Review: Siren’s Treasure by Debbie Herbert

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love books about mermaids, and I enjoyed Debbie Herbert’s first novel,  Siren’s Secret, so I was eager to dive into Siren’s Treasure (excuse the bad pun!).  Jet is my least favorite character of the three Borsage mermaids,  though, so it did take me a while to warm up to her.  She made some terrible decisions in her past, and they are about to bite her in the butt.  She has always felt like  an outsider with the merfolk, and her mother’s emotional distance left her desperate for acceptance.  She falls for the wrong man, giving her ex a powerful weapon to blackmail her with.  Regretful that she’s given him so much power over her, Jet fears she will never be rid of him, and that she’s put her race in danger of discovery.

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Spotlight and Giveaway: Kissed by the Wave by Serena Gilley

This morning I have an excerpt from Kissed by the Wave to share with you.  If you enjoy it, please enter for a chance to win a digital copy.  You know you want it – it has mermaids! 

KISSED BY THE WAVE by Serena Gilley (August 5, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; $2.99)

Beyond the limits of sight, magical beings live in the Forbidden Realm. The two worlds were once connected, but the desires of man forced their separation. Now, desire may bring them back together…

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Review: Siren’s Secret by Debbie Herbert

Siren’s Secret (Harlequin Nocturne)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love mermaid stories, so when I saw Debbie Herbert’s debut, I had to read it.  I really enjoyed Siren’s Secret.  It’s told through protagonist Shelly’s POV, as well as that of her love interest, Tillman, and the serial killer, Melkie.  I didn’t find Melkie a compelling character, and wish his POV hadn’t been as prominent.  While I found Shelly and Tillman engaging, Melkie was too one dimensional for me to find him interesting. 

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Review: River Road by Suzanne Johnson

 

Title: River Road

Author: Suzanne Johnson

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator.

Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.

It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues


Review:

I enjoyed Royal Street, the first book in Suzanne Johnson’s Sententials of New Orleans, with a few reservations.  I was disappointed with the lack of romance, and wondered why DJ constantly made such bad decisions.  The lack of common sense drove me bonkers.  I’m happy to report that River Road is a stronger book overall, and even when DJ made some not so wise choices, she really didn’t have any choice in the matter.  Keeping two warring clans of merfolk from killing each other, and getting normal humans caught in the crossfire, kept her busy and kept her putting herself on the line.  It’s hard to argue about doing the smart thing when the smart thing is going to cost people their lives.

DJ and Alex are both working as sententials now, and the story picks up three years after the events of Royal Street.  DJ is more comfortable in her own skin, with her powers and her elvin wand.  She complains about the same things we all do; being overworked, working for a bunch of guys who expect results no matter what, not getting that raise she thinks she deserves.  Her relationship with Alex has settled down and they have decided that they make great friends.  When the merpeople start feuding,  Dj and Alex have to put an end to their territorial disputes, which are complicated by Jean Laffitte.  He’s buddies with two of the mer, Rene and Robert, and he has a vested interest in seeing a treaty between the clans.  Rene and Jean have many shady business dealings, the less DJ knows about, the happier she is.

I enjoyed all of the characters this time around.  They all make DJ’s life a trial.  The merpeople hate wizards because of how they were treated after a large group of paranormals attempted to set up shop in the mundane world years ago.  They are suspicious of her motives and treat her like crap, to be frank.  I really felt bad for DJ; she is trying so hard to come to a fair solution to their dispute, and they just keep on giving her grief!  Even her own employers don’t give her any respect, and she is constantly at odds with the Elders because of her methods, which are basically act now and ask for permission later.  They are putting a huge amount of pressure on her to get the situation fixed, and when wizards start turning up dead, they are even more unrelenting that she fix it.  Fix it now!  I felt that the only person to give her any credit was Jean.  He turned out to be a fun, well-rounded character, and I enjoyed the courtship between them.  I can’t see them setting up house together, but there’s a lot of fun chemistry between DJ and her immortal pirate.

River Road kept my interest from beginning to end.  The mystery was compelling, and DJ’s methods were entertaining as she raced against the clock to put a stop to the war brewing between the merpeople.  I am looking forward to DJ’s next adventure, Elysian Fields, in August.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours

Interview with Katie O’Sullivan, Author of Son of a Mermaid

Please welcome Katie O’Sullivan to the virtual offices! I was curious about Katie’s new book, Son of a Mermaid, so I asked her by to chat about the book.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] Katie O’Sullivan lives next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking too much coffee and inventing excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Son of a Mermaid?

[Katie O’Sullivan] This young adult book is aimed at advanced middle grade and beginner YA readers and makes a perfect young teen beach book for summer, filled with adventure, light romance and beautiful descriptions of life along the sandy shores – and beneath the waves.

Son of a Mermaid is the first book in a planned series about Shea MacNamara and the undersea world of mermaids and mermen that he discovers off the shores of Cape Cod. The blurb reads:

Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated.

After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he’s never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes his life forever.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. Two things stand in the way of lasting peace: an ambitious Regent and rumors of a half-human child who will save the oceans.

Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] My kids and I have always liked mermaid stories. One day my son and I were walking the dogs on the beach and found a strange rock with a hole cut through the center. We started weaving a tale about the mermaid who lost it… and the book grew from there.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] Loyal, strong, insecure

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] Iris, by the Goo Goo Dolls

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] Her transmutare medallion. Harvested from the heart of the ocean, the transmutare stones help mermaids channel and focus the ancient magick of the seas. Kae uses her medallion to help her transform her tail into human legs, to go ashore.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] Since he lost everything in the tornado, you won’t find much that is his own in Shea’s new bedroom. He didn’t bring much with him when he moved to Cape Cod, just what was in his backpack at school that day.

But things you’d never find? He’s a straight arrow kind of guy, so no alcohol or drugs, and he’s not into pop culture or fads, so no Pokemon or Homestuck stuff. He also has no photos of the mother who abandoned him as a baby – until he moves to his grandmother’s house and finds one. And recognizes her from his dreams.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] Kae regrets being so constrained by the rules of her family and society, and wishes she had more freedom. She can’t wait to go away to school, where she thinks she’ll be able to have a fresh start. When she meets Shea, she starts bending those rules but finds that she’s not the only one with secrets, and that things aren’t always as they appear.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] For this book, living by the ocean was a big influence, lol. Like my character Shea, I walk my dogs along the beach at sunrise every morning, and spend that alone time working through stories in my head.

I’ve also been reading a lot of YA in the last few years – the genre has changed significantly over time and is one of the more exciting areas in publishing today.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] The 3 C’s: My computer, coffee, and chocolate.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] I’d have to say Death Lies Between Us, by Jody Kessler. Before that, it was The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.

I read and enjoy a lot of books (a LOT of books), but love it when an author brings something really fresh to a book, something I haven’t read before.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] My mom was into mysteries and Agatha Christie, so she started me off with the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I read them all, but at the age of 10 read The Girl Who Owned a City, by O.T. Nelson and it changed the way I looked at books. Everything didn’t have to strictly “real” in the world of fiction, and grownups didn’t have all the answers.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] If I had my choice, I’d spend more time reading! But. I have three active, involved teens (over involved?) who keep me busy, as well as two big dogs who like to walk on the beach every chance they get. I watch a lot of soccer games and track meets, and go to a lot of concerts and plays starring my kids and their friends.

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

[Katie O’Sullivan] My website: www.katie-osullivan.com

My blog: http://katieosullivan.blogspot.com

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieOSullivan

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/OkatieO

Add Son of a Mermaid on your Goodreads list: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17184560-son-of-a-mermaid

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link:

GoodReads  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17184560-son-of-a-mermaid

About the book:

Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated.

After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan is whisked away to Cape Cod. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he’s trying hard to deal with feelings of abandonment… and the emotions stirred by a girl he meets along the shore.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. But two things stand in the way of lasting peace: the ambitions of the foreign King’s regent, and rumors of the Princess’s bastard child.

Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

About the Author:

Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, and has worked for the last four years as the editor of CapeWomenOnline.com magazine and writes “The Write Way” column for the magazine.

She hopes her debut YA novel, SON OF A MERMAID, will make a big splash this summer, engaging young readers with a Cape Cod tale of a boy who discovers both his roots and his destiny far below the waters of Nantucket Sound.

Interview with Ros Baxter, Author of Fish Out Of Water

Ros Baxter is our special guest today.  Ros is visiting the virtual offices to chat about Fish Out of Water, her latest release from Escape Publishing.  Fish Out of Water blends mystery, crime fiction, and urban fantasy in one hard to put down story. 

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

[Ros Baxter]  Author of fresh, funny, genre-busting fiction. Mother of four lovely, noisy children. Omnivorous reader. Insane multi-tasker. Imposter Syndrome sufferer.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Fish Out of Water?

[Ros Baxter]  Fish Out of Water is hip crime fiction meets urban fantasy – Stephanie Plum meets Splash – and available from Escape Publishing on 1 April.

My heroine, Rania, is part small-town cop. Part deep-sea mermaid. And she’s got a sinking feeling that she’s about to get wet. For the first time in 13 years.
Rania has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that’s a serious liability for a mermaid, a solider-of-fortune ex who’s hooked on her Mom’s brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.

Oh, and one other thing. She’s scheduled to die on her thirtieth birthday – in three weeks – unless she can ‘change the course of destiny and save the world entire’. But where to start? With her bad boy ex? With the smokin’ hot coldblooded swimmer who seems to know more than he’s giving up? Or with a ten thousand year old prophesy about the End of Days?

If she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegirian priest off her case, work out who the hell’s trying to kill her and stop sleeping with the fishes, Rania might be able to unravel the prophesy, the mystery of the missing choirgirls and the secrets hidden in her Mom’s past.

And maybe even save her own skin while she’s at it.

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

[Ros Baxter]  I’ve always harboured a secret fascination for mermaids (blame seeing “Splash” at the tender age of ten!), love triangles, and things which are not as they seem.  My mermaid Rania has all that in spades – she hasn’t been home to the deep ocean for thirteen years because of a terrifying visit to a clairvoyant; she lives incognito in a small frontier town working as a cop; and she’s torn between land and sea.  She’s also torn between two men who represent those worlds – her solider-of-fortune ex and a sexy, wolfish merman with secrets of his own.

Most of all I wanted to create a heroine who was totally different from me.  Someone tough and cool.  Rania packs heat, dates the wrong men and can beat anyone in an arm wrestle. But she also has an over-developed sense of responsibility.  She’s trying desperately to keep everyone around her safe, while the clock’s ticking on her own life.

I loved intertwining romance, Norse legend, gumshoe mystery and modern pop culture to create this quirky, layered tale.  I hope readers love it too.

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

[Ros Baxter]  Tough, vulnerable, BUSY!

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

[Ros Baxter]  It’s got to be “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor. Hey, she’s been told she’s only got three weeks to live!

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

[Ros Baxter]  On land, her glock and her beautiful Chevy Corvette Stingray, Ariel. In the sea, her BFF the Princess Lecanora.

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

[Ros Baxter]  An Air Supply CD. A girly dress. Fish and chips.

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

[Ros Baxter]  My mother – she taught us all to love words and books.

My kids – they tell the best stories of all.

The wordsmiths who shaped my world as a child and teenager – Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Nirvana.

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

[Ros Baxter]  Some paper or a keyboard. A place. A few minutes.

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

[Ros Baxter]  Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

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

[Ros Baxter]  Argh so hard, so many. It would have been something kind of lowbrow, because I remember my Mum being called up to the school for a “please explain” about my home reading list. As I recall, the offending title was “A Passion for Treason”. I was nine.

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

[Ros Baxter]  Sleep. But it doesn’t happen often.

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

[Ros Baxter]  email: roosbaxterink@gmail.com

facebook: www.facebook.com/RosBaxterInk

twitter: @RosBaxter

web site: www.rosbaxterink.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order Fish Out of Water from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.

About the book:

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum meets Splash in a sexy, smart-talking debut about a mermaid in a desert, a city under water, and the secret that no one is supposed to uncover.

Dirtwater’s straight-talking Deputy Sheriff Rania Aqualina has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that’s a serious liability for a mermaid, a soldier-of-fortune ex who’s hooked on her Mum’s brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.

Heading home to Aegira for a family wedding, Rania has a sinking feeling that’s got nothing to do with hydroporting seven miles under the sea and everything to do with the crazy situation. Now, if she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegiran priest off her case, work out who the hell’s trying to kill her, and stop sleeping with the fishes, she might be able to unravel the mysteries. And maybe even save her own ass while she’s at it.

Fish out of Water is Stephanie Plum meets Splash, and the first book in a trilogy about Aegira, an underwater kingdom based on the historical Norse legend of Aegir.

About the author:

Ros writes fresh, funny, genre-busting fiction. She digs feisty heroines, good friends, quirky families, heroes to make you sigh and tingle, and a dash of fantasy from time to time.

Ros also runs a successful business consulting to government and the private sector. She teaches professional writing skills and has authored a writing guide, Clarity.

Ros lives in Brisbane’s North with her husband Blair, four small but very opinionated children, a neurotic dog and nine billion germs.

You can email Ros at rosbaxterink@gmail.com or find her at www.facebook.com/RosBaxterInk, @RosBaxter, or www.rosbaxterink.com.

Cover Shot! Enchanted Ever After by Robin D Owens

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?

This is the coolest cover!  I love the soft, dreamy pastel shades, and the rounded title font.  I also love the mermaid reflected in the water.  Enchanted Ever After by Robin D Owens is high on my wish list!

In stores December 2012.

 

Magic was just around the corner….  
Kiri Palger knew the difference between reality-new house,  hard work and not too many friends-and fantasy-the fun she had playing online games. So when the chance to work for the best gaming company in the world came up, giving her a chance to merge business with pleasure, how could she not apply? 
Suddenly she has more friends, interesting neighbors and an intriguing love interest. But when the game begins to awaken something inside her, Kiri is shocked by the talents she never knew she had… and an evil she’d never imagined. 
Her nice, safe life is imploding around her-and if she takes up  the mantle of her powers, it will never be the same again….

You can preorder from Amazon: Enchanted Ever After (Mystic Circle) by Robin D Owens

Interview with Amber Garr, Author of The Syrenka Series

Amber Garr is the author of The Syrenka Series.  She dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her books, and after the interview, you can enter for a chance to win all three books!  Amber will be giving away paperback and ebook sets of Promises, Betrayal, and Arise!

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

[Amber Garr] A writer, marine biologist, dancer, and animal lover. I’m always busy with something when not creating stories through words or choreography.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your Syrenka series?

[Amber Garr] The Syrenka Series focuses on a hidden society of mermaids, selkies, and water sprites. At the center of the story is Eviana, a teenage mermaid being forced into clan politics and responsibilities before she’s had much of a chance to grow up. There’s an arranged marriage, an opportunity for her to run away, and a battle to protect humans that she must deal with. Throughout the series you will see her mature, accept some of her responsibilities, and become the leader her parent’s always envisioned. Of course there is also a little bit of a love triangle (square?) that resolves itself by the end of Arise.

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

[Amber Garr] The first chapter of Promises was originally a short story. I enjoyed the selkie folklore and thought it might be interesting to write a “forbidden” love between a selkie and a mermaid. But once I had that story written, the rest of it filled my head and one short story turned into an entire trilogy!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your greatest challenge writing this story?

[Amber Garr] There were a few. First, I wanted to make sure that the series deserved three books and that the overarching plot lines were interesting, relevant, and would bring the readers back for more. Second was finding the time. I wrote Promises and Betrayal in about one month each, but Arise took a little longer because I had to focus on writing my dissertation. However, once I carved out the time, it was a welcomed relief to immerse myself in Eviana’s world. And third, was the actual publishing. It really was one of the scariest challenges! What if no one bought it? What if all the reviews are bad? It was such an experiment in learning how well I could really handle it all. But so far, I have to say that I’m very glad I did it.

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

[Amber Garr] Feisty, loyal, and brave.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Eviana’s single most prized possession?

[Amber Garr] I think it would be her collective group of close friends. She relies on them to help her through some tough times and in the end she will do anything for their well being.

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

[Amber Garr] Music. That probably comes from all my years of dance training, but I will create a story to any and every song I hear. I also think nature is a big influence for me. Being outside, in the water, on the beach, climbing a mountain…all inspire me to create a story, scene, or even a dance.

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

[Amber Garr] Music, dedicated time (even if it’s just an hour), and my muse, Bitsy Cat.

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

[Amber Garr] Oooh…I classify those types of books as the ones that I will (have) read several times over. So I think the last one like that was probably The Hunger Games.

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

[Amber Garr] Probably one of the first books I remember as a kid: Where the Wild Things Are

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

[Amber Garr] Read, dance, watch movies and just relax.

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

[Amber Garr] Website: www.ambergarr.com

Blog: http://ambergarr.blogspot.com

Facebook: Amber Garr Author Page

Twitter: @AmberGarr1

Goodreads: Amber Garr

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Be sure to enter for your chance to win Amber’s Syrenka series!

There is a tour wide giveaway for Amber’s Syrenka series! Up for grabs is one paperback package: All three books SIGNED plus SWAG (US only)

Amber is also giving away THREE ebook packages:  Win all three books in series via coupons (US and international)

Just fill out the widget below for your chance to win!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can purchase all of the books in Amber’s Syrenka series by clicking the widget below: