Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Roberta Wendall

Book: Confessions of a Corporate Slut
Author: Jacqueline Gum
Heroine: Roberta Wendall


Roberta Wendall has already succeeded in a male dominated world before she meets the man she marries. For all the reasons that women STILL do, she gives up her career to become a corporate wife… an undervalued, unpaid position. Anyone who knows the last names of Spitzer, Sanford or Woods will recognize the story. The main character Roberta puts a mirror up to society and anyone who has familiarity with the corporate world and the culture of success will find something on nearly every page that rings true.

What makes her sexy ( besides a killer set of gams) is her ability to maneuver a sea of testosterone with humor and grace. While Confessions of a Corporate Slut deals with the complexities of the life of a corporate wife, the backdrop is based in a corporate environment and highlights the unique way it colors the professional woman and her view of marriage.

Confessions of a Corporate SlutBlurb:
In Confessions of a Corporate Slut, Roberta conquers a bare-knuckle, male-dominated industry and achieves unparalleled success as an overachieving sales pro, entrepreneur, and corporate manager. But something is missing in her life. Marriage. Family. Purpose.

When Roberta finds love, she is oblivious to the astronomical losses she will sustain-including pride, self-esteem and money-the tradeoff she makes to help her CEO husband push his manufacturing company to the pinnacle of its industry. When Roberta moves out of the family home at seventeen, her only working experience is a $1.35 gig at Dairy Queen. Unqualified and underage, she cajoles her way into managing a new restaurant and bar. Eventually she realizes the sales profession offers the best way to maximize her income, so she hits the road in hose and heels and a fifty-pound sample case of glassware, stir sticks, and beverage napkins. Little did she know her success would someday propel her into the unfamiliar role of the ideal corporate wife.

Roberta is the polar opposite of a victim as she faces each challenge with her trademark mixture of spunk and grace. Her wry sense of humor intertwines with conflict, weaving a tapestry rich in humor and irony. Inspired by a true story CONFESSIONS OF A CORPORATE SLUT, is a tale of ambition and failure, a tale of emotional connection and disconnection , of support and about-faces , of fear and loathing, of love and hate. And a story that is all too often being played out in today's corporate culture.




Are you an author with a strong heroine in your book? Want to see her featured? Find out how here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

HerStory Pre-Release Party & Giveaway

In ancient times, women were regarded as sacred. They were thought to hold the mystical power of creation—responsible for the continuation of our species. With the rise of Science and Religion, these myths were dispelled and their plight began.

HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month is a collection of Flash Fiction and Short Stories from today's top authors featuring female characters that exemplify strong strength of mind, body, and character. Some of these tales are based on real people while others are purely fictional. However, all are standing up for themselves and what they believe in.

Grab yourself a glass of wine or favorite hot beverage and get comfortable as you read about the lives of women who will light the fire in your soul.

One lucky winner is going to receive an ebook copy of HerStory when it hits virtual shelves in March. To enter just fill out the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway will end on 2/20/13. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to reply.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hooked by Liz Fichera

Hooked"The boys had expected me to fail--wanted me to fail. I'd sensed it. And I wasn't about to give any of them an ounce of satisfaction."


This novel is about a strong young Native American girl (Fred) who loves to play golf. She's good, so good that the high school team coach practically begs her to be on the team...but the boys don't like it.

HUGE class difference. She lives on a reservation. Her mother works in a restaurant. Her father tends the very grounds her teammate's fathers pay to play on. She's the only girl on the team. She replaced a loser kid named Seth... There's a lot of animosity aimed her way, but this girl lifts her chin...well, she does stare at the ground a lot and I wanted to tell her stop it, but I also understood...and plays a damn good game, even when  her arm is about to fall off due to a little sabotage incident.

I expected more struggling to be accepted in a male dominated industry than romance, but I got more romance. I don't mind a good teen romance at all, but I really don't care for the love interest in this.

This guy, Ryan, is a wuss. He just sits there and lets his friends bully Fred, talk smack about her, call her names, make fun of her, and he doesn't have the balls to do anything. He sits there and smiles. I don't care if it's a half smile, if you just sit there and let your friends be nasty, you are no better than them. And yet Fred likes this guy? I get he has a rough home life, but so does 75% of the country. It doesn't give you a free pass to be a jackass.

