Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kimber An's Unsolicited ARC Policy



Since I read the wonderfully awesome Urban Fantasy, AMAZON INK by Lori Devoti, I've received Urban Fantasy ARCs unsolicited.  This is fine, but considering how tight everyone's finances are I thought I should remind everyone that *unsolicited ARCs go to the bottom of my ARC stack.*  This means they won't get reviewed possibly for a loooong time, possibly ever.  So, save your money and email me first!
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***There is ONE EXCEPTION!***  If you've already established yourself as a favorite author of mine, you can send your new books straight to me, no questions asked.  Just send it.  You'll know you're a favorite author if you have your own tag in the directory.  Scroll down the left side and you'll see Karen Templeton, Lisa Shearin, and so on.  These authors get their own categories and can send me ARCs which will go straight into the regular stack and may jump the line altogether.***
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Although I loved AMAZON INK, the fact is I have very specific tastes when it comes to Urban Fantasy.  I'm sick to death of Kick-Butt Heroiones, for example.  There are more kinds of power than just one.  What set AMAZON INK apart was that the Kick-Butt Heroine was a Mommy and an Amazon (rather than a witch or some other thing common for this subgenre.)  It was very easy for me to suspend my disbelief for the world-building too.
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This policy goes for all Unsolicited ARCs, regardless of genre.  You can get an idea of what I like by checking out my ARC stack here-
http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/2009/08/kimber-ans-to-be-reviewed-stack.html  or my Top Ten Favorite Books of 2009 
http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/2009/12/kimber-ans-top-ten-favorite-books-for.html
But, why not just email me?  Hmm?  It'll save you money.
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Our policy here at Enduring Romance is to only post positive reviews.  In order to do this I make sure I'll at least *like* a book before I request  or accept it.  If I cannot review a *requested ARC,* I mail it back to you at my expense.  This has only happened once in three years.  I received a wonderful novel, beautifully written, but it had child rape and murder in it.  Well, you know what a rabid Baby Fanatic I am!  Former nanny here and mother of four.  If I can't read a book I didn't request, I do not feel obligated to mail it back.
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So, check out my ARC stack post and email me, 'kay?  Save your money.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

ATLANTIS RISING by Alyssa Day and THOSE OF MY BLOOD by Jacqueline Lichtenberg


Good morning again, Blog Buds.  This is another heads-up post.  The holiday season is upon us and I'm going in at maximum capacity (new baby, you know) and already rather tired.  So, I wanted to let you know about these two books I'm reading, but may not have the chance to review until after Christmas.
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Both books have strengths which engage me as a reader.  ATLANTIS RISING, a Fantasy Romance, has great characterization and romantic tension.  THOSE OF MY BLOOD, Science Fiction, has great world-building and plotting.  They're both worth checking out, so don't wait on me.

MOONSTRUCK by Susan Grant on the SFR Blitz



http://susangrant.com/books/moonstruck.htm
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I'm taking part in the SFR Blitz organized by Heather over at the Galaxy Express blog.  I just wanted to give you all a heads-up.  I'll be featuring and managing the give away of a free copy of MOONSTRUCK.  Yeah, I know the cover screams Romantic Suspense, but, trust me, it's Science Fiction Romance.  Click on Susan's tag at the bottom of the post to learn about MOONSTRUCK and all things Susan Grant on this blog.
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This idea came to us Skiffy Romers from GREEN EGGS AND HAM by Dr. Seuss.  "You may like it.  You will see.  You may like it in a tree!"  Hey, most of us are moms, you know.  So, tune in.  If you've never tried SFR, here's your chance to try it for free.

Friday, November 27, 2009

'Top Ten Books of 2009' Posts Forthcoming!



So, if you need help with your Christmas list, do check in here periodically this month.  I can already tell you my Favorite Book of the Year for 2009.  THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND by Allegra Goodman.  *cover art varies*  It's Middle Grade Science Fiction, but it beat out all the grown-up novels I've read this year.  In fact, Middle Grade did very well this year. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Endless Blue - Wen Spencer

First off let me apologize for this being late. They have been doing "upgrades" to the phone/internet lines in my neighborhood for the past month and as a result I have had several extended periods with no phone or internet access.

Now, enough apologizing on to raving about this book.

I have been a fan of Wen Spencer since I read Alien Taste back in 2001. She's a good story teller who creates truly unique characters and situations. She tells stories where the relationships her characters have are as important as the events they live through. If you like SF or F with a hint of Romance Wen Spencer should be one of the writers on your watch list.

The series starting with Alien Taste deals with Ukiah Oregon, a feral child apparently raised by wolves and named for the city nearest to where he was found. Now an adult Ukiah is a professional tracker known for his uncanny abilities. He has also realizing that he's not exactly human. This series is fast paced tight urban SF. The second book in the series Tainted Trail
has a horrid cover that looks like a cross between and ad for a first person shooter video game and an SUV commercial. More on that later.

Spencer has also written Urban Fantasy with Tinker and Wolf Who Rules which are about the adventures of a teenage mechanical and quantum physics genius and the return of Faerie magic to the real world. Tinker also had a sort or wretched cover.

Now with Endless Blue Spencer is trying her hand at Space Opera. Again the book has a cover that makes me wonder if anyone involved with the artwork had read the book. There are horned Minotaur like characters in the book, but at no time do they go flying though the air like the on the cover. I can guess who the other two characters are supposed to be, but they only faintly resemble anyone in the book.

Captain Mikhail Volkov is a clone of the clone of the Czar of the Novaya Rus Empire. He's not in line to rule at the moment due to governmental changes in the Empire. He's politically inconvenient, but too important to be disappeared. He made some mistakes in his youth, and has been given the chance to make up for that by joining the military. Through hard work he has become captain of the starship
Svoboda. Turk is in charge of the unit of Red genetically modified human fighters on the Svoboda. He, is Mikhail's body guard/confidant. Unlike most Reds, who are creche raised Turk was raised as Mikhail's foster brother.

Reds are stronger and hardier than standard humans. They can grow fur and claws when stressed.
Originally the Reds were designed to help humans colonize partly terraformed planets. Unfortunalty for them humanity has been attacked by aliens knows as Nefrim and the Reds have gone from potential colonists to soldiers. They are force grown in batches and raised with little socialization. They are encouraged to constantly compete with each other for dominance to make them tougher fighters. Rumor has it they have animal genes are imprinted with animal behavior to make them better fighters, Most humans regard them as animals, except for the few known as "cat fanciers" who treat them as dangerous sex toys.

When the engine of the long missing Starship Fenrir shows up in United Colonies space without the rest of the ship but attached to a sailboat with the body of an unregistered Red on board Mikhail is called to a meeting with United Colonies authorities. The Fenrir's engines seem to be the clue to where ships go when they make a certain kind of mistake in their FTL jump math. The unregistered Red makes the authorities worry that someone may be breeding their own private army. For political reasons dealing with the war UC can't send a ship to investigate. Novaya Rus has agrees to loan the
Svoboda which has both FTL and atmospheric abilities, and her crew and captain to backtrack Fenrir's flightpath by making the same jump math errors and find out what is going on.

Loaded up with all the intelligence available about the Fenrir and an extra group of Red soldiers, Svoboda makes the jump and ends up in an inside out pocket universe with floating asteroid sky islands and an endless ocean dotted with small island archipelagos. Instants after entering this universe the Svoboda sideswipes on of the floating islands. The ship is damaged but still able to fly. Unknown to Mikhail as they made their jump the new Reds mutiny and throw Turk out the airlock.

Mikhail thinks Turk has been killed by the collision. He fights his own depression caused by the loss of his brother, as he tries to find out were exactly they are and how they can get home. While assessing the damage to his ship Mikhail begins having vivid hallucinations, more like waking dreams, where he relives the worst moments of his life. Each hallucination is associated with the sighting of mysterious glowing shadow beings who seem to be watching he Svoboda.They find an island settlement built around the remains of the Fenrir, that has been destroyed by what ever caused the ship's engines to jump back to real space. Mikhail finds a single survivor of the disaster, a woman Eraphie Bailey who looks like a Red but who's genes don't match any Red line in the Svoboda's data files.

Turk is not dead. After being pushed out of the airlock he fell into the ocean form a height that would have killed an unmodified human, and is rescued by a Paige Bailey. Paige is captain of a small trading ship crewed by herself and her cousins. She has no idea who Turk is when she fished him out of the water, other than a very good looking young man. She seems oblivious to him being a Red. Her ship is having serious engine and radio issues and has also been damaged from falling debris created when the Svoboda's licollision with the flying island. Paige and her family treat Turk as an equal. They offer him a place on their crew even though they know he is a Red. Thinking the Svoboda has been destroyed Turk accepts and agrees to help them investigate the strange goings on that have caused members of their family to disabear when the the settlement at Fenrir's rock exploded. Over time he realizes he is in love with Paige, and that she loves him, but due to bad experience in the past with "cat fanciers" he does not trust his feelings.

