Thursday, March 22, 2012

18 & Over Book Blogger GiveawayHop

I'm an avid reader as well as an author. In fact, I read more than I write. Tragic, I know, especially in regards to my bank account! But, I just can't help myself, ya know? I love to read! Plain and simple. And one of my favorite things about reading are the heroes! Not just any hero, mind you. The Romance Heroes. Usually, these are very drool-worthy men. Passionate. Strong. Courageous. And sensational in bed! Not to mention gorgeously handsome. I'm not sure about everyone else, but when I read a book, I have a clear picture of the hero in my head. Sometimes, he might take the form of an actor from the movies or TV. 

Here are some examples. Not all of these books are considered romance, but they do have strong romantic elements. 

For example, when I read Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, I see Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as Ranger. I think somewhere I read that she pictured him when she wrote that character. It's been so long since I read that, so I'm not sure if its true, but it doesn't matter. The Rock will always be Ranger in my head. 

Another is the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Many fans have posted who their choices of actors would be for the parts of their favorite characters. I've discussed this a few times with other LKH fans. Those I've talked with seem to be in agreement that Richard Zeeman (one of Anita's love interests who happens to be a werewolf) should be played by Hugh Jackman. There's a raw, masculine ruggedness that I feel he would be perfect for that role. 

And for Anita's other main love interest (there are many these days, but I've only narrowed my choices to 2), Jean-Claude the vampire, I feel Gerard Butler could fill that role nicely. (I admit, Gerry is usually the number one actor I visualize whether I'm reading or writing!) When I saw his role in Dracula 2000, the lethal sexiness, the carnal energy he expressed, I felt would be perfect for Jean-Claude. 

 For the hero, Sebastian Collins, in my novella, The Witch and the Vampire, I pictured Richard Armitage. I think I had just finished watching him in the BBC Robin Hood series and just fell in love with him. He stepped into Sebastian's boots quite easily in my mind.   
So tell me, who do you picture in your mind's eye while you're reading?  Follow my blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a free .pdf copy of my novella, The Witch and the Vampire. You can also find me on Facebook, GoodReads and Twitter.

And don't forget to check out the other great bloggers participating in the 18 & Over Book Blogger Giveaway Hop! Enjoy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Witchy Book Recommendations

The last post I wrote was about the 2012 Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge I'm participating in for this year. Since reading and writing about witches is a favorite hobby of mine, I thought I'd list a few of my favorite titles that I've read in the past.

Eternity (Immortal Witches, #1)Eternity by Maggie Shayne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three hundred years ago, Raven St. James was accused of witchcraft. Only one man tried to free her from the hangman's noose, Duncan, the town minister, who died trying to save her. Three hundred years later, the accused witch still lives and longs for her love. At last, after centuries of loneliness, Raven has found her precious Duncan. But as he awakens to the passion of his past life, so too does the evil that tore them apart. Now Raven and Duncan must prove their love for all eternity.

This is the first of The Immortal Witches series. The book's following this are: Infinity, Destiny, and Immortality.

Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherworld, #3)Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paige Winterbourne was always either too young or too rebellious to succeed her mother as leader of one of the world's most powerful elite organizations- the American Coven of Witches. Now that she is twenty-three and her mother is dead, the Elders can no longer deny her. But even Paige's wildest antics can't hold a candle to those of her new charge- an orphan who is all too willing to use her budding powers for evil... and evil is all too willing to claim her. For this girl is being pursued by a dark faction of the supernatural underworld. They are a vicious group who will do anything to woo the young, malleable, and extremely powerful neophyte, including commit murder- and frame Paige for the crime. It's an initiation into adulthood, womanhood, and the brutal side of magic that Paige will have to do everything within her power to make sure they both survive.

This is #3 in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, though this is the first book told about Paige. This series is a fantastic blend of paranormal creatures such as werewolves, vampires, ghosts, demons, sorcerors and witches. 

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All the creatures of the night gather in "the Hollows" of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party...and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining - and it's Rachel Morgan's job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she'll bring 'em back alive, dead...or undead.

The first book in Kim Harrison's The Hollow's series, also known to some as the Rachel Morgan series. Another great series to lose yourself to, involving witches, vampires, demons, werewolves, and even pixies! 

Those are a few to get started. I love them to pieces! Next week, I'll post some Witchy non-fiction book recommendations. I've got quite a few favorites there, too!

What are some of your favorite fiction books about witches and witchcraft? I'd love to hear your recommendations. I'm always looking for more books to add to my TBR!

To add a side note: Today I'm guest blogging at The Vampire Book Realm's V-Spot blog. Yes, I know, its a site about vampires, and here I'm talking today about witches. But, I'm chatting about my book The Witch and the Vampire (see that witch connection there??) and my love of the 1960's TV series Dark Shadows (again about vampires AND witches). Stop by to comment for a chance to win an exclusive VBR wallpaper for your computer. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012 Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

During my browsing of the groups I've joined on GoodReads, I found a challenge that I feel is just right for me; The Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge. Yes, I read a lot of books and I must admit that within the last two years I've become quite a reading challenge addict. But this is the first challenge that I've joined that is hosted by a book reviewer's blog, so I hope I get this right. For some reason, I seem to complicate matters when I read the instructions when I'm sure they're quite simple.

This challenge runs from January 1, 2012 (yes, I'm joining a little late, but I'm sure I'll catch up!) thru December 31, 2012. You must read books that include a witch as the main character or that contain any major witchcraft elements. They may be fiction or non-fiction. There are four levels to choose from: 

Initiate:  Read 1 - 5 Witchy Books
Maiden:  Read 6 - 10 Witchy Books
Mother:  Read 11 - 15 Witchy Books
Crone:  Read 16 - 20 Witchy Books

I'm going to pick Maiden, but I might upgrade to another level later in the year. First, I'll see how far I get. I admit, I tend to overfill my plate of goals each year and come December I'm scrambling around for the books with the smallest page counts to complete the leftover challenges. Oh, but what fun reading is! I really can't say no! :)

Now, for the complete list of rules and how to join this challenge, please visit Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf. She even gives you a list a book titles to get you started. 

Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

Looking through my bookshelf, I find a few titles I've read that I'd like to recommend to readers, too. Reading some of these books have inspired my own witchy writings, so I'll compile a list of titles and share them sometime next week. 

As for now, if you're a fan of witchy books (and I hope you like The Merriweather Witches!), then hop over to Melissa's blog and sign up! I look forward to seeing what other readers have chosen for the challenge! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell

The Twisted Tale of Stormy GaleThe Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine  Bell (aka Chloe Cole)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 I'm a time pirate—born in 1810, now a 21st-century woman. I travel through time trying to right wrongs without disrupting the fragile balance between what is and what can never be.

That's why it's vital that I go to 1836 and find the man who conned my brother out of his Time Travel Mechanism as quickly as possible. If the technology falls into the wrong hands, it could change the world as we know it. The notorious Duke of Leister definitely qualifies as the wrong hands. An amateur scientist of the slightly mad variety, he's bound to figure out how to use the TTM sooner rather than later.

I knew this wouldn't be easy. But I wasn't counting on him being as sexy as hell. Or winding up chained to his bed…
25,900 words

My Review:
This novella was a joy to read! I loved it! It was fast-paced, the characters were interesting and well developed, and the plot was fascinating. This was also my introduction to steampunk. I don't think I've ever read anything in this genre. And I'm hooked! I can't wait to read another one. I would have loved to see this story as a full-length novel! It was interesting and suspenseful and I really enjoyed the use of first-person POV (point-of-view). I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a quick, fun romance that keeps you turning the pages until the end. I can't wait to read more from this author!

View all my reviews