overall Grade: A

Monday, June 20, 2011

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Please Welcome Jeannie Holmes!

The first Alex Sabian novel, Blood Law, was on my Best of 2010 list, and the second book in the series, Blood Secrets, is due out on July 5th! To celebrate, the author herself, Jeannie Holmes, is here for a guest post and giveaway! Jeannie is one of the nicest people you could hope to meet so please give her a warm welcome!

The Heart of Darkness

Hello. I’m Jeannie Holmes, author of the Alexandra Sabian series, and first, I’d like to thank Emily for hosting me and my new book, Blood Secrets, today. Secondly, a little background on the series: Alex Sabian is an Enforcer with the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation, who’s assigned to police the vampire population in Jefferson, Mississippi. She faces all types of adversaries—serial killers, drug dealers, psychopaths, and ex-fiancés—in her quest to live a somewhat normal life. Because the series does touch on some fairly heavy topics, I’d like to discuss darkness in fiction and why we’re drawn to it.

Why write dark fiction? The simple answer is that all writers have a natural “voice.” Some are naturally gifted to write romance. Others are gifted with a mystery or thriller voice. Some have a naturally comedic voice. And yet others are blessed with a darker voice—Stephen King being a prime example. Brian Keene, Sarah Langan, Alexandra Sokoloff, and Joe Hill being even more examples. (Yes, I’m aware that Joe is Stephen’s son, but that’s not really an issue here.) The common thread with each of these authors is that they all write dark fiction, specifically horror.

However, urban fantasy has its share of dark authors as well. Vicki Pettersson easily comes to mind. Charlaine Harris has taken the Sookie Stackhouse series to increasingly dark places. Kim Harrison has taken Rachel Morgan into some serious darkness in the past. Other authors who haven’t been afraid to venture into the dark: Laurell K. Hamilton, Jeaniene Frost, Jim Butcher, and Kelley Armstrong to name a few. I can’t say why these authors write about darkness. You’d have to ask each of them why they write it. I can only address why I choose to write it.

I said, writers are given a natural “voice” and mine is geared toward the Dark Side. (We have cookies! Sorry, couldn’t resist.) I don’t write about violence, murder, and creepy psychopaths because I enjoy such things. In fact, I abhor violence of any kind, especially against children and animals. In my daily life, I try very hard not to harm any living creature—except for spiders. Those eight-legged freaks don’t count. I write about darkness in order to understand it. I include it in my fiction—I actively seek out its beating black heart, in fact—because I want to understand how it is possible for someone to hate another so badly they want to cause maximum suffering and damage to another’s physical being and/or soul.

Blood Secrets (Alexandra Sabian, Book 2)For that reason, I created the Dollmaker to challenge Alex and Varik in Blood Secrets. Fair warning to all: The Dollmaker is, in a word, brutal. He is one of the darkest characters ever spawned from my twisted imagination. I tell you this, dear readers, because I want to avoid any possible confusion. I have said from day one that the Alexandra Sabian series is dark urban fantasy that dances toe-to-toe with horror. Yes, there are romantic elements to the series, which provide some of the much needed light, but it is not a romance series.

But why are we, as writers or readers, drawn to dark fiction? Again, I can only speak for myself and in generalities because the reason is different for each individual. That being said, I personally believe that we’re drawn to it because of an innate human fear of the darkness. How often have you stood outside at night and wondered if the noises you heard were real or just your imagination? The second you ask yourself this question most of us begin to imagine the sources of those noises, and they’re not always logical. Chirping crickets turn into signals between alien goon squads. A car backfiring in the distance morphs into gunshots between rival vampire gangs. A deer moving through the shadows becomes a rabid werewolf intent on ripping off our faces. Admit it. You’ve had these thoughts or some very similar when you’re hauling the trash to the curb late at night because you forgot to do it earlier, the neighborhood dogs are barking, and then for no reason you can discern, everything…goes…silent. That’s when you say, “Screw the trash,” and run back inside with imaginary urban Sasquatches nipping at your heels. (Or is that just me?)

Blood Law: A NovelI believe we’re all drawn to the Dark Side for one reason (other than the fabulous cookies): We want to conquer our primal fear of the darkness. Why else would Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, or more recently, Saw be successful movie franchises? Facing our fear with others, both in a theater or through reading, creates a shared experience and strengthens our very human desire to belong to a community. Plus it’s easier to face the Big Unknown with one, one hundred, or one thousand other people at your side (even though it means sharing the cookies later).

