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Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write multicultural children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She, her husband, daughter and newborn son live on a river in Connecticut.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
After the birth of my daughter, I started writing books for kids. I wanted to write fun and imaginative books for kids that featured multicultural characters.
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
I wanted my kids to be able to see and read books featuring multicultural characters that did not focus on race or ethnicity.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
No. I love to try to think like an 8-12 year old. My favorite part of writing for the age group is trying to capture their imagination and fun-loving nature.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
OMG… Am I A Witch?! is the enchanting story of a little girl who discovers her magical powers after turning her annoying older brother into a dog using a spell found on the Internet.
A classic story of “be careful what you wish for.” OMG… is a hair-raising, action packed tale of a girl looking for a spell reversal and finding herself in the process.
What inspired you to write it?
It just came to me one day as a fun and imaginative idea.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
They can purchase a copy from the publisher’s website (Pinwheel Books):
Amazon (for Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/OMG-Am-Witch-Talia-Aikens-Nu%C3%B1ez-ebook/dp/B00FQI9SZO/
Amazon (paperback): http://www.amazon.com/OMG-Am-I-A-Witch/dp/0985424850/
What is up next for you?
I am trying to find a home for my next children’s book, Dragon Guardians.
Do you have anything else to add?
I hope everyone enjoys the fun and magical adventure of April and her friends. You can find me online at http://talia-aikens-nunez.vpweb.com and like me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/taliaaikensnunezchildrenswriter
Thank you for spending time with us today, Talia. We wish you much success.
OMG… Am I A Witch?! is the enchanting story of a little girl who discovers her magical powers after turning her annoying older brother into a dog using a spell found on the Internet. Follow April and her friends, Grace and Eve, on their spellbinding adventures as they race to reverse the spell before her parents find out.
A hair-raising and action packed tale of a girl looking for a spell reversal and finding herself in the process, OMG… Am I A Witch?! is sure to delight children while teaching them important life lessons like “Be careful what you wish for!”. Is April really a witch? Will she be able to undo the spell in time? Is she gonna be punished FOREVER? and will her brother ever stop growling at her? Join us and find out!
Author: Talia Aikens-Nuñez
Illustrator: Alicja Ignaczak
Paperback | B&W interior
Release date:Oct. 31, 2013
Talia Aikens-Nuñez is a children’s book author specializing in bilingual and multicultural children’s books. Her first book, Escucha Means Listen, was released by Musa Publishing in 2012. OMG…Am I A Witch?! is Talia’s first chapter book and she is currently seeking a home for her next children’s chapter book, Dragon Guardians. Talia lives with her husband, daughter and newborn son on a river in Connecticut.
Visit Talia online at http://talia-aikens-nunez.vpweb.com/
Visit Pinwheel Books to enter for your chance to win one of five copies of this book: http://pinwheelbooks.com/
Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.
With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire. Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts. Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple.
With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.
She bit the inside of her cheek, the instinct to duck behind the two girls intense. Spine tingling with adrenaline, she pushed her glasses up. Down the corridor, sandwiched between two girls and a guy, was her childhood best friend, Micah. Though no longer a lanky boy, she still recognized his light blue eyes. The mop of black hair he had as a kid was now short, little longer than a buzz. Eden was drawn to his smile, even if it was meant for the blonde girl at his side. A good foot shorter than him, the girl craned her neck up as she wrapped an arm around his waist.
Got to be his girlfriend, she decided. A stocky jock-type boy with chestnut brown hair and a tan girl with jet-black hair stood next to them. The jock slugged Micah’s shoulder as his bellowing laugh made its way down the hall to Eden.
Then the scene was gone as jeans and myriad of different colored t-shirts blocked her view. She sucked in a deep breath, her lungs burning from holding it too long. Sweat was beading at the top of her forehead as she prayed she could pass Micah’s entourage unnoticed. If I can’t see him he can’t see me either right? She hoped.
The stair case loomed nearer. I’m going to make it, she thought wishing the kids in front of her would move faster.
“No way dude. Coach always gives you the ball Micah,” a male voice boomed.
Eden glanced over. Micah’s group was directly left of her now.
He hasn’t noticed me, just keep moving, she told herself.
Face ducked down, she lifted her leg up only to have her foot land sideways and to the left. Her weight uneven, she feared toppling over, but a pressure on her left side held her up. Confused, she again attempted to move away, only this time, her body made a ninety degree turn, bringing her a foot away from the blonde girl.
Horrified, Eden’s legs stepped one in front of the other, heading straight towards Micah. Within seconds she stood dead center, stopping his small group of friends short. Sky blue eyes swam in front of her vision before she was lunging forward, throwing her arms around his neck, hugging him.
Funny the things you notice in a moment of sheer humiliation, she thought, as time dropped into neutral, prolonging her torture.
There was a hiss-like sound from the short blonde. Yep, definitely his girlfriend.
A male was chuckling. Not Micah. Must be the jock.
Arms wrapped around her hugging her back. Oh my gosh!
She shifted her weight back, trying to detangle herself from Micah’s arms. Pulling her face away from his neck, the memory of his scent automatically tucked away in her mind, she met Micah’s raised brow line, wide eyes, and even wider grin.
“Eden? Is that you?” he asked, as they separated further.
“Wow! How the heck are you? It’s been forever!” Though his face appeared delighted, she couldn’t help but notice how un-delighted his girlfriend was, as her amber eyes glared up at her.
PURCHASE AT AMAZON!
Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener’s success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story.
In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.
When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.
Like Amanda on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaestrong
Follow Amanda on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aewstrong
Add The Awakener to Goodreads
Written by: Sean Hayden
Narrated by: Ren Ruiz
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
Series: Rise of the Fallen, Book 1
Available at: [Audible][Amazon][iTunes]
(coming soon to Amazon and iTunes!)
It was only a wish. Connor Sullivan was painfully average. The very highlight of his existence was going to school, doing homework, and playing video games. He thought nothing would ever change that. Unfortunately, homework usually screws everything up.
A cut, some blood, and a hastily scrawled promise to sell his soul for his fondest wish… and all hell breaks loose. Literally.
The Demons take him up on his offer.
In a last ditch effort to keep his soul, he wishes to become one of the demons, or Fallen as they call themselves. Connor thought he had found a solution to his problem. He never fully understood the meaning of the phrase, “From the frying pan into the fire,” until his wish was granted. The biggest catch? Never ever fall in love with a human…
And then, she walked into his school. Beautiful, red-haired, funny… and blind. Connor’s heart didn’t stand a chance. Neither did the Fallen’s rules. He had saved his soul, but could he find happiness without hurting the girl he loved? Or would secrets Jessica didn’t even know she had destroy them all?
With special permission from the Ascended Masters, Jayna and Ethan have a spectacular wedding in the Astral plane. Jayna’s family and close friends are also transported to the wedding and they experience the Astral plane for the first time. Life goes on in a happy monotone for the next few years. Jayna and Ethan are together every night, but they are still forbidden to see each other on the Earth plane. One morning, Jayna and Liam do not wake up from their state of suspended animation. Their family is frightened out of their wits and hold vigil by their beds. With a lot of help from Hope and guidance from the other side, the siblings finally awake. Something major has happened on the Astral plane and Jayna is not telling them the whole story, but there is no denying the sense of danger. Their almost perfect lives are about to unravel.
Cassie screamed with pain.
“How does it feel to be on the receiving end of pain, Dr. Jewel?”
“How do you know my name,” the Shadow woman asked squirming on the floor.
“I know a lot of things about you, and none of it is good. Did you feel real powerful when you had helpless people kidnapped?”
There was shock on Cassie’s grey face.
“Yeah, I know all about it. You had three innocent people killed to get your dirty hands on that gold. You are scum Cassandra Jewel.” Jayna grabbed Cassie from the floor and threw her against the wall.
“Were you planning to go to their funeral,” Jayna asked, “and pretend you were their friend? Maybe shed a few tears?” Jayna threw a powerful punch into Cassie’s solar plexus. Cassie doubled over with pain, coughing.
“Stop it,” Cassie whispered hoarsely.
“Why should I? Tell me one good reason I should not kill you?”
Cassie coughed, still trying to catch her breath.
Jayna, that’s enough. Ethan warned her. We are not here to kill anyone.
That’s what the bitch deserves.
Jayna turned around and saw a new stack of gold plates on the dining room table. “I see, you brought more gold from the Underworld,” she said to Cassie.
She walked up to the table and scooped up the plates in her arms. They were about ten pounds.Awesome! We’ll make a few more miracles with these.
Cassie screamed with rage again. “Put those back. You can’t have them. They are mine.”
“Not on your life,” Jayna said and walked through the wall. Ethan and Colin followed her; they didn’t want to lose sight of Jayna for a second, in case the demon came back.