Not until 82% does this guy show any promise and even then, he refuses to snitch on his evil best friend bugged the heck out of me. If he had said something the first time, his friend wouldn't have a second chance to go after Fred...or a third. Even as the book ended, I questioned just where this guy's loyalties lay. I felt he should have told the truth to prevent what happened next.

That's my only complaint besides I would have liked the mother's issues explained. She's hateful, mean, bitter, and I wasn't sure why. Felt I was missing something there. I did not like Ryan and to enjoy a romance, you sorta need to like the hero. But the golfing, the reservation, and the heroine herself I really liked. I also felt the switching back and forth in narrative was well done, not jarring as it could have been. Fizchera knows how to write. Though I didn't LOVE this one as I did her other two, I did like it. She's still on my watch and read list. I must commend her for for tackling all the different issues and story lines she does.

There were other characters in this novel I liked. Trueblood, Hank, Sam. I'd like to read more about Sam. Something really drew me to him. Matter of fact, I was honestly hoping Fred would choose him, not Ryan. LOL

Three bikes. Very entertaining YA read. I received this from Netgalley.






Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Freaks & Freebies with Hayley Lawson-Smith

The Julius Romeros Extravaganza, Part 1, the Bearded Girl

Years ago a distant relative researched our family tree. Scattered on the various branches were the usual 'Ten Pound Poms', farmers and sheep-stealers; people many Aussie families can boast about.

But there was also a gentleman with a more unique claim to fame. He was a Londoner named Charles, born with no arms, double-jointed legs and six toes on each foot. Times being what they were, poor Chuck didn't have a whole lot of prospects, so his older brother placed him in what was politely called a 'side-show' once he was in his teens. Despite being stuck in a cruel situation, my ancestor became successful, performing tricks such as pouring tea with his toes, even playing the piano, and I couldn't help being fascinated, and fairly proud, that there was a 'freak' in our family.

Particularly when I went on to read that Charles married young and fathered twelve healthy children. Not a bad effort.

Being a theatre person myself, I’ve always loved the arts, artists, extroverts and performers. I was intrigued by the idea of being part of a world of colourful characters; a romanticised story of life in a freak-show formed in my head and it was a story I wrote for myself. It's a trick I’ve done since being a kid; creating a character I can live through, someone who has outlandish adventures, meeting eccentric and off-the-wall folk. For this story, I chose a bearded girl. I took the idea of a child running away to join the circus and twisted it a little; it occurred to me that my ancient relative hadn't so much 'run away', but he was 'given away'. The Julius Romeros Extravaganza, Part 1 covers Abigail’s childhood, into her teens and young adulthood. Basically, I had a lot of fun writing this book, always with the goal of writing Parts 2 and 3, where things grow a little darker and grittier. My fondest wish is that my audience enjoys reading this novel as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.


The book Hayley speaks of is at the moment FREE on Kindle! Download your copy today from Amazon.

Blurb: Abigail has been born into a wealthy, upper-class family. Good breeding is essential to her upbringing. But Abigail has been born with a beard and the prudish housekeeper, Mrs Hiffeltrimp, along with her stuffy butler husband, aim to veil this whiskery problem from the rest of the world. While Abigail's mother hides herself in an expensive health spa and the master of the house is away at war, Mrs Hiffeltrimp will go to any lengths to be rid of the offending whiskers. Even if it means being rid of the little girl from whose chin they sprout.

The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff

The Ambassador's DaughterThis was a very unique read. I'm surprised by what happened within its pages and I'm surprised by the ending.


I walk away from this novel very enlightened on the Treaty of Versailles. WWI and its consequences sadly seem to go largely unnoticed in history and in school. Ms. Jenoff does a remarkable job educating while entertaining.

The setting is France. A young woman who'd been rather...coerced into agreeing to marry a man when war hit is trying to postpone her impending marriage by staying with her ambassador father for the conducting of the treaty. She's German in a country that at the moment, hates Germans.

There's so much going on here... there's duty. Does she do her duty because it's the right thing to do or does she follow her heart? Is it wrong to just want to LIVE for a while before typing oneself down? When does doing the right thing really become doing the wrong thing? There's information falling into the wrong hands. Betrayal: the act of committing and the act of being betrayed. There's the after effects of war, how people are treated. There's politics. And above all it's the story of how lies...no matter how small...often have the most dire of consequences.

There's spying, intrigue, romance, and history.

I really enjoyed it thought at times I struggled with the heroine and her decisions. I'd like to have seen her handle some things differently, namely her fiance Stephan, but had t his story not gone the way it did, the moral would not have been as strong.

Wonderful writing. It really planted me in France during the signing of the Treaty. I didn't find the love was all that passionate as in a previous book I read by Jenoff, but I could feel the heroine's guilt and turmoil just pop off the page.

Four bikes. Brace yourself for lots of surprises. And that's hard to do nowadays, what with every plotline being done over and over and over. Ms. Jenoff really pulled this off. I received this from netgalley.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spotlight: Player by Laura DeLuca


Player
Laura DeLuca

PlayerJoshua Handover had it all. He was handsome, rich, athletic, and had always been popular with the ladies. Yet, until he gets paired up with his beautiful but shy lab partner, Rosa, he never allowed himself to fall in love. As the chemistry between them grows, Josh realizes that his player days have come to end. But it seems his change of heart has come too late. Not only is Rosa leery of his bad boy reputation, he has four vindictive ex-girlfriends who are on a rampage. At first he doesn’t take their threats seriously, but then his tires are slashed, someone tries to poison him, and one of the girls turns up dead. Josh doesn’t know who to trust, but one thing is certain. It definitely isn’t worth the price he’s paying to be a player.
Buy links: Amazon / Smashwords


Excerpt:
Someone else came over to offer Nadine their congratulations, so Josh said goodbye and went to his locker to get his backpack. He figured he would meet up with Andrea and Rosa in the parking lot. He fumbled with the combination before finally getting the door to swing open. Something glittered on the top shelf and caught his eye. He reached for it, and a small scrap of paper fluttered to the floor.
 At first he wasn’t sure what he was holding. It was a pink plastic tiara with some big gaudy plastic jewels. It was the type of thing he had seen in dollar stores for little girls’ birthday parties. It was practically broken in half, and the edges were sharp. Josh pricked his finger on the jagged point, and a few drops of blood welled from the small wound. He put his finger in his mouth as he bent to pick up the paper that had fallen. When he read it, the broken crown suddenly made sense and he wondered how he could have been so na├»ve. He should have realized from the instant he saw it what it meant.

“Josh decided to play around
Now one of his girls is under the ground.
Another has a big bump on her head.
And by the end of the dance, the queen will be dead.”


About the Author:
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan and Player.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bloggers Wanted!


Seeking bloggers to post a huge and fun announcement on Feb 12th. Announcement includes a giveaway and participating bloggers will have either their FB Page, their blog, or their Twitter account listed as an entry option. So in exchange for hosting me, you pick up some new fans. One lucky host will also receive a $5 Amazon gift card. I will randomly choose a name. If interested in being a host, please email me at tchevrestt(at)yahoo.com

**Blog announcement does not contain any sexual content or excerpt. It is rated PG.**

The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow

The Last TelegramAt first this book felt like a coming of age story, then it became a love story and a tale of war, prejudice, and how it can destroy people. Then it began to feel like a moral...karma gets you. Retribution. Guilt. And finally, letting go and forgiveness.

I went on a rollercoaster ride of emotions with this. As the story changed, so did my emotions. I had feelings of anger and disgust. Sometimes I hated the heroine, wanted to slap her silly, sometimes I gasped. By the end, I had tears on my cheeks.

It's a silk factory in a time of war. They make silk for parachutes. The entire factory was an educational read for me. I learned a lot and was intrigued. When they take in German refugees to help, the heroine falls in love with one, but the town begins to show animosity toward the Germans in light of the war. (WWII) Stefan is deported to prison in Australia, merely because of his nationality. Lily is forced to take over the running of the silk factory, a task she is and yet, isn't quite ready for as we see when she makes a very poor decision in a stressful moment. All the while she pines for Stefan and their moments together are all the sweeter for there being so few. Their love radiates off the page.


As a mechanic, I know how deadly some choices can be and could not forgive Lily for something she does. But can Lily forgive herself? Can she forgive herself for how she treats another woman, Gwen? Sometimes we use people and don't realize it until it's too late.

