Book Spotlight & Review: Red and Black by Nancy O’Toole Meservier

Next Monday is a book birthday for one of my fellow bloggers at Speculative Chic, but I couldn’t wait any longer! I was thrilled to receive an advanced electronic copy of this debut novel. This was a great, fun read that will appeal to adult and young adult readers alike, with just enough superhero antics to make you feel like you’re in the movie theater with the bonus of a longer narrative and way more interesting things than can be packed into a two-hour time span. Congratulations on the new book, Nancy — I already can’t wait for the next in the series.


Red and BlackABOUT THE BOOK

Dawn Takahashi knows a thing or two about superheroes, from the fictional ones that populate her favorite comic books, to the real-life vigilantes who keep people safe. When she’s granted an impressive set of powers of her own, she dives right in, eager to prove herself as Bailey City’s first legitimate superhero. Dressed in red and black, Dawn spends her nights jumping from rooftop to rooftop, apprehending criminals with a smile. But by day, she finds her interactions marred by crippling social awkwardness.

Alex Gage is used to life giving him the short end of the stick, from his working-class upbringing, to the recent death of his mother. He works hard to support his younger sisters, hiding his anger and frustration behind laid back charm. It’s this charm that first draws Alex and Dawn together, but their secrets may tear them apart. Because while Dawn protects the city against threats, Alex unknowingly undermines her efforts by working as a henchman for Calypso, a mysterious woman who can make anyone loyal to her with a single touch of her hand.

It’s the classic story of boy meets girl. And hero versus villain. Where only one side can win.

Amazon | Goodreads


REVIEW

Disclaimer: The author is a fellow contributor to a shared blog; I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book falls squarely in that sweet spot of being completely appropriate for both adult and young adult audiences. There’s a bit of brand-name pop culture referencing that feels a bit more YA, but there’s never a moment when I want to smack any of the characters upside the head for being idiots about relationships, which I will admit is my personal litmus test for whether a story will appeal to adults.  Continue reading

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Book Spotlight: Born to Love Wild

Born-to-Love-Wild-KindleBORN TO LOVE WILD
A Paranormal Romance Short Story Anthology from Stars and Stone Books

Featuring: USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini.

Preorder Now

Kindle | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Traci Douglass – “Blood Strong: A Blood Ravagers Novella”
One guardian demon in love. One witch with a secret crush. One evil threatening their newfound connection.

Cara McKinnon – “A Change of Heart”
She’s a hybrid shifter who’s not supposed to exist. He’s a wolf who was born to protect her. But her secrets force him to choose: his mate, or his pack loyalty?

Sheri Queen – “The Robinson Agency”
Some are born with the gift to see into the future. Others create their own destiny.

Pepper McGraw – “Full Moon Shenanigans”
The full moon’s coming and it’s time to embrace the wildness within.

M.T. DeSantis – “Forever Love”
To find a chance… A chance to find…

Read Gallo – “The Flying Saltines”
When a river falls in love with an ordinary person will New York City survive?

J. Bigelow – “Focal Point”
Sometimes a wizard from Sweden needs help from a medium from Michigan.

Andie Biagini – “Water Temperature”
An engineering student and a cryptozoologist. One of them can talk to sea monsters, but it’s not who you think.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS

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Love at the Edge of Seventeen Authors Interview Their Characters, Part One

I’m pleased to host a stop on the blog tour for a new YA romance anthology, Love at the Edge of Seventeen, from Stars and Stone Books! It features stories by authors M.T. DeSantis, A.E. Hayes, Serena Jayne, Cara McKinnon, Mary Rogers, and Kylie Weisenborn.


Love at the Edge of SeventeenABOUT THE BOOK

It’s never easy to go through the fraught transition into adulthood, but the teens in this anthology have more to deal with than most: super powers, magic, illness, prejudice against sexual orientation and gender identity, and even death. Fortunately, they all find love at the edge of seventeen.

Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


For our blog tour, we asked our authors to interview their characters! This is part one of three.  Continue reading

Meet Penny and Matiu from HOUNDS OF THE UNDERWORLD!

Hounds of the UnderworldThis Wednesday, a new novel from the writing team of Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts will be released from Raw Dog Screaming Press! They quickly embraced the spirit of family that I love about RDSP, and jumped on the idea when I suggested a bit of cross-promotion since our newest books are arriving a week apart. Today, I’m interviewing their main characters, while they’re returning the favor with Victory on their blogs!

