Guest Post: Sara Humphreys, Author of Undone and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Sara Humphreys, author of Undone, to the virtual offices today!  Sara has taken over the control panel to share a very special guest post with all of you.  Afterwards, she has a copy of Untamed up for grabs!

The Scene from UNDONE That Melts My Butter—By Sara Humphreys

Thanks so much to the Manga  Maniac Cafe gang for having me here today! When I was asked to blog about my favorite scene from UNDONE, I found myself in a pickle. I have a couple favorite moments and to be quite honest, it’s hard to pick one because Pete and Marianna were a fun couple to write about. Pete has that smart-ass edge to him that makes him irresistible and Marianna’s tough enough to give him a run for his money.

However, there is one scene in particular that stands out in my mind and so far, it seems to be rather memorable to the readers as well. It’s fondly being referred to as the “snowmobile scene” and some reviewers have said that they’ll never look at a snowmobile the same way again.

A little background before I post a snippet. Pete is human but unlike most humans, he knows about the existence of the Amoveo, the shapshifters who live secretly among society. He works for Marianna’s twin brother, Dante, and was hired to keep an eye on Marianna because the Purist Amoveo are causing all kinds of problems. You see, the Purists don’t want their race mixing with humans and as a result, a civil war has broken out among their race.

Marianna, a pureblood party girl from the Bear Clan, wants no part of politics and hasn’t publicly declared a side. However, since she’s an unmated pureblood female, the Purists are doing their best to persuade her to join their side. It soon becomes clear, that they want her to join them, even if it’s against her will. In an effort to protect her, Pete takes Marianna to his cabin in upstate New York. Needless to say, the sparks between them fly.

Now, I can’t share the whole scene because it’s a tad too saucy to post on the blog but here’s a little teaser to wet your appetite.

***

Pete hauled ass back to the cabin and Marianna thought at several points they were going to go careening into the trees but in true Pete fashion, they made it back safely. Driving like a man with a mission, he pulled the snowmobile up in front of the cabin and skidded to a halt, sending a wave of snow onto the already snow covered steps.

Marianna took off her helmet and hopped off the blasted contraption. Pete stared up at her through serious eyes as he removed his helmet and tossed it into the snow bank. He didn’t shut off the engine but slid back and patted the empty space in front of him.

“What?” Marianna shouted over the noise of the engine. “I’m not driving that thing.”

“No,” Pete agreed. “You’re definitely not driving tonight.”

***

Thanks again for hosting me and I hope you’ll check out Pete and Marianna’s story!

Dream on….
Sara

 

Thanks so much, Sara! 

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for your chance to win a copy of Untamed, the third book in the Amoveo Legend Series?  Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following. US and Canadian addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase Undone and all of the books in the Amoveo Legend series from your favorite bookseller (links below) or by clicking the following link:

About the book:

UNDONE BY SARA HUMPHREYS – IN STORES MAY 2013

She’s Far From Human…

With her secret race of shapeshifteres embroiled in civil war, all Marianna Coltari wants is to stay far from controversy. Even so, when her overprotective brother insists on hiring his human friend Pete as her bodyguard, Marianna is furious.

Does She Dare to Love One?

Like most retired cops, Pete Castro resents his new job as a bodyguard. It’s even worse because he’ll be babysitting a party girl like Marianna. But that’s before he meets her for the first time and discovers his instincts on red alert. Would he kill to protect her?

Praise for Undone:

“Humphreys’ skillful storytelling is so intriguing, you’ll have a hard time putting this book down. 4 ½ Stars, Top Pick of the Month!” —RT Book Reviews

” Spellbinding… This fast-paced, jam-packed thrill ride will delight paranormal romance fans.” —Publishers Weekly

“Sara Humphreys has truly created her own world.” —Under the Covers

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Humphreys has been attracted to the fantasies of science fiction, paranormal, and romance since her adolescence when she had a mad crush on Captain Kirk. An actress and public speaker, Sara lives in Bronxville, NY, with her husband, who is very considerate of her double life, and four amazing boys. Look for a brand new paranormal romance series, Dead in the City, starting with Tall, Dark and Vampire this August, and the next Amoveo Legend book, Unclaimed, in December 2013! For more information about her books and to join her street team, please visit www.sarahumphreys.com or follow her on Twitter, @AuthorSara.

