Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Senior Love??

I just finished a wonderful novel by Roseanne Dowell.  Geratric Rebels is what some of we older gals have been looking for.  Although it's nice to read about young love and sex, putting myself into the heroine's POV is difficult because the mirror reminds me every day that I'm past that time in my life.  It's about time someone put a little age and a few wrinkles on the main characters, and Ms. Dowell managed to add all the ingredients to keep me turning pages. I loved it!

Geratric Rebels put life in realistic perspective, showing the reader that a heroine and hero don't have to be young with perky boobs or a  muscular six pack to be still excited about life and one another.  When Mike Powell and Elsa Logan meet in a nursing home that has become their fate, they join forces to make lemonade out of lemons, and enjoy falling for one another while showing the world they're not ready to retire from life.  What can a couple of old fogies do, you ask?  You'll just have to read for yourself, and I'm sure you'll be glad you did.  Of course if you aren't over forty, you might just find it unbelievable.  *smile*  Like the old saying goes, there may be snow on the roof but that doesn't mean you can't stoke a fire in the chimney.

You can find this book on Amazon offered by Books We Love, Ltd.  Kudos to Roseanne Dowell who manages to make all of her books believable and entertaining.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Looking for a spooky Halloween Read? Try the Dark series by Gail Roughton

I'm a big fan of horror books and movies so when this series came out I was excited to delve into it. Before I could get book one, I found out it was being released as a set so of course I snagged the special edition and am I ever glad I did.

Already a Gail Roughton fan (The War N' Wit series is awesome romantic suspense) I figured I'd enjoy this series as much. But this one is a whole different ballgame. 

Spanning generations, the story begins with our black magic antagonist Cain's modern-day resurrection, then goes back to fill in the details as to how he got the way his is today. Powerful stuff, told with page-turning energy. As with her other books, I found it hard to turn off my Kindle when reading this Roughton horror/thriller. 

When I finished the first part I was SO glad I had book two at my fingertips because I just kept right on reading. A truly magical story, perfect to curl up with on a cold autumn evening, this series had just the right blend of spookiness and great storytelling to keep me hanging on every word. And while the author never claimed this was a romance, I found the various love stories within to be equally sweet and heart-wrenching. I rooted for the good guys (simply loved Paul!) and wanted to kick the bad guys in the kneecaps (for starters.) The ending was truly satisfying. It couldn't have wrapped up any other way and been so successful... and frightening! 

"The past, like evil, never dies. It just—waits."

*sigh* Loved it!

Highly recommend this Gail Roughton thriller. 5+ Stars and two thumbs up. Nab it now at Smashwords, B&N, ARe or Amazon. You can get both stories in this special edition for only $4.99. You won't regret it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sarah's Heart & Sarah's Passion - Must Reads!

I just finished reading Sarah’s Heart by incredible author, Ginger Simpson.  I love a good western and I love even more when the heroine, Sarah in this case, is saved by a half-breed Indian, Wolf, and they fall helplessly in love. I won’t give the ending away – but this book took me on a journey that stepped right out of the 1800s. It’s believable and very well written. I laughed and cried with Sarah. And Wolf – he’s my kind of hero, strong, honest, and more desirable than he has a right to be.  I loved the ending -  and it left me wanting more!

That’s when I read Sarah’s Passion, the novella following the wonderful Sarah’s Heart.  Ginger Simpson gave me a real surprise when I started reading – finding myself – not in the 1800s as I expected, but right here in today! What? Oh, I can’t say – I hate it when people give plots and endings away.  I love to be surprised – you must read both Sarah’s Heart and then Sarah’s Passion – they are fabulously written . . . and will make you turn those pages almost faster than you can read! Bravo Ginger Simpson – you’ve proven yourself to be one of my favorite authors. It’s a five-star, five coffee cup, five clover leafs, five alleluias if you must!  FABULOUS!

Way to go, Ginger!  Rita Karnopp

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reminiscence--How I Met The Doctor

I was living in England with my mother, going to school in Penzance as a day student. We lived in the end unit of a row house—stone houses, streets, little gardens—just as you might imagine a British working class neighborhood. We had just moved out of an artsy Mousehole hotel to less expensive Newlyn, to the last building on the top of the hill above the harbor. Behind us was a field with dairy cows and a stubby, well-worn stone circle, through which I walked every morning, taking the back way over the headland into Penzance and my school.

We rented our telly and paid license fees, like everyone else on the street, and I began watching my first regular doses of English entertainment. It was black and white in those days, the content different from what I’d been used to in the States.
William Hartnell

I only saw two shows containing the original Doctor. Although I remember enjoying the story, it was never completely clear to me what the heck was going on. I remember being thrilled to realize that this show was not only about history—and with costumes which were actually period correct  (astonishing in and of itself,  as this was the early sixties)—but also about the science fiction notion of time travel. The Doctor and his two companions eventually escaped from trouble inside a little blue box, the kind I’d seen standing, dusty and unused, on street corners here and there throughout British cities.

Well, wow! Stories about history and time travel all in one show!  The main character was not only mysterious, aged and professorial, but a little sinister, too, as if he was not entirely to be trusted. As someone who liked fantasy and science fiction but who had always loved reading about famous characters in history, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Unfortunately, no matter how much I waited for it, I never saw any more than those two shows. Soon Mom and I pulled up stakes again and headed for Barbados. (In those days, there was no TV in the West Indies.)

It was years later that The Doctor and I reconnected. My kids and I were sitting on the floor together watching PBS on our Zenith, also parked on the floor. (In those days furniture was something of a luxury.)  An odd British import began. Lo and behold--there was my time traveler and his blue box! Of course, the original doctor had gone. The new one was still domineering and mysterious, but far less of a stuffy old professor. Instead he now appeared to be in his forties, with a mod head of curly hair and clothes by way of Carnaby Street. He might have just stepped out of The Yellow Submarine.


John Pertwee, mortal enemy & friends

Okay, I thought, I’ll go with the flow. My brief, earlier acquaintance with that absent-minded elderly Doctor was still lingering in my cranial filing cabinet. This, I realized, would be a great show for the kids to watch while I made dinner. (In those days 30 Minute Meals was not a marketable idea, just the way everybody cooked, especially if Mom worked the day shift.)     
Doctor Who has always had rather tacky visuals. I was told by someone long ago that the Doctor’s eternal enemy, the Daleks, were actually tarted up shop vacs, hence their distinctive sloping can shape. (However, do remember that Twilight Zones weren’t all that much better. And what ‘60’s Trekkie can forget the embarrassing Gorn?) As a childhood watcher of s/f on TV—Captain Video, anyone?—I knew my imagination would do most of the work. if the concept was interesting, my brain would take it from there, just as it did when I read. Good actors and an involving story could carry off almost anything, because, as Hamlet says “the play’s the thing.” British actors, trained for the job, are, at least, skilled craftsmen, and adept at making theatrical magic happen with even the most minimal sets and effects.

After my boys became fans, almost immediately there came a change in Doctors, as reported to me by my oldest son. He  was about equally disturbed and intrigued that the hero in a series might abruptly become someone else, all while essentially playing (more or less) the same character. This new Doctor immediately caught my eye—perhaps because his clothes were no longer Victorian mod, but thrift store trippy.

Tom Baker

 The hat, the scarf, the manic manner, the comic timing, his diction, and his “silly walks”—Baker was a talking, Oxford-educated Harpo Marx . The kids, and their Mom too, adored Baker, and we watched the show faithfully during those years.   My youngest son begged his aunt to knit him a floor-sweeping Whovian scarf for Christmas, and we hunted used clothing stores for a cool old hat to go with it.

 Time passed for us, as it never quite does in the TARDIS. The kids got older and began to lose interest when the Doctor regenerated next. We never entirely warmed to the handsome, dapper Peter Davidson with his question marks and 1890s university cricketer’s garb. We drifted away.

Years went by. The kids grew up and had kids of their own. I went gray. One night, worn out by the local news, I looked for something else to watch at 5 o’clock and found BBC America.

 KA-ZAM! There he was, a brand new Doctor! This show clearly had a budget and  enjoyed the benefit of the CG revolution. Somewhere in the hiatus, our hoary old Doctor had become a “valuable BBC property.”


