Archive | December, 2008

How important

31 Dec

is Google ranking to you? At one point my Google rank was 5. Today I looked and my Google ranking had dropped to 2. So, I did what most people do. I read up on how Google comes up with their rankings. The first item is pretty logical. Get people to link to you and in return link to other people.

The next one is to use specific words repeatedly. So instead of just saying the title of the book one time, I should say it every time and not replace it with words like: it or the book. I refuse to make my blog posts a pain to read and won’t be following their advise, but I want my rank to go up.

What can I do? What do you do? Does Google ranking really matter? What are your thoughts on this?


Playing with Fire by Katie MacAlister

31 Dec

playingwithfiremacalisterFavorite Lines: “I will lock you away in the darkest depths of Abbadon,” Magoth warned, his voice taking on a pitch that was painful on the ears. “I will make you suffer every torment I can think of, and I assure you, minion, I have spent millennia devising tortures to bring even first-class demons to their knees begging for release. ..You will survive each day, living in perpetual torment, with no hope of reprieve, May Northcott. No hope whatsoever.” (p. 328)

May Northcott is a doppleganger whose twin gave her to one of the dark lords of Abbadon and as a minion is forced to do his bidding, which usually involves stealing something he wants. Her latest assignment puts her in the home of an archimage, a powerful man and one of the leaders of Otherworld, to steal a bottle. She takes more than she is sent for. Before she can take it back, the irate man puts out a bounty on her head.

Gabriel Tauhou, leader of the silver dragons, is impressed by May after discovering her tussling with Drake and Aisling’s guards. He can see her when others can’t, even when she is slipping into the shadows. A mistake has May drinking out of Gabriel’s cup and bam…they discover May is Gabriel’s mate.

Katie MacAlister continues her dragons series with the first book about the silver dragons, Playing with Fire. Healers, they are under a curse that even they can’t break; no mate of a silver dragon will be born. So, when Gabriel finds May he is stunned and pleased to find she fits the bill as a person created and not born.

May is not free to love though. She feels love, but as a minion knows her lord could demand anything and feels it’s not right to sacrifice or endanger Gabriel. She also has a little problem of being hunted by Otherworld’s law and her sister is being blackmailed. May is a lovable person, created into a horrible position and worthy of finding love.

This book had me laughing out loud and crying at the end. It is a fun read that will be sure to capture your heart and a spot on your keeper shelf.

Curled Up, Library Girl, and A Gaggle of Girls, all read Playing with Fire. How about you?

Ewww! Not loving

30 Dec

the way Christine Feehan’s Dark Hunger graphic novel looks. It is cheesy and I groaned as I flipped the pages. I loved the original book, but this off shoot is a joke. I know that graphic novels over emphasize the emotional aspects of the story, but dang it’s over emphasized the point of making fun of the story. I kept waiting for the “take me now” to come. I’m very pleased that I picked this up at the library, because if I’d have spent money on it I’d be pissed.


Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance

29 Dec

midnightsdaughterchanceFavorite Lines: “A clinical pewter gaze watched as I arched in white-hot agony, my body bent like a bow as flames poured through me. Fire ate away at my nerve endings, but instead of deadening, the pain kept building, getting worse every second until it felt like my bones would climb right out of my flesh.” (p. 308)

In a world that hates and fears dhampirs, Dorina Basarab, is alone but for one friend, Claire. A dhampir, she doesn’t make many friends and is prone to fits where she rages with no memory after the event.

Her friend/roommate Claire has been missing and Dorry is determined to find her. Unfortunately the fae are looking for Claire, too. The search proves traumatic when Dorry’s father enlists her aid in finding and trapping her uncle Vlad (Dracula) who wants to kill her. And the handsome French vampire, Louis-Cesare, keeps insisting that he’s in charge. For a woman used to being alone, life has gotten awfully crowded.

Midnight’s Daughter is an interesting foray into the urban fantasy world of Karen Chance. This world is the basis of four books and at least one short story, so when I heard about a new story being created in it I was optimistic and excited.

Ms. Chance didn’t disappoint me, either. She gave me a girl born of a vampire and human, forced to fight for survival on a daily basis and with one friend in the world. Then, she twisted her into a mouthy, strong and smart woman. Dory knew when to shut her mouth and when to kick ass.

The story is told in the first person, from Dory’s perspective and is the start of a new series guaranteed to be hot. Hints of a romance to come, mixed with an old Chance character, Mircea, is a sneak peak of a little of the action associated with Dory.

Dory wasn’t the only interesting character by a long shot, though. There is a grieving widow/troll seeking revenge. She was huge and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She was also a crafty creature. Dracula, the scorned brother of Mircea. And I can’t forget Radu, another brother of Mircea, looking for peace.

Overall, I loved the story and only one thing struck me as abrupt. There is a scene where a traitor is caught and a fight begins. Then like a comedy, at an unexpected moment, the traitor pops into view before being quickly dispatched. It felt… off and abrupt.

