On My Wishlist (80)

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. If you want to know more click here.

OMWMidnight (Dark Age Dawning, #2) by Ellen Connor

Their desire destroys her defenses.
Their love gives him a reason to live.

Three years of wandering the post-apocalyptic wasteland has stripped Dr. Chris Welsh of humanity and hope. He’s a dangerous man now, full of dark energy and yen for violence. A harrowing loss drove him from his home, and he hasn’t stopped moving since. Grim and sardonic, he never found anything worth sticking around for – until now.

Rosa Cortez runs Valle de Bravo, a haven of civilization amid the chaos of the Change. Soldiers take their orders directly from her–the iron hand within a velvet glove. The last thing she needs is a feral loner upsetting the town’s tentative balance. However, for the good of her people, she lets the sexy doctor stay. He evokes a delicious new longing, but she won’t submit to any man.

Tension rises as bloodthirsty raiders strike again and again, bent on possessing Valle and its resources. Together Chris and Rosa battle hellhounds and dust pirates while also fighting desperate attraction. To save them, love must overcome the pain of the past–and build a future in this brutal Dark Age…

Midnight (A Dark Age Dawning Novel)


OMWDaybreak (Dark Age Dawning, #3) by Ellen Connor

Third in a stunning post-apocalyptic paranormal romance trilogy.

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

Daybreak (Dark Age Dawning, #3)


OMWStay with Me by Paul Griffin

An urban romance that will capture your soul, break your heart, and restore your faith in the human spirit

Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn't expect to fall in love. She's a sensitive A student; he's a high school dropout. But soon they're spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they'd planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can't stay.

From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.

Stay with Me


OMWSkinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1) by Faith Hunter

First in a brand new series from the author of the Rogue Mage novels

Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind - a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps...

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)


What’s on your wishlist?

Looking for Blog Admins for A Novel Challenge

A Novel Challenge has been the go-to place for all Reading Challenges and Reading Events. The site has been such a great and valuable resource for book bloggers looking for reading challenges and events to participate in as well, as a place for these reading challenge and event hosts to tell others about the challenges and events they’re hosting.

Sadly, the current blog admins have made the difficult decision to let A Novel Challenge go. I’d hate to see all of Wendy and Teddy’s hard work and dedication disappear so I have offered to take on the site. I know I can in no way accomplish what these two have done all by myself so I am looking for other book bloggers who would like to help me out. So I’m looking for some people who are interested in joining the team and maintain the site along with me.

What does ‘maintaining the site’ entail? Well, it could be anything from adding reading challenges and events to the blog (in the form of a blog post, a separate one for each challenge/event), going through old posts and deleting expired challenges and events, updating the layout, to anything in between. I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be work – a lot of work – which is why I’m looking for people to add to the team (the more the merrier). And I’ll need all the help I can get with the end-of-the-year fast approaching (when most new challenges are created).

If you’re interested,
please fill out this form.

Could you help me spread the word by clicking on one of the buttons below to share this post with others? I’d really appreciate it Smile

REVIEW: Crux by Moira Rogers

Title: Crux
Series: Southern Arcana, #1
AuthorMoira Rogers
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: won from the author
Published: March 2009 by Samhain

To find her destiny, she must trust him with her life...and her heart.

Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn't crack...until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn't explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past-and her destiny.

This book contains devious schemes, epic battles, forbidden love between a shapeshifter and a spellcaster, nosy secondary characters, furniture-endangering sex and a woman fighting to choose her own destiny.

Crux (Southern Arcana, #1)

Why I Read this Book: I’ve had Crux on my Kindle for over a year. I feel like I’m the last person to read a Moira Rogers book! So when I saw that Fiction Vixen, Smexy Books and The Book Pushers were hosting a read along, it was a sign from the book Gods. This is why I enjoy participating in read alongs; they get me to read books that I’ve had sitting in my TBR pile forever! 

What I Liked: Since Crux was my first read by these authors (Moira Rogers is a pseudonym for Bree and Donna), I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as their writing style goes. The book blurb for Crux was a bit mysterious to me. Truthfully, I didn’t know what to make of it. It felt like I was going into the book blindly, which I didn’t mind at all. Sometimes that’s the best way to read a book. I am happy to say that not only did Crux catch my attention but held it the whole way through. I was curious to find out more about Mackenzie’s background. And Jackson was an interesting character to read about as well.

The authors did a superb job in making Mackenzie’s reaction to the paranormal world surrounding her totally believable. Mackenzie questioned it even while it was unfolding before her very eyes. She didn’t accept it right way (who would, right?), in fact she was extremely wary and it took quite a bit of time and evidence to convince her otherwise.

I also liked Nicole’s character. I thought it was noble of Nicole to take Mackenzie in under her wing and help her out without really knowing her. And I like the possibility of a love triangle going on between Nicole, Alex and Derek.

Crux ended as a stand alone novel; there were no cliffhangers. It was a clean ending and I got closure. It’ll be interesting to see where Crossroads, book two in this series, takes the characters and storyline. But I do have to say that the line But it was terrifyingly simple towards the end in Crux makes me a bit suspicious about certain events and a certain character in particular. I think if it sounds too good to be true, then it must be. Guess I’ll have to see what happens in the next book to find out for sure, won’t I? Smile

What I Didn’t Like: I can’t believe I’m going to say this but Crux was a bit heavy on the romance. Don’t get me wrong, I like romance and I like PNR but it felt like it was laid on a little bit too thick. (Says the vixen who needs romance in just about anything she reads.) I guess I wanted the focus to be more on Mackenzie and her ancestry than her relationship with Jackson.

Overall Impression: Crux was my first read by these authors and won’t be my last. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from the duo behind Moira Rogers.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 Frogs

BOOK TOUR SIGN-UP: If You Hear Her by Shiloh Walker

Even since I first heard that Shiloh Walker was writing a romantic suspense series, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the first book’s release. I LOVE romantic suspense! The first book in the series, If You Hear Her, comes out on October 25 and we’re looking for people interested in reading this book to participate in a virtual blog tour. If you’re interested, please read the qualifications below and fill out the form (link below).


The scream Lena Riddle hears in the woods behind her house is enough to curdle her blood—she has no doubt that a woman is in real danger. Unfortunately, with no physical evidence, the local law officers in small-town Ash, Kentucky, dismiss her claim. But Lena knows what she heard—and it leaves her filled with fear and frustration.

Ezra King is on leave from the state police, but he can’t escape the guilty memories that haunt his dreams. When he sees Lena, he is immediately drawn to her. He aches to touch her—to be touched by her—but is he too burdened by his tragic past to get close? When Ezra hears her story of an unknown woman’s screams, his instincts tell him that Lena’s life is also at risk—and his desire to protect her is as fierce as his need to possess her.


  1. Open to book bloggers in the Contiguous US only (due to time constraints).
  2. You agree to email me when you receive the book.
  3. You will have ONE WEEK to read the book, then you must mail it off to the next person.
  4. You agree to mail the book via Priority Flat Rate Envelope WITH Delivery Confirmation. Each participant is responsible for the cost of shipping the book to the next person (approx. $4.95 plus 80¢ for Delivery Confirmation).
  5. You agree to email me the Delivery Confirmation number the day you mail out the book.
  6. You agree to post your review on your designated date.
  7. You agree to post your review on your blog AND one additional site - Goodreads, Library Thing, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, etc. (email me the links to your reviews and I will link to you)
  8. The last person on the tour must mail the book back to me.
  9. By signing up for the virtual blog tour, you agree to respect author copyright and not scan/copy/digitize the ARC.

If you cannot commit to ALL of these rules, please don't sign up. It is imperative that the book gets circulated quickly to ensure that everyone has a chance to read and review the book. If you have any questions about this book tour and/or the rules, please email me before signing up.

All applicants will be considered, however, only a specified number of participants will be selected. Those selected will be notified via email on or around Friday, September 2nd, 2011.Participants selected will have 48 hours to reply to my email with their mailing information before a new participant is selected (we’re on a time crunch).

**Fill out this FORM to enter**

I would like to give Shiloh Walker a HUGE thank you for providing the book and for making this book tour possible!

REVIEW: Something About You by Julie James

Title: Something About You
Author: Julie James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: bought
Published: March 2010 by Berkley


Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…


Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension…

Something About You

Why I Read this Book: Julie James is pretty much on my auto-buy list. I enjoy her books so much, I feel the need to read all of them.

What I Liked: There are three things I enjoy in a contemporary romance novel: (1) hilarious and flirtatious banter; (2) romantic tension; and (3) hot, undeniable chemistry between the hero and heroine. Julie James delivers all of this, and more, not only in Something About You but in all of her novels. Her heroines are intelligent, successful women. And the author literally gets me laughing at loud with the hilarious moments that take place in her novels.

Something About You was a little different from the author’s previous two novels; this novel had a bit of mystery and suspense going on. Not so much that I’d label this as a romantic suspense novel, just a bit to mix things up a bit. The ‘who dun it’ (and the why) was pretty much offered early on in the novel though there was an interesting twist added in.

Julie James definitely turned up the heat in Something About You. The bedroom scenes were a whole lot steamier than her previous two novels. What a pleasant surprise that was!

Loved Collin’s character! He’s such a staple in Cameron’s life. It was funny to see Jack get a bit jealous over Cameron and Collin’s platonic relationship.

I like that the cover actually represents the hero and heroine during a scene that takes place in the book; it’s not just some random stock photo lacking significance to the story. I also like that the couple’s faces are not shown on the cover.

What I Didn’t Like: There was nothing not to like. I enjoyed reading Something About You from beginning to end.

Overall Impression: Something About You was my favorite read by Julie James so far. Julie James has won me over with her funny and witty characters, romantic tension, steamy bedroom scenes and a writing style that sucks me right in from beginning to end. The other books I’ve read (Just the Sexiest Man Alive and Practice Makes Perfect) were also good reads but the author stepped it up a notch with this novel. Her books get better and better with each one she rolls out. If you like reading contemporary romance, then you need to be reading Julie James’ books! I have A Lot Like Love on my shelf and can’t wait to read it.


The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 Frogs

REVIEW: Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare

Title: Extreme Exposure
Series: I-Team, #1
Author: Pamela Clare 
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: personal shelf
Published: August 2005 by Berkley

It's been years since her child's father dumped her, and since then investigative reporter Kara McMillan has kept men at bay—although every day she aches more for a lover's touch. But to get that, the hard-boiled journalist must become vulnerable—a feeling she vowed never to have again.

With his dangerous good looks, charm, and power, Senator Reece Sheridan could have just about any woman he sets his piercing eyes on. But he’s intrigued by only one. This Kara, this gutsy investigative reporter, has a sensuality that arouses him to no end. If she’s a firebrand in print, he guesses, she must be just as fiery in bed…

But this is no fling. A sudden political scandal—and attempts on Kara's life—could very well drive them apart. Or maybe, just maybe, adversity could draw them into a bond even more intense than their steamy sexual embraces…

Extreme Exposure (I-Team, #1)

Why I Read this Book: A lot of people recommended this book (and series) to me, especially one person in particular – Nicole from The Book Pushers. She knows how much I love the romantic suspense sub-genre. (And she definitely qualifies as a ‘Book Pusher’!) My lucky day arrived when I was next in queue for this book on PBS and you better believe I tore into it as soon as it arrived in my mail box.

What I Liked: Kara and Reece are likeable and realistic characters. Kara is a journalist for a Denver newspaper who is not afraid to go after a story, no matter who or what the subject is. She’s good at her job; she’s a hard hitter and legislators are terrified of her. She balances raising her son, her career and now a new relationship. Reece is a Senator who catches Kara’s attention. I loved Reece’s reason for becoming a Senator; it shows that he’s in it for all the right reasons. Kara’s a bit hesitant to start a relationship with Reece at first. There’s the conflict of interest being that she’s a journalist and he’s a Senator; that’s reason enough for him to potential end up as a subject matter in one of her articles.

The book starts off with a hilarious conversation about oral sex that takes place between Kara and her friend Holly. Things get real interesting when Reece joins the conversation and Kara interrogates him about his sexual preferences. At this point Kara is completely loaded up on margaritas so she knows no boundaries. And though Reece could have totally taken advantage of Kara and the situation, he remains a complete gentleman.

One hilarious part that had me laughing my ass off was when Kara’s 4-year old son Connor holds up her vibrator and asks “Mommy, what’s this jiggle stick?”. And of course this conversation takes place in front of Reece. I just about died from laughing when I read that!

I like how the epilogue gives you the feeling that the story you’ve just read came from actual events from the author’s life. Nice touch.

What I Didn’t Like: There was a really awkward conversation that took place between Reece and Connor, Kara’s 4-year old son. Kara and Reece are woken up by Connor. He climbs into the bed, looks Reece right in the eyes and asks “Are you having sex with my mommy?” to which Reece replies “Not at the moment.” I’m not going to get into a big long spiel about the matter but my 6-year old doesn’t even know that word yet. I’m sure there are 4-year olds out there who do know of the word (and say it) but the book could have gone on without that conversation. And if I were in Kara’s shoes, I would have smacked Reece for his reply.

