Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pen & Muse Review: ALEX RISING


Author: Dita Parker
Author Website: http://ditaparker.blogspot.com
Genre: A new paranormal short novel
Publisher: Available now at Ellora’s Cave Publishing: http://www.ellorascave.com/
Info: ISBN: 9781419922893
Price: $5.20 Available as e-book

WHAT I LIKE

My first thought as I read the very first pages was that this story took ‘body snatching’ to a whole, new level. When introduced to Alex and Tristan, they are sharing the same body due to Tristan’s violent death and a spell he and his wife, Lin conjured earlier. Unfortunately, Alex wasn’t aware this could happen to him. The happily married couple had another man in mind, who agreed. Too bad Danny died the same day as Tristan.

Tristan pushes Alex on Lin so his spirit can ‘enjoy’ his wife again. Two men fighting for control of a single body makes for an interesting conflict, especially since Alex isn’t into committed relationships. Lin is a gutsy female who mourns her husband’s death then hears his words of love pouring from the lips of a handsome stranger.

The three-way triangle –Tristan and his wife, Lin, and Tristan’s war buddy, Alex—takes the reader on twists and turns. Hot and spicy sex between two people who just met is made a bit interesting when Tristan’s words soothe Lin into submission. Alex, at times, has to take a back seat. Which man would Lin really want for the long haul? Would Alex stay? Would Tristan share?

BOOK BLURB

Lin wasn’t above using extreme measures to ensure she never lost her husband, including a good old-fashioned spell. But, the man now standing at her door looks like far more than she’d bargained for. He has the tall-dark-and-handsome thing down pat. What lies beneath the sexy stranger’s cool exterior, Lin can only imagine. Vividly.

In New Orleans, a little magic goes a long way. Returning to his hometown and his wife, Tristan has to wonder if this time it didn’t go too far. He has gotten his wish, and now he has to let a man he would never have wanted anywhere near his wife have her in every way imaginable.

Review: Research Required by Amber Skyze

Research Required
 
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance Quickie
Price: $4:45

What I Liked:
I always appreciate a little tension in my erotic quickies. There are times when the story seems to drag out and not go anywhere, and the tension of a life-or-death situation would be appreciated if only for pacing's sake. But that definitely doesn't happen in "Research Required". It's full of tension, sexual and otherwise. And the story really does move along at a nice pace. Before you know it, you're finished with the book. As for the whole sex-with-strangers thing, I have a hard time believing these kinds of stores, but at least the author made it feel believable. So even when I was thinking, hmm, I don't know about that, my disbelief was still suspended enough that I was into the story, and cared what happened to the characters at the end.

Book Blurb:
Ethan’s on the run from the mob. He’s in for a surprise when he knocks on the door of his sister’s neighbor. The last thing he needs is a distraction like Bailey. She’s sexy and sassy and dressed in skimpy shorts—and he wants to take her where she stands.

Sex with a stranger? Bailey would never think of it. Ethan’s no stranger though, he’s her friend Jenna’s brother, so that makes him a friend too, right? Sex in the kitchen, sex in the bedroom, sex on the couch, it doesn’t matter. Bailey can’t get enough of this hot-blooded stranger.

Will Ethan’s past catch up to him and ruin any hopes for their future?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog Tour: The Hungarian Blog Tour with Stephanie Burkhart

IMG_0266.JPG



steph2.jpg


Blog Post #1 for "The Hungarian" Blog Tour
Pen & The Muse


Paranormal Inspiration

I'm excited to be here at the Pen and The Muse, my first stop on my mini blog tour for "The Hungarian." My thanks to Denise and the ladies here for having me today.

Beware. The wolf is coming.

hungarianmedium.jpg

"The Hungarian," my latest paranormal release is set in 1901 at the turn of the 20th Century when industrialization clashed with old world myths. Hungarian Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret, but when he meets a young British noblewoman, Katherine Archibald, he risks everything for her love.

Nothing highlights the new/old world clash as the locations in the book. The first half of the book is set in industrialized England and the second half is set in Budapest, Hungary, still steeped in old world customs and myths.

"The Hungarian" was born out of a simple prompt; write a story about a werewolf who falls in love. I wrote a short story called "The Wolf's Kiss." Hungarian Count, Matthias Duma, hires a British nanny for his young daughter and falls in love with her. The conflict: he's a werewolf. It was well received and was an Honorable Mention Winner in the 2007 Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Contest. From there, the story grew to novel proportions. *grin*

After a first draft that was best left in the draft box, I fine-tuned the story and submitted it to Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze. She liked it but said, "Can you write it in the third person?"

"Sure," I said. "The Hungarian" was born. I learned a lot from this experience and I can honestly say patience and persistence pays off.

What attracted me to paranormal romance was the challenge of it. A paranormal can be set in the past, present, or future, in a modern setting or a medieval setting. You can be creative and original as you want, filling your world with your own myths and legends.

Paranormal romance is an outgrowth of the gothic genre and I grew up reading gothic authors, to include Victoria Holt, the Mistress of Gothic Romance. So, for me, paranormal romance is an outgrowth of my gothic roots.

Werewolves have always fascinated me more than vampires, simply because they're alive – they're living, and breathing, and deliciously human. If you follow traditional werewolf myths, the man is only a wolf during the full moon. If a lunar cycle is 28 days, than a person is human 26 days of that cycle. It's how the man carries his curse of lycanthropy which fascinates me. Does he avoid people? Does he bear his curse with dignity? Is he quiet? Moody? Dare he fall in love? How Matthias bears his curse – how he psychology handles being a wolf was what I found exhilarating to write. Notice the title – "The Hungarian." The focus is on the man, not the wolf.

Here's an excerpt:

The door squeaked open. Katherine peeked over the top of her book. A tall, muscular man walked in wearing a white button-down shirt and holding his blazer. He paused, as if surprised to find her, and then began to quietly walk toward the window. He moved with wolf-like prowess, his long legs taking cool, calculated steps as his unusual eyes surveyed her. Katherine bit the inside of her lip, returning his measured perusal with one of her own. His silence was unnerving, yet intriguing.

His eyes drew her to him – malachite green with a gold ring around the iris. Dynamic. Expressive. Even now, as he looked at her, they softened and grew translucent. Finally, he stopped in front of the window and casually threw his blazer onto a nearby chair as if he owned the room.

"Hello," he said.

"Hello."

"You're staring."

"I am? I thought you were staring at me."

He chuckled. "Perhaps I was admiring you."

"Me?"

"Who else is here?"

Katherine pursed her lips as her insides warmed from the deep silkiness of his voice. He smiled, and walked over to her chair, slowly gliding around it, tracing his finger over the leather headrest, skirting her curly hair.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"And who is inquiring?" She tried to sound cool and composed, but she had to fight the nervous temptation to play with her hands.

"Romeo, perhaps?"

"Then my name is Juliet."

A teasing smile graced his lips as he walked out from behind her chair and glanced at a bookshelf before turning to look at her again.

"Would you fall for Tristan?"

"Only if my name were Isolde."

He walked over to a wooden table near the window and ran his long finger over a clay mock-up of Excalibur lodged in a stone. "What do you think of 'Arthur?' Do you think it suits me?"


