This Week’s New and Notable Releases Part One

Here are new and notable books hitting shelves this week.  What’s on your to buy list?  Check back tomorrow for new and notable Young Adult and Middle Grade releases.

 

How to Capture a Countess (The Duchess Diaries)   by Karen Hawkins (Sep 18, 2012)

Indiscreet by Candace Camp (Sep 18, 2012) Reissue

How to Ruin a Reputation (Harlequin Historical) by Bronwyn Scott (Sep 18, 2012)

Shadow of the Wolf by Dana Marie Bell (Sep 18, 2012) Previously available from Liquid Silver Books

Tarnished Rose of the Court (Harlequin Historical) by Amanda McCabe (Sep 18, 2012)

Two Wrongs Make a Marriage (Harlequin Historical) by Christine Merrill (Sep 18, 2012)

Yesterday’s Heroes by Heather Long (Sep 17, 2012)

The Curse (Belador) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love (Sep 18, 2012)

Incarnation by Emma Cornwall (Sep 18, 2012)

Mark of the Witch (The Portal) by Maggie Shayne (Sep 18, 2012)

Something Red: A Novel by Douglas Nicholas (Sep 18, 2012)

Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One) by Jay Kristoff (Sep 18, 2012)

Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan  by Robin Maxwell

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:

Feed Your Kindle–Romance Bargains from Amazon!

Here are some romance bargains for your Kindle or Kindle app.

Lucky Break by Carly Phillips – $2.99

Jason Corwin knows he should resist his attraction to Lauren Perkins. After all, it was one of her ancestors who came up with the curse that had haunted every Corwin male since. But after one night of mind-blowing sex with his supposed–and very seductive–enemy, he can’t bring himself to stay away.
All Lauren wants is to sell her late grandmother’s old house and leave the past behind forever. But that’s not an easy thing to do with gorgeous contractor Jason Corwin whispering sweet, sexy somethings in her ear. About staying. Then a saboteur and the promise of hidden treasure change everything, and one lucky break that just might put an end to the Corwin curse.

The Rancher and the Rock Star by Lizbeth – .99

To the world, Gray Covey is a rock superstar. But to his runaway son, he’s simply the father who never has any time for him. To prove that he’s more than his rock star lifestyle, for the next few weeks Gray must put aside his fame and become…a farmhand?

Abby Stadtler has built the perfect, quiet life for herself. Neat and orderly is the name of the game for her and her beloved farm. When Gray shows up on her doorstep, looking like he stepped straight off the front cover of a magazine, she is determined that he won’t upset her routine.

But what neither counts on is the love that springs up between them. Abby knows that life on a ranch in Minnesota can never compete with an exciting world tour. But for Gray, it’s time to decide what’s really important. With Abby’s help, will he be able to decide, once and for all, that love and family are the answer?

Burning Up (Hqn) by Susan Andersen – $1.24

Though it’s been years since the infamous Macy O’James stepped foot in Sugarville, Washington, everyone remembers what she supposedly did. The tiny town is still buzzing about her crime and lack of punishment.

Now back to lend her family a hand, Macy vows to hold her head high—especially at her high school reunion. But forget about the hottest man in Sugarville escorting her. Though she and fire chief Gabriel Donovan generate enough sparks to burn down the town, he’s a law-abiding, line-toeing straight arrow. So not her type.

But maybe—just maybe—he can change her mind about that.

Simply Irresistible (A Lucky Harbor Novel) by Jill Shalvis – .99

Maddie Moore’s whole life needs a makeover.
In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.
Starting over won’t be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.
The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes-and mouth-are making it hard for her to remember that she’s sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie’s struggles to overcome the past, though she’s about to discover that there’s no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.

Exclusively Yours (The Kowalskis) by Shannon Stacey – $1.99

When Keri Daniels’s boss finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.
Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town—and looking for him. He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping trip, Keri can ask one question.
The chemistry between Joe and Keri is as potent as the bug spray, but Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart, and Keri hasn’t ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever?

Win a Kindle Fire or Nook Color From Jessica Scott, Author of Until There Was You!

Jessica Scott is hosting a preorder contest for her latest book, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.  The prize is a Kindle Fire or a Nook Color!!  She asked me to help spread the word, so please read on if you are interested! 

ENTER TO WIN THE GRAND PRIZE OF A KINDLE FIRE OR A NOOK COLOR!

HOW TO ENTER: To enter the contest, forward your email receipt of purchase of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU to “contest@jessicascott.net” . Entries must be received by OCTOBER 7, 11:59pm EST.

UNTIL THERE WAS YOU He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.

He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please read all of the official rules by visiting Jessica’s website HERE

You can order Until There Was You buy clicking the widget below, or by clicking through to B&N or Powell’s, also below

B & N | Amazon | Powell’s

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–September 16th

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

I had a blissfully uneventful week.  These are few and far between, and I cherish them when they are granted.  May next week be as boring!  I received some wonderful books that I look forward to reading, and I hope you did as well!

Check out my current contests! See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library. Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Pidgy’s Surprise by Jeanne Mellin

The Rancher and the Rock Star by Lizbeth Selvig (.99 for the Kindle!)

The Professional by Rhonda Nelson

The Defender by Lindsay McKenna

What an Earl Wants by Kasey Michaels

The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins

Chasers by James Phelan

One Hot Cowboy by Anne Marsh

Seed to Harvest: Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind, Clay’s Ark, and Patternmaster (Patternist) by Octavia E Butler – If you haven’t read Butler, I can’t recommend her highly enough! Her books are being released digitally by Open Road, and even though I have them in print, I will be purchasing my favorites.  Mind of My Mind is one of my favorite books – EVAR!

