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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Suspense, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 235
1. Thursday Review: COMPLICIT by Stephanie Kuehn

This cover is really awesome.Summary: Protagonists whose past is hidden--even, sometimes, from themselves. It's something author Stephanie Kuehn does well, if you've read her first book, Charm & Strange. Complicit is another suspenseful read, in... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Thursday Review: COMPLICIT by Stephanie Kuehn as of 10/23/2014 7:33:00 PM
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2. Interview with Chrys Fey, Author of 30 Seconds

 

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

[Chrys Fey] Rock obsessed auntie who writes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about 30 Seconds?

[Chrys Fey] 30 Seconds is a romantic-suspense novella about a woman who finds herself in the middle of a war between a police force and the Mob.

When Officer Blake Herro agreed to go undercover in the Mob, he thought he understood the risks. But he’s made mistakes and now an innocent woman has become their target. He’s determined to protect her at all costs.

The Mob’s death threat turns Dr. Dani Hart’s life upside down, but there is one danger she doesn’t anticipate. As she’s dodging bullets, she’s falling in love with Blake. With danger all around them, will she and Blake survive and have a happy ending, or will the Mob make good on their threat?

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

[Chrys Fey] Oh there are so many! My favorite action scene is when Dani Hart runs from the Mob. They chase her out of the hospital where she works, down a packed street in the heart of Cleveland, and into an alley. They openly shoot at her, too, not caring that civilians are everywhere. It’s an intense, heart-pounding scene. I also love the scene when Dani and Blake have a snowball fight. It’s light and funny, a moment they desperately needed.

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

[Chrys Fey] Getting to know Blake and Dani. They were interesting characters from the first time they popped into my head. Blake arrived thanks to a dream and Dani showed up shortly after I had a layover in the Cleveland, Ohio airport on my way to Michigan. Dani is a tough doctor who loves rock music and horror movies. Blake is a sexy cop who struggles with his commitment to protect Dani due to his growing desires.

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

[Chrys Fey] Chap Stick.

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

[Chrys Fey] A witch’s cauldron that I turned into a writer’s cauldron with pens, pencils and scrap paper, “Queen of the Damned” by Anne Rice, and my Skull Candy headphones.

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

[Chrys Fey] Sandwiches are my go to meal if I work through lunch, but when it gets to be around two or three in the afternoon anything sweet will do.

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

[Chrys Fey] I would trade places with my character Dani to spend some time with Blake, a sexy police officer. Do you blame me? *wink*

[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?

[Chrys Fey] I would want the power to blink my body from one place to another, so I could go to all the places I’ve dreamed about visiting, like Ireland, Venice, and London.

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

[Chrys Fey] Moonless by Crystal Collier, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc by PK Hrezo, and Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich.

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

Chrys Fey] I am very active on Facebook and my blog. I love to read and reply back to comments from readers; it’s the highlight of my day.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chrysfey

Blog: www.writewithfey.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ChrysFey

Amazon: www.authorcentral.amazon.com/chrysfey

Title: 30 Seconds

Author: Chrys Fey

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Length: Novella (105 pages)

Format: eBook

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Published: September 10th, 2014

Bio:

Chrys Fey is a lover of rock music just like Dani Hart in 30 Seconds. Whenever she’s writing at her desk, headphones are always emitting the sounds of her musical muses -especially that of her favorite band, 30 Seconds to Mars, the inspiration behind the title.

30 Seconds is her second eBook with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Hurricane Crimes, is also available on Amazon.

Discover her writing tips on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook. She loves to get to know her readers!

The post Interview with Chrys Fey, Author of 30 Seconds appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Spotlight: Spy Fall by Diana Quincy

I have a spotlight for Diana Quincy’s Spy Fall, which looks like a fun read.  The heroine jumps out of airplanes.    She’s got to be nuts!

Blurb:

When a fiery French parachutist lands on a drunken Lord Cosmo Dunsmore, he surmises she’s an angel sent from above. But is she a spy after something far more sinister than his debauched soul?

A fearless parachutist is out of her depth …

 

Mari Lamarre is gaining fame for her daring aeronautic endeavors, but her riskiest adventure begins when she collides with the darkly charismatic son of the Marquess of Aldridge. If her mission succeeds, Cosmo’s father will be ruined.
A rakehell falls for a dangerous woman …

Surrendering to a fierce passion, the two embark on a torrid affair, even as Cosmo vows to protect his family at all costs. But in doing so, will he risk losing the captivating beauty who’s swept into his life and made off with his heart?

Author Bio:

Diana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she’d rather make up stories where a happy ending is always guaranteed. Diana’s reporting background is probably the reason many of her books are inspired by true-life events.

Growing up as a foreign service brat, Diana visited many countries and is now settled in Virginia with her husband and two sons. When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with laundry, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dreams of traveling much more than her current schedule (and budget) allows.

Social Media Links:

Website|Twitter|Facebook|Goodreads|Pinterest

Website: http://www.dianaquincy.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Diana_Quincy

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7045151.Diana_Quincy

Buy Link: Amazon Exclusive for the first six months

Click cover for product page

Excerpt:

They reached the hot air balloon, where a stable groom stood waiting to assist her. She stooped to untie one of the thick cables tethering the contraption to the ground.

“What I have in mind will give you great pleasure,” she said quietly.

His inky eyes went alert. “Is that so?”

“Release that cable, if you please,” she called to the groom.

He tipped his cap. “Yes, miss.” And proceeded to do just that.

Gesturing toward the other cable, she said to Cosmo. “Untie that, will you?”

“Whatever for?” He glanced at it before frowning back in her direction. “If you completely untether it, the balloon will fly away, as you well know.”

“Exactly.” She leapt into the wicker boat. “Allons. Let us go.”

“Go where? You want me to go up in that?” He took a step back. “I most certainly will not.”

She leaned over the edge of the gondola. “Pour le plaisir, remember?”

Shaking his head, he backed away. Switching to French so the groom wouldn’t understand, he said, “This is most assuredly not the sort of pleasure I meant.”

“You can show me what you do have in mind,” she said in the same language, as she bent over to retrieve and throw sand-filled ballasts out of the gondola.

“Come away from there and I gladly will.”

“I prefer that you come in here.” She offered him the most wickedly sensual smile in her feminine arsenal.

He blinked. Then swallowed. “Angel, you will be the death of me.”

“Perhaps just a little death.”

He narrowed his eyes at her. La petite mort was the French term for the peak of sensual pleasure. “Is that a naughty French reference? Or are you teasing me?”

She laughed aloud, exhilarated at the thought of soaring into the clouds with him. “You shall have to fly with me to find out.”

The post Spotlight: Spy Fall by Diana Quincy appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Interview with Maya Banks, Author of Keep Me Safe and Giveaway

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

[Maya Banks] Introverted, cave-dweller, book-lover, LOVES-to-dish-romance!, SO grateful to my readers.

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

[Maya Banks] Keep Me Safe is a LONG awaited story for me. I’ve wanted to write this story and book 3 for SO long. I’ve had those two stories in my head for YEARS. But a concise peek (and I’m not very concise!) is that Ramie has psychic abilities, unique abilities, that enable her to track kidnapping victims by touching an object belonging to the victim. She makes a connection to them, but the downside is that she experiences every thing the victim does once she makes that connection. Everything. So it’s rather horrifying. She’s an empath who is only able to feel or detect the evil in people. Never the good. So her “gift” is more of a curse since she’s never able to feel the GOOD.

Caleb hunts her down when his sister is abducted and they’ve exhausted all leads. He knows he’s racing against the clock and when Ramie refuses because she’s at her breaking point, he “forces” her compliance by shoving his sister’s scarf into her hands and holding her hands around it. And promptly sends her to hell.

Horrified by what he’s done, he’s determined to make it up to her. But she disappears and no amount of searching on his part is able to unearth her. Until she contacts him a year later because she’s in terrible danger and doesn’t know who else to turn to.

And well, thus begins their journey :)

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

[Maya Banks] As stated above, this is a story I’ve literally had in my head for many years. And the first thing that came to me was a single scene where the hero forces the heroine’s compliance when she initially refuses his request for her to help find his kidnapped sister. The hero has no idea what hell he has just unleashed on the heroine and has no idea the toll it takes on her and is appalled when he discovers just what he’s done.

That scene, which is the opening scene of Keep Me Safe, was the basis for the entire story and subsequent series. Book 3 in the Slow Burn series, Safe At Last, is ALSO a story that I have had the idea living in my head for many years and I’m THRILLED not only to get to write Caleb and Ramie’s story, but Zack’s and Gracie’s story in book 3. (Finally!)

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

[Maya Banks] Everything! Every single word. After waiting so long to be able to bring this story to light I loved every scene.

