Excerpt from Book 3: Bad Blood Chapter One ‘I need to find my brother. He’s the only family I have.’ ‘I know.’ An impossible task, the way he saw it. ‘I need the Aurelian for that.’ She was too determined for him to keep her from doing it. ‘If you think you’re going without me—’ ‘After what happened last time, you shouldn’t even ask.’ ‘So what’s your plan?’ He almost didn’t want to know. She held up one finger. ‘First, to see the Aurelian.’ ‘How are you going to get there without the signum on your back?’ ‘Dominic has a signumist. I’ve already sent him a message that I’m coming to talk to him tonight. I don’t know if the man’s any good, but I’m hoping he can put the correct sequence of signum into my skin again.’ Mal’s jaw dropped open and he sank back onto his heels. ‘Bloody hell. You’re in no shape to undergo something like that. Are you crazy?’ ‘Crazy mad, and I’m in fine shape.’ Her hands tightened into fists, and a tarnished spark lit her eyes. ‘Once I get to the Aurelian, I’ll obtain the information I need, then slip out of the Primoris Domus undetected and find Tatiana.’ The name of his ex-wife and the woman who’d put him under his curse was like salt on an open wound. ‘Why would you want to find Tatiana?’ ‘Why else?’ She held up a second finger. ‘To kill her.’ ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristen Painter’s writing résumé boasts multiple Golden Heart nominations and advance praise from a handful of bestselling authors, including Gena Showalter and Roxanne St Claire. Having lived in New York and now in Florida, Kristen has a wealth of fascinating experiences from which to flavor her stories, including time spent working in fashion for Christian Dior and as a maître d’ for Wolfgang Puck. Her website is at kristenpainter.com and on twitter at @Kristen_Painter
Donâ€™t miss the excerpt from BAD BLOOD coming in December!!
Read about your favorite heroines and how they interact in literature.
Does Erotica help, hurt, or make no difference in a marriage?
Young Adult Reads
Interview with author Kristi Cook
Books to TV
Fun facts about True Blood Season 4 and interesting things to come in Season 5
Want to know more about who you will be this Christmas? Sana Claus!
Read more about the notably worthy Nobel Prize Winner
Kindle Fire versus Nook Tablet. Ups and downs
16 Historical Romance 19 Urban Fantasy 20 Teens and YA
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Born of Blood & Retribution (The Dark Kiss Trilogy Book 3) Liz Strange 3.75 Hoots This is the 3rd and final installment in this series and I strongly suggest you start at the beginning of this series. Strange has this uncanny ability to put you through the emotional ringer! If you start with this book, I think you will be disappointed at prior endings, especially the first book! This means DO NOT read book previews, just go pick up all three and start reading. (July 11 – Lyrical Press)
The Hunter (The Legend Chronicles- Book 1) Theresa Meyers 4.5 Hoots Theresa Meyers writing engages you right from the start and does not let go even in the end. This action packed story takes us on the journey to find pieces of a book that will stop the Darkin from taking over the world. If you pick up this book, you may as well forget about doing anything else until the last page is finished. (Nov 11 – Zebra)
Bound by Darkness (Guardians of Eternity- Book 8) Alexandra Ivy 4 Hoots I love Alexandra Ivy and was super excited to review this book. As always, the characters were independent, strong leads that you come to love quickly. I recommend this series be read in order so that you can enjoy the appearances of past characters and know their dynamics in the story. (Dec 11 – Kensington)
Adam (Nightwalkers Book 6) Jacquelyn Frank 3 Hoots Adam is the sixth installment in the Nightwalkers series. I have read the others in the series and was very excited to get my hands on a pre-published copy! As always, the characters in Ms. Frank's books are easy to love and want the best for. (Oct 11 – Zebra)
Within The Flames (Dirk & Steele Series - Book 11) Marjorie M. Liu
3 1/2 Hoots Although there were some parts of the book that hindered the overall storyline, the actual love story and introduction to Eddie and Lyssa made the read worthwhile and also made the book a success. The drama and the world set in Within the Flames was an interesting and arresting and will make readers want to start from the beginning of the Dirk & Steele series and not stop until the very end! (Nov 11 – Avon)
Cold Touch (Extrasensory Agents - Book 2) Leslie Parrish 4 Hoots I love suspense stories A LOT. When I started reading Cold Touch, I braced myself for a lackluster suspense story. I was completely off the mark with this one. I found the writing amazing, the characters well rounded and the plot unbelievable. I applaud Leslie Parrish for creating a story that is a fantastic addition to a promising series. This is a must have for any paranormal or suspense fan. (July 11 – Penguin Group)
Red’s Robin (Vampire Memoirs - Book 1) Riley Steel 4 ½ Hoots To say I love this book would be an understatement. Riley Steele spins the vampire legend into a new class of vampire with wicked personalities and abilities. I found myself reading this story over and over again. This first book in a new series has great promise for future books. I for one will wait anxiously for the next. (April 11 – Vamptasy Publishing)
Serpent's Kiss (The Elder's Races - Book 3) Thea Harrison 4 Hoots Serpent's Kiss is the third installment to the popular series,The Elder Races. Harrison gives the perfect blend of originality and romance in a world building story that gets stronger with each book. If you love a great paranormal romance then I cannot recommend this book enough. It can be read as a standalone but to get the full effect of this creative world Harrison has created then start with Dragon Bound. (Oct 11- Berkley)
