Saturday, 31 August 2013

2nd Opinion: Life after Death - Lillie J Roberts


Author: Lillie J. Roberts 
Title: Life After Death 
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery
Pages: ebook
First Published: March 18th 2013
Where I Got It: On my shelf. Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion



"Chelsea Karmikel has led a pretty uneventful life…until she finds herself electrocuted. Now, she’s discovered her family’s secret heritage. She’s a seer of the dead, lending her sight to help those in need. Ghosts are her new reality.



Her mission is to encourage those who have lost their way to follow the Watchman, the crazed guide for the Inbetween…a way station where souls move from one existence to the next. But, there’s something deeper and darker than the ghosts who come to her for help. If Chelsea’s not careful, those eager to swallow her soul’s light may devour her alive… if she allows herself be drawn into the Nevernever.

When Brad Rearden, a darkly handsome, insufferable private detective and walks into her life, he touches off a wild-fire of desire that entraps them both, scorching them with need.
Together, they work to solve the mystery of his Aunt Deloris’s death, because Chelsea’s next on the murderer’s list. But who will catch whom—the murderer or Chelsea?"



Like earlier stated I was given this by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion. I will admit...I know the author and am pals with her, but I shall be completely honest and unbiased! 

Poor Chelsea...all she wanted was a simple life with a simple job. However, she is a klutz and due to this she accidentally electrocuted herself and it awoken a gene in her body that allows her to communicate with ghosts. Not only can she talk to them, but she can see them and feel them when they touch her. It is now her job as a "seer" to help the ghosts find peace. Poor chit...not an easy gig and I do not envy her. Then things get EXTRA complicated when a P.I comes into play. The daft man...I don't like Brad. Okay...its not that I dislike him, but I don't get how Chelsea forgave him so quickly. I would have been a bitter woman for a while. Gah. I guess love conquers all. Meh.

Events happened really quickly in this, but I contribute that its a novella in a way. There are only like 130 pages, so I think it falls under that category. So far warning...things happen pretty quickly, but things have to, so the story can move on. Like Chelsea and Brad falling deeply and madly in love and lust. I still don't like how quickly she forgave him for the huge insult and misunderstanding he had not only against Chelsea, but also against her Grandma. 

The book was a fun read, I enjoyed it immensely. It was short and quick, but never boring or cheesy. The voice and tone of the writer was very good and it kept me hooked and I read this in no time. I wish, though, she had made this bigger. Haha. I also wish that she went more in depth on Chelsea's power. 

In the end, I liked this book. It was a nice and quick read. I just wish it was longer and explained more about  her power as a seer. I feel as if we just scratched the surface. Perhaps a sequel is in our mists? ^.^ I would recommend this to those that love a paranormal blended with romance and mystery. This book shall be stamped with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Chelsea, Grandma, and Aunt Deloris.
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Sam & Brad (I had a love-hate thing with him)

*CaroleRae*

Carole owner of caroleraesramblings.com


Friday, 30 August 2013

Carole Reviews: Song of the River - Sue Harrison

Author: Sue Harrison 
Title: Song of the River (Storyteller Trilogy #1) 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: ebook
First Published: 1997
Where I Got It: On my shelf. Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion


"Eighty centuries ago, in the frozen land that is now Alaska, a clubfooted male child had been left to die, when a woman named K’os rescued him. Twenty years later and no longer a child, Chakliux occupies the revered role as his tribe’s storyteller. In the neighboring village of the Near River people, where Chakliux will attempt to make peace by wedding the shaman’s daughter, a double murder occurs that sends him on a harsh, enthralling journey in search of the truth about the tragic losses his people have suffered, and into the arms of a woman he was never meant to love."



Like earlier stated, I read this for the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion. 

This is the first in another series by Sue Harrison. It follows another character entirely and I was rather upset. Hahaha, I really wanted to continue with the next book of the last series I read by Harrison, but oh well.

I'll be honest...I didn't connect with the main character as much as the last one from her other book 'Mother Earth, Father Sky', but I did like him. He was brave and everything, but I just couldn't connect with him. I doubt it has to do with the fact he was a male, because I've connected with many male characters in books in the past. Meh. Oh well. I don't why. :/ Oh well, yet again. Too be honest I had a hard time connecting with anyone in this one. 

This was a little slow moving at times, but it still captured my attention. I think that has more to do with the author's voice and her writing style. I'll admit...I skimmed a wee bit here and there. It was just sooooooooooooooooooooo slow moving at times, I just wanted to move along. *hides under rock*

The research and knowledge base behind this story amazed me yet again. Sue Harrison sure did her homework before writing this! I could feel myself being sucked into time with every page and wish I was there (minus all the violence and lack of technology). Not an easy life, but a simple life it was. 

All-in-all, this was pretty good. Yes, some parts were slow and some parts I skimmed on, but I did really enjoy the ride. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sue Harrison's voice. I will defiantly be reading more of her books in the future! I can't get enough of the worlds she makes us visit. She knows what she is talking about. I wish I could have loved this as much as her other one, but you can't win them all, eh? Out of five stars I grant this one 3 stars.

