Featured: Blood of Anteros by Georgia Cates + Giveaway

Title: Blood of Anteros
Series: Vampire Agape, #1
Genres/Themes: paranormal romance, vampires, fated to be mated
Author: Georgia Cates
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/_LbJpi3vEOA

Book Description:
     Cruel circumstances turned Curry Brennan into the wretched monster he hates and refuses to accept, but when an expected turn of events releases him from the bond of his obsessive maker, he returns to the home he knew 161 years earlier and finds the return of happiness and joy in something he didn’t know existed.
     Puzzled by his growing attraction to Chansey Leclaire, a human, he is unable to resist the captivating relationship that threatens to reveal his existence as a vampire. He eventually discovers the reason he was destined to find what he didn’t know he searched for and is faced with the cruel realization that the living and the immortal undead will always be separated by one thing. Eternity.

Although somewhat involuntary, I was part of this now. My confrontation fanned the flames of Julian’s obsession, making him more determined than ever to have Chansey. Consequences battled within me and my heart spoke against my mind’s better judgement. “Maybe I should drive you back and forth to work for a while, just until he backs off.”

She looked appreciative, but didn’t intend on taking my offer. “I can’t ask you to do that, it’s too much for you to take on.”

I didn’t intend for her to not take my offer. “You didn’t ask. I offered and I insist.”

Relief flooded her face. Then, she surprised me by stepping forward and put her arms around me. She placed her head against my chest, leaving me without an option and I returned the embrace by placing my arms around her. I lowered my face to her hair and inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of lavender and vanilla. I dropped my face closer to her shoulder and smelled the lingering fragrance of jasmine, cherry blossom and peach, mixed with a slight release of salty perspiration due to the combination of heat and anxiety.

The monster, deep within me, unexpectedly resurfaced. He no longer laid dormant as he screamed in agony, begging to be set upon this innocent creature. He pleaded with me for one taste. Didn’t he deserve it? It has been so long.

One scent of her blood essence would surely send me over the edge, giving the awakened one the upper hand as he urged me to side with him. I braced myself for the battle against the leech within me and begged him to leave me in peace.

I held my breath and didn’t move a muscle, for fear the beast might interpret any sudden movement as permission to strike. When I could no longer hold my breath, I exhaled, then inhaled slowly and shallowly. I waited for her fragrance to signal my defeat, giving the leech the permission to strike.

I readied myself to charge against this inner beast when her aromatic essence penetrated my line of defense. When her aroma registered in my brain, I waited to see what my level of temptation would be. The beast received the verdict first and my battle was won as he retreated.
I was intrigued by Chansey’s unexpected essence. It wasn’t unappealing, yet not enticing either. It was neutral and I was spellbound.

She lifted her head from my chest and leaned back to see my face. “I don’t know what to say or how to thank you.”

She raised up onto her tiptoes and planted a kiss on my cheek before she released her hold of me. I reluctantly released my hold, as well, but I wasn’t finished exploring this. I wanted more, I needed more.

We both knew we had just shared a significant moment, although neither of us voiced it.
“I’m sure you’re exhausted. You should get a good night’s rest,” I said, verbally encouraging her to go to bed, but inside begging her stay.

I regretfully watched her walk up the steps to the backdoor. Before entering, she turned and said, “Thank you again, Curry. You’re a real life saver.”

The paradox of her words brought a smile to my face. She saw a life saver in a skilled killer and I was tantalized by the mystery of her. The leech inside me came out to find prey, but found none in this enigmatic girl. The proximity of her essence didn’t entice him, so what did that make her? I had more questions than answers, but one thing was unmistakable; although she released me from her embrace, her hold on me remained.

I was uncertain what this meant for me, but more importantly, I didn’t know what it meant for Chansey. Of all the puzzling things in my head, there remained one clear circumstance; she needed my protection because, for once, I wasn’t the dangerous one.

I lifted my eyes to Chansey’s bedroom window and watched darkness replace the light. She remained standing at her window, believing she was hidden in the darkness, and briefly watched me before she crawled into bed.

She was lying in her bed, unaware of the strange emotions flooding me. Beings like me didn’t desire romantic relationships with humans, so it was unnatural for me to desire anything other than her blood while all I wanted was to be near her. I remembered the way she leaned forward to kiss me and it left room for no doubt in my mind; I wanted her with all of my heart, body and soul, if there still was one within me.
(Read the first six chapters of the book at Georgia Cates's website: here)

About the Author:

In addition to being an author Georgia is a wife, mother of two daughters and a labor and delivery nurse. 

She recently added Paranormal Romance Writer to her list of things that keep her busy, but she is ecstatic to release her debut novel, Blood of Anteros, the first book in The Vampire Agápe Series. 

Like others that enjoy a great story of paranormal romance, she is easily bored by the tale of an obtainable, ordinary romance and was inspired to create The Vampire Agápe Series. When not tied up with family or delivering babies, she is working feverishly on the second book in The Vampire Agápe Series.

Giveaway Time!

Author Georgia Cates has graciously offered an e-copy of her book, Blood of Anteros, for one lucky winner! Entering is quick and easy; just fill out the form here. Giveaway ends January 7.

Click for lots more BoA tour stops!

In Anticipation: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Click pic for Goodreads page
Maria V. Snyder is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fantasy novels. Her stories are pretty accesible, even for those who are not really fans of the genre. Her three series (Study; Glass; and Insider) are all kinds of popular and well-received. Now she's returned with a brand new series, Healer. Check out the premise for the first book, Touch of Power:

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
     Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

I remember being totally wowed by Snyder in her novel Poison Study. The world she'd created in that book was so lush and well fleshed out, so exciting and unpredictable. The main character was nuanced, her predicament believable even in its fantastical setting. Avry's story looks to be just as promising, with an epic conflict into which the main character finds herself insinuated. Avry's predicament sounds compelling: she has a gift that is at once reviled and revered, and it's her own people that are guilty of the former, the enemy of the latter. That's the stuff of great drama, I tell you!

I love this book cover. It's because of the color palate that I dig it so--purple is my favorite color (which is not at all obvious from this blog's design, right? ^_^). And I like that the imagery tells much of the story: you've got Avry's powers on display in the foreground, with beautiful flowers and a gentle glow around her implying that her gift is life-giving and precious. The lands depicted just beyond her arm emphasize the important connection between her powers and her people (or perhaps other peoples). There are two other iterations of the cover, one for the UK release and the other for the Australian release. They're pretty to be sure, and they have some similar elements (visual representation of Avry's magic, a sweeping vista in the background), but I think that the US cover spoke to me the most. Here they are below:

UK Cover
Australian Cover

At any rate, I'm planning on diving into this book very soon! Look out for a review of Touch of Power early in the new year.

Touch of Power is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2011 by Mira (in other words, get it now!).

BBT Guest Post: Author Louisa Bacio

Please welcome to MNtR today author Louisa Bacio. She's sharing some of her bookish thoughts on feeding the need to read...something book lovers the world over can relate to--since, unlike in a perfect world, life sometimes gets in the way of the yumy bits. ^_^ Louisa's paranormal romantica series, The Vampire, the Witch, and the Werewolf recently added a second book, Chains of Silver.
Feeding the Fetish & 5 Fav. Books
by Louisa Bacio

Lately, life gets in the way of my traditional reading time. It used to be that I could pour through an entire book in a single day … easily, or on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. I didn’t have a TBR pile because I simply read the books that I bought. These days, though, the stacks – physical and virtual on my Kindle – keep getting bigger and bigger, and I have to set aside special time to read.

It’s kind of like planning on when to have sex when you’re married. Many people assume that you’re living together, you’re in the same bed … sex happens, right? Well, what happens if your partner is a morning person and you’re a night person? Huh?

OK, bad analogy, but hopefully I got your attention. Sometimes, when I’m on a tight deadline I know I CAN’T start a book because I’ll get wrapped up and will want to finish it … and then what? I won’t have time to write.

And I feel guilty, either way.

Because almost as equal as that need to read is the need to write. And, I’m hoping that I’m writing books that are just as interesting to readers as I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Off the top of my head, here are five novels that have “stayed” with me:

Stephen KingBag of Bones: Extremely haunting tale, and thrilled it’s coming out as a miniseries.

Kim HarrisonDead Witch Walking: First in Harrison’s Hallows series, and also supposedly coming to TV soon!

Anne RiceThe Witching Hour: Yes, I read all her Vampire Chronicles, too, but this one … sigh … such a dynamic family tree.

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter: Come on, when it comes to paranormal (cough: wizards), how can one not fall in love with the YA delight?

P.C. Cast & Kristin CastHouse of Night series: And you probably thought I was going to mention that other popular teen vampire series, right? Well, yes I read Twilight, too, but something about the realness and internal struggle that fledgling Zoey goes through in the first book Marked really resonates.

So tell me: When do you find time to read, especially around the busy holidays? What books have clung to you, long after you’ve read them? One commenter will be entered to win a box of Sweethearts featuring Twilight Eclipse. Recently came across these goodies, and couldn’t help buy some as giveaways. (U.S. for mailing only. If you’re international, you can choose one electronic book from my backlist.) (Click here to visit giveaway form)

I toootally get what she's talking about. There's reading for fun, and reading for work/school/etc (or her case, writing). Balancing the two can sometimes be tough! Thank you so much to Louisa Bacio for stopping by and sharing some book thoughts.  Check out a snippet about Chains of Silver below, and stay tuned for reviews of both VWW books!

Adopted at birth, Silver Ashe discovers her blood-brother Trevor Pack is a werewolf, with a vampire and witch for lovers. All her teachings about the evils of the paranormal Others come into question. She runs to a family friend, Nick, for help.
     Nick Stake takes his hobby as a vampire hunter personally. He strives to rid the world of evil bloodsuckers. When his best friend’s “kid” sister comes to him for advice, Nick discovers Silver’s more than grown up. He battles his growing desire for Silver and blindly holds true to his convictions.
     Once Silver reaches her sexual maturity, she’ll inherit her full genetic heritage and turn into a werewolf. When death comes calling, Silver and Nick must face their darkest fears in order to break free from the chains that bind.

Available now via Ravenous Romance

And for more information from (and about) Louisa herself, check out the following. (You might want to check out in particular some of her writing workshops, which look like lots of intriguing, steamy fun ^_^).

This has been but one Bewitching Book Tours tour stop for The Vampire, the Witch, and the Werewolf series. For more bookish goodness, check out this link.
Or click the image above!

Kiss and Tell Tour: Interview with Mina Khan

The Kiss and Tell tour makes its way back to MNtR! Today, please welcome author of paranormal romance The Djinn's Dilemma, Mina Khan--who's allowed me to ply her with questions about her life and inspirations. She's got a fascinating background, one that seems to have informed much of her writing today. Check out her interview below, in which she talks about some of her early influences, as well as one of her favorite pastimes: cooking!

MNtR: In a field of vamps, werewolves, witches, and faeries, djinns are a breath of fresh magical air. ^_^ What drew you to this magical being as the basis of your book?

MK: Writing about djinns (genies) came as easy since I grew up on my grandmother’s spine-tingling stories of djinns and ghosts. However, the djinns of my Bangladeshi childhood are not quite like Hollywood version of genies. My djinn hero, Rukh, is dark and dangerous. He is an assassin who can melt into shadows, read his targets’ minds and control air.

MNtR: The protagonist of The Djinn's Dilemma, Rukh O’Shay, is sexy and ruthless in his line of work, but also honorable in his own way. What kinds of qualities really get you in a romantic hero, both to write about and to read about?

MK: To me, every authentic character –hero, heroine, villain etc. – must believe in something and live by a personal moral code. That’s what makes Rukh an honorable assassin, that’s what leads him to find out more and more about his unsettling target (Sarah, the heroine) until he ends up falling for her. Besides that...a hero should be heroic –be courageous even when he’s afraid, do the right thing even if it hurts, and be loyal to the heroine. Add to that a good sense of humor, smoldering good looks, and smarts...whew!

MNtR: You've previously enjoyed a long career in journalism and media. How does journalistic writing compare to fictional, for you?

MK: Lol, you have definitely done your homework! I think my journalistic career really helped grow me as a writer. For one thing, I don’t believe in writer’s block because when you are on a daily deadline and have a stressed-out editor breathing down your neck...you can’t afford writer’s block. It also got me into the habit of writing daily and my experience came in handy when I created Sarah, who happens to be a journalist. How is it different? News writing is leaner and tighter; with fiction I had to learn to slow down and provide descriptions.

Mmm, Gazpacho! Click for Mina's recipe.
MNtR: I hear that you're quite fond of cooking, and even have a food blog, Hot Curries & Cold Beer. Do you have a favorite dish to make, or perhaps a type of cuisine that you particularly enjoy?

MK: I love cooking...in fact, I cook to relax. What I cook depends on my mood, but I’m usually striving to create dishes that marry Asian flavors of my childhood with new ingredients I have discovered in my American supermarket. My go-to dish – spaghetti with a spicy, smoky tomato-based sauce. Lol, I like my food and my fiction spicy & hot!

MNtR: Can we expect to get any more of your djinn tales in the future? ^_^ What kinds of stories would you like to write about at some point?

MK: I sure hope so! I have already turned in my second djinn story to my editor and started on the third djinn story. Right now, I’m writing novellas and enjoying it, but I’d love to tackle a novel-length story in the near future...and a more heroine-centric story.

Thank you so much to Mina Khan for a great interview! That was a lot of fun; she's so intriguing and fun to hear about. I'll definitely be watching that food blog (and trying out some of the recipes; like that tasty-looking gazpacho, pictured above!). And her new novella? Hells yeah--I'm all about sexy half-djinn Rukh. Check out what that particular story is all about:

Book Description:

Rukh O'Shay, half-djinn and assassin, is used to taking out the bad guys. But his latest assignment, Texas Journalist Sarah White, is nothing like he expected. A glimpse of her bright aura reveals her gentle spirit, while her beauty makes him long for only one thing—to taste her.
     Sarah shares the raw desire to connect with Rukh. He can turn her on with a glance, and satisfies needs she didn't even know she had.
     But Rukh had been hired to kill her—and the only way to save her is to find out who wants her dead before someone else finishes the job…

Find the book at all major e-book retailers, including Harlequin eBookstoreAmazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo Books.

This has been a stop on the Kiss and Tell Tour by Bewitching Book Tours. It's "Nine Days, Nine Authors"...with plenty of book features, author posts, giveaways, and more. Check out more information here.

Or tap dat image, mayng.

Kiss and Tell Tour: Interview with Elysa Hendricks

Today at MNtR, I've got the great pleasure of having author Elysa Hendricks stop by for an interview! She's written many stories over her writing career, spanning all types of subgenres in romantic fiction. Most recently, she's taken on the Wild West. Today she talks a bit about some of her writing experiences and pursuits, including what draws her to western-themed stories. Her new book, This Heart for Hire, is now available at all major ebook retailers. But without further ado....welcome, Ms. Hendricks!

MNtR: You've had experiences in a range of careers in addition to that of an author--salesperson, underwriter, day care provider, and more--do you have a favorite and least favorite job?

Elysa: I'd have to say my least favorite job was home day care. Wrangling a half-dozen pre-schooler kids is HARD work. Even though writing can be every bit as exhausting and sometimes as frustrating, being a writer is my absolutely favorite job.

MNTR: This Heart for Hire is the first of two books of yours set in 1870s west Texas. What inspired the choice of time and setting?

Elysa: I've always enjoyed westerns. Grew up watching John Wayne movies and TV shows like Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Big Valley, and The Ponderosa. But I think it was reading Larry McMurty's LONESOME DOVE and T.R. Fehrenbach's non-fiction book COMMANCHES The Destruction of a People that gave me the urge to write my own western. One with a Happily Ever After for the hero and heroine.

MNtR: How do you find writing historical pieces as compared to contemporary, paranormal stories?

Elysa: No matter which genre I choose to set my story in the process is the same - idea, characters, conflict and setting. While creating the first three is fairly similar no matter if I'm writing historical, contemporary or paranormal, research for the setting certainly differs. Though none of it is "easy" there's certainly more information and resources readily available for researching contemporaries. Historical accuracy is important to readers, so for my historicals I research the time period carefully and then attempt to recreate the feel of that time and place without sounding like a history book. For me paranormal, sci-fi and futuristic stories can be the most fun and the hardest work. There's a whole world to build, but as long as my world is plausible and the rules are consistent, no one can tell me my "research" is wrong.

MNtR: You've authored a number of romance titles over the years. Do you typically like to write one story at a time, or are there typically several stories being woven together at any given time?

Elysa: I typically have at least a dozen stories in the works, usually one or two that I'm actively working on and several others that I'm researching or letting simmer. I also tend to read several books at a time. There's one by my bed. One in the bathroom. A couple scattered around house. And of course at least a couple in the car. I do try and make sure they're different genres, so I don't get them confused.

MNtR: Can you tell us about the Futuristic, Fantasy, & Paranormal Chapter of Romance Writers of America? You helped found them; how did that come about?

Elysa: The FF&P Sub-genre Chapter of RWA came about when Jan Hunsicker, Barbara Cary and I were just starting out as writers. We'd helped Cathie Linz found the Windy City RWA Chapter in Illinois and wanted a chapter devoted the the "woo-woo" stuff as Cathie called it. Jan was president, Barbara vice-president and I was treasurer, a position I held for over four years. Being treasurer is easy when there's only a handful of members. I don't think we had a secretary in the beginning. It's hard to believe how large the chapter has grown in the last twenty years, from three to over four hundred. I wouldn't want to be treasurer now. Jan and Barb have moved on to other careers leaving me the only remaining founding member.

MNtR: Are there any particular genres or themes that you've not yet attempted but would love to try writing?

Elysa: There are lots of genres and themes I haven't tried yet and some I probably never will, but when the right story comes along who knows where my muse will lead me.

MNtR: Thank you so much for answering these questions!!!! ^__^

It was a pleasure getting to pick Elysa's brain a bit on some of her writerly life. I hope you enjoyed it reading! But may I just say that I totally agree with Elysa about westerns. They're something some romantic about a cowboy and the related lifestyle. Especially cowboys with honor and purpose. ::sigh:: That's why I'm all about the main character of Elysa's book, This Heart for Hire. All the right elements for a swoon-worthy hero. Check out the book description:

     Abandoned by his father and betrayed by his half-brother and fiancée on the eve of his wedding, JAKE GALLAGHER no longer believes in love. Though he longs to go home, his undercover work for the Texas Rangers keeps him in a lawless Texas border town. Even though it jeopardizes his mission he refuses to stand by and watch outlaws rape and murder a young woman. Getting shot and losing his memory wasn't part of his plan. 
     While fleeing from her stepfather's plans to steal their ranch, CHRISTINA GOODWIN witnesses her brother's murder and is left in the hands of a merciless band of outlaws. Raised in a strict convent, Christina has little knowledge of men or the world, its dangers and temptations.
     Frightened and alone, she is forced to accept the help of the dark gunslinger who rescues her. Though drawn to Jake's potent masculinity, she hesitates to trust him, fearing her stepfather has sent him to bring her back. Unsure of Jake's motives for helping her, she struggles against him, determined to find a way to avenge her brother's death and regain control of her ranch from her stepfather.

Sounds good, don't it? ^_^ You can find the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. For more info on this and other books by Elysa Hendricks, visit her website, www.elysahendricks.com/.

This has been a stop on the Kiss and Tell Tour by Bewitching Book Tours. It's "Nine Days, Nine Authors"...with plenty of book features, author posts, giveaways, and more. Check out more information here.

Or...y'know, click the image!

Showing Some Needy Love at Book Lovers, Inc.

Book Lovers Inc Man, am I ever excited to finally be able to bust out some happy news I've been wanting to share for a while! Today, I've been officially added to the awesome book blogging team known as Book Lovers, Inc.  BLI has easily been my favorite book blog, with a freaking rockstar band of blogger contributors, a great community of readers, and fantastic content not easily matched elsewhere. Indeed, "fortunate" and "blessed" are just two ways of many to describe how I feel about being counted amongst its ranks.

