Wednesday Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- April 30th, 2008

Brenda and son Thad

Tomorrow is the first day of  Brenda Novak’s Auction for Juvenille Diabetes.  There are over 1,000 items available including trips, once in a lifetime experiences, autographed books, jewelry, and special items for writers and readers that will be offered all month.  Everyday will have a "One Day Only" special item and my donation is a day of blogging here at Beyond Her Book.  This is very special since I don’t normally have guest bloggers and you would be able to promote a new release or just talk about yourself for a full 24 hours (see the site for details).  The only day you can bid on this is May 7th, so mark your calendar.

Lots of good books to talk about today, so on to the WW Ladies (and man) book blurbs.

One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost  
Read by Joyce
In this 2nd Night Huntress Novel "Cat" Crawfield has joined a secret government agency to contain or destroy supernatural criminals, especially vampires who abuse and murder unsuspecting humans.  She leads a team of specialists that she herself trained to combat enemies with magically superior strengths and talents.  Since she left "Bones", the vampire who taught her to appreciate her half-human/half-vampire birthright and to use her innate skills, she has become a legend and a threat known as the "Red Reaper".  Her reputation has made her the target of assassins, and she’s pressed to discover who is so desperate to make her dead.   This is another author whose books I’m glad came to my attention.  I recommend reading the first book, Halfway to the Grave, before you try this one, for there’s a lot that won’t make sense without it.  But that is how I want to get into a story anyway, from the beginning.  The story is imaginative and suspenseful, and both books are terrific reading.

The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes

Read by Michael   A most unusual book, and somewhat difficult to describe.  Imagine if you take some ideas from the screenplay from the movie The Prestige, blend in some HP Lovecraft, a little Mary Shelley, and add in the Utopian visions of Robert Owen* – then place the story in early 1900′s London – and add a huge dose of black humor – You pretty much have it.   I thought parts of it were very funny, and other parts a bit crude, but all in all I enjoyed it.  And now I’m wondering if there will be a sequel.   *The reference to Robert Owen is obscure – but I found myself going to Wikipedia several times while reading the book to find out more about various items and plot devices in the book.

Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh

Read by Emily

When Joseph, Marquess of Attingsborough arrives unannounced at Miss Martin’s School for Girls, Miss Claudia Martin assumes he has a daughter or relative to be enrolled. But to her great surprise he brings news of her former teacher and good friend. She is back in England after going on a tour to sing all over the continent, and Joseph has been elected to escort Claudia to town. Although Joseph has an alternative motive for meeting Miss Martin, he has a illegitimate daughter who is blind. After meeting Claudia, he believes that her school could help his daughter gain the independence she needs. When Claudia meets young Lizzie, she can’t help but feel emotions for both child and father. After agreeing to accompany the child to a country estate, she becomes closer and closer to Joseph. In all her 35 years, she has never felt anything like she does when Joseph walks into a room. She is a gentleman’s daughter, but he is a Duke in waiting. Yet, realistically she knows that nothing could ever happen between them. Or can there? 
Mary Balogh is one of my favorite authors, and I have read all her books. Miss Martin had a couple small roles in a few of Mary Balogh’s books. So when I saw that Marys newest book was finally going to tell her story, I was so excited!  The pull for true love was a constant battle between the two characters, but throughout the book, I was hoping they would get together in the end. There were so many trials to overcome that it seemed impossible at times.  Read Mary Balogh’s newest novel and enjoy this timeless romance.

Driven to Distraction (E-Book) by Ashleigh Raine

Read by Marge

Stuntwoman Blaina Triton thrives on adrenaline by dodging explosions, driving by the seat of her pants and jumping off rooftops. She’s smart, bold, wild and lives life to the fullest. Stunt coordinator Jay Williams is stunned to discover that the sexy stranger that helps him on the side of the road and later an anonymous romp back at his place is a part of his stunt crew on the set of the next featured film. Due to a tragic past, Jay doesn’t mix business with pleasure. But that doesn’t stop the intense heat between them from exploding. 
Driven to Distraction is a sizzling romance guaranteed to leave you panting for more. I just loved these characters. This well-written story is action-packed and fast-paced leaving me breathless. I felt like I was right there on the set, what a thrilling ride! I can’t wait to read more from this great writing duo.

ng>Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Read by Joyce   Mercy is a "walker", a North American shape-shifter who has only one other form; hers is a coyote.  Because she is the only walker anyone presently knows about, she is involved in the werewolf community.  In this third book, she is still torn between her desire for independence and her affections for two different Alpha males.  But it’s her friendship with the Fae that draws her into danger, and she is determined to clear her friend of murder charges, even risking herself.   Patricia Briggs has ventured from traditional fantasy into urban fantasy with the creation of Mercedes Thompson, VW mechanic.  It was because I enjoyed the author’s earlier fantasies so much that I was curious to see where she would go in this genre.  Mercy’s continuing story has intrigued me from the first, and now after the third, I’m still wanting to visit her again.  This book in particular is a definite re-reader.  

The Naked Gentleman by Sally MacKenzie 

Read by Emily

Margaret Peterson seems to find trouble wherever she goes. She only asked Lord Bennington into the garden to see if he was husband material, after all he has one of the most extensive plant collections in England. To her regret he was not! But when he wouldn’t take no for an answer, Mr. John Parker-Roth came to her rescue. Unfortunately they were discovered in a very compromising situation by the ton’s biggest gossip. To set matters aright, John proposes to Meg but she couldn’t marry a man who didn’t share her love of plants. That was why she was in the garden with that man in the first place. Although she has declined his offer, they are constantly thrown together by his marriage-minded mother and her frustrated sister. Can the pair foil their relatives plans, or can they make a marriage out of lust and a few compromising situations?    

The Naked Gentleman is Sally MacKenzie’s fourth novel. I had read her previous books and had been anticipating this book’s release. And believe me it was defiantly worth the wait. I loved reading about a heroine that was unsure of herself, clumsy, and just an all around problem maker. Oh, wait, she sounds a lot like me! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

Read by Joyce   His naval career takes an unexpected turn when Captain Will Lawrence seizes one of Napolean’s ships, and finds among the booty a dragon’s egg, ready to hatch.  When it does so, the young dragon chooses Lawrence, taking them both into the aviator corps to fight from the skies.  His reluctant committment to Temeraire changes his place in the rigid structure of Lawrence’s society, but it’s not long before he’s grateful for the eye-opening and rewarding experience.   The romance of Jane Austen’s Regency England blends with the fantasy of Anne McCaffery’s Dragons of Pern in an imaginative manner that can satisfy the readers of both.  I’m well into the second book, Throne of Jade, and already look forward to getting into the two that follow.

Bottom Line:  Today is Hairstylist Appreciation Day, so look in the mirror to decide if you really do appreciate your stylist (and maybe make an appointment…really, it couldn’t hurt).

112 thoughts on “Wednesday Book Blurbs

  1. Christy

    Oh, I loved, loved, loved Mary Balogh’s Simply Perfect! One of her best, although all of her books are the best! I finished the book 4 days before I ended up in Bath, England on vacation and while walking around at Bath Abbey and The Roman Baths and Pump Room, all I could think about was Joseph and Claudia’s big day there!!!

  2. Jana Oliver

    I fell in love with Naomi Novik’s Temeraire Series and always look forward to the next installment with eager anticipation. I had the joy of meeting her last May and she’s a very cool lady.

  3. Eve Silver / Eve Kenin

    I’ve read all Sally Mackenzie’s “Naked” books, and I have this one in my TBR. Looking forward to it! (Yeah, Sally happens to be a friend of mine, but I read her books because they’re great, LOL!) And Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books are favorites of mine as well. An editor at Grand Central Publishing recommended His Majesty’s Dragon to me, and I fell in love with the series.

  4. Shari Anton

    I have an office full of dragons — from little pewter ones to a great big stuffed one :) . I LOVED the Dragons of Pern, so I’ll have to give Naomi’s books a try. Thanks for the heads up, Joyce!


    I love Sally MacKenzie. Of course I’m biased, I’m her agent. Sally writes real characters we can all relate to, no matter the time period and her books are always full of love and laughs.

  6. Ashleigh Raine Jen

    Wow, I don’t know if I’m more excited about the review, or that my book is being mentioned in the same post along with some of my favorite authors–Mary Balogh, Patricia Briggs, Naomi Novik, and other authors I haven’t yet read but really want to. So thank you, Marge, for an enthusiastic review of Driven to Distraction, and thank you, Barbara, for having this wonderful blog where we can talk about books. :)

  7. Laura Drewry

    Another fan of Sally MacKenzie here. :) The Gent is in my TBR pile and I know it’s going to be as fabulous as the other Naked books. I love the humour in Sally’s books and the way she writes her heroines. Love all the Mary Balogh books, too. :)

  8. Brenda Novak

    Hi there– Thanks so much for your support of my efforts to raise money for diabetes research, Barbara. Everyone has been so generous. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Barbara has posted the chance to blog right here as one of the auction items. We have 1325 items–and more stuff is rolling in! Also, you might be interested to hear that Allison Brennan, Debbie Macomber and Susan Wiggs have joined forces with me to promote the auction by sponsoring a drawing for an amazing vacation getaway. The details are posted on my site. All you have to do is visit to enter–and then you’ll receive a $10 gift certificate to put toward your auction purchases. Happy shopping! Remember that Christmas comes up quicker than you think it will! LOL Brenda

  9. Sally MacKenzie

    Hi, Barbara! And thank you, Emily. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the Naked guys–and don’t believe anything Teresa says, LOL. Mary Balogh is a favorite of mine, too–I got to be on a panel with her at the Romantic Times convention earlier this month! I came home from my travels with SO many new books–but it looks like I may have to add a few more after reading these reviews.

  10. Jusy

    I love Naomi Novik’s series. They are all great reads. Alas, I’ve read them all. I’m also currently reading Simply Perfect but had to put it down until I can get home again. I also glad to see a review for author Patricia Briggs as I think her books are going graphical like some other authors. So many great books out there and not enough time to read :(

  11. Anna

    I can’t wait for the auction to start!!! Part of the fun, besides bidding and winning some fabulous items, is watching what you’ve donated climb in price…all for a fabulous cause. When romance readers and writers unite, we can do anything!! Here’s to breaking the goal this year, Brenda!

  12. Anna

    I can’t wait for the auction to start!!! Part of the fun, besides bidding and winning some fabulous items, is watching what you’ve donated climb in price…all for a fabulous cause. When romance readers and writers unite, we can do anything!! Here’s to breaking the goal this year, Brenda!

  13. Misa Ramirez

    I’m counting down the hours until Brenda’s auction starts! I already have quite a few items that I’m watching. May could be a very good month for diabetes research based on my purchases alone! I applaud Brenda for this amazing auction, all the generous people who donate to it, and everybody who publicizes it. Cure Diabetes!!!!

  14. Edie

    I didn’t know Mary Balogh had another book out. Must get that. I’ve been reading the Naomi Novik’s books, and they’re great! I have an item in Brenda Novak’s auction too. My donation is a Wikipedia entry. If you’d like a Wikipedia entry in your name, go for it!

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