Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

JERR December 2011 Newsletter

**JERR December 2011**

I know, I know. Many of your are asking – What the heck is JERR? It is amazing to me that an erotic book review site that has been around 6 or 7 years, and has a huge following is still unknown to so many. So, for those of you who missed it, I will take a moment to explain this thing called JERR that I speak of. 

 Click on the logo to subscribe to JERR

JERR stands for Just Erotic Romance Reviews. Name pretty much says it all. Yes? The following snippet I took directly from the website so that you all can see JERR’s explanation:

Beyond Book Reviews

Just Erotic Romance Reviews is...

“First and foremost a newsletter created by readers for readers just like you. For over six years we have helped readers choose where to spend their hard earned money, by delivering a quality newsletter straight to our readers' mailboxes the first Sunday of every month. Every issue is packed with honest reviews of some of the best Erotic Romance books around.
Contests, articles on a wide variety of Erotic Romance topics and author interviews are all here to entertain and provide information on the fast growing, ever changing world of Erotic Romance.”   (quoted from

That about cover it? Not quite. Let me tell you what I like about JERR. First, let me say that I absolutely love my blog and checking in with the review blogs of fellow bloggers. You never know what new author you may discover, what awesome contest may be running, what terrific friends you may come into contact with … the possibilities are endless. I would never give up on my blog. But here is what attracts me to JERR …

With blogs, you hop around and never know what you may or may not find – unless you are searching for something specific and end up on Google, then get directed to the information you seek. JERR has eliminated much of this frustration. And let’s face it, sometimes looking at review after review can be frustrating. Instead of hoping all over the place, you receive one newsletter - once a month - with multiple reviews to check out - in one spot. Sound good? I think so! There is generally a spotlighted author, a contest, and dozens of reviews to read.

But these are not just any reviews. These are reviews from people like you and me. Some of us have our own blogs, many of us have a “real-life” before reviewing, and all of us abide by JERR’s standard to erotic reviews. If the book does not make the cut, you will not be hearing about it. This is not to say that you will find all glowing reviews. No way! But this is to confirm that you will only read reviews about erotic novels, novellas, anthologies, etc …

So what are you waiting for? Head over to JERR and subscribe! A newsletter once a month packed full of reviews in one spot! What have you got to lose?

Oh … but now you want to know why I am telling you about this? Did you figure it out? You got it! I am a JERR reviewer. And why would I do this when I have my own review blog? Because JERR changes things up for me and gives me variety. I have access to books I can review that I might not have access to otherwise. And I have a change of pace. The reviews are nothing like what I normally produce. Variety is good (for me anyway) – it keeps me on my toes and staves off boredom. 

And here is the other part of why I am telling you this information. My reviews are the property of JERR. Perfectly understandable considering I write to their requirements and they provide me with the book I review. But I cannot post my reviews on my blog. And so … once a month I will be posting on my blog – in this similar fashion, the link to the reviews I completed via JERR. Want the review faster? Subscribe to JERR. The newsletter comes out about two weeks before the reviews are loaded onto the website. *nods*

I hope you will all look into JERR. It really is a spectacular idea. And you can search the site for many reviews. Looking for thoughts on a book you are considering? Look it up on JERR. It just might be there. I am sure there is much more I could talk your ear – err … eyes .. off with *grins* but I will let you be for now. Below are the reviews I completed for JERR for the December 2011 issue. Just click on the picture to read my thoughts and see my ratings. And above all, enjoy! 

Review: Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

Title: Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish (Windham Series, Book 3)
Author: Grace Burrowes
Release Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Category: Historical Romance
Type: Kindle/Paperback


Book Blurb:

All she wants is peace and anonymity...

Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

But Sophie's holiday is about to heat up...

With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

It seems Sophie's been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true...

Book Excerpt:

“I beg your pardon, madam. May I be of assistance?” He tipped his hat and had to fist his hands at his sides, so strong was the urge to pluck the offending infant from her arms. “The child appears distressed.”

She bobbed a curtsey while holding the child. “I’ve explained to him that such a tantrum is hardly seemly and I do apologize for the noise.” She focused her gaze on the child. “You are a naughty fellow, young Kit, banging your tankard and shouting down the rafters...”

She went on softly remonstrating the baby while Vim recovered from the prettiest pair of green eyes he’d ever beheld. She wasn’t a pretty woman—she had a full though solemn mouth in the usual location underscored by a definite chin and a nose somewhat lacking in subtlety. Her hair was dark brown and pulled back into a positively boring bun at her nape. But those eyes...

And her voice. It was the voice of a pretty lady, soft and luminous with good breeding and gentility, though she was using it to try to gently scold the child into better behavior.

“May I?” He held out his arms, meeting those green eyes when she looked faintly puzzled. “I have some experience with children.”

She passed him the child, moving close enough to Vim that he realized she was not particularly tall. She had a dignity about her though, even holding a bellowing baby.

“His mama should be right back. She just went around to the back for a moment.” The lady cast a hopeful look at the door—a hopeful, anxious look

Vim took the child, who appeared distracted by the change in venue—though likely only temporarily.

“You will hush,” he said to the baby, which earned him a blinking blue-eyed stare from his burden. “This good woman is tired of your fretting, as is the entire room and likely half the block. Behave your little self or we’ll call the beadle to haul you off to gaol. That’s better.”

He put the baby to his shoulder and began to gently pat and rub the small back. “He just finished his luncheon, didn’t he?”

The woman colored slightly. “I believe he did.”

Still on the breast then, which was going to be a problem. 

“I don’t believe his mother will be returning.” He said it calmly, an observation about the weather, nothing more.

Favorite Dialogue:

“You look a bit fatigued, Sophie.” St. Just studied her with a brooding frown, all hint of teasing gone. His brows knit further as his gaze went to the hearth. “Is that a pair of my favorite socks set out to dry? They’re a bit large for you, aren’t they?”

Westhaven emerged from the back hallway, a small box in his hand. “Somebody has decimated my stash of marzipan. If His Grace has given up crème cakes for German chocolate, I’ll be naming my seconds.”

Valentine returned from the corridor. “Somebody left my favorite mug in the linen closet. I thought you favored more delicate crockery, Sophie.”

In the ensuing moment of silence, Sophie was casting around desperately for plausible reasons why all of this evidence of Vim’s presence in the house was yet on hand, when the back door opened and slammed shut.

“Sophie, love! I’m back. Come here and let me kiss you senseless, and then, by God, we’re going to talk!”

Oh dear.

Oh, good heavens.

Vim emerged from the darkness looking weary, handsome, and very pleased – until his gaze traveled to each of the three men glowering at him.

“Who the hell are you?” Westhaven’s voice was soft, but he did not sound sensible in the least.

“And what makes you think you’re going to be kissing my sister?” St. Just added, hands on his hips.

“And what on earth could you have to speak with Lady Sophia about?” Valentine asked, crossing his arms.


Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish was a first for me reading Grace Burrowes. I am an all-time sucker for historical romance and have been craving a good historical read for some time. I got side-tracked by paranormal romance for a while and am currently reading urban fantasy. Weeee! What a jump I have made from my historical romance comfort zone. But … I was so happy with Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish. And it came at a terrific time, blending in with the holiday season all around.

Sophie is one of five daughters of a Duke with a few older brothers thrown into the mix. She is known as the family peace-maker of sorts and is constantly giving to others; rescuing them you might say. She generally receives little in return aside from her own altruistic feelings. But she definitely wishes for more. Sophie longs for a great love, happiness, and a family of her own. Sounds within reach, yes? Not so much when you have suffered loss like Sophie has. She has safeguarded her own heart from protection to the point that she may well let the greatest possibility of love walk out of her life without a fight. And Sophie has a secret she has not confessed to Vim – she is in fact a Lady, something Vim has not yet deduced. The problem is that Sophie is enjoying living outside the realm of restrictions a “Lady” is generally bound by.

Vim (we won’t get into his full name - it is a rather large mouthful *snicker*) runs into Sophie somewhat accidentally and ends up switching roles with her – he is now rescuing her in a way. Sophie has found herself with an infant to care for after his mother runs off and leaves him. Vim cannot in good conscience leave Sophie with her young charge and literally no idea what to do in the way of caring for the baby. Vim has pressing business he must attend to, but finds the lure of staying with Sophie and the baby much more to his liking. Time and again he leaves … and returns. But Vim also has been wronged in the past and he too may ultimately lose Sophie if he does not fight for her and make it perfectly clear that he wants her in his life as much more than a passing fling.

Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish is … errr … I am not sure what to call it. It is Book 3 of the Windham Series and book 1 of the sub-series The Duke’s Daughters. I, unfortunately had no idea about this when I started the book. I despise reading out of order, but given that the book is also a first in a series, I was not left feeling too badly from my error. The thing about this book is that it could serve as a stand-alone as well. As I read it, I did have a feeling that I was missing more detail. For example, the short recaps of the brothers and their wives: I felt that there was much more to the stories. I was right. Had I read the first two books in the Windham Series, I would have understood better. But this in not to say that I was confused. The best comparison would be to explain reading Johanna Lindsey’s Malory Novels out of order. For those of you Lindsey fans, I am sure you know exactly what I mean. It can be done, but it is so much better when read in order. I enjoyed the brothers as secondary characters to the point that I know I would very much enjoy their full novels. *whispers* I do intend to correct this folly and read all of the books in the series.

What I disliked about the book was that Vim and Sophie obviously had a strong connection from the beginning. I was a little annoyed that they took so long deciding to be together. At one point I thought Vim had another plan in mind concerning Sophie and the baby, but I was wrong. When my prediction failed to thrive, I nearly gave up hope that the two would wake the heck up and see what was right in front of them. There are some good frustrations when reading, but this was not the case. I think a large portion of the frustration was the unwillingness of the characters to see where they had made mistakes. Had they not been so dang stubborn, they could have been together that much sooner. But hey, HEAs aren’t supposed to be easy, right? I just prefer the conflict to generate from sources other than the character’s own obstinacy.

Overall, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish was a fun read that did wonders in satisfying my craving for a good historical romance that I could lose myself within. The brothers are a rough and rowdy crowd. And we also meet one of the sisters to some degree who has her own novel. The brief glimpse of the family members as secondary characters was enough to make me want to know more about them. Those looking for a good historical romance series should definitely check out the Windham Series. And to make it easier for you, I have included a list of the books available.

The Windham Series

The Duke’s Obsession             The Duke’s Daughters
The Heir                                     Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish
The Soldier                                 Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal (May 2012)
The Virtuoso                               Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight (Oct 2012)
                                                   Lady Eve’s Book (Spring 2013)
                                                   Lady Jenny’s Book (Oct 2013)

View more including the family tree at Grace Burrowes web site linked at top.
(Paperback won from author via Sourcebooks Author’s Blog)

Monday, December 5, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Sometimes Life Happens

Last week LaurieLu of BonaFideReflections and I changed things up a bit. For those of you who are just joining us, this is how it works. In order for LaurieLu and I to share the responsibility of maintaining this blog, we have split everything in half. This way no one will be inundated with too much info (we hope). Both blogs will have different content, but you can visit them separately, or back-to-back. Whichever is more convenient for you. At the end of this post, I will link to LaurieLu’s contribution.

Not to throw you all off kilter, but we are going to change things just a bit more. There have been many delays in getting this blog post live. Originally, this post was scheduled to go live the final week of NaNo. With our writers hitting crunch time and trying to get the last of their words written in November, we Laurie and I decided it would be a lot more fun and a lot less stressful to ask quick and silly questions that would lighten things up a bit. We hope you enjoy this post as much as we did creating the questions. And don’t forget to visit at the end of the week for out wrap-up week to see how well our NaNo writers did with meeting their writing goals.

If you are new to out blog journey, you can view the previous entries by clicking below:

And for my moment of *FAN SQUEEEEE* My guest author today is the fantabulous Julie Kagawa! Yes, you read that right, JULIE KAGAWA!


