Category: Features

What Are You Reading? (324)

Posted March 24, 2017 by Casee in Features | 2 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: This has been a terrible reading week for me. I finished Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan which I found somewhat boring and rather tedious. I started Revenge by Lexi Blake, which is really good, but I just haven’t sat down and really let myself get into it. Which is annoying me. I’m annoying myself.

Holly: This week I read Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan. It was just okay. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it, either. I re-read Clean Sweep, Sweep in Peace and One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews and Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley. I have a bunch of great books on tap, but nothing is really grabbing me. March is usually a great reading month for me. I need to get out of this weird funk I’m in.

Rowena: I’m finishing up Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy and while I’m not a fan of Cate, I’m a big fan of everyone else on the team and I’ve spent quite a bit of the book, wanting to karate chop Cate’s head right off her stupid head. I’m enjoying the book, especially the angst going on between Boston and Sully. Their coming together is going to be epic and I can’t wait. After this, I’m jumping right into my eARC of Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne. I love this woman’s books like no other and I’m seriously anxious to start that book. I just know it’s going to be good, good, good.

That’s it on my end. The month of March has been a fabulous reading month for me and this week wasn’t any different so I’m one happy camper right now. I hope that I finish March out strong.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

2 Comments
Tags: , , ,


Sunday Spotlight: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Posted March 19, 2017 by Holly in Features | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Patricia Briggs is a fabulous talent. I absolutely adore her writing. Silence Fallen brings us back to the world of Mercy Thompson and her mate, Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack, Adam Hauptman. Silence Fallen is unique because 1) Mercy ends up alone in Europe without any of her allies or friends and 2) we see the story not just from Mercy’s point-of-view, but also that of Adam and another character. There’s a lot of humor, despite the tension, and there was even a surprise character at the end I didn’t recognize.

Sunday Spotlight: Silence Fallen by Patricia BriggsSilence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson, #10
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)
Published by Ace Books
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 371
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...
Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO || iBooks || Google Books
 

This excerpt comes from chapter one.

Excerpt

I died first so I made the cookies.

They were popular fare so I needed to make a lot. Darryl had gotten me a jumbo-sized antique mixing bowl last Christmas that probably could have held the water supply for an elephant for a day. I don’t know where he found it. If I ever filled it entirely, I’d have to have one of the werewolves move it. It ate the eighteen cups of flour I dumped into it with room for more, all the while piratical howls rose up the stairway from the bowels of the basement.

My smaller mixing bowl, the one that had been perfectly adequate until I married into a werewolf clan, I filled with softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla. As I mixed them together, I decided that it wasn’t that I was a bad pirate, it was that I had miscalculated. By baking sugar-and-chocolate laden food whenever I died first, I’d succeeded in turning myself into a target.

The stove was at temperature, I found all four cookie sheets in the narrow cabinet that they belonged in–a miracle. I wasn’t the only one who got KP duty in the house, but I seemed to be the only one who could put things in the same place (where they belonged) on a regular basis. The baking pans, in particular, got shoved all sorts of odd places. I had once found one of them in the downstairs bathroom. I didn’t ask–but I washed that motherhumper with bleach before I used it to bake on again.

I thought I was good to go when I found the baking pans. But when I opened the cupboard where there should have been ten bags of chocolate chips, there were only six. I searched the kitchen and came up with another one in the top cupboard behind the spaghetti noodles which made seven. Seven bags of chips was leaner than I liked for a double-quadruple batch, but it would do.

What would not do, was no eggs. And there were no eggs.

I scrounged through the fridge for the second time, checking out the back corners and behind the milk where things liked to hide. But even though I’d gotten four dozen eggs two days ago, there was not an egg to be had.

There were perils in living in the defacto clubhouse of a werewolf pack. Thawing roasts in the fridge required the hiding skills of a WWII French Underground spy working as a secretary in NAZI headquarters.

That same egg-and-roast-stealing werewolf pack was currently downstairs enthralled in games of piracy on the high seas of the computer screen. There was irony in how much they loved the pirate computer game–werewolves are too dense to swim. Coyotes, even coyote shifters like me, can swim just fine–except, apparently in an Instant Spoils: The Dread Pirate’s Booty scenario because I’d drowned four times this month.

I hadn’t drowned this time, though. This time, I’d died with my stepdaughter’s knife in my back.

“I’m headed to the Stop and Rob,” I called downstairs. “Does anyone need anything?”

It wasn’t really called that, of course, it had a perfectly normal name that I couldn’t remember. “Stop and Rob” was more of a general term for a 24-hour gas and convenience store, a sobriquet earned in the days when the night shift clerk had been left on his or her own with a till full of thousands of dollars. Technology–cameras, quick-drop safes that didn’t open until daylight, and silent alarms had made working the night shift safer, but they’d always be Stop and Robs to me.

“Ahrrrr,” said my husband Adam’s voice, traveling up the stairs. “Gold and women and grog!” He didn’t play often, but when he did, he played full-throttle and immersed.

“Gold and women and grog!” echoed a chorus of men’s voices.

“Ah, listen to them,” said Mary Jo scornfully. “Give me a man who knows what to do, instead of these scallywags who run at the first site of a real woman.”

“Ahrrrr,” agreed Auriele while Jesse, my stepdaughter giggled.

“Swab the decks, ye lubbers, lest you slid in the blood and crack your four-pounders,” I called. “And whate’er ye do, don’t trust Jesse at your back.”

There was a roar of general agreement and Jesse giggled again.

“And Adam,” I said, “you can have gold and you can have grog. You go after another woman and you’ll be pulling back a stub.”

There was a little silence.

“Argh,” said Adam. “I got me a woman. What do I need with more? The women are for my men!”

“Argh!” roared his men. “Bring us gold, grog and women!”

“Men!” said Auriele sweet-voiced. “Bring us a few good men.”

“Stupidheads,” growled Honey. “Die!”

There was a general outcry because, apparently, someone had.

I took Adam’s SUV. I was going to have to figure out what to do for a daily driver. My precious Vanagon Syncro was getting far too many miles put on her and her transmission was rare and more precious than gold on the secondary market. I’d been driving her ever since my poor Rabbit was totaled, and the van was starting to need more and more repairs. I’d looked at an ‘87 Jetta with a blown engine last week. They wanted too much for it, but maybe I’d just have to pony up.

The SUV purred the couple of miles to the convenience store that was ten miles closer to home than any other store that was open at this hour of the night. The clerk was restocking cigarettes and didn’t look up as I passed him.
I picked up two dozen over-priced eggs and an equally overpriced bag of chocolate chips and set them on the counter. The clerk turned away from the cigarettes, looked at me and froze. He swallowed hard and looked away–scanning the barcodes on the eggs with a hand that shook so much that he might save me the effort of cracking the shells myself.

“You must be new?” I suggested running my ATM card in the reader.

He knew who I was without knowing anything important. I found the limelight disconcerting, but I was slowly getting used to it. My husband was Alpha of the local pack, he’d been a household name in the Tri-Cities since the werewolves first admitted their existence a few years ago. When we’d married, I’d gotten a little of his reflected glory, but after helping to fight a troll on the Cable Bridge a couple of months ago–I was at least as well known as Adam. People reacted differently to the reality of werewolves in the world. Sensible people stayed a certain length back. Others were stupidly friendly or not-so-stupidly afraid. The new guy obviously belonged to the latter group.

“Started last week,” the clerk muttered as he bagged the chocolate chips and eggs as if they might bite him.
“I’m not a werewolf,” I told him. “You don’t have anything to fear from me. And my husband has put a moratorium on killing gas station clerks this week.”

The clerk blinked at me.

“None of the pack will hurt you,” I clarified, reminding myself not to try to be funny around people who were too scared to know I was joking. “If there’s ever any trouble you can call us–” I found the card holder in my purse and gave him one of the pack’s cards, printed on off-white cardstock “-at this number. We’ll take care of it.”
We all carried the cards now that we’d (my fault) taken on the task of policing the supernatural community of the Tri-Cities, protecting the human citizens from things that go bump in the night. We’d also been called in to find lost children, dogs and, once, two calves and their guard llama. Zack had composed a song for that one. I hadn’t even known he could play guitar.

Sometimes the job of protecting the Tri-Cities was more glamorous than others. The livestock call, in addition to being musically commemorated, had actually been something of a PR coup, photos of werewolves herding small lost calves back home had gone viral on Facebook.

The clerk took the card as if it was going to bite him. “Okay,” he lied.

I couldn’t do any better than that, so I left with my cookie making ingredients. I hopped into the SUV and set the bag on the passenger seat as I backed out of the parking space. In retrospect, I wondered if his strong reaction might be due to something that had happened to him–a personal incident. I looked both ways before hopping out onto the road. Maybe I should go talk to him again.

I was still worrying about the clerk when there was a loud noise that robbed my breath. The bag with the eggs in it flew off the seat and hit me with a loud bang and foul smell–and then there was a sharp pain followed by…nothing.

#

I think I woke up several times, for no more than a few minutes that ended abruptly when I moved. I heard people talking, mostly men’s voices but I couldn’t understand what they were saying.

When I finally opened my eyes, I couldn’t see anything. I might not have been a werewolf, but a shapeshifting coyote could still see okay in very dim light. Either I was blind or wherever I was had no light at all.

My head hurt, my nose hurt, and my right shoulder felt bruised. My mouth was dry and tasted bad, as if I’d gone for a week without brushing my teeth. It felt like I’d just been hit by a troll–though the right shoulder pain was more of a seatbelt in a car thing. But I couldn’t remember…even as that thought registered, memories came trickling back.

The run to our local Stop and Rob–the same all night gas station slash convenience store where I’d first met lone and gay werewolf Warren all those years ago. Warren had worked out rather well for the pack…I gathered my wandering thoughts and herded them down a track that might do some good. The difficulty I had doing that–and the nasty headache made me think I might have a concussion.

I considered the loud bang and the eggs and realized that it hadn’t been the eggs that had exploded and smelled bad, but the SUV’s airbags. I was a mechanic. I knew what blown airbags smelled like, I don’t know what odd effect of shock made me think it might have been the eggs. The suddenness of the accident had combined the related events of the groceries hitting me and the airbag hitting me into a cause and effect that didn’t exist.

As my thoughts slowly achieved clearness, I realized that the SUV had been struck from the side. Struck at speed to have such a great effect.

I took stock of my situation without moving. My face was sore–a separate and lesser pain than the headache–and diagnosed the situation as with having been hit with an airbag or two that didn’t quite save me from a concussion or its near cousin. The sore right shoulder, was just where the seatbelt would have grabbed me.

Probably all of my pain was from the accident…car wreck, I supposed, because I was pretty sure it hadn’t been an accident. The vehicle that hit me hadn’t had its headlights on–and if it had been a real accident, I’d be in the hospital instead of wherever I was.

My body was convinced it was a room-sized space despite the pitch-darkness. The floor was…odd. Cool–almost cold–and smooth under my cheek. The coolness felt good on my face, but it was robbing my body of warmth. Metal. It didn’t smell familiar–didn’t smell strongly of anything or anybody, as if it had been a long time since it was put to use or it was new.

A door popped open while I was trying to figure out where I was. A light clicked on, making all of my speculations useless because illumination was suddenly effortless. I was in a room that looked like a walk-in freezer–all shiny silver surfaces. I’d jerked when the door opened so it was no good trying to pretend to be unconscious. The next best thing would be to face whoever it was on my own two feet.

I rolled over in preparation for doing that very thing, but before I could do more, I had a sudden and unexpected bout of dry heaves that did my head no good at all. When I lifted my head and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, I noted that there were two men standing in the doorway frowning at me. Neither had made any move to help–or, at least that I noticed, reacted at all.

I dry heaved a couple of extra times to give myself a chance to examine the invaders of my walk-in freezer cell.
The nearest man was tuxedo-model beautiful, with dark curling hair, liquid brown eyes and a thousand dollar suit that managed to show off the muscles beneath without doing anything so crass as being tight anywhere. There was something predatory in his gaze and he had that spark that made one man more dominant than another without a word being said.

I’d been raised by werewolves, I knew an Alpha personality when I was in its presence.

The other man was at least fifty pounds heavier and three inches taller with a face that belonged to a boxer or a dockworker. His nose had been broken a few times and over his left eye was the sort of scar that you got when someone punched you in the eye and the skin around the socket split.

His eyes were brown, too, but they were ordinary eyes except for the expression in them. Something very cold and hungry looked out at me. He wore worn jeans and a tight fitting Henley-style shirt.

Visually, I could have been dropped into a scene in some Italian gangster movie. There was no mistaking the Mediterranean origins of either one.

My nose told me the real story. Vampires.


Mercy Thompson

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book CoverBook Cover Book Cover Book Cover
Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

Patricia Briggs is the author of the New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series. She lives in Washington state with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses.

4 Comments
Tags: , , , ,


What Are You Reading? (323)

Posted March 17, 2017 by Casee in Features | 3 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I finished Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan yesterday. It was so-so. I was a little disappointed. I’m getting reading to start Revenge by Lexi Blake which I’m super excited about! I love the Lawless brothers. After that I will probably dive back into Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series.

I also finished Elle Kennedy’s Outlaws series. I love Dystopian romance. It’s so raw. I’m always on the lookout for new authors in that genre.

Holly: I re-read some Lisa Kleypas and Julie Garwood favorites this week. I didn’t have a lot of reading time, so I didn’t start any new books. I hope to start Shadow Reaper this weekend.

Rowena: I started off the week, finishing the Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas. I read Devil in Spring and really enjoyed that one. It was my favorite book of the bunch. After that, I jumped into a re-read of Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas and boy did I love that re-read. Christopher and Beatrix are a fabulous couple! Then yesterday at work, I finished How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell and thought it was solid read. I enjoyed it so much that I jumped right into the next one, If I Only Had a Duke. I’m not that far into this one but so far, it’s pretty good. I hope that continues.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

3 Comments
Tags: , , ,


Sunday Spotlight: Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Posted March 12, 2017 by Casee in Features | 12 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Kiss An Angel is my all time favorite SEP book. Daisy is such a delightful heroine. The perfect contrast to Alex. Alex underestimates her from the beginning and Daisy never lets it get her down. Alex’s pride is so important to him, something that Daisy doesn’t understand. She lives life to the fullest and isn’t sorry. She’s also rather prudish, which is wonderfully amusing. This book is almost perfect, from cover to cover.

Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 1, 1996
Publisher: Avon

Pretty, flighty Daisy Devreaux can either go to jail or marry the mystery man her father has chosen for her. Arranged marriages don’t happen in the modern world, so how did the irrepressible Daisy find herself in this fix?

Alex Markov, as humorless as he is deadly handsome, has no intention of playing the loving bridegroom to a spoiled little feather-head with champagne tastes. He drags Daisy from her uptown life to a broken down traveling circus and sets out to tame her to his ways.

But this man without a soul has met his match in a woman who’s nothing but heart. Before long, passion will send them flying sky high without a safety net… risking it all in search of a love that will last forever.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

I bookmarked too much to share, so I will pick a couple of my favorites.

Memorable Quotes

Not only did Daisy forget her husband’s name when she was taking her vows, she forgot her actual vows.

She dug her nails into her pals and told herself she had no choice. “I, Theodosia…” She gulped for air. “…take thee Alexander…” She gulped again “…to be my awful wedded husband…”

It wasn’t until she heard her stepmother, Amelia, gasp that she realized what she’d said.

The stud muffin turned his head and looked down at her. He cocked one dark brown in a vaguely inquisitive fashion, as if he wasn’t certain he’d heard her correctly. My awful wedded husband. Her sense of humor kicked in, and she felt the corners of her mouth quiver.

Daisy also had a special affinity for the animals at the circus, namely the elephants.

“First I need to–”

“Check on Tater. I’ll come with you.”

“Don’t glower at him this time.”

“I never glower.”

“Last time you glowered. It hurt his feelings.”

“He doesn’t have–”

“He does, too, have feelings.”

“You spoil him.”

“He’s spirited, not spoiled. There’s a big difference.”

He gave her a pointed look. “Believe me, I know all about the difference between spirited and spoiled.”

“Are you implying–”

“It’s a compliment.”

“It doesn’t sound like one.”

This was the first time they were in bed together. Daisy was a twenty six year old virgin. This made me laugh long and hard.

“You’ve torn a hole in my tights.” she murmured foolishly, slipping her arms around his shoulders and reveling in the feel of his weight pressing her into the mattress.

He brushed his lips over her temples. “I’ll buy you a new pair. I swear.” He gave a gentle push.

And went nowhere.

She stiffened. Her worst fears had been realized She’d atrophied from so many years of being unused.

Oh, Daisy.

**Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read Kiss An Angel? Tell us why you loved it or why you didn’t!

About the Author

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | |

I STARTED TO WRITE completely by accident. I taught high school until our oldest son was born, then quit to stay home. In 1976, my husband’s job took us from Ohio to central New Jersey. My best friend Claire lived two doors down the street. Both of us were big readers, reading everything from literary fiction to the newly popular historical romance novels. We loved talking about the books—what we liked, what we didn’t. One day, just for fun, we decided to try to write a book together. For three weeks as we rode our bikes in the evening, with my toddler in the baby seat behind me, we plotted our story. Then we sat down with a yellow pad and began to write.

12 Comments
Tags: , , ,