Interview with Angela McCallister, Author of Bad Mouth and Giveaway!

Angela McCallister dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her new release BAD MOUTH.  Check out what she had to say!  Be sure to enter the giveaways, too!

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

[Angela McCallister] Sometimes geeky, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. Loves family, good friends, good food, books, romance, and dark humor.

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

[Angela McCallister] A human with a vampire grudge is forced to work with a human-hating vampire prince to solve a chain of vampire-on-human murders. Their attraction is shocking, but they won’t let that get in the way of their prejudice—until close proximity reveals what lies beneath their racial allegiances. The trouble is some of the murders were committed with Kade’s blessing, and if Val learns of it, there’d be more hell to pay than with just his life. She could tip the delicate balance between the vampire castes and bring on a war like none before. If race weren’t enough, his dark secrets ensure the growing connection between them is doomed.

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

[Angela McCallister] I listened to Bad Mouth by indie band Fugazi, a song I’d heard many times over, but one day it struck me the title would be great for a vampire story. I found out there were no books by that name so I had to write one, lol. As I always do, I began with the characters. What was the worst pairing possible? A human-hating vampire and a vampire-loathing human, of course. To complicate their relationship, he had to be involved in some bad stuff that validated her opinion of vampires. Kade had to have proof humans deserved his antipathy, thus he gets to deal with some bad humans. I compounded that with a very touchy situation within Kade’s two-caste vampire society, a quite insane pair of vampires (his parents) as the head of the society, an opportunistic gang of Slavers, and societal protocols that bind their decisions tighter than a gnat’s behind. Heh, the relationship may be the easy part in all of this.

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

[Angela McCallister] Determined. Courageous. Virtuous.

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

[Angela McCallister] Unequivocally, it is Demons by Imagine Dragons. Every. Darn. Word. I can’t even pick a key phrase from the lyrics without posting most of the song. Google the lyrics, but I warn you, you’ll want to hear the song and then you’ll want to download it. It’s beautiful and tortured and very Kade.

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

[Angela McCallister] Her pepper spray, lol. Her assistant, Alice, talks her into carrying a gun with her later for safety, but she’d adopted the pepper spray well before the book begins. Also a habit picked up from Alice :)

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

[Angela McCallister] A suit he’s actually worn. He’s a vampire prince, but you’d never know his riches because he’s eternally in a T-shirt and worn jeans. A condom because the only disease vampires succumb to is vesania (a kind of madness) and because pregnancy would have to be intentional in his particular case. Finally, food of any sort. Vampires may eat if they so choose, but not this prince of vampires.

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

[Angela McCallister] Not being able to save her ex-husband from himself.

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

[Angela McCallister] When I first started as a pre-teen, I read a lot of McCaffrey, Asimov, Heinlein, etc., but I got into a horror phase and devoured Clive Barker, Brian Lumley, Stephen King and the like and then a fantasy phase with Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, Weis & Hickman. Now, I can’t get enough happy endings so when I re-caught the reading bug on deployment, my favs were Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Nalini Singh, Karen Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan. So I’m pretty sure this is why I went the paranormal route first, though that doesn’t mean I don’t have plans for some contemporaries. Guess I was destined to be as eclectic as my reading tastes, lol. Believe it or not, I even had a Louis L’Amour phase, and I’d still love to find a romance version of the Sacketts. Feel free to send suggestions ;) PS—I’ve already devoured every American historical by Pamela Clare, lol.

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

[Angela McCallister] Me, myself, and I. I once “wrote” two-thirds of a novel while driving cross-country from Pensacola to Point Mugu. I jotted it all down on my laptop each night once I got to my hotel.

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

[Angela McCallister] Tiffany Reisz! I’m dying because she cliffhangered right off the end of The Prince and I neeeed that next book.

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

[Angela McCallister] Why, Dr. Seuss, of course :) I got obsessed with reading from the time I could actually do it, and it never ended. I honestly couldn’t say which of the books it was since it was so long ago, but it was definitely one of those vibrant, creative treasures.

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

[Angela McCallister] Outside of writing, reading, and critting? Hmm. If I were to pick something outside of the literary world, I’d say gorging on my addiction to cheesy scifi/horror movies. Surely that must come from my taste in books in high school, lol.

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

[Angela McCallister] Very easily and in many ways. Check out my website (http://www.angelamccallister.com), my Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/AngMcCallister), my Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AngelaMcCallisterAuthor), my Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/AngMcCallister), or my Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/AngelaMcCallister). I’m also on Linkdin and Google+, but forgive me. I barely know what to do with those *g* Come and visit the Chick Swagger Blog (http://chickswagger.com) where I blog with a very fun, feisty, and talented group of Chicks. I’m on Manic Readers, The Romance Studio, World Lit Café, and I have my author page on Amazon.

It’s been a great pleasure, Julie! Thanks so much for inviting me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Giveaways!!

We have two giveaways today!  First up, Angela is giving away one author-signed paranormal book bundle and one $50 Amazon/Barnes and Noble gift card.

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And next, just fill out the widget below to enter for a chance to win a copy of Bad Mouth. Open Internationally!

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Purchase links:

 

 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bad-mouth-angela-mccallister/1115161563?ean=9781622668052

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bad-mouth/id639380665?mt=11&uo=4

About the book:

After her ex-husband’s obsession with vampires, Valerie Craig is on a mission to stop transformations. Of all vampires, Kade Rollins is the worst of the worst, but when multiple murders plague Seattle, Val is forced to enlist his aid. Kade’s crude wit and seductive nature attract her like no other, but she can’t ignore his violence toward his human servants, no matter her yearning to forget.

She’s torn when she learns Kade may be behind the murders. Val’s worked hard to protect humans from vampires, but the truth surrounding the murders could ignite a bloody battle between their races, one humans are sure to lose. Someone is pulling strings to build a vampire army and spark the war—setting Kade up to kick it off. But if she trusts the vampire prince, she risks her job, her integrity, and her heart if he betrays her as all the men in her life have.

About the author:

Angela McCallister is a US Navy Sailor and author of Paranormal Romance repped by the fabulous Nalini Akolekar. Spoiled by the gorgeous weather of Southern California, she spends her days reading and writing whenever she’s lucky enough to be away from work. In fact, she’s never to be found without a book hidden somewhere on her person. Over the past two years, her writing has finaled in multiple RWA writing competitions, and her debut Paranormal Romance, BAD MOUTH, won MERWA’s 2012 Everything But The Kitchen Sink Competition.

Find her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/AngMcCallister), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AngelaMcCallisterAuthor), or on her website (http://angelamccallister.com/).

Review: Redemption Erica Hayes and Giveaway! Win a Kindle Fire!

 

 

 

 

Title:  Redemption

Author: Erica Hayes

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.

As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.

Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.

When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell


Review:

I don’t read many paranormal romances, and I’m not sure why.  I enjoy them on the odd occasion when I do pick them up, and Redemption was no exception.  This is the second book in Erica Hayes’ The Seven Signs series, and I didn’t have much trouble figuring out what was going on, even though I haven’t read the first book, Revelation (which has a zombie virus, so I will be reading it, hopefully soon!).  The series features the war between angels and demons and the prophesied end of the world.  I enjoyed how the angels were portrayed in this story; just because they are angels didn’t mean that they were “good.”  What was even better; Japheth, a Tainted angel, is working tirelessly for his redemption, so he can return to Heaven.  His fellow Tainted behave like fraternity boys; drinking, chasing women, and partying in between missions slaying demons and hellspawn, and trying to stop the Apocalypse from happening.

Michael is in charge of the angels, and he’s a ruthless jerk.  I hated him.  He’s power hungry and cruel, and he doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice his angels if it will fulfill his ambitions.  He sends Japheth to kill Fluvium, the Prince of Thirst, and recover the vial of wrath in his possession.  Japheth doesn’t know why Michael cast him out of Heaven.  He’s always been brave, righteous, and dedicated to serving God.  All he wants is to be let back into Heaven.  He lives a life a purity, distaining pleasures of the flesh, and obeying orders to the letter.  What does he get for his sacrifices?  A never ending hard-on and no sense of humor.  Poor guy.

Rose Harley is Japheth’s unlikely match.  Like Japheth, she’s been tricked, and now she’s a vampire, the slave of Fluvium.  He’s ordered her to steal Japheth’s soul, or he’ll throw her into Hell.  Terrified of the never-ending agony of Hell, Rose is determined to carry out his commands.  She’s killed angels aplenty – they don’t call her Angel Slayer for nothing.  When the two meet, however, they both discover that they have clearly met their match.  They are both fierce warriors, they are both driven to carry out their mission at all costs, and they both have preconceived notions about the other that are wrong, wrong, wrong.  Circumstances have fooled them both, and robbed them of their dreams.  Rose has lived through the horror of being a demon lord’s plaything, and Japheth is the casualty of another’s powerful ambitions.

