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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Twitter Giveaway: Master of Smoke by Angela Knight

Last week I tried to come up with a Twitter Giveaway for when I reached 500 followers. I was hovering at 498 for so long!  Of course I'm Twitter Giveaway challenged so I opted for a blog giveaway. Today I'm at 511! Completely caught me off guard.  So without further delay - here it is!

Win a signed copy of Master of Smoke by NYT Bestselling author, Angela Knight!

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Mageverse, Book 11
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Berkley 

After being attacked by a werewolf, Beth Roman is now able to shift into one. Luckily she saves a handsome shapeshifter from a similar attack. Beth does not know his true identity as Smoke, a Sidhe warrior. His attacker was Warlock, the magic-imbued leader of a cult of werewolf assassins trained to destroy all others. As a war ignites between all the immortals in the Mageverse, Beth and Smoke will need more than their love for each other to survive.

How to enter? Here are the Deets...

  • Leave a comment with your Twitter ID and you're entered! (You must follow me on Twitter to win.) 
  • Contest runs through Friday, June 3rd at 11:59 PM. 
  • Winner will be announced on the Blog and Twitter on Saturday, June 4th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize!  
  • Contest is ..... ok International. (GAH!  I hope it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg.) ROFL. I'm excited so I'll share the joy with the world.
Thanks so much for all my followers in the Twitterverse!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Dark Protector by Alexis Morgan

I'm training for my very first Triathlon.  I meet up with 12 other women 2x per week at 5:30am and we run/jog/walk around a local mall parking lot.  Yeah, I know -- crazy right? But that's not the main point of my review. I just needed to let you know that fact before I start.

So, based on the tweets and comments from the lovely @MsAnnAguirre I picked up the first book in Alexis Morgan's Paladin's of Darkness Series. There are seven published books in this series and I jumped into the conversation while she was discussing the upcoming May 31st release of book 8. She talked up the characters, the world building and Morgan's writing skills so much, I kind of HAD to do the 1-Click.  Really, I did.

So on my first day of Triathlon training, (see the tie-in?) I put on my ear buds, turned Chessiebomb on for TTS and let Alexis Morgan take me away as I listened to Dark Protector, Paladins of Darkness #1 and walked/slogged around the mall parking lot for 3.5 miles. That was on May 3rd.  

Today is May 21st and I'm on Book 5! I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!

There's action, and super-alpha-males with swords and guns and heroines that don't take lip from anyone and will kick-azz and take names without ever lifting a weapon.  @MsAnnAguirre was DEAD ON! Alexis Morgan has created a world that doesn't require explanation - or set up. It. Just. Is. Readers are fed bits and pieces of world building but Morgan treats them as just that. Bits and Pieces.  No info dumps here folks. 

Now that I've gushed about my love of Alexis Morgan, here's my review of her first book.

Title: Dark Protector
Series: Paladins of Darkness #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Alexis Morgan
Pub: June 27th 2006 by Pocket

Devlin Bane: Born a Paladin, he is a member of an ancient band of warriors locked in a centuries-old war against evil.

His destiny: To die over and over again to protect mankind from the Others, only to be revived each time by his mortal Handler.

But his fierce strength and courage cannot save him from gradually becoming one of the monsters he was born to destroy.

Dr. Laurel Young, who has spent years training to become a Handler, must remain detached from her patients. But each time she revives the darkly compelling Devlin Bane, he claims a little more of her soul and incites in her desires that grow wilder and wilder — even as he inches closer to losing his humanity. As the war against the Others grows more desperate, Laurel and Devlin can't help but give in to the fierce hunger that's sizzled between them for so long. Now they'll face the ultimate battle together — to save a dark, passionate love that goes against every rule as they join forces to fight an enemy who is closer than they ever imagined....

Review Quickie: 

Dark Protector introduces readers to the life of a Paladin. You fight. You die. You come back.  A Paladin's sole purpose is to defend areas that have been identified as portals to another world where human-like beings known only as Others break try to break through. Every Paladin has a medical Handler. Someone who monitors their health and looks out for the telltale triggers of Paladin madness. Each life they lose brings them closer to the end.

Devlin and Laurel are not supposed to be together. Paladin's must remain single, isolated. Their work doesn't lend itself to long term relationships.  Handlers should NOT fall in love with their charges. Especially since one day they will have to put them down like rabid dogs. Add to the pot that it's against the rules of their organization, oh and someone tried to kill Devlin - as in permanently dead, you've got nice internal and external conflict between them that gets sizzling hot within the first few chapters. 

If you're the type of reader that enjoys the world building process in paranormal romance - you may not like this book. Morgan gives you the world from the characters eyes. You either believe it or you don't. I think that turns off some readers but I find it refreshing and enjoyable.
Get your read on!
Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Vicious Grace by M. L. N. Hanover

Title: Vicious Grace
Series: The Black Sun's Daughter, Book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Author: M. L. N. Hanover

Pub: November 30th, 2010, Pocket Books

For the first time in forever, Jayné Heller’s life is making sense. Even if she routinely risks her life to destroy demonic parasites that prey on mortals, she now has friends, colleagues, a trusted lover, and newfound confidence in the mission she inherited from her wealthy, mysterious uncle. Her next job might just rob her of all of them. At Grace Memorial Hospital in Chicago, something is stirring. Patients are going AWOL and research subjects share the same sinister dreams. Half a century ago, something was buried under Grace in a terrible ritual, and it’s straining to be free. Jayné is primed to take on whatever’s about to be let loose. Yet the greatest danger now may not be the huge, unseen force lurking below, but the evil that has been hiding in plain sight all along—taking her ever closer to losing her body, her mind, and her soul. . . . (Summary from

I'm a fan of Hanover's The Black Sun's Daughter Series but I will admit it took a while.. I wasn't really impressed with Book 1, Unclean Spirits so it took a lot longer for me to pick up Book 2, Darker Angels. But man, I'm really glad I did.  It was just a natural reaction to immediately pick up Book 3 -- ready to be blown away again.  

In Vicious Grace, readers get in-depth information about Jayné's parents and Uncle Eric. This is info that helps explains the why's and what for's that shaped Jayné into the person she is - as well as Who (or maybe what?) The Hell her Uncle Eric was! Believe me -- it's great info - a great twist on the storyline and I can only wonder where it's going to lead in future books.

To me - this series isn't your typical dark urban fantasy read. The Evil is dark, and well written, not very much romance, but I think the character interaction and subplots that are threaded into the main story add another layer of darkness that you don't see very much in a lot of urban fantasy. I mean -- everyone wants a happy ending right? The guy gets the girl or the Girl kills the evil person and wins. This series -- hmmm nope. It kind of leaves you feeling "complete" with an "ending" - but then something else happens that can flip the script and overpower it. Can you tell I'm having a hard time describing it? In the end - I loved the story.  There were sections of roller coaster action -- action -- slow -- action slow, but it wasn't distracting enough to make me stop reading.

If you're looking for something new to sink your teeth in - you should pick up this series.  Book 5, Killing Rites will be released November 29, 2011.

Get your read on!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Novella Review Quickie - Eternity Embraced by Larissa Ione

Title: Eternity Embraced
Series: Demonica Series 3.5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Larissa Ione

Pub: Jan 20, 2011, Kindle, eBook


Demon slayer Andrea Cole has always taken down the demons and vampires she hunts without mercy. But when a fellow slayer is captured and turned into a vampire by a sadistic monster, she must choose between loyalty to her family and the man she loves.

Versus Instinct...

Kaden Quinn has dedicated his life to slaying vampires, so when he is turned into one, his greatest nightmare comes to life. And when the woman he loves is thrown into a dungeon with him -- as food -- he must battle new instincts and old desires, and choose between his life, and hers.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a short novella that originally appeared in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 and the anthology Vampires in Love. It has been expanded for its stand-alone digital release. In the Demonica timeline, it falls between book 3, Passion Unleashed, and book 4, Ecstasy Unveiled, though it can easily be read without having read the Demonica novels. (Summary from

I won this novella during JoJo's Book Corner live TweetChat with Larissa Ione a couple of weeks ago.  Once again, I'm late to the game not realizing this novella was released in January so to say I was totally GEEKED is barely scratching the surface. For those who follow me on Twitter, you know I absolutely adore Larissa Ione and plan to stalk her (in a good way) along with my FFHP Crew during the Author's After Dark convention in Philly.  I just found out she'll be attending the RWA Conference in New York next month as well.  I'll be wearing my "aspiring writer" hat then, so my stalking will be PURELY professional -- (in a good way). But I digress....

Eternity Embraced is a fast-paced, hot and steamy novella that quickly pulls you into the story of Kaden and Andrea.  Kaden is captured and turned into the very thing he's been hunting - a vampire.  Andrea arrives to rescue her lover only to discover she must kill him.  Conflict much?  Ione is known for creating strong characters with strong relationships and in Eternity Embraces, she doesn't disappoint. We even have special appearances from the heartthrobs of the Demonica series! What a lovely perk that was!

If you haven't started the Demonica series, what are you waiting for? Hop to it! You'll definitely enjoy the ride!

Get your read on!

Monday, May 9, 2011

OK.. So I Started A New Blog.....


It's called DREN'S PEN. (cute name huh?)

It's for my other passion.... writing.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm writing a novel? Did I mention that before? I did? Yeah.. ok so... I'm announcing it.. like now.

Ummm, so, if you have any free time... check it out. Maybe even "follow me?"

Cause you know... it would make me very happy. *insert smily face here*


That's it.

Get your read on!

PS - can you tell I'm nervous? Just a little? GAH!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day! Miss you Mommy!

Gone home too soon. November 11, 1991
Miss you Mommy!!


If Roses grow in Heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me,
Place them in my Mother's arms
and tell her they're from me.

Tell her I love her and miss her,
and when she turns to smile,
place a kiss upon her cheek
and hold her for awhile.

Because remembering her is easy,
I do it every day,
but there's an ache within my heart
that will never go away.

~Author Unknown

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mommies of the World! Be it biological, emotional, single-parent household (Daddy-Moms are included) Enjoy your day!

Get your Mommy Hugs on! 
Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: Lost Wages of Sin by Rosalie Stanton

Title: Lost Wages of Sin
Series: Sinners & Saints #1

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Rosalie Stanton

Pub: April 1, 2011, Liquid Silver Books 

Summary from

Sin's work is never done... 

Ava should know. For nearly two thousand years, she’s worked for Lucifer himself, infecting the heart of man with greed wherever she goes. She wasn't prepared to fall in love, certainly not with an angel. And she definitely wasn't ready to experience her first broken heart after her angel breaks things off in the form of a Dear Jane letter. 

Now Ava has a problem. Lucifer believes she might have shared some of Hell’s secrets with her former lover, and her siblings face the possibility of being out of a job due to her indiscretion. Ava flees to the American South, hoping to slip off the radar and is met by a longtime friend, a vampire named Dante. Granted, Ava doesn't know Dante has been in love with her for centuries, and doesn't understand why he won’t leave her alone no matter what comes after her. 

With Hell on her trail, Ava’s running short on friends. Meanwhile, she can’t ignore the suggestive looks Dante keeps sending her way. Something tells her it doesn't take Hell to get things hot…
So last week I played #convoinvader on Twitter. Author, JA Sare was tweeting praise about a book she just read that was written by her critique partner, Rosalie Stanton. So of course my interest was IMMEDIATELY piqued. I love Author-to-Author love so I head on over to and read the blurb. Shortly thereafter, I let my mouse do the shopping and BOOM! Chessiebomb's got a new book. Then the fun starts.... 

After a painful breakup with an angel, Ava is running for her life, trying to stay one step ahead of her former employer -- Lucifer.  What once appeared to be a grand event - Ava turning a fallen angel now looks like Ava's shared hell's secrets with the enemy.  She goes into hiding until she can figure a way to clear her name to get back into Lucifer's good graces.

Enter Dante.  Long time friend and vampire playboy shows up to help. Ava is completely oblivious that Dante's attracted to her. 
"Shut up," she snapped.Then she captured his cheeks between her hands and brought his mouth crashing down upon her own. And all thought of the collection box or the demon in the black robes vanished.  Dante moaned, his demon receding, all fight abandoning him as his body seized what it wanted above all else. Ava was against him. Ava's lips molded to his. Ava."
While I've noticed a increasing trend on "Angel & Demon" themed books, I'm happy to say that Lost Wages of Sin is taste of something different. Stanton has done an excellent job creating a story that strikes down the traditional line of thinking that "demons are bad, angel are good." The underlying layers of the relationship between Lucifer and "Big J" are so subtle that it doesn't insult religious senses. It's really unique and crafty storytelling!

In the beginning of the story, Ava and Dante are the perfect Non-Couple. They snark at each other. They fight like *pow-pow* with each other and they've always got each other's back when fighting their enemies. But the pressures of trying to clear Ava's name brings them closer than either of them ever expected. Soon their relationship shifts from friendly banter to smexy faster than a New York Minute. 

When I finished reading LWOS, I tweeted my joy and happiness to the author. Gushing over Dante's *ahem* tongue skills.  Within seconds, a new hashtag was born #DanteTongueLove.  Trust me -- he deserves it.  So without further adieu, I'm announcing a new element to my reviews.  To salute the Supa Smexiness of a book, I will deem it worthy of a Hashtag.
I loved Lost Wages of Sin. It's a fast paced story that will pull you in immediately.  Dante is DEFINITELY worthy of his new hashtag.  So please, pick up this book. Read it! Share it! Tweet it! Go forth and share the #DanteTongueLove.  I promise you won't regret it.

Get your read on!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Momma's Got A Brand New Bag!

Welcome to the new B-Spot! Isn't she purty? Mad Love-Hugs-Kudos-and-Thanks to Larissa of Lala's Designs.

She did all the bells and whistles for my blog redesign!! She has the patience of a SAINT I TELL YOU!! 

Interested in starting a blog? Want to redesign your current blog? Well Larissa is having a Blog Makeover Giveaway!! Check it out! You could win a fabulous makeover worth up to $140.00! 

I'm so excited! Are you? Share the love (and comments)!

Here's to more getting your read on!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

KLB Virtual Journey: Alien in the Family by Gini Koch Winner!

And the winner of the copy of Alien in the Family by Gini Koch is....


Congrats JoAnna! I will be contacting you via email for your mailing information.  You'll have two days to get back in touch with me or another winner will be chosen. 

Thanks to everyone who participated! And a special thanks to KLB Virtual Events for hosting another great tour!

Don't miss out on the other tour stops! 

Get your alien read on!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

KLB Virtual Journey 10 Days 10 Blogs: Alien in the Family by Gini Koch

Welcome to the first stop on the Virtual Journey: 10 Days  10 Blogs hosted by KLB Virtual Events for Alien in the Family by Gini Koch . Check out my review below.

Alien in the Family
Series: Katherine "Kitty" Kat Series
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Author: Gini Koch
Format: Paperback, 457 pages
Published: April 5th 2011 by DAW
Disclaimer: I received this book for review from KLB Virtual Events

Summary from

Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha Centaurian she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is everything a royal family wouldn't approve of, and is bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal family is just the beginning. Especially when extraterrestrial Amazonian terrorists are determined to start and end Kitty and Jeff's nuptial festivities with a bang.

The good news is I can talk about lots of things in the book that won't be spoilers -- unless you haven't read Book 1, Touched by and Alien and Book 2, Alien Tango. So if you haven't read them.... umm sorry. The summary already tells you .... the good guy gets the girl and they're getting married :). So... on with the review.

When we're reunited with Kitty and Martini, they're trying to plan their wedding. Well ....sort of.  When they receive word that the "royal family" is on it's way to earth for a visit, all hell breaks loose. Will they be friend or foe? Will they welcome Kitty into the family with open arms or will they try to put the breaks on her neck AND her pending marriage to Martini.  When the CIA gets involved you KNOW things are about to get rough.  And do they ever!

Author, Gini Koch brings readers another fast paced, alien-ass-kicking epsiode of the life and times of Kitty and Martini.  Koch weaves her unique storytelling magic bringing to life all the characters we love: Frowny-faced Christopher, BFF Reader, and of course tons of Martini moments *sigh* elevator & bathtub - that's all I'm gonna say *wink*.  In typical Koch fashion, we're also introduced to nearly a Baker's Dozen of new characters. 

Koch is also a strong "theme" writer. Her last two books had underlying themes and I was happy to see that book 3 didn't disappoint.  The theme that I picked up from this book was about "relationships" and man.. she went deep!  Kitty was on a pure roller coaster ride with all of her relationships.  Since she's getting married you "know" the core topic is her relationship with Martini. But what surprised me the most was how she explored the relationship between Kitty and her best friend Reader.  Koch did an excellent job of showing how the love of a friend really can run as deep as a soul mate.  Kitty is also dealing with her relationship with Chuckie, her love lorn best friend from high school.  I have to admit - I don't like Chuckie. He's weird and creepy.  You'll know what I mean when you read the book.

Ah, last but never least, Kitty and Martini. After all they've been through, you would expect them to be a single unit of mind and body - *insert the sound of screaching breaks here* but.. nope. That would be too easy. They go through all of the doubts and fears that typically haunt soon-to-be-married couples and they do it all while fighting the aliens and keeping the earth safe. They've truly go talent!

I have to say, my only complaints about this book are that some scenes went on much longer than they should have and in some cases it killed the scene for me. I love the banter and chatter between all of the characters but when it goes on too long, I lose my connection.  I enjoy stories with twists and turns that keep me guessing but sometimes - a story just needs to end.  Koch does an awesome job with weaving subplots that leaves your head spinning and your heart pounding. But there were a few in this story that stuck out to me or were clearly lead-ins to the next book.  But I'm beginning to think that's what makes this series so unique. Hunky Aliens with hyperspeed? Super government spies with cool gadgets? Wedding crashers from another solar system? Come on, admit it. Gini Koch has truly cornered the market on this one.


I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to share the alien love with my followers!  KLB Virtual Events is offering up a copy of Alien in the Family as part of this tour! FTW!!  So, leave a comment with your email address before 11:59pm tonight! Winner will be selected via Easy Peasy!

There will be other chances to win a copy of Alien in the Family and other fun goodies on the tour! On Monday be sure to check out Larissa's Life for her Alien in the Family Feature event.  Here's the full list of tour stops:

Day 3: Nikki Brandyberry  

Get your alien kick-ass read on!




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