Cover Shot! The Broken Hearted by Amelia Kahaney

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?

While the last ballerina book I attempted didn’t have positive results, I’m still open to finding one that works better for me.  The Broken Hearted by Amelia Kahaney has a ballerina with a bionic heart who is a super-hero!  This will either be fantastic or leave me wishing it had been.  Honestly, I’m kind of scared, but I’m eager to read this!

In stores October 2013

 

A wealthy ballerina living in a heightened, Gotham-like version of Chicago, has her heart broken – literally – and receives a dangerous bionic heart, transforming her into a superhero.

Interview with Nico Rosso, Author of Ironheart and Giveaway!

Nico Rosso is visiting the virtual offices today to chat about Ironheart, which is part of the Holding Out for a Hero. This superhero anthology is super fun, so if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend giving it a chance.  To make it easy for you to get a copy, Nico brought along a digital copy for one of you to win!

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

[Nico Rosso] I’m a romance writer married to another romance writer (Zoë Archer), and I’m happy to talk writing or whiskey or whatever else inspires.

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

[Nico Rosso] Ironheart is the story of two superheroes, Vince “The Anvil” and Kara “SnapDragon” in a desperate fight. Yes, there is a super villain, but Vince and Kara’s real battle is for a second chance at romance. They had a brief fling that she cut off. Now she’s back, but for the right reasons?

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

[Nico Rosso] I knew I wanted to explore the difference between a bad-boy hero and a newer heroine starting to learn what it is to fight crime with super powers. Vince needed to be a little rough around the edges, so the idea of a man who is harder than iron seemed natural. Giving Kara her powers from cosmic energy took her literally and figuratively off the earth, so at first, she would be less grounded and searching for herself.

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

[Nico Rosso] Tough. Principled. Rough.

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

[Nico Rosso] Fire Woman by The Cult. It has some lilting melodies, like she flies on her power wings, and the song also rocks hard, the way she fights when it’s all on the line.

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

[Nico Rosso] The Red Line, a small earpiece phone that connects all the members of the Heroes Guild.

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

[Nico Rosso] A nightlight. Her cosmic energy glows red, so she can easily light up a room.

-A handgun. Even without her powers she’s a formidable fighter. With her power scales around her and linked together in a lashing whip, she is a living weapon.

-Plane tickets. She can gather her energy scales into wings and fly wherever she wants to go.

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

[Nico Rosso] Even though it was from circumstances out of his control, I think he will always be haunted by the fact that his parents didn’t live to see him saving the world.

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

[Nico Rosso] I like to pull ideas from all kinds of sources, from observing people out on a date, to ancient myths, to fine art and photography. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so I try to keep my eyes open as much as I can.

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

[Nico Rosso] I need inspiration, a hook or some way in to the piece I’m writing. It could be emotional, a interesting plot twist, or just a unique way of describing the environment.

-I guess I don’t need quiet, but I like it. I’ll often listen to music on headphones in order to keep the noise of the outside world out of my head.

-I need to eat. Usually I’ll write until I get hungry, break to eat, then write again.

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

[Nico Rosso] Honestly, the last book I read that really floored me was my wife’s second Nemesis, Unlimited book Dangerous Seduction. I’m really lucky that I get to read her work months before it hits the shelves.

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

[Nico Rosso] Because I grew up deep in movie culture, I came to reading late (except for reading comic books). I remember nearing the end of my college years and really being taken by the novel Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

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

[Nico Rosso] Usually, when I’m not writing, I like to be doing something physical or with my hands. Cooking or woodworking or hiking or photography.

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

[Nico Rosso] I can be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nico_Rosso

-Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nico-Rosso/113422452057013

-My Website: http://nicorosso.com

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for your chance to win a digital copy of Holding Out For A Hero?  Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following.

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Didn’t win? You can order Holding Out For a Hero from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.

About the book:

Scarlett Fever, by Christine Bell and Ella Dane
After five years in training, it’s finally time for Scarlett Fever and her fellow superheroes to leave the United Superhero Academy and test their powers out in the real world. There’s only one problem. She’s been assigned to partner with arrogant, by the book, and irritatingly hot, Blade of Justice.
Blade’s whole life has gone according to plan, and he’s more than ready to move on to the big time, protecting a metropolis of his own. But his perfectly ordered life is derailed when he’s teamed up with the fiery maverick, Scarlett Fever.
Sparks fly the moment they arrive in Plunketville, Oklahoma, as they each set out to force the other to request a transfer. They soon discover there’s more going on in this single stop-sign town than blowing up mailboxes and cow tipping. If Scarlett can get Blade to listen to his gut, and he can teach her to use her head, they just might have a fighting chance.

Ironheart, by Nico Rosso
Vince might be hard as steel, but he’s not invincible. Not when iron touches him, especially in the hands of an evil minion. Not when Kara ran away after a whirlwind affair, just when he thought he might be falling in love. And definitely not when she returns, looking for his help.
The archvillain TechHead is coming for Kara and her superhero teammates, and he’s determined to use their combined power to create the ultimate weapon. But Kara can’t fight him alone. She needs Vince’s brutal skill, though being with him means she risks losing her beloved secret identity, leaving her nowhere else to hide.
When TechHead makes a play to capture Kara, Vince has more to lose than just his heart. But he will do anything for the woman he loves, even if it means putting his heart on the line again.

Playing With Fire, by Tamara Morgan
Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhu¬man abilities. Fiona’s powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won’t be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant… and she’s hurt enough people already. Including herself.
But when the man behind her conversion returns to black¬mail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona’s M.O.
Ian is convinced Fiona’s dangerous, convinced she’s Fire¬ball, and convinced he’ll damn himself if he doesn’t resist a heat that’s always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.
And he’ll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.

From the Ashes, by Adrien-Luc Sanders
Sociopath. Killer. Deviant. Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called that and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded count¬less crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire.
Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford–antisocial graduate research¬er, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.
One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges ev¬erything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. But when his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of hu¬mans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile deeper, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean–or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop! Win London Eye by Tim Lebbon!

Welcome to my Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and  co-hosted by Babs Book Bistro.  This hop runs from January 1st – 7th 2013, and you can win lots of new reads.   Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away a finished copy of Tim Lebbon’s London Eye.

 

About the book:

The Hunger Games meets The X-Men in an exciting post-apocalyptic debut.

Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the world, protected by a military force known as Choppers.

The rest of Britain believe that the city is now a toxic, uninhabited wasteland. But Jack and his friends, some of whom lost family on what has become known as Doomsday, know that the reality is very different.

At great risk, they have been gathering evidence about what is really happening in London, and it is incredible. Because the handful of Londons survivors are changing. Developing strange, fantastic powers. Evolving.

 

Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following! US addresses only, please.

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Excerpt: Revival by Jena Leigh and Giveaway!

Jena Leigh wants to share an excerpt from Revival, as well as a digital copy of her book!  If you enjoy the excerpt below, please fill out the widget for a chance  to win a copy!

Excerpt:

Babysitting.

Declan O’Connell had been reduced to babysitting.

This was so humiliating. He was going to have to have a talk with Grayson when he got home. Surely his punishment for last month’s misunderstanding should be nearing an end.

It wasn’t his fault they needed a new roof in the atrium. That had been entirely Nathaniel’s doing. Declan had merely supplied a little motivation. It was the Golden Boy that did the glass breaking.

So how was it that the Golden Boy kept picking up all the choice jobs, while Declan was stuck trailing around after high schoolers?

He leaned heavily against the brick wall of the alley and watched as his target disappeared into a restaurant across the street, only to reappear a few moments later on the wraparound patio, trailing after a hostess. They settled in at a table overlooking the water.

At least with this vantage point he wouldn’t have to follow them into the restaurant.

She’d spotted him twice already. Not that he was particularly trying to hide from her at this point. It made things easier when the target didn’t know he was there, sure, but there wasn’t any hard and fast rule about it.

Declan had been shadowing the pair for nearly an hour before he’d realized that something was off.

Usually, his job involved protecting innocent humans from the monsters that walked amongst them unnoticed. From the things that went bump in the night. Things a whole lot like him, just without the charm … or a functioning moral compass.

Judging from the haze of static electricity that followed the girl around like a rain cloud, however, there was something very different about this mark.

Playing a hunch, he’d broken his cover and followed the two girls into a clothing shop. Ten minutes later the store’s registers were toast and his suspicions had been confirmed.

He wondered if the girl knew what she was.

Better yet, he wondered if Grayson had known when he’d given Declan the assignment and just hadn’t said anything.

“I want you to keep an eye on the girl, Declan.”

“No other specifics?”

“Just keep her away from bookstores, if you can.”

Bookstores.

Thanks, Grayson. That helps.

Apparently whoever said, “no harm ever came from reading a book” hadn’t met this girl.

Grayson’s orders were usually pretty detailed. The fact that these weren’t could mean a couple of things. Either Grayson didn’t know the specifics of the danger the girl was facing, or he did, but for whatever reason, he felt Declan didn’t need to know.

It was the second possibility that worried him.

He didn’t think that Grayson would ever intentionally send him out on an assignment at a disadvantage—but if Grayson felt like he couldn’t trust Declan with the details, then Declan wanted to know why.

The cell phone tucked in his jacket pocket began to vibrate. He fished it out and checked the screen.

The caller ID read “GRAYSON.”

Declan narrowed his eyes at the shuddering phone. Weird. Grayson never called anyone while they were in the field. He knew better.

Returning his gaze to the restaurant patio, Declan answered the call. “Miss me already?”

“I want an update on the girl.”

Declan considered telling him what he’d learned about her, and then thought the better of it. That could wait. “She’s spending the day shopping with a friend.”

“Shopping?”

“Clothes shopping. No bookstores in sight. Not so far, anyway.”

“Hmm.”

“You going to tell me why this girl is so special you’re calling me for updates? My next check-in’s not for another two hours.”

“Just do your job, Declan. Keep her safe.”

The line went dead.

If Declan had been suspicious before, now he was outright convinced that something was up.

What was so important about this girl?


If you enjoyed this excerpt, be sure to hop over to Jena’s website to read another excerpt. 

More about the book:

Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life.

If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.

After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be… and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe.

Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.

Giveaway Time!!!

Ready for your chance to win a digital copy of Revival?  Please will out the widget below.  Earn extra entries for following.

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Didn’t win? You can order a copy from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below.

You can order Revival from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below. Available in both print and digital (the eBook is only 2.99!)

Review: London Eye by Tim Lebbon

 

Title:  London Eyes

Book One in the Toxic City Series

Author:  Tim Lebbon

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

The Hunger Games meets the X-Men in an exciting postapocalyptic debut

Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the world, protected by a military force known as Choppers. The rest of Britain believes that the city is now a toxic, uninhabited wasteland.

But Jack and his friends—some of whom lost family on what has become known as Doomsday—know that the reality is very different. At great risk, they have been gathering evidence about what is really happening in London—and it is incredible.

Because the handful of London’s survivors are changing. Developing strange, fantastic powers. Evolving.

Upon discovering that his mother is still alive inside London, Jack, his sister, and their three friends sneak into a city in ruins. Vast swathes have been bombed flat. Choppers cruise the streets, looking for survivors to experiment upon. The toxic city is filled with wonders and dangers that will challenge Jack and his friends… and perhaps kill them. But Jack knows that the truth must be revealed to the outside world or every survivor will die.


Review:

I am a little torn about how I feel about this book.  It was slow to pick up, but once the action started, it didn’t let up.  Until that ever unpopular with me brick wall of an ending.  This one screeches to a halt, without even the slightest hint of resolution or completeness.  Even worse, the ending opens up multiple story threads that need to be explored in the next installment.  While I don’t mind series, I do not like all of these non-conclusions.  Nothing is wrapped up, and the story lurches to a stop just as things were getting really, really interesting.  It’s like waiting in line at Cedar Point to ride the Gatekeeper, getting to the front of the line, and being told that the ride has to close due to inclement weather.  Come back next year for your anticipated thrill ride.  I am so not a fan of these kinds of endings.

London Eye is being billed as Hunger Games meets the X-Men.   Once Jack and friends enter the forbidden, toxic city of London, they are met with one life-threatening misadventure after another, and Jack is willing to risk his own life to discover the fate of his parents.  They were in London during the terrorist attacks that left it an empty husk of itself.  The only people left alive, everyone is told, are horrible monsters. The city has been completely shut off, with no electricity or access to fresh food.  People can not travel in or out without being picked up by the Choppers.  When Rosemary, an old woman with healing abilities, offers to sneak Jack and his friends inside, he jumps at the chance.  He needs to know what happened to his parents, and he won’t rest until he finds out the truth.

Beside the ending, my biggest complaint with London Eye is the pacing.  It is much slower than I’ve become accustomed to in YA dystopian novels.  If I didn’t like Jack and his younger sister Emily so much, I don’t think I would have stuck it out.  The story doesn’t pick up until about mid-way, and it ratchets up to crazy sauce (in a good way), the last 25 pages.  Which made the non-ending even more of a let-down.  I am getting to the point that I don’t even want to start a series until most of the books are already out, due to my ever growing levels of impatience.  With the deluge of titles hitting store shelves every week, I sometimes feel that my reading needs would better served if I held off on series until they are complete.  I am still stinging over the increasingly long wait times between GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Yes, I am one of those entitled readers who expects closure from every book I read.  I like endings, and I need closure. 

Jack and his friends don’t believe the government’s spiel about what happened in London the day the terrorists attacked, releasing Evolve, a biological weapon that sickened and killed most of the city’s residents.  Those who survived were changed, turned into dangerous monsters.  Jack knows in his heart that his parents are still alive, and he just wants to find them and bring them home.  He has been struggling to raise his younger sister, and he knows that they both need their parents.  His friends Sparky and Lucy-Anne also want to discover the fates of their relatives who were in London during the attacks.  When Rosemary shows up, they throw caution to the wind and agree to make the dangerous, forbidden journey into London with her.

As far as the world-building goes, I found it a mixed bag.  I liked the idea of a deserted London, where enhanced humans hide from the vicious Choppers, a government body that captures and dissects the Irregulars in a vain attempt to discover what makes them tick.  As Jack and his small party infiltrated the empty streets, however, I didn’t get a sense that it was all that dangerous to sneak from safe house to safe house.  It wasn’t until the end, during a bloody encounter with the Choppers and the terrifying Superiors, that I felt invested in the danger of the story.   Prior to that, it seemed to me that if you just kept your head down and crept around like a mouse, you wouldn’t draw much attention to yourself and you could just lay low, so I didn’t buy into the hazards of being trapped in the ruins of London.

While I didn’t feel completely engaged in the plot until the end, I am invested enough now that I want to see what happens next.  A sense of urgency and a clear and present threat to Jack’s continued survival was finally, firmly, engaged at the end.  I wonder how he will save all those he cares for, and fend off the Choppers and the terrifyingly powerful Superiors.  I do feel, though, that this book and next could have been combined for a more complete and finished story.  Your mileage will more than likely vary.

Grade:  C+/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Novella Review: From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders

 

 

Title: From the Ashes

Author: Adrien-Luc Sanders

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Sociopath. Killer. Deviant. Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called that and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire.

Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford–antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. But when his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile deeper, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean–or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?


Review:

I love super-hero stories, so when I saw that Entangled Publishing was releasing some super-hero novellas, I was excited to check them out.  I loved the first one that I read, Playing with Fire by Tamara Morgan, so I dove into From the Ashes with a great deal of anticipation.  I was sucked into the story on the first page, thought there were a few pacing issues in the middle, and enjoyed the ending, so this is another successful read.

Tobias is an aberrant.  He can control electrical currents, and his father, a sociopath, has nurtured his talents and used him in a weapon in his war against humans.  Tobias, as his alter-ego Spark, has done some terrible things.  He has wiped out an entire city for his father’s ambitious dream of ruling the world, and now he longs for a quieter, less destructive life.  A student at UC Berkley, he is researching the DNA sequence that manifests in aberrants.  If the US government learns how to destroy the genome that makes super-humans like him, they will be able to control, and ultimately, wipe them out.  When he is ordered by his father to assassinate a Senator, Tobias has serious soul searching to do.  Does he have to be evil just because he is an aberrant?

I haven’t read a M/M romance in a while, so this was a nice switch up to my normal reading habits.  Tobias makes the mistake of getting to know Sean, one of his professors, a little better than is wise.  Struggling with his feelings of helpless against his father’s domineering control, Tobias is looking for a fling.  He’ll have some fun with Sean, and then put the night behind him.  Their relationship can’t go anywhere; Tobias is a monster, and Sean is a normal, quiet human.  Tobias doesn’t think he is capable of love, and he certainly doesn’t believe that he is deserving of it, so he has never made lasting, meaningful attachments.  His other relationships were at his whim, and he never felt emotionally invested in any of them.

I think I liked Tobias so much because he was so damaged.  He didn’t think he was capable of feelings, but he had a cat that he obviously doted on.  My belief is that if you can love an animal, there is no reason why you can’t take the plunge and love something as complicated as a human.  Tobias’ problem was that his exposure to love and tenderness ended abruptly when he was a child, after his mother was killed.  Suddenly under his father’s control, he was groomed to be his father’s right hand man in his desire to conquer and subdue the human race.  While Tobias was able to put on a good front, he wasn’t actually as committed to his father’s goals as he pretended.  He was more than content to be a graduate research student, but the threat of the aberrants becoming subjugated to normal humans propels him down a path he doesn’t want to take.  His confusing relationship with Sean only manages to complicate matters, because he is afraid his father will kill Sean if he doesn’t tow the line.

The pacing felt a little off in the middle of the book, but otherwise this is a satisfying read, with an action-packed ending that hints at more adventures.  I liked the characters, even Tobias, who considered himself irredeemable.   The world-building seemed a bit light, but I’m hoping for more in the next installment of The Fires of Redemption series.  If you enjoy super-heroes (or villains, as the case may be), and angst, this is a great, short read.

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Ingrid Paulson, author of Valkyrie Rising

Ingrid Paulson is the author of Valkyrie Rising, a book I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on.  Ingrid very kindly took some time out of her busy day to answer a few of my questions.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] Science nerd and avid reader turned young adult writer. Former Olympic athlete (not really).

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

[Ingrid Paulson] I’m a huge fan of girl power stories, so I set out to write the kind of book I would want to read. In a nutshell, Valkyrie Rising is about a girl (Ellie) who comes into her own while visiting her grandmother in Norway. Boys start mysteriously disappearing, including her brother, and it’s up to Ellie to save them all and overthrow an ancient power. And along the way learns a few unexpected things about her family history.

But I think the copy on the back of the galley says it best:

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s astonishingly epic coming-of-age.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] A few years ago, I went on a trip Norway with the Paulson women, and I was so inspired by the mountains and fjords that I wanted to write a book based on the setting alone. I knew right away it would include Valkyries—I’ve always loved the idea of strong warrior women.

I was actually working on a different book, but Tuck and Ellie captured my imagination so suddenly and completely that I sat down and started sketching out scenes. The rest of the story came together around those two characters and the setting.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?

[Ingrid Paulson] There are about a million challenges in writing a book–it’s hard to pick just one! But I think I struggled most with the ending and ended up re-writing it several times. I’d set up big stakes in the first three-quarters of the book and it was hard to tie everything back up together in a satisfactory way while keeping the action fast and light. Fortunately, I had an amazing editor who helped me work through those issues.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] This is hard because Ellie changes a lot during the course of the story. But the girl she becomes by the final scene is determined, resilient, and brave.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Tucker would never have in his pocket?

[Ingrid Paulson] Tucker is the type to always travel light. It’s not likely he’d have anything but his cell phone and a credit card or two. But he’d definitely never have another girl’s number, even if he’s likely to be slipped more than a few. He also wouldn’t be caught dead with anything relating to school or homework. Part of his casual confidence thing is never admitting he puts work into anything.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] I love reading and that definitely inspired me to start writing. And this might sound creepy, but I also really enjoy people watching (I’m a shameless and painfully obvious eavesdropper). I think that contributed a lot to creating the other people who reside in my head.  In the case of Valkyrie Rising, travel was also a huge influence—I was fortunate enough to stumble across incredible vistas in Norway that made me itch to describe them on paper.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] I need coffee and silence. When I hit a tricky scene or plot issue, I often work it out on a long run, so I guess I need running shoes too.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] That is a hard question! I think the biggest contributor to my love of reading was a father who would sit and read to me for hours and hours on end. His love of books is infectious. However, I was a huge fan of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein and can still recite embarrassing amounts of their works.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] Lately, I feel like I’m always either writing or secretly thinking about writing while pretending to pay attention to something else. But I live in San Francisco, pretty close to the bay, so I just love being outside and wandering the city with my daughter. I love to travel (who doesn’t) and spending time with my friends.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] My websites is: www.ingridepaulson.com

I’m on twitter @ingridepaulson.com

Facebook:  Valkyrie Rising

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Valkyrie Rising from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital.

Giveaway! Score a Copy of Tamara Morgan’s Playing with Fire!

Thanks to Entangled Publishing, I have a shiny new digital copy of Tamara Morgan’s Playing with Fire to give to one of you! This is a fun, action-packed read.  See my review here.

Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhuman abilities. Fiona’s powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won’t be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant…and she’s hurt enough people already.

Including herself.

But when the man behind her conversion returns to blackmail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona’s M.O.

Ian is convinced Fiona’s dangerous, convinced she’s Fireball, and convinced he’ll damn himself if he doesn’t resist a heat that’s always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.

And he’ll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.

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