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1. Religion and the paranormal

OUP author Diana Walsh Pasulka recently caught up with fellow scholar of religion Jeffrey J. Kripal, to discuss the study of the supernatural and the paranormal within the university.

Diana Walsh Pasulka: You’ve written about the origin of the term paranormal and its link to the British and American Spiritualist movements. You’ve noted that the paranormal is inextricably linked to the idea of the sacred. How do you see the paranormal as different from the idea of the supernatural, which has traditionally been used to describe events that exceed naturalist explanations, like miracles, for instance?

Jeffrey J. Kripal: As a category or coinage, the paranormal is an attempted secularization of the supernatural. I like to translate it as the “super natural.” This is what the original inventors of the term meant, anyway. They meant to suggest that (a) psychical phenomena were quite real but (b) beyond our present scientific modeling and theorizing. The phenomena in question were thus both “normal” but also “beyond” (para-). Someday, these theorists thought, we would be able to incorporate these phenomena into our understanding of the natural world. So, for example, poltergeist phenomena were read not as the work of “angry ghosts” floating around but as expressions of the “ghosts of anger,” that is, they understood these as exteriorized symbolic expressions of pent-up frustration, conflict or angst. This may have been an advance, but it is still deeply offensive to our rationalisms. How, say, an abused or conflicted adolescent can start the curtains on fire or explode a vase at a distance might still be natural, but this is clearly a nature behaving in some most extraordinary or special ways. This is a kind of supernature.

A 14-year-old domestic servant, Therese Selles, experiences poltergeist / spontaneous PK activity in the home of her employer, the Todeschini family at Cheragas, Algeria, as featured on the cover of the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
A 14-year-old domestic servant, Therese Selles, experiences poltergeist / spontaneous PK activity in the home of her employer, the Todeschini family at Cheragas, Algeria, as featured on the cover of the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Diana Walsh Pasulka: In your most recent work you’ve called for a renewed examination of the supernatural and paranormal aspects of religion. You’ve also noted the irony that scholars of religion have tended to avoid these subjects even as they are presumably at the heart of most religious traditions. Can you say a bit more about how you would like to see this renewed emphasis develop? For example, is this an interdisciplinary project?

Jeffrey J. Kripal: I find it curious that the study of religion has “taken off the table” precisely those anomalous aspects of human experience that lie behind or within some of the most universally distributed religious ideas–say, strikingly real encounters with dead loved ones who carry some empirical information (say, about the means or mode of their death) that in turn give rise to the belief in a surviving “soul.” We are allowed to treat these beliefs as “discourses” or as power-plays, of course, but never as empirical phenomena in their own right. Then we are told that there is nothing essentially “religious” about religion, that it is all just context and construction, which, of course, is perfectly true, since we just took all of the stuff that is not just context and construction off the table. I find this situation circular, inadequate and, above all, depressing. It is not that it is wrong. It is simply that it is half-right. I think it is time to bring the other half back in and re-enchant reason.

Diana Walsh Pasulka: You’ve stated that popular culture has adopted the paranormal elements that have been well documented in the history of religion and folklore. Do you see popular culture, science fiction and superhero movies, for instance, replacing this aspect of religion? Or, perhaps, complimenting it? Or, does this development indicate something entirely different?

Jeffrey J. Kripal: I think the paranormal has migrated into popular culture and entertainment because it has been effectively exiled from both elite intellectual culture (which is more or less controlled now by scientific or Marxist materialism) and, oddly, the religious traditions themselves. But paranormal phenomena are clearly part of our human nature, part of human history. If we will not talk about them either in our public intellectual and scientific lives or in our public religious lives, where are they supposed to go? They will never go away, by the way, not at least as long as we are here, and for one simple reason: they are expressions of us.

Headline image credit: Urach waterfall. CC0 via Pixabay.

The post Religion and the paranormal appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Religion and the paranormal as of 11/25/2014 10:14:00 AM
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2. Friday Feature: Grunge Gods and Graveyards



Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

Excerpt

*In this scene Lainey runs into Danny at a party at her best friend's house.*

I headed up the narrow staircase just as Danny descended. We did that weird dance where we moved to the side in order to let the other person go by, except we kept moving to the same side. Danny laughed and made a grand gesture with his hand. “After you, chiquita.” I laughed and shimmied past him. As I slid past, my boobs grazed the buttons on his shirt. I felt embarrassed and tingly. Danny coughed and sputtered. “See you later, right?”
“Right.” I hurried upstairs to Wilder’s bedroom. I didn’t want him to see my blush.
I darted inside Wilder’s messy room, shut the door, and leaned against it. The bras were gone, presumably flung inside her closet. Wilder opened a bag of potato chips and offered me one, but I shook my head. I climbed onto her bed and pressed my face into a pillow. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I groaned.
“I had no freakin’ clue she was throwing a party. She had been all secretive, but I thought it had more to do with this senior soccer player she’s been sweating.”
“No. She likes Danny. Did you see how she looked at me when he helped me with my bag?”
Potato chip crumbs sprinkled Wilder’s chest, and she brushed them off, not even caring if crumbs got inside her bed sheets. “I try to pay as little attention to her as possible. Besides, you’re not her competition. Why would she be jealous?”
“Thanks.”
“You know what I mean. She shouldn’t be threatened by you.”
“Again. Thank you.” I knew I wasn’t pretty enough to compete with Wynter, but having Wilder imply the same sentiment kind of hurt.
“Uh...” She shoved another chip in her mouth.
“Good call.”
Wilder swallowed. “So, how’s your mom?”
“The same. Awful. Liz barely lets me in to see her.”
“How come?”
I shrugged. “I think she wants Mom all to herself while she’s still ali—you know what? Let’s talk about something else.”
Wilder stood up and wiped her greasy hands on her jeans. “I don’t feel like The Real World tonight. How about an X-Files marathon?”
“That sounds awesome.”
Before she could dig out our favorite tape and pop it in the VCR, someone knocked on the door. “Enter.”
Danny poked his head inside. “Are you girls holing up in here the whole night? You should come down.”
Wilder waved him off. “Hell, no. I don’t want to deal with a bunch of drunken douches in my house. No offense.”
“None taken. I don’t often become a drunken douche.” He smiled, and I felt a rush of warmth spread through my body. “Would you be willing to lend us some tunes? Craig’s threatening to play some horrendous country songs, and your sister has an inexhaustible amount of 80s dance music.”
Before Wilder could answer him, I jumped from the bed and opened my duffel bag. “Here.” I handed him a stack of CDs and cassettes.
“Whoa. Just so you know, I’m totally going to judge you by your taste in music.”
I flipped my hair over my shoulder, a move I had seen Wynter do countless times in gym class. “Well, in that case, you’re going to think very highly of me. I have awesome taste in music.”
He laughed as he juggled the music in his hands. “Tori Amos. Green Day. Radiohead.” He lowered his voice. “You pass.” He looked at me, and without meaning to, I bit my bottom lip. “There’s this band you should listen to called—”
“Danny!” Wynter’s shrill voice cut the air. I deflated.
Danny held up the music. “Thanks for this.” He walked backward and stumbled on Wilder’s boots next to the door. His cheeks reddened. “I brought my guitar. Nutley and I are going to play later. At least come down for that.”
I smiled at Wilder. “Sure. Absolutely.”
“Yeah, totally,” said Wilder.
“Great.” He left and closed the door.

Buy links:
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Links for Kimberly:
Twitter: @KGGiarratano
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KGGiarratanoAuthor


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3. Review: Siren’s Treasure by Debbie Herbert

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love books about mermaids, and I enjoyed Debbie Herbert’s first novel,  Siren’s Secret, so I was eager to dive into Siren’s Treasure (excuse the bad pun!).  Jet is my least favorite character of the three Borsage mermaids,  though, so it did take me a while to warm up to her.  She made some terrible decisions in her past, and they are about to bite her in the butt.  She has always felt like  an outsider with the merfolk, and her mother’s emotional distance left her desperate for acceptance.  She falls for the wrong man, giving her ex a powerful weapon to blackmail her with.  Regretful that she’s given him so much power over her, Jet fears she will never be rid of him, and that she’s put her race in danger of discovery.

When FBI agent Landry Fields enters her life, Jet is at a low point in her life.  Her shady ex has been released from prison and now he wants to go back into business with her, and he’s not taking no for an answer.  She’s just won a tough competition at the mermaid games, but nobody is excited for her triumph.  She wants to know why she’s treated so poorly by other mermaids, and why her mother insisted she spend so much time on land, but her mom’s not fessing up.  Frustrated and lonely, Landry’s intrusion into her life takes her by surprise.  She’s attracted to him, and even though they are at odds over his latest case, Landry can’t help but feel drawn to Jet as well.

I found the pacing of the story a little uneven, until Perry and his thug friends abduct Jet.  They need her to salvage something for them, and the thought of the millions it will bring them has them desperate to do anything to earn her cooperation.  Perry’s new acquaintances are dangerous, and they think everyone is disposable, even Perry.  They won’t hesitate to use extreme force to get what they want, because they have even more dangerous clients waiting to bid on the salvage, and they won’t take kindly to being disappointed if Jet doesn’t find it.  Failure is not an option!

The abduction/rescue sequence of events kept me rapidly turning the pages.  I loved this part of the book.  I liked how the other mermaids worked with Landry to rescue Jet, and I enjoyed getting to know Jet’s mother better. She’s a great character; even though she and Jet might have had their misunderstandings, nobody is going to stop Adriana from saving Jet from the unsavory criminals that have snatched her away.  I also loved how, ultimately, it was Jet who saved Landry, and his complete faith in her that she would succeed at that endeavor.  

Despite some bumps for me, I enjoyed Siren’s Treasure, and I’m really looking forward to Lily’s book.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by Author

From Amazon:

Deep in the bayou, a strange and beautiful world of merfolk exists… 

Mermaid Jet Borsage never fit in with her own kind. Her dark hair and eyes set her apart from the other merfolk. Which was why she fell for the wrong man, and why she is still paying the price. One that has made her unwilling to trust any man. Until she meets Landry Fields… 

Agent Landry Fields is investigating Jet’s former boyfriend, but he knows Jet is hiding something, as well. At first he believed the beauty was involved in her ex-boyfriend’s dangerous undersea excavations. But when he realizes he is falling for a real-live mermaid, Landry’s by-the-book beliefs are rocked. Now can he save Jet and her clan from modern-day pirates to claim a future with the feisty beauty?

The post Review: Siren’s Treasure by Debbie Herbert appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Guest Post and Giveaway: Paige Tyler, Author of Her Lone Wolf

Paige Tyler stopped by the virtual offices to share 5 mobile apps hero Clayne wouldn’t load on his smartphone.  Check it out, and then enter the giveaway below!

Top 5 mobile apps Clayne would never download on his smartphone? by Paige Tyler

1. Any Social Networking Apps…Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Clayne completely lacks the social gene. If he wants to talk to someone, he’ll drive to their place and talk to them face to face. And he’s never had a “chat” in his life!

2. Road Ninja. He’s male, he’s alpha, and he’s a wolf shifter. Do you seriously think he’s going ask a small hand-held computer app for directions?

3. Tinder. Clayne is not the kind of man who’d ever hop on an app for a quick hook-up. If he was in the mood for company, he could just walk into a club, a store, or a restaurant—heck, or stand in the middle of the street with his shirt off—and he would have all the company he wanted. Except of course, he’s rarely in the mood for company. Unless it’s his significant other, of course!

4. Gaming Apps. Clayne has a few anger management issues. Angry Birds tends to lead to Broken Phone. He simply doesn’t play games. He works, he exercises, he eats, he sleeps, he makes love to his significant other, then he starts the routine over again.

5. Weather App. Simply put…Clayne rarely cares what the weather is like. If it’s raining, he’ll get wet. If it’s snowing, he’ll be cold. Why bother looking on an app for a weather forecast is you don’t care what the weather is going to be?

*hugs*
Paige

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Email: paigetyler@paigetylertheauthor.com

Her Lone Wolf

Series: X-Ops Book 2

Author: Paige Tyler

Pubdate: November 4th, 2014

ISBN: 9781402292125

Leaving him was Impossible…

It took everything she had for FBI Special Agent Danica Beckett to walk away from the man she loved. But if she wants to save his life, she has to keep her distance. Now, with a killer on the loose and the stakes higher than ever before, the Department of Covert Ops is forcing these former lovers into an uneasy alliance…whether they like it or not.

Seeing her again is even worse

The last thing Clayne Buchanan wants is to be shackled to the woman who broke his heart. She gets under his skin in a way no one ever has and makes him want things he has no right to anymore. All he has to do is suffer through this case and he can be free of her for good. But when Clayne finds out why Danica left in the first place, everything he’s tried to bury comes roaring back—and there’s no way this wolf shifter is going to let her get away this time.

Paige Tyler is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

Buy Links:

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

Apple: http://bit.ly/1sqM3MF

BAM: http://bit.ly/1tZFgIl

B&N: http://bit.ly/1mt7rxS

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1CiPNRB

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1oi6CDQ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1pdr2xU

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Paige Tyler, Author of Her Lone Wolf appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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5. Giveaway: Win Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark) by C C Hunter!

This morning I have a giveaway for C. C. Hunter’s Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark)!  Open to US addresses only, please.

From Amazon:

Just when Della feels like she’s starting to figure out her life, she finds herself

reborn…and her new existence comes with a whole different rulebook.

Della’s secret powers always made her feel like an outsider in the human world. Now, just when she’s starting to feel like she belongs—at Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with paranormal powers—her life is turned upside down all over again. Attacked by a deadly virus, she must make the difficult choice to be reborn. It’s her only chance at survival, but it comes with a price: It irreparably bonds her to Chase, a tall, dark and mesmerizing vampire who makes her laugh one minute and infuriates her the next.

Chase already knows too many of Della’s secrets, and being eternally bonded to him is the last thing she wants. Even worse, she doesn’t fully understand what their bond means. Is the attraction she’s started feeling for Chase real—or does fate have something else in store? And what does that mean for Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? Now Della’s battered heart is about to take another hit. While investigating her latest case, she discovers shocking evidence about her father’s dark past, making her question everything she believes to be true…and her place in the world she loves.

Open to US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Giveaway: Win Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark) by C C Hunter! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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6. Review: The Turning Season by Sharon Shinn

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I’ve read and enjoyed several of Shinn’s older books, so I was curious to see if I’d still like her writing style now.  I haven’t read any of the other books in the Shifting Circle series, and I didn’t feel that I was missing anything by not reading them.  The Turning Season stood well on it’s own, though now that I’ve read it, I would like to read the other books in the series.

 

Karadel is a shape-shifter and she hates it.  She hates the unpredictability and the disruption to her life, and she yearns to be normal.  She has a small group of close friends who help out with her animal menagerie when she’s unable to because she’s changed into something else.  She experiments with the DNA of other shifters in an attempt to make her own change cycles more regulated.  Living outside of a small town, she works as a vet, as well as offering shelter and medical care to other shifters in need.

The Turning Season reads like a day in the life of a reluctant shape-shifter, and though the pacing might be slow for some readers, I really enjoyed it.  I liked how powerless Karadel felt about her shifts; she has no control over when or what she will change into.  This makes it difficult to do many of the things that I take for granted.  Planning a vacation, a date, or even holding a steady job outside of the house is nearly impossible for her.  Going to school if you are a teenage shape-shifter is definitely not a good idea.  Karadel has a contingency plan in place for when she does change, and her close friends make her chaotic life possible.

Her  impulsive friend Celeste inadvertently turns Karadel’s life on end.  After Celeste changes shape in public, Karadel’s got serious damage control to orchestra.  Worse, Celeste’s life is in danger, and the small community of shape-shifters is in danger of being exposed.  This is so not a good time to start having romantic feelings for a local guy.  Worse, he’s normal.  How can Karadel ever share her secret and be herself with him, when she’s having such a hard time accepting herself for who she is?  Then, to make things really difficult, throw in a murder and make your ex the main suspect.  Karadel’s quiet life goes from bad to worse, and she isn’t sure who she can trust with the truth.

I thought the love story was sweet, and that Joe was the perfect match for Karadel.  I found all of the characters engaging, even the sly sheriff who always seemed to be sniffing around for the truth.  All of the shifters had different challenges to deal with regarding their ability, and I found it interesting how they dealt with them.  Overall, I enjoyed the world Shinn created for her shifters, and more importantly, I enjoyed getting to know all of them.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

In national bestselling author Sharon Shinn’s latest Shifting Circle novel, a woman must choose between hiding her nature—and risking her heart…

For Karadel, being a shape-shifter has always been a reality she couldn’t escape. Even though she’s built a safe life as a rural veterinarian, with a close-knit network of shifter and human friends who would do anything for her—and for each other—she can’t help but wish for a chance at being normal.

When she’s not dealing with her shifts or caring for her animal patients, she attempts to develop a drug that will help shifters control their changes—a drug that might even allow them to remain human forever.

But her comfortable life is threatened by two events: She meets an ordinary man who touches her heart, and her best friend is forced to shift publicly with deadly consequences.

Now Karadel must decide whom to trust: her old friends or her new love.

The post Review: The Turning Season by Sharon Shinn appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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7. Guest Post: CC Hunter, Author of Eternal

Please welcome CC Hunter to the virtual offices this morning!

Top 5 things Della Won’t Leave Home Without by CC Hunter

  1. Her bra. Not for the support, but for the extra padding.

“You finally got some boobs, young lady,” her aunt said.

“It’s a padded bra.” Della tried to tease back, but the humor fell short when she realized how much she’d missed her aunt. How much she missed her old life.

  1. Water proof mascara. Della hates looking weak. In Eternal she’s driven to tears more than she wants to admit. Yet even if she cries, she doesn’t want the evidence hanging around.

She stepped to the side, out of his embrace, and swatted at the tears on her face. “We should go see if anyone is home,” she said, working to keep her voice from shaking.

He nodded, stepping closer, and with one finger, he wiped away a tear she must have missed. “It’s going to be okay. Believe me.”

She turned and started walking. Then a realization hit.

Hit hard.

Hit fast.

She did believe him. But she didn’t know what “okay” was, or what it meant. Because everything in her life was changing.  Again. And she hated change

  1. Her sense of humor even when she’s upset.

“You’re giving me the silent treatment. So let’s just talk about it,” Chase said.

She hadn’t purposely not spoken to him. She went back to reading.

“Did you hear me?” he asked.

“Yes and no.”

“What?” he asked, confused.

“Yes, I heard you, and no, I don’t want to talk about . . . ‘it.’”

“You can’t be pissed at me about that.”

“Sure I can,” she seethed in a low voice.

“You’re not being fair.”

“Where did you get the idea I was fair?”

  1. Her kickbutt attitude.

“You show up in the middle of the night, at our graveyard, with your girl toy there and expect us to believe you’re on official business?” The redheaded were said.

The girl toy comment just about did her in. Della growled and her canines came out to play.

“She’s not a toy.” Burnett’s eyes now glowed a lime green. “Show me your registration papers and tell your mouthy friend to back down.”

“Do as he says.” The head of the pack pulled out his wallet. Della saw the redhead pull something out of his pocket. She spotted the tiny little problem immediately. It wasn’t a wallet.

With a speed she didn’t know possible, she bolted forward. Before he could say “uncle,” or even think to say “uncle,” she’d knocked him down to his knees.

She snatched the knife from the were’s hand then pushed him face down on the grass.

The were raised his head back. Della saw the bright orange color of his eyes reflected on the ground. “I had to get my knife out to get to my card,” he growled.

“Yeah, and Girl Toy had to take it away from you,” Della snapped back.

  1. Her sharp tongue and her sassy way with words.

Chase kicked at a rock on the ground. The pebble soared through the air and hit a tree with a dead thump. “So I’m the bad guy for wanting to save your life?”

She leaned in. “You’re the bad guy for not being up-front. And you’re still doing it.”

His mouth tightened, and he crossed his arms over his chest. “Okay. I didn’t tell you everything. Be mad at me for that. But you can’t just ignore me or the fact that we’re bonded. You feel it. I feel it. You can’t deny it.”

“Watch me. I’m good at denying shit!” She seethed and darted around him to start back.

“God, you’re stubborn!” he called out then again appeared in front of her.

She came to an abrupt stop, slamming her hands on his chest to stop from falling face forward. He caught her by the waist. Gently. His touch sent her heart racing this time.

“Either tell me the truth or leave,” she said, stepping out of his embrace. It was her last ultimatum. “Who are you working with besides the Vampire Council, and don’t tell me no one, because my bullshit detector goes off every time you tell me that.”

Thank you for the opportunity to blog. I hope you all enjoy Eternal.

“Spectacular! I love Della’s sarcastic and yet deeply sensitive perspective and can’t wait to see how things unfold for her.”—Fresh Fiction

Just when Della feels like she’s starting to figure out her life, she finds herself

reborn…and her new existence comes with a whole different rulebook.

Della’s secret powers always made her feel like an outsider in the human world. Now, just when she’s starting to feel like she belongs—at Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with paranormal powers—her life is turned upside down all over again. Attacked by a deadly virus, she must make the difficult choice to be reborn. It’s her only chance at survival, but it comes with a price: It irreparably bonds her to Chase, a tall, dark and mesmerizing vampire who makes her laugh one minute and infuriates her the next.

Chase already knows too many of Della’s secrets, and being eternally bonded to him is the last thing she wants. Even worse, she doesn’t fully understand what their bond means. Is the attraction she’s started feeling for Chase real—or does fate have something else in store? And what does that mean for Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? Now Della’s battered heart is about to take another hit. While investigating her latest case, she discovers shocking evidence about her father’s dark past, making her question everything she believes to be true…and her place in the world she loves.

The post Guest Post: CC Hunter, Author of Eternal appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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8. The After House, by Michael Phillip Cash | Dedicated Review

The After House is a well-developed and relatively quick read with solid characters. Cash fans will no doubt love this latest chiller that also manages to warm the heart.

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9. Author Interview with Mystery Writer GG Collins

It’s Author Interview Thursday! Woohoo. Today’s special guest reached out to me after reading an AIT special earlier this year and I’m so glad she did. She has a background in journalism and runs several blogs on topics dear to her heart. She’s written two paranormal Mystery books and has other titles in the works. In liaising with her as I prepared for this interview, I have to say that I have been inspired by her passion for the writing craft as well as her transparency. We really do have someone special in our midst today, so please join me in welcoming GG Collins.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and something most people don’t know about G.G. Collins? 

My friends know this, but it’s not general knowledge. People shouldn’t call me before 10 a.m., 11 is better. What my friends know is that I stay up quite late to write and therefore sleep in the mornings. Early calls usually find me incoherent and muttering swearwords. As one might gather, I dislike mornings, but also Brussels sprouts and clouds. On the up side, I love travelling (even on a bad day). Sunshine and chiles improve my mood greatly. I continue to report and write for my blogs. I have two. Can’t ever have too many blogs. They arereluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com my book blog and paralleluniverseatlarge.wordpress.com a news, views and reviews blog. You can also find me on Twitter @GGCollinsAuthor. There is a rap star by the same name so “Author” had to be added for clarification.  

 

Tell us about the first time someone complemented you on something you had written? Book Cover Newest LM 6-2014

The first time one of my stories was chosen as the cover. My editor told me it was good work. I beamed all the way to my car. It’s difficult to beat that first time.  

 

You have currently published two books in the ‘Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries’ series. Was it a conscious decision to write a series and what led you to do it? 

No, I didn’t have a series in mind. I learned of the Native American ritual to return the dead and all I could think about was what if the wrong spirit returned? By the time I finished the book, I just didn’t want to let these characters go. I am writing a stand-alone book too, but I like my Reluctant Medium, Rachel Blackstone. Long may her cynicism live.  

 

What key ingredients should a good crime/mystery book possess? 

My books are paranormal mysteries so I have more latitude than pure crime writers do. I begin my story where it starts, usually in the first line. At that moment, something is going very wrong. The mystery unfolds a little at a time as new elements (some supernatural) present themselves and up the ante.  Periodically the threat level heightens or the need for action revs up. It’s a delicate balance. You don’t want to reveal too much, too soon, but there has to be enough mystery to keep readers interested. I enjoy putting Rachel through as much mayhem as she can stand. If I go too far, I have to let her have a mental health day.  

 

What three things should writers avoid when writing dialogue? Book Cover Reluctant Medium Newest 5-2014

Unnatural or pretentious lines (unless your character is a pompous gadfly) should be avoided. We usually don’t speak that way in conversation. Each character should have a consistent voice. If you’ve been away from your manuscript for awhile, this is especially important. Find that voice again. Be careful using contemporary vernacular. It might shorten the shelf life of your book. Stay away from phrases like: “don’t you know,”  “she goes” and “awesome” unless this is specific to one character.

 

Have you ever struggled to give a character a distinct voice and what did you do to solve this? 

My stories are dialogue-driven and I enjoy letting my characters go. Rachel has a big mouth. She’s sardonic and quick, but can make a complete fool of herself around men. Chloe is her best friend and is usually more diplomatic—but she does occasionally curse in French. Like most of us, I’ve met many of these characters in everyday life. Whenever I have trouble finding someone’s voice, I think back to a person I’ve run across who was this type. Here’s where even the nastiest person you’ve ever met can pay off. Make them a character! Get even!  

 

What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why? 

I’m a fan of Chris Haddock’s Canadian TV shows such as “DaVinci’s Inquest” and “Intelligence.” His stories have realistic dialogue. His characters feel authentic. The dialogue is much like that you or I have with friends and co-workers. There’s a BBC show called “Last Tango in Halifax” that is a hoot! All because of cleverly penned dialogue and superb delivery. In American TV, I like the writing in “Longmire,” thanks to the influence of Craig Johnson, the writer of the popular series. “Supernatural” has some fine writing. They kind of slip it in between the demons and the vamps, but it’s there. That’s why they’re in their 10th season. The cute guys don’t hurt, but it’s the substantive writing that knocks me out. Someone on the writing staff has insightful views about hope and things we can’t understand. In books, I find mystery writers Lia Matera and Edna Buchanan refreshing. Wit is always a good thing, but smart wit is tremendous.

 

How do you handle bad reviews? 

Most people are kind in their reviews, but occasionally one is not helpful and just plain mean-spirited. In this instance, we book writers have to realize that it’s not us. The unkind words have more to do with the person who wrote the review and what kind of life, or day, they’ve had. These go into File 13 where they belong. Some writers have had bad experiences with what is referred to as a troll, people who go from place to place on the internet spreading vile prose with limited vocabulary and issues with sentence structure. If I should ever get one of those, just know I have a very thick skin. Most of my reviews have been complimentary and readers enjoyed my books. Of course, this makes me happy. The Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series is supposed to be fun—and maybe a bit scary. But writers must realize that not everyone likes the same thing. That’s okay.  

