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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February in Review- Happy Leap Day!

No common year for us this year! I hope everyone's making good use of their extra day- two months of 2012 are gone already!

I love the idea of doing a monthly roundup post but I'm pretty terrible at remembering/following through on them- here's to starting a new trend!

Books Reviewed in February:
Changeling Moon by Dani Harper
Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Something About Witches by Joey W. Hill
Within the Flames by Marjorie M. Liu
Ricochet by Sandra Sookoo

Currently Listening To:
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, although I paused this one to listen to the next title, which is:
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Reviews to Write, In No Particular Order:
Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus
Jane's Warlord by Angela Knight
The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
Prime Obsession by Monette Michaels

The reading has been excellent lately! It's the finding time to write reviews that I seem to be falling behind on, and I'll hopefully get caught up soon. In the meantime, there are lots of other good books to read, and this cute video to watch of people singing together in a bathroom. Enjoy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Author Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Please Welcome Sandra Sookoo!

Please join me in welcoming Sandra Sookoo, author of Ricochet to What Book is That!  She's here as a part of the Goddess Fish Promotions virtual book tour for her book and is offering up a great prize to one lucky commenter! Sandra will be awarding a gift bag of travel sized Bath and Body Works products in Charmed scent to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US/Canda only please.)  The more you comment on the tour stops, the more chances you have to win! Click here for all the tour dates!

With that said, take it away Sandra!
Five Must Read Science Fiction Romances and Why


Since I came late to sci-fi or sci-fi romance, I’m sure my reading lists aren’t as extensive as some other people in the genre. But I will share the last five I read and enjoyed.

In no particular order:

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch—I love the world she’s created as well as bringing humor to the genre.

Prime Obsession by Monette Michaels—Intriguing premise, lots of action, pirates and strong-willed characters. What’s not to like?

Stellar Timing by Jennifer L. Hart—She’s got tons of humor, talking dogs and cats, plus a place called Hotel California on a penal colony called Earth. Her books always make me laugh.

Bound Among the Stars by Mima and Jennifer Leeland—this is a sexy collection of two stories mostly involving how the very different characters learn to work together with their differences.

The Chronicles of Kassouk - Book One: White Tiger by Vijaya Schartz—this book is a great blend of sci-fi and fantasy with lots of action.

For me, it doesn’t matter if the stories are hard sci-fi or fluffy sci-fi romance. A good story is a good story. Bring along interesting characters and you’ve got a winner.
*****

Thanks Sandra!  Now, to whet your whistle, here's an excerpt from Ricochet, which releases tomorrow:
At the moment, he to see how far he could push her, find out what she was made of. “Go for it, kita. I love a good challenge.”

Her eyes narrowed.

Stratton grinned. He’d called her bluff, and she had nothing to back up the words. Even so, a tiny twinge of disappointment caught him off guard. Why did women only want to interact with him on a carnal level? It might be nice to have a heated discussion or argument that had nothing to do with what he could give them physically. “Well, I guess we know which one of us deserves this seat, huh?” He swiveled the chair around to fully face her, and the tip of his nose came dangerously close to her bust line.

“You deserve this.” Before he could react, she stomped down hard on the instep of his right foot. “For now, I’ll let you have your way, but from here on out, you’ll have to fight me for the privilege of pilot. I’ve worked hard, struggled for every achievement I claim, and I refuse to let a louse like you take that away. Do you understand?”

Pain radiated through his foot and shot up his calf. Not for worlds would he show her the juvenile action had hurt. Swallowing down a string of vulgarity, he gave her what he hoped was an insolent grin. “Perfectly. If you don’t get your way, you’ll have a hissy fit. Gotcha. Typical spoiled little rich girl.”

“Bastard.” She spun on her heel, bending slightly to retrieve the handheld device.

“At your service.”
And there you have it!  I definitely recommend Ricochet to anyone who loves a good science fiction romance or anyone who loves a little snark among friends.

Don't forget to leave a comment on this post for a chance to be entered in Sandra's excellent giveaway! Click on the title of this post to get to the comment form and let the good times roll!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Ricochet

Title: Ricochet
Author: Sandra Sookoo
Page Count: 450 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: science fiction romance
Copy for review obtained via Goddess Fish Promotions in anticipation of an honest review

Synopsis:

They’re in it to win it—or die trying.
Willa Rayes, only daughter of a legendary Lingorian fighter pilot, can fly any ship in the galaxy. Better than her brothers, in fact. But does that get her any respect? Not as long as she has breasts. Winning the Nebulon Trike will not only force her family to notice her, it’ll be her declaration of independence from men in general.

Then she meets her race partner, Stratton Sinnet. Arrogant and chauvinistic, he ignites her libido like no man ever before. And threatens to send her well-planned strategy straight to hell.
A bounty hunter by trade, Sin enters the Trike for one reason: money. Somewhere among the racers his quarry is hiding, but he’s not worried. He always gets his man, and winning the race will be a nice bonus. It sure would be a hell of a lot easier, though, if he wasn’t saddled with a know-it-all navigator who’s getting on his last nerve—and under his skin.

As the checkpoints go by and the danger escalates, the fight for control, the lead—and satisfaction—approaches supernova heat. Burning away their resistance, and the tough shells that protect their one vulnerability…their hearts.

Warning: This story contains a hot, bald bounty hunter whose sex appeal rivals his cockiness; a smart-mouthed pilot who refuses to let a mere male beat her in anything; and love scenes that’ll make you'll think a star exploded. Dramamine recommended to counteract the effects of fancy flying.
*****

What a fun story!  I love when romance and science fiction collide, and this is definitely a great story. The settings are fantastic, the characters are snarky and engaging and real, and the conflict is big enough that it fits the huge backdrop of a space race.  I read the story in one sitting and was satisfied at the end of it.

As a couple, Sin and Rayes are volatile- they know exactly how to annoy the crap out of each other but are still fiercely attracted at the same time.  Sin is used to discarding people very quickly so that nobody ever figures out just how lonely he is, and Rayes has spent her whole life trying to impress her family, and wouldn't recognize genuine admiration and praise if it jumped up and bit her on the nose.  This makes the cramped quarters of a space ship very tense indeed, and the banter between these two was excellent- lots of quotable quotes.

The element of the space race and the hunt for Sin's bounty are well balanced with the drama between the two main characters, and I was interested to see how they would work out each challenge that came up in the story without killing each other in the process.  I also enjoyed the end of the story, and I felt that the resolution of all of their issues was believable, which is always important.  I mean, being mature and having emotions and stuff takes time, right? Right.

If you're looking for a fun science fiction romance with plenty of action, this is a good bet!  Plus, the author, Sandra Sookoo, will be stopping by tomorrow with a great giveaway!

Overall Grade:

Friday, February 24, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: L.A. Witt!

This week's featured author for Authors After Dark is L.A. Witt!  In the spirit of this particular con, this author is totally new to me, but I enjoyed getting to know her for this feature- take it away!

1. Introduce yourself, Twitter style! Describe yourself or your books in 140 characters or less. "Abnormal romance author with two names and way too many voices in my head."
  
2. Tell us a little bit about your latest release, or your upcoming projects if you'd prefer.  My latest release is Where There's Smoke, a contemporary M/M erotic romance from Loose Id, LLC.  The story is about Jesse Cameron, a closeted and married political candidate who can't resist his surly campaign manager, Anthony Hunter. 
  
3. What books (your own or others) do you recommend most often?  Of my own, usually Static (Amber Allure, 2011), Damaged Goods (Loose Id, LLC, 2011), Cover Me (Carnal Passions, 2010), or The Closer You Get(Samhain, 2011). Books by others?  You can't go wrong with Smoke or Blood and Roses by Aislinn Kerry orPromises by Marie Sexton.

4. What part of Authors After Dark 2012 are you looking forward to the most? --  Meeting some readers and authors, of course! I've spent my entire career overseas, so I haven't been able to meet anyone in person. Even chatting has been challenging because of the time difference between Japan and the States. So it'll be nice to meet people face to face. That, and it'll put to rest all those rumors that I'm a tentacled lizardbeast with green skin and five eyes. 
  
5. If you've been to AAD before, do you have any advice for first time attendees?  -- Never been there, so if anyone wants to leave advice for ME, I'd be eternally grateful!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Within the Flames

Title: Within the Flames
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Page Count: 376 pages
Publisher: Avon
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review provided by the author's publicist in anticipation of an honest review

Synopsis:

Joining the Dirk & Steele Agency turned Eddie’s life around. A pyrokinetic and former car thief, he cannotrefuse an assignment to cross the continent in orderto rescue an extraordinary woman in peril . . . even though he fears losing control of the destructive power offlame at his fingertips.

The last of her shape-shifting kind, Lyssa hides in theabandoned tunnels beneath Manhattan, seeking refugefrom those who murdered her family a decadeago and would now destroy her as well. Like Eddie, fire isher weapon, her destiny . . . and her curse. Yet shewants nothing to do with this mesmerizing stranger whoseeks her trust while enflaming her passion.For beneath Lyssa’s extraordinary beauty are dangerous secrets . . . and even darker, nearly irresistible urges.But she has won the heart of a fearless protector . . .and all the demons in the world will not make him back down.
*****

The Dirk and Steele series is one that I keep meaning to read and it somehow keeps falling through the cracks. Given the chance to pick up the series with this installment, it seemed like a fair enough deal. I admit it took me awhile to get around to reading this book, but I'm glad I did, and it definitely makes me want to go back and read the series in order, from the beginning.

I will lay out right here that my biggest issue/obstacle in this book stems from only having read the first book in the series and therefore not really knowing who any of the characters were or how they know each other or came to be in the story. That was only a small issue, though, as the overall focus of the story is definitely on Lyssa and Eddie and them falling in love and saving her from peril. It's just an element that I wish had been there for me, but I'm sure will be there upon future readings.

Anyway, Eddie and Lyssa are great together as a couple, and not just because they can both incinerate things to crispy little shreds if they aren't being careful, since Lyssa is a dragon shifter and Eddie is pyrokinetic. Both of them are Lonely with a capital L, since being a walking time bomb is no way to go through life, and therefore having friends and stability are kind of nonstarters as well. Each of them realize right from the beginning that finally having someone to trust and confide in is a huge blessing, and it was nice that neither of them ran from that.

The major conflict in this story stems from Lyssa being targeted by creepy witches that eat people to get high off their blood, and while that conflict was gross and creepy, it didn't overwhelm the romance of the story, and I did get that feeling that the whole story was just people running all over the place waiting for things to happen, which I've encountered with other series. It felt that although circumstances were desperate, they weren't chaotic. The tight plotting of the story was a definite plus.

Like I said, the big drawback for me reading this book was that I wasn't terribly familiar with any of the secondary characters. This made it a little difficult to get the references to past books, but made me want to read those books, so the purpose was still served. After doing this little bit of jumping around in the series I can definitely recommend starting from the beginning and reading in order. That's my plan, anyway!

Overall Grade:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: Something About Witches

Title: Something About Witches
Author: Joey W. Hill
Page Count: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Genre: paranormal romance, first in a series
Copy for review was purchased by me
Note: Book counts for the Authors After Dark reading challenge

Synopsis:
Ruby Night Divine is a witch who runs a gun shop. Magic can fail – she knows that first hand, having experienced it with full-blown tragic consequences, far beyond what Dr. Phil can fix. Smith and Wesson is a whole hell of a lot more reliable, and nothing’s as cathartic as the ability to put a few holes in the things that piss you off. Like Derek Stormwind.

A powerful sorcerer, Derek is determined to get to the bottom of why she pushed him away and ran three years before. He also wants her help. A coven needs training to face a demon and his army of minions. Oh sure. It’s amazing what sweet things a guy will offer to get back into a woman’s heart, and into her bed.

Only in this case, she knows he never left her heart, and in her bed is exactly where she wants him to be. Unfortunately, her bed’s already made, and she’s close to losing her soul. And not even Smith and Wesson or Derek Stormwind can fix that.

This book was a dark horse for me, but one I'm certainly glad that I picked up.  The author is brand new to me (although I've read great things, especially lately and especially about this book,) the supernatural elements revolve around witches, which is not my usual fare, and I'm kind of touch and go about second chance romances, even though the ones that are done well definitely make my heart go pitter pat.

Those elements come together perfectly in this story, and the emotional turmoil was so strong it kept me riveted for hours.  Ruby and Derek individually are incredibly strong and nuanced characters; add in their shared history and the fact that each is crazy about the other and you get a relationship that truly is the star of the show.

What stands apart for me, though, is how the trauma Ruby has endured and the tragedy that she hadn't yet overcome drove the narrative. It's kind of spoilery to say specifically what happened to Ruby but suffice it to say that the author totally went there, and emotions and grief were completely laid bare. Ruby feels betrayed by things that Derek has done (or not done) in the past but they're examples of how grief and loss twist a person. I never got the feeling that Ruby was being unfair to Derek or was choosing to ignore facts to suit her purpose, which is all too common in second chance stories; what happened to Ruby was so outside the realm of the horrific that her reactions were simply that; hers alone.

In contrast, Derek had never stopped loving Ruby, and his biggest mistake was honestly in just misreading the situation.  He assumed when Ruby sent him away that she was kind of freaking out because a) he's about a thousand years older than her (literally,) b) she's kind of unnerved by the strong feelings they're experienced, and c) she just needs some space.  He had no idea about what had happened to her while he was away for the Fae wars, and she didn't tell him; he assumed the whole thing would blow over and immediately started trying to find her when it became apparent that it hadn't. Derek's character shines in the details of what happens when he realizes the gravity of the situation.  He lays it on the line for Ruby; he loves her so much he's willing to do what's necessary, even that means changing his entire existence. He feels the loss and pain as acutely as her, and accepts the facets of her grief that involve him not being there when the trauma happened; he never blames her for her feelings or tries to make her feel dirty or wrong. He simply points out that sometimes we all have to move on, no matter how painful that may be, and that he's here to help her do just that.

I admit that I wasn't terribly interested in the side plot of Ruby and Derek working to train the Florida coven to protect the magical fault line or in the issue of the demons trying to invade except for the facets that involved Ruby's trauma. I was so invested in the romance between Ruby and Derek that I was impatient to read more. I also admit that I didn't spend too much time reading the details of the workings of the witchcraft and the spiritual beliefs held by the coven, although I respect the fact that they were there. When I go to reread this story (which I will defintely do at some point) I can see myself spending more time with those details.

Final verdict on this book- loved it, want more, have to wait until May to get it, when In the Company of Witches comes out. Life is rough.

Overall Grade:

Friday, February 17, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: Boone Brux!

Friday is AAD Author Spotlight day here at WBiT? and I'm happy to bring you Boone Brux and her Five Question Quiz!


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

Fun, demon-loving writer, looking for like-minded readers for fulfilling relationship. Wait, that sounds more like a singles ad than a tweet.

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


I’ve been working on my Bringer and the Bane series. Book two is due to release soon. Book one, Shield of Fire, came out last December. The Bringers have uber-powers and protect humans from the Demon Bane. Unfortunately, much of the Bringers’ history has been lost over the centuries and they’re left with a lot of questions and very little help when the Demon King declares war on the Bringers.

3. What books (your own or others) do you recommend most often? I love to recommend Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and fellow AAD author Darynda Jones. Love her reaper series.

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

I am looking forward to everything from the hot weather to meeting the people I’ve met online. Plus, I’m really excited about interacting with readers in an intimate atmosphere.

5. If you've been to AAD before, do you have any advice for first time attendees? I’ve never been, but I’m going to try and take advantage of every opportunity to mingle and have fun.

www.boonebrux.com
www.boonebrux.blogspot.com
www.entangledpublishing.com/shield-of-fire
Barnes and Noble
Amazon

Please follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook. I love to connect with readers.

Thanks so much for having me. I’m so excited about Authors After Dark. It’s sure to be a great time.

Same here, same here!  Is anyone else getting SUPER excited yet?! I know I am!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: Firelight

Title: Firelight
Author: Kristen Callihan
Page Count: 610 KB Kindle format, 400 pages
Publisher: Forever
Genre: historical paranormal romance, first in a series
Copy for review was purchased by me

Synopsis:
Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . . Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
*****

Have you ever read a book that you wish you could read for the first time all over again?   That totally sums up the experience of reading Firelight.  As a debut book it's a fantastic addition to the world of paranormal romance; add in the elements of historical romance and suspense and you get a creation that's super fun to read and enjoy.

I wasn't even aware of this book until I read a bunch of really excellent reviews from blogs that I follow- yay for book bloggers! It was from those reviews collectively that I learned that Firelight is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast- double yay!  The familiar elements of the story are certainly there, and the details are reworked in a way that renders the story endearing and fresh.

Miranda Ellis is a kick-ass lady.  She's had to deal with an epic amount of crap in her life so far and it doesn't look like the storm is letting up any time soon.  Her dad is a douche, and a destitute one at that; when his nemesis, Lord Benjamin Archer, says that he wants to marry her, she figures that the devil you don't know might be the better bet this time around.

Archer would certainly agree with the description of him as a devil; it seems that he's cursed, and the curse is only getting worse.  His whole life has been dedicated to trying to find a way to reverse the curse until now; he never planned on honestly falling head over heels in love with Miranda, and doesn't really expect her to ever love him back or even like him.

She does, though! And therein lies the gem of this story- the blossoming love between these two in the face of adversity from all sides.  Archer is being blamed for a series of grisly murders among his circle of former friends and acquaintances and all of society thinks he's a beast in every sense; Miranda doesn't believe him to be responsible for the murders and has every vested interest in finding out who is.  As she's in possession of her own secrets, she understands wanting to just be left alone- she and Archer are kindred spirits in a variety of ways.

The story cooks along at a good pace, and there's plenty of drama and a sense of the macabre; when Archer and Miranda finally realize that they really and truly are in love, it's a wash of brightness and hope against what seem to be long odds.  I also was really intrigued by the explanation of why and how Archer came to be cursed, and those elements are not ones that I recall seeing in any other paranormal book or series.

The next book, Moonglow, is due out in August, and I am beyond excited.  This is one series that is going on the automatic pre-order list, right quick.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Changeling Moon


Title: Changeling Moon
Author: Dani Harper
Page Count: 369 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me


Synopsis: He roams the moonlit wilderness, his every sense and instinct on high alert. Changeling wolf Connor Macleod and his Pack have never feared anything — until the night human Zoey Tyler barely escapes a rogue werewolf’s vicious attack.

As the full moon approaches, Zoey has no idea of the changes that are coming, and only Connor can show her what she is, and help her master the wildness inside. With her initiation into the Pack just days away and a terrifying predator on the loose, the tentative bonds of trust and tenderness are their only weapons against a force red in tooth, claw … and ultimate evil.
*****

I picked up this book for Kindle when it was $1.99 back in January (NEWS FLASH- IT IS AGAIN) and I'm happy I did- it had been on my to-read list for awhile and the sale price made buying it a no-brainer.  I enjoyed the book as much as I thought I would, but for surprisingly different reasons.

The setting of the book is the small village of Dunvegan in northern Canada, conveniently sharing a name with a famous castle/town in Scotland.  Life is quiet and simple for the most part, and Zoey Tyler has moved there for a simpler life as the editor of a small town paper and nothing more.  The sparks fly between her and town veterinarian Dr. Connor MacLeod, and it seems like all is right with her world.

At least, all would be right, except Dunvegan is home to a deeply rooted changeling pack, with its own generational conflicts, infighting, drama- everything that goes along with what is essentially a huge extended family.  There are elders of sorts whose thoughts and behaviors are more in line with their beast, and their actions and recklessness threaten to expose the pack to the human world.  There's a neat side plot involving tabloids and the circus that erupts around sensational stories that adds an interesting dynamic to the story.   Dunvegan is removed enough from bigger cities and more populated areas that the changeling pack can run around relatively free from the risk of exposure- when the media juggernaut rolls into town it completely disrupts the lives of everyone in the town on pretty much every level.

Zoey and Connor's attraction has a lot of obstacles to overcome- she gets a crash course in the supernatural community of Dunvegan and as it turns out, she has some supernatural secrets of her own, which thankfully are not the ones you'd expect.  As the only non-psychic member of a celebrity psychic family, Zoey completely understands why people would want to stay under the radar and not face constant scrutiny.  All too often heroines are in possession of some ability that they had no awareness of until they make the beast with two backs with the hero- in this case, Zoey's abilities were the result of her being attacked by one of the crazier people in the pack, and everyone recognized that it wasn't something Zoey chose for herself.  Connor has to get Zoey ready to be a changeling, whether Zoey wants that or note.

The small town setting and vivid details of the story were totally the high points and what set this book apart.  Connor isn't a snarly alpha male barking out orders or leading a commando squad or any of the things that seem to pop up a lot in paranormal romance.  He has a busy veterinary practice and is a professional bachelor, the likeable guy that lives next door.  His relationship with Zoey was fun to read about in the sense that it was a welcoming of Zoey into the community.  I was definitely invested in the series by the end of this first installment and am definitely on board to read the rest of the books.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In My Mailbox: Where I Load Up on Audiobooks

Audible is having one of its $4.95 sales, and this time around the theme is the first book in a series!  There were a ton of great options to consider (and since the sale doesn't end until Tuesday there are a couple I may pick up on a second pass) but here is what I picked out for myself yesterday:






Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara- this is a new series for me so the Kindle version of this book is $4.85 if that's more you're style.







The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie- David Suchet ROCKS at narrating Poiroit mysteries so I was super excited to so this one on the list.  Plus, the Kindle version is FREE, just so you know.








First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones- not only does this one count for my Authors After Dark reading challenge, but it seems like everyone and their brother has loved this book and raved about it so I'm eager to check it out.  Point scored for book bloggers!







Storm Front by Jim Butcher
- I've read a bunch of books in this series but had been meaning to start at the beginning with the audiobooks for awhile now, and this was the perfect opportunity!  Apparently the guy that played Spike on Buffy is the narrator too, which sounds like a good thing to me.





The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig- One of my go-to recommendations, it's sad that I'm so behind on this series.  Starting from the beginning with the audiobooks is a good thing for me because I can multitask and get caught up while I'm at the gym or laying in bed or working on things for work or whatever.  Yay!





Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill- I love this series!  I haven't read the first installment in a long time so this is a great time to get reacquainted. And, uh...I'm behind in this series too. Gah!


Also, this next one wasn't a part of the $4.95 sale but I used my monthly credit instead:


A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore


What did you all get this week?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bringing Home Baby!

Bet that got your attention! 

No, the baby being brought home is my early Valentine's Day gift- a new Kindle!

 This time around I opted for the simple and sweet Kindle Touch- it's small, it's light, it isn't white like my old one, and even though it's the Special Offers version, I don't find the ads intrusive like I thought I would.  Shows you what I know!

I had deliberated going for the Kindle Fire, but I've pretty much committed in my mind to buying an iPad before the end of 2012 as it'd be a great resource to use with my students as well as other cool things and two tablets just seemed like too much, you know?

Anyway, I'm super excited about this!  New shinies are fun anyway, but new e-readers might be my favorite of them all.  Have a great Saturday everyone!

Friday, February 10, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: Eliza Gayle!

This Friday's featured author is a new one to me, Eliza Gayle!  She's here to share her Authors After Dark wisdom through the Five Question Quiz- yay!

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

Do you love dark, erotic romance with alpha males and the stubborn women bound to love them? Then you've come to the right place. ;)


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

My latest release is Power Play, a hot contemporary novel and the second in my new Pleasure Playground series.



Blurb:



She wants the escape. He wants control. They both need love.


Jennifer Croft is at the peak of her career. As a bondage model at Altered Ego, she’s become the crème de la crème of the fetish world, ensuring herself a top spot in her profession. The world is her oyster. Her personal life on the other hand… It’s not pretty. Only her fascination with pain play keeps the ghosts of her past at bay.


After tragedy sends Daegan McKenna to the South for a much needed change of pace, the last thing he expects to find is a closet submissive hiding in plain sight. She’s hot-tempered and in denial — a heady combination that brings out the dominant looking for a challenge. He’s already loved and lost more than one man should, but the haunted look in her eyes prompts him to make her an offer. He’ll indulge her darkest fantasies, if she’ll agree to give up control. Then he’ll let her go.


Unfortunately, the past never stays in the past and old insecurities cause complications neither of them wanted. Now temporary is not enough.

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

Wow. There are so many that I could never list them all here, but let me try with some highlights. My favorite hero of all time is Roarke from the In Death series by J.D. Robb. The book I enjoy rereading the most when I need a laugh is Welcome To Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. And when I am in the mood for the ultimate alpha male, I almost always turn to the Lora Leigh Breeds series. That is really only the tip of the iceberg for me. I own THOUSANDS of books and love sooo many.


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

Catching up with old friends and making lots of new ones. Really. The small conferences are truly the best for getting to know fun, like minded people who love books as much as you do.

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

New Orleans will be my 4th AAD. If this is your first time attending don't be afraid to mingle outside your circle of friends. Everyone is approachable and dying to talk to you. Take lots of pictures. Invariably I get home from a conference only to discover I took less than a dozen pictures. I always regret that. Find a new author. We always go crazy for the authors we love but it never fails that I end up talking to someone who's books I am not familiar with and their passion or friendly attitude have me seeking their books as quick as my iPad will download them. That kind of new friendship and discovery is one of my favorite things.

Learn more about Eliza:

Website: http://elizagayle.net

Twitter: @elizagaylebooks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorElizaGayle

Blog: http://elizagayle.net/blog

Books Available: http://elizagayle.net/books

Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thinking About: Go-to Recommendations

The author features for AAD continue to stack up and get scheduled (Fridays are serious fun for the next few months!) and one of the questions I've asked as a part of the Five Question Quiz started to stand out to me- what books do I recommend most often?

A lot of folks in their responses said it depended on who was doing the asking, and for the most part I think we all do that to an extent, but I find that there are some titles that I recommend over and over again. These books are ones I find myself going to when I'm stuck in a slump or just want what, for me, is a sure thing.

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook.  I seriously love this book and have it as an audiobook now for my drive times and gym times- who knew the elliptical trainer or sitting in traffic could be that enjoyable?  I love the worldbuilding, I love the characters, I love that it's the start of a series (even though I haven't gotten to Heart of Steel yet- eek!)






The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig- Even though I'm seriously behind in this series, I love it all the same.  It's funny and romantic and enjoyable and just yum.  As I plan out how to spend my Audible credits in the coming months I may just have to give in and glom up the whole series.







The entire Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews- it actually took me a long time to read these books but once I started my eyes were glued to the pages.  I love Kate and Curran and I'm beyond excited for the spinoff books as well- when I started thinking of what books were releasing in 2012 that really got me excited, Gunmetal Magic beat out the other contenders by a country mile.






The entire Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh- having officially taken the top spot as my favorite PNR series, this is a pretty much guaranteed slump-buster for me if I start at the beginning of the series and read the books in order until I feel motivated to read again.  Sure things are a good thing!






What are your go-to recommendations?  It's time to sell me on your favorite books!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Redrawn WINNER- signed copy of Dylan!



Well, the original winner of the signed copy of DYLAN didn't get back to me, so a new winner was selected and that winner is The Book Attict! Congratulations!

Friday, February 3, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: Manda Collins!

Friday is here again!  I did a lot of lurking this week and not as much reading as I would have liked/hoped but I definitely am stoked for the debut by this week's featured AAD author, Manda Collins!  Take it away!

1. Introduce yourself, Twitter style! Describe yourself or your books in 140 characters or less.
Author, librarian who loves books, technology, and talking about books and technology. Total fangirl for Project Runway and Top Chef.

2. Tell us a little bit about your latest release, or your upcoming projects if you'd prefer.
HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE, which comes out January 31, 2012, is the story of a wallflower who must join forces with a dashing duke to clear her father's name and find his missing brother. So far reviewers seem to like it. 


3. What books (your own or others) do you recommend most often? It depends on what the person likes to read. For historical romance you can't go wrong with anything by Eloisa James. For romantic suspense, I recommend Karen Rose. For category romance, Sarah Mayberry is my favorite.

4. What part of Authors After Dark 2012 are you looking forward to the most? Since it will be my first reader oriented conference I'm really looking forward to interacting with readers. Plus it's in New Orleans. You can't go wrong with that!

5. If you've been to AAD before, do you have any advice for first time attendees? This will be my first time at AAD, so I'll be the one looking for advice! Hopefully I'll manage not to embarrass myself too badly!

And that's that! Thanks to Manda for stopping by today- can I just say that the cover of this book is GORGEOUS?! Seriously. Happy Friday everyone!
 
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