Mar 31, 2012

Book Review: Sanctum Angels


When Priana Grey walks into a bank, she isn't expecting to be taken hostage by a violent thief; nor, is she expecting Detective Joe Cafaris to offer his life for hers. The stepdaughter of fallen angels of the Sanctum, she has concealed her true nature to move among humans for years, but Joe's courage astounds her. Although she knows that falling in love with a human is a disaster, she just can't ignore what she feels.

Joe is a tough loner, cool in the most dangerous situations, but he's not ready for the scorching desire he feels for Priana. He has a million logical reasons to walk away, but his heart wants something else.

Priana's stepbrother, Keirc, warns that she'll find only misery with Joe, yet he guards a perilous secret of his own. His lover, Iridea, is the daughter of Sebastien Galaurus, a ruthless vampire who leads the Demesne, a powerful supernatural haven quite unlike the Sanctum.

When a stunning crisis forces Priana into the heart of the Demesne, a maelstrom explodes in the shadow of supernatural havens on the brink of war, where fallen angels, vampires, weres and daemons call the shots and humans are viewed as critically frail - a place where men and supernaturals can die. 



* * * * *

I was really impressed by this story.  The pacing foundered in a couple spots but quickly righted itself.  And the characters were so well done that it is easy to overlook that one flaw.  The main characters, even the secondary characters, are very well rounded and well real.  Even the villain, Sebastien Galaurus,  has his reasons for being as he is even though the reasons really don't justify his actions.  

Another thing that really pleased about this book is the fact that there were two completely different love stories happening and Ms. Black did a great job of giving each one its due.  All too often I will see one story slighted over the other.  This was definitely not the case in SANCTUM ANGELS.  

I do recommend this book to any readers that enjoy paranormal romance.  I do want to give warning that there are scenes of violence and explicit sexual encounters so it is intended for adults only.

I rate this book a 4.2.

***This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.  No monies did or will exchange hands.
Mar 30, 2012

Spring Bloom Beads Giveaway

A friend of mine, Skye, over at Creative Chaos if giving away some bead soup.  Be sure to click here to find out more.  After all what girl can be without her beads?
Mar 29, 2012

Book Review: Super Justice Force

 
I grew up reading comic books and will usually pick up a comic-book influenced book in a heartbeat.  In a few cases, I've ended up disappointed.  This is not one of those cases.

Darius Logan is an orphan, a victim of what is popularly known as "The Attack."  In an attempt to create protectors to keep the Earth safe from alien invaders, the government accidentally created a menace over which an evil mastermind was able to take control.  Thousands died, including Darius's parents.

It hasn't been easy for him, shifted from foster home to foster home.  He's gradually slid into the wrong side of the law and, in a single incident, landed himself in seriously hot water.  But thanks to the intervention of one of the most powerful superheroes on the planet, he's been given a second chance.

The heroes don't see prisons as being agents of rehabilitation.  In fact, they see them as quite the opposite.  They believe that early intervention may help people like Darius, and they mean to use him as the test case to prove it's possible.

Thus he's inducted into the Second Chance program, one that's already been successful in reforming even some of the worst super-criminals.  The Second Chance program gave former prisoners jobs involved in running the day-to-day operations of the Super Justice Force's headquarters.  For those who tested well, they could even eventually end up in positions of authority within the organization.

When Darius discovers that his best friend inside, and the uncle of his love interest, used to be a major villain, he's a bit nonplussed.  But over time he develops a friendship and then a feeling of kinship with these people.  For the first time in his life since his parents died, he feels part of something.

The fellow in charge of security there at the headquarters, on the other hand, has it in for Darius, and does his level best to get him kicked out of the program.  He doesn't believe in rehabilitation and sees Darius as a threat to the status quo.

In the end, Darius's loyalties are put to the test, and he has to decide between following the rules and doing the right thing.  At least he understands that there's a difference.


I enjoyed this book immensely.  Darius is a great protagonist, a young man who's made a serious mistake but was, initially, simply trying to survive.  It doesn't go a lot into the tribulations of foster children, but it does address some definite problems with the system.

I grew up reading comic books.  It was the comic books that got me reading before I'd even gotten into school.  I love the notion of superheroes, people who can tackle the types of things ordinary humans can't handle.  Not only super-powered villains, but natural disasters and alien invasions.  There's no doubt that these things influence my own novels.

