Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review: Thirteen West by Jane Toombs



Romance Reviews Submitted by Authors Proudly Presents

Written by Jane Toombs
Published by  Books We Love Ltd.
Mainstream Fiction
167 Pages   

~You won't believe your eyes~ Thirteen West by Jane Toombs



Thirteen West- Book Synopsis 

Ever been inside a state psychiatric hospital? That's an experience Sarah Goodrow Fenz had hoped never to repeat. Years ago, as a young woman, she'd been a student nurse taking her psychiatric affiliation at the state hospital. Now, matured and affluent enough, with an adult daughter by her side, Sarah is suddenly compelled to pick up a drunken derelict off the streets of San Diego and take him to a motel. Leaving her daughter standing speechless in the street, Sarah hails a cab, shoves the derelict inside and rides away.

Compelling, horrifying and too real to ignore, Thirteen West. Can love bloom in the midst of horror?

Book Review of Thirteen West
My goodness, where to start. Perhaps the appropriate place to begin is on the sidewalk where we are first introduced to Sarah Goodrow Fenz, a strong woman who is unable to turn her back on a street bum. There’s a reason why she extends a helping hand. Sarah knows the man. It’s been a long time, but somewhere under the layers of soiled clothes and the stench of alcohol, lives a man she once knew, a man who needs a turn of luck and someone there to care. 

As the story unfolded, I was touched by the character’s compassion. Even though Sarah knows what risks are at stake, she can’t turn the cheek and look the other way. She’s determined to save Frank, but helping him means placing herself in an uncomfortable situation, one she fears will inevitably force her to confront a past she’d rather leave alone. 

  It’s easy to see why author Jane Toombs has a backlist of bestsellers and remains one of the most cherished authors of our time. Mastering the art of building suspense while creating memorable characters, author Jane Toombs turns this novel into another respected work of literary genius.

The dialogue will keep readers in fits of laughter while the story itself will keep readers invested in the work of Jane Toombs. Sharply written, Thirteen West  entertains throughout. I often found myself cautiously peering around the next corner while walking down the hallways of a fictional psychiatric hospital embedded with secrets and its share of horrors.  

Having worked as a psych tech in a local psychiatric hospital, I can tell you with absolute certainty-Jane Toombs capitalized on her personal knowledge by writing a clever fiction novel her fans won’t soon forget.  Kudos to Jane Toombs. Once again, you blew me away. 
I’ll recommend Thirteen West for many years to come.

 ~Reviewed by Destiny Blaine~
International bestselling author Destiny Blaine writes in all genres under several pseudonyms. Her pen names have earned bestselling status at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, and All Romance Ebooks. You can find her on the web at www.destinyblaine.com or follow her on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DestinyBlaine


An Article by Author Jackie Weger: Write What You Know



Write What You Know by Jackie Weger

One of my most embarrassing moments as a writer happened when I was standing before two hundred or so writers, editors and publishers critiquing manuscripts as a subtext in a talk on Write What You Know. There I was standing on the podium, ego rattling away on the topic when a little old lady in the second row hollered out: You didn’t!
            She stood up and told the entire audience that I had a character in a book set in Louisiana perking coffee. Not in Houma, Louisiana, honey. Those folks drip their chicory-laden coffee. Not only that—they don’t use Half ‘n Half. Coffee is lightened with evaporated Carnation or Pet milk—right out of the can. It’s sweetened to the consistency of pudding with good old pure white cane sugar—not brown, not Splenda, not Sweet ‘n Low. No ma’am.
            The awful thing was that I did know folks in Louisiana dripped their coffee. I’d been there, done the site research; I had dinner with a couple of local families. I lived part of the winter in the swamp with trappers. But when writing the scene, I typed in ‘perk’. What was I thinking? Quick—somebody get a shovel and bury me alive--right here, right now.
            What happened when that darling old lady reader got to the word ‘perk’ in my book? She stopped reading the novel. I lost my credibility with that reader. She was so annoyed there was no way she was going to enter into the fantasy of romantic fiction that I thought I had created. It was just one awful four letter word and it ruined the book for that reader—and probably every other Louisiana native.
My own fault.
            The advice I once got from an editor was write what you know.  Listen, I was dumb as a rock. I didn’t know anything. Hey, I was raised poor, married poor, had five kids and stayed poor. The only sure fire thing I did know was that I oft times did not have the sense God gave a flea.  Okay. For the most part I wrote about poor women with kids looking for a little love, and security for the kids. I began my writing career back in the dark ages.  We didn’t have the internet, Google Earth, maps, search engines, Walmart, or reality shows.
I was writing romance novels. My mother, my aunts, my cousins, among others said, “Why don’t you right a real book?” No e-mail in those days. No respect, either. I had to shoot off letters with a ten cent Alpo Dog food coupon, sign my name with a little smiley face and tell ‘em to have lunch on me. Seven cent stamp. Had to lick it, too. Lots of DNA.
Write what you know. Back in the day, if you didn’t know, you had to get out in the world and find it. When I was writing No Perfect Secret I needed to place two scenes in a restaurant. I spent a week in Washington, D.C.  Had my little check list—Library of Congress. Tick.  State Department. Tick. Decent neighborhood. Tick. Nice condo for the hero. Tick.
I had dinner in a fabulous French restaurant, but no way was hero Frank Caburn, man to the bone and reared in the Midwest--going to eat escargot or those tiny portions the upmarket French are famous for.
Fast forward. I got the kids raised. Husband left. The little twerp. My writing career waned. I got my first pedicure. Took care of the old folks. They died. I wandered thither and yon on the cheap with a dog and a tent and in between treks went to university. So now I know how to use a synonym finder, bank online and find cheap flights. Last year I heard about e-books. Whoa Nelly.  Perhaps I can revive my writing career. Some of my books were not all that great, but a few of them had really good bones, and an e-book publisher offered me the opportunity to flesh out those bones.
Write what you know. Oh joy. We can use expressive four letter words now. We can open the door to the bedroom and let the reader peek. I may be in snip of trouble here. The little twerp was never into racy sex.  I’m gonna fake it. Had a lot of practice doing that anyway.
Write what you know. Well, poor old Frank is still waiting to dine.  I flashed on the internet, found a site that reviewed Washington’s restaurants, chose one, pulled up its webpage, scoped out the menu, wine list, serving hours and location, checking to see if there was on-street parking.  I also found pictures of the décor. So that restaurant worked for two scenes in the book. Here’s an aside. Ordinary French cafes/bistros and natives serve generous portions. It is only in classic French restaurants in which one gets a plate presentation with more plate than food. As in the Four Seasons in NYC. The reason places like the Four Seasons get five star reviews is because the food critics eat free.  I took an editor to dine there once and it cost me $400. I wish I had that money back. I’d go to Bingo or get my cat spayed.
            We are fortunate in today’s electronic world that we can have our characters do just about anything, anywhere in the world—background information is as close as our fingertips on a laptop. However, if you have an exquisite Korean heroine eating pizza—you’ve just made a horrible cultural error. Koreans don’t like cheese. I know it for a fact because I made that cultural error.
            Write what you know. Years ago I attended a by-invitation-only writer’s school in Darbyshire, in the British midlands. A Brit asked if I would write a book with an English heroine. I said absolutely not, I didn’t know enough about British culture. I didn’t think I could create a sense of place, which is important in any book. Years later I spent a summer semester at Queen’s College and in my free time I went all over the U.K. I interviewed men laying cable, docents in St. Paul’s Cathedral, old men sitting on park benches, Council members of a small community outside London, clerks who rang up my purchases in grocery stores and gift shops and mimes in Covent Garden. I read every newspaper I could get my hands on—especially the help wanted ads. I went to all the theatres. Now, I would be comfortable writing a story placed in the U.K. or having an American character living there. However, he or she would not use an American Express card because few merchants accept Amex. Nor is the English pound interchangeable with euros, but an American ATM card will spew out pounds in the U.K. or euros in most European nations. (Provided you first let your bank know you are traveling outside the U.S.—otherwise it will not honor requests).
I also took the Chunnel to Paris and spent a week in France. Watch out for the Gypsy pickpockets! One that approached me was so damned good I gave her a couple of euros in exchange for the entertainment. 
            Write what you know. I recently began e-reading an intrigue. First page, the author has a character stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. No way. I have been in that museum, stood in front of the Mona Lisa. It is a very small portrait behind specialty glass and rife with sensors. There are barriers to keep a viewer five feet away and guards to move the viewers along. The author did not give the reader any plausible scenario about how that piece of art could be stolen. As a reader I am very forgiving of the improbable. However, it is up to the author to make me a believer. Okay—so if your character needs to steal something why not the Forster Codices (five of de Vinci’s notebooks) at the V&A Museum in London? The Codices are not as well-known as the Mona Lisa, and a writer could take some license. The key—the writer better know about museums and security systems, about old masters, how they are stored and how they are displayed. And especially how to market a stolen art work, the value of it and the people who would buy it. Stolen art never stays with the thief. Old masters are not something auctioned on e-Bay.
            Write what you know. I’m not the only author who made an error that ruined a book for a reader. I have a favorite thriller writer. I downloaded his new book the minute it hit Amazon. After chasing the bad guy through a number of countries, the hero catches and disposes of the villain in Panama, killing him and dumping the body over the balustrade of a fancy hotel onto the deck of a ship exiting the Panama Canal.  Oops. There isn’t a hotel in Panama that overlooks any one of the three locks. Every lock is fenced and there’s about a half-acre of ground between the mechanical mules that guide the ships and that fence. Actually there are no buildings whatsoever overlooking the locks, not in Gatun, Mira Flores or Pedro Miguel.  I was really happy that this error occurred in the denouement of the book because it didn’t ruin the book for me.  But I do wonder how he made such an egregious error and that it got by his editor, the copy editor and proofreader. Notice I am not saying this author can’t write. He can. He’s fabulous. I’ll buy his next book, too. Perhaps, I’m the only reader that noticed that error. Yet, what he wrote could not happen in real life or fiction. And therein lies the rub—it only takes one person to know what you don’t know, didn’t learn, or let slide—to undo all the pride and creativity we put in our books.
            Write what you know. Last week I picked up a medical thriller. It had a gem of a plot and the blurb was extravagant. Three throwaway lines pulled me right out of the book. The author wrote that we in America could not buy Tylenol over the counter. He overlaid foreign pharmacies on the American model. In many foreign countries, especially undeveloped nations, one does not buy an entire bottle of aspirin or another other type of pill. It is too costly for the natives. Pills are sold individually—one or two at a time. Next the author had a three-star American army general wearing those stars above his left shirt pocket. Holy moly. That’s how dictators wear all of their gaudy medals. American military officers wear rank insignia on their collars. Third, the author wrote that a tour guide in the Amazonian basin ran a hundred miles to get help for an injured tourist. Nobody runs a hundred miles in the Amazon or in any jungle for that matter. I lived in a jungle village for two years with my dog. He didn’t run, either. Scientific expeditions are often way off a beaten path, but the ordinary tourist, no. You slog through mud, quick sand, ford creeks, swim rivers, hack paths with a machete, raft, paddle a canoe, or hire some sort of river craft. Oh, did I mention the wildlife? Boa constrictors, anacondas, bushmasters, pit vipers, tarantulas as big as dinner plates, palm wasps that dive straight for your eyes, blood thirsty bats, fire ants, army ants, marching ants—all of which will devour flesh—even the leaf cutters. Cute little frogs the size of a thumbnail—touch one and you’re dead. Leave an injured tourist who can’t defend himself in a jungle overnight, something is gonna eat him.
