Excerpt for the Long Awaited Queen of Song and Souls by C.L. Wilson

Exciting News! C.L. Wilson has posted the prologue and chapter one to the long awaited Queen of Song and Souls on her website. Go forth and experience a moment of pure happiness!

Queen of Song and Souls by C.L. Wilson
Book 4 of the Tairen Soul series
October 27, 2009

Book Blurb from author's website
The first deadly battles of the new Mage Wars have been fought, and victory has been won at a terrible price. As the toll of an unfulfilled matebond and the torment of war begins tips Rain towards madness, Ellysetta knows if she cannot find a way to defeat the darkness growing inside her and complete the truemate bond, Rain will die and she will become the prophesied monster Vadim Maur uses to destroy the Fey and enslave the World.

New Book Cover: Kitty's House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn just posted on her blog the newest book cover for her Kitty Norville series, book 7, Kitty's House of Horrors, due to release on January 1, 2010.

I really like this cover, fits in with the previous books in this series.

Book Blurb from Hachette Book Group
Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life.

The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in . . . before it kills them all.

Some Girls Bite - Chicagoland Vampires, Book 1 by Chloe Neill

Some Girls Bite by Chloe NeillSome Girls Bite by Chloe Neill
Book 1, Chicagoland Vampires
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009
Pages: 341
Read Chapter 1
Author: Website | Twitter

Book Blurb:
They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago's vampires announced their existence to the world-and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker... and this one decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Turns out my savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I've traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four hundred year old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude-and servitude. Right...

But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I'm surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy, and Ethan's attitude are the least of my concerns. Someone's still out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood...

My Ramblings:

I absolutely loved Some Girls Bite! It was a pure enjoyment to read and is going down in my list of top reads this year. A lot times a book can get bogged down with laying out the ground work for the story but you won't get that in this book. Not one bit. Everything is so well laid out and interwoven throughout the book, this story just flows seamlessly. This book isn't one of the darker Urban Fantasy books, it's of the lighter variety with tension filled moments.

Merit is sensible with a bit of snarky attitude and a stubborn streak, which lands her in a few hot spots with Ethan Sullivan, the master vampire of Cadogan House, who expect total submission from his subjects. Merit and Ethan are a prime example of opposites attract.

The secondary characters help strengthen the backbone of this book but they don't overpower Merit's story, they only contribute to it, helping to endear you to them and Merit. Camaraderie shared between Merit and her friends remind me of the interaction between Buffy and her friends on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Some Girls Bite was an exhilarating read with some unexpected turns in the plot that will leave you surprised and wishing that the next installment of this series was already on the shelves time you finish reading it. If you haven't read Some Girls Bite, don't wait any longer. Go out and get this book, you will not be disappointed.

The second book Friday Night Bites releases on October 6, 2009, that's one Tuesday release day that can't come soon enough.

Chicagoland Vampires Series:
  1. Some Girls Bite
  2. Friday Night Bites - October 6, 2009

Other Reviews:

New Book Cover & Burb - A Tale of Two Demon Slayers by Angie Fox

Angie Fox has posted the official book blurb for the third book, A Tale of Two Demon Slayers, in her Accidental Demon Slayer series, which is set to be released on January 26, 2010

Official Book Blurb:
Last month, I was a single preschool teacher whose greatest thrill consisted of color-coding my lesson plans. That was before I learned I was a slayer. Now, it’s up to me to face curse-hurling imps, vengeful demons, and any other supernatural uglies that crop up. And, to top it off, a hunk of a shape-shifting griffin has invited me to Greece to meet his family.

But it’s not all sun, sand, and ouzo. Someone has created a dark-magic version of me with my powers and my knowledge—and it wants to kill me and everyone I know. Of course, this evil twin doesn’t have Grandma’s gang of biker witches, a talking Jack Russell terrier, or an eccentric necromancer on its side. In the ultimate showdown for survival, may the best demon slayer win.

