Win a Custom Manicure Set and Ulta Gift Card from Sara Daniel, Author of Construction Beauty Queen!

Here’s a great giveaway, just in time for you to pamper yourself for the holidays!  Sara Daniel, author of Construction Beauty Queen, is giving away custom manicure set and a $20 Ulta Gift card!  All you have to fill out the widget below for your chance to win!

Make sure to hop over and visit Sara’s website

About the book:

pChicago socialite Veronica Jamison is determined to shake off her sheltered lifestyle and overbearing parents. She heads to her grandfather’s small town of Kortville, ready to roll up her sleeves and work for the family construction business. She’ll prove her worth, even if it means answering to the company’s ruggedly handsome co-owner, Matt.
Matt Shaw just wants to run his business, spend time with the niece he’s raising on his own, and give back to the townspeople who have stood by him. Managing a spoiled-rotten princess he knows he’ll never be good enough for? Not part of his plan. But as he gets to know Veronica, he learns there’s more to her than her beautiful looks and designer clothes. She’s got a heart as rich as her background.
With the quirky townspeople rallying against Veronica inheriting her grandfather’s business, it’s up to Matt to try to drive her out of town. But how can he, when instead she’s driving her way into his heart?

Ready to enter the giveaway?  Just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Shot! Iron Kin by M J Scott

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

I like the covers for all of the Half-Light City books.  Though the cover model’s pose is a bit awkward, I like her tough as nails expression and the muted colors in the background.

In stores April 2013

 

Imagine a city divided. Fae and human mages on one side, vampire Blood Lords and shape-shifting Beast Kind on the other. Between these supernatural forces stands a peace treaty that threatens to shatter at the slightest provocation….

I was raised to do the right thing. But to my family that means staying safe behind the walls of human society. To be a respectable metalmage and never put myself at risk. But the treaty is faltering. And if it fails, nothing is safe. To help save the city and everyone I care about, I will use whatever means I can to ensure the negotiations to renew the treaty are successful—even if that means forging an alliance with a man who is the very opposite of the right thing…. Fen is trouble. Wild. He would rather bind himself in iron and drink himself into oblivion than learn to master the visions that come to him. Those visions might just hold the key to peace, and it seems that my power might hold the key to his control—if I can keep it around him….

Site Announcements

Contest Update:

The winner of Susanna Fraser’s The Infamous Marriage is Janie!  You will receive an email soon!  Thanks to everyone who commented on Susanna’s interview.

Scheduling Update:

With the holidays fast approaching, I will be spending time with my family, so next week will be a little light.  I will be running some giveaways, so please drop in and enter for your chance to win some free reads!

Reading Challenge Update:

The BLI Holiday Reading Challenge

Book Lovers, Inc is again hosting their Holiday Reading Challenge.  I’ve signed up, though I don’t have a specific reading goal in mind.  If you enjoy holiday themed reads, here’s a good excuse to over indulge!  Sign up if you have time!

[PR] WARRIOR GHOSTS AND ANCIENT GODS COLLIDE IN 07-GHOST MANGA

{ED. – Viz rescued Go-Comi’s old license.  I will have to give the series another shot.}

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WARRIOR GHOSTS AND ANCIENT GODS COLLIDE IN GOTHIC FANTASY ADVENTURE 07-GHOST MANGA SERIES, NEW FROM VIZ MEDIA

Emotionally Complex Characters And An Action-Filled Story Will Appeal Equally To Shojo And Shonen Manga Fans

San Francisco, CA, November 12, 2012 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, has announced the launch on November 13th of its latest manga (graphic novel) series with the debut of the gothic fantasy action series 07-GHOST. The new series, written and illustrated by Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara, is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

The paths of one evil god, two rival empires, three unlikely bishops and seven brave ghosts converge in the destiny of Teito Klein, a boy who vows to master a powerful artifact known as the Eye of Mikael in order to lay bare the secrets of the world’s – and his own – murky past. All Teito wants is to forget his dark past as an orphan and slave and to graduate from Barsburg’s military academy with his best friend Mikage. But when an overheard state secret triggers treasonous memories, he’s forced to flee from the very empire he once sought to defend!