And guess what, Yo, LaurieLu has a different guest author. Nope! My lips are zipped. You will have to hop your happy booties over there to discover this awesome lady for yourself! That’s the only clue you are getting’ – “her”. So without any further adieu, I give you:

NaNoWriMo, Week 3!


I’d like to begin this week with our brand spankin’ new logo created by the fabulous Kyla of KylaNovelista.Okay, so it isn’t brand, brand new any longer, but hey. This logo is too perdy not to recognize! Plus, I warned you last week that I would be giving a holla to Kyla every week. So HOLLA y’all! And bask yourselves in the glory that is … THE LOGO!

Anyway, I’m all about rewarding a job well done and giving credit where credit is due. Otherwise, this blog would never have been created. So why not give her some love? She deserves it! *fist pump* If you don’t mind being stalked by a Zombabe *rawr* follow her on Twitter @Kyla_Holt Dew eet! Follow her!

Onto Our NaNo Ladies

 Gigi Pryce

Soooooooo … we all know that life sometimes happens. And this blog if, if nothing better to demonstrate it, has been a terrific example of how sometimes sacrifices have to be made in writing. Sometimes those tough choices have to be made ,,, sometimes writing has to be put on hold … sometimes life just happens and we can’t do anything about it. Basically, what I am getting at is that Gigi had a lot of commitments to fulfill that could not accommodate writing during the time between our last post and this post. So we gave her a “get-out-of-jail-free” card. We very much hope to see her next week for our final NaNoWriMo blog post to see how she ultimately did with NaNo and her overall impressions. Keep your fingers crossed. We will check in with her again soon.

And now, may I present the awesomeness that is … AMANDA! Take it away!

 Amanda Nelson

Boxers or briefs?


E-reader or Paperback?

E-reader, unless it’s a favorite.

Long hair or short hair on a guy?

Short.  Very few men can pull off long hair, and I have a WRITTEN rule never to date a man whose hair is longer than mine. (the boyfriend’s hair is very short)

Do you have any hidden talents?

No.  I have hidden character traits, though.

Who is your favorite fictional character ever?

*blank stare*  I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Caffeine or Decaf?


Favorite midnight snack?

Whatever is around.  Potatoes or carbohydrates are best.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I’m definitely an introvert.

Salty or Sweet?

Salty AND sweet.

Almond Joy or Mounds?


Flowers or chocolate?


Do you have any phobias or fears?


Are you a night person or morning person?

More night than morning, but I have been known to entertain a few early mornings willingly.

Holidays - since we are amid many of them - which is your favorite?

My birthday.  This counts as a holiday, right?  I like any holiday that involves good food and gifts.

Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance?

I want the best of BOTH worlds.

One thing that never fails to make you happy and one thing that never fails to piss you off?

Pictures of puppies never fail to make me happy.  NEVER.
Stupid people piss me off.  ALWAYS.

Random Thought:

I have an addiction to using CAPITAL LETTERS.

Story Snippet:

It was fascinating to watch the campus go from dead to overflowing in a matter of about five minutes.  I don't think it ever got old for me to watch.  Attempting to maneuver through the crowd, though, that got old.  And fast.  Ronnie used the opportunity to grab the asses of unsuspecting men.

Did I tell you those questions were fun? I know, right?

Now I’d like to take a moment for:

 NaNoWriMo Tips

Brought to you by the lovely Kyla at Kyla Novelista. Chick has mad stalking skillz on Twitter, Yo! Today Kyla has brought to us, four quotes from some very talented and wise sources. (Hint: if you look at the Twitter handles, you will know exactly how to find these geniuses should you want to follow them.) Ready for some excellent snippets of wisdom? Are you sure? Okay … you asked for it!

Was I right or was I right? Sha! I know. *buffs nails* What can I say, it’s a gift! For serious! Although thechnically it would be Kyla’s gift seeing as how she provided these jewels of stalkdom . . . but hey … I benefit, thus you do too … I supposed we could all claim it is our gift if you follow the logic within my cranium – though it can be a dangerous place. You may want to re-think that move. *grins*

And now, we have reached my moment of glory for this week! I know … I am totes lucky with the glory each week, right? The guest authors have been so much fun. I hope you all have loved them as much as I have!

*shouts, whoops, hollas, applause*

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel. 

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.
To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time. 

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy. 

Julie is likely best known for her series with Harlequin Teen – The Iron Fey. Now I am including links to all books here on the blog. All you have to do is click on the titles below the pictures to be taken directly to Amazon … but …

I saw three … count them … THREE of the Iron Fey Series in Safeway yesterday. I live in a small town, Yo! To see Julie in the miniscule section of paperbacks with her own display was like … nothing short of EPIC! So you could order from Amazon, especially for an e-reader … or you could run to Safeway and put those beauties in your hands right now! And they were 25% off the cover price! WIN! You know, cause I thought you would want to know. So support Julie and buy these books. What’s best? That they are YA! You can get your kids in on this series too! Trust me, I will get my kids on this series. *nods* And they were so pretty. They have those really pretty pages that seem old but are really new, but are a nice touch. So … so … pretty.

  Now not all of the books are available in paperback. You will have to check each one. Some are only available for your e-reader. But guess what I discovered this morning as I was working on this post? The Amazon Kindle download for SUMMER"S CROSSING is FREE! Weeeeeeee! Yes, you heard me correctly, it is FREE! Get over there and download. I have no idea how long this opportunity will last and it is a terrific way to obtain your very own "taste" of Kagawa. It's WIN! For those of you Nook users, yep ... FREE for you too. Click here!

 Onto the interview ...

Sooooooo Julie …Why are you participating in NaNoWriMo?

NaNo is great for churning out words.  As a published author on a deadline, I sometimes get bogged down in “writing perfect” the first time around, which slows my pace to a crawl.  NaNo gives me the freedom to write quickly and sloppily, knowing I can always come back later and fix it.

What is your writing goal during NaNoWriMo?

50,000 words in 30 days, or 1,667 words a day. 

In your opinion, what is the greatest advantage of NaNoWriMO?

See first question. *smiles*  Sometimes I need help in remembering that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.  In fact, it never is.  NaNo’s biggest advantage is making someone realize they CAN write a 50,000 word book in a month.  They just have to do it. 

Is there a disadvantage of NaNoWriMo? If so, what?

I think NaNo’s biggest disadvantage comes at the end of the process, where you have this huge sloppy mess of a story, and you think you’re done.  You’re not done.  Now comes the rewriting and editing phase.  NaNo was to help you get your story down; editing is what makes the story good.   

Does it help to have writing buddies when participating in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?

It’s different for everyone.  I like working alone, because I know I can keep up the pace, but it can be helpful to have a buddy keeping track of your progress.  Or to prod you into writing when you don’t feel like it.  Sometimes, it’s just helpful to know you’re not in this alone.

What advice would you like to provide for NaNoWriMo participants who have never published?

Write joyfully, write everyday, write whatever comes to mind.  Don’t let people tell you NaNo novels can never be published.  There is this YA book called The Iron King that started as a NaNo project. *smiles*

How can readers keep in touch with you?

They can email me on my website,, but I’m easiest to find on Twitter - @Jkagawa if they just want to say hello. 

Modern technology and the ability to communicate with our favorite authors … How fabulous is that? I’ll tell you! It is frickin fantastic. There is nothing like it. It’s a thrill! It’s excitement! It’s a rush! Don’t believe me? Follow Julie and find out for yourself. She is a fantastic individual! And I have it on good authority *coughs* Liza *coughs* from LaurieLu’s blog *coughs* that Julie is a bit of a Twitter lurker. The chances are excellent that you will find her there. *grins* Thank you so much for your contribution to this blog, Julie. You have provided some excellent advice. *nods*

And now we have reached the conclusion of NaNoWriMo week 4. I hope you have all enjoyed your time here. If you like, please follow my blog and check out my previous reviews. And please leave your comments. We would love to hear your feedback. What do you think of NaNo? Are you participating? How do you like Julie’s Iron Fey series? Anything! Don’t forget to check out LaurieLu with her NaNo contribution too. Click on her picture below to join the rest of the fun with another fabulous author and our 2 other aspiring authors: Kelly and Liza. Until next week …with our final installment …