Interview with Angela McCallister, Author of Bad Mouth and Giveaway!

Angela McCallister dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her new release BAD MOUTH.  Check out what she had to say!  Be sure to enter the giveaways, too!

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

[Angela McCallister] Sometimes geeky, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. Loves family, good friends, good food, books, romance, and dark humor.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Bad Mouth?

[Angela McCallister] A human with a vampire grudge is forced to work with a human-hating vampire prince to solve a chain of vampire-on-human murders. Their attraction is shocking, but they won’t let that get in the way of their prejudice—until close proximity reveals what lies beneath their racial allegiances. The trouble is some of the murders were committed with Kade’s blessing, and if Val learns of it, there’d be more hell to pay than with just his life. She could tip the delicate balance between the vampire castes and bring on a war like none before. If race weren’t enough, his dark secrets ensure the growing connection between them is doomed.

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

[Angela McCallister] I listened to Bad Mouth by indie band Fugazi, a song I’d heard many times over, but one day it struck me the title would be great for a vampire story. I found out there were no books by that name so I had to write one, lol. As I always do, I began with the characters. What was the worst pairing possible? A human-hating vampire and a vampire-loathing human, of course. To complicate their relationship, he had to be involved in some bad stuff that validated her opinion of vampires. Kade had to have proof humans deserved his antipathy, thus he gets to deal with some bad humans. I compounded that with a very touchy situation within Kade’s two-caste vampire society, a quite insane pair of vampires (his parents) as the head of the society, an opportunistic gang of Slavers, and societal protocols that bind their decisions tighter than a gnat’s behind. Heh, the relationship may be the easy part in all of this.

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

[Angela McCallister] Determined. Courageous. Virtuous.

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

[Angela McCallister] Unequivocally, it is Demons by Imagine Dragons. Every. Darn. Word. I can’t even pick a key phrase from the lyrics without posting most of the song. Google the lyrics, but I warn you, you’ll want to hear the song and then you’ll want to download it. It’s beautiful and tortured and very Kade.

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

[Angela McCallister] Her pepper spray, lol. Her assistant, Alice, talks her into carrying a gun with her later for safety, but she’d adopted the pepper spray well before the book begins. Also a habit picked up from Alice 🙂

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

[Angela McCallister] A suit he’s actually worn. He’s a vampire prince, but you’d never know his riches because he’s eternally in a T-shirt and worn jeans. A condom because the only disease vampires succumb to is vesania (a kind of madness) and because pregnancy would have to be intentional in his particular case. Finally, food of any sort. Vampires may eat if they so choose, but not this prince of vampires.

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

[Angela McCallister] Not being able to save her ex-husband from himself.

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

[Angela McCallister] When I first started as a pre-teen, I read a lot of McCaffrey, Asimov, Heinlein, etc., but I got into a horror phase and devoured Clive Barker, Brian Lumley, Stephen King and the like and then a fantasy phase with Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, Weis & Hickman. Now, I can’t get enough happy endings so when I re-caught the reading bug on deployment, my favs were Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Nalini Singh, Karen Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan. So I’m pretty sure this is why I went the paranormal route first, though that doesn’t mean I don’t have plans for some contemporaries. Guess I was destined to be as eclectic as my reading tastes, lol. Believe it or not, I even had a Louis L’Amour phase, and I’d still love to find a romance version of the Sacketts. Feel free to send suggestions 😉 PS—I’ve already devoured every American historical by Pamela Clare, lol.

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

[Angela McCallister] Me, myself, and I. I once “wrote” two-thirds of a novel while driving cross-country from Pensacola to Point Mugu. I jotted it all down on my laptop each night once I got to my hotel.

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

[Angela McCallister] Tiffany Reisz! I’m dying because she cliffhangered right off the end of The Prince and I neeeed that next book.

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

[Angela McCallister] Why, Dr. Seuss, of course 🙂 I got obsessed with reading from the time I could actually do it, and it never ended. I honestly couldn’t say which of the books it was since it was so long ago, but it was definitely one of those vibrant, creative treasures.

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

[Angela McCallister] Outside of writing, reading, and critting? Hmm. If I were to pick something outside of the literary world, I’d say gorging on my addiction to cheesy scifi/horror movies. Surely that must come from my taste in books in high school, lol.

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

[Angela McCallister] Very easily and in many ways. Check out my website (, my Twitter (, my Facebook (, my Pinterest (, or my Goodreads ( I’m also on Linkdin and Google+, but forgive me. I barely know what to do with those *g* Come and visit the Chick Swagger Blog ( where I blog with a very fun, feisty, and talented group of Chicks. I’m on Manic Readers, The Romance Studio, World Lit Café, and I have my author page on Amazon.

It’s been a great pleasure, Julie! Thanks so much for inviting me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


We have two giveaways today!  First up, Angela is giving away one author-signed paranormal book bundle and one $50 Amazon/Barnes and Noble gift card.

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And next, just fill out the widget below to enter for a chance to win a copy of Bad Mouth. Open Internationally!

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Purchase links:



Barnes and Noble:


About the book:

After her ex-husband’s obsession with vampires, Valerie Craig is on a mission to stop transformations. Of all vampires, Kade Rollins is the worst of the worst, but when multiple murders plague Seattle, Val is forced to enlist his aid. Kade’s crude wit and seductive nature attract her like no other, but she can’t ignore his violence toward his human servants, no matter her yearning to forget.

She’s torn when she learns Kade may be behind the murders. Val’s worked hard to protect humans from vampires, but the truth surrounding the murders could ignite a bloody battle between their races, one humans are sure to lose. Someone is pulling strings to build a vampire army and spark the war—setting Kade up to kick it off. But if she trusts the vampire prince, she risks her job, her integrity, and her heart if he betrays her as all the men in her life have.

About the author:

Angela McCallister is a US Navy Sailor and author of Paranormal Romance repped by the fabulous Nalini Akolekar. Spoiled by the gorgeous weather of Southern California, she spends her days reading and writing whenever she’s lucky enough to be away from work. In fact, she’s never to be found without a book hidden somewhere on her person. Over the past two years, her writing has finaled in multiple RWA writing competitions, and her debut Paranormal Romance, BAD MOUTH, won MERWA’s 2012 Everything But The Kitchen Sink Competition.

Find her on Twitter (, Facebook (, or on her website (

Interview with Merrie Haskell, Author of Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Merrie Haskell dropped by the virtual offices this morning to chat up her latest MG release Handbook for Dragon Slayers.  Check out what she has to say about it.

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

@merriehaskell: author, library paraprofessional; obsessed with herbs, blacksmithing, office supplies, alternate universes, anthropology

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Handbook for Dragon Slayers?

[Merrie Haskell] It’s a 12th century adventure story that takes place along the Rhine, in which a runaway princess with a clubfoot who joins forces with two dragon slayers-in-training; she runs into the Wild Hunt, an evil knight, and several dragons along the way.

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

[Merrie Haskell] The broadest part of the concept, a girl who writes a handbook for dragon slayers, actually came to me in drips and drabs over the years.  In college, for a history class, I had to read a wonderful book called A Handbook for William, which was a 9th century German woman’s advice for living at court for her son.  The concept of medieval handbooks actually became a bit of an obsession for me at that point.  How on earth do you make something like that exciting in a fiction book, though? Many years later, I ran across the concept of book curses–notices put at the beginning of books that promised dire consequences for book thieves (explored in an interesting book called Anathema: Medieval scribes and the history of book curses).  I’m not entirely sure when dragons wormed their way in there, other than dragons are so much fun.  When I learned Old English in college, the Anglo-Saxons were sort of obsessed with dragons–it was a big insult to call someone a dragon, because you were a hoarder of gold and treasure, the opposite of what a noble and valiant Anglo-Saxon should be.  Being a giver was important–a ring giver, a bread giver.  It’s so the opposite of how we look at dragons now.  So, these three concepts sort of came together, and I found myself scratching out a book curse:

Whosoever steals this book

shall burn in the

fiery conflagration of a DRAGON’S BREATH



It is advised, therefore,

that you take your nose home intact,

and leave this handbook

for the study of proper DRAGON SLAYERS

It suddenly seemed very clear to me, that a handbook could be very interesting if it were for dragon slayers.

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

[Merrie Haskell] This is actually something I do while I write: have the main characters and their key character traits written on post-its along my monitor.  Tilda’s said: RESILIENT. 

I would also add either "Dutiful/Rebellious" — this is her main conflict in the book, as she is duty-driven but rebelling against that.

And finally–"Intelligent."

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

[Merrie Haskell] Great question!  I would say it’s probably "Good Life" by OneRepublic.  That song just reeks of Parz–a sort of easy happiness and optimism, combined with the joy of adventure and travel.

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

[Merrie Haskell] A personal knife to use for eating.  You always had to bring your own knife to dinner in the Middle Ages.

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

[Merrie Haskell] Well, since she lived in an era in which pockets didn’t exist, this list is sort of endless!  But she has a few pouches and purses and things like that, so I’ll say she’d never carry embroidery needles, thread, or any sort of thimble.

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

[Merrie Haskell] Judith loves animals, especially baby animals; she comes to regret being a dragon slayer pretty quickly when she realizes that baby dragons are affected!  Otherwise, though, she is not a girl who holds herself back except when prudence demands, so she doesn’t have too terribly many regrets.

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

[Merrie Haskell] I would say learning has the biggest influence on my creativity.  When I’m learning new things, I almost can’t stop the flow of story and character ideas–it just rains down.  The most perfect example of this was recently when I started to learn blacksmithing–knowing that I wanted to write about a blacksmith, of course.  I started seeing the world in the colors of heated metal. I would drive over bridges and think about the wealth of rebar embedded in the concrete beneath me.  I was on a long plane flight with a copy of The Art of Blacksmithing and started to read–in 30 seconds, I had a notebook open next to me as I scribbled scene idea after scene idea, just from reading about the details of the things I had learned in a more hands-on setting.  I think that’s my most perfect learning experience, doing followed up by theory. I am similarly stimulated when I travel or learn languages. I love going to a place and then reading about it in detail.  It feels backward–wouldn’t it be better to learn before you go somewhere?–but I think that gives me preconceptions that aren’t helpful for the stimulation of creativity.

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

[Merrie Haskell] A reasonable night of sleep behind me, a writing tool (pen & paper or computer), and ideally, a notebook or a stack of notecards so I can document the things I don’t want to include in the manuscript.  I have been a creature of ritual and habit from time to time, but so often these things get in my way.  Deadlines which are attached to money have a way of clearing a lot of mental fluff from your process, I’ve found.  I occasionally worry that my process is still too dependent on peripheries (really, a computer AND a notebook?), but whenever I forget the notebook, the process suffers, so I think I really do need it. Jotting notes to myself on the computer helps me very little; the notes just get lost in the shuffle. Having that other thing to look at on the desk beside me while my book is still up on the screen is great. And if I need the physical act of writing with a pen to get me out of my typing-mode brain, it’s right there.

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

[Merrie Haskell] I couldn’t put down WHEN WE WAKE by Karen Healey, which is about a girl that wakes up from a cryogenic sleep a hundred years after she died and has to deal with all the grief and loss of her old world.  I read most of it during my time on the elliptical trainer at the gym, and it’s incredibly awkward to be brought to tears on an elliptical machine. Other people tend to think you’re having an asthma attack or… who knows.  "Sorry, I’m just reading a very affecting book, go back to your treadmill!"

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

[Merrie Haskell] Without a question, it was Little House on the Prairie.  I was starting to read a lot already, but when I got that for Christmas in first grade, and it seemed like such a *large* and important book and then I read it all, all by myself, I not only realized how much I enjoyed reading, but I felt smart and capable (no one else was reading books that big in my first grade class).  The escape of reading and the increase to my self-worth? A combination impossible to escape.

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

[Merrie Haskell] I like to read, of course.  I was a huge YA reader when I was a young adult, and never stopped reading YA along the way. I like TV–my Tumblr is pretty much reblogged gif sets from sitcoms and Avatar: The Last Airbender, and not much else.  Oh, and Revenge.  I dabble in a variety of hobbies, like the aforementioned blacksmithing, gardening, calligraphy, drawing…  

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

[Merrie Haskell] I have a Facebook page, but most of the action is on Twitter (@merriehaskell) and my blog (  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Handbook for Dragon Slayers and The Princess Curse from your favorite bookseller or buy clicking the links below:

About the book:

When a runaway princess throws her lot in with a couple of would-be dragon slayers, before long she is facing down the Wild Hunt, befriending enchanted horses, battling fire-breathing dragons, and learning more about herself than she ever expected…

About the author

Merrie Haskell grew up half in North Carolina, half in Michigan. She wrote her first story at age seven, and she walked dogs after school to save for her first typewriter. She attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated from the Residential College with a degree in biological anthropology. She works in a library with over 7.5 million volumes.