Back on the Svoboda Mikhail learns from Eraphie that there are no
Nefrim living in Endless Blue, the native's name for the pocket universe, but there are several different species living in this strange universe including several different camps of humans. One human group lives in a settlement know as Mary's Landing, are mostly dependents of the survivors of he crash of a huge luxury ship, They are ruled buy "pure" humans and treat all genetically modified humans, including clones like Mikhail as property. Another, the oldest most prosperous group are desendantes of the colony ship Yamagychi and her military escort Yamoto. Eraphie is a member of a third group who live scattered throughout the whole of Endless Blue. They are mostly traders and live in small settlements and on their ships. Her people are a mix of standard and modified humans, both the hardy Reds and the more specialized and far rarer Blues. Blues are now illegal in the UC. They were designed to be perfect companions, and often but not always sex partners. Blues are beautify, and empathetic almost to the point of seeming to be able to read other people's minds. with Eraphie's help, but unaware of the Red mutiny on his ship, and still haunted by his hallucination Mikhail makes contacts with the various human groups and starts to unravel the mystery of what happened to the Fenrir.

Both the plot and the characters in this book are complex and multi-layered. On one level it's a fast paced Space Opera, on another it is about a romance that heals two people who have been badly damaged by past relationships, on another it is a story about what it means to be human and what humanities duty is to its creations. Overall it is a fun read and just the thing to take you away from the stress of the upcoming holiday season.

I enjoyed Endless Blue a great deal, wretched cover aside. It is one of the best books I've read this year. I'm willing to send my copy to the first person who drops me an e-mail promising to read it.













Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Deplorable Lack of Historical Romance

My ARC stack is a healthy size, but I just used up my last Historical, CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran.  Scroll down for that review.  I wants Historical Romance.  I wants it, my preciousssss!  email me  kimberannebulaATyahooDOTcom 

Happy Thanksgiving!


No need to remind you what I'm thankful for this year!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran


I think most people have watched the classic movie, CLEOPATRA, starring Elizabeth Taylor and her legendary lover, Richard Burton, starring as Cleo's legendary lover, Mark Anthony.  If not, click on this link to learn more-
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056937/
It's not necessary and the movie's not entirely accurate, but I think it'd be fun to watch before reading this novel.  The costumes are drop-dead gorgeous.  Anyway, on with the review.
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Queen Cleopatra of Egypt took over the throne, whether rightfully or not, who knows, but I think most agree she was a better ruler than her brat-kid brother.  Two things are important to know here.  One, Egypt was not ruled by Egyptians at this time.  It was ruled by the descendents of Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great's generals, after Alexander conquered Egypt.  The other thing to know is that Ancient Egyptian women had more rights and freedom than other women at that time.  An Egyptian woman could marry for love and divorce the dude if he turned into a big, fat idiot.  She could own property and do lots of other things Roman women could not. 
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CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER begins with the deaths of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, which I really liked because I'm one of those readers who always wants to know what happens next.  'The End' is never enough.  The conqueror, Octavian, new ruler of Rome carries off Selene and her twin brother, Alexander, and their little brother, Ptolemy.  Sadly, Ptolemy dies of an illness on the way to Rome, but maybe he had it easy in the long run.
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Selene knows Octavian is keeping her alive after having her older brothers murdered because she's a girl and cannot inherit under Roman law and because she will be a useful pawn in the marriage game.  'Cause in Rome, girls are bought and sold like cattle, and often are not treated as well.  Alexander, on the other hand, is a growing threat, growing because once he's fifteen he'll be considered an adult, capable of leading rebellion against Octavian. 
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For the time being, though, they've got it pretty good for captives.  They live well and are educated.  Selene even gets to study archaelogy, despite being a girl.  Octavian's sister, Octavia, is surprisingly gracious, despite Mark Anthony having dumped her for Selena's mother.  The Empress Livia is a cruel chick though, marrying girls she doesn't like off to fat, dirty old creeps.  There's a scene in which one of these girls gives birth and the old creep wants the baby tossed in a dump because it's a girl.  Instead, the girl pays a slave to take her to a place where she might be found and cared for.  Selene is very disturbed by this.
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In Egypt, the women have learned to use certain herbs to induce miscarriage and adoptions are commonly arranged.  Not in Rome.  Unwanted babies are garbage, even if their parents are wealthy and/or well-connected.  Some people try to help the babies, but most die.  Even though she's not quite a woman herself, Selene is determined to change this.  She begins plans on building a foundlings' home where these babies can be cared for and placed for adoption.
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The odds against Selene ever achieving anything in Rome are massively against her though, because she's female and also because her mother was the hated Queen Cleopatra who seduced Julius Caeser and Mark Anthony too.  But, Mama instilled a strong sense of confidence and determination in Selene. 
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Just settled in, Selene and Alexander realize the major problem in Rome.  Slavery.  The Romans are wealthy and powerful and used to being catered too.  Most politicians and merchents are horribly corrupt.  Women don't want to have babies for fear of stretch marks.  New slaves are brought in whenever new countries are conquered.  You may know about Sparticus, a slave who read a revolt.  I think there's a movie about it too.  That happened before this story.  But, there's a new hero for the slaves, Red Eagle, and the Romans live in fear of him.
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Slaves are everywhere and from everywhere.  Octavia's maid is from Gaul, a former warrior herself.  Juba is a former prince who's parents were also done away with and he was brought to Rome in a similar way to Selene.  One would think these two would become fast friends, but Juba seems determined to make Selene dislike him.  Whatever his origins, by all appearances he's loyal to Octavian, his eyes and ears, the guy who finds out who's plotting what, when, and where.
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But, even Juba can't figure out the Red Eagle.  Or can he?
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Although Selene knows of Romans who hate slavery or at least despise how slaves are treated, there seems to be little she can do about it.  But, that doesn't stop her, of course.  She is, after all...
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Cleopatra's Daughter.
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Great story, vivid description, and a heroine you can cheer for.
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I still like NEFERTITI best though.  I'm silly that way.  I always like the first novel I read by an author the best.  It's okay to play favorites with books, you know.
;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Joann Smith Ainsworth's New Website

