Interview with Jan DeLima and Giveaway!


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

[Jan DeLima] Wife, mom, author, gardener, artist, and somewhat acceptable cook. I love books, coffee, wine, carbohydrates baked with butter, and lazy afternoons with my family.

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

[Jan DeLima] Celtic Moon is a shape-shifter urban fantasy romance. The fantasy world is derived from Celtic mythology, which is one of the original sources of shifter lore in history. It is set in current day Maine, in an isolated village surrounded by mountains and wilderness where an ancient clan of Celtic shifters has lived among us in secret for over a thousand years. Sophie, my heroine, is a mother of a teenager who has been on the run from the father of her son due to some brutal circumstances. Sophie is forced to return when her son begins to show signs of becoming a shifter like his father. Dylan, the father of her son, is overly protective and unaware of some events that have kept Sophie away while dealing with an impending war amongst his kind. I enjoyed pairing a typical alpha hero with a woman who refused to accept his behavior. The chemistry between these two characters was a writer’s dream come true.

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

[Jan DeLima] At the time, I worked in the cataloging department of my library when a book on Celtic artifacts came across my desk. It reviewed findings and theories of Celtic beliefs from Celtic art, with depictions of men shifting into animals. Intrigued, I dove into researching Celtic mythology and found more material than I could possibly imagine on wolves and shape-shifting. Let’s just say my paranormal writer’s radar was dinging loudly.

My characters emerged soon after, demanding a place in this magical world. Celtic beliefs are nature orientated, so I scattered Celtic tribes across the globe in areas conducive to the habitats of wolves. Just to make things interesting, I also added a civil war, demented Guardians who want to restore their race back to the powerful creatures of Celtic lore, a mother who’s willing to protect her child at all costs, and a husband torn between the people he’s sworn to defend and the safety of his family.

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

[Jan DeLima] Survivor. Protector. Mother.

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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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Meet Jace from Kait Ballenger’s Twilight Hunter and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Jace McCannon, the dangerous and sexy hero from Kait Ballenger’s Twilight Hunter.  He stopped by the virtual offices for a chat, and brought along a copy of Twilight Hunter for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Jace McCannon] Werewolf hunter. Stubborn. Bullheaded. Loyal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Jace McCannon?

[Jace McCannon] My days usually consist of sleeping. It’s my nights that see all the action. A typical night for me is spent hunting down any werewolves who are attacking humans. If there happens to be no targets for me to hunt, I usually spend my evening doing shitloads of boring paperwork for Headquarters so my division leader doesn’t chew my ass out.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Frankie?

[Jace McCannon] Smart. Beautiful. Strong.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Jace McCannon] That she’s equally as stubborn as I am when she wants to be.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Jace McCannon] I try not to have regrets.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Jace McCannon] My Mateba handgun. I never go anywhere without it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t protecting humanity from sadistic murderers?

[Jace McCannon] I usually kick back and relax with a drink, occasionally I hang out with my fellow hunters. I try to stay busy though. I live for my job.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Jace McCannon] Frankie and continue hunting

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the book:

Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face-to-face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.

Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind-or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both…

About the author:

Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published, award-winning author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series. With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently earning an M.F.A in Writing. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she hopes to be a bestseller and to see her novels on the big screen. Look for the next two books in her page-turning Execution Underground series: Twilight Hunter, book one (August 2013) and Immortal Hunter, book two (January 2014), and don’t forget to check out Shadow Hunter, a prequel novella to the series featured in the After Dark anthology along NYT Bestseller Gena Showalter—now available in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. For more information, please visit www.kaitballenger.com or follow her on Twitter @kait_ballenger.

Website: www.kaitballenger.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kait_ballenger

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989661.Kait_Ballenger

Purchase links

Amazon link

Twilight Hunter on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twilight-hunter-kait-ballenger/1114504377?ean=9780373777389

Giveaway!

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Review: Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger

 

Title: Twilight Hunter

Author: Kait Ballenger

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but what happens when danger collides with desire?
Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face to face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.
Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind–or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both…


Review:

I was trying to put my finger on why I don’t didn’t really care for Twilight Hunter, and I think I finally figured it out.  Kait Ballanger’s Execution Underground world is grim, bleak, and brutal, and it’s not one that I would want to visit.   There is nothing cutesy about the series or the characters, and there are times when the darkness caught me off guard.  This installment focuses on Jace, a half-werewolf whose abusive childhood shaped him into a cold, hard killer.  Jace hunts werewolves for a living, and every rogue werewolf has him hoping that it’s his father he’s hunting down.  He will never forgive his father for beating his mother, and worse, for walking out on them so many years before.

When a serial killer begins preying on young women, torturing, raping, and ripping them to shreds, Jace is certain that a werewolf is committing the horrible crimes.  He’s determined to stop the killer before he murders again, but he can’t catch a break in the case.  Finding Frankie at one of the murder scenes, he’s positive she has something to do with the deaths.  She’s an abomination, isn’t she? She has to be responsible for the killings, or know who the killer is.  What Jace doesn’t know is that Frankie is the leader of the local pack, and she’s on the trail of the killer, too, in part to avoid the full moon and her expected joining with her childhood friend Alejandro.  Now, she’s Jace’s captive, and if he doesn’t back off, they are going to be doing the bronto  bop when her estrus is at its height.

Mating rituals is a  component of werewolf stories that I don’t like.  It kind of takes all of the guessing out of the game if whenever that full moon looms overhead the protagonists are so compelled by their wolf that they will jump the first available prospect they see.  In this context, it gave Jace something else to beat himself up over, because he was too weak to keep himself from sleeping with a werewolf.  It also gave him another excuse to hold Frankie in contempt, because she would obviously sleep with anybody.  Sigh.

One thing that I do like about werewolves stories is the action, and there is a ton of it here.  The fighting scenes are a blast to read, and Frankie is a kick-ass heroine.  She doesn’t back down from anything or anyone,  especially when she’s defending her position in her own pack.  Not all of the members are happy that she’s their leader, and it’s a constant struggle to maintain her place.  Her parents were murdered a few years ago, and she took their place in the pack.  The altercations within the pack are no-holds barred exchanges, and only Frankie’s fighting skills and determination have kept her in charge, and still breathing.

Both Jace’s and Frankie’s pasts collide during their attempts to capture and kill the murderer.  The killer is one sick puppy, and his demise couldn’t come soon enough.  He made me uncomfortable, with his remorseless drive to inflict pain and death.  At first I was afraid that there wouldn’t be an explanation for his behavior, other than that he was a psycho (which he was, in spades), but there was rational behind his nutcase behavior.

Twilight Hunter will appeal to fans who enjoy grittier tales with a high steam factor and lots of intense action.

Review copy provided by author

Cover Shot! Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron

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?

What a cool cover!  Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron even has a cool name!  I love the thought of an archeologist heroine, too.  This will be in stores next week.

Hits stores March 12th.

      

Archaeologist Zoe Miller has been running from a haunting secret her whole life. But when her cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, Zoe is left with only one option: to reveal herself. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She’s a werewolf and a daughter of the Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles embroiled in an ancient war against evil. To rescue her cousin, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against the dark and nefarious foe. The hunt brings Zoe to the edge of her limits, and with the fate of humanity and the Fangborn in the balance, life will be decided by an artifact of world-ending power.

Cover Shot! The Silvered by Tanya Huff

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?

I haven’t read a book by Tanya Huff in a long, long time, but The Silvered caught my attention.  I love the subtle hues and the intense expressions on both the woman and especially the wolf.  I loved were stories, so I have added this to my wish list.  It hits stores November 6, so I don’t have long to wait.

 

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar…

Review: The Half-Breed Vampire by Theresa Meyers

 

Title: The Half-Breed Vampire

Author: Theresa Meyers

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: B006QAF0WG

Available in both print and eBook

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Ignorant of his true heritage, half-breed Slade Donovan is fated to feel like an outsider among his clan. Until a mysterious woman arrives with the ability to unlock his secrets—and make him crave a future he never believed he could have….

As a game warden, Raina Ravenwing has only one mission in the Cascade Mountains: to hunt down a pack of rare wolves that is terrorizing her tribe. Her instant attraction to Slade is a distraction the beautiful wolf whisperer can’t afford, unless she agrees to let him help her. Yet working so closely together only intensifies their passion…even as the unfolding truth of Slade’s identity threatens everything Raina holds sacred.

Review:

The Half-Breed Vampire is the second of Theresa Meyers’ books that I have read.  I found both stories to be fast-paced and fun reads, with likable characters that I wanted to see together.  Though both couples seemed so wrong for each other at first, it quickly became apparent that they needed and completed each other.  I love a story that makes me want the protagonists to overcome all obstacles and find their HEA.  Slade and Raina have so many issues to work through, but with the support of their friends and a fierce sense of belonging, they manage to defeat their own objections about being together.

Slade is a vampire, and he’s been recruited to help game warden Raina Ravenwing track a bunch of wolves.  The wolves are harassing her tribe, and Raina needs to study them to discover why.  What she doesn’t know is that they are a pack of werewolves, and they are plotting a coming out party. Vampires made their presence known a year ago, and the weres don’t like that their hated enemies are enjoying the spotlight in the mortal world.  As Slade assists Raina in her mission, he begins to discover some unsettling truths about himself, and the past he can’t remember. 

First off, let me say how much I enjoyed Slade.  He’s one of those characters who manages to pull off tough and tender at the same time.  But only tender for the woman he’s slowly falling for.  His fellow vampires and the embattled weres don’t get the benefit of his softer side.  Only Raina brings out a fierce protectiveness, even when she’s a tight ass and totally rubs him the wrong way when they first meet.  She is uptight and she adheres to the rules, which drives him nuts.  It was fun to see them annoy each other, and then slowly begin to accept each other.  As Raina comes to trust Slade, she lets down her guard, too, and they begin to form a highly effective team.  I loved that.  As the story progressed, I couldn’t imagine them not together, because they really did prop each other up and offer strengths when the other faltered.  I believed in their teamwork and their togetherness, so much so that the flimsy plot and one-dimensional villain did not bother me. 

I found the world of the Cascade Vampire Clan very interesting, and I want to know more about Achilles, Slade’s commanding officer.  The vamps probably have it a little too easy, though, as they can teleport, materialize objects, and survive grievous injuries with only a few hours rest.  They can even be out in the sun, suffering only migraines and sunburn.  They powers aren’t limitless, and once they’ve used them up, they are kind of helpless, so I guess that’s the great equalizer.  Then, like batteries, they need to recharge.  I couldn’t help but think about how great it would be to materialize a new pair of Nikes or the latest and greatest XBox game out of thin air.  Do they have to pay for this stuff?  Needless to say, the vampires live much more luxuriously under the streets of Seattle than the werewolves, who live in a cave in the mountains.

This is the third installment of the Sons of Midnight series, but I didn’t have any problems following along with the action, despite not having read the prior books.  I would have liked a little more backstory for some of the characters, so I’ll have to track down the other volumes.  The Half-Breed Vampire is what I consider a popcorn book.  While enjoyable, the plot would not stand up to critical analysis; it’s more of a go with the flow type of read.  I was completely engaged in the story from start to finish, and I wanted more when I hit the last page.  Throw a copy in your beach bag; this is the perfect read for an afternoon in the sun (though Slade might disagree).

Grade: B, but teetering in B+ territory

Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours

 

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