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Showing posts by: Pamela Webb-Elliott click to see Pamela Webb-Elliott's profile
Tue
Apr 17 2012 5:00pm

Fresh Meat: Amanda Stevens’s The Prophet (April 24, 2012)

The Prophet by Amanda StevensAmanda Stevens
The Prophet
Mira / April 24, 2012
 / $7.99 print, $6.79 digital

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I’ve broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I’ve vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.

Now I’m faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.

The Prophet by Amanda Stevens is the third book in her Graveyard Queen series. The series begins with The Restorer, followed by The Kingdom. Amelia Gray has been able to see ghosts her entire life, but her father taught her at an early age never to acknowledge their presence. Ghosts were something to be feared and dreaded; they would cling to her if they knew she could see them, and would suck her dry of her life energy like leeches.

As The Prophet opens, Amelia has returned to her hometown of Charleston, and is drawn to Detective Devlin once again. We discover, along with Amelia, that Devlin is still a truly haunted man, clung to by the ghosts of his wife Miriama and their 4 year old child Shani. By inviting this haunted man into her life, she has made herself susceptible to his ghosts, and those ghosts have drawn other ghosts now.

[It’s a party! Who’s got the hors d’oeuvres?...]

Mon
Mar 26 2012 6:00pm

Fresh Meat: Amanda Stevens’s The Kingdom (March 27, 2012)

The Kingdom by Amanda StevensAmanda Stevens
The Kingdom
Mira/Mar. 27, 2012/$7.99 print, $6.39 digital

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

The Kingdom is the second book in Amanda Stevens’s The Graveyard Queen series, and we pick up with Amelia Grey, the titular Queen.

Amelia finds herself commissioned to restore the Thorngate graveyard in Asher Falls, South Carolina, a sparsely populated town only accessible by ferry or back roads. The history and events that have come to form Asher Falls are prime and center to the storyline, and for setting the overall feel of the book. The imagery Amanda Stevens creates right from the first scene sets the atmosphere and tone and it never lets up.

[Ooh, setting the scene! Is that like setting the fiction table?...]

Fri
Feb 17 2012 11:30am

Fresh Meat: Allison Pang’s A Sliver of Shadow (Feb. 28, 2012) (Spoilers!)

A Sliver of Shadow by Allison PangAllison Pang
A Sliver of Shadow
Pocket, $7.99, Feb. 28, 2012

Just when her new life as a TouchStone—a mortal bound to help OtherFolk cross between Faery and human worlds—seems to be settling down, Abby Sinclair is left in charge when the Protectorate, Moira, leaves for the Faery Court. And when the Protectorate’s away . . . let’s just say things spiral out of control when a spell on Abby backfires and the Faery Queen declares the Doors between their worlds officially closed. The results are disastrous for both sides: OtherFolk trapped in the mortal world are beginning to fade, while Faery is on the brink of war with the daemons of Hell. Along with her brooding elven prince Talivar and sexy incubus Brystion, Abby ventures to the CrossRoads in an attempt to override the Queen’s magic. But nothing in this beautiful, dangerous realm will compare to the discoveries she’s making about her past, her destiny, and what she will sacrifice for those she loves.

A Sliver of Shadow is Allison Pang’s hugely anticipated second Abby Sinclair novel, and it lived up to all of my expectations after finishing A Brush of Darkness what feels like so long ago.

One of my most favorite elements Allison Pang uses throughout A Sliver of Shadow are the touches of music and songs throughout the book to set the tone of the scene.

[Now you’re singing our song!...]

Thu
Feb 16 2012 11:36am

Revenge Episode 15: Chaos Reigns (Spoilers!)

Emily and Daniel in RevengeCan’t get enough of ABC’s Revenge? Well, neither can we, which is why we’ve decided to start recapping the delicious nighttime soap, starting with last week’s Season 1, episode 14, entitled “Perception.”

And now, on to a recap of last night’s episode 15, “Chaos”...

“There comes a moment in each of our lives when the control that keeps us sane slips through our fingers”

BANG! <Daniel falls on the beach by the water> OMG IS HE DEAD?!

“Most of us aim to ease it back”

Fireworks

“The best way to fight chaos is with chaos…”

We see a gun go off, presumably pointed at Daniel…

—24 hours earlier—

[Rewind the clock...]

Thu
Feb 9 2012 11:30am

Revenge Episode 14: Snarks Fly!

Emily and Daniel in RevengeCan’t get enough of ABC’s Revenge? Well, neither can we, which is why we’ve decided to start recapping the delicious nighttime soap, starting with last night’s Season 1, episode 14, entitled “Perception.” Take it away, Pamela!

****REVENGE****

Years ago I met a boy who introduced me to a book, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In it William Blake writes “if the doors of perception were cleaned everything would appear to man as it is… infinite.”

But in reality our perception is often clouded.

By expectations. By experiences. As of late I find my perception is blinded by only one thing… REVENGE.

Engagement party invites are arriving to everyone, and surprise! The theme? Fire and Ice, of course! We catch Victoria sneaking a peak of the video interview in which David Clarke is saying Victoria had nothing to do with his being in prison. She’s another victim, the father of her child (CHARLOTTE!!) is in prison and being raised by the person who has put him in to prison (Conrad, booo). As Charlotte enters to preen over the invites, she quickly closes her laptop … reminding us of poor Charlotte’s ignorance as to her dad really is.

[Don’t keep US in ignorance! Spoilers ahead, remember!...]

Thu
Dec 1 2011 1:30pm

Fresh Meat: Ellen Connor’s Daybreak
(Dec. 6, 2011)

Daybreak by Ellen ConnorEllen Connor
Daybreak (A Dark Age Dawning Novel)
Berkley, $15.00/$9.99 digital, Dec. 6, 2011

It’s been twelve years since the Change, and Penelope Sheehan is one of the few still practicing magic for the good of humanity in this dark, dangerous world. But she needs the help of a shapeshifter named Tru, whom she knew when he was a troubled boy. But Tru is a creature of instinct and impulse, living only to satisfy his senses- ignoring the scarred heart nobody has ever reached. Fighting alongside the last holdouts of humanity, they will unleash a passion that tempts them to risk everything for love. But if they succeed, Tru and Pen hold the power to brighten the Dark Age for all time.

[No lightbulbs required!...]

Wed
Nov 30 2011 11:00am

Fresh Meat: Amanda Bonilla’s Shaedes of Gray (Dec. 6, 2011)

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda BonillaShaedes of Gray: A Shaede Assassin Novel 
Amanda Bonilla
Signet, Dec. 6, 2011, $7.99

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...

[It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to finish it...]

Tue
Oct 25 2011 3:00pm

Lily + Rule 4EVA! The World of the Lupi Series by Eileen Wilks

Welcome to the world of the lupi series, created by Eileen Wilks. Death Magic, the eighth book in the series, releases next week. First, let’s introduce:

THE CHARACTERS

Lily Yu in the World of the Lupi Series by Eileen Wilks (artwork copyright Eileen Wilks)
 

 

 

 

Age: 28
Height: 5’2-1/2”  (she insists that I mention that 1/2 inch)
Weight: 120
Eyes: very dark
Hair: black, thick, straight; usually gets long enough to brush her shoulders before she gets it trimmed
Race: Chinese ancestry
Description: Even features, well-balanced in an oval face; honey-and-cream skin
Favorite music: Eclectic. Current favorites include Yo-Yo Ma, anything from Tchaikovsky, some pop, some jazz.  Recent purchase: Not Too Late by Norah Jones.
Profession: Until recently she was a homicide cop, but last fall a special unit within MCD (Magical Crimes Division) of the FBI recruited her.
Education: Associate degree in law enforcement/criminal justice from the University of California; graduated first in class at San Diego Police Academy.
Magical Gift/Nature: A touch sensitive. Lily can feel magic tactilely, but it can’t affect her.
Habits: Likes order, hates clutter.  Practices judo regularly; second degree black belt. Runs for exercise.  She has a large, messy family and is owned by a huge orange cat she calls Dirty Harry.  Lily’s deepest need is to stop the monsters—human and otherwise—who prey on the vulnerable.

[Delve into the World of the Lupi...]

Sun
Oct 16 2011 12:00pm

Vampire: The Allure of the Undying Myth in Romance, with Cole’s Sebastian, Neill’s Ethan, and more!

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley ColeVampire stories are rooted all the way back to the early 1700s. Interestingly, one of the first works of art said to touch upon the subject of vampires is the short German poem “Der Vampir ”(1784), where the theme is not only macabre, but has strong erotic overtones: A man whose affections are rejected by a pious maiden threatens to make her a nightly visit, drink her blood by giving her a seductive kiss, and prove to her that his way is better than her mother’s religion. And there you have the beginning of a seductive fictional vampire (fv) phenomenon that has a huge variety of traits.

Some fv can be repulsive, while others are romantic and sexy. In other folklore still, fv can be warded off with garlic and symbols of Christian faith such as holy water or a crucifix. And let’s not forget the abhorrence of sunlight. Sometimes the fv appear as simply an animated corpse, some are able to sustain themselves by drinking blood. Sometimes the fv are able to eat human food, some cannot.

It was actually Bram Stroker’s 1897 novel Dracula that was hugely influential on the common fv traits we are familiar with today. With his novel, we saw the vampire able to shapeshift into a bat or fog, unable to see itself in a mirror, and grow protruding teeth to suck blood. Bram Stoker also gave us the concept that vampire death can only occur by a wooden stake through the heart, decapitation, drowning, or incineration.

[The more things change, the more they stay the same...]

Tue
Oct 11 2011 10:30am

Alpha Among Alphas: Leader of the Pack

Acheron by Sherrilyn KenyonWhat does it mean to be Alpha? It means to be the baddest mofo in this place, and us women want to be with that!

For my definition, the Alpha male does not explain his behavior, is in no need to talk often or quickly, is the focus of attention at all times, is hard to impress, is self focused, loves a challenge, is comfortable in his own skin, and can still show his nicer side and get away with it. Well, that’s a start, at least. The Alpha male is the dominant male in the group, so what happens when you are the leader among Alphas? That’s a whole lotta Alpha right there, and I’m here to discuss a few of them:

Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Acheron Parthenopaeus, better known as “Ash,” from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters series is my top pick as leader among alphas. He has to manage and lead all the other Dark-Hunters globally, keep the heifer-bitch-goddess Artemis off his back, take care of everyone’s favorite charonte demon Simi (which, let’s be real, is quite a task), be a wonderful loving husband to his wife Soteria (swoon), and now a loving father to their child together. But he is still doing his thing with his 6’8” self.

[Takin’ care of business...]

Thu
Sep 29 2011 4:00pm

Fresh Meat: Thea Harrison’s Serpent’s Kiss (Oct. 4, 2011)

Serpent’s Kiss by Thea HarrisonThea Harrison
Serpent’s Kiss
Berkley, Oct. 4, 2011, $7.99

Recently, Vampyre Queen Carling’s power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee. Wyr sentinel Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help find a cure for the serpent’s kiss—the vampyric disease that’s killing her. With their desire for each other escalating they will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss...

[Smooches!...]