Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams - Sometimes what washes up on the beach is pretty sexy!

Title: Tsunami Blue
Author: Gayle Ann Williams
Pages: 290 pages, paperback
Genre: post-apocalypse, paranormal romance
Standalone/Series: standalone (I think?)
Release:  already out
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company
Won in a contest
Author info: and Twitter @GayleWriter
Spoiler Alert: Small plot spoilers
GoodReads Blurb: "To some I was a freak; to others, a fantasy. I was Satan or savior; a witch or a goddess. I was legend, I was lies. And tonight it really was, just all too much." -- Kathryn "Blue" O'Malley. NO SAFE HARBOR. With her badass rain boots, her faithful dog, and the ability to predict the monster tsunamis that have reduced the US to a series of islands, Kathryn O’Malley isn’t afraid of much. Cut off from all society, she takes to the airwaves as Tsunami Blue, hoping to save something of humanity as the world around her crumbles. But Blue should be afraid—because her message reaches the wrong ears.

Now she’s the target of ruthless pirates known as Runners who want to use her special talents for their own profiteering—as soon as they can find her. Blue’s only shot at survival lies with the naked stranger who washes up on her rocky beach. A man who might just be working for Runners himself. Torn between suspicion and attraction, the two will have to navigate a surging tide of danger and deceit if they hope to stay alive.

What would have happened if the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in 2004 was just the first of many that ended up destroying the world as we know it. This is the world the Blue lives in – one where there are no countries since the waves destroyed almost everything and a lawless and dangerous world now exists. But Blue has an advantage over the other survivors – the ocean speaks to her and warns her when other waves are coming. Though this gift also has made her a target for those who wish to control the waves – the ruthless pirates known as the Runners. Blue is currently living on an island trying to keep hidden from the Runners while broadcasting what the ocean tells her to save other survivors.  The only “person” she has for company is her dog Max who she often chats with (I talk to my dog too so I can appreciate a heroine who does this as well).  One night when Max and Blue are out for a stroll they come across the body of a man that appears dead. Blue is quick to resuscitate him and brings him back to her cabin to later determine whether or not he is an enemy when he wakes. Though Blue doesn’t get much time to determine whether the man, Gabriel is a friend or foe, since the next day the Runners catch up with her and she is forced to trust Gabriel and flee with him.

There was definitely a Mad Max/Water World feeling to the book and the lawlessness and brutality of Blue’s existence was engaging as it was scary. Blue has been raised since a child in this increasingly dangerous world and she struggles to maintain hope that there are people out there that listen to her warnings from what the ocean tells her. One of her greatest fears is that there are no children that survived the waves and as Gabriel helps Blue escape the Runners she gets glimpses of what’s left of the Pacific Northwest area. And for the most part it isn’t pretty.

This book is a great mix of action, adventure, and romance in one quick read. Gabriel, otherwise known as "what the ocean washed up", seems to want to help Blue though he does have ties to the Runners. It’s hard to know whether Blue should trust him or not since he keeps his intentions hidden from her, though Blue can’t help but be attracted to him, he gives her coffee and red meat – things in short supply in their world. Truthfully a world without coffee would be a very difficult one for me to survive in – so I can totally understand her attraction to Gabriel. Though coffee isn’t the only thing Gabriel has going for him and as Blue gets to know him better she feels drawn to him as well. I have to admit I loved reading about their little “lessons” during the book and what buds between them is pretty hot.  The constant threat of his possible betrayal also kept the story engaging since you’re never quite sure what his intentions are for most the book.

Overall 4 out of 5 for me, the ocean washed up a pretty sexy package for Blue and she knows how to use it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review of Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler - Love the snarky half-selkie!

Title: Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2)
Author: Nicole Peeler
Pages: 320 pages, paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Standalone/Series: Series
Release: June 29th/ July 1st
Publisher: Orbit
Received for review by publisher at BEA
Author info: and Twitter @NicolePeeler
Spoiler Alert: Spoilers for book 1
GoodReads Blurb: Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucking boyfriend - can't let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane's life is thrown off course.

Ryu's well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane's surprise... 

Jane True is a half-selkie after my own heart – she gives smutty paranormal romances to a horny succubus and has an internal monologue that has me snorting in hysterics. In this entry into the Jane True series (The first book Tempest Rising is a favorite of mine), Jane takes off on a romantic get-away with her hot vampire boyfriend, Ryu, for Valentine’s day weekend. Unfortunately, Jane in her typical uncoordinated form stumbles into some problems of her own that end up following her back to Rockabill. Now Jane’s fears of her supernatural life putting her normal mortal friends and family in danger looks like they might come true.

Jane has dealt with a lot in the past few months, from learning that the a supernatural world exists to learning that she half belongs to it, to also finding out that there are some factions out there that just want to kill her because she is a halfling. The paranormal world is still a secret to mortals in Ms. Peeler’s novel and she has created a rich landscape that includes many different paranormal beings, the rules that govern them, and the territories they can exist in. I think it is one of my favorite parts of the Jane True novels, all the different creatures that exist and we meet new ones with each novel. Another favorite is Jane’s inner dialogue – she is so snarky and self-depricating it is hilarious and I have to admit I love her pop cultural references – it makes me love the books even more because you never know what’s going to come out of her mouth or her thoughts. And lastly I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the men in Jane’s life, Ryu her hot vampire lover is always good for a sexy romp and Anyan – her protector and friend. There are some interesting developments in both these relationships that I can’t wait to read more about in the next novel.

4 out of 5 stars, Jane True is an awesome half-selkie ball of sexiness and snark!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Birthday Bash Wrap-up | Favorite Firsts Giveaway Update | and a Winner!

Thanks for all your visits during my Birthday Bash where we discussed favorite firsts with some amazing authors and bloggers! I hope you all had a good visit - there was some lively discussion about Black Jewels Trilogy (which I need to start reading!), a little mutual shuddering at the thought of baby powder smelling Lessers, and some concern about being disillusioned by hypochondriacs (double shudder!). It seems like many of us secretly or not so secretly got started reading paranormals by picking up that sparkly vampire novel known as Twilight and like a gateway drug it lead us to the dark side of fiction. While other ones of us started out our addiction as gamer-girls and readers of fan fiction. Some of us seek revenge through recommending depressing books while others lament the dangers of falling in love. And lastly we learned that the ultimate villian of them all is - Eve.

