Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BEST SELLER FOR A DAY: "Dollars & Sense" + 99¢ eBooks + A CHANCE TO WIN A KINDLE




     "Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-publishing Success" is a step-by-step actionable road map to increasing royalties for beginners and seasoned professionals alike. Divided into three sections; Producing a Sales-Friendly, Professional eBook, Establishing & Leveraging Your Social Media Platform, and Selling Smarter, Not Harder, "Dollars & Sense" walks authors through the process of creating then actually selling their eBook.


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BUT WAIT--There's more!!  (I sound like an infomerical now).

You can get 3 additional titles (by the authors of "Dollars and Sense") for 99¢ each!  They are dropping the price of the book on June 29, 2011 just for you!!!
So, that’s 4 books for 99 cents each and a chance to win a kindle. 

You can read my review of "Fierce Dawn" HERE







Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: H.P. Mallory’s "A Tale of Two Goblins"



Synopsis:

A Dreamstalker— a creature that stalks and kills its victims in sleep.
A fairy in law enforcement determined to stop him.
A potions smuggler who possesses something she wants.
A vampire with his own agenda.
And a partner who couldn’t possibly be sexier or more frustrating.


     Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy working in law enforcement for the Netherworld.
When Knight Vander approaches her with a case regarding comatose victims, she agrees to help him, imagining the most difficult part will be combating her attraction to him.  But, what Dulcie isn’t betting on is the fact that the case becomes personal when she learns all the victims are somehow linked to her. 


      When her best friend falls victim to the Dreamstalker, Dulcie must do everything in her power to ensure her friend’s survival, including associating with criminals and accepting the fact that desperate times do definitely call for desperate measures.


This is H.P. Mallory’s 2nd book in the Dulcie O’Neil series.  It is just as fantastic as the first book, “To Kill A Warlock.”  As noted above, the evil baddy in this book stalks several people associated with her, from second grade classmates to the landlady from whom her mother rented her house.  But when it attacks her bestie, Sam, Dulcie is determined, come Hades-or-high water, to take this creature down.  She has her vamp bud, Bram, take her to a seedy part of town and to meet a familiar face now involved with illegal potion smuggling.  Of course, Knight is still causing Dulcie grief and her heart to flutter 8 hundred miles an hour.  

This book is laden with an awesome amount of sexual tension between Dulcie and Knight; almost to the point of “If they don’t get together by the end of this book I’m going to scream.”  You will have to read the book to find out if I had to scream or not.  The eventual way that Dulcie deals with the Dreamstalker is nice and risky and really makes you wonder about the types of people our law enforcement have to deal with following an arrest.

Again, Ms. Mallory doesn’t disappoint and floods (but doesn’t over do) the book with sarcasm, wit, and, jabs.  My favorite jab in the book references BP and the oil leak; while not a humorous real-life situation, the context it is used in the book is superb.  The book flowed well and kept my interest throughout.  I love mysteries, the paranormal, and romance; this book combined all of these.  

I can't wait for the 3rd installment that will be released in Aug. 2011.

Please note that this book contains  "adult scenes" and "adult language."
 
I give this book a 5/5.


 

Jagged Edge: Giant Promotions Giveaway

Jagged Edge: Giant Promotions Giveaway: "All you have to do is get followers over here because who doesn't like more friends? =] You can win as much as you want. Well kind of... W..."


Make sure to tell them that Sapphyria's Book Reviews sent you when you fill out the form--Please and Thank you :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: H.P. Mallory’s "To Kill A Warlock"



Synopsis:

            The murder of a dark arts warlock.  A shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose.  A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate.  Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.

When the last person to see the dark arts warlock alive is the main character, Dulcie, it’s up to her to find out what happened before she’s next.  Her boss, Quillan, doesn’t consider her a suspect, encouraging her to stay on the case.  When Knight Vander shows up, rather mysteriously, from the Netherworld, he wants to work with her on the case but then has her temporarily side-lined.  As her passion ignites for Knight, she has to fight feelings for Quillan, as well as a lusty vamp, Bram; all while trying to figure out who or what killed the warlock.

I really enjoyed this book.  There was a ton of suspense, pent up “energy”, and more.  There is humor, sarcasm, and awesome amounts of "smartass."  The “who-done-it” ending was good.  The book flowed well and kept my interest throughout.  I love mysteries, the paranormal, and romance; this book combined all of these.  

Please note that this book contains mild "adult scenes."

I give this book a 5/5.


 

Review: Kiersten White’s "Paranormalcy"



Synopsis from the dust jacket:

            Weird as it working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal.  Sure her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours, but still.  Normal.


Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies.  She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths.  Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.


Evellyn, Evie-for short, was an orphan found wandering around in a park at the age of three and whisked off to the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA).  It is there that it is discovered she can see through the glamour of every type of paranormal creature.  She is then put to the IPCA’s use, tracking, tagging, and bagging all sorts of paranormals.  

When the center is broken into by a mysterious Water Boy, it is then that Evie discovers she’s not quite the normal human she thought she was.  Why the secrecy of her heritage and the intense behavior of her faerie ex-boyfriend?  Only Evie has the power and resources to help try and protect those around her and those she was trained to track down.

This is a fantastically spun faerie-tale for young adults (and those of us that aren’t quite that young anymore).  Evie is a 16 year old teenager that is employed by a paranormal agency because sees paranormal beings for what they really are and not what they portray on the outside for mortals to see.  She longs for a normal life but knows very well that fantasy can't become a reality; Or can it?  She spends most of the book trying to figure out who or what is gunning for paranormals across the globe and finds out more than she expects.
 
I enjoyed this book a lot and can’t wait for the next one!

I give this book a 4.5/5.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: J.R. Ward’s "Lover Awakened"



Synopsis from the back cover:
A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.


Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…
 
This is the third book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.   This series is absolutely mind-pleasing, action packed, and full of romance and love.

Book 3, “Lover Awakened” brings us the story of my favorite Brotherhood member Zhadist.  Zhadist had a very tortured past being kidnapped when he was an infant and sold into slavery as a blood whore.  After meeting Bella at a party in the Brotherhood Mansion, Zhadist tries to stay away from her and her curiosities.  When she ends of one of the many missing, it is Zhadist who becomes intent on finding her, at whatever cost.

All throughout the stories in the series, the vampires also deal with their hunters, the Lessers--baby powder fresh and willing to die for the Omega’s cause.  It’s important to keep the civilian vampires safe and to do that takes the Brotherhood into dangerous situations and continuously risking their lives.

The story of Zhadist brings to mind the old adage:  “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Welcome to the Brotherhood Mansion…you’ll be lucky to find it and if you do, you probably won’t have the option of leaving.

Please note that this book contains "adult scenes.

I give this book a 5/5.

Review: J.R. Ward’s "Lover Eternal"


Synopsis from the back cover:
Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover—for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him. 

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love.  She lost her faith in miracles years ago.  But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make her his alone.  And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

This is the second book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.   This series is absolutely mind-pleasing, action packed, and full of romance and love.

Book 2, “Lover Eternal” brings us the story of Brotherhood member Rhage.  He has a secret that is portrayed by the tattoo on his back; a beast that emerges when he’s angry, stressed, or excited.  Enter, 100% human Mary, who makes his inner-dragon ache to be seen.  Unfortunately, Mary has an inner-beast too; one that is slowly killing her. Can this joining together of souls survive the beasts that threaten to destroy everything that they have?

All throughout the stories in the series, the vampires also deal with their hunters, the Lessers--baby powder fresh and willing to die for the Omega’s cause.  It’s important to keep the civilian vampires safe and to do that takes the Brotherhood into dangerous situations and continuously risking their lives.

Fantastic, heart-pounding, emotion-laced book!!

Welcome to the Brotherhood Mansion…you’ll be lucky to find it and if you do, you probably won’t have the option of leaving.

Please note that this book contains "adult scenes.

I give this book a 5/5.



Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: J.R. Ward’s "Dark Lover"

Synopsis from the back cover:

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed- orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate - Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead…

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both…

This is the first book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  My sister had been telling me for over a year that I absolutely HAD to read them.  I always found other books that seemed to be more important—and I could kick myself in the ass for waiting so long to start them.  This series is absolutely mind-pleasing, action packed, and full of romance and love.

Book 1, “Dark Lover”, introduces us to the Brotherhood, with the main focus being on Wrath.  He is the last vampire with a pure bloodline.  When his brother, Darius, comes to him about his daughter and her ½ vamp bloodline and asks Wrath to protect her he refuses….until respect and duty ultimately win and he finds himself unable to stay away from Beth.

Beth, on the other and, doesn’t understand why the tall dark stranger, that wears sunglasses all the time, won’t leave her alone.  She’s drawn to him even though she senses his aura of dangerousness.  She unintentionally involves Butch, a local cop, which is a whole different story…literally.

All throughout the story, the vampires also deal with their hunters, the Lessers--baby powder fresh and willing to die for the Omega’s cause.  It’s important to keep the civilian vampires safe and to do that takes the Brotherhood into dangerous situations and continuously risking their lives.

I was hooked by the end of the first chapter—probably more like the middle of the first page…. 

Welcome to the Brotherhood Mansion…you’ll be lucky to find it and if you do, you probably won’t have the option of leaving.

Please note that this book contains "adult scenes."

I give this book a 5/5.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Supernatural Underground: Feast your eyes on this!

Supernatural Underground: Feast your eyes on this!: "By Merrie Destefano The countdown has started. My second novel, Feast: Harvest of Dreams, releases next Tuesday, June 28. For me, that me..."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Bitten Twice’s "Marked"


Synopsis:
Great legends tell of the pairing of souls.
Two that would come together in an eternal bond yielding great power.
Forever marked with a destiny waiting to unfold
The wielders of light in darkness' final hour

Demonic forces threaten to tip the balance of power for all worlds.  Xan, King of the Cats, is one of many called in by the Templar organization to eliminate the source of the trouble brewing in North America.  Arriving in New York, Xan, a powerhouse of seduction, meets Catherine and begins to wonder whether he has met his soul mate or fallen into a trap.  The war with the underworld comes topside and Xan is in the midst of fighting an unfamiliar battle - rejection.  Can Catherine accept their differences?


“Marked” is a great tale of shifters with Olde World charm that spans into the modern day.  Xan, the King of the Cats, is a cape lion and along with his two sisters, Ari and Ova protect a pride in South America.  Xan, along with Lucca, Overlord of the Wolves of America, are part of the Knights of the Templar Council.  When they are suddenly called to New York to attend a meeting, they learn of otherworldy forces that are working to shift the balance of power to the demons of hell.  

Enter one complication (besides the demons, of course): Catherine; a human that is unaware of the other worlds that mingle with hers.  Xan is drawn to her, marking her for his very own.  But~was he the only one to mark her?  

I enjoyed this book a lot.  There was lust, romance, and action.  I felt like I was Xan being rejected, sad and upset but yet, on the other hand, I also felt Catherine’s hesitations and reservations.  To truly be Xan’s she would have to submit wholly to him and forever belong to the pride.  I just kept asking myself “Could I leave everything behind to enter a world that makes New York look tame?”  

The only downside was the anticlimactic fight with the Underlord demon in chapter 22.  It was built up with strength and anticipation but the actual fight with Gerard was a tad too quick.  

Please note that this book contains "adult scenes" and language.

I give this book a 4.5/5.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Lynsay Sands’ "Love Bites"







Synopsis from the back cover:

            TRUE LOVE:  GOOD FROM THE FIRST BITE…

            Etienne Argeneau’s three hundred years of bachelorhood were at an end.  Either that, or he’d be forever alone.  He could turn only one human in his lifetime, and most of his kind created a life mate.  If he turned this stranger…But what choice did he have?  He had to help Rachel Garrett.  The beautiful coroner had saved his life.  To save hers, he would make her immortal.

