March 17, 2012

#Giveaway- The Taker by Alma Katsu


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A young doctor at a county hospital in the northernmost corner of Maine, in below-freezing temperature, is on duty when the police bring in a young woman, who allegedly killed a man and left his body in the north woods. Luke, the doctor, is strangely drawn to her, as she pleads with him to help her escape. As she begins to tell him her story, she grabs a scalpel and slices herself deeply across the chest. As Luke watches in horrified amazement, the sides of the cut creep together and heal themselves. So begins her story—a love affair that began 200 years before, when a ten-year-old Lanore McIlvrae first declared her love to Jonathan St. Andrew, son of the man who founded the settlement in northern Maine. Lanore became pregnant by Jonathan, was sent off to Boston in disgrace to have her baby, and was abducted by a Hungarian count, who lived a life of unbridled sensuality. Having given her the gift of eternal life, the count tells his story, which began in 1346 Hungary, where he was the apprentice to an evil alchemist who seduced and murdered virgins. Now, nearly two centuries later, their paths have crossed again with unexpected consequences....

Blending the allure of immortality with the occult, The Taker sweeps readers along a historical journey—each time period and setting as rich as the last.

Read a scene from The Taker here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Alma Katsu lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. Her debut, The Taker, a Gothic novel of suspense, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and has developed an international following. The Reckoning, the second book in the trilogy, is coming out in June 2012. The Taker Trilogy is published by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster.

Ms. Katsu is a graduate of the Master's writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor's degree from Brandeis University, where she studied with John Irving. She also attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career as a senior intelligence analyst for several US agencies.

Visit Alma's website

March 16, 2012

#Giveaway - #BeingFlynn Movie Tie-in Book & $25 Fandango Bucks



Can one life story have two authors?

Being Flynn is the new dramatic feature from Academy Award-nominated writer/director Paul Weitz (About a Boy). Adapted from Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir Another Bulls—t Night in Suck City, the movie explores bonds both unbreakable and fragile between parent and child.

Nick Flynn (portrayed in the film by Paul Dano of Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood) is a young writer seeking to define himself. He misses his late mother, Jody (four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore), and her loving nature. But his father, Jonathan, is not even a memory, as Nick has not seen the man in 18 years.

Jonathan Flynn (two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro) has long defined himself as a great writer, "a master storyteller." After abandoning his wife and child, Jonathan scrapes through life on his own terms, and ends up serving time in prison for cashing forged checks. After prison, he drives a cab for a number of years, but with his drinking and eccentricities now accelerating, he loses his job. Despite the occasional grandiose letter to his son, he has remained absent from Nick's life.

Suddenly facing eviction from his apartment, Jonathan impulsively reaches out to Nick and the two come face-to-face. The older man is eloquent and formidable; overwhelmed, Nick nonetheless prepares to integrate his father into his own life. But, as quickly as he materialized, Jonathan flits away again.

Moving on, Nick takes a job at a homeless shelter, where he learns from Captain (Wes Studi) and Joy (Lili Taylor) how to relate to the guests who arrive night after night. Seeing the homeless – some permanently, some temporarily so – and hearing their stories, Nick finds purpose in his own life and work. He also sustains a romance with a co-worker, Denise (Olivia Thirlby). Then one night, Jonathan arrives, seeking a bed, and Nick's senses of self and compassion falter. To give the two of them a shot at a real future, Nick will have to decide whom to seek redemption for first.

Evocatively told, ruefully funny, and moving in its depiction of the ties that bind, Being Flynn tells a story that reveals universal truths.

Release Date: March 16, 2012

Visit the website




March 13, 2012

Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon


The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters. Now Nick's saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

You should get Sherrilyn Kenyon's book with Amazon coupons and read other books from the author.

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That's the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn't the average teenager. He's a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.


He's learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn't the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.


And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.




Visit www.sherrilynkenyon.com for more about SHERRILYN KENYON, INFAMOUS, and all of her novels.

March 9, 2012

Blog Tour - Prophecy of the Flame by Lynn Hardy


ABOUT THE BOOK:

In a blinding flash of light, five nondescript strangers are yanked from this world and thrust into a land of sorcery as they are granted the looks and abilities of the people they were playing. This band of wannabe heroes soon discovers that having the powers they have always dreamed of, does not make life a dream come true. The Crusaders of the Light struggle to form a cohesive band as they blend twentieth century technology with the supernatural powers of this new world, fighting to liberate the kingdom of Cuthburan from the evil horde threatening humanity.

Battle is also waged within Reba, an ordinary housewife who has become the most powerful mage on the planet, as she struggles to remain true to her wedding vows. Drawn against her will to the arms of Prince Alexandros, Reba must choose between a marriage to a handsome prince in a magical world or returning to the husband she left behind.

MY THOUGHTS:

I love to escape from reality by burying my nose in a book.  That's exactly what I did with Prophecy of the Flame by Lynn Hardy.  Once I started reading, I could not put it down.  What I enjoyed most about Lynn's writing is that she was able to not only keep me intrigued, she didn't write a book that was completely predictable.  You can imagine how excited I became when I heard that Prophecy of the Flame is currently being made into a movie.  When you are in the mood for a magical story, pick up Lynn's book and be ready to catch fire!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Led by a series of dreams and encouraged by friends, Lynn Hardy began the journey to become an author. She stored her work in a computer file labeled “second job.” Writing began as a passion she could not contain and has become much more than she ever expected.

In the Fall of 2010 Prophecy of the Flame – Book One reached #1 on Amazon kindle, shortly after Book Two in the series released. In the spring of 2011, Lynn released the Full Cast unabridged audio book of Book One. Now both fans and newcomers can hear the book come to life as every character jumps of the page with their own unique voice.

In reality, Lynn is overcome with compassion for families who are suffering through the recession and so she has created Agape Assistance – Shelter for Families One Book at a Time. (AgapeAssistance.org) Prophecy of the Flame has now attracted the attention of Hollywood. With 100% of the proceeds from Book One in the series going to Agape Assistance, there is now a full length movie now in the works.

Lynn has attended many science fiction conventions and has had the privilege of serving on panels about writing. Renaissance fairs are another favorite event for the author. Seeing others dressed in costume (as she always is during book signings) makes her feel right at home. Meeting other writers at these conventions and events who are struggling to break into the publishing field has led Lynn to merge Resilient Publishing with Borderline – a unique type of publisher that offers the individual attention to their authors that the big publishing houses give, with the control and increased payouts of self-publishing. As marketing director of Borderline, Lynn is blazing a new path for authors to follow.

The road has been longer and more complicated than she would have ever guessed–not always smooth, but filled with wonderful surprises. Like most stories, Lynn is sure that her journey has only just begun.

Visit her website at www.lynnhardy.com.


Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of Prophecy of the Flame by Lynn Hardy for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

March 7, 2012

#Giveaway - Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream


ABOUT THE BOOK:

In thirty days Clementine Pritchard will be finished with her last painting and her life.

World-renowned artist and sharp-tongued wit Clementine Pritchard has decided that she's done. After flushing away a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions, she gives herself thirty days to tie up loose ends—finish one last painting, make nice with her ex-husband, and find a home for her cat. Clementine plans to spend the month she has left in a swirl of art-world parties, manic work sessions, and outrageous acts—but what she doesn't expect is to uncover secrets surrounding the tragedy that befell her mother and sister. In an ending no one sees coming, will we lose Clementine or will we find her?

A bold debut from an exciting new voice, Losing Clementine is a wonderfully entertaining and poignant novel about unanticipated self-discovery that features one of the most irresistible, if deeply flawed, characters to grace contemporary fiction in years.

March 6, 2012

Blog Tour: Her Frozen Wild by Kim Antieau

About Her Frozen Wild

Scientists in the Altai in Siberia uncover the 2,500 year old frozen mummy of a tattooed priestess or shaman. This mummy has the same mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) as American archaeologist Ursula Smith whose mother disappeared in Siberia 30 years earlier. Ursula travels from the U.S. to Siberia to unravel the mystery of the “lady” and meets Sergei Ivanovich Polyakov, a Russian doctor who graciously invites her into his home. After they become lovers, she discovers he has the same tattoos on his body as the tattooed lady. He tells a disbelieving Ursula that they have met before and she is destined to save the ancient People, considered as devils by some and shape-changing gods by others. A shaman takes Ursula to one of the sacred timeless caves where Ursula’s mother supposedly disappeared. When Ursula allows the shaman to tattoo her, she is thrown back in time where she must unlock the mystery of the People and their link to her past in order to save them and Sergei—even if it costs her her life.


My Favorite Books
By Kim Antieau

Since this post is going to be on the Readaholic, I thought it would be appropriate to write about some of the books I have loved over the years. Like you, Bridget, I was always a voracious reader. I loved books and stories. When I was a child I would sometimes sleep with my favorite book under my pillow, hoping that I would dream about it.

In elementary school, I read any book about horses I could find. I read all the Chincoteague books by Marguerite Henry. Plus I gobbled up Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books. I read them over and over, although my favorite was the one with the aliens, The Island Stallion Races.

Then in middle school, I loved the Narnia books as well as any horse books. I was getting frustrated that hardly any of the books had girls in them, or if they did, the girls didn’t have much of a role or else they were relatively powerless. It was around this time that I created by own imaginary world where my friends and I were from another planet; on that planet girls and women had magical powers—and rode horses and unicorns—and the men and boys had no powers!

At various times when I was young, I also read Jules Verne and Alexander Dumas. Although I never finished any of their books, I loved the alienness of what they wrote about. Verne’s style was so odd and floral. The worlds Dumas wrote about were so different from my own. I was fascinated by The Count of Monte Cristo even though I never finished the book. (I have always preferred shorter novels.) I loved Dickens, too, and I did read and finished David Copperfield. It was one of my favorite books for a very long time.

In high school I started reading gothic novels. Most of them were written by women so at least women and/or girls played a major role in the books. I also read just about every end-of-the-world apocalyptic novel there was. Most of them were assigned to us in school. It’s no wonder I was a bit depressed in high school! We read 1984, Brave New World, On the Beach, and Alas, Babylon. The future did not look very bright. We were either all going to be poisoned by nuclear war or we’d become automatons unable to love or live freely. Yikes!

Fortunately a teacher of mine introduced me to the work of Daphne Du Maurier. Although Du Maurier’s heroines were not always powerful, they were well-developed characters who seemed like real women. Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel are both books I still recommend people read, especially writers. In Rebecca, we never know the name of the woman who narrates the entire novel. In My Cousin Rachel, we’re never quite sure what is happening. Du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now is one of the most frightening stories I have ever read. In fact, I’ve never re-read it because it was so scary to me.

I also read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in high school. Some people claim that if someone prefers Jane Eyre over Wuthering Heights, that person has no romance in her or his soul. Well, I did not like Wuthering Heights at all. I thought the characters were unrealistic; they acted like children—and not very well-behaved children.

I didn’t see anything romantic about the way Heathcliff treated Catherine. I thought he was a bully and a bit psychotic. Plus Catherine was so powerless through the entire story. In Jane Eyre, Jane took her power. She was the center of her story. Yes, she was in love with Rochester, but once she discovered he had deceived her, she left. I loved Jane Eyre, the person and the novel.

Oh wow, I see I’m only up to high school, I’ve gone on for pages, and I’ve just skimmed the surface! Maybe I should tell you about some writers and books I like now. Fast forward quite a few years. I still like strong women or at least women who are not caricatures, women who are multi-dimensional.

I got my Masters degree in American literature, so I read a lot of books in my college years. I grew tired of books about older men lusting after younger women. (The male professors were picking out these books for us to read.) I was thrilled when I took a science fiction course. Yes, some of the books were outdated and the male writers could be just as clueless as they were in any genre. However, a lot of women were starting to write science fiction then.

After years of reading mostly male writers in college—or women writers who could only tell the tales of powerless uninteresting women—I got to read Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree, Pamela Sargent and Kate Wilhelm. Wow! Fantastic imaginative settings and powerful women! I was thrilled. Pamela Sargent edited a science fiction anthology series called Women of Wonder with all women writers. I can only say that it blew my mind. The stories were eye-opening, to say the least, so rich, thought-provoking, and full of great characters.

Who do I read now? I still read lots of books, but when I’m writing fiction I read only nonfiction and poetry. Some of my favorite writers in those genres are Terry Tempest Williams, Mary Oliver, Tom Cowan, Vicki Noble, Mario Milosevic, Dale Pendell, Patricia Monaghan, and Stephen Harrod Buhner.

In fiction, I enjoy most of Barbara Kingsolver’s books. Pigs in Heaven is one of my favorites. The main character is on a road trip with her adopted daughter, and they travel through many of the landscapes my husband and I have traveled. Her books have compassion and heart and an appreciation for the land and the Earth.

Alice Hoffman is another favorite of mine. I happen to be a fan of the Latin American magical realists. Although Hoffman is not a magical realists, her novels are all filled with myth and magic and ordinary life, and it’s not necessarily unordinary for the myth and magic to be all mixed up in every day life.

Charles de Lint is another favorite. Charles’ books are mythic, filled with fairies, music, and art. His work is also compassionate and heartfelt, and he writes really good women! Although I love his current novels, some of my favorite books of his are from his early years, probably because they were some of the first novels I had read by him, and I was so thrilled and impressed to find him. I loved Svaha. How to describe it? A kind of mythic Native American science fiction apocalyptic futuristic novel. OK, and that does not do it justice. I also really loved Jack the Giant Killer, which was probably the first modern day fairy novel I’d ever read.

Another of my favorite writers is Mario Milosevic. I should mention that I happen to be married to him, but I loved his writing before we married, and why should leave him out just because we happen to live together? His poetry is amazing. Sometimes simple and beautiful, other times complex and mysterious. His prose writing is like that, too. It’s always something different with Mario. He has written one of my favorite books in the world, period: Terrastina and Mazolli, a novel told in 99 word chapters about a year in the life of a free-spirited couple, their five-year-old twin daughters, and the people in their small town in the Pacific Northwest. There is something tender and lovely about each little chapter.

I better stop now! Those are a few of my favorite books and favorite writers. As I mentioned earlier, when I’m writing, I can’t read anyone else’s fiction. I like to re-read my own books while writing. I know I’m not supposed to admit that, but I feel like the characters in my novels told me their stories and I wrote them down. So why wouldn’t I want to re-visit old friends now and again?

Thanks, Bridget!

Kim Antieau has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, both in print and online, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s SF, The Clinton Street Quarterly, The Journal of Mythic Arts, EarthFirst!, Alternet, Sage Woman, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. She was the founder, editor, and publisher of Daughters of Nyx: A Magazine of Goddess Stories, Mythmaking, and Fairy Tales. Her work has twice been short-listed for the Tiptree Award, and has appeared in many Best of the Year anthologies. Critics have admired her “literary fearlessness” and her vivid language and imagination. She has had nine novels published. Her first novel, The Jigsaw Woman, is a modern classic of feminist literature. Kim lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, writer Mario Milosevic.
Her latest book is Her Frozen Wild.

Learn more about Kim and her writing at www.kimantieau.com.

March 5, 2012

Author Q&A & #Giveaway - Clawback by Mike Cooper

Q&A with Mike Cooper
author of CLAWBACK
(Viking / On-sale: March 5, 2012)

Ruthless bankers, one-percenters behaving badly, populist anger—the themes in CLAWBACK come straight from today’s headlines.  Are you an Occupy Wall Street fan?

In fact, I’d wanted to write a full-length Silas Cade story for a while, before Occupy started making national headlines—I’ve published some short stories with him as a protagonist.  The original concept was of a hitman accountant.  I was amusing myself there—after years in finance, who wouldn’t want to bring automatic weapons into an audit?  So the character and setting were ready to go.  Then Wall Street cratered the world economy, and the plot practically wrote itself—“Don’t bail them out, take them out!”

I should stress that, however cathartic it might seem in the novel and however much blame they bear, shooting banksters is not a good solution to the country’s financial problems.  The Occupy movement has done well to bring the real issues to everyone’s attention: inadequate regulation, sociopathic behavior among the financiers, and consequent extremes of inequality.

Do you really think financiers are sociopaths?

Not all of them!  The problem is that the financial industry—nearly a tenth of GDP now, an all-time high and truly an astonishing figure—is built on a structure of individuals maximizing their own gain.  That’s capitalism, I suppose.  But when everyone on Wall Street is primarily concerned with the size of their own bonus, overall outcomes are poor. 

What research did you do for CLAWBACK?

The usual:  talked to some traders, read a lot, walked the streets of New York City.  The financial material was familiar to me already, less from work than from paying attention to the news every day.  A lot of specific details (on weapons for example) I checked using the information cornucopia of the internet.

Not everything in the novel is accurate.  It’s fairly difficult to acquire a concealed-carry permit in NYC, for instance.  But that’s the benefit of fiction—if the story’s compelling and believable, that’s good enough for me.

You mentioned traders.  CLAWBACK’s window into their lives is fascinating—they seem driven by an almost carnal desire for the acquirement of wealth.  Are they really like that?

Some, sure.  But after a point the money’s just scorekeeping.  Even a 25-year-old can only drink so many bottles of Cristal Brut.  The better traders have an unusual combination of risk tolerance—or risk desire, really—and capacity for objective analysis.  They want the thrill of jumping of the cliff, but they know exactly how far they’ll fall, what the acceleration will be, and how hard they’ll hit the water. Many of the novel’s characters (not just the bankers) are cynical, gossipy and sarcastic.  

It sounds like your worldview is somewhat jaded.

Perhaps that’s what studying Wall Street does to one’s psyche?  I’m kidding.  Some people believe in the goodness of humankind, especially in the abstract, but find fault or difficulty in everyone they know.  For me it’s rather the opposite:  I’m deeply disappointed in civilization’s progress and pessimistic about its future, but most people I meet in person are interesting and likeable.

Is that what encouraged you to become a writer?

Oh, I’ve always been a writer.  In third grade I wrote my first book – a six-page science fiction epic that ended, classically, with “it was all a dream!”  But I didn’t try to get published until our daughter was born and we decided that I’d be the stay-at-home parent.  I published a few stories, wrote a novel that found an agent but not a publisher, wrote another novel that did sell, started another…and then our second child was born, free time totally evaporated, and I went fallow for a couple years.

Are your children older now?

They’re in grade school.  Our older has read some of what I’ve published.  Our policy is not to censor—whatever they want to read, go ahead!  So far it’s worked out; I think children are generally good about stepping back when a book is too scary or complicated or challenging.  Which is only to say that neither has read CLAWBACK.  I haven’t stopped them, but I think they might miss the humor.

Your sister Sophie Littlefield is a writer as well—how did you both end up in the same profession?

Genetics?  Our father, an academic, has published numerous books.  Sophie got started years earlier than I did, publishing fiction and nonfiction in magazines.  I got the first book contract, but then she sold one novel, another, then another, and never looked back.

People often seem to assume that if either of us is cornered, in private, and given enough to drink, we’ll spill all—about the rivalry and jealousy and backstabbing.  The boring truth is that Sophie and I have a wonderfully supportive relationship.  In fact, it’s great to have someone to talk freely with, about all the little irritations of publishing that we normally keep hidden away.  We do write in somewhat different genres.  Sophie’s inclined to darker themes, and has a keen ear and eye for relationships, while my books tend to have exploding helicopters.

Not just helicopters!  Silas Cade is interesting in how thoroughly he’s managed to keep his life off the grid.  He leaves no data trail at all, which would seem especially difficult in Manhattan.  Could someone looking to slip off the radar employ any of the techniques he uses?

Most of them.  Like a thriller author whose afterword notes that, say, certain lockbreaking methods and kitchen-sink explosive recipes have been altered for public safety, I won’t tell you which disappearing techniques might backfire.

But in seriousness, privacy is a considerable concern of mine.  Advances in technology—from storage to visual surveillance to Big Data analytics—have made it impossible to live free from the Panopticon’s eye.  The danger is not just from government, though legal and technical protections are being eroded with astonishing speed.  Private-sector aggregation is just as scary, as anyone who’s tried to clear up a credit-score inaccuracy knows.

The world knows far too much about me already.  I’m not ready to live in a mountain shack with no electricity or phone service (still less our children), but the loss of privacy is a loss of liberty as well.  We would all do well to emulate Silas, at least in some ways.

What’s next for you and Silas Cade?  Will he be on to other adventures?

Yes!  Look for him in a short story, “The Sellout,” in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine this month.  And Viking will publish the sequel to CLAWBACK next year, in 2013.

As Silas himself has pointed out, when your job is taking down corrupt bankers, you won’t want for work any time soon.  With luck he’ll be around for some time yet, helping Wall Street heal itself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mike Cooper is the pseudonym of a former jack-of-all-trades. Under a different name his work has received wide recognition, including a Shamus Award, a Thriller nomination, and inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2010.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

After a stint in the Middle East, black ops vet Silas Cade becomes an "accountant"-the go-to for financiers who need things done quickly, quietly, and by any means necessary. Silas is hired by a major player to pay a visit to a hedge fund manager to demand clawback: the mandatory return of compensation paid on a deal that goes bad. But before Cade can tell his client that he got his ten million back, the guy turns up dead.

And he's not the first. Someone's killing investment bankers whose funds have gone south. Silas's scrubbed identity, and his insider's perspective, makes him the ideal shadow man to track down whoever's murdering some of the most hated managers on Wall Street. With the aid of a beautiful financial blogger looking to break her first big story, Silas tracks a violent security crew who may be the key to the executions. But as paranoia and panic spread, he begins to wonder: is the threat coming from inside the game-or out?

With breakneck pacing, nonstop action, and cutting edge details of today's financial intelligence technology, Clawback hurtles to its final twist, a gripping contemporary tale of shady finance, venal corruption, and greed run rampant.

March 2, 2012

Blog Tour Review & #Giveaway - Stella Cameron & Cynthia Garner


ABOUT THE BOOK:

After her husband's tragic death, Leigh Kelly arrives on Whidbey Island determined to start over. Yet the tiny town of Chimney Rock is not as peaceful as it seems. Women have been disappearing, and Leigh can't shake the feeling that she's being watched . . . especially at night. Soon, she's experiencing visions she can't explain and fighting her attraction to a handsome stranger who seems to know her most intimate desires.

As the leader of the Team, a pack of werehounds forced to hide their very existence, former special ops soldier Niles Latimer is desperate to prove a man's heart beats beneath his predator's body. And Leigh-the mysterious beauty possessing powers she doesn't yet understand-may be the one woman who can help him. But Niles isn't the only one who recognizes Leigh's true identity. Something evil is waiting in the woods-and the hunt has begun . . .

MY THOUGHTS:

I have been a fan of the paranormal genre since the fifth grade.  I never seem to get bored from reading paranormal books and that's because there are authors like Stella Cameron.  She can take a subject and make it her own.  I became a fan of Leigh's instantly and enjoyed the intensity of this book.  If you are a paranormal fan, Darkness Bound is a must read.

Stella Cameron Q & A:

How has writing changed your life?

1. Writing changed my life completely, my focus. I'm never alone because I have another populated world in my head. Also, writing has given me the opportunity to spend so much time with what I love most, reading and writing. From the early days when I had little children and had to write from 4 to 7 in the morning and after they were in bed at night, I've always found time to write every day unless something extraordinary got in my way.

What author has influenced you the most?

2. Now there's an easy question—I don't think. I can't pick out just one. Stephen King has inspired me with his imagination and excellence. Pat Conroy really taught me so much about emotion and the outrageous. Years ago Susan Howatch helped me develop my sense of spinning dark threat. Jayne Ann Krentz gave me a love of humor. Ann Maxwell is the queen of tension. My dear, now gone friend, Suzanne Simmons showed me it's okay to mix humor and pathos.

If you could change places with someone for a day, who would it be?

3. Now I'm going to bomb out. No one. I believe we have to play the hand we're dealt and deal with our strengths and weaknesses. There are things I wish I could do but they are all so unattainable. What I long for most is justice tempered with kindness and understanding. And if I had my one big wish, it would be that no child or animal would ever suffer. So you see, I start to sound silly, almost childish. Above all: WIPE OUT JEALOUSY AND ENVY.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world-or send it spiraling into chaos. Half-demon, half-human, Nix de la Fuente is accepted by neither and mistrusted by both. Determined to prove she's more human than not, she devotes herself to solving crimes between the world's mortals and its most unsavory undead. But her latest case brings her face to face with the one vampire she could never resist . . .

Called in to investigate a string of violent murders, special agent Tobias Caine isn't interested in rekindling his relationship with Nix. Yet one look and the vampire knows his need for her is as strong as ever. Once, their all-consuming passion nearly cost Nix her fragile hold on her humanity. Now, as their hunger for one another intensifies, exposing them to an unimaginable danger, it could cost them both their lives.

MY THOUGHTS:

Kiss of the Vampire is the first book of Cynthia's that I have read and I was instantly smitten with her writing.  It is impossible to put this book down once you start reading.  An unrelenting tale of suspense and romance, Kiss of the Vampire is an undeniable treat.



March 1, 2012

Review & Giveaway - The Dawn of Saudi: In Search for Freedom by Homa Pouragari


ABOUT THE BOOK:

This poignant mystery is about three people whose lives intertwine in a tale that depicts the oppression of women and the human rights abuse under the pretext of religion. Dawn Parnell made the mistake of marrying a Saudi; Sahar Al-Hijazi is forced to marry a man she doesn't love; Jason Crawford has business ties to the Al-Hijazi family. As the lives of these three people cross paths, the story takes the reader on a dangerous journey from Saudi Arabia where women are considered the property of a man, to United States where women are independent.





MY THOUGHTS:

The Dawn of Saudi is a gripping mystery that holds your interest.  I enjoyed  getting to know Sahar Al-Hijazi and felt the undeniable emotion tugs as I read about her life.  I've was born and raised in the US and it still shocks me how women are treated in Saudi Arabia.  This is a touching romance that will stick with you long after you have you have stopped reading.

AUTHOR BIO:


Homa Pourasgari resides in Los Angeles, California. She received a degree in Business from Loyola Marymount University, after which she left to live in Paris for one year and attended the University of Sorbonne, focusing on literature. Multilingual, she has been traveling since the age of 5 and has experienced many different cultures. Homa has worked in various industries such as marketing, retail, banking, accounting and fitness but has always returned to her true love – writing. She is currently working on a new book. Lemon Curd is her first novel.

Visit the website

#Giveaway - Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock


ABOUT THE BOOK:

An unvarnished portrait of a marriage that is both ordinary and extraordinary, Dancing on Broken Glass takes readers on an unforgettable journey of the heart.

Lucy Houston and Mickey Chandler probably shouldn’t have fallen in love, let alone gotten married. They’re both plagued with faulty genes—he has bipolar disorder; she, a ravaging family history of breast cancer. But when their paths cross on the night of Lucy’s twenty-first birthday, sparks fly, and there’s no denying their chemistry.

Cautious every step of the way, they are determined to make their relationship work—and they put their commitment in writing. Mickey will take his medication. Lucy won’t blame him for what is beyond his control. He promises honesty. She promises patience. Like any marriage, there are good days and bad days—and some very bad days. In dealing with their unique challenges, they make the heartbreaking decision not to have children. But when Lucy shows up for a routine physical just shy of their eleventh anniversary, she gets an impossible surprise that changes everything. Everything. Suddenly, all their rules are thrown out the window, and the two of them must redefine what love really is.

AUTHOR BIO:

 
Ka Hancock has two nursing degrees and and has spent most of her career working with psychiatric and substance abuse patients. She lives in Oregon with her husband and and four children. This is her first novel.