This Week’s New and Notable Releases

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The Bones of the Old Ones (Dabir and Asim) by Howard Andrew Jones (Dec 11, 2012)

Kiss of the Betrayer (A Bringer and the Bane Novel) by Boone Brux (Dec 11, 2012)

The Lady of Secrets: A Novel by Susan Carroll (Dec 11, 2012)

Everything but a Dog by Holly Jacobs (Dec 11, 2012)

Fortune’s Hero (Soldiers of Fortune) by Jenna Bennett (Dec 11, 2012)

Gone Country by Lorelei James (Dec 11, 2012)

The Persistent Earl: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Gail Eastwood (Dec 11, 2012)

The Silverwing’s Sorceress by Cassi Carver (Dec 11, 2012)

Bounty Hunter: A Loveswept Classic Romance by Donna Kauffman (Dec 10, 2012)

Compromising the Marquess (The Forsters) by Wendy Soliman (Dec 10, 2012)

The Escape Diaries: Life and Love on the Lam (A Loveswept Contemporary Romance) by Juliet Rosetti (Dec 10, 2012)

The Magic: A Loveswept Historical Romance by Juliana Garnett (Dec 10, 2012)

Alchemists Academy Book Blast Giveaway!


The Alchemists Academy Book 1: Stones to Ashes by Kailin Gow

What do you learn here…at the Academy? Wirt asks. Magic? The responsibility to use your powers responsibly? Uh…something like that, his roommate Spencer said. More like how to rule worlds. Wirt, is used to being shuffled from foster home to foster home, adopting a devil-may-care attitude toward the world along the way. Now he s in a school he can t escape, learning to develop his latent magical abilities, for what use, he doesn’t know…to save his world or to destroy it…


Excerpt from Stones to Ashes

Wirt screwed his eyes shut, wishing fervently that he was somewhere, anywhere else. Right now, being back with Joan and Peter was looking an awful lot more appetizing. First, though, he had to find some way to get out of here…

Wirt doubled up as his stomach suddenly cramped. For a moment, he though he had been hit, but that hypothesis went by the wayside as the feeling spread to every muscle in his body at once. As far as Wirt knew, and thanks to some of his earlier misadventures he did know, not even three people could manage to hit you everywhere simultaneously. Wirt forced his eyes open, and then quickly shut them again, because the golden radiance surrounding him was simply too bright to look though. Around him, the gasps of the three bullies were clearly audible.

“He’s glowing, Rich. Why is he glowing?”

“How should I know? Look, just grab him.”

“You grab him. He could be radioactive or something, the way he’s glowing.”

“Oh, so it’s all right for me to grab radiation boy, is it?”

The sounds of a scuffle came to Wirt, but they were quickly replaced by silence. He didn’t really care, because by now the unpleasant sensation running through his body had reached unbearable levels, feeling as though every scrap of him were being pulled in a different direction.

As suddenly as it had come, the sensation passed. Wirt had to concentrate just to breathe, and he stood like that for long seconds. He didn’t dare open his eyes, at least until it occurred to him that the three older boys might still be there waiting to hit him. That made his eyes snap open so quickly that for a second he couldn’t make sense of anything around him. When he did, Wirt took a step back, and that itself was surprising enough, given that there should have been a chain link fence in the way. Instead, he was standing in the middle of a field, with no sign of any fences anywhere in sight.

The Alchemists Academy Book 2: Elemental Explosions by Kailin Gow

A new student has entered The Alchemists Academy, and he brings with him an explosive power that threatens the Academy and the legend of Merlin. Wirt thought he was the only bad boy at the Academy, but he was wrong. Not only is Roland Black worse than Wirt, but a new teacher had replaced one of their beloved teachers, and she has more planned for Wirt and his friends than just lesson plans. Alana, his crush has grown prettier, and now he is rivals for her attention with not only his best friend Spencer, but newcomer Roland, as well. On top of that, it is their second year, and the year where all the students must pass a test to move on to the Elite Class at the Academy. The Elite Class is the only class in the third year at the Academy, and the students who fail will be sent home, others will face something even deadlier.

Excerpt from Elemental Explosions

The moment didn’t last long, and Wirt opened his gift in a shower of wrapping paper. His parents looked on, those same smiles present on their faces. He looked down into the box, only to see that it was empty. Or not quite empty. Inside was a square of paper, on which careful handwriting stood out clearly. Wirt picked it up and read the words “Merry Christmas, beloved son. You cannot see, taste, or smell your gift, but you will know it when you feel it.”

“What?” Wirt asked. “I don’t understand. Is this some sort of riddle?”

His dream mother and father didn’t say anything. They just smiled and stared at the box in a way that suggested that Wirt was missing something. Not knowing what else to do, Wirt reached down into it, searching it by feel in case there was something at the bottom that he might not have noticed.

There was. Wirt yelped as something closed around his wrist, and tried to yank his arm back. It didn’t move, and as Wirt looked down, he saw dark fingers clasped on his arm. They weren’t just dark-skinned; they were absolutely black, as though carved from onyx or jet. They were as implacable as stone too, refusing to relinquish their grip as Wirt tried to jerk away.

“Help me,” he said to his parents, but they just shook their heads sadly, staring in that way parents had that told you that whatever was happening was for your own good.

