Tag: Barbara Elsborg

What I Read Last Week

Posted April 15, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 3 Comments

Howdo!

What have you all been up to this past week? Anyone do anything fun? It was a pretty quiet week in Tracyland which was really nice. This past weekend I didn’t have to go too many places so I got to be a homebody and just hang with the kids. That was really nice. 🙂

So since I have nothing to report about life I’ll get right on to what I read last week: 

I started off the week with Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare. This was a great book about Bonte who is a waitress from Kansas City that wins a trip to the Bahamas and ends up stuck on the island during a hurricane. She’s not alone though, she’s with Logan who she thinks is the resort manager but he’s actually the owner and is a billionaire. They spend great time together but when she finds out who he really is she’s pissed at the lie and heads home. He finds her again and the book is the story of them trying to work through their relationship issues – mainly him having money and her not having it and how they deal with that. It was really good and I definitely recommend it. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Mindlink by Kat Cantrell was a sci fi book that was my next read. I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi romance but this was pretty darned good. I’ll be posting my review of this one in a couple of days. 

Warrior’s Cross by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux told the story of Cameron who is a waiter who has a crush on a guy who comes into his restaurant every Tuesday. They finally talk after months of silence (besides order taking/giving) and end up going home together. Julian and Cameron start a relationship but Cam really doesn’t know all that much about Julian and Julian doesn’t share. This was a good book but I didn’t like that we were never specifically told – and neither was Cameron – what Julian did. It’s inferred that he’s a hit man (all evidence points that way in my mind) but for some reason the fact that it wasn’t specifically stated bothered me. IDK, maybe it was just me. It was a hard relationship and it didn’t look like it was going to get any easier so it was hard for me to completely enjoy the HEA. 4 out of 5 

Falke’s Renegade by Madison Layle and Anna Leigh Keaton is book 3 in the Puma Nights series. This book was a bit different from the others as it starred only 1 woman and 1 man (previous 2 book it was m/f/m). The story was about the Falke sister, Heidi, who is a vet and nurses a black jaguar back to health after being shot. The jaguar is a shapeshifter and he’s not exactly welcomed into the Falke family. I’ll post my full review later this week. 

Next I tried to read Cowboys Down by Barbara Elsborg but I just couldn’t get into it. It’s an m/m book about an uptight stock broker from England who goes to a working ranch in Wyoming to learn to relax and get dirty. The guys were ok together but the homophobia being thrown around was just too much for me and it had me setting down the book. I normally like Elsborg’s books but this one didn’t work and I ended up putting it down half way through. DNF 

Roses in Moonlight by Lynn Kurland was a great book about an innocent American woman who is thought to be a thief. The man who is hired to get the stolen object back thinks she’s involved but when he finally realizes she’s not their more than attached. I really liked this one. It didn’t have a whole lot of time travel but enough to satisfy. Derrick and Samantha were wonderful together and I loved reading about them. 4.25 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

A Passion for Pleasure by Nina Rowan is probably not a book I would have normally picked up but it was sent to me (randomly) by the publisher and ended up sounding good so I picked it up. The book has several different parts to the story that all intermingle. Sebastian was a well known pianist but suddenly quit playing and returned home. Clara is a baron’s daughter who is looking for assistance in getting her son back from her father and requests Sebastian’s help. I’ll post more info in my review later this month but it was really good. 4.25 out of 5 

My next read was In Plain Sight by Marie Harte. This is a story set in the Cougar Falls series and involves Cullen who is a large man but quiet and shy. He’s got a thing for local waitress Sarah but Sarah’s on the outs with a lot of the townspeople because of vicious rumors that have been spread. Cullen saves Sarah when she’s attacked by other shapeshifters and takes her home to help her heal. Cullen wants her for keeps as he’s been in love with her for forever but he knows that he needs to go slow so he doesn’t scare Sarah away. This was a good novella. I loved Cullen and his shyness. He almost did himself in with Sarah when he just couldn’t get himself to talk to her. This one was short but good. 3.5 out of 5 

Last for the week was Gay as Mardi Gras by Lily Velden. Jesse’s grandma is convinced he’s gay even though he just spent 6 years in a relationship with a woman. She sends him on a month-long gay cruise in the hopes that he’ll find a partner. Though he and his roommate spend all their time together it’s not until a couple of weeks in that Jesse starts realizing that the has feelings for Daniel. The story was very sweet and though the sex scenes were more sex-lite (compared to some) they were still very hot. Short but good. 🙂 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
crickets

Happy Reading!

