dinsdag 30 april 2013

Heather Blake – The Good, the Bad and the Witchy

The third book in the Wishcraft Mystery series, published April 2, 2013.
Genre: paranormal cozy mystery
Cover: cute

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Darcy Merriweather is Enchanted Village's newest resident Wishcrafter - a witch who can grant wishes for others. But as Darcy prepares a celebration for a magical florist, she discovers that every rose has its thorns...

When magical florist Harriette Harkette decides to throw a lavish eightieth birthday party for herself, she hires Darcy's Aunt Ve's personal concierge service, As You Wish, to plan the soiree. But turning eighty isn't all Harriette is celebrating - the Floracrafter has recently created the midnight black Witching Hour rose, the first all-natural rose of that color.
Darcy works hard on planning an extravagant celebration that will make Harriette feel like the belle of the ball. But when cake delivery boy Michael Healey - a former employee at Harriette's greenhouse - is found dead, the celebration takes a turn. Now Michael's ghost has imprinted on Darcy, meaning that they're bonded until she can untangle the thicket surrounding his murder - and what exactly it has to do with the Witching Hour rose....

Harriette Harkette, a flora crafter, has thrown herself a big girls only black and white themed birthday party for her 80th birthday. Darcy and her Aunt Ve are in charge of the organisation. One of Darcy’s job was to hire a stripper! Which is something she really doesn’t like, and the thought of a young handsome oiled man giving Harriette a stroke, makes her choose an older stripper. Who does not meet any of Harriette’s requirements! Her aunt Ve is also very excited about the stripper and can’t wait for him to show up. She has a big bundle of dollar bills ready!
But when the birthday cake Darcy’s friend and Bake/Wish crafter Evan Sullivan is late, Darcy sets out to investigate as the delivery truck was due an hour ago. When she finds Michael’s body in the bushes near the van, clearly murdered, for her the party is over. But Harriette refuses to postpone or cancel her birthday party, and to hell with what her daughter or friends or the police say. Apparently, the stripper is a big success.
Michael was an Illumicrafter, and everybody liked him, so who wanted him dead? As Michael’s ghost has imprinted on Darcy, she has no choice but to help the police figure out who did it. Especially as they seem to have their eyes set on someone already.
Michael’s sister Amy is also an Illumicrafter, and her grief makes it impossible to hide her glow. Luckily, Pepe and Geoffrey have the solution for that, a cloak that makes her invisible. Darcy takes Amy home with her, to keep her safe and away from reporters and the police who are after her boyfriend Fisk.
Michael used to work for Harriette as a gardener, before she became famous with her black roses. The flower business is cut throat, and Harriette refuses to share her secret with anyone. But all is not well at the Elysian Fields Gardens, the four women who own the greenhouses are not the good friends they appear to be. And when someone tries to frame Harriette, the suspects keep amounting.

With the help of her familiar friends Pepe and Archie, and even the Elder, Darcy sets out to discover the truth behind it all. Darcy’s sister Harper is the new owner of the bookshop, and she wants to hear all the grisly details, she really is into CSI and such. But Harper also has a sixth sense for when danger is near, and her warning helps Darcy safe some lives.

There is a fun second plot, with Darcy’s Aunt Ve, the missing cat Tilda, and the stripper Hot Rod. I really enjoyed those parts a lot.

The romance between Darcy and police chief Nick seems to be progressing nicely, but police officer Glinda Hansel keeps trying to put a wrench in things. And it seems that she is succeeding … especially as she can tell Nick’s daughter Mimi things about her mother, who was one of her best friends when they all lived in the Enchanted Village.

I really loved this book, and this series is one of my favourite paranormal cozy mystery series. Heather Blake has written such a lovely cozy town, filled with all kinds of different crafters (witches), I wish I could go and visit. (Do you hear my wish Darcy?)
The characters and the village are very will written and described, I can just see it all happen in my mind. The story is a perfect blend of action, magic, sleuthing, romance and friendship, it has a nice flow and never gets boring. I love Darcy, she is falling hard for Nick and she loves her new life and discovering new things about her own magic and others. This time she gets help from the Elder, instead of a lecture if she has done something wrong unknowingly. She just fits in.
Aunt Ve is a real mankiller though, she has been married 4 or 5 times already, and is engaged again, but she still has the hots for the stripper! She is a hoot, but also a very caring person.

As always, I love the familiars, especially Pepe and Archie, and finally the secret about Missy is revealed. I can’t want to find out what will happen next.

9,5 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 29 april 2013


I have some winners to announce today.

The two winners of my 3 year Blogoversary, and one book of choice I have reviewed in the last year from Bookdepository are: Anna from Herding Cats and Burning Soup blog, and Ronnie Readsalot, who is a reviewer at Paranormal Romance blog.

The winners of the Delilah Marvelle books are:
For the paperback: Sullivan McPig
And for the ebooks gifted by Delilah herself: Blodeuedd and Melissa.

The winner of the JJ Cook blogtour is:
Cozy up with Kathy!


Congratulations to all the winners! Emails are on their way!

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 27 april 2013

Suzanne Enoch – The Handbook to Handling his Lordship

The fourth book in the Scandalous Brides series, published March 26, 2013.
Genre: historical romance
Cover: nice, with a nice stepcover

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What could be more tempting
Emily Portsman has a secret, and three years ago she decided the best way to keep it would be to work at the Tantalus Club, a notorious gaming establishment for gentlemen. It's not the sort of work a beautiful, well-bred governess would ever consider - unless she's hiding from her past and a man who wants to destroy her present...
Than surrendering to love?
Nate Stokes, Earl of Westfall, is a supremely accomplished former spy more at home on London's seedy streets than in any glittery ballroom. His peers know him only as a bookish fellow who can find anything - or anyone. When the Marquis of Ebberling hires him to find a murderess, Nate's search leads him to the Tantalus Club and Emily Portsman. In a game where no one is who they seem and when every conversation is a deadly dance of trust and desire, the only thing Nate knows for sure is that once he gets Emily in his arms, he will never let go...

Suzanne Enoch is one of my favourite historical romance authors, she manages to surprise me time and again with her original characters and plots, and I just love her writing style and sense of humor. The first book in this series was my very first 11 star review, I was just blown away with it.

Emily Portsman has been in hiding at the Tantalus Club for over 3 years now, ever since she witnessed her former employer, the Marquis of Ebberling, murdering his wife. Of course he puts the blame on her, as who is going to take her word over his? She was about to flee the country when she saw the advertisement in the paper about the Tantalus Club. So she has not set foot outside for 3 years, even though she has always loved to walk outside. Always afraid that Lord Ebberling would find her, and kill her as well, the only witness to his crime.
She really enjoys her job at the Tantalus Club, not so much the interacting with the blue blooded clients, but with her fellow Tantalus girls, and the owner and her husband. She feels safe, and among friends here. Her low birth is of no consequence, even though she never told anyone about it. She has made something more of herself than she should have been if she staid at home.

Lord Ebberling has not forgotten about the governess. He plans to marry again, so he needs to find her and silence her for good. And so he hires Lord Nathaniel Stokes, the new Earl of Westfall. Nate was a spy during the Napolean War, and a good one at that, but as he has become an Earl, he had to retire. Earls are to precious to risk in wartime. Nate never wanted to be an Earl, he did not expect his cousin to die so young and without an heir. The cousin who never took care of his impoverished in-law and her two young children. Nate is not really accepted by society yet, nor does he like it. Still, they provide him a way to continue his hobby, finding lots things. Be they family heirlooms, stolen art or even missing people. And since Lord Ebberling wants to find this murderess, who also stole an expensive necklace from his late wife, he is geared for the hunt.

Thanks to something his younger brother Laurence says (who has just been sent home from Oxford for having a “lady” in his rooms), he visits the Tantalus Club for lunch. As Laurie cannot keep his mouth shut about this new quest, Emily overhears them talking about finding a thief here. Nate sees her flinch, and knows she is hiding something, and perhaps she knows something. Lucille has told him Emily has been working here since the opening of the Club, and knows everyone. So when Emily asks him to join her upstairs for some private time, he agrees. Emily thinks to outsmart this bookish looking Earl, and find out who or what he is after, but his kisses soon muddle her brains, and they share a nice interlude in her bedchamber. Nate is not sure he has found the woman he has been looking for, but he does know he wants to see her again and find out her secrets. After all, he loves discovering secrets.

But if Emily is discovered, and handed over to Lord Ebberling, she will die. She does not trust easily, and of course she should not. Emily discovers she is not without friends when the truth comes out, they will protect her, no matter what.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and especially Emily. She is not a shy young miss, if she wants to take a man upstairs for some sex and companionship, she asks him. And for the clients downstairs, that is something to boost about. After all, all the employees are pretty young ladies of a good birth, and they are not prostitutes. Emily tries to outsmart Nate, but he is not so easily caught, not even with the help of Genevieve, Lady Diana’s good friend and right hand lady. And for Nate, for the first time not only the search is important to him, but also the result, and the why. He finds out he has a conscious and honor after all, and he will not betray Emily to Lord Ebberling. Emily knows she is a very common commoner, and she will never be able to marry an Earl, but she is content to be his lover for as long as it can last.

What is so unique about this series, is the setting, the Tantalus Club. A gentleman’s club were all the staff is female. Young and pretty females, who are down on their luck and do not want to live on the street or become courtesans. The so called gentlemen are to behave themselves, and if not, they are taken off the premises by the men who guard the ladies, and are banned forever. They can eat a very good meal there, read in the library, but most important, they can gamble. Even the croupiers are females. And every other Wednesday is a Ladies night, when their wives can come and play, and when all the staff is young and handsome and male. “Borrowed” from the other gentleman’s clubs in town, they are eager to serve the ladies and earn some nice big tips.

