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Friday, March 30, 2012

Charity Hopping Around the World GIVEAWAY- OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!

I'm thrilled to be a part of this hop, whose purpose is to call attention to a variety of worthy causes supported by the blogging community!  I had such a hard time deciding what charities to focus on, and ultimately I decided on two organizations that are very dear to my heart- Jumpstart and Reading is Fundamental!

What's so great about Jumpstart and Reading is Fundamental? I'm glad you asked!

From their own website, Jumpstart is:

Working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed
Every child deserves the chance to succeed, yet studies show that children from low-income neighborhoods are at a greater risk of school failure. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that helps these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be successful in school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.

Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained nearly 25,000 college students and community volunteers to deliver its program to more than 100,000 preschool children nationwide.
Speaking from my own experience as a Corps Member and Team Leader while I was in college, Jumpstart is a chance for college students to work one on one with preschool children living in low-income communities to improve literacy, social, and school readiness skills. The college students implementing the program benefit as much from the work as the students do- my path of becoming a teacher for young children was cemented while I was working for Jumpstart.

From their website:

Our vision is a literate America in which all children have access to books and discover the joys and value of reading.

To motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8.

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. We prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential. Yes, it seems incredible for a book to launch a life, but it happens every day as hungry, inquisitive young minds reach out and grab hold of the new people, places, and ideas that books bring them.

Planting seeds of inspiration in our nation’s most vulnerable children is what RIF and a network of more than 400,000 volunteers do. Whether in schools, homeless shelters, or community centers—wherever you find children—RIF volunteers spend countless hours distributing books, staging reading motivation activities, and promoting the importance of literacy in their communities.

From my experience- my first three years of teaching were in a Head Start program where Reading is Fundamental was a partner. Students in my class were always so excited to pick out their book to keep forever and to write their name inside.  For many of my students, the books they received from RIF were the only ones they had in the house or that belonged just to them.

GIVEAWAY TIME!  In the spirit of the excitement that comes from selecting books of your very own, this giveaway is for a $15 gift certificate to the book vendor of your choice!  To enter, just fill out the Google form below.  The winner will be notified when the hop ends. The giveaway ends on April 4th, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST.  Good luck to everyone and enjoy the hop!

Check out the rest of the participating blogs to find out about more charities and discover more awesome giveaways!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring Fever Edition!

So I've been saying for awhile on Twitter that I'm finally ready to commit to a weekly meme. Yet as is so often the case with committing to anything, it took me awhile to finally decide which one it would be. Here, friends, is the winner: Top Ten Tuesday has come to What Book is That? and hopefully will be my regular Tuesday-type thing! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and the topics are listed through the end of May as of this writing, so climb aboard!

This week's list topic is Spring Fever: Top Ten Books I'd Play Hooky With, and with spring break coming up (eight more days, not like I'm counting or anything) you can bet some of these books will end up in my bag at the beach, if not for spring break, then for summer:

The books on the list that haven't been released yet are on my definitely to buy list and the rest are from series where I MUST get current and reread! Ah, summer, can you please get here sooner?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Beauty in the Beast

Title: Beauty in the Beast
Author: Christine Danse
Page Count: 328 KB
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: paranormal romance, steampunk-esque
Copy for review obtained via NetGalley in anticipation of an honest review


Journeying by steam-powered sled to London's Frost Fair to perform, Tara and three friends are trapped in a blizzard in the woods. A gruff, handsome stranger offers them shelter—and wants one thing in return. Stories.

The travellers are glad to oblige. Their host, Rolph, is especially captivated by Tara's story of an orphaned girl raised by the Fae in the world of the spirits. Equally intrigued by Rolph, and aware of an electric pull between them, Tara encourages him to share a story of his own. When Rolph weaves a tale of a man who is doomed by his own folly to turn into a wolf at the full moon, Tara suspects there is more than a grain of truth in his words.

When the veil between the mortal and spiritual worlds is parted, and danger threatens, will Tara make the ultimate sacrifice to save Rolph?

I do love me some Beauty and the Beast retellings, and this was one of the more creative ones I've come across lately.  Instead of taking the epic fantasy approach with a cast of thousands, this story takes a fantasy/steampunky background layers in a small cast of characters, all storytellers and performers- except for Rolph, our Beast.  The story was short and sweet and engaging, and at the end I found that I wanted to read more.

Tara makes a living telling stories at festivals along with her three friends and fellow performers, and when it looks like they're about to be snowed under in the woods on their way to London, they stop at a house in the woods to seek shelter.  Rolph agrees, and wants to be paid in stories, since the friends don't have much else that he'd want.  So far, the synopsis has covered all the bases.

What the synopsis doesn't really communicate is the lyrical quality of Tara's stories or the attraction that she feels for Rolph, who is a storyteller in his own right.  This is a sweet sort of story, and very PG, but you get the feeling that a lot could develop between these two if the opportunity presented itself.

Tara chooses to tell a story that she's never told anyone, and that reveals many things about her. We as readers don't get to see the significance of all that until the very end of the story, and it definitely ramped up the fairy tale quality of the story.

If I had to voice a complaint about this story, it would be that it's just a tad too short to really do justice to the characters and to give them a chance to develop.  I would have enjoyed a longer look at Tara and Rolph and would have enjoyed seeing what else happened between them.  As it is, the way the story was ended was good enough for me and makes me want to read more by this author.

Overall Grade:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: The Shadow Reader

Title: The Shadow Reader
Author: Sandy Williams
Page Count: 469 KB (320 pages)
Publisher: Ace
Genre: urban fantasy/romance, first in a series
Copy for review was purchased by me

A Houston college student, McKenzie Lewis can track fae by reading the shadows they leave behind. For years she has been working for the fae King, tracking rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn't her only secret. She's in love with Kyol, the King's sword-master-but human and fae relationships are forbidden. When McKenzie is captured by Aren, the fierce rebel leader, she learns that not everything is as she thought. And McKenzie must decide who to trust and where she stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

Stop the presses, people.

You all know about my pretty intense dislike of love triangles/rectangles/shapes of any kind, right? How they'll pretty much kill a story for me the minute that they make their angsty presence known? Well, I can officially say that that unfortunate event did not happen as I read The Shadow Reader.  The romantic tangle in this story helped to support an engaging, vivid read that left me eager for the next book at the end and rooting for our heroine from page one.

The backdrop of the story is a bloody, bitter civil war between factions of the Fae and is based on old grievances about trading rights and self determination.  Both sides are deeply entrenched and not prepared to stop fighting until the other side has lost; our heroine, McKenzie, is initially on the side of the Fae monarchy due to the fact that she works for the king.  After she's kidnapped by the rebels, she finds herself having to answer some difficult questions about her involvement with the war and how little she actually knows about the issues and the fighting.

McKenzie also has two dreamboats about to set sail- one is Kyol, the king's swordmaster, and one is Aren, the leader of the rebels.  McKenzie has been carrying a torch for Kyol for an embarrassingly long time and it's pretty clear that he has tingly feelings for her too, but any kind of romantic involvement between humans and fae is expressly forbidden by the king, who happens to not only be Kyol's boss, but his best friend as well.  Fae and humans who decide to defy that decree end up among the rebels, and that's where Aren comes in.

Aren is pretty much everything that Kyol isn't- spontaneous where Kyol is methodical, passionate where Kyol seems reserved, and the fact that he's fighting for a diametrically opposite cause pretty much seals the deal.  Owing to the fact that he's got no love for the king, McKenzie's humanity isn't an obstacle for him, and neither is the fact that she's in love with someone else.  Aren sets out to win McKenzie by showing her that she could have so much more on his side and wouldn't have to be a secret like she would be with Kyol.

It's not much of a spoiler to say that one of these guys is much more emotionally available than the other (can you guess who is who?) and McKenzie is a smart girl and realizes that.  The conflict comes from her having to decide how she fits into the civil war and whether her principles can allow her to keep doing what she's doing, and in resolving the tension that erupts after her kidnapping where Kyol finally blinks and realizes that he could lose her permanently and very easily at that.

