Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Death's Servant

                Today's review is on Death's Servant by C.J. Ellisson

After reading each of Ellisson's V V Inn books, I would find myself wondering about a character or two. Where they came from, how they became a supernatural, and what their life was like before joining Dria and Rafe. One character in particular has always stood out from all of the rest though. Jonathan (Jon) Winchester.

It's no secret to me, or anyone else that has read this series, that Jon had many issues while in the Manitoba pack. After all, two Alpha's cannot live together without problems arising. It's just not the nature of a pack. And After yet another argument with the pack Alpha Jon just wants to pack his things, grab his girlfriend, and head out of town for good.

Heading to his bedroom to pack his things though, he finds his girlfriend having sex with a pack mate and looses his temper. Pissed off and broken hearted, Jon hops into his car and leaves for good.

Once he returns to his home state of Virginia, Jon meets Raine who he finds is like him. A Werewolf. But while he pursues her he finds that she is basically a slave and blood source for a real jerk of a Vampire, and she's not the only one. Her whole pack is in the same predicament.

Jon's Alpha instincts drive him to protect Raine and to save her. The question is, can he save himself first? And can he convince Dria to help him save Raine and her pack?

Jon is actually my favorite character in this series so I'm really glad that most, if not all, of my questions about him are now answered. I want to find out more about Rafe now C.J.  :)

4 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his alpha one too many times. After another argument he leaves the Manitoba pack, his only home since the werewolf attack that changed his life. He returns to his home state of Virginia to start a new life free of pack politics. Jon finds work and meets a young waitress, Raine, who appears to be a lone werewolf, too.

As their relationship progresses, Jon’s embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle. He's running scared until his own alpha tendencies surface, making him unable to leave the pretty werewolf’s problems behind. The young man is desperate to save Raine—even if his efforts may lead him straight to death.

Journey along in this first prequel novel involving the favorite characters from the bestselling V V Inn series. Written at reader demand, this stand-alone story explains how the beloved Jonathan came to serve the deadly redheaded vampire, Dria.

C.J. Ellisson bestselling author of contemporary fantasy and erotica
Panelist and Featured Author at Olde City, New Blood Feb 8th-10, 2013Featured Author at Divine Decadence, April 26-28th, 2013
Vampire Vacation ~ The Hunt ~ Big Game ~ Death's Servant

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: Calm Before the Storm

            Today's review is on Calm Before the Storm by BJ Robinson

Sometimes it feels like Robinson is writing just for me. There is always something in each of her books that have something in common with me or the events of my life. Perhaps it's just coincidence, but I've never been one to believe in that. I have always believed that there is a grand plan to what our lives will be, even if it takes a while to get there. The lives of Douglass and Vera are no different.

Once childhood sweethearts, a misunderstanding causes the ending of their relationship and Vera leaves town. A decade later she returns because of her little sister's illness. Bridgett has been suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, a terrible Body Dysmorphic Disorder. But the last person Vera expected to be there to offer her comfort was Douglass, and once he looks down on her with those "baby blues" all those feelings come back.

Through not only her sister's death but a seemingly string of deaths at the local hospital, Vera begins wondering if someone is playing God. And when Douglass' friend Mark goes through the death of his young wife at the same hospital, suspicions turn towards one person.

I thought I knew who the culprit was but I was wrong. And as the danger increased around Vera, and the other deaths around Douglass' job I was a bit confused. One person couldn't have been doing all of if, could they?

I loved that Vera and Douglass could have the chance to work out the misunderstanding that happened all those years ago. And I love the wonderful ending of this awesome story.

4 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Vera Minette Bradley left Louisiana six short years ago and never looked back. There were times she missed Lake Pontchartrain, but not enough to return after her high school sweetheart ripped her heart asunder. She hadn't counted on a hurricane and her sister's illness to lure her back. She hated hospitals and wondered why a feeling of déjà vu iced through her veins and overpowered her each time she entered one. The truth was she knew why. She just didn't want to think about it. She'd watched her mother die in this hospital, and she'd had her own ordeal. An ominous wave of memories flooded her mind. She turned at the sound of heavy footsteps and gazed into a pair of vivid blue eyes, the type that could see straight through you. She drew back and gazed up into those eyes she loved so much, the ones that mesmerized her like she was spellbound in a trance. Should call them hypnotic baby blues. She forced herself back to the present she didn't want to face. Strong arms hugged her. She lifted her head from the shoulder of the man who towered above her at 6'2" and 175 pounds of lean, hard muscle to keep the world at bay, but this was something even his strength couldn't protect her from no matter how hard he tried. Years ago Vera remembered she tried to fight off the shot as a nurse thrust a needle at her. She'd fought them in the ambulance, too, but there were too many of them, too many arms holding her down. She tried to tell the nurse she'd had a shot en route to the hospital, but to no avail. She felt the sharp prick of the needle and prayed before she went under. Myrtle tried desperately to open her eyes. She wanted to waken one more time to see her youngest daughter's big brown eyes. She had to say goodbye. Six years later, Bridgett went into a coma and never woke. Lilly went in for a simple operation and deep sleep turned into a coma. What did all these women have in common? They'd all had medication at the same hospital. Was someone playing God, or was it truly their time to go home? Would any leave the hospital alive?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Review: Ever After

              Today's review is on Ever After by Kim Harrison

I think that Kim Harrison is either trying to make me pull out all of my hair or give me vast amounts of greys. OMG! I opened this book at 9:30AM and did not put it down until I finished it at; of all things, midnight. I just could not stop.

The leak that Rachel accidently created in has gotten a lot bigger and the demon's are not happy about it. The Ever After is shrinking, and they give her just four days to fix it. But Ku'Sox Sha-Ku'ru is back, and he's up to no good. It's going to take Rachel, Al, and Trent to save not only the Ever After, but to also save their lives.

And while we are on the topic of my tow favorite characters. Why can't Rachel and Trent be together Kim? We all know they love each other. Let them be themselves and get their "Happily Ever After" with each other. I know I want them to.

Another Fangtastic installment of the Hollows series.

5 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

The ever-after, the demonic realm that parallels our own, is shrinking, and if it disappears, so does all magic. It's up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to fix the ever-after before the fragile balance between magic users and humans falls apart.
Of course, there's also the small fact that Rachel is the one who caused the ley line to rip in the first place, and her life is forfeit unless she can fix it. Not to mention the most powerful demon in the ever-after—the soul-eater Ku'Sox Sha-Ku'ru—has vowed to destroy her, and has kidnapped her friend and her goddaughter as leverage. If Rachel doesn't give herself up, they will die.
Forced by circumstance, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack—a partnership fraught with dangers of the heart as well as betrayal of the soul—to return to the ever-after and rescue those she loves. One world teeters on the brink of interspecies war, the other on the brink of its very demise—and it's up to Rachel to keep them both from being destroyed.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: Tuesdays With Morrie

                      Today's review is on Tuesdays With Morrie

A wonderful and touching story, Tuesdays With Morrie is a true account of the last weeks of Morrie Schwartz's life. Once a strong and life-loving man, Morrie is struck down with ALS; also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

As a professor at Brandeis University in Newton Mass., Morrie has always tried to teach his students to not only think "out of the box", but to learn the simple values of life like love and friendships. And now that he is facing his own death, those lessons become all the more poignant for one of his favorite students, Mitch Albom.

While in college, Mitch takes every class that Morrie teaches. And during that time, the two become more than just teacher and student, they become friends. And each Tuesday, they would meet for lunch and conversation. Their bond is so strong that upon Mitch's graduation, Morrie shed a few tears and asked that Mitch "keep in touch."

Not following through with his promise, Mitch spends the next sixteen years being one of the many rats in the rat race. He has the big income, he has the big house and fancy car, and he even has a beautiful and talented wife. But at what cost?

One evening while at home, Mitch hears his old friends name on TV, and hence the road to his "life's thesis" begins. Each Tuesday Mitch visits with Morrie, and it is through these visits that Mitch really understands the final lessons Morrie is teaching him. Lessons that change Mitch's life exponentially.

Tuesday's with Morrie is a fantastic lesson for us all. A lesson on life, friendship, love, compassion, forgiveness, and much much more. A lesson that humans world wide should learn. Perhaps if we did, the world wouldn't be in such a mess as it is. One can only hope.

5 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.

It’s been ten years since Mitch Albom first shared the wisdom of Morrie Schwartz with the world. Now–twelve million copies later–in a new afterword, Mitch Albom reflects again on the meaning of Morrie’s life lessons and the gentle, irrevocable impact of their Tuesday sessions all those years ago. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: The Death of Me

            Today's review is on The Death of Me by Denise Grover Swank

The Death of Me is a short account of the death of Denise's husband Darrell and how she has dealt with it over the now six years.

I have read all of Denise's books, and have the wonderful privilege of calling her my friend, a title I do not give out easily. And though I am aware of what she has gone through, I have never felt so close to her or have felt so saddened and helpless.

I must confess that I already knew that this would be a cathartic exercise for Denise; as I have often suggested my clients to this exact exercise after the loss of a loved on, but I didn't know that I would be touched so much. Tears pouring down my face at the pain Denise had suffered, and the pain that Darrell as a doctor himself must have felt as well.

As I read about Darrell's stay in the hospital following his crash and the things that my friend had gone through, I realized how very much I am blessed with my own spouse. We all have our hard times, and perhaps indiscretions, and of course there are the arguments, but in the end nothing can prepare you for the loss of your soulmate.

The Death of Me is inspirational. It's thought provoking, and heartwarming. A must read for anyone in a relationship. Believe me, you will never take your partner for granted ever again.

Thank you Denise for reminding us all that life is not only precious, but it could end at any moment.

5+ of 5 Stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

***This is a 50 page piece.***

On January 29, 2006, Denise Grover Swank’s life changed forever.

On that afternoon, her husband of ten years crash-landed his malfunctioning single-engine plane in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Dr. Darrell Swank suffered multiple fractures, and third degree burns over sixty percent of his body when the gas tank exploded as he crawled away from the wreckage.

Over the next five weeks, she struggled to be a mother to their children while she kept a near round-the-clock vigil at the hospital. Darrell’s survival was questionable from one day to the next, and even if he survived, would he be the same man he was before the crash? Did his fate depend on this test of her faith?

The Death of Me is the true story of a wife and mother living day to day through a fog of shock and unimaginable agony. And, alone in the aftermath, fumbling for some way to not only survive, but to thrive.

It is a story of pain, of release, of forgiveness. And of healing, resilience, and rebirth.

It is a story of a writer finding her voice.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My First Published Poem Featured in April's Bewitching Booktours Magazine!!

Annette M Guerriero

Life is so difficult when each day is as the last.
The pain is too strong of days gone past.

When waking from sleep and you don’t want to live.
When you feel that you have nothing left to give.

It’s hard enough to drag your self up off of the bed,
When all you want is to just be dead.

And when the days are all sunny and warm,
While your emotions are nothing but an overwhelming storm.

That’s when you cry out, “take me, I’m done!”
When you feel that you really don’t have anyone.

Nobody understands or knows how to care.
Your heart seems so to be so empty and bare.

You put on a good front to all that you see,
While secretly you ask, “why don’t you see me?”

Loss and pain follow you wherever you go.
What to do next you truly don’t know.

Alcohol may work or even some pills,
But driving off of a cliff just gives me the chills.

Soon both of my children will be all grown and be gone,
When that happens I have no idea how I will go on.

I hope and I prey that each day will be better,
Knowing that it will always be the same now as is forever.

They say, “Life is to short,” to boldly live each and every day.
But how can you do that when your mind says nay?

Unwanted, unneeded, and feeling alone,
I constantly try to stand on my own.

Grim Reaper I’m calling. I wish you would heed,
And come to me and do what I need.

The days will still come, and no one would care,
Just like it is now. No one notices I’m here.

I’m fed up with the struggle, so tired of the pain.
I can no longer go on and live with this strain.

The truth be told, I no longer have fun,
Death come to me swiftly because I am Done.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review: Change of the Heart

         Today's review is on Change of the Heart by K.J. Wolf

I know I have said it before, but I so very much like a nice, well-written, short story. Especially one that I could see really happening. Change of the Heart is just one of those, along with being a good "rainy day" book.

Camilla White has just been fired from her job. A job that she has worked hard at for the past year. Now however, she's standing on the sidewalk in an Angel costume, in the falling snow, trying to catch a cab. Needless to say, it hasn't been a "red letter day" for her. She just wants to get home, forget about her lost job, and about men in general. But her hellish day continues when she gets a ride from the most irritating cab driver on the face of the earth.

Matt Day once had it all. Looks, money, and the gorgeous girlfriend everyone was envious of. But Eva wasn't who he thought she was. She was just another con going after the big prize. Now his credit is shot, he lives from paycheck to paycheck driving a cab, and has sworn off all women.

Will this chance encounter melt the snow and ice that is not only in the streets, but around their hearts as well? You just have to pick up this delightful short story to find out. You won't be disappointed.

4 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon
(note: part of the book description is not available on Amazon so I have had to shorten it here)

Matt Day is a cab driver who was burned by the last person he let into his life and he lost everything because of it. Camilla White just got fired by her secret lover at the holiday office party and needs Matt to get her out of New York City.
On the way, a snowstorm hits and the two end up stranded in a snow drift. The only way to survive is to rely on each other. With two damaged hearts on the line, it might take a Christmas miracle to make it happen.