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

[Maya Banks] Honestly nothing. When you’ve had as long as I have to think about this story you don’t encounter many “bumps in the road” simply because you’ve had so long to go over the possibilities, arrange and rearrange constantly until you KNOW exactly what you want to do with the story.

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

[Maya Banks] Uh well I think it changes often or at least I can’t think of ONE song that would fit me all the time. I’m extremely eclectic and my music tastes range WIDELY.

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

[Maya Banks] My laptop.

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

[Maya Banks] While I DO have an office and a desk, I don’t always use it. I tend to switch places (writing spots) and currently my office isn’t it, so my desk is pretty clean!

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

[Maya Banks] Ok as you’re no doubt discovering I’m a really boring person! I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d like to trade places with because I’m a FIRM believer in “the grass is always greener…until you get there”

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

[Maya Banks] I’ve had VERY little reading time this year because I’ve been sidelines by health issues :( I’ve mostly been reading my OWN stories as I write them lol. BUT reading is ESSENTIAL for me. Especially after I come off an exhausting, stressful deadline. Reading helps me recharge the batteries and helps me rediscover my love of romance and it motivates me to go write another kickass book.

But at the same time, sometimes, especially when I DON’T have a lot of time, I don’t want to risk a new author or a new title that I’m unsure that I’ll LIKE. It’s at times like these that I fall back on my “comfort re-reads”  These are books that I love no matter HOW many times I re-read them. I’ve literally read them dozens and DOZENS of time because I KNOW they won’t disappoint me and the make me happy and motivate me to write something truly special.

So after coming off a VERY exhausting, DRAINING deadline a week ago, I was WASTED but I needed a “comfort re-read” so I chose three of Kresley Cole’s books in her IAD series and just went to bed and curled up with my super comfy pillows (I LOVE my down pillows and I LOVE my bed and down comforter and my AWESOME linens) Bed accessories are my one indulgence. So I took two days and just decompressed and read some Kresley Cole books just to give my brain a rest and make it “happy”

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

[Maya Banks] I am VERY close to my family. I have an EXTREMELY close and open relationship with all thee of my teenage children. I know, I know! Shocking, right?? And my favorite thing in the WORLD is simply being able to put my work away after finishing a deadline and even if it’s just all crashing on the couch together and watching a movie, or gathering in the kitchen over a family meal and discussing what’s going on with them and school, these are the times I savor the most. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.

I also love to travel and I am NOT a planner. If my husband and I actually try to sit down and plan out a trip down to the minutest detail months in advance, we become overwhelmed and frustrated and can never decide exactly what we want to do. We LOVE taking spur of the moment trips with no more than a day’s notice and we seem to be less frustrated with the “details” when we just GO instead of trying to plan it all out.

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

[Maya Banks] I hang out on Facebook and Twitter quite frequently. And I’m always available via email and my website always contains the latest, up to date information on all my books and releases. Links are below

www.facebook.com/authormayabanks

twitter.com/@maya_banks

www.mayabanks.com

maya@mayabanks.com

Keep Me Safe

Slow Burn # 1

By: Maya Banks

Releasing October 7th, 2014

Avon

A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister—the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks

When Caleb Devereaux’s younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie’s vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will do risk everything to protect her—including his heart. . . .

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/keep-me-safe-slow-burn-1-by-maya-banks.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20910177-keep-me-safe?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Keep-Me-Safe-Novel-Novels-ebook/dp/B00H20H5NG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408970888&sr=8-1&keywords=keep+me+safe

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/keep-me-safe-maya-banks/1117650167?ean=9780062312464

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/keep-me-safe/id771083448?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/keep-me-safe-1

Author Info

Maya Banks is a #1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, Scottish historical romances. She is the author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, the Sweet series, and the Colters Legacy novels.
She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.

Author Links

Website: http://mayabanks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMayaBanks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maya_banks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24978.Maya_Banks

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Caleb Devereaux turned out of the sharp switchback and onto the driveway leading up to the tiny mountain cabin, swearing when he hit pothole after pothole. Fury and impatience simmered in his blood but the anticipation of having finally found Ramie St. Claire after an exhaustive search kept his mood from being completely black.

Ramie was his sister, Tori’s, only hope.

The moment Tori was kidnapped, Caleb had begun his search for Ramie St. Claire. She certainly wasn’t the first person on most people’s go-to list when looking for a loved one. Ramie was psychic and had been helpful in locating victims in the past. While many would be skeptical, Caleb absolutely believed in Ramie’s abilities.

His own sister had psychic abilities.

He and his brothers, Beau and Quinn, had always been extremely overprotective of their baby sister. With good reason. Caleb was the head of a veritable empire. Security was always top priority. They’d always feared kidnapping for ransom, but in their worst nightmares they’d never imagined that Tori would simply disappear and be at the mercy of a madman.

There’d been no ransom demand. Simply a video of Tori bound hand and foot and the maniacal laughter of her captor as he told Caleb to kiss his sister goodbye.

He just prayed he wasn’t too late. God, don’t let it be too late for Tori.

It infuriated him that Ramie St. Claire had simply dropped off the map three months ago. No trace of her, no forwarding address. No evidence that she even existed. How could she simply disappear when she was such an invaluable aid in finding kidnap victims and missing persons? How selfish of her to simply refuse, by her actions, to help anyone?

He’d worked himself into a rage by the time he finally pulled up to the small cabin that looked as though it wouldn’t weather the upcoming winter at all. He wasn’t even certain there would be electricity. Only a person determined not to be found would live in a place like this.

He got out and strode to the ramshackle front door, his fist up and pounding. The door shook and rattled under the force of his knock. Only silence greeted him and it sent his blood pressure soaring.

“Miss St. Claire!” he roared. “Answer the goddamn door!”

He beat on the door again, shouting again for her to answer. He likely looked and sounded like the madman holding his sister, but at this point he didn’t care. He was beyond desperation. It had taken every resource available to him to finally track Ramie down. No way in hell he was leaving until he’d gotten the information he’d come for.

Then the door swung open and he was greeted by the sight of a petite woman with wary, gray eyes. He was momentarily taken aback, going silent as he stared at Ramie St. Claire for the first time in person.

The photos he’d seen of her didn’t do her justice. There was a delicate air to her as though she were recovering from an illness, but it in no way detracted from her beauty. She looked…fragile. He felt a brief moment of guilt for what he was about to ask her to do, but he brushed it away. There was no price too high to pay for his sister’s life.

“I can’t help you.”

Her softly spoken words slid like velvet over his ears, a direct contrast from the anger her refusal caused. He hadn’t even made his request yet and she was already giving him the brush-off.

“You don’t even know what it is I want,” he said in an icy tone that would wither most people.

“It’s rather obvious,” she said wearily, fatigue drooping her eyelids. “Why else would you come all this way? I don’t even want to know how you found me. It’s obvious I did a piss poor job of covering my tracks if you managed to find me here.”

Caleb frowned. Had she been ill? Was that why she’d dropped out of sight so she could recover? It didn’t matter why now that he’d found her. He didn’t care what her reasons were.

“With your abilities why would you purposely make yourself difficult to find?” he demanded. “My sister’s life is at stake here, Miss St. Claire. I’m not merely asking you to help me. I’m not leaving until you do.”

She shook her head adamantly, fear chasing the lethargy from her eyes. “I can’t.”

There was quiet desperation to her words that told him there was more to her refusal than what appeared on the surface. Something was wrong and yet he couldn’t summon any regret for forcing her compliance. Not when Tori’s life hung in the balance.

He reached inside his jacket and pulled out Tori’s scarf. The one item they’d found at the sight where she must have been taken. In the parking lot of a grocery store beside the open door of her car. He should have never let her go alone. He’d failed her. Failed to protect her. Failed to ensure proper security.

Ramie immediately backed away, a desperate cry on her lips. He shoved forward, forcing the scarf into her hands and holding her and the scarf so there was no escape. She emitted a broken sob and she looked up at him, stricken, her face going unnaturally pale. Her pupils flared and then clouded, pain and devastation clearly outlined on her features.

“No,” she whispered. “Not again. Oh God, not again. I won’t survive it.”

Her knees buckled and she would have gone down, but he caught her, ensuring the scarf never lost contact with her hands. He watched in horror as Ramie’s body sagged, slipping from his grasp despite his best effort to support her weight. She was simply lifeless, as limp as a rag doll. He quickly followed her down to the floor, determined that she not lose her grip on Tori’s scarf. But it didn’t seem to matter now. Ramie was somewhere else.

Her eyes glazed over and her body began to twitch spasmodically. She curled into a fetal position, the fragility of such a self-protective measure gutting him. She moaned softly and then began to weep.

“Please don’t hurt me again. Please, I’m begging you. I can’t take any more. If you’re going to kill me, just do it. Quit torturing me.”