Author D.F. Walker has managed to create a new continuum that borrows from the ones with which we're already familiar, yet adds his own impressions to it.  This is a world that could easily expand to fill several series of comic books, should anyone be interested in making the attempt.  And, unlike the last superhero book I read, doesn't rely on simply changing a few things about known heroes in order to create second-rate simulations.  While one might recognize a few traits here and there, the characters' back stories are their own, not borrowed from elsewhere and altered slightly.  This is a complex world with its own history.

I'm giving this book 4 1/2 sages out of a possible 5.  Worth reading for any comic book fan in particular, but also entertaining for those who just like good speculative fiction.


***This book was actually read and reviewed for me by my husband Saje Williams @ Saje's Eye.
***This book was provided at no charge by the author in exchange for a honest review/ 
Mar 28, 2012

Bright and Shiney!

I have my new computer all set up and almost acting pretty.  I am sure that I will find more and more items that simply disappeared.  Love my roomie as she has it all backed up for me.  Seriously if you live in the Tacoma area and you need help with a computer let me know.
Mar 26, 2012

Book Review: Deadly Is The Kiss

SOME FLAMES ARE ETERNAL
 
Tasked with protecting humanity from harm, the last thing Ashe Granger was searching for on his mission was his destined mate. Then, a mysterious darkeyed beauty reluctantly offered him shelter. A spark of danger—and a soul-deep recognition—ignited a burning, carnal need…

Since her family’s exile, Juliana Sabin had borne full responsibility for their safety. So when evil struck, she had no choice but to ally herself with the sexy guardian vampire. Now, months later, Ashe is back and tempting Juliana to reveal her darkest secrets…and desires. For the killer stalking the shadows isn’t acting alone—and he won’t rest until his deadly cravings are fulfilled.

* * * * * 

Ashe has been doing his very best to ignore the fact that the Burning was ignited in him by a woman that he can't trust.  One that is currently locked up with her family in a penal colony.  Juliana 'Jules' despised Ashe because in her mind he is a male slut.  Especially after he slept his way thru all of the female members of her family.  Except her that is.  However she had been told that Ashe had the best chance of clearing her family's name so she escaped and went looking for him.  Now if only he can keep her alive.

In DEADLY IS THE KISS, Ms. Byrd has all the ingredients for an explosive story.  Two people who detest each other yet are strongly drawn to the other sexually.  A search for the truth that someone doesn't want found and they are willing to kill to ensure that it remain buried.  Oh and the fact that neither Ashe or Jules trusts the other.  Stir everything together and you get an edge of the seat paranormal romantic suspense. 

DEADLY IS THE KISS is not the first book in this universe.  In fact it isn't even the book where Ashe and Jules originally meet.  It is however the first book that I have read set in this series so I was really impressed by the fact that Ms. Bryd doles out enough of the back story that I don't feel lost when reading this book.  And enough that I will be picking up the rest of them.  That is a finely drawn line to walk and I do want to give her credit for dancing to agilely on it.

Another thing that impressed me was the twists that Ms. Byrd has built into her vampire race.  Because let's face it, there are a lot of vampire novels out there.  Yet the race of Deshanel vampires are definitely unique.
The world is also peopled with shifters and I am going to have to pick up one of their books to find out what kinks they have.

All in all, DEADLY IS THE KISS is one of the best paranormal romantic suspenses I have read in quite a long time.  I do recommend picking it up for yourself.  I rate it a 4.5.

***I did receive this book from NetGallery for a limited time in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.

Mar 25, 2012

Interested in Chainmaille or Wirework?



Then be sure to check out this wonderful contest that Lori Anderson of Pretty Things is host.  You have three chances to win one of Scott David Plumlee's DVDs.

Click here for more information.

Beautiful Things

A Yonina cultivar (Division 6) tulip at the Tu...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I really think that spring is coming.  We had two beautiful days on Friday and Saturday.  Even today, it's kinda grey but it looks like it is going to be warm.  Yay!

