Friday, September 30, 2011

Launch day Press Release of Musa Publishing

Contact Elspeth McClanahan                                     Permission to forward granted
Phone 919-877-0375                                                   For Immediate release

Ebooks,Penumbra eMag, and so much More
Musa Publishing Opens its Electronic Doors

After months of editing, designing, contracting, and formatting Musa Publishing launches on October 1, 2011. The E-publisher opens with a large catalogue including Penumbra Speculative Fiction eMag, new works by three bestselling authors, and the full backlist of Aurora Regency, featuring traditional Regency romances and historical fiction.

Penumbra's inaugural issue is a collection of speculative fiction stories that encompass the arts--the arts we love and revere. Some of these stories deal with the arts we're familiar with. Some create arts we haven't thought of and some resurrect arts buried in the depths of the past.  And yet, all of these offerings celebrate the creative process, which makes them a fitting theme to launch Penumbra--an enterprise that will showcase the creative work of speculative fiction authors each month with a new collection of works within the genre.

New Works by

Gini Koch
The Martian Alliance 1: The Royal Scam

Things aren’t what they seem to be when Princess Olivia of Andromeda jumps aboard a spaceship to escape a loveless marriage.

Join the crew of the Hummingbird as they take on the rich, famous and sleazy of the galaxy. They're also on a long-term secret mission, so it's a good thing they're the best con artists, spacers, and roughnecks in the Milky Way, because they need all their skills to pull off this particular Royal Scam.

Cindi Myers
West with the Wind

More than gold awaits two lovers at the end of the trail.

Mariah Tate and her dog, Worthy, persuade veteran guide Campbell Jefferson to let them join his expedition headed to California. Camp can't say no to the beautiful widow, but his need to protect her soon clashes with her need to keep secrets. Mariah left more than bad memories behind in Pennsylvania and her growing attraction to the stoic but surprisingly sensitive Camp forces her to face up to the consequences of the choices she's made. Camp doesn't know what Mariah's hiding, but he's determined not to let the only woman who ever made him want to settle down get away. He pursues her across the prairies, through stampedes, Indian raids, desert drought and mountain snows. In the gold camps of California, Camp will discover Mariah's secret, and prove the love she wants most isn't out of reach.

And the return to writing after five years for USA Today Bestselling Author

Sharon De Vita

"The Estrogen Posse is a hoot! I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down! For every woman who needs a pick me up, this is the book for you!"
Janet Evanovich, NYT bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum mystery series

Once upon a time Ellie Briotti had a quiet life as a suburban housewife.
Until…she confronts her wealthy husband Nicky about doing the pecker polka with another woman, and Nicky tosses Ellie out of his life like some misbehaved household pet.
Until…Gram Crackers, her dotty mother begins passing out house keys to homeless bums.
Until…Joey, her eleven-year old son starts on a new career path: breaking and entering.
Until…Rina, her best friend, a single, successful, entrepreneur learns she's about to become a mother.
Until…Candi, Nicky's 22-year-old mistress turns up murdered with traces of furniture polish on her bare backside!
A rip-roaring ribald mystery about a woman’s journey to discover what she really wants in life. Now, if Ellie can keep her son from becoming a second-story man, while trying to hide everything from the gorgeous cop who’s started sniffing around, Ellie might be able to get a new life.
That is—if she doesn’t go to jail for murder first!

Aurora Regency

Musa has acquired Aurora Regency and Aurora Regency Historicals. Within the next month over forty books in this line will be available to Regency and Historical Romance buffs to enjoy.

Stop by check out the books already for sale as well as those coming soon. Over the next few weeks, Musa will offer literature geared for every reader's tastes. Musa aims to offer well writing, interesting stories, all at a price that doesn’t bite into your check book.

“Hearts set upon song, spirits free from care”~ Hesiod

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If you'd like more information about Musa Publishing, please contact Elspeth McClanahan at or go to our blog

Review of A Touch of Crimson (Renegade Angels #1) by Sylvia Day

Title: A Touch of Crimson (Renegade Angels #1)
Author: Sylvia Day
Source: Requested Review / NetGallery
Genre: Paranormal Romance - Angels, Vampires and Werewolves
Format: ebook - 368 pages
Release Date: October 4th 2011
Author's Website

Adrian Mitchell is a powerful angel leading an elite Special Ops unit of Seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen-angels who have become vampires-and command a restless pack of indentured lycans. But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals- losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her-Shadoe-her soul once more inhabiting a new body, with no memory of him. And this time, he won't let her go.


Rating -


Sexual -


My Review -

The concept of angels, vampires and werewolves living among humans and seeing angels as powerful and sexy beings with raw passion had me very excited to read this book. The book had real potential in the beginning, but the more I read the book the more the world began to unravel, fall apart lose its appeal.

The beginning had a beautiful set up with Adrian running into his beloved Shadoe reincarnated in Lindsay at a chance encounter at an airport. The strong physical attraction between them had so much potential in terms of not only providing the reader with some enjoyable moments reading about their physical encounters, but also getting to know the characters and their emotional makeup. Unfortunately the world that the author tried to build up crumbled due to inconsistencies in some key plotlines.

As I read the book I kept finding inconsistencies and hypocritical situations that it made it difficult for me to develop a connection to Adrian and feel sympathetic for him despite his physical appeal. Perhaps what made it difficult to accept were the issues surrounding the nature of angels and the reason behind Adrian's hatred of vampires.

There were several contradictions that were mentioned in various parts of the book that made the world confusing to follow. At one point in the book Adrian states that angels are not to experience mortal love, but then later states that they can have sex. This leads to the confusing nature of what is happening with Adrian. He is angel who fell in love with a mortal and had sex with her and as his punishment his love is reincarnated over and over again throughout the centuries. Yet the fact has been stated that the consequence for an angel falling in love and having sex with a mortal is having their wings taken and turned into a vampire. Later on one of his closest angels confesses to him that she has fallen in love with a lycan which results in the angel and her love being hunted down. However, Adrian makes the other angels know, without a doubt, that he is having sex with Lindsay. It is these contractions that made my head spin at times and made it difficult to feel for Adrian because I felt he was being hypocritical.

Despite the flaws in the world building the book will appeal to both paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans. The series has the formula for some amazing interactions to develop between the characters and action that will please urban fantasy fans. I can see that the series has the potential to keep the readers on the edge of their seats, but the inconsistencies need to be cleaned up so they don't throw off the flow and interest in the books.


September Reviews Wrap Up

And I thought August was my busiest review month yet, I did almost as many reviews during September with 15 reviews!

I'm really going to be cutting back on the Christian fiction titles, I have been disappointed by the storytelling in a lot of them, so I'm going to stick with authors I know, publishers I really like (Revell, you're awesome!), or recommendations from fellow bloggers with similar tastes (hi, Renee!). I'm also cutting back on Historical Fiction (not YA or historical romances though, never!) unless I know it won't be too harsh or graphic with the violence.

So hopefully, my blog will be getting back to it's main focus of Young Adult reviews and Historical Romance reviews-yay!! Honestly, I'd love to read more of both, but I'm just not offered that many of my favorite genres for review.

So here are my reviews from the past month, in case you missed any!

Review Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

Title:Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11)
Author: Kresley Cole
Source: I purchased
Genre Paranormal romance
Format: Mass paperback

Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.


When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.


Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

I really enjoy this series, but I just couldn’t for the likes of me get it to this book. So, yet again I am the odd ball in the bunch of 4 and 5 star reviews with my sad 3 stars and that’s being generous. I’m not going to get it to the story, I’m just going to tell what I did and didn’t like about the book.

What I didn’t like:
I felt the story dragged way too much. Then just when the story was about over things were way to rushed.

I am so tired of books that parallels with older books in a series. It seems like all the bigger author now are doing this and I am tired of it.

The torture was outrageous! I can see some of way Regin had to go through it. I either missed it, but I never caught why Chase had to go through his torture. Still I just didn’t care for Reign as a Valkrie going through all of this just for her mate. I guess I would have rather her fight for her mate another way.

So my overall problem is. I don’t like to read my romance where the hero is betting the crap out of the heroine (even though he doesn’t know her), along with all the other violence she went though. So needless to say, I didn’t find this book one bit romantic.

I have always enjoyed the humor Ragin had and I missed it in this book. I was hoping to have a good fun read with her and her hero.

What I liked about this book
Natalya the dark fey, she was really interesting and I hope to read about her more.

I liked reading more on Lothaire, he is really growing one me, I can’t wait for his story.

October's Paranormal romance characterfest

Don't forget tomorrow Characterfest starts and will run all month long. You guys are going to love the interviews.