Chill bumps spread rapidly up Caleb’s nape as Ramie’s voice, which sounded nearly identical to Tori’s, filled his ears. Dear God, was he witnessing what was happening to his sister through Ramie?

The scene Ramie was painting was horrifying. Not only for the fact that his sister was even now enduring the absolute worse. But from all appearances, Ramie was suffering with her.

He’d certainly done his research on Ramie St. Claire’s abilities but there was little information beyond her astonishing success record. No mention of how she managed to help victims or what it did to her. God help them all. What had he done?

Her body jerked and it took only a moment for Caleb to realize what was happening. It was too unmistakable. Bile rose in his throat and he had to suck in steadying breaths to keep from heaving the contents of his stomach on the floor. Tears burned his eyelids as he helplessly watched his sister being raped through the window of Ramie’s awareness.

Ramie’s weeping tore at his heart and he gathered her into his arms, not knowing what else to do but rock her gently. “Tori?” He whispered his sister’s name experimentally, not knowing if a link had been established through Ramie. “Can you hear me? It’s Caleb. Tell me where you are, honey. I’ll come for you. Hold on please. Don’t give up, no matter how bad it is.”

Ramie’s head jerked sideways and the imprint of a hand immediately appeared on her cheek. Caleb was horrified, unsure of what to do now that he’d crossed a line he couldn’t come back from. He tried to push back his guilt, telling himself that anything that helped him recover his sister was worth it. But was torturing an innocent woman worth it?

He hadn’t given her a choice. She’d told him no and yet he’d forced this on her not knowing the heavy toll it would take. He had no idea how her powers worked and now that he did he was sick to his soul. No wonder she’d been so resistant. No wonder she’d told him she couldn’t do it anymore.

“Ramie. Ramie!” he said in a more forceful voice. “Come back to me, Ramie. Come back so you can tell me how to find her.”

Ramie’s eyes were opened but so distant that he knew she wasn’t here. The imprint of the hand on her face was bright and vivid, red against deathly white skin. There was a look of such defeat and despair in her eyes that once again he found himself battling tears.

Suddenly she hunched inward, her entire body jolting as though absorbing a blow. She wrapped her arms around her stomach and he realized that she’d been kicked. Or rather Tori had been kicked. It was a horrific, helpless feeling to know that two women were being victimized, one because of him.

Then she simply rolled away, her cheek lying against the cold floor, her eyes fixed and vacant. She was completely still and terror gripped him. Was Tori dead? Oh dear God! Had he just witnessed his sister’s murder?

“Ramie! Wake up! God, please wake up. Tell me how to find her. Tell me that she’s still alive!”

He picked Ramie’s slight weight up, swearing because she was so thin and fragile, weighing nothing in his arms. He carried her to the worn sofa and carefully laid her down, not wanting to hurt her any more than she’d already been hurt.

He sat on the edge, gathering her icy hands in his, rubbing, trying to infuse warmth. He had no idea what to do. Should he take her to a hospital?

Then after several long moments, she blinked and seemed to come out of her trance. Pain immediately swamped her features and she began to silently weep again, each tear cutting him to ribbons.

“Is she still alive?” he asked anxiously. “Do you know how to find her?”

“Yes,” Ramie said dully.

Hope surged in his heart and he found himself nearly crushing her hands in his.

“Tell me where,” he urged.

Slowly and painfully she whispered the location down to the minutest detail. Chills once again slithered up his spine at the precision in which she described not only the location but the kidnapper. She even provided a license plate number.

He picked up his phone and immediately called his brother, relaying the information that Ramie had provided. When he was done, he stared helplessly down at Ramie, grateful and yet deeply regretful for what he’d just subjected her to.

“What do I need to do to help you?” he asked softly.

Resignation dulled her eyes even further. “There’s nothing you can do,” she said in a flat voice. “Just go.”

“The hell I’ll just leave you here!”

He was already calculating in his head that he could simply bring her with him. He could get her the care she so obviously needed at the same time Tori was receiving what she needed.

“Your sister needs you. Just go. I’ll be fine.”

The lie was so obvious, but it seemed to be all she could muster. He was torn between rushing to be with Tori and staying to ensure Ramie would be all right. But how could she be? Two women would live with this for the rest of their lives. His precious sister and the woman he’d forced to help him never knowing the price she’d pay.

“Please,” she begged, her voice breaking. “Just go and leave me be. I gave you what you wanted. I helped you, now go. It’s the least you can do.”

Caleb stood, wiping a hand over his hair and down the back of his neck in agitation. “I’ll go, but I’m coming back, Ramie. I’m going to make this up to you.”

“You can never take this back,” she whispered. “There’s no making up for what’s been done. Just go and take care of your sister. She needs you.”

She closed her eyes, tears seeping from her eyelids. How could he just leave her like she asked? And yet how could he not go and ensure that his sister was safely recovered? He’d never felt so torn in his life.

“If you have any humanity whatsoever, you’ll leave and never tell anyone where you found me,” Ramie said hoarsely. “Please, I’m begging you. Just go. He plans to kill her tomorrow. At dawn. You don’t have much time.”

Her words proved to be the impetus, driving him to action. But goddamn it, he would make this up to her. Somehow, someway.

Regret swamped him. Worse was the fact that even knowing now what he hadn’t known before, he couldn’t say he would have done anything differently. Not when it meant the difference between Tori’s life and death. But at least now he better understood Ramie’s resistance. No longer did he look at her and think she was selfish and cruel. Now he realized her disappearance had been self-preservation. He didn’t know she’d survived this in the past. He just prayed he wasn’t the tipping point in pushing her so far over the edge she’d never recover.

Caleb closed his eyes and then gently touched her cheek. “I’m so sorry. You’ll never know how much. My family and I owe you more than I can ever repay. I’ll go for now and pray to God I’m not too late. But I’m coming back, Ramie. Count on it. I’ll make this up to you if it’s the very last thing I do.”

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5. Guest Post and Giveaway: Denise Jaden, Author of Foreign Exchange

 

Please welcome Denise Jaden to the virtual offices this morning!

5 Things Jamie Won’t Leave Home Without

A Guest Post by Denise Jaden

Foreign Exchange is the story of a teenage girl—Jamie—who sneaks away from her class trip in Europe to rescue her best friend.

Here are the five things Jamie would not leave home without:

  1. A picture of her little brother Eddy. Eddy is severely disabled, and Jamie is almost a full time caretaker for Eddy. She loves him with all her heart, and although she loves the break when she leaves for Europe, she misses Eddy like crazy.

  2. Her phone. Because of her responsible side, Jamie will always keep her cell phone on hand. She’s not a big texter and doesn’t spend much time Googling around the Internet, but she will be available if her mom ever needs to get a hold of her.

  3. A picture of her best friend, Tristan. While Jamie hates having her picture taken, Tristan is an aspiring fashion model and loves it. Tristan is forever giving Jamie pictures from her recent photo shoots, so Jamie almost always has a few on hand.

  4. Tissues. Again, because of her baby brother, Jamie always comes prepared with plenty of tissues, because she never knows when he might drool all over something. Or drool all over her.

  5. Her passport. Jamie dreams of seeing the world, and has been learning languages since she was six. Even though she doesn’t foresee a lot of travel opportunities ahead in her life, she will definitely be prepared in case something comes up!

Denise Jaden’s novels Losing Faith and Never Enough have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. Her newest release, Foreign Exchange will be an Editor’s Pick with Evernight Teen (Oct. 2014). Her non-fiction book, Fast Fiction includes tips on constructing a story plan that works, as well as daily inspiration to keep writers writing. When not writing, she dances with her Polynesian dance troupe and homeschools her ten-year-old son (who is also a fast-drafter of fiction). Find out more at DeniseJaden.com or on Twitter @denisejaden.

 

Foreign Exchange

Denise Jaden

Evernight Teen Contemporary/Mystery

Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets.

As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer.

Buy Links: Evernight Teen Amazon

Trailer: http://youtu.be/-v1h14XD6G4

Excerpt:

Hi,” I say when I find Sawyer at his locker. My face is beaming like someone plugged me into a wall socket.

“Jamie.” He smiles back, but his eyes are rimmed with red like he’s really tired. “Have you heard from my sister again?”

Not exactly the topic of conversation I’d hoped for. I nod. “I got another email. She got to Milan fine and is settling in.”

Sawyer pulls out his phone. He looks at me, then at his phone, then back at me again.

“She’s…everything’s okay with the exchange program?” he asks. His words are tentative.

“Tristan’s fine, Sawyer. She says the schoolwork is going to be harder than expected because of not speaking Italian, but otherwise she’s great. She loves Europe.” He looks at his phone again. I put my hand out. “Here, you want me to show you the email?”

He hands me his phone. It takes me a minute to figure out how to log in through his browser, but I hope I can put his mind at rest. My email is coming up on the screen when the first bell rings. I have English first class and my teacher’s a real stickler about tardiness. I glance down the hall toward my locker.

“You go,” Sawyer says, his palm open for his phone. “I’ll look it over and see you in class later. Okay?”

“I—” I’m not sure what to say. Tristan’s been talking about finding my dad in her emails. It’s our big secret and she’d been adamant about not sharing it with anybody. But I think I can trust Sawyer. And, after all, it is my secret to keep. If I’m making a mistake it’ll only hurt me. “Okay,” I say, finally, passing his phone back to him. Our fingers brush against each other, but we don’t have time to let them linger.

By the time I get to English, I’m thinking of another problem. Tristan hadn’t wanted me to tell anyone about her modeling over there. I’ll have to tell Sawyer not to mention it.

When I dash into class later, Sawyer’s already seated in his usual seat with his head down. He’s flipping through something on his phone, and again I think about signing him into my email earlier. Instead of feeling nervous, after having some time to think about it, trusting him makes me feel closer to him. Like we share our private emails with each other all the time.

“Hey.” I sit down beside him.

He finishes typing something, and then shoves his phone away before Mr. Echols catches sight of it. “Hey,” he says finally, smiling over at me. He still looks really tired.

“Everything okay?” I ask.

He blinks a few times, looking down, and I wonder if he isn’t okay. Is something really wrong? “Do you…” he trails off and seems to rethink what he’s saying. “Do you think with the program… do you think everything’s okay about that? I don’t know what’s going on, but maybe…I mean, I think maybe Tristan’s over there trying to model.”

I swallow hard. This is the moment of truth, where I have to decide how much I can trust him.

But his pause is barely long enough for me to open my mouth. “I need to get on that class trip, Jamie. I need to stop my sister from doing anything stupid.”

A host of emotions rush through me. Fear, anger, betrayal.

“Wait, what?” I ask him. “You’re going to try to get on the class trip so you can interfere with Tristan’s dream?” Tristan’s told me how jealous he can be. How he’s done this before.

Sawyer looks over at me with wide eyes, like he can’t believe I’m calling him out on it.

Mr. Echols interrupts us, starting class, but I’m too upset to pay attention to a single word he’s saying.

Sawyer passes me a note halfway through class.

I’m seriously worried about my sister, Jamie. I have to tell you more about the program. Just hear me out. Please?

I keep my eyes from Sawyer for the rest of class. I’m sure he knows I’m angry, but he doesn’t try to talk to me again, at least for now. I’m even angry at myself for getting so caught up in my feelings for him and not noticing all the things that Tristan’s warned me about.

“Foreign Exchange is a fresh contemporary YA that will keep readers compulsively turning pages until the very end. Combining international intrigue with a steamy forbidden romance

makes for a can’t miss read.”

- Eileen Cook Author of Year of Mistaken Discoveries.

“Great contemporary/mystery combo!”

Shanyn Day, Book Blogger, Chickloveslit.com

“A pitch perfect voice and delicious chemistry between the characters kept me turning those pages!”

Tara Kelly, author of Amplified and Encore

Foreign Exchange is heart pounding and suspenseful…the teenage dream of escaping the boredom of suburbia by travelling Europe and spending quality time with a hot guy shifts into a dangerous nightmare.

D.R. Graham, author of Rank and the Noir et Bleu MC series.

Author Denise Jaden

Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith (Simon & Schuster), was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process. Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough (Simon & Schuster) and Foreign Exchange (Evernight Teen, 2014).

Her first non-fiction book for writers, Writing with a Heavy Heart: Using Grief and Loss to Stretch Your Fiction, includes a variety of clear guidance and practical exercises to help writers get to the heart of their stories. Her second non-fiction book, Fast Fiction (New World Library) includes tips on constructing a story plan that works, as well as daily inspiration to keep writers writing, regardless of when the mood strikes.

Find out more about Denise and her books at www.DeniseJaden.com or on Twitter @denisejaden.

Praise for Denise Jaden’s Wriing:

“In her sophomore novel, Jaden (Losing Faith) offers an intimate and enlightened rendering of anorexia and bulimia…Loann’s fight against forces that might be beyond her control is both harrowing and inspiring. While Jaden does not provide simple answers for the problems presented, she dramatically illustrates the importance of speaking out and reaching out.”
- Publishers Weekly

“A poignant, important book, Never Enough tackles self-esteem and body image issues while always
remaining true to its three-dimensional characters. Denise Jaden has created a cliché-free zone filled with
hurt, heart, and personal strength. Jaden’s tender sympathy for her characters and dedication to honest
storytelling shine through every page.”
—C.K. Kelly Martin, author of I Know It’s Over

“This thoughtful first novel explores early grief and shows how it can tear at the structure of a family that
cannot mourn together…. [R]eaders are taken on a ride through a secret world of religious zeal gone
haywire….With pitch-perfect portrayals of high school social life and a nuanced view into a variety of Christian experiences of faith, this first novel gives readers much to think about.”
-School Library Journal

“Losing Faith is a remarkable first novel.”
-CM Magazine

Giveaway: $25 Evernight Teen Gift Card

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6. TURNING PAGES: NIGHT SKY by SUZANNE & MELANIE BROCKMANN

It's not every day you read a book that reads like... a movie. Though the book took a little more than ninety minutes to get through, from start to finish I kept muttering "movie." Even the cover has cinematic aspects (though I don't love it, and... Read the rest of this post

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7. Spotlight and Giveaway: Night Sky by Suzanne and Melanie

 

Title: Night Sky

Authors: Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal)

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers.  After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s.  With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Skystarts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo – and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.

Excerpt

“Look what I can do look what I can do,” the woman, who I nicknamed Little Miss Sunshine because of her fancy clothes, yanked a massive-looking gun out of her bag.

Everyone in the store hit the deck at the sight of the gun—everyone except Calvin and me.

She pointed the barrel at my face.

A wave of deja vu washed over me. It was mixed with a hefty dose of panic and combined with at least a small degree of consolation that Calvin, as always, had my back.

“Oh, hell no!” he barked. All the fear had vanished from his tone, and now he just sounded pissed. “You wanna mess with someone? You wanna put your gun in her face? You’re gonna have to shoot me first!”

And then, things got really weird.

“Hey!” someone called form behind Little Miss Sunshine. It was a girl, older than me but probably only by a year or two. She’d appeared as if out of nowhere, but she must’ve come in through the front doors while my attention was on that gun. Dressed in full motorcycle garb—a red leather jacket and black steel-toed boots—she hollered again. “Hey, you!”

Little Miss Sunshine whirled around.

Motorcycle Girl charged froward and flicked the pistol out of crazy lady’s hands as easily as if she was removing a piece of lint from a buddy’s jacket.

The gun spun a couple times before landing on the floor. Motorcycle Girl kicked it back into the air with her foot and caught it with one hand. She tucked it deftly into the back waistband of her pants and then slammed the crazy woman down onto the ground using the palm of one hand. I could have sworn Little Miss Sunshine took a nosedive before Motorcycle Chick even touched her, but then again, I’d been seeing all kinds of crazy things this week.

“Whoa,” Calvin said, while the crowd gasped again.

Little Miss Sunshine landed, hard, and made a gurgling sound. She looked up once at me and pointed, still smiling that awful smile, before her face dropped to the ground.

The room once again was silent. 

Motorcycle Chick turned, running a hand gruffly through her platinum-blond pixie cut as she looked at me and frowned, her eyes the color of icicles.

Around us, the crowd began to move almost as one, with everyone rushing for the door.

I was about to turn too—getting out of there seemed like a brilliant idea—when Motorcycle Girl spoke again. Her words stopped me. “Way to protect everyone here, Sky. What were you waiting for? A sign from God?”

I looked at Cal—Cal looked at me. And I knew we were both thinking the same thing.

How the hell does this girl know my name?

Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21996356-night-sky


Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonNightSky

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNNightSky

iBooks: http://bit.ly/AppleNightSky

Biography

Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. Visit Suzanne at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.

Social Networking Links


Website: http://www.suzannebrockmann.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzBrockmann

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/32638.Suzanne_Brockmann

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8. Spotlight and Giveaway: Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris

This week, bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris celebrates the release of her romantic suspense Hot Rebel. Featuring a military hero, kick ass heroine, and a Middle Eastern mission gone bad, this is an action packed romance.   To celebrate the release, Lynn is hosting a $50 gift card giveaway, so please enter below!

Summary

A rebel on the run…

Victoria Royal is a traitor. Or so the U.S. government believes. Victoria was once a promising sniper in the Army, but now she’s gone rogue—worse, she’s just landed in the middle of a Hostile Operations Team mission in the desert and blasted it all to hell.

