Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop! Win a Book of Your Choice!


Here’s a chance to win free books!  That’s like a dream come true for a book lover, huh?   I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Martha’s Bookshelf are hosting the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop.   There will be a ton of chances for you to win some new reading material.  Just hop on over to I am a Reader, Not a Writer to see the other giveaways!  Click here to see the list of participating blogs.

I am giving away a book of your choice, up to a $14 value!  This contest is open to anyplace The Book Depository ships.  While I am sure you have a wish list ten miles long, here is an example of the books you can win!

You could win one of these!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Entering is easy! Just fill out the form!  Earn extra entries for following by RSS, Google Friend Connect, or subscribing to receive an email with blog updates.  Easy, Huh?!

Subscribe to Manga Maniac Cafe by Email

Contest Rules –

You must be 13 or older to enter.

I am not responsible for lost or damaged shipments.

One entry per person.

Earn extra entries by following!

Contest ends January  18

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[PR] Author of the Doujin Smash Hit Radio de Go! Creates New Manga for GEN!

Author of the Doujin Smash Hit Radio de Go! Creates New Manga for GEN!

GEN Manga Announces the Release of Let’s Eat Ramen

Let’s Eat Ramen appears in GEN 8 and will be available nationwide Jan. 2012!

NEW YORK, NY – GEN Manga Entertainment, Inc. announces the release of Let’s Eat Ramen in GEN 8. (GEN 8, 162 pages, black and white, 1.99) will be available Jan. 2012.

Nagumo is the author of the popular series Radio de Go! Making his debut in Manga Time Kirakira Carat in 2007 he has since made waves in the Japanese doujin community with his smash hit Radio de Go! Now Nagumo will be releasing a new original story for GEN Manga titled Let’s Eat Ramen.

Let’s Eat Ramen is the story of Saeki, a girl who loves ramen noodles. At last, she thinks that she has finally found the perfect ramen shop, but the problem is the shop is completely full of old regulars and she can’t get in. Will the timid Saeki ever summon the willpower to reach out and get the ramen that she desperately wants? An indie manga about the finer points of eating ramen noodles from the creator of the radio manga Radio de Go!, brought to you by genmanga.com.

Junji Ohno creates his second sassy new cover for GEN 8. Ohno made his debut at the age 19 in Weekly Shonen Magazine, and has been a regular contributor to numerous weeklies in Japan, such as Weekly Shonen Fang, Comic Bonbon, and Shonen Comic Champion. Ohno’s work includes: Shiritsu Justice Gakuen (1998), Hotshot, Axel Rex, and Spider Riders. Junji Ohno is the newest edition to GEN, America’s number one source for authentic doujin manga, where Junji will be making his American debut as the new cover artist.

Readers can also find consecutive issues available on Graphicly. Graphicly is available on numerous platforms, including the Nook, iphone, and Android.

GEN stories are published nowhere else in the world. These stories are created by the elusive doujin creators in Tokyo’s secret underground circles, otherwise known in the west as independent creators and hard core fans.

Presenting new indie manga circles from Japan, GEN, a monthly publication, will be released in the US and Japan simultaneously. Digital format and print editions for GEN are available now. Based in New York,GEN Manga Entertainment (www.genmanga.com) endeavors to publish new and unseen graphic workfrom Japan, being in the unique position to bring readers work first, more original and untamed manga will be sure to come!

Review: Mask of the Gladiator by Georgie Lee


Title: Mask of the Gladiator

Author: Georgie Lee

Publisher: Carina Press



May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Rome, 41 AD

Livia Duronius is driven to seek out a gladiator after watching him triumph in the Coliseum. His touch arouses a sense of hope she hasn’t felt since Rome fell under the tyrannical rule of Caligula—and her late husband betrayed her. Though in danger of losing more than her heart, she vows to see him again, even after she learns her uncle has arranged her marriage to a senator.

Senator Titus Marius cannot resist indulging in a passionate encounter with the veiled woman who waits for him after the games, though he faces execution if his true identity is discovered. Bound by honor to wed another, and embroiled in a plot to free Rome from madness, he never expects to see the mystery woman again.

When the fates reunite them in the marriage bed, Titus vows to protect Livia at all costs—even from the lecherous eyes of the emperor…


Since there are so few romances set in Ancient Rome, I grabbed this as soon as I saw it on Netgalley.  It’s another Carina Press novella, with a word count of about 17,000 words, and I was curious to see if I would enjoy this as much as Priestess of the Nile.  After some misgivings at the start, I found that I liked it even better.  The pacing was swift, and the intrigue really reeled me in.  How would Titus and Livia survive with all of the danger swirling about the streets of Rome?

I didn’t care for beginning, and started having doubts after Livia enjoys a forbidden moment with a mysterious gladiator.  What Livia doesn’t know is that her mystery man is Senator Titus Marius, and that he risks death every time he dons his armor and enters the Coliseum for a fight to the death.  In his bid to overthrow the cruel Caligula, he is willing to enter the Games to set his plans in motion.  If he is caught, he will be executed.  He chafes at the promise he has made to marry the niece of one of his co-conspirators, but honor demands that he keep his word.  Imagine his surprise when his bride-to-be turns out to be none other than the woman he shared a passionate encounter with after his latest victory.

I am not sure why the beginning rubbed me the wrong way, but ugh, it did.  I had serious reservations about finishing the novella, but once Livia is given the unpleasant news that she is to wed one of her uncle’s acquaintances, things got rolling.  Livia discovers that her uncle and several of the most powerful men in Rome are plotting to bring about Caligula’s downfall.  Since even she hasn’t been spared from his cruelty, Livia is eager to assist in any way she can.  The emperor has brought nothing but hardship to the people of Rome, ruling through terror and murdering anyone who he doesn’t like.

With the threat of death over their heads, it was easy to buy into Titus and Livia’s instant affinity for each other.  Nothing creates feelings of solidarity faster than the fear of a painful and sudden death.  Though Livia has trust issues due to her previous, and brief, marriage, she allows Titus to convince her that he will protect her with his life.  Even I believed him.  He’s a strong, fearless man who has faced death many times on both the battlefield and in the Games.  If anyone could keep Livia safe from the emperor, it would surely be Titus.  Secure in this belief, Livia is allowed to become fearless herself, and after their plans go awry, Livia needs to be brave and self-reliant.  That is what I liked best about her character; she understands the danger she faces, and yet she rushes into the jaws of an almost certain, bloody end.  If Titus can be fearless, than she can do no less.

I found the setting, those secretive, tense days leading up to Caligula’s assassination, compelling.  I enjoyed the characters, and found this a satisfying, suspenseful read.

Grade: B+

Available January 30

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Jodi Meadows, Author of Incarnate


Jodi Meadows is the author of Incarnate, a story about a girl who is the only person in her society who hasn’t been reincarnated again and again.  The premise fascinates me, so I asked Jodi to drop by the virtual offices to fill us in a bit more about her new book.

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

[Jodi Meadows] Novelist. Yarner. Wrangler of ferrets. Likes chocolate.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, Incarnate?

[Jodi Meadows] Incarnate is about the only girl who’s new in a world where everyone else is perpetually reincarnated, and her quest to discover why she was born, and what happened to the person she replaced.

Beyond that? You can check out the flap copy!

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

[Jodi Meadows] The moment of concept conception is gone now. I wrote a note to myself with the idea for Incarnate three years before I started writing it, and in between there I was working on so many things, I’ve simply forgotten what sparked that thought. But characters — that I can answer.

I knew that everyone was reincarnated over and over, except Ana, so first I put together their society. I wanted to establish the rules of their world before I broke things for them, just like Ana does. When I started thinking about her, I imagined how scary it must be to be new in this world where everyone knows one another. You’d feel like the ultimate outsider.

Everyone knows what it’s like to feel new somewhere. Ana’s case is just a little more . . . extreme.

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

[Jodi Meadows] Everything is a challenge! There’s a saying out there that you don’t learn how to write books — you learn how to write *this* book. That’s definitely been true for me.

Fortunately, I really enjoy every challenge in writing.

[Manga Maniac Café] What have you learned about yourself through your characters?

[Jodi Meadows] I like to think that after mumblemumble years of living with myself, I know myself pretty well. When I write characters, they aren’t me. They’re 100% their own people. While we may share some passions (music, dance, whatever!), for me, writing characters is learning about *them.*

[Manga Maniac Café] Why do you think books with paranormal elements are so popular with readers? What do you like best about them?

[Jodi Meadows] The paranormal is mysterious. It’s a peek into the shadows, and a break from the mundane. Who doesn’t need a break from mundane??

I love paranormal stories because of the possibilities. Anything can happen. Magic is real. I love that.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are some book releases that you are anticipating?

[Jodi Meadows] I’m looking forward to EVERYTHING the Apocalipsies have coming out! I’ve already read EVERNEATH (Brodi Ashton) and UNDER THE NEVER SKY (Veronica Rossi) and they’re both amazing. If this is what 2012 looks like, the year will be bright.

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

[Jodi Meadows] My mom says that when I was little, I loved a book called SEASON OF PONIES. (Google says it’s by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.) I don’t remember that book, but apparently I made her read it to me again and again.

The book that got me reading on my own? This is going to sound silly, but I don’t remember the title. I DO remember it was a book assigned at school. I was home sick and read the entire thing in a day — a big deal for me then. I was very disappointed when what I thought was a paranormal element was explained away with SCIENCE, but eventually I did find stories where magic was real.

That’s when my bookshelves began bowing with strain.

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

[Jodi Meadows] I like to spin, crochet, and knit! I learned how to crochet in my early teens, and picked up knitting and spinning in my early twenties. One day, I’d love to learn how to weave.

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can learn more about Jodi by visiting her website: www.jodimeadows.com

Incarnate will be released January 31, 2012

You can order a copy from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below