By now, you’ve figured out what I figured out. The book was probably translated into English and/or —the writer didn’t know a great deal about America.  Hey! He figured he was writing fiction so made up how we shop for meds, how our generals wear their stars and he just threw in the bit about the tour guide because the line made the tour guide seem like a caring fellow. I slogged through the book anyway and offer kudos because the author had the moxie to give it a shot. The premise of the tale was outstanding. He just didn’t pull it off—not for me anyway.  On the other hand, I am told this author is an international best seller; that he is right this minute on a quest to climb the world’s thirteen tallest mountains AND he is learning to pilot a deep sea submersible. Sounds as if he quit his day job don’t it?
For the most part what we do as writers is take ordinary people and places and raise them to the level of art. The only way we do that is with words. Art is what you know.  Art is how you weave words to make a character or a place or an action believable.
If you’re writing a story that moves across borders or eras, begin with what you know, your own experiences and you expand that with the knowledge of others. It helps to know some trivia such as salads in the U.K. and France and other European nations don’t come with salad dressing and only sometimes with oil and vinegar--except in Paris where it might arrive drizzled with a warmed watery honey. Central American natives gag on dill pickles but will serve a guest the choice bit of chicken out of the pot—the head boiled complete with eyes, beak and brain. Yeah. I ate it. Tasted just like chicken brains. Ew.
But of course the world you live in is what you know best. Where you grew up, where you work, where you go on vacation, where you do grocery shopping: You know the nearest beach, lake, golf course, movie theatre; the best and worst restaurants. You know your neighbors, your family and the mood of your community. You know rumors and secrets.  If you know anything about sex, you’re ahead of my game.
I still cringe when I recall that little grey-haired lady calling me on how I had a character in my book brew a pot coffee. Recall has kept me humble and not quite so careless. Now, as I write a new book or ready a book from my back list for e-book publication, it is always in the back of my mind that if I write something that bumps a reader out of my story, or annoys that reader because I got it wrong—it could be all over the internet within hours—with an audience of thousands—not a mere two hundred.
I believe when I’m promoting my book that I’m making a covenant with my reader. I’m promising that if she buys my book I’ll entertain her for hours on end.  If I make a good effort to write what I know and research what I don’t, I’m giving good value.
Lastly, you may write a novel in which you are certain you used what you know to create a terrific read. The plot worked, the characters grew, the dialogue raced along, the dénouement was happy ever after, yet the book gets mixed reviews or none at all. What the heck?
This happened: I was autographing. A middle-aged fan gushed about a scene in the book where the heroine was snapping green beans. It reminded her of good times on her grandmother’s farm. She used to help her grandmother snap beans by the bushel. Y’know, it wasn’t much, but it made me feel good. So later I asked another reader if she enjoyed the scene with the heroine sitting in a swing and snapping green beans. She said, “Not really. They weren’t organic.”
The reading public is fickle.
Write what you know. Oh, I forgot to tell you. There are concrete barriers all around the White House now. But the sidewalks are wide and I was doing the tourist thing. There was some jeering behind me. I turned around.  Prancing toward me in a pair of size eleven red Jimmy Choo knockoffs while fielding a bunch a catcalls is this he/she/it. It was wearing a short black spandex skirt, leopard print blouse (Royal Silk), four pair of Tammy Faye eyelashes (Trivia: eyelids are the weakest muscle in the human body), a Sheena the Jungle girl wig—or maybe it was left over from Halloween. Inch long nails painted fire engine red. An over the shoulder Coach purse.  
I am ashamed to tell you, I gaped. I am after all an international traveler—on the cheap, I admit. But I have met the Queen of England and Prince Phillip, I have been to Buckingham Palace, I have seen a man walking down a foreign street in a diaper, I did sit on a cardboard box next to Paul Newman at Mia Shors while we waited for our respective masseurs, I did once ride in an elevator with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and I have been robbed—twice.  My mouth was so wide if somebody had pounded me on the back right   then my dentures would’ve taken a hike right through the fence and landed on the White House lawn.
Grinning, the creature came abreast of me. “What you starin’ at sugar?”
“You. You’re amazing.”
“Ain’t I just tho?”
The long and the short of it is we had coffee, and I interviewed the heck out of him. It was a him. He had a package.  Substantial, he said. No, I didn’t see it. He had a Notebook in the purse and showed me his webpage.
Write what you know. I went right home and wrote him into No Perfect Secret

                         ~About Author Jackie Weger~ 

Author Jackie Weger is the bestselling author of
No Perfect Secret, a novel published by
Liquid Silver Books. Visit Jackie on the web
at  http://jackieweger.com/ to learn more about this
adventuresome author!

Book Review: Somer's Rising by Em Epe

Romance Reviews Submitted by Authors Proudly Presents

Somer's Rising
Written by Em Epe
Published by Eternal Press
Historical Suspense
198 Pages

"The time has come to take matters into her own hands..." Somer's Rising, Em Epe

 Somer's Rising 

Somer's Rising-Book Synopsis   
Brought to the McRaidy clan as a baby, Somer struggles to find her place amongst the members. As the child of a hated Englishman she is spurned by the Highlanders. With nothing more to offer than her skills with animals, she devotes her time to providing the McRaidy army with trained warrior dogs. Waiting for Conner to gain permission to wed from his father her dreams are crushed. Unwilling to face a life of loneliness Somer takes matters into her own hands.
   
 Book Review of Somer's Rising by Em Epe 

After just finishing Somer’s Rising by Em Epe, I can only say wow. Not often am I moved to fighting tears by fictional words or vision. 

Somer, taken as an infant into the McRaidy clan is shunned her entire life. She also loved Connor, the Laird’s son, from the time she was a child. He loves her, but when his father dies, he’s forced to deny her, knowing his clan will never accept her as wife to the new Laird. Determined to face her life without him, she becomes the focus of kings and a pawn to be used without regard until she stands up for herself. 

No spoilers here. You’ll have to read for yourself the struggles and triumphs. By the end, you will love these well presented characters, be angry, happy, and sad along with them, not necessarily in that order. The story flowed quickly and gave me a good read.


~Reviewed by Larriane Wills~


Multi-genre author writing under two pens, Larriane spans from the past to the future, with and without paranormal, but nearly always a romance. Larriane AKA Larion Wills two names, one author, thousands of stories. 
Visit her site http://www.larriane.com anytime to see her covers and read excerpts.


Book Review: Just Another Paranormal Halloween Anthology


Romance Reviews Submitted by Authors Proudly Presents


Written by several Just Another Paranormal Monday authors
Brigit Aine
K. A. M’Lady
D. McEntire
Sapphire Phelan
Kiki Howell
Savanna Kougar
Ashley Blade
Susan Gabriel

Published by Mojocastle Press
Paranormal
296 Pages
  





A Pixie Holiday by Brigit Aine
On Halloween Kira is able to go out with no glamour on and allow others to see her true self, a pixie. As she is trying to avoid the man her father sent years ago to try and marry her, she runs into someone else, someone who makes her feel safe and protected. Although she isn't even aware that she needs protecting, yet.

Lance knows he needs to get Kira to like him, after all they are going to be married, but he has to keep her safe and get her to the conclave before any of that can happen. And it seems as if those who do not want to see an alliance between the Pixies and the Wolves would do whatever it takes to make sure his plans are foiled.

Darkest Knight by Ashley Blade
Julie asked herself the same question many times, especially after reading one of her favorite paranormal stories.

 
Now what seemed like a fantasy world captured in descriptive words becomes her reality and she has to figure out if it was all it was cracked up to be.

The Man in the Long Black Coat by Susan Gabriel
Mariah Bishop, the preacher's daughter, lives in a town where religion and superstition are so deeply entwined there's no telling where one ends and the other begins. But her father, the good Eldon Bishop fears there is something more than religious rapture stirring in the young Mariah. 

When the mysterious man in the long black coat blows into town and holds an old-time revival on All Hallow's Eve, Mariah and the colorful characters who surround her are set on a course with consequences they couldn't possibly foresee.

Samhain's Visitor by Kiki Howell
When an uninvited visitor shows up during Sarah’s Samhain ritual, her Mute Supper is literally disrupted by cups and plates being tossed about. Soon, the shadow weighing on her and the voices with cryptic messages incite terror.

But help comes in various forms. And, one is sexy and full of surprises.

The Tiger's Masquerade by Savanna Kougar
Stacy wasn’t looking for a tiger-man to erotically and exotically fill her tank , then steal her heart. That is, until the Halloween ‘Call of the Wild Masquerade’ ball. But, what kind of tiger does she have by the tail?

Zyrru wasn’t looking for a human woman to un-tame his fiercest passions, and alter his royal life forever. After all, he’s only vacationing on Earth, and is almost engaged to The Princess. But her rosefire scent is irresistible.

