January 31, 2010

Review: The Templar Cross by Paul Christopher

The Templar Cross


Product Description:
Retired Army Ranger Lt. Col. John Holliday has reluctantly settled into his teaching position at West Point when young Israeli archaeologist Rafi Wanounou comes to him with desperate news.


Holliday's niece-and Rafi's fiancé-Peggy has been kidnapped. Holliday sets out with Rafi to find the only family he has left. But their search for Peggy will lead them to a trail of clues that spans across the globe, and into the heart of a conspiracy involving an ancient Egyptian legend and the darkest secrets of the Order of Templar Knights.

Secrets that, once known, cannot be survived...

My Review:
In recent month's I've been a little down on suspense thrillers. Case in point, I still haven't even read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown even though I pre-ordered it months in advance. As a result I was dragging my feet in reading The Templar Cross for review but once I started reading I couldn't stop. 

"Doc" Holliday is so kick ass in this book. He can spot an impostor and take him down in seconds and he has an eye patch. How awesome is that? I think of him as a military pirate. LOL

The Templar Cross is the sequel to The Sword of the Templars and the story does reference some of the events in that book but it is a stand alone since I haven't read The Sword of the Templars and had no trouble keeping up. Book three in the series featuring Holliday, The Templar Throne will be out June 1, 2010 and I highly recommend all three books for anyone who loves a true action hero and suspense thrillers. 


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January 30, 2010

Giveaway: 18x24 Poster Print from Online Poster Printing

WINNER: Kim in California







It's back! My sponsor has a new giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a 18x24 poster print. Choose from High Gloss or Semi Gloss paper stock. The winner's prize will be shipped free via UPS Ground.

The last time I offered this giveaway for my blog I also received a free poster and I turned this picture my brother took for me into a beautiful poster that I framed and hung in my home office. See the picture below.

You can use any image for your Digital Photo Enlargement and it's super easy. Just choose your favorite picture, upload and finalize your order. It's that easy to turn your favorite pictures into mini masterpieces! Check out the fun samples at Online Poster Printing.

Plus using your Digital Photos on Posters you can order them in large quantities for your business, event promos, sports teams or any group you may be involved in. Online Poster Printing is always fast and affordable and thier customer service professionals are always helpful. Check them out today.

(With all the glare in my office it's hard to get a good picture but trust me the poster is beautiful!)

For your chance to win just say "Pick Me!" in the comments below. For extra entries, in a separate comment, send me the link to a photo that you might use if you win. For another extra entry, Tweet this giveaway using the "ShareThis" gadget at the end of this post or your own message and leave me the link to your tweet in another separate comment. Tweet entries can be done once a day.

This giveaway is open until February 13th and is open to US residents only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or a new winner will be selected. 


Good Luck!


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January 25, 2010

Review: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

Spider's Bite: An Elemental Assassin Book


To most people, Gin Blanco is an ordinary waitress at the neighborhood barbecue joint. To the people she's hired to kill, she's the Spider, a deadly assassin who can lie in wait and attack with deadly force before you even know what hit you.

When someone double crosses Gin and tries to kill her she knows that if they found her they also found her mentor, Fletcher and his son Finn. She narrowly escapes death and flees to the Pork Pit where she finds Fletcher killed by an Air Elemental. Now Gin will do whatever it takes to clear her own name and keep Finn safe and that includes a truce with the handsome detective Donovan Caine. There's only one problem... Gin assassinated his partner and he knows it.

Having read all of Jennifer's Big Time books I jumped at the chance to read and review Spider's Bite but I wasn't expecting such a gritty Urban Fantasy with lots and lots of blood. The Big Time books were paranormal chick lit that was light and funny. This one was definitely not chick lit but it was AWESOME! Gin is amazing. Yes, she's an assassin but she has a heart. And the sexual tension between Gin and Donovan? Electrifying!

I honestly can gush all night but you really have to read it to believe it. Jennifer Estep really knows how to weave a fantasy tale that will keep you reading way past your bedtime. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves urban fantasy or just a seriously great start to a new series. I can't wait for the next two installments, Web of Lies and Venom coming soon.

Big Time Books


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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione

WINNERS: Cheryl in Indiana, Debbie and Doreen in Canada, Crystal in Kentucky and Beth in New Jersey


Lore is a Seminus half-breed demon who has been forced to act as his dark master's assassin. Now to earn his freedom and save his sister's life, he must complete one last kill. Powerful and ruthless, he'll stop at nothing to carry out this deadly mission.


Idess is an earthbound angel with a wild side, sworn to protect the human Lore is targeting. She's determined to thwart her wickedly handsome adversary by any means necessary-even if that means risking her vow of eternal chastity. But what begins as a simple seduction soon turns into a passion that leaves both angel and demon craving complete surrender.

Torn between duty and desire, Lore and Idess must join forces as they battle their attraction for each other. Because an enemy from the past is rising again-one hellbent on vengeance and unthinkable destruction.



AUTHOR BIO

I began writing the way so many writers do—the moment I learned to wield a pencil. But even as a child, I didn't write "kid" stories. I preferred something more dramatic. Something that didn't include Dick, Jane, and a dog named Spot. I wanted my characters to be named Dracula and my dogs to have names like White Fang or Cujo. I'll always have my parents to thank for that. They never censored my reading material (though I suspect that if they had truly known what was between the covers of some of the books, they'd have been a little more careful,) so when other girls my age were reading Laura Ingalls Wilder and Judy Blume, I was immersing myself in Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
Later, after I'd joined the Air Force and was in dire need of something to read between shifts at the weather station, I continued to read horror, but I'd branched out into fantasy, and then, finally, romance (though I admit I went kicking and screaming to the latter.)
Turned out that I loved romance! So I started writing it, but again, my style and voice leaned toward the dark, paranormal side. Fortunately for me, paranormal romance, as a sub-genre, was booming. I let my imagination fly, and soon I'd sold a series of dark, sexy paranormal romances to Grand Central Publishing.
I still read a lot of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and in fact, one of my all time favorite books about writing is On Writing, by my favorite childhood horror author, Stephen King. If you're an author or a reader, I highly recommend this book for an insight into an author's mind—which can sometimes be a very scary place.
Go ahead; Seduce your dark side.
Author Website: LarissaIone.com
The Demonica Series - My Reviews


To enter to win one of five copies just visit Larissa's website and comment on one thing you learned while visiting. It could be anything.

For extra entries Tweet about the giveaway using the "ShareThis" link at the end of this post or Tweet your own message. Twitter entries can be done once a day, just be sure to leave me the link to your Tweet each time you do.

Giveaway open to US and Canada only. Please, no PO Boxes. Winners will be selected February 8th and will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email. Please be sure to leave me an email address in your comment if it's not in your profile or your post using anonymous.



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January 22, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Really Angelic: Pride and Prejudice with a steamy paranormal twist by Enid Wilson

WINNER: Kat in Minnesota 
Really Angelic: Pride and Prejudice with a steamy paranormal twist






Do you love Pride and Prejudice retellings? This is actually only my second one but I'm hooked. Whenever I read a really touching and memorable book I always find myself thinking about the characters long after the book is over. Now with P&P fan fiction I get my fix simply by reading books like Enid's previous Pride and Prejudice inspired Regency romance, Bargain with the Devil and now with Really Angelic.


Another huge plus is that I can clearly picture the characters in my head because I've seen the movie. To me that just makes these fun and sexy romps much more realistic (yes, even when the story is about a fallen angel, LOL).


It's really hard to describe the book without giving away any spoilers. From the cover you can tell who's the angel but of course there's more than one. I won't share what kind or give hints as to who else may be. You'll just have to pick up your own copy and read all the juicy goodness for yourself and learn just how demonic Mr. Darcy can really be. I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice fan fiction or just good old-fashioned hot and steamy romances.


And speaking of steamy romances, In Quest of Theta Magic is still my absolute favorite of Enid's books. I wish that one was a series because I would be first in line to read the next book. Take a peek at my review and then pick up your own copy!


****Excerpt****

Senses reeling, Elizabeth closed her eyes, hoping to escape back into oblivion and shut out the evil spirit, but the ghost exclaimed, “Do not swoon! I am no ghost. I am an angel. And I have no time to wait again for you to wake up. I have had a most tiring day.”

An angel? Then what is she doing here in my room? Elizabeth gathered her courage and raised herself higher, sitting up in bed. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

“I have come for you,” the angel said.