But anywho, I'll be providing contributions as "The Needy Lover"--'cos really, is there anything better than having that need to read? ^_^ Also being brought on at the same time is Anna of Books to Brighten Your Mood. She's the Coffee Lover, and she is pure, undiluted awesomeness...a bright spirit, as her blog name suggests. It's a pleasure to have the pleasure to work with her, as well as with all of the other Book Lovers.

If you have not yet been acquainted with the Book Lovers, I'd highly recommend you do; the site is constantly teeming with book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, news on the book world, and all sorts of reading-related special features.

So rock on. I'll be here at MNtR, and I'll be there at BLI. I hope to see you at both places!

Interview: Author Katie Salidas

Ahoy, mateys! Very pleased to welcome author Katie Salidas to MNtR today. She comes bearing insightful information about her writing life, her paranormal Immortalis series. If you haven't checked out the first book in the series, Carpe Noctem, hop to it! It's a lot of fun--and let's not forget, set in Las Vegas, baby! ^_^

How long have you been writing?  What inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing since I was little. I always loved to make up stories and characters. It’s just a part of who I am. My first official writing project, was a novel I attempted to write when I was 14. I had just finished reading the Vampire Diaries series and wanted to make my own teenage story. I had most of it written and then was told we were moving from Texas to Nevada. Sadly those pages were all lost in the move. Though that accident hurt, it didn’t stop me from writing. I don’t write YA style stuff any longer, but I do still write about vampires and other such creatures of the night. They’re just so much fun to work with!  

What drew you to the paranormal genre?
I love vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night. I remember as a kid, watching the old Dracula movies and being interested vs. scared. When I was ten, I read my first vampire book and never looked back. There is an escape there, in the supernatural world, it adds a layer to life that makes the mundane not so dull. To imagine other creatures, other beings living amongst us yet still hidden in the shadows was such an interesting concept.

Do you ever have problems with your characters doing what you wanted them to do?
All the time! LoL. I call that writer’s block. It’s also the reason I am a pantser. When I first started to write “officially” I thought I had to plot out every detail of my story ahead of time. Then my characters revolted! The refused to do what I had set out for them to do. That stalled my story and made me so frustrated at writing, I almost gave up. Then, I got some sage advice. Just relax and “free write.” I took a break and let myself write other things without a pre-planned plot. It was then that I learned I was a pantser. I don’t work well with strict rules and outlines. Now that I know that, my writing has become easier and my characters are more cooperative. 
That’s not to say I never run into writer’s block. I still do from time to time, and there are many days where I have to scrap whole chapters because I have written myself into a corner. But, even with those stumbling blocks I’m still writing and creating. 

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing/promoting or thinking about writing/editing/promoting?
You mean there is something else besides writing/editing/promoting? LoL. 
Actually, all of my non-work time is devoted to family. I work so many hours on the computer doing just that, writing, editing, and promoting that they often feel neglected. Weekends are work-free time (otherwise the family would mutiny). And family dinner, movie night, and game night are a staple in our house. 

What is your muse to help you write and keeps the creative mood flowing? 
Music helps, but not just any music will do. I have to listen to something that can become a sort of white noise. Sounds strange, I know. When I know a song inside and out, I can listen without listening, and just hear the “mood” of it. That’s when I can use it. I often use music to set the mood of my scene. 
If the music is too unfamiliar to me, my ADD kicks in and I end up listening to the words and learning the lyrics rather than just enjoying the feel of it. 
We writers are weird, huh?  

How would you pitch the Immortalis series to someone who has not heard of your books before?
My favorite line is actually the tag line to my first book. “Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition, that’s the hard part.”
You might have read books about vampires, but how many of them took you step by step through the emotional turmoil of what that change actually entails? In Immortalis you’ll see a normal, everyday girl lose everything as she becomes a creature of the night. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Sure, there’s a learning curve there, but if she can overcome it, both she and you, the reader, will find that it can be pretty sweet!

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that the Immortalis series is set in? 
The Immortalis series is set in modern times. Books one and two are set in Las Vegas Nevada, which, by the way, is the best city out there for creatures of the night. Book three, Pandora’s box takes you to Boston. There you will learn even more about the world of unnatural creatures and some of their origins in Ancient Greek Mythology.  What I wanted, was to show you how easy it would be for these creatures of the night to actually exist and oftentimes co-exist within normal society.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?
Book 4 is in the works right now and I hope to have it out by spring 2012. I can’t give too much away, but suffice to say the cliffhanger of book three will be resolved!

Many super thanks to Katie Salidas for stopping by today. Like I said before, don't sleep on this series...it's a good bit of fun, and will hopefully have many, many more installments to come. ^_^

Here's a bit of info on the latest book in the Immortalis series: Pandora's Box:

After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she’d learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package – a Pandora’s Box.
     Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?
       When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.
     Powerless against the ancient evil, the clan flees Las Vegas for Boston, with only a slim hope for salvation. Could Lysander’s old journals hold the key? And what if they don’t?
     And how welcome will they be in a city run by a whole different kind of supernatural being? 

