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Review blog with emphasis on graphic novels and YA & MG fiction.
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1. Interview with Kay Thomas, Author of Personal Target

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Good morning, Kay!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Kay Thomas] Wife, Mother, Writer, Friend, Believer

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Personal Target?

[Kay Thomas] Here’s the scoop straight from the back cover copy:

A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him, or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend…a woman from Nick’s past.

One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she is abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now as they race for their lives, passion reignites as old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?

At its core, the book is about a case of mistaken identity and a very personal vendetta. Personal Target takes the reader from Dallas to Mexico, across the African Savanna, to the shores of the Mediterranean in a race against time for Nick to save the woman he loves but lost ten years ago.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Kay Thomas] One of my favorite scenes to write was when Nick and Jennifer met on the page for the first time. They have a history together, but their summer affair was over long ago. In this scene, Jennifer has been kidnapped, and Nick has come to take her away from the people holding her captive.

Here’s the link to that excerpt. http://www.kaythomas.net/books/personal-target/exclusive-excerpt-reveal.html

The woman at the vanity turned, and Nick’s breath caught in his throat. He had known it would be Jenny, and despite what he’d thought about downstairs when he’d seen her on the tablet screen, he hadn’t prepared himself for seeing her like this. Seated at the table with candles all around, she was wearing a sheer robe over a gray thong and a bustier kind of thing, or that’s what he thought the full-length bra was called.

He spotted the small unicorn tat peeping out from the edge of whatever the lingerie piece was and his brain quit processing details as all the blood in his head rushed south. He’d been primed to come in and tell Jenny exactly how they were getting out of the house and away from these people and now . . . this. His mouth went dry at the sight of her. She looked like every fantasy he’d ever had about her rolled into one.

He continued to stare as recognition flared in her eyes.

“Oh my God,” she said. “It’s . . .”

She clapped her mouth closed, and her eyes widened. That struck him as odd. The relief on her face was obvious, but instead of looking at him, she took an audible breath and studied the walls of the room. When she finally did glance at him again, her eyes had changed.

“So you’re who they’ve sent me for my first time?” Her voice sounded bored, not the tone he remembered. “What do you want me to do?”

What a question. He raised an eyebrow, but she shook her head. In warning?

Nothing here was as he’d anticipated. He continued staring at her, hoping the lust would quit fogging his brain long enough for him to figure out what was going on.

“I’ve been told to show you a good time.” Her voice was cold, downright chilly. Without another word she stood and crossed the floor, slipping into his arms with her breasts pressing into his chest. “It’s you.” She murmured the words in the barest of whispers.

Nick’s mind froze, but his body didn’t. On autopilot his hands automatically went to her waist as she kissed his neck, working her way up to his ear. This was not at all what he’d planned.

“I can’t believe you’re here.” She breathed the words into his ear.

Me either, he thought, but kept the news to himself as he pulled her closer. His senses flooded with all that smooth skin pressing against him. His body tightened, and his right hand moved to cup her ass. Her cheek’s bare skin was silky soft, like he remembered. God, he’d missed her. She melted into him as his body switched into overdrive.

“What do you want?” She spoke louder. The artic tone was back. He was confused and knew he was just too stupid with wanting her to figure out what the hell was going on. There was no way the woman could mistake the effect she was having.

She moved her lips closer to his ear and nipped his earlobe before she spoke in a hushed tone. “Cameras are everywhere. I’m not sure about microphones.”

And just like that, cold reality slapped him in the face. He should have been expecting it, but he’d been so focused on getting her out and making sure she was all right. She might be glad to see him because he was there to save her, but throwing her body at him was an act.

Jesus. He had to get them both out of here without tipping his hand to the cameras and those watching what he was doing. He was crazy not to have considered it once he saw those tablets downstairs, but it had never occurred to him that he would have to play this encounter through as if he was really a client.

He slipped her arms from around his neck and moved to the table to pour himself some wine, willing his hands not to shake. “I want you,” he said, clearly and loudly enough for any microphone in the room to pick up.

She smiled, but her expression wasn’t warm. “Do you now?” Her frigid tone was so at odds with the woman he’d known years ago.

He knew what he had to do. Monique and company were expecting them to have wild sex. If they’d been truly alone, it wouldn’t have been a hardship. And regardless of the circumstances, that’s exactly what he was going to have to pretend to do. He had to make love to Jenny knowing others were watching, at least until that distraction of Bryan’s came through.

There wouldn’t be any sneaking out of the room or the house before then. Guards were most likely gathered around security monitors at this very moment, drinking beer and taking bets as to how long Nick would last before he came. They were expecting to see some action.

“What do you think I want?” His voice was pitched low but loud enough for the mics as he took a sip of the wine. “Didn’t they tell you what to expect?”

Copyright © 2014 by Kay Thomas. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Kay Thomas] I adored the research. Much of the story takes place in Africa. I loved “travelling online” and learning about the continent and the different countries. I liked researching so much that it was sometimes a challenge to pull myself away from the research and do the actual writing itself.

Talking with people who’ve lived in the places I wrote about was fascinating. With some of the exotic locales in this series, I’ve found it helpful to read blogs written by those who have just moved to an area and are sharing their day-to-day experiences. Through the marvels of the internet, I was able to get an authentic feel for what those extreme locations were like when I virtually visited the jungles of Mexico or the edge of the Sahara, without leaving my office chair.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Kay Thomas] A book to read, if I have downtime where I’m going. Nowadays that can be a Kindle or even my phone with the Kindle App.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Kay Thomas] Only three? I’m glad you can’t actually see my desk. : )

There’s an empty plate from breakfast (I had toast). A box of Kleenex. (I have allergies). Two tape measures. (I have no idea why they are here.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Kay Thomas] When I’m working on deadline is the only time I don’t really care what I eat. (It’s sort of my optimum time for a diet because I don’t notice if what I’m eating tastes like cardboard or ambrosia.) But my favorite snack is a cinnamon toast rice cake with almond butter. I could live off of that.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Kay Thomas] I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d like to trade places with, even for a day. I like being me. : )

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Kay Thomas] Ohhh, great question. I think I’d like to be able to “teleport” so I could snap my fingers and be anywhere in the world. There are so many places I’d like to see and people I’d like to visit that just live too far away.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Kay Thomas] I’ve been LOVING Laura Griffin’s work. I’ve glommed on to her entire backlist and, sadly, I just finished the last book. (sniff, sniff)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Kay Thomas] I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes, Pinterest.

My website: www.KayThomas.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KayThomasWrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KayThomasWrites

Pinterest: www.pinterest/KayThomasWrites

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you for stopping by!

AEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men working under the radar of most governments. If you have a problem no one else can handle, they can help.

A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him—or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend … a woman from Nick’s past.

One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she’s abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now, as they race for their lives, passion for each other reignites and old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?

The post Interview with Kay Thomas, Author of Personal Target appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Spotlight and Giveaway: Her Temporary Hero by Jennifer Apodaca

 

  HER TEMPORARY HERO

Once A Marine, #2

Author: Jennifer Apodaca

Print Length: 194 pages

Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence (July 14, 2014)

ASIN: B00L73W2J6

Former beauty queen Becky Holmes and her baby are on the run from her dangerous ex. With her dreams of love and marriage destroyed, she’ll do anything to protect her child…even agree to hide out in her boss’s cousin’s house while he’s away.

Wealthy, sexy, and emotionally haunted Logan Knight needs a temporary wife to get his land, per his dad’s rules. No wife, no inheritance. But when that wife lands on his doorstep and comes with a baby, his darkest memories are triggered. He tries to keep his distance, but his efforts are shattered when he starts to have real feelings for his fake wife and child.

Just as Logan begins to think he may have a future with Becky, his attempt to have it all backfires into a betrayal that forces Becky into a heart-wrenching choice no woman should ever have to make.

AVAILABLE JULY 14th:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Temporary-Hero-Marine-Entangled-Indulgence-ebook/dp/B00L73W2J6/ref=la_B001IXOJR8_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404912629&sr=1-15

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-temporary-hero-jennifer-apodaca/1119856173?ean=9781622667628

Kobo:

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/her-temporary-hero-a-once-a-marine-series-book

THE BABY BARGAIN

Once A Marine, #1

Author: Jennifer Apodaca

Print Length: 142 pages

Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence (March 11, 2013)

ASIN: B00BQMKC5O

Seeing Adam Waters is the last thing veterinarian Megan Young expects. Ex-Marine. Ex-boyfriend. And still extremely dangerous territory. But Adam doesn’t know the secret Megan has been keeping from him. The secret that was created three years ago, after their last night together…

Adam returns to Raven’s Cove to sell his home in a final break with the town and memories that haunt him. The problem is that his attraction to Megan is as blazing hot as it ever was. But when a vicious smear campaign against Megan turns ugly, Adam learns the truth he never knew—he has a son.

Now the only way Megan can protect her child is to strike a bargain with Adam. And it’s a bargain that looks a lot like blackmail…

AVAILABLE NOW:

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/The-Baby-Bargain-ebook/dp/B00BQMKC5O/

Nook:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-baby-bargain-jennifer-apodaca/1114794877

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Baby-Bargain/book-vfUJ7eO_VE2K9094I8lILQ/page1.html

iBookstores: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-baby-bargain/id616370377?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award winning author Jennifer Apodaca grew up in Southern California and met her very own hero at the dog pound. She worked there, he came in on a business, and it was puppy love. They married and had three wonderful sons.

While her husband worked on his master’s degree, Jen did the mom thing by day and went to college at night with the intention of perusing a marketing degree. But her true passion was writing. With time at a premium, she had to make a choice.

Choosing writing, and with the full support of her husband, she poured herself into her dream. A mere eight years later, she published her first book DATING CAN BE MURDER. In her career, Jen has written a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances. Taking the pen name of Jennifer Lyon, she also created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and most recently, The Plus One Chronicles, an emotional and sexy adult contemporary series.

Jen has achieved many of her dreams except for attaining a self-cleaning house, a latte delivery service, and finding the holy grail of nonfattening wine and chocolate. She can live with those disappointments as long as she can keep writing the stories she loves to share with readers.

Connect with Jennifer:

Website: http://jenniferlyonbooks.com/jennifer-apodaca/

Blog: http://jenniferlyonbooks.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferApodacaAuthor

Facebook (Jennifer Lyon): https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlyonbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jenniferlyon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146987.Jennifer_Apodaca

Goodreads (Jennifer Lyon): http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2759175.Jennifer_Lyon

Excerpt:

His words and touch, and the blaze in his eyes made her shiver. Heat from his powerful body poured over her. She couldn’t talk, couldn’t think of anything to say.

“Becky.” His voice came out raspy. “I want to kiss my wife.”

She had a word now. “Yes.”

He skated his thumb down her throat to the fluttering pulse. “Tonight is only for kissing.” Leaning down, he added, “We have three months together. You’re going to take all the time you need because you’re worth waiting for to have in my bed.”

Becky had no chance to reply as his full, warm mouth glided over her lips.

Logan groaned. She felt him grab onto the counter, locking her between his powerful biceps. Angling his head, he licked and coaxed until she opened, giving him access. He tasted of dinner and that richer, masculine flavor that was all his. He dived in, his tongue commanding as he explored her, filling her with his taste.

Becky dug her fingers into his sides, desperate to hold on. Growing bolder, she tangled her tongue with his, getting more aggressive with every thrust. A whimper of burning need clawed up her throat. Every part of her ached to feel more of him, all of him.

He pulled back, his gaze scorching. Leaning his forehead against hers, he growled out. “Damn, sugar. You’re killing me.”

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

GRAND PRIZE: $25.00 gift card to Amazon or B&N

RUNNERS UP: Three (3) runners-up will receive an eBook of THE BABY BARGAIN, book one in the Once A Marine series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Her Temporary Hero by Jennifer Apodaca appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Novella Review: For Her Spy Only by Robyn DeHart

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I picked up For Her Spy Only because I was in the mood for a quick read.  I enjoyed this quite a bit, but thought the ending was very rushed.  Maybe I just liked the characters so much that I would have liked to get know them even better.  There’s some intrigue, adventure, and an unconventional hero, which was a refreshing change.  Alistair couldn’t be further from a smooth talking operator, and I enjoyed that Winifred accepted him for who he was, and the thought of changing him never crossed her mind. 

When Winifred is stranded in a disabled coach on Christmas Eve, her unlikely rescuer is none other than Alistair, Marquess of Coventry.  Rumors swirl about the reclusive man, claiming that Alistair murdered his young wife, but after meeting him, Winifred dismisses them as idle talk.  Alistair’s dark reputation, however, gets her pulse pounding, and she decides that an affair with him will spice up her life.  She is also the victim of unkind rumors, which began after she was jilted at the altar, so she feels, with her reputation already in tatters, that she has nothing to lose. 

Six years later, Winifred has an unwelcome visitor.  Alistair is standing on her door step, asking after her husband, who has recently passed away.  Alistair reveals that he’s a code-breaker, and in order to protect the Crown, he needs the help of her late husband’s maps to help decipher his latest assignment.  Unfortunately, the maps he needs have been stolen.  Winifred agrees to help him locate the maps, mainly to get him back out of her life.  She has a big secret she’s keeping from him, and she’s terrified that he’ll discover that she’s been hiding his son from him for all these years.

I didn’t blame Winifred one bit for hiding Oliver’s existence from Alistair.  He made it very clear that he never wanted children, and took precautions to prevent an unwanted pregnancy during their brief time together.  Obviously unsuccessful precautions.  Winifred decided to raise her son without telling Alistair, but now she’s terrified that he’ll discover that he has a son.  She’s not certain what his reaction will be, but she’s sure it will be dreadful.

The hero made this read for me.  Alistair is somewhere on the autism spectrum, and while he’s a whiz at cracking codes, social interactions are a trial for him.  He is painfully blunt and has no sense of humor.  Most people bore him with their mindless nattering.  Winifred intrigues him because she doesn’t pester him with small talk, and she accepts him for who he is.   Bullied as a child and shown only distain from his mother, he prefers to keep his own company.  That is, until he is unexpectedly reunited with Winifred and begins to develop feelings for her. Gasp!

As previously stated, I thought the ending was very rushed, but the unusual hero made up for that shortcoming.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

England, 1814

When Winifred is rescued from her snow-stranded carriage by the notorious and reclusive Alistair, Marquess of Coventry, she is instantly drawn to him. Jilted by her betrothed and socially ruined by untrue rumors, Winifred is tired of paying for crimes she didn’t commit and decides to play the seductress London society claims she is. Thinking a night of passion shouldn’t leave any lasting effects, she instead finds her heart marked forever.

Six years later, Alistair is working for the Regent as a spy. A search for Napoleon’s English supporters leads him to the beguiling Winifred, recently widowed with a young son. He hasn’t forgotten how the unconventional beauty warmed his bed, and the heat between them rekindles immediately. The spymaster is determined to uncover all of plucky Winifred’s secrets. Especially the one regarding her son…

The post Novella Review: For Her Spy Only by Robyn DeHart appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Interview with Kat Kruger, Author of The Night is Found and Giveaway!

Please give a warm welcome to Kat Kruger!  Kat’s here to answer a few questions, and then you can enter for a chance to win her Magdeburg Trilogy (digital). 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hi, Kat!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Kat Kruger] Geek-girl, online-junkie, pizza-enthusiast, nature-lover, walking-paradox. (I hyphenated to cheat the word count.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Night is Found?

[Kat Kruger] It’s the third book in The Magdeburg Trilogy about 17-year-old Connor Lewis who gets a scholarship to study in Paris and winds up in the middle of a werewolf war. In this final book, he’s had to take on a leadership role to help stop two separate groups who threaten the existence of all werewolves. He returns home to NYC to seek out help from the New World packs who are rumored to have united. Meanwhile, the girl he’s crushing on gets mixed up with the enemy overseas.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Kat Kruger] This is a tough one because there was so much “closure” in this book and a lot of spoilers if I talk about any of it. The epilogue for sure is my fave. I’ve had that scene in my head since well before I started writing this book but, again, I feel like I can’t talk about it.

There’s a Madison chapter called Absolution where she ‘s running from the enemy with Josh. She’s been a divisive character for some readers who fall either in the love or love-to-hate camps. What unfolds in the chapter is a resolution of their post break-up angst. I won’t lie. I cried a lot writing this scene.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the series?

[Kat Kruger] This book. For real. As I mentioned already, there’s a lot of closure that had to happen in this final book so I felt a lot of pressure (mostly self-imposed) to do right by all of the characters and readers. I had a couple of false starts writing the first draft and cut at least 5,000 words from the beginning before I got a really clear picture of where to begin. The rest was about finding the right way to end things between everyone. There also had to be a ramping up of stakes and action happening at the same time. It was an exhausting book to write, more so than the other two put together, but with the help of a great editor and trusted beta readers I’m really happy with the outcome.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Kat Kruger] My iPhone. It has everything. My calendar, my music, my notes, my games, and a means of communicating with people.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Kat Kruger] The paperback edition of Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. A sketchbook. My iPhone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Kat Kruger] Zooey Deschanel. She would be my quirky spirit animal if there was such a thing. I like how she’s one of the women behind HelloGiggles and that she’s a positive role-model for girls. I’d like to know what makes her tick and what it’s like to be her for a day. During my day as her, I’d also try to sneak in a lunch date with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Kat Kruger] I guess there are two ways I could answer. One is the altruistic route where I’d ask for telekenisis and make the evildoers of the world see the error of their ways and put an end to the terrible things that people in power can do. Seems like a tall order for one week though.

The other option for me would be to just take teleportation and visit destinations around the world that are out of my travel range (price- or other-wise). That would reduce my carbon footprint though so it’s not entirely selfish…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Kat Kruger] I’ve actually had “reader’s block” for a while now. Between all the deadlines for the series and working freelance writing gigs during the day it’s been a struggle to get back into reading, which is a first for me. Usually I’m a voracious reader. That said, I recently picked up The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova. It’s the first in a trilogy about a merdude. Loved it and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

I also lifted a self-imposed werewolf book embargo now that I’m done writing my own series so I just started Kathleen Peacock’s Hemlock trilogy and am really enjoying it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube.

“A superb series from start to finish that, like the best musical mashups, takes something old (werewolf mythology) and makes something completely fresh out of its source material.” — Charles de Lint, award-winning author of The Newford series

When they tried to kill a prince, they made a king

In the aftermath of his pack leader’s assassination Connor Lewis is ready to take control. Rodolfus de Aquila’s plan before he died was to unite the European werewolf packs against their common enemies: the Hounds of God who make the laws and enforce them ruthlessly with questionable motives, and the Luparii, an intergovernmental group of werewolf hunters now bent on the extermination of his kind. The uneasy alliance between these two factions has fallen apart, and now a battle wages leaving the pack werewolves scrambling to escape bio-chemical warfare on one side, and total domination on the other.

After hearing rumors of a union between the American packs Connor returns with Amara to his home city of New York to learn how to bring the Old World packs together. Werewolf society in the New World has taken a very different course from that of Europe, but when Connor meets the American leaders he begins to question if their ways are, in fact, the path forward.

A world away from Madison, Arden, and all those that he is trying to protect, Connor must discover the secret to uniting and leading the packs under one final charge, or else risk extinction for their entire species in the epic conclusion to The Magdeburg Trilogy.

“When they tried to kill a prince, they made a king.”

The Night Is Found, the final book in Kat Kruger’s popular Magdeburg Trilogy, is now available for pre-order

Enter to win a digital copy of the entire Magdeburg Trilogy! The Night Has Teeth, The Night Has Claws, and The Night is Found!  Thanks to Fierce Ink Press for making this giveaway possible!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Kat Kruger, Author of The Night is Found and Giveaway! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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5. Review: We Were Liars by E Lockhart

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Wow! This is a hard book to review, because it’s so important for the reader to go in blind, or it won’t work.  The slow unfolding of Cady’s forgotten memory, like a languid summer day, is suspenseful and engrossing.  I started reading They Were Liars without even reading the blurb, and I’m glad I didn’t.  Knowing too much going in spoils the mystery of Cady’s lost summer, so I hadn’t even read any reviews for the book.  I hate spoilers!

I’ll give you a general overview of the story, with no spoilers, and try to tell you how I felt about it without ruining the read for you.  Deep breath – here we go!

Cady spends her summers on Beechwood, the family island.  Her grandparents, and each of their three daughters, have a house there, and Cady’s summer days are spent swimming, hanging out with her cousins, and enjoying the closeness of her extended family.  Everything seems so idyllic to her, until she turns fifteen.  Then her life slowly starts to unravel; her father leaves her and her mother, moving to Colorado with another woman.  Because her family doesn’t believe in actually expressing your feelings, her mother works out her hurt and grief by erasing every trace of Cady’s father from their life.  Their old furniture is given away, the house in Vermont is redecorated, and only then can they begin their summer vacation.

While Cady is hurt and confused, and hadn’t found the process of rearranging the house therapeutic, her mother continues on as though nothing has happens, and she expects Cady to do the same.  Stiff upper lip, steady square jaw, no emotional outbursts allowed.   It’s during this pivotal summer that Cady realizes how imperfect her family is.  Petty jealousies tear away at her aunts.  Her grandfather takes pleasure in fueling the discord between his children.  And Gat, her cousin Johnny’s friend, a boy she’s known forever, has suddenly stolen her heart, despite her family’s disapproval, because Gat doesn’t fit into their wealthy, white world view.

Cady is an unreliable narrator, and I was never sure when she was telling the truth, or what she thought was the truth.  When she forgets most of summer fifteen after suffering a traumatic brain injury, she frantically attempts to discover what happened.  Why was she swimming by herself?  Why won’t her mom or the rest of her family tell her what happened that warm summer night?

While I loved Cady’s voice, I’m not so sure that I liked this over-indulged, spoiled young woman.  Even though I was at odds about how I felt about her and her equally privileged cousins,  I could not put the book down.  Now that it’s a day after I finished We Were Liars, I can’t even tell you if I liked the book.  All I know is that it held me mesmerized, and all I wanted was to find out the truth behind Cady and her whacked family.  If you are looking for a quick, hard to put down read, We Were Liars has your name written all over it. 

Grade:  B/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

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6. Spotlight and Giveaway: Veiled Target by Robin Bielman

 
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$15.00 eGift Card of Winners Choosing


VEILED TARGET
Veilers #1
Robin Bielman
Released July 22nd, 2014

 

Never take Fate along on a date. The kiss goodnight could be deadly.

Tracking down Veilers—non humans—is only a sideline for Tess Damon. Vengeance for her fiancé’s murder is her reason for living. But with two botched jobs on her record, if she fails to eliminate her next mark, she’s dead. She’s not afraid to die, but not before she gets even. Too bad fate has a really bad sense of humor.

Hugh Langston, a wolfen half shifter, lives to keep both humans and his pack safe. But when rogue humans kidnap his apprentice, his rescue mission is compromised by a hot-as-hell, kick-ass woman who makes him think only one thing: mine.

Tess tries to ignore her feelings, but temptation trips her up. Especially when Hugh figures out he’s her next target and forces her into an inconvenient alliance that tests all the laws against their attraction. Now, with the line between good and evil getting blurrier by the minute, it becomes clear Tess’s only hope of living to see another day—and finding a murderer—lies with the one man she’s supposed to kill.


 
 
 
 

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“Cut the crap, Tess. Why were you following me?”
“How do you know I was following you?” Oops. She meant to say, “What makes you think I was following you?”
He gave a knowing smile—that looked ridiculously sexy rather than irritating. “I know you don’t want to insult my intelligence so let’s just say for argument’s sake, if you were following me, why would that be?”
At least she’d gotten him to change his tone.
“Truthfully?” She leaned a little closer to him. She couldn’t help it.
“That would be nice.”
“I’m really not a very nice person,” she announced.
“Neither am I.” He reached out and moved a strand of hair behind her ear.
Was he trying to confuse her? Because it was working. She’d nearly fallen into his hand before he pulled it away. He was indeed a very bad man.
“That’s good. I hate nice guys. So where does that leave us?”
“I haven’t got all night, Tess.” He lowered his chin, indicating—she presumed—he was growing tired of their banter.
She lifted an eyebrow. “No? That’s too bad. I’m a night owl. I can—”
“Answer my question before I haul you to your car over my shoulder.” His tone sent a little zing of pleasure right to the tips of her breasts.
“As if you could—” She was over his shoulder in one second flat. He moved swiftly, quietly and with superhuman strength. Uh oh. “Hey, put me down!”
He started down the alley, seemingly unbothered by her spastic attempts to get him to let her go. “You ready to walk and talk now?”
“Fine,” she conceded, although the view of his backside was pretty damn good.
When both feet securely hit the ground, she tugged down her dress and shifted the V-neck into place. He watched her squirm to put the rest of the material back where it belonged and his roving eyes heated her from the inside out.
“I followed you because I wanted to help.”
He started walking. “Do I look like I need help?” A little gleam—and major interest?—flickered in his sideways glance.
“Well, no. But I’m very capable and I didn’t feel like going home, so I decided there was no harm in making myself available to you should you need me.” She took a deep breath. It was time to put the question out there. “Did you know Dane is a—”
“Wolfen? Yeah I know.”
“How do you—”
He stopped and turned toward her with confusion and passion in his deep blue eyes. For several seconds he stared at her, like he was trying to get inside her head. Guess what she was thinking. “I’m the leader of the Night Runners,” he finally said.
She imagined he’d told her something he’d never told another human being before.
What the hell was she going to do now?


 

USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Filled with wanderlust, she longs to visit many different places and fulfill her curiosity. She wouldn’t mind indulging her sweet tooth in every location either. She’s a lover of sticky notes, cable television shows and coffee drinks. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She writes contemporary and paranormal romance and loves to connect with readers. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter on her website at http://robinbielman.com. She can also be found online here:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/RobinBielmanWriter

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RobinBielman

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/robinbielman 





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7. Manga Review: Limit Volume 2 by Keiko Suenobu

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

It’s been a long time since I read the first volume of Limit, but I didn’t have any trouble picking up where I left off.  Only five high school students have been left alive after a terrible bus crash in the mountains of Japan, and they are struggling to survive with hardly any supplies.  Personalities clash from the get-go, so not only are they fighting the elements, they are fighting each other.  Morishigi, a victim of bullying, has the only weapon, and she wants some pay-back for all of the humiliation she’s suffered at school.  Konno, a pretty, popular girl, mocked Morishigi mercilessly, so now she gets a taste of grief.  Forced to fight with one of her friends, a girl who is smoldering with jealousy of Konno, Ichinose hesitates to lash out at her friend when Morishigi taunts her,  ripping apart her friendship with Konno and driving Ichinose into a rage.   Yeah, these guys need a conflict mediator, so they are lucky to have Kamiya.

 

I really like the art, and the tensions between the girls makes for captivating reading.  They are all tired, hungry, and scared, and without Kamiya, it’s doubtful that they would survive until they are rescued.  If they ever are, that is.  The adults with the responsibility for their well-being are clueless to say the least, and two days after their disappearance, have yet to realize that they are missing, or that most of the girls from their class were killed in a devastating bus wreck.  The teachers experience a massive miscommunication, and the bus company just wants their bus back so they can continue charging customers for charters.  Not one person in authority takes the time to actually verify that the class made it to the camp.  Not one!

Of all of the girls, Kamiya is my current favorite.  She’s level-headed, determined to survive, and completely focused on the end goal: getting back home to her family.  While the other girls allow raw emotion to sway their decisions and actions, Kamiya always thinks things through first.  She weighs the options and all of their consequences before she does anything, and that is going to go a long way into seeing her back home safely.  I hope. 

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

In the second volume of The Limit, Mizuki has found herself in a position where her not only her social life is at risk, but her survival rests in the hands of the young women she was so desperately attempting to avoid. In the wild the strong survive, and while Alisa may not be smart or cute, she is physically strong. So she immediately takes command by gathering anything that may be used as a weapon to threaten the lives of anyone who may attempt to usurp her new found authority.

Mizuki will have to win over the trust of three people who truly despise her. Whether that means doing all the most dangerous tasks to survive or she must endure bullying, right now she understands that unity will be their only way home. Keeping that unity may be improbable, though.

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8. Interview with Jane Feather, Author of Trapped at the Altar and Giveaway!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Jane!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Jane Feather] Sometimes I sizzle, sometimes I fizzle

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Trapped at the Altar?

[Jane Feather] Childhood friends who grew up together in an outcast family of renegades are forced into marriage in their joint families’ interests. Ariadne is in love with another man and is fiercely resistant to the marriage, Ivor would be happy for the marriage if Ari were happy too. When she tells him she cannot love him as anything but a friend he has a tough time showing her that she’s wrong.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Jane Feather] The scene where Ariadne seduces Ivor, employing strategically placed furs and emeralds as her props.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Jane Feather] The dialogue between Ari and Ivor, the development of Ari’s character as she matures.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Jane Feather] Something to read

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Jane Feather] An antique silver paper knife, a paper weight in the shape of a scrunched up IRS tax return, Roget’s Thesaurus.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Jane Feather] A glass of red wine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Jane Feather] Hilary Clinton

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Jane Feather] Invisibility. I’d love to drop in on all sorts of people and events.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Jane Feather] I recently reread Forever Amber, described as a “Rediscovered Classic.” I think it should probably have remained un-rediscovered. What was a sexy and daring historical read as a teenager seems rather tame and overblown now…very disappointing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Jane Feather] Email: janeplume@icloud.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather introduces a sizzling new series that moves from the remote wilds of southwest England to the turbulent royal court, when a lovely young woman is forced into marriage in order to unite two families—and discovers a most unexpected passion. . .

Ariadne Carfax has vowed to be with the man she loves, Gabriel Fawcett. There’s just one obstacle. On his deathbed, Ari’s grandfather decrees that she marry her childhood friend Ivor Chalfont, thus forging a powerful alliance between the two warring families. Giving Ari no time to protest, the elders plan her wedding the next day, forcing her to follow through on the nuptials. Though she is fond of Ivor, Ari has no intention of consummating their marriage—until he kindles an intoxicating desire that she can’t ignore. Ivor has loved Ari for years, but he doesn’t want an unwilling wife. He wants Ari to ache with the same irresistible longing he feels. And if that’s the way to woo her into his bed and into their new life, he won’t rest until his new bride surrenders to true love.

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9. Guest Post by Sarah Castille, Author of In Your Corner and Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to special guest Sarah Castille!  She’s here to share a list of things you will never ever find in hunky hero Jake’s bedroom.

 

5 things you would never find in Jake’s bedroom by Sarah Castille

Me. Sigh.

Chocolate, potato chips, alcohol, French fries, pizza, candy or anything with carbohydrates i.e. all the good stuff, especially when he’s training for a fight. He’s all about protein, protein and more protein. And sometimes veg. Natch.

Anything soft, fluffy, pink or feminine. He’s all alpha all the time.

Any woman other than Amanda. She’s had his heart since the day they met.

TV. Once that bedroom door closes, he knows how to keep a girl busy!

Thank you to Manga Maniac Café for hosting me today.

IN YOUR CORNER BY SARAH CASTILLE

BLURB

A Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book 2014!

“You have to go. I won’t be able to control myself. I’ve wanted you so bad for so long and after I’ve been in the cage…I can’t think straight.” He gives a guttural groan and his fist clenches on my hip.

Primitive. Primal. His need speaks to me. I tighten my grip on his neck and rock up to kiss him. He takes over. His kiss is hard and demanding.

“Mine.” His voice is raw, savage and for a moment I truly believe he may lose control.

He rules in the ring

Two years ago, Jake and Amanda were going hot and heavy. But when Jake wanted more, Amanda walked away. Jake immersed himself in mixed martial arts, living life on the edge. But that didn’t dull the pain of Amanda’s rejection-until a chance encounter throws them together.

A high-powered lawyer, Amanda was a no-strings-attached kind of girl. But two years after her breakup with Jake, she still hasn’t found anyone who gets her heart pumping the way he did. And then he shows up in her boardroom, hot as sin and needing help…

But can he rule her heart?

Jake is darker, sexier, and impossible to resist. As their chemistry builds, Amanda’s not sure if she can stay in control, or if she’s finally willing to let him claim her body and soul.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1mkcsql

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nS1iJn

ITunes: http://bit.ly/TguA90

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TsW4IM

LINK FOR AGAINST THE ROPES (REDEMPTION #1): A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Pick for Romance & Erotica and #1 Amazon Erotic Romance Bestseller:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1o0sXYe

BIO

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, worked and travelled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. She writes erotic contemporary romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Sign up for Sarah’s newsletter for info about new releases: http://bit.ly/SDdzWX

Website http://www.sarahcastille.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarahcastilleauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sarah_castille

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920675.Sarah_Castille

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/scastilleauthor/

Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/author/sarahcastille

EXCERPT FROM IN YOUR CORNER

“Don’t move.”

Totally immersed in painting the cupboard, I freeze mid–paint stroke at the sound of Jake’s deep voice behind me.

“What? Am I doing something wrong?”

He closes the distance between us and runs his finger along the back waistband of my gym pants, sending delicious tingles up my spine. Then he slides his hands around my waist, bared by the rise of my T-shirt as I stretch to reach the top of the cupboard with my paintbrush.

“Yes. You look too damn sexy. Do you know what it does to a man when he catches a glimpse of something he isn’t meant to see?”

“I hope it makes him tell the woman she can call off the panic attack and drop her arm,” I mutter as I do just that. “I also hope it makes him decide his hands might be of better use somewhere other than around her waist.”

Jake slides his fingers around to my stomach, resting them just over my mound and his voice drops to a low growl. “I could make use of them here.”

“So says the man who turned down a good offer just the other night at Redemption.” I remove his hands and turn to face him, putting on a brave face while inside I seethe. Who does he think he is coming on to me after brushing me off?

“No games, Jake. You made your position clear. I got that. I’m not interested in being screwed around.”

He presses his hands against the cupboard on either side of my head, caging me with his body. “What are you interested in?”

“Moving on,” I say honestly.

His pulse throbs in his neck and his eyes harden. “With whom?”

“No one right now.”

He gives a satisfied grunt as if I had just cleared up a question in his mind. “Everyone is out back having a good time. You should be there too.”

“There’s a lot of work to do. I want to get it done. The faster I open shop, the faster I can start my lawsuit against Farnsworth.” I slip under his arm and edge along the counter.

“You’ve been working since six o’clock this morning.”

Grabbing a clean cloth from the counter, I make an effort to wipe the grease off my face. “I’m used to working twenty-hour days. I’m not afraid of hard work.” But I am afraid of mercurial fighters who run hot one minute and cold the next.

His face softens, and he takes the cloth from my hand and holds it under the tap. The pipes gurgle when he turns the rusty faucet and water gushes out, skimming over the cloth and trickling into the sink below. Without warning, he lifts me and settles me on the counter.

“You don’t have to work like that anymore.” His voice is calm, soothing. I am momentarily lulled out of work mode and into heat mode as he eases his hips between my legs and reaches to turn off the faucet. “It’s Saturday night. Time to relax and have fun.” With a firm hand, he cups my jaw and then wipes the cloth gently over my nose, forehead, and cheeks.

His gentle touch, the warmth of his hand, his breath, minty and sweet, and his hard body nestled between my thighs all converge in an unbearable rush of sensation. I grab his wrist, forcing his hand away.

“Jake…I’m good. Really. There’s so much to do. I’ll come out when I’m done and I’ve cleaned myself up.”

“I like you this way,” he murmurs. “You look…cute. Real.”

“Real?”

He brushes his thumb over my cheek. “Amanda without the armor. Your clothes, hair, makeup…nothing is perfect. It’s just the real you. I never got to see the real you before.”

Torn between being mortified and pleased, I reach for another cloth. “Real Amanda is covered in dirt and has holes in her sweats.”

He traces a finger down my throat to rest in the hollow at the base of my neck. The room heats to one hundred degrees, and if I’m not mistaken, I hear the sound of my blood boiling.

“I like holes in sweats.” His voice drops, husky and low, and his finger continues its downward journey into the vee of my shirt.

“Jake…”

He traces lightly over the crescent of my breast. “I like dirty girls,” he whispers, his voice thick with desire. “I can’t stay away.”

Oh God. Every bit of warmth rushes to my center as his deep, sensual voice ignites one of my dark fantasies. Jake, straddling my bound body, growling commands, telling me what he’s going to do to me in the filthiest language I know. A soft moan escapes my lips and we’re back on the roller coaster again.

“This game you’re playing confuses me.” His heart beats strong against my palm when I lay my hand over his chest.

“Me too.”

“Then what are you doing?”

His eyes take on a feral gleam and my breasts tingle.

“Playing dirty,” he growls. Tangling his hand in my hair, he tugs my head back, exposing my throat to the heated slide of his lips. “Sometimes you have to stop thinking too much and just go with it.”

My breath comes in short pants as he sucks gently on the pulse at the base of my throat. Barely able to form a coherent thought for the pounding of blood in my temples, I scramble for sanity. “There’s too much between us to just go with it. We need to talk…”

His hand closes in my hair, twisting roughly. “Lawyers talk. You don’t look like a lawyer now. You look fucking sexy, and your mouth is all lush and pink and needing to be kissed. You want to talk, Amanda, or you want that kiss?” He nips the hollow at the base of my neck.

Pleasure and pain meld together and I whimper as a heated rush of sensation floods my veins. “Kiss.”

Jake smiles. “My dirty girl wants a dirty kiss.” Holding my face, he slants his mouth over mine and kisses me.

Soft kiss. Sweet kiss. Warm, firm lips tasting faintly of coffee. His five o’clock shadow brushes my chin as his tongue eases my lips open to stroke against mine. My body melts against him as he explores my mouth, leaving nothing untouched. Tongues wind and tangle. Two years of fantasies coalesce in a single rasping breath.

“’S not so dirty,” I mumble against his lips.

“Oh, you don’t know how dirty I can be.” Jake grips my hair and tugs my head back with a firm, hard yank, sending little bolts of lightning straight to my core. Then he kisses me hard and fast. Rough. His teeth scrape my bottom lip as his tongue dives deep, filling me, taking what I have to give and demanding more. The pounding of my heart shifts from lust to fear as he consumes me, and for a moment I worry he has forgotten I need to breathe.

When he breaks the kiss, I draw in a long, ragged breath. “You never kissed me like that before.”

“You were never like this before,” he murmurs, his fingers easing up my shirt, his thumb tracing over the crescent of my breasts. “Raw and open, vulnerable, needing my help. So fucking real.”

My breath catches in my throat as he explores, cupping and squeezing my breasts and then teasing my nipples through my lace bra until they are tight, aching peaks.

“My clothes. Take them off.”

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10. Guest Post and Giveaway: Jennifer Estep, Author of Poison Promise

Please give a warm welcome to special guest Jennifer Estep!  I’m so happy she was able to drop by the virtual offices this morning.

 

Greetings! First of all, thanks to Julie for hosting me on the blog today.

So Julie asked me to share 5 things that you will never find in the bedroom of Gin Blanco, the heroine of my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Here goes:

1) Stuffed animals: Gin would never have stuffed animals in her bedroom … unless she had some weapons hidden inside them.

2) Throw pillows: Gin has a couple of pillows on her bed, but she would never have the mounds of throw pillows that you find in hotels … unless she was hiding weapons inside them. Can you sense a theme here? LOL.

3) Anything pink or frilly: Gin is definitely not a girly-girl, so there wouldn’t be anything pink or really frilly in her bedroom.

4) Glass or other delicate figurines: Gin wouldn’t have any glass or other delicate figurines in her bedroom because there would be too great a chance of them getting destroyed by someone attacking her at home.

5) White furniture: Gin would never have any white furniture in her bedroom because there would be too great a chance of it ending up with blood on it at some point. She is an assassin, after all.

Happy reading, everyone!

JENNIFER’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website: http://www.jenniferestep.com/

Blog: http://www.jenniferestep.com/blog/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JenniferEstepAuthor?fref=ts

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jennifer_Estep (@Jennifer_Estep)

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/580315.Jennifer_Estep

Summary:

In book eleven of her New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series, author Jennifer Estep continues “one of the best urban fantasy series going on the market” (Fresh Fiction).

Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.

There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…

Author Bio:

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, By a Thread, Widow’s Web, Deadly Sting, Heart of Venom, The Spider, and Poison Promise, along with the e-shorts Thread of Death, Parlor Tricks, and Kiss of Venom, are the other titles in her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series are her other works. For more on Jennifer and her books, visit JenniferEstep.com and @Jennifer_Estep.

Buy Link:

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Poison-Promise/Jennifer-Estep/Elemental-Assassin/9781476771502

US addresses only, please

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11. Spotlight: July Scandalous Releases

The summer is getting hotter with four new releases from Scandalous this month. One is the latest Men of Fortune release, FALLING FOR THE PIRATE by Amber Lin, a tantalizing tale of a pirate’s vengeance. The second is a regency romance, FOR HER SPY ONLY by Robin DeHart, which gives a delicious story of a jilted woman and a withdrawn Marquess.  Third, is the second novel in The Worth Brothers series, LOVE’S JUSTICE by Joan Avery, featuring an independent heroine and the man who finds her fascinating. And fourth is TEMPTING HER RELUCTANT VISCOUNT by Catherine Hemmerling, part of the Lady Lancaster Garden Society series and a sizzling regency romance read.

 
 
About Falling for the Pirate:
 
Vengeance is a dish best served in bed…
 
London, 1820
 
After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone – and exquisitely desirable. And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…
 
Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia – unable to recall even her name – and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate. A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take… 
 
 
Add it to Goodreads

Purchase your copy:
Entangled site: http://goo.gl/86M87x
 
 
About For Her Spy Only:
 
He’ll never forget her—but can he ever forgive her?
 
England, 1814
 
When Winifred is rescued from her snow-stranded carriage by the notorious and reclusive Alistair, Marquess of Coventry, she is instantly drawn to him. Jilted by her betrothed and socially ruined by untrue rumors, Winifred is tired of paying for crimes she didn’t commit and decides to play the seductress London society claims she is. Thinking a night of passion shouldn’t leave any lasting effects, she instead finds her heart marked forever.
 
Six years later, Alistair is working for the Regent as a spy. A search for Napoleon’s English supporters leads him to the beguiling Winifred, recently widowed with a young son. He hasn’t forgotten how the unconventional beauty warmed his bed, and the heat between them rekindles immediately. The spymaster is determined to uncover all of plucky Winifred’s secrets. Especially the one regarding her son…
 
 
Add it to Goodreads
 
Purchase your copy:
Entangled site: http://ow.ly/zcNyG

 
About Love’s Justice:
 
He holds her fate in his hands…
 
London, 1879
 
American heiress Victoria Wentworth has spent her life blithely ignoring her father’s wishes… until he enters her into an unwanted marriage contract with a despicable man. She has two choices: marry the bounder or fight the archaic English laws in court. Her only hope is Hugh Worth, the Earl Montgomery and Lord Chancellor of the Exchequer: her judge and jury. Society paints him as stern and subdued, yet fair. Society didn’t warn her that beneath his somber facade beats a passionate heart and soul.
 
Hugh finds himself irresistibly, inexplicably, drawn to the spirited American, despite himself and his better judgment. As the inconvenient heiress takes on the fight against the very foundation of his life and career, another battle wages in his once cold heart. Everything about her is inappropriate, illogical, and unexpected. Yet, she is a woman he could admire. A woman of intelligence and beliefs that challenge the existing world.
 
But she is forbidden.
 
 
Add it to Goodreads

Purchase your copy:
Entangled site: http://goo.gl/2J2eJp

 
About Tempting Her Reluctant Viscount:
 
A pretend courtship…a real scandal
 
London, 1814
 
Hope Stuckeley has lusted after the handsome and charismatic Michael Ashmore, the Viscount Lichfield, for ages – never mind that she’s never actually spoken to him. When the two join forces to investigate a London stock market scandal, pretending he is courting her gives her the chance to prove she’s more than the bookworm he takes her for.
 
After years of service as a soldier and newly titled as a viscount, actual marriage and settling down are the last things on confirmed bachelor Michael’s mind. But when their investigation puts the delectable Hope in danger, discovering the truth about the scandal could jeopardize the future he didn’t know he wanted.
 
 
Add it to Goodreads

Purchase your copy:
Entangled site: http://goo.gl/3CnVtj

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12. Spotlight and Giveaway: Pocket Star Gives You Rock Stars, Vampires, and Geeks

This week Pocket Star-E has rock stars, geeks, and vampires to choose from as their latest digital releases hit stores.  I have excerpts to share from each of the new titles, as well as a giveaway for each book! Check out Pocket Star’s online community at XOXO After Dark.

HOW TO REPRIMAND YOUR ROCK STAR by Mina Vaughn

SUMMARY:

In this fun and saucy romance novel, all-star college basketball player Thea dominates on the courts—and off—with a rock star who is determined to win her over.

Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…

Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?

EXCERPT:

The locker room welcomed me with the smell of freshly washed uniforms and leather workout equipment. The familiar scents tickled my nose and I envisioned my locker room back home. I remembered giving speeches to my team, rallying them against our foes. I felt like a general

sometimes. Here, I just listened. Sure, I liked everyone, but I really wished I could just be myself. I rolled my stiff shoulders and decided that tape wasn’t all I needed—a long hot shower would do my body a world of good. And I didn’t want to let the guards have the satisfaction of getting me out of their hair so soon.

I dropped my clothes at the threshold of the locker room and the adjoining shower room. I was never weirded-out by the team showering together. It was what athletes did. When you’re there, making jokes under the steaming water, splashing and commiserating, it was almost better that you were naked. It showed your trust. The team saw you at your most vulnerable. I wanted them to know they could trust me, so, therefore, I let them see my boobs. Common sense. It did kind of make me sad that even though we’d been playing together since September, I couldn’t really call many of them my friends. Except for my roommate, Callie.

The weirdest thing was the only person I had met besides Callie that I really felt a connection to was the team’s landlord, whom they had nicknamed the Red Devil. Her real name is Scarlett. I had actually never spoken to her, but something about her drew me in. She was intimidating as

hell—tall like us basketball folk, flaming-red curls that hung to her waist, and heels that could kill small animals that skittered into their path. The team hated her strict curfews and neat- freakery. I liked her. Powerful women were cool, and it pissed me off when they were labeled “bitches” just because they knew what they wanted. Plus, I liked that she owned a little new-age shop in town that, rumor has it, has a secret back room. So yeah, Scarlett was cool. Scary, but cool.

I made my way across the white tile floor, dodging cold puddles, and cranked my lucky showerhead number thirteen to a scorching blast. Every time I had picked this one, we won, so I never showered anywhere else. Except at home—my real home, that is. I stood under the scalding deluge and tipped my head up to feel the hot spray in my mouth. I had to

singe off the thin layer of failure from last night’s game. I grabbed a loofah and scrubbed my skin to a near polish. Rolling my shoulders, I took a squirt of the lavender-scented shampoo and worked it into my long curls.

Sighing, I let my naked back slouch against the cold tiles as I worked my scalp. My ex, Ty, had loved giving me massages. But that was all he wanted, touching. College was supposed to be a fantastic dating scene, but all I ever got were guys who wanted me for the wrong reasons. Boys

who were lazy and easy. Not that I had an ideal guy in mind, but I just wanted to work for it. I wanted the hunt. Lamenting my permanently single status, I watched the last few soap bubbles drop from my hair to the floor. Absentmindedly, I turned and reached for my towel and found

nothing. I glanced around the empty room. Always, without fail, I’d put my towel within arm’s reach of my lucky showerhead. How could I forget that today? I really was off my game on several levels. Padding wetly, dripping like a mermaid, I made my way toward the locker room’s entryway where my clothes sat.

Only, my clothes weren’t there either.

I took a tentative step into the locker room and turned toward my locker, where at least a practice uniform would be waiting for me. Or maybe I left my clothes there. Get your head together, Thea.

Every time I saw that locker, I’d chuckle. My obnoxious Greek last name was too long to fit on the nameplate, or my jersey for that matter, so instead of reading PAPASTATHOPOULOS, it just said PAPAS. That’s why the team had taken to calling me “Pops.”

But instead of seeing my truncated name or a pile of clothes, I saw a guy.

Link continuing the excerpt to XOXOAfterDark:

http://xoxoafterdark.com/2014/07/14/pocket-star-e-nights-reprimand-rock-star-mina-vaughn/?mcd=z_140721_RockVaughn_PSEN

US residents only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

————-

ATTACK THE GEEK by Michael R. Underwood

SUMMARY:

A side-quest novella in the bestselling Geekomancy urban fantasy series—when D&D-style adventures go from the tabletop to real life, look out!

Ree Reyes, urban fantasista and Geekomancer extraordinaire, is working her regular drink-slinger shift at Grognard’s bar-and-gaming salon when everything goes wrong. The assorted magic wielders of the city’s underground have come to test their battle skills via RPGs like D&D, V:TES, White Wolf, and the like. All the usuals are there: her ex-mentor Eastwood, Drake (the man-out-of-time adventurer), and, of course, Grognard himself (her boss and a brewer of beer that act as magic potions). However, it’s the presence of these and other “usuals” that makes all the trouble. For, a nemesis from Eastwood and Ree’s past decides to finally take her revenge not just on those two, but on every self-styled “hero” in the city who happens to have crossed her at one point or another. When wave after wave of monsters besiege Grogrnard’s store, if Ree & Co. are going to survive, they’re going to have to work together. And avoid the minotaur. That’s always a good rule of thumb.

EXCERPT:

The mass of gnomes looked like a beehive. They were stacked on top of one another, falling and scrambling over one another to get to the group.

Uncle Joe raised several cards over his head, tore them with a whoop, and a wave of fire pushed forward, enveloping the gnomes. They screamed and scuttled backward, and the group stepped forward into the sewer. Eastwood tossed out a handful of industrial-grade glow sticks, which filled the tunnel with yellow light.

Ree did her best Steve Ditko Spidey-fingers, unleashing a net of webbing that pinned a handful of gnomes to the far wall. She jumped forward and swung up, the blue blade strobing across her vision. She caught two of the gnomes, but several more leapt out of the way. As soon as her blade swung past, more of the miniature monsters scuttled forward. Their nails clicked on the concrete floor with the strange familiarity of her golden retriever, Booster, trying to get purchase in the linoleum kitchen back at her dad’s place.

She let loose another dose of webbing, then jumped and stuck to the ceiling, leaving her sword arm free to continue swinging.

Ree’s spider-shtick attracted a dozen of the gnomes’ attention as they tried to climb over one another to get to her. Even with their considerable ups, they fell short, putting them just in range of her lightsaber.

From her vantage point, she saw the rest of the group as they fought, each in their own style.

Out front, Grognard tore through the creatures, swinging the glaive-guisarme around as easily as a broom at closing time.

Talon covered Grognard’s back, following his movements and keeping the gnomes from sneaking through legs and flanking the group as they formed a semicircle out from the door. She fought with practiced efficiency, the longsword always striking and blocking at once as her hands moved in concert, levering the pommel around for maximum precision.

On the other side of the group, Eastwood fought with lightsaber and blaster in perfect harmony, managing not to chop his hand off even as he wove and dove through the crowd at a breakneck pace. He was a jerk sometimes, but he’d earned his Badass bona fides years ago. Gnomes jumped at him by the dozen, like they’d all decided he was the most delicious dish on the menu.

Drake stood back, picking his targets quickly but deliberately, squeezing off shots that thinned the herd rushing at Eastwood.

Wickham hugged the side of the door, taking shots where she could. She wasn’t comfortable in a fight, but she’d logged plenty of practice time somewhere—range or arcade—so her shots connected more often than not. Trouble was, her peashooter only seemed to stun the gnomes.

A musty wind hit her cheek, and Ree looked down to see that the gnomes clustered beneath her had started to get smart. Two gnomes held their hands together, boosting up the others. Ree wanted to know where they’d picked up cheerleading techniques, but that would have to wait. She flattened against the ceiling to avoid a tall gnome’s swipe, which fell just inches short.

The magical energy from Spider-Man was waning, as she’d only gotten a quick dose of the film. Rather than spending the energy on another burst of webbing, she cut the arm off the next gnome that got a boost. The gnome crashed into its accomplices, which would scatter them for a bit. Ree pulled out her phaser and zapped a few more, then turned and dropped one that had managed to Xenomorph its way along the ceiling, just a few feet from Wickham’s head.

The sizzling gnome fell to the sewer ledge in a heap at Wickham’s feet, and the model looked up to Ree, who saluted.

“That’s two you owe me,” Ree said with a grin, then turned back to her cheerleader gnomes. She picked off the two boosters, hoping that they were the bearded brains of the operation. If Wickham responded, the sound was lost in the din. Gloating was hard to do when you were dead, so she could wait.

“How you feeling, boss?” Ree asked, her voice echoing in the sewer over the sound of clanging metal, exertion, and snarling.

“They don’t seem to be running out of friends! Somebody pour on the AoE!” he called.

“On it!” Uncle Joe flipped through a card binder, then pulled out several cards, which he tore in half and then threw, Gambit-style. The card shreds flew true, exploding on impact. The blasts engulfed a dozen gnomes, but as the dust settled, more had filled the space, hopping over their charred compatriots.

“I didn’t think there were that many in the whole city!” Ree said.

“Recent surveys put their numbers at under a hundred. We’ve seen at least twice that,” Drake answered, his voice level even as his firing routine had become more harried. He stopped as one of the crystals in his aetheric rifle went dark, and cleared the gem, replacing it with a ruby red one that Ree knew as his flamethrower mode.

“Clear!” Drake called, and Talon cycled right, opening up a space. The inventor knelt forward and the rifle belched a cone of flame that took another cluster of the gnomes. The repeated blasts turned the sewer into a sauna, including the concrete she held on to with Spider-fu. It was either burn her ass off or lose the higher ground, so she dropped from the ceiling, cleaving through several gnomes as she landed.

When she hit the concrete pathway near the group, the sewer shook.

“Someone needs to lay off the lagers,” Wickham said.

“That wasn’t her,” Grognard said, looking down the tunnel.

A roar shook the walls of the sewer, making it very apparent that the gnomes were no longer the worst of their problems. If possible, the smell in the tunnel got worse.

That’s never a good sign. In her nine months of hero-ing, she’d noticed a clear correlation between “smells bad” and “likes to snack on humans and suck the marrow from their bones nom nom nom” types of creatures.

“Boss?” Ree asked, closing ranks with Drake between one of the adventurer’s bursts of flame. The gnomes on the roar side of the tunnel parted. Even worse sign.

Grognard buried the head of his blade in a gnome’s shoulder, the butt of the haft held down with his foot. Then he used the weapon like a lever, slamming four gnomes into the wall with one heave. “Anyone got a land mine?” he asked.

“Let me check!” Uncle Joe said, flipping through his binder. “I just had a big order for a Direct Damage deck, haven’t had a chance to restock.”

A second roar gave way to the sound of charging and splashing sewage. The gnomes on the far side vanished into the shadows.

On one hand, it gave them a breather. On the other hand . . . “Faster would be better!” Ree said, quoting her favorite space cowboy.

Eastwood holstered his blaster and leveled his Green Lantern ring at the right side of the tunnel. Ree pointed her blaster in the same direction. The group formed their best imitation of a pike formation, reinforcing their position in the direction of the oncoming . . .

. . . Minotaur.

Really? Just what I fuckin’ need.

Link continuing the excerpt to XOXO After Dark:

http://xoxoafterdark.com/2014/07/14/pocket-star-e-nights-attack-geek-mike-underwood/?mcd=z_140721_AttackGeek_PSEN

US residents only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

—————

DRIVING MR. DEAD by Molly Harper

SUMMARY:

A standalone novella introducing a new side of Half Moon Hollow—featuring a freewheeling courier and the stuffy vampire she has to transport.

Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family law firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation. Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog! And she has to do it without letting her passenger—the most persnickety, stuffy, devastatingly handsome vamp she’s ever met—drive her crazy. As she and Collin find disaster on the roads, they also find an undeniable spark between them. Could Miranda have found the perfect job and the perfect guy for her?

EXCERPT:

I was used to far more pleasant interactions with vampires. I’d worked as a waitress at a vampire bar called Bite for six months. The nonbreathing clients were a lot friendlier than those with pulses, and they left better tips. And in the days after I’d accepted the assignment, Iris, an old high-school classmate, had had me do a series of test runs, ferrying local cross-country to drive her friend Jane from Half-Moon Hollow to Nashville for a booksellers convention. Jane had been downright sweet, keeping me entertained on the brief drive through Tennessee with her absurd life story. None of these experiences had prepared me for Mr. Sutherland’s hostile, monosyllabic reception.

In his absence, I saw that the house was comfortable and quaint. The open floor plan gave visual access to nearly everything, including the spectacular view afforded by the back windows. Rough-hewn polished pine stairs led to a bedroom loft. Comfy-looking leather chairs the color of melting caramel flanked a river-stone fireplace. Bookshelves stocked with leather-bound editions stretched floor to ceiling on the opposite wall. There was no stuffy furniture, no

useless dust catchers beyond a red and gold military insignia framed and displayed on the  mantel. A lion devouring a snake.

A thump from above snapped me out of my decor ogling. I focused on the little pile of luggage near the foot of the stairs, and I slung a dark leather designer overnight bag onto my shoulder.

When I bent to pick up a sleek silver suitcase, there was a blur of motion, the force of which swept my wet hair over my eyes. I lurched to my feet, pulling the damp strands out of my face, just in time to find Mr. Sutherland snatching the case out of my hands.

“You do not touch this case,” he said sternly, shoving a pristine white towel into my hands. He swept across the room to blot my puddle from the floor with a clean cloth. “I am responsible for transporting this case to Ophelia Lambert at midnight four nights from now—a deadline that your tardiness has put in jeopardy, I might add. Therefore, only I touch the case.”

“But—”

“Only I touch the case,” he said.

I was starting to suspect that he had unnatural feelings for that case.

I raised an eyebrow. “Are you going to be handcuffing it to your arm?”

“Very amusing, Miss Puckett,” he said, looking me up and down. “Of course, I’m forced to assume that you are the Miss Puckett described in Miss Scanlon’s correspondence, since you have not, in fact, introduced yourself to me.”

Something about the way his silky voice slid over my skin triggered my “authority figure” complex. And suddenly, I was having some very unwelcome, very naughty images of Mr. Sutherland and his hypothetical handcuffs.

“Oh, right, sorry. Hi, I’m Miranda Puckett. I’m the driver for Beeline.” I reached out my hand to shake, a hand that he pointedly ignored as he swept past me.

Shocked by his rudeness, I merely followed in his wake, muttering to myself. “Nice to meet you, too. Oh, yes, I’m sure we’re going to end up lifelong friends after this road trip. We’re off to such a great start. Feel like I’ve known you my whole life,” I grumbled, toting the bags to the car while he checked and rechecked the locks on his front door. “And I’m talking to myself again. Super.”

I stared at the warm, dry house with longing. A kinder client might have offered me use of the restroom or even coffee. But I was hardly in a position to ask for perks.

To add insult to injury, my tardiness and the weather ruined my plans to introduce Mr. Sutherland to the fabulous features of the Batmobile, which I’d thoroughly rehearsed with a very patient Jane. A decommissioned Council vehicle that Iris had purchased for a song at auction, the Batmobile was built for comfort and safety. While it looked like a mild-mannered SUV from the outside, the Batmobile boasted a light-tight cubby that took up most of the

rear compartment’s floorboard, like a compact coffin, allowing the passenger to ride comfortably while I drove us in full sun. Tucked between the front seats sat a cunning little cooler/warmer for blood. It worked a bit like a bottle steamer, using hot water on a timed switch to bring the blood to an even 98.6. The windows were tinted with SPF 500 film so that he would be safe inside the cab if necessary.

I’d become familiar with those features on the three- (OK, four-) day drive to pick up Mr. Sutherland. I’d planned to make him familiar with them before we started the drive back to Half-Moon Hollow so he could deliver a parcel to an official with the World Council for the Equal Treatment of the Undead. But clearly, Mr. Sutherland preferred that we just get on the road. I couldn’t blame him, I supposed. We absolutely, positively had to be back on time, or

Mr. Sutherland would not be paid . . . which meant that Iris would not be paid . . . which meant that I would not be paid . . . which would be upsetting.

Using the boatload of upper-body strength it took to close the rear door, I slammed it down. I noticed a pale flash out of the corner of my eye at the last minute. The gate came crashing down on Mr. Sutherland’s fingers with a sickening crunch.

This was a hallucination. I could not be looking at a vampire’s hand caught in a car door, crushed like something out of an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon. I clapped my hands over my mouth and let out a horrified shriek.

“Open the bloody gate!” he roared.

I scrambled for the key fob and clicked it, popping the door open. Mr. Sutherland groaned and flexed his mangled fingers, bent at bizarre angles, obviously broken in several places. Sure, they would fix themselves rapidly with his vampire healing, but it would hurt like a bitch.

“I’m sorry!” I cried, rushing forward to help him. He hissed like a cat and turned his back on me. “Shit! I’m so sorry!”

“Language, Miss Puckett,” he growled over his shoulder. “Did you not see that my hand was in the way?” He grunted as his fingers stretched and snapped back into their proper places.

“Not until the last minute,” I said. “Why didn’t you move your hand when you saw I was closing the door?”

“I thought you would stop the door,” he shot back.

“How was I supposed to do that? I don’t have vampire reflexes!”

“From now on, I will keep your limitations in mind,” he seethed, and pivoted on his heel toward the car door.

Link continuing the excerpt to XOXO After Dark:

http://xoxoafterdark.com/2014/07/14/pocket-star-e-nights-driving-mr-dead-molly-harper/?mcd=z_140721_MHarp_PSEN

US residents only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Pocket Star Gives You Rock Stars, Vampires, and Geeks appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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13. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves: Recall Edition

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

Last week I dropped  my car off at the dealership for warranty repairs and to fix some recall issues.  They kindly provided me with a rental car, which I appreciated, until I got it for the first time.  Ugh!  It was stinkiest rental car in the history of rental cars.  It smelled like someone had dumped 100 gallons of the cheapest perfume available all over the interior.  I thought I could live with it for a day, then I discovered that my car wouldn’t be ready until Monday or Tuesday.  Nope!  Not only was it smelly, but it was dirty, too. There was no way I was keeping that car over the weekend.  Thankfully the service guy at the dealership arranged for another one.  While this one doesn’t smell, it is just as dirty, so in the future, I am avoiding Enterprise Car Rentals. Yuck!

 

PetSmart has a really good sale yesterday.  Buy 2 Get 1 Free – any toys, treats, or chews.  Since Poppy and Bumble are mega chewers, I stocked up on some chew toys for them, and I got Bumble some sweet potato treats.  They spent the rest of the day bickering over the toys.  Poppy constantly wanted the toy Bumble had.  They were essentially the exact SAME toy! sigh

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Shipwrecked with the Billionaire

Personal Target

The Cowboy and the Angel

Promise of the Wolves

Secrets of the Wolves

His Games, Her Rules

Captured by the Sheikh

The Winter People

Rival’s Challenge

The Danger in Tempting an Earl

Shifting Shadows

Drowned

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

 Subscribe in a reader

The post The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves: Recall Edition appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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14. Spotlight and Giveaway: Taking It All by Maya Banks

I have an awesome giveaway this morning!  Taking It All by Maya Banks hits stores August 5th, and you can win a copy here!  This is the conclusion to Maya’s Surrender Trilogy.

About the book:

In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do:cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects.

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give. Or they stand to lose it all

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband, a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back. And prove to her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give far more back. Himself. His undying love.

Taking It All Excerpt: http://mayabanks.com/books/taking-it-all/#excerpt

Maya Banks Bio: 

Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and international bestselling author of over 50 novels. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.

Please visit Maya’s website here: http://mayabanks.com/

US residents only, please.

Thanks to Penguin for making this giveaway possible!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Taking It All by Maya Banks appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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15. [PR] Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited

Amazon announced a new subscription based lending program available for the Kindle and Kindle Apps.  Kindle Unlimited looks pretty promising; for $9.99 per month, you can read as many books as you want.  This differs from the one free borrow per month available to Prime members.  Amazon’s imprints (Montlake Romance, 47North, etc) are included, as well as titles from Open Road Media, Kensington, Scholastic, and other smaller pubs.  Bella Andre’s books are included, so if you’re curious to read her stuff, you can gobble them all up for $9.99 per month.  This only available in the US currently.  There’s also a large audio book library so you can take your stories on the go.

I plan on trying out Kindle Unlimited soon (as soon as I have a couple free weekends in a row!).  The first 30 days are free, and you can cancel at any time. 

What do you think Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited?  Will you try it out?  If some of my favorite publishers, like Entangled and Harlequin were included, I would be signing up in a nanosecond instead of waiting.  I’m curious to see who else they get on board.

The full press release follows:

Amazon.com has added a news release to its Media Room website.

Title: Introducing Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited Reading and Listening on Any Device–Just $9.99 a Month
Date(s): 18-Jul-2014 7:30 AM
For a complete listing of our news releases, please click here

Read freely from over 600,000 books–available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more

Listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible, or switch easily between reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice

Enjoy best sellers including the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and Flash Boys

The most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Life of Pi, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Start a free 30-day trial today

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul. 18, 2014– (NASDAQ:AMZN)–Amazon.com today introduced Kindle Unlimited–a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month. Finding a great book is easy, and there are never any due dates–just look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on eligible titles and click “Read for Free.” Customers can choose from best sellers like The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Lord of the Rings, and with thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Water for Elephants, the story can continue in the car or on the go. Kindle Unlimited subscribers also get the additional benefit of a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to the full selection of Audible titles. Kindle Unlimited is available starting today and is accessible from Kindle devices or with Amazon’s free Kindle reading apps. Start your free 30-day trial today at www.amazon.com/ku-freetrial.

“With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre–you can just start reading and listening,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Kindle. “In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy. We hope you take advantage of the 30-day free trial and try it for yourself.”

Kindle Unlimited features include:

  • Unlimited reading: Access over 600,000 books including best sellers like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Water for Elephants, Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, All the King’s Men, Wonder Boys, Ask for It, The Princess Bride, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, The Atlantis Gene, Kitchen Confidential, The Sisterhood, Crazy Little Thing, The Blind Side, and The Giver, plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cat’s Cradle, and The Good Earth, as well as books featuring beloved children’s characters from Sesame Street, and useful reference titles including books from the For Dummies series and Lonely Planet travel guides.
  • Unlimited listening: Keep the story going with unlimited access to more than 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, and switch seamlessly between reading and listening to customer favorites like the Hunger Games trilogy, Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Great Santini, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Winter’s Tale, Boardwalk Empire, El Narco, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies, Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, The Finisher, Johnny Carson, The Stranger I Married, and Life Code.
  • Kindle exclusives: Choose from hundreds of thousands of books only found on Kindle, including Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, The Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver Pötzsch, War Brides by Helen Bryan, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct and Matthew Hope books, When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath, Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons, and Sick by Brett Battles.
  • Short Reads: For a quick escape, select from thousands of books that are 100 pages or less, including Kindle Singles from Stephen King, Andy Borowitz, and Nelson DeMille, and short fiction from Amazon Publishing’s StoryFront imprint.
  • Free three-month Audible membership: In addition to the thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible included in Kindle Unlimited, subscribers get a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to more than 150,000 titles.
  • Popular Kindle features: Enjoy all the great Kindle features customers love such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, X-Ray, customer reviews, and Goodreads integration.
  • Read and listen everywhere: Access across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8–so you always have your library with you and never lose your place.

For more details on Kindle Unlimited, visit www.amazon.com/kindleunlimited.

About Amazon.com

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

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16. Spotlight and Giveaway: Happy Pants Café by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

 
Three Winners will receive
EIGHT Signed Paperbacks Each!
HAPPY PANTS CAFÉ, FATE BOOK,
ACCIDENTALLY YOURS Books 1-4,
BAD TASTE IN MEN by Kylie Gilmore and
LOVE BY DESIGN by Elizabeth James



 
 
 
 
Do YOU Believe in the Pants?

Each summer, thousands secretly flock to a tiny yet charming hole-in-the-wall known as The Happy Pants Café.  And what are they searching for?  It’s not coffee.  And it’s not pants. It’s true love, and they find it!

So what’s with the quirky name and what, exactly, is the café’s big secret? Harper Branton, a columnist for the San Francisco Tribune, who’d sooner believe in unicorns than in true love, is about to find out.  And it’s the perfect story to save her train wreck of a career.

Too bad she’s got competition. He’s sexy, he’s arrogant, and he thinks she’s crazy.(Perhaps a little dangerous, too.) What kind of person doesn’t believe in love? And this coming from a dude!

When these two rivals go head to head, it’s more like a WWF smackdown. A shared history binds them in wonderful, terrible ways quickly making their duel about more than just a news story. Will they tear each other apart for the win or end up as two new satisfied Happy Pants customers?

 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
When San Francisco native, Mimi Jean, went on an adventure as an exchange student to Mexico City, she never imagined the journey would lead to writing Romance. But one Mexican MBA, one sexy Mexican husband, and two rowdy kids later, Mimi would trade in corporate life for vampires, deities, and snarky humor.    She continues to hope that her books will inspire a leather pants comeback (for men) and that she might make you laugh when you need it most.   She also enjoys interacting with her fans (especially if they’re batshit crazy). You can always find her chatting away on Facebook, Twitter, or saying many naughty words on her show MAN CANDY on Radioslot.com 


 
 
 
 

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17. Spotlight and Giveaway: Ignite July Releases


Set fire to your passions with heart stopping suspense, adventure, and intrigue from Ignite. Each Ignite title features to-die-for heroes and kick-butt heroines on an emotional roller coaster ride toward love. With new books and new passions exploding every month, every Ignite novel is one you can’t put down until the last page is turned. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Ignite’s July Releases!!



Alive at 5 by Linda Bond

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


When Samantha’s mentor dies while skydiving, she suspects he was murdered. Her investigative instincts lead her to irresistibly gorgeous Zack Hunter. An undercover police officer, Zack is investigating his uncle’s diving death with the same adventure vacation company. He doesn’t want Samantha’s help because he’s terrified of being responsible for a partner again. Still, Samantha’s persistence is quite a turn-on, and he finds it harder and harder to stay away from her. But when the killer turns his attention to Zack, Samantha could be the only one who can save him.



Down Among the Dead Men by Claire Baxter

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Determined to find her estranged father, Caitlyn ventures into the rough, tough world of the South Australian opal fields. Instead of finding her father, she discovers a half-sister she knew nothing about and learns that her dad is a wanted man. Dale, a former city lawyer-turned-lapidary, is hiding out in Minagoona to protect his daughter. Caitlyn convinces Dale to work with her to clear her father’s name. No matter what, he’ll do his damnedest to keep her safe—even if it means exposing himself and his daughter to the men who want to kill them…




 

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18. Review: Her Cowboy Hero by Tanya Michaels

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I have been having a hard time finishing a book for the last week or so.  Nothing has been holding my interest, and when that happens, I usually pick up a Harlequin to help me over my reading hurdle.  There’s just something about the formula and the guaranteed HEA that I, and many, many others, find appealing.  I picked up Her Cowboy Hero because it has, you guessed it, a cowboy!  Yeah, I can be pretty shallow.

Her Cowboy Hero is a very touching story about loss, acceptance, and finally moving forward instead of avoiding the future  and wallowing in the past.  Colin is still suffering from the tragic accident that took his wife and young son from him, and instead of trying to deal with his pain, he runs away from his memories.  Traveling from one short-term ranch job to another, he has given up his house, his vet practice, and even his siblings.  He never wants to be hurt again, so instead of caring about the people he still has left in his life, he turns his back on them, ignoring their gestures of comfort.  When he runs into Widow Shaw and her broken down truck, she’s the last person he thinks he needs in his life.  The young widow is beautiful, perpetually perky, and so not what he wants right now.  Maybe not, but he sure does need Hannah and her bright dreams for the future.

Hannah is struggling with grief, too.  Her husband was killed overseas, serving the country, and her mother-in-law, the only family she had left, passed away soon after.  Neither survived to see the birth of her son, Evan.  Having  been bounced around from one foster home to another when she was growing up, Hannah is determined to provide a loving, stable home for Evan, even if she has to do it on her own.  With a dream of fixing up the ranch that has been in husband’s family, and turning it into a B&B, she always puts her best foot forward.  Money’s tight and financing is a challenge, but she knows that everything will work out in the end.   Deciding long ago that she could either dwell on all of the unhappiness in her life or find the bright side to any situation, she is the ultimate glass is half-full kind of girl.  Colin, on the other hand, is a cheerless, grumpy cowboy, and he needs to lighten up.  A lot.  Good thing he ran into Hannah.

There were times during the first half of the book that I had tears in my eyes.  I loved how the relationships developed between Hannah and Colin, and Colin and Evan.  Colin has avoided children since the death of his son, and he feels panicky whenever Evan is around.  If he sees him coming, Colin turns and practically runs in the other direction.  When Evan tries to slide head first down the banister, Colin saves him from hurting himself, changing their relationship.

“Mr Colin?”  Evan’s voice was hesitant, but close.

Colin jerked his head up, realizing Evan had partially emerged from his sanctuary.

“Are you gonna cry?”

“What?” Surprised by the question, Colin raised a hand to his eyes, realizing his vision was beginning to blur.  Dammit.  He looked back at the curious little boy, but for a moment, he didn’t see Evan Shaw. He saw Danny’s face, Danny laughingly demanding to be swung high in the air.  Danny, solemn as he nodded his understanding that the oven was hot and that he needed to stay back.  Danny worn out after a Christmas carnival, asleep on his stomach with his little butt curved up in the air.

That now familiar suffocating sensation crowded Colin’s chest.  He shot to his feet, wanting to put as much space as possible between himself and this room filled with all the bright adventure of childhood.

I loved that scene between Colin and Evan.  It marks the point in Colin’s road where he is able to look at Evan and see beyond his grief.  He agrees to keep a secret for Evan, something he is reluctant to do, because he fears the bond it will forge between them, and the pain it might bring him.  It does change their relationship, allowing Colin to finally realize that, while he’s still heartbroken over the loss of his family, closing himself off from others is just as painful.

This conversation between Colin and his younger brother is another of my favorite scenes.  Colin has never seen comfortable discussing his feelings, but he discovers the value in doing just that, despite how awkward it makes him feel.  He also begins to acknowledge that he hasn’t done himself any favors by walking away from his family and friends.

“It’s like I’ve had a splinter in my heart,” he said haltingly.  “It got worse and worse and worse for two years, infected probably.  And Hannah somehow drew it to the surface.  She has this way of getting me to talk-about the accident, about random stuff like picking out nursery furniture before Danny was born.  She’s not only extracting the memories but the pain.”

Her Cowboy Hero is a sweet and touching journey from the grip of grief and despair, to the courage of self-forgiveness and the power of a second chance at love, because everyone deserves happiness-even a cranky cowboy.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

He’s Just The Hired Help… 

What kind of cockeyed Pollyanna is Colin Cade working for? Her porch is rotting, her “guest cabin” is cheerless and her land and livestock have only a geriatric cowboy to care for them. Yet Hannah Shaw is positive she can turn her ranch into a successful B and B—and that Colin’s the man to make it happen. 

But Colin can’t stick around. He lives with the loss of his family by avoiding the memories, and the way he feels around Hannah and her young son is like a knife to the heart. Trouble is, he’s better at ignoring his own pain than someone else’s, and bright, cheerful Hannah has a heart as haunted as his own. She deserves to be happy—but could she really be with him?

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19. Manga Review: Stepping on Roses Vol 9 (Final) by Rinko Ueda

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Now that I have a nifty second-hand treadmill, I find myself reading more digital manga.  It’s just so easy to march along on the track, flipping pages every few seconds.  The workouts go by much faster, I’m getting caught up on some of the series I’ve been neglecting, and I’m getting healthier while I’m multi-tasking.  Who could ask for more?

Stepping on Roses has been my manga crack for a while, but the final volume has been moldering on my iPad for far too long.  I booted it up, clicked Start on the treadmill, and had the most entertaining 20 minutes in a while.  All of my gasping, eeewwwws, and ahhhhhs kept Poppy pretty entertained, too.  Every time something unexpected happened in the story, I couldn’t help but  make some weird sound, which kept disturbing her as she snoozed on the sofa.  Bumble couldn’t have cared less, but I don’t think Poppy enjoyed the last volume quite so much.

Sumi has been fending off Nozomu, telling him that they can’t be married until he’s legally divorced from Miu (I mean DUH!).  Soichiro is performing manual labor in his efforts to work his way back up the ladder so he can take back control of the family business again.  His luck is finally starting to take a turn for the better when he helps a foreign businessman by translating for him when he can’t make himself understood in a business negotiation.  With a new job interpreting for the foreigner, Soichiro and Sumi are pleasantly surprised that they are able to see each other again when Nozomu has business dealings with the man.  Nozomu, not so happy.  In fact, evil Nozomu makes a reappearance, and he tries, yet again, to force himself on Sumi.  You’d think this guy would learn, but no.  Instead, he chases Sumi away, straight into Soichiro’s waiting arms.

While I was happy that Sumi and Soichiro were finally able to be together for a passionate interlude, I wasn’t quite so happy with how rushed the story felt shortly after.  In a fit of jealousy, Nozomu confines Sumi to his house, and arranges to have their wedding in just two weeks.  That’s when things got really weird.  A trip to visit Nozomu’s father yields very unwelcome news for Nozomu, which would have made his marriage to Sumi socially unacceptable. (I’m trying not to spoil this!)  He disregards the revelation, determined to finally make Sumi his.  Ugh and eek!  Soichiro zooms in at the last second to save her, and Nozomu, from this disastrous union, and tra-la-la!  The story’s OVER!

While I was disappointed with the last two raced through chapters, overall, I loved Stepping on Roses.  It is a soap opera at it’s best, with one misfortune after another befalling the sweet, likeable Sumi.  The melodrama has been epic, and I have enjoyed both loving and hating on the characters, especially Nozomu and Eisuke.  Soichiro finally got a clue, but he almost got it too late to save his relationship with Sumi, and considering how messed up that was at the beginning, it’s a wonder that everyone managed to score a happily ever after, and I do mean everyone.  That at least was fun, but the big reveal of Sumi’s real family?  Not so much. 

Grade:  B/B-

B+ for series overall

From Amazon:

Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi’s financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition: he’ll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi fool high society into thinking she’s a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth giving up everything for this sham of a marriage?

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20. Review: Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Going Down in Flames is a very fun book.  It features a tried and true premise;  the big family secret.   Bryn’s parents have been keeping a big secret from her, and when she learns that she’s a dragon, she is less than pleased with them.  Her parents have fled from the dragon community because they were forbidden to be together, and Bryn, the offspring of a blue and red dragon, should never have been born.  The governing body of the dragons, the Directorate, has carefully kept the dragon clans segregated, and they are not happy with Bryn’s parents, or about Bryn.  Not at all!  Yet they force her, on her 16th birthday, to move into the boarding school where young dragons are taught to control their powers.  Poor Bryn! The only crossbred, she’s met with suspicion and hatred.  I wouldn’t have been too happy with my parents, either!

The blue dragons hate her, the red dragons think she’s a freak of nature, and only the green dragons, known for their intelligence and curiosity, allow her to move into their dorm house.  If she will allow them to study her, that is.  With no real choice, Bryn reluctantly agrees.  Refusing to attend school will have ruinous results for her parents, so for their sake, she packs her things and heads off to dragon school.  The head of the Directorate, the man her mother ditched for her father, is still smarting from the blow to his pride, and he doesn’t hesitate to take some of that rage out on Bryn.  Soon, attempts are being made on her life, and Bryn has to figure out who is behind them, before they succeed.  And she has to try to fit into the very unwelcoming dragon community, where the Directorate has the last say on everything, from career choice to marriage petitions. 

I usually find stories set in magical boarding schools tedious.  I mean, after Harry Potter, everything else seems redundant.  Going Down in Flames worked for me, though, because I liked Bryn so much.  She’s a strong character who doesn’t put up with any crap, and she fights for what she believes in, regardless of the grief she knows will result.  I’m not so sure I agree with her taste in possible boyfriends, though, especially when that guy is promised to another dragon. 

I found Going Down in Flames a fast, fun read.  There’s humor, action, and a little romance.  Best of all, there are characters that I loved and characters that I wanted to strangle, which made the book very difficult to put down.

Grade:  A-/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Directorate’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

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21. Spotlight and Giveaway: Enemies on Tap by Avery Flynn

 
Enter to Win
“I Love to Read” Ring, Beer Lovers Coasters
& $50 Amazon GC

 
 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Enemies-Salvation-Brewery-Entangled-Indulgence-ebook/dp/B00L73NIWQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403719325&sr=8-1&keywords=enemies+on+tap

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/enemies-on-tap-avery-flynn/1119856171?ean=9781622667604

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/enemies-on-tap-sweet-salvation/id892233315?mt=11)

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/enemies-on-tap-a-sweet-salvation-brewery-novel

 
Brewing up trouble one pint at a time.

Enemies
What’s a girl to do when the only person who can help her is the man who betrayed her? After years away, Miranda returns to Salvation, Virginia to save her family’s brewery, but her fate is in the hands of her first lover turned enemy, Logan Martin.

Lovers
Logan, Salvation’s de facto prince, can’t believe his luck when the woman who smashed his heart to smithereens walks into his bank asking for his help. What she doesn’t know is he needs the land her brewery is on. When she tempts him with a bet—if she wins, he gives her the loan; if he wins, she forfeits the land—he knows it’s a sure thing.

An Irresistible Combination
But soon it’s a battle between their attraction for each other and their determination to win, and it’s in each other’s arms that they realize there might be more at stake now than the bet. With the town dead set against the Sweet Salvation Brewery’s success, Logan has to choose between what’s expected of him and what he really wants—even if helping Miranda means she’ll run out of his life once again.
 
 
 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

 
Website  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Facebook page |   Facebook  
 
 
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22. Book Blast: Warrior by Kasi Blake


 

BOOK BLAST: WARRIOR

Official Release Date: 7/13/14
This is the third book in the Order of the Spirit Realm Series.  If you haven’t read them, start with BAIT.  It is free at most online ebook vendors such as Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.



This book begins two years after HUNTER ended.  Bay-Lee is fighting a Devil Tree while her mentor and boyfriend, Nick Gallos, watches from the sidelines.  Things are tense between them.  She wants to amp up their relationship, but Nick has put on the brakes.  He’s got one foot out the door, and she doesn’t know what to do about it.

WARRIOR brings about closure and change, some good and some bad.  Together, Nick and Bay-Lee will take on the werewolf pack that killed her mother, face their twisted pasts, and face a friend turned enemy.

Quotes from WARRIOR:

Bay-Lee: You never told me I wasn’t supposed to kill it.  You told me I couldn’t kill it.
Nick: I should have known you’d take that as a challenge.

Keisha: Oh, don’t play Miss Innocent with me, girl.  It was your idea for me to trade places with Nick’s banshee, but you’ve been wearing a pouty face ever since.
Bay-Lee: I don’t have a pouty face.
Keisha:  Sure you don’t.

Bay-Lee (after knocking Keisha down):  You hit on my boyfriend, so I thought I should hit on you.

Little girl:  There’s a monster in my closet.

He added, “Reapers aren’t supposed to care.They don’t have compassion or love inside of them.”
“But you’re still human.”
“Because of you!”  It sounded like an accusation instead of gratitude.  “I haven’t lost my humanity because I still have you.  His facial muscles tightened.  “I can’t keep living like this.”
Nick threw the talisman down and stormed off, heading for the castle.
She scooped the talisman off the ground.  It was precious, even if it was malfunctioning.  Without it Nick wouldn’t be able to stay with her.  She ran until she caught up with him.  Slipping it into his hand, she begged him to keep using it.  “At least until we find something else.  Please.”
The purple half-circles beneath his eyes attested to his lack of sleep and made her want to cry.  She cringed when he slipped the thing around his neck.  Asking him to live like this was horrible, but she couldn’t let him go, not yet.

Warrior at Amazon
Warrior at B&N
Warrior at Smashwords









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23. Guest Post and Spotlight: One Night in Buenos Aires and A Lesson in Temptation

Please welcome special guest Audra North to the virtual offices! Audra dropped by to share five things you will never find in Adam’s bathroom. 

Top 5 things you will never find in Adam’s bathroom by Audra North

Oh, I love this topic!

Well, Adam is kind of an uptight guy, but he is also really focused on his work. That means that he doesn’t take the time to shave with a regular razor. Only an electric one. So you’d never find a Gillette eight-blade disposable in his bathroom. Too bad. Maybe Julie, the heroine, can convince him to slow down someday and get a close, smooth shave…

Adam is a finance professor and is pretty frugal, too. Money, or the lack thereof, has been a big influencer in his life, so he tends to buy generic brand products and things that are on sale. You’ll never find salon shampoos or expensive lotions and toners in his bathroom.

He’s not just efficient with money, though. He also believes that no person needs more than one towel. He has a single bath towel and that’s it. You won’t see washcloths or hand towels in his bathroom.

You also won’t see any pictures. He thinks they’re a waste of time. Since he doesn’t spend much time in the bathroom, he doesn’t see a point to decorating it. That will probably change when Julie moves in someday, but for now, his bathroom is a pretty barren place.

Since he works so hard, he doesn’t have a lot of time to clean, which is why he has a cleaning service come once a week. They do a great job. It’s because of them that you’ll never find any mildew in his bathroom, either!

A Lesson in Temptation by Audra North:

Adam Harkness pulled himself out of poverty to become one of the world’s most respected Finance professors, but at the cost of his personal life. When a well-meaning friend gifts him with a dance course, Adam decides to attend one class out of courtesy, but no more than that. He has work to do, after all – or at least, that’s what he tells himself.

After being bullied in high school, Julie Stanton took refuge in her studies. But now that her hard work has paid off and Julie has found success in her job, it’s time to focus on finding the same happiness in the rest of her life.

When Adam walks into the same tango class that Julie signed up for, she recognizes him immediately as the professor whom she had a crush on in college. Both Adam and Julie have proven themselves to be excellent scholars. But when the attraction between them turns into something more, will they be able to open their hearts and learn a new lesson – how to love.

Buy Links: Goodreads: Amazon: Barnes & Noble: Entangled

A Lesson in Temptation Excerpt:

Julie turned and looked at Adam. He was still wearing that little smile, but he hadn’t relaxed at all.

“Everyone, spread out into a circle,” Ivana called, gesturing with her arms around her body. “Spread, spread,

spread!”

Next to her, Adam groaned quietly. “Not only is this a dance class, it‘s a cheerful dance class.”

She grinned in response. “I assume this is the first time you’ve taken dance?”

He looked confused for a second, as though he hadn’t realized he said that out loud, then shrugged. “This kind of thing isn’t really my cup of tea.”

True. A dance class was the last place she would have expected to see him. Maybe he was trying the same thing she was—to get out a little more and remind himself what life was really about. He’d been a workaholic even when she was in college, after all. But before she could ask him why he was here, the instructor clapped her hands again. “Now, gentlemen! Turn to your right and face the lady closest to you. Ladies, turn to your left and face the gentleman closest to you.”

Their eyes met and held, and for a moment, everything else fell away as she and Adam looked at each other. It was like the past few years hadn’t even happened. That same intense attraction she’d always had toward him was still there, pulling her forward. It was too much, all of a sudden, and she had to look away before she did something stupid, like throw her arms around his neck and try to kiss him. No way was she going to get into a situation where she’d only be rejected again. This class was supposed to be fun. Maybe once it started, she could politely excuse herself and go flirt with Trent again.

At that moment, Ivana announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, the person you are now facing will be your primary partner for the next six weeks.”

One Night in Buenos Aires by Amanda K. Byrne:

As a reward for a hard-won contract, best friends Drea and Joe head to Buenos Aires for sun, wine, and the tango. But their week of relaxation is off to an ominous start when a reservation mix-up leaves them with only one option: one room…and one bed.

Exhausted from travel, the two friends figure it won’t be a big deal to share a bed for one night—right up until they wake wrapped around each other and seconds away from, well, you know.

When the two decide to follow through on their impulse, they protect their friendship by agreeing that when the vacation’s over, the fling’s over. While Drea’s convinced it’s nothing more than a mutual itch, Joe discovers Drea might be everything he’s ever wanted. Now all he has to do is convince her that what happens in Buenos Aires doesn’t always have to stay in Buenos Aires.

Excerpt

“There’s a show? Cool.” He studied the runway.

“Um, yeah,” she hedged.

Before she could say another word, the same small man she’d spent most of the afternoon chatting with over glasses of wine swooped in. “Baby, you came!” Two air kisses, one beside each cheek. “And this?” He stroked Joe’s arm suggestively. “You brought me this tasty piece of man meat? Yum!”

She burst out laughing at Joe’s expression. Comical horror slid into stoic as he allowed the man to fawn all over him. The fact her new friend had a face full of makeup made it even better.

Her giggles continued while Joe glared at her, mouth pinched as he fought off a smile. He leaned forward until their noses bumped. “Careful. Or you’re gonna get it.” He flicked his tongue out and swiped her chin, and she squealed.

She plucked up her napkin and wiped her chin. “How mature.” She relaxed a fraction more. Her body might be reacting in new and scary ways to his touch, but he was Joe. Still prone to moments of juvenilism. Still making her laugh.

He put his hand on her thigh, fingers playing with the hem of her dress while they skimmed the menus. Anxiety and desire took up swords in her stomach and started battling. Higher. Off. Don’t stop. Do. She placed a hand over his, curled her fingers around it, and shifted it higher, under her dress.

His long, slim fingers flexed hard on her thigh. He lowered his menu, the question clear in his eyes. It was a fine edge she was walking. One nudge and they’d tumble over into a swirling mass of lust and heat and frenetic energy. He’d promised her, though. Promised no matter what happened between them they’d hold on to their friendship. Above all, she trusted him.

So she nodded, and his hand slid up, stroking the sensitized flesh.

Buy Links: Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Entangled

Audra North’s Bio: Audra North fell in love with romance at age thirteen and spent the next twenty years reading as many romance novels as she could. Even now, after having read over one thousand of them, Audra still can’t resist the lure of a happily ever after, and her collection continues to grow. She lives near Boston with her husband, three young children, and a lot of books. Visit her website at audranorth.com or find her (way too frequently) on Twitter

Website: Blog: Twitter: Facebook: Goodreads: Newsletter

Amanda K. Byrne’s Bio: When she’s not plotting ways to sneak her latest shoe purchase past her partner, Amanda writes sexy, snarky romance and urban fantasy. She likes her heroines smart and unafraid to make mistakes, and her heroes strong enough to take them on.

If she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking hot chocolate, and trying not to destroy her house with her newest DIY project. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and no, it really doesn’t rain that much.

Website: Twitter: Facebook: Goodreads

Entangled Select:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EntangledSelect

Twitter: @EntangledSelect Steals and Deals

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24. Novella Review: Peanut Goes To School by Thea Harrison

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I requested Peanut Goes to School because it sounded cute.  Super strong paranormal kid heads off for his first day of school.  I haven’t read any of the Elder Races books (I keep calling them Elder Scrolls because that is one of my favorite video game franchises – sorry!), but that did not deter my enjoyment of this fun novella.  Even though he take down a pack of lions, Liam struggles in a social setting with classmates and unfamiliar adults, and I could not put this down.

Told mainly through Liam’s POV, this six-month-old prodigy is the son of Pia and Dragos.  He’s already the size of a large five-year-old, and he is a power to be reckoned with.  He can read and comprehend books in mere minutes (an ability that gets him into some trouble later on, and one that I wish I possessed), has an insatiable curiosity, and has fears just like any normal kid.  When he overhears his parents talking about him, he begins to wonder if he’s “bad.”  The conversation was taken completely out of context, but being a young boy testing his cloaking powers, he kind of deserved to be a bit unbalanced during his eavesdropping episode.  Wondering what they could mean, he loses his usually healthy appetite and gives himself a stomachache from the stress.  Adding to his discomfort, he’s about to head off to his first day of school, where he worries whether or not he’ll fit in and make any friends.

I loved Liam’s voice.  While he is smart and super powerful, he is like a fish out of water in school.  He has no idea how to relate to his schoolmates, and even recess is a puzzle for him.  He doesn’t understand why he has incurred his teacher’s wrath, and he’s already made enemies while defending a human kid from bullies.  Oh, his troubles seem to never end!  But so then does his wonder and joy at this confusing new experience.  He’s determined to figure things out on his own and not rely on his adult caretakers for cues on how to react to conflict.  There’s even a Dark Fae girl who catches his eye.

If you are looking for a short, endearing read, look no further.  While I thought the resolution with the teacher was wrapped up too abruptly, and brought up issues from out of nowhere, the rest of the story clicked merrily along.  While this was my first foray into the Elder Races, it will not be my last.

Grade:   B/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

This is a short story (15,100 words or 55 pages) intended for readers of the Elder Races who enjoy Liam Cuelebre, aka Peanut, as a character.

Dragos Cuelebre is no longer the only dragon.

Dragos’s son Liam Cuelebre (a.k.a. Peanut) is springing into existence, reminiscent of the first of the Elder Races who were born at the beginning of the world. At just six months of age, he has already grown to the size of a large five-year-old boy. He can read, write in complete sentences, and his math skills are off the chart.

A white dragon in his Wyr form, Liam also holds more Power than almost anyone else. In an effort to give him a taste of normality, no matter how fleeting, his parents Pia and Dragos enroll him in first grade.

They hope school will help teach Liam how to relate to others, a vital skill that will help him control his growing Power. But school has a surprising number of pitfalls, and relating to others can be a tricky business.

When a classmate is threatened, Liam must quickly learn self-control, how to rein in his instincts, and govern his temper, because there’s no doubt about it—he is fast becoming one of the most dangerous creatures in all of the Elder Races.

PEANUT GOES TO SCHOOL is part of a three-story series about Pia, Dragos, and Peanut. Each story stands alone, but fans might want to read all three: DRAGOS TAKES A HOLIDAY, PIA SAVES THE DAY, and PEANUT GOES TO SCHOOL.

The post Novella Review: Peanut Goes To School by Thea Harrison appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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25. Spotlight and Giveaway: July Select Releases


Whether you’re looking for a romance that makes you laugh, makes you ‘walk the plank’, keeps you guessing, or stars your favorite paranormal, look no further. Select books have the single-title stories you crave, and the longer length you need to really get ‘lost’ in a great book. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.


Today I’m happy to be featuring Select’s July’s releases:



A Lesson in Temptation by Audra North

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


Adam Harkness pulled himself out of poverty to become one of the world’s most respected finance professors, but his personal life is non-existent. When he gets roped into a dance class, of all things, he doesn’t expect it to change his life. Julie Stanton’s hard work has paid off with her career, but finding the same happiness in the rest of her life is a challenge. When her former professor, the one she had a crush on in college, shows up at the same dance class, their tango becomes more than a dance; it becomes a lesson in how to love.




One Night in Buenos Aires by Amanda K Byrne

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


When best friends Drea and Joe head to Buenos Aires, a mix-up leaves them in one room…and in one bed. The two friends figure it won’t be a big deal to share a bed for one night—right up until they wake wrapped around each other. They protect their friendship by agreeing that when the vacation’s over, the fling’s over. But Joe discovers Drea might be everything he’s ever wanted. Now all he has to do is convince her that what happens in Buenos Aires doesn’t always have to stay in Buenos Aires.


Find Out More!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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