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Yippee! Beta Reading Book Three – The Pierced Series by J. C. Mells

Perfect Cover 2
The cover for “Perfect” – Book three of the J. C. Mells “Pierced” series!

Just finished the Beta and, OMFG!!! J. C. does it again – another brilliant story full of pain and hate, love and understanding and a tremendous cast of characters. Watch here – I will let you know as soon as I know when it is coming out – and you have to read this book! Of course, if you haven’t read the first ones, you have to read those too- – – these are too good to miss!

Thanks, J. C. Mells!!!

 

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”

Never have these words seemed more true to Pierce as she deals with the aftermath of Salt Lake City. She and Lucas can’t seem to stay apart from each other for very long without the night panics happening again – but being together is almost as torturous. Will her past ever allow her to be intimate with him? Can she afford to let her guard down and allow herself to be happy? She’s still suffering from the post-traumatic stress of what happened to her the last time she did that.

But on the plus side, their little town of Nowhere is coming along in leaps and bounds. So much so, that it has appeared on the radar of the wolf community. Or at least Pierce’s presence has.

Suddenly it seems like Nowhere is THE place to be these days..

pierce
Who is Pierce?

______________________________

Keep your eyes open – I will post when the book is published!

Review: All Saints’ Secrets by Nicole Loughan

to murder a saintBack in August of last year I wrote a review of To Murder A Saint by Nicole Loughan. At the time I really enjoyed the book, set in both the swamps of Louisiana and the City of New York. There were some issues with it, without a doubt. Nicole is a journalist first and foremost, and her first foray into a non-fiction work of mystery was rough, but showed exceptional promise.

Since that time, I have had pleasant on-line conversations with Nicole, and learned a bit about her, as well as passing along some Cajun tidbits that I thought were appropriate. Nicole, being the sweetheart she is, took my input like a true lady.

This new book set amongst the same families as her previous is far more comfortable for me. In a way, not trying as hard to handle the patois of Southern Louisiana has refreshed her book, making it more realistic and easier to read than a somewhat stiff attempt at the language of the South. One still gets some of the flavor of the Southern language and the world view, and it is more relaxed for it.

allsaints
The newest edition in Nicole Loughan’s series.
Well worth the read.

In All Saints’ Secrets Fanchon is recovering in New York from the brutal attack that she suffered at the end of the previous book. You get more insight into Fanchon in this book, learning a bit more about her and what drives her as a person. As with the other, this isn’t really a long book, and the descriptions of the bayou country still aren’t on the level of someone like James Lee Burke, but Nicole is making great strides. The language of the characters is not as stiff, and she does more description of the landscapes and the surroundings than she did before. This is a great improvement when it comes to my personal tastes. I know not everyone agrees with me, but descriptions of surroundings and people are very important to my manner of reading. I want to be able to close my eyes and see my surroundings when I am reading. Without that, a book simply doesn’t hold my attention.

This is a rather Gothic look at the Southern Mystery genre, filled with poverty, isolation, and a deep sense of family history. It is easy for me to see what is there, as that is home to me. In the last book, others, who hadn’t traveled to the area, would not have been able to see the landscape as well, should they have closed their eyes and tried. This time around, seeing Fanchon’s surroundings would be easier. There is still a bit of “stiffness” to the writing, but not anything that makes the book unreadable. Instead, I was pulled in immediately and glad to have another look at Fanchon and her story. The storyline is both clever and creative, leaving you knowing at the end that there is a follow up, but this is by no mean a cliffhanger. You could also read this book as a standalone, but I went back and read the first book again before I read this one (as I am habitualized to do) and enjoyed Secrets all the more for it.

Overall, this is a pleasant way to wile away an evening of the Gothic South, mystery, a hint of terror, and a soupcon’ of romantic thought. I look forward to the next and recommend the book to anyone who would enjoy the style.

I bought this book for myself, and didn’t receive the first one, or this one, from the author. All comments are my own thoughts.

Review: Merry Christmas, Henry

merrychristmashenry
This is a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL Christmas Story! It is only 40 pages, so can be read quickly, and will put you in the Christmas spirit, no matter how “Bah Humbug” you might be!

Sigh…. I just finished Merry Christmas, Henry and am still wiping tears from my cheeks. And not in a bad way.

Henry is a lonely man. Treated badly as a child, his only retreat was into his paintings. “Henry the Trifling” he thinks of himself as being – insignificant, shy, and totally unassuming. A night museum guard, he spends his days painting beautiful paintings of the people he sees on his daily walks to the museum, setting them in beautiful, exotic settings. And his breaks for dinner in the museum? He spends with a painting of a beautiful, and yet melancholy woman on a windswept sea cliff. So goes Henry’s life for more than twenty years.

