Review: The Ice Dragon by George R R Martin

 

   The Ice Dragon

Most CERTAINTLY  Contains Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed The Ice Dragon – until the end.  Considering the amount of death and mayhem in The Game of Thrones, I should have expected some unpleasantness in  this book, but because it’s being marketed to MG readers, I was caught by surprise.  True to life, the children in George R R Martin’s stories aren’t immune from the turmoil of war,  and Adara learns first hand that opposing forces make no distinction between non-combatants and enemy soldiers.

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Book Blast and Giveaway: Red Hot Dragon by Lolita Lopez

 

 

RED HOT DRAGON

Dragon Heat Series, #2

Publisher: Forever Yours

Publication Date: October 1st, 2013

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Griffin Cadogan is shocked to see Avani Monroe, sworn enemy of his dragon family, walk into his gym. With his mating phase soon approaching, Griffin is curious as to why she has to come enemy territory knowing the risks. Not only does she surprise Griffin and his cousin, Mad, by coming to enemy territory, but what she wants is borderline insane-Griffin must help her have a baby.

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Novella Review: Open Flame by Lacy Danes

 

Review:

I’m not going to lie.  The main draw for me to want to read Open Flame was the cover.  I love the intensity, and was hopeful that the story would match the cover.  Does it?  While I enjoyed it quite a bit, the short length meant little character development and uneven pacing at times.  Still, this is a fun read, and I’d read more in the series without a second thought.

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Interview with Lacy Danes, Author of Open Flame and Giveaway!

Lacy Danes is visiting the virtual offices this morning to chat about Open Flame.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Lacy Danes] loving, loner, quite, bubbly, lazy, determined, adventurous, strong, weak, curious, green and yellow with no red.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Open Flame?

[Lacy Danes] Open Flame is Madoc the fire Zirs story. He is fascinated with time and time plays a big part in the story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Lacy Danes] I knew I wanted to write a story that was both historical and paranormal. I didn’t want to do a vampire story but wanted vampires as part of the mythology.  I did some brainstorming with my CPs and came up with the idea of my Zir.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Fina?

[Lacy Danes] Feisty, strong, determined.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Fina is never without.

[Lacy Danes] Her sketch pad.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Fina’s greatest regret?

[Lacy Danes] That she couldn’t do more for her father.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Lacy Danes] Music, reading, movies, friends, family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Lacy Danes]  My puppy cooper dog. music, and the right frame of mind.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Open Flame?

[Lacy Danes] Kids, and my day job.  I work in IT at a large company.  There is always something to get done and now.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Lacy Danes]  World War Z.  I love the book.  I recently saw the movie and it was good too though different.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

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Blogger Blitz: DRAGON RISING by Jaime Rush

If you like paranormal romances, here’s some information about Jaime Rush’s latest series The Hidden.  Read up on her dragon shifters, and then enter for a chance to digital copy of Dragon Rising and Dragon Mine, as well as a $25 gift card at B&N!

DRAGON RISING, A Hidden Novella: Book Prequel #2 (9781455528004)

They are the Hidden.

Not quite human. Far from normal.

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Meet Drake Cameron from Ashlyn Chase’s How to Date a Dragon and Giveaway!

Please welcome Drake Cameron, hero of Ashlyn Chase’s How to Date a Dragon, to the virtual offices this morning!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Drake] Independent, Leader, Protective, Supportive, Integrity

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Drake Cameron?

[Drake] I get out of the bed I built; shower and dress in my uniform; walk to Station #3 of the Boston Fire Department; have breakfast with the guys; and respond to whatever emergencies occur during my shift. After work I pop over to Boston Uncommon for a beer with my fellow paranormals—unless I need to discuss something with my firefighter brotherhood, then I meet them at The Ladder. Either way, I’m a social being and I like to flirt. I haven’t asked anyone out in a while, because I’m searching for a female dragon to mate with and save the species. I don’t think there are any available, and not many women are dragon tolerant. I might have to give up on the promise I made to my mother on her death bed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Bliss?

[Drake] Feisty, Funny, Beautiful

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Drake] She’s impatient and strong-willed. Snarky comments are her forte, and she’s even managed to turn it into a business. She’s the designer behind Hall-Snark cards.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Drake] I wouldn’t have left Nova Scotia and gone to live with my uncle in New York. How was I to know he was a mob boss? After that I had to disappear and make a whole new life for myself. I had heard there might be a female dragon in Boston, which is how I wound up here. I suppose without that experience, however, I wouldn’t have become who I am today.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Drake] My phone. I’m willing to work overtime when needed, and lately there have been a rash of fires. Also, I like to call Bliss after she gets off work and before she goes to bed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t saving damsels in distress?

[Drake] I like to work with my hands. I build furniture. I’ve thought about taking up sailing, but fire and water…well, you know how those two things don’t mix.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Drake] Loving a dragon-tolerant woman

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Drake] Thanks for asking about me. I’m not used to being in the spotlight. It’s Bliss who’s on TV all the time.

About the book:

HOW TO DATE A DRAGON BY ASHLYN CHASE – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2013

Let the Sparks Fly…

Bliss Russo thought nothing exciting ever happened in her life. Until her building caught on fire and she had to be carried out of the flames in the arms of a gorgeous fireman. Sure, her apartment is now in shambles and she’ll have to start her huge work project completely from scratch. But at least her love life is finally looking up…if only she can find her red-hot rescuer again.

Dragon shapeshifter Drake Cameron is the last of his clan, and the loneliness is starting to claw at him. He’s met only one woman who might be able to stand the shock of his true nature. After all, she barely batted an eyelash when her home burned down. And feeling her curves against him was just as hot as the inferno. Just when he thinks he’ll never track her down, she walks into his firehouse—with no idea what she’s about to get herself into…

“[Ashlyn Chase] entertains with a voice that makes reading her stories pure pleasure. It’s like spending time with your favorite friends. Reviewer Top Pick” —Night Owl Reviews on How to Date a Dragon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an Almond Joy bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet, wanting only to give her readers a satisfying experience.

She holds a degree in behavioral sciences, worked as a psychiatric RN for several years and spent a few more years working for the American Red Cross. She credits her sense of humor to her former careers since comedy helped preserve whatever was left of her sanity. She is a multi-published, award-winning author of humorous erotic and paranormal romances, represented by the Seymour Agency.

She lives in beautiful New Hampshire with her true-life hero husband who’d look like Hugh Jackman if you dyed his hair, and they’re owned by a spoiled brat cat. For more information, please visit www.ashlynchase.com, follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/GoddessAsh, and like her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshlynChase.

To Purchase How To Date a Dragon:

Barnes and Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Chapters/Indigo

iBookstore

Sourcebooks

Giveaway!

Enter to win 1 copy of Flirting Under a Full Moon (Book 1 in the Flirting with Fangs series, directly preceding How to Date a Dragon).  US and Canada only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Lorenda Christensen, Author of Never Deal with Dragons

Please welcome special guest Lorenda Christensen to the virtual offices this morning.  Lorenda is here to chat about her new Carina Press release Never Deal with Dragons.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Lorenda Christensen] The editing cruelty begins early, eh? Let’s see…

Accountant by day, writer by night, lover of all things Pepsi and chocolate. And purple.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Never Deal With Dragons?

[Lorenda Christensen] I consider NDWD as a lighthearted urban(ish) fantasy filled with dragons. Sort of a Stephanie Plum meets Dragonriders of Pern with a dash of The West Wing. Confused yet? ?

Never Deal with dragons is a first person story featuring Myrna Banks, a lowly secretary who used to be on the fast track to management, until her ex-boyfriend stole some classified work papers and got her demoted. Now, her ex works for the most powerful dragon lord in the country, and he needs her help.

She takes the job, but only because it gives her a shot to redeem herself and get back on the corporate ladder.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Lorenda Christensen] I’m a sucker for any television show that shows the inner workings of places that normal people would likely label boring. I remember watching a show featuring a female mediator at a law firm, and I thought that it would be really fun to have a heroine in the same type of job, but in an unreal, over the top environment. Huge, scaly, perpetually hungry dragons fit the bill perfectly. ?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Myrna?

[Lorenda Christensen] spunky, ambitious, sarcastic

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Trian had a theme song, what would it be?

[Lorenda Christensen] Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone (the Eva Cassidy version is the best)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Myrna is never without.

[Lorenda Christensen] muck boots

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Trian’s bathroom?

[Lorenda Christensen] hair gel – Trian’s not one to care about his appearance. Myrna’s lucky if she can get him to run a comb through his hair. Luckily, good genes keep him looking attractively tousled instead of unkempt.

Fake mustaches – Trian might be a spy of sorts, but he’s got better tricks than this up his sleeve.

Plane tickets – Myrna finds it completely adorable, but Trian gets a little antsy when he’s forced to take cross country trips inside a piece of flying metal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Myrna’s greatest regret? [Lorenda Christensen] Wearing her favorite white blouse to work. (Some of those stains will never come out.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Lorenda Christensen] I adore Katie MacAlister, Darynda Jones, and Janet Evanovich. I love how they can be funny and move the plot along at the same time. I’ve done my best to do the same.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Lorenda Christensen] Childcare, a power outage, and a long-lasting laptop battery. ?

Seriously, I have so much trouble focusing. Facebook, Twiiter, email…ALL THE PRETTY THINGS. It’s just so hard to stare at that blinking cursor when the story isn’t flowing, and put words on the page anyway. I’m like the dog from Disney’s Up that keeps—squirrel! But I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of this self-discipline thing. We’ll see how long it lasts.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Lorenda Christensen] I cannot get enough of Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series. Hunt the Moon was just fantastic, and I am about to gnaw my own fingers off waiting for the release of Tempt the Stars. It’s a wonder I can still type.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Lorenda Christensen] If we’re going way back, I fondly remember Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion series. But if you’re talking about the romance genre, I’d have to go with Jude Deveraux’s The Maiden. A friend of mine loaned me this on a school bus ride. It was my first exposure to the romance genre. What an introduction! It had all the classics—alpha male, a touch of fantasy, and insta-lust. Be still my middle school heart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Lorenda Christensen] Like most writers, my first love was and always will be reading. Otherwise, I’m hanging out with my husband and kids. And I’ll admit I’m more than a little addicted to Aaron Sorkin or Joss Whedon productions, so there’s more than a little bit of television in there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Lorenda Christensen] Because I’m still working a day job, Twitter is the place I feel most comfortable popping in and out of. My handle is @LorendaC

I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorlorendachristensen

And if you want to read a lot of boring information about me, my short stay in India, and a bit more about my writing, you can visit my website at http://lorendac.com

Thanks so much for the interview – it was a blast.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link:

About the book:

Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it’s her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her “typical” day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him.

Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he’s been sent by North America’s reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she’ll be stuck with Trian as a partner.

As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

Review: Luck of the Dragon by Susannah Scott

 

Title: Luck of the Dragon

Author: Susannah Scott

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Luciana de Luca has a PhD in sass and gemology—and a problem. Her twin brother’s gambling debts have gotten out of hand, and a mob enforcer is blackmailing her to rob the latest, greatest mega-casino on the Strip. Although Lucy has worked her whole life to get away from her family’s grifter past, to save her brother, she dons three-inch heels and a sluts-r-us dress and struts into Alec’s Gerald’s casino, determined to put her long-forgotten thieving ways to the test again.

Alec Gerald, a shape-shifting dragon, has built the Crown Jewel casino to provide sanctuary for his people amongst the flash and awe of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the sexy little thief trying to steal his largest diamond exhibit turns out to be his mate, and he must woo her before he loses his dragon form forever. But before he can handcuff her to his bed and explain the details of a mating ceremony, an enemy attacks and threatens to destroy his casino, his people, and his newfound mate.


Review:

I still feel like a newbie when it comes to PNR, and I’m still trying to find tropes and authors that work for me.  One trope that I haven’t liked in the past is the destined mate trope, mainly because it takes some of the suspense out the romance.  The reader knows the couple will be together in the end, and there’s really no mystery to the pairing.  In Luck of the Dragon, however, I started wondering what would happen is Alec and Lucy couldn’t get their acts together and find a happy medium for their relationship.  Would they actually be stuck together forever not trusting each other?  While we do get a HEA, I was worried for a few chapters!

Lucy comes from a family of con-artists.  Her father was sent to jail when she was a child, and her brother seems to be following in his footsteps.  Joey just can’t say no to a bet, and worse, he longs to work the hustle.  He falls in with Gino, a dangerous gangster, and lassoes Lucy into helping him steal jewels from Alec Gerald to pay off his gambling debts.  If she doesn’t help, Gino makes it painfully obvious that he’s going to take the debt out of Joey’s hide.  Terrified of losing her brother, Lucy jumps to it and agrees to help with the heist.

What Lucy and Joey doesn’t know is that Alec is a dragon.  He’s a very old dragon, and a very powerful dragon.  He’s just opened a new casino in Vegas, and his gem collection is going to be the center piece of his new endeavor.  He’s retained Lucy to appraise and catalog his collection, unaware that Lucy’s up to her neck in trouble.  When they meet, Alec is convinced that Lucy is destined to be his mate, much to the dismay of his followers.  The dragons don’t think highly of humans, and many of them have a problem accepting one as their leader’s mate.  Once Alec discovers that Lucy was only interested in stealing from him, even he begins to doubt his own judgment, and he despairs at losing his dragon form without his mate.

I really liked this story, and I think I went into thinking that I wouldn’t.  I’m not sure why, because I was hooked on the story and the characters right away.  I liked Lucy – well, I liked her when she wasn’t trying to steal from Alec.  I just wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up and stop trying to keep her brother out of jail.  Joey is a selfish, jerk of a brother, who knows how best to manipulate Lucy.  He cares only about himself, and expects her to extract him from every sticky situation he finds himself in.  I could not stand this guy, and was kind of hoping one of the dragons would eat him.  Sorry, Joey, but you are a pin-head!

Alec made the story for me.  How could he not?  He’s a freaking dragon!  He also knows how to woo a lady.  After realizing that Lucy is his mate, he goes into Romeo mode, and wow, he would have won me over about midway through breakfast.  This guy is a charmer, and he’s a gabillionaire to boot!  Lucy is instantly suspicious of his motives, mainly because hers are less than pure, and because she’s be raised to not trust anybody.  She has spent most of her adult life trying to keep her brother out of prison, and keeping the taint of criminal activity away from her.  While her intent to steal from Alec irritated me, especially after she started developing feelings for him, I did understand why she would feel compelled to go along with Joey and Gino’s schemes, at least at the beginning of the book.  About halfway through, I found her behavior inexcusable.  This did knock down the enjoyment factor a bit.

If Luck of the Dragon is an indication of how dragons live, I need to find one for myself.  Or just wait until the next book in this series to hit store shelves, so I can live vicariously through Susannah Scott’s characters.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher