Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Scottish Selkie - Audio Excerpt

The Scottish Selkie, a Celtic/Romance set in ninth century Scotland is a tale, which springs from Druid lore, of a mysterious, dark warrior, a fiery Pict Princess, and the shadowy secret standing between them. A bow and arrow carrying Pict beauty takes vengeance on a royal target but fails at her attempt to slay the Scot King, Kenneth McAlpin. To save her life, she is forced to wed the king's cousin, Malcolm. Just as the Scot warrior and the Pict Princess begin to forge a bond, Malcolm must reveal his incredible secret and choose between two worlds, one with Bethoc or one without.

The Scottish Selkie is an ebook with four five star reader reviews on Amazon and it’s coming out as an audio book in October. The Scottish Selkie is at the Book Trailer Park today
coming as an audio book soon

Here is an audio excerpt of a love scene and the text of it below.

“To be yours. To share my bed with you.”

He didn't speak. His eyes grew wide and he took a deep breath. “Mayhaps you merely do not want to sleep alone this eve?”

“Sleep is not what I am thinking of.” Bethoc turned and bid Malcolm to follow.
Sounds of night birds and night bugs blended together into a gentle lull as she glided down the moonlit path. She sensed his heated gaze feasting on the subtle yet sensuous sway of her shoulder and hips.

“Bethoc,” Malcolm called in a ragged tone.

Turning, she gazed at him. They stood apart, but the raw hunger in his dark eyes told her all.
Bethoc parted her lips. Malcolm stepped up to her, reached out, and yanked her in his arms. She leaned her head to his. Bethoc's mouth melded with Malcolm's, a mergence of fire and water.
He squeezed her hand in his as they walked side by side to the rath. Bethoc released his hand and pulled the door open. Malcolm strode to the fire, lit a torch, and lighted candles posted around the room. The smell of burning wax filled the air.

She walked up to him and wrapped her arms around his strong, solid shoulders. He leaned his head down to Bethoc's and crushed her mouth with his. “You taste like a honey comb stolen from a high tree. Wild and dripping with thick sweetness.”

Malcolm lifted her into his arms; she wrapped her long, lithe legs around his waist. Their slick lips pressed, rubbed, slid, and pushed fervently against each other. Malcolm rolled the back of her skirt up to her waist, exposing her bare bottom.

With her arms tangled about his shoulders and her long legs rolled around his waist, Malcolm carried her to the kitchen. Bethoc gasped as he set her bare ass on the hard wooden table.
She grabbed the honey pot beside her, and dipped two fingers in the sticky sweetness. She rubbed her fingers, dripping with thick golden honey, across Malcolm's mouth.
Sliding her sticky fingers back and forth, she spread the succulent honey all over his full, wet lips, which he licked with the tip of his tongue. Malcolm poked his finger in the small clay pot and stirred the honey in a circular motion. He stroked her lips with the thick sweetness then thrust his finger into her mouth. Clamping her lips down, Bethoc moaned, greedily sucking the golden treat.

Here’s a pinterest board of The Scottish Selkie.

Thank you,

Cornelia Amiri

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

2013 Summer Author Blitz, Author Jennifer Bray-Weber

Author Jennifer Bray-Weber
Hello everyone, I have a real treat today, for all of us Historical/Romance fans. Award Winning Author Jennifer Bray-Weber is with us today to tell us about her Romancing The Pirate Series and her life as a writer.
What a fabulous subject you’ve chosen to write about, pirates. Who doesn’t like a good pirate story? What is your favorite thing about pirates and writing about pirates?

I admit. I’m attracted to the dark side. Bad boys float my boat. (See how the pirate diva made a pun?) The more I researched pirates, the more fascinating they became to me. These treacherous people were quite democratic, governing themselves. They had laws. They didn’t break those laws without serious consequence from their peers. They shared in the booty equally. They elected their captains. They were survivors. They were masters of their trade. Though most were vicious and not too far off the mark of murderers, some were actually honorable. It was fun mixing what I learned with fiction. Thanks to Hollywood romanticizing pirates with characters like Captain Blood and Captain Jack Sparrow, among others, people relate and root for the bad boy pirate. I love being able to take a bad boy and make him irresistible and redeeming.
Wow, I am absolutely captivated now. What could be sexier than a bad boy pirate captain, redeemed by love? Tell me more. Tell us all about your Romancing The Pirate Series.
Love to. The series follows the courageous captains in a brethren of Caribbean pirates. Adventure awaits each of them and they greedily, if not enthusiastically, accept the challenge. But while these captains enjoy a good fistfight, sea battle, besting their enemies, or pillage, they are as different as the fish in the sea and as unpredictable as the currents. Zane has anger issues, Blade has a voracious appetite as a libertine, Thayer drinks far too much, Bran is cynical, and Joelle, well, she’s a woman. That’s curse enough. What’s a pirate romance without redemption? While these captains are masters of their trade, they are no match for the women (and sexy male slave) who steer them into uncharted waters—namely that of love.
The fun thing about this series is it will come full circle. In most of the books, the pirate ship Rissa is central. In the final book, the Rissa sinks. *sniffles* But that’s not all. It will be a dueling story. Contemporary treasure hunters will find a diary (or logbook) and will try to unravel the mystery surrounding the ship’s demise and her missing treasure. At the same time, an adventure and love story unfurls as the newest Rissa captain and young pirate’s daughter navigate through a treacherous betrayal and identity crisis. Two stories. One novel. I get all giggly thinking about it.
It sounds like an amazing, breath taking ending for the series. I have to ask, of all the book you have written, do you have a favorite?
A Kiss in the Wind is my favorite. It has everything to do with Blade Tyburn, the pirate playboy. While writing this book, I finally understood what other authors meant when they say they fall in love with their characters. I had fallen head over heels for Blade—hard. The sun-kissed Casanova of the high seas, he spars with wit and innuendo. But what makes this alpha male delicious to me is how he handles Marisol, the knife-wielding thief who steals much more than his treasure.
A Kiss in the Wind blurb:
Marisol Castellan is in trouble—again. Against her pirate father's orders, she snuck off their ship to intercept a message meant for a rival captain, one that offers a clue to the whereabouts of her estranged brother Monte.
Pirate captain Blade Tyburn is not pleased to find the letter he's been waiting for is missing. He's even less pleased when he discovers the thief is a raven-haired beauty who bewitches his senses and muddles his thinking. The note gives the location of a silver-laden ship that'll make his fortune; Blade must find it, and if that means bringing Marisol along on the voyage, so be it.
Marisol believes Monte sails on the very ship Blade is to meet and strikes a deal with the handsome rogue. If he will give her passage to her brother, she will give him the exact location he needs. And both will get more than they expected.
Discover the pirates who seek fortune and who are steered into uncharted waters of the heart in the other books of the Romancing The Pirates series:
The Siren’s Song blurb:
Pirate captain Thayer Drake lures ships onto reefs for plunder, and business is lucrative. Yet, saving a lass from drowning after her ship wrecks becomes more than he bargained for when the crazy wench dives back into the raging sea for her blasted purse.
Tavern songstress Gilly McCoy, penniless and fleeing from the man who murdered her lover, stowed away on the doomed ship. Now at Drake's mercy, Gilly must earn her passage by performing for the captain. And that is not all: she must also kiss the captain at every ring of the ship's bell. But she discovers kissing the handsome rogue is not entirely a bad bargain...
Drake is intrigued by the beauty, but there is no room in his black heart for a woman. He has demons that he drinks nightly to forget. Meanwhile, Gilly has her own secrets to keep—including why her purse is more valuable to her than her life...
Beneath the Water’s Edge (a novella) blurb:
Elyssa Calhoun Montgomery had been willing to do anything to keep her father from debt, including following her new husband to the Caribbean-–dressed as a lad. But she never dreamed she’d become widowed so quickly, or that she’d come face to face with a fearsome pirate who expects her to fight like a man. Captured and her identity exposed, she doesn’t know what’s worse, being locked alone in a pirate captain’s quarters or experiencing an unsettling attraction toward him.
Captain Bran Blackthorn has grown weary of the pirating trade and seeks a King’s Pardon for his crew. Unfortunately, the man who could sign a reprieve, his half-brother Governor Flynn, would rather see him dead. When the gods—or the devil—bestows an angel to his spoils, he sees an opportunity to force a pardon with her ransom. Never mind his beautiful pawn has bewitched him, filling him with a desire to press his body against hers, capture her mouth in a searing kiss, and brand her as his own.
But when Bran’s enemies seek vengeance, Elyssa becomes entangled in their deadly game and Bran faces the gallows. Can they cheat death and save each other? Or will they be dragged...
Beneath The Water’s Edge.
Blood And Treasure blurb:
Although Lianna Whitney was gently bred, she must now empty slop buckets and fight off randy sailors in a seaport tavern to survive. One night, she unexpectedly comes into possession of a golden medallion. But when the man who left it with her is immediately murdered by soldiers of the Royal Navy, she’s afraid to admit she has it. Unsure who to trust, she’s caught up in crossfire between navy officers and a pirate captain, who, realizing she possesses the object he’s been paid to find, whisks her away to his ship during the fight.
Privateer Captain Zane Fox is not interested in the mystical healing powers the medallion is said to hold, even though the legends claim it can bring a dying man back to life. He only plans to procure the medallion, drop the chit off at the next port where she’ll be safe, and collect the money he was promised. However, as they fend off storms at sea and attempt to outrun the Royal Navy, the two are also fighting the attraction they feel for one another. But when they are captured, Zane must choose between recovering the medallion and saving Lianna from the noose. And soon it becomes clear to him that the medallion is not the only treasure worth risking his life for.
Excerpt from Blood And Treasure:
Zane set her feet to the ground and as soon as she caught her balance, she swung at him. He caught her fist inches from his face. “This is a very disagreeable way for a lass to act.”
“What way will you have me act?” she snapped. “You’ve just nabbed me, you rake!”
“For your own safety, I assure you.”
“I can most certainly take care of myself.”
He laughed. “You’re an obstinate little chit.”
“And why would I need protection from the soldiers?”
“They intend to kill you.”
“I don't believe you.” She huffed, crossing her arms. And why should she? She’d done nothing wrong.
“They are commissioned to retrieve The Serpent and will slay anyone who is familiar with it or who dares to stand in their way, including a common back alley bar wench.”
“The Serpent?” She chose to ignore his trite remark.
“The medallion you are hiding.” His eyes slid down to her chest.
Shifting uneasily she said, “I told you. I hide nothing.”
A resonating shot rang out. Lianna jumped, instinctively shielding herself behind her broad stout abductor. A fine buffer he should make. He chuckled as she crouched behind him. Hard-headed she may be, but she was smart enough to let him take a bullet. He grabbed her by the arm and shoved her down the pier ladder. She stepped into a small rowboat. He followed an instant behind. Taking a hold of the oars, he rowed with much vigor into the open bay.
She gripped the side of the boat and considered what to do. The longer she allowed this rogue to keep her, the harder it would be for her to escape. For a moment, she thought to dive overboard and swim back to the dock. Just as she resolved to flee, soldiers lined the pier firing volleys at them.
How can that be? They wouldn't risk shooting an innocent civilian, would they? She shook her head, grappling to understand.
“Get down!”
No need to tell her twice.
Pops cracked through the air. The bullets came fast and far too close, spraying them with salt water and splintering wood. They were still well within range. She tried to swallow. Her heart throbbed in her throat as prickly panic bristled across her skin. Her captor seemed to be enjoying himself, thriving on the gravity of the danger. In fact, he looked to be having fun. She didn’t share in his enthusiasm. He didn’t appear to hear her screaming for him to row faster, either.
He shed his jacket. “We’ve got to make a swim for it.”
“What? You can't be serious. Swim where?” Exasperated, Lianna wrinkled her nose and frowned. Where would they swim to? Into open water? They would surely die should they try swimming to…to nowhere.
They flinched as another bullet whizzed past. “We're fish in a barrel.” He grabbed her wrist. “Jump!” He dove overboard, pulling her in with him.
Swallowing the warm water as she went under, Lianna came up coughing, the briny water stinging her eyes. Ill-prepared for taking a midnight dip, she reached for something, anything to help her stay afloat.
Sloshing water made it difficult to see, but hysterics blinded her. Bobbing her assailant underwater, she swung her leg up over his shoulder, clenching her arms around his head and neck. She heard him grouch something about trying to drown him as he peeled out of her clutches, wrapping an arm around her waist to keep her afloat while she gasped. He treaded water until she paddled on her own. Bullets smacked into the water all around them.
“Follow me.” He started off toward a brigantine just sailing into view, slicing through the water with precise strokes.
He’s mad!
She struggled to keep up. Her dress weighed her down and Lianna labored to swim for the ship. Ahead she could see the hull with a rope ladder skimming the waves. Keep swimming. Almost there. But she tired from the effort. The more she swam the further away the ship seemed. The sea swirled around her and she thrashed to keep her head above water. Fear flooded her mind but she simply could not will her body to keep pace and swim any longer. She slipped below the waves, the darkness enveloping her. No! She reached through the water, fought to break free from the sea’s invisible hold. But the sea was powerful. The sea laid claim to her and pulled her further into its depth. Her limbs ached from the fight for the surface and her chest burned for air. The cumbersome weight was too much to bear. The ravenous water became cooler. She relaxed, drifting downward, clinging to her fading consciousness. Her hope disappeared like paper dissolving in the waves.
She had a vague sense of someone grabbing her by the waist, a strong arm pulling her back to the rolling swells and the starry sky. As she thrust above the surface, she heaved again, filling her lungs with precious air. Crisp, sweet, life-saving, precious air.
Her savior, no, her captor held her close. His mouth rested on her ear, panting. “Damn it. I should have been aware the distance would be too much for you, especially wearing a dress.”
For what she could’ve sworn was an eternity, they reached the ladder at last. The climb up the rope without stepping on the fellow’s hands was a challenge. He pushed on her arse and hoisted her over onto the deck. Bless me. Firm ground.
Lianna collapsed to the floor and sprawled on her back to catch her breath. Slowly, she opened her eyes. What she beheld caused her heart to stop.
Suddenly drowning didn't seem so terrible.
Wonderful blurbs and what a thrilling excerpt. What method do you use to write these rousing tales of romance and adventure, are you a plotter or pantser?
I am definitely a pantser. I start with an idea, let the characters come to the center stage (or midship, in my case), and set sail. How I get from point A to point B is a mystery to me. Seriously. Anyone got a map?
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Sending out wedding invitation to my wedding with Johnny. Oh, wait...
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Besides, fantasizing about pirates and Johnny? Stalking Chris Hemsworth. And escaping to the beach every chance I get.
Any vacation or appearance plans this summer?
Oh, I’m around. And you can always find me cutting up on Facebook. But mostly, even while at the beach, I will be head down writing the prequel to the Romancing the Pirate series, which will come out this fall. *giggles* I’m also in the production process of releasing an audio version of Blood and Treasure. *more giggles*
Be on the lookout for the next book in the series, Clash of the Tides, coming soon to a virtual bookshelf near you.


Jennifer Bray-Weber is giving away SWAG, PRINT, AND E-BOOK COPY OF "BLOOD AND TREASURE" Please comment below to enter the drawing, leave your email so she can contact you if you win.
Author Bio:
Award-winning author Jennifer Bray-Weber is a proud native Texan. She is a married domestic goddess and a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful daughters. Holding two degrees, one is Music and Video Business, the other in Liberal Arts, she has been able to express her creative thinking through a multitude of experiences.
Her interests include writing, reading, traveling (what she likes to call "research"), horseback riding, scrap-booking, shopping, relaxing at the beach, and playing games of darts.
Connect with Jennifer:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Fine Cauldron Of Fish - New Release - Free Now

I'm announcing my new release, A Fine Cauldron of Fish. It's a funny vampire novella with a Celtic twist. If you love my Dancing Vampire series from Ellora's Cave about the Highland vampiric fey the Baobhan sith then you'll love this novella based on the vampiric fey on the Isle of Man, the lhiannan shee.

"A Fine Cauldron Of Fish is a very funny story of gods and sidhe on the Isle of Man. This is just a quick, fun read and one I highly recommend." Reviewed by Chere Gruver of Paranormal Romance

"What do you get when two clumsy people get together an outright laugh a minute comedy in A Fine Cauldron of Fish. A Fine Cauldron of Fish is the second book I have read by Ms. Amiri and I was happy to experience that Cornelia is such a universe writer from historical romance to now comedies but with still keeping her uniqueness that her fans love." Reviewed by Cheryl Koch of Cheryl's Book Nook

"A Fine Cauldron of Fish is hilarious. I laughed out loud several times through this story. Finding stories so creative and full of wit is a joy and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. If you like things a bit out of the ordinary and are in the mood for a fun light-heart read, then I recommend this." Reviewed by Vee at Night Owl Romance Book Reviews

Blurb: It's summer on the Isle of Man and Andrew is looking for hot girls and good times. So when he meets the dreamy and seductive Margaid, he thinks he's hit the jackpot. There are only a couple of minor problems: Margaid lives in a cave under the sea, is invisible, and thinks that only Andrew's blood can save her from turning into a water horse! But hey, whoever said love was perfect?
The heat level is three flames and it's available at Smashwords in a format of your choice

Before Margaid could answer, the guy shook his head at Andrew. "It's okay. You
can keep my shirt. Although I don't know how you're holding it when your arm's
about four inches away from it, but hey, I'm sure I simply had too much to
drink. Keep it, that's fine."

"What? No, I don't want your shirt. Margaid, well she thought I wanted it, but-"

"No, don't let him go." Margaid shook her red head. "You do want his shirt. And
you need his pants, too."

Before Andrew knew what was happening, she shoved the shirt into his arms. Then
she turned back to the quaking man and grabbed hold of his waist.

"Oh, no, Margaid, don't do it." The moment Andrew yelled out, he knew she wasn't
going to listen. He watched in utter horror as she unsnapped the poor man's
jeans, yanked down his zipper, and slid his pants all the way to his ankles.
Damn, I'm glad he's wearing underwear. Black boxers with writing all over them.
What does that say? Andrew read aloud, "B is for big."

Until August 30th you can get it free, $0.00 with Coupon Code: UV56Y - enter the code prior to check out

If you like it please leave a review.

Thank you,

Cornelia Amiri


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ever So Bonnie A Vampire by Cornelia Amiri

My new release has a hot highland hero and a fresh take on vampires. Ever So Bonnie A Vampire is the third book in my Dancing Vampire Series with Ellora’s Cave.

Calin has fantasized about Ever’s warm, curvaceous body since dancing with the vampiric fey woman a year ago. When they meet again, he wastes no time in claiming and capturing her. Once the sun rises, Ever can’t leave the earthly realm and is bound by fey lore to Calin. His lovemaking excites her like no fey man’s ever has, but she’s consumed by the vow she made to her sisters—that she would never leave them for a mortal. Fighting her feelings for Calin, Ever seeks help from goddess Morrigan.

The goddess might like to claim the handsome mortal for herself, so she frees Ever to return underhill. It isn’t until Ever is back with her sisters that she realizes her heart is still held captive by Calin. But Calin has spurned a goddess’s attentions…and now Morrigan’s lust has turned to vengeance.
Here’s a quote from Ever So Bonnie A Vampire: “Don’t tell my dad, but I got into some trouble with the goddess.”

My heroine is Ever. She’s a baobhan sith, a vampiric fey woman who roams the Scottish highlands and drains the blood of their victims, men they dance with. They are also called the dancing vampires. She’s torn between her family, her baobhan sith sisters, and the love of a man. If she chooses him,Calin, she will have to give up her immortality and become human.
My favorite secondary character in Ever So Bonnie A Vampire is Goddess Morrigan. To me Goddess Morrigan is an – I am woman – goddess. If she wants to sleep with a god, she sleeps with a god, if she wants to sleep with a human man she finds attractive, she sleeps with him. She can be a beautiful woman or a crone and it doesn’t matter she still demands respect and acknowledgment of her femininity in either form. In this story she is actually trying to take Ever’s man but she can’t fight true love. No one can, not even a goddess.

Please visit Cornelia Amiri at


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop


As part of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, I was tagged by S. R. Drum  in her post last week. The purpose of this hop is to introduce readers to writers and works that might be unfamiliar. This includes new releases or Works in Progress (WIP).  This is week 29 of the hop.

According to the rules of the hop, I will be answering the same questions as every other blogger on the hop about either my newest release or my WIP and then I’ve tagged Julie A'Darcy, who will do the same thing in her blog next Wednesday, 01/16/13. Visit Julie's Blog for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Q & A

What is the working title of your book?
Conquistadors In Outer Space, written under the pen name Maeve Alpin. It will be released February 1st, 2013.

What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ana, the heroine played by Fernanda Andrade from The Devil Inside and Rodrigo Santoro from What To Expect When You're Expecting. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Forbidden love… so strong… it spans the universe.

What is the longer synopsis of your book?
Thrown off the Spanish estate she worked at all her life, Ana, a milkmaid, seeks a new life. Disguised as a rich widow, she boards a rocket, to be blasted out of a huge cannon, and targeted for the newly discovered planet, X.  Sparks fly when she finds Ramon, the only man she ever loved, heir of the estate she worked on, is flying to Planet X as well. As the Spanish governor of Plant X searches for gold, the treasure Ramon seeks is Ana. His conquest is challenging, though he swears to protect and love her, as a noble he cannot marry a peasant. Ana cannot deny her desire for Ramon, but she will not be his mistress. Will his conquest of her heart succeed or will Ana make a life for herself alone amid the wonders and dangers of Planet X.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The publisher of this book is Eternal Press. I have several other books with them under the name of Cornelia Amiri as well as another Steampunk/Romance, To Love A London Ghost, under the name of Maeve Alpin

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Conquistadors In Outer Space is a novella of 30,000 words, so the rough draft or first draft took four weeks. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In 2000 I participated in a historical re-enactment of  the Hernando De Sota North American expedition of 1541 in Parkins Arkansas at the Parkin Archeological State Park. It's located on the spot De Sota and his men visited, a Native American village stood there from A.D. 1000 to 1550. Then when I saw flying ships in the latest Three Musketeer movie I decided to bring steampunk to my conquistadors. I've always loved Jules Verne's book From The Earth To The Moon and in a nod to it I added giant cannons to my story and sent my conquistadors into space. I used alternate history to enhance inventions of Leonardo De Vinici and discoveries of Galileo Galilei, though the steampunk in Conquistadors In Outer Space is based more on fantasy than working science.

What else might pique the reader’s interest?
Though Conquistadors In Outer Space is an erotica romance, the heroine, Ana, doesn't have sex with Ramon until they are married. Also there are aliens on the planet they land on and these natives have a special way with their hands. I won't explain that any further as I'm leaving it as a surprise and special treat to everyone who reads the book. 


 Continuing the Blog Hop next week, Julie A'Darcy on Wednesday 01/16, 13.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Reviews: Elegant Charm in the style of Downton Abbey


Maid to Match

by Deeanne Gist

* * * * *

five stars

This is a charming and heart felt historical/inspirational/romance set in 19th century America. The heroine is a lady's maid in a grand manor. Loved it. It's darling.

Murder on the Salsette (George Porter Dillman & Geneiveve Masefield #6) 

by Conrad Allen

* * * *

four stars

This is the second book I've read in the series. I do plan to read all of them. This series is so charming and this book is a true delight. It's 1909 and the husband and wife ship detectives, George Dillman and Genevieve Masefield are traveling on the luxury passenger ship, the Salsette, from India to England. Along with interesting passengers and the delights of first class dining and bridge playing are thefts and a murder to solve

Murder on the Oceanic (George Porter Dillman & Geneiveve Masefield #7) 

by Conrad Allen

* * * *

four stars


It's 1910 and ship detectives, George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield solve thefts and a murder on board the luxury passenger ship, the Oceanic, as it sails from England's Port of Southampton to New York, with a stop first at Cherbourg, in France. J. P. Morgan boards the ship there and apparently along with him a murder, who later kills Mr. Morgan's security man.

As always interesting passengers and a glimpse of life in first class on a lush passenger ship of days gone by.

A charming, cozy mystery.

I love this series.



Murder on the Celtic (George Porter Dillman & Geneiveve Masefield #8) 

by Conrad Allen

* * * *

four stars

This is a charming mystery giving the reader a glimpse of life in the early 1900's on the first class deck of a luxury passenger liner traveling from America to England. The detectives that work for the cruise line are an unusual husband and wife team, George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Massfield. She’s English, he’s American, and they keep their marriage a secret for as two singles they can separate and investigate and gather information better.

In this particular book, two passengers have bet on which one of them can win Genevieve Massfield’s affections first, thinking she’s single. Toward the end of the book she’s able to announce to them both, with her husband present, that’s she’s a ship detective and that she’s married to the other ship detective. That was a great scene. And giving it away is not a spoiler so don’t worry about that. That information will not spoil the plot for anyone at all. I had no idea who the murderer, and in this case also the thief, was and I don’t think most readers will be able to guess either. There is also a medium aboard ship and a séance scene. I loved that.

There is an entire series featuring this married couple, George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Massfield and I'd like to read the rest of the series as well. I enjoyed this, anyone who like Victorian or Edwardian books that take place on the wonderful passenger ships of days gone by or who like a really good cozy mystery - will love this book. I highly recommend it.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Reviews: Headlines and Hollywood Humor

Here are some humorous books I read recently that tie into world events and Hollywood.

Murder At The Academy Awards: A Red Carpet Murder Mystery

by Joan Rivers and Jerrilyn Farmer

* * * *

Four Stars

In the acknowledgments in the book, Joan Rivers states, the characters based on her, Max Taylor, and the her daughter Drew, based on Melisa Rivers are asking the red carpet stars whodunit instead of who are you wearing. This is a comedy mystery and a fun read. The heroine, Max Taylor has Joan River’s humor, so the book is hilarious.

This is the first book of a series by Joan Rivers and Jerrilyn Farmer called Red Carpet Murder Mysteries. The award winning co-author, Jerrilyn Farmer, has written seven books in the Madeline Bean mystery series: Desperately Seeking Sushi, The Flaming Luau of Death, Perfect Sax, Mumbo Gumbo, Dim Sum Dead, Killer Wedding, Immaculate Reception, and Sympathy For The Devil. The titles alone entice me to read them, if they are a s funny as this one, I’ll love them.

This book doesn't have strong fleshed out characters but it doesn't need them. Everyone knows who Joan and Melissa Rives are so there is an immediate connection to Max and Drew Taylor. The book Is full of interesting characters and the dialogue is fabulous, reflecting each character’s distinctive voice. The story begins when Max gets an exclusive interview with Halsey, a famous starlet, a child star who successfully became a notorious adult star, involved with drugs. She has just been released from rehab and has been nominated for an academy award. When Max interview her on the red carpet at the academy awards, Halsey is wearing a bra and a thong, no designer dress, no dress at all, and she appears under the influence. Then, as Max interviews her, she drops dead. As you guessed, it turns out she was murdered. The story pulled me in from the beginning. It’s a fast, fun, funny read and I was surprised to find out who did it. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

They Eat Puppies Don't They by Christopher Buckley

* * * *

Four Stars

This is incredible satire. The book is hilarious, insane, and frightening as when I read it I thought – this could actually happen. A Washington lobbyist is hired to create anti-Chinese sentiment among the American public to help a company working on a top secret weapon system gain congressional approval. When the Dalai Lama is hospitalized, this lobbyist sees his chance to start a rumor that will gain unfavorable media coverage of China. Things unwind from there. A maddening comedy of errors.

Christopher Buckley is the author of 14 books. You may be familiar with his, Thank You For Smoking, which was a hilarious move, released in 2005. In his bio on the inner back cover of the book, it states he, “visited China in 1974 as a guest of the government. A spontaneous attempt to present Chairman Mao with a jar of American peanut butter resulted in his nearly being gunned down by unamused palace guards.”

Anyone that likes humor and satire and current events would love this book. If you are a fan of such shows as John Steward and Steven Cobert, then this is a must read as you will love this book. It’s creative, refreshing, original, and laugh out loud funny. I highly recommend They Eat Puppies, Don’t They.


Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

* * * *

Four Stars

This book was written after she created her Broadway Show by the same name and apparently it's basically the same content as the live performance. It's about her life, growing up with a celebrity mother (Debbie Reynolds)  and coping with her bi-polar disorder. It basically reads like a comedian's monologue. The humor is wry and witty and the book is very honest. Anyone who likes Carrie Fisher or books about celebrities or the humorous side of copying with a mental illness should love this.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Batty Books by Cornelia Amiri

I haven't blogged on my own blog in awhile so I thought I'd start out by doing book reviews. These reads all have a bat theme.

Haunted Honeymoon (Casa Dracula #4) by Marta Acosta 

* * * *
four stars

When Haunted Honeymoon begins Milagro is still torn between her feelings for her vampire boyfriends Ian Ducharme and Dr. Oswald Grant, her ex. Now there’s an added character in the mix, she’s found a vibrant lover who is fun to be around, Wilcox. She loves his name. It’s a wonderful name. Also Don Pedro is back, and due to a large advance he’s paying her, she’s ghost writing another book for him.

Then, tragedy strikes, there’s a murder of one of the above, and she gets a case of amnesia because of it. She’s in denial of being a vampire or even of acknowledging the existence of vampires.
Milagro has to discover who the murderer is, convince the Vampires Council she didn’t’ do it, keep safe from the killer in case they come after her, recover from her amnesia, chose between Ian and Oswald, and write that book for Don Pedro.

This is the forth and I believe final book in Marta Acosta’s award winning Casa Dracula series. The others, in order, are Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, Midnight Brunch, and The Bride of Casa Dracula. She attended Stanford University, receiving degrees in English and American Literature and Creative Writing. She is also the author of an award winning young adult book, Dark Companion. In addition she wrote a comedy book, Nancy’s Theory of Style, under the name of Grace Cooper Smith.

I love Marta Acosta’s multicultural/romantic/comedy/vampire series. It is one of my favorite and one of the best vampire series out there. The main character is so believable, easy for any woman to relate to. Every woman on some level is or has a friend like Milagro. Like all the other books in the series, Haunted Honeymoon did not disappoint. I highly recommend this fun read. In fact, I recommend the entire series.

Wayne of Gotham by Tracy Hickman
* * * *
four stars

Justice Is blind. In Wayne of Gotham a story unfolds of what made justice blind in Gotham, why that was bad, and how bad that it got. Batman, Bruce’s father, Thomas Wayne is at the center of the tale. Secrets are revealed such as why Thomas Wayne was killed and why Gotham is so ridden with strange costumed villains.

I attended Tracy Hickman’s reading at Space City Houston earlier this year. He said that when discussing what book he might write next, his agent brought up the idea of a super hero. The author deiced if he were to write about any super hero it would be batman because he had no actual super powers. He told us about a fond memory form childhood when he and his brother saw the bat mobile at a car show. The author did an excellent job of describing the bat mobile and its technical features in the book. He did his research into the entire history of batman and kept to the traditional story so fans of the original comic will not be disappointed.

The book is action packed and intriguing. The character of batman, Bruce Wayne, is well flushed out as is that of his father, Thomas Wayne. This is an interesting, enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

Undead and Unstable (Undead #11) by Mary Janice Davidson
* * *
Three Stars
            “Out I went into the deep November cold, searching for some meaning in all the crazy shit that had been happening since Giselle got me killed a few years ago. And I was also searching for a shovel. And after this yuk-o errand, I would be searching for a booze smoothie. Ah , the glamorous life of a vampire queen.”

In the first chapter, Betsy finds her cat, Giselle has died. The relationship between Betsy and Giselle was based on the cat hanging around because Betsy fed her. Also the first time Betsy got killed, she was trying to coax Giselle into coming out of bad weather when a Pontiac Aztek ran her over Betsy. However, Giselle got off without a scratch.

So Betsy buries her cat, but like most beings at the mansion, she doesn’t stay buried. Betsy’s roommate Marc, recently dead, doesn’t stayed buried either. Marc is now a zombie and so the book Undead and Unstable begins. This is the eleventh book of the Betsy the Vampire series but there are many more stories of the Vampire Queen in Mary Janice Davidson’s anthologies and novellas.

If you’ve been following the series, you know the book of the dead is supposed to be made of the skin of her husband, this is something she is apparently going to create in the future when the whole world is a frozen waste land. She spends most of the book trying to find a way to change the future. Betsy can’t imagine ever harming her husband, Sinclair. She comes up with a surprising solution, which also brings an added benefit for Sinclair.

Undead and Unstable is a funny, zany, fun read. I’m so glad that unpleasant business of future Sinclair getting skinned alive and made into the Book of the Dead is over. Hopefully it is, with this series you never know. For humorous, chick lit type romance reading, I recommend the entire series, including this latest book, Undead and Unstable.