Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Review - Night Fall by Cherry Adair

Night Fall
T-FLAC/psi Trilogy, Book 1
Cherry Adair
Ballantine Books
September 30, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-345-49990-5

From the publisher’s site:
T-FLAC/psi operative Simon Blackthorne goes to Africa to continue the global war against paranormal terror–never expecting to clash swords with strong-willed Kess Goodall.

Kess struggles in her own desperate battle to unravel a deadly secret that has killed millions in the tiny country of Mallaruza. But Simon proves to be the ultimate distraction: his very presence takes her body to the edge of a pleasure-filled abyss, his touch superbly rapturous. Now, against a backdrop of staggering beauty and horrific violence, with danger at every turn and libidos in overdrive, a spirited woman and an indomitable wizard face a malevolent force more frightening than both can imagine.

With foes strong and numerous, Kess and Simon must forge a bond strong enough to eliminate a sadistic enemy before Mallaruza is lost to terrorist control and the world forever changed.

My thoughts:
Simon Blackthorne, a wizard and T-FLAC/psi agent, travels to Africa to see an old college acquaintance that’s running for presidential re-election in Mallaruza. Millions of Abioyne Bongani’s people are dying, and doctors have been unable to diagnose or stop the apparent spread. Simon plans to take matters into his own hands and get to the bottom of what’s happening in this small country. Protecting Abi’s publicist, Kess, quickly becomes a priority when a powerful wizard enters the fray and makes his intentions known.

Kess Goodall got as far away from Atlanta, Georgia and her tarnished reputation as she could, taking the job as publicist to President Bongani. She enjoys the job and respects the man she works for. She’s horrified by what’s going on around them and Kess is prepared to do whatever she can to help, even if she’s putting herself in harms way. Simon may be frustrating at times, but it’s obvious even to Kess that there’s something special about him. Without his help and protection she may not survive.

This is the first release in the T-FLAC/psi Trilogy, and what an action-packed start it is. Surrounded by death and danger, Simon and Kess find a passionate connection as they fight side by side to survive. Ms. Adair seamlessly blends thrilling suspense and paranormal romance into one scorching read. Night Fall is well-detailed, witty at just the right moments, and has a strong plot that will keep readers engaged to the end.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - Fan Fiction Contest with Sourcebooks, Inc. and Linda Wisdom

Give us your best HEX!
A Fan Fiction Contest with Linda Wisdom

Ever wondered why Jazz and Nick argue so much? Have you imagined a hilarious scenario with Irma? And I’m sure you’ve thought up a ton of escapades with Fluff and Puff! Why not write your very own Hex Fan Fiction piece?

Linda Wisdom and Sourcebooks Casablanca are pleased to present an exciting contest—Tell us your own short story starring the characters from 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and October 1 release, Hex Appeal!

Rules (follow them or we might kick you out of the Witches Academy!)
1. Choose any character you like and give them an original story!

2. 1500 words maximum, sent in a Word Document or in the body of the email Erotica is ok, but nothing too scary (no bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia; no slander of public people; no black magic; no Wiccan or black magic spells, cursing in the regular sense is okay—we just want to have as much fun as possible!).

3. Send your story to Linda’s publicist, Danielle Jackson, at
danielle.jackson@sourcebooks.com, no later than 5:00pm CST on October 25, 2008. (All stories submitted will become the property of Sourcebooks, Inc. to avoid copyright complications. Please email Danielle with any questions about this.)

4. The Winner, chosen by Linda, will be announced on her Myspace page the morning of Halloween!

So what do you get if you win? 2 runners up with received autographed copies of the first two books in the series, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and Hex Appeal.

The Grand Prize Winner will also receive the autographed copies, AND the winner’s name will be used as a character in the fourth book in Linda’s Hexy series, out in October 2009!

We look forward to your stories! Good Luck!

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Review - Deadly Night by Heather Graham

Deadly Night
The Flynn Brothers Trilogy, Book 1
Heather Graham
MIRA
October 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7783-2585-7

Book blurb:
The Flynn brothers have inherited more than a New Orleans plantation. They've inherited a ghostly presence… and a long-kept secret.

Aidan Flynn, a private investigator and eldest of the Flynn brothers, scoffs at the haunted-house rumors—especially since Kendall Montgomery, a tarot card reader who has been living in the mansion, is the one to tell him the tale of a woman in white. But when he finds a human bone on the grounds and another by the river, Aidan delves into the dark history of the Flynn plantation.

Forced together to uncover the truth, Aidan and Kendall realize that a serial killer whose victims seem to vanish into thin air has long been at work…and that their own fates are about to be sealed forever unless they believe in the unbelievable.

My thoughts:
Aidan Flynn, the oldest of three brothers who’ve just inherited a New Orleans plantation home, works as a private investigator. When he finds two human bones and gets the brush off from local authorities, he’s all the more determined to find answers. As he begins digging in to local missing persons he discovers there may be a dangerous killer loose in the area. Kendall, the woman he’s started to care for, could be a target.

Kendall Montgomery owns a small shop where she does tarot readings. After staying by Amelia Flynn’s side during her final days, Kendall is surprised to meet the men who knew nothing of Amelia’s existence. Aidan, the one she pegs as the rude one, soon grows on her. As her readings and dreams begin changing in a direction she never expected, Kendall believes that something has stirred up the ghosts of the Flynn home. Until the evil is stopped no one will be safe.

This is the first book in The Flynn Brothers Trilogy, and tells Aidan’s story. Ms. Graham knows exactly how to wrap her audience up in a ghostly tale and keep it believable. The characters are well-detailed and supported by a nicely diverse group of secondary characters, each of which adds something to the over-all story. Deadly Night moves at a steady pace, without rushing scenes or losing the reader’s interest. The mystery, suspense and romance in this installment will have paranormal lovers anxiously awaiting Deadly Harvest, the next in the trilogy.

To learn more about The Flynn Brothers Trilogy, please visit Ms. Graham’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - Mysteria Lane - Anthology

Mysteria Lane
Anthology
MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant,
Gena Showalter, P. C. Cast
Berkley Sensation
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22294-2

Book Blurb:
Return to a town of bewitching seduction and sensual demons. There’s a spellbinding witch of love who wants to make one man hers; a vegan having trouble adapting to vampirism; Satan’s emissary, who is looking for steady work in Colorado; and angelic triplets feeling a wee touch of the devil.

My thoughts:
In Disdaining Trouble by MaryJanice Davidson the Desdaine triplets tend to be the terrors of the town. When a mishap sends Withering into the town’s wishing well and returns her all grown-up just a few minutes later, Thad is happier than ever that he made to choice to move back to Mysteria.

In The Nanny from Hell by Susan Grant a demon is sent to destroy Harmony and Damon’s baby boy, but before she reaches them an accident changes things. A future with Quel, the town’s demon hunter, suddenly sounds much more appealing to Shay than returning to her life ruled by Lucifer.

In A Tawdry Affair by Gena Showalter a witch who wants revenge enlists her sister’s help in providing her with a bit of magic to make a man pay for his actions. Glory’s in for a surprise when the tables are turned, and she realizes how wrong she’s been about Falon.

In It’s in His Kiss by P. C. Cast a school teacher with faulty magic returns to Mysteria with designs on a certain fairie, but meeting Colin, could change her mind. Only problem is, Summer is a vegetarian and Colin is a vampire.

In this follow-up anthology, four talented authors are brought together for another visit to the town and residents that readers were introduced to in Mysteria. With just as much humor and romance as the first, Mysteria Lane will keep readers engaged from the first page to the last. Each author provides readers with a well-detailed short story that’s filled with magic, passion and wit. I hope to see another visit to this mystical town in the future.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - Phenomenal Girl 5 by A. J. Menden

Phenomenal Girl 5
A. J. Menden
Dorchester - SHOMI
October 28, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-0505-52786-8

Book Blurb:
Lainey Livingston has just been made a member of the Elite Hands of Justice, the world’s premiere cadre of superheroes. Her work with the Red Knights and the Power Squad was impressive; all her senses are extraordinary, and her great strength and ability to fly are equally remarkable. But no one gets a free pass to active duty, and Lainey’s next test is going to be her hardest. She’s to train with the Reincarnist.