Favorite Character(s): Chakliux (even though I didn't emotionally connect with him, I thought he was a cool guy) & mama K'os (I don't really get why a lot of people didn't like her)

Not-so Favorite Character(s): None I really think off...*thinks* 



Thursday, 29 August 2013

Early Review: To Wed a Wicked Highlander - Victoria Roberts

Laird Alexander MacDonnell must choose between his duty or losing his heart forever to the woman who betrayed him—his own wife.

Lady Sybella MacKenzie is forced to search for her clan's ancient seeing stone under the roof of her father's enemy. When she finds the precious artifact, will she choose the family who raised her, or will she stand with the man who has captured her soul?

My thoughts:
This book was cute, fun and I read it in no time at all. The pages kind of just flew by and I love when it does that. I adore light and easy.

It's a part of a series, but like I always (well almost) say it can be read as a stand alone. The hero we met in another book, the heroine is new. We meet some old friends too. But you do not need to know their story, it more makes you want to read their story too.

Alexander is a sexy Highlander with troublesome neighbors and he is need of a wife. Sybella is the daughter to the troublesome highlander and is offered to him. I liked that they did not hate each other or fought. No they kind of just drifted towards each other with an ease. Even though Sybella has a secret...one that will destroy their new found love.

There is romance, passion, a bit of suspense, some drama and a lightness of it all.

Conclusion:
I like these bad boys of the highlands, and I want more.

Cover
Yes

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Bad Boys of the Highlands #3
Historical romance
From the publisher for a review


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Review: The Crown Tower - Michael J.Sullivan

A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadias can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

My thoughts:
I have to compare, of course I do. And by comparing I do feel this book was not as strong as the Riyria revelation books. It was still a good book, but yes not as good.

I also wondered how I would have felt if I had read these before the series. Cos they are prequels, so I do know what will happen. But that does not make them any less exciting. It is after all the story of how Royce and Hadrian met, and trust me, their relationship is nothing like in RR. And I should not forget that it's also Gwen's story and I must say, I even think I liked her story the most. She took charge of her life in such a good way.

It also made me wanna re-read RR, cos all the things hinted at here, aww, I know those thing. I wanna read about those things again.

You can read this series first, or you can read RR and read this later. Do what ever fits you the best. Because everything here is still new to me. Sure I know how everyone will end up, I just do not know how they will reach that first destination on the way there.

Conclusion:
But, it did move slow at first before it picked up. Still it had to be told that way, I guess.

Cover
Nice

Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Orbit
The Riyria Chronicles #1, Riyria #1
Fantasy
Own


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Review: The Wishing Thread - Lisa van Allen

The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers.

When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, nonmagical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?

My thoughts:
Something was not quite right. Sometimes I blame it on ebooks. And it might be the problem that I had this time. I never felt connected to the characters, or the book itself. Sometimes ebooks just loose the magic that books hold for me. Because the book itself was good or was it...? And just not for me this time.

The magic, was there magic at all? I like magical realism cos the magic is just embedded in the story. It feels normal or real. Here I never even knew if there was any magic at all and there it lost the magical realism for me.

The book is about 3 sisters and a knitting magic. They knit, people's wishes come true, sometimes. But the sisters have scattered and only lonely Audrey is left. Meggie is the wandered who comes back, and Bitty is the one who married rich but is still unhappy. They all have their problems to deal with and paths to find.

Conclusion:
The story is good, save the neighborhood, the house, themselves. There is a hint of romance too. But in the end, I was on the outside looking in and mostly got stressed cos I had to return the e-reader and the book took 2 weeks to finish.

Cover
Good


ebook, 400 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Ballantine Books
Fiction
From netgalley


Monday, 26 August 2013

Review: Sometimes a Rogue - Mary Jo Putney

Even the most proper young lady yearns for adventure. But when the very well bred Miss Sarah Clarke-Townsend impulsively takes the place of her pregnant twin, it puts her own life at risk. If the kidnappers after her sister discover they’ve abducted Sarah instead, she will surely pay with her life…

Rob Carmichael survived his disastrous family by turning his back on his heritage and becoming a formidable Bow Street Runner with a talent for rescuing damsels in distress. But Sarah is one damsel who is equal to whatever comes. Whether racing across Ireland with her roguish rescuer or throwing herself into his arms, she challenges Rob at every turn.

My thoughts:
Yes it's a series, no you do not have to read it in order. I did not even realize that I had read book 2 in this series before. I just jumped in and it was all good.

Sarah gets kidnapped and taken to Ireland. She is brave, calm and I liked her. I have not read her sister's book but I do not mind if she is not as sunny. Rob is the more damaged one with a chip on his shoulder, but he is great and kind.

The book was more or less two stories. Wild chases through Ireland and danger at every turn. And then the second part which I really can't say much about because it will spoil things. But the second part is calmer, there is romance there, old friends and things fall into place. Yes they did fall into place a bit too easily and the end was wrapped up a bit too fast.

