Archive | November, 2010

Review: Heaven’s Spite by Lilith Saintcrow

30 Nov

Heaven’s Spite by Lilith Saintcrow
Mass Market: $7.99
Orbit (November 2010)
ISBN: 978-0-316-07417-9

Favorite Line: “A merry, Christmas-like sound, but if you knew the real story behind Santa Claus you’d probably never want to hear sleigh bells again.” (p. 245)

Dead bodies are turning up all over Jill Kismet’s city. It seems like the norm, except her pager won’t stop buzzing and the hellbreed keep coming at her. And Perry has a gift for her, a gift which makes her quest for vengeance burn brighter than it ever has before.

Heaven’s Spite is book five in the Jill Kissmet series written by Lilith Saintcrow. I picked up the series because I loved the Dante Valentine series. (Psst…Those five books, Dante Valentine, have been compiled into a single volume which goes on sale March 2011.) I don’t like this series as much as Dante’s, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying and reading each book. Heaven’s Spite is, hands down, the best book in the series.

Jill is kept moving from the opening page until the final page of the book. She has little time to consciously think about her decisions. She simply reacts. That can be dangerous when you’re fighting for your soul.

I love a book which makes me care so much that I become emotionally involved with the situation. This book did it for me. At moments I held my breath not knowing what was going to come. But it’s the fact that I bawled like a baby which makes this a keeper for me. Is there really anything else I need to say?

Books in the Series What others think about Heaven’s Spite:
Night Shift A Great Read
Hunter’s Prayer Liz’s Book Buzz
Redemption Alley Daily ebook Reviews
Flesh Circus
Angel Town (not yet released) Final book in the series.

Paranormal Questions

27 Nov

I was reading Amanda Ashley’s Night’s Master (told you I owned most of her books 🙂 ) and found myself wondering about paranormal books. What jobs, if any, do the women in paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories have? Off the top of my head I came up with bookstore employee or owner, cop, lawyer or no job at all. Now to put it to the test. I’m going to try to compile a list of jobs out of all the paranormal romance and UF books I read in 2011. We’ll see how it goes. What do you think about me keeping track of the information on a separate page of the blog? I welcome you to add titles and jobs to the list as well.

Meanwhile I want to know:

Review: Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover

27 Nov

Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover
Mass Market: $7.99
Pocket Books (November 30, 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7629-0

I don’t like to give spoilers, but I guess this review has some. Sorry guys. 😦

Favorite Lines: “It took me half an hour, but I filled the grave. I buried an innocent man alive.” (p. 355)

Jayné Heller inherited more than money from her uncle when he died. She learned about magic and became the leader of a group which destroys demons. So when her lover’s ex-wife contacts the group about strange occurrences at Chicago’s Grace Memorial Hospital, Jayné and her four companions travel there to investigate. What they find could destroy the group forever.

M.L.N. Hanover, aka Daniel Abraham and half of the writing group which forms James S.A. Corey, writes the urban fantasy series The Black Sun’s Daughter. The series follows a twenty-something year old woman’s attempt to protect humanity from demons.

Its lead character is Jayné, a human imbued with magic powers which work as a personal security system. She is fast and strong and can even fight when threatened. Everything she never was before her uncle died. She is estranged from her family, so the men surrounding her are much more than just her friends, they are her new family…her family by choice. Vicious Grace is a book that tests those bonds.

It also touches on the topic of rape. I know many people get upset when rape is used in urban fantasy stories. I am not one of those people, but the way Hanover approaches the topic should put other readers at ease. It is not a violent, visual attack. It is simple: when a person takes away another’s right to choose to have sex, it is rape. This can be done through brute force, drugs or magic.

I guess the best thing I have to say about Vicious Grace is it makes me want the next book, Killing Rites. The story is a turning point. Things aren’t pretty in urban fantasies because you never know when a tidbit of information or a major event is going to force you down another path with different people. Know this: the last sentence of the book is a doozy. It will change everything.