 

Toy Story or Shrek? 

(Laughing.) I’ve seen neither so I really can’t comment. I saw “WALL-E” twice.  

 

As a journalist, can you give us tips on how to make people ‘spill the beans’ in an interview situation? Watermark G G Collins in -office-

Everyone has seen this done on a news show. A journalist asks a question, the person being interviewed says something short like “yes” or “no.” When nothing more is forthcoming, the reporter sits there quietly, the seconds tick by with dead air, the person can’t take it any more and out it spills. Another “technique” is to phrase a question in this way: “Some people might say . . . you’re a tyrant” or “you’re a crook.”  How would you reply to this accusation?” This way, the reporter is afforded some distance, but still gets the answer needed for the story. Personally, I’m not comfortable doing this, but they can be an effective tools, particularly in hard news. And that may be why I’ve covered primarily arts, health and personal stories. I’ve found that being truly interested in what your interview is saying goes a long way to crafting a good story. Once I ask the first question, there is nothing in the world but the person sitting in front of me.  

 

What is the worst thing a person can say or do to a journalist? 

Lie. You don’t have to be a journalist to detect a lie. Most anyone can do it. But in reporting we come to depend on our regular sources. If someone lies, and we know it, that could become the story. And they’ll likely never be asked for another interview. Word gets around.  

 

What three things should a first time visitor to your hometown do? Watermark Santa Fe Plaza

Bask in Santa Fe’s Plaza and people watch. Eat at The Shed; it’s my favorite restaurant and my characters too. It’s family owned, has great New Mexican dishes and yummy margaritas. Take the short drive up the ski basin road (Artist Road which becomes Hyde Park Road) for the breathtaking views. And eat the chiles. Oops, I think that was four.  

 

Can you tell us a bit about a book you’re currently working on? 

Oh sure, that would be “Atomic Medium.” In this story, Rachel Blackstone must go back in time to 1945. Two evil men have slipped through a portal at a local retail shop, once the office of The Manhattan Project. If they succeed in their diabolical plan, it could change the outcome of WWII. It’s no small thing for Rachel and Chloe; just save the world. 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb, which was developed in Los Alamos, just north of Santa Fe.  

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry? 

I have worked for a book publisher and while there can be some advantages to publication by a book house, there are also some drawbacks. If your book isn’t one of the chosen to get tight promotional dollars, you will likely do as much marketing and promoting with a publisher as you would going the indie route. I opted to self-publish and haven’t looked back. If you have found yourself knocking on publishers’ doors and getting nowhere, try going indie. It’s a terrific creative experience, even if you eventually go with the bricks and mortar publisher. Have a presence on the internet so an interested editor can see what you can do. Start blogging and be sure to take advantage of author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, Ask David and Book Goodies. With a little experience, you’ll determine which work best for you and your book. I recently joined Twitter and now I can’t believe I was reluctant to do so. It’s fun and you get great exposure. But don’t constantly urge people to buy your books. Get involved in what’s going on and reply or retweet others. You’ll make friends quickly. Avoid spending so much time marketing that you stop writing. The more books you have out, the more sales you’ll rack up.

 

Thanks for all the wonderful advice and letting us into your world GG. I’ll personally be revisiting this page in the days and weeks ahead to feast on your wise words. GG and I would really appreciate your questions and comments, so do drop a line or two in the comments section below. Be sure to share this interview using the Social Media buttons and you can grab one of GG’s books at the link below.

GG Collins on Amazon

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10. Unexplained phenomena

allman are extraterrestrials a threat to humankind Unexplained phenomenaAllman, Toney Are Extraterrestrials a Threat to Humankind?
Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint

Kallen, Stuart A. The Search for Extraterrestrial Life
Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint

Marcovitz, Hal Aliens in Pop Culture
Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint

Netzley, Patricia D. Alien Encounters
Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint

Whiting, Jim UFOs
Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint

Extraterrestrial Life series. The notions of aliens as fact and fiction and the basis for their existence (or lack thereof) are recounted in painstaking detail in this series. The books are generally accessible; for some (especially Search), strong interest and aptitude in astronomy and physics would help comprehension. Occasional drawings and photographs, along with sidebars, help liven up these textbooklike volumes. Reading list, websites. Ind.
Subjects: Parapsychology; Extraterrestrial beings; Unidentified flying objects

arnosky monster hunt Unexplained phenomenaArnosky, Jim Monster Hunt: Exploring Mysterious Creatures with Jim Arnosky
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Hyperion

Inviting readers to join him on a “monster hunt,” Arnosky ponders the existence of “mysterious creatures” and compares real animals once thought to be folkloric (or extinct) with legendary creatures Bigfoot, Nessie, and Champ from Lake Champlain. Characteristic Arnosky illustrations support a conversational narrative that questions what’s real or possible, making this a friendly outing intended to inspire further research. Resources not included.
Subjects: Parapsychology; Monsters

everett haunted histories Unexplained phenomenaEverett, J. H. and Scott-Waters, Marilyn Haunted Histories: Creepy Castles, Dark Dungeons, and Powerful Palaces
Gr. 4–6     146 pp.     Holt/Ottaviano

This book is a collection of stories, trivia, maps, and drawings of various haunted locations—castles, dungeons and jails, palaces, and graveyards—throughout history. Reluctant readers will appreciate the short entries, snarky narrator, and varied format, while those with a taste for horror will find fascinating, rarely covered material here (e.g., “Top Ten Torture Devices”). Reading list, timeline, websites. Ind.
Subjects: Parapsychology; Supernatural—Ghosts; Haunted houses; History, World; Supernatural—Horror stories

halls alien investigation Unexplained phenomenaHalls, Kelly Milner Alien Investigation: Searching for the Truth About UFOs and Aliens
Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Millbrook

With a surprisingly evenhanded tone, this book uses an interest in aliens to inspire scientific inquiry. It discusses the history of UFO sightings, crashes, and hoaxes, providing thoroughly researched, factual information while remaining nonjudgmental about unexplained phenomena. A fictionalized thread of an alien mission is interspersed with the nonfiction. The author’s interviews with experts and witnesses are particularly insightful. Websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Parapsychology; Extraterrestrial beings; Unidentified flying objects; Space

pelleschi crop circles Unexplained phenomenaPelleschi, Andrea Crop Circles
Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO

Zuchora-Walske, Christine The Bermuda Triangle
Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO

Unsolved Mysteries series. Archival photographs, sidebars, and maps combine with a straightforward text to present thought-provoking examinations of these “unsolved” phenomena. Theories and possible explanations along with myths and current debates provide a comprehensive discussion. The concluding “Tools and Clues” feature includes a list of equipment used to investigate crop circles and a summary of popular explanations for the Bermuda Triangle. Reading list, timeline. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Parapsychology; Extraterrestrial beings; Bermuda Triangle

From the October 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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11. Spotlight and Giveaway: Compulsion by Martina Boone

I have a copy of Compulsion by Martina Boone to giveaway.  Here’s a description:

Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in Compulsion, the first novel in a spellbinding new trilogy.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

 

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

To increase your chance of winning, answer the question below:

The Question:

?If you could have any “everyday” magical gift, like finding lost things or knowing what people want, what gift would you want and why?

Here’s my answer:  I would like the ability to make people happy.  Now, that might sound kind of cheesy, but think about it for a second.  If your very presence magically made people happier, your own sense of well-being would automatically increase.  If you could make people feel joy at the sight of you, their treatment of you would improve, and your relationships with family, friends, and co-workers would always be harmonious.  It would be really hard to make anyone angry with you if you always made them happy! Talk about reducing stress! 

The Giveaway:

A finished copy of the book – US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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12. Monday Mishmash 10/27/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Monster Madness Blog Hop Join Vicki Leigh and I on Halloween for the Monster Madness Blog Hop. We'll be talking about what monsters scare us and you can join in. There's a giveaway too. Sign up here
  2. The Monster Within Book Tour  My book tour for The Monster Within is in full swing. I've had book signings the past two weekends and have two more this Saturday and another planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I'm having a blast! I'll be at the Family Reading Festival in Pottsville, PA from 10am-1pm and then I'm heading to Moravian Book Shop from 5pm-7pm. If you are in either area, stop by and see me!
  3. Drafting Again  I have a rare moment between editing jobs, so I'm fast drafting again! This is the fourth book I'm drafting this year, and since three books was my goal, I'm happy.
  4. The Walking Dead Twitter Party  I'm hosting a Twitter Viewing Party during this weekends episode of The Walking Dead. Why? I love the show and my Touch of Death series was pitched as The Walking Dead meets Shatter Me, so yeah, I kind of love zombies. And maybe Daryl, too. ;) Join me! I'm giving away lots of prizes, including signed books and SWAG!
  5. The Darkness Within Cover Reveal  So there was a glitch with my cover reveal for The Darkness Within and the bloggers never got the info. But I'm so in love with this cover. Check it out. 
After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 

Magic. 

Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

Add it on Goodreads. Pre-order on Amazon.

That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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13. Guest Post and Giveaway: Loop by Karen Akins

Please give a warm welcome to Karen Akins this morning! She’s here to chat about her new release, LOOP.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today to celebrate the release of LOOP!

One of the things about writing any story is that as the creator, you know so much more about your characters than ends up on the page. It’s fun to be able to share some of these “extras” with readers. Smile

Without further ado, I give you…

The Top 5 Things Bree Never Leaves Home Without:

1. Her QuantCom. This handy little device is kind of like a temporal GPS, telling her where and when she is while she’s time traveling. At one point, Finn refers to it as “her security blanket,” and it kind of is. When I was thinking through what it would be like to be a time traveler, the Com was one of the first devices I thought up because it would help you feel a little more in control of your surroundings.

2. Comfy, non-descript clothing. Another detail that I thought through. I’m not sure that time travelers would really worry all that much about perfectly matching the styles of any era as long as they don’t stick out like a sore thumb.

3. Her heart-shaped locket. Bree’s mother is in a coma (which may be a bit more than it seems…dunh dunh dunhhhhhh), and one object that helps Bree feel closer to her mom is the photo locket that her mom gave her when she was younger. One thing I love about the cover of LOOP is that the space between them forms a heart, sort of an homage to the locket.

4. Hair clip. Bree’s pretty non-fussy, so it would be pretty utilitarian with maybe a little bit of sparkle that her best friend Mimi insisted on attaching to it.

5. Lip gloss. Navigating the space-time continuum can be pretty chapping on the lips, y’all. One detail about Bree’s lip gloss that I had to cut out was that it changes shades to perfectly complement the wearer’s skin tone.

Bonus: One thing she would be SO tempted to sneak back with her? Girl Scout Thin Mints.

Thanks again for having me! I hope everyone enjoys LOOP. <3

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

US addresses only, please

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14. Teaser and Giveaway: Her Lone Wolf by Paige Tyler

This morning I have an exclusive teaser from Paige Tyler’s Her Lone Wolf, as well as a giveaway. Please check it out, and make sure to follow the other blogs on the tour!

Her Lone Wolf

Series: X-Ops Book 2

Author: Paige Tyler

Pubdate: November 4th, 2014

ISBN: 9781402292125

Leaving him was Impossible…

It took everything she had for FBI Special Agent Danica Beckett to walk away from the man she loved. But if she wants to save his life, she has to keep her distance. Now, with a killer on the loose and the stakes higher than ever before, the Department of Covert Ops is forcing these former lovers into an uneasy alliance…whether they like it or not.

Seeing her again is even worse

The last thing Clayne Buchanan wants is to be shackled to the woman who broke his heart. She gets under his skin in a way no one ever has and makes him want things he has no right to anymore. All he has to do is suffer through this case and he can be free of her for good. But when Clayne finds out why Danica left in the first place, everything he’s tried to bury comes roaring back—and there’s no way this wolf shifter is going to let her get away this time.

Paige Tyler is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

An Excerpt:

“Now I’d like to introduce Danica Beckett, one of the lead agents on the case. She’ll brief us on what we know up to this point in the investigation.”

Clayne stiffened at the name, sure he must have heard wrong. But then he smelled a scent so familiar, so intoxicating that he knew he hadn’t. The air left his lungs and he suddenly couldn’t breathe. He gripped the folder in his hand in an effort to keep his claws from coming out. Danica-freaking-Beckett. He felt as if he’d just been kicked in the balls.

He didn’t dare look at her as she walked to the front of the room and took her place at the podium, afraid if he did he might completely lose it. Not that he needed to look. He knew every inch of her body from her full, luscious lips to the tiny beauty mark on her right hip, and everywhere in between. Her face had haunted him every moment of the day and night for the past two years until he thought he’d go insane.

But one memory seared hotter than all the others. When the woman he’d loved more than life itself had looked at him with cold, hard eyes and told him she never wanted to see him again.

“Thank you, Agent Carhart.”

Her voice might as well have been that of a siren’s call for all the power he had to resist it. Unable to help himself, Clayne lifted his head to look at her. She was dressed in a dark pantsuit with a blue blouse underneath, her silky brunette hair up in that twist thing she always did when she was working.

It had been two years since Danica had dumped his ass, and she looked even more beautiful than she had the last time he’d seen her. That only made it worse. It would have been easier if she’d let herself go to hell. It hurt to gaze at her. Getting away from him had clearly done wonders for her.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to follow all the blogs on Paige’s teaser tour so you can read all of the excerpts!

20-Oct

Manga Maniac Café

http://www.mangamaniaccafe.com/

Teaser Excerpt 1

21-Oct

Bitten by Love

http://www.bittenbylovereviews.com/

Teaser Excerpt 2

22-Oct

Long and Short Reviews

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/

Teaser Excerpt 3

23-Oct

Joyfully Reviewed

http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/

Teaser Excerpt 4

24-Oct

Love Romance Passion

http://www.loveromancepassion.com/

Teaser Excerpt 5

Weekend

27-Oct

Reading Between the Wines

http://readingbetweenthewinesblog.com/

Teaser Excerpt 6

28-Oct

Anna’s Book Blog

http://annavivian.blogspot.com/

Teaser Excerpt 7

29-Oct

Literary Escapism

http://www.literaryescapism.com/

Teaser Excerpt 3

30-Oct

The Reading Café

http://www.thereadingcafe.com/

Teaser Excerpt 9

31-Oct

Romancing the Dark Side

http://romancingthedarkside.com/

Teaser Excerpt 10

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15. BOOK REVIEW: Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows, #1) by Yelena Black

Series: Dance of ShadowsHardcover: 384 pagesPublisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition edition (February 12, 2013)Language: English Vanessa knew that dance was in her blood, but she had no idea the world of elite ballet was center stage for the darkest of secrets—until her sister mysteriously disappeared from the world-renowned New York Ballet Academy. Three years later, Vanessa follows in Margaret's footsteps, lands the role most girls at NYBA would kill for . . . and gets...

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16. Interview with A S Fenichel, Author of Ascension and Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to A.S Fenichel! She’s here to chat about her new release Ascension.

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

[A.S.] Moody, tenacious and deeply empathetic.

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

[A.S.] Ascension is the book of my heart. Not that I don’t love all my books, I do. I really do. But there is something about Ascension and The Demon Hunter series that sparks giddy excitement every time I think about it.

Here’s the description. Tell me what you think.

Ascension

The Demon Hunters, #1

When demons threaten London, Lady Belinda answers the call. 

Lord Gabriel Thurston returns home from war to find his fiancée is not the sweet young girl he left behind. She’s grown into a mysterious woman who guards her dark secrets well. When he sees her sneaking away from a ball, he’s convinced it’s for a lover’s rendezvous. Following her to London’s slums, Gabriel watches in horror as his fiancée ruthlessly slays a man. 

Lady Belinda Carlisle’s only concern was her dress for the next ball—until demons nearly killed her and changed everything. A lady by day, and a demon hunter by night, she knows where her duty lies. Ending her betrothal is the best way to protect Gabriel from death by a demon’s hand. 

Gabriel soon realizes, like him, Belinda has been fighting for her country. He joins in the fight, determined to show her that their love can endure, stronger than ever. 

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

[A.S.] Sometimes I get little snapshots of scenes in my head. That’s what happened with Ascension. I had a snapshot (a vision if you will) of a Regency debutant sneaking into a garden in the wee hours. She had six inches of mud at the bottom of her gown and her hair was hanging in a mess. From there the why and how and who just tumbled out.

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

[A.S.] I love creating strong female characters and Belinda is fabulous. Writing her kept me in the moment even when life got in the way.

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

[A.S.] When I set out to write Ascension I wrote the first four or five chapters and hit a wall. I couldn’t figure out how to go forward. It was so much story and I admit to being intimidated by the task. One day I was out for a long walk and it HIT me. There was more than one book. I didn’t have to get everything into this one volume. I had time. After that it went much more smoothly.

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

[A.S.]

Can’t Go Wrong – Phillip Phillips

or

Nothing Is Easy – Jethro Tull

It depends on the day . ?

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

[A.S.] My iPhone

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

[A.S.] My iPhone, My date book opened to this week, A cup of coffee.

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

[A.S.] Oh man… I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin. I might like to be a stupendous athlete for one day. Since it’s something I am soooo not. Maybe Mike Trout, Derek Jeter or Maria Sharapova.

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

[A.S.] I just finished Icing on the Cake by Karla Doyle. It was sweet and spicy. Ms. Doyle excels as witty banter and I love that.

I’m reading Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha. So far The Beyond series has been fresh, exciting and wonderfully touching.

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

[A.S.] I love to travel. My husband and I do as much as we can. We also love to cook and have friends over for dinner. We specialize in Italian cooking and even went to a cooking school in Tuscany for our honeymoon. I garden, not well, but I do it. We have a cat and a dog who take up a lot of my time. I’ve always had a cat in my life, but we recently adopted an older dog who needed and deserved a good home. I’ve never really thought of myself as a dog person, but I’m totally in love.

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

[A.S.] I absolutely love to chat with readers. Here are some ways to reach me via social media, but they can always email me at asfenichel@hotmail.com

http://asfenichel.net/

http://asfenichel.net/blog/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5154640.A_S_Fenichel

https://twitter.com/asfenichel

https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel

https://plus.google.com/113195747154467378107/posts

http://pinterest.com/asfenichel/boards/

Ascension

The Demon Hunters # 1

By: A.S. Fenichel

Releasing October 6th, 2014

Lyrical Press / Kensington

Blurb

When demons threaten London, Lady Belinda answers the call. 

Lord Gabriel Thurston returns home from war to find his fiancée is not the sweet young girl he left behind. She’s grown into a mysterious woman who guards her dark secrets well. When he sees her sneaking away from a ball, he’s convinced it’s for a lover’s rendezvous. Following her to London’s slums, Gabriel watches in horror as his fiancée ruthlessly slays a man. 

Lady Belinda Carlisle’s only concern was her dress for the next ball—until demons nearly killed her and changed everything. A lady by day, and a demon hunter by night, she knows where her duty lies. Ending her betrothal is the best way to protect Gabriel from death by a demon’s hand. 

Gabriel soon realizes, like him, Belinda has been fighting for her country. He joins in the fight, determined to show her that their love can endure, stronger than ever.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/ascention-demon-hunters-1-by-as-fenichel.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22595242-ascension?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ascension-Demon-Hunters-S-Fenichel-ebook/dp/B00MMMGY2M/ref

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ascension-as-fenichel/1120138658?ean=9781616505592

Kensington: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30949

Author Info

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in erotic paranormal, contemporary and historical romance, A.S. is the author of the Mayan Destiny series, Christmas Bliss and many more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of romance for many years to come.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

Author Links

Website: http://asfenichel.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/asfenichel
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5154640.A_S_Fenichel

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two (2) $10.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Cards)

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17. Spotlight and Giveaway: Reckoning by S J Harper

 

I love this series so I’m thrilled to share a series spotlight and giveaway!  Check back soon for my review of Reckoning.

CAPTURED

The Fallen Siren Series, Prequel #0.5

AUTHOR NAME: S.J. Harper

GENRE: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Join FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.

She’s a Siren. He’s a Werewolf.

Their mission is redemption.

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

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

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

AVAILABLE NOW:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Captured-Fallen-Novella-S-J-Harper-ebook/dp/B00KX8FP5E/ref=la_B00DGDPECM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402960337&sr=1-3

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/captured-sj-harper/1119716911?ean=2940149389759&itm=1&usri=2940149389759

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/captured/id888320552?mt=11

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-captured-1510773-140.html

CURSED

The Fallen Siren Series, Book 1

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.

AVAILABLE NOW:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cursed-A-Fallen-Siren-Novel/dp/0425263290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402955251&sr=8-1&keywords=cursed+harper

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cursed-sj-harper/1114865230?ean=9780425263297

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cursed/id623392750?mt=11

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cursed-1295060-140.html

Audiobooks: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Cursed-Audiobook/B00HJCW14K/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1402960172&sr=1-1

RECKONING

The Fallen Siren Series, Book 2

Join Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.

She’s sacrificed. He’s suffered. They’ve both been betrayed.

Now it’s time for a reckoning.

Special Agent Emma Monroe has a secret. She’s a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. As an FBI agent she saves the lives of others believing redemption could be one rescue away.

Her partner Zack is a werewolf and former Black Ops sniper who once carried out a string of questionable assignments. Now he’s determined to atone for his past. Ironically, there’s a portion of his past Zack doesn’t remember—an affair with Emma. Giving into their attraction for one another almost led to their undoing. Now it’s back to business as usual.

While trying to unravel the mystery behind a series of kidnappings in Southern California, Emma and Zack become entangled with political tensions in the vampire and Were worlds. Not to mention the struggles they face in their relationship with one another. With so much uncertainty, they come to realize the only thing they can really count on is one another…or can they? 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reckoning-A-Fallen-Siren-Novel/dp/0425263304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403027694&sr=8-1&keywords=reckoning+sj+harper

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reckoning-sj-harper/1118867537?ean=9780425263303

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reckoning/id834664724?mt=11

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

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 terrier pup, Olive, 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 U.S. and the U.K. She lives in Denver, Colorado, where she finds gardening a challenge more daunting than navigating the world of mythical creatures.

AUTHOR CONTACT LINK:

Website: http://www.sjharper.me

Facebook Jeanne: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000177556968&fref=ts

Facebook Sam: https://www.facebook.com/samanthasommersby

Twitter Jeanne: https://twitter.com/JeanneCStein

Twitter Sam: https://twitter.com/samsommersby

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6999638.S_J_Harper

Newsletter: http://samanthasommersby.us7.list-manage1.com/subscribe/post?u=c1972301143b298c2aa76a58a&id=c38570ee4f

Excerpt from Reckoning:

I pop the lid off the coffee cup, lift it to my lips, and breathe in the aroma before taking a sip.

“How you feeling?” he asks as I sink down onto the sofa.

I lean my head back and close my eyes. “Like I drank too much wine, passed out, and slept in my clothes.”

A whiff of cinnamon forces them open again. Zack’s holding a bagel in front of my face. I reach for it and take a grateful bite. “How are you feeling?”

“Answering that will only annoy you,” he says. Damned werewolf metabolism.

Then, a moment of hesitation before he asks, “Is he still feeding from you?”

As if that question won’t annoy me at all. I leave the bagel and coffee on the table in front of the sofa and head for my closet. “I thought we agreed that was none of your business?”

When he doesn’t answer, I turn around.

Instead of being across the room, where I’d left him, he’s right behind me.

“You agreed,” he answers. “You know the more you allow it, the more you’ll want it, crave it, crave him. I worry about you, Emma.”

I gaze into his eyes and I see the ache in them, the longing.

“Why?” I ask.

I get a sad smile. “You know why.”

His thumb glides across my cheek. I should have pulled away, but instead I lean into the caress.

His other hand moves toward my shoulder, ghosts across my collarbone. He pinches the fabric of my robe between his fingers and peels it back a few inches. I hold my breath.

“Zack.”

Fingers over my mouth force me to silence. Then they slide the other side of my robe from my shoulder. He circles round me. Warm hands slide down the length of my neck, over my shoulders. They pause.

“He didn’t just bite you. He marked you.” His fingers trace the scar. “This should have disappeared by now. He’ll mark you again. And then again and again. He’s not just feeding from you. He’s building a connection, one he’ll use to control you, manipulate you.”

Zack’s normally warm, brown eyes are now sky blue. “Your eyes—”

He closes them. “Sorry. The beast isn’t as good as I am at pretending.”

“I should get dressed. We need to go.” I reach for the last clean black pantsuit that’s hanging in my closet and head for the bathroom.

Again, he follows. “My wolf, he wants to take away Kallistos’ mark.” Zack stops, filling the doorway. “Just say the word. I can break the cycle.”

“How? By trading one mark for another?” I hang my suit up on the shower rod.

“I’m not offering to mark you for myself. I’m offering to free you from him. Unlike a vampire’s, a wolf’s mark means something. It’s a mutual commitment. One made for life. That’s not what we’re talking about here.”

“What are we talking about?”

Zack appears to be weighing his words carefully. “We’re talking about doing what’s smart, what’s necessary. You said Kallistos would never get the upper hand. But it seems he has.”

Suddenly I feel trapped. I need to put distance be- tween myself and Kallistos. I step back and stuff my hands into the pockets of my robe. My fingers wrap instinctively around the key card. It’s a tangible reminder of the truth of Zack’s words.

“Yes.” It comes out in a rush.

“You want me to remove the mark? Are you sure?”

“Yes. Do it.” I’m trying to focus on what Zack said about this being smart and necessary, nothing else. A wolf’s mark means something. But this will mean nothing. “Hurry. Let’s get it over with.”

But Zack doesn’t hurry. He takes his time, pulling me back, gently curving his body over mine. His is warm, impossibly warm, and I can feel it through my robe. Just as I feel his breath on my neck, feel the echo of his heartbeat in my own.

“Trust me?” he asks, his voice a low, intoxicating rumble.

I do trust him. “Completely.”

TOUR GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire

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18. Guest Post and Giveaway: Shona Husk, Author of To Love a King

This morning, Shona Husk dropped by the virtual offices to share a guest post.  Please see Felan’s idea of a perfect romantic dinner!

Felan is planning the perfect romantic dinner to woo Jacqui back.  What are the top 5 things on the menu?

When the Prince of Annwyn needs to woo back the woman that he lost years before he has to pull out all stops to impress her. Unfortunately for him in the book Jacqui takes the reigns so he never gets a chance to do dinner his way. However this is what he would’ve planned for her.

First he would’ve taken Jacqui back to the place where he first told her he was fairy. They had a picnic with some non-alcoholic fairy wine, not that he told her about the consequences of drinking fairy wine at the time. But they had been happy that day and he’d want Jacqui to remember the happy times.

On the menu he’d have wine. Just regular wine, around Jacqui he was always able to let his guard down which meant he was able to enjoy a little alcohol.

While I can’t imagine him packing the things for a picnic himself, he would make the arrangements so they could have a gourmet feast. He would definitely use real money to pay for the food as Jacqui doesn’t like it when he uses glamours to trick people into thinking he’s paid…and she’d ask.

Like most fairies Felan is vegetarian, not because they can’t eat meat but because the idea of eating something that is dead is abhorrent. However he’d make sure there was meat for Jacqui.

He’d also make sure dessert was something special. Not because he’s trying to dazzle her with his wealth and power as she was never attracted to that, but because he wants her to enjoy being with him, and including desert means the picnic lasts for longer.

Winning Jacqui’s heart is the hardest battle he’ll ever have to fight and he has no weapon that will work and no army to help. All he can do is ask for forgiveness and remind her why they were good together and swear to not make the same mistake again.

It will take more than a promise and a fancy meal to convince Jacqui that he loves her and that without her all is lost.

***

He’s Trying to Reclaim His Past

To keep the balance between good and evil at the court of Annwyn, Prince Felan ap Gwyn has two weeks to marry and take the crown. But he wants more than just power—he wants love; a love he once had but was too stubborn to hold on to.

She’s Struggling to Face the Future

It took years for Jacqueline Ara to put her life back together after Felan abandoned her. She’s moved on, even if her heart still burns for him. But with war in Annwyn looming and death bleeding into the mortal world, Felan and Jacquie will need to heal old wounds and rekindle the passion that once welled between them…or face losing everything.

A civil designer by day and an author by night, Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Drawing on history, myth, and imagination, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have hearts of gold—sometimes literally. She is the author of the Shadowlands series and the Court of Annwyn series. You can find more information about Shona and her edgy romances at www.shonahusk.com or follow her on Twitter, @ShonaHusk.

Available Now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qKez9t

Apple: http://bit.ly/1uxOF8Y

BAM: http://bit.ly/1lYoUhM

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

Chapters: http://bit.ly/ZigHe8

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1ADeHIM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1pTF0nD

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19. [PR] Viz Media to Release Honey Blood!

I’m looking forward to reading this series. It’s the perfect time of year for to start a new supernatural romance!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIZ MEDIA MIXES SWEET PASSION AND DARK INTRIGUE IN THE NEW MANGA SERIES

HONEY BLOOD

A Beautiful Girl Falls For The Old-World Charm Of A Mysterious Vampire Romance Writer—With His Own Taste For Blood!

New Shojo Series Launches In Print And Digitally!

San Francisco, CA, September 25, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, opens Fall with a fiery mixture of bloodthirsty romance and supernatural intrigue in Miko Mitsuki’s shojo manga series – HONEY BLOOD. Set for release under the Shojo Beat imprint, Volume 1 of the 3-part series launches on October 7th and is rated ‘T’ for Teens. Print volumes each carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

In the opening volume, everyone is on edge when a girl at Hinata Sorazono’s school is attacked by what seems to be a bloodsucking vampire. Hinata refuses to believe that vampires even exist, but then she meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel. Dressed in a kimono with an old-world air about him, Junya has a taste of Hinata’s blood and tells her it’s sweet… Hinata can’t help but be drawn to Junya, but could it be that he’s actually a vampire—and worse yet, the culprit behind the attacks?!

“Junya Tokinaga is a mysterious and handsome man, so readers will swoon along with Hinata and become captivated by his complicated past and the bloodthirsty secret he hides,” says Amy Yu, Editor. “The stage is set for charged passion and love in this sultry series from Miko Mitsuki.”

HONEY BLOOD creator Miko Mitsuki hails from Kagoshima Prefecture in southernmost Japan and debuted with the manga title, Utakata, in 2003. She is currently working on projects for Sho-Comi magazine.

For more information on HONEY BLOOD, or other shojo manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

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20. Guest Post: Larissa Ione, Author of Chained by Night

Please give a warm welcome to special guest Larissa Ione!  I’ll have a review of Chained by Night soon, but in the meantime, check out what she has to say about hunky hero Hunter.

Hi everyone!

So…Julie asked an interesting question about the hero of Chained By Night, one I’m going to have fun answering. She asked:

What five things would Hunter never do on a date?

Hmmm…I think telling you what he would do on a date would be easier, but for starters, he would never get drunk. Yes, he enjoys his alcohol, but when he’s with a female, his instinct is to keep her safe, which means drinking in moderation and never losing his situational awareness. With vampire hunters around every corner, he needs to be alert.

He would also never look at another female while on a date. That’s just rude.

Hunter isn’t much for dating in the traditional sense, given that vampires aren’t exactly welcome in human establishments, but if he were to take a female out for dinner and a movie, he’d never let her pay. Unless she was evil. Or human.

The fourth thing he would never, ever do on a date is demand sex. No, this boy can read the opposite sex with the skill of a predator on the prowl, and he knows when she’s ready. But no means no…and he’s very, very patient…

Finally, Hunter would never talk about his ex-lovers. It’s just bad form. Plus, a lot of them are dead. Wouldn’t want to scare off the new lover! ?

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE: Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.
THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL: But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

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21. Guest Post: Anton Strout, Author of Incarnate

Please welcome Anton Strout back to the virtual offices!  Anton has a guest post to share, so check it out.

Name 5 things Lexi WOULD have in her purse

In THE SPELLMASON CHRONICLES Alexandra “Lexi” Belarus isn’t the sort of woman who finds herself with a purse in hand often.  Instead she prefers the fashionable roominess of a designer backpack as the life of Manhattan’s only practicing Spellmason is a hectic one where carrying capacity wins out over handbag cuteness every time.  Let’s peek inside, shall we?

1. A 40 lb. book made of solid stone

Spellmasonry—the art of wielding power and imbuing stonework with life—is a lost art, known only to Manhattan’s Belarus family with 24 year old Alexandra relearning it.  That means she is reliant on the secrets her great-great grandfather wrote centuries ago in a book that’s natural state is solid stone.  Only a Spellmason can open this tome, transforming it to paper, but it means it’s the number one thing Lexi has on her at all times.  While some arcana can be memorized and cast at will, there is much for Lexi to learn and practice in this voluminous and heavy tome.

2. One standard composition notebook (covered in various stains)

Lexi hasn’t quite achieved the prowess of her great-great grandfather at Spellmasonry, but she’s making do in this modern world.  Much of what isn’t spelled out in the stone book is scattered throughout two secret libraries, the content coded throughout multiple volumes, forcing Lexi to compile a spell book of her own.  The stains come from working with much of the alchemy that is involved in the trial and error of imbuing stone with the properties of the living.

3. 3 and 1/2 cell phones (broken screened)

The woman carries around a large stone book in her backpack, is on the run from witches and warlocks, and is fighting winged creatures made of stone.  There’s a lot of smashy smashy going on in all that, and technology does not react well to thinks that go bump in the night.

4. Bandages

Carrying on with the theme of #3, the human body also does not always play well with the resulting spells cast from the abovementioned witches and warlocks or the flick of a gargoyle’s wing that sends her and her friends flying into an alley wall.  As a fleshy, fleshy species, we don’t take to the smashy smashy too good.  Hence?  BANDAGES!

5. Bricksley

As if her backpack wasn’t heavy enough, let’s just throw one more brick in it, shall we?  But not just any brick, no!  We’re talking about Lexi’s first experimental attempt at imbuing stone with life, her humble, painted on smiling Bricksley.  Usually he can be found in one of the Spellmason libraries shelving books or returning alchemical supplies to their cabinets, but ever so often our happy little brick golem stows away for a little field work.  Sneaky little Bricksley!

INCARNATE

Anton Strout

Ace Mass Market

$7.99 | 320 pages

ISBN: 9780425273555

September 30, 2014

When Alexandra Belarus discovered her family’s secret ability to breathe life into stone, she uncovered an entire world of magic hidden within New York City—a world she has accidentally thrown into chaos. A spell gone awry has set thousands of gargoyles loose upon Manhattan, and it’s up to Lexi and her faithful protector, Stanis, to put things right.

But the stress of saving the city is casting a pall over Lexi and Stanis’s relationship, driving them to work separately to solve the problem. As Stanis struggles to unite the gargoyle population, Lexi forges unlikely alliances with witches, alchemists and New York’s Finest to quell an unsettling uprising led by an ancient and deadly foe long thought vanquished.

To save her city, Lexi must wield more power than ever before with the added hope of recovering a mysterious artifact that could change her world—and bring her closer to Stanis than she ever thought possible…

PRAISE FOR THE SPELLMASON CHRONICLES

“Excellent character development. The ending leaves this whole world open in a great way…My favorite part of this is the use of magic…It feels organic and interesting.”

Nerdist

“Thrilling…Skillful characterization enriches a story that is filled with peril, loss, treachery and sacrifice. Great stuff!”

RT Book Reviews

“High stakes, high tension, stark contrasts, well-rounded cast and dialogue complete with quips and banter.”

Urban Fantasy Land

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anton Strout is the author of the Spellmason Chronicles, including Stonecast and Alchemystic, and the Simon Canderous series including Dead Waters, Dead Matter, Deader Still, and Dead to Me. He was born in the Berkshire Hills mere miles from writing heavyweights Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. He currently lives in historic Jackson Heights, New York (where noting paranormal ever really happens, he assures you!). In his scant spare time, he is an always writer, a sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the world’s most casual and controller-smashing video gamer. He currently works in the exciting world of publishing and yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds. Visit him online at www.antonstrout.com.

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22. Cover Reveal and Giveaway: On the Growl Box Set

I have a cover reveal and giveaway this morning for a box set that looks like a lot of fun.  On the Growl is a box of shifter love, featuring FIVE novellas!  That should keep you busy all weekend long.

BOOK TITLE: On the Growl

AUTHOR NAME: Celia Kyle, Lynn Red, Jessica Sims, Flora Dare and Marina Maddix

PUBLICATION DATE: October 13, 2014
ISBN: 9781941122068
GENRE(s): BBW, Boxed Sets, Coming Soon,Heterosexual, Menage & More, Paranormal

BOOK BLURB:

From a pack of your favorite NYT and USAT best-selling paranormal romance authors comes a collection of ALL NEW novellas that will make you howl, scratch and bite… and leave you roaring for more!

Love comes in all shapes and sizes. No surprise there, right? Passionate, wild, hungry, dripping, salty, sweaty, steamy; falling in love is the best thing in the world.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a bunny with curves, a brand new werewolf without much clue what’s happening, a feisty wolverine shifter, a fun-loving house cat or a were-tigress with a short temper for obnoxious men, there’s a big, protective, incredible alpha for everyone… or in some cases, two of them!

Except… sometimes, it gets complicated. Mysterious and magical resorts, dangerous rogue wolves, dentists that get just a little too excited and start growing hair in funny places, a couple of bears who might be terrorists, and a tiger with a bad attitude?

Gulp. Things could get REAL complicated.

In places where the only rules are Pack rules; in towns where shifters and witch doctors rub shoulders; on exotic vacations where only eagles dare, and on planes where a wolverine shifter is sandwiched between two of the sexiest bears she’s ever imagined, you’ll never have more fun, or get more steamy, seductive, incredible paranormal romance in ONE PLACE at ONE LOW PRICE.

From our pack to yours, enjoy these incredible novellas, and keep howling for the moon!

* Waking Up Were by Celia Kyle *
What’s a gal to do when a dog bite isn’t a dog bite and her boss makes her want to howl at the moon? Keep him.

* Bear Your Teeth by Lynn Red *
A slightly clutzy rabbit-shifter and a big, bad bear of a dentist will take you along on a steamy, hilarious ride you’ll never forget!

* Tiger by the Tail by Jessica Sims *
Were-tiger Adrian Merino is determined to see the newest shifter on the block, Mandy, become his mate. But it’s got to be her idea first…

* Bears Repeating by Flora Dare *
It takes double the werebears to handle one cranky wolverine in this menage romance.

* To Screech His Own by Marina Maddix *
It may be against the rules, but when a hot eagle shifter lands at an exclusive resort, one employee really wants to ruffle his feathers. What’s a curvy kitty to do?

 
CONNECT WITH THE AUTHORS:

Celia Kyle

Website: http://celiakyle.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/authorceliakyle

Twitter: http://twitter.com/celiakyle

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/celiakyle

Newsletter: http://celiakyle.com/getnews/

Lynn Red

Website: http://www.lynnred.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/lynn.red.romance

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7351754.Lynn_Red

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/G1q2X

Jessica Sims

Website: http://www.jessica-sims.com

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4720629.Jessica_Sims

Newsletter: http://jessica-sims.com/newsletter/

Flora Dare

Website: http://www.floradare.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FloraDare

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

Newsletter: http://www.floradare.com/news/

Marina Maddix

Website: http://www.marinamaddix.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marinamaddix

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

Newsletter: http://list.marinamaddix.com

 

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23. Spotlight and Giveaway: By the Magic of Starlight by Serena Gilley

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for By the Magic of Starlight, which is available now!

BY THE MAGIC OF STARLIGHT by Serena Gilley (October 7, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; $0.99)

Beyond the limits of sight, magical beings live in the Forbidden Realm. The two worlds were once connected, but the desires of man forced their separation. Now, desire may bring them back together . . .

Raea is a fairy with a secret. Beneath a veil of moonlight and mist, she did the unthinkable: shared a night of exquisite passion with Kyne, the fairy-human hybrid whose touch makes her tremble. Now she can’t forget the feel of his hard body and hot kiss against her skin. Their connection is undeniable-and forbidden.

Kyne’s hunger for Raea is insatiable. As a fairy, he should be beyond the lure of lust, but as a man he can’t resist the pleasure only she can provide. Yet if the Fairy Council is correct, their love will unleash a secret with the power to destroy the Realm forever . . .

Buy Links:

B&N

BAM!

Kobo

iBooks

Amazon

Google Play

About the author:

Serena Gilley grew up reading fantasy and fairy tales, and believing there was a distinct possibility that both of them were real. Somewhere. Even all these years later, Serena’s belief in magic and mystery hasn’t diminished. In fact, She is living out her own happily-ever-after with a handsome prince in a beautiful castle, taming dragons and granting wishes every day.  Okay, so the prince is a regular guy, the dragons are really just teenagers, and the wishes she grants are as spectacular as frozen pizza on Friday night, but it’s a fantasy world just the same.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

“Listen,” Raea said, her voice close behind him as he fluttered down from the tree. “Can you hear that sound?”

He listened. Yes, there was a sound. It was low, an indistinct hum that he had initially ignored as the usual buzz of a forest at night. But she was right, this was something slightly different. It droned on in too even a tone to be insects or rustling leaves.

“It’s coming from there, where those rocks jut up from the earth,” he said, pointing.

It was a useless gesture, of course, but she must have found the spot on her own. The brush of her wings began moving in that direction.

“It is. There’s a dry creek bed just through these shrubs. It looks like we’re in a valley at the base of a hill. The rocks seem to be covering something.”

He followed her voice and the droning hum got louder as he approached. Whatever was making the noise clearly was hidden under the rocks. Without some sort of magic, there was no way they were going to get under them to investigate further. He laid his hand on the largest of the rocks and found it to be warm. Too warm to have been hidden here under the forest canopy all day.

“What’s making it so hot?” Raea asked.

“I don’t know.”

He moved to the next rock. It was warm, too. How could that be? They seemed to be standard rocks, the same material as any other rocks he might expect to find in this area. What would make them hot to the touch? Were they heated from below?

He moved to another rock and put his hand on it. But this one was soft. And it had breasts.

“Um, that’s not a rock,” Raea said.

“No. I like this much better than a rock.”

He jolted when he felt her hand unexpectedly reach for his groin. She made contact and must have intended for that. She giggled, but did not remove her hand.

“This feels something like a rock.”

“And you know why that is,” he said. “It’s because of you, Raea. Even invisible you make me want you so badly.”

“I know. I feel it, too,” she whispered, stroking him slowly. “The protection from the dust must be wearing off. I know we’re in danger and don’t have any Sizing Dust, but I can’t seem to think about anything except you, Kyne.”

He traced the form of her body, her breasts, the curve at the small of her back, the heated juncture between her legs. He moaned when she pressed herself against him, fisting his cock as if she would drag him to release right here and now. She was up against the warm rock; its weathered, flat surface provided perfect leverage for him to explore every inch of her. He found her lips and he kissed them. Then her neck, then her shoulders, then lower to tease her invisible nipples.

“I think I’m on fire, Kyne. You’ve got to do something, please. Come inside me; I need you.”

“You know I can’t do that. But by the Skies, I can do this.”

He slid down her, his hands skimming her hips and her thighs until his mouth was positioned just right where he wanted to be. He nuzzled her there, burying himself in her scent. Her legs parted and he tasted her core. She groaned in surprised pleasure.

“I can totally do this,” he repeated.

 

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: By the Magic of Starlight by Serena Gilley appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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24. Chaos by Sarah Fine: review

What would you sacrifice for someone you love? In Chaos by Sarah Fine, the last installment of the Guardians of the Shadowlands series, Lela journeys into the dangerous Mazikin City to save her beloved Malachi, but finds that danger to herself is no match to the agony of watching danger to those she holds dear. This series is incredibly dark. The characters endure nightmarish suffering with very little hope for reward–not entirely surprising when most of it is literally set in hell. But the bleak savagery of this world is saved by the latent emotion that permeates this story. These human beings are facing depraved creatures, cold-hearted sentences, and painful torture, and yet they continue to hope and dream in the middle of impossible circumstances. The characters and relationships are all memorable, including Ana and Takeshi’s, as well as the assorted villains. So much thought and care is put into... Read more »

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

 

Title: Night Sky

Authors: Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal)

Summary

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

She pointed the barrel at my face.

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

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

And then, things got really weird.

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

Little Miss Sunshine whirled around.

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

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

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

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

The room once again was silent. 

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

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

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

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

How the hell does this girl know my name?

Goodreads Link

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


Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonNightSky

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

iBooks: http://bit.ly/AppleNightSky

Biography

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

Social Networking Links


Website: http://www.suzannebrockmann.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzBrockmann

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

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