Overall Impression: Extreme Exposure was the perfect balance of romance and suspense. The suspenseful plot in Extreme Exposure is interesting although not entirely original; it’s very similar to the water supply contamination plot found in the movie Erin Brockovich. Fans of the movie will enjoy the research aspect and the suspenseful element in Extreme Exposure. And there’s also the added bonus of a hot romance that the book has which the movie lacks. I need the rest of the I-Team series STAT!

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 Frogs

On My Wishlist (79)

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. If you want to know more click here.

Storm's HeartStorm's Heart (Elder Races, #2) by Thea Harrison

During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle "Tricks" Periwinkle found sanctuary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle's death, there are those who don't want to see her ascend the throne...

Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the Wyr's best weapons. And he's the one sent to protect Tricks when she's almost assassinated in Chicago.

Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them- a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.

Storm's Heart (Elder Races, #2)


Serpent's KissSerpent's Kiss (Elder Races, #3) by Thea Harrison

In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, a Queen on the brink of sanity has no one to rely on except the Wyr warrior whose conviction is every bit as strong as his passion…

In order to save his friend's life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling—without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.

Recently, Carling's Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpent's kiss—the vampyric disease that's killing her.

With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling's instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent's kiss…

Serpent's Kiss (Elder Races, #3)


Oracle's MoonOracle's Moon (Elder Races, #4) by Thea Harrison

No description yet.

Oracle's Moon (Elder Races, #4)

What’s on your wishlist?

REVIEW: The Chase by Erin McCarthy

Title: The Chase
Series: Fast Track, #4
Author: Erin McCarthy 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: bought
Published: April 2011 by Berkley Sensation

When racing for the checkered flag...

Kendall Holbrook is determined to make it to the top, even with the challenge of being a woman on the male-dominated racing circuit. She doesn’t have time for romance--especially not with racing rival Evan Monroe, the man who nearly crushed her dreams years ago. Forced into meeting up with him, Kendall is experiencing all those old feelings again--and she can’t deny that they still have more than enough chemistry to set fire to the track.

...expect a few speed bumps.

After getting dropped by his biggest sponsor, Evan is watching his racing season go up in flames. Now, the only replacement available is completely humiliating: a co-sponsorship for his-and-her deodorant with Kendall Holbrook--the girl who once broke his heart. Acting like Kendall doesn’t still get him all hot and bothered is bad enough, but the biggest challenge awaits him on the track- where Evan has to decide if a second chance at love is more important than making it to the finish line…

The Chase (Fast Track, #4)

Why I Read this Book: I am hooked on this series! For one, I love contemporary romance novels. For another, I love me some sexy race car drivers. And who doesn’t like hot sex on the hood of a car?!!

What I Liked: I love that the heroine is a female race car driver. She had a dream and went for it. Being once a female in the man’s world of the automotive industry myself, it’s nice to read about females who know a thing or two about turning wrenches.

I appreciate that the author didn’t drag the tension between Kendall and Evan on forever. There was a falling out in their relationship 10 years prior but once given the chance to talk things out, they discovered how silly their break up was and decide to give it another shot.

I know I’m in the minority here but I actually liked the plot twist at the end; it stirred the pot up a little bit for our lovebirds. I thought it brought a realistic conflict to the table and I think it was handled well by the author. It didn’t feel off-base or like it was coming from left field.

What I Didn’t Like: The incomplete ending surrounding the conflicting plot twist. I’m not talking cliffhanger status here but for me things were not wrapped up. Hopefully lose ends will be tied up in the next book in this series as a secondary story arc but I would have rather gotten complete closure now.

Overall Impression: I can’t wait for the next book in this series, Slow Ride, to come out. I am dying to read Tuesday Jones’ story. I don’t want this series to ever end!


The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 1/2 Frogs

Author Guest Post & Giveaway [CLOSED]: Gabi Stevens

I am excited to have Gabi Stevens here with us today for a guest post and to giveaway a copy of The Wish List and As You Wish to one lucky winner.

Take it away Gabi!

Top Eleven Weird Things about Writing and Writers

Okay, so I don’t really know if these are true. They are from my observations and definitely not from any kind of scientific research. In fact, I can’t even say they are universally true, except that they all do apply to me. So here is the disclaimer: this may or may not be a list of eleven weird things about writers. In fact, this blog’s title probably should have been Top Eleven Weird Things about Me, but that sounded way too egotistical.

  1. Scariest thing in the world is a blank page, which is also the greatest thing in the world.
    A blank page: can anything be more intimidating? We’re suppose to fill it with words, stories, and ideas. What if we don’t have any? What if it’s crap? On the other hand, when we get it filled, it feels GREAT! Something we created. You just can’t beat that.
  2. We LOVE office supply stores.
    I have yet to meet a writer who doesn’t like Staples or Office Max or that one row at Costco. Pens (chills). Paper (goosebumps). By the carton (drool). Sticky notes (pretty). Laptops and tablets (Mmmm). Highlighters (more, more). Organizers, binders, and file folders (oh, yes). Office furniture (yes, yes, yes). Hey, I told you this was a list of weird things.
  3. We read. A lot.
    At least we should. I’ve met writers who say they don’t read, but I don’t believe them. How else can you learn about the beauty of words unless you devour them? It isn’t through school or classes.
  4. We know writing is a business; we just don’t like to think that way.
    Yes, I have to keep receipts for taxes; yes, I have deadlines and contracts; yes, I have to promote myself, but really, I like to pretend I’m just telling a story. And when the occasion calls for it, I act like a grown-up and take care of business.
  5. We do not have to be like our characters. It’s called research.
    I often wonder how many times Agatha Christie was asked how may people she’s killed for research. Of course the research for romance novels would be a heck of a lot more fun. I’ve written short characters (I’m not), blond characters (I’m not), British characters (I’m not) magical characters (I’m not) and male characters (I’m not).
  6. We do forget to eat. And sleep, and bathe. (TMI?)
    When I’m in the zone, I can write for hours and hours without interruption. Not that the “without interruption” part happens all that often. With two dogs and a daughter and a husband who think I have all the answers (which, of course, I do), interruptions happen. You’d think, though, with the forgetting to eat part, I could lose weight.
  7. We are technologically pretty savvy for non-technical people.
    I’m not a computer genius, but I do know my word processing program pretty darn well. So much so that when I was working, my colleagues would often ask me for help rather than the tech guy. We writers are often the first to embrace the new thing—e-publishing, readers, social sites, tablets—provided the technology is writing or reading related.
  8. We have voices in our heads, and that’s a good thing.
    We are never alone; we talk to ourselves, which might be a problem if we were normal people, but we’re writers. ‘Nuff said. I have made myself laugh and cry with my writing. And I still say that’s a good thing.
  9. There is no correct way to write a book.
    Or anything else for that matter. If you’re interested in writing, you will hear people say (or you’ve heard teachers say), “this is how you do it.” Uh-uh. Everyone has their own process. The most you can learn from anyone are possible tools that may or may not work for you. The weird thing about writing is that everyone thinks they can do it because it’s using language and we all have language. We all took English in school; we all speak our language. How many people have you heard say they have a book in them? Now how many people have you heard say they have a symphony in them? We all listen to music, don’t we?
  10. Anything can trigger an idea.
    Anything. I mean any thing. A tree, a child, a news story, an overheard sentence, chocolate, a dream...well, you get the idea. I once saw a story on a man who found an injured owl. The owl’s wing had to be amputated. The man received permission to keep the owl. He would strap on rollerblades, place the owl on his shoulder and take the owl “flying” along Lake Michigan (this was in Chicago). The man also lost a ton of weight, but that’s not part of my story. That incident triggered a story idea for me. About a pirate. Hey, I didn’t say you had to keep the original trigger. It’s about getting ideas.
  11. We are a weird combination of total insecurity and outrageous ego.
    We put our work out there and are frightened that people won’t like it. Are we any good? Can we write? Does anyone enjoy our stories? On the other hand, I love to talk writing to anyone who will listen. I love meeting readers, writing blogs, and getting recognition. See? Ego and insecurity. It’s enough to drive one mad. Good thing I have friends in my head who will talk to me.

So there you have it: my list. What kind of weird idiosyncrasies do you have (and are willing to share—keep it clean)?

One lucky winner will win a copy of THE WISH LIST and AS YOU WISH, the first two books in my Time of Transition Trilogy. WISHFUL THINKING comes out in March 2012. I’ve pledged ten percent of my royalties from AS YOU WISH to Best Buddies International. Best Buddies™ is an organization that supports friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Read the afterword in my book to find out why.

