Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Forever Valentine review

Forever Valentine ebook cover

In Sweeter Than Wine, Jena found out about vampires when Christy had to be saved by being turned. In Forever Valentine, the next novella in the Brotherhood of Blood series by Bianca D'Arc, we get to see what happens with Jena and the vampire tasked with watching over her to make sure she keeps the secret.

Forever Valentine is a cute novella that works in the knowledge learned in the previous books and sets up a Valentine's Day scenario for Ian and Jena that adds romance to the heat D'Arc is known for. It's not surprising to anyone who has read the previous books that Ian and Jena end up together - after all this group of friends has managed to be the One for each vampire that is drawn to them - but Forever Valentine is very sweet and a nice addition to the series.

D'Arc's Forever Valentine can be found as a stand alone e-novella or in the anthology, Caught By Cupid.


Jena knows about vampires. She knows about one in particular who watches her every step, lest she somehow reveal her knowledge to the mortal world. But Ian bothers for more than just the reason that he would be her executioner should she even try to share her knowledge. No, Ian bothers her on an elemental level. He's just too sexy for his own good -- or hers.

Ian finds himself attracted to the mortal doctor, though he knows better. He's been assigned to watch her, not seduce her, but seduction seems to be all he can think of when he looks at the gorgeous woman who works entirely too hard and has such sad eyes. He feels things he hasn't felt in centuries when she's around, including an unreasonable jealousy when he follows her on a Valentine's date with one of her colleagues.

After the disastrous date, will they both be able to resist temptation when Jena invites the vampire in?

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Christie Curse review

I did enjoy The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott but it had a few problems.

The main character, Jordan, is quirky, a little odd, well educated but sometimes not too smart about investigating and definitely not suspicious enough to be a detective - unless it's toward cops. She comes from a family of criminals and is the first "to go straight" but she is still very close to her uncles. Those uncles are quite the group of personalities as well and are solid secondary characters.

Jordan's employer is Vera Van Alst whose love of books makes me enjoy her just as much as her crazy, taciturn, old lady personality. She's crotchety and enjoys being mean to everyone. It was quite fun to read Vera's interactions with other people.

My main problem with the book is in its portrayal of cops. Even small town cops are smarter than portrayed here and, while they definitely would take a hard look at whoever found the murdered victim, they also would investigate instead of just giving up after the first suspect is questioned. It felt like Abbott was trying to justify Jordan's investigation by having the police ignore crime completely which just wasn't even remotely realistic.

The second gripe I had was: Why do all cozy mysteries think it's a requirement to have two love interests for the lead? This is not a complaint just for The Christie Curse because it seems like every cozy mystery I read lately has this set up and it's almost never believable.

The Christie Curse was my first book by Victoria Abbott and it was enjoyable enough that I'll read the second in the series when it comes out.


In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared—making headlines across the world—only to show up eleven days later at a spa under an assumed name. During those eleven days, did she have time to write a play?
Jordan Kelly needs a new job and a new place to live. She’s back in Harrison Falls, New York, living with her not so law-abiding uncles, in debt thanks to a credit card–stealing ex and pending grad school loans.

Enter the perfect job, a research position that includes room and board, which will allow her to spend her days hunting down rare mysteries for an avid book collector. There’s just one problem: her employer, Vera Van Alst—the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls.

Jordan’s first assignment is to track down a rumored Agatha Christie play. It seems easy enough, but Jordan soon finds out that her predecessor was killed while looking for it, and there is still someone out there willing to murder to keep the play out of Vera’s hands. Jordan’s new job is good…but is it worth her life? 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ebook Pricing

The original title of this post was going to be "Authors Have to Eat But Price Gouging is Unacceptable" but it was too long.

I have ranted repeatedly on Facebook about publishers setting the price of ebooks at the same rate as hard cover books or at the price of trade paperbacks in an attempt to retain profit margins. To reiterate what I have always said: Pricing ebooks at unreasonable levels does NOT help your profits. Anyone looking to buy an ebook was never going to buy the hard cover anyway and all you are doing is alienating readers and losing sales in the ebook market. As that is the fastest growing market of book buyers, the attempt to keep hard cover prices intact through ebook pricing is incredibly short sighted.

Having said that, I want it to be clear that the .99 cent price point is pretty unrealistic as well. It's perfect for novellas, sales, and short term attempts to introduce new readers to an author but a full length novel takes a great deal of time and hard work by several people (not just the author) and they all need to get paid.

What triggered this rant? I saw a novella in my newsfeed that sounded great so I clicked on the link to buy it at Amazon. I assumed, it being a novella, it would be priced at .99 or $1.99 at most. I was quite surprised to find it priced at $3.99 but I thought if it was a longer novella, say 100 to 150 pages - basically half of a full length novel - that wasn't unreasonable. Then I saw that it was 31 pages long - 31 pages for $3.99!!

That is just over the top ridiculous and tells me that whoever set that price - and I'm not sure in this instance if it was the publisher or the author - holds readers in a great deal of contempt. How can anyone justify $3.99 for 31 pages? Please don't misunderstand - writing a coherent and compelling short story is probably even more difficult than writing a full length novel as you have to fit everything in to such a short space - but it is completely unrealistic to expect readers to pay nearly the price of a paperback for so few pages.

Unfortunately, the author lost not just the sale of the novella to me but all future sales as well. I'm not willing to support an author who thinks readers are there to be gouged. I work as hard for my money as any author and I want value for what I spend. I don't need books to be .99 cents but if you are going to price an ebook at $3.99, it better be a nearly full length novel. Of course, if I find out that the publisher set the price, I will certainly read the author if she should ever move to a different publisher.

Monday, July 22, 2013

100 Days in Deadland review


I received 100 Days in Deadland by Rachel Aukes from the author as an ARC so that I could write a review.

Confession: I'm not much for horror. While I did enjoy 100 Days in Deadland, it was pretty gruesome and gory and I did find myself cringing repeatedly as I read it. Having said that, Aukes writes fighting scenes and paints a truly vivid picture of life during a zombie apocalypse which is good from the stand point of the writing but bad if you aren't into that imagery.

Clutch and Cash were actually really relatable characters, which I hadn't really expected. Perhaps it's because I am so close to the Pentagon and see the returning soldiers all the time that Clutch seemed like a lot of men I've met who have been through war. He was both protective and paranoid - a seemingly strange combination but one that worked well. Cash was your typical urban office worker until the infestation. Then her spine of steel and her sheer determination allowed her to survive while others fell. Cash was the embodiment of sheer human survival instinct.

Jasen was a really nice addition to the main set of characters. Just a teenager, he learned quickly and had a way of lifting the spirits and attitudes of others around him that kept 100 Days in Deadland from becoming too morose and depressing. A few other supporting characters also contributed to the overall "feel" of the book in the same way.

It's difficult to write a review for 100 Days in Deadland without giving away the ending so I'll say, it is well-written, well-paced, with characters that are interesting and easy to empathize with and the "monster" is something just plausible enough to freak out most readers. Honestly, after reading 100 Days in Deadland, I'm wondering if I should become a prepper!


The world ended on a Thursday.

In one day, the world succumbed to a pestilence that decimated the living. In its place rose a new species: vicious, gruesome, wandering zombies with an insatiable hunger for the living. There is no government, no shelter. 

Still in her twenties, Cash has watched her friends die, only to walk again. An office worker with few survival skills, she joins up with Clutch, a grizzled Army veteran with PTSD. Together, they flee the city and struggle through the nine circles of hell, with nothing but Clutch's military experience and Cash's determination to kill scrum. As they fight to survive in the zombie inferno, they quickly discover that nowhere is safe from the undead...or the living.

This is the beginning after the end.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Heart of Obsidian review

wild invitation nalini singh

There was a great deal of secrecy surrounding Nalini Singh's Heart of Obsidian, book twelve in the Psy-Changeling series. The cover and synopsis reveal were hyped to ridiculous levels given that they gave away nothing. And some people wanted to read Heart of Obsidian completely blind, which is fine. If you are one of those people, do NOT read this review because it contains "spoilers" - if you consider the names of the main characters to be spoilers.

Any reader paying close enough attention and remembering enough details would have realized who the hero of Heart of Obsidian would be based on the synopsis - the second line gives it away. It is, of course, Kaleb Krychek, the most dangerous Psy on the planet. The former councilor is as ruthless and cunning as we've come to expect but with a vulnerability that was hidden until now because he could only show it to the woman he'd been searching for since we met him, the woman who owns his soul.

That mysterious woman is Sahara Kyriakus - yes, she is related to Faith - a Psy whose Silence never took hold. Sahara is nearly broken and her memory is spotty at best after seven years of captivity and torture but she still sees Kaleb clearly - both the danger inherent in him and the vulnerability of a child trained by Santano Enrique. Sahara has a different and very powerful ability, one that hasn't ever been seen before and she may be the only Psy who has ever had it. She is naturally wary and suspicious after her long captivity but she is also inherently trusting of certain people and completely open to joy and experiences.

As Sahara's memories return and we see Kaleb's thoughts and memories, we learn more about who Kaleb is and how he came to be the most feared Psy in the world. While the book focuses on the couple, characters from past books are worked in fluidly, particularly Sahara's family members Faith and Anthony. I always enjoy revisiting characters from previous books and seeing how they related to new characters.

Singh definitely lives up to the hype with Heart of Obsidian and I'd definitely recommend it to fans of the series.


A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.

A woman whose very existence has been erased.

A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.

A deadly price that must be paid.

The day of reckoning is here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Cursed review

The Cursed -- Alyssa Day

I have always enjoyed Alyssa Day's novels even though I am three behind in the Atlantis series. But I was unprepared for how much I would love The Cursed, the first book in Day's new League of the Black Swan series.

From the synopsis, I expected a dark, gritty urban fantasy. It certainly has elements of urban fantasy but what was so unexpected was how incredibly funny The Cursed was. Day wrote comic situation to break the drama which but it was really her characters and the dialogue that were so humorous. Of course, I knew I would love the book when very near the beginning there was a Doctor Who reference :)

Luke, the Dark Wizard of Bordertown, is an awesome, overprotective alpha hero but with moments of unexpected vulnerability and a comic inability to talk to women if they are not clients. He's dangerous and deadly and yet he cares about the people in Bordertown and is protective of those who need it. His irritation with the not so stealthy campaign for him to become the sheriff is quite entertaining as well.

Rio thinks she's human with a gift. She is laid back and finds the humor in everything, particularly in Luke's inability to keep his foot out of his mouth. She absolutely refuses to be beaten down regardless of the odds against her which makes her a character you want to cheer. Deep down, Rio just wants to know who she is and where she came from - she wants a family to know and love, no matter what that family might be.

In addition to these two wonderful main characters and the aforementioned humor, The Cursed features excellent secondary characters, solid world building, strong and frequent action, and a well paced storyline.

Honestly, if you are still reading this, you are wasting time and should run, not walk, to get The Cursed!


Book 1 of the League of the Black Swan
Bordertown private investigator Luke Oliver’s beat is the dimensional fold in Manhattan between the human and supernatural realms. But now a secret from his past—the League of the Black Swan—has surfaced. Because Luke isn’t any ordinary P.I. He’s the Dark Wizard of Bordertown, and he never backs down from a fight.

But this time the fight threatens his life and his heart. Rio Jones, the only woman he loved, needs his help against a deadly menace. Luke pushed her away once before, so she’d never fall prey to the curse that threatens to destroy him. He swore he’d never let her go again.

Luke and Rio, with the help of the newly reformed League, must keep evil forces from taking over Bordertown—all the while battling a passion on the razor’s edge between danger and desire. And going to take everything they have just to stay alive.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Killer Plot review

A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams, who apparently also writes as Jennifer Stanley, is the first book in the Books by the Bay series of cozy mysteries set in small town North Carolina. It was a decent book if a little slow but I'm not sure if I'll read the second.

The main character, Olivia is snobby, pretentious, loaded and seems to think money means everything and can get you everything. She has some trust issues based on her father but I didn't really feel bad for her since she seemed to treat everyone like they work for her. She is also a struggling novelist who has been working on her book for years.

The redeeming feature of A Killer Plot were the incredibly entertaining supporting characters. From the diner owners to the computer geek to the gossip columnist - they were fun to read and I wanted to know more about them and spend more time with them.

Unfortunately, another problem with the book were the supposed love interests for Olivia. They were not at all believable in the sense that Olivia is so standoffish and aloof that having her truly be interested in them defies her character completely.

When it comes to mysteries, I do not want to be able to guess the whodunnit until very close to the end, or ideally, until it is revealed. I guessed the murderer almost as soon as the character's introduction in A Killer Plot which meant that the ending was a bit of a let down. I had hoped for some crazy twist that would mean I was totally off base but that didn't happen.

Overall, if you just want a quick read and don't mind that the secondary characters are better than the main, A Killer Plot might be right up your alley.


In the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, you'll find plenty of characters, ne'er-do-wells, and even a few celebs trying to duck the paparazzi. But when murder joins this curious community, the Bayside Book Writers are there to get the story…
Olivia Limoges is the subject of constant gossip. Ever since she came back to town—a return as mysterious as the day she left—Olivia has kept to herself, her dog, and her unfinished novel. With a little cajoling from the eminently charming writer Camden Ford, she agrees to join the Bayside Book Writers, break her writer's block, and even make a few friends…

But when townspeople start turning up dead with haiku poems left with the bodies, anyone with a flair for language is suddenly suspect. And it's up to Olivia to catch the killer before she meets her own surprise ending.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Macrieve review


I have to confess that, while I still greatly enjoy the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole, I feel like introducing The Order was unnecessary and haven't enjoyed the storylines around it. With the latest installment, Macrieve, we get drama shaped by both The Order and Uilleam's past and prejudice. So overall I did enjoy Macrieve but I still don't like The Order's storylines.

When it was announced that Macrieve would feature one of the twins, I had hoped they would be the more laid back guys depicted in the early books of the series. This was definitely not so and, of course, reading the synopsis disabused me of that before I ever got my hands on the book.

In fact, Uilleam is seriously f'd up - understandably so given the pieces of his history that we see. However, his inability to understand why Chloe hesitates to trust him or depend on him after he treats her so horribly makes him come across as far less intelligent than he obviously is. Plus, his unwillingness to confront his past or to understand that he might not know everything there is to know about the succubus population simply because he has killed so many is a little baffling to me.

Chloe, on the other hand, rocked this novel. She is a fighter, stubbornly independent but at least willing to try to understand Uilleam's issues, and despite the seriously hard knocks life keeps throwing at her, she refuses to even acknowledge the possibility of defeat. Chloe is the kind of character Cole writes breathtakingly well and why I have enjoyed the series so much.

We also got to see a great deal more of Munro, the more levelheaded twin, and I enjoyed his character a great deal as well. He was genuinely happy for his brother and tried to help Chloe deal with being new to the Lore. Nix also made her inevitable appearance to set up Chloe and Uilleam - does anything happen in the Lore that Nix doesn't set up? - and we hear about previous characters but the Lykae from past books don't really make an appearance which is too bad.

If you haven't read the rest of the series, I think Macrieve would be very confusing but, if you have read the rest of the series, Macrieve is a solid addition - even if I'm still not enjoying The Order and subsequent storylines.


In this pulse-pounding Immortals After Dark tale, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole delves into the darkest mysteries and deepest passions of Clan MacRieve. . .

A Beast In Torment

Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.

A Beauty In Chains

Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a tormented immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.

A Full Moon On The Rise

With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe . . . from himself?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Perfect Rake review

The Perfect Rake was the first book I've read by Anne Gracie and she will now be on my must read list. Much like with cozy mystery novels, historicals tend to be hit or miss with me. The Perfect Rake was a wonderful historical with strong and intelligent characters, funny (but not farcical) dialogue and situations, and enough action to keep the book moving forward. 

Prudence is strong, smart, and honorable. She protects her sisters at great risk to herself. Pru definitely keeps Gideon on his toes because she never reacts the way he expects.

The Perfect Rake is named Gideon, Lord Carradice. He is irreverent, loyal, and very honorable despite his reputation. A situation with his parents and his aunt and uncle have made him vow never to marry but Pru turns his world and all his plans upside down.

Gidoen's cousin, Edward, Duke of Dinstable, is the original target of Pru's lie about "an understanding. Luckily, he is easy going and is the perfect foil for Gideon throughout the book.

The girls' Uncle Oswald and Gideon's Aunt Gussie are a wonderful comedic presence. Their antics and dialogue lightened the book up when it needed it and helped keep the characters from being too maudlin.

The one sour character for me was Hope. She comes across as a horrible, selfish child who is more than willing to throw Pru "under the bus" if it means she'll get her own way. Hope is the only one of the "good" characters that I just didn't like.

If you are looking for a solid historical romance, I highly recommend The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie. I'll definitely be seeking out more of her work!


She ran from a brute...

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence's game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Buried in a Book review

I found Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington to be a bit uneven and all over the place. As this is Arlington's first cozy mystery, and I believe first book, I think she just hasn't hit her stride yet.

The writing was decent and the dialogue was good but the rest was a little too cutesy. The setting of Inspiration Valley was way too storybook village - I get what she was trying to do but it felt like it was taking place in a Disney cartoon. Additionally, everyone in the book is a character, by which I mean they were typecast.  

The intrepid journalist turned literary agency intern Lila seems very scattered. I couldn't figure out how this woman had been a successful reporter and had raised a son through high school when she seemed very scattered during the events of the book. Also, she's supposed to be in her mid-40s but when it comes to men and relationships, she acts like a teenager which I found unpleasant. Lila does have a few things working for her - she's clearly intelligent, very hard working, and stubborn as hell.

One of the potential love interests for Lila is Sean who happens to be a cop assigned to investigate the murder at the agency that is the central premise of the book. He came across as very condescending toward Lila regarding the investigation and the various other criminal problems in the book that she is a party to. As a character I didn't love him.

I did enjoy the characterizations of the other literary agents and the authors that were introduced. They were fun and interesting and helped keep the story from bogging down. 

Also the mystery did remain a mystery to me until the murderer was revealed in the book. I so often can guess the whodunnit in mysteries and I always enjoy not being sure until the very end.

Buried in a Book was good enough that I'll probably pick up the second book in the series with the hope that Arlington has worked out the kinks a bit.


After losing her job as a journalist at the age of forty-five, Lila Wilkins accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency in North Carolina. Being paid to read seems perfect to Lila, although it's difficult with the cast of quirky co-workers and piles of query letters. But when a penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency's waiting room-and Lila discovers a series of threatening letters-she's determined to find out who wrote him off.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Emilie and the Hollow World review

Emilie and the Hollow World

I don't generally read books aimed at teenagers, let alone ones for children. But a colleague of mine who reads a great deal brought Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells in for me because she enjoyed it and thought I might as well. She was correct - while I am not the target audience for this book it was a fun adventure story with really good world building and a premise that was different from anything I had seen previously.

Emilie and the Hollow World came across as fairly young YA and by that I mean it wasn't full of teenage angst and romance. It was a very straightforward fantasy adventure. The characters were decent and well written even if somewhat generic in type. The non-human characters were clearly divided into "good" and "bad" but, with few exceptions, there weren't a lot of detailed characterizations of them.
Emilie came across as younger than the sixteen she's supposed to be but that perhaps is because the book is steampunk and set in Victorian times with the associated moral and societal code that entails. If an age hadn't been given in the book and someone had asked me after I read it, I likely would have said Emilie was fourteen. Again, I think that is merely the difference between Victorian and modern teenagers, though.

I liked Lady Marlende a great deal. She was a strong character and a good role model for Emilie. She protects Emilie without stifling her intellect or curiosity. The rest of the crew seemed equally accepting of Emilie and allowed for her to contribute to the journey which is a good message for kids to read in a book.

Wells is doing a sequel called Emilie and the Sky World that will be published next year. While I am unlikely to read it, I have already recommended Emilie and the Hollow World to two family members who are eleven and thirteen and will be telling them about the second book as well. It's a very family friendly book and I think a large age group would enjoy it.


While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie's plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure. Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende's missing father. With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange races of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guest post by Rachel Aukes

Just A Reader's first author guest blog is by the lovely and uber-talented Rachel Aukes, who also writes as Berinn Rae. Her latest novel, Explosion, the finale of her Colliding Worlds trilogy with Crimson Romance publishing, was released on July 1st. All three novels in the trilogy, Collision, Implosion, and Explosion, are excellent paranormal romances! Rachel also has a new book, 100 Days in Deadland, coming out August 1st - but it has been released in serial format on her site so you can check out the first several chapters right now. Without further ado, Rachel's post.

Aliens are People, Too (sort of)
By Berinn Rae, author of the Colliding Worlds Trilogy

Readers have long been fascinated with vampires and werewolves. These creatures have been a staple of the paranormal romance genre since term “paranormal romance” was coined. They are the subjects of legend, but there is another one found in even older legends and one that persists to this day. Aliens.

Nearly every ancient civilization has some link to the belief that we are not alone in the universe. Many ancient races, such as the Egyptians, pondered life among the stars. Some races, like the Sumerians, went so far as to believe their gods came down from the stars. To this day, some believe the Mayans gained their science from aliens.

Intrigued by millennia of inferences and postulations, I thought, “What if aliens came to earth during our lifetimes?” and so the Colliding Worlds trilogy was born.

Beyond our world lies the unknown. Countless planets with endless possibilities. On one of those worlds, many galaxies from our home, an epic war has started a chain reaction, sending the war on a collision course with Earth. In the bloody aftermath of the Noble War of Sephia, the conquered Draeken flee, and the triumphant Sephians give pursuit. The first habitable planet in their path is a small, temperate planet called…earth. We are no longer alone.

The Colliding Worlds Trilogy isn’t the first series to start with an alien invasion, and it won’t certainly be the last (unless of course aliens do invade us tomorrow and life ends as we know it). What would we do if an advanced people suddenly landed on our proverbial doorstep? Would we welcome our guests with open arms? Would we attack on sight? I suspect the answer lies somewhere in between.

Perhaps one of the best outcomes of human-like aliens coming to earth would be that we’d be forced to reexamine what it means to be truly human. In the V television and book series, for example, the aliens who came to earth looked very different and had ulterior motives. But some of the Visitors had very human attributes, such as love and sacrifice. Did that make them human? Probably not, but what if they had looked more human? What then?

The aliens in the Colliding Worlds trilogy aren’t lizards, like the Visitors were in V, though their anatomy differs from ours. The golden-skinned Sephians have tattoo-like marks covering their bodies. The Draeken have wings. Biologically, we are compatible with both the Sephians and the Draeken, and much of the trilogy is focused on coming to terms with embracing similarities and coming to terms with differences. Stereotypes, discrimination, and profiling abound.

All three books in the trilogy propose that being human isn’t about how someone looks or where they were born. But that to be human is to have compassion.

What do you think it is to be human? 
Explosion, the final book in the Colliding Worlds Trilogy is now out!
The first two books in the trilogy—Collision and Implosion—are on sale for only $1.99 each at Amazon!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sweeter than Wine review


Sweeter Than Wine is the fourth story in Bianca D'Arc's Brotherhood of Blood series. It is the first full length novel in the series and features Christy and Sebastian.

Christy is one of the original five female friends that we met in One and Only. She was the only one who was married and, as the series progressed, her friends became worried that her marriage was abusive. In Sweeter Than Wine, that suspicion is confirmed and Christy must be turned in order to save her life. This is where Sebastian steps in. While not the Master of the region, Sebastian is unusually strong for his age and, of course, is friends with Marc and Atticus. He is also friends with the local werecougars, a slightly unusual situation as vampires and shifters usually avoid each other. Sebastian has been smitten with Christy since he first saw her at Atticus and Lissa's wedding and now as her Maker, he knows they will be together for centuries even if she doesn't prove to be his One.

Unfortunately, Christy's ex-husband is not just an abusive jerk but is also in league with a Venificus agent who has infiltrated the Altor Custodis. The Venificus are the "big bad" for the paranormal world. They've popped up in previous books but in Sweeter Than Wine we get more details on their history and mission.

There was a more detailed storyline in Sweeter Than Wine because the length allowed for it and it was very action packed. It flowed very well and the chemistry between Christy, Sebastian, and Matt was palpable. I would recommend reading the entire series in order though or some things could be confusing.

There is also a bit of crossover with D'Arc's Tales of the Were series in this book but I hadn't read those stories and it didn't seem that I was missing anything in Sweeter Than Wine by not having done so.


An abused woman has the power to unite werefolk, fey and vampire against an evil that would see them all dead -- if she can learn to love again. Christy lies near death after a brutal beating by her estranged husband. Her preternatural friends reach a desperate conclusion: The only way to save her is to turn her. Sebastian steps forward to take on the burden of being her Maker. For him its no burden at all. She draws him as no other woman has for centuries. With the help of a werecougar friend, Sebastian teaches Christy about her new life and abilities, making certain she is as strong as he can make her. Only then can she face her abusive ex-husband and put her old life behind her. But Christys ex-husband is involved in something more dangerous than any of them had guessed. Vampire, were, and even a fey knight must work together to put an end to the threatening evil. To overcome her past, help keep the darkness at bay, and fight for a new life with Sebastian, Christy must draw on all of her new-found strength. Will it be enough? 

Warning, this title contains explicit sex, graphic language, menage a trois, hot neck biting and werecougar stroking.