Christopher Eccelston & intrepid shopgirl, Rose


This new Doctor was different in a lot of ways, at first shockingly so. For one thing, he was an imposing guy with a buzz cut who wore black leather. Yikes! He also had a strong Northern working- class accent, far removed from the mad intellectual elitists of the past. I always wondered if this Doctor was working on his bike somewhere among the myriad rooms of the “bigger on the inside” TARDIS…

 Christopher Eccelston only gave the series 13 episodes, but I LOVED him. He was an excellent choice for the Doctor’s 21st Century revival, the ninth reincarnation of the mystery man. This was a visceral, dangerous Doctor—as well as being unpredictable and wizard-wise.  The new scripting, too, was exciting, the best writing yet, while firmly grounded in the tradition of the series.
Romance for the Doctor and his companion was another innovation that was a GOOD THING, adding some spice to the character’s lonely Flying Dutchman persona. (The “Companions” have been shorted in this reminiscence, but they’ve always been an integral part of the Whovian equation.) Rose Tyler and The Doctor shared the series’ first kiss. It was an electric moment.

 David Tennant

All too soon, here came a new Doctor—and, I confess, my favorite. Bring on Doctor #10, the exciting David Tennant, an admitted “fan-boy” from childhood. Here we had a bi-polar Doctor, a veritable road runner on speed, wearing a duster, a shiny suit, and Converse sneakers.  This Doctor exhibited a ferocious brand of fey, peppered with world-weariness and pessimism, all of it wrapped up inside one skinny 900+ year old Time Lord. Gilbert & Sullivan couldn’t write better patter than Steven Moffat and Russell Davies, and their Doctor—and the rest of the fine ensemble--delivered the goods.

 Regeneration into #11, and new writers have sent the show on a Matrix-out-of-Stephen-King turn. I’m slow to warm to this new Doctor, Matt Smith. All I can say for now is that like Merlin, the character seems to be aging backwards. The bow-tie-tweed jacket bit, however, seems to be a retro turn intoThe Doctor’s “academic” past.  

Doctor Who is quirky, by turns scary or silly, and sometimes it's dark and intellectual. It’s also shamelessly self-referential, and full of puns plus literary, scientific and topical allusions which I adore. From Pratchett to Monty Python to comedies like "Doc Martin" & "Shaun of the Dead," from forms as low as Pantomime and high as Shakespeare, all that’s delightful, witty and wise--in British entertainment is woven together in


Doctor Who, Greatest Show in the Galaxy.





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kindle Romance Novels: The Fisherman's Daughter by Sydell Voeller Romance Novels: The Fisherman's Daughter by Sydell Voeller


What better opportunity to be introduced to a series than getting three novels in one set, for a very friendly price? Welcome to THE CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE. Now available as a special holiday package in kindle. Each novel is also available separately. Book Four is coming out later this year.

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.


806 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) -
As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out to seduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite the tribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departed queen, has no intention to remarry. Head-strong and independent, Pressine does not expect to fall for the very attractive, wise and noble ruler... Furthermore, her Pagan nature clashes with the religious fanaticism of the king’s Christian heir, who suspects her unholy ancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.
"I really enjoyed Princess of Bretagne. Kind of reminded me of The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley, with its subtle references to Arthurian legend (I'm a sucker for anything Arthurian). Like Mists, you captured the historical period while weaving in the mystical elements. Since I now have my new kindle, I've added Pagan Queen to my TBR list. After the one I'm reading now, I might just bump it up a notch or two." Kathy Fisher-Brown, author

810 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) - Queen at last, Pressine brings victory to her beloved Elinas and prosperity to their growing kingdom. But she has to contend with the intrigues of Charlemagne's bishops, spurred by her Christian stepson. While Elinas, on the battlefield, remains unaware of his son’s machinations, Pressine fends off repeated assaults against her life. She also fears the curse that could bring her downfall. For the love of Elinas, she will tempt fate and become with child. But when her indomitable passion challenges the wrath of the Goddess Herself... can she win that battle?
"Schartz is an accomplished writer, whose pacing, conflicts, and goals are always complex and whose good characters are always likeable, and whose villains are evil incarnate. You have to like her villains as much as the good guys! Mattacks is a magnificent example of this!" - 5 stars - Manic Readers
"...details of the period making that long ago era of history feel alive and vibrant. She’s able to weave in the mystical in a manner that appears natural... Mattacks and his diabolical plans play an important role... he’s a creepy guy... unexpected happenings totally caught me off guard... great plot ploy that I can only assume will pull the series forward... I want to know more..." - Romance Junkies - 4 ribbons

Luxembourg - 963 AD - To offset the curse that makes her a serpent from the waist down one day each month, Melusine, exiled Princess of Strathclyde, must seduce and wed a mortal knight, the shrewd and ambitious Sigefroi of Ardennes.
Sigefroi, son of the Duke of Lorraine, suspects Melusine is not what she appears, but her beauty, her rich dowry, and her sharp political skills serve his ambitions. He never expected her to soften his stone-cold warrior heart.
So close to the Imperial court, dangers and intrigue threaten Melusine. War looms on the horizon, a Mermaid was sighted around Luxembourg, and Sigefroi’s bishop brother questions her ancestry. If anyone ever suspects Melusine’s true nature, she will burn at the stake...
"As always, Schartz spins a great story. It’s a bit bloody and bloodthirsty in places... But that's part of the drama, and Schartz certainly knows drama." Manic Readers 4.5 stars


"Is everything to your liking so far?"
Jarred by the deep male voice, Melusine snapped awake. Sigefroi stood in front of her, one soft boot nonchalantly propped on the edge of the wooden tub. The white of his tunic matched his teeth as he stared at her with a wolfish grin.
Melusine glanced around in panic for something to cover her nudity but her clothes lay too far away. She pulled up her legs in the bath water and laced her arms around her knees. "How dare you intrude? Can’t you see I’m taking a bath?"
Sigefroi’s bold gaze swept over her exposed body. "It’s not as if it were the first time. You seem to like bathing in hot tubs as well as in cold rivers."
Shocked at his effrontery, Melusine released one arm to point toward the door. "Get out of my chamber immediately!"
"Your chamber?" His grin widened. "This is the only private chamber in the villa, and it happens to be mine."
"Yours?" Melusine flushed in confusion. She knew the villa was small but hadn’t really thought about all the details.
"I’ll share it with you, unless you want to sleep on the hall floor with the servants." The scowl on his brow returned. "And as the lord of this place, I don’t take orders from my guests... or my wenches."
Wench? Her solitary life hadn’t prepared Melusine for such vulgarity. According to what she understood of men, however, she must not give herself too fast but rather let Sigefroi grow hungry for her body as long as possible. "I am no wench and demand to be treated with respect!"
He chuckled and effected a mock bow. "You certainly have mine, my lady."
Melusine managed a forced smile. "If you give me your word to behave honorably, I could sleep on a pallet behind a screen at the far side of your bedchamber."
He rolled his eyes. "Truly?"
Melusine hoped her inaccessible proximity would work in her favor. "There is enough space for the two of us."
"Nay." The candles flickered in his amber eyes. "You don’t understand, my lady." A slow smile spread on his sensual lips. "I intend to take you to my bed tonight. After all, we are to be wed."
"So soon?" Panic choked her voice. Impaired by Sigefroi’s close proximity, Melusine couldn’t think. He wanted to consummate their union tonight? She quickly regained her composure. "My lord, it’s not proper. We hardly know each other and are not yet betrothed."
He pulled up the sleeves of his tunic. "A detail easily remedied, my lady. Do you mind if I wash my hands before dinner?"
Before she could react, he dipped his hands in her bath, caressed her knee, brushed the skin of her thigh. Delicious heat coursed through her entire body. He seemed to enjoy her confusion as he swept the length of her folded arms with the back of one finger.
Lifting her chin with the crook of one finger, he bent and softly kissed her lips.
Melusine melted into the bath water, waves of heat swelled and washed over her. His smooth, soft lips teased hers. Her mouth relaxed and opened under his. She let him gently probe her mouth then claim it as his own. Dear Goddess, she was lost.
How could she manipulate this man when she yielded under his touch? She had seen shameless wenches offer themselves to strangers when it served their purpose, or even withhold their favors at will, but Melusine could never do that. She could not refuse this man. She was exposed, vulnerable, and in great danger.

Happy Reading!

Vijaya Schartz
Swords, Blasters, Romance with a Kick

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