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Friday, October 29, 2010

Between The Pages Blog

Anna & The French Kiss--- GIVEAWAY!!!!!



Between The Pages Blog is giving away a copy of Anna And The King By Stephanie Perkins. If you would like a chance to win this book then you need to head on over to Between The Pages Blog by clicking the link below for all the details on how to enter and the entry form.

Giveaway ends on December 1st, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. and is US only.


Link:
http://lorettadavisdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/10/anna-french-kiss-giveaway.html

Flashback Friday

I want to try and post this every Friday to highlight a book that I have read in the past up to December of 2009. I don't have a meme set up or a picture to display with said meme BUT I will see how this goes and figure it out as I go....^_^. For my second Flashback Friday post I would like to feature Highland Lovesong By Penelope Neri.

Highland Lovesong By Penelope Neri

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books (June 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843947241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843947243
  • Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE) and Paper Back Swap (link to purchase HERE)
  • Purchase: Barnes And Nobel (link to purchase HERE)

  • Blurb:

    For decades the Highlanders fought each other, as well as the English from the south who spilled over the borders. But children know nothing of clan hatreds, nor of enemies. When sixteen-year-old Graham MacKenzie and ten-year-old Skyla MacLeod swore a blood oath to eternal friendship, it was the beginning of a love as deep as the lochs of their homeland and as enduring as the heather on the hills. Ten years later, Gray was a grown man, laird in his own right, and ready to make sweet Skyla his bonnie bride. But on the morn of their betrothal, her uncle was found murdered, with Grays dirk buried deep in his heart. Gazing at the suspicion in his beloveds eyes, he knew he had but one choice-TO steal his bride away and prove that love could unite both their bodies and their clans.

    I read this book back in 2000 when it first came out and I loved it. As I said in last week's post I have read Historical Romance Novels for a long time so when I first read the back of the book I knew that this book was for me. I fell in love with the heroine and her name so much so that I use that name everywhere (as some of you may already know....lol). Skyla is such a beautiful name and the character was so wonderfully written that this story has been a favorite of mine ever since. Besides this story has a very ruggedly handsome Highlander. Who wouldn't want one of those....^_^. Historical Romances have changed over the years but some things will always remain the same. A man in a kilt will ALWAYS set our hearts a fluttering. If you are interested in Scottish Highlands and a great love story this book is definitely one you should check out. Just from doing this post and last weeks post I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of re-reading because in doing these posts it made me remember how many great books have influenced me over the years and still to this day.

    If you want to join me in my Flashback Friday just make a post and link it back to me and in the comments post your link for others to see. Again, I know this is were Mr. Linky would come in handy but at the moment I can't afford to upgrade my free status. I hope that won't deter anyone from joining me and introducing others to some great books.

    Link:


    http://www.penelopeneri.com

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Dark Readers Blog

    Win Signed Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. International!

    Dark Readers Blog has a signed copy of Hush, Hush By Becca Fitzpatrick up for grabs to one lucky person. If YOU like ME want to be that ONE person then you need to head over to Dark Readers Blog by clicking the link below for all the details and the entry form.

    This giveaway is International.

    Link:

    http://dark-readers.blogspot.com/2010/10/win-signed-hush-hush-by-becca.html

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Emilie's Book World Blog

    150 Follower Giveaway!

    There will be 2 winners:

    1) Choose one of the many books that has been reviewed on Emilie's Book World Blog (includes all the reviews that will be posted before the contest ends). A list can be found here.
    2) Choose any book that has been released thoughout the month of October.

    First place winner gets to choose which prize they want. Second place winner will have a choice of any book that was released in October.

    This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY wherever the Book Depository ships. This giveaway ends November 1st, 2010 at Midnight EST.

    Head on over to Emilie's Book World Blog by clicking the link below for all the details on how to enter, extra ways to enter, and the entry form.

    Link:
    http://emiliebookworld.blogspot.com/2010/10/150-follower-giveaway.html

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Bewitched Bookworms Blog

    Iron Fey Giveaway and interview with Julie Kagawa
    Cover Image
    Cover Image
    Bewitched Bookworms Blog has 3 Sets of "The Iron King" and "The Iron Daughter" to give away. If you would like to get your hands on these books like I do then you need to head on over to Bewitched Bookworms Blog by c,icking the link below for all the deatils on how to enter, extra entries, and the entry form.

    This giveaway is International and ends November 5,2010.

    Link:

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Flashback Friday

    I want to try and post this every Friday to highlight a book that I have read in the past up to December of 2009. I don't have a meme set up or a picture to display with said meme BUT I will see how this goes and figure it out as I go....^_^. Okay for my first Flashback Friday post I would like to feature Gentle Warrior By Julie Garwood. Below is almost what the original picture used to look like. I couldn't find the cover like the one I bought back when it first came out but this one is the closest.


    Gentle Warrior By Julie Garwood

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Publisher: Pocket (October 1,1995)*
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671737805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671737801
  • Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
  • Purchase: Barnes And Nobel (link to purchase HERE)
  • *Not the date given on Amazon.Com BUT it is the original date this book was publish so I wanted to give you that date because that was back around the time when I first read it give or take a few years.

    Blurb:

    In feudal England, Elizabeth Montwright barely escaped the massacre that destroyed her family and exiled her from her ancestral castle. Bent on revenge, she rode again through the fortress gates, disguised as a peasant...to seek aid from Geoffrey Berkley, the powerful baron who had routed the murderers.

    He heard her pleas, resisted her demands, and vowed to seduce his beautiful subject. Yet as Elizabeth fought the warrior's caresses, love flamed for this gallant man who must soon champion her cause...and capture her spirited heart!

    I first read this book when I was in my very early teens. It was my second Historical Romance I had read and I have read every single Julie Garwood book since (25 but actually 27 in total) except for "A Girl Named Summer" and "Sizzle". Historical Romances back then are NOTHING like they are today but that is not such a bad thing....lol. Julie Garwood has such an exception way with words that even when she wrote Contemporary books I was right on board to devour every single word. If not for her I am not sure I would be as interested in Romance Novels as I am today. This was a fantastic book back when I read it and I need to buy another copy (because I don't want my kids destroying my original one....lol) and reread it now that I am older. Everyone should check out this book and discover this amazing author and fantastic book. To this day Julie Garwood remains my all time favorite writer Historical Romance or otherwise.

    If you want to join me in my Flashback Friday just make a post and link it back to me and in the comments post your link for others to see. Again, I know this is were Mr. Linky would come in handy but at the moment I can't afford to upgrade my free status. I hope that won't deter anyone from joining me and introducing others to some great books.

    Link:

    http://juliegarwood.com/

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Review Of Solid By Shelley Workinger

    Cover Image
    Solid (Solid Book 1) By Shelley Workinger
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (July 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453624821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453624821
  • Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
  • Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)
  • Blurb:

    Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except for the living, breathing, human products of his work.

    Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance.

    While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems...

    When I first read the description of this book I was intrigued. At first it made me think of the X-Men franchise. I have to say Shelley soon got that thought right out of my head upon starting this book. Calliope "Clio" Kaid travels to New Jersey from New Orleans to an isolated campus to find out what exactly C9x is and what that means to them. C9x is the whole reason behinds the kids super-human abilities. While Clio is there she meets Jack, Bliss, Garrett, Miranda, and eventually Alexis. They become fast friends and eventually become something like the Scooby-Doo Gang. The kids soon discover that this is not the "open-book military" that they were lead to believe. Instead they are there for a more sinister and diabolical purpose. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was very impressed by Shelley's knowledge of the military and the science behind the kids transformations. Even though there is a romance between Clio and Jack it is not the focal point of this whole book is about which is kind of refreshing. What I also enjoyed was the fact that there were not too many characters that I needed to wonder how they fit into this story or why are they even in this story. Shelley made C9x the core of her story and she did not let it fall by the way side. She made sure we, as the reader, were enthralled by the C9x experiment and the cloak and dagger secrecy of what the military is keeping from the kids. I think everyone who reads this book will enjoy it as much as I did. On a scale of 1-10 I give this book a 10. I am so on the look out for Settling (Solid book 2).

    Link:

    http://solidnovel.com/

    Review Of Awakened By Ednah Walters

    Cover Image
    Awakened (The Guardian Legacy Book 1) By Ednah Walters
    Reading level: Ages 9-12
    Paperback: 272 pages
    Publisher: Pill Hill Press (August 22, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1617060380
    ISBN-13: 978-1617060380
    Source: Amazon.com (link to purchase HERE)
    Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)

    Blurb:

    Most teens turn sixteen and get the license to drive, but Lil Falcon gets the license to kill demons. Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware that she's a Guardian-a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. When she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers. But Bran has a secret that can ruin their growing relationship, and the truth she discovers may destroy everything she believes in unless she finds the right balance between love and sacrifice.

