Review: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT GUILD by Andy Peloquin ~ an emotional roller-coaster thriller

38085169Title:  Queen of the Night Guild Queen of Thieves Series
Author: Andy Peloquin
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Pages: 392
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Publication Date: January 30, 2018


Queen of Thieves Series
Child of the Night Guild
Thief of the Night Guild
Queen of the Night Guild


Publisher’s Summary:

“I am Ilanna, Journeyman of House Hawk… and vengeance will be mine.”

Ilanna has lost everything: her friends, her home, her family, her dreams of freedom.

All that remains is a burning desire to find the bastards who burned down her city and tried to kill her.
But a traitor hides among the ranks of the Night Guild, poisoning her friends and allies with lies.
Cast out and condemned to death, Ilanna has no choice but to turn to old enemies to save not only her life, but her Guild and city in the process.

Read the breathtaking, heart-stopping conclusion to the Queen of Thieves series!

My Thoughts: The author drops us right where Thief of the Night Guild ended.  Horror that Ilanna had lost all of what she had worked so hard to attain.  True, she had her freedom, but to lose those whom she loved to share it with is an emotion we all wish never to experience ourselves.

The Night Guild is built on the sins of mankind, where the innocent to survive must face the danger or die. The author takes the reader into the anguish of those whose freedom has been ripped from them, then to be part of the Night Guild whether they wish it or not. The life is for those who have the strength to survive, however they can.

Ilanna is a young woman who faces much in this three-book series.  Her experiences of tragedy, successes and determination had me admire who she becomes. She is intelligent and skilled in her trade and equally determined to find those who have taken her son from her, taking her to the brink of certain death.

This gripping  and gritty tale will stay long with me, rethinking the scenes where friends are there to help, where Illanna  is left alone with impossible odds and comes out the victor, where evil is found in the most benign faces.  I highly recommend this read if you love a thriller written with a writing style which keeps you on the edge of your chair.

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A Witch’s Path Blog Tour Stop ~ Review of WITCH FOR HIRE, book one of A Witch’s Path

Author: N.E. Conneely

Narrator: Jeff Hays, Soundbooth Theater

Series: A Witch’s Path, Book 1

Length: 7 hours 14 minutes

Publisher: N.E. Conneely

Released: Feb. 11, 2015

Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural

Most witches don’t work for police departments, but Michelle isn’t your average witch. She’s clanless, looking for a wizard who isn’t offended by her lack of family connections, and in danger of losing her job if she can’t find the escaped trolls before they start eating the local residents.

Trolls, angry police, and misbehaving spells are the least of her problems. Statues attacking homeowners might be problematic for your average witch, but to Michelle it’s another day at the office. Her real concern is the wizard suddenly interested in dating her and an old elf set on pestering her. When her happy family is rocked by a long kept secret her stable life falls apart faster than she can pick up the pieces.

N.E. Conneely lives in northern Georgia with her dog and a mountain of books. They sweat through the summer and freeze through the winter, and life as they know it comes to an end when so much as a single snowflake falls out of the sky. For fun, N.E. plays with her dog, reads, knits, crochets, paints, and does tie-dyeing and origami. She makes a great pizza and is currently negotiating with her husband about raising sea monkeys and growing a vegetable garden.

Narrator Bio

Jeff Hays has made a name for himself in the audio book world by creating immersive experiences out of his productions. His versatility and authenticity in voicing characters, expressive low-impact narration, and dedication to offering the highest quality audio possible has earned him a loyal following of listeners. Having been fascinated with sound since he can remember, Jeff takes his background of composing and producing music, and his continual consumption of the avalanche of fictional media we all experience in these modern times, and uses it to inform his style of story telling in the audiobook realm.

And now, having produced more than 80 audio books and perfecting his craft, using the namesake of his live streaming narration show, the Soundbooth Theater shingle has been hung. Soundbooth Theater is dedicated to applying Jeff’s production methods to new audio books with other budding narrator talent, and expanding his scope from audio books, to voicing and producing animation.


I enjoyed this fun read about a young witch trying to make a living in a society populated by humans, wizards, vampires, unicorns, elves, trolls, shape-shifters, brownies, and elves.  Michelle is extremely likeable–she respects all species and they in turn respect her.  Not belonging to a clan, she works alone, helping the police in her locality on a freelance basis.  Her strength comes from nature.  She is very attuned to the earth and the forest around the inn she permanently lives in. Everyone likes her, is concerned for her safety and takes an active role protecting her.

Michelle is struggling with Oak Consulting, a fledgling company she began.  She’s always getting calls from the police and through her witchery talent she does her job and then some.

The interplay between the owners of the inn and Michelle is touching and heart-warming. Everyone, it appears, looks out for her and she in turn is very loyal to them.

One recent visitor to the inn is one I am enjoying getting to know.  Elron is a 1500-year-old elf who was so hurt by the death of his mate, he lived in the forest for 200 years, until he felt a calling, compelling him to come to the inn. After meeting Michelle, he has difficulty with his feelings, with his awkwardness in befriending her.  He is very in tune with nature as is Michelle.

I enjoyed the writing-style of the book.  It is written in first person, sometimes in the point of view of Michelle, other times, Elron.  The author’s story moves along quickly with something new to ponder as we get to understand the community with its ever-increasing strange happenings.

The way the story is narrated also kept my interest.  Is it possible that Jeff Hayes can impersonate so many voices and with such aplomb?  I like the fact when Michelle is on the phone talking with someone, she sounds like she is, and the voice on the other end sound slightly ‘canny’.  I like it when someone is on the other side of a door, they sound like they are–the narration helps the listener perceive distance.  The narration gave the story such a charming cast, I am enchanted.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jeff Hays. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.



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Review: THE SEA DEVIL by Eliza Knight ~ a story of courage to face what life has dealt and to survive with your heart intact

36443990Title: The Sea Devil Pirates of Britannia: Lords of the Sea, Book 3
Author: Eliza Knight
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 189
Published Date: January 16, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital


Pirates of Britannia: Lords of the Sea Series ecopy purchase link at
Savage of the Sea penned by Eliza Knight
Leader of Titans
penned by Kathryn Le Veque
The Sea Devil
penned by Eliza Knight
Sea Wolfe
penned by Kathryn Le Veque


Publisher’s Summary:

A daring brotherhood, where honor among thieves reigns supreme, and crushing their enemies is a thrilling pastime. These are the Pirates of Britannia.

Thornley “Thor” MacLeod, Captain of The Sea Devil and prominent member of the Devils of the Deep is out for one thing and one thing only–revenge against Santiago Fernandez, leader of Los Demonios de Mar. Tormented by the demons of his past, he knows the only relief to his pain will be spilling the blood of his enemy. When he learns that Santiago seeks to find a child he abandoned nearly two decades before, Thor is determined to find the precious treasure first. Which means, Thor may have to sacrifice his honor in order to exact the perfect vengeance.

Orphaned at a young age, Alesia Baird has grown up along the harsh coasts of Scotland, bearing witness to many a nightmare. With the hangman’s noose dangling ever closer to her neck, she has to find a way to escape the only life she’s ever known. When she overhears a pirate mention he seeks the child of Santiago Fernandez, Alesia takes the leap, knowing this could be her only way out.

Alesia must keep up the ruse long enough to escape with her life, and perhaps a sack full of jewels. But when it comes time to jump ship, she finds her destiny may have led her in a different path. Will the hardened Highlander allow a lass into his heart—or is she destined to be forever alone?

Five-Star Read

My Thoughts: A story of revenge with wonderful character development, played out among pirates with their own codes of honor.  These are men who are as passionate in bedding women as fighting battles against their foes.  The protagonists, dealing with harsh childhoods beat the odds to survive giving them second chances to find love. The emotion of revenge is a powerful force, yes, even to survive.

One evening while in port, Thor heard in a tavern, his biggest enemy, Santiago, would pay much gold for the man who brought him the child he sired some 20 years ago.  Alesai also heard the tale, figuring she was the right age, desperate to escape the watchmen and the promise of a hangman’s noose, presented herself to Thor as Santiago’s daughter after she sneaked into his ship’s cabin to escape the guards. She hoped to obtain the gold, herself, and be on her way. Thor, a giant of a man, believes her story for she is the spitting image of her father.   

Just one too many thieveries, nimble of foot, quick of mind, filthy from years of surviving on the streets and in allies, Alesai, known better as the wharf rat has finally met her match in Thor, but not before she shows her prowess by challenging him to a fight, playing dirty to win. Thor is more intrigued by this sprite rather than angry. He seems to understand her.

As far as Thor was concerned, his revenge for her father, Santiago Fernandez, eclipsed everything else.  He lost his mother by his sword. However, his code of honor niggled his conscious.  Could he turn over this young, spirited woman to her hateful father? Could he bed her and strut around telling Santiago what he’d done? Just to gain revenge, but hurt an innocent victim in the process?

This is a story of the loyalty, honor and tricks between pirate brethren of the sea, with hot, spicy scenes of passion and deep love between Thor and Alesai. I’ve enjoyed the series thus far, and look forward to the last book of the series, Sea Wolfe.

