Romance Reviews

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Crimson Romance

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 16

Good Morning Blogosphere Buds!

I'm late with my post, but it's been a very busy morning, and I got up to a sick kitty.  He's so ancient, I don't know if it's the cold weather or if he's just too old.  I'm hoping he's better tomorrow.

Since it's once again Monday morning, it must be time for another edition of Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge.

For today's picture prompt, I'm using another one of Blodeuedd's she sent me last week, I love the feel of this image.  Desperate, hopeless, or maybe just a bad case of a foggy night.  I'll let you decide.  (okay, Blodeuedd says not hers, I don't know where it came from, maybe Michelle?  LOL.... it's an interesting image all the same though..)

So, if you'd like to play along, the rules remain the same.  We have a semi generous word count at 350 words, but lately I can't contain myself within the limits, but a little more or a little less is fine, no one is judging.  Come back Friday and post your response.  And as always have fun, let your creative juices flow!


Your favorite Disney character, Tinkerbell

Friday, November 26, 2010

Radiance by Alyson Noël

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  183

From the Cover:

Welcome to the Here & Now

Riley Bloom  left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the  bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now.  Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and  are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before  The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an  eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul  Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment,  a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries.  Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed.  But he's never met Riley...

Riley has finally accepted her fate.  Leaving her sister, Ever, behind on the Earth plane, she's accepted her fate, her death, her place in the Here.  She joined her parents, grandparents, and Buttercup, her loving Golden Labrador, in the place across the bridge.  A place without time, where only in the Here is the Now, or as she thinks of it, the Here & Now.

Just when she thinks that it all manifests, goofing off, doing whatever she likes; she finds out she has to go back to school, and not only that, but she has a job to do, and a guide, Bodhi, to show her how to do it.  And her first job is a doozy....

Radiance by Alyson Noël is the story of Riley Bloom, after she decides to cross the bridge from the Earth plane and Summerland, after she leaves Ever.  Because, she cannot go on forever tagging along behind her big sister, watching her grow and change, and never being able to change with her.  Riley will be forever and always, twelve years old.  She'll never be a teenager, never grow up, never grow... well, you know, her chest is so flat is almost sunken in.  After accepted her fate, and moving on with her death, she finds out she has a job to do, with a boss she doesn't much like, as a Soul Catcher.  She's assigned to guiding souls across the bridge to the Here. But no one tells her what it's going to be like, what she'll experience, how to act.  And then when she has to watch Bodhi suffer, all she can do is hope.

Radiance is one of those books that, no matter what kind of day you've had, it makes you feel better.  It's marketed to an YA audience, and I would go even further, it would be an excellent middle grade book, and I'd encourage school libraries to acquire this book, it would make an excellent addition to any school library, excellent for their reading program.  There is a slightly familiar world to the readers of the Immortals Series, but different enough that it makes the story unique.  Riley is one of my favorite characters from the Immortal Series, so I was happy to see her story being told.  She's an irascible character, not opposed to causing a little trouble or speaking her twelve year old mind.  And you know what, when she has something to say, it's usually a truth that needs to be heard or a lesson she has learned by her own weary experience.  I'd highly recommend this book to all readers, regardless of your age, fantasy lovers everywhere.  It's fun, with enough explanations for a younger group of readers to enjoy, but with a story that all readers will fall in love with.  Alyson Noël has rarely if ever disappointed me, and Radiance is no exception.  I'll be looking forward to Shimmer in March 2011.

(March 15, 2011)

From the Cover:

Having solved  the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying  a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a young ghost named  Rebecca, Riley soon learns Rebecca's not at all what she sees.

The  daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being  murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca  is keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst  memories. Can Riley help Rebecca without losing herself to her own  nightmarish memories?

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 15..... The Friday Post

Good Morning Blog Buddies!

Today is Friday, so if you're playing along, it's time to post your response to the 15th picture prompt, and it was a wonderful prompt!

The Legend of Faery
By Dottie Taylor
Word Count: 760

The forest had always been home, Isabo knew it like the back of her hand.  She wandered through her home on this day, crawling through the forest floor. She was looking for someone. Someone so small he could fit in her palm, if he wanted to.

“Pan, where are you?” She whispered, he'd disappeared two nights ago, and all over a tiny disagreement, but when his sensibilities were in question, he was very obstinate. “Come out, come out wherever you are! Please Pan, I'm sorry, please forgive me.” She let her voice break just a little, he couldn't resist her tears.

She knelt down next his favorite tree, and as she peered into the tiny opening, a burst of light greeted her eyes, the flutter of wings zoomed passed her head. “Pan, there you are! I've missed you.”

The little ball of light balanced on her thumb. “You should be,” squeaked the tinny voice, “how could you even think such a thing?” The light quivered as he stepped away, a few moments later, the tinny voice and the tiny light were gone. In it's place stood a man dressed in vivid browns and greens, orange and red, fall and summer mixed together.

“Pan,” Isabo breathed, throwing her arms around his neck, kissing his warm red lips, “let's not fight, I'm sorry, I was only trying find a way to keep in our hearts forever.” Tears leaked from her cerulean eyes. “I love you.”

Pan's baritone filled the forest. “Isabo, my love, my life,” he took her full ruby lips which she offered generously, “I'd rather die than live without you, but I won't have you sacrifice yourself, not for me or anyone else.”

“The deal as already been struck, it cannot be unmade.” She whispered, afraid he would leave her once again. “I fulfill the bargain tonight.”

Pan's face reddened, he cursed his existence, cursed the devil who made the deal, sealing her fate to his. Tears formed in his eyes as he shook his head. “What am I going to do with you?”

“You are going to love me forever,” she said slipping her dress from her shoulders, “right here, right now.”

Pan breathed out a pent up sigh, her beauty would never cease to amaze him....


Later that evening at the great gathering, Pan and Isabo wandered into the clearing.

“Where's the woman who is willing to offer herself.” The King of the Faeries called.

Isabo took a step forward, “It is I sire.”

“Do you give yourself freely?” The King flutter to stand on her shoulder.

Isabo brought Pan's hand to her lips, brushed it with a soft kiss. “Most willingly sire.”

For the next week, Isabo slept, so deeply none could have woken her, as her body gave itself, as it pulled in to itself, as her old life fell easily away. No one would remember her, no one would miss her. It was all part of the deal.

Pan waited anxiously, pacing back and forth on the day of awakening. Would she know him? Sometimes when the sacrifice took place, not only the body changed. He hoped with all of his heart her love would hold her true.

