Monday, December 27, 2010

A sunset for all my blogger friends.

Here is a photo I took tonight of the sunset at the beach. I know for most of you it's winter, so I thought you would like to see something other than snow. (I may be rubbing it in slightly) Hope you all enjoy it.

In January I will be hosting an event called Summer Lovin' with some great author interviews, guest blogs and giveaways. Please stop by and join in the fun. You can grab the button from my sidebar to get extra entires in the giveaways. Also, if you are a top commentator you get an extra 5 entries too. Hope you all had a great Christmas, I know I did. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Shades of Gray - A Jude Magdalyn novel by L.M Pruitt

Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (August 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453780653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453780657
    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 485 KB
    • Publisher: CreateSpace (August 30, 2010)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0041G6JY0

Jude Magdalyn Henries has what some--okay, many--would call an unconventional life. Orphaned at birth, raised by nuns, teenage runaway, fake tarot card reader--there is very little about Jude that’s normal. Jude plays hard, which means she has to work at least semi-hard, but when she accepts an invitation to do a private tarot reading, “unconventional” takes on a whole new meaning.

Almost nothing shocks Jude anymore, but when she finds out that she’s the last in a line of matriarchal leaders of a magical group, shock is definitely what she feels. The Covenant has been waiting for Jude to come into her birthright for the past twenty five years. And then there’s the war between vampire factions for control of the city of New Orleans. In the end, the fate of the city hinges on one last battle, ranging from roof top to Bourbon Street to the bottom of the Mississippi River.

Jude is an orphan who was raised in a convent but left in her early teens. Ever since then she's done what she has to survive on the streets of new Orleans. I have to say I really enjoyed this book. Jude's one liners are great, and her conversations with the other characters constantly made me smile. Jude is definitely a character you will love, along with the myriad of others who make this story so engaging. The author tells the story with vivid descriptions that I felt that I was on the streets. It was almost as if I could smell the beignets and feel the moody New Orleans weather. Jude and the Covenant take the reader on a fantastical journey. I enjoyed how Jude had to come to terms with her new leadership role, and the way her life changed. Her chemistry with the two male leads, Williams & Theo sizzles. Especially with Williams (who I am totally crushing on). I felt there should have been more development with Jude and Williams, maybe thats just because I like him best :)
Overall Shades of Grey is action-packed, smart, fast paced and full of humor, although it doesn't detract from the seriousness of the story either. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is after something a little different. 3.5/5


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: Shadowglass by Erica Hayes

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312578016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312578015

Where to get it:

A seductive magic mirror lies hidden deep in a demon’s lair, with a simple warning: don’t stare at the glass…

Ice is a troubled fairy trying her best to survive in the squalid underworld of the Shadowfae.  When she spends a hot night with a demon lord, she discovers a powerful magic mirror in his lair — and pilfers it, knowing it’s the key to escaping her bleak life as a two-bit con artist.  But Ice soon discovers that the mirror's power comes with a price…madness, which is slowly overtaking her.

Indigo oozes darkness, danger and tempting sensuality.  He’s been sent to destroy Ice and bring the mirror back to its rightful owner; a mission that, if he fails, will cost him his life.  But when he meets Ice, he faces an even greater challenge: an insatiable sexual hunger that neither of them can deny, and dark passions that threaten to claim them both forever.  The trouble is, the longer he stays within the mirror’s reach, the greater its hold on his sanity—and the stronger his determination to save Ice…


Shadowglass is the second book in the Shadowfae Chronicles by Erica Hayes. Shadowglass is sexy, dark and gritty, set in the seedy Melbourne Shadowfae underworld. Ice is a light fingered fae who, after spending a steamy night with a demon lords, steal a magic mirror. What she doesn't know is that once in possession of the mirror, it whispers to your dark side and brings it to the surface. Once you look into the glass it sends you mad. Ice is rather shy, but tries to live life to the fullest with her two best friends. She has a major crush on a metalfae, who turns her into a simple minded, bumbling idiot. Indigo has been tasked with bringing the mirror back to its rightful owner, and he's to destroy whoever has it. Indigo is darkly sexy and dangerous. He has a tough choice to make when he finds out Ice is the one who holds the mirror. Shadowglass is darkly erotic, and lures you in with a promise of engaging characters and wildly entertaining storyline. I was ensnared from page one. Ice and Indigo sizzled off the pages, and I had trouble putting the book down. Not so great when one has to get back from a lunch break. This is leading up to be a truly great series and cannot wait to read the rest of the books. Erica Hayes has a dark style of writing that reminds me of Adrian Phoenix and early Laurell K. Hamilton. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend that you do. 4.5/5

Summer Lovin' event in January.

In January I am hosting an event called Summer Lovin'. It's all about summer and romance. The lovely authors who have already agreed to be a part of the event are:
Tracey O'Hara
Lila DiPasqua
Christina Phillips
Jessica Andersen
Cynthia Eden
Chloe Neill
Adrian Phoenix
Shannon K. Butcher
Erica Hayes.

I hope everyone will stop by for interviews, guest posts & giveaways. So stay tuned.


Sorry about the late notice, but I'm now posting the winners from the Jennifer Rardin tribute month. 
The winner of the signed copy of Bitten in Two is Dawn M.
The winner for the Jennifer interview is Dovile.
& the winner from Steph's guest post is LSUreader. All the lucky have been contacted and have claimed their prizes.

The winner of the Jenny Pox giveaway, chosen by is Cath's Chatter! I've emailed Cath, so hopefully she will email me back soon to claim her prize!

Well done everyone and thanks for participating in the tribute and Jenny Pox giveaways.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guest post & Giveaway with J.L Bryan

Gods of Pestilence, and Other Happy Subjects

J.L. Bryan

Hello, Strange Candy readers! Jo-Anne suggested I write about the mythology behind the main characters in my novel Jenny Pox, in which each of three main characters has a unique paranormal ability (or curse, depending on your perspective). So I'll ramble about that for a minute, and I promise I'll try to avoid any spoilers—no guarantees! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments form below.

Jenny Pox occurs in a world nearly identical to our own. Readers categorize the book as “paranormal,” but you won't find any fae, werewolves, supernatural detective agencies, angelic orders or secret vampire societies. The paranormal elements in this story are restricted to the supernatural abilities of the main character Jenny, her nemesis Ashleigh, and Seth, the boy they both like. Beyond that, the story might take place in any regular small town in America. As with a tightly controlled scientific experiment, I wanted as few variables as possible. In Jenny Pox, those variables happen to be paranormal.

Jenny spreads a deadly supernatural plague to anyone she touches, animal or human. She can't turn off her power, so she spends her life avoiding people as much as possible, because she doesn't want to hurt anyone. This makes her existence very lonely and painful—then she discovers a boy in her town, Seth, has the opposite power. He can heal with his touch. This means their powers cancel out, and Jenny can safely touch him.

Things aren't that simple, though. Seth already has a girlfriend, who is Jenny's opposite in many ways—popular and influential where Jenny is a complete loner, strikingly pretty where Jenny is small and pale and invisible, ruthless about using her power where Jenny completely restrains herself from ever using her own. Ashleigh's touch makes people feel love, and she uses it relentlessly to manipulate and control others.

I love ancient mythology of all kinds, but these powers weren't based specifically on any one set of myths. In any polytheistic system, you will find a god or goddess associated with pestilence, healing and love, so I drew on a rich variety of sources to enhance the story. The Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, for example, was a perfect parallel to Jenny, and some of Jenny's character was drawn from research into that goddess, who was extremely important in early Egypt but little remembered today, even among people who like ancient mythology.

The myths I considered most heavily aren't ancient and aren't mentioned directly in Jenny Pox. I'm a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, like most people with an interest in supernatural stories. In Lovecraft, the background is that old, wicked gods once ruled the universe, but were banished with the arrival of order and light. The old gods are waiting in the darkest depths of the universe to return, destroy life and reassert their rule. Some humans want to help them do this.

[possible spoilers ahead!] Drawing on Lovecraft, I imagined what might have if such primordial spirits found their way into the human reincarnation system (there is reincarnation in the world of Jenny Pox). They bring with them powers that didn't actually have any meaningful physical expression before they took on physical forms. And then—what if, through hundreds of incarnations, some of these spirits began to learn compassion and, in general, how to be human? Assuming humans reincarnate for the purpose of learning and growing, maybe some of these very old and evil spirits begin to learn the lessons that human souls are meant to learn by incarnating. And some of them aren't quite so evil anymore—they're turning good, so to speak. But not all of them are! Some keep to their original evil and destructive nature, and treat human beings like playthings.

In the story, the characters don't know their own backgrounds, in this larger sense. They consider themselves human beings with odd, inexplicable abilities. They learn more about their deeper background in the course of the story.

That's a quick look at the mythology involved in Jenny Pox. I'm open to questions, if you have any!

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, and then studied screenwriting at UCLA. He is the author of Jenny Pox and three other novels. His Haunted E-Book International Blog Tour will begin in January, with great giveaways like an Amazon Kindle and The Haunted Library ebook collection.

Want to win a copy of Jenny Pox? Then leave a comment on this post with your email address. 
Giveaway ends Saturday 11th December.

On another note, I'll have the winners from the Jennifer Rardin tribute up hopefully by tomorrow.