Elvis and the Grateful Dead Review

Tupelo, Mississippi is best known for being the hometown of Elvis Presley so it’s only fitting that they hold the annual Elvis Festival in the King’s honor. Callie is helping out by being the official Elvis hair stylist while her cousin Lovie is taking care of the catering.

Everyone who loves Elvis is there, impersonators and all. But when some of the impersonators start dropping dead out of nowhere, all eyes are on the caterer, Lovie. Callie is determined to clear her cousin’s good name no matter what it takes.

Helping out with the investigation is her basset hound dog Elvis, who believes he is The King reincarnated as a dog. Will Callie and Lovie be able to find the true murderer before all the Elvis impersonators turn up dead or will they become the next victims when they get to close to solving the case?

ELVIS AND THE GRATEFUL DEAD is the second book in the Southern Cousins Mystery Series featuring two amateur sleuths that are cousins and a dog who thinks he’s Elvis. The story is told in first person point of view by Callie and also by Elvis in alternating chapters. Without having read the first book in this series, I had no idea what I was in for.

At first, the abundance of Elvis details were too much for me and kind of annoying. I mean you have an Elvis festival, Elvis impersonators, the main character is styling Elvis’ hair, a dog who thinks he’s Elvis, etc. So after 90 pages I put this book down and gave it a rest for a little while.

When I picked this book back up, I had left off at a great part of the story. There were murders to solve and I became very interested in the outcome. There were less cutesy Elvis tidbits and more mystery for the second half of the book and that’s what I liked. I was laughing hysterically over everything Callie and Lovie got themselves into.

The story reads with true southern charm so well that I could actually hear their accents in my head. So overall, even though the first half of the book didn't grab me, the second half did. If you’re looking for laughs galore and a charming mystery that will make you smile, ELVIS AND THE GRATEFUL DEAD is the way to go. Just make sure you love the King and be prepared for a lot of crazy antics!

Reviewed for FF

Fangs, Fur & Fey Contest!

Awesome contest going on at Fangs, Fur & Fey for their 3 Year Blogging Anniversary!! Look what they're giving away:

Grand Prize - One (1) lucky winner will receive a Kindle Reader, retailing for $259.00

Other prizes - Twenty-two (22) lucky winners will receive a gift card in the amount of $20.00 from one of these five book retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, or Powell's - winner's choice which.

Contest starts today, October 30th, and will close on Friday, November 13th, at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

To enter the contest all you have to do is email them your name and address. Go to their site at this link for more info on how to enter.   

The Demon In Me by Michelle Rowen - Cover and Summary!

Michelle Rowen has unveiled the cover of the first book in her Living In Eden Series, The Demon In Me.  Along with the cover and back cover summary is also an excerpt of Chapter 2! Go to her blog at this link to check out the excerpt. 


May 2010 – Berkley Sensation

Hell hath no fury…

Fate has led Eden Riley to become a “psychic consultant” to the police, even though her abilities are unreliable at best. Those paranormal powers are about to get her into a jam she couldn’t have predicted. After her hunky police detective partner guns down a serial killer in front of her, Eden realizes that she’s quite literally no longer alone. A voice in her head introduces himself as Darrak. He’s a demon. But not in a bad way!

…like a woman possessed.

Darrak lost his original body 300 years ago thanks to a witch’s curse. This is the first time he’s ever been able to speak directly to a host, plus there’s a bonus. Eden’s psychic energy helps him to take form during daylight hours. He wants to use this chance to find a way to break his curse — finally. Otherwise, Eden’s going to have to learn to live with this sexy demon…like it or not.

And she thinks she might like it.

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon now!


Scandal Sheet Review

Tina Bender writes lies for a living. Sometimes it’s the truth, sometimes it’s embellished, but always it’s gossip. She writes as a gossip columnist for the LA Informer and is constantly getting tips from her insiders about the latest antics celebrities are getting into. Sure not a lot of celebrities appreciate her column and might down right hate her for ruining their reputations, but no one has ever threatened Tina’s life before, until now.

When Tina receives a strange message telling her to stop writing about them in the newspaper, she is left baffled. The voice is disguised with a computer program so they could be male or female, young or old. Without knowing who is threatening her, she decides to continue writing her usual gossip to see which column ignites more threats.

Tina’s boss Felix hires a body guard named Calvin Dean to protect Tina from her mystery enemy. But that doesn’t work for Tina as she likes to break the rules and do whatever she pleases. It’s kind of hard to go about your day with a body guard constantly on your tail. But Calvin is pretty good looking and he can be a fun sidekick while investigating. Will sparks fly between Calvin and Tina or will his constant hovering over her drive her insane?

SCANDAL SHEET is the first book in the Hollywood Headlines Series by Gemma Halliday, author of the High Heels mystery series. There are a lot of similarities between SCANDAL SHEET and the High Heel mysteries so readers who were disappointed to see the series end have a new one to jump onto now.

I loved the name dropping of celebrities scattered throughout the book and was laughing out loud many times while reading this fun mystery. The scene involving the ride It’s a Small World at Disneyland was VERY reminiscent of my experience on it and I was hysterical with remembering how annoying that ride really is.

I enjoyed the mixture of mystery, romance and humor and Halliday definitely succeeds in writing an exciting page turner that makes you laugh and bite your nails at the same time. I immediately warmed up to the characters and couldn’t put this book down at all. My only pet peeve is that the cover looks like a historical romance novel and totally doesn’t fit what the story is about at all.

SCANDAL SHEET is a great start to a new series that I will definitely be following as Halliday writes the kind of books that just make you smile and put you in a great mood. They’re just so enjoyable and I would without a doubt recommend this book to romance and mystery readers alike.

Reviewed for FF

Correction on Guest Author Date

The correct date for Kelly Meding and Kelly Gay's visit to Enchanted by Books is Tuesday November 3rd not November 2nd. Please make a note of this.  I edited the previous post so all the dates are correct now.


Hot Spell Review

Amanda LaGrange is very sensitive about her psychic abilities and takes offense to her childhood nickname of Amanda the Strange. So when she first met Jacob Caine, fellow paranormal investigator for PARA, she immediately formed a strong dislike for him when he called her by her hated nickname.

Now two years later, they have survived working with each other without talking anymore then needed for their jobs. But when their boss Patrick teams them up together to investigate a haunted house, Amanda’s patience will truly be tested.

Jacob has been infatuated with Amanda since first meeting her but he knows he doesn’t have a chance in Hell. After all, she has a boyfriend and is getting ready to leave PARA behind for a ‘’normal’’ job. But when the two of them are thrown together in a locked room over night because of an enchanted clock, their true feelings come to light.

Before they know it they are behaving like two lovers that can’t stay away from each other! Amanda insists that the clock is the reason for everything and is determined to find a way to lift the curse so she can move on with her life, without Jacob. But every time she tries to forget about him, he shows up. Are Amanda and Jacob destined to be together or is this the work of an enchanted clock?

Hot Spell is the first Harlequin Blaze book written by paranormal romance/YA author Michelle Rowen. I don’t normally read Blaze books but when I heard Michelle Rowen had written one, I knew I had to read it. This story has a touch of the paranormal which I don’t think is a regular thing in Blaze books but was a very pleasant surprise for me.

The chemistry between Jacob and Amanda was scorching and I loved their love/hate relationship. I adore love triangles so that was a major plus also. Overall, I couldn't put this book down and stayed up late reading it because I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. Hot Spell is entertaining, sexy, romantic and a fun light read that I highly recommend to romance readers.


Guest Author Schedule for November!

I have an outstanding lineup for November of authors who will be guest blogging here at Enchanted by Books and doing giveaways. Please mark your calendars because you don't want to miss this!

November 3rd
Debut Urban Fantasy authors Kelly Meding and Kelly Gay

November 10th
Urban Fantasy author Jennifer Rardin

November 17th
Urban Fantasy author Devon Monk

November 24th
Romance author Christie Craig


Winner of Michelle Rowen contest

The winner of the contest with Michelle Rowen for one of her 2009 releases is:


Congrats! Please email me through my blogger profile with your name, address and which one of the following books you would like:
Stakes & Stilettos, Tall, Dark & Fangsome, Demon Princess: Reign or Shine, or Hot Spell!

I will forward on the info to Michelle Rowen and she will get your book right out to you! Thanks to everyone for coming by and commenting on the author guest blogs!

Tainted Review

Lily Carlyle promised her sister Rose that she would always be there for her. She promised to protect her from the man who brutally raped her and would never let any more harm come her way. When the rapist wouldn’t leave her sister alone and continued stalking her, Lily had enough and put justice into her own hands. She went after him with plans to kill him, but somehow Lily ended up dead herself.

Upon waking, Lily finds herself in another young woman’s body and confused about what happened. After meeting a man named Clarence, Lily is informed that she is working for the good guys to make sure the Ninth Gate in Hell isn’t opened releasing demons onto the world. She alone has the ability to prevent this from happening since she is the one from the prophecy. Lily will be trained on how to kill demons as they will now be after her once they find out she is going to destroy their chances of reeking havoc on the world.

But saving the world is the least of Lily’s problems since she has a new identity to become. The body Lily is in is of a young waitress/barmaid named Alice Purdue. How Alice ended up dead is a mystery to Lily and one she needs to find out if she isn’t going to end up dead a second time. Lily knows Alice was murdered but by whom she has no idea. She takes over Alice’s life, working her job, living in her place, hanging out with her friends, even crushing on the same guys.

Will Lily be able to keep her secret and live Alice’s life or will Alice’s murderer find her and put an end to it all? Will Lily successfully complete her mission or will her lack of skills cause catastrophic consequences? Will Lily put her trust in the wrong people and tell them her secrets?

Tainted is the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles which is an urban fantasy series by popular paranormal author Julie Kenner. The story starts off with excitement from the first sentence and had me hooked until I finished the book and was begging for more. There are plenty of demon fights and scary situations to leave readers at the edge of their seat rooting for Lily to turn out the winner in the end. The story wasn’t predictable at all and I was constantly surprised by each new turn of events.

Tainted is told in first person point of view and it’s a thrilling ride learning all about Lily's new job. There’s some romance that I thoroughly enjoyed since the chemistry between these two characters was undeniable. I actually held my breath at one point during one of their interactions, that’s how great the writing was! Overall, Tainted is dark, mysterious, dangerous, suspenseful and all around a terrific book that blew me away.  I am dying to read the second book in this series, Torn, and will read everything else Julie Kenner writes!

Dead Man Talking Review

Pepper Martin works as a tour guide at Garden View Cemetery but that’s not all she does there. She has a secret and no matter how bad the situations get, she doesn’t want anyone to know about it. Pepper can communicate with ghosts. The ghosts usually come to her while working at the grave yard and she can see and talk to them. Sometimes they’ve been murdered and want her to solve the case but other times it’s to have their name cleared, like her latest case.

Jefferson Lamar has been dead since 1985 but when he hears about Pepper Martin’s gift, he comes to her, in the form of a ghost, for her help. Jefferson was a Warden at a jail until he was accused of killing a young woman in a hotel room. However, he denies committing the crime and wants his name cleared for the sake of his widow.

Normally Pepper can talk to ghosts and hide this secret pretty well, but this time she’s not working at her regular cemetery when the ghost comes to her. She is working at Monroe Street Cemetery helping out with a restoration project and it’s going to be a hard one. The restoration project involves two teams and Pepper’s team is a bunch of criminals on probation.

When the project becomes a reality TV show, Pepper realizes she’s way over her head. How will she solve Jefferson Lamar’s case when she is being filmed all the time at the cemetery? Will someone find out Pepper’s secret? Will Pepper find the real killer or will she get too close to danger in this investigation and pay the ultimate price?

DEAD MAN TALKING is the fifth book in the Pepper Martin Mystery Series following paranormal investigator Pepper Martin. The first book that I read in this series was Tombs of Endearment and while it was a fun fast read, it left me with a bad taste. I had a lot of complaints and wasn’t interested in reading another book in this series again. However, upon receiving this book I figured I would give this series another try and I am so glad I did!

In DEAD MAN TALKING I found Pepper to be stronger and more independent then she was in Tombs of Endearment. She didn’t depend on anyone but herself in this book and I loved that her character has grown so much. The writing is easy to read and makes the book move along rather quickly.

The story was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the mystery and all of the characters. I would recommend reading this series in order to fully understand events that happen in later books and for better reading enjoyment. Overall, DEAD MAN TALKING is a great story full of ghosts, mystery and laughs and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what kind of case Pepper investigates next!

Reviewed for FF


Lenore: Noogies Review

Lenore: Noogies is a colored hardcover collection of the first four comics by Roman Dirge that were originally published in the US in 1997 . The star of the book is a little dead girl named Lenore who doesn’t seem to understand the difference between right and wrong. After rising back from the dead, she spends her days creating mischief. She’s a horrible babysitter and this usually results in a death. She is constantly re-killing one of her potential love suitors who keeps rising from the dead, and she plays with animals like toys until they die. While this may sound very sick, it’s perversely hilarious.

I had never heard of Lenore before so when I decided to read this comic collection, I had no idea what I was in for. I loved the addition of little comic strips of the author himself and laughed out loud many times while reading them.

The original Lenore comics were in black and white and the author went through a lot of hard work to put together this collection. It’s a thin hardcover and only 128 pages long but it's so much fun to read! I read Lenore: Noogies right away upon receiving it and was done within an hour. I haven’t read many graphic novels and was thrilled to get this one.

Lenore is a dark character and some may not enjoy a book like this, but I loved every bit of it. It’s gothic, eccentric, and just out there. Anyway it’s really a nice looking book and if you’re a fan of the Lenore comics you’re going to love this hardcover edition. Overall, I am glad I went on this crazy wild trip with Lenore and am dying to return to her world for more sadistic adventures!

The author Roman Dirge has a really cool website and there are some comics of Lenore on there if you’d like to see his art work.

Lenore: Noogies is available now for order on Amazon!

Winners of Belong to the Night

The winners from the Cynthia Eden contest for a copy each of Belong to the Night are:

Ivy and Mireyah Wolfe!

Congrats ladies! Please email me through the link in my profile on here with your full name and mailing addresses. I will forward them on to Cynthia and she will get your book out to you guys!
Please scroll down to enter Michelle Rowen's contest for a copy of one of her 2009 releases. The contest is still on until Sunday night!


Guest Blogger Michelle Rowen


I love love triangles.

I never realized how much I loved them until I recently realized I included one in pretty much everything I write.

Not only do I love to write them, but I love to read them. The Edward/Bella/Jacob triangle is only one of the most recent that I’ve appreciated in books, but it’s the one I’ve noticed has gotten the most attention. I even own a Team Jacob tank top.

In the first two books of my Immortality Bites series my triangle allowed readers to be either Team Thierry or Team Quinn, and readers seemed to be very split on who my heroine, Sarah, should end up with. But, like Bella, Sarah had very specific thoughts on this and nothing I said seemed to sway her.

In my new paranormal series starting next May with The Demon in Me, my main character Eden is torn between her crush on an upstanding and good looking cop and the snarky, trouble-making demon who possesses her.

In my Nightshade urban fantasy duology out in 2011 that I’m writing as Rachel Connor, my heroine will be torn between a battle-torn dhampyr and a vampire king.

In the second book of my Demon Princess series out next June, lo and behold -- a love triangle forms between the demon princess Nikki, her servant/boyfriend Michael...and another otherworldly guy who comes into her life. Chaos ensues.

I find that the love triangles I like to read about and write about are specifically guy/girl/guy. Two guys battling to win the heart of one girl. I am less enchanted with two girls after the same guy. I suppose this is because I want the hero to be madly and passionately in love with the heroine and willing to fight for her -- both figuratively and literally. I want him to go to great lengths to prove this love, even being willing to change his true nature in order to do so, i.e.: the villainous vampire who seeks redemption as per Spike* in Buffy.

(* However, I don’t consider Spike/Buffy/Angel a true love triangle since Spuffy only happened after Angel had left Buffy...for her own good. Yeah yeah. Whatever Edward. Err, I mean Angel.)

And yeah, this devotion does lead to some questionable choices sometimes and heroes that can come off as a bit obsessive.

But that’s kinda hawt, right? Mostly because we know without a shadow of a doubt that the hero would never, ever, ever, ever hurt the heroine. This is why Edward works so well, I think. Edward detractors think he’s a creepy, dangerous stalker, but fans know he is devoted to Bella and would never let anything bad happen to her -- at his own hand or someone else’s.

I don’t have love triangles in my stand alone books. If the heroine has a boyfriend at the beginning, she isn’t truly in love with him. Her heart is open to the hero. Why don’t love triangles work in stand alones? Because they’re messy and they take more than one book to sort out.

Love triangles are vital (in my opinion) to a series. After all, if the hero successfully wins the heroine at the end of book one without anything threatening their relationship -- what the heck should happen in book two? There’s nothing more boring than a happy couple. But throw in another worthy man and the threat that the heroine will be stolen away by her own choice...and you’ve got yourself a romantic series that will have readers emotionally invested enough to see how it will all turn out.

Some other love triangles I’ve enjoyed:

From the movies...

Gone with the Wind -- Rhett, Scarlett, Ashley
Pirates of the Caribbean -- Will/Elizabeth/Jack (I was disappointed that they didn’t do more with this one)
X-Men -- Wolverine/Jean Grey/Cyclops (Team Logan!!)

From TV...
Felicity -- Ben/Felicity/Noel
Lost -- Jack/Kate/Sawyer

From books...
Early Anita Blake -- Jean Claude/Anita/Richard
The Hunger Games -- Peeta/Katniss/Gale
Vampire Academy -- Dimitri/Rose/Adrian
Harry Potter -- Harry/Hermione/Ron (okay, this one’s wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it have been awesome??)

One problem with love triangles is that when all is said and done, one guy is going to be the loser. There are a few solutions for this --

No, don’t have him pairbond with a newborn baby whose mother is the woman you were originally in love with. Sheesh.

1) Have him sacrifice his life to save the heroine and give her a chance at happiness.

2) Turn him evil and vengeful, thus making him the villain.

Or, my favorite, of course...

3) Give him his own book and a worthy heroine who can help him mend his broken heart!

See? Easy.

So... what is your favorite love triangle in books, movies or TV? Whose team were you on and why?

Leave a comment with your answer and I’ll randomly pick a winner on Sunday, October 25th at 9:00 pm EST. The prize is a signed copy of your choice of any one of my 2009 releases: Stakes & Stilettos, Tall, Dark & Fangsome, Demon Princess: Reign or Shine, or my November Harlequin Blaze, Hot Spell!

For more info on Michelle’s books please visit her website at http://www.michellerowen.com/

EDITED: This contest is now over. The winner will be announced soon.


Guest Blogger Cynthia Eden

How do I like my paranormal heroes?

Hi, everyone! It’s a pleasure to be here chatting with you (and I’d like to thank Rachael for inviting me to her place!). Today, I thought I’d talk about paranormal heroes. Or, rather, how I like my paranormal heroes.

You see…I like my paranormal heroes with bite. And, yes, I do love vampire heroes. Those guys are sexy and being able to live forever is an awesome bonus, but when I say “bite”—well, I mean I want heroes who are powerful. I don’t like to read about weak paranormal heroes. I want them to be strong—physically, emotionally, and psychically. These guys should be able to kick butt and seduce the heroine without breaking a sweat.

I also like my paranormal heroes with hair on their chests. Okay, let me be clear—I do love those shifter heroes, too. Particularly the wolf shifters. They are definitely hairy, and they are wild. Untamed. The kind of guys that keep you on the edge of your seat as you wonder what they are going to do next. They are also very clearly men, not boys. These heroes have experience in all areas of life.

I like for my paranormal heroes to love the night life. I don’t want my hero to spend ALL of his time hating what/who he is. So say the hero is a vampire. Having to drink blood might not be the best thing ever for him, but surely he enjoys some of the vampire perks? He has to love the enhanced strength, the eternal youth, the—um, I think you know where I’m going with this. Being paranormal isn’t a bad thing. The heroes should embrace what they are.

But how do you like your paranormal heroes? Leave me a comment and tell just how you like ‘em. Two commenters will be selected to each receive an autographed copy of my latest paranormal romance anthology, BELONG TO THE NIGHT.

Thanks! And Happy Halloween!

Edited: Contest will end Wednesday at midnight eastern time with winners announced Thursday.

To find out more about Cynthia Eden's books please visit her website:

And don't forget to visit me on Literary Escapism for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Giftcard!

