The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–So This is Spring?


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.

Wow! Is it really spring??  It was 15 degrees Thursday morning!  Brrrr!  This spring has been, on average, 15 to 30 degrees below normal!  Here is hoping it warms up soon, and that it is pleasant and sunny where you are!

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:

The Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

When The Stars Threw Down Their Spears by Kersten Hamilton

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Fish Out of Water by Ros Baxter

Truth or Dare by  Jacqueline Green

First Loves by Jean Stone

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Limit Vol 4 by Keiko Suenobu

The Flowers of Evil Vol 5 by Shuzo Oshimi

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

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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Interview with Emma Locke, Author of The Problem with Seduction

Please welcome Emma Locke today!  She’s here to chat about her book The Problem with Seduction.

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

[Emma Locke] Debut author of historical romances. Lover of DailyHiit, hot yoga and hot wings. Engineer. Would-be runner; current ice cream connoisseur.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Problem with Seduction?

[Emma Locke] The Problem with Seduction sends Lord Constantine Alexander, a charming rogue terrified of returning to debtors’ prison, careening into the path of Elizabeth Spencer, a wealthy courtesan who will stop at nothing to keep her infant son safe in her arms. Seduction has been getting great reviews for its fresh characters and rather unique storyline, and I hope readers at Manga Maniac Cafe will agree!

The book opens with Lord Constantine doing his best to convince Elizabeth’s former lover that the baby he thinks is his son is actually Constantine’s child. Elizabeth has promised Lord Constantine ten thousand pounds if he is successful. A tiny pittance, in her mind, for the return of her baby.

Constantine naively believes she’s offered him an excellent bargain, as he’s about to be tossed into debtors’ prison again. But once they have her son safe in her arms, the real trouble begins. Constantine is the fourth of five unmarried rogues. His family is very close, and immediately, his mother and brothers want to meet his “son.” In the meantime, Elizabeth realizes that while she may have duped the baby’s father long enough for him to return her son, she now has an infuriated former lover on her hands.

When Elizabeth and Constantine decide their only recourse is to continue with their farce, she must either overcome her distrust of depending on others, or risk losing contact with those she loves.

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

[Emma Locke] The Problem with Seduction is Book Two in The Naughty Girls Series. The Naughty Girls is built around six heroines who are all a little older and much more experienced than your typical Regency heroine. All of my Naughty Girls have baggage; Elizabeth’s just happens to squirm.

After introducing Elizabeth in the first Naughty Girls book, The Trouble with Being Wicked, I really wanted to write a story about a single mom who moves on from a bad relationship to find happily ever after with a man who deserves her and her baby. I also wanted Seduction to be about a custody battle between two parents who simply aren’t able to make their relationship work. I admit that I wasn’t sure whether either idea would be successful in an historical romance context, and I wasn’t the only one. My critique partners worried that readers would root for the baby’s father, rather than the hero. But I was determined to write this book, so I made sure Constantine is extra-huggable. He has been getting the most attention by reviewers, so I think it worked!

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

[Emma Locke] Resourceful, determined, scared.

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

[Emma Locke] Somebody’s Heartbreak by Hunter Hayes. Hunter’s voice perfectly captures Constantine’s handsome youthfulness, his yearning to be all to everyone no matter how much they let him down, and his naïve worship of Elizabeth, despite the fact that she has Bad News written across her forehead.

I’d love to know just what you’re thinkin’

Every little river, runnin’ through your mind

You give and you take

You come and you go

You leave me here wonderin’ if I’ll ever know

How much you care or how much you don’t

Whatever you need, whatever you want

If you’re gonna be somebody’s heartbreak

If you’re gonna be somebody’s mistake

If you’re gonna be somebody’s first time,

Somebody’s last time, baby be mine

If you’re lookin’ to be somebody’s ‘just friends’,

A little laughin’, little lovin’, never callin’ again, that’s just fine

If you’re gonna be somebody’s heartbreak

Be mine, yeah

Oh, be mine

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Elizabeth is never without.

[Emma Locke] Her face powder! Elizabeth was incredibly vain as a courtesan. She never left the house without first spending hours at her dressing table, making sure every lock of hair was styled just right to attract a man. As she settles into motherhood, she begins to change her priorities. But she still has one little luxury she can’t seem to give up, and that’s her face powder. She takes it with her everywhere.

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

[Emma Locke] 1. Gobs of money, because when he rubs two coins together, they vanish.

2. A slip of paper with an assignation written across it in a woman’s hand, because he is not the rake everyone believes him to be.

3. An appointment book, because he has nowhere to be.

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

[Emma Locke] If Elizabeth could go back to her 15-year-old self and not run away with the handsome Army captain who tempted her away from her father’s house, she would do it in an instant. But since she can’t, she won’t regret what she’s done since.

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

[Emma Locke] I’m a sucker for well-timed comedy. I love How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, House, and all the droll comments in Downton Abbey. Just your typical romance writer, I guess!

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

[Emma Locke] Noise, like the ambient racket at my favorite place to write (on a barstool at The Rock Wood Fired Pizza). My ACE bandages, because I’m starting to get carpal tunnel (bleh). And an internet connection so I can get to (my vocabulary isn’t as grand as I would like).

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

[Emma Locke] I have so many on my TBR pile, I can’t possibly answer this question fairly!

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

[Emma Locke] I loved all of my Little Golden Books as a child. I can remember re-reading The Pokey Little Puppy until it came unglued. When I got older, I read all of the Little House on the Prairie books, and then all of The Baby Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High books. Then I discovered historical romance and it was all downhill from there  Smile

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

[Emma Locke] In the imaginary world where I have free time, I love hot yoga. It’s hard to make the classes (and hot yoga isn’t really something you can do at home), but they’re so, so worth it. Nothing feels better than the high you get about 20 minutes after coming out of that hot room, all stretched out and exhausted and feeling like a million dollars… Hm… I may need to get to a class tonight!

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

[Emma Locke] Twitter is a great way to chat me up. I’m still new to tweeting but I am getting more proficient, I swear. Or readers can come over to my Facebook page and post there. I do check Goodreads but not as often as I’m on the other two.

Here are my handles: and and

[Emma Locke] I hope to hear from you soon!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order any of Emma’s books from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:


Elizabeth Spencer needs a man. Preferably one who won’t be too picky about the morality of her proposition, or his reputation. Lord Constantine Alexander can’t afford another trip to debtors’ prison, which makes him the perfect candidate. She doesn’t expect him to have a heart of gold, or to hold up his end of the bargain–particularly when his high-in-the-instep family gets involved. Nor does she expect to find him irresistible, because while she needs a man, she doesn’t particularly want one.


When a beautiful courtesan offers to satisfy his creditors, Con leaps at the opportunity. Never mind his mother and brothers are suspicious of his newfound fortune–being with Elizabeth is intoxicating enough to wipe any thought of scruples away. He soon realizes it’s not just his future he’s been gambling, but his future family. How can he convince London’s premier courtesan he’s more than a callow rake?

The Problem with Seduction is a full-length book (104,000 words) and the second book in The Naughty Girls series. The first book, The Trouble with Being Wicked, is now available and the third book, The Art of Ruining a Rake, will be released in early 2013.

About the author:

Emma Locke is a writer and engineer living in the Pacific Northwest, where she loves hiking with her dog, hot yoga and riding out the annual 330 days of rain. Hiking and yoga give her time to plot, the lack of sun makes for perfect writing weather, and as for her day job, the dichotomy seems to work: her analytic side ensures her passionate, satisfying love stories don’t mulch under her bed, and her author side forces her to keep writing more. You can Like Emma on Facebook at or check out her books and appearances at

Cover Reveal: Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine

Today I have the cover reveal for Philippa Ballantine’s upcoming release Harbinger.  What do you think of it?  Keep reading to learn more about Harbinger and Pip!

Harbinger by Philippa (Pip) Ballantine

Release date July 30th

Book Description:

The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves…

After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him.

Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing…

About the Author:

Long Version

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger coming in July 2013.

She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.

In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.

Short and pithy version:

New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a mighty clowder of cats.

Author of: Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger (2013) from Ace Books and Hunter and Fox and Kindred and Wings (2013) from Pyr Books

Co-author (with Tee Morris) of Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences— an Airship Award winning steampunk series. Novels: Phoenix Rising and the Janus Affair. Also includes digital short stories and a free award winning podcast series


Twitter: philippajane


Interview with Jennifer Ryan, Author of Saved by the Rancher and Giveaway!


Please welcome Jennifer Ryan to the virtual offices today!  The first book in her The Hunted series, Saved by the Rancher, is in stores now! After the interview, enter for a chance to win a copy of Saved by the Rancher!

[Manga Maniac Café] Hi, Jennifer! Thanks for dropping by today.

[Jennifer Ryan] Julie, thank you so much for inviting me over today.