Robert Elliot, the Reincarnist. A magician who has lived multiple lifetimes, he’s the smartest man in the world—and Lainey’s last obstacle. He was personally responsible for seeing Pushstar wash out. But his eyes are the softest, kindest that Lainey has ever seen, and he’s just the sort to knock her for a loop. Lesson #1: Romantic entanglements among crime fighters are super exploitable, and falling in love with a man who “can’t die” is like waving a red flag at a bull. Especially when the most fiendish plot ever is about to break over Megolopolis like a wave of fire.

My thoughts:
All of her life Lainey has wanted to become a member of EHJ, and she’s finally achieved her goal. The only catch to her new job position as Phenomenal Girl 5 is to train with the Reincarnist, Robert Elliot. He’s a brilliant man and possesses powerful magic after so many years of coming back filled with information from pervious lives. Unfortunately he’s also stubborn and disconnected from anything beyond his work. Despite his faults, Lainey finds herself drawn to him more each day. If not for his knowledge and skills, she’d never survive their current case.

While he does remember much of his past lives, losing the people you love because you can’t remember them has taught Robert a lesson. Now he focuses on his work and stays away from relationships. His new trainee is testing his ability to remain in his role as teacher with her refusal to follow his lead without question. Even if he can’t keep her with him, the thought of losing her forever will have him doing anything it takes to keep her alive.

Whether you think you’re a superhero fan or not, Phenomenal Girl 5 is a story you won’t want to miss. This is Ms. Menden’s debut, and she’s done a fabulous job of creating her fictional world. Her writing style is easy to follow and it skillfully showcases her talent. The storyline is well-written and fresh, the action is plentiful, and her superheroes are too intriguing to resist. Phenomenal Girl 5 is a fast-paced and entertaining read that has just the right amount of romance to have readers routing for love to win the day. I look forward to seeing what this author’s imagination brings us next.

To learn more about Phenomenal Girl 5, please visit the author’s site: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Review - HBO - True Blood - Episode 4 - Escape from Dragon House

True Blood
Escape from Dragon House
Season 1, Episode 4
HBO
September 28, 2008
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 28 (11:30 p.m.) and 30 (11:30 p.m.), and Oct. 1 (10:00 p.m.), 2 (8:00 p.m.), 3 (midnight), 4 (1:05 a.m.) and 16 (8:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdate: Sept. 29 (8:00 p.m.)

Episode Blurb:
Another killing in Bon Temps finds Jason back in custody with officers Andy (Chris Bauer) and Bud (William Sanderson). Tara gets him off the hook, but neither she nor Lafayette has the antidote to his current ailment. Urged by Gran to use her telepathic abilities to weed out the murderer and exonerate her brother, Sookie persuades Bill to take her to a Shreveport vampire bar called Fangtasia, where she impresses a dominant Nordic bloodsucker named Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) with her prescient powers. Later, Bill demonstrates his own considerable powers when an abusive patrolman stops the couple on their way home.

Written by Brian Buckner; directed by Michael Lehmann.

My thoughts:
When another woman is discovered murdered, and Jason is found at the scene of the crime, he’s once again taken in for questioning. With Tara’s help, and with nothing concrete to hold him on, Jason is released. In the process of his arrest Jason puts himself in an alarming position, and after confronting Lafayette about the unfortunate condition it’s caused, he gives in to the reality that he requires medical attention.

Despite her on again, off again, darker thoughts on Bill’s character, Sookie asks that he take her to a vampire bar in Shreveport, explaining that it’s not really a date. She’s hoping that someone can provide answers or clues on who may have had a reason to murder the women in Bon Temps. After meeting the vampire hostess, Pam, and the bartender, Long Shadow, Sookie has her first encounter with the powerful vampire Eric, an experience she won’t soon forget. As they part he makes a point of telling her that he enjoyed meeting her and a more ominous comment that she would come again.

This is the fourth installment of HBO’s True Blood, and if you watched last week you have an idea of what opens this episode. With Jason finding himself once again in the wrong place at just the right time, his sister’s longtime friend, Tara, comes to his rescue. Meanwhile, Sookie has jumped into the vampire world with both feet and her mixture of fascination and repulsion of Bill continues. Jason and Lafayette are both a source of entertainment in the storyline, and their scenes together are usually too humorous not to laugh. The Coroner is a creep, Andy is disgruntled by the lack of respect he gets and Sookie’s Gran is as supportive as ever. The ending isn’t quite a cliffhanger in this episode, but it’s surprising even if we might have guessed what was coming. Kudos on the music choice in the final scene, it helps answer the question some viewers will have on why he’s doing it. Escape from Dragon House continues the show’s fast pace and will have fans coming back next week hungry for more.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Book Giveaway - Winners of Hex Appeal

Thanks so much to everyone who posted their favorite places to read for a chance to win a copy of Linda Wisdom's Hex Appeal! :)

The winners are.....

1. Ruth Shaller

2. Christine

3. Carolsue



Please contact me at the email address in my profile with your snail mail info so I can get your copies of Hex Appeal into the mail for you!



Thanks again everyone....and Happy Reading!



Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - The Science of Heroes by Yvonne Carts-Powell

The Science of Heroes
The Real-Life Possibilities Behind the Hit TV Show
Yvonne Carts-Powell
Boulevard
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22335-2

Book Blurb:
Fun, fact-filled examination of the science (or lack thereof) behind the hit television series Heroes.


Ordinary people with extraordinary powers populate the world of the hit television show Heroes, where characters exhibit such abilities as flight, telepathy, tissue regeneration, prognostication, invisibility, and teleportation through space and time.

The Science of Heroes explores these superpowers and many more through real-world research into the potential of human physical and mental capabilities. Citing the work of renowned scientists and engineers, Yvonne Carts-Powell reveals that even the least likely of powers has been studied—and in some cases, even developed. From the wonders found in nature and cutting-edge technological achievements to the latest discoveries in genetics and mutations, humanity might just possess the knowledge to achieve the extraordinary.

To learn more about The Science of Heroes, please visit the author’s site: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - River Runs Red by Jeffrey J. Mariotte

River Runs Red
Jeffrey J. Mariotte
Jove
September 30, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-515-14477-2

Book Blurb:
Within a labyrinth of caves in a small Texas town on the Rio Grande, among walls adorned with ancient Indian petroglyphs, lies a pool of strange, luminescent water.

Twenty years ago, an anthropologist unknowingly unleashed an otherworldly force of a malevolent nature here. Three teenagers Wade, Molly, and Byrd spent time in the caves, unaware of the entity that inhabited them. Now they’ve been inexplicably drawn back to the site and will confront not only their pasts, but also one another as combatants in a supernatural war flowing across the globe through the raging currents of the world’s rivers…

To learn more about River Runs Red, please visit the author’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - Their Way Home by Melissa Van Rossum

Their Way Home
Melissa Van Rossum
MetaPublishing
April 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-9792265-3-3

Book Blurb:
Melissa Van Rossum dreamed of having a normal life. Problem? Melissa Van Rossum could see ghosts. She didn't have to visit the local haunted house to encounter these spectral beings - they would find her. In her car, her closet, her shower - everywhere. And sometimes they'd tell her their stories. Meet the ghostly woman who was distressed at never knowing her children; find out why hundreds of ghosts haunt a Hollywood sound stage; discover what still fascinated a phantom businesswoman; and feel for the teenager who desperately wanted to come back to life.

These ghosts run the gamut from a creepy clown to a criminal predator to a sweet little girl who stayed behind to comfort her mother.