Elizabeth gasped, then asked in an unsteady voice, “Am I about to die? Have you come to bring me to Heaven?”

“No such thing. You have it all wrong. You are one of us.”

“One of you? Whatever do you mean?”

“You are an angel, too.”

At that, Elizabeth laughed out loud. “Your jest is a foolish one!” This was the first moment in which she had truly felt like herself since re-encountering Mr. Darcy. “I am Elizabeth Bennet, second daughter of Mr. Bennet from Longbourn of Hertfordshire. I assure you that, quite justifiably, I have never been called an ‘angel’ in my entire life. Are you sure you do not want to speak with my elder sister, Jane? I remember hearing Mr. Bingley call her an angel earlier tonight.”

“I am most serious,” the angel protested. “I am Michael. And you are Lizzybell.” She shook her head and continued, “No, in female form as I am now, I suppose you must call me Mihaela.”

Elizabeth continued to laugh, “Lizzybell? What an awful name for an angel! I am sure I have never read of an angel with such a name.”

“You are a level-six angel. No one in Himins gives level-six angels proper attention.” Mihaela grimaced. “I do admit, your name is a trifle horrible.”

“Himins?”

“It is the correct name for what you on Earth call ‘Heaven’,” Mihaela said. “But let us not begin on the history of Himins. I am pressed for time. I need to tell you why I am here and what you need to do.”

Elizabeth nodded her head, since protesting seemed to do no good. She did not in the least understand what was happening. Perhaps it was all a dream.

“I work in the Lost Angel Commission. You dropped from Himins through a crack in the sky. It took me some time to track you down. I need to arm you with knowledge and skill about Himins so that you can return to us at the next opportunity.”

“Now I know that you jest,” Elizabeth stated with conviction. “What sort of Heaven is that, where an angel can be lost and simply drop from the sky?***


Well, if you were to create an angel order, how will you do it? Enter to win a copy of Really Angelic by telling me and Enid all about it. 

The above excerpt was adapted from Enid Wilson’s latest Regency novel Really Angelic, a steamy paranormal retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Enid has generously offered a paperback copy of the book to one Reading With Monie visitor. Just tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment here by January 29th and you have a chance to win your very own copy of this delicious book. Entry opens to US readers only. To read more about Enid’s books, you can visit http://steamydarcy.com

For extra entries Tweet about the giveaway using the "ShareThis" link at the end of this post or Tweet your own message. Twitter entries can be done once a day, just be sure to leave me the link to your Tweet each time you do.

Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email. Please be sure to leave me an email address in your comment if it's not in your profile or your post using anonymous.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review.


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January 19, 2010

Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle)


Product Description: 
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb.... As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

My Review: 
I am so glad that The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was my January book club pick. To be honest I probably would have never given this book a chance otherwise and it was an amazing story of survival, friendship and love that kept me reading late into the night.

Juliet has so much such spunk and wit that I instantly fell in love with her spirit. But then I was are introduced to the wonderful cast of characters from the island of Guernsey and I was pulled right into their lives.

One thing about The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society that I wasn't expecting was that the book is told entirely by letters. At first I was disappointed by this because I've read a couple of books that are written the same way and some of the text can seem to be added just as more content but with The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society every word is meaningful and I can't see reading this book any other way. I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves a touching story of endurance and triumph in difficult times.


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January 17, 2010

Review: Breakfast in Bed by Robin Kaye

Breakfast in Bed


Rich Ronaldi is everything a girl would want. He's handsome, smart and knows how to please a woman in bed. But when his girlfriend, Gina, leaves him because he's not long-term relationship material it causes a kink in Rich's plan on securing tenure at his college.

Struggling artist Becca Larsen has a huge chip on her shoulder. She wants nothing more than to prove to her father that she can make it in the art world without her rich family's connections.

When circumstances land Rich and Becca in the same apartment they have no choice but to make it work while Becca's new apartment and studio are being remodeled. Then Rich has a brilliant idea. He convinces Becca to teach him how to become a Domestic God so that he can win Gina back and show the dean of his college that he's stable and dependable.

The only thing that neither of them counted on was the sparks that fly whenever they're in the same room. Will Becca let Rich knock the chip off her shoulder and will Rich realize that his perfect match isn't the one he's trying to win back??

Breakfast in Bed is the third book in the Domestic Gods series. I read and loved Romeo, Romeo and have Too Hot Too Handle in my TBR pile but by reading this one out of order I didn't miss anything. Breakfast in Bed follows the tried and true romance recipe of the perfect couple finding love then getting torn apart only to come back together for a happily ever after but it's still an amazing love story.

First off who wouldn't fall in love with a guy who goes from typical messy male who starts laundry on fire to an immaculate housekeeper that can brew a mean cup of coffee. I fell in love with Rich and wanted to smack Becca up side the head and I always say that when an author makes me care that much about characters the book is a must read. Breakfast in Bed is a quick, lightly steamy read that I recommend to all romance lovers.

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January 10, 2010

Squee!! Author Mario Acevedo will be on Blog Talk Radio Monday at 10:00am CST




I Just Finished.com has a weekly interview session called Coffee with an Author and one of my favorite authors will be on this Monday January 11th at 10:00am CST.

To listen in you can stream live from the IJF Home Page or go directly to the IJG page on Blog Talk Radio. The call in number to listen in or ask Mario a question is (646) -716-9724.


Here is the link to the interview. Yes that was me sounding all stuffy asking Mario two questions. LOL


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January 3, 2010

Ebook Reader Giveaway from The Bibliophilic Book Blog

Win your choice of a Nook, Kindle, Sony Touch, Sony Pocket or a $150 Gift Card to the bookstore of your choice. How amazing is that? Monica from The Bibliophilic Book Blog is doing this to honor soldiers so be sure to thank a soldier if you get the chance and please donate to Monica’s Battle Buddy Book Fund if you can.

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Review: Untraceable by Laura Griffin

Untraceable


One of private investigator Alex Lovell's special skills is to help clients disappear while leaving bread crumbs that throw the pursuer off in the wrong direction. The key to this though is that the client sticks to the plan.

When Alex finds out that Melanie Bess has not only left her hiding place in Florida but come back to Austin she is livid. Tracking her down to a remote cabin Alex finds a severed ipod earbud and a suspicious amount of blood which leads her to believe that Melanie's ex has caught up with her.

Alex then takes her suspicions to the homicide detective Nathan Deveraux. Not only does Nathan think that Melanie is not truly missing but he also doesn't believe that her ex, who is an upstanding member of the Austin PD, is involved. But little by little the clues start to add up to something bigger than either of them suspected and if Alex keeps digging, she just might be digging her own grave.

Untraceable is a the first book in the new Tracers Series but both Alex and Nathan are characters that appear in Griffin's Glass Sisters Series so starting the book they were already familiar characters for me.

Griffin is truly a master of the romantic suspense genre. She captures the heat between Alex and Nathan perfectly and at the same time gives us a nail-biting plot that is fully developed. It kept me guessing until the very end and I never even figured who was behind the bad buys which was genius!! Untraceable is a recommended read for anyone who loves a perfect romantic suspense novel.

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January 1, 2010

Review: In the Courts of the Sun by Brian D'Amato

In the Courts of the Sun



By now we all know the story of December 21, 2012. It's the last day of the Mayan calendar and the day the world will end. But not if the Sacrifice Game player, Jed DeLanda, has anything to say about it.

When Jed learns about the ability to send consciousness back in time through a wormhole he immediately volunteers for the trip. His goal will be to learn the Game from the top Mayan players in 664 AD to better predict events in 2012 to eventually stop the end of the world.

As he wakes up in the mind of a Maya in 664 AD he quickly realizes two things have gone wrong. First, instead of taking over a Mayan king, he is in the mind and body of a ballplayer who is about to throw himself off a temple as a sacrifice. Secondly instead of the ballplayer's mind being wiped clean with Jed's conscious taking its place, the ball player is fully aware that Jed is trying to take over his body and is fully intent on following through with his death.

First off I have to congratulate myself on finishing this one. At 679 pages its one of the longest books I've read in a long time and I have to say sometimes the pages were slow going.

Even though I got through the whole book I just couldn't get a handle on the Sacrifice Game. As a consequence anytime anything relating to the Game was discussed I felt totally lost. What makes up for that disappointment was the incredible descriptions of the Mayan people and their cities. It's really amazing how I could easily visualize the settings.

Overall there is a good story lying in between the confusion of the Game components but I probably won't be reading the next two books in the trilogy.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review.

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