Saturday, June 30, 2007

THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES, A Novel by Crusie, Dreyer & Stuart


Hoo. Can I just say, "It's FINALLY on the shelves!"? Yes. After very looooong months of waiting, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes is really and truly available for purchase. And purchase it I did. FOUR copies. One for me, and one each for three of YOU. Plus, I got an extra in the mail, so we're running a little contest so you can get a few of these. Check out the comments for more info.

Oh, you wanna hear about the book? Well, yeah, I can do that. And I know that Charity has it as well, so I'm fully expecting that she's going to chime in here soon, so look for her comments in another color.

The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes is the collaboration between three of the best writers around. I am speaking, of course, of the incomparable Jennifer Crusie, the amazing Eileen Dreyer, and the incredible Anne Stuart. This is a NOVEL, written by three very talented, very distinctive authors. I stress NOVEL, because it is not three novellas strung together, it is a full length novel that is a seamless and beautiful work of art. Let me 'splain. No, that would take too long. Let me sum up:

You're invited to spend the weekend with three extraordinary sisters...
When she was sixteen, Dee Fortune kidnapped her two younger sisters and ran from danger. Now twenty-nine, she's still trying to control her shape-shifting power - no easy task when Danny James shows up one Friday morning with his deadly smile and dangerous questions about the past.

Lizzie is determined to save her family from financial ruin by turning straw into gold; now,m if she could only stop turning forks into bunnies. Then Elric, a sorcerer, appears one Friday - annoyed with the chaos Lizzie is creating in the universe and in his heart...

The youngest Miss Fortune, Mare, towers above her sisters but her telekinetic power is dwarfed by their gifts. She spends her days at Value Video!! and her nights contemplating the futility of her existence. But then a gorgeous Value Video!! VP and Mare's long-lost love turn up... and they all turn up the heat on a weekend that no Fortune will soon forget.

So, as BCCs go, this one is about as perfect as you can get. It tells who each of the sisters are, lets you in on their "gifts", introduces you to their men, explains why they are on their own, and promises a weekend full of fun, excitement, and heat. No complaints here about any part of the BCC, except that it doesn't quite get across how funny this book is, or how much you will enjoy reading it.

If this were a book written by only one person, I'd be falling all over myself to tell you to go out and grab it - it's just that good. The writing is fast-paced, the dialogue is stunning, the love scenes are breathtaking, the humor is side-splitting. Really, you can't go wrong with this one. At least that's what I'd tell you if it were written by one author. But it wasn't penned by a single wonderful author, was it? So there's a little more to my story. Thank you for indulging me. :)

For the past year, at least, I've been drooling for this book. Yes, it was mainly because it was a Jenny Crusie project, and you all already know what a fan of The Cherry I happen to be. You can check out some of the reviews I've done of her stuff on this site, or you can hop over to my own blog and check out my blatant FanGirlSqueeFests that have been more than well documented. I also happen to be a fan of Ms. Dreyer, as I've been reading her Silhouette books for years. And of course, you already know that I love Anne Stuart (Sister Krissie!), and her "Ice" books, don't you? Well, liking the styles of all three authors, I was intrigued by the idea of a collaborative novel. They are very different writers, with very distinctive voices, and I wasn't all that sure how an actual novel would be. I was actually afraid that it would be choppy, that it wouldn't flow, that it would be apparent who wrote what and totally pull me out of the flow of the story. Yeah, pretty dumb, huh? I wasted a lot of time worrying over nothing.

Dee, written by Eileen Dreyer, is the oldest sister, and she's really good at it. As an oldest sister myself, I can say that Ms. Dreyer totally nails the hang-ups, the fears, and the frustrations that are practically written into the DNA of any first-born girl child. Dee basically steals her sisters from the house shortly after she finds her parents dead in the front hall of their home. For nearly thirteen years, she moves them across the country, supports them, hides them, nurtures them, and puts her own life on hold while making sure they are safe. For me, Dee's first solo scene perfectly sums up her role in her eyes. She's taken on the shape of an owl (her magical power enables her to shape-shift), and she's following a man around town. Here's what's going on in her head:
Her favorite times had been spent as a bird. She loved flight...adored the patterns and colors the earth revealed... but mostly, she liked being alone, responsible for nothing, failing no one...
That's it, exactly. She's holding on to her life by the tips of her fingers, so scared of letting down the two most important people in her world that she has put her own dreams and desires far to the back of her mind. Watching Dee slowly let go of the reins, ease out of the role of gate-keeper and keymaster, and grasp her own life was wonderful.

Lizzie, the middle sister that can change things physically, penned by Anne Stuart, seems to inhabit her own world. She is the peace keeper, the quiet one, the one everyone thinks is weak. She is the sister most attuned to the underlying feelings and emotions that run strong in the Fortune household. She feels Dee's frustration at being in a boring job, she understands Mare's need to always be moving. I see her as a very earthy person, with a soft smile and gentle hands. Her compassion flows out of her in waves. Seeing Lizzie develop her powers, strengthen her almost invisible backbone into solid steel, and step up to the plate during their final confrontation with evil was satisfying!

And then there is Jennifer Crusie's Mare. Oh, sweet little Mare... NOT! Well, she's not little, and sweet is really pushing it for this baby of the family who also happens to be the Queen of The Universe. Mare has created a place for herself in the town that has embraced the sisters, and she rules her small world with an iron fist. She runs the Value Video!! store with style and flair, she runs over people that get in her way, and she just runs for fun. Mare is so full of passion, so full of energy, so full of life, that I sometimes wonder how her skin actually stays attached to her body. Her growth from the sometimes spoiled, often times bratty baby, to a woman who takes responsibility for her actions and starts to look at the past through the eyes of that same woman, is nothing short of astounding. I mean, there's growth, and then there's Mare.

There is, of course, one other Fortune sister that is not mentioned on the BCC. I'm talking about Xantippe Fortune, dear old Aunt Xan. She's out to get the sisters, for reasons that are clearly her own. She devises a plan that relies on them falling in love in just a few days, and freely relinquishing their powers. She's ready to use spells and potions and evil minions, and anything else she can get her hands on, to get her way. What she isn't expecting is that she may just have met her match in the Fortune sisters.

And yes, there are men. And romance. And steamy scenes. My favorite line from one of those scenes? ...magic makes sense... like sex. It's too good to be true, but it works. Every. Single. Time. The men, Danny James for Dee, Elric (the Magnificent) for Lizzie, and (Jude and) Crash for Mare, and perfect. They each have their own agendas for being in Salem's Fork, and those agendas all include getting closer to one of the Fortune sisters. How they do that, why they do that, and what happens when they do that, make for some of the most captivating scenes I've read in any book in a very long time.

After all is said and done, the time I spent with Dee, Lizzie and Mare in Salem's Fork was just pure magic. And I mean that in the very best of ways. I didn't get the feeling that this was some rip-off of a cheesy tv witch show (gads, please don't let my daughter read that I called that show "cheesy"!). It didn't feel stilted, or rushed. And even though I am really not a fan of the "hi, my name is blah, and i'm going to fall in love with you in less than 48 hours" style that this story embodies, all I can say is that for this one - it just works. These women live safe, but fall in love fast. While I usually really detest that in a story, I can't imagine this one any other way.

Crusie, Dreyer and Stuart have managed to write a seamless novel of love, where the magic is strong, the passion is hot, and the bond between sisters is stronger than anything you can imagine. While the story may show how each of these women find love with their own perfect men, at the core, the love story actually revolves around three women that have given so much of themselves to create a world where each of them is accepted, and treasured, for the unique gifts that she brings to the others. This book will be on my "keeper" shelf for a very long time!

For your chance to win one of my three "extra" copies, check out the comments!

Keep Turning Those Pages!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nimaur's Loss by Camille Gabor

Guess what I got? Go ahead, guess! I just picked up THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES by Jennifer Crusie, Eileen Dreyer, and Anne Stuart! That's what! I'm stoked. I plan to read it today, and I'm pretty sure dee has it as well, so I think we will be able to work out a joint dish on that one!! Today is the third day in a row that we've had rain, sucky for the kids, good for my posting. So without further ado...

Nimaur's Loss by Camille Gabor*

daughters of magic

Ninianee and Erianthee, the noble daughters of Vildecaz, possess quite different talents. Pretty, charming, Eri can craft entertainments out of thin air; captivating and energetic Nini can communicate with animals. But Nini's true talent must be kept secret: during the full moon, she is transformed into an animal - and never knows if she'll be predator or prey.

Both sisters must play their parts in protecting Vildecaz from political machinations - and their father from his rival, the perfidious magician Yulko Bihn. As noble heiresses, Eri and Nini can never be sure any man's attentions are genuine. But when intrigue and a mysterious disappearance imperils all, they must decide who to trust - and who to love.

*Author has no website. Clicking name will take you to her Juno Books author page that has a short bio of the author.

This is not going to be an easy dish to do, but I'm gonna try. Why, you ask, is this going to be difficult? Well, first off the actual story takes up only 181 pages of the 239 page book. This is followed by a 24 page excerpt of the next book. Then, there is a 22 page Glossary topping it all off. Also, this book, IMO, isn't really a novel. It's more of an introduction (a very long one) to a novel. There is no clear goal, no clear motive behind their worries, and there is most definitely not a conclusion. In fact, it ends with an ill disguised cliff hanger, that belongs on the screen, but not in books. With books I want resolution! I think all readers want a resolution of some sort, and this one disappoints in that area greatly.

When I first began reading Nimaur's, I'll admit, I was lost as could be. I couldn't pronounce names, I had no idea what time frame we were supposedly in, I didn't know what or where any of the places they were speaking of were, I had no idea what the titles meant, and I had no clue about some of the clothing and food they were wearing/consuming.

Truth be told, not being able to pronounce names was OK, because I got to use my imagination. But everything else made reading slow as my mind tried to make sense of the goings on. It was clear that this was not a book set in the near past, and it was clear that in the world this author had created that magic was the norm for many people. And as I continued reading and became more familiar with my own pronunciation key, I actually started to enjoy the book.

And then... I noticed that it didn't appear to be going anywhere. This is when I checked to see how much longer the book was going to last and discovered the glossary and excerpt. As the BCC suggests, Eri's talent is producing "Shadowshows" and this is where she uses the spirits to tell a story. The spirits appear to be there, I was imagining it to be something like a holographic play. Nini's talent is to talk to animals, and then every full moon she turns into one herself. There is no rhyme or reason to the animal she will become, so indeed, she never does know if she will be a predator or a docile prey.

While I enjoyed Eri's talent, and could see how it was used in this book, Nini's talent confused me. She called upon the animals to come to her aid once and that was useful, but the shape-shifting was confusing. Why does she need to keep it a secret? Why, besides the fact that it puts her family in a bind, does she shift in this particular book?

Nimuar is the girls' father, and after much reading I was able to realize that their unexpected guest, Yulko Bihn had cheated somehow in a magical dual with him, and he lost most of his magic and mind. He's searching for something called Agnith's Treasure, but I'm still unsure of what it is or why he (and everyone else) seems to want it so badly.

Each girl has an old flame show back up and they don't seem to be able to make up their minds whether this is good or bad. The relationships are not clear as to why these men were no longer in the girls' lives. I could tell that Nini's man had said he was leaving and then did not. So the Romance aspect of this is pretty much nil. Lots of telling not showing.

I kept going from annoyed to enjoyment in the book, but ultimately annoyed would have to be my finally assessment. Mainly for the no real clear plot or resolution aspect. The premise of the book is imaginative, and other than a rather annoying habit of info dump and unnecessary scenes, the author has a rather unique voice.

I can't really recommend you buy this book, but I won't dissuade you either, as if the next book end up in your TBR pile, you are going to have to read this one to understand anything. Plus, there were a few parts where I actually did enjoy the reading.

Take Care

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Page 161

Note: Stolen from Chantal who got it from Ames.

1. Grab the book closest to you

2. Open it to page 161

3. Find the fifth full sentence

4. Post the text of the sentence to your blog

5. Don't search around for the coolest book you have, use the one that is really next to you

6. Tag five people to do this meme.

Maybe Michael Dempsey could have turned her into a crook.
From Faking It by Jennifer Crusie (My millionth re-read. Needed to feel good.)

I don't tag people, either, so feel free to re-post if you'd like. Just let me know so I can take a look!

Take Care

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception by Lois Winston

I'd like to start today by doing two things. 1 - I want to extend my deepest sympathies to all the Triskelion authors that were gobsmacked by the announcement. Especially Jen Talty who dee spotlighted just last week. I have complete faith that all of you will rebound and come out stronger than ever! Good Luck! 2 - I want to say sorry for being so quiet lately. Things are nuts here. Things are probably nuts everywhere, it is summer after all. I have not had time to type up any dish, but I have done some reading while sitting on park benches or poolside, so I'll try and get them posted in short order. And now, without further ado...

Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception by Lois Winston


Logan Crawford is gorgeous, charming, and his kisses make Emma feel like she's the only woman in the world. Oh, plus he's a billionaire. Not that Emma needs the money. As Philadelphia's most beloved heiress, she has it all: the grand estate, flashy sports car, high-society connections. But the haunted widow also has dark secrets, and some one out there doesn't want Emma to forget her past quite so easily. Trouble is brewing darker than a double espresso for Emma and her new found love. Now if only she can keep from getting burned...

This is the second book by Winston and her first book, Talk Gertie To Me, was dished by dee. I'll be honest and tell you that I never did read Gertie, but the dish made it sound good, so when I saw the latest book on the shelves at WallyWorld, I picked it up (plus, it has that cup of coffee on the front, who could ignore a book that has coffee on the front?).

Emma Brockton Wadsworth, known in Philadelphia as The Princess on the Hill, has a family that dates back to the Founding Fathers. As a child she lost her parents in a tragic accident when they were hit by a drunk driver, and later married Phillip Wadsworth, had two sons, and suffered sixteen years of a very unhappy, and unhealthy marriage with a man who turned a great public face.

Logan Crawford, real-estate mogul that give The Donald a run for his money, has a reputation of a man who is tough in the boardroom, but even tougher on women's hearts, many women's hearts. When Logan ventures to Philadelphia to consider locating his business HQ there, he has a one night stand with his city guide, only to meet Emma the next day. Bumping into her (literally) at a bookstore/cafe, Logan buys Emma a replacement coffee and the sparks fly.

But Emma has many secrets, and the string of broken hearts Logan has left behind have a couple of women out for revenge. Logan's latest broken heart, Leslee, has a personal vendetta against Emma, as she had been Phillip's mistress and had planned (with Phillip) to have Emma out of the picture now and seeing Logan ga-ga over Emma has Leslee plotting revenge. Enlisting the help of a paparazzi and a DA with political aspirations as well, as his own reasons for revenge against Emma, Leslee starts the ball rolling to ruin Emma and Logan.

Deception is one of those books that I guess I enjoyed, just didn't really realize it until it was over and all the pieces were in place. For one thing, Emma seems to always have one more secret. And then once one secret is discovered, another one is there, the really bad one, that is until that one is discovered and yet another secret is holding Emma captive. It isn't until quite a bit into the book that the secrets finally start getting revealed and that began to try my patience just a bit. I'm all for a bit of suspense, but when the secret is integral to the main character, a character I feel I should know fairly quickly, well, it tends to grate. By the time we get to the third big secret I felt like throwing the book down.

Also, this is a book about very wealthy people. And while I've made it clear that I'm not in the know when it comes to the speak of the wealthy, there were a few instances of dialogue that just didn't ring true. Perhaps if they were in England or something, but not here, and not the way it comes out of nowhere. Some just didn't ring true to the characters.

I also tend to be skeptical of books that have people falling in love after one day. Period. I understand that to move this plot forward, and have it make sense, Winston had to have Logan and Emma fall in love rapidly, but Emma isn't the type of woman to fall like that, and it had the air of unbelievability.

There were quite a few POV changes, every antagonist had at least one scene done in their POV, and that made for too many, especially since they are all working towards the same goal. And while I understood the need to show what the "bad" guys were doing, I would have much rather preferred to see some POV's of the people that actually supported Emma and Logan. Though, the antags POV did help in understanding certain points.

A lot of the book had me scratching my head going, "huh?" but as a whole, the book was a most enjoyable read. It won't be a re-read, but I can definitely recommend it as a lazy beach day read. Winston's voice is fresh, her writing is solid, and the ending does satisfy, even if the means to the end seem off somehow. I'll be looking forward to reading Winston's next release, whenever that may be.

As always, if you've read this one, we'd love to know what you thought.

Take Care

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spotlight - Interview with Jennifer Talty

I had this whole week planned out, with an intro, a special contest, a review, and an interview, to SPOTLIGHT the new e-book RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU by my friend Jennifer Talty. I had all of these great intentions, and plans, and stuff I wanted to do. Then, two things happened. First, I had to work waaaay more than I was supposed to work, which meant I was not available to post as often as I had originally intended. Second, Jennifer had a minor setback in her publishing career.

If you've been following the recent news, you probably already know that Jen's publisher, Triskelion, is filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy within the next few weeks. As a writer that hopes to some day be published, this news has just rocked me, on many different levels. It is sad for me to see a business, any business, close its doors. It's especially sad when that business deals with books, because I happen to LOVE books, in a major way. Beyond that though, I think of all of the writers that have dreamed those dreams of having their work out there, in the world, and how those dreams are now going to be put on hold. Notice, please, that I did not say those dreams have died, nor have they been crushed, only put on hold. Jennifer Talty is one of the authors affected by the closing of Triskelion. However, as you will see from this interview (conducted last week, before the news hit the street), Jennifer has such an amazing spirit that this news will not keep her down for long.

Her book, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, climbed all the way to Number Two on the Triskelion site after its release. That, in and of itself, should garner her some attention when it comes time for her to find a new publisher. However, it's not just about writing. Jen is also a consummate professional. Her attitude during this entire ordeal has made many people proud, and even more people very certain that she is in this business to stay. Please continue reading the interview, and make sure to let Jen know of your support in the comments!

About your current books:
Describe your current release, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, in five sentences or less.
Jared Blake has less than two weeks to figure out who is stalking his life long friend, Ryan O'Connor. And in less than two weeks he will loose his heart forever to what was standing right in front of him all along.

Besides the current title, what other books have you written? Are any of them published? Released?
I have an anthology titled HAUNT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME*. DARK WATER comes out in October of 2007*. I have three other books under review at various print houses.
(*Due to recent events, release dates for these titles is unknown at this time.)

About your writing style:
What is your writing style? Are you a plotter? How many drafts does each book go through before you feel it is 'ready'? Who is allowed to read it before it is published?
I am a plotter, big time. I have to know most of my book before I can start writing it. I use a storyboard program that allows me to move things around as I go and I also do a fair amount of pre-writing about my story and characters. This way I have a really good feel for everything before I start.

I have no idea how many drafts I do. As many as it takes until I think it's done. But I also edit as I go.

I have three critique partners who read everything I write. They are fabulous. They really help me plot, develop and then make sure it's all down on paper. We help each other and I'd be lost with out them. I do have a few close friends who are not writers that I will have read the near final draft just to get a reaction.

What kind of support do you have for your writing? Is your family supportive? Are your friends? Do you belong to any groups?
My husband and kids are very supportive, even when I drive right past the exit for the hockey rink because I was too busy talking with my "characters". Most of my friends think what I have done is pretty darn cool and love to introduce me as "this is my friend, the author." I think that is cool.

I belong to Romance Writers of America and my local chapter - Central NY. I also belong to Mystery Writers of America.

About your life:
What did you do before you decided to write? Are you currently still doing another job? What in the world made you decide to become a writer?
Basically for the last 16 years I have been a stay at home mom. I have worked part-time jobs between merchandising and teaching dance. I gave up the merchandising job, but I still teach dance and of course, I'm still a crazy hockey mom.

What's the deal with your fingernails? I hear that they actually glow in the dark. Is that true? Do you do this to be able to work outside late at night?
The fingernails only glow in the dark during the month of October when I wear special glow in the dark nail polish, but it does aide in the "write in the dark" mode I like. And yes, I do like to work outside in the summer by the lake, in the dark. It's horrible for the eyes, but for some reason it helps with the darkness of my voice. Might have something to do with that horrible big fish I think is out to get me or something.

Most people that write suspense have some sort of fear or phobia. What is yours? How do you handle it?
I have lots of fears and phobias. I have this horrible fear of sharks. It's so bad I can't even swim at night in a lake or pool without hearing that music, or thinking Jaws is going to come and eat me. I'm afraid of flying. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of my own shadow sometimes, but I just don't let it stop me. Seriously. I get on a plane 3 times a year even though I'm near panic right before. Flying with me is very amusing. Ask anyone.

So, how do I deal with them? Humor! Gotta laugh at yourself every once in awhile. I acknowledge they exist, then make fun of them. It works for me.

What is your very favorite fiction book ever? Why? Who is your favorite fictional character? Why? Which author would you most like to meet? Why?
Oh God. That is so not a fair series of questions to ask.

Lets see - favorite book? I'd have to say TELL NO ONE by Harlan Coben, at least today. Tomorrow that could change. Why? Because it's a really good book. I think Harlan does characterization like no other and I really fell in love with the hero in this book.

Favorite fictional character? - Right now I'd have to say Hannah from BODY GUARD OF LIES by Robert Doherty (aka Bob Mayer). Why? I really related to her in a weird way. Here was this woman whose live was wrapped around her husband and then all of a sudden, he wasn't what seemed, her life wasn't what she thought it was. I think that is a stay at home mom's worst fear - her life is a lie? And I related to Hannah in a big way. Of course, she's a kick as heroine in the end. I like that.

Which author would I most like to meet? Hmmmmm, I'm going to Thrillerfest this July so I'm going to get to meet so many, so I'll just pick one that isn't going to be there - Ridley Pearson. Why? I think he's just amazing. I love his books.

About the future:
I know you're currently hard at work on a new book. Can you tell a little about that one? How difficult was it to decide to switch genres? Do you feel that this genre is a better fit for you?

My current WIP is tentatively titled DEATH BY BODY PART and it's a thriller. Kind of a modernday Frankenstein, but not really.

The switch from Romance to Thrillers was a gradual one. All of my books deal with suspense. RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU has a stalker who happens to be a serial rapist. DARK WATER has an ex who is a murderer and will kill again if pushed. So, that side has always been present, it's just that before I focused on hero/heroine. But with this new idea, the romance aspect didn't really come to me. It wasn't what the book was about. I didn't accept that first and tried to make it a romance - didn't work. Then as I kept plugging away at it, I realized how much my voice fit this style book. How much I loved writing it and how many more ideas I had for books like it. It's where I as a writer belong. Scary to switch, but it's a better fit for me.

Where can we find you?
Do you have a website? Where can people find you online?
I'm everywhere! Googling my name is a scary thing. But you can find me at and my personal blog at where I post often.

Also, at the following sites:


Last words from Jen:
Is there anything else that you want to add? Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers? Anything for your fans? Anything?

Dreams do come true. I'm living proof and in more ways than one.

So, as you can see, Jennifer Talty is not only an amazing writer, she is also a wonderful person, with a determination to succeed that will see her through this current setback. She's got spirit and spunk and grit. She has an amazing storyteller's voice. I'm very lucky to know her as a writer, and even more lucky to call her a friend.

In light of the events of the past week's happenings with Triskelion, I am not adding links to her wonderful e-book, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, with this post. True to her own strict professional standards, Jennifer did NOT ask me to tell anyone not to buy the book. I will not do that either. What I will do is mention that it is unlikely that she will see any payments that are due to her for her electronically published book.

Jennifer has, however, bought a few copies of her own book to give away as gifts in our contest. So, if you'd like to read her book, I highly encourage you to enter the contest, with a slight change in the rules. If you'd like to enter, please feel free to put up the cover and the blurb of RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU on your site or blog, and link it back to here. However, if you'd rather, just blog about something that was right in front of you at one time or another in your life, and link to either this site or Jennifer's site.

Thanks so much for your continued support of our featured books and authors. It means the world to us, and I know it is very special to them as well!

Keep Turning Those Pages!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Spotlight - RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, by Jennifer Talty

In true slacker form, I have neglected my duties to truly SPOTLIGHT this book, like it deserves. Thankfully, being friends with the author and knowing that she knows my crazy schedule (though I'm NOT a Hockey Mom or I'd be insane!!), I'm just going to pick up right here, on THIS day, and pretend like the last two days didn't slip by with no post from me. Ok?

If you have yet to read RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU by Jennifer Talty, I just want to know what you're waiting for. I mean, you can buy it right here. All you have to do is click on the link that is right there, in front of your face. See, I even managed to sneak in a 'right in front of you' reference, so I can enter my own contest. And speaking of the contest...

Of COURSE I'm going to extend the contest until Friday. Of COURSE you can still enter even if you don't have your own blog. Of COURSE we appreciate your support. Of COURSE Jen has already purchased a copy of her own book, ESPECIALLY for the contest winner, and has it on a shiny CD, with a really cool cover, all SIGNED by Jennifer Talty the author. And Of COURSE she even sent me an e-mail saying she has OTHER goodies to send along to our lucky winner. So, tell me again why you haven't entered the contest yet. Really, there's no excuse. ENTER THE CONTEST!

You want to hear a bit more about the book now? Ok, here you go...
Book blurb (this is what you post on your site, along with the cover, to enter the contest HINT HINT!):

Restless and bored, NYS Trooper Jared Blake accepts a transfer from his current position in Lake George. Jared lives on the edge and his present post just isn't cutting the mustard. Just when he thinks his life is as it should be, his long time friend is threatened by an unknown source. Jared has exactly two weeks to find out who is behind these threats. And in two weeks, he will lose his heart forever.

Ryan O'Connor has the world at her fingertips. She's strong, feisty and has everything she's ever wanted, except the right man. Jared represents everything Ryan doesn't want. He's controlling, overbearing and now he's moving. Having had a crush on him for years, Ryan decides to seduce Jared. What harm can it do? But when Ryan's life is on the line, she realizes Jared might not be perfect, but he's the perfect man for her.

So that's accurate. I can't find any technical fault at all with this blurb. There are no glaring mis-truths, and no obvious omissions. So yeah, I can live with this one. Good job on the blurb.

Except... it doesn't give you any hints at how intriguing this book is going to be. There is a mystery going on, and it was actually pretty good. Ryan has a stalker. Of course, she doesn't take it too seriously at first. But Jared knows better. This leads to some fun fights, and some even better making up scenes. Am I going to tell you? Oh no... you need to read it for yourself. But the mystery was good enough to keep me guessing past the ten minutes it usually takes for me to figure things out. For a while, I actually was totally off course, thinking it was someone else. That rarely happens with me. So yeah, good mystery/suspense here.

About the heat level.... Yes, it has an "Ultra Sensual" label on the ordering sight, but don't let that deter you if you're not into heat. Honestly, I might have to purchase a few more books by them to figure out how they label their books. From their site: Ultra Sensual- Stories with this heat rating have consumated love scenes with graphic explicit language and adult themes. So technically, yeah, I guess it deserves that rating, because there are consummated love scenes, and there is graphic explicit language, and yes, there are even adult themes.

About the romance... I really enjoyed the main theme of this story, the whole idea that what you've always wanted might have always been "right in front of you" but you didn't recognize it until it was almost too late. Jared and Ryan have known each other for virtually their entire lives. They've been friends for that long, and Ryan has had a sort of 'big brother hero worship' crush on him for quite a few years. Jared has always adored Ryan, but in a 'little sister pain in the neck' sort of way. Kind of. I mean, the guy made some pretty HUGE life choices based on what Ryan needed. Now, however, he can't think of her as a kid anymore, because he wants her. And she can't help thinking that he's not what she wants, but may be just exactly what she needs. Really, if you take everything else in the story away, you've got a great romance between two people that have always loved each other but just haven't realized it yet.

Things that made me go "hmmm"... To be fair, I read this book a while back, and haven't read it in its finished and polished version. So I can't give any marks against it for editing or spelling or grammar. As you know those are my particular pet peeves, that's saying something. The only thing that really bothered me was Ryan's best friend's relationship. I liked her, but I really didn't like how fast she went with her guy. For some reason, her going from crazy party girl to steady girlfriend "in love" bugged me. I didn't see the change coming, so it just didn't feel all that right to me. Honestly though, that's the only thing that had me scratching my head.

Overall...The timeline was spot-on, the emotions were all well written, and the storyline flowed very well. For my first venture into the world of e-books, I'm thinking this was a great choice. Plus, you can actually surf the site, buy the book, and read the entire thing from the comfort of your very own bed if you want. This REALLY appeals to me, since I do most of my reviewing on my laptop in my bedroom, since it has a lock on the door and my office doesn't.

So go ahead, click THIS link and buy RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU by Jennifer Talty. You won't be disappointed. Or, you can even enter THIS contest, and try to win a copy for yourself (along with some other cool prizes that Jen will send along to the lucky winner!). And be sure to check back here later this week for an interview with Jennifer Talty, author of the Spotlight of the month book - RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. You'll see, just from the interview, how much fun Jen is, and you'll want to be friends with her too, I promise!

Until then, Keep Turning Those Pages!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spotlight - RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, by Jennifer Talty

Hello, my very patient and wonderful friends! It has been way too long since I've brought you a review, hasn't it? I am thankful beyond your wildest imaginings that Charity has not been a slacker like I have. Where have I been? Well, I was concentrating on finishing my own book in May, plus I had a wedding in Ohio to attend and a visit with my Grams in Oklahoma. I also got to spend some actual time with Charity, and we had a blast. This month, I haven't found that many books that I wanted to share with you. While I have no problem reviewing books that I don't find all that great, my personal philosophy is that I won't review a book if I can't find at least THREE good things to say about it, even if the overall review is not favorable. This has been a really rough month for me, obviously, since I have yet to review a single book. But that's all changing today!

I read a great e-book this month, and I'm going to be Spotlighting it this week. We don't do a lot of e-book reviews around here, but that may just have to change. The book I read was Right In Front Of You by (my very cool author friend!) Jennifer Talty.

About Right In Front Of You:

Restless and bored, NYS Trooper Jared Blake accepts a transfer from his current position in Lake George. Jared lives on the edge and his present post just isn't cutting the mustard. Just when he thinks his life is as it should be, his long time friend is threatened by an unknown source. Jared has exactly two weeks to find out who is behind these threats. And in two weeks, he will lose his heart forever.

Ryan O'Connor has the world at her fingertips. She's strong, feisty and has everything she's ever wanted, except the right man. Jared represents everything Ryan doesn't want. He's controlling, overbearing and now he's moving. Having had a crush on him for years, Ryan decides to seduce Jared. What harm can it do? But when Ryan's life is on the line, she realizes Jared might not be perfect, but he's the perfect man for her.

Jen will be stopping by during the week to answer questions and hang out, so be sure to check in during the day and chat with her in the comments.

Right In Front of You is Jen's first published book, and it is currently available from Triskelion. To download it right this minute, all you have to do is click on the link!

Jen has agreed to give away a download of her book to one very lucky contest winner. Since she's doing this, we're going to make it fun for everyone around here to try to win. Here's the scoop on the contest:

- Copy the cover image and the blurb and put it up on your blog. (You get FIVE entries for this!)
- Link to THIS post when you feature Right In Front Of You on your blog.
- Leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog post where you've featured Right In Front Of You.
- Tell us, either in your comment here or on your blog, something that you've found "right in front of you". It can be as silly or as serious as you want it to be. You'll get two extra entries for doing this.
- If anyone comes here from YOUR blog, and tells us in the comments that you sent them, you'll get another FIVE entries.

This contest will end on Wednesday, at 10pmEST. I'll announce the winner by Friday. If we have a lot of entries, I may just throw in another download!

Good luck, and happy posting!

Keep Turning Those Pages!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Summer Re-Reading

I have been most slack in my duties to the blog-o-sphere as of late. No personal blogs going up. No review posts going up. All my time has been spent playing with kids, being sicker than a dog after he eats the trash, writing on my own book, and Re-reading series books.

In May Charlaine Harris released the newest book of her Sookie Stackhouse series, All Together Dead. In order to prepare for the long awaited release (OK, it was only a year I had to wait, but it felt far longer than that) I read the series to that point in it's entirety. It was very interesting to see how far Sookie has come from the beginning. It was exhilarating to see how Sookie has changed what makes her Sookie so little in the long running series. Plus, it was just plain fun. I am in total fangirl lurve with Harris and her books. The simplicity in which she writes is almost poetic in its nature.

This month, June, Janet Evanovich will release the 13th book in her Stephanie Plum series, Lean Mean Thirteen. I spent last week re-reading the first twelve in the series. This was an interesting exercise. The evolution of the characters is slow moving, snail pace really, and I realized that I really don't care. I don't read these books because they are literary masterpieces. I read the books because they make me laugh and lust for Ranger. I did realize one thing, and that is that I cannot stand Joe Morelli. At. All. Once I could kind of see his appeal, though he was never my favorite (I'm a Babe all the way). And I like that even Morelli has referred to Stephanie as "Babe" one or two times. See even Joe knows who she belongs with (hint: it aint him).

Yesterday, I re-read Susan Elizabeth Phillips books Natural Born Charmer. Sigh. I still adore that book and it was even better the second time around.

What have you been reading? Any suggestions for great summer reading? Help me out here people. My own personal library is only so big, and I need something new!

Take Care