Astral Ordinance Book 1: http://www.amazon.com/The-Astral-Ordinance-Book-ebook/dp/B00AS1EUCU/
Astral Ordinance Book 2: http://www.amazon.com/The-Astral-Ordinance-Book-ebook/dp/B00CCWELBI/
Astral Ordinance, Ayshen’s Story: http://www.amazon.com/Ayshens-Story-Astral-Ordinance-ebook/dp/B00ETNC8ZY/
Astral Ordinance Book I: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267847
Astral Ordinance Book 2: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/306411
Astral Ordinance, Ayshen’s Story: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/351814
A university graduate in Economics, this mother of three and foster mother of 25 has been drawn to the world of paranormal since childhood. A devoted reader herself, Meltem Y.K has always had the aspiration to create her own brand of fantasy.
While working full-time and raising a family, into the late hours of the night, Meltem Y.K dreamed the fantasies that only she could and created a story that’s grown into the Astral Ordinance Series.
Social Media Links:
Author Website: http://www.meltemyk.com/about-the-author.php
Today I'm featuring my fellow Scene13 Blogger, Michelle McLean. Now in case you can't read the logline on the cover of the book, here it is:
Today starts the virtual book tour for Beverly Stowe McClure’s A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. My first chapter review of this middle grade/tween paranormal is part of that tour. The author had sent me a copy of this book when it was first released. It’s high time I read it.
BLURB: Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks’ life is falling apart. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom leaves his father and drags Erik from being king of the hill in Texas to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, no friends, just Starry Knight (a girl who reads minds) and her equally weird brother, Stormy, the twins that live down the block.
Just when Erik thinks life can’t get any worse, while hanging out at the beach one evening, he and the twins notice lights radiating from the lighthouse. The only problem is the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Stranger still, a ship materializes in the moonlit harbor. Curious, the twins and a reluctant Erik investigate and discover the ghost of a blockade runner, a phantom cat, and a pirate who prowls Charleston Harbor, all searching for rest.
A former nonbeliever in the existence of ghosts, Erik cannot deny the proof before him. And he has a revelation: The ghosts may be the answer to his desire to return home. Erik soon makes a deal with the ghosts. He’ll help them find what they’re looking for so their spirits can rest in peace. In return, the ghosts will scare Erik’s mother so she’ll be on the next flight back to Texas. Star thinks his plan stinks, but Erik wants his life back, even at the cost of his mother’s sanity.
COVER: This publisher has a lot of great covers, but I have to admit this is one of my favorites. The color, the fonts, the images, they all work together nicely. Kudos to the cover artist.
FIRST CHAPTER: Erik is feeling sorry for himself. His mom has uprooted him and moved to South Carolina where he’s got no Dad, no baseball, and no friends. There are those two freaky twins, Stormy and Starry Knight, but Erik is not having a grand time. He’s kind of tired of hearing about the light coming from the lighthouse–which is not likely since the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Then when what looks like a ship appears, he’s had enough.
KEEP READING: I had the privilege of seeing this story in the pre-published stage, so I have to admit I knew I would keep going. What McClure has always done well is capture the emotions of her characters. Here’s this thirteen-year-old boy with a great life and great friends in Texas, maybe even a girl to admire, and suddenly he’s pulled from all that and brought to South Carolina where all he has is a set of freaky twins to hang out with. His mom keeps telling him he’s going to love it, but Erik isn’t convinced. Change can be hard for children, especially a move away from friends, and McClure captures that so well with Erik.
The ending of this chapter hints at what is to come, even if Erik isn’t ready to buy into anything yet. This makes for a smooth transition into the next chapter, as Erik walks home and contemplates what Stormy and Starry are telling him about the lights and the ship. I’m definitely eager to continue. I don’t know what additional edits have been performed since I first read this book, but everything I’ve read from this author has been fantastic.
I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
Beverly Stowe McClure, a former teacher, is now enjoying a second career: writing. She never planned to be a writer, but in the classroom she and her students did such fun activities in art and science that she decided to write about some of them. Luckily, a few magazines liked what she sent them, and her articles have appeared in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Jr., and others. Nine of her stories have been published as books, the latest one a MG/Tween eBook: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. She also has two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.
Beverly enjoys discovering her ancestors in her genealogy research. She plays the piano. (Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice.) She takes long walks where she snaps pictures of wildlife and clouds, and of course she reads, usually two books at a time. She teaches a women’s Sunday school class. Watching baseball (Go Rangers) is another of her favorite activities. Retirement is fun.
My Opinion: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.
Today, I'm happy to be taking part in the cover reveal for Crystal Collier's Moonless.
I think Cursed looks like a great read, so I’ll have a review in a week or so. I’m hoping it lives up to the hype.
S.J. Harper’s CURSED Book Blast
Book One in the Fallen Siren Series
Release Date October 1, 2013
Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She’s cursed. He’s damned. Together, they make one hell of a team. Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.
Special Agent Zack Armstrong just transferred into the San Diego Field Office. He’s a werewolf, doing his best to beat back the demons from his dark and dangerous past. As a former Black Ops sniper, he’s taken enough lives. Now he’s doing penance by saving them.
Emma and Zack’s very first case draws them deep into the realm of the paranormal and forces them to use their own supernatural abilities. But that leaves each of them vulnerable, and there are lines partners should not cross. As secrets are revealed and more women go missing, one thing becomes clear: as they race to save the victims, Emma and Zack risk losing themselves.
About the Author
S.J. Harper is the pen name for the writing team of Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne C. Stein, two friends who met at Comic-Con in San Diego and quickly bonded over a mutual love of good wine, edgy urban fantasy, and everything Joss Whedon.
Samantha Sommersby left what she used to call her “real life” day job in the psychiatric field to pursue writing full-time in 2007. She is the author of more than ten novels and novellas including the critically acclaimed Forbidden series. She currently lives with her husband and cocker spaniel, Buck, in a century old Southern California Craftsman. Sam happily spends her days immersed in a world where vampires, werewolves, and demons are real, myths and legends are revered, magic is possible, and love still conquers all.
Jeanne Stein is the national bestselling author of The Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles. She also has numerous short story credits, including most recently the novella, Blood Debt, from the New York Times bestselling anthology, Hexed. Her series has been picked up in three foreign countries and her short stories published in collections here in the US and the UK. She lives in Denver, CO where she finds gardening a challenge more daunting than navigating the world of mythical creatures.
$25.00 Amazon gift card
S.J. Harper’s CURSED Book Blast Schedule 10/01 – 10/31
10/01- I Smell Sheep (review)
10/01- Must Read Faster (review)
10/02- Mary Abshire
10/02- Babbling About Books
10/03- Manga Maniac (spotlight)
10/03- Vampires, Werewolves & Fairies
10/04- Paranormal Haven (review)
10/04- Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews
10/05- Crazy Four Books (review)
10/06- Inner Goddess (review)
10/07- All Things Urban Fantasy (review)
10/07- My Reading Obsession
10/08- Close Encounters with the Night Kind (review)
10/08- Paranormal Romance Fans For Life (review)
10/09- Miscellaneous Thoughts of A Bookaholic
10/10- Underworld Love Addiction (review)
10/10- Books-N-Kisses (review)
10/11- Penny For Them (review)
10/12- Addicted to Heroines (review)
10/13- Deal Sharing Aunt (review)
10/14- GraveTells (review) after tour
10/14- Toot’s Book Reviews (review)
10/15- Coffee & Characters (review)
10/16- Wicked Reading by Tawania (review)
10/16- Mama’s Reading Break (review)
10/17- Just Paranormal Romance
10/17- Sun Mountain Reviews
10/18- Feeling Fictional (review)
10/19- LITERAL ADDICTION (review)
10/20- Cocktails and Books
10/21- C.S. Maxwell’s Where’s My Muse Blog (review)
10/22- Tiffy-Fit’s Reading Corner (review)
10/22- My Secret Romance (review)
10/23- Over the Edge (review)
10/23- Mad Hatter Reads (review)
10/24- Romancing the Darkside (review)
10/25- Night Owl Reviews (review)
10/25- Queen of the Night Reviews (review)
10/26 – KT Book Reviews
10/26- Two Sassy Chicks (review)
10/27- Where the Night Kind Roam (review)
10/28- Sassy Book Lovers (review)
10/29- Books A La Mode (review)
10/30- Book Monster Reviews (review)
10/31- Victoria’s Gossip
10/31 – Tome Tender (review)Add a Comment
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Kathleen, and welcome to the Manga Maniac Café! Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Kathleen Shaputis] A wanna-be hermit trapped in the disguise of a working full-time wife and grandmother who winnows her other spare time in writing.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Her Ghost Wears Kilts?
