Monday, June 30, 2008

THREE NIGHTS OF SIN by Anne Mallory

When Marietta Winters' brother is arrested for murder, she discovers there is only one person in town willing to help her prove his innocence. Gabriel Noble's price is steep, but he is willing to work for three favors called due at his discretion. Marietta agrees and discovers that Gabriel has more reason to find the murderer than she does.

The title and the book blurb really intrigued me (I could do without the cover art), but I found the story dealt more with the events that led up to THE THREE NIGHTS OF SIN opposed to the nights themselves. Although not what I had bargained for, the book still held its own. There were a few places of description that wobbled, but nothing that was irritating.

Ms Mallory's writing style is very clean and enjoyable. Her characters are fantastic, and I loved the way they were evenly matched. I rooted for them from page one.

Her plotting is good and easy to follow except for a few 'did I miss something' moments. This was easily forgiven when a major hook, about three fourths into the story, had me turning the pages before I finished the last words. I had to see how this was going to be handled and I was on pins and needles hoping the characters would make me proud.

Overall, I think this author has a lot to offer and will improve with each book she writes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hopefully, it's clearer than mud.

I am in the middle of one of those scenes where you hope the reader will fully understand why a character has done something a little odd. I keep checking to see if all of it is clear but let's face it, I can't preface the chapter with a one sentence synopsis of what the chapter entails. Hmm, that would be an interesting approach. Maybe a footnote that says, in case I wasn't clear, this is why this happened. Nah. That's why it's called work. ;) I'll put it to the side, come back, and see if I am able to follow along. After that, it's up to crit partners. Thank goodness for them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Amazon.com

I don't know why I feel this is such a right of passage, but I'M ON AMAZON.COM!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

: )

I found this comment on a loop:

"I just finished Carol's book, Cost of Freedom, a few minutes ago and my
pulse has yet to return to normal! It's truly a phenomenal read!"

It doesn't get any better than this, does it?

Monday, June 23, 2008

DARK RIVAL by Brenda Joyce

DARK RIVAL is the story of Allie Monroe, a healer, and her protector, Royce. Able to time travel, Royce appears in present day New York and guards Allie from darkness as she heals others. When Royce is murdered in front of her, Allie forces his friend, Aidan, to take her back in time to prevent his death from happening.

I realize this is not the first book in the series, but I was lost for a good section of the book. The author did continue to reference the backstory, but this proved more annoying than helpful. I did at least grasp the concept of the story.

Allie knows her calling in life, almost too well, and is portrayed with a solid strength. She was likable until she and Royce were reunited. At this point, she came across as overbearing and whiny, which resulted in him appearing wimpy. Royce doesn't know what to think of this woman who keeps insisting that she is in love with him. He is sworn to a code and does try to keep her safe, even when she does everything to encourage 'evil' to find her.

The plot is filled with undeveloped, secondary characters with storylines that lacked continuity and believability. The scenes with the queen and Royce only served to undermine his character and distanced Allie from me as a reader.

There were glimmers of hope, but these all fizzled. I really wanted, and tried, to like this book. I love time travel stories. This one, even with all of its false starts, never came across.

I know, I know

If I say, I'm exhausted, will you automatically assume that my daughter visited for the weekend?! She did and we had fun, although I find it difficult for an introverted person to entertain an extrovert. One area of common ground is B&N. I did feel a twinge of guilt buying more books when I just made a killing with a gift certificate, but... hey, it was my birthday. :D

HAUNTING RACHEL by Kay Hooper

EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE by Carla Cassidy

The following two, I'm not sure about. I asked the customer service lady to recommend something in the lines of Evanovich...we'll see how they compare. They do look fun.

PEACH COBBLER MURDER by Joanne Fluke

MURDER GETS A LIFE by Anne George

I think I need to let my credit card breathe for a while. The poor thing is plum tuckered out not to mention, my tbr pile is gaining on my read pile. I do enjoy how they look on the bookshelf though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A surprise

Don't you love it when you whittle down your to-do list? What a feeling.

On another note...I got a nice surprise today--a B&N gift certificate. So, I spent the day browsing for new authors. This is what I found:

THE MASQUE OF THE BLACK TULIP by Lauren Willig

A TOUCH OF MINX by Suzanne Enoch

I'M WATCHING YOU by Karen Rose

PARLOR GAMES by Jess Michaels, Julia Templeton, and Leda Swann

DANGEROUS TO KNOW by Mary Jo Putney

What a nice way to end the day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Focus!

Ugh! I have the day off, my laundry is caught up, and I can't motivate myself to write. Not fun. It's not like I don't know what happens in this chapter. The bones are there, I just need to flesh them out.