Jane by Robin Maxwell

Playing with Fire by Tamara Morgan

From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders

Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes

Black Halo by Sam Sykes

The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith

Elixir Bound by Katie L Carroll

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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I Say, You Say Opposites and I Say, You Say Animal Sounds Giveaway!

Happy Saturday! Thanks to Little Brown, I have THREE sets of the cutest board books to giveaway!  I SAY, YOU SAY OPPOSITES! and I SAY, YOU SAY ANIMAL SOUNDS! by artist Tad Carpenter, released on September 11th, and now you have a chance to win a set!

From the publisher:  

I SAY, YOU SAY OPPOSITES! and I SAY, YOU SAY ANIMAL SOUNDS! are interactive and endlessly entertaining lift-the-flap board books that emphasize "word prediction," an important language development step for young readers. As parent readers call out the animal on each page, the child reader is encouraged to triumphantly respond with the correct answer, hidden beneath the flap. Fun and educational, this call-and-response technique offers a playful interactive reading experience and is a delightful and exciting way for children to learn words.

With a bright, retro-style palette and round-eyed animals, the I SAY, YOU SAY board book series is perfect for today’s hip babies and parents.

Tad Carpenter is an illustrator and designer living in Kansas City, Missouri, and an adjunct professor in graphic design and illustration at the University of Kansas. You can visit him at www.tadcarpenter.com.

I SAY, YOU SAY OPPOSITES!

So cute!!

 

I SAY, YOU SAY ANIMAL SOUNDS!

So adorable!

Entering is easy! Just fill out the Rafflecopter widget below.  Extra entries for following and tweeting.   US mailing addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

YA Deals for Your Kindle!

Here’s a small round-up of nicely priced YA eBooks for your Kindle or Kindle app.

The Good Braider  by Terry Farish ($1.99) I purchased this one, and hope to read it this weekend.

In spare free verse laced with unforgettable images, Viola’s strikingly original voice sings out the story of her family’s journey from war-torn Sudan, to Cairo, and finally to Portland, Maine. Here, in the sometimes too close embrace of the local Southern Sudanese Community, she dreams of South Sudan while she tries to navigate the strange world of America – a world where a girl can wear a short skirt, get a tattoo or even date a boy; a world that puts her into sharp conflict with her traditional mother who, like Viola, is struggling to braid together the strands of a displaced life. Terry Farish’s haunting novel is not only a riveting story of escape and survival, but the universal tale of a young immigrant’s struggle to build a life on the cusp of two cultures.

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Bone Worship: A Novel by Elizabeth Elsami   ($2.99)  I haven’t heard of this book before, but it looks intriguing.  There are some positive reviews, and a few that are less than glowing.  Maybe download a sample chapter before purchasing.

A rich and soul-searching novel about an Iranian-American girl whose enigmatic father has decided to arrange her marriage

Jasmine Fahroodhi’s Iranian father has always fascinated her. With his strange habits and shrouded past, she cannot fathom how he ended up marrying her prim American mother, although lately it seems that love in general is just as incomprehensible.

Failing out of school just shy of graduation after a disastrous romance sends her into a tailspin, a conflicted Jasmine returns home without any idea where her life is headed.

Her father has at least one idea: he has plans for a hastegar, an arranged marriage, between Jasmine and whatever man he sees fit. Confused, furious, yet intrigued, Jasmine meets suitor after suitor with increasingly disastrous, and humorous, results. Only when she begins to open herself up to the mysteries of familial and romantic love does Jasmine discover the truth about her evasive father—and the depths of her own strength—in Elizabeth Eslami’s highly original and striking debut novel.

 

The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout ($1.99) – I loved this Middle Grade read!  Set in a post-apocalyptic world, it has lots of action and adventure, and I loved Fisher.

This is what he knew:

His name was Fisher.

The world was dangerous.

And he was alone.

Fisher is the last boy on Earth – and things are not looking good for the human race. The carefully crafted survival dome where Fisher and dozens of other humans have been sleeping for millenia has been destroyed. Through a lucky accident, only Fisher survived.

The world Fisher wakes up in is a lot like ours – but it’s changed, too. After the human race wiped itself out, nature took over, and wild creatures evolved into barely familiar beasts. Fisher must face them all as they set off on a journey that seems hopeless – at first. Then Fisher uncovers evidence that there may be a second survival dome far to the west. What was once a struggle for one boy’s survival becomes a journey of hope.

With a broken robot and a friendly mammoth as his only companions, Fisher heads West. But something is watching them… something that wants to find the second survival dome just as badly as they do.

 

 

Storm (Elemental)  by Brigid Kemmerer  ($4.50)  This PNR has been garnering terrific reviews.  It’s in my TBR, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys– the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her.

Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water–just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming. . .

Cover Shot! The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle

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 haven’t read The Alchemist of Dreams by Anne Lyle, but it is in my TBR.  With the next book in the series, The Merchant of Dreams, set to release in December, I have a little bit of time to catch up.  I love the covers for these; the lighting and poses of the characters make me want to snap these right up.

 

 

Exiled from the court of Queen Elizabeth for accusing a powerful nobleman of treason, swordsman-turned-spy Mal Catlyn has been living in France with his young valet Coby Hendricks for the past year.

But Mal harbours a darker secret: he and his twin brother share a soul that once belonged to a skrayling, one of the mystical creatures from the New World.

When Mal’s dream about a skrayling shipwreck in the Mediterranean proves reality, it sets him on a path to the beautiful, treacherous city of Venice – and a conflict of loyalties that will place him and his friends in greater danger than ever.