New Blog Design

I've been working on redesigning my blog for a couple of weeks now. It's something I've been wanting to do for awhile. I'm pretty happy with some of the more dynamic features.

New Features:

  • Contests/Giveaways around the blogosphere can now be listed on of the right side.
  • Spotlight Items at the top in header.
  • Comments are now embedded.
  • Featured video on the right side.

Please have a look around. Let me know what you think or if something is broke.

Giveaway: Win a Copy of Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

~*~*~*~*~*~* This contest is now closed ~*~*~*~*~*~*

Just as I said, I am giving away my extra copy of Mark of the Demon. If your wondering what I'm talking about click here and read about my mission to acquire a copy of Mark of the Demon and how I ended up with an extra copy. If you've been wanting a copy, here's your chance. Good Luck!

My Review of Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Author's Website | Twitter
Read Chapter 1

  1. Leave a comment on what interests you the most about this book.
  2. Does this only if your email is not part of your Blogger profile or you are commenting as anonymous, leave your email address with your comment.
  3. Contest is open to everyone.
  4. Contest will close at 10:00 PM CST on Thursday, July 2nd.
  5. Winner will be announced on Friday, July 3rd.

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009
Author's Website | Twitter
Read Chapter 1

Book Blurb:
Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head...
My Ramblings:

Kara Gillian just had two major milestones in her adult life occur, one she has just become a full fledged summoner of demons, after training for over 10 years under her mentor, who is also her aunt. Summoners are born with the ability to summon demons, it is not something that just anyone can pick up and start practicing. The other major milestone, Kara has recently been promoted to homicide detective, after working her way up the ladder at the Beaulac Police Department, in Beaulac, Louisiana.

Kara has only been a homicide detective for a few weeks, when the infamous Symbol Man makes a reappearance. Three years ago the Symbol Man had murdered 13 people, marking all of his victims with an unknown symbol, then he just disappeared as if he didn't exist. Since getting promoted to a homicide detective, Kara had been studying the the Symbol Man case files because she suspects a connection to the realm of demons. Kara is surprised when she is made the lead detective in the Symbol Man case by her captain, his reasoning to her, she is the only one familiar enough with case, the previous detectives having retired since the case went cold. But unbeknownst to Kara's captain she is the perfect person for the job because of her knowledge in arcane practice of demon summoning.

A task force is formed for the Symbol Man case, and one of the team members is, nice on the eyes but standoffish, FBI Special Agent Ryan Kristoff, who Kara immediately gets off on the wrong foot with. She doesn't know if he will help or hinder her work on the serial killer case. In the meanwhile, the sexy and dangerous Demonic Lord Rhyzkahl, who Kara had accidentally summoned, is invading Kara's dreams in a very sensual and distracting way. Kara has her work cut out for her as she tries to figure who the Symbol Man is and prevent anyone else from becoming his next victim.

I've been wanting to read this book since I first found out about it, and I went to great lengths to my hands on a copy of Mark of the Demon as soon as I possibly could. I was not disappointed. If I could have, I would've read this book from start to finish in one sitting but silly, mundane things like work and family got in the way. [impish grin]

Diana Rowland did an excellent job setting up her paranormal world of demons, which is a very different from what I have seen so far in the Urban Fantasy genre. The demons in this world can be both beautiful and scary, physically and in personality. They are bound by a very strict code of honor, that you don't dare disregard, not even for one moment. And if you do, you won't live to regret it. These demons are also very ambitious and in constant battle with each other in their realm. The lines between right and wrong are far different for them compared to what a human's ideas of the same.

She has made Kara, a flawed, witty character that you can sympathize with, she is not perfect by any means. Kara has insecurities, that I think any woman would have trying to work in male dominant work force and the personality traits of a person who grew up with a somewhat reclusive and eccentric aunt. But she doesn't let her doubts get in her way, Kara can give as good as she gets with plenty of sass to boot.

Mark of the Demon is Diana Rowland's debut novel as a published author. Throughout the story you can see evidence of author's real life experience as a detective and a morgue assistant, she weaves these truths into her story with vivid details. She had me guessing with each new clue and just when I thought I had it all figured out, I found out I was wrong. By the end of the book a lot questions are answered but she leaves you with enough enticement that you need want to read the next book. I would describe this book as CSI meets the paranormal in gritty, passionate detail with a sizzling, suspenseful outcome. I will pursue the next book Blood of the Demon, as doggedly as I did Mark of the Demon.

  1. Mark of the Demon
  2. Blood of the Demon - February 23, 2010

Other Reviews:

Two Great Legends of Our Time

Today was a very sad day indeed. First, Farrah Fawett lost her courageous fight against cancer at the age of 62. I remember her as the beautiful Charlie's Angel with the brightest smile. Practically every teenage boy and girl had her poster up on their wall. And what girl didn't want the "feathered look"? When I was about 8 years old, I can remember watching with fascination, my mom's friend's teenage daughters fixing their hair into the Farrah Do, and thinking, "When I get big enough to use a curling iron, that was HOW I'm fixing my hair." It's amazing, though I was really young, when I think of her, I just picture, very vividly, that beautiful smile of hers.

Then late today, Michael Jackson went into cardiac arrest and past away at the age of 50. What a shocker! This one really blew me away because it was so unexpected. Michael's Thriller album was the very first cassette tape I bought when I was 13. I remember playing it over and over again while I practiced doing my superb imitation of Michael's Moonwalk, well at I thought it was.

A lot of Michael's music had a message, about unity no matter who you were and to be who you are. But I have to say, I think Michael would have lead a happier life, if he could've followed his own advise in his songs. I will miss Michael.

Farrah Fawett and Michael Jackson are two great legends of our time, who left most of us with some very fond and inspiring memories. They will always be remembered and may they rest in peace.

SF/F Links of Interest & Giveaways 6/24/09

Breia at Literaturely Speaking has giving me the Heartfelt Award. Thank you Breia! The instructions say to nominate up to 9 blogs but it's too hard to just pick 9 blogs, I like so many and feel comfortable with them all.
Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when your relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family & friends? You know that feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea ~or a hot toddy? That is what the Hearthfelt Award is all about, feeling warm inside.

Author News:
  • Diana Rowland's debut Urban Fantasy novel Mark of the Demon was released yesterday, Yay! I loved this book and I plan on writing up a review but here is a list of other reviews out there for this spectacular book:
  • Gena Showalter has an excerpt to chapter 1 of Seduce the Darkness on her blog.
  • Richelle Mead has the dates for her Blood Promise tour up on her blog. Looks like she'll be coming to Austin on August 29th, might see I can swing it.
  • Ilona Andrews is giving away copies of an Ace and Roc Sampler to booksellers and bloggers who do frequent contests. The sampler contains the first chapters of many well known authors: Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Rob Thurman and Mark Del Franco to name a few.
  • Larissa Ione has revealed the sexy new cover for the next Demonica novel, Ecstasy Unveiled, Lore's book, and along with the book blurb.
  • CE Murphy, author of the The Walker Papers series and The Negotiator Trilogy is now Twitter.
  • Alyssa Day announced that she has 3-book deal for more books in her Atlantis series.
  • Devon Monk has announced the name of the fourth book in her Allie Beckstrom series as Magic on the Storm.
Interesting Tidbits:
This week there were a ton, and I mean a ton of contests, I couldn't keep up with all of them but I did list a few. If you would like for me to list your contest leave a comment or email (on my blogger profile) with a link to your contest.

  • Suzanne McLeod is having a Fangs for Morganville : Giveaway. She is giving away a signed copy of winners pick of her books The Cold Kiss of Death or The Sweet Scent of Blood and a pick of UK version of Lord of Misrule or US version of Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine plus bracelets. Deadline to enter is end of day on Thursday, June 25th.
  • Anna's Book Blog is having her final give away in celebration of her blog's anniversay. Too many awesome books to list, head over and check them out. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 25th.
  • Angieville is participating in the YA Carnival Giveaway of Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. Deadline to enter is Sunday, June 28th.
  • Ann Aguirre is having a Summer Heat Giveaway. She is giving away 3 copies of Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland, 2 ARCs of Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman and 1 copy of Skin Deep by Mark del Franco.
  • Ink and Paper is having a SFF Writers Day Contest. Jo is giving away a copy of Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, June 30th, 5pm GMT.
  • Undercover Book Lover is giving away a copy of My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel. Deadline to enter is 11:59 pm EDT, Monday, June 29th.
  • Undercover Book Lover is giving away a copy of Seduce the Darkness by Gena Showalter. Deadline to enter is 11:59 pm EDT, Tuesday, June 30th.
  • Jenna Maclaine is having a Sinful Summer Spread-The-Word Contest. There several deadlines so head over to her website and check out the details.
  • Suvudu is having a "Get Ready to Roadtrip to Comic-Con" with Stephenie Meyer Contest. They are giving away unabridged audiobooks in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

Bone Crossed - Mercy Thompson, Book 4 by Patricia Briggs

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson Series: Book 4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009
Author's Website
Read Chapter 1

Book Blurb:
Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan - and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends'.

Bone Crossed starts with the last chapter of Iron Kissed, so there is no time lapse. Ever since Mercy killed one of Marsilia's right-hand vampires, she's been waiting for the moment the Vampire Queen would discover it and now she has. She has the message delivered to Mercy in no undeniable terms, that she aware of Mercy's betrayal to the vampire seethe.

At the same time this happens, one of her friends from college shows up asking Mercy for help. Her friend, who lives in Spokane, is having a problem with a ghost haunting her family, her son in particular. But Mercy feels suspicious and torn about the her friend showing up at the same time she finds out Marsilia is out for revenge, providing a convenient place to run to while the dangers from the vampires are rising on the home front.

Mercy is growing and learning from her recent trials of life, including a very traumatic one that has left some deep scars. Plus, she has to come to terms with her independent nature, and admit that sometimes, she just might need help.

All of the characters that have been a part of Mercy's world stay true to form and consistent, while showing a satisfying growth at the same time. Like all of the previous books, this book is no exception to fast, paced action and mysteries that have been a trade mark for the Mercy Thompson series.

I can't wait for Silver Borne, which is showing on Patricia Briggs' website with a release date of February 2010. I'm hoping that we will learn something more of Mercy's coyote heritage, there has been an air of mystery surrounding it since the beginning and I'm ready to know more.

Mercy Thompson Series - Reading Order:
  1. Moon Called - My Review
  2. Blood Bound - My Review
  3. Iron Kissed - My Review
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne - Feb. 2010

Other Reviews:
Darque Reviews
Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
Literary Escapism
Patricia's Vampire Notes

Mission: Find Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland ASAP

Even though I had pre-ordered Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland (Release date: June 23, 2009), when I found out that book stores were selling copies before the release date, I got excited. I've been looking forward to reading this book for quite awhile. So, at first I kept checking my account to see if they were preparing my copy for shipment, everyday. And each time I checked and it still said the expected receive date was June 25th, I would think, "Come on Amazon! Ship it, ship it! Please!"

So, this weekend I decided I would see if I could find it locally. I was determined to get an early copy, it had become my mission. I know, some of you might be thinking, "Donna, it's only a couple of days to wait." But haven't you ever just wanted something so bad, you had to have it as soon as possible?

Yesterday, Saturday, I went to my local Borders to see if they had Mark of the Demon out on the shelves yet. I asked the sales guy about the book, he checked their inventory and said they had eight copies of the book. He went back to the storage room but came back out empty handed. I got a sinking feeling I was about hear something I didn't want to hear. I was right, he told me that the books were in one of six boxes that they had received a couple of days ago and wouldn't be able to find it just yet but I could come back on Monday. Well, several things ran through my mind as he told me this: 1) I could offer to sort their boxes 2) I could throw a fit until he came back with a copy 3) Just smile nicely, thank him for looking and leave quietly. I did the later, Mom ingrained good manners into me just a little too well.

Today, we went out of town for Father's Day brunch and what do you know? There was a Barnes & Noble right across the street from the restaurant. You see, it was my idea to go to Cheddars, because I knew there was a B&N close by, hence my strategic thinking. Since there was a 30 minute wait until we would be seated, I took the opportunity to go over to B&N to look for Mark of the Demon.

They had it!!! The happy dancing commenced with a giddy smile on my face and I was singing "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" in my head (I don't sing out loud, people appreciate this).

I'm so thoroughly happy right now! I final got my hot, little hands on a copy of Mark of the Demon. Mission Accomplished!

My husband asked me if I was going to cancel my pre-order since Amazon hadn't shipped it yet, I told him "Nope. Probably going to give the extra copy away after I finish reading my copy." So stay tuned folks, because I will be having a contest for my extra copy here in the near future. But for now, I'm going off to read my precious.

Winner of Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank

The winner of Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank using
RANDOM.ORG's List Randomizer is:
Kat Bryan

There were 43 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Kat Bryan
  2. Valorie
  3. bridget3420
  4. HockeyVampiress
  5. housemouse88
  6. okibi_insanity
  7. Llehn
  8. I Heart Book Gossip
  9. Eva S.
  10. Lisa N.
  11. The_Book_Queen
  12. Kytaira
  13. donnas
  14. Jamie
  15. sarabelle
  16. olympianlady
  17. tetewa
  18. blodeudd
  19. Marie
  20. throuthehaze
  21. Susan Helene Gottfried
  22. elaing8
  23. Alexa
  24. CrystalGB
  25. joder
  26. buddyt
  27. Cherry
  28. Dawn M.
  29. My Blog 2.0 (Dottie)
  30. tynga
  31. Mandi
  32. gaby317
  33. Chris
  34. Mariee
  35. Luvdaylilies
  36. Cathy M
  37. KC
  38. Jake Lsewhere
  39. Maija P.
  40. Jess
  41. Anonymous lovinfitch(at)aol(dot)com
  42. Anonymous asma68(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
  43. booklover1335

Timestamp: 2009-06-19 04:09:03 UTC

Thank you to everyone for entering the contest!!!!

Kay Bryan, I have sent you an email but if you don't get it (spam filter eaters), please send an email to fantasydreamersramblings @ gmail . com (remember no spaces) with your mailing address, put ECSTASY in the subject line and I will get your book to you ASAP.
Category: 1 comments

New Book Craving: Skinwalker - A Jane Yellowrock Novel by Faith Hunter

Skinwalker - A Jane Yellowrock Novel by Faith Hunter
Release Date: July 7, 2009 | Pre-Order
Author's Website
Read an excerpt here
Read the review by Darque Reviews

I love the cover! Tough chick, wearing leather on a low, slung bike with a big-ass gun, who could resist that? Yes, book covers can attract me, just like honey attracts a bee. I pre-ordered this book, after I read Kimberly's review (Darque Reviews), a couple of weeks ago. It grabbed me hard and I've been thinking of this book ever since, maybe because I'm reading the Mercy Thompson series right now and Mercy is walker.

A year ago Jane nearly lost her life taking down an entire blood family of deadly rogue vampires that preyed on the helpless local populace of an Appalachian town. Now, after months of recuperation, she’s back and ready to fight again. Except this time, she’s hired by those she’s trained to kill—vampires…

Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. Back from hiatus, she’s hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katies’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.

Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission—or else the next skin she’ll need to save just may be her own…

SF/F Links of Interest & Giveaways 6/17/09

Don't forget! My giveaway of Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank ends tomorrow night at 11:00 PM CST and it's open to everyone. If you haven't entered, hurry!

A warm thank you to Anna at Anna's Book Blog for the wonderful prizes I won in Contest #1. It was an awesome prize package (the books were on my wanted books list too!): Signed Copies of A Rush of Wings & In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix, a Club Hell T-shirt and a ton of fun swag. When I received the box of goodies, I felt like I had hit the jackpot! Still smiling.

Author News:
  • I participated in an online chat with Gena Showalter and Deidre Knight. I had the opportunity to ask a question and found some interesting news:
    Me: Gena, which one of your series would you pick for a TV series?
    Gena: Intertwined, then choice would be the Playing With Fire books.
    Deidre: Well, Gena's RED HANDED *is* under option for a television series. She's making me tell you.
  • Patricia's Vampire Notes has an interview up with Charlaine Harris.
  • Suzanne McLeod has chapter one of The Cold Kiss of Death, book two in the series, up on her website.
Interesting Tidbits:
  • Babbling About Books, and More has interesting post Don't Read Your Smutty Books Here!
  • The Bradford Bunch as a post on the History of Tattoos.
  • Graeme's Book Review has a very thorough review of Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland. I personally cannot wait to my copy.
  • C.E. Murphy pointed out browser add-on called Readability, that will change the size of the text in your browser. Could be usefully on sites where is text is too small or big.
  • Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' News & Reviews has an interesting post on how vampires have changed and where did the scary vamps go, Vampirism is so Overrated.
  • True Blood, season 2, premiered this past Sunday night, and it was as awesome as last season. Lurv à la Mode did very detailed write up on what happened on episode 13, in case you missed it.
  • Fantasy Book News & Reviews is looking for books to review from small press or self published authors. Head over to his blog to review his guidelines for submission.
  • Vampire Wire is giving away a copy of The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan. Deadline to enter is Wednesday night (TONIGHT), June 17th.
  • I Do Not Want to Wait, I Want The Book Now has Diana Rowland as guest and is giving away a copy of Mark of a Demon. I'm not sure when it ends, so hurry!
  • Stumbling Over Chaos is having a huge giveaway, Contest of Babel. You need to head over there and check all of the titles up for grabs. Deadline to enter is before 7 pm CDT, Thursday, June 18th.
  • Suzanne McLeod is having a Zombie Fest Giveaway. One winner will get a copy of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and a signed copy of The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod. A second winner will get a Whack-A-Zombie kit and a copy of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Deadline to enter is by end of day, Thursday, June 18th.
  • Patricia's Vampire Notes has an interview and contest with Karen Chance. Karen is giving away a signed copies of Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer Series, Book 3) and Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, Book 4). Deadline to enter is 11:59 PM PT on June 18th.
  • Fantasy Debut is giving away 3 copies of The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick. Deadline to enter is by Friday, June 19th.
  • Jeaniene Frost is giving away 4 ARCs of Destined for an Early Grave, book four in the Night Huntress series. Deadline to enter is by 11:59 pm EDT, Friday, June 19th.
  • Moira Rogers has Moira Reid as guest with a giveaway of her book Deep Cover, in ebook format. Deadline to enter is Friday, June 19th.
  • Anna's Book Blog has Contest #3: T-shirts & Books up in celebration of her 2nd Blog Birthday. Head over and see all the goodies she has put together. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 20th.
  • Graeme's Fantasy Book Review is giving away 2 copies of Harry and the Pirates by Brian Lumley. Deadline to enter is by June 21st.
  • Literary Escapism has author Shiloh Walker as a guest and is giving away an autographed novel from Shiloh Walker's backlist. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 23rd.
  • Next Read is giving away a signed copy of Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey. Deadline to enter is midnight GMT, June 23rd. <-- Added After Posting
  • Fantastic Book Review is giving away a copy of Bloody Good by Georgia Evans. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 24th.
  • Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' News & Reviews is giving away 3 copies of Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine to US residents and 1 copy to a winner outside the US. Deadline to enter is before Wednesday, June 24th.
  • Fantastic Book Review is also giving away a copy of Bad Girls Don’t Die, a signed bookplate and patchwork coaster (BGDD colors) & a surprise made by Katie Alender. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 27th.
  • Marjorie M. Liu is having a Twitter contest to promote her new book Darkness Calls, which releases on June 30th. She is giving away themed prizes, one per day, everyday starting June 15 through June 30th: music, signed book, tote, etc. All you have to do is just tweet the following once: Enter to win a DARKNESS CALLS themed prize (one per day from June 15-30th: music, signed book, tote, etc.) by tweeting #darknesscalls
  • Moira Rogers is having a giveaway in celebration of the release of Sanctuary Lost (Red Rock Pass series, Book 2). Grand Prize: A collectible knife & $25 gift certificate to Books on Board and Five Runners Up: $5 gift certificate to Books on Board plus a copy of Cry Sanctuary (Red Rock Pass series, Book 1). Deadline to enter is June 30th.
  • The Eclectic Reader is giving away a copy of Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling series, Book 6) by Nalini Singh. Deadline to enter is midnight AEST on July 3rd.
  • Ticket to Anywhere is giving away an ARC of The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Deadline to enter is July 4th.

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Iron Kissed - Mercy Thompson, Book 3 by Patricia Briggs

Iron KissedIron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson Series: Book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2008
Author's Website
Read Chapter 1

Book Blurb:
Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy's loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

To be honest, when I read the book blurb on Iron Kiss, I wasn't too excited about the story being centered around the fae. I felt this way, because so far in the previous books, they really didn't seem too interesting to me other than wondering who the Gray Lords were. Boy, was I wrong! I was pulled into the story in the very first chapter.

Iron Kissed picks up about a month after Blood Bound ends. Mercy is pretty much on her own throughout her investigation into clearing Zee, her former boss and good friend, of a murder charge because the fae are willing to let him be the fall guy, so the humans don't start nosing around fae business. The vampires are mostly non-existent in this book other than a few thoughts that Mercy has about them here and there. The werewolves are all on edge because the situation between Mercy, Adam and Samuel has reach its boiling point, she needs to choose one now or things are going to get nasty around the werewolves.

Like all the previous books in this series, this book moves at fast pace with a ton of action and mystery building while keeping the characters and the world they live in believable. Mercy stays true to her character of being "Miss Independence" with a lot of tenacity, which just endears me even more to her. The following excerpt, just about perfectly sums up Mercy's habit of finding trouble, it is a conversation between Mercy and Samuel.

The first thing Samuel said was, "You have a real gift for getting into trouble, don't you? That was one thing I forgot when you left the pack."

"How is any of this my fault?" I asked hotly.

He sighed. "I don't know. Does it matter whose fault it is once you're sitting in the middle of the frying pan?" He gave me a despairing look. "And as my father used to point out, you find your way into that frying pan way too often for it to purely accidental."

The end of this book was a real roller coaster ride of emotions, that left me with a bittersweet feeling, actually thinking of the end right now, has me getting all choked up and teary-eyed again. I need to hurry on to next book, Bone Crossed because now I am addicted to the Mercy Thompson series and I need my fix.

Mercy Thompson Series - Reading Order:
  1. Moon Called - My Review
  2. Blood Bound - My Review
  3. Iron Kissed
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne - Feb. 2010

Other Reviews:
Fantasy Cafe
Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
The Way I See It

Giveaway: Win a Copy of Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank

~*~*~*~*~*~* This contest is now closed ~*~*~*~*~*~*

I have an extra copy of Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank. I don't need two copies, so I thought I would post a giveaway since Rapture, the second book in The Shadowdwellers series, releases on June 30, 2009. Perfect timing to clear some book shelf space.

Giveaway is at the end of this post.

I haven't read this book yet but I have hunted up a review on Ecstasy from my blog roll: The Good, The Bad and The Unread

Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank
The Shadowdwellers Series: Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Year: 2009

Book Blurb from Jacquelyn Frank's website:
At one with the darkness, the mysterious Shadowdwellers must live as far from light-loving humans as possible in order to survive. Yet one damaged human woman will tempt the man behind the Shadowdweller throne into a dangerous desire…

Among the Shadowdwellers, Trace holds power that some are willing to kill for. Without a stranger’s aid, one rival would surely have succeeded, but Trace’s brush with death is less surprising to him than his reaction to the beautiful, fragile human who heals him.

By rights, Trace should hardly even register Ashla’s existence within the realm of Shadowscape, but instead he is drawn to everything about her—her innocence, her courage, and her lush, sensual heat…

After a terrifying car crash, Ashla Townsend wakes up to find that the bustling New York she knew is now eerie and desolate. Just when she’s convinced she’s alone, Ashla is confronted by a dark warrior who draws her deeper into a world she never knew existed. The bond between Ashla and Trace is a mystery to both, but searching for answers will mean confronting long-hidden secrets, and uncovering a threat that could destroy everything Trace holds precious …

  1. Leave a comment on why you want to read this book and leave your email only if it's not part of your profile or you are commenting as anonymous.
  2. Contest is open to everyone.
  3. Contest will close at 11:00 PM CST on Thursday, June 18th.
  4. Winner will be announced on Friday, June 19th.

Blood Bound - Mercy Thompson, Book 2 by Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson Series: Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2007
Author's Website
Read Chapter 1

Blood Bound picks up six months after Moon Called, the first book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. At the ungodly hour of 3:15 in the morning, Stefan calls Mercy for a favor. Mercy still owes Stefan for helping when Alpha's daughter had been kidnapped, so she agrees, although she is grumpy about the time. But what other time could a vampire call you, right? Stefan wants Mercy to accompany him to a meeting he is having with an out of town vampire. He wants her to only witness the meeting and stay uninvolved, no matter what transpires, in her coyote form. Stefan asked for this particular favor because Mercy is a walker, which means she is resistant to vampire magic.

When Mercy and Stefan arrive at the hotel, where the meeting is to take place, Mercy can smell the other vampire and a lot of blood but she also smells something she can't identify. She soon discovers what the unfamiliar smell is, a vampire possessed by a demon.

Blood Bound is mainly centered around the vampires, learning more about the vampire culture in Mercy's world. The werewolves are still very much in the picture and a very big role in Mercy's life. The sexual tension goes up several knots between Mercy and Adam, and to make things even more complicated for Mercy, it also does with Mercy and Samuel.

I really like that the vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures in these books are not glamorized and near perfect. The vampires are very scary, to the point of being inhumane, with the exception of Stefan. Stefan seems to have retain some of his humanity. The werewolves are just as territorial as they near kin the wolves, with short tempers to boot, so those around them are always on their toes. I also admire how Mercy displays good old fashion bravery with a sense of what's right and wrong, even in the gray areas. I can't recommend this series enough! Love, love it!

Mercy Thompson Series - Reading Order:
  1. Moon Called - My Review
  2. Blood Bound
  3. Iron Kissed
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne - Feb. 2010

Other Reviews:
CheriePie's Books
Fantasy Cafe
Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
Preternatural Reviews
The Way I See It

SF/F Links of Interest & Giveaways 6/10/09

Guess what? I'm was interviewed by Jo over at Ink and Paper. Every Wednesday, Jo interviews and features fantasy book blogs from around the blogosphere. If your interested, here is the book blogger interview she did with me.

Author News:
  1. Karen Marie Moning put up on her blog the final-final cover for Dreamfever. They made the cover darker, no sun shining through the cloads, the model's top now has straps and she is now standing on the ledge. I like it. Here is the previous final cover if you would like to compare for yourself.
  2. Ann Aguirre has written one of the most touching love letters I have ever read to her husband for their anniversary. She has such a wonderful way with words. [heavy sigh]
  3. Gena Showalter and Deidre Knight are having a KISS & SEDUCE Party all week long over at Gena's blog. So if you didn't already know, head over there now, tons of fun and prizes to be had!
Interesting Tibits:
  1. Did you know they are talking about making a new Heavy Metal movie? I personally think that would awesome, I'm pretty excited about it. Here is a write up that Suvudu did on the talks for the new movie.
  2. has a very informative review up on Locus Magazine's special issue on Urban Fantasy.
  3. Dargue Reviews has a review up for Skinwalker by Faith Hunter, this review had me go ahead and pre-order this book. I love the "last of their kind" themed books.
  4. has a first look up of the CW's Vampire Diaries. I wonder why they made Elena a brunette, instead of blond like she was in the book?
  5. There's a new book review blogger in town and he goes by Patrick. Go by his blog Preternatural Reviews, check out his blog and say hi!
Contests & Giveaways:
  1. Fantastic Book Review is giving away a copy of The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan to one lucky winner and a copy of Sea Change by Aimee Friedman to another lucky winner. Deadline to enter is June 20th.
  2. Stumbling Over Chaos is giving away a signed copy of Witch Fire, the first book in the Elemental Witches series by Anya Bast. Deadline to enter is 7 PM CDT, Thursday, June 11th.
  3. Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' News & Reviews is giving away a signed copy of Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Deadline to enter is before Tuesday, June 23rd.
  4. Anna's Book Blog has launched Contest #2: Trade Paperbacks in celebration of her blog's birthday. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 13th.
  5. The Book Smugglers has author Sarah Rees Brennan as a guest and is giving away five copies her book The Demon’s Lexicon and a goodies bag with: the audio book, a sterling silver knife charm, and different-coloured bookmarks with quotes from different characters on them. Deadline to enter is June 13th.
  6. Anya Bast is giving away one book from her Elemental Witches series–your choice over on her blog. Not sure when the deadline is.
  7. Jeri Smith-Ready is guest blogging over at Silk & Shadows, talking about favorite childhood books. Stop and comment for a chance to win a copy of Bad To The Bone.
  8. Literary Escapism has Anna Katherine as a guest author and is giving away a copy of Anna's book Salt and Silver. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 16th.
  9. Ann Aguirre is over at The Bradford Bunch and she is giving away a copy of Witch Fury, the final book in the Elemental Witches series by Anya Bast. Deadline to enter is before Monday, June 15th.
  10. Smexy Books is having a Help Me Pick a Contemporary Romance Contest!! Mandi asking for suggestions on a contemporary book to read. She is giving away to 2 lucky winners either Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas or Because You're Mine by Lisa Kleypas. Deadline to enter is midnight Sunday, June 14th.
  11. Darque Reviews has Rachel Caine as a guest and is giving away 5 copies of Rachel's newest book Carpe Corpus. Deadline to enter is before Monday, June 15th.
  12. is giving away a 10th Anniversary Edition of Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. Deadline to enter is midnight, June 14th.

Yes or No Meme

Jeaniene Frost has this Meme up on her LiveJournal blog, I had so much fun reading her answers! So, I figured "What the hey! This could be fun." Tag yourself!

The Rules:
1. You can ONLY answer 'Yes' or 'No'.

2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone comments you and asks—and, believe me, the temptation to explain some of these will be overwhelming. Nothing is exactly as it seems.

