Welcome to my Den of Delights! Please make yourselves comfortable.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quote of the Moment

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, 
but into my heart. 
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."
~ Judy Garland

Saturday, May 14, 2011

REVIEW: Comanche Moon (#1 Comanche) by Catherine Anderson

5+ Stars!  - Read January 2011

I decided to do this “review” in an epistolary format.

My Dear Friends,

My friend from Goodreads, MelissaB, recommended Comanche Moon to me as a good “Native American” Romance. Thanks, Melissa! Then, I noticed Comanche Moon was a popular recommendation in the Secret Santa “gift” exchange on the We Love Lisa Kleypas Group at Goodreads, being recommended several times.

After being unable to decide what to read as my first read of 2011, and deciding to blindly choose from a selected pile of books that I was most looking forward to reading, the fates led me to Comanche Moon! And I must say that it was a great book to start the New Year with! I LOVED it!!!

I definitely recommend this book to any romance reader, not only those interested in a good NA Romance, but those looking for an amazing, memorable, powerful, emotional and honestly portrayed love story that will stand the test of time, ie. something to add to your “keeper” shelf.

Ms. Anderson’s writing was vivid and made me feel like I was actually there in 1859 Texas, among the Comanche nation. I felt like I was watching this beautifully honest and aching love story unfold before my eyes. I loved and appreciated the realism Ms. Anderson portrayed in the slow progression from hate to friendship, and eventually, to love, between the orphaned Loretta, who had witnessed the brutal attack and killing of her parents by Comanches, and Hunter of the Wolf, a Comanche warrior whose pregnant wife had been viciously raped by the “White-Eyes”, and died as a result of her horrendous internal injuries. The journey from hate to love was certainly not an easy one (as one would expect) and I even wondered if these two would have their destined HEA - I ached for them.

But what I, personally, loved most about this book, was the hero, Hunter. The depths of patience, gentleness and kindness he showed Loretta (and also her cousin, Amy, and his own blinded-by-hate cousin, Red Buffallo) made me fall madly (literarily) in love with his character, and he is now among my fave heroes, and certainly my fave NA hero! *sighs*

I was so impressed, and even more intrigued and excited to read Comanche Moon, after having read Catherine Anderson’s Letter to the Readers included at the beginning of the long-awaited 2008 reprint, that I have decided to share it with you here (below) in the hopes that in will encourage you to read this amazing book, too.

I’m so pleased that this book has been reprinted and is available for a reasonable price, so that I was able to enjoy it…. and you can, too! So far, three of the Comanche books have been re-released: Comanche Moon, Comanche Heart, and Indigo Blue. The 4th book in the series Comanche Magic was just re-released on 3rd May 2011.

If you haven't read this book, I hope that when ^_~ you read this, that you will love it as much as I do!

Your anxiously-awaiting-to-see-what-you-think-of-this-book friend,

P.S. Read. This. Book! ^_^

Dear readers,
For many years now, I have received letters from you about my out-of-print historical romances. Where might you find them? Why do they cost so much? When will my publisher reprint them? I kept promising you it would happen, but as time wore on, even I began to wonder if it ever would.

Now it finally has! New American Library/Signet recently purchased the rights to the first three of those out-of-print books, and Comanche Moon, originally published in 1991, is the first to be reissued. I am so excited! To all who have waited so patiently for this day to arrive, thank you. To those who are confirmed contemporary fans, please consider taking this journey with me into the past. A great love story transcends time, and I’m confident that Comanche Moon will touch your emotions and linger in your memory.

Comanche Moon was a true labor of love, a book that came straight from my heart. When it was first offered to publishers in the late ‘80s, editor after editor rejected it because the story broke so many established rules of the romance genre. I was asked to change the book if I wanted to sell it, but I refused. In many ways, Comanche Moon is a tribute to a wonderful people, the Comanche nation, and after doing four years of research, I couldn’t bring myself to betray them or their culture by altering the story to fit a mold. I believed that readers were more sophisticated than some editors thought, and I was confident they would love the book just as it was, if only they could get the opportunity to read it.

I was right! When Comanche Moon finally made it into print its honesty and uniqueness were eagerly embraced by readers, and I will always feel that this story set the tone for my entire writing career. My readers came to expect books from me that didn’t always follow the conventions, emotionally powerful stories that depict the miracle of true love in trying real-life situations.

