Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Finds: Sweet Indie Deals - Dec 31, 2010

Friday Finds is a way to share super sweet deals for indie paranormal ebooks.  All Friday finds are priced from Free ~ $3.00 and represent an awesome deal for the word count.

Books listed in Friday Finds have not been reviewed unless noted below with a link to the review.  It's up to the reader to determine if the ebook is a good fit for their reading tastes.  Follow the links for a description of the ebook and to download a free sample to see if you might like it. It's a great way to "test drive" a book.

Prices valid at the time of this post but they can change at any time, so get 'em while the gettin' is good! 


Artifact Angst by Tennessee Hicks
Word Count: approx. 9,627 (Short Story)
FREE! at Smashwords
LIMITED TIME!  Valid thru Jan 9th, 2011


Dark Tomorrows by J.L. Bryan
Word Count: approx. 35,328 (Anthology)


Fallen Angel by Naomi Lara
Word Count: 74,206 (Novel)


Fallen Angel by Willa Cline
Word Count: approx. 50,000 (Short Novel)


Grace of Day by S.L. Naeole
(Grace Series #4)
Word Count: 207,680 (Big Honkin' Novel!)



Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Heart Indie Books Reading Challenge - 2011


You're Invited!

I'm kicking off the New Year with an I Heart Indie Books Reading Challenge. This is an easy low-key challenge to help introduce new readers to indie books and encourage current indie readers to find some new favorites.
» All genres welcome
» Runs the entire year
» Jump in at any time
» Must be self-published titles or small indie press
» Authors are welcome and encouraged to participate in the challenge because you're a reader too!

The challenge goals for the year are:
Level 1
  • 1-6 books - Bronze
  • 7-12 books - Silver
  • 13-18 books - Gold
  • 19-24 books - Platinum
  • 25-30 books - Diamond
Level 2
  • 31-36 books - Bronze Elite
  • 37-42 books - Silver Elite
  • 43-48 books - Gold Elite
  • 49-54 books - Platinum Elite
  • 55+ books - Diamond Elite

    » There are two levels so you can choose the one that fits your reading style and speed.
    » This challenge can easily overlap other challenges you are doing.
    » Not sure which level to shoot for? Treat it like a step-up challenge. Just start at the bottom then when you reach the end of one level just "step-up" to the next level. See how many steps you can take by the end of the year.



    Need more of a challenge?  Try these OPTIONAL add-ons that can be applied at any level:
     - Only count unique authors (in other words an author can only be counted once even if you read more than one of their books)
    -  Do not overlap with any other challenges
    -  Do a modified A-Z on author names - each last name must begin with a different letter of the alphabet. If you get through all the letters just start over again!

    If you want to participate just add a link in the comments to your blog or website where you are keeping your list.  Don't have a blog or website or don't want to use it to keep your list?  No problem...I have a thread for this challenge started over at Goodreads in the Nothing But Reading Challenges group located HERE. You can keep your list there and also make recommendations for books you've read and enjoyed to help guide others to some good readin'. (No author self-promotion in that thread please).

    Feel free to grab the button or banner and spread the word on your blog or website (please link back to this post).  


    So, are you up for the challenge?  I double-dog dare ya! :)

    GRAB THE BUTTON!
    Indie Paranormal Book Reviews


    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    Author Contest Alert! Nook Color Contest on Tina Folsom's Blog


    Check out this great contest for a chance to win a Nook Color sponsored by author Tina Folsom.  


    More details and information on how to enter can be found on Tina's blog.  Contest is open to US residents and runs through January 24, 2011 9pm PST.

    Good Luck!

    Have a Very Merry...



    Merry Christmas!
     

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Review: A Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom

    Note:  the cover art for A Touch of Greek has changed since this review was posted.


    A Touch of Greek
    by Tina Folsom

    Genre:  Paranormal Erotic Romance
    Formats avail:  ebook, paperback
    Publication Date: October 30, 2010
    Word Count: approx.  84,710 (Novel)
    Page count on Sony Reader:  321 pgs
    Print Length: 234 pgs
    Source:  ebook provided by author

    Out of Olympus, Book 1

    DESCRIPTION from Goodreads:  
    Selfish and gorgeous Greek God Triton is cast out of Olympus after seducing Zeus' mistress and can only gain reentry if he finds a woman who loves him for his kindness and selflessness, not his beauty. When the mortal Sophia - recovering from an eye operation and virtually blind - needs a home healthcare worker, he takes on the role, hoping she will be his ticket home.

    While defending Sophia from an unknown adversary, Triton's protective instinct emerges. At the same time rival Gods do everything to doom him to failure. And even if Triton can win Sophia's love, will he throw it away to return home, or will he lose his own heart to the only woman who truly sees him?

    A Touch of Greek is the first book in the humorous and sexy paranormal romance series Out of Olympus following the romantic adventures of four Gods: Triton, Dionysus, Eros, and Hermes.


    * * * * *

    MY REVIEW:  

    Tina Folsom's new series takes a lighter turn from her Scanguards Vampires series, but still maintains the sexy alpha male hero, independent heroine, hot romance, and good balance between story and sex I've come to expect and appreciate in her books.

    In A Touch of Greek, Triton, the philandering son of Poseidon, is stripped of his powers and sent to Earth to learn a lesson in love.  With the assistance of his friend Dionysus a plan is hatched for him to prove that he isn't just a selfish scamp and to hopefully earn his way back into Olympus.  Then he meets Sophia, recently blinded by a seemingly freak accident and struggling to convert an inherited house into a B&B while trying to outmaneuver her greedy and malicious cousin.  Triton takes this opportunity to meet Zeus's challenge but soon his plans take a different turn as his attraction to Sophia grows.  Maybe Triton is capable of love after all.

    As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed Folsom's characters. Triton is a likable scamp and the interaction and banter between him and his friends Dionysus, Eros, and Hermes contributed to the lighter and more humorous feel of this book.  I've always enjoyed the secondary characters in Tina's other books and this book was no different.

    Though A Touch of Greek is lighter fare than her vampire series, it doesn't skimp on the romance one bit. Tina does romance and does it well. There is plenty of emphasis on building the connection between the characters and the eventual sex scenes are open-door and sizzling hot.  Though I labeled this an erotic paranormal romance because the sex scenes are explicit, I think you could consider it to be the sexier end of a regular paranormal romance.

    Tina's books just seem to have the right formula for me:  some light intrigue; good pacing and dialogue; sexy alpha male heroes; heroines that are sometimes kick-ass and sometimes not, but always independent and strong; a dash of humor; a good romantic connection between the lead characters, great secondary characters, and sizzling love scenes that flow well and deliver on the promise of all that romantic tension.

    A fun and sexy look at the Greek gods. I absolutely enjoyed this new series and look forward to the next book, which is Dionysus's story and will be coming sometime in 2011.


    Rating:  5 – I LOVED IT!

    Typos found: 6

    * * * * *

    This book is available in both paperback and ebook versions.  You can find Tina Folsom on the web at:

    Website: http://www.tinawritesromance.com
    Blog: http://authortinafolsom.blogspot.com/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/tina_folsom
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTinaFolsom
    Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3425403.Tina_Folsom

    Add A Touch of Greek to your Goodreads shelf HERE


    Get the book! 


    Some other books by Tina Folsom:



    Samson's Lovely Mortal
    Scanguards Vampires, Book 1
    ***IPBR REVIEWED***
       
    Amaury's Hellion
    Scanguards Vampires, Book 2
    ***IPBR REVIEWED***

    Gabriel's Mate
    Scanguards Vampires, Book 3
    UPCOMING REVIEW!




    Venice Vampyr (Novella)






    Friday Finds: A Paranormal Christmas

    Today's Friday Finds features paranormal Christmas-related stories for you to enjoy.  Merry Christmas!



    The Nights Before Christmas
    by Kerry Allen


    Bowe Winderowe, elven assassin and convicted felon, has been ordered to serve the remainder of her sentence dressed as Santa’s slutty little helper. Her condemners, required to offer her a chance at redemption, claim they’ll revoke the execution order if she can awaken the Christmas spirit in Harvey Doyle, the saddest excuse for a bloodsucker she’s ever seen.






    $0.99 at Smashwords / Amazon / B&N
    Word Count: approx. 21,265 (novella)


    *****


    Steampunk Santa
    by Marc Vun Kannon

    Tomparasil is a very forward-thinking elf, embracing the technology of the 19th-century world. When Santa decides to go global, Tom decides his time has come. But there are those in the workshop who would rather he stayed in the boiler room where he belongs.





    $0.99 at Omnilit / Amazon / B&N
    Word count: approx. 5,547 (short story)
    Published by Echelon Press




    *****


    Vampire for Christmas
    by Felicity Heaton

    It was one last mission. Shannon, a hunter, is desperate to ditch the small town and her vampire partner, Rafe. Things are getting complicated and she wants out, but Rafe isn't about to let the woman he's fallen for go so easily. Can Rafe make her see that he loves her and make her face her feelings? Will a wish on a star bring Shannon what her heart truly desires--a vampire for Christmas?





    $2.99 at Smashwords / Amazon / Fictionwise
    Word count: approx. 29,845 (novella)





    *****


    Astra Gets a Lump of Coal for Christmas
    by Sam Cheever

    Astra Q Phelps has to spend Christmas in Satan’s backyard, figuring out how the green dragons are escaping Hell. It’s the biggest lump of coal she’s ever gotten for Christmas, and she’s pretty depressed. When she discovers an elf in Hell, she’s pretty sure it isn’t a coincidence. But she’s determined to figure it all out AND salvage the season with some sexy Dialle time.

    (This story is part of the Dancin' with the Devil series.)  





    FREE! at Smashwords
    Word Count: approx. 8,531 (short story)



    *****
     

    Celtic Evil: The Fitzgerald Brothers: A Celtic Christmas
    by Sierra Rose
    A short holiday story featuring the Fitzgerald brothers as they enjoy their first holiday after being reunited. A humorous look into their lives, snow ball fight and all.

    (This story is part of the Fitzgerald Brothers series)








    FREE! at Smashwords
    Word Count: approx 4,256 (Short Story)



    ******


    A Man of Snow and Other Seasonal Stories
    by Erin L. Snyder

    From nihilistic elves to tortured snowmen and cursed gifts, A Man of Snow and Other Seasonal Stories explores a different side to the holidays. These five tales will take you from the North Pole to an empty shopping mall on Christmas Eve, and even through the dark depths of the US Postal System. Whether you love the holidays or hate them, this is our gift to you






    FREE! at Smashwords
    Word Count: approx. 11,750 (Anthology)



    *****


    Spirit Yet to Come
    by Kiki Howell
    This short story was inspired by A Christmas Carol. Find out what happens when the Spirit of Christmases Yet to Come falls in love with his charge…

    Warning: Erotic Romance - explicit material







    You Set the Price! at Smashwords
    (minimum price is $0.99)
    Word Count: approx. 7,416 (Short Story)




    *****


    The Case of the Missing Elf
    by Annie Reed
    Christmas comes early for private investigator Dee and her partner, the grumpy but drop-dead-gorgeous elf Dizzy G, when Santa's elves hire Diz and Dee to find Santa's missing stand in. Santa's taken a sabbatical, and if Diz and Dee can't find the only elf who can fill Santa's suit, it's game over for Christmas.








    $0.99 at Smashwords / Amazon
    Word Count: approx. 5,934 (Short Story)





    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    'Tis the Season for Sweet Indie Sales!

    It's that time of year when everything seems to be on sale and that includes indie ebooks, yay!  I  just recently discovered that several of the titles reviewed here on IPBR, or coming up for review, are in the midst of a sale for the holiday season and/or to support a new release.  If you have been wanting to try some of these ebooks, now is a fantastic time to scoop them up. Sale prices expire at various times and some will be gone sooner than later, so as the saying goes, get 'em while the gettin' is good.  Without further ado, here is a list of what I have found. Only books that have recieved a review here on IPBR or in the queue to be reviewed will be listed here. 


    Space Junque
    by LK Rigel

    Paranormal Space Opera Romance

    IPBR REVIEWED

    Amazon $0.99
    B&N $0.99
    Smashwords $0.99


    Cattitude
    by Edie Ramer

    Fantasy Body-Switching Romance

    IPBR REVIEWED


    Amazon $0.99
    B&N $0.99
    Smashwords $0.99


    The Ghost Hunter
    by Lori Brighton

    Paranormal Romance

    IPBR REVIEWED

    Amazon $0.99
    B&N $0.99
    Smashwords $0.99



    Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble
    by HP Mallory

    Paranormal Romance

    IPBR REVIEWED

    Amazon $0.99
    B&N $0.99



    Out of Time
    by Monique Martin

    Paranormal Time Travel Romance

    IPBR REVIEWED

    Amazon $0.99




    Kismet's Kiss
    by Cate Rowan


    Fantasy Romance

    UPCOMING REVIEW

    Amazon $0.99
    B&N $0.99



    The Second Half of Life
    by Sionna Cailey

    Paranormal Romance

    UPCOMING REVIEW

    Amazon $0.99
    Smashwords $0.99



    The Portal Between
    by Sarah Barnard

    IPBR REVIEWED

    Fantasy

    Amazon $1.50





    And might as well give a mention to some books on IPBR that currently have a low standard price.


    Scary Mary
    by SA Hunter

    YA Paranormal/Ghosts
    ***IPBR REVIEWED***

    Smashwords FREE!
    Online Read FREE!
    B&N FREE!
    Amazon $0.99
     
    Thinks and Things
    by Crystal Johnson

    YA Fantasy

    UPCOMING REVIEW


    Smashwords FREE!
    B&N FREE!



    Hush Money
    by Susan Bischoff

    YA Superhero Romance

    IBPR REVIEWED

    Amazon $0.99
    B&N $0.99
    Smashwords $0.99


    Make Willing the Prey
    by Luna Lindey

    Dark Fantasy/Horror

    IBPR REVIEWED

    Amazon $0.99
    B&N $0.99
    Smashwords $0.99


    Day of Sacrifice
    by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

    Paranormal Romance

    IPBR Reviewed

    Amazon $1.00
    B&N $1.00
    Smashwords $1.00



    Wow... a bonanza of book deals!  You could get every single book here for less than one trade-size paperback...now that is a sweet indie deal!  Thanks to all the authors who put their books on sale and giving us a treat for the holiday season.

    Check out the Friday Finds posts to see deals on other books too, some sales may still be in effect.

    Happy reading and I hope you find some treasures.





    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Review: No Rest for the Wicca by Toni LoTempio

    No Rest for the Wicca
    by Toni LoTempio


    Genre:  Urban Fantasy Romance
    Format:  ebook
    Publication Date: September 2010
    Word Count: approx. 82,362
    Page count on Sony Reader:  233
    Source: ebook provided by author



     
    DESCRIPTION from Goodreads: 
    Communing with the dead is an everyday occurrence for PI Morgan Hawkes. A half-Wiccan witch who can commune with spirits of those caught between worlds, Morgan uses her talents to exorcise the trapped ghost or demon as part of the Paranormal Investigation Squad – until a string of murders with a voodoo slant prompts the Special Forces Agency to ask for her assistance. Someone’s killing pureblood witches- and the SFA’s convinced Morgan’s heritage (her father was a voodoo priest) could be instrumental in solving the mystery. Teamed with dashing SF agent Cole St. John – an Inheritor Vampire that sets her blood racing – the two of them fight their attraction for each other as they race to stop a madman from unleashing a demonic force upon the world.

