Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: Wolf Fever by Terry Spear

From the author's website:
Carol Woods wanted more than anything to be a nurse at the hospital in Silver Town, Colorado where her family lives, but she never foresaw how she’d end up with the job. Now she’s a red werewolf facing a mating, trying to forestall shifting for a variety of reasons—one of which has to do with a swine flu virus that seems to be attacking the werewolf kind in a bad way, while working with a private investigator who doesn’t believe in her psychic abilities one bit. So why does she thinks she’s falling in love with the infuriating gray?

Chester "Ryan" McKinley can’t get his mind off the entrancing woman, a nurse, a newly turned red lupus garou belonging to another gray pack and the only one left who might be able to learn how to stop the swine flu virus from making a permanent impact on their kind. Although he doesn’t want to draw Carol into this dangerous situation or believe she is involved, he has no other choice. But does the woman really have psychic abilities that are keeping her from shifting, or is she a fraud, a master at deception, and is behind the infections of their people? And how can he keep his hands off the intriguing woman, and his mind on the mission as the virus takes its toll?

Carol Woods sees the future - and she's a werewolf. She's not a natural born werewolf - she was attacked 5 months ago and turned. Since then, she's been fighting the change (successfully so far) and Darien, her pack leader, is concerned. She's fighting the change because she's been having visions of some of the men in her pack shifting into wolves and not being able to shift back. In addition to trying to convince her to shift, Darien is also trying to convince her to take a mate, as females are a precious commodity and he doesn't want her attacked and/or stolen.

Ryan McKinley is a former cop, now a PI, who assisted Darien's pack a few months ago with a problem they were having. Since then he hasn't been able to get Carol off his mind - he doesn't believe her visions are real. So he's back on Darien's turf to figure out how Carol figured out the clues to his case.

When Carol is almost kidnapped, she hires Ryan to be her bodyguard. He agrees, and that's where things start to really heat up. The attraction is definitely there, but Carol can't be with someone who doesn't believe in her "talent", and Ryan needs a mate who can embrace her wolf. Then, Carol's visions come true and the wolves can't shift back and the pack looks to her to find a cure.

My thoughts: I really enjoy reading Terry Spear's wolves; she is very good at making the wolf come across in their human counterparts. I love her Alpha males, and even though she was a new wolf, Carol was such a stubborn Alpha female, it was fun to see the Beta males trying (unsuccessfully) to win her affections. The social hiearchy of the packs was also well-done; although not the hero of this story, Darien was a great Alpha leader who was willing to work with another Alpha to resolve his problems. The sickness plot was interesting - biological warfare within werewolf packs is a novel storyline and it worked here, providing a dose of urgency to the story.

I'm looking forward to the next book in this series - Heart of the Highland Wolf.

Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: December 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 1402237529
ISBN-13: 978-1402237522

My Rating:

This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quickie Review - A Sibling Menage that Didn't Squick Me Out!

From the author's website:
Jaci Wright has been running from Cameron Falladay, for seven years now. Fears of the desires he arouses in her, and the knowledge of the relationship he wanted with her spurred her to run, to find a life that kept her traveling the globe and out of his reach. His and his twin brother’s.

But now, life has come full circle. A new job has placed Jaci in the Sinclair mansion with Cameron and his brother Chase. And Cam is tired of waiting. It’s hard enough to face accepting a relationship with Cam, knowing what he wants, but having the world know her lover’s brother touches her as well fills her with dread. Gossip, rumors and the tattered tales of juicy secrets fill the society she now moves within. Can she face the world knowing she’s a lover to both men, or will her hesitancy and her fears destroy her chance of
happiness forever.

I grabbed this book because I was in the mood for menage (heh). I read the back blurb and thought it sounded good - obviously I didn't see the word "brother" or you know I would have kept on going. I think my squeamishness at sibling menage is pretty well documented.

Jaci Wright has taken a job designing an exclusive club for her friend Courtney's husband. As it turns out, her hometown crush and his twin, Cam and Chase Farriday, work for Courtney's husband. Cam plans to make Jaci his, he's not letting her get away again like she did seven years ago. But Jaci's older now, and she has secrets that she's not ready to share. Cam wants to protect Jaci, but how can he if she won't tell him what happened in her past? Jaci won't share with Cam if he won't share with her - what happened to him all those years ago? What hardened him and changed him into the man he is today?

Turns out Ms. Leigh wrote such a great story that for whatever reason, the fact that Cam and Chase were twins (Twins Basil!*) didn't bother me! This book was steammmmy! I think it's part of a series (although not the first book in the series), and I'd definitely be interested in reading more.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher:St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 13, 2008

(*Austin Powers)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Foolishness

Happy Day after Thanksgiving! Here's hoping you're either at the front of all the lines today or at home taking it easy :) Anyone got their Christmas tree up yet?

No Friday Funk today - instead I'm just giving you one more reason (okay, two or three reasons) to cross the street when you see me coming...

Sometimes I think my book addiction has made me (literally) insane.

Here's some weird book-related stuff I probably shouldn't admit to:

I have a list of songs I want to know all the words to in case I ever go back in time. I owe this bizarre quirk to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Since I know my ipod would burn out after a few hours, and then I'd be on my own, I feel like I need to keep this mental list. What's on my list?

  • Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
  • I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow by The Soggy Bottom Boys
  • Chop Suey by System of a Down (don't ask me why, I have no idea)
  • Dance to the Music by Sly and the Family Stone (blame the movie Black Knight for this one)
  • Carry on My Wayward Son by Kansas (What? I was born in the '70s!)
  • Wonder by Natalie Merchant
  • Viva La Vida by Coldplay
  • Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flak/The Fugees

  • If that's not enough, there's also this:
    Sometimes, when I'm in the French Quarter, I'll imagine one of the Dark Hunters or Were Hunters are there, hanging out in the coffee shops or restaurants. Do I go looking for them? Of course not, my kids are usually with me (just kidding!). Ms. Kenyon writes her characters so vividly that when I'm near some of the places she talks about in her books, it seems like they could be real :)

    Lastly, I think a lot of my fellow readers/bloggers can identify with this one:
    I get anxious when I leave the house without a book. Even if it's just to the grocery store, the possibility of getting stuck without a book makes me antsy. I mean, really, what happens if I fall back in time and don't have a smutty book to read?!?

    I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving - Have a great weekend!!!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Review and Giveaway: Solid by Shelley Workinger

    From Goodreads:
    Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except for the living, breathing, human products of his work. Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance. While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems...

    As Solid opens, Clio Kaid is headed into her first day at a military "summer camp" for children who were secretly given gene therapy in utero 18 years ago. When the government realized what this scientist had done, they immediately contacted all the subjects to come in for testing and monitoring. There don't seem to be any problems, but no one knows for sure. Clio quickly falls in with a friendly group of kids and they enjoy spending time getting to know each other. The exercises, classes and checkups seem pretty routine - nothing special - until Clio accidentally overhears someone talking about the kids and their "talents". As she starts to pay more attention, she unearths more secrets - with the help of her friends.

    Solid was a quick, enjoyable read. I liked Clio as the narrator, she was a genuinely sweet character who wasn't obnoxiously smart or obsessing over boys. The storyline was engaging but the real plot didn't happen until quite a way through the book, then it was wrapped up too quickly. Ms. Workinger really gave us a sense of Clio and her friends - their histories and personalities, and I enjoyed "meeting" each and every one of them. I was disappointed that she did not go more into the abilities of the kids. We got that some could turn invisible, or were great at sports, or something do do with art. What are the ramifications of these abilities? How was the government planning to exploit these talents?

    The storyline has the potential to delve deeper as the series continues and I would be interested to see where Ms. Workinger takes her characters next.

    Paperback: 228 pages
    : CreateSpace
    Relase Date
    : July 9, 2010
    ISBN-10: 1453624821
    : 978-1453624821

    My Rating:

    I am giving away my signed copy of this book:

    Just leave a comment to enter!
    Ends December 8.

    This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Interview and Giveaway with Lydia Dare - authors of The Taming of the Wolf

    I'd like to welcome the writing duo of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson, also known as Lydia Dare, authors of a fantastic historical paranormal romance series. I had a few questions and they were more than willing to answer:

    In the third book in the series, The Wolf Next Door, Dash was quite the villain. In your current release, The Taming of The Wolf, he is the hero. I didn’t think I’d like Dash but I really did! I also loved that Cait didn’t just accept him and fought him every step of the way. Is it difficult to come up with new scenarios to create conflict between the hero and heroine?

    Lydia/Jodie – Thanks, Patti. I’m so glad you ended up liking Dash after all. I don’t think we’ve had any issues with coming up with new scenarios yet. I think all of our heroes have been different from each other and the same goes for our heroines. And for me, that makes the story easy to write. Dash will react differently in any given situation than Ben or Simon would, so the story will be different because he’s the main character. Same goes for the heroines. Cait will make a different choice than Elspeth would, and so on.

    Lydia/Tammy – Running out of conflict is impossible, in my opinion, especially when you have meddlesome coven-sisters to help it along should you get stuck. Those ladies are an endless supply of trouble.

    Lydia Dare is actually two authors working together - I’m always interested in how a writing team works. How did you meet and begin writing as a team? Did either of you write alone before you became Lydia Dare?

    Lydia/Jodie – We both belong to Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, based in Raleigh NC. Tammy and I both joined at the same time and became friends a few years before we decided to try writing together. I have a handful of finished manuscripts that are solely mine, but before writing novels, I was screenwriting.

    Lydia/Tammy – We were both writing solo. I had one book published with a small press and was writing a contemporary paranormal when I met Jodie. We started writing these books kind of like a game of round robin, and I don’t think either of ever thought anything would come of it. But two months after we started, we had a complete manuscript. Not long after, we’d sold the series and we now have ten books coming out with Sourcebooks.

    Have you always known the storyline from the beginning or do you just write as it takes you? Do you know how many books will be in the series? We’ve already met wolves and witches, and coming up we’ll meet vampires. Are there any other supernatural creatures lurking around?

    Lydia/Jodie – We never know what will happen in a story, just that it will have a happy ever after ending. We know who our characters are when we start the book and we know what conflict we’re starting off with, but no idea how we get to the end. :) As of right now there will be a total of 10 books in the series. The four that came out 2010, three scheduled for release in 2011, and three more that we’re just starting on for 2012. Anything can happen after that. As for other supernatural creatures, we’ve talked about a couple different options, but we haven’t seriously considered anything else yet.

    Lydia/Tammy – In Tall, Dark and Wolfish, Ben mentions that witches aren’t real. And the thought of going out to find one to heal him is ludicrous. So, even though there were witches and Lycans in our fictional world, they didn’t know of one another’s existence. The same goes for vampyres. In light of this, I think there could definitely be other beings in the Regency period.

    It looks like the next two books will feature vampires and the witches. Will we still see the wolves around?

    Lydia/Jodie – Actually the next three books will feature vampyres and the remaining witches of Caitrin’s coven. Benjamin Westfield has a cameo in each book as his wife is part of the same coven and therefore connected to the other witchy heroines. Poor Ben, those witches do love to torture him.

    Lydia/Tammy – There’s nothing I like more than a cameo from a former hero and heroine in a series. I like to see how they’ve wizened and how they’ve grown. I also like to see them have children or otherwise live happily ever after. So, I think you’ll see more of all the original “cast” before this series is over.

    In your Wolf books, the wolves mate for life and only change at the full moon; are the “rules” for vampires the traditional ones that follow common folklore or do you add any twists?

    Lydia/Jodie – I think our vampyres follow the common folklore for the most part. No walking in sunlight unless you have a special piece of jewelry, etc. There is one major difference, but it would be a complete spoiler, so I can’t reveal it.

    Lydia/Tammy – I think they’re completely different from the stereotype. But only OUR vampyres are different in that way. A former generation of the Còig set the stage for our vamps to be quite special. And I hope the readers find it to be a refreshing change.

    What types of books do you like to read for fun? Do you read books in your genre or do you prefer to stay away when reading for pleasure?

    Lydia/Jodie – I used to read ALL the time, and mainly historical romance. Tammy likes to say I live in the 19th Century, and that’s kind of true. These days, we’re so busy that I really only have time to peruse research books. I need a vacation with a stack of books so I can get caught up on the latest offerings of my favorite authors.

    Lydia/Tammy – When we’re writing wolves, I try to stay away from wolf books. When we’re writing vampyres, I stay away from those. I want to try to keep our characters and their world as unique as possible and always afraid something I’ve read will seep into my writing. But I love historicals. I read a lot on my iPad, when I can find the time.

    Thanks so much ladies for stopping by; I love the wolves and can't wait to meet the vampyres!

    The Giveaway: Thanks to Sourcebooks, I have 1 set of the 4 Lydia Dare Books (A Certain Wolfish Charm, Tall Dark and Wolfish, The Wolf Next Door and The Taming of the Wolf)to give away - 1 winner, US and Canada only, please.

    To enter, leave a meaningful comment below with your e-mail address. Extra entries:
    +1 Tweet (leave link)
    +1 blog or sidebar post (leave link)

    Contest ends Friday, December 3.

    A fresh and imaginative world of noble werewolves, each of whom encounters nearly insurmountable problems in his quest to live a normal life among England’s Regency society.

    Dashiel Thorpe has grown up with the sobriquet “The monster of Eynsford.” Each full moon, when he turns into a wild beast, he has been chained to the wall to protect those around him. He has never before encountered a creature like himself, until he goes to visit his university friend and encounters a family of Lycans living just next door.

    When the full moon turns the pack of them into wolves, Dashiel’s feral ways bring him to near-disaster, and when he bites Caitrin McLeod he unknowingly sets off a chain of events that could lead to his ultimate destruction.

    Banished to Scotland to find a mentor and get trained in how to be a proper werewolf, Dashiel must also find Caitrin and persuade her that she’s his only chance for salvation…

    About the Author
    Lydia Dare is the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson. Both Tammy and Jodie are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and live near Raleigh, North Carolina. They are working together on their next paranormal historical trilogy as Lydia Dare, which will be released by Sourcebooks Casablanca in 2011! For more information, please visit http://www.lydiadare.com/.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Review: Alien Tango by Gini Koch

    From Amazon.com:
    It's been five months since marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt started working with the aliens from Alpha Centauri, and she and Jeff Martini are getting closer. But when an experimental spacecraft is mysteriously returned to the Kennedy Space Center, Kitty and the rest of her team are called in to investigate. Now the team must survive murderous attacks, remove a space entity from a group of astronauts, and avoid an unhinged woman with a serious crush on Kitty's high school boyfriend. And that's all before evil masterminds decide Kitty's extermination is vital.

    Alien Tango has been one of my most eagerly awaited books this year; I literally jumped up and down when it arrived in my mailbox. I mean, that cover is gorgeous - it must have great things inside, right? Right!!!

    It's six months after the events in Touched by an Alien (my gushing review here), and things have been relatively quiet. Kitty, or Commander Katt now, has been putting out small fires here and there but nothing big. She's been working with her new team of human pilots, and the super-hot A-C guys, when they get a call that there's big trouble brewing. They end up in Florida, which also happens to be where Martini's family lives...

    OMG the action in this book is non-stop - there's aliens and alligators, human-supremacists and a stalker. People get killed, things get blown up, and there's some astronauts in quarantine who are having weird side-effects. Then Kitty meets Martini's family...and his fiancee!?!

    Alien Tango was full of action, but there were some great threads running between all the action too: One recurring point throughout the book is Jeff wanting to to to Kitty's high school reunion - Kitty doesn't want to go but reluctantly agrees. I won't put up any spoilers but it doesn't go quite like she expected. We also meet Kitty's best friend, Chuckie. I mentioned in my TBAA review that I wished we'd get more of Chuckie - thank you Ms. Koch - I love him! (And the fact that Martini soooo does not love Chuckie is quite funny.)

    And just when I started wanting more Kitty/Martini relationship action - bam! - Ms. Koch delivered - but not in the way I'd expected. (She's sneaky like that!)

    Some of my old favorites are back: Christopher, Reader, and Kitty's parents, and now I've got new favorites - Chuckie and Martini's dad, Alfred.

    I don't think it's possible to tell you how full of win this book is - the jokes are so corny they're funny. Alien Tango is like a comic book in novel format - the aliens, the action, the funny, the romance! I can't wait to see what's next in this amazing series. (BTW - are there plans for graphic novels? 'Cause I'd totally buy them!)

    Paperback: 448 pages
    Publisher: DAW
    Release Date: December 7, 2010
    ISBN-10: 0756406323
    ISBN-13: 978-0756406325

    My Rating:

    A preview chapter of Book 3, Alien in the Family, is included at the back of the book - way to leave me hanging!!!!! April cannot get here soon enough :)

    Alien Tango was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Review: Inside Out by Lauren Dane

    From the author's website:
    Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

    Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

    While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.


    I'm a huge fan of this series. Laid Bare is probably my all-time favorite erotic novel. I went into Inside Out thinking it was going to be an erotic read, but for me, it wasn't. It was a love story. It was a story about family and making choices. I loved it!

    Ella Tipton is the manager of the coffee shop/cafe owned by Erin Brown in Laid Bare. She was in an abusive relationship and was almost killed by her ex. She's slowly recovering and learning how to live a full life on her own terms again, but she has lifelong scars - both mental and physical. In addition to managing the cafe, she's also finishing up her Master's degree in Social Work and working a job related to that.

    Andrew "Cope" Copeland is a "bad boy" who's got a playboy reputation when it comes to the ladies. He's had a crush on Ella for a long time, but first she was in a relationship, then she was attacked and needed to recover, so the time never seemed right for him to make a move. Until now.

    Ella and Cope's story sizzled. The heat was there, just below the surface, slowly boiling toward a super hot eruption. I loved that they were already friends and turned it into something so much more - more special, more sexy, more emotionally raw. They both had issues - besides Ella's issues related to her attack by her ex-boyfriend, Cope brought some baggage into the relationship as well - as the second son, he spent most of his life trying to live up to his father's image of his older brother Ben. Cope and Ben's father is having a hard time coming to terms with Ben's relationship (a threesome), and Cope has been trying to patch things up between his father and Ben, but it's not working.

    I have only two small complaints: I got tired about reading about Erin's pregnancy. I understand everyone was worried about her and it was a huge part of the storyline, but it was frustrating as a reader to read what felt like the same thing over and over. Also, the heroines of the three books in this series to date all have names that start with E - Erin, Elise, and Ella. I've mentioned before that I get confused when the names are similar. All three heroines have intertwining storylines in the book; I was able to keep everyone straight but sometimes had to re-read a line or paragraph and double-check to make sure I had was picturing the right people in my head.

    Inside Out is emotionally exhausting - but in a good way. I was so vested in the characters lives that I took their triumphs and tragedies to heart myself. It was a wonderful read and I'm so glad that in addition to Ella and Cope we also got to see how all the other siblings and friends are doing.

    I'm now anxiously awaiting Adrian's book - Never Enough - coming in September 2011. (I'm so glad his love interest isn't Raven!)

    Paperback: 320 pages
    Publisher: Berkley Heat
    Release Date:
    November 2, 2010
    ISBN-13: 978-0425236888

    My Rating:

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


    Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead is one of those releases I am anticipating and dreading. Anticipating because the series is so awesome and dreading because it's the last book in this fabulous series. This is my favorite YA series.

    The release date is December 7 but I haven't been able to find a blurb, and she said she probably won't be able to release the first chapter (which she normally releases a month ahead of the book) until Thanksgiving week.

    She did put two videos with teasers up on her blog last week:

    Loyal. Outsider. Murderer? Who killed the Queen?
    (about Christian apparently)

    and a quote from the book:
    "...and there isn't much I wouldn't do for you. The stupider the better."

    She has planned a spinoff series with different characters as the main focus, here's what she has to say:

    Last Sacrifice will be the last book about Rose, but it'll be followed by a spin-off series still set in the Vampire Academy world. Side characters we know from the current series will now be our main characters, and there'll be a whole new storyline (not the last one told from a different perspective). So far, there is no exact release date, but you can expect it near late summer/early fall of 2011.

    Reading level: Young Adult
    496 pages
    Publisher: Penguin/Razorbill
    Release Date:
    December 7, 2010
    ISBN-10: 1595143068
    ISBN-13: 978-1595143068

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Interview and Giveaway with Alice Clayton, author of the Redhead Series (you know - the series I've been fawning all over!)

    As you well know, I am a new fan of the Redhead series by Alice Clayton:
    The Unidentified Redhead (my gushing review here), and
    The Redhead Revealed (more gushing here).

    Ms. Clayton was kind enough to agree to a chat and is giving away e-books at the end of the interview:

    The first book, The Unidentified Redhead, takes place in LA among movie industry types. The second book, The Redhead Revealed, takes place in New York (mostly). Do you have any background in the industry?

    I was lucky enough to spend some time in LA right after college, and I absolutely loved it. I do have friends in the industry, but what you quickly realize when you live in LA is that everyone is in the industry in some way. Your waiter is an actor, your banker teaches acting at night, and everyone knows someone. There is something really magical about Southern California, especially Los Angeles. But I think that you have to experience it in the right way, because there are certainly parts of LA, like any city, that are less than magical. I still have great friends there, and whenever I go back, I make sure to take one of my favorite drives. I love to drive any of the canyons, Laurel, Coldwater, Benedict, Topanga...and I love to take Sunset all the way from Hollywood to the ocean. Stunning. New York City is a different matter entirely. I used to spend time in Manhattan on business trips, and I would be lying if I said I didn't always "pad" that trip with an extra day or so...hope my old employers aren't reading this! While LA is a driving town, NYC is a walking town for sure. So when I would visit, I would make sure to get out and walk as much as I could. The first time I visited NYC was when I was still in college, and a friend of mine traveled there for New Year's. He was studying opera at the time, and we were both trying to decide where we wanted to move after college...LA or NYC. We were complete tourists on this trip, we stayed at the giant Sheraton on 7th, and I spent each night just staring out the window at all the lights. Of course we spent New Year's Eve in Times Square with thousands of other idiots, and while I am glad I did it once, I don't need to do it again! Oddly enough, the next time I visited, years later, I was in NYC on the same day, flying in on a last minute business trip on New Year's Eve. I got in late that night, and walked around for hours, all around downtown. I was by myself, in a city I knew nothing about and no clue how to get around in. I walked and walked, stopped into a little sushi place that I could never find again, and lost myself in the city. New Year's Day I found myself once again alone, burying myself in work, and that night for dinner I grabbed a cab and headed down to Little Italy. Alone on New Year's, I ended up in the basement of this tiny little restaurant, sitting with the owners family. I spoke zero Italian, but as they passed me red wine and plates and plates of food, I felt completely at home. One of the biggest cities on earth, and I was eating with family. Not my own, but family.

