Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop – Win After The Snow by S D Crockett!


Welcome to my Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop.  This hop runs fromMarch 29 – April 5 and is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Read Now Sleep Later.  You can win lots of new reads, so click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away an ARC of After the Snow by S D Crockett, though if you live in the Midwest, I don’t think it will ever stop snowing this year!

About the book:

Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone.

But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone — he doesn’t have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl — but Willo just can’t do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?

Just fill out the widget for your chance to win. Earn extra entries for following. US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Shot! The Thousand Names by Django Wexler

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?

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler looks awesome!  It has  cross-dressing!  And muskets! And magic!  The cover is pretty cool looking, too.

In stores July 2013


Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel—but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic….

Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.

To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.

The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural—a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.

Interview with Ally Blake, Author of The Secret Wedding Dress

Please welcome the talented Ally Blake to the virtual offices today!  Ally’s latest release is The Secret Wedding Dress, which is published by Harlequin under their new KISS line. 

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

[Ally Blake] Redhead, footy fan, mum to three beings of pure delight, putty in the face of Italians & firemen, believer in love, luck & fairies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for The Secret Wedding Dress?

[Ally Blake] The Secret Wedding Dress was born of a single image that slammed into my sub-conscious one day – a woman standing in a lift, holding a wedding dress that she owned, when into the lift walked the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen ;). I just had to know; who was she, why did she have that dress, and what kind of man would go after a woman he knows owns a wedding dress?!?!?!

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

[Ally Blake] Ambitious, loyal, emotionally-stunted. (The hyphen makes it three words ;))

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

[Ally Blake] I listened to Jace Everett constantly as I wrote this book – he sings the theme song from TV show True Blood. In fact I heard the voice of Joe Manganiello – Alcide from that same show – in my head every time Gabe hit the page. Not a bad way to make a living!

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

[Ally Blake] An escape route ;).

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

[Ally Blake] Since Gabe travels, a lot and to some truly remote places, I’m not sure he’d would much notice what was or wasn’t in his bedroom. The three things Gabe’s bedrooms MUST have are his own bed. And his pillow -flattened to the point he probably didn’t even need the thing. And his mattress with the man-shaped dint right smack bang in the middle that fit his spread-eagled body to perfection. Unfortunately for Gabe, for much of the book they are lost in transit, so he has to make do with sleeping elsewhere…amongst other things ;). Thankfully he’s a man with a good imagination!

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

[Ally Blake] I’m not sure Paige has any regrets at the beginning of the book. Her life is pretty much exactly how she always wanted it to be – with a great job and a gorgeous apartment, she’s set up so that she doesn’t need anything from anybody. It’s only with the looming marriage of her best friend, and worse, the new man in her life – big, bad beautiful Gabe Hamilton – making a mockery of her desire never to fall in love that she sees what her life could be, if only she found the guts to let it.

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

[Ally Blake] I envy John Le Carre’s clever turns of phrase. I think Dick Francis writes the most wonderful, laid-back, gorgeous heroes. I love Rachel Gibson’s va va voom. I adore Kristan Higgins’ lightness of touch, Sophie Kinsella’s laugh out loud humour and LaVyrle Spencer’s warmth. If my books find a splash of any of the above, I’m a happy writer.

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

[Ally Blake] Coffee, computer, white noise – I do my best work in noisy cafes!

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

[Ally Blake] The past months I’ve devoured Rachel Gibson’s entire backlists and adored every book to absolute bits! Tangled Up in You and True Confessions were particular favourites. Fantastic stories with feisty heroines and men to make you melt!

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

[Ally Blake] I’ve been a reader as long as I can remember, but I believe I owe my absolute soul-deep adoration to my Grade 7 teacher who chose John Christopher’s Tripod Trilogy for the end of year book report. My report for the first book ended up covering the entire trilogy and led me to read John Christopher’s Sword of the Spirits books which I still class as absolute favorites today. So much so my son’s middle name is named after the hero!

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

[Ally Blake] With three little kiddlywinks, my non-writing time is pretty much owned by Play-Doh, colouring in, and playing hide-and-seek. In rare kid-free moments I love yoga, cloud-watching, eating M&Ms, snuggling on the couch with the hubby knocking back half hour TV shows, barracking for the Collingwood Magpies AFL team and researching future heroes on Pinterest ;).

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

[Ally Blake] For the latest book release news, the best bet is to pop over to my website – www.allyblake.com. For behind the scenes stuff, head on over to my Pinterest boards. Or come say "hi" at Facebook, Twitter, or ally@allyblake.com.

Thanks so much for having me, and happy reading!

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can purchase The Secret Wedding Dress  or any of Ally’s backlist from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below.

About the book:

A wedding dress…but no bride!  Paige Danforth isn’t interested in setting herself up for an unhappy-ever-after-thanks to her father’s betrayal, the closest she’ll ever get to walking down the aisle is as a bridesmaid. But one bridal sale later, Paige is left clutching her own champagne chiffon wedding dress! Clearly she needs to end her self-imposed dating drought….

Enter ruggedly sexy neighbor Gabe Hamilton. He wants Paige in his bed and nothing more-no promises made, no promises broken. But will this big, bad adventurer stick around when he discovers not only skeletons-but the wedding dress-in her closet?