Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sierra Nevada Research Trip

Photos from my research trip to the Sierra Nevada Mountains

I'm writing a wolf-shifter romance series set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. This past weekend my daughter and I took a research trip to the Placerville-Pollock Pines area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of Sacramento.

I learned invaluable lessons regarding the terrain, weather, flora, and fauna of the area. My experiences will shape the settings, sights, sounds, and scents you'll read about in my books. My hope is that my trip will bring the book to vibrant life for you!

I took the following photos unless otherwise noted.

Trailhead, Cedar Park Trail, Eldorado National Forest
We hiked the Cedar Park Trail of the Eldorado National Forest.
It's located at 5561 Sly Park Road, Pollock Pines, CA.
Photo by Lauren Messegee
Cedar Park Trail, Eldorado National Forest
My daughter, Lauren, walking the trail.
The area has hot, dry summers and snow in the winter.
The plant community is lower montane forest. We saw sugar pines,
California black oaks, manzanita, and much more.
View from Cedar Park Trail, Eldorado National Forest
The view east toward Pyramid Peak from a lookout platform on the trail.
Conjoined tree trunks, Cedar Park Trail, Eldorado National Forest
Three conjoined pine trunks (right). These massive trunks will have a role in Book 1.
View from Pollock Pines, Ca 
The view east toward the Crystal Range from Pollock Pines.
Gold Bug Mine, Placerville, CA
The Gold Bug Mine, Placerville, CA.
Veins of gold-bearing quartz were mined, and then the gold was "stamped" out of the quartz.
An abandoned gold mine will play a prominent part in the plot of Book 1.
Keep your eye on this blog for the release date of Book 1!

Happy reading,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

4.5♥s for AVENGING ANGEL by Cynthia Eden

Avenging Angel
(The Fallen, #4)
by Cynthia Eden

Avenging Angel cover, Cynthia Eden
Rating: 4.5♥s Excellent/Highly Recommended
Sensuality: Scorcher
Audience: Adult
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Shifter, Angel, Demon
Cover: 4.5♥s

Release date: May 28, 2013
Sony eBook
Kobo eBook

My recap (includes a mild spoiler from Angel in Chains):

Marna was an Angel of Death whose wings were cut off in the final battle in Angel in Chains. She's not a Fallen angel, but without her wings she can't return to heaven. Now she feels she is nothing and has nothing.

Without her wings, the magic that blocked her from feeling human emotions is gone. Emotions are overwhelming her. And one of those emotions is vengeance.

Tanner Chance, New Orleans cop and panther shifter, was there for Marna when her back was sewed up. Even though she didn't want anything to do with him after that, his protective instincts and undeniable attraction to her consumed him. He watches over her.

Until the day he arrests her for murder.

Two of the shifters who participated in the attack on Marna are found dead, as if by the Touch of an Angel of Death. They are two of the shifters that Marna wanted dead, and witnesses place Marna at the scene.

Marna claims she didn't kill them, and angels can't lie.

A murderer is on the loose who is taking on the form of other people and implicating Tanner and Marna. And the killer wants Marna for his own. Soon Marna and Tanner are on the run, trying to unravel the mystery while staying one step ahead of the law.

And the killer.

My thoughts:

I fell in love with Tanner in the very first scene. Who wouldn't love a hero who is gentle and comforting when needed, and yet deadly when protecting those he considers his? All his life he has protected the innocent and fought on the side of justice. He's a hero who can't see his own worth, but is worthy.

And he's hot! The sex scenes sizzle, thanks to Tanner.

Marna is a likable character. She seems innocent, and yet she's made of strong stuff. After all, she was an Angel of Death, whether she liked the job or not. Don't rile her. You might not like the results.

The plot is page-turning, with plenty of action, danger, tension, conflict, and suspense to keep things moving along. The mystery will keep you reading. You might think you have the mystery solved—but think again.

A character makes a tremendous sacrifice in Avenging Angel. I suspect we'll see more of that character in the future. I look forward to it.

Until then, enjoy Avenging Angel!


Here is the entire The Fallen series in reading order:

Book 1
Angel of Darkness
Book 2
Angel Betrayed
Not reviewed
Book 3
Angel in Chains
Book 4
Avenging Angel