I am now the owner of a shinny new ipad and already got this great cover from Etsy (bertie's closet) so thank you to my hubby for such an awesome birthday gift! If you guys have any recommendations for apps it would be much appreciated!

Now onto updates for the Favorite Firsts Birthday Bash - it's still going on till July 5th and as promised if I get 50 more followers during the bash a new winner is added - now there are 2 winners - 1st place gets 3 books and 2nd place gets 1 book. And wait there's more (I feel like a infomerical) the winners will get to chose from both the favorite firsts and my birthday bash list (don't worry if you already picked your books earlier - I will give you a chance to change your picks if you win before I order them). Thanks for all those who have entered so far and tweeted about the contest - you are awesome!
So the winner of the Chloe Neill prize pack of Chicagoland Vampires related swag is rachel445. Congrats! Alot of you were split on whether it mattered that a book location is fictional or real - some favorite locations were Chicago, New Orleans, London, NYC, and Diagon Alley (from Harry Potter fame of course). I would also throw in Atlanta - I love the beat-up version from Ilona Andrews series. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Favorite Villains of All Time with Rebecca Baumann of Dirty Sexy Books

Bad Boys Rule!  My Favorite Villains of All Time
By Rebecca Baumann of Dirty Sexy Books

Hardly anybody takes the time to build up a really good villain anymore.  It’s a lost art form, and I didn’t realize there was a dearth in bad guy greatness until Heather brought up the idea of doing a guest post about my favorite villains.

Then I started listing them, and I only got to three.

That’s pathetic!  A truly menacing enemy is the cornerstone of most fantasies, and a lot of romances too, so you’d think I’d have heaps of baddies to choose from, but not so.  Most series writers cycle in new bad guys for each installment, like changing out the paper targets at a practice range.  They pin up somebody new for the hero/heroine to blow away, but it’s kind of a shame, because it’s rare to have a really satisfying relationship with someone I can love to hate.

So here they are… a short list of my three favorite villains.

1) I’ve got two words for you.  Baby powder.

If you’re a fan of J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, you’re having an ‘oh yeah’ moment right now, because the villains in her on-going paranormal romance epic (‘series’ is too tame a word for what Ward’s constructed), all smell like baby powder.  They are known as Lessers, and their sickly sweet odor is just one of the details that makes these albino bad guys stand out.  They’re not obvious monsters, and on the surface they even seem benign, but these heartless, soulless beings are pure evil, and they creep me out!  The only thing about them that pleases me is that they’re impotent (ha ha, no sex for you), but I can’t wait for the brothers to slice and dice these guys to bits.

Photo Caption: Alright, there aren’t any pictures of Lessers, but Paul Bettany’s turn as Silas in The Da Vinci Code is the closest I can get.  Just imagine that he smells like baby powder all over.  Ick.

2) This next one is so famous, he’s practically in the Boogeyman club.  I’m talking about Lord Voldemort from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  The Dark Lord was an ever-present menace throughout the entire series, but Rowling really brought him to life when she shared parts of his tragic childhood.  It wasn’t an excuse, or even an explanation for why he became such an evil guy, but my hatred for Voldemort was tempered with pity too.  If you only watch the films and have never read the books, then you’re missing out on a lot of the nuances that I’m talking about, and you’ll have to take my word for it.  Voldemort is much more than just a simple caricature, and Rowling knew that Harry would only be as great as his greatest foe.

Photo Caption: Geez, it looks like Ralph Fiennes is auditioning for a role as a Lesser, but this is how the Harry Potter movie crew pictures Lord Voldemort.  I always thought he had glowing red eyes, but perhaps that’s my overactive imagination making him even more demonic.  The snake-like nose is a nice touch.

3) I’ve saved the best for last.  The ultimate villain of all time is Mr. “I am your father.”  You may be wondering how I’ve slipped Darth Vader into a list of favorite book villains, but there are a whole bunch of Star Wars novels out there, so I say he counts.  Have I read those books?  No, I’m going off the movies alone, but it’s enough.  That black masked visage is more recognizable around the world than our last five Presidents combined, I’ll wager.  Vader is the iconic epitome of bad guys everywhere, and I can only hope that someone somewhere is dreaming up a villain who can top him.

Photo Caption: I’m going to go on record stating that I pretty much hated the three latest Star Wars movies, although seeing how Anakin got stuffed into the Vader suit was interesting.  Nothing can compete with the originals.

As I close out my list, it occurs to me that I’ve chosen male villains only.  I’m wracking my brain for a really good female example, and I’m coming up blank.  Unless you want to count the ultimate female villain in history - the hapless Eve who gets humanity booted from the Garden of Eden.  What do you know?  It turns out that a woman trumps them all.

Great post Rebecca! Be sure to check out her blog - Dirty Sexy Books - she does great reviews and very entertaining book news and book related posts.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Favorite Firsts with Jeri Smith-Ready - Author of WVMP series

Today we have Jeri Smith-Ready, the author of the WVMP series (check out my reviews of her books Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone) which has some of my favorite flawed vampires ever and a vampire dog! Jeri's book Wicked Game was the first book I ever reviewed so I figured that she was the best person to invite for a guest post during my Favorite Firsts week and thankfully she agreed! I hope you enjoy her guest post as much as I did! Don't forget to comment to get more entries for my Favorite Firsts contest where you can win Wicked Game!
Heather asked me to do a guest post about “firsts” to go with a giveaway of WICKED GAME, the first in my WVMP RADIO urban fantasy series.  In Monday’s interview she mentioned that WICKED GAME was the first book to make her want to write a review.  I’m tickled she loved it that much!

I don’t know about other authors, but to me, writing the first book in a series is like falling in love.  It’s that time of discovery, when we meet the characters and many of them meet each other.  Subsequent books are loved just as much—if not more—but they fall into the “deep, mature love” category.  There’s nothing like the rush of that first time.

Last fall I was on the way to speak at a book club, mulling over my rewrite of BRING ON THE NIGHT (WVMP Book 3, coming out July 27).  In this installment, events take a dark turn, and the emotions become more complex.  The heroine, Ciara Griffin, is forced to ask and answer some hard questions about what she wants in life, and discovers that much of it is out of her control. 

So as I was driving, “Read My Mind” by the Killers came on the radio.  This song appears near the beginning of the WICKED GAME playlist.  I chose it to be the “latest Killers song” (as described in the text of Chapter 3) blaring in the background at the Smoking Pig, the bar where Ciara’s best friend Lori works.  Ciara stops by after a really crappy first (and last, or so she thought) day at her new job. 

Here she has her first conversation, then first adventure, with Shane McAllister, the man she’ll later fall in love with, a man who happens to be a vampire and, even more problematically, an obsessive-compulsive (later that night he’ll pause his seduction to alphabetize her CD collection).

Hearing “Read My Mind” made me ache for the “good old days.”  Hearing it again and again and again (I have satellite radio and can replay songs for up to half an hour) made me ponder that innocent beginning.  Back when all Ciara had to worry about was earning tuition money and evading the attack of a vengeful bachelorette.  Back when she was merely a recovering con artist and Shane was just a hot, mysterious DJ.  Before a communications conglomerate and later a group of anti-vampire vigilantes tried to destroy the station.  Before the vampire dog came along needing a new owner.  Before the zombies arose.  Before the infamous dishwasher scene.

It’s dangerous to fall in love with falling in love.  When I was in my teens and early twenties, I tended to abandon relationships when they evolved into long-term situations, because I was so addicted to the rush of romance.  When I started writing, I shied away from creating series, for the same reason.

Luckily I’ve grown out of that infatuation with infatuation, in both real life and in writing.  I stick with things now, even when they’re not all flowers and fun and bouncy songs.  Even when they require change and growth and a melancholy tune.  And yes—even when the dishwasher is improperly loaded.

Because long-term love is worth it.

The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun
When you read my mind.

Jeri can’t read your mind, but she would love to read your e-mail!  Come visit her at, or even better, at or

Don't forget to comment to get more entries for my Favorite Firsts contest where you can win Wicked Game (or if you already have it you could chose Bad to the Bone or a pre-order of BOTN)! What moments do you love going back to - the first meeting, the first fight, or the first time making up? (I'm naughty and go back to re-read the smexing scenes ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Favorite Firsts Guest Post by Book Blogger Tori-Book Faery

Today we have the lovely Tori from the Book Faery Blog stopping by to talk about her favorite firsts in books.

Favorite firsts.  So where exactly should I begin?  Typically, when I think about "firsts," what comes to mind is a first kiss, a first date, your first time driving the car (and not crashing said car as you try to avoid running over a squirrel carcass)--basically, the "monumental" occurrences in life.  However, we're not talking about life changing experiences here.... or are we?

Since Heather and I are both book bloggers, it would only make sense to talk about books during this post.  When she first approached me about this topic--this is my FIRST guest post ever, by the way--I thought long and hard.  Would discussing the first book series which transformed me from a gamer-girl into a book-junkie be interesting?  I thought so, since it is a profound change in my eyes.  (anti-reading to rabid-reading seems like it'd be a profound change, at least...)

Typically I've been hearing about bloggers gushing over the Twilight series, and how the books were what convinced them to give reading another shot.  That wasn't what happened for me.  Twilight didn't appeal to me, and while I was obsessed with vampires at the time--Interview with the Vampire, the movie, anyone?  Brad Pitt and Antonio were sexy, sexy vamps--I wasn't an official 100% paranormal addict yet.  That would come later.

I read a little bit between my high school classes, soccer practices, and Final Fantasy (for PlayStation) binges.  But the type of reading was... well, fanfiction.  Which is ironic, because my beloved series was actually discovered through a fanfiction.  The person basically was doing a spin-off of the plot from some random book, and the idea of a long awaited queen, pleasure slaves, and a love story smack-dab in the middle intrigued me.

Hauling ass to B&N, I discovered the trilogy I so desperately yearned for.  Sitting beautifully on the shelf, in the science fiction section was The Black Jewels Trilogy written by the wonderful author Anne Bishop.

Daughter of the Blood
was my first real excursion into the world of fiction, and boy was that a journey.  Before then, I had never read anything truly involving romance (read: sex) before.  Yeah, there were books that alluded to it, but there was nothing that truly explored the idea.  Of course I was curious to see what would happen.  If you have read this series, then I'm sure you remember the heartbreaking scenes in the first book and what happens to little Jaenelle.  I'm actually scared of re-reading it, because it made me so sad.

Despite the heartbreaking scenes in the first book, I finished it in a day.  When the heck do I read books in a day?  Aside from Harry Potter, which was a one time deal when I was a little goober, reading books that quickly was blasphemous.  Well, now it happens more often than I would have expected...  But back then?  NEVER.

I dug into Heir to the Shadows next, growing even more invested in this world.  The points of view of Daemon, Lucivar, and Saetan were intriguing.  When the heck did I ever care what a dude thought in a book?  I used to enjoy--whenever I read fanfictions, because I never set foot near a real book before then, ew!--experiencing the world through the heroine.  I used to want to imagine the dreamy pixels on my tv screen from the girl's perspective.  Now, I suddenly savored the emotions all three of these alphas experienced.  They ripped my heart to shreds, taped it back together, and then ripped it apart once more.  Once again, finished in a day.

Finally, I tore into Queen of the Darkness the "end" (except not really because there's like 5 more books out now based in this world [which is totally awesome]) of this trilogy, and I was so mad as I closed the book, because the ending wasn't as happy as I wanted it to be.  What the hell happened to Daemon and Jaenelle's happily ever after?  I WANTED A HEA!  As you can see from my little outburst/outrage, this was one of the true starts to my honorary HEA addiction.  I don't tend to enjoy stories unless there is some sort of romance involved, and I'll usually be discontent if the hero/heroine aren't together at some point.  I blame The Black Jewels Trilogy as a major contributor to this obsession.

Just as I was about to give up hope, guess what I found out?  There was a fourth book!  Dreams Made Flesh was the happy ending I yearned for.  And I suddenly found myself hooked to not only my first favorite author, but also a new phenomenon: alpha males.  While I read BJT, I never noticed how alpha the three men in this series were.  Suddenly, however, upon reading DMF, it clicked.  And boy, were they even sexier in my eyes because of it.

Which--don't ask me how--leads me to the first paranormal romance series I ever read: The Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole.  This woman is a genius.  Werewolves. with. Scottish. accents.  GIVE ME MORE!

The addiction's only worsened after that, I'm afraid.

So the moral of the story?  1) Don't write your guest posts at 5 in the morning.  2) Don't hate on fanfictions--that's directed towards you, authors--because when people do spinoffs of your work, it helps spread the word. 

But more importantly?  3) Sexy alpha males = win.

Happy birthday, Heather! :)

Thanks for doing your first guest post for Darkly Reading! I am very honored! I feel after your post I need to rush out and start reading Anne Bishop and more fanfiction - great post! Please check out Tori's blog and follow her on twitter!

So now I'm dying to know: have any of you heard of this author?  Do you enjoy her books?  And more importantly, what was your first book/series that made you into the bookaholic you are today?

Don't forget to enter in my favorite firsts giveaway!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Favorite Firsts Interview with Carolyn Crane - Author of Mind Games

Please welcome to Darkly Reading the lovely author and blogger Carolyn Crane. If you haven't guessed by now her book Mind Games (my review) was one of my favorite books so far in 2010!

First of all, Happy Birthday, Heather! Thanks for having me for your fabulous firsts event! I feel very honored. I hope you have a wonderful year of books, blogging (and excellent real life stuff, of course).

Your book, Mind Games, has kind of a comic book feel with the creation of a city that is modern but fantasy (Midcity is like a less dark version of Gotham City), a group of humans (the highcaps) that it is theorized to have gained their powers by way of environmental pollutant induced genetic changes, and a shadowy group of vigilantes that work for the greater good (the disillusionists) - was that your plan with your world-building - to build it with a comic book feel or did it just turn out that way? Are you a reader of comic books - any favorites?

I love your description of it! I didn’t grow up with a major comic book thing, but I consumed a lot of wacky 1970’s TV after school, like Get Smart, Batman, Wonder Woman, Six Million Dollar Man, graduated to action adventure movies. And I was the biggest Nancy Drew junkie ever. So, I feel like I’m coming out of more of an adventure tradition.  That said, I was heavy into Judge Dredd comic books for some time, and I know that’s in Mind Games a bit.

Midcity is a character on it’s own (it even has it's own website) - did you build "the tangle" based on any "favorite" traffic mess in the cities Midcity is based on? What cities did you base Midcity on?

Midcity is a blend of the fantastical Chicago/Milwaukee of my childhood imagination. Basically, I grew up in suburbs of Chicago and Milwaukee. Once a year or so, we’d pack into the station wagon and head to a downtown museum, so all I ever knew of Chicago, and later Milwaukee, besides museums, was the dark, magical, foreboding stuff out the windows—giant highway loops, screaming metal bridges, towering buildings, masses of people who looked nothing like they did in the suburbs. Chicago in particular was like the city version of the enchanted forest to me, full of danger and exciting possibility.

The tangle has a bit of “the spaghetti bowl” in it (a Chicago highway exchange) but it’s also based on some highway exchanges encountered on car trips to Florida.

This is one of the first more urban fantasy books I've read that have a love square..or maybe love star going on - are you going to start making Team shirts for Packard, Sanchez or maybe even Cubby? Which man have your readers loved the most? Do you have any particular actors in mind when you think about the characters (I think of Benjamin Bratt for Sanchez)?

Actually, I’ve had some people split into “team cucumber” and “team kebab.” I totally loved that, though I feel bad that one of those teams will be losing. In a big way. What’s interesting is that in my mind the hero seems totally evident to me - I was actually surprised anybody went on the team of the one who is not the hero. Though, I won’t be saying who that is. But, it will be plain by the end of Book 2.

Cubby? LOL. Poor Cubby is out.  I like the idea of Benjamin Bratt as Otto, though I’ve always pictured Otto as a larger man, like Raul Julia (RIP). And, Kevin McKidd would make a fine Packard.

I love the idea of the disillusionists - truthfully I think I would be most susceptible to Justine's power since I'm a bit of a hypochondriac myself - which disillusionist would you be most susceptible too? Which one is your favorite? Will we meet any new disillusionists in future books?

I would be most susceptible to Helmut, because I can easily get darkly obsessed about current events, though I have a bit of hypochondriac in me, too. My fave is probably Shelby. I love to write her lines.  

How did you come up with the idea?

The way it happened is that I had just read a hugely depressing sort of philosophical book (Straw Dogs by John Gray) that takes a dismal view of humanity. It made me feel really awful, and I thought, if I had an enemy, I would give them this book as a gift, so that they could feel as disillusioned as I did. In fact, I actually recommended it to somebody I was mad at. Then I thought, what if there were people who disillusioned other people for money?  Hey, that would make a great fantasy book!

How did you come up with the ideas for vein star syndrome and Osiris virus? Are they based on real diseases? Also how does a rakishly worn beret protect your head from bumps that can lead to an onslaught of the vein star syndrome - unless beret is made of hard hat material?

To a hypochondriac, diseases are just a version of monsters in the closet, so I didn’t need to use real ones. Plus, I never want to seem like I’m mocking real health issues, which are scary and hard for so many people. That said, they all contain a grain of true diseases. Vein star syndrome is a fancy brain hemorrhage, and there  really is a skin condition like Osiris - it’s called Morgellons. I don’t suggest Googling it. It’s kind of a freaker. 

On the beret, it doesn’t protect the head. It’s a clothing form of placebo for Otto.

Will there be new evil masterminds like the brick slinger from Mind Games in future books - any teasers you can give us about Double Cross? Your series is listed as a trilogy - are you hoping to write any more books beyond the first three in the setting of Midcity?

Teasers: Okay, in Double Cross, there’s this trio of serial killers going after highcaps—they are immune to highcap powers, and Packard, Otto and all their friends are in great danger. Justine makes some hard choices about what she is doing with her life. Also Otto and Packard evolve a lot: one is on a journey of redemption, and the other “descends into a pit of moral depravity.” (that’s from the unreleased back blurb)  I won’t say which guy is on which journey.

I may do short pieces beyond book #3 - definitely one for Simon.

If you were trapped in Mongolian Delights by your archenemy (like Packard is) - what would be required for you to survive your incarceration? Also what foods would be required to be served on the menu?

Oh, boy! That is a great question. I would want to be in a Mexican restaurant instead of Mongolian Delites for sure. The menu can’t be changed once a person is trapped, but maybe beforehand, could we put some burritos on the menu? And, hopefully my computer and my cats could be there. And, if my husband would come visit, then it would more or less duplicate my life in my office.