Books in the Series What others think about Vicious Grace:
Unclean Spirits Night Owl Paranormal
Darker Angels Fantasy Literature
Vicious Grace
Killing Rites (not yet released)

A Movie? Mars Needs Moms

26 Nov

Mars Needs Moms is a children’s book written by Berkeley Breathed; the book, about a boy who follows his kidnapped mother to Mars, will be released in January 2011. It will be much more than a book. Disney has made it into a 3D movie which will be released March 11, 2011, according to the Internet Movie Database. What do you think about it? Do you want to see it?

Happy Thanksgiving!!

25 Nov

Review: Silver Zombie by Carole Nelson Douglas

24 Nov

Silver Zombie by Carole Nelson Douglas
Mass Market: $7.99
Pocket Books (November 30, 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-4391-6781-6

Favorite Lines: “Its manta shape has spread and thinned… tentacles… like endometriosis leeching into the very bones of her pelvis. And it’s… not the same anymore.” (p. 234)

Delilah Street met her lover Ric Montoya, adopted a half-wolfhound Quicksilver and found herself running from a vampire and a werewolf mob, all in Vegas. Too bad people wanting Delilah dead don’t only live there.

In search of answers to Delilah’s hazy past, Delilah and Ric will return to her home state of Kansas in hopes of shining light on long hidden secrets. They should beware. They might find reality to be worse than the nightmares plaguing Delilah.

Silver Zombie is book four in Carole Nelson Douglas’ Delilah Street series. It picks up where Vampire Sunrise ends; read the previous three books before attempting this one.

As usual the world building in Douglas’  Delilah Street series is excellent. It is glamorous with a filthy underbelly where zombie traffickers exploit the dead and humanity  hides the horrors it inflicts upon the innocent. Characters from the previous three books make appearances and the intro to Silver Zombie recaps past events. Basically if you’ve already read the series there is no real need to re-read anything. Although you will miss the emotional tone which accompanied the telling of each tale.

The past is usually hidden for a reason and that reason is seldom pretty, as Delilah finds out. In Silver Zombie, she takes an emotional whoopin’ but keeps right on tickin’. While digging up the past, she still has to deal with the events of the last book. She feels guilty about her actions and the effect they had upon two people in particular. That guilt often overwhelms her, forcing her to do things she really doesn’t want to do. It makes her seems a little weak, but very human.

My favorite part of the book is when a character from the previous books makes a short, but meaningful appearance. That character is my favorite man (?) in the series and this book shows how important he will be to the overall arc of the series.

It’s really hard to review this book without giving away spoilers. So I’ll just end by saying zombies are everywhere in the story. You name it and they’re probably there. Delilah should be glad none attacked her in the bathroom. lol

Dancing with Werewolves
Brimstone Kiss
Sunset Vampire
Silver Zombie

Silver Zombie is already available for purchase at Amazon and B&N. I think it’s kinda funny that the electronic copies have to be preordered, but the mass market books are available for shipment now.

I ♥ Covers: Christmas with a Vampire

23 Nov

I’m very tempted to buy this book simply because I love its cover. There is something about the man on the cover which screams: “Buy Me!” or is it “Bite Me!”? Christmas with a Vampire is on sale now (B&N: $4.39-mass market; Amazon: $5.59-Kindle), but it’s listed release date is Dec. 1, 2010.

Books I Want: December 2010

21 Nov

Biting the Bride by Claire Willis (December 7)
Sunni Marquette has always been a little different. There’s the whole mind-reading thing, for a start, which comes in useful for a criminal defense attorney. Except that lately, Sunni keeps encountering people who are immune to her gift. Like Jacob Eddington, the star witness in her latest case. And her best friend Isabel’s new fiance, Richard Lazarus, who’s as sinister as Jacob is attractive. Not that Sunni intends to interfere – until she learns that Richard is a vampire who’s made a centuries-long career of marrying wealthy women, then killing them for their inheritance. Sunni is convinced Jacob is a vampire, too, and that he’s her only chance of saving Isabel. With his help, she’ll discover powers she never knew she possessed, an enemy who’s closer than she could have ever guessed, and the kind of love that’s worth staking everything on – if she can just stay alive long enough to enjoy it…

Defiant by Jessica Trapp (December 7)
Three years ago Jared St. John was imprisoned, wrongly, for the murder of his own brother. Now, finally free, he wishes only to live in peace, hoping to heal the darkness that plagues his soul. But his self-inflicted isolation is destroyed when he is drugged, spirited away to a church, and forced to marry a brazen enchantress against his will…Lady Gwyneth of Windrose knows something of false imprisonment, but that doesn’t stop her from abducting a stranger when it’s her only hope of gaining her liberty. Yet the moment she’s alone in her unwilling new husband’s powerful presence, everything Gwyneth thought she knew of men – and of seduction – falls by the wayside. For the first time in her life, it’s not freedom Gwyneth craves…but to give herself over to unyielding passion…

Primal Seduction by Sydney Sommers (December 7)
Primal Hunger
Kennedy’s spirited nature sometimes gets her into trouble, but now she’s in real hot water. She needs to put her sexy, brooding boss out of her head—an impossible task when he offers her a ride home.
Gargoyle cat-shifter Tristan Callaghan has no time for anything but finding the Arthurian dagger that will free his brother. Now that Kennedy is sitting next to him in his car, though, his craving for her is sharper than ever.
The distraction is costly. In a split second, she is dragged into a hunt that marks her for death. To save her Tristan must sacrifice his quest…or the one woman meant to be his.
Primal Attraction
Sorcha lives to track and eliminate rogue immortals, but her latest target—a sexy, gargoyle shifter— is convinced she’s his mate. For the first time, she’s unable to kill her target.
Cale Callaghan is stunned to find Sorcha is alive, but the woman he aches to possess doesn’t recognize him. Worse, she’s after the same Arthurian dagger he needs to save his brother. His only hope to protect his family and reclaim his mate—ruthlessly take advantage of her one weakness. Her desire for him…

The Valkyrie by Mandy M Roth (December 7)
For Valerie Falkyr, “Who am I?” isn’t the only unanswered question. It’s where she was before she woke up four years ago. All she knows is she has one best friend. And Payton, the doctor she trusts with the shreds of her life.
Just as her relationship with Payton starts to heat up and Valerie begins to reach out for something like a normal life, a series of bizarre and unexplainable events begins pummeling her from all sides. Leaving her with a new question to add to the list: “What am I?”
Magical abilities she didn’t know she possessed are emerging. And dreams of a former life she doesn’t want to remember leave her in a cold sweat.
As darkness descends and old enemies resurface, Valerie finds herself caught in a dark, bloodthirsty world with no way out. Her only defense—Lucha, Gregory and Kerr, three not-quite-human lovers from her inked-out past.
The only question left is whether she will survive long enough to remember which one loved her most…

Day of the Dragon by Rebecca York (December 7)
Beautiful archaeologist Madison Dartmoor unearths an astonishing find, one of vast importance to a handsome stranger-a man who is not human, and who holds a dangerous secret that may break her heart.

Right Hand Magic: A Novel of Golgotham by Nancy A. Collins (December 7)
Like most Manhattanites, aspiring artist Tate can’t resist a good rental deal-even if it’s in the city’s strangest neighborhood, Golgotham, where for centuries werewolves, centaurs, and countless other creatures have roamed the streets.
Her new landlord is a sorcerer name Hexe, who is determined to build his reputation without using dark, left-hand magic. As Tate is drawn into Hexe’s fascinating world, they both find that the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing-and avoiding darkness is no easy trick…

Alien Tango by Gini Koch (December 7)
It’s been five months since marketing manager Katherine “Kitty” Katt started working with the aliens from Alpha Centauri, and she and Jeff Martini are getting closer. But when an experimental spacecraft is mysteriously returned to the Kennedy Space Center, Kitty and the rest of her team are called in to investigate. Now the team must survive murderous attacks, remove a space entity from a group of astronauts, and avoid an unhinged woman with a serious crush on Kitty’s high school boyfriend. And that’s all before evil masterminds decide Kitty’s extermination is vital.

