Shower of Books Giveaway Hop! Win Vampire Empire: The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith


Welcome to my Showers of Books Giveaway Hop.  This hop runs April 24 to April 30  and is hosted by  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by Books à la Mode.  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 Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith’s Vampire Empire Book Three: The Kingmakers. This is the third and final book of the Vampire Empire series. 

About the book:

The epic Vampire Empire trilogy rushes to a heart-wrenching conclusion of honor and love, hatred and vengeance, sacrifice and loss. A war to the death. Empress Adele has launched a grand crusade against the vampire clans of the north. Prince Gareth, the vampire lord of Scotland, serves the Equatorian cause, fighting in the bloody trenches of France in his guise as the dashing Greyfriar. But the human armies are pinned down, battered by harsh weather and merciless attacks from vampire packs. To even the odds, Adele unleashes the power of her geomancy, a fearsome weapon capable of slaughtering vampires in vast numbers. However, the power she expends threatens her own life even as she questions the morality of such a weapon. As the war turns ever bloodier and Adele is threatened by betrayal, Gareth faces a terrible choice. Their only hope is a desperate strike against the lord of the vampire clans-Gareth’s brother, Cesare. It is a gamble that could win the war or signal the final days of the Greyfriar.

Just will out the widget below to enter. Earn extra entries for following. US addresses only, please.

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Cover Shot! The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich

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 this cover!  I love the visuals, and all of the detail.  The lanterns are cool, the moon gives off a soft glow, and the statues rocks. The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich will be in stores September 2013



It’s Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

     Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure–complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western–is at hand.

Review: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner


Title:  Maggot Moon

Author:  Sally Gardner


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing. What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright — sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big…One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting.


Wow!  I was stunned and breathless when I reached the last page of Maggot Moon. I should have picked up from the book’s title that things are not happy in Standish’s world, but whoa, I wasn’t expecting something quite it dark.  Standish’s voice is compelling and haunting; here is one young boy who has seen too many things that he shouldn’t have.  Poverty, repression, violence against himself, his family , and others.  Standish’s world is dark and disturbing, and not a place that I ever want to witness first hand.

Standish is dyslexic, which on it’s own is enough to make him a social outcast.  To make his life even more difficult, he has different colored eyes as well.  In his oppressive society, he should have been sent away, to a school for those with impurities, or worse, to be maggot meat.  Instead, his parents enroll him in the school where they work.  Because he is different, he is mercilessly bullied, which only gets worse after his parents are vanish.  Alone with his grandfather, Standish just tries to keep his head down and not draw any more unwanted attention to himself.  Being at the bottom of the social ladder, that’s not really too tough.  It’s only after Hector and his family move in next door that Standish’s world is tilted on its axis.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, so I’m trying to keep the spoilers to a minimum.   This is a fast-paced read, with explosive bursts of violence and action.  Standish is passive and takes his beatings without much of a fuss, until after Hector and his family are also taken away.  Then he’s had enough and all he wants to do is save his best friend.  When he learns that the government is pulling the biggest history in the history of hoaxes, and that if they succeed they will be an indisputable world power, he is determined to do something about it.  I loved this about Standish.  He realizes that he is David to a powerful, corrupt, and deadly Goliath, but he doesn’t care anymore.  He is going to find way to throw his stone and topple the monster that threatens the entire world.

A word of caution; while I loved this book, it might be too intense for younger readers.  Maggot Moon is a bleak story, with a bleak ending. Despite the affection and support from his Gramps, Standish’s life hadn’t exactly been a happy one.  Everyone he knows and cares about has either been taken away by the government or is in immediate, mortal danger.  It’s scary.  It’s overwhelming.  And at times, it will leave you just as numb as Standish has become to all of the brutality around him.   I wondered where Standish kept finding the courage to keep going on. This book was impossible to put down, and  I gobbled it up on a Sunday afternoon.  Standish’s voice will be with me for a long time to come.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Brooklyn Ann, Author of Bite Me, Your Grace and Giveaway!

Please welcome Brooklyn Ann to the virtual offices today! She’s celebrating the release of Bite Me, Your Grace, and after the interview, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the book!

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

[Brooklyn Ann] I’m a metal head, a nerd, and an unapologetic bookworm that has a penchant for writing quirky, romantic stories with unconventional heroines.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Bite Me, Your Grace?

[Brooklyn Ann] In the midst of England’s vampire craze inspired by the publication of John Polidori’s The Vampyre, a bluestocking debutante bent on ruining her reputation encounters a vampire duke striving to save his. Sparks fly and shenanigans ensue.

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

[Brooklyn Ann] After discovering that the horror genre was born in Regency England, I was inspired to see how it would affect the people of that time, normal and paranormal. I had a daydream about a woman encountering a vampire in a regency ballroom and was off in a flash.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Angelica?

[Brooklyn Ann] Rebellious. Impulsive. Naïve.

[Manga Maniac Café] If Ian had a theme song, what would it be?

[Brooklyn Ann] The String Quartet Tribute to “Stairway to Heaven” by VITAMIN STRING.

[Manga Maniac Café] Name one thing Angelica is never without.

[Brooklyn Ann] A pen… or her case, a quill. She aspires to be a gothic authoress.

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

[Brooklyn Ann] 1: Windows, because the sun would burn him.

2: A mess, because he has servants.

3: Rats or mice, because Angelica’s cat takes care of them.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Angelica’s greatest regret?

[Brooklyn Ann] To have acted without thinking or communicating with Ian when they had a misunderstanding.

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

[Brooklyn Ann] Music: especially Megadeth, Nine Inch Nails, Dio, and Tori Amos. Books, especially Romance, Horror, and Fantasy. And movies, everything from cheesy B-horror to raunchy comedies to epic dramas.

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

[Brooklyn Ann] Silence, Red Bull or hard cider (depending on the hour), and my imagination.

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

[Brooklyn Ann] It’s a 3-way tie because they were different socks. ?

GARGOYLE by Shelley Martin: a paranormal romance with a strong heroine, a sexy gargoyle, engaging plot, and haunting chemistry.

A STORM OF SWORDS (Game of Thrones #3) by George R.R. Martin: The best in the series so far, IMO. I was shouting, “OMG!” every chapter.

BARELY ALIVE by Bonnie R. Paulson: a YA Zombie romance that is so unique, plausible and suspenseful. I devoured the trilogy and LOVED IT!

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

[Brooklyn Ann] BUNNICULA, by James Howe. I read it when I was 7. The tale of a vampire rabbit in the POV of a dog and a literate cat! The sequels, HOWLIDAY INN, and THE CELERY STALKS AT MIDNIGHT are also awesome!

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

[Brooklyn Ann] I like to watch movies, play darts, fish, paint, cook, and sing karaoke.

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

[Brooklyn Ann] My blog is

I’m also on twitter:

And Facebook:

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

Giveaway Time!!

Ready for your chance to win a copy of Bite Me, Your Grace? Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following.  US addresses only, please


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Didn’t win? You can purchase Bite Me, Your Grace from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

England’s "vampire craze" causes much vexation for the Lord Vampire of London, Ian Ashton. To save his reputation, Ian enlists aspiring authoress Angelica Winthrop without realizing she has hidden plans of her own.

Angelica Winthrop’s life goal is to ruin her reputation, avoid marriage, and become a gothic authoress like her idol, Mary Shelley. To find inspiration for her new story, she breaks into the home of Ian Ashton, Duke of Burnrath, not knowing she will be coming up against the Lord Vampire of London. Romance sparks and reputations are at stake. But who knows the real difference between fact and fiction?