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!

Reading Challenges

TBR Pile
Graphic Novels
50 States
(Tracking lists HERE)

My "Read" Shelf:
Alisha's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Awesome Folk!

Proud Member of...

Book Lovers Inc
Parajunkee Design
Award Winning Literature & Book Review Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Books Blogs Direcory
Bloggers - Meet Millions of Bloggers

Grab my Badge

My Need to Read