Interview with Kathleen Collins, Author of Realm Walker and Giveaway!

Please welcome special guest Kathleen Collins to the virtual offices this morning!

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

[Kathleen Collins] Writer, mother and a wife. Not always in that order. Always looking for my next idea and the best way to implement it.

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

[Kathleen Collins] Juliana Norris is a Realm Walker with the Agency. Essentially, she polices the Altered, or supernatural beings, in her world. She’s content just doing her job until her estranged mate, Thomas Kendrick, returns after a seven-year absence. When a demon starts pursuing her, it threatens everything she holds dear, including Thomas.

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

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Interview with Lorenda Christensen, Author of Never Deal with Dragons

Please welcome special guest Lorenda Christensen to the virtual offices this morning.  Lorenda is here to chat about her new Carina Press release Never Deal with Dragons.

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

[Lorenda Christensen] The editing cruelty begins early, eh? Let’s see…

Accountant by day, writer by night, lover of all things Pepsi and chocolate. And purple.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Never Deal With Dragons?

[Lorenda Christensen] I consider NDWD as a lighthearted urban(ish) fantasy filled with dragons. Sort of a Stephanie Plum meets Dragonriders of Pern with a dash of The West Wing. Confused yet? ?

Never Deal with dragons is a first person story featuring Myrna Banks, a lowly secretary who used to be on the fast track to management, until her ex-boyfriend stole some classified work papers and got her demoted. Now, her ex works for the most powerful dragon lord in the country, and he needs her help.

She takes the job, but only because it gives her a shot to redeem herself and get back on the corporate ladder.

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

[Lorenda Christensen] I’m a sucker for any television show that shows the inner workings of places that normal people would likely label boring. I remember watching a show featuring a female mediator at a law firm, and I thought that it would be really fun to have a heroine in the same type of job, but in an unreal, over the top environment. Huge, scaly, perpetually hungry dragons fit the bill perfectly. ?

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

[Lorenda Christensen] spunky, ambitious, sarcastic

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

[Lorenda Christensen] Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone (the Eva Cassidy version is the best)

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

[Lorenda Christensen] muck boots

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

[Lorenda Christensen] hair gel – Trian’s not one to care about his appearance. Myrna’s lucky if she can get him to run a comb through his hair. Luckily, good genes keep him looking attractively tousled instead of unkempt.

Fake mustaches – Trian might be a spy of sorts, but he’s got better tricks than this up his sleeve.

Plane tickets – Myrna finds it completely adorable, but Trian gets a little antsy when he’s forced to take cross country trips inside a piece of flying metal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Myrna’s greatest regret? [Lorenda Christensen] Wearing her favorite white blouse to work. (Some of those stains will never come out.)

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

[Lorenda Christensen] I adore Katie MacAlister, Darynda Jones, and Janet Evanovich. I love how they can be funny and move the plot along at the same time. I’ve done my best to do the same.

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

[Lorenda Christensen] Childcare, a power outage, and a long-lasting laptop battery. ?

Seriously, I have so much trouble focusing. Facebook, Twiiter, email…ALL THE PRETTY THINGS. It’s just so hard to stare at that blinking cursor when the story isn’t flowing, and put words on the page anyway. I’m like the dog from Disney’s Up that keeps—squirrel! But I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of this self-discipline thing. We’ll see how long it lasts.

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

[Lorenda Christensen] I cannot get enough of Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series. Hunt the Moon was just fantastic, and I am about to gnaw my own fingers off waiting for the release of Tempt the Stars. It’s a wonder I can still type.

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

[Lorenda Christensen] If we’re going way back, I fondly remember Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion series. But if you’re talking about the romance genre, I’d have to go with Jude Deveraux’s The Maiden. A friend of mine loaned me this on a school bus ride. It was my first exposure to the romance genre. What an introduction! It had all the classics—alpha male, a touch of fantasy, and insta-lust. Be still my middle school heart.

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

[Lorenda Christensen] Like most writers, my first love was and always will be reading. Otherwise, I’m hanging out with my husband and kids. And I’ll admit I’m more than a little addicted to Aaron Sorkin or Joss Whedon productions, so there’s more than a little bit of television in there.

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

[Lorenda Christensen] Because I’m still working a day job, Twitter is the place I feel most comfortable popping in and out of. My handle is @LorendaC

I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorlorendachristensen

And if you want to read a lot of boring information about me, my short stay in India, and a bit more about my writing, you can visit my website at http://lorendac.com

Thanks so much for the interview – it was a blast.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link:

About the book:

Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it’s her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her “typical” day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him.

Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he’s been sent by North America’s reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she’ll be stuck with Trian as a partner.

As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

Interview with Victoria Davies, Author of Seducing the Demon Huntress

Please welcome Victoria Davies to the virtual offices this morning! She’s here to chat about her Carina Press release Seducing the Demon Huntress.

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

[Victoria Davies] I’m a travel addict forever bouncing around the globe. Eventually I’ll find somewhere I can settle down but until then, I love country hopping and writing from wherever I end up. The world is too big a place to stay still for long!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Seducing the Demon Huntress?

[Victoria Davies] The novella centers around Kerilyn, a demon hunter who has lost the last of her family. Every Halloween, Arawn, Lord of the Spirits, appears at her gate to tempt her outside. He is both her enemy and her greatest temptation. But as a hunter Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for her. Every demon and spirit, normally locked away in their own realms, are free to wreak havoc on her world. If she leaves her home, she’ll be destroyed in an instant. When Arawn’s brother, the Lord of Demons, kidnaps her niece Kerilyn is faced with her worst nightmare. Leave her niece to certain death or trust Arawn and give up the safety of her home on a Halloween night.

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

[Victoria Davies] I was watched a horror movie about Halloween that used “rules” to survive the night, like checking your candy or wearing a costume. That got my imagination flowing and a did some research on Halloween rules. The first draft of this story was a terrible research dump of arcane Halloween knowledge. But once the idea was in my head, Kerilyn and Arawn seemed to come to life on their own. I wanted a heroine who could mix magic and technology to keep herself safe on Halloween following some of the classic rules and a hero who was tempting enough to draw her away from safety and out into the night.

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

[Victoria Davies] Feisty, wary, loyal.

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

[Victoria Davies] Oh wow, that’s a tough one. Well, I was listening to “Pet” by A Perfect Circle on repeat while writing this story. I think it works quite well for Arawn.

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

[Victoria Davies] A dagger. Seriously, the girl has blades hidden all over her body. She might forget her keys but she’d never be without a knife of some kind.

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

[Victoria Davies] A cell phone. Arawn’s realm is very traditional and he avoids technology like the plague. A roll of life savers. Kerilyn has a sweet tooth but Arawn can’t stand candy. He’d rather eat something savory than sweet. And lastly, a wallet. Arawn doesn’t need anything so mundane with him. With a wave of his hand he can call up any item he wants so why bother carrying things that just waste space?

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

[Victoria Davies] Kerilyn’s greatest regret is not being able to save any of her family. As the young child, she was too small to fight when many of her siblings who lost their lives. As an adult, she was protecting other people’s families when her own were battling to their deaths. She might be strong but she can’t be everywhere at once and that failing has haunted her.

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

[Victoria Davies] I draw inspiration from other writers out there. Gena Showalter is my ultimate favourite. Every time I read one of her books I get inspired to write. I find her style approachable and her characters engaging. I can read her work both for pleasure and for research on how to improve my own craft.

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

[Victoria Davies] Music. It can be one song on repeat (and often is which drives my roommates crazy) but I need to hear something in order to really get into the writing flow. Second, I need some sort of hard candy or gum I can eat that leaves my hands free. I’m a total grazer but if I can have something to chew absentmindedly then I can focus on work and forget about foraging for something sweet. Lastly, my laptop. I have tried carrying a notebook around with me to write whenever I get the chance and absolutely hate it. I not only need a computer to write, but I need my computer with all my settings saved just as I like them. I find it very distracting writing on other people’s computers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Seducing the Demon Huntress?

[Victoria Davies] The internet. How can cat pictures be so annoyingly addictive? When I get into the writing flow I can go for hours without looking up from my keyboard when but the mood doesn’t strike, I can waste days on the internet doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes I have to disconnect my wireless or move somewhere out of range in order to get my word count done.

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

[Victoria Davies] Lexi Blake’s “The Men with the Golden Cuffs.” Usually I’m strictly a paranormal romance reader but this author was recommended to me and wow can she write. I love how she emotionally tortures her characters. I really felt for her heroine and was completely rooting for her happy ending.

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

[Victoria Davies] When I was twelve I went to the library alone and snuck into the romance section. I was so embarrassed to be caught looking at the old bodice rippers that I grabbed one at random from the shelf and ran to the check out. It was Virginia Henly’s “The Raven and the Rose.” That was the first romance I ever read and it sucked me in completely. After that I was a goner. I went back the next day and took out armfuls of romances. I’ve loved the genre ever since.

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

[Victoria Davies] When I’m not writing…not writing? It’s hard to think of any time I’m not writing or thinking about writing. I even dream about my characters. But I suppose if I had to pick something completely unrelated to the writing world I’d say I like to make music. Anything I can get my hands on will do, really. I have a drum kit set up in my basement that takes the brunt of all my frustrations. If I’m needing something a little more melodic I head for the piano or guitar.

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

[Victoria Davies] I update my website often at www.victoriadavies.ca. I’m also on facebook at www.facebook.com/victoria.davies. And if you are a fan of goodreads, I’m on there as well www.goodreads.com/Victoria_Davies. Of course, I love to get emails from readers and can always be reached at contact@victoriadavies.ca.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!

Purchase Link:

About the book:

Trick or treat, survive until the night’s complete.

For most people Halloween is a night of candy, costumes and revelry but for Kerilyn, it’s the most dangerous night of the year. Hailing from a line of demon hunters, Kerilyn’s family has long been hated by the ruling lords of the Netherworld. On All Hallow’s Eve, the deadly brothers are released from their realm, along with their subjects, the spirits and the demons. Like every good hunter, Kerilyn fortifies her home with spells and tricks to keep her safe. But there is one man no spell can protect her heart from.

Arawn, Lord of the Spirits, has appeared at her fence every Halloween for years. While the handsome lord may turn her head with his heated looks and seductive words, Kerilyn knows without a doubt that should she ever invite him in, her life would be forfeit. But when his brother, the Lord of the Demons, kidnaps her niece, Kerilyn must leave her sanctuary. Now she has a choice. Can the man she’s dreamed of for years be trusted, or will the spirit lord help his brother destroy her?

 

About the author:

Born in Toronto, Canada, I’ve spent years moving from country to country. As an elementary school teacher it is easy to pick up and take your life on the road. Of course, my trusty laptop comes with me wherever I end up! I try to draw inspiration for my stories from all the interesting places I visit. While one day I’m sure I’ll find one country to call home, but for now I move wherever the wind takes me and write every step of the way.

Interview with Alison Packard, Author of Love in the Afternoon

Alison Packard is celebrating the release of her new Carina Press romance, Love in the Afternoon.  As a reformed soap junky, I am delighted to be able to chat with her.  Please welcome her today.

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

[Alison Packard] Book loving introvert, daughter, sister, aunt and author of contemporary romance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Love in the Afternoon?

[Alison Packard] Love in the Afternoon is a contemporary romance set in Hollywood where Sean Barrett and Kayla Maxwell, two actors on the country’s most popular daytime drama, fall in love when their characters are paired together on the show. Soon Sean and Kayla are living in their own soap opera, complete with a jealous co-worker, a controlling father, and a mysterious stalker who just might want Kayla dead.

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

[Alison Packard] As a long time viewer of soaps, I’d often wondered if the actors on the shows I watched ever fell for each other in real life. And with that thought, the idea for this novel was born.

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

[Alison Packard] Talented, genuine and humble

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

[Alison Packard] Sean loves to surf, so I have to go with Catch a Wave, by the Beach Boys.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Kayla won’t leave the house without.

[Alison Packard] Sunglasses. There’s a lot of sunshine in Los Angeles.

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

[Alison Packard] A photograph of his father, a mirror on the ceiling, stuffed animals

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

[Alison Packard]  Sean’s biggest regret is not carrying out his mother’s last request of him.

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

[Alison Packard] Probably every romance author whose books I’ve ever read! LOL. I’m a huge fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Julie James and Rachel Gibson so I’d have to say these marvelous authors have most definitely been an influence.

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

[Alison Packard] My computer, silence, and snacks (preferably chocolate).

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

[Alison Packard] Wow. That’s a tough one. I haven’t had a chance to read as much as I used to, but the last book I literally couldn’t put down was T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton. I’ve read all the previous books in her Kinsey Milhone series and in my opinion this one was, by far, the best.

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

[Alison Packard] I’ve been turned on to reading since I was a kid so there isn’t any one book that I can give you made me think, hey, I want to do more of this reading thing. From the very beginning, reading has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life.

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

[Alison Packard] Besides reading and writing, I enjoy watching movies and sports (San Francisco Giants, 2012 World Champions…just sayin’), shopping and spending time with my friends and family.

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

[Alison Packard] Readers can connect with me at:

My website: www.alisonpackard.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alleyfics

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alison-Packard-Official

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order Love in the Afternoon from your favorite book seller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

pKayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image—and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime’s most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend.

Sean Barrett, the son of an influential, award-winning actor, is the hottest soap star in the country. Paired on-screen with the talented and beautiful Kayla Maxwell, Sean is determined to keep her at arm’s length, burned before by fame-seeking actresses who had no qualms about using him to get to his famous father.

But when Kayla receives threatening letters, her past as a scream queen seems to be coming back to haunt her. Succumbing to an attraction neither one of them can deny, Sean and Kayla must face down her stalker and their own personal demons before trusting what they both feel—a love that lasts long after the cameras stop rolling.

Review: An Infamous Marriage by Susanna Fraser

 

 

Title:  An Infamous Marriage

Author: Susanna Fraser

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Northumberland, 1815

At long last, Britain is at peace, and General Jack Armstrong is coming home to the wife he barely knows. Wed for mutual convenience, their union unconsummated, the couple has exchanged only cold, dutiful letters. With no more wars to fight, Jack is ready to attempt a peace treaty of his own.

Elizabeth Armstrong is on the warpath. She never expected fidelity from the husband she knew for only a week, but his scandalous exploits have made her the object of pity for years. Now that he’s back, she has no intention of sharing her bed with him—or providing him with an heir—unless he can earn her forgiveness. No matter what feelings he ignites within her…

Jack is not expecting a spirited, confident woman in place of the meek girl he left behind. As his desire intensifies, he wants much more than a marriage in name only. But winning his wife’s love may be the greatest battle he’s faced yet.


Review:

I enjoyed An Infamous Marriage quite a bit, due to the strength of the protagonists.  The first quarter of the book was wonderful, and the couple wasn’t even on the same continent!  With the emphasis on the war against Bonaparte at the end of the story, I thought that the book covered new ground, too.  I liked that we were given a first hand account of both Jack and Elizabeth’s wartime experience, fretting with them both as they struggled to maintain a sense of calm amidst the chaos surrounding them.  Elizabeth had an especially difficult time, as she waited for word from the front that Jack was kept from harm’s way.  Their parting before he rode into battle was heartbreaking; having caught her husband in a dreadful lie, Elizabeth’s hurt frothed to the surface, making her unable to see him off with anything but bitterness.  While his behavior was unbecoming of the man of honor he claimed to be, it was Elizabeth who suffered most from their harsh parting.  I felt so bad for her, too.  Jack really had behaved like a cad, and his window of opportunity to confess his crimes had long closed.

After her husband of a week falls tragically and terminally ill, he forces a promise from his best friend to marry Elizabeth and keep her safe.  Unable to refuse his deathbed request, both Elizabeth and Jack find themselves married shortly after Giles’ funeral.  Their neighbors are aghast, but Jack has to return to Canada, where he serves in the army, so there is no time for mourning.  He’s gone for five long years, and at first, Elizabeth finds herself falling for the man she married.  His letters are a delight to her, and she cherishes each piece of Jack that he shares through his missives.  Then a meddlesome neighbor shares some gossip from Canada with her; Jack has made quite a reputation for himself, and it’s not a good one.  He’s a rake and, despite being newly wed, he is engaging in one affair after another, without even bothering to be discrete about his activities.  Elizabeth’s world is shattered.  How could he be so cruel, and humiliate her without even a shred of remorse?

Jack does behave like an idiot.  I don’t know why he thought word of his indiscretions would never reach his wife.  It’s not like he was in Canada all by himself, and there was nobody around to notice him flaunting his mistresses about.  When Elizabeth confronts his behavior when he returns home after a five year absence, she is angry that he’s caused her so much grief.  She gives him the opportunity to come clean and confess all of his sins.  When he insists that he’s a man of his word and he isn’t a liar, he only cleans half of the slate.  Keeping one secret from her, one that embarrasses him, he leaves the door open for  future heartbreak for both of them.  I could not believe that an army man, a man who had faced death on the battlefield, would chicken out when given the opportunity to clear the air between himself and his wife.  Elizabeth would have been furious, rightfully so, but she also would have forgiven him, in time.  By lying to her – oh, dear, I knew that wasn’t going to end well.

Even though I wanted to dislike Jack, I couldn’t.  He sincerely felt awful about what he did, and he lacked the courage to confess.  I was in an agony of suspense as I wondered how Elizabeth would find out what a cad he had been.  The pacing of this story is leisurely, as both Jack and Elizabeth’s point of view is explored.  I enjoyed glimpses of both of their lives, both in peacetime and war.  At the start of the book, I was unsure if I would buy into their HEA, but by the time I reached the last page, I was convinced that, while both characters had  flaws and lapses of common sense (epically, on Jack’s part), they believed enough in each other and their future together to put those painful memories in the past.

Grade:  B/B+

Review copy provided by author

Interview with Susanna Fraser, Author of An Infamous Marriage and Giveaway!

Susanna Fraser dropped by the virtual offices today to chat about her new book, The Infamous Marriage.   Comment for a chance to win a digital copy of The Infamous Marriage and a gift certificate after reading the interview!

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

[Susanna Fraser] Total history geek. Love books, cooking, singing (alto), baseball (Mariners), football (Auburn), Nathan Fillion, and the Duke of Wellington.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about An Infamous Marriage?

[Susanna Fraser] Gladly! It’s the story of a couple who on the surface seem terribly ill-suited–a plain young woman who’s barely traveled 50 miles from her birthplace in her 25 years of life and a dashing, handsome womanizer of an army officer who loves his varied, world-roving profession. And yet they get married the week they meet, because she’s his best friend’s impoverished widow, desperately in need of a home, while he’s equally in need of a caretaker for his ailing mother during his long absences serving king and country. Then, when he comes home in 1815 after a 5-year separation, they have to figure out how to make the best of each other.

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

[Susanna Fraser] As we all know from multiple real-life examples, powerful men often make horrible husbands. Specifically, Regency England’s greatest military and naval figures, Wellington and Nelson, both made their wives miserable. Despite how much I admire the gentlemen, I can’t help but pity Lady Nelson and the Duchess of Wellington. So I decided to take the vicarious revenge of creating a high-ranking officer–Jack starts the story as a lieutenant-colonel and ends as a major-general–marrying him to an outwardly meek and plain woman, and making him discover her hidden depths.

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

[Susanna Fraser] Loyal, persistent, and strong. Though, note that “persistent” can also mean “stubborn,” while “strong” can become “unyielding.”

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

[Susanna Fraser] “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies

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

[Susanna Fraser] I think “inspirations” is a better word than “influences,” but Jane Austen, Dorothy Sayers, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jacqueline Carey, Bernard Cornwell, and Patrick O’Brian. And in other media, Joss Whedon–though sometimes he drives me crazy with the most gratuitous character deaths this side of George RR Martin–and Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra fame.

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

[Susanna Fraser] A whiteboard, a notebook, and a computer.

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

[Susanna Fraser] I’ve read a lot of good books this year, but one that especially stands out is Catching Jordan, by Miranda Kenneally. It’s a YA romance about a girl who happens to be the best high school quarterback in Tennessee, and it perfectly captures the football culture I grew up in. Seattle is my home now, and I’m a happy Pacific Northwest city girl, but I was born and raised in Alabama, and my inner Southerner shows up more during football season than any other time.

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

[Susanna Fraser] King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry. I was a horse-crazy child, and my edition of the book had the most beautiful illustrations.

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

[Susanna Fraser] Cook, sing, go to Mariners games, and spend my fall Saturdays watching SEC football. (War Eagle!) Though the way Auburn is playing this year, I haven’t had the heart to tune in as much as normal.

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

[Susanna Fraser] Website: http://www.susannafraser.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susanna.fraser
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/susannafraser/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/susannafraser

I’ll be giving one copy of An Infamous Marriage to a commenter on this post in your choice of e-book format, and at the end of the tour I’ll be giving away a grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to their choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s Books to one commenter on the tour as a whole. You get one entry per blog tour stop you comment upon, so check out my blog for the whole schedule! If you wish to be entered in the drawing, include your email address formatted as yourname AT yourhost DOT com.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can see a list of all of the blogs participating in Susanna’s blog tour by visiting her website here.  Don’t forget to leave a comment below to be entered for a chance to win a copy of An Infamous Marriage!

You can order a copy of The Infamous Marriage from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.

 

About the book:

Northumberland, 1815

At long last, Britain is at peace, and General Jack Armstrong is coming home to the wife he barely knows. Wed for mutual convenience, their union unconsummated, the couple has exchanged only cold, dutiful letters. With no more wars to fight, Jack is ready to attempt a peace treaty of his own.

Elizabeth Armstrong is on the warpath. She never expected fidelity from the husband she knew for only a week, but his scandalous exploits have made her the object of pity for years. Now that he’s back, she has no intention of sharing her bed with him—or providing him with an heir—unless he can earn her forgiveness. No matter what feelings he ignites within her…

Jack is not expecting a spirited, confident woman in place of the meek girl he left behind. As his desire intensifies, he wants much more than a marriage in name only. But winning his wife’s love may be the greatest battle he’s faced yet.

You can learn more about Susanna by clicking here.

Interview with Jacqueline Battisti, Author of The Guardian of Bastet

Jacqueline Battisti is the author of The Guardian of Bastet, a new urban fantasy release from Carina Press.  Jacqueline dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and to chat about her book.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] I have two children who are very outgoing and keep me on my toes. In between all their activities, I try to write urban fantasy novels, work on marketing and read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Guardian of Bastet?

[Jacqueline Battisti ] The Guardian of Bastet is about Trinity Morrigan-Caine. An independent woman, successful veterinarian and monthly housekitty who is faced with a life that becomes more complicated when events spiral out of control around her and then destiny throws her in the middle of it. She isn’t perfect, she isn’t experienced, but she is determined.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] By watching my cat and wondering what it would be like to be her for a day? What problems would that entail? Then I started envisioning where someone like me would work, etc. and the character was born. I then researched different urban legends from Rochester, NY and found the stories of Mount Hope Municipal cemetery, news reports of demon summoning, and rituals performed within the Devil’s bowl, and I took those stories and rolled with it.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] Snarky, Determined, loyal

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Gordon would never have in his bedroom?

[Jacqueline Battisti ] Gordon would never have a Teddy Bear, anything pink, or a television. He prefers other activities in the bedroom. *wink.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] Tough choice. Either The Warrior by Scandal or Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat from the Aristocats.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] (1) My husband, (2) Different scenic locations around my home in Rush. (One of Rochester’s suburbs). (3) Watching family drama around the holiday season and then some. Some of Trinity’s family dynamics come from years of family get togethers.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] My laptop, my posterboards, and no interruptions.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong. She ended the Otherworld series with a bang. I love it and have since the very first book.

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. (I was a BIG reader growing up.)

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] I still LOVE to read. Big fan of Ilonya Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong, Laurel K. Hamilton, and many more. I am also a multitasker. I like to read while eating chocolate and drinking coffee. :)

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

[Jacqueline Battisti ] I am on Facebook, Twitter@jmbattisti, Goodreads, & LinkedIn. I have an email off my website: www.jacquelinebattisti.com and I try to attend RT Booklovers Convention when finances allow :) It’s a GREAT time!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

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About the book:

Cat-shifter Trinity Morrigan-Caine has discovered a demon is killing supernaturals. Magically challenged, she has every intention of letting handsome Alpha werewolf Gordon Barnes handle it. But after a dying vampire gifts Trinity a mystical amulet, she is drawn into the fray as the legendary Guardian of Bastet, a warrior born when the need arises.

Though Trinity initially rejects the role, she warms to the idea when Gordon agrees to train her—and their passion for each other grows as he teaches her to embrace her animal instincts.

As she begins to accept her destiny and believe in her growing powers, Trinity realizes the danger is even closer to home than she ever imagined—and she and Gordon are going to have to face the demon in a fight to the death…

Author Bio:                         

Jacqueline Battisti was raised in Little Falls, New York where she met and married her high school sweetheart. They have two children and live near Rochester, New York where she is a stay at home mom and writer of the paranormal and urban fantasy of her vivid imagination.

Her first novel, The Guardian of Bastet, is being published by Carina Press August 20, 2012. She is currently working on a sequel as well as a dystopian paranormal.

Her life has taken her from the trials and tribulations of working as an administrative assistant at various companies, back to college as an adult student, and then into the adventurous world of motherhood.

Jacqueline began writing seriously in 2007 after attempting NaNoWriMo for the first time. It was the first time she had disciplined herself to finish a novel. From there, her supportive critique group was formed and attended, and then she attended RT Booklovers Convention in 2009. Jacqueline attended their aspiring authors workshops and met with many talented writers who inspired her to continue writing.

Flash forward to today: Jacqueline has two children who are very outgoing and keep her on her toes. Cub Scouts, Daisy Scouts, play dates, school activities for the kids…then writing, reading current authors, following blogs, facebook, household chores, gardening and exhaustion for mom. Add in a new puppy, two furry feline children and fish and you have the craziness that is the Battisti household.

www.jacquelinebattisti.com

https://www.facebook.com/jacquelinebattisti.author

Twitter:@jmbattisti

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