Cover Shot! The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul by Jon F Merz

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?

Ninjas? Zombies?? I don’t need to know anything else about The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul by Jon F Merz.  Bam! It’s on the wish list!

In stores September 2013


Ninjas and zombies! Book 1 in a new series, the Shadow Warrior saga. A young ninja in a fantastic land of dreams and nightmares must face an army of zombies to save a beautiful sorceress.Book One in an exciting new series, the Shadow Warrior saga.

In the fog-enshrouded peaks of the island nation of Japan, Ran, a newly-minted ninja field operative is set loose on a musha shugyo, a wandering quest, whereby he must travel alone and hone his skills. Journeying from Japan to Korea aboard a merchant vessel, Ran hears tales of a mysterious lord believed to have the dead for his servants.

Soon these tales prove all too real as Ran comes to the aid of Jysal, a beautiful sorceress, whose undeveloped power gives her the ability to heal a land — or destroy it.  But the Lord Kan-Gul also covets Jysal’s power. And when Kan-Gul sends a army of the undead to take Jysal by force, Ran is faced with the ultimate warrior’s choice: save himself, or face down a horde of enemies that cannot be killed for the simple reason that they are already dead!

Interview with Jane O’Reilly, Author of Once a Bad Girl

Jane O’Reilly is our special guest today, and she’s here to chat about Once a Bad Girl.  Please give her a warm welcome!

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

[Jane O’Reilly] Crikey, that’s tricky! Housewife with a laptop.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] Once a Bad Girl is a fun, contemporary romance about a woman trying to save her family business, and the son of a famous client who is determined to get in her way!

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

[Jane O’Reilly] My husband went through a phase of watching auction programmes on the TV, and I was always fascinated by the items that turn up, so I decided to base a book around an auction house. Around the time I was writing Once a Bad Girl, Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry went up for auction. After lusting after all that sparkly fabulousness, I began to wonder what could drive someone famous and successful to sell off their treasures, and the story just clicked in to place.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] Stubborn, quirky and determined.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] Josh owns a chain of nightclubs, so I think it would have to be something brash and loud. Beastie Boys Fight for your Right fits the bill pretty well.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] Lottie has a habit of buying uncomfortable shoes, so plasters for her feet.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] Josh is very much a splash and dash kind of guy, so I would say moisturiser, fake tan or a face pack. He does have a yellow plastic duck though.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] I think this would have to be allowing herself to get out of control as a teenager. We’ve all done stupid things at that age, but Lottie went too far, and has had to live with the consequences ever since.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] I read obsessively, and draw a lot from that. I also find museums are a great way to fill the well. I live near London, so have a fantastic source of inspiration almost on the doorstep. The National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert museum are particular favourites.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] I need quiet, a notebook to scribble in as I’m working, and a hot water bottle to combat the extended winter we’re having here in the UK.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] I’ve read a lot of books recently that I really adored, but I would say the last book I read that blew me away was Rumour has It, by Jill Mansell. She killed off a character who was utterly hateful and made it devastating.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] It would have to be George’s Marvellous Medicine, by Roald Dahl. I’ve never forgotten the description of the grandmother’s mouth – like a dog’s bottom 🙂

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

[Jane O’Reilly] I’m a very keen knitter, and always have a project on the go. I find the tactile nature of it (plus the logical nature of following a pattern) wonderfully soothing. Plus I like having a jumper than no-one else has.

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

[Jane O’Reilly] They can find me on twitter as @janeoreilly, on my website, on facebook and on goodreads

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Once a Bad Girl from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below

About the book:

A bit of glitz, a bit of glam, a bit of bargaining…and a wardrobe malfunction. In the style of Victoria Dahl, a fun, flirty contemporary romance that explores how far one woman will go to save her family’s business – and the one man that stands in her way.

It seems like a dream come true when whispers of a reclusive film star fallen on hard times meets Lottie Spencer’s ears. Desperate to save her family’s auction house, she knows that Hollywood memorabilia could be the answer to her prayers. Unfortunately, she’s about to find out that this client comes with strings attached – an overprotective son who will do anything to shield his mother from the prying eyes of the press. But Lottie is sure she can handle it.

If only being around a bad boy didn’t make it so hard to be good…

Jane O’Reilly

Jane O’Reilly started writing as an antidote to kids’ TV when her youngest child was a baby. Her first novel was set in her old school and involved a ghost and lots of death. It’s unpublished, which is probably for the best. Then she discovered contemporary romance, and that, as they say, was that. She lives near London with her husband and two children.


I wanted to help spread the word – Nominate a woman you admire and who helps change people’s lives.



Each year, the Harlequin More Than Words award is given to three women who have worked hard to change people’s lives for the better. Inspired by their accomplishments, Harlequin donates $15,000 to each winner’s charity of choice and then pairs each winner with a bestselling Harlequin author who turns her story into a novella that’s released to the public as a free e-book.

Nominations for the 2014 awards have just opened and will be open until August 9th. To nominate someone you know who is making a difference in the world, or to nominate yourself, you need to submit a few sentences on the nominee, the charity she’s involved in, what inspires her and how she’s inspiring others. The nomination form is available here:

After the nominations are closed in August, the entrants are narrowed down to 5 finalists and the public votes for 3 winners (in November). Then, winners are announced in December, and honored through the $15,000 donation, the novella written about them and feature coverage on Harlequin’s site! ( It’s a great program to honor all of the women who spend their time and energy doing things for others and might not be getting the recognition they deserve!

As a bonus, you can check out the 3 ebooks about the 2012 winners – available for free!

The books are:

– Good Neighbors by Sheila Roberts (inspired by Sally Spencer, who manages a mentoring program that rescues at-risk children)
– Just Joe by Carla Cassidy (inspired by Helen McGovern, who oversees Emergency Food Network, a food bank that serves all county residents, including those with health restrictions)
– Light This Candle by Cindy Dees (inspired by Mindy Atwood, who runs Patches of Light, a nonprofit organization where anonymous angels pay the rent for parents of desperately ill children)

Download them for free from Harlequin here:

Download them for free from Amazon here (Kindle-friendly versions):

Download them for free from B&N here (Nook-friendly versions):