Guest Author (+ a Giveaway!) : Barbara Elsborg

Posted August 8, 2012 by Tracy in Giveaways, Promotions | 13 Comments

I spent years writing my first novel – set in New York and about the mafia – and collected a series of rejections. I wrote a couple more thrillers, realized I was adding more and more romance and finally wrote my first proper romance. Couldn’t get that published either. I joined Critique Circle where writers share their experiences and critique each others work and the site helped me but I still couldn’t convince an agent to take me on, nor a publishing company. This was in the very early days of digital books. I didn’t want to be e-published. I really wanted a traditional publisher. I wanted a paperback with my name on it! I wanted to go into a bookstore and find it on a shelf. Big dreams!

One of my critique partners, Amanda Young, wrote an erotic romance that I read and loved, my first experience of erotic romance, and she had it accepted by an e-publisher. I decided I had a better chance of success if I went with digital books and I followed Amanda’s example. I wrote an erotic romance, sent Perfect Timing to two smaller e-publishers who said no. I tweaked it, sent it to Ellora’s Cave and it was accepted. The acceptance went into my spam – good thing I check it. The big plus for me was that some of my publishers also bring books out in paperback. I can’t quite let that concept go.

That was 2007 and since then, I’ve been accepted by several other publishers including Loose-Id and more recently by Samhain. I wish I’d not waited so long to go the e-route! I wish even more that e-books had been around when I first started to write. I still haven’t achieved my dream of finding any of my books in a bookstore. One day maybe…

Love has never been so close—or seemed so far away.

I love you. Niall is in hiding, but not from the police. He’s trapped between the world he longs for and a place he can’t leave behind. Cursed to hold his tongue, unable to claim what he wants until it’s given, he’s allowed one year to capture his heart’s desire. But speaking those three simple words, the most important words in his life, might very well kill him.

I can’t love you. As a private investigator, Taylor walks daily through the ashes of love burned out. He’s witnessed the aftermath of love—destroyed marriages and wrecked lives that leave behind nothing but bitter memories of betrayal. He’s convinced that love will never plant a seed in his heart—until Niall sparks a completely unexpected reaction in both mind and body.

I want to love you. Roo has spent her entire life bouncing from relationship to relationship, offering her heart only to get it trampled on. When she finds herself out in the cold again, she discovers love can come from the most surprising of places. Her choices are simple. Do the right thing. Do the wrong thing. Do nothing. The wrong choice could be simply devastating…

Product Warnings
Beware faeries with killer tattoos and girls dressed as chickens—broken hearts can follow… Or lots of love. And lots of sex—three-way, two-way, every which way. But no chicken sex. Thank god.

For details of my books please visit –
www.barbaraelsborg.com
www.barbaraelsborg.blogspot.com

Giveaway Alert: Barbara is giving away one copy of World’s Apart to one lucky winner!  Leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, no later than 11:59pm (pacific) on August 17th to enter to win.

What I Read Last Week

Posted June 27, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 10 Comments

Good Afternoon!
It was a good week here in Tracyland. Life was relatively quiet during the week and that’s always nice.
On Saturday my youngest tested in Taekwondo for her next belt level…and passed! Get this – not only did she pass but she got the highest score of all 20 students who were testing and got a trophy! Yay! Go baby, go! To say we were proud of her would be a huge understatement.
And here she is doing some kicks during the test. 
In reading I was incredibly undiversified. I read book 1 of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews a couple of weeks ago so I decided to pick up book 2 and that started me off on a complete Kate Daniels binge. I tried to stop, I did, but I just had to keep going. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve read a series one book right after another. Just a damned good series that gets better and better with each book.
I started off the week with Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. Kate is asked to retrieve some maps that were stolen from the Pack. The magic that normally comes and goes is heading into a flare where there will be the most powerful magic. She discovers that during this time Gods can manifest and that’s just not something she wants to happen. During the story she also inherits a 12 year old street urchin, Julie. She also discovers some interesting information about Curran and his possible feelings toward her. A really good book that had me turning pages as fast as I could. 4 out of 5
After that I read Winterlude by Tam Ames. You all know Tam Ames, right? Tam is Tam…you know, from Tam’s Reads and Brief Encounters. Yep, she wrote a story and got it published – go Tam! This was about a chance meeting on the street between two men who hit it off. They end up going out on a date and having a bit of an interlude. Will there be more in the future? IDK – hopefully Tam will follow up and let us know! A very good short story that I really liked. 4 out of 5
Saying Yes by Barbara Elsborg was next. This was another short story about a girl whose boyfriend/boss/roommate breaks up with her/fires her/kicks her out because she’s so negative all of the time. She determined to be more of a yes person. When she runs into a man while staying at her best friends apartment she decides to say yes to a whole host of things. Very cute just too darned short! 3 out of 5 (free story at Ellora’s Cave)
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews was next and it was so damned good! This had Kate fighting in something called the Midnight Games and trying to find the people who hurt her friend Derek. The world-building in this series just blows me away and especially in this book with the “new” creatures that were introduced – the Rakshasa – just their dwellings in Unicorn Lane was amazingly detailed…but not in a “omg too much detail” kind of way. Just an excellent book – I loved it. 5 out of 5
Next I pulled out the Must Love Hellhounds anthology and re-read Ilona Andrews story in that book. It was called Magic Mourns and it’s told in 1st person pov by Kate’s best friend Andrea. She ends up retrieving a dead body and facing a hellhound while getting together with werehyena, Raphael. Great little story. I had read this story before when I read the anthology originally but it had so much more meaning now that I was reading the whole series. 4 out of 5
After that it was Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. This story had Kate facing her very powerful aunt as well as the aunts minions. Curran and Kate are getting closer as well and I love the slow build-up that we’ve gotten over the course of the series and it really comes to a head in this book. Love them together! 5 out of 5
Hexed is an anthology with four different authors but I only read Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews. This is Jim and Dali’s story and if you’re following the story you won’t want to miss it. Dali is trying to save Jim for a “thing” that’s eating his soul and trying to hide her love for him. A very good addition to the series. 4 out of 5
I had to do a bit of a palette cleanser after that and picked up my ereader and read Old Poison by Josh Lanyon – my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read. This is the second story in the Dangerous Ground series. It has Taylor and Will together for Taylor’s birthday but someone who has a very old grudge against Taylor wants him gone. This was another great story in the series and I really, really enjoyed it. Will and Taylor together are just wonderful and I can’t see what happens next in Blood Heat. 4.5 out of 5
And last for the week was, you guessed it, the last Kate Daniels book that was released, Magic Slays. Kate and Curran are searching for a man who is missing and the magic killing device he created. It also has Kate trying to save Julie’s life (her ward). Another excellent read! I just love the writing in this series. It just gets better and better. If you haven’t read this latest installment and have been reading the KD series then you should definitely read this one! 5 out of 5 (I read this for The Book Binge so will let you know when my review posts)
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
**crickets**
Happy Reading!

What I Read Last Week

Posted May 30, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 8 Comments

It’s sad when on a holiday I have to send my hubby and kids to the movies just so I can have a computer to work on. lol  Seriously – we have 2 computers and a laptop and between my oldest and her friend chats and youtube, my hubby’s war games and my youngest playing games on barbie.com and disneychannel.com I couldn’t get on at all today.  Oh well, at least they were having fun, right?   Of course now I not only have a computer but a completely quiet house – woohoo! lol

It was a pretty peaceful week.  I only worked 4 days as I took Thursday off to attend my youngest’s family picnic that her school has each year.  It was a lot of fun for the kids and I got to chat with friends that I don’t often get to see.  After the picnic my oldest talked me into dying the underside of her hair black.  Not fun to do, but it looks pretty cool.  My youngest now says that I’m going to dye the underside of her hair purple when school ends.  I just keep laughing at her but she keeps insisting.  Funny girl.

Diet and exercise.  I know those words should mean something but this past week they didn’t to me…at all.  I only exercised once and it was pretty half-assed if do say so myself.  Then food wise – ug.  From Wednesday to Sunday I ate like I was condemned and it was my last meal….for every meal.  If it was in my pantry and not super-glued to the shelf I was eating it.  I actually gained 1.2 pounds this week so now I’ll have to lose that weight again and keep on going.  I started being good again today so I’ll keep on keeping on.

It was a good reading week overall – here’s how it went:

I started off with Primal Passions by Stephani Hecht.  I had read about the Lost Shifter series on Chris’s blog but hadn’t gotten any of the books.  I was lucky enough to meet Stephani at RT and she talked me into it (not too difficult as I loves me some shifters).  20 years prior the Ravens had attacked the cat shifter families and killed everyone – or so the surviving family members thought.  They later found out that the Hawks (who were supposed to be helping the Ravens but really weren’t) had taken tons of children, erased their memories and then placed them in human foster care.  Now the alpha cat is looking for 4 of his missing siblings along with many, many other shifters.  The first book in the series tells us the story of Logan who is looking for one of the alpha’s siblings, Jacyn. Jacyn has no clue as to what he is and when he’s attacked by the Ravens he doesn’t have any idea why.  Logan is out to save him and take him to his family but in the meantime they fall in love.  This was a good start to the series and I very much enjoyed it.  4 out of 5

Next was the second book in the series by Stephanie Hecht called A Feral Christmas.  Brent, one of the alpha’s brothers (one who wasn’t lost) goes after the alpha of the Hawk’s in order to find out if they can get the information about where the lost shifters are.  But the alpha, Daniel, has been on the run from the Raven’s and doesn’t have the information the cats seek.  But he knows where to get it.  As Daniel and Brent run from the Ravens to the HQ of the cats the two fall in love.  I liked this story as well but it was very similar to book 1 with one of the characters going to retrieve another and on the road trip back to HQ they fall in love.  3.5 out of 5

The third book in the series by Stephani Hecht was Savage Awakenings.  This was Rat’s story (whose real name is Carson) who gets a distress call from lost shifter Keegan and goes to help.  Keegan is great for Rat’s self-confidence and Rat/Carson finds the one man he can be with forever.  Again, very similar to the first two stories in theme (Chris assures me this changes in subsequent books) with the finding/road trip/fall in love, but still good.  3.5 out of 5

Next I tried to read The Homecoming by JoAnn Ross.  I read about half of the book and just couldn’t read any longer.  The story was about a SEAL who has gone back to his hometown in Oregon and wants to get together with the woman he always had a crush on in high school but she was one of his friends’ girlfriend and later, wife. The story wasn’t really keeping my attention in the fact that some of the conversations just seemed so irrelevant to the story and I just wanted things to move on.  It definitely felt more like a women’s fiction novel than a romance.  I think I’m in the minority with disliking this one but it just didn’t work for me. DNF

Lady of Seduction by Laurel McKee is book 3 in the Daughters of Erin series. I read book two and really enjoyed the writing, the romance and the setting of the book.  In this book Caroline goes looking for Grant Dunsmore on a pretty desolate island in Ireland.  Grant had kidnapped Caroline four years prior but she never thought of him as truly bad and after her husband died she couldn’t get him out of her thoughts.  But as much as she wants Grant and he wants her there are more sinister plans that Grant has – are they truly bad…or not?
This was a good story and I liked the romance although there were times where it wasn’t completely keeping my attention as the story dragged in a few places. 3.5 out of 5

Kiss a Falling Star by Barbara Elsborg is the story of Ally who leaves London after a series of accidents – one being pushed in front of the train – and she thinks to hide at her brothers country estate from whoever is trying to kill her (and no one believes her).  There she meets Caspar who is an ex-con who once worked for the Foreign Office.  Caspar is pretty much shunned from the community but Ally sees something under all the belligerence that Caspar spews and becomes his champion – as well as his lover.  I loved seeing Ally stand up for Caspar and see all the good in him – despite what all the villagers were telling her about him.  She didn’t judge him based on talk but was willing to get to know him and make her own decisions and that’s always nice to see in a heroine. lol  There was a lot going on in the book but it worked pretty well overall and the romance and sex scenes were great. Elsborg always has great humor in her books and some of the lines that Ally had – as well as some of Caspar’s – had me laughing out loud. 4 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews.  I’ve had this one for forever and tried to start reading it a year or so ago and I just couldn’t get into it.  I love the Edge series by Andrews though so I thought I’d give it another shot. With Kate being a kick-ass heroine but not being completely stoic and invulnerable the story ended up really working for me.  I know from reading reviews about subsequent books that Kate and Curran start a relationship so the romantic in me is looking forward to reading the next books. 4 out of 5

Last for the week was Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey which is the 3rd book in the Kowalski series and it was a good one!  This is about Sean Kowalski who has just returned from Afghanistan and has been discharged from the army.  His first day back he meets a woman who says that he is her “fake” fiance and she would like him to pose as such while her grandmother is town – for a month.  This includes living with her and acting the part.  Needless to say he send the hot yet batshit crazy woman on her way.  But Sean ends up taking the role as well as changing his life forever.  I’ll be posting my review of this one later this week – keep your eye out.

