Friday, December 19, 2008

The Vampire's Seduction Giveaway

Random Minutiae has a great interview with one of my favorite authors, Raven Hart, on her Savannah vampire series. Better yet, she's giving away a signed copy of the first book of the series, The Vampire's Seduction.

I did a review of the first four books in May. Trust me when I say, this is a must read series for any paranormal/horror fan.

Head over to Random Minutiae and leave a comment for your chance to win.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Claire Morgan Mysteries by Linda Ladd

Been a while since I last added anything. Sorry about that but I’m really bad when it comes to this sort of thing. That and I always have trouble putting into words how I feel about a book.

This entry is about Linda Ladd’s Claire Morgan series. There are now three books out – Head To Head, Dark Places and the latest, Die Smiling. I read Head To Head a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Then I happened to stumble upon Linda Ladd’s MySpace site last year about this time to find the second book had just been released. Off I went to my local bookstore and started reading it immediately.

Dark Places

I was asked how I liked Dark Places in comparison to Head to Head. I was really wishing I had a copy of Head to Head to reread at the time. (I originally borrowed it from a friend, but have since gotten my own copy.) Thankfully, as I was reading along in Dark Places there were enough references to jar my memory. I thought DP was much creeper than HTH. Then again, Ladd hit on something which just really creeps me out. (I’m not going to say what though so I won’t spoil it for future readers.)

As I first started the book, I got tickled at my reaction at one part (the doughnut) at the first crime scene. I enjoy how Claire and her partner, Bud, interact. Then we moved on the ER scene. Yikes! Now I’ll pretty much read most anything as to what we Book Obsessors classify as sick s*** mysteries and I didn’t think much would phase me. Boy was I wrong. The ER scene had a shudder start at the top of my head and work all the way down. I can’t recall an author ever causing that kind of reaction for me. Ladd had me checking my bed before crawling in and shaking out clothes and shoes. One evening, when I got up in the middle of the night for something, I even turned the light back on to check the bed again. One of my Rotties gave me a look that distinctly said…you’ve lost your mind. She even managed the shudder reaction several times before getting to the end of the book.

And the ending was even more creepy. I had to set the book down several times before I could complete the ending. Just to kind of walk off the creepies.

I must warn animal lovers though that there are a couple of disturbing parts in this book. I was able to steel myself for what was coming, but it still bothered me. I get more upset with books and movies when the animals get hurt or killed.

This was definitely a 5 star read for me.

Die Smiling

Some how or another, I keep picking up mysteries that take place during a beauty pageant. This is probably my third or fourth one in the last few months. Even so, I still enjoyed Die Smiling. There was a lower body count in this book as we get started and we seemed to spend more time digging up information, but Ladd still managed a shudder at the climax of the book when our heroine was confronting the killer. You know how a guy will grimace and hold himself in sympathy when seeing another guy just get racked. She managed a similar reaction from me. My hand automatically went to a certain area (don’t want to give anything away) just to make sure everything was still in place.

Between the main story and the secondary, Ladd had me trying to sort out the puzzle until close to the end and then delivered another of her 'have you on the edge of your seat' endings. Though I wasn’t overly thrilled with Bud’s choice of actions, I’m glad the author worked things out for us. This one gets 4 stars from me.

For anyone who enjoys sick s*** mysteries, Linda Ladd's Claire Morgan mysteries are perfect for you.

And let us not forget all those we lost seven years ago!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What scares you?

Literary Escapism has a great interview with Lynda Hilburn
Plus there is a contest in which they're giving away two books from her Kismet Knight series. have to confess your fears for a chance to win. Good luck everyone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More Christmas in July

Bitten By Books is having a Christmas in July contest/giveaway too. A $30 Amazon gift card. Don't miss out! Plus there are some great reviews there that I'm sure will have your book wish list growing even is mine.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Contests

Fellow Book Obsessor, Terra, is having a Christmas in July contest. She giving away several signed books so go visit her blog. Check our her reviews on each of the books she offering too.

Terra's Christmas in July Contest

Oh and ladies, try not to drool all over your key board when you see the covers of these books. *fans self*

Amberkatze is having another contest for Wicked Games by Jeri Smith-Ready. Check out the great interview before entering.

Wicked Games Give-Away

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Staked by J. F. Lewis

Since I’m lazy at typing and love to take short cuts when I can, I’m coping the synopsis for this book from Amazon.

Eric's got issues. He has short-term and long-term memory problems; he can't remember who he ate for dinner yesterday, much less how he became a vampire in the first place. His best friend, Roger, is souring on the strip club he and Eric own together. And his girlfriend, Tabitha, keeps pressuring him to turn her so she can join him in undeath. It's almost enough to put a Vlad off his appetite. Almost.
Eric tries to solve one problem, only to create another: he turns Tabitha into a vampire, but finds that once he does, his desire for her fades -- and her younger sister, Rachel, sure is cute. And when he kills a werewolf in self-defense, things really get out of hand. Now a pack of born-again lycanthropes is out for holy retribution, while Tabitha and Rachel have their own agendas -- which may or may not include helping Eric stay in one piece.
All Eric wants to do is run his strip club, drink a little blood, and be left alone. Instead, he must survive car crashes, enchanted bullets, sunlight, sex magic, and werewolves on ice -- not to mention his own nasty temper and forgetfulness.
Because being undead isn't easy, but it sure beats the alternative.

Okay, now for my review/opinion/thoughts.

First, I must start out by saying that most women, myself included, are going to think Eric is a complete pig. Be interesting to have himself turn into one then have Tabitha shot him with those special bullets so he’s stuck in that form for awhile. But then, he’d be a roast piggy so that wouldn’t work. Darn! Regardless of his “women problems” I still managed to like Eric. Then again, I’m a sucker for flawed heroes. You weren’t kidding when you say Eric has issues. *L*

Tabitha, I felt, needed a good swat up the side of her head in several instances, but again I still liked her. It was fun watching her fumble and experiment with her new found powers.

The funny thing as I was reading and thinking in what ways I like and dislike these characters, I had to give a mental chuckle at Lewis catching me off guard like this. I’ve always said I really like a writer who can elicit an emotion from me whether it be laughter, tears or anger. They’ve done their job, and very well, when they’ve achieved that. (Still only one has managed to tick me off enough to throw the book across the room though.) Here Lewis had me going back and forth with both of these characters as to how I felt about them. One chapter, I’m ready to stake Eric myself then the next I’m rooting for him to kick some werewolf ass. Kudos Jeremy!

Extra kudos for several laugh out loud moments. The little addition of the Three Stooges move in a fight and Eric’s learning of his bat wings had me rolling. And in bringing these two scenes up in topic, let me just add...Greta Rocks!! Seriously, as warped as it may be, I adored Greta. So help me if you kill her off in future books, I may have to go find the little old voodoo priestess who runs around downtown Memphis mumbling and shaking her fistful of feathers at everyone and have her come up with an extra special curse for you.

Also, I’m thoroughly intrigued by Talbot and looking forward to learning more about him in future books. Rachel had me pondering as to just what she was up too quite a bit. I have a feeling she’ll prove to be more of an upcoming quandary. The Japanese ogres were a great touch too. I had this mental image of some Sumo looking creatures squatting in the street stuffing their faces. And the holy roller lycans! I’m still snickering over them.

Now as for the ending. Holy cliffhangers, Batman!! I turn the page expecting there to be more and there’s “Hope you liked the book” and I’m thinking -- What the heck?! There’s got to be more. Frantically flipping through the last few filler pages, I realize that was it. Porky Pig might has well have popped out of the back cover and said “Th-th-the-th-the-th-that's all, folks!” I quickly looked up the release date of the next book. March 2009. Sheesh, I’ve got nine months to wait. I can just hear the “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!” Curly impression Lewis is doing now from his office.

All kidding aside though, this was a great read. If I hadn’t had things that had to be done this past weekend, I probably would have read this in one sitting. Lewis has all the ingredients I love in a book...action, paranormal, mystery and humor with a different twist.

Thank you for the opportunity to read your book, Jeremy. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

G. A. McKevett – Savannah Reid Mystery series

I discovered G. A. McKevett’s mystery series in 2006 when I read the fifth book of the series, Sugar and Spite. I’ve been hooked on them ever since. I’m such a stickler about reading a series in order though, so I had to go back and find the rest of the books. I love our sassy Southern heroine in this series.

Savannah Reid is originally from Georgia and is the oldest of nine kids, all named after cities in Georgia, and often quotes her Granny Reid. She became a police officer and in book 1, Just Dessert, was working in San Carmelita, CA as a detective when she was dismissed for her weight. (Savannah is a voluptuous size 14 and very proud of it.) Of course, that was just an excuse they used to kick her off the force. So, she opened her own private investigation business, Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency.

We get reoccurring characters such as Dirk Coulter, her gruff, always hungry ex-partner, Tammy Hart, her perky, health-conscious assistant, Ryan Stone, former FBI hunk turned body guard and John Gibson, Ryan’s British significant other. And we can’t forget Cleopatra and Diamante, her cats.

I’ve just finished reading

Quote from Cooked Goose. “Do you ever weight problem?”
“Nope. I decided a long time ago, there’s a lot more to me--and to being a woman--than some numbers on a scale.” Savannah replaced the fudge in the microwave and walked across the kitchen to the refrigerator. “More whipped cream?”

Reminds me of Paula Deen.

These are the reading order of the series.

1. Just Desserts
2. Bitter Sweets
3. Killer Calories
4. Cooked Goose
5. Sugar and Spite
6. Sour Grapes
7. Peaches and Screams
8. Death by Chocolate
9. Cereal Killer
10. Murder a la Mode
11. Corpse Suzette
12. Fat Free and Fatal
13. Poisoned Tarts

McKevett also writes under the name Sonja Massie. If you like Janet Evanovich, I think you will really enjoy this series. These are fun, quick reads but they do have some strong language, crime descriptions and situations so I don’t know that they can really be classified as a cozy.

Also beware! I often get the munchies when reading one of these since she’s always referring to food—as the titles show--especially chocolate. A woman after my own heart. Even though it’s almost 90 degrees out right now, I have a hankering for a hot chocolate with a splash (or two) of Bailey’s. Or a piece of chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. Maybe some Chunky Monkey ice cream would be more in order.
Enjoy the books. I’m going to go find some chocolate.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Contests to check out

Shaunsay is giving away a $10.00 gift certificate to the Animal Rescue site Store at her site - Shaunsay's Blog
This is a great cause. Of course, animal rescue is a cause I support wholeheartedly.
Enter by June 14th for the drawing.

Also be sure to check out some of the other contests my blog friend have going on.

Amberkatze's book give aways - Amberkatze's Blog

And Terra is also giving away a book - Terra's Blog

Also I discovered Fantasy Book Critic has lots of book giveaways...some just for Europe. Be sure to check the requirements of each giveaway to see. I just noticed one set of books there I would like a chance at but it's for European residents only. :( *sniffle, sniffle*

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One of my favorite vampire series

I love, love this series! Especially Jack McShane, an ex-Confederate soldier who loves fast cars and fast women. His antics just crack me up and how can you not get tickled at a vampire who has his coffin painted with Dale Earnhardt's NASCAR colors and number.

In book one, The Vampire's Seduction, we're introduced to William Cuyler Thorne, a 500 something year old vampire living in Savannah, and Jack, who was turned by William when he found him dying on a Civil War battle field. We also meet Reedrek - William's evil sire, Melaphia – a voodoo priestess, Connie – a cop who definitely has Jack's attention, Werm and other minor characters. I like the way Hart kind of leaves you wondering about certain characters. As to who or what they are. Even Jack is a little puzzled by some of them.

In the second book, The Vampire's Secret, Hart brings even more paranormal into the story. Our Southern vampires are finding they have some new powers after what took place in book one. Plus we have not only the vampires and voodoo. We get ghosts, a Mayan goddess and a zombie along with a nasty plague taking out vampires. William also gets a bit of a shock. Book two leaves you hanging, so you really, really want to have the third book ready and waiting.

In the third, The Vampire's Kiss, paranormal lovers get their werewolves thrown into the unhuman mix. Hart introduces us to Seth Walker, a police officer from elsewhere in Georgia. I'm hoping we'll see more of him in future books. Or better yet, his own series. We also learn more about Connie and the ancient vampires in the Old World. Again we're left dangling at the end for book four, *whine, whine, whine* I think the author has been taking lessons from TV shows with the 'to be continued' ploy. You know the ones with the season finales that leave you screaming 'Nooooooooo!!!' at the television.

Book four, The Vampire’s Betrayal, was just released last month. I don’t normally read books right away after buying them because I already have so many sitting on my shelf awaiting their turn. But I couldn’t resist this one. I did manage to make myself finish the book I was already reading before starting it though. All of our favorites are back and up to their fangs in trouble. Hart produced another page turner and not only another ‘Noooooooo’ screech, but a ‘HOW could you?’ as well at the end. And congratulations Ms. Hart. You managed to get me to read the excerpt for book five at the end. I NEVER read excerpts. I’m anxiously awaiting book five. Hopefully we’ll have some word soon as to its publication date.

I don't know that I would call this so much a review as a recommendation. And I do highly recommend these. Hart has done a wonderful job of bringing action, romance and humor into the paranormal genre. I couldn't put them down. All four of these have gone into my permanent collection as I'm sure future books will as well. These are a must read for any paranormal/urban fantasy fan.