"Only Guinevere would believe your name was Arthur."

He crossed his arms, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight. "Would you believe my name was Matthias?"

"I might, if—"

"If what?"

"If I knew more about you."

Check out "The Hungarian's" Book Trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

Goodie Time:

I'll pick two winners out of those who post on today's blog to receive an autographed postcard of "The Hungarian's" Cover.

To qualify for the GRAND prize: You have to post on every blog in the tour. I'll put your name into the "hat." Then I'll pick the Grand Prize Winner's name out of the hat.

The GRAND prize: A coffee mug with "The Hungarian's" cover, a mousepad with the cover, magnets, and a set of autographed postcards.


The Hungarian Releases on 1 MAY 2010 with Desert Breeze Publishing. Here's a link to the site: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-87/%3Ci%3EBudapest-Moon-Book-One%3C-fdsh-i%3E-cln-/Detail.bok

Monday, April 26, 2010

RAH Conference Has Begun!


RAH_Conf-small.jpg



Details \ Schedules

Software: Windows 7 Tune Up

For those of you who have Windows, check this software out to see if this helps those Windows headaches! Thanks to Jessica for letting me know about this program!


Windows 7 TuneUp suite is your all-purpose tool for better PC maintenance and security. Plus, it protects your computer from system crashes, repairs and maintains your PC health, removes unneeded Internet clutter, regains valuable disk space, cleans your registry and tweak windows to perform better.

Main Features:

* Support Windows XP/Vista/7

* Eliminates system crashes, freezes and slowdowns

* Automatically identifies and repairs common Windows problems

* Eliminate BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)

* Speeds up boot up time

* Repairs defects by building a fresh registry

* Compacts registry by removing gaps and unused space

* Removes fragmentation with a linear and sequential registry

* Improves system performance due to faster registry load/read

* Finds and deletes duplicate files of any type

* Saves space on your hard drive

* Extends internal system uninstaller with features to find and delete
left traces (e,g registry keys, folders etc.)

* Improves your Windows PC's overall performance and stability

* Question based services and drivers tune up

* Automatically tweaks system services and drivers for better performance

* Recovers CPU & Memory usage taken by unneeded services and drivers

* Full control of the programs that are loaded during Windows startup

* Add/remove/edit startup items

* Task scheduler configurator

* Cleans Browser History

* Cleans history index.dat file content in Internet Explorer.

For information on the software here: http://www.windsty.com/products/windows_7_tuneupsuite/windows-7-tuneup.html

Review: Love for Hire by Mardi Ballou

Love for Hire
 
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Price: $5.20

What I Liked:
This was one of the first erotic shorts I've read where I really felt like the character development helped me get invested in the story more than the sex. Unlike a lot of erotic quickies, it takes a bit to get into the sex in this book, and I thought it was a lot more believable (and still had some hot scenes, as well). The storyline was interesting, and kept the story moving. I thought the heroine was very well done, and she was actually my favorite part of the book. Yes, the hero was a hot guy, and he had a bit of the reformed bad-boy thing going on. But the heroine was someone I really wanted to root for, which is something I find that not enough romance writers are doing these days. They sort of assume that any woman deserves to have a great man, and don't spend enough time making their heroine someone that I want to end up with their hero. That was definitely not the case in this book. I liked her, I empathized with her, I thought she totally deserved to get the guy in the end, and I was very happy with the kind of person she turned out to be. All in all, good work!

Book Blurb:
Stephanie’s had it with men. She lost her home, business and reputation because of her boyfriend’s scam. Nick Love is a man on a mission. In an attempt to keep the FBI off his back, he has agreed to go undercover at a shady online dating service. Stephanie and Nick meet on an arranged date neither wants. Despite their best intentions, sparks fly the moment their eyes meet.

Soon they are both falling in love—and lust—but to play his role, Nick must betray Stephanie. Stephanie wants only to forget him and move on with her life. Knowing he’s got a lot to answer for, Nick sets out to seduce Stephanie and prove that with love, anything is possible.

Publisher’s Note: Previously published in the Down and Dirty anthology.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Waiting for Wednesday by Mari Carr

Waiting for Wednesday
 
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Price: $5.20

What I Liked:
I am a sucker for the over-protective male. I can't decide what exactly it is about that particular brand of hero that turns me on so much, but there ya go. So I adored Tristan, the hero of this book. He tries to rescue his heroine from a bad marriage and she runs away from him, but he just keeps on loving her, and it's really quite beautiful. So, of course, when the horrifying ex-husband comes back in the picture, Tristan's protective instincts kick in again, and he is just hotter than hot. Love it. This book is worth reading for him alone. It's also book three in a series about this same big Irish family in Baltimore, so chances are there are going to be more. :-) Keep your little eyes peeled... Tristan is a keeper of a hero, and I have a feeling his brothers will be, too.

Book Blurb:
Tristan Collins knows Lane Bryce is strictly hands-off. She’s smart, funny, kind…and married. But he still looks forward to her once-a-week visits to the family pub where he tends bar. When she fails to arrive one Wednesday, Tris is concerned. When he learns she’s in the hospital, brutally beaten after attempting to leave her unhappy marriage, he’s enraged. Tris vows to protect her, but doesn’t get the chance—Lane checks out of the hospital and disappears without a trace.

A year later, newly divorced Lane is back, and enjoying her independence too much to embark on a relationship. Tris intends to prove she can have freedom and love, and he’s not above using seduction to do it. The more she resists, the more he sets her body ablaze with pleasure the likes of which she’s never known.

After a lifetime of disappointment, trust doesn’t come easily for Lane. But when her ex-husband reenters her life, threatening her independence, her happiness, she could discover too late that Tristan is the one man worthy of not only her trust, but also her love.

Friday, April 16, 2010

REVIEW: SACRIFICE IN STONE







Author: Patricia Mason



Author Website: http://www.patriciamason.net/



Genre: a Moderne Quickie



Publisher: Available now at Ellora’s Cave Publishing: http://www.ellorascave.com/



Info: ISBN: 9781419927560



Price: $2.49 Available as e-book




What I liked




This was a quick, hot, enjoyable read which mesmerized me into forgetting everything else I was supposed to be doing today. The story and characters quickly drew me. I loved the simplicity of the location—a stuffy, old museum. A cursed statue and our heroine’s teenage memories cause Mari to follow through with an incredible idea to save a man she’d only seen in her dreams.
When Garrick comes to life, he ends up saving Mari from her own blood loss. He reads something in the text Mari could not translate and is determined not to fall in love. When she proposes sex, he agrees…it has been centuries for him. The act is a far cry from how he would make love to her…if he could have a life with her. His caring, her concerns, their cursed relationship almost brought me to tears. This is a wonderful story and I hope to read more from Ms. Mason and soon!



Book Blurb



In 1758 Britain, a blood curse imprisons soldier Garrick Lawson in the form of a marble statue as a sacrifice to bring prosperity to the Rushworth family. Fighting madness inside his stone prison, Garrick awaits a release that may never come. Over two centuries later, he hears a voice that makes him hunger for love as well as freedom.

