Monthly Archives: February 2013

Secondhand Shoes By Shelly Arkon

41VlEl-wJWL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I looked at the living. I knew my maternal grandparents, MiMi and Pap-pap, a handful of Max’s friends, and his parents. The rest were Mom’s friends.

Tears blurred my vision, and time slowed. I was halfway to the altar and felt as if I was watching myself walk to Max.

High-pitched hiccups came one after the other. Pain stabbed at the backs of my heels. I tried walking on my toes, but that pinched my piggies. Acid indigestion, hot as molten lava, rumbled my stomach. I needed to burp. I tucked in my chin and held my breath to help it happen. It was going to be volcanic. It would burn everyone in burp radius. They should run. I should run.

This book brings so many elements to the table: Humour, thrills, action and a lot of paranormal.

The book opens with Lila in a wedding gown and shoes that her mother, Babs, wanted her to wear. Everything about this wedding was for Babs’ benefit…even the choice in the Groom for which it seemed that Lila had no choice in either. The wedding dress is itchy and chaffing, the shoes are secondhand and too small for her feet, and to top it all off, her stomach is about to explode–all signs that Lila should turn around and head back for home. But Babs would never allow that to happen.

Lila is about to marry Max Butz, a man that she barely knows and doesn’t love, mainly to shut up Babs…sorry, I can’t say anything nice about her. She certainly wouldn’t win any Best Mother Ever awards.

But there is someone trying to help Lila and that’s her dead grandmother. Her grandmother keeps telling her to run away before this fiasco can even start. But wait…her grandmother is dead. How can that be? You see, Lila is a medium, which is someone who can see and talk to dead people. This is an advantage to Lila later on in the story.

Of course, does she listen? No. Then there wouldn’t be a story.

Lila’s grandmother’s ghost helps her to get out of many sticky, and often difficult situations. Taking the form of birds and other wildlife, as well as speaking inside of her head, Lila’s grandmother steers Lila in the right direction.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Lila? Something else that keeps happening to Lila is that she keeps dreaming/seeing/feeling her ex-boyfriend, Julio’s (the one she should have been with all along) presence…but wait…he’s in a coma. How can this be?

With the help of her best friend Cynthia, a loveable trucker named BJ and her dead grandmother, Lila gets further away from Max and closer to Julio.

Max’s mother is something else, and I don’t know why Lila would ever agree to marry into the Butz family. If for name only, I know I couldn’t do it.

Set in the 80’s, the author shows off her unique style of writing. 5 stars!

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In Flames (Destined Series) By Elissa Daye

51NoBC7jX9L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Lysandra’s thoughts were interrupted when she heard a lone howl in the woods. She turned around to see a dog covered in silver fur, or perhaps it had been a wolf? It was hard to tell with the darkness of the night around them. She could see the light of a full moon shining down around them, but it was not enough as the darkness swallowed it easily.

“Did you see that?” Lysandra’s voice was full of dreaded anticipation.

“What?”

“That wolf. Right there behind those trees.”

Bradford turned to where she indicated, but shook his head. “I think the night is playing tricks on you, my dear. There is nothing there but the shadows of the night.”

The book starts out in the Outlands 1342. A man with desires stops by this town and finds a pretty young thing waiting. He beds her, never seemingly to get enough of her…yet, he holds a secret; He is married. When she begins to fall in love with him and wants to make wedding plans, he bursts her bubble by telling her that he can’t marry her because he’s already married. He figures he could have his cake and eat it too. The woman didn’t think so, and puts a curse on him. “I curse thee! From this day forward, you will forever be followed by the beast that lies within your heart! The power of Lena take thee!”

Hundreds of years later, a young girl, Lysandra loses her parents to an overbearing uncle and aunt, ones who don’t care for the girl. They enslave her, beating her and making her feel and be weak, breaking her. Then a young man by the name of Bradford comes to them and frees her, saying that the man for whom he works for wishes to buy her. The aunt and uncle sell her to the man. While on route to where they are going, she notices the wolf in the forest.

She is taken to a place where she is basically sold into prostitution for this man. She’s a virgin, bought because of her innocence, so she is given a sort of training course in how to act around the men. She knows she’s not going to like it here, but anything seemed better than being where she had been…with her mean aunt and uncle.