Last night I was up very late trying to put out an emotional fire. Maybe that has something to do with my slump. I hope that's all it is.

Okay...game plan...big breath, clear head, go read for a while, maybe I need a few hours to relax. Yeah, that should help, maybe a mini nap, too. Shhh, quiet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Win a SONY E-READER


The Wild Rose Press wants you to have a SONY eReader!

All this summer (June 11 – August 31), every time you purchase a title by any of these sponsoring authors (see list below), you will be eligible to enter our drawing to win a SONY eReader. The drawing will be held on Tuesday evening, September 2, 2008 at our weekly chat (9:00 p.m. eastern). (You do not need to be present in the chat room to win).

When you purchase any title from these authors simply email your order number to: SONYREADER@thewildrosepress.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Make sure you have a current email address and/or include your contact information so we can find you if you win.

You may enter as many times this summer as you wish. If you purchase more than one title in the same order, feel free to send two emails and include the order twice. We will verify that you did indeed purchase more than one title.

The following are the sponsoring authors for this wonderful contest. Please look for their author information on our web site and enjoy some fabulous reads this summer from these participating authors:


Jules Bennett

Donna L. Bolk

Laurel Bradley

Rachel Brimble

Pam Champagne

Lynda Coker

Christine Columbus

Sandra Cormier

Amy Corwin

Sharon Cullen

Donna Dalton

K.M. Daughters

Debbie Doggett

CarolAnn Erhardt

Valerie Everhart

Cindy Green

Kathleen Grieve

Larry Hammersley

Stacy Dawn

Sharon Horton

Tara Haff

Anna Kathryn Lanier

Marly Mathews

Nicole McCaffrey

Devin McKee

Sandy Wichersham McWhorter

Donna Michaels

Stacey Joy Netzel

AnneMarie Novark

Cindy Spencer Pape

PL Parker

Katie Reus

Jane Richardson

Jennifer Robins

Donna Marie Rogers

Emma Sanders

Kathleen Scott

Robin Shope

Misty Simon

Carol A. Spradling (make sure you go to Jen's blog for a second contest!)

Debra St. John

Lily Stone

Browyn Storm

Beth Trissel

Leanne Tyler

Brenda Weaver

Nita Wick

Teri Wilson


For information about the Sony eReader click here

For questions on this contest, please contact LisaDawn MacDonald at lisadawn@thewildrosepress.com, Martha K at Martha@thewildrosepress.com, or Rhonda Penders at rpenders@thewildrosepress.com. Please put the words SONY eReader contest question in your subject line.

Good luck!

*No purchase necessary to win the SONY eReader. If you do not purchase a title, you may enter the contest by mailing a post card to The Wild Rose Press, Sony eReader Contest, P.O. Box 708, Adams Basin, NY 14410. Please include your name, email and contact information. In addition, you must write down three titles from any of the participating authors. Postcard entrants will be added to the names of email entrants and a winning entry will be drawn on September 2, 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008

B&N

After dinner, my husband asked if I wanted to go to B&N. Oh, yeah. Let's go. Once I got there, I couldn't find anything that interested me. Maybe I have depleted the latest selections. I know my bookshelf at home is starting to rival B&N.

I did manage to pick up two new authors and one author who I promised a second chance. I think I have enough to get me through the summer. So, if you can think of anything I may have overlooked, let me know what it is. I'm always on the lookout for new authors.

Perspective

There has been a lot of talk lately about 'bad books' and harsh reviews, mainly at the Bookends blog. I bring this up because I review many books and for the first time, I feel so badly for an author's work that I won't post a review for her. What bothers me is the reason I bought the book. It was written by a Best Selling Author printed under a hugely successful publishing house.

Had I read an honest review prior to purchase, I would have avoided this book. That doesn't mean I would have avoided this author, but I would have been more selective of her work.

I do not feel any malice toward the author or publishing house and will probably look through her work to see if I can find the book that made her a best selling author.

While it is important to keep everything in perspective as to what one categorizes as good or bad, we need to have the means in which to base that decision. It is my experience that a variety of opinions is the best way to make that conclusion.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What book are you?




You're To Kill a Mockingbird!

by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have
changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've
also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to
persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you,
but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you
whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Top 10!!!

COST OF FREEDOM is on the top 10 best sellers list at The Wild Rose Press!!! SQUEEEEEEE

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

DANGER'S KISS by Sarah McKerrigan

Desiree of Canterbury is a cheat, distractingly charming, but still a cheat. Nicholas Grimshaw is the shire-reeve of Kent. Sworn to enforce the law, by any means necessary, he is also Desiree's new employer, thanks to a debt of honor. Feared by everyone, he is surprised, and irritated, that Desiree intentionally tries to make his life miserable. Desiree learns there is another side to the tortuous shire-reeve and must convince him she has changed her ways. She has only hours to do it, for she hangs at dawn and Nicholas is her executioner.

Let me start by saying, if you have any preconceived ideas of historicals, romance novels, predictable titles, you are dead wrong with this book.

Ms McKerrigan does a brilliant job with the characters in this book. More than equally matched, Nicholas and Desiree are a wonderful complement to each other. One thing that I loved is that the characters were thinkers. The author doesn't resort to standard solutions to solve their problems. Very refreshing. I never knew what was going to happen next.

There were believability issues with a few details toward the end, but it wasn't enough to spoil my feeling for the book.

I loved the point of view approach Ms McKerrigan used in this book. By using this method, I felt like I knew each character's thoughts and emotion without feeling the de-je-vue of a repeated scene. And it was all done without head hopping.

The pace of this book...my my my. Top dead center! Whenever a story slows down, I skim to the dialogue until the action picks back up. Not here. I read all of it. Although there is action throughout the book, during the quieter scenes, they were so well done, I wanted them to continue forever.

This was an excellent read and an author to look for.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

LAIRD OF THE MIST by Paula Quinn

Kate Campbell's clan is a sworn enemy to the outlawed MacGregor's. When she ends up under their protection, she learns that her suspicions about her uncle and her mistrust of the MacGregor clan laird are intertwined. To be caught with a MacGregor will be her death, but to leave them, will be her sanity.

Paula Quinn does a wonderful job of bringing the MacGregor saga to life. The characters are real and personable. I got a feel for who they were and rooted for their success. The MacGregor story is one I would love to know more about.

Her writing style and plotting keeps the pages turning with minor characters that make you smile. I loved the scene where poor Jamie is taught a lesson by the more worldly Brodie and Angus. Perhaps the castle should have thicker walls.

The one thing that stood out to me was a slight heaviness throughout the book. This hindered the emotion that Ms Quinn was trying to establish. I never warmed up to Kate's brother, Robert or despised Duncan as much as I should have.

Overall, Ms Quinn is a very good storyteller and from what I can tell, she is an author that will get better with each book.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Branching out

I have been asked to be a regular contributor to the UNUSUAL HISTORICALS blog. My posts will be in a rotation with the other authors and should appear every other month. I hope you will stop by and see my revelations of what life in 1700s America was like.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

THE CHARM SCHOOL by Susan Wiggs

Beacon Hill socialite, Isadora Peabody doesn't fit in with Boston society. Swan captain Ryan Calhoun, although from a good family, doesn't hold with society as a whole. Being friends with the owner of the Swan has its advantages. Isadora is permitted to sail on the Swan as its interpreter and to record all actions of its captain.

After much thought, I'm still trying to decide what my thoughts are concerning this book. When I saw the cover and read the blurb, I expected a lighthearted read with comical moments. I got that, but the book also had scattered attempts at depth.

The plot was good, although I could definitely feel a modern day bias. Toward the end of the book, there was a large section that appeared to be included to add pages and set up a sequel. This part of the storyline had been touched on earlier but only in passing.

The characters ran hot and cold. Isadora fluctuated between that of a woman coming into her own and being overly childish. This, I could almost understand. Ryan was garish and very unpleasant, yet showed sputters of charm. I never warmed up to his character, but I did come close. I didn't understand why he was this way. Whenever it seemed like the two characters were growing in character, they would revert back to old habits.

Ms Wiggs' writing is very good. She has an easy style that takes you right into the scene. She tells enough description to place you comfortably in the setting without bogging you down. Some of her lines are fantastic. I laughed out loud a few times and reread some passages because they were too good for one read through.

While I can't decide on my feelings toward the book, this author is one I will definitely read again.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chat

I love it when friends from different parts of your life get together. It's interesting to see how everyone will interact. Tonight at the chat, everyone seemed to act like old friends instead of new acquaintances. It was so much fun. And congratulations to Jerrica Knight-Catania for winning a copy of Cost of Freedom.

Thank you everyone for coming over to say hello. We'll have to do it again, but earlier. I can't ask Nina to get up at 3am again. Sorry, Nina. You ROCK!

Reminder

LIVE CHAT tonight at Romance Book Junction from 9:00pm-10:00pm eastern time.

I hope you'll stop by to say hello and try to win a digital copy of Cost of Freedom.