    *****

    MY REVIEW: 
    The book starts off with a scene that grabbed my attention, which I really liked, and introduces us to Morgan Hawkes, a smart-mouthed, ass-kicking, half-wiccan ghostbuster. Morgan can sense and communicate with spirits trapped between worlds and send them on to another plane. Cole St. John is an Inheritor vampire who needs Morgan’s help to solve a series of murders involving witches. He first comes off as arrogant and supercilious, but soon the attraction between Morgan and Cole is evident and you start to see a softer side to Cole.  I would like to have seen more of Cole’s vampire nature.  Though Cole is a vampire, he is of the variety that can blend in with the human population (walk in sunlight, rarely needs blood, etc). Perhaps it is this aspect that reduced the sense of him being a vampire.

    Morgan has to learn how to embrace her Voodoo and Wiccan heritage, use this knowledge to help Cole solve the murders, and come to terms with her own demons from the past all while she figures out what the heck to do about her attraction to a vampire.

    The romance was not overpowering to the story. There seemed to be more of an emphasis on the intrigue, but there was definitely a building romantic tension between Morgan and Cole. As individuals, I liked Morgan and Cole, but as a couple I didn’t really feel much of a connection between them.  The few brief love scenes that were in the story just didn’t flow well for me (like watching a game of twister and trying to figure out how the heck he got his left hand on blue while she has her right foot on yellow) and did not help in establishing that connection.

    I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book. I really liked the story, the characters, and the dialogue. It was paced pretty well and I found myself wanting to get back to it when I had to put it down. However, I had some issues with some of the mechanics of the story such as numerous typos, some inconsistencies, repetitive phrases (there was much clucking of the tongue), a few awkward scenes, and some other quirks.  A little more spit and polish could make this book really shine. 

    Overall I enjoyed it and would be interested in reading more of this world.  There were secondary characters I would like to see again like the troll we meet at the beginning and Xia, who is Morgan’s cousin, roomie, and also a witch.  The book seemed pretty wrapped up at the end with no cliffhangers, so I’m not sure if this is part of a series or not.  I tried to find information about what Toni is currently working on, but alas, there was not much info to be found.  I guess I’ll just have to keep my eyes open and see what pops up. 


    Rating:  3 – I Liked It

    Typos found: 30

    *****

    This book is available as an ebook in various formats.  You can find Toni LoTempio on the web at:

    Website: http://www.freewebs.com/toni1953
    Blog: http://tclotempio.falloutentertainmentgroup.com/




    Other books by Toni LoTempio:
    Witch's Pawn


    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Friday Finds: Sweet Indie Deals - Dec 17, 2010

    Friday Finds is a way to share super sweet deals for indie paranormal ebooks.  All Friday finds are priced from Free ~ $3.00 and represent an awesome deal for the word count.

    Books listed in Friday Finds have not been reviewed unless noted below with a link to the review.  It's up to the reader to determine if the ebook is a good fit for their reading tastes.  Follow the links for a description of the ebook and to download a free sample to see if you might like it. It's a great way to "test drive" a book.

    Prices valid at the time of this post but they can change at any time, so get 'em while the gettin' is good!  Any coupon codes listed in this post are publicly available online or provided to me by the author for posting here on the blog.



    * * * * * 


    PSIgns 3 in 1 by Trish Lamoree
    (PSI Consulting Books 1, 2 & 3)
    Word Count: approx. 237,652 (3 Novels)
    FREE! at Smashwords with Coupon Code WK27K
    LIMITED TIME!  Coupon valid until Christmas



     
     Guardian Vampire by Lauralynn Elliott
    Word Count: approx. 26,933 (Novella)
     The Discovery of Socket Greeny by Tony Bertauski
    Socket Series, Book 1
    Word Count: approx. 66,623 (Novel)
     Sojourner by Maria Rachel Hooley
    Sojourner, Book 1
    Word Count: approx. 67,045 (Novel)
     Karma Crossed by Jamie Sedgwick
    Word Count: approx. 93,599 (Novel)
     Falling From Grace by S.L. Naeole
    Grace Series, Book 1
    Word Count: approx. 172,370 (Big Honkin' Novel)