Her first book, the Middle Grade historical fantasy The Princess Curse, was a Junior Library Guild selection. Her second book is Handbook for Dragon Slayers.  Her short fiction appears in Nature, Asimov’s, and various anthologies. Merrie lives in Saline, Michigan.

Book Blast! Overexposed by Adrianne James

Young Adult
May 24th 2013 by Star Bound Books

In the tiny town of Willowspring, just about nothing ever happens except for layoffs, hockey games, and your average melodramatic teenage angst.

But that was before.

Vi, Ashley, and Macy are just trying to make it through the school year without one more humiliation when they team up for a simple photography assignment: create a story through a series of photographs. Can’t be too much trouble, right?


The shutterbugs happen upon Willowspring High School’s darkest secret. When everything around them starts to crumble after trying to do the right thing, their only hope is to stick together.

When the door opened to the alley behind the rink, I realized two things. One, it was freaking colder outside than it was in the bleachers by the ice, and two, Brianna Jones (A.K.A Bra stuffer) was already out there.

The three of us walked out as if it was perfectly normal to be there but Brianna didn’t even notice us. We walked to the opposite side of the alley and huddled together. We hoped it would look like we were keeping warm, but we were trying to hide both the cameras.

Watching Brianna was rather dull. She was just standing there, talking on her cell phone and it wasn’t even anything remotely interesting. We took pictures anyway, because like Mr. Bennett said, you need the before, during, and after to tell a story with photographs.

“Look! She is checking that car’s doors! That isn’t her car, is it?” The quiet clicking of the shutters on our cameras was almost deafening to me. I swore each click was louder and louder as we watched Brianna try to break into a car.

Finally, the last door she tried, the back passenger side, was open. She slipped in and a second later, the dark car had a red glow inside. She climbed back out, shut the door, and walked over to the wall, smoking a stolen cigarette.

“She just broke into someone’s car for a cigarette? Seriously?” Ashley was just as flabbergasted as the rest of us. Why would anyone risk committing a crime for a smoke? “Oh! She is moving again!”

Click, click, click. I took more and more pictures. I hated that they were all from the same angle, but spys have to do what they have to do to keep from being caught, all the while still getting the images.

Brianna walked back to the car and put the cigarette out on the hood. Lucky for whoever owned it there was a layer of snow to put it out before it could burn the paint. Then she leaned over and used the mirror. She pursed her lips, showed her teeth to check those, then she lifted her head slightly.

“What is she doing?” I whispered.

“I’m not sure.” Macy said breaking away from the group. “I am going over there, different angle.” Before I could stop her, she had gone back across the alley to the other side. She was braver than I was. Ashley watched her closely before turning back to me.

“Let me take some. I promise I won’t hurt Jilly.” I knew I had to hand it over. I promised her she could use it. Even knowing that, it didn’t make it any easier.

“Okay. Here.” I took the strap from around my neck and quickly placed it around hers. The minute the fabric was firmly against her skin, she took off, too. “Ash, what are you doing?” I whisper yelled to her.

She just put a finger over her mouth to shush me and she got even closer to the car than Macy had. I figured that made me look out so I opened my eyes and ears and tried to make sure my best friends didn’t get caught.

I looked over my shoulder to check the door to make sure we were still alone when all of a sudden I heard a scream.

“YOU LITTLE BITCH! GIVE ME THAT CAMERA NOW!” When I turned back to see what was going on (although I was pretty sure that either Macy or Ashley had been caught by Brianna) I saw my girls running towards me, with Brianna not far behind.

“Run!” Ash and Macy yelled through giggles. I turned and headed to the door and held it open for them. As soon as they passed through I closed it and the three of us went straight out the front door and to Macy’s truck.

“What on earth just happened?” I asked when I caught my breath. Ashley handed Jilly back to me and I flipped it on. The minute I pressed the play images button I began to laugh. The first one was of Brianna screaming at the camera. I pressed the next button and then it was a picture of her finger in her mouth. The next one was a picture of her finger in her nose.

I died laughing. Brianna Jones was a booger eater. I bet her boyfriend would love to know that.