What happens next in Henry’s life is a beautiful Christmas tale that broke open my heart and filled it with joy.

I never, ever would have thought that this was Ms. Wynne’s first short story to be published. Her writing is crisp, well formed sentences drawing you into the story and leading you on a breathless journey through melancholy out out the other side to the light of pure Christmas magic.

Grab this short story and curl up in your favorite chair, a cup of cocoa in your hand, Christmas music playing softly, a quilt across your lap. You won’t be sorry. This will be one of your best Christmas presents to yourself ever.

Review: Frat House of the Dead by J. K. Walker

frat
Creepy novella with a twist of humour, a great introduction to the world of Salt Lake After Dark!

Frat House of the Dead is a great little novella which follows up on the happenings of Glacial Eyes (Book One of Salt Lake After Dark). If you have a previous edition of Frat House, you can download the new, edited version from your Kindle Library.

Glacial Eyes was one of my favorite series beginnings of the year. It was a requested review by the author, and I am tremendously grateful I acquiesced to the request, as it quickly earned J. K. Walker a spot on my “must buy immediately upon publication” list.

In Frat House, Jazz and her girlfriends attend a Halloween party – a party which will prove to be a lot more than they expected.

The story lines that make GE so good are included in this book, but we also learn a bit more about the ladies, especially Tammy, Jazz’s best friend, and Rachel the Technowitch. One of the things I really like about Frat House of the Dead is how J. K. weaves in a strong thread of humour through the story while not losing it’s edge. A feat that is missing in much of the Urban Fantasy books published today.

The book is clever, fast paced, and gives you a good overview of the female characters of the Salt Lake After Dark series. If you are considering the series, check out the novella. I have no doubt you will be as enthralled by the series as I am!

Review: Desprite Measures by Deborah Jay is Available!

There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed. ~Mohandas K. Gandhi
We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732despritemeasurescover
Desprite Measures. Yes, that really is “Desprite” – it will make sense when you read the book. It is available NOW, and you REALLY need to read this book.I am always positive when I start a new book. It is very much like entering a brand new world. A world of wonder and learning and exploration. Sometimes I am lucky, and the book is everything I hoped it would be. Sometimes – not so very much.
In this case I found another of the worlds I very much enjoyed visiting. As anyone who has read my reviews knows, I want to be able to put myself in the place of the characters in the books I enjoy. Books should take you to another world, allowing you to see, hear, and feel what the characters are. And that was quite easy with Desprite, on many levels.The main character, Cassie, portrays, as odd as it may sound, an evolution of the soul. A Water Sprite, Cassie is a creature of the Earth, a true spirit of the lifeblood of the world, of the lochs and deep waters of the Scottish Highlands. As with all my favorite stories, the secondary characters are nearly as interesting as Cassie. Though presented with fully formed back stories, they still develop throughout the story in ways both fascinating and, in some cases, heartbreaking. She has lived since the beginning of time on Earth, a free spirit of the waters. But now, she has begun to change. . .There is heartbreak in this book, the heartbreak of what we have done to this beautiful jewel of a world we live upon. The filth that we throw into the water, the land and the air, destroying the beauty all around. Its effects upon the world of the spirit is beautifully drawn and heartrending. How far will the good hearted go to try to correct the issues . . . and how far into the darkness? And how crushing must it be, to watch the world you knew when it was young slowly overwhelmed?Desprite Measures is most definitely an Urban Fantasy, with all the myriad characters such implies. However, Ms. Jay goes deeper and wider than your everyday UF. She touches on real issues we are all facing today. And she does it in a way that weaves believably into her story. There are good guys and bad guys, and sometimes, the good and bad blend and meld in ways that make you wonder – where do the lines cross?

Relationships, beliefs, environmental and ecological questions. The beginning of this planned five-book series grabbed hold of me and didn’t let me go throughout. Again, first in the series is available NOW, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you like UF with a lot of action and adventure, fascinating personal relationships, and quirky characters, this is the beginning of a series with tremendous potential, a bright new star in the firmament of the Urban Fantasy world!

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EXCERPT

I watched warily as the salamander settled to the car park, blackening the concrete and immolating a few dry twigs. He was close enough that I could feel his intense heat, and I had to narrow my eyes to cope with the brightness. A scorching smell wafted across the open car park.

In much the same way as I had done, he metamorphosed into human form. His fiery light dimmed as the flames wrapped in on themselves, going solid and dark. Clothes formed over rich chocolate skin and my breath caught as the transformation completed.

I was looking at the most stunning woman I could imagine.

“But you’re female!” I protested.

It was centuries since I’d heard even rumour of a female Salamander. I fought to get my head around this new wrinkle as unexpected sensations coursed through me. My knees shook and my heart fluttered. I struggled to breathe. But for my years of practice, I’d have wondered if I’d fashioned a faulty body.

I knew I hadn’t.

She was breathtaking. From the tips of her dainty red toenails in their golden peep-toe mules to the top of her dense cornrows plaited with shining gold beads and woven into an elaborate crown, she was gorgeous. I’ve had my fair share of lovers of both sexes, and of different species, but this salamander was different; I had to have her.

Yet I could never go within feet of her for fear of wiping a whole country off the map.

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debbyAuthor Bio

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award, was published in July 2013, with THE PRINCE’S SON due out summer 2014.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the opening novel of the projected five book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES.

She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published in her professional name of Debby Lush.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahjayauthor.com/ or follow Deborah on twitter https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2, facebook https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay and Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

A Challenge for Reviewers of E.L. James

Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.
– Charlotte Bronte

gertrude
Nobel Laureate Gertrude Stein.
(© Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis)
All Rights Reserved

We are not people with no discriminating taste when it comes to literature.” – Pamelia A. in a 5-Star Review for “50 Shades of Grey”

jury
Click for
A Jury Of Her Peers

Like some other reviewers, what I find terribly depressing is that this is a runaway bestseller and the movie rights are expected to sell for up to $5 million. There are so many highly talented writers in the genre… and erotica is so much more erotic when the author has a command of the language and can make you care about the characters. For examples, check out the “Beauty” trilogy written by Anne Rice under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure, or any stories by Donna George Storey or Rachel Kramer Bussel. – D.S. From LA in a 1-Star Review for “50 Shades of Grey”

I challenge reviewers of “50 Shades of Grey” to read and review a minimum of THREE books from writers who are listed in
A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx” by Elaine Showalter. This is an exceptional overview of true women’s literature. Stories of and by women with strength, intelligence, knowledge, and heart. Women who offer truly discriminating taste in literature. Only three, as there are three installments in James.

If you don’t wish to purchase her book, you may find a simple list of Women Nobel Laureates in Literature at: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/nob…

Once you have read and reviewed three of these books, I encourage you to go back and read “50 Shades” again. Then, post another review of E.L. James in light of your three chosen Nobel Laureate books.

Reviews should be posted here in this group. They may, of course, be posted to other sites, including Amazon.

Reviews to be submitted by APRIL 1, 2014. That is a book a month, certainly achievable if you are interested in this challenge.

A poll will be posted in order to choose your favorite “hate it” and “still love it” reviews. Prizes will be awarded!

And for those who really only read erotica, you can choose books by the authors suggested by D.S. From LA if you have read this post here on my website!
Are YOU sure enough of your literary assessment of James’ work to meet my challenge?

Review: Sunrise Fires – Heather LaBarge

sunrise
Sunrise Fires

I will say upfront that I did read the whole book. Although, I really had to struggle to do so. The two main characters start off in what seems to be a good relationship, but the female lead, Jen, made me want to shake her teeth out in the first few pages. She can’t make a decision, then gets pissed when her boss makes it for her. She whines and bemoans going away for a year because the love interest, Ryan, who seems to love her beyond all common sense, is going to find someone else if she takes the job. I was disappointed that the author made it seem throughout the book that Jenn was dong something wrong by going after her career. Instead she made Jenn selfish, self centred, insecure and whiny. I could see this in a 20 year old, but for a woman with two grown children and an upcoming grandchild, I found the characterization annoying and insulting.

When something bad happens later in the book, Ryan is selfish and defensive, but then, I can’t really blame him. I would have kicked her butt to the curb a long time since. And since the scenes were written in that the Skypes, IMs and phone calls were put off by him more and more often up until the decisive moment, as much as I didn’t like Jenn, I could understand her thinking what she did.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend the book. I found the characters totally unlikable. Even her girlfriends were irritating. Sorry, Heather. Maybe you had a purpose in writing Jenn this way, but I couldn’t bring myself to respect her. I had to laugh when she called her boss manipulative, seeing as how she is the queen of manipulative, self-centred selfishness.

A Sunday Update of This and That

There are a lot of things going on for me in the book world in the next couple of weeks. I am doing a re-edit for Erich Penhoff’s Savage Roads, the first book in the Savage Series. I have finished the edit on the second book in the series, A Savage Death and it will be published mid-month. Watch here for the publication announcement! Aren’t the cover’s great? They are by LLPIX Photography. If you like high action, unusual characters, and wonderfully drawn international locations, you are going to love these two books. The third, unnamed volume will be hitting my desk soon, and I can hardly wait!

savageroads A SAVAGE DEATH

Today I am hoping to finish the edit for Kelly Graham’s Eyes of the Many. It seems like all of the books I am working on these days have killer covers!  This one is awesome too, isn’t it?  I will add the name of the artist later. Currently, my list is being developed of different cover artists who have been recommended to me, or who I have found myself that I really like and who do a great job. Watch for it to show up soon.

eyes of the many

coconut-lemongrass-chai
Coconut Lemongrass Chai Tea

A few things of a more personal and “just for fun” nature!  I just made a big pot of Cucumber Mojito tea, after guzzling about a gallon of English Tea this morning. I finally took a minute to order more tea from Tea Guys (woo hoo!) so will be receiving more Pu-Erh (an aged black that my housemate is addicted to), Darjeeling (my favorite straight black) and smaller bag of Coconut Lemongrass Chai . It is very refreshing, and besides, who can’t love something that is this pretty when it comes out of the bag?

I also threw in small bags of Watermelon Lime Green Tea (hey, my two favorite flavours, gotta try it, right?)

morning-americano
Morning Americano Black Tea
watermelon-lime
Watermelon Lime Green Tea
coconut coffee
Gotta have my Dunkin’!

Along with these, I am also trying the Morning Americano which I am hoping will sort of make up for the fact that I have always been addicted to coffee, but really need to cut back (but I am NOT giving up my Dunkin’ Donuts Coconut Coffee!)

In other news, I am working on a cover for my 7-cup tea pot (isn’t it a hoot? It has a matching cup that goes with it…)

teapot
Fun Teapot!
grecian lovely
Grecian Lovely from Really Wild Tea Cosies

So, I am using the Really Wild Tea Cosies book by Loani Prior again. The pattern is Grecian Lovely. Of course, I have to do things differently, right? So my Grecian Lovely is a bit brighter than this one – the side I am working on looks all neat and tidy, huh? Well, of course, it doesn’t really look like that on the other side – LOL!!  Of course, it will be good to get a cosy made for it, seeing as how this one’s ‘skirt’ is a bit short!

Well, 4-pot covers aren’t really made for 7-cup pots, huh?

teapot cover
Teapot showing it’s bottom . . .
IMGP1685
Starting on one side. Flat knitting on each side.
IMGP1686
What a mess, huh?
new directions in lace
New Directions In Lace
lace yarn
Eggplant lace yarn from See Jayne Knit.

Oh, and I signed up for a class at Craftsy.com called New Directions in Lace.  I can take the class any time I want, in stages, so any time I get a moment to play with it, I can do it. Cool, huh? It is a really beautiful pattern, and I have this lace-weight yarn from See Jayne Knit.  It will be interesting to see if she can make me more of this, as there are 825-yards and I need about 1200-1300 yards!

Well, enough piddling around. Time to get to work on Eyes especially as I am really looking forward to it!

TWO Happy Dances!!

wicked
Click the cover to purchase!

The amazing Jillian Klein Der Lowe just shot me an e-mail letting me know that her book, Wicked, just hit the #3 spot in her genre on Amazon!!

applause
Icon courtesy of
http://unf.edu
Thank you!

Click the cover to grab the book from Amazon FOR FREE!!!! Then, of course, after you have read it, I am sure Jillian would love a review. (Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge!)  My review is here in case you want to refresh or haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet.

Congratulations, Jillian!!

Now, for even MORE good news, we turn to another wonderful author, J. C. Mells, author of the Pierced series.

J. C. is happy to announce that her next book in the series, Pinked is nearing the end of editing, and will be out soon! Pinked continues the adventures of Pierce and Mia, a fascinating pair, with a story that is one of the most interesting I have read in recent memory.  Watch for the review here, and for publication at Amazon soon. Until then, you really MUST pick up your own copy of Pierced! Click on the book cover to order. My review is hereIt is only 99c right now, and J. C. is sure to be a wonderful addition to your ‘must-buy-as-soon-as-published’  author list!

Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Escaped, volume 1.5 of the Pierced series! It is also only 99c for a short time at Amazon.

Congratulations, J. C.!

Shrieking and Jumping up and down! J. C. just sent along the cover for PINKED!!!

Drool worthy, huh?  Click on the cover to see the video trailer!PINKED BC3

J. C. just sent me the cover!
Click on it for the YouTube Video
for the upcoming book!
Squeeee!!!!
pierced
For now, Pierced is only 99c at Amazon.
Click cover to order!
escaped
Click to purchase from Amazon!
Only 99c for a short time.
You KNOW you won’t be able to live without it
after reading Pierced!

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