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1. Spotlight and Giveaway–Wolf’s Strength by Ambrielle Kirk

Wolf’s Strength

Caedmon Wolves, #5

Tension grows between old rivals.

Cold-blooded murder sparks a feud between rivals that could lead to the deadliest civil war in Pack history. Alpha Devin Caedmon and his council are forced to risk all that is precious to protect their bloodline. Tristan Arnou, Caedmon’s rival, isn’t the only force trying to tear down the unity holding them together. The source of the threats must be eliminated before their entire race is destroyed.

Forbidden love burns like a wildfire.

There is one woman who Blake DeLuca loves more than anything else. Naomi Valentine. Despite the escalating battle and power struggles between their respective packs, the erotic fire between these two lovers has yet to be extinguished. Naomi’s heart belongs to Blake, but her allegiance lies with Arnou. She’s left with two choices: Assume her duty or accept Blake’s eternal bond?

In Wolf’s Strength, secrets are exposed and memories that should have been buried have resurfaced. The game of deception is a deadly one. There can be no peace until the bloodshed ends.

AVAILABLE NOW

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Strength-Caedmon-Wolves-Ambrielle-ebook/dp/B00IWB1ECM/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolfs-strength-ambrielle-kirk/1118887926

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-wolf039sstrength-1436549-178.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Multi-published author Ambrielle Kirk writes erotic, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Ambrielle lives in Atlanta, GA where she works in the accounting and finance industry. She holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting. Since graduation she’s worked in the public and private accounting sectors. She is the wife of a loving husband, and the mother of a beautiful girl. She works and writes full-time.  A bestselling author in several sub-genres at ARe and Amazon, she has also earned a 2012 Swirl Award in the paranormal category. She’s a PAN member of RWA, FF&P special interest chapter of RWA, and co-founder and treasurer of Cultural, Interracial, and Multicultural special interest chapter of RWA. Ambrielle Kirk is also an admin at the blog, IRMC Books.

Connect with Ambrielle:

Webpage http://ambriellekirk.com

Blog http://ambriellekirk.com/blog.html

Facebook Personal Page https://www.facebook.com/ambrielle.kirk.9

Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmbrielleKirk

Twitter https://twitter.com/AmbrielleKirk

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ambriellekirk

Excerpt

“Stop the car. Someone’s in trouble.”

Blake DeLuca sat straight up in the passenger side seat with each one his senses heightened in alarm. The sharp scream of the woman echoed in his head just like it had done across the evening atmosphere just moments early.

The scream was a cry for help and it sounded like someone was in despair.

“You heard it too?” Dawson asked, as he swerved into an empty lot and brought the Maserati to a screeching halt.

Blake’s body lurched forward from the blunt maneuver, but he didn’t waste a moment’s notice. He was out of the car in three seconds flat, rushing toward the sounds of scuffling in the alley. His wolf was just below the surface of his skin urging him toward the incident. Plus, they were in unmarked territory where there was sure to be human eyes everywhere even at this odd hour of the evening. Dusk had just fallen, but that didn’t mean every human was all cozy in their homes.

Dawson was right behind him, his running footsteps crunching the gravel and broken sidewalk with determination.

With their keen sense of smell, it didn’t take them long to find the scene of the crime. Blake stopped short of revealing their arrival too soon, keeping his body positioned behind the shadow of a long dumpster. The woman screamed again, but louder this time.

There were three of them. The intricate pattern inked on the left shoulder designated them as belonging to the Other clan.

They had a Caedmon female backed into a darkened alleyway. A man lay dead on the pavement next to them. The deep gaping slit on his neck and the pool of blood draining from his throat evidenced that a cut to the jugular was a cause of death, if not the main one. What little clothing the female wore were tattered and torn about her body. The dead male didn’t look that presentable either. Anyone could tell they’d put up a fight and as a result a man had paid with his life.

“We just wanted to have some fun with you, that’s all,” one of the men from the Other clan taunted. He and the others moved closer and closer to the frightened woman. “Your friend there shouldn’t have stuck his snout where it doesn’t belong.”

One of the men kicked the dead body and grinned. “He’s dead. Now we can play some more.”

Blake emerged from the shadows with rage and curiosity running through his system.

“Help!” The woman cried out as she finally noticed he and Dawson folding in behind the Other clan.

The biggest one swung around and his gaze focused on the new threat. His irises were a murky dark gray which was very unusual for someone of the Other clan. Their eyes usually sparked a bright silver, especially when they were provoked and up to no good. But this man’s powers were literally seething from his pores, kind of like a Caedmon’s would do, but in far less vivid colors. Although Others were the human branch of Caedmon kind, they couldn’t shift and their abilities and powers were reduced. Only through the wolf genes were the powers and Caedmon spirit more potent.

“Look what else we got,” the biggest one said through clenched teeth. “More mutts. I wonder if they’re even worth earning a dull blade. The last one fell quickly–like a limp rodent.” He held up his knife, demonstrating the sharpness by pressing a pointer finger to the tip.

Dawson growled next to him. ‘Let me do this one in.’

The statement came to Blake through projection. After claiming the lost relics and on the night of the delegation, this gift, along with others, was afforded to all six members of the Council. Thought projection was something that was only shared among mates and close siblings, so to have something this rare in common with his fellow Council members who were like brothers to him was a precious gift.

‘But there’s three of them.’ Blake projected back. ‘The one with the most kills wins.’

‘Game on.’

Blake pointed to the dead Caedmon on the ground. “Why is this man dead?”

“For the same reason you will be lying dead next to him,” one replied, taking a step forward to show his seriousness. “Not being able to mind his own business.”

“Westcott was trying to help me!” The woman blurted out, then shrank back into the building when the biggest one, presumably the leader, turned on her.

“Shut up, tramp!” he hissed at her and rushed her with the knife. “You were asking for it. I’ll save you for last…after I get through with these scumbags.”

Blake acted quickly, his wolf on the surface egging him on. He reached the offending male with lightning speed, grabbing him tight around the wrist. His determination was made clear as he snapped the offender’s carpal bone in two. “Now that’s no way to talk to a lady.”

He hollered in pain and dropped the knife.

There was some scuffling behind them and Blake figured that Dawson had got into it with the other two. Dawson had just reached the age when a young male wolf was most aggressive. So Blake was almost certain that he would have lured them into a fight one way or the other.

His own opponent caught him off guard, throwing a punch with his other fist. It missed Blake’s jaw by only a centimeter.

Blake shoved the big brute hard into the stone wall.

When the body hit, spittle and sweat flew away from his neck and face. He stumbled away from the building, shaking off what was likely the result of being disoriented from the hit. The brute appeared to give up but then he sprang back up with a second knife, slinging it in the air at him.

The blade caught Blake in the upper forearm. He bit his bottom lip and snatched the thing out. Blood pulsed from the wound down his arms through to his hand. He dug his fingers into his palms while the blood rage gathered in his fists.

Blake’s eyes glazed over and he began seeing everything in a vivid red, but things were clearer, nonetheless. His body shuddered as he fought down his wolf, angry and ready to emerge. There was no subduing this animal any longer. The wolf was his other half, they completed each other, and they both hungered for revenge.

Blake’s canines ripped violently from his gums.

He heard a squeak and discovered that the woman was still standing there, unmoving and shocked from what she was seeing. He caught her gaze and held it.

“Run. Never come back in unmarked territory again,” he said to her.

She wasted no time gathering up her ripped skirt and running out of the alley.

“I’ll carve you,” his opponent screamed. “I’ll slice your throat just like your dead Doctor there.” His fingers shook as he pointed.

“Will that be before or after I stuff your mouth with your own guts?”

The next thing the coward pulled out from behind his back was a pistol.

Blake ducked out of the pathway of the first bullet. Within seconds his bones snapped and molded. His skin grew hot and stretched until he became the wolf. But it wasn’t he who earned the first kill. Dawson had already ripped into the throat of one.

An enemy’s treachery fueled the wolf’s rage. The need for revenge of a murdered brethren harkened. As a Council member, he had pledged long ago to protect his people by any and all means necessary. Above all else, he wasn’t ready to die tonight–not by any man’s hand and not by a gun.

The third and fourth bullet came too close to his head and he sprang into action. He leapt into the air, hurling himself at the offender.

His claws dug into a meaty chest as he drove the man’s body into the ground on his back. The wolf offered very little mercy when it came to cold blooded murderers.

Blood rushed into Blake’s mouth as he tore into the man’s stomach, pulling out a mass of guts and tossing them in heaps on the ground. This murderer’s screams were too loud. The only mercy the wolf afforded that evening was putting him out of his misery by ripping into his throat to end it all.

After the kill, Blake’s wolf spun around ready for more, but Dawson’s wolf had just taken down the last man.

They shifted back into their human forms almost at the same time, heaving in and out with deep raged breaths trying to recover. Dawson stumbled to the opposite side of the wall, clutching his side.

Blake rushed over to him. “Were you hit?”

He held up his palm. “Dude, I’m fine. The bullet isn’t deep. I got this.”

Dawson was brother to the Alpha, son to a male descending from the original line of Caedmon ancestors. Despite his youth, Dawson was probably ten times more powerful than Blake was. In a matter of seconds, Dawson had expelled the bullet on his own and succeeded in stopping the blood leakage.

Blake pried a pistol from one of the dead man’s cold fingers. He held it up to the light from the moon. “Just as I thought. This gun is hot. The serial number has been stripped. Bullets are probably untraceable too.” He dumped the remaining bullets from the clip into his palm.

Dawson picked up a shell from the ground and pocketed it. “They popped off too many rounds during the scuffle. Chances that someone nearby heard are high. Let’s get out of here.”

They bent together to pick up the dead Caedmon from the pavement. When they reached the car again, they popped the trunk and slid him inside.

“I’ll drive this time.” Blake gestured to his wounded side. “You need time to mend.” He pulled his cell phone out of his jacket pocket and hit the speed dial key then the number 9. His call was answered promptly.

“M-9.”

“Max, we need another clean up,” Blake replied, as he slid into the driver’s side seat.

Max blurted out an expletive on the other end. “This shit is getting serious, ain’t it?”

“Roger that.”

TOUR GIVEAWAY:

GRAND PRIZE: $25 egiftcard to Amazon, B&N, or ARe

RUNNERS-UP: 2 runners up get to select an eBook title from Ambrielle’s backlist

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2. LONE WOLF Author: Sherilee Gray

 

LONE WOLF

Author: Sherilee Gray

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher:  Escape Publishing!

Publication Date: March 1, 2014

 

He let her father chase him off once, but this time nothing is getting in his way.

Fletcher Stone was forced out of the pack life, and now he makes his living as a hired thug, living day-to-day without honour or commitments. Shame over his choices and his lifestyle keep him from returning to the pack to claim Delaney — the woman who holds his heart. But when a rival pack hires him to kidnap her, Fletcher takes his chance. Now he must convince her that he never wanted to leave…and reveal a betrayal that will break her heart.

Delaney Jones has spent the last five years convinced the man she loves is dead. Nothing else would keep him from her. So when Fletcher shows up, whole, healthy, and very much alive, she’s devastated — and pissed off. He broke her heart once and he’s never going to get close enough to do it again. 

AVAILABLE MARCH 1, 2014:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IAFNJVE/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lone-wolfs-captive-sherilee-gray/1118598765?ean=9780857991430&isbn=9780857991430&itm=1&usri=9780857991430

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lone-wolf-s-captive-novella

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/lone-wolfs-captive-novella/id816039093?mt=11

Author Bio & Contact Links:

Sherilee Gray’s always had a big (some may say warped) imagination and as a kid scared herself conjuring up tales full of terrifying creatures. All grown up, she still has the big imagination and monsters in her stories… only now they’re chasing their happily ever after. Based in beautiful New Zealand with her extremely supportive husband and their two children, she spends her time writing, hoarding books, and eating copious amounts of chocolate.

Contact links:

Website: http://www.sherileegray.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sherilee_Gray

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7762587.Sherilee_Gray

Tour Giveaway Details:

GRAND PRIZE: $30 Amazon GC

RUNNERS UP: 2x runners up. $10 GC each

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3. Welcome KC Blake–vampire fighter, werewolf hunter and creature of the night stalker (in a good way, not in that creepy way everyone else stalks creatures of the night)

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This Fun Friday The Society of YA Storyteller authors are all interviewing fellow authors! I’m the lucky one who hosts KC Blake today. Interested in stories that will keep you up long into the night? Just read one of KC’s books and you’ll see why you’ll want to read them all. When you get to the end of the interview and want to read more, there’s links to all the author interviews. Stop by each of the blogs and read about one of your favorite or future favorite authors. Click here to check out the The YA Society of Storytellers website and check out the game zone, online book club, trailers and giveaways too.

Any works in process that you are passionate about?  I am working on Warrior right now.  It is the third in the Order of the Spirit Realm Series, and I’m having a blast because I know these characters so well.  It will be hard when I finish and have to say goodbye.

Werewolf or Vampire? Vampire or Zombie? Aliens or Mole People?  Werewolf (pasty white boys don’t do it for me).  Vampire (easier to kill).  Aliens (the other is too weird).

Which of your characters is most like you?  Bay-Lee Van Helsing from Bait.  I don’t give up no matter what (I’m just stubborn that way), and I keep going no matter what life throws at me.  I’m also driven (to write, not to kill werewolves).

Which of your characters is least like you?  Lily from Witch Hunt. The girl never knows when to shut her mouth. She is constantly talking about stupid things and doesn’t notice when her friends want to slap her.

Which of your characters would you like to be friends with?  Kristen from Crushed because she is a witch with crazy powers, but she isn’t irresponsible so I don’t have to worry about her turning me into anything weird.  She would use her magic to help me out.

Which of your characters do you like writing about most?  Nick Gallos from Bait because he was an undercover rock star slash vampire slayer.  He’s angry and bitter, until he falls for Bay-Lee.  Definitely my favorite.

Tell us about your favorite Christmas tradition.  On Christmas Eve we drink hot cocoa and open up one present.  We also watch a Christmas movie.  Then on Christmas morning we eat breakfast before opening presents.  The rest of the day is spent visiting family, maybe watching another Christmas movie, and playing in the snow if we are lucky enough to have some.

Paperback or eBook?  Depends.  I love my Kindle, but I want my books in print if they are keepers.

Future plans?  After I finish up the Order of the Spirit Realm series, I am going to finish my vampire series.  Then I would like to move on to a series about other worlds and dragons.

Check out the other YA Storyteller interviews:

K.C. Blake
Bryna Butler
Heather Hildenbrand
Patti Larsen
Quinn Loftis
Liz Long
Melissa Pearl
L.M. Preston
Stacey Rourke
Christy Sloat
Heather Sutherlin
Suzy Turner


0 Comments on Welcome KC Blake–vampire fighter, werewolf hunter and creature of the night stalker (in a good way, not in that creepy way everyone else stalks creatures of the night) as of 12/13/2013 3:26:00 AM
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4. DNF: The Children of the Mist, by Jenny Brigalow

Release Date: September 1st, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 2 Monkeys
Interest: Vampires, Werewolves, Aussie Lit
Categories: Paranormal, Romance, Series
Goodreads / Amazon/ Jenny Brigalow's Website 
Read in September-October 2013 

Summary:
An original paranormal YA about an unconventional girl, an unconventional boy, their extraordinary transformations, and the secrets of the Scottish Highlands.

When skater girl Morven Smith turns sixteen, she develops boobs, acute appendicitis...and a pair of pointy teeth. While she is stunned by her metamorphosis into vampire, her best mate, the enigmatic Zest, is not. For the young werewolf, Morven’s transformation is an answer to his lonely prayers. 
But they are unable to celebrate their mutual paranormalcy for long — there are too many dangers, too much suspicion, and too many questions. It’s only in Scotland that Morven can learn the truth about her past. But she discovers more than she bargained for when she meets her birth family — an ancient feud between vampires and werewolves. They may both be Children of the Mist, but only one species can survive.
My Opinion:

I first decided to read this book because I really like aussie books, I like their cool idioms and reading about places that I'd love to visit someday, in this case, Australia and Scotland. 

So I met Morven, a skater girl, 16-year-old and with a penchant for adrenaline. The first couple of chapters introduced her and her friend Zest. I read about them skating, trespassing private property and freeing a lively Dog, but I still couldn't feel anything for them. 

I couldn't tell you why, but I couldn't bring myself to care for these characters. Sometimes I'd get excited about a situation, like when Morven starts to transform, to Become, and nurses and doctors try to pin her down and stop her from escaping. 

But then the book would go back to its previous slow pace and lost its grasp on me. I read half of the book and still, I couldn't get into it. I really tried to finish it, but it's been a long while and I need to read the other books on my Review List. 

Maybe the book will make up for these things I'm listing here in its second half, but I'm not tempted to read it any time soon. Sorry, Jenny! I really hate it when I can't even finish a book. 

If any of you have read the whole thing, let me know how it ends!
xo, Ella

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5. Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2), by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: July 13th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Overall: 3 Monkeys
Interest: Series, Werewolves
Categories: Werewolves, Paranormal, Romance
Goodreads - Amazon- Maggie Stiefvater's Website
Read in August 2013

Summary:
the longing.
Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.
Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.

the linger.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces -- wolf and human -- with love bearing its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?
My Opinion:

I read Shiver a few years ago, I don't know what took me so long to continue reading this series. 

While I loved Shiver, I only liked Linger. I was expecting something different, something with a little more action thrown into the story. 

Linger is purely a character driven book. It's all about what's happening to Grace, with a bit of a side story starring Isabelle and a new wolf, Cole. To be honest, I enjoyed Cole's and Isabelle's interactions more than Grace's and Sam's. They were more spicy, more dramatic. Grace and Sam's story fell a little flat to me in this book. 

Throughout it, Grace becomes seriously ill, and it's not until the last few chapters that we're told what's happening. And it's in those same chapters that a solution to her problem comes along. I just wish Maggie would've developed her illness differently, and also how it affected everyone around her. 

I also think that Isabelle's dad, Tom, could be turned into a nice villain, which is what this story is lacking. (Not a villain in a purely evil sense, just an antagonist strong enough to carry some drama into the mix.)

Linger is a very sweet book, full of romantic moments, but it just didn't cut it for me, action wise. I have Forever waiting on my shelf; I'll see if I like it soon. 

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6. Meet Jace from Kait Ballenger’s Twilight Hunter and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Jace McCannon, the dangerous and sexy hero from Kait Ballenger’s Twilight Hunter.  He stopped by the virtual offices for a chat, and brought along a copy of Twilight Hunter for one of you to win!

