Cheap Reads! Regency Edition!

Here are some cheap reads to feed your Kindle or Kindle app for the weekend!  Today I am spotlighting one of my favorite Regency lines.  InterMix is reprinting a selection of Signet’s Regency Romances.  Much like Random House’s Loveswept imprint, the Signet Regency Romances will always be near and dear to my heart. Many of my favorite authors wrote for the line.  These are all preorders for September and October.

The Errant Earl: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Amanda McCabe

The RITA Award-nominated Signet Regency Romance from Amanda McCabe. Available Digitally for the First Time After the untimely deaths of his estranged father and actress stepmother, Marcus Hadley returns home for the first time in years. Desperate to make amends for protesting the doomed couple’s marriage, he has decided to take charge of the young stepsister he never knew… But Julia is not a child any longer. She and a group of her actor friends have been living on the estate Marcus once called his home, and she knows Marcus will not approve. After all, he despised her mother and she was an actress. To save her friends from scorn, Julia conspires to have them play new roles in her household—as servants. But when she discovers that Marcus is a changed man, she stops worrying about losing her home—and starts to worry if she’s losing her heart… Be sure to look for Amanda McCabe’s other Regency Romances now available from InterMix: Scandal in Venice, The Spanish Bride, The Lady Rogue, and The Star of India. And don’t miss The Rules of Love, available December 2012.

 

Libby’s London Merchant: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Carla Kelly

An engaging Signet Regency Romance of mysterious suitors and surprising secrets from the “the powerful and wonderfully perceptive.”* Carla Kelly…
Available Digitally for the First Time
Beautiful Miss Libby Ames knew little about the man who landed unexpectedly at her country manor. Only that he called himself Mr. Nesbitt Duke, a London merchant. And after one look at Libby, he claimed he’d fallen in love. But it was soon clear that this handsome stranger was not being entirely truthful.
Arriving at Libby’s doorstep was not fate, but rather an encounter of Nesbitt’s own design. Furthermore, his position in life was far from that of a merchant. His name too was a lie. But his true identity was still not the greatest mystery. For Libby had no idea of the secret longings of her own heart—or what to do next about the mystery man, and the passionate love that has taken her by shocking surprise.
*New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney 


The Jilting of Baron Pelham: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by June Calvin

 

A classic Signet Regency Romance from beloved author June Calvin.
Available Digitally for the First Time
A Trio of Temptations
Though new to the London marriage mart, Miss Davida Gresham had three marvelous men in her young life. One was the devastatingly attractive Baron Montgomery Pelham, newly jilted by the most beautiful belle of the ton, and seeking to use Davida as an instrument of vengeance. One was the dazzingly handsome, fabulously wealthy Harrison Curzon, bored with experienced mistresses and lusting for an innocent bride. And the third was the gentle and kindly Duke of Harwood, the father of Davida’s best friend, looking for a wife to replace the one he had tragically lost. One match assured lasting safety. One match offered unleashed sensuality. And one match promised only certain shame. But the question was, which match would light the fire of love in the heart that had to choose for better or worse…?

 

The Wagered Heart: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Rhonda Woodward (Kindle Edition – Oct 9, 2012)

 

Available Digitally for the First Time

For "historically accurate writing that shines" (All About Romance) look no further than this classic Rhonda Woodward Signet Regency Romance.

Miss Julia Allard is enjoying an afternoon of shopping in town when a handsome stranger catches up to her. Before she knows what’s happening, she is in his arms being kissed! Miss Allard slaps her assailant, the Duke of Kelbourne, but not before her reputation is tarnished…and the memory of his passionate kiss is sealed on her lips. Cutting her Season short, she returns home to Bath to concoct an elaborate revenge. But little does she know that the duke has some rakish plans of his own…

Don’t miss Rhonda Woodward’s classics, A Spinster’s Luck and A Hint of Scandal–available in eBook from InterMix.

 

 

The Golden Feather: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Amanda McCabe


A classic Signet Regency Romance from Amanda McCabe, an author who writes “flawlessly crafted historical romance” (Chicago Tribune).

Caroline Aldritch is shocked to learn her late husband’s only legacy to her is the Golden Feather, a notorious gaming establishment. Faced with a life of personal poverty, the genteel widow hatches a desperate scheme: She will don a silk mask, call herself Mrs. Archer, and risk scandal by running the Golden Feather. No one must ever discover her secret—not even dashing Lord Lyndon, who will stop at nothing to unmask her…

Don’t miss Amanda McCabe’s charming Signet Regency Romance, One Touch of Magic, available November 2012.

Labor Day Hop! Help Random House Celebrate Blaze of Winter!

Random House is celebrating the release of Elisabeth Barrett’s Blaze of Winter by holding the Labor Day Giveaway hop!  They are giving away:

  • A Free Romance book! (10 winners in all)
  • Be one of 5 winners to win a prize pack from author Elisabeth Barrett (Check out the information below!)
  • Fill out the widget below to enter! US only, please.  After filling out the Rafflecopter widget, click on through to visit all of the blogs participating in the hop!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

    Here’s what Random House has to say:

    Celebrating our next Loveswept release – BLAZE OF WINTER by Elisabeth Barrett – on sale 9/10 – Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

  • Interview with Sabrina Darby, Author of The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe

    Sabrina Darby is the author of The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe.  I enjoyed this quirky read, and was delighted when Sabrina agreed to answer some of my questions.  Check out what she has to say:

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

    [Sabrina Darby] From my bio:  I’ve been reading romance since the age of seven and learned my best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them!

    [Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe?

    [Sabrina Darby] This story was so much fun to write because the premise is basically a mom hiring a mistress for her son.

    The official blurb is:

    Wanted:

    A beautiful young woman—preferably one with no connections, who won’t ask too many questions—to spend two weeks in the North of England with an obstinate, aloof, and utterly handsome man.

    Must love dogs, fixing up crumbling castles, and gorgeous and complicated war heroes who may or may not be hiding hearts of gold under their gruff exteriors.

    Must not, under any circumstances, fall in love . . .

    Simpering misses need not apply.

    You can find an excerpt at http://www.scribd.com/doc/100422106/The-Short-and-Fascinating-Tale-of-Angelina-Whitcombe-by-Sabrina-Darby

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

    [Sabrina Darby] This story actually started as a blog post on TheBallroomBlog.com, where I was playing with some of the common story elements in historical romance: wounded, war-scarred hero, meddling mother, castle, etc.  It grew into a series of posts and then into a novella.

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

    [Sabrina Darby] Ambitious, Determined, Unconventional

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

    [Sabrina Darby] This is a hard one.  John’s definitely the sort of guy who might collect random things if he thought they could be put to good use. Of course, he’s also very neat, so there would be nothing in his pocket by the end of the day. I do think, by the time the story happens, he would likely never have a gun in his pocket.

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

    [Sabrina Darby] Just prior to meeting John, I’d say her theme song is the Dar Williams version of Comfortably Numb. 

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

    [Sabrina Darby] Another good question, and hard to pick just a few since there is no doubt that I’m influenced by all of the amazing artists who have come before me. However, for now, I’d say Ani DiFranco, Carole Maso and Magritte.

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

    [Sabrina Darby] Something to write with, something to write on, and a latte. 

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

    [Sabrina Darby] If we’re talking romance, then I’d have to say the last Sarah MacLean book that I read. 

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

    [Sabrina Darby] I can’t remember because I’ve been reading voraciously for as long as I can remember. However, books like Harriet the Spy definitely contributed to my love for writing. 

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

    [Sabrina Darby] In the past, I used to love ballroom dancing and karate. These days, I like going to museums (Los Angeles has some of the best!), traveling and spending time with my husband, family and friends.

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

    [Sabrina Darby] I love when I get to interact with readers! You can find me online at SabrinaDarby.com, twitter.com/SabrinaDarby, facebook.com/sabrinadarbyromance or at TheBallroomBlog.com.

    [Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

    You can order The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital (digital is only .99!!)

    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

    Interview with Carmen Rodrigues, Author of 34 Pieces of You

    Carmen Rodrigues is the author of 34 Pieces of You, an emotionally powerful read that focuses on the aftermath of a popular high school girl’s death.  I could not put this book down, and I was thrilled when Carmen agreed to answer a few of my questions.

    [Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for 34 Pieces of You?

    [Carmen Rodrigues] 34 PIECES OF YOU actually started as a what if writing prompt. To create the prompt, I let my mind wander for an hour, thinking about all the different situations teens encounter. During that wandering, I remembered a few news stories I read in the late eighties/early nineties about teenagers who made and carried out suicide pacts. I wondered what would happen if two teenagers did make this pact but one of them survived. What kind of guilt would that teen have? Where would life go from there?

    This led me to writing about a girl (Sarah) who wakes up in a hospital bed to learn that her best friend (Ellie) has died from an overdose, which she has survived. As I began to discover more about the characters that inhabited this world, I asked myself other questions:

    Did Ellie commit suicide or was it an accident?

    If suicide, did Sarah also attempt to kill herself?

    Regardless of accidental or intentional overdoses, how did these girls get here? What were their communities and families like?

    How do toxic friendships, particularly those that develop out of proximity like the relationship between Ellie and Sarah, affect the other kids on that block?

    Answering these questions led to a complex story that spanned five years. Around fifty pages in, I realized that the story was inhibited by Sarah’s limited perspective. That’s when I began to write from two additional POVs–Sarah’s younger sister, Jessie, and Ellie’s older brother, Jake. Ellie’s pieces—as they are now–came much later.

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

    [Carmen Rodrigues] Sarah is seventeen years old. She’s doing her best to navigate the broken world she inherited. The three words that describe her are young, confused, and disconnected.

    [Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Jess would never have in her bedroom?

    [Carmen Rodrigues] Jess is simple. She has a good heart–one that’s inclined to take care of others. In this novel, she loses the last of her childlike innocence. To me, that’s what makes her story so tragic. She would never have a hair straightener, cigarettes, or high heels in her bedroom. 

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

    [Carmen Rodrigues] Break on Through (To The Other Side) by The Doors. Jake loosely references this song in the novel. If you check out the lyrics, you’ll see that it accurately sums up many of his struggles. Here is the opening stanza:

    You know the day destroys the night 
    Night divides the day 
    Tried to run 
    Tried to hide 
    Break on through to the other side 
    Break on through to the other side 
    Break on through to the other side, yeah

    At the end of the novel, though, The Winner Is by Michael Danna and Devotchka conveys the silent hope that is present in Jake’s recovery.

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

    [Carmen Rodrigues] I’ve read a lot of wonderful young adult novels this year–Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia (gorgeously written); Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker (sweet and heartfelt); The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (smart, funny, relevant)—but the last book to knock my socks off was The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It’s a nonfiction book about authenticity, courage, and wholehearted living. The research is compelling. The writing is humorous and sincere. I’ll probably read this book once a year. I recommend it to everyone.

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

    [Carmen Rodrigues] The best place to find me is at my web site: www.carmenrodrigues.com.

    From there, you can access my Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook profiles. Plus, you can read the first 36 pages of 34 PIECES OF YOU.  For a visual/interactive experience of 34 PIECES OF YOU, visit www.pinterest.com/34piecesofyou.

    [Manga Maniac Café]  Thank you!

    34 Pieces of You is available now.  You can purchase it from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital.