If You Love J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Then You’ll Like…

April 1 is a VERY special day for paranormal fans and vampire lovers, it’s almost like a holiday!
Why? Because the much anticipated Black Dagger Brotherhood novel, THE KING, Wrath’s book, hits the shelves tomorrow! So expect a lot of Goodreads, FB & Twitter updates about THE KING because a lot of us readers will be taking a short trip to Caldwell, New York, in support of King Wrath and Queen Beth’s reign as crazy haters try and take the throne away from these two lovely monarchs.
BDB is special to me because it’s one of the first PNR/UF series that I’ve read and reviewed for Talk Supe. I didn’t know what I was stumbling into back then, all I know was that I was in the lookout for a vampire series to read. Didn’t know I found something VERY special and unique until later on.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of all the books, some of the Brother’s stories were either disappointments or complete WTF’s. I’ve always had a problem with the original villains, the lessers, and how they’re more of a nuisance than a serious threat; how the Scribe Virgin can be such a hypocrite sometimes not to mention she’s not the greatest mother (how can you let your son be mated to a ghost?!); and some other petty stuff.
But it’s the (Bro)ROMANCE that I’m so addicted to! The complicated, tense and sometimes homoerotic relationships, the highly entertaining shit talking, and other borderline jazz that makes BDB such awesome reads. Not to mention the unconditional love and loyalty these Brothers have for each other, what more could I ask for? 
There’s no doubt that J.R. Ward dominates this genre with BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD, an incomparable and superb paranormal romance series, with fans always wanting for more and looking elsewhere for something similar to help them get through the long wait til the next book. 
Below are some suggested series that are more or less along the lines of BDB. I’m not saying that it’ll be exact but these series have certain elements about it that echoes some parts of BDB

Fallen Angels by J.R. Ward
This series is the natural go-to for fans as The Fallen Angels’ world collides with BDB. Aside from the location, Caldwell, New York, The Fallen Angels shares the same snark, level of male camaraderie and homo-eroticism of BDB. However, none of these Angel books are as stellar as their vampire cousins plot wise. On that same thread, I love J.R. Ward’s wit and writing voice so even if I don’t care much for her Angels, I still devour this series just to get another hit from the Warden.

Chronicles of Yavn by Elisabeth Staab
Chronicles of Yavn (Yet Another Vampire Novel, get it?) by Elisabeth Staab is about warrior vampires and their efforts to protect their kind from bad wizards who are in a mission to annihilate their already dwindling race. Aside from featuring vampires, this series is snarky, funny, and downright sexy. Like the Brothers, Staab’s vamps are their own race, they each have their own abilities, they’re ruled by a monarchy and are embroiled in a vicious war. What makes this unique from BDB is the myth and mating lore plus I find Staab’s villains, the Wizards, better developed, utilized and explored than the lessers.


All The King’s Men by Donya Lynne
I’ve only read Return Of The Assassin in this entire series but it’s enough to leave a strong impression. From what I’ve managed to get out of just one book, AKM has a huge and complex series plot, the relationships between characters are very angtsy and complex plus Donya Lynne added some dark erotic elements to make her series extra spicier. The world building is great and the characters that I’ve met in book 5 are distinct and their combination is unlike any other series I’ve ever read. I wish I could tell you more, I’ll let the Goodreads and Amazaon star ratings speak for itself.



While the AKM series has proven to elicit powerful, positive emotional responses from readers, and book two of the series, Heart of the Warrior, converted many traditional romance readers into fans of the male/male romance genre, the series, as a whole, isn’t for everyone. The world of AKM contains elements of alternative lifestyles, including BDSM, homosexuality, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and multiple partners. Language can, at times, be harsh and contain profound incidents of profanity. The more tormented the character, the more offensive their language. That’s just how it is. – Goodreads series description

Sons of Wrath by Keri Lake
Demons! Yup, Keri Lake’s creature of choice are demons. Crazy, snarky, hunky, hornless but horny demons who are real paternal brothers, living in the same house, battling different otherworldly creatures at night (mainly werewolves) while managing to find their one true love on the side. Sons of Wrath is one of my favorite paranormal series and I love it to bits! The world building is amazing, the dialogue is rich and entertaining plus and the characters drool worthy. I never thought I’ll love demons and would ever want to be mated to one, (dibs on Gavin… SERIOUSLY!) but after meeting Keri Lake’s kids, I’d willingly offer myself up to be their bride. 

The Szolites by N. Isabelle Blanco
N. Isabelle Blanco is a voracious reader, a fangirl and a self-confessed BDB fan like us, she’s also a very talented writer. N. Isabelle Blanco successfully created her own pantheon in The Szolites and boy, are her Gods and Goddesses a crazy bunch! The Szolites is character driven, the dialogue witty and snarky, her characters are archetypes of western pagan gods with a big dollop of contemporary qualities to make them current and appealing. She has a wicked sense of humor and can dish out super sexy love scenes, her myth is fresh made even more unique by her exotic character names. I highly recommend The Szolites to all paranormal romance readers. 
DISCLAIMER: Now please note that these series that I’ve recommended are books that I’ve actually read and since I haven’t really read a LOT of paranormal romance, I know that my repertoire is limited. That said, I’m on the lookout for more so please, feel free to recommend a book or series that you feel will have the same appeal as the epic BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD.


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Suped Up: Love and Lists & Passion and Ponies by Tara Sivec

 Love and Lists | Passion and Ponies
Chocoholics 1 & 2
Mobi
October 1, 2013 | March 25, 2014
Bought
Romantic Comedy
Effing HILARIOUS! And I don’t even think that’s the right adjective to describe Tara Sivec’s Chocoholics series, featuring the offspring of the MC’s of Seduction and Snacks, TSivec’s other hit series, making Chocoholics essentially a spin-off. I don’t have the words to share with you how LOL funny this series is! I can’t even share quotes because the comebacks are always funnier and better, I might as well copy/paste the books here… but that would be plagiarism so I won’t do that.
Book 1, LOVE AND LISTS is a bestfriends to lovers trope. Gavin and Charlotte are Claire and Liz’s kids so obviously they’ve been childhood friends and as they grew older, they’ve naturally gravitated towards each other and fell in love. But the transition from platonic to romantic wasn’t graceful. Gavin and Charlotte went through crazy lists on how to seduce the other including a fake gay boyfriend, a little blue pill accident and all sorts of crazy ideas, it was one comedic disaster after the other. The conflict was mainly about communication failure between the two plus the meddling secondary characters didn’t help things either. It looks like the Seduction and Snacks characters didn’t really change, getting older just made them even crazier.
Book 2, PASSION AND PONIES follows another trope, casual hook-up turned serious. The plot and conflicts are more complicated and ludicrous than LOVE AND LISTS. Ava is Charlotte’s younger, fashion whore sister and Travis is Gavin’s weird sidekick who has a thing for My Little Pony, making him a Brony (there are real Bronys FYI: http://bronycon.org). Aside from these two clumsily navigating the evolution of their relationship from fling to exclusive dating, Travis also found out that he could be a great candidate for the Maury show because his mother doesn’t know who his father is. This was eventually resolved as Travis’ dad was closer than he thought. It was quite obvious who Travis’ biological dad is but the process of solving this mystery had me in stitches with the final clue involving, yup, My Little Pony and glitter! Ava and Travis’ love story is riotous! These two couldn’t be more opposite if they tried but it works! Travis is a natural comedian with his weird confessions and his MLP obsession so extreme he’d prance and whinny in his sleep! And Ava is simply an adorable bitch, watching her Ice Queen demeanor melt for quirky Travis was worth every minute spent reading PASSION AND PONIES.
Chocoholics is one uproarious motherfudging romantic, sexy comedy. There’s a lot of inappropriate conversations between parent and child, a multitude of vagina and penis jokes, odd sexual practices and confessions, TSivec’s humor is the gift that keeps on giving and it looks like that fount is far from drying up. I was giggling, laughing and snorting for a day and a half, those hours were golden and I don’t care if my kid thinks his mother has lost it! TSivec ALWAYS provides cheap but invaluable escapes, I strongly encourage you to indulge in her book vacations soon! And if my “funny” superlative synonyms doesn’t bring my case home then I don’t know what will.


SOME WEIRD STUFF:

From Love and Lists:
Chapter 6 – Show Her Your Penis (trust me, this isn’t what the title implies)
Chapter 15 – You’re A Labia
Chapter 17 – Numb Vagina (involves Chapsticks)
Chapter 19 – I Wanna Get The Craps (you have to read it to understand)

From Passion and Ponies:
“Dolphin Rape Awareness Workshop” or D.R.A.W.
“Your vagina is sweet and kind and would never hurt my penis.” (I hope none of you got offended)
Chapter 2 – A Happy Vagina is a Happy Life
Chapter 26 – When You Wish Upon A Dildo

Book Releasing In June? Maybe I Can Help You Pimp It!

Hey authors! How’s it goin?!

So I got a question for you:
Is your book’s release date between 
May 25-June 30

I ask because I may be able to help you pimp it out. But before you fill out the form below, please check my Review Policy so you’ll have an idea if your book fits my preferred genres.

Also be advised that I only have limited slots so I may not be able to feature everyone although I’ll sure try to fit everybody in!

Thanks in advance for expressing interest!

Love It: Blood Stained Tranquility by N. Isabelle Blanco + Giveaway

Series: The Szolites 2

Format: eGalley
Release Date: March 27, 2014
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Erotica

The wheels of destiny are spiraling out of control quicker than even the gods can keep up. They all thought they knew what war was like—but have no idea how bad things are about to get. In the continuation of the Szolite series, two of the most dangerous powers in the Universe will be unleashed, threatening to push two fated beings apart.

A normal human girl. . .
Evesse Salazar never imagined that a violent end to her already difficult life would be just the beginning. After being thrown into a vortex, shredded apart, and killed, she is reborn as something more. Something she might not be able to manage. If that weren’t enough, she awakes newly mated to the last being in the Universe she ever would have chosen.

Now, with no other option, Eve must come to terms with her powers, her past, and her mate before he loses control of what might just be uncontrollable.

A god with a monster locked inside. . .
For over eleven thousand years, Zeniel, God of Tranquility, has done everything in his power to keep his other half, the God of Vengeance, from breaking free. A single glance from Mavrak is all it takes to kill those deemed guilty. The wraiths under his command can tear thousands to shreds in an instant, no matter how small their crimes. Zeniel knows he must remain at peace to keep Mavrak at bay, but he’s rendered helpless with one look into the eyes of his mate.

The longing for Evesse is enough to rip the demon out of its cage, and with the Gods on the verge of a cataclysmic war, Mavrak has every intention of gorging on both his mate, and the vengeance he so desperately needs.

I am SO in love with N. Isabelle Blanco’s The Szolites series! It’s a fantasy romance about Gods and Goddesses, love, family drama, brotherhood, sisterhood, “death, immortality, powers, prophecies, mating; mates keeping bullshit secrets,”… need I say more? It’s a fantastic tale fantasy and paranormal readers alike will most definitely enjoy this series. 
What I like the best about The Szolites is it has one cohesive plot line that continues and builds with every book that comes out with the spotlight shifting on the perspective of the featured couple. The main gist is there is a good v. evil war and fate of the world lie in the hands of these Szolites. The complications lie on the Gods and Goddesses themselves, some have to be reincarnated, some have to be healed, some punished, found, revived, etc. and of course the mating situation which strengthens each and every one of them. In every book, Team Good gets better and stronger as each one of these Szolites find their place in the gameboard. The world building is wonderfully written one can tell N. Isabelle Blanco is a voracious reader because you can feel influences of literature from classic to modern. We’re talking about a lit fan here with a knack for writing herself so you know you’re in good hands.
BLOOD STAINED TRANQUILITY is fundamentally a story about destiny, love and all the other shiznit that goes with finding one’s true mate. Evesse is both soft and tough, she’s a badass girl before and after her “awakening” as a Goddess of Justice but at the same time she’s vulnerable and all curves. I liked her a lot, she meets the requirements of a great fantasy heroine complete with superpowers and mad fighting skills, she can fight as fierce as her male. And I can’t help but fall in love with Mavrak/Zeniel despite his split personality issues (it’s mythical). I loved his storyline as he struggles to control and combine both his sides so he can fulfill his destiny and be a better God, so to speak. As Evesse’s consort, Mavrak/Zeniel is both gentle and forceful, protective of Evesse and I find his confused state adorable. His monologues about controlling himself around Evesse are funny and cute, you gotta love a dude who thinks his brain is mightier than his peen when he’s in front of a gorgeous woman and his mate at that. 
My only (subjective) critic about BLOOD STAINED TRANQUILITY is how packed it is. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fast-paced packed story, but there were moments where I feel lost in the scene. These are Gods and Goddessess we’re talking about and ALL of them are Alphas and Queen B’s in their own right so you can sometimes feel how charged the situations are. They all want to be in the spotlight so there will be times where it feels like a blur because everyone is doing their own thing while in the middle of something. I hope that made sense…
But that’s a minor thing and can easily be streamlined and didn’t distract me from the pure awesomeness of BLOOD STAINED TRANQUILITY. N. Isabelle Blanco successfully created a new pantheon which is as authentic and mythical as those of the Greeks, Romans, Hindi, etc. She is a master story weaver, tying threads while opening new ones at the same time. The dialogue is snappy with just the right amount of snark and humor to keep things light. The romance is tense and the sex powerful (trees falling, boulders breaking?) and it’s packed with action, mystery, drama and intrigue, what more can you ask for?

N. Isabelle Blanco was born in Queens, NY (USA). At the age of three, due to an odd fascination with studying her mother’s handwriting, she began to read and write. By the time she’d reached kindergarten, she had an extensive vocabulary and her obsession with words began to bleed into every aspect of her life.

An avid reader in her teens, her fascination with Japanese anime eventually led her to the universe of fan fiction, which became her on-again, off-again hobby for the next ten years. During that time she amassed a following of fans that, by her own admission, she would never be able to live without. It was those fans who encouraged her to step beyond the fan fiction realm and try her talent in the publishing world.

N. Isabelle Blanco now has three novellas and two full-length novels under her belt, and spends her days working as an author, web programmer, marketer, and graphic designer. That is when she isn’t handling her “spawn”, as she calls her son, and brainstorming with him about his future career as a comic book illustrator.

Stalk Her!



1-Paperback box set of the series (Book one and two) by N. Isabelle Blanco 
2-Paperback copy of Blood Strained Tranquility 
3-e-book copy of Blood Strained Tranquility


A Shot of YA: Deviation by Heather Hildenbrand + Giveaway

Series: Clone Chronicles 2

Format: ARC
Release Date: March 12, 2014
Publisher: Accendo Press
Source: Author
Genre: Dsytopia

Protect. Obey. Sacrifice. 

These words are the mantra of my existence. I’m not sure if it’s Titus Rogen inspiring my desire to go against what I am or my own DNA deviating. All I can think is how Titus will look when he meets his end. It trumps even my wish for freedom. In this moment, I want nothing more than to watch the life bleed from Titus’s body. And I want it at my own hands.

Titus. The Creator.

I stare at my palms. Strength aside, I wonder if I’m capable of taking a life. A human life; one with a soul. And I wonder if that isn’t easier than taking the life of an Imitation. At least humans have souls that live on. What do I have after this? Where will I go? Back into a syringe? Will Titus recycle me? Or will I be lost forever down a lab drain?

We don’t deserve that. 

We don’t deserve him.

Deserving and receiving are so very different here. And I am beginning to understand, to beat someone in this world, I‘ll have to play in it. 

