Top Ten Tuesday Freebie

Ooh, it’s an open topic this week at The Broke and the Bookish. For this week’s list, we, the almighty blogger, get to pick the topic of our list. *rubs hands together* This is going to be fun!

toptentuesday

I just sent an author friend a list of questions for an interview. One of those questions is inspiring my Top Ten list this week.

Here goes…If I was shipwrecked on a desert island, what ten books would I want with me? Of course, they will come through the wreck unscathed (no soggy pages or no cracked screen on the e-reader!).

Would any of these books make your desert island list? Let me know in the comments!

1. Zero to the Bone by Jane Seville. For some reason, this is one of my top M-M reads. I love the characters, the author’s writing style, and the plot. Not to mention the fact, I have an autographed copy of one of the cover designs. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the town where I live is mentioned in the book. Very cool! (M-M Romance)

2. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. Even after reading all the BDB books to date (with the exception of The ShadowDark_Lovers), her first book in the series is still my favorite. I have it in paperback, and it is nicely crumpled and wrinkled from the number of times I’ve read it. (Vampires/ PNR)

3. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead. When I want a yummy YA read, this is my go-to book. I can’t get enough of Dmitri and Rose. The movie didn’t do it for me, but I still love the book! (YA PNR)

4. Hard Evidence (I-Team #2) by Pamela Clare. I love the I-Team series. They are well-written, the plots taken straight from the headlines. Of course, there are strong female leads and very yummy men. I think Julian is my favorite of the men. This is his and Tessa’s story. (Contemporary Romance/ Suspense)

5. Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews. I’m a huge fan of Kate and Curran. This was probably my favorite read in the series. I just couldn’t put it down. Kate has grown throughout the series, and Curran, well he never ceases to amaze me. I will be reading this series over and over again! (Urban Fantasy) Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday Freebie”

Another Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m sharing the last assignment in Lisa Kessler’s Flash Fiction class. If I haven’t mentioned before, I want to reiterate how much fun the class was and how much I learned. Thanks, Lisa! *hugs*

The last assignment was a story on the topic of our choice and the word limit was 500. I think this is my favorite length. It’s tough and forces you to make every word count. I chose to write a speculative fiction piece. I hope you enjoy it! (In case you’re curious, this story came in at 495 words.)

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Confederates Rising

A cool, damp caress traced Jenna’s jaw before brushing her lips. Shivering at the delicate touch, she pulled her grandmother’s quilt higher. She’d expected realism from her first Civil War reenactment, but the canvas tent was damn cold.

A firm hand shook her awake. Jenna shrieked, her heart thudding wildly in her chest. “Who’s there?” She fumbled for her lantern.

“I’m sorry, but I my brother needs your help.” With nimble fingers, he lit the wick.

Why was a Confederate soldier leaning over her cot? Was it some kind of prank?

“Miss, please, you must hurry!” The man tugged at her quilt. Continue reading “Another Flash Fiction Friday”

Flash Fiction: The Last Breath

I’m taking a writing class in hopes of restarting my muse. You know how fickle it can be! The class is taught by the incredible Lisa Kessler. You can find her website (and information on classes) here. Our first assignment was a piece of flash fiction with a maximum of 250 words. Also, it had to somehow involve murder.

Hope you like my story! Thanks to Lisa for helping me polish it 🙂

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The Last Breath

Faded, peeling wallpaper. Cobwebs lurking in the corners. Dust motes floating on the stale air. My heart shattered, the pieces scattering over the scuffed hardwood floors. I bit my lip, stifling a sob. Mom would be so disappointed at what was once our home.

A sharp knock sounded at the door. I jumped, frowning. I wasn’t expecting company.

“Hey, sis.” My eldest brother’s expensive cologne filled the room.

I stiffened my back, refusing to meet his gaze. “How’d you know I was here?”

He shrugged. “The realtor.” Continue reading “Flash Fiction: The Last Breath”

My Year in Books 2014

Thanks to Goodreads for making this easy for me! Unfortunately, Netflix got in the way of me reading more. Plus (and this is a good thing), two years ago, I had surgery, which required an 8 week recovery. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time reading that summer!

I’m going to share my top reads and then I’m going to share my top Netflix shows. Let me know if anything on my list made yours as well!

My top M-M reads for 2014 (no particular order; these all received 5 star ratings from me):

  • A_Hunted_ManDaylight Again (Hell or High Water #3) by S.E. Jakes. If you haven’t read any of this series, you need to. Prophet and Tom rock! (Catch a Ghost is the first book in the series, FYI)
  • A Hunted Man (The Men of Halfway House #2) by Jaime Reese. Just love Cameron and Hunter.
  • Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run #6) by Abigail Roux. Actually, several books (Armed & Dangerous and Sticks & Stones, for example) in this series received high marks from me. Ty and Zane are one of my absolute favorite couples.

Continue reading “My Year in Books 2014”

Night Series: Night Child

I totally stayed up past my bedtime last night so I could finish this one (‘this one’ being Night Child, Night #3). What an amazing read! Lisa Kessler has done a fabulous job of creating sexy, strong heroes with special abilities and then pairs them with equally strong and savvy women.

Issa and Muriah are the perfect match, even if it takes most of the book to convince stubborn Muriah. Issa is an incredibly powerful Walker who turns into a gorgeous black jaguar. Despite all his power and the length of time he’s been around (more than centuries and eons!), he can’t see inside Muriah’s mind.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but this book has it all—great characters (and yes, several of the past hotties come back to help); an intriguing, fast moving plot; a particularly evil villain in Apep (the god of Chaos, and boy does he have fun creating some); a wedding on the beach; a precarious and utterly crucial pregnancy (the survival of the mortal world depends on it–no pressure on Issa and Muriah *sarcasm*); a suspicious government agent who turns out to be so much more; some laugh-out-loud moments and some tear-shedding moments; gosh, what else?? I feel like I’m forgetting something… Oh, I am, and no way I am even hinting at it (would give way too much away).

Blurb:

A psychic gift…Night_Child

Muriah La Deaux’s latest job requires her to locate an ancient codex detailing a prophecy of an immortal birth. But before she can deliver it, her client is brutally murdered. Now a man with chaos in his eyes wants the codex she’s hiding.

An immortal child…

Issa is one of the original Night Walkers, a proud protector of the mortal world. Now, when the survival of his entire race rests on protecting an unborn child, Issa is the only immortal strong enough to protect Muriah on a risky mission—locate the lost scrolls that will trap their foe—but his tenuous grasp on his sanity is slipping.

The ultimate sacrifice…

Muriah’s headstrong spirit awakens feelings in Issa that are best left buried. But as the battle between love and chaos ensues, sacrifices must be made. Continue reading “Night Series: Night Child”

Review: Night Demon

My thoughts on Lisa Kessler’s book, Night Demon

It has been tough trying to find time to read of late! This is even more frustrating because I was really enjoying Lisa Kessler’s Night Demon. It is the second installment in her Night series.

I really enjoyed Kate and Calisto’s book, Night Walker. Calisto is one hot, sexy shapeshifter. Then, we met Kane and Rita in the novella Night Thief. Kane was another yummy shifter. (Both books received 4 star reviews.)

I’m not sure where to begin discussing Night Demon. It is so well-written and the plot so well thought out that I’m at a loss. Lukas is the handsome Night Walker in this tale; his spirit form is a great horned owl. Fits his personality perfectly! Gretchen starts as his smart, savvy research assistant. As the story progresses, she becomes so much more. I just love her! Despite being a mere mortal, she has no problem keeping up with and helping the immortals in this story. 

The majority of the book takes place in the Yucatan jungle, where Lukas and Gretchen are studying Mayan glyphs. Their research is interrupted when a great Demon, Camalotz, is awakened and released from her prison deep within the earth. The Demon’s Guardian summons the gods of the North, East, South, and West; they are the ones who captured her before and will need to do it again. I’m over simplifying things, but hopefully you get the idea.

The story is fast-paced, and there is lots of tension between Lukas and Gretchen because it takes time for him to reveal his true nature to her. Ms. Kessler has incorporated several unexpected twists and turns to the story. She also does an excellent job of leaving the reader wanting for more – which will be coming in the third book, Night Child.

I have to say, too, that the Guardian nearly stole the show. His interactions with Rita were so sweet and touching – I fell in love with the guy and wished he wasn’t stuck as the awful Demon’s consort and watchdog. I feel like I could go on and on with things I liked about the story; however, you are just going to have to read it for yourself!

5 out of 5 stars!

Night Thief

Night_ThiefNight Thief by Lisa Kessler is a quick, yet fulfilling read. It is a novella, technically #1.5 in The Night series. I fell in love with Calisto in her first book, Night Walker. Kane does not disappoint in this read! I was excited when I heard there was another Night Walker out there. Whoo hoo!

I confess I normally don’t like historical romance stories – whether or not they include elements of the paranormal. One of the things this story had going for it was the setting – Paris and not London. Yay! Plus, she focused on the characters – Kane, Rita, and Antoine (and others, too many to name). While there were flouncy dresses, horses, and gas lamps, I enjoyed the chemistry between Kane and Rita.

Ladies, Kane is pure, sexy hottie. That he turns into a large cat doesn’t hurt, either! The picture on the cover accurately portrays him – he hates clothing and abhors ties and anything restricting around his neck (can’t say I blame him on the ties!). Rita is a stubborn, spunky, and caring woman. She does her best to look out for herself and her cousin against a ruthless vampire.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I loved how Rita felt like her body rejected the change. She was all set to leave Kane because her body didn’t cooperate with becoming immortal. I confess – I could see myself doing the same thing. Why is my body so retarded, can’t even get immortality right?! LOL In the end, she had nothing to fear *wink*

***END OF SPOILER***

This is definitely a must read series! The next book, Night Demon, will be released on March 18th. Thankfully, it isn’t too far away! For more information, check out Lisa’s blog: http://www.authorlisakessler.com/exciting-news-night-demon-has-a-release-date/

A solid 4 out of 5 stars!