    I have to ask because I adore Grace – Did you write yourself into her character? Or any of the other characters?

    There are definitely things about Grace that mimic some of my own experiences, but she is her own girl. Now the character of Holly is based on several of my best girlfriends, even my sister! Holly is my favorite character in these books, I adore her. I am so blessed to have such strong women in my own life, and I wish everyone had a best friend like Holly.

    And Jack – oh Jack! Such a sexy, smart, all-around swoon-worthy guy. Are there any Hollywood types that were your inspiration for Jack? And even though I can’t really picture accents in my head when I’m reading, that wasn’t a problem in this book – at points I actually could hear him speak. What is it about men with accents that we women find so sexy?

    Jack is...wow. Jack is a wonder for sure. What stamina! Ha! Someone asked me once, if there was a movie made out of The Unidentified Redead, who would play Jack? In my head, he like a British Scott Speedman. I have to admit, he is one of my swooners! And the accent, oh boy, what is it about an accent? I recently watched one of my favorite movies from childhood, Grease 2 (don't judge) and I realized that I drew so much from that when I was a kid. I wanted to be Michelle Pfieffer after that, and I wanted a boyfriend that had that fantastic accent. To this day, I get a little twitterpated when I hear an accent. Sigh...

    Grace is several years older than Jack. At one point someone refers to her as a “Cougar”. How do you feel about that term? (Is there a term like that for older men/younger women? Mountain Lion? Bear? <---um, wait, I think “Bear” is already taken, LOL)

    I am all over the place on the term "cougar". If you think about it from a purely sexual standpoint, this arrangement makes perfect sense. Woman and men at their sexual peak, enjoying themselves. I say rock on. Get it. Swing from the chandeliers. At the same time, there is a predatory notion attached to this word, that I don't necessarily agree with. Men have been dating women considerably much younger than them for years, why aren't they called Orcas? I love how you address real-world insecurities that women face every day and put a humorous slant on them. I think any woman who has self-image issues can relate to Grace on some level. Grace’s best friend Holly is also an amazing friend and great support system. Will we be seeing more of Holly? Do I see a potential hint of romance blooming there? Every woman I know, and this includes women that look perfect on the outside, have image issues. Think about the last time you heard a woman be given a compliment. "Hey, that skirt is fabulous, you look great in it!" "Ugh, have you seen how big my ass is?" "Wow, your hair looks really pretty today," "Pfft, I barely even had time to wash it today, it's so flat!" We seemed conditioned to bat down any compliment we are given, it's shocking when you start to become aware of it. And YES to Holly, there is definitely more in store for her. One of my great friends, who knows by the way that Holly is based partly on her, keeps asking me, "When is my girl gonna get some?"

    And let’s not forget the sexin’. These books are very hot – Grace and Jack have amazing chemistry and love to act on it! Do your friends and family read your books? If so, do you get weird comments from them?

    Well my father has yet to read it, let's just say that! He has heard things, many things, so he bought several copies...but will not read it. And that is ok by me! The rest of my family and friends, they are enjoying it for what it is. Some really like the spicier parts, some skip over them. My poor mother, several times she seemed as though she wanted to ask me more questions, but then wisely changed the subject. Sex is part of life, and I like a good sex scene as much as I like the funny scenes and the schmaltzy scenes. I wanted it all, so I wrote it all.

    Have you always known the storyline from the beginning or do you just write as it takes you? Do you know how many books will be in the series? When is the next book coming out? I need to add it to my “stalker calendar”!

    Stalk away my friend! Right now I have a total of 4 books planned for The Redhead Series. I am working on Book 3 as we speak, and hope to have it out to you sometime next summer. I originally planned just the first 2 books, but once they were complete these two seemed to have so much more to say, so much more to do! So on we go!

    For me, this book was a total escape from reality – I felt like I was there, interacting with the characters, and thought about them when I wasn’t actually reading the book. What kinds of books do you like to read? I always wonder if writers read in their genre or prefer to stay away when reading for pleasure.

    I read a little of everything, although until very recently, I didn't think I was a romance reader. Turns out I was wrong, and I am a sucker for a good boy-meets-girl. I actually just started a 52 Week Book Challenge, a book a week for the next year. I am in Week 2 right now, and really enjoying just reading for pleasure again. You can follow along with me on my blog at aliceclayton.com.

    You have a playlist on your blog of songs related to the books. I’ve recently started a segment on my blog called “Friday Funk” wherein I feature a song that reminds me of a book or fictional character. What is it about music and books that goes so well together? Is it because, just like books, songs tell stories?

    Music is huge to me, and I almost always have something playing wherever I am, whatever I'm doing. I have said this before, but I tend to see things in Cinemascope, and I always heard a soundtrack when I was writing Grace. So on my websites, there is a chapter by chapter soundtrack that accompanies each book. It's worth checking out, especially when rereading certain scenes. Everyone that rereads the Prodigy scene in Book 1 thanks me later...

    Is there anything you’d like to showcase or promote?

    I am working on a new project that will be going up sometime after the first of the year, but it's not a book. Secretive huh? Stay tuned, it should be a fun ride!

    Thanks so much Alice, for stopping by; I'm looking forward to more of Grace and Jack's adventures!!

    The giveaway: Omnific Publishing has graciously offered to give away 3 sets of The Unidentified Redhead and The Redhead Revealed in e-book format! *jumping up and down*

    Leave a meaningful comment below with your e-mail address.
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    Contest ends November 30.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Review: A Season of Seduction by Jennifer Haymore (and giveaway!)

    From the author's website:
    Although the widowed Lady Rebecca has sworn off marriage, men are another matter. London’s cold winter nights have her dreaming of warmer pursuits-like finding a lover to satisfy her hungry heart. Someone handsome, discreet, and most importantly as uninterested in marriage as she is. Someone like Jack Fulton.

    A known adventurer and playboy, Jack seems like the perfect choice. There’s just one problem: Jack isn’t interested in an affair. He needs the beautiful, mysterious Lady Rebecca to be his wife. And he doesn’t have much time to persuade her. A secret from Jack’s past is about to surface, and by Christmas Day he’ll be either married to Rebecca or dead.


    A Season of Seduction is the third book in Ms. Haymore's Tristan Family series. I read the 2nd book, A Touch of Scandal (my review here), and really liked the heroine of this book, Rebecca.

    As the story opens, Lady Rebecca (Becky) is about to embark on an assignation with Jack Fulton, a sailor recently embarked in London, whom she's become almost intimately acquainted with. Whom she wants to be intimately acquainted with. After the death of her husband four years ago, Rebecca hasn't wanted anyone like she wants Jack. She knows it's improper, but with the help of her dear friend, Cecelia, she's arranged to be with him tonight - alone. Things are moving right along, and then...her brother bursts into the hotel room and catches them, undressed and in bed together! Of course there's an audience to her disgrace, and she knows propriety dictates that she accept Jack's proposal of marriage. The problem is, she just can't do it.

    Lady Rebecca's last marriage was so horrible, she doesn't ever want to be married again. He wooed her and convinced her he loved her, then planned to kill her for her money! She never wants to be dependent on a man again. What she doesn't know is that Jack needs to marry her because he is being blackmailed; he needs her dowry. He's got a history he's briefly told her about, but didn't give her all the facts, and is trying to manipulate her into marriage.

    I enjoyed A Season of Seduction, Ms. Haymore's writing is descriptive - I could picture the events as they were unfolding. I liked Becky, and I wanted to like Jack, but I just couldn't. He was earnest and he loved her, but when you got down to it, he was using her. I was frustrated that when he finally decided to tell her the truth, his first thought is that his family would help him with his "issues" - that seemed kind of smarmy to me.

    My feelings about the hero aside, it was a good story. Becky was a sweet heroine, and it was nice to see the characters from the previous book. (It can definitely be read as a stand-alone though) We met some new characters, Becky's friend Cecelia, and Jack's friend, Lord Stratford, whom I hope to see in the next book :)

    Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
    Publisher: Forever
    Release Date: October 1, 2010
    ISBN-10: 0446540285
    ISBN-13: 978-0446540285

    My Rating:

    I have an ARC of Book 2 (A Touch of Scandal) and A Season of Seduction to give away (obviously I've read them but they're still in good condition) to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment telling me you want to win them. Must be a GFC follower. Ends November 29.

    Extra entries:
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    This book was received by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Review: The Redhead Revealed by Alice Clayton

    From the publisher:
    As their careers catch fire, Grace and Jack -- everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed, funny, and feisty couple -- find themselves on opposite coasts.

    Grace has landed in New York City, where she loves being onstage again, particularly because she’s playing a fabulous character in a musical written by her old college flame, Michael. Their rekindled friendship makes exploring the city that much more fun.
    Wait, it’s just friendship, right?

    Meanwhile, in L.A., Jack can scarcely keep up with the swirling throngs of women who track him everywhere he goes, the endless press appearances, and the ridiculous rules his manager, Holly, keeps concocting for him -- all part of the buildup to the release of Time, his steamy new film. Thank goodness for phone sex.

    But even when their schedules allow them to connect, Grace and Jack must keep their relationship off the radar and away from paparazzi cameras. Sure, the sex is sensational, but can this duo survive swirling rumors, the demands of their chosen professions, Grace’s raging internal battles, and a whopping nine-year age difference?
    Tick-tock, the clock is ticking. Isn’t it?

    Alice Clayton brings the second installment of a tale told with her magical mix of humor and heat, so cuddle up under the sheets and flip on the Golden Girls. Grace and Jack are at it again.


    I think my love for the first book in this series, The Unidentified Redhead, is well-documented. I told myself I wouldn't read The Redhead Revealed until I did my review for the first book, but I just couldn't wait - I had to know what happened next with this crazy couple ;) The Redhead Revealed is just as awesome as the first book!


    When The Redhead Revealed opens, Grace is in New York, and she's excited to be there but sad Jack is back in L.A. She is trying to settle in and her old love interest, Michael - who is also her producer - is there to help her acclimate. She and Jack talk and text all the time, but she still misses him horribly. She sees him in the gossip magazines, which doesn't help. He's off doing promo for his new movie, and is able to get some time in New York to visit Grace. They reconnect, but it's hard when they're trying to hide their relationship from the paparazzi. And Michael's acting jealous...

    Things come to a head when Grace flies to LA for Jack's film premiere. She decides she's too old for Jack and if she wants kids (she doesn't think she does but is suddenly not so sure) she needs to do it soon. Jack is too young and his career is too new for kids, right? So maybe it's time to finish this before anyone gets hurt; except it's way too late for that.

    My thoughts: Loved it!!! Ms. Clayton has a really great writing style that showcases the emotions of the characters without being overly descriptive. When Grace and her friends are gossiping, I feel like I'm sitting right there, gossiping along with them. The Redhead Revealed also gave us a closer view into Grace's insecurities, and as a woman who's no longer in her 20s, I can appreciate where she's coming from. And Grace and Jack - *fans self* the sexy scenes between them are superfirehot!!! I still think Jack is pretty awesome (Fine. I have a huge crush on sexy Jack Hamilton. There - I said it.), and he's perfect for Grace. The time they were apart tore my heart out.

    I need Ms. Clayton to write faster, I'm entirely too vested in these characters and have got to know what's coming next! I thought about Grace and Jack at times when I wasn't actually reading the book, which to me is a proof positive that it's an awesome story.

    Paperback: 228 pages
    Publisher: Omnific Publishing

    Publish Date:
    September 28, 2010
    ISBN-10: 1936305380

    ISBN-13: 978-1936305384

    My Rating:

    Come back next week when I interview Alice Clayton;
    she'll be giving away an e-copy of her books!!

    This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Review: The Taming of the Wolf by Lydia Dare

    From the author's website:
    Regency England has gone to the wolves!
    He could never lose control… Dashiel Thorpe, Earl of Brimsworth, has spent his life fighting the wolf within him. But when the full moon rises, Dash is helpless. A chance encounter with Caitrin Macleod on a moonlit night inadvertently binds the two together irrevocably, and Dash’s impulsiveness plunges them both into a nightmare…
    She never saw him coming… Caitrin Macleod is no quiet country lass, but a witch with remarkable abilities. But when it comes to Dashiel, she’s as helpless to fight his true nature as he is. Her senses overwhelmed, she runs back to the safety and security of her native Scotland… But Dashiel is determined to follow her—she’s the only woman who can free him from a fate worse than death. And Caitrin will ultimately have to decide whether she’s running from danger, or true love…

    After finishing the last book in this series, The Wolf Next Door, I didn't think I'd like the hero or heroine in The Taming of the Wolf. I'll admit it - I was wrong - Lydia Dare does it again! I think you know I'm a huge fan of this series, and this book did not disappoint; this is my 2nd favorite book in the series (A Certain Wolfish Charm is still my fave).

    The story: While wandering the Westfield's castle, unable to sleep, Caitlin Macleod wanders into the study to find her book. She knows she must stay in the house because it is a full moon, and the Lycan family she is staying with has impressed upon her that it is safer that way.

    Unbeknownst to her, someone is in the study - Dashiel Thorpe, Earl of Brimsworth. Dash is also a Lycan, although he has an unpleasant history with the Westfield family, and they are holding him in the study until they can decide what to do with him. Dash is immediately attracted to Cait, and kisses her...then bites her! She runs off and he's confused about why he just did that. Long story short, he claimed her! He's got to convince her to marry him or he will be alone the rest of his life until one of them dies.

    Cait is a witch who sees the future of the people around her. She didn't want her best friend and fellow witch to marry a Lycan, and she certainly is not interested in this Lycan for herself. But he calms her, and when she touches him she gets a reprieve from all the future images that constantly bombard her when she's around people. And she did enjoy that kiss....

    My thoughts: Loved it! Dash had such a sad history, he didn't know he was a Lycan until just a few days before this book takes place, he thought he was a monster. I felt sympathy for him and he was so sweet and vulnerable underneath that Alpha demeanor. (And he growls alot - yum!) Cait was stubborn and witchy - I laughed when she tricked him into drinking a sleep draught :)

    There's a not-quite love triangle going on. Alec McQuarrie is still pursuing Cait, even though she's told him he's not in her future he refuses to give up. Dash and Alec butt heads a few times, and Cait just rolls her eyes. And when Dash and Cait get to Scotland and another suitor comes out - poor Dash! I loved it! Also loved the book Cait picked up at the beginning of the story - poor Dash just can't catch a break, haha!

    So, in summary, great story, fun characters, sweet romance. What's not to love?

    Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
    Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
    Release Date: November 1, 2010
    ISBN-10: 1402244371
    ISBN-13: 978-1402244377

    My Rating:
    Come back on November 23 for an interview with the writing team of Lydia Dare - I'll also be giving away 1 set of the 4 Lydia Dare Books (A Certain Wolfish Charm, Tall Dark and Wolfish, The Wolf Next Door and The Taming of the Wolf)!

    This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Guest Posting over at Fiction Vixen today...

    I'm guest posting over at Fiction Vixen Book Reviews today -
    head on over and check out my review of Ghost Town by Rachel Caine!!!

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Review: The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton

    From the author's website:
    When Grace Sheridan moves to Los Angeles to become a working actor, it's a second shot at a life-long dream. But at thirty-three, has she missed her chance? And will an unexpected romance with the entertainment industry's newest "it" boy shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life?

    I thought long and hard (heh, heh, I said "long and hard") about doing a one-word review:

    Prepare for a squeefest: Grace was such a funny heroine, a real-world (not Real World) woman - she was funny and smart and realistic. She had insecurities, and her struggles to overcome them are part of why I love her. Her humor was so juvenile (see my "long and hard" reference above) and I loved every minute of it. There was not one bit of forced dialogue, the whole book flowed.

    Grace is a 33-year-old woman who has come back to L.A. to try acting again. She tried it when she was younger, but now she's older, wiser, and more confident. She's staying with her best friend and agent, Holly (who I also love), and meets Jack Hamilton at one of Holly's parties. He's 24, and right on the cusp of becoming Hollywood's Next Big Thing. They click, and hang out a bit, and end up dating. But can it work? Besides the 9-year difference, his career is just taking off and she's still trying to break into the business. I don't usually go for the older woman/younger man, but I loved this. The age difference was such a huge deal for her, and not at all for Jack.

    And Jack, oh Sweet Nuts, he totally made my Fictional Boyfriends list - he's sooo good. This kid is completely swoonworthy. Oh, and did I mention he's British? Yup, even better! He's so good for Grace, and I loved him for that, among other things *g*.

    The Unidentified Redhead is sprinkled liberally with lines like "The British are coming" and "That's what she said"; totally awesomesauce on a deliciously sexy bun (bum?). Speaking of awesomesauce, the lovin' is pretty hot; these two clicked in and out of the sack, and in the shower, and in the closet, and.... you get the picture.