And scream and scream and scream I did (inside) after reading DEVIATION by Heather Hildenbrand. This is the second book of Heather’s dystopian novel, Clone Chronicles, and the gist of the tale is Titus Rogen is slowly replacing people, Authentics, with clones or Imitations so he can control them and by extension control the society. Ven is the seventh Imitation of Raven Rogen, Titus’ daughter, Titus thinks that his special modifications to Ven will help him crush the rebellion but it’s the exact opposite. Ven has become of the rebellion’s greatest asset and Titus eventually figured this out. DEVIATION ended in such a tragic disarray proving that Titus is one sick bastard and the only direction I see the story going is towards revenge and Titus’ eventual death. 
DEVIATION is a little more saucy than Imitation which as an adult reader I like and appreciate. Don’t get me wrong, the story is still very YA but leaning more towards the Mature YA side. Ven is really playing the part as Titus’ daughter very well, in the public eye, Ven is very much like her Authentic. She’s frivolous, vapid, promiscuous, and entitled. Her conflict is that Titus knows that she’s somehow connected to the rebels and if Ven doesn’t cooperate in bringing them down he’ll kill them all. Ven is a loyal girl, she started off as meek but she’s slowly learning to use her alter-ego’s entitlement to her and the rebellion’s advantage. In DEVIATION I see Ven as more of a tool, a means to an end, because she’s still stuck in the middle between her duty as an Imitation and her moral duty as a person. However I think Ven will be more on the forefront in the future and will live up to her role as heroine in the next book because of the events that took place in this novel. 
Aside from the formidable and despicable Titus Rogen, Clone Chronicles has a sizable list of supporting cast. HHildenbrand’s characters are diverse and each stand out in their own way I can see a couple of them maybe having their own novellas. The hero and Ven’s boyfriend, Linc, didn’t stand-out too much for me in this novel not because his character development suffered it’s just that HHildenbrand focused more on Ven’s and the series plot. I’m sure things will change dramatically in book 3, DEVIATION may be a sequel but it’s a strong follow-up and a pivotal one at that. 
You’ve probably noticed that I very rarely read Dystopia and when I do it’s something that I love and back-up 100%. Clone Chronicles is one of those select few that I truly enjoy, the concept of Imitations is fascinating and scary at the same time, the world building just has enough modifications to support the premise that this is either in the future or some parallel universe, the villain doesn’t have flares of temper followed by violence, Titus Rogen is very calculating and when he strikes, you can bet that it’ll be devastating. The series’ strongest suit is in its characters, the plot is very character driven and with every book that comes out, Ven, Linc and the rest of the cast are living up to their roles more and more. I hope you can check DEVIATION and Imitation soon!

Author of Across the Galaxy, Whisper, and the Dirty Blood series. I write, read, and fuss at my kids. Oh, and I do laundry, lots of laundry. I’m pretty good at it, too. Sometimes I even read WHILE doing laundry – and fussing at my kids. I’m a multi-tasker.

Likes and dislikes? I love vintage tees, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire the one thing I’d grab is my DVR player!

Stalk Heather!

Reissue: The Burning Star by Jessie Lane + Giveaway

Love fantasy? The paranormal? Romance? How about a twisty-turny story featuring two young women in the fight of their lives? Yes?! Then we have the book for you! Pick up Jessie Lane’s THE BURNING STAR, available today! Learn more about the book below and be sure to enter the author’s amazing giveaway while you’re at it! 

The Burning Star
Star #1
Jessie Lane 
May 23, 2012

*This book is a re-release and revision from the original book. Please be aware that some things have been added, deleted or changed.*

Kay’s journey of a lifetime started in the woods outside of Asheville, North Carolina. It was there that the 17 year old met a beautiful man along with a monster. The chance encounter led her to an unbelievable world that shouldn’t exist; a place where myths and fairy tales were real, and in some cases, deadly. Kay knew she would have to brave this new world if she hoped to find a cure for her terminal cancer.

With a strange yet beautiful cast of characters that she would meet along the way, Kay uncovered truths that would change her life forever. However, before it was all over, it would become clear that Kay wasn’t the only one with problems.

Yet another 17 year old young woman was fighting for her freedom and her life.

Kira had lived in a magical world that Kay had only dreamt of. Despite this, her life had not been filled with many good things. As a matter of fact, she considered her empty, emotional solitude the only positive aspect of her life. She fought daily battles to escape abuse and torture.Trained to be an expert assassin, she was charged with kidnapping Kay and delivering her to Kira’s master, Lord Donovan.

As the two young women set forth in their journeys, their paths would cross in unimaginable ways. The only question that would remain was who would come out alive and whole in the end?

WARNING: This is a upper ya/young adult/new adult fictional story that includes some explicit language, graphic violence, and mild sexual situations. Recommended for ages sixteen and up.

THE BURNING STAR will be released at 99 cents, but that’s only for a limited time! Then it’ll go back to its regular $3.99!

The hairs on the back of my neck started to tingle. For the second time that day, I felt as if I might be in some unfortunate Animal Planet documentary. At least this time I was safe in my house. Well, at least I hoped I was safe.
I stayed deathly still at my window, thinking movement might draw its attention. I could have gone to my bed and told myself that it all hadn’t actually happened, yet I wanted to know what it was. Are there any white bears in Asheville? I mean, there were polar bears, but I obviously wasn’t in the Arctic, so that wasn’t possible. No, I didn’t think it was a bear. It wasn’t burly enough. 
The animal took another cautious step out of the woods and smelled the ground. It lifted its head up and then smelled the air around itself, searching for something. 
Upon the understanding of what it was, my fascination magnified. It was an enormous and elegant white wolf. I sucked in my breath, awed by its beauty. The wolf’s head snapped around to face my direction, almost as if it had heard me breathe. 
No way. I’m at least a hundred yards away, in a house. It couldn’t have heard me. 
But there it was, just standing out of the tree line, staring at me. It was by far one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen. 
We stayed that way for a while, staring at each other. Me, in my Young Guns concert t-shirt and plaid flannel pajama bottoms, leaning against the window frame, wondering what the wolf was doing. The wolf with its gleaming fur, standing on the grass almost a football field away, studying me with something that almost resembled intelligence. The two of us were only separated by a house, an enormous yard and a road. 
Then there was more movement in the tree line. A second wolf stepped out of the trees. This one was chocolate brown in color, walking up to the white one. It sniffed at the ground as it walked and seemed wholly engrossed in whatever it was that it found there. 
As I looked from the brown colored wolf to the white one, something else caught my eye, but this time I jumped as it startled the crap out of me. 
Another wolf, this one black, stood in the middle of my front yard. I didn’t know how long it had been standing there, but I did know that just like the white one, it was staring right at me. Unwavering. If I thought the white one had been beautiful, then there were no words for this particular wolf. It was staggering, with its shiny, jet black fur reflecting the moonlight, its eyes a piercing green. 
Is that color green normal for a wolf’s eyes? 
It looked to be just as large physically as the other two wolves, but it carried itself differently. It seemed more confident and sure of things than the others were. Even the carriage of its body radiated certainty and command. The way the wolf looked at me, I felt like it saw right through me to my soul. I never knew an animal could see someone so thoroughly the way this one seemed to see me. My hands trembled at some emotion I couldn’t name. It wasn’t fear; it was more like an overwhelming sense of knowing and intimacy.
How strange.
I stood frozen, feeling both excited and scared. So engrossed at the sight of the beautiful black wolf that I didn’t even see the other two approaching. The black wolf must have heard them coming because it turned its head in their direction. I followed its gaze to see them halfway to where it was standing in my yard. Looking back to the black wolf, I saw that it was watching me intently again, its head cocked to the side as if it were analyzing me. I almost felt as if it had a question it wanted to ask, but then one of the other wolves yapped and it turned and trotted away. 
The three wolves disappeared back into the trees. I stood there for a few minutes after they faded out of sight, wondering if they would reappear again. Today had been unreal. Apparently, these woods were full of animals. 
In just one day I had come across a rabid dog large enough that I would seem more like a snack to it instead of a meal and then three wolves. I wondered what else could be out there in the forest surrounding us as I walked to my bed to lie back down. All of a sudden I felt a lot like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. 
Wolves and freaky dogs, oh my. 
What would tomorrow bring?

 

Crystal and Melissa often live half their lives with their heads in the clouds dreaming of alpha military hunks, werewolves and kick ass heroines crazy enough to chase after creatures that they unquestionably should know better than to chase.Their first YA novel, The Burning Star, was released in May 2012. Big Bad Bite is their second novel, but their first adult paranormal romance. They are now working on their next two novels, Walk On The Striped Side and Secret Maneuvers. With these projects underway, they are looking forward to showing the rest of the world their crazy stories, heroes and heroines that often plague their minds until written, and hope you will join them on their journey!

Stalk Them!



Release Day Blitz Giveaway: (USA Only Giveaway due to shipping!)

1 Signed Paperback of The Burning Star by Jessie Lane

3 Signed Paperbacks: Anew, Awry & Avow from Chelsea Fine

2 Signed Paperbacks: Madly & Wolfhardt (in one book), For the Love of a Vampire & SWAG (t-shirt, bracelet & bookmarks) From M. Leighton

$25 Gift Card to Amazon OR Barnes & Noble

    Double Tap: Werewolf Sings The Blues by Jennifer Harlow + Drinking & Tweeting by Brandi Glanville

    Series: Midnight Magic Mystery

    Format: eGalley
    Release Date: March 8, 2014
    Publisher: Midnight Ink
    Source: Publisher via NetGalley
    Genre: Urban Fantasy | Paranormal Romance

    If Vivian Dahl’s life had a soundtrack, every song would be the Blues. She’s pushing thirty, her singing career is going nowhere, and the partying lifestyle is taking its toll. Plus, a mysterious man is stalking her. But when she’s abducted from a singing gig, Vivian is surprised to see her stalker become her savior. Jason is her werewolf rescuer sent by the biological father who abandoned her as a baby. Finding herself on the run, Vivian drives across America with the enigmatic Jason and learns about the werewolf war her father’s pack is caught in. Now that an opposing pack has targeted her, Jason will stop at nothing to make sure Vivian’s song isn’t cut short.

    Snarky, snappy, bluesy and one heck of a chase, with some bittersweet melancholic tones. This is how I’d sum up Jennifer Harlow’s WEREWOLF SINGS THE BLUES, Midnight Magic 2, and its deeper and darker than What’s A Witch To Do?. Neglected by her mother, abandoned by her father, Vivian Dahl is most definitely a wounded heroine, bobbing steadily just to keep her head above water. And just when she finally found her place, it was ripped from her forcefully and once again, Vivian is on survival mode, mourning what she lost while embracing what she just found. Too many changes in such a short amount of time but as our heroine is a trooper, I’m sure she’ll make it somehow. I know I sound uncertain but you’ll understand later on.

    This is happening. It’s true, it’s all true. My father’s a werewolf. My mother lied to me all my life, and I’m being hunted by homicidal supernatural beings.

    Initially I loved Vivian Dahl’s sarcastic outlook in life, her quips and sometimes outgrageous internal conversations were humorous in a dry kind of way and it would either shake my head or laugh out loud. Viv’s wedding/bar singer with a bad habit of “powdering” her nose once in a while, with no clear shot of making it to the big leagues. Vivian’s buried in debt with no career, real friends and very isolated from her family. For the first half of WEREWOLF SINGS THE BLUES I found Vivian’s commentaries entertaining but as the novel progressed, it became more and more of a pathetic pity party and I was desperate for Viv to snap the heck out of it! Aside from rogue werewolves hunting her, Viv finally solved the mystery behind her father’s disappearance! Frank Dahl didn’t abandon Viv, at least not the way her mother presented it to her, the story was more complicated than that but finally he’s here and Frank has a lot of to offer. But Viv stubbornly rejected her place and insists on playing the poor-bitter-me act which she regretted in the end. 
    Jason, or Blondie as Viv fondly calls him, wasn’t a very strong character for me. Ironic considering he’s Frank’s Beta and Viv’s love interest. He has his strong suits, loyal, passionate, gorgeous, volatile, complete with a tragic past which primes him to be a great PNR hero. But he didn’t complement Viv’s vivacious character IMO, he was more of a supporting character than a main one, choosing to stay in the shadows as a follower, versus asserting himself in the situation. But I stand corrected because we might see more of Viv and Jason in the next/latter books based on the ending. If that does happen, I hope Jason’s character grows exponentially as he ascends as pack Alpha.
    Despite my mini-gripes about Viv and Jason, the plot of WEREWOLF SINGS THE BLUES was tense and full of intrigue. You have power struggles, a vulnerable pack, loyalty issues, forbidden love, and lots of secrets. The tipping point came very late in the story which affected my view of the climax, conflict and resolution. I think if the shocking ending was the climax, it would’ve provided more room for Viv and Jason’s character to grow instead of waiting for that growth to happen in the next books. The ending wasn’t necessarily a cliffhanger but it sure incited a lot of questions from me plus there are still a few threads that needs to be tied down. WEREWOLF SINGS THE BLUES also is sort of a prequel as the events that took place here precedes What’s A Witch To Do?, so if you’re thinking of picking up this series, I feel it’s safe to read the series out of order or even as a stand-alone. At the same time, it’s also in this book where Mona and Adam first met (MC’s of book 1), and as I’m a fan of this couple, I had a bigger appreciation for this added element. 
    Like I said, the ending was leading and I have a feeling that JHarlow is setting up the stage for something bigger. Hopefully my hunch is right and with a little more magic from JHarlow, book 3 will be epic. I sure love me some more tense otherworldly politics, these night creatures go for the jugular all the time and I don’t shy away from blood and gore.

    You can only live on hope for so long before real hunger finds you.

    If Vivian Dahl’s life had a soundtrack, every song would be The Blues
    • Pushin’ Thirty (Hard Life Takes Its Toll)
    • Singer Going Nowhere Fast
    • Mysterious Stalker Got A Hold On Me
    • Bullets, Blood, and Fur
    • Long Lost Werewolf Daddy Done Me Wrong
    • Ain’t No Pack War Gonna Keep Me Down
    • Love On the Run (feat. Sexy Jason & Melting in His Icy Eyes)
    • She’s No Good (Born Under a Bad Moon)
    • Don’t Let Her Song Be Cut Short
    • Livin’ La Vida Werewolf (Bonus Track)

    I interviewed Jennifer Harlow a while back and I remember asking her what she was reading and she mentioned this book. As I’m a follower of The Real Housewives, I thought it would be interesting to ask Ms. Harlow what she thought about Brandi Glanville’s debut novel, DRINKING AND TWEETING

    Non-Fiction
    February 12, 2013 | Gallery Books





    We all have our guilty pleasures. For some it’s erotica and romance novels, others it’s beer and fast food. Me, it’s The Real Housewives. I have watched this show in its every incarnation since the first season of New York. I love them all, from Bethenny Frankel’s one-liners to Theresa Giudice’s table flips. These shows add nothing to society as far as I can gauge but damn are they fun. So when I was asked to review Beverly Hills’ star Brandi Glanville’s memoir DRINKING & TWEETING I leapt at the chance. Now I may watch the show but beyond trying a Skinny Girl cocktail once I had never gone past the TV show in regards to supporting these middle-aged high school mean girls. But I like Brandi. She may not be the smartest gal but she does what she says she will, and remains honest even when it doesn’t serve her. Plus she has a hell of a Hollywood story to tell.

    A little background on Ms Glanville. This self-proclaimed trophy wife was married to the actor Eddie Cibrian. One morning she woke up, took her kids to school, and by the time she got home her life as she knew it was over. Her husband of thirteen years had been having an affair with country singer LeAnn Rimes and the tabloids uncovered the fact. Suddenly Brandi also found herself all over its pages and her husband left her for LeAnn. (They have since married. Good luck with that LeAnn.) Penniless, homeless, husbandless and with two small boys to take care of, Brandi began playing the tabloid game, actually telling the truth about what was occurring behind closed doors up to and including LeAnn also stealing all her friends, staging photo ops with Brandi’s children, and even outing Brandi’s vaginal rejuvenation surgery. The book covers that fateful day up to her getting cast on The Real Housewives.  No gory detail is spared, which sets this book apart from most Hollywood memoirs.

    DRINKING & TWEETING took me about four hours to complete and that was with making dinner too. DRINKING & TWEETING was everything I thought it would be: light, quick, and above all honest. Very honest. No topic was off limits with an entire chapter about why she chose to have her vagina rejuvenated and another about her DUI. She owns all her actions and emotions during this time including cyberstalking  her ex through social media to drinking too much to cyberstalking while drinking too much. There was a lot of anger filtered through the pages, understandably, yet there was also some real insight into how to deal with the new wife and navigate divorce with small children involved. I wanted an honest yet funny take on a Hollywood break-up and that’s what DRINKING & TWEETING delivers. My only two critiques are at the end of each chapter there’s a “Brandi’s Babble” as if this book were trying to become an advice book as if I needed to be told don’t drink and drive and kids only have one Mommy. I also would have enjoyed more about being on the The Real Housewives, the process of being hired and living in a fishbowl, but can’t have everything. All in all, a good guilty pleasure read. 

    I sure would love to read this because I do find Brandi Glanville’s unapologetic behavior highly entertaining. Thanks, Jennifer Harlow, for doing this and for sating my curiosity.

    Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.


    Fan Girls & Boys Welcome

    Bought, Borrowed & Bagged #93

    BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week’s reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

    BB&B is an homage Barron’s Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning’s smash hit series, Fever. 

    Bagged
    from publishers, authors and tour organizers
    Swag won from Sandy Williams
    A personal note, trading cards, signed bookmarks and a few scratch and win tickets (unfortunately I didn’t win).

    Big & Small

    AMERICAN HORROR STORY is one of my favorite horror series. They always change the theme in every season and after Coven, a lot of people are speculating what S4 will be about. It’s been reported that next year the story is set in the 1950’s and it’ll take place in a Carnival. It was also reported that S3 is Jessica Lange’s last season but I guess she’s too valuable for the show and Ryan Murphy managed to convince her to stay as she’ll still be part of the cast next year, German accent and all. I love this lady, she’s amazing and she carries the series so well! I will certainly look forward to another horrific season! 

    Last Week’s Reviews

    Upcoming Reviews

    Eve Langlais (INT’L)
    win an Amazon Prime Membership for 1 year

    Sara Wolf (INT’L)
    win 1 of 5 ebook copies of SAVAGE DELIGHT
    ends Mar. 23

    Hotshots Anthology (INT’L)
    win a $50 Amazon GC
    ends Mar. 24

    Marie Hall (INT’L)
    win a $25 Amazon GC
    ends Mar. 30

    Aleatha Romig (INT’L)
    win a signed copy of any CONSEQUENCES novel
    ends Mar. 31

    Jennifer Estep (US)
    win a signed print copy of BY A THREAD
    ends Mar. 31

    Check out these other fabulous blogs that participate in 
    Bought, Borrowed & Bagged:

    NOTE: There’s a new linky created for this year and please note that you have to use your LABEL links (i.e. book haul) on the form below NOT the post link.

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    Pack Review: By A Thread by Jennifer Estep w/ She-Wolf Reads + GIveaway

    Series: Elemental Assassin 6

    Format: Mobi
    Release Date: February 28, 2012
    Publisher: Pocket Books
    Source: Purchased
    Recommended By: Amber I. Awesomesauce Book Club 
    Genre: Urban Fantasy

    When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.

    Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silver stone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

    I have to admit, BY A THREAD made me nervous because Mab’s arc was nothing short of epic and as it was wrapped up in Spider’s Revenge, I’m not sure how the heck Jennifer Estep is going to keep the excitement in the succeeding books. Lee and I have been speculating behind the scenes and the only way for us to satisfy our curiosity is to read BY A THREAD
    Elemental Assassin 6 is great and although I know that it won’t top Spider’s Revenge, at least it wasn’t a let down. The plot of BY A THREAD is a one-off and though I miss having a strong storyline like Mab’s, I’m still pleased with this follow-up. There’s still lots of action and fantastic duels but the main point for me is the romantic intrigue between Gin, her current boyfriend, Owen, and her ex, Donovan Caine. 

    1. So what’s your verdict? Do you like this one-book storyline or were you expecting/hoping/looking for an arc like Mab?

    LEE: This is really the million dollar question, isn’t it? I have to say, for me, this book didn’t miss a beat. I think the villain was super creepy, scary, and unrelentingly strong. Just like Mab, it was unclear if Gin could take him which made the stakes incredibly high. You add to this all the personal drama – Donovan, Owen, and Bria – and I felt BY A THREAD was equally as strong and absorbing as the previous individual books. That being said, I do think it needs an overall arc and the question continues to persist…what’s next?
    BRAINE: I have to say I have my doubts and although I know that BY A THREAD wouldn’t be as epic as Spider’s Revenge, I was happy that it was still a strong follow-up. I loved the duel between Gin and Randall Dekes because like you, I was doubtful of Gin’s success. Essentially Randall used Gin’s powers against her so really it’s her quick thinking that saved her once again. Overall, I love how JEstep is keeping us guessing and speculative about the direction of the series at this point.

    2. I know how you feel about Caine and now I’ve come to realize what a total dick he is. I feel bad for Callie because she has WORK ahead of her knowing Caine is still hung up on Gin. What was going through your head in all his scenes with Gin? I was imagining a mad She-Wolf and I can’t help but chuckle while reading, I know you probably ripped Caine a new one.

    LEE: I despised him in the earlier books and he annoyed me in BY A TRHEAD. I just cannot take his self-righteousness! I mean, seriously, you have angst and guilt and anger over your feelings for someone you shouldn’t love? Fine, but he doesn’t have to be such a douche! And his arrogance? The ARROGANCE of it all at the end! I love how Gin handled it. Owen is by far the better man. I hope Callie doesn’t get hurt and Donovan sure as hell doesn’t deserve her. Grrr….
    BRAINE: Bahahaha! OMG! I’ll let you have it… why did you hold back, Lee?! I know your mini rant there barely scratched the surface!

    3. Bria and Gin, what do you think about these two’s relationship?

    LEE: I like it. It’s got its issues and I think Bria’s resentment was a little unfair but I appreciate the moment at the end when she and Gin come to an understanding. This relationship has a lot of potential to go so right or so very wrong, their emotions are so on the surface in a way that it’s exciting to see where it will go and how Gin will be impacted by it.
    BRAINE: Yup, that honest conversation in the end was loaded. I felt like a huge thorn was removed from both Gin and Bria’s side because of that and I can tell they’re on their way to having an understanding of sorts. I was applauding Bria when she admitted her resentment towards Gin and how bad she felt after seeing herself in Caine, that takes a lot of humility to admit something like that.  

    4. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it but aside from the recaps, there seems to be a formula in the books: Gin finds a target, Finn does the research, Jo-jo and Sophia help with the clean-up. I mean it works but I’m starting to look for a deviation from that. Thoughts?


    LEE: Glad you brought this up. I would add to it “Gin underestimates target” since that seems to happen a lot. All I can say is “teamwork”? This is definitely a sort of formula for each book and while it doesn’t bother me per se, for example, each person has his or her own job, it would be nice to see something totally different. I will say in BY A THREAD, Gin did have to dispose of several bodies without Sophia’s assistance and that was new. 
    BRAINE: True, and I wonder why she’s still doubtful about herself after killing Mab. Although I know it’s prudent not to be cocky but she’s not The Spider for nothing. As for the formula, I’d like to see Gin without her team, that would be an interesting situation since her buddies always manage to save her just in the nick of time. I want JEstep to really push Gin outside the safety her “team” gives her.

    5. What do you think of Gin’s character development so far? I don’t see a big change but I love how vulnerable she has become thanks to Bria, Owen and Fletcher’s death.

    LEE:  I feel like BY A THREAD marks a new start. A lot of the big character development happened in the previous books and in this one we see Gin sort of tie up a loose end (Donovan Caine) so I assume the next books will show Gin grow a bit more. And I have to admit that I peeked at the synopsis for the next in the series, Widow’s Web, and l am eagerly waiting our next discussion because I think DRAMA is heading our beloved Gin’s way!

    BRAINE: By all intents and purposes, BY A THREAD is indeed a new phase in the Elemental Assassin series and I know that our little chit-chat is probably stale news to older fans of the series. And like you, I’m excited to see where the story’s going. Elemental Assassin seems to be one of those rare series that still manages to surprise its audience after 10 books so I’m sure that we’re in for lots of drama, more action, menacing villains and plot twists that will leave both of our mouths hanging open. Now let’s talk offline bout Widow’s Web

    Read my BY A THREAD Q&A with Lee at She-Wolf Reads.
    Click the cover arts to check out our previous Pack Reviews

    ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN FREE READS

    Love It: Unbreakable by Stephanie Tyler

    Series: Section 8 2

    Format: Mass Paperback
    Excerpt
    Release Date: November 5, 2013

    Publisher: Berkley Romance
    Source: Publisher
    Genre: Contemporary | Romantic Suspense

    This is section 8

    A cabal of operatives with dangerous pasts teams up to work black ops missions. Their weapon: deception. Can they help one of their own before he goes too far?

    When Gunner agreed to help Section 8, he didn’t realize he’d be pulled back into the shadowy world he thought he’d escaped forever. The son of double agents, he was initiated at a young age into the cold world of espionage when his father forced him to work for international smuggler Drew Landon. And when Gunner’s past with Landon threatens the other mercenaries, and, most important, Avery, he makes an impossible choice…and disappears.

    Avery’s not willing to give up on Gunner. The attraction between them has been there from the start, and she rallies Section 8 to help him. She knows there’s only one way to keep Gunner safe: fake his death and take him off the grid. But when she finally locates him, Gunner is a changed man, harder, more desperate, and on the edge of self-destruction. And only Avery can find a way to free him from Landon—and from the demons of his past—before it’s too late.

    It took me a while to get to UNBREAKABLE by Stephanie Tyler because of it’s length and seemingly heavy plot. I read Section 8-1, Surrender, last year and ended up liking it even though it took me a while to get into the story. STyler took her time building the kind of world her covert agents live in and coupled it with a complicated backstory that weighed down the intro a bit. Surrender had a slow start but it picked up mid-point and revved up til the end. Another drawback for me were the MCs who I didn’t really connect with so with all these impressions, I wasn’t expecting much from UNBREAKABLE although I was hoping that it would be better than Surrender.
    Obviously I’m kicking myself because I ended up loving UNBREAKABLE and totally prefer it over Surrender! With the backstory and world building out of the way, STyler was able to focus on the plot, pace and character development. From a series romance perspective, I love that we get to meet the next couple to be featured on the current book so there’s a good layering of present and future story. It’s a good device to avoid those pesky instant connections that’s a pet peeve for most readers. So there’s a good character build-up and by the time the next book rolls in, we’ve already established some sort of connection with the MCs and that’s exactly the case for me regarding Avery and Gunner. 
    Avery and Gunner’s romance was passionate and angsty due to the latter’s guilt issues regarding his past (his dad was the last book’s super villain) which made him emotionally unavailable. Avery, being the loyal, devoted and loving chick that she is, saw Gunner’s pain and made it her mission to break down Gunner’s walls. I have to say, I love Avery’s style, she’s no wallflower and she’s not a Section 8 legacy for nothing. She met Gunner point by point, was soft when he’s loving and turned forceful when he was being obstinate. As for the sexy, I love that the focus was more on Avery and Gunner’s emotional connection than their sexual attraction. There’s some heat, and those moments steamed up my glasses, but it’s far in between which IMO is more realistic than a couple who’d go out of their way to bump uglies while in the middle of a mission. 

    Hear this — we (S8) are coming for you. As of now, you’re the one who’s being hunted. I’d make sure I kept looking over my shoulder if I were you. One of these times, you’re doing to see me. And ‘ll be the last thing you do see before you hit the ground. [Kapow! That’s Gunner talking to the bad guy, Drew Landon]

    The plot was fantastic, you have human traffikers, goons, mercenaries, villainous twins, spy games and lots of gray areas. UNBREAKABLE is exciting, suspenseful with a good amount of blood and gore thrown in to add to the grit! The story revolved on Gunner’s redemption, he had some pretty rough and dark moments, being the tortured hero that he is, but at the same time, I also like that the story didn’t dwell on that. STyler kept the pace quick and suspenseful and focused on Section 8 agents nabbing the bad guy. And just like in Surrender, the conflict resolution was thrilling, the scenes are like a Mark Wahlberg action movie so you can only imagine the level of adrenalin present here. Also, based on the new thread opened, it seems like Section 8 will be saving a damsel in distress in the next book and the bad guy is the leader of a motocycle club. I can tell book 3 will even be more epic than the first two, can’t wait!