Review: Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles)

Author:  Alyxandra Harvey

Drake Chronicles #5

Digital – Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange’s fight with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets and forbidden magic put all of the Drakes in danger.
The POVs are: Solange, Lucy and Nicholas.


Review:

I love the Drake Chronicles, and if you had told me a few years ago that I would be eating up a YA series about vampires, I would have wondered what you had been smoking.  The vampire craze never made sense to me, and I find other paranormal beings much more compelling.  Give me a good zombie story, with lots of screaming and running for your life, and I’m happy. Give me a vampire story where the vamps aren’t romantic leads but terrifying, ruthless killers, and I might have been interested.  But a story about a large brood of single, sexy vampire brothers (and one very confused sister), and I’m, like, yawn, so I have to thank Bloomsbury for sending the first book in this series to me, because they got me totally hooked.  Thanks, Bloomsbury!!

Blood Moon picks up right were the previous installment, Bleeding Hearts, left off.  Solange is losing her battle against her feral nature, and not even her BFF, Lucy, is safe in her presence.  Solange is so unstable that  her strong family doesn’t know what to do or how to control her.  She lashes out at everyone, and she falls under the sway of Constantine, a powerful vampire with hidden goals of his own.  When Nicholas goes missing, not even his sudden disappearance can mend Solange’s broken relationships long enough to find her brother.

I loved this installment, right up until the non-ending.  That is non-ending number two for the series, and it’s something that tries my patience.  While I am happy that there will be another book in the series, stopping this one almost in mid-sentence is disappointing.  Even when a book is part of a series, I still expect each installment to have a beginning and an ending.  I expect minor story arcs to get wrapped up, leaving the bigger plot thread for another day.  It’s hard to recommend a book to my friends that just slams into a brick wall and ends with a “Well, see ya next time!”  The momentum is lost by the time I pick up the next book in a series, and there’s an awkward period of adjustment as I struggle to remember who everyone is and what everything is about.  I would rather wait until all of the pieces are released before wading into the thick of things, and I usually advise my friends to wait until a series is complete.  Sorry, that’s just the way I roll.  I refuse to read another George R R Martin book until A Song Ice and Fire is finished, because I hate the years and years gaps between his books, and that is probably my favorite series.

Blood Moon examines the relationship between Lucy and Solange, returning to the series’ roots.  The action starts off with Lucy having to taser an ever more unstable Solange.  It seems that even being her best friend is no guarantee of her safety.   With  Kieran bleeding to death after a ravenous Solange can’t resist feasting on his rich, enticing blood, Lucy is desperate to get him the medical attention he needs, as well as keeping herself from becoming a vampire snack.  The constant push and pull between the girls was compelling; Solange doesn’t want to keep striking out at Lucy, but she just can’t help herself.  With Constantine there to encourage her drinking fresh from the vein blood, she is spiraling ever faster out of control.  Her hunger drives her, and she can’t quench it.  And, oh, yeah, she’s hearing a voice in her head, one that urges her to think of no one but herself and to hell with the consequences.

I wish that Nicholas and Lucy had more page time together, because they are my favorite couple.  Alas, he’s abducted, making  cuddle time impossible.  Lucy’s frantic efforts to find him are in vain, and I loved the scene on the school roof, which has her screaming out her fear, rage, and helplessness into the night air.  Poor Lucy!  I could feel her emotional pain, and I think I, too, would have felt so frustrated that I would have screamed uncontrollably until my eyes bled.  For a girl who is accustomed to taking charge, to acting to save her friends, her helplessness was agonizing.  For the first time in the series, she gives in to her fear.  There is nothing she can do to save Nicholas except wait for him to be found, and that does not agree with her heart, or her personality, one little bit.

I enjoyed this outing with the Drakes right up until the non-ending, and if I had known about it, I would have held off until January, when Blood Prophesy hits stores.   I am by nature impatient, so I hate these waits to see how all of the cliffhangers will play out.  I’d rather hold off until the final book is released, especially for a series that I love, instead of getting annoyed by these dreaded non-endings.  How do you feel about cliffhangers?  Love ‘em? Hate ‘em?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts about them.

Grade:   B- (minor deduction for the cliffhanger ending)

Review copy purchased from Amazon  (I also received a finished copy from Bloomsbury after I purchased a digital version from Amazon.  I will be giving this away soon, so check back if you’re interested!)

Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop! Win Shift by Kim Curran!

Welcome to my  Stuck in a Good Book giveaway,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Valerie from Stuck in Books.  This hop runs from September 20th to September 25th, and you can win lots of new reads.  Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I recently read and enjoyed Kim Curran’s SHIFT, and I like you will, too! 

When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.

 

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Just fill in the widget below for your chance to win.  Earn extra entries by following.  US shipping addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Laura Bickle, Author of The Hallowed Ones

Laura Bickle is a favorite around the virtual offices, and I’m always delighted when she has time to drop in for a chat.  Today we are going to talk about her soon to be released young adult title The Hallowed Ones.  This is a scary glimpse at the end of the world!  I enjoyed this thrilling, frightening, exciting read, and I wanted to ask Laura a few questions about it, so let’s see what she has to say.

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

[Laura Bickle] Cat-rancher, Tarot enthusiast, and sometime salamander chaser. Writing urban fantasy and YA as Laura Bickle and Alayna Williams.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Hallowed Ones?

[Laura Bickle] Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there…and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: no one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?

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

[Laura Bickle] I was thinking about what would happen if the end of the world came…I know this is a common thing to think about on an everyday basis! But that’s part of the joy in being a writer. I get to think about odd things.

I was wondering who would be best-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster. It occurred to me that the Amish would be uniquely equipped to survive. They are incredibly self-sufficient and are not dependent upon things we take for granted in our world, things like electricity and cars.

I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like. And that’s where Katie came from.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you research Amish culture and traditions?

[Laura Bickle] I spent some time visiting the Amish settlement near where I live. I also did a good deal of reading…there are a lot of great books out there that look at the Plain way of life from a sociological perspective. National Geographic has also done a number of very good documentaries about the Amish. Many of the ideas were very foreign to me. For example, the Amish do not wish to be connected to the outside world, so power lines, phone lines, and electricity are not used. That kind of voluntary isolation is fascinating to me. The only parallel I can draw in my own life is when storms came through our area and we were without phone, cable, electricity, and internet for a week. It was very still and very peaceful.

I’m acutely conscious that I can’t know or understand everything about the Amish, never having lived in an Amish community. But I learned enough to develop an immense respect for the Amish way of life.

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

[Laura Bickle] Katie is strong, quiet, and resolute. She’s a young woman growing into her power.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things would Elijah never have in his room?

[Laura Bickle] Hmmm…Elijah is the boy Katie has grown up with, who she expects to marry someday. Elijah is something of a straight arrow. He’d never have the keys to a car, a secret stash of Star Wars action figures, or anything with a remote control.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Alex would never have in his pockets?

[Laura Bickle] Alex is an injured man Katie finds outside the boundaries of her community. Katie brings him inside her barn to recover, but can’t be sure what kind of evil he’s bringing in with him.

Alex is a graduate student in anthropology. You wouldn’t find any of the following in his pockets: more than twenty bucks, a comb, or directions to the nearest church.

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

[Laura Bickle] Hmmm. Katie doesn’t spend much time listening to popular music, but she was caught by her father humming “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones while milking the cows.

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

[Laura Bickle] My herd of cats would say they’re my greatest influences. There’s always one or two draped on me while I’m trying to type, trying to hit the delete key.

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

[Laura Bickle] Quiet, Coca-Cola, and someplace to sprawl out.

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

[Laura Bickle] FEVER by Lauren DeStefano. Her voice is so incredibly powerful – I can’t wait for the third book in the Chemical Garden trilogy. Both WITHER and FEVER were books that lingered with me for a long time after I finished – I love it when a story takes up real estate in my head and haunts me like that.

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

[Laura Bickle] My all-time favorite is Robin McKinley’s HERO AND THE CROWN. I read it when I was a pre-teen, and fell in love with fantasy ever after. It was the first book I’d read that had a female protagonist who slew her own dragons. I was hooked.

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

[Laura Bickle] In my day job, I work in a library. I get to pet all the new books and come home with armloads of books to read for research and pleasure.
My husband and I are amateur astronomers. We were excited to finally get a break in the cloud cover to see a bit of the Perseids meteor shower this year.

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

[Laura Bickle] I love to connect with readers! My website is www.laurabickle.com. I blog about nerdy stuff like my action figure collection at http://laurabickle.com/category/blog/ I’m also on Twitter and Facebook.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order The Hallowed Ones from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.

Interview with Jill Archer, Author of Dark Light of Day

 

Jill Archer is the author of Dark Light of Day, an urban fantasy about a law student who is training to represent demons.  I think the premise is brilliant!  I don’t know what’s scarier – lawyers or demons! (Just kidding!)  Jill dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and to chat about her new book.

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

[Jill Archer] Eclectic night owl who loves Sour Patch kids, Twizzlers, organic salads, Vitamix smoothies, my Keurig coffee brewer, wine, books and movies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Dark Light of Day?

[Jill Archer] In a nutshell, Dark Light of Day is about Noon Onyx, a first year law student who is being trained to represent demons. But the story’s as much about Noon’s magical and romantic struggles as it is about her academic ones. I should also mention that, even though the book is considered "urban fantasy," the setting is not contemporary. The story mostly takes place in New Babylon, a city with a circa 1900′s technology level that was built on top of the ancient battlefield of Armageddon in a country called Halja.

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

[Jill Archer] Noon Onyx is very loosely inspired by the librarian Evelyn "Evie" Carnahan from the movie, The Mummy.

I used to be a lawyer. A few years ago, I was at a writer’s group event and sat next to a librarian during one of the lunches. We each commiserated with the other about how dull we felt our day jobs were, a feeling each of us couldn’t believe the other had. It led to a discussion about Evie’s character and I got the idea to see if I could somehow create a similarly bookish lawyer character who lived in some sort of "otherworld."

Around the same time, I came across my old copy of Scott Turow’s ONE L ("the turbulent true story of a first year at Harvard Law School") and thought, "Hey, how cool would it be to write a story about a first year law student who is being trained to represent demons?"

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

[Jill Archer] Weaving together the sub-plots. Dark Light of Day has fantasy, romance, and mystery elements. I tried to tie the sub-plots together with common themes, motifs, and/or plot nexuses.

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

[Jill Archer] Strong, smart, and kind

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Ari would never have in his pocket?

[Jill Archer] A cell phone, a match, and a flower. (No boutonnieres for Ari either!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Noon’s single most prized possession?

[Jill Archer] Despite her privileged background, Noon’s not that into material possessions. She does love her collection of high necked sweaters, cloaks, and wraps though because they allow her to hide the telltale "demon mark" of a waning magic user.

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

[Jill Archer] My love of nature, forests, and flowers helped me to create two of the main types of magic in the book: waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery magic that’s used to control demons, and waxing magic, the soft, creative, nurturing magic that’s used to grow gardens and heal people. The idea evolved from my fascination with the duality of nature’s forces (forest fires versus summer blooms, tsunamis versus spring rains).

Other creative influences: demons and deities from around the world, Christian mythology, pagan holidays, even legal concepts. I played fast and loose with all of them. I tried to be respectful of my sources, while at the same time staying true to my primary goal, which was to write an entertaining story. I thought it would be interesting to create a world within which the traditional sides of bad and good were more muddied than they are in our world.

I’ve also been influenced by other authors. I admire writers such as Lois McMaster Bujold, S.M. Stirling, Colleen McCullough, Naomi Novik, and Elizabeth Peters. I would never, and could never, emulate their style, but just reading their work and knowing there are writers out there writing such fantastic novels influences me to put out the best work that I can. When I read the work of someone I admire, it’s an invigorating feeling!

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

[Jill Archer] An idea, a computer, and coffee. :-)

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

[Jill Archer] The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan. Last summer, I attended a writer’s workshop presented by him and Simone Elkeles. It was tearfully funny, but the point is the moment David described that book, I knew I would like it. I left the session and went straight to the temporary bookstore that had been set up in the hotel for the conference and bought it. When I finally read it, I didn’t just like it — I loved it.

I love that the story is told out of order. I love that it’s not told in chapters but in dictionary entries like "kerfuffle" and "cocksure." I love its ending, its humor, and its honesty. But most of all, I love how the reader has to work a little to get it. It’s not a story that’s spoon fed to you. And yet, it’s very light and easy to digest. You can read it in a night if you want or easily before bed over the course of a few. It was in my TBR pile for a year, but it was worth the wait.

If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien. My fourth grade teacher read it aloud to the class that year and I was hooked from that point on. What a story! I just read it to my kids this past year and then we all watched the movie. So fun!

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

[Jill Archer] I like to hike and bike, although I don’t have as much time to do those things as I would like. Of course, I love to read. I also love to watch movies and, occasionally, TV (I’ve been known to go on a streaming binge if I find a series I particularly like). I love to hang out with friends and family. We take a lot of day trips. My husband is a recreational pilot and we have a small Cessna that we fly around in on the weekends.

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

[Jill Archer] I have a website and blog through WordPress, which people can find at www.jillarcher.com. I blog about books, movies, interesting people I’ve met, day tripping in our little Cessna, and miscellaneous things I find interesting. Although it’s time consuming, I enjoy blogging. I like to write shorter pieces on a variety of topics just to keep things fresh and I love connecting with other people who have blogs on subjects that interest me. Recently, I experimented with a summer romance guest blog series and that’s been tons of fun! I’m also on Twitter (@archer_jill) and Facebook.

I appreciate your interest in Noon Onyx and Dark Light of Day. Thank you, Julie, for interviewing me for Manga Maniac Cafe. Best wishes and happy reading to you and your readers!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Dark Light of Day can be pre-ordered from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below:

Interview with Kim Curran, Author of Shift

 

Kim Curran is the author of Shift, one of launch releases for Angry Robot’s new YA imprint, Strange Chemistry.  Kim dropped by the virtual offices to induce herself and to chat about her new paranormal thriller.

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

[Kim Curran] Lives in pyjamas, wants to be a ninja. Hopeful, fretful, loyal. Laughs a lot. Hugs a lot. And (according to a 10-year old) is well cool.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Shift?

[Kim Curran] Shift is about a teenage boy called Scott Tyler who realises he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power’s going to be really cool. But as he comes to terms with it, he realises that changing his choices can have terrible unforeseeable consequences. Consequences that could unravel his whole life. He’s helped along the way by the mysterious Aubrey Jones. Although he’s never sure if she’s getting him out of trouble or deeper into it.

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

[Kim Curran] I was sitting on a bus on my way back from work one day, looking at the people all bustling home, thinking about all the choices they’ve made in their lives. At the same time I was thinking about a book I’d just read on quantum physics. And bang. The idea for Shift came to me. What if you could change your decisions, in the same way light can ‘shift’ from particle to wave?

As for the characters, I’d just finished a (trunk) novel written 3rd person with a female lead. So I decided I wanted to try writing 1st person. And for some reason Scott Tyler’s voice came to me incredibly clearly. On the surface he’s a bundle of anxieties and yet he has this inner strength. So maybe it was like a reversal of myself (I’m strong on the outside, wobbly on the inside!). I scribbled the prologue in a taxi on my way to work one day, and it’s remained virtually unchanged since. And as I had a male protagonist, I had to have a really cool female opposite, just to get him into trouble. So Aubrey Jones was born. She’s the kind of girl I always wished I could be when I was a teenager, but never was.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Scott?

[Kim Curran] Self-depreciating. Kind. Strong.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Aubrey would never have in her purse?

[Kim Curran] I’m not all together sure Aubrey would have a purse. But in her bag, she would never carry anything she might perceive to be too ‘girlie’. So nothing pink or glittery. She probably doesn’t carry much money in there either, as she’s not very good with it.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Scott’s single most prized possession?

[Kim Curran] Oh, good question. Probably a vintage, still-the-box, action figure of some kind.

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

[Kim Curran] I’m hugely influenced by films and comic books. I’ve also been creatively shaped (for good or bad) by working in advertising for 15 years. So I’m always thinking about the audience and how to connect with them – and fast. As I say, not always a good thing, but there you go.  As for writers, we’d be here all day, but the few that pop into my head right now are: Lauren Buekes, Anthony Horrowitz, Patrick Ness, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Sergei Lukyanenko, Camus.

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

[Kim Curran] I need very little. Something to write with (my MacBook Air or my Waterman pen) and something to write on! Other than that, a comfortable chair.  I can write anywhere: at home on my own, in cafes, on buses. In fact, most of the first draft of Shift was written on a bus.

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

[Kim Curran] Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway. For me it’s close to being perfect. Hugely fun and yet astoundingly well written. It’s rare, I find, that literary books are so joyful in their storytelling.

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

[Kim Curran] Probably Roald Dahl’s BFG. I read it when I was about eight and then devoured all of his other books. That was when I realised I was a ‘reader’. And I never stopped.

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

[Kim Curran] Unsurprisingly, I like to read. I find it hard to read when I’m writing as I pick up voices too easily. So when I’m not writing I try and catch up on my huge TBR pile. I also love coffee with friends, watching movies and the usual stuff. I used to fence a lot, but I’ve recently hurt my hip, so I’m looking for a new sport to get into. Capoeira maybe?

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

[Kim Curran] I’m on Twitter, far too much twitter.com/KimeCurran, I have a Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Kim-Curran/222018584554942 and they can email me via my site www.kimcurran.co.uk

[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!

You can order Shift from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital

Feed Your Kindle with Cheap YA Reads!

Here are some cheap reads to feed your Kindle or Kindle app!  Today’s reads are Young Adult PRN.

Spectral by Shannon Duffy – $2.99

That day I knew for sure. I’d lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe.
I finally knew what the glow meant.

I was a freak and Joshua was going to die.

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human.

Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?


Need by Carrie Jones – $3.99 – I loved this book and enjoyed the entire series.

Pain shoots through my head. Fireworks. Explosions. All inside my brain. The white world goes dark and I know what’s about to happen.

Zara White suspects there’s a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She’s also obsessed with phobias. And it’s true, she hasn’t exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane…but Zara’s pretty sure her mom just can’t deal with her right now.

She couldn’t be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara’s overactive imagination. In fact, he’s still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There’s something not right – not human – in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you’d have to fear.


 

Forbidden (Book 1, The Arotas Trilogy) by Amy Miles – .99

Roseline Enescue didn’t ask to become an Immortal, to have all of the guests at her wedding slaughtered, or be forced into marriage with a man whose lust for blood would one day ignite the vampire legend.

Willing to risk everything for a chance at a normal life, Roseline escapes to America. Terrified her husband Vladimir will find her, Roseline enrolls as a senior in Chicago’s elite Rosewood Prep school. Mingling with humans is the last place he would look for her.

But her transition into the human world isn’t easy. Mortal men flock after her while cutthroat girls plot her demise. Yet Roseline remains relatively unfazed by the petty hysteria until she falters into the arms of Gabriel Marston, reluctant MVP quarterback, unwilling ladies man, and sensitive artist in hiding.

Troubled by the bond that pulls her towards the mortal boy, Roseline tries to ignore him, but Gabriel is persistent. As their lives entwine, Roseline begins to realize that Gabriel is much more than he appears. His ability to toss a football the entire length of the field and grind concrete into dust pales in comparison to the glowing blue cross tattoo that mysteriously appears on his forearms.

Despite the forbidden bond between them, Roseline can’t help wondering what Gabriel is: He’s not human. He’s not Immortal. So just what is he?


Stained (YA Paranormal Romance) (Stained Series) by Ella James – .99

After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia’s home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie – Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.

Interview with Linda Grimes, Author of In a Fix

 

Linda Grimes is the author of In A Fix, a new Urban Fantasy release from Tor Books.  It will be hitting store shelves next week, and in the meantime, Linda dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and chat about her book.

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

[Linda Grimes] My tweetography, huh? Okay, let’s see … "Linda Grimes is a smartass writer of light urban fantasy who will do anything (except take her clothes off) for a laugh."

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about In a Fix?

[Linda Grimes] Yes, I can.

Oh, wait … you want me to actually do it? Okay, I’ll give you the short and long of it.

Short version:

Ciel Halligan, a kind of human chameleon, has a great job: she steps into her clients’ lives and fixes their problems for them—as them—but collecting her hefty paycheck can be a real killer.

Longer version:

Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck. This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable…that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated. Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years – both skilled adaptors – step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended. Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

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

[Linda Grimes] Is it too "woo-woo" to say I think they were always there in my head, just waiting for the right trigger to make them spring into view? Because, weird as that sounds, that’s what happened. The trigger was seeing a vanity license plate with the name "Ciel" on it while I was riding along on the Fairfax County Parkway. Ciel—and her story—popped into my consciousness just like that.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Ciel?

[Linda Grimes] Short, sharp, and hilarious.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Mark would never have in his bedroom?

[Linda Grimes] Ruffles, a throw pillow, and a French poodle. (So, of course, Ciel will no doubt give him a ruffled throw pillow embroidered with a French poodle for his next birthday, because that’s just how she rolls.)

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Billy’s single most prized possession?

[Linda Grimes] Oh, that’s easy—his cherry-red 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Nothing else comes close. He was born in the back seat of it, so his connection to it goes back a long way.

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

[Linda Grimes] You mean other than booze and chocolate? (Not really. Okay, maybe a little.)

No, clichéd as it sounds, I’d have to say good books (way too many of them to name here—besides, I’m terrified I’d leave some favorite off the list, and never forgive myself). Every time I read a book that really grabs me—that drags me into another world—I think to myself, I want to do that to somebody!

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

[Linda Grimes] Booze, chocolate, and … oh, all right. I’ll try to be serious. I need my laptop, quiet, and a good night’s sleep. Without those things I’m pretty useless.

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

[Linda Grimes] The Taken, by Vicki Pettersson. The rockabilly-noir sensibility, coupled with the paranormal aspects, just blew me away. It’s so original—I love it!

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

[Linda Grimes] Astrid Lindgen’s Circus Child was the first book I could read all by myself. Once I broke the key, there was no stopping me! I read everything I could get my hands on.

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

[Linda Grimes] Read, of course. But also hang out with my husband, and my kids (when they visit the nest). Not just because I’m related to them, either—they’re genuinely fun to be around.

I’m also quite fond of providing feedback to people on their cooking, as long as they don’t expect me to participate in the prep. I’m a wonderful culinary audience.

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

[Linda Grimes] They can find me at my blog, Visiting Reality (lindagrimes.com), or on Twitter (@linda_grimes).

I’m also on GoodReads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5029662.Linda_Grimes).

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, and for asking such fun questions!

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can preorder In A Fix from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below

 

Author Bio:

Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses and embarrassed herself onstage a lot. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of "If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait" to hook a man for a lifetime.) Like her globetrotting main character, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.

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!

You can purchase The Guardian of Bastet from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below

 

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