Melissa Van Rossum has encountered them all, and for the first time, tells their stories. These are spooky tales like no other as a true ghost guide gives insight to the lives of the ghosts she’s known and how she helped them find Their Way Home.

My thoughts:
The book opens with a nice foreword by Raymon Grace, followed by an introduction by Melissa Van Rossum.

Finding My Way is the first section, and in it Ms. Van Rossum shares everything from her early memories of playing with a motherly ghost, to a pair of ghosts who took up a brief residence in her vehicle. The creepiest story in this section has to be the ghostly dentist who appeared not to get a clue.

Finding Their Way is the next section, and it covers ghosts she’s met from a wide array of backgrounds. Readers may never view a simple walk-in closet or the theater the same way again.

Visits From Loved Ones is the third section, and is by far the most touching. The author shares personal experiences with her own family and friends

Process, Questions, Lessons is the final section that offers some guidance for readers who are interested in learning the basics on how to help guide the earthbound spirits to cross-over. This segment also answers the most asked questions, and the lessons learned from ghosts.

Ms. Van Rossum has shared her experiences in a well-organized manner that is quick and easy to read. Their Way Home touches on every emotion from joy to fear and will leave readers more curious than ever about those who remain unseen by their side. This is a short read and will certainly be over long before most readers would prefer, but the author details the facts in each encounter without dressing-up the experience. While Ms. Van Rossum may not have always been able to comfortably experience her abilities, it’s good to know that she’s more at ease now with the gift she’s been given. That in itself is probably the most amazing part of her story. It’s difficult to imagine someone living every day of their lives under what most would consider nightmarish conditions.

To learn more about Melissa Van Rossum, please visit her website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, September 26, 2008

Review - Bite the Bullet by L. A. Banks

Bite the Bullet
Crimson Moon, Book 2
L. A. Banks
St. Martin’s Press
September 30, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-312-94912-9

Book Blurb:
Sasha Trudeau considers herself a soldier first and a werewolf second. But while her secret government-sanctioned task-force faces its greatest challenge so far, Sasha faces something much more primal: the undeniable pull of the moon—and her own desires.

With rogue wolves savaging both the human and paranormal worlds, Sasha’s team of elite operatives has one job: destroy the rogues and isolate the deadly toxin that’s poisoned their blood. But the challenge is far more complicated than Sasha could have imagined. Soon she is thrust into a full-scale supernatural war for supremacy—and the only man left who Sasha can turn to might be the biggest danger to her of all. . .and in more ways than one.

My thoughts:
As a soldier dedicated to her team, Sasha works to bring together those from her squad who remain. She’s battling her wolf’s heat, and infected wolves along the way. Hunter, her lover and the man she trusts most right now, may no longer be a safe presence by her side, but Sasha is far from ready to give up. Her duty is to eliminate infected wolves that are killing both humans and their kind, and to stop further spread of the dangerous toxin that was stolen and introduced into the community.

Hunter is a Shadow Wolf who was infected while in his mother’s womb, and he’s battled the darker wolf in him more than once. He understands better than anyone what’s happening in their community. With Sasha by his side they may have a chance of preventing open season on their kind. Now all he has to do is convince her that she’s meant to be his mate.

This is the second installment in the Crimson Moon series. Ms. Banks has crafted an intriguing world, with well-developed characters and a storyline that’s sure to grab the attention of urban fantasy readers. Filled with action, this fast-moving read is as powerful as the first, and will keep fans coming back for more. Bite the Bullet is best read after reading the first book in the series, Bad Blood.

To learn more about the Crimson Moon series, please visit the author’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Book Giveaway - Last day to enter...

Today is the last day to enter the Hex Appeal Giveaway, so don't forget to leave a comment: Here



Good luck everyone...and Happy Reading!



Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Promo - Discount on Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear

Heart of the Wolf
Terry Spear
Sourcebooks - Casablanca
April 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-1-4022-1157-7

If you were thinking of purchasing Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spears, now is a great time to do it! You can use the coupon code ROMANCESOURCE10 to get 40% off the purchase price. You can purchase it through this link: http://www.sourcebooks.com/products/literature/fiction/9781402211577-heart-of-the-wolf.html. This coupon is valid through October 31, 2008.

Check out my review of Heart of the Wolf: Here

For more information and an excerpt from Heart of the Wolf, visit Terry Spear’s website: Here

You can visit Source Books: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Review - Up in Smoke by Katie MacAlister

Up in Smoke
Silver Dragons, Book 2
Katie MacAlister
Signet
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22583-3

Book Blurb:
Though May Northcott's heart belongs to Gabriel Tauhou, leader of the silver dragons, being stuck in Abaddon has significantly cooled down her love life--especially since a demon lord is trying to woo her. So far, May has resisted his efforts, but it's getting increasingly harder to thwart disaster.

So May is shocked when Gabriel encourages her to give in to the demon prince. But her fire-breathing boyfriend has an ulterior motive. Since May was created in the mortal world, her surrender would give her master access to that world, where he would lose most of his powers.

It looks as though May will have to barter to gain her freedom and fulfill her destiny by Gabriel's side. But will a deal with the devil make life heaven or hell?

My thoughts:
Forced to remain by the demon lord Magoth’s side in Abbadon, May Northcott searches for a way of escape. She’s a wyvern’s mate and longs to be back in Gabriel’s arms. When they devise a plan to get her out it gives Magoth the opportunity to roam the human world as well, something he’s more than happy to agree to.

All is not calm in the dragon world and May is there in the midst of things as the struggle for power continues. She’s also taken on her sister’s troubles, once again attempting to put her foolish twin’s life back in order. While the troubles around her mount, May still has a very important problem of her own. Until she’s free of Magoth, she’ll never be free of Abbadon.

This is the second installment of the Silver Dragons series. May has more purpose than ever by Gabriel’s side and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her by his side. Ms. MacAlister works her humor filled magic to entertain readers with the action and scorching romance that keeps them glued to the pages. Up in Smoke is a fast-paced addition to this paranormal world and I’ll be looking forward to the next visit with these sexy dragons and their passionate mates.

To learn more about the Silver Dragons, please visit Ms. MacAlister’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - Bond of Darkness by Diane Whiteside

Bond of Darkness
A Novel of Texas Vampires
Diane Whiteside
Berkley Sensation
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22354-3

Press Release:
Nationally bestselling “master of erotic prose” (Booklist) Diane Whiteside returns this October with BOND OF DARKENSS:A Novel of the Texas Vampires, the third and final installment in the acclaimed Texas Vampires trilogy (Berkely Sensation Trade Paperback Original; October 7, 2008; 978-0-425-22354-3; $14.00).

Ethan Templeton has been many things in his long life: a cotton planter, a guerilla fighter, a gunslinger, and a vampire! For the past 150 years, he has happily lived under the reign of Raphael Perez who saved his life by teaching him the true meaning of honor and manhood. But now Ethan is romantically involved with the mortal Texas Ranger Stephanie Darling, otherwise known as Steve. He knows a future with her is impossible since it’s against the law to transform her into a vampire—only Raphael Perez has the authority to make vampires in Texas. But working together to stop a serial killer makes Ethan reconsider the price of forever. Perhaps saving the life of the woman he loves is worth dying for—or is it? Steve knows a violent death is imminent, but could she give up her one real chance at eternal life and love?

With the public’s enormous interest in vampire romances right now, Diane Whiteside brings a unique vision and sexy quality to the sub-genre. BOND OF DARKESS is sure to please, especially fans of Angela Knight and Christine Feehan.

To learn more about the Texas Vampires, please visit Ms. Whiteside’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, September 22, 2008

Review - Kiss of a Dark Moon by Sharie Kohler

Kiss of a Dark Moon
Moon Chasers, Book 2
Sharie Kohler
Pocket Books
September 30, 2008
ISBN# 978-1-4165-4228-5

From the publisher’s website:
Love and Let Die...

After a savage lycan attack destroyed her parents, Kit March has ignored the rules saying only men can be hunters and dedicated her life to destroying lycans. Her profession is hell on her love life, but she's been resigned to the lack of romance until she meets sinfully sexy European werewolf hunter Rafe Santiago. Unfortunately, Rafe is a man with a mission: eradicate rogue hunters from the American branch...and the foremost name on his list is Kit March.

Rafe has always put business before pleasure, but something about this feisty yet vulnerable woman is doing strange things to a man who has never before allowed his emotions to get the better of him. The merciless hunter excels at eliminating threats, but he doesn't know how to handle the threat Kit poses to his heart.

The world of lycans has always been black and white. But now, suddenly, the rules are changing. Forces that have been brewing for generations put Kit and Rafe in terrible danger, and nothing they confront is quite as it seems...including each other. Is the passion between them just as illusory? Or is it the only thing real?

My thoughts:
Hunting lycans is Kit March’s life, and while she works for NODEAL she’s not much for following their rules. Now NODEAL is merging with the European group, EFLA, and Kit has a target on her back.

Rafe Santiago has been sent to eliminate Kit and her brother Gideon. They’ve both bucked authority at NODEAL, but that isn’t the true reason behind the organization wanting them destroyed. Once he meets the woman EFLA sees as such a big threat his interest in her changes, but her identity has already been released to the lycan community. Rafe may be the only one who can keep her alive, but he’ll have to convince her to trust him or she’ll never survive.

This is the second installment in the Moon Chasers series and tells Kit’s story. Ms. Kohler steps-up the action, sharing non-stop danger in vivid detail. Sparks fly and the attraction sizzles, making Kiss of a Dark Moon a delectable escape. While this is part of a series, the author provides the details needed to enjoy it as a stand-alone as well.

If you’d like to learn more about the Moon Chasers series, please visit Ms. Kohler’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Book Giveaway - Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom

Now's your chance to win one of 3 copies of Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom that Sourcebooks has generously shared with Darque Reviews. In order to be entered, just share with us your favorite place to read. :) Please be sure to leave your name if you're posting anonymously. Contest will end on Friday September 26, 2008 and winners will be announced on Saturday.

Good luck, and happy reading!

Kimberly
Darque Reviews

Review: 50 Ways to Hex your Lover

Review: Hex Appeal

Interview: Linda Wisdom

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Review - Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom

Hex Appeal
Hex, Book 2
Linda Wisdom
Sourcebooks, Inc.
November 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-1-4022-1400-4

Publisher’s blurb:
The second book in the Hex series features feisty witch Jazz and her drop-dead gorgeous vampire cop boyfriend in a new installment. On again, off again for over 300 years, Jazz and Nick are finally back together, but then Jazz thinks Nick has bitten her. Separated again, upset and angry, the two of them start having violent, recurring dreams in which each one figures in disturbing and menacing ways. They can’t sleep, they can’t eat, and they finally figure out they’d better get together and discover who’s poisoning their dreams—and their relationship.

My thoughts:
Jazz Tremaine wakes feeling certain that her vampire boyfriend has bitten her, even knowing that her blood could make him seriously ill. That’s just the beginning, because Jazz soon finds herself fighting to save Fluff and Puff, her snarling slippers, from a murder wrap, and someone is out to get her. She has no idea where to begin looking for her enemy, but she’s convinced the answer is there in her suddenly disturbing dreams.

In addition to being a vampire, Nick Gregory occupies his time as a private investigator. Things are changing in the vampire community and some of it he’s not at liberty to share with Jazz, it makes for a sore spot in their relationship. With an unknown force stalking his girlfriend’s dreams, his own dreams are heading in a troubling direction. Apart they may not have a chance, but together Jazz and Nick have the ability to track down their assailant and put an end to it before one of them stays trapped in their own worst nightmares forever.

Hex Appeal is the second installment in the Hex series and is as fast moving and fun as the first. The characters are well defined, the dialog is witty, and the romance is steamy. Ms. Wisdom shares her fictional world populated with fiery witches, sexy vampires and a variety of supernatural beings that are sure to charm and entertain readers from the start. Hex Appeal can be read as a stand-alone, but as with most series books I’d recommend enjoying the Hex series from the beginning.

To learn more about Hex Appeal, please visit Ms. Wisdom’s site: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - Predatory Angel by Shaylynn Black

Predatory Angel
Angels of Darkness, Book 1
Shaylynn Black
Publish America
June 9, 2008
ISBN# 978-1606102527

Book Blurb from the author’s site:
Catya hunts the beast that has been dumping bodies and terrorizing her city. She has done so night after night for the last eight years. Little does she know that tonight is the night that everything changes. Tonight is the night that she meets Christian, who is a vampire, her mortal enemy. She must escape him before he realizes what she is, but she finds herself too drawn to him to leave. Before she knows it, she is fighting at his side, for not only her life, but his as well. They can only depend on hope to get them through the bloody battle ahead. The only question is, will they make it out alive?

My thoughts:
Catya is a healerscribe and also a hunter. While checking out a crime scene she runs into Chistian, a vampire she can’t identify as such. When the police arrive she has little choice but to team up with him in an effort to get away, but what happens once he takes her home will change Catya’s future in a way she couldn’t have ever imagined.

The lycans and the hunters from the academy where she trained are after her, and they plan to destroy the vampires that stand in their way of getting her back. As the danger escalates, and Catya grows stronger in her own power, the coven gathers around to plan the take-down of Luthor and his academy.

This is the first book in the Angels of Darkness series. Predatory Angel is a fast-moving tale and provides action as the characters prepare for battle. There’s a bit of mystery throughout the pages where the heroine is concerned, drawing the suspense out to the closing chapter. The plot is intriguing, the romance between Catya and Christian is passionate, and the secondary characters add interest to the storyline. Predatory Angel is entertaining and will hopefully be the start of a fun new series. The dialog did alternate at times from an easy flow to formal speech, but I expect with each new release Ms. Black’s characters will transition into more comfortable conversation. I’ll be looking forward to seeing which character develops in book two.

To learn more about Predatory Angel, visit Ms. Black on her blog: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Review - Blood Memories by Barb Hendee

Blood Memories
The Vampire Memories, Book 1
Barb Hendee
ROC
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-46229-9

Book Blurb:
Eleisha Clevon has the face of a teen angel, but she is no angel. Unlike most vampires, she doesn’t like to kill, but self-preservation comes first.

When an old friend destroys himself by walking into sunlight right in front of her, Eleisha is shocked. And what she finds afterwards points to how very sick of his existence her friend had become—piling drained corpses in the basement and keeping records of other vampires’ real names and addresses. That’s a problem.

Because now, there are policemen on the case: two very special humans with some gifts of their own. They know who Eleisha is, and, even more dangerous, what she is.

My thoughts:
Julian turned Eleisha for a reason, to care for his aging father, William, whose rapid decline was cause for embarrassment in their world among the wealthy. Sent on a ship to America, they’re met by another vampire and spend decades sharing a home with him. When he seeks to end his existence Eleisha does her best to discourage him, but his death is witnessed by Wade and Dominick, two gifted police officers who’ve responded to a disturbance call.

On the run from the police, Eleisha takes William to Maggie’s, the only other vampire she knows to contact. Just as the three settle in to a fairly comfortable existence together, the officers track them down. While Wade seeks to learn more about Eleisha and the unexpected link they’ve shared, Dominick’s goal is to destroy the vampires. The quiet, uncomplicated life Eleisha longs for may never be hers again.

Blood Memories is the first in The Vampire Memories series and is an updated reprint. Ms. Hendee pens a vampire tale that moves steadily forward, sharing glimpses of the past through shared psychic connections. Blood Memories is an earlier work that isn’t quite the strong and developed story that readers may associate with the author. There’s a cliffhanger ending, as you’d expect in a series installment, but the events leading up to it seemed very mild considering the impact those actions have on the overall story. While I may not read this a second time, there are intriguing points throughout the book that kept me engaged. I expect that the second book will have more of the strength and skill behind it that her current work does.

