Wow! It seems like a lot has happened this week! We've added a new reviewer, Sharon! She's doing a great job (read her reviews~The Murderer's Daughters, Treachery In Death & Port Mortuary) and I look forward to reading more of her reviews! We've started a newsletter that will NOT be sent out everyday, just when we have a review for a great book (new or not so new!) or an awesome giveaway to announce! So that was my week. How was yours?
When eighteen-year-old Lady Catriona Mackintosh discovers a wounded man in the forest near her Highland home, little does she know that he has sworn a sacred oath to kill her father and other members of the powerful Highland confederation known as Clan Chattan. Nor does she realize that she has met her soul mate. Independent, competent, intelligent, fiercely proud of her heritage, determined always to live near her own family, and known to her family as the "wee wildcat" because of her quick temper, Catriona is the daughter of a Highland chieftain and granddaughter of the even more powerful Chief (or Captain) of Clan Chattan. But her life changes forever when she persuades Sir Finlagh Cameron to return with her to her home to recover from his wounds.
Sir Finlagh "Fin" Cameron is on a mission for the heir to Scotland's throne, who has sent him to the Highlands to persuade the Chief of Clan Chattan to arrange a secret meeting for him with two other great lords (the Lord of the Isles and the Lord of the North). Until Fin meets Catriona, however, he has no idea that her father was the Clan Chattan war leader who led them in the battle that wiped out many of Clan Cameron's best warriors, including Fin's own father. The sole survivor of that battle, Fin accepted a bequest of vengeance from his dying father, providing him with a dilemma to face as he begins to fall in love with Catriona. He is not the only one enticed by her charms, either. There are two other contenders, one of whom is his own master, the heir to Scotland's throne. With royal mischief afoot, if Catriona and Fin are ever to find happiness, they must first avoid disaster that could change Scotland's history, and find ways to be open and honest with each other.
About the author (from the authors website)~
Amanda Scott, USA Today Bestselling Author and winner of Romance Writers of America’s RITA/Golden Medallion (LORD ABBERLEY'S NEMESIS) and Romantic Times’ Awards for Best Regency Author and Best Sensual Regency (RAVENWOOD'S LADY), Lifetime Achievement (2007) and Best Scottish Historical (Border Moonlight, 2008), began writing on a dare from her husband. She has sold every manuscript she has written.
Amanda is a fourth-generation Californian, who was born and raised in Salinas and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Mills College in Oakland. She did graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in British History, before obtaining her Master’s in History from California State University at San Jose. She now lives with her husband and son in northern California.
As a child, Amanda Scott was a model for O’Connor Moffatt in San Francisco (now Macy’s). She was also a Sputnik child, one of those selected after the satellite went up for one of California’s first programs for gifted children. She remained in that program through high school. After graduate school, she taught for the Salinas City School District for three years before marrying her husband, who was then a captain in the Air Force. They lived in Honolulu for a year, then in Papillion, Nebraska, for seven. Their son was born in Nebraska. They have lived in northern California since 1980.
Scott grew up in a family of lawyers, and is descended from a long line of them. Her father was a three-term District Attorney of Monterey County before his death in 1955 at age 36. Her grandfather was City Attorney of Salinas for 36 years after serving two terms as District Attorney, and two of her ancestors were State Supreme Court Justices (one in Missouri, the other the first Supreme Court Justice for the State of Arkansas). One brother, having carried on the Scott tradition in the Monterey County DA’s office, is now a judge. The other is an electrician in Knoxville, TN, and her sister is a teacher in the Sacramento area.
The women of Amanda Scott’s family have been no less successful than the men. Her mother was a child actress known as Baby Lowell, who performed all over the west coast and in Hollywood movies, and then was a dancer with the San Francisco Opera Ballet until her marriage. Her mother’s sister, Loretta Lowell, was also a child actress. She performed in the Our Gang comedies and in several Loretta Young movies before becoming one of the first women in the US Air Force. Scott's paternal grandmother was active in local and State politics and served as president of the California State PTA, and her maternal grandmother was a teacher (and stage mother) before working for Monterey County. The place of women in Scott’s family has always been a strong one. Though they married strong men, the women have, for generations, been well educated and encouraged to succeed at whatever they chose to do.
Amanda Scott’s first book was OMAHA CITY ARCHITECTURE, a coffee-table photo essay on the historical architecture of Omaha, written for Landmarks, Inc. under her married name as a Junior League project. Others took the photos; she did the research and wrote the text on an old Smith-Corona portable electric. She sold her first novel, THE FUGITIVE HEIRESS—likewise written on the battered Smith-Corona in 1980. Since then, she has sold many more books, but since the second one she has used a word processor and computer. Twenty-five of her novels are set in the English Regency period (1810-1820). Others are set in 15th-century England and 14th- through 18th-century Scotland, and three are contemporary romances. Many of her titles are currently available at bookstores and online.
Highland Master starts out with a bloody battle and finishes with purr! I do love me some braw Highlander laddies and Fin of the Battles rates right up there on my list! The interaction between all of the characters was great, although I wonder if, in 1401 families weren't more, I don't know, severe (maybe?) with their unwed children. Especially unwed daughters and sisters. Because Catriona did come across as BUT. I wouldn't want to read about a girl who watched her tongue and was a simpering fool, or who was outspoken but beaten on a regular basis because of it. Just my opinion. But I will tell you this, I enjoyed Highland Master and look forward to the next book, Highland Hero, due out in October!
Seduced by Destiny by Kira Morgan All her life, Josselin Ancrum has been trained for combat, hoping to exact vengeance for her heroic mother, who was killed fighting the English. When asked to spy for the Scottish Queen, Jossy joyfully accepts. But when a handsome stranger rescues her from sudden danger, his charm distracts her from her mission. On the surface, Drew MacAdam may appear to be nothing more than a carefree champion, but his heart harbors a dark secret: This Highland hero is actually a skilled English soldier with a hatred for war and for the Scottish. Yet from the moment he meets the feisty Jossy, he's captured by her fiercely loyal heart. He's determined the honey-haired lass will be his ultimate prize - until the tragedy of their entwined legacies is revealed. Are these star-crossed lovers to be divided by their pasts? Or will they be...seduced by destiny?
About the author (from the authors website)~ SARAH McKERRIGAN aka GLYNNIS CAMPBELL aka Kira Mogan
When Sarah isn’t writing historical romance, she’s the voice of several cartoon characters, the wife of a rock star, and the mother of two nerdy kids.
Sarah started her eclectic career as a ballerina in her hometown of Paradise, California, where she became the city’s Gold Nugget Queen. She graduated from CSU Chico with a degree in Music with Distinction, singing arias by day and playing rock and roll at night.
Moving to Los Angeles with her college sweetheart, Sarah co-wrote music for award-winning science films for WARDS and BIOMEDIA ASSOCIATES, then joined the CBS RECORDS all-girl rock band, THE PINUPS, appearing on MERV GRIFFIN, DANCE FEVER, and LAUGH TRACKS. She showed up as the drummer in TOM JONES’ video of “It’ll Be Me” and recorded vocals for several children’s albums with BECKWITH AND TOWNER.
While working as a typographer in a graphic arts studio, she continued to perform in Los Angeles nightclubs. Meanwhile, as Glynnis Talken, she wrote selections and provided voices for the best-selling JUMPSTART line of educational computer games, lent her voice to TIME-WARNER audiobooks, including A DRAGON-LOVER’S TREASURY OF THE FANTASTIC and STAR WARS audio adventures, playing everything from a rubber duckie to a Jedi knight, and landed the lead role as JULIE WINTERS in the MTV animated series, THE MAXX. Her mystic speeches and death screams can currently be heard on BLIZZARD’s Games of the Year as The Rogue in DIABLO and DIABLO II, and as Sarah Kerrigan in STARCRAFT.
A lifelong love of towering castles, trusty swords, and knights (and damsels) in shining armor prompted Sarah to try writing historical romance. Her premiere novel, MY CHAMPION, was a finalist for a RITA, the romance industry’s equivalent of an Oscar, for “Best First Book.” Her subsequent MY WARRIOR, MY HERO, and A KNIGHT’S VOW received multiple awards and critical acclaim.
Under the nom de plume of Sarah McKerrigan, Glynnis has written three medieval romance novels for Warner Books featuring kick-ass warrior wenches: LADY DANGER, CAPTIVE HEART, and KNIGHT’S PRIZE.
Sarah’s husband of 23 years is Richard Campbell, vocalist/bass player who has performed with Natalie Cole, Badfinger, Tiny Tim, Joe Cocker, Ashford & Simpson, Edgar Winter, Ringo Starr, Simon Kirk, Peter Frampton, Three Dog Night, Chuck Negron, Dave Mason, and is currently touring with America. Her daughter Brynna has created her own major, Entertainment Industry Promotion, and is pursuing a singer/songwriter career, and her son Dylan is attending college as a percussionist.
I really, really enjoyed Seduced by Destiny! It was fast paced, entertaining, had great character interactions and some steamy love scenes, what wasn't to love? Kira Morgan has created a tale that captures you from the beginning and you find yourself rooting for Drew & Jossy! While this was the first book that I've read by Kira Morgan, believe me when I say, it will not be my last!
About The Contest:
Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book Group We have three sets of books to give away!
Three winners will be chosen on random.org
The Contest ends at midnight on March 13th
Open to US & Canadian addresses.
No PO Boxes please.
**Winners will be subject to the one set per household rule,
which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests,
you will receive only one copy of the title**
Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's tenth birthday their father propels them into a nightmare. He's always hungered for the love of the girls' self-obsessed mother; after she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly.
Lulu had been warned not to let her father in, but when he shows up drunk, he's impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past Lulu, who then listens in horror as her parents struggle. She runs for help, but discovers upon her return that he has murdered her mother, stabbed her five-year old sister, Merry, and tried, unsuccessfully, to kill himself.
Lulu and Merry are effectively orphaned by their mother's death and father's imprisonment. The girls' relatives refuse to care for them and abandon them to a terrifying group home. Even as they plot to be taken in by a well-to-do family, they come to learn they'll never really belong anywhere or to anyone -- that all they have to hold on to is each other.
For thirty years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. Their imprisoned father is a specter in both their lives, shadowing every choice they make. One spends her life pretending he's dead, while the other feels compelled -- by fear, by duty -- to keep him close. Both dread the day his attempts to win parole may meet with success.
A beatifully written, compulsively readable debut, The Murderer's Daughters is a testament to the power of family and the ties that bind us together and tear us apart.
This book was a difficult one for me to read. Working in law enforcement, I am aware that there are more than two people effected by most domestic violence situations. It is a sad fact that the children in the family are the ones that are sometimes hurt more by what the parents do to each other. The author of the book even mentions these children in the acknowledgments at the back of the book. The story is told from the viewpoint of both sisters as they grow up, you feel how each one has been scarred in her own way. The ending was different than I had imagined it might be, but it is one that gave me a good feeling of hope that the sisters would be okay in the end.
Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when the immortal warrior is chained and isolated to protect those he loves, death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty….
Haidee is a demon-assassin, raised to despise Amun's kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her.
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises, Limited
Date: March 29, 2011
I can't wait for The Darkest Secret to hit the shelves on the 29th! There is just something tremendously sexy about a group of guys tortured with demons finding their happily ever after!
Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a brutal, senseless crime -- an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. And for the first time, Peabody is primary detective on the case, which means she has to get used to a new level of authority and responsibility. Good thing she learned the ropes from a master like Eve.
But after rounding up the perps, Peabody stumbles upon a much trickier situation. Determined to start working out as hard as she grills suspects, she chooses to do it at the old, rarely used gym at Central. After a grueling workout, she squeezes into one of the narrow shower stalls, happy to have the place to herself. Just after she shuts the water off, the gym door clatters open -- and while she cringes inside the stall, trying not to make a sound, Peabody overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. References are made to delivering product, and a house in the islands, and someone named Keener who's supposed to look like an OD. It doesn't take long for a naked and vulnerable Peabody to realize that both officers are crooked -- guilty not just of corruption but of murder as well. Fortunately, the two clear out of the locker room without realizing there was a witness.
Eve Dallas may have trained Peabody well -- but this is too dangerous for one person to take on alone. Now Peabody, Eve, and her husband, Roarke, must try to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down -- knowing all the while that the two have already killed to keep their secret, and are no doubt willing to do it again.
I have to say that I love, love, love this series by J.D. Robb. I can usually read them in a day or two at the most. Lt. Eve Dallas is tough, street smart, a good cop married to Rourke who is very very rich and owns at least an interest in just about every business imaginable. Eve is training rookie Detective Peabody, and gives her the lead for the first time on the case that opens this book. Regular characters such as Eve's boss, Commander Whitney and her shrink Doctor Mira are on a short list of people that Eve actually respects and bounces ideas off of when she is trying to crack a case. This series fills my need for mystery but also gives me a dose of romance with the relationships between Eve and her husband, and Peabody and her boyfriend McNab who also works for the police department as a computer geek.All of the main characters in the series work well together, and the bad guy or gal always gets justice served to them in the end.
When Lady Johanna learned that she was a widow, she vowed she would never marry again. Only sixteen, she possessed a strength of will that impressed all who looked past her golden-haired beauty. Yet when King John demanded that she remarry -- and selected a bridegroom for her -- it seemed she must acquiesce, until her beloved foster brother suggested she wed his friend, the handsome Scottish warrior Gabriel MacBain.
At first Johanna was shy, but as Gabriel tenderly revealed the splendid pleasures they would share, she came to suspect that she was falling in love with her gruff new husband. And it was soon apparent to the entire Highlands clan that their brusque, gallant laird had surrendered his heart completely. But now a desperate royal intrigue threatened to tear her from his side -- and to destroy the man whose love meant more to her than she had ever dreamed!
Saving Grace is one of my top 3 favorite Julie Garwood books. This was the first book on tape that I ever listened to, and I had to run out and buy the book. As always, Julie Garwood writes about a big, strong, strapping Highlander and a very small, soft spoken lass. And Johanna & Gabriel's story touches my heart, each and every time I read it. Whenever I feel like I need the HEA, this is one of the books that I turn to.
In Port Mortuary, Patricia Cornwell brings Scarpetta together with Marino, Benton, and Lucy in the intimate way her fans loved in the early novels, and we welcome a voice we haven't heard in years. The point of view is Scarpetta's, and this is her story.
Port Mortuary, the title of Patricia Cornwell's dazzling, fast-paced eighteenth Scarpetta novel, is literally a port for the dead -- and the deaths are mounting, as a treacherous path from Scarpetta's past merges with the high-tech highway on which she now finds herself. At the beginning of her professional career, when she accepted a scholarship from the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt, Scarpetta found herself ensnarled in a gruesome case of what seemed to be vicious, racially motivated hate crimes against two Americans in South Africa. Now, more than twenty years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship to master the art of CT-assisted virtual autopsy -- a procedure the White House has mandated that she introduce into the private sector.
As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments and MIT, and Harvard, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta's new Cambridge home, but when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked inside the Center's cooler. When 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen -- ones that suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties -- she realizes that she is fighting a cunning, cruel, and invisible enemy. Now it is a race against time to discover who and why before more people die. But that time is running out...
It has been awhile since I've read one of Ms. Cornwell's Scarpetta books. I felt that this one didn't go into enough details about some things and too many details about things I felt were not important. However, my copy of the book (bought from a book membership website) had about one hundred less pages than a friends copy (checked out of the local library) had, so mine may have been a condensed version even though it didn't say it was and usually they do. All in all, it was a quick read and would not deter me from reading more of her novels.
Well as I sort of hinted at in yesterday's Weekly Wrap Up, there are some changes that are happening here on My Guilty Pleasures! Last Wednesday I had posted that I thought I might need some help, because I just had so many books that I wanted to read for personal pleasure that I was turning down offers and that I was thinking about having a partner.Then I chickened completely out and deleted. I thought I was quick. Yeah, not so much! I woke up early Thursday morning and checked my email, like I do every morning. SURPRISE! There was an email in there from someone who loves to read and wanted to help me with the blog! She has even won a few of the giveaways, but is new to reviewing books and what not. But in the emails that we've shared, I can tell she has a crazy sense of humor and we have quite a bit in common! Her name is Sharon and she will be reviewing the books that she reads and anything else she was to post about! I'm really excited to have someone come on board! Woohoo! So, I sent her a few questions for a little get to know you and here are her answers!
Tell us a little bit about yourself~
I'm divorced and live alone with a couple of cats and dogs, they are the only "children" I have. I work full time in law enforcement as a communications supervisor.
If you could only read 1 genre, which would you pick?
I love mystery/thrillers the best. Romance and true crime would be my second and third choices. I am rarely without a book in my hand...I'm a bookworm by nature. I can go days at a time without turning on my television or radio...but I can't go without a book.
What is your favorite book of all time? Why? How many times have you read it?
My all time favorite book is Walt Disney's Uncle Remus Stories. It has 23 Walt Disney adaptions of the original stories by Joel Chandler Harris. Anyone who has seen "Song of the South" is probably familiar with the book. Some of the main characters are Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear, and Brer Fox. As a matter of fact, all of the characters are animals. I grew up with my parents reading the book to me as a child, and a couple of years ago I found a copy of it online and bought it because the copy I had was lost in a house fire. I can't really say how many times I've read it, I still read it from time to time.
Besides reading, what else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like to crochet...all of my family and most of my friends have blankets I have made for them. I do counted cross stitch sometimes and hook rugs. I watch a little television, tivo is my best friend. Some of my favorite tv shows are Bones, Criminal Minds, Rizzoli & Isles, Hawaii Five-O, Cougar Town. I listen to all different types of music...Cher, Trace Adkins, Heart, Faith Hill, REO Speedwagon, Uncle Kracker...
You're stranded on a desert island. You can have 1 person, 1 book and only 1 other thing. Who would it be, which book and why and what other item would you take (and no, it can't be a boat!LOL!)
If I were stranded on a desert island, I would want to be with my boyfriend, my Uncle Remus book because like I said it is my all time favorite, and I would want to have my dogs with me also...does that count as the third thing?
So I would like to thank Sharon for having the courage to actually email me, even though I had deleted that post. I think this is going to work out wonderfully!