Thursday, April 29, 2010

Demon Lover's Book Reviews Interviews Lara Adrian

I had the pleasure of coming across a blog post from Demon Lover's Book Reviews. They conducted an author interview with Lara Adrian (lucky demon lovers). I read the posting and thoroughly enjoyed it. First of all, for those that don’t know me, I worship Lara Adrian. OK, that might be stretching things just a tad but still, I think she rocks. I thought I’d highlight my favorite question and quote and tell you why.

An excerpt of the questions at Demon Lover's Book Reviews - and interview with Lara Adrian:

Please tell use 5 things about yourself, that not everyone knows?

1. I’m a Leo (the level-headed, contemplative type, not the attention-grabbing extrovert type)

2. I’m a cat-person who married a dog-person (and successfully converted him!)

3. I much prefer chocolate over flowers

4. I was a majorette (baton twirler) all through high school, and I can probably still twirl a fire baton without scorching anything vital

5. I dropped out of college after one year and I have no formal education in writing (I mention this because I think it’s important to remind people that dreams have no limits. Defy expectations, and don’t be afraid to live the life you imagine. Don’t let excuses become obstacles.)

Can you guess which one’s my favorite? #5 Why?

Because here’s a woman that has obviously defied numerous obstacles, one of the largest being getting published despite her lack of education. I couldn’t have more respect and admiration if I tried. But that’s not all. I do believe in education. I have one and am thankful for that. My theory is it can only help and nowadays it truly is a must. But what’s most important that’s not mentioned are these two factors she without a doubt had. First, Adrian knew her calling was fictional writing and second she had perseverance. I wholeheartedly believe in order to be successful you must have both: your calling and perserverance.

My hats off to Lara Adrian: the creator of the brilliant Midnight Breed Series. I so appreciated reading this interview and I hope you do to. Thank you Demon Lover's Book Reviews for a fantastic blog post on a riveting subject, Lara Adrian.

Until next time…read that blog post!

Mina B.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Paranormal Book Review: Mary Hughes’s Biting Nixie

I got a chance to read Mary Hughes's Biting Nixie not too long ago. I received an email blast with a mention of the book so I took a bite. It had a cute cover with a girl standing in pink/black horizontal stripped tights/shirt – see book cover below. I actually thought it was a YA book. What I later found out was it’s the second installment of an erotica vampire series. Had I known this beforehand I probably would’ve passed on the book. Why? Because I usually don’t jump into erotic-type books – only if they’re highly recommended such as Larissa Ione’s Demonic Series or JR Ward’s Dagger Series.

That being said, I still read the book. Nixie cracked me up. I really did like her character. She's a young brash, edgy, cool, punk-rocker chick that refuses to conform to society’s standards. And when she meets her vampire-to-be...the two have a heated connection, literally. The vampire, Julian, who Nixie called, suitguy, is the latest new comer to the town of Meiers Corners. He was....what can I say, tall, dark and uh…conservative. What was that? - A conservative and a cheeky punk chick? Yeah, and opposites do attract. He's an attorney (she's the musician, go figure) hired to represent the town in a legislative case where the city of Chicago is planning to annex Meiers Corners. The real story is a diabolical group of vampires called the Coterie want to take over the town of Meiers Corners. Julian, along with other good vampires, tries to save the minuscule Midwestern town. If the Coterie were to takeover, the humans would likely die or become a food source for the vamps.

What I liked most about this book were the characters. Nixie speaks a different language and it’s definitely comical at times, especially when she tries to communicate with Julian. And then half way through the book, Julian begins to understand her lingo. I enjoyed the part where he’s finally enlightened and starts spitting back her nonsensical jargon. As for the plot, it was…OK. About the sex well, it was definitely hot and I’m all for it, especially for the main characters. It just that…whenever the plot’s lacking, the sex becomes more of a filler for content vs. a part of the story. I have to admit; at times I was getting antsy or otherwise bored. Nevertheless, the characters were extremely likeable, which for me, made the book that much more enjoyable.

On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, I give Biting Nixie a 3. Will I continue to read more books in the series? Maybe.

Until next time…will you read something already.

