Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Boys of Twilight

I thought it would be a good idea with the release of Eclipse so close, that I should celebrate the hotness of the boys of Twilight.

What do you think? and who's your favorite?
(I'm happy Taylor is 18 now, I don't feel so bad about ogling him. lol)

Blog tour with Vanessa Vaughn

Join me on July 2nd for a blog tour with Vanessa Vaughn. She is the author of Pack of Lies. A m/m paranormal romance. Hopefully I will have a little fun interview for the day too. 

Here is a little blog roll of others who are also on the blog tour:

July 1 - Wicked Readings
July 2 - Strange Candy Reviews
July 3 - Obsidian Bookshelf
July 8 - Leilani Loves Books
July 9 - Urban Gypsy
July 10 - Paranormal Haven
July 12 - Marilyn's Room
July 14 - The Book Vixen
July 16 - Kristina Wright
July 18 - Prurient Interests
July 22 - What Book Is That?
July 23 - Parajunkee
July 24 - Man Eater
July 25 - Lusty Literati

I have added links to the blogs I know. Hope to see you here!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Splendour Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

SYLVIE is broken.
Her father's death broke her heart.
Her mother's remarriage broke her spirit.
And a broken leg ended her career
as a ballerina. She's lost so much...
is she losing her mind as well?

SHAWN is the resident golden boy,
the one everyone thinks Sylvie should
be with, the obvious choice.

RHYS is handsome and mysterious
and has a hold on Sylvie she doesn't
quite understand.


A heroine who will steal your heart,
A house that will haunt you.
A love story that will leave you breathless.


On the cover of the book there is a sentence 'Can love last beyond the grave?', and that's what immediately had me hooked. The cover is beautiful, and the blurb just pulled me in tighter.
Sylvie was the youngest Prima ballerina in her Company. Then she broke her leg, got a bit too wasted at her mother's wedding and was then shipped off to Alabama to stay with a cousin she had never met. 
The story was slow to start, but still interesting. Even though she was a Prima ballerina she doesn't exactly act like it. I never found her annoying or stuck up. She has a pretty sharp wit, and can give as good as she gets.
Although she did come off as a little cold to begin with, then her story progresses. 
I found that I liked her from the beginning. Her dog Gigi is her best friend and very entertaining.
Clement-Moore brought the scenery to life and it felt like I was actually there. Her descriptions are vivid but never over the top. I stayed up until 1:15 am finishing this book as I just could not put it down. The second half of the book kept me glued to the pages. 
Sylvie gets to choose between the All American boy, Shawn, and the mysterious visitor, Rhys. Both boys have ticks next to them, and you get to like them both. But Sylvie is drawn to Rhys, and she doesn't know why. I really enjoyed the interaction between and the guys, but I was someone also rooting for Rhys. Shawn had an ulterior motive, and it affected his relationship with Sylvie. 
All in all the characters in this book are brilliant, the setting beautiful, and the plot immensely intriguing. It is a paranormal tale but without the vampires, werewolves etc, and I have to say I'm glad. It was very refreshing. 
This whole book is haunting and will leave you wanting more. I know I do.

I give it 5 out of 5 roses.


Black Dust Mambo giveaway

The ladies over at Paranormal Haven are having a great Adrian Phoenix giveaway, where you can win one of three copies of her latest book Black Dust Mambo.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Books I Bought (a maybe out of control book habit)

My family seems to think I have an out of control book habit.........
So what if I buy books faster than I can read them. At least I know I will never run out of things to read. (God forbid!) It also doesn't really matter if they don't fit in the book shelves I have, although it's frustrating. There are so many great books out there and I'm not sure if I'll ever get to read them all. I love finding out about new authors and books. A lot of people ask me how I can read so much, and doesn't it get boring? I always tell them no. I love books, I love to read books. I really love escaping to another world entirely. I have an over active imagination, and was told off at school for daydreaming constantly. It was even in my reports. As I got older I was able to focus more easily but it never stopped me from imagining myself brandishing a sword and saving the day.(my friend wanted to be Peter Pan when she was little). Weird maybe, but we can't help who we are. I never wanted to be the damsel in distress. I was always the one to come charging in and saving whoever was in mortal peril. I also write, but never seem to finish anything. I have so many ideas barging in all the time, I get focused on one and then bam! there's something else that wants attention, and demands to be put onto paper. Hopefully one day I can control the flow, and put something worthwhile onto paper. Right now I'm happy to read and get taken away with fancy. So, with that said, has anyone seen my trusty steed? It appears there's a dashing prince in need of saving. Lucky he has me, eh.

