Sunday, March 30, 2008

Truly original

Eternal Pleasure
Nina Bangs
ISBN 0843959533

For sixty five million years, the Eleven have waited for this time, the time when the world would be poised on the edge of a violent change, one that would wipe out mankind, unless they, the protectors of humanity, could triumph against their foes. Now, with the long prophesized event upon them, it is up to Ty Endeka and his ten "brothers," for want of a better description, along with Ty's driver, Kelly, to prevent what would amount to Armeggedon. For her part, Kelly had no idea what she was getting into when she accepted the job to chauffer the sinfully handsome man, or any idea what he truly was. She did know Houston could get strange, but as she enters Ty's world, she finds out exactly how weird. Her planet is on the line here, and now, so is her heart. Ty is not an ordinary guy; in fact, he's so different that even if he saves the world, Kelly's looking at a broken heart, but she still has to risk it all.

This is a complex book, one that is tough to sum up without letting the cat, complete with sharp fangs, out of the bag, and that would absolutely ruin your enjoyment of this marvelous novel. Ms. Bangs can be relied upon to deliver a story worth her readers' time and money, but she truly reveals her range of ability in this one. We are used to light comedy from her, and it's there, but coupled with high drama, action, and concepts that are brand new, at least to me. Her hero is like nothing you've met before on the printed page, and I seriously doubt elsewhere either. As a native Houstonian, I can add in that she captures the city itself well, too, and a couple of places where she mentioned supernatural goings on taking place, I had to think, "You know, that could explain a bit."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Marguerite's story

Vampire, Interrupted
Lynsay Sands
ISBN 0061229776
Paranormal Romance

Though Marguerite is beloved by her entire family, it appears that not everyone holds her in equal affection; someone is determined to remove her pretty, seven hundred year old head from her shoulders. Just as her life has taken this dangerous and deadly turn, she meets Julius, another Immortal who gets into her heart like no man ever has, including her late husband. Could he be her lifemate, after all this time? Has he found her just in time to lose her to another's desire for revenge, and what secrets will be revealed as he enters Marguerite's life?

Humor, romance, mystery, and delightful plot twists make this one of the strongest Argeneau books yet. Marguerite is a mature heroine, yet still innocent in a way, and not at all worn out or angsty. The complexity of her situation might boggle the mind, but after being a supporting character for so many novels, it's time she got her own, very meaty story. I just hope there is more to come.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cait London's Stranger's Touch

Stranger's Touch
Cait London
ISBN 0061140511
Paranormal Romance

Her life, and her sister's lives, have been dominated by the prepossessing fact of their powers. Tempest's "gift" is to be able to know all about an object by simply touching it, so she keeps her hands gloved, trying to minimize the exposure and the trauma. Sure that a brooch is key to freeing her family from a cursed destiny, Tempest has made locating it her goal in life. However, its owner is in the way. Handsome, wealthy, and suave, Marcus is every woman's dream, except perhaps Tempest's. She is able to walk away from him, rather than the reverse. That makes her VERY interesting to him. Like Tempest, Marcus is haunted by his past, specifically, by his parents' murders, and believes she can help him put those ghosts to rest. In order to do so, she will have to make herself vulnerable, in more ways than one. Though she is walking into what she knows is a dangerous situation, Tempest risks everything for those she loves; surprisingly, that list has expanded to include Marcus, not just her sisters and mother.

Tempest and Marcus' story is one that manages to be both incredible and credible at once. Though the description of her power will remind you, superficially, of the X-men's Rogue, she is much more than that character. This is a solid, well rounded tale that holds your attention from beginning to end. I would also love to see a novel featuring her mother, Greer, at the center. The glimpses of her showed someone who was complex and had enough of a past and secrets to rate four hundred plus pages to delve into them.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dragons, Students, and More, oh My

Cross Eyed Dragon Troubles
Gloria Oliver
Hardshell word
distributed by

Though leaving home to become an apprentice to the Dragon Knight guild is the last thing Talia wants, she accepts her fate to help her family ease its financial woes. Even her leave taking is less than auspicious; a cross eyed dragon and a squire, not a knight, pick her up and take her there, giving her one of the more harrowing experiences of her short life. However, Clarence and his human, Kel, are not bad sorts, and will, in fact become two of the most important beings in Talia's life in the days to come.

Life at school is a tremendous change. Talia finds herself in what she considers luxury, and though the work is hard, she quickly makes new friends, earns ample funds, and through bizarre tests, learns new skills. It is not all good, though. A secret "admirer" brings not only her, but Clarence and Kel trouble that could prove dangerous for the trio, and an attack from monstrous beings almost forces Talia to have to do the unthinkable.

With ample maturity to appeal to official adults and enough innocence to make it teen friendly, this is a story that is sheer magic, and not just because of the subject matter. Ms. Oliver has built a world that springs to life in your mind and before it is over, your heart. Hints of budding romance add a sweetness to things, but that is merely a "flavor enhancer," for the mind. Quirky, multi-faceted characters and a heart warming aura combined with plot elements that make you want to learn more make this a treasure. If you enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's Herald Mages, the Harperhall trilogy of Pern, the Casts' Marked series, or yes, Harry Potter, you simply need this in your collection. I hated for the story to end, and hope Talia, Kel, and Clarence have more ahead of them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Playing with Fire

Playing With Fire
Katie Macalister
ISBN 045122378

May is a Shadow Walker and a notorious thief. Created to be the clone of a na-aid, Cyrene, she often seems more vibrant than her "twin." Perhaps this is why fate has dealt her this hand, to be the mate of the wyvern of the Silver sept of Dragon, Gabriel. She never planned to fall in love with anyone, she doesn't like romance and all that stuff. Besides that, she has to avoid a demon lord, a blackmailer, and the law of the Otherworld. But, she can handle dragonfire and Gabriel is certainly agreeable, even though May tried to steal from him. The fate of the world and the hearts of two lovers are once again bound in this latest adventure in Ms. Macalister's exciting realm.

Elevated to primary player status, Gabriel is truly the star he was always meant to be. Fans of the Aisling Grey books will be thrilled to finally see him get his due, and have no fears, Aisling, Drake, and Jim are significant co-stars in this. I did miss our favorite cabbie, but am sure we have not seen the last of him. If you love your daring deeds liberally sprinkled with good humor, then this is a perfect read.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Heart of the Wolf

Heart of the Wolf
Terry Spear
ISBN 1402211570
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Long ago, Bella fled her wolfpack in order to escape a forced mating with another werewolf, one she not only did not love, but who was worthy of fear. Besides those two facts, her heart had always belonged to Devlyn, although she was a red and he a gray. When she is captured while in wolf form, Devlyn is the one who rescues her, and it is he who stands beside her as the past catches up to her. Because she rejected the red wolves' alpha, a band of rogues is killing human women and searching for Bella. Now, she must face the results of her choices and the man who forced her to make them. Yet, because she knows now that Devlyn loves her and will fight for her, Bella has something she did not have before; hope.

Ms. Spear has built a fascinatingly complex world that fans of Kelley Armstrong or Susan Krinnard will feel right at home visiting. It is nice to see a beta hero get a starring role as well, since not all guys can be Superman, but still be strong. Though she is a new author to me, Terry Spear is definitely a name I will now be aware of.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Harry Dresden

Small Favor
Jim Butcher
April 1
ISBN 0451461894
Urban Fantasy

A period of relative calm ends for Harry Dresden when he finds his butt getting kicked by the Three Billy Goats Gruff, and that's just the start of the return of normalcy, aka, chaos, to his life, and this time, he does not have Lasciel in his mind providing helpful advice. Plunged into the middle of a conflict between the two courts of the fae, Harry has more enemies than he can shake his blasting stick at. Before it is over, the Knights, as well as the ever watchful High Council, will be involved. At the center of the storm lies the fate of a small girl, the Archive, who Harry dares to treat like a person. Facing monsters, angry fae, hostile allies, and all other threats is nothing though compared to who our favorite wizard will have to confront before the sparks stop flying; himself.

Once again, Mr. Butcher blows me away with his prose. Very few authors can make a story both character and plot driven. The action comes at you so fast you might have to re-read a page or two to make sure you got everything, but that is no hardship. Watching Harry try to find Murphy's car keys would be entertaining enough to warrant reading about him. The entire cast is just brilliant and you truly want to spend time in their world. Although the novel is complete unto itself, Mr. Butcher tosses us a hint of foreshadowing that will make you want a time tuner or something so you can go forward and get the next book immediately or sooner.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008



So, how did you begin writing and what got you over the threshold from amateur to pro?
As long as I can remember I have said to people that one day I am going to write a book, but life sometimes had other plans for you. I married young and raised my family all while working at a full time job. When I turned 50 I retired and decided that I would spend this time of my life fulfilling my passion. Going from amateur to pro involves a lot of rejections for almost every writer. I have a file filled with them from the best houses in New York. Whiskey Creek Press took a chance on me and I now have 5 books published. My newest release, SOUL SAVERS made its debut March 1st.

2. Do you write full time or do you have another career as well? Like I said, I am retired. I write when I feel like it. Mostly during the day when I am alone, but I have been known to get up at three in the morning and start pounding the keys because an idea just won’t leave my head.

3. Do you write under any other names? No. I use my maiden name. The reason for that is because for all of my adult life I have been a part of someone else. A husband or child or family member. I use my maiden name because my writing is mine alone and I choose not to share it with either of the two husbands I had in the past. I am happily single now, and although I do use my last husbands name in real life, I want to write with the name I was born with. If that is very selfish, then so be it, but it makes my brothers who carry the same name very happy.

4. Do you think that the internet has helped the literary industry or hurt it? The internet has been a huge help to writers because it has given many good writers the opportunity to see their work published. I do believe there is some harm in most of the internet, but the value outweighs the harm.

5. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are considered new genres, would you define your writing as being one or the other or a bit of both? Two of my books are paranormal. AMAYA’S KEEP and my new release, SOUL SAVERS, have a ghost as a big part of the story. I like my ghost books and am very proud of them. I like that you separated fantasy from paranormal because fantasy is such a broad spectrum of genres. I have tried to make up worlds to build fantasy and cannot, so I give all who can credit for their imagination.

6. What do you like to read for fun? Believe it or not, I prefer Agatha Christie types of mystery. I also love Nora Roberts and a thousand other authors.

7. What inspires you? Anything and everything. A person walking down the street, a snippet of someone’s conversation or a blue moon. I don’t believe any author can tell you what inspires a thought to pop in their head until it does and you say, oh ya, I remember taking about that or hearing about that…

8. Do you believe in ghosts? I think I do. I have had a few experiences I couldn’t explain, but do I have proof that they exist, no I don’t. I am a realist. I believe in what I know, and wish to believe in what I wish were true.

9. If you do, have you ever met one? No. When I first moved to Phoenix in 1980 my husband and I rented a house that my brother had lived in when he tragically drowned in Lake Pleasant. At the time I worked in an office and wore the very fashionable strappy high heeled sandals to work. I would come home and slip then off and toss in the closet. The amazing thing is that each and every day I lived in that house I never had a pair of shoes that were buckled up as I had pulled them off, but a closet full of unbuckled high heeled sandals. Each evening I would pull a pair off without unbuckling and each morning I had to re-buckle. I attributed this to the ghost of my brother Alvin. He was such a sweet soul.

I also lived in the house of my parents years ago and slept in the bedroom my mother died in. I often could smell her and feel her presence. To this day I feel her presence even though I am 1600 miles away from home and she has been gone for 48 years.

10. Out of all your books, do you have a favorite character or scene? I love both Amaya and Tyler from Amaya’s Keep, and I have favorite passages and characters in all my books for different reasons and too many to write down. I think in SOULS SAVERS, when Rae gets excited and drops her dinner fork to have it tangle in her hair, and she pulls it out in front of the man she barely knows as if it were the most normal thing in the world, is great. It is a bit of realism in a book filled with finding and saving a ghost to send on to eternity after fifty years of being trapped on earth.

11. Can you re-read your own writing or does the thought make you cringe? I've heard some actors never watch themselves, so I imagine some authors try to avoid reading themselves. I have to read my own writing because of the editing process. I read it and then I read again as many times as it takes with my editor. I then read the finished product several times finishing with the first print copy looking for errors. I love my books, but I don’t want to read any book that many times. Reading for corrections and errors takes away from the thrill of the story. Have I read my own books since they were published? I have to admit I have not.

12. Does your work have a soundtrack? Do you use photos or figures or anything to help you envision the characters? No. I don’t use a soundtrack. The character of Linda and Lou in two of my books is my sister and I wrote her that way because she always said I should write a book about her. My other characters are how I see them in my head. I picture what I like about this man or woman and write it down on a piece of paper with a pencil and keep it by my computer so I can add to, change or follow as the story goes.

13. What has writing taught you? I have learned more about writing than I ever thought was possible. I have had a wonderful editor to work with, Chere Gruver. The most important thing I have learned is that if you want to do something, you just have to go do it. All my life I never dreamed I would write that book I talked about so often, but, by golly, I did, and so many more.

14. What will your next release be? I am pondering on that very subject every day. I want to write something strong and meaningful to me, but not sure where to go. I might try a mystery, if I have the talent to pull it off with all the twists and turns and red herrings, or I am considering a story about an older couple and their life together. We shall see. I do have one book completed, Genetic Perfection, but it needs some work and I’m not sure it’s strong enough at this point.

15. Would you ever want to write in another genre? I would love to do that mystery and I would also like to do a time travel and a reincarnation. I have also considered a polygamy book in reverse, with a woman having more than one husband.

16. What is one piece of wisdom, advice, or just thought for the day you'd like to pass on to readers?

Take time for yourself. If you want to write, write, if you love to read, take the time to read a book. Life is too short to spend it without giving yourself a little pleasure along the way.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Darkest pleasure

Darkest Pleasure
Gena Showalter
ISBN 03737733102

Reyes is the last man Dannika should trust. For one thing, he's bound to the demon of pain and forbidden to know pleasure. For another, he and his cohorts kidnapped her and have tried to exterminate her family. Yet, now, she is the one woman he wants and he is the only man who can keep her safe. Mortals determined to end Reyes and his fellow Lords of Darkness' existence have tried to use Dannika, demons want her dead, and now, she learns she and the other women in her family are they key to some sort of treasure. Her choices now might be the difference between love and death, and could prove critical for the world itself.

Of all the books in this series, this is the most moving and compelling. The concluding chapters will simply stun you with the drama of them. I'm reminded somewhat of the Key to Time series from the classic Doctor Who era and also of Terry Brooks' earliest works. However, there is much more romance and passion in this. You will not be sorry if you add this to your collection.

Sweet Love

Sweet Love
Sarah Strohmeyer
ISBN 0525950648
Women's fiction/romance

Guilt over her actions decades ago leads Betty Mueller to try and reunite her daughter, Julie, with her one true love, Michael Slayton. Because Betty broke them up, Julie's life has been somewhat bleak, with the only real bright spot being the daughter that was the result of her failed marriage to a pompous S.O.B. Using her wiles, Betty makes sure both Julie and Michael are enrolled in a cooking class, and then lets nature take its course. Even as the enemity they harbored turns to friendship and then, something sweeter, tragedy and fear plague other areas of Julie's life as she faces transitions, terrors, and pains that are all too common to most of our lives. Yet, through it all, Michael provides a source of strength and of hope.

This story will be a source of hope for the reader as well. We have all had things we regret doing and wish to fix, most will face trials with our parents and with the loss of one or the other of them, and failed romance. We have health scares, too. Seeing how these events play out and resolve will strike a chord with us and allow us to hope for such a sweet ending. Be warned though, don't read this book when you are hungry.

One enchanted Evening

One Enchanted Evening
Crystal Inman
Whiskey Creek
ISBN 978-1-60313-101-8

Ivy's life changed forever when she was invited to a party and even sent magic dust that provided a costume for it. Suddenly, the entire fairy tale world invades her life. Gremlins, elves, talking critters, fairies, Mother Goose, and fairy godmothers become regular visitors, and they all say their world needs her help. What's more, a handsome prince asks her to help him save his dying father and his land. Joining forces with the other guest at the party, a kind, but slightly geeky guy, and her sister, Rose, Ivy enters the magical world and finds that there is a dark side to fairy tales. There is also love. As she races against time to save two worlds, Ivy learns some unpleasant truths, some beautiful things, and much about herself.

This was a pure treat to read. Initially, it was so cute you couldn't help but smile, then, when the shift came to the more serious plot, it was still enchanting, only in a different way and deeper. One Enchanted Evening feels like the start of a series of adventures, and I hope this is true.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Soul Savers

Soul Savers
Donna McGillvray
Whiskey Creek
ISBN 978-1-60313-105-6

Neither Rae nor Alex has any idea why they would be summoned to attend the reading of a will of a man they never heard of, but the two strangers find themselves required to first spend a weekend in his home, and then, in order to receive a hefty bequest, they are to live in it for two years and during that time, attempt to lay to rest two troubled souls haunting it. Seeing the potential uses for the money, both want to do good with it, they agree and find both their residence and the company more than agreeable, for the most part. However, their quest is one that often proves frustrating. The ghosts need their help, but Alex and Rae are stumped until they find a breakthrough that will have profound implications for their own lives.

This was both a fun read and a moving one. Without being sappy, it was sweet. The author's use of words paints vivid images in your mind and makes the entire situation seem like something that could happen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Girl of My Dreams
Morgan Mandel
E-BOOK ISBN#978-0-7599-4700-9
10 DIGIT ISBN#0-7599-04700-7

When one of the contestants on the new reality series, Girl of My Dreams, pulls out at the last minute, shy production assistant Jillian steps in to fill her shoes, believing all the while that she'll be eliminated quickly. She has eyes only for her boss, and the millionaire who is the prize of the show holds no appeal for her. Yet, despite this, she finds herself as one of the favorites to go all the way. The only two people possibly less happy than Jillian, or Veronica as she's known on the show, are a disgruntled contestant and the boss she really wishes would have chosen her before now, Blake Caldwell. Suddenly, he realizes how much he needs Jillian Baker in his life, but she seems to be slipping away, ready to mount the white charger and ride off with a prince charming, the way things are going. However, in the dog eat dog world of reality television, things are never quite what they seem and there might be a deadly hitch in that scenario.

This is both a fun read and an exciting one, managing to stay on the pink side of sensual, telling just enough to add zest, but not going graphic. It's a fast, utterly absorbing and charming tale that leaves you with a smile. Girl of My Dreams is one classy read.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fall TO Grace

Hot Wheels and High Heels
Jane Graves
ISBN 0446617865

Coming home to find strangers living there and all her things gone to Good Will does not inspire "good will" in Darcy McDaniel. Her husband has vanished, taking with him hundreds of thousands of embezzled dollars, leaving her high and dry, and ending her career as a trophy wife. With few skills and less experience, Darcy finds herself moving back home with her parents and the best job she can get is working for the man who repossessed her Mercedes, John Stark. Though the two butt heads from the moment they meet and have completely opposite tastes; she lives for Neiman's, Starbucks and all the finer things, while John is content with Wal-Mart, whatever coffee is on sale, and the simple life, there is a sizzle between them that neither can ignore. Darcy is also finding it hard to completely be immune to the charms (read pocketbook) of the millionaire who is offering her a ticket back to the good life, if she'll settle for being a mistress. This is the biggest test Darcy has ever faced as is forced to cram life lessons harder than she ever anticipated.

I must admit, I opened this book not expecting to like it and closed it cheering because it was wonderful. Darcy and John's chemistry is dynamic and sheer fun. Watching her adapt to a less than princess like existence is painful, yet humorous. Though none of the characters is perfect, as Stark points out, imperfect people are the most interesting. The pseudo-villain was not even perfectly rotten, and in the end, I found myself hoping he gets a story in which he gets to be the hero and redeemed.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Christian mystery thriller

Randy Alcorn
Multnomah Books
ISBN-10: 1601420994
ISBN-13: 978-1601420992

Detective Ollie Chandler’s latest case may just make him wish he had settled his issues with God a bit sooner rather than delaying it. He’s on the trail of a serial killer, someone who might just be another cop, and thus, could be someone he works with, someone who knows what he is going to do and has all the resources that Ollie himself has. With his two best friends, Ollie dares to pursue leads that bring him to a chilling confrontation even as he wrestles with matters that pertain to his own soul and destiny

Though I suspect that the hard edge to this novel will make it far more appealing to the male side of the race, female mystery fans will find something to appreciate as well. Without ever getting seamy or degenerate, Mr. Alcorn has written a thriller with grit and guts that does not shy away from tough questions. Interlaced with the primary plot is a deft Christian apologetic that does not get too preachy, but makes its point. In particular, there is one scene that is so shockingly beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Star Wars Audio

Star Wars Legacy of the Force 8 - audio CD
Karen Travis
RH Audio
ISBN 0739324012
Science Fiction/Media Tie in

The galaxy, especially the Skywalker/Solo clan, is still reeling from the death of Mara Jade Skywalker at the hands of the man who used to be her nephew but has changed into a Sith Lord as powerful as his grandfather ever was, Jacen Solo or Darth Caedous. Knowing only she can stop him, Jacen's twin, Jaina, sets out on a quest to join forces with the man who once tried to kill her father, Boba Fett, and learn all she can so as to end her twin's reign of terror. Boba has as much of a need for revenge as she. Meanwhile, Ben Skywalker strives to avoid the dark side and avenge his mother, and the entire Republic is torn apart by factions. Jacen would bring about an Empire to rival Palpatine's, and there are many who oppose him, especially his former family. Palpatine's nobles, Alliance forces, and everyone who seeks justice or truth find themselves once again at odds as all the hard won times of peace turn into bloody conflict.

Ably raed by Mark Thompson, this story is what the prequel trilogy should have been. Jacen is more formidable than Anakin ever was. Mr. Thompson's ability to change his voice to suit each character makes Ms. Travis' words come to life even more vibrantly. Cheers to this entire mini-series.

Erma Bombeck with an inspirational twist

Family Squeeze
Phil Callaw
ISBN-10: 1590529162
ISBN-13: 978-1590529164

Many families are undergoing the "sandwich phenomena" as they find themselves with aging parents on one end of the scale, children in the home still, and their own generation stuck in between. While this makes for a stress filled situation, it is not without its smiles and with lessons. The author shares what he's learned through living this situation out in his own life, offering his reflections with wit and wisdom. Imagine Erma Bombeck with a devotional spin to her writing. Through the laughter and tears, you will see that God does have a purpose in this family dynamic.

Interview with Linda Wisdom

I'm sure you all were very tempted by Fifty Ways to Hex Your Lover. Now, it's time to hear from the lady who put Jazz in our lives.

Put your hands together for Linda Wisdom.

> 1.. You've been published by the easily recognizable names in the trade, now your latest is from a much smaller house. Is there a reason you're comfortable in sharing?

When you've written category for so long--my last single title was out in the early 1990's--it can harder for a category author to prove their worth. Sourcebooks loved the idea from the get go and I loved their vision for the series. There's a more personal touch there, they work very closely with the authors and even offer a lot to help us promote our books.

> 2.. How in the world did you invent Irma and the attack slippers?

LOL! I figured Jazz couldn't have it too easy and a ghost haunting her car would truly make her miserable at times. I thought of a cranky ghost who'd been dead for over 50 years, tried to rule Jazz's life and was the irasicible grandmother no one would want. Jazz would love her out of the car but nothing works. And Fluff and Puff are just plain fun. You think of bunny slippers as comforting, cute and these little guys are, but they have these razor sharp teeth, protected by magick and get into trouble without a second thought. But they're also very loyal to Jazz since she'd rescued them from an abusive wizard. At the same time, that doesn't mean they don't create trouble for her. Plus, what doesn't look more fun than a witch wearing bunny slippers?

> 3.. I've seen this come up on a list; what do you think it the most overdone element of paranormal/fantasy fiction?

You know, everyone says something different, but I don't know if anything is overdone because every author can have a different spin on the same thing. To me,that's the best part. I think it's always going to be the readers who decide what's overdone. But same thing there. One will complain there's too many vampires out there while another wants more and complains too many witches.

> 4.. Do you write to suit you, the publishers, or the reader?

The publishers do have their input, but I tend to write what I love to read and just hope the readers will like it as much. There's times I'll write a scene and literally wonder where it came from.

> 5.. If you were given absolutely free reign to write whatever you wanted and guaranteed no matter what, it would be a success, what would it be?

Easy. What I'm writing now. I created Jazz about three years ago and sold the first book 18 months ago. This is all me.

> 6.. How often do friends and family members see themselves reflected in your work? How often do you see yourself there?

I've used friends as in something that's happened to them that works in a book. And I'm told that they see me in my characters, especially in Jazz.

> 7.. What question are you most sick of being asked in interviews or at fan gatherings?

I don't think there's one I'm most sick of. The one I hear the most is where do my ideas come from.

> 8.. What question would you love to be asked and what would the answer be?

Hm. That's a toughie. I honestly can't think of one!
> 9.. I know this is an over used question, but fans do want to know. I want to know! What do we have to look forward to next from you?

Hex Appeal will be out in November and picks up a few months after 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover ends. And Wicked By Any Other Name will be out in spring of 2009 and Wishing You A Hexy Christmas in fall of 2009. The last two books are about two of the other witches.

> 10.. How do you think of names for your characters?

They name themselves. Jazz because she loved the Jazz Age. Irma because I wanted a name that was familiar in the earlier 1900s. She was in her 50s when she died. Fluff and Puff because who would feel threatened by bunny slippers with cute names. Nick because his original name was Nikolai.

> 11.. If Hollywood wanted to turn any of your books into a movie, who would be in the ideal cast?

I'd say Kiera Knightley with red hair would make a good Jazz, Hugh Jackman for Nick (let's go for the gusto, shall we?), Vicki Lawrence as Irma the way she played Mama and when I wrote The Librarian I thought of Rene Auberjonois or Robert Picardo.
> 12.. Free reign here; what would you like to say to your fans that hasn't been covered?

Just that I really hope they love the book and become eager for more, because I have all these witches talking to me and wanting their stories also told. And the only way they'll behave is if they know I'm working on their story.

I Hex Better In Bunny Slippers
50 Ways to Hex Your Lover Out Now!
Hex Appeal November 2008
Wicked By Any Other Name Spring 2009
Wishing You A Hexy Christmas Fall 2009
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Thank you, Linda, for taking the time here and for writing such a FANTASTIC story.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Amish saga

When the Heart Cries
Cindy Woodsmall
ISBN 1400072921

Hannah Lapp has dared to rebel against her Old Order Amish clan to love a young Mennonite man, but on the way home from one visit, she pays a terrible price for her defiance as a stranger takes her virtue by force, leaving her hurt, pregnant, and ashamed. The next few months are pure Hell, as Hannah is made to feel guilt over the burden her suffering places on her family and is unable to prosecute the one who did the unmentionable thing to her. There is no one to whom she can turn as she faces some of the most terrible tragedies a woman can. Rather than being loved and supported in her hour of need, she is the victim of rumors. What is she to do when all her dreams become dust?

This is a stunning debut novel that draws you into Hannah's plight and makes you long to be the friend she needs. Ms. Woodsmall may well replace Beverly Lewis as the Queen of Amish Lit if she continues to write so compellingly.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Princess Mia
Meg Cabot
ISBN 0060724617

Breaking up with the guy you have loved forever, losing your best friend, being completely falsely accused to wrecking her relationship with her boyfriend, and having someone set up a website dedicated to hating you is ample reason to be depressed, right? If you said yes, Princess Mia totally agrees with you; however, when she and her black mood hole up and hide from life, her royal father trundles her to the psychiatrist's office, where she is challenged to do one thing that scares her a day. For Mia, that is anything involving dealing with people. Aside from the aforementioned problems, she finds that Lilly, her former best friend's, former boyfriend, J.P., now wants to be the love of her life, and if she were not still nutty over Michael, he'd be tempting, which is not a good thing. Second, she has to come up with a speech to give some exclusive women's society. Then, she also has her Grandmere who is a problem just by living and breathing, school, the fact that she has begun to fill out, and her mortal enemy now is acting like her best friend. Could life possibly get more complex? Yes, it could, and she will have to get through all of it, while in the process giving her fans a story to celebrate.

The Princess is a charming heroine whose problems, even the ones we would never face, feel so real that you can not only sympathize with, but empathize and become deeply involved. Having read Ms. Cabot's work for adults as well as young people, I think I can safely say I'd read a cereal box if she wrote it. Three cheers for all involved.

50 ways to Hex Your Lover

Fifty Ways to Hex Your Lover
Linda Wisdom
Source Books
ISBN 140221085X

For the most part, Jazz has a great life; she's a powerful, centuries old witch who still looks hot, her boss might be slime who requires her to drive around assorted paranormal oddballs, some of whom stink to high heaven, but she loves her job, her friends are fantastic, and life is interesting. How many people have attack slippers and a car with a built in companion?Then, her on and off lover, Nick, a vampire, comes back into her life. Though there's a variety of reasons she ought to avoid him, there's a strong reason for them to work together; they share a deadly enemy who Jazz thought she had killed seventy years ago. He's more dangerous than ever and poses a threat to their entire world, even to the dead.

My soul laughed so much as I read this book! I loved the quirky characters and hope to see them again. This is fun without being silly. Smart humor is hard to find, and when you do, it's to be treasured. Originality makes this book a true keeper.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sookie's back

From Dead to Worse
Charlaine Harris
ISBN 0441015891

In the aftermath of Katrina, many towns in Louisiana struggle to cope with the havoc and fall out. There is a storm coming, though, that makes nature's fury seem pale in comparison. The head of Las Vegas' vampire kingdom wants to take over Lousiana and Arkansas, and is prepared to do it in a bloody fashion, no pun intended. Since her love life has entangled her with the local vamps, Sookie Stackhouse finds herself smack in the middle of things; as if she didn't have enough to juggle between her were-tiger boyfriend vanishing, tensions between the aforementioned former vampire romantic ties, and her perpetual family woes that have just taken an interesting twist or two. When the smoke clears, will Sookie be among those still standing?

Both fun and tense at once, this series remains a consistent winner. Sookie's plain talking view of life is easy to read and relate to; she somehow makes it seem almost normal to be in love triangles with vampires and were critters or to have kin that are of the fey sort. Rather than being angsty, she rolls with the punches and makes even the worst moments worth a smile. Fans of the series should enjoy, at least I did, the way her romantic life alters in this book.