“07-GHOST is an emotionally complex ongoing series that will appeal equally to shonen and shojo manga fans,” says Hope Donovan, Editor. “Fans have been eagerly awaiting this license rescue. With its varied and entertaining characters and action-filled plot, 07-GHOST will appeal strongly to readers looking for supernatural action with hints of romance and comedy. We look forward to new readers and fans diving into this series!”

Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara write and illustrate 07-GHOST, the duo’s first series. Since its debut in 2005, 07-GHOST has been translated into a dozen languages, and in 2009 it was adapted into a TV anime series that is also available in North America on Crunchyroll. The 07-GHOST manga series also won a rare double-first prize in the third Zero-Sum Comics Grand-Prix, meaning it was chosen for first place by both readers and editors.

For more information on 07-GHOST, or other 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 anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA 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.

This Week’s New and Notable Releases–October 28th Part Two

Here are this week’s new and notable releases, Part Two.  Check out Part One here.  So many great titles!  So little time to savor them all!  I am looking forward to Seduced by a Pirate, Lord Gray’s List , and Wicked Nights With a Proper Lady most.  What’s on your wish list?

Click on the covers for the Amazon product page.

Barefoot in the Rain (Barefoot Bay) by Roxanne St. Claire (Oct 30, 2012)

Burning Up (Smoke Jumpers) by Anne Marsh (Oct 30, 2012)

A Cowboy for Christmas: A Jubilee, Texas Novel by Lori Wilde (Oct 30, 2012)

Damek’s Redemption by N.J. Walters (Oct 30, 2012)

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones (Oct 30, 2012)

An Heiress at Heart (Love’s Grace) by Jennifer Delamere (Oct 30, 2012)

Lord Gray’s List by Maggie Robinson (Oct 30, 2012)

A Notorious Countess Confesses: Pennyroyal Green Series by Julie Anne Long (Oct 30, 2012)

Princess in Love by Julianne MacLean (Oct 30, 2012)

The Recruit: A Highland Guard Novel by Monica Mccarty (Oct 30, 2012)

Scorched by Laura Griffin (Oct 30, 2012)

The Scottish Witch: The Chattan Curse by Cathy Maxwell (Oct 30, 2012)

Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James (Oct 30, 2012) – Novella

Seducing Mr. Knightly by Maya Rodale (Oct 30, 2012)

Sin With a Scoundrel: The Husband Hunters Club by Sara Bennett (Oct 30, 2012)

Sinners & Saints by Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley (Oct 30, 2012)

Stolen: A Novel of Romantic Suspense by Shiloh Walker (Oct 30, 2012)

To Hell and Back: A League of Guardians Novella by Juliana Stone (Oct 30, 2012) Novella

The Warrior (Return of the Highlanders) by Margaret Mallory (Oct 30, 2012)

Warrior Reborn by Melissa Mayhue (Oct 30, 2012)

Wed to a Highland Warrior (Warrior King) by Donna Fletcher (Oct 30, 2012)

Wicked Nights With a Proper Lady (Dangerous Rogues) by Tiffany Clare (Oct 30, 2012)

Excerpt! Venomous by Fiona Paul!

I have a special treat for you today!  Check out this excerpt of Venomous, a short story written by Fiona Paul!  If you haven’t read any of it yet, you can backtrack through the blogs hosting segments of the story (see below for links).  Be sure to follow the rest of the blogs; there will be a new excerpt posted every day!

Venomous

A Secrets of the Eternal Rose short story

By Fiona Paul

The year is 1600 and the streets of Venice, Italy are ripe with intrigue and danger. In this introduction to the world of Venom, eighteen-year-old Mariabella has recently elevated herself from the rank of common prostitute to the status of courtesan, a respected high-class escort for those men in Venetian society who can afford them. Mariabella steps out to attend a party on the arm of her powerful new patron, certain that the night will be filled with glamour, secrets, and adventure.

If you missed the last part of the story, check it out on Cover Analysis.

“Sometimes I think my father will never have the money for a proper wedding,” she says. The folds of her lavender skirt sink low on the ground as her body deflates slightly.

“Don’t fret, my goddess,” the boy says. “In my mind, we are already married.” He reaches out to tuck a tendril of dark hair back from her face.

She brightens at his touch. “In your mind I bet we’re doing all sorts of things,” she says playfully. He bends down to murmur something in her ear and her mouth twists into a smile. “Yes, we could, couldn’t we?”

Wind whips strands of dark hair around her face as the boy rests his hands on her waist and bends down to kiss her. She rises to meet his embrace, her gloves hands threading together behind his neck. I shouldn’t stare, but I do. There’s something so graceful about the way their bodies move together.

I duck behind the fountain as they break apart and turn toward the front of the palazzo. Sharp peals of laughter float through the air as their silhouettes gradually fade. It makes me think of bird song and flute music and other sounds of sheer joy.

It has been a long time since I laughed like that. A few months ago, I was entertaining a traveling bard who always seemed more interested in singing to me than kissing me. I thought it was an odd waste of his money, but his songs always started out normal and then got sillier and siller until I couldn’t help but giggle—and then laugh, and then laugh until I snorted. He even gifted me a lute and persuaded me to accompany him in his act a couple of times.

It was fun, and I was happy during my time with him. But eventually he had to move on to another city. It’s for the best. If he returned it’d be one more man I’d want to see against Joseph’s wishes.

For the next part of the story, visit Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf tomorrow 10/18. [http://laurenscrammedbookshelf.blogspot.com]

Review: Paradise Kiss Vol 1 by Ai Yazawa

 

Title:  Paradise Kiss V 1

Author:  Ai Yazawa

Publisher:  Vertical

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Yukari is a spirited high school senior in the process of studying for her college entrance exams. Sadly the prospect of subjecting herself to a meaningless dull life leaves her feeling depressed about the future.  In a bout of frustration, Yukari begins to ignore her courses and she begins to hang out with a group of fashion design students. But what Yukari doesn’t know is that this circle is known as Paradise Kiss, and they are run by a pair of young designers already making their mark on the Asian scene. Furthermore, while her life is going to soon change, it will not be due to the elite political or commerce based future her family may have hoped for, instead her life may eventually be set in a world of high fashion, with her strutting down the catwalk as the face of Asian fashion!


Review:

How lovely to see Paradise Kiss back in print after so long!  This series,  Peach Girl, and Marmalade Boy  are directly responsible for my love of graphic novels.  During the hey-day of the US manga craze, there were so many wonderful books being released that it was hard to keep up with them all.  There was also a lot of garbage hitting store shelves, in such an overwhelming wave, that buyers couldn’t keep up.  Then the recession hit, and it was bye-bye to several of my favorite publishers.   CMX’s demise hit me the hardest, because DC’s imprint had licensed some unique titles, and many of the series that I followed were being released by them.  When Tokyopop shuttered, I actually became so discouraged with comics that I started reading prose books again.  Am I bitter that I will never see the end of I Hate You More Than Anyone or Kamui?  Am I upset that Silver Diamond and Demon Sacred were never competed?  You betcha! That’s one reason why I was so happy to see ParaKiss back in print with a new publisher.  This is a timeless story of a high school girl’s coming of age, with fun characters and gorgeous illustrations.  It deserves to stay in print, and since it’s been ten years since it was last published, there is a brand new audience out there just waiting to discover it.

One thing that I love about Ai Yazawa’s storytelling style is how she sprinkles humor into her plot when events get emotionally intense.   There is so much drama, drama, drama, which I love, and then all of a sudden there is this marvelous little blast of humor – either a joke from one of the characters or a humorous visual to ease all of that tension, just a little bit.  It is more evident in NANA (speaking of which, what happened to NANA?), but there are small glimpses in this first installment of Ai Yazawa’s classic romance.  I enjoy the contrast to the heart-stopping tension, and look forward to seeing how she’ll maneuver her characters from emotional trauma to eliciting an chuckle from the reader. 

In ParaKiss, Yukari is a high school senior with a lot of her mind.  She is cramming for her college entrance exams, and she doesn’t have time to get involved with a bunch of weirdos from the local fashion school.  Once she meets charismatic George and is caught under petite Miwako’s charm, she has no choice but to model for their fashion show.  There is so much change in Yukari from the opening chapter,  where she is risk adverse and single-mindedly intent on her studies, to the end of this volume, where she is fabricating lies for her parents so she can spend more time with her new friends in their basement studio.  She is finally starting to assert herself, and to reject her mother’s stranglehold over her.  Finally, there is something that she cares enough about to fight against the carefully planned path her parents have laid out before her.  Is it in her best interests to get caught up in the lives of these creative and impulsive people?  Probably not, but the rush of being with them is intoxicating, and she’s not willing to let it go.

George is so far over her head that I worry for Yukari.  He is jaded and worldly, while she’s lived a very sheltered life.  No friends, no boyfriends, few connections outside of her family.  George is like a blazing torch, and she is drawn, against her will,  to his brilliance.  As I read the book this time around, I sympathized more with her confusion over her feelings for George.  She’s not accustomed to expressing her feelings or hanging out with a guy, and everything that George does sets her world on end.  He is intense and self-confident, and he rushes head-first into everything that life has to offer.  Yukari isn’t prepared for a guy like George, and now that she’s caught his attention, she isn’t sure how to keep it fixed firmly on her.  All of the emotional ups and downs of that first relationship are intensified by George’s vivid personality.  She doesn’t stand a chance against him, and I kept wondering if he was just dicking around with her from the moment he met her.

I love the art.  Ai Yazawa’s delicate, detailed character designs are distinctive and beautiful.  The clothing is also stunning, but how can you possibly have a story about fashion designers and have everybody wearing ugly clothing?  You can’t, and the clothing take on a life of their own.

If you enjoy drama and that pulse-pounding confusion of first love, give this series a shot.  If you enjoy comics with beautiful clothes and beautiful characters, give this series a shot.  If you are interested in manga and haven’t read any of it yet, this is a good, short (3 volume) title to get you started.  It’s still as pretty and as moving as it was 10 years ago.  As always, Vertical’s presentation is top notch, with a new translation and a bigger, bolder trim size than the previous version.

Grade:   B+

Review copy provided by publisher

[PR] BEAUTIFUL CREATURES limited low-price eBook!

{ED. I received this email and wanted to share.  You can grab Beautiful Creatures at a discount, to test drive the series if you haven’t started it yet.}

 

THE END IS COMING… CATCH UP ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN.

For a limited time, Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures, Book 1)  is available as an e-book for just $3.99!

Visit your favorite e-retailer this week and enjoy the first book in the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series at a special low price.

AND ON OCTOBER 23, 2012:

BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION, the breathtaking series finale, arrives in print and eBook!

"The Beautiful Creatures novels contain a potent mix of the gothic, the mythic, and the magical. Readers can look forward to more of what they love in the final installment, Beautiful Redemption, as they follow Ethan’s compelling journey to its bittersweet close. With original characters, complex world building, and crackling prose, this is masterful storytelling." – Deborah Harkness, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches

Praise for The BEAUTIFUL CREATURES Novels

“Exactly the right blend of dark suspense and romance” —Newark Star Ledger

“Fans will devour this latest book and plead for more.” —VOYA, starred review

“Give this to fans of Twilight or HBO’s “True Blood” series.” —School Library Journal

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES was named an Amazon #1 Teen Best Book of The Year and #5 Editor’s Pick Best Book of the Year for 2009.  The series was an instant New York Times, Indiebound, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller.

Coming February 13, 2013: BEAUTIFUL CREATURES will be released as a major motion picture from Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures! Directed by Academy Award® nominee Richard LaGravenese, the film stars Academy Award® winnersJeremy Irons and Emma Thompson, Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and Thomas Mann, as well as newcomers Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert.

About the authors

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl both live in Los Angeles, California with their families.  Beautiful Redemption is the fourth and final book in the Beautiful Creatures series, following Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, and Beautiful Chaos. You can visit them online at www.beautifulcreaturesthebook.com

Click here to purchase your copy!