"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." — Nora Ephron I have always loved this quote, and many like it. The best variation would be to star in your own life, never be part of the support cast. In thinking about heroines, I came across a comment on Lori Foster’s Facebook page: “LOL. Was reading online reviews from readers. One says: "Loved the strong heroine! She had a brain." -- another says: "Couldn't stand the heroine. She was too whiney and weak." LOL Gotta love some contrast!” So what makes a heroine connect with the reader? Should she tough and gritty like her hero or soft and feminine and in need of saving? I love the heroines that seem to be just ordinary women. Perhaps, a serial monogamous, recently single woman with a good paying job, nice friends and a body she has to work at to keep toned would be my ideal heroine. I love when they are witty and somewhat sarcastic too…especially when they have the great comeback at the right moment. Basically, I love the heroine that we ourselves see in the mirror and in our own lives. Heroines: You know the types found in romance books and especially romantic suspense novels… The good girls caught in bad situations or forced to hire the hero save their kidnapped/disappeared, lost family member. The bad girl ensnared by her own design while trying to avenger her family or loved one. The plain Jane swept up in the moment or at the wrong place at the wrong time. The tough chick (may also be a cop, former cop, military, and the like) working her case and out to prove she doesn’t need anyone. My favorite type is the everyday girl put into extraordinary situations. These are the women that most of us can relate to on a daily basis. One never knows their own mettle until it is tested within the fires of hell… That is true for all heroines! That said, my favorite heroine thus far is Tam (Tamra/Tamara) from the McCloud’s and Friends by Shannon McKenna who is anything but ordinary. When we first meet her, she is
the hired assistant to the father of the lead heroine Raine and we aren’t sure what side of the war she is aligned. But as the series unfolds, we learn that Tam has a very dark, extremely mysterious and deeply disturbing past. She can of course hotwire a car and the world economy without leaving her house. She can make jewelry with more diamonds than the Queen’s crown, but also make each piece more deadly than the Enola Gay. She loves fiercely and protects those she calls hers to the death. And when it comes to children…our hardened kickass girl is a big ole softy. Tam would do anything to protect a child from harm. Anything. This trait, come by way of many very bad experiences, has firmly imbedded Tam as the top all time heroine. The horrific situations that the heroine finds herself in make for unnatural responses. Take for example, Breaking Point by Pamela Clare. The heroine, Natalie is a journalist who lives a relatively normal life in Denver, but when the opportunity to follow a lead for a story takes her to a conference in Mexico, Natalie jumps on it. As the entire bus load of Mexican journalists is murdered in front of her eyes, Natalie is in shock then taken prisoner. Her only life line is the haunting voice from the other cell. Natalie reaches out into the darkness and accepts the comfort the stranger offers. While facing her fate of possible torture and death, Natalie leaps outside her comfort zone and attacks one of her captors. Clinging to the hope that the man with the voice can help with the escape, Natalie frees Zack and the two embark on a cross country race from death. Natalie merely existed in her old life in Colorado, hiding who and what she was. But her life altering kidnapping and escape made her stronger. The reader is pulled along with Natalie as she grows, heals and learns to love again.
Our mothers and families are very much the founding bricks that our lives are "I hate those endless descriptions of a built upon. My heart ached for another Natalie (Natalie and Jett from “The Guy heroine's physical attributes . . . As if Next Door” a prequel to “The Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor by Lori Foster). readers will only like a character Natalie’s family was cold and aloof. Her father and step mother kept her and who's ideal-or completely shattered." her sister at arms length and certainly admonished any feelings or empathy of — E. Lockhart any kind. By their very uncaring, Natalie learned how to care for her sister and what not to become in life. Jett and his family, opened their doors to her and his parents and siblings showed her what a real family can mean. A few great women who write even more amazing women in romantic suspense "Sometimes you can learn, even from would include Pamela Clare, Linda Howard, Shannon McKenna and Cindy a bad experience. By coping you Gerard. The first and last authors are my “discoveries” of 2011. I read both of become stronger. The pain does not their latest releases (Breaking Point by Pamela Clare and With No Remorse by go away, but it becomes Cindy Gerard) and now I am hooked. They write stories with real women that manageable." — Somaly Mam fight hard to survive and to get their HEA. I love that even though both these book were mid-series, there was nothing missing or extraneous. For example, while Kat and Gabe were already together in Natalie and Zach’s story Breaking Point, going back to read their’s in Naked Edge was still a fantastic read. Ms. Clare wrote both Kat and Natalie as heroines who have survived horrific life "He had even read Pride and threatening events. Their survival made them the dynamic, three dimensional Prejudice--although he had thought heroines that had this reader cheering. I must confess, that over the past ten that many of the heroine's problems years, I have read less and less by male writers and concentrated my pleasure would have been solved if someone reading on romance (suspense, erotica, paranormal or urban fantasy) written had simply strangled her mother." by women. — Lynn Viehl Heroes coming in December…strong tough men who aren’t afraid to say I love you and hug a baby… Chief Master Sergeant John Gebhardt
Fatal Destiny (Fatal - Book 3.5) Marie Force 5 Hoots This little quickie is just a teaser into the lives of Sam and Nick. These two have been through the ringer and if they don't deserve the wedding event of the year, I don't know who does. That said, their wedding is no Kardashian picture perfect affair... (Sept 11 - Carina Press)
Blood and Fire (McClouds and Friends -Book 8) Shannon McKenna 5 Hoots I loved the resolution with Kevin and his brothers, something that was sorely missing in Fade to Midnight. In retrospect, it was perfect that Fade left this part out…Kev was gone for 18 years! There was a lot of stuff to deal with and if the resolution came in a neat package…then it would have been false. Nothing about the McClouds is neat and tidy. They and their friends are raw, rough and vulgar…just the way I like „em! Enjoy! (Sept 11 – Kensington)
Wicked Lies (Wicked Series - Book 2) Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush 4 Hoots Wicked Lies is a fast-paced thrill ride with many random sharp turns along the way. Although Wicked Lies is the sequel to Wicked Game - I went into reading it not knowing that! As I'm sure that reading these in order is wonderful, having not read the first in this series is not distracting and doesn‟t take away from the understandability of this novel. (June 11 – Kensington)
So Sensitive Anne Rainey 4 Hoots The reader will be swept into a novel where love stories can happen in the oddest of situations. This novel is fastpaced and not just about romance; there is the mystery of the stalker. This book is great for adults who enjoy their romance tinged with mystery.
(Aug 11 - Ace Books)
Dead by Morning (Dead by Trilogy - Book 2) Beverly Barton 4 ½ Hoots In the continuing saga of the Powell Agency, Dead by Morning does not fail to keep you on the edge of your seat. On a sad note, Miss Barton passed away unexpectedly this year. Her knack for getting inside the head of her characters and making them come alive just add to her conversational style of writing. She will be missed by her fans all over the world. Her third book in the Powell Agency trilogy, Dead by Nightfall, will be released in December 2011. (May 11 – Kensington)
Courting Death (Courting - Book 3) Carol Stephenson 4 Hoots Courting Death is one of those rare books that combine great romances, and addicting suspense novels, into one breathtaking story. This is recommended for those who love an exciting suspense story with great twist mixed with romance that is more real than make believe. (May 11 – Carina Press)
Vision Impossible (Psychic Eye Mysteries- Book 9) Victoria Laurie 4 Hoots This book has an intriguing and fast moving plot. The only disappointing factor would be the supporting cast was absent, but Abby is undercover so of course they would not be there! After 9 books the Psychic Eye Mysteries are still great and do not disappoint! (July 11- New American Library)
Fatal Consequences (Fatal #3) Marie Force 5 Hoots If you haven‟t found Marie Force yet…get on it. The Fatal series is a great romantic suspense series to start this summer. The story goes even further as Force has sections on her website where the readers can vote on their wedding ideas for Sam and Nick. I voted for the Vera Wang dress. Enjoy! (July 11- Carina Press)
Deadly Intentions Candice Poarch 3 Hoots The story is not an overly long full length book; therefore, I can say that it would have been more than acceptable to slow down the ending. The pace of the story, the romance and the mystery are entertaining but the end came a bit too rushed for my liking. (May 11 – Dafina)
Viper's Kiss Shannon Curtis 4 Hoots The mystery in the story is incredible which made me stay up late reading to figure out who the villain really is. Viper's Kiss is a quick read (162 pages) but it is fast paced and definitely worth the time! (June 11 - Carina Press)
Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum Book 17) Janet Evanovich 4.5 Hoots Smokin' Seventeen has the feel of the earlier books in this series with its humor and mystery but has more steamy scenes then any Plum book to date. Luckily, we do not have to wait long for the next escapade in Stephanie's life as Explosive Eighteen hits shelves in November 2011! Brandi
(June 11 Random House)
Does Erotica Help? By: Charity Daugherty I want to start out by saying Thank You to the previous writer of this Erotic article; Kelly Lester did a fantastic job the past few months. After talking with Kelly to pick her brain about her ideas for future articles I discovered that great minds think alike!
Like Kelly, I read and review erotica for NRR and I love it. I myself am fairly new to the genre. Although I have read a good share of books in the past year, I havenâ€™t even made a dent into the different types and I am definitely not an expert. I will continue using this article as a learning train. If you would like to come aboard with me as I learn things, you can learn things too. I have started out by doing some interviews with several authors of Erotica, and by posing a question to get reader responses in a Goodreads discussion. My first question was directed to both the readers and writers: Does reading Erotica hurt, help, or make no difference in a marriage? The answer was overwhelming that it helped a marriage. Most all the authors I asked said that they have readers writing to them to say that their book helped their marriage. That is a great compliment to an Author, by the way.
When posing the question as a discussion in an Erotic group on Goodreads, I got much more personal success stories. The majority of responses were around the same such as: reading erotica has definitely increased my libido, reading about sex makes you want sex, the spouse benefits from Erotic stories because they gets the benefits, Erotica has made us more adventurous and less inhibited, and a found or renewed sense of sexuality. So to sum all that up, and it helps to have my own good experience, Erotica can have a greatly successful impact on a marriage. From my own knowledge, from talking to friends, and from holding Goodreads discussions I have found that it helps to read a situation that is sexually arousing. Connecting with the heroin of a story allows you to put yourself in their position, to fantasize, and to grow curious as to how it would feel to do that in real life. Many people said their spouses read Erotica with them or at least interesting passages. Not only do they reap the benefits of the arousing situation, but they get ideas of new things to try. There were a few personal stories that were very inspiring. After twenty plus years of marriage, kids grown and moving out, one lady started reading Erotica and it helped restore her marriage. She said “I am not sure if it is renewed or newly discovered but I have found out that I am a very sexual person, my husband and I are both thrilled with the change.” Many people have said they wish they would have started reading this genre many years ago because they feel like they have missed out on a lot. A couple ladies said they caught their husbands reading it to get ideas for the bedroom. I want to lay out a definition here before I go into a few other comments. For those not familiar with the term Vanilla or Vanilla Lover, it is defined as a description of what a culture regards as standard or conventional sexual practice. Often, it is interpreted as sex which does not involve elements such as, BDSM, kink, or fetish activities. Usually defined as boring or plain sex. But, a vanilla lover would regard it as making-love, passionate sex. You might be able to guess from that definition that several people said they were able to, from reading Erotica, move on from their Vanilla sexual style and be more adventurous. A couple of husbands joined the discussion on Goodreads to say they read Erotica and read some to their wives in the hopes of adding more “zing” to the relationship.
So many stories are inspiring and I can’t share them all, but his one is a must hear: “After my hysterectomy 11 years ago - my libido ran away and hid. Sex was a chore and I hated that. Not long after I started reading Erotica….Its BACK! It has had a GREAT impact on my marriage and our sex life.” It is remarkable that reading can do that for a relationship. On the other side of the spectrum for that question is whether reading Erotica can hurt the marriage. There were no personal experiences in the discussion just general ideas on how that can happen. First is if the spouse was hiding the fact that they read it (but that probably isn’t the only reason). If one partner can’t physically “keep up” one might be tempted to cheat for satisfaction. Another good thought is if through reading Erotica one partner discovers a sexual behavior and wants to try, but the other partner isn’t willing (i.e. BDSM, same sex, or multi-partner). One person pointed out during this discussion that if that is all it takes then the marriage must not have been that strong in the first place, emotionally/committed speaking. So what we have learned is: If you or someone you know needs to help their libido due to loss of sex drive or just lack of interest, pick up an Erotic read and discover what you could be missing!
Forged In Fire (Rebirth Book 3) Sandra Brooks Erotica / Paranormal 4 Hoots Brooks definitely knows how to suck fans into her world, be they loyal fans or newbies, like me. Brooks is quite descriptive without overdoing it, such a delicate line that is, it is not an easy feat for writers to accomplish but she does just that. Forged in Fire is full of love, lust, action and heartbreak. A must read that will leave readers wanting more, with a cliffhanger that may have readers needing shock therapy. (May 11 - Liquid Silver Books)
Slade (New Species Series Book 2) Laurann Donner 4 Hoots Slade is an action-packed, erotic journey through the world of the New Species. This book marks the second of the series and encompassed the passion, danger, and humor popular in most of Ms. Dohner's works that readers new to the series or fans alike would appreciate start to finish! Shannon
(Aug 11 - Ellora's Cave)
Endless Lust (Seven Deadly Daemons Book 2) Lexxie Couper Paranormal / Erotica 5 Hoots This is one of the first Erotic books I have read that has a well formed plot and excellent character development. Endless Lust has become one of my favorite Erotic reads! Not just because the story is full of interesting and mind puzzling sex (which it is, wink wink) but it has a story that will excite the mind. Aside from Cate's odd seduction, she is searching for answers which brings her to the Demon of Lust and a story that will haunt the reader. (March 11- Ellora's Cave)
Werewolfâ€™s Treasure (Big City Pack Series Book 3)
Marisa Chenery Erotica / Paranormal 4 Hoots This 70 page read is nothing but wonderful! There is always some part of the story that is downplayed because of a novella‟s length, and in this case, I think character development lacked a bit. However; that being said it still didn‟t take away from the story. Ms. Chenery knows how to grab the reader from page one and keeps you obsessed with turning the pages right up until the very last one. (Aug 11 – Ellora‟s Cave)
Grace in Moonlight (Lucani Lover Series Book 5) Stephanie Julian Erotica / Paranormal 4 Hoots Grace in Moonlight, book five in the Lucani Lovers series by Stephanie Julian is an erotically charged delightful tale of a most unlikely pairing. Continuing the saga of the millennium, long conflict between the Lucani shapeshifters and the Mal witches, this book picks up after the events of Moonlight Temptation book four in the series. Shifting gears a bit, Ms. Julian focuses the book's attention on the meaning of family and the lengths that one will go to safeguard said family. (July 11 – Ellora‟s Cave)
Claimed by the Spymaster Tara Kingston 3 Hoots Traitors with secret plans, spymaster hot on their trail, and a beautiful actress caught in the crosshairs. A well-written novella that gives just enough. The animosity between Alec and Pemberton has a lot of emotion that could be expounded. Not necessary, though as a novella, Claimed by the Spymaster is a great read. (Aug 11 – Ellora‟s Cave)
Spirit of the Wolf Vonna Harper 4 Hoots Harper has combined just the right amount of details, suspense, and sex. This is a super-hot read with a great back story, great character development, and an inspiring love story. I would have liked to have seen some more details in the ending, but other than that it‟s a great story that is hard to put down. (July 11 – Aphrodisia)
Playing Cowboy Tara Nina 4 Hoots This truly was a story of longing…and of learning what you want and putting yourself out on a vulnerable plane in order to claim what it is you truly want. Thankfully, Jaden is not only keen, but creative enough to try anything his wife can imagine. Sometimes the telling of your fantasies is the hardest part…this story would be a great couples read for anyone wanting to broach the topic of role playing with their partner…otherwise, it is one hot read you can devour alone! Enjoy! (April 11 – Self Published)
Raw Desire Kate Pearce 3.5 Hoots Katie Pearce leaves nothing untouched in this book… Romance (check), Suspense (check), Drama (check) explicit sex all the time (check), Ménage including m/f/m and m/m/f sex (check), m/f sex (check), m/m sex (check), oral sex (check), anal sex (check), spanking (check), light bondage (check), Dom/Sub (check), and exhibitionist scenes (check). This is Erotica with a back story, a current suspenseful situation, and a promising future...my favorite! There were things I liked about the story and things that could have been better. (Aug 11 – Aphrodisia)
Come Find Me Natalie Dae 4 Hoots Come Find Me takes a leap into the BDSM world with the female character being dominate the majority of the time. There is suspense from the very beginning that will have you wondering what will happen and what the reaction will be. Overall, a great read if you like female domination, and don‟t mind some kinky details. (Feb 11- Ellora‟s Cave)
Burning For You KT Grant 3 HOOTS M/M. This was a cute "feel good" love at first sight story about a janitor of a college in NYC who falls in love with a College Dean. This is an easy read full of love and at times mushy romance. If that is what you are looking for, then this book is for you. (June 11 – Phaze)
Wicked Game Mercy Celeste 5 Hoots Wicked Game is a kind of book, a reader who is looking for romance, humor and fun would absolutely love! You start it with a smile on your face and it ends with that sweet smile still on your face. This book is a must read for those readers who are looking for something light, sexy, easy and super sweet. (Sept 11 - Liquid Silver Books)
Faceoff Kelly Jamieson 4 Hoots The week by the lake becomes a week of love and experimentation. Sometimes we need to put aside our preconceived ideas of ourselves and others and take a leap of faith...I was so happy when Tag and Kyla leapt...right into each other's arms. Enjoy! (Sept 11 - Ellora's Cave)
Slap Shot (Hot Ice - Book 3)
Lily Harlem 4 Hoots Even though we read this story through Dana's eyes, we see and feel so much more. A small misunderstanding, a crazed stalker and a whole lot of baggage, this is a hot little story with some hockey and a mystery thrown in...Enjoy! Karia
(Aug 11 - Ellora's Cave)
Sizzle at Sea (Long & Hard - Book 1) Wynter Daniels 4 Hoots Add in the added kick of a kidnapper prowling about the ship and we've got some real adventure on our hands! Sizzle at Sea is a fun, fiery read that'll make readers long for a romance on the high seas themselves! Cindy
(Aug 11 - Ellora's Cave)
Cowboys Like Us (Sons of Chance Book 6) Vicki Lewis Thompson 4 Hoots Six books into the Sons of Chance, and I still enjoy my visits! I loved how Caro jumped in with her whole heart and both feet. The sweet HEA is lovely, but even more fine is the Epilogue…and the introduction of more men to the Sons of Chance! Enjoy! (July 11 – Harlequin)
Yours to Keep - Shannon Stacey Kowalski Family - Book 3 5 Hoots This book is full of wonderful. All the warm fuzzy feelings you want to experience from a good story, with great memorable characters and unforgettable scenes. In fact, if I could give it more than 5 Hoots I would. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good romantic read that will keep you wanting more long after the story is over. Ali
(June 11 - Carina Press)
Only Mine (Fool's Gold Book 4) Susan Mallery 4 Hoots This book is contemporary romance at it's finest. I love believable romance, where chaos from life sometimes stands in the way of our dreams throwing a few curve balls, though somehow, to our advantage, everything manages to work out in the end. While this book is part of a Fool's Gold series, it can be read as a stand-alone without the need to read previous books. (July 11 – Harlequin)
My One and Only Kristan Higgins 5 Hoots My One and Only is a wonderful contemporary romance, that takes its readers on a journey with the characters. As not only do the readers feel like they are traveling with Harper and Nick on the road trip, but it is written in such that the readers feel the highs and lows with the characters. This is most definitely a stand out novel in its genre. (March 11- Harlequin)
PJ Mellor 4 Hoots I was so totally surprised and delighted with this book. Ben is sarcastic, dry and witty with a need to barb and jibe at Reese at every turn. Reese, while she is a wilting flower in much of her life, loves the sparring and the arguing with Ben. He brings out the wild in her and in return she drives him wild. (March 11 – Kensington)
His, Unexpectedly (Wild Ride to Love Book 3) Susan Fox 4 Hoots Great story! I like both characters very much, but they do each have their issues. They have great chemistry right off the bat and it becomes hotter and hotter as they progress towards Vancouver. The writing is fluid and easy to read and the story line is chick-flick. (Feb 11 – Brava)
Negligee Behavior Shelli Stevens 4 Hoots This is a great read…longer than a novella, but just short of full book and altogether just right. Funny scenes like that all through the book made for a great mix of humor blended with the lead characters compassion and love for each other. Enjoy! Karia
(May 11 - Carina Press)
Leah and the Bounty Hunter (Men of Defiance Book 3) Elaine Levine 3 Hoots Leah and the Bounty Hunter is a great western tale full of stolen gold, a villain with secrets, a handsome gunslinger and a courageous woman. In classic western fashion, it is always clear who the good guys are and who the villains are. Gun fights and killing is a given, you will not be disappointed there. If you are in the mood for a western romance this is a perfect choice. (Aug 11 – Zebra)
A Scottish Love Karen Ranney 3 Hoots Karen Ranney sets up a beautiful story with depth and background. There is not only the main love story of Gordon and Shona but a few smaller stories that occur along the way. Historical in depth and romantically enticing fans of this genre will enjoy Karen Ranney‟s contributions. Who doesn‟t want to be romanced in an old Scottish castle? (Dec 11 – Avon)
Bride for a Night Rosemary Rogers 5 Hoots Bride for a Night is a wonderfully written historical romance that captivates its readers from the very first page with its unpredictable plot, realistic characters and the undeniable chemistry between the main characters. It is an absolutely stunning historical romance and all fans of such novels should definitely give it a read. (Sept 11- Harlequin Books)
Captain Grey’s Lady Scarlett Scott Historical / Erotica 3 Hoots The story really is sweet, a forgotten love not so forgotten. Lizzie and Edmond get a little hot and bothered but for an erotic novella it is pretty tame. An odd combination, but still worth reading. (April 11 – Ellora‟s Cave)
A Scandalous Proposition Wendy Soliman 4 Hoots A Scandalous Proposition by Wendy Soliman is a great read although, to me it seemed a bit more historical suspense with a little romance thrown in. The story has love, steamy sex scenes, and several mysteries you will by dying to solve! April
(Aug 11 - Net Galley)
Unclaimed (Turner Series Book 2) Courtney Milan 4 Hoots For those romance and historical fiction readers out there, I highly recommend this read as well as the entire Turner series. Although anyone who enjoys good writing, great characters and juicy plot, should not be discouraged from reading. It's light weight and I had fun with it. Vickie
(Sept 11 - HQN Books )
Mistress of the Storm (Storm Book 3) Terri Brisbin 4 Hoots This book will bring tears to your eyes at the pain the characters are forced to endure. Tough choices are made that are self-sacrificing, but because of these choices there is healing and laughter. Brisbin does a wonderful job of tying up the Storm series with Duncan‟s story. There is so much emotion packed into these pages you will not be able to stop from absorbing some of it yourself. (July 11 – Kensington)
Heart of the Druid Laird Barbara Longley 5 Hoots I loved this book! Heart of the Druid Laird is not your typical Scottish romance, but it has several to die for Scots in it! Dermot MacKay is cursed by a fairy 1,600 years ago with immortality and has been craving a mortal death since. This book has everything...soul mates, love that lasts several lifetimes, and super sexy Scottish men! A definite must read. (Aug 11 - Net Galley)
Perfect Strangers Rebecca Sinclair 4 Hoots Perfect Strangers is filled with action, love and a tension that the story builds on. Gabby and Connor are strangers and enemies, I mean he did kidnap her, but they find love and have a connection that will last a lifetime! I will definitely be reading more of Rebecca Sinclair's books. (Aug 11 – Self Published)
To Touch the Knight Lindsay Townsend 3.5 Hoots All in all, I think it‟s a story worth reading. I enjoyed in for the most part even with a few slight flaws. All the reviews I have seen suggest the same thing. So you are safe in going out and buying this book. It‟s a good read! Kelly L
(July 11 - Zebra Books by Kensington Publishing)
In this article, Kristie Cook let us know a little bit about her inspiration for this series and how Alexis’s (the main character) life and hers are intertwined. Can You Ever Really Go Home? Promise, the first book in my Soul Savers Series, starts in Arlington, Virginia, where I did most of my growing up. Like my main character, Alexis, I moved around a lot as a kid—7 different schools by the time I finished the 6th grade. Then we moved to Arlington and after a year or so of middle school, I begged my mother to keep me in the same school district to finish high school. Kids were different at this age and it was bad enough I hadn’t grown up with them. But to start over again? I didn’t want to have to go through it all. Thankfully, she agreed. We moved residences a few times,
but always stayed in the district and I graduated high school there. Alexis did, too. I suppose she would have graduated from my high school because the neighborhood I envisioned where they lived in the first half of the first chapter is in that district. But, funny enough, I never thought about her actual school. I started the book there because I needed her to be far away from Florida (because she was moving there for college) yet somewhere familiar to me. The atmosphere of the Jefferson Memorial was perfect for the beginning of the scene and when the rest of it came to me, I imagined it in on a high school friend’s street. So after changing her previous home from Denver to Chicago to Minnesota, I finally decided she finished school in Arlington. This week, I returned to Arlington for the first time since 2004. And I had to laugh at myself. The area has changed so much, it’s hardly recognizable! I don’t know if I could still find my way around because all of my old landmarks are different or even gone. Promise starts 9 years ago, but even then, the area would have been different than I’d pictured. In fact, I’d imagined it just as it had existed when I was about 16 years old! Fortunately, the description in Promise isn’t specific enough—no street or building or even neighborhood names—that anyone would know. But this has been a good reminder that writers can’t forego research of a setting just because we spent some time there once. Unless that “once” was in the last few years, it’s not the same as we remember. Thank God for the Internet! Especially Google Earth. This return to what I call my hometown is also a reminder that we really can’t ever go “home.” There’s a reason people say this—once you’ve been gone for a while, it’s just not the same as in your memories. The landscape changes and so do the people. Everything may be better or worse or neutral, but it will never be the same. Because life’s just not like that. It was an interesting trip for both Alexis and me. I’m glad I had this opportunity to go home, to see people I haven’t seen in years and to experience the new world of my hometown. And now I have some great new fodder for future books.
Ghost of a Smile (Ghostfinders Series Book 2) Simon R. Green 3 Hoots An imaginative and interesting story, Ghost of a Smile marks the second installment of the Ghostfinders series. Filled with a balancing blend of paranormal and reality, this book will keep readers on the edge of their seats as the mystery and drama progresses from the first chapter! (Aug 11- Ace Publishing)
The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis - Book 1) Sandy Williams 4.5 Hoots THE SHADOW READER is a fascinating start to a debut series! Williams will have readers devouring pages until the very end. THE SHADOW READER has it all: suspense, romance, action, and laughs. I hope this holds true for book two as well. Book two in the series is currently in the works with new information coming soon! (Nov 11- Ace Fantasy)
Drink Deep - Chloe Neill Chicagoland Vampire Series - Book 5 5 Hoots DRINK DEEP is a fast paced emotional thrill-ride. No one does it quite like Chloe Neill. In DRINK DEEP, readers revisit the world that had everyone hanging at the end of book 4, HARD BITTEN. Ending on another cliffhanger, although not nearly as bad as before, readers will be anxious for book 6, BITING COLD coming soon. (Nov. 2011- NAL)
Working Stiff - Rachel Caine
Revivalist Novel - Book 1 3.5 Hoots WORKING STIFF is the first novel in a new series by Rachel Caine. Personally, I adore her Morganville Vampire series, so I was very excited to give this one a try. While it was not quite to the standards of her young adult series, WORKING STIFF is an entertaining read for all fantasy fans. This book contains a much darker feel than much of Caine's other works. (Aug. 2011 – ROC)
Dead Alert- Bianca D’Arc Guardians of the Dark- Book 5 4 Hoots Dead Alert is a quick, fun read involving a trifecta of attributes guaranteed for entertainment: airplanes, a man in uniform, and zombies! There is also a lot of hot lovin' and butt kickin', which is always enjoyable! Reading this novel definitely made me want to read the rest of the Guardians of the Dark series to get the stories of the rest of the men in the Special Forces unit. (July 2011- Kensington)
Nightshade (Poison Diaries- Book 2) Maryrose Wood 4 Hoots Nightshade by Maryrose Wood is a wonderful, dark and intoxicating read! I was immediately entrapped in the unnerving suspense this novel holds. Nightshade puts the readers in a whole new world where poisonous plants rule and dark forces crave to control them. I loved the dark and unfortunate circumstances mixed with the forbidden and cursed love. Nightshade is one I will read over and over! (Oct 11 – Harper Collins)
Deviant Adrian McKinty 3 Hoots Adrian McKinty‟s, Deviant is perverse mystery with an unlikely hero. Even though the story tends to jump around a bit much, the eerily accurate actions and mindset of the serial killer keeps the reader interested until the very end. Deviant may appeal more to boys than girls; some may find it a decent thriller. (Oct 11 – Amulet)
If I Die (Soul Screamers- Book 5) TOP PICK Rachel Vincent 5 Hoots Rachel Vincent surpasses everyone's expectations with the fifth installment to her Soul Screamers series, If I Die. The book contains a strong plot with an emotional impact of love, lust, jealousy, betrayal and sacrifice that will have the audience on the edge of their seats. This book is a must read for the Soul Screamers fans! Once you close this book you will have a smile on your face and left begging for more! (Sept 11- Harlequin)
Butterfly Clues Kate Ellison 4 Hoots Butterfly Clues is a wonderful novel that lingers in your heart and mind. Butterfly Clues is a magnificent novel the forces the reader to view life from a different view. However, when I first started reading Butterfly Clues I was completely confused. The story line seemed choppy and events were not adding up, however once I got past the first few chapters things really started to pick up! Ellison hooks the reader by giving them the smallest of clues and incentives, but they are intriguing enough to keep the reader glued to the story. A truly enticing read! (Feb 12 – Egmont)
After Obsession Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel 3 Hoots I really enjoy Carrie Jones' Need Series, so I was really looking forward to reading this book from her as well. The cover is what originally drew me in; it is so pretty and really eye catching. Overall I think a lot of people would really Enjoy this book for its uniqueness and if they are a fan of either Jones or Wedel should really give it a chance. Ali
(Sept 11 - Bloomsbury)
Dearly Departed TOP PICK Lia Habel 5 Hoots Filled with adventure, forbidden romance, teenage angst, familial lies, deceit and best of all, zombies, Dearly, Departed has it all! Lia Habel's debut as an author could not be more exciting. Her writing is fast-paced, detailed and hilarious. She included just the right amount of affection between Nora and Bram to fall right along with them and just enough adventure to have readers foot-tapping in anticipation. The sequel, Dearly Beloved, is highly anticipated for 2012. (Oct 11 – Del Ray )
The Shattering Karen Healey 4 Hoots The Shattering is different than other books I've read. Healey doesn't waste any time, either: she describes the gruesome scene of the main character, Keri discovering her dead older brother right on the first page. The Shattering is set in the unique locale of New Zealand, and it is very interesting and odd to read about Christmas and New Year‟s happening during the summer! Somehow, despite the somber subject, Healey manages to keep the majority of the book fairly upbeat. (Sep 11 – Little Brown)
Cindy Kelly L
June is one of the most anticipated months of the year. Children are on summer break, those anticipated beach vacations begin and True Blood returns to HBO. The millions of Trubies amongst us are overly excited to see what will happen to everyone‟s favorite telepathic waitress, Sookie. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this hit series here is a little True Blood 101. In 2001 Charlaine Harris‟s Dead until Dark hit the shelves, being the first book in The Southern Vampire series. It won her the Anthony Award for best paperback mystery along with making her a household name among readers. Currently there are 11 books out to this hit series that are a constant on the NY Bestsellers list year round. Harris created a storyline that centers on her main character Sookie Stackhouse who is a telepathic waitress that works in a small bar in Louisiana and lives in a world where vampires have come out of their coffins to the humans letting them know they exist. Once Sookie gets friendly with the fanger‟s due to the fact that she can not hear their thoughts, she enters a world of turmoil, love and deception. One of the strongest elements to these books is the realistic world Harris has created on paper. This leads me to ask you some questions. If one day on the news it is revealed that vampire‟s are among us, how would you react? Let‟s say you are out in a bar and you look over and realize a vamp is checking you out, would you go over to introduce yourself or would you run out the door like the devil himself was chasing you? There are so many scenarios‟ you can toss around with this kind of storyline so it was no surprise when Alan Ball, creator of HBO series Six Feet Under, undertook production of The Southern Vampire series when he read Dead until Dark in his dentist chair and knew this was a project he wanted to sink his teeth into (no pun intended) and turned it into a hit for HBO. True Blood aired in 2008 and had a great audience of over 1 million viewer‟s and has grown as season 4 pulled in over 5 million viewers which is phenomenal for a cable network. Not only is the show‟s writer‟s to thank but also this stellar cast of wonderful actor‟s.
Anna Paquin- Sookie Stackhouse Stephen Moyer – Bill Compton Alexander Skarsgard – Eric Northman Joe Manganiello- Alcide Herveaux Rutina Wesley – Tara Thorton Nelsan Ellis- Lafayette Reynolds Ryan Kwanten – Jason Stackhouse Deborah Ann Wohl – Jessica Hanby Sam Trammel – Sam Merlotte Kristin Bauer- Pam
This following portion contains spoilers to True Blood season 4. In June 2011 season 4 of True Blood premiered with a bang or should I say a fang! Sookie was in fae and once she returned it was one year later in Bon Temps. Things had changed such as Bill is now king of Louisiana, Jason had sold Sookie‟s house which is now owned by Eric, Alcide reunited with Debbie Pelt, Tara left and was now living in New Orleans, Jesus is trying to get Lafayette to join a coven, Andy is addicted to V, and Arlene thought her baby was evil. In True Blood style the season progressed at an edge of your seat fast pace. The fans of the books were hoping it would follow the premise of book 4 in the series, Dead to the World, in which Eric loses his memory and that classic “shower” scene between him and Sookie would take place, in which it did and was one of the main storylines. We got to see the vulnerable side of Eric‟s character since he had no memory of his former self. Sookie fell madly in love with this Eric but also came to realize that she loved him before he lost his memory and is also still in love with Bill. Bill made a tenacious king and fit the role perfectly. We got some back story to his association with the AVL and after learning of his conniving ways to win Sookie‟s affections in the season 3 finale, he truly does show his love for her in these episodes. Jason. Poor Jason! Not only does he get kidnapped by the were-panthers but they use him as a breeding tool. Once he escapes, Jessica saves his life and in return they now have a sexual connection that neither of them can deny and will only lead to hurting his best friend, Hoyt. Sam meets a beautiful woman who is a shape shifter and seems to be just the woman for him except her ex is a crazy werewolf (Marcus) that ends up beating his brother Tommy to death. Alcide helps Sam track him down and finds out that Marcus and Debbie have had an affair. As it all comes to a head, Alcide ends up killing Marcus who is his pack leader and also ends his relationship with Debbie, Which sets her on a rampage in Sookie‟s direction. Fan favorite Lafayette is learning about his ability as a medium. During the season we see his body be taken over by 3 different spirits. One who ends up being our villain this, Marnie, who is a witch. We meet her when Jesus takes Lafayette to join the coven. She ends up becoming possessed by a spirit named Antonia who has a vendetta against all vampires. Antonia ends up taking Eric‟s memory, turning Pam into a walking zombie and can make the vamps walk out into the sun. She recruits more members to her coven, one being Tara and ends up holding them captive. Jesus ends up saving them when he is forced to use his dark magic that ends up costing him more then he ever thought. The season finale is sure to keep the audience‟s minds twirling until summer 2012 when True Blood season 5 premieres. Here are some of the key parts. Russell Edgington is back but who let him out? Debbie Pelt is dead! Tara, is she dead? She has a big hole in her head now! The AVL wants Eric and Bill dead. Steve Newlin has fangs. Sam is about to become a werewolf‟s dinner. Andy had sex with a fae. And he was good at it?? Lafayette, does he have Jesus‟ dark magic? Sookie chooses to leave both Eric and Bill; will she take Alcide up on his offer? Now I like to take a moment to say goodbye to some of the character‟s that left us this season! Tommy Mickens, Debbie Pelt, Momma and Joe Lee Mickens, Nan Flannigan, Jesus, Marnie and Marcus.
Saint Nicholas, Jolly Old Saint Nick, Father Christmas, The Holly King, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Grandfather Christmas…..so many names, but most of us grew up knowing him as just plain old Santa Claus. Though the actual name render‟s from the Dutch, Sinterklass, the legend of Santa Claus originates from the life events of Nikolaos of Myra, also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. The son of wealthy parents‟ lost to him at a young age; Nikolaos was a very devout and generous man in life. Growing up in a time where money was sparse to some and coveted by many, all of what he accumulated, his entire inheritance, he gave to those less fortunate then himself. The tradition of stockings being hung from the fireplace derives from a story told of Nikolaos‟ generosity to one particular family in a time of need. In his time, in order for a woman to be married to a good husband, her father would have to produce dowry to the husband-to-be‟s father. The better or bigger the dowry, the better chance the daughter had to marry well. In essence, marriage was nothing more than a business transaction. When hearing of a man with three daughters and no money/gold to produce a dowry at all, and being that all three of these young women would have no other choice than to be sold into slavery, Nikolaos took it upon himself to help this family. Rather than giving the money openly to the man, which I am sure was looked down upon then if even allowed, within three days‟ time he threw three bags of gold into their opened window. These bags landed in either a shoe or sock that had been left by the fire to dry. This led children to leaving their own socks hanging by the fire in hopes of finding a pleasant surprise waiting for them as well. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, thieves and of course, children. Forever known for his generosity and secret gift giving. Most people say now that Santa Claus is nothing more than a media and commercial hype to boost sales and encourage people to spend money in which may be true to some extent. To me, there‟s a lot more to it than that. Santa Claus may not come down a chimney in the middle of the night with treasures untold, but aren‟t most of us a Santa Claus at heart to someone? Me, I‟m Santa for my kids every year. I may not be able to give them the most elaborate gifts all the time, but I do try to buy at least one gift their little hearts desires most. And my six year old still believes it‟s the big guy that comes down the chimney and mom simply gives her boring old clothes and books. It doesn‟t matter to me if a fictional character receives the credit instead of me. What does matter, is seeing the joy that lights up her face when she wakes in the morning and magically the living room has gone from a tree that was bare underneath to being filled with boxes wrapped with presents she asked for; rewards for being such a good girl all year, mostly. From the stockings hanging from the fireplace that were completely empty to being stuffed with all sorts of treats inside. My elder two, who are now twelve and ten, sadly no, they no longer believe in Santa Claus, or rather they know who Santa Claus truly is now. However, they still make sure they are snug and in bed well before midnight, because otherwise “Santa” won‟t be able to come down that chimney otherwise. And the look of joy on all three of those beautiful faces is all the present I could ever hope to ask for. Santa Claus may not be a big fat jolly old guy in a suit, but there are plenty Santa Claus‟ in the here and now. Everyone who leaves a donation at a charity or takes part at work in buying present‟s for a family for Christmas. Everyone who buys an extra toy, no matter how big or small, and drops it in a Christmas toy bin, such as „Toys For Tots‟. None of these people are signing their names, or looking for acknowledgement of any sort. Just looking to help put a smile on someone‟s face. So who will you be Santa for this year?
“A Notably Worthy Nobel Prize Winner” By: Michelle Keener How exciting it would be to learn that your life’s work was exceptional enough to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. A retired Swedish psychologist and poet by the name of Tomas Transtromer has recently experienced how that feels. On October 6, 2011 the Swedish Academy awarded the 80 year old poet with the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is the first poet to be awarded such an honor in 15 years. The last poet to be awarded was Wislawa Szymborska in 1996. Transtromer’s life’s work includes a variety of simple poems written about everyday life. The vast majority of his poems are influenced by his personal life, music and nature. His work is stunning in the sense that he uses simple language and words to bring out deeper meanings in the world around us. Transtromer’s poetry appeals to the professionals in the literacy world as well as everyday people. In his last few works Transtromer has perfected the simple poem by writing in Haiku. The Haiku has helped Transtromer speak in a language of his own. In 1990 he suffered from a stroke that unfortunately affected his poetic speech. Through Haiku he is able to relate his experiences using words just as effectively as if he spoke multiple lines to a crowd. His last two collections “The Sad Gondola” (1996) and “The Great Enigma” (2004) contain well thought out and exceptional Haikus. For instance this piece from “The Great Enigma”: A wind vast and slow from the ocean’s library. Here’s where I can rest. Whether one can identify and fully understand the many symbols and meanings these three simple lines convey, just about everyone can relate to this work in their own way. This is one of the many reasons to why Transtromer’s work is so exceptional. Transtromer has been an influential poet to his countrymen since the post War War II era. Today he inspires and relates to millions around the world. Many of his pieces have been translated into over fifty other languages, artfully translated into English by his long time American friend and fellow poet Robert Bly. Tomas Transtromer is an exceptional poet with great talent and understanding of the world surrounding him. With that said I would like to leave you with a poem taken from “The Great Enigma” Gogol The jacket threadbare as a wolf pack. The face like a marble slab. Sitting in the circle of his letters in the grove that rustles with scorn and error, the heart vlowing like a scrap of paper through the inhospitable passageways. The sunset is now creeping like a fox over this country, igniting the grass in a mere moment. Space is full of horns and hooves and underneath the barouche glides like a shadow between my father’s lit courtyards… And here, enveloped in fasts, is the man who before was surrounded by the herds of laughter, but these have long since taken themselves to tracts far above the tree line. Men’s unsteady tables. Look outside, see how darkness burns hard a whole galaxy of souls. Rise up then on your chariot of fire and leave the country!
This holiday season is now in full swing. The malls are brimming with eager shoppers searching for that coveted gift for friends and family. Among the choices are some new and interesting quasi e- readers/tablets from amazon and Barnes and Noble. Giant Internet retailer amazon.com officially entered the tablet wars with its release of the Kindle Fire. Sporting a price point of $199, the kindle fire is sure to make a few potential device buyer stop and take notice. The unit's 7 inch display screen and iTunes like Amazon Eco-system offers ebooks, music, videos, movies and apps all from one convenient location. Further strengthening the devices's appeal is its kindle lending feature. Although there are some discussions and issues currently being bantered back and forth between Penguin publishing house, overdrive content provider and the public library system in regards to the security of the program. Current ebooks may still be borrowed from the library from the other four major publishing houses. At a glance the kindle fire is not you typical tablet, unlike it's Android counterparts, the Kindle Fire is simplistic in design by offering its users a menu driven interface to the devices numerous functions. At the top of the initial display are a series of menu options that allows a user to switch between books, music, videos, etc. while this type of interface may not speak to the eBook savvy user, it may make a great introductory unit for a first timer eBook reader and tablet user, whom is also a heavy amazon user as well. Not to be left out of the game, Barnes and Noble has also recently released its own version of a table called the Nook tablet. First I would like to say that while the nook color is a nice e-reading device, I wish that B&N had changed the design for their tablet. That being said, the Nook tablet has the exact same look and feel of the NookColor. It's slightly different exterior coloration; gun metal like is the only distinguishing difference between the two devices. As with the Kindle Fire, the book Tablet's navigation structure is menu driven by a series if menu options at the bottom of the initial display screen. While I have not had the opportunity to use the device, I can say that it too has gone the unconventional way in its definition of what a tablet is. These devices maybe considered a reader first and a tablet as an afterthought. While a tablet may not replace one's laptop or desktop, it dies allow for mobile computing. Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have chosen a very drastic design of their tablets and both display a disturbing trend of attempting to provide an extremely closed Ecosystem. While there may be ways to perform design customizations, at the time of this article those features were unclear. The introduction of these two latest devices into the quest for consumer dollars may garner a number of new users and a whole lot of true believes, but will the really take a bite out of Samsung, Acer, Asus and Motorola's market share this holiday season? Only time, user counts and units sold will tell.