Great answers Carolyn - I would also chose to be trapped in a Mexican restaurant! Mmmmh fajitas and burritos every day - I think I would grow a big food belly!

Please stop by Carolyn's blog, website, and you can follow her on twitter too! And don't forget you can enter to win her book in my favorite firsts giveaway so make sure to sign up!

The questions today are (if you don't have questions for Carolyn) - what disillusionist would you be most susceptible to - hypochondriac, negative world view, gambling, anger issues, etc.? Or are you team kebab or team cucumber (go team cucumber!) ?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Favorite Firsts with Darkly Reading and Not-Really Southern Vamp Chick

Today we have one of my favorite bloggers - Amanda from Not Really Southern Vamp Chick visiting Darkly Reading and we are doing a little Q & A of our favorites and firsts. Stay tuned to the end and read how you can enter in Amanda's giveaway for my birthday!

(I love Amanda's button!)

What are your favorite stand-alone and series books of all time? What have been some of your favorite reads from this year?

Heather: Some of my favorite series are - Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series, Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series (Ohh Curan!), and Larissa Ione's Demonica series. Some favorite reads from this year are Mind Games by Carolyn Crane, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber, Angels Blood and Archangels Kiss by Nalini Singh. I must also mention I started the Black Dagger Brotherhood series this year at the urging of many of my smart book buddies from the blog and twitter. I am loving the BDB boys but things got a little intense so I'm taking a bit of a breather during V's book. So far my favorite has been Zsadist! 

Amanda: Let's see, my favorite stand-alones would have to be The Giver by Lois Lowry, Mandy by Julie Edwards (I loved it as a kid, probably b/c I was called Mandy when I was little,lol. I still have it too!), and A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. My favorite series are The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey, anything by Richelle Mead, Nightworld by L.J. Smith, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Favorite reads from this year are the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, Soulless by Gail Carriger, Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler, Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells, Moonshine by Alaya Johnson, and Embers by Laura Bickle.

H: Great picks from this year Amanda - add Tempest Rising and Red-Headed Stepchild to my list too!
Do you prefer vampires/ werewolves/ angels/ demons/ other? What has been your favorite paranormal being you've read in books that you had never heard of before reading that book?

H: So I'm an equal opportunity paranormal reader - I love them all (except perhaps the lessers from J.R. Wards BDB series - they are super creapy!) I think my favorite new to me paranormal are probably the disillusionists from Carolyn Crane's new series.

A: I've always loved vampires and always will. They are very much my favorites. In the past few months I've become very fond of shifters as well, though. Hmmm, something I hadn't heard of before reading that book... Embers had a unique thing or two that I really hadn't heard much about before. I've read a lot of mythology so I don't run across much that I haven't heard of before in some form or another.
What is your favorite type of hero/ heroine?

H: I totally have a Mr. Darcy complex - I love those heroes that are stand-offish and don't want to fall in love with the heroine but when they do they fall hard!

A: I like all kinds. It gets boring to read the same kinds of books all the time, so I like having different kinds of people to read about. With that said, I don't like reading about whiny, pitiful girls that can't do anything without the hero. Bleh!

Favorite sexy scene in a paranormal romance? 
H:Umm..Chapter 32 from Jeanine Frost's Night Huntress series is one of my favorites!

A: It's more of an urban fantasy, but Night Huntress's Cat and Bones! You all know what Chapter if you've read it! :D

H:See great minds think alike :)
First paranormal you read?
H: I was a big fantasy reader when I was younger (David Eddings, Robin McKinley, Terry Goodkind) then I went through a literary fiction phase, and then I read Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series and I've been reading paranormals ever since.

A: Umm, Does a Wrinkle in Time count or is that more fantasy,sci-fi? I guess Twilight.

First book to make you tear up a little? 
H: I don't want to give to much away for those who haven't read the Night Huntress series but I think it was in the third book when a certain favorite vampire of mine might be dead I got a little misty-eyed.

A: Anne of Green Gables I think.

First book full of smexy scenes?
H: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris...ohh Eric!

A: Hmmm. Maybe one of Christine Feehan's Dark books? Not sure, something from the library. Oh wait no it was some awful romance book that I've tried to block from my memory.

First book to make you want to post a review about it?
H: Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready - loved that book!

A: I posted a few before this, but I really wanted to post reviews for the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost.

First author to do a guest post/interview on your blog?

H: Leanna Renee Heiber interview - it was lots of fun and she had some great pictures.

A: David  Naill Wilson guest post.

Thanks Amanda for stopping by and you can find Amanda here: 

Blog: Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick
Twitter: @NRSVampChick

Now onto Amanda's giveaway - she has offered to buy one of my lovely readers a book present (under $10 from book depository-so international!) of any of the books we mentioned in the interview (and we mentioned alot). All you have to do to enter is answer one of the questions in the interview in the comments section. And since she is such a wonderful person make sure to visit her blog and follow her on twitter!

Don't forget to enter my Favorite Firsts Birthday Bash if you haven't yet!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Birthday Bash Week

Hi Everyone! So my birthday week has arrived and I have a birthday bash full of guest posts and an awesome giveaway! Darkly Reading will have visits from some of her favorite bloggers and authors this week so be sure to stop by and join in the fun. Now onto the giveaway - I've had alot of fun during my first six months blogging and now that it's my birthday I wanted to give my lovely readers some books - so please fill out the form and pick which book from some of my favorite series you would like to win (and the giveaway is for where ever the book depository delivers!). You also get to help me pick which books I should get for my birthday from the birthday bash list - I'm horribly indecisive so I'm looking forward to see what you guys pick. 1st place winner gets to pick 3 books from my favorite firsts list and for every 50 new followers a new winner will be able to pick 1 book off the favorite firsts or birthday bash list. So remember come back and comment all week for extra entries and I hope you enjoy celebrating my birthday with me!

 Favorite Firsts

 Birthday Bash


The contest goes till July 5th!

Come by tomorrow (Monday) for my interview with Amanda from Not Really Southern Vamp Chick as we discuss favorites and firsts and she is giving away a birthday pressie too! 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interview with Chloe Neill - author of Chicagoland Vampires series and a Giveaway

Today we have Chloe Neill the author of the Chicagoland Vampires series (see my review for Some Girls Bite here and my review of Friday Nights Bite is coming up tomorrow). As you can tell from my review I am a big fan of the series and recommend everyone to check it out! So please read Chloe's interview and answer the question below to be entered to win some Twice Bitten swag (open to US/Canada). And don't forget Twice Bitten comes out July 6th!