The Questions:
Kissed any one of your LiveJournal friends? — no
Been arrested? — no
Kissed someone you didn't like? — yes
Slept in until 5 PM? — no
Fallen asleep at work/school? — yes
Held a snake? — yes
Ran a red light? — yes
Been suspended from school? — no
Experienced love at first sight? — no
Totaled your car in an accident? — no
Been fired from a job? — yes
Fired somebody? — no
Sung karaoke? — yes
Pointed a gun at someone? — no
Did something you told yourself you wouldn't? — yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? — yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? — yes
Kissed in the rain? — yes
Had a close brush with death (your own)? — yes
Saw someone die? — no
Played Spin-the-Bottle? — yes
Smoked a cigar? — yes
Sat on a rooftop? — yes
Smuggled something into another country? — no
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes? — yes
Broken a bone? — yes
Skipped school? — yes
Eaten a bug? — yes
Sleepwalked? — yes
Walked on a moonlit beach? — yes
Ridden a motorcycle? — yes
Dumped someone? — yes
Forgotten your anniversary? — yes
Lied to avoid a ticket? — yes
Ridden in a helicopter? — yes
Shaved your head? — no
Blacked out from drinking? — yes
Played a prank on someone? — yes
Hit a home run? — no
Felt like killing someone? — yes
Cross-dressed? — yes
Been falling-down drunk? — yes
Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? — yes
Eaten snake? — no
Marched/Protested? — no
Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? — no
Puked on an amusement ride? — no
Seriously & intentionally boycotted something? — no
Knitted? — no
Been on TV? — yes
Shot a gun? — yes
Skinny-dipped? — yes
Given someone stitches? — yes
Eaten a whole habenero pepper? — yes
Ridden a surfboard? — yes
Drunk straight from a liquor bottle? — yes
Had surgery? — yes
Streaked? — no
Been taken by ambulance to a hospital? — no
Tripped on mushrooms? — no
Passed out when NOT drinking? — yes
Peed on a bush? — yes
Donated Blood? — no
Grabbed electric fence? — no
Eaten alligator meat? — no
Eaten cheesecake? — yes
Killed an animal when not hunting? — yes
Peed your pants in public? — no
Snuck into a movie without paying? — no
Written graffiti? — yes
Still love someone you shouldn't? — no
Think about the future? — yes
Been in handcuffs? — yes
Believe in love? — yes
Sleep on a certain side of the bed? — yes
Category: 4 comments

Moon Called - Mercy Thompson, Book 1 by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson Series: Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2006
Author's Website
Read Chapter 1

Mercy (short for Mercedes) Thompson is not your average girl. She is an auto mechanic, running her own garage, and she is a walker. She was born with the ability to shift into a coyote. Mercy's doesn't really know much about what she is but she does know that she is rare and there aren't many like her around.

Mercy tries to lead quiet life in the small town of Tri-Cities, Washington but it doesn't quite work out that way. For one, her next door neighbor, Adam, is the alpha leader of the local werewolf pack, the VW van she's working on belongs to Stepan, a vampire and she bought her garage from her former boss Zee, who is fae. Zee sold her his garage after the fae had come out to the rest of the world because some of the humans were having a hard time adjusting to the fact that the fae existed. But the humans do not know about the werewolves, vampires or those like Mercy and they would like to keep it that way.

Mystery and suspicions arise when a young, newly turned werewolf, who reluctantly gives the name Mac, shows up at Mercy's shop looking for temporary work. She knows Mac's a werewolf because she can smell the werewolf in him through her enhanced senses. After Mercy, against her better judgment, gives the boy a job, a group of humans and a half-crazed werewolf show up, they try to kidnap the boy. Then shortly there after, Adam is injured and his daughter is kidnapped. Mercy finds herself going to Montana, back to the werewolf pack she grew up in, for help with Adam's injuries and hopefully answers to some disturbing questions. Problem with this is, she left years ago under unhappy circumstances.

I have no idea why I waited so long to start reading this series, but I am so glad I did. I am now officially a Mercy Thompson fan girl. The story had my attention from the very beginning, I can honestly say, there is not a dull moment in this book. Moon Called had me reading until the early morning hours, not caring I needed to go to sleep because I had work the next day. It is a very smooth flowing story with plenty of action and suspense, involving the supernatural. Mercy is a believable and admirable heroine with a lot sass and spunk, not to mention smart with good instincts. The romance is very light in this book, but Mercy has a couple of possible love interests. This series has made it's way to my auto-buy list. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a book based around a strong heroine in the supernatural world.

Mercy Thompson Series - Reading Order:
  1. Moon Called
  2. Blood Bound
  3. Iron Kissed
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne - Feb. 2010

Other Reviews:
Fantasy Cafe
J. Kaye's Book Blog
Preternatural Reviews
The Way I See It

SF/F Links of Interest & Giveaways 6/6/09

A moment of silence for David Carradine, the star of the 1970s TV show Kung Fu, who past away this week at the age of 72. He was one of my childhood heroes. Back then, I lived for Saturday afternoons to watch Kung Fu, and practice being just like him, in manner and fighting style. May he rest in peace.

This week, I didn't do a very good job keeping up with blogs, several things going on. My husband and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary, my step-daughter had her end of school year events and one of my husband's nephew's graduated from high school. So we spent a lot time away from the house. It's catch up time!

Author News:
  • Anya Bast has a free story up on her website, Micah's Magick. Be warned it contains spoilers, do not read it until after you have read Witch's Fury.
  • Ann Aguirre has the copy up for Hell Fire, the up coming second book in the Corine Solomon series, in a blog post "Sexy back cover copy".
  • Lynn Viehl has an interesting post: The Twenty Most Annoying People You Meet at a Writer's Conference. It's funny and eye opening.
  • Bree has a fun and informative post on the d20: My Kingdom for a Natural 20! If you don't know what a d20 is, go on over and found out. :D
  • Jeri Smith-Ready tweeted about this video on the Twitter. It is frakkin funny! Video is a parody of Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Interesting Tidbits:
  • Borders SciFi has joined the blogging world and now has a blog, Babel Clash. Check it out.
  • Fantasy Book Critic has a review up for The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I cannot wait to read this book!
  • Jo over at Ink and Paper has created a new blog, Ink and Paper Specials. She plans on having a month long discussion on Sex in Teen Literature.
  • Katiebabs, Kmont & Tracy are having a round robin discussion on the J.R. Ward's Lover Avenged. Follow the trail through their blogs, it starts here.
  • Midnight Moon posted this video Sebastian's Voodoo, it is a phenomenal 4-1/2 minute video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Contests & Giveaways:
  • Anna's Book Blog is having a huge blog birthday celebration! Anna's blog is now 2 years old. Happy Blog Birthday! The first contest is a load of signed books and swag, you need to see for yourself the wonderful goodies. Deadline for this contest is before midnight, June 6th. The second contest she is giving away three signed copies of Tails of Love by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Deadline is June 11th.
  • Suzanne McLeod is having a 6 : 6 : 6 Book Bonanza :: Giveaway. A randomly picked commenter will win a signed copy of The Cold Kiss of Death and a signed copy of The Sweet Scent of Blood, if they haven't read it, and their choice of one of the other five books. Head over to her blog to the choice of books. Deadline to enter is June 11th.
  • Janicu's Book Blog is giving away an ARC of Soulless by Gail Carriger. Deadline to enter is June 12th.
  • Vampire Wire is having a "Blood Ties: Season One" DVD & Books Contest of Hawtness! Deadline to enter is Saturday night, June 13th.
  • Book Blather is giving away a signed copy of Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. Deadline to enter is midnight CST, June 12th.
  • Vampire Genre is giving away two copies of MaryJanice Davidson’s latest hardcover release, Undead and Unwelcome. Deadline is June 12th.
  • Babbling About Book, and More is giving away a copy of My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent and Intertwined by Gena Showalter. Deadline to enter is Sunday, June 7th.
  • Rachel Vincent pairing up with Bitten by Books will be hosting a contest June 22nd through July 6th. Grand Prize will be a Kindle 2 and 10 consolation prize copies of Prey. Make sure you mark your calendars.
  • BUT RIGHT NOW, Rachel Vincent has a giveaway on her blog for a complete set of Shifter books, signed! Deadline to enter is June 10th, midnight.
  • Darque Reviews is giving away 3 sets of the first three books in the Marked series by S.J. Day: Eve of Darkness, Eve of Destruction and Eve of Chaos. Deadline to enter is before June 30th.
  • Rachel Caine will also pair up with Bitten by Books on June 30th. Prizes will be signed copies of Carpe Corpus and a Sony eReader.
  • Deadline Dame Jackie Kessler is giving away a signed copy of Black and White in celebration of the book's June 2nd release day. Deadline is Sunday evening on June 7th.
  • Literary Escapism has author Chloe Neill as guest and is giving away a Cadogan House tote bag, Some Girls Bite magnet, “I Heart Cadogan” bumper sticker, and an autographed Chicagoland Vampires bookplate. You have until midnight June 9th to enter.
  • Michael Connelly is giving away "The Michael Connelly Limited Edition Reader Digital Book" from Sony. Deadline to enter is June 12th.
  • C.E. Murphy is giving away an ARC of A Fantasy Medley. Contest ends on June 9th.
  • is giving away 5 copies of Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey. Deadline to enter will be done in stages, with winners announced on Thursdays:
    • 2 copies – Thursday, June 11
    • 2 copies – Thursday June 18
    • 1 copy – Thursday June 25
  • SF Signal is giving away 2 copies of the vampire novel The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Deadline is midnight CST on June 9th to enter.
  • BSC Reviews is giving away 3 copies of the official novelization of Terminator Salvation by Alan Dean Foster. You need to enter before June 12th.
  • Geeks of Doom is having a contest for a 'Land Of The Lost' Prize Pack. Deadline to enter is 9PM EST on June 10th. Here is what they are offering up:
    One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive:
    • One (1) Land of the Lost ‘Chaka’ Backpack
    • One (1) Land of the Lost Poster
    • One (1) Land of the Lost T-shirt
    • One (1) Land of the Lost Women’s T-shirt
    • One (1) Land of the Lost Hat
    • One (1) Land of the Lost Carabiner Compass
    One (1) First Prize winner will receive:
    • One (1) Land of the Lost ‘Chaka’ Backpack

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