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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles by Maggie Mae Gallagher

This is wonderful, fast paced action with a volatile romance.
Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles
by Maggie Mae Gallagher

File Size: 1121 KB
Print Length: 411 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0991481704
Publisher: Maggie Mae Gallagher; 1 edition (February 25, 2014)
ASIN: B00IO7075Y

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Action
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon's heart out through its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there's Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven't had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, this world will burn.

Alana is from the future where the remaining humans, the Cantati, struggle to survive as they hunt down demons who have overrun the earth. Alana grew up learning more about battling foes than about the past history of humans. Now a new, stronger and smarter type of demon has broken into the Cantati stronghold and Alana watches in dismay as her friends and comrades are torn apart. As the demons break into the room where her father has taken her, he tells her that she has to travel back in time to stop the event that allowed the demons to enter the human dimension.

Unfortunately the time travel misses the mark and brings her back later than it was supposed to. Not only does she have less time to complete her mission but the signs she was to follow have already passed. She is scrambling to research rare book treatises in an attempt to decipher the few clues she still has but finds herself being attacked by robed men. As she battles attackers Alana catches the eye of Gaelen who is also fighting demons but has his own mission that is not too clear. Eventually Gaelen steps in to help Alana and she is surprised to discover someone, not necessarily a human, who fights as well as she does. Who is he and what are his motives?

Gaelen insists that Alana team up with him as they are seeking the same artifacts. But they don’t trust each other and hinder themselves by refusing to share the information they have. Eventually they uncover some of each other’s secrets but Alana is sure that Gaelen is still holding back.

Gaelen and Alana are dodging and hiding from an evil order of priests that want to help the demons take over. Alana is distressed to learn that she is the cause of the apocalypse as it is her blood that the head demon needs to open the gates to earth. Her whole mission fails unless she is killed before the demons catch her. Can she trust Gaelen or is he part of a trap to capture her?

Alana is a great warrior heroine - strong but flawed and vulnerable in her youth, confusion and solitary existence. Gaelen is mysterious and sexy. Phinn is another mysterious man, a type of magician, who gives aid to Alana.

This intense story is told in first person with just a touch of chagrin. There is a terrific plot and great suspense that grabbed my attention from the outset and never disappointed. The chemistry between Gaelen and Alana sizzles but the romance is secondary to the full blown action and danger. The only draw back is that Gaelen’s secrets and connections are a little difficult to unravel. Still this is a truly engaging read and I look forward to more action and adventure as the series develops.

I received this title for review through NetGalley.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book Review with Giveaway Link: The Temptations of Anna Jacobs A Dangerous Liaisons Novel (InterMix) by Robyn DeHart

This story has a delightful romance set amid investigation of the dark murders of Jack the Ripper.
The Temptations of Anna Jacobs
A Dangerous Liaisons Novel (InterMix)
by Robyn DeHart

File Size: 1072 KB
Print Length: 232 pages
Publisher: InterMix (April 15, 2014)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Purchase links:
Barnes & Noble:
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Love and justice…
When Drew Foster is released from prison, he doesn't much care about salvaging his soiled reputation. Though he's working undercover, everyone in Victorian London believes him guilty of the Jack the Ripper murders and that his brother paid for his "innocence."
Despite her genteel upbringing, Anna Jacobs is intent on finishing medical school and becoming a physician. Society's ridicule has never bothered her, but when her brother, the Yard's best detective, is scorned for letting Drew go, she confronts the one man who can set the record straight at a ball. She certainly doesn't count on the rogue being dashing and handsome, nor on him stealing a passionate kiss.

Anna's brazen contempt for his dangerous reputation captivates Drew, but he is harboring secrets that make him unfit to court any proper woman. As he finds himself an outsider among his colleagues at Scotland Yard, the feisty beauty offers up her medical knowledge to assist him on the case. But when the real killer returns to London to continue his reign of terror, can Anna find safety in Drew's arms?

Annabelle Jacobs considers herself ‘plump’ and men have shown little interest in her. She has pursued studies and practical interests in spite of her mother’s objections. Her father, before his death and her older brother, Simon, encouraged her interest in attending medical school for women.

