Friday, February 26, 2010

Exciting March News...

As I idly sat here, on another boring winters day, I pondered about some ideas for this blog. It dawned on me why not attempt some author interviews? I was so anxious at the thought I immediately began emailing previous review authors, and some favorites at random. I am amazed at the steadfast replies. I could no longer send another email out- then I get one back from another.

Beginning March 14 until March 27 I will be featuring a new interview with a new author each day. I have quite a few confirmed already and as soon as I get more confirmations I will be posting the schedule of which authors on what days. If you do not have me on your facebook, you may have missed one I am so excited and in awe of to work with. I'll give you a hint- she has an amazing talent at vampire stories, among other genres as well.  Stay tuned for more info.

The Accessory by: James G Hutchison

I stumbled upon "The Accessory's" facebook page by author James G Hutchison. From there I decided to take a chance and contact him in regards to doing a book review for him. He so graciously accepted. I admit I was a little hesistant in reading this due to my own personal religous confusions. The story however seemed so compelling I had to give it a shot, and rightly so I am glad I did. Here is the outcome.....

"The Accessory is a fast-paced story that explores how religious extremism is used by the country's elite to further their own agenda of greed, no matter who stands in the way. Sean and Leslie Hodges are two aspiring young adults heading to the top of the charts with their indie band Indigo Insight. Twelve miles south of town, a mining corporation with ties to a secret society are trying to set up shop... the teens' lives are forever changed by a bizarre discovery about their past, and the corrupt activities of the country's financial power brokers. "

As I said above, I was hesitant about reading this novel because it was a christian based book. However further reading into it, I realized that the religous parts of it were actually not as grandeur as I was fearful of. From the beginning of the book after reading the first two chapters I was immediately drawn into the story aside from the policality and religous aspects. James begins with a hook that lures you.

I just browsed through the webpage again and my opinion was confirmed. He stated that he is inspired by Dan Brown and John Grisham. My thoughts before even reading that were "reads like a John Grisham legal thriller." There were parts of this book that a lot of the descriptions just were too in depth, only did I realize towards the end how it gave it more character. The way that James describes in depth band practice and all of its entirety to help someone, like me, understand about the works of a band.

There are a lot of characters throughout the story. At some point you wonder why are there so many? When does it all tie together? For me, it wasn't until part three when all of the characters and the entire story came together.

There were just a few things that I didn't like involving this book. Firstly it was sometimes frustrating trying to understand the Canadian type of talk and wordings of sorts. I found myself re-reading parts a few times before I understood what he was meaning. This isn't in evil criticism it's just simply a country barrier of languages. Just like in America some of our states have different ways of speaking that an outsider has to ask, "say what?" Secondly there was a lot of grammatical errors, missing words etc. I am accustomed to this since I have been reading prior ARC's which is, again, aside from the point. In the final result I am sure the editors will fix them. Lastly, as much as I read I always love to know more about the author. For some reason the author info wasn't anywhere in the book. I hope they had added a portion to the final result for his readers to get to know him a little, in addition to his work.

The epilogue leaves you at a climactic point wondering if this is the end, or is this the beginning of a new "Accessory?" Upon reading further on the webpage, yes, there will be a sequel titled "The Witness." I am anxiously awaiting the second novel from this promising up and coming writer. It could easily be turned into a film. Who knows, one day it just might!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Series By MaryJanice Davidson

Hey readers! Me again. Anyways I am excited to show you an email I received today from MaryJanice Davidson's assistant. .......

Steven -

Congratulations! MaryJanice has picked a number of people to review her newest series (Me, Myself & Why) and you are one of them!

Please email me your mailing address. The book will be sent directly from the publisher.

After you read it, please take a moment & let me/MJ know what you think! Don't worry if you don't like it - just let us know! All comments will be very useful!

