Review: Lakota Honor by Kat Flannery

Lakota HonorReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story takes place in the 1880’s.

Nora Rushton is a woman who has a secret that she keeps hidden from others. There’s a creep in town and he’s definitely the villain of this piece – I can picture him having a mustache that he twirls the ends of every day – and his name is Elwood Calhoun. Kat does a great job in creating this character because I really disliked him.

I’m happy to say that if he lived today, our judicial system (I would hope) would throw the book at him. He also has a son named Joe. Joe is what would be considered simple back then and you have to feel sorry for him. But at least Nora likes him.

Otakatay is on his way to Willow Creek. Otakatay has a very a painful past that he can’t forget. If you’re a sensitive person, you may find that Otakatay’s flashbacks will bring a tear to your eyes. There are certain things that just seem to touch your heart and this is one of those stories.

You also have to feel sorry for the life that Nora has but she still makes the most of it. She’s stronger than I probably would be in the same situation. The reader will also be reminded about the worth of money back then. Think of all you have now and then imagine if all that was gone and you had to make due with what was available in that time period – would you be able to cope?

I love how Kat has made this story to be what I feel is historically accurate and wondering as to the amount of research that was involved. It’s shameful but we can’t hide from our past – we can only learn from it. But Kat shows that love is possible even when the odds seem to be against you.

The author gives the reader a perfect ending to a great book and it’s done with no sex. Which goes to show you that sex does not always make for a great book. But it’s the author who makes a great storyteller. And it leaves you wanting to know what she has coming out next.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Lakota Honor

What Is A Huaca Anyway?

HuacaGuest blog by Marcia Mickelson, author of The Huaca

My YA novel, The Huaca, comes out May 14. Many people have asked me how the word is pronounced and what it means. Huaca is pronounced wak’a.

In Quechua, a Native American language of South America, a huaca is an object that represents something revered. In my novel, it takes on a different meaning. I have used its broad meaning and changed it for my own purposes.

Part of what I love about being an author is that you can take something real and change it to meet your own needs. This is what I have done with the word huaca. While in most cases, a huaca refers to a sacred monument, I have changed its meaning to refer to a wooden artifact, hand-crafted by Incan natives. It’s still something revered—it’s a sacred object used by the Incan people to communicate with their loved ones who have passed on.

In The Huaca, Gabe de la Cruz is in possession of a huaca; it has been handed down from his great-grandfather, a full-blooded Incan. Here is a description of my book:

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Cummings just wants to be a regular teenager, but after her mother’s mysterious murder, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever be normal again. Her mother’s death has left Ellie and her father worlds apart. And when her best friend abandons her, Ellie has no one else to turn to—except for the strange boy who says he can help.

Gabe de la Cruz seems to know way too much about everything, and her instincts tell Ellie to stay far away. But when he claims that he can communicate with the dead through an ancient Incan artifact, Ellie can’t resist the temptation of seeing her mother again. In the hanan pacha—the Incan afterworld—Ellie’s mother sends a message to help Ellie understand what happened the night of the murder—a message that may be better kept a secret . . .

Buy: The Huaca

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A Hero with a Heart!

Guest Blog by Aimee Thurlo, author of Buy: Secrets of the Lynx (Copper Canyon)

David and I have been writing together for most of our married life, yet we’re not at all alike. He grew up on the Navajo Indian Nation on the high desert. I came to the U.S. from Cuba when I was eight years old and have lived in big cities almost all my life. We’re totally different from each other, in backgrounds, and in personality. Yet the ability to merge our unique qualities has become our greatest asset. It’s what enables us to bring readers emotionally charged stories filled with high adventure.

Like it is in our lives, the skills we bring to the table are complementary, but different. David can craft powerful action scenes, but I can do emotions far better than he can. Very right brain/left brain!

Our collaboration really comes together in a romantic suspense novel like Secrets of the Lynx. This is a story about destiny and reaching for a dream. It also delivers one heckuva high action adventure.

Hosteen (Mister) Silver, a Navajo medicine man, fostered Paul Greyhorse, the hero of our novel. It was through Hosteen Silver that Paul learned to respect things that can’t always be explained through logic.

Paul and each of his brothers received a very special gift when they turned sixteen – the fetish of an animal. According to tradition, a fetish is more than just a carving. It’s a symbol that is said to capture the essence of the animal and impart those qualities to its owner. Lynx knows what others try to keep secret, and sees what’s not readily apparent.

Yet the real magic of the story unfolds as the hero and heroine, two emotionally damaged people, come together and realize that they’re stronger together than they are apart – like it is with David and me.

I have to admit that I especially like Paul Grayhorse. He’s a hero among heroes. He doesn’t judge others, though they often judge him. For example, when he questions several streetwalkers, he treats them with great respect. He understands that somewhere in there is a woman who dreamed of bigger and better things – but took a detour. That a “Pretty Woman” (movie with Julia Roberts) is there, just beyond what the eye can readily see.

Romantic Times said, “Thurlo understands the mindset of The People and uses the beautiful legends and myths that define them to add depth to his action packed tale.”

I hope you’ll have a chance to pick it up!

For a signed bookmark please send one stamp to:

Aimée and David Thurlo
P.O. Box 2747
Corrales, NM 87048

We’ll take care of the rest!

Happy reading!

Aimée and David

BIO: David and Aimee Thurlo have been married for forty-two years. Aimee moved in next door to him and it was love at first sight. Three weeks later, they were married.

David was raised on the Navajo Indian Reservation and left Shiprock to complete his education at the University of New Mexico.

Aimee, born in Havana, Cuba, has lived in New Mexico for forty-two years. Their popular Ella Clah mystery series, featuring a Navajo woman police officer, won a New Mexico Book Award. Their Lee Nez vampire novels are currently under option to Red Nation Films in Hollywood. They also write romantic suspense novels for Harlequin and have sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Buy: Secrets of the Lynx (Copper Canyon)

American History Romances

thunder on the plainsGuest blog by Rosanne Bittner, author of Thunder on the Plains

Love, Romance, Passion – That’s a great blog title – and it’s what all lovers of romance novels want in their stories. You will find all three in anything written by Rosanne Bittner! I have been writing over 30 years, with 57 novels published and #58 coming in the spring of 2013, PARADISE VALLEY, a love story set in 1800’s Wyoming! The book will be published by Sourcebooks, and I will give it a big promotion, so watch for the details in my web site, www.rosannebittner.com and on my blog, www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com. And of course Sourcebooks will make lots of details available for you!

Right now I am promoting Sourcebooks’s reissue of one of my past titles, THUNDER ON THE PLAINS, a wonderful love story set against the building of America’s first trans-continental railroad. Just visit my virtual book celebration at http://rosannebittnerbookparty.blogspot.com/ to see how you can win free copies of THUNDER and possibly win my grand prize of a Kindle Touch!

You will love the hero and heroine in THUNDER ON THE PLAINS, and although Native Americans are not a big part of this particular story, I have written numerous books about American Indians. Part of my great passion for writing about America’s magnificent history is telling the truth about our Native Americans and the “not always very honorable” way in which our government treated its natives.

One of my best depictions of this history can be found in my 7-book SAVAGE DESTINY series, which is set in Colorado and involves (often in great detail) the history of the Cheyenne. After 30 years those books are still selling. I have also written about the Sioux, Comanche, Cherokee, Nez Perce and Apache. You can find out more about my books that depict Native American stories by visiting my web site.

I don’t think any of America’s own founders or government officials spoke with more eloquence or more bold truth and pride than some of the famed leaders of our Native Americans. One book that tells the real truth of what happened to our Natives is Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. And the courage and pride of most Native American men make it easy to romanticize them in historical novels. I miss the 80’s and 90’s when Native American romance was at its peak. I hope that theme will return because I am ready with more stories!

In the meantime, I continue to write American history, and mostly about my great passion for the history of America’s Old West and Native Americans. Thanks for inviting me to contribute to your blog, and be sure to watch Sourcebooks and my web site for more news about books by Rosanne Bittner!

Buy: Thunder on the Plains

Review: Encompassed (Immortal Series, Book 4) by Em Petrova

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

It is interesting the amount of cross genre fiction there is out for readers to have a look at. Encompassed, book 4 is Em Petrova’s chance to show how she can weave a ship’s captain and a Mayan Princess into a loving relationship.

There is a reason Dante and Maria are together and it is to do with the Calling, a way of them bonding with full knowledge of whether they are good for each other. They love each other very much, and their immortal companions notice that too. After a while though, that feeling of love and affection starts to leave them and while others like them are only just getting that feeling, they long to get it back and have the fulfilling relationship they once had.

It isn’t long before a love triangle develops with Dante being distracted by Gracie, another immortal who is influenced by the Calling too. Before this can happen and Dante is torn away from her, Maria has to go back to the place where their feelings were first felt.

I liked how Em Petrova had the original concept for Gracie, the heroine in this new novel. Originally she was under another name and in a contemporary spanking story. She gives her heroines a comical aspect and isn’t afraid to create unusual stories in order to somehow make them seem real to others. She has a great descriptive mind and can make the reader truly believe they are there in her chosen world.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Encompassed

Review: Dangerous by Diana Palmer

You can tell why Diana Palmer is counted as one of North America’s top 10 romance writers. It takes all her considerable skill to turn her tragic hero, Kilraven, into a man ready for love and romance, which she does with magnificent aplomb.

When his wife and child were brutally murdered seven years ago, FBI agent Kilraven swore vengeance. It’s been years and the case believed cold, but when he gets a window of great opportunity to talk up the wife of a senator who might be involved, he knows he will do anything, hurt anyone, to seize it. The perfect way to get close is to pretend marriage to young socialite Winnie Sinclair and honeymoon at her Bahamas vacation home. He’s upfront and blunt about his proposed marriage of convenience to Winnie, who’s been not-so-secretly infatuated with him.

Q: Why marriage?
A: Because Kilraven is not a man-slut. Before Winnie, he’s only been with his late wife (who turns out to be manipulative and adulterous.)

Kilraven is a Native American hero who shuns his heritage while his brother embraces it. It’s mentioned bluntly in the novel and examples of his refusal to be Indian include: short hair, going by last name Kilraven instead of Blackhawk, etc.

Winnie is a shy violet and a virgin due to two protective older brothers and a nasty dad, who’s now passed away. She’s known pain herself, having lost her mother who ran off with her uncle when she was younger and her father taking out his anger on her, leaving her with scars on her back. Winnie has a touch of magic about her that gives her eerie insight into things she shouldn’t know about. This frankly bothered me because the story is clearly not a supernatural one. I was bothered more so when others started to have or claim to have this almost psychic supernatural ability.

The love story is slow because the hero needs to grieve, which he’s refused to do until he’s caught the people responsible for his daughter’s murder. Kilraven is constantly holding Winnie back with one hand, trying to protect them both from folly. He knows he can’t give her what she wants and deserves. She just wants him. He’s worried about the ten year age gap and how that looks. It’s clear throughout the novel that he’s slowly falling in love with her against will, which makes for a delicious read.

Rating: 4 Stars

Buy: Dangerous (Long, Tall Texans)

PS – Dangerous is part of the Long, Tall Texans series.

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Guest Review: Dangerous by Diana Palmer

by Aggie S., guest reviewer

Kilraven had lost his wife and daughter a number of years ago and like anyone who loses a loved one it stays with you forever; but in this case it seemed that there was more to her death than just dying in a fire. Kilraven takes a temporary transfer to a small town in Texas to solve the murder of one of the town’s inhabitants. There is also another case from many years before that was never solved; he finds a link between the two.

There is a dispatcher who is infatuated with Kilraven and doesn’t think he knows it, but how he keeps avoiding her is very interesting. For the Christmas party she has drawn his name for a secret gift, and she paints a picture for him, that leaves Kilraven wondering how she knew what to paint…

Kilraven needs to meet with a Senator’s wife in the Bahamas. Kilraven finds out that Winnie’s family is their neighbor down there and he needs her help. He talks Winnie into marrying him to make it look respectable for the townsfolk when they leave on a “honeymoon” together. It was agreed that this marriage would be in name only. Kilraven does not want a wife and he definitely does not want children.

As you start this book it does become hard to put it down as there are so many things going on at one time. Whose daughter is Winnie? Whose son is Matt? Who is responsible for all the deaths, the Senator, his brother or someone else?

Dangerous is a definite must read and very hard to put down!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Dangerous

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Review: Where the Rain is Made by Keta Diablo

Hero: Ethan Gray has pledged his life to the People (Cheyenne) and when they need him he goes straightaway to the council where he’s given his orders. Ethan is a time-traveling shifter who can transform into a raven. When he returns to the past to lead the Cheyenne’s Dog Soldiers he melds perfectly into their lives. They never know he’s just a temporary visitor. His Cheyenne name is I Am The Wind or Meko.

Heroine: Francesca Duvall’s life changes in an instant when I Am the Wind appears before her in a clearing during an Indian attack. He captures her and her brother is capture by another. Cesca’s life hangs in the balance and so does Marsh’s. Lucky for her, Meko wants her as his wife. Not so lucky is Marsh’s treatment at the hands of his captor. Saving him, means risking herself, but Cesca will do it nevertheless.

Review: The overall writing quality is excellent and if two initial plot points hadn’t occurred I would have been swept away into the story without a word to the contrary (except for the many Indian names, which sometimes appear only once or twice and never again).

As it was, I found it hard to swallow the instant lust/love on Cesca’s side. Meko’s attraction and love yes, because the author built up that he dreamed about her as Ethan, but for Cesca she’s much too strongly opposed to the Cheyenne and Meko at first to believably fall head long over heels for him. I feel this should have dragged out a little longer, but the author was working a long timeline with many things to fit in and the initial stirrings suffered for it.

The other plot point ties into this one and its Cesca’s initial feelings and prejudices for the Cheyenne seem to disappear rather too quickly for someone who didn’t want to change into their clothes or initial partake in their life. Because of the initial start as a reader I kept pulling out of the story trying to logically figure out the relationship pacing and when the angsty moment came for their temporary breakup (a part I usually love) I just wanted to smack Cesca upside the head. She’s nearly raped and then blames Meko for saving her of all things because it got too messy for her (you know with killing the evil white soldiers.)

I did like the ending and how the time travel was handled… unexpected and fun! This is an epic feeling novel compacted into a few hundred pages. I enjoyed the story and wouldn’t mind following another time traveling shifter Native American back into the past as the world building by Diablo is very well done and likeable. Perhaps Marsh’s tale?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Where the Rain is Made