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1. Interview with Gayle Callen, Author of Redemption of the Duke

And, to bring our Two Dukes and a Scandal day to an end, Gayle Callen is here to answer a few questions about her release Redemption of the Duke. 

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

[Gayle Callen] Wife, mom, author, dog-obsessed, skating-fan (okay, that last hyphen was incorrect…)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Gayle Callen] REDEMPTION OF THE DUKE is the third book of my “Brides of Redemption” trilogy—but you don’t need to read the books in any order. All you need to know is that, in the past, something went wrong for three soldiers at war, and when they return to England, they want to help the families of their fellow soldiers who died. The tag line for the newest book is “A duke who needs to be tamed; a lady who refuses to be rescued.” Adam is determined to help Faith, who had to go into service as a lady’s companion when her brother died. She doesn’t want to be beholden to another man again, but he doesn’t give her a choice, and manipulates each situation to his benefit. He thinks he’s been redeemed, but she’s going to show him otherwise.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Gayle Callen] After writing the “Scandalous Lady” trilogy about three women, I wanted to focus on the men. I wanted them to be as close as brothers—and what makes them that way more than serving together in the army? And I liked the idea of them coming home determined to make up for the mistakes of their past. To build each story differently, the heroines were connected to the dead soldiers three separate ways: one was a widow, one was a sister, one was a daughter. Because of that, our heroes had to approach them differently.

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

[Gayle Callen] The brainstorming. I have two critique groups made up of longtime friends who are fellow writers, and we bounce ideas off each other in person or by email. Sometimes the plotting takes weeks to figure it out, but they’re always there to answer questions or come up with more solutions. And boy do we laugh together. ;)

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

[Gayle Callen] In some ways, setting the identical back story for all three heroes—that they feel guilty for mistakes in their past that ended tragically—made me pay special attention to creating the heroes themselves. They had similar goals, so by the time I hit the third book, it really forced me to dig deep and find new and interesting motivations that guided my hero.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Gayle Callen] “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” Old-fashioned but so true! I try to be positive all the time, because doubts aren’t good for writing or for life. ;)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Gayle Callen] A lot of people probably say this, but it’s my cell phone. I like to be able to call my husband and kids, to find a map of where I’m going, to search for something, to look at all my lists. And I make a lot of lists…

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

[Gayle Callen] Index cards for plotting; different colored markers to color the corners of those cards so I know if they pertain to the hero, the heroine, the romance, the main plot, etc.; and a big glass of ice water.

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

[Gayle Callen] I’d love to be J.K. Rowling for a day, just to see how her brain works. The world of Harry Potter is so brilliantly created. I’m rereading the series for the third time now, and I keep finding new things to be amazed at.

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

[Gayle Callen] I just finished reading Simply Perfect, by the great Mary Balogh. Now I have to go read the others in the “Simply” series. Also, as I mentioned above, I’m rereading Harry Potter, and just finished The Half Blood Prince. Can’t wait to dive into the final book again!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Gayle Callen] I really enjoy being outside, hiking or snowshoeing with my husband and our two dogs, Apollo and Uma. I love to travel, although I don’t get to do it nearly as often as I’d like. My daughter did a semester abroad in London last fall, and I was able to visit her and tour the country for a week. Such great research—and fun, too. I also like to sing, read, watch TV, and crochet, but not at the same time. ;)

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

[Gayle Callen] Website: http://www.GayleCallen.com
Newsletter (sent when I have a book coming out): http://tinyurl.com/pfchxk3
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GayleCallen
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GayleCallen

Thanks so much for the great interview!

Blurb (Redemption of the Duke by Gayle Callen)

USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen concludes her new series with a tale of generosity, passion, and the true kindness of the heart.
A duke who needs to be tamed…a lady who refuses to be rescued.
Adam Chamberlin was the third son of a duke, known for gambling binges and drunken nights. No one expected anything of him …until tragedy strikes. Now Adam is the new Duke of Rothford, determined to right the wrongs he’s done. Except a secret in his past means helping the one woman who doesn’t want his help at all…
It’s not every day that a duke introduces himself to a woman sitting by herself in Hyde Park. Faith Cooper is even more surprised when Adam offers her a position as a lady’s companion to his elderly aunt. Faith refuses to be beholden to a man again-certainly not this man, who both infuriates and attracts her. But with the simmering passion between them, will Faith surrender to forbidden desire?

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Duke-Brides-Gayle-Callen-ebook/dp/B00FJ376TQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395632622&sr=1-1&keywords=redemption+of+the+duke

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/redemption-of-the-duke-gayle-callen/1116864944?ean=9780062267962

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/redemption-of-the-duke/id718592591?mt=11

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/03/now-booking-two-dukes-and-scandal-blog.html

After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than eighteen historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion and the Laurel Wreath Award.

Gayle lives in Central New York with her three children, her dog, Apollo, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero.

Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.

Excerpt -

(Setup: The duke wishes to employ Faith to help her, since he feels guilty about the death of her brother, a fellow soldier. But she’s refused.)

Faith gasped and put a hand to her chest, glancing up and down to see if they were alone before frowning at him.

And they were alone, more so than they’d been in the park or on Bond Street. They were dangerously alone.

“Can Miss Warburton work you any harder?” he asked softly.

She took a step backward. “Believe me, Your Grace, I would fetch a reticule for a sister or friend, why not Adelia? You make too much of how I help her.”

“I don’t think so. I saw your bare hands at dinner.”

She clutched them together, though they were now hidden under gloves. “You could not have—we were too far apart.”

“Not that far. You are embarrassed about their roughness, embarrassed about what you do.”

“I may not like the look of my hands,” she insisted, “but I am not embarrassed by respectable employment.”

“I’ve offered you better employment.”

“And I’ve refused.”

He took a step closer. “I could push the matter.”

She groaned and wished she could childishly stomp her foot. “And I will still refuse. I cannot make you feel better about yourself.”

“That is not the point—I can make your life better.”

She stared up at him in confusion, wondering how long it would be before he’d take her at her word. And then she realized she was standing too close, that he was leaning over her to make his point, that if anyone saw them—

And worst of all, she was actually flattered by his persistence.

Giveaway (Three Gift Packs from Avon Romance including a Piece of Custom Jewelry and Copies of Release from All Three Authors)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Gayle Callen, Author of Redemption of the Duke appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Interview with Caroline Linden, Author of It Takes a Scandal

Continuing with the Two Dukes and a Scandal book tour, please enjoy this interview with Caroline Linden!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Caroline! Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Caroline Linden]  IT TAKES A SCANDAL is about a girl who seems to have everything, and a guy who seems to have nothing. Abigail is a beautiful young woman with a loving and very wealthy family. Sebastian, on the other hand, is virtually bankrupt because his father went mad and frittered away the family estate, then disappeared—leaving Sebastian to be suspected of murdering him. Even though Sebastian is star-struck by Abigail at first sight, he’s quite sure she’s never going to give him the time of day. But Abigail doesn’t see him as everyone else does; Sebastian treats her like a real person instead of a nouveau riche social climber, and he intrigues her. Unfortunately, her parents have other plans for her…

 

There’s a bonus offer for IT TAKES A SCANDAL as well. Everyone who submits proof of purchase by 5/6 will receive three issues of 50 Ways to Sin, a scandalously naughty story Abigail reads. It was also featured in LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS, the first book in this series. Details here: http://avonromance.hc.com/takesascandal

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Caroline Linden] My original plan was to write a love triangle, with two men who grew up as brothers falling in love with the same woman. But then the hero, Sebastian, just turned out differently. He wasn’t charming and chipper, he was brooding and somewhat reclusive. The heroine, Abigail, was in my previous book so I already knew her; she’s sensible and sensitive, with a strong sense of loyalty and justice as well as an independent streak. In a way, the book wrote itself by the way the two characters interacted.

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

[Caroline Linden] The hero, Sebastian. I have a real soft spot for heroes who aren’t Lords of All They Survey, who are suffering a bit of hard luck. They have to work harder to prove themselves, both to believe they deserve happiness with the heroine and often to earn her respect and approval (and in this book’s case, her parents’ approval).

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

[Caroline Linden]  The other man! I had a terrible time figuring out Benedict: was he a good guy, honestly in love and destined for a cruel heartbreak? Or was he not so pure of heart or motive? It took me a while to sort him out, because I knew I wanted him to stick around for another book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Caroline Linden] No idea! It would probably change from day to day. My kids know I’ve finished a book when they come home and hear my 90s hits playlist on the stereo. There might be dancing as well, which usually sends them running in horror.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Caroline Linden] My cell phone. I would be in serious trouble without it. (NB: my dog would like to add that the answer here really should be, “I won’t leave home without my dog,” because she loves to ride in the car. Doesn’t care where we go, either.)

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

[Caroline Linden] A book on web design (because I’m re-doing my website); a cat, trying to spread himself over my keyboard; and a mug of tea, which is in serious danger of getting swept off by the cat’s tail.

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

[Caroline Linden] Someone who is going on a two week long spa vacation in Aruba. It has been a terrible winter around here; I cannot wait to feel the sun on more than my forehead.

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

[Caroline Linden] I just finished Dorothy L. Sayers’s HAVE HIS CARCASE, which features Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. Harriet’s a mystery author who finds a dead body; Peter’s a detective who keeps asking her to marry him. Mystery + Romance = WIN. Plus, they solve the murder in part by asking themselves what Harriet’s detective character would do, which was just hilarious to this author.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Caroline Linden] Anything that doesn’t involve sitting at my desk. Baking cookies. Reading. Going out with my husband. Walking the dog. Sometimes sewing, when I let my daughter talk me into making her an elaborate Halloween costume.

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

[Caroline Linden] I’m on Facebook (AuthorCarolineLinden) and on Twitter (@Caro_Linden), and I have a website which is pretty up to date. I also answer every single email I get from readers, so please drop me a line!

About the book:

The second book in a deliciously sexy new series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book–Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era– has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.

Sometimes it takes a scandal . . .

Abigail Weston has everything: beauty, wit, and one of the largest dowries in England. Her parents hope she’ll wed an earl. Abigail hopes for a man who wants her desperately and passionately. But the money seems to blind every man she meets-except one.

Sebastian Vane has nothing. He came home from war with a shattered leg to find his father mad and his inheritance gone. He’s not a fit suitor for anyone, let alone an heiress. But Abigail lights up his world like a comet, bright and beautiful and able to see him instead of his ruined reputation. And it might end happily ever after . . .

To reveal your heart’s desire

Until Benedict Lennox begins courting Abigail. Ben is everything Sebastian isn’t-wealthy, charming, heir to an earl. Sebastian won’t give up the only girl he’s ever loved without a fight, but Abigail must choose between the penniless gentleman who moves her heart, and the suitor who is everything her parents want.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Takes-Scandal-Caroline-Linden-ebook/dp/B00FJ350FS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/it-takes-a-scandal-caroline-linden/1116864936?ean=9780062244901

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/it-takes-a-scandal/id718587203?mt=11

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at www.carolinelinden.com

Excerpt-

This time he stopped so suddenly, she ran into him. Instinctively she clutched at his shoulder, and his arm went around her waist to catch her. Abigail’s eyes grew wide as she stared up at him. His eyes were no longer hard and angry, but dark with raw longing. “As if I want you?” he asked, not making any effort to release her. “I do. I came into the woods today because I wanted to see you, even though I said I wouldn’t—even though I know I shouldn’t. I want you in every wicked way a man can want a woman. And if I had you, I could show you many, many more than fifty ways to sin.”

Her eyes had grown wide at his first words, but she froze in shock at the last bit. “What?” she squeaked.

“You know what I mean,” he murmured. His hand moved up her back, his fingers spread wide to hold her to him. “The pamphlet you bought in Mrs. Driscoll’s shop.”

“You read it?”

He nodded.

Abigail made a silent vow to murder her sister for this. She’d known it would land her in trouble somehow. “But—but—why did you buy it?” She really wished she could look away, but her wits—and her will—seemed to have gone missing.

“Because you bewitched me, and I wanted to know you, even if just what you read.” He wound a stray wisp of hair around his finger before smoothing it back from her temple. “Why did you buy it?”

Abigail’s heart was beating a tocsin against her breastbone. It was tempting to blame it on her sister, but she’d found that issue so arousing … “Curiosity,” she finally whispered.

Giveaway (Three Gift Packs from Avon Romance including a Piece of Custom Jewelry and Copies of Release from All Three Authors)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Caroline Linden, Author of It Takes a Scandal appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Interview with Laura Lee Guhrke, Author of How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days

Laura Lee Guhrke is here to kick off the Two Dukes and a Scandal blog tour!  Check back a little later for interviews with Caroline Linden and Gayle Callen, and be sure to enter the giveaway!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Laura Lee Guhrke] I am a rebellious, perfectionistic, history-obsessed, morning-adverse procrastinator.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Laura Lee Guhrke] When she met the Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he accepted her proposal of a marriage of convenience, the ruined American heiress became an English duchess. Five years later, with her husband living a separate life on a whole other continent, Edie couldn’t be happier with the bargain they made.

With Edie’s money, Stuart was able to pay his family’s debts, and happily agrees to her terms that he leave England forever. But a brush with death in the African bush makes him decide it’s time to settle down and make a real marriage with his American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But he soon discovers that to keep her, he has to win more than her kiss. He has to win her heart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Laura Lee Guhrke] HOW TO LOSE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS is the second book in my new series: AN AMERICAN HEIRESS IN LONDON. When Edie appeared as a secondary character in the first book of the series, WHEN THE MARQUESS MET HIS MATCH, I knew she had to have her own story. I also knew I wanted to write a marriage of convenience, and this character seemed to dovetail perfectly with that particular plot. I’d never written a marriage of convenience story before, but I was determined to present it in a fresh, new way, so instead of having the marriage of convenience begin in the present, Edie and Stuart’s wedding took place five years before their story opens. During that five years, they had lived completely separate lives. But then Stuart decides it’s time to change the status quo and have a real marriage, a decision that rocks the safe, secure world Edie has built for herself.

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

[Laura Lee Guhrke] I really loved these two characters! I try not to get too emotionally attached to my characters, because it can interfere with my ability to be true to the story. But Edie and Stuart really got under my skin, and I was cheering for them to work things out every step of the way.