  • I managed to get started cleaning out my flower bed yesterday before I started my running around.  I had planted some day lillies and tulips last year but it doesn't look as though they survived.
  • I managed to win enough money at the casino to buy myself a new computer before this one gives up the ghost.  I am sure glad that I did before I went in and organized my pics yet again.  Hopefully when I do this time it will last for awhile.
  • Me and my husband had the weekend to ourselves.  What with roommates and all, this is a rare occurance.
Mar 24, 2012

Randomness



  • It is an utterly gorgeous day.  If I had to go do some running around at least it was in the sun.
  • Kinda bummed.  I placed an order for a new computer last night after my IT type roomie said that what I was looking at was a good computer.  And then today she texted me saying she found a much better one for the same price.  Aw well.
  • I can't believe that I had almost a 1000 texts last month.
  • It's almost enough to convince me to buy an iPhone so that I can talk my texts.
  • Did I mention how I hate typing on my phone.
  • When we re-imaged my hard drive I acquired a lot of pics that aren't mine.  Not sure where they came from.  Gonna wait until I get the new computer though.
  • The pic above however is one of mine.  It was taken at Pt. Defiance Park and that is the Narrows Bridge.
  • I finished my necklace for the ABS monthly challenge but I don't want to d/l the pic onto my computer until... well after.
  • I am way ahead on my book reviews right now.  That's pretty much all I do at work right now.
  • House would be really quiet, just me and Saje, if it wasn't for his video games.  Doesn't the male of the species ever outgrow those?
  • My life is pretty boring.  The highlight of the weekend was mailing out packages and going shopping at Costco.
  • I love going to Costco because I always pick up one of their rotisserie chickens.
  • Told my husband that if he wants me to keep my hair long then he has to help dye it.  Listening to him today while he was doing so was very amusing.
  • Picked up some beads at Beatle Baby Glassworks.  Be sure to check out her sale this weekend.
  • Tomorrow is a day that I want to spend playing in my studio.  I have some colors running loose in my head.  Just not sure what I am going to do with them.
Mar 23, 2012

Book Review: Goddess Interrupted

Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.


* * * * *

GODDESS INTERRUPTED is really a book filled with action yet it is also a time of learning and growing up.  Kate has won her place yet now she has to grow into it  emotionally.  There have been a lot of drastic changes in her life in the last year and she just isn't sure that she deserves the good things.  There are points in the book where there is a bit too much angst for my liking however before it really gets over the top Ms. Carter introduces other things into the story line.

GODDESS INTERRUPTED is the second book in the Goddess Test series however you won't need to ready the first book to be able to enjoy this one.  I feel that you might enjoy it more if read in series but it certainly isn't a requirement.  I do recommend this book to young adult readers. Adults might enjoy it (I know that I did) also as long as they don't mind the drama that comes with growing up.

I rate this book a 3.75.

***I did receive this book from NetGalley for a limited time in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.
Mar 21, 2012

Book Review: Raven Calls


Something wicked this way comes…

Suddenly, being bitten by a werewolf is the least of Joanne Walker’s problems.

Her personal life in turmoil, her job as a cop over, she’s been called to Ireland by the magic within her. And though Joanne’s skills have grown by leaps and bounds, Ireland’s magic is old and very powerful…

In fact, this is a cas
...moreSomething wicked this way comes…

Suddenly, being bitten by a werewolf is the least of Joanne Walker’s problems.

Her personal life in turmoil, her job as a cop over, she’s been called to Ireland by the magic within her. And though Joanne’s skills have grown by leaps and bounds, Ireland’s magic is old and very powerful…

In fact, this is a case of unfinished business. Because the woman Joanne has come to Ireland to rescue is the woman who sacrificed everything for Joanne—the woman who died a year ago. Now, through a slip in time, she’s in thrall to a dark power and Joanne must battle darkness, time and the gods themselves to save her.


* * * * *


When I read the dedication in this book, I was rather worried that it was the last in the series.  And this is a series that I have fallen with since the first book which was set in Seattle.  RAVEN CALLS is set in Ireland but it has the same magic to the writing that holds sway over me.        
                    
What really sets this book apart from the rest of the series is the growth that Joanne does.  She has always fought herself and others when it comes to learning and accepting herself.  Now to keep Gary alive and to get back to the man she loves, she has to quit that bad habit. 

We also get to meet more of her family in Ireland and learn more of her mother.  We are also introduced to Irish mythology in a new light.  And it is quite an interesting light at that.

I do recommend this book to all readers of the paranormal.  It is possible to read it as a stand alone book however you will feel that you are missing a lot.   Because of that, I did reduce down my rating somewhat.  I do rate this book at a 3.8.

***I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  No monies have or will exchange hands.

Semi-guilty pleasures

I have decided that I posting a guilty pleasure every week just isn't going to work.  Mainly because I just am not that guilty or perhaps it's that I don't feel guilty about my pleasures.  And I don't feel even the tiniest bit guilty about shopping at this vendor. 

I recently purchased some beads from this lampwork artist, Tracey Connor at Beatle Baby Glassworks.  And they are incredible.  So many layers colors and such a unique shape.    Here's some eye candy to give you an idea of what I mean about her beads.




Oh and did I mention that she is having her Spring sale where everything in her shop is going to be 10 to 90% off!!  The sales starts at 9am on March 23rd and runs into March 25th.  I know that I am planning on picking up some more sets which could be a non-guilty pleasure.  And I wanted to share with everyone.
Mar 20, 2012

Book Review: Much Ado About Rogues


Meet the Blackthorn Brothers—three unrepentant scoundrels infamous for being mad, bad and perilous to love.

Who is the darkly handsome Don John “Black Jack” Blackthorn? With his air of mystery and menace, the whispers about him hint of highwayman or government agent or even dark prince. But no one knows what it is Black Jack does… or how dangerous he can truly b
...moreMeet the Blackthorn Brothers—three unrepentant scoundrels infamous for being mad, bad and perilous to love.

Who is the darkly handsome Don John “Black Jack” Blackthorn? With his air of mystery and menace, the whispers about him hint of highwayman or government agent or even dark prince. But no one knows what it is Black Jack does… or how dangerous he can truly be. Now Jack’s mentor has disappeared, and Jack must track him down before it’s too late. His unlikely help: the man’s daughter—the very woman Jack had once wooed and betrayed.

Lady Tess Fonteneau knows more about the fine art of clandestine activities—and about the mysterious Mr. Blackthorn—than he realizes. As their journey leads them on the adventure of a lifetime, their reunion is fraught with passion, high-stakes danger and the one twist of fate Jack never saw coming…

* * * * * * 

I feel in love with the Blackthorn Brothers right from the very first book; Beau who is so dependable, Puck who is so light hearted and Jack who is so dark and mysterious.  And because of my bent, I could hardly wait until Jack’s book came out.  And MUCH ADO ABOUT ROGUES was well worth the wait.

In MUCH ADO ABOUT ROGUES, we are taken on a wild jaunt about England as Jack and Tess attempt to find her father.  During this time, Jack and Jess have the time to relearn the other’s characters again.  After four years, is there enough still between them to rebuild a relationship?  

Ms. Michael’s does a fabulous job of delving and further developing Jack’s character.  It just causes me to fall further in love with the character.  And of course for such a dark and dangerous man, not an ordinary woman of the times would be appropriate.  Tess is such an interesting character.  So hard and yet so soft.  

I very much enjoyed this particular book and loved the satisfying conclusion of both the book and the series.  I do highly recommend this series to lovers of unusual historical romances.  I rate this book a 4.6.

***I did receive this book from Net Gallery for no charge in exchange for providing an honest review.  No monies has or will exchange hands.
Mar 18, 2012

Three Beautiful Things

Deutsch: Buntstifte, Farbstifte العربية: أقلام...
Image via Wikipedia
 An interesting week.  Most of the week my home computer was down.  I could access email at work and my blogs on my Fire.  It was both frustrating and nice.  Well it would have been more nice if I had been feeling better but that is another story.  But on the whole I would say that it was a good week.

  • My computer works MUCH better.  And I was in luck.  I have a roommate who works on computers for a living.  She got me all set back up.  If you are local and need work on a computer, let me know.
  • The weather pattern has been nuts.  From warms days in the 60s to snow (that didn't stick) make for an interesting time.  And I might be nuts but I enjoyed it.  But be why I like that pic
  • I found the perfect hand for bracelets.  Now I just need to find a bust.

Mar 17, 2012

New Clothes

Fasbulous and fashionable
Fabulous and fashionable (Photo credit: Violet Fotos)
I couldn't resist.

This blog has had the same look for a few years.  It was time for a change.

Besides my word for the year is focus.  And I really like how the pics really pop with the dark background.  I will be doing my best to always include at the least one pic.  Now mind you, a lot aren't mine.  I just don't have that many pics.  Besides I am still learning Lightroom and all those hours I spent tagging pics.  Well I lost all the pics when we cleaned up the hard drive. 

But at least I got rid of a lot of porn that my computer actually collected.    Now mind you, my computers do have personality but really.  And you would think that if it really had to collect it.  But really, they could have a least been hot..well ya know...stud muffins.

