Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Harlequin More Than Words Award & Anthology

Harlequin recently announced the release of its fifth More Than Words edition, featuring bestselling authors Heather Graham, Candace Camp, Stephanie Bond, Brenda Jackson and Tara Taylor Quinn.

The More Than Words anthologies is a collection of short stories inspired by real-life women who make a difference everyday through charity work. Those charities are awarded 10,000 to continue their good work. Each year the proceeds from the sale of the anthologies is reinvested into the More Than Words program.

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"Harlequin is a longtime supporter of women's causes and we are proud to continue this tradition through the Harlequin More Than Words program," says Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO, Harlequin Enterprises. "Established in 2004 as our main philanthropic initiative, the More Than Words program remains dedicated to celebrating and rewarding women who make extraordinary contributions to their community."

Information on donations or volunteering time with the organizations highlighted in this year's program is available at http://www.harlequinmorethanwords.com/.

Details on when and where you can purchase the More Than Words anthology will follow.

For the Love of Audio

Cheeky Girl Loves Audio Books!

I admit I devour books like candy, but never thought I would enjoy having someone else – anyone other than the voices in my head that is – bring the characters to life for me. With an hour or so car commute each way to work, I decided to give audio books a try and I discovered a prefect way to pass the time and get some "quality" time in with my feisty girlfriends and those hot leading men!

I was very lucky that the very first audio book I tried was excellent – The Good, The Bad, and The Undead by Kim Harrison- which introduced me to the amazing Hollows world and I highly recommend the series both in audio and printed versions! I've since learned that audio books can be hit or miss – the success or failure hinging on the person reading and how well they handle the various characters.

You can usually tell within the first few tracks if the voice will connect with you or if you feel it paints the perfect world for you. My experience has been that most of the audio books are very well done. There have been only a few that were so bad I had to stop listening before I got through the first disc. I remember one distinct book that I really struggled to keep listening, since the first few tracks were just annoying! For some reason I hung in there and was rewarded with a light-hearted romp through France and a new series to follow!

Some great perks with Audio Books:

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  • Car Commuting - Put your time behind the wheel to good use!
  • Great for putting on your iPod while you clean the house
  • You can download Audio Books just like eBooks - Look for upcoming posts on the various different Audio Book retailers
  • Great for travel when you don't want to carry paper books or have light to read by (I hate when they turn off all the lights on the plane and then my seatmate wants to sleep!)
  • When you want the excitement of having a book read to you like when you were 5 (only obviously now your book selections have changed) :)
  • Your local library already has a selection of Audio Books waiting to be discovered
  • Too many more to list!

Cheeky Reads will have a regular Audio Book feature where we'll review and discuss both upcoming and older titles. I hope you'll be enticed to try Audio Books for yourself, and if you already sing the praises of audio, then you'll find some great new books to listen to!

If you have any suggestions for audio books you would like to see reviewed, just leave me a comment below! If you're an author with an audio book - speak up and sing its praises!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fictionwise Weekend Sale

Sorry for the last minute notice, but I just got word that Fictionwise is having a weekend sale!

Here are all the details from Fictionwise:

To celebrate the release of eReader for BlackBerry, we want to encourage everyone to try eReader this week with a special sale (it doesn't matter if you own a BlackBerry - just try any eBook in eReader format and save).

-- Buy any Secure eReader eBook (using a credit card or PayPal) and you'll automatically receive 30% back as a Micropay Rebate!

-- Plus, all unencrypted MultiFormat eBooks are discounted 20% this week! We simply ask that after purchasing a MultiFormat eBook that you try it in eReader format (eReader is one of the thirteen formats we offer when you buy a MultiFormat eBook).

eReader eBooks now work on BlackBerry Handhelds, along with Apple iPhones plus other mobile devices using Palm, Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone and Symbian Operating Systems (as well as PCs and Mac). This sale only runs through Sunday, March 29th, so hurry!
http://www.fictionwise.com/home.html

Saturday, March 28, 2009

REVIEW: Desert Prince, Defiant Virgin By Kim Lawrence

Desert Prince, Defiant Virgin
By Kim Lawrence
Harelquin Presents February 2009

As heir to the throne, Prince Tair Al Sharif is driven by duty to his country, and indulges in women on a mistress-only basis.

Beige-wearing, bespectacled Molly James is certainly not the kind of woman he usually beds. But Tair is outraged to be told that dowdy Molly is actually a seductress in disguise! She needs to be stopped! Taking her as a captive to the desert, he discovers this Miss Mouse is innocent—in every way. Now Tair wants her…as his bride!

Desert Prince, Defiant Virgin kicks off with an exciting and intriguing first few chapters that set the bar for sexual tension very high, but unfortunately the story does not live up to the expectations that are raised in those first few exchanges.

Both Molly and Prince Tair are compelling characters and there seemed to be a fair amount of heat building between them. It's regrettable that their coming together seems completely unrealistic – even in the world of romance books! I expected more resistance on Molly's part than to give in so quickly to a man who would think the horrible things Tair does of her character. Not to mention the fact that even though he thinks of her as a liar and whore, he still wants to possess her.

Miss Lawrence's writing style is very fresh and her characters, including the intriging family of siblings I hope get their own stories, are well described and come to life for the reader. That makes the missing connection between the two lead characters so disappointing.

The story is a good one with some new and interesting twists, and the writing is quick paced and engaging, but I wish the story would have been further along before Molly and Tair did the deed – time for him to see the real side of her and question his assumptions of her.

I recommend Desert Prince, Defiant Virgin as a entertaining read, especially if you are a fan of Sheikh/Virgin storyline.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nora Roberts Overload! Lifetime's Nora Roberts Collection

Lifetime has been working hard lately at offering some great original programming, and they've outdone themselves this week! They are presenting the 2009 Nora Roberts Collection -- Four, count them four, brand new movies based on Nora Roberts books. I'm crossing my fingers they do the books justice!

Check out Lifetime's Website for a smorgasbord of Nora Roberts fun! There's an excerpt from Nora's upcoming release Vision In White, a trivia game, movie trailers, a weekly contest to win $1,000 and best of all...You can watch the full length movies right online after they premier!

Check out the trailer for Saturday's premiere of Midnight Bayou starring Jerry O'Connell and Lauren Stamile.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Debbie Macomber Fans Take Note - New Book Tour!


Debbie has announced her book tour for her newest release Summer on Blossom Street! CheekyReads is a fan of Mrs. Macomber's series and couldn't be more excited that she'll be coming close enough to meet!

From the MIRA Books announcement:

Debbie's latest novel, SUMMER ON BLOSSOM STREET, introduces readers to a cast of new characters and brings back several favorites. Yarn shop owner Lydia Goetz is offering a new kind of knitting class: it's a "knit to quit" class, designed to help people use knitting to give up their bad habits and find a new lease on life. Those who sign up are looking to kick a variety of bad habits, including smoking, a bad relationship and unhealthy "workaholism." Needless to say, when a diverse group of knitters comes together at A Good Yarn, a remarkable story follows.
The tour kicks off April 27th in Vero Beach, Florida and Debbie will be doing signings at 17 different cities. Click here for a full list of where you can meet Debbie!

To learn more about Debbie, log on to http://www.debbiemacomber.com/.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sony & Google Partner - Offering 500,000 FREE eBooks!

Google announced yesterday that it is making its scanned public-domain books available in eBook format through Sony. This marks Sony’s library of eBooks as the largest available at 600,000 titles.

Check out the Associated Press article here.

This CheekyGirl is very pleased with this deal since she’s heard the Sony Reader is far beyond the Kindle in usability – now Sony just needs to counteract the Kindle’s wireless downloads by offering more and higher quality eBooks.

Click here to check out the Sony Reader and its new eBook store.

Now, if only CheekyGirl can convince her husband to get her the Sony Reader for her birthday!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

EBook Readers Unite!


The argument rages on about the why publishers feel the need to use DRM in their eBook formats. Recently, there have been some excellent responses as to how DRM is harming the eBook industry and its growth potential.

Are your eyes glazing over and your mouse calling you to click over to something else because you don’t know what DRM stands for? Well I didn’t get it for awhile either, so don’t feel bad! Check out the Wikipedia entry here – it gave me a great general overview of DRM.

The ladies at Smart Bitches frequently lament the scourge that is DRM and Smart Bitch Sarah did a particularly great post last week when they listed all the publishers who are DRM FREE.

Check out Sarah’s spot-on post here.

In reference to the Smart Bitches listing of DRM free publishers, The Galaxy Express decided to take up the call and consolidate many DRM, lists and comment sections into one HOT DAMN! list of DRM Free publishers.

Behold! For Your DRM FREE Downloading Pleasure!

Amber Quill
Changeling Press, LLC
Cobblestone Press
Dreamspinner Press
Drollerie Press
Ellora’s Cave
Liquid Silver Books
LooseID
Lyrical Press
MLR Press
Pink Petal Books
Samhain Publishing
Torquere Press
TotaleBound
Mojocastle Press
Wings ePress
Bold Strokes Books
Lethe Press Books
Phaze Books
Ravenous Romance
Linden Bay Romance
eXcessica Publishing
Literary Road
Resplendence Publishing
Siren Bookstrand
eXtasy Books
Eternal Press
Noble Romance Publishing
Blade Publishing
Carnal Desires Publishing
Write Words, Inc
Whispers Publishing
LBF Books
Tease Publishing
Rogue Phoenix Press
Champagne Books
Freya’s Bower
loveyoudivine Alterotica
Carnal Desires Publishing
Red Sage Publishing
Honorable mention: Baen Free Library


If you know of any others please post them in the comments section!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Review: Kiss of a Demon King




Kiss of a Demon King

By Kresley Cole

Pocket Romance Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-8094-2

ISBN-10: 1-4165-8094-8



This is the first of the Immortals After Dark series that this CheekyGirl has read, and I'll definitely be catching up with the whole series after reading Kiss of a Demon King! Since Cole does a masterful job of making her world easily accessible, new readers should feel free to jump right into this series. Look for a future review of the previous Immortals After Dark books coming soon!




From New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this spellbinding story of a demon king trapped by an enchantress for her wanton purposes – and the scorching aftermath that follows when he turns the tables and claims her as his captive.




His Obsession...Sabine, Sorceress of Illusions: the evil beauty who surrenders her body, but not her heart.



Her Downfall...Rydstrom Woede: the ruthless warrior who vows to keep her at all costs.



They were never supposed to want each other this much...With each smoldering encounter, their shared hunger only increases. If they can defeat the sinister enemy that stands between them,
will Sabine make the ultimate sacrifice for her demon? Or will the proud king lay down his crown and arms to save his sorceress?


From the opening chapter that weaves the tale of Sabine and her sister Lanthe's back story, to the introduction of our hero Rydstrom, Cole sets up a finely crafted tale that delivers some very erotic scenes and a story that will leave you highly satisfied and eager to return to Cole's world!


Cole entertains with a fully fleshed out world presenting the reader with multiple layers and intriguing character facets at every turn. She does an excellent job of showcasing her secondary characters to fill you in on both previous stories and piquing your interest in future ones.



Sabine is a complex character that readers will either immediately fall for – as I did- or she will grow on you even those she contends she's pure evil! Her true character reveals itself as she faces new surroundings and tries to understand her feelings for Rydstrom. He also undergoes a transformation as we see him deal with unexpected desires that conflict with his notorious straight-laced persona.



I had only one small issue with Kiss of the Demon King. Cole does quite the build up to Sabine and Rydstrom having sex, including taunting us with long drawn-out and exquisitely written dialog, only to drop Rydstrom's fantasies and fetishes once the two start accepting their tied fate. Since much is made of his fantasies in the first half of the book, it seems out of place for Sabine not to fulfill those desires.



Even with the ease of erotic moments between the two main characters, this was a fabulous read and I highly recommend it to CheekyGirls looking for an awesome paranormal romance or a new world to discover!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Read an E-Book Week


Check out the website and learn more about how E-Books are gaining in popularity!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Free eBook From eHarlequin!


As a Harlequin Ambassador, CheekyGirl received an email offering Harlequin Blaze title Triple Threat by Jennifer LaBrecque absolutely free as an ebook! The email said to share with family and friends, so I’m posting it here just for you!

Triple Threat is a part of Harlequin’s 12 book miniseries named Uniformly Hot! that showcases one title every month about a military hero and the determined woman who wins his love.

Click Here to Download Your Free Copy from eharlequin!

Monday, March 2, 2009

CHEEKY REVIEW: Under The Influence By Nancy Warren




Harlequin Blaze - Feb. 2009

All work and no play, Natalie Fanshaw is an efficiency expert whose latest job might just get her to loosen up and live a little! After one too many lonely meals alone in her hotel room, she heads to the nearest bar for a drink. There she meets sexy bartender Johnny Santini and he's soon mixing up her emotions along with his award-winning martinis. But can a workaholic professional like Natalie fall in love with a beach bum bartender like “Hot Johnny”?

Nancy Warren delivers a cute, sexy read with Under The Influence. Not only did she create a set of engaging characters in Natalie and Johnny, she actually created two with the smokin' hot subplot of Rita and Ben's relationship. From the fun drink recipes, to an outstanding first chapter that really sparks your curiosity, this book was a breezy, fresh read!

This CheekyGirl has never personally liked the beach bum/surfer type before, but found myself falling for “Hot Johnny!” Warren created an all-around hunk of a guy who you'll love to cuddle up to and I'll be mixing up one of those sublime drinks and sitting back to read this one again soon!

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