Outfoxed by Love by Eve Langlais Release Day Blitz

outfoxed

Title: Outfoxed by Love

By: Eve Langlais

Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / ARe / Goodreads

Synopsis:

Boris left to defend his country still a boy. He came back a changed man. A damaged man.

But Jan still wants him.

A man of few words, Boris has a firm way of saying No, but a determined vixen knows he’s her mate. Jan has not had much success in getting her bullheaded moose to notice her, but all that changes when her life is put in danger.

Suddenly the damaged soldier keeps finding excuses to come to her rescue, but as far as Jan is concerned, her mate is the one in need of saving.

It will take some subtle maneuvering to outfox her moose into admitting he loves her, but this wily vixen is more than ready for the challenge. And if that doesn’t work, momma’s offered to loan her the shot gun used for her own engagement.

Welcome to Kodiak Point, where the wildlife might wear clothes, but animal instinct rules the heart.

Excerpt:

As Jan placed her body close to Travis’s, her hands over his, her breasts pressing into him, her voice low and encouraging, Boris felt himself detach from his body. It was the strangest thing. He knew on some level that what he witnessed was perfectly harmless, but that rational-minded level wasn’t the one in charge of him at the moment.

A more primal part of him surfaced, a possessive aspect to his personality that had, until now, remained dormant. It rose to the top, commandeered his limbs, and was to blame for the fist that met Travis’ jaw when he spun around after his successful shot.

Did Boris feel bad when the cub’s eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped to the ground? Nope. Damned fool had his hands on Boris’ woman. He was lucky Boris let him live.

Unfortunately, Jan didn’t quite see things the same way.

“What is wrong with you?” she exclaimed as she dropped to her knees in the snow beside Travis’ prone body.

“Me? I was simply giving the boy a lesson.”

“In what? How to survive a concussion from a rabid moose?”

“Bah, I barely touched him. Not my fault he’s got a soft melon for a head. Besides, it would never have happened if he was paying attention to his environ. If you ask me, he got off lucky. What if I were the enemy? You all could have died.”

“You moron. We knew you were there from the moment you pulled in with your noisy truck.”

“So why didn’t you acknowledge me?” Jan hadn’t looked his way once. It was enough to prick a man’s ego, if he cared about such things.

“Because I didn’t feel like it,” she retorted. “But if I’d have known being ignored would send you in to a childish snit, I would have rolled out a red welcoming carpet.”

Snit? Boris didn’t have snits. He was a man, and a moose. He had episodes that some of his friends termed psychotic but he labeled stress relief. “Well, how was I supposed to know you knew I was there?” Given the convoluted direction of the conversation, Boris could feel himself going cross-eyed and possibly having another psychotic episode.

*

Content Editor:Devin Govaere

Copy Editor: Amanda L. Pederick

Cover Artist: Aubrey Rose

About the Author:

Hello, my name is Eve Langlais and I am an International Bestselling author who loves to write hot romance.  I should warn you, I have a twisted imagination and a sarcastic sense of humor and am known for making readers giggle with my stories.

Do you love shapeshifters? I do, especially strong alpha males, the kind who take charge and aren’t afraid to get furry and kick ass for the one they want.

I am also extremely partial to aliens, the kind who like to abduct humans and then drive them insane…with pleasure.

Or do you like something a little darker, more serious? Then check out my cyborgs whose battle with humanity have captivated readers worldwide.

If you’d like to know more, read some excerpts or find out what I’m working on, then please visit me at http://www.EveLanglais.com  or sign up for my newsletter at  http://www.evelanglais.com/newrelease . I am also extremely active on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eve.langlais.98

Author’s website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Facebook for parties | Blog | Google+ | Email

 

Kodiak Point series

#1 – Kodiak’s Claim
#2 – Outfoxed By Love
#3 – Polar Bared (November 2014)
#4 – Wolf (?) (To Be Determined)

smexytourhost

Review: Finding the Dragon by Josette Reuel

Author:  Josette Reuel

Series:  Dásreach Council Series #1

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Rating:  5 Stars

Publication Date: September 8, 2014

Published bySmashwords Edition

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 365

Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Goodreads

Synopsis:

Kai Darrow is a dragon shifter and the next leader of the Dásreach Council – that is if he and the other twelve members of the Thirteen can find their mates. Years of frustration push Kai to take action and with a little luck and finesse maybe he can find the woman of his destiny.

Alvena Anderson prefers books over people, yet she still craves love and adventure. In a rut, a trip with her Book Worm friends is just what she needs – until unexplained accidents, a Psychic reading, and a tattooed hottie from the plane make her want to run home.

Unbeknownst to the Thirteen a darkness is working against them, preventing possible mates from coming into contact with them. Working in the shadows and using human pawns, the darkness has set its sights on Alvena and her friends.

Can she accept her real life hero before it’s too late?

 

Review:

New authors and new series are one of my weaknesses.  I just love getting the opportunity to sample a new book from a voice that I’m unfamiliar with and one that I don’t go into it with a history or familiarity.  This can also be a bit of a curse because some authors don’t have the same style as X (insert the most famous author’s name here) for shifters or cowboys or maybe even contemporary.  But every now and then readers are gifted with a new voice that calls to us and I think Ms. Reuel is just such a talent.

This story had depth not only in the characters but the world building that we are granted access to is stellar.  The beginning of the book does have approximately 4 pages of history of the Dásreach Council which is vital to not only this story but also the entire series.  But as we venture forward in the story we uncover more about the history of this civilization and its people.

Back to the characters, I feel like I know these woman.  Our heroine, Alvena “Al” Anderson, is like you and I.  A lover of romance books so there was an immediate affinity to her.  Two of her other friends from the Book Worms club, Nat and Rogue, could be any number of my book convention friends.  The diversity of the romance readers in the world is truly depicted in these characters.  Nat is from upstate New York and Rogue is from Tennessee.  They look at situations differently and yet when it comes to key things they have bonded over romance books and made it a vital part of their lives and holidays.

Now I’m sure you are waiting to hear about the hero of this story, Kai Darrow.  This man has gone straight to the top of my book boyfriends list.  Hello?  He is a dragon shifter, protective of a woman he believes to be his mate, saves Al from a nasty fall and have I mentioned he has a Scottish accent.

The search for the mates of the Dásreach Council leaders has reached a critical time crunch with each male having 18 months to find their mate in order that they may become the next Council to lead their people.  To add to this drama we have a series of unexplained events that will keep you on the edge of your set while you read this novel.  If it tells you anything, I couldn’t put this book down.  I had chores to do this weekend but the only thing I was able to get done besides finishing this book was to give my amazing puppy a bath.  This book is that engrossing.  You have been warned.

Final Thoughts:  I don’t often add a debut book to the Best of 2014 list and in fact there is only 1 other debut novel on this list but there is no way that this book can be placed anywhere else.  All I can say to Ms. Reuel is “When are we getting book 2, Forcing the Bear because Coming Soon isn’t descriptive enough for moi?” *smiles*

Josette Reuel provided me with a copy of Finding the Dragon but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

Review: Artemis’s Hunt by Lia Davis

Author:  Lia Davis

Series:  Sons of War #2.5

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Rating:  4 Stars

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Published byFated Desires Publishing

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 60

Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Goodreads/ARe

Synopsis:

Artemis, goddess of the hunt, has lived with heartache for the last fifteen hundred years, believing her only love is dead. That’s what her father—Zeus, king of the gods—told her. After recent events brought the truth to light, Artemis must gather the courage to face her lost love again.

Evangelos, former god of messengers, was content living in the mortal world until he discovered he has a daughter and her mother is Artemis. When the goddess shows up at his place of employment with tales of renewing his god status, he’s skeptical. Zeus wouldn’t reverse the curse out of the goodness of his heart. There is always a catch. The god king wants something in return.

When Artemis explains she has to hunt down her stepmother, Hera, in order to get Evan back into Zeus’s good graces, Evan demands to accompany her. However, the journey turns out to be a test that could bring them closer together or tear them apart forever.

Review:

One of my favorite thing about a series is watching story lines arc and twist as the entire plot of the over arching story is being told.  The Sons of War series has been an amazing example of that concept.  I’ve also appreciated that readers are quickly able to digest these stories because of the quick release cycle of the independent publishing world.  We have seen amazing growth in the main characters and their partners but side characters are also being treated to the same level of care and concern and that is where Artemis’s Hunt slots right in.

One of threads that was not completely wrapped up in Ashes of War was what actually happened to Ash’s parents, Artemis & Evangelos.  We are now given that story in Artemis’s Hunt and for that I’m supremely thankful to Ms. Davis.  The series is richer for this inclusion into the overall plot.  The fact that there is distrust, time, and enemies standing between these two characters reminds me of Romeo & Juliet.  Star crossed lovers that are either doomed to forever be separated or two individuals that grow and become the true extensions of themselves.  This results in a kaleidoscope of  emotions and experiences culminating in a forever kind of love that as a reader makes my heart happy.

Final Thoughts:  If you have read the first two books in this series then it is a no brainer to pick up this next installment into this unique world filled with Greek gods, dragon shifters that are to die for and a story that will capture your imagination.  If you haven’t then I highly recommend you do pick it up and to that end I’m holding a giveaway for the month of September.  I have a signed edition of War’s Passion by Lia Davis which will introduce you to this amazing world.

2014-09-02 20.02.32

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Sons of War Series:

#1 ~ War’s Passion
#2 ~ Ashes of War
#2.5 ~ Artemis’s Hunt
#3 ~ Chaotic War (Coming soon)

Fated Desires Publishing provided me with a copy of Artemis’s Hunt but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

Year in the Life of a Romance Reviewer/Blogger-September

mqywpT0Making Time for Life

This past month has been filled with so many emotions and experiences.  So many that they became the tapestry of August for me but the one that has impacted the most has been a close family member being diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Once I heard the news I basically went into lock down mode while I tried to come to grips with the information but also how I was going to cope.

As a result I’m behind in my review books and as a consequence this has made me make a major decision.  I’m going to read the books I have in the “To Be Reviewed” pile but only take on additional work when a story speaks to me until January 2015.  This may seem counter intuitive to the whole idea of a review blog but it is forcing me to take time for me.  My next convention isn’t until Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona in February where I’ve already paid for a ticket and reserved my hotel room.  And I should be back on track and in a better frame of mind by convention time.

The review process is also going to be undergoing a few changes over the next couple of months.  I’m not sure exactly how or in what way exactly but I’m going to be making tweaks to the process to allow more time for what I love which is reading.

Some of you may wonder why I’m being so up front about what is happening behind the scenes but in truth I’ve discovered that honesty truly is the best policy.  So if you send me a request for a review in the next four months please do not be offended if I say No.

I will continue to keep the reviews coming at least 1 week and sometimes more as I work my way through my backlog.  Please feel free to contact me via Twitter, Goodreads or through the contact form below if you have questions.

My other posts for a Year in the Life of a Romance Review can be found at the following places:

January- My 5 stars books from 2012

February- How I came to be a review in the first place

March- 5 tips I use to write reviews

April- 5 lessons I’ve learned as a review/blogger

May- Time to check out Audiobooks

June- 5 top reasons to attend a book convention

July-5 things to do following convention or signing

August-5 reasons to say No

Review: Betting on Julia by Nina Croft

Author:  Nina Croft

Series:  Melville Sisters #2

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Rating: 2 Stars

Publication Date: August 25, 2014

Published byEntangled Publishing

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 205

Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Goodreads/ARe

Synopsis:

Small, blonde, bubbly, and with a penchant for all things pink, Julia Melville has always considered herself a nice girl – until she was attacked by a werewolf. Months later, and still in total denial, Julia spends the time between full moons fantasizing that her life is normal. And who could be better to help her with that than her new neighbor, handsome accountant, Sebastian Crane.

For two hundred years, Sebastian, a powerful warlock, has been possessed by a demon. Each day, his soul grows darker, and he knows that soon he will be beyond salvation. But the demon loves to gamble, and he’s made Bastian one final bet—get a good woman to say the words “I love you” and he’ll be free.

Julia wants a normal guy. Bastian needs a good woman. Maybe together they can find something far more valuable…redemption.

 

Review:

This story had every thing going for it including an interesting premise, unique characters, little intrigue and a touch of magic.  And yet I feel there just wasn’t enough of all of the above.  Our heroine is a nice girl but is absolute denial about the fact that she is now a werewolf.  I get the premise and I can completely sympathize but it took too long for her to realize that she couldn’t just wish her “condition” away which annoyed me.

And our hero is a warlock that has been possessed by a demon for over 200 years and yet the demon “plays betting games” to toy with him.  I just didn’t buy it.  Sorry.  We also get such a small taste of magic though out the book which seems like a bit of a wasted super power to me.  I don’t know about you but I’d have been searching for ways to get rid of the demon rather than suffering for two centuries.

The interplay between Sebastian or Bastian and Dante are an interesting portion of the book but unfortunately didn’t keep me entertained through out this story.

There is some BDSM thrown into this book and that is exactly how it appears to me.  Thrown into the mix rather than truly being part of the story and more importantly the characters.  Seemed to be more of an opportunity to say that BDSM is bad or kinky in comparison to vanilla or normal.  This just didn’t sit well with me in the story or concerning what the BDSM community is truly about.

Final Thoughts:   Unfortunately this is not a book that I can recommend.  The idea and concept had loads of possibilities but the end result is not a story that I enjoyed.

Melville Sisters Series:

1.  Operation Save Daniel
2.  Betting on Julia

Entangled Publishing provided me with a copy of Betting on Julia but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

 

Review: Taming His Tutor by Natalie Anderson

Author:  Natalie Anderson

Series:  N/A

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

Publication Date: August 25, 2014

Published byEntangled Publishing

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 250

Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Goodreads/ARe

Synopsis:

Computer guru Abbi Hayes needs to kick her sex life into overdrive—and she’s designing the perfect App to make it happen. Thanks to all of the self-help bedroom tips she’s accumulating, she’ll be able to go from boring and passive to own-him-now vixen with a couple of swipes of a touch screen. And when former NBA basketball star Joe Fuller offers to help her test out her ‘product,’ how can she say no?

Joe can’t quite believe this temptress-in-training is his formerly shy, geeky ex-math tutor. If Abbi wants to discover her inner vamp, he’ll happily be her how-to guide. But it only takes few face-to-face lessons to realize that underneath the talk, there’s a truly passionate woman begging to be claimed by someone strong. Someone like him.

Maybe it’s time to teach his former teen fantasy a few tricks of his own…

Review:

There are times in life that a book is exactly what you need whether it allows you to go beyond your surrounds to escape or allows you to pack your bags and travel to distant lands that you haven’t had the opportunity or ability to visit.  This has been one of those times for me.  This book was exactly what the doctor ordered including an opportunity to see myself reflected in the eyes of a sassy computer geek determined to make her latest project all it could be even if that meant going beyond her own boundaries with a high school crush.  Abbi is all of that and more and I felt a true sense of kinship to her ability to be driven in her job and have no clue when it came to guys or social situations.

And we all know a guy just like Joe Fuller, the quarterback of the high school team or maybe the coolest guy in school who smiled at you once.  But Joe is such a thoughtful and intent guy who sees beyond the awkwardness to the amazing woman that Abbi truly is and helps her blossom beyond even her wildest imaginings.

These two together was just delicious and helped make a difficult couple of weeks better.  I will be keeping my eyes wide open for the next release by Ms. Anderson because this was truly a well crafted story and I look forward to being swept away again soon.

Final Thoughts:  This book is worth every penny if you are looking for a well crafted story, geeky heroine that is not afraid to strut her stuff and a hero who wants to see her by his side as she does it.

 

Entangled Publishing provided me with a copy of Taming His Tutor but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

Review: Dark Fates (A Paranormal Anthology) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Title:  Dark Fates

Authors:  Carrie Ann Ryan, Marie Harte, Rebecca Royce, Lia Davis, Ann Mayburn & Heather Long

Series:  Redwood Pack #7.7, Ludos Deorum #2, Fallen Alpha #1.5, Ashwood Falls #4.5, N/A, Watchers #1

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Publication Date: August 12, 2014

Published byFated Desires Publishing

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 396

Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Goodreads/ARe

Synopsis:

Dark Fates: An All New Paranormal Romance Boxed Set
Six brand new, hot paranormal romance stories from USA Today and bestselling authors. Alpha heroes and heroines with dark pasts and the need to find their own happy ever after will draw you in and make you turn to the next page.

THE HUNTED HEART (A Redwood Pack Novella) by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan
Emeline might have been alive hundreds of years, but she’s never really lived. Noah has known Emeline was his mate since he first saw her, only he doesn’t know if she feels the same. When he finally takes that final step, he’ll have to pray she finds the connection and overcomes the past she thought she’d lost years ago.

JACKAL’S MEASURE (A Ludos Deorum Novella) by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Marie Harte
Tortured by the god of chaos for centuries, Tariq knows only duty to numb the pain. When he’s sent to collect Eden, a sexy human accused of interfering in the Games of the Gods, his missing heart beats again. But love may not be enough to save them.

ALPHA’S SACRIFICE (A Fallen Alpha Novella) by Rebecca Royce
Hayden Chaucer is determined to make the best life possible for his pack and is ill-prepared to discover his true mate waiting for him in his home. Worse, his mate, Chelsea, has fled the True Believers, and her ability to see the future may cost them their present.

TOUCH OF DESIRE (An Ashwood Falls Novella) by Lia Davis
A submissive wolf who lost it all finds herself in a mating dance with the very dominant senior enforcer who will stop at nothing to claim her.

SANGUE FEVER by Ann Mayburn
Drifting without a purpose, vampire Lisabetta finds herself yearning for something more. She finds it while hunting for her next donor. Things are not quite as they seem when she seduces an older mortal man and finds herself in danger of falling in love for the first time in centuries.

FORBIDDEN RESCUE (A Watchers Novella) by Heather Long
All Jubilee Spector wants is to save her brother. The last thing she expects is to stumble into a dark world and another’s war. But Fox Arada is so much more than a man, and her secret threatens to change the Watchers’ world forever.

 

Review:

One of my favorite reasons to pick up an anthology is the opportunity to try out a new series or in this case a couple of new authors.  I’m humbled to say that I’ve still not read all of Carrie Ann Ryan’s Redwood Pack but I’m going to be doing a major catch up for the entire series and have something special for you too in February.  So make sure you stay tuned.

But The Hunted Heart can easily be read as a stand alone.  Emeline is one of the elders for the Redwood Pack and has seen death, destruction and suffered the heartache of lost love.  She is struggling to hold onto a reason to stay alive.  Noah however is new to the pack, 28 year old and the current pack doctor, who isn’t adverse to a home visit.

The poignancy and heart which this story is told captures the true emotions of a woman at the end of her resistance and a man with the patience to wait for her to catch up to his emotions.  There are moments where you could see Noah’s determination to give Emeline exactly what she needed but never give her up entirely.

Their struggle to discover a cure for North’s blindness binds them together, gives them a common goal and provides Noah with another chance to get closer to Emeline at every opportunity.  This is a great addition and first book to lead off with in this anthology.

Marie Harte’s Jackal’s Measure tells the story of one of Anubis’ soldiers, Tariq, who has been brutally tortured by Seti, the God of Chaos for centuries, in order to use Tariq as a weapon to win the Games of the Gods.  Never able to tell Anubis of his torture he struggles to maintain his sanity even after his heart has been stolen.  And if that isn’t enough the Game of the Gods is occurring in Portland Oregon and a female wonders into the middle of a move by Anubis and Are’s pawns.  Eden Dixon made a wrong turn and landed in the middle of the games but Set has been using Eden as well to produce a vial.  But Eden is a strong woman and refuses to hand it over.

This story has twists, turns and surprises that I was not anticipating and was a true delight to read.  I look forward to more from this series in the future.

Alpha’s Sacrifice is a unique twist on the concept of amnesia effecting one of the main characters.  The reason behind the lapses in Chelsea’s memory made me feel part of this story since I’m new to this series and the author.  Hayden’s unease as the alpha made for an interesting dichotomy between the ease in which he lead his pack and his unease at being the leader.  The story was well told and I enjoyed it from the beginning to end.  I will definitely check out more work by Rebecca Royce in the future.

I’m an avid fan of Ms. Lia Davis’ Ashwood Falls series and Touch of Desire continues that streak of fandom.  Cora River & Torin Fisher’s story is as well told as I had hoped.  There is just something about these two that I craved a happily ever after for them both.  The fact that they find it together makes it all the sweeter.  Cora has been struggling and withdrawing from her life, her wolf and her pack.  But Torin and others refuse to let her worry, doubt and fear consume her and push her back into living by making her part of protecting the pack and, in the end, a purpose she desperately needed.  This story can be read as a stand alone but I strongly recommend sitting down to an Ashwood Falls marathon.  You can thank me later.

Ann Mayburn’s Sangue Fever was one of the books I was most interested to read out of this anthology because I primarily know Ms. Mayburn’s contemporary work or sci-fi books and wondered what sort of madness she would imploy in a vampire story.  And she blew my mind yet again.  I don’t want to ruin this wonderful story especially since it appears to me to be the only true stand alone in this book but let me just say that I am thrilled that her cowboy hero is not in his twenties but a man in his early forties.  Here is her description of this scrumptiousness:

“He had close-cropped dark hair with thick shocks of silver streaking through it.  A black cowboy hat sat on the table before him, and she had a sudden vivid mental image of riding him wearing just his hat.  He was sexy, so damn sexy it made her teeth ache to taste him.  His tanned face had faint lines, and she could see the solid, muscular build of his broad chest and shoulders beneath his plaid shirt.  Something about him radiated power and control, but it wasn’t in the way of immortals.  No, this man was one hundred percent human and utterly delicious.  All thought of anyone’s gaze except for the powerful man before her vanished as pure primal need filled her.”

This paragraph alone makes me want to re-read this portion of the book.

Lastly is Heather Long’s Forbidden Rescue.  I’m torn on this story.  Not sure exactly but there just seemed to be something missing to place it at the same level as the other stories of this anthology.  The narrative was good, the characters were interesting but the back story was missing development.  The emotional connection just didn’t resonate at the same level.  The reason for the “rescue” of Jubilee and her transformation just didn’t seem to be completely fleshed out.  For me sadly this was the story that just left me feeling a bit blah and is the only book in this anthology that I put the book down for a few days during my review process.  The idea behind this book/series is a great one and I look forward to seeing where it heads into the future but this was a lack luster start unfortunately.

Final Thoughts:  If you haven’t delved into the world of paranormal romance and are looking for a taste of a few worlds then this is a great book to pick.  You will be exposed to numerous authors and their series which I hope will drive you to look into one or more of them in the future.

 

Fated Desires Publishing provided me with a copy of Dark Fates but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.

 

Convention and Cancer

Breast Cancer.JPGLast weekend was Authors After Dark aka AAD in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I was thrilled to get the opportunity to attend after making the decision last minute while I was sitting at a table with some amazing authors and their assistants in Denver, Co while at RomCon.  So my joke was that I got conned into going to AAD but truthfully I just needed an excuse and way to save some money to attend.  Once that was sorted I was totally on board with getting in my little car and driving the 9 hours in order to go.

AAD was a series of panels during the daytime and then a larger function during the evening ranging from the opening night where we had a mechanical bull that some brave souls dared to conquer to the Sinners and Virtues Ball on the last night of the convention.  Then there were blocks of time where meals were had with authors and readers or a chance for bloggers to meet and greet some of the authors.  And don’t forget the 3 hour long signing with all the authors from the event.  Walking into that room was WOW!  And I got to meet the Master of Ceremonies, Alexandra Ivy and get signatures on my convention bags.  Plus I met the one and only Joey W. Hill in a hallway.  Still blown away.

This convention was a favorite among the four I have attended this year and I look forward to attending next year when it will be closer to home for me in Atlanta.  There were prizes given out at every event I attended.  They ranged from swag from the author to books to breakfast with authors and books for three readers.  I was lucky enough to win something quite often including a breakfast with Carrie Ann Ryan, Ann Mayburn and Kennedy Layne with 2 friends.  To say I was stunned was a complete understatement especially since I wasn’t paying attention when Carrie Ann called my name.  And if you were at the event then yes, I’m the roommate. *smiles*  Since I had attended the event on my own, I posted on Facebook that the first 2 people to comment would get to go with us to breakfast.  I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to share with two other readers my love of books and these three authors.  What is even more thrilling is that by the time we had sat down Bianca d’Arc, another amazing author, was also joining our little entourage.  I learned and heard stories that were sheer joy and stomach heaving hilariousness that it still makes me smile as I sit down and remember.

My return home was quite uneventful for which I’m extremely thankful.  And then my world imploded.  A close family member has been diagnosed with stage 1 Breast Cancer.  To say I’m still in a state of shock is the understatement of the decade.  I’ve plowed through my work week at the day job just to make it to the weekend so I can have time to gather my thoughts and figure out a strategy.

So please be patient with me if you requested a review or are expecting one because I’m a little lost right now and sitting down to even write this post has me up at 3 am because I’m struggling.  I promise to have thing back on an even keel shortly but as we all know sometimes life intrudes on hobbies or passions and we struggle to pick up the pieces in order for us to start creating again.

Thank you all for your continued support this year for me and this blog.  I continue to be blown away.  Things will be back to normal very shortly but I thank you for your patience as I struggle with the curve ball my family has been dealt.

Why Outlander Matters

Outlander_Gallery5_wm

After watching the first episode of Starz Outlander entitled Sassenach I have been struck by a number of reasons why this series matters.  And thought I would share a few of them with you all.

  1. This story is more than a love story.  It is a journey of self discovery for Claire but also for each of the readers and viewers.  The entire journey reminds us all of what is important such as things like love, family, our place in the greater scheme of things and what and how we can impact those around us.  This is something that many of us have lost sight of in our rush to use electronic devices every moment of the day or checking into social media constantly and forgetting that we have one shot at this life and we need to savor it.
  2. Great story telling can be found in all sorts of media.  The fact that this story started its life as a book with nearly 900 pages, 7 sections and 41 chapters and only skims the surface of the story of Claire and Jamie.  This first episode encapsulates the first portion of the book and had me on the verge of my seat the entire time.  Hoping that there would be more but knowing that the credits were about to roll any minute and I was not ready for them yet.
  3. I’m hopeful that like HBO’s Game of Thrones there will be a loyal and growing audience of women and men that may not be as entrenched in the romance world as you or I but just love a great story.  This growing audience will then seek out other amazing stories beyond what they typically read or view.
  4. This story may even take significant steps towards demonstrating to the populace on a grander scale why Romance books are so beloved.
    • They give the reader a chance to see a brighter future and often this helps them through a difficult time in their own life.
    • Longing for more can be just the push someone needs to start moving forward in their life.
    • Romance can just be about a couple falling in love but a GREAT Romance looks at life sees the challenges in the characters and causes readers to reconsider and re-imagine their own life as a result.
  5. Lastly, that the passion and joy of reading will be renewed again for men and woman all around the globe because they want to experience Jamie and Claire’s story first hand themselves by reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

So what are your thought?  Have you seen Sassenach yet, which is available online at Starz.com for those living in the USA, or are you waiting for it to be released in your home country?  Will you continue to watch this series?  My answer is I will continue to watch this show and can’t wait to add the series and soundtrack to my collection.  So don’t mind me because I’m going to watch it again now.

Outlander_Gallery1_wm

Review: Forbidden Kiss by Shannon Leigh

Author:  Shannon Leigh

Series:  N/A

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Publication Date: July 28, 2014

Published byEntangled Publishing

Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy

Page Count: 243

Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Goodreads/ARe

Synopsis:

Jule Casale is the perfect daughter. Obedient. Trustworthy. Loyal.  With her high profile Italian family, her public image must be impeccable. And now to gain the respect and position she’s desired in the academic world, she hopes to discover the unknown artist behind a masterpiece of Renaissance art.

Rom Montgomery seeks the unobtainable: forgiveness. Those who could grant him relief are dead. Instead, he wanders across continents and through time searching for salvation and the means to right an ancient wrong. But when Jule comes knocking on his door, it’s the closest he’s ever come to finally finding redemption.

The closer Rom draws to correcting his past mistakes, the more his secrets threaten to destroy the woman who might hold the key to his future.

 

Review:

There comes a time in every middle or high school student’s life when you read the classics.  Everything from Catcher in the Rye to The Scarlet Letter to The Crucible and many other outstanding pieces of literature are required reading.  But what I always looked forward to were the Romantic classics like anything by Emily Brontë, Jane Eyre or William Shakespeare.  Yes I’m one of the students who actually read Hamlet with out being asked and could actually understand the verse.  And dare I say it, loved it!

Forbidden Kiss expands upon a story we all know so well.  The timeless love story of Romeo and Juliet is the base and then amazing and wonderful things happen.  The story is set in modern day Chicago where we are introduced to Jule Casale who is on the hunt to discover the origins of a mysterious painting by an anonymous artist.  In her hunt she seeks out Rom Montgomery who is an avid collector and connoisseur of ancient swords.  Meanwhile Rom has been struggling through lifetimes trying to break a curse which has led to him being immortal for centuries.

This sort of twist on a classic is just the type of thing that I would imagine when I didn’t get the ending I wanted.  The fact that the story is interwoven with so many details from the original play is what I find the most charming.  In fact it reminded me of how much I loved the hours I would sit and read these plays and just let my imagination take me to that time and place.

There are one or two minor things that pulled me out of the story such as the turn around time for Jule to believe that there was more to the story.  Especially after her initial trepidation and fear following a vision she has concerning a sword in Rom’s possession.  In addition the fact that there is one portion of the story that I felt there was a leap in time that wasn’t explained effectively but I found the over reaching plot one that engrossed and captured my attention.

Now I’m sure you are wondering about the chemistry between Rom and Jule, Ms. Leigh uses both character’s maturity effectively to remind readers that these are characters we are all so familiar with.  However there is true depth to not only the connection but communication and relatability that you will not see in high school lovers.  This added to the over reaching thought of a love beyond time which was evocative and poignant.

Final Thoughts:  This is a great twist on a classic and a wonderful romance all on its own but if you are an avid Shakespeare fan like myself then I truly believe you will find something to remind you of the joy of the classics.  And if you have recently read Romeo & Juliet this is a perfect book to read right after because I demand a happily ever after for these two amazing characters.  Don’t You?

 

Entangled Publishing provided me with a copy of Forbidden Kiss but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.