Tracy Fritze

I am really excited about this. Clearly I have plenty of books to read still, but yay! I am unsure of what the series is about, since it's not even anywhere to be found on her website. However in reading just one of her books I know very clearly I will be enjoying it at any extent.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Contest Wins

Hey readers. I can't remember if I blogged about my win from Goodreads or not. If not I was the winner of Gonville: by Peter Birkenhead. I also recently joined the Samhain Winter book contest. I didn't win any of the hourly giveaways, yet I did win the daily giveaway. The prize was my choice of any of the newly released e-books. I opted for The Lost Son: by Mykael Black. I also just downloaded a copy of Snow Plowed: by Ally Blue (short story). I am so excited for all of these wonderful books to be coming my way. Stay tuned for "The Accessory: by James G Hutchison" review coming this week.

Thrifty Book Shopping

Hey readers, yesterday was a fun time. I hit one of the local thrift shops, my neighbor unknowingly is the boss. After various moves in the past decade, I have lost almost my entire book collection. I stumbled upon some books I needed to replace:
The Testament, The Pelican Brief,  & The Chamber: All by John Grisham (I <3 his legal thrillers.)

In addition to those I found some I haven't read:
The Tale of the Body Thief: by Anne Rice
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: by John Berendt
Halloween Night: by R.L. Stine (I couldn't pass this up. I lovvvvvvved reading his work in elementary-high school!)

I also found two books in a series I've never heard of/never read/and looked oh so tempting:
Children of the Vampire: The Family Dracul #2  by Jeanne Kalogridis
Lord of the Vampire: The Family Dracul #3 by Jeanne Kalogridis
(I need to get Covenant of the Vampire: The Family Dracul #1 by Jeanne Kalogridis and I can begin what looks like a promising trilogy.)

Lastly I hit the frikkin' motherload! The very first thing that caught my eye as I stepped thru the vintage portal that is a thrift store, was a set of books wrapped up ever so adoringly with a satin ribbon priced $5.00.  I was drawn to it like a fly to a flystrip. Low and behold, it was The Chronicles of Narnia books 1-7. I almost fell right there on the floor. Amazingly enough the set is in almost perfect condition minus book 7 it looks as if some kind of liquid has dripped onto the edge of the books pages. They're a reproduction from circa 1970 some printing. AMAZING!

I realize I have roughly 9 books I am in need of reviewing but an avid reader can't just have one good book. For me I think of books as a woman thinks of collecting purses or shoes. However for me I want to do more then try them out.

The Accessory Update

Hey readers. I have been so consumed with fantasy and horror, as always, that I decided to take a break and enjoy something new for a change. James G Hutchison very kindly offered to send me a copy of his very first book "The Accessory." I began reading it a day or so ago and am pleasantly surprised. I am about 2/3 finished and hope to end it tomorrow. If all goes as planned I will have the review up late tomorrow night. So stayed tuned and look forward to another great review by yours truely. Oh and also check out his website for the book he is taking part of his proofit and putting it towards the Haiti victims. What a kind and generous man.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fireflies by Ally Blue

A Sidhe warrior in exile. A young man with powers he’s only beginning to understand. In their hands, the fate of two worlds.

A childhood encounter with one of the Sidhe sets Joseph Vines’ life on a fateful course. Unable to forget the beautiful creature who promised to one day return for him, Joey spends the next twenty years learning, dreaming and waiting.

Braeden Shay, a warrior of the Sidhe, has spent those same twenty years watching Joey from a distance, waiting for Joey’s heritage to make itself known. When the time is ripe, Braeden steps in to protect Joey from those trying to kill him, and to help him deal with the changes turning his life inside out.

During the days that follow, as Braeden teaches Joey to harness and control his newfound power over the natural world, Joey finds himself falling for the gentle, patient Braeden. Braeden, who has watched over Joey for most of his life, is already deeply in love with him. When the forces targeting Joey for death catch up with them, it will take all their magic—and the power of their love for each other—to survive, and to save both their worlds.

