Young Adult Giveaway Hop–Win Incarnate by Jodi Meadows!

Here’s a chance to win free books!   I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Amber in Blunderland are hosting the Young Adult 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 an ARC of Jodi Meadow’s Incarnate.  You know you want to read it!

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

You can follow me here for extra entries:

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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 1/31

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Cover Shot! Tidal Whispers Anthology

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café.  I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share.  More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents.  There is an allure to a beautiful cover.  Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

I love stories that take place in or near the ocean, so I was intrigued to see the cover for Tidal Whispers by Jocelyn Adams, Claire Gillian, Julie Reece and Kelly Said.  It’s labeled as an Urban Fantasy, a genre I am quickly learning to enjoy.  I am not a huge fan of anthologies, but after developing a new appreciation for novellas, I am curious to see if this opinion has changed.  What do you think of the cover?  The colors are mysterious and attractive, but I don’t know that I like the seaweed that is painted on the cover model arm and back.


From the back of the book:

Heart’s Desire by Julie Reece
After a terrible accident, Tessa returns to her family beach house to heal. She doesn’t expect to see her first summer crush from seven years before. Cameron, though, reappears and ignites a relationship that’s far more intense than ever before. The only problem? Summer is once again coming to an end, and this time, Tessa will have to decide whether to choose life with Cameron or to never see him again.

The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian
Under Poseidon’s rule, Circe is the most destructive siren in the Pacific ocean, her songs luring ships and their crew to their watery graves. Not Otis, the best halibut fisherman in the Alaskan waters. His ship, the Calypso, has avoided disaster each time Circe set her sights on him.

Given one last chance to deliver Otis to Davy Jones’ locker, Circe takes to land to waylay the handsome captain. Instead, it may be Otis himself who hooks the Siren.

Pearl of Pau’maa by Kelly Said
Should Miki choose to wed the local wealthy boy she doesn’t love, her stomach will stop grumbling. Her soul, however, will suffocate. With one last opportunity before she must concede, she sneaks off for a final dive to her hidden crate at the bottom of the seabed. What waits for her is more than a captured lobster. It’s a treasure she cannot claim without great sacrifice or true love.

The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams
Nixie, a water sprite, lives a solitary existence as she struggles to understand the strange world beyond her waters.  When she meets one of the pink ones, a curious boy named Wyatt, their friendship blooms into a love that can exist only upon the sands that divide his solid ground from her underwater paradise. Some love, though, once born, cannot be undone, even in the face of death.


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Interview with Sparky, Heroic Salamander of Detroit!

I met Sparky the fire salamander while reading Laura Bickle’s Embers.  Sparky is protagonist Anya Kalinczyk’s familiar.  He’s got a tough job, because he’s like her body guard.  Anya is an arson investigator in Detroit, and she also helps dispose of unfriendly spirits.  She is constantly getting herself into trouble, so Sparky has to work extra hard to get her back out of it, and worse, he doesn’t always get the respect he deserves!  I asked him a few questions, hoping to set the record straight for him.  It’s so unfair that he works so hard, yet gets hardly any recognition!

[Manga Maniac Café] Hi, Sparky!  Can you please tell us a little about yourself? More specifically, what are you?  And why can’t I see you?

[Sparky] Greetings! I’m a fire salamander, an elemental avatar of fire. Most often, I take the form of a five-foot speckled hellbender. It’s pretty convenient in your plane of reality.

Alas, only my owner, Anya Kalinczyk, can see me. Ghosts. And dogs and cats, too. I like to tell people that when their cat is staring at the ceiling, it’s likely because they see a salamander crawling on it.

I never tell my age. But I’ve been a familiar for Joan of Arc and Van Helsing. I was also implicated in that Hindenburg disaster, but I have never confessed.

[Manga Maniac Café] What’s a typical day for you?

[Sparky] My current owner is an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department by day. By night, Anya works with an oddball group of ghost hunters. During the day, there’s a lot of picking through charred crime scenes. I chase things that go bump in the night afterward. We get to do a lot of fun stuff…figure out spontaneous human combustion, explore dragon lairs in salt mines, and chat with Roman-era centurion ghosts in the museum. Fun times.

But it’s not always fun. Anya devours ghosts. It’s not a pretty process, and she tends to feel like the human garbage disposal for the ghost hunters. I try to cuddle up and be as soothing as possible after she has to incinerate a ghost. I think it helps her feel better.

And yes, salamanders can purr.

[Manga Maniac Café] What’s your favorite snack food?

[Sparky] I don’t eat things that most creatures do. I feed off of energy, so I get a charge out of blowing up microwaves, setting off fire alarms, and chewing on cell phones.

But my favorite snack food is ghosts. Ectoplasm…nomnomnom.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things you would never put in your mouth?

[Sparky] Hmmm. Gotta think hard on this one. Salamanders will taste pretty much anything at least once.

But I’m not a fan of Brussels sprouts, alkaline batteries, or vampires. They all taste funny.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you describe your relationship with the Glow Worm?

[Sparky] Sigh. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have a favorite toy. Hopefully, this doesn’t ruin my street cred. Anya bought me a Glow Worm several years ago. I can actually interact with it…turn it on and off. So I sleep at the foot of her bed, cuddling the Glow-Worm. It’s the best toy, ever.

And I will kill anyone who tries to take it from me. Grrrrrr!

[Manga Maniac Café] Which of Anya’s traits do you find most annoying?

[Sparky] Jeezus, she snores. Loudly. It’s like trying to sleep with a Mack truck.

I’m also mildly jealous of her rubber duck collection.

But I get really annoyed when she gets involved in a relationship. She has terrible taste in men. And she even resorted to drawing a magic circle around her bed to keep me out, when the mood strikes. Very insulting.

[Manga Maniac Café] Do you have a girlfriend, or are you too busy protecting Anya to have a personal life?

[Sparky] Sparky loves the ladies! But I’m too much salamander to settle down with just one. Rest assured, though, that there’s plenty of Sparky to go around.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t protecting Anya or destroying electrical appliances?

[Sparky] The time that I’m not padding around in giant salamander form, I’m taking a nap in my owner’s magic necklace. Think "I Dream of Jeannie." Ultra-posh digs with lotsa velvet , lava lamps, and Barry White in the background.

[Manga Maniac Café] What about the Lions this year?  Think they will win the Super Bowl?

[Sparky] Don’t depress me. There are some things that even supernatural forces cannot help.

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can learn more about Sparky by following him on Twitter.  You can also read about him in Laura Bickle’s Embers and Sparks.  You can purchase them from your favorite book seller or by clicking the widget below

A great big thank you to Bewitching Book Tours for making this interview possible.  It is not easy interviewing a creature that you can’t see, and Roxanne’s assistance made this all possible.


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