Mina B.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Paranormal Book Review: Lara Adrian's Midnight Rising

And now on to Book 4 of Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed seriesMidnight Rising. This spectacular read features the beloved Spaniard, Eleuteriode las Noche Atanacio, a.k.a. Rio. If you haven’t read the series, you really should. Book 1, Kiss of Midnight has a sub plot about Rio and the betrayal of his breedmate, Eva. (Click here to see my review.)  Through a horrific explosion, partly orchestrated by Eva, Rio was left nearly dead in Book 1. And to top it off, Rio disowned Eva, causing her to kill herself seconds later. The explosion left Rio marred with both emotional and physical scars. He then rehabilitates to no avail, leaving him feeling hopeless. After months with little progress, Rio decides to entomb himself in the Ancient's cave in hopes of ridding himself of his tormenting memories.
Dylan Alexander, a new breedmate in the series, was lured to that hidden cave by Eva’s ghostly apparition. Stepping into the Ancient’s tomb, Dylan unknowingly woke Rio in a depressive slumber, ruining his plans to end his existence (and saving his life). As a journalist working for a spotty publication, she snapped a few photos of an empty stone coffin along with some creepy tribal inscriptions. From that point on, she compromised the Order’s mission and became Rio’s number one problem that he had to contain.
For Rio, Dylan inspired feelings of lust and worse, love. Before his accident, Rio was the handsome, suave, charismatic Rio and afterwards, the vampire breed warrior saw himself as a true monster. Was a monster like Rio deserving of a beauty like Dylan? Hell yeah he was. The story also continued on the plot with latest evil puppet master, Dragos. Among other things, he’s controlling the Ancient and has been for the last 50 years. While the Order fights to uncover where Dragos has taken the Ancient, Dylan becomes a critical asset to the breed warrior’s mission.

This was such a great continuation of the series. Once again, Lara pores such depth and drama into her lovable characters you’d swear they’re real. Okay, not real per sa, but real enough for one to identify with their personal tragedies or obstacles. And every time Rio gave his Christian expletives, I cracked up… “Madre de Dios" or "Cristo.” Frick’n hilarious.

On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, I give Midnight Rising a 4.

Until next time…looking for something to read?…Try Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series.

Mina B.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Creepy Classic Review: The Hound of Baskervilles

This month’s Creepy Classic is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of Baskervilles. Originally published in 1902, this classic is best known for one of the most intriguing, and intelligent characters of all time, the infamous private detective on Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes. This novel, by no means, is in the paranormal genre but it definitely falls in the area of creepy.   The tale begins when Holmes and Watson are hired to investigate the legendary story of a mystical hound that haunts the Baskerville estate and its heirs.

The Baskerville name is synonymous with wealth, power and supernatural deaths. A friend of Baskerville descendants, Dr. Mortimer, seeks Holmes’s aid when his friend and neighbor, Sir Charles Baskerville dies suddenly. His perplexing death is suspicious and rumored to be linked to the haunting hound. From the beginning of this classic tale, Conan Doyle artfully constructs the first literary dynamic duo, Holmes and Watson, in a witty discussion about a clue from an unknown visitor who subsequently ends up being Dr. Mortimer. I only mention this because it’s an incredibly insightful illustration of the illustrious thinker, Holmes and his ever faithful companion, Watson.

Conan Doyle ingeniously writes with Watson as the narrator, allowing the reader to form a true fondness for the lovable character. As Conan Doyle toys with the reader, through the eyes of Watson, you evaluate every suspect, trying to deduce a motive and then identify the culprit. My favorite part of the book (midway through the story) is when another mysterious character is introduced. While Holmes is away in London, poor Watson is sent to Baskerville to begin the investigation. The dutiful sidekick uncovers a new player and stumbles upon his lodgings in a shack near the Tor. As Watson surveys the dwelling, noting all its contents, the reader feels his angst, fear and better yet, his determination. As he waits to confront the stranger, the unknown enters the room and says: “It’s a lovely evening, my dear Watson…I really think that you will be more comfortable outside than in.”

I actually figured out that it was Holmes about a few pages before (probably because of the items in the hut and the mysterious man’s description). But when I got to that part, I had a good chuckle. I found myself laughing several times at the dialogue between Watson and Holmes. They are truly perfect depictions of classic literary icons.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all its mysteriousness and criminal authenticity. Its mystical conjecture about a hound was spooky. And perhaps today, if Sir Arthur was writing about a hound, they’d in fact be werewolves or true demonic dogs. Who knows?

