Category Archives: Book Review

New Releases by Authors I Know, and One Great Review

So, I realized today that I had forgotten to post a few new releases that just came out in the past week and a half. (Yeah, maybe a week and a half isn’t shiny new, but it’s still pretty spiffy.) So, here they are:

America’s Darlings by Gail Bridges
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Leah Collins is a sexual gymnast, a brilliant athlete poised to compete in the Mexico City Olympic Games of 2112. She takes pride in her advanced skills in the sexual arts, but performing Courtesan’s Treat and Raging Volcano in front of thousands of cheering fans is no easy task, especially when sexual malfunctions threaten.

At her side, a pillar of strength and compassion, is her best friend, Benson White. He is the one who scrapes her from the ground when her self-destructive tendencies surface. Benson is a talented sexual gymnast in his own right, the other half of America’s Darlings.

They hope for a gold medal. What neither of them expects is to fall in love.

Inside Scoop: This book contains a mixed-gender ménage, girl-on-girl, references to male/male sex, group sex, voyeurism, exhibitionism and everything else you’d expect from a society where sex is a game.

An Exotika® futuristic erotica story from Ellora’s Cave

Click here to go to the book’s page and buy.

Angel’s Redemption by Azalea Mooneangelsredemption_3d_500
Twenty-four-year-old Blaine Schneider is seasoned to hardship. Since the age of eight, he’s experienced nothing but a swarm of bad luck: from the funny electrical fire in shop class to failing grades and relationships gone sour. He believes he’ll never get past it; only his band, ‘Til Dark, and their dream, keeps him going through it all.

Shortly after he mysteriously inherits a beautifully carved angel statue, Blaine also finds an apartment big enough to display the lifelike sculpture, and he thinks his luck has finally taken a turn for the better. But when he discovers the spell inscribed on the statue’s base, he frees Lynsael from his stone prison, a handsome fallen angel who claims to be Blaine’s former guardian angel, and then his luck really improves.

But while Blaine is falling hard for the angel’s blue eyes and lively personality, in the shadows, dark forces are working to keep Blaine and Lynsael apart. It will take more than luck for the pair to come through unscathed—it’ll take a miracle.

Click here to go to the book’s page and buy.

And, a fantastic review of BD Heywood’s Eternal Samurai, at Rainbow Book Reviews. BD is a member of my critique group on Yahoo.

Windows 8 is still kicking my butt, but I’m getting used to it. Edits are almost ready to go back to the editor and I got no words written today, lol. I did go see Monsters University, which was cute, but couldn’t hold a candle to the first one. Next up is, I believe, The Lone Ranger, which I expect will be Jack Sparrow on a horse with feathers in his hair. Okay, Jack Sparrow, then.

Good thing I like him.

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Nuts to You has gone to the betas! And talking about The Flesh Cartel

Which is ever so much better than going to the dogs! Although Erika does tend to chew on the edges of the manuscript–or maybe that’s her zombie king? I should ask–I’d hate to get zombie cooties, even if he is kinda cute, in a rotten, probably leave unidentifiable bits and pieces caught in the sheets kind of way.

We’re supposed to get a storm this weekend. I have lots of books I should be reading. The Druid Stone is currently cued up on my Kobo. Another Heidi Belleau cowrite. It’s freaked me out a little already. And I still want to read more–this lady has a talent for balancing squick with ‘I need to know more’.

How do I know this? Well, dammit, she and Rachel Haimowitz have hooked me on The Flesh Cartel.
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This serial has to be the weirdest, twist your brain into a pretzel and make you like it thing I’ve read in a long time. There’s four out now, with the fifth one slated to come out in March.

And, God help me, I’ve pre-ordered it.

Because it’s disturbing. The ladies walk a fine line through the whole thing. The only time they really went over it for me was during the second part of the serial, but they quickly got it back on track. I have to admit, I almost stopped after the second one. But I was so damn worried about those boys–I had to know they would be alright.

So, even though I’m sure the ladies’ ears were burning as I did it, when the third one came out, I was right there to buy it.

Now, huge warning, huge trigger alert. This is not a series for the faint of heart. It will shred your emotions and leave you exhausted afterwards. And, you will want to keep reading. The Song of Ice and Fire addiction is nothing to this.

March 4. And it’s on pre-order, so I get it two days early. Whether my heart can handle it, I don’t know…

A Loosey Goosey Review: Stray, by Erin Lark

Sorry this is late. I was ambushed today by a were-squirrel. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s darn funny. I keep getting strange looks as I tap away on the computer, giggling. And how do you explain that?

So, here’s the book cover for Stray (you can click on the link if you’d like to buy a copy):

1975

It’s a werewolf story, and a BDSM story. Oddly enough, for a story based around shapeshifters, I found that the shifting and such really didn’t come off as the central point–the author was always very focused on the characters, which was something I appreciated, as I’ve seen too many authors stumble down that path of resorting to werewolf politics and ridiculous levels of aggression to keep the story rolling. It was nice to see the softer side. I thought the werewolf culture she introduced us to was interesting, which is getting hard to do nowadays, because so many people are writing werewolf/shapeshifter fiction and it’s getting to be a real chore to find something new.

Okay, I’m going to give you the head’s up on this part, so it all makes sense–I’m not really the target audience for this type of book. This is a BDSM lite M/F novel. Neither the BDSM, nor the M/F is the problem. But I lost my patience for female subs many books ago, because I read one too many where I wanted to slap the heroine myself, and not in that fun way either. (In case you’re wondering, I’m not a sub. I can understand the attraction, to a certain extent, mostly because I’m curious about everything. But, when push comes to shove, I like to be the one in charge. A lot. :D) So, I tend to avoid these like the plague.

Why did I tell you that? Well, because the sub in this book didn’t make me swear and wish I had a print copy so I could throw it at the wall. And my “Belt it at the wall” trigger is pretty sensitive. Right from the word go, I got that she enjoyed this, that it was what made her happy. There is mention of a previous relationship that had been pretty abusive, but, again, the author made it very clear that Alyssa, our female main character, had been in that one because of ignorance, not stupidity or lack of self-esteem.

What I liked best about this is that she was smart about her recovery from the ex. She went looking for someone to bring her back into the scene, someone who had a good reputation, someone she knew, that she had worked with before. She thought it all out, and was aware of how her previous experiences had warped her own perceptions. And she questioned and thought about everything. The author also made it very clear that Alyssa was making the choice to get back into the scene because she enjoyed it, a courtesy on the author’s part that I greatly appreciated.

Dylan, our male main character, seemed pretty well visualized. He was caring and smart and not in the least selfish, which is what a proper Dom or Domme should be. Not the traditional cold, overbearing, “I’m the Dom and I’m always right because I’m so wonderful” kind of Dom. (Personally, I’d like to twist a few of those guys up in knots and see how they do. But I digress…) And the picture of him on the cover? Yum! Wonder if he’s a switch? Maybe even just sometimes? Please?

As storylines go, it’s pretty good. The pacing was uneven at times, but not significantly. I thought Dylan seemed to have kind of shaky control for someone who supposedly practiced being in control, but then again, Alyssa needed someone who could accept her wholeheartedly, so it comes down to showing who the character is right from the beginning. It worked, once I got used to it and was actually rather charming. (Funny how what you read trains you in what to expect–again, Doms who would be tarred and feathered in a real dungeon) The dialogue between them at the beginning was often overformal for what was going on at that point in the story, but settled into something more natural around chapter 5. I actually heard Dylan speaking in a British accent for most of it, because of the word choice and sentence structure. Although, maybe that comes from TEB being a British publisher? Hmmmm…

I was occasionally jolted out of the story as I questioned choices, dialogue and behaviours that seemed just slightly out of tune with my sense of the character, but I also know that I’m really sensitive to those things, so it might not be something that would even hit the radar for someone else. Besides, they seemed to settle down in that last part of the book, as if the author had become more comfortable with the characters herself, or they with her.

I started out thinking of giving this book a 3.5 out of 5, for all the reasons listed above. But, it got better and better as I stuck with it, so in the end, I’ve decided to give it a 4. Good work, Erin!

Many apologies for not getting this out earlier. It’s the squirrels, I’m telling you!

Kitty, going squirrel hunting again.

Take that, January Wordcount Goal! And a loosey-goosey review of Something New Under the Sun

Lol! I realised today that I just surpassed my January wordcount goal. Yay! And, just to prove it, here’s a screenshot of the Spreadsheet of Splendor!

Spreadsheet Jan 20, 2013

Along the left side, you can see the totals and the percent accomplished for each month and for the year as a whole. The coloured column is my daily wordcounts. The colour legend is on the right. It’s a quick and easy way for me to spot trends in my writing. When I mentioned that my spreadsheet was blushing the other day, I wasn’t kidding. Look at all that red! I find this frustrating, because during the summer my daily range was more like 2500 to 3500 words per day. But I wasn’t working full time then and now I am. And then some. Gotta remember to keep my goals reasonable.

I like my spreadsheet, though. It’s a much better motivator than I would ever have imagined. I can be falling down dead tired, but if I’m close to making it to the next colour, it keeps me in my chair until I hit that point. I’d like to start having more blues and oranges on the weekends, but I’ll settle for yellows on a consistent basis.

One thing that this has reassured me about is that I will have time to finish Knight and have it edited, beta’d and re-edited before the deadline. Providing there aren’t any major incidents in the personal life.

Picked up LA Witt’s new book, Something New Under the Sun, last night, because I had pre-ordered it. It’s the sequel to Chip in His Shoulder, which is indirectly responsible for my own scifi, If/Then. I won’t talk much about the storyline, in case I spoil it for anyone, but I have to say she took a few turns I wasn’t quite expecting, and one I was, but which was logical and in character. Except for one extra word that somehow escaped obliteration during the editing process, the novel is as tightly edited and sleek as anything coming out of one of the big six publishers. The world building is excellent–you can almost feel the pollution down in the Gutter and are extremely glad you can’t smell it. With the main plot of this novel being the thriller, not the romance, it drags you along at breakneck speed. I did find that I didn’t feel the relationship between the two main characters as intensely as during the first one, but the focus this time around was more on the action and less on the characters and their relationship to each other. All in all, I would give it a 5 out of 5, for those who like scifi with a bit of romance thrown in.

Next post is the Tuesday Tickle, where you get to read a little bit of one of the stories. And Friday is my post in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. So don’t forget to visit!

Kitty