There are tons of morals within the pages. Tell your parents you love them. Don't let yourself be bullied. Take care not to use others. Make choices you know you can live with. I got a lot more than I expected. It truly surpasses majority of WWII novels I've read.

I was riveted to this book. There's forbidden love, teen angst, growing up, war, jealousy, using people, living with guilt. There's death, sadness, heartache, and joy.

Five bikes. I received this from netgalley.




Friday, January 25, 2013

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Eloise

Book: Eternal Envy
Author: Paloma Beck
Heroine: Eloise



Eloise has been cursed to live her life with the soul sin of Envy. With six sisters, she suffered dreaming to be more like them, to have the things they had and even to look like them. Despite the obstacle, she carved out a life for herself. She turned her envy of beautiful things into a successful business designing high-end women's shoes. When finally she meets Caedon and her sin is cast aside by her mate, Eloise is free to reach her true potential. And she doesn't waste a minute allowing anyone else to take care of her. Instead, she insists on helping in the search for Caedon's missing parents. Learning to use her new-found powers, Eloise reigns in her magic to provide the final healing. Her magic is powerful but its her spirit -and her strength- that are sexy to Caedon. Eloise is his perfect equal despite Caedon being used to calling the shots.

Watch out, world, Eloise has come into her powers!

BLURB:

Seven sisters are entwined in a legacy, one originating back from the time of the Italian Wars in the 1500s. One by one, they will find their mates from the immortal Valendite Breeds and secure their place in history. 
Eloise has lived with bitter envy her entire life until the moment she fell into the arms of Caedon. Once claimed by her mate, she will covet nothing more for eternity, especially now that she has it all. Caedon plans to fulfill her every need if he can just keep her safe. With their secret so close to being exposed and a mate who finds herself in the midst of the drama, Caedon has enough to keep his hands full. 
Then Caedon’s parents, believed dead for a century, come across the Terrorist Elimination Unit’s (TEU) radar. Can he save his parents while protecting his new-found mate?




Are you an author with a strong heroine in your book? Want to see her featured? Find out how here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unexpected Top by Cassandra Carr

Unexpected TopNow, THIS is what I call the ultimate female fantasy. Finally a BDSM book featuring a male and female relationship I can dig. Nice change.


Cissy and Len are married and they are at the point their marriage has...gone stale. I think we all know what's that like. They love each other, but something's missing.

Len doesn't help around the house, is rude, doesn't strive to please his wife in bed. He's gotten lazy. Cizzy decides to take him in hand. She makes a set of chores for him to do and once he does them, he gets rewarded with hot sexual acts. But this way, Cissy gets something out of it too. She gets help around the house, gets the dishes done right...

And emotionally, this begins to affect Len. He starts to realize what a jerk he's been, that he NEEDS to be taken in hand.

Ultimate women's wet dream. *sigh* She even gets to spank him when he's bad, and I confess at first I was turned off by it because it made him seem like a child, but then we get into Len's head and he tells us how he feels about and why it's good for him and it made total sense. He needed punishment and forgiveness.

I especially love a part where Len suggests doing something and Cissy turns it around on him..."YOU do it first."

If you won't do it yourself, why should she?

Five bikes, fabulous, naughty, but totally full of female empowerment read. I'd love more of these.

I was given a copy of this by Sizzling PR in exchange for an honest review.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spotlight & Giveaway on Laura DeLuca's Destiny Series


DestinyGabriella is a witch. The problem is, she doesn't remember. She repressed the memories of her powers years ago when her mother was murdered. Now, the warlock who was responsible for her mother's death has set his sights on Gabriella. He is determined to use her fear to turn her to the dark side of magick…even if it kills her. Her mother's spirit is reaching out to warn her, but even that she pushes away. 

Desperate to save her daughter, the spirit finds a male witch–one that just happens to be in love with Gabriella. Darron is more than willing to help but the two young witches will have way more to battle than just an evil warlock. There are overbearing jocks and petty rich girls who get tempers flaring and often set Gabriella and Darron at odds.

There is more to the story than Gabriella and Darron could even imagine. There are terrible secrets to be revealed, battles to be waged, and lives will be lost. Only after Gabriella and Darron both come to terms with who they really are, and open themselves up to the true meaning of magick, can they have any hope of fulfilling their destiny.

Destiny Unveiled Destiny Unveiled
Gabriella and Darron thought their magickal battle was over when they defeated the evil warlock, Richard. When her Aunt Donna seeks Gabriella's help in rescuing her catatonic daughter from the Dark Coven, Gabriella discovers that her cousin holds a power within her that would be catastrophic in the hands of the evil witches. Gabriella's coven sets out on a journey that may be their last. Along the way, they meet new allies, face devastating treachery, and battle not only the Dark Coven, but the darkness within themselves. When Gabriella finally comes face to face with the cousin she never knew existed, her true destiny is unveiled, and the fate of the mortal world is in her hands.

About the Author:
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. Visit her on her websites at http://authorlauradeluca.blogspot.com or  http://newagemama.blogspot.com .

Destiny Excerpt:
Her eyes scanned the room, from the pale blue sofa to the bloody dent in the wall. But she didn’t need her eyes to know Darron was there. Her heart sensed his presence before her eyes saw him lying in a heap on the ground. His body shuttered with occasional spasms, and even though he wasn’t fully conscious, his lips were twisted in a grimace of pain.

Uttering a gasp of surprise, Gabriella flew to his side. She knelt beside him, and choked back a sob as she took his hand in her own. She saw his chest rise and fall and was glad to know was alive, but she felt helpless as she watched his face contort in pain. She noticed something wet and sticky on her fingertips. She gently titled his head and saw a large gash that looked like it needed medical attention.  The skin around the gash was so deeply bruised it looked almost black.

 “Darron, what happened to you?”

He didn’t move or reply. Gabriella moved her hand from the cut on his forehead, and her fingers dripped with blood. She bit her lower lip with fear. She knew enough about head injuries to know that the wound could be serious. She grabbed a few tissues from a box on the coffee table, and tried to apply pressure to the wound, but it was useless. The tissues were soaked through in seconds.

 “Darron?” She squeezed his hand, and fought back tears of fear and frustration.  “Darron, please open your eyes. Please be all right!”

He squirmed and groaned a little in response. Looking at his contorted features, Gabriella felt incompetent and useless. She didn’t know what to do to help him. The cut must need stitches. The blood was gushing through her fingertips, and she was sure his life was slipping away just as quickly.

More than anything, Gabriella wanted to help Darron, to end his suffering. Her thoughts, her desperation, caused something deep inside of her to stir. Something that had long been napping was awoken. The power she had fought so hard to deny was forcing its way to the surface. This time she didn’t struggle against that power. Her instinct to hide from it was finally overcome by the thought of losing someone else she cared about.

Gabriella was pulling strength and warmth from the earth, as though her legs were tree roots taking nourishment from the element. A tingling sensation began in the tips of her toes and spread slowly though her body as she breathed in the essence of the element of air.  Her blood flowed and grew warm, the element of water, bringing the power to the surface. She was overcome by a vigorous strength as she envisioned her spirit encircled by the element of fire. She felt so powerful that she thought she could stop the world from churning if that was what she wished. Gabriella focused the power, remembering for a moment her mother’s lessons. She looked down at her battered friend. She willed him to open his eyes and look at her. She demanded it of him.

Gabriella would have thought it was impossible, but she felt herself grow warmer. Her face dripped with perspiration. The power within her reached a climax. Then finally, when she thought she might burst, she felt the energy release. It seeped through her fingers, and shined with an illumination that only she could see. She heard herself chanting unfamiliar words, and scarcely recognized her own voice.

 “By the power of earth, water, fire and air,
Heal this man who’s in my care.
Goddess, hear your daughter’s plea.
As I will it, so mote it be!”

Gabriella repeated the words three times. Three was the number of power. Then she watched as the wound on Darron’s forehead healed before her eyes, becoming smaller and smaller, until finally it was gone. The blood was still warm and sticky, but beneath the blood, the skin was smooth and unmarred. Even the horrible bruise had vanished. Gabriella stared in open astonishment, marveling at the work she had done.

Destiny Unveiled Excerpt:
After collecting the offering from his followers, the leader returned to the center of the circle and the waiting initiate. With one quick motion, he sliced open his own palm. He held his hand over the cup, letting his blood drip slowly into the chalice, until the wound miraculously healed before Darron's startled eyes. When the chalice was full, he carried it to the eager initiate who took the cup firmly into his hands and tilted it towards his lips.

"As this blood makes you one with our flesh, so your soul follows to become one with the darkness," the English voice intoned.

As the initiate drained the last of the liquid in the chalice, his hood fell away, revealing a blonde ponytail pulled back over a pale white face, made even paler by the outline of bright red blood around his lips. Darron watched in stunned, horrified silence as his own face turned to meet his gaze. Eyes turned as black as coals stared back at Darron with a grim smile of satisfaction.


"Rise Darron," the leader commanded. And as he spoke, he lifted the hood from his head. Rise brother of the Dark Coven."





Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Seconds to Disaster by Ray Ronan & Glenn Meade

Seconds To DisasterWow! What a read. It's going to be hard for me to get on any more MD-80s, 737s, or an Airbus every again. Even though I LOVE airplanes. This book was incredibly insightful. Perfect for an aviation buff such as myself. Having had an "insider view" into some aspects of these things in my career as a mechanic, I felt as though I was getting the full 411 for a change.


I love Air Emergency. I have this sick obsession with airplane crashes. What causes them? Was it mechanical? I think that's partly because in all my aviation career, that possibility was always in the back of my mind, ensuring I did my job carefully. This book brings up many air crashes and disasters, some I watched on that show, some that were new to me. My one and only quibble is the book leads with introducing a flight crew and telling us they crashed, but never do they tell us why. Urgh! I felt teased. If it did reveal the reason, it was so far later, I didn't make the connection.

But...things I learned that blew me away:

Your baby and your child under 7 are NOT safe on commercial planes. Babies on the lap: not safe. The likelihood of your baby surviving in severe turbulence or a rapid brake landing: nil. Seatbelts are made for adults, not children, as it can severely damage their pelvises and abdominal area in a crash. Talk your airline about a "car seat" and NEVER use loop belts. Incredible data was revealed in this.

Fatigue: bad problem. 

Counterfeit parts: Yikes! 

Boeing and their 737 NGs. Wow. This chapter talks about a major scandal and cover up regarding parts Boeing bought from a company... The company claimed they were computer made when in reality, they were man made with sharpie markers and hand saws and you have aircraft flying around that shouldn't be. This chapter was my favorite. Very revealing.

It talked about how the big airlines to save money are not really hiring mechanics, but people off the street with one mechanic supervising, training them for a mere specialty.....Been there. *nods*

And oh, also, how the engine air is circulating through the aircraft with oil fumes in it so we breathe that stuff in. Flight crews often have a high rate of cancer because of this.

A very eye-opening book. The last chapter is about how YOU can make flying safe for yourself.

Four bikes. Wish the crashes had been better explained. I bought this on Amazon. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in aviation or those who fly often.




Monday, January 21, 2013

Tip From Tara: That's Enough!



I'm sick of that! I really am! Seriously, I am sick of that!

It's the most overused word in the English language. Authors, open your current WIP and do a search for that. You may find you have over 1,500 of them. I promise you can get rid of half of them and your readers won't miss a beat.


I've decided that I need to leave.


I told him that I love him and that I can't live without him.


He said that he was going to be late.


Each one of those sentences do just fine without the that.


I've decided I need to leave.


I told him I love him and can't live without him.


He said he was going to be late.


Can you see how tiresome the word would be if all those sentences were in a paragraph?


I've decided that I need to leave. I told him that I love him and that I can't live without him, and all he said back was that he was going to be late.


Four thats. And I see this all the time. I hate that. Really, that's enough already!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The King's Mistress by Sandy Blair

The King's MistressBlurb:
The king of Scotland is in a snit. Which means Britt MacKinnon, proud Captain of the King’s Guard, has an onerous task: fetch Alexander’s favorite paramour back to the royal bed—now. Never mind that the crown should be about the business of getting a legitimate heir. Especially since England’s Edward I would love nothing more than to seize an empty Scottish throne. 

When the handsome soldier appears on her doorstep, Geneen Armstrong has to think quickly. Her twin lies abed in her cottage, pregnant with the king’s bastard. If the barren queen learns the truth, the foolish girl’s life won’t be worth a farthing. 

She must somehow transform her graceless, plain-spoken self into her vivacious, talented sister. Then, after the court is convinced she carries no child, use her herbal knowledge to sour the king’s taste for her sister’s company—for good. 

By the time Britt realizes this unusually articulate, ungodly stubborn woman is the wrong woman, tendrils of attraction have already tightened into a bond. A bond that will be tested when the king’s unexpected death puts Scotland’s very destiny at stake—and unleashes an ever-tangling web of court intrigues, secrets…and lies.


My thoughts:

Really like the heroine in this one. She's spunky and a go-getter and also strives to protect those she loves. The hero...nice to come across a strong, sexy knight that isn't establishing his dominance or manliness at every page. He's comfortable in his own skin and an overall good guy. The back and forth banter is fun. The writing itself really placed me back in time and the story is rich in history with fun facts thrown in.

I have some quibbles, however:

The prose was weird and hard to adjust to. Though I respect the author was staying true to Scottish brogue, it was a bit much at times and often I did a double take and had to reread things.

"And who kenned, mayhap she and their bairns might even become a force in bridging the rift twixt Britt and his father."

"As you lust" was another phrase constantly appearing. I got what it meant, but it bugged me as a reader nevertheless.

And some turns in the story didn't make sense to me. WHY would Britt leave her in the queen's chambers knowing the woman wanted her dead?

The scenario when he goes home to his father's to deal with a person I shall not mention because it's a spoiler, the outcome of his visit, the...convenience was...too convenient.

I also felt that with the main story being saving her sister from the queen was over too soon. To me, that was the main plot line and suddenly it was over and we were left with a different, less exciting story.

Lovely characters, however, and a nice escape from modern times. Three bikes. I bought this on Kindle.



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Strong is Sexy Woman of the Past: Kitty O'Neil


This woman came to my attention via a FB page liker of mine. I'm so pleased she mentioned this lady, a former stunt woman and racer who also happened to be deaf. Naturally, she warrants a post.

Having been growing deaf since I was four years old myself, I'm amazed and inspired by Kitty O'Neil. I know how very hard it is not to let naysayers deter you, to face blockade after blockade because of your disability, so the fact she achieved her dreams and did so much in a male-dominated industry blows me away. As a matter of fact, I found a quote from her that says it was BECAUSE of employers not wanting to hire her that she ended up in a very nontraditional career.

She became deaf at the age of four due to illness. According to History Website, she was a diver in her younger years and almost made the Olympics. She contracted spinal meningitis, which was predicted to paralyze her, but didn't, and even battled cancer twice before the age of 28. I highly recommend you read the article. Incredible.

She was a stunt woman in Hollywood and in 1977, she drove a rocket dragster The Motivator in the Mojave Desert. She drove speeds up to 412 mph. The year previously, she set the land-speed record for women in Oregon.

Upon her retirement she held 22 land and water speed records.

There is a movie about her life, but I cannot find it on DVD. It's called Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story.

I've had a heck of a time finding a photo I may be able to use. I'm just going to have to go photoless this time. To see a photo, you can go here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

REVIEW & Giveaway: Sultry in Stilettos by Nana Malone


What a fun, sexy read! I didn't read the first one, didn't even realize this was a book two until I was a quarter in and got the tiny feeling it may be, but it can stand alone. I didn't feel as though I was missing anything major.

Basic story: woman loves man, man loves woman, but they need a nudge in the right direction, each other's direction. This comes in the form of an old rich woman and a photographer. But, see, they're best friends, and by having sex and stuff, they'll be messing that up. Add the fact they both work for the same company and are vying for the same job, a VP job...eek. Oh, and I mention his brother is her ex? LOTS of trouble ahead.

Sultry in Stilettos (In Stilettos, #2)LOVE the heroines in this. Sassy, smart-assy, sexy, and their confidence is just hot. Also appreciate the humor.

"Who the hell was she kidding? His mouth should have come with a warning label. Warning: Side effects include scorched lips, flushed skin, an inability to stop picturing your best friend naked, along with sleepless nights. Please see your battery operated boyfriend if any of these symptoms occur."


The big question is will Beckett realize he is good enough for Ricca? Will Ricca allow herself to step outside her little box and love someone a little unsafe? Meanwhile, the company they are not only vying for the same job, but someone is trying to kill someone on the set of their fantasies. (They work for a company that makes people's fantasies come to life.)

Their job...was a wee confusing to me. I think maybe I need to read book one to get the 411 on the company they work for. But I will say this. I'll be reading book three.

The mystery is mild. The romance is def dominant, but the mystery kept me guessing. Though I knew whodunnit, I couldn't figure out whytheydunnit until it was revealed.

Well-written, entertaining, sassy, and funny. Four bikes. I received this from Sizzling PR in exchange for an honest review.



Blurb:

Shy, Fantasy Event Planner, Ricca Munroe has never been lucky in love, so when the latest in a long line of Mr. Oh So Wrongs publicly dumps her, she focuses on her career. All she has to do to land the job of a lifetime is work side-by-side with the one man who can break her heart.

Beckett Mills has never been in love. Personal entanglements are a recipe for disaster—that is until one kiss from Ricca Munroe changes everything. Beckett needs this job to fulfill a promise he made. All he has to do is resist the seductive charms of his best friend.

Can Ricca come out of her shell to land her dream job and the love of her life? Can Beckett trust himself enough to actually fall in love and still keep the promise he made?

Warning: Sexy, sass talking women will make you laugh, cry and want a pair of killer footwear. 


About the Author: 

Nana's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin. It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.

Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is. Though, until that ninja job comes through, you'll find her acting out scenes for hubby, baby and puppy while catching up on her favorite reality television shows in sunny San Diego.


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Madame Laval & Marie-Louise Weathers

Book: No Good Like it Is, Dog Soldier Moon
Author: McKendree Long
Heroine: Madame Laval, Marie-Louise Weathers

From No Good Like It Is, I choose Madame Laval, proprietress of Chateau Blanc. The 'White House' is the second best brothel in wartime Atlanta. Gloria Constance Marie Laval (real name, Sue Brendan) is an anonymous benefactress of the many Atlanta orphans; she also helps dispose of the bodies of three Confederate provosts, killed by my protagonist after they attack him and the young prostitute he's with. The madam then has a dalliance with my hero until he returns to combat.


No-Good-Like-It-IsIn the sequel, Dog Soldier Moon, I'd choose Marie-Louise Weathers. A thirtyish quadroon and former slave, she is the common-law mother-in-law of my hero, and is also the common-law wife of the hero's partner. The mother and octoroon daughter Honey had hooked up with my protagonists (Captain Dobey Walls and Sergeant-Major Jimmy Melton) in the first novel, in 1865 Mississippi. There, they had helped their husband/father run a country store until Union deserters had murdered the man and attempted to rape Honey.

Dobey and Jimmy stumbled on the attack and killed the three attackers, and the two women decided to accompany the saviors 'home' to Texas. There for three years they help their men build a new frontier community, until another brutal attack by desperate thugs. Marie-Louise and Honey are raped and savagely beaten. With a dying effort, Marie-Louise slams one her attackers with an oil lantern, setting him and the house on fire, which saves her daughter.


Blurbs:
1858, Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. 2d Lieutenant Dobey Walls meets and bonds with veteran Corporal Jimmy Melton. As the Civil War begins, they leave to join the 8th Texas Cavalry in Houston, then take part in the first and the final charges of the Army of Tennessee. Between those events, they ride with Nathan Bedford Forrest, play an honorable role in the Fort Pillow Massacre, harass Sherman with Shannon's Raiders, and visit the second best brothel in Atlanta. As surrender looms, they're released to search for Dobey's long-missing family in the Texas Panhandle. Their efforts are hampered by destitute farmers, lonely widows, dangerous militia, freed slaves, and runaways, who increase their numbers and excitement. In the process, they save a quadroon and her daughter from Yankee deserters who have stolen a Union payroll. This act of mercy brings them romance but puts Pinkerton detectives and a renegade lawman on their trail. Confederate Cherokees and Cheyenne Dog Soldiers add to the chaos.

In this sequel to his novel, No Good Like It Is, McKendree Long continues the saga of Dobey Walls and Jimmy Boss Melton during the three years following the Civil War. In Dog Soldier Moon, a great crime decimates the tiny Panhandle community of Canadian Fort, twisting relationships and putting Dobey and the Boss on a trail of retribution and frontier justice, yet unaware that they are targets of two Pinkerton teams. Black Kettle, Meotzi, the 'Boy General' Custer, and J.B. Hickok flesh out the cast in this all new classic tale.



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