To learn more about Blood Memories, and to read an excerpt, please visit Ms. Hendee: Here

Kimberly Swan, Dark Reviews

Friday, September 19, 2008

Promo - Matters of the Blood by Maria Lima

Matters of the Blood
Maria Lima
Juno Books
September 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-8095-7303-5


Book Blurb:
Keira Kelly, half-breed descendant of a powerful supernatural family, has chosen to live apart from her clan and among humans in the Texas Hill Country. When she experiences a vision that foretells the vicious murder of her human cousin Marty, she vows to determine the truth. Soon, Keira begins to uncover long-concealed secrets, and risks alienating everyone she knows - from her former lover, Sheriff Carlton Larson, to the enigmatic Adam Walker, who’s become more than just an acquaintance…


Matters of the Blood is being released in Mass Market Paperback, so if you missed last year’s trade size addition, now’s your chance before book 2, Blood Bargain is released in November.

To learn more about Matters of the Blood, please visit Ms. Lima: Here …or…
Juno Books: Here

You can read my review of this book: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - Wolfsbane and Mistletoe - edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
Anthology
Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner
ACE
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01633-4

Book Blurb from the Publisher’s site:
The editors of Many Bloody Returns deliver the perfect howl-iday gift, with new tales from Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, and many more.


New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, and Carrie Vaughn—along with eleven other masters of the genre—offer all-new stories on werewolves and the holidays, a fresh variation on the concept that worked so well with birthdays and vampires in Many Bloody Returns.

The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand.

Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year’s morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.

My thoughts:
Gift Wrap by Charlaine Harris
– It’s the Christmas holiday and feeling restless home by herself, Sookie heads outside. She doesn’t get far before a noise catches her attention and leads her to Preston Pardloe, an injured werewolf with quite a story. That’s just the beginning of one Sookie’s most memorable Christmas’s ever.

The Haire of the Beast by Donna Andrews – When her brother Tom brings her a spell to become a werewolf, she can hardly believe what she’s hearing. Still, curiosity gets the best of her and she decides to try the spell out with an added twist. It’s not Tom she has her experimenting sights on, but it’s about to become a very rewarding Christmas.

Lucy, at Christmastime by Simon R. Green – Each year on Christmas Eve in Nightside, Leo Morn visits Strangefellows, a crowded old bar. It’s not friends and drink that bring him there, it’s remembering his first who never forgets him on this special night.

The Night Things Changed by Dana Cameron – Claudia and Gerry are Fangborn, and tracking a killer. They fear it could be one of their own, but they’ve never seen one born evil. It’s Christmastime and Gerry may finally gain the courage to ask for something that would make his the perfect Christmas.

The Werewolf Before Christmas by Kat Richardson – When Matthias makes a poor choice in meals, he’ll find himself forced to endure Santa’s Christmas cheer. While he may not bond with his new companions, it will certainly be a Christmas to remember.

Fresh Meat by Alan Gordon – Sam Lehrmann raises and trains guard dogs. Only the best will do for his furred friends who protect him and help him keep a secret. When someone targets him, help arrives in several surprising forms.

Il Est Né by Carrie Vaughn – David is a werewolf that’s never had the advantage of pack life. When Kitty runs into him at a roadside diner she’s determined to show him how he can lead a relatively normal life and keep the wolf under control.

The Perfect Gift by Dana Stabenow – Ben Lobison and Neri Rominov are partners for the Alaska state troopers in Anchorage. After an attempted arrest turns explosively bad, Ben’s life is changed forever in a very surprising way.

Christmas Past by Keri Arthur – A year ago Brodie walked out of Hannah’s life without explanation. Partnered in a case, they track a killer and as Brodie gets more difficult for Hannah to resist, his protective instinct grows. He’s ready to destroy anyone who foolish enough to touch her.

SA by J. A. Konrath – When Robert Weston Smith begins finding strange objects in the toilet that his stomach has voided, he pays the doctor a visit. Facing the fact that he’s sleepwalking is one thing, but what Robert is about to learn will shock him and alter his life forever.

The Star of David by Patricia Briggs – Stella was away when Devonte was placed in a new foster home, and she had no control over the situation. Now Devonte is being accused of something Stella finds difficult to believe. She’s about to call the one person she never thought to ask for help.

You’d Better Not Pyout by Nancy Pickard – When Pasha gets it into his head that he knows how Santa Claus has been around so long, he talks Serge into accompanying him to the North Pole. Their paths will soon cross with Ingrid and Damian who are on a hunt of a different kind.

Rogue Elements by Karen Chance – It’s Christmas Eve and Lia is being sent by her boss at the Corps, Gil, to locate kidnapped weres. As a war mage she has magic ability on her side, but it’s help from an old flame that may very well save her life.

Milk and Cookies by Rob Thurman – Avoiding Jed the bully in school takes a bit of doing for Nicky, but he knows not to draw attention. When Jed doesn’t back off, Nicky will show him what Christmas spirit in his household is all about.

Keeping Watch Over His Flock by Toni L. P. Kelner – Jake has been taken in by the pack leader and his wife, and has a good home because of it. What he really wants more than anything is to be able to run on his own, something he’s forbidden to do. When he disobeys orders and manages a good deed in the process his life will change in a way he doesn’t expect.

Fifteen exceptional authors are brought together to make Wolfsbane and Mistletoe a captivating collection. From stories of urban fantasy to those edged in horror, this anthology offers a fun and sometimes gory variety. Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe offers up the Christmas spirit in a wonderfully wicked way. Each story is written as a stand-alone, but among them readers will find entertaining additions to some of the most followed series.


Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Review - Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Faefever
Fever series, Book 3
Karen Marie Moning
Delacorte Press
September 16, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-385-34163-9

Book blurb:
He calls me his Queen of the Night. I'd die for him. I'd kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister's journal, she is stunned by Alina's desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister's killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac's quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V'lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

As All Hallows Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds with devastating consequences.

My thoughts:
MacKayla Lane left her safe southern home and flew to Dublin, Ireland, to pack-up her sister’s belongings and find closure after her sister’s senseless death. What she finds soon after she arrives is a dark and deadly world so unlike the world she’s known all of her life. She’s a sidhe-seer and much to her horror she can see the true forms of the Fae who are calling Dublin home. Mac can also sense Hallows, the Fae’s artifacts that can protect or kill even their own. The Sinsar Dubh is a dark and powerful Hallow that everyone wants. V’Lane, a Seelie prince, and Jericho Barrons whose background is unknown to Mac, are both using her to find it. It’s a job that could very well end her life.

The wall that separates the human and Faery worlds is weakening, and their time to change its failing state is quickly running out. If the wall falls it will allow not only the Seelie Fae into the human world, but the imprisoned Unseelie Fae as well. With little more than the Spear of Luisne to protect her, Mac plans to fight to the end. The end may come sooner than she thinks.

This is the third book in the Fever series. Ms. Moning works her magic and gives readers a fast-moving and deeper glimpse into the Unseelie darkness. Memorable characters spin a web of deceit and temptation as the action grows more dark and dangerous than ever. Faefever is an action-packed edition to the series, and once you’ve begun it’s nearly impossible to set it down. There’s a surprising twist in the end that will have readers counting down to the next release.

To learn more about Faefever and the Fever series, please visit the author’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - HBO - True Blood Picked Up For Season 2

From HBO:

HBO RENEWS TRUE BLOOD, NEW SERIES FROM “SIX FEET UNDER” CREATOR ALAN BALL, FOR SECOND SEASON, WITH PRODUCTION TO BEGIN EARLY NEXT YEAR

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2008 – HBO has renewed the new drama series TRUE BLOOD for a second season, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, Programming Group and West Coast Operations. Created by Alan Ball, the series will begin production of new episodes early next year in Los Angeles, with debut set for summer 2009.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the critics and our viewers have embraced TRUE BLOOD,” noted Lombardo. “Alan Ball has done it again – made an addictive series that is unlike any other.”

“I am thrilled to be able to continue to work with such a talented group of writers, cast and crew to explore the characters and world created by Charlaine Harris in her novels,” Ball said. “It really is a joy to go to work every day and I couldn’t be happier to be back home at HBO.”

The Sept. 7 debut episode is proving to be a hit with HBO audiences, attracting more than four million viewers to date, while the debut of the second episode on Sept. 14 posted an unprecedented 24% gain in viewers over the first week’s debut.

Critics across the country in Detroit, Baltimore, Denver and Orlando have proclaimed TRUE BLOOD one of the best new shows on TV. USA Today called it “wildly imaginative,” with “one of the best ensembles of the new series,” while the Washington Post found it “audacious, outrageous and playfully grisly.” TV Guide hailed the show as “graphically sexy and scary, and often wildly funny,” and “a broadly entertaining, deliciously twisted slice of modern Southern Gothic.”

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, TRUE BLOOD takes place in the not-too-distant future, when vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans for their fix. Set in a backwoods Louisiana town, the show follows the romance between waitress Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin), who can read minds, and 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (played by Stephen Moyer). Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy®-winning HBO series “Six Feet Under”) created and executive produced the show, as well as wrote and directed episodes of the series, which is based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

The cast also includes Ryan Kwanten as Sookie’s brother Jason, Rutina Wesley as her best friend Tara Thornton, Sam Trammell as Sookie’s good-hearted boss Sam Merlotte and Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds, a cook at Merlotte’s.

Season one credits: TRUE BLOOD is created by and executive produced by Alan Ball; based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris; co-executive producer, Brian Buckner; supervising producer, Nancy Oliver; produced by Carol Dunn Trussell; producer, Alexander Woo; co-producer, Raelle Tucker.

Season one directors: Alan Ball, John Dahl, Nick Gomez, Anthony M. Hemingway, Michael Lehmann, Daniel Minahan, Nancy Oliver, Marcos Siego, Scott Winant. Season one writers: Alan Ball, Brian Buckner, Chris Offutt, Nancy Oliver, Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - New House of Night Website

St. Martin’s Press is proud to unveil the new HouseofNightSeries.com, an updated, redesigned and fully interactive web site companion to the New York Times-bestselling House of Night series of novels by P.C. and Kristin Cast which have spent a combined total of twenty six weeks on the list.

HouseofNightSeries.com is where fans of the books can find out more about their favorite authors and characters, stay on top of upcoming releases and play with brand new applications. It contains character videos, a Get Marked game with virtual tattoos and exclusive information about the House of Night not found in the books.

The web site is modeled after the House of Night vampyre finishing school where the novels are set. Visitors will find themselves on the Tulsa campus, ready to participate in various activities such as:

· The Night Watch Bulletin – The school newsletter is posted here. Those who enroll (fans must be 13 years or older to enroll) will receive a quarterly e-newsletter that contains House of Night inspired activities, links to horoscopes, and news from other HON schools around the world. The Campus Buzz is where fans can eavesdrop on Zoey and her friends by reading random quotes from the books.

· House of Night Yearbook – Visitors can flip interactive pages to see photos and learn all about their favorite students as well as the authors.

· House of Night Classroom – Though there are unusual things happening at the House of Night, it is still a school. This is where readers can check out Professor Profiles, a Course Pack with textbook excerpts for Vampyre Sociology 101, a recommended reading list, and a classic scene from Othello which Zoey and Erik memorably improvise in UNTAMED. Links to other House of Night fan sites and forums can also be found here.

· The Dorm – Fans can adorn their computers with special downloads, including wallpapers, screensavers, banners and Myspace layouts. The Dorm is also the place to find Spotlight Videos of Zoey, Erik, Aphrodite, and Stevie Rae.

· The Rec Hall – Get Marked: simply upload a photo and add an amazing array of vamp tattoos, creating a one of a kind portrait to save. Find information about extracurricular activities like the Dark Daughters & Sons, Rituals & Spells and more on the Goddess Nyx right here.

· School Store – Purchase exclusive House of Night merchandise including T-shirts, class emblem pins, and jewelry.

Visitors can email a friend about the site. The site also features individual pages for each book, including an excerpt of the first chapter. The page for the upcoming UNTAMED even allows readers to listen to a clip from the audio book. For those that are new to the House of Night, one page will bring them up to speed with an overview and school rules.

ABOUT THE NOVELS
The House of Night series follows Zoey Redbird as she makes it through high school as the most powerful vampyre fledgling, ever. It sounds great to be the leader of an elite school club and have an affinity for all five elements, but at the House of Night nothing is as it seems. Zoey faces death and dark forces, all while juggling boyfriends and figuring out who her real friends are.

MARKED (May 2007), BETRAYED (October 2007), and CHOSEN (March 2008) debuted to critical acclaim and have made their mark on the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. UNTAMED hits stores this month with a one-day on-sale date on Sept. 23, 2008. HUNTED, the first hardcover in the series, will be out on March 3, 2009 with a national tour to follow.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review - Hunter's Prayer by Lilith Saintcrow

Hunter’s Prayer
Jill Kismet, Book 2
Lilith Saintcrow
Orbit Books
September 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-316-00176-2

Book Blurb from the author’s website:
Another night on the Nightside…An ancient evil looms over Santa Luz. Prostitutes are showing up dead and eviscerated. And Jill Kismet just might be able to get her revenge against an old enemy.

There’s just one problem. Someone wants Jill dead–again. And if they have to open up Hell itself to kill her, they will.

Sometimes, even when you’re Jill Kismet, you don’t have a prayer…

My thoughts:
Jill Kismet is a hunter who exorcises Santa Luz of the dark and deadly. Her job and debts bring her to Perry at the Monde Nuit, a hangout for the damned Traders and hellbreed. It’s a place where even Saul, her partner and lover, would prefer not to visit, but it’s among the places she can usually find some answers. With something on the loose killing prostitutes, Jill needs answers that she believes Perry can give her. It’s a good thing he sees her as an investment, or she might not survive.

Saul Dustcircle is the were-cougar who remains by Jill’s side in the hunt and also in her bed. Sorrows, who worship the Chaldean Elder Gods, have managed to slip into town undetected until now. As something big begins to unfold it’s clear that the mystery behind it won’t be easy to solve, but Saul may know the best place to look for an answer. It’s no place to take Jill and as much as he hates to do it he’s about to trust that Perry will keep her safe. Soon they’ll face a showdown that could end up destroying them all.

This is the second book in the Jill Kismet series. Jill is hunting a killer that police aren’t equipped to handle and soon the hunter becomes the prey. When she’s stripped of her control she’ll have to rely on someone else to be the hero. Ms. Saintcrow does a fabulous job of creating a heroine who has the strength to stand on her own, but has enough flaws to keep her believably human. The action in Hunter’s Prayer is fast-moving, the world is well-defined, and while the romance is always present it never over-powers the dark edge of the storyline. This installment can be read without having read Night Shift, but in order to know more about Jill’s relationships with both Saul and Perry the series should be read in release order.

To learn more about Hunter’s Prayer and the Jill Kismet series, please visit Ms. Saintcrow’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - Foundation by Mercedes Lackey

Foundation
(A Valdemar Novel)
The Collegium Chronicles, Book 1
Mercedes Lackey
DAW
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7564-0524-3

Book Blurb:
The long-awaited brand new novel in the bestselling Valdemar series.In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey’s bestselling world, a thirteenyear- old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had—and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds’ Collegium.

To learn more about Ms. Lackey and the Valdemar series, please visit her website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, September 15, 2008

Promo - Witch High - Anthology (edited by Denise Little)

Witch High
Anthology
Edited by Denise Little
DAW
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7564-0513-7

Book Blurb:
move over, hogwarts...High school is different for everyone. For some, it’s a time to shine, and for others, a time to survive. Then there are the students who attend those special schools for the gifted. But what if there was a school that catered to those rarest of students—those who can do magic?These fourteen tales explore the challenges that students of the magical arts may face in a high school of their very own. If you think chemistry is tough, try alchemy. If you ever fell victim to a school bully, how would you deal with a bully gifted with powerful magic? And if you needed more time to study, what spell could give you all the time you desired?These are just a few of the magical adventures that will await you when you enter Salem Township Public High School #4— otherwise known as Witch High...

*Authors included in this anthology are: Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Laura Resnick, Phaedra M. Weldon, Pamela Luzier McCutcheon, Christina F. York, Jody Lynn Nye, Sarah Zettel, Debra Dixon, Esther M. Friesner, Bill McCay, Pauline J. Alama, Karen Fox, Sarah A. Hoyt, and Diane Duane.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Review - Immortals: The Crossing by Joy Nash

Immortals: The Crossing
Immortals, Book 6
Joy Nash
Love Spell
September 30, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-505-52767-7

Book Blurb from the author’s site:
Celtic demigod Manannán mac Lir (Mac) is hot on the trail of Artemis Black, a stunningly dangerous witch who is inexplicably able to intertwine life magic with death magic. Her rare talent nearly killed a faerie infant under Mac’s protection. For the safety of his people, he should punish her severely for this crime.

But once Mac runs Artemis to ground, he finds he just can’t handle the sexy, infuriating witch. Artemis is both vulnerable and cunning, and it’s not often that Mac meets a female who can tug at his heartstrings and challenge his magic. Each time Mac thinks he’s got Artemis cornered, she slips from his grasp. Soon, he’s obsessed.

Artemis is desperate. So desperate, she’s been skimming life essence from faeries, despite the inherent danger, intending to barter the stolen magic for the assistance of a ruthless demon. When her spell races out of control, nearly killing a faerie young one, Artemis calls the spell back. But not quickly enough to escape the notice of one very angry, very sexy Celtic demigod.

Passions run high between Artemis and Mac—and so does suspicion. What human would refuse the help of a demigod? Mac’s sure Artemis is hiding something he’s not going to like. It’s clear she’s in trouble, and dealing in dangerous magic. He won’t let her destroy herself. He’s going to stick tight by her side until he uncovers the truth.

Even when she leads him straight into Hell.

My thoughts:
When a young child nearly dies from a death magic attack on their village, Manannán mac Lir sets out to find the person responsible. Mac is an immortal demigod and Sidhe prince. As the Guardian of Celtic Magical Creatures in the Human World he’s charged with the protection of the faerie people, and he takes that job seriously. The trail leads to Artemis Black, a woman capable of mixing a deadly combination of death magic with life magic. While she should be taken straight to the Sidhe Council it’s clear that the woman has some troubles of her own. Intrigued, Mac disobeys and soon finds that he’s getting in deeper with each passing moment.

Artemis Black is stealing life energy. She knows it’s wrong, but she’s been given no choice. Faeries so rarely have babies that she failed to check before taking from the latest village, nearly causing the death of an infant. Now she has Mac after her, a complication she can’t afford with time running out. The stubborn demigod has offered his help without knowing what the problem is, but accepting would be too high of a risk. Determined to handle it on her own, Artemis is about to find out just how much she misjudged the immortal by her side.

This is the sixth installment, and an engaging addition in the Immortals series. Tired of the music star life and the fans that come along with it, Mac throws himself into his job as the Guardian of Celtic Magical Creatures in the Human World by tracking down a witch that’s draining the life energy from faeries. What he finds when he meets up with Artemis is a woman who catches his interest like no other. Ms. Nash pens a story of passion and deception, melding fantasy, action and a fast-paced plot together to form an intriguing read. Immortals: The Crossing will suit fans of the series or those looking for an entertaining romantic fantasy.

To read an excerpt and learn more about Immortals: The Crossing, visit Ms. Nash’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Review - The Rogue Hunter by Lynsay Sands

The Rogue Hunter
An Argeneau Vampires Novel
Lynsay Sands
Avon Books
September 30, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-147429-3

From the Publisher’s site:
Samantha Willan is a workaholic lawyer. She's grateful for some rest and relaxation in cottage country, and after a recent breakup she wants to stay as far away from romance as possible. Then she meets her irresistible new neighbor. There's something strange and mysterious about his eyes. Is it just her imagination, or are they locked on her neck?

Garrett Mortimer is a rogue hunter. His last assignment united Lucian Argeneau with his lifemate, and Mortimer is hoping this one will be less . . . adventurous. He's here to track down a reported rogue, but fun in the sun is every bloodsucker's nightmare. Worse, he can't seem to get his mind off Samantha, especially when he spies her skinny-dipping in the lake. After eight hundred years as a bachelor, is he ready to turn a volatile attraction into a lasting love affair?

My thoughts:
Needing a break from her high stress job as a lawyer, Samantha Willan gets away with her sisters to the family cottage for a well deserved rest. With a career that demands much of her time, the last thing she needs is a new man to complicate her life. When they meet their new neighbors she considers a fling with the mysterious man they call Mortimer, but it seems that the stranger already has some plans of his own where Sam is concerned.

Garrett Mortimer hunts rogue vampires, and their latest assignment has led them to cottage country where a high number of sightings have been reported for bite marks on the locals. In an effort to blend in and make their search easier, Mortimer, Decker and Bricker befriend the ladies next door. It’s not long before Mortimer finds himself oddly drawn to Sam, a woman who is far from his type, with his partners helping to play matchmaker.

This is the first in a new spin-off from the Argeneau Vampires and takes readers along as the hunters track a rogue vampire. Ms. Sands pens a fun tale filled with humorous mishaps, witty dialogue and blossoming romance. The story moves quickly while the romance builds at a slower pace, keeping it believable and engaging as readers anticipate the next move. The Rogue Hunter is a fabulous addition to the world of the Argeneau Vampires series and a promising start to this new offshoot series. I’d happily recommend it.

For an excerpt and more information about The Rogue Hunter, visit Lynsay Sands: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Review - HBO - True Blood - Episode 2 - The First Taste

True Blood
The First Taste
Season 1, Episode 2
HBO
September 14, 2008
9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 14 (10:30 p.m.), 16 (11:30 p.m.), 17 (10:00 p.m.), 18 (8:00 p.m.), 19 (midnight), 20 (10:45 p.m.) and 25 (9:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Sept. 15 (8:00 p.m.), 21 (3:00 p.m.) and 28 (5:00 p.m.)

Episode Blurb:
Bill returns Sookie’s favor by rescuing her from the Rattrays’ revenge, healing the wounded waitress with his own blood and leaving her with temporarily heightened senses. After being invited into Gran’s (Lois Smith) house for a “get-to-know-you” gathering with Jason and her family, Bill joins Sookie for a nocturnal sojourn. They end up at Bill’s dilapidated antebellum estate, where he fights off his primal vampire urges for the acquiescent Sookie. Later, Sookie’s desires get the better of her as she returns to Bill’s – and is greeted by a gaggle of his bloodthirsty vampire friends.

Written by Alan Ball; directed by Scott Winant.

My thoughts:
When the Rattrays make good on their promise to pay Sookie back for her interference, Bill finds her just in time to use his vampire blood to save her life. Sookie soon notices that her senses have been enhanced by the encounter, especially so where her sense of smell and taste are concerned.

Bill follows through with plans to visit Sookie’s home to meet her grandmother and they’re joined by Jason, who already has a dark opinion of vampires, and Tara, who’s there keeping an eye on her friend. A walk to end the evening has things heating up between Sookie and Bill, leaving them both a bit rattled.

A recent lover being murdered has done little to slow down Jason’s escapades and he moves on to a previous girlfriend for some stress relief. In the end his good time leaves him in a position that’s anything but under his control.

In this second episode of HBO’s True Blood series, Sookie learns more about vampires than she’s prepared to, Sam continues to hesitate in expressing his feelings towards her, and Bill gets an invitation into the Stackhouse home. The First Taste is another fast moving episode that’s filled with action, adult situations and a dose of humor. The series to date is entertaining as it blends the closeness of small town living with the fight by vampires to earn equal rights among the living. I’ll be looking forward to the third episode, Mine, that airs on the 21st.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - Crusade by Taylor Anderson

Crusade
Destroyermen, Book II
Taylor Anderson
ROC
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-46230-5

Book blurb:
The “gripping and riveting”( S.M. Stirling, author of The Scourge of God) Destroyermen saga continues.Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy, along with the men and women of the USS Walker, have chosen sides in a war not of their making. Swept from the World War II Pacific into an alternate world, they have allied with the Lemurians—a mammalian race threatened by the warlike reptilian Grik.

The Lemurians are vastly outnumbered and ignorant of warfare, and even the guns and technology of Walker cannot turn the tide of battle. Luckily they are not alone—Reddy finally finds Mahan, the other destroyer that passed through the rift. Together, the two American ships will teach the Lemurians to make a stand. Or so they think.

For the massive Japanese battleship Amagi, the very ship that Walker was fleeing from when the rift took them, has followed them through. And now the Amagi is in the hands of the Grik.

For more information on Crusade and the Destroyermen series, please visit the author’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Promo - When Duty Calls by William C Dietz

When Duty Calls
A Novel of the Legion of the Damned
William C. Dietz
ACE
October 7, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01632-7

Book blurb from the publisher’s website:
The gripping new Legion of the Damned novel—from the national bestselling author of When All Seems Lost.As the war with the Ramanthian continues, Captain Antonio Santana and his force of biobods and cyborgs find themselves surrounded by enemy forces, faced with annihilation at every turn.

On the home front, Santana’s love—diplomat Christine Vanderveen—copes with growing shortages, treacherous allies, and her own emotions. Yet when she meets the charismatic newly elected president of the Clone Republic, she finds herself torn between old love and new loyalty.

As Christine fights her own divided heart, light years away, Santana is in a battle for his life. And this battle may be his last…

To learn more about When Duty Calls please visit the author’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, September 8, 2008

Interview - Lynda Hilburn

Darque Reviews welcomes Lynda Hilburn, the author of The Vampire Shrink and the soon to be released Dark Harvest!

Hi Lynda, thanks so much for sharing your time with Darque Reviews. We’re looking forward to getting to know you and your work better.

LH: Thanks so much for having me at Darque Reviews! I love your site.

Can you tell us a bit about Kismet Knight and what it means to be a Vampire Psychologist?

LH: Kismet Knight is a clinical psychologist. She has worked hard – done everything she was “supposed” to do, professionally and personally – and has created a successful private practice in downtown Denver, CO. In the midst of feeling bored with her life and unchallenged in her work, she meets with a new client in her office. This young woman says she wants to become a vampire. She tells Kismet about a secret world of bloodsuckers living alongside humans in the Mile High City. Of course, Kismet doesn’t believe her. As a psychologist, she has heard every outrageous story a client can fabricate, and all the strange tales can be easily diagnosed. Vampires? Just another sad delusion. But even though she’s certain the young client’s story is due to an overactive imagination, she’s intrigued. What if there are lots of these wannabes who’d benefit from counseling? Had she stumbled upon a brand new dysfunction-of-the-week? Maybe she could write a book about these lost souls and go on Oprah! The Vampire Psychologist was born.

Kismet’s strong hero comes in the form of Devereux, a powerful and sexy vampire. What can you tell us about him and his attraction to Kismet?

LH: Devereux, the 800-year-old, gorgeous, magnetic leader of the local vampire coven, believes he and the human psychologist are linked in ancient and mysterious ways. He tells her a fantastical tale about Druids, wizards and Merlin, of all things. The powerful vampire is used to being in charge and going after what he wants. For reasons Kismet doesn’t understand for most of the book, he wants her. She’d just gone through a two-year drought as far as men and relationships were concerned, so Devereux’s insistence that she assume her role as his “mate” is upsetting and confusing to her. But he is charming, with a body to die for. And then there’s the sex . . .

Your upcoming release, Dark Harvest, published by Medallion Press, is the second book in the Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series. What can we expect from Kismet in this story?

LH: By the time Dark Harvest takes place, Kismet has only been involved in the surreal world of the vampires for 5 months. She is still getting used to her new clientele and her relationship with Devereux. One morning, while participating in what she believes is just another radio interview, she takes a call from a day-walking vampire who claims to be a vampire hunter. His mesmerizing voice, floating over the air waves, begins to entrance her, leading her into a series of bizarre and frightening events that further complicate her notions of reality. As she gets pulled deeper into undead madness, she begins to question her own sanity. It seems this evil vampire has his own agenda for Kismet and she is a helpless pawn. Or is she?

Do you have a favorite among your characters, one you feel especially close to?

LH: It would absolutely be Kismet, since she’s my “fantasy me.” I think it would be so incredible to find a gorgeous vampire sitting in my waiting room. And how awesome to actually work with supernatural clients as a therapist! I’m totally living vicariously through her as she has experiences I can only imagine (and I actually DID imagine them! LOL).

Can you tell us what you’re working on now and will readers see a new Kismet story in 2009?

LH: Right now I’m finishing up a short story which will appear in an anthology called The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, which will be published in Feb., 09. I’m also working on the third book in the Kismet series, but I’ll have to sell that book to a publisher before it will be available, so that probably won’t happen by 2009.

What do you enjoy doing when you find some free time?

LH: I actually enjoy working, so most of my non-writing time is spent seeing clients, either at the mental health center I work at part time or in my own private practice. I also like to read paranormals, psychological thrillers and nonfiction books in my fields. At some point, I hope to have an outlet for my love of singing again.

Do you write full-time? How do you fit your writing into a typical day?

LH: I don’t write full time. I don’t think I’d want to. I enjoy too many different things to ever choose just one activity to do. I have plenty of time to write during the week, but the challenge is choosing to plop my rear end down in front of the computer instead of the TV! I’ve gotten away from my daily writing discipline over the last few months and I need to re-establish that routine. I’m probably not one of the driven writers who can write for hours every day. Although, who knows? Maybe that’s in my future!

If you could choose anywhere in the world to set up your desk and write your next book, where would you like to be? What’s special to you about this place?

LH: Ooooo! I’d love to be in a castle in England. My ancestry is English and Scottish mainly, and I’ve always been obsessed with all things British. On a trip to England a couple of years ago, I was overwhelmed by the energy of the ancient cities and buildings I toured. Being an empath and soaking up the emotions, experiences and fears of people who lived before can be a double-edge sword! Marvelous and exhausting. Ideas for characters and stories literally dripped from my brain. Set me up in an English castle and I’ll be a happy writer. Then there’s always Dracula’s castle for a slightly different flavor…

Where can readers find you on the web?

LH: Here’s my website: http://www.lyndahilburnauthor.com/, my blog: http://paranormalityuniverse.blogspot.com/ and my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/lyndahilburn


Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or aspiring writers before we say goodbye?

LH: As most writers will tell you, never give up. Learn your craft, find your voice and grow a thick skin! If you love writing, do whatever it takes to hold onto the joyful aspects of it. Sometimes, trying so hard to get published, to get an agent – the business of writing – can zap the fun from the process. Create a balance in your life between your professional and personal needs. Share your journey with trusted friends. And, finally, as Nike says, “Just Do It.”


Thank you so much for joining us Lynda. Best wishes for excellent sales when Dark Harvest releases!

Review for The Vampire Shrink:
Here
Review for Dark Harvest: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews