Showing posts from October, 2013

Thursday Threads: The Highlander's Accidental Bride by Cathy MacRae

The Highlander’s Accidental Bride (Book 1 in the Highlander’s Bride series)
by Cathy MacRae

Genre and setting: Historical Romance set in the Highlands of Scotland, 1375

Heat Scale: Sensual
Brief blurb:
Wed at the king’s command, they entered a marriage neither wanted. Realizing he married the wrong woman, can Laird Scott forge a lasting bond with his new bride and put a long-standing feud to rest?

“Ah, Eaden.” Ranald’s raised voice brought the earl to a halt. He turned. “What?” “There may be a problem with your, er, wife.” “I saw her with the servants.” Eaden scowled at the memory. “I’ll speak to her about her duties.” “Och, ‘tis no’ the problem.” “Then what is?” “She’s no’ yer wife.” “What do ye mean?” Eaden bit out the words. Damn the Barde wench! What kind of trouble had she stirred up in the two weeks he’d been gone? Ranald squared his shoulders. “I mean, ye married her, but she isnae the woman we thought she was.” “What!” “The day after ye left for Troon, yer bride came running from yer…

Author Aggravations

I recently stumbled across one author’s list of things never to say to an author. I pored through it, nodding my head vigorously at some of her points and shaking my head at others. Most of all, though, I wondered if peeps really do say these things to authors. People honestly voice such gems as “Anyone can write a book, [sic] what else do you do?”?! If so, that’s pretty horrifying, and it help explains the author’s grumpy tone.
I guess I’m lucky, because when it comes to discussing my less lucrative and more creative second job, the folks in my life ooze nothing but support and encouragement. Maybe it’s because everyone knows I do have a bill-paying job, or perhaps it’s because I don’t share my authorliness with tons of people (After all, how else can it remain my secret identity?). Whatever the reason, I can’t bring to mind one person who has sneered at my secondary vocation per se.
All that said, I do have my own list of author aggravations that I feel all-too-eager to share with …

Thursday Threads: The Promised One by C.D. Hersh

The Promised One By C.D. Hersh
Genre: Paranormal romance suspense Heat Level: Sensual
When homicide detective Alexi Jordan is forced to use her shape shifting powers to catch a paranormal killer, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.
The woman stared at him, blood seeping from the corner of her mouth. “Return the ring, or you’ll be sorry.”
With a short laugh he stood. “Big words for someone bleeding to death.” After dropping the ring into his pocket, he gathered the scattered contents of her purse, and started to leave.
“Wait.” The words sounded thick and slurred . . . two octaves deeper . . . with a Scottish lilt.
Shaw frowned and spun back toward her. The pounding in his chest increased. On the ground, where the woman had fallen, lay a man.
He wore the same slinky blue dress she had—the seams ripped, the dress top collapsed over hard chest muscles, instead of smoothed over soft, rounded curves. The hem skimmed across a pair of hairy, thi…

Review and Virtual Book Tour: Princess Interrupted

A princess, cook, master horsewoman, and assassin. I hope this blue-eyed boy is worthy of her” (page 295).
I have finally found a book I will let my daughter read. Granted, I don’t exactly have a daughter, but if I did, this would be one of the books we'd read together. The story clips along at a bustling pace, it provides ample space for its characters’ physical and emotional development, and it has some kick-butt gender politics. Yep, nonexistent daughter – I am definitely adding this delightful novel to our imaginary reading repertoire.
Princess Interrupted encompasses several months, perhaps a year, of Princess Arabelle’s life as she shoulders the responsibilities of soldier, herbalist, and protector. As she trains herself into a stronger incarnation, both emotionally and physically, her compassion lands her the friendship of a gentle, shape-shifting dwarf and leads her closer to freeing their country from the tyranny of a (rather hypocritically anti-magic) dark wizard and to …

Literary No-No’s

I almost always finish a book. It can contain misspellings, rampant heterosexism,yawn-inspiring action scenes, and enough clichés to propel an English professor toward the liquor cabinet. Heck, it can even feature the vastly overused Stumbling Woman and a Muscular Hero to Catch Her trope, use words like “member” and “womanhood” during steamy sex scenes, and consistently misuse “who’s” and “whose.” I will still read that bad girl.
Recently, however, I had to put down a book (double entendre invoked, although unfortunately not actualized) that violated two items on my literary list o’ doom. Because I am a giver, below lies a catalog of what turns me off as a reader, not to mention a writer. After you read mine, I’d love to know yours, since I consider this not only griping but super helpful research for my future books.
Elle’s List of Literary No-No’s

5. The book doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test. As a reminder, the Bechdel Test has three criteria: 1. The medium must contain at least two name…

Presenting The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III, along with a $50 GC

By Paul DeBlassie III


Can you describe your dream home?
I’m living in it…Spanish Mediterranean with a Victorian gothic feel.
If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
I would be the man in the story, "The Man Whom the Trees Loved" by Algernon Blackwood.
What is the first curse word that comes to mind?  How often and why do you use it?
Pinche madre…I only use it when I’m in a very very good mood …use it frequently!
How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
I’d buy an investment
What is your least favorite word?

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mysticlandofAztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure t…

Thursday Threads: The King's Vampire by Brenda Stinnett

The King’s Vampire, first in an Abyss series
Author: Brenda Stinnett
Genre and setting: Historical Paranormal Romance set in London, England, after the Restoration of Charles II.
Heat scale: Sizzling
Darius Einhard, demon slayer, will stop at nothing to help Elizabeth Curran, immortal vampire, break the bonds of vampirism, even while helping her protect Charles Stuart II, who’s in danger of being entrapped into becoming an immortal vampire and leading his people into the abyss of hell by the psychic vampire demons. 

The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England, November, 1675 First to reach the top of the ladder, Elizabeth said, “I see a dim light outside the archways of the church. Follow me.”
They’d almost reached the entrance when a hooded figure came rapidly gliding toward them. In silence, the shadowy figure stepped in front of them, blocking the exit while tossing back its hood. Elizabeth recognized Julian, his horrible eyes blazing blood-red, and his mummified fa…

Solving the Toilet Seat Debate

The toilet seat belongs down.
I know, I know: it sounds as though I’m siding uncritically with my sex in the debate that has raged for decades. However, my friends, I can assure you that I have given this much thought – probably far more than it deserves – and have endeavored to remain entirely unbiased. I firmly believe my decision is the fairest one.
We could discuss the horror of women falling into the toilet or take a more feminist stance and say public spaces tend to become male-dominated spaces. But, no. I have a much more scientific rationale behind my assertion.

Think through this, my friends:
In a bathroom, four main activities take place:  female-identified persons use it for their two major excretory functions and male-identified persons use it for their two major excretory functions.* That’s four.
When women use the toilet, they always require the seat down, no matter which of the two functions they’re engaging in. That's two for the toilet seat down. When men use the t…

Thursday Threads: Lower's Blame It on the Brontes

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Sensual

Three separate love stories intertwine around a central theme, as fractious sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronson, each in her forties, are in Puffin Bay, ME for their mother's funeral. Each is ready to sink their claws into the fortune their mother left behind. But their mother has other plans. Her substantial fortune won't be divided until the trio return to their childhood home and live together for a year. It's a request that pits sister against sister but could unite them in a common goal to find the friendship they shared as children, to create a family jewelry business and to win over the men of Puffin Bay. They have a year to figure it all out.

Excerpt: Anne Bronson pressed her foot on the gas pedal, trying to ignore the little red light on the dashboard—the one highlighting the E on her gas gauge. She willed the rental moving truck to make it up the next hill, hunching over the s…

I am Not an Epidemic

A stunning and brilliant sociology instructor stands before her class, leading a discussion on the environmental, psychological, and international effects of American consumerism. Heads nod, and she’s feeling good. They’re obviously getting it.
“Totally,” a student says. The instructor smiles. “That’s why we’re having so many health problems in the U.S. Everyone is eating too much, sitting around all day, and getting more and more obese.” More heads nod.
The instructor pauses, looks around. She wonders how many of her students are looking at her fat body and thinking she represents all that is wrong with the U.S. today.
I am fat, and this scenario happens at least once per semester in one of my classes. It always hurts, at least a little. It’s also a very simplistic, ill-informed, and incomplete picture of the causes and effects of fatness. But this blog post isn’t about my emotional smarts or even about the annoying myth that fatness boils down to calories in, calories out. It’s about…