Cover Shot! Beauty’s Daughter by Carolyn Meyer

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 love Carolyn Meyer, and I love Ancient Greece, so Beauty’s Daughter is high, high, high on my wish list. 

In stores October 2013



The Spartan princess Hermione is the daughter of Helen, who is known as the most beautiful woman in the ancient world. When Helen runs off to Troy with the handsome young Prince Paris, Hermione’s father, King Menelaus, erupts in fury. He amasses a thousand ships and sails for Troy, determined to reclaim Helen. This is the beginning of the Trojan War.

For the next ten years, young Hermione lives outside the walls of Troy and is a witness to the battles that result in the death of heroes on both sides. Can she ever forgive her mother for creating such chaos? And will Hermione find her own love and her own place in the world?

Interview with Jennifer Probst, Author of All The Way


Please welcome best-selling author Jennifer Probst to the virtual offices today! This is a return visit for Jennifer, and I’m so excited to host her again.  The Marriage Bargain is one of the first Entangled books that I reviewed, and Jennifer is one of their first authors that I interviewed!

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Welcome back, Jennifer!  If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Jennifer Probst] Well, before I got married it was “Another One Bites the Dust.” Now it’s more a motto from Finding Nemo – “Just Keep Swimming.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about All The Way?

[Jennifer Probst] Absolutely! It’s a love story of revenge and redemption between a restaurant owner and a food critic. My hero walked away from everything he loved and broke my heroine’s heart. Now he’s back  to right his wrongs, but it’s a hard journey back into her bed and heart. It’s filled with lots of sexual tension, humor, food, music, and fun!

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

[Jennifer Probst] I’ve always wanted to write about a food critic and the restaurant world, and I loved the idea of a story centering around a man who made mistakes when he was young and the path back to make things right.

I actually wrote this story a decade ago so I’m thrilled to finally share it with readers!

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

[Jennifer Probst] stubborn, feisty, fearful

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

[Jennifer Probst] A need to get Miranda into bed!

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

[Jennifer Probst] Breaking Miranda’s heart

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What were your greatest influences while working on All The Way?

[Jennifer Probst] Frank Sinatra. Everything Italian. Family dynamics. Great food. Spiritual philosophies.  Opera.

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

[Jennifer Probst] JR Ward’s The Black Daggerhood series – I’ve read three in a row and can’t stop!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How has your life changed since The Marriage Bargain was released last year?

[Jennifer Probst] Like the glass slipper fit. I’m completely grateful and humbled to be able to write full time now, and dedicate myself to sharing my stories with readers. I have an agent, a few fantastic publishers I adore, and the ability to work from home so I can be with my kids. Doesn’t get better than that!

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

[Jennifer Probst] I love my family. I adore getting together with everyone over a great dinner, seeing my nieces, taking vacations, just enjoying time together. I love reading, dogs, food, wine, and hanging with my friends.

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

[Jennifer Probst] I love readers! I’m consistently on twitter, facebook, and respond to all emails. Visit my website at or drop me an email at

Thanks so much for having me here today!!

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can purchase All The Way from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

Book Blurb:

The food critic…

Miranda Storme never expected to see Gavin Luciano again. Three years ago, they had an intense affair—and then he bolted. Now he’s back, and Miranda has the pleasure of a little payback: a scathing review of his restaurant. Revenge is a dish best served the first chance you get…

And the restaurateur…

With three months to make his family’s struggling Italian restaurant successful, a bad review is Gavin’s worst nightmare. But this isn’t just about the meal. He’s finally realized what he left behind and is determined to spend the next eight weeks proving himself to her in the kitchen…and in the bedroom! This is one dish she won’t be able to refuse…

About Jennifer Probst:

Jennifer Probst is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary romance fiction, both sexy and erotic.  Visit her at the following:




Twitter: @JenniferProbst

Review: Me, Him, Them, & It by Caela Carter


Title: Me, Him, Them, and It

Author:  Caela Carter

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

ME is Evelyn Jones, 16, a valedictorian hopeful who’s been playing bad girl to piss off THEM, her cold, distant parents. HIM is Todd, Evelyn’s secret un-boyfriend, who she thought she was just using for sex – until she accidentally fell in love with him. But before Evelyn gets a chance to tell Todd how she feels, something much more important comes up. IT. IT is a fetus. Evelyn is pregnant – and when Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn has no idea who to turn to. Can a cheating father, a stiff, cold mother, a pissed-off BFF, and a (thankfully!) loving aunt with adopted girls of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?


Wow, at times Me, Him, Them, And It is a hard book to read.  Evelyn is a self-destructive teen, who is crying out for attention from her parents.  Because her home life is so dysfunctional, nothing she does makes them bat an eye.  Her mother is emotionally stunted, unable to communicate her feelings, and her father has been caught cheating, so he is struggling with guilt.  He leaves for a time, but then comes back home, and everything is changed.  The house is silent, nobody talks, and Evelyn is spiraling in a black depression she can’t escape.  She is like her mother; unable to adequately communicate her feelings, even to her best friend.  The words she longs to speak stick in her throat, trapped and suffocating her.  There are times I was so frustrated with her, because if she would only SAY something, anything, she wouldn’t have to feel as though she’s carrying the burden of the world on her shoulders.

Evelyn has set a high bar for herself.  She wants to be the class valedictorian, and  she wants to attend an Ivy League university.  It is so sad that neither of her parents has any clue how well she’s doing in school, or what her college ambitions are.  Then she decides to punish her parents.  She doesn’t want to be Good Evelyn anymore, and who can blame her.  She received no credit at all from her distant parents, and she desperately wants their attention.  Any kind of attention.  The sad thing is, even as she begins indulging in dangerous behavior, they still don’t acknowledge her desperate cries for help.  Then she discovers that the risks she has been taking have come home to roost.  She’s pregnant, and she doesn’t know what to do.

This book is all about consequences.  Evelyn has made a mistake, and now she has to face it.  She has to decide what to do about the bean growing in her belly. Todd, the father, turns his back on her, and no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t tell her BFF what’s wrong with her.  The only compassionate adult in her life is Mary, a counselor at the local planned parenthood.  Because she can’t have a discussion with her mother, Evelyn makes Mary tell her mom that she’s pregnant.  Ouch!

I didn’t want to like any of the characters in this book.  Everyone is so absorbed in their own drama and agendas that nobody seems to care about anybody else.  Evelyn irritated me at times, but then I stopped and realized that there were so many grown up decisions that she had to make, without much input from the adults in her life, and that she had every reason to be confused, angry, and hurt.  Overwhelmed.  Few of the adults in her life gave her any credit, yet they all demanded that she make a plan. Now.   It’s not even like she had a good example of what a real family should be like to base her decisions on.

When she’s sent to live with her Aunt Linda and her family in Chicago, Evelyn is understandably upset.  In her hour of need, her parents send her away.  Once she falls into a routine at Linda’s, though, she does start to feel like she belongs.  She slowly begins to learn how to express herself, though it is a painful and awkward process.  And just when I think she is beginning to heal, and she will make a rational decision about what to do about the bean that she blames for ruining her life, she makes yet another impulsive, life altering choice.  While the ending is upbeat, Me, Him, Them, and It had me feeling a bit out of sorts.  The magnitude of Evelyn’s problem is staggering and her rage at her parents is all-consuming.  The choice she must make will alter the lives of almost everyone she knows, and yet all of them leave her to make it on her own.  The thought of an angry, resentful, and scared teen making of decision like this on her own just left me depressed.

Grade:  B/B+

Check back later today for a chance to win a copy of Me, Him, Them, and It!

Review copy provided by publisher