It's beautiful.  Authors, you really ought to have the best website you can afford, especially if most of your readers are online.
http://www.joannsmithainsworth.com/novels.shtml

Heads Up for the Galaxy Express!

Heather over at the Galaxy Express is kicking off a Science Fiction Romance blitz during which you can win free novels at participating blogs, such as this one.  Check in on December 6th.
The Alien Romance blog has a sampling of the novels on its sidebar.



Showcase Sunday

Reviewers will be posting througout the day.

Showcase Sunday: Christmas Romance Novels

Probably won'th have time to review these, so I'll just buy my own copies.
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MISSION: CHRISTMAS was out new last year and one of the stories, SNOWBOUND WITH A PRINCE, was written by Susan Grant who usually pens Science Fiction Romance.  However, this is Romantic Suspense in the Here and Now.
http://susangrant.com/
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A CREED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS is by Linda Lael Miller who's an author new to me this year.  I usually don't go in for her kind of stories, but her 'voice' and style is so beautiful, I can't help myself.  Isn't that cover gorgeous?

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THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS is an anthology of short stories by authors which include Molly O'Keefe.  I've never read or reviewed her stories before, but she contacted me about this and it sounds wonderful.   http://www.molly-okeefe.com/

Friday, November 13, 2009

GOING ROGUE by Sarah Palin


I won't be buying or reviewing this book, but only because I live here in Alaska and already know all about her.  It still baffles me why some people vehemently hate her and ridicule her at every opportunity.  I mean, good grief, did she personally go over to their houses and beat up their kittens?  The presidential election has been over for a looong time and their boy even won.  I'm sure I'll never get it.  I'm an Alaskan and she was my governor and I liked her.  So there.  Book hits the stands November 17th.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER review coming this weekend


I'm still behind and it's a really great book, so I don't want to rush it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans' Day to Authors!

Susan Grant, former pilot with the Air Force, and
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Patricia Wood, formerly in the Army.  Thanks for your service and also for your great stories!

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If anyone knows any other author veterans, please let me know in the comments.

'All Romance' Celebrates Third Birthday with Freebies!

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/index.html
If you've been hesitant to try eBooks, this may be just the free taste you need.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

XOMBIES Apocalypse Blues by Walter Greatshell


I really wanted to have this one up for you by Halloween, even though I don't actually celebrate it and even though this isn't really about zombies.  It's Xombies.  So, what the heck, here it is now.  I really am trying to get back on a regular schedule and caught up and all that.
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Jacqueline Lichtenberg   http://www.jacquelinelichtenberg.com/  advised me to read books like I'm writing to learn all I can, so I went looking and found this book.  Like mine, it has a seventeen year old heroine with a pre-existing medical condition and a really nasty virus that turns otherwise nice people into freakin' lunatics.  That's where the similarities end though.  XOMBIES is not Young Adult and mine is.  It's written for a much broader readership and there's plenty of masculinity to go around, 'cause, it's written by a guy for one thing.  However, I think my younger friends, male and female, will enjoy it.
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Lulu thought she had a nutty mother, and she did by everyday standards.  Her mom relentlessly stalked an old man for years, trying to nail him for child support, even though he probably wasn't her father.  Even though she was seventeen and could've taken off and probably done well for herself, they moved around so often she never really developed attachments or resources.  Her nutty mama was all she had in the world.  While most girls her age probably would've gotten the heck out, it's important to understand that what a child lives is her definition of normal.  Without other resources or attachments, finding a new life elsewhere is almost incomprehensible.  Lulu was kept in this stage of childhood development a lot longer because of the constant moving.  I think, as a former professional childcare provider, it's important for the reader to understand that Lulu's emotional development is stunted.
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I think it's also important to know a lot of children grow up in dysfunctional families and are, therefore, stunted in their emotional development in one way or another.  A lot of people don't take that into consideration when dealing with young people, whether in real life or fiction, and they can be very cruel without realizing it.
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Lulu gets a jump-start on growing up fast one day.
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Lulu and her mom have been living in a beach house because the people who own it aren't around and because the old man her mom is stalking, Fred Cowper, lives nearby.  So, they're out there without a t.v. or anything, always keeping a low profile so Mom doesn't have to pay rent.  The day finally comes when the food's low and Lulu's trust fund check comes in.  Mom goes to town and Lulu can only hope she spends it on food instead of on some hair-brained scheme. 
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Instead, Mom comes back terrorized.  The world outside they're little bubble seems deserted and martial law has been declared.  A plague more terrifying than Ebola or the Black Death is running rampant.  Menstruating women turn into terrifying monsters and attack men.
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At this point, my husband asked, "And how is that different from real life?"  I just about smacked him upside the head!
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Anyway, the orders are to stay indoors.  Lulu and Mom do that for a while, but the food is running out and they're going crazy.  So, they decide to check things out.  Bad idea.  They find a house full of dead men's body parts and all of sudden these creepy blue monsters start chasing them.  Lulu loses track of Mom and next thing she knows Mom's one of them and she's screaming for her to remember who she is.
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It's kinda like the Borg on Star Trek.  The Xombies assimilate regular humans into becoming xombies too.  That's how they procreate.
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Then, Lulu finds Cowper, he realizes she's immune, and they make a break for it in his old car.  Picture it charging down the highway with blue xombies chasing it, climbing all over it like army ants, and so on.  Very exciting chase, that one.
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They finally get to a safety zone and Cowper manages to convince the surviving men that she's no threat, that she's immune, and maybe even her immunity could lead to a cure.  Lulu hopes it's not just a lot of BS.  The survivors consist of military men, young and old, including boys Lulu's age.  Unfortunately, being the only teenaged girl in a sea of teenaged boys is not the girlhood dream one might think.  Almost all the men and boys too are terrified and hateful of her.  They're just sure this is all her fault somehow, 'cause she's female, and she might suddenly turn on them.  Hmm, isn't that the basis for misogyny in real life too?
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Then, she gets tackled by gigantic chipmunk.
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I swear, it's in the book!
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See, a fight breaks out, she's out in the middle, and no one's eager to save her until this boy, Hector, tackles her to the ground and he's dressed in a chipmunk suit.  Actually, he's 'Safety Squirrel' from school or something.  Quiet, smart, keeps a level head in a desperate situation, just the kind of guy a girl might want to settled down and repopulate the world with, but I digress.
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The survivors need to get to a submarine and escape the xombies by going out to sea.  It's another wild chase and a big fight.  Lots of blue creepies go in the water and then there's running and screaming and they put out to see, but there's xombies still on board.  All the big guys are trying to figure out how to get rid of these xombies when it comes to Lulu.  The teenaged boys tell her to shut-up, she'll just get in trouble, except Hector, of course, but she doesn't. 
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Ah, Lulu is growing up.
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I'd like to tell you more, like what she figured out would get them and all, but I think it would spoil it for you.  Suffice it to say, this novel has great Science Fiction, Old Hollywood Horror, and the Intimate Adventure of a girl growing into womanhood in the middle of it all too.  There's daughter/crazy mother going on, daughter/maybe birthfather dude, and a boy who gives her the warm fuzzies in more ways than one.  A really great read.  It's off the shelves at my store now.  If it's off yours, I say it's worth ordering.  You don't have to pay shipping if you order it through most local bookstores.
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To learn more about this book, the author, and the next book in the series, pop over to  http://www.waltergreatshell.com/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A New Sister Blog

