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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Review: Caressed by a Crimson Moon by Amanda J Greene

paranormal romance, cover, book review
Caressed by a Crimson Moon (Rulers of Darkness #3)
Consumed by madness and tormented by dark memories of blood and death, Hadrian Lucretius, King of the Validus Clan, has returned after living in self-imposed exile for nearly three hundred and fifty years.

To maintain peace with the vampires, Eva Maldonado is offered as a sacrifice to the crazed vampire king by her father, the alpha of the Silveria Shifter Pack. Hadrian’s reputation is both legendary and lethal; he is ruthless, bloodthirsty, lusty, and soulless. When Eva arrives at the ancient fortress high in the Carpathian Mountains, she is shocked to find a ravaged man with dark burning eyes filled with loneliness and dangerous desire.

Would she be his lover…or his prey? His savior…or his victim? Would Hadrian lure her into madness or would their perilous passion be their redemption?

Caressed by a Crimson Moon is the first book by Amanda J. Greene I've read. Her previous books are sitting in my Kindle waiting for me and I must say that after reading this book, I will definitely be making some major time for her other work.

After living in a self imposed exile for over three hundred years, Hadrian Lucretius, widely known as the "mad vampire king," has returned. He demands that the Silveria Shifter Pack honor the agreement made long ago by placing one of the alpha's daughters as his ward. As a test, the alpha instead hands over his half breed, bastard daughter Eva. If she survives the mad king, then the alpha will replace her with one of his precious full breed daughters.

As the heroine of the story, Eva had little to begin with, she was essentially a slave to her father's pack, beaten and looked down upon by all. She reminded me of a paranormal/gothic Cinderella, complete with an evil stepmother and step-siblings. But that's where the similarities ended because Eva doesn't allow them to get the best of her. She's more than what she seems and when she gets it into her mind to help Hadrian deal with his tortured past, she doesn't let any one stand in her way.

Hadrian has a dark past that he has allowed to almost completely consume him. He walks the thin line between sanity and complete madness but with Eva's determination and strength, he finds hope that he may have a reason to live after all.

Author Amanda J. Greene delivered erotic love scenes but didn't allow the story to fade into the background. Caressed by a Crimson Moon is interesting, sexy and difficult to put down. In my opinion it can be read as a stand alone, which is what I did, but I would recommend picking up the previous books in the series in order to thoroughly enjoy the world created by author.

4 and 1/2 Sheep

About the Author:
Amanda J. Greene is an erotic paranormal romance author. When she is not writing, she can be found playing the role of a full time university student, who works part time.
She lives in Southern California with her very supportive, military husband and their sweet cocker spaniel.

Sunday Swag: Felicty Heaton

Now you have 4 chances to get your swagger on

Today we feature PNR author Felicity Heaton! She has a long wicked list of books. Here is a sampling of some...

About the author:
I write passionate paranormal romance books as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. In my books I create detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons!

If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will love my books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, my best selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try my Vampires Realm series I write as F E Heaton or any of my stand alone vampire romance books I write as Felicity Heaton.

In 2011, four of my six paranormal romance books received Top Pick awards from Night Owl Reviews, Forbidden Blood was nominated as Best PNR Vampire Romance 2011 at The Romance Reviews, and many of my releases received five star reviews from numerous websites.

Felicity Heaton

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sheep Movie Review: G.I. Joe Retaliation

G.I. Joe, movie, review
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
110 min - Action|Adventure|Sci-Fi 
28 March 2013 (USA) 
Rated PG-13 
Director: Jon M. Chu 
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick 
Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
official website

Framed for crimes against the country, the G.I. Joe team is terminated by the President's order, and the surviving team members face off against Zartan, his accomplices, and the world leaders he has under his influence. 

Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock)
Jonathan Pryce (President) 
Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow) 
Elodie Yung (Jinx) 
Ray Stevenson (Firefly) 
D.J. Cotrona (Flint) 
Adrianne Palicki (Jaye) 
Channing Tatum (Duke) 
Ray Park (Snake Eyes) 
Luke Bracey (Cobra Commander) 
Walton Goggins (Warden Nigel James) 
Arnold Vosloo (Zartan) 
Joseph Mazzello (Mouse) 
RZA (Blind Master) 
Bruce Willis (General Joe Colton)

If you are into fast paced blow s**t up action movies, this movie is for you! If you are into smexy military men and women, this movie is also for you! G.I. Joe:Retaliation has it all: a great balance of action, humor, touchy feely, and special effects. The only complaint I have is during some of the action scenes the camera shots were switching so fast I couldn’t keep up with what was going on and it could possibly send you into a seizure if you aren't careful.
snake eyes, GI Joe, retaliation, review
This one is for Katie
Storm Shadow, GI Joe, movie, review
This one is for me
Jaye, GI Joe, movie, image
This is for the guys
Duke, movie, GI Joe, image
This is for the gals
I wanted to pull for the bad guys just as much as the good because everyone was bad ass in the good way. I haven’t read any of the G.I. Joe comics, but since it's a reboot of the franchise there are some twists I don’t want to giveaway for longtime fans. I thought Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum’s comedic chemistry was a little forced, but the rest of the cast worked together well.

