Monthly Archives: February 2010

Book Review: Pleasure of a Dark Prince

Saturday morning, when I was out running errands, I decided to hit the bookstore in the hopes that Kresley Cole’s latest Immortals After Dark book, Pleasure of a Dark Prince, had somehow come out early. Without further delay, I practically ran to the romance section, scouring the titles. Then…there it was. *swoon*

I nearly ran out of the store (after paying, of course) squeeing like a fangirl. I couldn’t wait to get home to crack the cover! I’ve been following this series since the very first book. There’s just something about her immortals that I adore. Could it be the antics of the Valkyries? Possibly. It could be the drop-dead sexy immortal males though. After reading nine IAD books, I can’t decide which of the races is my favorite.

There’s just something about those Lykaes…oooh! I mean come on! Lachlan? Bowen? Garreth?? They’re beasts, lusty, sexy beasts! Then there are the demons, Cade, Rydstrom…*drools* Horns! They have horns!! And how can I forget the vampires? Nikolai, Sebastian, Conrad, and Murdoch…gr-owl!! They can sink fang anytime! I’m afraid, my friends…if I were any race in Cole’s books, I’d probably be acting like a nymph. Le sigh, but really, can you blame those shameless hussies?? I can’t!

Anyway, enough drooling. I’ll need a bib soon if I’m not careful. Here’s the blurb:

A DANGEROUS BEAUTY

Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her—and those she loves.

AN UNCONTROLLABLE NEED

Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.

LEAD TO A PLEASURE SO WICKED. . . .

From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia’s greatest weakness—her wanton desire for him. . . .

I’ve been waiting for Lucia and Garreth’s story since A Hunger Like No Other. There was just something touching about Garreth’s need to protect Lucia. Learning the story behind their brief scenes in that book was fabulous! I’m not going to let out the deets, but I will give my impressions of the book.

Somehow (and I can’t decide if she’s an evil enchantress, or a wicked witch) Cole manages to make the impossible possible. Lucia (or Lousha, as Garreth calls her) is bound to vows she made as a young valkyrie or she’ll lose everything she holds dear. Garreth is determined to woo and win her (he’s a Lykae, you kin…he must have her). There seems to be no middle ground throughout the entire story. If she succumbs to his abundant um, charms, she’ll suffer.

The scenes between them are jam-packed with hot dialogue and even hotter action. I was at the point of shouting, “Forget suffering, jump his bones! You can do it!”. Then, the bad guy is…well, let’s just say he’s really bad. I was on the edge of my seat when the big action scene took place. Poor Garreth. Poor Lucia! Cole seems to have this talent for ripping out my heart and then putting it back in when her happy ever after comes about. I should dislike this, but I’m sick enough to love it.

I couldn’t see anyway for things to work out, but Cole, as always, manages to give us a happy ending that’s both logical and satisfying. Sometimes when reading stories with nearly impossible HEA’s, the end isn’t logical, or in some cases, it just seems too pat. Cole though, serves up a great ending and still manages to leave you hanging (blast her!).

Now I’m salivating for the next book which doesn’t come out until August. How could she do this to me? Really! It’s like Chinese Water Torture! I need to know what’s going to happen next. (Still not telling you how Pleasure of a Dark Prince ends though, ne-ner!)

I’m giving Pleasure of a Dark Prince two thumbs up, a #1 foam finger, and a Mardi Gras bead (one of the ones you usually have to flash for…because Garreth delivers…in a big way…bwahahaha). If you’ve never read any of the books in this series, I’ll list them out like I did Lori Foster’s SBC books. They aren’t necessary to read in order (since some of them do happen simultaneously) but this series isn’t to be missed! If you’re a Kresley Cole fan, you definitely have to read this book! Get it…NOW!

Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Series**:
A Hunger Like No Other
No Rest for the Wicked

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Dark Deeds at Night’s Edge 
Dark Desires After Dusk
Kiss of a Demon King
Deep Kiss of Winter
Pleasure of a Dark Prince

**Note: I did not include the short story The Warlord Wants Forever which is the first story of the entire series.**

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Kresley Cole

Fantasy Man Friday

Another week has ended. Yay! It was a short week due to me taking Monday off for post-Superbowl relaxation. Yes, the Saints went to the big game and came out winners. Happy, happy!!

Now we’re looking towards Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras. I’m not concerned about either holiday, to be honest. I’m single, so I have no Valentine, and I don’t like parades. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t dream about having a Valentine. In fact, I’m going to conjure one up.

Let me see…he’ll be gorgeous, of course. I personally love dark hair and light-colored eyes…a torso with rippling muscles would be lovely too. And because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, he’ll have to be wearing red. Now, close your eyes…(but read the rest of this first!)…make a wish, count to three…(you can close your eyes now)

1

2

3

Hells yeah! Now that’s what I’m talking about! He’s a little younger than I like…with a baby face, but I’m not complaining. Now excuse us while we enjoy Valentine’s Day.

Go on…we don’t need an audience. Stop looking! Oh, and I hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day. I’d offer your sweeties a kiss, but you’re not getting one from mine, sooo…sorry! :)

5 Comments

Filed under fantasy man friday

Family Time

I spent all day Saturday with family. My brother, his fiancée, my oldest nephew and his girlfriend all took a road trip to Baton Rouge. The main purpose was to have a nice meal at Joe’s Crabshack since neither my nephew nor his girlfriend had ever been there.

What began as just lunch turned into a shopping spree. We found ourselves at the Mall of Louisiana. I’ve said before how I have this strange attraction for “smell good stuff”, we went directly to Lush. Oh Lush…how I love thee! I bought three soaps, a bath bomb, a bath bar, and a shower aromatherapy bar. My purchases qualified me for a gift bag. Oooh, a gift bag! It held another soap, another bath bomb, and yet another bath bar. It was like I’d hit the smell-good lottery!

From there, we meandered through the mall to the one place I’ve never been able to bring myself to enter. The temptation is so strong, I hurry past the store without looking in the windows. This time however, my future sister-in-law led us there. Yes, you know what place I’m talking about…the Godiva chocolate store. G-O-D-I-V-A! It is the Holy Grail of sweets. Everywhere I looked I saw chocolate covered fruits, chocolate covered cookies, chocolate covered caramel, truffles, anything and everything you can think of! It was…really awe-inspiring. I walked out of there with a huge brown (chocolate drizzled of course), and a bag of chocolate covered truffles. *Drools* That was the worse place I could’ve gone to, but ooh, I feel so good for having been bad!

We walked the entire mall because my brother said he needed to ‘walk off his meal’. Can I just say I was tired? I really don’t like going to stores, you know this, yet I walked every square inch of a two story mall (small potatoes for those of you in big cities). I was ready for home…and my brownie. Yum.

All in all, it was a wonderful start to a 3-day weekend. I love spending time with my brother, nephew, and their girlfriends. They’re funny people who don’t mind my foul mouth as I drive (usually…I did get chided for some of my language), or my twisted sense of humor that required me to take fast turns so everyone in the backseat squished my brother…yeah, they all had a blast.

I love spending time with my family. Now that football season is over, I’ll definitely have to do more of it. With Good Friday coming up, we’ll probably have a crawfish boil (even if I can’t eat the crawfish), then Easter…it’ll be wonderful to visit and goof off with my loved ones.

Have you done anything fun with your family lately?

1 Comment

Filed under Family

Book Review: Back in Black

I read paranormal and historical romances. My groaning bookshelf can attest to my interest in both genres. However, once in a while, I’ll come across a contemporary romance series that I can’t put down.

I remember when I first picked up Lori Foster’s Simon Says. I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. It was about some MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting group called the SBC (Supreme Battle Challenge). I devoured this book. It was fast paced, sexy, and a fun read. And because I’m anal, I had to pick up each of the books in the series (even though I read them out of order).

So it should come as no surprise that when I saw her latest offering in the series, Back in Black, I had to pick it up. If you haven’t read any of these books, let me just start out by saying these heroes are sexy, smart, and h-o-t! I’m not into MMA fighting, or at least I wasn’t until I read these books. There’s just something so raw and elemental about the sport that it made me uneasy. Men beating each other, twisting each other like pretzels…it didn’t seem interesting at all. Until I read about heroes who “live” that life. It opened a whole new world for me.

Not that I’m a big fan now, but I at least have a better understanding for their discipline and willpower. It’s obvious to the reader, when reading any book in this series, that Lori is a big MMA fan, and that she’s done her research. She manages to give the action just enough grittiness without getting graphic. It’s a fine line to walk and she does it flawlessly.

So, on to the book!

Here’s the blurb:

SBC president Drew Black is as controversial as they come. But the hot-headed entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. Maybe too extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew’s been causing a lot of friction. That’s why someone’s been called in to clean up his image—before he does any permanent damage.

The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who’s smoothed out the rough edges on many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she’s ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian’s starting to like him raw. Now, opposites aren’t only attracting, they’re igniting. But in the rising heat, which one of them will end up on top?

I’m not going to give spoilers. I prefer not knowing what’s going to happen in a book before I read it. However, I will give you my impressions of the book.

Drew is HAWT. He’s rough, smart, and sexy as hell. He isn’t pleased with the idea of someone trying to clean up his image, but he’s also attracted to Gillian in spite of what she’s there to do. Gillian has plans and if she can give Drew some polish, it’ll make her career. Sparks fly between Drew and Gillian from the start. Drew, although he isn’t a fighter and has a dirty mouth, turns out to be honorable and sweet in his own way. How could Gillian possibly resist?

But things aren’t all sunshine and roses in the SBC world. A group called WAVS (Women Against Violent Sports) is out to discredit the SBC organization and Drew Black. Foster does a marvelous job of giving reasons behind WAVS’ dislike of the sport, as well as a backstory for the group’s leader, Audrey. The plot twisted and turned, leaving me to wonder how the two organizations could ever see eye-to-eye.

All in all, it was a great read. I almost wish there had been a little more tension between them before they got together, but I can’t complain. It seemed natural for them to get together, and how can you be upset about that? They’re a good couple and each of them realize it. They mesh together so well.

There’s also a side story which Lori manages to weave into the plot. Unlike some side story romances, it doesn’t detract away from the main purpose of the story. If anything, it blends in seamlessly, giving the book a lot more depth. I’ve read several books where there is another romance going along with the main plot, but they don’t intermingle. This can be distracting for the reader even if it pertains to one of the characters you want to know more about.

Her effortless blending of plot and subplot kept me reading this book into the wee hours of the morning. I’d have to give this book two big thumbs up (and a #1 foam finger too). It was a delight. I hope you have a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I did. Besides, how can you not love the title? It makes me want to break out some AC/DC and start rocking out!

If you’re interested in the series** order, it’s as follows:

Causing Havoc
Simon Says This was named the MMAWorldwide book of the year.
Hard to Handle
My Man Michael
Back in Black

**Please note, I haven’t included the novellas for this series.**

Have you read any books lately that you feel the need to recommend to everyone you meet?

7 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

Bwahaha!

Have I ever, in all 150 posts I’ve written, mentioned I’m addicted to commercials? It’s part of the reason I watch big sporting events, so I can watch the crazy ads that come on. Sadly enough, my sister, nephew, and I will sit down and discuss our favorite commercials like they’re movies. They’re entertaining, so when I saw this on a friend’s blog, I had to post it here as well!

2 Comments

Filed under humor

Feeling Lost

First of all, let me apologize to everyone who read my blog yesterday. I’m so embarrassed! I misspelled Monday. MONDAY! In my defense, I was so overcome by the Saints’ win, I wasn’t thinking of spelling. But all of that’s over with.

It’s silly to be so down that football season is over. I should be glad that my Sundays are my own again, but I’m not. I feel lost. Oh sure, I could find another sport to fill my Sunday afternoons, but I’m not into them as much as football.

I guess I have no choice but to spend my Sundays daydreaming plots and characters for upcoming books. With so much time on my hands, I could probably even churn out another two or three books this year. Or, I could start fishing again. Meh. Who would’ve guessed I’d be so glum after the Saints won the Superbowl?

I should be glad to have this time on my hands. I am…sort of. Okay, not really, although it will be nice to know I don’t have to stay home on Sundays or Monday nights. Have I mentioned I was petrified to leave the house on game day for fear that I’d bring the Saints bad luck? Yeah, it’s irrational, but it’s football. I’m allowed to be irrational!

