We were supposed to post the winner of this contest earlier this week. Unfortunately Ms. Stacey is having internet troubles but hopefully we can work something out so that the winner is posted tomorrow or Saturday.
Two for Joy: A John, the Lord Chamberlain Mystery by Mary Reed Eric Mayer. $2.99.
From Jacket Copy:
Reed and Mayer combine the scholarship of Steven Saylor with the humor of Lindsey Davis. Starred review in Booklist 12/00.It is now two years after One For Sorrow and John the Eunuch, Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor Justinian, is faced with a new and byzantine problem: why are Constantinople’s holy stylites bursting into flames as they stand atop their pillars? His investigations are hampered by a pagan philosophy tutor from his youth and a heretical Christian prophet whose ultimatums threaten to topple the Empire.Then murder strikes close to home and John has only days to find a solution before he, his friends, his Emperor, and the city itself are destroyed. The sumptuous halls of the Great Palace and the riot-torn streets are filled with the same danger and deception. A colorful cast of characters that includes a runaway wife, servants and soldiers, madams and mendicants, a venomous court page and a wealthy landowner or two — not to mention John’s bete noire, the Empress Theodora — adds texture to this rich, exotic tale of sixth century life and mysterious death.
Love and the Single Heiress by Jacquie D’Alessandro. $1.99.
From Jacket Copy:
An anonymous author has turned English society upside down, and only one man can protect her identity from being revealed, and her life from being destroyed, in this sexy new romance from reader favourite Jacquie D’Alessandro.
The scandalous book, A Ladies’ Guide to the Pursuit of Personal Happiness and Marital Fulfilment has taken English society by storm. The slim but erotically explicit volume was penned by an unknown author, and now all of London is trying to discover the mysterious writer’s true identity. But the search doesn’t scare Catherine Ashfield, Viscountess Bickley, the proper woman who transcribed the book for her dear friend, a very elderly and experienced widow. Disgusted by the shallow values and morals of the town, Catherine was excited to help her friend and set the uppity nobility on its ear. And maybe by giving women a little more knowledge they could finally have happier marriages, instead of loveless unions as she had her with her own late husband.
But Catherine didn’t anticipate the violent backlash against the book. With threats being made against the unknown author, Catherine fears for her safety and that of her son. When she is the victim of a near fatal accident, she wonders how hidden her identity truly is.
Knowing she needs protection, she turns to her brother’s best friend, an accomplished pugilist and fencer. She invites him to stay at her country estate under the guise of a simple visit, not realizing that she has invited a fugitive with a dangerous past into her home—a man she soon finds herself powerfully attracted to…
Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake . $.99.
From Jacket Copy:
For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.
The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted.
True Bliss by Stella Cameron. $3.99.
From Jacket Copy:
As high school kids Bliss and Sebastian were an unlikely pair—two against the world—the rich good girl and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Forces beyond their control drove them apart, but fifteen years later life has changed for both of them. When they meet again, they discover their smoldering attraction has turned into a mature, burning need. Too bad some of the same forces gather to pry them apart again, this time with more sinister reasons.
I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.
Name of debut release: Hearts of Darkness
Release date: 08/07/2012
Publisher: Kensington Zebra
2 sentence summary: In a gritty alternate Seattle, two warring shape-shifter races fight to control the Gate to the Land of the Dead. A mercenary werewolf is forced to team up with a human nurse to stop the Gate from opening and unleashing an apocalypse.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Characters: Hart is a jaded mercenary who has been outcast from his people, an ancient race of shifters who can assume the form of their totem animal. He will stop at nothing to earn his freedom from the dragon shifter who owns his soul, until he meets a human woman determined to get in his way.
Kayla Friday is a human nurse who knows nothing of the supernatural until she arrives in Seattle to search for clues in her sister’s untimely death. With the help of Hart, a dangerous man who is all kinds of bad for her, she quickly learns the rules of this new, war-torn Seattle.
What makes this story different: The Deadglass world is a unique blend of Babylonian, Norse, and Native American mythologies set in an alternate, modern day Seattle. Publishers Weekly named it one of the best romances of the summer.
Is this a series?: The Deadglass Trilogy
Why you wrote this book: I was inspired by the ghost stories and legends of my native city to reimagine a Seattle in which the two clashing cultures that shaped the landscape were really two enemy shape-shifter races. In the Deadglass world, the Scandinavian immigrants who built much of Seattle are megalomaniac Norse dragon shifters, and the local people who must fight to defend their culture and territory are shape-shifters based on the myths of Raven, Thunderbird, Crow, and Wolf. There is a great quote attributed to Chief Seattle where he promises that “these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe…There is no Death. Only a Change of Worlds.” I imagined a Seattle teeming with malevolent ghosts from a cracked gate that separated the living and dead worlds. The image was so clear, I knew it demanded to be written.
Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I discovered romance novels in graduate school and started writing one never-to-see-the-light-of-day time-travel Regency romance, erroneously thinking that liking to read Regency meant I should write it. I quickly learned that my skills lie in making stuff up, not historical accuracy, and jumped ship. Hearts of Darkness is my second full manuscript.
What’s your writing process? It’s an evolving thing. Hearts of Darkness was mostly pantsed, with only a few major turning points and the ending mapped out in my head. I started it in November for National Novel Writing Month and rewrote it many times. I’m currently finishing the third book in the trilogy, which I plotted in much more detail. I use Write or Die to get down the first draft, which leads me to write in 1k word chunks. Once I reach the climax of the story, I start at the beginning with heavy editing. After it’s smoothed out, I share it with my critique partner and write the ending. More editing and beta readers, then it’s sent to my editor.
Your next published book. Hearts of Shadow, Book 2 of the Deadglass Trilogy
The last book you read that you loved. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (reviewed here)
The last book you read for research. Sons of the Profits: There’s no business like grow Business. The Seattle Story 1851-1901 by Bill Speidel
The romance book character you most identify with. Molly Somerville from This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She writes and illustrates children’s books featuring Daphne the Bunny and has an impulsive streak.
You can check out more about Kira Brady and her books at http://www.kirabrady.com
I’ve collated four interrelated stories for you as a snapshot of where entertainment / publishing may be going. The Macmillan one I’ve shared before but it bears repeating in this context. The companies are trying to create vertical silos of intellectual property. Instead of buying 50 Shades or Life of Pi from someone else or instead of selling the film rights to someone else, these conglomerates want to cradle to grave each piece of intellectual property. Only the biggest, strongest, fattest wallets survive this, I think.
Other news includes:
A-mazing. I mentioned on Twitter that I’ve read pig shifters, bear shifters, octopi shifters (and heard a rumor of a trout shifter from Samhain) but never an ape/gorilla shifter. I think it is Lillie who replied that in the Laurann Dohner New Species that some of the male main characters have Ape like characteristics and DNA.
This is why women use psuedonyms on the internt.
According to various sources, Amazon is imposing a data cap of 50MB on 3G access and limiting to Amazon.com, Wikipedia, and the Kindle Store. Some enterprising hacker revealed how to tether his 3G Kindle to his laptop, thereby using the 3G for free. Amazon and AT&T don’t like that.
Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall. $.99.
From Jacket Copy:
Some secrets we take to the grave. Others we just take to bed . . .
Lady Isobel Maitland cannot afford to be caught doing anything even remotely scandalous, or she risks losing everything she holds dear. But one night, in a dark garden at a masquerade ball, Isobel gives in to temptation and lets an innocent flirtation with the notorious Marquess of Blackwood turn into passion.
The Marquess is no stranger to seduction or intrigue, and his rake’s reputation disguises a deadly mission. When his mystery lover flees before he can learn her name, he knows he must find her. But all clues lead toward the prim and dowdy Isobel Maitland. It appears the lady has secrets of her own, secrets that Blackwood would dearly love to uncover . . .
Sleepless at Midnight by Jacquie D’Alessandro. $1.99.
From Jacket Copy:
The ladies in London are abuzz over Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, especially Miss Sarah Moorehouse. Her imagination is fired up, so when she spies Matthew Devenport, Marquess Langston, mysteriously sneaking home in the wee hours clutching a shovel, she simply must investigate. Impelled by curiosity, the adventurous lass steals into his bedchamber—only to be caught red-handed by the impossibly handsome and totally naked nobleman.
The Marquess Langston has more important things to worry about than a group of literature-loving ladies. But Matthew’s grand plan to rescue the family from ruin could be lost when he discovers Sarah hiding behind his bedroom curtain. What is this meddlesome woman up to? And why are his desires inflamed by a chit who is too inquisitive for her own good? Well, two can play at this game . . . and when Matthew captures the beguiling Sarah in all her naked glory, the night of mischief has only just begun.
Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A. E. Moorat. $.99.
From Jacket Copy:
There were many staff at Kensington Palace, fulfilling many roles; a man who was employed to catch rats, another whose job it was to sweep the chimneys. That there was someone expected to hunt demons did not shock the new Queen; that it was to be her was something of a surprise.
London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the scepter, and an arsenal of bloodstained weaponry. If Britain is about to become the greatest power of the age, there’s the small matter of the undead to take care of first. Demons stalk the crown, and political ambitions have unleashed ravening hordes of zombies even within the nobility itself.
But rather than dreams of demon hunting, Queen Victoria’s thoughts are occupied by Prince Albert. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere?With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, zombies, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best demon hunter the world has ever seen.