Conclusion:
But the book was good, it was kind of different. More talking, more thinking. No ton.

Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Expected publication: August 27th 2013 by Zebra
Lost Lords #5
Historical romance
To review


Friday, 23 August 2013

Review: Lord of the Fading Lands - C.L.Wilson

Long ago, in the magical holocaust known as the Mage Wars, the immortal Fey and their allies fought to defeat the grasping evil of the Elden Mages and their dark-gifted supporters. During those wars, in a fit of grief-induced madness caused by the death of his mate, Fey shapeshifter Rain Tairen Soul nearly destroyed the world in a blaze of tairen fire.

Now a thousand years later, a new threat calls him from the Fading Lands, back into the world that had cost him so dearly. Now an ancient, familiar evil is regaining its strength, and a new voice beckons him--more compelling, more seductive, more maddening than any before. 

As the power of his most bitter enemy grows and ancient alliances crumble, the wildness in his blood will not be denied. The tairen must claim his truemate and embrace the destiny woven for him in the mists of time.

My thoughts:
I do not know how to rate this one. I liked it, so it was good, but the more I think about things the more annoyed I get. And I would not rush out to get the next book as there are 4 more and I was all get it done or get it over with.

Honestly if I had shut down my brain then it could get that 3. But now I will just rant a bit cos I feel like it. Tairen was too alpha, that I did think from day 1. YOU ARE MINE! Ok cool it mister. If I had been Ellie I would have told him so. Yes I get that she is swept away. But I would have liked it more if she had said. "Ok I get I am in danger, we will go to the fading lands and you can court me there." Instead they stayed and the situation went from bad to worse. Everyone felt TSTL at one time or another and I wondered how these races have managed to survive at all. I wanted to smack everyone over the head.

The world, sure it was there, but instead of going all DOOM I destroyed the world once, tell me more about the world itself.

And what no one saw that Ellie was weird?

I did find those crazy fey that had run away cool. Those I wanted more about. These, eh not so much. There is mating frenzy and then there is mating frenzy. It was too much.

And there was no conclusion. Le sigh. I totally know what will happen to some, I knew from page one. But there are other minor characters that seemed interesting. So fantasy romance, yeah, romance. I think I have read too much fantasy and fantasy romance is always so lame to me.

Conclusion:
Eh

Cover
The whole flying panther is stupid

Mass Market Paperback, 402 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Leisure Books
Tairen Soul #1
Fantasy romance
Own


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Review: In Defense of the Queen - Michelle Diener

An artist never betrays her patron . . . especially one of the world's most powerful kings.

Susanna Horenbout has learned this lesson from the cradle. But when she receives a letter from her father telling her to do just that, she faces a dilemma. Betray Henry VIII, or carry out the request of her father’s employer, Margaret of Austria, and pass secret information to Henry’s queen, Katherine of Aragon.

Caught between the machinations of her husband and her nephew, the Emperor Charles, Queen Katherine needs all the allies she can get. But what can Susanna really do to help her, and even if she does, will it be enough?

Susanna and her betrothed, Parker——one of Henry's most trusted courtiers——balance on the knife’s edge of treason as they try to make sense of both international and domestic conspiracies. Sometimes, it's better the enemy you know . . .

My thoughts:
Sometimes a series just keep on getting better and this one certainly did. This book never let go of me, the suspense was always there. Susanna was truly in trouble. I like it.

This is the third book in the series about Susanna and Parker. Still not married ;) but it's coming. There is a message for the queen, but the question is deliver it or not? Treason? And then there again is a plot that needs to be uncovered and dangers for both of them. There is lots of running, spying and hiding.

Now why was this book the best one so far? I always have a hard time putting the finger on what. It just was. The pages flew by, the characters were awesome, the punches kept on coming and the writing was excellent. So, it just was the best one so far :D And I want more. Mostly cos I want them to get married and I could see them getting into a lot of trouble at the wedding.

Conclusion:
An interesting series set in Tudor times. Suspense, secrets and spies.

Paperback, 355 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Michelle Diener
Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #3
Historical fiction /mystery
From the author for an honest review


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Review: Malice - John Gwynne

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle. An uneasy peace reigns, but now giants stir once more, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of gigantic worms. Those who can still read the signs see a prophecy realised: sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. 

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors and yearns to join them, determined that he will make his family proud. It is only when everything he knows is threatened that he discovers the true cost of becoming a man.

As the Kings look to their borders, and priests beg answers from the Gods, only a chosen few know that the fate of the world will be decided between two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. And with their coming will be a war to end all wars.

My thoughts:
The book was not easy getting into to. I was bored at first, then the many POVs had me confused. They kept on coming and before I knew one character another one was thrown at me. I do not have a problem with many characters, I just need to know who they all are and what they do first. But somewhere along the lines the book grew interesting, I started to like and hate people. Sure it took a while and that is why it's getting a 3 instead of a 4. Because in the end it was really good, the plot thickened and I wanted book 2. And there is no word out on book 2. I am dying here, I need to know certain things. It was so good! (edit, word on book 2 is spring 2014, yay).

Right, should I tell you about all the POVS? Eh, well some, there was Corban, the typical young boy who must find his fate (and I sure want to know too!). His sister who wants to fight. There is a prince thinking he will save all. A lawless man in the woods. A king's nephew who is dealing with a troublesome cousin. A man rising in the ranks of his prince. Let's see was that all? I can't say too much because certain plots, oh they were good. I kept wondering, thinking I had it, and the twists that I guessed were juicy.

He sure spun a good web. I wish some of the characters will see the truth and the rest I hope will burn. Aye, just like one should feel in a good book.

Conclusion:
So a difficult beginning paved way to a great debut. I hope the next book comes out soon

Cover
Eh


Paperback, 628 pages
Published July 4th 2013 by Tor (first published December 6th 2012)
The Faithful and the Fallen #1
Fantasy
Own


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Review: Crush on You - Christie Ridgway

The Baci sisters are on a mission to save the winery that's been in their family for generations-by transforming it into the perfect wedding destination. If only Alessandra Baci-affectionately known as the "Nun of Napa"-didn't need the help of tempting neighbor and business rival Penn Bennett.

My thoughts:
I wanna make this short, I am so tired today for some reason.

Right, so I read book 2 first I think, then book 3 and at last book 1. Don't say anything ;)

I wanted to read about Alessandra since day 1. The Nun of Napa. She was sweet and kind. In a way there was not anything special about her. Except for that her husband to be died 15 min before their wedding and the whole town has tip toed around her ever since. Mourning is one thing, but being the living memory of him and no men looking at her is another thing. As I got to know her, I felt sorry for her.

Penn is a bit full of him at first, I wanted to smack him over the head (yes I do love to do that ;). Quite a few times actually. Truth be told, I never truly warmed up to him. I did not feel all gaga over him.

I did rush the end a bit as it took a 3 days to finish the book (just not enough time). I did not like it as much as the other books. And I think that if I had read this one first I would not have gone for the rest. Still it was good, just not special.

Conclusion
I liked it, but it could have been better.

Cover 
Cute

Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Berkley
Three Kisses #1
Contemporary romance
Own


Monday, 19 August 2013

Author Interview and giveaway: Carolyn Brown

Today I have author Carolyn Brown over, and  I am sure you remember one of many of her cowboy books I have reviewed ;)

1. As I have had you over before, what’s new in the life of Carolyn Brown?
Carolyn:  Thank you so much for inviting me back to Mur-y-Castell to talk about Cowboy Seeks Bride. Dewar and Haley (H. B.) are delighted to join me so if anyone has questions after the interview, just feel free to ask us anything. They’re itchin’ to talk to all y’all.

What’s new in my life? In my writing life, I’m still in love with writing about sexy cowboys and the folks in Cadillac, Texas in my women’s fiction books. I’m very busy with new contracts and looking forward to getting to know all these characters better that are fighting for their turn to sit behind me and tell me what to write. In my personal life, Husband and I just celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary on August 12. Note: I was a very young bride!

2. And how about your new book Cowboy Seeks Bride… What about it will readers fall head over heels in love with it? J
Carolyn:  It’s very different from the other Spikes & Spurs books. As one reviewer said, it borders on historical. But then it’s a reenactment cattle drive and those happened right after the Civil War so it would border on historical, however, these folks do know about cell phones, television reality shows and lap top computers, even if they do miss them.

Dewar is ecstatic about going out on a month long cattle drive with his cousins and a couple of older cowhands from over on Ace’s ranch (One Hot Cowboy Wedding). The only thing drawback concerning the whole trip is going to be that citified fellow that the sponsoring television company is sending along to take notes. He doesn’t know until they are minutes away from leaving Ringgold that H. B. isn’t a fellow at all but a feisty red head with green eyes and a damn sexy body.

H. B., aka Haley, really doesn’t think her father, owner of the company sponsoring the trip, will make her ride a horse for more than 400 miles. It has to be the worst April Fools joke in history but it’s not a joke and she really is going. She’s determined to wipe the grins right off those cowboy’s faces and show them that she’s just as tough as they are.

I’m hoping my readers fall head over heels in love with the story!

3. This is the end of the Spikes and Spurs series. Will we ever meet any of the characters again?
Carolyn:  Sawyer and Finn O’Donnell are a couple of secondary characters in Cowboy Seeks Bride. They’re cousins of Dewar’s and they help with the cattle drive from Ringgold to Dodge City. They show up as heroes in a brand new series that will debut in 2014 set in Burnt Boot, Texas. So keep your boots on and your spurs handy…you will be seeing a couple more O’Donnell cowboys in that series and maybe  een get a bit of catching up on what’s going on with some of the Spikes & Spurs clan at the same time.

4. What makes Dewar and H.B the perfect couple? 
Carolyn: Dewar needs a woman who is independent, capable of handling herself and who can hold her own. He’d never be satisfied with someone who would walk three steps behind him and not speak her mind. Haley doesn’t want a relationship with a cowboy for sure, but she wants all the qualities that Dewar has just naturally. She likes a strong man who isn’t afraid of hard work, one that makes her senses reel and who appreciates her for who she is.

It just takes them a while to catch up with what their hearts knew from day one when she drove up her little red sports car and realized that the whole thing was not a joke and she was really going on a month long cattle drive.

5. Now if this was a real TV show, who would play them?
Carolyn: Timothy Olyphant would play Dewar right well. He’s got the swagger, the expressions and even wears his jeans just right for the part. Katherine Heigl  could play Haley. She’d make a lovely red head and I just know she could play the part beautifully. If you have a hot line to the movie companies, tell them I’ll be glad to sit in on the casting calls.

6. What's coming next from you?
Carolyn:  The Cowboys & Brides series kicked off in June with Billion Dollar Cowboy. In October, readers can look forward to The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby with The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride (Feb. 2014) and How to Marry a Cowboy (May 2014) following. The final two women’s fiction books set in Cadillac, Texas will be sandwiched in there with The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off coming out in April and The Yellow Rose Barbecue Ball in July. After that we’ll jump right into The Burnt Boot series with a Christmas book in October. There are more cowboys and humorous fiction on the way, folks, so don’t put away your reading glasses just yet!

Thanks!

GIVEAWAY
1 copy of Just a Cowboy and his baby (the book before this one)

1. US and Canada only
2. Ends Aug 31st
3. Just enter :D 
And please be free to ask Carolyn questions :)

COWBOY SEEKS BRIDE BY CAROLYN BROWN – IN STORES AUGUST 2013

He's Tough as Nails and Ready to Ride...
Rancher Dewar O'Donnell is just an old-fashioned cowboy at heart, and he can't wait to reenact the historic Chisholm Trail ride with his buddies. The trial-run cattle drive for a reality TV show sounds like a great time—until H.B. McKay pulls up in her slick red sports car...

She's Way Out of Her Element...
Haley McKay is a feisty, high-powered businesswoman with the power suit and stiletto heels to prove it. She's keen to research her company's hot new idea for a reality TV show—but mount up with a bunch of modern-day cowboys? Are they kidding?

It's too late to back out now, so Haley sets out to prove that it will take more than snakes, storms, and stampedes to make her back down.

Besides, sleeping under the stars with Dewar O'Donnell could prove mighty interesting...

Praise for Carolyn Brown:

"Lazy drawls and pointy-toed boots are at the heart of Brown's Texas-set romance...the couple's relationship is hot as the Texan sun."—RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

"Funny, frank, and full of heart...One more welcome example of Brown's Texas-size talent for storytelling."—USA Today Happily Ever After

"Alive with humor...Another page-turning joy of a book by an engaging author."—Fresh Fiction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with more than sixty books published. She writes bestselling single title cowboy and country music mass market romances, as well as women’s fiction. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband now make their home in the town of DavisOklahoma. Look for The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby in stores this October! For more information, please visit www.CarolynLBrown.com.

To purchase Cowboy Seeks Bride:


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Carole Reviews: Mother Earth Father Sky - Sue Harrison


Author: Sue Harrison
Title: Mother Earth Father Sky (#1 in The Ivory Carver Trilogy)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama, YA
Pages: ebook
First Published: Jan. 1st, 1985
Where I Got It: One my shelf (given to by publisher/author to give my honest and unbiased opinion)



"A young woman fights for survival amid the brutality of the last Ice Age 




It’s 7056 BC, a time before history. On the first day that Chagak’s womanhood is acknowledged within her Aleut tribe, she unexpectedly finds herself betrothed to Seal Stalker, the most promising young hunter in the village. A bright future lies ahead of Chagak—but in one violent moment, she loses her entire way of life. Left with her infant brother, Pup, and only a birdskin parka for warmth, Chagak sets out across the icy waters on a quest for survival and revenge."


Like earlier stated, I was given this book to read and give my unbiased and honest opinion.

This is the first book of the Ivory Carver Trilogy and I am drooling to read the next two! Eeeek! I'm not really sure what the next two books are about (be it Chagak or other characters). I would really like to learn more about Blue Shell. I want her to have her happily ever after and we all know she deserves better then stupid the stupid and cowardly husband she has now. He is not only weak and cowardly, but he is mean and hurts her. I really liked Blue Shell and I hope in the next two books she gets her HEA. 

Some people label this as a "YA" novel. I don't see it at all...its rather graphic at some points and I don't think I would let a child under 14 read this...so I guess 14+ are Young Adults. IDK.  It did win an award for Best Book for YA in 1991. Soooo I guess parents don't mind, but there are a few scenes are rather graphic....but oh well...what do I know....

Anyways....

I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was so hard to put it down, but I had no choice due to me being so busy the last week and change. It was SUCH a good read. At some points I was so into the text I thought I was watching a movie and I would give commentary and Boyfriend would look at me strange, so I would have to inform him what happened and give him the back-story. Sue Harrison just sucked me up into this world from page one. Yes, there was a LOT of details, but it was necessary to understand the world and get a good grasp on the ancient society. I especially am grateful for the wonderful details included, because my knowledge on the Aleut tribes is limited. I know a lot about many tribes, but my knowledge base in pretty much nonexist. However, due to Sue Harrison not only did I learn a lot, but I have done my own research after the book was done. It's so great when an author makes you want to learn more.