Of course the previous couples make an appearance in this book, as the ladies are all good friends with Emily. I really enjoy that, to see some more interaction with their husbands. This story was another original by Suzanne Enoch, I enjoyed everything about it. Suzanne has such a great writing style, the story never gets slow or stale, it is fresh and lively and surprising.

I do recommend her books, and especially this series, to all lovers of historical romances.

9,5 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 26 april 2013

Deb Baker – Murder passes the Buck

The first book in the Gertie Johnson Murder Mysteries series, published August 8, 2006.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: meh

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Gertie Johnson may be outspoken, distrustful of banks, and a quick draw with the pepper spray, but she hasn't lost her marbles. Her son Blaze, the sheriff in a backwoods community of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is petitioning to become her legal guardian, but Gertie, a sassy sixty-six-year-old widow with a taste for detective work, has got bigger fish to fry: solving the murder of Chester Lampi who was shot dead in his deer blind. Blaze - who's more interested in retiring than investigating - rules Chester's death as a hunting accident. So, Gertie takes on the case with help from her friends, man-hungry Cora Mae and pin-curled Kitty. Interrogating neighbors, spying, impersonating the FBI . . . the stubborn, spunky grandmother won't give up the chase even when the killer takes aim at her.

This book was a hoot. I have never before come across a character like Gertie Johnson. She is 66, a kind of a hillbilly, and proud of it too. She knows how to shoot a gun, loves spending time alone in her deer blind, but will never shoot an animal. Not even when her grandson Littly Donny keeps missing, and she really could use some venison for her freezer.
Her son Blaze, whom she named after Clint Eastwood’s horse, is the local sheriff. But he is already looking towards his retirement and not really doing much investigating. Which leaves it up to Gertie to find her neighbours killer. Blaze keeps warning her off of his case, but Gertie can’t leave it up to him. She hasn’t watched all those CSI shows for nothing. With her friend Cora Mae, and her new bodyguard Kitty, she sets out to follow her leads, and ask questions of unsuspecting people.
But her troubles are not just about finding out who killed Chester. Her very own son is trying to get the court to make him her legal guardian. Which means he can control what she does, and especially her money. I really have no idea if he really truly believes she needs a keeper, he thinks she has changed after his father died a little over a year ago (which seems very normal to me!). Or is he just after the money she took from the bank and hid somewhere?

And no matter the unorthodox methods Gertie uses, she does find clues and stuff, and gets threatened in the process. She is blunt, but she also has a very big heart. She is not so fond of her mother in law though, and Grandma Johnson just might be her new housemate …

I enjoyed this first book in the series, it is very original, and Gertie really is something different. The setting, the language used, the characters, it was a fun read. And of course, the mystery part was very well done too. My thoughts were going in the wrong direction, especially about those mineral rights. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series.

7 stars.

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It is still a freebie on Amazon! So go for it!

Amazon Kindle freebie

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 25 april 2013

Cecy Robson – The Weird Girls

The prequel novella to the Weird Girls series, published December 4, 2012.
Genre: paranormal romance / urban fantasy
Cover: nice.

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Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls - with one tiny exception: they're products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird...

The Wird sisters are different from every race on earth - human and supernatural. When human society is no longer an option for them, they move in among the resident vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region. Could this be the true home they've longed for? Um, not quite. After the sisters accidentally strip a witch of her powers in a bar brawl, they soon realize the mistake will cost them. Because to take on a witch means to take on her coven. And losing the battle isn't an option.

Includes a preview of the first full-length novel in the Weird Girls series, Sealed with a Curse - as well as introductions to the Weird World, and a letter from the author.

I loved the first book in this series, and Cecy Robson was so kind as to send me this novella. When I finished it, I posted this on her Facebook page: “Wow Cecy, I just finished The Weird Girls novella, and it is absolutely amazing. My muscles are cramped as if I was fighting alongside Celia. You are an awesome author, and I am looking forward to being your lifelong fan.” I think that says enough about this novella. It absolutely engaged my emotions and my whole attention for the duration of the story.

It is a prequel to the Weird Girl series, but you really don’t need to read it before you read the first book. It does introduce you to the four sisters, and their powers, and their arrival in Lake Tahoe. While celebrating the buy of their first house, which will require lots of work, Taran manages to piss off some witches, and it is up to Celia to save them. But angering one witch, means getting the whole coven after you, and Celia will have to go through a lot of anguish to safe herself and her sisters.
The novella is very well written, and fast paced, while still making time to let the reader get to know the sisters. They are all very different, with Celia as the oldest and the strongest protecting her sisters. But fighting all four of them together, they are awesome and a force to be reckoned with. They are all very unique in their powers, and I do love that they all work as a nurse. They want to live a normal live, but people just sense there is something different about them, something weird.