Turns out this isn’t any better. The woman who is “training” her, getting her ready to become like the other women there, becomes jealous of the attention that Lysandra has been receiving fromt he patrons. The woman decides that this girl has to go, and “tells” the man who bought her that she should be sold because a virgin would get more money for them.

A bidding war begins for the girl, and just when she thinks she’s sold, another outbids him. A man by the name of Aiden Quinn (not to be confused with the actor, Aidan Quinn) pays double what the other was offering. Turns out, there is some bad blood between the two bidders.

But Aiden isn’t all that he appears to be. He is more. And, so is Lysandra. What are their secrets? If one of them finds out something about the other, will it affect their growing relationship? Will the townspeople accept the secrets? You’ll have to get this one to find out.

I felt badly for Lysandra and what she had to go through. The author wrote the pain and suffering so well, it was like I was there watching it happen to the girl. There were a few times I wished I could tell her captor’s to leave her alone. I wondered how much a young girl could take before she just gave up.

I’m usually not a fan of the fantasy type of books, but I did like this one. It has magic, action, and love in it, as well as a little sexual tension in it. You won’t be disappointed by this one.

5 stars!

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Single And Searching By Rita Herron

5101-CzBLFL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Antiques, bluebells, cinnamon, daffodils, ebony, fireplaces, grapes, hugs, ice cream, jogging, kaleidoscope, laughter, movies, neverending, olives, pasta, quilts, rabbits, silk, teddies, unusual, violet, writing, x’s, x’s, x’s, x’s, yellow, zinnia’s.

Casey McIntyre is a young mother of a two year old, Henry S., who is fighting for her right to custody of the child from the kid’s father, Travis Satterfield. Casey is also a bestselling author of some children’s books.

Gabe Thornton is a reporter who has been chasing this story, The Alphabet Thief, who enters people’s homes, steals their electronic wares and leaves behind one of those plastic magnetic alphabet letters that every home with a child has for the fridge, as a calling card, so to speak. As part of his job, he was running through the “Single and Searching” ads for another article, when he comes across the ad using every letter of the alphabet. He wondered if there was a correlation between the alphabet ad and the alphabet thief.

When he gets to her house for the date, he’s an hour early due to the time change (he was on a business trip), she thinks by the way he’s dressed that he must be the plumber that has come to fix her toilet (Henry S. flushed neon green condoms (balloons) down it), she has orange and purple koolaid in her hair (courtesy of Henry S.), and her house is in disarray with toys and art supplies everywhere. Gabe thinks a bomb must have gone off in her house because there is hardly a place to walk. This is hardly the kind of woman that he would seek out. While she is getting ready, he fixes her toilet, but slips away, standing her up.

The next morning she reads the article that he has written, slandering her good name because of his first impressions of her. She, and her house, were a mess, so therefore, she must be brainless and certainly not good dating material. When she realizes that the plumber had actually been her date that stood her up, she decides to get revenge. She decides to show him exactly what he would have missed if he had showed up for the date.

And, the plan works…well, maybe it works just a little too well…because there is sexual tension firing in all directions for both of them.

But what secrets is Casey holding back from Gabe? Does she have something to do with the alphabet thefts? Casey has quite the past, and she isn’t sure if Gabe would be able to handle her few minor shortcomings from long ago. And, what of Henry S.’ father? How does he figure into all of this? You’ll have to get this one to find out.

I loved this book! The sexual tension was at its highest, and I couldn’t help but root for Casey and for Gabe. Gabe is the hunky guy who doesn’t just think of himself, but thinks of others…well, he does when he meets Casey. He’s the kind of guy that any girl would be lucky to go out with. He understands Casey, even if she doesn’t fit the profile of what he thought he considered the “perfect woman.” Casey soon realizes that even though he may have gotten a wrong first impression of her, he appreciates those shortcomings and tries to make up for all the hurts that have happened to her in the past.

If you love romance, this is the book for you…with a sprinkling of humour mixed in, you can’t go wrong.

5 stars!

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Romeo And Juliet: A Vampire And Werewolf Love Story By HT Night

51tt9537tlL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-57,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Her eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. “We can escape this city where we are forbidden to couple by what our society dictates. We can start over in California, with no fear, no retaliation, no oversight. Unbound from Verona, we can be free to love one another. Openly.”

My heart was beating so fast that it hammered against my ribs. “Yes! Yes!” I said hoarsely. It was all I could do, not to shout down the house with my joyful agreement.

“I am yours,” she said softly. Juliet looked at me, walked over and knelt down, looking up at me, her face full of hope and longing, the willing submission of her virtue as clear as this starry night. She wrapped her arms around my neck to pull her body close to mine. I leaned back onto her king-size bed and she collapsed on top of my body. Oh, wondrous joy! Her white nightgown began to slip and her body was exposed to me for the first time. I looked down and kissed her lips and her face, but letting my greedy eyes reap the sight of what she offered.

Well, since many authors are re-telling fairy tales, why not the classics, too? I must admit, I’m not a huge Shakespeare fan, simply because of the language. Maybe if I were to pick it up now and try to read it, it would be different, better. Somehow I doubt it though. If the Romeo and Juliet book that I had to read in Grade 9 had been an actual book (and not a play) and was written in a more modern type English, maybe I would have enjoyed Shakespeare more. I must also admit that instead of reading Shakespeare, I bought the Coles notes and read them instead…But, I digress.

This is the love story of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, living in a future time in Verona, which is actually New York City. Romeo and Juliet are both immortals, Romeo being a werewolf and Juliet being a vampire. However, both of them love so completely from the moment that they lay eyes on each other, that neither one can do anything but love the other.

Of course, as with the Shakespeare version, there is the family feuds. Neither immortal clan can live near the other, and they make no bones about how much they hate each other. Even though Romeo wants his family to stop the hating/fighting, his family and friends don’t see it that way. And, the fighting continues.

Romeo risks everything to be with Juliet, sneaking up to her balcony just to get a look at her. It was actually kind of funny when Romeo (who climbs better as a werewolf but can’t talk when he has turned) first climbs up to her balcony. She wonders who’s there, so he has to risk losing his grip on the balcony so that he can talk to her. When he finally makes it to her balcony, she is waiting for him, with open arms and an open, loving heart.

When Romeo and Juliet try to declare their love for one another openly in a public forum, hoping that their families would see their love and that the fighting would cease, Romeo is suddenly regretting his decision. He soon realizes that their families aren’t going to stop fighting, no matter how much they love one another.

As with the Shakespeare version, tragedy hits the love-struck lovers. How this happens is something you’ll have to find out for yourself.

I enjoyed this book. It was fun. It was written in Romeo’s POV, which I liked. Yes, maybe it’s not the classic, and yes, maybe the author made it weird by making it all about werewolves and vampires, but at least it was understandable. No notes version needed for this one.

It could have used a little editing, but all in all, it was a fun read. 5 stars!

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I <3 Books Blog Hop

blog-hop-tag-3001Thanks so much to Joleene Naylor for hosting this Blog Hop! I’m so glad to have been asked to join in!!

My blog is a review blog. I’ve been reviewing for over a year now, but only did it sporadically. In the past 6 months, due to another issue, I gave writing a break and decided to read a lot of books…some way out of my genre and not necessarily something I like to read, while others were exactly what I like to read. I’ll read just about anything as long as it’s well written. But, then again, I’ve read some well written works, but just couldn’t get into the story. Of course, reviews are just one person’s opinion out of many.

One thing about reviews is that they really do help people to buy (or not) a book. You don’t have to leave a long, very detailed review, but even if you leave just a few lines voicing your opinion, it might be just enough to get someone to buy that book (or not).

Not leaving a review for a book that you’ve read is like leaving a 1 star review even though you liked it. So, get out there and write a review for the last book you just read!

I thought I would leave links to some of my most favourite books that I’ve reviewed this year. There’ve been quite a few, but I’ll try to limit them. You, of course, can go back and read as many as you like. While I do seem to leave a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews because the books were good and well written/read, I do give some 1 and 2 star reviews as well. For the purpose of this blog though, I’m going to just post the 5 stars reviews.

One of my most favourite books I read this year is in a genre that I don’t normally like to read…but this one was so excellent, it shouldn’t be missed. It’s in the horror/thriller category and is called WISHBONE by Brooklyn Hudson. With this book, be careful what you wish for. http://wp.me/p26uaB-4j

The next book is a different style ghost story…Poor Midnight Merlot isn’t sure how he became a ghost, or what he should do now that he is. Author Tom Conrad has a way with the humour, and you’ll love how wonderfully well written it is. Maybe it’s the British humour that I love, but this is still my favourite of this author. RICH PICKINGS FOR RAVENS by Tom Conrad is a must read if you like to chuckle. http://wp.me/p26uaB-39

FALLING FOR RAIN by Janice Kirk and Gina Buonaguro is a contemporary romance that I absolutely loved. It had so much sexual tension in it, that I thought I would explode if the two main characters didn’t get together. This is the sort of book that anyone could enjoy, well…that’s if you love romance. http://wp.me/p26uaB-2E

The next book is actually more of a novella, only written in a diary format. 100 UNFORTUNATE DAYS by Penelope Crowe will delve into your mind, seeking those dark recesses. Not only did she get into my head with this story, I found myself thinking, “Yeah, I’ve thought that exact same thing!” http://wp.me/p26uaB-7v

Have you ever wondered why men and women don’t always understand each other? WHY MEN ARE FROM EARTH AND WOMEN ARE NOT FROM VENUS by Mark Laverdiere is a fun book that everyone can enjoy…and should not be missed if you want to know how to get your guy to relate to you the way you want them to. http://wp.me/p26uaB-79

I think the best contemporary romance book I’ve read this year was called DATING A COUGAR (Never Too Late series) by Donna McDonald. Of course, just as the title says, it’s about a older woman/younger man…and the sparks fly from the very first chapter. Can we say, sexual tension?? There was tons of it in this book. If you’re looking for a great read, this is it!! http://wp.me/p26uaB-6n

And, ok, I’m going to toot my own horn just a little…I also have several books out, and one is by my pseudonym, Devon Cooper. It’s a romantic comedy novel called BAD DAY that anyone can enjoy, and I would love it if you could get it and read it…maybe leave me a wonderful little review as well…! http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Day-Romantic-Comedy-ebook/dp/B0081IOLHQ/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359920559&sr=1-1&keywords=devon+cooper

I also have a sweet paranormal romance called REMEMBER THE EYES, only it is by me, Beth Muscat. It is the first of three novels with the same characters and is my absolute favourite of all that I’ve written…I think it’s because there is so much of me in that book series. You can also find it at Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/Remember-Eyes-Your-Novel-ebook/dp/B004W3VYCE/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359921376&sr=1-1&keywords=beth+muscat

Feel free to browse around my blog, and hopefully you’ll find some books that appeal to you! And remember, if you buy a book, leave a review for the author. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ve enjoyed having you!

<a href=”http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/i-love-books-blog-hop“><img src=”http://tinyurl.com/cc7b6md“></a>

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Blood Fugue: Moonsongs Book One By E. J. Wesley

51MvXeWi0FL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-54,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted. For me, dwelling on the past was akin to keeping a picture of an ex-boyfriend who had cheated on me with the town whore, stolen my favorite t-shirt, and given me Chlamydia. There’d be no value in holding onto that kind of torment. Personally, if I bumped into yesterday at the grocery store, I’d punch it in its shitty face and take my shirt back.

Jenny Schmidt is a self-confessed computer nerd and pretty much a loner, except for her eccentric friend, Marshal, for whom is her best friend and landlord. Jenny has lost everyone in her family over the years, and now she’s gone from being an angry teenager to an angry adult. She has totally dissed her native heritage…I mean, what’s the point since everyone who ever cared for her in the slightest…her mom, her father, her grandparents…are all gone.

But, then she gets a strange email from her grandpa…ok, what? Hold on a sec…wasn’t her grandpa dead? Yup, he was, so to speak, but now he needs Jenny’s help.

Jenny and Marshal drive out to the old man’s farm and what they see there makes Jenny wonder if this trip was worth it.

Inside his barn lies his dead horse, gutted and bloody. Her grandpa tells her that it was a monster that did it, a huge ravaging monster that has been eating the livestock, and is now maybe waiting to eat him next.

What kind of help does her grandpa need from her? I mean, she’s only a girl. Right? What can she do to help?

This novella was excellently written. The imagery that the author presents in the story brings the scene right to you, as if you were right there watching it all unfold in front of you.

I found with this story that I couldn’t have any distractions while reading it because it was so detailed. It took you through her growing up memories right straight to the present, and back again. The author brought life to all the characters in a very short space of time. It was nice to see the growth of Jenny throughout the story.

An excellent start to a series. 5 stars!

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Legacy Of Ghosts (Amaranthine) By Joleene Naylor

51YRpP1b38L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-65,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_She tried to struggle loose, but he threw his bulk on top of her and pinned her to the ground. With the air knocked out of her, she struggled to breathe around the dead scream trapped in her lungs. Try as she might, she only managed a grating gasp.

Adam wrapped his fist in her hair and pulled her head back to expose her throat. Cold metal pressed against the soft skin, just above her collarbone, and he hissed in her ear, “I don’t think you want to make a sound.”

This is book two of four in the Amaranthine series, again featuring Jorick, a strong, dark and handsome vampire, and Katelina, a strong, beautiful human. These two characters feed off of one another (pardon the pun) in many situations, creating a very likeable duo.

The book starts off where book one left off. But the more time that Jorick and Katelina spend together, the more angry and frustrated Katelina becomes. She’s tired and hurt, but needs to heal from the last vampire battle that she got mixed up in…again. So Jorick takes her to his house, hoping to get a little peace and quiet with Katelina.

Of course, they’re vampires…they seem to be always fighting about something. I keep thinking as I’m reading, “Can’t we all just get along?” I guess if you’re a vampire, you’re in a perpetual state of fighting because invariably, you’re going to do something to piss one or all of them off.

At his house, Jorick is constantly spending hours upon hours alone in this secret room that he keeps locked at all times. Katelina has asked him about it, but he refuses to let her in or tell her what’s inside. She begins to get angry and decides that maybe she should go home since he refuses to tell her anything at all. After all, he does tell her that she shouldn’t be there with him.

While waiting outside for Loren, who is supposed to pick her up but doesn’t show up, Katelina begins to think this is a bad idea. But when a couple of other nastier looking vamps do show up, and Jorick is no where to be found, Katelina knows she’s in trouble. By the time they’re done beating her and stabbing her with a knife, she is close to death. Jorick gets back just in time. What does he do to save her? Does he change her?

Oren, who was a vamp in the last book that lost his family, has decided to strike up a fight with Kateesha. But he needs help. He needs the help from Jorick, a much older and stronger vampire than himself. Is Jorick going to help Oren fight Kateesha? Can Oren be trusted? Can any of them, including Jorick? Can any good come out of all this fighting?

If you want action and don’t mind the occasional vampire bite, this book series is for you. So much goes on, and with the writing so well done, you feel like you’re right in the middle of it. And now that something special has happened with Katelina (*spoiler alert*…no, she’s not a vampire), she can either help or be a hinderence to Jorick…although that is just a minor spoiler, I won’t say what has happened to her. You’ll have to read it to find out.

What amazes me is the author and how she has taken basic human acts and made them less for the vampire characters. For example, Jorick often “forgets” that Katelina needs to eat three times a day. Or, he’ll “forget” that she is affected by the cold. He shrugs it off like it’s no big deal. The author makes you want to smack some sense into Jorick, but then you realize that he’s a vampire and that he only has to feed once a day and that cold doesn’t bother him…so, naturally, he would “forget” for Katelina.

I’m actually enjoying the bickering that Katelina and Jorick are displaying since it makes them seem more like a “couple”. Jorick is the typical kind of guy who is fighting with his woman, and then an hour later, when it’s time for bed, decides that he wants some hanky-panky. Katelina is the typical woman who tries her best to stay mad at him, but finds herself letting it go…at least for the moment.

There are many graphic scenes in this book as well, and it amazes me that Katelina can survive them at all. The author does an amazing job of bringing you into the story and keeping you there. As I said before, I like the Twilight kind of vampire the best, this one is shaping up to be a great series….one I’m sure you won’t be able to put down.

Looking forward to reading book three. 5 stars!

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