When Isabo woke, she was covered in crystalline matter, finely spun, silky and diaphanous. She rose and looked at her new body in a drop of fresh morning dew. Blossoming from her back were tiny gossamer wings, fine as spider silk. She was supposed to do something, meet someone, if she could only remember who.

She could see someone standing outside her door, it was a man, and she knew him or at least she thought she did. As she step toward him, he raised his bright green eyes, and she smiled, it was her Pan!

Rushing to him, she flung her arms around his neck and he grinned back, kissing her deeply as he groaned. “Isabo, it is you! I'd hope you would remember me, that you still loved me.”

“How could I not, my love?”

The legend says that once every one hundred years a mortal must give themselves willingly to Faery or their existence would fade from mankind's memory forever. Soon it will be time once again, but mankind has already forgotten more than it remembers, and Faery is already starting to fade, it's time may come to an end. Man no longer cares, and Faery can no longer wait.

This was such a beautiful image, I had to go over the 350 by twice, lol!

If you're playing along, leave me a link, and I'll peek at your story!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

Come back next week for another edition of .....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Here in America, it is commonly believed that our first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, and a great gathering and feasting did occur, and lasted for three days.  But the feast was held because the pilgrims had survived the harsh winter and had a bountiful harvest, with the help of the local Native Americans.  Another was not held for many years.  When once again the settlers had something to be thankful for, it was their triumph over the local Native Americans, and then again many years later with the victory over England.  Though George Washington would try to bring about a national day of Thanksgiving, too many opposed the idea, one being Thomas Jefferson, they had forgotten the pilgrims's hardships.  It wouldn't be until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it has a national holiday in 1863, that the fourth Thursday in the month of November would come to be a great day of Thanksgiving we celebrate today.  President Franklin Roosevelt tried to change the date to the third Thursday, hoping to allow for a longer Christmas shopping season, but many opposed the commercialization of the day.  In 1941, Congress declared the fourth Thursday in the month of November as Thanksgiving.

A little bit of Charlie Brown....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sassy Sunday Story Starter.... from Sassy Brit 'Alternative-Read'

Sassy Brit's story starter for Sunday was something unusual, and with art work of the author available on her blog, instead of looking for something else to spark my imagination, nothing else was needed. The War of the Worlds, all four or five re-tellings of Orson Welles masterpiece as always been a favorite of mine. Jeff Wayne's art work was perfect for the prompt....

I'm very late with my response, I had to rejoin the land of the living.... it was questionable for a time.....

The Life and Time of Thomas Moore
by Dottie Taylor
word count: 500

“The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one,” he said.
“The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one?"
"but still they come!”

Thomas glanced around the table, was his the only voice of reason, did no one understand the threat? “You have to believe me, I saw it on the monitor, a sudden flare of energy from the Martian Delta Quadrant!”

Eyes filled with skepticism peered back at Thomas. “If there was a sudden energy burst from any of the Quadrants, how come our equipment isn't picking it up? Are you going to tell us it's been magically cloaked somehow? How much time do you spend watching those old re-runs of Star Trek anyway?” There was a burst of laughter around the table as Thomas's face reddened.

It was a well known fact he was a Star Trek buff, but this wasn't some fantasy of an overactive imagination, he saw what he saw, either they believed him or not. “Never mind, I should have known better than to broach the subject.” He stood to leave, dinner uneaten. “If you want my resignation, just say so.”

“Thomas, sit down, finish your dinner, no one is asking for your resignation.” Chief Wilson responded, Thomas's boss. “We only ask that you be reasonable, stop making these wild statements.”

Thomas sank down into his chair. He knew he was the odd man out, it'd always been the case. “Sure Chief, you won't hear anymore about it.”

For the next two nights, Thomas nervously watched the monitors in the lab set aside with a direct link to the Hubble Telescope. Nothing, the days stretch to a week, maybe it had been a figment of his imagination.

On the eighth day, there was a sudden flare in the Earth's atmosphere, Thomas watched it happen, but had learned from his earlier mistake. The bomb shelter had been build under his home during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960's. After witnessing the first flare in the Martian atmosphere, he'd had the place cleaned and stocked with survival gear, food and water.

When the U.S. Government announced the disturbance in the Earth's atmosphere, Thomas installed a small gas generator and hundreds of gallons of gas, capable of sustaining his needs long after his death, for at least next hundred years.

When media reports began to announce the sighting of alien cylindrical objects in the heavens, Thomas quit his job. And when the first reports of an alien invasion screamed through the radio stations, Thomas sealed his shelter.

It was all over in a matter of weeks, Earth had been stripped of most of it's population, natural resources, food was scarce, water precious, but the Martians had left.

When Thomas was able to once again pick up a local radio station still broadcasting, he found out his old boss, Chief Wilson was one of the first to die. Pay back was a bitch.

A new twist on an old favorite, this time the Martians won, weren't killed off by Earthly viruses.  Stronger, better aliens....

Okay, I don't write much scifi, but at least I had fun, and it only took about an hour.  Now, back to NaNo, a long way to go if I'm going to finish on time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 15

Good Morning Blogosphere Buds!

Once again it's Monday morning, I don't remember the weekend, in fact, I don't remember Friday, lol.  I've had the flu for four long days, thought maybe I was one of my favorites subjects.... I'd been zombified!!  Yes, dear readers, I was sure I was one of the walking undead.  It was the weekend from Hell, I got to know Satan personally.  LOL  Now, it appears, I've infected the rest of my family members with the same malady.  And it's Thanksgiving on Thursday this week.... we won't be leaving the house, lol, I won't be sharing this illness with the rest of my family!  The real pisser in the whole equations is I DIDN'T GET TO SEE HARRY POTTER THIS WEEKEND!!!

So, even though I still feel like crap, and really don't feel like leaving the couch... I'm posting our flash fiction challenge.

Blodeuedd sent me some lovely pictures this weekend, I hope you enjoy the one I picked!  B sent me some images by Elena Dudina, she's very talented!  I can't wait to see what this image brings to life.

The rules remain the same, we have a roomy 350 word count (a little more or less is fine), come back Friday and post your response.  Since Thursday's a holiday this week, posting earlier or later will be fine, with you'd still like to participate.  I'll be writing mine soon, and scheduling the post.  I hope by Thursday, I feel human again, I have to cook for my family whether or not I do, and yee ha, Christmas shopping starts Friday, known as Black Friday here in the states.  Boy, I just can't wait to wade into the crowds, have merchandise taken out of my hands, and fight to get to the register.  It's so much fun.

Quick NaNoWriMo update, currently sitting close to 35000 words, close to the target, but still off the mark, slightly.  Hope I have the time and energy to catch up before the 30th!  Didn't write at all after my flash on Friday which was written in a drug induced haze....

Have fun and everyone have a great holiday week!


Your friendly neighbor Tinkerbell

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  496

From the Cover:

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. 
But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces.
Is love a great enough power against evil?

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings.  

Bethany, the youngest of the angel-siblings is sent to Earth at the worse of possible times, especially for her first experience with this wondrous place her brother and sister, Gabriel and Ivy, view as from a distance.  It's messy getting involved with humans.  They've been alive for a millennia, so why not let one of them be the force that could save humanity?  The answer is that they can't see what humanity might be.  Beth, so newly created and fresh face to the human race, can, and this time, humanity needs all the help it can get.  This is a time of anarchy; terrorist plots, bombing, murder, and mayhem.  Beth is the newest of the three to humanity at a mere seventeen years, and when she arrives in the small town of Venus Cove, she immediately finds herself drawn to another, Xavier.

Xavier knows there's something different about Beth, he feels overly protective, Beth is so inexperienced at life, she needs guidance and it comes in the form of Xavier Woods.  He saves her from a gang of thugs, could this be Bethany savior, to help her along her path for saving humanity?   Jake Thorn is the antagonist of the story, a demon sent to Earth to spread the hate and destruction of the human race, to entice Bethany away from her purpose.  Will he success?  If not, how will he be or can he be defeated?

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto is the debut novel for young Aussie author who at the time of publication was only eighteen years old herself.  I have nothing but praise for young people who choose to write, encourage it wholeheartedly.  This is an ambitious novel to undertake for someone so young, and the storyline is detailed and engrossing, as well as being a massive undertaking at nearly 500 pages.  I also have to say, the cover art is unique, beautifully done, and is one that helps tell the story.  Bethany, though the youngest of the three heavenly siblings sent to Earth to save humanity, to stop the darkness before all is lost.  She's chosen as the human connection because she sees it with fresh eyes.  As Gabriel and Ivy throw themselves into their tasks, Beth finds love, learns to live, and finally learns what may possibly defeat the evil, could love be the answer to it all?

Halo is marketed as YA paranormal fantasy/romance, and it is all of those things.  I found it slightly similar to Ted Dekker's The Circle Series which my son loves, though calling it Christian Lit might be a stretch.  If you're a fan of teenage angst, romance, young love, this is a book for you.  There even some action and adventure, certainly near the end of the book.  Even if you're not, you may want to give it a try, it's well written and engaging.  If there's a complaint to be made, it's a little long for the first of a new trilogy.  It might have been nice to start off with a tighter book.  I have seen this book compared to the Twilight Saga, and it is similar with teenage coupling and angst, the angels do glow, hide their wings, and keep their secret to themselves.  There are no vampires, but supernatural angels instead, and while the angels are sent to humanity basically from themselves, they gain some of the aspects of being human.  There is great world building and character building which helps you connect with Beth and Xavier.  I have read that angels are the new vampires in YA fiction, and that may be the case, Kim Harrison's new YA series sort of deals with an aspect of angels or afterlife (which I freaking love as well by the way), but maybe it's all about parallel worlds.  I highly recommend this book to lovers of YA fantasy, pararomance, and especially Twilight fans and Ted Dekker fans, each for different reasons.  I enjoy the story and look forward to more from this young author, as she grows and becomes more familiar with her craft.  The next two books in the series are:  Hades (Fall 2011) and Heaven (not sure this is the even title, and possible release date would only be a guess...).  Give Halo a try, I don't think readers will be disappointed, I wasn't.

Here's a little quote from the story that I enjoyed, hope you to do..

"One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion?"

Book Trailer (truly amazing!)

I received my copy from St. Martin's Press and Tara All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 14..... The Friday Post

Good Friday Morning

It's time for the Friday response to Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!  I think I went kind of sweet this time, unusual for me, I know, but I've been writing a lot of tense dialogue lately, so kind of sweet it is....

Here's this week's prompt, it's a great image!

The Barbarian and The Princess
By Dottie Taylor
word count: 440

Zander fought long and hard, from campaign to campaign, and they say to the conqueror goes the spoils of war. Adrianna was the spoils, and soon he was damn well going to have her.

With the last bloody battle, he had strode from the field, capturing the looks of his men, he'd had enough, no more blood, no more tears. The fight for him was over.

He gathered his crew, climbed abroad his ship, and set a course for home and Adrianna. He closed his eyes and remember the softness of her lips, lost himself in the sensation of her kiss, and remember the way she'd kneed him, all because he hadn't request permission to touch those precious lips. He grinned, when he thought about it, he still ached, but it a good way.

Within several hours, they were orbiting the planet of Terra where on the surface Adrianna waited for him. She paced furiously at being demanded to attend his presence. Hadn't he learned the last time, she was no toy, to be fondled and caressed, then shoved aside when playtime was over.

She watched as Zander docked and departed his ship, watched with wary eyes as he held her gaze, then glanced away when he stood in front of her.

“Adrianna, Princess of Terra,” he dropped down to one knee, “may I have the pleasure and comfort of your lips.”

She looked down in disgust, the barbarian was back, but he'd learned manners. “Zander, barbarian of the Wastelands,” she extended her hand, and he kissed it before taking it, “stand and greet your Princess.”

Zander took that as an invitation, and captured her lips between his, sweeping his tongue along the sweet softness, a caress as much as a request to explore her mouth deeply. Sighing, she relaxed into his arms, and gave herself to the wanton sensations flowing through her body. His battle hardened hands stroked the silky softness of her satiny flesh until she felt herself giving away to need. To be loved by his man would be ecstasy. All she had to do was give in.

Zander laughed against her lips sensing capitulation. Sweeping her up in his arms, he strolled off to her bed chambers. He dropped her on the bed with a thud, “Goodnight sweet Princess.” He turned and left her there, breaths coming in ragged heaves, desires unfulfilled. The goddamn barbarian, she'd make him pay for his insolence.

She heard him laughing in the distance, and couldn't suppress her own smile as it graced her lips. Barbarian or not, one day she was damn well going to have him.

See, kind of sweet, at least no one die, was fed on, or shifted. (there was death in all the battles, but... not part of this story, lol)

Going back to bed now, woke up feeling worse than yesterday.... freaking cold/flu/virus... whatever it is! Leave me a link and I'll take a peek at your story too!

And come Monday for another....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

All Hallows Blood by Raven Corinn Carluk

Publisher:  Crescent Moon Press
Pages:  230

From the Cover:

Mourning her mother on Halloween, Keila O'Broin, a psychic warrior and last of her line, isn't prepared for dead teenagers to ask her to avenge them. Compelled by her family creed, Keila combats the vampiric serial killer, despite her atrophied powers.

But defeating one killer is only the start of her adventure. Into her life walks Varick Eitenhauer, centuries old undead master of Portland. The vampire tells her she will now help him defeat his rivals in a battle to control the city, and he will accept no refusals.

Surrounded by her desire and danger, the only way to succeed is to rise from her past like a phoenix from its ashes.

Keila first loses her father, and then a short time later, her mother is taken, both battling against the evil that exists in the world.  It's part of her family motto, help those in need.  But, she's forgotten all that in her grief for her mother.  That is until a small group of spirits contact her, begging her to save another and destroy their murderer.  She's out of shape mentally, not using her skills, and though working out to help relieve her grief, she hasn't been honing her skills physically either.  She gives in and agrees, she can't ignore a cry for help.  But it brings her face to face with vampires, one wanting her help, one demanding her life.

The murderer turns out to a newly made vampire, invading the territory of Varick Eitenhauer, centuries old master vampire.  Keila agrees to help him in his bid to find his nemesis, but there's something else she feels in the core of her self, she needs to help this vampire, keep him safe, because he pulls at her soul.

All Hallows Blood by Raven Corinn Carluk is an engaging, new telling for the story of vampires and psioinic warriors, as well as a love story.  Keila is a gothically romantic character, one complete with tongue stud, and she has lost a lot in her young life, it seems all those who touch her life end up dying.  Her life is a little dark and gritty, not everything is sunshine and roses, she's lived in the dark of her grief for too long.  Keila is lost in her grief, almost to the point of taking over her life, until she can see passed it.  She won't, can't let the same fate touch Simy, her roommate and friend, or Varick, the one who speaks to her heart, mind and soul.  She'll shield those around her, protect them, even if it means her life.  Warning:  sensually told romance that ignites and holds your attention.

All Hallows Blood is the story of what happens when a psychic warrior and a vampire combine forces, on the battlefield and in life.  The romance is red hot, Keila and Varick each feeding the others needs.  The antagonist is an old enemy who has come back to get even with Varick, trying to kill the ancient vampire and take over his territory.  But Varick has other plans for the usurper, and it doesn't include leaving him alive.  He'll need Keila's help with he's going to be successful.  This is the debut novel for Ms. Carluk, and an excellent foray into the vampire/paranormal romance genre.  Her vampires are bloody, no sparkles here, and I'll be looking forward to what she offers next, maybe a companion book?  I found myself wanting to compare the story to an unique sexy retelling of a the Cinderella story where Keila is the abused by life battered beauty waiting to be discovered and Varick is Prince Charming with a vampire twist, ready to ride to her rescue as she is to his.  Each needs the other to survive, each completes the other.  I recommend this read for those who enjoy/loves vampires (like I do), Varick is an unique vampire, ancient but with other powers as well, some having nothing to do with vampirism.  Also lovers of pararomance and urban fantasy will find this story engaging and want to give it a try too.  I found the story unique, intense, entertaining, and gripping, hard to put down.

I received my e-copy from the author, I very much enjoyed it.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone

Publisher:  Avon/Harper Collins
Pages:  384

(Release Date:  November 1, 2010)

From the Cover:

A solitary hunter with no regard for the human world, Jagger Castille is a shifter living on the edge. A woman who calls him enemy will give him reason to live . . .

Jagger is a creature of the night - Skye Knightly soars in the sun. Natural adversaries, they are now joined in a mission entrusted to Skye's family centuries ago: nothing less than the salvation of the Earth.

Wounded and bitter, Jagger sought escape in the solitude of the jungle, driven by a need to disappear forever . . . until a mysterious shifter who calls to his soul and feeds a yearning long forgotten pulls him from his dark path. A courageous warrior, Skye's passion is equal to Jagger's - but can she trust a man whose secrets are as devastating as her own?

Each is the other's sole hope for survival. But a dark and twisted truth is leading them toward the ultimate sacrifice for a love they may never live to claim.

Skye Knightly has been fighting the Jaguars for her whole life, the DaCosta family has been the curse to her family's existence, killing all but the handful that survives now.  The Knightlys have been winged warriors, the Eagle Knights, fighting to keep the demons begging to flow through the Earth, right where they belong.  Skye's father hid to portal key, keeping the Earth safe.  But now, Skye needs to find the portal before the DaCostas do, releasing Hell on Earth.

Jagger is a jaguar shifter who has lost part of his humanity.  He no longer cares about what goes on outside of his part of the Belize rainforest.  He has spent many months wandering the forest, learning his territory, becoming one with his jaguar.  Then, this woman happens into his part of the jungle, cold, near death.  After he fishes her out of the water, so tiny, cold, and lost, he feels his heart begin to beat with a purpose again.  This one tiny woman needs him, and he discovers, he needs her.  Her inner strength calls to his cat and the man he was.

While Skye can soar with the day, strongest in the sun, Jagger's jaguar lives for the night.  Can two such individuals so different come together?  Can Skye trust those who've been her enemies?  Can Jagger learn to love the beautiful bird that Skye is?

His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone is an unique story of shifters, two clans, so different from each other but they say opposites attract.  But, in the case of Skye and Jagger, the old saying can't be more true.  Skye needs what only Jagger can give her, safe passage through the junlge, and a way into his heart.  Jagger finds he needs for help this woman, no matter what she is, and protect her from the clans he's been fighting as well, the mortal enemies of the Castilles, the Dacostas..  But, can Skye see passed the jaguar to see the man, or will her hatred and fear of her enemy prevent them from ever seeing a way together.  Jagger must find a way to her heart if the man as well as the beast is going to survive, jaguars mate for life, and he discovers his heart is lost to one who lives in the light as opposed to the night where his jaguar thrives.

His Darkest Embrace is a wonderful love story wrapped up in a shifter fantasy.  Skye fights her feelings, fights to love, with the knowledge that if she reaches her goal, she find her death as well.  Only she can either bridge the portal or block it, either way, it'll mean her life.  I loved this story, I had previously read Juliana Stone's Black Legacy short and loved it too.  I'll be reading her first book, His Darkest Hunger, as soon as possible.  I highly recommend this book to lovers of shifters, fantasy, pararomance, and urban fantasy.  It's an excellent read!

I received my copy from Net Galley and Harper Collins.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 14

Good Monday Morning Blogosphere Buds!

I'm way late with my post, but I have a legitimate excuses, really I do.  I woke up at 3am and decided to take a look at my NaNoWriMo entry, which I avoided almost successfully all of a Saturday and Sunday, I was stuck, wondered where this story was going.  (But, I woke up for a reason, right?  I hope?)   Then, I had a flash of idea, and my MC got all excited... spent the next three hours writing 2000 new words.  At 6am, I called it quits for the morning, I was getting tired again and my fingers were jumbling up the words.  I knew I wouldn't be able to figure out what I was writing later, lol.  I was able to relax and go back to sleep for an hour, until the kids had to get up.  Then, the hubs had to go to the dentist, the doctor had to be called, and my list goes on and on and on....

So, I'm finally sitting in front of my laptop (should have done this yesterday, I know, but I was having serious avoidance issues, really...).

Here's the Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge post!!

Michelle sent me a new batch of images to choose from and they were all so great, I didn't know which to use.  But, since I'm in the mood for dark and gritty, that's what we going to have this week, dark, gritty, foreboding..... but with the touch of possibility, maybe hope or maybe not.  It all depends on how you interpret the image.

I hope everyone enjoys this flash fiction as much as I'm going to...

The rules remain the same, a roomy 350 word count (give or take), come back Friday and post your response (if you're playing along).  And remember the most important thing of all is to have fun, let your creative juice run wild, this image speaks on so many levels, I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!!

Ciao!!  Have a great week!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crescent Moon Press, Ides of March Contest

For all the aspiring writers out there with a completed MS, Crescent Moon Press is having an Ides of March Contest...  Here are the details from their website:

The Ides of March Contest


Young Adult and General Categories

Winners get a contract with CMP to publish their book and 100 dollars signing bonus!
Contest Rules:
  • Author must be previously unpublished
  • Entry must not be previously submitted to CMP
  • Foreign language translations to English will not be accepted
  • Word Length: Young Adult 50,000-100,000 words
  • Adult: 70,000-120,000 words
Send to: for the general category for Young Adult category

Please submit one page query letter and the full manuscript in rtf format.

See submissions for CMP's standard formatting rules and more of what we are looking for.

Good luck!

Previous winners:

I haven't read Gemini Rising, but I have Undercover Alien, it was an unique story of aliens interacting with humans, good aliens and evil, with the fate of the planet in their hands. If you're a fan of fantasy, this is an enjoyable read, with a red hot romance. (Now, if you believe aliens are living amongst us... it's research...?)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Promo ~~ Alyson Noël's 'Night Star'

If you haven't tried Alyson Noël's Immortal Series, you're missing out on a truly fun series.  Ms. Noël's newest addition to her series, Night Star, will be released on November 16, 2010.

It's a beautiful cover, can't wait to peek inside the pages!!

From the Cover:

After fighting for centuries to be together, Ever and Damen’s future hinges on one final showdown that will leave readers gasping for breath. Don’t miss this explosive new installment of the #1 bestselling series that’s enchanted millions across the world!

Haven still blames Ever for the death of her boyfriend Roman, no matter how hard Ever’s tried to convince her it was an accident. Now she’s determined to take Ever down…and destroy Damen and Jude along the way. Her first step is to tear Ever and Damen apart—and she has just the ammunition to do it.

Hidden in one of Ever’s past lives is a terrible secret about Damen—a secret that illuminates new facts about her relationship with Jude, but that’s so dark and brutal it might be enough to drive her and Damen apart once and for all. As Ever faces her greatest fears about the guy she wants to spend eternity with, she’s thrust into a deadly clash with Haven that could destroy them all.

Now it’ll take everything she’s got—and bring out powers she never knew she had—to face down her most formidable enemy. But in order to win, she must first ask herself: is her own survival worth dooming Haven to an eternity of darkness in the Shadowland? And will learning the truth about Damen’s past hold the key to their future?

To watch on Youtube, click here.

Check out the Immortal website and facebook pages.

Immortals Series Website:

Immortals Series Facebook Fan Page:

Thanks Tara @ Zeitghost Media, for supplying with the information!

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 13..... The Friday Post

Morning Blogosphere Buds!

It's Friday, so it must be time for my response to the Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, and what a wonderful prompt (at least for me) it was! And I know I'm a little late, but I had a burst of NaNo writing at 1am, and I was a little groggy this morning. But, on the plus side, I'm approaching 20,000 words, 1/5 of the way toward my goal.

I'm always amazed I still have story to tell. My MC is still whispering in my ear, more story waiting to be told. I have to say, I'm very interested in this MC, I've been experimenting with writing from a male point of view in some of my flashes, and it was this alpha male who came to me demanding I finish his story. Now, if he has enough story left to make it to the desired goal of 50,000 words... Well, I can't wait to see!!

But back to the flash... Here's the prompt from Monday...

The Last of Faery
by Dottie Taylor
Word Count: 500

This story takes place over hundred years ago, it was told to me by my grandmother, who heard it from hers. Tulalin was a Faery who gave up her exist to join her true love...

Tulalin was lost to her world. She wondered, was she the last of her kind? She let her hand fall into the water, watched as her tears blended and washed away. She had left Faery as a Faeling to follow her heart, it had been captured by a bold human male. He'd been tall, blond, powerful, and beautiful, and the strength of his soul, she'd wanted to fall into it. She'd stayed for all these long years, but he had faded and now not even this ghost came to visit.

She no longer knew her way to the Faery Mounds, but she could still fly. She unfurled her gossamer wings, and felt the wind brush against them. A soft moan escaped her lips, it had been so long since she'd let herself feel the wind, so long since the kiss of Faery touched her body. As she gazed down at her reflection, she shimmered and wavered with the movement of the water, and as she watched, another reflection stood over her shoulder.

“Tulalin, finally, you've come home.” The reflection spoke, and Tulalin twisted around, but no one was there. She gazed back at the water, and the reflection smiled at her.

“No, Tulalin, we can't be found in the human realm, Faery long ago quit the mortal world and their wars, you've been gone a very long time, and Faery has missed you greatly.” The reflection quivered, and another joined it.

“Tulalin, take my hand,” and she reached out, brushing against the water, felt the pull, and then the laughter.

She jerked her hand back, water nymphs hoping to pull her in, drown her. Tears fell fresh upon the water.

Then, she felt a breath of a touch, and spun around. It was her human lover, bold and strong, and as she watched, his own gossamer colored wings unfurled and batted the breeze gently.

“Tulalin, I've been grant the wish of true love, to remain with you. Touch my hand.” Her fingers itched to touch his body, but she'd already been fooled once.

“How do I know tis really you, not some joke spawned by an evil prankster?” She wiped the traces of her tears, her fingers coating with dust.

“Tulalin, what was my favorite song, we sang together here at the water's edge?” He hummed a few bars as a grin broke out on his face.

She rushed to him and flung her body against his. “Tis you, really and truly!”

And with his touch, they fade to Faery where they live on even today.

The moral of the story: Don't always believe what your eyes think you see, and, Always follow your heart, it will never lead you wrong.

Well, so it turned out to be a fable, wow, I'm surprised, it's not the story I was going to tell.... who knew?  And again, I'm way over on the word count...

If you're playing along, leave me a link so I can see what you've written.  And remember to join us again of next Monday for another edition of....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!!

Ciao!  Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

Well, yesterday was the one-third mark of the month of November, and you guessed it, one-third of NaNoWriMo writing time as disappeared.  Where the hell did it go????  LOL  I've been plugging away, with people trying to read over and shoulder, and an occasional, "You're not going to that are you?"  To which I sneer, "Yeah, I was.... DON'T MAKE FREAKING EDIT NOW!!"  LOLOLOL  But, the inner editor comes out anyway, and I do a quick re-read only to find out I killed off that character five pages ago....  It's just been one of the months.....

According to the NaNo stats, I'm a little behind on my word count, only about 700 words, but I haven't even open my document today, so add 1667 words to that to reach the desired goal, almost 2400 words needed today.  Probbbabbbly not going to happen, but I'll add a little to my word count, and it'll all come out in the end.

Now, recently, I've seen some negativity about NaNoWriMo, and let me assure all those out there saying how unprofessional NaNoWriMo is.... all the participants in NaNo are not seasoned authors, nor are we published, but the one thing we all know is that a NaNo manuscript WILL NOT be ready for publication on December 1st.  We're realists, and being realists, we know there's 11 long months ahead that we can play with, refine, edit, edit again, polish, send through the edit machine again, and then let someone else read, before we start the edit machine one more time....  Then after it passes several more inspections, and it polished down to a bright clear shine, if it's the author's desire to do so, they can submit their baby to various publishers.  Some online, some traditional, but it's the call of the author.  Not your's and not mine, so after all that's said, maybe we'll see a few of these NaNo MSs reach publication!!  All the participants in NaNoWriMo realize how hard writing is, we praise authors who are able to give us all those great stories, the long and the short.  But, I also have to say, it's very gratifying to complete NaNoWriMo, and maybe there's a good book in all those pages of hurriedly thrown together.  I can only hope.

I'll check in later.... but now it's time to open up my document, peek at the babble from yesterday (cringe) and see what I can add today... (it's a slow day here... I'm kinda in a funky... I've read a couple of books, even while NaNo-ing... maybe I need to write a review, no I need to do my flash fiction for tomorrow, nah, I need to wash laundry... well, as you can see, I'm delaying writing...  so much to do, so little ambition with which to do it, lol)

Signed:  From a sleep deprived (not depraved... not yet anyway...) mind in Illinois....

(I'm leaving you with this cute little schedule I found online during one of the periods procrastination research....  click the image to read those tiny little reminders)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last Day To Enter at Bitten By Books

Guess What?  It's the last day to enter Rachel Caine's contest for one of these!

So, all you have to do to enter is head over to Bitten by Books @

Follow the rules for entries.... there lots of way to gain multiple entries... even tonight!

Congrats to Rachel Caine on her new release, Ghost Town!  Yay Rachel!!

From the Cover:

“While developing a new system to maintain Morganville’s defenses, student Claire Danvers discovers a way to amplify vampire mental powers. Through this, she’s able to re-establish the field around this vampire-infested Texas college town that protects it from outsiders.

But the new upgrades have an unexpected consequence: people inside the town begin to slowly forget who they are-even the vampires. Soon, the town’s little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment- before she forgets how to save Morganville…”

To take a peek at the pages, click here for sample chapters!

Stroll on over to Bitten by Books and make a few comments... it only takes one to win!! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sassy Sunday Story Starter.... from Sassy Brit 'Alternative-Read' (One Day Late, Oops!!)

This week's story started was inspired by Darkside Devlyn... raising eyebrows, loving the name...

Together Forever
by Dottie Taylor
word count:  500

"Yes. I did." Tammy said with a cold look, which made Tim shiver. She walked over his grave. "And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it!" She added turning her back on him, so he could not see her smile.

Tim turned as she made to leave, gather his flagging strength. “So, that's it, you think you're free? You end my life, and you're just gonna walk away?” His anger spiked, his hands itched with the need to wrap them firmly around her velvet throat. He'd worshiped her body, adored her flesh, licked every inch of her soft pliant skin. He'd given as much pleasure as he had received. This was the woman who stole his heart.

Tammy glanced over her shoulder, eying his grave. She flung back her head, a throaty laugh bubble out. “It was fun while it lasted, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.” She winked and laughed again, “Even if I had to help it along the way.” She flashed her sapphire orbs, “I think you got your money's worth.”

She turned and strolled away, on to the next adventure in her life. She'd always been able to see and talk to ghosts, and she'd created a few, too bad they were so clingy in the end. She lifted her eyebrow and quirked in amusement, this was the first of her conquests in her bid for fortune, fame. Tim's stocks alone would let her live in style, but it was never enough.

That night, Tim came to Tammy, his hands roving over her sweet flesh, touching and tasting as she groaned.  Her buds hardened, plucked by the fire of his ghostly lips.  Her tanned toned thighs heated as unseen fingers caressed as she arched up and back, crying out with release.

“That's right love,” Tim whispered against her ear, brushing his lips against hers as she sighed with contentment, and spectral hands quivered with need.

“See how good it feels?” His hands soothed her heated body and crept higher, comforting with his touch, until they found the velvety flesh of her long beautiful throat.

Tammy groaned in her would be dream, God, fantasy was better than reality.... then she felt the icy fingers of her ghostly lover, tightening, squeezing with incredible pressure.  Strong hands encircled her throat crushing with quickening need. Tammy struggled for consciousness, fighting to end the dream as she choked, fought for air, gasped frantically.....

“Hello, love,” Tim called to Tammy, as she joined him in death.

“You son of a bitch, what've you done?” Tammy cried as she looked back at life.

“I couldn't let you just leave. Now we'll be together forever.” Tim grinned and linked arms with hers. Revenge was best served cold, and he savored it's flavor.

I'm late, wasn't home much yesterday, and NaNo-ing for the rest, but here it is, better later than never!!

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 13

Hello Blogosphere Buds!!

It's Monday Morning, so it must be time for Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!!  This is the 13th week of flashing... hope everyone has gotten an eyeful...  lol.

I've been wanting to try a Fae image and a Steampunk image (I've never attempted steampunk... sure would be different for me...).  This week, I found kind of neat Fae image that I couldn't resist, so, I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do!!  I couldn't remember if this was one of Michelle's images or not, or if Blodeudd sent this one, but it's wonderful... (I'm blaming lack of sleep... lol)

She looks so lost, I had to give this one a try! 

So, if you're playing along, the rule remain the same.... 350 words (a little more or less.. is fine), come back Friday and post your response.  And remember to let your creative juices flow... 

Now, back to NaNo... 


Friday, November 5, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 12..... The Friday Post

I wasn't sure if I was going to have time to flash this week, but apparently, I was wrong!  I took a look at the picture, and I knew what I wanted to write.... I hope this image spoke to everyone else the way it spoke to me...  And it was a pleasant break from my NaNo writing, which is going okay... I ran into a little stump, but I got around it.  Today is the fifth day of NaNo, and according to their stats... that means the writer should reach about 8400 words by the end of the day.... (hope I make it, currently sitting at about 7100 words....).  But, for all of you new NaNo-ers out there, don't worry if you haven't been able to keep up!  Not a problem, during the weekdays, it's really hard to keep it all together, but on the weekends, you'll have a little more time to give to writing.  I find my most productive time in late, late at night... the house settles down and I can hear soft snores coming from the bedrooms, the sounds of sleep (wish I was there sometimes), kind of lulls you into a false sense of security.... lol, it's so peaceful.

So, here my response to this lovely image sent to us by Blodeuedd.

It's truly beautiful and I love it!

The Impostor and The Dragon
by Dottie Taylor
word count:  475

Kimi ran through the falling snow, her breaths coming out hard and fast in short white puffs, her sides stitching with her frozen fingers held fast against her abdomen. Soon the blood would stop flowing, the wound knitting itself already causing a glowing burn to heat her small body.

She didn't know who exposed her, and now it wasn't important, she needed to find her brother, to find a place to hide, to finish healing.

The dragon genome was strong in her family and if she could reach her brother, maybe there was still a chance.

She raced even faster, her legs scissoring through the cold snow as she called to her inner dragon. She again tried to come contact with Chu, but she couldn't reach his mind, couldn't sense his presence. It could mean a lot of things, it didn't have to mean he was dead, please God, don't let him be dead.

As she burst through the trees, she drew her Dragon's Bane, the Katana blessed with great magic. She began calling, “Chu, answer me!”

And as she raced to the edge of the frozen river, she saw something, a dark form bobbing, please God, please she thought, bracing herself for the worse.

But when she reached the river's edge, she heard her brother calling back, “Kimi, here! Don't get near the ice, I don't think he dead yet!”

She glanced down, and her heart fell. As she looked down, she found her brother, bobbing in and out of the water, as his dragon hovering, hissing violently. She reached for Chu, only to pull back a blood soaked hand that not even the fresh snow could wash clean, frozen tears fell from her eyes. There was only one thing to do as she opened her arms and welcomed his dragon home.

Then she heard the laughter, the impostor. She rounded holding her sword at her side.

“Come, now, coward. Show yourself, you can't be afraid of a little girl?” Kimi jeered.

“Girl? How bout your soul, the one now holding two dragon warriors?” The impostor called back, still with laughter in his voice.

“Bastard, you'll pay for his death!” Kimi had taken all of taunting she could stand, and she called forth the dragons, directing them toward the disembodied voice. They shimmered into a mist, and silently drifted toward the body that housed the voice and hovered over the spot where he hid.

Kimi waited for the dragons to re-enter her body before she flung her arm back and set sail to the sword that swooshed through the air and coming to rest upon the heart of it's mark.

A crimson puddle pooled in the snow, the impostor was dead before his scream could leave his icy lips.

Well.... I went waaaaay over the word count, but when I started, I didn't want to shorten the story, so for today, you get the long version... there are always ways to shorten them, but maybe it's NaNo writing, I wanted to let the whole thing out, lol.

Thanks for playing along (if you were able to.... very busy week!!)

Let me know how everyone feels about keeping the flashes going....


Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham

Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons / Penguin Young Readers Group
Pages:  201

From the Cover:

In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim.

From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with RichlandÑevery kid he meets disappears before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the treeÕs world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .

Teddy wasn't asked if he wanted to move, but he knew deep down, that his mother needed this move.  She had to make money, and with his dad out of the picture, at least he got to bring his stuff.

He aslo knew his mom worried about him.  He'd never had a lot of friends, it was always so hard to make them.  And now, there was this new town, in the middle of the desert, and he'll have to start all over.  But, he's in luck, on his first day of exploring his new town, he meets Walter.  He's a nice enough kid, maybe stuck in the 80's, but Teddy has his own little quirks too.  When Walter panics about the town bully finding him, Teddy reassures him that he'll stick up for Walter.  Walter is amazed, he's never had a friend before...

What Teddy doesn't know, is that Walter isn't stuck in the 80's, but Teddy has been transported back in time to the day of Walter's death.... and there are other boys, waiting to have their turn with Teddy, taking him back in time again and again.

The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham is a quick little read telling the story of what happens when a nuclear laboratory comes to a small desert town, without the knowledge of how to handle the waste and nuclear products themselves.  But, it's early in the investigation of nuclear reactions, they don't understand the scope of what nuclear chemicals can do, especially when it seeps into the water that a wily sycamore decides is it's life's blood. And it is, the nuclear residue that the sycamore sips extends it's life for an unnaturally long time, but also makes it twisted with mutations.... and then the tree discovers something else it can live off of, but to do so, it has to capture souls... and who's more adventurous than the boys....?

The Dead Boys was a fascinating read, quickly grabbing my attention, and ever so slightly scary too.  You begin to wonder if there is any escape from the sycamore, and just exactly what this intelligent super villain of a tree is going to try next in it's bid to stay alive.  Lovers of YA fantasy/horror may want to take a look at this tasty little treat, it tricks your imagination.  It was fun, creepy, and kept me turning pages.  I'll be trying Mr. Buckingham's next read!

I received my copy from Planned TV Arts, all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 12

OMG.... Twelve Weeks.... squee!!