To purchase Undone:

Barnes and Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Chapters/Indigo

Discover a New Love

Sourcebooks

Guest Post: Robin Covington, Author of His Southern Temptation

Please welcome Robin Covington to the virtual offices today!  Robin dropped by to fill us in on heroines who are nothing but trouble for the hero.  After reading her thoughts on the matter, be sure to hop to the bottom of the post and order her latest book, His Southern Temptation.

Nothing But Trouble: Heroines who kick A**

In my recent release, my heroine Taylor Elliott is strong, successful, stubborn, sexy, self-possessed —all the “s” words that spell nothing but trouble for her hero. Not only did she not follow directions but she decided to take initiative and ended up creating even more trouble for Lucky. In the end, he knew she was worth all the trouble but man, did she make him work for it.

I love a heroine who can take charge and control her own destiny. Now, some of the best heroines don’t start out that way but they grow, learn and gain the confidence to put on those Wonder Woman underoos and be awesome. And, of course, as they grow they become a case of serious heartburn for the men in their lives. Being a huge movie junkie, I thought I’d share with you some of faves:

Marge the Police Chief in Fargo: This woman was the epitome of womanly strength and you just know that her hubby was pulling his hair out knowing that she was giving it her all. I mean, how can you fail to love a woman who is 9 months pregnant who can catch a killer in between bouts of morning sickness?

Evelyn Salt in Salt: A U.S. Agent becomes a fugitive after being accused of being a Russian spy. If you doubt her kick-assery, just check out the scene of how she gets out of the CIA building with no shoes or weapons.

Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: What didn’t happen to this woman? Raped, minimized by society, virtually without any power, she comes back to exact justice on her abusers and to emerge as a ballsy equal with the male protagonist. She defies society with every move and a strong woman, takes on a man who is her equal and gives it as good as she gets.

Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone: Sure, Joan doesn’t really know how to wield a weapon or hack into a computer but she steps out of her comfort zone to help her sister, takes on danger, uses her talents to make sure she is able to save her sister and seduces Michael Douglas (if you think for one minute that he’s seducing her, go watch it again)

Maggie Murdock in Love and Other Drugs: Afflicted with early onset Parkinson’s Maggie is bravery in action. She takes in her disease and also helps others with the same issues surrounding availability of affordable prescriptions and treatment. But, she does this all while being vulnerable and changing the life of her womanizing love interest until he becomes the man he’s supposed to be. Love her.

So, that’s my take on heroines who have cheering as they drive the menfolk crazy. Who would you add to the list?

Thank you, Robin!

You can order His Southern Temptation from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

Some women are bad. Some women are a bad idea. The best ones are both…

A former Black Ops assassin, “Lucky” Landon has had more near-misses than a man should ever have. Now he’s out of that business and settling into the simple life in his small hometown. So the last thing he ever expected was to end up at gunpoint. Or that the woman holding the gun would be his best friend’s little sister and Lucky’s on-again/off-again lover.

Taylor Elliott is Trouble, and she likes it that way. And seeing Lucky again? Well, he’s been her dirty little secret for the past few years and everyone knows that secrets in a small town are almost impossible to keep. But Taylor has bigger problems on her plate. Like the local mob boss who wants her dead.

And right now the only thing standing between Trouble and disaster is a hottie named Lucky..

Here are more purchase links:

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-southern-temptation-robin-covington/1114954596?ean=9781622667048

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17608393-his-southern-temptation

Tens List–Jennifer Shirk’s Top Ten Romantic Books!

Jennifer Shirk hijacked the virtual offices to share her favorite romantic books with you!  How does her list stack up against yours?

 

HI, all! Jennifer here.

Valentine’s Day is past, but if you’re a romance reader love is ALWAYS in the air. (Or at least we want it to be, which is why we read these books in the first place!)

I have a sweet romantic novella out now called A Little Bit Cupid, which I think is VERY romantic since it centers around the premise of love at first sight.

But everybody has different feelings on what is classified as "romantic", so I thought it would be fun to show you my Favorite Romantic Books–especially for those who haven’t read my books or don’t know me.

Maybe we even share some of the same personal favs! Check them out below!

Jennifer’s Top Ten Most Romantic Books

10) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (a classic and one of those romances that obviously goes way beyond just mere good-looks attraction)

9) Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (a funny YA, but one where even though these two come from different worlds, they are meant to be together. Very sweet.)

8) Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins (the hero Malone was not your "all talk and no action" kind of guy. In fact, he was the opposite–but actions speak WAY louder than words)

7) Blue-eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas (boy, oh boy, this hero was HOT and noble and knew exactly how to romance the poor "broken" heroine)

6) Jewel of the Sun by Nora Roberts (love a big old Irish hero with heart of gold)

5) The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen (melancholy story but emotional and romantic YA)

4) Perfect by Judith McNaught (gorgeous hero kidnaps heroine to prove his innocence and they end up falling in love–perrrrrrrfect!)

3) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (do I really need an explanation on this one?)

2) Honey Moon by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (two tortured characters but together they’re able to heal one another. LOVE this book!)

1) Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas (Sam was so sure of himself and so sure he wouldn’t fall in love with the heroine. They even would make sure to tell each other daily "I don’t love you." Ha! Love it when the hero gets bamboozled. )

Well, that’s my list and I’m sticking to it. I hope you all get to check out these books as well as my book A Little Bit Cupid.

Thanks so much for having me today!

What’s your favorite romance book? Have you read any of the books on my list?


Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your Top Ten Romantic Reads with us!

About Jennifer Shirk: Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy–which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC’s Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, The Role of a Lifetime.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.

Feel free to follow her on Twitter or become a friend on Facebook.

Connect with Jennifer here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferShirk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjennifershirk
Website: http://www.jennifershirk.com/
Blog: http://www.jennifershirk.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3112488.Jennifer_Shirk


About A LITTLE BIT CUPID: Finding love should be easy, but wedding photographer Pheobe Ward knows better. When Cupid shows up on a crazy mission to help her —and save the world in the process—Phoebe realizes love might be even more complicated than she thought. Even with Cupid showing her Mr. Right , she can’t stop thinking about his best friend, Mr. Wrong.
Cal Crawford has never had time for love, but now he’s falling for Phoebe. Which means it’s got to be just plain wrong to set her up with his best friend, right? But even though seeing Phoebe with someone else will break his heart, he can’t walk away from her.

Phoebe can’t afford to choose the wrong guy with the fate of the world at stake. But maybe Cupid has it wrong. Maybe she has to rely just a little bit on Cupid, and a whole lot more on her heart.

Buy links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Little-Bit-Cupid-ebook/dp/B00B1228ZQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359644248&sr=8-1&keywords=a+little+bit+cupid
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-bit-cupid-jennifer-shirk/1114144344?ean=2940015995244&itm=1&usri=a+little+bit+cupid
Books on Board: http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php?BODY=viewbook&BOOK=1455229&TITLE=A+Little+Bit+Cupid&AUTHOR=Jennifer+Shirk

iTunes Bookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-little-bit-cupid/id593745761?mt=11

A LITTLE BIT CUPID on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17244482-a-little-bit-cupid

Excerpt: The Four Realms by Adrian Faulkner and Giveaway!!

Adrian Faulkner and his publisher, Anarchy Books want to share an excerpt from The Four Realms with you.  After the excerpt, enter to win the entire Anarchy Books catalog – digital books and albums – on a CD!  What an awesome giveaway!  That will keep you busy for quite a while!

Excerpt: The Four Realms by Adrian Faulkner

It was snowing in New York. The thick storm clouds overhead had turned afternoon into evening and filled the streets and avenues with their cargo. On news of the storm’s approach, most of the city had emptied, workers leaving their offices before the journey home became impassable.

Broadway was practically empty. The clothing sellers who normally crowded the sidewalk were gone, having shut up and left hours ago, leaving a solitary figure making his way south through the shin deep snow. He seemed unprepared for the weather. His trousers were a size too big for him and his shirt was partly untucked.

Winds whipped around the city blocks like a serpent, striking from every direction with icy blasts, causing Mr West to draw his jacket ever tighter and vow to couple his plans with the weather forecast next time.

There were much easier ways to get from New Jersey to the meeting place in the heart of New York City. However, Mr West had ‘chosen’ to take the Transit in, and walk, rather than take a cab, down from Penn Station. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. "Know your enemy," the training programs had told him, and he felt that by experiencing choice, he better understood the inhabitants of this world.

Choice was abhorrent to him. Yes, he told himself, decisions often needed to be made, but that should only be done by those whose job function it was to make them for individuals, and then only after careful analysis and consultation. Otherwise, you had what you had here… a chaotic system.

Of course the humans and dwarves, and even the elves would argue that without choice there was no freedom, but what use was freedom when all that was stopping people killing you or stealing from you was a thinly guised code of moral conduct. With choice, it gave people the right to do bad things to others. Where was the freedom from crime, the freedom of job security, the freedom of not having to worry about the course of your life?

No, Mr West told himself, the amount of choice here was bad. Even worse it was so unproductive. It made their enemies unpredictable and irrational, something that the data models still needed to take into account.

He stepped off the sidewalk to cross 27th street and jarred himself as the drop, hidden in snow, was more than he expected. The snow soaked his trouser leg up to above the knee. He hated New York, even their sidewalks weren’t uniform. No wonder they needed so many lawyers.

He was surprised to see that the Pizza restaurant was still open, and despite feeling slightly uncomfortable about it, ‘chose’ to stop and buy a slice. If there was one redeeming feature of New York, and indeed, the whole of this realm, it was Pizza. Since the start of the operation here, he had tried just about every variety. He ignored his logic which told him he did not need to eat and ordered a slice of pepperoni. Pizza heated and bagged to go, Mr West left the relative warmth of the parlour and stepped out into the snow once again.

He didn’t have far to go. The awning of the next building marked his destination. The shivering doorman saw him, swung into action, opening the door, and upon noticing the pizza, asked Mr West: "You get that from next door?"

Mr West nodded.

"Best Pizza in the city," the doorman exclaimed as Mr West shook himself off and stamped the snow from his feet. He walked up the narrow passageway toward the lobby and elevator. A member of cleaning staff was busy fighting a losing battle trying to mop the floor of melted snow the guests had brought in.

Mr West took the elevator to the twelfth floor, and knocked on door 1203. He was expected and the door opened almost instantaneously. Three men dressed immaculately in black suits and white shirts stood on the other side; so alike in every such way that it would be easy to confuse them for identical triplets. They looked slightly nervous as Mr West entered. The one who had answered the door closed it quickly behind West, whilst the other two stood up from the twin beds they had been sitting on. Mr West grabbed the chair from the writing desk and sat down to face the huge window that looked out over the city. Standing in front of it was a fourth man, much older than the other three but similarly dressed. His cropped hair and beard were as white as the snow outside and his face was etched with a scowl as deep as his wrinkles.

"You’re late, Mr West," the older man growled.

"Sorry," West replied nonchalantly, beginning to eat his pizza slice. "Traffic was terrible."


If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can order The Four Realms by clicking the cover below:

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Ready for a chance to win The Four Realms and the ENTIRE Anarchy Books catalog – digital books and albums – on a CD? Fill out the widget below! Earn extra entries for following.

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Guest Post: Creativity: It’s Everywhere, All Around by Elisabeth Barrett

Creativity: It’s Everywhere, All Around by Elisabeth Barrett

“Oh. My. God.”

These are not the words you want to hear in the delivery room when you’re giving birth. But they were indeed the words spoken by my ob/gyn as she helped to bring my little son into the world.

“What?” I gasped, still in the throes of agony. “What?!”

Alarmed, I looked over to my husband, who was staring, wide-eyed at the baby. It was several long minutes before our son was handed to me, and as soon as I got him, I was staring too. Like most babies, he had ten fingers, ten toes, and the cutest little mouth I’d ever seen. He was remarkably normal looking in every way but one—he had a huge swath of bright orange hair covering his head. I’m talking day-glo, like someone had taken an orange highlighter and colored in each strand. I’d never seen anything like it, and apparently, neither had the doctor. Here’s a picture of him a few days later (although this shot doesn’t do his hair justice):

Over time, it’s morphed into the deepest, most beautiful shade of orange/red you can imagine, and his long, lustrous eyelashes are a perfect match. Here’s what it looks like now:

One day as I was staring at the marvel that is my son’s hair, it hit me. It was the perfect color hair for a character I had percolating in my brain—Avery Newbridge, the gentle social worker who returns to town to help out her aunt at the Star Harbor Inn. Avery’s had a setback at work and is taking some time to figure out her career and her life. Unfortunately, she keeps getting distracted by sexy author Theo Grayson, who has taken a room at the inn. Avery spends most of the book trying to keep up her defenses, while Theo spends his time trying to tear them down. Of course, no one can resist intelligent, quiet, and rugged Theo…not even Avery.

Avery’s hair was also the inspiration for the title: Blaze of Winter. She’s a flash of passionate color in the otherwise-winter-white landscape. But there’s where my real-life inspiration ends. There is no facet of my toddler’s personality in that of my romance novel heroine (fortunately for Theo and Avery), but just using the hair color was a great way for me to get the ball rolling.

A few months ago, Manga Maniac Café’s Julie interviewed me as part of my blog tour for Deep Autumn Heat, the first book in my Star Harbor series. During that interview, she asked me one very interesting question: What are your greatest creative influences? I gave a long-winded answer that concluded with: “life observations.” I was telling the truth. My creative influences are all around me, and it’s just a matter of figuring out which ones I can use to tell a great story!

About Elisabeth:

Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter (coming September 10, 2012). Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About Blaze of Winter:

Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.

View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd: Click here.

Pre-order Blaze of Winter: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the iBookstore (Apple)!

Giveaway:

One commenter will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of BLAZE OF WINTER. Contest ends September 10th at midnight (EDT).You’ll need a NetGalley account, and to answer the question below: What are your creative inspirations?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order Blaze of Winter and Deep Autumn Heat from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below

Guest Post: Dori Jones Yang–Aren’t the Mongols Bad Guys?

Dori Jones Yang is celebrating the release of Son of Venice, the sequel to her YA historical novel Daughter of Xanadu.  She stopped by the virtual offices  to set the record straight about the Mongols.   

Weren’t the Mongols Bad Guys? by Dori Jones Yang

Imagine a cartoon image of a horde of Mongol horsemen. Galloping on black horses, fierce and ferocious, they are invading a village, eager to rape and pillage.

The Mongols, history teaches us, were barbarians, vicious and cruel, destroyers of all that is good and civilized.

So why on earth did I choose a Mongol as the main character of my novel, Daughter of Xanadu, and the chief love interest in the sequel, Son of Venice? Who would fall in love with a Mongol?

In college, I majored in European history, and the Mongols were remembered as “Tartars” who decimated Hungary and Poland and subjugated Russia for centuries. But any good student learns that every set of people has its own take on history.

The story of the Mongols was mostly written by the people they conquered: the Russians, the Chinese, the Persians. The Mongols were definitely less “civilized” than all these peoples. When they began their conquests, they were nomadic herdsmen with no permanent settlements, no architecture, no written language. They lived in tents and spoke a guttural language no one else could understand. With no farming or manufacturing, they had to raid settled areas to get modern goods: stirrups, swords, fabrics, dishes.

Most of the horror stories about the Mongols are true. In retrospect, it seems almost impossible that Genghis Khan and his primitive hordes could have conquered most of the known world. They did it with “shock and awe” – swooping in on surprise attacks with such ferocity and cruelty that settled people were terrified of them. When one town resisted, Genghis Khan ordered his troops to massacre them with such horrific brutality that the next town would choose to surrender rather than face such a rampage. The Mongol troops cut one ear off each victim and collected them in bags as a way of counting the dead. They stacked up skulls to make sure no one would resist them in the future. The word “horde” even comes from Mongolian!

So it surprised me to read Marco Polo’s book. When he arrived in China, it was ruled by Genghis Khan’s grandson, Khubilai Khan. Marco would have heard these same horror stories from his father’s generation, who lived through Mongol attacks on Europe. And yet, Marco himself wrote nothing but positive things about Khubilai Khan: about his luxurious palaces, his glorious gardens, his large family, his lavish banquets. Marco Polo might as well have been a paid PR guy for the Mongols. Why?

It turns out the Mongol conquests were so swift that they gained control of almost all the land from Russia to China in just two generations. By the time Marco Polo got to China, the Mongols had settled into Chinese-style palaces and were living peaceful, opulent lives. They were commissioning art and poetry, learning good governance, and encouraging trade. They established an Empire that lasted over one hundred years, and most of that time they were not barbarian or brutal at all.

Most of us don’t think of our own people as bad guys. We Americans certainly don’t see ourselves that way – and the Mongols didn’t either. In their own legends, they were heroic, conquering more powerful kingdoms with brilliance and courage and then ruling them wisely.

In my novels, I wanted to make that point. To Emmajin, who grew up in the court of her grandfather, Khubilai Khan, the Mongols were the good guys.

You can find out more about the Mongols and my books at www.dorijonesyang.com.


Thank you, Dori!

You can learn more about Dori by visiting her website.

You can purchase both Daughter of Xanadu and Son of Venice from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:

Guest Post by Laxmi Hariharan–Author of The Destiny of Shaitan and Giveaway

Today I am hosting Laxmi Hariharan in celebration of her new release The Destiny of Shaitan. Check out the guest post below and make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card or Autographed Paperback of The Destiny of Shaitan.

My Life in Epics —Laxmi Hariharan

Her favourite purple cotton nine yards saree, starched to within an inch of its life, rustled in protest as my sixty-five-year-old grandmother leaned towards the five-year-old me. “She is the goddess of wealth and good fortune, the consort of Lord Vishnu. The festival of Diwali, the Indian new year, is celebrated in her honour.” My heart beat fast I was introduced to my namesake the goddess Lakshmi. She looked so beautiful—a curvaceous woman, with a serene smile on her face, she was normally clad in a pink saree, and shown standing on a lotus which signifies both purity and fertility. A stream of gold coins gushed from her right palm signifying her generosity on those she was pleased with. Would I one day grow up to be as beautiful as her I wondered, running my fingers through my unruly mop of curly hair.

My first brush with science fiction was thus the adventures of these Indian gods and goddesses as I graduated to reading Amar Chitra Katha. A series of Indian comic books, which introduced me to the treasure trove of Indian mythology.

Flying chariots that sailed soundlessly through air travelling vast distances in the twinkling of an eye; handsome princes teleporting to the aid of their beautiful true loves; swarthy gods who could reduce humans to ashes by dint of opening their third eye; battle scenes with clashes between millions of humans, gods, half-humans-half-animal creatures wielding bows, arrows, swords and those incredible swirling discs which could be hurled with unerring precision at enemies beheading them. I loved the blood, the gore & the romance.

The gods had super powers, but very human hearts. They fell in love, cheated on wives, took mistresses, had affairs, cursed their children, killed in battle and were killed themselves, bequeathed their kingdoms to their children, finally renouncing the material world for the spiritual when they reached middle age.

On the other side of the coin, I lived in the world of Enid Blyton with the Famous Five, Secret Seven and the Five Find-outters—I was there when they tracked down the bad guys, while wishing for a real sip of their lemonade and biting off more than they could chew from the ginger biscuits. I also went to boarding school at Mallory Towers and enjoyed many midnight feasts in the darkened hallways before graduating to join the Legion of Superheroes. I felt the pain of the origins of Batman and my heart fluttered with the arrival of the Man of Steel in my life. His romance with Lois Lane captured my heart, and I loved his double life. If only I too could slip from one skin into another, just like that.

Shortly, I discovered a different kind of Men of Steel. It was love at first sight with the TDH (tall, dark & handsome) Mills & Boon hero. Long summer days were spent dreaming of a knight in shining armor, carrying the torch for a first crush, heart racing at close encounters of the lovable kind, crying over lost love, getting through heart breaks—I couldn’t wait to grow up and experience it all.

Graduating in real life from High School, brought me to Earth with a thud. For the next many years I slaved under the weight of the crushing expectations of Indian academia. A B.Sc in Biochemistry, don’t ask!

All the while longing to hold a pen in my hand and write my bestseller. I left home, wanderlust making me run away from home through the dusty trails of Malaysia, the rain forests of Ubud, the crowded beaches of Kuta, the shimmering sorrow of Siam Reap and the exquisite artistry of Angkor Wat. I arrived at the futuristic city of Hong Kong. Tall sky-eating towers which looked down on little me, the apartments jostled knuckle-to-knuckle, more than seven thousand souls squeezed into each square mile. I couldn’t breathe. My palpitating heart wrung out its broken words and so the author was born.

To the swoosh of Harry Potter’s broomsticks, I swam underwater with Percy Jackson, couldn’t decide if I loved or hated Bella, absolutely adored Katniss, picked up swordplay from Arya Stark and was reborn in a new Avatar.

Author meet thyself.

About Laxmi Hariharan: I am a writer, technophile & dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers. Wanderlust drove me out of my home country India and I travelled across Asia, living in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London. I am inspired by Indian mythology; I draw strength from the stories my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing I love walking in the woods with my soulmate, and indulging my inner geek.

I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or my website.

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Guest Post–Ednah Walters, Author of Betrayed and Giveaway!


Ednah Walters, the author of Betrayed, dropped by the virtual offices to share her favorite books read when she was a teen.  I love asking this question – let’s see what she has to say!

The Books I read when I was a Teen by Ednah Walters

Hahaha, this is a good one. First of all, we didn’t have variety in books like you do today. No designated YA or teen books, so I read grownup books. Then to make matters worse, I went to a boarding school ran by nuns during my middle and high school years, which meant only church approved books.

In my early teens, I was still reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Nuns loved those ones. Then I discovered my older sister’s romance novels—Silhouette, Harlequin and Mills & Boons. I read these during holidays and carried some to school to trade with my friends. Of course, we had to hide them during inspection. Half the time, I used a flashlight to read late into the night after lights were out.

It may surprise you to know that these adult romance books were so tame by comparison to adult romance of today. In fact, they were tamer than the present YA, where the hero and heroine can make out. In my teen years, the adult romance had no kissing until the end of the book. In fact, the hero had to ask for the woman’s hand in marriage first before kissing her.

In my late teens I continued reading romance, but I got into other genres—espionage, medical thrillers, political fiction. So other than Janet Dailey (one of the most successful romance writer during my teens) and Barbara Cartland, who wrote historical romance with dukes and duchesses and the other rakes of the ton, I also read Robert Ludlum (Bourne series), Mario Puzo (Godfather and the Sicilian), Tom Clancy and other male writers. In fact, there were very few female writers in other genres, except romance.

I’m happy I can write and read whatever I want now and our society is more accepting of women writers.

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