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Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance

In Karen Chance on September 29, 2009 at 9:42 am

curseCurse the Dawn
by Karen Chance
ISBN: 9780451412706
Released: April 2009
Mass Paperback

I was introduced to Karen Chance in line at the grocery store.  I had not even thought to buy the book but in the span of ten minutes I was hooked.  Here’s the blurb:

Cassandra Palmer may be the all-powerful Pythia now, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped trying to kill her. Most of the supernatural power players don’t want the independent minded Cassie as chief clairvoyant—and they’ll stop at nothing to see her six feet under.

The Vampire Senate does support Cassie in her position, but their protection comes with a price: an alliance with the sexy master vampire Mircea, who has claimed Cassie as his own.

But even the vampires will have trouble keeping Cassie alive now that the self-styled god Apollo, the source of the Pythia’s power, has it in for her in a big way. To save her life—and the world—Cassie’s going to have to face down her creator once and for all.

Well in my experience as a reader, I like to think I am an intelligent woman, with periods of bitchiness so incomprehensible so one would dare mock me.  Well when I sat down to enjoy this book, I hadn’t planned on divorcing my family for nearly 6 hours, I hadn’t planned on missing my online chat time with Bek. No no, I had planned to be a very nice and productive person. But instead my family got EB 2.0 and they just put food under the door to my office and left me alone. 

This series it self is very addictive.  I loved to watch the growth of Cassie’s and Mircea’s relationship.  Cassie thinks like a real woman and has the same doubts that we all do.  I like that the main characters in fiction have flaws and problems that are normal even though they themselves may not be.  It also helps the reader relate to them. All the better to suck you in to the story and forget you own troubles just for a little while.  Now I do have to say that all that time traveling does put a little stress on your brain, but after the second book you start to get used to it.  And you find you start to like all the weird eccentric characters that turn up to help Cassie when she most needs it. 

I recommend this book to anyone who needs a laugh and wants to good storyline with romance. 

Websites and Links:
Curse the Dawn Sample Chapters Links to Karen’s Website
Karen Chance Site

Also reviewed on:

Literary Escapism

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5 Minutes with Joey W. Hill & Contest

In 5 Minutes, contests, Joey W. Hill on September 24, 2009 at 12:00 am

Okay I am prolly going to go alittle stalker-ish here.  She is one of my favorite authors. And she reminds me that you should never underestimate a person, especially how they look.  If you have not read any of my other post that mention her, I describle her as a nice prim Librarian looking lady with the imagination of a Courtesean or was it something from the Red LIght Disctict, I can never be sure. The more I read of her the more my image of her morphed into a very naughty lady.  OKay back to this segment…

 “5 Minutes with…” is a section of the blog that is a a set of questions that are pretty much the same give or take a few. That are meant for us to get to know our favorite authors a little bit more. Some are funny, some have nothing to do with their books; while others hopefully get to the “nitty-gritty” of what the author is thinking. And as with all of our 5 minutes we have a contest to honor our writers. Stay tuned at the end to find out how to enter. Now let’s give a Naughty Chick welcome to Joey W. Hill.

5 Minutes with Joey W. Hill:

 

What project are you currently working on?  (C’mon give us a hint!) Place you most want to visit.

Right now I have two projects ongoing. The first is the fifth book in the Vampire Queen series, titled Vampire Mistress (May 2010). This is the story of Gideon, Jacob’s brother (Jacob was the hero of the first two books in the series). Gideon is a bitter, burned out vampire hunter who crosses paths with the Mistress of a BDSM club right before she’s attacked and forcibly turned by a psychopathic vampire. She also has a silent partner in her club, a mysterious vampire named Daegan Rei. Daegan and Gideon have to work together to help her with a volatile transition process, and somewhere along the way the three of them start bonding together in a way that suggests the impossible – that Gideon may find himself serving the needs and desires of two vampires. Writing this one was a challenge because a ménage has three points of view. Plus all the typical complexity that goes into a paranormal plot in my vampire world – politics, battles, etc.—gave me a lot of layers to juggle. I hope the readers will be pleased with the results, though! 

The place I most want to visit is the Grand Canyon. I know, it may not sound so exotic, but I don’t travel much or feel the need to do so. I’m good at imagining things just from documentaries and Internet research, but this is one place I’ve always wanted to actually go. Not the tourist viewing areas. I want to go with someone who really knows the area. Go down into the Canyon, see the river and the rock strata, have him/her point out all the amazing small things that most people might miss. See a sunrise and a sunset from the best vantage points. Take a lazy river ride down the middle. 

Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

It’s always possible. None of us would have believed that digital downloads would replace our beloved vinyl, cassette or CD music mediums, but I don’t remember the last time I popped in a CD, versus hitting a favored writing playlist on my Nano. The factors that stand in the way of digital books, that music has more fully resolved, are accessibility (any book title being as readily available digitally as in print), standard format and the device. Kindles, Sonys, etc are really gaining ground, but a lot of people still wince at the idea of paying $200-$300 for something that primarily only reads a book. However, now that you can read on your IPhones or other mediums, I can see the idea of electronic reading gaining ground. The problem of ebook piracy and standard formats still remains, but those are just glitches. It’ll be quite a few years I’m sure, but as long as technology continues to integrate itself into all aspects of our lives, I can see it happening in the long run. Though there will likely always be a market for having a hardcopy of our classic favorites on the shelf. 

If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why? 

This is always a difficult question for me, because I get a lot of joy out of standing in the shadows and watching my characters become who they are. I probably overanalyze this, but I also think about the courage, intelligence and integrity it takes to be one of my characters and know I’d fall so woefully short. For instance, Jessica, the latest heroine in Beloved Vampire, was brutalized by a terrible vampire master for five years. I nearly go into cardiac arrest when I have to go to the doctor for an annual check up and they pull out a finger pricker (lol). Anna, in Mermaid’s Kiss, risks her life to hide a wounded Jonah from these scary evil creatures called the Dark Ones. I look under my bed after reading Stephen King novels.

 However, if I could briefly step into a heroine’s shoes to enjoy her hero (just briefly, mind you)…now, that I’d be willing to do with any of my heroines.

 Who or what influences you when you write? 

Inspirations and influences tend to overlap in my mind, but I’ll try to stick to influences. My favorite stories always influence how I write – Nora Roberts’ older work, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant Chronicles, Jennifer Robeson’s Tiger and Del series…these books keep me focused on what makes a story a keeper – unforgettable characters you actually fall in love with, to the point that when they hurt, you hurt, and when they laugh or cry, you laugh and cry with them. 

When you have writer’s block how do you break free? 

I keep writing to get through it. When you’re writing four books a year, allowing four months for each book, you don’t have time to indulge artistic constipation. You just keep writing, and if you need to tear it apart and put it back together on the subsequent edits to fix it, you do.

Who is your perfect hero?  And why? 

Jamie from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Brave beyond belief, but not invincible. Capable of anything, particularly if it’s for the protection and his love of Claire. Absolutely astounding integrity and strength of character. He’s interesting, intelligent, and charismatic to the point he’d make any woman’s knees weak. And of course, in Jamie’s case, he’s proven to be overwhelming to both sexes, through no fault of his stolidly straight Scottish Catholic heart (laughter).

 Now, as far as my own work, Tyler Winterman of Ice Queen / Mirror of My Soul continues to be one of my personal favorites, because he rescued my most troubled, yet ironically strongest, heroine. He had an amazing self-possession and confidence, loving Marguerite too much to doubt himself or what he needed to do to help her. A close second would be Jacob of Vampire Queen’s Servant, because he was willing to be anything Lyssa needed to help her meet her goals. He agreed to be her servant and sexual slave, but at his core remained the same alpha warrior, always at her back. There’s something about that combination – a male who can be what the heroine needs (even if she doesn’t know exactly what that is) and yet remains true to himself.

What do you do for inspiration? 

Listening to music that provokes an emotional response relevant to the book/scene I’m writing, or reading passages from a favorite book, both help get the creative juices going. Re-reading some of my own past works helps as well. If I go back and read some of my earlier works that really flowed the way I wanted them to do, it helps keep me on track with my current work because it tells me “Hey, you did this before. You can do it again, really!”

Finally, struggling through all those edits, and putting in the time and effort to make the story the best it can be, is inspirational as well. Because then I have something that I’m proud to share with the readers. I’m at the point now where I have a wonderful fan base that is consistently encouraging, challenging me to do better with every book.

 Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet? 

I’ve done a wide variety of romance genres – contemporary, paranormal, historical, erotic, sensual, mainstream, and all mixes in between. For me, the love story is critical to what interests me about any set of characters or plot line, so I expect I’ll always write within that boundary – whether or not they call it a romance (laughter). However, I do have an epic fantasy romance series I began years ago that I would like to revisit, update and market again. It’s a very cool series which mixes many genres/mediums under the paranormal umbrella – high fantasy, contemporary paranormal, historical romance, even dragons and vampires.