I can't believe we've been flashing for so long!  It's been a lot of fun, and I've enjoyed each prompt and each piece of flash that has been produced.  Now, as a reminder to all those aspiring authors out there, today is the first day of NaNoWriMo!!!  I've been playing for this day..... I'll be doing laundry and writing all day long... I always have this fear that I'm not going to be able to complete the challenge... I have butterflies, excitement, nervousness, and anxiety all at once.  And to top it off, I went on a book buying binge this morning.... but I restrained myself at three, all ebooks, so no more clutter in the house.  Aren't you proud of me??  LOL

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Halloween, I know I did!  I watched a few movies, posted a Halloween poem, here, and Sassy Brit's scary Halloween entry, here.  I also finished my entry for the Deadline Dames, if you'd like to give in a try it's a creepy little image found here.  (all in preparation for NaNo... flexing my fingers, getting ready for the challenge, I figured if I could write three short pieces in one day, the 1667 words per day for NaNo would be a breeze.... I hope!)

Anyway, we going to try Monday Morning Flash Fiction this week to see how it goes... which actually be a good thing... if you can't focus on your NaNo piece, come try a little flash... get those creative juices flowing again...

Blodeuedd supplied this awesome image for this week prompt... and when I saw it, I said WOW!!!  It's freaking fantastic... and I thought how much AmyC would enjoy this one...!!

So, I can't wait to see what this prompt produces, it's a wonderful fantasy image!

If you playing along, the rules remain the same... 350 word count (a little more or less is fine) and come back on Friday and post, and leave me a link!


In The Dark of Dreams, A Dirk & Steele Novel (10) by Marjorie M. Liu

Publisher:  Harper Collins/Avon
Pages:  384

(Release Date:  11/30/10)

From the Cover:

She could never forget the boy with the ice blue eyes...She was only twelve when she saw the silver boy on the beach, but Jenny has never stopped dreaming about him. Now she is grown, a marine biologist charting her own course in the family business -- a corporation that covertly crosses the boundaries of science into realms of the unknown...and the incredible.

And now he has found her again, her boy grown into a man: Perrin, powerful and masculine, and so much more than human, leaving Jenny weak with desire, and aching for his touch.

But with their reunion comes danger.  For Perrin and Jenny -- and all living creatures -- their only hope for preventing the unthinkable lies in a mysterious empire far beneath the sea...and in the power of their dreams.

Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of paranormal romances and urban fantasy.  In the world of comic books, she is also the writer of NYX: No Way Home, Black Widow, X-23, and Dark Wolverine (with Daniel Way, for Marvel). She lives in the American Midwest and Beijing, China. For more information, please visit her website at


Jenny as a twelve year old child knows she's nothing special, exceptionally ordinary, as some of her grandparents friends have said with disdain.  She never really cared, until she found the silver haired boy by the ocean.  He was hurt and she tried to help, but a man strolled out of the ocean, dragging the boy back to it's watery depths.  For twelve years, she watched for the boy to return, but he only did so in her dreams, and then one day, he came no more.  Not for eight long years, and still she searched.

Perrin remembers the girl from the beach with the fiery red hair, remembers her song, and the softness of her touch.  He also remembers his father dragging him away, away from the very thing he was searching for.  And so, he visited the girl's dreams, touched her skin, held her hand.  Even after he's forced to host the Kra'a, he visited her dreams, used her dreams to soothe and silence the beast, until he and the Kra'a could no longer tell his dreams from hers.  When his tutor tried to forcible remove the now human woman from his dreams and his heart, he strikes back, and with this action, the Kra'a is forcible removed instead, leaving him bereaved of the Kra'a and the woman in his dreams.  For eight long years, Perrin was forced to walk upon the Earth pretending to be human, and to dream no more.

Jenny, now the woman who still searches, works to preserve extraordinary creatures with A Priori, but The Consortium wants to find Jenny and use her, why?  Because of the boy, now a man?  When Perrin stumbles upon Jenny, and truly sees her face for the first time, he can't believe his eyes.  Could this be the girl from the beach?  His dream girl?  There really is no doubt when he touches her mind, which he shouldn't be able to do.  But, there's something terribly wrong, a parasite has attached itself to Jenny's skull and slowly changing the woman she was into something more.  And it calls to her, the beast is waking, and it could mean the end for them all.

In the Dark of Dreams by Marjorie M. Liu is the 10th book in the Dirk & Steele Series, and I have to say this is a new author for me and a new series.  The backlist is extensive, and I'll be ordering the other 9 books as well as taking a glance at some of her other books.  Jenny and Perrin find each other as children, but with the innocence of childhood, a bond occurs, linking them together against the wishes of Perrin's clan and family (the Krackeni).  Jenny holds the secret of the boy in her heart, never sharing the memory that is only hers.  The dreams are where they can exist together, where they find the love of the innocent, where they grow together.  When Perrin is ripped from her dreams, part of Jenny is lost, so for eight years, she lives on the ocean, hoping he'll return.  Bad things happen, Jenny's family severs itself into two parts, one part seeking to help, the other to use.  Perrin is hopelessly lost without the woman in his dreams, without his home and his Kra'a, he'd do almost anything to get them back.  And then, he finds Jenny and has to confront his clan and family, who has exiled him and sworn to kill him.  But, with the Kra'a thinks differently, and embeds itself within Jenny.  Now, the beast, the mighty Kraken, needs the one thing that only Jenny and Perrin can give it, if they can escape the clutches of her vile family and the hatred of his clan and family.  Otherwise, death awaits them all.

In the Dark of Dreams is an excellent paranormal romance, the world built around a mer-society, and all the shape shifting paranormals that A Priori has found.  There is heartbreak between the hero and heroine that only with their reunion can the begin to heal.  Jenny can't trust, not even herself really, and Perrin is filled with anger, anger at what was ripped away and anger of rejection and exile.  The merpeople and other sea creatures are suspicious of him, and wouldn't pass up the opportunity to bring his death, he's an embarrassment to his family for his actions, actions that his father never took the time to understand even if he could never forgive.  As I stated earlier, this is the 10th book of the Dirk & Steele Series, but I had no trouble following the story, the world building excellent.  According to Ms. Liu website, Harper Collins has purchased the Dirk & Steele Series and will be reissued the backlist with new cover art.  Although this book contain 384 pages, it was a quick read that grabbed my attention and kept me turning pages well into the night.  If you enjoy paranormal romance, urban fantasy, or fantasy/mythology, you may want to give In the Dark of Dreams a try, it's excellent.


Book 9 - The Fire King
Book 8 - The Wild Road
Book 7 - The Last Twilight
Book 6 - Soul Song
Book 5 - Eye of Heaven
Book 4 - Dark Dreamers
Book 3 - The Red Heart of Jade
Book 2 - Shadow Touch
Book 1 - Tiger Eye

I received this ebook from Harper Collins/Avon and Net Galley for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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