Here’s what Romantic Times, The Romance Reader, Monsters and Critics thought about the story, and what Karen Chance had to say when she blogged about it at Midnight Moon Cafe.

Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh

28 Dec

hostagetopleasuresinghFavorite Lines: “The possessive, protective nature of the cat uncurled in a lazy movement. It pushed at him to reach out, to show her she wasn’t alone. But that was the way of Pack. And Ashaya was nowhere close to Pack.” (p. 124)

Dorian Christensen’s sister was murdered by a Psy psychopath and he has nursed a hatred of the Psy people ever since. A sniper, he is also a DarkRiver sentinel whose genetics make it impossible to shift into his animal self, but this disability does nothing to stop him in his pursuit of the only woman both he and his leopard want.  A woman who is part of the same group of emotionless people that killed his sister.

Ashaya Aleine is the scientist in charge of the neural implant laboratory. It is her job to create a working device that will turn the Psy people into a hive-like race, and to ensure her cooperation the counsel has taken her child, Keenan.

When Keenan is rescued, Ashaya begins a deadly withdraw from the Psy community and a cat and mouse game with her sister. Her sister, a woman determined to have Ashaya all to herself, and a woman who wants something that Ashaya has.

I fell in love with Nalini Singh‘s Psy-Changeling world in Slave to Sensation. It is a world of humans, psychics and shifters that refuses to turn its back on love despite the many incentives to do so. The world is continuously evolving and stretching while trying to fix the many wrongs humanity has done to themselves.

A great pairing is made in Hostage to Pleasure in the form of Ashaya and Dorian. Both have been traumatized and together jump over the hurdles of life. They don’t keep huge secrets from each other, but lay down their cards in hope and trust. This method works for them. It makes them likable and made me root for them.

In the beginning, it took a lot to make me sympathize with Ashaya, because Psy people seem cold and their relationships with their children are non-existent. The children are their legacy, not an emotional tie. By showing the cracks in Silence within Ashaya, Singh made me understand the hidden core of the woman destined to become Dorian’s mate.

All I wanted was for Dorian to be happy and by giving me a worthy heroine, Singh made me believe it was possible.

A book is about entertainment and I was definiately kept entertained and happy with Hostage to Pleasure.

Cover Art Diana Rowland

27 Dec

markofthedemonrowlandThis is Diana Rowland’s debut book set to release  June of 2009. Sounds interesting.

Blurb: When Homicide Detective Kara Gillian finds traces of arcane power on a body, she quickly realizes that this is no ordinary murder. The serial killer known as the Symbol Man is a nightmare that Beaulac, Louisiana thought had ended three years ago, but now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he is well-versed in demonic lore.

However, Kara is a Summoner of Demons, and may be the only cop on the city’s small force who can stop the killer. Able to see and interact with a world most people can’t, Kara soon discovers that the Symbol Man is also a summoner, one who seeks to gather enough arcane potential to summon a Demonic Lord–a potent entity who, if bound, would give the killer nearly unlimited power.

But Kara has encountered this Demonic Lord before and has been unwillingly marked as the Lord’s own. With the aid of an FBI agent who may be more than he seems, Kara must stop the killer and keep the Lord from being summoned, all while defying the same Lord’s demands that she call him to her–an action that could bring new and terrible meaning to the phrase “Hell on Earth.”———- Diana Rowland’s website

Night Child by Jes Battis

24 Dec

nightchildbattisFavorite Lines: “Can you screw death? Or is it exclusively a top?” (p. 226)

Tess Corday is a probationary CSI-1 called to investigate a vampire death. Able to sense auras, she is a low level employee who bucks authority and is told that this case is win or lose for her. If she solves the case all will be fine, but screw up and she is out of Central Occult Regulation Enterprise (CORE), the group that solves magical crimes.

The dead vampire has two clues on his body: a picture of him with a woman and an address. When Tess follows up on the address, she meets a young girl,the girl’s demonic aunt, and a conspiracy firmly rooted in the vampire community. She’ll need the help of the vampire liaison, necromancer Lucian Agrado.

Night Child is an interesting foray into the scientific world of investigative crime work. It gave me flashes of the television series CSI, but where the television show is easy to follow because of the pictures the book is much harder. There are long interruptions in the storytelling so as to explain the science behind many different moves. It was distracting.

I understand that Mr. Battis is a doctor with strong ties to the gay and lesbian community (because it says so in the thank you part of the book), but it was uncomfortable for me to read the first person story of Tess Corday (a young, straight woman), who used words of endearment within the gay community-by this I mean words like fag and twink-constantly in her inner dialogue. It felt wrong; not because there were gays, but because the woman was thinking like a gay man. Maybe I just don’t know women who think like her (and maybe I do and they just don’t tell me), but it was a niggling in my mind.

Once I got past those things, I found myself enjoying the interaction between Lucian and Tess. Lucian was mysterious, sexy and powerful. There is one sizzling scene between the two of them that was the highest point of the story.

The dark parts of the story were great and sometimes creepy. And the murder who-dun-it aspect eluded me (although I feel really dumb that it did).

Overall, it was interesting. I’m not mad that I read the story, but I’m also not interested in reading science enough to closely follow the series.

Touched by Venom by Janine Cross

23 Dec

touchedbyvenomcrossFavorite Lines: “It took several weeks for me to recover from the circumcision.” (p. 188)

Zarq Darquel is a scrawny member of a poor pottery clan on a large dragon estate. A child, she inadvertently gains the attention of the dragonmaster after winning a race and gets her first taste of dragon venom before a series of horrible events that end with her father being fed to a dragon, her mother made insane and her sister sold into the dregs of sexual slavery.

Touched by Venom is book one in the Dragon Temple Saga that is an epic journey undertaken by a young girl who was given a boy’s name at birth, Zarq. Zarq is born into a patriarchal society where women dare not question men. In this society boys are considered men as soon as they lose their baby teeth.

Zarq is a child when the events begin to take place. She wins a race and as a reward is given a venom soaked handle of a whip to hold. With no protection on her hand, she is injured, and the boy she raced against takes it personally. He attacks and insults Zarq before later breaking tradition and causing the clan to become paupers.

Touched by Venom is a hard book to read. The terminology is difficult to learn and remember. There is no glossary. Terrible events take place. Sexual issues are explored: sexual slavery, sexual acts, circumcision, castration and sexual status. All play important roles in understanding the society, and eventually Zarq’s growth.

From the innocence of a child, we watch Zarq unfurl into an addict determined to avenge her wronged family. This can be no easy task, as women are at the bottom of the social ladder and her position…it is even lower than the lowliest. Keep in mind that Touched by Venom is book one in a saga. The ending is a cliff-hanger, but on the flip side if you’re interested in the tale the next few books are already out.

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

23 Dec

fromdeadtoworseharrisFavorite Lines: “Sitting here on your bed, smelling your scent,” he said in a voice so low I had to strain to hear it. “Sookie…I remember everything.” (p. 215)

Louisiana vampires were weakened by Hurricane Katrina and the attack at the vampire summit. Their numbers are down, their finances diminished and their queen out of commission.

The werewolf community is divided after several pack members are murdered and suspicion falls upon the pack leader.

As a friend to the vampires and werecreatures, Sookie Stackhouse, is very aware of the changes wracking the community around her. Despite this she can’t help but wonder about her almost boyfriend, Quinn. He was badly injured in the attack at the vampire summit and she hasn’t seen or heard from him in the month that has passed.

From Dead to Worse features most of the characters we’ve met in the series. Alcide the werewolf, Bill, Eric, Pam and other vampires, the Hotshot were panthers, Sam, Tara, Quinn, ect…all make an appearance that leads to betrayal, remembrances, attempts at reconciliation and truces.

Sookie’s heritage is a big topic in this book. We learn why she’s so attractive to the supernatural men and it’s a little different from what Bill said in the beginning. (You know that the more vampire blood she drank the more appealing the supernatural men would find her.)

I was really disappointed in Quinn too. After the last couple of books, it seemed like they were making a little headway, but obviously I was wrong. I’m also waiting for Quinn’s murderous actions to come to light. They will, I’m sure. I just don’t know when.

How about checking out what SF Site, Stusplace, All About, Karissa’s Reading, or Charlotte’s Web of Books thought about From Dead to Worse.

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

22 Dec

alltogetherdeadharrisFavorite Line: “When someone has had approximately a thousand years to practice kissing, he can become very good at it, and I would be lying if I said I was immune to such osculatory talent.” (p. 91)

What can go wrong at a vampire summit when the Queen of one of the territories is accused of breaking a contract? Well everything when Sookie is involved, or everything could go great because of her.

Sookie is going to the summit as a paid member of the Queen of Louisiana’s group to act as a lie detector while the queen interacts with other royalty and their humans. After a Hurricane Katrina weakened Louisiana vampires and made them a prime target for takeover, the queen has to portray the correct image and not be convicted for breaking a contract so that she can rebuild her wealth and strengthen her position.

All Together Dead marks a turn in the Southern Vampire series. No Sookie still doesn’t know what she’s going to do from a romance perspective, but she becomes permanently tied to the supernatural world and Eric in particular during her adventures at the summit.

Many of the events from Living Dead in Dallas make an appearance in ATD. The Dallas vampires, their telepath, and the fanatics are mentioned. And the events from Definitely Dead are brought up with deadly consequences.

Quinn and Sookie have little time together at the summit, but they do find time to discuss their compatibilities to one another. Quinn’s past is brought up and his aversion to vampires becomes clear and understandable.

In Bon Temps wedding bells are ringing all over the place. It’s as if everyone is finding their happily ever after while Sookie is trying not to die. More importantly, the wedding information works  nicely to balance all of the destruction that is taking place.

This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but some of the choices made will have severe repercussions in the books to follow I’m sure.

Visit Calico Reaction, Blog Critics, Reviewing the Evidence, Literary Feline, and Peripheral Gravity to read their thoughts on All Together Dead.