Demon Underground by S.L. Wright (December 7)
Half-human and half-demon, Allay has finally warmed up to her new life feeding off the customers at her downtown bar whens he finds herself brokering a truce between New York City’s most powerful demons. But when she senses assassins around every corner, Allay hides out of sight and underground-until combatants in the growing war tempt her back above the surface…

Soul Hunt by Margaret Ronald (December 28 )
The hunter has become the hunted . . .
Without even realizing what she was doing, Genevieve Scelan has made a bad bargain. The Red Sox fanatic and supernatural tracker known as “Hound” for her extraordinary power of scent wishes she could leave magic behind now that she’s eradicated the evil cabal that oppressed Boston’s undercurrent for centuries. But now her talent’s fading, the local adepts’ squabbles are turning ugly, and worse, she’s just discovered that she owes a very large debt to someone . . . or some thing. And in the undercurrent, debts are taken very seriously. Evie has until midwinter to pay up . . . or else. So when she gets a job that might save her—even if she’s breaking all her own rules to take it—she can’t pass it up. Now, with danger at her back and uncertain allies beside her, she’ll trace the very bones of Boston itself to protect both the city and the people she loves.

Senseless by Mary Burton (December 28 )
The vicious burns scarring the victims’ flesh reveal the agony of their last moments. Each woman was branded with a star, then stabbed through the heart. With every death, a vengeful killer finds a brief, blissful moment of calm. But soon it’s time for the bloodshed to start again. Ten years ago, Eva Rayburn and her sorority sisters were celebrating the end of the school year. That party turned into a nightmare Eva can’t forget. Now she’s trying to start over in her Virginia hometown, but a new nightmare has begun. Every victim is linked to her. And Detective Deacon Garrison isn’t sure whether this mysterious woman needs investigating – or protecting. Only Eva’s death will bring peace. Only her tortured screams will silence the rage that has been building for ten long years. Because what started that night at the sorority can never be stopped – not until the last victim has been marked for death.

Crimson Wind by Diane Pharaoh Francis (December 28 )
THERE ARE GOOD GUYS. THERE ARE BAD GUYS. AND THEN THERE’S MAX. Max knows what trusting the wrong person can cost you. Her former friend Giselle, a powerful witch, enslaved Max years ago, turning her into a Shadowblade—a deadly warrior compelled to fight for Giselle. But there’s more at stake now than Max’s thirst for revenge. The Guardians, overseers of the magical world, have declared war on humanity and on any witches not standing with them. Max and Giselle have come to an uneasy truce in order to protect what’s left of Horngate, their coven’s home. Max would do anything for Horngate—even give herself over to a mysterious otherworldly creature in the nearby mountains in exchange for his help. But first, she intends to save the mortal family she left behind. And Alexander, the Shadowblade warrior who could be her closest ally or her deadliest enemy, is going with her.
On a road trip into the unknown, Max and Alexander face wild magic, desperate enemies, and battles that bruise both body and soul. But the greatest challenge will come from unexpected revelations that test everything Max believes about who she is—and where her loyalties lie. . . .

Ruthless Game by Christine Feehan (December 28 )
GhostWalker Kane Cannon’s mission plunges him into a hot zone more personal than he anticipated: the hiding place of Rose Patterson-hunted fugitive, ex-lover, and a fellow GhostWalker desperate to save the life of her unborn child. Kane’s Child.

Arcane Circle by Linda Robertson (December 28 )
Even magic can’t solve everything. . . .
After facing down the forces of Fairy in mortal combat, Persephone Alcmedi still must deal with the aftermath. Not only does Seph now possess deadly secrets she must hide from the arcane and mundane world alike, but the dozens of magical creatures who’ve taken up residence behind her cornfield need food and shelter, and there’s still her foster daughter Beverly’s tenth birthday party to plan.
And that’s not all. . . . Seph’s boyfriend Johnny has revealed himself as the wærewolf Domn Lup, and the ruler of the wære world is en route from Romania to make sure Johnny really is the “king” he claims to be. But Johnny’s hiding a dangerous secret: his magic is locked in his mysterious tattoos. He and Seph must find a way for him to reclaim it—fast—despite those who have no intention of letting Johnny gain his full powers. Seph knows that, in the arcane world, strength is always a necessity and power must be constantly proven, but how far is she willing to go to succeed . . . and at what cost?