A-Mazing Grace by D. McEntire
Halloween never meant anything special to Grace. That is until taking up an offer by her best friend for a night time trip through a local corn maze leaves her changing her tune—and her life. Coming face-to-face with a man sporting glowing red eyes and fangs, then rescued by a man who seemed just as unreal as the first makes for one hell-of-a wild night only she seems to remember. 

Connell has hunted alongside his brothers for centuries, following a code to protect the secret of their race—vampires—by removing rogue vampires who refuse to blend in among society. That secret is threatened when wiping the memory of a feisty human female he saves from a rogue doesn’t take completely. 

But it isn’t her recollection of him that leads her deeper into his world. Arriving moments too late on the scene of her second attack by a rogue leaves him facing the choice of converting her or leaving her to die.

Love, Lies & Zombie Cries by K.A. M'Lady
Jayda Oslynn knows what death feels like. She knows the solitude in the darkness’ silence. The lonely spaces between life’s last breath and the realm of the undead.

Like the women in her family before her, she’s had a life-long affinity with those that wander in the land between. Some call it black magick or necromancy, but to the Oslynn family it’s always been known as death dealing. And, whether a blessing or a curse, Jayda’s always been able to feel their feelings – their love and suffering, their happiness and sorrows. The truth, when shared through her eyes, always has a way of being felt and seen.

This Halloween, Jayda finds that when dealing with the dead, some memories are better left buried, for the real truth never stays buried and hearts, once broken seldom seem to mend.

His Girl by Sapphire Phelan
My Girl was more than just a song for Evan McPhail and Aimee Saunders; it was the music of their love and passion for each other. For nothing could tear them apart, not even death. 

Then Aimee vanished. 

She returns to Evan thirty years later, no longer human. To the tempo of their passion, they prove that doesn't matter.


Just Another Paranormal Halloween
What a treat for Halloween! This is a spectacular collection of stories that will keep you reading. Everything that is spooky, scary, and sexy is in Just Another Paranormal Halloween. Before I share my thoughts on each enticing story and talented author, I must say I love, love, love the cover of this book. The credits indicate Ookami Kasumi is the artist and I would like to say well done!

I loved Kira. I want to be her and a Pixie! Brigit Aine has created an utterly feminine and adorable character. The passages are descriptive. The village and interactions come to life on the pages. The attraction between Kira and Lance is palpable and Ms. Aine has done a good job bringing the reader into their attraction. I did notice a mingling between Kira and Lance’s POV’s. As a fan of multiple POV’s I thought Ms. Aine handled the various viewpoints well in this story. A Pixie Holiday is such a sweet read, I would spend another afternoon with a Brigit Aine book.

Darkest Night pulled me right in and kept me in a state of anticipation. The intrigue of this vampire story is perfectly paced. The characters are well written and the dialogue realistic. Their descriptions brought them to life for me. I truly enjoyed the balance between sexy and suspense. Ashley Blade created a story that kept me reading to see what was going to happen. Ms. Blade is a highly skilled story teller. Darkest Night is a book I would read more than once, even more than twice.

The Man in the Long Black Coat was deliciously full of superstitions right from the start. Susan Gabriel crafted an excellent transition of Mariah evolving into a woman. I stayed drawn to the story by the tantalizing hooks. Let me say, squirrel turd is now a new favorite comparison phrase for me. You’ll have to read the book to find out why but I think you’ll giggle too. Ms. Gabriel brought out breathtaking sensuality with a unique plot style that I would read again. I love being able to know what others are thinking and Ms. Gabriel certainly provided a unique way of giving us that. I enjoyed The Man in the Long Black Coat very much.

Samhain’s Visitors was a suspenseful book brimming with spirits and rituals. Kiki Howell gave wonderful descriptions and details to animate the scenes. The romance portion of the plot wasn't overly expansive however when it did arrive, the results were enticing. Ms. Howell gave us some brief descriptions of the couples journey but the culmination of the relationship for the happily ever after was exciting. For a well-written suspense book with some romance flavor that gives you great spook, Samhain’s Visitors hits the spot.

Let me just say ‘Mygawd’ The Tiger’s Masquerade is one sexy hot read! Zyrru is a spectacular example of masculinity. All the best elements of a book were combined into one stimulating story. Gorgeous tigers, sensuality and a masquerade, you couldn’t ask for more. Savanna Kougar kept me glued to the pages and I couldn’t turn them fast enough. Ms. Kougar provides a wonderful and perfectly written book that every reader will love. The Tiger’s Masquerade and Savanna Kougar are must read in my opinion.

A-Mazing Grace is a page turner…if you dare! D. McEntire has the gift of suspense and I was captivated. I was caught between turning the next page and being afraid to. D. McEntire provides a thrilling vampire read that is so descriptive that I actually had a physical reaction. Goose bumps chilled up my arms and I noticed my breathing quickened. I even caught myself squinting almost afraid to read what came next. And, the attraction between the hero and heroine, oh my oh my, is all I can say. You have to read this one!

I’ll admit, I’m not usually a lover of first person and I’ll tell you why, it’s a difficult execution unless the author is very accomplished. Let me say straight out, K. A. M’Lady is such a graceful writer, I became the character. I love when that happens. K. A. M’Lady is truly a master of the written word. The story itself is tremendous. Sexy, tender, and full of anticipation. There is a luscious rhythm to the story that moved me along and drew me further in. If you aren’t reading Love, Lies and Zombie Cries already, then get a copy right now!

His Girl is a plethora of all the perfect ingredients for a great story. Vampires, suspicion, erotic sex, lost love, rekindled love, and Halloween. Sapphire Phelan touches the reader’s emotions with her details and descriptions. His Girl brings forth the secret fantasy some readers have that our true love still is waiting for us. While providing a warm romance, Ms. Phelan also gives spectacular spook! Wonderful story and a great writer. I now consider myself a Sapphire Phelan fan and once you read His Girl, you will also.
~Reviewed by Em Epe ~
Em Epe invites you to visit her at emeperomances.blogspot.com or for a chat at facebook.com/emeperomances. Her books can be found at all your favorite sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks as well as her publishers, Eternal Press and Still Moments Publishing.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review: The Bacchi by Belinda McBride

Romance Reviews Submitted by Authors Proudly Presents

Written by Belinda McBride
Published by Loose-Id 
274 Pages
 
 
The Bacchi-Book Synopsis 
The Bacchi Lefi Dhrahn lives a life of luxury and decadence, but is tortured by memories of a lost love. He survives the pain by surrounding himself with sex, beauty, and all forms of self-indulgence. When he meets the alluring Inspector Afton Teris, Lefi believes the detective will make a very nice addition to his string of conquests.

Afton Teris is a Valoran hermaphrodite, and like all members of his species, is stern, cerebral and disapproves of the frivolous prostitute. Afton orients as a male, but the beautiful Lefi Dhrahn stirs him sexually, making him question everything he knows about himself. To further confuse his emotions, Afton finds himself tempted by the forbidden pleasures surrounding the Bacchi.

When a kidnapping ring strikes close to home, the two go undercover on a brothel barge to investigate a slavery operation. There, Lefi is confronted by painful memories from his past, while Afton is faced with a horror that threatens his future, and perhaps his very life. Their survival lies with one another, but only if Lefi can set aside his pain and listen to his heart.

Book Review of The Bacchi
From the moment I began reading The Bacchi by Belinda McBride, I was swept away and dropped in another world, one which was brilliantly crafted by the author.
In The Bacchi, Lefi is distressed as his birthday approaches. As the story begins, the author gives us a glimpse inside Lefi’s life of loneliness. “So much of his existence was a sham—a grieving man hidden behind the smiling, sensual mask of the Bacchi,” Belinda McBride writes. The lines following this passage completely engage the reader where every page counts and every word matters.
What impressed me most was Ms.McBride’s talent for world building. She owns an innate ability to create a special universe with a strong commitment demonstrated in her storytelling.
While the setting is superb, I found the interaction between characters most interesting. She obviously paid close attention to detail when she created her characters, mastering the art of individuality with her key players.
Readers of straight M/M romance may hesitate when they first discover there are M/F scenes included in the story. However, these scenes enhance the plot, build the relationship between characters, and help move the story forward. They’re necessary and in Belinda McBride style, written in such a way that will leave you craving more.
The Bacchi by Belinda McBride is unique. I haven’t read anything like this novel in the past, but if this book is an indication of what readers receive when they purchase a Belinda McBride novel, sign me up for auto-buys. An exceptional novel written by an extraordinary author.
~Reviewed by Destiny Blaine~
International bestselling author Destiny Blaine writes in all genres under several pseudonyms. Her pen names have earned bestselling status at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, and All Romance Ebooks. You can find her on the web at www.destinyblaine.com or follow her on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DestinyBlaine

Book Review: Storm of Desire by Cara Marsi

Romance Reviews Submitted by Authors Proudly Presents


Written by Cara Marsi
Published by Cara Marsi
Romance
98 Pages
 

Storm of DesireBook Synopsis 
Corporate attorney Samantha Greco needs some peace and quiet to come to a decision about her career. Instead, while an icy nor’easter rages outside, she finds herself trapped in a cottage on Fenwick Island with Aiden Rourke, a man she used five years ago when she ran from the heartbreak of her fiancé’s betrayal.

Aiden Rourke has loved Sam for years. For one glorious night she was his. But then she fled, wounding his ego and his heart. Thrown together again, they soon discover time hasn’t diminished their fiery passion for each other. Only Aiden has ever been able to melt Sam with just a look or a touch. But the fear that she’s like her mother, who used men mercilessly, scares Sam to death.

The storm outside is nothing compared to the storm of desire, fear, and guilt raging inside Sam. But during their wild weekend together, Sam and Aiden draw closer and realize their all-consuming passion for each other masks deeper needs and desires.

When the storm ends, will they go their separate ways? Or will they find the courage to face the future together as one?

Book Review of Storm of Desire by Cara Marsi

Samantha is a beautiful but lonely attorney struggling to rise in her career. To sort her thoughts she drives up the coast to her mother's vacant home and is caught in a dangerous storm. What she finds there is more than just a couple frightened cats.

Enter Aiden--a ruggedly handsome, emotionally grounded hunk of man who knows what he wants. He is not expecting anyone to be occupying Lisa's home when he arrives to secure the residence for the raging storm.

What impressed me the most about this book is how beautifully the author paints pictures with words. I could easily visualize how the characters were feeling by their body language and actions. Cara Marsi is truly gifted in the choreography of words.

The first scene caught my interest and I loved the wit with which the author writes. I laughed during Sam and Aiden's first encounter because it was written so realistically that I could picture hers and his response. I won't elaborate so as not to spoil the scene but I loved it! The author did a superb job of drawing me in quickly and holding my interest.

Sparks flew right away between the characters and without a supporting cast these two characters were definitely strong enough to carry the book on their own. The story flowed very well and was a true pleasure to read. I loved the subtle mention throughout the story of the frightened cats during a dangerous storm that lasted a couple of days.

While Sam and Aiden wait out the storm, each struggles with past feelings while caving into their undeniable attraction to one another. The passion is hot, descriptive and extremely loving which I truly enjoyed. Each love scene was written with a deft touch and though very descriptive and not leaving anything to the reader's imagination, the sex was sweet and hot but never offensive.

The characters are very well drawn and you're not left wondering what their thinking. The author does a great job of balancing the emotions of each one. I found myself relating to Sam and her troubled past while cheering her on for all she'd overcome. Aiden is as solid as they come and if all men were as loving, tender and patient as him the world would be perfect. I loved him. He's deeply romantic and tender yet strong in all the right ways.

Sweetly erotic with a generous portion of bedroom action, Storm of Desire is a great read with a very fitting title. Nicely done.

~Reviewed by Storm Savage ~
Storm Savage is the author of a fresh, original and ultra sexy vampire series that has consistently climbed into best seller lists at Extasy Books and other book sellers. Her hot rebel biker vampires continue to thrill and capture new readers daily. She also writes under many other genres and has 20 books contracted thus far soon to be released. You can find her at www.nightbrigade.wetpaint.com and follow her around the web from there.