[Kathleen Shaputis] Inspired by the movie “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” this book is a paranormal romance where Baillie, is a 54 year-old business owner and the ghost Kai is a gorgeous 27 year old (plus three hundred or so) Highlander. Baillie inherits a castle in Scotland and Kai tries to warn her of threats on her life. But does she listen? No-o-o. Stubborn and independent, Baillie leaves Washington and finds herself in the middle of an ancient clan dispute, with her life on the line.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Kathleen Shaputis] The original concept came in a 1993 writing class exercise where we had to brainstorm an idea for a genre we didn’t read. Mine was mystery. My outline or mind mapping started as more a clash between two clans, the Baillies versus the Bruces and a working title of The B & B Mystery. I kept my notes in a drawer where eventually Gillian Nation, a character from my debut romantic comedy “Changes in Attitude” demanded inclusion in this musty old story idea. He was the nudge to finally write the book. Being gay, he couldn’t be the love interest, but loves to steal a scene every chance he gets.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Baillie?
[Kathleen Shaputis] Independent, stubborn, likeable.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Lord Kai had a theme song, what would it be?
[Kathleen Shaputis] Hmm, though not a theme song I have to mention during one part of the story I could hear Bonnie Tyler singing “Holding Out for a Hero” in my head and goose bumps ran up and down my arms.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Baillie is never without.
[Kathleen Shaputis] First impulse is to say she’s never without a Diet Coke. But that’s not true in the castle. I’d say she’s never without her sense of wonder, the ability to look at the world with rose-colored spectacles.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Baillie’s bathroom?
[Kathleen Shaputis] Those cutesy little guest soaps shaped like seashells or flowers; a variety of partly-used hair products as she’s rather brand dedicated and definitely no bathroom scale.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Baillie’s greatest regret?
[Kathleen Shaputis] I would say she regrets not being adventurous in her younger years, traveling more, opening her world. She was content over the decades, a gentle lifestyle like riding the carousel over and over, but not necessarily happy. And now she’s discovered the thrill of stepping off the safe ride onto something more intense and she sparkles.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Kathleen Shaputis] Movies and music, absolutely. I am thoroughly addicted to movies: light-hearted romances, musicals, black and white classics and the three-tissue animal stories. I have no problem going to the movies alone if I don’t have someone tagging along. I can watch a good movie over and over again, picking out different nuances in dialogue or surroundings. My dialogue tends to flow as if I’m watching a movie of my characters. A good instrumental soundtrack of violins, large wind section and drums will also lead me down the road of words.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Kathleen Shaputis] Three? Hmm, that would be something to write on, something to write with and a Diet Coke. Whether it’s a pad of paper and a pen, a pencil and the back of scratch paper in my purse, I’ll use anything if the muse strikes. And I tend to dry up if there isn’t a can, glass or paper cup of Diet Coke within reach. I’ve used AlphaSmarts to write with, a variety of notepads and notebooks and you don’t want to know the dozens of various pens I have in almost every room of the house including my purse.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Her Ghost Wears Kilts?
[Kathleen Shaputis] Besides life in general? Have you seen my world with adult children moving in and out, grandchildren everywhere, taking care of aging parents and a sibling until they passed away plus that full time job I need to help pay the bills? Actually it was more myself in the way. I finished almost a dozen other books before I let myself be serious. The storyline never moved too far from the back of my mind but I let other things, other people keep pushing it to the back of the line. I love this story, but I guess it wasn’t its time. Now that’s it’s done, the sequel is not letting much get in the way.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Kathleen Shaputis] That’s easy, the ebook “Wool” by Hugh Howey. That little novella thing just plunked me into his alternate reality and I couldn’t believe how quickly I was drawn in and strapped down. I’ve read the series and his easy style of writing is deceiving.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Kathleen Shaputis] I would have to say “The Boxcar Children” by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I acted out scenes in the book for months, especially eating pieces of cheddar cheese with plain bread slices. My husband found a first edition for my birthday one year. It is my treasure.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Kathleen Shaputis] I have grandchildren who seem to fill up most hours. But relaxing comes with watching movies on Lifetime, Hallmark channel, TMC, AMC, and an occasional theater romp with my own box of buttered popcorn. And of course, I read before falling asleep, a delicious way to wrap up the day.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Kathleen Shaputis] I enjoy getting a chance to talk with my readers. My website is www.shaputis.com (Yes, it was a good thing my husband was cute, sticking me with a Lithuanian name) or my blog at HerGhostWearsKilts.com. My Twitter handle is NwAuthor and I have a Facebook fan page.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the author:
Author of six published books and ghostwriter of another dozen, Kathleen Shaputis lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob and two Pomeranian pups, Brugh and Bouncer.Add a Comment
Title: Bleach Vol 1
Author: Tite Kubo
May Contain Spoilers
Bleach is one of my favorite series, and I realized with a great deal of dismay that I am far, far behind in my reading of this title. I don’t think I’ve reviewed many of the volumes, so I opted to take advantage of a comp copy through Vizmanga.com to reacquaint myself with Ichigo, Rukia, and the rest of the gang. This is a very fun series that features a ton of action, surprisingly touching emotions, and fan favorite protagonists in both Ichigo and Ruikia. If you enjoyed The Ghost and the Goth or The Curse Workers by Holly Black, I think you should give Bleach a try. Admittedly, the length of the series is daunting, and it’s still being published, but there are enough volumes released in English that you can read it in manageable chunks by utilizing online sales and trips to the library.
Ichigo Kurosaki is 15 years old and he can see ghosts. His sisters can too, though all they can see are faint outlines. Ichigo can see, touch, talk to, and channel these pesky spirits that he thinks are a pain in the butt. He just wants to be left alone to mind his own business but NOPE! That’s not happening. Ichigo also has a high moral obligation to help anyone in trouble, even those troublesome ghosts. When an evil spirit threatens to hurt his family, he’s forced to borrow Soul Reaper powers from Rukia, a Soul Reaper who was badly injured saving his bacon. Too hurt to fight, she offers to lend Ichigo half of her dark powers so he can save his family. She’s dismayed to discover that he’s so spiritually powerful that he steals all of them, and now she can’t get them back!
I love the relationship between Ichigo and Rukia. Their back and forth banter is humorous and full of snark. While Ichigo isn’t exactly disrespectful, he doesn’t understand the need to put himself in danger, fighting the Hollows, regardless of the obligation he acquired when he snatched away all of Rukia’s power. When the chips are down, though, her forceful prodding makes him realize how important a Soul Reaper’s duties are. If he doesn’t take care of the restless spirits, they will eventually turn into Hollows, and once they become these evil monsters, they lose their last shred of humanity. There is no going back, and the Hollows have an insatiable need to feed on souls. Rukia put her life at risk to save Ichigo and his family, so he acknowledges that he has a duty to help Rukia until she can figure out a way to get her powers back.
Ichigo is one of my favorite characters because he can’t stand to see an injustice and not want to correct it. He and One Piece’s Luffy have a lot in common. Both of them will give their heart and soul, not to mention their life, to defend those needing help. They are white knights in attitude. Ichigo can’t turn his back on bullying, or just stand by when someone is about to get hurt. He’s not perfect, and there are many times when he should learn to keep his mouth shut, but he can’t do it. He is fiercely devoted to his friends and family, and he won’t let anyone hurt them. Now that he’s a Soul Reaper by default, he can’t ignore when a soul is in danger, either.
The first volume of Bleach is fast-paced, brimming with frantic action, yet it doesn’t let the characters and their interactions take a back seat to all of the fighting. That is what I enjoy most about Bleach. The character come to life for me, and I so badly want Ichigo to master his new powers so he doesn’t come to harm. It’s hard watching such a likeable guy getting the crap beat out of him, even though I have few doubts that he’ll always persevere. That assurance is the main appeal of manga for me. I know that even as the protagonists are facing certain doom, they will eventually find a solution to all of their problems. Reading along as they figure that out is what makes reading them so rewarding.
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Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
Title: Midnight Secretary Vol 1
Author: Tomu Ohmi
May Contain Spoilers
Midnight Secretary is a very fun, fluffy read. I wasn’t expecting much from it, and I wasn’t really in the mood for it, so I kept shuffling it from the top of my reading pile, and now I’m sorry I did. Once I got it in my hands, the cover kind of turned me off. I don’t find it appealing at all, so here is another instance where I misjudged the book by it’s cover.
Kaya takes pride in her job, and she wants to be the best executive secretary possible so she can get a great job, and so her mom won’t have to work so hard. After her father died, her mother got a job at Tohma Corporation, and she worked hard to put Kaya through school. She even helped get her a job at Tohma, and now that Kaya is getting her big break, she’s going to make her mother proud. The big break turns out to be a mixed blessing. She’s assigned to be Kyohei Tohma’s secretary. Kyohei is the younger son of the senior director, and he’s a jerk. He is a demanding boss, who works long hours, and his exacting expectations have caused countless secretaries to quit. Kaya is determined to succeed, though, but his dismissive attitude is hard to deal with.
Kyohei has a reputation for being a ladies man, and Kaya quickly discovers that this is true. He juggles the ladies with consummate skill, arranging meetings with them in his office after dark. He is quick to disparage Kaya’s looks, and he grumpily complains that she’s not good looking enough to work for him. Kaya ignores every complaint and quickly proves that she is efficient and dedicated to her job. When she suspects that Kyohei and his girlfriends are using drugs in the office, she doesn’t hesitate to get to the bottom of her suspicions. She’s afraid that if there is illegal drug use going on that he’ll get caught, the company will suffer, and she’ll lose her job. What she discovers is that he’s a vampire, and that the hanky panky in his office is Kyohei drinking the blood of his beautiful lady friends. The illegal drug use would probably have been more welcome than working for a blood-sucking playboy!
I enjoyed Midnight Secretary because Kaya is so unflappable. She takes the discovery that her boss is a vampire in stride, and quickly decides that she’s going to defend his secret and make sure that he is taken care of so that he can continue to perform his job duties. Well, that and he’s threatened to have her mother fired if Kaya quits, so she doesn’t really have much choice. Meeting every challenge that he throws at her head-on, Kaya quickly proves that she is indispensible. Despite Kyohei’s gruffness, she can’t help but find him attractive, especially after his secret weakness is revealed and he is forced to drink her blood.
The art is very attractive and reminded me of Mayu Shinjo. The delicate lines are expressive, and the characters are attractive, even Kaya, who hides her baby face behind ugly glasses and a severe hair style.Midnight Secretary is fun and flirty, and I can’t wait to read the next volume.
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Today I have Meradeth Houston talking about the paperback release of her book, Colors Like Memories. Take it away, Meradeth!
Hi! *waves* I'm incredibly excited to announce the paperback release for COLORS LIKE MEMORIES. The ebook release has been a blast, and it is especially awesome to actually hold the book in my hands :) Here are three things I think you might find fun about the book:
If you like paranormal romances, here’s some information about Jaime Rush’s latest series The Hidden. Read up on her dragon shifters, and then enter for a chance to digital copy of Dragon Rising and Dragon Mine, as well as a $25 gift card at B&N!
DRAGON RISING, A Hidden Novella: Book Prequel #2 (9781455528004)
They are the Hidden.
Not quite human. Far from normal.
And never, ever safe . . .
After her father falls victim to a serial kidnapper, cunning Dragon shifter Lyra Slade is determined to rescue him. When she discovers a clue to his disappearance that leads her to a sexy but aloof stranger, she knows she shouldn’t trust him to help her, but she’s run out of options.
Archer Grant, a descendant of fallen angels, is reluctant to aid the beautiful dragon because her evidence implicates his own brother . . . But when his brother also goes missing, Archer must work with Lyra to uncover the truth. But even as a supernatural desire grows between angel and dragon, they are hunted by an evil force. Faced with the deadliest of dark magick, can even love save them?
Special Letter From Jaime:
Welcome to the DRAGON RISING blog blitz! I’m so excited for the release of the second novella in my brand new paranormal romance series, out from Forever Romance.
The Hidden is a series about humans with the essence of sorcerer gods, dragon gods, or fallen angels who walk the knife’s edge between Miami and a hidden world of magic, passion, and danger.
I thought it would be fun to kick off the series with two intertwining novellas that feature twins. Each novella tackles one aspect of the story’s mystery while bringing in and wrapping up a romance. It was a great introduction for me, because I learned about my world while writing these stories. My twins are Dragonshifters, and I threw both of them together with a lover of a different type just to make things interesting.
DRAGON MINE kicked off the series with Kirin’s story as he joins forces with the one woman he’s loved—and the one who hates him. And while he sorts through one aspect of the mystery, his sister Lira chases a completely different lead … to a cool, aloof descendent of fallen angels who wants nothing to do with a fiery, passionate Dragon. But Archer also has something at stake in solving the mystery of her missing father, and he must reluctantly join forces with the woman who threatens to shatter his composure, expose his secrets—and capture his heart.
If you haven’t been introduced to the Hidden yet, I hope you’ll sign up to win digital copies of DRAGON MINE and DRAGON RISING. And if you aren’t one of the lucky winners, don’t worry! Both e-novellas are available for the low price of $1.99 each and are perfect for devouring together. Then look for back-to-back releases of the full-length novels that further delve into the Hidden—the danger, the passion, and the magic! [Available in both mass market and digital]
ABOUT JAIME RUSH:
Things that go bump in the night have always fascinated Jaime Rush. Sometimes those things are human; other times, not so much. Now she has twisted them all together in the Hidden, a trilogy about humans with the essence of gods who walk the knife’s edge between the glamour of Miami and a place filled with dark magick and dangerous beauty.
