Romance Reviews

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Crimson Romance

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction, Week 29

Good Morning Blogosphere Buds!

This is going to be a short and sweet post cause my freaking leg is KILLING me!!  LOL  This warm, cold, back to warm and rainy, snowy, rainy weather is playing havoc with the nerves in my leg.. so not fun!

Since it's Monday.... it's time for Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

While I was sitting with my leg propped up.... I had several minutes to wander around the interwebs, searching for something for today.... and I decided to go with something... while not dark, it's not light either... interesting in a different sort of way....

(It's by Wei Lorland Chen Chain Digital Fantasy Art)

I don't think we've had anything similar, at least not for a while. There's was much going on in this image.  Hope you enjoy it!

The rules remain the same, 350 words (more or less....sometimes, much more, lol), and come back Friday to post your response. Stop by and let me know, and I'll be by to check it out! (If you need to post on a different day, just let one of us know, so we can come by and take a peek, it's all good!)

See you Friday!

(So sorry for the late post, thought I schedule this out last

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Cover Contest, Help E. Van Lowe Pick A Cover!

Please Help E. Van Lowe!

Tink's Place is taking part in E. Van Lowe's new contest to pick a book cover for his new release, Boyfriend From Hell.  If you'd like a chance to grab an ARC or a t-shirt, leave a comment below.
Good Luck!!

Book Cover Contest:

Boyfriend From Hell
by E. Van Lowe

Release date: September 2011

Author E. Van Lowe needs your help in choosing the cover for his new novel Boyfriend From Hell. To entice you into entering, he's giving away some awesome swag. The contest is easy. All you need to do to qualify is choose which of the three covers below you like best.

Blurb from author:

Have you ever had a boyfriend from hell?

You know the kind: guy who messes with your life so much he turns it into Swiss cheese. Or maybe he was the guy who followed you home like a lost puppy, then turned into the pit bull you couldn't get rid of, no matter how hard you tried. Or maybe he was abusive.

I'm sure we've all had a bad boyfriend or two (or girlfriend in my case). My new novel, Boyfriend From Hell, is about a boyfriend from hell--literally. It's a YA paranormal like Never Slow Dance With A Zombie, but I've cut back on the comedy a bit in this one. It's the story of Megan Barnett, the fifteen year-old daughter of a 39 year-old single mom, Suze. When Suze decides it's time she had a man in her life, Megan is not happy. With good reason:

"First off, if anyone in my family should be dating, it should be me. I'm primo dating age here. How's it going to look if my mother has a boyfriend and I don't?" So Megan and Suze both set out to meet boyfriends. That's when all hell breaks loose.

Book Cover Image 001

Book Cover Image 002

Book Cover Image 003

ARC Book Giveaway courtesy of author

Prizes: ARCs (when they are available in April) or a tee shirt. 2 prizes in all.

Open to all.

Offer ends: March 4, 2011


Of the three book covers above, which do you like best?

Tell me the answer and leave your email in comments. On March 5th I will hold a random drawing of all who left a comment. There will be two winners who will receive their choice of an ARC or a tee shirt. I will email the winners and post the winning cover design on the blog.

So take a few seconds, leave a comment choosing book cover one, two, or three and help E. Van Lowe pick his new book cover. Who knows, maybe you'll be the lucky winner of an ARC of Boyfriend From Hell, his new YA novel releasing September 2011 or a cool t-shirt, your choice! For more information, please visit E. Van Lowe's Blog.

Thanks and Have Fun!!

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 28..... The Friday Post

Good Friday Morning to all my blogosphere buds!

I've been feeling rather melancholy, maybe it's because I had too much caffeine last night, or maybe it's the return of winter. It seems to be never ending this year, and just when I thought Spring was finally coming, it's snowing once more. Does it seem to anyone else that winter doesn't want to release it's hold this year?

Anyway, I really struggled again with the prompt!  It was so difficult for me to write to this one.  I loved the picture, it was beautiful, colorful, wonderfully done. 

by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 400

Keisha sank into the warmth of the Earth as it gently breathed into her body, softly sang to her tired soul, tightly embraced her pliant flesh. She wondered how long she had been here, time was a fluid thing, how easily slipped away. And the Earth was an jealous lover, it wanted her to forget. With each thud of her pounding heart, the Earth answered back, throbbing with vitality and virility, becoming her world. It mated with her as sweetly as any lover and as deadly as any foe.

This was her fate, to become one with the Earth, the reason for her birth, her duty.

But, sometimes in the dark of the night, she missed her life from the time before. And the one who made her fractured human heart flutter. When sleep finally stole her away, she remembered the touch of his mouth upon her lips as he deeply drank, breathing life and love into her body.

“Keisha of the heather,” Bryon, her human lover called playfully. “Vixen of my heart, lie with me, make love to me. Woman come to me, Keisha of my heart.” He laughed as he called her name, dancing in and out of her thoughts a thousand times a day. Loving, laughing, playing. She was loved.

Keisha dreamed of lazy days, lying in the warm sun, worshiping each other, flesh to flesh. It was then she imagined Bryon, as if he was there, never having left. Gods, he made her flesh dance and her heart sing.

He would always be apart of her.

Even though he was gone.

And always would be.

She was sworn to the Earth, promised and bound to life never ending. As long as the Earth teamed with life, so shall she. Unlike Bryon who perished so easily.

With little reason to cling to her life, she let go of her human existence, becoming one with the Earth. Her heart now the Earth's endless beating, wild with longing, but never ceasing.

Forever after,

for as long as they both should be,

two hearts beating as one for time eternal.

But when the Earth grew tired and let her sink into sleep, Bryon was always there, waiting to claim her, whispering once more into her ear, “Keisha of my heart, lie with me in the soft heather, come dance with me, love with me.” And she did.

So, like I said, melancholy and very hard to written for...

If you've chosen to play along, I'll be by to take a peek.

And remember to stop back by later to enter into a fun little contest!!  E. Van Lowe's new YA paranormal needs a cover!!

And remember to join us again next Monday for another flash!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deadline Dames Rod #25

The Deadline Dames posted an excellent flash prompt... but I had trouble with the owner's website, so I couldn't post her lovely prompt, but it you'd like to see, click here

Instead I found one a little similar to the Dames's prompt, this one by Karla Chan, found in free images.

(Steampunk Lolita by Karla Chan)

The Turning
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 249

“I spy with my little eye,” Gwyn sang, her neatly bitten fingernails scraped the dusty floor, “a crystal glowing blue.” She continued, “I lift it up to behold,” and she raised it toward the light, “it's brilliance has grown cold.” She grinned, dropping the shiny bauble into her pocket. Her singsong voice evaporating.

“Not everyone recovered from the Turning, but Gwyn's harmless, happy even.” The CRS had shown up at MY HOME, sons of bitches, ready to judge.

“Tia, come quick!” Gwyn's eyes sparkled with wonder. “Hurry fast, lickety-split!” She scurried after another piece of glitter.

“Leave her with me. I promise, she'll live quietly, no cost to the society.” I narrowed my eyes. Their closed minds were already made.

The Committee of the Right and Sound moved away. What began as a benign event went catastrophic making the first Turning deadly. A general cleansing was called and defective survivors were dispatched, easier on everyone. Bullshit! It was murder and the Politicians knew it. Blood sucking bastards.

Then, a Committee Investigator came sniffing around, alerted to a surviving Turner. She'd pay of course, that bitch was mine.

Thirty seconds later, one member stood as Gwyn picked up her bit of flash. “We've reached our verdict.” He sighed solemnly. “We'll expect her at Disposal Center Four, 6 AM tomorrow for disposition.”

Yeah, not likely. I'd surrender Gwyn when hell frozen and the CRS.... well, they could bite my frosty ass.

Just wanted to share my entry... haven't had time to enter one of their contests in a bit. Tune in tomorrow for my answer to this week Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge. Oh, and an interesting contest starts tomorrow too!!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pale Demon, The Hollows, Book 9 by Kim Harrison

Publisher: Harper Collins/Harper Voyager
Pages:   448

(Release Date:  February 22, 2011)

From the Cover:

Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

Rachel Morgan has been shunned, but she's made a deal with Oliver. At the annual witches conference, she's going to be exonerated. The deal is made, it can't be undone, right?

When has Oliver ever been truthful or trustworthy?

Trent Kalamack needs to get out of Cincy and to the west coast, to retrieve something his ex-fiance has stolen away and refuses to return. Her family will go to any length to keep what they've claimed as theirs. He'll need help to get to Seattle, and who's he going to call? Rachel Morgan.

Rachel plans on flying out, but will the shunned black witch be allowed to climb abroad a plane? So, after being denied access to her flight, she takes up Trent's offer of a job. If she has to drive, she might as well get paid, right? But, Trent has been taking up something too, the art of magic, elven magic, wild and unrestrained, and he just might get them killed.

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison continues Rachel Morgan's adventures in and around the Cincinnati area.  In this story, Rachel has made a deal to have her shunning absolved. But, Al is his deviousness also has made a deal, if Rachel's shunning is taken away, he'll leave her alone, but if her shunning is left in place, Rachel has to come to the ever-after to live forever after. She's sure her shunning will be lifted, the deal is struck. On her way to San Diego, where the conference will be held, adventure abounds. Jenks is pixy-napped by a band of wild pixies. Trent Kalamack calls and releases a day walking demon, powerful enough to not only kill all those around him, but he's demon made, cursed and bound to stone. Trent releases him and then uses him, without taking any of the smut on himself, leaving Rachel to accept the blame and the smut, her soul is already blackened, right? Add to the mix spies from the Council, dirty white witches, one black, and maybe demon born, white witch, and it's a wild ride that just doesn't quit!

Pale Demon is an excellent addition to the Hollows Series. Rachel Morgan finds herself up to her neck in demons, and maybe even more, she discovers that not only can she twist curses, but she can..... well, you're going to have to read the book to find out what else she can do. It's frighteningly foreign and mind blowing too. I will say that Newt plays a big part, and maybe she's not as crazy as everyone thinks she is.... maybe she's hiding instead. Pale Demon and Black Magic Sanction explain a lot about what has happened in Rachel's childhood, things she's been made to forget. Trenton, though he denies the use of black magic, manages to release a sun walking demon and eventually, saves Rachel's soul. If you have an affinity for witches, vampires, pixies, elves, and demons, this is a series not to be missed. There's excellent world building, and with each book, easy to slip back inside the story, take up residence in the church with pixies buzzing around your head and vampire incense permeating the space. No matter what happens to Rachel, she always manages works her way out. Even this time, when I was sure the day walking demon, able to take on Al and Newt, would be the death of Rachel Morgan... Trenton Kalamack somehow saves the day. It's not often that Trent is one of the truly good guys, and he's certain not in this book either, but he does save Rachel with the use of elven magic. I've always wondered what it would be like to see Trent and Rachel together, and in this book we're given a tiny taste... and I have to say, it was delicious. If you haven't read the series before, start with Dead Witch Walking and work your way forward. There are only nine books to date, and each is a fantastical read, page turning quick, filled to the brim with action, excitement, adventure, magic, and romance. The book covers are beautifully done, not disappointing in their depictions. If you're going to read only one urban fantasy series, this is the series to choose, you won't be sorry. It is the one of the best of the genre.

I received this ebook from the publisher, Harper Collins, and Net Galley for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 28

Goooood Monday Morning!!

We had a relatively sweet weekend (other than my rant yesterday).  The temps have been great! Sunday was cloudy and overcast, but the rain held off. It all added up to the best weekend since.... omg... last September? lol It really has been a long winter.

Since it's Monday, it must be time to introduce another image to the arsenal of our flash fiction prompts for the Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

This morning's image was sent to us by Blodeuedd, our blogger buddy from Finland.  If you haven't visited Blodeuedd's blog, you're really missing out!  Check it out here and here.

I was torn on which image to use that I let my daughter pick out this week's image or we'd still be sitting here, and I'd be no closer to deciding which of these wonderful images to choose.

This image is by Benita Winckler, and it's beautiful.  There's just so much to love about this image, and I have no idea what my flash will be... but I love it. To see a few more of Ms. Winckler's images, click here.

The rules remain the same, 350 words (a little more or less is fine), and come back on Friday to post your response. 

I hope everyone enjoys the image, and remember, it's all about creativity, fun, magic, it's all about telling a story.  So, let your creative juices flow and leave me begging for more!

Have a wonderful week!

Ciao Bella!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The United States of the Undecided and Uninformed....A Rant

Maybe I should give up watching PBS entirely.... or maybe the politicians running America's government should start watching, maybe they could learn a few things.

The years was 1973.... and America running on fumes. That was the first year of the first oil crisis.  Richard Milhous Nixon was the president, and his government was a mess, filled with paranoia and corruption.

Sad to say, he was elected twice, but his governing wasn't all bad (so I've been told), Russia and China were on speaking terms with him and the cold war was burning hot.

But the oil crisis was in full swing with an embargo on OPEC nations, the price of a gallon of gas skyrocketed from a meager 25 cents per gallon to 89 cents per gallon, almost a 400 percent increase, while wages remained low.

It was at this time Americans decided to find an alternative to fossil fuels, we were excited, eagerly waiting to see what was next on our horizons!  We watched, waited, worried (the 3W's)..... and nothing happened.  Oil hovered at a measly $12.00 a barrel, the powers that be assumed oil would remain stable.  The hunt for an alternative stagnated, stopped, withered away without a dying breath.

Now nearly 40 years later.....  gas prices haven't stablized..... the price of a barrel of oil is over $70.00
and gasoline prices are anyone's guess.

this week's prices....

next month's gas prices....

next year's gas prices....

Now, this morning... I'm sitting, stewing over my coffee, wondering how I'm going to afford two kids in college next fall.... gas prices are going through the ceiling, intuition's increasing, and no income increase for the second year in a row.... and with all this, we're still unable to get financial aid, we're just not poor enough. (Again I wish our money tree hadn't died, it must have been all that plucking.)

While I'm pondering, I decide to catch up on science news, so I dial up PBS on the ole tube... and what are they talking about.... the cost of oil and alternatives our government should be exploring.  I was amazed.... we are so far behind other countries!

Korea has increased research and production of hydrogen fuel cell powered cars and servicing stations, Japan has multiple entries into the hydrogen fuel cars and fuel production, China is developing possibilities, Nordic countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway are making in roads, the UK has a developing program, and India has developed a motorcycle to run solely on hydrogen. Does anyone see the burgeoning problem here? Where's the freaking United States? Oh, I remember, Bush promised 1.7 billion to the oil companies and Detroit auto manufactures to explore other possibilities... that's right!! So, in all this mess, what have the oil companies and auto manufactures given us...? any body...? any where...? Bueller?

The United States is supposed to be one of the greatest super powers in the known world today.... how far behind do we have to get before taking our collective heads out of the sand? Arab nations are corrupt, look at Iran, look at what's happening in the news with Egypt, Libya, and the other nations across the Middle East. Despotism has raged out of control, and the people are upset.

What is it going to take in this country to get something done?

Obama has tried to turn the country around, health care reform, alternative fuels, green technologies... and at every turn, he's met with resistance. Maybe he's the wrong president to get the job done or the right president at the wrong time... I don't know, but this I do know. Families are slowly going broke and the recession doesn't seem to letting go of it's icy grip on the throat of the average person.

Anyway, these are my lunatical ramblings on this gloomy Sunday (maybe I've been trapped in the house for too long.... maybe I'm watching too much PBS.... maybe I should put my nose back in a book and stop whining....).  LOL and I'm giving up coffee.... (no I'm really not, but all of this did start over a steaming cup a joe).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 27..... The Friday Post

Good Friday Morning to the Blogosphere!!

Guess What?  It finally getting warmer here!! YAY! It has been an unusually long grueling winter this year with subzero temperatures, hip deep snowfalls, and wild and crazy winds.  But, maybe that's all behind us for the year.... (I can hope anyway...)

This weeks flash fiction prompt was a wonderful picture of the full moon looking down upon a harsh landscape and a lonely figure fixes on the moon.  Here's the lovely prompt:

The Knowing
by:  Dottie Taylor
word count:  875

Every night for a fortnight, Eliza came to stand upon this frigid place where the souls of the lost filed through the darkness. But on this night, with the full moon high, she waited and wondered, the souls shifting around her, pulling on her, begging her to join them. And she wanted to.

Standing amidst the lost souls, she raised her tired arms, the heavy silk robe slid across her yearning flesh. Groaning, she let the robe slip from her body, puddling at her feet. Concealed beneath the folds, she brought forth an ancient dagger. She gazed at it almost lovingly and brushed her thumb along the razor sharp edge, bringing a bead of fresh red blood. She continued to the hilt, encrusted with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and now, her blood embedded with the gems. Such a small cut, and yet the coppery aroma filled the air. The souls grew hungry, wrapping themselves eagerly at her feet. So many now.

Eliza brought the cold blade of the dagger to rest between the softness of her full breasts. She fisted the hilt tightly, clasping the jewels hard enough to leave indentations, ready to join the souls, hoping he would come. A few tears leaked from her weary eyes, she couldn't tell any longer if from joy or sadness.

She readied herself to plunge the dagger, hoping to bring her beast. The beast she'd fought for so long to deny. She wanted the beast, need growing heavy. She felt the electric touch of icy fingers, her body softening, desire riding high... he was here.

She raised the dagger, now clutched in both frozen hands, the point pressing the flesh covering her heart, another bead of crimson seeped from her body to trail across her ribs. She heaved the dagger high into the nighttime sky, ready to force the cold steel into her beating heart, sealing her fate and the deed, when a chilled hand caught hers, stopping the momentum before it could start.

“Why?” The eyes of her lover burned into hers, he was before her, as she'd hoped he would be. “Eliza, love, why?” She thought she saw the glimmer of bloody glistenings in his lost eyes. He rested his forehead against hers, “What has happened to bring you to this place?”

Eliza began to shake, the frostiness finding a home within her. “I no longer wish this existence, this longing, this life.” She brought the blade slowly down to release one hand. She cupped his cool cheek and smiled into his black eyes. They had once been cerulean. The hunger was upon him, the beast she'd been waiting for, her blood had drawn him out!

“You saved me once upon a time, now let me save my you. Kian, let me join you, let me give of myself, ease your pain, taken away your hunger.” Eliza begged, because if he refused her, they would come, bearing fire to burn his blacken soul into hell. The fear was wild in T'lanu.

“No, no, no.....” Kian shook his dark head, his curse heavy upon him. “You will live, I will not lose you to death.”

“If you love me, want to share in me, you'll let me go. The deal has already been made.” Tears leaked, but she squeezed her eyes shut, refusing them. The pain in his gaze was a punishment. “Everything dies.”

“If you must die, it shall be at my hands.” He burned with foul hatred for those who had forced the deal. He pried the blade from her quivering hand. He sadly gazed upon the face of his lover, tossing the blade aside. He never meant to hurt her, never wanted his fate to be hers. Already he could feel the answer to her coppery blood singing through his own.

He pulled her into his tight embrace, his lips tender against hers, nudging her lips apart, tongues sweetly dancing. They parted from love's kiss, leaving him to feel bereaved. His soft full lips once bloodless, now ruby red from the first blush of their kiss. He moaned deep within his soul as his lips sought the softness of her breast, then glided up to her pulse point, frantic against the sleek flesh of her long glorious neck.

He lifted his black eyes to peer into her green ones. “With this life, I thee take.” His curse was now hers as well. His eyes drawn back to the frenzied pounding of her pulse, soon to belong to him.

“There's no going back.” Kian whispered, giving her a second chance.

“I know my love, take what I can offer, let me leave this life, let me join yours.”

Swiftly, before he could change his mind, Kian plunged into her humanity and her blood. A groan of need slipped for his lips even as he drew her essence deep into his. He grasped ahold her mortal life, stripping it from her, and in return, gifted the curse of immortality to her dying body. Her fate signed, sealed, and delivered.

“It is done, my love.” He spoke to her lifeless green eyes, her pale lips parted, frozen in death. Now the waiting and rebirth.

Gods, what had he done?

Well, I found this harder to write for than I thought it would be!!  I almost didn't post anything because I wasn't happy with what I wrote. But such is the nature of flash fiction. It isn't a challenge if you don't have to think.  And this was a challenge at least for me.

If you've chosen to play along, I'll be by to take a peek, hope you enjoyed this prompt!!

And remember to come back Monday for another edition of ....

Blodeuedd has provided a few images not quite as dark as some we've had recently, and with the coming of Spring (and a rebirth for the Earth so to speak), I feel the need for a little lightness.  Come back Monday to have a peek!!

Ciao bella!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Moon Rise, Book 2, The Unbidden Magic Series by Marilee Brothers

Publisher:  Bell Bridge Books
Pages:  254

 (Released:  July 22, 2009)

From the Cover:

Her mom's still dating losers. Her boyfriend's gone back to Mexico. Dad still hasn't told his wife and kids that she exists. At school, the drama queens and bullies still rule. But worst of all for Allie Emerson--aka the Star Seeker of an old Gypsy prophecy--is that her powers have taken a hike. She can't read minds anymore. She can't move stuff just by looking at it.

The other Star Seekers are counting on her psychic gifts more than ever, and the evil Trimarks are closing in, eager to snatch her magic moonstone necklace while she's helpless. The hot new guy at school is ready and willing to fight her battles, but he comes with some wicked baggage.

Dear Diary: I'm a little worried. My new BF is a demon.

Welcome again to Allie Emerson's funny, scary, amazing, and always unpredictable life, as the girl voted least likely to save the world from evil.

Allie's life is a little bit more bizarre than ever before.  She finally has accepted the fact that she's a Star Seeker, and not only a Star Seeker, but one the legends have foretold, the one who can use the moonstone to save them all.  Only there's one teensy problem.  Her powers seemed to have abandon her just when she may need them the most.  And according to Kizzy, there's only one way to help herself, she has to see a healer, the problem is the healer is the new hot boy at school, and, he's a half demon.

When Kizzy sees Beck, she knows, he's the only one who can help Allie.  Kizzy is Allie's best friend and mentor, and she's a gypsy.  She was the Keeper of the Moonstone until Allie came along.  Many things have happened since the fateful day that Kizzy pressed the Moonstone into Allie's hand, like the Trimarks trying to kill her.  If they try again, she'll be powerless this time.

Beck, half lust demon, and his twin sister, Nicole are new to Peacock Falls High School, and they're both part of the 'in' crowd, everything that Allie is not.  But, Allie so discovers that Kizzy's right, Beck is a healer, and he can help her regain the use of her powers.  Junior, her boyfriend, has taken off for Mexico, but she still feels connected to him and that's good, because when Beck heals, emotions heat up.

Moon Rise by Marilee Brothers tells the continuing story of Alfrieda Carlotta Emerson, Allie to her friends.  In this installment of the Unbidden Magic Series, Allie is faced with a new challenge.  Beck, the half lust demon and a healer can help her regain her powers if she can trust him, and that's a big if. Not only that, but Beck's sister is taking no prisoners, she really wants to stay part of the in-crowd, but with Allie hanging around, maybe everyone will start thinking, she doesn't belong either.  And the Trimarks have infiltrated the school.... could Allie's life get any better?

Moon Rise is the second book in Ms. Brothers series, all starring Allie has the girl with the special gift, the Moonstone.  Only, she supposed to have these special powers which have suddenly dried up.  Her dad's kind of showing her off to the other Star Seekers, but if she can't figure out how to stop the Trimarks, well, being the Keeper of the Moonstone isn't going to help me.  Moon Rise is a fun little read perfect for a lazy afternoon, it's quick and packed with action and adventure, as well as a few wayward boyfriend.  If you enjoy YA paranormal romance, you may want to give Moon Rise a try.  I would start with the first book, but even if you started with Moon Rise, it's easy to follow.  For more information about Ms. Brothers or her series, please visit her website.

I received this ebook for review from Bell Bridge Books.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block

Publisher:  HarperTeen, Imprint of Harper Collins
Pages:  195

(Released:  9-11-09)

From the Inside Cover:

People pity me, but mostly they feel envy. I have all the luxury and freedom a girl my age could want.

Something is happening to Charlotte Emerson. Like the fires that are ravaging the hills of Los Angeles, it consumes her from the inside out. But whether it is her eternal loneliness, the memory of her brother, the return of her first love, or the brooding, magnetic Jared--she cannot say. What if it's something more . . .

Something to do with the sudden tear in her perfect nails. The heat she feels when she's with Jared. The blood rushing once again to her cheeks and throughout her veins.

For Charlotte is a vampire, witness to almost a century's worth of death and destruction. But not since she was a human girl has mortality touched her.

In what way will you be transformed?

Until now.

Charlotte Emerson is devastated.  Once a care free teen, twin to Charles, but when he succumbs to rheumatic fever, she loses him... lost to her forever, lost to her parents, and to those who enjoyed his essence.  She's sick and tired, sick with his lost, tired of the pain.  When into her live walk the mysterious William Stone Elliot, he offers takes away the loss and to gives something else in return.

William Stone Elliot, made vampire, has long sought the one to accompany him on his travels through the destruction created by mankind; his art, his muse, his desire.  As bombs fall over Paris he remarks "Isn't it beautiful."  He sees artistry in destruction.  Is Charlotte the one to walk through death with him?

Now Char is irrevocably tied to William who made her what she is today.  Pretty Dead.

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block is a book of what it's like to wake up a teenage forever.  Forever Pretty.  Forever Dead.  Forever the Pretty Dead.  No way to move forward, no way to go back, and after innumerable years as an immortal, Charlotte would like a chance at being human, to undo what's been done.  William is what happened to Charlotte when her brother, Charles, died, when she thought she would die too.  When her parents wanted to die, who forgot she existed.  But, instead of death, William brings another kind of life, immortal life.  William views life (death and destruction) as art, it's always a work of wonder and beauty, what the mortals will inflict upon themselves.  What they will inflict upon the mortals.  And Will's greatest work of art is Charlotte.  Only she doesn't want to be anymore.

Pretty Dead is the tale of what happens when a vampire doesn't want immortality anymore.  When she wants to turn back the clock.  When she wants to grow up, live life, be normal.  It's also the story of a girl jealous of what another has, and when she offered the opportunity to take her friend's place, she does.  Francesca Lia Block is a new author for me, but this won't be her last book I read.  I was impressed with her take on vampirism, if the clock can be turned back, and what if anything can make it happen.  There's this intricate relationship between the characters, Charlotte is hiding from William, and hiding what she is.  Emily is hiding the facts of her life and what she wants to be, what she wants to have, under the guise of Charlotte's best friend.  Jared is hiding from life, especially life after Emily.  If you want to try a different type of YA paranormal romance, try this one.  It's a quick read, approximately two hours cover to cover.  There's some action, emotion twisting loss, and realization of what life's all about.  It's a read YA lovers will not want to miss.  If you'd like more information about Ms. Block or her books, please visit her website.

I received my copy of Pretty Dead in a contest held by Bitten by Books.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reviewette: Faeries Gone Wild ~ Pixie Lust ~ Lois Greiman

Publisher: St. Martins Press
Pages: 71-172

From the Cover: LOIS GREIMAN “Pixie Lust”

William Timber is a cutthroat developer who refuses to let a few trees come between him and his next million. But when Avalina—a sparkling faery charged to protect all things green—comes to town, William is forced to choose between life as he knows it and the unknown reaches of his heart.

Will Timber used to be Elder Mann, but the name was weak as was the young boy who owned. When his mother died, he changed it and he would never be weak again. He's not a tree hugger like his mother, who lost her life early.

Avalina is a Fern Faery, and her goal in the mortal realm is to find the endangered Pinquill Fern. Mortals don't understand how important the forest is, what the plants mean, and how they should be cherished.

As Avalina searches for the elusive Pinquill Fern, evening arrives and she takes her faery form and curls up in a flower. As Will strolls through what will soon be his newest subdivision, he breaks off a flower to take home to fiancee Emily.

Avalina awake to find herself trapped in the dying flower, loosing her strength with it's death. As Will places the flower in a glass and starts the shower, he hears a crash. Looking out of the shower, he sees the most beautiful sight, Avalina in all of her glory with no memory of where she has come from. Who is this magnetic young woman that claims to be his? And why is she in his bathroom?

Pixie Lust by Lois Greimen was a fun, fast reading that I enjoyed a great deal. As we enter the story, Avalina doesn't understand why fae are attracted to the Mortals, they're self-centered and without respect for the forest, the plants or the creatures.  When Will snaps the flower from it's stalk, he unwittingly separates Avalina from the forest that she loves.  Even when she's big, she doesn't understand his way of thinking.  And when Emily finds the one-time tiny faery all grown up, she doesn't understand either.

Pixie Lust was a past faced, dramedy about what humankind is doing to the Earth, and how an oversized faery points out the problems suddenly appearing from the gift for Emily.  But, once the Faery is out of the flower, it's hard to put her back again.  Will has some hard questions to ask and answers to give.  If you haven't read Faeries Gone Wild, I highly recommend picking up the book.  An excellent set of short stories, an anthology not to be missed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

To all my blog buddies from my Tink to yours.....

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Be Mine..... Bloody Valentine
by: Dottie Taylor

I heard it's demand,
felt it's hunger.
Know feel of it's hand,
soft and vulgar.

I felt it's caress,
grimy and unclean.
It left me somehow less,
but it desired a queen.

It wriggled under my skin,
writhing with need,
and it began to win,
forcing the deed.

It took what it wanted,
leaving me picked clean.
Was it meant to be love?
Do you know what I mean?

When the beast finally calls
slipping sweetly into night,
I answer with my own,
readying for the love's happy fight.

Hunting free,
it fills with longing.
The beast thinks me
as his belonging.

So on this dark night
I wished for what was right.
He alone to be mine.
My beast, my love, my bloody valentine.

I've been feeling dark and moody.... I think it's reflected in my Valentine's Day Poem....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 27

Good Monday Morning to my Blogosphere Buddies!

Are you ready for Valentine's Day?  If not..... you're late!!  And if you're still hoping to find that special something for that certain someone, that certain love (or as I refer to him "The Pain in my Ass"), your very own Valentine, and it's too late to buy, go homemade with all the love your two little hands can make.  LOL  When you've been married as long as I have, you know it's a crock when someone does that, but you got to give them props for giving it the old college try.

You know, I love my husband (when I'm not contemplating strangulation), but lets face it, there are only so many ways to make one day special.  Over the years, I've given him watches, power tools (big mistake... docs involved), computers, ipods, gift cards, items for his truck (see power tools), a freaking TV...  Well, this year I'm going to give him the one gift he's been longing for.... of a nag free day (I'm going to try anyway, lol, but come midnight, all bets are off!) and he's going to do the same for me.... (probably not happening, lol).  Dinner might be included if he's a very good boy... hard choice seeing how McD is down the street.... (haha just kidding... he's getting a homemade meal.. a rarity!)

Anyway, back to why I'm here in the first place... it's time for the (drum roll please....)

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!!

This morning, I thought I'd use the picture of the full moon (I already tried to use this prompt once before, I think it's going to take this time...).  I really like this one, and I hope you do too.

Can't wait to see the flash for this one!

The rules remain the same, 350 words (or some where around there) and come back Friday to post your response.  Leave me a link, and I'll take a peek, I love being flashed!!  (makes Valentine's Day all that much better.... just MPO)

Have a fabulous day and a great week!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 26..... The Friday Post

Good Evening to the blogosphere!

It's been one of those day where, no matter what I did or how long I worked, there was something else pressing in on my life, leaving me to scramble about, hopelessly lost, floundering through the day.  But, after a day of hard labor, I've found a few minutes to sit and open my blog.  Aaahhhhh.... It feels so good to relax....

Since it's still Friday, and I have a flash written for Amy's wonderful image, I'm going to take the time to post my response, and then I'm going to steal a few more minutes, and read everyone else.

Amy chose a wonderful picture, which at first, I thought for sure, I'd come up with a steampunkish type of flash, but as I looked at the image, I felt a continuation of my previous story falling into place.

Soul Fire, Part 5
by Dottie Taylor
word count:  630

Reena felt herself slipping, slowly falling into a remembrance of a previous existence. Of when or where, she did not know, a different time, a strange place. It seemed far away, and yet, so close she could almost touch it.

In her mind's eye, she gazed upon stormy gray sky, hovering vultures in the background. Something had recently died. Lightning filled the night sky and the darken clouds split open, and rain began to pepper the ground. She found in her hand a coal colored parasol, the tines bony and fabric more like webbing, but beautifully made. She glanced down at her body, and remembered widow's weeds, but she did not morn for herself, it was for another. She raised the parasol as the air shifted around her. With the brush of the wind upon her flesh, she stiffened. It almost felt like any normal breeze stirring the loosen tendrils of her hair, but she knew better.

As she watched, a thin mist covered the ground, her mind screamed for her feet to move, but they refused her. She was tired of running and hiding. Reena shivered as the night drew in around her, the beast coming... would this be the night? Would she meet her death here in this lonely place?

She turned to face the wind, to bravely stare the beast in the eye. Looking out over the edge of the shore, the waves lifted with the boldest of the beast. And she waited. Over the sound of the waves and the roar of the wind, she heard someone calling.

“Reena, Reena!” Petrov broke through her thoughts bringing her back to the present. “It's here, we need to move, we're almost home!” He pulled her hand, breaking into a full run, her home and safety in sight. The cemetery where she came to awareness, far behind them. Like an electrical shock, the air reverberated around them, and the beast laughed. Then she heard a craggy voice, the Soul Eater, coming to her ears.

“Soul Hunter!” It called, making her skin crawl. “Soul Hunter, come meet your fate.” And it bellowed with mirthless happiness. “I'm so hungry, Soul Hunter. The appetizers were not even filling, it is only your bones that will fill me, and I've been waiting. Come to me Soul Hunter, I promise to make my meal quick.” She felt the snapping of it's razor-like teeth, the scent of it's putrid breath. A filthy presence pushed it's way into her thoughts, filling her with a growing dread, she'd been here before.

Petrov also heard the beast, felt the push of it's foul wonderings, anger sparking in the depths of his blue flamed eyes.

“Petrov,” she shuddered, “Petrov, it wants me.” Reena wanted to pull away from Petrov, tried to release his hand. The beast was seductive, pushing it's way into her thoughts to stroke that part of her wanting to give in, to let it have it's way.

Without breaking stride, Petrov urged her on, “We're almost there, a few more steps, you can make it!” Ten yards to her backyard.

Reena shivered and pushed away the unclean thoughts intruding into her mind. She felt the Soul Eater's howl of rage at her refusal. Eight more yards to safety.

“Little girl, why do you bother?” It demanded. “In the end, you're always mine!”

She felt Petrov's rumbling growl, felt a shove of bright blue-white power. “Never again will she be yours!”

Then she felt it, the certain knowledge that this was ancient enemy. With every one of her lifetimes it took, it grew stronger, it had to be stopped here. Yet if she defeated this one, another stood ready.

Petrov prodded her to run faster, five more yards, and safety was theirs.

Suddenly, stepping from the shadows, the Soul Eater raised it's ugly mongrel head, teeth gnashing, as it shimmered before them.

“NO!!” Reena screamed, and blazing white flames burst from her hands, Soul Fire.

Well, there ya go.... more of Soul Fire... I have edited what has already been posted and added to those postings, creating about three chapters, somewhere between 5000 and 6000 words so far.  I might sit down, and seriously work on this, I've never written a YA before... I'm having fun with it so far.

And remember, come back Monday, to have a peek at the next flash prompt!

Have a great weekend!
Caio bella!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

All About Steve (or how to know if you're stalking you're would be boyfriend....)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, and Thomas Haden Church

(only quibble with this poster, the umbrella is blue and white)

Okay, I know this movie came out September 4, 2009, but this is the first chance I've had to watch it, and can I say....  OMG....  this is probably the funniest movie I've seen since Steve Carrell and Tina Fey's Date Night.  I'm sorry I missed it in the theaters but at least, after watching All About Steve, I feel I've justified the expense of HBO for one more month.  LOL  (Not that True Blood isn't justification enough....)

All About Steve starts out with non-stop talking Mary (Sandra Bullock, and yes, with blonde hair) explaining her life to a group of children.  You see, Mary has an interesting job, she constructs the daily crossword puzzles for the Sacramento Herald, the paper's cruciverbalist.

Mary is smart, very verbose, laughs at her own jokes, and she's an all around nice girl who's closest friend is her pet hamster, Carol.  When her parents set her up on a blind date with another couple's son, Steve (Bradley Cooper), Mary is sure the date will be a bust.  I mean, really?  Mom and Dad?  Setting up a blind date?  For their adult daughter?  Then, she sees Steve, local cameraman for CCN news.... and her eyes go pop along with her mind and her knickers.  From the minute she sees Steve, she's sure she's found THE ONE for her.  She's uncharacteristically quiet on the walk to the car, but as she watches Steve talk, she feels his lips calling to hers, and... well, I guess you can guess the rest.  Lets just say... he wears her lip gloss... a lot of it...

Steve fakes a call from work to ditch the UBER HOT Mary.  But, he makes one fatal mistake...  he says he wishes Mary could come with him if not for her job with the Sacramento Herald.  That's all the incentive Mary needs.
(love Mary's red books she wears everywhere, she says it "makes her toes feel like ten friends on a camping trip"...  )

Her next crossword is entitled "All About Steve" which is impossible because no one even freaking knows Steve... she's only just met him!  Patrons are.... pissed.... upset because the puzzle makes no sense!  Which leads to Mary's dismissal from her job :(  but every dark cloud has a silver lining....

Mary has an epiphany..... Just maybe she was suppose to lose her job so she can follow Steve around the country in an attempt to be with him as he had requested on their first and only date that didn't get past the front (or I should say the back) seat of his car.

So, off Mary sets, job free, to locate Steve and when she finds him.....

Mary's like a puppy who finds a new home but maybe Steve isn't looking for a roommate?

So, one misadventure leads to another including Mary running along side Steve's news van, with Hughes (Thomas Haden Church) encouraging Mary to keep following Steve, and culminating in Mary falling down a gigantic sink hole that the CCN team is covering. 

With some quick thinking on Mary's part, she saves herself, a little deaf girl, AND the CCN reporter, Hughes, who inadvertently throws himself down the sinkhole to save Mary (and get his fifteen minutes of fame...).

Through all the running and chaos, Mary starts seeing herself as others do, and realizes people care about her, and for the first ever, new friendships develop.  Awwwww, (pass me a tissue please) and she realizes, she may not even need Steve.

If you haven't had a chance to see this entertaining little flick, I highly recommend renting it or picking up the DVD (or if you have HBO, keep watching, it'll show up or who knows, it may be On Demand again).

I laughed through the entire film, and Sandra Bullock's character, Mary Magalene Horowitz (it's her Jewish/Catholic heritage), makes the movie.  She wiggles, stomps her little red books in excitement, and jumps through hoop after hoop to find Steve who may be still hiding in the CCN News van for all we know... frightened of his would-be stalker/crazy almost girlfriend, Mary.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Flirt, Book 18, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton

Publisher:  Berkley / Penguin Group Publishing
Pages:  192

From the Cover:

When Anita Blake meets with prospective client Tony Bennington, who is desperate to have her reanimate his recently deceased wife, she is full of sympathy for his loss. Anita knows something about love, and she knows everything there is to know about loss. But what she also knows, though Tony Bennington seems unwilling to be convinced, is that the thing she can do as a necromancer isn't the miracle he thinks he needs. The creature that Anita could coerce to step out of the late Mrs. Bennington's grave would not be the lovely Mrs. Bennington. Not really. And not for long. 

For Anita, it's just another day at the office.  Re-Animators, Inc. specializes in raising the deceased, and Anita is strong in her necromancy powers.  She's had a few odd requests before, most just want her to bring back their loved one for one last long goodbye.  All that she can handle.  But, when Tony Bennington walks into her office asking that she raise his wife and that he can take her home and keep her, well, she has to draw the line.  Zombies don't keep well for very long, they are after all the dead, not the undead, not a preternatural, not the living, no matter how much they look like it.  When Anita refuses, Mr. Bennington takes it hard, but reluctantly leaves and that's the end of it, or so Anita thought.

Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton is probably one of the best of Anita Blake's story I've read in a while.  It was a fast, fun read that I finished in one sitting.  Anita isn't the vampire human servant solely in this book and her role in this book isn't just about the wereanimals.  She's the necromancer, raising the dead for a living.  Jean-Claude is present in this book, but not as a driving force.  Micah, Nathaniel, and Jason enter as supporting characters, but Anita is the main focus of this book.  And it all starts out so innocently with just a little flirting.  When Anita refuses Bennington proposal of raising his dead, she heads to lunch with her bevy of men.  While at lunch, they flirt shamelessly with their waiter.  When Anita returns to the restaurant without her men, the waiter assumes she come back for him, but what Anita doesn't know, is something bigger and badder than flirting and an anxious waiter for waiting for her around the corner, so to speak.  Kidnapped and with the life of her lovers threatened, Anita has hard choices to make.

Flirt started out just as the name implies, an exercise is flirting, becoming comfortable in your own skin and with your sexuality.  It's sweet and fun.  Everyone enjoys a good flirting session, the flirtee and flirter.  But, things are never that simple for Anita Blake and soon the tables are turned.  What starts out as fun and flirty, turns into a deadly need to survive, and what you'll do to survive.  Usually with Anita Blake books, I would recommend reading them in order.  But with Flirt, it's just not necessary.  This is the perfect book to pick up if you just want to try one of Laurell K. Hamilton's books out.  See if they're something you'd like to read, no strings attached.  There enough background information given to provide the flavor of the books, but this is really Anita's story.  Don't let the fact that it's the 18th book in the series deter you or the fact that a lot of LKH's story have lots of sexuality and multiple partners, the sex is very much toned down in this book.  This book can easily stand alone as well as be part of a series.  Maybe that's why Ms. Hamilton wrote it.  She explains in the back to the book where her ideas comes from, why she writes.  She does it so well, I just hope it continues.  There's also a cute comic strip mini story at the end of the book, very enjoyable all about flirting.  I highly recommend Flirt to all lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy readers.  It was fun to see Anita in action and employing those necromancy skills she uses so well.  It was also a little scary when at the end, she wonders if she can put it all away again.  I hoped I've tempted you into giving Flirt a try.

I picked up Flirt for my own enjoyment.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Seducing the Vampire by Michele Hauf

Publisher:  HQN/Harlequin
Pages:  384

(Released:  December 21, 2010)

From the Cover:

In Marie Antoinette's Paris, the beautiful vampire Viviane seeks a male patron who will allow her to live on her own terms. Courted by two feuding brothers, Viviane succumbs to the handsome rebel, Rhys. She's unaware that Rhys has other, darker, motives. He seeks vengeance against his brother, Constantine—by stealing Viviane and tainting her with his blood.

But just as Rhys is realizing the depth of his love for Viviane, his brother takes his revenge. By casting a spell on the woman they both desire, he condemns her to a living death inside a glass coffin.

Two centuries later, Rhys hears the legend of the Snow White vampiress, imprisoned deep in the tunnels under Paris. He must find her and set her free, but will he be able to save her from the evil still intent on destroying them?

Viviane LaMourette is an independent young vampiress, barely two centuries old, bloodborn, and patroned to Henri Chevalier. He took her under his patronage with the death of her parents, but has allowed her independence, demanding nothing of the young vampiress. When Constantine de Salignac proposes taking her patronage, possibly a match and marriage to create a line of bloodborn vampires, pure blood, creating a tribe of vampires to rival all of Paris, she balks, she will answer to no man, nor bow down, vampire or not.

Rhys Hawkes spies the young vampiress in the salons of Paris. He's been sent to investigate the murder of a vampire couple, Henri and Blanche Chevalier, the very same patron of Viviane. Was this deed committed by a crazed werewolf? Rhys has more secrets, he is a half breed, born half vampire half werewolf. When he scents Viviane, he realizes he has to have her as his own. Will she be able to accept his wolf? Will his vampire allow him to love the vampiress?

When Lord Salignac discovers the half breed's intentions, he reveals the well kept secret, and that Rhys Hawkes is his own half brother. Though, Viviane has been tempted by Rhys, she rejects the truths he has hidden. Can he win her back? Will Constantine de Salignac allow his brother to have what he demands as his own?

Seducing the Vampire by Michele Hauf tells the story of what happens to an independent woman, before her time. It's a time when vampires and werewolves shared the title as the Dark Ones. Women were subservient to men, even vampiresses. The male vampire was not demanded to seek out a female vampire for life, but the female of the species was depended upon the male for survival, forced to partake blood from the male or die. It is the same for Viviane, but her patron demands nothing more, Salignac demands submission, sex, and bloodborn children. She will be nothing more than a brood mare. She rails against his demands, refuses him. Then, suddenly Henri is gone, as will be her life if she does not take another patron. Salignac wants to fill that role. But Rhys discovers an awful secret, one that will bring Salignac to his knees, if he can nail the bastard down, how could his own brother commit such a dastardly deed? Viviane can see no one other than Rhys, even with his half blood, he is more of a man than Salignac can ever hope to be. When Salignac sees he is going to lose to the half blood abomination, he acts quickly and horrifically. While Rhys is sating his wolf, Salignac is committing a horrible crime.

Seducing the Vampire is historical paranormal romance, a story told in two different times, jumping from the past to the present to render a heart wrenching story of loss and hope. It is the retelling of the Snow White story with the vampiress as the poor maiden thrown into an aware paralyzed sleep by an evil Lord and his warlock underling for more than two centuries. When Snow White is awaken, she is near crazed with a bloodlust, lost to herself. It is only through love that she is able to find her way again. Michele Hauf was written wonderful retelling of the Snow White story, but it's not the Disney version, it's much more frightening and evil. It does take the handsome prince to bring his beauty back to life, to live once again within the society of humanity. If you're a fan of historical romances, this is an unique story with all the elements of a good historical. For all paranormal romance lovers, this one fills the bill, a love story to stand the test of the times. And urban fantasy fans will find this as a vivid imagining of the Snow White story where a dark world is created with the beginning of a light world to reveal witches, warlocks, familiars, faeries, vampires, and weres as well as the mortals who wander among them.  Ms. Hauf mentions some favorite characters from other stories to tie the series together. If you enjoy Michele Hauf storytelling, this is one not to be missed, she combines the past and present to create a excellently told tale, it was a page turner to the end. I very much enjoyed it as I have most of Ms. Hauf's books, and I'll be waiting for the next, Forever Vampire, May 2011. For more information about Ms. Hauf or her books, please visit her website.

I received this ebook from Net Galley and Harlequin for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hunger Aroused by Dee Carney

Publisher:  Carina Press
Pages:  184

(Released:  November 8, 2010)

From the Cover:

Jasmine is sick in bed when a sexy stranger breaks in and reveals she's suffering an irreversible case of vampirism. And because her turning wasn't approved by the Council, he must kill her once the transition is complete. In the meantime, the executioner offers to ease her torment with chocolate, hot peppers or sexual release. Fortunately for them both, Jasmine's kitchen is bare...

Corin's honor demands he do his duty, but he cannot execute the lovely woman while any part of her humanity remains. He must also find—and kill—her sire. Jasmine denies ever having contact with a vampire, causing Corin to question the justice of his orders. Sensing his hesitation, the Council dispatches another executioner, forcing the pair to make a run for it.

Every hour they spend together—every sensual encounter they share—finds them growing closer. Now Corin will have to choose: kill the woman he loves, or go against everything he believes to set her free.

Jasmine has been taken ill, so ill she feels like she's going to die.  Little does she know, in a matter of a few short days, her illness may prove to be as deadly as she thinks it is.  Somehow, she become infected with the unimaginable, and there's no cure.

Corin is an executioner, and he's very good at his job, the Council calls him whenever there's a difficult job and someone as broken the rules.  But now he comes to question if maybe the rules haven't become arcane themselves, especially after he meets Jasmine.

Hunger Aroused by Dee Carney is a steamy paranormal romance that really heated up the pages.  As Corin passed Jasmine on the street, he scents the distinctive odor of a newly turned vampire, but no one has asked to turn a female... and the Vampire Council frowns upon having it's rule flouted.  The answer to the problem has always been clear, once the fledgling vampire has finished transition, the Council demands the death of the sire and the fledgling.  But, what if there wasn't any sire, what if it's an accident that should not have happened?  This is where we find Jasmine and Corin, fledgling vampire and vampire executioner.  But will he kill her or will he keep her, all to himself?

Hunger Aroused is an incredibly short read, approximately two hours of reading time.  This little paranormal romance was exactly what I needed for the chill of a winter's day. It was a fast read, a hot romance, and evil vampires ready to kill if necessary, and by the worse possible means. The Council is heartless, unredeeming, set in it's way and refusing to see the possibility of a sireless vampire. It takes Corin's promise to bring death, and away around it, to see the error of their ways. This is the first book I've read by Ms. Carney, but it won't be the last. Nicely told twist of the vampire genre, more than pleasing to my palate. If you'd like more information about Ms. Carney visit her website.

I received this ebook from Net Galley and Carina Press for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 26

Good Monday Morning to the Blogosphere!

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed Super Bowl Sunday! I tuned in to the half-time show for the Black Eyed Peas and Will.I.Am., I really enjoyed that part of the game!

It snowed about four more inches on Saturday, I'm really tired of Winter this year, it's never ending.... and the temperatures here this week are highs in the teens, lows single digits.  We're going to have to take out a loan to pay the freaking utility bill. LOL! I hope we're nearing the end of Winter, and Spring is only around the corner! When we have an unusually cold and snowy Winter, sometimes, our Summer is even worse... I'm hoping this isn't a foretelling of our future.

So.... seeing how it's Monday, it must be time for another edition of....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

This weeks image is one Amy came across, it looks familiar, so maybe one of Michelle's? Regardless, Amy and Michelle can find the best images!  I really like this one, and I can't wait to see what everyone else thinks of it!

Sorry for the confusion this morning! I checked Amy's blog this morning, and we must have posted at the same time!! LOL Thanks for locating such a great image Amy! Woot! This one is going to be fun to write for!

The rules remain the same, 350 words (or there about) and come back Friday to post your response to the image.

I'm looking forward to reading some tasty flashes!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 25..... The Friday Post

Good Morning Blogosphere Friends!

Thankfully, it's finally Friday, the kids are back in school, though my house is a mess from having five people trapped inside it for four days.  Our cars are still stuck in the snow and ice, the only one able to move this morning was my husband's Jeep.  He ferried the kids to school, even went grocery shopping yesterday...  Ever notice when the guys shop, you spend twice as much money?  Never fails.  And everything is so expensive to buy here in our small town, but the roads to Mattoon or Charleston are still icy, and besides, I don't know which stores are power and which don't, still lots of power outages here.  In case you didn't know, Illinois experienced one of the worst winter storms in it's history.  We were fortunate, we had loads of ice, but only about four inches of new snow, Springfield had eleven inches of new snow, they're still out of school today.  I worry about the kids at school, because the power has been randomly turning off, but at least the school, the Red Cross has generators to keep the building warm during the outages.  Probably better there than here!

Well, anyway, it's time for the response to Monday's prompt picture.  It was another wonderful Luis Royo image, (Amy discovered this one had been used as part of the cover art for a book a few years ago).  I love the feel of this image, but I found it hard to write for.  Hope you enjoy what became a struggle to complete.

The Legend of Tolenado
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 520

This had always been a place where she could find herself, not the warrior princess, just Alera. She crouched down, bending to brush her hand across the glass-like pool, ripples flowed away from her fingers. It always brought a feeling of calm, and it did once more. Alera rolled her shoulders, feeling the tension leaking away. But when she closed her eyes, the destruction replayed itself.

They had been attacked at dawn, the warning bell booming through the village as the invaders, pirates, roamed through the forest triggering Tolenado's defenses. As they had crept closer, the spikes surrounding the village sprung from the forest floor, and the first screams of death reached their ears. It wasn't the first time the village had been the object of an invader's desire.

Those who fell littered the ground, creating a crimson carpet of bodies for the others to cross, a bridge to the very edge of Tolenado. There, catapulting balls of fire were released, wiping out at least half of those trying to breach their borders, burning the pirates to crispy ashes. The magic created by their master wizards burned like hellfire through clothing, flesh, and bone in an instant.

The remaining forces struggled through the combination of bodies and ash pebbling the ground, screaming in outrage, the deaths had been costly, and not a single villager had made a strike against the invading force.

With rage pouring from their bodies, shaking with the need for revenge, the pirates entered the village where Alera waited with her warriors, their claymores fisted in both hands. Their village of Tolenado appeared to be a peaceful beautiful oasis in a land of darkness, but it was only because of their defenses that it remained so.

The first of the persisting invaders stumbled through their barriers, finding the village still resting. “Fools!” One of the bastards uttered, and Alera glanced around at her warriors, catching each eye, making sure each woman was ready for the fight to come.

As one, the warriors separated and encircled the encroaching pirates, bracing for the blood to flow. Upon seeing them, a few at the rear bolted back into the forest, but it was too late, Alera's warriors now surrounded them. There was no where left to turn except into the waiting arms of death.

The claymores began to swing, and the blood curdling screams followed. Each mighty swing brought certain death, and one by one the invaders fell. Within the time it took to draw several deep breaths, the conflict was over. It wasn't even a battle, it ended too quickly, leaving the bodies as it's only evidence.

The wizards came and magicked the bodies, blood and gore, to the coast where they were left as a warning for others, a lesson most learned, but a few still had to try. The spikes laid flat against the forest floor, catapults hidden away. Alera breathed a sigh, and headed back to the cave, where she found herself now. It was her responsibility to keep her home safe, Queen of the Warrior Princesses of Tolenado, fabled warriors of myths and legends of old.

So, that's my flash, I'm done trying!!  LOL  I should have let Amy pick this one, she's much better at it than I am!

If you chose to play along, I'll be by to have a peek at your flash!  And remember to join us again on Monday for another edition of

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

Everyone, remember to stop by Amy's and wish her good luck on her new job!!  She starts Monday morning, bright and early!!  
**Fingers Crossed Amy!!**  
Good Luck Sweetie!
All Good Wishes For Your New Job!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

Publisher:  Harper Collins
Pages:  487

From the Cover:

Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter—and lived to tell the tale. But she's never faced off against her own kind . . . until now.

Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment—at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief.

It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price.

Rachel Morgan is on the run.  She's been shunned by the witch society, branded as a black white, a demon summoner, demon spawn.  The one thing that saved her life as a child, now has made it impossible for her to live.  When she was only a child, Trent Kalamack's father changed her, made her different, so she'd live.  Cursed with the genetic abnormality that caused death, Trent's father "fixed", made her better than before.  But, the thing is, now she can spindle magic, twist curses, just like a demon.

The governing body of the witch society, the Coven, is gunning for her.  Not only have they shunned her, but they want her head on a platter, or at least lobotomized, and her ovaries for experimenting.  And if they kill her in the process, that's okay too.  Top it all off with having Al as her demonic teacher, and Pierce as her demon familiar babysitter, and Newt waiting for someone to screw up so she can claim Rachel as her own, and Rachel one step from insanity. 

The Coven is sending assassins after her, Trent will do almost anything to either tie Rachel to him or get his own demon mark removed, Nick is still selling her secrets and trying to use her to his advantage, and Pierce wants to be her boyfriend.  Ivy is trying hard to keep her vampiric senses under control, still hoping Rachel can save her, and Jenks is mourning the death of his wife, Matalina.  And Rachel is trying to stay alive, one day at a time.

Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison is the eighth book in The Hollow's Series (Rachel Morgan series).  If you haven't try Ms. Harrison's series, this is not the place to start.  Dead Witch Walking is the first in the series, and recently is was an ebook deal on Barnes and Noble.  Start there was working your way forward, each book is an exciting action packed page turning read.  Rachel get herself out of one scrape only to fall face first into another.  Ms. Harrison doesn't fail to please with this addition to the series.  Black Magic Sanction is more than satisfying, and it explores some of Rachel's feelings for her lost love, Kisten (who I will always and forever miss) as well as introduce Pierce more thoroughly, as Rachel's new love interest.  Rachel isn't ready to find love, and she believes Pierce is a short term adventure, a onetime Coven witch himself until they bricked him up in a hole in the ground for using black magic.  He does seems to have Rachel best interests at heart, but so did Nick at first, and we all saw where that lead.  Being shunned has been hard on Rachel, her business has dried up, she can't buy magical supplies, and not even her mother and brother can directly talk to her.  She has always cherished being an Earth witch, and now, it's her curse.

Black Magic Sanction is excellent addition to The Hollow's Series.  It ties up some of the loose ends from the previous books and answers a few of the question left dangling and readers left wondering.  I have to say, Kim Harrison's books were some of the first urban fantasy/paranormal romance books I'd ever read, and I wasn't disappointed, addicted from the first book.  Some series start to feel old and worn out, but Kim Harrison keeps it fresh and lively, draws on your emotions to make you become part of the story, and I've yet to be disappointed.  The ninth book in the series, Pale Demon, comes out on 2-22-11, and I can't wait to read!  For more information about Ms. Harrison or her series, visit her website.

I picked up Black Magic Sanction for my own enjoyment.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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