Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
For the best in romance, from sweet to naughty!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Reviewette: Faeries Gone Wild ~ Tall, Dark, and Not So Faery ~ MaryJanice Davidson

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 1 - 70

From the Cover: MARYJANICE DAVIDSON “Tall, Dark and Not So Faery”

Scarlett is not your typical pint-sized faery. At six feet, four inches tall, she’s an unlikely candidate for a match made in heaven. But when she ventures to Cannon Falls, Minnesota, on royal orders to survey its extraordinary residents, she stumbles upon the one man who just may measure up to size....

Scarlett is faery on a mission from the King of the Faeries, to count. It's what faeries do best. But Scarlett is OCD about counting....she wants to count, needs to count, WILL count. First, she must get by the Violent Faery's front door and the menagerie that makes up Violent Faery's household. As Scarlett takes 'count' of her surroundings, she discovers that Violent Faery's 'family' consists of: a faery, a dryad, a vampire, a werewolf, a human, and a ghost.

Judith is a SUV, a Ford Escape to be exact. She's been cursed into the SUV by a former boyfriend, who knew you shouldn't cheat on an archmage? Judith is suspicious of Scarlett. Is she here to break up her happy family?

Judith takes matters into to her own hands and decides her mechanic, Coffey Ray, is just what Judith needs to solve her problems. And Coffey Ray knows her secret, she knows his as well. He's safe to bring to the house, and may be the answer to the problem of Scarlett. Now the question remains, will Scarlett count and return to her King brother or can Judith convince her to stay?

Tall, Dark, and Not So Faery by MaryJanice Davison is a sweet tale of the unusual kingdom of Faery. When Scarlett is sent to count Violent Faery, she really tries to succeed in her quest. But, truthfully, she rarely leaves the kingdom and doesn't know what to expect. She's frighten of most mechanical things, and Judith at first terrifies her. Judith is worried that Scarlett will drive her family apart. This story is about Scarlett, but Judith plays a pivotal role in this story as well. Without Judith's intervention, Scarlett may have never found her one true love. Without Scarlett interruption of their lives, Judith would have never succeeded in her quest for freedom and love. The heroes in this story turns out to be the ADD mechanic, Coffey Ray and Owen, the werewolf. Coffey Ray lets Scarlett realizes that dreams come true and Owen allows Judith her freedom.

This is such a cute little story which reflects the humor that infects everything MaryJanice Davidson's creates. People are terrified of the gentle ADD mechanic, but don't see anything wrong with a houseful of supernatural creatures. I think MaryJanice Davidson's goal is to create novels and novellas that bring joy, hilarity, and fun back into your life. Tall, Dark, and Not So Faery is just pure fun. Usually when you hear about a faery story, you think of a tiny little firefly creature, but not in this story. It was a fast, fun read that I read twice to enjoy it a second time. For more information about MaryJanice Davidson or her books, please visit her blog or her website.

I found this beautiful rendition of Betsy Taylor by Jesse Cutler, of Melbourne, Australia on MJ's website. Too Cool.

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman
Publisher: Zoland Books / Steerforth Press
Pages: 214

From the Cover: Coming of age in 1940s and 1950s America, Ramona Smollens takes her cues about female sexuality from Hollywood movie stars. None is more voluptuous than Rita Hayworth, the redhead who knows how to please a man and becomes a volcano of passion at her lover's touch, whose image inspired American flyers on their missions in World War II and even graced the first atomic bomb tested at the Bikini atoll. Ramona marries young and escapes her mother's house shortly after the death of her father. She takes with her a dark family secret, the sort of secret one simply did not talk about and that would stalk her as she matured into her role as wife and mother, remained a devoted daughter to her aging mother, and secretly harbored an obsession with the iconic Hayworth.

The fictional story Wagman tells of one woman's struggle with the conventions of her day is a bold literary achievement. Underpinning it all is the sad, unspoken truth of the real-life, flesh-and-blood Hayworth, the woman whose father sexually abused her. "Men go to bed with Gilda," She used to say, "but wake up with me." During Hayworth's lifetime, the public had no understanding of the depth of mean, and pain, behind Hayworth's seemingly self-effacing words. To Ramona, and millions of women like her, Hayworth's on-screen persona seemed the ideal, but was in fact "the lie." With this novel, Wagman realizes Kafkas famous dictum that "a book must be the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us."

Ramona Smollens is sad, misunderstood young woman who just wants someone to love and to be loved back. She see her life through the eyes of the fascination with her idol, Rita Hayworth. Her father who was abusive and detached from his family has dropped dead and her mother is a worn out woman who gets her jollies by making Ramona feel bad; about herself, about her choice in a man, and about life in general. Ramona is a young woman who was used to the abuse of an uncaring and unfeeling family.

The man she chooses to marry, is the man her mother disparages over and over again. Ramona's true fascination with her future husband, started with his hands and his fingers, as well as with her fascination with sex. Not that she enjoys sex, but she feels there is a need for sex. But she figures, that's okay. After all, the sex bomb goddess herself, Rita Hayworth, was married five times. As Ramona goes through life with her unsuccessful marriage and her quest for satisfaction that is never fulfilled, she continues to compare herself to Rita Hayworth.

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman is a story that follows lead character, Ramona, through her life. She has based her life on what she assumes it must have been like to be Rita Hayworth. It is a tale of an unfulfilled life with no idea how to achieve what is important all related to her need to escape the abuse that she has lived through. Ramona's constant comparison to Rita Hayworth to the point of sometimes using Rita as her name is almost scary. Her detachment from reality and her inability to seek happiness, takes the reader on a journey that is not for the faint of heart, but a worthy one. The Lie will be revealed by the end of the tale for those willingly to complete the journey. If you'd like more information about Fredrica Wagman or her books, please visit her website at .

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Updated!!! Vampires, Can't be alive with them, Can't live without them.

Cecile and I were chatting the other day, and she mentioned that she hadn't seen Gerard Butler in Dracula 2000. This all started when the wonderful Ms. Amanda McIntyre had a post this weekend for preferences between scruffy or sharp dressed, Gerard Butler has no problem fitting into both categories, his scruffy is sharp.

In this incarnation of the Dracula franchise, Gerard Butler comes across as the super sexy scary bloodsucker like no one has before.

There have been plenty of scarier vampires,

like Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (for Ms. Charlotte Featherstone)

or Frank Langella first as young Dracula, then the older Dracula (for Ms. Marta Acosta).

Then there are always the vampire couples
like Anita Blake and Jean Claude (this is for me, I love Anita and Jean Claude),

Louis and Lestat from Interview With The Vampire (for Ms. Moonlight)

and Queen Akasha and Lestat in Queen of the Damned (for Ms. Moonlight)

Bella and Edward (for all the Twilight fans out there, which I am one),

and Henry Fitzroy and Vicki from Bloodties (for Chris, I too loved Bloodties)

Mick St. John and Beth/Mick St. John and Coraline (again for me and for my sweet blogger buddy, Lea)

Buffy and Angel/Buffy and Spike (again for Ms. Marta Acosta, wow, Angel and Spike),

Jessica and Hoyt (who knows how this is going to end, could be bad for Jessica), or

Sookie and Bill/Sookie and Eric (we had to know where this is going to end or where we'd like this to end, if they follow the books even a little).

Or vampire groups like The Lost Boys (again for me, hot scary teenage vamps).

But none look like Gerard Butler as our sexy scary addition in Dracula 2000 (these are all for Cecile and Ms. Amanda McIntyre).

I dug up these clips of fan made videos because the music was so fitting to the performances in the movie.

I loved this song put to the scenes from the movie, again fan made.

And finally, the actually movie trailer.

So, everyone knows of my love for vampires, the good, the bad, the sparkly, and the anime. I love reading vampire novels, watching the movies and TV shows, and writing short stories about them. Does anyone else have an opinion??

I hope everyone as a beautiful Thursday, only one more day until the weekend!!!

Updated SF/F/H Review Linkup Meme

John at Grasping for the Wind has just completed the newest update to the SF/F/H Reviewer Linkup Meme. This is a list of many of the best speculative fiction review blogs on the internet. You can get the HTML code from John's blog or add your own website to the list if it is not already included.


Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German


7 Foot Shelves

The Accidental Bard

A Boy Goes on a Journey

A Dribble Of Ink

Adventures in Reading

A Fantasy Reader

The Agony Column

A Hoyden's Look at Literature

A Journey of Books

All Booked Up

Alexia's Books and Such...

Andromeda Spaceways

The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Ask Daphne

ask nicola

Audiobook DJ


Australia Specfic In Focus

Author 2 Author



Barbara Martin

Babbling about Books

Bees (and Books) on the Knob

Best SF

Bewildering Stories

Bibliophile Stalker


Big Dumb Object

The Billion Light-Year Bookshelf

Bitten by Books

The Black Library Blog

Blog, Jvstin Style

Blood of the Muse

The Book Bind



Booksies Blog


The Book Smugglers


The Book Swede

Book View Cafe [Authors Group Blog]

Breeni Books


Cheaper Ironies [pro columnist]

Charlotte's Library

Circlet 2.0

Cheryl's Musings

Club Jade

Cranking Plot

Critical Mass

The Crotchety Old Fan


Daily Dose - Fantasy and Romance

Damien G. Walter

Danger Gal

It's Dark in the Dark

Dark Parables

Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews

Darque Reviews

Dave Brendon's Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog

Dead Book Darling

Dear Author

The Deckled Edge

The Doctor is In...

Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

Drey's Library

The Discriminating Fangirl

Dusk Before the Dawn


Enter the Octopus

Erotic Horizon

Errant Dreams Reviews

Eve's Alexandria


Falcata Times

Fan News Denmark [in English]

Fantastic Reviews

Fantastic Reviews Blog

Fantasy Book Banner

Fantasy Book Critic

Fantasy Book Reviews and News

Fantasy By the Tale

Fantasy Cafe

Fantasy Debut

Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings


Fantasy Magazine

Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin' News and Reviews

Feminist SF - The Blog!


Fiction is so Overrated

The Fix

The Foghorn Review

Follow that Raven

Forbidden Planet

Frances Writes

Free SF Reader

From a Sci-Fi Standpoint

From the Heart of Europe

Fruitless Recursion

Fundamentally Alien

The Future Fire


The Galaxy Express


Game Couch

The Gamer Rat

Garbled Signals

Genre Reviews


Got Schephs

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review

Grasping for the Wind

a GREAT read

The Green Man Review

Gripping Books



Hero Complex

Highlander's Book Reviews


The Hub Magazine

Hyperpat's Hyper Day


I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away The Ending

Ink and Keys

Ink and Paper

The Internet Review of Science Fiction



Janicu's Book Blog

Jenn's Bookshelf

Jumpdrives and Cantrips


Kat Bryan's Corner

Keeping the Door

King of the Nerds


Lair of the Undead Rat

Largehearted Boy

Layers of Thought

League of Reluctant Adults

The Lensman's Children

Library Dad

Libri Touches

Literary Escapism

Literaturely Speaking

ludis inventio

Lundblog: Beautiful Letters


Mad Hatter's Bookshelf and Book Review

Mari's Midnight Garden

Mark Freeman's Journal

Mark Lord's Writing Blog

Marooned: Science Fiction Books on Mars

Martin's Booklog


Michele Lee's Book Love

Missions Unknown [Author and Artist Blog Devoted to SF/F/H in San Antonio]

The Mistress of Ancient Revelry

MIT Science Fiction Society

Monster Librarian

More Words, Deeper Hole

Mostly Harmless Books

Multi-Genre Fan

Musings from the Weirdside

My Favourite Books

My Overstuffed Bookshelf


Neth Space

The New Book Review


Not Free SF Reader



OF Blog of the Fallen

The Old Bat's Belfry

Only The Best SciFi/Fantasy

The Ostentatious Ogre

Outside of a Dog



Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

Patricia's Vampire Notes

The Persistence of Vision

Piaw's Blog

Pizza's Book Discussion

Poisoned Rationality

Popin's Lair


Post-Weird Thoughts

Publisher's Weekly

Pussreboots: A Book Review a Day



Ramblings of a Raconteur

Random Acts of Mediocrity

Ray Gun Revival

Realms of Speculative Fiction

Reading the Leaves

Review From Here

Reviewer X

Revolution SF

Rhiannon Hart

The Road Not Taken

Rob's Blog o' Stuff

Robots and Vamps


Sandstorm Reviews

Satisfying the Need to Read

Science Fiction and Fantasy Ethics

Science Fiction Times


Sci-Fi Blog


Sci-Fi Fan Letter

The Sci-Fi Gene

Sci-Fi Songs [Musical Reviews]

SciFi Squad

Scifi UK Reviews

Sci Fi Wire

Self-Publishing Review

The Sequential Rat

Severian's Fantastic Worlds

SF Diplomat



SF Gospel


SF Revu

SF Safari


SF Signal

SF Site

SFF World's Book Reviews

Silver Reviews

Simply Vamptastic

Slice of SciFi

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Solar Flare

Speculative Fiction

Speculative Fiction Junkie

Speculative Horizons

The Specusphere


Spiral Galaxy Reviews

Spontaneous Derivation

Sporadic Book Reviews

Stainless Steel Droppings

Starting Fresh

Stella Matutina

Stuff as Dreams are Made on...

The Sudden Curve

The Sword Review


Tangent Online

Tehani Wessely

Temple Library Reviews

Tez Says

things mean a lot [also a publisher]

True Science Fiction


Ubiquitous Absence



Urban Fantasy Land


Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic

Variety SF

Veritas Omnia Vincula


Walker of Worlds

Wands and Worlds


Wendy Palmer: Reading and Writing Genre Books and ebooks

The Weirdside

The Wertzone

With Intent to Commit Horror

The Wizard of Duke Street

WJ Fantasy Reviews

The Word Nest


The World in a Satin Bag


The Written World



Young Adult Science Fiction



Cititor SF [with English Translation]




Foundation of Krantas

The SF Commonwealth Office in Taiwan [with some English essays]

Yenchin's Lair






Fernando Trevisan

Human 2.0

Life and Times of a Talkative Bookworm

Ponto De Convergencia




Fantasy Seiten

Fantasy Buch

Fantasy/SciFi Blog


Welt der fantasy

Bibliotheka Phantastika

SF Basar

Phantastick News



Phantastick Couch


Fantasy News

Fantasy Faszination

Fantasy Guide

Zwergen Reich

Fiction Fantasy


Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What True Blood Character Are You?

You Are Sam

You are a bit of a mystery - both to others and even yourself.

You're still coming to grips with who you are. There are parts of yourself that you still need to accept.

You are a caring and protective person. You can't help but be concerned about the people you love.

You are a bit of a loner. You are still searching deep and meaningful connections in life.

I've never thought of myself as a 'Sam' before, I usually feel more like a Sookie, lol! I guess I could get used to the shifting, but the fleas? I don't think so.

New Author and Promotion: The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom

Tara at Zeitg Host provided me with information about a new author, Christopher Ransom.

This is exclusive, previously unreleased material for the new supernatural thriller from St. Martin's Press, "The Birthing House" by Christopher Ransom.

(Release Date: 8-4-09)
From the Cover: When Conrad Harrison impulse-buys a big old house in Wisconsin, his wife Jo doesn’t share his enthusiasm, reluctant at the idea of leaving their LA life - so Conrad is left to set up their new home as she ties up loose ends at work. But Conrad’s new purchase is not all that it seems. Soon Conrad is hearing the ghostly wailing of a baby in the night, seeing blood on the floor and being haunted by a woman who looks exactly like Jo. With his wife away, Conrad becomes obsessed by the pregnant girl next door, Nadia, who claims to be a victim of the evil in the house. The crying leads him to a bricked-up body, and the mystery of the Birthing House unravels, pulling in Jo, Nadia and leading Conrad to a nightmarish conclusion…

The Birthing House sounds like my kind of read! Who doesn't love a good ghost story? If you like to take a peek at the first two chapters, click here.

To visit Christopher Ransom's website, click here.

Here's what Publisher's Weekly has to say:

“A blend of supernatural horror and psychological thriller, Ransom’s impressive debut chronicles a couple’s descent into madness after they purchase a 140-year-old Victorian house in rural Wisconsin . . . this addictively readable ghost story will keep readers up all night, with the lights on, of course.”

Here's a peek at the book trailer:

This sounds like a fantastic read. Thanks to Tara and Christopher Ransom!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Intertwined Sweepstakes

Friday, August 21, 2009

Random Musing from a Random Muser (and contests)

Random Musing

I'm thinking expanding my flash fiction from the Dames' contest, considering, playing with ideas, but I'm not sure about it yet. I'm thinking Demons and Angels, fallen angels to demons.....maybe.....thinking.....

I so happy for all the bloggers out there that were nominated for BBAW awards. Congrats and Good Luck!!!

Leontine has been having a Karen Marie Moning review week, KMM's Highlander Series. My favorite of course is Dark Highlander. I'm also partial the Kiss of the Highlander. The twins, Drustin and Daegus, are too sweet for words. And boy, howdy, do they know how to treat the ladies.

Thanks for so much to Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader for my newest award. The Bingo Award for 'g' for gorgeous blog. Thanks Teddyree!

The rules:

This award was started by Bookin With BINGO and here are the rules:

This "B-I-N-G-O" BEAUTIFUL BLOG AWARD means that this blog is...