The arm pulled at Wirt, and it pulled with far more strength than Wirt had ever experienced. He tried his best to brace himself against it, but slowly, inexorably, the hand drew him towards the box. That swirled with darkness now, and Wirt got the feeling that it was suddenly far deeper than it had been a moment ago.

He found out as the hand dragged him in, though how he fit into the box, Wirt wasn’t sure. He only knew that he fell. Only after a second or two, he wasn’t falling. He was walking along a tunnel instead. The walls were of natural earth, while huge tree roots showed up at intervals like roof beams and standing stones lined the walls, marks on them seeming to tell a story that Wirt could not understand.

Author Kailin Gow

Kailin Gow is the award-winning, international bestselling author of over 80 distinct books.

Kailin Gow is also the President of a media company, a media personality, and has been writing full-time since she was first published. Holding a Masters in communications management and leadership positions in Fortune 500 corporations, she puts her leadership abilities, her experience, and desire to help others into her fiction books. As a result, she has written the forthcoming, Finding the Heroine in You book which is also a national tour. She is a mother and spends whatever spare time she has volunteering at the Red Cross, Battered Women’s Shelters, and other organizations.

Currently her Frost Series is in development for a major international MMO Game, and she has over 14,000 and growing Frosters on her facebook fan page.


Book Blast $50 Giveaway Details
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Ends 12/31/12
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Interview with Karen Erickson, Author of Jane’s Gift and Giveaway!

Please welcome Karen Erickson, who is celebrating the sweet holiday romance Jane’s Gift.  Please check back tomorrow for my review, too!

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

[Karen Erickson] Romance author/mom extraordinaire/lover of books. I write for Samhain, Entangled Bliss/Brazen & Avon Impulse. I’m a lover not a fighter.

(I stole most of this from my Twitter profile LOL)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Jane’s Gift?

[Karen Erickson] Jane Clark is a widow who survived a house fire. Now that she’s mostly recovered, she’s moved back to her hometown to be close to her family and start anew. She immediately meets the handsome fire captain Chris Nelson, who’s her younger brother’s friend and there’s instant chemistry. Despite the both of them not looking for anything serious, they somehow end up together…

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

[Karen Erickson] I read an article a few years ago about a woman who suffered terrible burns and survived a plane crash. She should’ve died but from pure determination and surrounded by the love of her family, she survived.

I wanted to create a strong heroine like that woman. A heroine who had an amazing spirit and family, a woman who suffered much but came out on the other side a winner. And I wanted to give that woman a second chance at love.

That’s how Jane came to be. And then I gave her a fear of fire (of course) and that her hero should be a fire captain. Instant conflict!

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

[Karen Erickson] Determined, thoughtful and passionate.

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

[Karen Erickson] Oh my gosh, this is a HARD question! What’s that song Donna Summer sang? Hot Stuff? Ha! He’s pretty hot and he’s a firefighter so…yeah. That works.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Jane won’t leave the house without.

[Karen Erickson] Her purse! When you’re a woman with three children, you need your purse to stash everything they need in. Trust me. I know (says the mother of three children). Smile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Chris’s bedroom?

[Karen Erickson] Whips, chains and a flogger? LOL This is a sweet romance so none of those naughty bedroom accessories would appear in his bedside drawer or be stashed deep in his closet.

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

[Karen Erickson] I read a lot when I was young. I was an only child until I was eleven and I needed something to occupy my mind. Plus, I had an active imagination. I wouldn’t say there’s anything that’s my one greatest creative influence but I do try to always look for a story idea. They’re everywhere. On the news, in a magazine, a person I see walking down the street…

Sometimes music gets the juices going. Or reading. Oh, I could go on and on!

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

[Karen Erickson] Diet Coke, an open mind and at the moment, my desk heater (it’s cold!).

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

[Karen Erickson] It was a YA—Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. Oh, it was SO FREAKING GOOD. I couldn’t stop reading it. I had to know what was going to happen next. Can’t wait for the next one!

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

[Karen Erickson] That is a TOUGH question. How about the one book that turned me on to reading romance? That would be Judith McNaught’s Paradise. I found an excerpt in the back of a Cosmo magazine when I was a teen. Went right out to the local bookstore (B. Dalton’s in the mall baby!) and bought it. Oh. It was so good. That was the start of my Judith McNaught consumption.

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

[Karen Erickson] Hang out with my family, reading, catching up with the TV shows on my DVR, traveling (wish I did that more).

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

[Karen Erickson] Where you can find me: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Karen is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite, so be sure to click the link below and fill out the widget to enter for your chance to win!

You can order Jane’s Gift, as well as Karen’s other titles, from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below:


Blurb for Jane’s Gift:

A fire captain afraid of commitment. A widow afraid of fire. Can the holidays bring them together?

A devastating house fire cost Jane Clark nearly everything: her husband, her confidence, and her looks, with the physical scars marbling her body. Now, two years later, she’s living and healing back in her childhood hometown of Lone Pine Lake. The upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring some Christmas cheer into her young children’s lives, starting with a visit to the firehouse, where her brother’s best friend has offered to help quell their residual fears.

Lone Pine’s resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. He’s an everyday local hero, so he’s never wanting for attention around the holidays. But when Jane Clark shows up, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful widow–even though kids and commitment have never been his style.

Despite her brother’s warnings about his friend’s playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can’t help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. The holidays are a time of new beginnings, but can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?

You can find JANE’S GIFT | B&N | Kobo

Keep up with the Jane’s Gift blog tour here