Ascension by Caris Roane (December 28 )
Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with super-natural 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.

Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole and Gina Showalter (December 28 )
AUTHOR GENA SHOWALTER puts a daring spin on a tale of huntress and hunted . . . and concocts a sensual chemistry that is positively explosive.
With only skin-to-skin contact, Aleaha Love can change her appearance, assume any identity. Now she’s an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent on a mission to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. Only she is held captive when dangerously seductive Breean, a golden-skinned, iron-willed commander, threatens her new life—and for the first time, Aleaha wants only to be herself.

Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff (December 28 )
The magic she tries to hide . . .
Born a lady, but reduced to surviving in the slums of Dublin, Catriona O’Connell has been hired to steal a mysterious book from Aidan Douglas, Earl of Kilronan. But Cat is secretly Other, an age-old mixture of Fey and human—something Aidan recognizes immediately when he surprises the lovely young burglar in his library, about to steal a magical diary.
. . . is the magic he desperately wants.
From the moment Aidan sees her, Cat’s spirited beauty enchants him, but her uncanny abilities are what he truly needs, for Cat can understand the mystical language in the diary he inherited from his murdered father. So Aidan makes an offer: translate the book or be thrown in prison as a thief. And as Cat slowly deciphers each page, she and Aidan are drawn together by passion . . . and into the violence of the Other world that is the Kilronan legacy. Can they defeat those who seek the book, or are their lives in even greater danger than their hearts?

Hellforged by Nancy Holzner (December 28 )
A demon is stalking Vicky’s dreams-just as several of Deadtown’s zombies are viciously attacked and become really dead. And when Vicky realizes she is the only connection between the victims, she suspects that the demon is somehow working through her dreams to become Deadtown’s living nightmare.

Eternal Prey by Nina Bangs (December 28 )
A magnificent creature, Utah wants vengeance against the bloodsuckers who murdered his brother. Once the beast within him is unleashed, he won’t rest until every vampire is destroyed. But he never expected to encounter a leader of his immortal enemies who was so beautiful, bewitching . . . and mortal.
It is Lia’s destiny and her duty to stop the renegade vampires who are intent on annihilating the human and non-human races alike. But she never dreamed that Utah, once a deadly foe, would now become her ally and protector, or that loving him would be more dangerous than anything she’s ever faced before. For when Utah frees his predator soul, there will be no end to the carnage.

Cookin’ with Scooper: Dump Cake

20 Nov

As a kid there were only a few places I was allowed to spend the night; my uncle’s house was one of those places. His wife was not a cook, but one thing she made often was cherry dump cake. Lately I’ve been fantasizing thinking about it. Often. I’ve mentioned it to a few people and get the same blank reaction. (Cue chirping crickets.) Even my mother doesn’t remember it. (?)

So, I’ve brushed up on my dump cake making skills via the Pioneer Woman. You do know the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, right? No, well let me help you. She is pure awesomeness. She writes cookbooks, takes photos and homeschools her four kids. In February 2011, she will release another book–The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels–A Love Story. Enough of my gushing and on to my generic super simple recipe.

The ingredients: Cake mix (yellow is best), margarine or butter and pie filling. 

How to make it: Peel the paper off of empty tin cans. Fill each can half way with pie filling and the other half with cake mix. Top with a dollop of butter.

Place the filled cans on a cookie sheet and bake at 375° for about an hour. After 20 mins. poke the top with a knife to help the pie filling bake up through the cake mix. Let set for 10 mins., then dump it on a plate. Add whipped cream and eat.

Review: Everlasting Desire by Amanda Ashley

19 Nov

Everlasting Desire by Amanda Ashley
Mass Market: $6.99
Zebra (September 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-4201-0444-8

Favorite Lines: “She was used to being in the company of handsome men, but there was something about this man that had every nerve and cell in her body tingling and on edge. Apart of her wanted to throw herself into his arms, to beg him to stay with her forever, while another part of her wanted to run away and hide while she still had the chance. (p. 8 ) Continue reading