I enjoyed the world building in Redemption.  I loved how the lines between the hellspawn and the angels blurred, leaving me wondering who was good and who was truly evil.  There is a large cast of characters, and I want to know more about several of them, both angels and demons.  I’m sure they’ll be back for future installments of the series.  What I really want is to see the characters I dislike meet their comeuppance.  There are several who deserve the wrath of both heaven and hell.

The pacing is blistering.  After all, Japheth is racing to complete his mission and put a stop to the Apocalypse, all at the same time.  He’s saddled with Rose, a vampire he doesn’t trust, but is forced to rely on.  He has nothing but contempt for Rose, and he won’t even consider that there might be more than he realizes about her turning into a vampire.  Nope, she’s hellspawn scum, and the sooner he finishes his mission, the sooner he can put an end to her cursed life.  Nice guy!  Maybe he’s not so righteous after all?

Though he took a while to warm up to, I did come to like Japheth.  His fall from grace was only possible because he couldn’t see the evil in those he served.  He was the ideal warrior – fighting for the faith he believed in with all his heart, making his betrayal that much more bitter.  It takes him a long, long time to come to terms with what he believes his fellow angels should be, and the reality of what they are.  I wouldn’t want to have to trust any of these guys, because I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them.

The action is intense, and the sparks between Japheth and Rose are blinding.  As they begin to trust each other, their attraction for each other blazes out of control.   If only Japheth wasn’t trying to stay so pure! 

Redemption is a fun, action-packed romp through a nightmarish vision of the Apocalypse, where the lines between good and evil aren’t all that clear.  The romance between Japheth and Rose, two strong and noble characters who have had their faith and trust shattered, is hot and steamy and will leave you believing in their HEA.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours

GIVEAWAY!!

Enter the Tour Wide Giveaway for a Kindle Fire or if the winner lives outside the US they will receive an equivalent value Amazon gift card!!

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More about the book:

Redemption
The Seven Signs, Book 2 by
Erica Hayes

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

ISBN: 978-0425258385

Number of pages: 330

Cover Artist: Kris Keller

Paperback: Amazon BN Book Depository

Ebook: Amazon BN iTunes

About the Author:

Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.

She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.

She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she’s terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.

http://www.ericahayes.net

http://erica-hayes.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/ericahayes.author

http://www.twitter.com/ericahayes

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2922003.Erica_Hayes

Excerpt: Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian

Random House has another excerpt to share! This time, check out a sample from Lara Adrian’s Edge of Dawn.

 

Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian (Excerpt) by

If you enjoyed reading this excerpt, you can order Edge of Dawn from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below.

 

About the Book:

In this pulse-pounding and thrillingly sensual novel, New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian returns to the mesmerizing world of the Midnight Breed, following new characters into a dark future where an uneasy peace can unravel into war—and a great betrayal can mask an all-consuming love.

Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn—when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them—the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight bears an intensely personal cost.

Raised among the Order, Mira has always believed in the warrior’s code of swift—and even lethal—justice. But the one thing she desires more than the Order’s hard-won acceptance is Kellan Archer, a sexy but troubled Breed fighter. In love with him since childhood, Mira once broke through his tough exterior during an unexpected night of rapture, but the next day he mysteriously disappeared, never to return.

Kellan didn’t think he would ever see Mira again—or have to confront the truth of why he left. After abandoning the Order years ago, he now leads a band of human rebels intent on carrying out their own vigilante rule of law. Yet a high-profile kidnapping assignment brings him face-to-face with the past he sought to avoid, and the striking woman he has tried desperately to forget. And as tensions mount and the risk of bloodshed grows, Kellan and Mira must take sides—between the competing missions that dominate their lives, and the electrifying passion that claims their hearts.

Interview with Elisabeth Staab, Author of Prince of Power and Giveaway!

Please welcome Elisabeth Staab to the virtual offices today.  Elisabeth is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Prince of Power.  Check out what she has to say about her new book, and after, enter for your chance to win a copy!

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Well, I started hunting zombies back in the early 18…no wait…that’s my secret bio. Let’s see…

Aside from writing and vampires I am obsessed with music, caffeine, and documentaries, and I can turn almost anything into a dirty joke. ;)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Prince of Power?

[Elisabeth Staab] Prince of Power is the sequel to my debut novel, King of Darkness. Anton is a wizard, an enemy of the vampires, who fell in love with the half-sister of the vampire king after he was sent to kidnap her. Tyra is a vampire-hybrid who spends her days helping the less fortunate and her nights killing Anton’s kind. From the start, it would seem like their relationship is doomed to fail. Their story is about whether or not their love can triumph and survive the war between their species.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] I liked the idea of an enemy/outsider falling in love with one of the good guys, the challenges that would bring, and also the hero/heroine role-reversal. A more beta hero, a badass heroine with a little bit of a death wish. However, from the very beginning, Anton has driven this story. I “met” Anton early on when I was writing King of Darkness. He was in a dark room waiting to be tortured for defying his father on a mission. He kind of “told” me as I wrote that his mission had been about Tyra, that he’d effed up on purpose, and why. I had seen Tyra already with a fighter named Siddoh, but I realized that their relationship was in the past. Anton made it clear that he was the one for Tyra. So almost from the start of King of Darkness I knew where Prince of Power would go. That it would be Anton and Tyra’s story. And an enemy coming in from the outside, falling in love with a vampire? Talk about conflict!

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Fierce. Determined. Loyal.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” – There’s actually a really great scene near the end of Prince of Power where Anton and Tyra have a fight. A literal, physical fight while the snow is falling and she gets so mad at him that she tries to set him on fire. For me, the song fits both of them literally and symbolically. So it’s a little ballad-y for a hero, but for me this song was perfect for Anton and his overwhelm of emotion for Tyra. Not to mention her pyrokenisis. I made a whole playlist for Prince of Power, but this was “their” song.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Anton won’t leave the house without.

[Elisabeth Staab] Actually, I think the great thing about Anton is he pretty much can leave home with nothing. He was raised without much so his material needs are few. Even as weapons go, he has a supernatural ability, the power to heat things from the inside-out, and the power to heal, so he’d be okay in a pinch. If there were anything he wouldn’t want to leave home without, I think it would be Tyra.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Never. Hmm. Makeup or accessories. Aside from something to pull her hair out of the way when she’s fighting, it’s not really her bag. Keys. She can teleport so she doesn’t need them. Food. She’s awful about remembering to eat.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Not knowing her mother. Not making peace with her father before his death. Those are difficult burdens.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] From reading alone, Suzanne Brockmann and JR Ward are the biggies. I discovered my love multi-POV multi-story arc novels thanks to them. Going all the way back to my teenager-hood though I read everything from Christopher Pike to Stephen King and I think you can see a tiny touch of those darker influences. I watch tons of comedy movies and stand-up, and even though I write dark I like to slide humor into my writing to breathe a little light into the darkness. Also, I’m incredibly lucky to have Damon Suede and Mary Calmes to trade beta reading with, and their suggestions have influenced my creative process heavily. I’m a far better writer thanks to them and I’m very grateful.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] These days, my laptop and reliable childcare are the two things I absolutely must have. Anyone who has tried to write a love scene while two toddlers are doing battle in the background will understand! Music and coffee are extremely helpful pluses, and I used to be pickier about my writing space, but lately so long as my kids are safe in their beds or with someone I trust enough that I can relax and let the words flow, I’m good.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] The last thing I read that really blew my mind was Broken by Megan Hart. I cried a good deal of the way through reading, and her books always leave me feeling conflicted. They’re intensely erotic and beautifully written, but emotionally they put me through the wringer.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Sati, by Christopher Pike, I think I read it way back in middle school or high school or something. I think it was probably the first thing I read that wasn’t required by my literature class. The “adult” ideas that it presented (about a woman who claimed to be God) in a both funny and philosophical way were very eye-opening.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Well I don’t get a whole lot of down time. What little I do have is spent with my kids, or reading, or watching a rare movie with my husband. When I can find a friend who’s game I actually like to go out and grab dinner, drinks, and dancing, but these days we’ve all got kids so that dicey, lol. Usually it’s reading. Which is fine, because then I can go anywhere.

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

[Elisabeth Staab] Web: http://elisabethstaab.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/lajoT

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElisabethStaabRomance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElisabethStaab

Myspace: https://new.myspace.com/elisabethstaab/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ElisabethStaab

G+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/115495970841282334338/posts/

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for your chance to win a copy of Prince of Power?  Just fill out the widget below.  Earn extra entries for following. US and Canadian addresses only, please.

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Didn’t win? You can purchase Prince of Power from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below.

About the book:

This Fight Is Personal…

Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king’s beautiful sister, Tyra…and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes…

Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined…

As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that’s decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other…

Interview with Adrian Faulkner, Author of The Four Realms

Adrian Faulkner, author of The Four Realms, is visiting the virtual offices today.  Please welcome him.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] Ex-pop culture journalist turned Urban Fantasy writer. Lover of books, movies, TV and games. Good sense of humour. Complete & utter geek.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Four Realms?

[Adrian Faulkner] The story really starts with a dead body. When the novel starts we see half-vampire, Darwin and his friend and fallen angel, Cassidy running along the streets of London after Darwin smells the blood of the corpse. Cassidy’s had him surviving on rat’s blood for a while now to stop him killing, and it’s left Darwin gaunt and sickly. So Darwin sees a freshly dead corpse as a way to get a proper meal and keep Cassidy happy. It’s on the corpse they discover a notebook in a mysterious language.

It’s not long before Maureen Summerglass, an 82 year old gatekeeper between worlds, learns of the death of one of the wizards of the Friary of New Salisbury whilst visiting London. Suspecting a cover up, she breaks a lifetime of protocol and sneaks through the gateway in her cellar into New Salisbury hoping to find answers.

Darwin soon finds that someone else is after the notebook and willing to wipe out every last vampire if necessary. Maureen discovers danger in a world that is unlike that she has been lead to believe but instead one of fast food, black market goods and Tuk Tuks.

Darwin tries desperately to escape the mysterious Mr West and his cohorts, trying to save the vampire survivors in the process. Maureen, meanwhile, discovers that she might just be the first human female to be able to do magic; which is going to come in handy as people are trying to kill her as well.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] The concept for the land of Venefasia where the city of New Salisbury lies was born out of watching a news report on a remote Amazon tribe and seeing one of the kids wearing a Nike T-Shirt. It got me thinking how if the wardrobe from CS Lewis’s Narnia novels existed, it wouldn’t be used for wartime evacuees to go to tea with Fauns but for smuggling black market goods, weapons and drugs. As a result, the world of Venefasia has a bit more of a third world / Iron curtain feel than the typical medieval basis of a lot of fantasy.

At the time I first started work on The Four Realms, Buffy and as a result the kick ass female was really prevalent. I wanted to do something different and as a result decided there weren’t enough elderly protagonists. From that Maureen was pretty much there from day one. She’s been a load of fun to write.

Darwin and Cassidy took a bit more time. Originally they were a bit more “Lone wolf and cub” – an elderly warrior / protector and young innocent. As time went by their ages came closer together. Darwin became a bit more of an idealistic young man, and Cassidy became a lot more fun and kooky. She’s probably the most difficult to write as it’s hard to keep her light and fun with everything Darwin and her go through.

Mr West was the character who brought it together though. Who and what he is… well, that’s a bit of a spoiler but I’m hoping readers will like it and get an idea of the direction I’d like to take the story in through future novels.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] “lack of identity” – He’s half vampire and the vampire council has always viewed him as a bit of a freak. But at the same time it’s hard to identify as human when you need blood to survive. Cassidy wants to bring more of the humanity out of him but that puts him in conflict with his desire to be seen as an equal by his vampire brethren.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Maureen won’t leave the house without.

[Adrian Faulkner] Probably her handbag. It would hold her keys, her purse and about a hundred tissues

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

[Adrian Faulkner] At the start of the book both he and Cassidy are homeless, so I guess a mobile cell phone, keys and money would be obvious answers.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] I think over the course of the novel, we see it’s her dedication to the Friary. She’s served them unquestioningly since the mantle of gatekeeper was passed to her by her mother. And as we get to see, they haven’t been too good at looking after her. Her house is a bit ramshackled. She dare not let anyone into the house in case they find the big oak door in the cellar. So she suffers with no heating, in fear of her nosey neighbours, only to discover that the Friary is thinking of closing her gateway and throwing her out on the streets.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] I have three. The first is Star Wars which just unleashed my imagination. It was like an explosion going off in my head when I first saw it. The second was the GI Joe comic book. On the surface it was a stupid toy tie-in but writer Larry Hama didn’t let that stop him from writing some fantastic characters. I remember looking up from one issue back in the 80s / early 90s and thinking to myself “Good story is character driven.” It was a revelation at the time. The final influence is Lord of the Rings, a book so detailed, so imaginative, it still blows my mind.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] A computer. I have been known to write draft chapters in longhand when they’ve been particularly tricky but mostly I like to type them directly into the computer

Diet Coke. This is my poison of choice. I drink way too much of the stuff.

Music. I find it difficult to write without music and own a ridiculous number of orchestral scores from films, television and games.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] Probably Lou Morgan’s Blood and Feathers. I know Lou so thought I had a good idea of what to expect, but sometimes a friend’s book can surprise you in a really good way. Thoroughly enjoyed it

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

[Adrian Faulkner] Probably CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I’d been a big reader before I read that at eight years old but that book was the one that made me want to be a writer. Looking back now, I can see all the faults, but even so I still have a fondness for it.

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

[Adrian Faulkner] In my spare time, I’m a very active Geocacher. This is the hobby where you go hunting for hidden Tupperware in the countryside armed only with a GPS. It’s a lot of fun and is a good source of exercise. That said, I’ve been so busy with the book, I’ve hardly had time to do any these past few months

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

[Adrian Faulkner] I have my own website over at www.adrianfaulkner.com where I blog and give updates. I’m also fairly active on Twitter as @figures

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

The Four Realms is available now!  Please click the link to order a digital copy from Amazon.

About the book

Half-vampire Darwin stumbles across a corpse on the streets of London, and in a pocket discovers a notebook in a mysterious language. Divided between human ethics and vampire bloodlust, Darwin finds himself both condemner and saviour of a race who’ve never considered him one of their own. Now, he must try and lead the survivors to sanctuary in New Salisbury before Mr West completes his genocide of the vampires in his quest to obtain the book…

Maureen Summerglass is eighty-two years old, and a prisoner in her ramshackle home. She is afraid to let people enter in case they discover the oak door in her cellar. Threatened with homelessness and retirement from her job as a gatekeeper between worlds, Maureen breaks protocol when the death of a close friend is covered up… and enters the city of New Salisbury to search for his missing notebook. There, she discovers a world unlike the one of myth and fairy tale she imagined, and instead one of black market economies, brand names and tuk tuks. As she investigates, not only is she in extreme danger, but discovers she may be the first human female able to use magic…

“An imaginative foray into a dark world of danger and adventure. Hang onto your hat!” – Gail Z. Martin, author of The Dread

About the author

Adrian Faulkner has been writing stories since he was 7 and has never really stopped making things up.

He created and, for 10 years, edited Action-Figure, a global entertainment news website covering geek market (toys, collectibles, comics, movies). The site hit a quarter of a million audited page impressions a day and was considered a market leader and industry benchmark. During this time he worked with a number of celebrities including Good Charlotte, Rob Zombie, Mike Mignola and others on promoting entertainment properties and associated merchandise. He has interviewed a number of celebrities including Charlize Theron, Kate Beckinsale and Stan Winston.

He has also written for numerous magazines including ToyFare, Ultimate Adventure, Area51 and Memorabilia (where he was contributing editor) and along with Steve Holland, Alex Summersby, Steve White, Toby Weidmann and Tim Muray has written a book on Sci-Fi Art.

In 2009, he sold the site to allow more time on his fiction. In 2011, he had a short story published in the British Fantasy Society’s BFS Journal.

Adrian lives in Berkshire and in his spare time likes to play World of Warcraft and go geocaching. He is independently ranked within the top 50 geocachers in the country.

Waiting on Wednesday–Blood Prophecy

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

Though the series has had its ups and down, I still love the Drakes and all of their friends.  I’ll be sad when the series wraps up with Blood Prophecy by Alyxandra Harvey

In stores January 2013

   

In the thrilling conclusion of the Drake Chronicles, love and loyalties will be tested … and proven once and for all.

Can Solange find her way back home again? And can she do it in time to save everyone she loves from the vampire civil war, hunter attack, and each other?

Because not everyone can survive the prophecy… maybe not even her.

What are you waiting on?

Fangs, Fur, & Fey Giveaway Hop-Win Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa!

 

Welcome to my Fangs, Fur, & Fey Giveaway,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Reading Lark.  This hop runs from October 2nd to October 8th, and you can win lots of new reads.  Click HERE for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away an ARC of Julie Kagawa’s Immortal Rules.