 What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process? 

The type of research depends on the storyline. Right now, I’ve been researching wild cats, because my next vampire book takes place at a wild cat sanctuary. For Beloved Vampire, I researched the Sahara desert and did a much-too-brief investigation of the Bedouin culture, because Mason’s background included a long lost love who was a Bedouin sheikh’s daughter. Thanks to a marvelous high school world history teacher, I love history, and yet I’ll rarely go out and read a non-fiction work for my own enjoyment. However, if there’s something I need to research for a book, I love doing it and get fascinated by the things I uncover. Vampire’s Claim took place in 1950s Australia, and I devoured a variety of sources, fiction and non-fiction, to put my brain into that place/setting.

 What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

 I have two of them. Armageddon and Serenity. They’re my comfort food. A good movie can also be as inspiring to me as a good book when I’m trying to give my creativity a charge. The characterization of these two movies inspires me every time, because there are no boring characters in either one of them, down to the most minor side characters.

 If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you? *mind you, you do have a strong hunky man to help you with things* *grins*

Back to Eden, a compendium that identifies edible plants (I’m a vegetarian), a complete survivalist’s guide (to help me and the hunky guy handle the basics like romantic fires at night and homemade bug repellant, as well as making ourselves a tree house), a wi-fi connection and my e-reader so I can download as many books as I need (the survivalist guide would help me figure out a solar power system so I can keep the reader charged)… That’s four, right? Okay, and a few cases of chocolate I can bury in the ground to keep cool and have for emergencies (smile).

 What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing? 

If I can find a book that will turn off my internal editor and let me just enjoy the story, that’s my way to unwind. Between writing, edits and promo, as well as home/family issues, I don’t have a lot of spare time, but I do exercise about 60-90 minutes each day, and like to watch DVR’ed reruns of ER and Criminal Minds, or favorite movies, to get myself to relax. That’s another way I relax with my husband – watching TV series we both like. Current favorites are Life, Burn Notice, Castle, Warehouse 13, Eureka and Royal Pains.

What is the one era you would love to go visit and why? 

I’d like to be here when the Native American cultures were in full bloom and see what the world here looked like then. All the open space, no cities, just hunter/gatherer societies. I know it was a hard way of life, but in other ways, it would be interesting to see what life was like, living so simply. Alternatively, I’d settle for going to spend the summer with Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. 

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart? 

Mirror of My Soul. As mentioned above about Tyler, this book was both emotionally draining and yet very fulfilling to write, because Marguerite’s journey toward love was so difficult. Therefore, reaching the happily ever after felt so well-earned, I cry even now when I re-read her wedding scene.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

That’s a tough one, because I’ve written twenty books over a nine year period, and I think many of the characters have some traits similar to mine, for whatever particular time period they were written. Probably the closest match (during the relevant time period) was Meg of Make Her Dreams Come True, though I’m glad to say I’ve grown a great deal since then (as has Meg as well, I’m sure!).

Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book come out? 

Every single time. Until I start hearing from reviewers and readers that the book met or exceeded expectations, I always worry that I’ve lost the creative spark and it’s time to scurry back into the ground or go back to a day job (laughter). I think that’s essential to my creative process, however. If I thought a book was going to be really great, something would be wrong.

How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

A great deal. Constructive, thoughtful feedback from readers is always invaluable, for a variety of reasons. The positive kind absolutely keeps you going – knowing the readers appreciate what you’re giving them and they want more – there’s nothing as priceless as that, aside from the joy of the writing process itself. As far as the negative feedback, it helps to keep you on point. It doesn’t mean that you’ll change how you write – sometimes a reader’s perspective is a style or personal issue that you know you can’t change. However, if you hear a craft issue mentioned consistently related to a book – the middle drags, or this particular hero was too remote, etc, it gives you something to which you can pay closer attention in the future. This business is very output vs. quality focused, so it’s easy to lose perspective when you’re racing to meet deadlines. Reader feedback helps remind you why you do it, and it’s not the royalty/advance checks (though those are always lovely!).

 What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them? 

I want them to feel like they’ve connected to my characters, were immersed in the story and felt it was worth every moment they gave to the book.

If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast as the h/h?

I’d love to see any of them made into a movie. The only one I’ve been able to cast in my mind has been Rough Canvas, however. I can see Hugh Jackman as Marcus (think smoothness of Leopold in Kate and Leopold), and Colin Farrell  (think of his appearance in SWAT). And if anyone pictures them differently, don’t get upset – you’re completely allowed to imagine them however you want! (smile) That’s the nice thing about books – every reader can put the faces and personalities that most attract her/him onto the characters.

What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

 The gist of the review was, “I don’t like BDSM, and I hated this book.” Ahem. Hello?! That would be like saying “I hate Civil War epic romances, and I hated Gone With the Wind.” It did make me wonder if the person was a little bit of a masochist. Does she just like reading genres she hates? Chuckle. It was a strange one. But to each her own.

What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books? 

Oh, so many of them have been positively delightful, it would be hard to choose. Every time I hear that they feel I’ve surpassed my previous book (and they rated that previous one highly), or that I’ve immersed them so deeply they never wanted the story to end, it makes every moment worth it. I keep all my reviews and reader feedback, because second only to that inexplicable drive to put pen to paper, nothing does more to keep me writing than seeing this evidence that my stories have made an impact on someone’s heart or mind in a significant way.

 

Here’s a wonderful example from Sarah Silversmith at ParaNormal Romance Reviews, when she reviewed  A Mermaid’s Kiss: “Wow! I know that is not the most eloquent of expressions, but…..wow! I am almost speechless after reading A MERMAID’S KISS. I am so stunned, and overwhelmed by the story and the writing I do not truly know where to begin this review. I have read Ms. Hill’s books, going back to the beginning of her Ellora’s Cave offerings and I have always enjoyed the style and depth of her stories. She has always taken chances, written about differences and ideas that are not necessarily easy to grasp, but I think she’s outdone herself with this one.”

 I like this kind of review, because it suggests the reviewer felt I dug deep for that extra quality in my stories. And I hope I always give readers that.

 

 

If any of the above inspires you to learn more about my work, you can visit my website, www.storywitch.com and find blurbs and free excerpts on all my books. You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter there, or visit my blog or fan group to read ongoing serialized vignettes featuring characters from my full length works. Thanks so much!

 

That was  awesome if I say so myself. Thanks Joey and good luck with Gideon’s book, I can not wait to read that one. Now up for grabs today is Beloved Vampire.  And all you have to do is a few simple things.

belovedvampFirst, spread the word. Second, comment. and Finally, you could buy her new books. But I will tell you, a PURCHASE is not NECESSARY to enter the contest.  And purchasing does not guarentee you to win.  We as that comments be respectful and not hateful.  And absoluelty no spamming your own stuff on someone elses post. I hate that and you would too if it was your post.  If you want to have some time with us on a post or a guest blog contact us via email not on a post.  Contest Ends September 30th at 11:59pm EST.

Now there are three ways to ente.r in to the contest and there is NO purchase necessary to enter the contest:

1. To buy one of Any of  Joey’s works (email the receipt) at our Amazon bookstore. Good for and extra 5 entries.
OR
2. Comment. If you comment you get 1 entries.
OR
3. Add us to your Facebook , Twitter   or your own blog if you have one, and retweet and/or repost will be eligible for the drawing.
Good for 5 extra entries on top of your comment. DONT FORGET TO LET US KNOW YOU DID. In twitter when you retweet keep our name in.

As with all our “5 Minutes…” spots, they run for a week this contest will end September 30, 2009 at 11:59 EST. A winner will be picked then and emailed accordingly. Good Luck!

5 Minutes with Jade Lee and Contest

In 5 Minutes, Jade Lee on September 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

“5 Minutes with…” is a section of the blog that is a a set of questions that are pretty much the same give or take a few. That are meant for us to get to know our favorite authors a little bit more. Some are funny, some have nothing to do with their books; while others hopefully get to the “nitty-gritty” of what the author is thinking. And as with all of our 5 minutes we have a contest to honor our writers. Stay tuned at the end to find out how to enter. Now let’s give a Naughty Chick welcome to Jade Lee.

5 Minutes with Jade Lee :

What project are you currently working on?  (C’mon give us a hint!)

I just finished the rough draft of Surrender to Me (May 10).  I’m back in the dark, steamy underbelly of London and it was great to be there!  It’s perfectly timed with the re-release of Devil’s Bargain  (Feb 10) which was my first wildly popular seduction of an innocent in Regency London.   I seem to just really like going dark and sexy, and what better time than in my favourite world of balls, aristocrats, and the less fortunate souls who are just struggling to survive?

Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

I have both a Sony e-reader and a Kindle.  I love them!  Mostly because I always take books with me when I travel.  With these slim e-readers, I can take a zillion books without the extra luggage.  Having said that, I don’t think the paperback will die.  Too many people like HOLDING a book and are really tired of reading on a screen.  Still, I put my money into an e-reader.

If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?

Whichever heroine I just finished writing.  I’m too busy living it when I’m actually writing the book, so not then.  By the time I’m three books down the line, I barely remember what I wrote so long ago.  So…whatever book is just done is still fresh in my mind and I know the best parts of the book and the happily ever after.   So at the moment, I would love to be Sabina from Dragonbound or Scheherazade (yes, that is her name) from Surrender To Me.

Who or what influences you when you write?

CAFFIENE!  Yes, I’m a total coffee addict.  Can’t function without at least a mug in me.  Other than that…oddly enough, I’ve seriously gotten into meditating and journaling.  Both help me clear my mind of clutter to allow the story to flow through.

When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

Again…coffee.  Meditation.  Journaling.  And oh yes, I love to ROLLERBLADE!  A half hour into my blading session and my mind just soars!

 Who is your perfect hero?  And why?

I love funny heroes, but they’re hard to write and they seem to come off too flippant sometimes.  My heroes always have a great sense of humor, but they’re usually not the funniest person in the book.

What do you do for inspiration?

READ READ READ.   And drink coffee.

Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?

I’m not sure there’s a genre of book that I haven’t tried.  I spent a long time searching for the type of book I wanted to write.  The answer: romance.  In all its forms.  I’ve published in contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal.  I’ve tried just about all the other sub-genres too, but those manuscripts are gone forever.  Destroyed so they can’t harm anyone else! 

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

Yes, I research though I don’t really enjoy it.  My books are about characters and how they interact with each other.  I have go-to people for science (for the paranormals and world building in the fantasies).  I also have four or five bookcases of research books.  And then there’s always the internet for the quick fix.  My most recent research quick look: Just exactly how early were condoms introduced?

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you? *mind you, you do have a strong hunky man to help you with things* *grins*

A working satellite phone, my Kindle, sunscreen, and Joss Whedon.  No, he’s not Mr. Sexy, but damn, he’s one of the best writers ever.  And yes, I’d like to be locked up with him so we can TALK!

What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

I play a lot of racquetball.  A LOT!  I went pro for 2 weeks then blew out my knees.  But I still play a lot.  And am even thinking about getting back into competition.  We’ll see if my body holds up!

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

I love writing the goofy heroine with the long-suffering hero.  Just about all my Katherine Greyle books are that set-up.  My Jade Lee books are deeper, more introspective, and hotter than those earlier books, but goofy heroine/long-suffering hero is me and my husband.   Right there on the page is my marriage in all its funny bizarreness. 

Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book come out?

I think the better question is whether or not I’ve ever NOT been nervous.  Answer: no.  I’m always anxious, always nervous.  Unless maybe that’s the coffee…

What’s out now and where can readers find out more?

My September blaze is out right now!  Getting Physcial   It’s light, it’s funny, and it’s a blaze, so you know it’s SEXY!

Plus, readers can always contact me through my website: www.jadeleeauthor.com  or at jade@jadeleeauthor.com

Here are a few of her books:

That was a great interview. Thanks Jade and good luck with the new books. Now up for grabs today is a collection of Jade’s books.  Dragonborn, Dragonbound, The Concubine, The Tao of Sex and the New Release Getting Physical.  That is FIVE Books for one lucky winner.  And all you have to do is a few simple things.

First, spread the word. Second, comment. and Finally, you could buy her new books. But I will tell you, a PURCHASE is not NECESSARY to enter the contest.  And purchasing does not guarentee you to win.  We as that comments be respectful and not hateful.  And absoluelty no spamming your own stuff on someone elses post. I hate that and you would too if it was your post.  If you want to have some time with us on a post or a guest blog contact us via email not on a post.  Contest Ends September 28th at 11:59pm EST.

Now there are three ways to ente.r in to the contest and there is NO purchase necessary to enter the contest:

1. To buy one of Any of  Jade’s work (email the receipt) at our Amazon bookstore. Good for and extra 5 entries.
OR
2. Comment. If you comment you get 1 entries.
OR
3. Add us to your Facebook , Twitter   or your own blog if you have one, and retweet and/or repost will be eligible for the drawing.
Good for 5 extra entries on top of your comment. DONT FORGET TO LET US KNOW YOU DID. In twitter when you retweet keep our name in.

As with all our 5 Minute spots, they run for a week this contest will end September 28, 2009 at 11:59 EST. A winner will be picked then and emailed accordingly. Good Luck!

We got Hacked this week.

In General on September 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I am sorry my fellow bloggers, I got hacked.  I had to do a lot of technical stuff to get the blog working again. So we have a new theme. Until I reconfigure the one I had to work with the new stuff I added. I am so sorry for the lost of logins and the such.  I will update later on how we are doing here. Contest still ends tomorrow night at midnight. So please come by and comment. Thanks again for sticking with us through this small catastrophe.

Thanks for your patience,

Rayna

Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan

In Christine Feehan, Paranormal Romance, Vampires on September 13, 2009 at 8:50 pm

darkslayerDark Slayer: A Carpathian Novel

ISBN: 9780425229736

Truthfully I was disappointed with the last two releases of Christine Feehan’s, the Burning Wild and Hidden Current.  I wasn’t impressed to say the least.  I was beginning to think that this was going to be the trend, so I started Dark Slayer with trepidation.  However, I was surprised, pleasantly so.  It seemed her old formula that endeared me to her originally was again at work, along with a twist of more world building.

We are introduced to Ivory Malinov and Razvan, who is detested and feared by all Carpathians as their enemy.  Ivory is the Dark Slayer, the long thought dead sister of the Malinov Brothers has lived alone for centuries with just her wolves, fighting the vampires and trusting no one, not even the Carpathian’s.  Razvan, over the course of several previous books, has been a thread woven through-out with his attempts to inflict evil and death to the Carpathians.  Ivory finds Razvan, in the snow awaiting the sun and to put an end to his life of imprisonment by Xavier, she recognizes him as her lifemate and takes him to her lair.

Ivory and Razvan’s story starts with Ivory caring for Razvan, who has been kept starved for blood most of his life so that Xavier could control him.  Razvan, a Dragonseeker, is brought to up to his fullest potential. As it unfolds, they both share their past lives of pain, distrust and betrayal and learning to trust and care for each other.  With her previous mage studies under Xavier and Razvan’s centuries of being controlled by Xavier, they unite their knowledge and powers to fight and destroy their common enemy, Xavier.

Along the way, they have run ins with the Carpathians society, where they develop a surprising allegiance and battle more than a little distrust.  Ivory, who is one of the oldest female Carpathians, is powerful and share’s her knowledge of Xavier’s spells and her abilities to unravel them adding a much needed security especially to the women.

Learning the back story of Ivory and Razvan has added a wonderful dimension to the Carpathian world.  I really liked Ivory’s Wolf Pack, it was unexpected to say the least and their integration of Razvan was cool.  We also got glimpses of most of old favorites, such as Skylar, Savannah, Gary and many more.  With the introductions of more male vampires, the Malinov Brothers to carry on the threat of Xavier’s evil and the Aunts, I am hoping the books are on a new curve, a development without rehashing the same old stuff.  I’d like and hope to see the continued world building of the Carpathian Society as she has shown in this book.  All in all, I’m glad that I had picked up the books as I feel there was redemption from the previous writings.

Review: A Knight to Remember by Karin Tabke #freeread

In Historical, Karin Tabke on September 13, 2009 at 12:10 am

I found this free short story download  Simon and Schuster.com I thought it was romantic and sexy.  I had thought adorable but I think that was not the word I was looking for.  I want to say it reminded me of the classic Prince Charming tale.  And sometimes a girl needs to get back to basics.  It was refreshing and I liked it.  Even if your not in to historical romance,  get it read it and enjoy it.

5 Minutes with Cynthia Eden

In 5 Minutes, Anthology, contests, Cynthia Eden, Paranormal Romance on September 11, 2009 at 8:58 am

“5 Minutes with…” is a section of the blog that is a a set of questions that are pretty much the same give or take a few. That are meant for us to get to know our favorite authors a little bit more. Some are funny, some have nothing to do with their books; while others hopefully get to the “nitty-gritty” of what the author is thinking. And as with all of our 5 minutes we have a contest to honor our writers. Stay tuned at the end to find out how to enter. Now let’s give a Naughty Chick welcome to Cynthia Eden.

cynthia-edenAbout Cynthia

Cynthia graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama where she studied Sociology and Communication. She worked as a journalist on her university’s paper (yes, she’s admitted to a not-so-secret desire to be Lois Lane). Later, as she traveled the long and bumpy road to romance publication, Cynthia was employed as a college counselor, a teacher, and an editor.

I want thank Cynthia for taking the time to interview with us today.  She is a paranormal author and she is good at what she does.

What project are you currently working on?  (C’mon give us a hint!)

I am currently working on the third book in my paranormal bounty hunter series. The first  book, ETERNAL HUNTER, will be out on December 29th, and I am having so much fun reconnecting with all of the characters!

Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

That’s a good question!  I’m dying to get an e-reader—I’ve heard so many great things about them. And an e-reader would definitely save room at my house.  Will the e-readers take over? Not sure—I think there will always be some people who enjoy the feel of the traditional books. But, hey, there’s room for e-readers and paperbacks, right?

When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

If I am writing a scene and it doesn’t flow for me, then I try switching POVs. Or, I try writing from a completely different point in the book. Mixing things up usually gets my muse going again.

What do you do for inspiration?

Go to the beach. Luckily, I live close to the beach, so I just hop in the car and thirty minutes later, I have my inspiration.

Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?

Well, I’ve recently completed work on a romantic suspense series for Grand Central Publishing. So, I’ve just branched out into one new area (no paranormal characters are in the Grand Central books), but in the future…hmmm…I might like to try futuristics or historical.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

Well, the research depends on the sub-genre of my book. For my romantic suspense books (DEADLY FEAR, DEADLY HEAT, AND DEADLY LIES—those will be out in 2010 and 2011), I did a lot of research on crime scenes and serial killers. I read lots of books, spent far too much time on the Internet, and even got to tour a fire station (for DEADLY HEAT).  Sometimes, research can be fun—and sometimes, it can be scary.

What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

I have two favorites—The Princess Bride and Pitch Black. What? Those are opposites, right? I like the romance in The Princess Bride, and I love the appeal of the anti-hero in Pitch Black.

What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

The best way to relax? I curl up with a good book, of course.

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?

All the books are close to my heart. When I’m writing a book, that one *is* my favorite. I love it, love the characters. So, since I am currently working on my demon and firestarter book…I’ll say my WIP is my favorite. (Though ETERNAL HUNTER is a close second right now!)

How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

Reader response means a great deal. I’ve actually written books because so many readers contacted me and asked about specific characters (MIDNIGHT’S MASTER was written purely in response to the demand for Niol’s story.)  I’m always interested in what readers have to say about my work.

What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

I hope readers are entertained. If a reader can forget the troubles of real-life for a while and relax, then I feel like I’ve done my job.

What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

One reviewer once told me that I kept her up until 3 a.m.—she just couldn’t put the book down. That was, by far, the best praise. Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me!! It was a pleasure.

Booklist

Website

beyonnightWhat we are giving away, a copy of signed Belong to the Night.

Now there are three ways to enter in to the contest and there is NO purchase necessary to enter the contest:
1. To buy one of Any of Cynthia’s works(email the receipt) at our Amazon bookstore. Good for 10 entries.
OR
2. Comment. If you comment you get 2 entries. If you don’t comment then you get none.
OR
3. Add us to your Facebook or Twitter and retweet and/or repost will be eligible for the drawing.
DONT FORGET TO LET US KNOW YOU DID. In twitter when you retweet keep our name in.

As with all our 5 Minute spots, they run for a week this contest will end September 17, 2009 at 11:59 EST. A winner will be picked then and emailed accordingly. Good Luck!

Seduce Me in Shadow by Shayla Black

In Paranormal Romance, Shayla Black on September 8, 2009 at 6:30 am

Seduce Me In Shadow (The Doomsday Brethren, Book 2)
ISBN:978-1416578444
Release Date: September 29, 2009

seduceme
This book picks up straight from the end of “Tempt Me with Darkness.” Lucan is still suffering from the breaking of his mate bond and his brother Caden has flown in from the States to do all that he can to help save his brother.   Caden ran from his magical heritage a dozen  years ago after a family tragedy. He ran as far as he could not just from his family but all of magickind.  While in the States, Caden joined the Marines and is now a fully trained professional solider.  Once leaving the armed forces, he became a renowned photographer doing everything he could to deny his heritage.

Sydney Blair is a reporter for tabloid newspaper “Out of this Realm” and is chasing the story of a lifetime.  The war between factions of magickind.  Through her anonymous source she is getting to close to the uncomfortable truth that the Doomsday Brethren are trying to keep from humankind while trying to protect other magical families.

These two are on a collision course.  Caden only wants to save his brother and then run as far from magickind as he can; Sydney wants to save the world and is running headlong into something she could never dream was real.  Sydney’s assistant has somehow got her hands on the Doomsday Diary and it is now Caden’s job not just to kill the story but retrieve the book.  Add to this Caden is eight days shy of his thirtieth birthday when his magical powers will be revealed.

This book is chock full of action.  There are fights galore (and what doesn’t heat up the blood but a spike of adrenaline?) and twists and turns that leave you craving more.  I really enjoy that Ms. Black has taken parts of Arthurian legend, magic and then combined those two with my all time favourite military/action and packed it all into this book.   I love her portrayal of Sydney as a sassy “firecracker” who not only won’t back down but can’t.  Caden and Sydney are direct opposites of each other and it’s fascinating to read their interactions and see a softening in both once they meet in the middle.  It’s also just a little humbling to see Caden’s growth and acceptance of himself .  Ms. Black, you have done it again.  How many days do I have to wait until “Posses Me At Midnight” comes out?

Firespell by Chloe Niell

In Chloe Neill, Paranormal Romance on September 6, 2009 at 3:00 am

firespell
Firespell: A Novel of the Dark Elite

ISBN: 9780451228864
To Be Released Date January 5, 2010

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…

Friday Night Bites By Chloe Neill

In Chloe Neill, Paranormal Romance on September 6, 2009 at 3:00 am

For those of you who follow this blog, thank you for putting up with the reviews I write that are maybe a bit critical. However with Rayna’s guidance and a bit of pot luck I have been finding some “new to me” authors that are absolute gems. To reel them off I’d have to say LA Banks (Rayna, hats off to you for the recommendation), Nancy Haddock and to add to that list now, Chloe Neill. The thing that all these authors have in common for me is a fresh take on the same ole same ole that I’ve been whining to Rayna about. When reading their books I feel invigorated and refreshed. This leads me to:fridaynight

Friday Night Bites: Second novel in the Chicagoland Vampires series
by Chloe Neill
ISBN: 9780451227935
Trade Paperback
Release date: October 6, 2009

The great thing about this book is that it spends the first couple of pages giving a brief run down about what had happened in the previous book. Not enough to feel like this book is rehashing the first; just enough to refresh your memory if you haven’t had a chance to read them back to back. Merit is back at her snappy best. Seriously, I love this characters attitude and spunk. It’s delightful watching her trying to reconcile her stubbornness and go your own way attitude to a life in a House with rules and regulations. Even down to the clothes she wears. The fact that she might bitch and moan a bit or be conflicted, really gives the character life. You can easily place your feet in her shoes and wince with her when she makes a faux pax.

There are circles within circles happening as you read and you never know what to expect – one minute you are heading down one path and then suddenly you’re doing a 180 degree turn and heading in another.

I love how Ms Neill describes the sensation of Merit’s vampire half undulating under and along her body. As it was described in the book, I could almost feel it happening. I really felt invested in Merit and the situations that she was finding herself in. A couple of times it reminded me of when I was younger, I had inadvertently “let something happen” by saying nothing because I was afraid it might hurt someone’s feelings.

If I was pushed to make a criticism, it would be the way Merit describes men or guys in general as pretty, and that is all I got there, no expounding on it at all, just pretty.

In the end the flow of the book just happened. Reading this book was a pleasure. It was like drinking a fine glass of wine where you sip it slowly wanting to make it last or the rush of sweet taste of great chocolate exploding in your mouth. The pace wasn’t too fast or slow. I got carried away with the story. I was eager to find out what was going to happen and then when it did I was like “I didn’t see that coming. How could I have missed it?” I loved the book from beginning to end. I loved the return of the nemesis and I want to know what’s next. Ms Neill has been able to show that her characters are not defined by what they are rather that they are defined by what they do and who they are. The fact that they are vampires only adds another layer that is yet to be fully explored. Boy, am I glad I got to read these books and I want MORE!

Can’t wait for Firespell, Chloe’s next book.

Read Chapter One

Chloe Neill’s Website