Tag Archives: Sharon Sala

Walking the Path

Barbara Vey -- March 6th, 2014

 

-2Today’s guest blogger is Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall.   As the author of over 75 books, Sharon is a New York Times, USA Today and PW Bestselling authors.  She had won many awards including the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award.  If you don’t follow her on FB, you should because she writes the most interesting posts.  Her newest books is The Dove by Dinah McCall and btw, that’s her granddaughter on the cover.

Not everyone knows why I incorporate Native Americans into so many of my stories, but for the uninformed, I would like to share.
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My Daddy and me about 1944. I was a bout a year old.

My Daddy and me about 1944. I was about a year old.

My daddy’s paternal grandmother was Cherokee, and his maternal grandmother was part Cree, and while I might look like this fair-skinned, blue-eyed white child, every facet of my soul belongs to The People. I identify with the Native way of life and the spiritual beliefs in every way that matters. When I six years old we moved into an old frame house down on the river
south of the town where I grew up so I could catch a bus to start first grade, and every morning when I walked the half mile from our house up to the main road to catch the bus, a lone wolf walked parallel on the rise that ran alongside my path. It never tried to hurt me or come closer and for some reason, I wasn’t afraid. By winter, it had disappeared, and I never thought much of it until years later when I was telling the story. As I spoke of the wolf, an Indian man who was standing in the group suddenly grabbed my arm and very insistently told me that was a powerful sign; that it meant I had been marked by The Old Ones and that I needed to pay attention; that I had a special purpose to fulfill. It was startling to think I had any purpose at all beyond being my father’s daughter and my mother’s child. Little did I know that the wolf, which happens to be the totem for the Cherokee people, had put me on a path far more winding and far-reaching than anything I could ever have envisioned.

-1Now as I write my stories, I have a sense of responsibility to carry the torch that was given to me. My stories come to me in dreams, with complete plots, and with dialogue and in color, and they are as real to me as going to the movies would be for you. All I have to do is wake up and put them on paper so I can share my dreams with my readers. Sometimes the spirits give me stories that I don’t realize serve a certain purpose until long after they have been printed, sold, and read and reread countless times.

As I’m sitting with laptop in hand, I don’t feel like I’m writing. I’m not struggling to find what words comes next, or what needs to happen. I don’t see the words I’m typing as they appear on the screen. I see the story unfolding in my head in movie fashion, and I have learned to translate what I see into words. It’s a good thing I can type fast, because sometimes the movie wants to go faster than my fingers, and I have to take a breath and slow down. Some people call that channeling; like I’m being given the story. I don’t know what to call it. I just know it is my process; it is my gift.

Being a storyteller, which is what I call myself, rather than a writer, is a great thing within the native culture. They are the keepers of the past and the historians for the future, and I am forever grateful for my native soul and for the path on which I walk.

Bottom Line:  OMG!  Today is Oreo Cookie Day…like I need a reason.  Pass the milk, please.

Hot New Tuesday Releases

Barbara Vey -- January 28th, 2014

With so many choices of books being released every week, I’m having trouble keeping up.  This just goes to show you the importance of a great opening to a book.  If it doesn’t hold my interest, I’m more likely to put it down and try something else.  Life’s too short to waste on books that aren’t for me.  Good thing there are so many to choose from.  Definitely something for everyone.

Also, 2 special giveaways today.  Authors will pick the winners who will directly contact the authors for their prizes.  Just comment for a chance to win!

NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Cheryl Bolen will offer either an autographed copy of Marriage of Convenience (A Love Inspired Historical set in Regency England) or any of her ebooks, readers’ choice.

From Nancy Naigle:  Escape to Adams Grove or giggle with The Granny Series.  One reader who comments “Adams Grove” will be automatically entered in a drawing for an Adams Grove Prize Pack which includes a signed copy of Mint Juleps & Justice!  Compliments of Nancy Naigle.

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At The River’s Edge by Mariah Stewart (Ballantine)

Rooms to Die For by Jean Harrington (Carina Press)

First to Burn by Anna Richland (Carina Press)

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Paradox Lost by Libby Drew (Carina Press)

Cloaked in Danger by Jeannie Ruesch (Carina Press)

Home to Seaview Key by Sherryl Woods (Harlequin MIRA)

forbiddenmy sweetest escapeblindfolded

 

 

 

 

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The Forbidden Queen by Anne O’Brien (Harlequin MIRA)

My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron (Harlequin HQN)

Blindfolded Innocence by Alessandra Torre (Harlequin HQN)

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The Swiss Affair by Emylia Hall (Harlequin MIRA)

Say I Do by Lucy Kevin (Harlequin HQN)

Highlander Mine by Juliette Miller (Harlequin HQN)

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Going Twice by Sharon Sala (Harlequin MIRA)

Cider Brook by Carla Neggers (Harlequin MIRA)

Love In The Library by Cheryl Bolen

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Mint Juleps & Justice by Nancy Naigle

Burn For Me by Cynthia Eden (Brava / Kensington)

Dark Moon: Spirit Wild by Kate Douglas (Aphrodisia / Kensington)

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Secret: The Elementals #4 by Brigid Kemmerer (Kteen / Kensington)

The Consequences by Colette Friedman (Kensington)

Night Calls by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel  (Book View Café)

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Magic Possessed by Jaime Rush  (Hachette Books)

 

In the Dark by Sally Eggert  (Loveswept)

 

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Free Giveaway this WeekfreeStuff

From Collette Cameron:  Collette Cameron’s Blog Hop Giveaway, January 16th-31st. Thanking and appreciating those who support authors. A truckload of books and prizes from a host of authors, including a kindle paperwhite. Enter here.

 

Bottom Line:  Today is National Kazoo Day.  If you’ve never played one, you don’t know what you’re missing.

 

Readers Pick Their Favorite Books

Barbara Vey -- January 2nd, 2014

readers

The readers have spoken and named their favorite books of of 2013.  The rules were:

1.  Only one book could be nominated.

2.  It had to be published in 2013.

Seems simple, but readers love their books and many favorites listed were whole series and lists of books.  To keep things fair, only the first book listed was counted and if a series was nominated (instead of titles) it was disqualified.  So here’s the top vote getters.

out of turnA+Ghostly+Undertaking15704285

 

 

 

 

 

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1.  Out of Turn by Tiffany Snow

2.  A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes

3.  Striking Distance by Pamela Clare

best man1000 liessword-dancer-with-background-3_4

 

 

 

 

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4.  The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

And a 5 way tie for 5th place.

5.  A Thousand Lies by Sharon Sala

5.  The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin

dukeofmidnighta-beautiful-mess-tk-leighTurnOnADime_Kade_small

 

 

 

 

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5.  Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

5.  A Beautiful Mess by T.K. Leigh

5. Turn on a Dime by Tiffany Snow

There were plenty of other books nominated, so please go back and check them all out.  Congratulations to all and here’s to a a new year of exciting new books.

Bottom Line:  Today would have been my parents 63rd Wedding Anniversary.  Missing them and raising a glass.

Books I’ve Been Reading

Barbara Vey -- August 8th, 2013

your_magic_touch

Even with a busy summer, I need to feed my reading addiction.  So here’s some books I’ve been enjoying.

The Children of Merlin Series by Susan Squires.  After whipping through Do You Believe in Magic?, I found myself immediately searching for the next book, He’s a Magic Man.  Then I found out about a prequel, Your Magic Touch, l and rushed to devour that.  These book tell the modern day story of a family who carry the DNA of Merlin from Camelot.  The parents tell the children of their heritage, but each are skeptical of the tale, and come into their powers at different times and ways.  Every book is about a different member of the family, but the family dynamic is a central part of the story.  Your Magic Touch goes back in time to tell the story of how the parents met, became aware of their history and passed the story on to their children.

This is paranormal done in a different way.  I almost hate to call it a paranormal because I think people who don’t normally read paranormals would enjoy this series if they just gave it a chance.  It’s not heavy handed and the characters make mistakes and aren’t perfect.  Their struggle with accepting the myth of their family is very believable.  I was engaged from the very beginning and happily became entwined with the grown Tremaine children while immersing myself in their adventures.

SharonSala_AThousandLies_HR1

A Thousand Lies by Sharon Sala.  A dark suspense that hits on very real terror, abuse.  Anson Poe is the handsomest man in the county, but his good looks hide a very black heart.  He’s mean to everyone, but especially his wife, who takes what is given to protect her family.  Son, Brendan, breaks free of the family and tries to live a normal life while still trying to protect his mother and sister.  Unfortunately, he shares his father’s looks and people judge him by his father’s crimes.  Things come to head and Brendan must face off against the evil man he hates most, his father.

This story reflexes all the mystery and long, hot summer days and nights in Louisiana.  I couldn’t help but be pulled into the story as it tells the tale from all angles and seeing into the mind of the evil Anson Poe is frightening.  It’s easy to say why didn’t the mother just leave, but believe me, in abusive situations it is very difficult.  When you live with fear everyday, it gets hard to imagine a life without it and most mothers will do anything to protect their children.  Riveting, terrifying and engrossing, Sharon Sala takes us to a dark place, but manages to make everything ok.

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To satisfy my audio book addiction, I listened to Something About You by Julie James.  Poor Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde is just trying to get a good night’s sleep at a hotel when there is a murder committed in the next room and she becomes the only witness.  Since it involves a US Senator, FBI Agent Jack Pallas is sent in to protect Cameron.  The problem?  Jack blames her for mismanaging a big case of his involving the mob years ago.

The snappy dialogue, humorous situations, sexual tension and suspense make for a delicious, delightful and entertaining read.  I noticed an extra spring in my step while listening to this story while out walking.

sharon

Don’t Look Now by Michele Gagnon.  Noa Torsen and her ragtag, teenage gang fight to save other teenagers from the claws of the evil Project Persephone.  Noa has been part of their experiments and knows it needs to stop.  Her hacker buddy, Peter, helps her locate facilities from his home base, but knows he need to go up against the bad guys when he finds out they’ve been experimenting on his girlfriend, Amanda.

While I don’t read a lot of Young Adult, this series has me hooked.  This is the second book and I highly recommend it for those hard to please young readers.  I know they’ll be clamoring for the final book in the series like I am.  Teeth-clenching, non-stop action that has you cheering for these underestimated teens.

Bottom Line:  Too many books…not enough time.  A truer sentiment has never been spoken.

Be a Valentine’s Day Giver

Barbara Vey -- January 17th, 2013

When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day meant getting and receiving Valentine Cards from all my classmates.  It was candy and treats and giving and sharing.  As I got older, it became who liked who and cards, candy and flowers.  As an adult, it became cards and more extravagant gifts and dinner and going out.  But now it’s just another day.  Being single on Valentine’s Day (or Sweetest Day) is no picnic.  Yesterday, author Sharon Sala, on her Facebook page, put it all into perspective for me.

 

All the push to buy Valentine cards/candy/flowers began before New Years. Shelves were being stripped the week after Christmas and Valentine products began to show up. Now it’s in your face wherever you go and it got me thinking about the people who are alone. People who might wish someone would remember them with love, but who, for reasons of their birth or the present situation in their life, have no one in this capacity. People like me, who have lost the love of their life.

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All of this ‘love in your face’ advertising can certainly be a downer for people in that situation, exacerbating depression, increasing the loneliness they are already living with, increasing both anger and anxiety. So, I had this idea. If you know someone like that, let this year be the year you become ‘their valentine’. Buy the packets of children’s valentines in bulk and hand them out at your workplace, on the bus you ride to work, on the subway, in the taxi, at the parking garage where you park your car. Take them to a nursing home or a VA hospital. They are full of the loneliest people on the planet. Ask ahead of time if you want to hand out candy with it. Sometimes that is a safety issue for people who have trouble swallowing. Give a card to someone who performs daily/weekly services for you, like barbers/waitresses/a doorman at your apartment. AND, even more importantly, if YOU are the person who will be alone, by participating in this giving, this simple act of kindness will come back to you a hundred fold. The smiles of joy, the surprise of delight will fill you in a way that no amount of candy and flowers could surpass.

Don’t be the loner. Be the giver. I am going to do this and I’ll share with you all what happened to me on this day afterward. It’s a plan, man… get with it. ♥ See… I’ve already shared a heart and it was two strokes on a keyboard. Love is in the air, so share.

This is a wonderful idea and I hope some of you will take it to heart because loneliness is a terrible thing and those of us who deal in the ideal illusion of romance should be champions of making people feel good.

What do you think?  Good idea?  Would you participate or is it someone else’s job?

Bottom Line:  “If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.” ~  Maya Angelou

When Your Imagination Springs to Life

Barbara Vey -- May 18th, 2012

For some reason I’ve been having a lot of nightmares lately.  You know, the kind where when you wake up you don’t know what’s real and what’s not.  Like that poor guy in the television show Awake.  There’s a car accident and his wife dies and his son lives, but when he goes to sleep and wakes up, his wife is alive and his son is dead.  I wonder if this is how Stephen King comes up with some of his ideas, through his nightmares?

 

I remember interviewing  Sharon Sala years ago and she told me that when she gets stuck on a plot line and can’t figure out what to do, she goes to sleep.  When she wakes up, she has the answer.  I wonder how many writers out there solve their plot problems that way?

 

I’ve had authors tell me they get their best ideas in the shower, while driving a car, going for a walk, listening to music and swimming.  It seems like sometimes the mind needs to be needlessly engaged for something creative to leak out.

 

So, authors, tell me, are there any tricks you use when you’re stuck?  Readers, what helps you solve a seemingly unsolvable problem?  What’s worked in the past?

 

Bottom Line:  Maybe a warm glass of milk before bed will stop my nightmares…or a shot of booze.

Sunday Matinée

Barbara Vey -- October 9th, 2011

Time for the Sunday Matinée!

 

Blood Rock by Anthony Francis

Echoes at Dawn by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

My Lunatic Life by Sharon Sala

 

If you have a book video you’d like considered, please send it to me at bvey@publishersweekly.com with Book Video in the subject line.

The Hard Sell

Barbara Vey -- June 23rd, 2011

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of social media.  I enjoy following people on Facebook and Tweeter.  There’s something special about getting to know them through 140 characters at a time.  A person’s creativity can come shining through.  When someone includes pictures or links, it usually gets me to discover something new, have a laugh or maybe even cringe.  Facebook has given people the opportunity to tell little stories about their lives.

Sharon Sala

Sharon Sala

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One of my favorite people to follow on Facebook is Sharon Sala.  Everyday is a new adventure as she copes lovingly with an aging mother, Oklahoma weather, children, grandchildren, cooking and favorite tv shows.  While it may sound mundane, Sharon’s voice is anything but.  I can almost hear her accent come through as she takes me through her day...”Hmmm, remember yesterday the light went out in my bathroom. So I now have a NEW light fixture with 6 (count them) 6 bright bulbs to shine the way. WTH was I thinking? That bright…and me…straight out of the shower…OMG. sigh. I hope God doesn’t strike me blind.” What a visual!

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The thing about the way Sharon approaches social media is that I get to know her and when the time comes for her book to be released, I’ll want to read it because I feel like I have a bond with her.  It will be like buying a book from a friend.

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Then there’s the hard sell.  The person who doesn’t get the “social” part.  This is the author who only comes on line with one purpose…to sell their book.  If you look at their Twitter page it looks something like this:

“Buy my book, The Wrong Way, only $1.99 at Amazon”

“Buy my book, The Wrong Way, only $1.99 at Amazon”

“Buy my book, The Wrong Way, only $1.99 at Amazon”

And so on…

Not only is it boring, it’s embarrassing.  It kind of reminds me of State Fair when you go into the buildings with the all the stuff for sale and people are yelling for you to come over and buy their products.  You don’t even want to make eye contact.  And these authors don’t even limit it to their pages.  They post it on other Facebook pages and blogs.  No niceties like “How is everyone one today?” just “Buy, buy, buy!”

And it’s not just Facebook and Twitter.  I get sent a lot of books that I’m sure many other reviewers do.  One of my pet peeves is getting an email from someone that says, “I don’t read your blog, but would you like a copy of my book?”  Why on earth would someone want me to read their book and write about it when they don’t even know what goes on at my site?  I could have views that are totally offensive to them or their prospective readers.  Their book may not even apply to my blog.  It’s like sending an inspirational book to a horror site or an erotica to a YA site.  Again, I’m embarrassed for the author.

Do your homework.  It took a long time to write the book, edit it, get it published.  Why take shortcuts to getting the word out about it?  An author should be getting their name out well before their book is published.  With self publishing and e-books along with traditional publishing, there’s a ton of books to choose from.  The idea is to get the reader to pick you out of the pack.  And you don’t want them to remember you because you spammed them with BUY MY BOOK NOW! messages.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to approach marketing your book, get help.  Ask other authors and listen for what will work for you.  There’s a ton of books about the subject out there and my mentor Dan Blank even offers an online class called Build Your Author Platform.

Don’t get me wrong, you want to let people know you have a book out and it’s perfectly fine to put it on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, blogs, etc.  But you don’t want to be pushy and annoying about it.  Have a consistent presence even when you don’t have a book out.  Talk about other things and it doesn’t have to be personal if you don’t want it to be, but even sharing a book that you enjoyed or a movie you saw can give a reader a glimpse of the person you are.  Visit other blogs occasionally and leave a quick comment to show them you’re around.  People do notice. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time.  Set a timer for 10 minutes and do some quick marketing…in a smart way.

Yes, I know writing the book should be enough, but that’s not the way it works anymore.  An author needs to get noticed, but in a way that makes a reader want to buy their book.

What tips can you offer authors who are struggling with the marketing/social aspect?  What works for you?  What doesn’t?

Bottom Line: Having a book published is a joy…spamming others about it, not so good.

Giveaways This Week

From Susan Hanniford Crowley: On Saturday, June 25th, romance author and advertising expert Jennifer Fusco will be on Nights of Passion blog talking about the author’s brand.  She will be giving away to one lucky commenter a free website analysis.  See the blog for entering details

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From Dianna Love: NYT best sellers Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love will be signing on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at the RWA Literacy signing in New York (Marriott Marquis Broadway hotel) along with 500 other authors.  But Sherrilyn and Dianna are giving away 100 Tshirts (from different series, including the full color Belador shirts) to the first 100 in their line and color posters to the next 100 in line.

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- June 9th, 2010

Waiting for me when I returned from my month long travels to conventions were 4 buckets of new books that I wish I could just sit down and read one right after the other.  I’m finally home for a couple of weeks before heading off to Thrillerfest, RWA and Comic Con in July and I’m compiling a list of books to send off to my readers to pick from.  I think they’ll be happy campers when they see what’s in store for them.  Here’s what they’ve been reading this week.

joysann

Heated Rivalry by Patricia Sargeant

Heated Rivalry by Patricia Sargeant

Heated Rivalry by Patricia Sargeant


Read by joysann

The atmosphere around Parker Advertising Agency heats up when former pro-basketball player Steven Crennell comes on board as the new junior partner, making Valerie Parker feel even lower on her father’s list of important persons. Her inability to please the company owner/senior partner, Garrison Parker, as either a valued employee or a beloved daughter puts a strain on the relationship between all three of them. When the contracts they’re committed to require Valerie and Steven to work on compromises between them, things get even hotter.

Patricia makes Steven completely likeable, not to mention sexy, so I could hardly wait for things to come together for him. The steamy romance and the intriguing story with an unusual conflict made Heated Rivalry a story I couldn’t read fast enough. The provocative and sensual contemporary was thoroughly enjoyable.

Melissa

Melissa

Blown Away by Sharon Sala

Blown Away by Sharon Sala

Blown Away by Sharon Sala

Read by Melissa

When Cari North stumbles upon her ex – fiance burying a dead body, she thinks things can’t get worse as she’s running toward home and safety.  Only home has been razed by a tornado tearing through the property.  Cari awakes after being knocked out by flying debris and realizes that everyone she loves is dead and she’s out all alone with a killer looking for her.

This was a sad and beautiful book to read.  Sharon Sala has a way of taking me through the wringer of emotions, and she delivered with Blown Away.  One of the things I loved is that even though I know who the bad guy is, I just don’t know what he’s going to do next ~ or when.  Terrific read,

Loretta

Loretta

Dragon Moon by Rebecca York

Dragon Moon by Rebecca York

Dragon Moon by Rebecca York

Read by Loretta

Kenna, a young beautiful psychic and slave from another world is sent by her master, Vandar, to gather information to help him with his plan to conquer the Earth.  On her entry into Earth, a powerful storm strikes and she is pinned by a falling tree.  Talon, a werewolf, discovers her and helps to free her.  Unable to explain her presence, or her mission, since Vandar has the ability to strike her helpless if she deviates from his plan, there is distrust on both sides of the relationship.

The book kept me astounded at the intricacies necessary to solve their problems.  An amazing story, hard to believe, but most interesting at all points and so beautifully written!

Jan

Jan

Knit in Comfort by Isabel Sharpe

Knit in Comfort by Isabel Sharpe

Knit in Comfort by Isabel Sharpe

Read by Jan

Elizabeth, a young woman from New York City is off to Comfort, North Carolina, leaving her estranged chef boyfriend behind after a vivid dream of her deceased grandmother telling her this is where she’d find herself. There she meets Megan, wife and mother, from whom she rents an ‘over the garage’ apartment. With  close family and friends, Elizabeth perceives Megan as having the wonderful dream life she herself had always wanted to have…a life patterned on a Shetland Island ancestor who had passed down the technique of lace knitting. What a shock to find that Megan’s life was not what it seemed to be.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Sharpe a while back at a couple of ‘meet and greet the local authors’ sponsored by our neighborhood libraries. She is a delight and her spontaneous personality carries over to her writings. I love the quirky endings on her books.

Michelle

Michelle

The Fire by Katherine Neville

The Fire by Katherine Neville

The Fire by Katherine Neville

Read by Michelle

The game of chess is not just a board game.  Alexandra (Xie) Solarin was once on the road to being the youngest Grand Master, until the real life “Black Queen” made her move.  At the age of 12, Xie saw her father murdered and for the next 10 years, chess was a distant memory.  The chess service in question is the Montglane Service created by an alchemist for Charlemagne.  Due to the enormous power within the service for either good or evil, the pieces were scattered and secretly guarded, until now.  Xie finds herself in a run for her life while she tries to unravel the many secrets her family has kept.

A very thought provoking read that kept me rapt from the first page.  This is the sequel to Neville’s first novel The Eight which is also highly recommended.

Melissa

Melissa

Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

Read by Melissa

Ten years after having spotted Blayne Thorpe and watching her run from him, Bo Novikov, The ‘Marauder”, hockey star extroidinaire, has returned to New York to play for the Carnivore’s ~ a shifter only hockey team owned by none other than close friends of Blayne’s.  Bo immediately begins his ‘pursuit’ of Blayne ~ but he’s never met such a unorganized, no sense of time, zany, crazy girl!  She’s leading him on a merry chase ~ and oh, yeah, she’s being pursued by bad guys who like to use hybrid shifters like herself in fights!  What’s an organized, list loving guy to do with a girl like this?

This book was pure fun.  Shelly Laurenston is an autobuy for me, she always makes me laugh  with her cast of characters who run the gamut from psycho weird to downright cute and funny.  I love the way she brought two total opposites together, and made me want to just hug Bo for his awesomeness!

Stacey

Stacey

Chimera by Rob Thurman

Chimera by Rob Thurman

Chimera by Rob Thurman


Read by Stacey

Stefan Korzak has been searching for his younger brother, Lukas, for 10 years.  But when he finds him, his brother not only has changed his name, but he has become something dangerous.  Now, the brothers are on the run from both the Russian Mob and the dangerous man who wants Lukas back.

I adored this book.  Period.  It was fast paced, and the story was told in such a way I couldn’t stop reading.   But it’s something I’m rereading because of the way Rob Thurman handles the character who calls himself ‘Michael.’  I’m completely engrossed in the journey he takes through the course of the story.  I genuinely hope this series continues because I’d like to follow the further adventures of these two brothers.

Bottom Line: Today is Donald Duck Day…now I know what to wear.