Back to the new clothes... how do you like the new look?  


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Lost In Space

Lost in Space (film)
Image via Wikipedia
Or at least in computer land.  I haven't been around for the last few days as my computer was in the hospital.  It started running slow so I had my roomie look at it.  She is a computer guru.  Well we ended up cloning the hard drive and then reinstalling everything.  It took a couple days because try to form, my computer has opinions of its own and didn't want to cooperate.  

Anyways I am back kinda.  Still having issues downloading my mail which just isn't acceptable.  Oh and I have been blessed with the flu.  So almost back.
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Mar 16, 2012

Book Review: Freya the Huntress


Last night, Freya’s sister was bitten by a horrific beast in the snowy hills of Ysland. Now, Freya has only a few hours to find a cure for this strange plague before her sister becomes a ravening fox demon.

With her husband Erik and the young witch Wren at her side, Freya explores deserted cities full of ghosts and lone survivors on the edge of madness. She finally seeks answers in the ancient city of Rekavik where she must face the deadly witch queen Skadi and the vicious warrior Leif Blackmane.

But the only person who can cure the demon plague is the same person who created it, a stranger from a distant land who carried a sword full of captured souls, a man who was murdered five years ago…

* * * * *
This book rather surprised me as I was expecting something along with a steam-punk flavor as I found in the first book in the series.  Instead this particular book was pure fantasy with a very Nordic flavor.  Once I got over that particular shock, I very much enjoyed FREYA THE HUNTRESS.  

In fact in my opinion FREYA THE HUNTRESS is the superior book.   This book has a classic fantasy plotline that draws heavily from Nordic mythology, interesting characters and a wonderful blend of horror and humor.  Freya is a strong heroine whose motivations are plain.  Erik, her husband, is her silent supporter.  But my favorite character has to be Wren.  Some of her one sided conversations with Wodan are hilarious.  

I don’t often come across fantasies with such a Nordic influence and this one is well worth reading.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys epic battles between good and evil.  I rate it a 4.1

***I received this book at no charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Mar 12, 2012

Book Review: Half Breed Vampire


Ignorant of his true heritage, half-breed Slade Donovan is fated to feel like an outsider among his clan. Until a mysterious woman arrives with the ability to unlock his secrets—and make him crave a future he never believed he could have….

As a game warden, Raina Ravenwing has only one mission in the Cascade Mountains: to hunt down a pack of rare wolves that is
...moreIgnorant of his true heritage, half-breed Slade Donovan is fated to feel like an outsider among his clan. Until a mysterious woman arrives with the ability to unlock his secrets—and make him crave a future he never believed he could have….

As a game warden, Raina Ravenwing has only one mission in the Cascade Mountains: to hunt down a pack of rare wolves that is terrorizing her tribe. Her instant attraction to Slade is a distraction the beautiful wolf whisperer can’t afford, unless she agrees to let him help her. Yet working so closely together only intensifies their passion…even as the unfolding truth of Slade’s identity threatens everything Raina holds sacred.

* * * * * *
This book or series of books are unique in my experience in that they are set up as a mini-series similar to what one would find on television.  Or course the reader has to wait much longer then a television viewer to read the next episode.  Because of this fact however I won’t be marking this book down for not standing on its own merits and for leaving so many questions unanswered.
The first thing that drew me to this series of books was the setting.  I am from Washington state so I am familiar with both Seattle’s Underground and the Cascade Mountains.  I do want to give Ms. Meyers kudos on how accurate her depiction of both settings are.   It really drives me nuts when authors don’t do their research on location. 
I also very much enjoyed both the main characters, Slade and Raina.  They are so very real with all their strengths and weakness.  I do wish that Ms. Meyers had been able to dig deeper into their characters but she did a rather complete job for a novella.   I especially enjoyed the dialogue between them.  It was very sharp and witty.   My only issue was their falling in love almost overnight.  It really doesn’t fit what we are shown about either character.
This was actually the first book that I read in this mini-series and it was complete enough that I could easily follow along.  The ending is a cliff-hanger so I will be getting the next book in the series so that I can find out what happens and I do intend to the first two also in this series.
I do recommend this book to any readers that enjoy a quick paranormal romance just be warned that you will be sucked into picking up the rest of the series.  I rate this book a 3.2.
***I did receive this book at no charge from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.  No monies have or will exchange hands.