1972 Romance Comic Book Contest - "The Woman I Want To Be!" from DC's Falling in Love

Not only do I love the stories of the romance comics, I love the stuff in between the stories, including the contests that were held to engage with readers. The following pages are from a contest that was held in Falling in Love called, "The Woman I Want to Be." Readers were encouraged to write in about their future plans, hopes, and dreams for a chance to win $5.00 (equivalent to approximately $25 today).

National Periodical Publications asks:
"Do you look forward to a happy marriage?
Or a successful career?"

Contest announcement from
Falling in Love #133 (June 1972)

The contest's first winner, 15 year old Alice Evans declared to the DC editorial staff and fellow readers, "I really feel that I could manage both a home life and a business career, and I want to grow up to be the kind of woman who does."

First contest winners
Falling in Love #134 (July 1972)

The second first prize winner, Eve Davidson had the greater good in mind when she wrote, "I want to be the kind of woman who extends her love beyond her own home. I hope to have a happy marriage and a family, but I would also like to do something for the world."

Second round of winners
Falling in Love #135 (August 1972)

"The big deal is: girls in various parts of the country,
East or West, North or South, big city or small town, are beginning to feel that being a woman is a wonderful thing in today's world."

The final winner of "The Woman I Want to Be!" contest was a young lady named Frieda Margolin who shared that along with marrying a "fine man," her dreams included "...working hard in school to get good grades, so I can go on to a college with a good veterinary school. That way I'll earn money as a vet so I can get my own farm someday."

Final contest winners
Falling in Love #136 (September 1972)

These letters are quite moving, no?! It is so cool that they are not only pages of text, but documents that give a view into the audience of conscientious young ladies who were reading romance comics in the '70s! Not only do I wonder if these young women achieved their goals, I have to wonder if DC held on to all their letters in their archives or if they were regarded as throw-away pieces of everyday business? Either way, I definitely feel lucky that we have these three responses to treasure!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book promo giveaway! MARK OF THE SYLPH by Rosalie Lario


Half-demon Taeg is desperate to free his pregnant sister-in-law, who is spellbound to an indestructible book that will create an army of the undead. He is convinced that an ancient sword can destroy the book and the spell forever, but this relic has been hidden for a millennia by a powerful glamour. The clock begins to run out on his search when an old rival goes after the book and Taeg’s family in his quest for revenge.

Librarian Maya Flores has a secret: she’s immune to magic and is well aware of the supernatural beings prowling the streets of New York City. Haunted by a brutal demon attack that took her family, she is on a one-woman mission to destroy the evil demons who did it—and any others who get in her way.
Maya is Taeg’s best hope for uncovering the sword. Unfortunately, she wants nothing more than to kill him. As he fights for her trust and to save his family, she is forced to face the truth that not all demons are evil. And the worst part? She might be falling in love with one, too.


Taeg tightened his hold on her wrist until she dropped the dagger. He grabbed her other wrist and pinned it back. “Look at me.”
Yeah, apparently she wasn’t in an accommodating mood. Because instead of listening she jerked her knee up, catching him square in the junk.
“Ooof.” That freaking hurt.
He let go, hands automatically lowering to protect his goods, and she shoved hard on his chest. As he staggered several feet back, she spun and delivered a stunning roundhouse kick that almost had him admiring her form, right before it caught him in the side and sent him sprawling.
“What’s the deal, lady?”
She grabbed the knife and flew at him faster than he would’ve expected from a human.
Taeg shoved off the ground and sidestepped her attack, and recaptured her wrist. He yanked her arm up behind her as he maneuvered behind her back.
“Shit,” Maya cried. The knife clanged to the ground, and he loosened his hold a fraction.
“Stop. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Yeah. Right.” Her tone made it clear what she thought of that.
Pushing her to the nearest wall, Taeg turned her to face him. He kept one hand on her shoulder and the other on her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes.
“Calm down, Maya.” The familiar hum of energy in his ears told him his charm was doing its thing. “I’m not going to hurt you. I only want to ask you a few questions.”
Her scowl softened long enough for him to assume his power had worked. He let her go and backed up a few steps. “How do you know what I am? Can you see the real me?”
Rather than answering, she lifted a knee and slid one of her dainty hands into her boot. When she withdrew it, she clutched another dagger, a match to the one on the ground. Suddenly the reason for her boots became quite clear. The woman was a freakin’ walking arsenal.
“Oh, shit.”
She kicked off the wall and leapt into the air in a flying move that Jackie Chan would have envied, adjusting the grip on her dagger.

BLOOD OF THE DEMON -- Available Now from Entangled Publishing
MARK OF THE SYLPH -- Available Now from Entangled Publishing

This giveaway is for an Ecopy of Mark of the Sylph. International. Please leave you email in the comment below.

Giveaway rules

"Lady of the English" Review

"Lady of the English"
by Elizabeth Chadwick

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: Sep 1, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

Summary from  

Royal wives and royal widows, Queen Adeliza and her stepdaughter, Empress Matilda, are the only two women to be titled "Lady of the English," a title that does not come cheap. Adeliza, widowed queen and peacemaker, is married to a warrior who supports Stephen, grandson of the Conqueror. Matilda, daughter of the last king and a fierce fighter, is determined to win her inheritance against all odds and despite all men, including Stephen. Both are women who, in their different ways, will stand and fight for what they know is right. But for Matilda, pride comes before a fall. And for Adeliza, even the deepest love is no proof against fate.

My Review:

For some reason, perhaps because I've enjoyed Chadwick's other books, I feel the need to apologize for my review of this one. I loved "For the King's Favor", partially because it was 'historical fiction' that was also very romantic. Ida and Roger's love story was a huge part of the book and it was told with sensitivity. I also enjoyed "To Defy a King", so I thought Chadwick was one of the few historical fiction authors who didn't use disturbing, loveless sex scenes and abuse for shock value. 

In just the first 100 pages, there was graphic domestic abuse and three of these unsettling bedroom scenes. A book this harsh just isn't for me, I need a more romantic view of things.

I still hold a spot for "For the King's Favor on my keeper shelf, but it might be time for me to part ways with this author.

Bottom Line: A harsh view of medieval days in a grittier style than I had seen from this author before. 

Reader Question: Why are these scenes so prevalent in historical fiction? Do these scenes bother anyone else? I'm sticking with YA historicals and historical romances for awhile just to be safe. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Veiled Rose" Review

"Veiled Rose"
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: July 1, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from  

Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.
Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Leo, a lonely lad, befriends Rose Red, and together they begin hunting for the Mountain Monster which, rumor says, stalks these lands.
But the hunt which began as a game holds greater risk than Leo supposes. Rose Red can scarcely guess at the consequences should he insist on continuing his search. Dare she trust him with her secret? Or tell him what dwells at the top of the mountain in the cave only she can find?
Above all, when Leo asks Rose Red to leave the mountain and follow him to the low country, dare she agree and risk the wrath of a Monster that is all too real?

My Review:

I've seen many great reviews of this series, but I have to be honest and say that I just didn't "get it." I think it hindered my reading that I didn't read the first book, but the story was just way too cryptic for my tastes. I felt like I wandered through the book in a fog that made no sense. I wanted at least one straight answer to my many questions.

I liked Leo's character and his growth. I especially liked that the author started to call him by his full name, "Lionheart", when he really became a man instead of a boy. However, I felt off-balance the whole time by his three love interests. The girl that was in the story the least, whom we knew the least about, was the girl that he was in love with. This really confused me and I didn't feel connected to her at all.

I actually liked how complex Daylily's character was, even if she wasn't always likable. At least the reader could understand her feelings and she had some redeeming moments where she did the right thing. I also loved Beana, the goat. She was a great mentor and gave a lot of guidance.

The lack of happily ever after and the confusion I felt even at the end contributed to why I didn't enjoy the book as much as I had hoped.

Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 3/5

Bottom Line: I'm glad this book has so many great reviews, but it wasn't for me. I grew tired of the mixed messages and trying to decipher even the smallest things about the story.

Hello, Old Friends: Banned Books Week

The Color Purple
The Handmaid's Tale
The House of the Spirits
Go Ask Alice
A Wrinkle in Time

I read these books as a teen (and many others like them), not knowing that they had been challenged by parents and administrators in other schools. My parents might have known, since it was on their bookshelf that I found the first four. They were very much aware of what books had been banned. My step-mother even made it a point to buy banned books.

As aware as my parents made me on their own stance when it came to book banning, they never pushed it on my siblings and me. They knew my sister and I loved books (my brother was more of a comic reader, but hey, it's words, right?), and they let us read pretty much any book of their shelves. Some of which I got bored with and didn't finish (Bonfire of the Vanities? Try Yawnfire. Blerg.), but the first four on the list above were books from their shelves that stayed with me, that have shaped the way I think, the way I feel, and even the way I write.

Books aren't banned simply because they are subversive, or because they speak lies about the world. Good books should make you angry, repulse you, frighten you. Most importantly, they should make you feel empathy for others. Your reaction to the content, as you read it in context, of course, says more about you than it does about the author.

I added A Wrinkle in Time to the list because it had an even greater effect on my desire to write fantasy novels, which started out as a hobby when I was fifteen. And because it's one of those O_o ? bans I just don't understand.

Anyway, I didn't write this post to preach, only to say that if it weren't for the above "bad" books, I wouldn't be the person that I am today. A writer. A lover of beautiful words and haunting imagery. A sci-fi nerd. A feminist. A tolerant, curious person who wants to find out as much as she can about the world, particularly through the magic of books.

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review of ENEMY MINE by Karin Harlow

Publisher:  Pocket Star 
Date:  August 30, 2011
ISBN13: 9781439177877
Genre:  Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
My personal stash

Lovers from opposite worlds reunite in Karin Harlow’s explosive, erotic new L.O.S.T. adventure. . . .

While tracking a hijacked cask of enriched uranium in Kyrgyzstan, L.O.S.T. operative Nikko Cruz is ambushed and left for dead. Which means he must be hallucinating when the only woman he ever loved—the woman he was sentenced to death for killing—comes to his rescue. Half-daemon Selena Guererro has secrets she’d kill for. The most important one, she’s already died to protect. Now she’ll do anything to keep her daughter safe. But she can’t just leave her lost love to perish. She injects Nikko with immortal blood serum, putting herself in grave danger.

When Nikko comes to, he is superhuman and super pissed. The mother of his daughter—the one he thought killed their child—is alive. He wants answers. He wants blood. And despite his best intentions, he wants Selena. He traces her to a mysterious terrorist cell where the cask has surfaced. First, he must retrieve the deadly material. Then he’ll take revenge on his beautiful ex. But when nothing goes as planned, Nikko and Selena find themselves burning with desire . . . and blowing the roof off their separate worlds, human and daemon alike.


My Ratings:



Non-stop action, kick-ass heroine with an equally alpha hero; who just happens to be a not-vampire. Yep, you heard that right: Not-vampire. That's the best way for me to describe L.O.S.T. Operative, Nikko (aka Johnny) Cruz.

Selena Guererro is a half-daemon who is involved with a couple of bad-ass guys in the Miami area. Of course, serving her own purposes while trying to placate them. It's enough to make your head spin, but stay with it because it one helluva ride! While on a mission for one of the bad- ass dudes, she runs across her old flame, Nikko (aka Johnny) and saves his life with "Rev".

All of the operatives from L.O.S.T. are back, including the ever elusive Mr. Black *sigh*. Rurik makes a brief, very brief appearance - want more of this vamp! And we are introduced to Rurik's cousin, Joran - HAWT! Okay, how long till the next book?

Waiting on Wednesday (87)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

by Cayla Kluver
Harlequin Teen
Release Date: Feb 28, 2012

The following description is from

Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.

An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return...

Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.

Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....

I haven't read the first book in this series yet, but the sequel looks so amazing too! And the cover is absolutely gorgeous!

What are you waiting for this week???

ARC Review of Angel’s Desire (Fallen Warriors #2) by Rosalie Lario

Title: Angel’s Desire
Author: Rosalie Lario
Source: Author Requested Review
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: ebook – 113 Pages
Release Date: 9/30/2011
Author's Website

In a world where angels rule over humans, twelve outcasts dare to defy expectation, warring with their angel brethren to prevent the extinction of humankind.
They are The Fallen.
Fallen angel Ethan has been outcast due to his love of humankind. In order to preserve his immortality, he must find a mate with angel blood…but the one woman he desires blames him for her father’s death. As a teenager, Tayla had a fierce crush on Ethan, her angel father’s best friend. She was humiliated when he rejected her, claiming she was too young for him. Her love turned to hate when he failed to save her father from being killed by the other angels.
Battle looms on the horizon, and Ethan can no longer afford to waste time. He must claim Tayla as his…but convincing her she’s his mate won’t be so easy.

I was really looking forward to the second installment in this series, and I was not disappointed! Sweet, romantic, and extremely steamy, this story moved the overall plot of the series along but kept the main story centered around the relationship between Ethan and Tayla. The author did a great job of subtlety reminding us of prior events so you can follow the continuing storyline. I liked both of the characters, and I enjoyed watching Ethan try to convince Tayla that she was his mate. I also liked that they actually went on a real “date” during the story which I rarely see in PNR.