Mara, the Rushworth heiress, feels irresistibly drawn to the statue. She dreams of hungry kisses in the arms of a soldier with eyes the color of melting chocolate. When Mara discovers an antique journal, revealing her family’s crime, she knows the man of her dreams awaits and she must risk the wrath of her devious uncle to free him. Using her blood, Mara brings Garrick to life and awakens his desire to claim her as his woman. But even as fiery passion burns between the lovers, the journal reveals that Garrick’s freedom has a price…Mara’s life.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: Tagging Her Lynx by Abby Wood

Tagging Her Lynx
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
ISBN: 978-1-926771-34-2
Price: $4.45

What I Liked:
Holy hotness, Batman. This is definitely a hot-hot book, with hot-hot love scenes. Beautifully emotive, and deep. Loved them. I really enjoy the shape-shifter romances. I think there's something really primal about the relationship between a male shape-shifter and his mate. I definitely like the sort of traditional relationship that Chloe learns to enjoy... you'll get what I mean if you read it. It's about 100 pages, and interesting. If you're into erotic romance, I would consider picking it up. Especially if you also like shape-shifting romance as well. :-)

Book Blurb:
Living in the bush of Alaska, Chloe Barrant wanted to take care of the animals at her wildlife refuge and ignore the times she shifted into a lynx. Even she knew that wasn’t normal. Little did she know that the day she'd turn away the poachers she'd find a male lynx coming to her rescue. What surprised her even more was when the lynx turned into a man claiming her as his life mate.

Granger, alpha of the Lynx clan, would do anything to protect the Lynx. They'd lost too many members to the hunters who preyed on them. Finding his alpha life mate gave him back dreams for the future that he'd given up on long ago.

Chloe didn't understand how the other Lynx expected her to fill the alpha role within the clan, when around Granger she only wanted to slip into beta role and submit to him. Could she figure it all out in time to save the Lynx?

Excerpt:
"You can put the shovel down. No harm will come to you."
Chloe glared and gave her head a tight shake without moving her gaze off the lynx. She swore the animal talked, but his mouth didn't move. In fact, he now sat completely motionless, with the innocence of a house cat on his face.
"My name is Granger, and I am a shapeshifter like you. We have the ability to talk to each other telepathically."
The shovel fell from her grip, and she jumped back at the clatter of the handle skimming the chain links of the cage. She hurried over to the other side of the aisle and stood with her back against the wires.
Her coat caught on the metal, and puffs of downy feathers billowed out from the snags. She gnawed on her bottom lip and stared, not wanting to believe the voice in her head. There was no way that lynx had just spoken to her.
"It's true, Aningan. We are from the Lynx family. I've seen you shift and run through the woods, keeping to the deep shadows, too afraid of discovery. I've bided my time in coming to you, but unfortunately those men meant you harm and forced me to come out of hiding."
"Go…go a-away. Scat!" She motioned with her arm for him to take off. His chuckles filled her head.
She froze, her lips pursed in disapproval. Why did she even contemplate the reality of the cat laughing in a very masculine, husky voice? She even heard a hint of tenderness in his teasing. This is crazy.
"You're not crazy. I am your mate, and together we have the ability to communicate telepathically. I can explain everything to you. Is there somewhere we can go, sit down, and I can transform back into my human form? What I have to tell you will answer many of the questions that have troubled you lately."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review: Uprooted by Jasmine Aherne

Uprooted
by Jasmine Aherne

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Pink Petal Books
Price: $4.95

What I liked
The hero in this book was absolutely yummy. He's not only H-O-T in the very physical sense, but he is smart and open and sexy and so, so, so ready for love. He's also a caring and eager father. This is a very unusual romance. Don't head into it expecting sort of the same old romance plot. It's very different. And very interesting. The heroine was definitely worth-while (I liked her), and I loved her brother. Even Noah's daughter was cool. But seriously, this hero is just num-a-licious. Hot-hot. Very much a beta-esque hero, which I thought was interesting when I finished and looked back on it. But they have a very well-developed relationship, and it's very fun.

Book Blurb

Landscape designer Marianne Dawson thinks she's hit her head pretty hard when she wakes up in hospital to the handsome face of Dr. Noah Campbell. They hit it off, but the emergency ward is too busy to get friendly. Mari's delighted then, when Noah turns out to be the blind date she agreed to as a favor for a friend.

Noah finds himself falling for Mari's sharp wit and ready smile, but his life's complicated enough as it is - he's just found out he has a twelve-year-old daughter, and he needs serious help becoming a father. With Mari's help, however, the sulky girl blooms, and they start to form a family.

But Mari's struggling with her own internal demons, and what will she do when a difficult choice threatens everything she and Noah have built together?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Interview & Review: The Wish List by Gabi Stevens

Wish-List-MM.jpg


Title: The Wish List

Author: Gabi Stevens

Author Website: http://www.gabistevens.com

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Tor Books

Purchase:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Wish-List/Gabi-Stevens/e/9780765365033/?itm=1&USRI=Gabi+stevens


What I liked: What is there not to like about this book? The beginning had to be hooked and I could not put it down! Gabi Stevens takes fairy godmothers and magic to the next level. I really enjoyed Kristin's character and her three aunts who are fairy godmothers, but also that of Tennyson and Lucas. Kristin is passionate, charismatic, and independent. I really could relate to her character. Kristin is left to deal with this new role and even more terrifying yet exciting, the magic! But not only does she have to deal with this newfound gift and role, she has to deal with an arbiter who not only annoys her, but also is great looking. So what's a girl to do? Follow her heart? I won't give it away since you will have to read the book, but know that there is some danger lurking that Kristin and her magic will have to handle. Will she be strong enough? You will have to pre-order to find out! Gabi Stevens is my new favorite author!


Book Blurb:

When Kristin Montgomery discovers her three aunts are fairy godmothers and she's next in line for the job, her uncomplicated life disappears like magic. No, not like magic; it is magic. Kristin not only has to deal with burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant arbiter, a selfish sprite, and a suave French sorcerer. It’s bad enough there are no books or classes she can take to learn magic, but someone is out to take over the Arcani world. Kristin has to trust her heart and her instincts to keep herself and the ones she loves out of danger.



Excerpt: http://www.gabistevens.com/Ch1.html



Interview:


Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!

I was born in Southern California, but my parents were both from Hungary so I learned Hungarian before English. For High School, I attended a boarding school just like Harry Potter, only without magic. I went to college in New York for a year, then finished up at UCSD (University of California at San Diego), with a year in Germany as an exchange student. My husband took me to Illinois for graduate school, and then we moved to Albuquerque. I have three daughters--twins and a spare--a dog, love playing games, and even appeared on Family Feud and Jeopardy!

What inspires you to write?

The voices in my head. No, seriously, I always loved to read, and just love the idea of telling my own stories. I have so many ideas, and they are all clamoring to get out and be told.


Do you find that your muse takes over when writing? Absolutely. When I have the chance to sit down and work for more than minutes at time (day job, you know), my book plays as a movie in my head and all I have to do is write down what I see and hear. Oh, there’s more to it than that, like revising, but that’s my basic method. And when I have to return to the real world, it can be as jarring as if I had been traveling.


Tell us a bit about your book? What inspired it?

THE WISH LIST is set in San Diego. When Kristin Montgomery discovers her three aunts are fairy godmothers and she’s next in line for the job, her orderly world disappears like magic. Not only does she have to deal with her burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant—and distractingly sexy—magical arbiter. But before Kristin can hone her skills and pass the tests necessary to fully claim her powers, she and Tennyson must work together to defend the world – both magical and human.


How do you create your characters, are they from people you know or completely made from your ideas?

Most of my heroines have some aspect of myself. For example, Kristin hates to be bad at anything, so when she discovers that there are no books or classes to learn magic, she panics. That’s me. If I can’t learn something, and learn it easily, I’ll give up. But for the most part, I make my characters up and they have no counterpart in real life. I hope I give them characteristics that everyone can relate to.


Do you have any have any other works in progress that you want to share?

Book two of the Time of Transition Trilogy, SPELLBOUND, will be out in April 2011, and I’m currently working on the third book, TOIL & TROUBLE, for March 2010. These two books finish up the story started in THE WISH LIST, and lets the reader revisit previous characters.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there? Read, write, and then do it some more. I also push grammar (I’m a freak—I love grammar), join a writing group so you can talk with like-minded people. And never, never give up. If you want to have success, you can’t give up ever.

What are your favorite books at the moment? Oooo, this is a hard one. Here’s a list: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; Outliers; Lord of Scoundrels; The Phoenix Unchanged; The Lost Duke of Wyndham; Goddess of the Hunt; Dandelion Wine; To Kill a Mockingbird; Hunger Games; and so, so many more. The longer I think about it, the longer the list gets. And then there are the favorite authors: Teresa Medeiros, Connie Brockway, Jodi Thomas, Christina Dodd, Jill Barnett, Jayne Ann Krentz, and, again, so many more.

What is your favorite word? Least favorite?

Tintinnabulation. Definitely my favorite word. I don’t get to use it in my books, but I love that word. And there are always the words that crop up in my writing that I’ll use over and over again, and then have to edit out. My least favorite word: supposebly and excape. I hate it when people say these instead of the correct word. Oh, and anxious instead of eager.


If you want more information about me or my books, please visit me at www.GabiStevens.com. I love to hear from readers.


And now a question for you: If you could have a wish granted, what would it be?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Review: Naked Souls by Kate Hill

Naked Souls by Kate Hill

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Price: $6.99

What I liked
W-to the-O-to the-W. This book has really got it all. Fantasy, magic, hot-hot-hot hero (who, by the way, I would like to clone, thank you), hot love scenes, incredible sexual tension. The two main characters (well, the protagonists) were incredible characters, and I felt immediately connected to the heroine, who is trapped in a loveless marriage by a man who sees her as practically synonymous with one of his slaves. But the plot is so inventive, and flows so well. This was definitely a five-star read. I think that anyone who likes erotic romance (whether you typically read paranormal or not) will really like this book. Plus, it's a full-length novel, which is really nice, because you get to spend a long time with these characters. The hero was ultra-yummy, the heroine was deep and interesting, the plot was fantastic, the writing was evocative and engaging... this is definitely a book I'm gonna read again! Excellent read. I highly recommend it. (P.S. Did I mention how much I want to be this chick who gets to be with Lysander the whole time? Um... yum.)
 
Book Blurb:

Betrayed and imprisoned, Overlord Lysander is forced to mate with beautiful Queen Flora. Lysander has never found a woman more desirable. Resisting her is impossible, especially when manipulated by carnal magic.

Trapped in a loveless marriage, Flora has dreamed about Lysander since meeting him at the high king’s gathering. She never imaged she would one day be forced into his bed by her maniacal husband.

Damaged by an abusive past, King Typhon obsesses about two things—keeping his kingdom safe at any cost, and the innocent maid who stirs his body and soul. Love is a luxury a leader can’t afford, especially when he’s consorting with the fleshtress, a creature who thrives on mortal lust.

Compelled to love a man she can never have, Crystal longs for brooding King Typhon. She sees past his madness and into his heart, but to save the man she must destroy the king.

In a magical world at war, passion abounds as four people are stripped to their souls, but will love or lust conquer all?

Review: Crushing Desire by April Dawn

Crushing Desire
by April Dawn

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Breathless Press
ISBN: 978-1-926771-26-7
Price: $4.95

What I liked
I've realized after reading my second April Dawn book that I have very specific expectations when it comes to the plot structure of my romance novels. Her first book I reviewed (Bound By Love) did not follow this plot structure, and neither did Crushing Desire. But where BBL started with the sensuality very early in the book, which made the story feel like it was moving too quickly for me, Crushing Desire had a nice sensual build-up that felt a little like foreplay. This was definitely my favorite of the two books, although I thought they were both good. I connected well with both these main characters, I thought the love-story was very intriguing and well-written. I found myself interested in the side plots, and I definitely am realizing that I have an affinity for books about the sea, on some level. Not pirate books, not a fan of those, but books about good sailors, the Navy (especially the Royal Navy), and people being trapped on boats together. I thought the plot of this book was inventive, and the tension at the end was definitely a twist (no spoilers, don't worry... you won't see it coming, either). All in all, it was an enjoyable book, and I am glad to have read it.

Book Blurb:

Reena Harrison is anything but the fashion, but despite her flaws, she has several suitors. Unfortunately, the one man she has always loved is not one of them. After things go dreadfully wrong with a suitor and her family, she finds herself asking Joshua a peculiar favor.
Joshua Sinclair has long had a fascination with the tall beauty. After years of denying his feelings for Reena in pure military fashion, he finds himself thrown together with her in an out of control scheme. How can he possibly rule his emotions when he finds himself posing as the sensuous woman’s husband?

