Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Crimson Romance

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reviewette: Bite Anthology --- Blood Lust --- Vickie Taylor

Publisher: Jove Publishing
Pages: 221-297

From the Cover: The bite is back in vampire fiction.....

Daniel Hart is a research scientist that has made an amazing discovery....if only he lives long enough to share it with the world......

Daniel Hart has been doing research in Atlanta with a blood substitute. One that can be used to help with blood loss during surgery, accident, or injury. It is a large step forward for man.....what he doesn't know is the person supporting his research doesn't want to share it with the world, but keep it for himself. Little does he know that his most ardent supporter is none other than the Vampire Enforcer, Garth LaGrange, enforcer of the law for the Vampire Queen.

Garth has supported this pathetic human long enough. Finally, the blood substitute has been developed and he no longer need this swiveling excuse for humanity. He has been waiting centuries for this discovery. Time to dispose of the unwanted waste as he begins to destroy Daniel Hart's mind, body, and life. As Daniel fiancee sashays into to the room to pour herself across Garth's body, giving him neck, Daniel watches as Sue Ellen succumbs to the power Garth LaGrange or so he thinks.....

Now, months later with rehab and healing, Daniel Hart is on the prowl. He's looking to get even with Garth, to become like him, to become vampire.

Blood's all Deadre Rue can feel, it's been so long since her thirst has been quenched. The Queen and the Enforcer won't allow it, and after being burned once, she won't be quenching it again anytime soon. When Daniel comes on to her, she is suspicious. What does Daniel want? Is he a vampire groupie, terminally ill, mentally imbalanced? Why would he want to be vampire?

Daniel only has one answer. Revenge. He needs to kill Garth and free Sue Ellen. To do this, he will go to any lengths, even kidnapping a vampire. When Deadre comes to her senses, it's late - almost dawn. Doesn't he know the sun will kill her, maybe she should let it happen. Daniel wants to let her go, but not until she has made him one of the undead. She can't, it is forbidden. To do so would be to consign herself to the sun.

As the dawn begins to break, Deadre is helpless to stop the pain. As she begins to burn, Daniel panics, frees her, and takes her to his grandparents property where a cellar waits. He slips them into the damp darkness and offers his blood to repair her body. Deadre has so long been denied that once she starts to feed, she losses her head and nearly drains his body. With no choices left, she gives him her blood, making him vampire as he wished.

When Daniel wakes the next night, it is to find a remorseful Deadre and a new vampire. He immediately wants to confront Garth, but he is a baby; he needs to gain strength. But with new blood substitute, he can gain the strength he needs quickly.

Back in Atlanta at Daniel's lab, a secret stockpile of synthetic blood awaits. Daniel and Deadre drink their fill and explore the wonders of vampirism together, loving and laughing, high on the rush of synthetic blood. Daniel knows that he loved Sue Ellen at one time, but now only Deadre occupies his thoughts. As they sneak into Daniel's house that Garth has stolen, they find many vampires starving. Garth believes Daniel to be the weak human that he almost killed. But Daniel is strong, too strong with synthetic blood. He kills Garth as he attempts to torture Deadre. Sue Ellen calls to him, but as Deadre sees Sue Ellen, she realizes that she is actually the Queen, trying to use Daniel. Daniel sees past the guise and burns Sue Ellen. He promises all the vampires steady meals of synthetic blood, freeing the vampires of the monstrous existence and the need to prey on humans.

Blood Lust by Vickie Taylor was a great little read. This short could have well been a book! This was the last short in the anthology, Bite. It was so amazingly good, a real page turner. Daniel is a hero who is torn between wanting to avenge himself and Sue Ellen that he is ready to become the unthinkable, vampire. After he frees Sue Ellen and eliminates Garth, he has every intention of killing himself. But as Deadre works her way into his undead heart, he rather be vampire than give up having Deadre. Deadre is a heroine that has grown tired of her existence, tired of denying her thirst, tired of her undead life until she meets Daniel. As the ever thoughtful Daniel gets under her skin, she realizes what has been missing in her undead life. Companionship, love, and the beauty of a new night seen through eyes of another. I loved these two characters, both hopeless but gaining strength, life, and love from each other. Vickie Taylor (Vickie Spears) is another new author for me, but this will not be her last story that I read. This short was a very fast fun read and I enjoyed it immensely. For information about other books by Vickie Taylor, please visit her website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Masquerade, Book Two of the Blue Blood Series by Melissa De La Cruz

Publisher: Hyperion Paperbacks
Pages: 307

From the Cover: Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help---her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly under way for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman---a true Blue Blood affair........

Schuyler Van Alen was introduced in Blue Bloods as a young blue blood, vampire, who has just started to show her true blue blood lines. She attends Duchesne, a prestigious high school for the rich and famous, as well as vampire, in New York City. There have been attacks from the legendary Silver Bloods that the committee no longer believes to exist. With the death of Schuyler's grandmother, Cordelia who has in reality entered her resting cycle to be reborn, Schuyler has been sent to Venice to locate her self-imposed exiled grandfather, Lawrence Van Alen. It must also be remember that these souls, all except Schuyler's, have been reborn many times, reincarnated or recycled, transplanted to America since the original Mayflower Crossing doomed to life on Earth for helping the fallen angel, Lucifer. All Blue Bloods have renounced any allegiance that they once had with Lucifer whose few remaining followers are the master of death, the Silver Bloods. Charles Force (The Angel Michael) and Allegra Van Alen (The Angel of White) were the only two angels who left on their own accord. Allegra because she couldn't bear to part from her parents, Lawrence and Cordelia, and Michael because he couldn't bear to part from Allegra.

Schuyler is reaching the point of depression, she has searched relentless for any sign of her grandfather without luck. Venice has been a disappointment with only one day remaining in Oliver's and her stay. As one last act of desperation, she visits Venice Biennale pavilions to wonder through the darken rooms and corridors where her grandfather may have once frequented. There she meets a young man who asks her why she is looking for the Professor, Lawrence Van Alen. Explaining that she's his grandfather and has a message from Cordelia in the ancient tongue. "Adiuvo Amicus Specialis. Nihilum cello. Meus victus est tui manus." I come to you for aid as a secret, special friend. I have nothing to hide. My life is in your hands. (page 48).

She is taken to a palace where she in fact does meet her grandfather, who is also the young man from the Biennale, able to shift shapes. She explains her dire predicament and that the Silver Bloods have returned. Lawrence either cannot or will not help her. She returns home more frustrated than before she left. Upon her return, it is the night of the Four Hundred Ball. Upon Schuyler's returned, she finds she must attend and Oliver, being a Red Blood, will not be allowed to attend.

Mimi Force (The Angel of Death - Azrael) has also been busy, not only with the Four Hundred Ball, but with planning an unsanctioned Masquerade party following the Ball. Only the best of the blue bloods will be invited which will not include Schuyler Van Alen who Mimi's brother Jack (The Angel of Destruction - Abbadon) seems to have an unreasonable attraction to. She knows that he, in his previous lives, has always been attracted to Allegra (Schuyler's comatose mother), The Angel of White, the light always calls to the dark. Mimi needs to device a way to get Schuyler out of the way if she hopes one day to have a life with Jack.

Jack and Mimi have been reborn many times, but this is the first time as twins, brother and sister. Maybe this is a sign that in this life, Schuyler will be his chosen one. He is incredibly attracted to her, and although, he realizes it may actually be an attraction to the light, he can't help himself when he stumbles upon her alone at the Masquerade. He does what he has been forbidden to do and steals a passionate kiss from the lips of Schuyler from behind his masquerade mask, with no one the wiser.

Kingsley is a new student at Duchesne and impossibly arrogant. Bliss Llewellyn is attracted as is Mimi Force. Kingsley seems to know the dark secrets that no one is allowed to talk about and he dabbles in the dark arts, spells that are not allowed. As he entices Bliss with how to ward off the Silver Bloods who seems to be drawn to her; he is, at the same time, trying to coax Mimi Force into performing the dark art spells. Only is he everything he appears to be?

With fear for Schuyler, Lawrence Van Alen does return to New York only to find Schuyler has become ill and may fall into a coma like her mother if she doesn't take a familiar to feed upon. Oliver, her conduit, is her only true friend, but when Schuyler asks him to also be her familiar, to feed from him, he cannot agree. Oliver is in love with Schuyler if she could only see. Fearing for Schuyler's death, he reluctantly agrees. But after the feeding is accomplished, Schuyler knows it was wrong; she has seen into his Red Blood soul and knows his secret and his love.

Kingsley tempts Mimi Force to try to call a Silver Blood to kill Schuyler Van Alen. Mimi is almost at the end of her rope with Jack's attraction to Schuyler and the only way to fix the problem is to remove it. She agrees to try to call the Silver Blood. What she doesn't know and apparently Kingsley does that this is an offense that has the highest punishment, death. Not just the death in this life, but never to exist again, blood drain and burned. Will Mimi be put to death? Who is Kingsley really? Who will figure out the truth? Can Schuyler save her one true enemy, Mimi Force? Does she even want to try?

Masquerade is the Second Book in the Blue Blood Series by Melissa De La Cruz. It continues the world of the Blue Blood Vampires as well as the story of the Silver Bloods. Schuyler Van Alen is a very alluring heroine. She's stronger than she thinks after living with Cordelia all of these years and never having a mother. She is strongly attracted to Jack, but knows he will always belong to Mimi as he as for centuries, Death and Destruction. But Jack is a hero that wants to find the light, who desperately wants to leave the darkness behind. I was drawn to Jack's sense of fairness, he appears to have grown and maybe he will find the light this time. It is because of Jack that Schuyler will attempt a blood reading that may lead to her death, not everyone can survive the blood reading. Oliver is the other hero in the story and sadly he is attracted to Schuyler, it is a very confusing time for our young heroes and heroine. Mimi Force is an anti-heroine, one who would take over the story if allowed, she will have to grow and change if she has any hope of keeping Jack by her side. I loved this second installment in the Blue Blood Series. It helped fill in some of the missing pieces and expands from the first book as well as bring the characters to life, showing some of their true personalities. This is excellent YA reading, and I'm looking forward to Revelations. For more information about all of the books in the Blue Blood Series as well as many others, please visit Melissa De La Cruz' site.

Gratuitous Video of Lily Allen ~ The Fear ~ What I'm Currently Listening To --
It just felt right for reading this book.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Reviewette: Bite Anthology --- Galahad --- by Angela Knight

Publisher: Jove Publishing / Penguin Group Publishing
Pages: 135 - 218

Cover the Cover: Step closer to the hot blood edge of passion as a mythology of the night is unveiled.

How would you liked to be ripped from everything that you knew and transported to a different place and then the loser who tricked and turned you, up and leaves? That what happened to Carolyn Lang and the story only gets better.

Carolyn Lang finds herself in the land of Avalon, a newly made Magae, a witch. Dominic her loser boyfriend and who she was sooo over, found her professing love, only to turn her into a witch with endless visions and a Magae. He then dumped her in Avalon without so much as a See You Later and took off for green pastures. Now she having visions of a swordsman and she could kill Dominic for leaving without any instructions.

Galahad is a vampire and errant knight for King Arthur and one time lover of Morgana. He has nothing better to do, having just completing his mission, but to sit and wait for the next one to occur. That's where Carolyn finds him, sitting in a vampire bar, waiting. And that new mission would be Carolyn.

Carolyn tells him of her vision, causing him to spring into action, contacting Morgana. Merlin's Grail has been stolen and is being used to manufacturing Geriolf's (a demon like creature) dark vamps, there are battles raging all over Avalon. Galahad sees that Carolyn is flushed and has seen the symptoms before; inquiries when was the last time she 'milked' or fed on by a vampire. She has never fed a vampire. Magae are meant to feed Magi, vampires. Dominic should have made sure she knew all about Magae and Magi before he left to seek another. It's the only way that each can exist for the other. If the Magae refused to feed the Magi, the Magae will die. Merlin's magic, which keeps Avalon alive, demands it.

Carolyn and Galahad thrown together in the battles, fighting side by side. Unknowingly, she has chosen Galahad's armor as her own for battle and he finds this incredibly cute. After the battle, he takes her to his castle to rest and recuperate, the dragon Soren takes human form to impart a spell that will finish the battles, but it can only be imparted with a kiss. Galahad never thought he would hate Soren, but Soren had never kissed Carolyn before. As Soren leaves, he tells Galahad that Carolyn will be his mind-fusion mate, to be a Truebond.

To be a Truebond mate means that Carolyn will be able to use magic though him. After spending a few nights together, Galahad and Carolyn are called back into serve. As they re-enter the battle, they are trapped and to be sacrificed. The only way out is to Truebond, becoming one, and stopping the evil priestess before she can sacrifice them. It takes all of their energies but the deed is done, and Carolyn and Galahad are bonded for life, and also destroy the evil priestess.

This was an action packed short that felt more like a book! It was a page turner that introduces the reader to an alternate Avalon. One that never died, but continues to exist on another plane. The knights aren't so gallant and all are vampires. Galahad is a sexy vampire who finds the lovely Carolyn and makes her his mate. Fun, short read! Visit Angela Knight's site to find out more about her great books.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sound of Music ---- Central Station Antwerp Belguim

I've seen this all over the internet -- Angieville and SciFiGuy have it up, but it's so cool that I decided to put it up too. You got to see this!! 200 dancers with 2 rehearsals -- freaking amazing!!

And just because I want to, another of my most favorite movies, PRETTY IN PINK (1986), Blane broke my heart!!

Spring has Sprung!

If All The World's A Flower

If all the world's a flower
Green, beauty, love
When the force of a shower
Will set the flight of a dove

If all the world's a flower
Sleeping sweetly lite
And the timing is of the hour
Of the most mighty night

I wept gently for the flower
Closing it's sweet petals tight
With the daylight dawning power
Brings life once more to the flower

Enjoy your lovely weekend :)

ReCap on Contests!

Here are the Contest currently going on around the blogosphere!!

Cecile is giving away Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris! Contest ends 4-24-09.

Maymay's Memos is also giving away a copy of Dead Until Dark, contest ends 5-1-09. That's another copy to try to win!! Check out her comments, Charlaine stopped by to leave one and to let everyone know what a great contest it is!

Anna's Book Blog
is giving away Kiss of Darkness by Jennifer St. Giles (autographed). Contest ends 4-27-09. Hurry to enter!

Urban Fantasy Land is giving away Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre.

Cecilia at Epic Rat is giving away Lisa Sherin's Raine Benares Series.

Reading With Monie
is giving away Who Do You Think You Are? by Alyce Meyers. Contest ends 4-25-09.

is giving away Sudden Death by Allison Brennen. Contest ends May 1, 2009.

Beth at Beth's Book Review is having a romance giveaway! (Well actually, it's two giveaways!) The Matzo Ball Heiress by Laurie Gwen Shapiro and Inappropriate Men by Stacie Ballis. Contest ends 4-30-09.

VampFanGirl is having a her very first contest! Starting 4-28-09 commenters will have a chance win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward, the contest will remain open until 5-01-09 after which one winner will be drawn.

Michele Hauf is increasing the size of The Ultimate VampList. She'll be giving away one special prize. So, check out The Ultimate VampList and enter Michele's contest!

Check out The Ultimate VampList. Check this awesome contest out at Michele Hauf's site.

Update to Contest.

Gena Showalter's Weblog
is also having a contest. She giving away a new author for me, Marley Gibson's Ghost Huntress: The Awakening. Contest ends Monday, 4-27-09.

We also have several great contest starting in the next few days. Lea at Closetwriter and Blanche at There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books are having sweet contests coming up!! Contests to start 4-27-09. (Oh, and keep checking VampFanGirl's blog, she just can't get enough contests!)

Everyone hurry and check out these great contest by some of the best blogger in the blogosphere!! You don't want to miss them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake

Publisher: EOS Books / Harper Collins Publishing
Pages: 370

From the Cover: For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker -- an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed.........and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt.......or be hunted.

Mira is a 600 hundred year old vampire, merely an infant compared to some, but a controller of one of the vampire's deadliest enemies. She is a fire starter. There is no coming back from flames. Her territory is the Savannah, where she is master. Who is this human, this hunter that has entered her territory. So far he has slain at least two of the fledglings. They were new without a master vampire to help them, but not her problem. The one called Riley she was going to kill anyway because of his tendency to increase his family like it was his territory.

Danaus is a hunter, a killer of the Nosferatu -- the undead or vampire. He belongs to the Brotherhood, the keepers of the holy, working for the greater good. Why doesn't he carry a silver cross? He's already damned, no one or thing can protect him. He has been stalking Mira, trying to draw her out. Well tonight he has succeeded.......

As Mira and Danaus face off in an abandoned house, Mira realizes this is no ordinary human, he may not be human at all. Who is this Danaus and what does he want in her territory? As they struggle against one another, Danaus reveals he has not come to destroy Mira, but to gain information. Mira suspects if she lets him live, he will prove to be her nightmare, but Danaus, whatever he is, is very strong and she has been weakened. She should destroy him here and now, but then she'll never know what brought him into her territory.

Mira and Danaus meet again, this time in a crowded lycanthrope bar. He's still pushing for information. What type of information? If he desires Mira's information, he will have to accept her assistance. His gut says to kill her, but can he afford to? The decision is made, he is seeking information about the naturi; guardians of the Earth, the Third Race, known as the Seeley Court, Sidhe or Fae.

Mira has no love for the naturi; they are no guardians. They would destroy both humans and vampires, to take over the Earth for themselves. Mira was held captive by the naturi; a fate she has no wish to repeat. The naturi hold magical weapons, ones that can be used to torture the vampire, cause extreme pain before death is delivered. If it hadn't been for the Triad all those long years ago, Mira's existence would have ended. They are dead, only a fairy tale now. Why would Danaus seek information about them?

Danaus has information of the naturi's return. He has seen them, has one held captive. Mira must see with her own eyes this naturi...if he is naturi. And if he is naturi, then the Earth is in trouble because they are truly a wicked force, one that must be dealt with if humans and vampires are to exist.......

This is just a small taste of Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake. It is an amazingly well told story of the vampire existence. Ms. Drake weaves a world where magic exists, where vampire and lycanthropes walk with humans without their knowledge. Where the naturi or fae are violently evil, a blight against all the mankind holds dear, their very lives. As I began my stroll through the world of Nightwalker, I was gripped by Mira's ability to see the humanity she has lost. Danaus is an unknown factor, I was left wondering what he was. Danaus feels lost, his humanity lost, but he wishes he could regain it. He is heartsick with the loss. He feels a tenderness towards Mira. He is beyond being human and appears to be centuries old, as well as the Brotherhood that he serves. Mira and Danaus are drawn to each other, the hunter and the hunted, but which is which. Will they kill each other and become joined as one against a force that neither one can allow to win.

Nightwalker was one of my top picks for 2008. It was an excellent read, which I have re-read since and I highly recommend this book for all urban fantasy/paranormal lovers. It is my personal opinion that Jocelynn Drake is one of the best new writers of fantasy that the genre is producing. Her books are fascinating for the imagination. Well worth reading.

From the Cover: A new day dawns blood red....... A master of fire, Mira is the last hope for the world. For centuries she has secretly enforced the history-altering edicts of the Triad. Now she and her unlikely ally - the human vampire hunter, Danaus—have come to Venice, home of the nightwalker rulers. But there is no safety in the ancient city......

I am waiting the release of Dayhunter, Book Two in the Dark Days Series which will be released in five short days, 4-28-09. Ms. Drake will also be releasing the third book in the series, Dawnbreaker, Book Three in the Dark Days Series on 9-29-09. Ms. Drake will be releasing an anthology, Unbound on 8-25-09 with fellow authors Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson, Melissa Marr, and Jeanine Frost as well.
(all images and blurbs can be found at Harper Collins.)

Jocelynn Drake talks about Book Two of the Dark Days Series, Dayhunter.

To read an excellent review of Dayhunter, Book Two of the Dark Days Series, please see

Also, I had like to give a shout out to Marta @ Vampire Wire for the linkage.
Thanks Marta!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Earth Day Graphics





Monday, April 20, 2009

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

Publisher: Penguin Group Publishing
Pages: 336

From the Cover: Nola Delvin has a secret identity. By day, she's an overweight, frumpy, and overlooked magazine editor. But by night, she slips behind her keyboard and into her alter ego: Belinda Apple. Belinda is all the things Nola is not --- thin, gorgeous, and the author of a trendy advice column. Note even her sister or best friends know her secret......

Nola Delvin is stressed, overworked, and certainly the most underpaid editor at Sass! Magazine, the magazine for trendy women everywhere. When the wicked witch of the west, Lori DiGrigio stumbles up to Nola's desk (with red thong showing) demanding to know the whereabouts of Belinda Apple. It would seems that Ms. Apple may have pulled a fast one on the magazine (meaning on Lori) and may not be whom she claims to be. Also meaning, Lori needs someone to blame.

Nola's face drops, color slowly drains from her secret safe or does Lori know something Nola doesn't.

It all started several months ago when Sass! was looking for a columnist for a new ethics advise column. Nola's five year goal was to be a columnist, and not just an editor. It's now four years later and she's still an editor. So, naturally she applies for the job, knowing she meets the qualification. Lori DiGrigio laughs at first, until she realizes Nola isn't kidding, assuring her she'll get back to her. Nola knows Lori will never get 'back' to her. She's a fat snob. Nola decides to take matters into her own hands. First, she photoshops an old college photo changing hair color and slenderizing, adding sassy pink cowboy boots. Next, she copies her resume and application onto her new alter ego's application and whala, Belinda Apple has been born.

Almost as soon as the application and photo hits Lori desk, Nola's new cell phone rings (Belinda's new cell phone number). Answering her new cell with a British accent (Belinda is quite British you know), she is told that Sass! would love it if she could start right away....just as Nola was going into her ah ha! moment, Lori mentions the salary $150,000 per year. Belinda would earn at least 3X's as much as Nola, plus fees and bonuses. Nola knows she shouldn't, but who could resist, she'll be Belinda's editor anyway. She can write the column at home at night and edit the next morning at her desk at Sass! What could be the problem? No one would be the wiser and she could use the extra money. No one knows Nola's secret, not best friends Nancy and Deb. Not Joel, fellow editor and friend. No one knows or can know.

Nancy, Deb, and Nola have been friends forever, bound by their need of acceptance, no one wants to have fat friends. But when they arrived at a favorite restaurant only to be told they'd have to sit in back where they'd be less noticeable, do they feel their fatness. Nancy, top trial lawyer inquires about their policies on discrimination. She is assured that they are not being discriminated against and offered to find a different restaurant...maybe Hoagies Haven. The girls have had it. Nancy pulls from her bag Belinda Apple's April column 'If I Can Do It, So Can You!' where she relays her struggle to get thin. Belinda has laid out steps to follow, much to Nola's chagrin, Nancy has taken it to heart. Nancy urges them to make a 'Cinderella Pact', to find their inner goddesses, to become a true Cinderella through diet and exercise. Deb and Nola groan, do you know how many diets they have tried? Sure she did, Nancy has dieted with them.

The Cinderella Pact starts that day. No more over eating, no more desserts, no more fun! Deb has a secret, she's going to have gastric bypass surgery, has been planning it for weeks, but Paul (her husband) doesn't want her to, but she knows diets won't work for her. Nancy hires a personal trainer and a nutritionist. Nola decides on Weight Watchers. Now she counting points again and having to go to the dread weigh ins.

David Stanton, son of the publisher of Sass!, is also looking into the Belinda Apple problem. If he's going to take over publication duties, he needs to know his employees. Unfortunately, Nola has never met him before, knows nothing about him, including his involvement with the Belinda investigation.

After Nola's car bursts into flames, she left stranded at Sass!, when a mysterious stranger pulls up in a beat up Toyota pick up asking with she needs a ride. Assuming it's Chip from the tech department, Nola climbs in and gives direction to her apartment. Chip, it turns out, is sweet and seems to really like Nola. But Nola has been made fun all her life and the gorgeous guys never go for the fat girls. As Chip and Nola get know each other, all the signals point to Chip really being interested. He encourages her to buy her dream car to replace the now officially dead Audi Fox, a Mercedes SLK65 in Capri blue, when she hesitates, Chip finds her the closest thing he can, a Mercedes Roadster SLK230 in black. Even better. And the price is just right.

As the investigation at Sass! gets deeper, Nola is getting email daily from David Stanton and inquiries from Lori DiGrigio about who Belinda Apple really is and where she can be found. Nola's sister, Eileen, is a big fan of Belinda's and after speaking to her about Nola's weight problem, Nola's jealousy toward Eileen, and the way Nola acts towards her fiancee, Eileen decides Belinda would be perfect as the maid of honor in her perfect wedding. As the plot thickens surrounding Nola and Belinda, only one of them can survive, the question is will everyone understand when Nola holds her head up and announces to the world her true identity.

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer is a must read. It tells the story of a shy, insecure, overweight, overlooked woman who just wants what everyone else wants, the happily ever after that we're promised as little girls. No one tells you that boys may not like you because of the way you look, kids will make fun of you, and people won't respect you. Nola has struggled her whole life, yo-yo dieting, putting weight on and off again, only to gain more with each diet. She's given up until she makes the Cinderella Pact with her friends, in fact, she wants to give up several times throughout the book. She struggles trying to find her true identity and the happiness that life can bring. For her own personal happiness, she wants, no needs, to lose weight and to keep it off. Diet and exercise become her new friends. It was hard watching Nola struggle, especially as her alter ego, the perpetually thin and gorgeous Belinda Apple, sneaks into her life. It exceptionally hard when she is with Chip, wondering if he can really have feelings for her, since no one really has before. He could be the love of her life or the bane of her existence. At times, I laughed out loud reading this story, it was so incredibly funny, but at others times I had tears from her heartache and struggles. I can highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a fun heartening novel.

For more information about Sarah Strohmeyer's novels, please visit her website. She can also be found most days blogging on the Lipstick Chronicles. The Cinderella Pact tells the story of her own struggle with weight issues. She has an online support site for all those who'd like to take part in the Cinderella Pact @ The Cinderella Pact Series continues with The Sleeping Beauty Proposal and Sweet Love. I can hardly wait to read them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reviewette: Bite Anthology --- Biting in Plain Sight --- By Mary Janice Davidson

Publisher: Jove Publishing / Penguin Group Publishing
Pages: 59 -131

From the Cover: Feel the euphoria of fear in the shadow of a reluctant Queen of the Undead.

Betsy just can't get over the fact that she's a vampire. I mean the whole blood thing -- ewww! She's been pronounced the Queen -- Queen Betsy of the Vampires. Even if it does mean the perpetual hot Eric Sinclair is her consort and likes buying expensive shoes....

Sophie has lived in Embarrass, Minnesota on her houseboat for many years. She's known for her moonlight wandering and being the best damn vet in the county. And she doesn't even mind making late night house calls, that's always when you need a vet.

Liam Thompson has been watching Dr. Sophie since he was a boy. Everyone knew Dr. Sophie was a vampire, but no one said anything, not because they were afraid of her, but because they were afraid she'd leave. Liam looks for ill animals, he can always find a pregnant barn cat or two when he needs one, just so he can talk to Dr. Sophie.

When Dr. Sophie stops in to look in on his cats, she catches an odd news story. It would seem there as been as rash of young women committing suicide after their boyfriend calls it quits. It's odd because none of the girls appeared suicidal.

Sophie tells Liam that she must leave immediately. Liam asks if this has anything to do with vampire business. She's shock, how does Liam know her true identity? She asks, and he tells her everyone in town knows, but they don't want to scare her off. Sophie explains that it's vampire business, she has to go see the Queen in Minneapolis...and she's afraid of the Queen (Nostro had been a very cruel King, until Betsy did him in).

After enjoying a night together at the local Radisson, they locate the Queen, she and her consort along with various hanger-ons live in her best friend Jessica's mansion (a hanger-on). Liam and Sophie pop in to let them know they're in town (proper vampire procedure) and that there is something fishy going on. Upon hearing their news, Queen Betsy ready for stake.

Upon locating the dastardly villain and delivering the message "Dude. We. Don't. Want. You. To. Kill. Anyone. Else. Because. It's. Wrong." (p.123) He attacks Liam and then is promptly staked...through the heart...turning to dust...Now the happy couples can get back to what they were doing before...having a wild time.

As many of you know MJ Davidson is one of my favorite authors and the Queen Betsy Series is at the top of re-read stack. Whenever I need an instant pick me up, read MJ. She takes the supernatural and turns it on it's ear. And the beautiful shoes Betsy owns are beyond belief. So, if you need to laugh about life, love, or vampires, read Mary Janice Davidson and visit Mary Janice Davidson's Website for more information about all her great books. I've laughed til I've cried.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lovin' Me Some Romance with VampFanGirl --- Contests, Contests, and Contests

Hey Everyone in the Blogosphere!!

Our very own VampFanGirl is getting ready to hold her VERY FIRST CONTEST!

Here's the information from VFG's blog:

Commencing April 22nd, in Celebration of the Release of J.R. Ward's LOVER AVENGED, there will be SIX consecutive days of Black Dagger Brotherhood Fun and Reviews to get you guys amped up for REHVENGE!

Then, on APRIL 28TH, Commenter's can get their chance to Win a SIGNED COPY OF LOVER AVENGED!

The Contest will remain Open for a week with a WINNER being announced on May 5th!

Now, do you think that's the only contest going on?

NO, Cecile over at All I Want and More is offering up Dead Until Dark! Contest ends 4-24-09.

Have you had enough of great contests? I hope not because Lea over at Closetwriter is getting ready to hold some great contests too!

Here's the information from Lea's blog:

Devyn Quinn is taking over the helm here at Closetwriter on April 27th for an e-book promotion and giveaway, so please stay tuned for more information with respect to this event!
"Beth Kery Daring Time Giveaway", here at Closetwriter May 4th to 9th, 2009!
"Devyn Quinn Man After Midnight Giveaway #2", here at Closetwriter May 11th to 17th, 2009! (Devyn found more books to share!!!)

Hold on there everyone!! Not done yet! Blanche over at There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books is having her own contest!!

Here's the information from Blanche's blog:

Starting on Monday April 27th and going through Beth Williamson's visit here (There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books) on Thursday and all comments from each day will be thrown in the thingy for a chance to win one of several books I have to giveaway!! Winners will be announced on Monday May 1st and the contest is open to everyone! (This is to celebrate the release of Beth Williamson's new book Hell for Leather on April 28, 2009!) Check back for prizes!

And OMG!!! I almost forgot one!!
Kristie over at Ramblings on Romance Etcetera, Etcetera... is having a giveaway too!!

Here's the information from Kristie's blog:
What can an Author Spotlight be without a chance to win a couple? I have a copy of the wonderful Whispers of Heaven and the delightful The Last Knight.

I will make the draw a week from today, Thursday, April 23.

Now, I think we have some great contests going on!! So why doesn't everyone take a quick peek at these great blogs! I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
(There will be more pimpage of the contests as they get closer, so remember to check out these great blogs! Sweet contests!)

This is a special shout out to Anna at Anna's Book Blog. Thanks for the great contest Anna (Yummy Vampires Nocturne Set -- MY PRIZE)!!!

Now some sweet tunage with Ben Folds -- You Don't Know Me (At All) - personal favorite. Not as good as concert performance in 2003, but almost!

Ben Folds performed at the University of Illinois and the concert was amazing. It was the Lost in the Suburb Concert (couldn't find it on youtube, next best thing).

A Post That's Long Over Due

Hi Everyone!

I have received a few award that I like to thank some of my favorite bloggers for:

Blodeuedd at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and Cecile at All I Want and More sent me a Splash Award!

Ruthie over at Books Books and More Books! has given me the Lets Be Friends Award!

I've also been invited by Ms. Blodeuedd to participate in The Royal Reviews Hunky Hero.

The Royal Reviews Hunky Hero needs a bit of help in learning how to be a leading man!

So I've agreed to help him out with some pointers from my favorite hero!

My favorite hunky hero is of course Kisten from the Hollow Series (Rachel Morgan Series) by Kim Harrison! Why? Well, because he was extra especially gorgeous, thoughtful, sweet, sexy washboard abs, and the scent of vampire in the morning....need I say more?

Who I would like to play Kisten in the movie? Hmmmmm.....that's a hard one!

I would have to pick Alexander Skarsgard because of his wavy blond hair, his build, piercing blue eyes, and his sexy attitude. He sure would get my attention from across the room **sigh** Well, I can dream can't I?

I'm not tagging anyone else, but if you'd like to participate, please do!

Here's a sweet taste of Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman in HBO's True Blood.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Meljean Brook, I won a copy of her book Demon Angel and I'm pleased as punch!! I've been looking for the book and she was giving a copy away on her website. If you'd like to check her giveaways -- she has them all the time -- please click here. She usually posts in the body of her blog and on her sidebar. Check them out!

Hold on! I'm not done yet!

I subscribe to Writerspace, I don't know if you do, but they have fantastic tips for writers and a ton of giveaways. So, take a peek if you'd like! Please click here.

Sorry this post is soooo long, this is what happens if you procrastinate long enough!

Oh, I almost forgot, this is my 100th post -- I so happy!! Now I need to come up with something to do to celebrate!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Knowing Starring Nicolas Cage

Running Time: 130 minutes
From: Escape Artist and Summit Entertainment
Genre: Thriller/Science Fiction

From the Movie Poster: What Happens When The Numbers Run Out?

As the movie opens it is 1959, the William Dawes Elementary School is finally finished with construction and to commemorate the occasion, they're burying a time capsule with drawings of the future kept safe inside. That is except for Lucinda Emery, she's burying numbers....

Flash to present day - 50 years later - Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury) is participating in retrieving a time capsule. Inside are pictures, except for one that ends up in Caleb's hands. His father, MIT Professor and astrophysicist John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) sees correlation between the numbers and catastrophes throughout history. Hurricanes, plane crashes, the Kennedy Assassination, floods, fires, 911, shootings, and the death of his wife one year earlier in a hotel fire. And there are three dates left on the paper. He soon discovers that a second group of numbers gives location in longitude and latitude. Who will he tell? What will he do? Caleb has started having visions and visitors who wanted to take him away, to protect him.

John tries to contact Lucinda, but she has died from a drug overdose due to medications prescribed for her presumed mental illness. Her daughter, Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne), first rebuffs John only to seek him out later, saying her mother always told her the day she was going to will happen in just two short days. And her daughter, Abby (Lara Richardson - also plays young Lucinda), has started to have visions and visitors who want to take her away, protect her. What is happening?

As John further works with the numbers, more information is discovered, in two days 33 people will die, maybe one of them Diana. It will be a mass catastrophe like the Earth as never seen. John is an astrophysicist who has been predicting solar flares, but the flare that is to occur is the biggest recorded in history, it was suppose to happen in space. But something has happened and now it is directed at Earth. John discovered with Diana's help that instead of 33, it is actually EE, Diana's mother's term for Everyone Else. It would seem the destruction of Earth is at hand and no one can prevent it. The visitor are only interested in the children who have had the visions, to rebuild on another planet, another tree of life.

Nicolas Cage happens to be one of my favorite actors since Valley Girls and Peggy Sue Got Married. The 1980's were a long time ago, but that's when I discovered him. I have seen nearly all of his movies, a few I wish I hadn't, but only a few. In Knowing, he is the one who figures out all the events that have happened and that are yet to come. He has fallen away from his pastor father since the death of his wife. He can't accept that there is a God that would take someone so important away from him. Later, after remembering his wife's wishes, he makes peace with his family as they wait together for the end to come.

Knowing is a scifi thriller that can be viewed as just that, a thriller. Others have said it should be viewed through a biblical eye, viewed as the hand of God and the rebirth of mankind. I'll let you choose. I knew none of this before agreeing to go see the movie. It was an excellent movie as long as you're a viewer who enjoys massively destructive movies. The special effects were amazingly well done. This movies brings CGI to a new level, in that the opening scene of the movie shows the Earth imploding in on itself, the viewer just doesn't realize what it is, that it is in fact the Earth, and doesn't know why.........yet.

Here's the trailer for Knowing.

And some fun from Valley Girl in 1983.

And to back 1986 for Peggy Sue Got Married.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reviewette: Bite Anthology --- One Word Answers by Charlaine Harris

Publisher: Jove Publishing / Penguin Group Publishing
Pages: 35 - 65

From the Cover: Meet a down home southern girl who's found out, much to her chagrin, that vampires are her type.

Meet Sookie Stackhouse, she's just a barmaid who can read minds. She's not psychic or anything, really, this is just her disability. Oh, and one more thing, vampires are like welcome vacation, a quiteness to her overwhelmed mind.....

As Sookie and Bubba (Elvis in a previous life) are raking leaves at dusk, a limo pulls up. One thing's for sure, there aren't any limos in Bon Temps. Out of town visitors have arrived, and Bubba makes himself scarce, he's shy around new people and Sookie hopes he has gone to fetch Bill Compton, one-time vampire lover and still good friend. She can smell trouble brewing, well see it actually, the limo has vampires and something else, a shifter maybe.
When Mr. Cataliades and Waldo alight from the limo, something is up. Mr. Cataliades is a lawyer come to talk about cousin Hadley's estate. Sookie didn't even know she had died. According to Waldo, The Fellowship of the Sun followers staked her at a cemetery, leaving Sookie with her estate. How odd, Waldo - a vampire, couldn't tell there were humans at the cemetery, especially ones with stakes, human heart races, surely he should have felt them, better yet smelled them and their blood.

As Sookie voices these concerns, Waldo tries to attack her, causing Vampire Bill to go into protect mode, staking Waldo with a convenient stake brought by Mr. Cataliades. The Queen of Louisiana wanted to give Sookie the honor, and says so as she leaves the limo as well. She doesn't see anything special about Sookie, doesn't understand the big fuss. Sookie just smiles, sometimes she does that when she's nervous.

This is excellent short story written by Charlaine Harris following the Southern Vampire Series (The Sookie Stackhouse Series for all you True Blood fans out there.) This series started out known as The Southern Vampire Series, but with the growing popularity of Sookie, it has come to known as The Sookie Stackhouse Series. This story continues the Sookie Stackhouse saga loved by many including myself. To find out more about all the Sookie Stackhouse stories, check out Charlaine Harris' website where you can find out about all of her Sookie books as well as her other series: Aurora Teagarden Series, Harper Connelly Mystery Series, and several anthologies.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone

Publisher: Spice Books
Pages: 443

From the Cover: Friends since childhood, Anais Darnby and Lindsay Markham have long harbored a secret passion for one another. When they finally confess their love, their future together seems assured, sealed with their searing embrace.

But when a debauched Lindsay is seduced by a scheming socialite, a devastated Anais seeks refuge in another man's bed........

Anais and Lindasy had been best friend longer than each other can remember, it's only natural for those feelings to grow over time, right? Each is thinking of the other as their eyes meet across the room kindling unknown fires, not knowing if these feeling will be shared or destroy a friendship that has lasted a lifetime.

When each confess to the other their true feelings, Lindsay sets about proving just how much he cherishes the insecure Anais. Her mother has done a pretty fair job of undermining any confidence she's had about her voluptuous body. When Lindsay professes his love and shows her what it's like to be desired, she can hardly believe that someone as beautiful and strong as Lindsay would find her the least bit attractive, let alone propose marriage, but that's what he's says he is going to be at the Masquerade Ball. He begs her to attend as a harem girl, his own personal odalisque.

But Lindsay has another mistress, Opium, the red devil smoke, the only thing that rivals Anais. When he see Rebecca, conniving social climber and Anais' best friend in Anais' costume through the clouded mind of Opium and Hashish, he mistakes Rebecca for Anais, his one true love. How can he convince Anais that it's all a big mistake, what must he do? Anais turns to Garrett, Rebecca's intended, as a willing shoulder to cry on. Lindsay has betrayed and belittled their love. She runs away, leaving her mother to tell Lindsay she has left the country.

Lindsay makes a mad search across Europe and into Paris only to come up empty handed, Anais is not to be found anywhere. As a means to escape his broken heart, he agrees to travel to the East to Constantinople with his best friend, Wallingford, and to attend to his other mistress, Opium. His seductive mistress that erases all his feelings and thoughts, leaving him numb.

Through all of his searching, Anais has kept hidden, hiding her secret, her shame, her love, and her broken heart. When Lindsay returns to his home, it is to find that Anais has returned, but she will no longer see Lindsay. She can only remember him as an Opium addict, not the best friend or the passionate lover. The thing she doesn't realize is that not only is Lindsay addicted to Opium, but to her, and he can't live without either. But she is also hiding a terrible secret of her own that no one, especially Lindsay, must ever find out.

Charlotte Featherstone has created a world where love is the answer, the only salvation, to the wrongs Lindsay and Anais have committed against each other. Addicted is a beautiful love story where Lindsay and Anais have to accept that they are human, and no matter what, they will always have each other. As Lindsay sinks further into his addiction, Anais is the only thing that is stronger than the call of the Opium. Without her love, his life isn't worth living and the sooner it's over the better, only death can take away the pain and betrayal, and fill the hole that resides where his heart once was. This story grabbed my heart, making me want to see the happy ending and not knowing if it was possible. It's a masterfully told story that will keep you turning pages, hoping against hope that it will end well, with exotic locations and the mysterious draw of the Opium. For more information about her other books, please see Charlotte Featherstone's website. For readers out there that have become Addicted, she's giving a taste of her new book, Sinful, to be released May 2010. She also has a new contemporary romance, Hot In Here coming out in June 2009, under her pen name, Sophie Renwick. For information about Hot In Here, see Sophie Renwick's website. I can highly recommend picking up Addicted, you won't be able to put it down.

Reviewette: Bite Anthology --- The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death --- By Laurell K. Hamilton

Publisher: Jove Publishing / Penguin Group Publishing
Pages: 1 -32

From the Cover: Follow a vampire hunter who can be as deadly as her prey.

This story takes place between BLUE MOON and OBSIDIAN BUTTERFLY.

As Ms. MacKenzie sat weeping in Anita Blake's office at Animator's Inc., Anita wondered why she was here....Her arch enemy...the Human First leader Jeremy Ruebens was now sending her clientele from jail, how lovely. It would seem Ms. MacKenzie's daughter, Amy, was preparing to be turned. She was only seventeen, one year away from the legal limit. Anita is used to dealing with dead people, zombies and vampires, the living were so not in her job description.

Amy was only considering becoming a vampire because cancer was robbing her of her legs. Very important in a teenager's life, well important in anyone's life. Ms. MacKenzie wanted Anita to save Amy before death won over another eager participate. Was this Amy's choice to make or her mother's?

Danse Macabre is the starting point for information where Jean Claude rules as Master of the City. Only Jean Claude knew every vampire in the city, he was Amy's last chance at life, be it what it may be. Life wasn't promising for Amy. But, no luck, until Jean Claude contacts the Church of Eternal Life.

Malcolm, Deacon of the Church of Eternal Life, has agreed to deliver the vampire involved in the deed, unfortunately for Amy, not soon enough. It will cost this vampire his life.

When I was on SciFiGuy's site, he was doing quick little reviewettes for the anthology he was reviewing, "The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance" Edited by Trisha Telep. It looked fun, thought I'd give it a try.

The Girl Who Was....was very short, a very quick read. But you really need to have read the series until at least Blue Moon to understand it because the story is so short, not a lot of background information given, no space for it. It was a decent read and filled in some of the missing pieces between books.

(Here's another peek at Anita Blake with her vampire lover, Jean Claude, Master of the City)

Monday, April 13, 2009

More and More Contests

Kimberly at Darque Reviews in giving away Jocelynn Drake's new book Dayhunter, release date 4-28-09. It's the second book in the Dark Days Series. An excellent read. Contest ends 4-28-09.

Cecilia at Epic Rat is giving away Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares Series: Magic Lost Trouble Found, Armed and Magical, and The Trouble With Demons. That's three great books! Hurry to enter, contests ends 4-28-09.

And don't forget Barbara's at Happily Forever After great giveaway of Elizabeth Hoyt's To Seduce a Sinner, contest ends 4-15-09.

Bitten by Books also is having a cool giveaway of Jim Butcher's Turn Coat, the eleventh book in the Dresden Files Series. And get this, you can enter everyday and the contest in open worldwide. Contest runs 4-13-09 to 4-20-09.

Please check out all these great giveaways!

Here's a peek at Neil Young's new video for Johnny Magic, it just cracks me up!

(Carl the dog kills me, he acts like he does this all the time, he's just along for the ride with his human! Like 'Dude, you know we're driving right', I wonder if Stuart looks at me like this when I'm singing to the radio?)

Contest Alert Over At Happily Forever After

Hey Everyone Out In The Blogger Land!

Barbara is running a fantastic contest. It's for Elizabeth Hoyt's To Seduce A Sinner (autographed) as well as a beautiful bookmark (autographed).

So, just click on her name and head on over. Don't you just love a good contest?!!!

(Oh, BTW, Barbara and VampFanGirl have a posting up about Sophie Renwick's Hot In Here. Sophie Renwick is offering ARC's for review. It's an offer too good to last. So, after you enter Barbara contest, send Sophie Renwick an email letting her know that you'd love an opportunity to review. It's an contemporary, I know it will be great!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reading Meme - Blame Anna and Lea -- and Yes it is an Obsession

I picked up this meme from Lea who saw it on Anna's blog, and who in turn picked it up from Renee. It was a lot of fun, everyone should try it!

1. What author do you own the most books by? That would probably be Kim Harrison - The Hollows Series (Seven Books), Harry Potter Series (Seven Books), followed by Twilight (Four Books). I tend to donate my books to the library or give them away to good homes - that is when I can talk myself into parting with them.

2. What book do you own the most copies of? Twilight (two copies - don't know how it happened) and Lord of the Rings (knew I had a copy, but my son needed it for school, bought another copy)

3. What fictional character are secretly in love with? Kisten (cute, sexy, hot vampire with tight buns and knows how to treat a woman) - tragic hero to Rachel Morgan, sadly he was killed by an undead vampire; although Heathcliff and Rochester were favorites from my youth - I was going to save them.

4. What book have you read more than any other? Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte or Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - such good stories, lost loves, cry every time - don't know how many times I've read them.

5. What was your favorite book when were ten years old? Was I ever ten years old? That was a long, long, time ago - In a land far, far away - It was probably The Wizard of Oz, but in truth, I soon discovered Barbara Cartland - and the world of wicked romance - bodice ripping, viscounts, damsels in need of saving, and wild know. (All right, I was advanced for my age! Had to read in secret, Mom outlawed the books, but Grandma didn't. Kept me secretly supplied, probably warped my young brain.)

6. What is the worst book you've read in the past year? Sunset by Stephen King - just didn't appeal to me.

7. What is the best book you've read in the past year? Hmmm, I can only pick one...can't just pick here's my picks: White Witch Black Curse by Kim Harrison (actually any of her books), Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake, Dark Highlander (Well, any of the Highlander Series) by Karen Marie Moning (as well as any of her Fever Series), and Heat Lightning by John Sandford (I love Virgil Flowers).

8. If you could tell everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be? I'm not tagging, but read whatever you like, just have fun.

9. What is the most difficult book you've ever read? The Dairy of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and The Four Perfect Pebbles by Marion Blumenthal Lazan - both books on the Holocaust.

10. Do you prefer the French or the Russians? Does it matter? Nikolai Tolstoy and Victor Hugo were both wonderful authors - who could choose - love them both.

11. Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer? Who could choose Shakespeare and Chaucer - Midsummer Night's Dream to The Canterbury Tales? Loved both too much for words. Milton would be a second to either, Paradise Lost is very much a must read.

12. Austen or Eliot? Again who can choose, I guess Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice - outstanding!

13. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? I would have to say Crime and Punishment - I don't believe I finished this novel even though it was required reading, I loved the love story, just too long and emotional to finish.

14. What is your favorite novel? I could never choose, too many great writers out there!

15. Play? Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, or Much Ado About Nothing - get all excited even when the movies are playing (All right, I admit it, Shakespeare rocks!!)

16. Poem? Anything by Maya Angelou or Shel Silverstein

17. Essay? Hmmmm..."A Peaceful Woman Explains Why She Carries A Gun" - I know it doesn't sound like it, but has lots of humor and she really does need the gun.

18. Short Story? Mary Janice Davidson's Love's Prisoner (Wyndham Werewolf Series) - she has also written several including a Fred the Fish ones I really enjoyed and several Queen Betsy stories that can be found in her anthologies.

19. Non Fiction? Falcon and the Snowman (If Forrest Gump was a true story, it would have been my pick)

20. Graphic Novel? Anita Blake - Vampire Hunter

21. Science Fiction? Katherine Allred's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, Alien Affairs Series or Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.

22. Who is your favorite writer? If I can't choose one favorite novel, how could I choose a favorite author!

23. Who is the most over rated writer alive today? I read somewhere on the internet that a recent author and/or publisher was demanding ARC's to be read at a certain way -- ALL CAPS AND UNDERLINED (seemed to feel the need to scream). I won't name names, but it turned me completely off this writer.

24. What are you reading right now? Twilight (this is a re-read) by Stephenie Meyer (no tomatoes Lea), Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone (100 pages in), and Bite - Anthology (70 pages in) including LKH, Charlaine Harris, Mary Janice Davidson, Angela Knight, and Vicki Taylor

25. Best Memoir? Recent? Toss up between Bill Clinton and Barack O'bama - both interesting lives. Past? Martin Luther King

26. Best Historical? Les Miserables Romantic? Currently, Addicted

27. Best mystery or Noir? Oh, way too many to choose, do you want playful or heart stopping afraid to turn off the light? Current? Harley Jane Kozak, Elaine Viets Nancy Martin for playful - they're all great fun. Robin Burcell, John Sandford, Patricia Cornwell --- intense dramatic mystery, Dean Koontz --- can scare the bejesusus out of you.

I'm adding one question that wasn't asked.
28. Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy? Kim Harrison, LKH, Charlaine Harris, Jocelynn Drake....oh so many more!

I hope my answers aren't too confusing, sorry about the multiples, just couldn't pick one!

I also wanted to thank VampFanGirl and Cecile for their wonderful awards.

Thanks VampFanGirl!! Thanks Cecile!!

I like to share these awards with Kim.

Sorry this post was so long, trying to get everything I'm behind on done, not sure I'm going to be home tomorrow.

Happy Easter/Passover -- from me and you guessed it, Tink!!

Easter Myspace Comments

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jailbait Zombie by Mario Acevedo

Publisher: EOS / Harper Collins Publisher
Pages: 353

(all cover art and blurbs can be found at Harper Collins)

Book One in the Felix Gomez Series

From the Cover: The first and only vampire book to be declassified

by the federal government . . .

Felix Gomez went to Iraq a soldier. He came back a vampire.

Now he finds himself pulled into a web of intrigue when an old friend prompts him to investigate an outbreak of nymphomania at the secret government facilities in Rocky Flats. He'll find out the cause of all these horny women or die trying! But first he must contend with shadowy government agents, Eastern European vampire hunters, and women who just want his body . . .

Book Two in the Felix Gomez Series

From the Cover: Felix has survived Operation Iraqi Freedom, being turned into a vampire, and a ravenous horde of nymphomaniacs.

Now he faces his toughest task ever—navigating the corrupt world of Los Angeles politics to solve the murder of a distinguished young surgeon turned porn star.

But both human and vampire alike have reasons to want the secret to stay buried. . .

Book Three in the Felix Gomez Series

From the Cover: Felix Gomez returned from the war in Iraq a changed man—once a soldier, now forever a vampire.

So the undead underworld put his skills to work as a private detective, specializing in the sordid, the sexy, and the supernatural.

After surviving aliens, nymphomaniacs, and x-rated bloodsuckers, it's high time for a vacation. Now the aliens are back in a fiendish conspiracy with the U.S. government, and only Felix stands between them and the Earth women they covet. But when an army hit man attacks Felix and the bodacious vampire sexpert, Carmen, not even the astonishing erotic powers of the Kama Sutra for the Undead may be able to save them. . .

Book Four in the Felix Gomez Series

From the Cover: Vampires versus Zombies, round one . . .

Vampire detective Felix Gomez has seen a lot of weird things since becoming one of the undead—nymphomaniacs, aliens, and X-rated bloodsuckers, just to name a few—but now he comes face-to-face with the worst sort of undead.

To stop a ravenous army of zombies, Gomez must team up with a precocious teen with clairvoyant powers whose cooperation comes at a price: she won't help unless Felix makes her a vampire . . . if the zombies don't get her first.

Felix Gomez has done it all, seen it all, lived it all, until now.

When Felix was in the Iraq war, fighting the good fight - for what, he's no longer sure - he and his squad shot and killed an Iraqi family. Did he want to? No. Did he mean to? No. Did it happen? Yes, to Felix's horror, it did, including a young Iraqi girl who has haunted his dreams since. As his punishment and salvation, Felix was turned for his crime during the war after suffering a mortal injury. As he lie dying on the battlefield, his maker made him what he is today, vampire.

Felix Gomez, supernatural bounty hunter and private detective, has been contacted by the ancient ones and governing body of the vampire, Araneum (where he is required to do pro-bono work that could lead to his death). After the last debacle where he lost Carmen to space aliens, he can't afford another mistake (if truth be told, it wasn't actually his mistake). The Araneum have been known to torture, skin, and kill the disobedient of their species, and use the skin for parchment. Felix would like to keep his skin where he likes it best, on his body.

It would seem there has been a disturbance in near by Morada, just outside of Felix's home base of Denver, Colorado. Felix has already had one run in with a zombie and he'd really like to avoid future zombie exposure. But the Aranuem suspect a reanimator, how and where the zombies have come from is a mystery. It will be up to Felix to sort this mess out and find the source of the zombies, the reanimator. The Araneum have offered help in the form of Jolie, one time lover to both Felix and Carmen, but can he handle the help?

Felix has another problem, hallucinations of the Iraqi girl whose life he took by mistake. The Araneum doesn't believe it's hallucinations, but psychic abilities being used against one of their top agents. Felix will also need to solve this puzzle if he's going to find and kill the zombies, stopping them from running amok looking for their favorite side dish, human brains.

As Felix gets closer to Morada, the hallucinations become stronger, changing to take a new face, calling his name, inside his brain, demanding his attention. He has little choice but to follow the voice, to try to stop it from splitting him apart. Upon arriving in Morada, Phaedra Cavaglogo makes contact with him and he discovers the tiny teenager is the face behind the voice in his head. Phaedra's suffering from Huntington's disease and wants him to turn her, but Felix has taken a vow never to do to another human what has been done to him. She can live if only for a few brief years.

The Araneum have notified Felix that he is to kill Phaedra, but can he kill her or will he turn her? Zombie attacks have started to reek havoc on small Morada... where are these zombies coming from? Who is the reanimator? Why would anyone want to create zombies, they can't think, they smell like garbage, and personal hygiene is something forgotten at death. Of what value can they be? Felix definitely has his hands full with this one.

Jailbait Zombie, Book Four in the Felix Gomez Series by Mario Acevedo is a new author for me. I found his writing style to be reminiscent of the old Hollywood movie genre, Film Noir. Felix is a gritty gumshoe that just happens to be a vampire, and his language, attitude, and way of life reflect this genre. Acevedo's books are paranormal in subject matter, but it's urban fantasy as well. The supernatural community resides not along side humanity, but inside the human society, co-existing in secret. Any human that comes across facts leading to the belief in vampires, shifters (which vampires can do in the novels), aliens, or zombies must be dealt with swiftly. The last thing the Araneums want is to be put on display, hunted down in fear, what humans do to everything they don't understand. At first the language of the novel threw me off, I wasn't sure I was going to finish the book. I was a little lost and I had to search for a little background information about the previous books. Acevedo gives plenty of information throughout the novel, but this series is best read in order. It's definitely a mystery with a twist, but it's the twist that keeps you turning pages. Phaedra, the teenage psychic in the book, is a little bit of a nymphomaniac, trying to live her life before it's over and Felix and Jolie are re-united as lovers, but there is no real romantic element, other than the Noir quality. This series of novels would make an excellent graphic novel series. I can only hope that Harper Collins realizes this potential. As graphic novels, this series would be excellent YA reading. As it stands, a YA audience would still find it appealing and acceptable, but adults may enjoy the series more. If murder, mayhem, and madness are your cup of tea, then Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez Series is for you. If your looking for romance, please look elsewhere, but that's just my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I only wish I had read the series in order. For more information about the series Mario Acevedo has an excellent site. EOS Books and Harper Collins also has great information on all of his books.

Here's an incredibility funny book trailer for Jailbait Zombie.

(This book trailer was one of the reasons I picked up the book, too funny.  I knew the humor and snark would keep me reading, and it did.)

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