Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nalini's Hostage to Pleasure Contest

To celebrate the upcoming (September 2nd!) release of Hostage to Pleasure Nalini Singh is having a contest. You simply do a post on your blog, livejournal, myspace, facebook or website etc, where you answer at least one of the questions below. Mention the contest and link back to it. Post a pic of HtP cover and leave a comment on Nalini's blog letting her know. Simple right? You could win $75 to an online bookstore. Here are the questions along with my answers.

* Which fictional hero (from books, tv, movies...) would you most like to hold hostage? This is tough. So many to choose from to have my wicked way with. I'll have to go with Legolas. There's just something about those ears...

* Which fictional hero would you most like to be held hostage by? Riddick. Maybe because I saw the movie recently. Nah, I just love Vin Diesel. Those arms, those abs, that voice.

* Which fictional world would you most like to be held hostage in? It would be the Psy/Changeling world of Nalini's. Can Kaleb hold me hostage? Please?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reveiw: The Devil Inside

Title: The Devil Inside
Author: Jenna Black
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Morgan Kingsley series

Morgan Kingsley is typical career girl with a boyfriend and a nice little house. She also exorcises demons for a living.

In Morgan's world demons exist along with humans. There are legal and illegal demons. The legal demons occupy a willing host while the illegal demons take over a human's body without their consent. There are members of what is called the Spirit Society who are advocates for the legal demons. Morgan's parents just happen to be members of the society. Her brother is a host for a demon and her parents couldn't be more proud of him. Of course Morgan's career has caused a rifted between her and her parents. Her brother Andrew has been a host to a demon for ten years. Morgan and Andrew's demon do not get along and this has had a serious effect on Morgan's relationship with her brother.

Morgan, it turns out, is one of the strongest exorcists around but she still becomes, against her will, a host for a very powerful demon. Her life is threatened a number of times until she's not sure who to trust. She ends up trusting the last person she ever expected. Morgan has to find out who is after her and why before they hurt someone she loves.

The one problem I had with the book is that I couldn't help but wonder why anyone would willingly allow themselves to be possessed. The reason given is that the host, once possessed by the demon, is able to perform amazing acts that humans aren't capable of. Many hosts go into dangerous professions and are looked upon by some members of society as heroes. The demons are incredibly strong and are able to shield their human host from pain. They can also heal them with incredible speed. The downside is that the demon takes over the human's body and mind and they are basically left as a silent passenger in their own body. Personally, I don't like the downside. Theoretically, I understand someone wanting to have these incredible abilities but to give up control of your body... I would think self preservation would kick in and no one would actually go through with the possession. But that's just me.

The story is fast paced and told in Morgan's POV. The secondary character are not at all what I was expecting. There are some S&M scenes which may put off some readers. The second book in the series is The Devil You Know with book three, The Devil's Due releasing November 2008. For more info on the author check out her website.

Rating: B

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Man!!!

On this day eight years ago my middle child was born. He was a beautiful baby with gorgeous hair and an a sweet grin.

So to honor this day we will be celebrating where else, Chuck E. Cheese. Yes, I know you're jealous. You wish you could be there with all the yelling, screaming...parents (and their kids). I will be prepared with camera, ipod and book in hand. With a good book I can probably outlast the kids. *grin*

Then we're off to get the birthday boy his gift. He surprised me and was able to save up 1/2 the cost of a Ninetendo DS. The dh and I will spring for the other half as per our deal with Little Man. He's already trying to get his little brother to buy a game for the DS. He told his little brother, who just turned seven last month, that he would "share" the game with him. I don't think little brother is gonna go for it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nalini's Newest

So I'm thinking about all the books coming out soon specifically the eagerly anticipated Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh due out next Tuesday. I have heard of readers finding it early so I'm debating if I should take a trip to Borders. Guess what was I found in my email this am? Yep, Borders coupon for 30% off when spending $10 or more. Now, I don't know about you but I can spend 10 bucks at Borders easy. Plus I have my $25 gift card that I got with my Discover cash back.

So I print my coupon and I'm off to Borders. I walk in and head towards the new releases. My eyes zoom in on those gorgeous abs that Dorian is sporting on the cover. There were six copies so I looked them all over and picked the best one. Since I needed to spend $10 minimum I looked around until I spotted a French pocket dictionary on clearance for 4 bucks. Perfect for dd since she is taking French next year. It's a really nice one with one of those vinyl covers that will make it last.

When I got to the car I took a peek at the excerpt from Branded by Fire, Mercy and Riley story due out next summer. HOT HOT HOT! I haven't even read Hostage to Pleasure and I'm already anxious for the next book in the series. There was also an excerpt of Angel's Blood, the first book in the new series due out next March.

If, by some weird quirk of fate you haven't read Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series I strongly recommend you do. For information on the series, including a free short story, check out Nalini's website.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Series

I started reading a new series called The Weather Wardens by Rachel Caine. The first book is Ill Wind. I'm about 2/3 of the way through and really enjoying it. It's genre is urban fantasy/paranormal and different from many of the other paranormal out there. No vamps or weres just people with the power to control the elements. Which IMO would be totally cool!

The synopsis from Caine's website is: Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now, she's trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So, she's resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life...

There are seven books so far in the series with Caine currently working on the eighth. You can find more information about this series and it's author here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Review: The Iron Hunt

Title: The Iron Hunt
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Hunter Kiss/Book One

First off I would read the story Hunter Kiss in the Wild Thing anthology. It's really the beginning of the series and it helps with understanding what is going on. Otherwise there may be some confusion when reading The Iron Hunt.

This is a story of Maxine Kiss who is a demon hunter. She is also covered with tattoos that become demons at sunset. These demons are sworn to protect her and help her hunt the demons that possess humans. The story is told in 1st POV by Maxine. It deals with her learning about her mother and what her history is. All is not what it seems.

The writing was well done and the character development was good but not fully, leaving more for future books in the series. Overall I would recommend if you like dark paranormal. Very little romance.

Rating: A-

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Computer

Well, we finally did it. Or rather dh did. We got a new pc. YEAH! It's an HP Pavilion with Windows Vista and a bunch of other bells and whistles. The best part IMO is the new monitor. Our old one was over a foot deep and definitely needed to be updated. The new one is a wide screen and not nearly as deep as the old one. Now I just have to get used to the layout and using Norton. The old pc will go up in the playroom to take the place of the original pc. Our very first computer was a Commodore but I don't really count that as a "real" computer, no hard drive. EEK. Can you imagine having to use one of those now?!

Review: Duncan's Bride

Title: Duncan’s Bride
Author: Linda Howard
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Reese Duncan is a Montana rancher who was burned by his ex-wife. Left almost bankrupt by his divorce he is cynical about love and marriage. But he needs a wife because he wants children to pass on his love of the land and his heritage. He works 12-16 hour days, has no time or inclination for dating. He treats the search for a wife as a business decision and has no intention of involving his heart. So when he hears about Midwest farmers and ranchers placing wife-wanted ads he decides it will work for him so he places the ad.

Madelyn Patterson has a wonderful sense of style. She enjoys nice clothes and looking good. She works for her stepbrother in his NYC office. He gave her the job out of concern for her well-being after her mom and grandmother died. Even though she enjoys her life in New York she is not so much a city girl that she can’t bare to leave it. In fact she has fond memories of life on her grandmother’s rural home in Virginia. Madelyn has become restless and realizes that its time to move on. When she reads Reese’s ad she decides to reply, thinking that he probably won’t reply back.

When I first heard about Duncan’s Bride it was that it was a very good book about a rancher who sends away for a mail order bride. I assumed, mistakenly, that it was a historical. It wasn’t until I started reading that I realized it was set in modern day. By giving the story a contemporary setting Howard introduces different dynamics to the characters. Madelyn has more options available to her than say a woman in the 1880’s. She isn’t in desperate need for a husband and only agrees to meet Reese out of curiosity.

The story of Reese and Madelyn is a wonderful blend of learning to trust again and learning to love. Reese has a long way to go in letting go of the past and not blaming Maddie for the actions of his ex-wife. Maddie can be very stubborn and once she sets her mind on something she doesn’t give up. The story is well written and has some wonderful dialogue. The secondary characters are interesting but remain secondary with the focus on Reese and Maddie.

There was one disclosure about a character that I found a little hard to believe but overall Reese and Maddie were well developed and left this reader with a good sense of knowing them. This was a quick read and kept my interest for the entire book. I would strongly recommend Duncan’s Bride for anyone who enjoys romance novels.

Rating: A-

Friday, August 22, 2008

Review: Wanderlust

Title: Wanderlust
Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Jax series/Book Two

I had the great fortune of winning an ARC of Ann Aguirre’s Wanderlust. This is her second novel in the Jax series. In the first novel, Grimspace, we met Sirantha Jax who is what is known as a jumper. She has the unique genetics needed to navigate or "jump" through grimspace.

Now Jax and crew are back and the amazing ride Aguirre took readers on in Grimspace continues in Wanderlust. The story picks up where Grimspace left off with hearings concerning the Farwan trial. Jax is without a job and the corporation is gone so there’s no one to pay her to jump. So she makes a career change becoming an ambassador for New Terra. She does this more out of desperation than confidence in her abilities. She and her crew are to travel to Ithiss-Tor, homeworld of Velith Il-Nok. Vel is the bounty hunter who was after Jax in Grimspace and is now part of the crew. Vel is to help with diplomatic relations between the inhabitants of his homeworld and the new ambassador.

We also learn more about Jax’s family life and her early years. The part her parents played in her decisions, what shaped her into who she has become and the why of the decisions that she has made.

As the crew gets ready to travel to with their new ambassador aboard they make a few detours along the way. Of course everything doesn’t go smoothly and they get involved in a war on Lachion. Things are not going well for the Gunner-Dahlgren clan and March's feelings of responsibility towards Keri Dahlgren come between him and Jax. Their relationship comes to a head and Jax discovers just how strong she is and how much she is willing to give up.

Some old faces and a few new ones are introduced. Along for the ride with Jax are March, Dina, Doc and Vel. We also meet some new crew members, Hit and Jael. Aguirre stays true to her world building. She expands on it with the new characters and exploring how those characters fit into Jax’s ever changing world.

This is an amazing series for anyone who likes strong world building, interesting characters and plenty of action.

Rating: A+