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

[Laura Lee Guhrke] The ten-day time frame! There is some leeway at the beginning and end, but most of the story takes place in a ten day period. These are two wounded souls, with deep scars, and showing them falling in love over the course of only ten days meant every scene had to make a powerful impact. The sexual and emotional tension is very high in this book. It’s a bit deeper and a bit darker than my usual story, and much more intense.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Laura Lee Guhrke] I Will Survive. I’ve been a working published author for twenty years now, and about half that time writing has been my only source of income. It amazes me every day that I’m lucky enough to have this as my job and that my readers have supported me so loyally. My thanks to them for being such great fans.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Laura Lee Guhrke] My SleepPhones. I have a hard time sleeping when I travel, and these cushy headphones are great for shutting off noise. I play meditation music and relax my way into sleep. I love my SleepPhones!

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

[Laura Lee Guhrke] A funky set of toy blocks that spells: IMAGINE, an essay listing the Ten Commandments for a Happy Writer, and my awesome red stapler, like the one from Office Space. The stapler reminds me of why I chose to leave the corporate world. Oh, and both my cats are on my desk, Sushi and Saké. They are always on my desk, getting in my way, walking across my keyboard, demanding attention. It’s amazing I get any work done.

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

[Laura Lee Guhrke] That’s tough. I can’t imagine being anyone but me! And wanting to be a real person has risks, you know. There’s that saying: Be careful what you wish for. Anyone’s life can seem great from the outside, but inside, who knows? On the other hand, if I could be a fictional character, it’s easier to choose. I’d be Alice because I’ve always wanted to go to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Or, wait, maybe I’d be Lady Grantham because then I’d get breakfast in bed at Downton Abbey, servants to wait on me, and gorgeous dresses to wear as I walk around my beautiful English gardens. Hmm…I can’t decide. I told you that was a tough question!

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

[Laura Lee Guhrke] I just finished reading THE SECRET ROOMS, by Catherine Bailey, a non-fiction account of the 9th Duke of Rutland, who shut himself away in the servants’ quarters of his estate and spent his last days there. It’s a fascinating peek into early-mid 20th century English life. I also just read THE TYPEWRITER GIRL, by Alison Atlee, a wonderful debut novel set in Edwardian England, my favorite period!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Laura Lee Guhrke] I live in Idaho, and my husband and I have a mountain cabin, so in the winter, we spend a lot of time up there skiing. In the summer, we like to wakeboard on the lakes. I also spend a lot of time in my garden in the summer. We love to cook, and it’s great to use the herbs and vegetables from our own garden.

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

[Laura Lee Guhrke] By visiting my website, www.lauraleeguhrke.com, or my Facebook Author Page. Readers can try to reach me via Twitter, but that’s a bit more hit-and-miss. I’m still working on liking the whole Twitter thing.)

 

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days

From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience…and the chance for love to last a lifetime
They had a deal…
From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she’s delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.
But deals are made to be broken…
By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family’s enormous debts, and Edie’s terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it’s time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/How-Lose-Duke-Ten-Days-ebook/dp/B00G97C51K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395632581&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+lose+a+duke+in+ten+days

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-lose-a-duke-in-ten-days-laura-lee-guhrke/1116864918?ean=9780062118196

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/how-to-lose-a-duke-in-ten-days/id734493048?mt=11

Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is the recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband (or, as she calls him, her very own romance hero), along with two diva cats and a Golden Retriever happy to be their slave. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website: www.lauraleeguhrke.com.

Excerpt-

The image of her moonlit face, as luminous and smooth as alabaster, flashed across his mind, as vivid now as it had been that fateful night at Hanford House—so vivid, in fact, that despite his many efforts over the years not to think of her, he’d failed more often than he’d succeeded. It had been her image that invaded his dreams during his delirium-filled fever, not the dangerous events that had nearly killed him. Even now, he could hear her voice clearly, so resolute and uncompromising.  That you never, ever come back.  Well, as he’d told her then, never was a long time. Circumstances changed, and plans went awry. His certainly had. He turned on the carriage seat, grimacing as he shifted his weight onto one hip and stretched out his leg. The sea voyage from Mombasa to Constantinople hadn’t been too bad, even without Jones. He felt another grimace of pain that had nothing to do with his leg, and he put his valet out of his mind. Jones was gone, and there was nothing he could do about that. He focused on the pain in his leg instead. That was easier to bear. On the ship, he’d been able to move about freely, but trains and carriages were a different matter. The muscles of his thigh had knotted up before he’d even reached Rome, and by now they were so constricted that he felt his right leg must surely be at least an inch shorter than his left.

“What happened to your leg?”

Stuart glanced at the girl seated opposite him. “Do you always ask impertinent questions?”

That made her grin. “All the time. It drives Mrs. Simmons mad.”

“I don’t doubt it. But to answer your question, I was mauled by a lioness.”

Her brown eyes went wide. “Really? How exciting.”

Stuart settled back in the corner of his seat, giving her a wry look. He unknotted his tie and removed his collar stud, something he’d been longing to do ever since he’d put them on. Nothing like a stiff, tight collar to remind a man of all that was wrong with civilization.

“It wasn’t the least bit exciting, my dear girl,” he assured Joanna as he dropped his stud into his pocket and pulled apart his collar. “I almost died.”

Giveaway

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The post Interview with Laura Lee Guhrke, Author of How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Spotlight and Giveaway–Edge April Releases!

 
Edge, a digital-first single-title romance line from Entangled Publishing, takes its lead from their popular Select imprint but gives its novels an edge in the marketplace by bringing great stories to readers at reasonable prices in a quick-and-easy way. Whether sexy or sweet, traditional romance or love and lust with a women’s fiction bent, at the center of every Edge book is heart. From Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance to Science Fiction Romance, Edge has a book for all romance readers—and right at their fingertips! As they say, all’s fair in love and war. 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 Edge’s April 21st releases!!


A Shot of Red by Tracy March

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


Find Out More!

When biotech company heiress Mia Moncure learns her ex-boyfriend, the company’s PR Director, has died in a suspicious accident in Switzerland, Mia suspects murder. Determined to reveal a killer, she turns to sexy Gio Lorenzo, Communications Director for her mother, a high-ranking senator—and the recent one-night stand Mia has been desperate to escape. While negotiating their rocky relationship, they race to uncover a deadly scheme that could ruin her family’s reputation. But millions of people are being vaccinated, and there’s more than her family’s legacy at stake.


Undying Desire by Jessica Lee
Enclave #3

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Eve Devonshire is a woman hiding in plain sight. Not completely human, but not quite a vampire, she’s accepted by neither race but is more powerful than both. To stay alive, Eve can’t trust anyone, including the alpha vampire with midnight eyes and a thirst for pain and submission. With her enemies nipping at her heels, Eve has Guerin cornered, and both are determined to get the answers they’re looking for or die trying… if they can fight their desires long enough.


The Perfect Hostage by Misty Evans

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Sergeant John Quick has seen the worst in life, both personally and professionally, and long ago decided loving someone comes at too high a price. But when the woman of his dreams “kidnaps” him for a weekend affair with no strings attached, he can’t resist. The smoking-hot weekend turns deadly when John and Lucie are trapped during a blizzard and discover they’re not alone. Someone from their past has come hunting for revenge. Now John must become the perfect hostage in order to save Lucie’s life.




Untamed Hearts by Heather McCollum
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Jonet Montgomery has longed for a chivalrous knight her whole young life. Instead she found herself wed to a scoundrel and left a widow. When a lusty, silver-tongued rogue steals a kiss and opens a crack in her routine life, she’s tempted by his offer to taste adventure of the most pleasurable kind. Will’s heart of gold shines through despite his infamous past. But is Jonet enough woman to keep this sexy pirate from straying? With past embarrassments haunting her, she risks more than just her reputation this time. She risks her heart.

Giveaway

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5. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–Happy Easter!

 

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.

Happy Easter!  I think we are just hanging around the house today, though I would like to take the puppers to the park, and maybe head over to see the horses.  What do you have planned for the day?  Whatever is it, I hope you have a wonderful day!

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:

Searching for Perfect

Inked Armor

Night Child

Dragons & Dirigibles

Stop Dragon My Heart Around

Desolation Angels

The Falling Woman

The Bad Boy Billionaire: What a Girl Wants

Woo’d in Haste

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

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

 Subscribe in a reader

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6. Spotlight and Giveaway –Seals of Summer Superbundle

SEALS OF SUMMER

Military Romance Superbundle

Print Length: 1300 pages

Publisher: SOS Ladies

Publication Date: April 21, 2014

ASIN: B00J436CN8

Military Super-bundle of ten novellas and novels by New York Times, USA Today and award-winning bestselling authors: Delilah Devlin, Sharon Hamilton, Anne Marsh, Cora Seton, Zoe York, Roxie Riviera, S.M. Butler, Kimberley Troutte, Jennifer Lowery, Elle James.

IT TAKES A SEAL by USA Today Bestselling author Delilah Devlin:

When Susan heads to the Bahamas, she thinks the sexiest part of the trip is that she can count it as a tax deduction. After all, her agency has new offices in the Bahamas, and she needs face-time with her employees, who also just happen to be her best friends. However, things go quickly awry when their island benefactor comes under threat. After a night of partying on his yacht, she awakens to discover she’s stumbled into a sting operation to lure the bad guys into the open. She’s got to pretend she’s the billionaire’s trophy girlfriend, which isn’t hard when the man taking his place is a sexy ex-SEAL. When the bad guys kidnap the couple and imprison them on a deserted island, it’s up to ex-SEAL Justin to orchestrate an escape.

SEAL MY HEART by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Hamilton:

Kate Livingstone’s engagement is at risk the instant she sets eyes on the handsome elite warrior sitting next to her on a plane trip to visit her sister. Navy SEAL Tyler Gray had thought he knew what he wanted in life, until he meets Kate and their obvious attraction for each other sparks something deep in his soul. What starts out as innocent letters between friends turns out to be much more. Can someone fall in love deeply just with words and letters exchanged, or is this just a pleasant fantasy that will ruin their lives forever?

SMOKING HOT by National Bestselling author Anne Marsh:

When an ambush kills his teammate, Navy SEAL Tye Callahan steps in to fulfill the fallen man’s obligations. He vows to spend the summer in Strong, California, fighting fires with the smoke jumper team and looking out for Katie Lawson, his teammate’s fiancée. Now, as the summer heats up, they must decide if the chemistry burning between them might just be their second chance at living their own lives… together.

THE NAVY SEAL’s E-MAIL ORDER BRIDE by National Bestselling author Cora Seton:

Mason Hall, Navy SEAL, has fought insurgents, drug lords and terrorists, but his current mission is one for the records. Not only must he find a wife—and get her pregnant—or forfeit the ranch his family has prized for over a hundred years, he also must convince his three brothers to marry, too—before the year is up.  Who knew one city girl and three wayward brothers could put up such a fight? 

FALL OUT by Zoe York:

Drew Castle is a Navy SEAL with a bad case of indifference. Until Annie Martin shows up on his doorstep, scared out of her mind, and all of a sudden, keeping her safe becomes the most important mission of his life. And this time, he’s on his own. Annie knows that letting Drew whisk her away under the guise of protection is a recipe for disaster, but he’s the only person she can trust. Drew’s strange mix of laid-back bossiness takes some getting used to, but as they escape to a Caribbean hideaway, she finds herself wondering what it would be like if they came together at a different time. As the threat is resolved, a new danger arises: one of passion, heat and desire so overwhelming neither can resist, no matter the cost.

CLOSE QUARTERS by Bestselling author Roxie Rivera:

When Navy SEAL Leland Gates runs off to his family’s secluded cabin to lick his wounds, he never expects to find makeup heiress Jamie Pearson hiding out there. His sister’s best friend swears she’s only there for a weekend of relaxation, but his well-honed instincts tell him that she’s in big trouble. Getting tangled up in Jamie’s latest hot mess—or her sheets—is the very last thing he needs, but in close quarters like these, there’s no denying the white-hot passion blazing between them.

KILLING HONOR by International Bestselling author S.M. Butler:

Returning home after a disastrous extended deployment, Navy SEAL Brody Battles struggles with nightmares and government secrets building a wall between him and his wife, Devyn, especially when a security breach compromises his identity. While they’re adjusting to being a family again, an old enemy waits in the shadows, salivating for the sweet taste of revenge.

COMING IN HOT by Award-winning author Kimberley Troutte:

For Navy SEAL Mack Riley, rescuing a family in Colombia is not as hard as seeing the admiral’s daughter again. He’d sworn a vow to steer clear of that heartbreaker. But since the family was taken hostage on Jenna’s watch, she’s determined to join the rescue team. When the admiral orders him to protect Jenna, Mack is forced to keep her as close as body armor. In the heat of battle, love Mack and Jenna deny breaches their defenses. With missiles locked onto their coordinates…can they save the family and get out alive?

A SEAL’s SONG by Golden Heart Finalist Jennifer Lowery:

Navy SEAL Jack Taggart’s plans to catch some much-needed downtime between deployments are demolished when he risks everything to rescue beautiful wedding singer, Darci O’Shea, from a band of thieves. Will the battle between their inner demons be the hardest one to fight, or will they find rescue in each other’s arms?

SEALS’s EMBRACE by USA Today Bestseller Elle James:

Navy SEAL, Ceasar Sanchez has it bad for Army Lt. McGee, a nurse at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. When a rescue mission goes bad and he ends up being medically evacuated, she’s there. Not sure whether he’ll walk again, he’s afraid to pursue the pretty nurse, not wanting to shackle her with half a man. Lt. Erin McGee is a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, responsible for ensuring her patients arrive alive at the next level of health care. Fighting an attraction to a sexy Navy SEAL she outranks, she resists the risk of losing her commission for fraternization. But one sensual tryst behind a supply building isn’t enough and the SEALs determination to see her wear at her resolve. Ceasar and Erin share a medevac plane ride to Germany with a critically wounded Taliban leader who could provide information to the whereabouts of four missing soldiers. Transferred to the hospital at Landstuhl, Caesar undergoes surgery, restoring movement to his legs in time to stop a hostage takeover of the ICU where Erin is in charge of the Taliban leader’s care. Together they fight to save lives and halt a Terrorist attack, while finding that love trumps rank every time.

Available April 21 – Preorder Now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1eAQNsy

 

SEAL’S EMBRACE

by Elle James

SEAL’S EMBRACE

Injured Navy SEAL and the critical care nurse he’s attempting to woo join forces to stop a terrorist attack at a military hospital

Navy SEAL, Ceasar Sanchez has it bad for Army Lt. McGee, a nurse at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. When a rescue mission goes bad and he ends up being medically evacuated, she’s there. Not sure whether he’ll walk again, he’s afraid to pursue the pretty nurse, not wanting to shackle her with half a man.

