Archive | July 28, 2013

Review – Voodoo Moon (Paranorm World #1) by June Stevens

Zombies aren’t supposed to exist, yet they are turning up all over Nash City. As a member of the Elite Black Blade Guard, Fiona Moon is tasked with hunting down the most dangerous Paranorm criminals. Now she must find out who is kidnapping mages and sucking the life energy from their bodies. To make matters worse, she has to work with the one man that embodies everything she despises. Ian Barroes is the rich founder and head of the Necromancers Guild and a professor of Necromantic Studies at the Academy of Science and Magic. There is one thing he wants more than anything else in the world… Fiona. They each hold secrets that could destroy them but could also be the key to destroying the evil Voodoo priest, Bokor. They must learn to trust each other track down Bokor before more innocents are taken, and murdered. To make matters worse, when Fiona becomes a target of the evil madman she is lured into his trap. Now she and Ian have to fight for survival and their very souls.

Cara’s Review
Here’s everything I love in a book: Post-Apocalyptical, paranormal beings, magic, mystery, and of course, romance. Add to that soul-sucking beasts, zombies, and missing persons and you get one heck of a story.

This is a great, great, great read! I would strongly recommend it to lovers of paranormal. There are hot love scenes, that aren’t necessarily erotica. With a great cast of secondary characters, Fiona Moon and Ian Barroes light up this novel, as the two kick ass main characters. Fiona is one of those hard ass heroines, with emotional walls five miles high, with a bit of a soft mushy inside; she fights hard for the underdog, and seems to always win. Ian is a necromancer who is super sexy, and with five years of emotion and attraction boiling between them, it was bound to explode- and oh, it did.

I absolutely hope that there are more books in the future with these characters, as I love them, and this post-apocalyptical world is fascinating. Even more so because the cataclysm that ended society as we know it is completely and totally possible, and frankly, from my understanding, will likely occur one day (I’m talking in couple of million years). I look forward to reading more from this author.

So, why not a 5 star rating? Well, there were lots of silly editing errors. No big deal to some readers, a huge deal to others. Consider this your heads up- but I would seriously recommend reading it anyway. The story is totally worth a couple of reading missteps when you stumble over a sentence.
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Interview ~ Liberty Blake

Beverly and Tamara: Welcome to SSLY. Thanks so much for joining us today Liberty. So first why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.

First of all I have to compliment you both on your names! When I was in High School I had a great friend I worked with. She was also my movie buddy. Beverly was a great deal of fun, so whenever I see the name I get a warm feeling of friendship.
Tamara is the heroine of my next novel, The Misplaced Bride. She is sassy and strong.
When I saw your names on the interview I felt like this was kismet!
Now a little about myself. I have wanted to be a writer all my life. I have five children and five grandchildren. I am a late bloomer. I began college at the same time daughter number two started in her college, daughter number three began high school, and daughter number four started kindergarten.
I studied history with the intent of authoring historical novels, only to realize that I am a research junkie. Let me at the research materials and I will never stop. So I decided that contemporary was the place for me.

Tamara: Definitely meant to be then! What do you HAVE to have when you are writing?

I’d like to say peace and quiet, but that is a pipe dream. I like having my laptop, but a lot of scenes end up being jotted down in my ever present Moleskin notebook (like the one Hemingway always used) or my pretty teenie-bopper journal.
The only real requirement I have is that I have to have something to support my back, my legs have to be up and comfortable, and I have a sweet little Brookstone lap desk. I purchased the lap desk when I was in New York City with a friend and there wasn’t enough desk space for both of us. Now the pellets in the base are all flattened out and I have to supplement the height with a pillow, but I’m weird and it works.
It sounds like I do all my writing in bed, and that is where I am the most comfortable, but occasionally I like to work at the library, Barnes & Noble café, or Paneras.

Beverly: When did you start to write?

I think I began as a rewriter. I always rewrote my bedtime stories. I was never happy with the endings, so I had to fix them. On my ninth birthday my grandmother gave me a sweet, little, powder blue, portable, Smith Carona typewriter. I had informed her that the toy typewriter I had to share with my siblings was good enough for them, but not for a serious writer like me. I needed to have the proper tools of my trade, like Lois Lane.