It's still under construction and it will be a showcase blog only.  I'll link it to this one whenever anything new goes up.  Hopefully, I'll have it ready to go and looking pretty by December 6th.   http://bestofsciencefictionromance.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 5, 2009

ALASKAN RENEGADE by Kate Bridges



I'm probably the wrong Kimber to be reviewing this book as Kimber An, our moderator, is actually living in Alaska but, darn it, she gets enough free books so I'm keeping this one!

Years ago, Victoria's sister was engaged to Brant MacQuaid. He, however, took off without a word, deserting them when they needed him the most. Today Victoria's sister is happily married with kids and Victoria is a nurse assigned to a remote community in Alaska (okay, back in 1899 every community in Alaska was pretty much remote). The trip there is dangerous and she needs an escort. The man escorting her is, you guessed it, Brant.

Brant is a bounty hunter after a really bad baddie. This baddie needs medical attention. Brant knows Victoria and the young doctor-to-be Cooper will be admitted to the camp. He plans to first pose as their bodyguard and then convince them to pose as the doctor.

The sparks between the two fly. Victoria has issues about people leaving her. Brant is very good at leaving. He's also a bounty hunter so leaving in a pine box is always a possibility.

Yep, the romance between Brant and Victoria is everything a good romance should be but what makes this story special to me is Cooper. At the beginning of the book, he steps onto the stagecoach a boy. He was forced into the profession by his family. He refuses to treat patients. He blushes. He takes the easy way out. When he boards the ship to return south, he is a man. He knows his place in the world. He has confidence. He is ready to be the hero of his own book. This transformation is simply wonderful.

I won this book in a contest on Margaret Moore's site. Woo hoo! I also know Kate. We belong to the same Romance Writers Of America chapter.

Kate's website is http://www.katebridges.com/

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

TEMPT ME AT TWILIGHT by Lisa Kleypas



Poppy Hathaway, a member of the rather unusual Hathaway family, has had enough excitement in her short life. She wants to live a normal, rather boring life with a normal, rather boring man. Once her beau finds his backbone and dredges up enough courage to ask his father for permission to marry Poppy, she'll have that humdrum life.

Until then, her days are spent chasing her sister's ferret around the hotel they reside in. She tracks the ferret down in the private suites of the mysterious hotel owner, Harry Rutledge.

Harry came to England with nothing. He is now one of the richest, most powerful men in London. He didn't do that by hesitating. When he meets Poppy, he knows no other woman will do as his wife. He feels he's the perfect man to make Poppy happy. He uses all means, nefarious or otherwise, to secure her hand.

I don't normally like romance novels in which the heroine starts off in love with one man and ends up in love with another. However, it is so obviously puppy love between Poppy and her first beau, especially when directly contrasted against the feelings between Poppy and Harry. The first beau is a boy. Harry is a man. The first beau is the person Poppy thinks she should want. Harry is the person she does want and is a better intellectual fit

I loved Harry. He isn't perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination. But he stole my heart in that first scene with Poppy.

He takes her back to his treasure room, a room where he keeps his favorite trinkets and gadgets. It is his private space in the busy, bustling hotel. No one else is allowed in there. Every object, every piece of furniture is handpicked by Harry.

Then the ferret completely destroys one of the chairs. As a reader, I held my breath, thinking Harry is going to get upset. Nope. He doesn't think twice about it. He doesn't care about this beautiful chair. When Poppy tries to control the ferret, Harry says "The chair is already ruined. Let him have at it." He later calmly asks to have it repaired.

He cares about objects for the happiness they bring him and others. The chair brings the ferret happiness. Harry gladly gives it up. I got the impression that if Harry truly thought the first beau would make Poppy happy, he would have given her up also.

Tempt Me At Twilight is part of the Hathaway series but can be easily read as a stand alone. It clearly leads into the romance of Leo and Miss Marks.

Oh, I understand that bloggers are supposed to talk about how they got the books they're reviewing. I started reading this one in Target determined only to read a chapter or two and set it down. I couldn't stop, ended up buying it, and read it that night. I don't know Lisa Kleypas... yet but hope to some day. I DO haunt her site for upcoming releases. Does that qualify me as knowing her?