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! Thank you to everyone who entered! The winners are Ivy and Mireyah Wolfe!

Guest Blogging Announcements!

Tomorrow, October 20th I will be Guest Blogging at Literary Escapism so please remember to stop by there! Jackie is having a contest there for a $25 Amazon Giftcard so make sure to read her rules and enter properly.

Also tomorrow while I am off Guest Blogging, Cynthia Eden will be Guest Blogging here at Enchanted by Books! She will be giving away two copies of the Belong to the Night anthology to two lucky readers!

On Wednesday Oct. 21st Michelle Rowen will be Guest Blogging here! She will also be giving away one book to a lucky commenter. The winner will have their choice out of her releases from this year. Stakes & Stilettos, Tall, Dark & Fangsome, Demon Princess, or Hot Spell!


Demon Princess: Reign or Shine Review

Nikki Donovan has just turned sixteen years old and is adjusting to her new life after moving to Erin Heights. She’s friends with Melinda, the most popular girl in school and even has a date lined up with the gorgeous Chris Sanders. Everything is going great for her. She’s even giving her mom’s fourth husband a chance and hopes everything works out with their marriage.

But this strange boy at school named Michael keeps staring at Nikki and even follows her home from school one day. He claims to know the father she’s never known and is there to take her to him. Michael informs Nikki that she is a half-demon princess and her father is King of the Shadowlands which is in another dimension. Nikki doesn’t believe him and runs away from Michael, but when the evidence starts adding up that what he said is true, she has to figure out who she is and what this means before it’s too late.

Together Michael and Nikki travel to the Shadowlands to meet her father and discover what it means to be a Darkling. But when Nikki’s father tells her some disturbing news, she must make a choice that will forever change her life. Will Nikki give up her life in Erin Heights to forever live in the Shadowlands? What will happen if Nikki makes the wrong choice? Will her family and friends be hurt if she disappeared forever?

Demon Princess : Reign or Shine is the first young adult book written by popular paranormal romance author, Michelle Rowen and also the first book in the Demon Princess Series. I have adored, devoured, and inhaled every book that I’ve read by this author and I knew I was in for a treat when I heard she ventured out into writing Young Adult books.

Demon Princess : Reign or Shine is a romantic fantasy story filled with suspense and secrets to be revealed. The fantasy world is nicely described and made it feel like a dark fairy tale at times. This book is compulsively addicting and I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down until the exciting conclusion.

I loved the characters and was sad to see the story end. Nikki is a lovable character that you can’t help but root for, despite her being half demon. Overall, I loved reading this new series and I can’t wait to follow Nikki Donovan into more adventures in the next book, Demon Princess: Reign Check due out in June 2010.


Hex in High Heels Review

Blair Fitzpatrick is a seven hundred year old witch who owns and runs a vintage store called Blast from the Past. She’s had her eye on a sexy carpenter named Jake Harrison for quite a while and is just starting to date him. Ever since he saved her life and revealed his identity as a shape shifter of sorts, particularly a Were Border Collie, things have been heating up between the couple. But Jake is nervous about committing to a witch since it’s not the norm for people of his kind.

When Jake’s pack comes to town to see him after a sixty year separation, things get dangerous. Jake does not want to return to his pack and left willingly a long time ago. But his mother and brother don’t care and are willing to kill to get what they want. Will Blair figure out how to save Jake from his family before it’s too late? Will all of the family drama push Jake and Blair apart?

Hex in High Heels is the fourth book in a paranormal romance series featuring a group of witches who were expelled from the witch academy in the year 1313. I strongly advise reading these books in order because there is an overall storyline that will be spoiled if you don’t. This fourth book features Blair but her best friend Stasi is still at the forefront of the story right by her side through it all. There is a mention of another witch named Maggie at the end of the book, so I am guessing her story might be next.

I loved the cameos from Jazz, Nick, Fluff and Puff, and Irma. It was great to see them back in this book even though it’s not a Jazz story. Linda Wisdom definitely has a great funny bone, and had me laughing throughout this entire story. I adored Blair and Jake together and with every book I find myself a new favorite couple to love!

My only complaint is the lack of action or excitement through certain parts of the book. The stories in this series always end with an exciting near death fight scene of some kind and I just wish there was more of that great suspense throughout the rest of the book. Besides this small complaint, I enjoyed everything else about Hex in High Heels and can’t wait for the next book, Best Hex Ever due out in October 2010.


Get your name in a book!


Urban fantasy romance author Jaime Rush is giving you the chance to have your name in a nationally-published book as a way of thanking you for your support, being a friend, or just being you. There is no contest, no "lucky" winner. You're all winners! Tell your friends, too. Go to her website (http://www.jaimerush.com/) or MySpace page (www.myspace.com/jaimerush) and sign up by October 30th!

A Cool Contest for Readers and Writers –A little fame & a little fortune!

Jaime Rush (aka Tina Wainscott) is celebrating the second book in her urban fantasy romance series, OUT OF THE DARKNESS (Avon), with her Kick Butt First Line contest. Shocking, suspenseful, funny…make us want more! Cash prizes! Contest runs from through November 1, 2009. For aspiring authors, it's a chance to get your name out there and add a "win" to your bio. For readers, it's a chance to play at being a writer. For details, and to check out the entries, go to http://www.jaimerush.com/ and click on the Contest link.


Guest Reviewer Donna from Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings

Dark Time by Dakota Banks
Book 1, Mortal Path Series
Read Chapter One

Synopsis from Dakota Banks’s website
Susannah Layhem, a healer unjustly accused of witchcraft in the 17th century, is ripped from her husband's arms and thrown in jail. Abandoned by her husband and friends, she's tied to a stake and set afire. Her raging bitterness draws one of seven ancient Sumerian demons. The demon Rabishu pulls her from the flames, and she signs a contract to live forever—if she does his evil work. Susannah becomes the Black Ghost, an Ageless assassin gifted with otherworldly skills and superbly trained in martial arts.

She obeys Rabishu's orders and remains a beautiful young woman. Then she's given an assignment she can't bear to carry out. She chooses the mortal path instead, and emerges from three centuries of reluctant service as the demon's slave. Now Maliha Crayne, she discovers the fine print of her contract. If she balances lives taken with lives saved, she'll ascend to a paradise straight out of Sumerian legend. If she fails, she faces eternal torment at Rabishu's hands. The ticking clock? Every time she saves lives, she ages. The deck is stacked against her. She's got her own agenda, though. Payback time—killing Rabishu and his kin before he gets his punishing claws on her.

Intimately tangled with Maliha's yearning for personal redemption is her thrilling quest to stop a villain from selling America's security to the highest bidder. For both goals, she will need to relearn what it means to be mortal, to reach out in friendship, and to dare to believe she can love again.

Review by Donna from Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings:

In Dark Time, Dakota Banks gets down to the nitty-gritty. She holds nothing back in the details whether it’s a city Maliha is working in, out on an assassin’s mission or reliving Mahilia’s burning at the stake as an accused witch. This is not a novel that paints a pretty picture but one that is full of the very real complicated feelings of a woman trying to redeem herself for her past sins and working towards ensuring a better future for all of mankind – hopefully without the presence of the demons such as Rabishu and his brethren. While she is trying to redeem herself, she questions whether she will ever have some semblance of normalcy such as having a family. She wonders if this is something she should even allow herself to dream about, especially with DEA agent Jake Stackman.

I liked the way the novel went back and forth between time periods in Maliha’s life. This helped give me a good understanding to how Maliha went from a cold-hearted assassin to the moment when her heart started to warm up again. The flashbacks helped solidify Maliha’s relationships with the secondary characters, made you feel closer to her and her friends while intensifying the feelings of disgust and dislike for the Rabishu and the other vile characters in the story. They also show how Maliha became the self-confident, strong woman she is in present day, who is self assured in her own skills to take care of herself and those around her.

Dark Time was an intense dark read for me, which I enjoyed very much since it's my favorite kind of reading. It reads like a paranormal Mission Impossible assignment, at least that’s how I kept seeing things in my mind’s eye because of the detailed descriptions of the weaponry and gadgets used by Maliha and other characters throughout the story.

The romance in this book takes a backseat to action, though it’s not without a few passionate moments. I liked that the villains are truly evil because this means no easy way out for the good guys and it thickens the plot. But be warned, this book ends with a cliffhanger. So if you’re looking for a fast paced read that is very dark in nature, that makes no apologies, has a kick-ass heroine and a solid storyline, then this book is for you. I’ll be on the lookout for Sacrifice, the second book in the Mortal Path series. Due to the cliffhanger, I just HAVE TO KNOW what happens next!


Guest Reviewer Scott Romanski

Back Cover Summary:


Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles form everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now...A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. terrorize. Annihilate. As residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence, Safe Haven's only chance for survival will rest with an aging county sheriff, a firefighter, and a single mom. And each will have this harrowing thought: Maybe death hasn't come to their town by accident....

Review by Scott Romanski:

The summary on the back cover of Afraid is interesting and probably would have made me pick up this book if I had seen it in a bookstore. Unfortunately, the story didn't live up to my original expectations.

At the beginning of the book, the story jumps around between scenes very rapidly. This resulted in me not really getting a feel for the characters or developing any emotional ties to them. In a book that is supposed to make you feel ‘’Afraid’’, I didn’t feel it for these characters at all.

The details of the characters and their surroundings are inconsistent and switch multiple times in the same chapter, and within pages. One example is the name changing of the people introduced at the beginning of the story. Clothing and vehicular details change depending upon what the author wants to try to get you to feel. The editing of the book fails in dealing with this as well as grammatical errors including incorrect words being used for the thoughts conveyed. The relationships between the townspeople in the story are just WAY too convenient for my tastes.

The "merciless force" feels cardboard and doesn't really come across as menacing. All the characters are given too little back-story, as to why they act and feel the way they do. Those acts and feelings are supposed to be what drive them through the story, but aren't even really developed fully.

Would I recommend this book? Probably not. I was able to finish Afraid within one night, but really didn't care if I finished the story or not. I haven't read any of Mr. Kilborn's other stories written under JA Konrath, but I'm hesitant to do so after reading this one.


Fatal Secrets Review

Sonia Knight knows the true horror of human trafficking and that the statistics of escaping and making it out alive aren’t that good. But Sonia is a survivor and instead of obsessing over the sad circumstances she was put through, she decided to help others. Sonia works as a senior agent for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE. She works tirelessly to help rescue victims of human trafficking and to put the people who profit off of them behind bars.

While working a case, the FBI ends up having to join forces with ICE since they’re both investigating the same criminal, Xavier Jones. Agent Dean Hooper works side by side with Sonia Knight to uncover who is kidnapping these women and forcing them into being sex slaves. As they get closer to uncovering the truth, Sonia’s former superior, Charlie, is one step ahead of them. He holds the answers to their case but Sonia isn’t sure she can trust him after what he did to her in the past. Will Sonia take a chance and put her trust in Charlie or will trusting the wrong person put everyone in danger and cost them their lives?

Fatal Secrets is the second book in the Sacramento FBI Trilogy by romantic suspense author Allison Brennan. The story starts off with a brutal rape scene that might put a lot of people off from reading this book, as it initially did for me. However, after the prologue there really aren’t anymore scenes like that which I was happy about. Sonia Knight is on the hunt for the men who run a sex trafficking ring and the story consists of her trying to hunt them down, and finding love along the way. There is a ton of suspense, action, and mystery to this story. At 428 pages, Fatal Secrets is a rather long book but the writing makes everything move along at a fast pace.

Even though this is the second book in a trilogy, the books are stand alone stories and can be read individually without having read the others. Brennan writes strong female characters that overcome all obstacles put in their way and that is what I love about her books. I normally would never want to read a book about sex trafficking as it’s a scary subject and not one I’d like to read about. But Brennan found a way to get her message across without completely horrifying the reader with too many details. The topic is real and it is happening all over the world. I commend her for taking this on as it is a hard subject to write about.

I have been a huge fan of Brennan’s books for some time and found this book to be exceptionally written and very thrilling. Please be advised that even though this book is romantic suspense, the romance is minimal in Brennan’s novels. I think it would be better classified as a thriller as it is not a light hearted book at all with a lot of scary moments. Overall, I enjoyed reading Fatal Secrets and have never disliked any of Brennan’s books as she never disappoints. I highly recommend this book to thriller readers who enjoy a tightly plotted story that will keep them guessing until the end.

Reviewed for Night Owl Romance

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