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters. Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad. Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike. But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for

 

US mailing addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles)

Author:  Alyxandra Harvey

Drake Chronicles #5

Digital – Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange’s fight with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets and forbidden magic put all of the Drakes in danger.
The POVs are: Solange, Lucy and Nicholas.


Review:

I love the Drake Chronicles, and if you had told me a few years ago that I would be eating up a YA series about vampires, I would have wondered what you had been smoking.  The vampire craze never made sense to me, and I find other paranormal beings much more compelling.  Give me a good zombie story, with lots of screaming and running for your life, and I’m happy. Give me a vampire story where the vamps aren’t romantic leads but terrifying, ruthless killers, and I might have been interested.  But a story about a large brood of single, sexy vampire brothers (and one very confused sister), and I’m, like, yawn, so I have to thank Bloomsbury for sending the first book in this series to me, because they got me totally hooked.  Thanks, Bloomsbury!!

Blood Moon picks up right were the previous installment, Bleeding Hearts, left off.  Solange is losing her battle against her feral nature, and not even her BFF, Lucy, is safe in her presence.  Solange is so unstable that  her strong family doesn’t know what to do or how to control her.  She lashes out at everyone, and she falls under the sway of Constantine, a powerful vampire with hidden goals of his own.  When Nicholas goes missing, not even his sudden disappearance can mend Solange’s broken relationships long enough to find her brother.

I loved this installment, right up until the non-ending.  That is non-ending number two for the series, and it’s something that tries my patience.  While I am happy that there will be another book in the series, stopping this one almost in mid-sentence is disappointing.  Even when a book is part of a series, I still expect each installment to have a beginning and an ending.  I expect minor story arcs to get wrapped up, leaving the bigger plot thread for another day.  It’s hard to recommend a book to my friends that just slams into a brick wall and ends with a “Well, see ya next time!”  The momentum is lost by the time I pick up the next book in a series, and there’s an awkward period of adjustment as I struggle to remember who everyone is and what everything is about.  I would rather wait until all of the pieces are released before wading into the thick of things, and I usually advise my friends to wait until a series is complete.  Sorry, that’s just the way I roll.  I refuse to read another George R R Martin book until A Song Ice and Fire is finished, because I hate the years and years gaps between his books, and that is probably my favorite series.

Blood Moon examines the relationship between Lucy and Solange, returning to the series’ roots.  The action starts off with Lucy having to taser an ever more unstable Solange.  It seems that even being her best friend is no guarantee of her safety.   With  Kieran bleeding to death after a ravenous Solange can’t resist feasting on his rich, enticing blood, Lucy is desperate to get him the medical attention he needs, as well as keeping herself from becoming a vampire snack.  The constant push and pull between the girls was compelling; Solange doesn’t want to keep striking out at Lucy, but she just can’t help herself.  With Constantine there to encourage her drinking fresh from the vein blood, she is spiraling ever faster out of control.  Her hunger drives her, and she can’t quench it.  And, oh, yeah, she’s hearing a voice in her head, one that urges her to think of no one but herself and to hell with the consequences.

I wish that Nicholas and Lucy had more page time together, because they are my favorite couple.  Alas, he’s abducted, making  cuddle time impossible.  Lucy’s frantic efforts to find him are in vain, and I loved the scene on the school roof, which has her screaming out her fear, rage, and helplessness into the night air.  Poor Lucy!  I could feel her emotional pain, and I think I, too, would have felt so frustrated that I would have screamed uncontrollably until my eyes bled.  For a girl who is accustomed to taking charge, to acting to save her friends, her helplessness was agonizing.  For the first time in the series, she gives in to her fear.  There is nothing she can do to save Nicholas except wait for him to be found, and that does not agree with her heart, or her personality, one little bit.

I enjoyed this outing with the Drakes right up until the non-ending, and if I had known about it, I would have held off until January, when Blood Prophesy hits stores.   I am by nature impatient, so I hate these waits to see how all of the cliffhangers will play out.  I’d rather hold off until the final book is released, especially for a series that I love, instead of getting annoyed by these dreaded non-endings.  How do you feel about cliffhangers?  Love ‘em? Hate ‘em?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts about them.

Grade:   B- (minor deduction for the cliffhanger ending)

Review copy purchased from Amazon  (I also received a finished copy from Bloomsbury after I purchased a digital version from Amazon.  I will be giving this away soon, so check back if you’re interested!)