…TO THE LAST

Rachel Garrett awoke surprised.  All she’d wanted was to get off the night shift in the morgue; now here she was staggering to her feet naked and in a strange place.  But everything would be alright.  She’d just make like a bat out of ----.  Then she saw the man of her dreams emerge from his…coffin?  And the look in his bright silver eyes said they’d be spending a lot of time together.  She just hoped he tasted as good as he looked.

This is book number two in Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau’s series.  (I have already posted the review for book #1 A Quick Bite).  “Love Bites” is a very entertaining book that involves Etienne Argeneau and Rachel Garrett.  Etienne is Lissianna’s brother (the main character from book 1).  

This book has Etienne being “hunted” by a mentally unstable individual.  Rachel is a coroner who has Etienne’s body brought to her twice only to have him come back to life both times.  The second time finds Rachel protecting the body of Etienne but in doing so gets mortally wounded.  It is here that Etienne has to decide whether to save her life by turning her or let her die.

I know I wasn’t sure about the first book in the series but I’ve changed my mind.  These books so far are great!  I love the different concepts of “vampire” that this series brings.  They aren’t soulless, bloodsucking demons but alive and, while they do need blood to survive, they don’t kill to get it.  They have some humor too and that’s always a plus.

Please note that this book contains "adult scenes."

I give this book a 5/5.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Christopher Pike's "Thirst No. 2"


Synopsis from the back cover:

Tears roll over my face.  I touch them with my quivering tongue.  They are clear and salty, not dark and bloody.  Another sign that I am human.

What Alisa has desired for five thousand years has finally come true:  She is once again human.  But now she is defenseless, vulnerable, and for the first time in centuries, emotional.  As she attempts to reconcile her actions as a vampire with her new connection to humanity, she begins to understand the weight of life-and-death decisions.  Can Alisa resolve her past and build a new identity, or is she doomed to repeat her fatal mistakes?


This is Volume 2 of Christopher Pike’s vampire novels entitled “Thirst No. 2.”  It contains 3 stories: Phantom, Evil Thirst, and Creatures of Forever. 

I didn’t have as  hard a time getting into this book as I did Volume 1.  I only had to renew my check out notice once and it’s still not due back for another 1 ½ weeks.  I still found the first person point of view from Sita/Alisa to be very blunt and choppy.  However, since she has become human again (per the last chapter of Red Dice in Vol. 1) her words throughout the book just seemed to flow a little bit better.  She isn’t as emotionless especially after the very quick birth of her otherworldly daughter, Kalika.  I found myself relating to her a bit more.  I am still not a huge fan of these books.  There is still something lackluster about them.  I don’t find myself becoming totally engulfed in them. 

This series (Vol. 1 & 2) has a lot of hinting around that involves Buddhism and Christianity.  The last book in this volume actually starts down the road toward alien life forms.  There’s much discussion regarding the birth of Alisa’s friend Paula’s baby possibly being the next Messiah; Kalika being the Dark Mother intent on killing the baby; proclamations written on papyrus that prophesy about the events that have been unfolding; and a small amount of Greek mythology..
I actually skipped a lot of parts in the 2nd and 3rd books this time and I don’t generally do that.  I’m trying to decide if I want to even bother with Thirst No. 3 or just take it back to the library when I return Thirst No. 2.  Unlike Thirst No. 1 drawing you into the next novel like it did for me, I think I could possibly manage to live my life not reading anymore of the Thirst novels.

I give this book a 3/5.

Review: Rachel Caine’s Volume 2 of The Morganville Vampires series "Midnight Alley" AND "Feast of Fools"


 Synopsis from the back cover for “Midnight Alley”:

            Claire Danvers has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town.  But being under Amelie’s protection doesn’t offer much comfort when people start turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons at his secluded home in Midnight Alley.  To what end, Claire will soon discover—and it will give a terrifying new meaning to night school.

Synopsis from the back cover for “Feast of Fools”:

            In Morganville, vampires and humans have learned to live in relative peace, but the tenuous good-neighbor policy is abruptly turned on its head with the arrival of Mr. Bishop.  The ancient old-school vampire is bad to the bone, and what he wants from the tow’s living and dead is unthinkably sinister.  It’s only at the formal ball attended by vampires and their human dates that Claire realizes Bishop’s plan—and the elaborately evil trap he’s set for the warm-blooded souls of Morganville.


This is Volume 2 of Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series.  This volume includes the 3rd and 4th books of the series:  Midnight Alley and Feast of Fools.  These books are also very entertaining.  


 **Possible Spoiler Alert**

“Midnight Alley” has Claire “bound” to Amelie via a contract and, therefore, at her every whim.  She finally invokes the contract by sending Claire to the alley from Vol. 1 – you know, the alley everyone warns her about.  Due to defects in the vampiric bloodline, Amelie needs Claire to help Myrnin create a cure.  Kind of ironic actually….Amelie wants a human to produce a cure that will straighten out the lives of those that can and do harm the human race.

Then you have Captain Obvious--::chuckle:: He has outed Michael as the newest vampire creation and has him targeted for extermination.

Monica has apparently lost her mind in this book.  She tries for a good portion of it to wiggle her way into Claire’s life.  She invites Claire to go shopping, hang out, etc. but when the invitation for coffee is made into an ultimatum that could jeopardize Claire’s boyfriend Shane, the sanity of Monica is oh so clear.

And to top off this book, Eve’s brother Justin has been released from jail and dead girls keep showing up, especially in, and around the Glass House.

“Feast of Fools” introduces a newcomer to Morganville, one that’s not exactly welcome.  Mr. Bishop barges into the Glass House, right behind Claire’s parents, and threatens the lives of everyone in the house that night unless they get Amelie to the house.  Mr. Bishop is the father of Amelie and has come to steal the town right out from under her.  We once again get to see Myrnin and his manic acts, Jason and his stalking abilities, Shane’s attitude, and surprisingly---an alliance between Oliver and Amelie.

Once again, I was enthralled through both of the books.  Rachel Caine’s writing style is fantastic.  She brings a lot to the table and, at her own pace, brings things together.  Each character seems to be interdependent on the rest of the characters, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for a definite hero or heroine.  I like that Ms. Caine doesn’t coddle the characters either.  The main characters are young adults (Claire, Eve, Shane, & Michael) that face typical teenage drama, along with adult-type drama/situations and even physical pain.  This creates a solid plot without a lot of soppy or weak characters.

I love the cliffhanger endings; it makes you want to do almost anything to get the next book purchased, borrowed, or checked out from the local library…..

Which, of course, I didn’t do soon enough this time either---See posting on Vol. 1 at http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-rachel-caines-volume-1-of.html.  I read this book in less than a week and when I went to reserve the next Volume, it, of course, is checked out from the library until the first week of July. 

As from my Vol.1 review:  The entire human population of the town lives in fear of the creatures that stalk them; some of them can even be out during the day.  Leaving the town is possible but not advisable as the vampires can do some interesting mind tricks to you to make you forget the town—BUT—if you ever start remembering anything while outside the bounds of Morganville, they will hunt you down and destroy you.

According to the author’s website, these books are suitable for Young Adults ages 13 and up, but be warned that there is mild swearing. 

Welcome to Morganville, Texas but make sure you don’t stay out after dark!

Rating:  5/5

Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: Rachel Caine’s Volume 1 of The Morganville Vampires series "Glass Houses" AND "The Dead Girls’ Dance"



Synopsis from the back cover for “Glass Houses”:

            It’s a small college town filled with quirky characters.  But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out.  Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows– one that will spill out into the bright light of day.
           Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation.  The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks on the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero.  And Claire really doesn’t have the right connections– to the undead who run the town.
          When Claire heads off campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better.  Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life.  But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood…

Synopsis from the back cover for “The Dead Girls’ Dance”:

         Claire Danvers has her share of challenges– like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains, dealing with the homicidal girls in her dorm, and above all, finding out that her college town is overrun with vampires.  On the up side, she has a great roommate (who tends to disappear at sunup) and a new boyfriend named Shane… whose vampire-hunting dad has called in backup: cycle punks who like the idea of killing just about anything.
        Now a fraternity is throwing its annual Dead Girls’ Dance and– surprise!– Claire and her equally outcast best friend, Eve, have been invited.  When they find out why, all hell is going to break loose.  Because this time both the living and the dead are coming out– and everybody’s hungry for blood.