Hounds of the Underworld (The Path of Ra Book One) is now available for pre-order. I’ll post my review of this excellent near-future supernatural noir murder mystery on Wednesday!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press


ABOUT THE BOOK

On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. And with seventeen murder cases on the go, the surly inspector is happy to leave her to it. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving. But something about the case spooks Matiu, something other than the lack of a body in the congealing pool of blood in the locked room or that odd little bowl.

Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.

Hounds of the Underworld blends mystery, near-future noir and horror. Set in New Zealand it’s the product of a collaboration by two Kiwi authors, one with Chinese heritage and the other Māori. This debut book in The Path of Ra series offers compelling new voices and an exotic perspective on the detective drama.


[Note: The characters in the following interview refer to me as Hanna, my real name.]

What’s your favourite place to be?

Penny: My favourite place? The lab. Without question. Partly because it’s mine — well, it will be just as soon as I can pay Dad back the money I borrowed to set it up. Even a standard benchtop DNA sequencer will put a big hole in your bank account, let alone the consumables. Anyway, the lab is my space. I love everything about it: the straight lines of the epoxy benches, the waft of cold air when I open the cold store, and the scent of Decon cleanser. I guess that’ll be the potassium hydroxide. I share the lab with my technician, Beaker. Beak came with me when I left LysisCo, my last place of employ, and he’s a real asset to Yee Scientific, although he will insist on hanging his lab coat on the wrong hook.

Matiu: Tough question. I haven’t got a favourite place so much, unless you count being behind the wheel. I like it because… going places, you know? Being on the road, the hiss of the tyres, scenery drifting by. I like driving, and I’m lucky, I know, because of my dad and the job and all, but, yeah, that’s my time. My favourite “place”, know what I mean? I like it, because it gives me a little bit of peace and quiet, in my head. Time to think for myself, without anyone else… getting to me.  Continue reading

STEEL BLOOD featured on The Skiffy and Fanty Show: A Book By Its Cover!

In a surprise blog tour spot that I knew was coming, but had no idea of when, Steel Blood has been “reviewed” as part of a relaunched monthly feature at The Skiffy and Fanty Show: A Book By Its Cover! It’s a joke column that literally makes up a book review based on what the cover alone looks like, and I was honored to be chosen. The writer has been a good friend to my publisher, and he even dropped in references to my three cats!

When novice librarian Nicki Blakougar becomes suspicious of Shadowseizer’s research activities, he begins to investigate. But this curiosity heats up into endangerment after Nicki trips some of the sorcerer-knight’s wards and his spying is discovered. Narrowly escaping alive, Nicki goes to Lucy, his kitten-hood friend and now City Chief, for help. Together with the aid of Thun-daar Constable Alex Blulynx, Nicki and Lucy set out to figure out Shadowseizer’s ultimate intent and stop her slaughter of rare dragons at any cost.

Here are the actual cats, for reference:

Skiffy Fanty cats

From left to right: Nicki, Lucy, and Alex

Thanks for supporting small press, Skiffy and Fanty!

Cara Recommends…me!

Today, my books were highlighted in a monthly feature by author Cara McKinnon, where she recommends other works that her readers might enjoy. I’m incredibly honored to be in such company as Martha Wells. Cara talks a little bit about what she enjoys about my books, and provides lovely little summaries about each book in the series…including Steel Blood, which she snagged an pre-release copy of at In Your Write Mind last month.

You can find the post on her blog under Cara Recommends.

You also might see some really cool branding that will soon be appearing on this site and my various social media platforms, because in addition to being a great author, she also has excellent graphic design skills. So consider this your sneak-peak!

While you’re there, please consider checking out some of her work! Cara is the reason I had to stop claiming that I wasn’t a romance fan. The way she blends her romance with intriguing historical fantasy sucked me in and hasn’t let me go!

Book Spotlight & Review: BITE SOMEBODY ELSE by Sara Dobie Bauer

Happy book birthday to an excellent sequel! Yesterday, I interviewed author Sara Dobie Bauer about her paranormal romance Bite Somebody. Today, I’m pleased to review the sequel, Bite Somebody Else. #Imogene4Life!


bite somebody elseABOUT THE BOOK

Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.

Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.

As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.

World Weaver Press | Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel from the author, whom I consider a friend, in exchange for an honest review.

I was surprised by how much Bite Somebody delighted and entertained me, and in retrospect, that had a lot to do with the how much main character Celia went against the grain as a vampire. I wasn’t sure I was up to an entire novel inside her best friend Imogene’s head, because Imogene is definitely the quintessential vampire. Stuck in a time period that she remembers fondly, obsessed with sex, and badass to the core.

Over the course of Bite Somebody Else, though, these things turned into positives instead of negatives.  Continue reading