Sunday, November 30, 2008

Review - Night Shadow by Cherry Adair

Night Shadow
T-FLAC/psi Trilogy, Book 3
Cherry Adair
Ballantine Books
November 25, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-345-49973-8

Book Blurb:
The passion and suspense of Cherry Adair’s latest killer trilogy, begun in Night Fall and continued in Night Secrets, now reaches its explosive conclusion in Night Shadow, as mismatched international agents take on evil head-to-head–and each other heart-to-heart.

Aside from working for the international anti-terrorism agency T-FLAC (and having the same last name), Lexi Stone and Alex Stone are polar opposites, right down to Lexi’s mere mortality and Alex’s paranormal powers. While straight-arrow Lexi pushes paper at an Internal Affairs desk, renegade Alex is busy pushing the envelope as he pursues the most dangerous global criminals. And though Lexi disdains his rule-breaking bravado and cowboy tactics, she can’t deny Alex’s skills when it comes to getting his man (not to mention any number of women)–just as she can’t ignore how his roguish charm makes her heart race and her temperature rise.

But Lexi’s secret desires clash head-on with her duties when suspicions arise that Alex is poised to switch sides–and join forces with a European terrorist cell. Tapped for her first field mission, Lexi finds herself assigned to shadow Alex’s every move, and if necessary, terminate him. Despite her feelings, Lexi’s willing and able to carry out her orders, as long there’s proof that Alex is a traitor. But getting the goods–and the drop–on her superagent quarry becomes an even tougher task when Lexi and Alex suddenly find themselves partners on an emergency mission in Russia.

When terrorists seize a busy Moscow railway station for ransom, then abruptly massacre their hostages and vanishinto thin air, the agents realize they’re facing adversaries possessing of the same paranormal abilities as Alex’s elite T-FLAC/psi unit. But after Lexi kills an armed suspect during a breathless rooftop chase, she makes a series of shocking discoveries about the enemy T-FLAC is facing, the troubling truth Alex has been concealing, and the terrifying plot of a treacherous mastermind that could spell the downfall of T-FLAC’s most powerful and valued operatives. To save precious lives and stop the rise of a superhuman terrorist threat, Lexi and Alex must work as a well-oiled team in a race across the globe–and against time–with lethal shadows looming behind them, and no one to trust but each other.

My thoughts:
A part of Lexi Stone’s first T-FLAC field assignment is to keep an eye on Alex Stone and determine whether or not he’s gone rogue. The agents may share a last name, but there’s no blood relation between them. Working together is about to bring them closer than ever.

Terrorist attacks around the world are increasing. It’s clear that not only are those that are carrying them out are more than human, but they’re considered expendable by their leader. Tracking down the mastermind behind the activity will be a difficult task for T-FLAC, and when the leader is discovered it will shock the wizards to their core.

This is the third installment in the T-FLAC/psi Trilogy. Ms. Adair wraps up this trio of books with a fabulous mix of action, magical elements and a delicious new romance. While each of the books in this trilogy is centered on a different couple, they should be read in order to enjoy the full impact of Night Shadow.

To learn more about Night Shadow, please visit Ms. Adair’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Review - Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

Zen and the Art of Vampires
Dark Ones, Book 6
Katie MacAlister
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22560-3

Book Blurb:
White picket fences can be dangerous to vampires.
Sometimes a woman's gotta choose...

Pia Thomason doesn't have a typical life, but she wants one. The husband, the kids, the house in the suburbs...With her fortieth birthday looming, she decides to do something drastic, and takes off on a singles' tour through romantic Europe. But the few guys on the trip leave much to be desired - unlike the two men Pia sees in a small Icelandic town. Handsome, mysterious, and very dangerous…Just the sight of them puts her in a dither. When their paths cross again, Pia knows one thing for certain: Where vampires are concerned, love isn't the only thing at stake.

My thoughts:
For Pia Thomason, living in a town outside of Seattle offers little in the way of dating. She’s decided to add a little spice to her otherwise dull life and take a romantic tour of Europe with a singles group. While their group has few men to choose from, Pia meets up with some gorgeous men who appear to be visiting as well.

What starts out as time spent with a handsome stranger, plunges Pia into the midst of an ongoing battle between vampires known as Dark Ones, and an order whose goal it is to cleanse the world of their existence. To complicate things, both sides believe that she’s someone Pia is sure that she isn’t. The quiet life she lived such a short time ago will never be the same.

This is the sixth book in the Dark Ones series. Ms. MacAlister introduces readers to an average woman who is suddenly dropped into the extraordinary world of vampires and those who would see them destroyed. Zen and the Art of Vampires has all of the paranormal action, romance and humor that fans of the author look for in her books. This is a fast moving read with sizzling chemistry and a touch of suspense.

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

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Review - The Devil's Due by Jenna Black

The Devil’s Due
Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist, Book 3
Jenna Black
Dell – Spectra
November 25, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-440-24492-9

Book Blurb:
Possession was never this much fun

Trust me or die…That’s the choice Morgan Kingsley, exorcist, is given by the gorgeous rogue demon who’s gotten inside her. The truth is, Morgan has dozens of reasons not to trust anyone, from the violence that torched her house and killed her father to a love life that’s left her questioning her relationship with her erstwhile boyfriend, Brian. But Lugh, a king among demons, won’t take no for an answer. He’s prying into her body, her mind, even her sex life. And he’s just pulled Morgan into a power struggle that could have devastating consequences for both the human and demon worlds.

But Morgan still has a job to do: investigating the highly bizarre possession of the son of a wealthy Philadelphia couple. That hunt leads Morgan into a realm of sexual depravity, then a terrifying kidnapping.… Now a woman who makes her living prying demons from their hosts finds her day job colliding with the night: a darkness that is attracting demons of the damnedest sort, including the one who’s about to demand his ultimate due.…

My thoughts:
Possessed by the king of the demon world, Morgan Kingsley fights to stay in control. The longer Lugh remains within her, the more apt he becomes at breaching her defenses and taking over her body. She refuses to give in without a fight.

When a distraught mother pleads with Morgan to exorcise the demon who possessed her son, she finds herself investigating the case. Exorcising Tommy Brewster when the evidence points to it being a legal possession would have Morgan brought up on the charge of murder. As she gets deeper into the case, what she discovers is much more than she ever bargained for.

This is the third installment in the Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist, series. As the storyline moves steadily forward, Ms. Black fills the pages with more deliciously dark and dangerous action than ever. There’s rarely a pause as readers follow Morgan’s latest adventure in The Devil’s Due, it makes for an intensely wild ride. Fan's won't want to miss this newest release.

To learn more about the Morgan Kingsley series, please visit Ms. Black’s website: Here

You can read Chapter 1 of The Devil’s Due: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, November 24, 2008

Review - Behind the Shadows by Patricia Potter

Behind the Shadows
Patricia Potter
Berkley Sensation
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22490-8

Book Blurb:
Some secrets are meant to stay that way.In a race against time to save her mother's life, Kira Douglas is stunned to discover that the woman who raised her is not her biological mother. Kira was switched at birth by someone with a mysterious motive. Untangling the clues, Kira finds herself face to face with a handsome, ruthless man who is either Kira's darkest nightmare-or her greatest destiny.

My thoughts:
Kira Douglas wants nothing more than to see her mother saved from the certain death that waits without a kidney transplant. Eager to donate her own, Kira is tested and finds that not only is she not a match, but she’s not Katy’s biological daughter.

With the help of Chris Burke, a longtime friend of the family, Kira uncovers a decades old secret that managed to go unnoticed. The discovery affects far more than Kira’s family, and someone has begun working hard to prevent the truth from coming out.

Ms. Potter weaves an emotional story as her characters fight for their lives, accept surprising truths, and learn to fall in love. Behind the Shadows offers readers a suspenseful tale as the mystery surrounding babies switched at birth is brought into the light. Fast moving, with a touch of romance nicely blended into the storyline.