So now I can focus on other things. I can visit my sister and share a box of tissue with her over our football season coming to an end. It’ll be fine, I’m sure. Tomorrow I’ll be better. I’ll have gotten over the funk and found something else to replace pigskin season. Maybe knitting.

5 Comments

Filed under Football

A Black and Gold Monday

It’s actually not Monday yet. It’s 9:30ish on Sunday night. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster since 5:30 this evening.

I’ve said it before, and I hate to revisit the issue, but the Saints have great power in this state, in the Gulf Coast region. Their losses become our losses. Their triumphs become our triumphs. I can’t properly explain how full of joy, excitement, disbelief I am and I’m sure a lot of Saints fans feel the same way tonight. I’ll freely admit to screaming and crying when we held the Colts at the goal line. It was over, the Saints had won the Superbowl. The Saints won the Superbowl.

As I said in a comment to a Colts fan, as a Saints fan, I don’t think we would’ve been very hurt to lose to the Colts. We know just how good Manning is. We’re Manning fans. When I play fantasy football, I try to get Peyton and Eli. They’re Archie’s boys after all. Just like Carolina’s Jake Delhomme, they’re homeboys. They belong to our state whether they play for the Saints or not. But to win…to win the Superbowl…it’s emotionally and mentally satisfying.

Tracy Porter, who is from Port Sulphur, Louisiana, made the game winning interception and touchdown. Drew Brees had a fantastic game, proving he is an elite quarterback and deserves the respect of the league. Sean Payton proved he is an aggressive and inventive coach. We did it. We finally did it. After 43 years of fighting bad luck, bad coaching decisions, bad playing, the Saints have given their fans proof that their faith wasn’t misplaced. There will be a lot of celebrating going on in the south. The Saints parade on Tuesday night, will probably rival the Zulu parade on Fat Tuesday.

It wasn’t an easy game and the Colts didn’t give it to us. We fought for this win, and we got it. The reality won’t hit us as Saints fans until Monday morning. We’ll (some of us) go to sleep tonight giddy with disbelief and excitement, and when we wake up in the morning, we probably won’t recall the unbelievable game we watched the night before. But at some point, we’ll stop. We’ll think…”We won the Superbowl. The Saints are Superbowl Champs…” and all will be well. This high will last longer than the NFC Championship win. It’ll last through carnival season. Everyone will talk about where they were when the Saints won, they’ll discuss what they were thinking when the Saints came back from half-time with that onside kick, they’ll get excited all over again, and the chant “Who dat, who dat, who dat say gonna beat dem Saints” will be heard from every mouth for months to come.

My friends, the Saints have won the Superbowl and given their fans in the Gulf Coast states bragging rights until the start of next season. I wouldn’t doubt if there are a lot of children conceived tonight. Children who’ll be named Drew (Brees), Tracy (Porter), Jeremy (Shockey), Reggie (Bush), Payton (Sean Payton), and any other name of those in the Saints organization.

I wish my grandfather and stepdad were alive to see this. They were both die hard Saints fans. Neither of them would have believed we’d ever get this far. Part of me believes they’re seeing this and are having a drink together to celebrate. The Saints are a team for the fans because the fans are the only ones who’ve ever truly believed in them, and never given up on them. They’ve given us hope. Hope that no matter how bad things can, and will get, the struggle for happiness, for success can be achieved. Because now, if the Saints can win the Superbowl, anything is possible.

We believed and they delivered.

2 Comments

Filed under Football

Fantasy Man Friday

Oh joy…it’s Friday yet again! This week has dragged horribly. I don’t know if it’s because everyone in south Louisiana is both dreading and anticipating Sunday or not. The last two weeks have been insane with Who Dat! shirts popping up all over the place, Saints flags appearing on nearly every vehicle, people taking vacation days the day after the Superbowl (like me), and where they’re going to watch the game.

This weekend also begins the Mardi Gras season in my hometown. Because of the Superbowl, they moved the parade up by 2 hours so everyone can rush home to watch. How insane is that? And if that isn’t enough, New Orleans is planning a Saints Parade for Tuesday evening. You heard it, win or lose, the city will have the Saints ride through the streets so their adoring fans can cheer and thank them.

It’s been awesome. But really, that wasn’t what I planned to talk about. As stunning and awesome as this week has been, it has nothing on this lovely man I found.

Gr-owl! I mean, he’s gorgeous! Those eyes! I’m on the verge of swooning. He even has a sexy nose for crying out loud! If he were hanging out his window, turned those eyes on me, and offered me a ride…ha! Who needs candy?

Verdict?

7 Comments

Filed under fantasy man friday

When It’s Good

This may come as some surprise, but I was a band nerd. I began my musical “career” at the tender age of 10. I played the flute. I hated it, but I tried hard to be the best I could at it. I tried out for Honor Band three times, and though I was adequate, I never made it.

When I got to junior high, I wanted to change instruments. Unfortunately, my family couldn’t afford to get me a new one so I had to choose between two instruments that the school provided: the French horn, and the tuba. I chose the tuba. Weird decision for a girl, but it was different, it was a big, bulky, loud thing and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! This is also how I met my best friend. She was also a tuba player.

Through the years, we became known as the Terrebonne Twins (the only 2 females in our parish to play the instrument). We marched in parades, heard plenty of bawdy comments (“Hey baby, blow me like you’re blowing that tuba”, etc.), but it never stopped us from playing. We carried our own weight, shouldering our sousaphone for 8 miles, carrying our cases which weighed more than the instrument did. We were awesome, lol.

We both played through high school and into college. It was great. Music was fun. It also taught me a valuable skill: the ability to know when something was good. If you’ve never been in band, it might be more difficult to understand, but when you’re playing and you know everyone’s in tune, everyone’s playing with their heart…you can feel it. Or at least, I could. I would get a little shiver down my spine when we were right on target. It was amazing. Those were the best performances we ever had, and I knew it.

How does this pertain to writing? Well, I measure how good my manuscript is by this telltale shiver. If I don’t feel it, then I know it isn’t my best effort. Oh sure, sometimes I fool myself into thinking it’s good, but when others don’t agree it’s impossible to ignore.

I’m currently rewriting a scene in my second manuscript. The previous attempt was good, but it wasn’t my best. I know it now, because I see how much better the story could be if I changed it around. I haven’t gone over it again yet, but I’m hoping when I do, I feel that little thrill of excitement.

How do you know when what you’ve written is your best effort? Do you wait for feedback from critique partners/beta readers, or do you trust your instincts?

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

Finding Your Serene Place

I just did a search for blogging prompts. The truly ironic part about the search is I hadn’t even used a prompt when suddenly, I had an idea for today’s post.

Several years ago, I took a trip to England. It was a very short visit (for reasons I’d rather not go into). I didn’t get to see half of what I wanted to, but I did get to visit Glastonbury Abbey. The Abbey…even today, my soul calms when I think back to my visit. I found peace and serenity within its walls. I found beauty and inspiration walking along its paths.

Picture of Glastonbury Abbey (sadly enough, I did not take it)

This is where King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were supposedly buried. The bones of two bodies were dug up by the Abbey’s monks in 1191, and reburied in 1278 in the Abbey Church overseen by Edward I. The sheer majesty of the Abbey is breathtaking. I can’t even begin to explain how eerie it felt to walk the same grounds kings (real and mythical) walked. I distinctly remember sitting on a bench overlooking fish pond and thinking how easy it was to imagine monks of old going about their duties.

Inside the walls of the Abbey, it’s easy to forget the outside world. It’s surrounded by a bustling town,  yet the sounds of Glastonbury don’t intrude (very much). It’s a magical place, rich with history, legend, and myth. If I had to pick any place I’d love to spend another day, I’d have to choose the Abbey. The peace I felt within those walls can enchant me even now, nearly eight years later.

Given half a chance, I’d return with my laptop. I’d find that same bench and let the ideas roll out of my mind, to my fingers. I have a feeling I’d experience my greatest inspiration to write there. Even thinking about it, I feel the urge to write, to set my imagination free to find out where it takes me.

How about you? Is there one place you’ve visited that you’d return to, just to write? Have you ever been somewhere so peaceful and serene, you forget about the outside world, forget your woes, if only for a little while?

2 Comments

Filed under Inspiration