Lt. Erin McGee is a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, responsible for ensuring her patients arrive alive at the next level of health care. Fighting an attraction to a sexy Navy SEAL she outranks, she resists the risk of losing her commission for fraternization. But one sensual tryst behind a supply building isn’t enough and the SEALs determination to see her wear at her resolve. Ceasar and Erin share a medevac plane ride to Germany with a critically wounded Taliban leader who could provide information to the whereabouts of four missing soldiers.

In the hospital at Landstuhl, Caesar and Erin fight their attraction for each other while a terrorist plot is underfoot to rescue the Taliban leader. Together they struggle to save lives and halt the an attack, while finding that love trumps rank every time.

Excerpt:

“Sanchez,” a firm voice called out.

Caesar spun, his pulse ratcheting up as he faced the woman he couldn’t get out of his system.

Irish backhanded him in the chest. “I think you’ve met your match in that one.”

By the way Lt. McGee was shaking her pretty red head, Irish might have it right. What Irish didn’t realize was just how much Caesar had been working to break down the lady’s defenses. “Trust me, at this very moment, she’s on the brink of raising the white flag.”

“And her skirt?” Irish snorted. “I seriously doubt it. Wanna lay down another bet?”

“Sorry, I have to go. My future awaits.” Caesar took off across the floor, his focus on the petite nurse with deep auburn hair and emerald green eyes.

With her full, luscious lips pressed into a thin line, she led him deeper into the clinic to an examination room. All the way down the aisle, Caesar couldn’t help but notice the way her hips swayed beneath the flight suit that hugged her body like a tailored glove.

His groin tightened along with his resolve to have this beauty.

“Sit,” she ordered, pointing to the examination table.

Caesar hopped up on the table and spread his knees wide. The only way she was getting to that cut finger was to step between them. Still wearing his PT shorts, he realized the mistake that was. With nothing much to hold him back, he tented the shorts in an instant when the door closed to the room and they were alone.

“You really have to stop cutting yourself. This camp is full of all kinds of germs. Keep this up and you might lose that finger altogether.” She pulled a gauze pad out of a drawer, alcohol pads and a bandage before she turned and met his gaze, her own green eyes dancing with humor. “And the answer is no.” She pressed her lips together.

“How did you know I was about to ask a question? I might really be here to seek aid for my cut finger.”

“Uh huh.” She shook her head and stepped between his knees. “Two times in the same week is suspicious. Three times cutting the same finger, and that the injuries just happen to be on the same days as I’m volunteering at the clinic, is proof. You’re stalking me.” She bumped the inside of his thighs with her hips and sucked in a sharp breath, moving back quickly, her cheeks turning a rosy shade of pink.

So, she wasn’t immune to his presence. She just needed a little persuasion.

“Lt. McGee, mi amor, I’m crushed.” He pressed his uninjured hand to his chest. “Can I help the fact that I’m clumsy and deeply in love? Have coffee with me just once, and I won’t bother you again.”

“What do you know about love?” She pushed a loose strand of red hair behind her ear, twin flags of pink flying high on her cheekbones. “And I only have two words for you: fraternization and sexual harassment.”

Crooking an eyebrow, he grinned. “That’s four.”

“Yeah, I know, but with you, they all go together.” She swiped the alcohol pad across his finger, careful not to sway sideways and touch his thighs.

At the sting, Caesar bit down on his tongue to keep from hissing.

Two seconds later, she had the wound cleaned, and a bandage plastered over it. “There. Your booboo is all better.”

Before she could move away, Caesar hopped off the table and captured her wrist. “What do I have to do for you to look at me as other than a patient?” They stood so close, he could feel the heat of her body through the flight suit.

Her free hand rose to his chest, her eyes widened and her breathing grew more ragged. “An act of God?” She wet her lips.

That simple act sent Caesar over the edge of reason and he swooped in to steal a kiss. “Rules be damned.” He captured the back of her head, and bent to crush his lips against hers.

For a moment her hand pressed against his chest, then her fingers curled into his T-shirt and her mouth opened on a gasp.

Caesar thrust his tongue through, sliding it along hers in a long, wet caress. She tasted even sweeter than he’d imagined. When he lifted his head, he whispered against her mouth, “Muy precioso.

The lieutenant gazed up into his face, her eyes glazed, her lips parted. Then she blinked and the spell was broken. She glanced down at his hand on her wrist, and her gaze narrowed. “Do you know how wrong this is? Let go.”

Immediately, he released her. “For now. I still want to have coffee with you.”

“No. It’s a bad idea.” She eased back a step.

“Are you afraid of me?”

“No. I’m not afraid of you.” She turned back to the cabinet, fished something out of a drawer and a bottle out of the cabinet above. “Drop your drawers.”

“What?” He frowned. Had he read her wrong? Surely she wasn’t going to…not here…anyone could walk in. His heartbeat quickened.

“You heard me.” She turned toward him, syringe in hand and fire in her eyes. “Drop ‘em.”

He held up his hand. “Seriously? You’re giving me a shot for a little cut on my finger?”

“No, for three little cuts on your finger.” She tilted her head, her brows rising in challenge. “Are you afraid of me?”

He stared at the syringe she wielded like a weapon. “Frankly, yes.”

About the Author

Elle James spent twenty years livin’ and lovin’ in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn’t wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

You can reach Elle James at www.ellejames.com or email her at

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3795a327/

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7. 5 Things Not to do During a Zombie Apocalypse by John L Campbell

John L Campbell’s zombie apocalypse novel, Omega Days, will be released in paperback May 6.  I’ll have a review in early May, so please check back for it.  In the meanwhile, John dropped by to share some tips in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO DURING A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

-John L. Campbell

It’s the end of the world, and our communities are crawling with the walking dead. Finally! No more nine-to-five, no more bills, and you can at last have that Corvette you’ve always wanted; just drive it off the lot. For years we’ve been bombarded with information about how to survive, through film and books, television shows, commercials and what-if discussions over beers. We’re ready. It’s go time.

There are some unexpected dangers lurking, however, that will bring your visions of EOTW glory to an abrupt halt. In the interest of public service, I’ve outlined the pitfalls that should be avoided in order to have a safe and happy zombie apocalypse.

Do not attempt to rescue your relatives.

First of all, they’re zombies by now. And you don’t like most of them anyway, remember? Think back to that last family holiday. Now imagine your bunker filled with those same relatives, now zombies, sitting down for the big dinner. Zombies have awful table manners, and they’re just as ungrateful for all the hard work you put into it as they were at Thanksgiving. And just because they’re the undead doesn’t mean they’ve changed; they still hold grudges, bring up embarrassing memories, try to borrow money, complain about medical conditions you’d rather not hear about, and empty your liquor cabinet. You’ve been looking for a way out of these family gatherings for years. The zombie apocalypse is the perfect excuse.

Do not go out in search of food and supplies.

Remember the way you complained about the crowds during your last holiday shopping trip? Think of Black Friday times ten. By the time you get to the stores, they’ll have sold out of all the good stuff, and, of course, most of the clerks will already have turned. Zombie retail clerks. Ew. The lines will be endless, your awesome apocalypse vehicle will get dented by shopping carts in the parking lot, and when you get home, survivors will be squatting in your house. Better to stay in and eat those things you’ve been neglecting at the back of the pantry for years; the pumpkin pie filling, the granola you bought during your last Get Healthy kick, the prehistoric croutons. You wanted to lose weight anyway, right?

Don’t forget to wear clean underwear.

Your mother warned you for years. Now the probability of “getting in an accident” has just multiplied.

Do not hang around New York City.

Yes, Will Smith made it look cool. And yes, carriage rides in Central Park are very romantic. But the city is swarming with the walking dead, and if you thought it was difficult to get a cab before? New York zombies are pushy and rude, and will become unbearable once the power grid goes down and they can’t get a cell phone signal. NYPD will be busy ticketing all the abandoned cars in the street, so they won’t have time to give you directions to Radio City, or save you when you’re being pursued by an undead bike messenger. Zombie bike messengers. Ew. In addition, Wicked and Phantom just won’t be the same as zombie actors lurch across the stage, croaking their lines and devouring the people who paid five hundred dollars for orchestra seating.

Do not isolate yourself on a Caribbean island.

But an island is perfect, you say, and you love the tropics. Sure, the idea is logical on the surface; wait out the plague on the beach, getting hammered on fruity umbrella drinks. But Caribbean islands have snakes. Ew, snakes. And island zombies hate tourists, especially if it’s a French island. French zombies. Ew. They do, however, find tourists delicious, and this will negatively impact the level of service you receive at hotels and resorts. And let’s think it through. The pool bar will be mobbed, the pool itself will have questionable objects floating in it, and the locals will triple the price for para-sailing and native crafts. No, better not to travel, and avoid that undead TSA agent challenging you on the size of your travel mouthwash.

Survive the zombie apocalypse by staying home. Don’t leave the garage door open, remember that you can drink toilet water if necessary (from the tank, not the blue stuff in the bowl,) and pass the time with a good book. I could recommend several. In the meantime, just sit around and wait for the government to save you. They have a plan for this, right?

 

 

About the book:

When the end came, it came quickly. No one knew where or exactly when the Omega Virus started, but soon it was everywhere. And when the ones spreading it can’t die, no one stands a chance of surviving.

San Francisco, California. Father Xavier Church has spent his life ministering to unfortunate souls, but he has never witnessed horror like this. After he forsakes his vows in the most heartrending of ways, he watches helplessly as a zombie nun takes a bite out of a fellow priest’s face…
University of California, Berkeley. Skye Dennison is moving into her college dorm for the first time, simultaneously excited to be leaving the nest and terrified to be on her own. When her mother and father are eaten alive in front of her, she realizes the terror has just begun…
Alameda, California. Angie West made millions off her family’s reality gun show on the History Channel. But after she is cornered by the swarming undead, her knowledge of heavy artillery is called into play like never before…
Within weeks, the world is overrun by the walking dead. Only the quick and the smart, the strong and the determined, will survive—for now.

About the author:

John L. Campbell is the author of the zombie apocalypse series, OMEGA DAYS from Penguin Random House. Book One, “Omega Days,” was an overnight Amazon Horror bestseller, and remained on the list for 17 weeks. In addition, he is the author of two collections of short horror stories, RED CIRCUS and IN THE FALLING LIGHT, and a novella based upon actual events, THE MANGROVES, which chronicles the most horrific crocodile massacre in recorded history. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, literary magazines and ezines.
John has lived all over the U.S., and has worked as everything from a limo driver to professional investigator and executive. He currently resides with his family in New York, where he is hard at work on the next novel in his Omega Days series.
Campbell is an Active Member of the HWA; Horror Writer’s Association, and is represented by the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency in New York.
Coming soon, SHIP OF THE DEAD. Prepare to be boarded…

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8. Interview with Zoey Derrick, Author of The Reason Series and Giveaway!

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

[Zoey Derrick] Mother, lover, fighter, crazy, romantic, bibliophile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your Reason series?

[Zoey Derrick] The Reason Series is an Omnibus of 4 novellas – Give Me Reason, Give Me Hope, Give Me Desire and Give Me Love and is an Angel Paranormal Romance.

Vivienne Callahan – my heroine is a feisty tiger, who is strong willed and determined, to a fault. Her determination hinders her from seeing some of the dangers in front of her.

Mikah Blake – an angelic hero (literally and figuratively) meets Vivienne and sees a beautiful, strong, and amazing woman who needs help. When they finally come together, the way they should have in the beginning, things are set in motion that one never saw coming.

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

[Zoey Derrick] From Give Me Desire – Book 3

I walk quietly toward him. I can’t tell if he’s awake or sleeping. He’s not looking at me, but down toward the floor. As I get closer I see his wings flare and twitch slightly.

When I’m about five steps away from him, I shed my shirt so that I’m down to my bra and lacy boy shorts. I don’t want to destroy his shirt.

I concentrate extra hard and, after a beat, I feel them pushing out, spreading outward. The sensation is strange, almost like arms emerging from my body. I smile at the fact that I was able to bring them out on my own.

Once I feel as though they are fully extended, I open my eyes and peer over my shoulder. They are as brilliant as they were this morning, but bigger, and I gasp as I watch them shimmer in the faint light of the kitchen.

I test the muscles in my back, flexing them. My wings move slightly and a thrill of excitement washes over me.

I turn back toward Mikah. He hasn’t moved, but his breathing has grown strained, ragged like in the dream.

I take the five small steps I need to reach him and stop.

I reach down and gently stroke the stubble along his jaw. He leans into my touch. I lower myself to my knees; they slide along his as they come to rest on the floor.

“Keep your eyes closed,” I whisper.

He nuzzles into my touch a shade more, and with my other hand, eager to see if the sensation is the same, I reach for his wing. When I make contact, his mouth goes slack, his breathing stops momentarily, and the feathers of his wings flare. He moans: a warm, sensual sound.

I pull my hand back and cup the other side of his face. He does the same with my face.

“Kiss me,” I breathe, and he rises up, bringing me with him.

I’m looking up at him, and slowly, even more slowly than in the dream, he lowers his kiss to mine. I stretch, hoping to meet his mouth faster, and he smiles.

The next thing I know, his lips are on mine, soft and warm, hot and needy. The moment we make contact, satisfaction and desire sweep through me. I can feel his need in the touch of his lips, in the trembling of his fingers against my face, a need that matches my own.

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

[Zoey Derrick] Mixing Fantasy and Reality. The Reason Series is a human love story with a paranormal twist and while I adore paranormals, especially of the romance kind, I found it harder than I would of thought to incorporate the two together in a way that was believable yet a fantasy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Zoey Derrick] That would bed more like a playlist verses one song.. Thought the two that come to mind right away are P!nk’s Bad Influence and Scott Stapp’s The Great Divide.

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

[Zoey Derrick] Besides clothes…my cell phone – it is my gateway to all things, reading, writing, and surfing the internet, not while driving of course.

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

[Zoey Derrick] Monster (energy drink), Mini Babybel Cheese’s x2 (serious addiction) and ibuprofen – a must have on any writers desk…okay maybe just mine.

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

[Zoey Derrick] Eva Tramell from Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series.. **swoon** Gideon!

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

[Zoey Derrick] Interview With A Master by Jason Luke, The Beauty Series by Georgia Cates (Beauty from Pain/Surrender/Love) are from my recently read list.

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

[Zoey Derrick] I’m everywhere…

Facebook – www.facebook.com/zoey.derrick

Twitter – www.twitter.com/zoeyderrick

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/zoeyderrick/

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/ZoeyDerrick

Website – www.zoeyderrick.net

Email – Zoey@Zoeyderrick.net

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

The Complete Collection

All four books in Zoey Derrick’s Best-Selling Paranormal Romance

Give Me Reason

Give Me Hope

Give Me Desire

Give Me Love

Vivienne Callahan has known only hardship. As if growing up with an alcoholic, drug addicted mother wasn’t traumatic enough, she’s escaped from her physically and verbally abusive boyfriend only to struggle every day to make ends meet as a waitress in a Minneapolis diner.

Along comes Mikah Blake…

—-
Find out more about Zoey Derrick and The Reason Series here:
Amazon  – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IKZUE5S
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20877403-the-reason-series-complete-collection
Author Web – http://zoeyderrick.net
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/zoeyderrick

 

About Zoey:

It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, a mortgage underwriter by day and romance and erotica novelist by night, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.

Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it.

The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.

About Zoey | Goodreads | Amazon | Zoey on Twitter | Zoey on FB

Follow the Tour:

4/7 – Parajunkee.com

4/8 – shaynareneesspicyreads.com

4/9 – bookbriefs.blogspot.com
parayournormal.wordpress.com

4/10 – cbybookclub.blogspot.co.uk

4/11 – ljsecretaddiction.blogspot.ca

4/13 – www.cocktailsandbooks.com

4/14 – www.aliisbookjungle.com
lynnareynolds.wordpress.com
www.stephaniekeyes.com

4/15 – breatheinbooks.blogspot.com
ambersupernaturalandya.blogspot.com

4/16 – saaratis.wordpress.com
www.librarymistress.com

4/17 – www.paranormal-bookclub.com

4/18 – shaynavaradeauxbooks.blogspot.com
www.mangamaniaccafe.com

Giveaway

Comment to win The Reason Series Complete Collection!

Giveaway Information:
10 eBook Copies of the Complete Collection for each tour host
2 Swag Packs that include:
The Reason Series Posters
The Reason Series Notebooks
Swag Fun!
Full Collection, Signed Print Copies
2 Full Collections, Signed Print Copies

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9. Graphic Novel Review: Vinland Saga 2 by Makoto Yukimura

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Wowzers!  Akseladd is just a prick!  Just when I start liking the guy, he goes and does something so cold-blooded and heartless that I have to immediately dislike him again.  He’s cunning, crafty, and greedy, and he wants to maximize profits for his warriors, even at the expense of what would be considered his allies.  Start a raging forest fire to smoke out the kidnapped Prince Canute?  Not a problem.  Strike down other rescuers so that he can keep all of the reward money for himself?  Certainly not a problem!  This is one guy that you don’t want on your bad side.  Or anywhere near you at all, especially if he or any of his men have projectile weapons!

While  I love the action, and there is plenty of that, I also find the historical details fascinating.  I don’t know much about Vikings, or Medieval Europe for that matter, but Makoto Yukimura is sprinkling the text with interesting facts about the time period.  It’s a chaotic time, with constant conflict between the European groups of the day.  Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and they will do anything to get it.  Murder, pillage, mayhem – it’s the coin of the times.  Trusting anyone seems like a very dangerous proposition, as many of the characters have found out, much to their dismay.  Askeladd’s betrayal of Thors has twisted and reshaped Thorfinn into a killing machine with one goal – to kill the man who killed his father.  I keep wondering what kind of a man Thorfinn would have grown into if he hadn’t stowed away on his father’s boat.  Would he be so consumed by hatred, if he hadn’t witnessed his death?

The main story arc for this volume centered around the rescue of Canute, the teenaged son of Sweyn, Kind of Denmark.  He’s been captured by Thorkell, a Dane who has chosen to help defend London against the Vikings threatening to overwhelm it.  He comes across as sort of a simple guy, whose first love is fighting and testing his strength against other warriors.  Thorfinn has brief, violent run-in with him. He manages to escape from the larger man, and gains some respect from him at the same time, all while proving that he has a lot to learn when it comes to making friends.  Everybody hates Thorfinn, but who can blame them? He acts like a sullen little prick, and seeing the interaction between him and Canute is like watching two different species trying to communicate.  So, while he excels at slaughter, he really needs to work on his people skills.

After two volumes, I am totally hooked on Vinland Saga.  I love the history, the action, and the sheer brutality of the characters.  It’s probably a good thing these Vikings don’t pack mirrors in their gear; I don’t understand how they could stand to look at themselves and not feel one shred of remorse for their behavior.  Then again, in a time when it’s kill or be killed, they all fit right in.

Volume 3 comes out April 29, and I can hardly wait!

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by my local library

From Amazon:

ENGLAND AT WAR The foolish King Ethelred has fled, and Askeladd’s band is one of hundreds plundering the English countryside. Yet victory brings no peace to the elderly Danish King Sweyn, who worries that his untested, sensitive son Canute will never be ready to take the throne. The king’s attempt to force his son to become a man places the young prince within the grasp of the gleeful killer Thorkell! Whoever holds Canute holds the key to the thrones of England and Denmark – and Askeladd has his own reasons for joining the fray! “With its rich visual details, emotional pull and strong characters, this historical epic is an instant winner.” – Anime News Network Winner of the Japan Media Arts Awards Grand Prize for Manga and the Kodansha Manga Award From the acclaimed author of Planetes

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10. Indulgence Mixing Business With Pleasure Blog Tour and Giveaway!

 

This morning I have some info to share about the Indulgence Mixing Business With Pleasure Blog Tour.  I did have a chance to read The Seduction Game, which I enjoyed for the heroine’s complete nerdiness.  

 

The Seduction Game

By Emma Shortt

Synopsis: When millionaire bad boy, Will Thornton, tries to buy computer-geek Kate Kelly’s building out from under her, she refuses to sell. Will might be uber rich, and super successful but she won’t be bullied. Trouble is, she didn’t expect Will to look like one of her fantasy heroes, or to make her heart beat a little too fast. She’s prepared to wait him out, but it’ll take every ounce of her self-control to win this game.

With millions of dollars on the line, Will is positive he can make Kate sell. He’s played the game better than anybody and charming is his middle name. Problem is, the snarky, geeky, computer-wiz is nothing like he imagined—impossibly cute and a match for him in every way.

The game is on but can two such radically different people come out winners in the game of seduction?

Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble Entangled

Author Bio: As a kid Emma wanted to be an astronaut, or maybe Captain Janeway. Because she didn’t really think her career choices through very well she ended up in an everyday geek job, crunching numbers and sighing over syntax. It seemed a long way from the stars and in an effort to escape Emma decided to get serious about her other passion. Writing. Several years later and Emma has yet to walk on the moon or sit in the Captain’s chair, but she is still writing. She scribbles stories in all sorts of genres, contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi…if she hasn’t tried it yet she will before long. The only common theme is the romance. A hopeless romantic everything Emma writes has a love story in there somewhere.

Emma ShortBlog Twitter Facebook Goodreads

A Night of Misbehaving

by Carmen Falcone

Synopsis: Before the end of the night, they’ll break all the rules.

For just one night, Georgia Taylor wants to forget about her demanding job and the everyday struggles of being a single mom. Her track record with men is pitiful, but that’s fine because her responsibilities don’t leave room for love anyway. The new online dating site is perfect for what she’s after.

But Georgia’s plans fly out the window when Brent Turner, aka Sexy Dad and father of her daughter’s classmate, turns out to be her Internet date, therefore, eliminating any possibility for a night without consequences.

All of Brent Turner’s honorable intentions fly out the window when he sees highly strung “Super Mom” waiting for her date at the bar. Determined to win Georgia’s trust and show her a good time, their no-strings evening promises to become so much more…until, that is, she discovers he’s really trying to win her vote.

Entangled Indulgence:

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

Twitter: @IndulgenceBooks Steals and Deals

Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble Entangled

Author Bio: Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters beat doing math homework any day. Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband, living proof that opposites attract. She found in writing her deepest passion and the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps talking about. When she is not lost in the world of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line.

Website BlogTwitter FacebookGoodreads Instagram Pinterest

Giveaway Info:

$50 Amazon GC from Carmen Falcone

A Geeky Prize From Emma Shortt

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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11. [PR] Georgetown Academy News

I loved these books, so I wanted to pass along a press release I received:

Georgetown Academy is a juicy series about the politics at D.C.’s most elite prep school. A cross between Scandal and Gossip Girl, it’s fans include Eva Longoria and nearly a million Wattpad fans.

To celebrate the series’ success, we’ve put together an amazing campaign that involves and benefits readers—the more participation, the more we’ll give. Here are the steps:

Book One is currently being featured on Wattpad. Add GTA to your public Wattpad reading list: http://www.wattpad.com/story/8095946-georgetown-academy-book-one

Share Book One’s Wattpad link via twitter (Using #GTScandal)

  • If GT fans hit 1k tweets by Wednesday, April 23, we will release Chapter 1 of Book 2 on Wattpad

  • if can hit 1.5k tweets by Sunday 4/27, we’ll release another Book 2 chapter (from the POV of a an unknown character) on Wattpad

  • If we hit 2k, the price of book 2, across all platforms will be dropped to $1.99

Join our Twitter Party! On Tuesday 4/22 @ 9 pm EST authors Jessica and Alyssa will answer all readers’ questions! Find out if Taryn will stand between Ellie and Gabe, and maybe their parents’ careers. Use the hashtag #GTScandal to participate.  Follow us @GTownAcademy.

Other ways to participate in the campaign and spread the word:

Add the books on Goodreads! Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4

If you’ve already read and loved the books, consider posting your review on Amazon.

So will you be attending the chat? Let me know in the comments :)

[Insert Book Cover Here] About Georgetown Academy:

Synopsis:

It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.

While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.

For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?

Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.

Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.

New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.

With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.

In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.

Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.

What’s Cool from Coliloquy:

As the party scene at Georgetown Academy gets under way, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals…all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

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12. Review: Bang by Lisa McMann

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I thought that Crash, the first book in the Visions trilogy, was a bit repetitive.  Don’t get me wrong – I still couldn’t put it down and read it in short order.  But the never ending replay of the vision haunting Jules became tedious about the 100th time through.  Bang never felt like a CD set on Replay, probably because the vision is Sawyer’s, and Jules does not have firsthand knowledge of it.  Instead, Sawyer’s nightmare is relayed to Jules in painstaking detail as he is forced to watch it over and over again.  That distance made all the difference.

When Sawyer tells Jules that he’s suffering from a vision of an impending disaster, she wants to help him figure out what’s going on so they can stop it from happening.  Sawyer is haunted as the vision becomes ever more gruesome – a pile of bodies lie crumbled in a classroom, staining the floor red with blood.  All he can hear is the bang! bang! bang! of gunfire.  He’s desperate to find a way to make it stop, but if it’s anything like Jules’ vision of the crash, the only way to make it go away is to figure out when the shooting is going to happen and stop it, saving the lives of a bunch of people he doesn’t even know.

Using her experience with her own vision as a guideline, Jules dives in and helps him sort out details of the upcoming tragedy.  Where are the victims?  What are they wearing? Can he tell what time of day the shooting will occur?  They slowly unravel snippets of details about the incident, which aid them as they race to solve the mystery before the shooting happens, or before Sawyer is driven insane by what’s he’s forced to watch all the time.

To complicate matters, Jules and Sawyer have to deal with their families and their animosity towards each other.  The Demarco’s and the Angotti’s certainly know how to hold a grudge.  Neither of their fathers is ready to bury the hatchet on the feud that has simmered between them for years, and both Jules and Sawyer are punished when they are caught together.  Jules is having a terrible time showing any kind of respect for her father.  He’s a liar and a cheat, and she suspects that he’s a coward, as well.  I wonder if he suffers from the visions, too, but hasn’t been able to do anything about them.  Maybe that explains his odd behavior and probable mental illness?

I enjoyed the book because I liked Jules, her siblings, and Sawyer so much.  They are just trying to do the right thing, and not get buried by the weirdness of their families.  They all start to show some independence and resistance to the status quo, though all of their parental relationships suffered for it. 

I don’t want to spoil any of the mystery, so I’ll just sum things up by stating that Bang kept me on the edge of my seat, and I hated to put it down.  It’s a very fast read, with plenty of twists and turns, and enough parental conflict to keep any teenager distracted.  I felt so bad for Jules!  Her home is certainly not a haven for her, and neither is Sawyer’s. I can hardly wait to learn what secrets Jules’ father is hiding in Gasp, the last volume of the Visions trilogy.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

What Sawyer’s seeing might mean murder. The second book in a series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.

Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…

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13. Interview with Lauren Layne, Author of Just One Night and Giveaway

 

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

[Lauren Layne] Snarky, yet hopelessly romantic.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Lauren Layne] Ten years of unfulfilled sexual tension are about combust into one very hot night — but will one night be enough?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Lauren Layne] Well it’s the third in the Stiletto series, and I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to tell the story of a woman with a VERY sexy reputation but none of the actual sexual experience!

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

[Lauren Layne] Sam and Riley have known each other for years, so it was fun getting to skip a lot of that “getting to know you” stuff and get straight to what draws these two together for an entire decade.

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

[Lauren Layne] What made Sam tick. He’s SUPER secretive, so it took me awhile to figure out that his crappy home life totally did a number on him.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Lauren Layne] It changes pretty much every week, but right now I’m going with Pink’s “So What,” because it’s very power-anthemy, and reminds me that I’m in control of each day.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Lauren Layne] A hair band thingy. There’s always one on my wrist or in my hair, and if it’s missing, I get obsessed!

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

[Lauren Layne] Notebook, laptop and water glass (I’m a minimalist!)

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

[Lauren Layne] President Obama (“Nobody panic. I’ve got this.”)

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

[Lauren Layne] I absolutely loved Tessa Dare’s Romancing the Duke. I couldn’t put it down.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Lauren Layne] You know, writing is pretty much always on my mind, but when I need a break, I love to have a glass of wine and cook with my husband.

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

[Lauren Layne] I’m very slowly trying to get better at social media (GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter), but I LOVE email. Seriously, write to me about ANYTHING! Lauren (at) laurenlayne (dot) com

 

JUST ONE NIGHT: Sex, Love and Stiletto Series
Written by Lauren Layne
Published by Loveswept
ISBN: 978-0-34554727-9
On sale: April 22nd, 2014

Blurb

New York’s hottest “sexpert” has been living a lie—and it’s up to one man to keep her honest . . . all night long.

Riley McKenna knows sex – good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed.  After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-One-Night-Stiletto-Series-ebook/dp/B00F8F3JZK

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-one-night-lauren-layne/1116911372?ean=9780345547279

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/just-one-night/id725293406?mt=11

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/10/now-booking-tasty-virtual-book-tour-for_29.html

Author Info

Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Connect with Lauren: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Author links

http://laurenlayne.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LaurenLayneAuthor

https://twitter.com/_LaurenLayne

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Lauren Layne Prize Pack with: Review Copies of Stiletto Series, Loveswept Tote and Mug or $15.00 E-Retailer Gift Card of Winner’s Choosing )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14. Spotlight and Giveaway – Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry

 

 

Plain Jayne  By Laura Drewry

Publisher: Loveswept Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8041-7773-3

In Laura Drewry’s funny, heartwarming Loveswept debut, a man and a woman learn the hard way that a little bit of love makes staying friends a whole lot harder.

Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place.

Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

Available 4/08/14:

Random House: http://www.randomhouse.ca/search/node/laura%20drewry

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Plain-Jayne-Laura-Drewry-ebook/dp/B00FUZQZZO/ref=la_B00J6PQ8EW_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396072181&sr=1-1

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/plain-jayne-laura-drewry/1117135307?ean=9780804177733

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/plain-jayne/id737586209?mt=11

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German Shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

Website: http://www.lauradrewry.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Drewry-Author/229599547078623

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauradrewry

Excerpt from Chapter Two of PLAIN JAYNE by Laura Drewry

“Well I’m sure as hell not staying in that apartment, Nick, so unless you’ve got a better idea . . .”

“As a matter of fact . . .” Was he crazy to even suggest it? Probably. Would she agree to it? Probably not. “I know a great place with plenty of room, kitchen’s available 24/7, open bar, flat screen, free wireless, and easy access to laundry services.”

A moment’s hesitation, a frown, then her blue eyes flew open. “No way.”

“Why not? It’s perfect.”

“No.”

Nick ignored her and kept driving. What could she do—jump out?

“To make up for being such a prick the last time he saw you, the owner’s offering free room and board for as long as you like.”

He could hear the arguments building behind her open-mouthed gape. Best to cut her off before she started.

“What’s the big deal? You need a room, and I’ve got one. Big one, too, with your own bathroom and a butt load of closet space.”

“Seriously?” She lifted her hands, palms up, and exhaled a snort that pretty much covered how stupid she thought he was. “What’s the big deal? You mean besides the fact it’s just flat-out weird?”

“Says who?” As far as he was concerned, it was a done deal. Hell, even if there were hotel rooms available, this made more sense.

“Says me!” She made a sound like a wounded bear, which only made Nick laugh. “We haven’t seen each other in four years, Nick, and before that—”

He rolled his eyes. “Before that you refused to stay with me because you thought Abby hated you.”

“She did!” The growl sounded again, slower, longer. “There was no way she would’ve let me stay with you and there was no way in hell I’d even ask.”

“Well, you’re not asking, and Abby’s not here to put up a fight, is she?”

That shut her up for a second; but only a second. “What are people going to think?”

“Who cares?” He followed the highway around past the ball field and over the bridge.

“Hello!” she snorted. “Does the name Debra Scott ring a bell? Jeez, Nick—your mother has found a way to blame me for every breakup you ever had, so if it even looks like I’ve come back to shack up with her darling little Nicky, she’s going to have me strung up in town square faster than you can say ‘Holy flying axe throw, Batman.’”

“Town square? Really?” He laughed, then pulled his arm out of reach when she made to smack him. “The gallows were dismantled a couple months back, so you’re probably pretty safe.”

“Very funny.”

From the corner of his eye, he could see she was shaking her head at him, but as he steered the truck into the exit lane, he caught the glimpse of a smile.

“Didn’t you tell me you had a girlfriend?”

Damn it. He’d been seeing Lisa for a couple months now, and even though he didn’t consider it anything serious, he knew Lisa did. He’d have to at least let her know what was going on.

Jayne clicked her tongue. “I’ll take your silence as a yes.”

“So?”

“Oh my God, Nick, do you rent out that space in your head? No woman is going to be happy about her boyfriend inviting another woman to live with him.”

“It’ll be fine.” It was more of a hope than a lie. “So unless you’ve got someone who’s going to kick my ass for even suggesting this . . .”

He waited for her to answer, but when she didn’t, he laughed.

“I’ll take your silence as a no. Any other excuses?”

“I’m thinking.”

“Think fast, because we’re almost there.”

“This is crazy.”

“No. Driving back and forth to Vancouver every day is crazy; this is nothing.” At the stop sign, he glanced over and watched her chew her bottom lip. “I’m not saying you should move in permanently, just stay until we get your place fixed up. And trust me, my place is a hell of a lot better than a hotel room we both know will never be clean enough, no matter how much you clean it yourself.”

The second her nose wrinkled, he knew he had her.

“How did you survive the hotel rooms on the trip out, anyway?” he asked.

Her mouth twitched a little before she finally smiled. “I bought a sleeping bag.”

“And how many tubs of Lysol wipes did you go through?”

“Only two.” After a second, she sighed and lifted her left shoulder. “And a half.”

Two and a half tubs of wipes. He could have pulled the I-told-you-so card, but didn’t. Instead, he just drove on, waiting for her to realize he’d won.

“And what if your girlfriend freaks out?”

“Her name’s Lisa, and she won’t.” At least he hoped she wouldn’t.

“You don’t know that,” Jayne cried, fisting her hands against her knees. “What makes you think Linda’s going to feel any different than Abby did? I don’t want to screw this up for you.”

“It’s Lisa.” Nick sighed quietly. “And no one’s going to screw anything up, Jayne. If she can’t handle you and me, that’s her problem.”

“No, Nick, it usually ends up being my problem.” Jayne huffed so hard it was surprising she had any breath left to keep talking. “It’s not exactly normal that we’re . . . like this . . . and you can’t blame people for thinking the worst.”

“What worst? If my best friend was a guy, there’d be no problem with him staying at my place, so I don’t get why it’s a problem to have you stay there.”

“The problem,” she ground out, “is that I’m not a guy. In case you hadn’t noticed, you idiot, I’m a girl.”

It was all Nick could do not to laugh out loud. They may have been best friends all these years, but he was still a guy. He noticed.

Admitting it, though, would only prove her point.

He wheeled the truck into the long driveway and threw it in park. “I’m telling you, Lisa won’t care. And if she does, that’s between her and me, it’s got nothing to do with you.”

“Yeah, right. Until she goes crying to your mother and I end up on the top of the Debra Scott hit list again.”

“Not gonna happen. Besides”—he pushed the button on his visor and the garage door jerked then started rolling up—“there’s someone else who wants you to stay.”

A second later, his old basset hound came wobbling out from under the door, his tail swinging, his ears flapping along beside him.

“Duke!” Jayne was out of the truck before Nick pulled the key out of the ignition. Cooing and laughing, she dropped to the driveway, arms outstretched.

Nick climbed out of the truck and laughed as he walked over to where Duke had already climbed onto Jayne’s lap and was busy smothering her face in wet sloppy kisses.

“Looks like we got us a houseguest, buddy.”

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15. Graphic Novel Review: George RR Martin’s The Hedge Knight

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I admit to having a love-hate relationship with George RR Martin.  The first three books of his A Song of Ice and Fire series are among my favorites, and that’s saying a lot because I read a lot of books.  That’s where the love comes in.  Now for the darker feelings – I read A Game of Thrones in 1996, and I read the next two books within days of release.  The time between each novel increased incrementally, as did the page count, but as the time between A Storm of Swords and A Feast of Crows stretched into years and years, I became frustrated.  I decided that I would not read any more books in the series until they were all released.  They are so long that I can’t remember all of the subtle nuances of the story, let alone the ever growing cast of characters, especially with the lengthy time between releases.  Worse, I have the irrational fear that I won’t be around to see the end of the series, and that disappointment weighs heavy on my mind.  So while GRRM doesn’t owe me more timely releases of his books, I do owe something to myself.  I owe myself a read without fears, regrets, or frustrations, so my embargo of the main series  continues.  I won’t even watch the TV series until it’s over (not that I have HBO anyway, but that’s another story altogether).

 

So while I won’t read the novels, I saw that a graphic novel adaptation of The Hedge Knight had been acquired by the library system, and believing it to be a stand-alone work, I promptly requested it.  And waited weeks and weeks for it to arrive, only to learn, after I finished it, that this is a trilogy.  Ugh!  At least the next volume is already available from Jet City Comics, Amazon’s comic book imprint (they also announced the purchase of ComiXology last week, which has me curious about the direction of that acquisition).  So that’s what I get for breaking the embargo!

I really enjoyed The Hedge Knight.  It takes place 100 years before the events in AGOT, and it was interesting to read about the ancestors of the characters from ASOI&F.  It also reminded me of why I like GRRM’s writing so much.  The Hedge Knight is the story of an ordinary man thrown into an extraordinary circumstance, all because he was doing what he thought was right.  Dunk, an orphan from the streets of King’s Landing, was rescued from his extreme poverty by a hedge knight, who taught him the ways of chivalry.  Being a knight meant protecting the weak and innocent.  If you are a fan of GRRM, you know that men of ethics suffer terrible fates, while those who have sworn to adhere to a higher code of conduct rarely do, and yet they survive and thrive.  The concept of fair does not exist in this world, and those lacking the ability to act decisively, and often heartlessly, quickly become victims to the men that don’t hesitate to enforce their will. 

Dunk is a humble man, and knightly vows mean something to him.  When he defends a woman from Aerion Targaryen, and is accused of stealing from DaeronTargaryen, Dunk’s life is on the line.  The two young men are princes, in line to inherit the royal crown, while Dunk is a penniless, nameless hedge knight.  His honor is about to cost him his life, and makes it painfully obvious to him that he hasn’t moved far beyond his humble beginnings in King’s Landing.  When he is challenged to a ritual battle to determine his guilt, he despairs about his impending death.  He needs to find six other knights willing to take up the challenge and fight to the death in defense of his honor.  He couldn’t even get one knight to vouch for him so he could enter the lists for the joust; how will he convince someone to risk his life for him, and take up the sword against the princes?

I thought the artwork fit the story to a T.  The action scenes, especially during the joust, are crisp and exciting.  You can almost feel the power and the speed as the combatants charge towards each other, meeting with a clash of lance and shield.  The art brought the story to life, with color, motion, and emotion. 

I’m glad that I broke the GRRM embargo to read The Hedge Knight.  I was captivated by the story, and read the graphic novel in pretty much one sitting.  I love cheering for the underdog, and Dunk certainly fits that description.  Now that I have been reminded of reason that I love GRRM’s writing so much, I am even more impatient to read the rest of ASOI&F, but I will have to be content with enjoying the rest of The Hedge Knight, because I am not traveling down the road of unfulfilled frustration again!

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by my local library

From Amazon:

In this comic book/graphic novel adaptation set one hundred years before the events in George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Hedge Knight chronicles a young squire as he travels the cruel and complex path to knighthood in the Seven Kingdoms.

Shouldering his fallen master’s sword and shield, Duncan (or “Dunk”) is determined to reinvent himself as a knight in a nearby tournament. But first Dunk needs a sponsor, and that requirement sends him down a road studded with friends, foes, adventure, and hidden agendas. One such friend is Egg, who becomes Dunk’s squire, yet even he may hold secret motivations of his own.

In this gripping prequel, Dunk and Egg seek glory in a world both familiar and new to Game of Thrones fans. What the two fortune seekers encounter, however, is a world of distrust and political machinations. Chivalry is not lost while Dunk holds fast to his dreams of honor. But such outdated virtues make him a target—and they may even lead to his ruin. This vivid and elaborately wrought tale brings new dimension to George R. R. Martin’s beloved world.

This edition includes fifteen pages of new supplemental material: sketches, character designs, and original pages by Mike S. Miller, plus variant and original covers.

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16. Interview with Angela Dennis, Author of Shadows of Fate

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Angela Dennis] Charming, sarcastic, introvert who writes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Shadows of Fate?

[Angela Dennis] I would love to. Shadows of Fate is an Urban Fantasy with strong romantic elements. It revolves around Brenna, a Shadow Bearer from an alternate plane of reality, who has been banished to earth after losing control of her powers. She works as a hunter, policing the supernatural misfits that spilled on to the Earthly plane during a cataclysmic war. When she meets her new partner, something sparks her suspicions. Particularly when the people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash. As an attraction deeper than blood or bone flares between them, they must work together to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle and avoid becoming the final victims.

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

[Angela Dennis] There are so many. Telling you about my favorite scene would give away one of the biggest twists in the book, so how about my second favorite scene? One scene that always makes me smile is right after Gray has spent his first night at the boarding house. All of the residents have piled into the kitchen for breakfast and are deciding what to do with him. I have a soft spot for all of the secondary characters in this book, and this is a scene where you really get to see their quirkiness and how they interact.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story.

[Angela Dennis] The relationship between Brenna and Gray. I wanted it to unravel in an organic way. Because of this, and because I made the reasons keeping them apart so complex, they have a lot of issues to work through.

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

[Angela Dennis] Coffee. I have a serious issue. My husband has tried to intervene a few times, but now he just hands me my mug.

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

[Angela Dennis] Coffee, a Yoda bobble head (which everyone should have), and my cat (he’s a permanent fixture).

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

[Angela Dennis] My son. He is a special little boy, with very special needs, so it would be fantastic to understand how he experiences life so I can relate to and with him more effectively.

[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?

[Angela Dennis] Time Travel. I’m a huge history buff. I would love to go back and experience pivotal moments in the past (not interfere…just experience).

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

[Angela Dennis] Right after I sold Shadows of Fate, my editor at the time suggested that I read Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. Never one to ignore good advice, I immediately picked up the first book. I couldn’t stop reading until I had finished the series. There are so many things I love about it. But her world building is incredible. I was spell bound.

The most recent book I finished was Kim Harrison’s the Undead Pool. It was a great book, but reading it was bittersweet. The series is drawing to a close, and I’m not ready for it to end.

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

[Angela Dennis] They can find me on Twitter @angeladennis, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorangeladennis?ref=hl , Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/angeladennis779/ and Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7770902.Angela_Dennis

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Shadows of Fate

Shadow Born

Book 1

Angela Dennis

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61921-927-4

Number of pages: 247

Word Count: 87,000

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

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Chapters iTunes Amazon.es

Tagline: Redemption lies beyond the veil between truth and lies.

Book Description:

After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.

She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.

Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.

As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets.

Warning: A thrill ride of supernatural proportions. Contains violent battle scenes, nail-biting suspense, crazy hot sexual tension, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin.

Excerpt:

Copyright © 2014 Angela Dennis

All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Her gaze stretched to the bar. Beneath the glittering liquor bottles and burnt oak, a bottle of Jack in one hand and Grey Goose in the other, stood her target. Dirty blond hair brushed past his eyebrows, the rest tied back in a rubber band. He seemed innocent enough. As he flipped a glass bottle behind his back, muscles rippling on his shirtless body, magic seeped from his skin. It flowed around the women stretched across the bar, their assets on display as well as their lust.

Thankfully, he didn’t get much bang for his buck. This one was weak. Newly possessed, the demon hadn’t had time to gain a strong enough lock on the victim’s body. This shouldn’t take long. The piles of paperwork she had left on her desk might even get done tonight.

She pushed through the crowd, stripping her leather duster off her shoulders as she went. The black corset underneath, paired with tight leather pants, flattered her figure. She turned heads, especially the demon’s. She released the hair tie at the back of her neck. With a quick shake, her burnt copper curls slid down to her waist. She stopped at one of the tiny tables and threw her coat across the barstool.

Eyes closed, she pretended the music was something more aesthetically pleasing as she stepped onto the dance floor, keeping her mark at the forefront of her mind. She felt his eyes on her body as she swayed to the music. Hips gyrating to the heavy beat, she pulled on her glamour to blend in with the other dancers as she let her magic wrap his body. Losing herself in the music, she let him watch her move, feeling his desire amp. His energy vibrated as he made his way through the crowd, his power wild.

His hands draped her hips and he pulled her to him, his magic sliding over her body. Darkness tinged her aura, but she shrugged it off. Dealing with demon magic never got easier, but his wasn’t powerful. Grinning, she wrapped her hand around his neck, pulling him close until her lips brushed his ear. His burning skin jumped against her touch.

They stilled for a moment as the DJ switched tracks. “Think you could get me a drink?” she breathed, brushing a hand down his bare back. “I’m thirsty.” She grinned as he nodded, eager, the demon jumping beneath his skin.

“Anything for you, darlin’.” He wrapped a possessive arm around her waist, moving her toward the bar. “What’s your poison?”

“Whiskey. Straight.”

A grin played on his lips. “My kinda woman.”

Pushing past the other bartender, he grabbed a bottle of Jack and poured her shot. She caught it as it slid across the splintered wooden bar. Tossing it back, she reveled in the slow burn of the liquor. It was an old favorite. Just cause she was working didn’t mean she couldn’t treat herself.

She tossed back a second shot, thankful she didn’t have the ability to get drunk. Giving the demon her best longing look, she leaned forward. “Thanks. I needed that,” she murmured. “What’s your name?”

“Zed.”

Leaning forward, she traced a finger down her cleavage. “Do you think you could give me a ride home, Zed?” she asked. She bit one finger in a nervous gesture, knowing he was buying it. “My friend went home with some guy and left me here. I can wait.”

His eyes flashed, and she knew she had him.

“Sure.” He glanced at the other bartender. “Give me a second. I got off an hour ago.”

Sure you did, she thought.

A few seconds later he was back, pulling on a t-shirt as he walked. The gesture was surprisingly human. With the demon hiding inside, the brimstone dancing in his blood would keep his body uncomfortably hot, eventually burning him alive from the inside out. It may be the middle of winter, but he would never feel the cold.

He held up his keys as she rose to meet him. “My truck’s out back.”

She moved closer, letting him drape an arm over her shoulder. “Let me grab my coat.” The duster was where she had left it. She draped it over her arms as she turned on her psychic link with Xavier. The mage accepted, and Brenna turned to the demon, knowing Xavier was watching through her eyes. At this point, the mark’s lust was so inflamed he wouldn’t notice the slight change of color in her irises.

Wrapping her free arm around Zed’s waist, she led him through the mass of patrons to the exit. As they stepped into the wintry air, she noticed the bikers again. They stood beside their Harleys, watching her warily as she passed. She worried the tension might give her away, but Zed was oblivious.

She led him over the cobblestone to where Xavier waited. As they closed in on the shadows, she could feel Zed’s eagerness spike.

The darkness moved over them, hiding them from prying eyes. Xavier’s power sang in the night, a compass pointing her to the van. Leaving Zed to follow behind, she moved to the gray van and pressed her back against its side. Zed moved toward her, all pretense of humanity stripped away. The graceless stride betrayed his hunger as green scales peeled away his skin and his eyes turned to blood red slits.

Brenna waited until he was on her, scales chaffing the sensitive skin of her face, then she dropped her glamour. The demon jerked back as her magic wrapped around his body, but it was too late. In one swift movement, she pulled the blade strapped to her back free and ripped the already tattered t-shirt away from his chest. Shifting her body weight, she slammed him against the vehicle even as his body mass grew, the demon pushing its way to the surface. One hand held Zed steady, the other slipped beneath his jeans to feel the skin of his hip.

“A little to the left,” the demon growled, body shaking, titillated despite itself.

He shifted his weight and slammed her against the brick wall behind her. His body pressed hard against hers, he ran a scaly tongue across her cheek. “You don’t have to get hostile, darlin’. I don’t mind if you like it rough.”

She let her power surge and kneed him in the crotch. Sparks flew as her spell sent him flying against the van. Keeping him in place with a holding spell, her fingers found the rune carved on his hip. She ripped away the denim as she tried to control the squirming demon.

“A little help?” she called out. She had pulled back the spell. Her full body weight was pressed against the demon, but he was starting to get free. Her magic had to be focused on breaking the possession; she couldn’t waste it restraining Casanova.

She released the demon as Xavier stepped from the shadows and slammed it against the van again. Subdued, the creature glared at them, its red eyes filled with hatred. Another hard slam dazed the creature, but only for a moment.

A flick of her hand and the back of the van opened. Xavier shoved Zed inside. As soon as he was strapped into the harness, Brenna ripped off his jeans. His hips now bare, she was able to see the rune carving, fresh as she had hoped.

Her ceremonial blade pulsed in her hand as she charged it with her energy.

Zed spit at her. The saliva sizzled across the corset, burning a hole in the leather.

Damn. That had been one of her favorites.

“Stuff something in its mouth. I need to concentrate.”

“Deal with it. Even in the harness this thing is a bitch to restrain.” White lines creased Xavier’s eyes, and Brenna worried his injuries were more severe than he let on.

Zed’s fingers began to work the trappings of the harness, but Xavier pulled him back, one arm around his scaly neck. In an explosion of power, Zed pulled free, knocking Xavier into the side of the van. Saliva dripping from his fangs, Zed growled at Brenna, and snapped the other wrist free. Jumping across the van, he pinned Brenna beneath him. Spittle fell from his lips, scorching its way across her skin. She pressed her palm against his face and pushed with all her strength, ignoring her burning flesh. Then, suddenly, he was gone.

Getting to her feet, she saw Xavier had strapped the beast back into the restraints.

“You got it?” Once she started, she wouldn’t be able to help him anymore. All of her energy would go into the exorcism.

“Yeah. Hurry.”

A sharp giggle jarred Brenna’s attention. Looking up, she caught Hilda peering through the glass from the front seat. “If he passes out, I can help.”

“This isn’t a game.”

Zed slammed against his restraints. “I like ghosts. They burn like whiskey going down.”

“Shut up,” Xavier growled.

Tuning them out, Brenna let the words of the exorcism spell spill from her lips. Her hand pressed against the rune on the demon’s hip. The carving glowed and the green light grew until it filled the van.

Zed fought against the restraints. Obscenities, the kind only a demon would know or understand, ricocheted throughout the vehicle.

Xavier stuck a thick leather strap in the demon’s mouth, cutting off his tirade.

Brenna gathered her magic. It pooled through her and into the athame as she sliced the silver blade into the center of the rune. Blood seeped from the wound, spilling over the green light. It exploded with power, slamming Brenna against the van. Xavier fared better, still wrapped around the demon. He was surrounded by a musty green steam that reeked of brimstone.

Continuing the chant, Brenna pulled a pouch of blessed sand from the crevice between her breasts. Throwing a pinch onto the rune, she banished the demon back behind the Veil. Golden steam rose from the wound. It twined around Brenna thick and dense, but she continued to chant even as its foulness tried to seep inside her mouth.

Darkness teased the edges of her vision for a few moments, then the warmth of Xavier’s power wrapped around her body like a shield, pushing out the demonic essence. Time stood still as the final words filled the air. Then, in a flash, the beast was gone.

About the Author:

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com or at her website www.angeladennisauthor.com . She loves to hear from her readers, so find her on Twitter for a chat @angeladennis

https://twitter.com/AngelaDennis

https://www.facebook.com/angela.dennis.7798

http://www.pinterest.com/angeladennis779/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26267274-angela-dennis

www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com

www.angeladennisauthor.com

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1 prize pack featuring a copy of Shadows of Fate, book swag (bookmarks) and coffee.

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17. Spotlight and Giveaway-Nova and Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen

 

NOVA AND QUINTON: NO REGRETS by Jessica Sorensen (April 15, 2014; Forever E-Book; $4.99)

Today is the first day of Quinton Carter’s new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She’s the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he’s not ready yet.
Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova’s life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life’s dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova’s heart?

 

About Jessica Sorensen:

Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

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Buy Links:

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

Excerpt

“I have to tell you something else, but it’s not good—it’s bad.” Before I can chicken out, I hurry and sputter, “Someone gave me a bag of meth today and I have it underneath my mattress.” As soon as I say it, I wonder why the hell I thought this was a good idea, throwing this on her. I need to stop relying on her so much—need to stand on my own two feet.

I’m about to hang up, because really it’s the only choice, but then she says, “Did you do any of it?”

“No.” My voice shakes as I grip the side of the mattress and battle to breathe evenly.

“Do you want to?” she asks calmly.

“Yes.” My voice is full of desperation.

“Are you… are you going to?” There’s a hint of worry in her tone.

“I’m not sure,” I admit. “I want to, but I also want to throw it away.”

“Then throw it away,” she says, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.

“I don’t think I can.” My hands quiver just at the thought of it and I rest my forehead on the mattress, still on my knees “It feels fucking impossible.”

“Yes, you can.” She sounds so certain and I have no idea how she’s doing it—managing to sound so calm when I know she can’t be. “Just take it and dump it down the toilet. You can do this. I know you can.”

“You have too much faith in me,” I say, slipping my fingers between the bed and the mattress, fighting the urge to hang up on her and turn to what’s only inches away from my fingertips.

“No, I have the right amount,” she replies. “Now let me know when you have it and you’re headed to the bathroom. And don’t hang up on me.” It’s like she can read my mind.

I sit there forever, going back and forth with what I want and need to do. At one point I grab the bag of crystal and put it back. Then pull it out again and open it, staring at the white crystals so close I can almost taste them. But I can also hear Nova breathing on the other end. Soft and full of concern. Acting calm, when I’m sure she’s freaking out. I want to throw them away just for her, but I have to wonder if it’s possible to care for someone so much that I’d give this up. Do I care for her that much?

After a lot of deliberating, I come to one simple answer.

Yes. I care about her that much.

I get to my feet and make my way to the bathroom, not speaking. Then I lift up the toilet seat and, shutting my eyes, I tip the bag over, pour the contents into the water, and flush them down.

“Did you do it?” Nova asks at the sound of the flushing.

I press my lips together, resting back against the bathroom wall, realizing how sweaty I am and how much I’m gasping for air. “I did.”

“See, I knew you could do it,” she says with relief in her voice. “I knew you’d do the right thing.”

The right thing? Is that what I just did? Sometimes it feels like it is, but there are other times when it feels like what I’m doing is so wrong and disrespectful to Lexi. But through the right and wrong, there’s always one thing that gives me hope and that’s Nova. She’s what keeps me going.

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

Because music plays such an important part in the Nova series, and all of Jessica’s books, we’re offering a $25 iTunes gift card plus a collection of Jessica’s print titles with signed bookplates: THE SECRET OF ELLA AND MICHA, THE TEMPTATION OF LILA AND ETHAN, THE COINCIDENCE OF CALLIE AND KAYDEN, THE REDEMPTION OF CALLIE AND KAYDEN, and NOVA AND QUINTON: NO REGRETS.

The mini grand prize winner will receive a $25 iTunes gift card and a special print copy of NOVA AND QUINTON: NO REGRETS, and an additional 10 winners will receive a special print copy of NOVA AND QUINTON: NO REGRETS.

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18. Review: The Seduction Game by Emma Shortt

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I was drawn to The Seduction Game because of the author.  I read Emma Shortt’s Waking Up Dead and loved it.  Zombies, running for your life, and falling in love – what a combo!  It usually always works for me.  Then I saw that she wrote a contemporary romance, and I thought – what the heck!  I will read it as I wait for the next book in her zombie series!

 

I enjoyed The Seduction Game mostly because protagonist Kate is a certified nerd.  She’s a sci-fi fan, dabbles in game design, and soups up computers for a living.  When the businesses surrounding her computer repair shop start selling out to a real estate developer, she thinks her life is ruined.  Certainly her business has been financially dinged by the dearth of activity around her place, so she blames Will Thornton for her current anxiety.  She refuses to sell, and is harassed by Will’s right hand man, sleazebag Chris.  He keeps threatening her, making her even more determined to never sell her building to them.

Will has just returned from the UK, and he’s concerned that there is one holdout in his newest development.  He can’t begin the project until Kate sells because her shop is smack dab in the middle of the project.  He’d been assured by Chris that she was willing to sell, only to change her mind because she wanted more money.  Will decides to approach Kate himself to see why she changed her mind.  One look at the pretty geek, however, and he’s smitten.  She’s cute and quirky and a lot of fun to be around.  Bowing under pressure to proceed with his project, though, he wonders if he can seduce her into selling.  Shame on you, Will!  Though he is bothered by a guilty conscious, the fact that he ever considered that in the first place didn’t win him any brownie points from me!

Kate is socially awkward, and she usually avoids social situations. She’d rather stay home and work on her clients’ computers, play video games, or have marathon sessions watching her favorite TV shows and movies.  Will makes her uncomfortable from the start, but with the insistent prodding of her best friend and employee, Meg, she allows him to explain his vision for the building project to her.  As she spends more time with him, she can’t help but feel even more attracted to him.  He’s handsome, nice, and fun to be around.  But is he really interested in her, or is interested in convincing her to sell her building to him?

Kate is a victim of low self-esteem, and she’s still mourning the death of her parents.  After losing the family home years ago, the only thing she has left of them is the building that currently houses her business, with the tiny living space above the shop.  The building is old, but she’s determined to hang onto it, fight for it tooth and nail.  It is her safe zone, the only place she feels comfortable being herself.  I understood her reluctance to sell and put her past behind her; moving on for her meant saving goodbye to her parents all over again.  However, Will made her an offer that she would have been a fool to turn down.  As she begins to buy into his vision for the project, and the jobs and affordable housing the mixed use project would bring, she begins to question her reasons for not selling.  Plus, there’s that undeniable attraction she has for him, and she wants to see if it would go anywhere without the building standing between them.

The side story with Chris, Will’s brother-in-law, was a little too predictable, and there were times when Kate seemed too immature for her age, but overall, The Seduction Game is fast and fun read.  Now if only it had zombies…

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

When millionaire bad boy, Will Thornton, tries to buy computer-geek Kate Kelly’s building out from under her, she refuses to sell. Will might be uber rich, and super successful but she won’t be bullied. Trouble is, she didn’t expect Will to look like one of her fantasy heroes, or to make her heart beat a little too fast. She’s prepared to wait him out, but it’ll take every ounce of her self-control to win this game.

With millions of dollars on the line, Will is positive he can make Kate sell. He’s played the game better than anybody and charming is his middle name. Problem is, the snarky, geeky, computer-wiz is nothing like he imagined—impossibly cute and a match for him in every way.

The game is on but can two such radically different people come out winners in the game of seduction?

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19. Review and Giveaway: Prince’s Fire by Amy Raby

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I have had an eye on Amy Raby’s  Hearts and Thrones series since the first book, Assassin’s Gambit, came out last year.  When I had the opportunity to hop on the review tour for book 3, Prince’s Fire, I jumped.  I really enjoyed this book, and it wasn’t a hindrance that I dove into the series three books in.  I never felt lost, and all of the characters were introduced in ways that didn’t leave me wondering about their relationships with each other.  As soon as I get a chance, I am going to read Archer’s Sin, a novella featuring two of my favorite characters from Prince’s Fire. 

 

Prince Rayn is visiting Kjall to work out a trade agreement.  He is expected to fail miserably by his political enemies back home in Inya, so he’s surprised when he’s offered the hand of the imperial princess to strengthen the ties between the two kingdoms.  Inya is a smaller nation comprised of thousands of islands.  Weak militarily, Inya does have something that Emperor Lucien desperately wants; brimstone.  With the means to produce gun powder, Lucien believes that he will have the weapons to deter more wars for his kingdom.  He wants nothing more than to live in peace, leaving the warlike traditions of his father, Florian, far in the past. 

Rayn is mistrustful of the offer, and he doesn’t want to trade the brimstone to the Kjallians.  He’s still holding a grudge against Lucien’s father for murdering his aunt, and he refuses to listen to his advisor when he’s counseled to accept the princess as his bride.  She’s the daughter of a murderous lunatic, so surely her sanity, as well as Lucien’s, isn’t to be trusted.  This turns out to be an ironic position for Rayn to hold, because his own father is suffering for mental issues that are having an adverse effect on his own nation. 

Rayn’s refusal to see beyond Celeste’s father’s behavior irritated me to no end.  After meeting her, his impression of her was that she was shy and intelligent, but he would not forgive her for her father’s actions.  Since she was a young girl when Florian was terrorizing the world, it wasn’t like she could have intervened on behalf of the nations he was destroying.  It took Rayn better than half of the book to forgive Celeste for something that she had no control of, and I found that frustrating.

Celeste is a very intelligent woman.  She’s also suffering from a low self-esteem, thanks again to being the daughter of the emperor.  Kidnapped by one of Florian’s rivals, she was forced to marry him, and suffered from his abuse until Lucien rescued her.  Celeste wants to do nothing other than study her beloved mathematics, but when her brother suggests the union with Rayn, she’s intrigued by the handsome prince.  She’s hurt that he can’t forgive her for her lineage, but so be it.  If he refuses her, she’ll continue work on her math treatise and mend her wounded heart with the comforting nature of mathematics.

When an attempt is made on their lives, they are thrown together in a struggle for survival.  Thrown off a ship in the middle of the sea, they manage to make it to shore with the help of their magic.  Rayn is a fire mage, and he keeps them warm in the frigid water with his powers, while Celeste is a mind mage, who can compel creatures, like the shark that takes them to land, to help them.  I thought their magic complimented each other, and while I didn’t completely understand all of the nuances of the magic system, I found it interesting and I would like to know more about it.

As the attempts on Rayn’s life continue, the other thing about him that I found annoying surfaced.  In Inya, bodyguards are a sign of a weak king, and they aren’t employed, while in Kjall, they are part of imperial life.  This reinforces his poor impression of both Celeste and Lucien.   Rayn refuses to have bodyguards, even though it’s obvious that somebody wants him dead.  This, to me, was just another example of Rayn’s immaturity.  Dude!  The Land Council has made no secret that they are out to enrich themselves, at the expense of both your people and your family, so you need to get over yourself and do whatever is necessary to protect your kingdom! Argh!  Some people are just slow learners!

Well, it’s a good thing Celeste was around to give Rayn a helping hand.  She is obviously going to be the brains of the relationship!  After uncovering the plot to end Rayn’s life, Celeste decisively moves to save Rayn’s life, despite his rejection of her.  She steals her brother’s ship with the help of his wife, Vitala, and off they go in a desperate attempt to save the prince’s life, and his kingdom, too.  I guess if Rayn had been a little quicker on the uptake, the novel would have only been half the length, so I will try to overlook his stubbornness and inability to think outside of the box.

These minor quibbles aside (victim blaming is such a hot button for me), Prince’s Fire is an enjoyable, sexy read.  I’m looking forward to reading more stories set in Amy Raby’s Hearts and Thrones series.

Grade:  B

 

Prince’s Fire

Hearts and Thrones #3

By: Amy Raby

Releasing April 1st, 2014

Blurb

The imperial princess has been offered in marriage to the Prince of Inya as part of an alliance needed to ensure Kjall’s military prowess. And despite having been hurt in the past by men using her to gain power, Celeste finds herself falling for the passionate fire mage.

Prince Rayn has no intention of allying his country with the militaristic Kjallans. But his political enemies at home may be the greater threat. The princess’s beauty and intelligence catch him off guard, throwing an unexpected and dangerous hurdle in the way of his plans.

As a deadly political plot threatens Rayn’s life, the attraction between Celeste and Rayn ignites into a sizzling affair. But to save her people and herself, Celeste will have to discover if Rayn’s intentions are true or risk having her love burn her yet again….

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/01/now-booking-tasty-review-tour-for_6800.html

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Princes-Fire-Hearts-Thrones-ebook/dp/B00F9EZCMI

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princes-fire-amy-raby/1116934331?ean=9780451417848

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princes-fire/id709600981?mt=11

Author Info

Amy Raby is literally a product of the U.S. space program, since her parents met working for NASA on the Apollo missions. After earning her Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Washington, Amy settled in the Pacific Northwest with her family, where she’s always looking for life’s next adventure, whether it’s capsizing tiny sailboats in Lake Washington, training hunting dogs, or riding horses. Amy is a 2011 Golden Heart® finalist and a 2012 Daphne du Maurier winner.

Author Links

Website: http://amyraby.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Amy.Raby.Author

Twitter: @amyraby

Excerpt

Celeste followed her older brother, Emperor Lucien of Kjall, down the sun-drenched pier at the docks of Riat. Shielding her eyes, she gazed at the Inyan ship Magefire which rode at double anchor in the harbor. It looked like an interloper among the heavy Kjallan warships. Its masts were higher, its lines sleeker, its hull paler in color.

Sailors and dock workers moved aside to clear a path for them. The emperor was an infrequent visitor to the docks. He moved at a brisk walk, limping almost imperceptibly on his wooden leg, his eager eyes fixed on the barrels rowed in earlier this morning.

Beside Celeste gamboled a large black and white dog, who darted longing glances at the ocean waves that lapped at the sides of the pier. And on all sides were the Legaciatti, their bodyguards and security staff.

“You’re going to love this,” said Lucien. “A stone that burns.”

Celeste smiled; she knew his real reason for dragging her out here. Celeste wasn’t naturally sociable except with a few trusted people. She had a tendency to lock herself with her work in her rooms, where the hours slipped by faster than she intended. Her brother interrupted her now and then, when he thought she needed sunshine and conversation.

The dock guards before the barrels stood straight and stiff, awed by the presence of the emperor. Lucien studied the label of the first barrel and signaled the nearest guard to open it. Celeste ran forward to see its contents revealed.

Inside was a bright yellow powder. Celeste scooped up a handful and let it sift through her fingers. “This isn’t stone.”

“It’s brimstone.” Lucien dug into the substance and cupped a handful of it, staring reverently as if it were powdered gold. “It’s been pulverized into this powder. Do you know where the Inyans gather it? Along the edge of a volcano.”

“What poor sod gets stuck with that job?” She had no personal experience with volcanoes, since there were none in Kjall, but everyone knew a volcano had destroyed the nation of Dori.

“A well-paid sod, I hope. But Inya’s volcanoes are more manageable than Dori’s. The Inyans have a system for controlling them. Ask the prince about it when you meet him.”

Celeste was trying not to think about the prince. He’d come in the Magefire to negotiate a trade agreement with Kjall and had brought the barrels of brimstone as a demonstration of good faith. What the prince didn’t know was that Lucien wanted more than a trade agreement. He wanted an alliance, and to secure it, he meant to offer Celeste’s hand in marriage. Celeste had never met the Inyan prince, and in a matter of months, he could be her husband.

Scooping up a double handful of brimstone, she asked, “Does it really burn?”

“Absolutely. Come and see.” Carrying his own handful, Lucien gestured her to follow. The black and white dog wagged its tail beseechingly, and he addressed it. “Oh, just get in the water, Patricus. Everyone knows you want to.”

With a joyous bark, the dog leapt off the pier and splashed into the ocean.

As they walked the length of the pier, passing by the staring dock workers, Celeste cradled the powdery treasure in the folds of her syrtos to shelter it from the breeze. At the end of the pier, they descended a wooden staircase to a sandy beach.

Lucien found an open space with nothing flammable around and, with the foot of his wooden leg, dug a crude hollow in the sand. “In there.”

Celeste poured her brimstone into the hollow, and Lucien added his. Though the brimstone had a consistency similar to the sand, it was a brighter yellow.

Lucien took Celeste’s hand and backed away from the hole, drawing her with him.

A bit of movement caught her eye—a dark shape appearing and disappearing among the white froth of the breakers. “Don’t light the brimstone yet. Patricus is coming.”

“I see him,” said Lucien.

Patricus burst from the waves and loped up the beach.

“He’s sopping wet,” said Lucien. “Shake it off, Patricus!”

The dog kept coming. His feet sank into the soft sand, but he pumped his legs and scrambled on, sending the sand flying out behind him.

“Shake it off!” Lucien commanded.

Patricus galloped to Lucien and shook, spraying sand and seawater all over him.

“Pox this animal.” Scowling, Lucien brushed sand off his imperial syrtos and turned to the Legaciatti, who were covering their faces to hide their grins. “Where were you? Some security detail.”

“We don’t interfere with the imperial dog, Emperor,” said one of the Legaciatti.

Lucien muttered to Celeste, “I don’t get half the respect Florian did.”

“They love you. Everyone does.” This was not true, of course. Lucien had numerous enemies. But Celeste felt that if those people truly knew Lucien, they would love him as much as she did.

Lucien grabbed Patricus by the scruff and gestured to the fire mage in his security detail. “Light the brimstone, Jasper.”

The fire mage waved his hand, and the yellow powder ignited.

Celeste gasped. The flame was blue. “Three gods, that can’t be right. It’s unnatural. Like a Vagabond fire.”

“It stinks like the Vagabond’s breath.” Lucien waved away the smoke.

Celeste got her first whiff of the fumes and choked. He was right; the burning brimstone smelled like something rotten. She backed away and so did Lucien, dragging Patricus with him.

Lucien beamed like a delighted schoolboy. “Have you ever seen the like?”

Holding her nose, Celeste shook her head.

“Only the gods could devise something so strange and wonderful. No wonder it’s needed for making the most important substance in the world.”

“Chocolate?” said Celeste.

Lucien gave her a look. “Gunpowder, as you well know. Put the fire out, Jasper.” When the fire was out, he released Patricus, who fell into step at his side, wagging his tail. He offered his arm to Celeste, and they headed to the carriage, followed by the Legaciatti.

“Where are the Inyans?” asked Celeste.

“Up at the palace,” said Lucien. “They’ve had a long sail. They need to rest, freshen up. So do we, I think, after that brimstone.”

“I wish you had told the prince in advance that you were going to offer him my hand.”

“And spoil the surprise?” Lucien grinned. “Trust me, it’s better he should see what he’s getting. If you can’t sell this alliance, no one can.”

Celeste shook her head. Lucien thought the world of her, but he was her brother and obviously biased. She was not as pretty as he suggested. “When will you make the proposal?” Her stomach knotted at the thought of seeing her potential marriage partner for the first time at a formal event, with everyone’s eyes on her. She’d heard a few things about the prince: that he was twenty-two years old, a good match to her own age of nineteen, and handsome. Those were points in his favor, but they were surface traits and told her little about whether she would be happy with the man. Or whether he would be happy with her.

“I don’t care for official presentations,” said Lucien. “The last one I attended turned into a fiasco. Instead I’ve arranged a small dinner party. You and me and Prince Rayn, plus a few officials to balance things out and keep the conversation flowing. What do you think?”

She let her breath out. “That sounds less intimidating.”

They had arrived at the imperial family coach, an imposing blue-and-gold conveyance which comfortably seated six and was drawn by a quartet of matched grays.

Lucien took her hand and squeezed it as he lifted her into the carriage. “Courage, sister. It will all work out.”

Giveaway ($10.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or Paperback Copy of PRINCE’S FIRE to Two Winners)

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20. Interview with Julie Ann Long, Author of Between the Devil and Ian Eversea and Giveaway

 

Please give a warm welcome to Julie Ann Long this morning!  I am so excited to have her visiting the virtual offices that I stayed up all night cleaning the dashboard in anticipation of her visit. 

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

[Julie Ann Long] Curious. Intense. Eclectic. Amused. Observant.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Julie Ann Long] Inveterate rogue Ian Eversea finally meets his match in orphaned American Heiress Titania “Tansy” Danforth. And irony of ironies, the one woman who finally has him thinking about forever is the one woman he can never have—she’s the Duke of Falconbridge’s ward, and he has the last say in who she marries. And if you’ve read WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE, you’ll understand why.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Julie Ann Long] Readers have been eager for Ian Eversea’s story since he first upended the Duke of Falconbridge’s world in WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE (and really inadvertently, and in a roundabout way, helped the duke find his true love). And I knew it was time to tell Ian’s story and resolve his rather, er, tense standoff with the Duke of Falconbridge.

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

[Julie Ann Long] Writing the perfect heroine for Ian Eversea—Ian and Tansy’s dialogue, banter, and growing relationship was just a pleasure to write, and the scenes between the two of them crackled as I wrote them—it felt so natural. I also loved setting up the ultimate confrontation between Ian and the Duke of Falconbridge. They legendarily, er, crossed swords in WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE. I’m very happy with how it concludes! I hope readers will be, too.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Julie Ann Long] You mean, the theme song they play when I stroll out onto the Tonight Show stage, that sort of thing? ;) Brick House, by the Commodores. Ha! Maybe “Glad Girls” by Guided by Voices? “Moby Dick” by Led Zeppelin? Too many choices!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Julie Ann Long] My house keys!! (not after that one time, anyway…)

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

[Julie Ann Long] My cat. A cup of green tea. The number “11” in a tiny ornate frame.

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

[Julie Ann Long] Hmmm…I think my cat. I wouldn’t have to cook—my meals would magically appear before me!—and I love back rubs and head scratches. And I’ve always wondered what it would be like to sleep in a nice pile of warm laundry.

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

[Julie Ann Long] The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson were both brilliant reads. I’m also going through a strange little phase where I’m reading a lot of Faith Baldwin romances written in the 30′s and 40′s. She was the first Nora Roberts, if you will, and she’s a delightful writer.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Julie Ann Long] Reading! Naturally, right? I read a LOT. I love hiking/walking, great live music of all kinds, amazing food, museums, art shows, lectures, the ballet, just hanging out with good friends and laughing until it hurts.

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

[Julie Ann Long] Readers can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieAnneLong, Twitter at @JulieAnneLong, and on my website, http://www.julieannelong.com. I look forward to hearing from everybody!

 

Between the Devil and Ian Eversea

Pennyroyal Green Series #9

By: Julie Ann Long

Releasing March 25th, 2014

Blurb

She might look like an angel…
The moment orphaned American heiress Titania “Tansy” Danforth arrives on English shores she cuts a swath through Sussex, enslaving hearts and stealing beaux. She knows she’s destined for a spectacular titled marriage—but the only man who fascinates her couldn’t be more infamous…or less interested.
…but it takes a devil to know one…
A hardened veteran of war, inveterate rogue Ian Eversea keeps women enthralled, his heart guarded and his options open: why should he succumb to the shackles of marriage when devastating good looks and Eversea charm make seduction so easy?
…and Heaven has never been hotter.
When Ian is forced to call her on her game, he never dreams the unmasked Tansy—vulnerable, brave, achingly sensual—will tempt him beyond endurance. And fight as he will, this notorious bachelor who stood down enemies on a battlefield might finally surrender his heart…and be brought to his knees by love.

Link to Pennyroyal Green Series at Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/series/45155-pennyroyal-green

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DKZAVPG/ref=cm_sw_su_dp?tag=avonromancehc-20

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/between-the-devil-and-ian-eversea-julie-anne-long/1115558939?cm_mmc=affiliates-_-linkshare-_-mdxm68jzjz8-_-10%3a1&ean=9780062118134&isbn=9780062118134&r=1

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/between-devil-ian-eversea/id666055417?mt=11

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/01/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for_292.html

Author Info

The author of five popular novels from Warner and eight from Avon, Julie Anne Long lives in California with a fat orange cat (little known fact: they issue you a cat the moment you become a romance novelist).

Author Links

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20987.Julie_Anne_Long

Website: http://www.julieannelong.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieAnneLong

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

Giveaway (A Print Copy of Pennyroyal Green Series Book #8, IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT)

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21. Cover Reveal–The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy
Release Date: 11/04/14
Entangled Teen
 
Summary coming soon!


About the Author
Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at http://amyengel.net/ or @aengelwrites.
 
Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png

Cover Reveal Organized by:
 

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22. Kennedy Ryan, Author of When You Are Mine on Autism Awareness Month and Giveaway

 

A Message From Kennedy Ryan

April is Autism Awareness month. That might not even register on some people’s radars, but my family has lived with Autism for the last 11 years, since my son was diagnosed. My book WHEN YOU ARE MINE releases June 17 and provides a unique opportunity for me to combine my passion for writing and Autism advocacy. I’m donating 25% of my royalties from this book to resourcing families living with Autism.

Learn more about Autism and the 1 in 68 children diagnosed from my charitable partner, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).

Celebrate all the gladiators out there – kids, adults, families, siblings – living with Autism by entering the Autism Awareness Giveaway! Great cause! Great prizes!

Thank you!

Kennedy Ryan

Twitter Facebook Website

Amazon B&N Goodreads

BLURB:

Forever is a heartbeat away . . .
Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she’s always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated-until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July.
. . . but what about love?
As one of the East Coast’s most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family’s nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he’s been distracted by the one woman he can’t have. Lovely to look at and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first . . .

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23. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves-Cheese Cake 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.

Had an eventful week!

The bad -

Bumble decided to eat some plastic.  I could not induce him to vomit at home, so it was off to the doggie ER.  AGAIN!  They were able to get him to toss up a towel full of plastic bits and pieces, so he’s was fine immediately after.  He’s just not too bright. Sad smile

Dean’s car broke down.  A caliper froze up, which caused other damage, which, of course, was expensive.  At least it was fixed in a day, and it broke down on our street.

The good -

Finally was able to eat at The Cheesecake Factory in Novi.  The waits are still hours long, months after their grand opening.  I went with some wonderful co-workers, and we made certain that we arrived 10 minutes before they opened – and there was still a line! We were seated relatively quickly, and everyone had a fab-o lunch!  The cheese cake was yummy, too! I got Kaluha, if you are wondering.  And, because the portions are so large, I was able to save half of everything so I could enjoy it all over again!

It was 72 degrees yesterday!  I finally have a state park pass, so Dean helped me scope out a place to walk with the dogs.  We went to Proud Lake, which is close to our house, and the take away I got is the park is HUGE!  We won’t get bored walking around there for a while!  As long as no crazy stalkers bother us (we had a incident at a local city park last year), we are set to have a lot of fun!

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:

There are a TON of new arrivals.  Hoping things calm down so I can concentrate on reading them!

Earth Star

The Seat of Magic

What Did You Eat Yesterday?

Pack of Strays: A Fangborn Novel


The Girl Who Never Was

Bingo Bash (I wasted most of Thursday night playing this free game)

How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less

The Trouble With Harry

Lady Windermere’s Lover

It Takes a Scandal

Zipless

An Unwilling Husband

Huckleberry Summer

Forbidden

Red Rising (The Red Rising Trilogy) (1.99 at Amazon!)

Out of  Control

Marked by Hades

The Thing About Luck (This was 1.99)

Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?

The Mark of the Tala

A Vampire’s Promise

Just a Kiss (0.99!)

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

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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24. Spotlight and Giveaway-Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

 

 

Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

Tagline: He’s the last thing she wants…but the only thing she needs.

Blurb: Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.

Shane Claymore just wants to race. The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he’s only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane’s fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart. Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa’s quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unfixable-Entangled-Embrace-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B00JD223TW/ref=sr_1_1/189-4286229-9624341?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397318095&sr=1-1&keywords=9781622665457

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21527270-unfixable

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unfixable-tessa-bailey/1119055618?ean=9781622665457&itm=1&usri=9781622665457

Entangled:  http://www.entangledpublishing.com/unfixable/

Entangled Embrace:

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

Twitter: @EPEmbrace  Steals and Deals

Author Bio: Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

Website Blog Twitter Facebook Goodreads Street Team

Giveaway: An Irish-themed/Unfixable themed swag pack and a Kindle Fire.

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25. Interview with Bridget Blackwood, Author of Rising Shadows and Giveaway

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Bridget Blackwood] Quirky, loyal, straightforward, affable, jovial 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Rising Shadows?

[Bridget Blackwood] Non-humans trying to live alongside humans without being caught. Rising Shadows is a turning point for everyone because everything comes to light and there isn’t an option to hide anymore. Rachel is caught between two worlds, not belonging to either. She has a choice to make and her choice will tip the balance.

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

[Bridget Blackwood] Oooh, choosing a favorite is hard. I think the end when Rachel steps up to be her own hero is my favorite. She’s comes so far from the beginning and the scared confused woman she was in chapter one.

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

[Bridget Blackwood] Show don’t tell. It’s the difference between telling the reader a character is nervous and showing them through descriptions like “he shifted from one foot to the other.”  I feel like I use the same words and descriptions over and over. I’m self conscious that my show sucks. 

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

[Bridget Blackwood] My cellphone. It’s my lifeline to just about everything and everyone. 

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

[Bridget Blackwood] Two baby dragons from How to Train Your Dragon, a large sweet tea from the local deli, and pink monthly planner.

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

[Bridget Blackwood] Elsa Pataky. I’d send the kiddos to the nanny and spend all day locked in the bedroom with Chris Hemsworth. 

[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?

[Bridget Blackwood] Sweet! I’d choose speed. I could get soooo much done. I’d clean the whole house spotless and write a book a day. 

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

[Bridget Blackwood] I took a step away from paranormals and read a few contemporaries. Jay Crownover’s Marked Men series, Aurora Rose Reynolds’ Until series, I read everything by Bella Jewel I could find, and Teased by Jamie Begley.

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

[Bridget Blackwood] Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bridget.blackwood.9

Facebook fan page – https://www.facebook.com/BridgetBlackwoodAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/author_bridget

Blog – http://bridgetblackwood.wordpress.com

Website – http://bridgetblackwoodauth.wix.com/book

  

Rising Shadows

World in Shadows

Book One

Bridget Blackwood

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: February 1, 2014

ISBN: 1494891751

ASIN: B00I6U2ARW

Number of pages: 107

Word Count: 32,404

Cover Artist: The Killion Group

Amazon Nook

ITunes Kobo

Book Description:

Rachel Ryan wakes up with no knowledge of where she is or how she got there. Thrown into a world she thought only existed in myths, she finds more questions than answers.

Shape shifters, faeries, and vampires hide in plain sight among humans. There’s a war quietly brewing in the shadows. Rachel stands between mankind and those creatures that live in the darkness.

Enhanced with power she doesn’t understand, she’ll tip the scales, but who is the real enemy?

About the Author:

Bridget Blackwood is a hopeless romantic and a fan of happily ever after. She grew up in East Texas where she met and married her high school sweetheart. Together they moved to Southern Illinois, it’s been home for over a decade now. Bridget began telling stories at an early age, she writes in self-defense because the characters in her head are loud and bossy. A social butterfly by nature, Bridget loves to talk and laugh. When she isn’t writing she enjoys watching horror movies, playing video games, and not cooking.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bridget.blackwood.9

Twitter https://twitter.com/author_bridget

Blog http://bridgetblackwood.wordpress.com/

Website http://bridgetblackwoodauth.wix.com/book

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

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7735464.Bridget_Blackwood

Booklikes http://bridgetblackwood9.booklikes.com/

Quotes from the Book:

Quote 1

“I whooped the personal guards of the Vampire big kahuna. Whoops. In my defense, it’s not like they wore nametags.” – Rachel Ryan

Quote 2

“Is your plan to make me stupid with your sweet hands so I’ll agree to anything? Because it’s working.” – Sebastien “Bastien” Bonvillian

Playlist:

1. My Medicine by The Pretty Reckless

2. Freak Like Me by Halestorm

3. Titanium by Madilyn Extreme by Valora

4. Not Strong Enough by Apocalyptica

5. Oceans by Evanescence

6. Echoes of an Empire by Picture Me Broken

7. Carnival of Rust by Poets of the Fall

8. Never Go Back by Evanescence

9. Secret Door by Evanescence

Excerpt

Gates is in the center of the club. I follow behind him curious to see what happens next. I should grab Livia and run. I look up at the loft. People are lined up against the railing watching the display below. My eyes are drawn to one man in particular. From my angle and with the low lighting, I can’t tell much about his features or height. His clothes and hair are dark, he rests one arm on the top rail and holds a pool cue in the other hand. His gaze is a penetrating green and I swear they glow, I have to make myself look away.

“Guns are not appreciated here, sir,” says a young woman behind the bar.

Liquid courage, come to mama! Moving around Gates, I walk over and take a seat in front of her. “Can I get a drink please?” I ask politely.

“What do you think you are doing?” Gates grinds out through clenched teeth. He is standing directly behind me.

“You folks had me locked up playing lab rat. I just want a few minutes of me time before the shit hits the fan.”

Gates doesn’t know what to say to that. Patrons watch me curiously. Let them. I am past the point of caring. The bartender grins at me. She has hair that’s a silvery lavender dancing around her shoulders. Her eyes are a mesmerizing shade of purple. She doesn’t seem real. I am spellbound. Not a shifter, what is she? I have to stop myself from reaching out and touching her.

“What would you like?” She asks me breaking the trance.

Back to reality, in a room full of doom. “What would you recommend for a woman’s last drink on earth?”

Tour giveaway details

2 personalized signed print copies of Rising Shadows

3 Rising Shadows chainmail charm key chains

US and Canada shipping only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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