Has anyone else been accused of this also?

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Dana Hathaway doesn't know it yet, but she's in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she's had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl- she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.
Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she'll never have a chance with… ... until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn't sure where she'll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again….


I'm a huge fan of Jenna's Morgan Kingsley series and I really like a lot of the YA books that a lot of Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy writers are bringing out. e.g Gena Showalter. Glimmerglass is no exception. It's a great read, and her take on the faery world is interesting. I love the idea of Avalon being a place humans can actually visit. I would love to go! 
Dana is a character I immediately felt for. Having an alcoholic mother and no father would be hard anyone, and Dana tries not to let it effect her. Of course it does, though. Dana is the adult, always looking after her mother. She's had enough when her mother shows up drunk to her recital, and she decides that maybe running away from home will finally be the wake up call her mother needs. So she heads off to Avalon to meet with her long lost father. Although she gets a nasty surprise once she gets there. The saying 'you don't know what you have 'til it's gone', rings true for Dana. I think she handles everything thats thrown at her very well for a sixteen year old. Looking after her mother has made her quite mature. 
Avalon seems real enough that I could almost reach out and touch it. The idea of humans and Fae actually co-existing in one place, has so many possibilities. There are of course the usual Seelie and Unseelie, but not the way they are traditionally written. Most people have a general idea of Fae being magical and pacifists, but Jenna's Fae are not. Ethan, is of course, the resident Fae hottie that Dana immediately falls for. But really, who wouldn't? Her Aunt Grace is sufficiently evil, her new friend Kimber isn't maybe all that friendly, and her father has hidden depths that Dana isn't really too sure she want's to see. All in all, Glimmerglass is a truly great read. It kept me turning pages with all the intrigue, wit and adventure. I'm glad "Faerytales' are making a  come back. Jenna is up there with Julie Kagawa, Melissa Marr and Holly Black. I can't wait for "Shadowspell', the next book in the series.

I give it 4 out of 5 spiders.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We have a winner!

Thank you for those who entered the competition to win a copy of Jessa Slade's Seduced by Shadows or Forged of Shadows. We have a winner...............*drum roll*......... and its Jacqueline C from The Eclectic Booklover!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dead Men's Dust by Matt Hilton

'Some may call me a vigilante. I think I've just got problems to fix.'

Right now, Hunter's big problem is a missing little brother, last seen fleeing the site of a gruesome killing. Hunter needs the help of an old army buddy, a whole lot of hardware and a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas, to fix this particular problem. A brutal encounter with some very nasty criminals leaves Hunter fighting for his life. And that's before he comes up against America's most feared serial killer, 'The Harvestman' and his grisly souvenirs of death.

But blood is thicker than water. And a lot of blood will be spilt . . .


Dead Men’s Dust is about Joe Hunter. He’s an ex-military man who fixes problems.
Right now he’s helping his little brother’s ex-wife, Jennifer. Even though his brother is gone, his problems aren’t. Jennifer’s got loan sharks breathing down her neck, so Joe beats them off. She needs more than that though. Her ex-husbands new girlfriend sent her a letter. Her ex, John Telfer, has gone missing. Jennifer wants Joe to find him. 

Joe heads off from England, to America to find John. He enlists the help of his friend Rink. They find John is in deep trouble and they have to help him out of it. Small town gangsters, the CIA, and America’s most feared serial killer, ‘The Harvestman’, are all somehow tied in with John’s disappearance.

Dead Men’s Dust is a rocket of a ride. It’s action from start to finish, with Joe and Rink dishing out pain. Joe is a great character, who, even though he has killed many men, still has a conscience. He find’s no joy in it, but will always do what’s right. I really enjoyed the banter between Joe and Rink. Rink had some great line’s, even if they were in a sticky situation. Rink is a great secondary character. He’s Joe’s best friend, and sometimes voices things Joe doesn’t necessarily want to hear, or to voice himself. The Harvestman is a scary mofo. He’s a character that can make you quake in your boots, or sleep with the light on. His ‘memento’s’ are grisly and gross. This was a definite page turner for me, and I hated to put it down. I love the feeling that a book is going to drag me in and not let go until I’m done, then keep me hanging out for more even after I’ve read the last sentence. Dead Men’s Dust really delivers on the kills, thrills and spills. So if you want a rockin’ ride, this is the book for you.

I give it 4 out 5 spiders 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione & Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf

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.


Hi again,
I’ve now finished the 4th demonica series book called Ecstasy Unveiled which is Lore’s story.
We meet Lore in Wraiths story for the first time and he also just happens to be the brother the boys didn’t know they had. He is an assassin hired first by their psycho brother Roag to kill them as an act of revenge even after his death, but when that fails, Lore is given a new contract to fulfill.
Lore and his sister Sin, who is also a seminus demon but a very rare one, on the count of the fact that’s she’s a female and female seminus demons are just unheard of. Are both assassin slaves and nearing Lore’s 100th kill which could see them both go free when this new contract is drafted he must kill a charmed human who holds heaven around his neck, literally, or his sister suffers a fate far worse.
But there’s a snag, and there always is, the human just happens to be protected by a guardian angel but is also his brother’s best friend, not that that worries him but the angel bit is a little disconcerting.
Idess is the angel assigned to protect Kynan, the charmed one, so when Lore attempts to kill him Idess steps in. Only to discover for some twisted reason Lore has also come under her guardianship and when Kynan mistakes Idess as the one trying to harm him she is captured and taken to UGH (Underground General Hospital). 
Idess is none too happy when she wakes up to discover everyone thinks she’s trying to kill Kynan and Lore is still on the loose.
With a deadline looming on the contract, Lore will take drastic measures to ensure his sisters freedom and safety, but when Idess kidnaps him to keep him away from Kynan things really start to heat up.
With a touch that can kill, Lore has always been afraid to really let go with anyone, but Idess just turns him inside out like you wouldn’t believe. She  makes him feel things he’d real rather not feel, and as it becomes clear that fulfilling his contract is so not going to happen Lore and Idess must learn to trust each other and work together to discover who wants Kynan dead so baldly and why. With time running out for both of them as they both struggle with their desire for each other and as they race against the clock to save Lore’s sister and stop the evil that threatens mankind once again.
I loved Idess she was not your typical angel she was sassy, could kick butt with the rest of them but was also a lost soul not really sure whether or not she was where she was supposed to be.  Lore,  he was awesome, they are all awesome brothers but there was just something about Lore that really tugged on your heartstrings from the beginning.  I love the way Larissa Ione writes you just feel so pulled in from the beginning of her books that you can’t put them down and you just want to know more about everyone, even when the book ends.The supporting characters just add to balance everything out.

I can’t wait to read Sins story which is due out very soon and I will also review that one, or maybe Jo-Anne will whoever gets it first LOL
I give it 5 out of 5 spiders.

She may resist his bite, but she can't resist his charms.

Werewolf princess Blu Masterson won't allow her seductive vampire husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Alone in a secluded estate with her sworn enemy, Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed Saint-Pierre calls out to her most feral desires.

When Blu uncovers her pack's secret plot to destroy the vampire nation - and Creed - she is forced to confront her growing feelings for her sexy undead husband. Will she choose the only life she's ever known or accept his vampire bite?


Me again
I’ve just finished a book called Her Vampire Husband by Michelle Hauf. This story is about a werewolf
named Blu Masterson and a vampire named Creed Saint-Pierre.  They are brought together in an arranged marriage as a means to unite the two nations, Werewolf and Vampire.
Neither of them is overjoyed at the arrangement to say the least but have agreed to it for the sake of peace between the two warring nations. So with Creed thinking he’s getting a hairy dog, pardon the pun, and Blu thinking she’s getting a very old corpse they find the other is not what they expected.
As you can imagine with neither one knowing much about the other and years of conflict between the two species, cohabitating is not going to be an easy arrangement as old prejudices and hatreds are not easily forgotten.
So as they settle into married life things begin to heat up between them as they fight their attraction for each other. With Creeds very reserved and refined personality and Blu’s outrageous and in your face personality, things are never going to be the same again.
But it soon becomes clear to them both that plots are being hatched by both sides to over throw the peace pact that this wedding was suppose to bring about and that their feelings  for one another are something they can both no longer deny.  Both feeling torn between their obligations to their respective clans and to each other they must show everyone that love really can conquer all. But not everyone is ready to let go of the past.

I did enjoy this book but it was a little mellower than I like to read but it was enjoyable for a change of something different.  Blu was a real feisty character that was happy to be free of the pack but had she just traded one set of shackles for another.  She brought a lot of baggage with her but Creed soon wears through her defenses and finds a diamond in the rough quite literally. She also teaches him how to live and let go every once in a while, not just walk through life going through the motions as he has done for so long. While Creed was a very strong but rational presence he has issues of his own.  Blu feel s a little intimidated by his gentler nature as it is something she is unsure of,  being a werewolf,  where dominance and submission is all she  knows .  The relationship between Blu and Creed was fun to watch and had some humorous moments with witches and magic thrown in the mix makes for a fantasy ride into a world where your imagination can run free.

I give this book 2.5 out of 5 spiders.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Author Interview & Giveaway with Jessa Slade

SCR: First off, I’d like to say hello and welcome to Jessa and thank her for taking the time to answer some questions for us.  

Hi, Jo-Anne!  Thanks for having me.  I can talk endlessly about books and story—it’s one of my favorite topics, surprise, surprise—so I’m always happy to have a venue where the audience isn’t slowly trying to sneak away.  Or at least where I can’t SEE them sneaking away :) 

SCR: Seduced by Shadows is the first book in the Marked Souls series. For readers new to the series, can you give us a quick overview of Seduced by Shadows? 
In the eternal war between good and evil, there is a third team: the Marked Souls.  These immortal alpha warriors possessed by repentant demons are reviled by angelic forces and the malevolent djinn alike. The Marked Souls battle the various sinister and slimy forces of evil to earn back a measure of grace for themselves and their demons. For all of living memory, these warriors have been male.   
Naturally, that changes in Book 1, SEDUCED BY SHADOWS, when the first female is possessed.  At first, the bad ol’ boys’ club is quite bummed to share the slaughter with a chick, but they get over it quickly ;)

SCR: The concept of repentant demons possessing humans is very different from most urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels out there. How did it come about? Was there a lot of research involved?
I think the concept for the Marked Souls gelled from a comment I heard somewhere that angels were the new vampires.  I had just finished a witch story and was playing around with some new ideas.  Angels didn’t much interest me, but fallen angels...  And fallen angels trying to get up...  As anybody who has had the misfortune of listening to me rant about religion knows, I’m conflicted about my spirituality.  I have a relationship with the Great Creative Force—I think—but I also think the spirit of a plastic Breyer horse once haunted a slumber party, so what do I know about spirituality?  I liked the idea of characters who struggle more than I do and who might actually come up with answers to those very basic questions of spirituality, like good and evil and big-E Evil. 
The talyan—my immortal alpha bad boys possessed by repentant demons—emerged from that mist of vague concept.  I love wounded warriors who keep fighting even after all hope has faded.  (Not so unlike the path of the wanna-be author...)  And one of my favorite phrases is “The devil made me do it.”  Merging those two seemed perfect.  Don’t most of us wonder if there’s a devil inside us sometimes?  (I’m not speaking just for myself, am I?)  Now we know the answer. 
As for research, I write woo-woo stuff so I can avoid research: My world, my rules!  I lack the self-discipline to track a question to its answer in a straight line.  Once I start trying to learn something, I end up getting distracted into all the fascinating sidebars and footnotes and non sequitors, and before I know it, I’m lost.  The first historical romance I wrote (never to be free from its locked box under the bed) was a horrible Regency/medieval/steampunk because I hadn’t done any research on—you know—history. I even have trouble using a paper dictionary because as I’m flipping through looking for a word, I’ll see another word that looks interesting, and then another, and that’s the end of my productive writing session.  
Of course, that could be an ADHD problem and not a research problem, but still.

SCR: Lately it seems urban fantasy/paranormal romance books have taken over. Why do think that is and why did you choose urban fantasy/paranormal romance, as the genre for you books? 
I’m thrilled there are so many choices in PNR/UF today.  I grew up reading in the genres with a hearty dose of fantasy thrown in—Charles deLint, Nancy Springer, Louise Cooper, Anne McCaffrey, Ann Maxwell—but I always wished they had more of a love story.  The closed door love scene in DRAGONFLIGHT?  Argh!  So to have the mix of complex otherworlds AND fully fleshed out (and by fully fleshed out, I mean fully in some cases!) romances is my dream come true.   
As for why other readers love the genre...  Romance has always been a hugely popular genre, never mind the snide literati pooh-poohing.  With PNR/UF, many of the most appealing aspects of romance are taken to the nth degree.  Think about it: 
Love is forever.  It really IS forever with vampires.
Love tames the beast.  Adopt a werewolf today.
Communication is key.  “My lover can read my mind.  No, seriously, he can read my mind.”
We all have a soul mate.  Like in my Marked Souls books, where literally damaged souls find their missing pieces in another. 
And honestly, who DOESN’T love magic and mayhem and man-chest?  

SCR: I really enjoyed Ferris and Sera’s characters. In your opinion what makes for great lead males and females? What, for you, determines a character’s personality?
I’m so glad you liked them!  I think personality is a mix of backstory issues and on-stage problems that combine with ramifications echoing into the character’s life at the moment.  I think that’s true of us regular people too!  One of the concepts in my story world is a “penance trigger.”  I imagine most people have childhood trauma of some sort or another—maybe more than one—that still plagues them in the present.  For my characters, that old wound made them vulnerable to demonic possession, and it’s something they finally have to deal with in order to be “saved.”  I like the idea of possession being the key to salvation :) 
My favorite heroes and heroines are people who are hurt, scared, angry, and uncertain... and who are still determined to forge ahead.  I think the real world doesn’t always give us credit for trying, but in my story world, striving DOES make a difference.

SCR: Who or what inspires your writing and why? Is there a certain type of music you listen to when writing?
My XY is a musician—shout out to Rainstick Cowbell who wrote the theme song to SEDUCED BY SHADOWS (MP3 download at—so there’s a lot of weird indie music in my house, most of which I can’t write to because words distract me.  But through him I’ve also found some great instrumental music and international music in different languages.  Like many writers, I also enjoy movie soundtracks because somebody else has done the work creating a mood.  I also have some meditation soundtracks that allegedly inspire creativity.  Many CDs cycle through my disc changer but some perennial favorites are:
  • Albums from Azam Ali and Trio Mediaeval
  • Movie soundtracks Gladiator and The Last Temptation of Christ (Peter Gabriel rocks)
  • Meditation tracks I, Omar, by J. Donald Walters and Hypnotic OM by Dick Sutphen
 I am very inspired by self-recrimination and deadlines :)  I’m sure there are healthy and well-balanced ways to write, just as there are healthy and well-balanced ways to eat, but I don’t know those ways.  

SCR: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Lol, that anybody likes them!  It’s a surprise and a delight that I think will never, ever get old to hear that someone enjoyed the story, that someone “saw” a scene that played out on the page.  It’s an act of faith and trust to send a story into the world to find its readers.  I tend to be an suspicious skeptic, so I love love love when the universe proves me wrong and connects me to someone through the story I wrote.

SCR: What was your response when you learned that your novel had been accepted? 
“It’s about freakin’ time!”  After more than ten years, almost a hundred rejection letters, and nearly a million final draft words, getting The Call seemed like just the next step in a very long journey.  A journey that’s not over yet.  I still have a long way to go.  Book 2 is just coming out.  Then there’s the New York Times bestseller list to conquer...  Then a movie deal...  Possibly a statue somewhere with Archer’s chest and Liam’s butt modeled in life-size bronze...  Hey, a girl can dream!

SCR: Forged by Shadows is scheduled for release in June. How many novels are planned for the Marked Souls series? 
In my head—and in the Excel spreadsheet where I planned the series in a marathon weekend of cookie dough binging and pacing—there are nine books in three sequential trilogies, with each book featuring a different hero/heroine pair.  Each book has its own arc, each trilogy has an arc, and the series as a whole has an arc.  I wanted new readers to be able to come in at any point and catch the drift.   
As a reader myself, I like knowing a series has a plan.  I couldn’t watch the TV show Lost because I saw half of the first season and didn’t believe the writers had an end in mind.  I cursed Fox Television bitterly for canceling Joss Whedon’s Firefly without giving me closure... until Serenity, of course.  (I continue to curse Fox though.)  And they just cancelled FlashForward without an end.  Grr. 
So far, four Marked Souls books are scheduled.  Book 1 is out.  Book 2 hits the stands June 1.  Book 3 VOWED IN SHADOWS is scheduled for April 2011, and Book 4 sometime after that.  Will there be Books 5 through 9?  Only if I tell really good tales and readers like them! 

SCR: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
Interesting?  There’s nothing interesting about my writing process.  My writing process is like the ugly, quiet, scary-for-unclear-reasons kid that even the schoolyard bullies leave alone.  Yet for some weird reason, I feel compelled to poke it with sharp sticks and then act surprised when it attacks me.  Which is less interesting than disturbing. 
My most annoying writing quirk is that I always lock up in Chapter 7.  Why Chapter 7?  Probably because by Chapter 7, I’ve finished all the fun set up stuff and I suddenly realize how much farther I have to go.  It feels like I spent a week hiking 9000 feet to Everest Base Camp and finally get to see the peak.  Only to realize it’s still really, really far away. Shudder.

SCR: What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 
When I’m not writing, I feel like I should be writing.  Some more experienced authors say that you need to have a life outside writing, but I’m not there yet.  At this point, I’m indulging my obsession.   
However, a sunny day in Portland Oregon CAN tempt me away from the computer long enough to hike or garden.  Among writers, you see a lot of gardening, I think because gardening is similar to writing.  You take a small seed of an idea.  You prepare a good base for it, with lots of rich compost.  You nurture it for most of a year, watering, weeding and waiting.  And then at the end—and here is, I think, the crucial reason writers garden—at the end of a gardening season, you usually have something that looks a lot like the picture on the front of the seek packet.  Unlike writing, where a lot of the time you get Audrey the plant from Little Shop of Horrors.

SCR: Growing up did you always know you were going to be a writer and did you have favorite genre you liked to read/write about? 
A friend of my mother recently reminded me of a writing contest I won in elementary school.  I won a gift certificate from a local book store.  If only I’d know that was the beginning, I would’ve...  Honestly, I would’ve done nothing different.  I was always doomed to be a writer.  No, wait, according to my vocational aptitude test—also in elementary school—I should’ve been a farmer.  Which as I noted above is kind of like writing, I guess, in that you work really hard for uncertain reward and pray to fickle gods. 
Even back in the day when I was pecking out stories on a typewriter with no correction tape (shortly before that, we were carving on slate) I was writing romance.  Originally, my mom did make me change my teen protagonists from “lovers” to “soul mates”—censorship!—but she eventually got past that.  I did have to promise her that I’d always have happy endings but that was a very easy promise to make.

SCR: Ok, I am hanging out for Forged of Shadows. Can you give us a sneak peek? 
Remember the inevitable scenes in the Rambo movies where he girds his loins for battle?  This scene is kind of like that.  It’s a romance, so of course there are loins ;)  Our hero, Liam Niall, is introducing his newest warrior, Jilly, to the weapons room: 

    Axes, double-edged swords, daggers, razor-tipped gauntlets, and more lined the sterile white walls. Even under the buzzing fluorescent fixture, the blades shone with brutal, honed beauty. 

    Jilly cleared her throat. “At least I know where to arm myself if World War Three breaks out.” 

    “It already has.” Liam strode into the room, then turned to survey her. He tried to keep his gaze critical as he swept her once from blue-streaked locks to heavy black shit-kicker boots. “Good weight on the bottom, at least.” 

    She stiffened at his perusal. “You saying my ass is big?” 

    It took all his unholy strength to move his gaze onward. “I’m saying, no sense throwing off your balance with an oversized weapon.” 

    “I’ve handled bigger weapons than yours.” 

    Her bold words rebounded between them. The first hint of uncertainty he’d seen in her—even when she faced the ferales in the alley with nothing more than a dull razor blade—flushed her cheeks with color, and she bit her lip. 

    The hunger that stirred in him at the slight vulnerability had nothing to do with the demon. He swallowed hard against it, and leveled his tone coolly. “No doubt your bravado has served you well. Did the demon come to you with the promise that now you’d finally be able to carry through with all that bluster?” 

    She stiffened at the question; her cinnamon-honey eyes narrowed. 

    “The demon always makes an offer we haven’t the strength to refuse,” he explained. “It knows us better than we know ourselves. I suppose that is the nature of temptation.” How fortunate for him that he’d been around long enough to amass scars of resistance. 

    “I’m tempted,” she said, “to grab that spiked mace and take a swing.” 

    He forced himself to focus on work. Pairing an unproven talya with the right weapon was vital. “If you want to try it out—” 

    “Just on you.” 

    Ah. He balanced on the balls of his feet as the demon shifted eagerly within him. “Always happy to help my tyros, my new fighters.” 

    “Yours?” When she wrinkled her nose, the piercing there glimmered. 

    Oh, so the ancient military term didn’t bother her, just the implicit hierarchy. He crossed his arms over his chest. “I am the boss.” 

    Her hands clenched as if longing to wrap around that mace handle. Or maybe just his neck. “If you’re the boss, you should know human resources regulations don’t allow you to ask how people were lured to the dark side.” 

    “You’re not a human resource anymore, and technically, we’re the repenting side, which is at least a half-dozen steps from the dark side.” Thinking of her hands on his skin wasn’t helping his focus at all. But how had the demon cozened her if not through her boldness? 

    He took a long step back—physically and mentally—and swept out one hand. “Choose.” 

    In his many years commanding the league, he’d learned a new talya’s choice of weapon indicated something about the man and the teshuva inside him. He was getting ahead of himself, putting Jilly through his tests so soon, but the urgency that had ridden him since the appearance of her unbound demon strengthened when she was near. 

    And with her hell-bent attitude, he suspected she might need all the weapons she could get. 

    He held himself silent and still though every muscle twitched to follow as she stalked past him to circle the room. She paused near the mace, slanted a molten glance at him, and kept moving. 

    She passed the white-men-can’t-jump wall of massive, double-handed swords representing a wide, bloody swath of European history. The aesthetically organized Asian collection of katanas and throwing stars earned not even a second look. Instead she came around again to the blunt-force-trauma corner. “No guns? No rocket launchers?” 

    “Rocket launchers tend to get noticed. We try not to be. More importantly, our teshuva need to get up close and personal with the tenebrae to destroy them.” 

    “I tracked down my sister’s pimp about a year ago, trying to find out where she’d gone. He stabbed me.” She put her hand against her left side, just under her breast. “Punctured a lung. Nicked my heart. But you already knew that, didn’t you, from the dossier your people put together? Did it tell you, even coughing up blood, I managed to knock out a few of his teeth?” 

    Liam pursed his lips. “So you’re saying you don’t need a mace.” 

    The protective cup of her hand slid around to settle on her hip again. “I’m saying I don’t need a mace.” 

    He wanted to argue in favor of the mace, full Kevlar—never mind that body armor interfered with the draining of demonic emanations, which was the sole reason for their immortal existence—hell, throw in a popemobile too. After all, the ferales had sniffed her out for some nefarious reason. And she was the one who’d asked for a weapon. 

    Ah, of course. He’d dealt with some angry, violent men in his time with the league, but nary a one as prickly as Jilly. She needed a weapon—she might even want one—but she wouldn’t want to need his. Or him.

Thank you again Jessa for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thank you, Jo-Anne!  If anybody has any questions about the Marked Souls, writing or reading in general, or anything else, feel free to ask in comments.  Otherwise, I have a question:  How do you find new-to-you authors?  Recommendations, reviews or something else entirely? 
I have a signed copy of Book 1 or Book 2 to give away to a random commenter.


As Jessa has said, she is going to giveaway either a signed copy of Seduced by Shadows or Forged of Shadows for one lucky commenter. 
To be entered you must: 
1.Answer Jessa's question in the comments section. 
2.Follow this blog.
3.Please leave your email address in the comments section, too.
Giveaway is open internationally.
 Thanks and good luck!
The winner will be picked by 
Giveaway ends June 14th.



It's man candy time again!

When I die I'm coming back as water!

Eagerly Awaiting Part 1


These are just some of the books I am eagerly awaiting to be released. Man, I wish I was rich. My book habit is expensive. I thank Fantastic Fiction for having a great Coming Soon page.