I thought the special effects were done well and if they weren't I didn't notice because I was caught up in the action and story, so who cares! Is this just like Transformers with live people instead of robots? Hell yeah! This is one I will want to own.

And sorry about that London, but someone had to be an example…

Roadblock, Dwayne Johnson, GI Joe, movie review
This is for everyone 
There were so many great humorous lines I don’t know which one to pick for my rating… I think I will go with:

4.5 “the quicker blower upper” Sheep

Sharon Stogner (edit by Kalpar)

Katie's Point of View 

Pretty much everything Sharon just touched on was dead-on. Action was killer good, even the super slow-mo parts, and if the shaky camera had slowed down a bit I would have enjoyed these moments more. 

Ninjas are always amazing and if your name is Snake Eyes, then baby, get ready for some Katie lovein! Man is a dream boat setting sails for the sea of love and always has been. 

Some cheesy dialog moments all around, but those were to be expected.  A few major plot inconsistencies left me frustrated, adding a few extra minutes of scenes here and there would have put this one over the top. 

Overall, if you love action for the sake of action and cool gadgets then this one is for you. Yo, Joe! 

Getting 4 'I only have eyes for Snake Eyes' Sheep 

Sheep Movie Review: The Host

[First and foremost, I dedicate this movie experience to my Mom. You always had hope this book would get a film adaptation and it finally did! I love you and miss you every second of the day.]

The Host, directed by Andrew Niccol, is a film adaptation based off the young adult science fiction novel from Stephenie Meyer. Starring Saorise Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Chandler Canterbury, Diane Kruger, and William Hurt this is most definitely one for fans of the story. If you're not into invasion of the body snatcher type films mixed with young adult romance, then you won't get much of anything out of this one. For everyone else, it's worth a watch! 

What if everything you love was taken from you in the blink of an eye? "The Host" is the next epic love story from the creator of the "Twilight Saga," worldwide bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about - Jared (Max Irons), Ian (Jake Abel), her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) , proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

The Host comes in at 2 hours and 5 minutes, and while that's a lengthy run-time you have to keep in mind, there's a lot of story to tell. Did the scenes lag a little here and there? Sure it did. Was the acting a little shoddy at times? Yeah, it totally was. Could this movie have been done better? You bet. But now, ask me if I care? (Pretend you asked) I don't! I liked this for what it was and enjoyed how much of the book was inserted into this film. 

The movie starts out following a young woman and her kid brother, the last few humans left without an alien host. Scrounging for food, running from the hosted seekers and trying to make it through another day in their own bodies. The aliens in this story have invaded earth to save us from ourselves, save the planet from being destroyed, and giving us total peace and tranquility. What you find out is we had no say in the matter and we were given no choice if we wanted a host. It's an invasion, plain and simple, passive as the aliens may be it was a different species coming in and taking us over. 

When Melanie, our leading lady, gets captured by the seekers she's then given a host to take over her body. Melanie is a fighter to the core, after making a promise to her younger brother and the man she loves, she fights to have an inner voice inside the new host. Little by little she digs in her heels and gets the alien entity to open her eyes and see our world for what it is. Some funny lines between host and inner voice. Melanie kept me invested in her characters struggle and triumphs. 

This story has some very dark undertones, there's abuse, extreme prejudice and murder. The real standout actor here is Saorise who's ability to take on her character helped sell the storyline. She's talented beyond those young years and one I'm going to keep my peepers on in the future. While the screen adaptation left much to be desired, she works wonders with her part and pulls the magical curtain over the plot holes that were thrown at her feet. 

There were a few awkward dialog lines and one stand out [When Jamie stands on a ledge and says 'No!". Cheesy.] that had me doing an eye roll and gaging sounds. In-depth character background were greatly needed, the uncle in particular was left out on the line to hang dry. While William Hurt is a phenomenal actor, his bits were hacked down to a stump which lead to a confusing old man who didn't seem like the looney tune he was in the book. While cuts need to be made in book to movie adaptions, I hate it so deeply when the characters that kept a story afloat are reduced to fodder. 

Overall the film is really and truly one for the fans of the book who also understand the slow pace and character backstories. But, to be safe I am recommending that everyone else try and catch the cheap showing or wait for the DVD. 

Getting 3 and 1/2 'I need your car' Sheep 

Comic Review: The Answer! issue #2 and #3

The Answer! Issue #2 (of 4) 
Writer: Dennis Hopeless 
Artist: Mike Norton 
Colorist: Mark Englert 
Genre: Superhero, Action/Adventure 
Publication Date: February 27, 2013 
Dark Horse Comics

Format: FC, 32 Pages 
UPC: 7 61568 22480 1 00211

On the run in Cincinnati, punctuation-faced hero The Answer must rescue the abducted librarian Devin from a sinister gang of asylum nurses and orderlies . . . but she may not WANT to be saved! More insane superhero adventure! 

* Eisner Award-winning creator of Battlepug!

* Written by Dennis Hopeless (Cable and X-Force, Avengers Arena)!

The Answer! Issue #3 (of 4) (ARC)
Writer: Mike Norton, Dennis Hopeless 
Artist: Mike Norton 
Colorist: Mark Englert 
Genre: Superhero, Action/Adventure 
Publication Date: March 27, 2013 
Dark Horse Comics
Format: FC, 32 Pages 

UPC: 7 61568 22480 1 00311 

While Devin is living out her dream, working among the greatest minds in the world, the Answer is stuck in a nuthouse nightmare! They'll both have to wake up and work together if they're going to unravel the secrets of the enigmatic BRAIN TRUST. 

* Eisner Award-winning creator of Battlepug!

* Written by Dennis Hopeless (Cable and X-Force, Avengers Arena)! 

I love this punctuation-faced superhero. He makes me laugh. The writers are having fun with this guy and it shows. He doesn't seem to have a plan and likes to wing it when it comes to rescuing but he has a snarky attitude and some awesome skills. After three issues we still don’t know anything about him, but we've seen his butt… those damn hospital gowns!

By the end of #3 we still don’t know what the Aperion organization is and why they are collecting smart people. We also don’t know much about The Answer! and his role in all of this. There is only one more issue in this series. Will we find out who The Answer is? Why he wears an exclamation point mask? What evil plot is the Aperion Corporation planning? So many questions….

I recommend this series to anyone who loves campy action comics. I hope there will be more of The Answer! when this mini-series is over.

4 "Why would I be wearing spandex?" Sheep

Sharon Stogner (edit by Kalpar)

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Character's Court: Zombiepunk case + giveaway

We have a new feature at I Smell Sheep! 
The Character's Court is a chance for characters to take their complaints before the Flock Jury (that would be you!) 
The Honorable-ish Judge Dr. Baron Bixter von Baaathalmew III Jr. (Baaart) 
will preside over the court.

Author Esther Wheelmaker's heroine Miss Lucille Knight is being perused by two suitors. Should Lucy pick Aeron (the masked hero whose face she has never seen) or Lord Garrett Ashdown (the man with a secret more deadly than a zombie bite)?

Judge Baaart: Let the bickering commence!

Lucille Knight: The issue is both men are intriguing and both make me ache for that one hot kiss. However, both are not as forth coming with information as I would like. I have more questions than answers at the end of the day and I just can’t decide who would make a better match.

Aeron: I believe –

Lord Garrett: Ahem. I believe it’s title before mask.

Aeron:face growing warm and red boiling to his cheeks: And that is exactly why she should pick me! I am not the typical Lord with a title. I make my own rules and will treat her like a princess.

Lord Garrett:chuckles: I am suave, gentle and kind. You would put her on the back burner for the next zombie that will lead you closer to the Voodoo Queen so you can kill her.

Aeron: And you would leave her for the first chance to figure out a way to cure your “disease”!
:Lord Garrett’s mouth’s drops:

Lucy: Well, that’s some new information…

Lord Garrett:nonchalance fills his aura: Why don’t you drop the mask and show her who you really are with those red zombie like eyes of yours. 

Aeron: Why don’t you take that stick out of your…
Lucy: Aeron!

Aeron:mouth becoming tight: Why don’t you stop pretending and admit who you really are?

Lord Garrett: I am a good man for Lucy; brave, faithful and true.

Aeron: Which is the way I describe an old dog.
Lord Garrett:with a noise of frustration: You little…

Lucy: :shakes her head: Aeron, Garrett! Stop this! I don’t know what to do. Won’t you help me decide?

Judge Baaart: Sheep of the Flock, you must help decide who Lucy should give her heart too... Lord Garrett or Aeron. Retire to the pasture where there will be moonpies and Kool-Aid and make your decision.

here is some thinking music
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Gravely Inanimated
1st Book in the Zombiepunk Series
by Esther Wheelmaker
Releases March 29, 2013

Extra, extra, read all about it: Zombies Invade London!

It has been thirty years since the Voodoo Queen plagued England with the zombie disease that has since swept the world. Humans have had to learn to function around them while the dead kill innocent people. The government continues its efforts to try to contain and find a cure for the problem.

However, by the cover of night, a man who hunts zombie, known only as Aeron, roams the streets in search of protecting the upright citizens from the flesh eating creatures. One foggy evening Lucille Knight becomes one of these people and Aeron’s interest is instantly peeked. A stubborn, feisty “lady” in this day in age? How challenging.

But Aeron will have a little competition when Miss. Knight meets Lord Garrett Ashdown, the son of Earl Thomas or a man better known as: The Inventor. A man who builds automatons for the direct purpose of killing zombies; mysteriously understanding their blood and the way they sense humans.

Lucy is taken by the masked man known as Aeron and the equally mysterious Lord Garrett. With one concealing his true identity and the other hiding a ghastly secret, she doesn’t know which one is less dangerous. What secrets do Aeron and Garrett keep from Lucy? Will Miss. Knight be able to be with the man she chooses when she learns the awful truth?

It is still unclear. And the current edition isn’t spilling the beans just yet…

About the Author:
Zombie Punk Series
Her name is Esther Wheelmaker and she is the author of the new, Zombiepunk Series.

With Gravely Inanimated (book one) coming to life, she is pounding away on her typewriter to try and get book two out. However, she is easily distracted by sparkly things.

Her background is a mystery and all anyone knows is she loves hugs, corsets, steampunk, books and Mozart….

…Let's face it…Everyone likes a girl with a little mystery.


Esther is giving away and ecopy of Gravely Inanimated and  some cool swag

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sheep Book Review: Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost

Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost is the second novel in her PNR series Night Prince. After the mixed emotions of book 1, Once Burned, I've found myself back in the game and loving every minute of Vlad and all his impaling tendencies!

Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges . . . 

Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover Vlad has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever--especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her . . . 

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity . . .

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust-- the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity . . .

As the plot says "Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges . . ." and that my dear friends is no lie! We gals have a tendency to look past all the darkness within our loved ones. Find the good and hang on tight. But Vlad makes it abundantly clear, this is me. I AM the darkness and if you're looking for that white knight, keep truckin sister! He's in your face with alpha high handedness and if you think to tame the beast, think again. He is who he is, and you either love the whole package or none at all. This, I love about the man. He will not shy away from what he is, a true and utter acceptance and willingness to be anyway he wants is refreshing. He's a dark dude and he likes it. 

In the first edition to this saga we had Leila Dalton, (Um, love her last name btw!) the freak show performing woman who's trying to make her way in life. Failing at times, but doing the best she can. I hated, with every undead bone in my body, that this young woman thought she could match up with Vlad. Certainly not the first time around she couldn't. This girl needed to grow up, get some balls and play with the big dogs. In book 2, she has and she does. Leila is winning me over, slow though it may be I am getting on board with her changes and growth as a woman. 

With evil folks out to kill her, yet again, and Vlad coming to terms with matters of the heart, we had everything that could be wanted emotionally in this story. I'm used to a bit more action in the tales from Frost and while that area lacked a bit, we do get some positive story flow that will lead us into the next edition. 

Cat and Bones make an appearance but it's never to overshadow the main characters of this story. It's always nice when characters from previous books pop in and out. 

From beginning to end I was overall pleased with this one, if you've yet to check Frost out now is the time! Heads will roll and bodies are sure to hit the floor, but it's all in good vampy fun. Combine all this with Dracula himself and you've got one enjoyable story!

Getting 4 'I brought my own pole' Sheep 

Comic Review: Snapshot #2 (of 4) by Andy Diggle

comic, cover, Snapshot, review
 Snapshot #2 (of 4)
Story by: Andy Diggle
Art By:Jock
Diamond ID:JAN130607
On Sale:March 06, 2013
Image Comics

Jake's life spirals into nightmare as he finds himself hunted by the very hit-man who has framed him for murder. Maybe the victim's daughter can give Jake the key to the mystery... if he lives that long! Continuing the new thriller from the creators of The Losers and Green Arrow: Year One! 

If Alfred Hitchcock was an angsty twenty-something, he might write something like Snapshot. Jake, a young slacker who should be working at a comic book shop is instead running from his life from a hitman who just blew the brains out of Jake's best friend and best customer.

Jake hasn't had time to piece things together yet--neither of I for that matter--just that the whole nightmare started when he found a smart phone lying in the grass on his way to work the other day.

With the second issue, Jake manages to stay alive just long enough to get away from the hitman, with the phone no less, and answer the call coming in. When Jake answers it, his already ruined life goes on an even stranger tangent.

I gotta say that this is one intricately woven thriller, head and shoulders better than I remember The Losers being, and that was a pretty darned good book itself. In the brief bit of downtime this issue offers, just enough of an idea as to what's happening is revealed to offer some much-needed context to the violence and cat-and-mouse game.

Jock's abiliity to capture the action and suspense of the story is enviable and the perfect balance to Andy Diggle's dialogue and plotting. Really looking forward to #3.

review of Snapshot #1

5 Sheep
sheep, ratings, reviews

Guest Reviewer: Gef Fox