Thursday, June 30, 2011

Follow Friday....

Before we get to our question of the week, I want to remind everyone of the giveaway I have going on for a digital copy of Respite by Wendy Burke which ends soon.  So sign up here.


This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostess Parajunkee.  We also gain new followers by joining each other's sites via GFC, so please let me know if you're a new follower since I automatically follow back.  And now for this week's question....

Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

A. My favorite character is Qhuinn from JR Ward's BDB series.  He's gone through so much and had such a harsh childhood I just want to cuddle him....amongst other things.  LOL!  As to my reaction, I think this is pretty accurate...


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review for Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas ebook

Summertime and parties go hand in hand in my opinion.  I love hosting parties and am often referred to as Julie, your Cruise Director, for my in-depth party planning.  I recently got the chance to read the Hawaiian Luau Party eBook from Python Printable Games and am impressed with how many great party ideas are included in this little eBook.

This eBook has everything you need to throw the most entertaining party.  From cute printable invitations, to recipes for foods and drinks, to easy to play party games, this 22-page eBook has it all.  It also has costume ideas as well as affordable ways to decorate.  The games are perfect for groups of people and the drink recipes for a Tequila Sunrise and Pina Colada are easy to make with few ingredients needed.  And all of these party helpers are free!

All you have to do to get this eBook is go to the Python Printable Games site and sign up for their newsletter here.  You too can then host the perfect Luau with no effort at all.  So get signed up and you'll soon be receiving your own Hawaiian Luau Party Planner along with free goodies every month!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Review for Collide by Megan Hart

Ever since falling off a jungle gym as a child, Emmaline has had bouts of disorientation, fugue states.  Up until her recent introduction to 70's blue movie acting icon and artist Johnny Dellasandro, the episodes were very infrequent, but they suddenly take over her life and the line between dream and reality becomes blurred.  As Emmaline continues to spend time with Johnny will she ever be able to live a real life with real emotions or will the dream become her reality in this intriguing story with no easy answers.

This is an intriguing story full of intense emotions and hot sexual interludes.  Through Hart's writing the reader becomes easily sucked into the time of now and time during the 70's.  Emmaline's only sign that she's entering a fugue state is the smell of oranges, but the traveling back and forth is still very seamless through the incredibly accurate descriptions.  Emmaline is just as confused as us as to what's happening to her and is scared.  She fears for her health and for the loss of independence these recurring episodes mean.  I felt truly sorry for her and understood how this disability could lead to loss of independence which is her greatest fear.  I liked her for her desire to remain independent, but felt that her initial attraction to Johnny was immature.  It was based on very superficial qualities and is like what teens have towards boy bands when putting up their posters.  As she became truly involved with Johnny though, their relationship did become a bit more equal which made me hopeful for their future.

Johnny is seen as the proverbial older man who doesn't want to be with Emmaline at first.  He's a hardened man now, but wasn't in his younger years.  He was carefree, willing to try anything.  An event happened to him that changed him and as the story progresses we learn what it is, which is heart-wrenching and puts a new and interesting spin on Emmaline's fugue episodes.  For all his initial grumpiness, Johnny is a caring man full of creativity.  He wants Emm to be safe, but not take away her independence, which makes me like him all the more.

The issue of age comes up frequently in the story and is handled in a reasonable way.  It's not glossed over and doesn't resolve itself quickly.  As a matter of fact, an incident happens towards the end of the story that will again bring up the age issue as well as other important truths.  This incident really cast a shadow over the story for me and made me like it a bit less for the fact that it's not fully addressed and for the large ramifications that were left hanging.  To truly enjoy this story you must suspend everything you know to be true and just enjoy the ride that Ms. Hart has created.  As a reader who normally likes to have all questions answered, I had to come to the realization that this story wasn't going to end wrapped in a bow.

Ms. Hart has created a mind-boggling ride full of intense emotions, steamy sexual interludes, and metaphysical questions of time normally seen in sci-fi stories.  It's a story that sucks you in and doesn't let go until long after the final page is turned.  I do recommend this but don't expect clear cut answers.  Just enjoy the journey.

My rating for this is a B-

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #22

Before we get to my teaser for today, I want to remind everyone about the giveaway I have going on right now for a digital copy of Respite by Wendy Burke.  To enter, sign up here.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


-He didn't need no digits, because he was never going to call them; he wasn't into kibitzing even with people he liked; and the sort of bite he could offer them had nothing to do with greasy-ass diner food.

Monday, June 27, 2011

CSN Stores Having a Tote Bag Giveaway

One of my favorite online stores is having a Tote Bag giveaway just in time for the 4th of July with four lucky winners to be chosen.  Here's a glimpse of the prize.....

As an extra bonus you can choose to add your initials in a variety of different colors such as Bright Pink, Burgundy, Orange, Kelly Green, Navy or Red!  This tote will be perfect to load books and our eReaders in to for a day at the beach or the park.  So enter here.

Fashion Monday Madness

It's the start of another week and I can't believe how fast the summer is going.  It's going to be firework day in a week along with my first time participating in a blog hop....Skyrockets In Flight, taking place July 4th-10th.  So be on the lookout for that!  And now to our weekly look at what the celebs call fashion....

The Good....

Liv Tyler looks sleek and stylish in this dual-colored cocktail dress that highlights her figure nicely.  The hair is perfectly coiffed and the minimal accessories are a perfect choice.  She looks simply perfect.

Helen Mirren shows that age and beauty go together beautifully in this age appropriate, yet youthful-looking gown.  The silver coloring of the dress goes perfect with her hair coloring.  The fit shows off her well-toned figure and the hint of sparkle throughout the dress gives a glow to her complexion.  No wonder the Queen made her Dame.  Looking as regal as she does makes me want to bow down to her in awe.

The Bad....

Nicki Minaj once again makes a statement, and not a good one, in this thrift store nightmare.  Every conceivable pattern is represented in her ensemble with all of them working against each other, and us, to look like a billboard for the 80's.

Emily Browning is looking frumpy in this grandma-looking sweater that's been stretched one time too many.  The sparkly embellishments make even more of a fashion statement...that being that she'll be safe at night due to her reflective wardrobe.  This is pretty much a school girl gone wrong outfit.

The Ugly....

On the Big Bang Theory Kaley Cuoco's character's always making fun of the boys for their poor clothing choices.  Well, take a look in the mirror, because this ill-fitting and baggy jumpsuit is highlighting all the wrong things.  From the too-long pantlegs to the awkwardly-draped hippage, she looks like she belongs on the set of a 70's sci-fi movie playing Queen Yawn.

Fergie appears to be having an identity crisis with the Copacabana-inspired jacket that only a Medieval poet could love, or Barry Mannilow.  When I look at those sleeves I can't help but think about a stewardess saying..."In the event of an emergency this can be used as a flotation device".  Do you think that's the case here?  Has she chosen safety over style?

That's a wrap for today!  Are you wanting to run out and own any of these outfits or are you looking for a garbage can?  Sound off below.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's Back, It's Back!!!!

I've been on the edge of my seat for months now waiting for the new season of True Blood to start.  The time has finally arrived and tonight we get to rejoin the wacky citizens of Bon Temps for what looks to be another sexy and rip-roaring fun season.  Below are some new clips for season 4 to get us in the mood for tonight's premiere of True Blood.

The clips look awesome and my obsession with Eric is getting even stronger!  So cool, calm, and collected is our dear Eric.

Review for Green Lantern

In this busy summer movie season, it's the superheroes who've most caught my attention.  So far I've been very happy with the offerings of Thor and X-Men:First Class and found them to be entertaining, emotional, and an exciting way to spend an afternoon.  I was hoping the same could have been said for Green Lantern but not even the sexy and personable Ryan Reynolds could save this disappointing movie.

Ryan Reynolds does the best he can with the drab material he's given playing cocky test pilot Hal Jordan.  He does well balancing humor with action scenes and of course looks super sexy while doing it.  The glimpses of his magical abs are what kept me glued to the screen since the storyline and romance was seriously lacking.  A lot of time is spent away from Earth where Hal is learning to use his powers and meets the other Lanterns.  This section dragged on a bit too long and the special effects used for this exotic planet looked cheesy and artificial to me.  The romance between Hal and Carol also felt artificial with Blake Lively not able to generate any heat or chemistry with Ryan.  Their relationship felt more like siblings than lovers.

The villains in this movie were a disappointment as well.  Parallax, in his computer-generated body was not at all scary and actually brought out laughter in me for his cartoonish look.  Peter Saarsgard fairs a bit better as the creepy Hector Hammond who slowly goes insane as his head keeps enlarging.  He's over-the-top as he exacts his revenge, but at least he's not boring.  A future villain, Sinestro, is still a good guy in this movie and I enjoyed his time on screen and look forward to him going to the darkside if a sequel is ever made.

As the closing credits rolled, I was left very disappointed.  I felt no connection to the Green Lantern mythos and it all paled in comparison to the other summer superheroes.  The fault isn't with Ryan Reynolds though.  He's very charming and personable as Hal and seeing the boyish wonderment on his face as he learns the extent of his powers brought a smile to my face.  Too bad the rest of the movie was so lifeless.  At least I have this image forever burned in my brain to make up for any other disappointments this film left me with!

My rating for this movie is a C.

*I saw this movie using tickets I bought with my own money.

Winner for Dark Passages by Sara Reinke

I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment on Sara's post and those who signed up for a chance to win a digital copy of her vampire novella Dark Passages.  I consulted and the very lucky winner is......

.......DANIELA!!!!!!!  Woo-Hoo and Congratulations!  I'll be emailing you in a few moments to confirm your win and you have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will have to be chosen.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Interview & Giveaway for Respite by Wendy Burke

Before we get to the really fun stuff I want to thank Wendy for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her new release Respite.  She's being even more awesome by letting me give away a digital copy of Respite to my followers!  So enjoy our interview and follow the easy instructions at the end of this post to be eligible to get your hands on this truly enjoyable historical novella.

*****the Interview*****

TSP:  Did you always want to be a writer and what steps have you taken to achieve that goal?

WB:  I never really 'set out' of be a writer. I have, however, been telling stories most of my life. I was an 'A-ranked' storyteller in high school as part of our speech team. I wrote radio news for years and also told stories with my voice as part of a morning radio show. I write stories as part of my job in behind-the-scenes television. So actually 'writing' fiction wasn't foreign to me, but the possibility of ever getting published was for a long time.

TSP:  What genres do you enjoy writing in and why?

