Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Q&A with Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel

Interview with Carrie Jones

1. How did you two meet, anyway? Is it true this Wedel guy used black magic to lure Carrie to Oklahoma in 2008?
CARRIE: Actually author Melissa Marr set us up on a speed date at a conference in Oklahoma where we had to go around to tables talking to people for five minutes. Melissa said she put us together because we were both mellow and nice. Ha! We had her fooled. Oh! Wait, maybe that was part of the Wedelian black magic. Geesh! How did I not know?
STEVE: hehehe I love it when a plan comes together! Seriously, until I saw the schedule Melissa had put together, I didn’t have a clue who Carrie Jones was. But the chemistry was instantaneous. We developed a little introduction as we went table to table and just had a great time. Later, Carrie stole the fruit out of my beverage, though. I’m not sure I’m over that yet.

2. Carrie, you are a respected New York Times bestselling author. It probably came as no surprise to you to learn that Wedel had created some fantasy in which you would write a book with him. Why didn’t you simply report him to the police immediately when he continued to harass you? Do you feel you encouraged his demented obsession through your innocent e-mails?
CARRIE: Since I work as a part-time police dispatcher, I knew that the complaint about Wedel would not really be taken seriously. There were no explicit death threats involved. Since I was on my own without law enforcement back-up, I figured that I might as well just do it.
No, actually I was super excited to try to write a book with Steve. It seemed like a cool experiment. And if I failed, I got to fail WITH someone. That’s never happened before. I’m used to failing alone. How about you, Steve? Was it freaky writing YA instead of Adult?
STEVE: Oh, I’m used to failing alone. But then, I am older than you, Carrie. Writing YA wasn’t all that freaky, really. Getting used to first person present tense took a while, though.

3. Rumor has it Steve chained Carrie to a desk and forced her to write this novel. In an effort to end the torment, you both set a breakneck pace and finished the book in a very short time. Is that how it happened?
CARRIE: It took less than a month to write that first draft. Enough said. Although as supporting evidence, I do have chain marks on my ankles. Really, I’ve never had so much fun writing a book before. I’d check my email all the time muttering, “Has he sent a new chapter yet? What?! WHAT?!? No new chapter.” Then I’d rush out my chapter to see what would happen next.
It was kind of like when you have a crush on a boy and you really want him to text and he doesn’t and you’re like – come on! Come on!
It was probably the opposite for Steve. He was probably all, “NO! NOT ANOTHER CARRIE CHAPTER!” Was it? (Please say “no,” Steve. Please say “no.”)
STEVE: Not even close! I felt exactly the same. I couldn’t wait for that next chapter, and as soon as I got it I was inspired to write my next part right then. If something happened and I couldn’t write my chapter on the same day I got Carrie’s latest I was wracked with guilt and afraid she would need more time, or would withhold her chapter as punishment and I’d have to wait longer for it. Like she said, writing has never been so much fun.

4. Artistically speaking what did each of you contribute to this book? How is it different than the usual novel you write?
STEVE: Well, the most obvious answer is that the book is written in alternating points of view between Aimee, Carrie’s character, and Alan, my character. Carrie’s writing is very much character driven and very feminine. She sees a lot of detail that I tend to gloss over. I’d say this novel is much richer in detail and tone than anything I’ve done previously and I blame Carrie for that.
CARRIE: It is much quicker, much more plot-driven, and has a lot more testosterone in it. Steve puts a really man energy into his chapters and he’s so good at dialogue and flow. I was really lucky to write with him.

5. Wedel has been sighted wearing a cowboy hat and driving a 40-year-old pickup truck. Carrie, on the other hand, is an East Coast girl with a Mini Cooper. Is it possible that you both found shared ground upon which to build a plot? What are some of the commonalities and differences between the two of you?
STEVE: I think our politicians could learn a lot from me and Carrie. Sure, we have some differences, but our ultimate goals are pretty much the same. We both want to tell good stories that entertain and just maybe carry a positive message. We share an interest in the supernatural and Norse mythology and the plight of the modern teenager. To be honest, I didn’t really know how good Carrie was with the paranormal elements until we wrote this book. Need wasn’t published yet, remember. I figured I’d provide most of the chills, but she wrote a scene with a knife that stands my hair up every time I read it.
CARRIE: Dude. When your hair stands up on end you’re like 87 feet tall. Steve has long hair…. Really, really long hair.
Sorry. Back to the question.
Well, he is quite tall and I’m --- I’m not quite tall and he has a lot of facial hair and I – I DO NOT! I think the thing we have in common is that we both really care about people and stories and teens. I mean, Steve will become a huge stress monkey if something is wrong with one of his students or his kids, and I think that passion and caring and love of people comes out in both our writing despite our political, physical, and motor vehicle differences.

6. What reaction do you anticipate from your loyal fan base regarding this collaboration? Is it something they’re going to like? Will they pity you for what you’ve endured? Or will they simply ignore it?
STEVE: Hopefully Carrie’s fans won’t feel the need for pity. No residents of Maine were harmed in the creation of this book. Not physically, anyway. I think my fans will like it. I know my students will, and I’ll be thrilled to have a book school librarians will make available to high schoolers.
CARRIE: I hope they like it despite the fact that there are no pixies. They will all probably fall in love with Alan, the main character that Steve created, the way I did. Oh my gosh! You think they’ll ignore it? Hold on. I have to go panic now.

7. After Obsession features a girl in Maine and a boy who comes from Oklahoma. Are there other elements in the novel that mirror your lives or your relationships to your Okie or Mainiac collaborator?
CARRIE: Well, Steve is tall. Alan is tall. Steve is less politically correct than I am. Alan is like that too. Aimee and I both try to eat healthy and we both paint…… Um…… Wedel? Can you answer this one?
STEVE: Alan and Aimee learn a lot about each other, and that was true for me and Carrie as we worked together. I learned a lot about living in a small Maine town. Can you believe they really don’t have football in most Maine high schools? I know I worked in several details gleaned from my life as a high school teacher.

8. The concept of demonic possession is something you haven’t dealt with in your previous fiction. Did the idea for the novel come from your month-long captivity? Carrie, was it a feeling of helplessness as Wedel subjected you to a Southern drawl and stories about the high school students he tries to teach?
CARRIE: I think it came from Wedel because he is twisted like that.
STEVE: I honestly don’t remember. I remember there was a pretty short period where we kind of kicked around some pretty basic plot ideas. That was November 2008. Carrie was working on something for the National Novel Writing Month, so we agreed to start writing in December. Not being bound to NaNoWriMo, I went ahead and wrote a chapter, then confessed to what I’d done. Turns out, Carrie had done the same thing. So, I’m not sure who’s idea the possession was, but I guess I did the research on it as we got into the book.

9. Carrie, you are known for strong young female characters instrumental in solving their own problems, much like you allegedly gnawed through the chains and escaped Wedel. Has the revolving point of view used in After Obsession diluted the strength of Aimee, the female protagonist? And Steve, you are known for your horror and your detail. Did you find it hard to tone it down for this book?
CARRIE: No. I think by seeing her actions through Alan’s eyes it actually makes her stronger.
STEVE: In YA, even demons have to watch their language. Actually, the scary elements aren’t that toned down from my solo novels. And, I guess I’ve mellowed with age, because I’m not including as much graphic content in my other books as I used to.

10. Carrie, are you suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? Would you collaborate with Wedel again, or are you simply glad to be free? Steve, have you moved on to bigger and better authors to torment? What are your states of mind as After Obsession moves closer to publication?
CARRIE: I would love to experiment again, if he still wants me.
STEVE: Bigger and better? That would be hard to find. I’d write with Carrie again in a heartbeat. Maybe I wouldn’t even have to use that old black magic next time.

After Obsession

Author: Carrie Ryan & Steven E. Wedel
Series: ---
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA 
Publication Date: September 13, 2011

How Received: For Review
Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

Review: I'm offended they spelt Lil' Wayne wrong. Thankfully this was an ARC an the editorial errors should be fixed when the book is published. Other the that I really loved how the book played out. I was a bit of a skeptic because of all the mixed reviews. But honestly this book was pretty good. I read the interview between the two of them before I read the book so I knew it had to be good. And of couse The River man makes me want to stay away from Maine and rivers. They may have ruined kyaking for me :) But in all honesty I'm going to say you should see it for yourself. But be prepard for the unexpected because its nothing like Carrie's ever written before (not that I know of) and I have no idea about Steven's books. :] Warning if you don't like a fast relationship don't read :] (Sorry I don't think that made any sense) 5 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview With Carrie Lofty & Review (hopefully)

I do apologize if there is no review up with this post. I will post the review as soon as possible
Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in California and raised in the Midwest. I met my husband while studying in my England for a year. He was my best souvenir! We have two elementary-aged girls, and two cats that would rather stare at a mouse than chase it.

After earning my master’s degree in history with a thesis on Old West legends, I set my sights on becoming a romance author. Since then I’ve published books set in England, Spain, Italy, Austria, and now South Africa. I’m always up for a new history challenge! And really, I like to travel from the comfort of my bedroom.

I enjoy running, kickboxing, bellydancing, and weight training, as well as science fiction programs such as “Doctor Who,” “Battlestar Galactica,” Aliens, and The Terminator. The heroines from the latter two films, Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor, inspired the pen name I share with Ann Aguirre. Together as Ellen Connor we write hot’n’dirty paranormal apocalyptic romances.

What inspired you to write?
There’s never been a time when I looked at the world and didn’t see a story that needed to be told. It’s an innate part of how I interpret emotions, how I cope with tragedy or the inexplicable, and how I process beauty. My one life is not enough for all of that breadth of feeling!

What authors influenced you as a writer?
The late 80s and 90s were my formative years as a romance reader. I loved Elizabeth Lowell, Janis Reams Hudson, Robin Lee Hatcher, Teresa Medeiros, Susan Wiggs, Candice Proctor, Laura Kinsale, Maggie Osborne, Megan Chance, and Penelope Williamson. That I’ve been able to meet and even become friends with some of these amazing women is one benefit to getting published that I never dared imagine!

But I also love the lush language found in literary fiction by the likes of Helen Dunmore, Tracy Chevalier, and Geraldine Brooks . For pure “Shock me, baby!” storytelling, I love Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, and the amazing Ian McEwan. His book, Atonement, is my favorite of all time.

What is your favorite Quote? Why is it your favorite?
“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.” ~ Beatrice to Benedick in Act IV of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

It’s just so direct, so elegant, so utterly romantic. That moment when love become all-consuming. I melt!

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier. To study history and write books in rural France? With a seductive piano-playing librarian Frenchman as my lover? For the rest of my life?? Yes, please!!

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Every writer, no matter what genre or level of professional achievement, needs a support group--be that a spouse/partner, family members, close friends, other writers, or very attentive cats. It’s essential! The industry is about money, while the books we write come from the heart. There’s bound to be painful overlap on occasion. We need permission to make mistakes, have doubts, and be human. No better place to do that than within a supportive circle.

Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
I tend to think my books are lighter on actual plot--for example, I’m constantly in awe of mystery and romantic suspense writers--but really heavy on character development and emotional turmoil. There are times I need a heavy hit of that from my favorite writers, but often I cannot take the overload when I’m actually writing. Then I turn to Victoria Dahl’s contemporaries, Laura Griffin’s romantic suspense, or Megan Hart’s erotic novels for a distinct change of mental pace.

What lead you to writing in this genre?
I began studying history at age ten when I became obsessed with the Lincoln assassination. Then came the Pony Express and all things western. After my thesis, I realized how much history there was to study and greatly expanded my horizons. That I’ve always been a tremendous romantic…well, writing historical romance just made sense.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Playing shrink to my characters. I love figuring out what they’re missing in their lives, and how their relationship fills in those missing pieces. The yin-yang of all things romance. An energetic optimist who needs grounded in reality meets a calm, more serious partner who could use a shot of spontaneity. They fit! So figuring out those dynamics is my favorite part. I could theorize for ages!

Least favorite part of the writing process?
That moment during the first draft when I’m convinced it’s the dullest piece of poop ever written. That pervading sense of doom generally lasts until I give the draft a break and come back to it. Then it’s a surprise--every time, I kid you not--that I wrote something that might be worth reading.

What are you currently working on?
Just this month I sold another book to Pocket, currently titled WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS, set in WWII England. It’s a real, true, genuine historical romance, which really hasn’t been done in this setting. Needless to say I’m incredibly excited! Hopefully that will be available late in 2012. I’ll have an excerpt up on my website ASAP.

The third in Ellen Connor’s “Dark Age Dawning” trilogy, titled DAYBREAK (http://ellenconnor.com/books/daybreak/), comes out in December. Ann and I are so thrilled to see the conclusion of this storyline. It was so much fun to be a part of!

And lastly, I have two more in the Christies saga coming out in 2012: a digital novella, and a second full-length novel titled STARLIGHT. You can read more about both here: http://www.carrielofty.com/books

Where readers can find you?
Readers can follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/carrielofty), like my author page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarrieLofty), and visit my website (http://www.carrielofty.com). And don’t forget Ellen Connor’s website! (http://www.ellenconnor.com)

Was their a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
What chocolate bar do you have in your backpack right this moment?

Lindt Lindor Truffles Extra Dark. I’m saving it for tomorrow when I’m taking the afternoon off to watch Tom Hardy in WARRIOR. Bring on chocolate and shirtless men fighting. Ahem. It’s so obvious now that I needed to leave academia in favor of romance!

Interview with S.E. Foulk

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I am a father, grandfather, husband and have worked in the computer business since roughly 1984, which makes me approximately 29 years of age, I think. My math may be a bit off.
I'm originally from New Jersey. I moved to Hawaii and lived there for 19 years, and used to scuba dive every weekend. As a child I was an obsessive fisherman, and could disappear for many hours to go fishing, which once prompted my mother to call the police because at age 6 I was out past 10:00 PM. I finally came home because I was out of bait. I built 2 hydroponics systems when I lived in Hawaii, as I became interested in gardening, particularly growing fruits and vegetables, but am curious about medicinal plants too. I used to roller skate when I was a teen, and I worked at a skating rink for five years, and still keep in touch with my skating friends on Facebook. I never had really good grades, but I did manage to graduate from the University of Hawaii with a degree in Computer Science. After a year of grad school, I got my teaching certificate, and became a tenured science teacher in the state of Hawaii (see my 'Favorite Quote' below).

What inspired you to write?
I have always thought about writing, making up stories to be specific, but I never thought I could write an entire book. I had to fool myself to get AngelFall going. I started the story as a small, background tale for a video game I wanted to create, thinking I would end up with maybe 10 pages at most, and it blossomed into a giant book. Then, the game got side tracked and the book became the project. Seriously, it was a dream come true! I would have never began a book on purpose back then (2007).

What authors influenced you as a writer?
So many, but to start: Dante Alighieri, J.K Rowling, J.R.R Tolkien, Stephen King, Louis Sachar, Dr. Seuss, and a few more I can't quite remember at the moment. Really, any good author is an influence.  I will say that Louis Sachar, author of Holes, really opened the door with his variable length chapters. I love how he did that!
What is your favorite Quote? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite quote (so far) is by Mark Twain:
"Don't let schooling interfere with your education. " 
I used to work in the public school system in the state of Hawaii, and have seen how 'schooling' can disrupt education. Funny, I actually flunked first and seventh grade. First grade because I just did not always want to go to school.  So I didn't.
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Definitely the Lord of the Rings world. The rich forests, mountains, beings, and creatures are very compelling; I love being in nature quite a bit.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Courage! And imagination. But I don't know if I speak for everyone; I am very self critical, so I fought a lot of my own demons (shameless plug) to get AngelFall written. I am finally at a place where writing feels good!

Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
Yes they are. I have had this adventure in Dante's Inferno brewing for a very long time.

What lead you to writing in this genre?
It's one of my favorites, so it was a natural choice. Creativity of this fashion seriously sucks me in!

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The initial write is my favorite part, especially since it is becoming better and better as I get more experience, and have much less fear. 

Least favorite part of the writing process?
Editing!!! It's very cumbersome, and I'm not always able to catch my own mistakes. My wife helps me a great deal with the editing, to my advantage.  She's so good she should actually do it for a living.

What are you currently working on?
I am editing AngelFall Book III right now and will be heading for my initial write of Book IV in January; I am looking forward to finishing off my series, and I may try to find some comic book artists to convert the whole AngelFall Series to graphic novel format. This is very exciting since I was quite an avid reader of comic books in my early 20's.

Where readers can find you?
Readers can find me on my blog at http://TheAngelFallSeries.com, where they can feel free to leave a message with a question or their thoughts if they so desire. I try to respond to all emails, but I won't tell them what happens later in the series. My wife keeps trying to find out, and I won't tell her either.

Was their a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Yes, but it will probably come up as soon as I send this to you, so I won't worry about it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Disrupted Lives

Author: Brenda Youngerman
Series: ---
Publisher: Eloquent Books
Publication Date: April 11, 2011
How Received: For Review
Rate: 5

Summary: (as quoted from Amazon)
A name does not make a person, a person makes a name. Such is the theme of Disrupted Lives, the story of how one adopted child touches and intersects with many lives, but ends up destroying one family name, while building another family's legacy. Darren and Amelia Kane were high school sweethearts torn apart by war. They reunite and discover that they both must put their nightmares behind them to build a life together. Betrayed by her parents, Amelia was earlier forced to give up their child. Fiona Porter and Sterling Lake are thrown together as part of a business proposition. They end up surprising both their families by enriching the Lake empire and family name. The Lakes become synonymous with society, power and money, and their children must carry that torch forward at all cost. When an adopted grandchild is brought into the family, he questions the definition of "family." From 1920 to present-day Georgia, this saga of family secrets and old Southern prejudices are explored in the explosive novel Disrupted Lives.

My thoughts:
Disrupted Lives is a very emotional, gut-wrenching, and yet uplifting read. I know that you're probably wondering why I just put gut-wrenching and uplifting in the same sentence. It's because this book had so many different characters that I loved and hated all at the same time. There are multiple viewpoints from various generations throughout the novel, but the perspective that I automatically linked to everyone else's viewpoints was Amelia's. At seventeen years old, Amelia becomes pregnant. Her lover has been drafted for war, and her parents have taken it upon themselves to "deal" with the baby"- in other words, give the baby up to be adopted without consulting Amelia. This one act weaves the plot throughout the book, and you get to see events through Amelia, her husband, her long lost son, her son's adoptive parent's, and the adoptive parent's parent's. Beautifully written, Disrupted Lives is a lyrical tale of how one choice can affect - and disrupt - many peoples lives ; I highly recommend picking up a copy today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shut Out

Author: Kody Keplinger
Series: ---
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: September 5, 2011
How Received: For Review
Rate: 5+

Summary: Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention. Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Review: One thing I didn't like about the book is on the cover the girl has a dot on her chin. Its very distractive. Otherwise touching story. At first I loved cash.. But towards the mid-end I hated him. What a dick. I love this book its like written for every girl ever. Its cute and its just as good as The Duff, if not better. This story offers an amazing life lesson. And like her other book Thee Duff I plan to read it over and over again. Oh almost forgot. I can't wait to find my Cash. (ADORABLE!) This book left me speechless and I'm happy to have been honored enough to receive this book for review!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


No I'm not back I will do it when I can

Iron Queen

Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
How Received: Purchased
Rate: 5+

Summary (as quoted from Amazon) My name is Meghan Chase. 
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. 
This time, there will be no turning back.

My thoughts:
The Iron Queen was a fantastic read. Just when you think Meghan and Ash might finally catch a break, they are thrown right back into the middle of the fae war. Characters came back at the strangest times, and I really enjoyed the way that I never knew what was going to happen. Meghan grew a lot in this book, and became the amazing, practically perfect heroine that I always knew she was going to be from the start of the series. Ash showed a sensitive personality that we don’t really get to see in the other books. His usually cold and stoic demeanor was replaced with a really sweet and caring personality. It was awesome getting to see that different side of Ash. Puck, as always, was extremely snaky and fun. He too showed in some scenes that he was very sensitive, and that he wasn’t always making a joke out of everything. His humor and wit increased in this book, and his actions were at times both shocking and hilarious. Grim was sarcastic (as usual) and always knew what to do. With a fun and action packed plot, The Iron Queen is an amazing read, and I definitely recommend picking it up today.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amazing bind-up!

MEET the Drakes:
A darkly romantic, irresistibly alluring family of royal vampire blood

READ Alyxandra Harvey’s Ruling Passion:
A haunting, humorous saga, now gathered into one juicy volume!

By Alyxandra Harvey
Publication date: September 27, 2011
978-0-80272-802-9 / $9.99 / 816 pages
Bind up contains: Hearts at StakeBlood Feud, and Out for Blood
(Previously published separately as The Drake Chronicles)

"A refreshing take of the familiar teenage vampire drama . . . Harvey builds an engaging world of vampire cultures balanced wit a smart mix of darkness and humor."
Publishers Weekly

“A fabulous and fast-paced read! The action is superb . . . this is the perfect
escape read."
Romantic Times

I know many of you are already familiar with Alyx’s Drake Chronicles series and her stand-alone ghost story Haunting Violet.
We’d love any help that you would be willing to offer spreading the word to your fans and followers about this bargain priced bind up!

Below are URLs to excerpts from each of these books that are included in the bind up if you would like to post them:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Giveaway (International)

Giving away two copies of  The door at the top of the Stairs.
To win:
Follow blog
Leave e-mail, GFC and, Name in comment
Have a wonderful day!
Summary: UNDERCOVER NARCOTICS OFFICER, Jesse Shaunessy, is kidnapped and tortured, then thrown away by her department as damaged goods. The mind is a powerful ally, and 26-year-old Jesse has no memory of the abduction or the subsequent torture. Inevitably, as Jesse drifts from one itinerant job to another, the protective walls carefully constructed by her subconscious are beginning to crumble. 
Fate lands her on a farm owned by Dr. Ryland Caldwell, a retired psychologist and her partner, Morgan Davis, the master of the Myrena Fox Hunt club. Ryland suspects there is more to Jesse’s foul temper than meets the eye. When Morgan and Ryland accidentally discover vicious scars on Jesse’s back, Ryland knows that without their help, Jesse’s descent into insanity will rapidly overwhelm them all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Author: Nicholas Olivo
Series: Caulborn
Publisher: Nicholas Olivo
Publication Date: June 30, 2011
How Received: For Review
Rate: 5
Summary: Vincent Corinthos leads a triple life. As a secret agent, he handles paranormal threats; as a god, he protects his followers from evil forces; as a stock clerk, he keeps the back room of an antique store tidy.
When one of his fellow agents goes missing, Vincent begins with the usual suspects. His investigation takes him to vampire lairs, golem laboratories, and the realm of the fae. Along the way he squares off against genetically modified gremlins, virus-spawned zombies and a horseman of the Apocalypse.
But it's only when he infiltrates a private medical lab that he realizes just how big of a threat he's facing, and even being a god might not be enough of an edge...

My thoughts:
I LOVED Imperium!!!!! The story starts with the God of the Urisk's, Vincent Corinthos, blessing his people with health and prosperity, and then returning to his home in Boston, only to find out that one of his fellow secret agents has gone missing. Soon after this first disappearance, a string of supernatural creatures start to go missing, and it's up to Vincent to find out who's doing this - and why. I adored Olivo's seemingly effortless writing style, and from page one I was hooked. There are so many amazing characters, including Megan, Vincent's new co-worker, who's honest strength, perseverance in hard times, and loyal, fierce resolve made her one of the most amazing and entertaining characters in the whole book ; Petra, Vincent's girlfriend, who's love, caring, uber strength (literally!), faith, and undying sense of righteousness was simply astounding, and at times even brought me to tears; and of course all of the Urisk's, who show an endless supply of faith in their God for the entire novel, and whom without Vincent wouldn't have any of his abilities. I of course have to mention Gears the gremlin, who is the funniest, smartest, cutest, and bravest little gremlin I've ever read about. Vincent himself is an absolutely amazing hero. It was truly astounding, seeing how high of a standard he holds himself up to, how he is always striving to be smarter, better, as both a human being and a God. With a delectable, mysterious plot, breathtaking writing, astounding characters, and awesome ending, Olivo has created an amazing novel ; I highly recommend picking up Imperium today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest post with Nicholas Olivo

When I was in college, I interned with the New Hampshire Writers' Project, a group that sponsored writing & publishing themed events like workshops, seminars, and other writerly-type events. My reason for interning with them was a selfish one - I couldn't afford to attend their workshops as a student, so I figured I'd sneak in to them as a quasi-employee. It worked.

During one of those workshops, participants were discussing how long they’d let their pieces sit before submitting them. Several of them said, "Oh, I'll write a poem or a story, then put in a folder and then come back to it in about a year or so. Then I'll take it out, rework it and let it sit for another year."

My reaction to that was "Are you freaking kidding me? How in the hell are you ever going to publish anything if you're doing that?"

I didn't actually say that out loud, because hey, I wanted to keep getting the free workshops, and I needed the internship to graduate. I thought it really hard, though.

It wasn't until I seriously began writing IMPERIUM that I understood those people a little better. By walking away from your work for a time and then coming back to it, you get a fresh perspective on your story. Things that never occurred to you before suddenly jump out - inconsistencies, plot holes, and things that aren't well defined. After several rounds of edits I took a month off from the manuscript. I tinkered with some other things, but mainly wanted to clear my head. I was too close to the book and needed to step back.

During that month, I found things bubbling up at the oddest moments. I'd be in the shower, driving to work, or in the middle of a meal and suddenly realize "Oh, crap. This wouldn't work like this, it'd be like that." I’d write them down as they popped up, and by the time the month was over I had a full sheet of notes.

At the end of the month, I took my notes and a freshly printed copy of the manuscript and went to town. I fixed a lot of problems I hadn't seen before, and the end result was a better story.

So while I'll never be able to let a book just sit for a year, taking time off is definitely a worthwhile part of my writing process.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

City of Fallen Angels

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
How Received: Purchased
Rate: 5+

 Summary: (as quoted from Amazon) The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend. 
But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. Not to mention that he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other one.
When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels
My thoughts:
City of Fallen Angels is a great addition to The Mortal Instruments Series.  All of the characters truly grow in this book. Now that Clary and Jace know that they are not brother and sister, they are dating, and very, very happy together. At least, that's what you would expect. But as Clary trains to become a full time Shadowhunter, she notices that Jace has not been acting like his usual self. He has been haunted by strange, horrific dreams, that stay with him long after he wakes up. The self-hatred that he feels throughout the book hurt me a lot, and I really wanted him to realize that everyone has flaws, as well as baggage. Clary, being the warm-hearted, amazing girl that she is, tells him this all the time ; but of course, Jace doesn't listen.

Now, I have to mention some of the other really freaking awesome characters in the book. Simon, Clary's best friend, has his hands full. Not only is he adapting to life as a vampire, but he is also juggling two different girlfriends : Maia, a beautiful, fun loving werewolf, and Isabelle, a gorgeous, butt-kicking Shadowhunter.Throughout the novel, I felt that all of these characters really grew into themselves. Although they all had their struggles, in the end, they all found some sort of belonging with each other.

Last, but most certainly not least, we have Magnus and Alec, who are travelling the world together and having some fun, couple only time. When the scenes between them came up, I got really excited! After all, how can there be a boring scene that has Magnus in it? Just visualizing his nice scarves, beautiful clothes, and spiky hair - not to mention glitter - makes him a riot. Alec himself loosened up a ton in this book, and his character was more fun and interesting.

With the beautiful writing, new and old characters, and a major cliffhanger ending, Cassandra Clare has created an amazing novel ; City of Fallen Angels is a must read.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fate's Mirror- Guest post

Looking Around the Next Corner
by Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion

Hard science fiction always takes imaginative leaps from the science of today to the science of tomorrow, and those who read a lot of it tend to take those visions for granted. But not everyone does, and a question we often get asked is, “How do you know what’s going to happen in the next thirty years?”

The answer: a butt-load of research.

As readers, we believe there is a contract implicit in the delivery of science fiction. If we buy a book of hard SF, it should read like a scientifically plausible future. With that standard in mind, we try to do the same.

Luckily, we have between us enough curiosity to kill seven or eight cats. We both read as widely as we can, mining everything from newspapers to barely-understandable scientific periodicals for things we hope (and sometimes fear) are coming around the corner.

Articles bring the ideas to us, but then we get medieval on our facts by collecting books about a subject. It seems nonsensical. Research is a study of what’s already here. How can that help us imagine what’s to come? But only by having a solid grounding in the science of today can we extrapolate to the science of tomorrow. You have to know where you are before you know where you’re going.

Since Morris Payne, the hero of FATE’S MIRROR, is the world’s best hacker, we needed to learn about computer hacking, cryptography, virtual reality, and the National Security Agency. Our research promptly smacked us into a wall when we discovered that something called quantum cryptography was in development. We realized that in the near future there might be a computer code that even Morris Payne couldn’t break.

We had three choices—abandon the story, ignore the science, or address the facts. In the end, we made quantum cryptography a plot point in the story. Its existence, and subsequent squelching, becomes an ongoing sore spot between Morris and his NSA contacts.

The other problem is that ideas do not exist in a vacuum. Societies are changed by the technology they embrace. For example, the Arab Spring was enhanced by social networking sites like Twitter. Our second stage of research always moves from what’s possible to how these theoretical leaps might change society. We have to build a world that is still recognizable to our readers, but which doesn’t ignore the implications of new technology. And because it’s our world, we get to choose the most fun of any choices.

We live in an interconnected society, but what if everyone doesn’t love it? In FATE’S MIRROR, we decided it was time for some backlash. In Morris’ world, being constantly wired-in is no longer mainstream. More and more societal pressure is applied to “keep it real,” which is difficult for our techno-centered hero to embrace. Does this reflect our own frustration with people who ignore us in person to type short, grammatically-nonsensical fragments to one another? Maybe. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking on our part, but it was fun to write a very techie hero out of step with his not-so-techie world.

No matter how much research we do, we’ll never be able to perfectly predict the course of human events, any more than someone can perfectly predict the outcome of a baseball game before the first pitch is thrown. There are too many variables. But we hope, that with a lot of study and a good helping of imagination, we can at least keep it in the ballpark.

M. H. Mead is the shared pen name of Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion. They have been friends forever, and co-authors for over ten years, starting with short stories and working their way up to a novel. They live with their families in Michigan, where they teach, raise chlidren, and read as much as possible. More about Margaret and Harry can be found on their website www.yangandcampion.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Belated Guest Post with Alison Naomi Holt

I’d like to thank Jagged Edge Reviews for allowing me to write a guest post on their blog. I’ve had plenty of time to write these last few weeks because I’ve been kept inside by an earthquake, a hurricane, tornado warnings and a tropical storm carrying five full days of heavy rain. While I appreciate the gods giving me an excuse to stay inside and write, a respite from the inclement weather and the natural disasters would be nice.
This is my second blog tour in as many weeks. Last week, I talked about the first book in my Alex Wolfe series, Credo’s Hope. This week, I’m touring with a book that took seed in my imagination some twenty-five years ago—The Door at the Top of the Stairs. At that time, I was a brand new police officer who also happened to be working towards a master’s degree in psychology. As part of my studies I did an internship with the police psychologist on our department who was very good at discussing various aspects of his job, one of the most difficult being the effects on survivor officers when one of their own is killed. Somehow, our conversation turned toward officers who are first kidnapped or taken hostage, and then killed.
I began to wonder what it would be like for an officer to be kidnapped, tortured, and somehow returned to “normal” police work. The idea for The Door at the Top of the Stairs began with that conversation. In my book, undercover narcotics officer, Jesse Shaunessy, is kidnapped and tortured, then thrown away by her department as damaged goods. The mind is a powerful ally, and 26-year-old Jesse has no memory of the abduction or the subsequent torture. Inevitably, as Jesse drifts from one itinerant job to another, the protective walls carefully constructed by her subconscious are beginning to crumble.
Fate lands her on a farm owned by Dr. Ryland Caldwell, a retired psychologist and her partner, Morgan Davis, the master of the Myrena Fox Hunt club. Ryland suspects there is more to Jesse’s foul temper than meets the eye. When Morgan and Ryland accidentally discover vicious scars on Jesse’s back, Ryland knows that without their help, Jesse’s descent into insanity will rapidly overwhelm them all.
Thanks again for giving me your time, and always remember what Christopher Morley said. "Lord!" he said, "when you sell a man a book you don't sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue -- you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night -- there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean."

To read more about Alison Holt, go to www.alisonholtbook.com.
Meet Lt. Alison Holt, a cop for more than twenty years. She has arrested everything from homicide suspects to emus, the latter earning her a spot on America's Funniest Home Videos. She taught police procedures to officers, and now teaches writers how to write realistic police scenes and characters.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monarch review and Giveaway {closed}

Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle 
Series: ---
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Date Published: September 15, 2011
How Received: For Review
Rate: 5+
Summary: Nick's life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness, a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the United States has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he'll have the chance to start his life over again. Just when he's on the brink of catching Ferreira, he's framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia, where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He's safe, but not for long.
Review: Great book very difficult to put down. Great details and full of action. I didn't even realize how far I had gotten in the book till I got to the last page. This is an all around great book. This book left me completely speechless which is the reason for the short review.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Giveaway! {Closed}

To Win Fates Mirror by M.H. Mead 
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What you will win: E-book of Fates Mirror

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