--Gabi Stevens


I was born in Burbank, California, the oldest child of Hungarian immigrants. Except during that early episode with the gum, I lived mostly in the San Fernando Valley (Yup, I’m a “Valley Girl.”). At fifteen, I attended boarding school…for the education, not because my parents wanted to get rid of me. Then came college in New York and California, with a year long stint in Göttingen, Germany. Met my husband at UCSD, graduated, then he took me to Illinois where we both continued our education—me in German, he in Robotics. He’s a doctor now, but not the real kind. (Just kidding, honey. You know I love you)

I got my Masters in Teaching German, and when he finished, we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I had twins and a spare. We’ve been there ever since.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling myself stories, so it’s pretty surprising that I found writing so late. I am not in that group of writers who wrote down their stories from the age of six. I didn’t start until after my twins were born and I realized if I didn’t do something for myself, my brain would turn to Jell-o. So I wrote down one of those stories I was telling myself, and, voila, a career was born.

I have to supplement the writing with a day job. I teach eighth grade gifted language arts and literature, where I subject my students to Latin, the English language, and other tortures. I don’t have many hobbies: I kill most plants, so gardening is out; I’m an adequate cook—I have burned water—but not great or creative; don’t do needlework, although I tell myself I’ll get back to my cross stitch project that remains unfinished seventeen years later; I used to play volleyball until my knees couldn’t take it any longer (I miss volleyball); I don’t travel as much as I would like; and I will learn Italian before I die. I love games (Don’t play with me unless you are serious—I’m not nice) and have even appeared on the Family Feud and Jeopardy! I read like crazy and enjoy lots of movies.

But my greatest joy (other than the family of course) is writing. I love to put a story to paper (OK, to keyboard) and escape to my own world. And I am lucky enough to share that world with my readers. So thanks for coming along on the journey with me.

Find the author online: website | blog


Kristin Montgomery is more than a little shocked when her aunts inform her they’re fairy godmothers. Worse, after dropping that bombshell they hand her a wand and head off on a world cruise. Now Kristin’s uncomplicated life as a CPA in San Diego has disappeared like magic and she not only has to deal with her burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant—and distractingly sexy—magical arbiter.

Tennyson Ritter is a historian. A scholar by choice, he is yanked from his studies to act as arbiter for the newly chosen fairy godmother. He doesn’t want to waste his time with a woman who doesn’t know anything about magic or the magical world, but soon the beguiling Kristin draws him away from his books and into her life.

But before Kristin can hone her skills and pass the tests necessary to fully claim her powers, she and Tennyson must work together to defend the world – both magical and human – against those that would claim her powers for their own.

Born into a magical family, Reggie Scott is content to live out her life as a normal human until the moment she’s informed that she’s a newly appointed fairy godmother. Left struggling to deal with powers the never thought she’d have, Reggie faces a curse, a plot to overthrow the Arcani, and an entirely too enthusiastic mother—all in a matter of days.

Jonathan Bastion is a man of power and wealth—and a dangerous secret. He desperately hopes that Reggie's new powers will hold the answer to his problem and he isn't above using her to achieve his goals. What he doesn't expect is how much Reggie will affect him. Her honor, her honesty, and her strength quickly make cracks in his ruthless exterior.

As danger from the Arcani swirls around them both, Jonathan realizes that what was once a ploy to get Reggie to assist him has become a battle to keep her safe and protected…in his arms.


Thanks to Gabi Stevens, one lucky winner will receive a print copy of The Wish List and As You Wish by Gabi Stevens!!

  • Giveaway open Internationally.
  • ONE entry per person! Those with duplicate entries will be disqualified.
  • To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering Gabi’s question and fill out the form below.
  • Please read the Contest/Giveaway Policy for complete list of rules.
  • You have until midnight (your time) on Thursday, September 1, 2011 to enter.

Good luck to all who enter!

REVIEW: The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood

Title: The Ideal Man
Author: Julie Garwood 
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: NetGalley
Published: August 9, 2011 by Dutton Adult

Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation.

Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain.

Ellie heads home to Winston Falls, South Carolina, to attend her sister’s wedding. Shortly after she arrives, though, she receives a surprise visitor: Max Daniels. The Landrys have been captured, and she’ll be called to testify. But they’ve been captured before, and each time the witnesses are scared into silence—or disappear before they can take the stand. Max vows to be Ellie’s shadow until the trial, and it isn’t long before sparks fly.

The Ideal Man

Why I Read this Book: I was browsing NetGalley when I came across this book. The cover immediately caught my attention (yes, I’m a cover whore). I saw that it was a romantic suspense novel by an author I hadn’t read before so I decided to give it a try. I’m always on the lookout for new romantic suspense authors and I just found me a new author.