    This is so not your ordinary run of the mill novel about "angel's". First off let me say I loved the fact that at the beginning of the book you get some definitions of terms used throughout the book. It was so nice to have that for a reference when the terms came up in the story instead of me scratching my head and wondering what they meant. I loved Lil and Bran as the man characters in this book. Lil had just the right amount of strength and vulnerability that a good character needs. Bran had a wonderful air of mystery and danger that attracts all girls like a month to a flame. I felt they balanced each other without over powering the secondary characters and the over all story. Sykes, Remy, Izzy, and Kim are some of the cast of characters that Lil befriends upon finding out about her powers and the C12 Dojo. This book had many great and wonderful characters each with their own amazing abilities and some not so good abilities. This book had an awesome twist on the old angel verses demons fight for supremacy. Ednah brings something different to the table when it comes to her Nephilim's. When an author can keep me hooked on a story about angels and demons I call that a talent. Having grown up a Roman Catholic I know all about heaven and hell and all the other stuff in between and believe me I had a hard time keeping my focus when it came to theology. Not only did Ednah's words keep me transfixed on her book but by the time all was said and done I have been clamoring for more. I truly believe this will be a series I will reread over and over. On a scale of 1-10 I give this book a 10 and feel everyone should read this story and fall in love with Lil and Bran's story. Betrayed (The Guardian Legacy 2) can't come out fast enough for me.

    Link:

    http://www.ednahwalters.com/

    http://ednahwalters.blogspot.com/

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Release Day For Portrait Of His Obsession By Michelle M. Pillow

    Portrait Of His Obsession
    By Michelle M. Pillow

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (October 19, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047GNF50
  • Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
  • Purchase: My Bookstore & More (link to purchase HERE)

  • Cover Art By Natalie Winters

    Blurb:

    Not all obsessions are bad.

    Lord Harrison, Earl of Wrotham, once lived from pleasure to pleasure—until the rain-swept night he sets eyes on his best friend’s sister. Surely the beautiful temptress who dances in the moonlight can’t be the reserved, humorless prude of rumor.

    Instantly smitten, he finds no pleasure in his old, roguish ways, and sets about taming his nature, molding himself into the kind of man he is sure will please her. Only then will he discover if she has a wild soul like his own, waiting to be released from the constraints of society.

    Knowing the earl’s reputation as a scoundrel, Syrian Blakeney has no trouble holding off his affections…until her artist brother reveals a portrait he has painted of her. Does the world really see her as this prudish ice queen? Now it seems only the earl is able to see beyond the damning portrait and touch her most secret desires.

    Does she rebel against the damning portrait, throwing caution to the wind? Or does she remain as she appears, as reserved and unfeeling as paint on canvas?

    This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

    Warning: This book contains an ice queen who is as frigid as they come, and a slightly obsessive, reforming rogue willing to melt her icy heart, regardless of the cost.

    Link:

    http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/portrait-of-his-obsession

    Excerpt:

    PORTRAIT OF HIS OBSESSION

    By

    Michelle M. Pillow

    Chapter One

    Caldwell Country Estate, North of London, England, Spring 1868

    "Please, Thomas, do hurry! My arms grow weary of this dreadful pose! I have no wish to see my portrait painted in such a way. Why can’t I sit on the swing?"

    Syrian Blakeney sighed heavily, pretending to be more annoyed than she really was. She loved her brother dearly. He was her only family and her guardian--not to mention the Viscount Caldwell.

    The morning was warm, filled with the floral scent of a refreshing country breeze. Thomas had posed her in the garden, near a broken stone wall. Roses climbed with small, orderly beauty. He refused to have the wall mended, saying that nature and time had perfected that which he could only hope to duplicate with paint and brush.

    However, the wall was the only thing in disrepair at Caldwell Manor. The country estate was a beautiful haven, away from London where Thomas was often forced to go out of duty. Thomas loved the city, but found its pace too frantic for an artist who would lay back and soak up every nuance of a street, a face, a gesture. On more than one occasion, he’d been accused of staring overlong at things. But the plain-faced Lord Caldwell more than made up for his impropriety with a likeably infectious disposition. He was always readily forgiven.

    The sun shone behind Syrian’s head, just to the right, gleaming atop her perfectly swept chignon of dark brown curls. Thomas refused to let her use a bonnet, saying the play of golden sunlight on her slender features was too distracted by such a waste of material. Her gown, a simple morning dress, conservative and prim, was of a fine, rich blue silk. It had little adornment to its high waist and rounded skirt. A veil of cream colored lawn crossed modestly over her breasts, hiding them from view.

    He refused to let her see the portrait until he was done, but she didn’t mind. They only did it to pass the time away--or at least that’s why Syrian did it. To Thomas, it was much more. His art was everything to him.

    "Because when you swing your skirts fly," Lord Caldwell teased at last, not realizing time had passed since her comment. He studied her with a most serious eye before turning back to his portrait of her. Syrian was surprised he even answered. When he worked, he got so involved that he sometimes forgot she was there. If she didn’t protest, he’d make her stand still for hours. Now that she thought of it, she’d been standing still for hours.

    Syrian’s face turned a bright red at Thomas’s words. Her arms rose angrily to her hips, breaking their reserved pose. "My skirts have never flown an inch above my ankles, Thomas! What a wretched thing to say to me!"

    "You’re much too serious, dear sister," Thomas laughed, tossing his boyishly handsome locks back as he turned again to the painting. Red and brown paint smudged the rolled linen sleeve of his expensive white shirt, but he didn’t care. He’d ruined more than his fair share of clothing with his passion for art. To prove the point, his morning coat, abandoned nearly an hour before, was tossed carelessly on the green lawn behind him, soaking in a mud puddle. "That’s precisely the reason I desire for you to stand in this exact pose. I would show the world just how proper you are. As an artist, it’s my duty to portray all that I see, as I see it. And you, dear Syrian, are standing now exactly as I see you when I close my eyes."

    "Syrian." The softly musing voice instantly gave her chills. She hardened herself and the half smile of affection growing on her features fell into a reserved mask. Her dark eyes didn’t shine as they peered coolly out from her unmoving face. She instantly dropped her arms to her waist, folding together as Thomas had instructed.

    "No, no," Thomas mumbled, distracted. "Lower your chin back down. I wish you reserved not haughty."

    "Such a peculiar name for a woman," the low voice continued, as smooth as silk. Syrian did her best to ignore Harrison Rivenhall, The Earl of Wrotham, pretending that his voice didn’t give her chills. He’d come from the side door of their large country estate, walking leisurely about the gardens as if the place was his. She shivered to see his teasing arrogance.

    It might as well be his home, Syrian thought in ire, for he refuses to leave it.

    "Syr-ian," the Earl drew out, as if tasting the word upon his firm lips, just to annoy her. Harrison smiled, seeing her cheeks pale slightly at his seductive tilting of her given name. It was the only response to him that she allowed, but it was enough to encourage his further perusal of her.

    Syrian frowned. Wrotham was a rogue through and through. If he wasn’t such a good friend of Thomas’s, she would’ve thrown him out a week ago when he’d arrived at the estate. Naturally, she’d heard her brother mention his good friend the Earl. But, before his arrival, she’d never had the displeasure of meeting the man. Indeed, it was Syrian’s opinion that Thomas had been way too kind in his assessment of his friend. Lord Wrotham was an uncouth, undignified, ungentlemanly gentleman who was undoubtedly only tolerated in fine society because of his title and wealth.

    "I see you have deigned to bless us with your presence this morning, or should I say this afternoon, Lord Wrotham," Syrian stated coolly, eyeing him with the hard depths of her reserved gaze. She hated to admit it, but seeing him standing in the sunlight, bright blue eyes lazily tilted beneath his lowered lids, staring into her as if searching her soul, did something to her composure. His skin was slightly bronzed as if the sun knew him well. This man never took anything seriously, unless it was to seriously endeavor to annoy her. Suddenly, she wasn’t so comfortable standing for Thomas with Wrotham’s inspecting stare on her. "Do I dare ask? Were you packing your trunks to leave us? I imagine an important man such as you has many demands on his time to ever overstay his welcome in one place."

    It would’ve been a proper observation, but for the almost eager way her almond shaped eyes lit when she said the words. Harrison frowned slightly at her attempts to get rid of him. He tossed his hand with an air of indifference, though the battle sparked as his lips curled almost devilishly.

    Syrian quivered ever so lightly to see the dimple she’d memorized in his cheek. It hadn’t been the first time she’d hinted at his leaving. By the look on her face, it wouldn’t be the last.

    The Earl’s light locks were grown a little too long for fashion, but it only succeeded in adding to his already too potent roguish appeal. Syrian scowled, looking back to her brother as he worked. It annoyed her that the Earl was so handsome and pleasing to look at. She would much rather he took on the appearance of a troll. It would suit his personality better. Well, mayhap not, but it would suit her distaste for him and keep her eyes off the ever so alluring build of his frame.

    The Earl had an ease about his appearance. Syrian liked to think of it as a laziness of dress. He was always covered, but with a careless charm. He carried a walking cane, though he never used it except to poke aimlessly at objects on the ground. A sapphire ring gleamed distractively on long fingers, connected to strong hands. Right now, the dark blue of his double-breasted jacket hung open to reveal a loosened cream tie over the high standing collar of his linen shirt. And, though his lighter vest was mostly buttoned, Syrian could see the play of his stomach muscles as he moved.

    "Oh, do make your sister stop teasing me, Caldwell," Harrison stated dryly. He waved the hand with the cane indifferently at Syrian, as he went to stand behind his friend. Thomas didn’t notice the Earl looking over his back as he worked.

    "Quite right," Thomas said in distraction. "Syrian, do stop moving your lips. I’m trying to … ah, there."

    The Earl shot her a superior grin at Thomas’s absentminded reprimand. Syrian narrowed her gaze, but didn’t move.

    "Ah, yes, Syrian," Thomas mused, pulling away his brush and stepping back from the canvas. He looked at his painting, then his sister, then to the painting once more. Distracted, he said, "It’s an unusual name. One doesn’t hear it often."

    "Father named me after a small country in Africa," said Syrian smartly. "He said he always longed to see it."

    Thomas began chuckling. His eyes cleared by small measures, as a grin formed on his mouth. Admitting, with much good-humor, he said, "Our father was drunk at the time, trying to drown out our mother’s screaming. He happened to be looking at a map when the doctor asked him about it. I remember him pointing his wobbling finger into the book with his eyes closed."

    "That’s not what mother told me," Syrian protested, her cheeks flaming. She didn’t know why, but the sultry way the Earl looked at her portrait and licked his lips was having a strange effect on her limbs. Taking the opportunity to stare at him, she let her gaze travel over his straight nose to the dimple pressed into his cheek, watching it deepen and form. A tremor hit her spine, stinging her flesh and she instantly looked away. If she hadn’t been a lady, she would’ve cursed. What was wrong with her?

    "Nevertheless, it’s true. I remember he asked me to read it for him. Anyhow, I never listened to what our mother had to say," Thomas replied, truthfully. His eyes again found his painting of her and he looked almost troubled. He reached as if he would take the brush to it and then pulled back, frowning vaguely. Then, sighing, he turned and laid his brush down on the small case at his side. He was finished. "She was much too serious--just like you. I see her in you, though I hate to admit as much."

    Looking at his sister’s reserved features and then back at the portrait, Thomas shivered. It was uncanny. He’d done only too well a job portraying her and Thomas was usually the first to criticize his own work.

    Syrian watched, motionless. Neither man smiled as they looked at her portrait. She gulped, wondering what was wrong. Too weak to step forward, she asked with forced lightness, "Are you finally done, Thomas? Can I move?"

    Thomas merely nodded, his lips parted in hesitant breath. He shivered again and didn’t speak.

    At her words, Harrison blinked and forced the lump down from his throat. When he looked over to her, the sudden haze left his playful stare and he declared, "You’ve captured her completely, Caldwell. Just think! If we were to hang it in the front hall and have a ball, everyone would bow to it and your sister wouldn’t have to attend. Let us try it. It should be great fun to see if anyone notices if she’s real or not."

    "It does capture something of her, doesn’t it, Harry?" Thomas said. He was the only person who called Harrison, Harry--and only rarely at that. Whispering, he said, "It’s almost like I got her soul mixed up in the brush strokes."

    "I daresay you must call the portrait something besides Syrian. Your sister doesn’t look like a wild native one bit," Harrison said. Seeing Syrian approaching, he goaded, "Perhaps, Prudence…?"

    Syrian shot him a haughty glare. His charming smile was lost on her, as was his teasing. Coming around to stand between Thomas and the Earl, Syrian stiffened. All three stared at the portrait in silence. It definitely was her face staring out at her. But were her eyes really that somber and meticulous? Did her mouth press harshly as if she was an uninteresting bore and not a human with feelings? Was this how the world saw her, as a reserved, lackluster, unexciting, perhaps even wearisome, prude?

    Tears came to her eyes, but Syrian refused to let them fall. She had too much stubborn pride for that. It was no wonder men never paid her much mind, though she was told her looks were very pretty and her slender figure pleasing. No wonder she’d not been asked to dance at balls or sought out by other women while in London last season.

    Whispering low, she didn’t think, as she answered honestly, "I don’t like how you see me, Thomas."

    "I think it’s precisely how you are seen, Miss Syrian. Brilliant Thomas!" Harrison answered, still smarting from her earlier remarks about him overstaying his welcome.

    The words didn’t get the usual witty comeback Harrison expected. Suddenly, her wide eyes turned to him, almost tortured in their churning depths. His words had cut her deeply. Harrison flinched, instantly wishing he could take them back. He’d never had said them if he thought she could be affected by aught that came from his mouth. Her lips trembled slightly, but she said nothing. She again found the painting, studying it.

    "I’m sure you are right, my lord," Syrian forced calmly. There was a stiff bite to her voice. Harrison opened his mouth to speak, but he didn’t know what to say. All that came to him wouldn’t be appropriate to utter, especially with Thomas so near. And surely the stiff woman at his side wouldn’t welcome his comfort--she barely welcomed him.

    Thomas was oblivious to everything as he stared into the painted likeness of his sister’s eyes. With a touch of awe, he said, "This has to be my most honest work yet."

    "Yes," Syrian said. Then, to steal the Earl’s choice of words, she added, "It’s truly brilliant, Thomas. It has opened my eyes. And now, having looked at it, I can’t help but wish to never see it again. No one should be forced to look at how they are perceived by everyone else. It’s too cruel a thing to do. There is comfort in illusions and you have crushed all of mine with this painting of yours. Oh, how I wish this portrait could show you the part of my soul that no one knows. Maybe then, I could tolerate looking at it."

    Thomas’s mouth fell open at his sister’s hollow declaration. He moved to study her. Slowly, she nodded her head at both men, refusing to look at them directly. She was mortified beyond words at how they pictured her in their minds. Turning away to walk up the side path to the house, she didn’t say another word.

    Thomas looked at where his sister disappeared and then back at the painting. Swallowing, he said thoughtfully, "Perhaps she’s right. I don’t know that I would wish to be shown myself through other’s eyes. It isn’t like a mirror where you can look at what you wish and disregard the rest."

    Harrison had the strangest urge to run after Syrian. He held rigid. Thomas sighed.

    "Your tactics for wooing my sister leave much to be desired. It has been a week and she has not warmed to you," Thomas stated. Both men’s gazes kept turning back to the portrait. Though they tried to look elsewhere, they couldn’t. "Are you ready to admit you were wrong about her? That she isn’t the, how did you put it? The other half of your dark, bloody heart?"

    "On the contrary, seeing her reaction to this portrait only proves my point," a thoughtful Harrison murmured. He studied the long line of Syrian’s painted neck, the way her upper lip stretched beautifully over a full bottom one. If she’d only smile more, she’d be stunning.

    Thomas frowned, confused.

    "There is more to your sister than her prim exterior, Caldwell," Harrison said. "It may be buried deep, but it’s there. It’s what I saw in her when first I laid eyes on her, dancing unaware in a rainstorm. It’s that one memory that has haunted me since. I’m hopeless. I can’t be rid of her."

    "I still say you are mistaken. It must have been one of the maids you witnessed," Thomas answered, unconvinced. Harrison had been pressing him for permission to court his sister for a full year. At first, Thomas thought it a joke. The very idea of the passionate Earl courting his seemingly passionless sister was laughable, until Harrison became so desolate and withdrawn from the usual pleasures of his roguish life that Thomas realized his friend was quite serious.

    Thomas nearly keeled over with a heart attack the moment Lord Wrotham confessed his love for his Syrian. They were old friends. Caldwell knew him well--well enough to know when he was lying. Finally, Thomas had relented, if only to prove to Harrison that Syrian wasn’t his type of woman. The Earl hadn’t even met his sister until a week ago, had never heard her speak. And Thomas was sure that the cold slights Syrian had been giving Harrison all week would’ve been enough to dissuade him from his purpose. It hadn’t. If anything the Earl only seemed more determined.

    Harrison closed his eyes, remembering vividly each detail of his unforgettable vision. Syrian had been in the rain, chasing after some silly kitten, trying to save it from a puddle. Her dress had been soiled and wet, clinging indecently to her slender frame. He’d been too stunned to move. She hadn’t known he was there, watching her from the shadows, so close he could’ve touched the bodice clinging to her ripened breasts.

    At the time, he’d been running away from an angry husband who was intent on having his head. Harrison had drunkenly slept with the man’s wife and had no wish to take the cuckolded man’s life in a duel, in addition to his dignity. Knowing he was close to Caldwell Manor, he’d gone there for sanctuary to wait out the storm before heading on to London.

    That’s when his life changed. Frozen, stiff with rain, he’d been contemplating waking the household. Knowing that Thomas waited in London for him kept him outside in the garden. Naturally, he’d been told that Thomas had a prudish sister whose reserved nature was legendary amongst societal circles. Even Thomas admitted his sister was tame of spirit to the point of lacking one. The knowledge hadn’t prepared Harrison for what he saw.

    She’d stopped right next to him on the garden path, giving up as the kitten darted away beneath a thorny bush to hide. He thought she’d have run back, huffing in anger at the darned little beast. Instead, she merely smiled, glancing over her shoulder to the house. An impish pleasure lit her wide eyes as she turned to the full moon. The blue light bathed over her skin, making it seem almost translucent. The image struck him deeply. Every time he thought of it, his body would stir, his member growing so hard it pulsed with an angry fire. Harrison frowned. No matter how hard or how often he stroked it, he couldn’t seem to find release. And other women held no appeal.

    Syrian’s dark hair had been wet, and she looked more like a drowned cat than a woman. But her eyes glistened in such a way and her lips spread playfully, as she twirled in the moonlight, tasting the rain, embracing the storm. From that moment, it was love.

    It had been over a year and, try as he might, he couldn’t get her out of his head. He’d tried to forget her at first, aimlessly taking to bed any woman who’d have him. It didn’t work, only lasted a few days, and soon the flavor of the world was lost to him, as each night his temptress danced into his dreams.

    He’d watch for her endlessly at balls and operas, looking into the distance for the sight of her, hoping for the chance at an introduction. He had endless conversations in his head with her, none of which had come to pass. She didn’t go to balls and he’d missed her introduction into society. The year she came out, he’d been in Italy--tasting all the beautiful flavors of women the country had to offer. Harrison liked his women wild, naughty, feisty.

    Syrian, by reputation, was none of those things. She was boringly proper, so prudish that even the church would surely call it a sin. She was self aware, judging with those damnably wide eyes--nothing that had ever attracted him in the past. But that night, in the rain, he couldn’t get it out of his head. He was obsessed.

    "Ah, you take it, Harry," Thomas said at length, unaware of his friend’s thoughts. "I know you’re wasting your time with my sister. The dream is in your head, my friend, not reality. Take the portrait as a gift, so that you may look upon it and see the reality. I wouldn’t have it upsetting Syrian by hanging it in her presence."

    Harrison didn’t move.

    Turning to walk away, Thomas called, "Come, let us go see what Mrs. Brown has cooked up. I’ll send someone out to deliver the portrait to your guestroom."

    Before moving to follow his host, the Earl whispered to himself, his heart nearly to the point it could take no more of Syrian’s rejections and slights, "I wish I really could see the truth of her soul in this painting. Then, mayhap, I’d have the answer to winning her heart."

    Harrison forced his eyes away and didn’t look back. Slowly, he turned, following Thomas back into the country estate.

    © copyright December 2004, Michelle M. Pillow

    This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.

    Link:

    http://www.michellepillow.com/portrait.htm

    http://www.michellepillow.com

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    H A L L O W E E N!!!!

    MySpace and Orkut Halloween Glitter Graphic - 1

    Many who know me know that Halloween is my favorite Holiday. I love carving pumpkins, watching horror movies, sitting around by candle light, and of course the candy. I figured I would share a song from my favorite Halloween/Christmas movie Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

    This Is Halloween - The Nightmare Before Christmas

    YouTube Link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOtEdhKOMgQ&feature=related

    Halloween isn't just for kids but boy do I love watching them get all excited at the prospect of going Trick-Or-Treating and helping me carve our pumpkins. I hope everyone enjoys their Halloween traditions and has a SAFE and Happy Halloween.

    MySpace and Orkut Halloween Glitter Graphic - 8

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    DiamondPinkRIbbon.gif Pink Glitter Ribbon image by cupidsbaby2008

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I just wanted to make a post showing my support for this cause. I myself buy items with a pink label that say they support the Susan G. Komen Foundation and I am picking a day this month to wear an item of pink clothing (besides my breast cancer awareness ribbon....^_^). Make sure to take time out and appreciate life and if anyone you know suffers from breast cancer make sure to let them know you care and support them. Together we can all make a difference. For More information on what you can do to help support breast cancer check out Susan G. Komen for the cure HERE.

    pink-fairy.gif glitter pink ribbon fairy image by beautyandpainter

    Dee From Good Choice Reading Needs Your Help

    Dee @ Good Choice Reading needs your help! She entered both her boys into a contest and needs help gaining votes! She offering a $25 gift card and a $15 gift card to a bookstore of your choice for voting. Right now, she really needs those who have Facebook to vote for 'Ethan Michael' Back to school star on The Children's Place Fan Page!

    Click here for more details:
    http://goodchoicereading.blogspot.com/2010/10/vote-and-win-win-win.html

    She really needs help getting Ethan Michael ahead!!! :0)

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Welcoming The Fall Winner!!!!

    Sorry about the wait everybody but it took me a while to add up and check all the extra point entries. Then unfortunately I have been sick with a bad cold so it kinda slowed me down but now I finally have my winner of a book from The Book Depository (up to $15.oo). And The Winner Is....

    *True Random Number Service

    List Randomizer

    There were 350 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
    1. Bailey Hewlett
    2. Lyan
    3. Linda Henderson
    4. Ashley @ Ashley's Bookshelf
    5. Valia Lind
    6. Sophia Lee
    7. Carol L
    8. Yvonne B

    Bailey Hewlett

    Bailey I will be e-mailing you soon for your book choice. I want to thank everyone who entered this giveaway. I hope evryone enjoyed Welcoming The Fall with me and all the other blogs.

    *For every extra point you got that is how many times your name was entered. Just because I didn't want a long post I only posted the first few names. I saved the list to a document but for some reason Blogger wouldn't let me upload it.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Review Of Nightshade ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) By Andrea Cremer

    Cover Image
    Nightshade ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) by Andrea Cremer
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 528 pages
    Publisher: Philomel (October 19, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 039925482X
    ISBN-13: 978-0399254826
    Source: Amazon (link to purchase HERE)
    Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)

    Blurb:

    Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

    Nightshade is Andrea Cremer's debut novel. I can't tell you the amount of luck I have had this year reading debut novels. This ARC was so worth all the things I had to do to get my hands on it. The story of Calla and Shay had me captivated. This may seem strange to some but I took my time reading this book because I wanted to savor each moment between our main characters Calla and Shay. Shay is a transfer student whom meets Calla accidentally. Calla is an alpha wolf while Shay is just your ordinary run of the mill human, or is he. This Arc starts with Calla doing the unthinkable, which in turn sets the stage for the rest of the story. Calla being an alpha wolf of the Nightshade pack is expected to obey her masters and do her duty. Renier, better known as Ren, is also an alpha wolf but of the Bane pack. His pack and Calla's park are expected to be united at their union. Making one great pack of younger wolves sworn to protect the Keepers. I don't want to give too much away but lets just say nothing goes according to plan. This ARC is more than just a love triangle it is a thrill ride that will keep you guessing all the way to the end. You may think you have it all figured out, but let me tell you, the obvious is not always true. Calla's true mate is up for debate. I know someone who is team Ren while I myself am Team Shay all the way. Why is Calla drawn to Shay? Why is Shay so determined to win Calla? I can tell you why, its for the simple fact that with Shay, Calla can be herself and not the person/wolf everyone expects her to be. As for Shay, Calla is the first person who has gotten to know him and brings him the companionship he has always longed for in my opinion. This ARC has it all secrets, lies, mysteries aplenty, teen angst, a love triangle, and a love that is unbreakable. This is actually the first time I have read a book before it has actually come out. Let me tell you it is fantastic and nerve wrecking all at the same time. I love that I got to experience this wonder tale but at the same time it just makes me realize how much longer I have to wait for book 2 and 3 to come out. *Nightshade is a trilogy. Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2) will be published in July 2011 and Bloodrose (Nightshade #3) in spring 2012. After that Andrea will be writing a prequel about the origins of the Witches War, which will be on bookstore shelves in fall 2012. I don't know how I am going to be able to wait that long to find out what happens with Calla, Shay, Ren, and all the others. This has got to be one of the best books I have read all year. This ranks right up there with Shadow Hills By Anastasia Hopcus and Shiver By Maggie Stiefvater. On a scale of 1 to 10 I give this book a resounding 20 (standing ovation included). If you live on the planet Earth YOU NEED to pick up a copy of Nightshade when it hits shelves OCTOBER 19,2010. Andrea is truly a gifted story teller with a unique tale all her own. Discover why I think Andrea is a phenomenal writer who weaves a masterful story you just have to read for yourself.

    *Copied from
    Amazon.Com

    Link:

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