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

Happy Reading!

What I Read Last Week

Posted October 18, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 10 Comments

Happy Monday!
Although it’s quite gloomy here right now we’re all still happy, right?  Right?  Ok, I know, I’m not believing it either! lol
So let’s see, what happened this week?  Not a lot.  My oldest daughter’s 1st quarter ended.  From the time of her progress report she actually brought 2 of her grades up, thank the good Lord, but one dropped.  How the hell do you get a D in Industrial Crafts?  lol  She never had any homework, since it was a stained glass class, so she had no work that she couldn’t turn in. haha!  Oh well.  At least she didn’t get an F! (yes, I’m thankful for small favors)
I also “helped” (aka doing most of the work) my oldest clean her room out.  Her closet has shelving on the left side of it and her idea of cleaning her room is making sure the floor is clear which in turn means stuffing all the shit on the shelves in her closet. She really is a horrible pack rat and I’m hoping that she breaks that habit before she gets too much older…our house just isn’t big enough! lol  Anyway, we filled an entire waste barrel full of crap/trash that she didn’t need anymore and made a huge donation to the recycle bin as well. We gathered about 8 plastic grocery bags of books that she had outgrown and/or had read a million times and didn’t want to read anymore.  Those will go to an organization in town called Project Share the Grace that takes the books to the various food pantries around town and they give the books to the underprivileged children who don’t have many books.  All in all it was pretty productive.  I, however, feel like I’ve run a marathon from all the bending, up and downs on the step stool and so on.  I’ve decided cleaning is for the young. lol
 

First up was Mad About The Duke by Elizabeth Boyle.  My first read by this author and I really liked the book.  It was sweet and fun and romantic and I very much enjoyed the book…did I already say that?  Well I did!  A widow is looking for a new husband and “hires” a solicitor to help – only the solicitor is really a Duke.  They fall in love practically at first sight but she needs to marry a Duke in order to save her sister from their step-father so she can’t let herself act on her feelings and he’s in severe denial about love.  Just a good book. 4.25 out of 5
Next was a book for The Book Binge called Taming the Wolf by Lydia Dare.  I read the first 3 books in this series about the Westfield Brothers.  This story veers off to other characters now and the hero in this book was a feral werewolf in the previous book.  I didn’t like Dash all that much in the last book but in his own story I liked him much better and the book was quite good. 4 out of 5
My next read was another book for The Book Binge called The Small Print by Barbara Elsborg.  A paranormal romance about a vampire, a were-vamp and their mate who they’re not sure is dead or alive since they, and other paranormal being are the only ones that can see her.  Fun book.  You can read my review here if you’re interested. 4.5 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was I’m In No Mood For Love by Rachel Gibson.  The story had Clare finding her fiance getting ridden like a bronco by the Sears repairman in her closet when she comes home unexpectedly.  She decides to drink her sorrows away and ends up the next morning in a hotel room with her childhood “frienenemy”, Sebastian.  They have a strange relationship but end up in a sex only relationship. Only Clare finds herself falling in love with Sebastian and that’s not something he wants any part of.  The book was pretty simple and predictable but I have to say that I really liked it.  It was cute and funny and just a light entertaining read. 4 out of 5
My next read was Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord by Sarah MacLean.  I’ll be reviewing this one on Wednesday so check back. 🙂  I know, I’m such a tease. lol
Last on the list was Sin Undone by Larissa Ione.  This is the fifth and final book in the Demonica series.  Sin is a Seminus demon – the only female Seminus demon that exists as far as anyone knows.  She’s sister to the Sem brothers that run Underground General (UG).  Sin is also an assassin and due to events in the previous book she is now the Master assassin.  She has also started an epidemic that is killing off Warg’s (werewolves).  She hangs with Con, a half-vamp, half-were to try and find a way to cure the Warg’s but he’s got ulterior motives.  That doesn’t stop the two from falling for each other though.  This was a really good story.  I liked Sin a lot despite the fact that she was the most unlikely heroine for a book.  I loved seeing all of the Sem brothers again and hearing about their mates and offspring as well.  A good wrap up to the series. 4.25 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Happy Reading!