Chloe: Hi, everyone! *waves*

Darkly Reading: In the Chicagoland Vampires series, the vampires are part of society's elite, they even have paparazzi that follow them - why did you decide to make your vampires part of the elite rather than have them part of the dark underbelly of society?

Because I thought the elite and celebrity aspects were more in keeping with what the reality might look like. If vampires really existed under the radar for so many years, I think they would have slowly worked their way into the political system and the financial system in order to protect themselves from humans. Whereas, if they were part of the dark underbelly, the police and such would be more apt to look at them. And in our society, the new and different often becomes celebrities, so it made sense to me that (after some initial panic) vampires would, as well.

I love the idea of the vampire houses in the series. Besides the house emblems and fancy Armani "uniform" do the houses have any other traditions, secret handshakes, or special dances we'll learn about in future books? Do we get to read about Merit's adventures as the social chair in Twice Bitten?

Actually, crises keep Merit from truly diving into the social chair aspects, but we definitely see her becoming more involved with the other House vampires. We also learn about an important Cadogan House tradition in Twice Bitten, and we discover what the "RG" cards in Friday Night Bites referred to. So, yes, some House secrets will be revealed!

Talking about Merit, I admire a girl, or vampire, with a whole drawer in her kitchen devoted to chocolate. What's up with Merit's chocolate stash? What are her favorite and chocolate non grata for the drawer? Do you have a similar drawer as well (I have a chocolate shelf in my kitchen cabinet)?

Thanks!! Merit loves chocolate, and collects it a bit obsessively, I suppose. :) She loves dark chocolate, and I think she'd be all about the chocolate-and-bacon fad. She'd probably have four or five of those bars.

I don't have a chocolate shelf of my own right now, although I do have a few favorites in my snack bowl- including the dark chocolate Moose Munch bars from Harry & David. And I always have a bag of snack size Kit Kats in the freezer. (They're even better cold!)

One of my favorite parts of the Chicagoland Vampire series is the men! Ahh Catcher, Morgan, and Ethan (sometimes) are equal parts deliciously sexy and infuriating (especially Ethan). Did you realize when you wrote the books that your readers would form "Teams" for your characters and on-line battles would ensue? Do you have a favorite or do you find it changes as the series goes on?

I actually figured readers would form teams around the Houses--which are teams in and of themselves. But I guess we don't see too much of the other Houses initially, so it makes sense there's a Team Ethan and a Team Morgan. I even made T-shirts in my Cafepress store! I love all my leading men in different ways, although I'm definitely rooting for one to ultimately win Merit's heart. But we'll have to see if he can rise to the challenge!

Since I mentioned my favorite - mmmhh Catcher - I'm wondering if you have any plans to write any books or short stories based on some of the side characters in the books?

I would love to write some short stories--and I think Catcher, Mallory and Jeff would be perfect for that. It's just a matter of having the time to do it! :)

Are we going to need any new "Team" jerseys after reading Twice Bitten?  With the shifters coming to town I can already see Gabriel becoming a favorite!

I suppose you "Team Jonah" t-shirts might be popular. :) And that's all I'll say about that. Gabriel is definitely a fun character; I have a lot of fun writing about him.

I love Chicago and was wondering how you decided on setting your series there? Do you ever find yourself somewhere in the city and think "Merit would love this store!" or "Ethan wouldn't be caught undead here"? Any late night Cubs games in the future for the series?

I also love Chicago--the history, architecture, politics and food. I thought all of those things created a fabulous--well, I almost said "background," but the city really is its own character in the novels. (I think someone said that about NYC in Sex and the City, and I feel the same way about Chitown.)

There are definitely places the characters would love--Merit would adore Greer and Lou Mitchell's (which I also love). Ethan, not so much Lou's. He's more of a prix fixe kind of guy.

Will we be seeing a published version of Canon of the North American Vampires - I thought that chapter 2 about servicing your lord looked particularly intriguing?

I would LOVE to write a Canon. I have an outline, and there are a couple of snippets online. Again, it's a matter of finding the time, as I have a dayjob that I very much love. There just aren't enough hours in the day!

Lastly are there any hints you can give us about what's coming up in Twice Bitten? How many books are you hoping to publish in the Chicagoland Vampire series?

I'll keep writing as long as folks keep reading them. I'd originally planned eight, but things escalate somewhat in TB, so I'm currently reimagining the timeline. :) (Does that count as a hint??)

Thanks for visiting Darkly Reading Chloe!

Thanks so much for having me! It was an absolute pleasure.

Places you can find Chloe Neill:
Her blog: Daily Snark
Twitter: @ChloeNeill

(note: images from (Cadogan House & Cadogan emblem or Lou Mitchell's website)

Now onto the Giveaway: How important is location to you in your books? Do you like the location being a city that exists or a fictional town?

To Enter: Answer the question above and leave your e-mail address in the response. Please remember that this is a US/Canada giveaway only for Twice Bitten Swag. You have a week to enter. And since you're stopping by please feel free to follow me and Chloe's blogs or twitter accounts!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review of Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill - Vampires + Chicago = Awesome!

Title: Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1)
Author: Chloe Neill
Pages: 341 pages, paperback
Genre: urban fantasy
Standalone/Series: series
Release: already out
Publisher: NAL Trade
Purchased by me
Author info:
Spoiler Alert: In the clear
Good Reads Blurb: First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student’s introduction into a society of vampires. Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker—and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead. Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude— and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood. 

I don't know what I love more about this book - the heroine was a graduate student that now wields a katana or that it takes place in Chicago and has so many awesome Chicago details from Cubs, to hot dogs with green relish and peppers, and the Loop. Merit is heading across the campus of University of Chicago late at night when a violent attack changes her life forever. Merit's savior, and maker, turns out to be Ethan Sullivan, the head of Cadogan House, one of the four vampires houses in Chicago. Merit has to deal with issues of being turned a vampire without consent, losing her position at the univerersity, and having to swear allegiance to an arrogant and rude Master vampire. Merit also finds out that her attack wasn't the only one perpetrated by a vampire in her city and she ends up tangled up with a larger plot and mystery that might resolve in her second death.

Merit is thrown into the world of vampires and expected to accept and adapt to her new world immediately, but like any good graduate student she questions - the rules she is now bound by and the motivation for the attack and her change by Ethan. The vampires in Ms. Neill's world have recently come out to the human world following the lead of one of Chicago's other house masters - Celina of Navarre House. Thankfully, Merit doesn't have to face her new life as a vampire alone, she has her quirky and humorous roommate Mallory to help her out with her new blood requirements (bagged blood with some Tabasco sauce and celery on the side) and new extreme sun allergy. Mallory also gets tied up in the supernatural world and gets entangled with the ridiculously sexy sorcerer Catcher. (Go Team Catcher!) I must also mention the other guide to Merit's new supernatural life - The Canon of the North American Vampire Houses - which has such winningly titled chapters as Servicing your Lord and Vampires - who's on top?

I can't tie up this review without mentioning the incredibly handsome and incredibly arrogant Master vampire - Ethan. Ethan definitely has the "Mr. Darcy" complex going on when it comes to his attraction to Merit and man am I a sucker for a potential love interest who is arrogant and aloof yet having a dark and hungry passion burning just below the surface for Merit. The sexual tension between Merit and Ethan is a burning thing but can Merit really give herself to someone who hates the fact that he is attracted to her? Thankfully for Merit, now that she's dropped the books and been changed into a super strong vampire the boys seem to be lining up for her.

Overall this book is a 4.5 out of 5 stars for me, Merit has emerged from the library stacks to kick some vampire ass!

Review of Devil Inside by Jenna Black - Dark and sexy with lots of ass-kicking!

Title: The Devil Inside (Morgan Kingsley #1)
Author: Jenna Black
Pages: 336 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Standalone/Series: Series
Release:  Already Out
Publisher: Spectra
Purchased by me
Author info:
Spoiler Alert: mostly in the clear
Good Reads blurb:Posession. Murder. Mayhem. Let the games begin...Exorcism isn't a job, it's a calling and a curse. Just ask Morgan Kingsley, a woman who has a stronger aura than any Demon. Or so she thought. Now, in a pair of black leather pants and a kick-ass tattoo, Morgan is heading back to Philadelphia after a nasty little exorcism and her life is about to be turned upside down by the Demon that's gotten inside her. Not just any Demon. Six foot five inches of dark, delicious temptation, this one is to die for;that is, if he doesn't get Morgan killed first. Because while some humans vilify Demons and others idolize them, Morgan's Demon is leading a war of succession no human has ever imagined. For a woman trying to live a life, and hold on to the almost-perfect man, being possessed by a gorgeous rebel Demon will mean a wild ride of uninhibited thrills, shocking surprises, and pure, unadulterated terror. . . .

This book had a little of everything – demon ass kicking, betrayal, and possession as well as phone sex, some S & M, and a little man loving sprinkled in.  Morgan Kinsley, the reluctant heroine of this story, is a modern day exorcist who has very personal reasons to hate both the legal and illegal forms of demon possession that occurs in her world. Unfortunately she gets mixed-up in a battle between different factions in the demon world and is forced to choose a side. Her decisions and her position on the matter make her some very powerful enemies that will stop at nothing to destroy her. Unfortunately, Morgan also has serious trust issues, and she is really good at making enemies of potential allies. With all the mistakes Morgan makes along the way while she continues to be the reluctant heroine, it will be amazing if she makes it out alive.

The action in this book is non-stop as Morgan gets herself out of one deadly situation then makes mistakes and lands in a worse situation. Morgan has a gigantic chip on her shoulder, so big I wouldn’t be surprised if she lists towards one side while she walks, and it stops her from trusting others and she tends to make really bad situations even worse. So many times during the book I wanted to shake her and say –what were you thinking – which is also the mark of a good book too since I cared so much about the choices she makes. During the novel Morgan definitely is reluctant to grow up and change her world view but she does and I can’t wait to read what happens to her in the future installments.

This book does have a good dose of sex and darkness too that made me a little twitchy. Though all this mixes in well with the main story so at least there is no gratuitous S & M but this book is definitely not for those who get squeamish with such things.

This is a 3.5 out of 5 for me, dark and sexy with a fair amount of ass-kicking!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What's up on Darkly Reading? - Need Some Birthday Book Recommendations!

I thought I would give you guys a heads-up for up-coming events on Darkly Reading over the next two weeks - first off I will have the lovely Chloe Neill, the author of one of my favorite vampire series, Chicagoland vampires, coming by to do an interview on the 17th and reviews of Some Girls Bite and Friday Nights Bite (books I just re-read this weekend) coming up on Wednesday. The new book in the series - Twice Bitten - is coming out on July 6th and I am so excited. Perhaps I am so excited because this book combines a graduate student (which I am) going from book worm to kick-ass (I'm still waiting for that transition to happen) and one of my favorite cities - Chicago. Stay tuned for more about this series (and Ethan) and the secrets on Merit's chocolate drawer later this week.

Also, I'm having a birthday next week and to celebrate I'm having a giveaway/contest. The contest is called my Favorite Firsts contests and I will be hosting authors and book bloggers on my site and we'll be talking about our favorites or our firsts (all referring to books of course) as well as having a giveaway. To get things rolling I wanted to ask for book recommendations for books I should get myself for my birthday - are there any books you think I would love and suggest I run out now and buy - let me know! And next week will be the vote for what I should get for my birthday! So start those suggestions!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review of Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur - I will miss you sexy vampire Quinn!

Title: Moon Sworn (Riley Jensen, #9)
Author: Keri Arthur
Pages: 368 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Standalone/Series: Series
Release:  Already Out
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Purchased book
Author info: Keri Arthur's website
Spoiler Alert: Spoilers for previous books
Goodreads Blurb: Some nights never end. Some desires never die. . . . She ventures where no one else dares—into realms of peril and pleasure. But will this next journey be her last?

