Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sexy Snippets: Eternal Hunger by Laura Wright


Tuesdays have never been so sexy! 
Sexy Snippets is a weekly meme hosted by Secrets of a Book Lover and Reading Between the Wines for the 18+ crowd. To join in just grab the button, post a sexy paragraph or two from your current read and share the author & title so other participates can add the book to their TBR lists if they like. Then add your post to the linky below so everyone can follow along. Have a sexy good time!

Eternal Hunger (Mark of the Vampire #1)"A dangerous game you play," he hissed, his eyes turning black cherry. He gathered her in his arms and carried her to the bed, sat her down on the achingly soft bedspread. He lowered to his knees before her, his even gaze roaming her naked flesh, the trimmed curls between her thighs that glistened with moisture, her flat stomach rising and falling with each heavy, desperate breath, and her sensitive, distended nipples that ached to be suckled.                                              His fangs quivered. "I have a need to torture myself, can't breath without torturing myself."                      Her cunt clenched with a need to be touched, to be filled. "This is torture? Touching me? Kissing me?"     He leaned toward her, his large hands encircling her waist, his mouth closing in on her left breast. "Sweet, painful, exquisite torture." He latched onto one rigid nipple and sucks deep.                                                Eternal Hunger by Laura Wright

Now it's your turn, show me your sexy!

Accidental Abduction by Eve Langlais - Giveaway Blitz!

Accidental Abduction
Eve Langlais
Sci Fi Romance
Abducted by a space pirate, she fights the temptation to let him plunder her goods.       A boyfriend’s attempted murder leaves Megan floundering in the ocean. Sinking without hope, the bright light she sees in the night sky isn’t her doorway to heaven, but rather the beginning of her accidental abduction by a space pirate. While thankful of his rescue, Megan stays true to form and just can’t keep her mouth shut, even when he keeps threatening to kill her--or auction her off to the highest bidder. Even odder, despite her decision to not get involved with her wickedly hot captor, she can’t help craving his touch.                                    Tren retired from his job as a mercenary so he could enjoy life, but he never counted on the boredom of normalcy. The acquisition of rare items has somewhat filled the void, but his accidental abduction of an outspoken earthling, who doesn’t know when to shut up, turns his life upside. Her fiery spirit draws him while at the same time drives him insane. Struggling with his urges, he must decide-- throttle her barbarian neck or ravish her delectably lush body?      Despite what his heart tries to tell him, he’s determined to sell her to the highest bidder even as he seduces her body. However, despite his best intentions, he discovers he can’t let her go. And when a foe from his past thinks to steal her, he’ll do anything to get her back

Eve Langlais - Canadian Romance Author

So you want to know a little about me? Well, I'm in my mid thirties, married 11 years to a wonderful supportive man--yes, he's a hunk-- who gave me three beautiful--noisy-- children aged ten, seven and four. I work as a webmistress/customer service rep from home and in my spare time--of which there is tragically too little-- I write, read or Wii. 

I was born in British Columbia, but being a military brat lived a little bit everywhere--Quebec, New Brunswick, Labrador, Virginia (USA) and finally Ontario. My family and I currently reside in the historic town of Bowmanville, about an hour or so out of Toronto. 

Wow was that ever boring!!! Now for the fun stuff. 

I'm writing fantasy the way I like it--hot with a touch of magic. I enjoy reading and writing stories that push the envelope of what we consider normal, and I love to cross the line into fantasy. I tend to have alot of sexual tension in my tales as I think all torrid love affairs start with a tingle in our tummies. My heroes are very male, you could even say border line chest thumping at times. So if you want a truly sensitive man, I am not for you. But that said, my men will do almost anything for the one they love. Even babysit.

I'd love to tell you more, but judging from the sounds in the living room the children are at it again, which means I'll need a mop and loads of patience. What I really need is a robot maid like Jane Jetson! Thanks for checking me out and hope to see you again soon.


Eve is giving away one digital copy of Accidental Abduction. To enter, just fill out the form below. Giveaway will end on June 14th at 11:59pm and one winner will be chosen at random. Want more chances to win? Visit any of the other 12 blogs participating in the Blitz Giveaway and enter there as well! You can find a tour schedule here

Monday, May 30, 2011

What's Beside Your Bed: Claimed by the Highlander by Julianne MacLean & The Harlot by Saskia Walker

Hosted by Nanny at Getting Naughty Between the Stacks, this is basically an adult book blogger version of What Are You Reading? All you have to do is...
  1. Post the banner
  2. Jot down what is currently on your night stand, What you're reading before bed, or You can just post your current read,
  3. Then link up.

Claimed by the HighlanderWith his tawny mane, battle-hewn brawn, and ferocious roar, Angus “The Lion” MacDonald is the most fearsome warrior Lady Gwendolen has ever seen—and she is his most glorious conquest. Captured in a surprise attack on her father’s castle, Gwendolen is now forced to share her bed with the man who defeated her clan. But, in spite of Angus’s overpowering charms, she refuses to surrender her innocence without a fight…With her stunning beauty, bold defiance, and brazen smile , Gwendolen is the most infuriating woman Angus has ever known—and the most intoxicating. Forcing her to become his bride will unite their two clans. But conquering Gwendolen’s heart will take all his skills as a lover. Night after night, his touch sets her on fire. Kiss after kiss, his hunger fuels her passion. But, as Gwendolen’s body betrays her growing love for Angus, a secret enemy plots to betray them both…

And I had to take a break from this one because I just couldn't keep my focus on it but I plan on going back to it.

The Harlot
It is a Dark Era, one when a lusty lass will do what she must to survive. Even if it means bartering flesh for a palmful of coins… 
Forced to watch her mother burned at the stake and separated from her siblings in the aftermath, Jessie Taskill is similarly gifted, ripe with a powerful magic that must stay hidden. Until one night when she's accused by a rival, and Jessie finds herself behind prison walls with a roguish priest unlike any man of the cloth she has known.
In reality, Gregor Ramsay is as far from holy as the devil himself, but his promise of freedom in return for her services may be her salvation. Locked into a dubious agreement, Jessie resents his plan to have her seduce and ruin his lifelong enemy. But toying with Gregor’s lust for her is enjoyable, and she agrees to be his pawn while secretly intending to use him just as he is using her.


Friday, May 27, 2011

ARC Review: The Deadliest Bite by Jennifer Rardin

The Deadliest Bite (Jaz Parks, #8)The Deadliest Bite 
Jaz Parks #8
by Jennifer Rardin
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: June 2nd 2011 by Orbit
ISBN 0316043818
Courtesy of NetGalley
I have two choices. Carve Brude's name into Hell's bile-encrusted gates. Or lose my soul.After an assassination attempt on Vayl, I find myself pulled into a tangled web that takes the gang to Romania. So how will I save a ghost, rescue a demon, and cheat the Great Taker out of a soul he's slavering for while defeating my nastiest foe yet so that Vayl can, at last, cherish a few precious years with his sons? With careful planning, major violence, and one (hopefully) final trip to Hell.
My Thoughts:

The eighth and last installment in the Jaz Parks series, The Deadliest Bite is bittersweet to say the least.

*May contain series spoilers. You should read the rest of the series before this one, or you will miss major plot elements tied to each novel. Not to mention an awesome urban fantasy series!

The series follows CIA assassin Jaz Parks and her vampire partner, Vayl, across the world fighting diabolical creatures of the Otherworld and deadly terrorists that threaten our country. All her adventures have lead to this thrilling climax where it is do or die time for this fantastical agent. Jaz must travel to Hell and carve the evil Brude’s name on Hell’s wall with an ancient tool, or loose her soul. It’s never a solo journey when it comes to her loyal team though and each character is put to the test in the depths of Hell. But will Jaz have to make a decision between her life and the life of her lover’s children?

In this last book, The Deadliest Bite, we finally get to see the outcome of the relationship that books 1-7 have built between Jaz and Vayl; the chemistry, the passion, the trust and the love. The novel starts off with them enjoying some down time in Vayl’s home and playing a fun game of strip hide ‘n’ seek. They both have moved on from their pasts and have developed a lasting connection, they stop dwelling on what they’ve lost and look to what they have, with each other. But the past has a way of sneaking up on you and when a would-be-murdered turns out to be one of Vayl’s long lost sons things start to get interesting! Jaz tells the story from her POV, sometimes making statements like "Cole would later tell me that…” The world Rardin has built is wonderfully descriptive without over doing it. With strong characters all around, each well developed with their own little quirks. The Jaz Parks series is fun, snarky, humorous and adventurous, and The Deadliest Bite is no exception. It’s well paced with just the right amount of action and suspense with a fun little twist concerning Vayl’s sons. Jaz is her normal feisty self, true to the character we first met in Once Bitten, Twice Shy. Light romance and exciting sexual tension adds to the entertainment of it all. A fantastic UF series to add to your list and a must read for sure!

This was the last novel that Jennifer Rardin penned before passing away, and I’m not sure if it was meant to be the last in the series or not, but it really wrapped up everything nicely giving all the characters a bright and happy future. Rardin will definitely live on in my mind as one of my all time favorite authors. 

Series Order:
The Deadliest Bite

**Orbit has just released two short stories from the series for $1.99 each, you can check them out at Orbit's FaceBook page

Rating: 4 Wine Glasses - Loved It! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guest Post with author Ethan Cross of The Shepherd

The Shepherd by Ethan Cross

When we turn on the news and see headlines describing the deeds of a serial killer, we immediately wonder “How could a human being do something like that?” and “What drove him over the edge?” When trying to unravel these mysteries, investigators often look to the person’s past. They search for an event or series of events that led this seemingly normal person to their ultimate fall from the realm of the socially acceptable into the world of the criminally insane. But then, we wonder if there is more at work behind these actions than a traumatic childhood or series of bad experiences. Was this person born broken? Are they evil? Most researchers accept that the deviant behavior of serial killers is a combination of many factors. When questioned about nature vs. nurture, one psychologist asked, “Which contributes more to the area of a rectangle, its length or its width?” And yet, there is no simple answer, and some maintain that the circumstances into which a person is born determines their personality.

Ethan Cross - AuthorIn my new novel, The Shepherd, I touch upon the concept of nature vs. nurture as I place the reader into the mind of a twisted psychopath named Francis Ackerman. Ackerman’s father was a psychologist who wanted to prove that he could create a monster by subjecting his seemingly normal son to every known traumatic event that had occurred in the lives of modern day serial killers. His thinking is obviously flawed because by trying to prove his theories, he establishes that there must be something broken within himself that he could have passed onto his son, giving credence to the very concept he set out to disprove. While this is only a small piece in the grand tapestry of the novel, it’s still an important factor in understanding the twisted thoughts and character of a man like Ackerman.

In a study conducted by the FBI, researchers found that 74% of the killers surveyed experienced some type of abuse, whether physical or psychological, during their childhood. 43% reported that they experienced sexual abuse firsthand. The abused child growing up to become a serial killer has become a cliché within our society, and yet there is a definite link between abuse at a young age and violent behavior later in life. However, the fact remains that most people who were abused as a child don’t grow up to become Ted Bundy, and there are many killers that had a normal childhood. So, while abuse and circumstance is definitely a factor, there must be more behind the madness.

We like to think that we are the masters of our own fate, but the truth is that much of who we are was determined before we spoke our first word or even took our first breath. The intricate make-up of our genes had already laid out a certain path before us. We can overcome this and change our fate, but that doesn’t negate the fact that certain barriers or advantages exist from the moment of our births. A five-foot-four man can play professional basketball, but he has a much greater barrier than someone born to be seven-foot-one. And beyond the physical characteristics, there are certain mannerisms and behaviors that we seem to inherit as well. Since my daughter was a tiny baby, she has tucked her thumb into her palm and held it with the rest of her fingers. The gesture seemed strange to me at first, until I realized that I do that constantly. She obviously didn’t learn this behavior from me, and it’s fascinating to think that such a small action could be coded within her genetic sequence. It stands to reason that a person could be born with an inherited pre-disposition to violent behavior, but is there even more than genetics and circumstance at work?

The Shepherd by Ethan CrossThere are also certain religious or philosophical issues to consider. Is there an evil or negative force at work in the universe beyond what we can see and easily quantify? These factors are often dismissed by the psychiatric community, but since most of us believe in some sort of higher power, we can’t help but wonder at the existence of evil. Although this is an area that is even more difficult to study and classify, I believe it’s where the true key to deviant behavior may be found. I believe that all serial killers, regardless of varying circumstance and genetics, share one common trait. They all harbor a darkness inside themselves, a darkness that shines through in their terrible deeds. But the truly scary thing is that I believe we all carry this darkness or capacity for evil to some degree, and this is where genetics, knowledge, and the events of our pasts come into play. These factors contribute to our ability to hold the darkness at bay. We’ve all learned from a very young age how to manage our impulses. Otherwise, we would allow that sudden animal instinct of anger or lust to elevate into rape or murder and our society would quickly crumble.

I’ve always found this concept of darkness and the questions that go along with it to be fascinating. Can the worst killer overcome the darkness and find some form of redemption? Can they learn to control the darkness despite the barriers working against them? What happens to a good man that embraces the darkness with the best of intentions and under a banner of righteousness? It’s these concepts, along with others, that I explore within the pages of The Shepherd. And these elements also play a role in my other upcoming novels, including The Cleansing—book two of the Shepherd series—and my next stand-alone thriller entitled The Darkness Never Sleeps, which deals with a repentant serial killer that must fall into his old habits in order to save his daughter from a group of drug runners being financed by the CIA.

Review & Giveaway: Scandal in Scotland by Karen Hawkins

Scandal in Scotland (Hurst Amulet, #2)Scandal in Scotland 
Hurst Amulet #2
by Karen Hawkins
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: May 31st 2011 by Pocket 
ISBN 1439175934
Courtesy of publisher for review
A DESPERATE BEAUTY            Despite fame and countless admirers, actress Marcail Beauchamp has never forgotten William Hurst, the audacious seafarer she once loved . . . and lost. Now, forced by a mysterious blackmailer who threatens her family, she must steal an ancient onyx box from the one man she’s vowed never to see again.                                                                               A BOLD ADVENTURER  To save his brother from a ruthless abductor, William must deliver the artifact as ransom. He’s stunned when Marcail, more lovely than ever, suddenly appears on his ship. But when she drugs him and steals the box, his fury knows no bounds.                                                THE TREASURE EVERYONE WANTS  William pursues Marcail, but too late: she has already delivered the box. The estranged lovers realize they must work together—both to regain the artifact that could mean life or death to his family and to destroy the mysterious blackmailer’s power over her family. Thus begins a high-stakes quest through the reaches of Scotland, a quest that stirs up long-forgotten memories and an unquenchable passion. . . .

My Thoughts:

Scandal in Scotland was a wonderfully romantic and thrilling adventure that I was unable to put down!

This is my first Karen Hawkins read and it will not be my last! I didn’t read the first novel in this series, One Night in Scotland, and I don’t feel that I missed anything to hinder my enjoyment of this story. Scandal in Scotland was a great stand-alone. From what I understand, one of the Hurst siblings has been taken hostage in Egypt and the rest of the family must retrieve an artifact to free him. Mary Hurst was able to attain it from the Earl of Erroll, who she is now engaged to (One Night in Scotland) and now Captain William Hurst is in possession of it and is about to sail to Egypt to rescue his brother…

Boarding his ship the Agile Witch, Captain William Hurst is on a mission to rescue his brother, Michael, from kidnappers in Egypt. He must safely transport an ancient artifact, the Hurst Amulet, and trade it for Michael’s life, but when he gets to his cabin to lock away the amulet he realizes he is not alone.
The woman that held and then shattered his heart years ago is in his cabin and after drugging him, steals the amulet for herself and disappears. But William is determined and with his brother’s life at stake tracks her down to a small village where he learns that all is not what it seems with the beautiful actress Marcail Beauchamp, and maybe it never was…

I was captivated by the main characters William and Marcail and loved watching them grow and mature in their views of past hurts and finally finding forgiveness. They both realized that while yes, they were in love, they were too young and not ready for the intense feelings that they shared for one another. It was a journey of discovery for them and the righting of many misconceptions.
The romance in Scandal in Scotland was heartwarming and the sex sizzling; and I would just like to note that I was wishing for my very own coach and six while reading a certain scene. *wink* The plot was charming and witty with action, adventure, intrigue and blackmail with endearing characters all around, including the side characters. Which I am on a search for now to find out their stories, Karen Hawkin’s book list here I come!

The reason I am rating this as a four instead of a five is because the ending felt abrupt to me, I read it and thought ‘What, that’s it? It’s the end already? That was quick.’ It was boom, boom action and then ‘The End.’ But maybe that was because I was enjoying the story so much it went by so quickly and I didn’t want it to end. *shrugs* Great read regardless and I will definitely be going back to read the first book in the Hurst Amulet series and any new installments Hawkins writes.

Hilarious scene with two batty old ladies and Marcail:
“The only profession where breasts would be an asset would be if one were forced to carry something of weight upon one’s back. Then one’s breasts might act as counterweights.”
And then it goes on, ending with, “ For a woman to be truly liberated, she has to be free of her breasts.”

Rating: 4 Wine Glasses, Loved it!


I loved this book so much I asked if I could do a giveaway and the fabulous Ayelet at Simon and Schuster has offered one copy to giveaway to US readers! To enter, just fill out the form below. Giveaway will end at 11:59pm on June 9th. One winner will be picked at random using random.org. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pump It Up Blog Tour Review: The Shepherd by Ethan Cross


Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. both have a talent for hurting people. Marcus, a former New York City homicide detective, uses his abilities to protect others, while Ackerman uses his gifts to inflict pain and suffering. When both men become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of our government, Marcus finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse trapped between a twisted psychopath and a vigilante with seemingly unlimited resources. Aided by a rogue FBI agent and the vigilante's beautiful daughter--a woman with whom he's quickly falling in love--Marcus must expose the deadly political conspiracy and confront his past while hunting down one of the most cunning and ruthless killers in the world.


WOW!  This book hit the ground running and didn't stop!  I love a story that catches me right away and The Shepherd did it.

From the very first chapter the reader is thrust into the twisted mind of a depraved serial killer.  There is no telling what he will do next and the author definitely keeps the reader on the edge of their seat with anticipation.  I often found myself holding my breath as I was reading, felt my heart racing or realized I was clenching my fists as I read each line.  And just when I thought I knew what was coming next, I was surprised over and over again.

As if a serial killer wasn't enough, the author adds a crazy sheriff with an agenda and a conspiracy into the mix and it's all I could do to not break out in a sweat with all the action!

In addition to that, the rest of the story was well written.  Even the side characters are well developed during the short glimpse the reader has into their lives.  I was instantly drawn to them, feeling their emotions, hurting for them, hoping for them.

Of course, no great novel is complete without a twist at the end.  The Shepherd left me with my head spinning as I turned the last page.  I can only hope that there is another one on the way!


As a lover of crime novels and thrillers, this book drew me in from the first chapter.  I was immediately engrossed in the story and couldn't find a place that seemed like an acceptable stopping point.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of crime novels, thrillers or conspiracy theories.

*Provided by author & Pump It Up Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cover Reveals: Midnight Breeds, Immortals After Dark and More!

Two great authors revealed new covers for their total awesomesauce series today! 

Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed, #10)Darker After Midnight 
Midnight Breed #10 
by Lara Adrian
Release: January 24, 2012
No blurb as of yet....but this will be Chase's book, YaY!

Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12)

Immortals After Dark #12
by Kresley Cole
Release: January 10, 2012
From the humblest of beginnings a millennia ago, Lothaire the Enemy of Old rose to power, becoming the most feared and evil vampire in the immortal world. Driven by his past, he will not rest until he captures the vampire Horde’s crown for himself. The discovery of his Bride, the female meant only for him, threatens to derail his plot.                                                                                Elizabeth Peirce is a mere mortal, a glaring vulnerability for a male with so many blood foes bent on annihilating anything he desires. Yet soon he discovers his Bride’s secret. A magnificent power dwells inside the fragile human, one that will aid his quest. But to possess that power, he will have to destroy her. Will Lothaire succumb to the torments of his past, or seize a future with her?
*squee* Lothair is Paul Marron! Whatcha think? Me? I lurves them! 

The fabulous Nicole North has a new cover for an upcoming erotic romance she currently has in the works. Love it. No release date or blurb as of yet...

Also, Sondrae Bennett revealed new covers for her next two books in the Alphine Woods Shifter series.

Chasing Paradise
August 2011
He'll do whatever it takes to win her trust.                 A vacation is exactly what Ethan needs to escape the mate hungry females in his pack. Determined to have fun, Ethan can't think of a better way to start than sampling all the different flavors the shifter only resort has to offer, and not the food variety. But after he meets Gwen, no one else holds any interest for him. Ethan came on vacation to avoid mating. There's no way he's going to give up his freedom without a fight.    Gwen is devastated when she hears her mate denying everything they are to each other. She can't sit by, watching him fool around with other girls at the resort. Or worse, crawl back, unable to resist the mating pull but not really wanting her. She needs to get away and her own vacation sounds like the perfect plan. But she should have remembered what her mother always taught her, never run from a predator unless you want them to chase you. The hunt is on...

The Wolf Within
November 2011

Will his love be enough to keep her safe?                 Julie doesn’t know what to think when the man she’s had a crush on her entire life --a man she thinks is meant to be mated to her sister-- starts flirting with her after she returns home from college. But the harder she tries to distance herself, the harder he works to win her over. She knows he couldn’t want to mate with her, a freak who was born full human among shifters. So why won’t he accept her rejection?
Brendan has been waiting for his mate to return for years. Now that she’s finally home, there’s nothing that can keep him from her. Not even her three alpha wolf brothers. But he’s not the only one after Julie. Something else wants to use her for its own evil purposes. Her need for protection allows him to get close, but at what cost? When the unthinkable happens, will their love give them the inner strength they need?

Verra nice!

Sexy Snippets: The Vampire Narcise by Colleen Gleason


Sexy Snippets is a weekly meme hosted by Secrets of a Book Lover and Reading Between the Wines for the 18+ crowd. To join in just grab the button, post a sexy paragraph or two from your current read and share the author & title so other participates can add the book to their TBR lists if they like. Then add your post to the linky below so everyone can follow along. Have a sexy good time!

The Vampire Narcise (Regency Draculia, #3)
Her bloody hand curved around his c..k and guided it to her, as she lifted on her toes. She raised a leg, settling it around his hips, and he groaned in desperation when he was unable to help steady her, to settle her in the right place, and she felt the tension rippling through his body. But Narcise had an arm around his neck, her ankle curved behind him, opening her legs so that he could fit into her. She was swollen and ready and with one measured thrust, she impaled herself against him. Cale gave a sharp cry, echoed by her own gasp at the intense, brilliant pleasure. Oh my, oh my...was all she could think as every bit of awareness faded into a ball of heat that expanded as she moved against him, and he thrust smoothly, forcefully against her. 
The Vampire Narcise (Regency Draculia #3) by Colleen Gleason

Now it's your turn, link up and show me your sexy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Highlander Week Winners and More!

Woohoo, I have a ton of lassies and one lad to announce as winners for all the Highlander Week giveaways! Are ye all excited? Well, let's get to it!

Winner – Heather at booksavvybabe

Winner - Dpbussie

Winner – Winnie

Winners – Tim, Tammie and Danielle

Winner – Crystal J

Winner – Tore 

Winner – Melissa 

Winner – Carol L

Winner – Crystal B

Winner – Jill

And here's what the winner will be receiving

Winner – Redd

Which celeb looks the best in a kilt?
Gerard Butler!
Which celeb would defend your clan best?
Gerard Butler!
Which celeb would you be happy to have an arranged marriage with?
Gerard Butler!
Which celeb could you picture as a 16th century laird?
Sean Connery!
Which celeb would preform the sword dance best?
Gerard Butler!
Which celeb could wield a claymore best?
Gerard Butler!
Which celeb would win the caber toss in the Highland Games?
Gerard Butler! (This was a close one with Vin Diesel)

And now....Which celeb would make the best Highland Warrior???
GERARD BUTLER! Yay!!! *happydance*

And one more giveaway winner from H.P. Mallory's A Tale of Two Goblins Blog Tour:
Winner - Temperance

 All winners were chosen using random.org. If you're a winner, I will contact you shortly with an email notification. Please respond within 48 hours so that I can forward your info to the authors, where needed. If I do not hear back from you in this time frame then I will pick another winner.
Another great big THANK YOU to all the authors who participated in Highlander Week, I know everyone has a busy schedule and I'm very grateful for you wonderful ladies taking them time out to join us at Reading Between the Wines. And another huge THANK YOU to all you wonderful readers who joined in with your comments, we wouldn't be here doing these events without you! *muah!* 
Until next time, enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!

Friday, May 20, 2011

ARC Review: The Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson

The Neon Graveyard (Signs of the Zodiac, #6)The Neon Graveyard 
Signs of the Zodiac #6
by Vicki Pettersson
Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
May 31st 2011 by Eos 
ISBN 0061456799 
Courtesy of NetGalley
Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging unseen in the dark corners of her glittering hometown. Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal -- still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light . . . still hunted by both -- and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forces with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna's ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm where the price of admission is her eternal soul. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose -- except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city.

My Thoughts:
After a volatile adventure of love, loss, denial, betrayal, revelations, heartbreak, mystery and war, Joanna Archer’s journey reaches its climax in this final installment of the brilliant Signs of the Zodiac series, The Neon Graveyard.

***This will have series spoilers and maybe minor spoilers for the book*** You really should read the first five books before starting The Neon Graveyard, or you most likely will be lost and you will miss a lot of great action. Which, if you haven’t yet read the series, then you need to go get them right now because this is the best UF series out there imo.  Signs of the Zodiac is dark & gritty with a complex world, expertly written from the first person pov, - Pettersson’s writing and creativity is pure genius. 

Las Vegas, Nevada; where we find comic books, super heroes and evil villains - where the lines between good and bad blur to shades of gray.
Being a mortal now has its limits but Joanna soon learns that even without powers, she can make a difference. Especially when it comes to her troop of Grays, rogue light and shadow agents. We dive into the dynamics of this spurned group as they navigate the dessert of Nevada, holding raves to recruit new agents and staying to the shadows of the streets of Las Vegas avoiding the troop of Light. You really see the heart in each of these characters, especially Carlos who is willing to sacrifice it all for the greater good of the troop. 
Occasionally we meet up with some of the Light, and these adventures are stories of their own. Will Joanna be able to forgive her old friends and troop for turning their back on her? 
But all that takes a back seat to Joanna's determination to get to and navigate MidHeaven to rescue her lover Hunter Lorenzo, the father of her unborn child, from his crazy ex-wife and self-proclaimed goddess, Solange. Her rescue attempts take up a good percentage in this book and it sometimes moved slowly but it was emotionally packed and every line was necessary in the overall story. When the fight between Joanna and Solange finally occurs it is explosive, but I was somewhat distracted by another creature that creeped me out. You’ll have to read this book though find out what I’m referring to! 
My only complaint with this novel is Hunter; he was so passionate in previous books that when him and Joanna finally got together again I felt he lacked his usual fever that I often looked forward to in each novel.
The final battle between our protagonist and antagonist, Joanna's father the Tulpa, was well written and worth the wait, full of action and suspense. Everyone was invited to that party and revelations were revealed.
In The Neon Graveyard, Joanna has finally developed into the woman she was meant to be, each piece of her life and person in it, molding her into the strong, kick ass, self assured person who can take on the world, the woman she ends this book as. Pettersson stays authentic to her characters in the unique world of the Zodiac and you can tell that she puts her heart into her writing. Bringing the series to a satisfying conclusion ending on a beautiful note of hope. It was not neatly wrapped up, some threads were left hanging for possible future stories in this amazing world created, but most questions and loose ends were tied-up and resolved, and certainly the main ones.

The whole ride has been incredibly emotional; I’ve spit food across the room laughing so hard, bawled my eyes out, and wanted to kick some Warren ass. Sometimes I wanted to scream in frustration and throw my book, other times I just sighed and cradled it to my chest, and my heart hurt when I read the last page of The Neon Graveyard. It takes a true master of words to bring you to all these points. Every book was heart wrenching, with characters that will stick with you long after you have finished reading. In each novel Joanna has grown and changed, like a chameleon, adapting to her surroundings; she is one of the most multi dimensional characters that I have ever had the privilege to read. I am devastated to have it end but I think Pettersson did it at the right time and I definitely applaud her in her choices and direction that she took this superb series.

The Neon Graveyard is a bittersweet ending to one of the best series out there from an extremely talented author and a must read to say the least!

Series Order:

Rating: 4.5 Wine Glasses - Loved it!