Talkin’ Books: July 30, 2014

Books Finished:
Dare to Desire by Carly Phillips

Kindle Books In Progress:
Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl
Death, The Devil and The Goldfish by Andrew Buckley
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
Innocent Blood by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell

Comic Books:

The week before last, I thought I’d have a ton of time to read, and then my little cleaning/organizing project pretty well sucked up all the available time and energy. I did sneak in a little reading every night before bed (a day without reading is…well, a very sad day indeed), but I only got a couple chapters done on Innocent Blood every night, and the chapters are short. Still, phenomenal vampire treatment, and I’m loving it very much, but I haven’t had much time to read before bed this week, so I’m getting more done on my lunchtime books than that one now. It’s a cycle.

I did finish Dare to Desire the week before last, and I think it was almost better than the first one. Good conflict, and good reasons for the heroine to do what she did (and the hero as well – no TSTL characters, yay!).

I picked up Fanning the Flames for .99 cents, and it’s a short(er) story, so I’m in the midst of that at the moment. Still not sure if it’s pulling me into the series that it’s supposed to be pulling me into, but some of that is personal bias, the subject matter and timing all kind of working against it. That is to say, had I read it a year ago, I’d be loving it, and if I read it later, I’ll probably enjoy it then too. Sometimes timing is everything, even for books. Dahl is a great writer though, and I normally love her stories, so we’ll see.

Death, The Devil and The Goldfish is just completely, absurdly wonderful, and my husband agrees (he read it while traveling last week). I’m still working on it, but seriously, just go get a copy. It’s crazy in a completely wonderful sort of way.

Tatterdemon is still on hold, but fall is coming (really? already?) and I’m feeling the pull again. So soon.

And no comic books this week, dang it – I just haven’t made the time. But next week for sure…the next issues of Harley Quinn and Sandman Overture should be waiting at the comic shop for me this weekend – woohoo!

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Serial Story: Under His Wing, Part 29

This story is presented weekly in draft
(unedited) form. Each installment is available for one week until the
next is posted. Miss one? Email me, and I’ll hook you up. Enjoy!

Dunning Manor, Book 1

Under His Wing
Part 29

Peter’s car was the only one in the lot when Katie parked on the street a couple buildings away. It would make saying what she had to say easier, but it was scary too, considering she needed to go in without Thomas so Peter would feel like he was in control of the situation.

She had to convince him to meet her at the site in the woods that they’d set up – the sooner, the better.

“Wait,” Thomas said when she reached for the car door. “I have something for you.” He pulled a large tiger-eye pendant out of a pocket, hanging from a thick dark silver chain.

“Wear this. It will protect you when I can’t.” He held the chain in both hands and she ducked her head so he could put it on. She felt the weight of the stone settle over her heart, and an almost electric buzz settled under her skin, like a force field of sorts.

“It tingles,” she said, rubbing the smooth stone between her fingers as she held it up for a closer look.

He nodded. “Druid magic. You have the instructions for him?”

“Right here.” She retrieved the piece of paper from her purse and waved it at him.

“Then go. Call out if you need me, and I’ll get to you as fast as I can. The amulet will protect you until then.”

She opened the car door, and then at the last minute turned back and grabbed the collar of Thomas’s shirt, pulling him in for a quick, hard kiss. Surprised as he was, he kissed her back, and she smiled as she pulled away.

“For luck,” she murmured, and then got out of the car and strode toward the garage, hoping she looked more confident than she felt.

The bell above the door rang loud as she let herself in, and she could see Peter bent under an open hood in the first bay of the work space. Her skin crawled as she approached him, and the amulet grew warmer against her heart, a reassuring sensation.

Peter stood, a grin spreading across his lips as he recognized her, and he wiped ineffectively at the grease on his hands with a red rag.

“Well, well. Look what the cat dragged in. Need a lube job, sweetheart? You know I’m happy to service you for free anytime.”

Katie fought back the gag reflex and tried to stay focused on the reason she’d come.

“Are you still interested in using me for your artwork?” She cocked her head to the side, doing her best to look curious rather than repulsed. Holding out the piece of paper, she watched the interest flare in his eyes as he took it from her.

“What’s this?” He opened it and scanned the contents, then met her gaze again. “Directions?”

She nodded. “I have something set up for us there. A gift, of sorts. Will you meet me later tonight?”

Peter frowned. “What about your new boy-toy? He doesn’t seem to like me much…”

Katie shrugged. “He’s out of the picture. This is just…us. Will you come?”

Peter chuckled. “Sure. But if you want to make art, darlin’, we don’t have to wait. In fact, let me show you something over here.” He moved away, deeper into the double bay of the garage, and she followed, keeping her distance from him. When he stopped next to one of the oil pumps, she stayed back several feet, knowing it was folly to trust him.

Holding the pump in one hand, he took a lighter out of his pocket with the other, and smiled, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Watch this.”

Squeezing the handle, he started dispensing oil onto the cement floor between them, and then he flicked the lighter to life, setting the oil stream on fire.

The burst was so hot it forced Katie backwards, and she teetered on the edge of the second work pit before catching her balance as Peter laughed. He swirled the oil-fed flames around in patterns, looking as comfortable as a gymnast with a ribbon as Katie slowly backed toward the exit.

“Leaving so soon, Katie-girl? But we’re only getting started!”

“Meet me tonight,” she called out above the roar of the flames. And then she pushed out the door and ran all the way back to the car.

Sweating from heat and nerves, she slid behind the wheel and peeled away from the curb, needing to put as much distance between that monster and herself as quickly as possible. She could feel Thomas staring.

“Is he coming tonight?” Thomas asked, the calm tone of his voice helping to calm her own nerves.

She nodded. “He’ll be there.”

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Talkin’ Books: June 18, 2014


Books Finished:
Blank Canvas by Mari Carr

Kindle Books In Progress:
Dare to Love by Carly Phillips
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
The Eye of God by James Rollins

Comic Books:
The Superior Spider-Man #31
The Amazing Spider-Man #1

Last week sort of got away from me..sorry about that. But while the reading’s been steady, there hasn’t been nearly as much as I’d like of it. The good news is, things are settling down a bit more again, and with any luck, I’ll be able to catch up on most of my comic book series and hopefully make a good dent in the Rollins book too.

Blank Canvas was…well, hot. Hotter than I expected, in a good way. I may write up more of a review for it on Trinity’s blog next week, but suffice it to say if you like your erotic romance a bit kinky, you should pick up a copy of this book. Good stuff.

I got Dare to Love on a .99 cent special awhile back, and am just now getting around to it. So far, fairly formulaic, but I don’t mind that at all, and there’s a kissing scene in the very first few pages that is…well…incredible, really. The family dynamics are intriguing and rather unique, and I’m only up to chapter 4. We’ll see how it goes, but so far, definitely off to a good start.

I put The Eye of God down for awhile, went back, and couldn’t for the life of me reorient myself between the prologue and chapter 1. So I had to go back and re-read, but I think I’ve got it now. The characters are just so different between those two parts it’s a little hard to remember if you have to set it aside for any length of time. So my advice would be – don’t. I’m pretty hooked now – maybe a marathon all-nighter next weekend? It certainly holds some appeal…

And finally – finally! I got to read the last Superior Spider-Man issue. And it was…good. I hated to see it end, what with Doc Ock being so intriguing, but it was well handled and now that Peter Parker’s back, he has to deal with all this stuff Ock left behind. Which should be interesting, and hopefully turn Peter into more of a man. That’s why I really didn’t get into the Spider-Man comics or movies, I think. Peter’s always just been this scrawny little dude who’s too nice, too naive and not nearly “heroic” enough (not to mention not muscular enough…which you’d definitely be after swinging on webs all the time). So I’m hoping he’ll get a bit more manly in the new Amazing series.

I also went ahead and read The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (both these issues were huge, thick books…took me almost an hour to work through both of them because I’m slow with all the artwork to take in). And so far, I like what I see. Muscles on Spidey (wiry, but that makes sense), and a whole lot of confusion, apologies and complaining going on. I would have kept going through issues #1.1 and #2, but I just didn’t quite have time. I’m dying to know what he’s going to do about Anna Maria though, and his two best girls just basically up and left because they couldn’t handle it anymore (well, one’s recovering from being a Goblin, so there’s that).

But! In Amazing #1, in the very first pages, it looks like a *girl* got bit by the radioactive spider the same day Peter did! Who is she? Where’s she been all this time? Is she a villain? Hero? Regular Jane who spends all her time trying to figure out why she’s weird?

I seriously can’t read fast enough for this. Thank goodness Spidey is a monthly comic. I’m way, way behind on my Batman Eternal series…

That’s it for me this week – what about you? Reading anything good lately? Anything I should stay away from?

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