Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life


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Mist by Susan Krinard

mist book cover

New York Times bestselling author SUSAN KRINARD launches her first urban fantasy series with MIST.

Mist lives a normal life. She has a normal job, a normal boyfriend, and a normal apartment in San Francisco. She never thinks about her past if she can help it.

She survived. That’s the end of it.

But then a snowy winter descends upon San Francisco. In June. And in quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.

Mist’s normal world is falling apart. But thankfully, Mist isn’t quite so normal herself. She’s a Valkyrie, and she’s going to need all her skill to thwart Loki’s schemes and save modern Earth from the ravages of a battle of the gods.

 

 

As many of you already know, I won  Mist by Susan Krinard over at Reflections of a Book Addict and I promised I’d leave my thoughts about it after reading. I’d stated in my earlier post that this was a new genre for me. Although I will read just about anything, for some reason I’d just never read any urban fantasies. I had no preconceived ideas as far as whether I’d like it, love it or hate it. I was looking forward to delving into new territory. Since I won the book, it cost me nothing but a little time to try the new genre. I didn’t read any reviews for Mist before I started reading and I’m glad. I read a few after I’d finished it and there was quite a few spoilers that I’d have been annoyed at knowing before I’d read the book. I understand the spoilers though. It’s difficult to detail the story line for you without the spoilers, so I’m not even going to try. Heck, even the blurb up there has a spoiler. I’ll just tell you what I think of the story.

I’m not exactly well versed in Norse mythology, but not completely ignorant either. I’ve read quite a few books about Odin, Loki, and the Valkyries, but never one set in modern times. So that was new for me and I actually liked it. As with most first books in a series, Mist was a lot about world building, back story and character development. I found it slow going at first. About ten pages in I was tempted to give the book to someone else and forget it, but I trudged on and eventually the beginnings of a good story began to emerge.

About the characters: Quite a few of the reviews I read said they felt Mist lacked emotion, therefore making it difficult to connect to her character. I disagree completely. I felt she was an emotional wreck. Sure she was trying to be the big, brave Valkyrie with a tight leash on her emotions, but it was clear this wasn’t the case. Her emotions were in full force, both complicated and conflicted. Kind of like how I felt about this story. It endeared her to me and made me want to know her better.  The elf, Dainn, was a super interesting character, also super annoying. Although I think he’s the male lead in the story, I was not enamored. There was something lacking, but I think (hope) he’ll improve as the series continues. Loki was vile, disgusting, and conniving as Loki always is, but his character wasn’t a villain I love to hate. He seemed weak and I really didn’t feel much about him one way or the other. I found the frost giants intriguing and thought the characterization of Freya was done well. Mist takes two young teens into her home and I think I like them and that part of the story line best of all. I would definitely like to know more about them and watch as their story unfolds.

I heard some complaints among the other reviewers about the differing POVs in the story, but to me this was a definite plus. I love being allowed inside the mind of all the main characters. That is, as long as it’s not over done and ruins all the surprises a story should hold. Maybe I would have held back on some of the details learned in this first installment, but I can’t be sure of that without reading the entire series first.

The Gods are going to war and modern earth is the designated battleground, Mist and her allies are the force that’s supposed to prevent that and save earth from the destruction the war would cause. That being said there are quite a few violent, action-packed fight scenes in the book.  But then, what kind of  a Valkyrie heroine would Mist be if she didn’t have a chance to kick some butt?

So, did I love it or not? That’s a good question. And one I’m not sure I can answer. I’m conflicted. There were things I loved about it and things I didn’t care for at all. By the time I reached the last page, I was pretty engrossed in the story, so I’d certainly read the next book in the series. I guess I’ll say I liked it and I’m optimistic that the next books will just get better and better. Would I recommend Mist to a friend. Yes, if it’s something I think they’d enjoy. I actually gave my copy to a friend because I think she’ll love it.


