Thursday, September 29, 2011

Winners of Awakening and Gabriel's Inferno

 Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaways. 

Congratulations to the winners!

Winner of Awakening by Kitty Thomas is:


Winners of Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard are:

 Flaming Junebug

A special thank you to Kitty Thomas and Omnific Publishing.

Winners have been notified by email and have 48 hours to respond.

Friday, September 23, 2011


The Renfield Syndrome
by J.A. Saare
Publisher: Mundania Press
Release Date: August 23, 2011

Series: Rhiannon's Law, #2
Source: Review copy from the Author

Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my.

Rhiannon thought facing off against a deranged child vampire was the most dangerous task she would ever have to undertake, but she’s about to discover making a deal with a demon is far, far worse. Sent forward into another reality, one in which vampires are now dominating nearly extinct humans, she realizes the sooner she returns to her vampire lover, Disco, the better.

Unfortunately, time changes a lot of things; including those most trusted around her. When she’s faced with a loss and betrayal unlike any she has ever known, her focus shifts from severing the debt between the demon that wants to kill her, to exacting a revenge that will bring forth consequences she never could have fathomed. By reaching out to the darkness lingering within her, she’ll find the strength to push forward despite the circumstances that would see her dead and buried.

After all, when it’s all said and done, all that she has left to lose is her soul.

I could not wait to get my hands on The Renfield Syndrome! This is the second book in the Rhiannon’s Law series and it was full of awesome. This installment starts off where the first book, Dead Undead or Somewhere in Between ends. 

Rhiannon Murphy finds herself in a very difficult position. I don’t want to give too much away here because it would spoil it for the reader if they haven’t read the first book. I will say that Rhiannon does have to figure out a way to get back to her beloved, Gabriel (Disco) and the hellish action packed journey that she goes through keeps the energy high and the book’s flow fast paced.  

The Renfield Syndrome is a much darker book than the first one. The stark New York City setting is compared to Richard Matheson’s novel, I Am Legend. The book takes place after a war between vampires and humans that ended with thousands of human casualties. The Renfield vaccine was created as a weapon against vampires. If a vampire bit into a vaccinated human the vampire would die. Unfortunately side effects started to manifest about 30 years after the vaccinations began. Humans started aging rapidly and dying off at a quick rate. The humans that were not vaccinated were hunted down and became blood slaves to the vampires. 

Rhiannon finds herself out alone after dark without any protection. She is saved by a military group that is made up of werewolves and that’s when sexy lycae, Carter enters the picture. He was really attracted to Rhiannon and I was torn between wanting him to keep his hands off of her and liking his strong alpha male personality. There are also several encounters with evil demons that Rhiannon has to outwit if she wants to get her life back.
“Rhiannon’s Law #68: If youre going to fly by the seat of your pants, rock out with your cock out. The landing is going to hurt either way, and you might as well make an impression when you nail it.”
There were some heartbreaking moments in The Renfield Syndrome that left me sad and conflicted. Again, I’m not going to reveal too much except to say that betrayal, misunderstandings, and altered relationships will have Rhiannon questioning her feelings for those that she loves. This book will appeal to paranormal romance junkies that appreciate dark twists and turns. Despite the darkness of the novel, J.A. Saare still entertains us with Rhiannon’s sarcasm and clever dialogue between the characters. I would not recommend reading this novel until you’ve read the first book in the series. There is a lot of back story that you should be aware of before reading The Renfield Syndrome. Trust me – you will like it much better if you know what’s going on. Next up in the Rhiannon’s Law series is The Ripple Effect and I can’t wait to find out how Rhiannon handles the repercussions of her bold actions from The Renfield Syndrome. I’m giving this wonderful novel 4.5 dragons.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review & Giveaway: GABRIEL'S INFERNO by Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel’s Inferno
By Sylvain Reynard
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Release Date: April 19, 2011

Source: Review copy from Publisher

Professor Gabriel Emerson, a specialist in Dante and the art of seduction, believes he has already earned his exile to the lower circles of hell. Since redemption is impossible, there is no reason to refrain from indulging in a life of pleasurable sin, using his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm as a means to gratify his every whim. But when he meets Julia Mitchell, a brilliant, lovely, and innocent grad student with the achingly familiar eyes of an angel, all of his cynical convictions are challenged. Her mysterious allure and the havoc she wreaks on his self-satisfied existence cause him to lash out at her, while her quiet beauty and innate goodness consistently undermine his control, tempting him beyond measure. Despite surviving a traumatic childhood, nothing has shaken Julia's faith that redemption is possible for everyone-everyone but her. Her unworthiness torments her, since the only man she will ever love has managed to forget her very existence, failing to even recognize her when they reconnect. Too naive to see that Gabriel's hostility is a mask for his increasing obsession with her, Julia forces him to come to grips with his past while she continues to unwittingly torment his senses. His fascination grows into a dangerous preoccupation, for Julia is forbidden fruit . . .

Will Gabriel survive the inferno, or will he succumb to the flames?

I’m going to say right away that Gabriel’s Inferno is absolutely amazing and if you love romance then get this book immediately!

Gabriel Emerson is a mean and pretentious bastard and treats his students like shit. Despite possessing a notoriously abrasive attitude, Gabriel also has a charismatic personality that has women falling over themselves to get in bed with him. Julia Mitchell is very sweet and meek and always tries to see the positive in people and make them happy. I loved how intelligent and loyal she was. Despite her submissive personality there were times when her inner lioness peaked through and she would put Gabriel in his place. Julia has loved Gabriel from afar ever since she met him at the age of seventeen. Her interest in Italian literature was sparked by their first meeting when Gabriel refers to her as Beatrice to his Dante from “The Divine Comedy”. When she signs up for one of his classes he does not remember who she is.

Both characters were flawed. Both Julia and Gabriel had unloving alcoholic mothers which contributed to their dark pasts. Julia’s mom cared more for her boyfriends and paid little attention to Julia. Gabriel’s mother died leaving him an orphan at the age of nine.
The novel is pretty dark in the beginning before Gabriel remembers who Julia is. I cringed every time there was any type of interaction between these two. He was unapologetic about his attitude and demeanor towards others but with Julia he did a 180 turn and let his tender, affectionate side out. The dark period made Gabriel’s and Julia’s romantic journey so much better to watch.
“When I am an old man and I can remember nothing else, I will remember this moment. The first time my eyes beheld an angel in the flesh.”

“I will remember your body and your eyes, your beautiful face and breasts, your curves and this.” He traced his hand around her navel before dragging it lightly to the top of her lower curls.

“I will remember your scent and your touch and how it felt to love you. But most of all, I will remember how it felt to gaze at true beauty, both inside and out. For you are fair, my beloved, in soul and in body, generous of spirit and generous of heart. And I will never see anything this side of heaven more beautiful than you.”

~ Gabriel to Julia
A great romance has a good bit of sexual tension. Usually when that tension goes on for too long I start to get bored. But with Gabriel’s Inferno the sexual tension kept me in suspense and pulled me along in the story. There was so much mystery as to what happened in both Julia’s and Gabriel’s past relationships that I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened that would make these two so tragically flawed. The romance was exquisitely written by Sylvain Reynard. I almost didn’t mind that it took forever for Julia and Gabriel to consummate their relationship. There wasn’t anything in this novel that I didn’t like. I loved how the author used specific songs to set the mood in various scenes. And I liked the Italian dialogue that peppered the story. I think stronzo is my new favorite curse word. The flow of the book was superb. I stayed completely captivated throughout the entire novel. When I got to the end I was pleasantly surprised to find out there would be a sequel. This incredible novel will appeal to all the romance junkies out there. I highly recommend Gabriel’s Inferno and give it 5 dragons!



Giveaway Time:

Thanks to Omnific Publishing, two lucky winners will receive an e-copy of Gabriel's Inferno. Open Internationally.

To Enter:
Leave a comment and include your email address.
Entry deadline: Sunday, September 28th 2011 at 11:59pm (PT)

Winner will be announced and emailed soon after and will have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

Check out KLB's schedule located below for your chance at more chances to win!

Author Twitter Chat : Hashtag:  #GabrielsInferno

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Interview & International Giveaway with Kitty Thomas

I'm so excited to have Kitty Thomas join me on AsianCocoa's Secret Garden today! Kitty's new novella Awakening was released in August.
AsianCocoa: Welcome Kitty. It’s a pleasure having you here on the blog today. Please tell us a little about yourself and why you became a writer.
Kitty Thomas: I'm not sure there is a reason I can give on why I became a writer. I think it's one of those innate things for a lot of people. It's sort of like how little kids who kill stray animals become serial killers. People who have stories in their heads all the time and have a tendency to start writing them down, become writers. It's just inevitable.

AC: Your new book Awakening was just released this month. Would you tell us a little about it? Why did you want to write a story with a mermaid heroine?
KT: Awakening is about a mermaid named Nerina (literally means sea nymph in Greek) who swims too close to the shore and gets caught in a fisherman's net. The people on the island eat mermaid fin as a delicacy, but Kyros, the master of the property where she's caught, decides to keep her instead. In the book there is a legend that if a human can awaken a mermaid's sexual desire, the mermaid will turn human and be forever at the mercy of the human's lust. Nerina believes it's a scare tactic to keep merfolk in line. But Kyros believes in it wholeheartedly. Mermaids really have no frame of reference either for love or sex, so Kyros has his work cut out for him. Nerina is afraid that when she can't turn human for him, that he'll have her killed.

I wrote a mermaid story because my cover artist found a great image. She said: "OMG, Kitty you HAVE to write a mermaid story so we can use this image for your cover." Ten minutes later I came back to her and said, "I think I just got an idea for one." So Awakening wouldn't be here without my cover artist. Ironically we ended up using a different cover image than what was originally picked out.

AC: You’ve published 4 other books since your incredible debut novel; Comfort Food was released in October of 2010. How do you get your incredible stories to paper (or computer screen) so quickly? Can you describe your writing process to us?
KT: Most of these ideas in one form or another have been percolating in my brain as fantasies for longer than I can remember. In fact, the novella I just finished, The King's Pleasure, (completing the set of three), is a story like that. It still has to be edited and formatted, but I'm hoping to have it out by sometime in October. The entire opening scene was part of one of my "bedtime stories". I have all these stories in my head that I fall asleep while they play, and a lot of my books start out as those stories. They change a lot from my brain to the page sometimes. So that's part of why it happens so fast. A lot of these stories, the rough draft is already in my head and has been for years. The other part is that I just write a lot and I don't second guess myself. Editing is for second guessing, not writing. So, while all my work is professionally edited, I have more work TO edit much more quickly because I just sit down and do it.

AC: You write mostly dark BDSM erotica. Do you think that BDSM is becoming more main stream? Why or why not?
KT: I honestly don't really class my writing as BDSM erotica. I consider it dark erotica that deals with the psychology of ownership. That might seem like splitting hairs, but BDSM is a consensual practice and what I write isn't about "consent". It's about power and surrender. This isn't to say that no story ever starts or ends with consent or that I won't write anything consensual, but it's about the totality of ownership in a fictional context where such things can be safely explored. I think BDSM is a very different thing. And while I'm sure my work appeals a lot to BDSM practitioners, I'm sure most of them would agree with me that what I'm writing isn't exactly what they're doing. My work may have many BDSM trappings and look similar on the surface, but I don't consider it BDSM.

Re: the mainstreaming of BDSM, I'm not sure but I think what you're really asking is: do I think erotica that pushes more envelopes and takes us out of the Ozzie and Harriet world is becoming more mainstream. And what I mean, of course, is overt power exchange. I'm not really sure if it is or not, but I don't understand the question. I'm not saying I don't comprehend what you've asked me, I just don't understand why BDSM is or ever could be controversial to anyone. Maybe it's just the way my brain is wired but I see dominance and submission games in nearly everything human beings do. And it's been like this throughout history. Human beings are mammals. Most mammalian sexuality is based on hierarchies of dominance and submission. People just get a little more creative about it. But to me a whip or bondage gear isn't the THING itself. The thing is the need of one to submit and the other to dominate. On the surface we all say we want egalitarian relationships. And maybe some people do. But I think what we really mean is that we want fair and caring/loving relationships. Otherwise the majority of women wouldn't be so sexually attracted to dominant badasses and sexually repulsed by men who are "too nice". (Which isn't to say that maledom and femsub is all that is out there or all that's okay, but it represents the social majority and it's what I write. So no judgment on other sexualities is intended in this answer.)

AC: Which character out of all of your novels was the hardest to write about? Who was your favorite and least favorite character?

KT: I'm not sure I can frame it as "which character was the hardest to write about", but I can say which book was the hardest to write, and that's Comfort Food. I opened a vein for that book. Emotionally it drained the fuck out of me. Later I realized it was because it was so personal. I didn't realize until after I'd written it but the whole book was largely a metaphor for how M and I weren't communicating at the time, at least not verbally. It was a rough period in our relationship and Comfort Food was what came out of that.

With favorite and least favorite characters, I'm pretty fickle. My favorite is usually whoever I'm writing about at the time. And least favorite... I don't write characters I don't like. Even villains who I wouldn't like in real life, I like them as characters because of what they contribute to the story. Like Lucas, the villain in Tender Mercies. I loved him as a character because he was just so scary and gave this wonderful contrast for when Asher bought Grace and took her out of that situation. If Lucas hadn't been so awful, it wouldn't have been such a relief to Grace (or readers) when Asher comes along and turns out not to be the monster she feared he would be.

AC: What was the last amazing book that you have read?
KT: Room. I found the book because someone compared Comfort Food to it. Of course Room and Comfort Food are very very different books in a lot of ways, but I can see where the comparison came from.

AC: Other than writing, what other things interest you?
KT: Psychology. How people think and how ultimately predictable we all are. Except crazy people. But even they follow their own bizarre internal logic, so even they can be figured out if you have their secret decoder ring.

AC: Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers? Are there any new projects you’re working on?
KT: Right now I'm in edits for The King's Pleasure. It's about a half-gypsy named Abigail (yes, she was purposely given a non-gypsy name), and a king named Niall. She is caught stealing bread in his castle and rather than allowing his guard to chop off her hand for it, he takes her as his personal slave. The book has a lot of worldbuilding for a novella with regards to their culture and how different it is sexually from ours. They have wholly different conceptions of sexuality and privacy from what we do. The King's Pleasure will round out my 3 novella series and will also be combined into a print anthology, so my readers who still read in print or just like to have my stuff on their shelves, it'll be available in that format. After a lot of 1st person stories, The King's Pleasure is back to 3rd again.

I'm also about halfway through The Last Girl, which is my first full-length novel since Tender Mercies. It's told in first person, present tense by Juliette, the main character. I know a lot of people don't like present tense, and many don't like first person, but I really think it's the only way this particular tale could be told. It makes it very immediate. It's a vampire story, which is fun to do because I love metaphor and vampires are really all about metaphor. I really shouldn't be but I am utterly in love with Christian.

For those who felt my writing has gotten a little tame with Awakening (and I agree that the mermaid story is "kitty-lite"; it's just what that story called for), The King's Pleasure ramps the dirty meter WAY up. (I'm not sure what it is about me and books with the word "pleasure" in the title, but... I go a little crazy.) And The Last Girl is rather dark and in some ways reminiscent of Comfort Food, but still a very different story.

AC: Thank you so much Kitty for  stopping by the blog and answering my questions.
KT: Thanks for having me!

For more information on Kitty Thomas:

Giveaway Time:

Kitty is giving away an e-copy of her fantastic novella Awakening  (my review) to one lucky winner. Open Internationally.
To Enter:
Leave a comment or question for Kitty with your email address.
Entry deadline: Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 11:59pm (PT)

Winner will be announced and emailed soon after and will have 48 hours to respond.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Giveaway Winners!!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaways. 

Congratulations to the winners!

18 & Over Blogger Giveaway Hop Winners :

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas
Surrender to Me by Shayla Black

Winners of Brightwing by Sullivan Lee are:

 Victoria Zumbrum

Winners have been notified by email and have 48 hours to respond.

Review: SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN by Stacey Kennedy

Somewhere in Between
by Stacey Kennedy
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Release Date: September 12, 2011
Source: Review copy from the author

U.S. Marshal, Wyatt Tanning is in a race to catch a serial killer who has evaded the authorities. Just as the case hits a dead end, an unexpected email gives him a lead. As much as he wants to share the surprising message with his lover, Rye Daniels, he must hunt a killer first.

Darby Grant never expected that one night would change her life forever, but that’s exactly what happened. Not only has she been abducted, but she is in a situation that nightmares are made of. As she begins to lose all hope, fate steps in to offer her aid, but she’s well aware things will never be the same again. Soon, though, Darby begins to realize that might not be such a bad thing…

Somewhere in Between was a very hot novella in the A 1 Night Stand series. There were two sexy alpha males; one a U. S. Marshall and the other a UFC fighter and a beautiful nurse that manage to find love and form an unconventional relationship. This story had m/m and m/f/m scenes so this is not for the faint of heart.

This story will pull you in from the very beginning with Wyatt Tanning, a US Marshall in pursuit of a serial killer by the name of Marcus Walsh. Months had gone by without any new leads and Wyatt and his team were becoming more and more disappointed. Then Wyatt receives a strange message from Madame Eve that gives him hope of finding Marcus’ hideout and saving some of the women that he held captive. Wyatt and his team find the hideout and are able to rescue the women but Marcus still eludes capture.

Darby Grant is one of the women that Marcus had kidnapped and tortured. Wyatt instantly feels a connection with her and decides to keep watch over her until they find Marcus. After Darby’s house is broken into, Wyatt decides to take Darby to a safe place. He calls in his boyfriend, Rye Daniels to help him watch Darby. Even though Wyatt is in a relationship with Rye he has always wanted to find a woman that he could marry and have children with. After being set up with Rye though, Wyatt realizes that he needs to find a woman that will love him as well as accept his relationship with Rye.

I was surprised at how fast both men fell for Darby. The attraction to Darby came pretty quickly for Wyatt but I was shocked at how open Rye was to welcoming Darby into his and Wyatt’s relationship. The sex scenes between Rye and Wyatt were sizzling but it got even better when Darby came into the picture. Even though she had gone through a horrific experience and almost lost her life, Darby was able to start healing with the love of not one but two men. The book was too short to include a whole lot of romance but I liked the fast paced storyline with the heroine being in danger and her two heroes keeping her safe. This was another great story written by Stacey Kennedy. Somewhere in Between gets 3.5 dragons.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

18 & Over Book Blogger Giveaway Hop

Welcome Everyone. First I would like to thank Laurie at Bitten By Paranormal Romance and Crystal at Reading Between the Wines Book Club for hosting this awesome event!

My giveaway is for print copies of two incredible BDSM novels. 

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas
Surrender to Me by Shayla Black
First place winner will get first choice between these novels and the second place winner will get the remaining book. Both books were great so there is no bad choice.

Here are the entry instructions:
  • Must be a Google Friend Connect follower of AsianCocoa’s Secret Garden
  • Fill out the Entry Form below. 
  • Optional: Leave a comment so that you know you’ve entered this giveaway
Contest ends on September 18th, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. This giveaway is open to US entrants only. Two winners will be chosen using I will notify the winners by email and they will have 48 hours to reply otherwise a new winner will be chosen. 

Contest has ended

Good luck and be sure to check out and enter the other awesome giveaways.

Waiting on Wednesday: Angels of Darkness

Angels of Darkness
Ilona Andrews
Nalini Singh
Meljean Brook
Sharon Shinn
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Tales of alpha angels...from four alpha authors.
They soar through the night, unearthly creatures of legends and lore. Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance explore the rapture of the heavens above, and the darkness below in four all-new stories of angels and guardians, and good and evil.

I would buy this book just based on this gorgeous cover! I am a sucker for angels and I get goose bumps whenever they wrap their wings around their heroines. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to showcase the books we can’t wait to get our hands on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

This is my first post for Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting. I really liked the topic this week so here goes:
Top Ten Books I Read Because of another Blogger –
Some books come from bloggers that don’t post much anymore but who were influential in some early book choices.

1.     Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas
I read a post by jaymzangel of A Bitch, A Blog, and A Bookshelf about this wonderful novel and couldn’t wait to read it. I still smile when thinking of Master and his dungeon. I’ve been a fangirl of Kitty Thomas ever since.
          2.    Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward
I had just finished reading the Twilight series and was reading related blog posts and it was actually a commenter that said something to the affect “If you’re ready to leave the kiddie sparkles behind and read about some REAL kick-ass vampires then check out the Black Dagger Brotherhood.” The rest is history.
3.    Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
This was a book highly recommended by Tigris and Bells of KLB. I read it for a book tour and Oh My Gawd this book is amazing! I’ve read it twice already. It’s a very beautiful romance. My new favorite book!
4.    Seven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz
Diana from The Forbidden Bookshelf got me excited to read this very steamy book about a very hot librarian and his “seven day loan”.
5.    Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks
So Zelda from Zelda's Bookshelf gets the credit for getting me hooked on the Sweet Series by Maya Banks. I loved Damon from this book! She also gets the credit for getting me started with reading my next series…
6.    Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
I was devouring series books at the time and fell in love right away with The Chicagoland Vampires. Ethan makes me swoon.
7.    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I can’t remember the blogger whose review got me interested in this book but I liked it a lot and have seen the Swedish movie based on this book and am looking forward to the English version coming soon.
8.    Dead Undead or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare
I won this book from The Order of Smut Vixens back in February and quickly devoured it. I like a sarcastic strong heroine and Rhiannon fits that role perfectly and her man, Gabriel is super sexy.

9.    Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
The Order of Smut Vixens also gets the credit for my love of Jericho Barrons from the Fever series. I rapidly read the first 4 in quick succession to be ready for the release of this highly anticipated final book.
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This book has gotten a lot of love from several bloggers and I need to know what the fuss is about. It’s in my TBR pile and I think I might crack it open next.
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