The Horde – Review by Terry Baker

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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Horde by Linda Kay Silva

 

Second in a series
Dallas and Roper are fighting an endless battle against the man eaters. For every one they annihilate, a dozen or more are created. They come in hordes, dragging their lifeless forms and squelching their way forwards in their quest for fresh human flesh. Dallas, Roper and their small band of survivors have spent a year cooped up in the Bayou. The alligators are their allies and clean up team. But now it’s time to move on. They need to do more than survive, they have to move forward, live their lives and fight back. Fight the hordes, fight the government attacks and protect the new home they’ve found, an ex prison.
Dallas and Roper collect survivors along the way. They eventually begin to build a new life, they survive the military attacks, survive the hordes and survive the barbaric atrocities caused by their fellow mankind.
Will Dallas and Roper win their fight? Can they defeat so many things all at once? Are their efforts too little too late?
This second book in the series follows on from Man Eaters as a standalone book. There is more than enough background without reading Man Eaters. But why miss out on another excellent book? I strongly recommend reading Man Eaters first.
This is a well written, edge of the seat page turner that had me hooked right from the very first page in true Linda Kay Silva fashion.
The characters from Man Eaters are all here as well as new ones added in along the way. All fully developed and well formed, they are seamlessly integrated into the story.
The scenic descriptions are absolutely terrific. I immersed myself fully into the story and didn’t emerge until I’d turned the last page. The book did conclude, but the opening is there for the third in the series, which can’t be published soon enough.

Review of Andi Unwrapped by Lesbian Fiction Reviews

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Andi Unwrapped by Riley Adair Garret

Andi Unwrapped by Riley Adair Garret is a lesbian romance book that tell us the story of a woman who’s brave enough to stop a situation that is destroying her as a person and find a new path in her life, her true identity without someone telling her who she is.

Andi is a thirty-nine housewife and mother who suffers abuse on a daily basis from her husband, hearing all the time how inappropriate she is as a woman, mother and wife. One day, Andi has had enough and decides to finish her marriage and pursue her dream, go to college. Having made up her mind, she divorces and starts a new life working part time to pay an apartment that she hates and make her dream come true.
But Andi won’t only start living anew, without the negative presence of her husband; she’ll begin a path of self discovering that will bring her to face her more intimate demons, the real consequences of the abuse she suffered and her desire for women, something that she hasn’t felt ready to acknowledge until the most amazing woman comes into her life.

Britt is on the opposite situation of Andi. She is a lesbian and she knows it, she has a job she loves and isn’t interested in anything too serious but flings that won’t jeopardize her career, so feel atracted to a student is the last thing she wants. As a fifty-years-old woman, she knows what she wants, and it’s not fall in love with a woman who doesn’t know for certain if she’s straight or not. As usual, what we want it’s not what we get.

Riley Adair Garret has described the characters in a interesting way because, having two mature women, you wouldn’t think that they’d act as teenagers but, for a moment, it’s what they do. Andi is trying to find herself after years of abuse that has left scars so deep that she isn’t aware of them, and having everyone around her asking if she’s a lesbian doesn’t help to solver her problems, less if they throw themselves at her all the time. And then there is Britt, the most interesting and beautiful woman Andi has ever met who confuses her with her attitude towards her.
Britt is utterly confused too because she feels an undeniable attraction for Andi but isn’t ready to accept that it could be love and what the possibility entails. Maybe that’s why she behaves like a ten-year-old around the student and why she isn’t able to say the right thing in the right moment if Andi is present.

Among their doubts, the fact that they’re teacher and student doesn’t make things any easier because it’s enough difficult to discover and accept this life-changing details without having the menace of the dean knowing about their affair. In this context, Lisbeth situation is like a closure to Andi because after what happened with her husband she is able to face it and take actions against her abuser.

A book about self discovering and how we’re never old enough to learn who we are, which is as difficult as to define ourselves again after years of thinking that we know exactly what we’re willing – or not – to do to get a chance in love. But mainly about loving ourselves, which means that we can’t let anybody hurt us and that we deserve and have to pursue our happiness.

My Lost Tribe – The Final Xena Con 2015

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the last, Fin, Xena con. I was excited to join people from all over the world, who had the same interest as mine, the tribe of Xena. Unfortunately, it was my first and last con. Hence, Fin. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since it began. I do have to make one caveat here – I’ve never watched the final episode, Fin! Many will ask why and I’ll explain that later.

If you’ve never been to a Xena con you’ve missed out on one of the best experiences of your life. That is, if you like the tribal experience. I suspect that Xena con is like a Star Trek convention, or a Walking Dead con, in that they are centered around a shared experience. I had a similar experience when I attended my first Dinah. I was surrounded by my tribe, or what I like to think is my tribe there, too.

The people who attended Xena were warm, welcoming, and giving. I sat at a table one night until 3 in the morning, and talked about all of my favorite episode, fanfic, writers who got their start in Xena fanfic, and how Xena might have just saved the Lesbian genre through fanfic. That’s too is a post for another day. (Remind me and I’ll share my thoughts on this topic.) I met wonderful authors like – Mary B, (she’s a tiny thing and I tried not to go all fan girl, really I did,) Nancy Ann Healy (who made us all laugh at her stories,) Phair, Wendy Arthur, and others who liked the same things I do, writing, publishing and watch episodes of Xena. I had dinner with Bedazzled, a wonderful publisher who enlightened me on the other world of publishing. I met my facebook friends, Kim, Jay Jalee, Lucy, Joyce, Brian, Yara, and a ton of others who were nice enough to stop by our table and talk books, Xena and more.

I met fans of the show who like to dress up as their favorite characters, and loved to pose with those of us fans who can’t quite play dress-up like that. They were wearing awesome costumes that no doubt took hours, probably days, to create. Check out my facebook page for a photo of the smallest Xena warrior I met, she was the cutest Xena there. I met actors of the show who gave freely of their time. I think they understood that this might be the last time they were called upon, by the tribe, to talk about the show that catapulted them into the stratosphere. I was there when one actress, Jacqueline Kim, body surfed the crowd while signing Karaoke. Another mugged it up with us at the Sapphire table and another stood just a few feet away running her lines. BTW, Lucy Lawless looks great up close. Another BTW, did you know Ephiny now plays on Wentworth? Yep, and I missed getting her autograph for my wife. Ugh!

Finally, others from my own little tribe were there too. Linda Kay and Stephanie were awesome as they talked to readers, took pictures and hawked books. These women rock and if you haven’t check out their books, you really should.

I regret not coming sooner, but when I look back at what I was doing those past twenty years, I realize I was raising three boys by myself, working three jobs, (my life is a series of threes, more later on that,) and going to school full time – the first ten years. The last ten years, I was building my career and living vicariously through the photos and stories of others who attended the con and still not enough money to spend on a con and keep a roof over my three son’s heads. So, I will relish in the fact that I got to go to the last one. I will bask in the warmth my fellow attendees who shared so freely with me, and took the time to make my wife and I feel welcome.

I have found my lost tribe and wonder if we will meet in the flesh again. Surely, a show that gave us two strong female characters, with great sub-text, can’t walk off into the sunset. They didn’t lose their heads, so I can only hope that someday, someone will pick up the mantle and rise from the ashes to bring us more of the LOST TRIBE.

Thanks for letting me share my wonderful experience with my fellow xenites, my lost tribe!

~Isabella~

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Echo’s Revenge – Review by Terry Baker

Empath and Mentor, Echo Branson, is heading towards one of the biggest challenges she’s ever faced. She has to go head to head with her evil father and she must also try to destroy the Genesys Laboratories and all they stand for.

Echo finds herself in a situation of someone else’s making. She’s caught up in a web of deceit and intrigue. Echo has to make a plan to save the supernaturals Genesys is holding prisoner on a remote Hawaiian island. Will Echo come up with the perfect plan? Will Echo be in time to save some of the people she loves?

Echo finds herself alone in the lab where Genesys carries out agonizing experiments on supernaturals like her. Echo must draw on every bit of strength she possesses to win this battle. Echo becomes aware of super powers she had no idea existed other than in myth. Unfortunately, Echo can’t save everyone she loves and holds dear. She has to face her darkest fears if she is to destroy her creator and Genesys once and for all. The time has come to fight back any which way she can, it’s war.

Another exciting, riveting, page turning read in this brilliant series. Each book gets more exciting and it’s harder to wait for the next in the series. We have many of the characters from the earlier Echo books and some great new characters to enhance and progress the story. Each character is multidimensional and has been carefully created, written and woven into the story at just the right moment.

The one thing I really love about Linda Kay Silva’s books is, the characters from previous books remain the same. Plus the books are a nice length to get stuck in to.

Echo really comes into her own in this book. She’s super fit and steps up to kick ass when she needs to. No dithering, just straight in regardless of the consequences.

I’m not sure how many Echo books Linda Kay Silva has planned, but, I’m sure there must be more from the way this book ended. There is no cliff-hanger, but there is a terrific opening for the next in the series. I hope we won’t have to wait too long.

American Yakuza II – The Lies that Bind

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

American Yakuza II The Lies That Bind by Isabella

Luce Potter, Head of the American Yakuza, rules with a rod of iron. She controls her crime organization with the precision of a well oiled piece of machinery. That is until lies, treachery and deception make her well ordered world spiral out of control. Luce has suffered a terrible betrayal, which is eating at her very soul and slowly destroying the life and love she has with her partner, Brooke Erickson.
Brooke finds her all consuming love with Luce being pushed aside, with Luce pushing her further away until Brooke is finally out of Luce’s life altogether.
Although Brooke is alone, she has no intentions of letting go of Luce. Not until she’s been given a satisfactory answer as to why Luce suddenly decided to throw the love they had together away.
Federal Agent, Colby Water, is investigating Luce and her crime organization. Colby is shocked to find someone she cared for in the past in the forefront of her investigation in to the Yakuza boss. Colby is determined to put Luce away for a long time. But before she can do that, she has to sort out her own organization first.
Federal agents, Russians, crime bosses, deceptions, betrayals and death are a melting pot for disaster. Will Luce and Brooke even survive everything that is being thrown at them from all directions? If they survive, will their love be strong enough to bond them back together?
Ever since I finished American Yakuza, I’ve been looking forward to the sequel. To say I wasn’t disappointed seems trite and no where near enough to say for this excellent follow up. The story is absolutely spellbinding, riveting and a page turner from the first page. Unfortunately, I’m never satisfied. Now I want more. I hope the sequel is well underway.
The surviving characters from American Yakuza are all back with some more added in. All the characters are fully formed and they all play their parts to absolute perfection. Interacting really well together. Goodies and baddies alike.
The story is fast paced and once started, I couldn’t put the book down. I devoured it in one sitting. Which means I got to read it again to write my review. No hardship there. My second reading was every bit as good as the first, if not better. I could take my time, enabling me to savor the story without the pressures of not knowing how it ended. This series is a keeper and when it’s all written, it will be nice to read each one back to back.

Andy’s Song – Review by Terry Baker

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Andy’s Song by Beth Burnett

Sequel to Man Enough
Andy Ericksson is trying her best to find out if her life is being fulfilled by sex without having a loving relationship to bolster it. She’s a big tough butch, but she has a loving tender way about her too. She doesn’t have to work, her trust fund is more than enough for her to live in comfort, but she works part time in a book store because she feels she should do something.
Andy has a lot of close friends and all the one night stands she could wish for. But she feels something is missing. Could it be that the something missing is love?
When Andy’s almost lifelong best friend and unrequited love interest falls in love with someone else, Andy is at a bit of a crossroads in her life. She meets someone who is not prepared to be yet another notch on her bedpost, someone Andy may be able to want more than just a casual hook up with. What will Andy do?
To complicate Andy’s life just a little bit more, her ex girl friend from college twenty years previously turns up again. Just when Andy thinks she may be able to fall in love, she’s now torn two ways. Will Andy’s ex lover thwart her plans to explore the possibility of a monogamous relationship with her new girlfriend? More to the point, will Andy be able to enter into a relationship and still have her freedom and her best friends?
In this sequel to Man Enough, we have the same circle of best friends, plus some new ones to get to know. There is more than enough background to read this as a standalone. The characters are so easy to get to know and love. The story flows along with much hilarity along the way.
The characters are all well formed and interact well together, making this an excellent read right the way through. There are lots of ups and downs and twists and turns along the way to enhance the story and move it forward at a nice comfortable pace. I ended up not being able to put this down and reading it right through.
This is a light hearted read with a serious theme running through it. I’m hoping there will be another book with these characters in. I’d like to see how Andy’s new life turns out.

Magical Echo – Review by Terry Baker

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Magical Echo by Linda Kay Silva

 

Echo Branson is now mentor of the supernaturals. In this latest blockbuster adventure, Echo and her team of both supers and naturals are out investigating a murder in Las Vegas. A rogue gang of independent supers are wreaking havoc. Echo and her team are working flat out to find out who is behind the murder. Will they find out who is in charge? Or will they become statistics of the mindless killing?

 

Echo soon finds out she has an enemy close to her. Who is betraying her? Will Echo discover the traitor in time to stop bloodshed?
Whilst Echo is desperately trying to find answers and protect herself and her team, she discovers a magical secret, a secret that has remained hidden all her life. What is it? More importantly, will it show itself in time to save them all?
I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed all the Echo series. But I can honestly say, this is the best in the series so far.
The story is a fast paced, exciting, thrilling, edge of the seat page turner from page one. I simply couldn’t put this down. A true rollercoaster ride of ups and downs and twists and turns.
Echo and the rest of the characters are all well formed, multidimensional and a true delight to get to know. For diehard Linda Kay Silva fans, there is an appearance from Delta Stevens, The Storm series. It’s always a pleasure to meet Delta.
You can read this book as a standalone. There is enough background for it. But, I would strongly advise you read the whole series. There is no point in missing out on hours of brilliant reading. The main story did end, but there is a little bit of a cliff-hanger to lead the story on to the next in the series. I’m absolutely champing at the bit now for book six. It can’t be published soon enough.

Review of Echo’s Revenge by Lesbian Fiction Reviews

http://lesbianfictionreviews.com/echos-revenge-by-linda-kay-silva/

Echo’s Revenge by Linda Kay Silva

Echo’s Revenge by Linda Kay Silva is the perfect book for those who are ready to have an amazing adventure with a spectacular woman, Echo Branson, and her atypical family where naturals and supers fight together to destroy Genesys.

Echo Branson, also known as Charlie o Jane Doe, hasn’t had an easy life. Being an orphan and discovering she has supernatural powers aren’t her main problems when she finds out that her real father abandoned her after erasing her memories, condemning her mother to give up her daughters and her life, and has given her sister Kristy to a group of heartless scientists that will do whatever it takes to achieve their mission, develop the perfect soldier, even if that implies destroying the innocent girl.
This is, more or less, what you’ll discover reading this fantastic book, but for those who know more about Echo and have accompanied her during her adventures, you will find out if Echo, her sister and the whole group of supers and naturals will get their revenge against Genesys and, more important, if Harmon Hayward and Kip Reynolds will pay after everything they’ve done not only to them but to those that have suffered similar destinies.
What begins as a mission to save one of her protégées ends with Echo discovering that her family is bigger than she thought and this will be essential to save the distance between her and her sister, as well as strengthen their relationship with their mother. Furthermore, Echo will learn that she’s capable of being the mentor Melika was for her for those who need her, even if it’s at the price of losing those important persons in her life that were always there for her, guiding her path; and if all this isn’t enough, her love life, if difficult or non-existent, will be shaken too.

There are two types of readers, some of you have read the whole Echo series and are excited because you get to meet with your favorite characters again – Echo, Tip, Danica, Kristy – ; or you’re like me, reading about this amazing character for the first time.
No matter what kind of reader you’re, I think the result for all of us is the same because it doesn’t matter if this is your first approach or you know them as family, you’ll enjoy the story from beginning to end. It’s not only full of action and fantasy, Linda Kay Silva has the ability of telling the story that will catch you immediately; you will hate the bad guys and love the good ones instantly because the author doesn’t waste time – or pages – and it’ll take you a sec to feel immerse in the dynamic of the series, making you want to read the previous books and those which are to come.

Review of Connection by Terry Baker

Friday, 1 November 2013

Connection by Kim Pritekel

 

Teacher, Julie Wilson, lives in the small town of Woodland. Her life is laid back and relaxed. She is very close to her brother Matt and young nephew Skylar. She lives alone with her two beloved dogs, Bonnie and Clyde. Just one thing mars Julie’s otherwise perfect life, her controlling ex boyfriend, Ray, who refuses to believe their relationship is over and continues to harass her. Julie has no idea when she goes to the school one summer afternoon that Ray may well be the least of her problems. Hell and horror is about to enter Julie’s life and change it forever.
Drifter, Remmy Foster travels around from place to place, unable to settle down anywhere. She’s had a rough childhood and has suffered all manners of torment and abuse due to her special gift. Remmy is on the run from the ghosts of the past, although she’s never admitted as much to herself.
When Julie gives hitchhiker Remmy a ride into Woodland, Remmy finds herself thrown into a dangerous and dark abyss, something different from all her other experiences involving her special gift. Something she didn’t see coming until it arrived and more to the point, didn’t totally understand the meaning of. It will take all of Remmy’s power and ability to make the right connection in time. Life and death is in Remmy’s hands. Tick tock, the race against time has begun.
I want to start by saying that this book is dark, deep and dark, the darkest Kim Pritekel has written yet. It comes with a warning from the author too. I’d also like to add, there are graphic and grisly scenes and it may not be for the faint hearted. This says a lot about me. I absolutely LOVED it. Kim has written a true blockbuster. In my opinion, and I don’t say this lightly, it is her best ever book yet. But, I have thought this before about Kim’s books.
This book is a well written, edge of the seat, nail biting, thrilling, fast paced, action packed page turner right from the beginning. I hated to put this down once I’d started. But, it really was too long for one sitting, even though I stayed up late.
All the characters are multidimensional and interact very well together. The way the scenes are described, transported me right into the middle of the action to live the story as it played out. It’s shocking in parts. But, there is an underlying humor too.
The plot is so intense and intricately woven together, very well synchronized. It alternates between the victims and the would be rescuers seamlessly, going back and forth between the two.
Although there is a lot of fear throughout this book and the different tactics used to try to overcome it, the central pivot to the story is actually the connection felt by one person to another. A connection of souls which can only come into being when you’ve met your soul mate.
Kim Pritekel has really got deep into the minds of the characters she’s writing about. Nothing is left to the readers imagination and all ends to the story are neatly tied up. Which in turn has resulted in a really satisfying read. This is a book that will be in my re-read folder. I need to read it again to savor the story without the pressures of knowing the ending.

An interview with Lynette Mae!

tacticalpursuit

Tell us about yourself:

I grew up in a large family in southwestern Pennsylvania. Something restless inside of me poked at me and I joined the army at 19, having no idea where the adventure would take me. After a couple of close calls with investigations in the pre-DADT military, I realized that I couldn’t keep lying about myself, and I left the service after my enlistment. I had family in Florida, and soon became a law enforcement officer in Tampa. Three years later I met my wife and we’ve recently celebrated our 18th anniversary.

I’ve always written from a young age. My juvenile poems graduated into longer stories, and eventually, I decided to give novel writing a shot. Faithful Service, Silent Hearts was born out of a desire to tell one soldier’s story, in the days before DADT. Tactical Pursuit, the sequel, tells of the character’s move beyond the military into the law enforcement field. Something that is common, and not meant to be autobiographical.

What genres do you normally write in?

I write what I’d call dramatic romance. There’s a romantic element integral to my stories, but the action is key.

What genres do you typically read?

I read a little bit of everything. I love lesfic with a strong storyline, I’m not a straight-up romance fan. Beyond that I love action thrillers, but I’m a history and political geek, so I also read a fair amount of historical non-fiction and current events type of stuff, too.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in that one day you’d like to tackle?

Historical fiction and possibly memoir.

Are there any authors who have influenced your work?

Absolutely. The first that come to mind are Jeannette Winterson and Lee Lynch. Their ability to weave their stories through characterization fascinates me. I love rich, descriptive works with multi layered characters that reveal themselves to you in drips as the storyline flows.

What was the first book you ever published? 

Faithful Service, Silent Hearts is my first published novel.

When did you first sign with (your current publisher)?

I joined the Sapphire Books family in 2013.

How did you celebrate your signing?

My wife and I went out to dinner and then had a romantic evening at home.

What was the craziest thing you’ve ever done when it came to a storyline in your book?

 Well, I’ve been known to kill off a character.

Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?

I like to mull over my storylines when I go for my run. It’s a great opportunity to let my mind wander and maybe the endorphins help spark creativity. I only know that I do some of my best thinking and plotting while pounding the pavement.

Is there a certain time of day you prefer to write?

Mornings. My wife works midnights, so that’s when the house is quiet. Plus, my mind seems fresh and uncluttered before the stressors of the day intrude.

What is your writing day like?

Oh, LOL I don’t know what a writing “day” would be. My work and personal schedules relegate my writing to hopefully an hour here or there. If I ever have several hours—or even half a day to devote to writing, I wouldn’t know how to handle that.

Some quickies (pardon the pun—pick twelve):

Satin or Lace?  Satin, I love the sensual glide.

Hot or Cold? Depends upon what I’m doing.

Camera or Canvas? Canvas. The textures of an original work of art are very seductive.

Denim or Leather? Denim for comfort.

Talking or Texting? Talking. I like the human connection.

Irish or Italian? Irish. Love the flow of the language and Irish music stirs me.

Thunder or Lightning? Thunder, particularly when it rolls and rumbles in the distance.

The sound of a heartbeat or a crackling fire? Heartbeat.

Holding hands or Holding her attention? Holding her attention.

Crayons or Paint? Paint, for the texture, and application possibilities.

Mountains or Beach?  Mountains.

Rain or Sunshine? Definitely rain. Sexy and sensual.

Tell us about your new release.

My WIP is Rebound. It’s a basketball-themed story, with a HEA

 What kind of heroine is Conner? Conner is an everyday heroine. A kid from a close Irish family who has to overcome some obstacles to find out what’s important in life.                                                                                

Was there someone famous she resembled when you wrote her? Or is she based off someone you personally know? Neither. She developed out of a side character in a previous work.

What are your favorite character traits that you cannot resist?

Strength and loyalty.

What part of the female physique captures your attention?

Eyes.  

As an author and essentially the “creator” of your character, do you find yourself attached to her in a personal way? Oh, I’m definitely attached to Conner. She’s the friend everyone would like to have.

If you could actually meet the character of one of your books, the exact woman you’ve conjured up in both looks and personality, which one would it be and why?

Jillian Gray because she is loosely based on my first love, the way I fantasize things might have turned out.

Tell us what kind of heroines you prefer to write about.

I like heroines who are strong, yet sensitive, are loyal, but have issues. They can’t be perfect, because none of us are. I like them to have a flaw to work on or through.

Does your heroine, Conner, take after you? Or is she someone you wish you could be?

All of my heroines are people I wish I could be. They probably have one or two of my deficiencies, but they are far more noble, I fear.

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite?

Right now, I’d have to say my second novel, Tactical Pursuit. I’m proud of the growth in my writing and character development. Although, hopefully, I’ll always improve and be able to say the same about Rebound and future works.