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Early Review: REVENGE OF THE CORSAIRS by Elizabeth Ellen Carter ~ a tale of white slavers and the peril of women in a harem

37517212Title: Revenge of the Corsairs Heart of the Corsairs
Author: Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 340
Published by: Dragonblade, Inc.; 1 edition
Published Date: January 10, 2018


Heart of the Corsair Series ecopy purchase link:
Captive of the Corsairs
Revenge of the Corsairs
Shadow of the Corsairs


Publisher’s Summary:
Rescued after two years as a concubine in an Ottoman harem, former debutante Laura Cappleman faces a difficult journey back to normal life. As she travels to Palermo aboard Kit Hardacre’s ship, the Calliope, she is deeply traumatized – and pregnant by her kidnapper.

Laura rejects the emotional support of her long-time admirer, Calliope First Officer Elias Nash, and her cousin, Sophia, Kit’s wife. She withdraws into herself and her art. Finally, after giving birth, she decides to return to London, hoping to erase tormented memories.

Emir Selim Omar died on the day of Laura’s rescue, but his wickedness lives on in his third wife, Rabia, in whose household Laura was held. The ruthless widow may yet hold on to the power she wielded as mother to the Emir’s only male heir. However, as opportunists pick his empire apart, her child dies.

When Rabia learns Laura has given birth to a boy, the solution is obvious – the concubine is stolen property and so is the child sired by her late husband. She will take the boy and kill anyone in the way.

As Rabia’s assassins close in, Elias – both embraced and rejected by the damaged woman he loves, uncertain she will ever return, and alone in Palermo with the child he has given his name – must take the battle to the enemy. Otherwise, there may be nothing for Laura to come home to.

Five-Star Read

My Thoughts: This story is exceptionally intriguing to me.  Both protagonists struggle emotionally, creating devastating consequences. They  learn life lessons of grave importance.  Carter develops characters of strength and honor, living in a world not so honorable.

Laura’s emotional balance is tenuous.  Her friends tip-toe around her, giving her the space to heal from the emotional wounds to her spirit.  But how can she when she has an unwanted babe growing within her, a constant reminder of her days in the harem? 

Elias, the second protagonist, is drawn to Laura.  For two years, Kit, Elias and men eager to dispel the white slaver organization have been searching for Sophia and Laura’s whereabouts ever since they were abducted.  Through a cannily planned rescue the woman were taken from the harem, killing Emir Salim Omar.

Elias has a heart of compassion.  He is the knight in shining armor.  He proposes to Laura, to marry her and take her babe as his own.  Can Elias answer the question does he love Laura? Is Laura too damaged to accept this solution?  Is this what life offers her now, after being damaged? She refuses and withdraws further into her shell reliving the horrors, even unable to take solace in painting.

Then there is Samuel, Laura’s brother who wishes to turn back time, to forget what Laura has experienced.  He wants her back in England without the babe.  He’s a character who wants everything back the way it was—neat and tidy in his world by burying the truth.  He suffers guilt for not protecting his sister. Once she returns to England, he and his wife try to convince Laura to remain with them, expecting her to graciously accept their solution to life.  She still has her babe back with Elias.  Can she just walk away? Are they partially successful? But life isn’t that way, is it, kind reader?  What you experience can’t be tucked away, no longer a part of you. Laura realizes she is better off not forgetting, but remembering.  But what of Elias?

I enjoyed two aspects of this story immeasurably.  Elias is a man of God, a man who lives the tenants of his faith.  Often, we hear his inner dialog, those thoughts keep him grounded.  The other part is how Laura is able to reconnect to who she is and what she has become.

I’m eager to read the third of the sequel, releasing sometime this year.




Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Historical Romance, New Book Release | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Audiobook Review: THE LOVER’S PORTRAIT by Jennifer S. Alderson ~ an art mystery based in Amsterdam during the 40’s.

The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery cover art

Title: The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery Adventures of Zelda Richardson, Book 2
Author: Jennifer S. Alderson
Genre: Mystery, Thriller Suspense
Pages: 268
Published by: Traveling Life Press
Publication Date: June 22, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Narrated: Carol Purdom
Length: 10 hours, 42 minutes
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Published by: Jennifer S. Alderson


Publisher’s Summary:

Missing masterpieces, Nazi blackmailers and a pesky amateur sleuth.

When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.

After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later. When two women claim the same portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting’s history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer’s concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it.

Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.

** One of The Displaced Nation’s Top 36 Expat Fiction Picks of 2016 **

Set in present day and wartime Amsterdam, this captivating mystery is not just about stolen paintings, but also the lives that were stolen.

The perfect novel for those who love art, history and mysteries.

This amateur sleuth mystery describes the plight of homosexuals and Jewish artists in Europe during World War II, as well as the complexities inherent to the restitution of artwork stolen by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s.

©2016 Jennifer S. Alderson (P)2017 Jennifer S. Alderson


My Thoughts:   The teaser on the front cover gave me some idea where the story was going—One painting. Two claimants. Three murders. Isn’t that intriguing?

What I particularly liked about this book is how the author weaves an excellent mystery around a time period and subject I rarely read about.  It is quite the eye-opener.  The author is familiar with her material from personal experience, living in Amsterdam. She also has degrees in art history and museum studies.  With her journalist background, passion for writing, along with the credentials, she created a believable and cunning plot.

I appreciated her story crafting, providing pieces of the mystery while keeping me guessing all along; the way she keeps the mystery unfolding; and the way she moves the reader from the 1940’s to the present as the mystery and suspense coil ever-tighter.

I learned so much about how artists were able to ‘hide’ their work from the greed of those who would take what doesn’t belong to them.  I didn’t feel the author pushed ‘history’ down my throat, rather it came as a by-product of the story unfolding. Well written!

This story captures how times have changed, just some 80 years ago, people were much less accepting and tolerant of different life styles.  We still struggle with this, however.

I enjoy Zelda’s not-letting-anything-slide attitude with a bit of humor thrown in. She is quite the Nancy Drew of Amsterdam.  I also enjoy her exuberance for getting into the Master’s program.  I’m hoping Frederick and she will have a future.  He is a true friend. Perhaps in a sequel?

The story was a bit of a slow starter and the initial voice portrayed by Carol Purdom fell flat for me, that is, the voice for the museum’s project manager.  However, her voice for the old woman who claims the painting is hers, and the belligerent curator reliving his past disappointments, has her doing an admirable job adding energy to the telling.

All-in all, I enjoyed the sleuth and well-written plot.


Posted in Action/Adventure, Mystery, Suspense | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Newly Released! THE RED FURY by Kathryn Le Veque

36335637Title: The Red Fury d’Vant Bloodlines, Book 2
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Pages: 562
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.; 1 edition
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B07627B9VK

d’Vant Bloodlines Series:
Tender is the Knight (Booktalk with Eileen Review)
The Red Fury


Publisher’s Summary:
If you loved The Wolfe, Rise of the Defender, and The Dark One: Dark Knight, welcome to the original Le Veque epic Medieval saga of THE RED FURY. England and Scotland collide in this blockbuster tale of revenge, betrayal, hope, and passion.

1233 A.D. – A young woman forced to command her father’s battered Highlander army upon his death. Her only hope in saving her home, and her life, is with a fearsome mercenary called The Red Fury.

Josephine de Carron is a young woman with a massive legacy weighing on her slender shoulders. As heiress to the Earldom of Ayr, she is a cousin to the king through her mother, and the king considers her a most valuable bargaining tool in the politics of Scotland. But Josephine isn’t a willing pawn for the king – she’s only concerned with saving her family home, Castle Torridon, from the repeated attacks of a former ally. After a particularly nasty siege, Josephine realizes that they cannot withstand another, and she is forced to summon the most feared mercenary in Scotland, a man known as The Red Fury.

Andrew d’Vant is a paradox – an English knight, he escaped his wicked brother years ago and fled to the highlands of Scotland, forming one of the most rag-tag and fiercest mercenary armies the world has ever seen. He has become very rich by fighting – and winning – other men’s battles. Summoned by Josephine, Andrew’s price is too high for the beaten castle but his instant attraction to Josephine has him accepting the task for far less than his usual fee. There’s something about the strong, battered, and beautiful woman that draws him in.

But The Red Fury gets more than he bargained for.

A simple task of defending a castle becomes an enormous and complex tale of adventure, suspicion, royal intervention, and dark family secrets. When Josephine is thrust into the king’s politics in spite of her resistance, she finds herself pledged to none other than Andrew’s wicked brother. Now, Josephine finds herself at the heart of the Kingdom of Scotland and deeply in love with Andrew, and he with her. Andrew must join with former adversaries in order to save the woman he loves from the man who ruined his life.

The Red Fury is in for the fight of his life with the prize being Josephine.


 My Thoughts:  When wanting to delve into a meaty Medieval tale seeped in heart-pulling emotion, Le Veque does a bang-up job providing one!  We indulge with our every sense in a realistic setting of medieval life, where women, as much as men, fight for their lives, their honor, and what is theirs—women, men, children and property.

It is a time where women have little to say about their lives. It’s a time of kill or be killed, where friends are needed in one hand and a sword fills the other.

Andrew d’Vant, a man of determination, embodying hope and courage, seeks to destroy his brother, Alphonese d’Vant, Earl of Annan and Blackbank. For 19 years, his hate for his brother has simmered.  He’s a man known as The Red Fury, one who, when battle is upon him, he is beyond fast and ruthless.

As a lad, Andrew’s brother banishes him from the manor after putting his own mother in the dungeon.  Alphonse is not only hated by Andrew. Most others fear him because he is massive in build with a mean and vicious personality, his cruelty knows no bounds. Alphonse, in his own words says women are like chickens; a penny for a dozen, so I shall never go hungry. He’s so massive and brutal, women often die under his hand.

“…Alphonse lacked everything Andrew possessed—fairness, sensibility, uncanny intelligence, and compassion.”

The de Carrons and the Dalmellingtons had been feuding for years.  Josephine, eldest daughter of her father is in charge of her keep, now for some three years.  The Dalmellingtons keep hammering at them, every two weeks attacking their keep, and with each battle Josephine loses more men, a disheartening endeavor.  The idea of hiring mercenaries to help shore up their numbers gets introduced.  The best mercenary is hired, Andrew d’Vant, better known as The Red Fury.

Sweet Josephine de Carron, a woman as strong as sweet, falls in love with Andrew and he with her.  This budding relationship is unbeknownst to the king who wishes to use Josephine de Carron to build a better alliance between the English and Scots, by betrothing her to Andrew’s brother.

The day comes where Andrew must face his dragon.  He must avenge his mother and protect Josephine from his beast of a brother.

I enjoyed hating Alphonse.  So much is at stake for both Josephine and Andrew.  A sword fight between Andrew and Alphonse could not be more frightening leaving me pitifully hanging on every sentence, and ultimately holding my heart in my hands!

The supporting friends of Josephine and Andrew are well developed, entirely appealing, which have me eager to see them appear in any following stories for the d’Vant’s.  I am particularly drawn to Justine, Josephine’s sister, who fancies herself a physic and mystic, Nicholas de Londres, nephew to King Alexander, a talented and compassionate man, and friend to Josephine; Ridge, bodyguard to the king who has more honor in his little finger than what King Alexander possesses!  We learn little about Ridge, other than owing a debt to Josephine, but I’d love to see Le Veque write his story. 

If you are a Medieval genre fan, do yourself a favor reading what Le Veque has to offer. I recommend her many novels both in writing style and plot.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Highland Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soar with the Drakkon in the Isles of Scotland! Hear the music of the stars when you find your soulmate! Review: WHITE HOT by Paula Quinn

36682912Title: White Hot Rulers of the Sky, Book 3
Author: Paula Quinn
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Paranormal
Story Setting: Isle of Harris, Scotland
Pages: 189
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.; 1 edition
Published Date: December 26, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC


Rulers of the Sky Series, ecopy purchase link:
White Hot

Publisher’s Summary:
Musician and heartthrob Jacob White doesn’t need the blood of Drakkon running through his veins to know he turns heads when he steps into a room. He’s crafted in long, lean muscle beneath alabaster skin and a mane of silky white, shoulder-length hair. He has it all, fame, fortune, and now, thanks to his blood being altered, he can soar through the sky, dance with the stars, and breathe fire. It’s all he’s ever wanted—until he awakens after his first night as Drakkon and looks into the eyes of a woman whose courage and determination truly change his life.

River Wray’s life on the small Isle of Harris has been plagued by memories brought upon her family by a dragon her father claims to have seen many years ago. Now, after another dragon has burned her farm and eaten her cattle she must rely on a gorgeous, mysterious dragon shifter to keep her and her family safe. Soon, his fiery touch and smoldering glances become all she can think about, until they’re no longer enough. But should she give her heart to an immortal, a man whose passionate kiss makes the stars sing? And even if she can, can love survive the Red Drakkon coming for revenge?

My Thoughts:
I’ve enjoyed this series from its beginning. It is becoming more involved as we begin book 3. No longer one Drakkon in the sky, but now four. Three are accounted for. Garion, the only Drakkon hatched from an egg, had to convert two descendants of the White Drakkon because they were on the verge of dying–Helena and her brother Jacob White. The White Drakkon are known for their peacemaking.

Helena is Garion’s true soulmate as the stars can confirm. This happened in book two, so please do yourself a favor and start this series at the beginning. It will be more entertaining and you’ll have the answers to many questions as you read.

This is Jacob’s story. He’s rather lost because he’s always hated the one remaining Drakkon who killed most of his family. But once converted the hunter became the hunted. Could the remaining people in the group, The Bane, find him, Helena and Garion to destroy them?
Jacob has always had the urge to fly, it’s in his genes, so when the urge hits him, just at pre-dawn, he would soar with the stars. Jacob still finds something amiss in his world, a vacuum of sorts. He loves his music, but he no longer is part of the band. He meets a lass, in Drakkon form, River Wray. River Wray is special in her own way, her father insists he’s seen a dragon years ago. It made him lose his wife and the villagers think he’s deranged.
The sky doesn’t hold just three Drakkon, there is another, a Red Drakkon, accidentally created, which puts lots of suspense and edginess to the story. He’s a ruthless Drakkon—the Red are known as warriors. Uppermost in my mind: Will he succeed in his goal ruling over the skies and humans?
Author Paula Quinn builds her ever-increasing community of Drakkon with such dexterity, it all makes perfect sense. She gives the reader enchanting characters of some complexity and conflict, where you immediately side with their plight. If you enjoy a good fantasy with shape-shifter dragons, pick up Quinn’s series. It definitely put a smile on my lips!

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, New Book Release, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Audiobook Review: Book 5 of the Roxton Family Saga SATYR’S SON by Lucinda Brant

36995125Title: Satyr’s Son Roxton Family Saga, Book 5
Author: Lucinda Brant
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 390
Published by: Sprigleaf
Publication Date: October 18, 2017


Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
Length: 13 hours, 12 minutes
Release Date: December 5, 2017


Publisher’s Summary:

London, 1786. Lord Henri-Antoine has returned from the Grand Tour to a life of privilege and excess. A vast inheritance allows him every indulgence, free from responsibility. Yet, Henri-Antoine maintains a well-ordered existence, going to great lengths to conceal an affliction few understand and many fear.

Miss Lisa Crisp is a penniless orphan who relies on the charity of relatives to keep her from the poorhouse. Intelligent and unflappable, Lisa will not allow poverty to define her. She leads a useful life working among the sick poor.

Under startling circumstances, Henri-Antoine and Lisa meet. There is instant attraction. When they find themselves attending the same wedding in the country, Henri-Antoine offers Lisa a scandalous proposition, one she should refuse but yearns to accept. Following her heart could ruin them both.

A standalone romantic adventure set against the backdrop of Treat, ancestral home of the dukes of Roxton. Satyr’s Son will delight fans of the series with cameos by many beloved characters, while new listeners will discover the myriad pleasures and glittering aristocratic world of the Roxton family through the fresh eyes of newcomer Lisa Crisp. Satyr’s Son is a Cinderella story with a heartwarming happily ever after.

©2017 Lucinda Brant (P)2017 Lucinda Brant


My Thoughts: Two analogies used in the storytelling are appropriate to mention here.  One is about the making of a cake.  I won’t spoil how it’s used in the story, but I think it appropriate to use in the success of a novel.

Every novel has various components in its creation.  There is ‘flour’, ‘sugar’, some type of ‘oil or shortening’, ‘eggs’, etc.  The final cake, once baked, can be so-so, or better than that.  It may be exceptionally fluffy and moist. It may have unusual ingredients separating it from other cakes.  The final baked masterpiece is a perfect blend and amount of each ingredient when baked with the perfect amount of heat. These are the cakes you can’t wait to eat over and over, savoring its uniqueness, allowing the consumer to experience more than a cake!

So it is with author Lucinda Brant’s ‘cakes’.  Her writing is entrancing, descriptions with such vivid detail I can reach out and touch. The plot is never tiresome, paced in perfect harmony with richly textured characters.

Lord Henri Antoine is challenged on many fronts with personality traits making him a very complex person.  He is very much like his father in both looks and character making him even more precious to his mother.  The Satyr, his father, acted much like Henri Antoine, but found his heart when he met his duchess to-be. 

Lisa is guileless, honest and direct in her speech.  An attribute which draws Lord Henri, along with her beauty and character.  He doesn’t understand what motivates Lisa’s decisions, but when he does, it is a pivotal moment in their relationship.

I loved how this saga keeps many of the same characters always adding new and interesting ones. The saga is five books, but I can see much more to come.  I want to know if Henri Antoine has children, how Elsie, age eight, grows up within her overprotective family, and what success comes of the project Lord Henri and Lisa pursue.

Now, to my other analogy, so appropriate to Alex Wyndham’s narration voice.  In the story, a friend of Lisa’s, Becky, a young woman of simple means, hears Lord Henri Antoine’s voice and immediately likens it to the smooth pleasure of drinking chocolate.  I concur with Becky!  Wyndham animates the story with his utter flexibility depicting each character, whether the suave and controlling Lord Henri, the animated and emotional Jack, or the duke-like arrogance of Julian, Henri’s older brother. All is in harmony with what the author wants the reader to experience.  A perfect cake, indeed!


Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Book Reviews, Georgian Historical Romance, Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Hot off the press! THE HIGHLAND GUARDIAN a Lords of the Highlands Novel by Amy Jarecki

34812442Title: The Highland Guardian Lords of the Highlands Book 3
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Published by: Forever
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

A Four-Book Series


Publisher’s Summary:
He has sworn to protect her…

Captain Reid MacKenzie, Earl of Seaforth, is a man of his word. During a harrowing battle at sea, the heroic Highlander makes a vow to a dying friend to watch over the man’s daughter. His plan: send the child to boarding school as quickly as possible so he can continue his mission. But Reid’s new ward is no wee lass. She’s a ravishing, fully grown woman, and it’s all he can do to remember his duty and not seduce her himself.


But he might be her greatest threat…

Miss Audrey Kennet is stunned by the news. First this kilted brute tells Audrey her father is dead, and next he insists she marry. But as Reid scours England for the most suitable husband, Audrey soon realizes the brave, brawny Scot is the only man she wants–though loving him means risking her lands, her freedom, and even her life.



My Thoughts: A story really appeals to me when a hero, once given his word, will follow through even when it is inconvenient and neigh impossible to make it happen.  Such is the case with Reid MacKenzie, Earl of Seaforth, when he vows to a dying associate working for the cause, to protect his daughter, much as a guardian would. 

The girl, Miss Audrey Kennet, isn’t a wee lass as Reid thinks, but a woman full-grown with the most beguiling blue eyes.  Yes, the reader knows Reid will sink in the mire of lust, love, or both long before he knows it, and then it’s too late!  

His plans change according to the circumstances.  He can’t place her in boarding school, not even finishing school, because she’s completed her schooling. She’s of marriageable age, so all he needs to do it put Nicholas Kennet’s business in order and find a lad to marry her to.

As in any good story, and Amy Jarecki always tells whoppers, simply going from A to B is fraught with challenges.  Here, Miss Audrey herself and other outside forces have Reid reworking his plans over and over.

Reid gets drawn into the net of caring (he’d rather not!)–he needs to get on with his own life.  The cause needs him.  His clan needs their chieftain with an added obligation which perils his freedom. His father made a pack with his uncle (again that honor thing) which has him already betrothed to his father’s uncle’s daughter.  What is more important than unifying the clan and working for the cause?  The Earl of Seaforth will be pulled in every direction, his heart being tattered in the process.

Audrey Kennet has more than beguiling blue eyes.  She’s a woman of honor herself and demands to pay back the times Reid has protected her.  She loses a little more of her heart to him every day.  Frankly, they are a match made in heaven.

As with the rest of this series, this is an exciting read, suspenseful, full of danger plus  experiencing what a man in love will do as he grapples with the anguish of satisfying his heart and doing the honorable thing. 


Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Petie McCarty — an author worth discovering! She graciously joins our blog talking about her writing.

Petie McCartyAbout Petie McCarty

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-elements-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Find Petie online at:


I’m so pleased to have you join us.  Writing and reading are my favorite pastimes and I love to have the chance to meet and discuss authors’ work.  Let’s get started Petie!

Please tell us a bit about your new release. 

I’d love to, but first let me thank you for allowing me to spend time with your Booktalk with Eileen readers today. Betting on Cinderella was released on October 18th and is book two in my series: The Cinderella Romances…fall in love with the fairy tale all over again. Although Betting on Cinderella is my seventh release, it is my very first sequel, with Garrett Tucker returning from Cinderella Busted for his own story.

Cinderella Busted (Cinderella Romances, #1)Betting on Cinderella (Cinderella Romances, #2)

I had never considered writing a sequel until my editor and I were exchanging edits for Cinderella Busted, and she asked me if I was working on Garrett’s story. The coincidence here is that I happened to be on one of our many vacations to Biloxi when I received her email. The wheels immediately started to turn.

I looked out of our high-rise window at the Beau Rivage and thought, I need a Prince for this story, so why not have Garrett inherit his grandfather’s casino empire and become the “Prince of Vegas?” That way I could bring him right there to Biloxi, a place I knew well.


Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

With a colorful supporting cast, Betting on Cinderella provides scene-to-scene suspense that will have you rooting for the delightfully “flawed” hero and heroine both.


What’s coming next, or what are you working on now?

 I am close to completing Par for Cinderella, book three in the Cinderella series. Aidan Cross had a big part in the first two books of the series, and now he returns for his own story—he visits quaint Cypress Key where he intends to build one of his world-famous golf resorts that no one in the small town wants.

I have also just finished final galley edits for Duke du Jour. In this historical time-travel romance—to be released by The Wild Rose Press—the present-day thirteenth Duke of Reston falls into an eerie, abandoned fountain in an overgrown section of his ancestral estate and wakes up in regency England in 1816, where he is immediately mistaken for his namesake and great-great-and-so-on grandfather, the seventh Duke of Reston, who has been missing since the battle of Waterloo. I haven’t had this much fun writing a story since Catch of the Day. This will be Book One of my new Lords in Time series. So you can see I manage to stay busy


If you could be any character in any fairy tale, who would you be and why?

I would love to be the fairy godmother in Cinderella. Heck, I do feel a bit like her already since I managed to write Lily Foster right into Rhett Buchanan’s arms in Cinderella Busted, even without the prop of the glass slippers.

Or, I would want to be Flora, Fauna, or Merryweather in Sleeping Beauty—more fairy godmothers who give true love a swift kick to help it along. Can you tell I used to work for The Walt Disney Company?  *grin*


Is Cinderella one of your favorite fairy tales?

Of course! Though Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite. Of all the Disney princesses, Cinderella is everyone’s hands-down favorite—regardless of age—and always has been. Yes, even middle-aged women visit the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique at Walt Disney World. *grin* So, it came as no surprise to me when the Cinderella Busted movie popped into my head.


Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?

Absolutely.  *chuckle* Everything that happened to Kayli Heddon in Everglades—the bug storm, the gators, the snakes, the palmetto bugs, doing doughnuts in an airboat—all happened to me while working in the field at some time in my career.


Do you have a favorite character you have written?

Skye Landers, the hunky airboat guide/hero from Everglades is my favorite. In my head, Skye looked like the Medjai warrior leader in the movie, The Mummy. An aquatic biologist by profession, I spent two years of my career surveying Florida waterways by airboat, and I never got to travel with a hunky airboat guide, so I created my very own hunk for the story.  * grin*  I wrote a yummy one, too.




What are the elements of a great romance for you? 

Every reader is different, but for me, the best and most memorable romances have a hero who isn’t gorgeous or ripped. Instead, he is smart or funny or a little quirky, and he does things for the heroine that make you sigh and go, “Awww!”

Nora Roberts’ character, Carter Maguire, in the first book of her Bride Quartet, Vision in White, is a perfect example. The “professor” wasn’t a hunk; he was adorable with his quirky, sweet nature. I recently read another great example in Megan Bryce’s To Wed the Widow. Her hero George Sinclair was sweet, funny, and carried a Pomeranian puppy in his pocket. Altogether a memorable hero.


Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?

I totally prefer love at first sight. A look, a touch, a scent, a sound, a taste – “love” senses that individually or in tandem incite inexplicable electrified impulses between a man and a woman, drawing them together with or against their will.


When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I left my fabulous “day” job at Walt Disney World to write full-time, so I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to write anytime. I try to set aside whole work days devoted to my Work in Progress.

While that sounds wonderful in theory, dazzling passages are guaranteed to pop in your head at the least opportune moments — in restaurants, in line at Walmart, in bed in the blessed moments before you succumb to much-needed sleep. Never, ever assume those passages will still be hovering in the atmosphere when you return to your computer. They won’t. They will swiftly dissipate like the smoke from the Pillsbury rolls you burned when you stopped to send a tweet about your latest interview.

I never go anywhere without a pocket pad in my purse, and yes, there’s one on the bedside table, too. My husband frowns at it whenever he walks by.  *snicker*


What is the hardest interview question you have ever had to answer…(and no, we don’t need the answer, not unless you want to share)

Any question that asks me for advice on writing technique or how to write a better book. I think writing skills are like putting on make-up. What makes me look good may make someone else look washed out and vice versa, so I always dread the advice questions. The only advice I am completely comfortable giving new writers is never, EVER give up. Like Stephen King once said, “the only difference between published writers and unpublished writers is the published writers never gave up.”


A random fact about yourself?

I am one of seven preacher’s kids, which probably explains why thus far in my writing career, I have only written PG-13 romance, safe enough for teens.

I want to thank Booktalk with Eileen and their loyal readers for allowing me to spend time with them today and share stories about my books. Happy reading or writing to all — your pick!

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