Thursday, October 29, 2009
I was going to review THOSE OF MY BLOOD by Jacqueline Lichtenberg for you this week for Halloween, but I had a bout of Postpartum Depression and had to switch to something more lighthearted. Probably the biggest benefit of an author writing one kind of story for a while is a reader can count on her for certain things in a story. I know I can count Karen Templeton, in this series, for a lighthearted story full of living, breathing, sweating characters all wrapped up in a believable happy ending I'm so into I can cheer for. When I really needed her, Karen Templeton was there for me. Thank you!
Some people find their true love soulmates in high school. They get married and live happily ever after. Other people find their true love soulmates in high school, but screw it all up. Sometimes, they screw up the rest of their lives too. But, sometimes, they grow up and fix things later, and that's what happens in this story.
Tess would tell you Eli was an immature, arrogant jerk-asaurus at the story's start, but, you know, any girl who chases her boyfriend down the street with a sponge mop isn't exactly the most grown up teenager around either. Big blow-up and then they got on with their adult lives. Tess married, had a little sex, and popped out a couple of kids. Eli never married, had a lot of sex, and went into business with his dad. They say when some people fall in love it's like getting struck by lightning.
Tess got struck by a car, or was it a truck?
Eli was in the truck and Tess was on an adreneline escape from the finalization of her divorce. Eli takes her home to clean up the ouie on her leg and then Tess decides she wants him to kiss it and make it feel better too. The morning after he did a lot more than that, she feels stupid and her ex-husband, a military dude, calls because he's brought the kids home early because, he says, they missed her, but, really, it's because he can't handle them.
Charging into battle is much easier than raising children, you know.
Tess is glad for an excuse to flee the Eli Scene. It was just sex, you know, a little therapeutic nookie. Who's kiddin' who? She never had it so good! Plus, she was really in love with him a long time ago and that never went away. Try as she may, getting on with her day is not easy.
Eli's more than a little shaken by the experience too. He's done some major growing up since the last time Tess was in his life and he'll be darned if he'll mess it up again. So, he calls her, but she's too befuddled to really have a conversation. So, he just says he's sorry.
Well, Tess is a bigshot Real Estate lady now and she suddenly gets a 'money pit' to sell. She needs it fixed up NOW. She has no place to go but to Eli's dad, but he's booked solid because, hey, he's the best. That leaves her with Eli and nowhere else to run. Of course, she doesn't really want to run. She's just scared of another broken heart. That's why she shows up to discuss the deal with Eli's dad in a sexy sweater, except, as she subconsciously hoped, Eli's dad ain't there. Eli is.
Karen Templeton just sends me her books. She knows I'm a sucker for 'em. She doesn't need to ask and I'm glad I don't have to beg. They just show up like chocolate chips from Heaven. Learn more about this one and her vast backlist too at-
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
When Kimber An asked me if I would review SF and other SpecFic books for her blog I agreed on one condition. I didn’t want to read any Vampire books. Most modern Vampire Fiction makes me want to run screaming into the night, and probably not for the intended reasons. BUT, what good is making your own rules if every once in a while you can’t break them. Soulless is a book worth breaking rules to read. First off although there are vampires it’s not really Vampire Fiction. It is a Gaslight/Semi-Steampunk/Semi-Alternative History/Paranormal Romance or as the cover says “ A novel of Vampires Werewolves and Parasols.”
Doesn’t that tag alone grab your interest?
Alexia Tarabotti has several strikes against her as far as society is concerned. She’s a spinster-at the dried-up age of 25, she’s a hopeless bluestocking, and her father, who at least has the good grace to have died when she was an infant, was a scholar of things best not talked about in civilized drawing rooms, and Italian too boot. So it’s not surprising that due to an attack of boredom, and the poor quality of food on the buffet, at the Duchess of Snodgrove’s Ball Alexia takes herself off the the Library and orders the servants to bring her tea . Just as she is settling in to exploring the Duke’s under appreciated library a vampire rushes into the room and tries to bight her neck – without a proper introduction! Well, Alexia my be unconventional but she won’t stand for things like that. Unfortunately for the vampire in question, who is shabbily dressed in last season’s style of evening wear, Alexia has inherited more than her unfashionable tan skin, robust figure, and strong nose from her father - Like him she is soulless.
In this enlighten period of the triumph of science this isn’t a religious statement, but a description of her physiology. It seems intelligent creatures are divided into three groups. The vast majority of people are Naturals, with just enough soul to go through a normal life. Some people have an excess of soul, they are Supernatural. If they die under the right circumstances they become Vampires, Werewolves or Ghosts. A few people are Preternatural, they have no or very little soul. Contact with them negates the advantages extra soul gives Supernaturals. Vampires, Werewolves and Ghosts are all productive members of society. There is not of the preying on innocent Naturals that went on in the past. Supernaturals are licensed and policed by the Bureau of Unnatural Registry
Alexia unintentional kills her vampire attacker with her trusty parasol. This complication brings Lord Maccon, head of the BUR, chief werewolf in London and close adviser or Queen Victoria on Supernatural matters, into the picture. He and Alexia have been something between friends and enemies ever since the infamous hedgehog incident at a house-party the year before. He’s large, loud, handsome, and almost civilized, for a Scott. Reluctantly he accepts Alexia’s help trying to find out what Vampire Hive is letting its fledglings our so poorly dressed and lacking in manners. They discover a trail of missing lone wolfs and solitary vampires that is quite perplexing. Then the plot thickens…
The best comparison I can think of for this novel is Amelia Peabody meats Buffy. But that does not do it justice. It is charming, engaging , has HEA, and best of all is the planned first book in a series of adventures featuring Alexia and Lord Maccon.
There is a little violence, and some sex, but nothing that is beyond very mild.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Way to go, Susan! So, um, whens SUREBLOOD coming out, hmm? (((Kimber An drums fingers on desk))) I'm suffering from a deplorable shortage of Science Fiction Romance around here. However, the new cover art has reminded me, yet again, that there is one Susan Grant novel I have never read, THE STAR PRINCESS. So, I'm ordering it NEW. Always buy your favorite authors' books new. That's how they make money and stay in the business of writing the books you love. I'm also ordering a replacement copy of DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES. Lost it. Busy babymaking year, you know. Good news is, I had a cleaning lady come to my house yesterday! (Yes, that's angels you hear singing!)
Because that is where most of the experimental writing (i.e. most of the new, exciting writing) is currently.
The big print publishers need big print runs to make their big money. They do that by taking a storyline or author or voice proven to appeal to the average reader. That means nothing too edgy or strange.
At least… not until that edgy or strange is tested.
One of the testing grounds today is eBook. Erotica (which we do not review here on Enduring Romance) caught the interest of print publishers only after it had been proven successful in eBook format. Sci Fi romance and Fantasy romance is thriving in eBook format. That's pushing interest in print.
eBook is a relatively inexpensive format to experiment with. It is NOT a free format. There are expenses for author royalties, editing, cover art, third party distributors, site maintenance, etc. etc.
What IS inexpensive is giving a book extra time to find its audience. That is something ALL unique plots, genres, voices need.
I initially marketed my first rather unique contemporary romance incorrectly. The sales reflected it. In print format, my book would have been yanked from the bookstores immediately. Instead, my eBook/small press publisher gave me another chance (it didn't cost much more to keep the book up for sale). I tried different things. I had time to implement reader feedback (LOVE my readers). Sales picked up. In February 2010, the fifth story in the series will be released. My readership is growing but I still haven't found the perfect solution to growing it quickly (what big print publishers need). Until I do, eBook (and print on demand) is my only option.
That is why eBook is the future of publishing. It may not be the preferred format (for at least another decade or two) but it will nurture future writers, writers trying something different. If you are looking for unique reads, I strongly suggest looking in eBook format.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
First, a disclaimer: this book is not for our young readers, despite being YA. It's definitely older YA, and then only for kids who can handle adult themes, language, and consequences.
OK, onto the review.
I have three children. I have a very, very hard time getting *lost* in books these days. This is only the fourth book this year (and it's October, people) to suck me in so that I was reading while making dinner, reading while the kids bathed, reading when I should be sleeping. It grabs hold and doesn't let go - and if you wonder if you'd have the same reaction, the author has graciously put up the first four chapters for you to sample.
This is the story of Parker Fadley, who is the most popular girl in school, not because of any inherent popularity, but because being popular is just part of being perfect in high school - and Parker is perfect. Or she was. Being perfect costs you. And it might even cost you your sanity. Something cost Parker at least part of hers, and you find out over the course of the novel what it was. What *did* happen to Parker Fadley?
If you've ever read writing advice, at the top of the list is "show don't tell". I have never seen that applied so precisely as this novel. She could tell us that Parker is freaking out. But we feel it - and we also feel what a strong, intelligent girl she is, and we hope like to high heaven that she gets it together at the end of the book.
There's even a love story for you romantics out there. ;)
I wouldn't say this is *sensual* in the way romance novels are, more matter of fact about sex. But sex is on the page, or at least - almost on the page. She does cut away, I think.
I hope you all read it and love it as much as I did!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I know, I know, this is a late review. Because Margaret Moore romances are so dependably good, I save them as rewards. The Viscount's Kiss was saved as a reward for finishing all my EPIC Award first round judging (discovered some wonderful new authors).
The Viscount's Kiss is Buggy's romance. If you've read A Lover's Kiss (with the hilarious potato throwing scene – a classic), you'll remember Buggy as the author of a biographical adventure book featuring spiders. Bromwell (aka Buggy) is a spider freak. He travels all over the world, studying them. He's currently raising money for his next expedition.
As an only son and heir, he knows he should marry and have kids. He can't bring himself to. His expeditions are very dangerous. He encounters cannibals and has been shipwrecked. He would never subject a wife to these conditions. And he wouldn't leave a wife at home for years and years (this was back in the day – travel took years).
He doesn't even consider marriage until he runs across Nell Springley. This impoverished lady's companion is in danger and on the run. Bromwell, as a true yet unusual gentleman, feels honor bound to help her. Suddenly Bromwell's clear view of his future becomes hazier.
I was a little nervous about this novel. I LOVE Buggy. I was afraid his story wouldn't live up to what I'd 'written' in my brain. I shouldn't have worried. The Viscount's Kiss exceeded expectations. I am now a Buggy fanatic! That first chapter when he has to do something absolutely horrific because it is the right and kind thing to do… wowsers, my heart squeezed!
I loved the transformation of Nell from a spider hater to a spider lover. It is so skillfully done that it felt natural. I could relate to it. My own hubby is a home theater fanatic. When I met him, I didn't even have a tv. Now, I can talk convergence and color temperatures with the best of them (and I do, every January when we attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas). Why? Because what is important to the people I love is important to me. I loved Nell for feeling the same way.
This is a Harlequin Historical so The Viscount's Kiss has Harlequin Historical heat levels and gore o'meter.
For more information on The Viscount's Kiss, visit
I've been waiting for this novel for so long (okay, only a little over a year but it feels like so long) that I almost forgot about it. I was thrilled to find it in the bookstores. To Wed A Wicked Earl is the follow up to Olivia Parker's delicious debut novel At The Bride Hunt Ball.
If you've read the first novel, Charlotte, To Wed A Wicked Earl's heroine, is the friend fancying herself in love with Lord Tristan, the bride seeking noble. Only Lord Tristan DOESN'T choose her as his bride. Charlotte is left broken hearted and alone. She has one last season to find a husband. If she doesn't, she'll be forced to marry a very creepy old friend of her family. Very creepy, as in liking young girls creepy. Shivers.
The decadent Earl of Rothbury is in a similarly tight spot. His hilariously crazy and much beloved grandmother is threatening to sell off his property if he doesn't marry soon. The only woman he wants to marry is Charlotte but he feels she deserves better than a rake like him. So he pulls a typical guy stunt and romances every woman but her.
The two team up as spouse hunting friends. Charlotte vows to help Rothbury find a respectable bride and Rothbury uses the excuse of finding Charlotte a husband to stick close to her, knowing darn well that he'd never allow another man to touch her.
What makes To Wed A Wicked Earl special is Rothbury. He is as close to a real life alpha that I've ever found in a romance novel. Charlotte is a wallflower. Other nobles find her plain and unremarkable. Rothbury, however, is sure they have it all wrong. Charlotte has the makings of a ravishing beauty. He doesn't correct them though 'cause he's an alpha and alphas aren't too interested in what the masses think. He knows he's right and that's good enough for him.
He also has that alpha overly heightened sense of responsibility. Charlotte is a gem. She deserves better than him. She deserves the perfect man. He won't allow her to settle for less. He moves heaven and earth not to hurt his daffy grandmother. He feels responsible for the happiness of everyone he cares for.
To Wed A Wicked Earl is a very satisfying follow up to a brilliant debut. I've now added Olivia Parker to my auto buy list of authors (and that list is short).
To read more about To Wed A Wicked Earl, visit