    If you don't normally read Contemporaries, The Unidentified Redhead might change your mind. I'll leave you with this: This is the first book that's ever made me jealous of a fictional character's rack. *sigh* I covet Grace's boobies.

    Paperback: 276 pages
    Publisher: Omnific Publishing

    Release Date: February 16, 2010

    ISBN-10: 1936305062

    ISBN-13: 978-1936305063

    Think I'm exaggerating? Try it - Read the first chapter for free on your kindle!

    My Rating:

    I loved this book so much I couldn't wait and went straight into the 2nd book in the series: The Redhead Revealed:
    (Review coming soon!)

    This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010


    So, as of tomorrow (Monday) I will only be hitting the internet in the evenings, when I'm at home. No peeking earlier to see what's going on and catch the latest kerfluffle. No checking e-mail to see who stopped by my blog, or tweeting about...whatever it is that I tweet about.

    I'm pretty bummed about it, I think I'm more addicted to the internet than I thought. I'm afraid I'm going to miss alot.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    October Wrap-Up

    Wow, October flew by! I can't believe it's November already. Seems like just yesterday I was making New Year's resolutions for the book blog...and it's time to start thinking about what I'd like to accomplish for next year.

    October was a busy month - let's start with my reads:
    1. Grimspace by Ann Aguirre (4 stars)
    2. Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre (4 stars)
    3. Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre (3 stars)
    4. Killbox by Ann Aguirre (4 stars)
    5. Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston (4 stars)
    6. Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter (3 1/2 stars)
    7. Slave to Pleasure by Eliza Gayle (3 stars)
    8. Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole (4.5 stars)
    9. Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole (4.5 stars)
    10. Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole (5 stars)
    11. Corralled by Lorelei James (4.5 stars)
    12. Montana Glory by R.C. Ryan (4 stars)
    13. L.A. Caveman by Christina Crooks (3 stars)
    14. Ghost Town by Rachel Caine (5 stars) - review to come
    15. The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate (4 1/2 stars)
    16. Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley (3 1/2 stars)

    I also re-read most of Outlander (I skimmed the slow parts, LOL) since I picked it up for free on my kindle last month.

    Speaking of Kindle, October also brought me a new Kindle 3!! Let me just say again - loves it!!! It's smaller, faster, and crisper. I also bought the lighted cover - if you do get a kindle 3, I highly recommend this cover :)

    Parajunkee and I crashed Undead Con and met Jeaniene Frost and Karen Essex. Okay, we didn't really crash the con but we did show up just to meet the authors. I also ended up getting a new tattoo with hubs that evening :)

    Also in October, Karen Marie Moning announced she was coming to New Orleans for her Shadowfever release - I am so freakin' excited!!! I've already planned to take the day off from work and would love to meet any other bloggers who are able to go!

    And, lastly, I threw out the question: Authors - to stalk or not to stalk? and got some amazing answers from both sides of the question. Very interesting and informative comments.

    So, that's my October - how was yours?

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Review: Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley

    From the author's website:
    When a nice girl asks twelve men to get naked, it’s sure to cause a scandal… Emma Tremayne leaves her high-powered PR job and moves to the Lake District looking for peace, quiet-and celibacy. So perhaps it’s not the best idea when, in the spirit of “community-mindedness,” she agrees to help the local mountain rescue team fund raise by putting together a “tasteful” nude calendar. Especially since quite a lot of the community seems to mind what she’s up to-including the tall, dark and handsome Mr. December, Will Tennant, who appears to have gotten the wrong impression about Emma’s intentions. So how does she convince him that he’s more than just the flavor of the month?

    This book was originally published as Decent Exposure in the UK and was made into a Lifetime movie which premiered in December 2009.

    As Dating Mr. December opens, Emma Tremayne is trying to convince the local mountain rescue team that a "nudie" calendar - featuring the team members - would be just the fund raiser they need to earn enough money for much-needed renovations to their rescue station. She's got just about everyone convinced, except Will Tennant, one of the senior members of the team. He thinks it will turn their team into a laughingstock. After everyone else on the team votes to do the calendar, Will reluctantly agrees to participate.

    Emma decides she's not going to let Will get to her, even though he's tall, sexy, and wrong about the calendar. She needs the calendar to succeed, to prove that she's as good at PR as she says she is. She's still stinging from the betrayal of discovering her boyfriend and boss had been seeing each other behind her back, and when she was fired, she fled to Bannerdale to get away from London and start over.

    Will doesn't want to like the new PR agent, but she's sexy and fearless and he might be falling for her. He's got a few issues of his own, like never falling in love after his fiancee broke his heart two years ago.

    Dating Mr. December is a cute, romantic story set in the small, mountainous town of Bannerdale, England. Emma was a bit of a fish-out-of-water, which was endearing. Her character was sweet I felt so sorry for her broken heart, however - I wanted to smack her for being such an idiot with Will. In that same vein, Will was sweet and sexy, but I wanted to shake him and tell him he was being an idiot with Emma. These two were so hot and cold I couldn't keep up with who was mad at who. The way they'd crash together and then jump away was a bit frustrating to this reader; I felt like there was no basis for the relationship to move forward.

    Those frustrations aside, I liked the story - it reminded me of the movie Calendar Girls. Dating Mr. December is an entertaining contemporary romance that had me wishing I could visit the town and meet the characters. I also enjoyed Ms. Ashley's descriptions of the mountains and lakes - it sounds like a beautiful place. The epilogue was a satisfying conclusion to Emma and Will's story. I'm interested in the Lifetime movie (although they changed the setting to Montana) and will be looking that up in the future.

    On a totally random side note, I liked the size of this book - it's not trade paperback or mass market size, but rather a combination of the two.

    My Rating:

    This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.