Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cold Sight

Cold Sight is the newest release by romantic suspense writer Leslie Parrish. From the back cover.~

Her Black CATs series “crackles with dark, edgy danger.” Now Leslie Parrish introduces Extrasensory Agents, a band of psychic investigators interested only in the cases nobody else wants-the coldest one.

After being made a scapegoat in a botched investigation that led to a child’s death, Aidan McConnell becomes a recluse. Still, as favors to an old friend, Aidan will help on the occasional case. But under his handsome, rugged facade, he keeps his emotions in check for fear of being burned again.

Reporter Lexie Nolan has a nose for news-and she believes a serial killer has been targeting teen girls near Savannah, Georgia. But no one believes her. So she turns to the new paranormal detective agency and sexy, mysterious Aidan for help. But just as the two begin forging a relationship, the case turns eerily personal for Lexie-and Aidan discovers that maybe he hasn’t lost the ability to feel after all.

I am a huge fan when it comes to books by Leslie Parrish, and I’m proud to admit it. I loved the Black CATs series, and am still hoping we get more books in that series. Cold Sight is the first book in Leslie Parrish’s exciting new Extrasensory Agents series. I was very lucky to be sent an ARC from the author for review, and I dropped all other books to move this one to the top of my list. I try not to put spoilers in my reviews, but there are a few semi-spoilers to come. I can say with totally honesty that I loved this book. It pushed me emotionally on every level and kept me thinking about the story long after I’d finished reading. Lexie Nolan feels in her gut there is a serial killer targeting teen girls in her town. Since the girls who have been targeted so far are all from the “wrong side of the tracks” no one believes her. When Vonnie Jackson turns up missing, Lexie seeks help in a somewhat unusual source. Aidan McConnell has psychic abilities and Lexie hopes he can help her find Vonnie before another teen girl disappears forever. Aidan is the first person to actually believe Lexie about the missing girls. Aidan had actually met Vonnie before and had been having visions of a young woman, but had not put it together yet. As Aidan helps Lexie investigate, they grow closer each day.

Lexie and Aidan discover a group of affluent men in the small town are behind a very distasteful practice. They would “borrow” many young girls from the wrong side of the tracks to use at will for their carnal pleasure and entertainment. Parrish doesn’t actually show us the flashbacks, but since Vonnie was one of the young girls, she has memories, luckily we just don’t have see them just know they existed. The adults in the small town of Granville want to shove the missing girls under the mat, with the exception of Lexie and Aidan. Only after the students of the two town schools push for their friend Vonnie, do the adults have to admit something is going on.

At this point in the story, Parrish throws a curve ball at the reader that made me cry my eyes out. A principle supporting character, which I didn’t see on the chopping block, is murdered by out villain. As this young girl is from the “right side of the tracks”, the police immediately rush into action. I totally understand why this character had to die, since it was extremely pivotal to the outcome of the book. But it didn’t make it any easier for me to read. I will say I loved reading about the strength of Vonnie. Even at one of the most horrific times in her life, she is still trying to figure out a way to take down the person who kidnapped her and get away. Such strength in a time of terror was inspiring to read. I had trouble figuring out the “bad guy” in the Black CATs series, until the last book. I’m happy to say I had the actual villain within my 3 suspects.

Although Cold Sight has paranormal elements, I would say it is more a story of psychological suspense than a paranormal. The romance between Aidan and Lexie was filled with sexual tension and banter and I couldn’t wait for them to finally give in to their attraction. Leslie Parrish gives her readers a roller coaster ride with Cold Sight. Even with the bumps and surprises, I totally enjoyed the ride. I look forward to more books in the Extrasensory Agents series in the future.

The release date for Cold Sight is July 6, 2010, but I've seen online where some people have already seen it on the bookshelves. To read more about Leslie Parrish and her books, visit her website

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Latest medical update

So I had to go back to see my medical oncologist today (or at least her fellow) because of the side effects I was having on the tamoxifen. Most people have hot flashes while taking tamoxifen, which I think comes from the fact that tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker. I never had hot flashes, and because of another medication I'm currently taking, the doctor really wasn't sure what my side effects would be.

Well, it turns out I'm not willing to live with the side effects that stem from me taking tamoxifen. Since I was only taking the tamoxifen as a preventative medicine, and I have none of the genetic markers for breast cancer, I'm coming off the medicine and just seeing the doctor every 6 months. As the wait to see this doctor is usually over 2 hours, from your appointment time, I'm really hoping I don't have to go back more than once or twice. Still will have to get the diagnostic mammograms every six months and see my breast surgeon until I have 2 clean mammograms back to back. I feel good about this decision, especially since I was never that excited about going on the tamoxifen. My feelings about the medicine was further justified when my doctor told me today that some of the cancer patients have some of the same problems I was having while taking tamoxifen.

On a fun note, I will be posting about the last 2 books I read no later than this weekend. First up will be Cold Sight by Leslie Parrish. I read an ARC and the release date is July 7. I also just finished reading Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen last night. This books has been out for some time, and in my TBR pile for about as long.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Lovestruck is the debut novel from KT Grant. Lovestruck is in eBook format only and can be ordered at Synopsis from the author’s website ( .~

Synopsis: CEO hotel mogul Barbara Jennings has three months to decide whether to close her Manhattan hotel or cut costs by firing some of her employees. She meets her much-younger employee, Jennifer Caffey and is instantly smitten. Now Barbara has another mission, and that is to seduce the innocent Jenny.

Jenny is also attracted to the powerful and beautiful Barbara, but has never really had a steamy love affair with another woman. Unwittingly, she allows herself to be swept away by her passion for this older woman who may ruin her life.

Lovestruck is described as a May/December contemporary lesbian romance on the author’s website. I honestly didn’t know what to expect since I’ve never read either F/F or M/M romances before. I can honestly say Lovestruck is one of the most romantic and passionate stories I’ve ever read. Both Barbara and Jennifer are attracted to one another from the first time they see each other. Of course the fact that Barbara is the boss and Jenny the employee, is just one of the obstacles they have in their way. Barbara is a successful business woman who has never made public her sexual preference and Jenny is a younger woman who is still stumbling along in pursuit of the right woman. The first time Barbara and Jenny give into their attraction, Jenny totally freaks out and runs away. Barbara knows she has found someone and something special with Jenny and has no thoughts of ending it yet. As the two women continue to explore their relationship, work-life gets in the way. Jenny learns Barbara only came to the hotel to possibly close it and Jenny is so worried about not only her job, but the jobs of her friends, she puts distance between Barbara and herself.

The resolution of this story is absolutely beautiful. I saw this story as the happily ever after of two people, who just happened to be women. I thought I might be put off by a F/F relationship since I’d never read a story about one before, but found myself cheering for Barbara and Jenny from early in the story. Congratulations to KT Grant on writing an absolutely sexy, beautiful, and enchanting love story that pulls the reader in from the beginning. I look forward to many more books by KT Grant in the future.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Desire Unchained

Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione is the second book in her Demonica novel series. From the back cover.~

Pleasure is their ultimate weapon…

Runa Wagner never meant to fall in love with the sexy stranger who seemed to know her every deepest desire. But she couldn’t resist the unbelievable passion that burned between them, a passion that died when she discovered this betrayal and found herself forever changed. Now, determined to make Shade pay for the transformation that haunts her, Runa searches for him, only to be taken prisoner by his darkest enemy.

A Seminus Demon with a love-curse that threatens him with eternal torment, Shade hoped he’d seen the last of Runa and her irresistible charm. But when he wakes up in a dank dungeon chained next to an enraged and mysteriously powerful Runa, he realizes that her effect on him is more dangerous than ever. As their captor casts a spell that bonds them as lifemates, Shade and Runa must fight for their lives and their hearts-or succumb to a madman’s evil plans.

I loved Pleasure Unbound, the first book in this series, but think Desire Unchained was even better. Runa has been out for Shade’s blood every since she found him with two other women. Unfortunately, that same night, she is attacked by a werewolf and is turned, so for 3 nights every month she now becomes a werewolf. Shade has been attracted to Runa from the very first time he saw her. However, he has a curse hanging over his head, so he must never fully fall in love with a woman or he will literally disappear from this world. Shade knows that Runa will be trouble for him, since he felt too much for her from the very beginning. Only after they are trapped together by Shade’s biggest enemy, do they realize they have to work together to get free. Runa and Shade can’t seem to keep their hands off of one another once Runa changes back to human from being a were. Runa and Shade together are some of the hottest and sexiest scenes I’ve read in some time. The connection between them goes much deeper than either is really ready to accept, but neither one seems to be able to stop what is going on between them.

I highly recommend the Demonica series to everyone. Larissa Ione gives her readers a fast-paced story filled with demons, humans, and other creatures. I’m lucky enough to have the next 2 books in the series in my TBR pile and am looking forward to the 5th book’s release in August.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

5K Running Training Update

I joined a 5K training group at the end of April. My first race is July 3rd in Brentwood, TN. We are set up to run/walk in intervals. When I started the first week of my training, we had to run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute over the course of 4 intervals. I seriously thought I was going to pass out just from running for the first minute. Our schedule has been set up to where we run 3 days a week, have a long recovery walk once a week, cross-train up to 2 days a week, and take one full day off each week to rest. At first, it was almost impossible for me to actually get 3 days of running in each week. However, it was always much easier on our Thursday night run if I had run the other 2 days each week. The way the program is set up, we added 30 seconds to our run each week until we were up to 4 minutes of running at a time. The walking went up to 2 minutes initially, and then was backed down to 1 minute. We started out doing 4 intervals each week and now are up to 7. The first time I did 7 intervals of 4 minute run/1 minute walk, I really thought I would die. Now, I feel so awesome after my workout. I know with the pace I'm running(see jogging) right now it will take me at least 8 intervals to complete the race in a couple of weeks.

I'm so excited that I started this program. When I got started, my goal was just to finish the race. Now my goal is to complete a 5K every month for the rest of the year before I start training for the Country Music Half Marathon in January. The Country Music Half Marathon is run the last weekend in April in Nashville. The race is full of hills and seems to always be the hottest weekend of the year to that point. This race will be a huge challenge for me, but I'm very excited to work toward completing it.

I'm so lucky that I have lots of people supporting my efforts. My dad, oldest niece, and 2 of my best friends are getting up way early on a Saturday to run the 5K with me on July 3rd. The race starts at 7:00 am, so we all have to be there by 6:30 at the latest. In addition to my friends and family supporting me, we also have a group of mentors that run with us each week, who are all running the race with us. I'll post pictures of all of us following the race, since my sister and 2 younger nieces should be getting up early to see us all cross the finish line. I also have lots of friends supporting me on both twitter and facebook. All the cheers I get each time I post about my workouts really help to keep me motivated.

I plan on posting updates on the last 2 books I read tomorrow night. I finished reading Larissa Ione's Desire Unchained and KT Grant's Lovestruck in the past week. I had hoped to get at least one of the post up tonight after this update, but my run lasted a bit longer than I expected.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Deep in the Valley

Deep in the Valley is the first book in the Grace Valley series by Robyn Carr. From the back cover.~


Visitors to the town often remark about the valley’s peace and beauty-both of which are plentiful. Unlocked doors, front porches, pies cooling in the windows-this is country life at its finest. But visitors don’t always see what lies at the heart of a community. Or just beyond…

June Hudson grew up in Grace Valley, the daughter of the town doctor. Leaving only to get her medical training, she returned home and followed in her father’s footsteps. Some might say she shoes the easy, comfortable route…but June knows better.

For June, her emergency room is wherever she’s needed-or wherever a patient finds her. She is always on call, her work is her life and these people are her extended family. Which is a good thing, since this is a town where you should have picked your husband in the ninth grade. Grace Valley is not exactly the place to meet eligible men-until an undercover DEA agent suddenly starts appearing at all sorts of strange hours.

Everybody has secrets down in the valley. Now June has one of her own.

I had seen books by Robyn Carr for some time, but until my friend Paula suggested her books, I had not added her to my monster TBR list. I bought the first book in Robyn’s Grace Valley series based on Paula’s suggestion and absolutely couldn’t put it down. I love June and all the residents of Grace Valley. The town and the people in it really made me think of my hometown, which is another small town filled with characters. With Deep in the Valley, you get see pretty much every aspect of a close-knit small town. I absolutely loved the main character June. She is such a strong and independent woman, but still wants a husband and family as any other woman would at her age. When a mysterious man shows up in her clinic with another man with a gunshot wound, June is attracted to the mystery man and must find out more about him. We soon find out Jim is a DEA agent working undercover and he is just as attracted to June as she is to him.

The town must also band together to take care of their own. Whether it is to remove a minister who doesn’t treat the women of the town right, supporting a wife who has been abused for years by her husband, or helping a Vietnam vet get the medical help he and his family need. With the help of her long-time staff, including her father, and the new doctor June hired, Dr. John Stone, the town of Grace Valley is in good hands.

I loved Deep in the Valley so much I ordered the next 2 books in the series as well as the first 2 books in Robyn’s Virgin River series.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Tempted is book 6 in the amazing House of Night series by mother-daughter team PC Cast & Kristin Cast. From the back cover.~

Dark secrets and unspoken suspicions come between Zoey and Stevie Rae, putting their friendship-and the House of Night at risk.

After Zoey Redbird and her gang have banished Kalona and Neferet from Tulsa, you’d think that they’d catch a break. But with Zoey and her sexy warrior Stark both recovering from a brush with death, and the fledglings struggling to deal with the fallout from Neferet’s reign of terror, a break is just not in the forecast. Zoey is haunted by her confusing yet elemental connection with A-ya, the ancient Cherokee maiden who was the only human able to tempt Kalona’s body and soul. How will A-ya’s pull on her affect Zoey’s ability to resist the dangerously seductive immortal?

Meanwhile, Stevie Rae, with her super red-vamp powers, always thought she could handle the stuff she’s been keeping from her BFF. But the mysterious, threatening force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading. Stevie Rae won’t confide where she’s been and what she’s doing, and Zoey is beginning to wonder just how much she can trust the person she always thought would have her back.

Will their choices destroy them and will darkness consume the House of Night?

I really love the House of Night series. Zoey is a great character and I love her friends and how they interact with one another. I will say that I had waited way too long between reading Hunted and Tempted and I won’t make that mistake again with the series. I enjoyed Tempted, but felt it moved a little slower than other books in the series. I also didn’t love how both Zoey and Stevie Rae both were keeping secrets from each other. Once again, Zoey had a multitude of boys all seeking her favors. I really love that even with all her power as a high priestess, she is just like any other teenage girl with it comes to boys. The ending of Tempted really set things up to change majorly for not only the House of Night, but Zoey and her friends in many ways. I already have Burned, the next book in the series, on my bookshelf and plan to read it very soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The 9th Judgment

The 9th Judgment is the latest book in the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. From the back cover.~

Detective Lindsay Boxer chases a jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children.


A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in bloodred lipstick.


The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars’ worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.


Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner, Rick-and her desire for him threatens to tear apart bother her engagement and the Women’s Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line-but is it enough to save the city?

I borrowed The 9th Judgment from the library, but plan on buying it once it comes out in paperback to add to my Women’s Murder Club collection. I liked The 9th Judgment, but didn’t really feel we got enough time with Lindsay and her friends in this book. The books have always focused on the crimes with the club getting together to solve it together. Seemed this time Lindsay was alone more and it didn’t really seem to come together as well. The thing I love most about the series is the time Lindsay and her friends spend together, either shooting the bull or working on cases. Even when they got together in this book, they were interrupted almost as soon as they sat down.

The reader also knew who the bad guy was from the very beginning. Not why he was killing women and children or how he fit into the story, but who he was from almost the first chapter. We also knew who the jewel thief was from the beginning, but I really liked how that story fit into the book, so it was fun to watch Lindsay and her team search for Hello Kitty, as Cindy nicknames the jewel thief.

The 9th Judgment will be the only Women’s Murder Club book this year to my knowledge. I really love this series overall, but hope the next book gives us more time with Lindsay, Claire, Cindy, and Yuki.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Lover Mine

Lover Mine is the newest book in JR Ward’s NYT best-selling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. From the inside cover flap.~

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was-or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call upon both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between herself and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

I read Lover Mine as soon as the book was released in April. I’ve held off writing anything until now because I really didn’t think I could say anything that hadn’t already been said. I love the BDB series and think the WARDen totally delivered with John Matthew’s book. Yes, we had to wait a bit before John Matthew and Xhex found one another, but I think it only made their connection to one another even stronger. Both also had to share stories of their past to help bring them closer together. I will say I thought Xhex learned sign language a bit faster than I thought possible, but didn’t really distract me from the story. I also enjoyed reading about Darius and his past. Since he “died” so early in Dark Lover, I never really felt I knew enough about him. I don’t feel like I can really say much more without giving away tons of spoilers, and I already did that with my book signing post a few weeks ago.

The next BDB book will be Payne’s book and it should be released in April 2011, unless the release date is moved. The WARDen will also release Crave, the second book in her Fallen Angel series in October, so her readers will continue to get 2 books each year.