B: Beautiful - Lea @ closetwriter & Blanche @ There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books & Sophie/Charlotte @ Scribe's Scroll
I: Informative - Doug @ SciFiGuy & Anna @ Anna's Book Blog & Leontine @ Leontine's Book Realm
N: Neighborly - Cecile @ All I Want and More & Chris @ Stumbling Over Chaos (& Mayhem) & Blodeuedd @ Book Girl of Mur-y-castell
G: Gorgeous - Amy @ Romance Book Wyrm & VFG @ Lovin' Me Some Romance & Barbara @ Happily Forever After
O: Outstanding - Ms. Moonlight @ Moonlight to Twilight & EH @ Erotic Horizon & Hawk @ Houston A. W. Knight

Thanks to everyone for making my blogging experience great!!!

If you want to catch up on some 'hot' reads, you might want to check out Erotic Horizon's blog. Check out her interview with Jenna and Bryce from Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick. It's priceless! EH does the best reviews of some of the hottest read in the blogosphere. Go check out this fun site.

Contests from another the blogosphere.

Lea, Barbara, Chris, Amy are all out in force promoting 'The Great Western Drive' and who doesn't love a good western. So, pony on up, and check out this great contest!

From Lea's blog:

Kristie from Ramblings on Romance Etcetera, Etcetera; Sybil from the Good, the Bad the Unread, and Wendy of The Misadventures of Super Librarian have banded together in a very worthy cause this week to promote Westerns called "The Great Western Drive".

It seems Westerns have waned in popularity in recent years and these lovely ladies are putting forth a concerted effort to bring attention to this situation and promote said sub-genre. After all "Cowboys Need Love Too"..

Cowboys do need love and it's been a long time since I've read one, I think it's high time that I give one a try.

Now, it's Wendy at The Misadventures of Super Librarian who's hosting the contest for four copies of A Reason to Live by Maureen McKade. Here's the information directly from Wendy's blog: {click on Wendy's name to enter}

Contest Alert!

Because she is the coolest, smartest, most awesome duck in the pond, Sybil landed four copies of A Reason To Live by Maureen McKade on a recent shopping excursion. Better still? She's giving me all four copies to give away on my blog! I will draw four winners from random commenters on any of my recommendation posts. (The one you just read, Tuesdays or Wednesdays). Winners will be announced Wednesday, August 26 (contest is open to non-US readers as well).

Go to Wendy's site to enter!

Doug at SciFiGuy is giving away Bleak History by John Shirley (there's several contest for this book around the blogosphere)

Roxanne from Fang-tastic Books has created a book trailer for Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.

Roxanne is also having a free book friday contest. It's for Child of the South by Joannna Catherine Scott.

From the Back Cover:

Joanna Catherine Scott
author of the acclaimed Civil War
novel The Road from Chapel Hill, returns with a gripping
tale in which loyalty, duty, and love collide in a devastated
South---where the war is over but conflict lives on.

Eugenia Mae Spotswood endured years of hardship and toil during the Civil War. Now she has returned to Wilmington to find out who her mother is---the white woman she called Mama or her father’s slave. Her search falters when the ongoing forces of racism and hatred almost break her spirit...until she is befriended by Abraham Galloway, the most powerful Negro leader in the North Carolina Senate.

Also driven forward by the tides of peace are the strong-minded ex-slave Tom and his former enemy and captor, Clyde Bricket. Tom spent the last years of the war working for the Union as a spy. Clyde, crippled from battle wounds, watches as his family farm slowly dies. Only when they work together do they discover that something good can be made of the chaos around them.
But as these four struggle to create a greater future. others struggle to bring them to destruction...

If the Civil War is your cup of tea, go check Roxanne's blog out.

This is also your last chance to get into the drawing for Sophie Renwick's contest for an ARC of Highlander's Christmas.

and check her new book, Velvet Haven, Book One of Immortals of Annwyn Series, available March 2010 from NAL, a paranormal hot romance.

From the Cover: Hidden from mortals for all eternity, Annwyn, the Otherworld, is home to shapeshifters, wraiths and dragons. But in a nightclub called Velvet Haven, desire brings humans and immortals together…

Built atop the mystic passageway to Annwyn, the gothic nightclub Velvet Haven has seen its share of lost souls—both mortal and immortal. It is here that Bran, the shapeshifter king of the Sidhe, searches for his brother, who is ensnared by a centuries-old curse. When a vision foretells his own death, he knows his time to find Carden is running out.

For help he must turn to Mairi, a mortal woman with an unusual aura. Bran has never liked humans, other than using their sexual pleasure to restore his magic energy. But with Mairi everything is different. Her lush curves and teasing caresses enflame him like no Sidhe has ever done. He has no idea that the woman he’s falling for holds the key to his destruction – or his salvation.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Amy at Romance Book Wyrm is having a contest for G.A. Aiken's Dragon Actually (Amy's throwing in this copy) and What A Dragon Should Know (copy provided by the fabulous Ms. Aiken). Hurry over and enter this great contest! A great fantasy read! Contest ends 8-24-09.

Here's a peek at some fabulous fantasy art from Amy's blog! It's beautiful!

Ms. Moonlight is having a guest post and contest today too with Enid Wilson! Click here to check it out. Here's whats up for grabs. Contest ends 8-31-09.

One of my favorite authors, Jocelynn Drake, is having a couple of contests, she's giving away a copy of Rachel Vincent's Prey. She's also having a flash contest for Unbound, as well as Nightwalker and Dayhunter. All fantastic reads each and every one; really get thee over to her site! Ends this weekend, hurry to enter!

Remember to check under my banner and on the right sidebar for other contests. There are so many going on around the blogosphere. Dark Hunger, Dark Time....and so many more!

I think that's everything I have for today my lovelies! Everyone have a wonderful weekend and a happy Friday in case you're not around this way for the weekend!!!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Legacy by Cayla Kluver

Publisher: AmazonEncore
Pages: 464

(Re-release date: August 18, 2009)

From the Cover: As a dark rivalry between two kingdoms threaten to erupt into war, a willful princess must decide between duty and desire.

Obligated to wed her father's choice in successor to the throne, seventeen-year old Princess Alera of Hytanica believes that she is being forced into worst of all possible fates--a marriage to the arrogant and hot-temptered Steldor. When the attractive and mysterious Narian arrives from enemy lands bearing secrets and different ideas about women's roles in the world, Alera's private desires threaten to destroy the kingdom. The discovery of Narian's shocking past plunges Alera into a shadowy world of palace intrigue and ancient blood feuds, leaving her unsure of what to believe in, or whom to trust.

Alera is a princess in dire need of a white knight to save her. Alera is Princess to the Kingdom of Hytanica and must be wed by her eighteenth birthday. As our story opens, Alera has just had her seventeenth birthday. And her father, King Adrik, is demanding that she marry the suitor of his choice. There are very stringent rules for the suitor to meet, and presently, one only suitor fulfills his desires, the insufferable Steldor. Alera is a romantic soul and needs not only to be cherished, but understood; she is a modern woman living in a Medieval society. She doesn't see Steldor for the man he could be, only has the man he is now, and he doesn't give any idea that he is capable of change. Lord Cannan, his father and Captain of the King's Guards, seems to believe that he will, but he is his mother's son as well.

Steldor thinks very highly of himself and sees himself as a lady's man, with many conquests under his cap. He is arrogant and unthinking, choosing to please himself and not understanding why Alera has a problem with his attitude. He is used to the ladies falling at his feet, yet Alera seems immune to his many attempts to win her heart. What Steldor cannot understand is that Alera needs to be valued for who she is and not what she will be. Although he is three years her senior, he possesses an immaturity in regards to women. It doesn't help that Hytanican society does not value women as equals to men. It could be it's ultimate down fall.

Hytanica was been involved in a century old war with the neighboring Kingdom of Cokyri. Legend has it that Cokyri was visited by an ambassador from Hytanica to talk about a trade agreement. The ambassador refused to speak with the ruling High Priestess, rudely demanding to speak with the ruling King. This was his death sentence as she was the highest ruler in the land. With his death, came a war between the two nations. Cokyrians believe that women are to be valued and are strong leaders to be followed; while in Hytanica, women are demanded to be subservient to men, bending to their master's will. The war has lapsed for the past sixteen years, but now it's raising it's ugly head and threatening Hytanica once more.

Cokyri has been beastly in the war. Poisoning, slaughtering men, women, and children are just a few of it's crimes. Perhaps the most unspeakable is the kidnapping and murder of the infants sons of the nobles some sixteen years previous to the time of our story. One infant son was not returned murdered, but now he has come home, a man trained in the ways of the Cokyrians. Narian can be either Hytanica's savior or it's destroyer, which will he choose?

Legacy by Cayla Kluver is a story of intrigue, love, and Medieval society. It's a great historical fantasy where two kingdoms are the exact opposite of each other; both unwilling to forgive the offenses of the other. The offenses of each are horrible, but then isn't that the object of war? Our young heroine, Alera, is being forced into a marriage by her father that neither pleases her heart or her sensibilities. Young Steldor is hot-temptered, drinks too much, and is arrogant, but King Adrik has had his fill of ruling Hytanica and wants nothing more than to pass the ruling power of his kingdom on the younger man. I believe it is the hope of King Adrik that Alera and the responsibilities of ruling the kingdom will bring maturity to his years. I can see the man that Steldor could be if he chooses to become that individual, but as presented in the story, he does not see that this maturity is needed. Narian, the other young man involved in the story, is mature beyond his sixteen years. He has been raised and trained as a Cokyrian, and only found out the truth of his birth by accident. When he realizes his true identity, he doesn't want to become the instrument that the High Priestess and her brother, the Overlord (a wielder of black magic arts), wants him to be. He escapes to his homeland of Hytanica, but he is not trusted there. Cokyri demands his return, but he refuses. There is a legend surrounding the young man that brings fear to the Hytanicans.

Legacy is a beautiful told tale that speaks to the reader. It speaks of the blossoming young love between Alera and Narian that stirs the reader's heart. It is a romantic historical in the purist sense; with kings and queens, tournaments and young men trying to proved themselves. Alera wants and needs to be valued, a woman before her time in the Medieval society. I loved the story and the pictures that young Ms. Kluver was able to paint. The book has a wonderfully design cover and is beautifully printed with calligraphic letters and designs at the begin of every chapter, a nice touch not often seen in today's novels. It is one of the best YA novels I have read, and I'm happily wanting for Allegiance, the second book in the series, soon to be released. If you are a lover of fantasy, this is the book for you. If you are a lover to sweet young romance, this is the book for you. If you are a lover of historical fiction, this is the book for you. There is black magic art yet to come, so lovers of the mystical might like to take a look as well. I recommend this book and series, wonderfully entertaining and it has won a place in my heart. For more information, Cayla Kluver can be friended on Facebook, visited on her website, or followed on her blog.

Here is a peek at an interview with Cayla Kluver. It's a bit lengthy, but interesting.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cayla Kluver

I'd love everyone to meet Cayla Kluver. She's a young author that I just can't say enough good things about. I'll be reviewing her first novel, Legacy, on tomorrow's post. It's a wonderful tale of a princess torn between her heart and her duty. Uncompromising and beautifully told, the story draws the reader in and demands your attention. I wish I could share this novel with everyone!

Meet Cayla Kluver. Like most 16 year olds, she’s enjoying her summer vacation, hanging out with friends, swimming at the beach, and perhaps even going to the movies.

But unlike most of those friends, Cayla spends a good portion of each day writing, working on her 3rd book in the Legacy series. While her peers are gearing up for the start of their junior year, Cayla’s vacation time is a bit more extended…

With a high school diploma already under her belt, she wants to finish her series before filling out those college applications. Already an award-winning author, Cayla’s life is a bit different from that of an average teenager.

This August marks a mega moment in her writing career: the publication and re-release of her first YA fantasy novel, LEGACY, which she finished at 14 years old. As the premiere title of a new Amazon program, LEGACY’s release officially makes Cayla a published author. It also makes her an Amazon partner!

LEGACY (AmazonEncore 8/18/2009) is the re-release of Cayla’s fantasy narrative, featuring an edited manuscript combined with a fresh hardcover illustration. Marked by witty, rapid-fire dialogue and dramatic complexity that belie the writer’s age, Legacy brings a fresh, new sensibility to age-old questions of duty and inheritance and to a young heroine’s quest to find her true voice.

Here are some other quick facts about Cayla:

· She wrote the first draft of Legacy in just nine months at the age of 14 while attending public school. In that same year, Cayla also appeared in two school plays, received a first at the Wisconsin State Solo and Ensemble Vocal Competitions, and completed freshman English at a local university.

· Her second novel in the series, Allegiance, is due for release early next year and she has almost completed book three, Redemption.

I can hardly wait to read Allegiance and Redemption, I need to see the tale to it's completion!

If you like to win a copy of Legacy, /- LA FEMME READERS -/ is having a giveaway! Click here to visit and enter! Contest ends 8-30-09, winner announced 8-31-09. Really, it's too good to pass up!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Betrayed, Book Two in the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast + Kristen Cast

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 320

From the Cover: Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

Zoey Redbird is finally starting to feel at home. She's the new leader of the Dark Daughters and Sons, and she plans to make major changes. She has been able to summon the five elements; earth, water, fire, air, and spirit to help and guide those under her tutelage with the purposes and needs of the Goddess, Nyx. Aphrodite has been exiled away from her and her friends; no more snide comments and actions from her.

But things are always what they appear to be. Neferet claims that the Goddess has taken away Aphrodite's affinity for visions, and Zoey knows that this is not true. Why would a mentor and guide treat another student so cruelly, even if it is Aphrodite? Everyone screws up, Aphrodite was caught and found lacking in her ability. She's a hag from hell, but she also has powerful visions and the school needs her affinity. Also, since two students died from rejection of the change, Zoey believes that she has seen their ghosts. What is going on with the school?

Zoey's life continues to get complicated. She has a totally hot almost boyfriend, Erik Night, but she has accidentally imprinted on her ex-human boyfriend, Heath, and he won't leave her alone. And the visiting professor, Loren (has to be at least 21 to her 17 years), is flirting with her. Now, two football players from her human life have disappeared and are later found dead having been drained of all of their blood. And what's scary and weird is that she's having dreams about them. Then she sees Neferet with one of the 'ghosts' performing an unthinkable deed.

Then tragedy strike leaving Zoey at a loss; this just cannot be happening. What is going on at her school and how will it affect her new life? Will she survive the change and the latest developments?

Betrayed by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast is the second book in House of Night Series. It is an excellent addition to the series, building the House of Night world. As Zoey becomes accustom to being a fledging vampyre, one with powers and abilities well beyond her years, she begins to discover things about the school and her mentor, Neferet, that she didn't think were possible. She is given a message "Light isn't always good and dark isn't always bad". It's confusing and boggling, but it's starting to make sense; and that really scares her. Neferet is the High Priestess of the Goddess Nyx; leader of the House of Night. Zoey is a High Priestess in training, the Goddess has blessed her in many ways; least of all being that her Mark has already gained color and definition. But Zoey is also noticing strange happenings. Things aren't right, and when personal tragedy strikes, Zoey has to begin to question Neferet, the principles that have been given to her, and her feelings toward Aphrodite.

Betrayed leaves the reader with knowledge that the students and professors at the House of Night aren't always what or who they appear to be. It leaves the readers with more questions than answers; wondering who is trust worthy and who is not. I highly recommend this series to all lovers of YA and urban fantasy. It's a ride that has many twists and turns, and not all of them are expected. We can now begin to question the undercurrents within the books. For more information about all the great books in the House of Night Series, enter the House of Night at your own risk.

Book Trailer: Betrayed

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deadline Dames ~ Readers on Deadline ~ Flash Fiction Contest

I keep meaning to post the Deadline Dames writing contest that Dame Rinda hosts every month. This is the picture prompt for this month. This contest starts tonight and ends next Wednesday, August 19, at midnight.

Here is the rules from the Dames' own blog:

The Dames would like to encourage you to think outside of the box and use the 250 word limit economically. Word choice is key when you don’t have a lot of room to work. Long, fancy descriptions can be great in a novel, but when you want to grab someone’s attention quickly, they aren’t the best choice. We want an idea, a story or a character who intrigues us–makes us want to continue reading!

So, there you go. Be creative, have fun. I encourage all those interested to give it a try. It just a fun way to express an idea, a thought, or the premise for a future work. Remember that there is a very limited word count, 250 words is about a page long.

Demons and Angels

I have been trapped in this place for too long. Once, I was magnificent. I walked upon the Earth wreaking havoc; forcing my will upon these weak souls. Man lusted for my body; I lusted for their souls.

The scrabbling sounds greeted my ears and I slowly becoming aware that my warden had returned. How long since my last awakening?

"Azdel, demon, I summon thee." A weak croak reached my ear, stirring my ire and vengence.

"What is it human? I can smell the stink of death upon you. Come, loosen my bonds, I will heal your dying body." I offer, tasting a freedom almost forgotten.

"Azdel, demon, do not mock me. I come before you to pass the chalice. You are right, the Angel of Death soon comes for me, but I leave you in good care."

"No! I, Azdel, own your soul. The Angel cannot take you." I shake with fury, another soul cheated.

"Yes, Azdel you did, but it was your greed for souls that caused your forfeiture and entrapment. I may die, but your existence is doomed for eternity." A choking chuckle echoed around me.

Doomed eternity with lust to sustain me for there are always souls to entice.

Hmmm, 200 words, I thinking this might be my entry. But, I'm still thinking, tweaking, plenty of time to enter.

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