To learn more about Behind the Shadows, please visit the author’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Review - Blood Bargain by Maria Lima

Blood Bargain
Blood Lines, Book 2
Maria Lima
November 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-8095-7305-9

Book Blurb:
Keira Kelly is coming into her unexpected and unexpectedly awesome powers... and Rio Seco, Texas ain't ever gonna be the same! Keira just wants to be left alone without many responsibilities to her supernatural clan and, lately, spend some time with sexy Adam Walker - a vampire trying to get his brethren to give up human blood - on his luxurious Wild Moon ranch. But trouble and her paranormal family keep intruding - Gigi, Keira's great-great-grandmother and the chief of the clan has sent Tucker, Keira's 1,200-year-old shapeshifter brother to keep an eye on her!

My thoughts:
As she awaits the Change that will manifest her power, Keira Kelly concentrates on her boyfriend’s fading health, and on a collection of missing persons from their Texas town.

Adam Walker is a king among vampires, and Keira’s concern for him is genuine. As his symptoms worsen, and those around him fear for his undead life, Keira sets out to prevent their grim thoughts from becoming fact.

With her brother Tucker by her side, Keira hunts for a mysterious enemy. What she uncovers is a startling part of her family’s past.

This is the second release in the Blood Lines series, and is best read after Matters of the Blood. Ms. Lima spins a suspenseful tale and packs it with paranormal elements that will hold the reader’s attention to the end. Blood Bargain is fast moving and reveals answers to many of the questions that fans have from book one. Romance is a strong factor in the heroine’s actions, and adds to the building emotion in the storyline. Readers will be anxious to see where Keira’s next supernatural adventure will lead.

To learn more about Blood Bargain, please visit Ms. Lima’s site: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review - The First Vampire by Alicia Benson

The First Vampire
A Novel of Samson & Delilah, Book 1
Alicia Benson
Virtual Tales
October 13, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-9801506-8-1

Book Blurb:
Some journeys take more than one lifetime. Ever since Delilah used a devilish brew from Lilith to turn him into a vampire and then turned him over to the Philistines, Samson has been plotting revenge against his former lover and arch nemesis.

When he finally catches up to the reincarnate Delilah in modern day New York, it seems as though he has all the time in the world to see that the last chapter of their sordid saga is finally written. But much like old enemies, old passions die hard, and Samson is forced to make a surprisingly hard choice. Does he want her dead more than he wants her back in his bed?

Intelligent and deeply erotic, THE FIRST VAMPIRE cleverly weaves the past into the present in a captivating tapestry of suspense, intrigue and betrayal.

My thoughts:
For nearly three thousand years Samson has wanted revenge on Delilah, the woman he loved and whose actions turned him into a vampire. The oldest of his kind, Samson has the strength and skill to get anything he wants, except the woman who haunts his memories. When a chance meeting brings them face to face once more, Samson will be forced to decide which of his strong emotions will rule his future.

In the midst of divorce, Ariana Chambers leaves New York to help a new client in London, and quickly finds that the life she once knew is changing with each passing hour. The man she’s agreed to work with, Ash Samson, claims that she once wronged him and he plans to see that she gets what’s coming to her. What Ash says, and what he does, soon become two separate things. Ariana has little choice but to accept the existence of vampires, but she has no intention of paying for a betrayal that happened thousands of years ago.

This is the first book in the Samson & Delilah series, and is the author’s debut novel. Ms. Benson pens a fascinating tale that blends classic vampire elements with her own fresh twists. The First Vampire is engaging, the characters are charming, and the romance takes a surprising turn. I’ll be looking forward to the next installment in the Samson & Delilah series.

To learn more about The First Vampire, please visit Ms. Benson’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Promo - Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper

Blood Dreams
A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel
Kay Hooper
Bantam Dell Books
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-553-58925-3

Book Blurb:
New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper takes readers on a terrifying manhunt for a serial killer even the Special Crimes Unit may not be able to stop.

