The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand? 3-3-13

Sunday PostI still have a conceptual problem with seeing the dates for 2013. I’m not sure why. But writing the date for this post as 3-3-13 just looked weird. Maybe I have a mild case of triskaidekaphobia?

Art of Video Games PublicityIn unrelated geekiness, yesterday we went to the EMP Museum at Seattle Center to see the National Tour of the Smithsonian’s fantastic exhibition on The Art of Video Games. This is a historic journey, a nostalgia trip, and an art exhibition all rolled into one, and it’s awesome. If you ever loved video games in your life, and you’re going to be in one of the cities the exhibit is travelling to, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Of course, as soon as we left the museum, we went out and bought a new game. It was just the right thing to do. Both of us itched to wrap our hands around a controller.

Holding Out for a Hero book coverIt’s not just games that have winners. We had a winner here this week, too. Lisa C. won an ebook copy of Holding Out for a Hero from Entangled Publishing. Come to think of it, the superhero theme also fits pretty well with the games.

You still have plenty of time to get in Theresa Meyers’ fantastic giveaway. First prize is a $50 Amazon gift card! She is also giving away autographed copies of her steampunk romance adventure series, The Legend Chronicles, and autographed copies of the final book in the series, The Chosen. Click here to go to the giveaway.

Here’s the full recap of this week:

Circus of Blood by James R Tuck book coverC+ Review: Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson
B+ Review: The Mysterious Madam Morpho by Delilah S. Dawson
B+ Review: Circus of Blood by James R. Tuck
A- Review: The Chosen by Theresa Meyers
Interview with Author Theresa Meyers + Giveaway!
B- Guest Review: Stung by Bethany Wiggins
Stacking the Shelves (36)

And for the first full week of March, what do we have?

Whats a Witch to Do by Jennifer Harlow book coverJennifer Harlow is on tour with the first book in her new Midnight Magic Mystery series, What’s a Witch to Do? In addition to some of my reviewing magic, Jennifer will stop by for an interview and giveaway on Thursday. We’re part of her “to-do” list, a comment that will make much more sense after you read the review!

I also have reviews of two of my long-standing favorite series, the latest entry In Death from the indefatigable J. D. Robb, and the new novel in the Deaconverse from James R. Tuck. (I did read Circus of Blood last week for an excellent reason. And it was awesome!)

Plus, I have a terrific guest review from my friend Cryselle to round out this very full week.

Lucky in LoveTune in for even more fun the following week. The Lucky in Love Blog Hop is right around the corner!

Interview with Author Theresa Meyers + Giveaway!

Theresa MeyersI’m very happy to welcome today’s special guest Theresa Meyers.  Theresa is the author of the action/adventure/steampunk/romance series, The Book of Legends. Each story in The Legend Chronicles has featured one of the handsome Jackson brothers, named after their father’s favorite guns, and destined to save the world. They’ve been marvelous fun! Check out my reviews of The Hunter (Colt Jackson), The Slayer (Winchester Jackson) and The Chosen (Remington Jackson) for glimpses into Ms. Meyers terrific creation.

And now, let’s hear from the author herself!