“Oh, Ashley, you are amazing!” Then the truck erupted in laughter and because Macy’s dad had given her a twenty to get food at the overly expensive rink, we headed to the diner for some hot cocoa and French fries for half the cost. Who said teenagers were irresponsible with money?

Growing up, Adrianne couldn’t get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn’t have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.

During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life’s stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.

As a young adult and new adult author, Adrianne James has plans to bring stories of growing characters, a little romance, and perhaps a little magic and mythology down the line for her readers to enjoy.


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Graphic Novel Review: Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Faith Erin Hicks and Prudence Shen


Title: Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Author: Faith Erin Hicks and Prudence Shen


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It’s only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club’s robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!

In Faith Erin Hicks’ and Prudence Shen’s world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong


I have to admit that I wasn’t too eager to dive into Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, and I don’t know why.  I think that the synopsis just didn’t grab my imagination.  A surprise day off due to power issues at work prompted me to pick this up, and I’m glad I did.  This is such a fun read, with plenty of humor to keep the conflict between Charlie and Nate from getting too intense. 

At the beginning of the book, when the cheerleaders were forcing Charlie to run for Student Body President, I just wanted him to tell them to go jump off a cliff.  He gets caught up in an election campaign that he wants nothing to do with, and it is destroying his friendship with Nate.   Nate only wants to win because he’s discovered that the Student Body gets to decide whether funding will be available for the cheerleaders’ new uniforms or his beloved robotics club.  Charlie doesn’t care one way or the other, except that the cheerleaders freak him out.  They are like ninja cheerleaders – they are scary and they get what they want, and what they want are those new uniforms!  As Nate’s war on the cheerleaders, and Charlie, by association, heats up, Nate doesn’t hesitate to pull out all of the stops, and many of the stops are embarrassing to Charlie.  The pony incident when he was little certainly didn’t need to be plastered all over the high school walls for everyone to see!  I enjoyed Nate and Charlie’s friendship, and how they interacted with each other.  Even when they were so pissed that they were driven to pummel each other, it was evident that they didn’t really want to ruin their friendship.  They are so different that they complimented each other, and I thought they made a great team.

When it’s apparent that the election isn’t going to have the desired results, Nate figures out another way for both sides to get what they want.  It requires working together, and the cheerleaders need mucho convincing.  Through all of the negotiations, it’s obvious that Charlie has a lot more on his mind than robots or uniforms.  He’s been having a hard time forgiving his mom for leaving him and his dad and moving to California.  He’s resentful of his dad, too, for never being home.  Charlie has a lot going on, and his way of dealing with his problems is to ignore them.  He is passive aggressive to both parents, and even though he wants to give them a piece of his mind and make them understand where he’s coming from, he just can’t find the words.  Instead, he hangs up on his mom a lot, and then avoids her calls.  I found him a very likable and sympathetic character, and kept hoping he would find the strength and courage to let both of his parents know how badly they had let him down. 

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is a fun, humorous read about robots, scary cheerleads, and all of the important relationships in the lives of two unconventional friends.   Friendship is work, especially when you don’t always have the same goals, and this book captured the ins and outs of working through adversity through the magic of spot on prose and expressive illustrations.  Highly recommended.

Grade:  B+ / A-

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Jessica Day George, Author of Wednesdays in the Tower and Giveaway!

Please welcome Jessica Day George to the virtual offices this morning! Jessica is here to chat about her latest release, Wednesdays in the Tower, and after the interview, she has a copy for one of you to win!

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

[Jessica Day George] Redheaded chocoholic bookworm.

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

[Jessica Day George] Devil-may-care, loyal, tough. (Hyphens make that one word, right?)

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

[Jessica Day George] Sketching pencils.

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

[Jessica Day George] River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. I’ve been a huge fan for many years. He just keeps getting better!

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

[Jessica Day George] It was definitely The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley. I’d never read anything like it, and I swore I would be an author too, when I read it.

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!


Ready for your chance to win a copy of Wednesdays in the Tower? Just fill out the widget below to enter! US addresses only, please.

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Didn’t win?  Click the links below to purchase Wednesdays in the Tower:


About the book:

A castle that is constantly rearranging itself, and a young royal family sworn to protect it… Celie, Rolf, and their beloved Castle Glower are back in this exciting sequel.

Strange things are afoot in Castle Glower: new rooms, corridors, and even stables keep arriving, even when they aren’t needed. Celie’s brother Bran, the new Royal Wizard, has his hands full cataloguing an entire storeroom full of exotic and highly dangerous weapons, while Celie has her hands full . . . raising the creature that hatches from a giant egg she finds! Will they be able to find out what’s making the Castle behave this way in time?

Interview with Amanda Forester, Author of A Wedding in Springtime and Giveaway!

Please give a warm welcome to Amanda Forester! She’s visiting the virtual offices to talk about her newest release, A Wedding in Springtime, which is taking the internet by storm!  After the interview, enter for a chance to win a copy of A Wedding in Springtime.

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

[Amanda Forester]  I am a writer of my two favorite heroes: rugged medieval Highlanders and witty Regency gentlemen. A Wedding in Springtime is my new release!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about A Wedding in Springtime?

[Amanda Forester]  Five minutes into Miss Eugenia Talbot’s presentation at court, notorious rogue Mr. William Grant makes her laugh before the queen, ruining her debut. To hush up the scandal, Genie needs to make a brilliant marriage, and fast.  Genie’s aunt hires a matchmaker to find a suitor—anyone except the infamous William Grant—but amiable Genie shows a disturbing tendency to follow her heart.  When a traitor creeps closer, threatening to ruin more than just her reputation, Genie and Grant are drawn into a dangerous world of deceit and intrigue, where losing their hearts could mean their ultimate undoing.

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

[Amanda Forester]  This series is a little different because I first came up with the secondary characters and then the main heroes came into focus. We meet strong secondary characters through the first two books in the series, who finally have their own story in the third book in the Marriage Mart trilogy. Each book is stand alone though, and Wedding in Springtime has my absolute favorite hero – I adore Grant. He was so much fun to write and would whisper things in my ear that had me laughing out loud!

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

[Amanda Forester]  Humorous, Clever, Compassionate

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

[Amanda Forester]  Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding – at least until he met Eugenia Talbot, then it was I’m a Believer by Smash Mouth.

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

[Amanda Forester]  Her good humor, and a guidebook of London

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

[Amanda Forester]  Flowers, Books, Anything resembling a hard day’s work

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

[Amanda Forester]  Eugenia is content to live in the present moment without a lot of regrets. However, she does regret laughing before the queen at her presentation.

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

[Amanda Forester]  My two greatest influences for writing Regencies are the two greats, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. Their captivating plots and insightful wit have kept me entertained and inspired me to write something of the genre myself, only with Napoleonic spies. Not sure where the spies came from…

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

[Amanda Forester]  Time, quiet, ability to stay awake at the keyboard

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

[Amanda Forester]  The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete. I’m in the process of trying to domesticate a crazy puppy.

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

[Amanda Forester]  I’m not sure exactly which book, but I’m sure it was written by Dr. Seuss. I think it may have been the classic, HOP ON POP, or possibly my favorite GREEN EGGS AND HAM.

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

[Amanda Forester]  Sleep. No, really, sleeping sounds heavenly right now. When I’m not grabbing a nap I enjoy doing family activities, walking (running after my puppy while hollering her name) the dog, hiking, camping, scrapbooking, and working in the garden. Mostly if I have a free moment I write!

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

[Amanda Forester]  I love to hear from readers so come visit me at my website, facebook, or twitter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


Ready for your chance to win a copy of A Wedding in Springtime? Just fill out the widget below.  US addresses only please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase links:



About the book:

Her Timing Couldn’t Be Worse…

Miss Eugenia Talbot’s presentation to the queen is spoiled by a serious faux pas—the despicable William Grant made her laugh, right in front of Her Majesty. Now Eugenia is ruined and had better marry—someone, anyone—at once…

And His Couldn’t Be Better…

Roguish William Grant has never taken anything seriously in his life. Until he meets Eugenia Talbot, who makes him feel and do thing he never thought he would.

Now Eugenia’s great sense of humor and kindheartedness may be her undoing, unless William can help her find a husband. To his surprise, that’s the last thing he wants to do…

Cover Reveal: The Rising King (Keepers of Life, #3) by Shea Berkley

I have a cover reveal from Entangled Publishing this morning! This is for The Rising King (Keepers of Life, #3) by Shea Berkley.  Check out the excerpt, and if you enjoy it, use the links to preorder a copy today!

About the book:

The summer before Dylan Kennedy’s senior year in high school is turning out to be anything but boring. Ridiculously hot girlfriend? Check. Killing evil Dark Souls who suddenly have aspirations of taking over the magical realm of Teag because its protective spell is gone? Check.

Not even Teag’s King, Dylan’s father, Baun, can stop them. People are dying, and a dark magic that his girlfriend, Kera, received from Baun is growing stronger. Dylan wants to believe Kera is suppressing the darkness that’s in her, but every day he sees that control slip just a little more.

Baun sends Dylan to find a powerful magic that stop the Dark Souls, a magic so strong that Baun hid it so no one else could use it. When Dylan doesn’t expect to find along with it, are consequences that could end the lives of those closest to him.


I ease my hand into Kera’s and lace our fingers together, bringing her deep violet eyes onto me. They sweep over my face, and the edges of her full lips curve upward as if she’s fighting a smile. She sets aside the book and leans close bringing the scent of summer with her. “You scared me to death.”

I love it when she worries about me. When it comes to my life, someone caring enough to worry is sort of a new thing. “You do that all the time to me.” I tug her hand and bring her closer so I can snag a quick kiss.

Kera pushes away, but I don’t let go. The look she throws me is serious. “I’m not kidding, Dylan. You have to be more wary, especially when it comes to creatures like the millispits.”

Read more

Interview with Shoma Narayana, Author of Secrets & Saris

Please welcome Shoma Narayanan to the virtual offices today!  Shoma is here to chat about her latest Harlequin release, Secrets & Saris, which is part of the KISS lineup.

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Love writing, hate deadlines.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Secrets & Saris?

[Shoma Narayanan] "Secrets and Saris" is about a rather unlikely couple – Shefali, who’s beautiful, charming, and has been recently jilted; and Neil, who’s a young, gorgeous, single father. Shefali moves to a small town to escape the gossip after her fiancé doesn’t turn up for their wedding. Neil runs an award-winning TV show, and chooses the same town to shoot one of the episodes for the show. Sparks fly when they meet each other, and in spite of her vow to steer clear of men, Shefali finds herself more and more drawn to Neil….

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

[Shoma Narayanan] The idea for the story came up during a visit to Jabalpur, the town where most of the story is set. I thought it would be interesting to explore the reactions of a rather conventionally brought-up, slightly spoilt big-city girl when she’s forced to adapt to small town life. And what happens when she meets a man who seems to have adapted perfectly to his surroundings, but is actually carrying a huge amount of baggage.

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Beautiful, determined, and just a little spoilt

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Difficult to say

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Her handbag – she carries half her life around in it

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Cigarettes; a clock; flowers

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Having blindly followed the plan her parents had chalked out for her without trying to figure out what she wanted for herself

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

[Shoma Narayanan] The books I’ve read over the last 30+ years, right from the classics to detective fiction, to romance and chick-lit. Even non-fiction is an influence in a way.

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

[Shoma Narayanan] My laptop, my bean bag, and a good night’s sleep. Silence would be good as well, but with two kids I’ve forgotten what its like to have a quiet house.

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Romance: "The One That Got Away", by Kelly Hunter

Non-romance: "The Rational Optimist"

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

[Shoma Narayanan] The first book I ever read – it was called "The Enormous Turnip", and I read it over and over and over again! And "To Kill a Mockingbird", which I read when I was considerably older.

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Reading; various vaguely ‘artistic’ hobbies like painting cartoon character murals on my kids’ walls; sewing, knitting and crochet (the most fun part is bullying the kids into wearing what I’ve made). I work full-time in a bank in addition to writing, so I don’t really get all that much free time 🙁

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

[Shoma Narayanan] Through Goodreads, or through my Facebook page:

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase links:

Print version available now, eBook releases June 1

About the book:

A secret that could cause scandal!Jilted at the altar, Shefali Khanna should be humiliated. Instead she takes the opportunity to start again. Top of the priority list: do not tumble headfirst into another relationship!

But even moving from the city to the country can’t keep Shefali out of trouble—especially when she catches the eye of local celeb Neil Mitra! There is no way she can risk a scandal already! He might be gorgeous, but he’s totally off-limits…right?

Extra bonus: included is The Wedding Dress Diaries by Aimee Carson, the prequel to our fab new quartet!

Read an excerpt here