Tamara: What do you think are the qualities that make up a “hero”?

An ability to change his views, beliefs, way of like, whatever to accommodate the heroine.
Fidelity, honestly, the willingness to sacrifice, the willingness to get his hands dirty, the willingness to help. He doesn’t have to start out with these qualities, but he has to pick them up somewhere along the way.

Beverly: Can you describe your favorite character? And which of your books is he/she in? How do you come up with your characters?

So far Cassidy Flynn is my favorite character. She had a hard life, but she built a new life with friends and a good support system. She has a good heart and is not afraid to help others. She also swings a mean bat.

Tamara: *grins* What are the hardest scenes for you to write? Suspense? Sex? Dialogue? And why?

Dialogue is difficult for me. I’m a Chatty Cathy and I am always afraid that I keep a dialogue going for too long or that I fill it with extraneous details. Also, that whole “keep them moving” thing, I always have to remind myself that they are not having a discussion over tea.

Beverly: What writer, if any, influenced how you write?

Every writer I have ever read!

Tamara: Who would you choose as your “book boyfriend”? From what book? Author?

I am a very fickle woman. I have so many book boyfriends. There is Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but there is also Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary, Lord Damerel from Georgette Heyer’s Venetia, Brant Mallam from Hannah Howell’s If He’s Tempted, Kyrian and Zarek from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, and Adam from Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series. The list could go on, but I am already breathless just thinking about these book heroes.

Beverly: LOL! A different one for every night of the week! Not a bad plan! What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? Or would like to? What? We are all about the love!

I can give you references, but unfortunately my children are literate and it is still within the statute of limitations in some states, so I must decline to answer this on the grounds it might cause my children extreme embarrassment.

Tamara: What are your favorite types of heroines? Do you like the damsel in distress who needs saving or the kick-ass variety? Why?

I have nothing against damsels that need to be saved. We’ve all been there and there is no shame in needing help. I just don’t like the whiny damsels that wring their hands or do stupid things, especially after they’ve been told to stay put by the experts.
But if I have my druthers (isn’t that an excellent word, druthers?) give me the kick-ass variety. She doesn’t have to do it all, but she doesn’t just sit on her tuffet waiting for Prince Charming to show up and kiss her all better.

Beverly: What was your worst date ever?

The one where I had to throw the car into reverse and jump out and run.

Tamara: Tell us more! No? You sure? If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you? (you have food, water, shelter, all the necessities, so nothing mundane).

Men. Books. I think I just covered all my needs.

Beverly: What is your “guilty pleasure”?


Tamara: What dream or goal have you yet to realize?

Going to Australia.

Beverly: Me too. Road trip? Er, water trip! What was your most embarrassing moment?

When I was in the fourth grade I had to wear my dance costume from the year before to perform a dance for my classmates. I had had a growth spurt and I had to constantly pull the costume up over my nipples. (I was too young and skinny to have breasts, just nipples.) The nip slips at such a tender age explains a lot about my character now.

Tamara: LOL! If you were a color what would you be and why?

Orange. It’s the color of sunsets, the tango, and the brightest color in the crayon box. (Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neill

Beverly: Who has influenced how you perceive love? Why?

My grandmother. She took care of those she loved, and she taught me to do the same thing.

Tamara and Beverly: Okay. We are SSLY so we have to ask. Who loves you?

My children.

Now for some quick fun questions:

Boxers or briefs?
Coffee or Tea?
Tall, dark and handsome or Blond and buff?
One of each, please.
Hairy chest or smooth?
One of each, please.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Ummmm. Ummmm. Ummmm.
Kinky or Sweet?
Sweetly kinky.
Fast or slow?
I like a change of pace. Both.
Public or private?
Ummmm. Ummmm. Ummm.
Top or bottom?
I am never relegated to only one position.

Beverly and Tamara: Thank you so much Liberty. Maybe your children shouldn’t read this but we thoroughly enjoyed having you!

CBFINAL2NOOKThe Counterfeit Bride

Texas rancher and bar owner Cassidy Flynn is shocked to learn the bride’s name in an upcoming high society wedding – Cassiopeia Dolmides. Cassidy is a woman of secrets; the deepest is the identity she was born with and thought she had escaped long ago. If this bride is impersonating Cassidy, what trouble will that cause Cassidy and her infant son?

Greek tycoon Theron Christofides needs to gain possession of Dolmides Cruise Lines and the little Greek island where it left a shipwrecked eyesore. A lot of people are at risk without his intervention. Old man Dolmides will sell on one condition: Theron must marry Dolmides’ illegitimate daughter. Seeing no other way to rescue the island’s people, Theron agrees to sacrifice himself and his future.

As Theron stands at the altar with his bride-to-be, a fiery-haired woman in snakeskin boots and a cowboy hat interrupts their vows by calling his bride a fraud. In order for the wedding to continue, Theron must convince Cassidy Flynn to drop her lawsuit. Can he withstand Cassidy’s allure while he gains her cooperation? Or will they both be consumed by the fire of desire?

Barnes & Noble:
Also available in paperback through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Remember Amazon and Barnes & Noble have apps so you can read ebooks on any computer or device, if you don’t have a kindle or NOOK.

Review – Don’t Fret the Timing by AR Moler

Secret Service agent Vaughn Breckenridge works the Treasury side of his agency. He’s just been told that he’s about to be evaluated for additional training. Sumiko Pierce isn’t at all what he’s expecting. She’s testing for psychic abilities for the mysterious and near mythical Division P. Vaughn knows he’s got an exceptional gut instinct, but he doesn’t want to admit that it might be just a bit more than that. He doesn’t have a clue what is about to hit him.

Sumiko Pierce is rebuilding her life after a devastating car accident left with her with serious injuries, some long-term, others healing slowly. It’s hard enough to get around and do her job in a wheel-chair–even if it’s only for a while. The last thing she needs is a hard-headed Secret Service agent pushing his way into her life in the same way she’s pushing into his head. On the other hand, Vaughn’s really attractive, inside and out.
He’s got the abilities. She’s got the abilities and the skills to teach him how to really start using those gifts. They are each going to have to let down their personal barriers in order to make it work. Will they manage it in time to save her life?

Originally published by Shadowfire Press, and self-published.

Publisher’s Note: The Division P series is primarily GLBT in nature. However, this volume contains non-GLBT relationships.

Cara’s Review
It took me forever to get around to reading this book. Why? I didn’t really read the blurb before picking it out, and when I did, I noticed this note: “Publisher’s Note: The Division P series is primarily GLBT in nature. However, this volume contains non-GLBT relationships.”

Well, not all books are for everyone, and GLBT books just aren’t my cup of tea. I didn’t really know what the point of reading this book would be, as I was very unlikely to read any more of the books. HOWEVER!!!!!!

I finally decided to give it a go, so with an open mind, I dived in. And boy am I glad I did. I actually have already picked out a couple of more books by this author that I plan on reading. Lesson learned: just because you tend to shy away from one type of book, doesn’t mean you can’t try something new every once in a while. Even if I decided not to read any more of this series, I’m certainly glad I read “Don’t Fret the Timing.”

Sumika Pierce, the heroine, is out on a recruiting mission for Division P (the rumored secret gov’t agency) to see if Vaughn Breckenridge has the right stuff. She ends up auditioning him for more than just the job. This is super sweet story, with a little adventure, and an introduction to some of the Division P procedures. Some of the world of psy powers are explored- I liked reading the different test Vaughn did, trying to link them to psy abilities I’m aware of.
Vaughn is out of his depth and comfort zone, both with Sumika’s handicap, his psy abilities, and Division P. Yet, he manages to deal with it all, without being a big jerk. Vaughn is not your typical know it all alpha, and not a wimp either- but a sensitive man- heck, he’s an empath, he has to be! Sumika knows her own limitations, but is willing to work around them. She makes no apologies or excuses for what she needs or who she is. I really liked both characters, and hope they appear as secondary characters in some of the other Division P books.

In summation, definitely give this book a read! You won’t be lost if you haven’t read any other books by Moler. It is a good story, with a sweet HAE.
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