The characters were well written. Chagak was a strong woman and I applaud her. She went through some emotional stuff for being a young adult herself. She had just became a woman and she lost EVERYTHING. So sad. So, so sad. I felt really connected with Chagak (and Blue Shell for some reason). Which is odd that I emotionally connected with more then one character. 

In the end, I adored this book. This book is defiantly up for "Top Book of the Year" for me.  Haha. Can't wait to read more in the trilogy and in this time period. It was wonderfully written and I can't really think of anything negative at this point in time. I do, however, disagree that this is shoved in with the YA genre as well as the HF due to the few scenes that are pretty graphic. Oh well. I do recommend this to those that love Historical Fiction, Native History, history (in general), and for those looking to shake up their reading shelves. I shall stamp this with 5 stars. Woot! Woot!

Favorite Character(s): Chagak, Blue Shell, Crooked Nose, Seal Stalker, and Many Whales
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Blue Shell's husband & Man-who-Kills (I wonder why....)


*CaroleRae*


Friday, 16 August 2013

Review: King's Dragon - Kate Elliott

King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her banner. Internal conflict weakens Wendar's defences, drawing raiders, human and inhuman, across its borders. Terrifying portents abound and dark spirits walk the land in broad daylight.

Suddenly two innocents are thrust into the midst of the conflict: Alain, a young man granted a vision by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman with the power to change the course of history. Both must discover the truth about themselves before they can accept their fates. For in a war where sorcery, not swords, may determine the final outcome, the price of failure may be more than their own lives.

My thoughts:
By Thor's Beard!, why have I only read bad books lately?! (edit later: this review was written a month ago). I do not even know where to begin. I was so booored, but read on, skimmed, and read on. I came to the conclusion that "swears some" I will read this book. I got it, I will read it, not put it back on that darn TBR pile. So I read it, half way through I read reviews for book 7 so I could see what would happen.

It was the characters, I should have felt for Liath's plight. But I just did not. She felt whiny. I should have liked Alain but he was a wooden figure. The Eika prince seemed interesting, but Sagalant, the half elf prince whatever lost me when he lusted after Liath the second he met her. Instalove and then I was all what?

The world, yes the world was the one thing that had me bored. Sure it's fun when worlds resemble our but here it was just too much. The weird Eika, eh can you say the vikings are coming? The church, the lady and her son. The convents, priest, I do not need that much Catholicism in my fantasy. I want it to differ a bit. You are creating a world, play with it. But here it was just I shall make women strong too, a woman can claim a child came from her womb but a man can't. So let's make women bishops and shit. Yes again, I did not care. It was Christianity. The countries, the name. Too familiar. Yes I give you, there were some elves in another dimension, but hey people thought there were beings in the old days. So nothing new.

Conclusion:
Yes this book failed on every level for me. Everything felt forced.

Cover
eh

Paperback, 591 pages
Published 1998 by Orbit (first published 1997)
Crown of Stars #1
Fantasy
Own


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Review. Seraphina - Rachel Hartman

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.

My thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Sure I heard it was good, but that's the thing, is it all hyped up or not? Well I can tell you, that it is not. It was a wonderful YA fantasy.

It's all about Seraphina, a halfbreed, something that should not exist and something that many would love to kill. So she hides the fact that she has scales on her body and goes on with her life. All in a nice kingdom that fought dragons and made peace with them 40 years ago. All in a kingdom where dragons are hated and looked down upon. Not to mention all the religious propaganda being spewed out by zealots. Yes nothing like religion to get my panties in a twist when reading fantasy. Most often when it happens it cos it's cos the religion resembles Christianity, here with saints and all that we are better, you others suck. I am so gonna go off on a religious rant now, but ok ok it works great in a world where dragons look down on humans and humans look down at dragons.

So a society with lots of tensions. Then we got a lot of nice side characters. Seraphina's uncle, whom she can't call uncle. Prince Lucian (I liked him!), princess Grisselda (I liked her too, she was just sweet), and lots more. All forming a nice cast of characters around here. Helping her on her way, not helping her on her way and leading to the end. Oh yes the end, trouble there. I do not know how it all will work out but I am sure waiting for the next one.

Conclusion:
Recommended.

Cover
Both eh and yes

Hardcover, UK, 368 pages
Published July 19th 2012 by Doubleday Childrens (first published July 1st 2012)
Seraphina #1
Library
Fantasy / YA


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Terry Spear - Heart of the Jaguar series

Today on my blog I interview author Terry Spear.

1. Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
Terry:  Once upon a time I was known as the Bear Lady—I make award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. I'm also a retired officer from the US Army Reserves, which has given me all kinds of great fodder for my stories as far as rappelling, mountain climbing, shooting weapsons, leadership reaction, obstacle, confidence courses, and water survival training. And now I'm known as the Wolf Goddess. It's in the genes.

2. You new book is called Jaguar Fever, now what's it about?
Terry: Jaguar Fever is the second book in the Heart of the Jaguar series, and so I'm becoming a Jaguar Goddess of sorts. You see, in old Mayan culture and several other South American cultures, jaguars were reverred. Like werewolves, jaguar shifters live among us, although the jaguars believe the werewolves are one of those myths. And likewise, the werewolves think they are the only shifters on earth. 

In Jaguar Fever, we have Wade Patterson, the elusive shifter who helped out Maya Anderson and her brother and her sister-in-law in the jungle. Finding a prospective mate among jaguar shifters isn't really easy to do. They normally don't run in packs and are more elusive. But when Wade sees Maya alone in a jaguar shifter club, he goes all Special Forces protective over her. She is so thrilled to meet others of her kind, she wants to get to know others, but Wade is as bad as her brother and ...well, she's a wild cat—as in visits the jungle in South America on a regular basis and that means trouble.

3. Are there more books planned in the Heart of the Jaguar series?
Terry: Yes! I just finished writing Jaguar Hunt about Wade's brother David, who is a real character and just as loveable. He and Maya's cousin, Tammy, are given a job to do—locate a missing jaguar from a zoo, only she's first tasked to get David out of jail. He's a Special Forces Golden Claw JAG agent also, and she is not happy. 

Then in the next book, we'll see one of Tammy's brothers, also Special Forces, who has a delicate mission south of the border in the hot steamy jungle, tasked to work with a female Special Forces agent, and he finds two jag cubs –shifter types, left on his sleeping bag. What's a hot, sexy, alpha male jag to do? Hand them over to the female agent. She's not playing that game.

4. You have written a lot of books, but are there any that you feel a truly special connection to? 
Terry: All of them. When I write a book, I put my heart and soul into it. The characters come alive. They're real and striving to get through all their conflicts both romantically and to do with their suspense-filled plots. I have so much fun creating each story, that I really have a special connection to all of them. 

Scenes that made the characters memorable to me include: In To Tempt the Wolf, I loved the scene where Tessa finds the naked werewolf/SEAL, Hunter, on the beach. 

In Savage Hunger, when Connor washes Kat under the waterfall. 

In Heart of the Wolf, when Devlyn goes to the meal naked because Bella asks if he's going to go half-dressed. 

When Darien rescues Lelandi in the cave in Destiny of the Wolf. 

When Finn checks over Meara to see if she's got any listening bugs in her clothes in A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing. 

When Bjornolf and Anna have their sparring match in A SEAL Wolf Christmas. 

The visit to the Highland creek in Heart of the Highland Wolf. 

In A Howl for a Highlander, the scene where the she-wolf gets the best of Duncan MacNeill, great Highland warrior, at her cabana. 

In A Highland Werewolf Wedding, the scene where Cearnach makes the she-wolf sit in his pew at the wedding. She's in seventh heaven, by the way, as all these Highland wolves are dressed in kilts for the wedding. 

The kiss scene at the ski lift between Tom and Elizabeth in Silence of theWolf. 

The hot tub in the snow with the Arctic wolves in Legend of the White Wolf. 

In Seduced by the Wolf, when Leidolf meets the professed wolf biologist expert and realizes she's a werewolf and becomes more than interested. 

In Wolf Fever, when Ryan comes to see Carol and Darien and his brothers are all protective of her. 

In Dreaming of the Wolf, the ice skating with Jake and a human woman interested in photography but not as a hobby. 

As you can see, in each case, the characters are so much fun, having their own personalities and totally loveable!

5. Give me a few reason why readers will adore Maya and Wade as a couple?
Terry: Wade is ready to fight any battle to keep Maya safe, though he can be a bit overprotective at times. Maya's used to her brother being that way, so she knows how to deal with it. Wade is close to his brother, just as Maya is to her brother and sister-in-law, so unlike jaguars in the wild, they do have a love of family. Wade may think it's only his duty to rescue the she-cat, but she rescues him also when he is the cat in distress. And when it comes to showers... did I mention that the big cats love the water?

6. What's coming next from you?
Terry: A SEAL Wolf Christmas comes out in October, an early Christmas present of more hot SEALs. Anna, who works with Hunter's SEAL team, and Bjornolf who ghosts the team providing backup, ends up getting too close to the mission, but mostly he's totally fascinated with the kick-ass (with heart) Anna, who makes him forget just what his mission is. 

After that, the much awaited Silver brothers' story, Tom gets the girl in Silence of the Wolf in Feb. She's not all wolf either. He's given the task to watch over her until she leaves their ski resort, but then there's the kiss on the slopes, and well... who knows where that will lead? 

Then Jaguar Hunt in the spring, Tammy and David's story. And another with her poor brother who is stuck jaguar cub sitting on a mission, coming 2015. 

Guthrie's story in Mayhem, Misteltoe and the Highland Wolf, featuring Calla and Guthrie for October 2014. She's a party planner and is planning the Christmas event of the season for the MacNeill clan, he's got the purse strings, and the battle begins. 

A Hero of a Highland Wolf, that I'm working on now, with a whole new Highland pack—friends of the MacNeills where a Amercian she-wolf must stay at her castle in Scotland for a year and a day, but the Highland wolf and his clan who manage it want to cut her visit short before she makes too many changes in the way they've always done things. Until... Well, that will also come out next year.

And (you see, lots more!) another hot SEAL Wolf story, this time featuring Paul and Allan, who are off to visit Allan's family, and what a mistake that is! The next thing Paul knows, he and his SEAL team member, Allan, are up for auction in a Bachelor Auction, coming 2015. So lots and lots more reading fun! 

Thanks so much for having me here today! So if you went to a jaguar shifter club and saw all these hot shifters, what would you do?

Giveaway
1 copy of Savage Hunger (book 1)

1. US and Canada only
2. Ends Aug 25
3. Just go ahead and enter, and if you want take time to answer Terry's question.

JAGUAR FEVER BY TERRY SPEAR – IN STORES AUGUST 2013 

She's being pursued by everyone, in more ways than one.
Even in an exotic world of humans, jaguars, and tantalizing creatures who shift between the two, Maya Anderson stands out from the crowd. Interest from human suitors is bad enough, but when male shifters give chase, the real trouble starts.

Who's the hunter and who's the prey?
Investigating the black marketing trade of exotic animals keeps Wade Patterson more than busy. When he and Maya both get entangled in a steamy jungle mission, it becomes impossible to tell who is being hunted or who the hunters are. Wade is desperate to survive this deadly game of cat and mouse. But it's Maya's piercing eyes that keep him awake at night.

Praise for Savage Hunger:
"Dark, sultry, and primal romance...will leave readers breathless."
—Fresh Fiction
"Humor, tenderness, and pure hot loving...an awesome and exciting new world."
—Long and Short Reviews, 5 stars
"A sizzling page-turner, Terry Spear is wickedly talented." 
—Night Owl Reviews Reviewer Top Pick, 5 Stars
"Spear paints a colorful, vivid portrait of the lush jungle and deadly beauty...of jaguars."
—Publishers Weekly

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas. For more information, please visit www.TerrySpear.com, follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear, and like her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/terry.spear. 

To Purchase Jaguar Fever: 


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Review: Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap

Mass Market Paperback, 1st Edition, 327 pages: Published July 30th 2013 by Ace: Kate Daniels #6: Urban Fantasy: Own

My thoughts:
Yay, I got the book much faster than I thought I would and I started to read at once and did not want to put it down. 

There was just something about the first half of the book. I went ohhhh! at one time, and then later on I giggled. The book kept trying punches my way and I was loving it and despairing for everyone.

How to review book 6? I suck at these kind of things.

Could Kate be more kick-ass?!
Curran is awesome as always, but there were times...I was boiling inside for a reason I wont say.
Aunt D!
Saiman! Hugh...yes him too.
Roland of course. I wonder how it all will play out.
Yes the list of cool characters is long and I love them all.

There is action. Cool new monsters, revelations and the perfect setting for it all.

Conclusion:
If you have not started this series you really should. And what a mess I made of the review, it's just that I am all !!!

Cover
Finally! Kate looks more her age and origin


Monday, 12 August 2013

Review: Cowboy Seeks Bride - Carolyn Brown

Rancher Dewar O'Donnell is just an old-fashioned cowboy at heart, and he can't wait to reenact the historic Chisholm Trail ride with his buddies. The trial-run cattle drive for a reality TV show sounds like a great time - until H.B. McKay pulls up in her slick red sports car.

Haley McKay is a feisty, high-powered businesswoman with the power suit and stiletto heels to prove it. She's keen to research her company's hot new idea for a reality TV show - but mount up with a bunch of modern-day cowboys? Are they kidding?

It's too late to back out now, so Haley sets out to prove that it will take more than snakes, storms, and stampedes to make her back down. Besides, sleeping under the stars with Dewar O'Donnell could prove mighty interesting...

Paperback, 384 pages: Published August 6th 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca:  Spikes & Spurs #7: Contemporary romance: From the publisher for a review
My thoughts:
I could say it time and time again. Brown writes cute, sassy and fun cowboy books. The women are sassy and the men are, well cowboys ;)

The book is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone. There is talk of Dewar's family and friends, but hey that's normal. You do not need to have read previous ones to follow along.

Dewar is a cowboy through and through. He loves his ranch, he loves the life. Haley is everything he isn't. She loves her job in Dallas and her power suits. Therein lies the drama. These two meet, become friends and then something more. But there is always that big cloud over them. He wants to live where he lives, she is going back to Dallas and her fancy office.

The atmosphere was also nice in this one as they went on a month long cattle drive, and lots happened. I will just leave it at lots so not to spoil anything.

While reading I heard about Haley's grandma and I am telling ya, I would love that story :D Hint hint to the author.

Conclusion:
Drama on the trail, romance, passion and cowboys. What more could a reader ask for?

Cover
Cute


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