Once again I must thank Ally for graciously sending me a copy of Fireflies. This was one of her works that just called my name. I knew I had to read it, and I knew I would love it.

Where shall I begin? This was truly a wonderful blend of reality and fantasy. Aside from the faery aspect, the story is believable. A couple destined to be together even tho they had not a slightest clue. The fact that Joseph's father issues. A mother's intuition, which cut deep into my heart- especially towards the end. Another great thing was the location of the story- Asheville, North Carolina. Ally has set the novel here and describes various locations that I have seen. Although I may have only seen them briefly in my time here, it was a cool feeling to know an author has set her story in a place you actually live in. It gives it an almost surreal feeling. However most importantly to me, was the fact of the characters being a gay couple. Ally loves to break stereotypes and I can tell by her use of an interracial couple. So what if it's an interracial-"mythical" couple. I believe in non-discrimination, even in fiction, and she has made this happen.

Anne Cain has done the illustration for the cover of Ally's book, and I have to say it's just beautiful.  The way that Ally has described Joey's tattoo is just dead on to the cover that shows Joey's back tattoo. I want it myself! It goes into even more depth with how in one section Ally is describing a scene. You can read that section and look at the cover pose of Joey & Braeden, and you just know it is straight off the page. I sincerely hope Ally at some point takes Joey's story and expands it into a second book. Tir-Na-Nog is a magical place and who wouldn't want to know what happens in Faery land?

There are a few quotes that I read and just had to save for my review. This first one I believe rings so true and could even be used as an empowerment statement, as well as the mantra it is used for in the story. "It's okay to be afraid. Do not try to deny it, but do not let it rule you. Acknowledge it, allow yourself to feel it, and let it go. Only then will you be able to do what must be done." I loved that saying and feel I can use it in my own personal life, as well as anyone else who may be afraid of something or someone.

The other two stood out as well to the same extent as the one above, but in different contexts. "The future is not predestined, though those who attempt to change its course often bring about their own downfall."  "Because you are indeed a virgin in matters of the heart. Because for all the men you've bedded, you've loved none until now." Ally's beautiful ability to turn words into things that are a magical wonder is just wonderful in all that it is. This is a must read and I encourage my friends and readers to look out for this book because you too will fall in love with Joseph's journey and self-discovery.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Attack of the ARC's...

Hey Readers! Last week I recieved the e-books from Ally Blue, and 3 from Harlequin- The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by Raeanne Thayne, Vanished by Maureen Child and Dragon's Lair by Denise Lynn. I started reading Vanished last night, but quickly passed out 10 pages in to the book due to lack of sleep. :(

Today I was blessed to recieve a shipment by Ally Blue: Fireflies & What Hides Inside- Bay City Paranormal Investigator novel, book #2 in the series. In addition, I also got a copy of James G Hutchison's novel: The Accessory. Hey, and it doesn't stop there! Harlequin sent two more novels from the Inspirational line in their romance novels: Dad In Training by Gail Gaymer Martin & Apprentice Father by Irene Hannon.

I am still awaiting the arrival of Intertwined by Gena Showalter & Even the Demon's Believe by Timothy Williams. I have more than enough books to keep me reading for the time being. Hopefully they come after a finish a chunk of the ones I already have. Hehehehe! Snowstorms just keep coming where I'm at readers. I don't know about your locations, but even if they're not go grab a book and indulge yourself into a guilty pleasure of a great novel.

Oleander House by Ally Blue

When Sam Raintree goes to work for Bay City Paranormal Investigations, he expects his quiet life to change—he doesn’t expect to put his life and sanity on the line, or to fall for a man he can never have.

Book One in the Bay City Paranormal Investigation series.

Sam Raintree has never been normal. All his life, he’s experienced things he can’t explain. Things that have colored his view of the world and of himself. So taking a job as a paranormal investigator seems like a perfect fit. His new co-workers, he figures, don’t have to know he’s gay.