Drew Foster, a younger son of a Duke, has lived the past few years in a drunken stupor after finding out a dark family secret. He ended up in prison accused of the Jack the Ripper murders though he claims he was framed. When another murder occurs while he is still in prison, Simon, a lead investigator for Scotland Yard, is finally able to arrange Drew’s release. Simon asks Drew to help in the investigation since he may have some unrealized knowledge of the true killer.

Although short tempered and rude at their first meeting, Drew finds Annabelle to be a remarkable, bright and brave, as well as a tempting, young woman. Simon is sent off to Scotland while Drew and Anna share time in Simon’s study. Anna is initially studying for her medical exams but soon starts collaborating over the murder notes with Drew.

I thoroughly enjoyed the settings and mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper. There are a trail of clues to be followed and interesting experiments Anna and Drew conduct trying to determine if some of the more recent killings were done by a copycat.

I really liked Anna and Drew as less than perfect characters. Anna is a sweet but determined young woman who is prepared to make her own way since she doesn’t have the beauty of her mother and older sister. Drew is struggling with the craving to drink and it is delightful that he finds Anna to be a draw that keeps him from the bottle. The romance between them develops sweetly, as well as sensually. There was an extra smile from a side romance between two people that Anna cares for greatly.

The story moves along at a good clip with lots of action and clues that kept my interest. I liked Drew’s brother, Alex, and sister-in-law, Mia, and I want to read their story in the first book. I also look forward to the third story which continues Simon’s search to hunt down Jack the Ripper. I highly recommend this book and the series to readers who enjoy mystery with their historical romance.

I received this title for an honest review as part of a blog tour.

Author Bio:
National Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart's novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader's Crown and a Reviewer's Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras.
Known for her "strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page" (RT Bookclub) and her "sizzling romance" (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others.

When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where its hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it.
Places to find Robyn:
Jaunty Quills:
Peanut Butter on the Keyboard:

Enjoy an Excerpt:

   She was quiet for several moments. He watched her face as she considered all the possibilities. Even now, the taste of her lips stayed with him, and he wanted more. More of her kisses, more of her smiles. Simply more of Anna.
   Perhaps she had other thoughts that could explain the differences in the injuries, or the use of an alternate weapon.
   “Why did you kiss me? The other day?” she asked.
   Drew felt his brows rise in surprise. “Is that what you were thinking about? I suspected your thoughts were more academic in nature.”
   She shrugged. “Academic or not, I am still a woman.”
   “It seemed the thing to do,” Drew said with a shrug of his own.
   “‘It seemed the thing to do,’” she said, mocking his tone. She frowned. “That’s not a very good answer.”
   He resisted the urge to smile. Hell, he didn’t know why he’d kissed her. Because the desire to do so had been so overwhelming he hadn’t been able to resist her lips. In fact, he longed to embrace her again, right now. “What would be a good answer?”
   “How the devil should I know?” Her hand fluttered to her chest. “I don’t go around kissing unsuspecting people.”
   “Fair enough. Well then, I kissed you because I wanted to.” Perhaps honesty would appease her curiosity. “Because your mouth is tempting, even though you talk far too much.”
   “That doesn’t even make any sense. Well, the bit about my talking too much, I admit I can be verbose—”
   “You’re doing it again,” he interrupted her. He leaned forward, toward her chair. “Only makes me want to kiss you again.”
   She waved her hand. “That’s ridiculous.”
   “The mere notion of kissing you? Hasn’t any man ever expressed a similar interest?”
   A blush stained her exposed throat, marring her lovely creamy skin. Her hand followed the telltale sign of her embarrassment and she fiddled with the necklace around her throat. She swallowed visibly. “I don’t see how that is any of your business. I’m not even certain how we got on this discussion,” she said.
   “You asked me why I kissed you.”
   “Yes, and your answer is unsatisfactory. I shall merely have to conclude that you men are a peculiar lot.” She pointed at him.
   “I’m going to kiss you again, Annabelle,” he said softly.
   Her mouth opened, then slowly closed. “Right now?”
   “Would you like me to kiss you right now?”
   “I cannot answer that.” She shook her head fervently. “It would be utterly improper.”
   “You, a lady going to medical school and assisting me with an undercover investigation of a murder? Last night we broke into a government building. Your behavior hasn’t exactly been the pinnacle of propriety.”
   Her brow furrowed. “That is quite different.” Her tongue darted out and wet her lips.
   He felt a stab of desire, hot and poignant in his gut. Oh yes. He wanted her. Whatever the reason, logical or not, he wanted her quite badly. Too badly, in fact, for him to kiss her now when his passions were so close to the surface. It was entirely too likely they would not be interrupted, that no one would come along and stop him from ruining her here in his parlor.
   “You already answered my question,” he said.
   She frowned. “I don’t believe I did.”
   “Oh yes, Anna, you want me to kiss you very badly. Now that I know that, I’m going to make you wait. For a little longer.”
   “You are an insufferable man!” she said as she came to her feet.

 Giveaway Info:
·       Victorian Necklace and a $25 Gift Card (Amazon or Barnes & Noble)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 21, 2014

Audible Book Review: The Undead Pool: The Hollows, Book 12 by Kim Harrison

Rachel Morgan is a great character and I really enjoy listening to this series.
Written by: Kim Harrison
Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin

  • Length: 16 hrs and 13 mins
  • Format: Unabridged
  • Release Date:02-25-14
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Number-one New York Times best-selling author Kim Harrison returns to the supernatural adventures of Rachel Morgan in the penultimate book of the Hollows series.
Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan knows magic - earth, ley line, even the forbidden demon magic - and that knowledge has saved her life more than once. But now something - or someone - is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong while living vampires attack humans and Inderlanders alike.
The pressures build when the city is quarantined to contain the unreliable magic, and Rachel must stop the attacks before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war.
The only way to do so is through the ancient elven magic, but that carries its own perils - for magic always has a price, and gods do not come lightly when called.
©2014 Kim Harrison (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

This is an intensely active series - always danger. There are strange waves of wicked magical energy reeking havoc in Cinncinnati and the Hollows. These are causing magical spells to backfire resulting in physical damage around the city. Strangely the waves seem to be following Rachel Morgan. Meanwhile the undead vampire masters, who control the younger living vampires, have all disappeared and the living vampires are beginning to attack humans and Inderlanders, including some of Rachel’s werewolf pack. Rachel isn’t a werewolf but she is a powerful witch and day-walking demon with a tie to the werewolves through her friend, David, the true Alpha leader.

Rachel has been working as security for Trent while Quinn is away with the girls, Lucy and Rae. Rachel and Trent have enjoyed working together as they dance around their mutual attraction. Trent wants one night with Rachel on a date instead of as security employee. Dangerous but tempting. They are clearly drawn to each other but Trent is expected to marry one of his own kind, a high elven society member, Elsbeth, the mother of Lucy.

As Rachel tries to help the authorities control the chaos in the community, elven leaders arrive with Elsbeth at Trent’s home. The elven leaders suspect that the wild magic may be coming from an elven goddess who is seeking to make contact through Rachel. The tension increases as one of the elven leaders betrays Trent by lying to Rachel, talking her into a ritual that turns out to allow the goddess a partial possession. Tiny bits of sentient energy move into Rachel threatening to drive her mad unless she can find a way to communicate and control them and stop the goddess from more destruction.

This is what I call a ‘high octane’ series! Rachel seems to be a trouble magnet but somehow, with the help of her friends - vampire Ivy, pixie Jenks, David and Trent - she manages to save the city and come out alive. I love the action intensity and the romantic tension that is finally developed in this book between Rachel and Trent. I wonder how Kim Harrison keeps coming up with great plots and I will look forward to the next adventure.

Audio Notes: Marguerite Gavin is a fixture for me with this series. She does such a good job and makes the series more enjoyable listening entertainment.

I purchased the latest installment of this good series with my Audible subscription.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mailbox Monday April 21, 2013

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday.
Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I received one print title and numerous audio titles. 
(I still have many author requests to consider and reply to.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
Received from Forever/Grand Central - Release date is April 29 and I will read this as my next print.
The Windflower
by Laura London
The classic tale of passion on the high seas, available in print for the first time in 20 years . . . 

I have also received several audiobooks from Post Hypnotic Press
I will list them as I begin the series or titles. Here are the first four.

These are short mysteries  - I have listened to the first one and it was a fun psychological story of obsession.

Audio Book: Gail Bowen, "Shadow Killer," A Charlie D. Mystery (Rapid Reads)





Plus I downloaded another 60 or so free Kindle titles. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today Free Par-tay, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

It's Monday What are You Reading? April 21, 2014.

This meme starts at Book Journey!

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Another busy but not too stressful week except for juggling work with staff out sick  I got four reviews done but only three posted, one with Print giveaway and a Giveaway Hop as well. Also posted the usual memes. :-)

I visited others early in the week and at the end of the week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
Finished Reading:
1. Audio

The Undead Pool: The Hollows, Book 12
Written by: Kim Harrison
Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
I do enjoy listening to this series.
Review to post on Monday.
Click on book title for full description.

2. eBook/Kindle

Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles
by Maggie Mae Gallagher
I liked this intense, action fantasy. 
I'll be posting review later this week. 
Click on book title for full description.

3. eBook/Kindle

Hard to Handle (Love in the Balance)
by Jessica Lemmon
A sweet, sexy second chance romance.
Review and giveaway linked above.
Click on book title for full description.

4. Audio

Love You to Death
Charlie D. Mysteries, Book 1
by Gail Bowen
These are quick bite mysteries which I am excited to have received in audio format for review from Post Hypnotic Press.
Charlie D is the host of a successful late-night radio call-in show. His listeners have a particularly intimate relationship with him and often reveal much about themselves, confident that he will honor their trust and that he can save them. In their minds, he is perfect: one of life's winners. But Charlie feels he's something of a fake. His easy confidence on-air belies the reality for a man born with a wine-colored birthmark that covers half his face. Love You to Death covers one hour on "The World According to Charlie D"--an hour during which he must both discover the long-time listener who is killing the people who trust him and attempt to come to terms with the man behind the birthmark.

5. Print

The Seducer
by Madeline Hunter
I have had this series for some time

and decided to begin the series.
The hero is hard to like until further in the book.
I'll post a review with giveaway later this week.
Book Description

Publication Date: September 30, 2003
From the moment he arrived to rescue her, Diane Albret saw more in the darkly handsome, charismatic gentleman than just a guardian. Over the years that have passed since she first laid eyes on Daniel St. John, he had become, quite simply, the most dangerously irresistible man she could ever have imagined. Diane herself has changed from a bewildered schoolgirl, tragically orphaned, into a determined young woman of alluring charm and beauty. Now, leaving the cloistered life of her school, she has been brought to Daniel’s home with dreams of her own amid rumors and hints of scandal. But the legendary seducer seems to have other plans for Diane—and he possesses a secret about her lost past that he will do everything to keep: a secret that will put both their lives in jeopardy, even as the passion they have denied for so long threatens to break out of all control.

eTreasures Publishing New Release:
Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story
by Clara Bowman-Jahn and Susan April Elwood
Illustrated by Lynne Bendoly
Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story is based on a true story. Edmund, the main character, is an abused donkey who is the first of many animals to call Evermay Farm, a small rescue in central Georgia, home. Susan, Edmund’s care giver in the story, not only gives the shy donkey the time and patience he needs but gives him a new name every day of the week. The title takes on one of those nicknames she so lovingly calls him. As Susan starts to take in new critters, Edmund finds himself changing. As his name grows, so does his trust and acceptance. Edmund soon learns that he is not only needed but wanted. This confused, frightened donkey’s life changes as he becomes a hero, a babysitter, and a companion to the other residents at Evermay Farm.
Genre: Children's
Pages: 36, fully illustrated

Enter the bi-monthly drawings at eTreasures Publishing Facebook page.
Current giveaway link:  A Ghost Hunt by Jack Horne
Check for the new giveaway every two weeks.

Currently reading:
1. Audio

One Fine Day You're Gonna Die
Charlie D. Mysteries, Book 2
by Gail Bowen
I enjoyed the first episode and am looking forward to this second mystery.
Charlie D is back doing his late-night radio call-in show. It's Halloween--The Day of the Dead. Not a day filled with good memories for Charlie, but the show must go on. His studio guest this evening is Dr. Robin Harris, an arrogant and ambitious "expert in the arts of dying and grieving," who also seems to be auditioning for her own radio talk show. Charlie and Dr. Harris do not hit it off. Things go from bad to worse when the doctor's ex-lover, Gabe, goes on air to announce that he's about to end his life. Dr. Harris is entirely unsympathetic until she learns that Gabe also has her daughter Kali and plans to poison her too. It will take all of Charlie D's on-air skills to save both Gabe and Kali.

2. eBook/Kindle

The Temptations of Anna Jacobs
A Dangerous Liaisons Novel (InterMix)
by Robyn DeHart
I am enjoying these characters and the suspense.

Review and giveaway to post 4/22 as part of blog tour.
Book Description

Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Love and justice…
When Drew Foster is released from prison, he doesn't much care about salvaging his soiled reputation. Though he's working undercover, everyone in Victorian London believes him guilty of the Jack the Ripper murders and that his brother paid for his "innocence."
Despite her genteel upbringing, Anna Jacobs is intent on finishing medical school and becoming a physician. Society's ridicule has never bothered her, but when her brother, the Yard's best detective, is scorned for letting Drew go, she confronts the one man who can set the record straight at a ball. She certainly doesn't count on the rogue being dashing and handsome, nor on him stealing a passionate kiss.

Anna's brazen contempt for his dangerous reputation captivates Drew, but he is harboring secrets that make him unfit to court any proper woman. As he finds himself an outsider among his colleagues at Scotland Yard, the feisty beauty offers up her medical knowledge to assist him on the case. But when the real killer returns to London to continue his reign of terror, can Anna find safety in Drew's arms?

3. eBook/Kindle

Fair Play: A Novel
by Deeanne Gist
I am looking forward to starting this sweet historical romance.  I selected this title at NetGalley.

Book Description
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair comes a historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Saddled with a man’s name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for taking on a man’s profession. As a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice—until Hunter Scott asks her to give it all up to become his wife.

Hunter is one of the elite. A Texas Ranger and World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and skill. Hailed as the toughest man west of any place east, he has no patience for big cities and women who think they belong anywhere but home…

Despite their difference of opinion on the role of women, Hunter and Billy find a growing attraction between them—until Hunter discovers an abandoned baby in the corner of a White City exhibit. He and Billy team up to make sure this foundling isn’t left in the slums of Chicago with only the flea-riddled, garbage-infested streets for a playground. As they fight for the underprivileged children in the Nineteenth Ward, an entire Playground Movement is birthed. But when the Fair comes to an end, one of them will have to give up their dream.

Will Billy exchange her doctor’s shingle for the domesticated role of a southern wife, or will Hunter abandon the wide open spaces of home for a life in the “gray city,” a woman who insists on being the wage earner, and a group of ragamuffins who need more than a playground for breathing space?

4. Audible

After Dark: Ghost Hunters, Book 1
Written by: Jayne Castle
Narrated by: Joyce Bean
I had listened to a prior book later in the series
so I decided to try the first book.

Publisher's Summary
Life is tough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed para-archaeologist. Seriously stressed-out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work in Shrimpton's House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn't going well. Stuff keeps happening.
Take the dead body that she discovered in the sarcophagus exhibit. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn't helping matters either. And that's just today's list of setbacks. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don't really heat up until After Dark.
©2007 Jayne Castle; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

I am up to date on my daily Bible reading. :-)

Line Edits: We are now finalizing formatting for two ebook re-releases, as well as working on two non-fiction releases.

This month I have more review books than from my own TBR. :-) 
I read five, completed three reviews so I am currently at  four open. 

April Scheduled -
April 22 - Review & Feature - The Temptations of Anna Jacobs by Robyn DeHart 
  through AuthorPal/Penquin Group

NetGalley: I did pick up some more titles for April. 
Fair Play: A Novel by Deeanne Gist (reading)
Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig
The Escape (Survivor's Club) by Mary Balogh

 Many requests to field and reply to.

AudioBook Jukebox (waiting on requests.)

From TBR Collection - The Seducer by Madeline Hunter (ready to review)
Won Book - TBD
Free Kindle/Nook or Smashwords - TBD


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