Marlene: Theresa, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Theresa: I’m the progeny of a mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-addicted bibliophile. My father worked at NASA during the space race, and now runs his own testing lab (NWAA Labs) out of the remains of defunct a nuclear power plant in Elma, WA, and my mother collected books, all kinds of books, her whole life, and was an elementary teacher. That gives you an idea of how I ended up with a curious mind (I love the research part of writing) and a passion for stories and books. It didn’t hurt that buying books was always considered an understandable expense and my mother turned our dining room into a library by lining the walls with bookshelves. My mother always read out loud to us, changing the voices for each character (something I still do whenever I read out loud even from my own books at conferences) and that made the stories pictures in my head. That’s how I see when I write. I’m a very visual person (likely because I’m dyslexic and the words didn’t make sense to me at the time anyway!) I’m also a perpetual multi-tasker. I’m a writer, a mom of two active young teens, work part-time as a school secretary at a junior high, and own a few acres including some fruit trees and a selection of roses and herbs, an old Arab gelding, a couple of fat, lazy cats and a mini-Aussie that require attention. I’m married to the guy who took me on my first real date to the Prom and suffered through my little brother sitting between us in the back seat of my parent’s car. I like my tea with milk and stevia, hate the flavor of coffee, and adore chocolate. On occasion I’ve been known to collect teapots and teddybears. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I can I keep up on Supernatural (the Dean girl in me is giddy about season 9!), Grimm, Once Upon a Time, The Vampire Diaries and Downton Abbey. I started writing when I was in 8th grade for the school newspaper, and began my first novel at 17. It wasn’t until I joined Romance Writers of America that I was able to get some focus and understanding about the industry and I wrote for 20 years (working as a public relations executive and owning a PR agency in the mean time) before I was published by Harlequin. I now write for three different publishers and have way more stories in my head than I can ever get down on paper.

Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Theresa: You know I wish I had a typical writing day. I just don’t. It’s write whenever, wherever, however I can. Sometimes it’s in a cheap spiral notebook in the car while I’m waiting to pick up the kids from football, basketball, dance, track, school club meetings or a friend’s house. Sometimes I’ll take rapid notes on EverNote on my phone for a piece of dialog when paper isn’t handy. Most often I’m writing on my desktop computer, but when that doesn’t work (or I know I’m seriously lagging behind in exercise) I’ll go to my laptop on the tread desk (which is a fancy way of saying a piece of the dining room table extension set over the arms of my treadmill). Normally with my day job I can get in about five pages a day on average. If I’m pushing hard on a deadline, I’ll write when I come home before the kids get home from school and after about 8 pm at night when dinner and homework is done. As for my method? I’m not actually a pantser or a plotter. I like to call myself a planter because I use my plotting board and scene sheets as kind of the trellis for my idea to grow on. I plant the idea and I know it’s going to grow like a vine from the bottom to the top of the trellis every time. But what I don’t know when I plant that idea is which way it’s going to twist and turn as it grows up the trellis. Sometimes it takes some unexpected directions just like the wisteria vine on my front porch!

The Chosen Theresa MeyersMarlene: What can we expect of The Chosen?

Theresa: A fun, kick-butt adventure set in the weird wild west complete with banditos, mechanical monstrosities, demons, Aztec bone warriors, a funky steampunk submarine, giant black jaguars, a love triangle between two brothers and the shape-shifting thief China McGee, and the mother of show-downs between The Chosen and archdemon Rathe and his Darkin hordes that culminates in a destructive force the world still remembers to this day. Sound good?

Marlene: So, is this it for The Book of Legends? Are you ever planning to come back to this steampunk world?

Theresa: I’m not certain. I sure would like to continue writing in this world, but part of that is up to my publishers. I have ideas for more stories set in this world that involve some of the extended family of the Jackson brothers we’ve yet to meet.

Marlene: What made you decide to have the three brothers’ stories overlap each other, to show the events from each brother’s perspective?

Theresa: Every writer tries to stretch him/herself. It’s a thing. We have to do more with each book. This was a stretching point for me. You know how it’s always kind of annoying when you find a good book and you think, yeah, but this is number two or three in the series I can’t read this until I read the others. I wanted to do something different with this trilogy. Could I write three books that took place simultaneously so it wouldn’t really matter, you’d still be in the same time in each story? Then when I started writing it and had to change perspectives and jump in the other brother’s point of view in the scene, wow, was that an eye-opener into the characters! Normally you don’t get to see the scene from another character’s perspective which I think added another layer on to their relationship as brothers.

Marlene: What do you think it means that you “put the steam in steampunk”?

Theresa: Well, since the quote came from Cherry Adair, and she writes some seriously hot stuff sometimes, I’d like to think it means that these are truly romances full of “steam” and not just in the mechanical sense!

Marlene: What were your inspirations for The Book of Legends series?

Theresa: Oddly enough, I came up with the idea for these boys off of their names. I was writing historical romance at the time (in the mid-90s) and I started playing with the idea of what if I had three brothers named after their father’s favorite guns? It kind of just spread from there, and I ended up with an entire extended family tree. The Jackson brothers just happen to be from the dark sheep branch of the prestigious European Hunter family that emigrated to America to escape the family’s disapproval. I knew one was just like their outlaw dad, one an attorney and one a law man (opposite of dad). And when I started thinking about how they held things together, well, that’s where the supernatural bit crept in on silent stealthy feet. But at the time no one was buying anything paranormal. So they patient sat on my computer waiting for an editor that would love my Jackson brothers as much as I did.

Marlene: And I noticed that all your books tend a bit toward the eerie and supernatural. What draws you toward the dark?

Theresa: I don’t know that it’s so much the dark as the paranormal. You see, I was raised with a mom who would do things like read the story of the shoemaker and the elves to me, then I’d hear these wee little voices outside my window. The next morning my room would be cleaned and my mother would say it was the elves in the stump in the back yard and I ought to make them some cookies and clothes like the shoemaker did as a thank you. She made it all seem so real that it wasn’t hard to get to a place where you begin to realize that just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s not real. She was always making us aware of the world around us in a natural sense, and how magical life in general is, and I think that’s just kind of carried through into what I write. Besides, love is the greatest magic of all, don’t you think?

shadowlanderMarlene: What projects do you have planned for the future?

Theresa: Oh, honey, where do I begin? I’ve got four contemporary romances coming out with Entangled’s Bliss and Indulgence lines this year titled The Geek Billionaire Makeover, The Baby Mistake, You & Me…Again and Crossing the Line. Then I’m working on my Shadow Sisters series set with my alpa fae in the dark realms of Shadowland and Wyldwood. I’m also working on putting together a new series with a whole different slant on superheroes for Kensington as well as more vampire and werewolf books for Harlequin.

Marlene: What book would you most want to read again for the first time?

Theresa: Probably the entire Harry Potter series. I read them out loud to my kids when they first came out and we had such fun because I changed the voices for each character just like my mother had done for me. I have one really lovely memory of all of us as a family curled up in the king size bed while we read the last few chapters of the last book together because we all couldn’t wait to see how everything ended.

Marlene: On the other hand, tell us which book you’ve faked reading?

Theresa: Hummm. Hard one. I don’t know that I’ve ever faked reading a book. I like reading so much that if I have the slightest interest in it, it isn’t hard to just go grab the thing and start reading it for real!

Marlene: Tell me something that I wouldn’t know to ask. Just for fun.

Theresa: I make up soundtracks to my stories. It helps get me in the mood to write. Each book gets its own kind of theme song to kick off the sound track so I know which book I’m working on (as I’m usually working on two or three at a time between edits, writing and proposals). For The Chosen the theme song was Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood. It just sounded like something China McGee would have been singing to herself in her head after meeting Remington Jackson.

Marlene: Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Theresa: Morning person, definitely. I’m that person who can roll out of bed, brush my teeth, slap my hair up into a ponytail and be ready to go. My family insists I’m way too perky. I insist they all take after their father who needs an extra half hour after the alarm goes off just to wake up. LOL.

bio_frontAbout Theresa Meyers

The progeny of a slightly mad NASA scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile who turned the family dining room into a library, Theresa Meyers learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot. But it wasn’t until third grade that Theresa overcame her dyslexia and learned to read, going on to make words her lifes work. With a degree in Mass Communications she became first a journalist, then a public relations officer in both the corporate and agency realm. But by far the most challenging has been using her writing skills to pen paranormal and steampunk novels in the turret office of her Seattle-area Victorian home. Shes spent nearly a quarter of a century with the boy who took her to the Prom, drinks tea with milk and sugar, is an adamant fan of the television show Supernatural, and has an indecent love of hats.

You can find Theresa at her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

The Chosen Button 300 x 225


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Review: The Chosen by Theresa Meyers

The Chosen Theresa MeyersFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: Mass Market Paperback, ebook
Genre: Steampunk romance, Paranormal Romance
Series: The Legend Chronicles #3
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington Zebra
Date Released: March 5, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

The Chosen: a prophecy older than dirt and more dangerous than death. Even as they perfected steam-powered gadgetry and rounded up varmints from Hell, the Jackson brothers didn’t believe in it. But when the chips are down, three brothers named for weapons aren’t going out without a fight…

A Walk On The Wild Side

Attorney by day, demon-hunter by night, Remington Jackson is used to being on the sunny side of the law, even in the Wild West. But it’s showdown time, and Remy and his brothers are getting desperate. They don’t have the relic they need to slam the door shut on evil—so Remy is going to have to find and steal part of it.

Enter China McGee, shapeshifter, thief, beauty, and current prisoner. When Remy offers her freedom in exchange for a little light-fingered help, she’s pretty sure she’s going to end the association with a good old-fashioned seductive double cross. But there’s something about fighting through a jungle full of Mayan ruins that makes you want to settle down together. China could change. Remy might be special. But none of that matters if the devil takes them all…

In this final volume of Theresa Meyers’ Legend Chronicles, this western-themed steampunk series took its Indiana Jones’ style of peril and adventure with a trip to the jungles of Central America.

Romancing the StoneIt reads like “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone” except that the end of the world was at stake. (But then, Indy had that whole adventure with the Ark.)

In other words, The Chosen is brings the Legend Chronicles to a rollicking conclusion, with Meyers particular brand of forbidden romance between Darkin Hunter and the supposedly evil Darkin that are their normal prey spiced up with the added tension that in this case, Remy Jackson is falling for one of his younger brother Colt’s ex-lovers.

China McGee just happens to be able to turn into a mountain lion whenever she’s feeling a bit catty.

It turns out that China is keeping a much bigger secret from Remy than even he expects…and he expects that she’s keeping quite a few. But this one is downright explosive!

Escape Rating A-: I had to give the rating so I could start talking about what I liked about the story. As the conclusion of a fantastic trilogy, it’s difficult to talk about the plot without revealing something of the first two books.

The Inventor Theresa MeyersThe unsung hero of the Legend Chronicles is Sir Marley Turlock, their madcap inventor. His inventions either work spectacularly, or blow up in your face. There’s a marvelous, and slightly bittersweet, scene in The Chosen that has much more resonance if you’ve read the prequel novella The Inventor. It’s probably still good otherwise, but it has more depth if you’ve read The Inventor.

The Chosen does follow the pattern of The Hunter and The Slayer, with one of exceptions. Unlike the other two women, China doesn’t appear out of the blue. Colt and China are ex-lovers. (Talk about awkward future family reunions!)

But there is the same scene in Tombstone from early in the previous two books, this time told from Remy’s point of view. It’s interesting, possibly unique to have read that same scene three times, and have it be slightly different each time!

The romances are of the “forbidden-fruit” type in each story. The Jacksons are Hunters, sworn to fight the Darkin. The women are all Darkin of one type or another. They spend most of the story resisting each other, because they’re not supposed to be on the same side, and they are sure their alliance is only temporary. “The enemy of my enemy” and all that. Except it turns out that the hunter and the hunted have more in common than any Hunter has with someone who has lived a so-called normal life.

Once they finally do give in to their attraction, Theresa Meyers really does “put the steam in steampunk”! Ramping up the sexual tension but having a good reason to not fulfill it makes for a very hot love scene when it finally does happen.

I do not want to spoil the end of The Chosen, but I will say that the series is a delightfully satisfying read. If you have a love for adventure with a romantic steampunk flavor, The Legend Chronicles should be your cup of tea. Or motor oil.

The Chosen Tour button

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 2-24-13

Sunday PostThis is the last Sunday in February. Yay! Spring is almost here. Double Yay!

In honor of the shortest month, I’l try for a short Sunday Post.

Celebrating St Valentine Blog HopSaint Valentine shot his arrow at the winner of the Celebrating Saint Valentine Blog Hop. The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card was Sandy Borrero. Have fun spending that gift card, Sandy!

The winner of one book from Victoria Vane’s backlist is Gaile Kennedy. Whichever title Gaile picks, it’s bound to be deliciously decadent!

Holding Out for a Hero book coverSpeaking of winners, there’s still plenty of time to enter the giveaway for an ebook copy of Holding Out for a Hero! Four, count ’em, four terrific superhero romances by Nico Rosso, Adrien-Luc Sanders, Tamara Morgan and Christine Bell and Ella Dane. The book was terrific, so read Nico’s interview and throw your hat (or cape) in the ring for a chance at winning the book.


In other happenings last week:

Anything for You book coverB Review: Escorted by Clare Kent
B- Review: Maiden Flight by Bianca d’Arc
Review: Holding Out for a Hero: A-Review: From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders, A Review: Ironheart by Nico Rosso
Interview with Author Nico Rosso + Giveaway
A Review: A Good American by Alex George
A+ Review: Anything For You by Jessica Scott
Stacking the Shelves (35)

And what’s coming up this week?

Chosen book coverTeresa Meyers is on tour with the final book in her Book of Legends Chronicles, The Chosen. She’ll be stopping at Reading Reality on February 28 for an interview and I’ll finally review the last book in this spectacular western steampunk series. It’s been an action-packed adventure so far, so I’m looking forward to the thrilling conclusion.

I have some other reviews on my plate, well, my iPad. I’ll just have to surprise you this week!

Review: The Slayer by Theresa Meyers

Format read: ebook
Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback
Genre: Western steampunk paranormal romance
Series: The Legend Chronicles #2
Length: 353 pages
Publisher: Zebra Books
Date Released: April 3, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Brothers Winchester, Remington, and Colt know the legends–they were trained from childhood to destroy demon predators, wielding the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It’s a devil of a job. But sometimes your fate chooses you. . .

Chasing Trouble

Winn Jackson isn’t interested in hunting nightmares across the Wild West–even if it’s the family business. Unlike his rakehell brothers, Winn believes in rules. As sheriff of Bodie, California, he only shoots actual law breakers. That’s what he’s doing when he rescues the Contessa Drossenburg, Alexandra Porter, a lady with all the elegance of the Old World–grace, beauty and class. And then he sees her fangs.

Alexandra isn’t just some bloodsucking damsel in distress, though. She’s on a mission to save her people–and she’s dead certain that Winn’s family legacy is the only way. Luckily, aside from grace and class, she also has a stubborn streak a mile wide. So like it or not, Winn is going to come back with her to the mountains of Transylvania, and while he’s at it, change his opinions about vampires, demon-hunting, and who exactly deserves shooting. And if she has her way, he’s going to do his darnedest to save the world. . .

This Slayer is not in high school, and there’s no one named “Spike” involved.

Although strangely enough, there IS a Hellmouth, or near enough, and Winn Jackson needs to close it. He’s also crazy enough to get himself involved with a vampire.

So there are a few coincidences.

But Winn’s vampire is Countess Drossenburg. She’s helping him find one-third of the Book of Legends. Not out of the goodness of her no-longer-beating heart.

But because if the Archdemon Rathe opens the Gates of Nyx, he’ll enslave all the humans, and the vampires will lose their food source.

Enlightened self-interest is a powerful motivator, even for vampires. Vladimir, Alexandra’s cousin, emperor, and betrothed (in pretty much that order or importance to her) sent her to America to bring the oldest brother of the Chosen to Europe.

Why? To find the part of the Book that Rathe’s allies had stolen from Vlad’s castle.

Winn decides to go along for the ride. Not because he believes that he and his brothers are the Chosen, but because he’s still their big brother, and he still needs to protect them.

And because he finds Alexa tempting as hell, in spite of her being Darkin, and his sworn enemy as a Hunter. He needs her to find that damn book.

Anything to stop Rathe.

Alexa hasn’t felt anything since her husband died, two centuries ago. She does not want to be tempted by this Hunter who sees her as an ememy. But adventuring with Winn makes her feel something she hasn’t felt in centures. Winn makes her feel alive.

Alexa wants to step aside from the temptation he represents, but Vlad orders her to protect Winn. Alexa obeys, in spite of the prophecy that says she will betray all she holds dear, and will die at the hands of the one she loves.

Will it be worth the cost? Can they stop Rathe before it is too late?

Escape Rating B+: The Book of Legends series is an absolutely grand adventure of the Indiana Jones school of death-defying deeds and thrills and chills on every page. I would say it’s a fantastic lark, except that the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

The beginning of the story runs in parallel to The Hunter (reviewed here). It shows exactly the same events, just told from Winn’s point of view instead of Colt’s, so there is a bit of repetition. The Slayer even uses the same dialog. It’s good for the story that this doesn’t go on too long.

Winn’s story branches off when Winn leaves on the Countess’ airship for Europe. Then things get really interesting, but there are similarities to the previous book in the series.

The theme of unresolved sexual tension does ratchet up the stress in both books. These two people are not supposed to get together! So they resist mightily throughout the story, only giving in very late in the game. While it made sense in both Colt’s and Winn’s books, I hope Remy’s story follows at least a slightly different path.

I adored the ship and crew of Le Renaud. When Winn and his vampire need to return to America, they find an all-female pirate ship to take them back. Every scene with the pirates was terrific! I think we’ll be seeing more of them, because of some backstory, and that’s going to be fascinating.

Meyers definitely puts the steam in steampunk, as the cover blurb says, but it’s more than that. This adventure romps across Europe, and gets more inventive and more wild with every mile it travels. Whew! what a blast!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand? 2-3-13

We will pause this Sunday’s Post for a moment of fangirl squeeing…NCIS has been renewed for an eleventh season. Cue Kermit the Frog flailing  his arms and shouting “Yaaay!” I’m looking forward to another season of Gibbs’ rules and the best five-man band on TV.

And now back to our regularly scheduled recap of the past week at Reading Reality plus previews of upcoming events.

As promised in last Sunday’s Post, the winner announcement for the Happy Endings Blog Hop…drumroll please! The Happy Winner is Kathleen D. Congratulations Kathleen!

This week’s big event was definitely the SFR Galaxy Awards. Please rocket over to the Awards site to get the complete list of award winners. And to add oodles of books to your groaning wishlists and TBR stacks. We picked LOTS of really fantastic (pun only partially intended) stories!

The week’s complete recap:

B+ Review: Real Men Don’t Break Hearts by Coleen Kwan
B+ Review: Binding Vows by Catherine Bybee
B- Review: Savage Angel by Stacy Gail
SFR Galaxy Awards
A- Review: Short Soup by Coleen Kwan
Stacking the Shelves (32)

So what’s coming up this week?

I have three guests this week. Cool! Also hot.

On Tuesday, Reading Reality is part of The Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour. Since Airships are generally kept aloft by a LOT of hot air, there has got to be plenty of steam involved in that conversation–as if steampunk romance wasn’t steamy enough already! (There are also some lovely steampunk-themed giveaways to go along with the tour)

Moving backwards in time just a bit to Monday, my guest will be Catherine Bybee, the author of the MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy. She’ll be talking, of course, about time travel in romance, and giving away one of her books. Even though I’ve already reviewed Binding Vows, the first book in the series, I enjoyed it so much I kept going. I’ll have a review of the second book (Silent Vows) on Monday and a review of book three (Redeeming Vows) on Wednesday.

Thursday, finally moving forward in time, my guest will be that mistress of the Georgian romance, Victoria Vane. In addition to her guest post about her love of flawed heroes, she’ll also have a giveaway of her books. And I couldn’t resist the chance to review her latest flawed hero story, Treacherous Temptations.

Last but not least, on Friday I’ll be going back (or forward) to the thrilling days of yesteryear as they never were in the weird, weird west with the second book in Theresa Meyers’ Legend Chronicles. I’m almost finished with The Slayer, and it’s just as thrilling as The Hunter (see this review to discover just how thrilling.) Catacombs, anyone?

Review: The Hunter by Theresa Meyers

Format read: ebook checked out from the library
Formats available: Mass Market Paperback, ebook
Genre: Steampunk romance
Series: The Legend Chronicles #1
Length: 335 pages
Publisher: Kensington Zebra
Date Released: November 1, 2011
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

The start of an exciting new steampunk paranormal romance trilogy, which follows three brothers as they battle to find and protect their father’s piece of the missing Book of Legend, while falling in love with the paranormal heroines along the way. Original.

They’re the Chosen—Winchester, Remington and Colt—brothers trained to hunt down supernatural beings using the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It’s a hard legacy to shoulder, and it’s about to get a lot more dangerous…

A Devil Of A Job

Colt Jackson has gotten his name on many a wanted poster with success in the family business: hunting supernaturals across the frontier. Lately, though, there’s a sulfur stink in the wind and the Darkin population is exploding. A rift in the worlds is appearing. To close it, Colt will have to do the unthinkable and work with a demon to pass arcane boundaries no human alone can cross.

Except when he summons his demon, he doesn’t get some horned monstrosity: he gets a curvy redheaded succubus named Lilly, who’s willing to make a bargain to become human again. He also gets Lilly’s secret expertise on the machinations on the dark side of the rift. And her charm and cleverness help to get them out of what his silver-loaded pistol and mechanical horse can’t. Of course, when all hell breaks loose, he might have to sacrifice his soul. But what’s adventure without a little risk?

My Review:

Theresa Meyers’ The Hunter reads kind of like one of those dime-novels that used to tell tales of adventures in the Wild, Wild West. Except that Meyers’ version would be more like the Weird, Weird West, complete with demons and mechanical horses.

There are three brothers, just like on the TV Western Bonanza. Except these brothers are named for guns. And they’re way more dangerous than any six-shooter–or rifle.

The story reminds me of Indiana Jones‘ adventures, complete with treasure hunt. Only the treasure that Colt Jackson is hunting is supposed to put demons back in their place, not just sit in a museum.

Although there was that incident with the Ark of the Covenant…

The Jackson brothers were born to a long line of hereditary Hunters, who sound a bit like the Knights Templar. Hunters hunt the supernatural; demons, vampires, shape-shifters. All the weird creatures that came out to “play” when the Gates of Nyx opened. (I want to know a LOT more about how that happened!)

The “Chosen” are prophesied to be be able to close those Gates, if they can re-unite the mysterious (and legendary) Book of Legend.

The Archdemon Rathe just wants to punish Colt Jackson for killing one of his demonic daughters. He sends the succubus Lilith to do his bidding.

Lilith wants to be human again. She’s studied the Jackson brothers incessantly, hoping against hope that they are the Chosen. If they fulfill the prophecy, she’ll be free. Or she’ll be finally dead. Either way, her torment will be over. If she can trust Colt Jackson’s promise, she can help him find the first part of the Book.

Colt has been obsessed with restoring the Book of Legend all his adult life. He’s certain that demonic infestations are on the upswing. He thinks it’s only a matter of time, and not much time at that, before the demons rule the human world. Then there will be no hope at all.

He needs to re-unite that Book. For that, he needs to get both of his brothers back into the hunt, even though they have both given up the family trade.

And he needs to trust a demon.

Escape Rating A-: This adventure/romance/steampunk was terrifically great fun. Indiana Jones set in the weird west. Or steampunk with a side-helping of demons for spice. Whichever way you slice it, it’s a gloriously good romp.

The steam in this steampunk romance (and it is steamy!) comes from the unresolved-until-the-end sexual tension between Colt and the succubus Lilith. They have fantastic chemistry that they absolutely shouldn’t explore! Talk about opposites attracting. He’s never sure whether what he feels is real (she is a succubus, after all) and she’s not sure she still knows how to feel. Then she’s certain that if they do give in, she’ll steal his soul whether she wants to or not. Talk about tense!

I kind of wish she hadn’t been named Lilith. The name is just a bit obvious.

The stakes in the adventure are appropriately high–as in high enough to make both the hunter and the demon re-think everything they believe in. And more than enough to keep you turning pages as fast as you can.

If you love weird west stories, get this one now! If you like  Moira Rogers’ Bloodhound series or Zoe Archer and Nico Rosso’s Ether Chronicles, you’ll love The Hunter. I can’t wait to read Winn’s (Winchester) and Remy’s (Remington, of course) stories, so I’m glad they’re already out and I don’t have to bite my nails waiting for them!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.


Shadowlander, by Theresa Meyers, had an absolutely terrific first 15 pages. I totally got hooked on the teaser pages. Consider me duly teased.

Catherine O’Connell can see the fae that inhabit our world. Except for her three sisters, no one else can. And it would be very, very dangerous for the fae to ever find out that she can see them. So, when ferretlike fae sample her best friend’s food at an outdoor cafe, Cate has to pretend she doesn’t see them. When a fae practically climbs into her friend’s cleavage, Cate can’t even let herself look, no matter how much she wants to go, “Eww,” just before she squashes the little perv like a bug.

But when the guy her friend Maya hooks up with after a personal ad online turns out to be a big, bad fae, Cate has a really big problem. Because Maya doesn’t know about the fae, and her so-called date abducts her right through a rift into faery realm.

Cate has an even bigger problem. Since she turned 16, she’s had her own personal fae stalker, named Rook. Rook follows her everywhere, all the time, and she can’t ever let him know that she’s perfectly aware that he sits behind her when she’s reading and breathes down her neck, or that she likes it. Or that she thinks he looks like he belongs on WWE, or that she thinks he’s hot.

Or that she’s just heard him tell one of his fae groupies that her best friend was abducted as a “war prize” for the upcoming “Invasion”.

Except that now she needs a way into the faery realm. And letting Rook know that she can see him might just be her ticket inside. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she’s been dreaming of his touch for years. Does it?

And Rook. He is beyond astonishment when Cate reveals that she can see him. He’s been watching her fourteen years, since she turned sixteen. But Rook is much, much older than that. But knowing that she can see him changes the game. He had intended to capture her as a warprize, but if she can see him, then she is a Seer, a high-caste prize. Higher in caste than the Prince that he is. And he does not want to give her up to the Court. Rook wants her for himself.

Cate just wants to rescue her friend. These goals are not compatible. Not at all.

Escape Rating C: This is the teaser book for a longer series and it shows. The set up of the “Uplander” world (our world) was interesting, where the fae were here, but most of us couldn’t see them. The picture of the havoc they could wreck while we suspected nothing was both funny and nasty.

The fae world needed a LOT more explanation. Cate was a Seer. Because she could “see” the fae in the Uplander world. I got that part. What I didn’t understand was why that made her high-caste in the fae world or why all the Seers before her had chosen to stay in the fae realm. The book was too short for the world-building required. I would like to have seen it, I was definitely intrigued.

The next book in the Shadow Sisters series will come out in the Fall of 2012. Cate’s sisters will each get their own story.