Archive for July 2009
With the help of random.org, here are the winners!
Tamed by a Laird:
Mozi Esmes Mommy*
New draw: Pam S.*
One Scream Away:
New draw: Doreen*
New draw: scottsgal–already won
New draw: Indigo–already won
*Doing quickie giveaway for last copy*
Congratulations! Please respond to your emails by Sunday August 2 at midnight EST or I have to pick replacement winners. Also, if you have already won a copy elsewhere, please let me know. Thanks to everyone who entered!
These are my book picks for this month. Some may already be available via a major bookseller.
Ensnared in the war-torn, untamed Dark Ages of North England, Sierra understands all too well what it takes to survive: the ability to numb the soul. She has learned this lesson the hard way, watching her mother die at the hands of the king’s henchmen, her brother cast out into the cold to perish, and discovering the treacherous, leering king holds a crucial secret about her past.
But when he grants Sierra her life, she discovers the pardon is perhaps worse than death. Sierra is made executioner’s apprentice, forced to witness unspeakable suffering while encouraged to explore her own sexual power.
Brainwashed and exhausted, Sierra’s heart slowly grows cold–until Dryston of Hereford is brought to the dungeon as traitor and spy. Using her sexual allure to extract the warrior’s secrets, Sierra finds herself torn between duty and desire. Soon, Sierra is craving the only man who can help set her battered soul free and give her a chance for revenge….
She doesn’t see dead people, but…
She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next…
In a universe torn apart by civil war, a warrior and a slave must fight for their lives and a love that may destroy them both.
After five years behind enemy lines, Captain Cyani has to complete one final mission before she can return to Azra—a planet ruled by a sisterhood of celibate warriors. Along the way she finds a prisoner, chained and beaten—but radiating feral power and an unbroken spirit.
For years Soren has endured torture as his captors leeched his very essence, a unique hormone then sold as a sexual narcotic in the shadow trade. Now he has been freed from slavery by a beautiful warrior woman with radiant blue eyes.
After years in bondage, Soren’s hormones are so unbalanced that he will die if he does not mate with a woman. Can Cyani be the woman he needs to survive, or will this forbidden bond destroy them?
Held prisoner by humans, his angelic memory and power lost because of the sigil-inscribed collar around his neck, Tir dreams of freedom and hungers for vengeance. He’s sworn he’ll never lie with a mortal, but when Araña removes his shackles and helps him escape his captivity, she melts his icy control and leaves him burning with desire. She’s a temptation he can’t resist—an unknowing enemy who might well enslave him more thoroughly than the chains he’s worn for centuries.
Powerful forces have brought them together to serve a greater purpose, but learning the truth of what they are will destroy them—unless their love is strong enough to overcome the dark legacy of a battle that began with the birth of mankind.
Mean girls come in all forms—including undead. London couldn’t be further from L.A., but stuntwoman-turned-vampire hunter Dawn Madison knows that her job hasn’t changed—find the local vampire Underground and wipe it out. She and her team have located the vamps’ lair at a private girls’ school and now they have the undead on the run. But the vicious pack is starting to realize that its greatest threat may be from within its own ranks.
Meanwhile, Dawn finds her psychic powers—and urge to hunt—growing. And as unrest rocks the Underground, Dawn begins to fall prey to her own dark desires.
“That night, I dreamed of Eve for the first time in many years. She rocked me while I cried, as she had not rocked me since the night my mother died, and spoke softly of a place called Eden. . . .”
Eleanor Rose dreams of comfort. Devastated by the death of the beloved grandfather who had raised her, seeking guidance and desperate for distraction, Eleanor heeds the words whispered to her in a dream. Leaving the security of her privileged life in Boston, she heads for Eden’s Meadow, a Louisiana estate that is part of her inheritance and as far from Boston as she can reasonably get as a single woman in the 1920s.
Eleanor longs for a tranquil haven in which to nurse her grief and concentrate on her music, but soon she is caught in a tangle of lies and deception that have cursed her family for generations. With the shocking discovery of a forgotten painting, the timely arrival of a letter from a man who seems to hold the answers to the questions it raises, and her growing love for an enigmatic Russian musician, Eleanor is drawn into a labyrinth of past and present deception, which ultimately threatens her sanity and her life.
In the Scottish Highlands, two warriors are about to clash over a woman of passion…
They were the unlikeliest of friends debauching their way through London: The Earl of Camdonn, a nobleman of vast wealth and power, and Scottish laird Alan MacDonald, a respected Jacobite with ambitions of his own.