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My Free Kindle Books

book-Image2I’m having a free giveaway for all my Kindle books and I almost forgot to mention it here on my blog. From today through Sept. 30, 2013 you can get my books free for your Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? Neither do I. But I do have the free Kindle for PC. There’s so many great reads on Kindle, I decided to download the PC Kindle so I can take advantage of them. If you do download any of my books, I hope you enjoy the read. 🙂


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I WOn a COntest!

mist book coverOkay, to some, winning a contest might not be such a huge deal. It’s big to me because I never win anything. This win is especially nice because it’s a new book. Mist by Susan Krinard. I’ve never read anything by this author and I’ve never read an urban fantasy. It’s a genre I’ve had on my ‘to try’ list for a long time and then I saw this contest over at Reflections of a Book Addict. All I had to do was leave a comment and since I was going to leave one anyway that wasn’t a chore. I left my comment and followed the site so I could go back and read more reviews, then I promptly forgot I’d entered. It never occurred to me that I might actually win. But I did and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to get the book and delve into this new world of urban fantasy. And who knows, I may have found a new author to adore. My heartfelt thanks to Kimberly over at Reflections of a Book Addict for having the contest. 🙂


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Book Reviews – Intimacy: How to Get More of It and Darn Good Eats by Jodi Ambrose

Jodi book coverIntimacy: How to Get More of It – A peek into understanding the male mind.

By Jodi Ambrose

On Amazon

http://jodiambroseblog.com

Blurb: Okay ladies, it’s about time for you to get what you need and want from your man. If you are ready for more intimacy and happiness in your relationship, then you have come to right place. My goal is to provide you with 20 steps that will help you get the kind of relationship that makes you giggle yourself silly with joy. Is it more cuddle-time you want? More overall sweetness? Or maybe you are looking to rekindle that spark which, over time, has dimmed a bit? I’m going to give you tips and tricks on how to get all of that, on your own terms. We’re going to get down to brass tacks here, so prepare yourself. We’ll talk about body parts, manipulation strategies (that sounds terrible, I know!), picking your battles, learning how to trust and a whole host of other ideas designed to create a happier home life for both you and your man. Happy wife, happy life. Happy spouse, happy house. We’ve heard it all before. Now it’s time to make it happen! Come along on this journey with me and discover the strategies that will help you get more of what you desire from the love of your life. Enjoy!

This is Jodi’s companion book to the one written for guys, Sex: How to Get More of It. I reviewed that one a while back. You can find it in the categories under book reviews. I’m also going to give my thoughts on her cookbook, Darn Good Eats.

I think the thing I love most about Jodi’s books is they’re full of personality. Ever read one of those relationship help books that made you wish you were having a root canal? I was sent a couple of these when I was working as a reviewer and believe me, it was like wading through thick pools of molasses in the middle of winter. I thought I’d never get them read. You won’t have to worry about that with Jodi’s books. They’re full of her personality, cute, sassy, humorous, and down to earth. Easy reads that you’ll whip right through and in my case, I’ve read them twice and enjoyed them both times. And I’m sure I’ll probably read them again from time to time.

Once again, like the guy’s version, this is a twenty-step list. While reading number one on the list (potty time is private time) I laughed so hard, I needed some potty time. It reminded me so much of the first year with my dear hubby. I’ll be honest, I did not go to quite the extremes Jodi went to, but I was up at least a couple of hours before him every morning to get all my stuff done. Thank goodness those ridiculous, crazy days are behind me, but I’m still with Jodi on this one. Potty time is most definitely private time in my home. And that is just the first on the list. There’s plenty of good fun to be had reading the next nineteen.

And girls, pay close attention to number sixteen. This deals with the trust issue. If you take nothing else from the book, take Jodi’s word for this one. The lady knows what she’s talking about. In my opinion it’s the single most important aspect of a relationship. That’s not to say the other points on the list aren’t important, they are. I didn’t find anything I’d disagree with.

I’m not going to tell you that you’ve never heard any of this advice before. You may have, but probably not in such an entertaining way. For that matter, advice is easy. We get it thrown at us all the time. The really great thing about this author is that she explains in simple detail how to go about applying these principals in your day-to-day life with very little effort on your part. So what are you waiting for? Want more intimacy, but hate those boring relationship books? Get this one. You’ll love it.

 

 

book-cover-small-cookbook

Darn Good Eats: The cookbook for Creative Chefs and Reluctant Cooks

On Amazon

Book Blurb: Whether you love to cook or would rather starve than spend time in a kitchen, Darn Good Eats: The Cookbook for Creative Chefs and Reluctant Cooks is for you! Reluctant Cook and author Jodi Ambrose teamed up with her Creative Chef husband, Grant, to bring you a cookbook with an unusual twist. Darn Good Eats provides scrumptious recipes for both the kitchen aficionado and the bumbling cook. Pooling together all of their combined kitchen savvy, they’ve created a cookbook that applies to anyone and everyone. Along with a list of must-have items for your kitchen, helpful measurement conversions, delightful personal anecdotes and a witty sense of humor, this cookbook delivers over 70 delectable and inspired recipes for both the kitchen novice and cooking expert. You no longer have to be a good cook to make great food. So that it’s easy to navigate, the cookbook is split into two parts. The first part is for Creative Chefs who love, or at least like, to cook. It contains tantalizing recipes which range from simple to challenging and are bound to be crowd-pleasers. The second part is for people who prefer eating over cooking and find the kitchen to be more of a chore than a delight. The Reluctant Cook will now have a wonderful array of options for making “homemade” meals that (shhh…don’t tell) in some cases are far from homemade, but are still mouthwateringly delicious. Whether you love or hate the kitchen, Darn Good Eats: The Cookbook for Creative Chefs and Reluctant Cooks has plenty of tasty recipes to please even the most discerning palate. We know that you’ll enjoy both the food and fun contained within this cookbook and we wish for you many happy and delicious meals.

If you collect cookbooks like I do, add this one to your collection. And most definitely get it if you hate to cook, don’t know how to cook or are stressed for time and need some delicious recipes that are fairly quick and easy. This book covers it all from sauces and appetizers to main courses and desserts. Like Jodi’s other books, this one is full of good humor and lots of personality.

I checked out some of these homemade goodies and they are delicious. A little too delicious sometimes. But what I like best are the options Jodi gives us. There are some double recipes, first with all the good stuff that could add a few inches to the waistline and then the less guilty variety. Most of these recipes are pretty easy to make even for first time cooks.

Something all you reluctant cooks or stressed for time cooks will love are the cheats. Yes, I said cheats. These “look home made, but far from it” recipes will be your best friend in the kitchen. I love to cook myself, but over the years I’ve learned a lot of shortcuts to cooking due to time issues or disaster. Like the time I was suppose to have five guests for Thanksgiving and ended up feeding 22 instead. The meal cooked for the five was all homemade from scratch. The added food not so much. And the best part about these cheat recipes from Jodi is you can take the ideas and run with them. Apply them to all kinds of food. People will think you are the greatest in the kitchen even if you can barely boil water.

Since Jodi’s husband is a chef, I expected these recipes to be good. I just wasn’t prepared for just how good they turned out to be. So if you love to cook or hate to cook, you’ll find something to love about this cookbook.



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Sex: How to Get More of It – Book Review

jodi ambroseSex: How to Get More of It

Paperback – 40 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0615443430

On Amazon

http://jodiambroseblog.com/

Book blurb: How can you make your woman happy and also get what you need? Believe it or not, it’s not impossible! And it doesn’t cost more than a couple of bucks here and there–no trips to Italy or expensive jewelry required. In this handbook, which I’ve kept intentionally short and to-the-point, you will get insight into how women think so that you can speak and behave in a way that will reignite her passion for you. To help you with this I’ve come up with THE LIST which contains 20 easy things you can do to make your relationship happier, more peaceful, and full of love, romance and sex. Ultimately, women want to feel safe, loved, appreciated and cherished. I’m going to give you the tools you need to help her feel exactly that. Enjoy the handbook and I hope it helps bring you and your girl joy that will last a lifetime. 

 

I’ve been reading these three books by author Jodi Ambrose, Sex: How to Get More of It (guide for the guys), Intimacy: How to Get More of It (guide for the girls), and Darn Good Eats (a cookbook). I plan to review all three, but today I’m concentrating on the first, Sex: How to Get More of It. This is a guide or handbook for you guys on understanding how to keep the lady in your life happy, thus getting more sex. Because if your lady is happy, she’s a lot more apt to want to please you, and this stands true for all aspects of your relationship, not just sex. You know the old expression, “happy wife, happy life”, well that ain’t no bull. And if your woman is unhappy, she can and probably will make sure you are just as miserable or more so.

It may seem strange that I’d read the guide for guys first considering I’m female. So I’m going to be completely honest. Number one: I wanted to see if the author was full of crap. Number two: I really, really wanted to see how well my beloved hubby measured up. I’ll let you know how well he did later. One thing I wasn’t expecting when I began reading was just how much fun this little book would be. Jodi writes with a lot of natural humor while shooting straight from the hip and letting you guys know just how it is.

I loved the simplicity of the to do and not to do lists in the book. There’s nothing extravagant, expensive or time consuming on them. Pretty much just simple little things that can either make your lady look at you like you’re that shining knight on the white horse she always dreamed of or if you’re doing too many of the do not do things, she could be wondering what on earth she was thinking to have saddled herself to you.

If you had asked my ex if we had a good relationship, he’d have said it was great even though any fool could have seen how miserable I was. And to be honest he was very good at doing most of the things on the to do list. Unfortunately he also did almost everything and then some on the do not do list. And no matter how many times I tried to discuss it with him, he didn’t see a problem. And that’s why he’s my ex.

And some of you gentlemen are probably shaking your head and saying, “I don’t need this book. My relationship is perfect and I’m getting more sex than I can handle.” As Jodi says, if that’s really true, great; you don’t need the book. But I ask, aren’t you curious? Wouldn’t you love to see how many things on the ‘to do list’ you actually do or how many things on the ‘don’t do list’ you’re doing? It couldn’t hurt to read it. In fact it’s a fun book you can read in one sitting. No pain at all. If you don’t care and aren’t interested then fine, no skin off my nose. I’m talking to the other guys.

And ladies, Jodi wrote one for us too. I’ll be reviewing it next. But that doesn’t mean you can’t read this one. In fact I recommend you do just for the hilarious good time you’ll have reading it. Oh and my hubby came out on top. Does he do everything right all the time? No, of course not and neither should anyone else. But he does everything on the ‘do list’ often and only one or two things on the ‘don’t list’ occasionally. I don’t want to give away too much of the book, but there is one thing we both never ever do and that’s insult each other’s looks or intelligence in any way. And one thing we both always do is being polite to each other. Please and thank you go a long way.


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Lizzie And The Boy’s Club Now On Kindle

Lizzie and the Boy’s Club is now on Kindle for 99 cents.

Growing up in the Florida Everglades, Lizzie, an undisputed tomboy, doesn’t have to look for trouble. It finds her. Determined to prove a girl is every bit as good as a boy, she tries to join the Everglade Rebels, an all boy’s club. Come with Lizzie on her adventures, as she makes a bid for female equality. A story for both children and adults, “Lizzie And The Boy’s Club” will take you back to a time of coal oil lanterns and outhouses. A wholesome adventure about friends, family, and one little girl who can’t stay out of trouble.

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003OQUQBA 

Hardcover with free summer shipping: http://www.lulu.com/product/hardcover/lizzie-and-the-boys-club/3915273


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Black Rock On Kindle for 99 cents

Black Rock by E. G. Parsons

Now 99 cents on Kindle.  http://www.amazon.com/Black-Rock-ebook/dp/B003JTHZFW/ref

After the death of her father, Roxanne leaves Boston and returns to the family ranch in Texas. Still mourning and trying to readjust to life on the ranch, her nightmares of the mysterious black rock return.  Life for Roxanne becomes even more confusing when she meets sexy neighbor, Collin O’Neal. Despite being the rudest man she’s ever met and his fear of commitment, Collin can turn her brain to mush and set her soul afire with just a look. While struggling to remain the lady she was raised to be, Roxanne must deal with another man trying to stake his claim. Bradford Wellman is handsome, charming, and obsessed with making her his bride. Unknown to Roxanne, both Brad and Collin have reasons other than romance for getting close to her.


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New Reader Review for Winter of the Heart

Winter of the Heart
by E. G. Parsons

A historical romantic novel, set in the USA of the post civil war era.

A young woman applies for a job as teacher on an estate in South Carolina, but gets more than she bargained for. Her employer is similarly affected, a grim mask soon falling off as romance blossoms. Both, however, have a past and it soon comes back to haunt them, and in one case claim them. Or will it?

A nicely written story, which captivates the reader right from the start. The scenes are described with great clarity in the historical backdrop of those years in the 19th century.

The story benefits greatly from a good characterisation, on both sides of the spectrum of good and bad. The parallels between the two central characters, which lie central to the story, are uncanny but appear by no means contrived. A momentum is always maintained in this story, even when there is little activity due to the conditions on the ground.

The eventual outcome provides closure for both the main personalities, and hope for a third – I am looking forward to the sequel in 2010.

E.G. Parsons has written a great story, one that shows a deepening and progression in her writing.

I wish Winter of the Heart well.

Guido Blokland

http://atlantic-lines.blogspot.com


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LASR Reviews Winter of the Heart

LASR (Long and Short Reviews) gives WINTER OF THE HEART a four and half book review. It’s also up for ‘best book of the week’, so if you have time check in at http://www.longandshortreviews.com/LASR/recentrev.htm tomorrow (Saturday May 2, 2009 or Sunday May 3, 2009) and vote for it. Thanks, Elizabeth

“This touching historical takes readers on an emotional journey that is hard to forget as a woman in an abusive relationship seeks to make a better life for herself and finds a love she never expected…” Read more – http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2009/04/winter-of-heart-by-eg-parsons.html


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Review From Working Girl Reviews

blackrock_small_smallBlack Rock: A Time for Love

By E. G. Parsons

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Rock-E-G-Parsons/dp/1601541716

 

This book has been on my TBR (To Be Read) pile for quite awhile. I was waiting until I was in the mood for a good historical romance to read it. What a mistake that was! If I had known just how good Black Rock: A Time for Love was going to be I would have read it weeks ago.

 

The author sets the stage for this wonderfully intriguing story with a brief prologue. The year is 1846. On a small ranch in the town of Wild Rose, Texas, two ranch hands have mysteriously disappeared inside the magnificent black rock from which Black Rock Ranch takes its name.

 

As the story opens, more than fifty years later, twenty-year-old Roxanne Ingram is looking forward to returning home to Black Rock Ranch after ten years in a Boston girls’ school. Shortly before her departure, Roxanne gets word that her beloved father has passed away, and she will be retuning as sole heir to the family ranch. Confusion is added to grief, when, attempting to settle the estate, Roxanne discovers the date of birth recorded for her in the family Bible does not match the one she has always known to be her true birth date. Touring the ranch, which she now owns, Roxanne has an unexpected encounter with Collin, who has come to study the giant black rock on the edge of her property. She is outraged by his rudeness, but can’t help being attracted to the irresistibly handsome Colin. Shortly after her encounter with Colin, Roxanne meets charming Brad Wellman, the wealthy rancher whose property adjoins her own. As both men vie for her affections, it becomes a race against time for the two men — one a deadly villain, and the other a prince charming who holds the key to the shocking secrets of Roxanne’s origin.

 

If you’re looking for a beautiful historical romance you need look no further than Black Rock: A Time For Love. The author is so in tune with the late 1800s that it almost seems as though she must have lived them in a former life. The clothing, customs, and dialogue are written to perfection as the story moves seamlessly from one breathtaking scene to the next. The paranormal twist to this story is a most intriguing and welcome bonus. Roxanne is a thoroughly likeable heroine, and Colin will steal your breath away! I highly recommend this book to any lover of paranormal and/or historical fiction, or to anyone who just plain loves a good story.

 

Honeybee

http://workinggirlreviews.wordpress.com