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Batty Book Review: The Rivals of Dracula by Nick Rennison, Ed.

My great thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for a fair review.

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rivals of dracula

Book Title: THE RIVALS OF DRACULA

ISBN: 9781843446330

Author: Nick Rennison, Ed.

Series: N/A

PublisherTrafalgar Square Publishing, Old Castle Books

Category: Compilation, Horror

Main Characters: Assorted Literary Relatives of Dracula-ish

Author’s Website: As a scholarly writer, he doesn’t have one, but here’s his Goodreads.

Find It: Goodreads

Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley, ebook

Rating: 4.5-full-moons A Solid 4.5 Batty Moons!

PUBLISHER’S DESCRIPTION:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, still the most famous of all vampire stories, was first published in 1897. But the bloodsucking Count was not the only member of the undead to bare his fangs in the literature of the period. Late Victorian and Edwardian fiction is full of vampires and this anthology of scary stories introduces modern readers to 15 of them.

A travel writer in Sweden unleashes something awful from an ancient mausoleum. A psychic detective battles a vampire that has taken refuge in an Egyptian mummy. A nightmare becomes reality in the tower room of a gloomy country house. Including works by both well known writers of the supernatural such as M. R. James and E. F. Benson and less familiar authors like the Australian Hume Nisbet and the American F. Marion Crawford, The Rivals of Dracula is a collection of classic tales to chill the blood and tingle the spine.

Heather’s Review:

Cut because I ramble on forever, as I do…

Read the rest of this page »

A Cheerful Day!

I mean, I’m still sad about His Purple Highness having left us, but we all have to carry on.

Back in the world, where things forever move forward, I have two positive bits of news!

1. On the less interesting end, I finished my first freelance piece in a long time. I’ve just been jammed up mentally, and not feeling like I was in a place where I could trust my ability to get a piece done once I took the contract for it. Now I just have to hope that the client is okay with it.

2. Better than that (definitely SQUEE-worthy, in my world) is that the short story penned by my steamier alter-ego, A.Sangrey Black, is in process to be published! MLR Press and I have worked out her (my) contract, and now I think there will be a final line edit, the arrangements for graphics, and finally, a drop date. SQUEE! Of course you guys will be the first to know, once things are finalized.

I adore this story. The characters are actually older, 45ish or so (around my age), and is about two people getting a second chance at love. Their story is sad, and sweet, and very, very hot. (imo) Coming back to it after having set it down several years ago when I got really sick, was almost like reading it for the first time. It brought tears to my eyes, and I hope other people will like it too.

 

RIP #Prince 1958-2016 Rest Well.

I don’t even know exactly what to say to this. Prince was such a huge part of my coming of age. Purple Rain was one of the albums that marks the beginning of my adolescence. When Doves Cry was my song with my first “serious” boyfriend. I remember my girls and I singing “Kiss” while we worked out in the gym. I swear I saw the Purple Rain movie at least a dozen times when it was in the theater, and every time it’s on TV, I watch it, even with some of the “really good parts” scrubbed out.

I remember my junior prom, when I was a weeny bit buzzed, and while freaking out on the dance floor to “1999”, fell and bonked my noggin. My dad and I loved to sing “Little Red Corvette” in our boring station wagon, and my dad would just randomly break out into “Raspberry Beret” (wrong lyrics and all) because he liked it.

Prince blew my mind later on, when he took himself away from the greedy music industry by changing his “owned” name to a unique, trademarked symbol that people couldn’t speak or type.

artist

He was then mostly known as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” Some people made fun of the idea — I’ll confess, including me at the time–but later, I completely came to understand what taking this kind of radical step meant: Prince was a free man, a free soul, neither himself nor his music owned by anyone but himself and his people.

He was such an entertainer. Seeing him perform at the Super Bowl just made me cry. He was colorful and sparkly and weird, elegant and strange, but his music was always beautiful, surprising, outside the mainstream.

This is one of those things that is starting to happen now, at my age. Beloved musicians, idols, artists from my youth are starting to die. Prince was one of the first I discovered when I began to explore the road to adulthood, so now it almost seems fitting that his death is one of the first ones to make me cry at mid-life. He wasn’t much older than me, actually. A young man to die. His creativity and music will be greatly missed.

Batty Book Review: I Dream of Dragons by Ashlyn Chase

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy to read in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll be honest — I’ve been seeing this book everywhere, and I was dying to get my virtual grubby little hands on it.

cover78590-medium

Book Title: I DREAM OF DRAGONS

ISBN: 9781492610069

Author: Ashlyn Chase

Series: Boston Dragons (#1)

PublisherSOURCEBOOKS Casablanca

Category: Fantasy Romance

Main Characters: Amber/Rory

Author’s Website: http://www.ashlynchase.com/

Sales Links: Release Date May 03, 2016

Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley, ebook ARC

Rating: 4-full-moons A Solid 4 Batty Moons!

PUBLISHER’S DESCRIPTION:

THE HEAT IS ON
When Rory Arish and his two fiery dragon siblings are run out of their ancestral Irish home, it seems their luck has run out-until they arrive in Boston and find a paranormal-friendly apartment building. Finally, Rory has a place to call home. There’s only one problem: Rory’s new lair has simultaneously been rented to an infuriating woman who is as stubborn as she is beautiful and will not leave ‘her’ apartment matter how steamed he may be…

AND SPARKS FLY
Amber McNally is a down-on-her-luck flight attendant. She needs this apartment, and not even a fire-breathing dragon with his Irish charm and scorching good looks is going to scare her away. Holing up in their respective corners, a battle of wills ensues. Who will be the first to blink…or give in to their off-the-charts chemistry and decide to make this unorthodox living arrangement a little more permanent?

Heather’s Review:

CAUTION – I’m putting the review behind a cut because it contains SPOILERS!

Read the rest of this page »

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 14

Slow and… sort of stuttering!

I’m working on three different projects right now, plus the book reviews. I’ve got the contemporary, HEAT STROKE, in progress, and a M/M story for Halloween. I want to get to a nice, comfy PNR after that, as well as considering some WIP’s that need finishing.

I want it to be a big year for getting books out.

I’m waiting for news from the publisher I entered HEAT STROKE with, and an older M/M contemporary (actually with older guys as the heroes) that I was going to get published with MLR Press under my steamier pen name A. Sangrey Black. I’m discussing the possibility of releasing it with them now, but we’ll see.

How’s your reading and writing going?

Teaser Tuesday: April 12,2016

TeaserTeaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB of Books and Beat.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Sentences:

“For someone who had lived through so many lifetimes, the wait this time for someone to acknowledge him was agonizing….Again, the vamp nodded.’We know you can back up that claim.'” p.521 *

*This version of the book was bundled with a second one, so the page number is off.

TITLE: Immortal Redeemed
AUTHOR: Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Nocturne
GENRE: PNR/UF
RELEASE DATE: March 16,2016

Batty Book Review: The Dark Vampire by

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Paperbacks for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


cover82954-mediumBook Title
: THE DARK VAMPIRE

ISBN: 9781250053770

AuthorKate Baxter

SeriesLast True Vampire

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Category: Paranormal Romance

Main Characters: Jenner/Bria, Others

Author’s Website: http://authorkatebaxter.blogspot.com/

Sales Links: Release Date May 03, 2016

Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley, ebook.

Rating: 3.5-full-moons  3.5 FULL MOONS

PUBLISHER’S DESCRIPTION:

PASSION RULES IN DARKNESS.

Jenner is a newly turned vampire who stalks the night like a wild beast of prey, hunting and feeding his appetites with a string of willing women…and always wanting more. Nothing can satisfy the aching hunger that burns inside him—until he crosses paths with a beautiful, innocent vampire who sets his soul on fire.

Bria has never been able to escape the confines of her uncle’s home. But when the smolderingly sexy Jenner saves her—and promises to be her bodyguard—Bria is brought to a dark world of dangerous, insatiable desire. But once they feed upon each other, they expose themselves to an evil that they never saw coming…and now there’s no turning back. Will they divide and conquer—or stay together and lose it all to lust?

Heather’s Review:

 

My first draft of this review was all over the place. I liked this, I didn’t like that, it was a mess that ended up saying, “read it for yourself and decide.” But that’s kind of a chicken position for a reviewer. I’ll try to break down some thoughts so they’re a bit more clear than “I liked it! Except…”

One thing I HAVE to point out that I didn’t realize before I started reading was that this is the THIRD book in the Last True Vampire series. Totally my fault for not paying attention to the notes and realizing that. When I started reading I felt a little lost, like there was something I’d missed. The story stands alone, but I think it would read far better if you read the first books beforehand. ( The Last True Vampire (Last True Vampire, #1) The Warrior Vampire (Last True Vampire, #2) )

Read the rest of this page »

Batty Book Review: My Soul Immortal by by Jen Printy

Many thanks to NetGalley and Red Adept Publishing, LLC for providing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

cover85952-mediumBook Title: My Soul Immortal

ISBN: 9781940215259

Author: Jen Printy

Series: Fated Eternals

PublisherRed Adept Publishing, LLC

Category: Paranormal Romance

Main Characters: Jack/Leah, Artagan

Author’s Website: http://www.jenprinty.com/

Sales Links: Amazon * Goodreads * Publisher

Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley, ebook.

Rating: 4-full-moons  4 FULL MOONS

PUBLISHER’S DESCRIPTION:

An endless love, for an endless price.

Jack’s immortality is exposed when he prevents a liquor store heist, forcing him to flee to protect his secret—a secret not even he understands. But when he meets Leah Winters—a mirrIor image of his decades-lost love, Lydia—his very soul is laid bare. He begins to question his sanity. Is she real, and if so, what does that mean for Jack and his secret?

Jack’s not the only mystery man in town. A stranger named Artagan hints at knowledge Jack is desperate to possess. But can he trust Artagan, or does the dark newcomer harbor deadly secrets of his own?

As Jack’s bond with Leah grows, so does the danger to her life. Jack must discover just how much he is willing to risk in order to save the woman he already lost once.

Heather’s Review:

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book. It’s easy to become cynical when you’re a paranormal romance/urban fantasy lover. There are SO MANY books out there these days, that the market is sadly glutted with unoriginal plots, bad writing, and only a very few gems.

MY SOUL IMMORTAL is one of the good ones. It’s not perfect. For example, the first person POV of the hero is a little limiting, and tends to slide into the same internal thoughts over and over again. Sometimes, the plot gets a little slow and predictable. Luckily, those are intertwined with great action, excellent writing and storytelling style, and overall engrossing plot and story-within-story elements.

Calling this book merely a “paranormal romance” doesn’t fully capture its essence, either. There are elements of fantasy, mythology, a touch of history, and psychic phenomena throughout. I stayed up all night to finish, and went back to re-read bits I wanted to experience again. I loved Jack’s story, and I loved the relationship between he and Leah. I look forward to the rest of this series so I can visit the world Jen Printy has laid the foundation for.

Maybe best of all for this born and raised New Englander was its location in Maine. Most of my relatives live there, and I love it. It’s awesome that somebody besides Stephen King set a story there! LOL

@~~~~~@

OOOOO – Five Full Moons: OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK GO GET IT RIGHT NOW!
OOOO – Four Full Moons: I REALLY liked this. Well worth reading, and possibly re-reading!
OOO – Three Full Moons: Good! Worth a read.
OO – Two Full Moons: Not really to my taste, but not terrible.
O – One Full Moon: Has serious flaws that make it difficult to read and review fairly.
I also use half-moons as necessary. I should make it clear that I do review books on a number of levels, emotional and structural being the major ones. I might read a book with serious grammar and spelling flaws, but it could still win my heart due to characterization or story. Or a perfectly structured novel might leave me feeling nothing, and won’t get a great review. I DO always try to find something positive to say about a book, or I won’t say anything much at all. I DO NOT engage in mean-spirited snark, although I do give constructive criticism. As a writer, I can’t stand the former, and always appreciate the latter, even if it’s “negative.”

Hope this makes sense. Any questions, comments, or vague misgivings are welcome in the comments!

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 4!

CNW_Participant

Well, here we are: another year, another NaNo attempt. November is my favorite one, of course, but since April is my birthday month, and I already have a manuscript underway, I thought I would take the rest of Camp Nano to finish it.

Re-reading what I submitted to Harlequin makes me cringe a little. I scraped and scoured it, had other people read it over, and still when I got back, there are things I would change that I think would make it better. Actually, when things get published, there are things then I would change too.

But that’s not the point of NaNo. NaNo (National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know) rewards the Hemingway’s “Shitty First Draft” mentality. It helps people press through that “how do I start this?” block that stops many neophyte writers in their tracks. It tells you–don’t worry about quality, get the story down. Get nothing down but nonsense words. Just write. I think it’s a great teaching tool, because if you want to do this writing thing for more than just a lark, you’re going to have to learn to re-write, chop chapters, grow sections, and slaughter entire character arcs anyway.

This is the perfect opportunity to sharpen your “anything goes” skills! If you can get 55,000 words done in 30 days, you’ve got the basic foundation for starting to write!

Stepping Outside My Boundaries

Like, WAY outside. For example, I have not written one word of a contemporary romance since my first, “Ah, why not, I’ll just try it,” attempt well over 13 years ago. While it was the novel of my heart, it wasn’t very good, it was such a blatant Mary Sue that it would make EM James’inner goddess blush. But hey, every girl back then wanted to jump David Boreanaz, am I right? You A-girls know who I’m talking to!

The point, though, was getting out of fanfiction (I’m looking as you, again, Ms. James), making up something myself (even if the story was… weak, if steamy) and being able to say “I did it!”

I did, and I’ve been doing it (albeit in a different genre or two) ever since.

But with my health and general ennui over the past few years, I haven’t even wanted to wade into my beloved vampire fiction. I don’t care how “over” people say it is, I still read it, and I imagine others do too. However, when the urge to write came on again, I decided to stretch my wings. Try something completely different.

How about a Harlequin Romance? Specifically, a Harlequin Desire?

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