When Sam arrives at Oleander House, the site of his first assignment with Bay City Paranormal Investigations, nothing is what he expected. The repetitive yet exciting work, the unusual and violent history of the house, the intensely erotic and terrifying dreams which plague his sleep. But the most unexpected thing is Dr. Bo Broussard, the group’s leader.

From the moment they meet, Sam is strongly attracted to his intelligent, alluring boss. It doesn’t take Sam long to figure out that although Bo has led a heterosexual life, he is very much in the closet, and wants Sam as badly as Sam wants him.

As the investigation of Oleander House progresses and paranormal events in the house escalate, Sam and Bo circle warily around their mutual attraction, until a single night of bloodshed and revelation changes their lives forever.

The thing that drew me to this book, first off, was the fact it's part of a series. Secondly, what drew me to it was the premise. I love horror as I've clearly stated many times before- a gay supernatural horror story is even better.

The character Sam Raintree was as most of the world would call a person of his stature- a whore. He gets hired on to help the BCPI crew with an investigation. Little did he know he would lust, and eventually fall in love with his straight boss in the process of the investigation. Oleander House was a mystery in and of its self. Many unexplained murders have happened there over a length of time. Sam and the crew attempt at uncovering the reason of the murders. Sam, Andre, & Cecile (I always want to say Cecil- lol!) all begin having gory-sex nightmares. He begins to envision things, yet he can't explain them, mostly due to his feelings for a man he can't have. Things escalate and the nightmares and the relationship between Sam & Bo get worse.

 I really enjoyed this book, however I did have a few things that made me want more from it. I don't want to divulge some of the info because I would feel it may ruin the story for anyone who wants to read it. Yet, there's a point towards the end that an event I don't think should have occured, or even maybe occured to another character. I also was hoping for more of a story after that "unsaid" incident happened, and before the epilogue. I think it was just a sense of wanting more to read on, as if something was missing. One more thing I want to point out is the sex scenes between this and Dragon's Kiss. I don't think that I can compare them because both works are in two seperate categories. However, I feel that Dragon's Kiss was way beyond a more extreme detail than in Oleander House. Yet in Oleander House the scene was imaginative. I hope in the continuing of the series I get my wish that Bo & Sam somehow can arrange a pleasurable "real" moment.

Thanks again to AB who with amazing talent has created another beautiful piece of work. I recieved her shipment today with autographed copies of her books Fireflies & What Hides Inside BCPI Series #2.  Looking forward to continuing Sam's story along with the help of the Bay City Paranormal Investigator crew.

Dragon's Kiss by Ally Blue

In a future ruled by superstition and fear, wanting the wrong man can be deadly.

A Mother Earth story.

The rules governing a Pack-Brother’s existence are simple. Love your Brothers. Protect each other and your Tribe with your life. Seek sex only within the bonds of Brotherhood, or your life is forfeit. The laws are harsh, but fair. Or so Bear has always thought. Then he and his Brother Lynx capture a stranger in the Carwin Tribe’s outlying lands—Dragon, a Brother from a distant Pack, banished from his Tribe for the crime of challenging things he shouldn’t.

Dragon intrigues Bear from the start, and not just because of his exotic beauty. Interest in the decadent old world is discouraged in this post-Change society. Dragon is the first person Bear’s ever known, other than himself, who’s curious about the vanished past. That kinship sparks a forbidden attraction between them. An attraction which is, if they give in to it, punishable by death.

In the space of a day, everything Bear was raised to believe is called into question, and he must make a life-changing decision—follow the law, or follow his heart.

First off I want to thank Ally Blue for being so gracious to send some stranger like mwah her work to review. *giggles* I also want to say how hard it is to give a review on a book that is written by someone you've actually been in contact with. I hate to offend her or give a wrong impression so here goes...