Dani Justice knows all about monsters. They haunt her dreams—and her life. But she never expected to find herself on the trail of a real flesh-and-blood predator so cunning, he’s eluded the best law enforcement could send against him; so deadly, he doesn’t hesitate to kill even a senator’s daughter. Or a cop. Dani doesn’t want to hunt this killer. But she doesn’t have a choice. She alone commands a weapon powerful enough to stop him. And she knows something even Bishop of the FBI’s Special Crimes Unit doesn’t know. Dani knows how the hunt ends. It ends in fire. And blood. And death. What she doesn’t know is who will survive.

You can read my review of the hardcover Blood Dreams release: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - Queen of Dragons by Shana Abé

Queen of Dragons
Thief Series (Drákon), Book 3
Shana Abé
Bantam Books
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-553-58806-4

Book Blurb:
They are the stuff of glittering legend, supersensual creatures able to shape-shift from human to smoke to dragon. Now they face an enemy determined to destroy their dazzling world of magic and passion.

Queen of Dragons

It’s a stunning claim: the existence of a lost drákon tribe. And it comes from an intriguing source: a woman calling herself Princess Maricara of Transylvania. Alpha lord Kimber Langford, Earl of Chasen, can’t ignore the possibility. For whoever this unknown princess may be, she’s dangerous enough to know about his existence—and where to find him. And indeed, it isn’t long before Maricara breaches the defenses of Darkfrith and the walls around Kimber’s heart. Yet the princess arrives with urgent news: a mysterious serial killer is targeting the entire drákon race. To save their kind, Kimber and Mari must ally themselves body and soul in a battle that can spell their salvation, their extinction…or both.

You can read my review from the hardcover release: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, November 14, 2008

Review - Dark Nights, Dark Dreams by Savannah Russe

Dark Nights, Dark Dreams
Sisterhood of the Sight, Book 1
Savannah Russe
Signet Eclipse
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22566-5

Book blurb:
The first in an all-new series featuring sexy paranormal romance, government secrets, and female special-ops with very special talents.

Government agent Susan Chase always kept her psychic abilities a secret. Now her secret is out and the C.I.A. needs her help. A highly classified all- female team of paranormal agents, Susan and her squad are now entrusted with the government's most unusual and dangerous assignments.

My thoughts:
Susan Ann Marie Chase, Sam to her friends, has just been removed from her job in the US Foreign Service and recruited for a new branch of the CIA. They plan to use the psychic ability that she’s tried to keep hidden, and team her up with three women who have their own extraordinary gifts. Together they’re expected to solve each paranormal case they’re presented with, and report to Ms. Z every step of the way.

Their first assignment takes them into the intriguing world of voodoo that’s being used as a dark art, and introduces them to the possibility of zombies. While the women live with, and believe in the paranormal, their new partner on the case is a skeptic. Convincing Bear Rutledge may be a frustrating task for Sam, but having him on their side may be what keeps her alive.

This is the first release in the Sisterhood of the Sight series, and its main focus is on the team leader, Sam. Ms. Russe introduces readers to a new government agency that’s shrouded in secrets and should hook paranormal fans right from the start. Dark Nights, Dark Dreams wraps-up with a solved case and leaves plenty of open questions for future installments.

To learn more about Ms. Russe’s books, please visit her website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham

Deadly Harvest
Flynn Brothers Trilogy, Book 2
Heather Graham
November 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7783-2560-4

Book Blurb:
When a young woman is found dead in a field, dressed up as a scarecrow with a slashed grin and a broken neck, the residents of Salem, Massachusetts, begin to fear that the infamous Harvest Man is more than just a rumor. But out-of-town cop Jeremy Flynn doesn't have time for ghost stories. He's in town on another investigation, looking for a friend's wife, who mysteriously vanished in a cemetery.

Complicating his efforts is local occult expert Rowenna Cavanaugh, who launches her own investigation, convinced that a horror from the past has crept into the present and is seducing women to their deaths. Jeremy uses logic and solid police work. Rowenna depends on intuition. But they both have the same goal: to stop the abductions and locate the missing women before Rowenna herself falls prey to the Harvest Man's dark seduction.

My thoughts:
Jeremy Flynn is a retired police diver currently working as an investigator along with his brothers. When Jeremy receives a call that his former diving partner’s wife went missing on a trip to Salem, he hops the next flight out of New Orleans to join in the search.

Rowenna Cavanaugh got to know Jeremy while they participated in a debate on talk radio, and she got the distinct impression that he had no interest in her. Returning home to Salem, Rowenna emerges herself in the investigation for Jeremy’s friend, and finds herself researching the chilling legend of the Harvest Man.

This is the second story in the Flynn Brothers Trilogy, and tells Jeremy’s story. Ms. Graham builds this dark paranormal to a cleverly executed climax. Readers will find themselves considering nearly every possible suspect, and in the end they’ll be surprised by how well this mystery plays out. Deadly Harvest will easily entertain mystery and paranormal romance fans alike. While part of a trilogy, this book can be read as a stand-alone.

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

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

Princeps’ Fury
The Codex Alera, Book 5
Jim Butcher
November 25, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01638-9

Book Blurb:
In PRINCEPS’ FURY, Tavi of Calderon is now recognized as Princeps Gaius Octavian and heir to the crown. He has achieved a fragile alliance with Alera’s oldest foes, the savage Canim. But when Tavi and his legions guide the Canim safely to their lands, his worst fears are realized.

The dreaded Vord—the enemy of Aleran and Cane alike—have spent the last three years laying waste to the Canim homeland. And when the Alerans are cut off from their ships, they find themselves with no choice but to fight shoulder to shoulder if they are to survive. For a thousand years, Alera and her furies have withstood every enemy, and survived every foe—but that era may be over.

To learn more about The Codex Alera series, please visit Mr. Butcher’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review - Devil May Ride by Wendy Roberts

Devil May Ride
Ghost Duster Mysteries, Book 2
Wendy Roberts
Obsidian Mystery
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22565-8

Book Blurb:
When Sadie and her sexy partner Zack stumble on evidence of a chilling cult ritual in an abandoned meth lab, Sadie comes face to face with an evil spirit unlike any she's ever seen before. And it's no coincidence that a bundle of stolen cash turns up at her next crime scene just in time to convince a biker gang that Sadie made off with their money. She knows the threads are connected-but how?

My thoughts:
While covering jobs for a friend’s business, Sadie Novak and her crew are taking on nearly twice their normal workload. David Egan’s meth lab clean-ups are wearing thin on Sadie, and at the most recent scene she finds herself confronted by her first truly bad spirit. Into some dark cult activity in life, the spirit has only gotten worse in death, and Sadie is about to find out just how deep Penny’s dark connections went.

Former cop, and current employee, Zach is growing more concerned for Sadie’s safety. There’s a group of bikers who believe she’s taken something that belongs to them, and they’re quite serious about getting it back. Add to that the cult that has a less than pleasant agenda where Sadie and her family are concerned, and Zach has his hands full trying to fit the pieces together before time runs out.

This is the second installment in the Ghost Duster Mysteries. Sadie’s ability for talking with ghosts has helped those who were ready to let go of the living and move on. Now her ability has put her life in danger and left Sadie to wonder who in her life can be trusted. Ms. Roberts pens a fast-moving paranormal mystery that will keep readers rapt attention every step of the way. The characters are well-defined, the action is plentiful and the storyline is believable. I’d happily recommend Devil May Ride to anyone who enjoys an intriguing mystery with a strong paranormal element and a nice touch of romance.

To learn more about the Ghost Duster Mysteries, please visit Ms. Roberts’ website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Promo - Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

Ender in Exile
Orson Scott Card
November 11, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7653-0496-4

Book Description:
Orson Scott Card returns to his bestselling series with a new Ender novel.

At first, Ender believed that they would bring him back to Earth as soon as things quieted down. But things were quiet now, had been quiet for a year, and it was plain to him now that they would not bring him back at all, that he was much more useful as a name and a story than he would ever be as an inconvenient flesh-and-blood person.

At the close of Ender’s Game, Andrew Wiggin -- called Ender by everyone -- knows that he cannot live on Earth. He has become far more than just a boy who won a game: He is the Savior of Earth, a hero, a military genius whose allegiance is sought by every nation of the newly shattered Earth Hegemony.

He is offered the choice of living under the Hegemon's control, a pawn in his brother Peter's political games. Or he can join the colony ships and go out to settle one of the new worlds won in the war.

The story of those years on the colony worlds has never been told... until now.

The voyage was long. By the end of it, Val had finished the first volume of her history of the bugger wars and transmitted it by ansible, under Demosthenes' name, back to Earth, and Ender had won something better than the adulation of the passengers. They knew him now, and he had won their love and their respect.

Ender was twelve when he chose to leave his home world and begin the long relativistic journey out to the colonies. With him went his sister, Valentine, and the core of the artificial intelligence that would become Jane. He wrote The Hive Queen and The Hegemon, and his sister wrote The Speaker for the Dead.

He served as governor of his first colony world, but now Ender is on the move, looking for a planet where the hive queens might be reestablished.

What he finds in the Ganges colony is more than he bargained for -- a resentful governor who caused a devastating war on Earth and a brilliant young colonist who is out to destroy him, starting with his reputation and ending, perhaps, with his life.

Author Bio:

Orson Scott Card is the internationally bestselling author of Ender's Game. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

To learn more about the Ender series, please visit Orson Scott Card’s website: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Review - Peacekeeper by Laura E. Reeve

Major Ariane Kedros, Book 1
Laura E. Reeve
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-46245-9

Book Blurb:
First in a brand new action-packed military science fiction series meet Major Ariane Kedros—daring pilot, decorated soldier, war criminal.

Fifteen years ago, Ariane Kedros piloted a ship on a mission that obliterated an entire solar system. Branded a war criminal, she was given a new identity and a new life in order to protect her from retribution.

But now, twelve of Ariane’s wartime colleagues are dead— assassinated by someone who has uncovered their true identities. And her superiors in the Autonomist army have placed her directly in the assassin’s line of fire on a peacekeeping mission that will decide the fate of all humanity…

My thoughts:
Ariane Kedros carries the guilt that following orders brought her fifteen years ago. Her team wiped out a solar system and was labeled Destroyer of Worlds. Now she continues her military life as a reservist and lives under a new identity. Ari keeps her secrets close and deals with the nightmares that invade her dreams.

Ari does her best to walk a straight line piloting the second-wave prospecting ship, Aether’s Touch with her partner Matt Journey. When her reserve status is called into active duty Ari feels obligated to take the mission. Even knowing that the majority of her prior teammates have been eliminated by an unknown assassin, Ari heads out. She soon finds herself facing her past in an up-close and deadly way.

This is the first in the Major Ariane Kedros series and the author’s debut novel. There’s a lot of action going on, and science fiction fans should enjoy this story with its military element. Ms. Reeve shows great promise as an author, with her military knowledge lending a believable component to her fictional tales. While some readers may run into the same difficulty as I had in losing the plot during some chapters, the basic storyline is a good one. The confusion was due in part to the sudden change in scenes with the introduction of new characters throughout the story. Peacekeeper ends on a good note, with some story threads left open for the next in the series. I’m interested in seeing where the Aether’s Touch heads out to explore next.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Review - Unusual Suspects - edited by Dana Stabenow

Unusual Suspects
Edited by Dana Stabenow
December 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01637-2

Book Blurb:
All-new from the top names in mystery and fantasy- including a never-before published Sookie Stackhouse story from Charlaine Harris!

This follow-up to Powers of Detection showcases bestselling and award-winning names from Simon Green to Laurie King to Sharon Shinn-with original stories featuring otherworldly investigators trailing uncanny criminals across fantastical realms. From video game characters seeking civil rights and a cave dragon loan shark pondering an investment, to Santa Claus's Australian vacation and an enemy of Sam Spade's out for revenge-plus visits to the Nightside and Sookie Stackhouse's hometown- these stories will take readers around the world on a magical mystery tour.

My thoughts:
Lucky by Charlaine Harris
– When Sookie’s insurance agent stops by with concerns of a break-in at his office, she and her housemate Amelia do some detective work to take down the culprit.

Bogieman by Carole Nelson Douglas – When the body of a CinSim is discovered with a corkscrew from the Inferno Bar in its chest, Snow recruits Paranormal Investigator Delilah Street to solve the mystery.

Looks are Deceiving by Michael A. Stackpole – Someone is trying to kill Duke Serean Darikean so he calls upon Primin to find and stop the murderer. With Kellach watching his back what they discover is surprising, but even more startling is the Duke’s reaction to the news.

The House of Seven Spirits by Sharon Shinn – A writer in the midst of divorce, Erica needs a quiet place to live and get her life back together. In the process, she’ll help change the afterlives of the ghostly residents of the home she chooses to rent.

Glamour by Mike Doogan – When his daughter goes missing and his wife has no clue where to look, Alf finds himself working with a stranger to locate her. He wasn’t nearly as surprised that she’d gone missing as he is to find out where she’s been.

Spellbound by Donna Andrews – With a witch setting her sights on Master Justinian, and a murder to investigate, Gwynn is busy keeping an eye on everyone. It seems that the conference being held at their Westmarch College of Magical Studies has just brought more trouble than any of them could have anticipated.

The Duh Vice by Michael Armstrong – Sometimes taking simple advice to heart is the right way to go. For this Resource Allocation officer his failure to heed that advice will find him all alone in a shack near Boundary.

Weight of the World by John Straley – When one elf is found dead and another goes missing, Santa calls off their yearly vacation to get to the bottom of things. The killer’s actions will bring forth some interesting changes for Santa and his helpers.

Illumination by Laura Anne Gilman – From the letter she receives, it’s easy for Bonnie to see that her father, Zaki, is in trouble. He’s a gambler, and this time he may have cost himself more trouble than Bonnie wants to handle.

The House by Laurie R. King – Brad and his friends have an assignment due for school and have chosen the empty house in their neighborhood as their subject. When one of their small group disappears, one of the remaining kids will realize the shocking truth.

Appetite for Murder by Simon R. Green – With a serial killer on the loose, Sam Warren and Ms. Fate team up to uncover the clues. Only one of this investigating pair will be smart enough to discover and capture the murderer.

A Woman’s Work by Dana Stabenow – Seer and Sword are sent to Pylos to hear charges and dole out justice in the King’s name. They’ll uncover a surprising secret in the midst of judging a criminal for the most heinous of crimes.

Filled with creative tales from twelve top writers, Unusual Suspects is an entertaining collection of short stories that should please fans of both mystery and fantasy. Readers will enjoy suspenseful visits to worlds they’ve previously journeyed to, and will also be introduced to captivating new places they’ll wish to visit again. Unusual Suspects is a follow-up to Powers of Detection (ACE; 2004).

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Review - Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton

Swallowing Darkness
Meredith Gentry, Book 7
Laurell K. Hamilton
Ballantine Books
November 4, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-345-49593-8

Book Blurb:
I am Meredith, princess of faerie, wielder of the hands of Flesh and Blood, and at long last, I am with child–twins, fathered by my royal guard. Though my uncle, Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, claims that he is the true father since he abducted me from my home, betrayed, and defiled me. And now he has branded my guards as a threat to my unborn children.

Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt’s throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court–and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen.

But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me.

I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price–for I am truly my father’s daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything–even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie.

My thoughts:
Having finally achieved her goal and gotten pregnant, Merry and her men should be celebrating the future with their unborn children. Instead, they’re left to mourn the loss of one of their own and set out to ensure that anyone bold enough to cross them as Taranis has will pay for their crimes.

As attacks on Merry and those she holds dear continue to escalate, the Wild Hunt is called upon to deliver swift justice. Its appearance is a surprise to everyone in faerie, but further proof that what was once lost to them now returns. While the prospect of Merry becoming a queen dwindles with each passing hour, her new goal is to remove her nearest and dearest from immediate danger. It’s a plan that may be much more difficult than she ever would have predicted.

This is the seventh book in the Meredith Gentry series and answers many of the questions formed in previous releases. Ms. Hamilton takes readers on a hard-hitting and dangerous adventure as the heroine and her heroes fight to conquer their enemies and live to see another day. Swallowing Darkness brings Merry’s family to the forefront and provides many long-awaited answers. Fans will be thrilled with the magical surprises shared by faerie, and stunned by the shocking end to this installment. I’m looking forward to seeing where Merry’s life will go from here.

To learn more about the Meredith Gentry series, please visit Ms. Hamilton’s site: Here

Kimberly Swan, Dark Reviews

Monday, November 3, 2008

Review - Deadly Gift by Heather Graham

Deadly Gift
The Flynn Brothers Trilogy, Book 3
Heather Graham
December 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7783-2527-7

Book blurb:
Caer is spending this Christmas among strangers. Brought to Newport, Rhode Island, from her native Ireland to nurse ailing millionaire Sean O'Riley, she's living a life few can imagine. But money can't hide the tension between O'Riley's trophy wife, his paranoid daughter, the eccentric aunt in the attic and the staff members who run the house.

When O'Riley's business partner goes missing, family friend Zach Flynn arrives. Determined to help him solve the case, Caer becomes enmeshed in a mystery that weaves together the sins of the past with one family's destiny…and a spirit that watches the mansion, possessing a deadly gift.

My thoughts:
A much needed vacation brings Sean O’Riley and his wife Amanda to Ireland just before the Christmas holidays. Their trip is cut short when Sean lands in the hospital and they return to the states with Caer, a private nurse that the hospital has offered to assign. Back home in Rhode Island, Sean’s friend and business partner Eddie has mysteriously disappeared. They’ve called in the police and a close friend of the family, Zach Flynn, to continue the search.

Someone is trying to kill Sean O’Riley and Zach plans to stop the killer in their tracks. While he doesn’t trust Caer completely, he does trust her with Sean’s health. As things heat up with more death and accusations, Zach finds himself drawn to Caer. While his life may be in danger along with the O’Rileys, it’s losing his heart to the enigmatic Caer that really has him worried.

This is the third book in The Flynn Brothers Trilogy and is Zach’s story. Ms. Graham pens a well-executed murder mystery with intriguing paranormal elements and the sweet touch of romance. Easily read as a stand-alone story, Deadly Gift will entertain readers and keep them guessing until the surprising end.

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

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Promo - Orbit Books

Press release from Orbit books:

Orbit is thrilled to announce that we have pre-empted an urban fantasy series by debut author Nicole Peeler in a three-book deal with agent Rebecca Strauss of McIntosh and Otis Inc. The first volume TEMPEST RISING will be published in Fall/Winter 2009.

Senior Editor Devi Pillai says, "Nicole's writing jumped out at me from the very beginning. She has a great voice, quirky characters, and a fabulous heroine -- in short, a perfect package. With the setting being a sleepy town in Maine with even odder happenings, this was just too unique an opportunity for us to pass up."

Nicole Peeler says: “I am both honored and excited to work with Devi and with Orbit. My characters are very dear to me, and I could not ask for a better home for them.”

Jane True is 20-something secret night-swimmer and unintentional social pariah. Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane has always known she didn’t quite fit in with ‘normal’ society. She just didn’t know that her absent mother’s legacy would give her entry into a world that included vampires, goblins and succubae.

Nicole Peeler does not have any cats, kids, or husbands. Instead, she vexes literature in her new role as an assistant professor of English Literature at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Although she’s excited to call Louisiana "home," she has previously set up shop in her native Illinois, Boston, Spain and Scotland. Nicole is currently working on her next novel.

To see Orbit’s full line of books visit their website: Here

To learn more about Orbit’s authors and new releases, please visit their blog: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews