Review: Bang by Lisa McMann

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I thought that Crash, the first book in the Visions trilogy, was a bit repetitive.  Don’t get me wrong – I still couldn’t put it down and read it in short order.  But the never ending replay of the vision haunting Jules became tedious about the 100th time through.  Bang never felt like a CD set on Replay, probably because the vision is Sawyer’s, and Jules does not have firsthand knowledge of it.  Instead, Sawyer’s nightmare is relayed to Jules in painstaking detail as he is forced to watch it over and over again.  That distance made all the difference.

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Review: Siren’s Secret by Debbie Herbert

Siren’s Secret (Harlequin Nocturne)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love mermaid stories, so when I saw Debbie Herbert’s debut, I had to read it.  I really enjoyed Siren’s Secret.  It’s told through protagonist Shelly’s POV, as well as that of her love interest, Tillman, and the serial killer, Melkie.  I didn’t find Melkie a compelling character, and wish his POV hadn’t been as prominent.  While I found Shelly and Tillman engaging, Melkie was too one dimensional for me to find him interesting. 

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Meet Hattie Blackhouse from Anne Cleeland’s Daughter of the God-King and Giveaway!

[Manga Maniac Café] Good morning, Hattie! Can you please describe yourself in five words or less.

[Hattie Blackhouse]  Well, I wish I were taller, so I supposed you would say I am petite. I am also determined, resilient, a bit naïve, perhaps, but practical, too.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you share a typical day in the life of Hattie Blackhouse?

[Hattie Blackhouse]  Before I set sail for Egypt, my days in Cornwall were completely tedious; aside from the Tremaine family on the neighboring estate, I hardly knew anyone and I never went anywhere.

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Interview with Teri Terry, Author of Slated

Teri Terry is visiting the virtual offices this morning to chat about the first book in her SLATED series.

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

[Teri Terry] Stubborn, multi-national writer with a weird accent and a silly name who talks too much and spends too much time on the internet

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

[Teri Terry] Kyla is sixteen years old and has had her memory wiped as punishment for crimes she can no longer remember. She’s been assigned to a new family for a second chance, but people are going missing, and things aren’t what they seem: she has to figure things out before it is too late.

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

[Teri Terry] Slated started with a dream I had, of a girl, running, terrified, on a beach, afraid to look back to see what chases her. I wrote the dream down as soon as I woke up, and the dream became the prologue to Slated. The story and characters grew from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Kyla?

[Teri Terry] Complicated, strong, vulnerable

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Kyla is never without.

[Teri Terry] Her Levo: it is on her wrist and cannot be removed without risk of extreme pain and death. It stops extremes of emotions, and is a constant reminder that she was a criminal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What will you never find in Kyla’s bedroom?

[Teri Terry] A mobile phone (they’re banned for under 21’s).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Kyla’s greatest regret?

[Teri Terry] She doesn’t know, she can’t remember! I suppose this is her greatest regret in Slated: not knowing where she came from or what she did.

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

[Teri Terry] Reading, reading, reading! When younger I read everything I could get my hands on. I’m more selective (less patient) now, and have less time, but that is still pretty much the case.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Teri Terry] Time, time and time (is that cheating?).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Slated?

[Teri Terry] Distractor Cat. I wrote most of it in the Writing Shack in the garden, and DC likes to sit on my laptop. In fact DC is stretched out next to me in the garden right now.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Teri Terry] It’s summer: I don’t wear socks in the summer! Well….ok, let me think: I recently really enjoyed Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan. I love a good ghost story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Teri Terry] It seems like I’ve always loved to read. One of my favourites was Lord of the Rings, but I was already a bookworm when I read that for the first time.

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

[Teri Terry] Read! Also a glass of wine in the garden with the Man is pretty high on the list. Going to concerts and the cricket. And, of course, hanging out on Twitter.

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

[Teri Terry] Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TeriTerryAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriTerryWrites

Tumblr: http://teriterrywrites.tumblr.com

Website: http://teriterry.jimdo.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!

About the book:

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
She’s been Slated.
The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Interview with Ros Baxter, Author of Fish Out Of Water

Ros Baxter is our special guest today.  Ros is visiting the virtual offices to chat about Fish Out of Water, her latest release from Escape Publishing.  Fish Out of Water blends mystery, crime fiction, and urban fantasy in one hard to put down story. 

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

[Ros Baxter]  Author of fresh, funny, genre-busting fiction. Mother of four lovely, noisy children. Omnivorous reader. Insane multi-tasker. Imposter Syndrome sufferer.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Fish Out of Water?

[Ros Baxter]  Fish Out of Water is hip crime fiction meets urban fantasy – Stephanie Plum meets Splash – and available from Escape Publishing on 1 April.

My heroine, Rania, is part small-town cop. Part deep-sea mermaid. And she’s got a sinking feeling that she’s about to get wet. For the first time in 13 years.
Rania has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that’s a serious liability for a mermaid, a solider-of-fortune ex who’s hooked on her Mom’s brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.

Oh, and one other thing. She’s scheduled to die on her thirtieth birthday – in three weeks – unless she can ‘change the course of destiny and save the world entire’. But where to start? With her bad boy ex? With the smokin’ hot coldblooded swimmer who seems to know more than he’s giving up? Or with a ten thousand year old prophesy about the End of Days?

If she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegirian priest off her case, work out who the hell’s trying to kill her and stop sleeping with the fishes, Rania might be able to unravel the prophesy, the mystery of the missing choirgirls and the secrets hidden in her Mom’s past.

And maybe even save her own skin while she’s at it.

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

[Ros Baxter]  I’ve always harboured a secret fascination for mermaids (blame seeing “Splash” at the tender age of ten!), love triangles, and things which are not as they seem.  My mermaid Rania has all that in spades – she hasn’t been home to the deep ocean for thirteen years because of a terrifying visit to a clairvoyant; she lives incognito in a small frontier town working as a cop; and she’s torn between land and sea.  She’s also torn between two men who represent those worlds – her solider-of-fortune ex and a sexy, wolfish merman with secrets of his own.

Most of all I wanted to create a heroine who was totally different from me.  Someone tough and cool.  Rania packs heat, dates the wrong men and can beat anyone in an arm wrestle. But she also has an over-developed sense of responsibility.  She’s trying desperately to keep everyone around her safe, while the clock’s ticking on her own life.

I loved intertwining romance, Norse legend, gumshoe mystery and modern pop culture to create this quirky, layered tale.  I hope readers love it too.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Rania?

[Ros Baxter]  Tough, vulnerable, BUSY!

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

[Ros Baxter]  It’s got to be “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor. Hey, she’s been told she’s only got three weeks to live!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Rania is never without.

[Ros Baxter]  On land, her glock and her beautiful Chevy Corvette Stingray, Ariel. In the sea, her BFF the Princess Lecanora.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Rania’s bedroom?

[Ros Baxter]  An Air Supply CD. A girly dress. Fish and chips.

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

[Ros Baxter]  My mother – she taught us all to love words and books.

My kids – they tell the best stories of all.

The wordsmiths who shaped my world as a child and teenager – Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Nirvana.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Ros Baxter]  Some paper or a keyboard. A place. A few minutes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Ros Baxter]  Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Ros Baxter]  Argh so hard, so many. It would have been something kind of lowbrow, because I remember my Mum being called up to the school for a “please explain” about my home reading list. As I recall, the offending title was “A Passion for Treason”. I was nine.

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

[Ros Baxter]  Sleep. But it doesn’t happen often.

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

[Ros Baxter]  email: roosbaxterink@gmail.com

facebook: www.facebook.com/RosBaxterInk

twitter: @RosBaxter

web site: www.rosbaxterink.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order Fish Out of Water from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.

About the book:

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum meets Splash in a sexy, smart-talking debut about a mermaid in a desert, a city under water, and the secret that no one is supposed to uncover.

Dirtwater’s straight-talking Deputy Sheriff Rania Aqualina has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that’s a serious liability for a mermaid, a soldier-of-fortune ex who’s hooked on her Mum’s brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.

Heading home to Aegira for a family wedding, Rania has a sinking feeling that’s got nothing to do with hydroporting seven miles under the sea and everything to do with the crazy situation. Now, if she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegiran priest off her case, work out who the hell’s trying to kill her, and stop sleeping with the fishes, she might be able to unravel the mysteries. And maybe even save her own ass while she’s at it.

Fish out of Water is Stephanie Plum meets Splash, and the first book in a trilogy about Aegira, an underwater kingdom based on the historical Norse legend of Aegir.

About the author:

Ros writes fresh, funny, genre-busting fiction. She digs feisty heroines, good friends, quirky families, heroes to make you sigh and tingle, and a dash of fantasy from time to time.

Ros also runs a successful business consulting to government and the private sector. She teaches professional writing skills and has authored a writing guide, Clarity.

Ros lives in Brisbane’s North with her husband Blair, four small but very opinionated children, a neurotic dog and nine billion germs.

You can email Ros at rosbaxterink@gmail.com or find her at www.facebook.com/RosBaxterInk, @RosBaxter, or www.rosbaxterink.com.

Win Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black!

 

Thanks to Bloomsbury USA, I have a copy of Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black to give to one of you! Just fill out the widget below for your chance to score a copy of the book.  US addresses only, please.

About the book:

Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you’re close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner’s heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . .
Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister’s shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . .
Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed…

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Cover Shot! A Most Dangerous Deception by Sarah Zettel

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?

A Most Dangerous Deception by Sarah Zettel looks awesome!  Court intrigue, murder, and romance.  Who could ask for more?  I love historical settings, and wish more YA books had them, so A Most Dangerous Deception is high on my wish list.

In stores November 2013

    

 

A warning to all young ladies of delicate breeding who wish to embark upon lives of adventure: Don’t.

Sixteen-year-old Peggy is a well-bred orphan who is coerced into posing as a lady in waiting at the palace of King George I. Life is grand, until Peggy starts to suspect that the girl she’s impersonating might have been murdered. Unless Peggy can discover the truth, she might be doomed to the same terrible fate. But in a court of shadows and intrigue, anyone could be a spy—perhaps even the handsome young artist with whom Peggy is falling in love . . . History and mystery spark in this effervescent series debut.