Thursday, 31 January 2013

January Wrap-Up.

These are the books that I read this month:.

A total this month of 16 books.

5/5 Stars: 6 books (The Doorknob Society, The Impossible Engineers, Boyfriend From Hell, Reaper, Anna And The French Kiss, Reaper's Novice)
4.5/5 Stars: 0 books
4/5 Stars: 5 books (Lola And The Boy Next Door, Shadow Of Time, Burning Skies, Brink Of Eternity, Infinite Days)
3.5/5 Stars: 2 books (Earth Angel, Waterfall)
3/5 Stars: 1 book (Veiled Mist)
2.5/5 Stars: 1 book (Two And Twenty Dark Tales)
2/5 Stars: 1 book (The Darkening Dream)
1.5/5 Stars: 0 books
1/5 Stars: 0 books
0.5/5 Stars: 0 books
0/5 Stars: 0 books

A somewhat good month for reading, because there were a few that I read that I didn't really care for it put my reading back a bit (unfortunately I'm one of those people who has to finish reading a book even if I don't like it) and so I didn't get through them as fast as some of the others.
I'm hoping to read more than 16 in February, fingers crossed.
Two books really stood out for me this month, they are:
Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector #1) - Cecilia Robert I loved this book everyone should definitely pick it up,  it's currently $2.99 on Amazon, and well worth the money. (My Review)
Anna And The French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins I'm happy to say that for me this book definitely lived up to it's hype.

I hope everyone had a great reading month, and another good one coming up.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Blog Tour (Guest Post & Giveaway): Waterfall (Dragon's Fate #1) - Lacy Danes, Book Review (208)

Waterfall (Dragon's Fate #1)

Publication: 1st January 2013
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 153
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult

It’s easy to fall in love. Destiny requires tooth and claw.

Dragon’s Fate, Book 1

Curses are designed to be cruel, but the one afflicting Jordan and his brothers is almost beyond bearing. A dragon born by blood magic, he is an immortal trapped in human form, with only one hope of finding his eternal mate. He must bite her—and pray she lives.

One dark night, he senses the wounded heartbeat of a woman in the shadows, begging him to end her life. Ever the gentleman, he chivalrously obliges her wish. Only to discover three days later that she lives. And has married another.

Celeste always dreamed of marrying for love, but the nightmare of living in her father’s home drives her to wed the Duke of Hudson. Yet on her wedding eve, she is compelled to follow a mysterious man who professes to know her secret. A man with curious blue scales on his muscular arms—whose shadowed eyes reflect a dangerous mix of destiny and desire… 
My Thoughts.
Being a huge fan of the paranormal genre I'm always excited when I come across a book/series that features Dragons that are also hot guys in their human form.

For only being a novella this sure does give you a lot of story for the shortness of it, four brothers, the only four Zir (Dragons) in existence who were created after Carmen a Vampire sprinkled their eggs with her blood and a little magic.

Unfortunately they don't know much at all about their heritage or who they really are, one thing that they do know is to find their mates (which will eventually reveal all of things that have been kept from them), to find them means to bite them, unfortunately they can never be too sure that the person they're biting is for them and their bite is venomous to whomever is not their mate, so over the years they've killed a few women.

Jordan who's element is the water comes across a shipwreck and the lone surviver Celeste is dying, so to put her out of her misery he bites her so as not to prolong her death and leaves her there to die, and then a few days later Jordan and his brothers attend their friends Wedding Party and discover that his Bride is none other than Celeste, which means through her survival after the bite that she's Jordan's mate, but what to do when she's married to a really good friend, especially when said friend seems like he's losing his mind!

I'd be interested to read the other three brothers stories and see how they meet their mates.

I give this 3.5/5.

Guest Post.

Hello and thank you for having me here today as I promote my new novella Waterfall, the first story in the Dragon’s Fate series.

This past week I have been editing and writing a lot. Everyday in fact.   The story I am working on is the second in the Dragon’s Fate series.

Because I have been so busy writing, cooking has fallen to a lower priority. Yesterday, my hubby and I picked up lamb, scallops, steak, and pork chops for dinners this week.

My hubby makes the most amazing lamb, so I know he will create something fantastic for that meal. He also makes wonderful scallops.  The steak and the pork will be up to me.   

For the steak I’m going use a tip I read in a copy of my hubby’s Playboy years ago. (See some of us do read the articles)

Make sure your steak is at room temperature.
Salt and dry rub season your meat to your liking. (I use a little extra salt as I think beef needs a bit more, and Cajun spices which includes garlic.)
Make sure your oven is turned on to 350 degrees
In a fry pan, add butter and sear your steak for 3 min on each side.
Transfer your steak to a pan and put in the oven to cook it to the doneness you like.

I like mine medium rare, so I typically do 5-10 min more depending on the thickness.  Yummy!

I am at a loss for a recipe for the pork chops.   Do you have any suggestions on how to cook them up to be mouthwateringly good?

Kindly, Lacy. 
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author :

Lacy Danes made a New Year's resolution to write a hot, historical romance.
A year and a half later, she achieved her goal. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where besides writing she enjoys playing cards, chasing her kids around, and savoring a great martini with the man of her dreams all while watching the world go by.

Visit Lacy at her web site.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Brink Of Eternity (Guardians Of Ascension #2.5) - Caris Roane, Book Review (207).

Brink of Eternity (Guardians of Ascension #2.5)

Publication: 11th May 2011
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 168
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult

Guardians of Ascension novella, tracks vampire Militia Warrior Gideon, who is on the brink of becoming an elite Warrior of the Blood. The Militia Warriors strive to keep the peace on Second Earth while battling death vampires whenever they can. Brink of Eternity gives a glimpse into the Militia Warrior world as Gideon breaks all the rules to protect his ex-girlfriend, Elise, during her rite of ascension, a process that puts her directly in the path of a dozen lethal enemies.
My Thoughts.
I loved this novella that featured a Militia Warrior instead of a Guardian Of Ascension which is what this series is pretty much based on.
Although this book is numbered #2.5 I think it should be numbered #1.5, Warrior Marcus and Havily are not even together in this novella yet.

But no matter I still enjoyed this and it makes me wonder if eventually Gideon will one day join the Warrior's although he doesn't seem to want to anytime soon.

I loved the appearance of Endelle, I think she's a hoot, with her blunt but brutally honest opinions and thoughts, I'd love for her to get her own book.

Being only a Militia Warrior Gideon is not supposed to experience the breh-hedden but he does with none other than his ex-girlfriend who had been hiding some secrets of her own through the two years that they dated, one being that she has visions and after having one involving Gideon's sister Rachel she knows that she needs to tell him, it's here that he also learns that she has other powers and that she has chosen to ascend.

Assigned to protect her, Gideon will have to rely on her if he wants to save his sister's life, but what happens when their plane to save Rachel goes awry?

I'm really loving this series more and more with each story I read.

I give this 4/5.

Reader, please note:  BRINK OF ETERNITY was published under a different cover, same title, in July of 2011.  The content is the same.

Everyone who purchases the book 

will receive a free arc of the next book in the series "The Darkening"! 

" Simply email your Proof of purchase of "

Vampire Collection: Brink of Eternity and Embrace the Dark" 

to Caris and she will send you a free arc of 

"The Darkening"

. Here is her E-mail .   Caris would love to see your reviews posted on Amazon for both "

Vampire Collection: Brink of Eternity and Embrace the Dark" and 

"The Darkening" once you have a chance to enjoy them. 

Buy It.
Barnes And Noble
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was ten when I first watched an old movie version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and loved it!  Movies led to books, which led to writing and after a good long while, publishing.  I wrote sweet Regency romance for Kensington for 19 years and recently fell in love with paranormal, although I’ve always had a thing for vampires.  I currently write paranormal romance for St. Martin’s Press but I self-publish as well.  Building an online platform has been an enormous but rewarding challenge.  I think all the changes in publishing will alter how authors approach the business going forward and I for one am thrilled to have so many options. 
Caris Roane has published over fifty Regency romance novels and novellas under the pen name, Valerie King.  In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career Achievement award in Regency Romance.  Having had a long-time love affair with vampires, Caris tackled the paranormal genre and built a unique vampire world based on ascending dimensional earths.  Her series is called Guardians of Ascension
Her most recent self-published project, The Blood Rose Novella Series, launched in May of 2012 with the first title:  Embrace the Dark. 
Currently, Caris is working on a new vampire series set to launch in the Fall of 2013:   WARRIORS IN CHAINS with the first novel, BORN IN CHAINS.
Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy.
Caris Roane has published nine Paranormal novels and novellas and writing as Valerie King, fifty Regency works.  In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career Achievement award in Regency Romance.  As Caris Roane, she currently writes paranormal romance for St. Martin’s Press and also dabbles in a few self-pubbed projects. 

Caris Roane Links:

Book Review (206): Burning Skies (Guardians Of Ascension #2) - Caris Roane

Burning Skies (Guardians of Ascension #2)

Publication: 26th April 2011
Publisher: St Martin's Paperbacks
Pages: 464
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult

A vampire warrior in exile, Marcus Amargi resists the call to return to the ranks of the Guardians who fight the death vamp armies. Here on Mortal Earth, Marcus has another battle on his hands—the seductive lure of Havily Morgan. The woman meant for him. Whose blood he craves. The one who comes to him in dreams—and demands his surrender…

A beautiful immortal with extraordinary powers, Havily lives in the realm of Second Earth but, in her fantasies, yearns for her winged lover Marcus. Soon, their bond will be put to the ultimate test. When their bloodthirsty enemies set the night on fire with sky-blazing weapons, Marcus and Havily must unite body and soul, to unleash the full power of their passion—and fight fire with fire…
My Thoughts.
This is the second book in the Guardian Of Ascension series and focuses on the relationship of Warrior Marcus and Havily.

We saw the start of the breh-hedden in the first book Ascension, and I love that we find out who the next couple will be in each book.

Taking place a few months from the end of the previous book, Marcus has returned to Mortal Earth but every night since he has been visited by Havily for some steamy moments, Havily whom thinks of him as a deserter after having left Second Earth and the band of Warrior's that he used to fight with, believes that these nightly visits are just dreams, but when she discovers that it is real and is in fact a new power among many emerging powers then she is assigned Marcus to guard her after it's discovered Greaves and his associate Crace are after her.

With both of them not wanting a relationship with each other afraid to get their hearts broken again if one of them should die, they agree to a physical relationship, but how long will it be until one of them will admit to their growing feelings towards one another?

I love the breh-hedden that started in this book between Medichi and Parisa and I can't wait to get to their book, and I'm very interested to find out more about her ascendance.

Full of lots of steamy scenes, action and adventure, this is a great instalment to this series.

I give this 4/5.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Blog Tour & Author Q And A: Shadow Of Time - Jen Minkman, Book Review (205).

Shadow of Time

Publication: 1st January 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 400
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon  

All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship. 

But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams? 

Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.
My Thoughts.
An absolute pleasure to read, this book had me flying through the pages to see what the conclusion to this fantastic story would be.
A truly original concept and storyline has me eager to see what Jen will release next.

Hannah and her brother Ben decide to spend their summer vacation at their Mother's log cabin in Arizona, after embarrasing herself at a gas station in front of a hot guy she's mortified when she discovers that he's Ben's best-friend from childhood Josh, what has her baffled is the intense attraction she feels for him which Josh also reciprocates.

After an encounter with three drunken men she starts to have nightmares that involve terrifying shadows with red eyes and always in her dreams is Josh a little older and they are set years ago in the past, but are they just dreams or is Hannah seeing past events that have occurred many lifetimes ago?

I loved the added storylines of the Navajo Nation it added a whole lot more to the story, more depth and the history and their customs I found to be extremely interesting, a great idea, that you don't really find in paranormal books.

This is an extremely well written, well researched book and I would love to see another book after this one, I loved the characters especially the brooding Josh and I want to read more.

I recommend any fans of paranormal romance or even romance books pick this one up it is well worth the time spent reading it.

I give this 4/5.

Q & A With Jen Minkman.

1) There is a lot of details about the Native Americans and the different tribes, how much research did you have to do to write this book?

I really had to delve deep and get a lot of books and movies about the Navajo in order to educate myself. They are quite different from tribes like the Lakota (who have been extensively portrayed in famous films like Dances With Wolves and Into The West) so good research was vital! I think out of the nine months I spent writing this book, at least three were solely dedicated to reading up on Navajo culture, mythology, language and history.

2) Have you always had an idea of featuring Native American's in your first book? 

No, not really... the first book I attempted to write was a high fantasy novel. What gave me the idea to write about them was reading New Moon by Stephenie Meyer - I liked the chemistry between Jacob and Bella in that book and was actually disappointed they didn't end up together, so I figured I should write a paranormal romance novel with Native Americans and a happy ending :)

3) If a film were to be made from this book, are there any actors in particular that you would like to be cast?

Oh, definitely! I would love to see Saoirse Ronan as Hannah and Kyerin Bennett as Josh. Not sure whether he can act, actually (he's a model)... another good one would be Michael Spears, but he's too old to play the part and Lakota, not Navajo, but I really admire his work in several projects he's done!

4) Were you inspired by any songs/music while writing this story?

First of all, I wrote my own music for the book (the songs that Hannah and Josh sing in the book really exist and can be listened to on my website). I also listened to tons of pow-wow CDs, most notably the Navajo Mountain Singers, and to punk-rock music from Navajo Nation made by the fantastic band Blackfire. I still want to see them live one day!

5) Do you plan on writing another book set in this world, maybe a sequel?

I wasn't planning any sequels, but some reviewers have complained they wanted to know more about Josh's background, so there might be a companion novella at some point.

6) Describe Shadow Of Time in five words

true love lasts beyond death.

7) What authors have inspired you over the years?

Too many to name, but a few notable ones are Ray Bradbury, Margaret Mahy, David Eddings, Tonke Dragt and Thea Beckman.

8) What are you currently reading? And what was your favourite book(s) of last year?

I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunger Games and Ultraviolet last year. Right now I am reading a book written by Ervin Laszlo about the zero point energy field and the way the world should change in order to avoid total breakdown of the current economic system. I can be very scientifically-oriented at times... but always mixed with a sense of spirituality and higher purpose.

9) And finally you're hosting a dinner party and you can only invite five people (dead or alive), who would you choose?

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Jesus and my sister (because she likes all of my other guests a lot, too, and we tend to share all that makes us happy). 

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack. 

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).

Social Links.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Book Review (204): Ascension (The World Of Ascension #1) - Caris Roane

Ascension (The World of Ascension #1)

Publication: 28th December 2010
Publisher: St Martin's Paperbacks
Pages: 469
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult

Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with supernatural powers, she can never make love to a man without putting him in grave danger. But when her special vision reveals a glorious muscled man soaring overhead on mighty wings, she feels an overwhelming attraction she cannot resist—even as he tells her: "I have come for you. Your blood belongs to me."

Kerrick is a vampire and a warrior who has fought his hunger for a woman's love for the past two hundred years. As a Guardian of Ascension, he is sworn to protect Alison from the death vamp armies who crave her blood and her power. But Kerrick has cravings of his own—a forbidden longing to open his heart and veins to Alison. To share his blood…satisfy his thirst…and seal their fates forever.

Ascension is the first in Caris Roane's paranormal romance series thatRomantic Times calls "a series with epic potential."
My Thoughts.
This books is a fantastic start to the series, if you're a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and Lords Of The Underworld, then definitely check this out.

A band of Warrior's who call themselves the Guardians Of Ascension, spend their nights keeping Mortal Earth safe from the death vamps that think of humans as nothing but food.

Alison whom is a human, has lived most of her life with supernatural abilities ranging from folding (moving from one place to another in the blink of an eye), visions and immense strength which landed her last boyfriend in the hospital, what she doesn't know is that she is about to ascend (acquire more power) and become a part of Second Earth where people like her live once they've ascended and also the home of the Warrior's.

When she is assigned Warrior Kerrick to guard her through her ascension it triggers the breh-hedden between the two of them, it occurs when two soul-mates find each other, both drawn to each others distinctive scent that only each other can smell, (every person has a unique scent), Alison's is lavender whilst Kerrick's is Cardamon, but with them both fighting their attraction to each other because of past relationships, and the leader of the death vamps Greaves only to happy to acquire Alison for himself the battle is on to get her through her ascension and away from Greaves clutches.

I cannot wait to continue on with this series, if you like your paranormal romances with hot alpha males and steamy love scenes then pick this book up.

I give this 5/5.

Blog Tour & Giveaways: Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector #1) - Cecilia Robert, Book Review (203).

Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector)

Publication: 10th January 2013
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 300
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon

**Reaper's Novice was previously published as a short story installment. It will be released in January 2013 as full length novel.**

17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents, good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.

Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance. It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice: save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.
My Thoughts.
I'm so glad that I joined up to be a part of this blog tour otherwise I doubt that I would ever have come across this book, or the fantastic storyline that Cecilia has created.
Full of all the things that I love to read about in any book: action/adventure, love, angst, loss and the main character coming into their own.
I grew to care so much for these characters, our heroine Ana is a character that I really liked,  and besides a couple of characters that I didn't care for (the baddies) I found no fault with any of them which is refreshing.
I really loved that the story was set in Vienna, I can honestly say that I've never read a book set there and it was a nice change as most books you find these days are all set in America, I loved reading about the landmarks whilst making my way through the book.
After witnessing the fatal car crash that killed her family she makes a deal with Ernest a Grim Reaper that he can have her soul if he lets her family live, agreeing to the bargain he tells Ana that for the next thirteen months he will train her and if she passes the tests presented to her he will let her families souls go.
And so begins her introduction to reaping souls along the way she'll meet some interesting and unusual people/creatures, among them Zig another Reaper who's hot and funny and whom I'm hoping will end up with Ana eventually.
My only complaint that I have is that part towards the end, those who've read the book will know what I'm talking about, which had me in tears, it was so emotional but I can also understand why it happened, I just wish it didn't.
I look forward to the next book and I hope it won't be too long a wait, a fantastic start to a new series, I highly recommend this one.
I give this 5/5.

: The author is giving away some super awesome stuff for this tour and we have broken it all down into three unique giveaways all of which will be open internationally!
Giveaway #1: 2 eBook copies of Reaper’s Novice: a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway #2: Two $15 Amazon gift cards: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #3: The Swag: Violin magnet, violin pin, and a beaded necklace/bracelet: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, anything romantic, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.
Social Media links: Twitter: 

Monday, 21 January 2013

Monday's Mailbox.

Only one book arrived in my mailbox today and it's a book I brought from The Book Depository.

Effortless (Thoughtless #2) - S.C Stephens

Blog Tour And Giveaway: The Darkening Dream - Andy Gavin

The Darkening Dream


Publication: 10th January 2012
Publisher: Mascherato Publishing
Pages: 382
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Age Appropriate:Young Adult

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand. 
With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal?
No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be herself

Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels including The Darkening Dream, a dark historical fantasy that puts the bite back in vampires.