Sunday, August 31, 2008

Zoe Martinique Book II Spectre

Phaedra Weldon
ISBN 044101593X
Urban fantasy

In the weeks and months since being transformed to a Wraith, Zoe Martinique has adjusted to her new status; she has some awesome powers while in spirit form, the only real drawback is no voice. However, as things generally do, life is about to take a downward spiral for her. Because powerful beings connected to her hidden past want some gems that will give them power beyond measure, Zoe finds herself trying to solve a mystery and being forced into even more unspeakable acts than possession in order to save her mother from a fate far worse than death and all mankind from an evil as old as time.

Zoe's wry humor gives her a "voice" that readers will readily identify with and enjoy. She's sharp and funny, even at her most serious moments when things look dire. Ms. Weldon's unique concept of a world is fascinating and one that makes you want to see more of it, soon. Truly original spins on concepts are few and far between. Thankfully, readers can say they have found something special and new in the Zoe series.

Friday, August 29, 2008

AT last Acheron

Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin's
ISBN 0312362153
Epic urban fantasy

His birth was heralded by prophecy, eleven thousand years ago. He would been slain on account of his odd eyes then and there, if it were not for the fact that if Acheron died, so would his "twin," the crown prince of his land. Yet, from that time on, he was the hated child of his family, loved only by his sister Ryssa, but even her compassion and royal place could not save him from being sent away to the most demeaning of slaveries that would come near to breaking him. Though he knows freedom for a time, he soon finds himself in chains again, forced to the most humiliating, debased service, doing unspeakable acts for the pleasure of others. Yet, he now finds someone else to love him, the goddess Artemis. Or is she just another user? Then, things happen that will forge destinies for millennia. Ryssa was taken as Apollo's concubine and bore his child. Then, the god's enemies killed them both and his revenge created the Daimons, as well as killed Acheron. However, Acheron finds his life in death, discovering his true heritage as the child of Atlantean gods. He also learns how treacherous his lover is. To counter the evil, Artemis creates the Dark Hunters, and binds them to Acheron. If any of them ever discover love and want to be free, she will allow it, if Ash will pay the price in her bed.

In the modern world, Acheron continues to serve his purpose as the leader of the Dark Hunters and pay for their lives when needed, but now, someone is about to discover his secret. Tory, a young scientist who is seeking Atlantis, has found his sister's journals. If that were not bad enough, she might be able to set free Ash's mother, an act that would rain death upon the world. That could happen anyway; for she has captured his heart and Aphrodite is not a goddess who bears rivals lightly.

This book is almost impossible to sum up in a few lines. With a massive, multi-faceted storyline that will draw you in and make you want to read fast, but need to read slowly so as to catch all the details and nuances, it forges a pivotal chapter in Dark Hunter history. Your heart will bleed for Acheron and many scenes are violent and graphic. However, the characterizations are brilliant, driving the many plots forward. Truly, if you love character dominant stories, this is a perfect book for you. It's also an excellent stand alone one, though this is a series not to be missed. Changes take place that will be felt in all future books, and I can't wait to see what the effects are.

Sons of Destiny

The Storm
Jean Johnston
ISBN 0425222179

In the Cat, we saw one side of a love story involving two sets of twins. Now, Rydan and Rora must find their way to each other, something only complicated by his solitary ways and her need to not be touched. Moreover, Rora and her sister have a tough time trusting this family that has taken them in, and in winning the trust of the growing clan. With mishaps and magic providing the background, though, love can ovecome even the highest, strongest walls around toughened hearts.

Ms. Johnston's created world is one that is becoming a comfortable place in which to park one's mind. Each brother provides a fascinating portrait, and the women they love are equal to the task of winning them. The auther has truly turned their "Curse" into a blessing, for readers, that is. Her characterization skills are among the best out there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Body Movers

Three Men and a Body
Stephanie Bond
ISBN 0778326071
Romantic Suspense

What should have been a fairly "fun" trip with Coop, one of the trio of men courting Carlotta Wren, to pick up the body of a celebrity who has died at a young age under somewhat odd circumstances, turns out to be a pivotal event for Carlotta. Not only do she and Coop agree that it seems like the late star's death is more than a simple asthma attack, but their romantic interlude is cut short by her kid brother's intrusion on the trip and the fact that someone keeps trying to steal the body. Moreover, little brother Wesley's gambling debts are causing continual problems, ones that get in the way of any relationship with Jack, the cop she is interested in and keep her tied to her former fiance', Peter, who wants to be reinstated, despite his earlier betrayal. Making matters even worse are all the unwelcome truths that Carlotta finds herself being forced to face about her father's past.

This is a complex story, but still, filled with light and amusing moments off setting the terrifying ones. Ms. Bond has created characters that live and breath and make you want to know them better. I can hardly wait for the next one.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Death Angel

Death Angel
Linda Howard
ISBN 0345486544
Romantic Suspense

As a result of her gangster sugar daddy's latest deal with an assassin, Drea's life changes forever. In lieu of money, Rafael gives her, for the space of one afternoon, to a hitman he wants to keep happy. At first, she is angry at being such a pawn, but that is a magical afternoon and sets in motion plans she has made over the span of years. Though Drea played dumb, she was really brilliant and after being with a man who at least pretended to cherish her for a short time, she has to make her escape. Had she not taken over two million dollars along, Rafael might have let her go, but for that kind of change, she finds herself on the run and terrified. The man who inspired the change is among those hired to eliminate her, but instead, he turns into her greatest ally, after he kills her, that is.

Possibly this is her best book since Mr. Perfect. Drea's story draws you in immediately and steadily increases in intensity from there on out. It's one you can't put down once it really gets going so compelling are the characters and situations. I could have easily read it another hundred pages had it been longer, and probably still wanted to know more.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Weather Warden Rachel Caine

Gale Force
Rachel Caine
ISBN 0451462238

The war between the Djinn and the Wardens may have ceased and a new dynamic emerged from the conflict, but life is far from calm and quiet for Jo Baldwin. With her new powers and being the Conduit's lover, she has more to cope with than ever. Complicating matters is the opposition the Djinn have towards her relationship with David and the effects it could mean for them as a race as well as a new evil force that shakes the Earth and threatens all of life with the opposite of creation. Then, someone who should be dead makes all of that pale in comparison.

Light, wry wit keeps things from getting too heavy, but even at the funniest moments, there is an intense drama that makes this a magnetic book. Jo's stories are impossible to not read once you get hooked. Her human frailty is ever present, keeping her real, no matter how powerful she becomes. This series shows no signs of weakening and is the one time you can welcome a storm in your life. The characters are ones you care about so much that leaving them at the end is painful, no matter that you will be rushing to find out how the end does happen.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Guest Blog Victoria Rosendahl

Subject: what do you do with conflicting feedback?

Hi everyone!

Amanda kindly invited me to be a guest blogger and I'm honored to be here.

Today I’m going to talk about being a novelist and what you do when given conflicting feedback.

I’ve just recently finished my third novel and sent it out for review before sending it up to the publisher. Now, let me explain what I do when I send a book out for review.

I like to choose four or five people whose opinions I trust. I asked them first if they would be interested in reading the manuscript of my newest novel and then send it to them, giving them a deadline for getting their comments back. I send a disclaimer asking them not to divulge the contents of the book since it hasn’t been published yet and then tell them their names will be in the acknowledgements section.

My latest series is geared toward kids from 8 to 12 and the newest installment is a mystery called Mudder. I sent the novel out to five people … including a seventh grader … and received glowing reviews from everyone.

Then I sent it out to a woman who critiques for me in Colorado. This is one that I pay for because Laura does this kind of work for living. If you write kids books and you're interested in having a good, objective critique of your manuscript, get in touch with Laura Backes at

When I got her critique back last week it was different from the critiques I got from my other readers. Laura felt that there was a pretty significant plotting problem that caused other ripples in the manuscript. On whole she liked it but gave me the sense that I needed to rewrite a good bit of it.

So who do you listen to? The casual, good time reader or the professional editor?

I think it's a mix of both. The thing that I found interesting is that the casual readers -- and I use that term loosely simply to describe those who aren't professional editors -- didn't say anything about having a plotting problem. In fact, they all said that they enjoyed the plot and thought that it moved well.

I think I'm probably going to go through the manuscript and make the changes that Laura suggested that don't include a major plot rewrite and see where it sits. It's very possible that the smaller changes help turn the plot to a point where there's been enough of a change.

The plotting issue that Laura brought up is that the book is called Mudder but he's not the main character. The mystery set at a sleep over camp in North Carolina is more of a focal point but Mudder isn’t intricately involved until later in the book. Also, she felt that I had not put my main character, Kathy, in enough danger early enough. I think all of those points are valid and well taken and I'm going to have to decide how much editing I’m going to do to clean it up.

The point of this exercise is to let you know that you don't always have to listen to everyone who critiques or edits your book. Critiquing and editing is as subjective as the writing of your manuscript.

The next time you receive what appears to be conflicting feedback, put the editorial comments aside for a week or more and then look at them again. You can make the decision on whether you're going to do any substantive rewriting or not. It's your book and the decision rests with you.

I hope you all have a great day and that this has been of some help. Happy writing!

Best regards –

Victoria Rosendahl

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Jacqueline D'Acre
Stargazer Press
ISBN 9781897424001

When a prize horse is framed for murder, it is up to Bryn to save the lovelyl animal from certain death. She knows in her heart that Lightening Strikes Once did not trample her friend, but proving it when all evidence points to that conclusion will prove both problematic and dangerous. If she does not want an injustice to happen, a killer to go free, and for her own life to end, she will have to discover who really did the deed. And before the last page is turned, Bryn may have to confront her own fears.

Both easy to read and informative as well as entertaining, this story does all a good mystery is supposed to do. Readers will have their knowledge base expanded and get to stretch their minds as they probe this puzzler. It's a must read for anyone who loves horses, too.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Of Atlantis
Linaia Lee
Roval Publishing and Digital Services
ISBN 0615207685
Epic historical fantasy

Archimedes loves his royal father, even though the older man carries as much or more fear of his son than any he might have when going into one of the many battles the King of Atlantis faces. Rather than the halcyon, highly advanced civilization many authors have portrayed the lost kingdom to be, this Atlantis is much like Greece or Rome, albeit a touch more magical Treachery, violence, forbidden love, religion, and politics make up the complex web that forms its society until the day the waves sweep it into being nothing more than a legend. Yet, it is not the end, for its last royal, Archimedes will live on through the ages. This is his story.

In great detail, the author brings life in this imaginary society to such life that you can believe it truly existed. Archimedes moves from boyhood into being a fascinating man wuth a rich history that readers will look forward to discovering in the books yet to come. One particularly wonderful aspect of this novel is the beautiful poetry that highlights it. That feature alone will make bibliophiles want to buy a second copy, the audio form, to be able to hear the music of the words as well as reading them.