But their friendship is destroyed when Alan marries the beautiful Sorcha Stewart—only to witness Cam kidnap her from their bedroom. Then Alan learns the truth: his bride was not an innocent. She took a lover before him—his friend—who taught her the ways of pleasure.
Now, Alan will do anything to get his wife back. Cam fights to redeem his honor, even as he refuses to give up his desire. Torn between love and duty, Sorcha must watch as the two men she desires go to war over her. And when the battle lines are drawn, all three lovers are lured into a triangle of forbidden passions…
Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.
Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.
Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.
He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought-and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.
As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge…
It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth-about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons…and about the world she thought she knew.
How far will Rose go to keep her promise?
The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.
He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?
Her proposition . . .
London Society is harsh for a young woman with no family connections who has to work for a living. But when Daisy Merrick is sacked from yet another job, the feisty and outspoken miss comes up with a plan that could give her a future beyond her wildest dreams. There’s only one problem. Her success depends on a man, the most infuriating, impossible, immovable man she’s ever met. His resolution . . .
Sebastian Grant, Earl of Avermore, is England’s most infamous author. Known for his notorious reputation, he is more interested in play than work, and has no intention of cooperating when Daisy shows up on his doorstep with a mad plan. The provoking, fire-haired beauty stirs his senses beyond belief, and Sebastian knows he has only one way to stop her. Seduction.
What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death….
Bound by the demon of Doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern… until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.
Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she’d fall for a kind human who wouldn’t rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora’s box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love….
Symir — the Drowning City. home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government.
For Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and spy, the brewing revolution is a chance to prove herself to her crown. All she has to do is find and finance the revolutionaries, and help topple the palaces of Symir. But she is torn between her new friends and her duties, and the longer she stays in this monsoon-drenched city, the more intrigue she uncovers — even the dead are plotting.
As the waters rise and the dams crack, Isyllt must choose between her mission and the city she came to save.
Handsome Alexander MacLean enjoyed his intoxicating flirtation with lovely Caitlyn Hurst…until she embarrassed him in front of the entire ton. Orchestrating Caitlyn’s attendance at a fashionable house party, Alexander plots her downfall. But to his fury, her charm and wit thwart his plan to ruin her.
Her disastrous London season left Caitlyn filled with regret and determined to make things right with Alexander. She’s delighted to find him at the house party to which she’s unexpectedly invited — but it’s clear that the sexy, arrogant Highlander hasn’t forgiven her. So Caitlyn comes up with a bold scheme, proposing an unusual contest drawn from legend: each must complete a set of “mythic” tasks. If Caitlyn succeeds, Alexander promises to relent and forgive her previous rash behavior; if he succeeds, she will join him in his bed! But can Caitlyn force Alexander to give up his quest for vengeance without giving up her heart in return?
Heiress Tabitha Lennox considered her paranormal talents more a curse than a gift. So she dedicated her life to the cold, rational world of science. Until the day she examined the mysterious amulet her mother had left her and found herself catapulted seven centuries into the past—directly into the path of a rearing black charger ridden by a chain-mailed warrior.
Sir Colin of Ravenshaw had returned from the Crusades to find his castle in ruins, his enemy poised to overrun the land where generations of Ravenshaws had ruled. The last thing he expected was to half trample a damsel with odd garb and even odder manners. But it is her strange talent that will create trouble beyond Colin’s wildest imaginings. For everyone knows that a witch must be burned…but it is Colin’s heart that is aflame, over an enchanting woman he must not love, yet cannot live without.
Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
Nice week for me again.
In the mail:
- Mona Lisa Darkening by Sunny. Contest win from Bitten By Books a long time ago. Thanks to Rachel for letting the publisher know that I never received it!
- Seduce Me by Robyn DeHart. Copy for upcoming blog tour. Thanks to Anna @ Hachette!
- Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory. Extra copy, gave to friend.
- Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta. Donated by Marta for an upcoming giveaway. Thanks Marta!
- Dark Hunger by Rita Herron. Copy for upcoming blog tour. Thanks to Anna @ Hachette!
- Obama’s Blackberry by Kasper Hauser. Contest win from A Journey of Books.
- My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel. Contest win from Yankee Romance Reviewers.
Barnes & Noble had a clearance sale going on, so I of course bought some while they were so cheap:
- Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens
- Warlord by Angela Knight
- Something Reckless by Jess Michaels
- Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
- Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready
- Chain Reaction by Jenesi Ash
- Somebody’s Lover by Jasmine Haynes
- Mona Lisa Awakening by Sunny
- French Kiss by Susan Johnson
- Just Sex by Susan Kay Law
Warlord, Just Sex, French Kiss, Somebody’s Lover, Chain Reaction, and Mona Lisa Awakening were all 1.99 apiece, while Wicked Game, Blue-Eyed Devil and Where the Heart Leads were all 3.99, and Something Reckless was 4.98. I wish I bought more, because there were some I didn’t even see until after I had already ordered.
What did you get?
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Forever Romance)
Released July 1, 2009
From Amanda’s website:
Baroness-in-her-own-right, Jenny Easdale is ready to accept her fate. She’s agreed to marry a man she will never love—yet not before slipping away for one last adventure. Following a traveling minstrel troupe, she’s whisked into a world of intoxicating freedom. Then, all too soon, she finds herself in danger—from a vengeful political plot against Scotland and from the man who has come to take her home.
Dutybound to return with his brother’s wayward bride, Sir Hugh Douglas is not prepared for how her quick wit, courage, and laughing eyes touch his warrior heart. Now, as the merry minstrels play matchmaker and passion sparks between Hugh and Jenny, the conspiracy against Scotland builds…and threatens all they hold dear.
I really loved this book. Tamed by a Laird was my introduction to Amanda Scott, and she didn’t disappoint. Unlike most Scottish romances that I’ve read, this one is very Scottish in speech. Sometimes I had to slow down and sound everything out in my head so I could make sure I understood what the characters were saying. It was almost like reading another language, which was neat. But that had nothing to do with how it was written, so I don’t mean to push you away with talk of how I couldn’t understand what I was reading.
I loved how the heroine Jenny was both naive and strong at the same time. It made her a much more realistic character, and also lent to some of the tension between her and the hero Hugh. Hugh constantly tries to tell Jenny not to be so naive about anything, that danger can lurk around any corner. And in the case of the situation(s) the characters find themselves in, he was absolutely right. I was very satisfied with Tamed by a Laird throughout.
After finishing the book, although I felt all the loose ends were tied up and everything was resolved, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something. When I read the author’s note to the reader at the end of the book, I read that Tamed by a Laird is the first book in a new trilogy. I’m happy that I get to spend more time with these characters. The next book is Seduced by a Rogue, with its release date to be January 2010. Also by reading the author’s note, I realized just how much effort was put into researching all the places and characters mentioned in the book. And believe me, it certainly seems to be pretty extensive.
I could not put this book down!!
Rating: 5/5 stars
To read the prologue and first chapter, click here.
Publisher: Tom Weston Media
Released: December 31, 2008
From Tom’s website:
Alexandra O’Rourke, aged 16, is not a happy camper. It’s New Year’s Eve. She should be partying in San Diego with her friends, but instead she is stuck in Boston, with just her younger sister, Jackie, for company. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she is being haunted by Sarah, the ghost of a seventeenth century Puritan. Oh, and there is the small matter of the charge of witchcraft to be sorted out.
Armed only with big shiny buttons and a helping of Boston Cream Pie, the sisters set out to restore the Natural Order. Can Alex solve the mystery of the Devil’s Book? Can Jackie help Sarah beat the sorcery rap? And can they do it before the fireworks display at midnight? Because this is First Night – and this is an Alex and Jackie Adventure.
Before reading First Night, I had never heard of the First Night festival before. Never being to Boston before (or anywhere remotely near there), I’ve missed out on what seems to be great fun. For those of you who, like me prior to reading this book, have never been to this festival, it takes place on New Year’s Eve in several places, but Boston celebrates it on a higher scale, much like how Mardi Gras is celebrated most famously in New Orleans.
I found that I was pleasantly satisfied with First Night. It was a fun and lighter read, which I expected, but you can also tell that Weston put a lot of effort into his research. Everything was described with lots of detail, and the modern and historical aspects were meshed well together. Weston spent time developing the time frames, and the characters as well. Jackie and Alex, the two sisters in the story, were really well-developed and unique characters. Which is nice, because I didn’t have to spend time trying to distinguish one from the other. Sarah, the Puritan ghost, provides a lot of the humor through her words and even her actions, which made reading this book fun.
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Look for Weston’s next Jackie & Alex adventure, The Elf of Luxembourg.
Alrighty, with the help of random.org, the winner for The Diary of Cozette is:
Amber, I have emailed you, and you have until Thursday at midnight EST to claim your prize or I have to pick another winner.
Thanks to everyone who entered!
Look at all that glorious chest…*licks lips*
The Sword, from Jean’s website:
Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day-they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to Nightfall Island, a land where women are strictly forbidden. But, when the youngest of the mage-brothers rescues a woman from another universe, their world is altered forever.
Kelly Doyle had wanted to get away from the world. Threatened, attacked, and accused of witchcraft, Kelly had enough of her narrow-minded small town. And now she has somehow landed in another, magical dimension-the only woman in a realm inhabited by eight men who are desperately in need of a woman’s touch.
The Wolf, from Jean’s website:
Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day-they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to Nightfall Island, where women are forbidden. When a childhood friend seeks refuge among the brothers, it triggers a confrontation with their mysterious enemy.
Alys arrives desperate and afraid, but welcomed by Wolfer, the second-born brother who harbors deep feelings for Alys. But she harbors a secret: her own uncle is tormenting the exiled brothers, and seeks to kill them to secure their ancestral inheritance for himself.
Confessing her uncle’s plan to the brothers puts them at even greater risk, for their resistance against the evil mage has stirred his wrath. Alys fears her uncle is determined this time to exterminate the brothers once and for all-destroying the star-crossed lovers as well.
The Master, from Jean’s website:
Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day-they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to the Isle of Nightfall, where women are forbidden. But when the abducted third-born brother is taken by a powerful and beautiful mage, he wonders if she is his own Prophesied Disaster, his foretold wife-to-beKidnapped from the Isle of Nightfall, taken captive by slavers, Dominor is sold to a lovely mage, who promises freedom. But Lady Serina has plans for him; she needs another powerful mage to re-enact a mating ritual, to help reverse a Tantric spell cast centuries ago. Agreeing to help her, Dominor doesn’t suspect the secret she holds back from him: there is more to this magical mating than the Arithmancer has revealed.Once the ritual is complete, he will be returned to Nightfall. But when that secret finally shatters, baring the truth behind the misunderstandings now separating them, Dominor is determined to retake possession of the woman who is his Destiny.
Along with the book, the winner will also get author swag and a bottle of “Wicked” lotion inspired by Jennifer Haymore’s book A Hint of Wicked! (Thanks to the various authors for donating the swag and Jennifer for the lotion!)
I’m limiting this to the US only due to shipping costs (sorry international readers). Since I’m sending it myself, PO Boxes are fine.
- +5 entries for answering this question: What do you think of the Sci-Fi channel changing their name to SyFy?
- +5 entries for commenting on another post on my blog and coming back here and saying you did
- +10 entries (per place) for blogging about this contest on your blog, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Ning group, or other appropriate site. If you’re not sure of the site you want to post the link to this on, ask me. Please, don’t give me the link to the main site. The link has to be a specific link to where you placed my link. (Sidebar counts).
- +5 entries for referring another person here, and they say you referred them.
You can comment and refer as much as you like.
Make sure your email address is valid, since I don’t want to have to hunt you down.
This contest ends on September 1st at midnight EST. I’ll announce the winner on September 2nd.
Enter my other contests:
Alright, Debby didn’t respond to my email, nor did she contact me, so it’s time to draw another winner for Off Season! And the winner, via random.org, is:
Lilibeth, I have emailed you for your info, and you have until Tuesday midnight EST to get back to me.
Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
Nice past week for me.
- Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton. Contest win on Cynthia Eden’s blog.
- How to Score by Robin Wells. Contest win from Readaholic, courtesy of Hachette.
- One Scream Away by Kate Brady. From Anna at Hachette.
- Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton. Contest win on Unmainstream Mom Reads, courtesy of Hachette.
- Tamed By a Laird by Amanda Scott. From Anna at Hachette for review.
- Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory. Contest win from Must Read Faster, courtesy of Hachette.
- Dads & Grads 8 book pack. Contest win from Bookin’ With Bingo, courtesy of Hachette.
- Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti. From Penguin/FSBMedia for review.
- Blue Heaven by C.J. Box. From St. Martin’s Press for taking a survey.
Thanks to Anna at Hachette for sending me books. Thanks to Bookin’ With Bingo, Must Read Faster, Unmainstream Mom Reads, Readaholic, and Cynthia Eden for holding the contests. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to take a survey. Thanks to Penguin/FSBMedia for sending me the book for review. Thanks to J. Kaye for sending my name to Penguin.
What’d you get this week?