Monday, February 26, 2007
Powerful Wizard Trevor Rains has come back to his childhood home of Castle Borough after the loss of his mother. He felt the need to be nearer to his twin Sister, Tessa, who needs someone to tame her wild ways, as well as to be nearer to Morgan Daemoniani, an incredibly beautiful childhood friend. The opening scene of this book has Trevor and Gideon, his lizard/would-be dragon, spying on Morgan, a down on her luck witch, the only woman Trevor has ever loved. Trevor's young heart was broken by Morgan and he has never forgotten her or the pain she caused him. Morgan herself is desperately lonely, dreaming nightly of a faceless lover, positive that she will end up a lonely old woman. Top all of this off with the loss of her powers, past spells that are reversing themselves, and other inexplicable strange happenings in Castle Borough, and Morgan is one truly miserable witch. Trevor has deemed himself to be just the man to help his childhood friend, but his reasons for offering his assistance are purely selfish. He is seeking revenge for her hurtful rejection. Another long-time friend, King Artimer, is in need of a love potion that actually works. The stresses of running his kingdom, and the expectations for him to marry and produce an heir have given rise to embarrassing performance problems. Trevor helps Morgan by setting Art up with his sister, guaranteeing a night of pleasure for the king, figuring that Art is a nice guy and will be good for Tessa. Neither Art or Tessa could have dreamed how wonderful their night together would turn out, or how much they would enjoy each other's company. Trevor's plan to crush Morgan is met with success after they share an incredible night together, during which Morgan realizes that Trevor is the lover that she has been dreaming of. He does not realize how far-reaching the ramifications of his anger would be. He is so bent on revenge that his obsession has blinded him to the turmoil in the kingdom around them. Ciar Cullen has yet again delved into her incredibly talented imagination and written a book that runs the gamut on human emotion. Her lead characters are written with rich detail and heartfelt feelings. Secondary characters have their own stories that serve to add sensuality and humor, complementing Trevor and Morgan,while taking nothing away from their story. I laughed out loud at the antics of these characters, and pages later found myself sharing their crushing pain. This is a fun book and I can easily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a story filled with sensuality and humor.
I hope you'll go have a look!!
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Here's the backcover blurb:
Some like it hot. The men and women of Alison Kent’s sizzling SG-5 series like it hotter. In this all-new novel of steamy suspense, the jungle is the only place wild enough for a hotshot helicopter pilot and a renegade rich girl with one hell of an agenda…
Bachelor parties are fun, as long as you’re not the poor sap getting hitched…or slipped a Mickey and waking to discover you just became the poor sap. Not to mention that your “wife” is pregnant, and if you don’t go along to her village to meet the in-laws, the nice police comandante will be muy unhappy. Just another day in the life of helicopter pilot J. Jackson Briggs? Not so much. His Smithson Group gig wasn’t supposed to be dangerous, but the the woman who drugs him, then knocks him out, then drugs him again certainly is. She also may or may not be a nun. She’s definitely a lying, scheming, lethally gorgeous…American. Jack’s light years from believing the story Jillian Endicott gives him about her noble cause in the sweltering wilds of San Torisco, but he knows one thing: he’ll get the truth—and plenty more—from her, one way or another…
Being an Endicott of the Boston Endicotts taught Jillian plenty about the haves vs. the have-nots—and made it easy to choose sides. But there’s nothing easy about her mission in San Torisco, and things only get harder when Jack Briggs is thrown into the mix. Six-foot-three of big Texas mouth and big…other things…Jack’s pegged her as a bored little rich girl. Hey, he can think what he wants, as long as he does what she wants. Do unto others what needs to be done—that’s Jillian’s motto. Problem is, Jack knows how to push her buttons from minute one—and the closer he gets to pushing her over the edge, the more she wants him to…Now under dark velvet cover of jungle nights, two rebels with a cause are going deep—and falling hard—for the perfect stranger…
And if that's not enticement enough, here's an exclusive, never-before-seen excerpt:
Jack had to admit he’d had little contact with religious types during his thirty-nine years. His oldest memory was of the base chaplain who’d directed a sort of all-denominational service every Sunday.
He’d been the same one who’d come to the house after the crash, the one who’d told Jack’s mother that her husband had flown all the way to Heaven.
Then there’d been the Air Force chaplain who’d sided with Jack’s grandfather and tried to talk him into a lifetime of service rather than the four years he’d served.
The chaplain at the university had conducted Sunday afternoon services for the premed students who woke up in time to feel guilty about how they’d spent Saturday night.
The chaplain at the hospital had counseled the members of the aeromedical helicopter crew when the stress of flying and fighting to save lives got to be too much.
But the closest Jack had come to a nun had to be Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. Julie’d been a doll, a syrupy sweet stick of candy.
Jack’s nun was a chili pepper. Spicy. Hot. Mouth-watering temptation. Her eyes should’ve belonged to an angel, but were too old and damaged to be anything but human. Jack wondered at the tragedies she’d seen.
Sakes alive! I can't wait to crack this book - just as soon as I finish up two outstanding reviews for Romance Junkies, I'll be losing myself in it!
Bookseller, Lee Ann Daugherty, has compared Alison to Cherry Adair, Suzanne Brockmann, Amy Fetzner and Cindy Gerard - it doesn't get much better than that! This is what she had to say:
I've already recommended you to my customers, but I've just thought ofsome others who I've turned on to Cherry Adair, Suzanne Brockman, AmyFetzer, Cindy Gerard, the women writers who construct great adventure novels with fierce romances attached, that I'll have to turn them on to you, too. Lee Ann Daugherty, Romance "Mistress", Waldenbooks #1393, Elizabethtown, KY
I hope you'll take a chance on winning a copy - all you have to do is tell me you're interested, and you're entered!
LOVER’S LOCKET by Cathryn Fox
Caira, bakery owner and independent woman, wonders if she’ll ever find true love. The portrait hanging in her living room, passed down through several generations of her family seems to mock her. The handsome warrior in the portrait is a constant reminder of what she doesn’t have in her life. One day, while browsing in an antique shop, Caira finds herself drawn to a locket and is told that reciting the etched incantation will help the owner find true love, but at the risk of evil. Caira makes the decision to recite the incantation, surprised by the appearance of her true love. But she and her lover are faced with an unfathomable darkness; will their love be strong enough to overcome?
Caira and her unexpected lover are wonderfully appealing in this tale of undying love by Cathryn Fox. Caira’s previous failures at love have been experienced by every woman, are well-written, and enable readers to understand in her disappointment. LOVER’S LOCKET is an excellent offering in the Alluring Tales anthology.
KILI’S ICE MAN by Delilah Devlin
Kili Wilder’s love for and knowledge of the Gladiator series is a plus when it comes to successfully doing her job of marketing network spots. Her attraction to Gladiator Gunnar Thorsson is strong, and when Gunnar first spots Kili in her office, he is equally and almost instantly attracted to her as well. That is until he eavesdrops on a conversation between her and a friend wherein they agree that someone like him, perhaps not too bright, might make for an interesting partner. He then manages to put himself in the middle of her virtual reality fantasy, in an effort to prove to her that he is more than just a body, and that he is worth taking a chance on.
KILI’S ICE MAN might be short, but the relationship between Kili and Gunnar heats up fast, and is very satisfying. Ms. Devlin’s contribution to this anthology is a fun bit of fantasy, and Kili and Gunnar and their reactions and attraction to one another are a sensual treat.
THE HOTTEST ONE NIGHT STAND by Lisa Renee Jones
When Assistant D.A. Jessica Montgomery stops at dingy bar to use the phone after her cell phone dies, she immediately spots a gorgeous Latino man and is unable to take her eyes off him; she is disappointed when he leaves before she has the opportunity to talk to him. She leaves shortly after he does, even more discouraged when her car breaks down and the only hotel in the area doesn’t have any rooms available. Indulging herself in a good cry, she is startled by the appearance of a man at her car window; it’s the same man she had ogled at the bar. He invites her to share his hotel room, and she cautiously decides to take him up on his offer. After a long, sensuous night spent together, Jessica wakes up alone, totally sated, but somewhat sad, upon finding that her passionate stranger was gone. When undercover DEA agent Dominic Montez surprises Jessica at her sister’s home a week later, will he be able to convince Jessica that he is worth taking a chance on?
Lisa Renee Jones has a knack for writing bold heroes, unafraid of taking charge and going after the women they want. In THE HOTTEST ONE NIGHT STAND, she has penned a story with two successful professionals who are confident in their chosen professions, but just a little unsure of themselves when it comes to love. Witnessing their passion is a true pleasure, just one of several in this sweet story!
OUT OF THE SHADOWS by Myla Jackson
T.J. Evans, a member of a special vampire killing task force for the Houston P.D., can’t figure out what has caused the sudden change of heart of his neighbor, Cassidy Jones. He and Cassidy had recently given in to a shared attraction, becoming lovers, and then shortly after she turned cold and now avoids him, refusing to talk to him. When T.J. discovers that Cassidy has not evacuated, despite an impending Category 5 hurricane, he decides that he must take matters into his own hands to see that she is removed from her home and taken to safety. Cassidy has her own reasons for avoiding T.J., all valid in her frightened, confused mind. When the hurricane strikes, these two must ride it out together, and decide if their attraction can weather the storm to allow them a solid future together.
Myla Jackson’s contribution to this anthology is an incredibly sweet paranormal. The vampire plotline is very well done and I feel certain that even readers who are not vampire fans will find it appealing. Cassidy’s despair is excellently written, and T.J.’s struggle to understand is heartening.
A FAMILIAR KIND OF MAGIC by Sylvia Day
When warlock Max Westin is sent to tame familiar Victoria St. John, he soon realizes that this will be unlike any of his previous assignments by the high council. Victoria sets out to seduce Max almost immediately, and try however hard he may, he can’t resist her feline charms. Victoria isn’t prepared for Max’s persuasive domination; stubborn as she may be, her defenses are down from previous heartache. Max realizes that the high council’s plans for taming Victoria will completely break her spirit, but he’s uncertain of how far he can go to protect her without bringing the wrath of the high council down on both of them.
Sylvia Day has a unique talent for writing totally seductive heroines, and her heroes are always the epitome of male perfection. Max and Victoria are no exception. They are sophisticated, attractive, intelligent characters, and their smooth seduction of each other is simply breathtaking.
TEMPTING GRACE by Sasha White
Grace Walters repeatedly turns down Lukas Martin’s request to go to dinner, until one night when she is emotionally weakened by the loss of a troubled teen that she was attempting to help. Lukas wants more than the one night stand that Grace is suggesting, but decides that he’ll take what he can get. After that one special night, Lukas wants more and refuses to give up on a more serious relationship with Grace. Grace, on the other hand, is determined to refuse Lukas until he gives up. Will Lukas be patient enough to persist, despite Grace’s stubborn resolve to keep him at arm’s length?
Grace and Lukas are written in such a way that readers can literally feel the emotions that they are experiencing. The attraction that Lukas feels for Grace, and her continued denial of feelings for Lukas, are reasonable and very realistic. Sasha White never fails to put forth a unique plotline, interesting, strong characters, and an abundance of sensuality.
QUICK SILVER by Vivi Anna
Sangria Silver is simply doing her job discreetly delivering packages of every sort, when she is hired to deliver a locked case, the contents of which were unknown to her, but undoubtedly illegal. This is not unusual, as Sangria offers an elite service for those who can afford it. What is unusual is when Sangria is forced off the road and the case is thrown from her car, broken open to reveal a bound man. The man is Vance Verona, a sex worker who is hired out to entertain rich, high-powered women. Sangria knows that her failure to deliver is pretty much the equivalent of signing her own death warrant. When Sangria and Vance become lovers, they become more determined than ever to stay alive, because there are two men whose assignment it is to find and kill them.
Vivi Anna’s story gives readers a look into the future with Sangria and Vance’s story. Sangria is a strong, self-sufficient woman, dependent on no one but herself. Vance is an incredibly passionate man, determined to be there for Sangria, no small task given her independent stubbornness.
The ALLURING TALES: AWAKEN THE FANTASY anthology is a dazzling mix of short stories; something for everyone. Sometimes multi-author anthologies fail to engage everyone. Not so with this anthology. The quality of authors and stories is a pleasant surprise, given the quantity. I do feel however, that if each and every one of the stories isn’t a hit with some readers, they won’t be disappointed, again because of the number of authors involved. I give this anthology a high recommendation and feel that readers will find themselves completely satisfied with it.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Here's a pic of Josh Groban from the concert Kelsey and I went to on Wednesday night - he is the little speck in the white shirt in the middle of the stage. I've got to tell you, he's absolutely dreamy!! I was pleasantly surprised that he acts like a regular guy - doesn't seem to have a big head from his fame - he's even a bit of a goofball. No wonder all of those young women were screaming and going crazy over him! It was an excellent show and I would recommend seeing him to anyone who might be considering it.
My boss and his wife had the tickets, but weren't able to attend, so he gave them to Kelsey and I, telling me as I left the office that day to use my company credit card and take the two of us to dinner too - he's such a sweetie. It was a special night for both of us.
Kelsey had an extra special day on Wednesday. She had challenged for oboe first chair in concert band, and was told on Wednesday that she won the challenge - yay! She also had a meeting on Wednesday with the senior art teacher for an interview/showing in application for a spot in the Pro Art program next year - the teacher told her that absolutely, she wanted her in the program. This program helps students put together a portfolio and focuses on advanced art. She could not have been more excited - it was *her* day, for sure!
I hope everyone has a great weekend. Yes, I'm still working on that Alluring Tales review - should have it up in the next day or two.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
My feeling on snow is this: If it can't make it here for Christmas, then I don't want it at all! We were in the middle of an extremely mild winter, 50s and 60s in December, and then temperatures decided to plummet in January, wavering between zero and the mid-teens. About two weeks ago we had our first "significant" snowfall of about five or six inches, and then we were dumped on with an additional 15 inches this past Tuesday. We were sent home from work early on Tuesday and then everything in the area was closed or canceled for Wednesday. We shoveled out by hand twice because Tim's snow blower wouldn't start. Bummer. He and two other neighbors went together a few years ago and bought this big industrial-sized snow blower, capable of taking down anything in it's path. He finally got it started on Wednesday afternoon - I think I heard a collective sigh of relief from the neighbors when they heard that bad boy start! Tim spent the next three hours cleaning out all of the neighbors' driveways, sidewalks, and around their mailboxes so the postman can get his truck up to the curb. He was like a kid in a candy store - too funny! Men and their toys.
I don't think I would even mind the snow so much if it wasn't so danged cold - five below zero this morning, with wind chillls nearing -20. A couple more inches of snow are predicted for tomorrow, and then I think I heard the weather guy say this morning that our temps will be heading into the 30s and 40s sometime next week - woohoo!
The above pics are of Fred, who enjoys the snow the most if he's looking out at it from the comfort of his doggy bed! The other is looking down our court, taken from our driveway.
I hope you're all staying warm and dry, and being extremely cautious out on the road if you're under cover of the white stuff too!
Have a terrific weekend!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Let me call you Sweetheart, I'm in love with you.
Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.
Keep the love-light glowing in your eyes so true.
Let me call you Sweetheart, I'm in love with you.
I have always loved that song; I remember singing to my girls when they were babies. I sang to them all of the time, if I wasn't reading to them, at least until they were old enough to realize that my singing totally sucked. Once they started to laugh at me, I quit singing and stuck with reading! They are both avid readers, to the extent their school schedules permit, and I'm sure it's because of all of the reading we did when they were little. Their dad didn't read to them much, but taught them equally important lessons, like how to bait a fish hook, how to mow the grass so the lawn has perfect stripes, how to check the oil in the car, and how to play poker. He and Kelsey used to play poker every morning (after he did her pigtails or ponytail) while waiting for the time to roll around for him to take her to kindergarten. One of the perks of having a dad who works second shift, I guess!
Do you have a sweetheart this Valentine's Day? I have the same one I've had for 27 years. Neither of us is quite as shiny and new as we were 27 years ago, but we're still very happy together. He's my one true love, for sure. We don't exchange traditional Valentines, haven't for several years. I'll bake him some Valentine cookies and make some fudge, two of his favorites, and he'll buy me something I've been eyeing at the Scotts Antique Market when it comes to Columbus next weekend. I have a bracelet that he bought me last year that's made from old typewriter keys (the round, buttony looking kind) - this year the woman who makes them has some that are made from other, larger keys, like "Tab," "Margin," "Shift" and so on. I was checking them out when the market was here last month, and Tim remembered, telling me last night that he would buy me one on Saturday for my Valentine. He's such a good guy.
I hope everyone has a fun, loving Valentine's Day. If you don't have a sweetheart this year, then by all means, do something nice for yourself!
Big Valentine hugs,
Monday, February 05, 2007
Here is my Romance Junkies review for UNDER THE WIRE:
With seventeen years separating an exciting love affair to present time, can a former Special Forces soldier and a dedicated nurse attempt to put past hurts and misunderstandings behind them and find their way to a future together?
While Lily Campora, nurse for Doctors Without Borders, works in the damp, dark jungles of Nicaragua, she eventually finds herself discouraged by the death and destruction that she and her medical team face every day. When a fellow nurse, who is a dear friend, is killed in a helicopter crash, a flight that Lily should have been on, she is stricken with guilt. When Lily meets a handsome young soldier, Manolo “Manny” Ortega, that same evening at a dinner hosted by a general in the Nicaraguan Army, she feels an immediate attraction, and despite her initial reluctance, she gives in to unexpected desire and the two begin a secret love affair. The affair ends almost as quickly as it begins a few nights later, with Lily being called away in the middle of the night and then told that Manny has died. Seventeen years later, Lily learns that Manny is very much alive, and working as a police detective in the United States. When serious threats are made against someone especially dear to Lily, she knows the only person she can turn to for help is Manny, although she is confused over why he never searched for her when he came to the states.
The moment freedom fighter Manolo “Manny” Ortega first sees Lily, he is determined to get to know her and learn the reason for the haunted look in her eyes. Despite her being a few years older than him, he immediately connects with her, telling her things about himself that he has never told anyone, and quickly falls in love with her. When Lily quietly leaves him in the night, and he is subsequently taken away, shot and beaten, and left for dead, he is certain that she has betrayed him. Manny never forgot Lily; his hatred of her seeming to strengthen his motivation to fight for his life and survive. When Manny is approached to help Lily some seventeen years later, with Lily literally begging him herself, he cannot refuse, although he still isn’t convinced that Lily wasn’t the one who betrayed him all those years ago.
Cindy Gerard has written a wonderfully suspenseful book with UNDER THE WIRE. Lily and Manny are both extremely likeable characters, whose emotions and beliefs are excellently and realistically written. Locations and settings are described with absolute clarity, taking readers into each scene with the characters. Secondary characters, with their unique personalities and relationships, add a great deal of interest and intrigue to the story, past and present. Frequent flashbacks take readers into the past and go far in interpreting the lives and personalities of Lily and Manny. I have read all but one of the previous books in this series and have enjoyed each and every one; UNDER THE WIRE is no exception. These books are a real treat when read in order, but each capably stands on its own. I give a high recommendation for this book, as well as the previous books, to all readers who enjoy riveting romantic suspense.
Check out Cindy Gerard's very cool website http://www.cindygerard.com/ - if you'd like to go to Amazon and order your own copy, here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/031298104X/ref=s9_asin_image_1/103-2381367-0694212
Thanks for checking it out!
Sunday, February 04, 2007
This book is a sensual treat - another winner from Lori Foster! http://www.lorifoster.com Below is my review for CAUSING HAVOC - I hope you'll read it and then go grab your own copy - on sale February 6!!
When extreme fighter Dean “Havoc” Conor receives a letter from one of his estranged younger sisters, he decides to take advantage of an upcoming lull in his fight schedule to make an unannounced visit. Dean was sent to live with an uncle after the deaths of their parents when he was nine, while his sisters remained in the family home with an aunt. Dean always assumed that his sisters were living the good life while he lived meagerly with his uncle. It turns out that he could not have been more wrong; things were not at all as he had assumed. His sisters have worked hard for everything they have. On Dean’s first night back in Harmony, Kentucky, he stops for a cold beer and runs into Eve Lavon, a beautiful, stubbornly independent woman, and is instantly smitten. Dean immediately has his hands full, pursuing a relationship with Eve, getting to know his sisters, making repairs to their house, and dealing with his own personal business matters.
Eve isn’t looking for a relationship when she meets Dean. She is more concerned with persuading her best friend, Cam, to dump her no-good boyfriend. When she finds out that Dean is Cam’s long-lost brother, the two join forces to protect the sisters. Dean insists that he isn’t going to act like a big brother to his sisters, but once he gets to know them, he can’t help but want to protect and spoil them, which is very pleasing to Eve. Eve has witnessed first-hand how Cam and Jackie have struggled, and she is thrilled that Dean is stepping in to take care of them. It’s the attention that Dean has been giving her that has Eve confused. She’s afraid to let herself get too connected, for fear that he will be leaving soon.
It is heartening to see Dean soften and become very protective of his sisters. Equally touching is watching the relationship between Dean and Eve blossom. They both deserve happiness and need each other far more than either is willing to admit. Lori Foster never fails to write characters that are caring and comfortable. Secondary characters keep the story moving without bulk or confusion, and you can’t help but hope that you’ll see more of them in future books in this series. It is easy to give this book a strong recommendation, especially to those who appreciate a heartwarming story with an abundance of sensuality.
Here's a link to Amazon.com so you can throw a copy in your shopping cart! http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0425214230/ref=s9_asin_title_1/103-2381367-0694212
As always, thanks for checking it out!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Here's a link to the American Heart Association - http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200000 - it's chock full of great information about heart health and how to support their wonderful research. I hope you'll all go check it out.
We are finally experiencing winter in Ohio. Several inches of snow on the ground and more on the way over the next few days. The biggest shocker is going to be the cold temps that are on their way - they're predicting that it will be below zero for several mornings early next week. I hate walking from the parking lot to my office (about two blocks) when it's that cold - you know how uncomfortable it is when the little hairs in your nose freeze? lol
Kelsey is going to Sibs Weekend at OU this weekend. I'm leaving work early tomorrow to drive her down, it's about two hours each way, and then will go back Sunday to pick her up. If the weather is bad, we won't be going. Since Lindsay is living off campus this year, Kelsey can go stay with her anytime, so it's not a huge deal if she misses this weekend. Tim has to work Friday and Sunday, so he can't go with me, but he is off on Saturday and we're going on a date. Probably just to dinner and the mall or something, but it will be nice to spend some time together - alone.
I hope everyone has a terrific weekend - please be careful if you're out on the road.