Excerpt:
 "It sounds like the guests are arriving." Reena plucked a flower, spinning it in her fingers as she stood.
"All the more reason you should be on your way." Emily eyed the darkening sky, not quite rolling her eyes at Reena. "I should have brought a whip with me. It would have moved you along faster."
Reena winced. She knew she should hasten into the tent and greet her guests, but the longer she waited, the more she could imagine the pleasant possibilities and ignore the disagreeable ones. Perhaps she would enter, and Joshua would be awaiting her, eyes shining, hand extended for the first dance. He would fight away all others who asked for a dance, then kiss her deeply, telling her he loved her too.
Sighing, she trudged on, knowing it more probable that he would spend the evening sitting in the corner with his eyes on the floor, and she would spend it pining for him.
The candles and torches, which lit the fluttering canvas, cast a magical glow on the night. Entering the tent, she found herself greeted by a cheer as the first chord of a favorite country dance was struck. Merry voices called loudly, and dancers took their positions.
"Come, come." An excited Daniel Dubois encouraged Reena onto the dancer's line.
She took her place, the corners of her traitorous lips lifting against her will. Her mind wanted to hold on to her worries, to hold on to thoughts of Joshua, but her body wanted to dance. Whirling across the floor, she glimpsed Joshua for the first time. He sat in the corner, eyes downcast. His gaze rose to meet hers. Her heart caught in her throat, and she found it hard to breathe past the lump it formed. She missed a step in the dance and shrugged her apology to Dan, falling back into line with him.
Trying to focus on the steps, which by and large came so naturally to her, Reena kept her eyes on Dan. But she could feel Joshua's gaze. Tingling heat filled her cheeks and spread down her neck to settle in her belly.
Whirling into a turn, she followed the others in the dance, coming in to touch hands with Dan, and then stepping away again. She glanced back toward the darkened corner where Joshua sat. He was still so attractive, though perhaps a bit thinner. His black waistcoat and breeches showed his mourning, but his eyes showed something else: a profound craving. A heat that burned her from across the interior of the tent.
The last notes of the dance played, and Reena turned, curtsying at Dan.
"Merci, Monsieur Dubois." He looked devastatingly handsome with his dark hair, buff breaches, and tan waistcoat. But her gaze moved right past him, gliding over his shoulder to the spot where Joshua had been but a moment ago. "If you would excuse me, I must greet my uncle."
Reena surveyed the room, searching for Joshua. There was a small band and a table filled with refreshments for the small group. A number of chairs lined the walls for those who wished to rest, but Joshua was nowhere to be found.
"Where could he have gone?" she mumbled to herself and moved to the opening in the tent, eyes on the room. She stood at the entrance, watching as the next set of dancers took their places. With her bottom lip in a tight hold between her teeth, Reena snuck out.
The darkness was near absolute after being inside the well lit tent. She could make out two figures in the darkness beside the tent. They stood very close, almost intimate.
"You are stunning tonight, my sweet one," the male voice said before lowering his head to the woman in his arms.
Reena looked away, her fingers curling in the folds of her skirt. She had always wondered what it would be like to kiss Joshua like that. Her gaze slid back to the whispering couple, and her heart beat harder in her chest. She should move on, she knew it, but her mind had filled with the fantasy images of Joshua kissing her as Dan had in that alleyway so long ago. Better still, as this man now kissed his woman in the consuming shadows of the night.
Averting her eyes, she shook the daydream from her head and continued her search. It was not good to linger on things that were not to be. Joshua had never shown interest in her before. Though his eyes had lingered on her tonight.
The torches that lit the edges of the garden illuminated a lone figure sitting on a bench, head in hands. Something in the strength of his build and the dejected way he slumped told her it was Joshua, regardless of the shadows. Soft music filled the silence of the night beyond the tent. She stepped forward, hesitant to break into his isolation.
"You shouldn't be out here, Reena. You should be in there, dancing and enjoying yourself." Joshua sat up, eyes rimmed with dark circles, his countenance stiff.
The use of her given name sent a thrill through her, raising goose flesh from her head to her toe. She took another small step; sure she hadn't made a noise. How had he known she was even there?
"So should you," Reena said softly, her eyes gliding over his lean form. Her heart welled, seeing the man before her, so decimated by grief. Eyes tearing, she bit her lip, trying not to think of the great love he must have shared with his departed wife. Trying not to be selfish and wish that love were hers.
He rose from the bench, facing her, his face illuminated somewhat in the torchlight. His gaze wandered to the well-lit room from which music and frivolity emanated.
"Go inside, Miss Harrison, I'm not fit for company yet." His gaze returned to his shoes.
"I don't mind staying here with you. You are always enjoyable company to me."
His eyes met hers. They blazed with ferocious intensity, burning into her, holding her entranced. Her pulse thundered in her ears, and her breathing became shallow. It seemed neither of them had moved, but in the next instant, she was in his arms. First he only held her, as if his life depended on the heat and energy of her body. His strength and warmth seared through the material of her dress. Reena pressed herself closer, clinging to his arms as he held her against his chest.
For a moment, that was enough. They held each other in the night without a sound. Then they were kissing. His tongue found its way into her mouth and made Dan's kiss meaningless. There was something powerful and intimate about this stolen moment. Fire built in her body as his kiss deepened, Reena moaned deep in her throat.

Interview: Jannine Corti Petska and The Sisters of Destiny Trilogy


I had the pleasure of interviewing Jannine as I have two of her books in The Sisters of Destiny Trilogy. What great books they are so if you love romance with a dash of adventure then you have to pick her books up!

If you would like to read the past reviews, please go here and here.


Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!

I was born in New York but moved to Southern California when I was three. I grew up in an Old World Italian environment with parents whose first language was Italian. This was a big disadvantage for me when I began to write. My vocabulary was very simple. Strangely, I had a very high reading level from the time I was five. But not until I read romances did I strengthen my vocabulary.


I had hopes of being a linguist and tutored Italian, Spanish, German, and English as a Second Language at a local college. Unfortunately, marriage and kids didn't allow me to continue on with my language studies.


I have a wonderful husband, three great daughters and sons-in-law, and six grandchildren. I'm extremely family oriented, and that includes my dogs. On that account, I support the Humane Society.



What inspires you to write?

I think my biggest inspiration was my mother. She learned English when she began school at five. Although she was housebound, she read constantly. Her English became quite good, and she loved to read everything I wrote in school. She must have seen something in my stories. Her encouragement and belief that I could do anything I set my mind to are what inspired me to write.

Do you find that your muse takes over when writing?

It used to, lol. When I was younger, a stay-at-home mom with three daughters, the muse was absolutely untamed. When I wrote, the words and scenes just flowed. Fast forward to my entering my senior years, and my muse has gotten quite lazy. It's become a struggle lately, but at least the muse isn't dead!


Tell us a bit about your books? What inspired them?

I'm not sure why ideas pop into my head, but I have been inspired by many things, including songs, something I see, a word or phrase someone says.


I started out writing western romances before I turned to medievals. The first book I sold was THE LILY AND THE FALCON, to Kensington. It's the first book in a four-book series and was set in 15th century Florence where my father's family originates from. Because of my heritage, I love setting books in medieval Italy. (This book is no longer available.)


FOREIGN EXCHANGE, no longer available, was set in 1970 U.S. and Italy. It had the CIA, the FBI, the Weatherman Underground, the Mafia, the Italian government, Red Brigade, and a soccer stud hero. It was based on my trip to Italy in 1970. The day before my return trip home, my plane was blown up on the tarmac, claimed by the Red Brigade. I had to leave a day later, in a very cramped plane.


REBEL HEART was set in 1872 Santa Fe. This story began in my head when I heard Bon Jovi's album from Young Guns. Two songs, Miracle and Santa Fe, inspired this book. The hero, Beau Hamilton, is my favorite hero.


KNIGHT'S DESIRE is a short story set in 14th century Italy. I thought it was interesting how the knighthood in Italy varied dramatically from the rest of Europe, especially from all of Britain. This story was originally for a Knights anthology, but it ended up as a stand alone short story.


CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN and CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY, are books one and two of the Sisters of Destiny trilogy. The heroines are three psychic sisters in 15th century Europe, separated at birth. The only inspriation for this trilogy came from the desire to write a series of books about psychic sisters. To make it interesting, I chose the medieval period and three different areas of Europe. The first book is set in Northern Italy; book two is in a Gypsy camp in Andalusia; and book three--not yet written--will be in England.

How do you create your characters, are they from people you know or completely made from your ideas?

For the most part, my characters are created in my mind. Depending on the time period and type of story, I will throw in traits from people I know. I'm a people watcher. I love to sit and study people's reactions, mannerisms, and interaction. Inspiration for characters can be found right out your front door.

Do you have any have any other works in progress that you want to share?

I am editing a historical western romance for submission. Next I'll work on book three of my psychic sisters trilogy, CALLIE AND THE KNIGHT. After that, I have a list of novels and short stories to write or edit. It will depend on my mood. They range from historical (set anywhere from the 14th to the 19th century) to romantic suspense.

What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?

Study your craft. Read in your genre and read books from publishers you'll be targeting. And never give up. This can be a harsh business, and perserverance is key. Not everyone is going to fall in love with your stories.

What are your favorite books at the moment?

Unfortunately, I don't have time to read. When I do, I pick up a book that's in the genre and time period I'm writing to keep me focused. Usually, I read a page or two then get busy with something else. Needless to say, it can take me six months to read one book! I really need 48 hours in a day.


What is your favorite word? Least favorite?

Can't print my favorite word. My male characters use it though, lol.
My least favorite word is not printable either. I cringe every time I hear it.



Jannine Corti Petska

Assapora la passione (Feel the Passion)
The Sisters of Destiny Trilogy, available now

www.jcortipetska.com

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Look What I Found In My Brain!: Secret (Literary) Agent Man

Look What I Found In My Brain!: Secret (Literary) Agent Man

I wanted to pass on this great post about finding a literary agent because,

1. There's lots of great information here, and;

2. I just read Lucy Snyder's book, Spellbent, and it's amazing!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: THE GODDESS' GIRDLE


The Author: Marisa Chenery

Author Website: http://www.marisachenery.com

Genre: A paranormal, quickie: released March 26.

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Quickies, visit www.EllorasCave.com

Info: ISBN: 9781419925092

Price: $2.49 (e-book)



WHAT I LIKED

I liked Cayden, a big guy who chastises himself for responding to Shesmetet like a horny teen. Hurt when she leaves after their first, quick joining, his yearnings turn to love. Shesmetet is relieved her shape shifting doesn’t make him bat an eye, and she quickly comes to love this mortal. The next time she appears, Cayden holds back from her sensuous advances and wants answers. Convincing her to stay in the mortal realm so he can enjoy a night with her and a day trip through the museum, they grow together. Both enjoy romantic love peppered with hot sex, demons, and sacrifice….something different at every turn!

BOOK BLURB

When Cayden picks up the girdle he finds in the basement of the Royal Ontario Museum, his head is filled with images of a beautiful woman. She becomes all he can think about, and he’s convinced he’s losing his mind—until she appears in his apartment, pushes him to the floor and has wild, hot sex with him.
Shesmetet is an Egyptian goddess who lives in the immortal realm, but as soon as she sees Cayden, she knows that he’s her mate, the one who will make her complete. But for them to be together, Shesmetet will have to learn to live in the mortal realm…and Cayden will have to give up his life as he knows it.

The Goddess’ Girdle by Marisa Chenery is book three of the Goddess Revealed series.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review: Solider of Misfortune

Timar-SMisfortune.jpg



Title: Solidier of Misfortune

Author:Gabriel Timar

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc

Purchase: http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book&bi=107507&si=0

What I liked: Gabriel Timar does it again with this wonderful tale of love, hate, war, and honor. Adam caught in the middle of a war and dealing with all that comes with it. What will he do? Will he try to stop it? You have to read this book. For those of you who enjoy historical fiction will love this tale. I really like Adam's character, he's strong and he's willing to do what it takes. Timar does the work on this novel to make it very authentic.


Book Blurb:

There rebels on the island Dominion of Santome want to oust the white settlers. Adam, chief of staff of a mixed race army is caught in the middle. Leading his raw troops to engage the enemy while he tries to reconcile his actions with his honor, morals, and humanity. Can he stand up to the pressure of duty and the hazards of his tumultuous love life? Reminiscent of the classic movie, Bhowani Junction, the emergence of racism, and the woes of newly independent colonies are featured in this authentic novel.


Excerpt:

“Shit,” he said, “I wonder what the governor wants us to do now?”

"Whatever it is we must do it," Rudy said in a resigned tone. "We were talking with Rose about moving to America after the war. She doesn't think we have a future in Santome."

"I tend to agree with you," Adam said. He buckled his belt with the holster holding the heavy service revolver on it and headed for the car.

In the waiting room of the governor's office General Bolton sat nervously chewing on his moustache.

"What is going on, General?" Adam asked.

"I've no idea, but I'm sure it is something big."

Before Bolton could start speculating why the boss had called them, the ornate door to Governor Hampton's office opened and the secretary called in the two soldiers.

The governor did not stand up from his desk and did not offer to shake hands with them.

"Greetings, gentlemen," he said.

Hampton picked up an envelope from his desk, held it for a while, and continued. "Colonel Halder, these are your orders. I have directed the police chief of Nadabi to release Chief Bakubi into your custody. You are going to handcuff him, put him into an armored car, take him to the airport, and with a trusted sergeant, escort him onto an aircraft of Air Santome. They will section off a part of the passenger compartment for you and the prisoner. You shall deliver Bakubi to Windhoek. At the airport General Van Dusen of the South African Army will take him off your hands and give you a receipt for the prisoner. You must carry out the transfer today and return to Port Victoria tomorrow morning on board Air Santome. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Your Excellency."

"Very well. There are only two minor items. One, you are not supposed to talk to reporters anywhere about the transfer of the prisoner. Two, if your aircraft were to be forced down or your armored car ambushed, I would prefer to see the prisoner perish rather than letting him survive. Is that clear?"

"Yes, Your Excellency," Adam said. He though, Orders or no orders, I'm not going to murder anybody.

"You may go, Colonel."

Adam saluted and marched out. He rode to the base immersed in thoughts. The old bastard! He thinks if he spirits Bakubi out of the country, the raids will stop. I have news for him: they won't. Perhaps the intensity will escalate.

Adam made up a small, but well armed convoy to Nadabi and handed over command to Rudy. In his house, he prepared for the overnight stay in Windhoek, called Sergeant Gbanga, told him about the mission, and started out.

The transfer went smoothly. The chief remained quiet until they reached the airport and boarded the plane. The passengers had not appeared yet, and the only other people on the plane were a police lieutenant with two cops, and the mechanics working on the large, twin-engine aircraft. A curtain separated six seats in the front of the aircraft from the rest of the passengers.

"Sit down, Chief," Adam said. He pointed at one of the chairs. "I'm going to remove the cuffs as soon as we are airborne."

"I would appreciate it."

The chief was not a big man but seemed wiry and strong. His English was impeccable, as Adam had heard often in his speeches on the radio. They sat silently in the comfortable, leather-upholstered seats just looking out of the widow until the police lieutenant stepped to Bakubi and drew the curtain.

Adam understood the cop wanting to avoid the possibility of someone seeing the chief. He signed the receipt for the prisoner, and the policemen departed.

When the crew appeared, Adam was surprised to see Mimi Bourassa coming in with two gold rings on the sleeve of her flight suit. She just waved to him and went on to the cockpit.

Although Adam knew that the airhostess would not let passengers enter the curtained area, to be on the safe side he had Sergeant Gbanga sit outside the curtain to stop anybody from entering.

Shortly after the takeoff, Adam removed Chief Bakubi's handcuffs. He rubbed his wrists and smiled at Adam saying, "Thank you, Colonel."

"Handcuffing you served no purpose. I think the governor just wanted to humiliate you. I do not believe in that."

"I wonder what Hampton has against me?" the chief mused.

"He claims that you enticed the black population to rebel. I saw what those raiders did. They raped and murdered--"

"You are laboring under a grave misconception, Colonel," Bakubi said, interrupting. "I did no such things. In fact, I managed to keep the pugnacious elements of the party under control. The raiders are not my men."

"Nevertheless, that is what they are charging you with, sir."

"That may be, but if they could prove it, Hampton would have had me tried and convicted. You would not have to spirit me out of the country in secret."

"You have a point, sir," Adam said. He did not want to engage in a debate with the chief.

"I know that. All I wanted was to have the election and then get out of the war. Do you know the amount of gold we contribute to the war effort of Britain?"

"I've no idea."

"We committed the full output of the Olubadan mines. A British bomber comes to Port Victoria, usually after dark, and hauls off the gold to the vaults of a bank in Joburg. We get a receipt and nothing else. This is why I hammered the governor about the election. If the people wanted to keep on giving away the nation's gold, and were prepared to say so in a plebiscite, that was all right with me," Bakubi said.

"Again, you have a point, sir."

"Nice of you to admit it, Colonel. Do you believe in freedom and democracy?" the chief asked.

"I was born in Hungary, sir. We were always trying to guard our freedom jealously. As far as democracy is concerned, it requires a level of political maturity."

"Don't you think the blacks in Santome are mature enough to handle it?" the chief challenged.

"Look at it this way, sir. Very few countries on this world have matured society to embrace the democratic system. Apart from Britain, the older dominions, and the US, very few nations could handle it."

"Why?"

"Democracy demands tolerance and acceptance of the rule of the majority. At the same time, the majority should recognize the rights of the minorities; this is what I was taught at the academy," Adam said.

"It sounds great, but what do you do if the minority refuses to give up power?"

"Wait for the next election."

"Great," the chief said, interrupting. "What would you do if the minority kept postponing the election and refusing to grant equal rights?"

"Look, Chief, I'm a soldier. I would never be part of any political movement."

"You won't be able to maintain your apolitical stance very long, Colonel. Let us assume a change of regime in Santome. If a large group of rebellious white people assembled and threatened to attack Fort Brian, would you order your troops to fire?"

"As I said, Chief, I'm a soldier in the service of the legal government. I would read the riot act first, and if the crowd would not yield, I'd give the order to fire," Adam said.

"Bravo, Colonel. When I take over the government, I'll make sure you are commanding the army of the republic."

"I might be dead by then," mused Adam.

The chief apparently realized that he could not draw Adam into a protracted political debate, for he quieted down, pulled the curtain, and looked at the puffs of clouds rushing by.

Just before the plane landed, Bakubi drew the blinds shut, saving Adam the intervention.

"Thank you, Chief."

"One must be courteous with the future supreme commander of one's army," Bakubi said.

After they landed in Walvis, the captain and the crew, with the exception of Mimi left the plane. She came later and sat down opposite Adam.

"What are you doing on this plane?" Adam asked.

"I cannot get spare parts for the Typhoon. Therefore, I had to cut back my operations. I'm training for my International Air Transport Pilot's license, serving as the co-pilot on Air Santome once or twice a week."

"Why can't you get parts for your plane?"

"It is a German-built machine, and we are at war with them," Mimi said. "As I wanted to earn higher qualifications anyway, this job is just what I need."

iPhone, iPod Touch, & Smart Phone Apps for Writers/Bloggers Updated



Those of us who enjoy using a smart phone or device will enjoy this list. I know I find these applications helpful when I am using my phone while writing or on the go. Please be sure to comment if you have used these or have a application that was not mentioned.

WordPress

Price: Free

Website: www.wordpress.com


After downloading this to my iPhone, I discovered how cool it was to blog on the run. If I wanted to add something of my day and share it with our readers than I could do that without logging into a computer. You add posts, edit, and then publish. Sure it's not an easy task to type, but once you get used to it, then your doing great! Although you might want to save this for smaller posts as to not cramp your fingers.



WordDigest by Global Delight

Price: 1.99 from the iTunes App store

Website: www.globaldelight.com/iPhone/worddigest


This tool is great to search for words and look up spellings. This is definitely a tool to have on the go and around the home.
WordDigest is an intelligent and fast English dictionary, thesaurus and spell checker tool, all integrated into one complete package. Its intuitive word-search and spelling suggestions are quick, giving you in-depth information of words without an Internet connection. WordDigest also has a provision to search for words on the Internet. The search results have been optimized to suit the display on your iPhone™ or iPod® touch.

Features

Dictionary containing more than 147,000 words
IPA pronunciations for 87,000 words
Built-in hyperlinked thesaurus for more than 28,000 words
Built-in hyperlinked intelligent spell checker
Set bookmarks to favorite words
History of previously searched words
Built-in Web search for Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Answers.com
Option to show the etymology (word origin) for a word. This feature requires active Internet connection.
Option to alter the text size

BlogPress

Price: $2.99

Website: iTunes App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=317799861&mt=8


Want to blog on the go and don't know how to do it? Well Blogpress is the application on your iPhone for you! BlogPress has support for: Blogger, BlogSpot, MSN Live Spaces, WordPress, Movable Type, TypePad, LiveJournal, and Drupal. So no matter what you are using, its an application that you can blog on the go with and do what you do best, Write!


Twitter

Price: Free

Website: www.twitter.com

Social networking and microblogging service utilising instant messaging, SMS or a web interface.
Twitter is a great free service that anyone can use. It's become so popular that many businesses, celebrities, and popular tv shows are now using it . What a great way to promote yourself and your work.

Tweetie 2

Price : 2.99

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tweetie-2/id333903271?mt=8

Same social networking app as Twitter, but takes it to the next level. I love the layout, the way it functions better to touch. Also how you can add pictures, reply, and see pictures in a snap. Allows also for multiple twitter accounts!


Facebook

Price: Free

Website: www.facebook.com

Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. Facebook is a free service like Twitter. It's also becomes so popular that artisits, celebs, shows, etc are now using it as a medium.




Skype

Price: Free (See Site for other)

Website: www.skype.com

Skype is software that enables you to make free calls anywhere in the world. Skype uses innovative P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you with other users. It offers several features, including SkypeOut calling from Skype to regular and mobile phones worldwide, conference calling, and secure file transferring. Skype calls have better sound quality than your regular phone and are highly secure, with end-to-end encryption.

Jott

Price: Free (See site for further details)

Website: http://www.jott.com

Jott for iPhone puts the power of Jott voice-to-text conversion just a couple of taps away. It's free for Jott subscribers and replicates most of the functionality in Jott's call-in service. With Jott for iPhone, you can use your voice to:
Send emails and texts to your iPhone contacts and Jott groups
Take notes, set reminders, and manage your lists
Post to Google Calendar, Twitter, Facebook, and more web services
Jott for iPhone requires a Jott Assistant plan (See site for further details)

FileMagnet

Price: 4.99

Website: http://www.magnetismstudios.com/FileMagnet/
FileMagnet makes it easy to copy files from your computer to your iPhone and iPod Touch. It's compatible with all the popular file formats so you can read all your favorite documents on the go.

SnapTell

Price:Free

Website: http://www.snaptell.com/apps/#iphone

Use the iPhone's built-in camera to take a picture of any book, DVD or video game package; SnapTell will identify it. The best thing is that you don't need a barcode, and the picture can be a skewed and fuzzy—SnapTell will still return a positive ID.

Barnes & Noble

Price: Free

Website: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/iphone/

The iphone application allows you to search, discover, and even put a book on reserve at your local store. Talk about cool!

Amazon.com

Price: Free

Wesbite:http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000291661

This iphone application is the same as the Barnes and Noble, but provides you with a way to purchase right from your phone! Also snap to remember and find items on Amazon that you find at other stores to compare prices! No more needing to sit at a computer to purchase that book you needed for research!


Amazon Kindle

Price: Free

This app lets you read and buy books without having a kindle.

Red Laser

Price: 1.99

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/redlaser/id312720263?mt=8


A great app that lets you scan barcodes to find the cheapest price (Using iphone camera) !
This takes snap tell to the highest level. Absolutely love this application.

Shazam (Red)

Price: 4.99

Price: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shazam-red/id341382680?mt=8

Hear a song? Want to know what it is? This is the perfect app for you!
You also help the (Red) foundation with your purchase.

Recorder

Price:.99

The app records conversations for pennies a minute! Great to have for those who do blog interviews.

Dragon Diction

Price: Free

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dragon-dictation/id341446764?mt=8

This app lets you do all the talking while it does the writing!












Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter !

easter-bunny-400x400.jpg

Happy Easter! I hope you all enjoy your day with family and friends!

~ The Pen & Muse Blog & Staff

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Review: Resurrecting Charlie's Girl by Debra Kayn

Resurrecting Charlie's Girl
by Debra Kayn


Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 978-1-926771-30-4
Price: $4.45

What I liked
The sexual tension in this novella was absolutely fan-tas-tic! The building up of Tom & Charlise's relationship kept me turning page after page. I liked the writing, I liked the pacing, I liked the plotting. All-in-all, a five-star read. But what really pushed it up to that extra star was the fantastically tense relationship between these two main characters. Honestly, I tend to assume that the characters are going to jump in the sack right away, and the longer I kept waiting, the more I realized how invested I'd become in the relationship. I wanted to see what would happen, and I cared about them. I thought, especially for being such a short novel (or a novella), it was really a fantastic story, and very well-done. Sure, there were times when I thought, "seriously? they're flying a kite when there's a maniac after them?", in fact, I may have actually said that out loud while I was reading. But I forgot all about my disbelief as soon as their relationship took the center stage again. Really, well worth the time to read, just to get to be part of Tom & Charlise's love story for a little while! Kudos on a great book.



Book Blurb

On the run and in hiding, Charlise wasn't surprised that her ex-husband found her again at the hunting lodge. The sick bastard would stop at nothing to have her back, and that included murder. Abused and a former shell of herself, she wants to find the woman she was before ever meeting the elusive Jared Blatwell. This time her ex catches up with her and it appears that her time has run out.

Coming off a three-day stakeout, Tom Brannet looked forward to the hunting trip with the other men from G.P. Investigations. Rest, relaxation, and a little hunting is exactly what he needed. 

Instead, he's thrown back into his job protecting the beautiful woman behind the counter at The Ridge. No longer the hunter, he does everything in his power to keep Charlise from being the prey. Unable to stop Jared Blatwell from finding his ex-wife, Tom and his partners set up a trap that goes terribly wrong. 

Excerpt:
"Charlise?" Tom’s loud whisper came from the dining room.
He crawled into the kitchen from the dining room and moved to lean against the cabinets next to her. "I’m gonna go check this out."
Charlise grabbed his arm. "You can’t. He’s just trying to draw you out to get to me. He’ll kill you."
"He can try. No one’s getting past me." He tilted his head. "When are you going to trust me?"
He removed the nine-millimeter pistol from his underarm holster and slipped the clip in. Faster than lightning, she reached out and caught his arm in a death grip.
"Don’t do it."
"Stay here, below the window. I’ll be back." Tom cocked an eyebrow at her in challenge. Charlise’s chin went up. He didn’t know how stubborn she could be. She wasn’t going to let him go outside and get himself killed.
"You’re a fool if you think he won’t kill you." She set her mouth. She refused to back down.
"Don’t worry, Charlise." He leaned closer and took her lips in a hard kiss.
Surprised, Charlise loosened her strangle hold on his arm as warm jolts of pleasure shot through her body.
The kiss was hard and fast, and by the time she gained her equilibrium, he’d already scrambled across the floor and out of sight. She touched her lips with her fingertips. Damn him.
What kind of person let a kiss distract them from the situation at hand? The lack of sleep, plus the stress of having Jared on her tail was hampering her good judgment.
She wanted her life back. One that didn’t involve a man who controlled her. What’s wrong with me? First Jared and now Tom. I’m pathetic.
The simple fact she sat on the floor because Tom ordered her to stay there burned a hole in her stomach. The way he used his masculinity to leave her breathless and forgetful irritated her. The waves of pleasure he produced low in her belly pissed her off.
The slamming door interrupted Charlise’s thoughts. She crouched on the balls of her feet and tried to hear past the roaring in her ears for footfalls.
I need a weapon.
She reached up and opened the silverware drawer. Peering over the edge of the drawer, her fingers made quick work at picking out the biggest weapon in the drawer. A steak knife would do, but she’d have given anything for a machine gun.
Charlise slid the knife in the back pocket of her jeans. She knew a knife wouldn’t hold Jared back, but if he made a grab for her, it might do enough damage to gain her freedom.
The squeak of shoes on linoleum echoed across the hardwood floor toward her. She held her breath and spread her arms wide. She’d knock him down and try to get past him first. If that didn’t work, she’d stab him.
Ready.
Set.
Go!
Launching from the tips of her toes, Charlise sprang up, put her head down, and threw her whole body at the shadowed figure that dared to enter the kitchen. Her shoulder slammed into the person. She ricocheted off the human steel wall, and found herself falling backwards.
Pain radiated down her back, and paralyzed her. A pair of strong hands grabbed her shoulders and yanked her upright.
"What the hell are you doing?" Tom gave her a shake that rattled her teeth.
The bravery whooshed out of her at the realization Tom held her imprisoned against him, and not her ex-husband.
"Didn’t I tell you to stay on the floor?" He pushed her back to look at her face, but didn’t relax his hold. "You know how serious this situation is. Jesus, woman, if anything happened to you—" Tom brought her back within the circle of his arms and smashed her against his chest. His hands roamed over her back.