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

[Jace McCannon] Werewolf hunter. Stubborn. Bullheaded. Loyal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Jace McCannon?

[Jace McCannon] My days usually consist of sleeping. It’s my nights that see all the action. A typical night for me is spent hunting down any werewolves who are attacking humans. If there happens to be no targets for me to hunt, I usually spend my evening doing shitloads of boring paperwork for Headquarters so my division leader doesn’t chew my ass out.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Frankie?

[Jace McCannon] Smart. Beautiful. Strong.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Jace McCannon] That she’s equally as stubborn as I am when she wants to be.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Jace McCannon] I try not to have regrets.

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

[Jace McCannon] My Mateba handgun. I never go anywhere without it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t protecting humanity from sadistic murderers?

[Jace McCannon] I usually kick back and relax with a drink, occasionally I hang out with my fellow hunters. I try to stay busy though. I live for my job.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Jace McCannon] Frankie and continue hunting

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the book:

Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face-to-face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.

Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind-or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both…

About the author:

Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published, award-winning author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series. With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently earning an M.F.A in Writing. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she hopes to be a bestseller and to see her novels on the big screen. Look for the next two books in her page-turning Execution Underground series: Twilight Hunter, book one (August 2013) and Immortal Hunter, book two (January 2014), and don’t forget to check out Shadow Hunter, a prequel novella to the series featured in the After Dark anthology along NYT Bestseller Gena Showalter—now available in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. For more information, please visit www.kaitballenger.com or follow her on Twitter @kait_ballenger.

Website: www.kaitballenger.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kait_ballenger

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989661.Kait_Ballenger

Purchase links

Amazon link

Twilight Hunter on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twilight-hunter-kait-ballenger/1114504377?ean=9780373777389

Giveaway!

Fill out the widget to enter for a chance to win Twilight Hunter! US addresses only, please

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7. Review: Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger

 

Title: Twilight Hunter

Author: Kait Ballenger

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but what happens when danger collides with desire?
Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face to face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.
Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind–or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both…


Review:

I was trying to put my finger on why I don’t didn’t really care for Twilight Hunter, and I think I finally figured it out.  Kait Ballanger’s Execution Underground world is grim, bleak, and brutal, and it’s not one that I would want to visit.   There is nothing cutesy about the series or the characters, and there are times when the darkness caught me off guard.  This installment focuses on Jace, a half-werewolf whose abusive childhood shaped him into a cold, hard killer.  Jace hunts werewolves for a living, and every rogue werewolf has him hoping that it’s his father he’s hunting down.  He will never forgive his father for beating his mother, and worse, for walking out on them so many years before.

When a serial killer begins preying on young women, torturing, raping, and ripping them to shreds, Jace is certain that a werewolf is committing the horrible crimes.  He’s determined to stop the killer before he murders again, but he can’t catch a break in the case.  Finding Frankie at one of the murder scenes, he’s positive she has something to do with the deaths.  She’s an abomination, isn’t she? She has to be responsible for the killings, or know who the killer is.  What Jace doesn’t know is that Frankie is the leader of the local pack, and she’s on the trail of the killer, too, in part to avoid the full moon and her expected joining with her childhood friend Alejandro.  Now, she’s Jace’s captive, and if he doesn’t back off, they are going to be doing the bronto  bop when her estrus is at it’s height.

Mating rituals is a  component of werewolf stories that I don’t like.  It kind of takes all of the guessing out of the game if whenever that full moon looms overhead the protagonists are so compelled by their wolf that they will jump the first available prospect they see.  In this context, it gave Jace something else to beat himself up over, because he was too weak to keep himself from sleeping with a werewolf.  It also gave him another excuse to hold Frankie in contempt, because she would obviously sleep with anybody.  Sigh.

One thing that I do like about werewolves stories is the action, and there is a ton of it here.  The fighting scenes are a blast to read, and Frankie is a kick-ass heroine.  She doesn’t back down from anything or anyone,  especially when she’s defending her position in her own pack.  Not all of the members are happy that she’s their leader, and it’s a constant struggle to maintain her place.  Her parents were murdered a few years ago, and she took their place in the pack.  The altercations within the pack are no-holds barred exchanges, and only Frankie’s fighting skills and determination have kept her in charge, and still breathing.

Both Jace’s and Frankie’s pasts collide during their attempts to capture and kill the murderer.  The killer is one sick puppy, and his demise couldn’t come soon enough.  He made me uncomfortable, with his remorseless drive to inflict pain and death.  At first I was afraid that there wouldn’t be an explanation for his behavior, other than that he was a psycho (which he was, in spades), but there was rational behind his nutcase behavior.

Twilight Hunter will appeal to fans who enjoy grittier tales with a high steam factor and lots of intense action.

Review copy provided by author

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8. Cover Shot! Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

What a cool cover!  Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron even has a cool name!  I love the thought of an archeologist heroine, too.  This will be in stores next week.

Hits stores March 12th.

      

Archaeologist Zoe Miller has been running from a haunting secret her whole life. But when her cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, Zoe is left with only one option: to reveal herself. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She’s a werewolf and a daughter of the Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles embroiled in an ancient war against evil. To rescue her cousin, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against the dark and nefarious foe. The hunt brings Zoe to the edge of her limits, and with the fate of humanity and the Fangborn in the balance, life will be decided by an artifact of world-ending power.

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9. Indie Author Giveaway Hop (INTL)


Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Krazy Book Lady


Today you can win a copy of indie author Tammy Blackwell's book, Destiny Binds (Timber Wolves, Book 1). OR if you have already read Destiny Binds, you can have Time Mends (Timber Wolves, Book 2) instead.



The winner also gets to choose whether they get a paperback or Kindle copy.

Why did I pick Tammy Blackwell and her books to feature for the Indie Author Giveaway Hop?
  • She's a librarian.
  • Her books are laugh-out-loud funny!
  • Look at those covers. There are some "real" publishers whose covers aren't as good as these!
Seriously, even if you don't win my giveaway, if you love YA paranormal romance (and laughter) you should give these a go. The third book is due out later this year! You can find out more about Tammy at her blog, www.misstammywrites.com.

Remember to check out all the other great blogs on this hop for more chances to win!

Rules:

Open internationally. To enter you must be over 13 years old or have the permission of a parent/guardian since you may be sharing personal info such as your email address. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter. The winner gets to choose either a paperback or a Kindle copy of the book, Destiny Binds, by Tammy Blackwell. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


1 Comments on Indie Author Giveaway Hop (INTL), last added: 6/13/2012
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10. Review: The Half-Breed Vampire by Theresa Meyers

 

Title: The Half-Breed Vampire

Author: Theresa Meyers

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: B006QAF0WG

Available in both print and eBook

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Ignorant of his true heritage, half-breed Slade Donovan is fated to feel like an outsider among his clan. Until a mysterious woman arrives with the ability to unlock his secrets—and make him crave a future he never believed he could have….

As a game warden, Raina Ravenwing has only one mission in the Cascade Mountains: to hunt down a pack of rare wolves that is terrorizing her tribe. Her instant attraction to Slade is a distraction the beautiful wolf whisperer can’t afford, unless she agrees to let him help her. Yet working so closely together only intensifies their passion…even as the unfolding truth of Slade’s identity threatens everything Raina holds sacred.

Review:

The Half-Breed Vampire is the second of Theresa Meyers’ books that I have read.  I found both stories to be fast-paced and fun reads, with likable characters that I wanted to see together.  Though both couples seemed so wrong for each other at first, it quickly became apparent that they needed and completed each other.  I love a story that makes me want the protagonists to overcome all obstacles and find their HEA.  Slade and Raina have so many issues to work through, but with the support of their friends and a fierce sense of belonging, they manage to defeat their own objections about being together.

Slade is a vampire, and he’s been recruited to help game warden Raina Ravenwing track a bunch of wolves.  The wolves are harassing her tribe, and Raina needs to study them to discover why.  What she doesn’t know is that they are a pack of werewolves, and they are plotting a coming out party. Vampires made their presence known a year ago, and the weres don’t like that their hated enemies are enjoying the spotlight in the mortal world.  As Slade assists Raina in her mission, he begins to discover some unsettling truths about himself, and the past he can’t remember. 

First off, let me say how much I enjoyed Slade.  He’s one of those characters who manages to pull off tough and tender at the same time.  But only tender for the woman he’s slowly falling for.  His fellow vampires and the embattled weres don’t get the benefit of his softer side.  Only Raina brings out a fierce protectiveness, even when she’s a tight ass and totally rubs him the wrong way when they first meet.  She is uptight and she adheres to the rules, which drives him nuts.  It was fun to see them annoy each other, and then slowly begin to accept each other.  As Raina comes to trust Slade, she lets down her guard, too, and they begin to form a highly effective team.  I loved that.  As the story progressed, I couldn’t imagine them not together, because they really did prop each other up and offer strengths when the other faltered.  I believed in their teamwork and their togetherness, so much so that the flimsy plot and one-dimensional villain did not bother me. 

I found the world of the Cascade Vampire Clan very interesting, and I want to know more about Achilles, Slade’s commanding officer.  The vamps probably have it a little too easy, though, as they can teleport, materialize objects, and survive grievous injuries with only a few hours rest.  They can even be out in

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11. Interview with Stephanie Tyler, Author of Dire Needs

Stephanie Tyler is the best-selling author of several romantic suspense series, as well as a veteran series romance author.  Her brand new paranormal romance series, The Eternal Wolf Clan, kicks of with Dire Needs.  Stephanie recently dropped by the virtual offices for a chat – check out what she has to say!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Stephanie Tyler] Wife, Mother, Writer. Lover of Weimaraners & wolves. Sydney Croft co-author. Currently looking 4 sum1 2 go find Big Ang’s bar w/.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about DIRE NEEDS and your new Eternal Wolf Clan series?

[Stephanie Tyler] The Eternal Wolf Clan series is all about the last surviving Dire Wolves and how they’re tasked with helping Weres and humans alike, saving them from evil – and sometimes, from themselves. Dire Needs is Rifter’s story – he’s the reluctant leader of the Dire Wolf pack and he believes he’ll never find a mate, as no female Dire wolves survived the extinction. But when he meets Gwen, a dying human doctor, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to her, and refuses to let her go.

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

[Stephanie Tyler] The concept came from several places – my daughter and her medical issues are always a source of inspiration for me, as odd as that may sound but if I tell you more I’ll give some of the story away. And the wolf thing, well, hey, I read Twilight and couldn’t understand why Bella wouldn’t pick the wolf! I mean, come on, the wolf was the obvious choice and he got screwed at the end of that series!

[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?

[Stephanie Tyler] Balancing the beginning of a series, talking about the world so the reader understood things without giving too much information. The first book is always hard when you’re introducing a large cast of characters, but it was necessary. These wolves work as a team so the reader needs to meet them all.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Rifter would never have in his bedroom?

[Stephanie Tyler] A cat, a book on dream symbolism and a witch.

[Manga Maniac Café] Why do you think paranormal romance is so popular?  

[Stephanie Tyler] I think for the same reason romance in general is always popular – it’s the ultimate escape. With the paranormal aspect, it just adds to that feeling of, this could never happen but OMG, what if it did? What if supernatural creatures really do exist around us? And I think most of us do tend to believe that there are things out there that go bump in the night – so it’s taking something that might have once scared us – or that still might – and making it exciting instead of frightening.

[Manga Maniac Café] Which of your characters is most like you?

[Stephanie Tyler] I’d have to say Isabelle, from Hard to Hold, the first in my Hold romantic suspense trilogy. She’s solitary, needs a lot of time alone but she’s not lonely, per se. I can relate to her. But I really never base my characters on me or anyone I know – they kind of arrive in my mind, fully formed, so it’s really one of those, any resemblance to any person living or dead is merely coincidence…

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

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12. Review: Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler

 

 

Title:  Dire Needs

Series: The Eternal Wolf Clan #1

Author: Stephanie Tyler

Publisher: Signet

ISBN: 978-0451236234

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Feared by humans and envied by werewolves, the Dire Wolves are immortal shifters, obeying no laws but their own bestial natures.

Rifter leads the pack, and his primal instincts have led him to claim Gwen, a woman seeking solace from the chronic pain that has wracked her body her entire life.

But whatever future Rifter and Gwen have is threatened by an enemy of both humanity and the Dire Wolves…

Review:

One of the most exciting aspects of jumping into new genres of fiction is discovering new-to-me authors.  I have been reading more paranormal and urban fantasy, so I was curious when I came across Dire Needs.  Stephanie Tyler has several best-selling romantic suspense series under her belt, as well as several series romances, so I was chomping at the bit to start reading this book. 

I love werewolves; they are one of my favorite paranormal beings, and they are so much more exciting than vampires.  To me, a good depiction of a werewolf captures that edgy, dangerous side, and shows how little control they can have over their inner beast.  The more unpredictable the werewolf, the better.  They should be always teetering on the brink of losing control over their human side, and in this respect, Dire Needs excelled.  Rifter is the alpha over a small group of alpha dire wolves.  He is one tough M-fer, and he is swift to mete out punishment over what’s left of his pack.  The great Extinction wiped out most of the Dires.  After they turned on humans, going on a murderous rampage, the Elders punished them harshly; every Dire was killed, except for Rifter and his small group of Dires.  There are no females, so they have no hope of ever finding a mate.  Oh, and they are immortal, so they have plenty of time to reflect on the sins of their ancestors while protecting the humans their kind once slaughter indiscriminately.  These are some tortured heroes, without hope of ever finding a happy ever after.

When Rifter meets Gwen in a were bar, she latches onto him and takes him home.  She is dying, and for one uninhibited night, she wants to let loose and revel in being alive.  She wants to forget about the seizures that have invaded her life, that are pushing her to the brink of death.  Her medications are no longer suppressing them and she has lost all hope for survival.  If ever two unhappy people needed each other, it is Rifter and Gwen.  Both without hope, both willing to throw caution to the wind to squeeze some kind of enjoyment from their hopeless existences.  The chemistry between Rifter and Gwen sizzles.  Rifter is at first reluctant to give in to his attraction for a human female, because he is so badass he’s afraid that he’ll hurt her.  Always skating on the edge of violence, he’s even more dangerous during the full moon.  The beast within demands that he give in to the animal inside, and so he finds it impossible to resist Gwen’s advances. 

I enjoyed the interaction between Rifter and his Dires.  They are always one word or gesture from tearing each other apart.  Vice is my favorite, and I can hardly wait to see him achieve his HEA.  Now, while I liked the Dires, I was o

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13. Fateful by Claudia Gray




Tess, in servitude to a rich, unfeeling matron, plans to escape once the Titanic lands in New York City. The night before boarding, she is bullied by a frightening man on the streets of Southhampton, being saved by an equally unsettling, but handsome, young man. As bad luck would have it, both were in first class on the gigantic ship’s maiden voyage. Without much fanfare, Tess finds herself in the middle of a werewolf supremacy battle, and in love with one of them, mysterious, handsome, rich Alec. Paralleling the amazing Titanic movie, these star-crossed lovers transverse 1st to 3rd class navigating the tense war between werewolves. Tess is saved from death, even her beautiful BLONDE locks, which the cover does not depict. (Old cover, new cover seen here is correct. But does she looks like a servant?) Though Alec and his nemesis lie with the dead for identification, can she be sure of their state? I can see another series brewing. Gothic/ supernatural/love fans will enjoy the book.

ENDERS' Rating: ****
Claudia's Website

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14. Excerpt–Coveted by Shawntelle Madison

Coveted by Shawntelle Madison is the start of a new paranormal romance series from Ballantine Books, and it hits stores on April 24th.  I love werewolves, so I’m eager to get my hands on this book.  Check out the excerpt and the plot summary; I included a pre-order link for you, too.   [...]

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15. Chinese Werewolves? by guest author Joyce Chng

Chinese Werewolves? Really?

A bit about myself before I start rambling away: I am from Singapore (born and grown-up), a medieval history major and a gardening fanatic. Likewise, I have two girls and I herd cats. I write SFF under my normal name and urban fantasy under a pseudonym. So, yes, I am a SFF writer from Singapore.

Why Chinese werewolves? Uhm, why not?

There are many urban fantasy series out there in the publishing world. Fantastic series, by the way – I love Charles de Lint’s complex worlds as well as grimmer ones like Jim Butcher’s and Simon Green’s. Yet, I found myself wanting more: a world I could resonate with and understand.

Cue 2009. I was pregnant with my second girl and brimming with ideas. I was already toying (and building a world!) with the concept of Chinese werewolves, set in Singapore. The main character would be a woman. She would be a mother with children. Her pack was central in her life. The wolves (Lang – Mandarin Chinese for ‘wolf’) followed the Chinese calendar, as much as their human counterparts. Twist: she was an ex-teenage vigilante. I have always wondered how Buffy would turn out, when she became an adult. What happens to heroines when they are past their ‘hero’ days?

So, come Nanowrimo 2009 – I was writing that novel.

I tried a few publishers before Wolf At The Door finally found a home at Lyrical Press. Then I started writing Obsidian Moon, Obsidian Eye – and suddenly, I have a series!

Southeast Asia is a perfect region for urban fantasy (and epic fantasy, by the way). Singapore is an island-state who prides herself as a cosmopolitan city with many races and cultures converging there for commerce and for personal reasons. Each race has its own unique mythology and legends – great source material for an urban fantasy different from the usual North American or British ones.

Take a walk on the wild side, Singapore-style. Mingle with the Myriad. Who knows, you might be walking beside a Lang.

Joyce Chng can be found at A Wolf’s Tale: http://awolfstale.wordpress.com where she blogs about things SFF, writing, YA and urban fantasy.

Her alter ego – J. Damask – has her author page at: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=authors&authors_id=165&zenid=andqadld2v33eskrbb45mgc9s3

Her SFF and YA stories are easily downloadable from Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jolantru

She tweets at @jolantru

 


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16. The Trouble with Demons (Demon Guardian Series, Book 1)

I hadn't realized I'd already changed this cover 3 times!!! But, when I first uploaded a cover, I used a picture of the stormy fields. I thought it was cool. Looked ominous.



But then I thought it ought to have a teen in the picture...to show it's a YA. So I had this one professionally made. It's blah though. I still like the teen, but the picture itself just doesn't say much of anything.