In another incarnation as a more serious (though still satirical) author, A. E. MOORAT has won critical acclaim and been shortlisted for awards. Here, however, he was chained in the dungeon, fed tea and ghost stories, and kept busy writing the adventures of Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter.
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong. $3.99.
From Jacket Copy:
The 30th Anniversary special!
Originally published in 1973, the ground-breaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation—and sold more than twelve million copies. Now, after thirty years, the iconic novel still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.
Now with a new introduction by the author, one of the most influential books ever on women’s sexuality is ready to expose a new generation to a joyous, exhilarating romp through the mind of one about-to-become-liberated woman–and to an acceptance and enjoyment of their own innermost sexual fantasies. Reissue.
Dear Ms. Kelly:
Angela James mentioned on Twitter she was reading something really good from Harlequin and I reminded her she had my Kindle address. A few moments later, a book by you appeared on my device. The magic of technology! Angie was right. Never Stay Past Midnight was a sexy contemporary with good meat on its bones.
Levi Davis is in the midst of opening his newest club, this time in Chicago, Illinois. Levi lives a fantastic life. As a club promoter and developer, he spends his time scouting new locations, setting up new clubs, and moving on to the next business venture. It is not a lifestyle conducive to permanent relationships. Part of his deal with investors is a six month proven track record of profits. He’s at the tail end of his six month commitment and can not wait to get out of town and move on to his next project.
One night he is prowling a bookstore and runs into Elise Porter and they have a one night hookup. To Levi’s surprise, it is Elise that leaves, giving Levi the brush off.
“So, thank you,” Elise said, abruptly levering to sit and then looking around as if taking in a scene she didn’t quite know what to do with.
Something was off.
“Umm, that was really nice…” She winced a little, hesitated and then reached over to…pat his hand? “And I should get going.”
Nice? What the—? Okay. So she was nervous again.
Because she hadn’t done this before. Made sense.
And he hadn’t been prepared for it…because he hadn’t been with someone who hadn’t done this before.
While Elise wouldn’t ordinarily indulge in a one night stand with a gorgeous stranger, she can’t resist giving herself a sort of treat. Elise is in the process of getting a yoga/Pilates studio opened. She had just submitted her loan for her business and was spending most of her time studying business books, and working 10 jobs at the same time.
Elise ends up babysitter her sister’s dog, a giant brute of a dog, and she needs someone to take care of him during the afternoon. Even though it violates their one night stand, Levi is the only person she knows who does not work during the day. Embarrassed but desperate, Elise calls Levi, stumbles through an introduction because she isn’t sure he will remember her. Levi thinks that it is Elise’s lame excuse to hook up with him again but he’s thrilled she is opening the door to something he had thought was firmly closed. Only Elise’s plea for help was genuine, much to Levi’s surprise.
“YOU’RE serious?” Levi stared down at the leash, empty newspaper bag and crumpled twenty she’d stuffed in his hand and let out a laugh that was equal parts irritation and incredulous amusement. He should have seen it the second she’d swung open the apartment door, greeting him with that wide, grateful smile. No makeup, her hair stuffed in another one of those elastic things. Ratty jeans and a not too tight T-shirt. “This is actually about the dog?”
Elise blanched, her chin pulling back. “You thought it wasn’t about the dog?”
What a chump. This was not how it went with him.
He liked to be in control. Hell, he was man enough to know he needed it. And, this thing with Elise. He was most definitely not in control.
But, based on the Olympic-level hand-wringing happening in front of him, neither was she.
Rubbing the back of his neck, he shook his head. “Not to sound like an ass here, but it usually isn’t. The dog, the lost earring, the house keys—” misplaced thong “—whatever it is, it’s usually an excuse.”
“I swear, that wasn’t my intention. I mean, yes, I like you.”
Ah, hell, he knew where this was going…held up a staying hand, thinking his ego really wasn’t up for the speech he’d given too many times to count.
The problem for both Elise and Levi is that they can’t seem to keep their minds off sex and their hands off each other. Levi knows that Elise is the type of woman who likes boyfriends and walks in the park on the weekends. Elise knows that Levi is the type of man that moves from one woman to the next, the rolling stone that gathers no moss. They promise each other that their relationship, such as it is, will be sex only.
Despite their best intentions, Elise and Levi fall for each other and the conflict becomes how a relationship can fit into both their disparate lives and ambitions. Elise is different than the women Levi has been with in the past. He can’t stop thinking about her and he knows enough about himself to realize that his feelings are beyond just physical. Beyond the steaminess of this story (and the club scene is super hot), I loved how we were shown the mental progression of lust to love for both of these characters, particularly Levi. We got to know the characters well, what drove Elise and what drove Levi. Knowing the characters helped understand why these two in particular fit. In many books, characters seem so interchangeable but in this one, I really grasped them. I could have lived without the fecund CareBear epilogue though. Did that fit them? Not so much. B+