Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review: Dark of the Moon

My hubby picked this title up at the grocery store for me, as he is want to do when he sees anything that has vampires on the cover or implies it in the title. I had never heard of Susan Krinard, but a google search revealed that she's been very prolific and successful, AND since hubby knew I was scoping Nocturne Bites, he takes credit for this book being from Harlequin, even if he didn't know it at the time.

The premise of this book immediately caught my interest - 1920s reporter in New York investigates murders at the pier and gets sucked into a hidden world she didn't know existed.

The back cover reads:
During the heyday of the Clan, New York’s vampire organization of gangsters and bootleggers, Dorian Black was an enforcer for the notorious boss Raoul Boucher. But when the Clan is shattered by violence and betrayal, Dorian abandons his old ways and is prepared to die for his sins … until he saves the life of a brave and determined woman reporter, Gwen Murphy.

Gwen realizes at once that there is something very unusual about Dorian Black. She’s drawn to the haunted suffering in his eyes as well as to his strength and sexual allure. But he hides secrets that lie dangerously close to the ones she is pursuing for the New York Sentinel. Soon human and vampire must join forces and come to terms with their growing attraction as they battle warring vampire factions and a fanatical cult bent on changing their world forever…

Read an excerpt.

It says "I'm dark, I'm angsty, and Gwen will love me." It really does. And overall, I did. After all - Gwen Murphy - Gwen Mitchell - c'mon - she's got good taste in names! It wasn't what I expected - which, I suppose, is a good thing. If it turned out exactly as I'd expected, I'd probably call it predictable.

Loved the characters. Gwen was the strong, determined career woman, way ahead of her time - someone I could really get behind, with admirable qualities, like her brains and her loyalty to her friends. Dorian was the ultimate tortured hero. And I'd like to emphasize this point. One of the things I appreciated the most about the story was how true Dorian's character rang for me. His progress was slow. Painfully slow. And instead of the typical 'oh, well she loves me and I get sex on a regular basis so I'm fine now' solution to the tortured hero, Ms. Krinard kept it real. Thank you!! His feelings for Gwen are unwanted at first, and even when he realizes that he's in too deep, they complicate things, and in some ways make them worse, not better. It made for great angsty conflict that kept me turning the pages.

I also loved that the story kept me guessing. There were so many 'who done it?' moments where I just wasn't sure who the bad guys were, or what they really wanted. Conflicts abounded - both internal and external. Lots of double-triple-crossing, and each time I thought I had nailed it, she proved me wrong. I pride myself on my ability to guess what's going to happen - so Ms. Krinard gets extra credit for that.

Normally, I'm not in the 'if it doesn't have an HEA, it's not romance' club, but I have to say, I feared for these beloved characters. It started to look very dire indeed and I was worried. Glad to say everything worked out in the end. I enjoyed the writing, and the story was well-paced and entertaining. But I give this one a higher rating, simply because I haven't cared that deeply about characters in a long time. Four Bleeding Hearts.

Good Reads!

Eden Hail has ebily introduced me to a new online addiction. It's called, and yes, I know, I must be slow because I'm just hearing about it *now*...

Come check me out and friend me if you're on there. If you're not - you should be! I've put up all the TBRs and Favorites I could think of off the top of my head and will use it to keep track of my reviews, which I am going to start putting up with more frequency very soon.

Gwen's Goodreads Page

Monday, July 28, 2008

What is a Bestseller?

I'm over at the Writer's Retreat Blog today, pondering what it means to be a best-selling author.

Check it out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bright Sunshiny Day

Warning: This post is a bit more twittery than usual. Mayhap because I cashed in my 'treat receipt' and had an extra mocha this afternoon. And yes, I know I should be ashamed, but when I went through my massive editing binge a few weeks ago, I totally fell off the 'caffeine-free' wagon and landed in a pool of Red Bull. What can I say? I'm still paying for it . . .

Srsly, they should make a patch for people like me. Or a support group. But anyway.


Oh yeah, I decided to write a no-particular-reason post because, well . . . I feel damn good today. For no particular reason. And it's been a while since I've had one of those days. You know - the ones where nothing gets you down? You hit all green lights, and despite the fact that you have an actual *LIVE* chat with an editor you're hoping to impress in T-minus 40 hours (but who's counting?) you just have a big stupid grin on your face and not a care in the world?

That's me today. The sun is shining, and my boss yelled at someone else for a change. Just thought I'd share, since it's such a rare occurrence.

I leave with my favorite LOLCat of the day and hope the stupid grin is catchy . . .

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

B&N Privilages Suspended

Hubby says I can buy no more books until I whittle this pile down some. I have to admit, I have a lot of reading to do, thanks to my birthday last month, and a lack of time since. I'm looking forward to taking a load off from the writing and editing the next couple of weeks and diving into some of these.

Have you read any and enjoyed them? (No spoilers!) Which should I go after first? *rubs hands together gleefully*

Gwen's TBR Pile:

The Firey Cross - Diana Gabaldon
Kushiel's Scion - Jacqueline Carey
Thriller Anthology - E.b. James Patterson
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
Fangs for the Memories - Kathy Love
Night Pleasures - Sherrilyn Kenyon
Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris
The Devil You Know - Mike Carey
Rogue - Rachel Vincent
Swimming Without a Net - MaryJanice Davidson
The Accidental Vampire - Lyndsay Sands
The Darkest Pleasure - Gena Showalter
Nightkeepers - Jessica Andersen
Through the Veil - Shiloh Walker
Storm Front - Jim Butcher
Personal Demons - Stacia Kane
Pleasure Unbound - Larissa Ione
Claimed by Shadow - Karen Chance
Full Moon Rising - Keri Arthur

Oh, and not that this will actually stop me from buying more . . . I'll just have to do it sneakily.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Darkest Fire Review

As a prequel to her new Lords of the Underworld series, which is completely rolling now (though I've only read the novella and the first book so far), Gena Showalter released this short novella about how the demon lords were trapped in Pandora's box, but the mention of said box and said demon lords is really minor. This is a stand-alone story about the goddess of oppression - Kadence, the gate-keeper of hell - Geryon, and their unlikely romance.

I've read some other reviews of this story, and while I can agree with some of the points made, as a writer who has done both novel-length and novella-length pieces, I have to comment in Ms. Showalter's defense - novellas are hard. Especially if you're a novelist. I think the other readers must have been expecting a novel's worth of story. I found the pacing and the plot to move along as a novella should. It kept me engaged all the way through and was a quick read. The characterizations were good and the setting was painted vividly for me.

The love story developed between the two characters was sweet and endearing, and their coupling, though brief, was very steamy. I did think the ending was a bit anti-climactic, but I took this story as a 'taste' of a new world, so it didn't bother me much. It's the first of Ms. Showalter's work I've read, and I have since read the first book and purchased the others. That said, this one didn't spike my 'wow' meter in any particular way. I give it a solid 3 Bleeding Hearts.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm not dead . . . yet.

Of course just when I thought I would be taking a little time off and getting back in the swing of things, I get some news that turns my plan on its ear.

*NOT* complaining, mind you - it's good news. =D

It just required I drop everything else and give some attention to a project I had sorta shelfed.

You see that revision counter bar down there? *points*

Yeah, that's at umm.... 87,000 words now. o.o

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

*dives back under*