Interview with Dani Harper, Author of First Bite and Giveaway!

 

Please give a warm welcome to guest Dani Harper!

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

[Dani Harper] Coffee-fueled author of sizzling and suspenseful paranormal romance. Changelings, shapeshifters and faeries, oh my! 2012 RITA finalist.

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

[Dani Harper] First Bite kicks off my new Dark Wolf Series with Montlake Publishing. Here’s the back cover blurb:

Geneva “Neva” Ross never wanted to be a werewolf. Now that she’s been turned against her will, she thinks suicide is her only choice. She can’t risk hurting the people she loves when she takes on her monstrous new form.

After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. Days later, Neva wakes up in the hospital as Travis speeds out of town. But he risks everything to turn back and kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy. Soon Travis and Neva go on the run together, desperate to escape the police…and far darker forces.

Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde, vows to find her pack’s runaway. And when she does, Neva will join their murderous ranks…or die.

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

[Dani Harper] The question is more like “How did these characters find me?” FIRST BITE was not a story I planned to write. I was in the Seattle airport during a long layover and I was working on my laptop on a completely different project. That’s when the main characters, Travis and Neva, popped up in my head and started talking. One of the odd things about most of my characters is that they almost always turn up fully formed – they definitely have their own identity and their own opinions! Basically, this couple refused to be quiet until I wrote down everything they said, so I ended up with the first chapter of the book before I boarded the plane!

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Review: Cursed by S J Harper

Cursed: A Fallen Siren Novel

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.

She’s cursed. He’s damned. Together, they make one hell of a team.

Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.

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Review: Would Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Would-Be Witch (A Southern Witch Novel)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

In the small town of Duvall, Texas, the only thing that causes more trouble than gossip is magic.

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets in the way of the supernatural are a few untimely visits from the long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket—an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul—is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few bad experiences with her magic, Tammy turns to the only one who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers, but the locket isn’t the only thing passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning…to stay away from anyone named Lyons

Review:

Would Be Witch is a very fun read.  I’m surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did because a love triangle, something that doesn’t usually work for me, is central to the plot.  I thought it was well done, and I could see Tammy Jo being conflicted over Bryn and Zach.  Bryn is new, off-limits, and dangerous, while Zach, her ex-husband, has been a steady anchor her entire life.  Marrying young, she quickly discovered that being his wife was a lot less romantic than being his girlfriend, so she filed for divorce, over his objections.  Their relationship is a hot mess, just like the rest of Tammy Jo’s life.  Maybe I liked the story so much because Tammy Jo is propelled from one crazy adventure to another, with hardly a moment to catch her breath. 

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Interview with Kimberly Frost, Author of Would Be Witch and Giveaway!

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Kimberly!  Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Kimberly Frost] I’m an author who hails from the Midwest originally, but who moved south to outwit a series of wily snowstorms. Unfortunately, while I never have to scrape ice off my windshield in Texas, it turns out tropical storms and hurricanes are fairly fierce in the region.

I began writing as a kid and could never seem to quit. I should probably have outgrown my love of paranormal stories sometime around college, but it just never happened. Though I haven’t personally had any encounters with supernatural creatures, I suspect they are biding their time, waiting for the day I’m too old to be believed. This is why I’m always on the lookout. If any readers know of a good vampire café or werewolf-infested wood, I hope they will send me a message, preferably with a Google Map attached as I am hopeless at navigation without one.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Would-Be Witch?

[Kimberly Frost] I’d love to.  Tammy Jo Trask is a small town girl from East Texas who has descended from a long line of witches. The family magic seems to have skipped over her until an heirloom locket is stolen. Now the soul of the family ghost (a 1920s flapper) is in jeopardy, and she has to turn to a gorgeous wizard for advice. Unfortunately, there’s a family prophecy that makes him off-limits. There’s a love triangle, an ocelot, and plenty of comedy and adventure as Tammy Jo’s spells go wrong throughout the story. In her defense, it’s not her fault that her magic malfunctions.

A blurb for the Southern Witch series:

In this “coming of age in the world of magic” story, urban fantasy meets humorous mystery in small-town Texas. Plucky pastry chef Tammy Jo Trask comes into her spell-casting powers unexpectedly, but malfunctioning magic makes her a reluctant heroine. As her adventures continue, she learns the secrets of her supernatural heritage and embraces her butt-kicking destiny. Gorgeous love interests and an ocelot sidekick add to the charm of this bestselling book series.

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

[Kimberly Frost] I’d been reading a lot of humorous mystery and dark urban fantasy and wondered what would happen if I merged the two. I always enjoy eccentric characters, so I thought I’d set it in a small town where there could be a lot of them. Tammy Jo answered the casting call in my head when I was searching for a heroine. She popped up fully-formed with an East Texas accent and can-do attitude.

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Review: Seducing the Demon Huntress by Victoria Davies

 

Title:  Seducing the Demon Huntress

Author: Victoria Davies

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Trick or treat, survive until the night’s complete.

For most people Halloween is a night of candy, costumes and revelry but for Kerilyn, it’s the most dangerous night of the year. Hailing from a line of demon hunters, Kerilyn’s family has long been hated by the ruling lords of the Netherworld. On All Hallow’s Eve, the deadly brothers are released from their realm, along with their subjects, the spirits and the demons. Like every good hunter, Kerilyn fortifies her home with spells and tricks to keep her safe. But there is one man no spell can protect her heart from.

Arawn, Lord of the Spirits, has appeared at her fence every Halloween for years. While the handsome lord may turn her head with his heated looks and seductive words, Kerilyn knows without a doubt that should she ever invite him in, her life would be forfeit. But when his brother, the Lord of the Demons, kidnaps her niece, Kerilyn must leave her sanctuary. Now she has a choice. Can the man she’s dreamed of for years be trusted, or will the spirit lord help his brother destroy her?


Review:

I have enjoyed many Carina Press novellas, and Seducing the Demon Huntress is no exception.  There are times when I want a faster read, and I turn to this publisher for a quick fix.  I like the variety of stories they publish, so I can always find something to pique my interest.  I was in the mood for a PNR, and after interviewing the author, I wanted to give Seducing the Demon Huntress a read.  I liked this novella, and would read more by Victoria Davies in the future.

Kerilyn is a demon hunter.  She comes from a long line of demon hunters, much to her sorrow.  Her entire family has been picked off, one by one, and now she’s alone.  As darkness falls on All Hallow’s Eve, she retreats into her house, fearful that she’ll be facing this frightening night by herself.  The demons and spirits of the Netherworld are out to get her, and this is the night when Abaddon and Arawn, the rulers of the Netherworld, can freely pass into this realm.  For years, Arawn has waited outside her gate for her to let him in, and for years she has harbored a terrible secret. She’s infatuated with Arawn, and she can’t help but steal a few moments with him every year.  She resists his requests to open the gate and invite him in, but she doesn’t know how much longer she can.  When disaster strikes, and her niece is kidnapped by Abaddon, she has to leave the sanctuary of her wards to rescue Sarah.  Leaving her yard will spell her doom, but Kerilyn has to try to save her only living relative.

I liked this story a lot. I found the forbidden relationship between Arawn and Kerilyn compelling.  Kerilyn has been drawn to Arawn for years, but exploring a relationship with him will quickly lead to a painful death. Her family has been killing his subjects for years, and it’s impossible to think that he, or his subjects, could ever put that aside.   Yet when she is forced to leave the sanctuary of her home, he is quick to accompany her.  He knows her lame disguise won’t fool anyone, and he’s afraid that facing his brother by herself will sign her death sentence.  I loved how quickly Arawn was willing to follow and defend her, and that he was willing to confront his brother to keep Kerilyn and her niece safe.  I was totally convinced that he was willing to kill his brother, or die trying, to protect her.  I also understood her reluctance to trust him.  How could she know for certain that he wasn’t part of a ply to get her to Abaddon, so they could kill her together.

In addition to being a hot love story, the battle with Abaddon is an exciting, no-holds-barred fight.  If you’re in the mood for a read with a kick-ass heroine, you don’t have to look further than Seducing the Demon Huntress.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

Cover Shot! Skulk by Rosie Best

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?

Strange Chemistry unveiled the cover for Skulk, their October 2013 release by Rosie Best.  What do you think of it?  It’s about shifters, so I’m interested just because of that!

 

       

To some, Meg Banks’ life might look perfect – she lives in a huge house in West London, goes to a prestigious school and has famous parents. Only Meg knows the truth: her tyrannical mother rules the house and her shallow friends can talk about nothing but boys and drinking. Meg’s only escape is her secret life as a graffiti artist.

