"Lady Pirate" Excerpt

 Lynsay Sands' "Lady Pirate" has a brand new cover! Let's celebrate this gorgeous re-issie with an excerpt!

LADY PIRATE
By Lynsay Sands
Avon Books
May 31, 2016
ISBN: 9780062019738; $7.99
E-ISBN 9780062024909 * $7.99
Source: received from publisher

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Valoree no longer has to masquerade as her murdered brother and scourge the oceans as Captain Red. She no longer has to command his pirate band in a quest to regain his birthright. She has been named heir to Ainsley Castle. But no executor would ever hand over the estate to an unmarried pirate wench and her infamous crew—no matter to whom she’d been born. And the will distinctly states that in order to inherit, Valoree must be married to a nobleman . . . and pregnant.

Upon learning that, the virgin captain is ready to return to the seas—but her crew has other ideas— and for those rascally cusses she would do anything. If they could find a way to put on her a sweet face that would fool the ton, she would handle the rest, even with a drunken prostitute as an “aunt” and her merry cutthroat crew as “servants.” But to herself she swears one thing: she will only marry a man who fires her blood, a man who is not afraid of a . . . Lady Pirate



Purchase Links:

LADY PIRATEhttps://www.harpercollins.com/9780062019738/lady-pirate

About the Author

LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus.



Connect with Lynsay Sands

Website - www.lynsaysands.net

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17059.Lynsay_Sands

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/Lynsay-Sands- 125138040836322/

Excerpt:

The Caribbean- late 1700s
The water was flat as a looking glass, capturing the moonlight and stars that twinkled down from above and reflecting just enough light that the ship gliding ahead of them appeared black and ghostlike in the darkness.
From her position at the front of the small dugout canoe in which she rode, Valoree motioned, and the men at the oars immediately slowed their rowing. At another signal, the sailors raised their oars out of the water, and the craft slid silently up beside the larger craft.
Immediately those on the left side of the canoe with drew hooks on long ropes and sent them whistling through the air to catch on the rail above. For a moment they waited, staring breathlessly up the side of the large galleon and holding the lines, allowing their craft to be dragged along by the larger ship’s momentum. At last, when a hue and cry failed to arise, all eyes slowly returned to Valoree.
She stared back, knowing these men all saw her as a slender young man- little more than a boy, really. All of them but Henry. He alone knew that their deceased captain’s younger brother Valerian, who had served as a cabin boy these last eight years, was really a girl. Of course he knew; he’d been the one who had suggested the charade so many years before, when he’d realized that Jeremy- his captain and her brother- intended to keep her aboard a ship full of pirates.
Aye, these men all thought her a lad, young and untried. And yet, they had vowed to follow her. Only a desire for vengeance could make these two dozen men, cutthroats and hooligans all, follow someone they had always looked upon as a green lad, a little brother or son to be coddled and spoiled. And vengeance they would have.
Glancing down into the water, Valoree took in her reflection. Her body was slim- she was lean rather than muscular- and it trembled with anticipation. For a moment she imagined that her eyes were no longer those of the youth who had moved easily among these men, laughing and chatting as she’d gone about her chores. Nay, her eyes now seemed old, hard, bitter with fresh loss. A loss these men shared as well.
Her brother had been a good man and a fair captain, and his ship, the Valor, had been the only home most of his crew had known for the last eight years. The men who now accompanied her were the last of that crew. She glanced around at them, then back at her reflection.
Though her shirt was her own, she now wore her brother’s breeches, along with his hat and jacket. Jeremy’s boarding ax and pike were hooked through the thick belt at her waist, and a brass-barreled flintlock was sticking out of those baggy, too-large pants. The captain’s cutlass rested in its sheath where it hung at her side. She had taken his clothing when she had sworn vengeance for his death- and she had not bathed since.
Every inch of her body, every item, every inch of cloth, wood, and metal was covered with its owner’s dried blood, as were Valoree’s face, hands, and feet. Even her long hair was crusty with the stuff. Though it was normally a vibrant, fiery red- as her brother’s had been- it was now streaked through with crimson, marked by the red blood of her brother’s death- a reminder of her vow.
Her brother had not died easily. He had not died quickly. He, along with the majority of his men, had died slowly and in torment. And for that, Valoree and the remainder of Jeremy’s crew had vowed, these Spaniards would pay.
She glanced toward Skully and nodded. The cadaverous man immediately reached for his tools, and Valoree turned her back as he began to bore holes in the bottom of their craft. She regarded her crew, awaiting their reaction. She did not have long to wait. Skully was still working on the second hole when the last of them turned to her in understanding. In their faces she read approval and a grudging respect. To reassure them of her intent, she half hissed, half whispered, “We take this ship or we die. There is no escape. We fight not only to avenge the deaths of good men, but for our lives.”
“For our lives and vengeance,” Henry vowed beside her in a hushed tone. His words were immediately taken up by the others.
“Life and vengeance!”
She relaxed somewhat at their acceptance, an odd calm overtaking her as she silently watched Skully finish boring the holes in the bottom of their boat. The holes were relatively small, but even so, by the time he had started on the sixth, the boat was already gathering water and beginning to sink.
As Skully hurriedly returned his tools to his satchel, Valoree drew her brother’s cutlass from its sheath. Moving to the side of their slowly sinking ship, she led the men in a stealthy climb up the side of the Spanish galleon. Her bare hands and feet moved surely up the rope until she reached the top, the others close behind. Pausing there, Valoree peered over the side and glared about.
Several men, taking advantage of the night breeze, were sleeping out in the open air of the deck. Valoree glanced toward the helm and smiled grimly upon seeing the helmsman. The man, while still at his post, had nodded off and was now dozing away his shift, sense less. There was no one to give an alarm. The Spaniards would be taken completely by surprise.
Slipping silently over the side, Valoree hunkered low, sticking to the shadows. Her men followed. As the last of them slid to the deck, she gestured silently, dividing them into two groups with one simple wave of her hand, then gesturing for one group to stay above deck, while directing the others toward the dark hole that was the entrance to the cabins. They all began to move at once, separating and moving all over the ship. The men above deck positioned themselves among the sleeping Spaniards, ready to set to work, but waiting the few moments necessary to allow those men slip ping through the hole to reach their targets, lest some sound or death cry warn their enemies below.
Leaving the rest of the crew to the others, Valoree moved stealthily toward the helmsman. She had nearly reached him when something startled the man awake.
Drawing a sword, the Spaniard peered blearily at her. She froze, but his gaze found her anyway. Taking in Jeremy’s bloody clothes and her red hair flowing about her blood-streaked face, he blinked.
“Rojo... El Capitan Rojo?”
Valoree stiffened at the words, recognizing the name the Spanish used for her brother. Captain Red, because of his red hair.
“Regresa del muerto... El Rojo,” the man whispered faintly, then straightened abruptly, shrieking. “Regresa del muerto. El Rojo!”
His cry awoke others nearby, and the sleepy-eyed men turned to gape at her in horror. The helmsman’s cry was taken up again and again. “Regresa del muerto. El Rojo!”
For a moment, everyone was still. The others she’d brought with her, startled by the shouting, turned to peer at Valoree. She drew back, annoyed, then peered about at the frozen tableau. Her crewmates seemed as transfixed as the Spaniards. With a glance at the near est of the men, she snapped irritably, “What the devil is he saying, Henry?”
Drawn out of his startled state by the question, the quartermaster relaxed and grimly smiled. Then he shrugged. “He’s thinkin’ ye’re yer own brother, Captain Red. He’s thinkin’ ye’re back from the dead. He’s screamin’ “Back-from-the-Dead Red,”” he explained. The cry continued around them.
“Regresa del muerto. El Rojo!”
“Back-from-the-Dead Red?” Valoree repeated, then frowned at the terrified Spaniards. “Well, at least they shall know why they die”. Raising Jeremy’s cutlass, she advanced on the helmsman, but much to her consternation, the man immediately dropped his weapon. For a moment, Valoree was nonplussed, but the sudden chorus of metal against wood drew her attention to the fact that every Spaniard aboard the ship was now giving up his weapon unasked, all dropping them to the deck floor.
“What the devil are they doing?” Valoree cried in dismay. “Are they not going to fight?”
Henry glanced around, then turned to face her. “Well,” he drawled, scratching at his ear. “I’m thinkin’ they’re thinkin’ that since ye’re a ghost and all, there ain’t no sense in afightin’ ye. Most like they think we’re the rest of the men that were kilt... and ye cain’t kill someone what’s already dead.”
“El Rojo.”
Valoree glanced up at hearing again the helmsman’s terrified murmur. The Spaniard was now tugging his pistol free and dropping it on the deck beside his sword. Throughout, he continued mumbling, “Regresa del muerto. El Rojo.”
Before she could decide on a course of action, a scuffle at the entrance to the cabins drew her attention. Valoree glanced over as the men who had gone below returned, pushing several captives ahead of them. The first was obviously the captain, and he looked angry. He also looked willing to fight, Valoree saw with relief. At least someone would. It was hard to take revenge when the enemy refused to fight. She wouldn’t simply kill unarmed men; that was not fair. She was just about to move to confront the Spanish captain when the helmsman spotted his commander. He immediately shrieked, “El Rojo! Regresa del muerto!”
The captain started to glance toward the man, but his gaze caught and stayed on Valoree. The whipping wind filled the cloth of Jeremy’s jacket, making her appear larger than she was, and she had to fight to keep her bloody red hair from covering her eyes. She pulled Jeremy’s hat down further onto her head and glared at the Spaniard with hatred. The man gaped, then murmured, “El Rojo?”
“S’aai,” the helmsman cried. “El Rojo, regresa del muerto.”
“Shut up!” Valoree said in a growl to the mouthy sailor. She was sick of hearing those words. Stark terror entered the captain’s face as well. “Tell him to shut up, Henry,” she said hurriedly.
Henry translated the order into Spanish, but the panicked helmsman could not have obeyed had he wished to. He seemed able only to repeat himself over and over. Irritated, Valoree drew Jeremy’s flintlock pistol and shot him.
The man dropped to the deck with a shriek, grabbing for the wound in his leg.
As if that were the signal for some preplanned form of action, the Spaniards all made a sudden exodus to ward the sides of the ship. Taken by surprise, Valoree and the others could only watch in amazement as the crew of the galleon, as one, cast themselves screaming into shark-infested water.
Cursing under her breath, Valoree stalked to the side of the ship and peered down at the men in the sea below. They were thrashing about in the water, moving in the general direction of the nearest island. “The gunny cowards,” she muttered.
“Aye,” Henry agreed. He and the rest of the men had moved closer to peer down at their fleeing adversaries.
Slamming a palm down on the rail in frustration, Valoree cursed. “Jumping rather than fighting, can you imagine?”
Henry shook his head. “Spineless Spanish bastards.”
Sighing, she frowned at the water below. A moment later, One-Eye let out a dismayed oath. Glancing up, Valoree peered over at where he was pointing. The helmsman was on his feet, and had hopped to the side of the ship. He was now balancing himself precariously on the railing. As she watched in amazement, the man hefted himself over the side of the boat to land with a splash in the water behind his comrades. It seemed that swimming with sharks was more attractive than keeping company with ghosts, even for the wounded man.
“Ye want we should shoot them?” One-Eye asked with little enthusiasm.
Valoree shook her head in disgust. “Leave go. They are not likely to make it to shore. ‘Sides, none of them bore the scar.” She desired revenge, but there was no pleasure in killing cowards.
The others nodded in agreement. Besides, this was apparently not the ship of their true enemy. One of the few things they had learned from Jeremy, ere he took his last breath, was that the Spaniard who had ordered the torturous deaths of her brother and so many of his men bore a scar in the shape of a question mark on his neck. And the captain of this vessel had borne no such scar.
Sighing, Valoree straightened and turned to survey the Spanish galleon. “Well,” she said softly, “it would seem we have a ship.”
“Aye,” Henry murmured. “That it would.”
“Have we enough men to sail it?”
Henry surveyed the small number of their remaining crew. “Aye,” he said. “Enough to get to port and pick up more men... Captain.”
Valoree glanced at him sharply. “Captain?”
He nodded solemnly. “Aye. Of this, the Valor II. I’m thinkin’ we’ve got us a fine captain. Ye’ve the spirit, the courage, the determination... and, better yet, ye’ve already got yerself a reputation and title.” When she looked bewildered, he shrugged. “Ye’ve already taken yer first ship. If any of those men out there survive their swim, all will hear about their terrifying encounter with Back-from-the-Dead Red.”
Valoree rolled her eyes and glanced at the others. All of them were standing about, nodding in agree ment. It seemed she had not only stepped into her brother’s clothes, but she had also stepped into his command. Back-from-the-Dead Red, indeed. Thanks to a load of superstitious Spaniards, she was now the captain of some of the most bloodthirsty cutthroats it had ever been her misfortune to meet- if she wanted them. She was only nineteen. That was young to be a captain. But then, Jeremy had been only eighteen when she had helped him purchase and outfit the Valor. And as for her gender, they already thought her a boy.
Seeing her hesitation, Henry moved closer. “Now, think on it for a minute before ye go making up your mind. Cap’n Red - yer brother Jeremy - he did this only to make some money; then he planned to go claim your family estate, set it to rights, settle down, and start a family.”
“Aye, but – “
“But nothing. Now that dream is yours.”
Valoree blinked at that. “What mean you, now that dream is mine?” she asked suspiciously.
“I mean, with him gone, ye have to make his dream come true for him. Claim the inheritance, settle down, start a family.”
Valoree was silent for a moment, then frowned. “But I do not have the money to – “
“Well, that there is true enough. That was what Jeremy was doin, earnin’ the money to claim the estate. It’s not been lived in since ye was a wee babe. He said he needed a fair sum to put the place to rights.”
“And he had earned it,” One-Eye put in bitterly. “More than enough to claim the land and set it to rights. We were all to have homes there,” he reminded her. “He promised all of us a cottage and a little plot of land. He – “
“The boy knows all about that, One-Eye,” Henry interrupted, silencing the first-mate.
“Aye, I know.” Valoree sighed. “But the Spaniards took the riches when they killed Jeremy.”
Henry nodded. “Aye. And that means we would have to start over.”
“Start over!” Valoree glared at him. “Eight years it took my brother to acquire that money. Do not tell me you now want to waste another eight years.”
The man hesitated at that, then cleared his throat. “Well, now, I been thinkin’ on that, too. It occurs to me that out there somewhere is a Spanish galleon with yer brother’s treasure on it- or someone who knows where it is. If we could just manage to find that...”
“The Spaniard with the scar!” Valoree exclaimed. Henry nodded solemnly.
“We could kill two birds with one stone. We could have revenge and settle down in England all nice and proper, too.”
“For life and vengeance,” she murmured thoughtfully.
“Aye,” the quartermaster agreed. “For our life, and Jeremy’s vengeance.”



Thanks to Avon Romance for the awesome excerpt! Who else loves pirates? I know I do!


 
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this post.

Spotlight on "Ride Hard"

"Ride Hard"
by Laura Kaye
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Source: sent by publisher


Summary from goodreads.com:

Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders . . .

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . . 




Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher.

Review and Giveaway! "The Groom Wore Plaid" Blog Tour

To celebrate the release of Gayle Callen's newest historical romance, "The Groom Wore Plaid", I'm happy to participate in the blog tour with my review and a tour-wide giveaway of FIVE print copies of the book!!

"The Groom Wore Plaid"
by Gayle Callen
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: Feb 23, 2016

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Falling in love means tempting fate in this passionate new novel in USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen's Highland Weddings series.

Maggie McCallum's dreams about her new fiancé aren't the romantic sort. It's not just that she was bartered to Owen Duff like a piece of property to end a clan feud. She's also haunted by premonitions of his death on their upcoming wedding day. Yet the exasperating Highlander won't let her call it off, even though his life and his clan are both in jeopardy.

Owen has wanted Maggie in his bed since he first glimpsed her years ago. If their union restores peace between their clans, so much the better. But while lusting after another chief's sister had its risks, growing to trust Maggie is far more dangerous. Owen is falling deeply in love with the one woman he cannot hope to claim . . . and survive.
My Review:

Books like this are why I love historical romance novels. I lost myself for an entire morning reading this book as quickly as possible. The story and the writing flowed along so nicely, the pages just kept turning almost of their own accord. I've read romances were the actual romance between the leads might have been stronger or more star crossed, but I loved the way this book had balance. The supporting characters and side mystery really drew me in as much as the romance story.

The romance was much more of a slow burn between the hero and heroine but it was quite believable that way considering the circumstances. Maggie and Owen had met and actually had a bit of a romance when they were teenagers. But Own was betrothed to another woman, and dismissed Maggie's visions of the death of his bride as a jealous ploy for his attention. Flash forward ten years, and Maggie's vision had come true, and the couple finds themselves betrothed as part of a contract between their two families.

Maggie has a vision of Owen dying this time, and she devises ways to keep him at arms' length and even make him think she is an unsuitable bride. Of course, he wants to marry her anyway and it's so cute to see him immune to all of her plots to make herself both unattractive and disagreeable.

The leads are strong, Owen is so serious and tries to make himself unaffected by any emotions. He comes along nicely though, and his attraction and affection for Maggie is always apparent. Maggie is somewhat funny in her attempts to keep Owen away. It does become just a bit tiresome to hear her always referring to her dream of his death, but it shows how seriously she takes her visions.

The supporting characters are so much fun and keep the story lighthearted. Kathleen, Maggie's maid is so sweet and genuine. Cat, Owen's sister, is refreshing in that she is always on Maggie's side even though their family's don't get along.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: Gayle Callen hits it out of the park with this historical romance. There is a little something for everyone and the romance, the storyline, and the characters all tie together for a seamless, page-turning read.



Purchase Here:

THE GROOM WORE PLAID –

http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062268006/the-groom-wore-plaid


THE GROOM WORE PLAID on Goodreads

HIGHLAND WEDDINGS series on Goodreads



About the Author

After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, GAYLE CALLEN found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog Uma and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane.

Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.


Connect with Gayle Callen

Website - www.gaylecallen.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleCallen

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleCallen

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/46974.Gayle_Callen


Tour-Wide Giveaway!

The publisher is giving away FIVE copies of "The Groom Wore Plaid" during the blog tour! Enter for your chance to win below!

This contest and Rafflecopter widget is run by the publicist, not In the Hammock, the info you submit, prizing and emails will be handled and administrated by the publicist.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Recipe from Gena Showalter! Naughty or Nice Blog Tour Giveaway

Today, I'd like to welcome the Harlequin Naughty or Nice Blog Tour to In the Hammock! I'm featuring a recipe from author Gena Showalter along with a tour-wide giveaway!!



"The Harder You Fall"
by Gena Showalter

Synopsis: 


Find Gena Showalter:


More info on "The Harder You Fall" here:

Bestselling Author Gena Showalter Shares Her Favorite Recipe: Cornbread and Spicy Turkey Stuffing

I found this recipe several years ago and despite protests from my family—too spicy!—decided to give it

a try. I’m so glad I did! The spiciness is tamed by the cream (it’s like winning a bad boy with a heart of

gold…you get the best of both worlds). So go ahead, dim the lights and unbutton your pants. You’re

going to eat way too much. But your taste buds will thank you.



Ingredients for Cornbread:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups stone ground cornmeal

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp white sugar

5 eggs, beaten

6 tbsp butter, melted

3 cups buttermilk



Ingredients for Stuffing:

2 tbsp salt

2 tsp ground white pepper

2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp onion powder

4 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried thyme

6 tsp chopped fresh basil

4 bay leaves

1 cup minced onion

1 cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped parsley

2 cups chopped red or green bell pepper

2 green chili peppers, chopped

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 cup butter

2 cups chicken broth

1 tbsp hot sauce

7 eggs, beaten

2 cups evaporated milk





Directions for Cornbread:

Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Butter a 13 × 9 inch pan.



Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar, and mix well.





Whisk together the eggs, butter and buttermilk. Add wet to dry ingredients, mixing just until

incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.



Bake in preheated oven until top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow

to cool completely.





Direction for Stuffing:

In a small bowl, combine the salt with the white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder,

oregano, thyme, basil and bay leaves.



In another bowl, combine the minced onions, green onions, parsley, red or green peppers, chili peppers

and garlic.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the spices and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetables and

cook about 5 minutes. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the broth and hot sauce. Stir and cook

5 minutes more. Crumble the cornbread into the skillet and mix then remove pan from heat.

Whisk the eggs and evaporated milk, and pour into stuffing mixture. Return to low heat and cook,

stirring, for about 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Place stuffing in a bowl, and let cool before

stuffing turkey.




Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your recipe, Gena!! This sounds so yummy!!

Check out the rest of the tour stops here on the TOUR PAGE


Now for the tour-wide giveaway!!!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • 1 print copy of The Harder You Fall by Gena Showalter, White Wedding Christmas by Andrea Laurence, A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Wrapped in Red by Nana Malone and Sherelle Green
  • 1 eBook copy of A Copper Ridge Christmas by Maisey Yates and Under the Spotlight by Kate Willoughby
  • 100,000 Harlequin MyRewards points
  • 2 Harlequin Classics limited edition notebooks
  • 1 Brenda Jackson Westmoreland limited edition notebook
Please enter via the Rafflecopter form.
Giveaway and Rafflecopter are run by Kismet Tours and Harlequin. In the Hammock does not control the giveaway, entry information, or prizing.

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"Lady Killer" Review

"Lady Killer"
by Joelle Jones
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: Sept 15, 2015

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother—but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer for hire! A brand-new original comedy series that combines the wholesome imagery of early 1960s domestic bliss with a tightening web of murder, paranoia, and cold-blooded survival.

* New original series by Joëlle Jones!

* Dark comedy, gritty action, and killer laughs!
My Review:

This graphic novel casts a 1960s housewife as a trained killer, and not even her perfect husband and children know about her secret life. The art in this book is gorgeous and will appeal to anyone who loves that mid-century style and doesn't mind the blood and gore. The book doesn't take itself too seriously, and fans of dark comedy and campy-ness will love this tale.

I love the contrast of Josie's life at home with her family up against her spot-on precision at killing the bad guys. I liked seeing the "helpless" 60s housewife played against the intelligent and strong woman that Josie is in her professional life. It's a constant internal struggle for her, trying to decide if she wants to cut ties with her profession.

The story held my interest until the end, but the real star here is the artwork. It's just gorgeous! The artist captures the era perfectly and creates a beautiful and strong heroine.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5

Art: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: This is the unexpected tale of 1960s housewife turned killer, with a captivating story and superb art!


Buy from Dark Horse Comics: https://www.darkhorse.com/Books/26-356/Lady-Killer-TPB


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall" Review

"The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall"
by Katie Alender
Publisher: Point
Release Date: Aug. 25, 2015

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness.
My Review:

This one took a long time before it really grabbed me, but once it did, I couldn't put the book down! What a  perfect creepy read for this time of year! The author takes a big risk and I really think it payed off and made for a very interesting and unique take on a ghost story. This story is super spooky at times, but in addition to the ghost story, there is a heartfelt message about the bond between families.

Since I love historicals, I love that even though this is a contemporary story, some of the ghosts lived 100 years ago. The storytelling really ties the past into the current story. There is interesting commentary on what it means to be 'troubled' both today and in the past, especially for women.

I loved the recurring theme of "everything is not always what it seems." I feel like this applied to the story over and over again. It was really eye opening and reminded the reader be open minded about everyone and everything, and not to take anything at face value.

You really have to read this one for yourself to truly understand the core of the book. I don't want to give any spoilers here, but know that this one really picks up speed around 20% into the book!


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: The perfect read for a dark and stormy October night!


Grab this one right now for Kindle for only $2.99!! I'm not sure how long this price will last, so double check the price before you click buy!!


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Wonder Woman Vol. 7: War Torn" Review

"Wonder Woman Vol. 7: War Torn"
Writer: Meredith Finch, Artist: David Finch
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: Sept. 8, 2015
Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Please welcome the new superstar creative team of writer Meredith Finch The new creative team of writer Meredith Finch and artist David Finch takes over! A mythological force seemingly tied to Wonder Woman’s role as War has attacked the Amazons, and as her own people lose faith in her, a new queen arises to take her place! Guest-starring Superman, Swamp Thing, Aquaman and more. Collects WONDER WOMAN #36-40 and ANNUAL #1.
My Review:

With excitement building for Gal Gadot's portrayal of Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Film, now is the time to do your homework and study up this fantastic superhero! Wonder Woman struggles with both external and internal battles in this graphic novel, both of which keep the pages turning!

Diana is finding it difficult to balance her role in the Justice League with her roles as Queen of the Amazons, and The God of War. Some of the Amazons think she is spending to much valuable time as a superhero and not enough time as their queen, so a new, and evil, queen is created to take her place. When she's not dealing with this supervillain, Diana struggles with how being the God of War is affecting her decisions. She doesn't want to be so aggressive but becoming The God of War has undeniably changed her. Never fear, because Wonder Woman is still driven by her desire to help those in need, always putting others first.

The issues in this collection tie together seamlessly. You're never left missing part of the story. I love that the other members of the Justice League show up to help Wonder Woman on her journey. It's always great to see Superman, Aquaman, The Flash, and others. The art is beautiful, and can also be at times gruesome as well.  

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 4/5

Art: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: This graphic novel finds Wonder Woman moving a new direction in her life, and I think it's successful as a set up for future volumes!

Buy from DC Comics: http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/wonder-woman-vol-7-war-torn

 
Check out Entertainment Weekly's feature on the upcoming Batman V Superman film!


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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