The descriptions and the tension and the drama in this book are top notch, and while I had a definite preference for who McKenzie would ultimately choose to resolve the love triangle business (hint: Mother always said, emotionally available is best) I could see how things could have gone another way.  I am definitely interested to see how things play out in the next book. The second book, The Shattered Dark, is due out October 30th according to Goodreads, so Happy Halloween to me!  In the meantime, The Shadow Reader is already on my best of 2012 list, so don't miss it for yourself!

Overall Grade:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Happiness Blog Tour: Please Welcome Bryan Cohen!

Bryan Cohen here, guest poster and author, promoting my new book The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I'm giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post.

"The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; for happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up."

-Charles Langbridge Morgan

I can look back on it and laugh now, but some of the things I wanted at the age of 18 would not have made me happy in the long run. While I didn't know what I wanted to do in life, I knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be married less than a year or two out of college. I was so full of puppy love back then, I just assumed I would fall for someone in college and want to get married and start a family right away. I wanted to be silly and funny all of the time and to have everybody laugh at me and with me constantly. I also wanted to be famous and to have everything that came with it.

While I have fallen deeply in love, had some comedic times and I'm more popular than I used to be, I wouldn't say that I've achieved any of these things. If I've failed at those desires that 18-year-old me had, why am I not miserable? It's because the things I needed to achieve happiness have changed over time.

That wasn't always the case though. A year or two out of college I still wanted those same things that the younger version of me wanted. I felt like I needed them to be happy and since I hadn't achieved them, I labeled myself a colossal failure. It wasn't until I really thought about what I wanted, until I updated my wish list, that I realized happiness was still possible. I wasn't 18 anymore. Why on Earth was I still trying to fulfill the wishes of someone who hadn't even graduated high school yet?

I set out to create a new set of goals and a new way to be happy. Instead of looking for puppy love, I looked to understand love more effectively so that I could have a good relationship with my partner, not necessarily a fast or fairy tale one. I spent time on looking for my calling in life and found that with enough hard work, I could get both satisfaction and sustenance from my writing. I realized that fame wasn't nearly as important to me as helping people and I started to reach out more to make a difference.

Re-evaluate and adapt your happiness for the person you are today. Don't try to base it on exactly what you wanted five, 10 or more years ago. Like Morgan says, it's time to let your happiness grow up.


Bryan Cohen is giving away 61 paperback and audio copies of The Post-College Guide to Happiness and a Kindle Fire between now and May 7th, 2012 on The Happiness Blog Tour. All entrants receive a free digital review copy of The Post-College Guide to Happiness. Bryan hopes to give away at least 1,000 copies during the blog tour. To enter, post a comment with your e-mail address or send an e-mail to postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Bryan will draw the names at the end of the tour. Entries will be counted through Sunday, May 6th.

Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer's block and stay motivated.

Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page or on the book's Facebook Page.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Bloggiesta Time!

It's that time again!  Bloggiesta is happening next weekend, March 30th-April 1st, and I'm super excited to participate again!  For those just tuning in, Bloggiesta is a chance to spend some time working on blog related projects and improvements along with other bloggers all over the place!  It's a great networking opportunity and a chance to do some fun mini challenges and finally do those blog-related things that just seem to keep falling through the cracks.  You can spend as much or as little time as you'd like participating in the festivities (the #bloggiesta hashtag on Twitter is always a good time) but it's a nice way to sort of give yourself permission to work on things that ordinarily get set aside.

The first order of business is to make a to do list for yourself, and mine is certainly a hefty one:

1. Get current on all my reviews and get them scheduled (I think this is always the first thing I put on my list.)
2.  Format all of my AAD author features that I currently have and figure out how many are remaining.
3.  Email/re-email authors and book my remaining AAD author features.
4.  Finish compiling my blog archives and add the link to the new archives to my header.
5.  Update/clean up my tags in my sidebar- what a mess!
6.  Listen to some excellent audiobooks while I'm working!

Are you participating in Bloggiesta and if so, what are your goals?  Leave a link to your to-do list and I'd be happy to cheer you on!

AAD Author Spotlight: Leanne Renee Hieber!

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm pleased to welcome Leanne Renee Hieber to the blog as an AAD Featured Author! She's here with the Five Question Quiz so let's get down to business!

1. Introduce yourself, Twitter style! Describe yourself or your books in 140 characters or less.

Award winning, bestselling author of Gothic Victorian paranormal fantasy for adults & teens. Occasional actress. Devotee of ghost stories, corsets & Goth clubs.

2. Tell us a little bit about your latest release, or your upcoming projects if you'd prefer.

DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul launches my Magic Most Foul series set in 1880 New York City starring a hot British Lord, a haunted painting, crazy demonic magic, spooky nightmares, titillating romance and a brave young heroine who saves the day. In this world, it's the girl who rescues the guy. And they make a fabulous team. I'm polishing off the sequel, and it's packed full of action, adventure, scary thrills and some hot kisses in carriages and trains. :)

3. What books (your own or others) do you recommend most often?

My latest releases and the latest releases of my author friends! I'm definitely all about DARKER STILL and the Magic Most Foul saga right now, new series always need the most love and attention. And my bestie Alethea Kontis has her debut YA coming out, ENCHANTED, (http://aletheakontis.com ) plus The Apocalypsies debut crew are a group to track!

4. What part of Authors After Dark 2012 are you looking forward to the most?

Being in New Orleans! Plus I can't wait to reconnect with friends, authors and bloggers, and tease the sequel to Darker Still!

5. If you've been to AAD before, do you have any advice for first time attendees?

Don't be afraid to come up and talk to authors, that's what we're here for! As long as you're respectful and respect author's personal boundaries, authors are so excited to talk to their readers!

I tweet at http://twitter.com/leannarenee I'm on FB at http://facebook.com/lrhieber my website is http://leannareneehieber.com and Darker Still can be bought here: http://tinyurl.com/darkerbn and signed copies http://tinyurl.com/darkerpre

Thank you so much!!

Thank you, Leanne! Happy Friday to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, March 16, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: Sophie Oak!

After a brief hiatus, here's another Author Feature for Authors After Dark!  This week's featured author is Sophie Oak, and I think the cover of her book speaks for itself- scandalous, anyone? Sophie's here to tackle the Five Question Quiz, so I'll let her take it away!

1. Introduce yourself, Twitter style! Describe yourself or your books in 140 characters or less.

Smart (I hope), Sassy (always), Sinfully erotic!

2. Tell us a little bit about your latest release, or your upcoming projects if you'd prefer.

My current release is called Pure Bliss. It’s the sixth book in my Nights in Bliss, Colorado series. Bliss is about a small very quirky Colorado town. Odd relationships are the norm there. So are lots of fun things like alien abductions, nudists and the occasional Big Foot sighting. Pure Bliss is about a rancher, his long lost brother and the woman they both fall in love with.

3. What books (your own or others) do you recommend most often?

I write a lot of ménage and BDSM, so I’ll concentrate on what I know! I always recommend Shayla Black, Tymber Dalton and Cherise Sinclair. You can’t go wrong with any of their books. For non-erotics, I love Linda Howard and Jayne Ann Krentz.

4. What part of Authors After Dark 2012 are you looking forward to the most?

Meeting everyone! What an honor to be among such great authors and wonderful readers. I’m really looking forward to the party I’m throwing with Shayla Black. It’s called the Wicked Bliss Chocolate Indulgence Party. Everyone who comes to AAD is invited and we’re going to have a great time.

5. If you've been to AAD before, do you have any advice for first time attendees?

It’s my first time. I can’t wait!

And there you have it! Sophie and I will be newbs together at AAD and I will definitely be reporting back to all of you! Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Check out my March Madness post!

I'm guest posting today over at Elise Rome's blog for March Madness!  I'm talking recommendations for excellent books and giving away a $10 gift certificate! There are a ton of giveaways and great posts so head on over and check out the madness!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: A Brush of Darkness

Title: A Brush of Darkness
Author: Allison Pang
Page Count: 368 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: urban fantasy romance, first in a series
Copy for review was read as a free read on pocketafterdark.com
*This book counts for the AAD2012 Reading Challenge*

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

First off, for those that aren't on board with Pocket After Dark, you should head over and check it out! They have two different full-length Pocket novels available to read for free online each month as well as excerpts from current releases/soon to be released books, forums, polls, and all that jazz. I don't venture over there as often as I should but in this case I'm glad I did, as I got to read this book for free!

This is book the first in the Abby Sinclair series, and it doesn't waste time getting started.  We dive right into the story and the world that the characters have been inhabiting for awhile at this point.  Abby is trying to figure out how she fits into the events that are going on around her; keeping a low profile is her best bet but, as is often the case, it doesn't really work.  See, her boss is an Important Person among the fae, and sooner or later that Important Person being missing is going to register on someone's radar.

Soon enough, it does- on Brystion's.  He's an incubus and the attraction is immediate.  Brystion is looking for his sister, who is also missing.  Together they try to figure out what the heck is happening to these people and to somehow address the minefield of Issues between them.

This is one of those books that's very visual- you visualize in your head what the setting, characters, and events look like as they happen or are brought up and that's how they look for the rest of the time you spend reading.  There are a lot of vivid details in this book and they're used in a way that make imagining the goings-on in the story very real.  While I admit there are times that I wasn't quite sure how pieces of the story fit together, per se, my imagination was quick to fill in the blanks.

The ending of the book was a quick denouement, with a twist that was sad and definitely hinted at what's coming in book 2.  I thought the play on the title was clever, and that a lot of elements were highlighted that will definitely merit further exploration in future books.  This is a good start to an imaginative series.

Overall Grade:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Author Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Please Welcome Louisa Kelley

Please join me today in welcoming Louisa Kelley, author of the Daughters of Draca series!  She is offering a $25 Amazon gift card to one commenter on her entire tour.  To leave a comment on this post, simply click the title of the post, which will take you to the IntenseDebate of it all.  The more you comment on the tour, the better your chances of winning! The full tour schedule is posted here.

Let's get down to it- take it away Louisa!

How Louisa Kelley Got Her Writing Muse On:
5 Must-Read Authors for Every Aspiring Fantasy/ Erotic Author and Reader

One of the ways I learned to write erotic fantasy was and is by being a great reader. I read voraciously in the science fiction/fantasy/erotica/paranormal genres. When I decided to try my hand at writing one of these stories myself, I began to read my books a bit differently. I found myself asking: Why am I enjoying this story so much? What is the author doing here that makes this character/action so great? Over time, the answers to these questions taught me a lot about the craft of writing.

Below is my personal list of the authors that inspired, delighted and astounded me with their stories and mastery of craft. Their books live on my keeper shelves.

1.) First up is the incomparable author Emma Holly. She’s one of the very best erotic authors in the marketplace today, IMHO. I first discovered her paranormal series that began with the book “Catching Midnight” and after that initial electrifying read, I went on to devour her backlist and then counted the months until each new release. This woman ‘does’ penises like nobody’s business. How can she know so much about men and their sexual bits? Her sex scenes are full of such hot detail it’s as if she’s lived life as a man. She is absolutely fearless in her erotica. She can write historical (The Fitz Clare Chronicles series- fantastic!), contemporary or urban fantasy. The emotional content of the stories are deep, the romance between the characters vivid and compelling.

In a way, she gave me permission to find my own voice and craft my own unique erotic stories. Thank you Emma Holly!

2.) Second on my list is Susan Squires. Susan did a Regency Vampire series (The Hunger, The Burning, The Companion etc.) that is one of the best vampire series I’ve ever read. The vampire mythology she builds is unique among the genre. Her prose is beautiful, her characters complex and fascinating. She takes her time, using all the senses in her descriptions (the Egyptian desert- swoon!), showcasing a mastery of timing that astonishes me. I felt like an understudy, trying to figure out how she managed such tight pacing while spinning such wonderful stories. I would recommend any book she’s written that was published before 2010.

Thank you Susan Squires for inspiring me to write sensual action scenes that entices the reader to want more!

3.) Third up would be author Kresley Cole, and her book “A Hunger Like No Other” (Book One of her Immortals After Dark series). This book won the Rita Award for best paranormal romance in 2006. I was at the Romance Writers of America convention when she won this award, and was thrilled to see her win. I’ve read the book twice now and as far as I’m concerned, the story is written about as perfectly as a paranormal romance can be written. She’s got everything. Uber hot, fascinating hero with issues, a paranormal world and mythology that’s not only compelling but humorous. Unusual and unique characters, satisfying emotional depth and lots of great action. Oh, and perfect pacing.

It’s enough to make someone envious. How did she do that? This book is my personal standard for excellence in paranormal writing. Thank you Kresley Cole for inspiring me to keep honing my craft!

4.) Next on the list is the science fiction author Catherine Asaro. Her (10) book series called “The Saga of the Skolian Empire” leaves me in utter awe. The author has a doctorate in physics, and imbues her knowledge of science into an incredible space opera/hard science/romance saga. It’s a vast, sprawling epic, with completely unique mythology and characters. At the end of every one of these books, I am left with my head spinning. How did she come up with all those stories and characters and weave them together so perfectly with all that complicated space science? These are absolute must-reads for any fan of science fiction space opera.

Thank you Catherine Asaro for being my eternal standard for brilliant writing. You are a goddess.

5.) And last but not least, there is Susan Krinard. Susan’s werewolf series (‘Luck of the Wolf, Bride of the Wolf” etc) was the first I ever read about shape-shifting wolves, and today it remains my personal favorite of any werewolf series. She captures the essence of wolf society and the inner mind of creatures who are part wolf and part human like no one else. Her other paranormal series, begun with “Lord of Legends” are also excellent reads. I am blown away by her fine sense of tension and conflict. Her stories are literal page-turners. There is very little fluff; it’s all characterization and action. I thought ‘Lord of Legends’ showcased an author at the top of her game. Anything by Susan is highly recommended.

Thank you Susan Krinard for inspiring me to create my own unique paranormal shape-shifter stories.

I hope the readers of this post are now duly inspired to check out these excellent authors, and also to perhaps make their way to my own stories of hot and spicy dragon shape-shifters and the women who love them.

Louisa Kelley
Thanks again to Louisa for stopping by!  Remember, every comment on the posts on this tour is a chance to win the $25 Amazon gift certificate!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Review: Jane's Warlord

Title: Jane's Warlord
Author: Angela Knight
Page Count: 324 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: time travel romance
Copy for review was purchased by me

The next target of a time traveling killer, crime reporter Jane Colby finds herself in the hands of a warlord from the future sent to protect her--and in his hands is just where she wants to be.

Well, it's not much of a synopsis, and yet for the most part it sums up pretty efficiently what all goes on in this book. I'd picked this one up for Kindle because it comes up a lot in recommendation lists for fans of science fiction romance; I don't usually go in for time travel but like most people, I make exceptions.

This was a definite middle of the road book for me- it wasn't terrible, it wasn't great, it isn't anything I can envision myself reading over and over again. The characters are fun in a sort of forgettable way, and the drama felt, honestly, kind of manufactured, which made it hard to invest in what was going on. There's a futuristic timber wolf/sidekick guy who's pretty funny and spends a lot of time trying to eat the heroine's Siamese cat. Chuckles abound.

It's the banter between Baran (futuristic warlord hero dude) and Jane (intrepid reporter with a now-dead abusive father) that keep the story moving. The bad guy is super bad, with no morals or scruples whatsoever, and because we know there's going to be a happily ever after, it kind of takes the wind out of the sails of there being any real obstacles between these two. There's an interesting scene near the end where Jane meets one of Baran's former lovers that was fun to read; the author did a good job of portraying Jane as a rational and dynamic person who has a good grasp of what's going on around her, no matter how bizarre that may be.

Would I discourage anyone from reading this book? Not at all! It was a fun way to spend an evening, I just didn't feel at the end of it that I would ever need to reread it. If you're planning a trip to the beach this summer and need something fun to read while you smear yourself with sunscreen, this is a good bet. I don't think it will change your position on life, the universe, and everything, but you'll pass a good afternoon this way.

Overall Rating:
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