A New Option for Book Buying - The Book Depository US

I discovered The Book Depository UK when I was trying to get my hands on a copy of The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod. They offer free shipping world wide and their prices are comparable to Amazon.com, in a lot of cases cheaper. The good news is The Book Depository has opened a online US store: The Book Depository US, this was brought to my attention on Twitter last week by @Has_Bookpushers. Plus they are still offering free shipping world wide. I'm not sure if they are opening a warehouse here in the US to speed up the shipping time but when I ordered from the UK store, I received my books in about 6 days, I live in Central Texas. Which really isn't bad considering the shipping was free and I didn't have to purchase a yearly membership to be eligible for free shipping or try to create an order totaling $25 or more to be eligible for free shipping.

Another perk to buying from The Book Depository is you can also use PayPal as a payment option, in addition to the traditional form of online payment of credit cards.

The Book Depository doesn't sell ebooks at this time but they plan on doing so in the future.

Oh, one other thing I noticed, you can get the UK version (if it has been published over there) of a US book. So, if you like one book cover versus another, you have choice between the two book covers at one bookstore.

I went out and did a price comparison to Amazon.com (since they are the most widely used online bookstore), searching for various book media types, results are below. The results should make a lot people happy and shows everyone that there is an alternative to buying from Amazon.com and other online bookstores.

BookMediaAmazon.comAmazon.com S&HThe Book Depository
The Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead*Mass Market Paperback$6.99$3.99$3.49 - 50% Discount
Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene FrostMass Market Paperback$7.99$3.99$7.96
Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn KenyonHardcover$16.49$3.99$12.48
Blood Memories by Barb HendeeTrade Paperback$10.99$3.99$11.89

*If you have a Kindle, iPhone or iTouch you can download The Thorn Queen for free right now. I do not know how long this sale will last, so if this is an option for you and you want this book, hurry and grab it.

Books Bought & Received - 7/26/09

The First Sign of the Zodiac
The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson

I received this book as part of the Autograph Game started by Cassandra Curtis. It's my turn to read The Scent of Shadows. I'm so excited to be a part of this game plus this is a series I've been wanting to read for awhile. I've never done something like this before. So this book is my next read.

Synopsis from author's website
When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert.

By rights, she should be dead.

Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset – a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow – seeking answers to whom or what she really is ... and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.

But the nightmare is just beginning – for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful Shadows want her for their own...

The Light of Burning Shadows by Chris Evans
Book Two of the Iron Elves
I won this book over at Graeme's Fantasy Book Review. The amazing thing is I won it this past weekend and received it in the mail on Thursday. So, I'm ordering book one this week. Yep, that's all I need is another excuse to buy another book. Actually, I was already going to get the first book because Anna's spotlight on the this book, over at Anna's Book Blog.

Synopsis from Amazon.com

"They might be doomed, damned, and buggered for all eternity, but that didn't mean they couldn't sparkle like a diamond in the sun and grin like a skull in the moonlight on their way to oblivion."

Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in this second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves' perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency.

The Iron Elves, shunned by their own people for bearing the mark of the Shadow Monarch, and desperately wanting to forever erase this shame, became legendary for their prowess on the battlefield as the Calahrian Imperial Army's elite shock troops. But when their commanding officer, Konowa Swift Dragon, murdered the Viceroy of Elfkyna, he was exiled, and these brave elves were banished to a remote desert outpost, doomed and leaderless, their honor in tatters.

Recalled to duty to reform his regiment from the dregs of the Imperial Army, Konowa thwarted the plans of the Shadow Monarch at the Battle of Luuguth Jor -- ensuring that the fabled Red Star, a source of great natural energy, did not fall into Her hands. Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in a desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose very loyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally -- and fearsome enemy -- in a growing conflict that threatens all?

Personal Demons by Stacia Kane
Megan Chase/Demon Book 1
Bought at The Book Cellar (local bookstore)
I bought this book after reading Stacia Kane's Dame for a Day Post over at Deadline Dames.

Synopsis from author's website

“Hi! How may I slay your personal demons?”

When psychological counselor Megan Chase promises listeners to her new radio call-in show she’ll slay their personal demons, they believe her. So do the personal demons.

Megan doesn’t know she’s the only human alive without a personal demon on her shoulder. This, coupled with her psychic abilities, makes her a valuable weapon for any demon mob-like “family” lucky enough to gain her allegiance. It also makes her a serious threat not just to the personal demons, but to a soul-sucking Legion of Hell known as The Accuser. The Accuser already has an old score to settle with Megan, and sees this as the perfect time to do it.

But Megan isn’t without allies as she’s plunged back into a world she forgot existed. A member of a competing demon family sees Megan as his ticket to power, and sets about both protecting and seducing her with devilish intensity.

Can Megan, her new demon lover, a witch with poor social skills, and three cockney guard demons named Malleus, Maleficarum, and Spud defeat not only The Accuser, the personal demons, and the ghosts of Megan’s past, but the reporter who threatens to destroy Megan’s career as well?

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Bought at Amazon.com when I heard they were already shipping this book. My stepdaughter and I are both wanting to read this book. She has already read the prequel, so she primed to read it now. I plan to read the prequel today before I start The Scent of Shadows.

Synopsis from author's website


She doesn't see dead people, but...

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...

The last thing you hear before you die...

Darkness Calls - Hunter Kiss, Book 2 by Marjorie M. Liu

Darkness Calls by Marjorie M. LiuDarkness Calls by Marjorie M. Liu
Hunter Kiss Series, Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009
Pages: 303
Author's Website | Twitter
Read an Excerpt

Book Blurb:
They are the obsidian shadows of my flesh - tattoos with minds, hearts, and dreams. By day, they protect me. But when night calls to them, they leave my body, dissolving into their true form - as demons…

Nomad born and bred, demon hunter Maxine Kiss has always relied upon herself to fight the darkness that surrounds her, the predators-human, zombie, and otherwise - who threaten the earth. But one man has penetrated her lonely life: Grant, the last of his kind. With music he is able to control any living creature…including demons. And now his life is in danger.

Haunted by the past, determined to change the future, Maxine soon understands that to save Grant, she has only one choice-to lose control, and release her own powers of darkness…
My Ramblings:

Darkness Calls begins shortly after the ending of The Iron Hunt, the first book in the Hunter Kiss Series. You will find the same exquisite story telling style that was displayed in The Iron Hunt, and the action is pretty much non-stop from start to finish, gritty and dark in nature as before, moving at a faster clip than the first book. A couple of new characters are introduced, helping spice up the storyline and some answers are given to the questions left dangling from the first book.

I want to say, I adore the boys! The boys, Maxine's living, demon tattoos, are indestructible, sharp as obsidian, yet soft and adorable at the same time. It depends on if they consider you friend or foe, which side of them you get to see. I loved how the boys would hum a Bon Jovi song that would fit the situation at hand throughout the book. It helped heighten the drama and give you a feel for that scene.

"Their tiny claws pricked my skin like kneading cats, and their soft, high-pitched hum of Bon Jovi's "Social Disease" filled the air."

Maxine's and Grant's roles are almost a reversal from the usual boy/girl relationship. Usually, you see the guy as the dark, brooding, kick your ass personality in the relationship but not here. That's Maxine's role. Don't interpret that as Grant is a pansy because he's not. Grant can definitely take care of his own and then some. Grant is Maxine's lighthouse when the waters are dark and rough.

This series should be read in order, especially since The Iron Hunt sets the back story for the Hunter Kiss Series. As you can probably tell, I'm hooked on the Hunter Kiss Series, I'll be looking for the next novel when it comes out.

Hunter Kiss Series:

Other Reviews:

Go Team Chance!

A couple of weeks ago Ann Aguirre, author of Blue Diablo, posted about getting her author swag from Zazzle. At Zazzle, you get to design your own swag plus you earn commission when you buy your own swag and what others buy from your Zazzle store. Ann had a great idea to donate her savings/commission to First Book, when I read this I thought, "What a great idea!" It's a win-win for everyone. Especially for the kiddos who are going to get some good reads because of my purchase and that of others. That right there is a whole other level of awesomeness!

Well, I hurried over to Zazzle, ordered a fangirl button and a t-shirt. A Team Chance t-shirt. Here's a picture of me (don't laugh!) in my sweet Team Chance t-shirt. Is this how you pictured Chance? So, what team are you on?

My son called me a nerd when I tucked my t-shirt in for the picture!

New Cover: The New Dead edited by Christopher Golden

Kelley Armstrong just posted the US cover to the anthology The New Dead on Twitter. It's gory, isn't it? I love it!

Christopher Golden is the editor on this new anthology due out in February 2010. Here's a link to his blog post with the details and full list of authors.

SF/F Interesting Tidbits & More 07/22/09

Interesting Tidbits:

I hope you find a new a book or an author that you've not heard of before listed here. Good Luck! The ongoing contest list is on my blog's sidebar.

Giveaway List:
  • Smexy Books: SSHH - It's a Takeover
    Reviews, Interviews and Giveaways July 20th through July 25th. Head over for the fun.
  • Suzanne McLeod : Birthday Cake Giveaway
    Suzanne McLeod is into her last week of celebration for the launch of THE COLD KISS OF DEATH (Book 2, The Spellcrackers.com Series). You get your choice of book you want out of the eight listed on her blog. Head over to see which ones they are and to enter. Deadline to enter is by Thursday, July 23rd at the end of day, anywhere.
  • Book Reviews by Jess: Contest - My Soul To Take
    Jessica is giving away an ARC of My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent. Open to US only. Deadline to enter is midnight July 24th.
  • Janicu's Book Blog: Giveaway: ROC/ACE Samplers
    Janicu is giving away four copies of the ROC/ACE Summer-Fall Samplers, autographed by Ilona Andrews. Deadline to enter is Friday, July 24th, midnight EST.
  • Jocelynn Drake: Contest Round 2: Vicki Pettersson
    Jocelynn is giving away a signed copy of Vicki Pettersson's City of Souls. This is the fourth book and latest release in her Zodiac series. Open to US & International readers. Deadline to enter is Saturday, July 25th, midnight EST.
  • Author Interview & Contest with Kimberly Frost
    Amberkatze's Book Blog is hosting an author interview and contest with Kimberly Frost, author of Would-Be Witch. Amber is giving away a copy of Would-Be Witch. Deadline to enter is Sunday at 4pm CET on July 26th.
  • Vampire Wire: Michele Hauf's Contest for "The Dresden Files" DVDs
    Michele Hauf, author of newly released The Highwayman, is offering to contribute her personal DVDs of "The Dresden Files: The Complete First Season" for a contest over at Vampire Wire. Deadline to enter is Sunday night, July 26th.
  • The Book Smugglers: Chat and Giveaway with Kelley ArmstrongAna and Thea are chatting with Kelley Armstrong and giving away a copy of The Summoning (Book 1, Darkest Powers Trilogy). Open to the US and Canada. Deadline to enter is Sunday at midnight PST on July 26th.
  • The Eclectic Reader: Win Blood Promise or Destined For An Early Grave or The Other Tudors
    Winner gets choice of Win Blood Promise or Destined For An Early Grave or The Other Tudors, book will be purchased from The Book Depository UK. Open to all members of The Eclectic Reader's blog. Not a member? Then join to enter. Deadline to enter is July 31st.
  • Happily Forever After: Post RWA Giveaway
    Barbara has a ton of books and goodies from RWA to giveaway to one lucky winner. Go over and have a look. Open to residents of the US and Canada. Deadline to enter is July 31st.
  • Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' Blog: Giveaway! "Necroscope: Harry and the Pirates" by Brian Lumley
    SQT is giving away a copy of Necroscope: Harry and the Pirates: and Other Tales From the Lost Years. Open everywhere. Deadline to enter is before Tuesday, August 4th.
  • Nalini Singh: Must Love Hellhounds Giveaway
    Nalini Singh is giving away an ARC of Must Love Hellhounds. To enter the contest, email your name and address to (nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com) with "Hellhound ARC Contest" in the subject line, by midnight, August 5th, 2009 NZ time.
  • Fire Giveaway
    SciFiChick.com is giving away an ARC of Fire by Kristin Cashore. Open to US only. Deadline to enter is August 7th.
  • Penguin US
    Win a $500 Alloy card and signed set of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Open to US only. Deadline to enter is by 11:59:59 p.m. PST on September 30, 2009.

  • Vampire Wire - Contest for DEAD MAN'S BOOTS & Felix Castor Series
    Marta is giving away, courtesy of Hachette Books/Grand Central Publishing: One set of Mike Carey's Felix Castor series: Vicious Circle, The Devil You Know, Dead Man's Boots and five copies of Dead Man's Boots. No deadline was given.
  • Silk & Shadows: Alexis Morgan Guest Blogs
    Stop by and ask a question or leave a comment for Alexis Morgan, author of the Talions Series, for a chance to win a copy of Dark Warrior Unbroken. No Deadline given.
  • The Bradford Bunch: A Contest!
    Anya wants you to tell her a story for a chance to win a bag of goodies. She asks: If aliens landed on Earth this afternoon, who would they be? What would they be like? Look like? What would they want? If they came for dark, nefarious purposes, how would you arm/protect yourself? No Deadline given.

The Iron Hunt - Hunter Kiss, Book 1 by Marjorie M. Liu

The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. LiuThe Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu
Hunter Kiss Series, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2008
Author's Website | Twitter
Read an Excerpt

Book Blurb:
Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities...tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.

By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own. Demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. The only way to live-and the very way she'll die. For one day, her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival-leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.

But such is the way of Earth's last protector-the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment-and one man-changes everything...
My Ramblings:

Maxine Kiss was raised by her mother to be a loner and a nomad, moving place to place, keeping to herself, having no friends outside of the boys. The boys are her living tattoos that she wears on her body by day, they peel away at night to become her personal, demon protectors that she lovingly calls "my boys". Maxine is from a warrior race of demons created long ago to guard the humans from the demons and zombies. She is the last of her line and they call her The Hunter.

Going against family tradition, Maxine has put down some roots with Grant Cooperon, who has a few special gifts of his own, in Seattle, Washington at the Coop, a homeless shelter owned by Grant. Grant is also a former priest. Maxine has some trepidations about about living with Grant but she loves him and can't keep herself from not staying with him. In Maxine's own words:

"Grant Cooperon, my magic bullet. And it was going to kill me one day."

Maxine senses that the veil, a prison created ten thousands years ago to imprison the most dangerous of demons, has opened and something evil has slipped through the cracks to earth's realm. Maxine has to find out what slipped through, before it finds her.

I love the way Marjorie M. Liu writes, her words are like poetry, the way they flow off the page. It was a treat to read The Iron Hunt coupled with Ms. Liu's writing style and an introduction into world of demons that is a rare one with many dimensions to explore. I enjoyed the closeness and companionship that Maxine shares with her boys. The romance in this story is very subtle, the love shared between Grant and Maxine is unquestionable from the very the start. Which I think is refreshing to see the protagonist in a solid relationship throughout the story. Maxine Kiss is a strong, warrior through and through but she is also kind, she has a softer side.

This is a read that requires your full attention because there is so much going on every page. At times the story can be dark and bleak. The Iron Hunt is an engrossing, solid story with action throughout it's pages. The end ties up the major plot point of this story but leaves a lot questions needing answers. Most of those questions are answered in Darkness Calls.

The Iron Hunt has a prequel Hunter Kiss, a novella in the Wild Thing anthology. I did not read the prequel and feel it didn't hinder the story in any way.

On Goodreads I gave this book: 4 Stars

Hunter Kiss Series:
Other Reviews:

Books Bought & Received - 7/19/09

The Eternal Kiss - Anthology edited by Trisha Telep
Release Date: 7/27/2009
Bought by Pre-Order. Amazon is already shipping. YAY! For early shipping.
Synopsis (from Amazon's website)

There's an allure to vampire tales that have seduced readers for generations. From Bram Stoker to Stephanie Meyer and beyond, vampire stories are here to stay. For those fresh-blooded fans of paranormal romance or for those whose hunt and hunger never dies, these stories have what readers want!

This collection of original tales comes from some of the hottest, most popular, and best-selling YA writers, including:
- Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Tithe)
- Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty)
- Melissa De La Cruz (Blue Blood)
- Cassandra Clare (City of Bones)
- Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires)
- Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie (Wicked)
- Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof, Queen of Cool)
- Kelley Armstrong (Women of Otherworld)
- Maria V. Snyder
- Sarah Rees Brennan
- Lili St. Crow
- Karen Mahoney
- Dina James

They will make everyone a sucker for eternal kisses.

Wages of Sin (Book 1, Cin Craven Series) by Jenna Maclaine
Bought at Amazon.com
Synopsis (from author's website)

Dulcinea Craven descends from a long line of witches, and she has just inherited wild, untrained magical powers that she has no idea how to control. Now a ruthless vampire and an age-old demon are determined to enslave Cin and steal her power for their own. Her only hope is The Righteous, a band of warrior vampires who slay the rogue undead. Among them is Michael, a fierce swordsman who inflames Cin’s most primal hungers. Showing her a sensual pleasure beyond anything in the mortal realm, she must choose between the human existence she has always known, and immortality as a vampire—a new life filled with forbidden urges, dark yearning, and unearthly passions…

Grave Sins (Book 2, Cin Craven Series) by Jenna Maclaine
Won at the Sinful Summer Contest (still going on until July 30, 2009)
Synopsis (from author's website)

With Michael by her side, Cin’s latest mission brings her face-to-face with Marrakesh, a beautiful, half-mad vampire queen charged with slaughtering humans. If she’s found guilty, Marrakesh will pay with her life. But Cin is convinced that someone- or something- far more ruthless is trying to steal the queen’s throne. It’s a mission that will pit Michael and Cin against each other for the first time, awakening their darkest instincts and testing their love like never before…

Greywalker (Book 1, Greywalker Series) by Kat Richardson
Bought at Barnes & Noble
Synopsis (from author's website)

Recovering from a near-fatal accident, Seattle Private Investigator Harper Blaine develops the ability to move through the Grey: the realm of ghosts, vampires, witches, and magic that exists between our world and the next. Harper wants her life to return to normal, but when her clients turn out to be paranormal, the reluctant Greywalker is drawn into the affairs of ambitious vampires and angry ghosts. As her cases converge, Harper uncovers a plot that threatens Seattle's Grey world and must choose between honor and survival.

Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales
Bought at Barnes & Noble - On Sale, couldn't pass this up.
Synopsis (from B&N's website)

A classic of Western literature—the complete fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. In this new edition of more than 200 tales, readers of all ages will discover The Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and more. Experience the magic, adventure and romance in stories of princesses and poor girls, witches and princes, swans and ravens, donkeys and devils. First compiled in 1812, these magnificent tales date back to the dawn of story-telling among the people of northern Europe.

I Have Finally Crossed Over To The Darkside

Sony Reader PRS 505Well, I kept saying I wasn't going to get an eReader, even posted about why I wouldn't, several months back. I have finally broken down and bought an eReader. I have finally crossed over to the Darkside. And you know what? I like it. Okay, I've only had it a little over 24 hours but what I've seen on it so far, I like. Really like. It is so different viewing an ebook on the Sony Reader vs the computer. No comparison. The Sony Reader wins hands down.

This is how it happened, one day on Twitter I was complaining about needing to get an eReader because I had ebooks I wanted to read but hadn't since I don't like reading for long periods of time on my laptop. Not to mention cumbersome. You can't lay on your side or hang off the bed at angle and read with a laptop like you can with a book. Plus, I get a bit nausea when I read on the laptop for a long time, kinda like reading in the car for some people. My problem was I didn't want to spent the $$ on an eReader plus I didn't think there would be much of a viewing difference from eReader to computer. Heck, you could buy a netbook for what the name brand eReaders are costing right now. I just couldn't justify the money and was afraid to spent that kind of money, just to find out I didn't like the eReader just the same as reading on a computer. Jeff over at Fantasy Book News & Reviews saw my tweet and offered to sell me his Sony Reader PRS-505, that he had only used for about two months. Jeff had just gotten an iPhone and decided to use it as an eReader. He also said prior to that he was using his iTouch as an eReader. He made an offer I couldn't refuse.

Will the Sony Reader replace my compulsive-book-buying habit of real, paper books? Nope. I love my paper books with their beautiful covers and new book smell, even old books smell good. And nothing beats the feeling of walking out of a store with a book, oh, alright a bag full of books or when the delivery guy leaves a box of books on your door step. Some things are just priceless and irreplaceable, real books are one of those things. Books are my comfort zone.

I am happy to say I was wrong about the eReader. It's almost like reading a real book. Plus, I can deal with reading on an eReader after being on a computer or two at work all day and no nausea. I owe Jeff a huge THANK YOU! Now, all the ebooks I have been stock piling are loaded up on my Sony Reader and I'm ready to Rock 'n Roll!

SF/F Links of Interests 7/16/09

Author News:
Today is release day for The Cold Kiss of Death (Book 2, Spellcracker.com Series) by Suzanne McLeod. I'm reading The Sweet Scent of Blood (Book 1, Spellcracker.com Series) right now, so far it been an enjoyable read, full of magic, light and dark. Characters step out of the pages from right out of the fairy tales, living in modern day London with people fully aware of them. I'm talking about witches, fae, goblins, brownies, leprechauns and more. Vampires play a big part in the story too. I hope to finish it by this weekend or sooner.

Marjorie M. Liu has Chapter One of The Fire King (Book 9, Dirk & Steele Series) up on her blog.

Nalini Singh posted the book cover to the Thai version of Caressed by Ice. Isn't beautiful?

Interesting Tidbits:
  • Temple Library Reviews has Chris McGrath for this week's Artist Corner. Chris McGrath has created the book covers for authors such as C.E. Murphy, Jim Butcher and Vicki Pettersson.
  • Fantasy Book News & Reviews recommends The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe as a book to read.
  • Ilona Andrews posted a cornball video by the band Rooney, singing Are You Afraid. They are vampires in the video, very cheesy as Ilona says.
  • The Book Smugglers is hosting a YA Appreciation event on their blog from July 19th through August 16th. They have extended an open invitation to anyone to post their review of a YA book on August 15th. Head over to find out the finer details.
  • Book Blogger Appreciation Week is September 14-18 1009. This is the second annual BBA week and anyone can participate. There is a lot going on, so go over and read about it. You don't want to miss out on the fun.
  • Most of you may know this already but just in case you didn't, Ryan Reynolds will be playing the part of Green Lantern in an upcoming movie by the same name. BSC Reviews has the details.
  • Lea over at closetwriter has the most interesting post on planting cactus by elementary school kiddos. This is post you MUST go see. You'll be glad you did.
  • Geekologie has a post on Twilight fans and their tattoos. Myself -I think it's on this side of extreme. If I was going to get a tattoo, it wouldn't be one these.

Mega Giveaway List of Books & More 07/15/09

I've been trying to think of a better, more efficient way of communicating the giveaways/contests across the web, this is what I have come up with. Since, I keep a list of the giveaways/contests that I run across on my blog's sidebar, once a week I'm thinking of copying what I have there into a blog post. Today's post is an example. The list is an ongoing list, I don't remove the contest from my list until it closes.

Why do I even keep a list? One reason, among a few, I like to pass the word out to others, because who knows a reader might find a new author because of a book won or a contest entered. I know that's how I've discovered some of my new reads, whether I won the contest or not.

Also as a side note, I'm happy to add anyone's fantasy/horror/paranormal romance/urban fantasy/YA book related contest here, just email me the details.

So, what do you think? Good idea or bad idea? Should I post the list more than once a week? Any input is appreciated.

Seduce the Darkness by Gena Showalter

Seduce the Darkness by Gena Showalter

Seduce the Darkness by Gena Showalter
Alien Huntress Series, Book 6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Year: 2009
Author's Website | Twitter
Read Chapter 1

Book Blurb:

The war between otherworlders and humans changed Earth beyond recognition. It also saved Bride McKells’ life. Before, the gorgeous vampire was a target for every fanatic with a stake and a crucifix. Now she’s free to roam the streets—and desperate to find others of her kind. One man claims to have the answers she seeks. Devyn, King of the Targons, is a warrior and a womanizer, and he makes no secret of how much he wants Bride—and how dangerous he could be to her in every way.

An avid collector of women, Devyn easily seduces human and otherworlder alike. Until now. Not only does Bride resist him, but she leaves Devyn feeling something entirely new . . . a bone-deep need bordering on obsession. Her blood is the key to curing a vicious alien disease, but helping Bride uncover her origins will compel her to choose between electrifying passion and a destiny that could tear her from Devyn’s side forever.
My Ramblings:

I didn't read the previous books in the Alien Huntress Series, but I didn't have any problems keeping up with the story and I don't feel like it took anything away from the story. Although, there were times throughout the book, that I did wonder about one or two of the other characters' back story. So, to find out their stories you can be sure I'll be reading the previous books.

This is a futuristic, paranormal romance set in Chicago, water is now a very precious commodity, so much so that people don't bath with it anymore. They use enzyme baths, a mist stray system that cleans you without water. Fruit and vegetables are synthetically reproduced. Bride McKells' has been on her own ever since she woke up on the streets of Chicago, not being able to remember who is or where she has come from. She has spent much of her time alone, trying to find out who she is and any information on vampires because she doesn't know a thing about either. As far as Bride know, she is the only vampire in existence because she has never met another. Bride needs to learn what she can about vampires, besides what she has read in books, because lately she has had a problem with the blood she drinks, after the first few drops, she gets sick. She is out one evening, contemplating drinking from a stranger when she smells a delicious, familiar scent in the air. A scent that reminds Bride of the only friend she has ever had and lost long ago. Bride follows the scent straight to Devyn.

Devyn, King of the Targons, is an agent for AIR, Alien Investigation and Removal, with a voracious appetite for women and a very narcissistic personality. He is also a very sexy guy dripping with seduction, that turns heads where ever he goes. But he likes variety in his sexual conquests and doesn't like bedding the same species more than once. So, are your hackles raised yet about Devyn? When Devyn runs into Bride, he knows that she is not human but he's not sure what species she is, so he is intrigued by her and pursues her until he finds out she is a vampire. He's had a vampire before so he quickly loses interests, but yet he can't stop thinking about Bride. When their paths cross again, they find out Bride's blood is a cure to an alien virus, that was once thought to be a catastrophic, incurable disease. Now Bride is an even more a mysterious attraction for Devyn, which puzzles and worries him.

Seduce the Darkness is told in the third person, so we get a glimpse into what the characters are thinking and feeling. Bride is loner, someone who is use to being on her own but she is also tough and doesn't let anyone take advantage of her. Devyn's character, at first you just want to hate, maybe kick a few a times because he is so full of himself and his own self worth. The sexual tension between Bride and Devyn is building thing. Devyn readily admits his attraction to Bride, while Bride tries fighting the attraction because she doesn't want to be another conquest and get her heart broken in the process. Of course, Bride's refusal of Devyn's advances is just more fuel to the fire, he's not use to getting turned down. Bride is forced to work with Devyn, because he knows answers to her mysterious vampire race and the where a bouts of her lost friend. And the only way she's going to get those answers is to put up with Devyn.

There are a quite a few twist and turns in the plot that keep your interest piqued throughout the story. I like the different alien characters involved in this story, it gave a sort of a Star Wars type feel to it - I racked my brain trying to think of a show or movie to compare but I keep coming back to Star Wars. The banter between Bride and Devyn is sharp, witty and fun, as the story starts to develop you start to see how these two completely different personality types compliment each other. There is plenty of romance, and the seduction in the story is fabulous, when it final climaxes, you'll sigh in relief from the tension that has built up to that point. No pun intend. In comparing this story to the Lords of the Underworld series, I would say it was a lighter read not as dark. There is also a side story that subtly develops, so you get an idea of what the next book could be about but it doesn't over run the main story line. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a futuristic, paranormal romance that is fast paced, amusing and packed full of passion with a healthy dose of sexual tension.

On Goodreads I gave this book: 4 Stars

Alien Huntress Series:

Other Reviews:
If you have a review let me know and I will link it here.

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