Jaime is the author of the Offspring series and also writes under the name Tina Wainscott. She is the bestselling author of eighteen romance novels. She lives in Southwest Florida with her husband, daughter, and cat.
Social Media for Jaime Rush:
Buy Links for Dragon Mine
Buy Links for Dragon Rising
Pre-order Links for Dragon Awakened, the first print book in the series
Pre-order Links for Magic Possessed, Book 2
Pre-order links for Angel Seduced, Book 3a Rafflecopter giveaway Add a Comment
May Contain Spoilers
In the small town of Duvall, Texas, the only thing that causes more trouble than gossip is magic.
The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets in the way of the supernatural are a few untimely visits from the long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket—an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul—is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.
After a few bad experiences with her magic, Tammy turns to the only one who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers, but the locket isn’t the only thing passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning…to stay away from anyone named Lyons…
Would Be Witch is a very fun read. I’m surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did because a love triangle, something that doesn’t usually work for me, is central to the plot. I thought it was well done, and I could see Tammy Jo being conflicted over Bryn and Zach. Bryn is new, off-limits, and dangerous, while Zach, her ex-husband, has been a steady anchor her entire life. Marrying young, she quickly discovered that being his wife was a lot less romantic than being his girlfriend, so she filed for divorce, over his objections. Their relationship is a hot mess, just like the rest of Tammy Jo’s life. Maybe I liked the story so much because Tammy Jo is propelled from one crazy adventure to another, with hardly a moment to catch her breath.
Things get started with Tammy Jo losing her job at the bakery. Her pride won’t allow her to sell the cake she’s just slaved over to her old rival from her high school days. She’s rather be unemployed and keep possession of said cake than accept insults and a reduced price in exchange for her masterpiece. She figures it will keep her fed for a few days until she finds a new job, anyway. Then she’s involved in a fender bender, is robbed of a family heirloom, and is being stalked by werewolves. Because Tammy Jo comes from a long line of witches, she takes everything in stride, except for losing the necklace that houses the soul of Edie, her great, great grandmother’s twin sister. Devastated by the loss of her relative, she wishes that magic hadn’t skipped over her, because she really could have used the help tracking down the thieves and the stolen ghost.
This is a rollercoaster read. Tammy Jo has to juggle Zach, a sheriff’s deputy, and Bryn, a warlock whose family she is supposed to have nothing to do with, for reasons unknown to her. With her mom and her aunt both gone, she has no magical help, so she’s determined to use Bryn to assist her on the magic side. She doesn’t realize that there are strict rules about magic and when it can be used, and unless she agrees to be his apprentice, he’s not letting her see any spells from his spell book! I loved the back and forth between Tammy Jo and her suitors. Zack is a good ole boy who doesn’t believe in magic or in Edie, and Bryn comes off as just a little shady. I was always wondering whether he had her best interests at heart, and more often than not doubted that he did.
In addition to the guys feuding over her, she’s also being pursued by a pack of very angry and vengeful werewolves. They have accused her of killing one of their pack, and nothing she said allowed her to reason with them. They are scary, murderous monsters, too, so every time Tammy Jo got a bug up her butt and decided that she had to go do something dangerous and foolish, I was stressed that the wolves would get a hold of her and tear her to shreds. While I appreciated her courage and determination, there were a few times I wished she would just chill somewhere safe until someone could give her a helping hand. At least she had Mercutio, her kitty companion, to rely on. While I am usually a dog person, this cat was pretty cool, and I was a bit hopeful that he would start talking. Instead, he gets into a lot of fights, so he really did have Tammy Jo’s back.
As the tangled and twisted tale unfolded, a few things became apparent. One, that Tammy Jo really did need a keeper. She is constantly getting herself into hot water, some of which she can’t get back out of. Two, nobody in her tiny town was trustworthy, and several people even had grudges against her, which made figuring out who to trust an impossible task. And three, maybe magic hadn’t skipped her generation after all, leading her to so many more complications. With no one around to show her how to harness her magic, she just makes everything that she’s trying to fix that much worse. Mix in a zombie, a visiting vampire, and an offended hairdresser, and Tammy Jo just doesn’t know what to do to keep herself safe and locate her missing necklace.
Would Be Witch is a fast paced and energetic read with fun characters and more danger than you can shake a stick at. I am looking forward to Barely Bewitched, the next book in the series.
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