Senshi Trailer Reveal and Giveaway!


KATANA

Kill Bill meets Buffy in this supernatural samurai taleRileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn’t explain her dreams of fifteenth century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings. While worrying that she’s going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she’s harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana–a deadly Japanese sword that’s also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she’s always been and embracing the warrior inside her.


“This action-packed novel has a unique and compelling plot…Fans of Carrie Asai’s Samurai Girl series will be particularly interested, but even readers who dislike supernatural story lines will enjoy this tale of modern samurais.”
~School Library Journal~

“An action packed page-turner tempered with slow-burning romance.”
~Booklist~

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SENSHI


Is Rileigh’s only hope for salvation to team up with her sworn enemy?

Rileigh Martin just wants to do normal teenage things, like go on romantic dates with Kim, her boyfriend and past life soul mate. Although that seems impossible when she’s the reincarnation of Senshi, a fifteenth century samurai warrior. After a ninja ambush leaves her unable to control her ki powers, Rileigh vows to get them under control before her friends lose more than their eyebrows. But when Kim leaves her for his past life betrothed and the other samurai stop talking to her, Rileigh realizes she doesn’t have any friends left to worry about.

As the ninja attacks increase, Rileigh learns that the reincarnated kunoichi, a powerful female ninja, wants to kill her in order to reclaim her destructive powers. Alone and with increasingly unstable powers, Rileigh’s only offer of help comes from Whitley, her sworn past life enemy. Rileigh knows she doesn’t stand a chance against the kunoichi by herself, but Whitley’s sudden allegiance might be hiding a much deadlier agenda.


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Author Cole Gibsen

When Cole Gibsen isn’t writing books for young adults, she can be found rocking out with her band, sewing crazy costumes for the fun of it, picking off her nail polish, or drinking milk straight from the jug — provided no one is looking.










Trailer Reveal


Senshi Book Trailer from ZFilm on Vimeo




Giveaway Details

ARC of Senshi + Signed Katana
Signed Katana
3 Mystery Books
Open to US, Canada & Mexico
Ends 2/6/13

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Interview with Bronwen Evans, Author of The Reluctant Wife and Giveaway!

Bronwen Evans, author of The Reluctant Wife, stopped by the virtual offices to discuss her latest release.  She brought along a digital copy of The Reluctant Wife for one of you to win, too!  Please give her a warm welcome!

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

[Bronwen Evans] Hi Julie

Waving from New Zealand. I’m a woman who loves life, and who doesn’t want to get to the end and have regrets. When I know what I want, I’m determined to get it. Just go for it is my motto.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Reluctant Wife?

[Bronwen Evans] It’s a story close to my heart, for personal reasons. Read the story and guess. When my hero, Dante, and my heroine, Abby, marry they are at different stages in their lives, and they want different things. This leads to lies and deceit and the marriage falls apart. Three years later, they are forced to confront what truly matters in life and love when tragedy strikes.

She married the wrong man, but has to pretend he’s the right guy…

Abby Taylor walked out on her irresistible husband three years ago. Now she has no choice but to return to Italy to ask him for a favor. To pay for her grandmother’s heart operation she needs his money, but it comes with strings attached.

Conte Dante Lombardi has it all—an Italian villa, a successful family business, and a noble title. But he needs a child to carry on his legacy and time is running out. He also hopes to satisfy the desire Abby rouses in him.

As Abby uncovers why he’s in such a hurry for a child, she falls in love with him again … just as she realizes it might be impossible to keep her end of the deal.

…an intense, passionate rollercoaster of a love story—just perfect!

- USA TODAY bestselling author Natalie Anderson

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

[Bronwen Evans] I love looking at what is happening around me and thinking what this situation would be like if you were not simply an observer but actually living it.

I have a friend who is battling prostate cancer. His father died of it and my friend was regularly tested. He’s young to have got the disease and it made me think about the position he finds himself in. Luckily because he is tested they got it fairly early. He’s head of a very successful family business and I know he worries about what will happen should the cancer beat him.

What would a man who thought he may die young want most of all – and in my story I made it worse by giving the hero a title, he’s an Italian Conte–he wants children and security for his family, which is linked to his title and company.

As Melanie Milburn, one of my favorite contemporary authors, once said to me, always, always make the story worse. What could be worse? A man facing his own mortality whose wife is estranged. He needs her back because time might be running out and because he thinks what is important is keeping the title for future generations—children. Then what would make the story even worse…His wife might not be able to have children…

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

[Bronwen Evans] Contained, quietly determined and hopeful

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

[Bronwen Evans] Have a Nice Day by the Stereophonics

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

[Bronwen Evans] As she lives in Tuscany, Italy, her sunglasses – squinting causes lines.

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

[Bronwen Evans] Pornography. A sex manual. Viagra. He doesn’t need any of them…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Dante’s greatest regret?

[Bronwen Evans] Not going after Abby when she first left him and begging her to come back to him. He wasted three years in which they could have been together and he’ll never get that time back.

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

[Bronwen Evans] A lot of things get my creative juices flowing. I’m rarely without a gem of a story and new characters are always popping into my head.

I get ideas from TV or movies, or people I meet, or things I read in the news.

And lastly I sit and look at the beautiful view out of my study window and because I’m happy and content I want all my characters to have their happy ever after too.

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

[Bronwen Evans] My netbook or laptop, a desk and a comfortable chair.

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

[Bronwen Evans] Sarah MacLean’s A Rogue by Any Other Name

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

[Bronwen Evans] One of Penny Jordan’s first Mills and Boon books, I can’t remember the title.

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

[Bronwen Evans] I love catching up with friends and family. I play bridge and sometimes, if the weather’s good, you’ll find me on the golf course.

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

[Bronwen Evans] I love social media but email works too – romance@bronwenevans.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/bronwenevansauthor

Twitter: @bronwenevans_NZ

Website: http://www.bronwenevans.com/

Blog: http://www.bronwenevans.com/bronwen-blog.html

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/bronwenevans/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4331713.Bronwen_Evans

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About Bron:

New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?

She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon 2012 Readers Crown Best Historical and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012. Look out for her first Entangled Publishing Indulgence released Dec 2012, The Reluctant Wife.

Bronwen loves hearing from avid romance readers at romance@bronwenevans.com
you can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website www.bronwenevans.com

Giveaway Time!!

Ready for your chance to win a digital copy of The Reluctant Wife? Just fill out the widget below.  Earn extra entries for following.  Open Internationally.

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You can purchase The Reluctant Wife from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

B&N http://bit.ly/UCy4Rp

Waiting on Wednesday–The Outside by Laura Bickle

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I loved the Hallowed Ones, so I can hardly wait for The Outside by Laura Bickle.  In stores September 2013.

 

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

What are you waiting on?

Cover Shot! Taking Shots by Toni Aleo

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?

This is another YUM! cover!  And since we didn’t get much hockey this season, I may as well read about it.  Taking the Shots by Toni Aleo will be available in May.

In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating Loveswept debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.
No matter how hard she tries, Elleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.
A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the women, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside before she misses out on a shot at love.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Trying to Score, Empty Net, and Along Came Trouble.

Review: The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez

 

Title:  The Space Between Us

Author:  Jessica Martinez

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

From the author of Virtuosity, a novel about two sisters and the secrets they tell, the secrets they keep—and the secret that could tear them apart.

Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn’t mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly’s crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly’s thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands both sisters in serious trouble.

     Amelia’s not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to . . . but forgiveness is beside the point. Because Charly is also hiding a terrible secret, and the truth just might tear them apart forever.


Contains spoilers!

Review:

Oh. My. GOD!  That is the only way I know how to express myself after reading The Space Between Us.  The book was not what I was expecting.  At all.  From the first page, I couldn’t put it down.  I kept hoping the puppies would go to sleep so I could read without all of their little distractions (like trying to chew on my rugs, dragging boots around the house, and wrestling over the millions of toys they have to play with!).  This is an emotional read, and the drama is built up entirely around Amelia’s feelings for her youngest sister Charly.  There were plenty of times when I didn’t like Amelia, but I always understood her.  She is enraged that Charly has completely derailed her carefully planned out life, and she can’t find it in herself to forgive her.  But even as she can’t forgive her, she wishes that life would go back to normal, that she and Charly could once again share that easy relationship that they once had.  Her resentment keeps getting in the way, though, and just keeps pushing them further apart.

Amelia has one goal in life – to go to Columbia.  Her entire school life so far has been dedicated to this goal.  She has exceled in her classes, studied her heart out, and always been the good girl.  Charly, on the other hand, is her exact opposite.  Fun loving, bubbly, outgoing, Charly thinks that life’s a game to be played all out.  Everyone loves her, and though she gets into a ton of trouble, her antics have been harmless.  Amelia is resigned that she will be bailing her out of one scrape after another, but with Charly’s unpredictable streak, at least life is never boring.  Until she starts hanging out with a bunch of losers, and she winds up pregnant.

Now, not being overly religious and not living in a small town, I didn’t sympathize with Amelia and her grandmother’s reaction to Charly’s condition.  Not even having a pastor father, who is a distracted and distant caregiver at best, could excuse their behavior and how they treated Charly like a tramp.  She’s pregnant, not a criminal!  She’s scared, suddenly alienated from her own family, and has no one to confide in.  The girls’ stern grandmother has decided that they will keep Charly’s pregnancy a secret from everyone, including their father.  They will both be shipped of to their aunt’s house in Canada, where Charly will take online courses for the rest of the year, and Amelia will be enrolled in the local high school.  Really?!  Sending them off to a relative they don’t know and  have only met once, at their mother’s funeral when they were babies, is the answer to Charly’s problem?  I hated their grandmother, I hated their clueless father, and I even hated Amelia for part of the book.  Everyone in her immediate family turned their back on her when Charly needed them the most, and I had a hard time forgiving them. 

Amelia is infuriated that she is being shipped off to the frozen north.  She wants nothing more than to finish out her senior year at her Florida high school, and then she’ll be free!  It’s off to Columbia for her!  Freedom from Charly and her shenanigans, freedom from gossip, freedom from always having to be the good girl.  Argh!  Amelia does not make a good impression on anyone once she gets to her aunt’s house, and she sees nothing wrong with her rotten behavior.  She takes her rage out on everyone.  I could understand how devastated she felt after her dreams shattered one by one, but come on!  You are supposed to be the mature one!  There were times that I was so frustrated with her that I did not like her.  But even then, I could still sympathize with her.  It is so hard to have your entire life shaken up like snow globe, so while I didn’t condone her actions, at least I understood them.

There is a lot of emotion packed into this book.  While it’s told from Amelia’s POV, Charly’s terror and unhappiness are painfully evident.  She’s a sixteen year old kid who, after one careless decision, ends up ostracized by her family.  The only caring adult in her life is the aunt she doesn’t even know.  Bree immediately tries to make both girls feel at home, but Amelia is so resentful and suspicious of her motives that she can only give her a hard time.  Ugh! I kept waiting for her to attain some measure of maturity, and it was a long time in coming.  Almost too late, really.  Amelia made me so angry!  I haven’t been this worked up reading a book in a long time!

When forgiveness does finally come, there is still an awkward strain between the sisters.  Amelia has fallen into a pattern of thinking that constantly blames her sister for everything, and dismisses her unfairly.  I think my only disappointment with the story is that I felt that some of the issues that had pushed them so far apart weren’t settled enough for my satisfaction.  That space that developed between Amelia and Charly, and even between Amelia and her father and grandmother, had grown so great that I am not convinced it could ever be bridged.

Grade:  B+

Review copy obtained from my local library

Back to the Future Giveaway Hop! Win The Crossing by Mandy Hager!

Welcome to my Back to the Future – A Giveaway Hop Across Timehosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by Book Haven Extraordinaire.  This hop runs from January 22nd to 28th 2013, and you can win lots of new reads.   Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away a finished copy of Mandy Hager’s The Crossing.

About the book:

The Crossing is the first book in a stunning new trilogy that follows the fate of Maryam and her unlikely companions – Joseph, Ruth and Lazarus. This is fast, suspenseful drama underpinned by a powerful and moving story about love and loss

The people of Onewere, a small island in the Pacific, know that they are special – chosen to survive the deadly event that consumed the Earth.

Now, from the rotting cruise ship Star of the Sea, the elite control the population – manipulating old texts to set themselves up as living ‘gods’. But what the people of Onewere don’t know is this: the leaders will stop at nothing to meet their own blood-thirsty needs.

When Maryam crosses from child to woman, she must leave everything she has ever known and make a crossing of another kind. But life inside the ship is not as she had dreamed, and she is faced with the unthinkable: obey the leaders and very likely die, or turn her back on every belief she once held dear.

To enter, just fill out the widget below.  Earn extra entries for following.  US shipping addresses only, please.

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Review: Stepping on Roses Vol 8 by Ueda Rinko

 

Title: Stepping on Roses V 8

Author:  Ueda Rinko

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi’s financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition: he’ll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi fool high society into thinking she’s a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth giving up everything for this sham of a marriage?

Sumi asks Nozomu to stop buying the land where she and Soichiro currently reside, and he agrees on one condition—Sumi has to leave Soichiro and become his wife instead! Faced with the possibility of eviction, Sumi must decide whether she’ll live in poverty with Soichiro or take Nozomu up on his offer…


Review:

Every volume of Stepping on Roses just gets better and better!  Each one leaves me dismayed when I reach the last page because I have to wait for the next release.  Rinko Ueda knows how to build  the suspense and the drama so that by the time you reach the last page, you are a quivering mass of emotions.  Some volumes that means being upset by the injustices Sumi has to overcome, and some leave you with an adrenaline rush, cheering Sumi on as she manages to stay true to herself and deal with adversity.  This volume left me pumped for Sumi – she’s finally had enough, and she is going to try to turn the tables on Nozomu.  You go, girl!  I only hope she can wage a battle against the crafty, unscrupulous Nozomu without compromising who she is.

Just when it seems as though things can’t get any worse for Sumi and her family, things do.  They get monumentally worse.  After being thrown out of their home by Nozomu, they are without shelter, have no money, and even less food.  They have lost everything.  Nozomu has poisoned the ears of most of Soichiro’s acquaintances, and nobody will hire him for fear of Ashida Product’s reprisals.  When Soichiro becomes ill and the doctor refuses to treat him because they have no money,   Sumi knows that she must give in to Nozomu’s demands.  She sells herself to him in order to help her family.  Poor Sumi!  Her desperation is palpable.  She will do whatever is required to keep her loved ones safe, and it’s not going to be easy for her.

What I enjoyed most about this volume is how Sumi begins to subtly exert her will against Nozomu.  She is passive on the surface, but underneath, she is learning the fine art of subterfuge  from her new fiancé.  He doesn’t care about anything but getting the best of Soichiro, and his single-mindedness is actually making it easier for Sumi to stage quiet rebellions.  With her reputation in tatters and her family’s well-being on the line, she doesn’t have much to lose.  I loved seeing her plans begin to bear fruit, and finished the last page with a feeling of elation.  I finally started to believe that things will work for her in the end, and I haven’t felt that positive about Sumi’s future in a while.   

One person  I would like to see more of is Komai, who I always liked, even when he turned traitor.  What is his deal?  Is he a traitorous scum?  Or does he somehow think he is doing what’s best for Soichiro?  Because there is no way that Nozomu, who is clearly psychotic,  could be a better employer than spoiled and over-indulged Soichiro.  I think?  Unless he really is evil?  Maybe we’ll find out in February, when the next volume is released!

Grade: A-/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–January 20th Edition

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.

Yesterday I took the puppies for their another set of boosters.  Bumble is now 35 lbs, and Poppy is 27.  After their appointment, they slept most of the day, which gave me an opportunity to clean up around the house, even though all I really wanted to do was take a nap. 

Bumble’s favorite toys are balls.  He loves to chase them, bat them about with his paws, or just carry them around in his mouth.

Poppy is far too refined to be bothered with balls. She prefers to try new styles of wearing her ears.  Here, she is doing her Princess Leia impersonation.

Bumble finds Poppy’s new ear style ridiculous, but he is too much of a gentleman to tell her.

Poppy posing by one of her favorite toys – a latex chicken that squawks annoyingly when she squeezes it or I step on it accidently.

Bumble finds the chicken toy boring.  It just doesn’t do much other than make noise.

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:

Betting on Texas by Amanda Renee

Silent Warrior by Lindsey Piper

A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk

Lycan Unleashed by Tiffany Allee

Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson

Tempting Acquisitions by Addison Fox

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

Society of Steam Book Three: Power Under Pressure by Andrew P Mayer

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Ninja Attack! by Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt & Tatsuya Morino

Yokai Attack! by Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt & Tatsuya Morino

Yurei Attack! by Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt & Tatsuya Morino

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

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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