I am very much looking forward to the next book, which will be published soon, and has, of course, been pre-ordered months ago.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 24 april 2013

Maya Banks – Seduction of a Highland Lass

The second book in the Highlander series, published September 27, 2011.
Genre: historical romance
Cover: nice

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Maya Banks, the New York Times bestselling author of erotic romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance, has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Seduction of a Highland Lass, an indomitable Highland warrior is caught between loyalty and forbidden love.

Fiercely loyal to his elder brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. Miraculously, his life is saved by the soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put to the test his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires.
An outcast from her own clan, Keeley McDonald was betrayed by those she loved and trusted. When the wounded warrior falls from his horse, she is drawn to his strong, lean body. The wicked glint in his green eyes ignites a passion that will follow them back to Alaric's keep, where their forbidden love draws them deeper into the pleasures of the flesh. But as conspiracy and danger circle closer, Alaric must make an impossible choice: Will he betray his blood ties for the woman he loves?

To unite their clans against a mutual enemy, Alaric McCabe has promised to wed with Rionna McDonald, and become the next Laird of the McDonalds. As a second son, this will be his chance to have land and lead a clan himself. His brother and Laird Ewan McCabe has a very pregnant wife, Mairin, and the birth of their child will get them Mairin’s dowry. After much hardship, the McCabe’s are slowly climbing to prosperity again. So his marriage is very important to both their clans.
It is time to go over to the McDonalds and get to know his future wife and clan. Alaric doesn’t really want to leave his family behind, but he is ready to do his duty. He will honor his word.

But on the way to the McDonald Keep, Alaric and his warriors are ambushed, and only Alaric manages to escape the overwhelming amount of enemies, but he is severely wounded. His horse carries him unconscious to a small village, where he falls of at the feet of Keeley McDonald, the unofficial McDonald healer. With a lot of trouble she manages to get him inside, and take care of his wounds. Alaric is very seriously injured though, and she is not sure she can safe him, but try it she will. Alaric goes in and out of consciousness, confusing Keeley with an angel from heaven, or a demon to torment him.
After a few days of almost no rest for Keeley, they are found by Ewan McCabe and his men, who have followed Alaric’s trail when his horse came home with an empty saddle. Not hesitating at all, Ewan just takes Keeley with them home, as they have no healer at Clan McCabe at the moment, and he needs her. Not only to take care of Alaric, but also to be midwife to his wife Mairin, when she will give birth in a few weeks. Keeley has no say in the matter, but the thought to belong to a clan again, is very tempting.

Alaric is only quiet when Keeley is near, and so she almost cannot leave his side. There is this odd attraction between them, something she has never felt before. But Keeley knows he is to wed her former best friend, and she won’t come between them. He will just have to stop kissing her and touching her, their relationship is not to be.

But when Keeley’s past gets known, even the third brother, Caelen, defends her. And he comes to admire her new loyalty to the McCabe’s and to Alaric in specific. Alaric is falling in love with Keeley, and she with him, but when even the King himself is coming over to witness Alaric marrying Rionna McDonald, there is nothing he can do but honor his promises and his clan.

Maya Banks is a superb author; I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. She has really given me back my love for Highlanders.
Keeley is a strong character, she survived something that not many women in her time would have, and she is resilient and a good and compassionate healer. She is not to be ignored, and she will demand what is her right. I really liked her. She stood firm against Alaric who just wanted to seduce her, until she knew she was in love with him and wanted the few nights together they could have before his marriage.
Alaric though, was kind of a spoiled child who has never been denied anything, and he did not like Keeley telling him no. He agreed with her reasons, and still he kept pursuing her. I would have liked him to have a little bit more honor and try to fight his feelings for Keeley some more. He is a stubborn warrior, with little care for himself. But he does not force anything on her, he just keeps trying.

I loved how Keeley and Mairin bonded against those McCabe men. With the other women from the first book, they sure were a fun bunch.

The end was of course not really a big surprise, but the way the story went, that was a twist I did not foresee. So yes, it was still surprisingly good. This book has some of those hot love scenes that Maya Banks is a master of writing; it never gets dull or boring. I like her writing style very much, her pacing, her sense of humor.

I am looking very much forward to reading the next book in this trilogy.

9 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 23 april 2013

Jessica Andersen - Spellfire

The eighth book in the Nightkeepers series, published November 6, 2012.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: I don’t like the woman on the cover, the rest I do like.

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Imprisoned and tortured by the demoness who tricked him into betraying the Nightkeepers and the woman he loves, Rabbit must endure excruciating pain to protect the diminished Skywatch army as the end-time approaches. Although an ancient prophecy says his unique powers are key to winning the final battle in the doomsday war, he hasn't just lost his credibility - he's lost his magic.
Myrinne is far from the woman Rabbit once knew - she's got magic now, and despite emotional scars, she's strong enough to help the Nightkeepers. And yet she's not prepared to handle the fiercely driven man he's become or the new, dangerous feelings that spark between them.
With the barrier ready to fall and a xombi outbreak in the human world, Rabbit and Myrinne must forge a new partnership amid dangerous instability and the threat of an undead army. In the end, it will be up to Rabbit to master his ferocious magic - or all will be lost. For him, for the woman he doesn't have the right to love anymore, and for the fate of the world...

Rabbit has been imprisoned for months now, tortured daily by the demoness who tricked him into believe she is his mother’s ghost or something like that. Seduced by false memories of his earliest childhood, he believed her lies. Until Myrinne lay dying at his feet and he wanted to give up his own life in exchange for hers. The demoness wants his crossover magic for her own, as he is prophesied to be the catalyst in the upcoming endwar. Only a few more days until December 21, 2012. But Rabbit seems to have lost his powers, so even if he wanted to give them to her willingly, he can’t do it. When she is going after Myrinne, that is the last drop, and he manages to break free from his manacles, and kill his guard. And those demons can only be killed in one particular and very unpleasant way!
Just when Rabbit manages to escape, Red Boar can find him, using the blood link between them, and the whole Nightkeepers team comes to his rescue, winikin and all.

Back home at Skywatch, they don’t trust Rabbit anymore, even less so than the other warriors who have been possessed by black magic and worse. And it is Myrinne who has possession of his magic now, and she does not really want to give it back. She enjoys fighting alongside the Nightkeepers. She is using it with the help of her Wiccan artefacts, and is doing a nice job.

Rabbit will have to fight hard to win his fellow warriors trust back, and Myrinne’s love. She doesn’t want to try again, but it is unfair that she blames everything that happened on Rabbit, as she was doing secret stuff herself as well. Being utterly controlled by Red Boar is not helping much either, as they are still on opposite sides of most issues.

And then Anna finally sees a prophecy, and they uncover one of the ancient crystal skulls. A new goddess appears, and she sure turns their whole belief system on its ear. Will they listen to her, believe in her? Red Boar is certainly against it all, and he will do whatever is necessary to keep them in check, even using Rabbit’s oats against their King.

I was glued to this book, it was so full of surprises, I never would have been able to dream of them. But if you think about it, it is logical. But it turned the tale around completely, and I loved it. I have had a soft spot for Rabbit all through the books, and it was good to see him grow from a troubled youth to the warrior he has become. It really is his magic that makes the difference and saves the day.

I don’t know what more to say about this book, the conclusion to the series. Even though the date has come and gone, it does not diminish the impact of the story. The characters and the storyline are unique and great, and I loved all the books. Sure, there are some details I could do without, but I think that would be true for most paranormal romance series. There is enough action, lots of plot twists and of course hot love scenes, but not too much for my taste. I do recommend this series.

9,5 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 22 april 2013

Interview with Delilah Marvelle, our eight author for LLC 2013!

Hi, we are Aurian from Boeklogboek and Maia from boekenlijstjes, and today we have best selling author Delilah Marvelle visiting us here in Utrecht, Holland.


Of course you want to know, what is LLC 2013? It is short for Autoren Love Letter Convention 2013, which takes place in Berlin, Germany, on May 25 and 26, 2013. We had a blast last year, so we immediately bought the tickets once they became available for this years convention.

Our guest today is Delilah Marvelle, author of very original historical romances.

Aurian: Welcome to Utrecht, the Netherlands, Delilah. Have some hot chocolate with whipped cream, and some Dutch cookies.

Delilah: Thank you, Aurian! Mmmmm...I think you need to adopt me : )

Maia: Can you tell our readers who might not yet know you or your books, a little about yourself? Something that is not in your official bio (which is at the bottom of this post).

Delilah: I write historical romance, and in, particular, am obsessed with nuances of naughty history that school never really touched upon. I do a lot of historical research and so I’m always digging up things about history that astounds even me. Whatever doesn’t end up in my books finds a place on my blog, A Bit O’Muslin (www.DelilahMarvelle.blogspot.com). I just love surprising myself and my readers and needless to say, history is full of surprises.

Love Letter Convention questions

Aurian: Could you tell us why you are attending a convention in Berlin, Germany, Europe? Have you been there before? Or other places in Europe? Were you surprised at being invited to a convention this far away?

Delilah: This will be my first time attending both the convention and my first time stepping into Germany. I have been hearing quite a lot about the Love Letters Convention and usually attend a lot of the convention here in the United States, so when I was asked if I could attend the convention in Berlin, I was *beyond* excited to jump at the chance to go. Why? I have a growing audience in Europe and I really wanted to connect with my readers in the same way I do here in the States by meeting them in person. It’s incredibly special meeting my readers face to face as opposed to just keeping it to a computer screen. Was I surprised at being invited? Yes. I didn’t realize I had enough readers in Europe who wanted to meet me, lol. I have a lot of readers here in the States, but my readers in Europe are still growing. It’s wonderful. I have been to many places in Europe and so this is an extra treat for me. I am first generation Polish with most of my family living in Poland, so I travel to Europe and Poland, in particular, as often as I can.

