RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? I am currently OPEN for review requests for review requests. I have promotional openings for August through November open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


8.31.2009

Guest Blog: Author Terry Spear

Happy Monday dear readers!

I have Terry Spear guest blogging today. She writes a series about a very unique type of wolf shapeshifter and it is this subject I asked her to talk to us about. With so many different takes on shapeshifters and how they become such it is (in my humble opinion) always interesting to find out why an author has chosen his or her mythology. Thank you so much Terry for taking the time to share yours!

To celebrate tomorrow's release of To Tempt the Wolf and Terry's visit I will be giving one reader one set of Terry’s three books so far: Heart of the Wolf, Destiny of the Wolf, and To Tempt the Wolf. I can only ship to US & Canadian addresses, sorry to those outside these regions. To qualify all I ask is that you comment to this post answering the following question: Why do wolf shapeshifters (werewolves) appeal to you as a reader? All comments must be made by 11:59 PST on Thursday, September 3rd. Winner will be chosen using random.org and be announced the following evening!
-- Rhi






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Why Werewolves?
By Terry Spear

Thanks, Rhi, for having me on your blog. It’s an honor being here! Rhi asked me why I write about werewolves. As you might imagine, I’ve been asked this a lot. So here’s my first really in depth reasoning to define why werewolves.

First, I’d watched a number of “horror” stories when I was younger about werewolves. A human who had no concept he was human when he turned into a wolf. And the wolf he became was not really a wolf, but a monstrous wolf-like creature. Second, I saw movies about funny werewolf characters, where the werewolf learned to live with what he was. Again, the werewolf in his wolf form was a half human/half wolf creation. In the first, the werewolves had to die. In the second, they became part of society.

But I’d also loved Jack London’s wolf tales, Call of the Wild and White Fang, the way he gave the point of view of humans and of wolves. It made me think if a man were to become a wolf, he would be a wolf. Not some hideous creature, but a real wolf, majestic, family-oriented, loyal to the end. And as a wolf he would still have his human conscience. But it’s tied in with his human and wolf instincts. When he was a man, he would still have his wolf’s heightened senses.
Why werewolves? I loved the concept of pack dynamics; that families, extended families, and friends stick together as a unit, being there for one another. When I lived in Oklahoma, we lived on a hilltop ridge where most of our neighbors were friends. We had neighborhood Halloween parties. The older kids would take all the little kids from house to house trick-or-treating where all the homes were spread out on lots of acreage up and down the hillside. I used to feel like we were a pack, even though back then I didn’t think of it in those terms. But we welcomed new members to the community with cakes and treats and watched each other’s homes or helped each other out when needed. We were our own little community with barbecues in the summer even and big garage sale extravaganzas.

And like in any “family,” outsiders would exist. These are the loner wolves or the omegas who don’t get along or who don’t quite fit in. Not because others didn’t accept them, but because they just were geared that way. :)

I love creating the werewolf world where the human characters are as unique as we are. Only there’s an added element. They have wolf sides to their personality, too.
So my love of wolves and alpha humans turned into hunky human-wolf shapeshifters. The best of both worlds.

Thanks so much for having me, Rhi! Hope everyone will check out To Tempt the Wolf and find out just for yourself how hunky an alpha werewolf can be.

Terry Spear
“Gives new meaning to the term alpha male.”

To Tempt the Wolf—In Stores September 1

In this third in the series, wildlife photographer Tessa Anderson must prove her brother innocent of murder charges. But when she discovers a gorgeous naked man barely alive on her beach, she's got a new world of troubles to deal with, not least of which is how he affects her with just a look, a touch, or a whispered word.
Hunter Greymore is a lupus garou, a grey werewolf. Hoping to keep a low profile at Tessa's cabin on the coast, he's drawn into her life—and into her bed. His animal instincts war with his human half, but in the end, the only thing he can do about this fascinating, adorable woman is to leave her forever —unless she becomes one of them.