Stay tuned for reviews of Hunters & Prey (book 2) and Pandora's Box (book 3), here at MNtR!

Psst....this blog tour stop for Bewitching Book Tours is just one of many for the Immortalis series. Follow the link here (or hit the image below) to see what other festivities are going on! Yeuh!

Review: A Love by Any Measure by Killian McRae

Title: A Love by Any Measure
Series: n/a
Genres/Themes: historical romance, epic drama, social class differences
Author: Killian McRae

Quick Take:
Fans of sprawling, epic romances are bound to love this book. I loved the emotional buildup of the first half, but had trouble buying into the plot developments of the second. It's not for the impatient, nor for those who prefer that their main characters be without deep flaws and baggage. But by golly, it's a fascinating story.

Book Description (via Goodreads):
     August Grayson has secretly dreamt of the girl living on his family’s Irish estate since childhoods spent together in Killarney. Now a proper Lord of the British Empire, he knows that Maeve could never be more than just a distant fantasy. Still, if only... 
     Maeve O’Connor owns nothing in this world but her good name, which proves just enough to win a proposal for a marriage of convenience to a good, Irish lad. Until the wedding, however, she’s in dire straits. Rent on the cottage she and her father share is due, but there simply isn’t the money to pay. Driven to desperation, Maeve hopes Lord Grayson, her childhood-chum-turned-dashing-English-rogue, will prove lenient when she comes seeking clemency. 
     The temptation presented proves too much, and August offers Maeve a compromise: should she permit him twice as long on each succeeding visit to do whatever he wishes in pursuit of his pleasure, he will consider her rent paid. Starting with a mere five seconds, pulses soon out race the ticking clock, as August’s desires become Maeve’s own. Passion blinds them to the challenges closing in on both the Irish and English fronts, threatening to destroy the love they’ve discovered. 
     Working to bridge that which divides them, tempting fate with each stolen kiss, and torn between desire and obligation, Maeve and August must strive to overcome all and find a love by any measure...

I'm kind of in awe of Killian McRae. How she comes up with her book concepts, I don't know. But she's definitely adept at taking a simple premise and making it into something epic. She did it in her debut novel, 12.21.12 (the title of which some give a clue about the topic). Here in A Love by Any Measure, she takes the idea of a single bargain between two people, and slaps some legs on that puppy to take it across many years and many locations. Don't be fooled by the fact that there's only a line or so at the end of the blurb above that hints at complex intrigue. All told, this book is nothing if not epic.

Having a basic familiarity with Irish history during the latter half of the 19th century, while not required, provides some added import to the motivations and behaviors of the book's characters. Even without prior knowledge of the historical events, it's very clear that identity and social standing had very special importance to people of this era, for various reasons. And it's because of the status and identity that August Greyson begins the whole thread of his bargain with Maeve O'Connor.

August and Maeve's interactions in the first section of this book are positively addictive. Maeve detests the man, and yet she's drawn to him. August seems like a right jackass for even starting his agreement, and while his narrative perspective is not revealed until well into the book, his motivations are so complex, his feelings much more than might be initially assumed. I loved the interplay between the two, which lived somewhere on that thin line between love, anger, and lust. Quite compelling, emotionally turbulent stuff.

I very much appreciated that it was difficult to guess what might come next. Just when an expectation was starting to form, it'd be blown away by some unseen plot development. In the first half of the book, such twists grabbed be and kept me glued to the page. I must admit, however, that some of those same types of developments in the second half of the book made be a bit exasperated more than anything else. ^_^

As a matter of fact, I'd mentally separated the book into two halves. Whereas the first half feels more intimate and character-based, on a smaller scale and arguably more realistic, the second half is very much a huge, sensational tale. (Think The Matrix as compared to The Matrix Revolutions.) Given the relative realism of the first section, the second felt a bit theatrical, and I had trouble buying into the story and accepting that the characters would behave they did. The second half also has what I like to call "Tarantino-style" plot development; punchline first, explanation much later. (If you've seen the film Pulp Fiction, you'll know what I mean. ^_^) As such, it required a good dose of patience to get through. All told, if someone were to tell me that the two halves of A Love were in fact different books, I'd believe them in a minute.

I wouldn't count the aforementioned reservations as a reason not the read the book, however. I'd simply say that one should be patient enough to let the story unfold as it does. Overall, it's a touching and very powerful love story. It's got so much range that one is bound to be caught in some part of its spell.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
"I really liked it."

I thought the book trailer was pretty neat. Check it out below:

Review: Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros

Title: Goodnight Tweetheart
Series: n/a
Genres/Themes: sweet romance, long-distance connection
Author: Teresa Medeiros

Quick Take:
This book is impossibly cute, with its engaging protagonist, charming main couple, and surprisingly well-managed format of communication by 140-character tweet. It's an easy, quick read that will almost certainly have you grinning from ear to ear.

Book Description (via Goodreads):
     Abigail Donovan has a lot of stuff she should be doing. Namely writing her next novel. A bestselling author who is still recovering from a near Pulitzer Prize win and the heady success that follows Oprah’s stamp of approval, she is stuck at Chapter Five and losing confidence daily. But when her publicist signs her up for a Twitter account, she’s intrigued. What’s all the fuss?
     Taken under the wing of one of her Twitter followers, “MarkBaynard"—a quick witted, quick-typing professor on sabbatical—Abby finds it easy to put words out into the world 140 characters at a time. And once she gets a handle on tweets, retweets, direct messages, hashtags, and trends, she starts to feel unblocked in writing and in life. After all, why should she be spending hours in her apartment staring at her TweetDeck and fretting about her stalled career when Mark is out there traveling the world andliving?
     Or is he?
     Told almost entirely in tweets and DMs, Goodnight Tweetheart is a truly modern take on a classic tale of love and loss—a Griffin and Sabine for the Twitter generation.


When I first heard about this book, I was both intrigued and wary…and both of those reactions had to do with the book's premise of "Girl Meets Boy on Twitter. Numerous Tweets Ensue." Though described by the author as inspired by Sleepless in Seattle-style stories--and really, what hopeless romantic wouldn't immediately want to go for that?--the thought of potentially having to read through pages of "Wat R U wearing omg lmao?/" communications was enough to make me keep the book sitting on the TBR pile.

Recently, I picked the book up and flipped through the first chapter to see what it was about. One day later, I finished the book and had a silly grin plastered on my face. This is such an adorable story! Thankfully, the apprehensions I'd once had were quite unfounded, because the sections of the book that are conveyed via tweet (or twitter direct message) are quite accessible, even fading into the background as the actual communication between the main characters comes through. Though I imagine some of the more adept Twitterers out there might get an extra kick out of the book's premise, there's far more to the story than that particular method of communication.

The story is narrated in the first-person by novelist Abigail Donovan, and I must say that she was such a pleasure to follow. Her considerable and very humbling fall from the limelight both amuses and allows the reader to relate to her. Her introduction to the world of Twitter was believable, as was her being sucked into the easy form of communication that the site allows. It was her journey from seemingly defeated writer to optimistic and productive artist that kept me hooked.

Of course, there was also the budding connection between Abby and Mark. ^_^ Theirs was a chaste, butterflies-in-tummy-inducing relationship. The author's inspiration by Sleepless in Seattle absolutely showed; the level of sweetness is considerable, but there is also a measure of emotional peaks and valleys. I laughed, I cried, I went and downloaded TweetDeck.

To whom would I recommend this book? Golly, anyone who enjoys sweet, romantic stories. If you liked Sleepless or You've Got Mail…then you've got to get this one. Even thinking about the book now brings a smile to my face. ^_^

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
"I really liked it."

Guest Post by Author Natalie-Nicole Bates

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I absolutely love hearing about the journey that a person takes in getting that story from concept to finished written piece. The paths may differ, the the glory of achievment rocks all the same. ^_^ Today, I'm pleased to welcome Natalie-Nicole Bates, author of Antique Charming. She discusses her very own adventure in discovering her love of writing.

From Book Lover To Book Author
By Natalie-Nicole Bates

I have always been a voracious reader ever since I was a child. I was the twelve-year-old kid in the corner reading Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon. I remember being swept away in Sheldon’s Master of the Game and Robbins’ Goodbye, Janette. Influenced by these masters, I knew I wanted to write someday.

A few years ago, I spent a week in the hospital after an ill-fated skateboard stunt. I sent my partner to the bookstore to get as many Harlequin and Silhouette books he could find. That week I reached my all time record for the number of books read—24 books in one week!
More than a year ago, I decided to try making the big leap from reader to writer. I knew it couldn’t be accomplished by simply sitting down at the computer and pounding out a 350-page story. There were building blocks to creating a novel—idea, setting, plot, scene, point of view—to name a few.

I enrolled in an intensive six-month course in the art of novel writing. I was paired with a mentor, and was ready to writing this sweeping mainstream saga involving two people who had wills that left them a piece of property. My mentor said, you belong in the romance genre. This was best advice I could get.

This past summer, I finished my first novel, a contemporary romance called Change of Address. To my delight, I sold it to Secret Cravings Publishing in just a week.

After I signed the contract, I was hit by an idea for a paranormal story. I knew that I wanted it to be short, just a small bite for a reader to enjoy, and hopefully if I could sell it, it would be my introduction to all of the readers in this world. During a particularly frenzied episode of writing, I finished the story in a day. After editing, I sold the story to Books To Go Now. This is how Antique Charming came to be. I hope you will enjoy Antique Charming and consider it my hello to you.

A lovely "hello," indeed. And wow...24 books in a week sounds like heaven (even given the necessary physical recovery). ^_^

A big "thank you" to Natalie-Nicole Bates for her visit today. Just as her personal tale is a pleasure to read, her story, Antique Charming, is a bundle of preciousness. It's a cute little tale about love that (quite literally) transcends time. Here's a peek...

The night he came home…forever

     Third-generation funeral director Lizzie Morton is about to have her dream realized. She has purchased the long abandoned Nichols Funeral Home and its upstairs flat, determined to restore the funeral home to its once former glory. 
     But a late night visitor, Adam Nichols, claims the funeral home still belongs to his family. Lizzie scoffs at his odd behaviour and outlandish claims, but when a vintage photograph appears, she soon realizes, to her horror, that Adam Nichols did once own the funeral home—more than one hundred years ago—and now she has allowed this entity to pass into her home.

Book Trailer on YouTube http://youtu.be/Z1U7hlZ0koQ

Find the book at:
Hey, peeps...this has been but one stop on a tour for Bates's Antique Charming. To get more info about Bates and her work, you'll definitely want to check out some of the other stops! And stay tuned for the review of Antique Charming here at MNtR.

Click image for tour links!

Guest Post: Author Theresa Meyers

Well, slap me twice and call me Betty. I'm so freaking pleased to have Theresa Meyers visit MNtR today to talk about her favorite holiday (Halloween) and share a recipe for her favorite tea-time treat (Pumpkin bread!). Meyers's book, The Hunter, will be out on November 1--and believe me when I say you simply must read it, with all of it's steampunky, paranormal goodness.

     Halloween has long been my favorite holiday. Yeah the holidays are great, but they really kick off with Halloween. Of course I have not one, but two people in my family with a birthday on that day. Wonder if that was meant to be? I’ve got a wardrobe full of costumes and probably as many Halloween boxes filled with black cats, ghosts, witches and scarecrows, as I do boxes filled with Christmas goodies.
     This time of year is just rife with potential ideas for a paranormal writer. Just the cold snap in the air and the fog hovering over the ground as the early morning light slants through it makes me giddy.
     I was driving over the Tacoma Narrows bridge (which is suspended 290 feet over a narrow strip of the Puget Sound in Washington state just outside Tacoma) with a friend, the fog looked like it was literally boiling up around the edges of the cliff and filtering around the suspension cables of the bridge. “Hey, doesn’t it look kind of like a fire-breathing dragon might be just down there?” I told my friend, who incidentally is not a writer.
     She looked at me strangely for a moment, then grinned. “Uh, yeah, I guess it could. You writers are really twisted, you know that?”
     I had to grin back. Writing paranormal stories makes anything possible, which just makes life more magical all the way around. Some of my best ideas for paranormal stories start with “What if?” The Jackson brothers in my Legend Chronicles series are a perfect example. They started off with a “what if there were three brothers named after their father’s favorite guns?” At that moment Winchester, Remington and Colt Jackson started taking shape and eventually evolved into my steampunk hunters that kick off with The Hunter out on Nov. 1. (And incidentally, what could be a cooler release dated than 11-1-11!) The stories are what might happen if you mashed together the television series Supernatural, with the movie Wild Wild West and then added a dash of Indiana Jones. There’s adventure, scary paranormal creatures, wild adventure, passion and of course a mad inventor!
     I suppose the other reason I love fall is that it gives us all a reason to look more closely at the supernatural and paranormal. It’s the only time of year you’ll see specials on ghost whisperers or paranormal trackers on regular television. People are more open to witches and goblins, gremlins and spectors, not to mention a few hot vampires, werewolves and sexy shape-shifters.
     And since it’s nearly Halloween, it’s also time to break out my favorite tea-time treat – Pumpkin Bread! Here’s the recipe given to me by the same friend forced to think about dragons as we crossed the bridge:

Amazing Pumpkin Bread
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, pumpkin and water; mix well. Blend together dry ingredients then mix into wet ingredients. Pour batter into greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 65-75 minutes for two big loaves or for 30-40 minutes for mini loaves.

So celebrate October for Oktoberfest if you must, but I’ll be celebrating the paranormal with Halloween.
What’s your favorite part about fall and the paranormal?


Many thanks to Theresa Meyers for an awesome post! To answer her question, my favorite part of fall and the paranormal.  But of course, one can never forget the tasty spices that are used most during this time of year (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, etc.).

Now, here's a bit of info on Meyers' book, the first in the Legend Chronicles series.

They’re the Chosen—Winchester, Remington and Colt—brothers trained to hunt down supernatural beings using the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It’s a hard legacy to shoulder, and it’s about to get a lot more dangerous…

     Colt Jackson has gotten his name on many a wanted poster with success in the family business: hunting supernaturals across the frontier. Lately, though, there’s a sulfur stink in the wind and the Darkin population is exploding. A rift in the worlds is appearing. To close it, Colt will have to do the unthinkable and work with a demon to pass arcane boundaries no human alone can cross.
     Except when he summons his demon, he doesn’t get some horned monstrosity: he gets a curvy redheaded succubus named Lilly, who’s willing to make a bargain to become human again. He also gets Lilly’s secret expertise on the machinations on the dark side of the rift. And her charm and cleverness help to get them out of what his silver-loaded pistol and mechanical horse can’t. Of course, when all hell breaks loose, he might have to sacrifice his soul. But what’s adventure without a little risk?

- - - - -
This has been a tour stop for Bewitching Book Tours. There's so much great stuff going on for this this, book, so I highly recommend you check out the BBT page here.

...or hit up the image above.

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