On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, this Creepy Classic (The Hound of Baskervilles) gets a 4.

Until next time….looking for something to read?…read a Creepy Classic.

Mina B.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

10 Killer Songs to Inspire Great Mystical Writing

OK. It’s been awhile since my last post and I apologize for that. I’ve had a hectic week. Anyway, this might be a weak post but it’s still one that’s dear to my heart. What’s the topic? Music.

I love music. And I’ve been relying on music many times for inspiration. Which brings me to my post;  10 Killer Songs to Inspire Great Mystic Writing.  Well, that is for me, anyway. There’s not much too this post. Just click through and listen.

1.  Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes

2.  Living Things - Oxygyn

3.  Beck - Epro

4.  Passion Pit - The Reeling

5. Matt & Kim - Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare

6.  Metric - Help I'm Alive

7.  Muse - Uprising

8.  Shakira - She Wolf

9.  The Cure - Lullaby

10.  The Limousines - Very Busy People

As for what I’m writing, well, in between me trying to obtain an agent for my first book, I have two other novels in progress.  One is a continuation of the vampire/god series I’ve written and the other is more of a magical/sorcery theme. This whole writing process takes time, for sure, something I’ve been fitting in with pockets of my spare time. So, while I wait out the relentless game of creating, writing, editing, pitching and rewriting…music continues to inspire me.

Until next time…listen to music and get inspired.

Mina B.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Paranormal Book Review: Lara Adrian’s Midnight Awakening

Book 3 in the Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed Series is Midnight AwakeningI’ve now reviewed four of her books, and I plan on continuing on getting through all seven within the next several posts. First off, let me inform all my readers, if you don’t know by now, I love Lara Adrian. She’s such a phenomenal writer that I actually wish I had one of those killer breed warriors knocking on my door. If you haven’t the faintest what I’m talking about then get yourself a copy of Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series. I’d personally start with Book 1, Kiss of Midnight, but hey, that’s the way I roll.
Okay, so like I stated in this earlier post, Kiss of Crimson and Midnight Awakening are my favs within the Midnight Breed Series. Midnight Awakening, Book 3 in the series opens with young, widowed breedmate, Elise. She’s the former wife of Quentin, Deputy Director for one of the Darkhavens (which is a political organization within the Breed). She’s paired up with Tegan, a cold, fearless Gen one vampire breed warrior. And the two dance a titillating, seductive romance that will literally heat you up.  Warning:  You may need a cold shower or a glass of ice water - whatever your poisen, you'll need it when reading this book...I promise. If I’d have to pick a favorite vampire breed warrior… it’d be Tegan.

Here’s the back story first:

In Book 2, Kiss of Crimson, we get a glimpse of Elise who’s still grieving for the loss of her dead husband. She's living in a local Darkhaven residence with her teenage son, Camden, and under the protection of her brother-in-law, Sterling Chase. When Camden disappears, Sterling and Elise seek the Order’s help. Sterling begins training and patrolling with the Order and is paired up with Dante – hoping to find Camden. Once Camden is found, it’s discovered he’s gone rogue; a result of ingesting the powerful drug Crimson. When Camden tries to attack his mother, Elise, Sterling kills him and shatters Elise’s world completely. Tegan befriends Elise in Book 2 and that’s when their world wind romance begins.

In Book 3, Midnight Awakening, Elise, now completely broken, leaves the safety of the Darkhaven and decides to live among the humans. Her only problem is she’s gifted (or cursed) with hearing evil thoughts of demented humans, minions in particular. These voices vibrate something awful in her brain, at times making her world crumble. Since living topside, she’s began playing in the dark war, fighting and many times killing any minion she can - all to avenge her Sweet Camden’s life. Tegan comes across the lovely breedmate one night hunting rogues. He follows her scent and uncovers her plight and meager surroundings. The intense couple, dance around their attraction to each other. At every turn, one will taunt, ridicule even dare the other to take their relationship to the next level. Their sensual relationship makes for such an enticing love story, and that’s only the romance side of the book. Adrian also brilliantly weaves in a killer plot filled with the narcissistic/diabolical Marek, a new player, Dragos and of course, the pinnacle to the storyline; a beast called the Ancient.

This book was so damn good that it’s now part of my Mina Burrows – Mystic Minds Classic Collection. What’s that? It's a part of my treasured book collection; one of the few I will always turn to for inspiration and read over and over again. Lara Adrian once again killed it for me, slashing it off the pages. On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, I give Midnight Awakening a 5.

Until next time….read, and then repeat as needed.

Mina B.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Remember when? Dark Shadows

I wasn’t even born when Dark Shadows first came out. My sister, God bless her, was practically an insomniac watching reruns of this classic crap in the late 70’s. I vaguely remember the main character, vampire Barnabas Collins. But I came across this remake of the classic not too long ago. It was done by MGM in 1991.

Even though this is a blog about primarily books, I thought from time to time, I’d highlight a creepy classic movie/film/tv series etc…as well. Dark Shadow’s was a gothic soap opera that initially ran from 1966 to 1971. For more information on Dark Shadows, check out this link from Wikipedia. 

In 1991, NBC created a Dark Shadows (1991) series, remaking the original. The storyline focuses on vampire Barnabas Collins being released after centuries of being in his coffin. He’s returned home and is renovating his old lair located in New England. He’s going around killing people for blood and wooing young Governess Victoria Winters.  I’m not saying it’s the best movie or tv show to watch but hey, Dark Shadow’s is a classic.  And if you like vampires, ghosts, werewolves - basically anything that’s creepy - than take a look see. Dark Shadows can definitely be cheesy at times so FYI when you're watching it.  Once you do, you can say you’re familiar with the series.  And people will think you're cool.

Until next time – creepy can be cool too.

Mina B. 


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Paranormal Book Review: Lara Adrian's Kiss of Crimson

On the heels of my previous entry, I’m reviewing Book 2 in Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series, Kiss of Crimson.  In my last blog, I reviewed Kiss of Midnight, Book 1 in the series which features the romantic, suspenseful tale of the Order’s leader, Lucan Thorne, and his breedmate, Gabrielle Maxwell. In this book, we get a glimpse of several other breed warrior vampires like, Dante, Tegan, Rio, etc... And each are alluring characters, which have hints of turmoil in their immortal lives – ones which make us readers beg to know more.
With the knowledge from Book 1, Kiss of Midnight, we know that the breed vampire warriors are able to mate with human females that bare a birthmark of a crescent moon and star. These breedmate women are powerful woman, who usually don’t know they’re breedmates. Breed warriors and breedmates can bond together and live an immortal life. They bond by a sacred ritual known as a blood bond. The ritual is conducted when a breed warrior takes the blood of a breedmate and then vice verses. The blood bond connects the two irrevocably until one mate dies. It’s a bond deeper than any mortal marriage as truly is forever.

For Book 2, Kiss of Crimson, Adrian chooses breed warrior Dante to be the hero and thank god she did. The first few chapters blew me away...seriously. While out on patrol one night in the streets on Boston, Dante is ambushed by rogue vampires. Almost blown to pieces, Dante suffers from gunshot wounds, burns, a concussion etc… and nearly loses his immortal life. After jumping in the river and floating down stream, he comes across an animal clinic where he seeks refuge. While waiting in a back storage room at the clinic, Dante is discovered by the owner, Tess Culver. She’s terrified at the gruesome scene of Dante, beaten, bloodied, and barely coherent.

What’s so great about Kiss of Crimson is Dante, during this perilous time, bites Tess to save his life and after taking her blood, moments later; he finds out that she’s a breedmate. And now half of the blood bond ritual is complete. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, Lara Adrian is a master at storytelling. In Book 1, she defines the rules of being a vampire breed warrior, breedmates, the sanctity of blood bonding and everything that goes with it. And just like that…poof, she breaks her own rule.

Dante doesn’t know Tess is a breedmate but once he’s takes her blood, he not only senses her through their blood bond, but he’s smitten. Poor Tess hasn’t a clue about Dante, but she can’t help feel an eerie attraction to a man she hardly knows. It doesn’t hurt that Tess sees Dante as a huge, gorgeous, Italian man with a menacing yet seductive presence. Can you say double yum? I promise he’s as delicious as he sounds. What I’ve highlighted here is only 2 maybe 3 chapters. This entire book is mesmerizing, riveting from every angle starting with Dante & Tess’s untimely introduction, to a drug called Crimson which is being mass produced by an evil, diabolical breed warrior, Mareck (Lucan’s bother). The drug is terrorizing the breed community as its turning innocent breed vampires into blood lusting rogues.

Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series is the bomb. And in my opinion, Kiss of Crimson is the book that catapults the series into the best-selling stratosphere. On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, I give this book a 5. Yes, a five. That’s how much I loved it and it’s a testament to how much I adore Adrian.

Until next time…read Kiss of Crimson.

Mina B.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Paranormal Book Review: Lara Adrian’s Kiss of Midnight

Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series all started with Kiss of Midnight. My friend, Sandra, told me about these books last year. At the time, I'dnever heard of Lara Adrian but I decided to take a chance. I read the sample chapters on my iPhone and needless to say, I was instantaneoulsy hooked.
Gabrielle Maxwell is an up in coming photographer who on a night with her friends witnesses a bloody murder outside a mysterious club. The attackers were mad, deranged in some strange way. As she followed them down the alleyway, in her horror, she pulled out her cell phone and snapped several images of the feral beasts. The attackers were startled and Gabrielle ran like hell. Like a good citizen, doing her civic duty, she reports the crime to the police and is quickly dismissed as a lunatic.  That night, Lucan Thorne, the leader of the Breed Warriors, was outside that club, watching the rogue vampires terrorize their prey. He’d been observing them inside the club, where he first noticed Gabrielle, and then stalked them all outside. Lucan starred at Gabrielle incredulously as she followed the vampires.  She, in return was unaware of the danger or the fact she was being watched. Once she captures the deadly images and dashes away, she gave Lucan the advantage to swiftly execute the deadly rogues.

Lucan is intrigued by the female, but duty comes first and he needs to confiscate the pictures she took. In an attempt to recover the images and erase her memory, Lucan is love struck by the woman, who turns out to be a breedmate.

Lucan is breed, a hybrid alien species, which lives off of blood, human blood. To be breed is to be lethal. But there is a softer side to these warriors - one that us readers adore. They live their immortal lives with honor, code and above all love. Lara Adrian masterfully introduces a unique interpretation of a vampire. These breed warriors take mates, a special human female born with a rare birthmark, a special psychic gift and the ability to sustain an immortal life with the vampire breed. Once Lucan investigates Gabrielle, he’s intrigued to the point of lusting after her. That is until he finds out she’s a breedmate. He tries to put the brakes on the romance but soon finds himself too far gone with overwhelming admiration and a primal need to love and protect the female.

Adrian brilliantly weaves a meticulous plot into this paranormal love story. It has action, sex, betrayal, and introduces more lovable breed warrior characters (yum). Best of all, she gives us a happy ending for our hero and heroine – which is what everybody wants nowadays, right? Damn straight. I cannot tell you enough how much I love this series and how much I worship Lara Adrian.

On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, I give Kiss of Midnight a 4. If you’re gonna read this series at all, you have to start here first. I’m seven books in so far. Check out my review for the most recent book in the series, Shades of Midnight.

Until next time…if you’re looking for a book, a must read would be Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series.

Mina B.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Stephenie Meyer’s upcoming book, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Earlier this week, I saw this post on Stephenie Meyer’s website about an upcoming book, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. When I read it I was a bit miffed to see there was no synopsis or excerpts available, not even to get our tongues wagging. I didn’t quite understand why any author, especially one of her magnitude, would announce a new book, a short story spinoff rather, to her Twilight Saga and not mention a lick of an overview. Perturbed would be the right word for how I felt.

Not being able to get that small sample of text kept me quiet on this topic. And then two days later it hit me. Holy hell, Stephenie Meyer’s coming out with another book. Christmas will be early this year and I can’t wait. The book’s called The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. It’s about a character she created when writing Eclipse, involving Victoria and all her vampire fledglings. On the surface, it sounds interesting and I have no doubt it will be. My only concern from the name itself is…Bree doesn’t appear to be a hero and she doesn’t sound like she’ll be living long enough for a happy ever after. Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner comes out June 5th. For every purchase made, a dollar would be donated to the Red Cross.

Until next time…read, read, read.

Mina B.