21 December 2011

Giveaway: Kele Moon heats up your cold xmas with...

Kele Moon is giving us one of the best pressies evah, and that is another hot story to devour in those cold days of Christmas! I for one can't wait to dive in because a UFC fighter as a hero, I need to meet him ASAP. I think Clay will make an excellent friday night date and he can be yours as well. Kele Moon has offered an e-copy to one lucky winner and all you have to do is leave a comment and tell us where you want to be on Christmas day. I'll draw a winner on December 25th 2011 and will notify him/her via e-mail. This giveaway is open internationally!!

Below you will find the cover and blurb but also a delicious hot treat of an excerpt...enjoy!! :D

Kele Moon's Battered Hearts: Defying the Odds
Defying The Odds is book one in the Battered Hearts series.
ISBN: 978-1-61118-693-2
Genre: Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel

When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a simple gift she has no clue her life is about to take a drastic turn.

The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when a new waitress at the local diner buys him a piece of pie on Thanksgiving. Touched by the gesture when it’s obvious she can barely afford to survive, her warm smile and lush body churn up powerful feelings that leave Clay wanting more from her than pie.

Melody is running from her past and the small, country town of Garnet is the perfect hiding place. With an ex-husband after her and scars from her abusive marriage etched deep, the last thing she expects is to fall for a man who makes a living with his fists, but she can’t resist Clay or the tender connection they share.

Finding love in the most unlikely of places, the passion is undeniable, but Clay and Melody know their haunted pasts and unpredictable futures leave the odds stacked against them.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: violence.

A scrumptious taste of Defying The Odds:

Melody looked amazing wearing Christmas lights.

Clay stared at her spread out on the bed, skin still dewy from the shower, wet hair hiding full breasts and pink nipples. The blink from the lights shining in through the windows reflected off her pale skin in the near darkness of the room, dancing in colored shadows over her lush body. He was mesmerized by her, so beautiful and open and willing for him.

The cynical side of him was screaming to be careful. Nothing felt this good without repercussions, but Clay made a firm decision to ignore his cynical side, not just for Melody, but for himself too, because he wanted this—wanted her.

“What’re you staring at?” Melody asked, giving him a bemused smile as she looked up at him hovering over her.

The rush of emotion he felt for this woman scared the shit out of him, but he couldn’t seem to stop the fall. Rather than admit he was memorizing everything about her spread out and waiting for him to make love to her, he just shrugged and bent down. He captured one pink nipple with his mouth, lightly tugging on it with his teeth. Melody moaned and arched into him. Her fingers tangled in his hair, holding his mouth to her.

Already turned on despite the bone-melting orgasm he’d just had, Clay laved his tongue over the taut peak. The shower had been fast and frantic, a necessary release from the build of sexual tension that exploded between them. Now he could touch and tease until she was flushed and sweaty and completely mindless. He pushed his hips against the mattress at the thought of her wild and desperate for him. His cock was already hard and straining against the comforter.

Clay moved to the other breast. He sucked on the tip once more, savoring her low hum of pleasure. He liked the sounds she made. She was surprisingly receptive and uninhibited, but then so was Clay when they were together. He felt cracked open and exposed to her, but he craved her so damn much he couldn’t stop to worry about it.

All he could do was give in to the hunger.

Clay moved his lips lower, over the smooth plane of her stomach. He reached down, pushing her thighs apart, forcing her to accommodate the width of his shoulders as he nipped her hip bone.

Kele Moon on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ LooseId

18 December 2011

Hubba, hubba, Mr.Santa is here!

Hey everyone!!

I have to confess that I’ve joined Janna and Kris in their love for the series Queer As Folk. (If you want a sample of the humorous dialogues, here you can find fabulous quotes!) I think I received the five seasons about three weeks ago and I’m working my way through the final fifth season. It has been an addictive ride with very hot smexing, great storylines and can I say I want a shopping day with Emmett and then there’s Brian Kinney…oh Brian Kinney, he gets such a rise out of me. Horny 24/7, bad boy to the core and has his own code of honor. I want him so bad LOL This series has been hogging most of my free time and I’m loving every minute of it!!

Work life has seemed to have claimed me more than I expected and most of the xmas cheer is going by me. I did make xmas decorations, angels and stars with the kiddies but I haven’t shopped yet and soak in the xmas cheer or even decorated my own house or tree *shameface*. So last week I was in desperate need for some xmas spirit and oh boy, did I find it!! I did some cruising on the net and oh, oh, oh, I noticed some very niiiiiice Mr. Santa’s. You will find them scattered throughout this post!! If they don’t get you all hot and tingly nothing much will ;)

Of course now that the year is ending I’m thinking about my New Year’s post and I need to rethink my bloglife. I find it a challenge to juggle work and social life and still find time for all of my hobbies…and there are a few *eek* If one thing became evident over the last few months is that I still love to review but the challenge lies in the time management. So I decided to read for the remaining time this year and I will start posting reviews again from January third 2012. I’ve received some fantastic books to read and I have a few 2-2.5 star reviews I still need to post. I’ve decided my Sundays will become my review/blogpost scheduling day and of course when I’m done some more reading :D

Right now I’m reading Joey W Hill’s Bound By A Vampire Queen for a guest review at Loves Fab Romance. So far it is sexual heat combined with loads of scheming and can I say Jacob is awesome again!! The way he talks and treats his woman gets me tingly every time…

Next to BBAVQ I’ve also got Sloan Parker with Take Me Home for review and Anne Marsh’s Bond With Me & His Dark Bond. I’m also looking forward to Kele Moon’s Defying The Odds…They will warm me on these cold, rainy days/nights as 2011 will change in to 2012.

Have you all been preparing for the holidays? What are you going to do, eat? Where will you be and what will you read? Talk to me guys :)

22 November 2011

Three short words...

Last year on this day my world spun on its axes with the sudden death of Henry. Inevitably people kept asking me how I was in the months thereafter and each time I felt tongue tied. How do you describe the void left by him or the constant screaming of one’s soul? As the sky poured snow I barely had any interest in reading yet in December I did read a duology by Joey W Hill and in Mirror Of My Soul I read a paragraph where recognition of the emotions portrayed struck me with a powerful blow. This author managed to capture exactly how I felt:

Joey W Hill's Mirror Of My Soul: “Tell me what you want.” His mouth whispered it, those lips close to hers. Her own parted, letting out a breath that was a near sob. “I want to be whole. Feel it just once more.” She raised her palms before her face. “I remember lying there with David beneath feeling his heart stop beating. I tried to cup his head in my hands and it was wet…so soft. Softer than a baby’s skull. “And there were these people around. Staring at us. But I felt so alone, because David was gone. His heart was no longer my heart, his voice in my head was gone. And they didn’t know me, didn’t know us. And I wondered, ‘Will anyone ever share my soul again? Get inside me and know my thoughts?’ No. Surely not. And yet, I didn’t die. That’s the most intolerable cruelty, that you can realize that truth and not die.”

I realized I could emotionally bleed from a fatal wound but still live to see the days turn in to weeks and then in to months. A year has already gone by now. The first time I laughed I cried two seconds later. The first time I saw the make, model and color of our car drive by my heart skipped a beat in joy that Henry was coming home early. Only to realize seconds later he wasn’t. Music by Queen, Gary Moore, U2 and others made me see him so clearly yet is was a picture from my heart. I took a fantastic trip. Met new people. Experienced all these new fantastic things but when I arrived home all I wanted was to share it with Henry…and all I could do was stare at his empty place on the couch. If one man was challenging me to accept the new direction our life was heading, it was him. I’ve got a new job and loving it…just like he said I would. Only coming home and not sharing my day with him or enjoying a night out, social obligations or just a lazy weekend together is something that is hard for me to deal with. It all boils down to three short words that encompass so much;

I miss him!

In the good and the bad. In all the ordinary and extraordinary ways.

Today I will crack up the volume and listen to some of Henry's favorite music – including the man he thought had a talent not from this world to play the guitar; Gary Moore.

PS:I also wanted to thank everyone who send me their hugs & love via whatever digi way they chose! I can't express how much it means to me (((huggles))) back.

02 November 2011

Column - XL edition: What am I up to & GayRomLit part 2

Do you guys still remember me?? About two weeks ago I promised you another NOLA vacation update but I’m a working girl now and free time has suddenly become a rare commodity. If I’m at home I want to vege out in front of TV or just read a book. I’ve got four reviews in first draft mode:

* Lena Diaz - He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not   2 stars
* Carol Lynne - All Play No Work (Cattle Valley series bk 1)   2 stars
* L.A Witt - Out of Focus   3.5 stars
* Belinda McBride's - Uncommon Whore  3.5 stars

Full reviews to come one of these days!!

Then the cover discovery folder is getting larger by the day:


*focus Leontine, for the love of the gods, FOCUS!!!*

Right, I also have blog related e-mails to answer *eek* but for some reason the time and energy to post/reply e-mails is only in my mind but doesn't translate in to action *sad face* I forgot how much energy it takes to take on a group of 20 or so kids. They all have Sinterklaas (Dutch version of Santa Claus) in their vision and it is accompanied with a frantic energy of; What will I find in Sinterklaas’ bag?? By the time I get home after bicycling for 35 minutes I’m exhausted. Can I have a vacay already ;)

Anyhoo…I can’t deny you some more of NOLA so here goes:

At Mr.B’s Janna and I ate their signature dish of BBQ shrimp. I have always said; NO Shrimp for me!!! But I was in NOLA and I was in a culinary adventurous mood, so what can one do but eat some local food ;) The crabcake was simply divine and in combination with the sauce I wanted much more of the stuff than was on the plate.

Then the waitress tied a large bib around our neck so our upper clothes were covered. I had no idea why until the dish was presented to us and Janna boldly tried to peal the first shrimp. Oh yeah, splatter of BBQ sauce for one please! It was hilarious to see but then I had to go in. I held my shrimp between index finger and thumb in a *iiieeeeuuuwwww this is sooooo gross* kinda way. The waitress saw my face and quickly made way to our table asking if she could help. I told her I was a shrimp peeling virgin and she directed me through my first one. Was it painful? No, but it was a very weird experience with all the twisting of limps, peeling of skin and pulling of heads. After 10+ minutes or so various fleshy, white shrimps lay there in the BBQ sauce and the tasting could commence. It was delish, my taste buds were on fire due to the hot flavors of the BBQ sauce but in combination with the shrimp I ate them all! *go me* As a dessert I took brownies with ice cream and was stuffed!

After this sumptuous dinner Janna and I had our first encounter with Bourbon Street. Well, I can tell you all your senses will be engaged. Sight, smell, hearing – there is lots of half nekkid females trying to lure me into various establishments. To my utter frustration there wasn’t much mancandy to be found so I took a picture of what I did find – see the result here:

When I spotted a bright red two-seater I thought; “Who the hell would park a car like that in the middle of party central?” Well, I guess when you’re the devil peeps will steer away from your car. Did I however? No of course not! I had to go wicked and pretend to get into the car. I’m just glad the devil had just the same wicked sense of humor or else I would be partying in purgatory right now ;)

To me my trip to NOLA existed out of inhaling food, culture, history and partying like its 1999! The twelve days flew by and while the GayRomLit was fun I think my next convention will be something like the RT. One of the things I loved most was meeting fellow readers but also some of my favorite authors – here’s a collection of pictures from the GRL:

Sandwiched in between Rowan Speedwell (left) and J.P. Barnaby (right) *cheesy grin*

From left to right: Tracy - Janna - Heidi Cullinan and me at the lobby of the hotel.

from left to right: Janna - Damon Suede and me at a spotlight of some sort.

Picture taken by Kassa.

Picture taken by Kassa.

At the farewell brunch of GRL, standing from left to right: Rachel Haimowitz - Tracy and me. Sitting left is Kassa and right is Janna.

At the lobby of the hotel I practically attacked these authors because I had to have a picture of them and me. From left to right is Clare London whom I can't wait to meet in England again, she is an absolute hoot to be with!! And her accent - I'm guessing she owns wicked and naughtiness LOL Then we have Marie Sexton - she can visit me day or night - love that woman!! Then you have me with a face splitting grin. And then you have Kate McMurray, she is such a sweetie and i still feel like a social Neanderthal for missing my author lunch with her. However, as Janna and I traveled back, Janna let me read over her shoulder with Blind Items. Kate McMurray made me giggle, which only happens on rare ocassion! So yeah, I had to buy Blind items!!

Just talking about this vacation wants me to go back!!! But alas, no free time for me. I just started working 20-30 hours at a kiddie daycare. Between that and my social agenda I suddenly don't have all that much time left. So the sundays become my holy reading grail and downtime.

Have I missed anything in the mean time??

PS: You can click on the pictures for an much larger version. I've got no idea why the hell anyone want a larger version but hey, I thought I should mention that piece of info anyhow ;)

21 October 2011

New Orleans and I have met in the most intimate of ways…

After 12 days of New Orleans my brain still isn’t sufficiently online to give you a detailed account of all that happened…I still will give it a go though.

First of all the trip to NO was uneventful, of course the security officer at Schiphol eyeballed me and Janna because we looked like two women who would cause mayhem in the USA. And he was right…to some degree *wink*

Still, the plane trip was uneventful and that night, local time, we arrived at NO. The first thing NO introduced us to was the smell and the humidity. Oh.My.Lord! The humidity was like a wet, sticky blanket, clinging to your skin *ugh* and the smell *shivers* It was wet fungus smell…there isn’t any other way to describe it.

The next day jetlag didn’t introduce itself so we explored NO. I think I spent more time looking up then looking at the sidewalks because the balconies were awesome with lush vegetation and beautiful wrought iron fences. Of course since I had my eyes up I tripped more than once over the disastrous state of the sidewalk. That I didn’t end up at the hospital is still a miracle!!

We explored the French Market with its local produce, spices and bling bling. We found Jackson Square with its local art and Café Du Monde. Later that week we did sit in the famous Café for some coffee and beignets but – am I going to be scorned for saying it – wasn’t all that eventful. The beignets were nice but it didn’t blow my taste buds out of this stratosphere either.

We also got together with Patti (@lovesfabromance) that Saturday and she took us to Barnes And Nobles. I just love that woman for taking us there!! Not only is Patti a hoot to be with she is just the nicest person and had a lot of local info to give us! After lounging about in B&N Patti’s oldest said we were fun to hang out with…I can tell you I felt utter kewl at that moment!!

Patti also directed us to Port Of Call, a local what, café? Diner? Restaurant? Whatever! They were known for their fab burgers. So we went there on a Saturday night, had to wait forty-five freakin’ minutes but then we got seated and oh yeah, I wanted to do a windjammer cocktail. Well, those peeps who follow me on twitter found out how that ended. I seem to have twittered some durty pics – but I can’t see any problems in that *wink* And apparently I was a whole lot of woooo and weeee. I can tell you I had fun but don’t know much about the tweets :)

Lafitte In Exile (picture from internet)

I’ve done way more with Janna in the week prior to the GayRomLit but I decided to be the chaotic person that I am and tell you everything as it pops up in my head. So GayRomLit, what did it do for me? Well, I got to meet J.P. Barnaby, which was definitely a highlight for me. I got to meet some fantabulous authors and ya know, stumble my way through a conversation. Most of all though I remember the two awesome parties of the Joint-Juke-Junket and the barcrawl. They both ended up at Lafitte’s in Exile and we got to meet bartender Jimmy the very first night at the JJJ. He was this awesome, funloving guy and we had a ball with him. I ended up smooching my goodbye with Jimmy that night! Kris introduced me to Margaritas at JJJ night. Hurrican’s might be the signature drink of NO but I fell in lurv with the Margaritas right then and there. But then, Kris is utter kewl and she would never know anything other than the best cocktails out there *wink*

The biggest pic has Tam - Kassa - Tracy and Chris and below them are Janna, me and Kris.

At the parties was nekkid manflesh, tasty cocktails, lots of likeminded bitches and I had *cue music*

Now I've had the time of my life
No I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it's the truth
and I owe it all to you

With that I will leave it for today but there’s loads more to tell so stay tuned for a few more blogposts about my New Orleans adventures - I will tell you all about my first experience with Bourbon St. - eating shrimp and our plantage tours.

PS: I will also be part of Janna's GayRomLit after party where i will talk about what the best moment was for me!!

PPS: Click on the picture for a much larger version!!

20 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand Opening Party - Rachel Haimowitz

Q: First of all I want to congratulate you, Aleksandr Voinov and Chris Hawkins with the opening of Riptide Publishing. Of course everyone wants to know; How was the journey from idea to realizing a brand new publishing house?

Thank you very much! Mostly it came out of contract and craft discussions. Aleks and I had been talking a lot about both of those things as we bounced from publisher to publisher looking for one who could provide the best of all worlds: great covers, great marketing, great editing, and great contracts. We realized we were hunting for a unicorn, basically. Most houses do at least one of those things well, but pretty much none of them—at least none we’d found, anyway—do them all as well as we’d have hoped.

This led to sort of a lightbulb moment one day, when we were like, hey, you know? We could probably do this. We had a lot of the necessary skills between us: I edited in Manhattan houses for years, including major independents and a Big Six house. Aleks had edited for years in the business sector. We were both pretty intimately familiar with the publishing industry in general and the M/M industry in particular. Aleks had a ton of connections. I had a ton of business experience (I owned and operated a business for seven years, managing a double-handful of staff and wearing all the hats at one time or another). We knew all the ins and outs of what makes a contract good or bad. We knew the production process. And god knows we had the drive and the heart.

So I wandered off to draft up a business plan, and realized that, yes, this will work. Our success or failure does hinge entirely on a reader’s willingness to pay for a quality product—depending on length, our books may be $1 to $3 more than most other publishers in our space would sell a book for—but we firmly believe that readers are smart and are hungry for brilliantly crafted, well edited, and beautifully packaged books that don’t make them want to hurl their Kindle across the room in frustration. The reception Riptide’s been getting—from industry professionals, authors, book bloggers, and readers—seems to indicate we were right about that assumption. We seem to have hit a nerve, and it’s amazing and humbling and wonderful to see so many people so excited about what we’re doing here.

Q: Have there been challenges along the way that surprised you?

Interestingly enough, the sailing’s been generally smoother than I ever could have dreamed it would be. Everyone’s been so receptive and so eager to work with us. It’s been amazing.
The biggest challenge for me has been time. Getting fifteen books ready all at once while simultaneously launching the business side of things and also trying to get an under-deadline release of my own out has resulted in a lot of 80-hour workweeks. But it’s all so exciting and I’m so passionate about it, I hardly notice. As Aleks and I like to joke—I can sleep when I’m dead. Or, you know, sometime after October 30 

Q: What is important for you, as one of the founders, to offer readers?

An unfailingly impressive reading experience. No bad plots, no unrelatable characters, no awkward prose, no ugly covers, no bad editing. We’re bringing Manhattan quality to the M/M space.

Q: Do you think pricing affects the buy behavior of a reader and in extension of that, what are the prices going to be of your imprints?

In a way, yes. A reader’s much less likely to take a chance on a new author if their book is $9.99 than if their book is $.99. On the other hand, 99% of the time, you get what you pay for. When you buy a $2.99 novel, it’s a good bet you’re wasting your three bucks on a poorly-edited book you won’t terribly enjoy.

Q: I’m always wondering if publishers and authors notice trends in the M/M subgenres. What readers buy the most and do you anticipate on that?

It doesn’t make much sense to cater to trends, because by the time you see, “Oh, vampires are selling really well,” and you set about acquiring vampire books, and put in the three to six months it takes to edit and produce them, and finally get them out to the reader, the trend is over. Now you’ve got three vampire stories and suddenly everyone’s sick of them.

So what we look for is simply great storytelling. If it happens to have vampires, that’s fine—just make sure you bring something new to it. We actually do have four separate stories with vampires in our initial fifteen releases, but none of them are actually vampire stories, if that makes sense. One’s an action-packed cyberpunk thriller (A Chip in His Shoulder); one’s a hilarious, pun-filled short (Sucks & Blows); one just happens to feature a vampire amidst all kinds of other crazy (and very funny) things popping out of a hell portal in the parking lot of a Quick-Mart (Pretty Monsters: Josh of the Damned #1), and one’s a moody atmospheric piece that bounces through time (Divinity). None of them are vampire stories in the traditional sense—no tragic heroes, no woe-is-me love stories, no sparkles.

Q: I took a sneak peek in to your press kit and came across a cover stating it was ‘A Riptide Wet Dream’. What does this entail?

That’s our line of erotic-focused short stories. We have two lines of shorts (stories under 10,000 words). The Wet Dreams are erotica—quick little bites of burning hotness. The Ripples are everything else; they may have erotic elements, but the erotica isn’t the focus.

Q: What is up and coming with Riptide Publishing?

We’re releasing fifteen stories this year amidst a gigantic three-month-long Grand Opening Celebration. We’re rolling out with some very exciting “First Wave” authors—fan favorites like Lori Witt, Kari Gregg, and Damon Suede; and absolutely stunning new talents like Peter Hansen and Rhianon Etzweiler. We’re hard at work on our lineup for 2012 and 2013—most if not all of our First Wave authors are writing new pieces for us, and you’ll also be seeing some very familiar faces joining in on our Second Wave. All in all, it’s a very exciting time, and I have to admit to doing a little fangirl squeeing at some of the authors who we’re signing on for next year. Keep an eye out!

website | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter |

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

Have you got a question to ask Rachel Haimowitz? This is your moment! Ask away in your comments ;)

19 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand Opening Party - L.A. Witt

Q: First of all where are you from?

Born and raised about 30 minutes outside of Seattle.

Q: What do you like to read?

Pretty much anything that sounds interesting. I mostly read science fiction and fantasy, but I’ll read anything.

Q: What do you love about being an author?

Besides having a 15 second commute, working in my pajamas, listening to my own music, having my cat on my desk, taking breaks/vacations whenever I want, and being able to chat while I work? Being an author.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

Take two (or three) characters, put them in a crappy situation, add water remove clothing, stir vigorously.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

They’ll usually have a real person’s face, but the characters come from my imagination. Meaning I need a visual of some sort – usually a photo, either of a celebrity or just some random picture I found online – so I can put a face with the name, but the character evolves on his or her own.

Q: What are your current projects?

It changes constantly, but I’m working on a BDSM novel at the moment, plus rewriting a hetero BDSM story that I wrote in 2010. Hoping to have both of those done and submitted by the end of the year, but considering I’m traveling and relocating from October thru December, I don’t expect to be quite as productive as I usually am.

Q: Where do you get the names for your characters?

Sometimes they come to me. Sometimes I have to spend an inordinate amount of time poring over a very tattered baby name book that lives on my desk. There is frequently some brainstorming with my Minion and my writing buddies.

Q: Tell us about your latest release(s)?

Chip in His Shoulder will be out on November 14, at Riptide Publishing.

Here's a blurb:

“Contract killer” is a fitting job for a vampire, and it suits Liam just fine. Cast down from the wealth and status of the Sky for taking a human lover, Liam lurks in the poor and pollution-choked Gutter, killing to survive. Between his natural strengths and his Cybernetix mods, no mark has ever escaped him.

Liam’s ex-lover Daniel is the heir to Cybernetix—and its greatest threat. Horrified by people less man than machine and the exploitation of Gutter factory workers, he’d rather destroy Cybernetix than inherit it . . . if his father doesn’t destroy him first.

Years of anger and a heap of mods have kept Daniel and Liam apart. When Liam is hired to slaughter a man in his glass Sky tower, he walks right into a Daniel-shaped trap. Daniel’s father has betrayed them both, and only by working together can Daniel and Liam survive the coming day. They have no reason to trust each other, but as the dawn looms, a bargain that began with the simple urge to live soon reminds them of the love they once shared. Can they find each other again, or will the Cybernetix assassins find them first?

The pre-order buy link

Q: What are you working on next?

At the moment, I’m working on a contemporary gay BDSM novel called Where There’s Smoke. After that, it’s on to the not-yet-titled second book in the Tooth & Claw series (book #1, The Given & The Taken, is due out in January from Samhain).

Q: What would you advise an aspiring author?

Sit down and write. The book will not write itself, so put your butt in a chair, your fingers on a keyboard, and write until you finish. If it sucks, don’t panic. That’s what editing is for. And for the love of all that’s good and unholy, when you submit your work, be persistent. You will get rejected. Probably a few times (I have about 300 rejections under my belt). Keep at it, be open to criticism, keep improving, and keep writing.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to tell your readers?

No matter what anyone says, argyle socks do not, in fact, go well with strappy stiletto dress shoes.

Q: How can readers connect with you?

Readers are welcome to e-mail me at thethinker42(AT)gmail(DOT)com if they have questions, comments, or Jared Leto’s home phone number.

website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

Have you got a question to ask L.A. Witt? This is your moment! Ask away in your comments ;)

18 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand opening Party - Damon Suede

Q: What’s the one question you wish people would ask you when you tell them you’re a writer?

“Where can I buy your book?” LOL

No. I’m kidding.  I wish people would ask about the subtler things in a story. I love when readers dig deeper than “this happened and then that happened, and they all went to Guam in a rowboat.” I bury hundreds of Easter eggs in books (more for my own amusement than anything!) and I love it when readers uncover them. My favorite thing is a reader asking, “Hey is that name there because of the Greek meaning or the Finnish?” or “I noticed that you connected the colors of these three props in these five scenes and never commented on it. What’s that about then?”

Q: How do you answer it?

I tell them the truth when I know it, explain the logic when it’s there, show them how the choices got made and the small impacts of those choices over the rest of the book. Most people don’t pay attention to the small accretion of specifics that create an sense or plant a hint. They know they felt “scared” or “sexy” but they don’t need to know why. I love talking about the choices, maybe because I think about them too much… And when a reader has paid close attention to something I wrote, they deserve my undivided attention in kind.  Such readers do us great honor.

If you were doomed to spend the rest of your life on an island with only one book, one person, one food (coconuts and fish aside), and one object from the modern world (computer, deodorant, vibrator, etc.), what would they be?

The one book would probably be The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I’ve read it a hundred times and it’s never the same twice and always heartbreaking. My one food would be Murgh Tikka Lababdar (sort of like a tikka masala) because Indian food is so nourishing and so comforting at the same time. The modern object (and I’m assuming it can’t be my loaded Kindle, ya bastards!) would be a computer so I could write and thereby stave off madness. If I couldn’t write every day, in under a week I’d be in the corner playing with my eyelids and eating a wig.

The one person would be my boyfriend, who is my rock and my joy. He’s a forensic investigator and very handy besides, so in about 3 days he’d have built a boat out of twigs and squid and we’d be home shortly after.

Q: Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written?

Holy Sophie’s Choice! That’s like asking parents to pick their favorite child! Impossible! I’ll say this: I always love the most recent characters a little more ardently because (like infants) they seem to need it more; I’m more protective of the newborns. The older characters can take care of themselves in any dark alley. LOL

Q: What’s your current book list and where can we buy them?

I have a full length contemporary novel from Dreamspinner called Hot Head.
And I have a free online short called Seedy Business, which is a prequel to Grown Men (published in October by Riptide).

Where are your favorite online hangouts? What are your daily must-stop blogs and websites?
Goodreads. Facebook (although my patience is wearing then), Jessewave, Elisa’s Ramblings, Speak Its Name, Huffington Post.

Speaking of online hangouts, where are yours? Where can your readers find you?
Ah hell: I’m like jock itch. :) Any damp, dark place and I’m good to go. But you can try me at:

website | Facebook | FB Fanpage | Goodreads page | Amazon | Google+ | Dreamspinner Press | GLBT Bookshelf | Manic Readers |

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

Have you got a question to ask Damon Suede? This is your moment! Ask away in your comments ;)

17 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand Opening Party - Aleksandr Voinov

When I was contacted by Chris from Riptide Publishing if I wanted to join in the festivities surrounding the opening of a new m/m publisher I scoured their website. What I found made me very excited! Next to the fact I found author names I enjoy reading in the m/m genre there was also a lot on background info that hit the excitement button. Over the course of this month the Riptide party will rock blogland and will be the sound off to many wonderful reads! This week I chipped in with interviews by Aleksandr Voinov and Rachel Haimowitz. In between the interviews I have guestblogs by L.A. Witt and Damon Suede.

Join in y'all for great convo's and fantastic prizes!!!

Q&A with Aleksandr Voinov

Q: First of all I want to congratulate you, Rachel Haimowitz and Chris Hawkins with the opening of Riptide Publishing. Of course everyone wants to know; How was the journey from idea to realizing a brand new publishing house?

Thanks, Leontine, for the congrats and for having me over. I think just about every author has briefly toyed with the idea to be a publisher – whether to self-publish or not is a viable question in these times when the technology is cheap and the skills are there. So, yeah, Rachel and I were talking about self-publishing a story or two and basically all stories where the rights are returning to us. Authors need to be savvy about running their backlists, and self-publishing can be a good idea.

Once that idea was in the room, we realized we had all the skills necessary to actually be a publisher – not “just” a self-publisher. We ran the idea past some friends (like Chris Hawkins, our marketing guru) and then Rachel crunched a lot of numbers and wrote a business plan.

I guess we were a bit shocked when we realized, yes, we can do this. We have the perfect team and skill set and we actually managed to sell the idea – the whole mission statement – to author colleagues and friends. It became big pretty quickly, and by now I’m less shocked and more “Hell yeah!” about it all. I really have the feeling that this is exactly what many authors – and readers – have been waiting for: great editing, great talent, great covers.

Q: Have there been challenges along the way that surprised you?

There’s a nice German expression that says “being scared of your own courage”. Yep, I was pretty scared, I have to admit. Starting a business is huge, and we’ve seen many publishers go under or never take off, so Rachel and I (and Chris) did a lot of business analysis and planning.

Learning from other people’s mistakes and failures and successes. Above all, I was nervous about not being able to deliver for our authors – many of our authors are serious names in the industry, so what if we can’t give them a better service than they are used to? You do lie awake at night, going through everything over and over again and building emergency plans and worrying about everything. So, yeah, that was the thing that surprised me. I’m usually a doer – I make stuff happen. Being so nervous and scared of my own courage was new.

Q: What is important for you, as one of the founders, to offer readers?

Quality stories with great editing and great covers. I’m reading a lot myself, and there are so many books out there that are… less than they should be. Or could be. Basically, most of the books and stories out there that I read make me think, “Damn, this could have been good if the author had had some help from a capable editor.” There are many books in the market that are almost good. So we want to offer stories that entertain, stories with plot, attractive covers (as a reader and writer, I’m sick and tired of awful covers) and ideally typo-free reading. I recently read the sentence “he road him hard” in a release from a mid-sized romance publisher. That ruined the sex scene for me, and I know that readers really don’t like reading stories that are teeming with typos and other mistakes. At Riptide, readers can immerse themselves in the story.

Q: Do you think pricing affects the buy behavior of a reader and in extension of that, what are the prices going to be of your imprints?

I do think pricing affects reader behavior, absolutely. Some publishers are selling novels for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks (or whichever coffee chain store you visit). We’re not one of those publishers. I do think that readers are willing to pay a little more for quality. At the shorter lengths, we are competitively priced with other publishers. Once you get to the novel-length fiction and the longer novellas, that’s where it really costs a lot of money to edit properly.

I think our FAQ says it best: Pricing is based on book length. Rather than featuring only three or four price tiers, we have ten different tiers at Riptide. This ensures that the customer never overpays for a book at the short end of a wide price tier (for instance, some houses sell all books up to 15K words for $2.99, but who wants to pay $2.99 for a 5,000 word short?), and that the author is paid fairly for books at the long end of a wide price tier (for instance, some houses sell all books over 40K words for $5.99, even though it may take the author three or four times as long to write a 100K book as a 40K book).

When deciding how to price our tiers, we took into account the time and expense that goes into producing each book at Riptide. Unlike many other e-publishers in the M/M space, we provide Manhattan-quality developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading for each book we produce. We also provide professional layout, hand-coded file conversions to eliminate irritating artifacts and layout errors in your e-book, and gorgeous cover art. All of these things mean that Riptide’s production process is as much as fifteen times more expensive than at other e-houses, and consequently, our cover prices are a little bit higher (but not fifteen times more!). However, we’ve learned through experience that quality sells, and readers appreciate the respect we show them by not producing a sub-par product.

Our pricing tiers are as follows:
Short stories
Under 5,000 words: $.99
5,000 to 9,999 words: $1.99
10,000 to 14,999 words: $2.99
15,000 to 24,999 words: $3.99
25,000 to 34,999 words: $4.99
35,000 to 44,999 words: $5.99
45,000 to 59,999 words: $6.99
60,000 to 74,999 words: $7.99
75,000 to 89,999 words: $8.99
90,000+ words: $9.99

Q: I’m always wondering if publishers and authors notice trends in the M/M subgenres. What readers buy the most and do you anticipate on that?

It’s received wisdom that contemporaries sell the most copies, so most publishers are looking very much to acquire contemporaries. Sex outsells no sex. M/m outsells mixed ménage, novels outsell novellas, and novellas outsell short stories.

At Riptide, we don’t really care. As writers, we know that people write what they are passionate about. So I’d much rather publish a gay horror story that the writer poured their heartblood into than a lukewarm contemporary. We really only care about the quality, regardless of length or genre.

The problem with trends is that they are unpredictable. Before Harry Potter, would anybody have thought that a book series about kid wizards would sell a gazillion copies? Before Gladiator, the big historical movie was dead. I think you have to do what you’re passionate about, and the readers will follow.

Q: I took a sneak peek in to your press kit and came across a cover stating it was ‘A Riptide Wet Dream’. What does this entail?

Wet Dreams are short stories whose primary focus is erotic content. Other shorts—which may contain erotic content but aren’t erotica—are called Riptide Ripples.

Q: What is up and coming with Riptide Publishing?

Well, we’ll have the big launch with a number of stories in October, then we’re partying for three months and publishing one story per week over that period.
Right now, our launch line-up looks like this (subject to change):

Opening Day: October 30, 2011

Grown Men by Damon Suede
First Watch by Peter Hansen
Master Class by Rachel Haimowitz
Sucks & Blows by Storm Grant
Dark Soul vol. 1 by Aleksandr Voinov
Romeo Club #1: Surprises by Brita Addams
Once a Marine by Cat Grant
Pretty Monsters by Andrea Speed

November 7
Divinity by Bryl Tyne

November 14
A Chip in His Shoulder by Lori Witt

November 21
Dark Soul vol 2 by Aleksandr Voinov

November 28
Collared by Kari Gregg

December 5
Romeo Club #2: Rubbed the Right Way by Brita Addams

December 12
Blacker than Black by Rhianon Etzweiler

December 19
Dark Soul vol 3 by Aleksandr Voinov

After December 19, we take a break for the holidays and begin new releases again on January 2.

If you'd like to follow us, subscribe to our newsletter on the website

website | Facebook | Twitter |

And our very active Goodreads group, with lots of fun activities for both readers and writers:
Goodreads Group

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

I would say; Let your curiosity run free and ask Aleksandr Voinov a question that has been burning on your tongue and demands an answer ;)

04 October 2011

Watch out New Orleans, here we come!!

For the last couple of days I’ve been off the grit to prepare for my trip to NOLA. I think I’ve been talking about this trip for the last six months to anyone who was willing to lend an ear. The minute I knew me and Janna were going I made myself a list what I wanted to do.

Pleasuring the taste buds:
I had no problem filling this list.

1: Drink a Hurricane – I do not drink alcohol often because I always have the state of mind I can have just as much fun without alcohol as with. Still, I have never…and I mean NEVER drunk a cocktail. So I decided NOLA is going to change that with me drinking this local cocktail. If, at any time during my stay, you read tweets that do not make sense or fail to form a coherent thought…I warn you now; it is still me but a tad bit drunk!

2: I would like to eat breakfast or lunch at Café Du Monde. I have heard much about this place over the years and I want to eat a bagel/beignet there. If I have guts I’m ordering a chicory coffee with it 0.0

In extension of chicory coffee – I think I will drink twice as much coffee in the US than at home. Why, you might wonder. One answer; Starbucks *grin* Please support Janna any way you can if she has to deal with me in a caffeine rush!!

3: I have heard Pearl talk about sweet potato fries. We don’t have them in the Netherlands and I must find out if they are this finger licking tasty!

4: Gumbo – I really need to wear my ‘I-Iz-Superwoman’ t-shirt to eat this. I’m not that much of a seafood person but I don’t think I can leave NOLA with at least having it tried once.

Culture inhaling:

1: I have bought this delightful little information book on NOLA and found a few bookstores of interest which might be fun to visit: Octavia Books – Garden District Books – Faulkner House Books & Beckham’s Bookshop.

2: Visit a plantation. In my early teenage years I watched North And South which resulted in me having a gurl crush on Patrick Swayze. Not much later after North And South I went to the cinema and saw his hip rockin’ moves in Dirty Dancing and Road house. My girly heart went pitter patter at the sight of him without a shirt. *Focusses on topic again* Ever since watching North And South I wanted to visit a plantation and wander around. I might not have been a history junkie in school but loving it now!

3: There is a big market somewhere in NOLA, I read about it in my little book of travel info but can’t seem to find it again :( Anyway, it sounded like inhaling an essential piece of NOLA so definitely going to find the info again.

Also, with the GayRomLit we are going to do awesome things like A Mississippi cruise – bar crawl – cemetery tour - French Quarter Vampire & Ghost Walking Tour and lots of parties! Next to that the M/M group from Goodreads organized a Scavenger Hunt which means oodles of fun to me and a chance to accumulate a European bracelet.

Things I found out along the way:

1: My sister informed me that on October 10th it will be Columbus day in the US. Does this mean BBQ? And if so, where can we crash one? ;)

2: This trip has once again proven what a control freak I am! *chants* "Know oneself is the road to self-improvement!" As it is my first trip to the US I've asked various friends numerous questions regarding plain trip, luggage, customs etc. The 'What if' syndrome stressed me out and my bro and sis got the brunt of it. *gives them a bear hug*

3: I bought a dress for the parties and my butt is still very butt-luscious curvy and present. I guess I’m owning it as my mum once said: “Hon, you were born with buttocks (she will never say butt LOL) and I think you’ll grow old with one as well.”

4: Last week I googled the weather forecast of New Orleans and came to the shocking discovery the temperature is around 28-30 Celcius there, which is around 80-85 Fahrenheit? That is like freakin' sub-tropical summer in the Netherlands!! I iz a fall/winter type of person y'all and already sweating at the thought of such temperatures. Only light airy tee's, dresses, skirts, capri pants for me to wear and sandals for me to walk on, I can tell ya that!!

5: I contemplated on revealing a picture of my real life self in this blogpost but *insert chicken sounds* I’m a coward. I think each and every one can handle me better in three-D *grin*

Dreaming of things happening in NOLA:

1: Meeting a Were-Hunter, fall madly in love with each other and…oh yeah; have wild *not inserting animals like monkey or bunnies here* sex together ;)

2: Anne Rice bumps in to us, we talk a bit, and then we get invited to her house for dinner.

Whatever happens in NOLA, I know this; I’m happy to share the first part of my adventure with Janna and we are going to join Chris – Kassa – Tracy – Tammy and Kris for the GayRomLit adventure. I know I will have my Bridget Jones/foot-in-mouth and speaking Dutch to a US peep moments. Which afterwards we will all laugh about but at that moment I’ll pray in embarrassment; "Dear lawd, have the earth swallow me whole!" I will also get to meet awesome authors and especially look forward to meeting J.P. Barnaby!

I will return on October 18th in the Netherlands and between then and now I will try to blog but there are no reviews-interviews or giveaways planned in the meantime. I didn’t think to invite fellow bloggers to guestpost *eek* So I will try and blog/tweet as much about my NOLA experience as can :)

On October 17th I have a Q&A week planned with founders and authors of the new M/M Publisher in town; Riptide Publishing. The curios kitten in me wanted to know a lot, plus they have grand prizes in store like; A Nook, iPad or a Kindle.

Of course, if you’ve got tips on places to go for me and Janna, please share them!

28 September 2011

Guest Review: Andrew grey - Dutch Treat

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-61372-058-5
Pages: 200
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Categories: Novels, Contemporary, Andrew Grey
Format: eBook
Received e-copy from Rarely Dusty Books for review

When Michael accepts a company assignment overseas, he doesn't count on being dumped by his boyfriend on the way to the airport. The breakup is a bad omen--Michael's time in Europe would be one long misery of loneliness and corporate backbiting if it weren’t for his friendship with his coworker, Stephan.

When he finds out Stephan wants more than friendship, Michael is torn. Even if he chooses to risk his one bright relationship in Europe for a chance at love, when this project is over, isn't his only choice to say goodbye?

Here is the link to my guestreview of Dutch Treat @ Rarely Dusty Books.

Andrew Grey on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Dreamspinner Press

27 September 2011

Cover Gallery:*whispers* I found a new hawt series!

Last week when I was scouring the net for a particular cover I found another cover in the suggest section that captured my interest. I added the cover to my cover love folder and thought nothing of it. Until the next day when I wanted to add it to my cover gallery post. That's when I found the authors website and read the blurbs. Can I tell you all bells and whistles went off! As we are nearing the last quarter of 2011 I find more and more new-to-me authors and books I'm excited about. Joan Swan with her Phoenix Rising Series is among them!! Of course I immediately knew I had to give this new series and the, what I consider to be almost a traditional hunk cover, a spotlight of their own!

FEVER (Book 1 of the Phoenix Rising Series)

Coming in April 2012 from Kensington Brava

Firefighter TEAGUE CREEK is not the man he used to be. Six years ago while on a routine call, a warehouse explosion left him with burns over eighty percent of his body. When he awoke in a hospital, his injuries had miraculously healed, leaving him with the burning question: what really happened in that warehouse? Subsequent events added to his suspicions: forced separation from his engine company, interrogation by mysterious military personnel, restricted visitation with his wife and, ultimately, her suicide.

But the bizarre circumstances didn’t end there. Two years after his wife’s death, he has been convicted of murdering the first woman he dated since, incarcerated at San Quentin State Penitentiary and denied an appeal. He’s lost the daughter he lived for, Kat, and the career as a firefighter he loved. Believing the original warehouse fire is somehow linked to everything that’s happened since, Teague gives up on the system. Instead of fighting an invisible enemy, he scrapes together a plan to escape prison, reclaim Kat and flee to South America.

Doctor ALYSSA FOSTER is only two weeks away from attaining her loftiest goal to date: securing an attending radiologist position at one of the finest hospitals in the country. Her success means status, respect and proving her worth to her family. But Alyssa’s future is forever altered when she is abducted by one of her forensic patients, Teague Creek. Early on Alyssa realizes this is no ordinary man. He has a strange ability to create heat within his body, which he uses to both hurt and heal.

It doesn’t take Teague long to figure out he’s grabbed the wrong woman. Instead of a bargaining chip to use in exchange for Kat, he’s saddled with a witness. And she’s picked up on his developing pyrokenetic abilities. As the two reluctantly grow closer and she eventually believes his story, a bond emerges between them. And that bond only strengthens as Alyssa helps Teague both embrace his powers and demystify their origin. During their trek across California to find Kat, they both find themselves attracted to each other in ways neither of them expected. But that attraction may just get them both killed. Because this isn't about a missing little girl anymore. Someone wants Teague gone. And they're willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of him.

BLAZE (Book 2 of the Phoenix Rising Series)

Coming in October 2012 from Kensington Brava

Former firefighter turned ATF agent LUKE RANSOM knows how fast a situation can go from bad to worse, and when a simple child custody retrieval turns into a Waco-slash-Jonestown rerun in the remote Nevada desert, worse turns to shit. Paired begrudgingly with his ex, KEIRA O’SHAY, also a former firefighter but now one of the FBIs sharpshooters, Luke and Keira quickly deduce things aren't what they seem. Thrust into the depths of a conspiracy they’d suspected, but couldn't prove, they uncover a deeper, darker force at work, one that is somehow linked to the destruction of their former firefighting team and the development of strange paranormal abilities every team member has struggled with since the mysterious warehouse fire five years before that changed their lives forever.

What neither Luke nor Keira realize, is that their paranormal abilities are enhanced by the power of their relationship. When Luke and Keira come back together in BLAZE, their abilities strengthen, grow and expand. Keira's clairaudience blossoms with empathetic qualities and even a touch of clairvoyance. Luke's gifts come back full force and not only is he immune to burns, his skin is impenetrable, his bones unbreakable. Each utilize their powers toward the success of their mission, but don’t expect the bond their interconnected powers create in their relationship.

And when the shadow agency that has been tracking them decides they’re getting to close to the truth, repressed passions and unspoken regrets won't be the only thing keeping Luke and Keira apart. Now, they’re in a race not only to save a child's life, but to save each other’s as well.

Inferno (Book 3 of the Phoenix Rising Series)

JESSICA FURY once had everything to live for. Now, she lives for one purpose: revenge.
Five years ago, Jessica witnessed the death of her newlywed husband, QUAID LEGEND, when their hazmat firefighting team stumbled upon an illegal chemical stash in a government warehouse set aflame. Since her recovery, Jessica has slowly pieced together a plan to implement payback, and she's just one piece of information away from achieving that satisfaction when she receives the biggest shock of her life: Quaid may still be alive.

Recent events involving other members of her team in BLAZE turn up evidence that Quaid has been held as a prisoner in a secret military laboratory. Jessica utilizes her scrying abilities—using an item to view events at a distance or in the future—to help find and free Quaid from the custody of the shadow government agency, only to discover that all the experimental testing he's undergone over the years has wiped his mind clean, and he has no memory of her.

Utilizing the clustered paranormal abilities they developed within Quaid, the government scientists have created a powerful weapon for the U.S. military. When his former firefighting team rescues him from the secure facility, the government goes on an all-out mission to retrieve what they consider an extremely valuable element to national security.
With their past shadowed and their future threatened, Jessica and Quaid face the ultimate battles of freedom--one for life, one for love.

After reading all these blurbs I developed a serious case of 'me wants'! The blurbs do not only promise fantastic romance but also a plot with chills and thrills. A combination I can not easily resist ;)

Joan Swan on the www:
website | Excerpt Fever | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pre-order FEVER @ BookDepo

26 September 2011

ARC Review: Jennifer Estep - Spider's Revenge

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439192642
ISBN-13: 978-1439192641h
Title:Spider’s Revenge
Series: Elemental Assassin #5
Characters: Gin Blanco, Owen, Finnegan Lane

Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen.

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond.

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with me...no mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

My Review

!!Warning: If you haven’t read the previous books this review may contain spoilers!!

A long time ago a prophecy changes the course of so many people and now the reader is given the ultimate showdown. With the beginning of Spider’s Revenge, Jennifer Estep immediately sets the tone for the rest of the story. There was no gradually easing in to it with easy banter between characters. No, this time I was thrown smack-dab in the middle of a tension rife scene instantly elevating my blood pressure. I got a taste of the diabolical scheming of Mab Monroe and the singular drive of Gin Blanco for revenge.

One of the things I noticed was that the rekindling of information was kept to a minimum and was much more affective this time around. It didn’t hinder the pace of the actual story and only refreshed the memory. While first time readers might still enjoy the story I would say; why start with Spider’s Revenge? The major and some minor plotlines will have so much more punch to them if you start at the beginning!

The first half of the story I was going back and forth between familiar elements and a gradually increasing tension. I was intrigued by the suspense, got lots of acerbic witty dialogues between the group of characters and action filled scenes. It was something I’ve come to expect from Jennifer Estep. She has kept the Elemental Assassin series on a 4 or higher star rating for me and I was ready to be blown of my feet again in a roller coaster ride of plot, action and romance. Let me say that the first half of the book is only warming up the reader. It’s kind of going up the track in a roller coaster ride. Adrenaline starts to pump in your veins, butterflies grow to the size of bats fluttering in your stomach and you heart is slowly getting to beat a mile-a-minute for that moment you tip over. That’s how I experienced the first half as it prepares you for all the things that are to come in the second half and I got what I wanted; I was blown away!

I will look at Gin Blanco, aka The Spider, and see an assassin with heart. She can be lethal with the flick of a wrist and have no scruples about it. Still, over the course of this series some characters have niggled the way in to a small corner of her heart, making her care deeply about them. Ever since Spider’s Bite, Gin has been on a collision course where her deadly skills would threaten all she holds dear. In Spider’s Revenge the stakes are higher than ever before and it demands all of what Gin has to give.

Gin has a no-nonsense attitude, she has her own moral code and an inner core of steel. The fierceness of her love and loyalty is shown to the reader with the very select group of characters who love her and who have become her family. As always Finnegan ‘flirts-with-everything-that-has-a-skirt’ Lane brings humor to the story. Owen who was sexy from the first moment and surprised me in more than one way with his layered personality. The romance may not be the main course in this series but it struck a chord with me in the depth and beauty of it between Gin and Owen.

There are more supportive characters like sturdy, ‘I’ll have your back’ Sophia, who doesn’t say much but each expression or muffled sounds is quirky but meaningful. Her sister; ‘I’ll take care of you’ Jo-Jo is home, pure and simple. Bria is very much like Gin in love, loyalty and backbone. They all burst of the pages with their bold personalities and the dialogues between them speak of a very strong connection. Over the course of this series I got attached to this core group of characters. In Spider’s Revenge I got to become a part of their small family again and I didn’t want to see any of them hurt, or worse! In doing so it made fighting scenes filled with nail-biting tension. Because who were to say the good side wouldn’t lose a few in the end?

Gin was going to face her nemesis, Mab Monroe in the ultimate showdown which made Spider’s Revenge jam-packed with action and verbal taunting between the two powerful women. Mab Monroe was a worthy adversary and just a character I loved to hate. She reeked of power and evil but it made me root for every plan or fight gone right against her. She elevated the mystery in her scheming and raised the stakes in her raw power to kill. Even with all of the tension going on where lethal action ruled it was the love in all its forms and the family that gave it all meaning. I was tumbling from edge-of-my-seat moments to ones where I was gasping, crying or laughing. It is Jennifer Estep’s writing style that has the ability to let the reader absorb all that is going on and she made me live every moment with Gin & Co.

With each novel in the Elemental Assassin series I feel more invested. Even though major plotlines get resolved in Spider’s Revenge, believe me when I say that by the end you know there is room left for more. The kill or be killed fights and the increasing dangers coupled with the emotion rife interaction between the characters make Spider’s Revenge one whopper of an Urban-Fantasy no one should miss out on! I can’t wait to find out what the next chapter of Gin Blanco’s life entails!

4.5 stars

Quotes for you to sample:

1: In that moment, without a doubt, I knew that I loved owen—loved him with every bent piece and warped shard of my heart, black, brittle, and broken though they might be. The knowledge left me dizzy and breathless, and I had to grip the counter to keep from falling off my stool.

2: Genevieve Snow, Gin Blanco, the Spider; whatever I called myself, one thing remained the same—Fletcher Lane had fiercely loved me, and I’d loved the old man just as much in return. Enough to follow in his footsteps as an assassin. Enough to avenge his murder. And more than enough to take on this final impossible task of killing Mab Monroe.

Jennifer Estep on the www:
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24 September 2011

I haz a hawt date with Janna & Lis

It is that time again where the stars have aligned and me, Lis and Janna have the chance to spend an afternoon together. The moment we are in the vicinity of each other we kind of create a vacuum of our space and talk the hours away. The only one daring to come into that space is a waiter or waitress whom supplies us with food and drinks. Hey, what can I say; the body needs fuel and the vocal cords must remain well-oiled ;) This time we agreed to have a high-tea which I do at least a few times a year. I love high tea with its sweet and savory size one snacks. Shall I give you a visual? I feel I must *grin*

So can you see the three of us in a popular café in Utrecht; sitting at a table, nice fall weather for a change, sipping on tea and taking the taste buds out for a treat. You got that image…let me try to explain what happens in the eight or so hours we spend together:

When we meet up it is kiss, kiss, smooch, smooch and ‘how have you been’? We relay our personal life and since we haven’t seen each other since what…May, June, we have vacay’s to discuss. Which leads us to the upcoming vacay of Janna and me in NOLA & the GayRomLit. We comfort Lis cause she can’t come with us and promise her goodies signed by her favorite authors. A small band aid on the wound but she is a tough cookie, it will do for now.

After that it’s going to be books…

And books…

And *uhm* well, books!

And in between I give the big announcement where I tell them about the fact Kris is going to pop my YAOI hymen. Which is kinda, you know, a big deal *grin* I hope it doesn’t hurt *cringe* So I need insiders info from Lis and Janna about their first times.

Since we’re on the topic of visual delights we will talk mancandy andTumblr. Of course I have my iPad with me so I can show them what I have accumulated over the last three months *naughty grin* Do you want a glimpse as well? Really? I would’ve never guessed *wink*

Here’s something for you:

After that it will probably be more books, blog world adventures and personal stuff. But I can tell you this; those hours go by in the blink of an eye and before I know it I need to go home to take care of my furries.

I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday as well! Lis and Janna are going to make mine!