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

[Jennifer Ryan]  author, avid reader, mother, wife, daughter, sister, gardener, chocolate addict – the order changes by the minute some days.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Saved by the Rancher?

[Jennifer Ryan] SAVED BY THE RANCHER is a fast paced romantic suspense.

Jenna Caldwell Merrick divorces millionaire businessman David Merrick and takes part of his company with her. Furious, he demands she return to him and give back the Merrick shares she received in the settlement. Refusing to do either, she runs.

Jenna finds a new place to hide on Jack Turner’s ranch. Hurt and in pain, he’s forced to tend her wounds and try to make her well again. From that moment on, he’s invested in more than just saving her life, he wants to find the bastard who hurt her, stop him, and make Jenna his wife. Before that can happen, he’ll have to earn her trust and convince her to stay with him, because if she runs again, he knows he can’t live without her.

Obsessed, she has become a virus to David, infecting his system, destroying his rationality. If she’s not his, then she might as well be dead.

Jenna’s been plotting and planning to take down David for years. Past time to end this deadly game, she sets her plan in motion to destroy David both publicly and privately. The hunted becomes the hunter, and Jenna walks into the Merrick boardroom to take David down. He’s left her no choice but to take back her life the only way she can, by destroying his.

In a rage, David comes after her, seeking retribution. Jack knows the only way to protect Jenna is to eliminate the threat against her…for good.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] The original idea was to create a story about a woman on the run. Someone who had money and means, but couldn’t escape the danger no matter how hard she tried. I needed a compelling and determined character to keep her on the run and David Merrick’s evil obsession with his ex-wife gave me the perfect setup. It also gave Jenna the perfect reason for revenge.

No one should get away with hurting another.

Jack was easy to write. I’m married to an ex-Army Ranger, so I’m familiar with the aftereffects soldiers suffer when they return home from war. Jack’s isolated himself from family and friends, but can’t escape his haunting memories. Jenna and her injuries bring back the past, but open him up to a brighter, happier future filled with love.

These two need each other and David gives them a common goal to eliminate, which only draws them closer together.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] Strong. Generous. Kind.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] Jason Aldean’s – When She Says Baby

There’s this lyric…

Everything gonna be alright – just lay down by my side – let me love you through this life – Yea she’s the perfect shot of faith – when every bit of mine is gone – something I can believe in – a best friend – a heaven sent love to lean on

This is exactly how Jack feels about Jenna.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Jenna is never without.

[Jennifer Ryan] The heart shaped green amethyst necklace Jack gave her. She always wears it close to her heart.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] Hair gel. A manicure set. Scented candles.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] Not protecting Jenna when her ex comes to the ranch and takes her. He’ll never forgive himself, but he makes sure David will never do it again.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Saved by the Rancher is the first book of your Hunted series. How are the books interconnected, and how many will there be?

[Jennifer Ryan] The books are interconnected through family and friends. In Saved by the Rancher, we meet Jack’s identical twin brother and FBI agent, Sam. He’s the main character in Book 2 – Lucky Like US – releasing on April 9, 2013. We also meet Cameron Shaw, who takes over Merrick International with Jenna. He gets stuck in a love triangle in Book 3 – The Right Bride – releasing on April 30, 2013.

Tyler Reed, Sam’s FBI partner in Lucky Like US, will finally meet his psychic ghost in Book 4 – Morgan’s Gift. Tyler and Morgan will track a serial killer bent on eliminating San Francisco of all the fake psychics, ending with Morgan as his final victim, unless Tyler stops him.

Those are the four books I’ve written, but I hope to continue the series with Jenna’s lawyer, Ben, from Saved by the Rancher. In Book 2 – Lucky Like Us, we meet Elizabeth’s two brothers, Patrick and Daniel, along with her best friend, Kay.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] I’m an avid reader. I love romance novels of all kinds, from contemporary, to suspense, and historical. I love it when I read something great and it sparks my creativity and I can’t wait to sit down and write. Some of my favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Sharon Sala, Sabrina Jefferies, and Hannah Howell.

I have a great group of writer friends, both published and unpublished. If you haven’t heard of some of these ladies, you soon will: Marina Adair, Elisabeth Barrett, Hannah Jayne, Sharon Hamilton, and Brit Bury to name a few.

I also love country music. I find inspiration in the song lyrics. A single line can spark an idea for a new book. Country songs are short stories set to music.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] A movie I’ve seen a billion times playing in the background, cookies or chocolate, and a cup of tea.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] I just finished the first two books in Sharon Sala’s Rebel Ridge series – Next of Kin and Don’t Cry for Me. I can’t wait for the next one in the series to come out.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] As a kid, I wasn’t a big reader. My mom was always reading and as I got older, she started giving me books after she’d read them. It wasn’t one book that turned me into a bookaholic, but one author – Nora Roberts. One book wasn’t enough, I’d read four or five of hers a week until I worked through all her current and backlist books.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] With three kids, a husband, and a full time job, what little free time I find I use to write (or read). When I need to be alone and outside, I work in the garden. I love planting and fixing up the yard. It’s a great sense of accomplishment in a short amount of time. I love to stand back and look at the garden after I’m all done and just enjoy the flowers and peace.

Most of the time, I let my mind run wild and plot. The garden looks great, and I’ve got an idea for another book – or two.

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

[Jennifer Ryan] You can find more information on my website –

Twitter – @JenRyan_author

Facebook –!/pages/Jennifer-Ryan/520021168037391

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!


Ready for your chance to win a copy of Saved by the Rancher!  Just fill out the widget below to enter. Earn extra entries for following.  US shipping addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can purchase Saved By The Rancher from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:


From the moment rancher Jack Turner rescues Jenna Caldwell Merrick, he is determined to help her. Soon, he is tending more than her wounds, he is mending her heart. Jenna is a woman on the run—hunted down by her ex-husband, David Merrick, from the moment she left him, taking part of his company with her, to the second she found herself on the safety of Jack’s ranch. More than just a safe haven, Jack’s offering the love, family, and home she thought was out of reach.

Jack’s support and love will give her the strength she needs to reclaim her life. The hunted will become the hunter, as David gets what he deserves when they have an explosive confrontation in the boardroom of Merrick International. But not before Jack and Jenna enter into a fight…for their lives.

Author Bio:

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, her dog, Bella, and cat, Shadow.

When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession for both is often revealed in the state of her home and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

For more information about Jennifer and her upcoming releases, visit

Cover Shot! Sweet Madness by Heather Snow

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?

Sweet Madness by Heather Snow looks intriguing.  The hero might or might not be insane? I don’t think the cover captures a feeling a madness, but I like it anyway.

In stores April 2013



There’s a fine line between love and insanity.

An Untamed Mind

Ever since her husband’s sudden and tragic death, Lady Penelope Bridgeman has committed herself to studying the maladies of the mind, particularly treating traumatized soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars. It is this expertise that brings the Marquess of Bromwich’s family to her door.

Gabriel Devereaux’s unexpected and unpredictable episodes are unlike any Penelope has studied. The once proud soldier has been left shaken and withdrawn, but she manages to build a fragile trust between them. Strangely, Gabriel seems completely lucid when not in the grips of his mania, and in the calm between bouts, she is surprised by how much she is drawn to him.

Despite his own growing feelings, Gabriel knows that he is fit for no one, and is determined to keep Penelope away from his descent into madness. But even though she knows firsthand the folly of loving a broken man, Penelope cannot stop herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost

Interview with Claire M Caterer, Author of The Key and the Flame

Claire M Caterer is our special guest today.  Please welcome her to the virtual offices!  Claire is here to chat about her MG release, The Key and The Flame, which hits shelves in April.

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

[Claire M Caterer] I love great stories in all forms; music I can sing to; animals of all sizes; travel & nature. Mostly introverted, sometimes a showoff.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Key and the Flame?

[Claire M Caterer] Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard, who leads a very ho-hum kind of life, receives a strange gift from an elderly British caretaker. The gift is just an old iron key, but when Holly discovers an ancient tree that contains a keyhole, she finds that her key unlocks the portal to a medieval world of danger and magic. Along with her brother Ben and their new friend Everett, Holly travels there, and the kids find themselves locked in a battle for their lives as a ruthless king attempts to wipe out all the magic in the land. It’s the first in a five-part series, the second book of which will come out in summer 2014.

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

[Claire M Caterer] The forest is a magical place to me—huddled in its own ecosystem, cut off from the world, quiet and green. One day on one of my favorite walks, I came upon an incredible tree and thought, “I wouldn’t be surprised if this were a portal to somewhere fantastic and magical.” Holly as a character grew naturally out of the plot, because she is a person who can be very quiet in the natural world and listen for the things that other people miss. She shares some qualities with me, including her eyeglass prescription. I identify with Ben in other ways, particularly his allergy to horses.

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

[Claire M Caterer] outsider, adventurous, honorable

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

[Claire M Caterer] The best I can come up with is an old Cole Porter song—“Don’t Fence Me In.” Holly’s not a cowboy, but that is her ethic. She just wants to be free to be herself, not to be hobbled or tied down to convention.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Holly won’t leave home without.

[Claire M Caterer] Her compass. Holly needs to know where she’s going, and she trusts science and nature to get her there. It takes her quite awhile to trust her magic in the same way.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Holly’s most prized possession?

[Claire M Caterer] Her magic key. What this key opens, and what the key becomes, makes it her most prized possession. It is her power.

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

[Claire M Caterer] As a kid I read and reread The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I also loved Roald Dahl, J.R.R. Tolkien, E. B. White, and Madeleine L’Engle. And there are so many others!

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

[Claire M Caterer] Ideally I need quiet, my cup of coffee, and my computer. While I can write longhand, I love the convenience of having the delete key! The coffee is more of a crutch than a tool. I like to have the cup next to me, but if I really get going it just sits there and gets cold. As for quiet, some noise is all right, but I absolutely cannot write if there’s music playing. I get caught up in the music and can’t get immersed in my imaginary world.

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

[Claire M Caterer] A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness—I read it last summer. I was able to crawl right inside that character and feel what he was feeling. The pencil drawings are exquisite—so evocative. I loved that marriage of illustration and text. The writing is sharp, beautiful, horrifying. And it made me cry, which most books don’t.

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

[Claire M Caterer] That’s tough, because I’ve been a reader as long as I can remember. But there was a marvelous book that’s out of print now called The Hidden Cave by Ruth Chew, about some kids who found a cave in an old sewer pipe in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. In the cave they found Merlin the magician, who led them on some interesting magical adventures. Ruth Chew was a wonderful writer of short middle-grade fantastic fiction, and she drew her own illustrations, which I liked. I probably started reading her books in second grade and couldn’t get enough of them.

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

[Claire M Caterer] I read as much as I can. I don’t watch a lot of television but am very devoted to the shows I do watch, especially British comedy and drama. I also love going on outings with my daughter. We go to parks and nature trails and the arboretum and botanical gardens whenever we can. I like to wander.

I love to travel, but don’t do as much as I’d like. Otherwise, I’m home with my dogs. I crank up something like the soundtrack to Mamma Mia! and dance around the house.

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

[Claire M Caterer] I love talking with readers, and they can find me at my new-fangled website and blog, my Facebook and Twitter pages, and on Goodreads. They can also email me to ask questions or just to chat at readerchat [at]

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can pre-order The Key and the Flame from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the links below:


About the book:

Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard wants nothing more than to seek adventure outside of her humdrum American life. She gets her chance at last when her family travels to England and Holly receives an unusual gift: an iron key that unlocks a passage to the dangerous kingdom of Anglielle, where magic is outlawed and those who practice magic are hunted. When her friend Everett and brother Ben are captured by Anglielle’s ruthless king, Holly must rescue them. But that means finding—and using—the magic within herself and learning which magical allies she can trust.

The Key & the Flame is the first in a brand-new fantasy adventure series for ages 8 and up.

Interview with Rinda Elliott, Author of Dweller On The Threshold

Our special guest today is Rinda Elliott!  Her latest release Dweller On The Threshold hits store shelves next week.  Please give Rinda a warm welcome!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Please tell us a little about yourself.

[Rinda Elliott] Let’s see, I’ve been married forever to my best friend. I’m crazy about my kids and I love to read above all things. I prefer genre fiction—mostly urban fantasy and romance. My other loves are movies and shows like The Walking Dead, Lost Girl, Veronica Mars, Buffy and Firefly. (Yeah, the last three are long gone, but I still miss them!) I love to cook and have a sincere respect for red wine. Hobbies? Making wine (I share the process in photographs on my website.) and sometimes playing video games. Last year, I took up gardening because of the cooking and my love for fresh vegetables.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Dweller on the Threshold?

[Rinda Elliott] Here’s the official blurb:

Beri O’Dell is investigating paranormal creatures because she wants to know what she is.  Taller and stronger than most men, she astral projects and can peel through dimensional layers to see the creatures and spirits beyond.

She once helped her foster sister, Detective Elsa Remington, track down killers in Jacksonville, Florida, but stopped when a nasty fire elemental turned her strength against her. Now, she finds herself pulled back when something steals Elsa’s soul and puts her into a coma.

With little time to spare, Beri searches for the reason behind her sister’s coma. She has help in her spirit guides Fred and Phro, but others come along for the ride, including a pyro-nervous witch, and an androgynous necromancer.

The last thing Beri needs is to fall in love with a mysterious stranger. But the handsome Minoan warrior Nikolos knows what creature she’s after because he’s battled it before.

It’s bad.

Really, really bad.

He calls it the Dweller on the Threshold.

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

[Rinda Elliott] I started Dweller on the Threshold years ago. I had written quite a few romances and though editors seemed to like them, most told me my heroines were too strong. Beri, the heroine of Dweller on the Threshold, sort of stormed into my life. I started writing about her for fun and everything really gelled when I came upon this theosophical concept of the dweller on the threshold. People who follow theosophy believe that a person is reincarnated over and over until they learn all life lessons. When they reach their last incarnation, they can only discover true enlightenment when they vanquish the karmic gathering of all their past lives. I thought what if that karmic gathering came from many evil lifetimes and it found a way to physically manifest? Then, I thought about Beri and how she’d deal with such a thing. Dweller on the Threshold was born. 

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

[Rinda Elliott] Unique, impatient, and caring.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nikolos is never without.

[Rinda Elliott] I can name two. His ankh and his dagger.

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

[Rinda Elliott] Perfume, dresses, and heels. She’s not very girly. <g>

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

[Rinda Elliott] She regrets losing control to a fire elemental and killing someone in a horrific manner. He was a bad guy, but knowing she’s capable of that kind of violence terrifies her.

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

[Rinda Elliott] Other writers I admire, music and art. I make collages of images for every book. I also put together soundtracks.

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

[Rinda Elliott] This one is tough. I was going to say laptop, but I can sometimes fill up notebooks. I was going to say music, but occasionally, quiet is best. I don’t have rituals because I believe it’s better to write whenever and wherever you can. Think this comes from being a mother. I do like to have a cup of coffee or tea somewhere close. Okay… and lip balm. I admit that’s weird, but dry lips bug me, so I keep a tube next to anyplace I might write. I also like lit candles. Doesn’t matter what time of day or year, I keep a bunch on my desk and love to have them flickering behind my laptop.

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

[Rinda Elliott] I have to be honest. It was my critique partner’s latest project. I can’t say anything about it other than I loved it. She has several other series out people can read until this gem is available. Her name is Rachel Vincent and the series are Soul Screamers, Shifters and Unbound.

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

[Rinda Elliott] Just one? As a kid, I read everything. My earliest favorite book memory is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I went on to devour all the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. Then Judy Blume came into my life. Everything changed one summer when I was living in the Ozarks, bored out of my mind, and a nice woman gave me a box of Harlequin Presents novels. The first one I picked up was called Living with Adam by Anne Mather. My young heart went crazy and a love for romance novels was born. My husband tracked that book down for me again many years later and I reread it. Had to laugh. My taste in heroes and heroines has changed dramatically, but that book was the start. The start of my love for paranormal books? Wizard of Seattle by Kay Hooper.

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

[Rinda Elliott] Hang out with my family, watch movies, make wine or read. Sometimes, I’m reading while doing all those other things.

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

[Rinda Elliott] I have too many websites right now, but hope to streamline them soon. I have a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc, but the best place is I’m also a member of a group of fantastic writers called The Deadline Dames. You can check out all our books at .

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can pre-order Dweller On The Threshold from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:


About the author:

Rinda Elliott loves unusual stories and she credits growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and horror kept them amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, Rinda tried to separate her darker side with her humorous and romantic one. She published short fiction, but things really started happening when she gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, she loves making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with her husband and two children.

Waiting on Wednesday–Riding on Air by Maggie Gilbert

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

One guess why I’m waiting for Riding on Air by Maggie Gilbert. Yup!  Horses!  I’ll never get tired of horses books!

In stores April 1, 2013



For readers of Jenny Downham, John Greene and Maureen McCarthy, a poignant young adult romance about following your dreams and realising what really matters.

What can you do when your own hands are the enemy? Hold on tight, for as long as it takes.

Melissa has secrets. Sure it’s pretty obvious she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but no one knows how bad it is or how many pills she takes for the pain. She’s determined to make her horse Jinx into a champion and she dreams that her childhood friend William will one day see her, rather than her condition.

So when William asks her out and Jinx is shortlisted for selection in an elite training program, it seems Melissa’s dreams have come true. But when her secrets are exposed, all those dreams come crashing down around her. Can William ever forgive her? And can she learn about letting go in time to truly ride on air when it matters most?

What are you waiting on?