Later, I began to figure out how to work Photoshop more and so I found a cool red sky, like that which is in the demon world, and a girl that would be more suitable for the lead character. She has attitude. Crossed arms indicates a defensiveness, which suits her well.

My critique partners say the cover for the second book is too similar. Girl too old. Etc, etc. So I found another picture of a girl that is perfect. Can't wait to make the cover! Now...I need to write the story! THEN make the cover!




Amazon
B&N
ARe

It's fun taking a break while creating a book cover. But the bottom line is that I need a story to go with it. LOL

All right, so I'm off to write for the day!

Do you ever get the cart before the horse???

Terry
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
www.terryspear.com

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17. The Winged Fae's Video Trailer is Up!

And the 3rd book in The World of Fae, THE WINGED FAE is available!

I'm working on another couple in the series, and also Tom's story of the wolf fame! :)

The Winged Fae

Ebook By Terry Spear

Published: Sep. 02, 2011
Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Words: 45210


Serena, a royal member of the Mabara winged fae, has one goal in mind. Stop an impending marriage with a dark fae. As the fae are known to do, she stirs up trouble that she hopes will make her point and get her off the hook. Only nothing goes as she plans.

Niall, a royal member of the Denkar, aka the dark fae, is visiting South Padre Island when he catches a winged fae painting graffiti on a wall on the island claimed by his people. He is at once fascinated with the lovely girl and intrigued by her audacity, but as one of the Denkar, he must take her to task. Yet she's armed with a sleeping potion that makes his life intolerable. Between freeing her from his people's dungeon, her own tower, and fighting a knight in her honor, he wonders if he's lost his mind over one beautiful winged fae--when she's betrothed to his cousin!

Available at these fine stores:

B & N
Amazon
ARe
Smashwords

In The World of Fae, I have also highlighted a location I love--South Padre Island, Texas. It's just as magical a place as Salado is to me.


What do you think of the trailer?

Terry
www.terryspear.com

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18. the Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong





Chloe, a fifteen-year-old necromancer, balances trying to understand her relationship with Derek, a werewolf, and his brother Simon, a sorcerer, while she tries to enter the nefarious lair of the Edison Group to rescue her aunt Lauren and friend, Rachelle. All this to wrap up in the final novel of the Darkest Powers trilogy! Adult supernaturals taught the teens how to manage their powers and search for a way to bring down Edison Group. One of my students torn the book away from me to devour it, her pulse already accelerating. She said it was her favorite of the three because everything was tied together, and there was even more action in the third book. The story still seems purposefully unfinished. Wait until I tell her a companion series is being released in April.

ENDERS' Rating: ****

Kelley Armstrong's Website

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19. Five YA Authors in a Single Interview

How often can you meet authors who write about outer space, werewolves, dystopian societies, fairies, and reincarnation in the same event?

The Breathless Reads tour featured Beth Revis, Andrea Cremer, Ally Condie, Brenna Yovanoff, and Kirsten Miller.

We caught up with the five authors for advice on writing, getting published, and more. Highlights from the interview follows below.

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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20. Cynthia’s Attic, Vampires, and Werewolves


In 2004, fresh off the excitement of my first 2-book publishing contract for Cynthia’s Attic, I began establishing an online presence at my publisher’s request, uh…insistence.

One of my first tasks was to explore author websites and chat groups. Believe it or not, I didn’t find one blog! Blogging had not reached the manic stage of today, with most bloggers simply writing online journals; but networking sites were hot.

I joined a children’s chat group in order to schmooze with other young reader (‘Tween) authors and immediately related to one particular author. Both of us had first-time multi-book contracts, the idea for our series’ sprang from recurring dreams, and our stories were fantasy/fiction. A perfect networking match.

We chatted, online, for several months, and then lost touch. I can’t quite remember why, but I’d guess it was because I was in the middle of editing my first book, The Missing Locket, deadlines approached, and time management was crucial. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Stephanie Meyer’s schedule. Wonder what ever happened to her? I do hope she had some success with her series about…vampires, I think.

Speaking of vampires, I was recently asked why I chose to write books for ‘Tweens that are lighter; vampire-less, werewolf-less, zombie-less…you get the drift. I can’t really say. It just happened. Cynthia’s Attic does delve into magic and spells and such, but the scariest monster, so far, is Stony, a rock monster who attacks twelve-year-old Gus, in an enchanted garden in The Magician’s Castle. Other than that, a nasty, bad-breathed clown, a sinister stranger on horseback and a friendly alligator are as menacing as Cynthia’s Attic gets.
Until Book # 5.

Yes, I’m crumbling. In the next book (title TBD), a werewolf pops into the lives of best friends, Cynthia and Gus. Not your typical werewolf, mind you…a more congenial, helpful type, but a werewolf to be sure. Stay tuned!


Cynthia's Attic Series
The Missing Locket
The Magic Medallion
Curse of the Bayou
The Magician's Castle


Blurb: The Magician’s Castle

In trying to escape the boring summer of 1964, the adventurous twelve-year-old girls discover a trunk in Cynthia’s attic that her family has possessed for three generations.

Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle (Book Four): Sebastien the Great, a magician whose fiancée, Kathryn, disappears through the magic trunk, vows revenge. If Cynthia and Gus don't find a missing page from the “Book of Spells,” Cynthia’s family could face financial and personal ruin.

The twelve-year-old best friends walk through miles of tree tunnels, stumble on an enchanted garden ruled by a cranky rock monster, and receive clues from an eccentric fairy named Eloise Elloway. They get the surprise of their lives when they're sent fifty years into the future, have a shocking encounter with another set of best friends, and gather a fresh set of clues that could lead to breaking the magician’s spell.

Mary Cunningham Books

YouTube code for video: Cynthia’s Attic Series

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21. The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (October 1, 2009)
Goosebumps Official Site: http://www.scholastic.com/goosebumps/
Buy the Book:  Amazon

There is something weird happening in Fever Swamp. Something really horrible. It started with the strange howling at night. Then there was the rabbit, torn to shreds. Everyone thinks Grady's new dog is responsible. After all, he looks just like a wolf. And he seems a little on the wild side.

But Grady knows his dog is just a regular old dog. And most dogs don't howl at the moon. Or disappear at midnight. Or change into terrifying creatures when the moon is full.

Or do they?
 Goosebumps:
This is my second Goosebumps book and I really liked them both, but I liked this one SO much more than the other.  
What's it about?
This one is about how Grady and his family move to Florida because his mom and dad are scientists.  His dad caught some swamp deer and so he took them there to experiment and see if they could survive in the swamp.  Grady decides to explore the swamp with his sister, Emily, and while they were there, they were looking around and found a bog.  As they went farther in, they discovered a small, old hut where a hunched man lived.  When he opened his mouth, he had really sharp teeth.  They ran away as fast as they could, but ended up getting lost.  They told their parents about the Swamp Hermit, but their parents said it was nothing to worry about.  When Grady started hearing howls and scratches at night, during the full moon, he began to suspect that the hermit might be a werewolf.  But things aren't always what they seem, and Grady (and I) were very surprised by the outcome!
What I thought:
I LOVED THIS BOOK!! My favorite character was Grady.  He's the main character and I learned the most about him.  I liked how this book was a mystery, and it was really dangerous for Grady.  I love how everything was connected and how it all came together in the end.  The book was scary for the characters, but it didn't scare me.  My sister's friend thinks these books are too gross and scary, but I really like them!  So, maybe these books aren't good for girls!!  These books are pretty easy to read, and I like that because I got through it really quickly.  I'll be reading more of these books!
Parents:  This book has no bad language, but it can be a little scary and gross.
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22. Nightshade (Witches' War, #1), by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade (Witches' War, #1), by Andrea Cremer on Goodreads

Release Date: October 19th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Philomel
Overall: 4 Monkeys
Interest: Series
Categories: Paranormal, Werewolves, Magic, Romance
Challenge: 100 Books in a Year
Read in May 2011

Summary from Goodreads:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: after graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.

But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
 
My Opinion:
When this book came out last year, everyone was talking about it. Everyone. But since it's about werewolves, I wasn't very intrigued, despite the 5-star-reviews. Now that I've read it, I can honestly say that I really liked it. Not loved, but liked. 

Cremer does a very good job with her characters, but the beginning of the book was a little confusing to me. I don't know if it was because I listened to the audiobook and maybe missed something, but at first I didn't know if the humans knew about the nature of the pack, and were afraid because of that, or if they were ignorant of it, and were scared of them because of how the pack acted. It took me a long while to get that they didn't, in fact, know their classmates were wolves. (Maybe this happened only to me, or maybe to someone else too, I don't know.)

And there were other things that felt a bit forced, clichéd too. Like the incident in Haldis Cavern that led to... that thing you know if you read the book. It was way too obvious to me. I would have liked -maybe, loved- this book more if that hadn't happened.

What I did love -and the reason I'm giving this 4 stars- was the characterisation of the different characters. There were like ten wolves in Calla's pack, and all of them had a different and unique personality, which was brilliantly written. So, congrats Andrea for that!
Bryn and Ansel were terribly sweet! And the loyalty of the pack towards their alphas was great too. They may had had differences with them, but the pack certainly had no doubts when it came to protecting them.

I loved how Cremer wove the wolves' history with magic! And I cannot wait to learn more about Shay's place in all of this!

Shay was great. Romantic, strong, a bit shy... he was a brilliant char

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23. Getting to the Point: N M Browne


So where do you get your ideas from?
I know we all dread the question and, even though I know I’m going to be asked it, I still haven’t come up with a sensible answer. Philip Pullman (note name dropping ) told me and two hundred other people that he bought them at ‘Ideas R Us.’ I want to say that elves leave them on my desk in return for chocolate crumbs, but the truth is I often lack for any ideas at all.
I rarely think to myself: ‘I want to write a story about...’ That’s not how it works for me. I can’t wait for inspiration. I haven’t got the patience to wait for a bus I always set off walking so why would I wait for inspiration? Instead I start writing and hope the idea bus will catch me up.
Often an idea will emerge within a paragraph, sometimes within a first line. Most of the time characters, places, situations, rebound like snooker balls on a billiard table and I discover that they have all arranged themselves in such a way that I can pocket the lot. Sometimes sadly, that doesn’t happen and it takes a lot of work and a lot of miscuing before I get to that point, indeed to any point that might count as a desirable destination.
My new book (out today as it happens) is one of those latter books where the ideas didn’t all come together either by happenstance or by gargantuan subconscious effort; they resolutely refused to arrange themselves within potting distance of a plot resolution. ‘Wolf Blood’ was the result of more of my blood, sweat, tears and foot stamping than is usual. It was not high concept.
Give me credit. I tried to make it sound like it was (Oh - did I try!) ‘Roman werewolf meets warrior seeress with bloody consequences?’, ‘Roman werewolf meets Celtic firestarter?’ Nah. It really isn’t that kind of book. It is hard for me to sum up because it isn’t one big idea, delivered neatly packaged by elves on a sugar high, but lots of little ones, colliding tangentially until somehow the game got resolved. ( I hesitate to say won.)
I do not give good elevator pitch. I don’t work like that. I can’t get to the point, the point of the book until after I’ve written it and sometimes not even then.
What I’ve learned is that you don’t need a big idea to write a novel, but you do need the confidence to carry on regardless, in the hope that one will arrive. Someday, eventually, it probably will.
That small (and possibly inconsequential) message of hope to those lost in plot pits is the point of this blog.

6 Comments on Getting to the Point: N M Browne, last added: 7/12/2011
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24. Ypulse Essentials: Google+ Is Minus A Few Visitors, Gamification Breakdown, Library Visitors Read Down Fines

It’s still way too early to decide the winner in the social network race (but it appears Google+ might be lagging as it’s already losing visitors. In our opinion, the network still has yet to show how it’s better than Facebook)... Read the rest of this post

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25. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater





Spoiler for those who have not read Shiver or Linger...

Just as Sam is "cured" of warping into a wolf's body, Grace becomes infected and changes at a dizzying rate, never knowing where she will show up as a scratched, naked teenage girl. Cole has thrown aside his passion for drugs and rock and rock and embraces research on himself for "the cure" to be perfected. But all is not well. A renegade wolf has just killed a new changelings and community leaders are outraged. Isabel's father amasses state support for exterminating the wolf population. Coupling the werewolf phenomena with the controversy of wolf control in the United States is a great addition to this final, dramatic installment.

ENDERS' Rating: *****

Maggie's Website

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