Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

 

Velveteen
(Velveteen, #1)
By: Daniel Marks
Publisher: Delecorte Books
Published: Oct. 9, 2012
Genre: YA
Rating:
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Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal… and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules… or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

 

 

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Review: Oreimo by Tsukasa Fushimi

Oreimo
(Vol. 1)
By: Tsukasa Fushimi, Sakura Ikeda (Illustrator)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Published: Sept. 18, 2012
Genre: Manga
Rating:
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High-school student Kyousuke doesn’t get along with his cranky, dismissive, and secretive fourteen-year-old litter sister Kirino, but he suddenly finds himself forced to protect Kirino’s secrets–she’s not only a gorgeous fashion model, a track star, and an accomplished student, but she’s also obsessed with naughty video games and little kids’ fantasy anime! How can Kirino maintain her complicated lifestyle–and how can Kuousuke maintain his sanity? And might the tow of them, some how, just maybe, ever become friends?

 

 

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Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

 

The Awakening
(Darkest Powers, #2)
By: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: April 28, 2009
Genre: YA
Rating:
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If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl — someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. I’m a living science experiment — not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization call the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters. I’m a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends – a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch – and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

 

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Sunday Wrap-up #3

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Guest Post with Theresa Romain

We are so happy to have historical romance author Theresa Romain, stopping by today to talk about her characters from her new regency romance novel, Season for Surrender.

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

For more information about Theresa, check out her website.

You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

guest post

The Regency Old Spice Guy

Thanks, Kristin and Marissa, for letting me join you today. I’m so glad to join the Book Sniffers today as part of my SEASON FOR SURRENDER blog tour!

SEASON FOR SURRENDER is a Regency-set historical romance about a naughty Christmas house party, a bluestocking who’s bolder than anyone suspects, and a rake who wants to be taken seriously. In other words, everyone is just a little bit more than they seem.

But the men of high society don’t know about our hero’s hidden depths. Instead, they’re delighted with the Lord Xavier they know, a man who’s always willing to make wagers with them/give them a bit of a loan/invite them to a lavish party. Much to my dismay, the phrase “man crush” is about 200 years too recent to be slotted into a Regency novel, but the concept was definitely around. There were leaders of society, whether through fashion, fortune, or influence. Xavier leads through his seemingly unshakeable confidence. He jokes and charms and puts people at their ease. And just like the Old Spice guy, women want him and men want to be him.

Well, most women want him. Louisa Oliver, the heroine, has good reason not to trust him. Shy and more comfortable with books than crowds, she’s been through a broken engagement that Xavier played a part in. She has also spent her life observing from the sides of ballrooms and the edges of conversations—and when she attends Xavier’s house party, she soon begins to suspect that she has misjudged his character. Hostility turns into an unusual friendship…and that, as you can probably guess, turns into love as these characters reveal their true selves.

As Xavier begins to transform into the man he’s always wished he could be, some of his supposed friends aren’t happy about that. When I planned out the plot of the book, I had a few questions about our Regency Old Spice guy. What happens if another man gets jealous of his success? Can a friendship end in a jilting, just like a romance? And most of all, will someone who’s always had success handed to him be able to handle a failure?

Xavier and Louisa answer these questions together, and the answers don’t come easily. But along the way, there are lots of fun as well as difficult moments for the friends and lovers in this book. Think naughty party games, an encoded book, and a proposal that’s perfect for a puzzle-loving heroine. And—since the story’s set during the Christmas season—lots of mistletoe.

Here’s one last question, and this one’s for all of you. What makes you like a hero? Does he need to be confident? Vulnerable? Some combination of the two? (Ok, that was four questions. Sorry.) Leave a comment and let me know! You can also enter through Rafflecopter for a chance at a signed copy of SEASON FOR SURRENDER, open internationally.

 

 

 

about the book

Season for Surrender
By: Theresa Romain
Genre: Historical Romance

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Honor Among Rogues
Alexander Edgeware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…

Mischief Among Misses
Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring

Excerpt: The Russian Seduction by Nikki Navarre

Today we have romantic suspense author, Nikki Navarre joining us to not only give us a sneak peak of her new novel, The Russian Seduction. She is also offering one lucky reader a chance to win a copy of their own!

The Russian Seduction
By: Nikki Navarre
Publisher: Affluent Press
Published: Oct. 1, 2012
Genre: Romantic Suspense

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Victor Kostenko was the golden boy of the Russian Navy, a submarine captain with a maverick image, until he lost his command for an act of treason he didn’t commit. Now it’s rumored he’ll do anything to get back in his government’s good graces.

Rising-star American diplomat Alexis Castle always plays by the rules. She’ll torpedo her career for sure if she falls for a bad-boy Russian who breaks every rule in the book.

In this teaser from The Russian Seduction, my debut romantic suspense release set in the glittering cosmopolitan world of modern-day Russia, Victor and Alexis have just made contact in a private box at the Bolshoi Ballet. It’s an unconventional choice of locale for political negotiation, set up by Victor, that has Alexis pretty unsettled. Her career rests on establishing a dialogue with the renegade captain, but each of them suspects the other of being an intelligence agent with a hidden agenda. Given the risk that Victor is under orders to compromise her—not to mention the virtual certainty that they’re under surveillance—the sizzling chemistry between them is an itch she can’t afford to scratch.

 

Excerpt

Her senses snapped to full alert when Victor leaned in close behind her, measured breath teasing her neck.“How would you describe the theme,” he whispered, “to one who hasn’t seen it?”

So much for her vaunted indifference. Tremors of unease rippled through Alexis at his nearness: an aggressive global power that was her country’s greatest rival, and he was breathing down her neck. A sleepless eye that watched in the deep, a cunning predator with infinite patience—and now he’d fixed his sights on her.

“The theme of this ballet?” She held herself apart, and strove for a casual tone. “Lost love, I suppose, or something equally melodramatic. What else would it be?”

“Are you so indifferent to passion?” He uttered a soft laugh. “As for myself, I think the theme is longing…for the physical consummation of love.”

Whisper-light, his lips brushed her nape and lingered there, caressing. Even as the shock of his touch jolted through her, a shudder of raw pleasure rippled along her nerves, turning her bones to water, dancing like tongues of fire over the fine hairs along her body. As the intimate darkness embraced them and the violins moaned, the deep throb of oboes and bassoons vibrated through her blood.

My God, I’m in way over my head here. She gripped her elbows with shaking hands.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, captain?” she whispered.

“The hell if I know,” he murmured against her skin, stirring tendrils of her hair. “Last night I concluded that you’ve been positioned by your government to compromise me—since it worked so well the last time, with my unfortunate predecessor. I’ve been cautioned that a prudent man would refrain from springing for the bait, no matter how… enticing it may appear.”

He paused. “But I’ve never been known for being prudent. As you’ve undoubtedly read in my dossier, Counselor.”

“According to your dossier,” she said huskily, striving to regain her footing, “you’re an adventure junkie. You’ve never met a risk you won’t take. Isn’t that right, captain?”

“While you’re a model diplomat whose conduct in country is invariably flawless,” he breathed.

“However, I find continuing to address you as ‘Counselor’ while I’m inhaling your fragrance is something of a stretch, even for a man of my considerable talents. Alexis…may I call you this?”

“Do you really think I’m such an easy mark?” she countered softly, far too conscious of his breath teasing her skin. “This is about retaliation, isn’t it? A little diplomatic ‘tit-for-tat’ for the stunt we just pulled on you.”

“Don’t you think that would be a bit obvious, even for my government? You would be the very last woman I’d target, for precisely that reason,” he said calmly. “And you can believe I’m the last man they’d use. I’m in disgrace, or hadn’t you noticed?”

“Then why am I here?” she whispered.

Though she had to admit his arguments made a certain degree of sense. Russian ops usually were quite a bit more subtle. They were experts at the art of deception. Besides, Victor Kostenko didn’t strike her as the kind of guy who’d perform sexually on demand, for the Motherland or anyone else.

“If you require a justification you can cable back to Washington, tell them tonight was about dialogue.” His warm breath on her neck receded as he straightened. “Opening a back channel for communication between our countries, yes? If we…enjoy one another’s company in the process, this is not a crime.”

Tell that to her boss, who’d just been booted out. Or to his, who’d just been fired.

Sure and strong, his hands closed over her shoulders. “The performance is ending, Alexis. I’m going to take you someplace else now.”

“You know we can’t do that,” she said sharply, alarm flashing through her. “Besides, there’s really no point to prolonging this appointment. I believe we’ve each accomplished our meeting objectives.”

“Speak for yourself,” he murmured, accent thickening.

author
Nikki Navarre is the sinister twin of unsuspecting historical romance author Laura Navarre. In her other life, Nikki is a diplomat who’s lived in Russia and works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In the line of duty, she’s been trapped in an elevator in a nuclear power plant and has stalked the corridors of facilities churning out nerve agent and other apocalyptic weapons. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.
Nikki holds an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine, an M.A. in National Security Policy from The George Washington University, and other alarming credentials. Based in Seattle with her screenwriter accomplice and two Siberian cats, she divides her time between her writing career and other adventures for U.S. government clients. Her notorious adventures in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.
The Russian Seduction (October 2012) may be the last mistake she ever makes.
For more information about Nikki, check out her website.
You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Review: Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger

 

Edge of Oblivion
(Night Prowler, #2)
Bt: J.T. Geissinger
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Published: Oct. 2, 20212
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:
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In a dark underground cell, Morgan Montgomery waits to die. A member of the Ikati, an ancient tribe of shape-shifters, Morgan stands convicted of treason. And Ikati law clearly spells out her fate: death to all who dare betray.

But there is a glimmer of hope. Thanks to her friendship with Jenna, the new queen of the Ikati, Morgan has one last chance to prove her loyalty. She must discover and infiltrate the headquarters of the Expurgari, the Ikati’s ancient enemy, so they can be destroyed once and for all. The catch? She has only a fortnight to complete her mission and will be accompanied by Xander Luna, the tribe’s most feared enforcer. If Morgan fails, her life is forfeit. Because Xander is as lethal as he is loyal, and no one—not even this beautiful, passionate renegade—will distract him from his mission. But as the pair races across Europe into the heart of Italy, the attraction blooming between them becomes undeniable. Suddenly more than justice is at stake: so is love.

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Review: Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Shadows
(Lux, # 0.5)
By: Jennifer Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Published: Feb. 21, 2012
Genre: YA
Rating:
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The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.
Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

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Interview with Rebecca Rogers Maher, author of Fault lines

Rebecca Rogers Maher lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and children.

For more information about Rebecca, check out her website.

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Review: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

Never Seduce a Scot
(The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1)
By: Maya Banks
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: Sept. 25, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating:
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This sinfully sexy new romance from Maya Banks features a remarkable woman whose rare gift teaches a gruff Scottish warrior how to listen with his heart.
 
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her dutyunprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.

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