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Via Dee Tenorio’s blog:

Samhain is doing a giveaway this month and my book, “Kiss Me Again” is on the list! I’ll be adding the code for mine to my sidebar, but thought I’d share the whole list with interested parties. So, check your dates and grab your Kindle’s folks! It’s free book time!!

Here are the titles and codes:

Sharon Cullen
contemp romance

Dead Man’s Rain
Frank Tuttle
Paranormal / Fantasy

Her Wiccan, Wiccan Ways
Traci Hall
Young Adult

Kiss Me Again
Dee Tenorio
contemp romance

So there you have it, for those of you with a Kindle, four free ebooks for the next four weeks. Go forth and get some good stuff.


From Angela James’ blog:

Samhain is open to submissions.

In the most recent issue of the RWA’s Pro newsletter (Prospects) it was reported that Samhain is closed to submissions. We’re unsure where the erroneous information came from, but we are not closed to submissions and have no plans to be. We continue to accept submissions in all genres of romance, as well as science fiction/fantasy/urban fantasy all with romantic elements. Submissions guidelines can be found http://samhainpublishing.com/submissions. All questions and submissions can be directed to editor@samhainpublishing.com

We hope you’ll help us out by posting this correction on your local and specialty chapter loops.

Thank you!

Angela James, Executive Editor

**permission to forward granted**

My cynical mind is pondering how such a thing came to be published.

Very Much Alive, by Dana Marie Bell


The first title in Ms Bell’s True Destiny series, Very Much Alive definitely caught me and didn’t let me go. At some 220 pages, this erotic re-imagining of the Norse myth of Loki and Baldur managed to pull this reader in despite my best intentions to go to sleep early. Three hours later… here we are. And now I really want to know what happens to the rest of the cast of characters…

Please be aware that this novel is an erotic romance involving a ménage à trois, so if anything off the accepted norm of relationships between consenting adults bothers you, it’s probably better if you avoid both this review and the novel. As the publisher says, Warning: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, some violence, and hot male/male/female action. In fact, it could be considered a religious experience. (I love Samhain‘s warnings, oh do I ever!) (more…)

(Two Hunting Love stories, novella length erotic romance stories, released by Samhain on April 15th, 2008 — four down and two to go! *waving at Angela James and the WriteMinded ladies)

The Wallflower, by Dana Marie Bell

This novella is the first in Ms Bell’s Halle Puma trilogy, short and fast paced paranormal romances, and also my introduction to her work. The Wallflower grabbed me from the first page, it’s just so much fun! The dialogue is so brisk and Emma such as smart aleck, I was laughing pretty much all the way through.

From Samhain, the usual warning: this title contains explicit sex, graphic language, loads of giggles and a hot, blond Alpha male. (I just adore their warnings, don’t you?)

Is Emma ready for a bite?

Emma Carter has been in love with Max Cannon since high school, but he barely knew she existed. Now she runs her own unique curio shop, and she’s finally come out her shell and into her own.

When Max returns to his small home town to take up his duties as the Halle Pride’s Alpha, he finds that shy little Emma has grown up. That small spark of something he’d always felt around the teenager has blossomed into something more—his mate!

Taking her “out for a bite” ensures that the luscious Emma will be permanently his.

But Max’s ex has plans of her own. Plans that don’t include Emma being around to interfere. To keep her Alpha, Emma must prove to the Pride that she has what it takes to be Max’s mate.

I love Emma unreservedly—she’s smart mouthed and independent and while perhaps a bit hard on herself on the looks part, she still made me laugh every time she opened her mouth. The dynamic between Emma and her friend Becky vis a vis Livia and Belinda, self appointed queen bees during high school and whose animosity towards the two friends is just as intense these many years later, was perfectly portrayed. There are people who don’t quite grow up, after all.

Max, on the other hand, is slightly less interesting on his own. The Alpha of the Halle Pumas, as well as one of the town’s doctors (and may I say how much I love that he’s an optometrist? originality, it be good), he plays straight man to Emma’s comedienne during most of the story, keeping the reader in stitches. For example…

Max is trying to find out who (and when) hurt Emma, and getting pretty much nowhere. After a particularly angry demand for an answer:

“Wow,” Emma breathed. “I’ve heard of that, but never actually seen it.”
He looked at her quizzically out of the corner of his eye. “Seen what?”
“You actually talked through clenched teeth. I didn’t think anyone really did that, you know?” (p39)

The world building is done with broad strokes; the Pumas coexist with the humans, who remain completely oblivious to the paranormal goings-on, and while they rarely indulge, they can turn humans through their bite. Males mark their mates also through a bite, but it does have a *ahem* different connotation and context. Interestingly, both Max and Simon, his best friend and Beta (aka second in command) were turned by the previous Alpha.

There is, of course, a final confrontation between Emma and the Wicked Witch of the West… erm… Livia 😀 which confirms to the entire Pride that Max’s choice was a wise one—and sets the stage for the next title, Sweet Dreams, Simon and Becky’s story.

The Wallflower gets a 7.5 out of 10


Treasure Hunting, by J.B. McDonald

If memory serves**, this story is my introduction to Ms McDonald’s writing, and I have to say, what a fun, fun story! Or rather, what an absolutely delightful character! Meg Westfield is one of the most honest characters I’ve come across. Yes, she’s also just a tad insane, but really, considering what she’s just about to take on, insanity is pretty much the minimum requirement. Besides, it’s not lunacy, is… quirkiness. Yeah, that sounds better.

So, without further ado, here’s the always delightful warning from Samhain: this work contains graphic m/f sex, bad language, and terrible humor. (I disagree on the humor, obviously, as I laughed consistently through the story)

Can love tame a jaguar god?

A good tromp through the jungle fending off giant bugs and hunting for long-lost ruins in South America is exactly Meg’s idea of a great vacation. She takes the sudden appearance of a wounded jaguar in stride, thinking it’ll make an interesting story. But when she wakes up to find a man in place of a cat, she wonders who’s going to believe it!

Santiago has learned the hard way that he and human women just don’t mix. When you can change into an animal at will, it tends to upset people. But despite his best intentions, he finds himself falling hard for the little blonde who saved his life.

It’ll take a leap of faith-and of love. Or this treasure will slip through his fingers.

Meg Westfield is a sociology professor who happens to be… well, not quite what most people in her life would want her to be. She’s not staid, sensible or placid. Instead, she spends her teaching time counting the days off until she can go haring off, looking for ruins in the jungles of South America**** So when a wounded jaguar turns out to be a wounded shifter, she takes it pretty much in stride.

Until, on the way to finding help for his injury, some men with guns rob them and threaten to take her, and after a mad dash on the back (or front?) of a half turned man jaguar, she indulges in a fit of hysterics. After that and some sleep, things look up in the morning. *ahem* Indeed.

Anyway, I loved the dialogue, particularly when Meg talks to herself—in her head or otherwise. For example:

She’d just had sex with a man in a tree. And while that was alarming enough, she’d done it without a condom, and without even asking about disease. Now she was going to go home and have an HIV baby. And her parents would never let her hear the end of it. Not, at least, until she died a slow horrible death of tuberculosis and AIDs. Of all the stupid…

A glass completely empty kind of gal, isn’t she? 😀

The world building is sketchy, which works very well because it allows the story to be about the characters and their reactions to each other, instead of long exposition about things that are, at best, peripheral to the story. Of course, it also leaves some huge, gaping questions for me to ponder, but Meg and Santiago’s story is complete in itself, tied prettily with a bow.

Seriously, this is really neat little story, with my main complaint being that’s it’s so short******, and I’m looking forward to reading more of Ms McDonald’s work.

Treasure Hunting gets 8 out of 10

** (big if, obviously, ask Ms Marie Harte *head desk*)

**** (large pet peeve: the Aztecs were in Central Mexico—North America, geographically speaking; the Olmecs and Mayans were in the Gulf/Yucatán Peninsula area and south through Central America)

****** (other than my humongous pet peeve above, of course)


Both of these stories are available from Samhain

The Countess Lends a Hand, by Bonnie Dee

I believe I mentioned before that I fell in love with Ms Dee’s writing after reading The Countess Takes a Lover. My infatuation has only grown after reading Empath a few weeks ago and the short novel The Countess Lends a Hand just now.

I confess that I don’t know how much of the historical detail in the Countess’ stories* is accurate or not—I sense that some of the language may not be, at any rate—but the story telling and the characterization in each of Ms Dee’s stories that I’ve read so far has grabbed my interest from first to last page.

From the publisher, the usual warning: This title contains a Regency hero and heroine doing the library lambada, and graphic language Jane Austen wishes her editor would have let her characters use. (more…)

Love Me Still, by Maya Banks

A novella-length paranormal published in December 2007 by Samhain in the Perfect Gift anthology, Love Me Still is my first exposure to Ms Banks’ writing (even though I do have one of her novels published as Sharon Long in the TBR mountain range—must find and read asap).

This story could be considered inappropriate for minors because the premise involves a formal marriage/mating/relationship between two brothers and their wife, but there is neither language nor graphic sex in it. It is a brief and moving look at the complexities and resilience of relationships.

Here’s the blurb: (more…)

(Two Feral attraction stories, released April 15th 2008 by Samhain)

Before starting, I have to apologize profusely to the amazing Angela James and the authors for it taking me six and a half months to get around to reading and reviewing these, since I got them at a giveaway hosted by the wonderful ladies at WriteMinded. I suck, and not in a good way. Sowwy. (Two down, four to go.) (more…)

The Countess Takes a Lover, by Bonnie Dee.

This is a very well executed short novel/long novella erotic romance from Samhain, set in London during the Regency (1800s). Ms Dee, who was a new-to-me writer, uses a few reliable tropes of the romance genre, but her excellent execution makes them feel fresh.

And for once, the blurb is nigh perfect!

Countess Meredith du Chevalier, a widow with a reputation for being sexually adventurous, is intrigued when she is approached by a gentleman who wishes her to “make a man” of his son. Sensing a passionate man beneath Christopher Whitby’s reserved exterior, Meredith takes on the challenge, inviting the botanist to her country home to revitalize her abandoned greenhouse.

Chris finds people to be a chaotic, animalistic species, and has chosen to devote his life to the study of plants. One kiss from the vivacious countess, however, and his inner animal is aroused. But lust is only a fraction of what he feels for the vulnerable woman hiding behind a brittle façade. He resolves to coax her to grow until her petals unfurl into glorious bloom.

To her surprise, Meredith finds Chris brings much more to life than just fallow soil. But just as their love begins to thrive, he learns about the secret arrangement. Meredith must risk her heart for the most dangerous lesson of all—love.

At a little over 130 pages, The Countess takes a Lover is, again, a bit shorter that most of the books I usually like, but the pacing is so well done as to make that just a minor quibble and not very noteworthy.

While having a wealthy society widow with a tarnished reputation as a heroine is not all that common, the fact that she was unhappy—and sexually unfulfilled—during her marriage is fairly common in romance novels indeed. In this case, Meredith wasn’t merely neglected or unhappy, but suffered true emotional and sexual abuse of increasing degree at the hands of her husband until his death. Further, her veiled cries for help to her family fell on deaf ears—and cold hearts—all of which left her deeply scarred emotionally.

However, she possesses a will strong enough to allow her to rise above this, and free herself—for the most part at least—from her past. She discovers her knack for business first, and the power of her sensuality soon enough after that, and creates a life for herself in which she is not accountable to anyone else. Of course, given her background so far, she equates this contentment with happiness. (more…)

The Blurb from Samhain:

Sometimes getting to heaven requires a trip through hell.

Twelve years ago, it looked like Del Prescott had it all. The wealthy family, the car, the looks and charm, and the perfect boyfriend. Then, mysteriously, she disappeared to “study abroad.” Now she’s back, and it’s not merely to attend a high school reunion. She’s here to face her demons—and Blake, the man she has never stopped loving.

Blake Mitchell is a changed man, thanks to surviving twelve long years of difficulties that began after Del dropped out of his life. Now she’s back, and she’s nothing like the polished, stylish world traveler he imagined she’d be. There’s a darkness about her, and a grim expression in her eyes that says she’s prepared for fight or flight.

Blake’s concern for her breaks down the walls Del has built around her heart and she finally begins to heal from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her own family. But the betrayal goes deeper than either of them ever imagined—and it’s about to come back to haunt them.

I read this book on Saturday, and I have to say, it was the most disturbing, moving, beautifully written book that I’ve read in a while.  Although, it’s not a book for the squeamish, because it deals with what for some will be a hot-button topic.

I loved Shi’s characterisations. I was totally emotionally invested in the h/h from the get-go. The heroine’s story was really heart-breaking, and I was moved to both anger and tears at times, over the stuff that she’d had to live through. The hero was just the most beautiful man, even though he’d also had his own issues to deal with.

What I loved about Beautiful Girl, was that although Blake had assumed that Del had left him without so much as a goodbye, all those years ago, when they meet up again, he’s not an arsehole with her. Neither is she with him. From the moment they meet again, I bought that they were two people who’d never moved on from each other in twelve years, and were still in love. I really did.

These next couple of scenes from the book totally epitomised the nature of their relationship, and just what a gorgeous man, Blake was:

“So if we hadn’t had a few roadblocks tossed at us, you think we’d be married and trying to con a friend into babysitting for us just so we can sneak a meal in peace?”

“Hey, no reason we can’t still do that.” He kept his voice casual as he came to a stop in front of the law office.

Her grin faded, replaced by a wistful expression. “Blake…”
Shaking his head, he said, “I’m not going to try to rush something on you, but I already told you that I never got over you. I don’t see it happening either, not after twelve years of loving you.”

She looked down and when her gaze came back up, her green eyes gleamed with tears. “Blake…” Her voice was thick and husky.
“Shhhh.” He dipped his head and kissed her softly. “Don’t go thinking about it too much if you’re not ready for it. But I did figure I should probably let you know that I still love you.”


kissed her lips, her cheek, nuzzled her neck. “You are beautiful. You’re soft, you’re sexy…you’re the woman I’ve loved my entire life. “
“Blake…” Her voice was thick with tears and he eased back, staring into her eyes.
“Shhh…” he whispered. “Close your eyes…listen to me, to my voice…feel my hands. You’re beautiful, Del. You make my heart hurt just to look at you…”

Just beautiful.

And can I say Shi, I loved the way the love scenes were handled. Lesser authors would have totally messed up those scenes, and left me feeling beyond icky.

This book was tremendous, and I definitely recommend that you guys go and Buy, buy, buy!

Currently Reading…

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Posted in: Dee Tenorio, Samhain Publishing, Test Me


I have to say, the blurb doesn’t really do the book justice. So far so good.

You can read an excerpt here, and buy the book here.

By the way, there’s no twincest, incest or Daddy/Daughter fantasies in this book, so whoever found the blog by googling “brother sister cum on face” will prolly be very disappointed.

Someone’s book got rejected by Samhain and she wasn’t pleased about it. And I mean, REALLY not pleased about it. *g*

Apparently an editor at Samhain rejected Edita A Petrick’s suspense story because it began with the villain’s point of view.

Petrick writes:

As a reader, I really don’t have a problem with starting a book from the villain’s point of view. It’s all in the execution, as far as I’m concerned. Does the author give away key clues as to the identity of the villain? Does she give away who the next victim will be? Does she actually give away the whys and wherefores of the villains actions? If not, what’s the problem? And even if she did, there are ways to keep the reader still glued to the book. Yes, to me, execution is definitely key.

Now it could be that the book actually sucked donkeys, and the POVs were just one aspect of the story that didn’t work for the editor, but as far as rejecting the book just because she doesn’t think multiple POVs work, well…. you gotta question the editor, seeing as many best selling authors use multiple POVs, including that of the villain.

So, waddaya think? Do you prefer POVs to be restricted to the good guys, or do you want to know what the bad guys are thinking too?

If you do want to know what the bad guys are thinking, do you think it’s appropriate to start a book with the villain’s point of view?

Also, what do you think of multiple POVs and authors who head-hop, in general? For? Against? Couldn’t give a flying fuck?

Via The Great Scott’s blog.

By the way, did Charlotte Boyett Compo of the ‘Wind’ books, and Samhain have a falling out of sorts?

I almost got whiplash when I read that comment from CBC. Just call me Curious George…

So I read Dionne Galace’s (AKA Bam), first published book, Skin To Skin, a couple of days ago.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the blurb from Samhain:

My Verdict

It. Was. Too. Effing. Short.

But I loved it. It was hot, and sexy, and great for a good bout of mid-week horizontal Lambada with TTG.

I fully expected Skin To Skin to be a good read, because half the reason why I think Bam rocks like a threesome with David Beckham and Will Smith, is because she’s so damned funny. I just couldn’t see how her natural humour wouldn’t manifest itself in her first book.

Leilani was exactly the way that I often wish romance heroines would be. She was a girl who wanted a man, and wasn’t afraid to go after him. She was a girl who wanted to get laid, and wasn’t beyond wearing skirts so short that you could see her thongs. (I too am all about those pink thongs, great for hiding wet patches apparently *g*) She was a girl who didn’t have insecurities about herself, and liked who she was. She was the way that most romance writers tend to portray their heroes. Sexy, and confident. I loved that.

I have to say though, she was also a girl who named her dog Fifi. Man, that shit’s just wrong.

Ms Galace’s hero was hot too. For some reason, I kept channelling The Green Arrow, from Smallville. Man he’s hot, and I did find myself wondering if that was who Ms Galace had in mind when she was creating Oliver’s character.

Oliver Clayton was a cop who was recuperating from a shot-up thigh, and was trying to keep a low profile, if only the brazen hussy next door would let him go a minute without making his little head throb painfully, by continuously flouncing past in her skimpy, sexy excuse for clothes. Unfortunately for him, the brazen hussy next door was all his big head, and his little head could think about.

I liked Galace’s writing style, her voice totally appealed to me, and had I not known that this was her first book I would have assumed that she was an old pro had been doing this writing gig for a while.

I think the main weakness in the book came with the dialogue (mainly Leilani’s actually). Leilani’s slightly ‘street’ vernacular was on the verge of annoying the hell outta me, but luckily the book ended before I could get to that point.

Overall, it was a quick (too quick), fun, sexy read, which although didn’t test my mental capabilitie, showed great promise in terms of the future potential of the author.

It’s a shame Skin To Skin didn’t suck GBHDB, it would have been interesting to see how Ms Galace would have dealt with one of my slice and dice reviews. May be next time eh? *Evil Grin*.

Is it evil of me to want to compare this book with the mess that was Ben’s Wildflower? Probably. So I’ll refrain. *g*

By the way, this is who I Leilani reminded me of:

Feisty isn’t she? *g*

Skin to Skin will be on sale at Samhain Publishing from 17th August, so make sure you check it out!