While out tagging one night, Meg witnesses the dying moments of a fox… a fox that shapeshifts into a man. As he dies, he gives Meg a beautiful and mysterious gemstone. Soon Meg realises that she’s also inherited his power to shift and finds an incredible new freedom in fox form.

She is plunged into the shadowy underworld of London, the territory of the five warring groups of shapeshifters – the Skulk, the Rabble, the Conspiracy, the Horde, and the Cluster. Someone is after her gemstone, someone who can twist nature to his will. Meg must discover the secret of the stone and unite the shapeshifters before her dream of freedom turns into a nightmare.

Interview with Lee Roland, Author of Vicious Moon and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Lee Roland to the virtual offices today! Lee is here to answer some questions about her new book, Vicious Moon, and after, you can enter to win all 3 books of the Earth Witches Series!

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

[Lee Roland] I live in Florida and have the good fortune of being a full time writer. I write every day, though not as much as I feel I could, since I like to spend time reading, too. I’m pretty much an introvert, even if my friends describe me as a bit of a drama queen. I began writing in the sixth grade, but only became serious about getting published ten years ago.

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

[Lee Roland] Vicious Moon is the third book in the Earth Witches Series. It follows Viper Moon (2011), Vengeance Moon (2012). The story involves a witch named Nyx, who ran away and joined the army to escape the ridged rules of her family and coven. She’s made a life for herself and eventually ends up in San Francisco working as a private investigator. Nyx is called home by her grandmother and then sent to find her sister Marisol. Marisol has gone to the city of Duivel, Missouri to study with another witch and is missing. Nyx does find her sister, but she also meets her match in Etienne, a man who has walked in the shadowy world of mercenary soldiers and criminal enterprises.

The Earth Witches series is Urban Fantasy with mild humor and a strong love story. The earth witches are keepers of the world’s magic. They are men and women, all servants of their patroness, the Earth Mother, they battle men and monsters to protect the world.

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

[Lee Roland] I have been blessed with an active imagination. I have always loved the unusual. Characters come from need to make particular things happen in a story. I usually make them bigger than life, sometimes outrageous, then back them down meet the story’s needs. My inspiration also comes from the first books I read.

I have been strongly influenced by the stories of C.L. Moore. C.L. Moore wrote in the 1930’s and they were published in Weird Tales, a SF/Fantasy magazine popular at the time. They were then collected into a volume titled Northwest of Earth. There was a degree of prejudice against women in the genre at that time, so she had to use only her initials to be published. I have copies on my bookshelf, one an original edition. Northwest Smith could have been an inspiration for Han Solo, and Jirel of Joiry is the original queen of kick ass warriors. Jirel is the inspiration for every kick heroine I’ve ever written.

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

[Lee Roland] Stubborn, courageous, sarcastic.

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

[Lee Roland] I don’t think about Etienne in terms of music, but if I had to pick one I’d say a piece of classical might fit. The Planets, Op. 32, Mars, The Bringer Of War by Gustave Holst.

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

[Lee Roland] With human beings and human nature, never and always are concepts riddled with exceptions. For Nyx, her magic is her best and worst weapon. It is in her genetic makeup. It never leaves her but often fails her when she needs it most.

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

[Lee Roland] Etienne is a man who has spent most of his time in foreign lands as mercenary soldier and sometimes successful thief. He’s far more concerned with the condition of his gun than other more personal things. He would never let himself stand out in a crowd. Quite accustomed to exotic and horrific odors of his world, he would never use any type of cologne or perfumed after shave. You wouldn’t find special moisturizing soaps or, unless someone else put them there, soft fluffy towels.

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

[Lee Roland] At the time of the story, Vicious Moon, Nyx regrets that she hadn’t kept in contact with her grandmother and sister. She was too busy running away from a staid and constricting life. The need for freedom constantly conflicted with the need for family.

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

[Lee Roland] Books I read when I was growing up. A love of myths, legends, epic poetry, set me apart from my peers, but I persevered.

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

[Lee Roland] Silence, my computer, my books. I’m most creative in the morning. After one o’clock, my attention wanders. I always envied writers who could sit down a computer at any time of the day and actually produce great scenes.

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

[Lee Roland] Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. It’s a bit brutal but caught me at the first chapter.

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

[Lee Roland] That’s difficult to answer because I can’t really remember the name, though I do remember the book. I checked it out of the school library at age twelve. Up until that point, my only reading had been in class as part of the curriculum. I read because I had to. The book was actually funny, laugh out loud funny, and I think that was the first time I realized that I could make the real world go away and live in fantasy for a while.

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

[Lee Roland] I like family gatherings and meeting with my critique partners and other friends. I try to get out and away from the computer on a regular basis. When I start pushing on deadlines it’s important to take breaks.

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

[Lee Roland] I can be reached at lee@leeroland.com

I would love to hear from anyone with comments or questions.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

 

Tour Giveaway

Win all 3 books of the Earth Witches Series (US Only) (June 25 – July 31)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the series:

Dynamic Urban Fantasy by Lee Roland

The Earth Witches, the keepers of the world’s magic, find chaos and desire in the hidden ruins of the Barrows.  Servants of the enigmatic Earth Mother, they battle men, monsters and personal conflicts to protect the world. With magic, modern weapons and strong companions, they persevere to save mankind from evil.

The books from this series:

Viper Moon (Earth Witches #1)

ISBN-13: 978-0451233769 (352 Pages)

Cassandra Archer is the huntress. She has faithfully served the earth Mother for years, rescuing kidnapped children from monsters—both human and supernatural—dwelling in the ruins of the Barrows District. But when two children are kidnapped under similar circumstances, all clues point to a cataclysmic event on the next dark moon. Aided by police Detective Flynn and Michael, mysterious and dangerous resident of the Barrows, Cass must race against the clock and prevent a sacrifice that could destroy the entire town…

Vengeance Moon (Earth Witches #2)

ISBN-13: 978-0451236432  (352 Pages)

Madeline Corso can’t rest until she hunts down the three men who killed her father and witch mother. Two of them are now dead by her hand.  Unfortunately, her second kill had witnesses.  Sent to prison, she is rescued Sisters of Justice—a mysterious order of female warriors with ties to her mother. Her fighting skills are honed by the Sisters, and they have tracked the last murderer to Duivel, Missouri.  He is hiding in the dark underworld of the Barrows. Once in the Barrows, she discovers that things aren’t what they seem.  The danger goes far beyond her need for revenge. Can she rely on Michael, a handsome and possibly deadly stranger, to help her navigate a world of men and beasts? Or will she lose her heart before the mission is complete?

Vicious Moon

(Earth Witches #3)

ISBN-13: 978-0451238269  (320 Pages) Expected publication: July 2nd 2013 by Signet

Ex-soldier and Earth Witch Nyx Ianira is working as a PI in San Francisco when she sees the last thing she ever wanted to see: the Sisters of Justice—the mysterious Earth Witch police force.  Three Sisters, a Triad, is usually a squad of executioners.  This time, thought, the Sisters mission is to capture and escort an unwilling Nyx back to Twitch Crossing, Georgia.  Nyx ran away from Twitch Crossing ten years ago to escape the stiff rules and duties of being a true Witch. She wanted a life of her own. Now she’s been dragged back to her swampy hometown because another life is in danger—her little sister is missing, and Nyx is the only one who can go to Duivel, Missouri and track her down.  But the key to finding her may lie with the dark and tempting Etienne—a sinister criminal with a fearsome reputation, a ruthless attitude, and a total immunity to magic…

About Lee Roland

Lee Roland began her writing career in middle school when she wrote a short story for her brother. He turned the story in to his teacher as his own work.  To his amazement and terror, the teacher was so impressed that she read it aloud to the class—and asked him to write another one.

Lee notes that, other than motherhood, she’s never had an exciting job.  She might have dreamed of being  a lawyer, nurse or police officer, but finding the right person to share her life with changed her plans.  Her only credentials for writing are a terrific imagination, life experience and the love of words in a good story.  She reads voraciously, but particularly loves Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Lee lives in Florida and is a full-time writer.  She is a member of RWA National and the Florida based First Coast Romance Writers.

Before being published, Lee won many RWA Chapter contests and garnered a Golden Heart nomination in 2008 with her post apocalyptic novel, LILITH’S CHILD.

Lee is the author of the Earth Witches series published by NAL, beginning with VIPER MOON in 2011.

Contact Links

http://www.leeroland.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lee-Roland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeRolandM

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