Shape-shifting werewolf and vampire Riley Jenson is through with death–causing it, solving it, surviving it. Her soul mate, Kye Murphy, is dead–and at Riley’s own hands. Not even the seductive embrace of her vampire lover, Quinn, can fully ease her mind, for she has begun questioning everything that makes her Riley–including her job at the Directorate. Now, the ritualistically slain bodies of ex-cons have started turning up. Reluctantly, Riley takes the case, but something even worse is waiting in the wings. For a vicious enemy from her past is determined to strip Riley of everything that gives her life any meaning: her lover, her brother–and even her own identity. Can Riley survive this ultimate assault? All she knows is, she must fight one last time to find answers, before everything goes dark forever…

Moon Sworn is the last installment in the Riley Jensen series is a bittersweet moment for me, I want Riley to get her happy ever after, or some kind of happy ending, but I’m sad to see the series end. Throughout this nine book series Riley has been betrayed, beaten, and broken as well as had surprisingly bad and good taste in men. I haven’t always liked Riley during this series, though she has definitely developed from a self-centered girl into a woman who has learned to care about more than herself. Now in the last novel a Riley has emerged that is capable of taking the time to evaluate what is important to her, finally is letting in and depending on people who love her, and dare I say is willing to compromise on those dreams she had as a child to find some future happiness.

Moon Sworn picks up a few months after the events from Bound to Shadows. Riley is still trying to recover from the guilt and pain of Kade’s death as well as Kye’s – her soulmate. The first scene of this book (you can see an excerpt here)  had me tearing up as Riley is paying her respects to Kade. Riley is definitely more broken emotionally at the start of this novel than in previous books and is having to face a lot of her personal demons. Add to the mix the ominous warning that Kye imparted to her about her old corrupt alpha Blake still plotting his revenge and Riley has a lot to worry about. And the type of revenge move that Blake puts into play was not what I expect but evil all the same. Thankfully, Riley has family and friends like Rhoan, Liander, and we must-not forget sexy vampire lover Quinn who are always looking out for her and try to protect her. Though I wasn’t a big Quinn fan in the earlier novels, Quinn is so sweet and supportive of Riley in the later novels of the series and this book is no exception. If the book was lacking anything it was more Quinn time for me - I'm greedy like that.

When Blake puts his diabolical plan in motion to ruin Riley and Rhoan’s life, I was definitely on the edge of my seat hoping that Riley’s friends would make it to her in time to save her. Even though this is the last book, Ms. Arthur does not go easy on Riley. Riley is also still fighting her internal struggle of whether she is a killer or not and meant to be a Guardian as she sees herself sliding down the same life path that her brother Rhoan has taken. There are some resolutions to these struggles and now I hope Riley can finally have a slightly more peaceful life! The ending of the book was a great series ending though we will get to see peeks into Riley and her family's life in the new series based on Risa (a side character in these books) that Ms. Arthur is writing.

4 out of 5 stars for me, it's hard to let go of such a deliciously sexy series but part we must! I will miss you Quinn!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review of The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells

Title: Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, #2)
Authors: Jaye Wells
Pages: 326 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Standalone/Series: Series
Release:  Already Out
Publisher: Orbit
Received from publisher
Author info: Jaye Wells website
Spoiler Alert: Spoilers for book 1 - Red Headed Step Child (see review here)
Goodreads Blurb: Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she's some kind of 'Chosen' who'll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn't care who chose her, she's not into destiny. But the mages aren't Sabina's only problem. In New York's Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she'd take a bite out of the Big Apple - but it looks like it wants to bite back.

How can you go wrong with a book that has a Demon Fight Club in it – I mean really? This second entry into the Sabina Kane series is, dare I say it, even better than the first – Red-Headed Step Child. In Mage in Black, Sabina is recovering from the betrayal of her grandmother, the head of the vampire race, and is going to New York City to meet the twin sister that she just learned she had who is also the leader of the mages. Sabina’s life has been thrown into real upheaval and she faces all these problems with her same type of sarcastic and stubborn demeanor that has earned her so many friends in the past (not really). Soon upon her arrival to the city, Sabina faces new attempts on her life though the person behind these attempts still remains a mystery. Sabina also has to learn how to deal with family, her twin sister Maise, who is genuinely happy to meet her – which is not something Sabina is used to dealing with.

Sabina doesn’t just have family to deal with but also a potential heating up of her relationship with the sexy mancy Adam. Sabina is still struggling with her prejudices against mages and having any type of romantic relationship with a mage, even one as sexy as Adam, makes the situation pretty complicated. Especially considering the ill-fated love affair her mother (a vampire) and father (a mage) had. Add in her reconnection with an old “friend” and she has a lot to contemplate. Thank goodness Sabina faces all these crazy upheavals in her life with her trusty demon minion Gighul. I love Gighul! He is such an awesome demon minion/ comedic sidekick and always says the most inappropriate comments at the perfect moment. And leave it to Gighul to get tied up with a Demon Fight Club ring (guess what the first rule is..hehe..) and spend all his earnings with some sexy nymph playmates.

There are many plot developments in this story and you start to see some developments in Sabina beyond the constant tough girl attitude. Although there is less mythology in this book about the development of the Dark Races we do learn a little more about the Caste of Nod and about Sabina’s destiny. Though as you can guess with Sabina she is not a fan of following her destiny.

This book was a 4.5 out of 5 stars for me, Sabina Kane and her demon minion Gighul make an awesome comedic and ass-kicking team.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up: My first reading challenge - Yummy books!

This weekend I participated in my first reading challenge (hosted by Mother Reader) - do I really need an excuse to read all weekend - nope - but now I know how much time I spend reading during a weekend. And since I have alot of awesome books to read I have a good reason to join the challenge! So here is my finish line post of what I've read.

7:30-11:30 Kicked back with some Chardonnay and started Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
9:30-11:30 After 2 cups of coffee was finally able to open my eyes and finish Blood Feud
11:30-12:30 Did some blog reading and twittering since I can't stay away from twitter!
12:30-2:30 Started on Siren by Tricia Rayburn (So good and spooky!)
2:30-4:30 Girl's gotta eat..and shop
4:30-5:30 More Siren time!
5:30-5:45 Little break to rest my heart from Siren
5:45-10   Back to Siren
Good Night!
9:30-12:30 3 cups of coffee this morning and I finished Siren so good! Now on to Wolf Flight by Vivian Arend - so good and short it was quickly consumed!
12:30-2:30 shower, web surfing, and food
2:30-3:00 trying to write reviews
3:00-6:30 Read and finished Into the Dark by Gena Showalter (Those warriors are hot!)
6:30 - met to write reviews but ended up having dinner and watching MTV movie awards (how'd the Parks & Rec dude ended up being host I just don't understand!)
Total Reading/Review Time: 21.5 (started at 7pm on Friday and ended at 7pm on Sunday)
So there's my weekend reading snapshot - are you guys big book consumers on the weekends?