Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Elemental Magic by Angela Wallace

Elemental MagicElemental Magic by Angela Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Aileen Donovan is an oceanographer with magical control over the element of water. While her normal focus is on research and fighting poachers, she’s about to go up against the stuff of legends—and that’s saying something for a supernatural.

A transport ship is missing and everyone’s eager to get their hands on the cargo. No one knows what exactly it is, but when fragments resembling coral begin to drive local residents insane, Aileen suspects a preternatural source. Whatever is at the bottom of the ocean, a power-hungry alchemist wants it, and releases a sea dragon to eat the competition—literally.

Aileen sees this as an opportunity to win the professional recognition she desires, but keeping secrets is complicated when she’s working with local Coast Guard officer Colin Benson. Her sense of love and duty will be put to the test, and when the tide washes out, it might have been better if that lost ship had stayed lost.


The premise of Elemental Magic sounds intriguing, and I’m happy to say it doesn’t disappoint!

Aileen is a water elemental still honing her powers. Suddenly, she is put to the test when a ship laden with mysterious cargo goes missing, a sea dragon attacks, and she joins her friends and family in a race against a dangerous alchemist to find the missing cargo.

Plenty of magic keeps the story moving at a rapid pace. The addition of creatures like mermaids, nereids, and sea dragons keeps the reader wondering what other secrets Wallace’s mythology has in store.

The romance is sweet and light, allowing the mystery and action to take center stage in this book. I’m looking forward to the next book, Dry Spell, to see how Aileen and Colin’s romance continues!

View all my reviews

Monday, May 21, 2012

What Does Queen Elizabeth II Read??

When I thought about writing this blog, I didn’t know where to start. What do I know about the queen? Do we have anything in common? As it turns out, the answer is yes.

I read today that Queen Elizabeth II is a fan of fiction! Her favorite authors are crime/mystery writers P.D. James, Agatha Christie, and Dick Francis. (Check out the article here.) All three authors are members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Agatha Christie a Dame Commander, Dick Francis a Commander, and P.D. James an Officer.

Who knows when the queen has time to read though!

Which other authors would you recommend to the queen?

There's lots of other bloggers in this hop. Check them out through the links below:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Piracy

Would you walk into your local bookstore and steal the latest book by your favorite author? Would you steal a $20 from a stranger to buy a couple of books? I’m guessing your answer is a resounding “no.”

So why do people think it’s okay to download ebooks from pirate websites?

Let me make my position clear: It is NEVER okay to steal a book, whether it’s paper or electronic. N e v e r.

The ladies over at Deadline Dames have a great article about how much piracy sucks!

Now, some of you reading this might think, well, it was just one book or maybe authors make enough money anyway or I can’t afford to buy all the books I want to read. Do you think these are good excuses? Um, no.

All of those illegal downloads add up and the vast majority of authors aren’t making tons of money. Most have another job they work to make ends meet. I’m not complaining – I write because it’s what I love. I never had illusions about buying a new BMW with my sales! But it’s hard work. It takes months or even years for the author to write a book. (Not to mention all of the people required to offer a single book for sale: cover artist, editors, marketing people, publishers, etc.) Imagine how we feel when we find out people have downloaded our work illegally hundreds or thousands of times.

I understand not being able to afford your reading habit. Some people can read a book a day easily. But a voracious reading habit doesn’t make it okay to become a thief.

There are plenty of books out there to read that will cost you little to nothing. Kindle has an ebook lending library containing over 145,000 titles. Your local library has countless paper books, and many of them offer ebook lending too. Used bookstores allow you to trade in your old books for credit to buy new ones. Share books with friends.

And yeah, buy the books you can afford from your favorite authors. It’s the only way to ensure they keep creating those books you love! For example, I know a very successful writer who stopped writing because she didn’t have enough recent sales. There’s also a series I used to read that never got finished because the publisher didn’t think there was enough interest.

So please, don’t download from pirate websites. It’s illegal. And moreover, it’s just plain offensive to the authors.

*Please feel free to comment, but don’t mention names or web addresses of pirate websites. The last thing I want to do is point more traffic in their direction.*

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Love Chosen by Marne Ann Kirk

Marne Ann Kirk
I got a chance to meet Marne Ann Kirk at the conference in Salem last week. The day I met her, I picked up her book, Love Chosen, the first novel in her Fae Dragon Chronicles series by Crescent Moon Press. More on my fellow conference attendees later this week (I still have to download all my pics!), but let me just say how much fun I had chatting and laughing with Marne! Her sense of humor comes through in her novel too. I had to stop and giggle when I read her heroine’s thoughts on love at the beginning of the book: “Love sucks dragon eggs.” Well, of course her attitude changes a bit by the end of the story…

Dragons and majical fae are only the start of the many things to love about Love Chosen. The romance between Issie and Tyler was so hot it practically fried the circuits of my ebook reader! *fans self*

Not only is the kingdom in turmoil because of long-standing prejudices, but a new danger comes forward that threatens the dragons and fae alike. The high stakes in Marne’s story kept me turning pages late into the night… just one more chapter… and then another…

I can’t wait for the next book in this promising series!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Z is for Zombies - A to Z Challenge

Apologies… I was supposed to have this post up yesterday! I was traveling back from my Salem conference and didn’t quite get to it in time. In any case, more about the conference later this week!

What else could I choose for Z but zombies! I’m a fan of all things zombie, from movies to books (World War Z, anyone?) to zombie walks, which I totally plan on joining some day.

My latest zombie discovery is this app for my iPhone called Zombies, Run! It’s actually an exercise app based around a zombie apocalypse. I know, I know. Me? Running? Well, let’s not assume too much. But Zombies, Walk! just doesn’t sound as dramatic.

Here’s the deal. Plug in your headphones, turn on the app, and it plays a 30 minute episode (there are about 30 so far). In episode 1, your helicopter crashes in zombie-infested territory and you have to make your way to a local settlement of survivors. A guy on their radio network talks you in. It’s very cool and a bit scary! If you actually do want to run, you can turn on zombie chase mode. It uses GPS tracking to follow your position and forces you to try to outrun a zombie horde.

And who knows? Maybe with a little exercise, I’ll be ready for the zombie apocalypse! :)