That’s why I write dark fiction. I want to know if the Good Guys are going to win. (I also want the cookies, dammit!) But most importantly, I want to understand the darkness because understanding it is the key to conquering it.

So, dear readers, you know why I write what I do. Now I ask you: Why do you read dark fiction?

Many thanks to Jeannie for stopping by today!  Now, on to the giveaway!  Jeannie has kindly offered up SIGNED copies of both Blood Law and Blood Secrets to one lucky commenter!  Also, this giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!

To enter, leave a comment answering Jeannie's question from her post: Why do you read dark fiction?  Entries that don't answer the question will not count so please answer the question! Random.org will select the winner.  The giveaway ends on Monday, June 27th at 11:59 pm EST.  Please refer to the WBiT? Giveaway Policy prior to entering.  Good luck!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Blood Secrets

Blood Secrets (Alexandra Sabian, Book 2)Title: Blood Secrets
Author: Jeannie Holmes
Page Count: 307 pages
Publisher: Bantam
Genre: urban fantasy
Copy for review provided by the publisher in anticipation of an honest review

50 words or less: The storm clouds are gathering as Alex Sabien is investigated for corruption by the Tribunal, Varik's got more secrets than anyone knows what to do with, the relationship between them is rekindled, and a seriously creepy killer called the Dollmaker is on the loose and focused on Alex.

I read and loved Blood Law last summer, and Blood Secrets was on my seriously-want list for 2011.  Dear readers, it certainly belonged there, as my attention was grabbed from the first page and held right until the end.  I think I blinked maybe five times while reading this story.

I love Alex and Varik as a couple.  Normally, a couple where there are so many secrets and half-truths and issues to overcome would leave me with that "you are a flaming douche and I hate you" taste in my mouth, but here I desperately wanted (still want, actually) for things to work out between them.  There is so much heartbreak here- Alex still loves Varik, she admits it and owns it, but she doesn't know how to navigate out of the quagmire between them.  With every secret that gets revealed, Varik realizes it's a blow struck to Alex's trust in him, but he can't figure out a way to keep her trust, nurture their relationship, and keep the wolves at bay at the same time.  I enjoyed that the burden of furthering the relationship is more equal here- Varik certainly needs to work on honesty and not keeping everything so close to the vest, but at the same time Alex has to decide what level of disclosure she actually wants, since if she wants to know Varik's entire history from conception to today then that means she'll be finding out stuff she may wish she didn't know.  You can't have it both ways.

The Dollmaker is seriously creepy and an awesomely drawn villain.  I enjoy stories where we know the identity of the villain and we read along as the other characters catch on and this element was excellently done here.  I found the interplay between the shade of Alex's father and the other characters to be very interesting as well.  I think the storm is going to seriously break when his secrets are revealed.  It's painful enough to realize that our parents aren't perfect as a part of growing up, but things are going to get messy when Alex realizes just how many secrets her dad kept, and that her family are keeping to this day.

Tasha is an interesting character. Where she once was Alex's friend and a woman of honor, alcohol, circumstance, and bad decisions have made her into a seriously weak individual.  She's also a serious threat to Alex and Varik because she has the moral integrity of a bowl of guacamole.  It will be interesting to see whether she can regain some of her former character or whether she'll continue her downward spiral in future books.

Not to be left out is Morgan, the special investigator from the vampire Tribune sent to shadow Alex on the job and determine if there's any substance to the charges of corruption that Alex is facing.  Come to find out, she has a tangled past with Varik as well, and her motivations for doing the things she does aren't clear.  Is it just straight up jealousy, or is there something more?  I'm anxious to find out what her deal is in future books too.

Have you noticed how many times I used the word secret in this review?  That's not a coincidence, as the secrets all the characters are keeping and reveal throughout the story are almost characters in and of themselves.  I enjoyed that Alex's fate isn't a slam dunk at the end of this book and there's still fighting to be done and obstacles to overcome.  I have faith that she and Varik will end up together and happy but they are certainly going to have to want it badly enough to fight for it.  I'm on board with this series for the long haul.

Overall Grade: A

Be sure to come back tomorrow, because Jeannie Holmes herself will be here for a guest post and a giveaway that is seriously awesome. I can't wait!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guest Review: Immortal Quest: The Trouble with Mages

Note from Emily: Guest reviews are a rare treat here at WBiT? and today I'm happy to hand the reins over to Lewis Faulkner, author, playwright, and all around nice guy. You'll be hearing more from him during the Declare Your Independence Indie Author Giveaway Carnival here in July, but for now, he's on tap as guest reviewer!

Immortal Quest
Title:  Immortal Quest: The Trouble with Mages
Author:  Alexandra MacKenzie
Page Count:  280
Publisher:  Ingram Book Group (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)
Genre: Fantasy
Overall Grade: A

50 words or less: When detective Nick Watson interrogates Marlen, he’s led into a fate-of-the-world adventure.  But not from the usual suspects.  Magicians, a goblet, a ring, and a sacred stone—elements of an adventure that will reveal not only Nick’s current character, but his problematic past.

Immortal Quest is a great novel. 

But when I first read the plot, I didn’t think I’d like it.  Maybe not my cup of tea.

Once I started actually reading it, though, I had a much different experience.  The first chapter convinced me that this was going to be a page-turner! 

There are two main characters in the novel.  One is Marlen, [last name unnecessary and an ironic twist of the lips from the name Merlin, I suspect], who we discover is a mage, or using a more superficial definition, a magician.  He’s breaking into a museum.  But the motive isn’t money.  He’s removing something from the museum that has the potential, in the wrong hands, of ruining the world itself.  Nice start—the fate of the world is at stake.   Of course, Marlen gets caught, which introduces him, quite naturally, to the second main character, Nick Watson.  Nick is a hard-nosed detective.  Maybe a detective who comes off as a little stereotypical, at the outset, but he doesn’t stay that way for long.  Most importantly, in the first few chapters, Nick’s main job is to be skeptical of what Marlen is going to reveal, and a detective is just the right dose of realistic juxtaposition.

As Nick interrogates Marlen in the first chapter, Nick’s life is changed forever.   Again—the fate of the world at stake?  A character’s life changed forever?—that ability in an author is professional and exactly what fiction needs.  Eventually, Marlen reveals information about Nick that no one else could possibly know.  Nick has had many other lives, and in some of them, Marlen has not only been his best friend, but hints that Nick may have bisexual tendencies.  Of course, all this could just be a tall-tale, made up by a burglar.  The convincing comes, however, when Marlen reveals information that only Nick knows, from items on his body to the dream he had last night. 

Nick, of course, is astounded.  As you or I would be.

This might be a good place to point out that such an opening tells me, as a reader, that the author knows what she’s doing.  She’s pulling me in, very gently.  She’s making a regular person in the plot ask exactly the same questions I would ask under such circumstances.  This plot isn’t going to get a free ride under the category of fantasy; Nick is a hard-nosed realist, asking hard questions, and demanding proof before he steps into this adventure!

As the novel moves quickly into ‘what should we do now?’ mode, Ms. MacKenzie begins each scene with something interesting, wastes little details on artsy description, uses fresh dialog to keep things moving, and ends each scene with foreshadowing.  Again, I’m thinking, as a reader, this author knows what she’s doing.  And, she continues this template throughout the entire novel.  Certainly a feat in itself.

This ought to be enough to convince you to read Immortal Quest for yourself.

But there’s more.

As the plot unfolds, we see the characters divide into camps for the upcoming conflict.  Marlen and Nick are out to indirectly help the leaders of a Council (composed of Duncan Phipps, Georgina Pruit, and Ed Kelly).  This group is planning serious action against a mage named Vere, who is set out to destroy the world.  But in order to ruin things, Vere needs to regain three tangible possessions: a goblet, a jeweled ring, and a stone from the museum (the same museum where we first met Marlen in scene one).

As the two sets of foes journey across the Welsh countryside in search of the three talisman, opportunities arise for the reader to get to know the personalities of the characters.  From minor characters (known as drones) who surround the evil Vere, to Nick’s Uncle Brian, to ancient council members like Isabel—the author takes us deeper into the history of the relationships and strengthens the idiosyncracies of all her characters.  The journey takes us to Cornwall, to the Isle of Skye, and a surrounding castle—the scenery as realistic as the road signs, and the intrigue increases even more, as the race to find the three talismen comes to a head.

A lesser author might have been content to let the journey and the climax be nothing more than finding the three object and foiling the villain.  But Ms. MacKenzie shows even more talent, in my opinion, by crafting a couple of superb twists in the plot toward the end of the novel.  Without spoiling anything for you, if you haven’t read the novel yet, you’ll find a couple of places where the characters you’ve grown to think you know reveal themselves to be the opposite of what you believed.  Again, more real life than fantasy in my world, anyway.  All this, mind you, not from a fall-back on fantasy, but from genuine revelations of character and motive.  Real-life stuff!

As the novel comes to a close, we realize Nick is still struggling to understand his identity, from his possible bisexual nature, to his previous lives, and his current feelings for Marlen.  And Marlen is struggling with his own naïve, multiple-life loneliness.

Just for good measure, the novel has sprinklings of humor.  For example, Marlen reveals that “most of my fellow mages have become stockbrokers.”  Almost a laugh-out-loud joke.  But not exactly something you’d associate with time-traveling, multiple-life magicians.

Overall, the book was a great read, covering everything from intrigue to humor to emotional conflict.

And, with a hook like the main character having lives multiple lives, I think there’s plenty of room for some sequels!

Thanks for a great read, Ms. MacKenzie.

Lewis Faulkner is the author of The Headhunter, Radical, Novel Noir, Valentine’s Day—A Romantic Comedy, Miles Overman—A Novel, and Titan’s Rumor, as well as the award-winning play, Captain America.  He lives in Morrisville, NC.  Contact him on the web at www.FaulknerFiction.com

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vixen by Mina Carter- Guest Post time!

Today I'm pleased to have Mina Carter, author of Vixen stopping by to guest post, courtesy of Goddess Fish Promotions!  Mina is giving away a digital copy of the book to one commenter on her tour, so be sure to check out the other stops and get cracking to win!
Vixen Tour Schedule:

As you can see, this is the last stop on the tour so you'll want to get commenting sooner rather than later!
And now, please welcome Mina Carter!

Hi! First off I’d like to thank you for having me as a guest and, well, heya! Yes, even you guys lurking at the back there. You can come closer you know, I don’t bite. Much ;) Okay, I should introduce myself. I’m Mina Carter and I write paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary romance. 

I write ebooks.

There, I said it. I got the dirty truth out there. So far not one of my titles is available in traditional print format. And, you know what? That doesn’t bother me one iota. There is a huge impression out there that unless you make it into print as a writer, you’ve failed somehow.

I don’t see it that way. Yeah, it irritates me when I mention my work and someone says ‘oh, so not ‘real’ books then’ but on the whole it makes no difference. I personally haven’t visited a bookshop in over four years…maybe longer? I shop online and I don’t keep physical copies of books due to lack of space. My kindle? Overflowing. Chock-full. I love rooting around on Amazon or other publisher sites and finding new voices, most of whom I would never find in a bookstore because of someone else’s (the store buyers) decision.

So yeah. Digital publishing. But, it's lower quality, right? Wrong. Don’t take my word for it. Go read things from the big boys, then go read something from the e-publishing houses. You’ll find good and bad examples from both. I certainly do. As a digitally published author I can tell you, those edits can be a total bitch. Some have made me cry. So no one’s in the business of putting out hastily edited work, not that I work with anyway.

Because my work is all digital, it means I can’t promote physically. Since my readers are all over the world, distance makes that impossible. So…I promote on the internet. For any author promoting a book, there are so many resources. Guest blogging as I’m doing here today, which is basically my way of reaching out and introducing myself to you guys. Hopefully you’ll find my interview here interesting enough to head on over to my website and check out my free reads, or maybe buy a book or two (or three and more, if you like me THAT much ;) ). I use Facebook, twitter, I hold contests on my blog for releases. Basically I tend to be all over the place like a bad rash J I love it when people email me or comment back, basically any kind of interaction is great! I don’t feel like I’m talking to the abyss of cyber-space then.

So, I’ve waffled on enough. What kind of interaction do you like to see from authors? Interviews, chats, contests?

Many thanks to Mina for stopping by today! Here's a little taste to tell you more about Vixen:
Whatever else he was, she had to admit he had guts. She wouldn’t want to be shut up in a room with an angry Kyn either. Whilst his pixie heritage might have protected him from being turned
into a vampire, it did buggar all to protect him from being dead.

The only vampire warrioress in existence, Vixen has spent most of her life proving herself in a man’s world, but she’s never been able to squash some very feminine thoughts where fellow warrior Kalen is concerned. Kalen however, has sworn off love, preferring to deal in lust instead.

But a passionate encounter blows their carefully constructed indifference to each other and when Vixen is kidnapped will they be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to give their love a chance?
Connect with Mina at her author website- to grab a copy of the book for yourself, click here!

Goddess Fish Partner

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

eBites: Devil Without a Cause Trailer!

Blog With Bite

Devil Without a Cause How does one connect the dots between a book trailer for a paranormal romance and a Finnish rock group?  Terri Garey's blog tells the story but the trailer and synopsis caught my interest and definitely put this book on my radar:

Idle hands are the Devil's workshop...

Temptation and seduction are the tricks of the Devil's trade, and when offered the chance to regain his wings by playing guardian angel, he's hell-bent on doing things his way...

Faith McFarland is in need of a miracle. So desperate to save her sick child, she's willing to make a deal with the Devil: steal a ring worn by Finn Payne, the bad-boy rockstar who long ago sold his soul for rock 'n roll. Temptation and seduction become necessary evils, yet Faith's salvation means Finn's damnation . . . because the ring is all that stands between him and Hell. Falling in love was never part of the bargain, but now that they've tasted heaven in each other's arms, can they convince the Devil to give up his due?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Savage Nature

Savage NatureTitle: Savage Nature
Author: Christine Feehan
Page Count: 400 pages (I read the Kindle version)
Publisher: Jove
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less:  Drake Donovan thinks he's in the Louisiana bayou to stop a series of killings being perpetrated by a leopard shifter.  What he doesn't realize is that the woman who blew the whistle on the situation, Saria Boudreaux, is not only a leopard shifter herself, but is just about ready to choose a mate.  And except for knowing about the murders, Saria is totally in the dark.

I don't remember why I opted out of the last book in this series, but I'm glad I decided to go with the recommendations of bloggers and read this one- it was simultaneously sweet and sassy with characters that stuck with me and a plot and conflict that set the stage for future installments nicely.

I remember Drake Donovan from previous books and remember him as the one that had problems shifting into leopard form.  In this book, his ability to shift is back, which is a good thing for him, since to keep up with Saria, her five shifter brothers, and the super-dysfunctional lair they're living in he's going to need all the skills he can muster.

Saria Boudreaux isn't short on skills herself.  I appreciated the fact that while she was innocent in the ways of the world from pretty much raising herself as well as living in an extremely remote area, she wasn't dumb.  She was totally honest about what she felt and why; if she was frightened, she had a reason, she didn't just lash out irrationally.  She tries to deal with each crisis as it comes; in addition to trying to catch a murderer, she has to deal with the possibility that all the evidence she has says that one of her brothers has to be the killer.  Drake doesn't sugar coat things but neither does he allow misconceptions to stand.  He does his best to put her mind at ease and Saria enters into the relationship with her eyes open.

I enjoyed the little twist with how Drake's future comes to be entwined with that of the lair's too.  That was nicely done.  The addition of the secondary cast of characters, including the members of Drake's team plus Saria's brothers, means that there should be plenty more books in this series to look forward to.

Christine Feehan's books are like Pringles for me.  When I start I keep going until the craving goes away, and usually that takes awhile.  Finishing this book sent me back to the Carpathian books, and I finally acquired those on Kindle after checking them out of the library more times than I'd care to admit.  Consider it a point scored for easy access.

Overall Grade: B+

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox: One Click Buying is a Dangerous Thing

In My Mailbox comes compliments of The Story Siren!

I can't seem to keep my finger off the one-click ordering button lately! Between catching up on stand-by series and being lured to temptation by the Kindle Sunshine Deals, I've amassed a neat collection in the past week.

First off, I have to share the deals I picked up from the Sunshine promotion Amazon is running:

Night's Cold Kiss

Night's Cold Kiss by Tracey O'Hara- on sale for $2.99 at Amazon right now.

Death's Sweet Embrace

Death's Sweet Embrace by Tracey O'Hara- on sale for $2.99 at Amazon right now.

Shadow Touch: A Dirk & Steele Novel

Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu- on sale for $2.99 at Amazon right now.

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, Book 1)

The Greyfriar by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith- on sale for $2.99 at Amazon right now.

My second batch of books are all from the Carpathian series by Christine Feehan.  I seem to come back to this series in the summertime, when a good romance with adventures and fighting seem to be just the thing.  Having gotten all of these books out of the library numerous times over the years, I finally decided to get copies of my own. I started with my favorites in the series but eventually I'm sure I'll have them all:
Dark DestinyDark DemonDark Celebration: A Carpathian ReunionDark PossessionDark Curse: A Carpathian NovelDark Slayer
What showed up in your mailbox this week?
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