WB:  Romance for some reason comes naturally to me, even though it's not a genre I regularly read. I like a good story of any kind. Romance for the most part has all to do with emotion - if you can get into the characters' heads and express their emotion - whether want, confusion, love, abandonment - etc - you can pen a great storyline.Eventually, I would like to pen a really good political suspense thriller with strong romantic elements. Brad Thor and James Rollins are two of my favorite authors in the political thriller genre.

TSP:  The time period in your newest book is rather unique, what made you choose it?  And what kind of research did it involve?

WB:  I am very partial to WWII studies and that era - my parents were of that period. People just had so much to deal with - dealt with it and moved on. No one held their hands and felt sorry for them, they did what they had to do and made the best of their situations. I guess then, my growing up has been my research - I listened to stories my parents told and how they handled things. They kept their problems to themselves and put on a happy face to the world. Other research - well, I'm a history buff, so that was easy!

TSP:  What's next on your writing horizon that you can tell us?

WB:  I'm very happy to tell you about my next project. It is again with Decadent Publishing, this time with their '1 Night Stand' series of short stories. 'The One He Chose' turned out to be a much better story than even I anticipated. The submissions specialist at Decadent call me 'pond scum' because I made her cry reading the story. I'm VERY proud of that acceptance email! Anyway - 'The One He Chose' is a little story about moving on from past loves and realizing that someone can love you even if they're not physically near. Anymore - you need to read the book which should be out later this summer.

TSP:  Since my site is all about favorite things...what are your favorite things, the things you can't live without?

WB:  My husband, friends and family, for starters of course. My two furry feline children - Buzz and Lou. I can't do without a way to write - I can long-hand it if I have to, but my handwriting has gotten horrendous after so many years using a laptop or PC. Sourdough bread - can't be without that. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I love a good thunderstorm. Sirius XM radio in my car - for as many years as I was in radio - I can't listen to someone talk between songs! Flannel jammy pants and really good socks- a must. Other than that, I'm fairly low-maintenance!

Those were some wonderful answers and I can't thank you enough for spending time on my site today.  You're truly awesome Wendy and I look forward to your next release!  And now, on to the giveaway......

For a digital copy of......

Fiery and stubborn Madeline Raburn never thought life on her own could be so trying. The daughter of an influential New York businessman, Maddy has always had the best of the best…as long as she abided by her parents' wishes. When sent to Italy to meet their choice for a potential husband, she enforces a respite from her overbearing family. She thought running away might be the answer, but when she meets Ryan, her situation becomes a little more complicated….

Honorably discharged Sgt. Ryan Davison has traipsed through Europe for three years, compliments of the U.S. Army and the war against the Germans. Now tired and in desperate need of rest, he’s determined to forget the pain and deaths he’s encountered. Landing in a quiet harbor town in Morocco, with its sultry weather and tantalizing views, he believes he’s found a quiet respite from the haunting days of war, until Maddy stumbles into the bar…not looking for trouble or love, but finding both.

Life takes a drastic turn for Ryan and Maddy as their building attraction tempts them into the exotic world around them, but will they have to fight for their passion and love once their past catches up with them?

An Excerpt: 

Madeline was hot, thirsty and dirty. She wanted to sit under a moving fan in an unladylike manner, chug a few continental beers, and then wash her face…and in that order. Maybe she had entered the establishment a bit more noticeably than she would have liked; after all, she wanted to appear she actually belonged in this part of the world as opposed to running away from another. She centered herself, took a deep breath and tried not to get angry with the somewhat backward way of thinking that many of the men in this region exhibited.

“No ladies!” the bartender admonished, “No alone ladies.” He waved his hands across the bar, insistent that she not sit. Ignoring the barkeep, she stripped off her fedora, shaking out her thick, dark curls. “No alone ladies.”

Madeline tossed her hat on the bar, then carefully eased herself onto a stool. After stretching her neck for another good look out into the street, she relaxed a bit. Without thought of local mores, she dug into her shirt and pulled out a slightly damp ten franc note.  “Whatever you have that’s cold will be fine. I have my own money.” The owner glared at her. Maddy was sure he’d never seen a woman touch herself in public in such a manner. “I’m not looking for a date…I’m not a prostitute.” His eyes widened, but it didn’t faze her. “Listen, I’m hot, you have cold beer and I have money. Let’s do business.”

“Fahz, give her a beer,” a male voice called.

“You vouch, Mr. Ryan, you vouch?” The proprietor wanted to know.

“Give her two, Fahz, my tab.”

Madeline turned toward the comforting American accent. “Really, that’s not necessary.” She hadn’t travelled alone all this way the last two months, to suddenly need the assistance of a man. Especially since she was still trying to make sure she had ditched the two who thought she needed their accompaniment. She was a young independent woman and could take care of herself. Her autonomy came much to her parents’ dismay. They were the old-fashioned type, wanting her to find a nice young Italian man, settle down and happily crank out a plethora of progeny. That life was theirs, however, not hers. Maddy wanted adventure.
As much as she flaunted her unwillingness to need the assistance of the male gender, one glance into this American’s cobalt eyes had her thinking about bending her own rules. Maybe she could make an exception.


Entry is super simple and International (everyone can enter)!  You just have to be a follower of my site and make a comment about this post.  Please make sure to include your email in your comment to make it easier to contact the winner.  That's it!  The contest will end on Tuesday, July 5th at 11:59 pm at which time I'll use to determine a winner.  I'll then email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Review for Respite by Wendy Burke

It's the end of the war with VJ and VE day just concluded and all honorably discharged Sgt. Ryan Davison wants is peace and quiet to recover from his physical and mental injuries.  He doesn't count on his exotic vacation being invaded by heiress Madeline Raburn, who's running from the arranged marriage and controlled life her parents impose on her.  After eluding her burly babysitters/bodyguards Maddy is looking to experience life and is immediately drawn to Ryan.  Ryan too realizes that there's something special between them but just when their happily ever after seems within reach Maddy's guards catch up with them to damper their happiness.  Will the Fate that originally brought them together be strong enough to bring them together again or will they be forever lost to one another?

This is a well-written novella with likable characters that quickly draw you into the story with its exotic locale and colorful secondary characters.  The story may be short on word count but the story never feels lacking.  It feels complete, well-rounded, with many highlights.  The main highlight is Ryan who's super sexy and supportive.  He has many scars inside and out and deserves some happiness.  He helps Maddy explore life and opens her eyes to many things.  He's strong but never smothers her like her parents.  There's a strong connection between them involving real emotions that have nothing to do with her wealth.  Maddy is a likable character as well and seeing her explore life with Ryan by her side is a sweet sight to see.  She's a bit child-like at times due to her parents smothering and when it comes to sex she's a bit naive as well.  But with Ryan she becomes a woman, both in mind and body.  As the story progressed I definitely started liking and respecting her more and again that's due to Ryan.

The romantic locale of Morocco is almost a character of its own with the exotic and sensual feel of the city that the author conveys beautifully.  Morocco's an inspiration to Maddy to start living her life to the fullest, it encourages her hidden wild side.  Along with the pleasure of the locale is the humorous secondary characters.  The bartender and Irish bystander are colorful and add a very fun feel to the story.  Maddy's babysitters are also entertaining and reminded me a bit of Abbott and Costello.  Their purpose in Maddy's life might have been negative, but I still chuckled a bit over some of their actions.

This was an enjoyable story from start to finish that drew me in with its highly descriptive and exotic locale.  The love scenes were sexy yet romantic with a bit of wonder.  The characters were likable and you can't help but root for their happiness.  So if you're looking for a unique historical with the power of Fate highlighted than grab a copy of this wonderfully written story.

My rating for this is a B+

*This book was given to me by the author for my honest opinion.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's Free Book From Carina Press

Today's free book is from an author known for her highly emotional writing.  Looks like a great read!

Friendly Fire by Megan Hart

Use promo code FRIENDLYFREE at checkout to receive the book for free.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Follow Friday......

Finally got around to seeing the GL movie and while Ryan was enjoyable to look at, the storyline was a bit boring and disappointing.  My full review will be posted on Sunday, but just wanted those who were thinking of seeing it this weekend my first impression of its quality.  I also have a giveaway for a digital copy of Dark Passages by Sara Reinke going on right now that ends on Saturday night so be sure to sign up here if you haven't already.  And finally, author Wendy Gerber will be visiting my site this Saturday for an interview and giveaway of a digital copy of her historical novella Respite.  You don't want to miss out on the fun so be sure to come back and make Wendy welcome.  And now for.....

This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostess Parajunkee.  We also gain new followers by joining each other's sites via GFC, so please let me know if you're a new follower since I automatically follow back.  And now for this week's question....

Q.  In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

A.  My favorite fairy tale would be Cinderella with all the fairy godmothers who prettied her up.  I could use something like that every morning to help me get ready for the day.

Today's Free Book From Carina Press...

Today's book is one I've read and reviewed on my site a few weeks back.  Loved the hero, super suave and sexy!

Blue Galaxy by Diane Dooley

Use the coupon code GALAXYFREE at checkout to receive it for free.

Review for Lovely Wicked by Kari Gregg

Mitch McAllister and Olivia Winslow have been supportive of one another since they were young kids living with horrendously abusive parents in a dirty trailer park.  Now adults, they've made something of their lives, but keep getting pulled back towards their families still living in that dirty trailer park and still getting put through that emotional wringer.  One night of physical comfort between friends soon leads to something much more intense when forbidden fantasies brings Sam Lawson into their intimate circle.  The road to a happy threesome is a rocky one as secrets and unplanned events force unpleasant truths to be revealed from which this threesome might never recover.

This story started out strong by showing how far Mitch and Olivia have come from the abusive start they had in life.  You can't help but feel happy that they climbed out of that shabby existence to become at least a bit successful.  You soon realize that old scars run deep, particularly for Mitch, and the ties that bind truly never let go.

This leads to some very flawed characters.  Mitch is a three-time divorcee who is very dominant due to a rather unpleasant period of time after he ran away from home.  He steamrolls over both Olivia and Sam to get what he wants in a relationship, which is one where he can keep his secrets but no one else can.  He constantly makes major decisions about the course of their threesome which alienates the others and causes many misunderstandings.  His heavy-handedness got very irritating and made me really dislike him.  I wanted to feel sympathetic towards him because of his truly horrible childhood, but his constant secretiveness and overbearing control of the threesome rubbed me the wrong way.

Olivia just seemed numb throughout the story, with very little backbone.  She was a puppet for Mitch to manipulate and let herself be hurt more by acquiescing to Mitch's every desire.  Sam too allowed himself to be manipulated by Mitch into doing things he knew would return to haunt them and leads to a MAJOR roadblock for their threesome and an uncertain ending to the story.  I actually didn't mind these two characters, particularly Sam who was the most likable of the three and the most honest in his feelings and words.  But having Mitch in their lives was definitely not beneficial to them in my eyes.  They became playthings to Mitch that he used to make his life less lonely.

The sexual interludes in this story were very steamy and VERY frequent to the point where it started to feel repetitive and became a way for Mitch to distract the others from discovering his secrets.  Storyline was sacrificed for sexual interludes and unnecessarily manipulative misunderstandings were used repeatedly to batter at the threesome's connection.  I was often left frustrated by the events in the story and by Mitch's cavalier attitude and it was hard to keep turning the pages.

After such an emotionally draining opening I so wanted this story to continue with the theme of redemption that was at first hinted at.  Because of Mitch and his creation of a threesome everything ground to a halt and any redemption that the characters were working towards suddenly came to a halt.  His overbearing attitude and reluctance to open up emotionally made this story a disappointment to me.  I normally like menage stories but the total lack of equality and honesty amongst the lovers led me to downgrade this story even further.  I don't regret reading this story but am sad it didn't live up to the opening chapter's promise.

My rating for this is a D+.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today's free book from Carina Press

In the continuing celebration of their anniversary, Carina Press is giving away a free book everyday this week.  Today's book looks like another great one....

Enter the coupon code TWISTEDFREE at checkout to receive it for free.

Review for Spice 'n' Solace by K.C. Burn

Jathan One-Moon is a renowned negotiator who once every year must renegotiate the rights of humans against an alien race.  To keep relaxed during this stressful time Jathan always hires male escorts from the Spice 'n' Solace agency known for its disease-free escorts.  The agency has recently been under attack by a saboteur that it's owner Kazha Deinos has been desperately trying to unearth.  Unfortunately, on the eve of Jathan's first night in town, Kaz is forced to step in when the saboteur causes a quarantine of the brothels that leaves Kaz the only one available for Jathan.  What starts out as a case of mistaken identity soon becomes a relationship where each one of them gets to truly be themselves, but with outside forces continually beating at them, tough decisions must be made if they want to achieve true happiness.

This is a fast-paced, very sexy read that takes place in a futuristic society where the rights of escorts is a strong theme in the story as is being true to who you really are.  Jathan is a strong character will generations of noble negotiator's reputations to live up to and being gay is definitely not what his family wants since he needs to produce an heir to continue the family line.  A traditional marriage is constantly being pushed at him when he knows that's not what will make him happy.  The pleasures he partakes in during the negotiations are kept very quiet and the only time he speaks out about his fears for the future is when he's with Kaz.  He tells him things he's never told anyone else.

A lifetime of keeping secrets is all that Kaz knows as well.  His father beat him for discovering his true sexuality and his friends make it perfectly clear their disdain towards homosexuality.  Kaz's life is a lonely one so the Spice 'n' Solace brothel is the only family he has.  The brothel might have started as his father's business, but Kaz has made it his own by enacting rules that keep his workers safe and happy.  In fact the sections of the book dealing with the rights of escorts was very intriguing and gave me images of Norma Rae because of all the political talk.  Life for escorts is a tough one, violent at times, and the story doesn't shy away from that. 

Living a life of secrets is what brings these two men together and forges a deep connection between them.  The sexual side of their relationship started quickly but the emotional side arose slow and steady and was very believable.  Their sexual encounters were steamy with Jathan definitely taking on the dominant role.  Kaz was very inexperienced due to his father's brutality and definitely is the sub in their relationship.  They truly care for each other and are supportive of what they both want for their futures.  Some life-threatening moments involving the identity of the saboteur lead them to admitting the truth of who and what they are and what will lead to their happiness and the culmination of that is clever and very much a happily ever after ending.

This was a very entertaining and thought-provoking story with strong and very likable characters.  The storyline was highly emotional with a strong political slant that adds an interesting dimension to the story.  I highly recommend this m/m story for its well-written characters and heart-wrenching prejudices.  This is the first book I've read by K.C. Burn but it definitely won't be the last.

My rating for this is a B+.

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today's Free Book From Carina Press...

Demon's Fall by Karalynn Lee

Use the code DEMONFREE at checkout to receive the book for free.

Teaser Tuesdays #21

Before we get to today's teaser, I want to remind everyone of the giveaway I have going on for a digital copy of Dark Passages by Sara Reinke.  Go here to enter the giveaway for this very entertaining read.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


-I'm going to stake you good.  So good you'll be well done.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Free Book from Carina Press

I know it's almost the end of the day, but I just discovered that Carina Press is giving away a free ebook every day this week in celebration of their anniversary.  I've enjoyed many of their releases and can't wait to see what the freebies will be throughout the rest of the week.  For the next hour or two the freebie is....

Use the code DEBUTANTEFREE at checkout to get it for free.

Fashion Monday Madness

Another weekend flew by at lightning speed which of course leads us to the start of another busy week.  And with the start of a new week is Monday's fashion show with the stars.  So get comfy and join me for this weeks....

The Good....

Eva Longoria looks cool in the summer heat in this minty-green lace cocktail dress.  She looks classy and stylish and not at all desperate in this perfectly tailored ensemble.

Blake Lively looks anything but the damsel in distress at the GL premiere in this flowing sheer lace gown.  Again, the perfect choice for summer.  Romantic looking with a sense of sass with the avant garde hairstyle and the sheer skirt.  People will definitely want to gossip about this, but in a good way.

The Bad....

The color of Heidi Klum's dress is certainly eye-catching but the style of it is lacking.....well, style.  It looks as if she wrapped a sheet around herself which has resulted in a very unfinished looking garment.  If this were Project Runway she'd be voted off the runway for this saggy, formless ensemble.

Courtney Love looks like quite the saucy wench in this Medieval tavern maid-inspired dress.  All she needs is a tankard of ale as an accessory to complete the look.  From the baggy fit to the too revealing front hem Courtney once again has forgotten that it's not Halloween.

The Ugly....

Eliza Doolittle is thinking Halloween too in this angelic dominatrix-inspired dress with the sleeves that don't fit and the far-too-short-skirt-to-be-seen-out-in-public to finish off this tacky wardrobe malfunction.  Making matters even worse is the stringy hair and shoes that go with nothing.  I wonder what Professor Henry Higgins would think of this?  A make-over by him would certainly be an improvement.

Tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands has gone goo-goo for Gaga in this ode to tennis-inspired dress.  As if the bustier made out of recycled tennis balls weren't enough of a conversation piece, Bethanie has topped things off with a dressy Mohawk.  Gaga would be so proud, but for me this is anything but aces.

That concludes this week's fashion round up.  Sound off below with your opinions about celebrity fashion and join me again next week for more.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

To all the dads out there, including my own, thank you for all your love and support.  Have a wonderful day full of bbqing, golfing, and tools....everything dads love!

Winner of Shattered Glass by Elaine Bergstrom

I want to thank my followers who took the time to enter this giveaway and Roxanne Rhoads and Elaine Bergstrom for supplying the digital copy of Shattered Glass for the giveaway!

The lucky reader is.........michelle130!!!  Congrats and I'll be emailing you in a moment to confirm your win.  You'll have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Giveaway Ending Tonight

This is just a reminder that the giveaway for a digital copy of Elaine Bergstrom's Shattered Glass ends tonight.  There's not a lot of entries so the chances of winning are really good.  Entry is super easy, so go here to sign up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Follow Friday....

This weekend is going to be all about Ryan Reynolds and his magical abs!  Definitely planning an outing to see Green Lantern and taking a roll of paper towels for all the drooling that will take place.  Before we get to this week's question I also want to remind everyone of the two giveaways I have running right now.  Entry is super easy, so before you leave please sign up.  And now.....

This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostess Parajunkee.  We also gain new followers, so please let me know if you're a new follower since I automatically follow back.  And now for this week's question....

Q.  Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

A.  My favorite genre is paranormal and JR Ward's Dark Lover is the epitome of everything entertaining in the world of the paranormal.  A intriguing and creative mythos, strong characters, great action, and some hot men to liven things up.  I'm addicted and will keep coming back for more.

Book Tour for Dark Passages by Sara Reinke (Interview & Giveaway)

Before we get to Sara's wonderful interview, I want to say thank you to Sara for taking the time to answer my questions and for creating an immensely entertaining series.  Thanks too to Roxanne Rhoads and her Bewitching Book Tours for letting me be a part of the excitement.  I now present my Q & A with Sara Reinke with a GIVEAWAY at the end of the post.....

TSP:  Was being a writer always in the cards for you and what's led you to where you are today?

SR:  I’ve been a storyteller since I was very young. I can remember writing stories in spiral-bound notebooks in elementary school. I have always had a vivid imagination, and was lucky enough to have parents who both fostered my interests in all things creative—and am equally lucky today to have a husband who is likewise supportive. I definitely believe that the lifelong encouragement I’ve had as impacted my writing career, because it keeps me motivated, even when I’m lacking confidence in myself. Knowing you have friends and family in your corner, who believe in you, can make all of the difference in the world.
TSP:  What genres do you write in and do you have a favorite?  If you have a favorite, why is that?

SR:  I’ve written lots of different genres in the past—historical romance, sci-fi, fantasy—but for the most part now write paranormal romance and urban fantasy with strong romantic elements. I think it’s because I like the creative possibilities that are in these kinds of books. They combine the real world with the fantastic and impossible.

TSP:  What sets The Brethren apart from your typical vampires and where do you see the series heading?

SR:  I love the idea of vampires—dark, sensuous, blood-thirsty, predatory, with superhuman mental and physical capabilities. But the standard mythology behind them—they can’t be exposed to sunlight, see their reflection in a mirror, touch or be touched by holy water or other sanctified objects—doesn’t make much logical sense to me. In order to make the Brethren work logically enough to write about them, I had to come up with my own mythos; in essence, I had to reinvent the vampire.

The Brethren aren’t immortal, but long-lived, with life spans that can be three or four times longer than a human. Because of this, they’ve been able to amass a tremendous fortune. They live segregated from the human world, interacting only as much as necessary to insure their survival. They can walk in sunlight, touch crucifixes, see themselves in a mirror. To them, garlic is a spice, same as any other. And a human who is bitten by a Brethren is food—and will not become a vampire in the aftermath.

For all of their wealth and powers, are basically as flawed as the rest of us; as motivated by guilt, greed, lust, love—you name it. Though they strive to live apart from humans whenever possible, they’re more like us than they’re willing to admit or accept. And therein lies the story.

TSP:  Do you have any other new books/story ideas coming soon not related to The Brethren that you can share with us?

SR:  I’m excited about the launch of a brand new paranormal romance series this July. Forsaken will be the first in The Netherworlde Series. Just as I reinvented vampires with the Brethren, Forsaken is my own imaginative reinterpretation of angels and demons.

In Forsaken, Jason Sullivan has everything he could have wanted in life -- his own business, the perfect girlfriend and the perfect opportunity to ask her to marry him. Then, in one violent, unexpected moment, he loses it all. Murdered in cold blood, wrongly condemned and enslaved to a sadistic demon, Jason must fight to reclaim not only the life and love he'd once known, but also his soul.

You can check out the link to my mini-site for The Netherworlde Series, enjoy an excerpt from the book as well as the promotional video at my website:

I also have a short story, “In His Hands,” coming out in October as both a stand alone ebook release and as part of the upcoming print anthology, The Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance.

TSP:  Since my site is all about your favorite things...What are some of your favorite things, things you can't live without?

SR:  My family, Diet Mountain Dew, My iPhone, Watching a movie in the theater (better yet – having the theater all to myself), A long nap on a rainy Saturday afternoon (better yet – with some thunder grumbling).

Thanks Sara for the great answers and for providing me with a digital copy of Dark Passages to give away to my readers!  This is a great addition to an intriguing series and whoever wins a copy will be extremely satisfied.  And now for the giveaway info......

Back blurb for Dark Passages: Tristan & Karen:

Tristan Morin is a vampire on a mission: to not fall in love with Karen Pierce. To do so would prove that humans and Brethren were meant to be physically and emotionally bound to each other -- something he, as a full-blooded Brethren, refuses to believe. It would be so much easier if Karen wasn't beautiful. And if there wasn't something about her that draws him like a moth to a flame, damn near impossible to resist.
Karen has always felt an inexplicable attraction to Tristan. More than just the fact he's strikingly handsome, it's as if being with him is something natural, comfortable and right. But soon a brash choice on his part leaves her heartbroken and confused, and a sadistic new enemy will put their newfound love -- and their lives -- to the ultimate test
Learn all about the Brethren series here:


Entry is super simple and International (everyone can enter)!  You just have to be a follower of my site and make a comment about this post.  Please make sure to include your email in your comment to make it easier to contact the winner.  That's it!  The contest will end on Saturday, June 25th at 11:59 pm at which time I'll use to determine a winner.  I'll then email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Review for Dark Passages by Sara Reinke

After a broken engagement Brethren doctor Tristan Morin tries to ignore the continuous attraction he feels for human nurse Karen Pierce for fear her involvement with him will put her in jeopardy against a vengeful family enemy.  Karen Pierce understands the world of The Brethren and just wants to be with Tristan no matter the cost.  Between fear from the outside and fear from his losing control, Tristan keeps pushing her away until a deadly encounter makes him realize how much he really needs Karen.  But by then will it be too late or just in the nick of time?

This is the fourth book in Ms. Reinke's Brethren series and though it may be short in word count it's big on action and romance.  Tristan has felt trapped for a long time because of family obligations keeping him in the community.  The stress of this is intense and you can strongly feel his unhappiness with his situation.  It's only when he's with Karen that he shows a more relaxed side of himself.  His bloodline has learned not to harm humans but he still holds a part of himself back from her for fear his bloodlust will get out of control and you can feel the barrier between the two of them in the early stages of the story.

Karen is strong-willed and easily accepting of The Brethren world.  She's no shrinking violet and is quite willing to fight for those she cares about, both Tristan and the community she's been calling home.  Even though Tristan keeps pushing her away she still has hope for their future and works to achieve that.

The sexual interludes are steamy and the connection between Tristan and Karen is very believable.  The concern that Tristan has in regards to their relationship is understandable and thanks to a character from a previous book he finds a way to keep control.  The villain is indeed nasty and has held a grudge for a very long time which manifests in an intense final confrontation.  The climactic encounter with the villain is very violent and bloody and makes you hurt along with the characters and ends in a surprising way.  I was very much on edge while reading this scene and cringed as each punch was thrown.

I liked hearing about and seeing characters from previous books and liked how easily it tied this novella in with the rest of the series.  For those who have not read the previous books in this series have no fear.  The world of The Brethren was quickly and seamlessly explained as were previously known characters.  At no time do you feel lost.

This was an entertaining and satisfying read full of action and romance.  The world of The Brethren is an exciting and emotional society and with each book you get further sucked in to their way of life.  I'm excited to see what comes next as the internal struggle for power amidst their kind continues.

My rating for this is a B+.

*This book was given to me by the author for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review for Dark Thirst by Sara Reinke

Tomorrow on my site will be a special visit by author Sara Reinke who will be here doing an interview and giveaway for her new novella Dark Passages (Book #4 in the Brethren series).  In anticipation of that I was given the opportunity to read the first book in the series Dark Thirst.  Below are my thoughts.....

As the grandson of a rich and powerful horse breeder/whiskey producer Brandon Noble's life should have been ideal, but a childhood attack that left him deaf and mute turned him into a family embarrassment.  To a family like his, vampires who choose to feed off humans and treat them like cattle, weakness is abhorrent and not a moment goes by where they don't mentally and physically show him their disdain.  Brandon finally has enough and finds shelter with his former tutor and his cop sister who are both human.  Brandon's loved Angelina Jones since he was a teenager and he's now hoping she'll see him as a man since he can't control his feelings for her any longer.  But with his vicious family searching for him no one is safe, especially Lina.  Will the strength of their love be enough to keep him safe from his family or will the happiness he's finally found be ripped away?

As a disabled person I'm always on the lookout for books with disabled characters, so when I was given the opportunity to read this I definitely wanted to do so.  This is a very emotional book where Brandon's disability is accurately portrayed and seamlessly incorporated into the storyline.  He reads lips and carries a notepad with him at all times to convey his words.  He's also able to speak with his mind to those who allow it.  Brandon's an amazingly strong young man who's been mentally and physically tortured by those in his family who are frightened by the abilities they see blossoming in him as he gets older.  He's never been allowed off the farm and his desire to go to college is met with even more brutality.  I'm amazed and surprised that he had the courage to leave and I couldn't stop cheering when he left the life he knew behind.

The Noble clan can be seen as a cult because of the arranged marriages with young girls who have little education and their separatism from the outside world.  The women are relegated to the household with the men making all the decisions.  The have bloodletting ceremonies for entertainment and as a rite of passage and use the workers on their farm as prey.  It's an intriguing world the author has created and adds an extra dimension to the characters by their responses to this lifestyle.  Many relish it with some questioning the rules.  Seeing what happens to the people in this oppressive community as the series progresses has me wanting to run out for the next book immediately.

Lina is a strong-willed woman who's very capable of protecting herself.  She and Brandon connect immediately and their communication flows naturally.  At times you forget Brandon's deaf and mute since it's not dwelled on.  Lina is the older woman and the issue of their age difference is touched on, but in a very subtle and realistic way.  Any obstacles to their relationship are mostly from the outside.  Their bond, though quickly formed, is very strong.  Their romantic interludes are sexy and highly romantic due to their communication being visual.

The action in this story gets more intense as the story progresses.  Brandon's family are vicious hunters and much blood is spilled during their search for him.  The fight scenes are action-packed and emotional since it's family fighting family.  Seeing Brandon deal with his family in this situation made me hurt for him even more.

There's some very intriguing secondary characters that I can't wait to see more of.  They were intrical to the storyline and their backgrounds are a mystery that I'd love to solve.  One of those characters I'm dying to see more of is Rene Morin, Lina's former police partner who lost a leg in the line of duty and who just so happens to be a member of the Brethren.  His disability and its aftermath are realistically portrayed and learning about his family tree and its separation from the farm's community is a story I'm dying to read.  Luckily, Rene's story is the follow-up to this and is next on my reading list.  The fact that this book does end with a bit of a cliffhanger adds to my excitement for the next release.

This is a wonderfully written story where the hero and heroine let nothing stand in the way of their love.  The action and romance are perfectly balanced and the strength of Brandon and Lina's relationship is very believable.  Disabilities are accurately portrayed and easily incorporated in to the storyline and are not seen as a weakness by the reader.  I very much appreciate Ms. Reinke's handling of this issue and how her heroes are still heroic even with their disabilities.  I highly recommend this not only to those who are fans of the vampire genre, but to those who like seeing characters not normally seen in the world of romance. 

My rating for this is an A.

*I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #20

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE by Susan Elizabeth Phillips 11

-"There has to be one bad thing about him."
-"Backward baseball cap.  Morning breath.  A secret passion for Kid Rock.  There has to be something."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness...

Before we get to today's fashion talk I want to remind everyone of my ebook giveaway of Elaine Bergstrom's Shattered Glass going on here.  Author Sara Reinke will also be here for an interview and giveaway of her new vampire novella Dark Passages on Thursday.  So mark your calendar for that day and the great book she'll be introducing!  And now, pull up a chair and join me in discussing.....

The Good....

Kate Middleton looks like royalty once again in this shimmering silver dream.  It fits perfectly and combines free flowing and form fitting and she looks just as lovely here as on her wedding day.  Hail the soon-to-be Queen!

Model Giselle Bundchen is also looking regal in her own shimmering gown with the eye-catching splash of color.  She's gone lite on the accessories which allows the dress to speak for itself.  And it speaks volumes of wondrousness!

The Bad....

Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger is taking the group's name too much to heart by donning this furry vest reminiscent of The Flintstones.  She might think the dark hat and sunglasses will keep her hidden from our fashion radar, but that scary vest definitely won't blend into the background.

Ali Larter is definitely not looking "hero"-ic in this cotton candy confection of a dress.  The fabric may be silk but the theme is the same....grandma's mou mou dress.  Maybe she's hoping the cloud-like look of the dress will blow her away to a closet where she can find something more figure flattering.

The Ugly....

Heidi Klum looks to be channeling Willy Wonka in her crazy-quilt inspired suit.  The outrageous colors and patterns make this outfit look like it was created by a clown.  All I can say is Auf Wiedersehen, you may now leave the catwalk!

Nicole Kidman is known for choosing clothes outside the box, but this dress is out of its mind.  The psychedelic coloring and pattern of the top hurt the eyes, and the sheer uneven skirt hurt the brain.  To add insult to fashion injury is the lilac colored shoes that in no way match anything else she's wearing....which might be a good thing since they're the only good part of this fashion thumbs down.

There you have it, this week's fashion do's and don'ts.  What are your impressions of the star's sense of style?  Please sound off below and join me in being an amateur stylist.  Maybe one day we can make the big bucks and rid the world of scary clothes forever.