This is a story of a post-apocalypse era. I was in major of awe of how a woman, straight-married-has children none-the-less could write about a gay romance as deep and sensual as she did. The story focuses on Bear & his unbeknownst lover who is an outcast from another "clan." Bear has always been curious about life outside of his bubble. One day his friend Lynx and himself go on a hunt to capture a lurking being outside of their encampment. Lynx & Bear capture the being which turns out to be the outcast-Dragon. Things escalate and Bear decids to go against his instilled belief's and leave all he's ever known with Dragon as his mate.

I sincerely don't think that any woman could have outdone Ally's graphic and very believable portrayal of gay sex. I was also amazed at how a (under 40 page) short story could have so much detail and depth to it. I think my only complaint would be how short the story is. I wished it was more like a novel, short stories are a tease to me. I am excited for the release of Bear & Dragon's continuing story later this fall.

Props to AB for her creativity, enthusiasm, and her sense of humor. She kills me everytime.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ally Blue Update

Hey all while I am on here, just wanted to keep you all posted. Yesterday Ally Blue sent me an e-copy of Dragon's Kiss, and Oleander House. She is sick , :( ,  and will try to send me out some print copies of a few books this week. I am excited to read her work. It makes it even more thrilling knowing she is a local author around where I live.

In addition to Ally, Harlequin emailed me, I guess my shipment has been shipped, FINALLY!, and will be arriving soon-or so I hope! So hit your local library, book store or even a friend or family member's home and cuddle up to a good book because winter isn't over yet.

Undead & Unwed: MaryJanice Davidson

Betsy Taylor turns 30, gets laid off, is killed by an SUV and wakes up dead all in the same week. The vampire community is convinced she's their prophesied Queen. But she's not having any of it—she's got shoes to buy! And now the undead world is being turned upside-down by a Bela Lugosi throwback and her subjects expect her to take care of it! Why didn't she read the handbook? But her would-be consort, Eric Sinclair, is (annoyingly) ever-present. If only he wasn't so tall, dark, gorgeous...and undead.

Hey all. Well my friend Marie had purchased a copy of this book and sent it to me for my birthday. If it weren't for her I don't think I would have ever heard of it.

The book was simply *vampire bite* tasty. MJD grabs your attention from page 1, holds onto you and barely relinquishes you at the end. This book, IMO, is the baby of Confessions of a Shopaholic and a vampire. Betsy is one of the funniest vamps to come around since Buffy. It only took me about a day to read the book it was so refreshingly funny. As I neared the epilogue I became all excited. Not to just finish the story, but in anticipation of moving on to the second book in the series. I would recommend this book to any. Even my mom, who ia afraid of horror began reading it this morning. My favorite line in the book was "Do lesbians have periods?" I loved the adult humor in it and the sex of course. I wouldn't say this is remotely a book for some minor. Then again I grew up in a strict Catholic family. Thank you MJD for luring in another fan. Until next time....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ally Blue

Hey gang! Well yesterday was my birthday- one that I wasn't ready to embrace. Yet it embraced me instead. I recieved a call from an old roomy, my friend Marie, and various family members. My facebook account was blowing up with bday wishes. I thought I was going to never catch up. Now that I am, I am excited to tell you about yesterday.

I came across a wonderful website that does book contests. There were so many, I think I entered all but 10. So many "good reads." which is probably why they called it I also recieved an email from a local author in my area named Ally Blue. She is such a wonderful person and hilarious is just one of her many traits. She is offering to send me some of her books for me to blog upon.  Ally has one series, Bay City Paranormal Investigations, that I am absolutely excited to read. It revolves around a gay group of Paranormal Investigators with some "hot sexy manlove" as Ally would say. :) "Dragon's Kiss" is another, and even "Fireflies" a novel about what I believe are faeries.

In addition to all the ARC's, and book giveaways coming my way, my friend Marie purchased the "Undead Series" by Mary Janice Davidson for my birthday. I am excited to add them to my book collection. I'm getting fidgety readers not having a good book to indulge myself in. Hope one comes tomorrow. Until next time., check out the link section to view some amazing people.