Maia: The convention is in Berlin, a beautiful city. Are you planning to do some sightseeing? In Berlin or even in the rest of Europe?

Delilah: Oh, yes I am indeed going to do sightseeing! Especially anything related to historical sex : ). And I know Berlin is full of enough naughty history to keep me busy. I am always looking to add to my collection of pictures and research notes/books. I can’t wait to see what Berlin has to offer. As far as sightseeing anywhere else, I will be in France 8 days prior to Berlin and then again 4 days afterward, so I will definitely be doing a lot of sightseeing there in France. And needless to say, I have a lot to see both from a historical research perspective and a culinary perspective. Because for those that don’t know, I am also a chef. So France holds a very special culinary place in my heart. I am so looking forward to the food! (And in Berlin too!)

Aurian: There's a lovely group of authors coming this year. Do you personally know any of the other authors present?

Delilah: Authors usually know each other in one form or another, either by meeting at conventions or on Facebook or Twitter. But I’m always trying to meet them all because they are all such amazingly wonderful people. Although I know many of the names listed, the authors that I have spoken to in person and have met on more than one occasion is Cherry Adair, Courtney Milan, and Erin McCarthy. Mostly because they are in my part of the woods, lol. I am excited to meet and get to know everyone, however!

Maia: The convention promo and books are in German. Will it be possible for you to bring some English swag?

Delilah: Done and done.

Book questions

Aurian: So far, I have only read Forever and a Day, but I have the other books in the series on my shelves and will read them in time for the convention. I also have Rules of Engagement (anth.) ready to dive in.
I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with this book, as a lot of intriguing things are missing, like the time spend in New York, before Roderick loses his memory. But then Maia pointed out to me (as stated on your website), you have written this series as pieces of a puzzle, and I will discover more in the next books. Of course, now I know this, I want to read the next books sooner. My question: why did you go for this unique format, and how do most of your readers react to it?

Delilah: The reaction from readers have actually been amazing. Because my readers know exactly how my mind works. It is the same approach I took with the School of Gallantry series. Where all the books take place at the same time. The series actually starts with Forever Mine (an e-novella) where you are introduced to a series of events and the family behind the entire series. My approach toward writing this series (as well as any series I write) is to never repeat anything throughout all the books and create a new experience every time for the reader, whether they are just starting the series or continuing on to the next. I feel that too many series books rehash scenes and characters and you only learn something new in snippets as opposed throughout the whole book. I wanted to step beyond that. I wanted to weave everything intricately together. One book will show you a scene in which you may see someone briefly passing by and in another book, you will have the perspective of that person who is passing by and it is anything but brief. I love playing with flipped perspectives. In answer to your question, if you are used to and expect a certain ‘experience’ when it comes to reading a romance then I would say yes, my approach will cause you to raise a brow. But I refuse to settle into giving my readers the same thing they have come to expect in other books. I am constantly challenging myself and my readers to step outside the box of how they think a book should be written and hand themselves over to what it really is: another world.

Aurian: I am really intrigued by the lady who teaches Georgia how to be a lady. Will she play a part in the next books, do we learn about her past, and will she perhaps find her true love at last?

Delilah: Yes and yes : ). Lady Burton gets her own book in Forever a Lady. I made sure the characters that I did introduce would all get their own time to shine and Lady Burton gets her time with Matthew, who is Georgia’s “stepson”. So all of the characters you met in Forever and a Day, re-appear. You will also see Georgia in many scenes you didn’t see in Forever and a Day. And the same goes for Forever a Lord.

Maia: I've read and loved your first two "School of Gallantry" series books. I'm very glad to see you are (finally!) writing follow up books. Do any of them have per chance in it Lord Brayton, the virginal, scarred, blue-eyed gentleman who gives a woman a dagger to protect her virtue and her heart? (swoon)

Delilah: I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the first two books! And haha and oh yes. Lord Brayton will be getting his own book. And I always save the best for last. A scarred virgin has quite the story, lol.

Maia: Since we're talking about this series. I remember you had problems with the continuation of the School of Gallantry series way back in 2009. I still can remember the call to the blog-sphere to buy and support your series. It was the reason I bought the second book. What do you feel about the influence of publishers on writers’ series? Do you see more chances for writers now, for example with self-publising?

Delilah: New York publishers have done a lot of amazing things for writers and the industry. But they have also done a lot of bad things to the industry. They have killed genres readers love, claiming no one will read them (when self-publishing has proven otherwise) and they have killed a series based on the same reasoning. It’s astounding to think that big decisions like that are controlled by a select few. Self-publishing is an author finally taking back control. New York will always have a special place in my heart, for they know how to do so many things right, but the things they haven’t quite figured out is that an author needs more control than they are willing to give. One of the biggest one being, control over the content. Too many readers think that what they are reading is 100% all of the author, when it fact, sometimes, even the story is altered against the author’s creative judgement because ‘marketing’ or ‘editorial’ does not approve of something. I have had this happen to me many times. And it’s difficult to listen to readers point out what could have been different about a book when in fact, an author does not necessarily approve of the final version getting into their hands.

Aurian: I actually did read the whole FAQ on your website. So now I want to know, will you be taking your handsome husband with you to Berlin?

Delilah: As a matter of fact, yes, he will be there in Berlin, lol. And it still costs money to take pictures of him, lol.

Personal questions:

Maia: We both have enormous TBR mountain ranges, how big is yours? And what do you plan on reading next?

Delilah: My TBR pile is 298 books long. And that doesn’t include research books, which would punch it up to double that. I’m planning to read Summerset Abbey by T.J.Brown next.

Aurian: Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you still have the books you loved reading as a young girl?

Delilah: My favourite authors are actually all the dead ones, lol. Edith Wharton, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Henryk Sienkiewicz, to name a few. And yes! I still do have many books that I loved reading as a girl. I have my copy of Little Women, Pinocchio, Hans Christian Andersen, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Animal Farm.

And now for some fun quick questions:

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

What is your favourite movie, and which is the last one you saw in the theater?
My Favorite movie is AMELIE and the last movie I saw in the theatre was THE HOST.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning Person

What famous author, dead or alive, would you love to meet and why?
Edith Wharton. Because that woman was brilliant and lived through enough to give me fodder for my own books if I sat down with her for a conversation : ).

Delilah Marvelle

Official Bio
Delilah Marvelle spent her youth studying various languages, reading voraciously and playing the pianoforte. She confesses that here ends the extent of her gentle breeding. She was a naughty child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to her room on many occasions due to these misadventures, she discovered the quill and its amazing power. Soon, to the dismay of her parents, she rather enjoyed being confined to her room and finished writing her first historical romance (which was a heart-stopping 800 pages long…) at the age of fourteen. She is the winner of the Reviewer's Choice Best Sensual Historical Romance and made Booklist’s TOP 10 Romances of 2012 with her book Forever and a Day.

Where to find Delilah:
Website: http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/
Blog: http://www.DelilahMarvelle.blogspot.com (Sex Throughout History blog)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/delilah.marvelle
Twitter: @DelilahMarvelle
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1423331.Delilah_Marvelle

Delilah’s latest book is Lady of Pleasure, the third in the Gallantry series, which has been published in March 2013.

Lady of Pleasure photo LadyofPleasure_zpse50c466c.jpg

True love isn't always blind...just misguided
Lady Caroline Arabella Starling has been in love with her older brother's best friend, Caldwell, since she was thirteen. Unfortunately, too many things keep getting in the way of proving her love. Her four younger sisters, her mother, her brother, all of society and the man she loves himself. But where there is a will, there is a way, and Caroline is about to redefine not only respectability but true love.
Ronan Henry Dearborn, the fourth Marquis of Caldwell, is known for attending champagne parties and tumbling with women. Although not for the reasons everyone thinks he does. When he and Lady Caroline get tangled in a situation neither of them can get out of, the only way to create a happily-ever-after between them is to take up the advice of a French courtesan who re-educates them both in the art of love.

Delilah very graciously has offered two e-copies of LADY OF PLEASURE to the winner’s choice of device. And I am giving away one of her books from Bookdepository, up to € 6,00 which is still available at the moment.
How can you win one of those nice prices? You have to be one of my followers by GFC, comment, and tell me if you have ever read one of Delilah’s books before, and which one.

Also, tell me if you would like to win the ebook or the paper book, and leave me your email address if I don’t already have it.

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zondag 21 april 2013

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

Here is a list of the books and bookrelated goodies I received in the last few weeks, some have been read already:

From Bookdepository:

Maya Banks – Highlander Most Wanted
Cherry Adair – Relentless
Suzanne Enoch – The handbook to handling his lordship
Stephanie Laurens – And then she fell
Heather Blake – The Good, the Bad and the Witchy
Susan Wittig Albert – Cat’s Claw
Thea Harrison – Rising Darkness
Bertrice Small – Francesca
J.D. Robb – Delusion in Death

Secondhand books:
P.C. Cast – Brighid’s Quest
P.C. Cast – Divine by Blood
P.C. Cast – Divine by Choice
P.C. Cast – Elphame’s Choice
P.C. Cast – Darkness Divine
Barb & J.C. Hendee – Dhampir
Barb & J.C. Hendee – Thief of Lives
Barb & J.C. Hendee – Sister of the Dead
Barb & J.C. Hendee – Traitor to the blood
Barb & J.C. Hendee – Child of a dead god
Barb & J.C. Hendee – Reble Fay
Jim Butcher – Turn Coat
Jim Bucher – Changes
Rachel Caine – Ill Wind

A gift from Maia:

Julia London – A courtesan’s Scandal
Christina Dodd – Move Heaven and Earth
Christina Dodd – That scandalous evening
Karen Robards – Bait
Karen Robards – Vanished
Gena Showalter – The darkest night
Linda Joh Rowland – The way of the traitor

For review:
Michelle Styles - To marry a Matchmaker
Michelle Styles - An Ideal Husband?
Gini Koch – Alien in the House

A gift from Cecy Robson:
The Weird Girls (printed novella).

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 20 april 2013

Jessica Andersen – Magic Unchained

The seventh book in the Nightkeepers series, published April 3, 2012.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: strong, I love it

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Dark forces stand poised to crush mankind beneath a rule of terror: our only hope rests with a group living in secret among us: modern magic wielders called the Nightkeepers.

Cara Liu is determined to unite the winikin under her leadership. But her rule is far from secure as the traditionalists and younger warriors vie for control. And when Nightkeeper Sven enters the scene, Cara has trouble separating her duty to her people from her desire for her longtime love.
Sven knows the attraction between them could badly compromise her ability to lead the winikin, and jeopardize her people’s tenuous alliance with the Nightkeepers. Nevertheless, she and Sven give in to temptation and begin a secret affair – distracting them from a danger within their own ranks planning a vicious betrayal…

Cara is now the leader of the Winikin, and that is not an easy job. She brought them in, the ones that ran away from the massacre, the ones that lost their families. They don’t really want to work as servants for the Nightkeepers, and certainly not be used as cannon fodder. But Dez, the new King, also has new ideas, and he needs them to fight alongside the Nightkeepers. Still, there are a lot of disgruntled winikin, and Cara has a hard time leading them. Especially since she has a long history with Sven, who was sort of a foster brother for her, all her life. She had a big crush on him as a teenager, but the one thing that Sven has always been good at, was running away. Now he can blame it on his heritage as a Coyote, the need to roam the world, the lack of commitment in his life. The attraction goes both ways, but Cara deserves someone who will have her back, be there for her, take care of her, and he knows he can never be that guy. He just is incapable of staying in one place for a long time. His coyote familiar Max also likes Cara, and he uses him to guard her in secret.

Which is a very good thing, as Cara is abducted by her second in command, whom she has turned down repeatedly as a potential lover, and now wants to make her a sacrifice to the gods, to get his own magic. Cara is saved in the nick of time by Sven, and together they share an important vision and some sex magic to get free again. It has to be a one time thing, or Cara will lose the trust of the other winikin. Her own father doesn’t want her to be with Sven, it is against the writs, a Nightkeeper and a winikin! But there is a connection between them, and it is more than the winikin-master bond.

The guilty winikin have to be punished, but Cara does not want them to be killed, that will only aggravate the other dissident winikin. She wants Rabbit to mind bend them, and send them back to their previous lives.

When Dez sends Sven and Cara after an important artefact necessary for the upcoming equinox and ceremony, they work well together, and enjoy some private time on the water. But when they have to work some magic, things go totally wrong, and no one understands what is happening. Sven tries to make a commitment to Cara, but it soon chafes on him, and he just wants to roam again. Cara has lost her heart to the man Sven has become, and she is truly heartbroken, again. How will they solve this?

Even with book seven, this series is still going strong and keeps surprising me with its twists.

I really loved the story of Cara and Sven, and of course had an inkling about their past before. But it was nice to have some more background story, and have the bond between them come to life. I really enjoyed the twists in this. I think I really dislike Carlos now, he is so stony and rigid and cold, without any love for his daughter or the boy he raised.
There is also a big setup for the next book, which will be about Rabbit, and I cannot wait to dive into it! And with this review written, nothing is stopping me. Bad things keep happening to him and his lady love, and with the totally unexpected appearance in the end of the book, I have no idea what is going to happen next.

Cara is a hardass, but also a very caring woman, and that is aside from her being half winikin. She has had to deal with a cold and distant father, and Sven who was never around when she needed him most. So she has learned to depend on herself alone, and make a life for herself. Until the Nightkeepers needed her again, and she had to come back. And now she is trying to do her best, and promises herself freedom if they survive the coming months.
Sven has changed a lot too, from being a beach bum to a warrior, and even more when he bonded with his coyote. He has honoured Carlos’ wishes to stay away from Cara all those years, but now he finds out it has never been about Cara, just him being a Nightkeeper, and she not. The attraction between them may be the will of the Gods, but the both have free will, and they decide to live in the moment for those perhaps last three months. And after, they will see what happens.

I liked the fact that Anna is really trying to help the Nightkeepers again, but she has to heal some more on the inside. Not much news on the previous couples, which I regret. They were hardly mentioned, with the exception of Brand and Patience who were fighting with the winikin while the others were holding the ceremony.

But now it is down to three months before December 21, 2012 … and I really want to know the ending to this saga. It has been an awesome journey so far, and even though the date has passed, this series keeps me glued to the pages.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian