The Howling by Erin McCarthy

howlingRELEASE DATE: 6/26/18
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT AMAZON NOW!

Beneath the silver moon . . .

For six months the nightmares have been chasing Liv Lugaru out of her sleep. The same terrifying dream, the same fevered wolves panting after her, their hot breath getting closer and closer as a full moon hangs heavy in the night sky—until she wakes up drenched in sweat, with her fiancé, the brother of the man who broke her heart, gazing down at her . . .

Six months ago, Sebastian was almost killed by his brother in a power struggle within their werewolf pack. His disappearance opened the way for his brother to console Liv, win her trust . . . without ever telling her of their true heritage. Now Sebastian is ready to reclaim his rightful place—to rise up with the moon and claim the only woman he’s ever loved . . .

WARNING:
This was a short read, one I’d classify as a novelette. A bedtime story for grown ups, perhaps, which I wasn’t expecting. I fully expected a full length novel because I didn’t bother to check Amazon or anywhere else for a length. Had I checked, I don’t think a length would have been listed anyway. And if any of my readers find one, please let me know because I saw nothing helpful. 

Can you tell I’m a bit bitter?

The issue is this–if you’re expecting a  novel about these werewolves and their lives together, look elsewhere. The description really does set up for a great, full length story. The problem is that there isn’t one. All you get is the basics with sex thrown in. The love scenes are great–sizzlin’ even–and, it read well, but I still really wanted more out of it. I believe a novel should have come from this. 

*****

Erin McCarthy’s writing isn’t an issue. She’s great, actually. The characters were surprisingly well fleshed for such a short story. You get the gist of their personalities and backgrounds without an info dump, which is difficult when you’re working in shorter projects. I felt like I could get to know these characters and I felt like there weren’t too many to keep up with for the length of the story, which can also be an issue for shorter works.

An issue I had was that I wasn’t sure I liked (or disliked, if you will) the antagonist enough. Yeah, he was a bad boy. He tried to kill his brother. Blah blah blah, insert werewolf howl here. This is where a longer story would have come in handy. There was plenty of room for this to have become a novel so that a reader could have felt the full wrath of this guy–someone who tries to kill their flesh and blood (particularly a pack animal) has to have a good, solid reason for it. And that reason has to be something more than just a simple power struggle over who gets to be married to the girl or who gets to be the alpha. Sebastian’s brother had the potential to be one of the best bad guys in (erotic) romance, but the feelings of hate (or disdain, perhaps) that a reader should feel for the antagonist just didn’t come through strongly enough for me, which impacted my ability to enjoy the story as much as I would have had it been longer.

To clear up a few things, I am not a novelette hater. On the contrary, I quite enjoy them. But, putting forth the right amounts of this and that is almost a science where fiction lengths are concerned. In this area, I feel the mark was missed by a hair.

But, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. If the only thing a person finds wrong with a piece of literature is that there wasn’t enough of it, well, that’s not a horrible thing. It’s unfortunate, but certainly not enough for me to skip future works by this author. I did enjoy the characters and the plot and the saucier scenes were, um, saucy.

As far as a star rating, I’m going to go with a 3.5.

 

 

 

 

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A Demon In Silver by R.S. Ford

20180619_192455.jpgReleased June 12, 2018
Titan Books

In a world where magic has vanished, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war. When a young farm girl, Livia, demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. The Duke of Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade; all are searching for Livia and the power she wields.

But, Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places… and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned.

I thought this book was incredible. It lacked very little and the premise is captivating. This is the first in a series, if I’ve understood correctly. I certainly hope I manage to get the next book on pre-order so that I don’t have to wait for it. I dislike waiting and this is one story I would like to hang with until the very end.

I don’t want to go into too many details of my thoughts, though. I feel like in doing so I will be giving my blog readers too many spoilers. I can divulge that there are a few surprises that remain surprising, twists that remain twisty, and turns that lead places incredibly fun to imagine.

Four stars.

**********

REVIEWS COMING SOON!

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Review to post 6.21.18
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Review to post 6.20.18

The Earl, the Vow, and the Plain Jane by Cheryl Bolen–Review

BolenRelease date: June 12, 2018
Available for pre-order NOW!

Bereft of beauty as well as fortune, the exceedingly plain Miss Jane Featherstone has failed to attract any suitor during her three Seasons. Rather than be a burden to her brother and his obnoxious wife, Miss Featherstone vows to accept the first man who asks—even though she’s always worshipped a lord who’s far above her touch. . .

Lord Slade must marry an heiress in order to honor the deathbed vow he made to his father, and he needs Miss Featherstone’s help in wooing her beautiful cousin. After her initial anger, Miss Featherstone agrees to his scheme, telling him she’s doing so because she admires his Parliamentary record of humanitarian legislation and his reverence for truth. But the more he’s with the two cousins, the more attracted he becomes to Miss Featherstone. What’s a man of his word to do? Break a vow to a beloved father—or follow his heart with Miss Featherstone?

*******

It didn’t take me long to read this book, probably only two sittings. I liked the story. I loved the premise behind it. The characters were okay, too. But, that was it. They were just okay. Not spectacular, not extraordinary, and I would not call Lord Slade an alpha male at any turn, for any reason. Obviously a vow to a dying father was important, but a man caring for three sisters should have realized (way before he did) that those left alive are far more important than any vow, particularly minors in his care. He was only a man and Jane was only an average woman–the Plain Jane, I suppose. I expected much more from these characters. By their descriptions, I envisioned totally different people.

I really felt like the book was missing some umph.

Regardless, there were a lot of things within the story I liked, otherwise I would have taken much longer to read it. There were also things (and characters) I really hated, which, to a certain degree, was the reason I stuck around to finish the story.

I really hated the younger cousin, Sarah, and I desperately wanted somebody to shove a pie in her face–unfortunately, no pies landed. Major bummer, right? She was a bit sure of herself and, even though she was young, I really think she could have taken better care of her words regarding beauty and Miss Featherstone.

Some people, amirite?

This was a very sweet romance, too, so not really the sort of book I’m used to picking up. I tend to read racier, edgier, faster paced books. When I, on purpose, pick up a sweet romance, I expect for there to be some sort of major conflict or, at the very least, some really warm scenes. In this book, a lot of that was really lost. To add insult to injury, so to say, the ending unfolded too quickly for the amount of build up behind it. I’m okay with knowing what’s going to happen before it does (and any reader can tell you this is very common), but I really dislike being let down in the delivery of these happenings.

I can’t say that I can give a recommendation for this book to anyone unless I give them a full report of the letdowns as well as the good points, so you have all been warned. Three stars.

 

 

 

5 Summer Books I Can’t Wait To Read

Here is my can’t-wait-for-it list. I am positive that if you know me personally, you already know I’m chomping at the bit for numbers 1 & 2. Particularly 2. I always recommend Amanda Ashley to paranormal romance lovers and ya know what? She seems to be a very nice person. I enjoy knowing that lol.

*** There will be a review in this blog. I already have an ARC or e-galley. 
****I do not have a copy of this book yet, but I’ve either pre-ordered or will be ordering soon. 

serpentine

  1. Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton (August)

    Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome anything that faces her. But this time, there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight . . .

     A remote Florida Island is a perfect wedding destination for fellow US marshal and best friend Edward’s upcoming nuptials. For Anita, the vacation is a much welcomed break as it’s the first trip she gets to take with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…

     In that tropical paradise, Micah has discovered a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

     When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blow-out within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall.  Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places—help that she will most certainly regret—if she survives at all, that is…

    Ashley

  2. Twilight Desires by Amanda Ashley (September)  ****

    Sofia Ravenwood was once fascinated by vampires—their seductive power, their inhuman strength, their dark desires. Then one of them attacked her family, and she threw out her Goth attire and vowed to keep clear of her enemies. Until she heard about Ethan Parrish: a sweet, sizzling-hot former college football player, turned into a vampire against his will.

    Wandering the deserted streets of Morgan Creek, Wyoming, Ethan’s sure he’ll be alone forever—a monster like him deserves nothing else. Then beautiful, complicated Sofia agrees to meet him, fangs and all. The need she ignites in him is more than just the pulse of her blood or the scent of her skin. But he’s not the only bloodsucker desperate to make her his own . . .

  3. The Vixen by Christi Caldwell (August)Vixen

    USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell pits a fiercely independent beauty against a devilish investigator.

    Set apart by her ethereal beauty and fearless demeanor, Ophelia Killoran has always been a mystery to those around her—and a woman they underestimated. No one would guess that she spends her nights protecting the street urchins of St. Giles. Ophelia knows what horrors these children face. As a young girl, she faced those horrors herself, and she would have died…if not for the orphan boy who saved her life.

    A notorious investigator, Connor Steele never expected to encounter Ophelia Killoran on his latest case. It has been years since he sacrificed himself for her. Now, she hires orphans from the street to work in her brother’s gaming hell. But where does she find the children…and what are her intentions?

    Ophelia and Connor are at odds. After all, Connor now serves the nobility, and that is a class of people Ophelia knows firsthand not to trust. But if they can set aside their misgivings and work together, they may discover that their purposes—and their hearts—are perfectly aligned.

    **NOTE** This is the second book in a series. I’ve downloaded the first and intend to read it soon. However, I’ve read books and stories by Christi Caldwell before (recently, actually) so I’m looking forward to this title as well as the others in the series. 

  4. The Howling by Erin McCarthy (June) ***howling

    Beneath the silver moon . . .

    For six months the nightmares have been chasing Liv Lugaru out of her sleep. The same terrifying dream, the same fevered wolves panting after her, their hot breath getting closer and closer as a full moon hangs heavy in the night sky—until she wakes up drenched in sweat, with her fiancé, the brother of the man who broke her heart, gazing down at her . . .

    Six months ago, Sebastian was almost killed by his brother in a power struggle within their werewolf pack. His disappearance opened the way for his brother to console Liv, win her trust . . . without ever telling her of their true heritage. Now Sebastian is ready to reclaim his rightful place—to rise up with the moon and claim the only woman he’s ever loved . . .

5. Vampire’s Faith by Rebecca Zanetti ****vampire's faith.jpg

The Dark Protectors are back!  All new stories and a great entry point for new fans!

Vampire King Ronan Kayrs wasn’t supposed to survive the savage sacrifice he willingly endured to rid the world of the ultimate evil. He wasn’t supposed to emerge in this time and place, and he sure as hell wasn’t supposed to finally touch the woman who’s haunted his dreams for centuries. Yet here he is, in an era where vampires are hidden, the enemy has grown stronger, and his mate has no idea of the power she holds.

Dr. Faith Cooper is flummoxed by irrefutable proof that not only do vampires exist . . . they’re hot blooded, able to walk in sunlight, and shockingly sexy. Faith has always depended on science, but the restlessness she feels around this predatory male defies reason. Especially when it grows into a hunger only he can satisfy–that is if they can survive the evil hunting them both.

*****

Did you notice a trend? Because there are an awful lot of vampires in that list. And some wolves. No apologies! I said what I said!

I’d be curious to see what you’re looking forward to also. 😀

❤ XOXO Rhiannon M.

DIY 1 Subject Notebook Planner

Several months ago, I bought a planner that I thought I would like, but sadly it fell short of what I expected out of it. Maybe it’s my fault for putting too much faith into stationary and organizational products, but I really wanted something with more in it. It didn’t have a regular calendar, just the days of the week laid out. It did have grocery list sections that you can tear out (which I may still use one day), and it also had a place for notes, addresses, and about three pages of little stickers.

If you want to make your own, you will need: A notebook of any size, a ruler (maybe), markers, pens, a pencil, stickers, and whatever you want to go in it. 

20180603_194831.jpgBut, I need extra. And, I can’t find what I’m looking for online unless it costs over forty bucks. And, I am not paying forty dollars for an organizer unless it fills itself out. So, I made one out of a notebook.

Keep in mind, I am not an artist and I am not doing a bullet journal. This is JUST a place to put things I need. It’s where I”m going to write down my to-do’s, my grocery list, my finance info, and maybe some extra stuff. Nothing big and fancy.

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Page 1, Front
20180603_195013.jpg
Page 1, Back

I decided on using two pages per week. Page 1 would be where my weekly menu would go, along with a grocery list that I could easily cut out if I want to. On the back of page 1 would be where expenses, blog post ideas, weight tracking, and things of that nature would go.

20180603_194808.jpg
Page 2, Front
20180603_194817.jpg
Page 2, Back

Page 2 would be where my daily information is. The day of the week and the date on each day’s section, plus sometimes an extra square of paper for notes.

Easy Peasy.

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This is Bowie. As you can see, he is the project overseer.

I doubt very seriously I do much else with it. I may actually spend some time online making my own pages for a planner in a three ring binder that I might actually print out. BUT, this will do in a pinch! As you can see, there is no sense in panicking if your planner is just not working for you. Until you find one that you love, which can honestly take a lot of time shopping online and looking through stores, this works!

❤ Rhiannon XOXO

Weekly Update–June 3, 2018

This is a new thing, but I feel like maybe it’s necessary. There will be times I can’t blog every single day, so I thought a weekly update post on Sundays would be beneficial.

Wolf MoonTHIS WEEK IN BOOKS– This week, I’ve reviewed several books. Most of these reviews you won’t even see until later this summer. BUT, there is a definite winner this month and that is Wolf Moon by Patricia Rosemoor. I gave it three stars, but I really did enjoy it and I will read other books by this author in the future.

THIS WEEK IN KETO/LOW CARB EATING– Well, I’m back in ketosis, so that’s a plus, right? I’ve lost four pounds, but most of that was weight I gained back after I quit. Here’s to being back on track! I’m learning more and more everyday about how to cook for a lower carb diet. So far, I still haven’t found a replacement for cereal, but there is definitely hope for a low-carb Poptart! I’m working on it.

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Low carb stir-fry.

THIS WEEK IN MOM STUFF– The kids are out of school for summer! And, I have discovered that my kids think I’m weird. I don’t know what on earth would have ever made them feel that way (sarcasm).

COMING NEXT WEEK– Next week, look forward to a review for The Earl, the Vow, and the Plain Jane by Cheryl Bolen. Also, keep your eye out for some vampires and kilt-clad highlanders. I’m also going to work on scheduling some guest bloggers. Stay tuned for more awesome stuff!

❤ Rhiannon XOXO

Killing Town by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

killing townAvailable NOW from Amazon.com
Review date: Soon

Mike Hammer steals a ride on a train upstate to Killington. But he is welcomed by a nasty surprise: he is accused by police of raping and murdering a young woman near the freight yards. Roughed up by the cops and facing a murder charge, Hammer’s future looks bleak. Only a beautiful blonde, Melba Charles–daughter of powerful Senator Charles–might possibly save him… if he pays the price.

But why would Melba help save a man she has never met? And, more to the point, where is the real murderer?

From a brittle, brown manuscript, the first Mike Hammer novel–begun by Mickey Spillane in the mid-forties and completed seventy years later by Max Allan Collins–is a gift to mystery fans on the occasion of the noir master’s 100th birthday.

*****

I’ve read from this series before, and I wasn’t blown away then, nor was I blown away now. I didn’t hate the story, but I just felt like it was more of the same old stuff. There was nothing in this book to stand out from what was in the last. That isn’t to say that someone who has been following these books wouldn’t like them–they’re really just not for me.

I will point out, however, that the writing is strong and the voice behind the book is definitely pronounced. Those who have been following the books will certainly enjoy them. Where hard case crime goes, I’m generally a  hit or miss kinda reader. Unfortunately, I believe the Mickey Spillane/Max Allan Collins books are a miss for me–but only by a hair. I feel like something is missing.