Monday, February 25, 2013

Bringer of Fire - Review


Bringer of Fire (Logan Bringer Series, #1)



Rutherford Literary Group LLC

*All opinions expressed are mine and any portion of  review may be used by the author/publisher. No compensation was received for this review. *


Bringer of Fire is the first book in a new series by Jaz Primo of Sunset Vampires fame.  I love Jaz’s Sunset Vampire series but this book is different. Do not look for vampires to be in it. Logan Bringer has a different super power. Be prepared to be blown away.
Logan Bringer was an ordinary guy. He has friends and family that care about him. He played football in high school, served six years in the army and went to college. He also has brain cancer and has been undergoing experimental treatments at The Nuclegene Cancer Treatment Center.  The center just happens to be located inside The Wallace Building. A building that was blown up on a day he was supposed to be there. Whoever thought coming down with the flu could be lucky?

Or was it? Logan and Maria, the P.A. at the center, are the only survivors. Maria agrees to help Logan continue his treatments as it had been healing him. Logan, however, was having a side effect to the injection. A magical one. A super power one.  Logan can move things by using his mind. Telekinesis.  He can even stop bullets, which turns out to be a good thing. Was the side effect a side effect of a cancer treatment drug? Or was the cancer treatment a side effect of a drug to produce super human powers that could be used by the government?

Jaz has written a truly interesting book. It is fantasy with reality. It brings about several questions. Does the government back experiments that pretend to be for a good cause when in reality it is weapon development? Do the government, corporations and the military hold hands to keep secrets from the general public while experimenting on them? Do the good effects justify the experiments and/or side effects? Do the government, corporations and the military have too much power? All very valid questions in today’s world.  You can read and enjoy this book as just fun fantasy. It could just be the way my mind works that I think about these questions while I read. For me, the questions that came to my mind while reading enhanced my enjoyment. I had to talk about it. So I started conversations with people and read parts of the book to them. I am grateful that the strangers I randomly selected to share with were patient and did not call the men in white coats to take me for a rest.

Lest you think I am a total sci fi geek, let me share with you my terror of science fiction books. I really think of them as “guy” books and books for people far more intelligent than I. Whenever I pick up a sci fi book I am always terrified that it will float totally above my head. Therefore I have a tendency to avoid them. I puzzle over that when I read and enjoy a book I would classify as SciFi. Bringer of Fire is a book that I feel is scifi and a book “guys” would enjoy. It is also a book I loved. The writing is brilliant. Jaz presents things in an easy to understand way. The story flows beautifully. Jaz takes you on an action packed adventure while keeping the way smooth.  It is a delicate balance that he easily achieves. There is a hint of romance that may blossom in a future book.  I loved how Jaz took his time and let us walk through the unfolding of this super power. We are privy to Logan’s thoughts and feelings. The book ended too soon for me.  I cannot wait for the next book in this series.


Jaz Primo is the author of the Sunset Vampire Series.

Sunrise at Sunset (Sunset Vampire, #1) A Bloody London Sunset (Sunset Vampire, #2) Summit at Sunset (Sunset Vampire, #3) 

He is the author of Gwen Reaper, a young adult novel


Gwen Reaper

Comments Welcome


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

HP Mallory Contest News

Better Off Dead (Lily Harper, #1)

Better Off Dead is HP Mallory's next book and new series, Lily Harper.
The new book is set for publication on March 26, 2013. 


HP Mallory is the best selling author of two series, Jodie Wilkins and Dulcie O'Neil. Both are really fun series to read.

The Jodie Wilkins Series:

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Jolie Wilkins, #1) Toil and Trouble (Jolie Wilkins, #2) Witchful Thinking (Jolie Wilkins, #3) The Witch Is Back (Jolie Wilkins #4) Something Witchy This Way Comes (Jolie Wilkins, #5) 
Be Witched: A Jolie Wilkins/Rand Balfour Novella (Jolie Wilkins side story)
Be Witched is a Jodie Wilkins novella that came after book 2 I believe.

The Dulcie O'Neil Series:
To Kill A Warlock (Dulcie O'Neil, #1) A Tale of Two Goblins (Dulcie O'Neil, #2) Great Hexpectations (Dulcie O'Neil, #3) Wuthering Frights (Dulcie O'Neil, #4) Product DetailsProduct Details

AMAZON PAGE FOR HP MALLORY

CONTEST INFORMATION! 

HP Mallory is having a contest over on her blog. In it you can be selected to be a character in Better Off Dead! What is more fun than that? So go ahead and get over to her blog, the link is below, and enter. contest ends on February 28, 2013 and winner will be announced on March 1, 2013.


You can also check out HP on Goodreads,  FaceBook and Twitter

Good Luck All!

Check out her books if you haven't already. They are a good time! If you have which book is your favorite?


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5 Flaming Stars for Edge of Dawn


DELACORTE PRESS
FEBRUARY 26, 2013

*I received this title for review from NET GALLEY. I received no compensation for this review. The review is based on my thoughts and feelings while reading this book. All opinions are mine and may be used by author or publisher.*

Edge of Dawn is book 11 in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed Series. It is the second series I got into - right behind Sookie Stackhouse and right before Anita Blake. In all honesty Sookie has disappointed me the last couple of books and Anita was letting me down after the about the 10th book, (I still read them - what a junkie I am LOL). When I saw this book I was both excited and nervous. My first thought was, "OMGOSH! The Breed is back!" followed by, "Book 11. Please don't let me down." Thank goodness I can honestly say it is AMAZING!  I was on an emotional roller coaster throughout the book. 

Edge of Dawn picks up with the Breedmate Mira, raised in the Order by Nikolai and Renata. Each Breedmate has something special about her. For Mira it is her eyes. If you look into her eyes you will see your future. But this comes at a price. Each time someone sees their future, Mira loses a bit of her sight. Consequently she uses violet contact lenses, both to save her sight and to save others from a glimpse of the future. A vision she cannot control.

As a Breedmate she will fall in love and bond to a Breed. For Mira that Breed was Kellan. Unfortunately eight years earlier Kellan was in an explosion. Though his body was not recovered he was believed dead. For eight long years Mira has grieved.  She has grown into a formidable warrior and heads a patrol group. In her heart though she is still searching for those responsible for her true love's death. Finding one of those and fighting him is what gets Mira into trouble. She gets assigned to "babysitting" a scientist as punishment.  Actually her assignment is to deliver him safely to receive an award on the eve of the peace summit. When she arrives to pick up Jeremy she finds him being kidnapped by rebels. She fights for him but ends up captive herself.  Nathan, a Breed who was raised with Mira and Kellan and is their best friend, is assigned to locate and return her. It turns into a black op meaning the rebels must die. 

I cannot go into more details without giving away the whole book but there are many amazing turns to this book. It is packed with emotion. From fight scenes to the love scenes you need to hold on tight. The love scenes sizzle and nearly set my KFire on fire. Edge of Dawn grabs you and does not let go. 

I really think it is Lara Adrian's best one yet. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you have never read the Midnight Breed series go ahead and read this one. I guarantee you, you will go back and read the rest. This is a 300 page book and I could not put it down until I finished it. Normally I would be bummed now because I have to wait until book 12 comes out. But I think I will read it again. Then I can be bummed. I give Edge of Dawn 5 flaming stars because a book this hot does not have ordinary star power. 

There is a Goodreads Giveaway  for EDGE OF DAWN going from February 17 until February 23, 2013. 

The Midnight Breed Series:

Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed,  #1) Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2) Midnight Awakening (Midnight Breed, #3) Midnight Rising (Midnight Breed, #4) Veil of Midnight (Midnight Breed, #5) Ashes of Midnight (Midnight Breed, #6) Shades of Midnight (Midnight Breed, #7) Taken by Midnight (Midnight Breed, #8) Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)  Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed, #10)
A Taste of Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9.5)

Novella: 
Click for info on NightDrake

Series originally written under the pen name Tina St John and now released under Lara Adrian:
The Dragon Chalice Series: 

Heart of the Hunter Heart of the Flame Heart of the Dove 

There is a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY for HEART OF THE HUNTER going on until March 30, 2013

Medieval Romance Books:

Lord of Vengeance Lady of Valor White Lion's Lady Black Lion's Bride

Lara Adrian can be followed on:


The Midnight Breed are now hanging out on Facebook! How cool is this? Here are the links I know of.

Sterling Chase
Elise Chase
Tegan GenOne
Kellan Archer
Mira Nicholas
Dylan Alexander
Tavia Fairchild

Have you read any of Lara Adrian's romance books? I have not yet but they are now on my TBR. If you have, please tell me which ones and what you thought. 

Comments are always welcome

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review of Learning to Stay


Happy Valentine's Day!

 Learning to Stay

Learning to Stay 
Erin Celello
NAL Trade

*I received this book for review purposes from Net Galley. No compensation was received for my review. All opinions are my true thoughts and feelings concerning this book.*

I saw this book offered on Net Galley and thought it would be interesting. I loved the title and the cover. I never imagined the impact this book would have on me. I believe Learning to Stay will be at the top of my list of 2013 Best Books. Here is the synopsis from Net Galley:

Elise Sabato is proud of her husband, Brad, for serving his country...and grateful when he returns home to her. But the traumatic brain injury he suffered in Iraq has turned him from a thoughtful, brilliant, and patient man into someone quite different....someone who requires more care and attention than Elise can give while working in a demanding law firm. And when Brad ends up on his family’s farm, hundreds of miles away, she wonders where their marriage is headed.

Elise must decide between the life she always wanted and the life she seems to be living…until she finds inspiration in the most unlikely of places: a lovable dog named Jones who teaches her that when the best-laid plans take unexpected turns, sometimes you end up right where you were meant to be.

My son served in Iraq. I think that was part of the appeal for me. I have found that since his return I am drawn to books about homecomings. I did fine with those. I was not expecting the way this book would hit me. After reading the first chapter I knew I would be reading the book slowly. I do not know if Erin Celello had personal experience but she certainly writes as if she does.

She writes of how you know it is not the telephone you fear. It is the car coming down your street. It is the knock on your door. She knows the hours you are safe from the knock but not the worry. The way she writes you see it playing out in your head and feel every emotion with the characters.

There is a part in chapter 3, after Brad comes home, where she sees him outside. It is 3 a.m. and winter in Wisconsin. Brad is barefoot in jeans, no shirt. She writes, “ I watch as he watches the fence, like a dog on high alert – body tensed, ready to spring on whatever might be lying in wait out there.” Suddenly I am thrust back to the December my son came home. I had gotten up to use the bathroom and noticed my son was not there. I went to the window and saw him crouched down behind a car, also only in his jeans. I watched while he ran, always in a crouch, from car to car, looking around on alert for an enemy not there. Watching him I knew his body was in Chicago but he was in Iraq. I stood there weeping, not knowing what to do. Still today, I weep writing this. Ms. Celello has captured the feelings perfectly in her story. In all the books I have read, none has transported me like that. None have captured the scene so personally.

Lest you think this is a military type book let me clarify. It is a love story. It is a realistic, heartbreaking, strong love story. It is the story of two people who love each other dearly. Then life and war intervene, bringing changes they didn't expect and have to muddle through. It is the story of the fight to regain the love they had and a struggle to try to accept the love it has become. It is inspirational. It is a story of healing and how animals can help. 

I love how the author brought in the dog, Jones, and the organization PAWS to help Brad adjust and regain his life. Pets truly are gifted with the ability to mend broken hearts.
 
Ms Celello writes Learning to Stay with intimate knowledge. If she did not experience it then she is a master of research. She writes eloquently and powerfully. This book will touch you and will stay with you long after you close the pages. It is one of the most amazing books I have read.

It is an excellent book for book clubs as there is a lot to discuss in it. Most people will be able to relate to the struggles in the marriage. I think this is the type of book that draws in your personal experiences and not everyone will take the same thing from it. I believe, much like the classics, every time you read it you will come away with something new.


Erin Celello has written one other book, Miracle Beach.

 Miracle Beach


You can follow the author at:





Comments welcome

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Slow Cooking with Dina Cheney



I love cookbooks. I read them as thoroughly as I do novels. I own about a hundred in print and at least another fifty on my Kindle. Believe it or not they all have different recipes. Of course some recipes are printed in multiple books. Favorites are favorites for a reason. 

I also am in love with my slow cooker. It was my salvation as a working mom. I cannot express enough how delightful it was to come home to a wonderful smelling house and dinner ready. That changed a bit as my children aged. I soon learned unless dire warnings were strategically place around the slow cooker, smell would be all I got. 

So when I saw Year-Round Slow Cooker in Net Galley's offerings, I had to get it. Having enough slow cooker recipes to get through a year of cooking, I was interested in what she could bring to the pot. She brought a lot. In addition to the recipes she provide tips and other help. The tips are strewn throughout the book like hidden gems. Recipes are divided up by the four seasons.

My highlights from the book the times for cooking certain foods. I know the manufacturer gave guidelines. That paper went gone with the wind since I have been using a slow cooker since I was twelve. I think most of us tend to read through it and go this is easy, at which point we promptly forget what we read. Okay I am trying to make myself look good - I skimmed it. Consequently I needed Ms. Cheney to tell me that dessert should not cook longer than 4 hours and may burn if left longer. She also explains that chicken can get tough if left cooking over 6 hours. I don't know why I didn't figure out is was my cooking time that was messing up certain dishes. She includes a handy meat temperature chart that new cooks will appreciate. I have referred to it even while cooking a recipe from a different book. She even has a tip for converting recipes to oven or stove top.

A most helpful section was Ms Cheney's  list of power ingredients. These are not your regular list of "the well stocked pantry"  but is tailored to the recipes in the book. It consist of items she uses most in her recipes which allows you to make sure you have most things on hand before you go looking for a recipe. I really like that. I can pick up those items as they are on sale. Speaking of  saving money , Ms Cheney has included budget-minded options. Awesome! Who isn't budget-minded today? She also has a list of power tools. No silly, she is not talking about a chain saw. It is a list of non food items that are used most in her recipes. 
Another very helpful part of the book were the picture steps to making sauces. I had a computer copy and the photos looked very nice and made making sauce a breeze. Speaking of photos, there are many included that made my mouth water. Just thinking about them makes me salivate. *wipes drool.* 

Here are my favorite recipes that were in the computer copy I received. 

Favorite for winter:
Brisket with Promegranate, Red Wine and Caramelized Onions
Japanese -Style Chicken Soup with Udon Noodles and Lime
Latin American Seafood Stew with Lime and Coconut
Cassoulet  with  croĆ»tes and Lemon- Parsley Butter
Pork Posole with lime and avocado – like mine but with added orange juice – wow
Cowboy Beef and Bean Stew with Chiles, Coffee and Fried Plantains –wow
Beef Chili with Beer, Lime and Sour Cream

Spring Favorites:
Pork Stew with Wild Mushrooms, Red Wine and Fresh Herbs
Braised Vidalia Onions Stuffed with Pork and Currants – can use chicken or turkey in place of pork. Why didn’t I think of stuffing onions? I love this recipe.
Arugula Mashed Potatoes
Arroz con Pollo with Peas, Peppers, Green Olives and Chorizo
Lemony Strawberry -Rhubarb Cobbler

Summer Favorites:
Braised Pork Shoulder Soft Tacos with Watermelon-Tomato Salsa
Philly Cheesesteak  Sandwiches with Tomato Chutney
Braised Chicken with Red Peppers, Olives and Raisins
Slow Cooked Ratatouille over Goat Cheese Polenta
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach Barbecue Sauce and Pickled Cucumber and Fennel
Fresh Tomato Toast (not made in the slow cooker but I LOVE this)
Pulled Chicken with Cherry-Chili Barbecue Sauce
Corn -Vanilla Pudding  with Triple -Berry Sauce

Fall Favorites:
Hungarian Beef Goulash with Yams and Caramelized Onions
Short Ribs with Stout, Root Vegetables and Sauerkraut
Barley and Mushroom Risotto with Swiss Chard
Cholent with Apples and Yams – never heard of this before but it was so good
Chicken with Paprika, Poatoes and Rosemary
Chorizo and Kale Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings – don’t know why I haven’t made cornmeal dumplings before
Shepherd’s Pie with Red Wine, Cheddar and Root Vegetable Topping
Cinnamon –Maple-Apple Dessert Sauce



 That is a long list of recipes and there are still many more in the book. These are just ones that I have made that came out exceptional. This is a book that is well worth having in your kitchen. The recipes are not very difficult - I would say they range from novice to competent cook. Ms Cheney tells you the size of slow cooker she used for making the recipes so novice cooks can get the same size slow cooker while more experienced cooks can adjust the recipes to fit their cooker. Matter of fact the author goes into great detail to explain how to choose a slow cooker. Overall this is a five star book that is useful for all cooking types. If you have never tried cooking with a slow cooker I would suggest you buy this book and a slow cooker. You will be amazed at the ease of cooking and how delicious the food is. 

Ms Cheney also has a two other cookbooks.

Tasting Club: Gathering Together to Share and Savor Your Favorite Tastes Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salads: Classic Recipes Redefined

Taunton Press has many excellent cookbooks and magazine subscriptions available on their website. They have recipes available on their fine cooking website

You may connect with author on her blog, Dina Cheney




Do you have a favorite cookbook? Have you picked up Dina'Cheney book? What is your favorite recipe? 

Comments Welcome!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: The Haunted Fixer-Upper


The Haunted Fixer Upper (Haunted Renovation Mystery, #2)

 

The Haunted Fixer-Upper (Haunted Renovation Mystery)


*I purchased this book. All opinions are mine. No compensation was received for review.*

When I saw a new book by Rose Pressey I was excited. I always have a fun time reading her books. The Haunted Fixer-Upper was exactly that - a good time. I think it may be her best work yet. I have read a number of Rose's books. It is difficult to say which series is my favorite. I think Haunted Renovation may make that decision for me. 
This is the second book in the series. You do not need to read the first one to enjoy this one but you may want to just for the laughs. 
Alabama Hargrove is back. This time she is down in Georgia meeting her boyfriends family. While on the way to his daddy's house Alabama spots a house that just needs her touch. It is haunted of course. When Bama goes to meet with the owner she sees her boyfriend standing over the dead body with a hammer in his hand! Even though she does not tell the anyone about the hammer, Reed is under suspicion. Bama's best friend and momma come down to help out. If you read the first book then you know Momma Hargrove is a hoot. Even though she does not bring down the gold jumpsuits she stills lights up the page. I love Momma Hargrove. The conversations between her and Bama are always good for a laugh but also for demonstrating the loving relationship they have. Bama sees a man in the woods watching her. The workman Reed hired had a fight with the dead man the day before he died. A woman is following her around. Then Bama cannot get a hold of the three people she loves.  My favorite line, which I have heard used in real life, is

 "just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s not a fire in the furnace.”
 The Haunted Fixer-Upper (Haunted Renovation Mystery) (Kindle Location 3173).  

Too funny. To find out just how that got thrown in the book, (actually more than once), you need to get this book. It is a fast, fun read. There is no language or hot sex scenes in the book so it is perfect for YA or those adults who would rather not read that in the books they choose.

Rose's other books are, (click book for link):

Flip That Haunted House (Haunted Renovation Mystery #1) 
Book 1 of Haunted Renovations Series

How to Date a Werewolf (Rylie Cruz #1) How to Date a Vampire (Rylie Cruz #2) How to Date a Demon (Rylie Cruz #3)
The How To Date Series

Me and My Ghoulfriends (Larue Donavan, #1) Ghouls Night Out (Larue Donavan, #2) The Ghoul Next Door (Larue Donavan, #3)
The Larue Donavan Series

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells (Mystic Cafe, #1) Pies and Potions (Mystic Cafe, #2)

Mystic Cafe Series

Rock 'n' Roll is Undead (Veronica Mason #1)

Veronica Mason Series  

Book 2 is in the works

Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel (Trash to Treasure Crafting Mystery)

Trash to Treasure Crafting Mystery

My Haunted Family: Engrossing Tales of One Family's Encounters with the Unknown
Tales of family hauntings from Rose Pressey

Coming in 2013
Forever Charmed (Halloween Laveau, #1)
Halloween Laveau Series

Rose is not only a gifted writer, she is a warm and friendly person. Connect with her - you won't regret it. 


Have you read any of Rose Pressey's books? If so which one is your favorite?