I regret that this book has been so difficult to find for so long. The first print runs were small, and many readers kept their copies because the novel was so well liked, making it even harder for other readers to find. Now, at long last, you will be able to purchase as many copies as you wish.

I hope you enjoy Comanche Moon as much as I enjoyed writing it, and that it finds a prominent place on your keeper shelf as one of your all-time favourites.

All the very best,

Catherine Anderson

Dear Ms. Catherine Anderson,

THANK YOU for not giving up on this book! THANK YOU for not compromising your beliefs in this story, in order just to get this book sold! This reader truly appreciates the research you put into it, and the respect you showed to the Comanche nation in this story. Bravo! I loved this book, that clearly came from your heart, and it has definitely made it into my “keepers” shelf. What an amazingly different, honest, real, heartwrenching and achingly beautiful Romance! I am so glad that the publishers took a chance to publish this in 1991, but even more thankful that it has been re-released and that I only discovered it now. I look forward to reading the rest of the Comanche series and your other books.

"Suvate". It is finished. But it will remain on in my heart ... and in my future re-reads! ^_^

A very thankful and happy reader,

My Loretta and My Hunter

Friday, May 6, 2011

Teaser Scenes - Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran

This scene is from the book I'm currently reading and is for those of you who get shivers, like me, when reading scenes that involve caresses or kisses along the throat and jaw...
“I suppose animal lust is not extraordinary.”

“Certainly not,” he said. As his head bent, his hair brushed her chin. With his lips pressed to her throat, he breathed deeply, as if the scent of her was enough to lure him, to turn his voice to a low, rough pitch as he said, “But animal lust is also very easily contained. This, on the other hand…” The tip of his tongue touched her. Her eyes closed of their own volition.

“I think we might call it resonance,” he murmured.

“Resonance.” She meant to sound scathing. But the word was too breathy, and it tipped up at the end like a question.

“Every object vibrates at a particular and specific frequency.” He dragged his mouth up to her jaw, and she felt, briefly, the edge of his teeth. Into her ear he said, “Place two of a kind side by side, and the first, if vibrating, will force the other to vibrate alongside.”
 ~ Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran.
Shiver-inducing images....

This one below actually reminds me of a scene from another Meredith Duran book - The Duke of Shadows. I LOVE that book! One of my favourites.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

REVIEW: Hummingbird Lake (#2 Eternity Springs) by Emily March

5 of 5 Stars - Read April 2011

I don’t know why it’s been so hard to write this review. Perhaps maybe because every time I try, my heart just aches again for what the character of Sage Anderson went through.

Also, at the back of my mind, I think I worry about misleading anyone in saying how much I LOVED this book. The reason I worry, is that some probably won’t like it as much because they may see this as “Inspirational Romance”. As I said, I loved this, and I personally don’t think it is “preachy”, but we all view things differently. It does mention angels, God and deals with the characters’ faith. Though I’d say that the “Inspirational” aspect is maybe about 10%? of the book. Of course, Statistics wasn’t my favourite subject in Psychology, so don’t rely too heavily on that estimation! LOL

Obviously there may be other reasons why someone won’t love this book as much as I do, but since I’m not psychic, I won’t try to enumerate them.

Anyway, now that is off my mind… ^_^

Hummingbird Lake, like the first book in the Eternity Springs series by Emily March, Angel’s Rest, may seem deceivingly light and sweet due to its pretty pastel cover, but it is emotional and heart-wrenching, and is by the end...uplifting...and as Lisa Kleypas said in her quote: “soul-satisfying”. I love this cover as it has my favourite colour, turquoise/aqua, and has a picture of a house by a lake - my dream house! (Or by the sea is also my dream house).

I love the setting of this series. Emily March does a fantastic job of using just the right amount of descriptive prose to paint the picturesque small town of Eternity Springs, beautiful in all its seasons, with a touch of magic about it or as the tag for the town states: “Eternity Springs - A little piece of heaven in the Colorado Rockies”.

Eternity Springs’ auburn-haired, green-eyed artist and gallery owner, Sage Anderson, lives in a lovely cottage by Hummingbird Lake. Sage was a paediatric surgeon in a former life, but she does not talk about it, not even with her best friends, Nicole Sullivan, Sarah Reese, Celeste Blessing and Ali Timberlake. Sage still wakes up tormented by visions so horrific, that the paintings she produces through the release of her turbulent emotions are hidden away, not to be shared with anyone.

My heart just ached for Sage and I connected with her artistic and tortured soul. While I don’t paint, I write poems out of my darkness. I loved Sage, but there were a few moments when she let her inner b!tch loose, especially when her friends started pushing her about her secrets. I did not like Sage’s reaction, but considering she was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), her reaction to the perceived “threat” to the walls she had built to cope was understandable. However, I was also upset with her friends, who while they had good intentions, needed to respect her privacy and boundaries. But what are friends to do when they don't understand why someone is behaving in a not "normal" way? These are not perfect characters, and it made them real and relatable.

Dr. Colt Rafferty, chemical engineer, former college professor and currently a safety investigator working out of Washington D.C. is a brilliant a man. He is also an artist, at heart, though his medium is wood. Super competitive Sage is still a little bitter that Colt won the blue ribbon at the Eternity Springs Summer Arts Festival the previous year, considering he wasn’t even a permanent resident of Eternity Springs, nor present at the festival. Her competitive streak made me smile.

When Colt attends the opening of Celeste Blessings’ healing center and spa, Angel’s Rest, and his hand-carved wooden masterpiece sign is unveiled, Sage is struck with reluctant admiration - for the woodcarving… and the man. 

“Sage watched a tall man dressed in jeans and a blue chambray shirt make his way forward. From her position in the front of the crowd, she noted his long, lean build, wide shoulders, and thick, wavy black hair. When he turned to the crowd, she saw that he had blue yes. Striking blue eyes, the color of Hummingbird Lake in summer. His face was a study of sculpted angles and masculine planes that the artist in her itched to sketch.” p.18

Yes, Colt is absolutely DREAMY. *SIGHS*

I am not ashamed to say that I fell IN LOVE with Colt Rafferty. And not just because he is swoon-worthy handsome! When Sage has a breakdown at the Angel’s Rest’s opening, Colt is the only one who sees it. When he takes her in his arms and rocks and holds her as she weeps tears ripped from her soul, my heart was claimed. Colt is a puzzle-solver and he is intrigued by the “puzzle” that is Sage Anderson, from this very first meeting. Who is this tough, beautiful, competitive woman who is harbouring such a deep secret pain? I loved how Colt wooed his “Cinnamon” with his sweet little gifts. He was so caring, playful, teasing, tender, persistent and patient with Sage. Colt is just soooo … Gah! ... have I said, DREAMY??? *more sighing* 

Even though Sage knows she is still in a very dark place and feels she is too broken to be in a relationship, she can’t resist the playful seduction of the sexy wood-carver. Colt soon decides that Sage may be “The One” for him, but how can he convince her to give them a true chance, and help her heal from her PTSD? I longed so much to see these two find their Happily-Ever-After.

While the prevailing theme of the series is the healing power of love, Hummingbird Lake is a story about HOPE. How even in the bleakest of winters, spring will always come.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” ~Hal Borland

I have to say that adored Snowdrop, the bichon frise puppy. I loved the part she played in this story, and the added playful element she added to Sage's and Colt's relationship. So cute!

There is great chemistry and sexual tension between Sage and Colt, and the pre-lovin’ was sizzling. Unfortunately, the love scenes are mild and were fade-to-black. I have to be honest and say that I wanted just a little something more in that department. C’mon! Colt Rafferty is HOT!!! LOL Luckily, I have a great imagination. Ahem. *winks*

That being said, this story and the characters resonated so much with me, such that I found myself needing to re-read certain parts again, and will in future. This story had me crying, laughing, my heart aching, feeling hopeful and inspired, and then smiling broadly at the end. So, on this basis, it’s a 5-Star read for me!

I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Heartache Falls! Hopefully it'll arrive in the mail soon! And I look forward to more books in Emily March's wonderful Eternity Springs series.

One of my favourite quotes:
“Nothing. You’re ridiculous.”
“Made you smile, though, didn’t I? I felt it against my strong, muscular chest.”'

The Making of Hummingbird Lake Starring 
Jaime Ray Newman (Sage Anderson) & Matthew Bomer (Colt Rafferty)


DISCLAIMER: There is no Hummingbird Lake movie in the making...that I know of. But I think there should be! And I volunteer to be the "Casting Director". Who wants to help? ^_^