This is Volume 1 of Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series.  This volume includes the first 2 books of the series:  Glass Houses and The Dead Girls’ Dance.  Both of these books are very entertaining.  

"Glass Houses" introduces us to the main character, Claire, as she settles into college, at the age of 16, in the middle of a town filled with mystery and secrets.  After being nearly killed by a rival girl, Claire seeks refuge in a house across town.  The owner of the house, Michael, is only around at night – disappearing during the day; Eve, is the goth poster girl; and Shane, is, well cute, in an “I’m a slacker – I don’t have a job and I play video games all day/night” kind of way.  When things heat up, unbelieving at first, Claire realizes that all is not what it seems in Morganville and neither is one of the occupants of her new home.

"The Dead Girls’ Dance" title is really kind of misleading I thought.  The dance itself is part of the book, not until the end, and isn’t really worth the hype from the back cover.  To keep from spoiling it though, I will not discuss this part of the book in detail.  The main focus of this book is the entrance of Shane’s father as a vampire-killer, vigilante-type, biker gang leader (did you get all that?) who tries to use not only Shane as leverage but also as a weapon against those that are not-so-much-on-the-living-side-of-things.

I am very impressed with the writing style of these books.  The books are busy with various storylines and Ms. Caine manages to keep them flowing smoothly, intertwined sufficiently, and cohesive.  Each situation so far has been solved, added to, or continued in a very understandable, plausible, I-didn’t-forget-about-this-tidbit or action-in-anyway type of format.  So far there isn’t really a true hero or heroine in these books.  The entire human population of the town lives in fear of the creatures that stalk them; some of them can even be out during the day.  Leaving the town is possible but not advisable as the vampires can do some interesting mind tricks to you to make you forget the town—BUT—if you ever start remembering anything while outside the bounds of Morganville, they will hunt you down and destroy you.

When I finished up The Dead Girls’ Dance I couldn’t wait for Volume 2 but; alas, it was already checked out at the local library so I had to wait.  I recommend having Vol. 2 available so you can easily transition to it instead of having to wait, like I did.

According to the author’s website, these books are suitable for Young Adults ages 13 and up, but be warned that there is mild swearing. 

Welcome to Morganville, Texas but make sure you don’t stay out after dark!

I give Volume 1 a 5/5.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: Katie MacAlister’s "Dark Ones" Series Books 1-7

I’m not doing the reviews for the first 7 books Katie MacAlister’s “Dark Ones” series the same way as single books…I’ve already read these—in order—over a year ago so instead of review them individually, I’ll do it collectively.

Book 1:  A Girl’s Guide to Vampires starring Joy, Raphael, Christian, and Roxy.
Book 2:  Sex and the Single Vampire starring Joy, Raphael, Christian, Roxy, Allegra (Allie), Sebastian, and Noelle.
Book 3:  Sex, Lies, and Vampires starring Nell, Adrian, Sebastian, Allie, Christian, Damien, Saer, and Belinda.
Book 4:  Even Vampires Get the Blues starring Paen, Samantha, Daniel, Finn, Avery, Clare, and Noell.
Book 5:  The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires starring Portia, Theondre (Theo), Sarah, Christian, and Noelle.
Book 6:  Zen and the Art of Vampires starring Kristoff, Pia, Alec, Christian, Sebastian, Ulfur & Ragnar, Mattias, Magda, Ray, Andreas, & Rowan.
Book 7:  Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang starring Kristoff, Pia, Alec, Christian, Allie, Sebastian, Ulfur & Ragnar, Mattias, Magda, Ray, Andreas, & Rowan.

The Dark Ones series is full of humor, mystery, and sexy vampires.  Each story is different than the one before it or after it although they tend to feature characters from other books.  The exceptions to that are Zen and the Art of Vampires and Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang.  Both books are about Pia and Kristoff.  I highly recommend these books to vampire fans everywhere.

Please note that all 7 books in this review have “Adult Scenes.” 

I give these books 5/5.

A Girl's Guide to Vampires
 
Sex and the Single Vampire
 
Sex, Lies and Vampires
 
Even Vampires Get the Blues
 
The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires
 
Zen and the Art of Vampires
 
Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review: Barbara Bretton’s "Spun by Sorcery"







Synopsis from the back cover:

            I don’t know about you but I’m always losing things—keys and sunglasses and stitch markers for my sweater-in-progress.  But an entire town?  Even I had never done that before!  Just when I was about to make a forever home with my 100% human soul mate, Luke MacKenzie, my Fae enemy Isadora struck…
            Even the Book of Spells, my lifeline to the world of magick, has gone MIA, along with my friends and my cottage and my knit shop.  But then my friend Janice roars up in my ancient Buick with Penny the cat and my yarn stash in town.  Suddenly I know that if I’m going to save my home, we’ll have to go back to Salem, where my family secrets and centuries-old feuds will pull me into the fight of my life…

This is book number three from Barbara Bretton’s Sugar Maple series.  As with her first and second books of the series, Casting Spells and Laced with Magic, I found this latest book to be extremely well written.   The plot is smooth and flows evenly and there is humor and conflict.  To recap:  Chloe Hobbs is part of a lineage that dates back to the founding of Sugar Maple, VT.  Each generation is responsible for keeping the magic in this town a secret, which requires falling in love and then the eventual birth of a daughter.  She is also a sorceress that just fell into her powers.  After the epic fight at the end of Laced with Magic, it would appear that Chloe not only permanently banished Isadora, but banished Sugar Maple and its occupants.  Enter more spirits, a trip of Salem, some mermaids, and Chloe’s great (times a million) grandfather and we have another wonderful Sugar Maple adventure.

Welcome to Sugar Maple everyone.  As long as Barbara continues the series, I’m here to stay.

I give this book a 5/5.

Review: Barbara Bretton’s "Laced With Magic"



Synopsis from the back cover:

            Ever have the feeling that the fates finally got it right?  That’s how I felt when I met Luke MacKenzie.  And no one could have convinced me otherwise—not the trolls, selkies, or spirits who also call Sugar Maple, Vermont, home.  But since I live in a town that thrives on secrets, why am I surprised that the man I love has a few of his own?  Because out of nowhere his ex-wife has suddenly shown up, claiming to see the spirit of their daughter, Steffie—a daughter I knew nothing about.
            Now it seems Steffie’s spirit is being held hostage by a certain Fae leader.  And if I weave a spell to free her, my nemesis will also be free—free to destroy my yarn shop, all of Sugar Maple, and everyone in it.  But if I don’t, Steffie won’t be the only one spending eternity in hell.  I’ll be joining her, cursed with a broken heart…

This is book number two from Barbara Bretton’s Sugar Maple series.  As with her first book of the series, Casting Spells, I found this book to be extremely well written.   The plot is smooth and flows evenly and there is humor and conflict.  To recap:  Chloe Hobbs is part of a lineage that dates back to the founding of Sugar Maple, VT.  Each generation is responsible for keeping the magic in this town a secret, which requires falling in love and then the eventual birth of a daughter.  She is also a sorceress-in-training; and by in-training, I mean she hasn’t been able to channel her inner magic yet…or has she finally?  After banishing Isadora to a place Chloe thought she wouldn’t be able to interfere with Sugar Maple anymore, Surprise!!!  It seems that Luke has an ex-wife (that’s alive) and a daughter (who’s dead).  Isadora continues to meddle with the town and is now using the spirit of a small child in order to procure the control over Sugar Maple and its citizens.  Will Chloe be able to set Steffie’s spirit free without sacrificing herself, Luke, or Sugar Maple?

Welcome to Sugar Maple everyone.  As long as Barbara continues the series, I’m here to stay.

I give this book a 5/5.