Review: Kiss the Bride by Jody Wallace

 

Title:  Kiss the Bride

Author:  Jody Wallace

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Herman Edward Heckley knows all about drywall, concrete, and nail guns. So what’s he doing fighting off taffeta in a bridal salon? He’s maid of honor for his best friend, Caroline Oakenfeld, in her wedding to a pencil-necked geek. But the closer he gets to the ceremony, the more he wonders if he’s been missing out all this time. Caroline has been missing out, and she knows it. She’s been in love with Heck forever, but frittering her life away until Heck wises up isn’t part of her life plan. She’s agreed to marry her boyfriend so she can move on with her life. But the closer she gets to the ceremony, the more she realizes she has to resolve her feelings for Heck. For better or for worse.


Review:

I have come to really like Entangled’s Ever After line.  There are times when I want a shorter read, and after reading many titles from this imprint, it’s become one of my favorites.  Kiss the Bride is a little longer than some of the other offerings in the Ever After line-up, clocking in at a little over 140 pages.  This was a fun read, too, with the perspective mainly told from Heck’s eyes.  Heck can be a self-righteous snot, especially near the end of the story, but he is an entertaining character, and his point of view kept me turning the pages.  How he did not realize he was in love with his best buddy is a bit beyond me, but I guess realizing that Caro was the woman for him late was better than never.  Thirty-four years late, but who beside Caro is keeping track of that anyway?

Heck has been best friends with Caro for his entire life.  When she agrees to marry Dan, her boyfriend for the last three years, he’s lassoed into being the maid of honor.  He thinks Dan is a pencil neck, and wants to kick his ass more often than not, but agrees to help Caro with her wedding.  He is leery that she and Dan are rushing the ceremony, and wonders why Dan is never around.  He hasn’t lifted one finger to assist with the wedding arrangements, but as long as Caroline is happy, Heck’s not going to say anything. Much. 

For her part, Caroline has only agreed to marry Dan to get on with her life.  She’s been in love with Heck for years, but he sees her as a sister.  He’s not physically attracted to her, and for fear of ruining their friendship, Caro stays silent about her feelings for him.  She’s not going to jeopardize their relationship by spilling her guts to him.  What she does want, though, is a family, and after going out with Dan for years, she decides that, while he’s not Heck, he will have to do.  Her clock is ticking away, and she doesn’t have time to waste on a guy who doesn’t even realize that she’s a girl.  She likes Dan well enough, and they have similar goals in life, so they should have a comfortable married life, if nothing else.

When Heck is helping Caro pick out dresses for the wedding, he suddenly realizes that she possesses a pair of ta-tas.  A large pair of ta-tas at that.  Suddenly, he can’t stop thinking about what’s under her dress.  He keeps having very un-friend like thoughts about her.  He is consumed with thoughts of getting her naked.  Uh-oh.  He can’t be having thoughts like this, not when Caro is getting married on Saturday! To the pinhead.

I think I what enjoyed most about this story  is the compressed time-line.  It starts at the dress shop, where Heck has his big revelation about Caro’s boobs, jumps to the bachelorette party he’s planned on Friday night, and wraps up on Saturday, the wedding day.  This is a romance on Red Bull.  It’s quick, it’s funny, and it’s a diverting read.  Both Heck and Caro have trust issues, and while it’s sad that they don’t trust each other, they eventually find the courage to admit their feelings.  It’s almost too late for both of them by the time they do, and I was pretty disappointed with Heck at first, but his run in with the law convinced me that his feelings were real.  If you’ve got some free time, sitting down with Kiss the Bride would be an entertaining use of your time.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Jody Wallace, Author of Kiss the Bride and Giveaway!

 

 

 

Please give Jody Wallace a warm welcome! She’s visiting the virtual offices to chat about her latest release Kiss the Bride.

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

[Jody Wallace] Wearing my PJs at 3 PM, multitasking on the laptop like a fiend, wishing we employed a chef. And a housekeeper. And a nanny.

You meant describe myself RIGHT NOW, right?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Kiss the Bride?

[Jody Wallace] Best friends to lovers. Is there anything sweeter? Besides, you know, desserts. And certain fruits. And baby animals. And… Ok, there are all sorts of things sweeter than a best friends to lovers story! Come to think of it, Kiss the Bride isn’t as sweet as it could be either.

Kiss the Bride is set in the Southern United States. I like to think of it as a “hick lit”. The heroine, Caroline, has been in love with Heck since forever, and Heck is oblivious. Oh, he loves Caro, but he hasn’t connected his jealousy of all her boyfriends, his disinterest in other women and his true feelings for Caro. Kiss the Bride—when Caroline has decided to change her life and marry her boyfriend—is the story of when Heck connects the dots.

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

[Jody Wallace] I grew up in the South, so that setting is very near and dear to me – if done correctly! Also, in a romance novella, I tend to favor protagonists who already know each other so their relationship can have the kind of depth that lends itself to falling in love without me having to build it up as much in my abbreviated wordcount.

And that’s when the image of manly man Heck Heckley in a bridal salon with a bunch of female friends came to me. Why wouldn’t I want to find out the rest of that story?

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

[Jody Wallace] Stubborn, methodical, loyal

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

[Jody Wallace] I’m so bad with remembering song titles – something about saving the Earth, maybe? Give a hoot, don’t pollute? Maybe readers can tell ME which song is Caroline’s!

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

[Jody Wallace] A multipurpose tool.

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

[Jody Wallace] Romance movies and books (she likes horror and thriller), white T-shirts with no stains on them, expensive make-up. Well, I guess there could be white T-shirts with no stains if they were still in the package.

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

[Jody Wallace] Meankitty and all the revenge fantasies that play out in my head like movies.

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

[Jody Wallace] Electricity, a laptop and silence.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Kiss the Bride?

[Jody Wallace] Meankitty and all the revenge fantasies that play out in my head like movies ?.

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

[Jody Wallace] I’m one book away from the end of Lindsay Buroker’s Emperor’s Edge series and it is wonderful! A steampunk / political thriller / Thieves’ World mashup of adventure and romance.

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

[Jody Wallace] The Cat in the Hat? I’ve always been a reader so I can’t recall ever getting “turned on” to it.

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

[Jody Wallace] Reading, tap dancing, crocheting, collecting vintage clothing, foisting off new recipes on my family, and obsessing over my longing to have a tornado shelter in our house.

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

[Jody Wallace] I like high fives a lot, as long as you don’t hit too hard. Also, you can include as many or as few of these as you like:

Primary Blog: http://meankittybox.blogspot.com
Peddle Faster! Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jodywallace/ (infrequent releases & no spam!)
In Hell (only occasionally)
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jodywallace
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JodyWallaceAuthor
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1321322.Jody_Wallace
In the Recliner, with a laptop
Beyond the Veil Authors Blog: http://paranormalauthors.blogspot.com
Here Be Magic Authors Blog: http://herebemagic.blogspot.com/
My Other True Purpose in Life: http://www.meankitty.com

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

Tour wide giveaway!

 

 

 

 

1 Acorn necklace and earring set – this nature inspired jewelry set features mocha brown shell pearls which are capped with exquisite finely detailed antique brass acorn caps, antiqued brass spacer beads, antiqued brass chain. The necklace measures 17" + 2" extender & finished with a antiqued brass lobster clasp. ~~Gorgeous Set includes matching earrings. Open to US Shipping

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Kiss the Bride by By Jody Wallace

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC

Date of Publication: June 29, 2013

ISBN: 9781622662203

ASIN: B00DTDGJ3C

Number of pages: 140

BN

Book Description:

Herman Edward Heckley knows all about drywall, concrete, and nail guns. So what’s he doing fighting off taffeta in a bridal salon? He’s maid of honor for his best friend, Caroline Oakenfeld, in her wedding to a pencil-necked geek. But the closer he gets to the ceremony, the more he wonders if he’s been missing out all this time.

Caroline has been missing out, and she knows it. She’s been in love with Heck forever, but frittering her life away until Heck wises up isn’t part of her life plan. She’s agreed to marry her boyfriend so she can move on with her life. But the closer she gets to the ceremony, the more she realizes she has to resolve her feelings for Heck.

For better or for worse.

About the Author:

Jody Wallace grew up in the South in a very rural area. She went to school a long time because there was always something new to learn and ended up with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Her resume includes college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and general all around pain in the butt. She currently lives in Tennessee with her family: 1 husband, 2 kids, 2 cats. One of her many alter egos is "The Grammar Wench", which should give you an indication of her character. She is a terrible packrat and likes to amass vintage clothing, books, Asian-inspired kitchenware, gnomes, and other items that threaten to force her family out of the house. She also likes cats. A lot.

Ms. Wallace’s approach to writing is to tell as many outlandish lies as she can get her readers to swallow. Her dream is to be moderately well-paid for this service. She is active in RWA and occasionally conducts writing workshops. Among topics she’s been known to cover are training sessions for contest judges (she coordinated her local RWA chapter contest for many years), point of view, dialogue punctuation and creativity enhancement.

Her headshots were taken by Cindy Sarlo Photography of Dixon, TN.

Website: http://www.jodywallace.com/

Blog: http://blog.jodywallace.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jodywallace

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JodyWallaceAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1321322.Jody_Wallace

Waiting on Wednesday–A Hundred Horses by Sarah Lean

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

One guess why I’m waiting for A Hundred Horses by Sarah Lean…Yup, it has horses!  And magical adventures.  And a lot of fun, I hope!  In stores January 2014

 

From the author of A Dog Called Homeless, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, comes a gentle tale with a touch of magic about the power of friendship, the truth of belonging, and the most special of a hundred horses.

Nell is not happy about spending her school vacation with relatives she doesn’t know. Expecting nothing more than silly little cousins and boring farm life, she sneaks along a special suitcase that once belonged to her father. In it, she knows, are the parts of a music box and sixteen miniature painted horses, and she thinks maybe she can fit them all back together.

But the countryside has unexpected surprises. When a half-wild and mysterious girl named Angel steals Nell’s suitcase, the two girls are tied in an adventure of Angel’s devising. Nighttime meetings and a horse that might just be magical pique Nell’s curiosity, and soon she must put together the mystery of who Angel truly is, understand the legends about the herd of a hundred horses, and also discover something special about herself.

 

What are you waiting on?

Spotlight: The Marriage Merger by Jennifer Probst and Giveaway!

Today is the release day for the final book in Jennifer Probst’s Marriage to a Billionaire series.  The first book in the series, The Marriage Bargain, will always hold a special place in my heart because it got me reading series romance again.  I really loved that book, and how the author was able to make Nicholas a worthy partner for spirited Alexa.  He was such a pinhead in the beginning of the book!  I did not like him at all, and was getting nervous that I never would.  But enter one mangy dog, and Nick’s attitude on life changed forever.  Alexa was also like a freight train. Once she had a goal, nothing was going to stop her from achieving it. If you haven’t read this series yet, please do consider giving it a go.

 

About the book:

Her sisters have found wedded bliss with their wealthy,wonderful dream men, but not Julietta Conte. She’s stayed on terra firma as top executive of the family’s corporation, La Dolce Famiglia bakery. Work is her passion, and her trendy Milan apartment her sanctuary . . . until Sawyer Wells, a masculine masterpiece in a suit, lures her out of hiding with an irresistible offer: an exclusive partnership with his international chain of boutique hotels.

Julietta’s been burned before—and trusting her brother-in-law’s friend, whose powerful gaze alone has her rethinking the best use of a conference room, is the riskiest proposition. But with a once-in-a-career chance to take the bakery global, will she mix stone-cold business with red-hot seduction?

Giveaway!

Thanks to Gallery Books, I have a copy of The Marriage Merger to giveaway. Just fill out the widget for your chance to win. US addresses only, please.

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Links to purchase the other books in the series:

Review: Mist by Susan Krinard

 

 

 

Title:  MIST

Author: Susan Krinard

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard launches her first urban fantasy series
Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie Mist one of the only survivors.
Or so she thought.
When a snowy winter descends upon modern-day San Francisco in June, Mist’s quiet existence starts to feel all too familiar. In quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.
Loki has big plans for the modern world, and he’s been hanging around Mist for access to a staff that once belonged to the great god Odin. Mist is certain of one thing: Loki must be stopped if there is to be any hope for Earth. But the fight is even bigger than she knows….
Because Loki wasn’t the only god to survive.


Review:

While I love mythology, I have to admit that I don’t know much about Norse mythology. I am far more familiar with Greek, Roman, and Egyptian gods and goddesses, so when I saw Mist, I thought it would be the perfect way to learn more about Odin, Freya, and the rest of the gang.   Did I learn more about them? Yes, but a lot of the details about them, as well as the background information on Ragnarok, felt too much like info dumping, and often left me confused.

Mist believes she is one of the only survivors of Ragnarok, or the end of the world.  She has been entrusted by Odin to guard his spear, but as the years dragged by and still the god did not appear to take back his mighty weapon, Mist lost hope of ever seeing him again.  Turning her back on her Valkyrie duties, she’s decided instead to make Midgard her home.  She believes Asgard has been closed to her forever, everyone she knew dead, so she settles down in San Francisco and tries to make the best of things.  After she’s attacked by a frost giant, however, she realizes that she isn’t the only one to survive the final battle.  To her great dismay, she learns that her boyfriend is actually Loki, and he’s been fooling her in order to get his hands on Odin’s spear.  Now with the real end of the world approaching, she has to put her trust in a battered elf and learn how to make use of the magic she didn’t realize she possessed. 

While I found the info dumping in the first half of the book trying, I loved Mist when something was happening.  The heroine is strong, brave, and determined to save her adopted, even if it means standing up to Loki and his ruthless plans to take over the  world.  She has a handful of allies, and she’s not even sure she can trust them.  Odin’s sons, Vidarr, and Vali, are hardly dependable allies.  Vidarr is aggressive, selfish, and quick to rage, and Vali is a drunk who always caves to his brother’s whims.  Dainn, the tattered elf she found in the park, is hiding terrifying secrets, both about himself and Freya’s plans for Mist.  I liked Dainn, too.  He’s one step away from losing himself to his inner beast, and he has to ceaselessly fight the curse he’s been burdened with.  He’s old, but that doesn’t necessarily make him wise.  A fool to one of Loki’s tricks, he has a grudge the size of  California against his tormentor. 

I kept seeing Tom Hiddleston as Loki  (not a bad thing, right? And what’s this about Loki NOT being in the next Avengers movie??), which gave him a strong image in my mind every time he appeared in the book.  He’s such a fun character, what with his love of causing chaos for his own sick amusement.  Better yet, he has the power to back up his bad boy behavior.  There aren’t many who can oppose him, and Mist’s attempts to track him down and get the spear back seemed hopeless at first.  As she was forced into one deadly encounter after another, though, her powers grew, along with her desire to take Loki down.  I enjoyed the conflicts and confrontations as they clashed time and again.  He’s the kind of character you love, love, love to hate, so I wasn’t overly upset when Mist come out on the losing side more than once.  Like Mist’s, my dislike of Loki had to fester so that when Mist got the best of him, the victory would be that much sweeter.

I thought the pacing was slow at first, and that most of this book was set up for the series.  However, after the giants attack Mist in her home, the story really took off, and it was hard to put down after that exciting sequence of events.  The battle scenes were a blast, and the plot was starting to take off when the book ended.  While Mist didn’t always work for me, I am invested in the characters now and am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Grade:  This book is hard to grade.  C+/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Susan Krinard, Author of Mist and Giveaway!

I’m excited to welcome Susan Krinard to the virtual offices today! She’s here to chat about her latest release, Mist, and after the interview, she has an excerpt to share, as well as three copies of Mist for you to win! 

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

[Susan Krinard] Nerd, SF/Fantasy fan, reader, to fellow nerd, living in Albuquerque with three dogs, two cats. Loves angst, redemption, love stories, tough heroines, and good villains.

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

[Susan Krinard] Mist is the story of a centuries-old Valkyrie (who manages to keep herself looking around 28) living in San Francisco and trying to live a normal, mortal life. Hundreds of years ago, when Ragnarok–the final battle of the Norse gods (the Aesir) and their enemies—was about to begin, she and her sister Valkyrie were sent to Midgard (Earth), sworn to protect the gods’ twelve Treasures until Odin came to reclaim them.

But he never came, and Mist finally gives up her duty … until she faces a frost giant waiting for her in Golden Gate Park, and finds an elf in rags who had already “met” the giant, and lost. He tells her that the gods have survived, and are on their way to reclaim the Treasures from their Valkyrie guardians. But Freya, the goddess of love, who acts as the go-between for Mist and the other Aesir, isn’t quite what she seems. And Loki, their mutual enemy and greatest threat to Midgard, has a past with Mist and a legion of Jotunar (giants) on his side.

It’s up to Mist to head the ragtag army of mortals, Valkyrie, minor gods, and one elf in a battle against seemingly impossible odds, or see her adopted world fall into chaos.

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

[Susan Krinard] I’ve always loved mythology. It was like a visit to other worlds, and that was always what I was looking for as a reader when I was a kid. Long before I began writing professionally, I used to tell myself fantasy stories built on mythological concepts. I loved the silly TV cartoons about Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Submariner. I started looking at comics just before my teens, though I was a bit afraid to read them because girls just didn’t do that in those days. And again, Thor was one of my favorites.

After I discovered SF and fantasy, that genre seemed to fit right in with the kinds of mythological stories I loved so much. When I sold my first contemporary paranormal romance in 1993, I made use of the mythology of the shapeshifter, choosing a non-cursed werewolf as my hero.

But I always wanted to write “straight” fantasy. So when I was invited to participate in the anthology Chicks Kick Butt, I turned back to my love of mythology in writing the original novelette, “Mist.” I loved the idea of a Valkyrie heroine, and I’ve always loved tricksters … so I knew Loki, as the antagonist, was going to be a lot of fun. (I wrote “Mist” before the first Thor movie came out, so any similarities, especially between the Lokis, is sheer coincidence!) I also wanted a sort of aesthetic character to contrast with Mist and drive her crazy, so I chose an elf, Dainn, to be her somewhat ambiguous ally. (Not much is said about elves in what Icelandic retellings remain to us, so I could do largely what I wanted with them.)

Norse mythology is very earthy, very direct and “romantic” in the traditional sense, and the Norse gods are very much like humans—selfish, malicious, generous, inconsistent, courageous. I chose to interpret these myths my own way, developing some aspects and discarding others.

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

[Susan Krinard] Straightforward

Courageous

Conflicted

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

[Susan Krinard] Her sword, Kettlingr (kitten) … disguised as a knife she wears on her belt.

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

[Susan Krinard] Authors such as C.J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold, Andre Norton, among many other female authors (and some male) I’ve been reading since I was about 11. I’m also greatly inspired by nature, and good adventure/SF movies and TV like Firefly, The Avengers, X-men, Fringe, etc. I’m definitely a nerd at heart.

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

[Susan Krinard] My computer (duh)

Peace and quiet, or ambient music

My dogs

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

[Susan Krinard] It’s really, really, really hard to knock my socks off. I’m very picky, and though I will like a book (I’m currently reading The Demi-Monde by Rod Rees), the last book that made me wish I could get the sequel immediately (which, alas, didn’t even happen this year) was last summer: the most recent of Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel mystery series set in WWII Germany, City of Broken Glass. Her website doesn’t even suggest she’s working on a fifth book after leaving us with a major cliffhanger!

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

[Susan Krinard] Get out into nature, especially in spring and summer. I didn’t get to do enough of that last year or this due to my constant deadlines. I love to read good SF/Fantasy, historical, and mystery authors. I love a good movie, ranging from old classics to modern super hero films. I try to get out to see friends, another activity I’ve hardly been able to enjoy this or last year.

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

[Susan Krinard] The best way is via my website, www.susankrinard.com. I also have a Facebook page. Right now I still owe readers a few answers to blog comments, but as soon as this book is in (about a week to go) I’ll be getting to that.

Thanks for this opportunity!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you for visiting today!

Here a short excerpt from MIST

“Your manners disappoint me, my dear Mist,” a voice said from the shadows behind the desk. “And so does your judgment. I had hoped you would take warning and flee. After all the plea sure you’ve given me, I had intended to spare you.”

Eric. But it wasn’t Eric’s voice. And the figure that emerged from the shadows was not tall and broad- shouldered, but as lean and wiry as a stoat. He was dressed in black from neck to toe, modified biker’s leathers adorned with flashy metal trimmings and emblazoned with a stylized flame. His eyes were brilliant green, the irises rimmed with orange. His red hair was artfully styled, and his long, handsome face was smiling.

He looked nothing at all like the man she’d come to love. But her heart lurched under her ribs as she realized who she was seeing. Loki, the great Trickster, once beloved of Odin. The child of powerful giants, Loki was one of the few divine beings— not quite a god— who could change his shape completely without relying on illusion or possessing the body of an animal or man. At times he had saved the Aesir, at other times opposed them. His constant scheming had been overlooked until he had killed Baldr, the blind god, with malice and treachery.

The punishment they had set for him had planted the seeds of the Last Battle.

But he had many flaws besides a propensity for duplicity, not least of which was overweening pride and belief in his own ultimate superiority.

And that meant he could be beaten. Not now, not by her, but by those who were coming.

Swallowing her instinctive fear, she faced him squarely. “I’ve come for Gungnir, Slanderer,” she said.

“How charming.” Loki walked past Vidarr without a glance in his direction and stood before her, hands on hips. “You always were impulsive, darling. That was what made you so entertaining in bed, even if your other skills were not”— he looked her up and down— “quite as well developed as I might have preferred.”

Mist swung Kettlingr at his head. Loki sent the sword spinning to the floor with three short words and a wave of his hand, violently twisting Mist’s fingers.

“It’s no use,” Vidarr said, his voice thick with despair. “You can’t beat him.”

“Listen to the Silent One, villkatt,” Loki said. “Like you, Odin’s son has been corrupted by his long residence in Midgard. He let his magic fade over the years. He proved remarkably ineffective in his attempts to resist.” Loki reached for the glass of red wine that stood on the nearby desk and sniffed it critically. “I confess I am a little surprised that you found me so quickly.”

Mist made a show of nursing her twisted fingers. They hurt like the devil, so it wasn’t really a show at all. “You didn’t make much of an effort to hide your trail,” she said.

“Your magic never amounted to much, nor did I have anything to fear from you should you find me . . . as our meeting here has proven.” He took a very small sip of the wine and held it on his tongue. “Amusing, isn’t it, that you thought ‘Eric’ might not be able to handle the truth about you?”

About the book:

 

MIST  By Susan Krinard (Website, Goodreads)

A Tor Hard Cover

ISBN: 978-0-7653-3208-0

On Sale: July 16, 2013

Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie Mist one of the only survivors.

Or so she thought.

When a snowy winter descends upon modern-day San Francisco in June, Mist’s quiet existence starts to feel all too familiar. In quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god Loki, alive and well after all these years.

Loki has big plans for the modern world, and he’s been hanging around Mist to get access to a staff that once belonged to the great god Odin. Mist is certain of one thing: Loki must be stopped if there is to be any hope for Earth. But the fight is even bigger than she knows.

Because Loki wasn’t the only god to survive.

Purchase links

Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion,

Powells, Walmart, Overstock

About the author:

Susan Krinard has been writing paranormal romance and fantasy since 1993, when a published author friend read a short story she’d written and advised her to try writing a novel. She sold her first novel to Bantam Dell, and has since written for Bantam, Penguin, Harlequin/ Silhouette, Harper Collins, St. Martin’s Press., and Tor Books. Her output includes twenty-three novels and twelve novellas and short stories.

Susan’s love for Science Fiction and Fantasy began when her fourth grade teacher read Madeleine L’Engles’ A Wrinkle In Time to the class. She attended her first Star Trek convention at the age of 14. Since then she’s continued to read voraciously and has attended numerous local and World Science Fiction conventions. Her first major urban fantasy series is the “Midgard” series, beginning with Mist, a July 2013 release from Tor Books.

Susan and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband Serge Mailloux—whom she met because of a mutual love of the works of writer C. J. Cherryh—dogs Cagney, Nahla and Freya, and cats Agatha and Rocky. www.susankrinard.com

Giveaway!

Thanks to Susan and Tor Books, I have three copies of Mist, as well as some awesome Mist bookmarks, up for grabs!  Just fill in the widget to enter. US addresses only, please

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Trailer Reveal–Soul Taken by Katlyn Duncan and Giveaway!



I am super excited to be able to participate in the trailer reveal for Katlyn Duncan’s SOUL TAKEN which released on June 4th!

This book sounds absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to share the TRAILER and the EXCERPT the author provided, both of which are below.

There is also an awesome GIVEAWAY for an eBook Kindle copy of the book to one winner. So be sure to check that out, too!

With its gorgeous cover, it’s intriguing description, its totally captivating excerpt and awesome trailer, I am thrilled to be able share SOUL TAKEN with you. So without further ado….

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The SOUL TAKEN Trailer



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About the Book

Title: SOUL TAKEN (The Life After #1)
Author: Katlyn Duncan
Publisher: Carina UK
Release date: June 4th
Formats: eBook

After-life just got a lot more complicated

Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body.

Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies…

To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!


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About the Author

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.


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The SOUL TAKEN Excerpt

 

A suffocating heat pressed all points of my soul. Even though I hadn’t breathed in a hundred years, I felt the need to inhale, yet I couldn’t. A fire burned in my chest.

I attempted to open my eyes, to move one finger, a toe maybe, but the pressure immobilized my body. The burning sensation tore through me over and over until I had just about given up the fight.

But, just as quickly as the pressure came, it lifted, bringing a seemingly endless barrage of images. I was experiencing someone else’s memories, as if I took a back seat in her mind and watched her life flash before our eyes. I caught her image in a mirror, a small golden-haired girl.

Ally?

I tried to slow the images or possibly make sense of them but, just as I grabbed a hold on one of them, it slipped through my fingers and moved onto the next. I followed this girl through all the moments of her life as her memories flashed before my eyes.

Darker emotions overlapped the girl’s happy memories. I saw a young red-haired girl in an old-fashioned dress; her demure eyes looked back at me. Jealousy flared through me. My heart squeezed, watching this girl who was not part of Ally’s memories. A rush of energy pumped through my body; the power touched every fiber of my soul. Then the vision dissolved and I was forced back to experiencing Ally.

Was I dreaming?

Souls didn’t dream. I told myself firmly.

The visions started to slow and I was able to focus on one.

I had to tell them, even though Dad said I couldn’t. But in a week I wouldn’t be the same girl. Or would I? I still wasn’t clear on everything. Becoming a Guard: it was my life’s mission, he had said. A life that was no longer my own. Would it be easier to let this life slip away? I would regret each day if I didn’t. Maybe I would start with Seth. Sweet Seth. He’d be crushed, but someone would take my place. Dad had said something about people—humans— was I not human? Humans were drawn to those like me. Maybe Seth only liked me because I was different, unexplainably different.

I ripped the paper off the coffee sleeve. It was now or never.

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The SOUL TAKEN Giveaway


An eBook Kindle copy of SOUL TAKEN to ONE (1) winner.

  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Must be able to accept Amazon Kindle eBook gifts from the U.S.


Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
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Meet Nick Andreakos From Maya Blake’s Hostage to Love and Giveaway!

Please welcome special guest Nick Andreakos, hero of Maya Blake’s Hostage To Love, to the virtual offices this morning! 

[Manga Maniac Café] So, Nick, your story is out there in the world now and anyone who hasn’t read it will be wondering from the blurb just what was going on with you and Belle that led to such a mess at the start of the book.

[Nick Andreakos] Yeah, things were messed up weren’t they? I admit freely, I took my eye off the ball on that one. But in my defence, I was pretty cut up when Belle walked away from me six months into our marriage. I believed we had a great thing going on, but I guess I was wrong.

[Manga Maniac Café] You guess? You mean you didn’t know what was going on in your own marriage?

[Nick Andreakos] *winces* Look, I’m holding my hands up right now and saying, no I didn’t. I thought what we had was solid but then I realized we had a lot of disagreements before she walked out and I had been keeping stuff bottled inside and festering that needed to be aired. But I wasn’t counting on her being kidnapped by some psycho before I got the chance to put things right.

[Manga Maniac Café] Yes, let’s talk about that. What happened in Nawaka, Africa to make this madman so fixated on Belle?

[Nick Andreakos] What happens when every man sees my Belle. She’s has a kind, generous heart and she’s the strongest, most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. But she’s mine and I’d lay down my life before I let any harm come to her.

[Manga Maniac Café] So what happens now? We’re here on Althea, your private Greek island, a breathtaking paradise. Have you found your own personal paradise with Belle yet?

[Nick Andreakos] Not quite yet. I’ve got her back to Althea, but Charles Mwana is still out there. He needs to be stopped before he dares to harm another hair on Belle’s head. I won’t rest until I put him away for good.

[Manga Maniac Café] It’s been a while since you hung up your Marine uniform. You think you’re equipped to take on a rebel leader with a small army?

[Nick Andreakos] If you read the news, you’ll know what I did to his so-called army when I rescued Belle from Nawaka. I’m hoping his learnt his lesson the first time we clashed. If he didn’t, if he’s crazy enough to try again, I say, “bring it”.

[Manga Maniac Café] Well, our readers wish you the very best of luck. And a happy ending.

[Nick Andreakos] You can count on it. My Belle deserves nothing less!

[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks for stopping by!

Giveaway!!

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Hostage to Love by Maya Blake

Entangled Publishing July 2013

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: July 2013

 

*On an idyllic Greek island, danger surfaces…and passion re-ignites.*

During a charity mission to a war-torn African country, Belle Jones is kidnapped by the vicious rebel leader determined to make her his. Belle’s estranged husband, Greek billionaire Nick Andreakos, stages a daring rescue, saving her from the horror.

To hide her from the obsessed kidnapper—-and to repair their broken relationship—-Nick whisks Belle away to his private island paradise. But she still won’t put up with his controlling ways…even if she’s still defenseless against their scorching-hot chemistry. With the brutal killer hot on their heels, Nick knows he must earn Belle’s trust again—-and *fast*. Even if it means risking everything. And losing his heart forever. 

Maya Blake’s Bio:

Maya Blake’s dreams of becoming a romance author began when she picked up her first romance novel at age thirteen. She eventually realised this dream in 2007 when her first romantic suspense was published. Maya lives in Kent, Southeastern England, with her husband and two kids and an endless supply of romance novels.