What I Liked: The author did a great job at bringing the characters, even the secondary characters, to life. I hated Ava with a passion for what she did to Ellie. The attitude Ava had about what happened and the way she justified it as to not take any blame was just incredulous. I couldn’t believe Ava thought she didn’t do any wrong. I wanted to smack the woman!

There wasn’t a whole lot of mystery in The Ideal Man but it was pretty suspenseful and there was quite a bit of action. There was an interesting twist to the plot that spiced things up – not one but two people are after Ellie and for different reasons.

I like how Max sets up a date with Ellie. He’s a man who knows what he wants and how to get it:

“Are there any good restaurants around here?”

“If you like Italian, you should go to The Hill. There’s a great restaurant called The Trellis. You’ll love it. It’s casual dress. You’ll see everything from suits to shorts.”

“Okay. I’ll pick you up at seven tomorrow night.” He shut the door before she had time to react.


Smooth Max, really smooth. Open-mouthed smile

And Max was straight up with Ellie about his relationship history. He didn’t try to sweet talk her into bed; he just told her how he rolls:

“Any long-term relationships?”

He glanced at her. “Define long-term.”

“More than three months.”

He had to think about it. “No,” he said. “I like women, Ellie, and the women I take to bed know there isn’t going be a long-term anything.”

What I Didn’t Like: I like what Max had to say to the Ellie at the airport in Hawaii, I just didn’t like how he said it. It felt too caveman like. Not smooth Max, not smooth.

The Ideal Man was a fast-paced read in the beginning but when Ellie returned to her hometown, gears switch a bit and the focal point becomes Ellie’s family and their drama. Ellie’s two sisters each stole a bit of the spotlight and at times it was distracting. There was Ava with her pre-wedding drama. Then there was the story arc surrounding Ellie’s other sister, Annie. It felt like the author was trying to squeeze in Annie’s HEA at the very end of the book and it felt a bit rushed.

Overall Impression: The Ideal Man was a 70/30 romantic suspense read – 70% romance, 30% suspense. I prefer more of a balance between the two but the story was still enjoyable to read. I will definitely check out other books by this author.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

3 1/2 Frogs

EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]: Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross

I am excited to have Kaylea Cross here with us today. She’s going to share an excerpt from her novel Cover of Darkness and will also be giving away a copy of this book to one lucky winner.

You’ve probably read or seen a lot about the U.S. Navy SEALs in the news recently, especially since Osama bin Laden was killed. You probably also heard about the horrific accident when a Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on August 6th, killing all on board, including 22 SEALs belonging to DEVGRU (formerly known as SEAL Team 6), the fabled unit responsible for the kill. The SEALs are at the tip of the spear in the U.S. arsenal for the War on Terror. They are the best of the best for a reason, and earning the right to wear a Trident takes an unbreakable commitment few men can sustain. The sheer discipline and tenacity candidates must demonstrate in order to complete BUD/S training is worthy of our respect, let alone what SEALs face after their initial training is over.

I admit to being a nerd that loves reading about Special Ops forces. If you’re looking for some good non-fiction books about SEALs, their training and missions, I highly recommend Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell, Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL, by Chuck Pfarrer ,and SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper, by Howard Wasdin.

But if military romantic suspense is more your thing, you’ve come to the right place! Cover of Darkness is the second of five books in my romantic suspense series with The Wild Rose Press, and it features a SEAL hero. The book has won both the 2010 Heart of Excellence Award and Laurel Wreath Award, and has been a finalist in the 2010 EPIC Awards, the 2011 Daphne du Maurier Awards, and the 2011 Aspen Gold Awards.

Kaylea Cross


Targeted by a terrorist cell, Bryn McAllister survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut only to be left to die in a desert cellar. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn must rely on the handsome officer to get her to safety. But just when she thinks the nightmare is over, family friend and legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson recruits her and McCabe to help track down the terrorist mastermind responsible for the attack.

With Bryn determined to see the terrorist brought to justice, Dec joins up to protect her, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe during their dangerous mission. Battling the explosive attraction between them, Dec fights to keep his distance from her so he can do his job and keep her alive. But when plans falls apart and Bryn is captured, he must make the agonizing choice between his duty as a SEAL and the life of the woman he loves.

Excerpt from Cover of Darkness

When Dec knocked on Bryn’s door, she didn’t answer. After calling her name and waiting a few seconds, he figured she must still be in the bathroom and used her extra key. The shower was running behind the closed ensuite door. How long had she been in there now? Long enough to have a good cry by herself.


No answer.

He knocked. “Bryn, you okay in there?”


She didn’t sound fine, but he’d give her some more time. Four minutes passed, then five, and still the water ran. “Bryn, say something.”

“I’m f-fine,” she repeated.

More time passed, and with each minute, his tension levels increased until his gut was tied in knots. “All right, that’s it. I’m coming in,” he warned, and jimmied the lock free. A cloud of steam hit him, thick and humid as it wafted from behind the shower curtain. She didn’t say a word, didn’t give the slightest indication she was aware he’d intruded on her privacy. “Bryn, tell me you’re okay at least.”

“I’m ok-kay.”

The hell she was. He covered the four steps to the bathtub and gripped the edge of the plastic curtain. When she made no objection he grew really worried and pulled it aside to peek in.

She huddled in the tub, fully clothed, directly under the spray of scalding water. Her dark eyes were haunted as she gazed up at him, arms wrapped around herself, shaking, her hair plastered to her skull. “I’m fine. J-just cold.”

Something twisted in his chest, as though a giant fist had reached in and squeezed his heart. “Baby,” he whispered. Unlacing his boots, he tossed them aside and climbed in beside her, fully clothed, squeezing against the wall to pull her into his arms. She burrowed into him like a frightened child waking from a nightmare. Only she hadn’t been dreaming.

Heart aching for her, he held her tight, her shivers wracking them. The water beat down on them and he bent over her, sheltering her from the full brunt. Her fingers curled into his wet shirt. Her face pressed against the base of his throat, warm breath washing over his sensitized skin. He stroked one hand down her hair and the length of her spine, marveling at how perfectly she fit against him. She calmed, her breathing becoming slow and even, the convulsive shudders subsiding. Then she sighed and leaned her weight against him as though content to remain in his arms under the cooling flow of water. His body, however, was raging hot. If he didn’t put some distance between them soon, he wasn’t sure he could hold back.

“Better now? Want me to order us some food while you get out of these wet clothes?”


“Okay.” But she didn’t move. In fact, she didn’t seem in a hurry to go anywhere. She turned her face into his neck and nuzzled him, setting every nerve ending on fire. Her lips touched a kiss under his ear, making his growing erection jerk. Not good.

He set her away from him, surging to his feet and grabbing a towel to drape around her. “I’ll let you dry yourself off,” he blurted, snagging another towel for himself, stripping off his soaked t-shirt and tossing it in the sink on his way out. When he shut the door behind him, he leaned against it and took a deep breath, scrubbed a hand over his face. God. Another second in there with her and it would have been too late. As it was, his hand was shaking as he picked up the phone and dialed room service.

He rubbed the towel over his hair, peeled off his jeans and underwear, then wrapped the towel around his waist, flopping down on the bed while he waited to place his order. Bryn wasn’t thinking straight right now, he reminded himself. She needed soothing, to feel safe and protected, and she needed sleep. Shoving her down onto the mattress and getting inside her as deep as he could get wasn’t going to help matters.

Maybe something light to eat, fruit and cheese and bread or something, to settle her stomach and help her unwind. He’d have to check out some of the more serious cuts and scrapes she’d suffered, too. Maybe rub her neck for a while. Then he’d tuck the covers around her and stay while she slept, so she wouldn’t be alone. In case she had nightmares. He knew how much of a bitch flashbacks could be.

Still on hold, he turned his head at the sound of the bathroom door opening, and the air sucked right out of his lungs. Bryn stood, backlit in the doorway, stark naked, every gorgeous line of her body silhouetted in eye-popping relief. Her black gaze stroked over him like a caress, bold and possessive as she crossed the room toward him in a movement he could only describe as a prowl. His cock leapt to urgent attention.

A voice came on the other end of the line, but Dec didn’t hear a thing besides the roaring in his ears. He dropped the receiver into the cradle with a clack, his heart thudding against his ribs.

Oh, shit. He was so screwed.


Thanks to Kaylea Cross, one lucky winner will receive a copy of Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross!!

  • Giveaway open Internationally. (If the winner is in North America, they will get either a print copy or digital copy of the book. If the winner is International, they will get a digital copy.)
  • ONE entry per person! Those with duplicate entries will be disqualified. I highly recommend you leave a bread crumb (i.e. a comment) so that you’ll know you’ve already entered.
  • Comments are appreciated and recommended (see above), however, you must fill out the form below in order to enter the giveaway.
  • Please read the Contest/Giveaway Policy Tuesday, August 30, 2011 to enter.

Good luck to all who enter!