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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Guest Post: Stephanie Draven

By Stephanie Draven

I love that Cherry Mischievous reviews television series. What I don’t love is that there’s yet to be a review of the fabulous BBC drama Downton Abbey.

If you haven’t seen it yet, rush out and do so now. If you’re already a fan, then I think you’re going to love my new book, a series of three intertwined naughty novellas.
  • Setting. This season of Downton Abbey is set in the 1920s. My new historical erotic romance, It Stings So Sweet, is also set in the 1920s and is just as soapy.
  • Beautiful Fashions. Fess up, most of us watch Downton Abbey for the elegant clothes and period hairstyles. I had a great time researching beaded flapper dresses and closely tailored men’s suits for It Stings So Sweet.
  • Upstairs Downstairs Romance. In Downton Abbey Lady Sibyl runs off and marries her father’s chauffeur, causing a great scandal. In It Stings So Sweet my heroine, Nora Richardson, gets pregnant by her father’s driver and the social stigma of it nearly destroys their marriage.
  • Social Upheaval. The way of life enjoyed by the nobility in Downton Abbey is under assault from a changing world. In It Stings So Sweet, my heroine Sophie O’Brien is a social activist trying to organize a strike against her boss . . . who she happens to be sleeping with. There’s not a cause of social reform she doesn’t subscribe to and it’s very alarming to our hero, Robert Aster, the heir to a great deal of old money.
  • Dashing Heroes. Downton Abbey is set in a time when “men were men” and they followed a code. In It Stings So Sweet, all my heroes have their own codes of honor--sometimes those codes even get in the way of happiness. Some of them have to learn that they can still be dashing heroes even if they tell society to go to hell.

It Stings So Sweet by Stephanie Draven

About It Stings So Sweet:
They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon. The Twenties were roaring and the women–young, open, rebellious, and willing–set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…

In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.

Society girl, Nora Richardson’s passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband’s increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.

Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.

Working class girl Sophie O’Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn’t fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.

One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible…
Source: Info in the About It Stings So Sweet was from press kit from the publicity team.
Buy Link(s):

About Stephanie Draven:
Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories.

She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!

A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves.
Stephanie's Link(s):

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


HELL'S BELLS audiobook
WW28 book offering: Hell's Bells by John Connolly

Ozymuth's power lay in the fact that he had the ear of the Great Malevolence.

Lesson 101 for middle graders on how to survive in the Adult world.
I know, my sense of humour sometimes gets the better of me... just read the book.

About Hell's Bells:
Samuel Johnson - with a little help from his dachshund Boswell and a very unlucky demon named Nurd - has sent the demons back to Hell. But the diabolical Mrs Abernathy is not one to take defeat lying down. When she reopens the portal and sucks Samuel and Boswell down into the underworld, she brings an ice-cream van full of dwarfs as well. And two policemen. Can this eccentric gang defeat the forces of Evil? And is there life after Hell for Nurd?
Source: Info in the About Hell's Bells was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11274410-hell-s-bells on 06/12/2012.

A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.

Monday, 28 January 2013


Holiday in Death by JD Robb
Book 7 of the In Death series
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
Genre: SciFi murder mystery, police investigation, crime ficiton
Format: paperback & audiobook

About Holiday in Death:
No one likes to be alone during the holidays. For New York's most posh dating service, Personally Yours, it is the season to bring lonely hearts together. But Lt. Eve Dallas, on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer, has made a disturbing discovery: all of the victims have been traced to Personally Yours. Eve soon enters an elite world of people searching for their one true love - and one killer searching for his next victim.

©2006 J. D. Robb; (P)2006 Brilliance Audio
Source: Info in the About Holiday in Death was taken from Audible at http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B004FTI3VA&qid=1334497190&sr=1-1 on 15/04/2012.

Narrative Evaluation:
I am eternally grateful to my foresight for borrowing the paperback copy before starting this audiobook because I inadvertently bought the abridged version of the audiobook. And I say, as a listener, it wasn't very well done and consequently I keep getting lost. I have to keep replaying back. This is where I am so so glad that I have the paperback to fall back on to. However it got it's own advantages: I listened to the audiobook about three quarters into the book (with a few peeps in the paperback) thus going through the less exciting parts fast. And then at the last quarter of the book, I start reading the paperback and savour the exciting parts. It's cheating I know, but I'm happy with it. I get to skim through the boring parts and I get to savour the best bits. Works for me! This book has the same wonderful story telling quality that the rest of the books in this series has shown thus far and I will continue to look forward to listening/reading the rest of the books in the In Death series.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 2
Pace = N/A
Plot = 4
Narrator = 4
Audiobook Director = 2

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Thank you to the RCT Library for letting me borrow the paperback copy of this book!!

FTC Disclosure:
This audiobook was bought by personal funds and the paperback was borrowed from the library. No money received for this review.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Three To Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich
Book 3 of the Stephanie Plum series
Narrated by CJ Critt
Format: audiobook
Genre: crime fiction chicklit

About Three To Get Deadly:
A "saintly" old candy-store owner is on the lam - and bounty hunter extraordinaire Stephanie Plum is on the case. As the body count rises, Stephanie finds herself dealing with dead drug dealers and slippery fugitives on the chase of her life. And with the help of eccentric friends and family, Steph must see to it that this case doesn't end up being her last...
Source: Info in the About Three To Get Deadly was taken from at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6854.Three_to_Get_Deadly on 15/07/2012.

Narrative Evaluation:
I actually had to re-borrow this audiobook because I got irritated when I first listened to it and stopped listening about three quarters into the book. I know that Stephanie's stupidity is suppose to be part of her character and part of her charm, but its starting to get on my nerves. Then after a few months, I forgot my annoyance and re-borrowed this book. And I enjoyed listening to it again! I don't know whether I was just being cranky the first time around and being mellow the second time around that resulted in me enjoying it now, but, I laughed out loud at Stephanie's and Lola's antics again. Not once, not twice, but many times as I listened along. That considerably increased the rating for this book. I think the humour between the pages is this book's best feature. While the worst is the cover art. If I hadn't read this series before I would never in a million years pick this book up based on the cover alone! But at the end of it, I enjoyed this book and would continue to read more books in this series. I think I am on my way to becoming a die hard fan of Stephanie Plum!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 1
Pace = N/A (9 discs)
Plot = 3.5
Narrator = 4

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Thank you to RCT Library for letting me borrow this audiobook!!

FTC Disclosure:
This audiobook was borrowed from the library. No money received for this review.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Review: HAVEN Season 1 TV Series

Season 1
Starring Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, and Eric Balfour. Directed by T.W. Peacocke. A SyFy TV channel series.
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: DVD box set

About HAVEN TV Series:
Syfy's one-hour drama series Haven, starring Emily Rose (Jericho, Brothers and Sisters) is based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King. The series follows the shrewd and confident FBI agent Audrey Parker (Rose) as she arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine on a routine case. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people that are affected by a range of supernatural afflictions. The truth about Audrey's mysterious past (which she can't fully remember) starts to come out as well.

As the townspeople's dormant abilities begin to express themselves, Audrey helps keep these forces at bay while discovering the many secrets of Haven — including one surrounding her own surprising connections to this extraordinary place.

The impressive creative team behind Haven includes showrunner Scott Shepherd (Tru Calling, The Dead Zone) who is joined by E1 Entertainment's John Morayniss (Hung, Copper) Noreen Halpern (Hung, Copper), Laszlo Barna (The Bridge) and Michael Rosenberg (Hung, The Riches) as well as his partners, Executive Producers Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller (The Dead Zone, Wildfire, Greek). The pilot was written by Sam Ernst (The Dead Zone) and Jim Dunn (The Dead Zone) who will also serve as executive producers on the series.
Source: Info in the About HAVEN TV Series was taken from http://www.syfy.com/haven/about on 16/01/2013.

Show Trailer:

Show Links:
Official site
Haven TV series at Wikipedia

I'm an old urban fantasy fan so it does not come as a surprise that I love the Haven TV Series. The cinematography is brilliant! The mixing of the live actors/physical set and animated elements is seamless and comes out real and beautiful in the screen. The acting is good. No discernable fakeness. The story is believable. Contained in one town instead of the "holds-true-through-out-the-entire-world-but-only-shows-one-town" kinda thing, so the rest of the world is presumed to be either in chaos or doesn't exist, which a lot of these kind of shows failed to address. So for this show, that one-town-only premise brought the suspension of disbelief up a couple of notches. However the plot that a successful FBI agent would prefer to be a lowly police officer rather than work for the FBI is not quite believable. Okay it can happen. But not quite believable. The other thing which garnered this show a 4.5 rating with me instead of a 5 out of 5, is the ending. It is a big, whooping cliffhanger, and I don't like cliffhangers! Can't wait for the Season 2 dvd box set to arrive in the post!!

And of course I just gotta share with you my favourite scenes, because I'm sappy that way.

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 4.5
Script/Story Itself = 4
Season Finale = 3
World building = 5
Attention To Detail = 4
Plot = 4
Acting = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


WW28 book offering: Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione

A fallen angel who stayed in the human world still had a chance of getting back into Heaven, but one who entered Sheoul was lost forever.

The premise of this world (fallen angels, vampires, demons, werewolves, US army, human warriors: The Aegis) is so beautiful that I keep coming back even if some aspects of the story telling quality annoys me...

About Passion Unleashed:

Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter - and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she's been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality . . . as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn't all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she's finally met the one man she cannot resist.


Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe-her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: He's falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own.
Source: Info in the About Passion Unleashed was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4701550-passion-unleashed on 31/02/2012.

A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog