Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander
(Outlander, #1)
By: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: June 1, 1991
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Library
Rating:
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In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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Review: Exceeding Expectaions by Lisa April Smith

Exceeding Expectations
By: Lisa April Smith
Publisher: 2old2wait2young2giveup
Published: Nov. 29, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author
Rating:

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It’s 1961 and Palm Beach socialite, irresistible rascal and devoted father Jack Morgan encounters genuine danger while staging his suicide to shield his beloved daughters from disgrace. Next, meet his daughter Charlotte (Charlie), an over-indulged 23 year-old struggling to cope with the traumatizing loss of her beloved father, her sister’s resulting mental breakdown and the discovery that she’s suddenly penniless. Fortunately Raul, an admiring young attorney, appears to offer assistance. As terrified as she is about daily survival, Charlie soon realizes that she has to learn what drove her father to kill himself. With Raul’s much needed ego-bolstering, the drive of necessity and unforeseen determination, Charlie finds a practical use for her annoyingly lean 5’ 11” frame. In time, this career finances her hard-wrought independence, her sister’s costly treatment and an emotional eye-opening journey to Paris.

Jumping back in time to romantic pre-WWII Paris readers meet young Alan Fitzpatrick – aka Jack Morgan – lack-luster artist, expert lover, irresistible rascal, and the bewitching girl who will become the mother of his children. Not even Charlie’s relentless detective work will uncover all Jack’s secrets, but in a fireworks of surprise endings, she discovers all that she needs to know and more: disturbing truths about her father, hew own unique talent, crimes great and small and a diabolical villain.

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Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning
(Darkest Powers Trilogy, #1)
By: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: July 3, 2008
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover
Rating:

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All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager – the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be the same again.

Soon the ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she’s admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients – charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a ‘thing’ for fire – Chloe begins to realize that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual ‘problem kid’ behavior.

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Review: The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

The Immortal Highlander
(Highlander, #6)
By: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: Aug. 3, 2004
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Bought
Rating:

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With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant, and intensely sensual, he is the consummate seducer, free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. With his very life at stake, Adam’s only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him.

Enter law student Gabrielle O’Callaghan, who is cursed with the ability to see both worlds: Mortal and Faery. From the moment she lays eyes on this stunning male, Gabby is certain of one thing: He could be her undoing. Thus begins a long, dangerous seduction. Because despite his powerful strength and unquenchable hungers, Adam refuses to take a woman by force. Instead, he will tease his way into Gabby’s bed and make her want him just as he wants her.

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Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Fallenmore by Lucy Swing

Lucy is still in the process of writing the sequel to her Feathermore trilogy but couldn’t wait to share the new cover with everyone! She still doesn’t have a blurb yet since the book isn’t finished but she was cool enough to take an except from what she has already written to share with us. Make sure to add Fallenmore to your Goodreads list and look for it to pop up on Barnes & Noble and Amazon soon!

Fallenmore
(Feathermore #2)
By: Lucy Swing
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 2012
Genre: YA

Goodreads

 
 

Excerpt

Silence.

Darkness.

Stillness all around me. There was only the endless blackness that stretched out into infinity and swallowed me whole. I floated, weightless, suspended in a starless universe.

I had fallen, hadn’t I?

I’ve gone to hell.

I didn’t understand when, or how, but I must’ve had become a fallen angel. I would forever live and succumb to the darkness that I felt inside of me. I would roam the mortal realm with a heart filled with hate and destruction.

I moved my arms but I couldn’t see them. It was as if I didn’t exist. I was only mind in this world. Wherever this was. The air around me was thick and I took long, deep breaths, but it only caused the feeling of suffocation to enclose me even more.

I thought of what had happened before I had come here, an attempt at trying to piece it together. How and why I had been the one to end up in this place. My memories were hazy, distant, but they were there. I maneuvered around the fog that kept them hidden but I couldn’t tap into them. They were blocked off.

I allowed myself to wander through my life before any of this happened. My parents. Memories flashed through and I gripped on to each one, holding on to the past. Holding on to the love once filled my heart, yet there was nothing there now. No love, no happiness. It seemed like a distant memory, but why? Why had I fallen? There was a faint noise that sent vibrations all around me. I extended my arms, trying to feel for something. Nothing.

“Hello!” Although I couldn’t see myself, I was able to hear. My voice echoed fiercely but no one responded. It was silent for what felt like forever.

“What are you doing here?” Claire. She sounded distant and muffled. I wanted to call back to her, to ask her to help me, but something stopped me. Something deep inside me made me doubt her, almost hate her.

I tried to move, but I couldn’t really tell if I was moving at all. I just floated.

“I can protect her. She will be safe with me, and most importantly, she will feel no pain.” Blake? Why was Blake here? Or, there? Wherever it was that they were. Did they know each other? Questions gathered in my head, but there was no one around to ask them to. I still screamed them out.

“What is going on? Where are you?!”

There was a warm feeling on my hand and then it spread along my arm, as if the darkness was caressing me softly. I twitched away from it, scared by the feeling it brought. The fear was instantly gone. Left behind was emptiness, I just was; the darkness no longer scared me. I wanted to go where he was. Blake. He would know what to do.

“Michael, you can’t think for one second life will go back to what it once was, can you?” Claire’s voice rippled though my body, awakening a monster.

Michael? Who the hell was Michael?

“Of course it won’t, but it’s not because of me, is it?” He spat out. “It was your hand that killed him.”

Killed him.

Who?

A set of blue eyes flashed before me.

And something inside of me broke. Again.

I saw his face and that was all it took for the pain to come crashing down like a tidal wave. I tried to hold on to his face, to the emotions that were coming across in his eyes, but he was gone, and the glimpse of my own emotions was gone with him. I stared down at my own arms, they way they had been wrapped around his body as he took his last breath. The way his bright eyes had lost their intensity; not even the moon that washed the forest with light could brighten them up. His eyes had moved through my face as if searching for something that would save him. But I couldn’t save him, and his eyes soon stared, lifelessly at the star filled sky above us. He had died in my arms and I had done nothing to stop it. I had nothing to prevent it from happening.

Could I had saved him from the doom that loving me had brought upon him?

I screamed, or at least I thought I was screaming. There was no more sounds coming out from me.

I dug deeper through the memory. I could still feel the weight of his body in my arms. There had been a tear deep inside of me the moment I felt his soul vanish, when he had become just another useless death in Lilith’s game.

Lilith. Who had left him there to die. Who just stood by as Shemer’s sword took the one person I lived for. Who stood by when Claire, my best friend, killed him. Lilith, whom I would have sacrificed it all to, if only to see his face one more time. If me dying meant I would be with him again, that’s what I wanted to do. Where I wanted to be. But I was trapped here.

Alone.

 
 
author

Lucy Swing lives in sunny Florida with her husband and two children.

She is a YA Paranormal/ Romance writer, whose works include: Feathermore #1 & Fallenmore #2 (Feathermore Trilogy), Bloody Valentine, the novella, and Bloody Valentine is also offered in “Death by Chocolate,” an anthology consisting of 6 fantastic YA short stories with a chocolaty twist.
She is an absolute book hoarder and must always have a book at arms distance. Music is her muse, and there is always a soundtrack that plays along her life.

For more information on Lucy Swing please visit her website.

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

DarkFever
(Fever, #1)
By: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delecorte Press
Published: Oct. 31, 2006
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:

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MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands.

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Review: Alpha by Rachel Vincent

Alpha
(Shifters #6)
By: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira
Published: Sept. 28, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Rating:
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The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can–that will–change everything forever. A showdown I’m not sure I’m ready for.

But life never waits until you’re ready.

 
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Guest Post: Kersten L. Kelly Author of Economics

Joining us today is Kersten L. Kelly, author of Economics

 

Kersten L. Kelly is a self-published author of narrative non-fiction and semi-fiction books. She grew up in Munster, Indiana, and currently works in a sales role based out of Chicago, Illinois. She started writing at an early age and graduated from Indiana University with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Communication & Culture. She then went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She has a passion for learning, teaching, and writing as well as international travel in her spare time.

For more information on Kersten L. Kelly visit her website.

 

Review: Deadly Dance by Dee Davis

Deadly Dance
(A-Tac #5)
By: Dee Davis
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: March 27, 2012
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating:

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After the death of her A-Tac partner, Hannah doubts everything she thought she knew about love and loyalty. When handsome Harrison Blake joins the team, she’s reluctant to trust him – or to act on her intense attraction to him. Then Hannah receives a podcast of a gruesome murder, and the only person who can help her find the killer is Harrison.

Harrison has spent years trying to hunt down the cunning monster who killed his sister. Now investigating with Hannah, he faces a shocking possibility – his sister’s murderer has resurfaced. As the danger escalates, Hannah and Harrison grow closer, the desire simmering between them ignites. And when Hannah disappears, Harrison has only one chance to save the woman he loves.

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Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy
(His Fair Assassin #1)
By: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: April 3, 2012
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Rating:

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Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

1thoughts
The book starts out showing you how rough of a life Ismae has had. Her mother tried to expel her from her womb with a poison that has left a hideous scar on her back. She’s pretty much been shunned by everyone in her village and her father doesn’t hesitate to be rid of her and arranges a marriage to a man whom knows nothing about her and is non too thrilled to find that she has been touched by Death. That is when she is whisked away to the convent where she is shone her true potential as an assassin. She is still a novice when she is sent to accompany Duval to Court as his mistress. However, while at court Ismae unlocks a lot of secrets and starts to question her faith in the convent and her feelings for Duval.

I liked Ismae’s character and liked watching her grow and become more confident in herself. But I must say that my favorite characters was the Beast. Duval’s right hand man, who is unfortunate enough to have a deformed face (hence the nickname) but deep down he is a caring guy who would do anything for those under his protection. I don’t know why I found myself gravitating to him when he wasn’t in the story that much but there was just something about him that grabbed my attention every time he appeared in the book.

I found the world that LaFevers created to be very interesting. A convent of assassins who’s purpose is to carry out the wish of the Saint of Death? Sign me up! The only reason why it got 3 stars is because well, did you see the amount of pages in this book? At first I thought that maybe there was an extra story at the end but nope, it’s all one book. There is a lot of talking going on while Ismae is at court and although some of it is relevant to the story, a lot of it is not. And when you have a book that is that long… well I sort of skimmed over the random babble going on in the story so that I could get back to the important parts.

1favequote
“Are men truly such idiots that they cannot resist two orbs of flesh?”- Ismae

kRISTIN