About the Author

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, award-winning author Terry Spear has an MBA from Monmouth College. An eclectic writer, she dabbles in the paranormal as well as writing historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas. Her 2008 Sourcebooks Casablanca release, Heart of the Wolf was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Destiny of the Wolf and To Tempt the Wolf are in stores now, and more are on the way: The Legend of the White Wolf (February 2010) and Seduction of the Wolf (August 2010). For more information please visit www.terryspear.com




And don't forget to check out Terry's lastest release: To Tempt the Wolf

Review: To Tempt the Wolf by Terry Spear

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To Tempt the Wolf by Terry Spear
Paranormal Romance, Werewolves, Shapeshifters
Mass Market Paperback (SOUCREBOOKS CASABLANCA, 352 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402219040
In this third in the series, wildlife photographer Tessa Anderson must prove her brother innocent of murder charges. But when she discovers a gorgeous naked man barely alive on her beach, she's got a new world of troubles to deal with, not least of which is how he affects her with just a look, a touch, or a whispered word.
Hunter Greymore is a lupus garou, a grey werewolf. Hoping to keep a low profile at Tessa's cabin on the coast, he's drawn into her life—and into her bed. His animal instincts war with his human half, but in the end, the only thing he can do about this fascinating, adorable woman is to leave her forever —unless she becomes one of them.

Author Site:
www.terryspear.com


Didn't quite work for me but... (3 stars)

Hunter Greymere has a lot of responsibility on his hands. As his pack's leader their protection is his duty. When a California wildfire displaces the pack he and his sister Meara head to the Oregon coast to mind their uncle's coastal rentals while the rest of the pack heads to Portland to try city life. Upon their arrival their uncle warns them about a local human photographer who needs to be 'taken care of' because she might catch a shift on film and that would be very dangerous to the lupus garou.

The last thing the siblings anticipate is that Meara's desire for a mate will lead her off getting her brother nearly killed and left memory-less on the frigid beach. Lucky for Hunter, Tessa Anderson, the photographer he is supposed to deal with finds him as she searches the beach for dry wood to keep warm during an ice storm. Injured, suffering from amnesia and intensely attracted to Tessa, Hunter agrees to help protect her from the stalker that has made a point of invading her home. With Tessa's brother convicted of murdering Bethany, his girlfriend, the last thing she needs is someone breaking into their home. If she and Hunter can unravel the mystery of who really murdered Bethany and who is stalking her, maybe they can overcome the sensual draw they have to one another before hearts get broken.

I really like the mythology of this series and how each book truly can stand alone. The romances are very traditional, if a little formulaic for my tastes and can easily appeal to romance readers who are not into paranormals. What made To Tempt the Wolf lose some of its potential "I liked it" mojo for me was that this was an amnesia plot. Done well this plot device can be entertaining but I personally don't care for them unless they are very well written. I felt that part of the story was a bit contrived and resolved far too easily for me to really love it. Overall there were an awful lot of plot threads coming from different directions and relating to secondary characters that at times made the progression feel frustratingly stop-start. Since I am a romance reader who does want a good story for the romance to fall in this was a tough read in that regard.

From a strictly romance point-of-view Tessa and Hunter make a good couple. Their chemistry is believable and they certainly can't resist one another forever! Spear also does something really interesting with the lupus garou and human pairing which I personally felt opens up a lot of possibilities for later installments in this series. Something I think a lot of romance readers may like about To Tempt the Wolf, and this series in general, is that the sexual scenes flow pretty naturally and realistically while still maintaining enough of the romance novel steam. They aren't so overly dramatic and wordy that they lose plausibility.

While not my favorite in this series so far based on personal tastes I do think most readers will find this one romantic, hard to predict and entertaining. Enjoy!

8.28.2009

RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading

Yup... you read that right. I've decided to try a little something. I've done this on a couple of web communities but lately I just haven't had time for taking part in one. I thought it might help bring those of you who read and visit my blog together a little too! :)

Here's the jist of it... every Friday I'll try and remember to get a post up about what my reading plans are for the weekend. Weekends seem to be the time when most people have some free time for focusing on reading. Anyone is welcome to drop by and tell me (and other readers) what their plans are, just leave a comment. Any comments regarding what myself or others are reading are completely welcome as long as they are friendly.

So, what is everyone reading this weekend?

I've got a bunch of blechy domestic stuff to do but I'm hoping to get To Tempt the Wolf by Terry Spear finished by Saturday night so I have time to work on The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason on Sunday. Somehow I doubt I will get to TBD as I have a lot of non-reading things I want to get done.

And on a completely sidenote... totally looking forward to Sunday's new True Blood episode. *happy dance* Anyways, have a terrific weekend guys!
-- Rhi

8.27.2009

YA Fic & Witches & Giveaways, OH MY!

Phew! August has certainly flown by hasn't it? With just a couple days left in the month I'm scrambling to get a couple of books finished and reviewed. I don't know about you guys but as much as I enjoy the lovely weather and relaxation of summer I am quite ready for autumn to arrive.

School has already started back up for the munchkins here and with it I've basked in that special buzz of excitement that comes from fresh notebooks and sharp pencils. I'm sure it's rather freakish but aside from the first day jitters and the occasional woken on the wrong-side-of-the-bed day I always loved school. Obviously reading and writing were the two areas where I showed the most talent... or at least passion. I remember some of my earliest reads including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Where the Wild Things Are. It's still great to snag these from my son's shelf and visit the characters.

I was reading a comment in Amazon.com's Vine program forum earlier today where other reviewers were either trying to encourage others to read Juvenile Fiction (aka YA) or were complaining about the abundance of it offered to us through the program. I didn't comment but I was compelled to tell the naysayers that their complaints were really baseless. We have some really brilliant authors out there right now who are publishing fiction geared toward teens, tweens and children and are successful because adults are picking these up more and more.

I'm sure these authors would agree with me when I say it's a very healthy thing for an adult to read fiction intended for younger audiences. I say this for two reasons...

#1. I'm all for parents being aware of what their children are reading and being open to discuss themes/topics from them that they may not be ready for or need guidance in. Everyone has different views, morals and ideas about how to raise their kids and what they want them to know at what age. I had to discuss sex with my nine-year-old this past spring because I felt he was ready to know where babies come from (since we have one on the way). For some this may have been much more vague or scientific but my husband and I chose to also discuss the importance of waiting until you're ready (emotionally AND physically) and the scarier side of it too (disease, rape, etc). I feel the same way about certain subjects in books and try to read much of what he does so we can talk about it.

#2. Connecting with younger characters and issues can be very therapeutic, refreshing and just plain fun! I was a very imaginative tween and often find that I enjoy the focus being put on troubles and concerns that teens and children go through versus the woes of adults. Sometimes it is far more fun to read about getting the part in a play rather than a character's latest romantic misunderstanding.

Whatever a person's reason for choosing some young adult fiction I'm very glad it is available to me. I also got some good news about the YA fic I often get through the Vine program. I finally looked over the FAQ and realized I had misunderstood something. While I cannot repost my reviews there to another (read: competitive) retailer's site, I can repost them here on my blog. Yay! So expect me to share some of those at a later date. I have three of them to read in the next month or so as it is.

And speaking of future reading! I'm quite excited about September being my Witch month. :D This was only helped along by my October issue of RT Book Reviews magazine arriving in the mail this afternoon.

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There's a three page article focusing on witchy fiction that even includes special spells and charms from authors Yasmine Galenorn, Elissa Wilds, Marilyn Campbell, and Maggie Shayne. I haven't had time to read the article yet but if you're interested in this theme you should definitely check your local B&N (the only place in my town that carries it) and possibly Borders. I love this magazine as a reviewer anyway and the October issue is busting with good stuff.

Don't forget that this coming Monday I will be hosting author Terry Spear as a guest blogger! I asked her to give me some insight into why she chose to write the lupus garou her stories focus on versus a more man-beasty sort of werewolf. Can't wait to share with you what she had to say. Plus, I will be reviewing her newest release, To Tempt the Wolf ANNNNNND I'll be giving away one copy to a lucky reader so don't forget to visit!

I've got to get my schedule and some life stuff in order but I'm hoping to have another goodie to giveaway sometime next month. Keep checking back!

I think that's about it for now folks. I really need to get back to my reading if I want to finish these two books before September begins. ;)
-- Rhi

8.24.2009

For the love of books... and my husband...

I may have mentioned it here on the blog before but I believe I'm an undiagnosed dyslexic. I'm a bit of a slow reader because I often have to read the same paragraph a few times to understand what's been said. I have two diagnosed dyslexics in the family but I think my desire to read and enjoyment of it as a child kept it under the radar until it was too late. From what I have learned as an adult seeking an explanation for why I struggle with the absorption of the words I would read it seems to be a common problem with undiagnosed dyslexic children, that they train themselves whatever habits they have to get by not realizing they have a problem.

Because I read much more slowly than I would like my husband, who has a newly discovered love of reading, drives me nuts! He can finish a book in three days that would take me a week. Then, he'll spoil it for me if I haven't had time to get to it yet. The rat! But how can I really complain when we finally have a shared interest in the written word? When he finally gets why I sneak down the book aisle at Walmart when I do my grocery shopping to see if any of the week's newest releases is on the shelves. When he drove to two different bookstores over the weekend hoping to find a copy of the fourth Vampire Academy book, Blood Promise, that had maybe been shelved a bit early over the weekend. When he pulled a crumpled five dollar bill from his pocket as I scoped the shelves of the Goodwill at five-minutes-to-closing and gave it to me so I could pick up the six titles (three of which were in brand spankin' new and two of which released in the past month!) I'd plundered from amidst the out-dated pregnancy guides, dozens of copies of Dianetics and extremely worn copies of John Grisham novels. Sorry, big run-on sentence there.

Now if only I had the time to devour these six and the few hundred other unread books I have on the two bookshelves in our room. Before he brings home some big boxes from work tonight so I can put some of them in storage until I have more time to work on them all. I guess my bookshelves are consuming too much space in the room where we're going to be setting up the crib for the new baby and the wee little pumpkin simply HAS to have a crib to sleep in. Apparently we can't put the baby in a dresser drawer (ala his parents with him) or a laundry basket (ala my parents with me) when it's bedtime. Hmm... I guess this would explain my childhood affinity for sitting in laundry baskets.

The good news is that I'm started on To Tempt the Wolf and Once a Witch, the next two books I will be reviewing.

I am very much looking forward to the witchy book reading and reviews for September! I know it's not very PC but I don't really care for a lot of the witch stories out there. The way I was raised has always made it seem that the Wiccan witch approach to magic in fictitious stories is a bit blasphemous. Kind of like some of the angel romances out there that take Christian angels and make them sex objects. It's simply a tough sell for me at times.

As a little girl I always had a thing for the "Halloween witch". The sort of silly stereotypes involving cauldrons, flying on brooms, black cat familiars and pointy hats. When I say I had a thing I really mean it. The only Halloween costume I wore twice was the witch one my mother sewed for me! And I used rubber bands to stick my black cat plushy to our broom and flew around my yard on a regular basis. Yup, while I very much respect and appreciate the Wiccan witch... to me that's more about a spiritual path than casting a spell on a rotten ex-boyfriend or keeping newt eyes in a jar next to the cinnamon in your spice cabinet. One of the other big draws to the Halloween witch stereotype is that they are often portrayed as part of close-knit families of strong, independent women.

Well, that's enough silly rambling from me this Monday morning. I'm off to run some errands and hopefully work on To Tempt the Wolf a bit more. Happy reading and have a terrific week!
-- Rhi

8.21.2009

Review: Rises The Night by Colleen Gleason

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Rises The Night (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #2) by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 352 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 045122146X
In Italy, a powerful vampire is amassing the power to control the souls of the dead. Lady Victoria Gardella de Lacy-a vampire slayer for just over a year-races across Europe to stop what could be the most deadly army the Gardellas have ever faced. She is accompanied by Sebastian Vioget, a man as tempting as he is untrustworthy.
But when Victoria discovers that she has been betrayed by one of her most trusted allies, the truth will challenge all her powers as a Venator-and as a woman.

Author Site:
www.colleengleason.com


In Which Lady Rockley Grows Up (4 stars)

Unfortunately I can't offer a really proper synopsis of this second in the series without spoiling a big event from the first a little so suffice it to say you really should read The Rest Falls Away before you start looking into this book.

A year has passed since Victoria's life took a major turn, a turn which has left her quite emotionally conflicted and unable to carry out her duty as a vampire slayer without spending some time gathering her wits. But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and with time and reflection Victoria knows she must re-don the mantle of Gardella slayer. Lilith may have fled London for the time being but the vampires won't remain in the shadows forever. Ready for a good fight she returns to the streets of London only to find that there is very little for her to do.

Through a chance encounter Victoria discovers a society of humans who protect vampires which leads her to Italy and a vampire with a scheme to command an army the Venators could not possibly defeat. But who can she trust when Max has gone missing, Sebastian's loyalties are ever wavering and a potential suitor from London may have ties to the very evil she is trying to defeat? Violence, betrayal and sensuality factor highly as Rises The Night.

I wasn't quite sure I liked how the book picked up after the events of the first but once I got into the story I don't think it could really have worked any other way. The Victoria we meet here isn't as innocent and fresh-faced as we've previously seen her. There's a much thicker skin developing as she continues to follow in the Legacy. She's certainly as stubborn as ever but the knocks are becoming harder and she very much grows both as a Venator and as a woman in this installment. The sacrifices she makes for the role she has chosen really make her a character you can back because nothing comes too easily.

As far as the story went this time around I was a bit disappointed that once again it revolved greatly around a vampire and a mystical object. I hope the rest of the series isn't this same thing again and again. What did work very well for me was that Max's role changed a lot. He's been missing for months when the story picks up and the part he plays in the events really kept me guessing. I didn't know when to trust him and when not to. Sebastian's role continued to be the saucy seducer but we begin to see hints at why he has the attitude he has about vampires. Things do get really steamy between he and Victoria which I think most readers kind of hoped for with the first book. You may want to have a tissue handy if you read the first book as this one is equally sad at parts... I don't know about other readers but I do like the reality Gleason writes here.

In general I didn't quite like it as well as the first but there's great potential for a strong follow-up. Great series so far!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week


I keep seeing little snippets and mentions from other bloggers/blogs who got nominated so I thought I'd mention this! I'm certainly in no class with those I'm seeing who've received noms but a couple of my favorite fellow book bloggers got noms and they totally deserve it so I wanted to show my support. :)

A big congrats to Doug of SciFiGuy.ca and Katiebabs of BABBLING ABOUT BOOKS, AND MORE! for their nominations. Very cool guys and very much deserved! I'll be waiting to see wins for both. :D
-- Rhi

8.20.2009

Trailer: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Don't have a lot of time to make postness today but I HAD to pop onto the blog to share the trailer for the book I read and reviewed last week. I'm not huge on book trailers because they have a tendency to betray how low budget they unfortunately are but this one really impressed me. Simple, spooky and with just enough intrigue to lure a reader to at least look the book up. What do you guys think of it? -- Rhi

8.19.2009

News: Upcoming Releases & More!

I don't know about other readers but there are few things in life more exciting than finding out when the next book in a beloved series is being released, what it is called and getting a glimpse at the cover art. I don't always have as much time as I'd like to sit down and go over every author I have an interest in's blog/site but I do try and keep abreast of as many as I can. In some ways that is where other reader/reviewer blogs are very helpful. I don't know how some of them manage to work full-time jobs AND run their fabulous blogs but I'm really glad there are others out there who can cover the bases I simply don't have the time for.

Sometimes I just have to make the time for a bit of it and today would be one of those days! I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and update the two lists I keep on Amazon.com for upcoming releases in the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy genres but there have been so many new covers and titles popping up it was definitely time for some upkeep. I started these lists long before I had a blog because I was struggling to keep track of when new stuff was coming out and thought maybe others who read alot of the same might find them useful too. I still attempt to keep them fairly up to date (about once a month) but I often find if the release dates change I don't notice so if you find a mistake sorry!

Coming Soon: Paranormals & Urban Fantasy [July - Sept. 2009] & Coming Soon: Paranormals & Urban Fantasy [Oct. - Dec. 2009 & 2010]

Lots of great new books to look forward to over the next couple of months and into the new year. Feel free to bookmark those lists as they get updated and edited as the months slide by and new releases become old ones. ;)

I also wanted to make a note about what is quite possibly one of the coolest things I think an author has done in a while! I received an email this morning from author Beth Fantaskey who wrote Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. It's a young adult title I read for the Vine program last year that in spite of the title (which I thought didn't fit the book) was pretty good. Apparently Fantaskey has had a lot of fanmail wanting more of the two main characters! I'm sure any author can appreciate getting that kind of response from her/his readers.

So Beth sent out this rather brief and cryptic email: "For all the fantastic fans of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side who’ve asked for more of Jess and Lucius’s story, I have some news on the next chapters... Click here!"

As if I could resist clicking!?! I don't want to get too spoilerific since my readers may not have read the book yet but the link takes you to a special page on Fantaskey's website announcing the next step in the character's lives. As if that isn't enough she will be having her readers play a role in voting for how this next step is carried out. Each week from August 23rd to September 13th she will feature a new poll on her blog and what the fans want most is what she will give them! :D Then she will write new chapters to be posted on her blog using the chosen details and will be doing a special giveaway. Now, if you've read the book or don't mind being spoiled for it you may want to pop on over to the special page and check it out. Very cool eh?

Well, I think it's about time I vacate the desk chair and get some reading and laundry done. Happy reading!
-- Rhi

8.18.2009

Spotlight: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles

There's not a massive amount of historically set romantic paranormal fiction featuring shapeshifters and vampires. At least, not that I have been able to find. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with historical fiction in general because most eras and areas I find interesting simply do not get the attention my reading desires demand. But that made this month's theme a really challenging and enjoyable one to pick books for.

Unfortunately, I haven't had as much reading time as I usually do thanks to outside circumstances so the majority of it has been focused on this series alone. The Gardella Vampire Chronicles came to my attention around the release of the first book. Those who had already read it raved about the Buffy-like vampire slaying protagonist and historical fans loved the Regency setting. Since neither was really something I was interested in at that time I waited a while before picking them up. Then I found out there were only going to be five books in the series so I thought I ought to wait for the entire set to be out so I could read them close together and not be left hanging.

I've only gotten through the first two books but I'm well won over. Sure, the chosen slayer premise has been done before but not like this. These vampires are definitely the bad guys and the mythos set up to explain their existence and weaknesses really impressed me considering how many different and yet cliched takes on it there are. The idea of a young woman making her way into Society while trying to balance the role of a slayer in a time when women's lifestyles were highly restrictive is truly what makes this series worth reading.

For more info on this series and what Gleason has coming up next please visit her website at www.colleengleason.com.
-- Rhi



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The Rest Falls Away (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #1) by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 368 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0451220072
In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy of vampire slaying, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget. And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.

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Rises The Night (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #2) by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 352 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 045122146X
In Italy, a powerful vampire is amassing the power to control the souls of the dead. Lady Victoria Gardella de Lacy-a vampire slayer for just over a year-races across Europe to stop what could be the most deadly army the Gardellas have ever faced. She is accompanied by Sebastian Vioget, a man as tempting as he is untrustworthy.
But when Victoria discovers that she has been betrayed by one of her most trusted allies, the truth will challenge all her powers as a Venator-and as a woman.


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The Bleeding Dusk (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #3) by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 368 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0451223268
To gain access to the secrets of a legendary alchemist, Rome's vampires have allied themselves with creatures as evil and bloodthirsty as they are. The new leader of the city's vampire hunters-Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy-reluctantly turns to the enigmatic Sebastian Vioget for help, just as Maximilian Pesaro arrives to aid his fellow slayers, no matter what the sacrifice. Desire puts her at the mercy of Sebastian, while loyalty binds her to Max, but she does not know if she can trust either. Especially when a seductive vampire begins luring her into the shadows...

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When Twilight Burns (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #4) by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 368 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0451224752
After narrowly escaping Rome with her mortality, vampire hunter Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacey returns to London—where not even sunrise can stop a vampire’s carnage. Not only is Victoria unable to detect the vampire with her heightened senses, but she’s being framed as the prime suspect behind the killings.
Meanwhile, the legacy of a vampire’s touch has left his blood boiling in her veins and forces her to fight evil on two fronts—against the new breed of undead threatening London and the darkness within herself.


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As Shadows Fade (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #5) by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 368 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0451226321
Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead.While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro - the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obsession with him.But it is Lilith's obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation; a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.

8.07.2009

Review: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

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Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Regency Romance, Jane Austen, Vampires
Trade Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS LANDMARK, 320 pages, $14.99)
ISBN# 1402236972
Sourcebooks Landmark, the leading publisher of Jane Austen-related fiction, is excited to announce a major release: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by international bestselling author Amanda Grange.
Amanda Grange, bestselling author of Mr. Darcy's Diary, gives us something completely new—a delightfully thrilling, paranormal Pride and Prejudice sequel, full of danger, darkness and deep romantic love…
Amanda Grange's style and wit bring readers back to Jane Austen's timeless storytelling, but always from a very unique and unusual perspective, and now Grange is back with an exciting and completely new take on Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen's beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.

Author Site:
www.amandagrange.com


Vamp fans vs. Austen fans (4 stars)

Picking up the story up from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre seeks to explain in a rather fantastical way why Darcy is such a reserved and aloof character. Beginning with Elizabeth and Darcy's wedding the story quickly picks up and leads readers on a journey with Elizabeth as the new bride on her wedding tour. Instead of their planned visit to the Lake District an impromptu switch in plans takes the newlyweds to the continent to visit friends of Mr. Darcy. While visiting beautiful, fashionable France and artsy, passionate Italy are certainly not unwelcome diversions, Elizabeth begins to question her relationship with her new husband.

Subtle statements and unusual behavior bring Elizabeth to the conclusion that Darcy thinks he has made a mistake in marrying her. But the secret he is hiding from her is far greater and far more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. The man she has married is much more than a gentleman of leisure, he is a vampyre. It will test their love and make them question whether they should remain man and wife.

Well written and following very well in the spirit of Austen's work, though I am a very poor judge there, Mr. Darcy, Vampire should really please fans of her work who love a sequel. That said, I do feel that this one will not appeal to vampire fans. The majority of the story his vampirism is so subtley hinted at that were it not for the title of the book one would almost expect a simple Gothic novel twist, not a vampyre plot. In a way I have to agree with a statement another reviewer of this book made... that the title giving away that he is a vampire does the reader a disservice. If it wasn't known the mystery would have been a lot of fun to unravel for a vampire story fan such as myself.

I've never read Pride and Prejudice myself and wanted to read this book from the perspective of the vampire fan instead of the Austen fan. Because of this I do feel that unless you're a reader who likes Austen or books of the same genre this one probably will not entertain you. Regency and Austen fans who can't imagine adding a dash of the paranormal may also find this one lacking. It does, however, really blend these two elements into an engrossing and epic sequel that even I found amusing and an interesting take on the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth.

Somehow I think this one will become a popular diversion among Austen fans and should not be missed if you are a Pride and Prejudice devotee. This is a terrific example of putting a new spin on a classic tale. Enjoy!

Review: The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

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The Rest Falls Away (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #1) by Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 368 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0451220072
In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy of vampire slaying, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget. And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.
Author Site:
www.colleengleason.com


And Buffy thought she had it hard... (4 stars)

For generations the Venators of the Gardella family have protected the world from the damned—vampires. Now, on the eve of her much delayed debut, Victoria Gardella Grantworth, has been called to arms. While the other beautiful young debutants of London fill their dance cards and worry about what colors best flatter their complexions, Victoria is slipping off to stake vampires in the shadows and trying to find the best way to hide stakes among her finery.

When one of the oldest vampires with a grudge against the Gardella family sends her minions after an item of great value Victoria—and fellow Venator Maximillian Pesaro—must stop her at all costs. But when Victoria becomes romantically entwined with the handsome Marquess of Rockley she may have to decide whether she can continue following the family Legacy or the man she loves.

I've waited forever to get this series started but with it being only five books long I wanted to wait for it to be complete. The Rest Falls Away is an excellent opener and the Buffy comparisons are not completely unfounded. There is definitely a dash of that 'verse in this one, for Victoria is indeed faced with a power and calling that will force her to constantly choose between a 'normal' life and her Legacy. As a heroine Victoria is young but not overly naive which is refreshing considering the Regency setting. While she has the social graces and manners she is also smart and capable. This makes for a very likable mix of classy romantic heroine and kick-butt urban fantasy chic.

Because this book sets the stage for a five part series the story itself is a little predictable. For me there wasn't anything that happened that was particularly surprising (maybe because I read a lot of this genre?) but there are a few little twists that whether predicted or not were really nicely done. The story closes up leaving just enough questions to make you want the next book quick but the lack of closure isn't a full on nasty cliff-hanger that will drive you nuts either. I am definitely looking forward to picking the next one up as soon as possible.

8.05.2009

A Reviewer's Work Is Never Done.

First off, I wanted to say thanks to those who've send out their warm wishes, get-well cards and support! I didn't go into it much here but the car accident I was in last week was actually pretty awful. Nothing like being six months pregnant and getting a severe cervical strain (whiplash). If you've ever seen this stuff on TV they ALWAYS make the pregnant lady ride in the ambulance to the ER to be checked out. It was really unpleasant and made more so by the fact that my husband was out of state on a fishing trip for the week. Although... now that he's returned his teasing references to me looking like the Tin-man from The Wizard of Oz because of the neck brace aren't really very helpful. :P

Reading has been very difficult with my head mobility so limited at the moment. This is the first time I've really wished I was an ebook reader. My desk chair is the only really comfortable place to sit since it holds my posture at an okay angle. But the good news is I get my follow-up next week, hopefully will be able to ditch the brace and can get back to curling up on my bed with my frog plushies to devour all these great new books coming in!

And speaking of great new books coming in! I just got my copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange this morning. :D I may not be a big Regency fan but when I heard about this book I HAD to have it! I think this is going to be a big hit with readers over the next couple of months so be sure and check it out. Earlier this week I also received a review copy of Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, a young adult title of witchy plotness that also got me excited. Expect me to work on it and review it for next month's witchy theme.

As I've mentioned before I'm also involved in Amazon.com's Vine program which often results in getting early copies of a lot of books. This past month I got a copy of Meridian by Amber Kizer which releases this month and Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire due out in September. I've already read and loved Meridian but due to program rules I can't share the review here so you will have to pop over and see it on Amazon. I don't know how soon I will have time for Rosemary and Rue but the premise sounds promising so hopefully it will be a good read. :)

Well, dear readers... I finished the first Gardella Vampire Chronicles book last night and have a couple of books to get started this afternoon (among other things about my home) so I shall leave you for now. Happy reading!
-- Rhi

8.01.2009

Review: The Remarkable Miss Frankenstein by Minda Webber

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The Remarkable Miss Frankenstein by Minda Webber
Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (LOVE SPELL, 306 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0505526379
The problem, Clair realized, was that she was a Frankenstein. Her uncle's fame -
he'd created her cousin Frederick from a bunch of spare parts - was a grave
matter. Everyone in the family was a success, while all she'd managed was a
humiliating misadventure with pigs. But her spirits were rising. The Journal of
Scientific Discovery was promising to publish a paper on the Discovery of the
Decade, and she had a doozy. She simply had to prove Baron Huntsley - man of
distinction, man of renown, man about ton - was a vampire. With his
midnight-black hair, soul-piercing eyes and shiny white teeth, what else cold he
be? Oh yes, the baron wanted a bite of her or she was no scientist. And then
there were all those other monsters. You'd never expect so many in 1828
London! Pretty soon she'd expose them all, and on everybody's lips would
be...THE REMARKABLE MISS FRANKENSTEIN.

Author Site:
www.mindawebber.net


A cute, funny romp through the paranormal side of Regency England. (4 stars)

"The truth at all costs." It's the Frankenstein family motto and what drives Clair Frankenstein to great lengths to prove her theories that creatures of the night exist. The only problem is that so far she's only succeeded in embarrassing herself! But she's bound and determined to make the Scientific Discovery of the Decade award hers. In Regency England a young woman like Clair is considered more than a little eccentric but with a family like hers it isn't hard to excuse some of her stranger behaviors. When she attempts to prove that Baron Huntsley is a vampire she manages to find both a suitor and a man who will foil her many attempts to prove that while he isn't a vampire, someone else must be.

Headstrong and proud, young Miss Frankenstein won't let London rest in peace until she's won the respect she deserves and proven that she is a woman of science worthy of recognition. Even if that means late night meetings in graveyards, breaking into a warlock's kitchen and annoying Baron Huntsley by constantly putting herself in danger. Will Clair be able to prove that the Wolfman of London exists? That vampires stalk the night in search of fresh blood? That her cousin Frederick, a man made from grave robbed body parts, is less the monster than these creatures of the night?

I'm known for not caring too much for Regency set tales but this one was made all the better for it. I very much enjoyed that, while historically not very accurate, a young woman of decent breeding could romp about London so fearlessly. Clair is a little too-stupid-to-live naive at times but she means well and it suits the story well by allowing Baron Hunstley to foil her. The romantic side of the story is a little dull but I wasn't personally that interested in that as much as whether Clair found her proof. There are definitely a few sex scenes to tantalize the readers who are looking for a little spice though!

The humor through-out was cute and the dialog often really witty which I liked. The carefully mentioned secondary characters such as Edgar Allen Poe, Sherlock Holmes and the Van Helsing family enrich the plot. I particularly found a reference to Poe and a taxidermied raven really cheeky.

Summing it all up I think a reader who likes a good spoof/farce and can handle reading a historical and paranormal romance will find this one charming. It's definitely not dark or sequel-worthy but just the sort of funny tale you can enjoy at the beach or on an airplane. Enjoy!

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