Saturday, November 27, 2010

Guest Post & Giveaway with Crystal from Reading Between the Wines + Biting the Bullet review

Hi everyone and thanks Jo-Anne for having me over.

I didn't know Jennifer Rardin personally but when I heard that Amanda and Jo-Anne where putting a tribute together for her I knew I wanted to take part in it. I was a friend with Jennifer on Facebook along with many others and am a huge fan of her Jaz Parks series
Through Facebook and interviews I learned that she was a sweet, friendly, down-to-earth person who loved her family deeply and had a wonderful sense of humor. I loved seeing her comments everyday, they always brought a smile to my face and made me laugh. So when I noticed at the end of September there hadn’t been a comment in a while and then later learned that she had unexpectedly passed away I was deeply saddened.

One of the last posts she had on Facebook was probably my favorite;
Jennifer Rardin can't eat Jell-O without sluicing it between my teeth like it's mouthwash. Which makes me think Jell-O should go into the breath freshening biz. What a way to make your morning routine more entertaining!

Jennifer’s humor carried over to her writing and can be seen in abundance in her Jaz Parks series. I’ve never read a series that had me laughing out loud so much and that is my favorite thing about it along with the characters. Together, that is the series strength and I’m amazed every time I read one of her books at how well she knows each of her characters and how they interact together.
A lot of times it’s easy to pick your favorite character in a series but with this one I have a hard time because each of them is quirky and add an integral part to the overall story.
There is Jaz with her snarky commentary & hilarious analogies and Vayl with his old-world charm & sexy black silk boxers. ;) Albert’s rough around the edges demeanor that hides a caring father underneath, Sweet Evie and E.J., Cassandra, caring & not a bit jaded despite her almost millennia of living, Cole & his bubble-popping comic relief, Bergman who creates amazing & imaginative gadgets but can’t talk to a girl and we can’t forget Dave & his kick-ass special ops team or the Eldhayr Raoul with his oddly large room of demon fighting weaponry. Then there is Jack the horse of a dog with a quick grin & a love for shoes and Astral the robo-kitty that belts out in song at the most inappropriate times. So you can see my dilemma in choosing a favorite, I love them all!

But I am interesting in knowing what everyone else’s favorite characters are in the series, if you can pick just one un-like me. =) And if you haven’t read the series yet then from seeing all the posts during this month of tribute, which one do you think would be a favorite? Leave a comment with your email addy for your chance to win one book of your choice from the Jaz Parks series, open to anywhere The Book Depository ships to.

Also, I re-read Jennifer’s Jaz Parks series this month in remembrance of her and posted reviews on each book, if you are interested you can check them out at Reading Between the Wines Book Club. If you haven’t read this series yet then treat yourself to an early Christmas present and pick a book up, you will not be disappointed.

Jennifer Rardin brought light and laughter to the Urban Fantasy world. I would like to thank Amanda and Jo-Anne for putting this wonderful tribute together for such a talented author who will be dearly missed by many.

Remember the giveaways end on December 2nd. (except Steph's, hers ends Nov 30th). With this post you have a chance of winning the signed copy of Bitten in Two or any book from the Jaz Parks series. Like Crystal, I'm not sure if i can pick just one favourite, but Jaz is one kick ass heroine!


This is my review of book 3 - Biting the Bullet.

Jennifer Rardins series is the second series I ever read in the Urban Fantasy genre. I read an excerpt in the back of one of my Anita Blake books and I new I had to read more about Jaz Parks. I was hooked. I am reviewing book 3 in the series, Biting the Bullet. 

Jaz Parks here, though I can't say for how long. This case is a tough one. So tough, it could be my last. The Wizard, a terrorist thorn in the military's side, has finally revealed a chink in his armour. So my vampire boss, Vayl, and I have been asked to join my brother's special ops team to take him down. But nothing on this mission is as it seems. The Wizard has hidden some vicious tricks up his sleeve, including the placement of a mole within the ops team. Add to the mix a pack of reavers bent on revenge, a Seer who'll do anything to share Vayl's power and a small army of parasitic monsters who prey on murderers and their victims. You can see why I'm going to need all my wits and more than my share of luck if I plan to get through this with my job, not to mention my life, intact.

Jaz Parks and her team have been sent to Iran to join her brothers special ops team. They’re there to track down the Wizard, a particularly nasty piece of work who has been evading capture for a while. In this book nothing is as it seems. Jaz feels she has everything sorted but keeps getting it wrong. She knows there’s a mole in her brothers team and feels guilty that she has to lie to her brother. Jaz’s team has been feeding them misleading information hoping it will make the mole show themselves. There’s also a nasty demon who is hell bent on destroying her. Jaz learns a lot about herself in this book, and you really see her character start to grow. 

Biting the Bullet reads like a testosterone filled Bond book. (Vayl has even compared them) There’s action, awesome gadgets, a little romance, fantastic characters, and spectacular settings. Read it if you want it all.  

Tomorrow I will post a review of book 5 - One More Bite, from one of Jennifer's facebook friends.


  1. I’m finally doing it! Yesterday, I started the first Jaz Parks book, Once Bitten, Twice Shy. I’m halfway through and loving it. Jaz is such a wonderful heroine. Thanks all for the great blog posts on the series. (Email in profile.)

  2. I haven't read this series yet, but after hearing so much about it I can't wait to get my hands on them. Thank you for all the information on this series, it just makes me want to read it more.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  3. I haven't read them yet either but I was saddened when I read she had passed away.

    Jaz sounds pretty cool.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  4. I haven't read the series yet but i'm really wanting to!
    From the comments i guess Vayl is a pretty interesting character,but i don't really know since i haven't read the books.


  5. It is hard to choose one but there's something about Miles that I love. Maybe it's all the cool gadgets!
    Great post and thanks for the giveaway

    tammie.organicallyurs at gmail dot com

  6. I haven't read this series yet but Vayl sounds diffidently interesting.

    Thank You

  7. My favorite character is Cole! He's so funny.

  8. I haven't read this series yet, but based on the posts I saw in these past 2 weeks I would say it's a close tie between Vayl, Cole and Jaz (see I can't choose any better than you Crystal :-) but maybe once I read about the other characters it would be even harder to name just one favourite..

    I agree, witty humour is so rare in UF novels, maybe that is why I especially love it, it is so sad Jennifer's light and humour won't shine anymore in new works and posts, but at least she left the world the Jaz Parks series.

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com