Nick “Brandy” Brandon doesn’t expect to run into Victoria when he’s bugging out from a mission gone wrong. It’s been more than three years since she disappeared from the sniper course they were in together, and he’s finally stopped thinking about her killer curves and smart mouth.

But now she’s back—and she’s far more dangerous than Nick ever believed possible… Is she really a traitor? Or is there something more at stake? He has to decide fast—because time’s running out and too many lives hang in the balance…

Excerpt

Driven by some emotion she couldn’t name, Victoria turned and walked back over to Nick. He was frowning at her when she reached up and pulled his head down. She pressed her lips to his cheek, felt the roughness of his stubble and breathed the smell of him—sand, spice, and cool water—deep into her lungs.

“Thanks for saving me,” she said, her lips close to his ear.

She started to step away, but he caught her close and turned his head, his lips meeting hers. The contact was shocking—and delicious in a way she hadn’t anticipated. She’d been kissed before, but this… this was better than any of those kisses had been.

His mouth was soft and hard against hers, his hands firm on her hips as he held her against him. The kiss was hot and tame all at once. Simultaneously the most arousing and most chaste kiss she’d ever had. He didn’t force her mouth open, didn’t thrust his tongue between her lips—he just kissed her hard and thoroughly before setting her away from him and taking a step backward.

And, God, she wanted his tongue so badly now. Wanted to feel it sliding against her own, stroking her senses higher.

But the kiss was over and he was looking at her, his jaw firm and a hard look in his eyes.

“You’re welcome,” he said, and it took her a moment to remember that she’d thanked him for saving her.

“I… I have to go.” Her cheeks flamed as she said it because he knew she had to leave as well as she did. The car was running, and she’d left the door open. She took a step backward, and then another.

Then she turned and got inside the car, determined not to look at him again. But she failed because she looked up, her gaze clashing with his right as she closed the door. And she didn’t look away as they drove off. Nick didn’t move from the spot she’d left him standing in.

It was only when the car turned and he was out of sight that she remembered how to breathe.

Goodreads Link

http://bit.ly/GoodreadsHotRebel

Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonHotRebel

iBooks: http://bit.ly/AppleHotRebel

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1mgY70t

Google Play: http://bit.ly/GoogleHotRebel

Author Biography

USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called “exceptional and emotional,” “intense,” and “sizzling.” To date, Lynn’s books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://lynnrayeharris.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2973925.Lynn_Raye_Harris

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnRayeHarris

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9. TURNING PAGES: INVISIBLE, by DAWN METCALF

I haven't been this stressed out by reading a fantasy novel since Holly Black's TITHE. Tension simply sings in this second book in the Twixt series. While not exactly a standalone - it does help to know a little about the world and its denizens -... Read the rest of this post

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10. Trailer Reveal! Night Sky by Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann

I haven’t shared a trailer in a while, and since I’m looking forward to Night Sky, I decided to pass this one along.  What do you think? Are you going to add Night Sky to you TBR stack?

Night Sky

By Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann

Sourcebooks Fire ? October 7, 2014

ISBN: 9-781-4926-0144-9 ? Hardcover/$16.99 ? Ages 14+

Preo-order here Amazon BN.com

“Original and exciting, NIGHT SKY propels readers into a dangerous future. Loved it.” –Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Made For You and the Wicked Lovely series.

“A gripping page-turner from first to last…the start of something that can only be described as ‘greater-than.’” –Kirkus STARRED review

“Action-packed, mysterious, charming and witty. I’m ready for more!” — Gena Showalter, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Alice in Zombieland

“Full of adventure, humor, and just the right amount of Brockmann wit…I love this book!” –P.C. Cast, New York Times bestselling co-author of the House of Night series.

Hunted. Kidnapped. Bled. Destiny can be dangerous…

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann makes her young adult debut with a pulse-pounding novel of paranormal suspense set in the same world as her highly acclaimed and bestselling romance Born to Darkness, alongside her daughter and co-author Melanie. Young girls are being murdered for the secret that’s in their blood. When Skylar’s neighbor becomes the next victim, she must use her newly discovered abilities to save her before it’s too late.

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers.  After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s.  With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Sky starts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo – and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. Visit Suzanne at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.

Suzanne’s website and a link to her virtual signings: http://www.suzannebrockmann.com/about/ns-virtual-signing/

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11. TURNING PAGES: THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE, by Julie Berrey

My poppets, gather round, do! There's a simply scandalous novel you must sit down and read, right away! It's a school story - boarding school. It's set in the Victorian era. There are stern spinsters, callow boys, naughty dogs, and ...dead bodies... Read the rest of this post

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12. TURNING PAGES: COMPLICIT, by Stephanie Kuehn

This is necessarily going to be a shorter review, since this is a psychological thriller and there is virtually not much other than the barest of plot summaries I can share with you without providing spoilers and clues that you don't need. What I... Read the rest of this post

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13. Novella Review: Captured by S J Harper

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed Cursed and have been waiting impatiently for the next book in the  Fallen Siren series.  When I saw Captured, a prequel, up on Amazon, I didn’t hesitate to click the “Buy” button.  And why would I?  This suspenseful read is FREE.  If you enjoyed Cursed, too, or just want to get to know the characters before diving into the series, you have nothing to lose to snatching is up!  Plus it will tide you over until the October release of Reckoning.

Captured chronicles the first case Emma and Zack team up on.  On loan from the San Diego office when Zack’s partner is unable to help with a case, Emma is in Charleston to help Zack with two mission objectives.  First, locate Cooper Anderson, a four year boy who has been kidnapped, and two, capture the kidnapper before he or she strikes again. The federal agents are racing against time; two other little boys have already been murdered, and all signs point to the same perpetrator in their latest case.

Zack is a werewolf, and Emma is a Siren.  She’s been cursed for failing to keep Hades from kidnapping Persephone.  Tasked with redeeming herself in the eyes of Demeter, she works tirelessly to save innocent lives from harm.  She has a couple of rules that she won’t allow herself to break, the most important being:  never fall in love.  All of her lovers have met with unpleasant fates at the hands of the vengeful goddess, so Emma tries to save herself a lot of grief by not getting involved with anyone.  This proves a challenging task because the sparks fly between Zack and Emma as soon as they meet.

While the mystery isn’t too challenging, the blossoming romance between Emma and Zack kept me turning the pages.  They really click as a team, their work styles complimenting and strengthening each other in their race against time to find the missing boy.  Emma’s quest is doubly urgent, because she never knows if this is the the case that will bring her redemption for her failure centuries ago.  Every life held in the balance may bring about her freedom from Demeter’s vengeful rage.  Zack is a complication she doesn’t need, but can’t resist, regardless of how many times she’s been burned in the past.

Likeable characters make this a worthwhile read.  Captured reminded me how much I’m looking forward to the next book in the series! 

Grade:  B

Review copy purchased from Amazon FREE

From Amazon:

Join FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.

She’s a Siren. He’s a Werewolf.

Their mission is redemption.

Emma Monroe is a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now she works for the FBI and is on temporary assignment in Charleston. Solving this next missing persons case could be the key to ending her ancient curse—unless the temptation that’s her new partner gets in the way.

Zack Armstrong is a Werewolf. Tall, dark, and dangerous, he currently works for one of the bureau’s elite Child Abduction Rapid Deployment teams. In many respects the man is every bit as mysterious as his secret and perilous past. But there are two things he’s certain about, that he’s going to get his man and his woman.

When Zack finds himself suddenly shy a partner and a third child goes missing in Charleston, Emma goes from consultant to CARD team member in the space of a few hours. The abductions of the first two boys ended in murder, an outcome that neither Zack nor Emma can abide. As they race against time to track down the kidnapper and rescue the latest victim, they find themselves fighting something just as treacherous—a growing attraction that can’t be ignored or denied.

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14. Review: Dead Sexy by Aleah Barley #zombies

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love zombie books, but I have to admit that boyfriend zombies are my least favorite trope.  I just can’t get onboard with undead boyfriends.  I mean, let’s think about it for a second.  They are essentially decaying corpses with a craving for brains and raw flesh.  Your flesh, or the flesh of your friends.  It just doesn’t seem worth the risk to date a dead guy who could turn on you at any moment, going from Romeo to Hannibal Lector.  Though, since raw meat is his preferred dish, even my humble cooking skills would wow a hungry zombie.  Just head up to the local butcher shop, buy a tasty steak, and serve.  No fuss, no muss, if you overlook the dripping blood.

Now, I might be willing to make an exception for DS Thomas Conroy, the zombie government agent in Aleah Barley’s Dead Sexy.  He’s gorgeous, tall, dark, and firmly in control of his motor skills.  He works for a government agency that works to ensure equal treatment for zombies.  Since the plague 12 years ago, businesses have found a way to exploit this new source of labor.  Zombies work for low wages, rarely complain, and contentedly accept ground beef for an annual bonus.  This cheap influx of employees has forced many of the living factory workers out of a job, so the economy hasn’t improved much in Barley’s post-rising Detroit.  With the dead and the desperate roaming the streets, Motor City is even more dangerous than ever.

Gemma Sinclair works at the family mortuary, in addition to hunting zombies to help make ends meet for her and her mother.  Her uncle Donny works for them, and he’s a typical zombie; slow, can’t remember the past, and speaks only in stilted sentences.  Still, he’s family, and Gemma loves him, despite his undead condition.  Gemma is still mourning the death of her father, the one person who understood her.  After his death, he made certain that he didn’t come stumbling back to life, and now Gemma is bitter about losing him.  She doesn’t get along with her mother, and she chafes at still living at home.  Worse yet, she’s still a virgin and with her dangerous profession, she worries about dying before experiencing some hot sexy times.  No wonder she can’t get DS off her mind.  He’s about the only guy she’s been attracted to, even if he is dead.

I really enjoyed this short read.  It’s about category length, and the tone is snarky and humorous.  I don’t always like snarky heroines, but I found Gemma engaging and relatable.  She’s just trying to make a buck, be independent, and find herself a guy to love at the same time.  She and DS get off to a rocky start; she Tasers him and turns him over to the police, even after he saved her from a feral zombie.  To say that he’s a bit annoyed with her is an understatement.  To make up for the major inconvenience she has caused him, he makes her partner up with him on the case he’s working on.  An agent from Toledo, he needs help from someone more familiar with the streets of Detroit.  Zombies are disappearing, and it’s his job to find out way.  For 150 bucks an hour, plus expenses, Gemma’s happy to pitch in on his mission to find the missing Biters.

There are some annoying editing errors that jarred me from the story, but at .99 for the Kindle, Dead Sexy is a great buy.  I liked the protagonists and the setting, but I would have liked more background on the zombie plague.  Maybe I’ll get that in the next installment of this series, which I am eagerly looking forward to reading.

Grade:  B / B+

Review copy purchase from Amazon

From Amazon:

Mortuary attendant Gemma Sinclair hunts zombies for a living. It’s messy work, but it pays the bills… right up until she stun guns the wrong dead man in the ass.

Now to keep her family business going, Gemma’s forced into a partnership with federal agent D.S. Thomas Conroy. Zombies are disappearing all over town, and he needs Gemma’s help to figure out why.

With a villain on her trail and a gang of zombies ready to attack, Gemma’s just glad her backup is dead sexy…

The post Review: Dead Sexy by Aleah Barley #zombies appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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15. Interview with Kay Thomas, Author of Personal Target

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He continued to stare as recognition flared in her eyes.

“Oh my God,” she said. “It’s . . .”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My website: www.KayThomas.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KayThomasWrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KayThomasWrites

Pinterest: www.pinterest/KayThomasWrites

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you for stopping by!

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

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

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

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

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16. Spotlight and Giveaway: Personal Target by Kay Thomas

 

Personal Target

An Elite Ops Novel

By: Kay Thomas

Releasing July 29th, 2014

Avon Impulse

Blurb

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

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

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

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/07/personal-target-by-kay-thomas-elite-ops.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22308416-personal-target?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Target-Elite-Ops-Book-ebook/dp/B00KACAU5I/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&keywords=personal%20target%20by%20kay%20thomas&linkCode=ur2&qid=1400188200&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&tag=kaytho-20&linkId=VKJ26JGVY7WLJSJ5

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/personal-target-kay-thomas/1119566027?ean=9780062290878

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/personal-target/id877703928?mt=11

Author Info

Kay Thomas didn’t grow up burning to be a writer. She wasn’t even much of a reader until fourth grade. That’s when her sister readThe Black Stallion aloud to her. For hours Kay was enthralled—shipwrecked and riding an untamed horse across desert sand. Then tragedy struck. Her sister lost her voice. But Kay couldn’t wait to hear what happened in the story—so she picked up that book, finished reading it herself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library.
Today Kay lives in Dallas with her husband, two children, and a shockingly spoiled Boston terrier. Her award-winning novels have been published internationally.

Author Links

http://www.kaythomas.net/

https://www.facebook.com/KayThomasWrites

https://twitter.com/KayThomaswrites

$75.00 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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17. Spotlight: Dangerous Territory by Emmy Curtis

 

About DANGEROUS TERRITORY

A SEXY STRANGER

Flirting with danger is reporter Grace Grainger’s modus operandi. But she’s learned the hard way not to grow attached to the soldiers she’s embedded with in Afghanistan. To escape from her pain and loneliness, she fantasizes about the hot night she spent with a gorgeous stranger three years before in D.C. Grace never thought she’d see him again-let alone need him to rescue her . . .

AN EXPLOSIVE NIGHT

Air Force Master Sergeant Josh Travers knows journalists are nothing but trouble. So when he has to risk the lives of his team to save some reporter who’s been separated from her patrol, he’s not happy-until he recognizes her stunning eyes and delicious curves. Josh has never wanted a woman like he wants Grace. Even in an Afghan cave with a sandstorm and enemy troops closing in, he can’t deny the desire. This might be the end for both of them-or one hell of a beginning.

About Emmy Curtis

Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference…well, she already considers you kin.

Emmy’s social media:

http://emmycurtis.com/

https://www.facebook.com/EmmyCurtisAuthor

@EmmyCurtis19

Buy links:

B&N: http://bit.ly/1nc6Uu1

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1m6wEsm

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1qQm9kD

GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1sayQUz

Excerpt

He withdrew his arm from her shoulders and grabbed his water bottle. “Do you want to rehydrate?”

“Sure, I drank all my water in the M-RAP.”

“Here.” He reached up into the darkness and his hand collided with bare skin. He felt further up and encountered more bare skin. “What the…?”

“Oh! That’s embarrassing. When you bought me in from the bathroom, I had only put my panties back on. My jeans are still out there.”

“What? You take your pants off to pee?” He was getting a strange insight into women here, and he was incredibly uncomfortable and intrigued. Not about the pee, but about the type of woman who felt comfortable enough to take off her clothes in the middle of a war zone.

“I don’t have a dick, you know. How did you expect me to pee?”

“You might not have a dick, but you have balls,” he said grudgingly. “Do you want me to get your pants?”

“It’s okay. I’ll get them. I know where I left them.” Her voice trailed off as she went around the corner toward the entrance to the cave.

“No wait!” he hissed. Shit. What was he thinking, letting her wander around outside. He jumped to his feet, ignoring the pain that shot up his leg, and rounded the corner, to see her perfectly silhouetted in the mouth of the cave against the moonlit sky. “Get down!”

She turned to look at him instead of ducking. Damned civilians. He launched himself at her, pulling her to the ground, but trying to brace her fall. He didn’t really succeed.

Breath huffed out of her as he landed right on top of her. “Shh,” he said against her ear. In the distance, he could hear voices. With the echoes it was difficult to know if they belonged to people who were directly in front of them or across the valley. And suddenly, as the voices drifted off into the distance, he became aware of her body under his. The silence. When he moved slightly, his mind shifted to the perfect night they shared in D.C. The night he’d thought about so often. The night that had sustained him through some difficult deployments. He’d wanted to find her, but was honestly too scared to let go of his fantasy. Reality always sucked, and her being a damn reporter sucked the most.

He raised himself on his forearm and whispered against her ear, “Are you all right?”

She nodded, causing her short black hair to brush against his face. He closed his eyes and inhaled. His body weakened, and then got a lot harder. Fuck, he almost wanted to cry. He had dreamed of being this close to her again, to be on top of her, to be able to feel her scent overwhelm him again. But hell. Fate had played a dirty trick. Here, in a fucking cave in Afghanistan. What a fuck up.

She moved under him, and holy shit, he was sure she had moaned. Or wait, maybe that was a groan. “Am I hurting you?” he asked, suddenly concerned.

“In ways you can’t possibly imagine.” She let out a sigh. “No, I’m fine. I might need help up, though.”

He pulled himself off her and helped her up, and was very, very glad for the darkness of the cave. He knew his dick was tenting his BDUs. Thank god no one could see him. Then she stood to one side and the moon shone directly at him.

“Well, soldier, is that a night vision scope in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?”

“I’m a fucking airman, not a soldier. And what did you expect, you writhing under me when I was just trying to save your sorry ass.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I was joking, I thought that was your scope in your pocket. I was just trying…”

Shit. Shit. Busted.

He took a deep breath. And tried to laugh. “We seemed to understand each other better three years ago.”

“Well, we didn’t exactly do a lot of talking back then.” She smiled wryly.

Josh tried really hard not to close his eyes and give in to the emotion still coursing through him from being so close to her again after all those years of just dreaming about her.

Holding up one finger, she turned. She pointed at her jeans and nodded for his approval. He gave a tiny nod, and she virtually scampered out to pick them up.

As she entered the cave again, with a grin, he leaned against the wall to watch her in the moonlight. She bent to step into the pants and her glossy dark hair swung in front of her. She pulled them up, and started to fasten them. He couldn’t help himself, God help him.

His hand hooked over the top of the jeans, preventing her from finishing doing them up. She straightened. She should have had a quizzical look on her face. But she didn’t. It was like she knew. She met his eyes and he detected a tiny flicker of her eyebrows, as if saying “Yes?” Still holding her jeans, he pulled her toward him, his whole body throbbing for her. Every one of his cells felt as if they were reaching for her. Every feeling he had ever had, every warm thought, wrapped around her. He wanted her so badly. Had wanted her for three years. If he didn’t think about it, maybe he could forget she was a soul-sucking hack. His body certainly seemed to have forgotten already.

Desperate to taste those lips again, he abruptly pulled her against his body and in the same instant, claimed her mouth as his. She tasted every bit as good as his memory served. His body responded instantly, as if it had been waiting three years just to find itself in this very place.

Her mouth opened under his, kissing him back, her tongue dancing under his, making him long for the feel of her tongue elsewhere on his body.

A crack of a twig or something from outside put his instincts back in place as he wrenched away from her. Christ, what had he been thinking? He never broke the rules. She looked puzzled, but still she didn’t say anything.

He took a huge step away from her, shaking his head at himself. What. The. Fuck. Was wrong with him?

She took a deep breath in and let it go in a long sigh. But still she remained silent. Why didn’t she say something? Shit was she planning on writing about this? Of course she was. That was what she did. His career was over. His status as one of the most fast-tracked senior enlisted airmen in his career field was over. Damage control.

“I don’t know why I did that. I’m sorry for breaking protocol. I hope we’re still off the record?” He hated how hopeful he sounded.

She laughed lightly. “Exactly what about this…” she gestured around the cave. “…is protocol? Exactly what are you breaking?”

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18. Thursday Review: I AM THE MISSION by Allen Zadoff

When I reviewed the first book in The Unknown Assassin series, Boy Nobody (click here for full review), I said it was a great addition to the YA thriller genre and a good "boy book" despite having a somewhat unbelievable premise. What makes this... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Thursday Review: I AM THE MISSION by Allen Zadoff as of 8/7/2014 10:58:00 PM
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19. Interview with Juanita Kees, Author of Under Cover of Dark

 

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Juanita! Thanks for stopping by to chat this morning.

[Juanita Kees] Thank you for having me over at Manga Maniac Café, Julie.

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

[Juanita Kees] Wine-loving, romantic, shoe-crazy bookworm

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Under Cover of Dark?

[Juanita Kees] You met him in Fly Away Peta. He starts a murder investigation in Under the Hood. When will Detective Mark Johnson have his chance at happiness and what’s next for the bad guys?

Under Cover of Dark is a romantic suspense follows Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.

When Mark Johnson delves deeper into his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts and the involvement of a teenage gang with sleazy lawyer, Gino Bennetti, and his drug world ties, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow, a woman in a world of trouble.

When her husband is shot and killed, it is both a relief and a disaster. Lily has her son to protect and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets, especially the truth about her son, Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’ murder.

As the investigation continues and Lily’s wounds begin to heal, she finds the detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds places everyone in very real danger. When it is finally revealed, Lily will lose everything: her son, the man she’s grown to love, her freedom, and her life.

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

[Juanita Kees] Mark loved the Perth hills at night. The stars shone brighter without the glow of the city lights. The bush was alive with sound, a chorus of creatures of the night. The frog calls merged with the chirping of the crickets, somewhere close a possum shimmied up a tree into its nest. The hypnotic calls of the nightlife blended with the laughter around the table. For a moment, Mark could forget about murder and petty theft, and enjoy the peace.

His thoughts turned to Lily. While she’d relaxed somewhat in the glow of wine, warmth and friendship, he knew by the way her hands gripped the thin wooden arms of the chair her troubles weren’t far from her mind. He had to admire her strength. All that had happened in the last couple of months alone would have most women hunched over in a hysterical heap. But not Lily. Lily was holding it together quite admirably. How long could she keep it up before it broke her?

She must have sensed him watching her. The laughter froze on her lips as her eyes met his. For a long moment, she held his gaze across the table, searching until she seemed to find what she was looking for. Mark felt the impact of her acceptance and his heart skipped a beat. Suddenly the cop was at war with the man. While his instinct rejoiced at the hint of a break in the case, his body reacted to the intensity of the woman. Good God! Gino Bennetti had not deserved this brave, intelligent, beautiful spirit.

Lily leaned across the table towards him. Still entranced, it took him a moment to process her words.

‘We need to talk, Detective.’

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

[Juanita Kees] I loved bringing the bad guys to justice because it’s not always that easy in real life. The characters from Under the Hood (TJ, Scott and Marty) were so much fun to write and I had a ball bringing them back in Under Cover of Dark. And of course, the gorgeous Detective Mark (if I may say so myself?) has been with me for such a long time and I thought he deserved to find a love of his own but I wasn’t going to make it easy for him. ?

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

[Juanita Kees] My Sony Xperia notebook! I’m hooked on it. It’s my own personal assistant. I can make notes for new stories, edit with office suite and still make calls and text. (Oh, and play the odd game of Mah Jong!)

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

[Juanita Kees] My herbal tea and teacup, my whiteboard for ideas, and my writing angel — a gift from my friend Jodie at my first RWA Conference.

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

[Juanita Kees] Definitely chocolate! Jamaican Rum and Raisin, gotta have it!

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

[Juanita Kees] Deborra-Lee Furness … I’d give my right arm to have dinner with Hugh Jackman ?

[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?

[Juanita Kees] It sounds a little cliché, but it’s true …the power of Peace — I’d use it to bring peace to the world so everyone could live together in harmony, the wars would stop and hatred would be eradicated.

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

[Juanita Kees] Wow, where do I start?? I love telling the world about books I enjoy.

Yes, Chef! – Lisa Joy

The Nanny Proposition – Rachel Bailey

Almost Invincible – Suzanne Burdon

Bet on It – Cheryl Adnams

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

[Juanita Kees] I love hearing from readers, so pop in and say hi ?

Author Site: http://juanitakees.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Juanita-Kees-Author-Page/119574648138202

Twitter: @juanitakees

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/Kees2Create

On Goodreads: Goodreads

Blog: The Other Side

New Australian romantic suspense follows Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.

When Mark Johnson delves deeper into his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts, and the involvement of a teenage gang with sleazy lawyer Gino Bennetti and his drug world ties, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow, a woman in a world of trouble.

When her husband is shot and killed, it is both a relief and a disaster. Lily has her son to protect and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets, especially the truth about her son Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’s murder.

As the investigation continues and Lily’s wounds begin to heal, she finds the detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds places everyone in very real danger. When it is finally revealed, Lily will lose everything: her son, the man she’s grown to love, her freedom and her life.

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20. Spotlight and Giveaway: First to Burn by Anna Richland

 
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A Soldier with Secrets.

Immortal Viking Wulf Wardsen once battled alongside Beowulf, and now serves in Afghanistan. He’s trusted the mortal men on his elite special operations team to protect his secret, until an explosion lands Wulf in a place more dangerous to him than a battlefield: a medevac helicopter.

A Doctor with Questions.

Army captain Theresa Chiesa follows the rules and expects the same from others, even special forces hotshots like Sergeant Wardsen. She’s determined to discover the secret behind his supernaturally fast healing, and she won’t allow his sexy smile to distract her.

An Enemy with Nothing to Lose.

Even as Theresa’s investigation threatens to expose him, Wulf dreams of love and a normal life with her. But the lost Viking relic needed to reverse his immortality is being hunted by another—an ancient enemy who won’t hesitate to hurt Theresa to strike back at Wulf.




 
 
 
 
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Anna Richland lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of FIRST TO BURN, she joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to an adventurous career on four continents (if standing on the bridge in Panama that divides North and South America counts as two).

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.


To find out about her October novella, HIS ROAD HOME, and the next Immortal Vikings romance, THE SECOND LIE, visit her website at annarichland.com and sign up for her newsletter.


 
WEBSITE   |   FACEBOOK   |   GOODREADS
 
 
 

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: First to Burn by Anna Richland appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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21. Giveaway: We Were Liars by E Lockhart

This morning I have a giveaway for you to enter.  I have an ARC of We Were Liars by E Lockhart up for grabs.  This is a compelling read that draws you in and refuses to let go.  I am still trying to decide whether or not I actually liked it, but I know that I could not put it down.

About the book:

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

US addresses only, please

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22. Interview with Dixie Lee Brown, Author of Whatever it Takes and Giveaway

Please give special guest Dixie Lee Brown a warm welcome to the virtual offices!

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] Independent; persistent; reliable; animal lover

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] WHATEVER IT TAKES is the fourth book in the Trust No One series. Nate Sanders is a detective for the Portland (Oregon) Police Bureau. His deceased uncle has left some serious trouble behind and now it’s found Nate.

Who should save his bacon but the beautiful and mysterious Alex Morgan, the woman he hasn’t stopped thinking about since she wrecked his classic car in book #3? Alex’s past haunts her day and night. She has a smart mouth, a chip on her shoulder, a dagger on her belt, and knows how to use them all.

Nate sees through her bluster and signs on to help her rescue a kidnapped boy, but his own trouble just might get her killed—or is it the other way around?

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] Nate and Alex both appeared in the third book in the series, IF YOU ONLY KNEW. Their character descriptions and backstory were already set, as well as the setting for the beginning of the story at Nate’s house. Combine that with two minor unanswered questions that suddenly become very important and a “crazy” heroine, and I had my concept.

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] I love the relationships in this book. Alex and Nate are right for each other. Most of Joe’s team from the first three books put in appearances, plus Alex’s best friend from book #1. I love having the whole team show up. Also, being a romantic suspense, there’s a lot of action in this book. Action is just plain fun to write!

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] It’s the same problem I have with every book. I’ll write two chapters leading up to a specific event and then handle the event and its aftermath in a paragraph! Lol! My editor calls me on it every time!

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] Being the hopeless romantic I am, it would be “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flatts

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] My Kindle – of course.

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] Laptop, notepaper, and a jump drive

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] Assuming something would also make me magically capable of doing her job, I’d want to trade places with my wonderful Avon editor, Chelsey Emmelhainz, cuz she’s terrific!

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] The Golden Key Chronicles by AJ Nuest

Asking For Trouble by Jannine Gallant

The Dysfunctional Test by Kelly Moran

Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] You probably hear this all the time, but if I have spare time—I read!

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

[Dixie Lee Brown] I’d love it if readers would check out my webpage: http://www.dixiebrown.com/

Or like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dixie-Lee-Brown/311618418919108

Or follow me on Twitter: @DixieLeeBrown

Whatever it Takes

Trust No One # 4

By: Dixie Lee Brown

Releasing August 12th, 2014

Avon: Impulse

Blurb

Assassin Alex Morgan will do anything to save an innocent life – especially if it means rescuing a child from a hell like the one she endured.
But going undercover as husband and wife, with none other than the disarmingly sexy Detective Nate Sanders, may be a little more togetherness than she can handle. She’s used to working alone, and no man is going to change that – not even a man who makes her heart pound and her defenses crumble with just a touch
Nate has dodged more than a few bullets over the years, but fighting his attraction for Alex may be the bullet that does him in. Still, Nate’s determined to help her find the missing kid. There’s no doubt in his mind that they’re walking straight into danger, but Nate’s willing to face anything if it means protecting Alex. She might have been on her own once, but Nate has one more mission: to stay by her side – forever. 

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/whatever-it-takes-trust-no-one-4-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21150710-whatever-it-takes

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Whatever-Takes-Trust-One-Novel-ebook/dp/B00GG08JAG/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406816764&sr=1-3&keywords=whatever+it+takes

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whatever-it-takes-brown-dixie-lee/1119738830?ean=9780062328304

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/whatever-it-takes-24

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/mx/book/whatever-it-takes/id738454204?l=en&mt=11

Author Info

DIXIE LEE BROWN lives and writes in Central Oregon, inspired by what she believes is the most gorgeous scenery anywhere. She resides with two dogs and a cat, who make sure she never takes herself too seriously. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, movies, and trips to the beach.

Author Links

Website: http://www.dixiebrown.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dixie-Lee-Brown/311618418919108

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DixieLeeBrown

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6583364.Dixie_Lee_Brown

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Print copy of another installment in Dixie Lee Brown’s Trust No One series, IF YOU ONLY KNEW—where you get to meet Alex and Nate for the first time!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Dixie Lee Brown, Author of Whatever it Takes and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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23. Virals, by Kathy and Brendan Reichs | Series Review

In Virals, acclaimed mother and son writing duo Kathy and Brendan Reichs have created a captivating and enthralling series by incorporating science fiction and crime with a contemporary perspective, via 4 teens who are navigating an unusually adventurous adolescence.

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24. TURNING PAGES: TIN LILY by JOANN SWANSON

This debut novelist describes herself as "an avid reader of just about every genre (plenty of YA, a smidge of Sci-Fi, buckets of horror, a dash of literary, even some graphic novels)." Her familiarity with both horror and literary works shines... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on TURNING PAGES: TIN LILY by JOANN SWANSON as of 8/29/2014 11:35:00 AM
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25. Review: Irresistible Force by D D Ayres

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I don’t usually read romantic suspense because the heroine is usually put into a dire, life-threatening situation, and sometimes that just stresses me out.  I ventured outside of my comfort zone because Irresistible Force features a K-9 dog.  I wasn’t sure how big a part the dog would play in the story, but anything with the word “dog” pretty  much gets my attention.  I’m so glad I picked this up!  While there are several uncomfortable scenes for our heroine, Shay, she thinks well under pressure and refuses to allow herself to be a victim.  It helped that James, her police officer love interest, is brave, kind, and understanding, and oh, yeah, Bogart the dog puts all of his training to the test to save Shay from danger.  Thank goodness!

Shay is need of a serious break.  Her whole life has been one traumatic misunderstanding after another.  After an abusive experience when she was a young girl, she has lived with whispers, taunts, and outright bullying at one school after another.  Now an IT professional, she’s changed her name and buried her past behind her.  Or so she thinks.  When her ex, a powerful, wealthy banker, just can’t take “no” for an answer, all of her fears from her childhood catch up with her.  Fearful of Eric, who is stalking her, she rescues a shepherd from the animal shelter where she works as a volunteer.  A woman brought the dog in to be destroyed, claiming that he was aggressive and had attacked a child.  When he turned out to be anything but, Shay renamed the animal Prince and took her home, thankful to have such a trustworthy guardian at her side.

Police officer James Cannon is desperately searching for his canine partner, Bogart.  He gets a tip that the dog is at a cabin in the woods, and he confronts Shay, accusing her of dognapping his partner.  By the time they work out the misunderstanding, Shay can’t help but act on her attraction to the gorgeous cop.  She wants to be in charge for a change, and after another frightening encounter with Eric earlier in the day, she throws her inhibitions out the window.  Her no-strings encounter backfires because James is a great guy and wants more than what she’s originally willing to offer, but Shay’s demons won’t let her trust him.

Shay is a tragic character, and I couldn’t help liking her.  I wanted her to finally have a happy ending, because up until the start of this book, life has done nothing but crap on her.  Eric is a first-class bastard, and once Shay finds the courage to call it quits with him, he refuses to let her go.  His ego won’t let her call the shots, and his need to be in control puts her in an unenviable situation.  With the power that comes with his position at the bank, he arranges for Shay’s placement company to have her temped to bank.  Then he does everything he can to make her regret ever having met him.

Normally I would think the heroine was an idiot for not just going to the authorities when someone is harassing them, but Shay’s previous run-ins with the law makes it perfectly logical that she would avoid trying to get help from anyone.  She has always had one person to rely on, and that has always been herself.  The whole world seemed like it was out to get her when she was younger, so her reluctance to trust was believable.  James is still kind of an unknown, too.  She’s just met him, they got off on the wrong foot, and she can’t bring herself to confide in him, especially when he isn’t exactly upfront with her.  I loved the push and pull between them, and wondered how they would ever come to an understanding that allowed them to be open and trusting with each other.

If you like romantic suspense, you will love Irresistible Force. The hero is everything that Shay needs, Bogart has a starring role, and Shay learns to open her heart and finally learn to trust.  If you are like me and on the fence about romantic suspense, you have to give this book a try.  I couldn’t put it down, and even though I was squirming near the end during Shay’s life and death ordeal, I knew that James and Bogart would eventually race to her rescue – but only after Shay found the strength to save herself from the danger confronting her.  I can hardly wait to meet the protagonists from Force of Attraction, the next book in the series.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

“Incredible! You’ll be on the edge of your seat to see if the heroine can make it out alive.”—Catherine Coulter, New York Times bestselling author

When adrenaline runs high, so does the force of desire…

For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.

IRRESISTIBLE FORCE by D.D. Ayres

Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?

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