Friday, May 20, 2016

Break Time

The blog is undergoing a slight break as I ready my gardens. Already have in quite a bit of stuff, but a lot to go. I'll share photos when I get closer to the finish line. I'll also be sharing first images of the new magazine!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dark Days Series - Jocelynn Drake

Today's reviews are part of a series that has been out awhile, but I've come across a lot of people that have never heard of it before, and if you like the paranormal with a strong female lead, then this is a series for you.

There is a lot of violence, and it's a very original take on the vampire genre, along with other supernaturals, but the sex is used sparingly, but the violence is not. But it's a very compelling set of books and I was a bit bummed when it ended. This is a series of 6 books, and all of them are good reads.

Nightwalker (Book 1 in the Dark Days series)Jocelynn Drake

For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.
The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted.

My Take:

These books follow Mira - a nightwalker who's been around for centuries. She's a hard core enforcer, with the elemental ability to handle and manipulate fire, which is unheard of in the vampire realm.

A long time ago, a group known as the Naturi, captured and tortured Mira, trying to steal and control her powers - whom if left loose, will destroy both humans and vampires. But a triad of powerful vampires saved Mira, and now the triad is broken, and it's up to Mira to save the humans and vampires from the Naturi. But there is a human vampire slayer, Danaus, who has been hunting Mira. But Danuas and Mira have to team up to stop the Naturi for the good of the world, with the understanding that they will get back to "killing each other" when they are done with the mission. 

It's best to start at the beginning of the series and read through, as you learn that Danaus isn't entirely human, and more and more about Mira's past and what has turned her into what she is today. All the books are excellent reads, and keeps a good pace. There is a lot of violence, the books are packed with graphic violence - there is a bit of romance for the romance lovers out there, and a lot of mystery, suspense and secrets. Good all around paranormal series.

Available at Amazon now.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Off Topic - Estas Tonne

Since it's Sunday, and I may make another post later, I wanted to set aside a spot for a musician that blows my mind. I found him a few years ago on YouTube and have listened to many of the videos up, and since then, he's racked up over 21 million views on The Song of the Golden Dragon. Estas Tonne was born in the Ukraine, but considers himself a being of the world, and doesn't identify with any one country, being committed to the sounds of the world. You don't have to believe in the new age medium that he does to enjoy his incredible talent.

So please listen and enjoy this slight reprieve from books, gardens and goats. Light some incense, sit back and feel the music that Estas brings to the world.

To read more about Estas, visit his site:

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Vampires in America Series, by D.B. Reynolds

Let's take a look at a really well written vampire series. Even though the vampire world has been written almost to death in the past few years, I myself still enjoy the genre, and if the series catches me, I will sink my teeth into the book and come up for air later. Vampires in America series by D.B. Reynolds is one of those series that you can get fully immersed in.

This series is full on with 10 full books, and a scattering of novellas in between. Personally, I've read the first 3, and the only thing stopping me from reading the rest is a lack of time and the old adage, "Not enough time to read everything I want to" kicks in. But it's my mission to get to them all.


Vampires in America, Book One
D.B. Reynolds - available now

Malibu, California—home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires. Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he’d give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it’s too late. Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who’s tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn’s happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself. Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both. 

My Take:

This book brings you Raphael, the powerful and gorgeous Vampire Lord. Raphael is power personified, and those who dare to cross him, risk so with their lives. But when a gang of humans kidnap a female vampire, Raphael hires tough PI, Cynthia. Cyn is smart, tough and beautiful, and is used to the ways of the vampire society. But what Raphael didn't bargain for, is how Cyn has managed to get under his skin. 

There have been storylines that are so similar in this genre of vampires, but this book throws a few good twists in to make it original. And D.B. Reynolds has a true knack to her writing, that takes you a bit to get used to, but she draws you in and holds you captive once you do. This story is not for the faint of heart, there is violence, hot sex scenes and enough swearing to take on the closest sailor, but it's smart, sexy and an excellent read. 

So far reading, this had been my favorite, with Raphael high on a pedestal for me, and no one has knocked him off yet. You will begin to meet other characters, which will show up in their own books down the line. And another great thing is that the characters keep coming back in the future books, something I appreciate in a series.

I think this is a win win book, and I highly recommend it for fans of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. 

I really have to make time to catch up with this series. 

Raphael and the rest of the books are available on Amazon now.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Drawn to a Book Cover

Many times, (being a graphic designer by day), what attracts me to a book is the book cover. And an artist that grabs me every single time, is Tony Mauro. From Chloe Neill, Jennifer Estep and Nalini Singh, a cover can grab your attention, give the author that critical second look that stands out from the pack of books they are competing with - and when they employ Tony Mauro for cover art, they've got my second look. Tony has a real knack for illustrating the setting and feel of a book, with just his cover work. There are several more books that I've picked up and read, just because I saw his work on the cover.

A few of his works (and yes, I've read all these books, and will report):

So think about that, did you pick up a book because the cover attracted you enough to read it's back cover in a book store, or enough to stop you to read the blurb online? A good cover can get the second look, but a GREAT cover will convey what's inside the book. So check out the rest of Tony Mauro's Book Cover Illustrations. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Wonderful Work of Shannon Mayer

Shannon Mayer is an author I discovered through Amazon, being a big fan of Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Shannon Mayer's books popped up in my recommendations. So I looked it over, and decided to give the first book a try.

The price was reasonable at 2.99 a kindle edition, so I figured it wouldn't break the bank. (I hate paying high prices on kindle editions, makes no sense to me). But these books are well edited and contain very few goofs, they read as if they are coming from a major publishing house, even though Ms. Mayer started out as an Indie author.

So I dug into Priceless, the 1st book in the Rylee Adamson series. And what a fun ride! Ms. Mayer hit a home run in my opinion with this book.

Priceless -  Rylee Adamson Series, Book 

"My name is Rylee and I am a Tracker." 
  When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I'm the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.
   I'm on the FBI's wanted list. 
   I have a werewolf for a pet, a Witch of a best friend, and have no need for anyone else in my life. 
  But when a salvage starts to spin out of control, help comes from a most unexpected direction. One that is dangerously dark, brooding, and doesn't know a thing about the supernatural. 

One whose kisses set me on fire.

My Take:

Rylee is a tracker, who uses her supernatural gifts to find missing children that humans can't find. She is a kick-ass herione, and everything you want in a character. She's not perfect, and she makes mistakes, but it also makes her believable. But that's not all. There is humor, intrigue, a bit of romance, wonderful sarcasm and plenty of action.

There are plenty of other "supes" in this, including Rylee's best friend Milly, a witch, and her humorous and loyal sidekick Alex, who is a werewolf, but since he isn't an alpha, he's stuck forever in a form between a wolf and a human.

In this first book, Rylee must team up with the FBI agent O'Shea, and this is a slow-burning attraction between them, and they both hate themselves for feeling the attraction, and fight it. O'Shea believes that Rylee murdered her little sister, and has been trying - unsuccessfully - to prove it for the last ten years. Forced to team up with her for a case, and seeing what she is dealing with, will force O'Shea to see Rylee in a new light.

And there are plenty of supernaturals in this world. A lot that are fresh and I haven't seen a lot of in other books. This book keeps you engaged as a reader, and moves along at a good pace. I give this one 4 Stars.

Now I've read the first 7 books in this series, and they keep getting better and better. There are 10 books total in the series, and a couple novellas. I have them all on my kindle, and I will get to them, and report back when I'm finished.

Ms. Mayer is now writing The Elemental Series, she is a prolific writer and seems to pump out a book every 2 months. Love that I don't have to wait too long.

If you go to and sign up for her newsletter, you can get a free book that introduces you to the Rylee Adamson series and The Elemental series.

Find Shannon Mayer's books on Amazon and Goodreads.

Darlene Kuncytes...Author

Darlene Kuncytes, the author of the books I reviewed yesterday, graciously agreed to an interview, and a giveaway here on the blog.

Since this blog is only a couple days old, I'd like to wait and let it get some extra traction before, but I can't thank this author enough for her consideration.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review: The Supernatural Desire Series, Darlene Kuncytes

I was pleasantly surprised with this trio of books, a well-rounded group of stories, with intrigue, danger, romance and amazing characters. Full of wit, humor and some hot sex, these characters had me laughing out loud at times. Shall we begin?

A Vampire's Saving Grace

In the first book of the series, we meet most of the characters of the series. And believe me, all the
characters are amazing, and you care about all of them, even secondary. This story introduces you to
them all, but this book concentrates on Desmond and Abby. Desmond is a drop dead gorgeous alpha vampire,who is still trying to get through pain of the past.  Abby is attacked on her way home one night and Desmond saves her. Desmond immediately feels he needs to protect Abby, and Abby learns of a world she never knew existed, and even has secrets that she's unaware of, and puts her in great danger. Watching the two characters bond, learn to trust and love just pulls you right in and doesn't let go. Great storyline, and it can be easily read as a standalone, but once you meet the secondary characters, you will definitely want to continue with the series.

There aren't any slow areas in this book. Very smartly written, and the characters are easy to care about.   5 Stars!!

A Wolf's Savage Embrace

This book concentrates on Lucas and Katrina, whom we met in book one. Lucas is an alpha werewolf and a close friend of Desmond. Katrina, a talented witch, is stubborn and fiercely independent. Lucas is sarcastic, hard-headed and amazingly gorgeous. When Katrina gets news of a sister she didn't know
about, Lucas follows, feeling something is wrong. The banter between Katrina and Lucas is the best in this book. But the chemistry and attraction between the two, cannot be denied. But the mission is dangerous and Katrina learns things about herself and her family. The two of them must combine forces to survive, and fall in love at the same time.

Full of secrets and danger, this book will keep you reading long after your bedtime. Hot sex, a lot of humor, and a good storyline that flows effortlessly. Again, I give this one 5 Stars.

Free with KindleUnlimited

Marcus' Mortal Embrace

This story revolves around Marcus (Desmond's brother) and Elizabeth, who knocks Marcus for a loop. Elizabeth was an abused woman with a past, and now works to help other battered women.
Marcus, a gorgeous vampire, is in New Orleans trying to track down a rogue vampire who is killing humans. But Marcus has sworn off entanglements because of a past he regrets. But when he meets Liz, his world is blown apart. This book is a bit darker with a more serious subject matter than the previous two versions, but it's an amazing story, and it pulls you right in and doesn't let go. Another 5 Star book.

Free with KindleUnlimited

To sum this series up, these are fantastic reads for the paranormal romance fans. The story lines flow effortlessly from one page to the next - never disjointed and sweeps you into the intrigue. The author has a way of describing places and people to make you feel a part of the story yourself. The characters will leap off the pages, and I loved all of the characters, even the secondary. And it was such a treat to see earlier characters return in each book. Each book has a very original story line with intrigue, humor and sexy characters. I've heard there will be a 4th book in process, and I will be one of the first in line to read it. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Welcome to Uncaged

When coming up for a name for the blog, I thought about the magazine I worked for as a reviewer, how much I enjoyed it, and also about the constraints. Reviews had word limits, or they wouldn't fit in it's designated space. Some books deserved more. Some could be summed up very nicely in the space we were allotted. But I wanted somewhere to give the books the space they deserve. So "Uncaged" was born.

I'll be doing a lot of book reviews, and some features with authors and interviews, and the books will get the space they deserve. There will also be a new magazine starting up with this blog, and I don't have a jump off date for it yet, but it will be downloadable, and you will be able to read it via Issuu. Free. It will always be free.

To break it up, I'll post some whacky antics by my goats, and some very odd and hilarious DIY projects I get myself involved in. Being a single mother, I've learned to do things on my own, and probably not in the traditional way. But I'm always evolving and learning, even if it's just a good laugh.

I'm also huge on gardens and canning and freezing vegetables, and I'm hoping to up my experience in canning to pressure canning. May be a disaster in the making. Hopefully I won't blow up the place.

I had horses all my life, and although I lost my horse just a short time ago, eventually I know my heart will open to a new friend when it's time.

So enjoy the blog, and I hope you enjoy and find something you'll want to read!

So to start things off, here is a recipe for you. We grow our own potatoes, onions, garlic and chives, but it's still an easy, low cost, quick side dish whenever you need it.

Homemade Fried Potatoes

3-4 small to medium potatoes (I prefer russets)
1 Tablespoon onion - chopped
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 garlic clove - minced
Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning Mix to taste
Sprinkle of fresh chives

Cook the potatoes in the microwave for a few minutes to precook them quicker.
Skin, and slice the potatoes when finished into a fry pan, with all the ingredients except the chives.
Keep turning and cooking until golden brown. During the last 5 minutes, sprinkle the chives on to finish. Serve hot. Serves 2-3. In my house, only 2. ;)

You can double or triple the recipe to accommodate how many you're serving. And you know when you buy those bags of potatoes at the store and always get the smaller ones that won't really work for baking? PERFECT here. Potato lovers unite.