Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Countdown by Michelle Maddox

Futuristic Action Romance

Countdown was a P.E.A.R.L. finalist in 2008. None of the libraries in my area had Countdown and it was not in stock at any of the bookstores. I added it to my last Amazon order and it came last week. Countdown was written by Michelle Maddox and published by Shomi (www.shomifiction.com) in 2008.

Shomi calls Countdown an action romance and it lives up to its label. As the book starts Kira, a small time thief, and Rogan, a convicted mass murderer, are chained to a wall in a dark room. When the lights come on they find that each has a key to the other’s chain. They have 60 seconds to exchange keys and escape the room or they will die. That task was Level One of the Countdown game and the start of non-stop fast-paced action. Kira and Rogan have to work together to survive all six levels of the Countdown. In addition, they have to outsmart a computer that has taken over the game and wants to take over the world. There is fact-paced action, love and betrayal as they work to survive the game. The need to shut down the computer and end the game forever adds another layer of suspense to the story. Kira and Rogan are both strong characters and neither is entirely what they seem. There is not a lot of world building but that does not detract from the story as the game and the computer are the important elements of the book.

If you like action and romance this is a good book to read. I can see why it was nominated for the P.E.A.R.L.

For more information visit Michelle Maddox at her web site www.michellemaddox.com. She also writes Paranormal Romances as Michelle Rowen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Year on Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball

Women’ Fiction

A Year On Ladybug Farm tells the story of three life long friends who find themselves at a turning point in life. All are divorced or widowed, their children are grown, and they start to look back at the choices they made in life. All three have things they never took a chance on. On a trip through Virginia they find a turn of the century house they all love. It is out in the country on 14 acres. Bridget loves the great kitchen, Lindsay likes the old dairy building that could be turned into an art studio, and for Cici there are a lot of do it yourself projects to get the place in shape.

They decide to make a drastic change in their lives by selling their houses, pooling their resources, buying the house and moving from the city to the country. Their attorney helps them draw up a contract that covers the first year in the house. The contract binds them for one year and after that year they will decide if they want to stay. The year brings new friends, hard challenges, and changes with their families. They find they own sheep, try to grow a garden, end up with a pet deer, make numerous repairs, and add new people to the mix living in the house.

I found A Year on Ladybug Farm to be a pleasant read. This is a good addition to the books that have been written about women banding together. Unlike many of the books on the same theme the story does not include a romance. .

A Year on Ladybug Farm was written by Donna Ball and published by Berkley Books in 2009. You can visit Donna at her website www.donnaball.net.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mr. Complete by Sheridon Smythe


Romance books all have the same destination. The difference in each romance book is the journey to that destination. The journey in Mr. Complete is filled great characters, a great story and many laugh out loud moments. Luke Reynolds is the owner of Mr. Complete's Escort Services. Mrs. Scuttle is his seventy-eight year old secretary. Luke‘s prime rule is that his escorts do not become romantically involved with the clients. His step-brother who is also his arch enemy is trying to put Luke out of business. Two employees accepted bribes from the stepbrother and violated that prime rule. Lydia Carmichael’s aunt had her heart broken by one of those employees. Lydia decides to pose as a client in order to prove that Mr. Complete is in the business of selling sex and breaking hearts. Luke gets wind of her plan and the stage is set. The book is filled with male hunks, sexy dialogue and Mrs. Scuttle adds more than one laugh out loud moment. This is a wonderful lighthearted read.

Wildrose Press published Mr. Complete in 2008. Mr. Complete is currently available only as an eBook. I purchased the book from Fictionwise. I liked Mr. Complete so much I purchased a second book by the authors. Mr. Hyde’ Assets was just as enjoyable a read as Mr. Complete. Romance readers should look for books by Sheridon Smythe.

Sherri Eddington and Donna Smith are friends who write using the name Sheridon Smythe

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn


I talked in an earlier post about how much I had enjoyed hearing Sharon Shinn at two Science Fiction Conventions. At that time I had never read any of her books. I started with one of the books in her Archangels series and I just read Mystic and Rider the first book in her Twelve Houses series.

This promises to be a delightful series. Mystic and Rider sets the stage for additional books. The king has sent Senneth one of his mystics on a journey to find out what is causing the unrest in the Southern region of the kingdom of Gillengaria. Five others join Senneth on the journey. Justin and Tayse are King’s Riders, highborn Kirrea is a healer and shape shifter, lowborn Donnal is another shape shifter and Cammon is a young mystic they rescue at the beginning of the story. As they start on the journey there is a tension between the members of the group. Each new situation highlights their individual strengths and they start to operate as a strong team. They find new unrest and meet old enemies. I loved the characters and hope to meet them again in future volumes. The journey has adventure and suspense and builds a vivid picture of the kingdom of Gillengaria. The characters are well developed and their interaction lends texture and diversity to the story. The book can stand-alone but there are many unanswered question that leave room for future volumes.

Mystic and Rider was published by Ace in 2005. If you had not tried any of Sharon Shinn’s books Mystic and Rider is a good place to start.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Maelstrom by Taylor Anderson

Parallel History

Maelstrom by Taylor Anderson is the third book in the Destroyermen series. Published by Roc in 2009 the series just keeps getting better. With each book the world that Matthew Reddy and the crews of the Walker find themselves in is expanded. Taylor Anderson is a master at opening small windows of information by expanding the role of old characters, introducing new characters and new locations. Like the previous books Maelstrom solves one situation but leaves others still to be resolved.

There is good news for fans of this series. Taylor Anderson announced on his web site that there would be new books in the series. There is certainly room for more action and adventure in the Destroyermen series.

Look for my post on the two previous books, Into the Storm and Crusade.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Birthright: The Book of Man by Mike Resnick

Science Fiction

If you are a Mike Resnick fan you should read Birthright: The Book of Man. Published by Signet in 1982 Birthright is the history of man as he goes out into the galaxy. Each section starts with quotes from Man: Twelve Millennia of Achievement and Origin and History of the Sentient Races. After each quote there is a short story that illustrates that particular place in time. You get to see man in all of his glory and follow him to his eventual end. To quote Mike Resnick this is a “galaxy-and-eons spanning novel”. The novel and its timeline were so popular that the Birthright Universe became the home of most of Mike Resnick’s other novels and short stories.

I have mentioned two of his series set in the Birthright Universe on this blog.
See the post on the Jake Masters Mysteries short stories published on 12/21/2008 and Starship: Rebel on 12/06/2008.

I purchased Birthright: The Book of Man from Fictionwise and read it on my eBookwise reader. The book has been released several times and is still available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Crusade by Taylor Anderson

Parallel History

Crusade is the second book in the Destroyermen series and it does not disappoint. The action continues as we learn a little more about the earth Matthew Reddy and the crew of the Walker have entered. Taylor Anderson keeps the interest high as he surprises us with new information and hints of things to come. After finishing Crusade I was ready to read Maelstrom the third book in the series.

See the post on Into the Storm to learn more about this intriguing series. Crusade by Taylor Anderson was published by Roc in 2008.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Driven by Eve Kenin

Futuristic Romance

Driven by Eve Kenin was a surprise. I had started another book published under the Shomi imprint and put it down unfinished. When I saw Driven on the new books shelf at the library I almost passed it up because of the publisher. I glad I didn’t. Eve Kenin has written a fast paced, action packed adventure set in future when people are trying to survive in the frozen Northern Waste. Raine Bowen is a strong heroine and Wizard is just the right mix of male strength and vulnerability. The book caught me from the beginning. Pick it up for a great enjoyable read.

Driven was published by Shomi in 2007. If you liked Driven check out Hidden the second book in the series. Eve Kenin is a pen name for Eve Silver.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Edge of Danger by Cherry Adair

Paranormal Romance

Gabriel Edge and his two brothers are living with a curse. 500 years ago one of their ancestors choose duty over love. The spurned lover was a witch who placed this curse on the family.

“Duty o’er love was the choice you did make. My love you did spurn, my hear you did break.

You penance to pay, no pride you shall gain. Three sons on three sons find nothing but pain.

I gift you my powers in memory of me. The joy of love no son shall ever see.

When a Lifemate is chosen by the heart of a son. No protection can be given, again I have won.

His pain will be deep, her death will be swift, Inside his heart a terrible rift.

Only freely given will this curse be done. To bread the spell, three must work as one.”

Gabriel and his brothers have decided to end the curse with their generation by refusing to love or to marry. All have the best of intentions but things happen. Edge of Danger is Gabriel’s story. He is a counter-terrorism agent working in the Psi division of TFLAC. He has to use his powers to retrieve a secret from Eden Cahill. What follows is a fast paced, action filled adventure with a romance and the curse added for spice.

Ballantine Books published Edge of Danger by Cherry Adair in 2006. It is the first book of a three book series. Edge of Danger was one of my books in my TBR pile. After reading the first book I went to the library and checked out the other two. If you are looking for action, adventure and romance pick up this series.

Books in order are:

Edge of Danger
Edge of Fear
Edge of Darkness

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Free eBooks

Random House SF/F site http://www.suvudu.com/ is offering free book downloads. Each download is the first book in one of their published series. The first five downloads are:

Blood Engines
by T.A. Pratt

His Majesty's Dragon
by Naomi Novik

Settling Accounts: Return Engagements
by Harry Turtledove

Red Mars
by Kim Stanley Robinson

Assassin's Apprentice
by Robin Hobb

I have read His Majesty's Dragon, Red Mars and Assassin's Apprentice. I enjoyed all three. This is a good way to try a series. Of course, Random House hopes you will like the first book in the series and buy the others.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beyond Her Book Anniversary

Visit Barbara Vey from March 9th until March 14th to help her celebrate the 2nd anniversary of her Publishers Weekly Beyond Her Book blog. There will be food, decorations, entertainment and prizes. Save the dates and visit. Authors and readers both are invited to participate.

Monday, March 9th: Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Tuesday, March 10th: Thriller/Suspense/Mystery

Wednesday, March 11th: Publishers/agents/publicist/editors/bloggers

Thursday, March 12th: Inspirational/YA/Graphic Novels/Nonfiction

Friday, March 13th: Contemporary/Historical/Erotica/E-books/Audio

Saturday, March 14th: Romance Blow Out

Monday, March 2, 2009

Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair

I found one of my comfort books in My Mixed Book Bag.

Do you have comfort books? Even if you don’t know the term you probably do. Comfort books are those you go back and read again and again. They stay on a special shelf so they are easy to find. They are old friends who you enjoy being with. Comfort books are guaranteed to pull you into the story and for a little while let you forget the world around you.

For me Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair is one of those books. Even though I have read it several times I still get lost in the story. When I have to put it down I can’t wait to get back and start reading again. I was close to the end last night and could not stay awake to finish. I knew the ending but I still had to pick up the book this morning and finish reading. I was sorry when the book ended and wished there was more. That to me is a perfect comfort book.

Finders Keepers is a Science Fiction Romance Published by Bantam in 2005 or as I like to call it Space Opera with a romance. I have read and enjoyed all of Linnea Sinclair’s books. Every book has all the elements I love; danger, adventure, great characters, romance, and a well thought out plot. I liked every book but only Finders Keepers and Accidental Goddess sit on my comfort shelf. For me they both have that certain something that keeps the story fresh and new each time I read. If you are looking for great Science Fiction Romance pick up any book by Linnea Sinclair. After you have read one I would be willing to bet you go looking for the rest. One may even end up on your comfort shelf. If a Linnea Sinclair book is already on your shelf leave a comment to let everyone know your choice.