Saturday, 31 August 2013

Interview with Cecy Robson + Giveaway



Today an interview with Cecy Robson, author of the Weird Girls series. A series that Melliane from Between Dreams and Reality loves and that's high on Voodoo Bride's wishlist.


Cecy, welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?


I’m not sure how “nerd” translates into French or Dutch, but that’s what I am. I love superheroes and pretty much anything dealing with fantasy. To this day I think THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy is the best series of movies ever made. And in case you’re curious, I named my parakeet, Harry Dresden, and have a remarkable obsession with Thor.

How many books will there be in the Weird Girls series?

So far, there are at least eight planned for Celia, two for Taran, two for Emme, and one for Shayna. I also have three books planned for a spinoff character.

Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

All my characters are made up in my head―there’s A LOT going on in there. I did, however, name Bren after Brendan, a little boy I used to take care of. Aric’s last name, Connor, comes from Brendan’s brother, Connor, whom I also cared for. That said, my characters are unlike anyone I’ve ever met.

Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?

My OLD ERTH trilogy is currently on submission and based on the Scottish Fae. This project is a high fantasy romance and different from anything I’ve ever done.

Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

At the hospital welcoming babies into the world, I’m also a labor and delivery nurse.


What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?

My family and I went out to dinner. I wanted to cry / scream / jump with joy the whole time.

What is the best thing about being a published author?

The best is sharing my overactive imagination with readers―and having them eager to want more!

What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

I don’t have the opportunity to read much. Usually, I save my time for my favorites and those who made me fall in love with the Urban Fantasy genre. They include the wonderful Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, and Ilona Andrews. I also recently met Chris Marie Green―and I’m dying to read her series. GHOST STORY was the last book I read, and I’m almost finished with COLD DAYS.

Are there zombies or pigs in any of your books or will there be any in future books?

Heh, heh. Great question! Pigs are certainly not out of the question. As far as zombies go? I actually have a fun storyline planned for one that attaches herself to one of my “weird” girls.

Thank you, ladies and pig. It was an honor to be featured on your blog!

Thanks to you as well. It was an honor to have you drop by.



About Sealed With A Curse:

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They're the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren't aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.

Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters.

This Wird girl has never had it so tough.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

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Giveaway

Cecy Robson has kindly offered a copy of A Cursed Embrace to one reader of my blog.

The winner is Janie M.

A winner will be picked at random on September 21st.
Open internationally to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.

------------------

Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.

At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Dead - Book Review


The Dead (The Enemy #2)
by Charlie Higson


What is it about:
The Dead is the second book in Charlie Higson's jaw-dropping zombie horror series for teens.

Everyone over the age of fourteen has succumbed to a deadly zombie virus and now the kids must keep themselves alive. A terrible disease is striking everyone over the age of fourteen. Death walks the streets. Nowhere is safe.

Maxie, Blue and the rest of the Holloway crew aren't the only kids trying to escape the ferocious adults who prey on them. Jack and Ed are best friends, but their battle to stay alive tests their friendship to the limit as they go on the run with a mismatched group of other kids — nerds, fighters, misfits. And one adult, Greg, a butcher, who claims he's immune to the disease. They must work together if they want to make it in this terrifying new world. But when fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realize they won't all survive...


What did I think of it:
I read the first book in this series 3 years ago, but even though I really enjoyed it, never got to ordering the second book until recently.

This book is just as cool as the first.

It has lots of action, gory zombie fighting scenes and more.

One thing I learned from The Enemy was to never trust Higson in keeping my favorite characters alive. That again was true for The Dead. Higson doesn't pull any punches and throughout the book the bodycount kept rising. I can't say I minded: it did make this book an intense read.

All in all this is a great read and I hope it won't take me another 3 years to get my trotters on the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool YA zombie read.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 29 August 2013

An Interview with Ilsa J. Bick



One of the books I'm really looking forward to get my trotters on is Monsters, the last book in the Ashes trilogy. Ilsa J. Bick, author of this awesome trilogy is dropping by today to answer some questions about herself and her books.


Welcome to Pearls Cast Beofre A McPig.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?


Well, I’m a child shrink, as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe, and former Air Force major. (Honestly, I’m a little peripatetic and very easily bored.) Having also consulted to a women’s prison, I can say, categorically, that no, it’s not Orange is the New Black, not by a long shot. After writing a ton of academic articles on psychoanalysis and film, I’ve had the great good fortune to become an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories and novels, and I earned my writing chops doing a lot of work-for-hire in established universes that I adore: Star Trek, Mechwarrior, Battletech and Shadowrun. My secret ambition was to hang out aboard the Enterprise where, of course, I was a super-brainiac, had super-powers, and really cleaned up so well that Captain Kirk—the true beefcake of my day—just couldn’t help himself. This, sadly, was not to be. Instead, I moved to rural Wisconsin where my closest neighbors hang out in a Hebrew cemetery just across the street. One thing I really like about them: they’re very quiet and only come around for sugar once in a blue moon.

The moral: win some, lose some.

Oh, and I like hiking and survivalism and all that outdoorsy stuff. On the other hand, if Starbucks goes under, I’m toast. The cats know better than to mess with me before my morning cuppa.

I will confess that so far I only read the books in your Ashes trilogy and Draw The Dark, although I plan to remedy that quickly. What can you tell us about your other books?

That they’re all different? I’m not all that into wash-rinse-repeat. Leaving aside the work-for-hire books, DRAW THE DARK is a mash-up of horror, fantasy, historical fiction, and dark psychological thriller (one reviewer said I’d actually invented a new genre). DROWNING INSTINCT, a YA contemporary, is probably the closest I’ll ever come to a (really twisted) romance. THE SIN-EATER’S CONFESSION, which came out just this past February, is both a YA mystery and confessional memoir.

I like to mix things up.

Any chance you will write more post-apocalyptic or Dystopian books after the Ashes trilogy?

Not . . . really? Like I said, I don’t do wash-rinse-repeat, but never say never. I suppose it will depend on what I dream up and the story demands. After doing a bunch of stuff, I aim to complete work on the first book of a new sf series I’m in the middle of thrashing out, SAVING SKY. That might have some dystopic elements, but I don’t see those as primary. More like background music. But things could change. That’s one of the fun things about writing: characters and situations surprise you. Oh, and you learn a ton of new stuff just about every day.

Have you ever been tempted to use people who’d been rude to you in real life as victims in your books? Or have there been other people you used as characters in your books?

Oh, you mean like that old saw: Be nice, or I’ll kill you in my next novel? Well, no, not really. I’ve certainly used crummy situations I’ve experienced, and astute readers who know me and where I live will probably recognize a couple landmarks and, maybe, one person (although that person comes off very well in the book). But I tend to shy away from using “real” people per se (though you could say that every character and situation in every book is an amalgam of aspects of a writer’s life). Part of it is the shrink in me: who people are and what they say in the context of treatment is confidential.

But also, if things are too close to real . . . they’re very hard to write well. I think it was Stephen King who put that sentiment into the mouth of a character: Mort Rainey in Secret Window, Secret Garden, if I’m not mistaken. As a writer, you just get this . . . ugh feeling when you start to stray too close to reality. I do, at least.


Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?

Oh, sure. I’m always working. Just finished the first-pass copy-edits for WHITE SPACE, the first volume of in my new Dark Passages series: think The Matrix meets Inkheart and Inception, and you start to get the gist. Very YA horror/darkly psychological thriller, mind-bending stuff going on. Right this second, I’m in the beginning throes of the sequel, THE DICKENS MIRROR. Soon as I’m done with that, I’ll go back and finish banging out a standalone YA thriller that’s about halfway done. Then the SAVING SKY series is up, and by the time I finish that first book . . . I’d better have some more ideas.

Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

Outside/outdoors, principally: biking, hiking, walking, swimming when there’s an outdoor pool. Gardening. I’m happiest when I’ve laced on the boots and hit the trails, or gone just about any place where I can be outside for hours and not see another soul.

What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?

Ah, that would be DRAW THE DARK. Pub day was actually very low-key. The husband went to work; I went to work. I exercised. I fed the cats and puttered outside. He came home; then we went out to dinner and had very dry martinis. Then I went to bed because we both had work the next day ;-)

Boring, I know. I’m kind of a cheap date.

What is the best thing about being a published author?

Holding a book I wrote in my hands. That’s just . . . it’s an incredible feeling.

What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

Well, I’m always reading, but I usually don’t make recommendations because everyone’s tastes are different. More often than not, my favorite author is the one who just happens to be telling me a thumpingly good story at that moment.

Sci-fi was the adolescent lit of my day, so that genre’s been a huge influence. I’d be hard-pressed to single out authors since I’ve read so many—but if you nailed me to the wall, I’d have to say that I think Stephen King is an A-class storyteller. That’s not the same thing as saying all his books are spectacular because they’re not. Honestly, there are some real clunkers in there. But no one knows how to construct a story better, and that’s always worth paying attention to and learning from.

Thanks for these great answers and thanks for dropping by.


About Ashes:

It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

------------------

Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.

At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sky On Fire - Book Review


Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2)
by Emmy Laybourne


What is it about:
Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.

Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .

Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . .


What did I think of it:
I will confess I had my doubts at the end of book 1.

I loved Monument 14, but when Alex and a group of other kids leave the superstore at the end of the book I could have slapped them. Leave a save place!? Why!!! Still, I expected Laybourne to go easy on them in Sky On Fire, because often I seem to see dangers where authors of Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic YA see none.

Luckily in Sky On Fire this wasn't the case.

Laybourne shows how cruel a post apocalyptic world can be and doesn't make it easy for her characters. There's lots of perils and the kids have to be smart and resourceful to stay alive. When they do stupid things, they have to deal with the consequences.

I really liked getting inside Alex's head. In Monument 14 you only get to see Dean's thoughts about Alex, so I enjoyed getting to know Alex from another angle.

As for Dean, I really don't get his feelings for Astrid, but I liked reading how he and the kids who stayed behind in the superstore are trying to manage.

Overall this is a really suspenseful, action-packed story that shows a gritty and harsh world. I enjoyed reading it very much and I'm already looking forward to the release of the last book in this trilogy.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Post apocalyptic read.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

An Interview with Ann Aguirre + Giveaway



Today it's the official release day of Perdition by Ann Aguirre. Coincidentally it's also Ann's birthday today. She still had time to answer some questions for me though.

Ann Aguirre is the author of the SF series Sirantha Jax, the UF series Corine Solomon, the Razorland Trilogy of which the last book Horde will release in October, and many other awesome books.


Hi Ann. Happy birthday and welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig.

Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?


Likes:
Rain
Kittens
Chocolate
Naps
Puppies
Video games
Action movies
Indie music
Road trips
Cooking

Dislikes:
Crowds
Discrimination
Heights
Assholes
Privilege
Being poked
Incompetence
Getting in the slow line
Phone calls
Surprises

You write SciFi, Urban Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic YA, Steampunk, Fantasy and Romantic Suspense. Do you have a favorite genre to write in or are they all equally fun?

I can’t commit to one genre. I would get bored writing the same type of book year after year, so diversity is necessary and fun. I love the genre I’m with.

Today is the release day of Perdition, the first book in a new series. What can we expect from this series?

Perdition is darker than the Jax series and the characters are more morally gray. The series is gritty and violent, and I’d say it’s a little sexier, too. The books are written in third-person, multiple points of view, so that’s a departure from Jax as well.

Any chance you will write more Post Apocalyptic books?

Anything is possible. I’ve had numerous requests for more Thistle & Thorne, characters I wrote for a Luna anthology, and I do have a proposal percolating for a full Red Zone novel.

What can you tell us about the Mortal Beauty trilogy of which the first book releases next year?

Pitched as Doctor Faustus meets Mean Girls, set in a dark world of secret societies, twisted bargains, and forbidden love. The heroine is named Edie, and the hero is called Kian. I’m not going to tell you more than that because the story's insanely complex in what my agent calls the “down the rabbit hole” way; that's where everything starts relatively normal, but the deeper in you get, the wilder and more unusual the world becomes. Plus, I feel a little superstitious about this project. It’s the biggest deal of my career and I don’t want to leak too many details.


What is the best thing about being a published author?

Writing stories that I love and readers enjoy... and calling it work. Writing in my jammies is pretty awesome, too.

And what do you like the least about being a published author?

All of the factors I can’t control.

What authors have been an influence to you?

I spent my allowance on books as a kid. After I got my first job, I put part of the money in my gas tank; the rest I spent on books. In college, I was much the same, but there were certain authors I would buy instead of food.

Sharon Shinn was one of them.

So clearly I can remember how I felt when I discovered her books for the first time. I was in a dungeon of a shop in Muncie, Indiana. I didn’t really want to be there because, frankly, they sold gaming stuff: Dungeons and Dragons, sourcebooks, dice, graph paper, and pewter miniatures. I wanted to be in a proper bookstore because I had a little money to spend. (My part-time job as a pharmacy tech paid all of $4 an hour.) But I had gamer friends (and I played too, but my great love has always been fiction), so I was hanging around the store, waiting for them.

As I wandered, I eventually came upon a wire book rack. It mostly had TSR novels (Drizzt, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance) and maybe a few White Wolf stories. I was spinning it listlessly when this fey cover art caught my eye.

Hm, what’s this? I asked myself, plucking the book from the rack. The Shapechanger’s Wife. I read the back and it sounded wonderful, so I bought it at once. While they finished shopping, I hugged the paper bag to my chest and couldn’t wait to get home to start reading. In short, I devoured that one in a few hours and then from that point on, I would buy whatever she released, even if I had to dine on ramen… or nothing at all.

The coolest thing about Sharon Shinn is that so many years later, I’ve had the pleasure of her reading my book for a blurb—and then I met her. After that, I cried tears of pure joy over a dream come true. It’s so wonderful when your idols turn out to be even more amazing than you dreamed. Since then, we’ve developed a relationship and I am honored to call her my friend.

She’s inspiring to me because when I found her books, she was a woman living in the Midwest. She didn’t seem to be famous or connected to publishing. She earned her publishing contract through her beautiful writing and through persistence. She gave me hope that I might be able to do it someday, too. If not for her, shining as a beacon of hope for another Midwestern girl, I might’ve given up on my dreams. I’ll never stop thanking her for blazing a trail that I pictured myself following.

And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

I am never too busy to read. Ever. Words are my rocket fuel.

The last book I read that blew me away was INDELIBLE by Dawn Metcalf. It was so amazing that you should go read that instead of this interview.

Will there be zombies or pigs in any of your future books?

Unlikely.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a wonderful day.


About Perdition:

WELCOME TO HELL

The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.

Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.

Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

---------------

Giveaway Time

Ann Aguirre has kindly offered a copy of Perdition to one reader of my blog.

And the winner is: Heather S.

A winner will be picked at random on September 17th.
Open internationally to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.

------------------

Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.

At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.


Monday, 26 August 2013

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse - Book Review


White Trash Zombie Apocalypse (White Trash Zombie #3)
by Diana Rowland


What is it about:
Lights, cameras... zombies!

When a zombie movie starts filming in town, things get crazy, and white trash zombie Angel Crawford suspects it’s not just the plot of the movie that’s rotten. With zombies both real and fake roaming the streets, it’s up to Angel to fit all the pieces — and body parts — together to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.


What did I think of it:
Although I liked the first book, I didn't think I would grow to love this series as much as I do now. These books just keep getting better and better.

Angel might be a thinking zombie, that doesn't mean this book doesn't have some really cool zombie action. Angel gets in the way of people with some sinister plans and soon she's trying hard to stay alive.

I'm still not very happy with Angel's love interest Marcus, but I liked how she stood up for herself in this book, and how she did things her own way instead of letting herself be saved by him. I'm loving how Angel is growing throughout these books.

I was very happy with the return of one character from book 2, and there are lots of reasons to believe he'll start playing a big part in Angel's life. I can't wait to see if Rowland takes the story where I hope she'll take it.

All in all this is a really fun and action-filled book and I will most certainly continue reading this series.

Why should you read it:
Zombies!!!
Seriously: It's the best 'thinking' zombies series I've read so far.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Sunday, 25 August 2013

An Interview with Jeffe Kennedy



Today Jeffe Kennedy visits our blog. Jeffe is the author of the A Covenant of Thorns series and the upcoming Twelve Kingdoms among others.



Could you tell a bit about yourself and your books for those people who don’t know you yet?

Hi! I’m Jeffe Kennedy and I live in the desert southwest of the U.S. I write in several genres – contemporary erotic romance, fantasy romance and adult fantasy. They’re not so eclectic as it sounds. They all focus on character, particularly female characters, and becoming more fully realized human beings. Settings are important to me and I tend to write in lush, sensual and descriptive terms.

What can you tell us about the upcoming Twelve Kingdoms series? Will it have pigs?

Exciting things are happening with Twelve Kingdoms! This is a trilogy that will be coming out in trade paperback beginning June 2014. It’s sounding like the first book will be called The Mark of the Tala. That’s not for sure, but it’s looking promising! It’s also entirely possible the next two books will be called The Tears of the Rose and The Talon of the Hawk. The trilogy follows the three daughters of the High King, the Heir, the Beauty and the Middle Daughter. The Mark of the Tala is the middle princess’s story.

No pigs, but there will be a prequel story, Negotiation, out now in the Thunder on the Battlefield anthology.

Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

Well, yes and no. I more use certain elements of them. The heroine in Ruby is based physically on a gal I work with, because she has an unusual kind of beauty, but isn’t that much like her personality-wise. I often draw from various conflicts people face – like certain family issues. But my characters always end up being their own people.


Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?

Right now I’m writing the second Twelve Kingdoms book, The Tears of the Rose, which is the youngest and most beautiful princess’s story. I’m working on edits for Five Golden Rings, which will be in the Carina Press erotic holiday anthology, coming out November 17. The third book in my Covenant of Thorns book (book 2, Rogue’s Possession comes out October 7!) is due at the end of the year, so I’ll write that next. Then I also just set up series sketches for two new trilogies, to write in the future.

If you could meet any characters in your book, who would it be and why?

Hmm. I think I’d meet Rogue from Covenant of Thorns. He’s very mysterious and compelling to me. After that, it might be Bobby Prejean from Ruby. I’d let him cook for me—and do whatever else he wanted to!

Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

In my armchair, reading? Or on the front or back patio if the weather is nice.

What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?

That was my essay collection, Wyoming Trucks, True Love and the Weather Channel, back in 2004. I lived in a small town in Wyoming then and my best friend managed the local indie bookstore. We had a launch party and signing. Tons of people came and we adjourned to our favorite bar afterwords. It was great fun.

What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

It’s hard for me to pick authors that have been an influence, because there are so many. Among them: Anne McCaffrey, Jacqueline Carey, Anne Rice, A.S. Byatt, Mercedes Lackey, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Anais Nin, Ann Patchett, Margaret Atwood, Mary Stewart, Anne Bishop, Tanith Lee, Ursula LeGuin, Robin McKinley.

I’m nearly done reading Ann Aguirre’s six-book Sirantha Jax series. That’s been a very good journey in that world. I also recently read Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells, which I really loved.

Thanks for dropping by. Voodoo Bride and I are looking forward to get our hands on a print book of yours so we can finally hug it.


About Rogue's Pawn:

This is no fairy tale…

Haunted by nightmares of a black dog, sick to death of my mind-numbing career and heart-numbing fiancĂ©, I impulsively walked out of my life—and fell into Faerie. Terrified, fascinated, I discover I possess a power I can’t control: my wishes come true. After an all-too-real attack by the animal from my dreams, I wake to find myself the captive of the seductive and ruthless fae lord Rogue. In return for my rescue, he demands an extravagant price—my firstborn child, which he intends to sire himself…

With no hope of escaping this world, I must learn to harness my magic and build a new life despite the perils—including my own inexplicable and debilitating desire for Rogue. I swear I will never submit to his demands, no matter what erotic torment he subjects me to…


------------------

Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.

At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Ready Player One - Book Review


Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline


What is it about:
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


What did I think of it:
This is a great read.

I picked this up because I'm an avid gamer myself and this sounded like it might be a fun read.

And it is!

Not only is this a really intense and gripping story that had me on the edge of my seat at times, it is also full of cool nerdy references from the eighties. There's references to games, movies, music and more. Some were too obscure for me, but others brought a smile on my face.

Wade is a cool lead character. He's not some perfect hero, instead he's a bit of an anti-hero who's forced to take on the role of a hero if he wants to save himself and the things that matter most to him. I also loved his best friend Aech.

The virtual world here everyone is logged into sounded really intriguing and Cline uses this world to its advantage for the action storyline. I was hooked from the start and had to keep reading to see how this story would end.

Overall this is a cool read that I can recommend to anyone who's a bit nerdy and/or loves the eighties.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Dystopian/80's YA read


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday, 23 August 2013

An Interview with Carolyn Crane + Giveaway



Today Carolyn Crane visits our blog to answer questions about her books, self publishing, obscure characters and more.


Welcome back to Pearls Cast Before A McPig.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?


Hey Sullivan McPig! Thank you so much for having me here. Okay, a bit about me…I write plotty, sexy books in different genres, including the Disillusionists trilogy (urban fantasy) Code of Shadows (PNR cross genre) Super dirty books about bank robbers (as Annika Martin) and most recently, The Associates (romantic suspense). I guess you could say I don’t like to stick to one genre. I live in Minneapolis (flyover country, USA), I love Mexican food and cheese plates and staying up late lost in a book, and I am really going to try hard to be a less neglectful gardener this year.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m finishing up the second in my romantic suspense series – a standalone book about a spy who is a linguistics expert. I am happy to report that after hating it and fighting with it for several months, I now freakily love it, though you never know when that will change again.

Are there any other projects you’re thinking about starting in the near future?

Hah! I think my problem is too many projects, considering I have four series going. Though yes, now that you ask, lovely McPig, I have a high concept adventure series in mind. Lol. But I am not letting myself start it for a while.

You have self-published several books by now. What are your thoughts about traditional publishing versus self publishing? Would you recommend self publishing to other authors?

I think different paths are good for different people. I love self pubbing, and being in control, and I feel like I’m finally just getting the hang of it, so I’m going with it, and I definitely look at it as more a marathon than a sprint.

I think going with a traditional publisher can be smart in some instances, though. For some people, it’s a good way to get their name out there, or they just don’t want to do things on their own. I still have an agent who I really love working with, and I don’t rule it out for myself, certainly. I do think authors deserve more from publishers, though.


Have you ever been tempted to use people who’d been rude to you in real life as victims in your books? Or have there been other people you used as characters in your books?

That is a good question. I have modeled people on real life people. Early on, I was super paranoid that they’d recognize themselves. But, I have come to learn that, at least with me, the real life person is more like scaffholding, and the true person who emerges in a book is always their own person. So, I don’t worry. I have never used real people as victims, though as an ex-waitress, I will confess to putting my fair share of angry, angry cooks in books. Because in all the restaurants I worked at, cooks were always so angry…or was it just that they were angry at me?

Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

Since fiction writing and my livelihood (marketing writing/advertising) happens at this desk, I’m rarely away from it. (My husband often complains that I never stop staring at THE GLOWING RECTANGLE!!) Though I do love running. And, I have a little garden I tend. Yeah, I’m exciting like that.

If you could meet any characters in your book, who would it be and why?

Ooh! I have a secret thing about my character Simon from the Disillusionists. I tend to live a stable life, and I would love him to take me on a wild adventure. I also like Angel, my safecracking heroine from Against the Dark. I would totally go out to coffee with her!

If you could, would you change places with any of your characters?

Probably not, though if I had to change places with any one…hmmm, again, maybe Angel my safecracking heroine. She has a really cool life these days. Though Justine would be good to trade with, too because, er…Packard. And, powers.

Any chance you’ll write a short story featuring Professor Teufelsdrockh?

I so should! Just for you. I have to check to see what he was a professor of again…I think applied physics. Oh, you are so funny with your Professor Teufelsdrockh!!

Hey, I cant help I'm a fan of Professor Teufelsdrockh! He's just awesome.
Thanks for dropping by today.



About Against The Dark:

SHE’S AN EX-SAFECRACKER FORCED INTO ONE LAST HEIST

Angel Ramirez left the safecracking game five years ago, and she’s worked hard to make amends and build an honest life. But when a beloved aunt is kidnapped, she must reunite with her girl gang to acquire the unique ransom: Walter Borgola’s prized diamonds. It’s a simple job that turns into a nightmare, thanks to a surprisingly clever—and searingly sexy—security guard named Cole Hawkins.

HE’S AN UNDERCOVER AGENT WITH BIG PLANS FOR HIS GORGEOUS THIEF

Cole is one of the Association’s most brilliant agents, under deep cover investigating a ruthless killer. He’s also running out of time: hundreds will die if he doesn’t stop the plan Borgola’s set into motion. Catching Angel is the break he needed--he promises not to turn her in if she poses as his lover and uses her unique talents to unlock the sociopath’s dungeon vaults.

But as pretend passions turn real, Cole regrets drawing Angel into his deadly game…and danger is closer than either of them could ever imagine.



And now for a giveaway!

Carolyn has kindly offered a digital copy of Against the Dark to one reader of my blog
(or a digital copy of Mind Games for International entries if they prefer)

And the winner is Stephanie!

A winner will be picked at random on September 13th.
Open internationally to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.

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Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.

At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Alliance Forged - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Alliance Forged (The Light Blade #2)
by Kylie Griffin


What is it about:
Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart the war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human—is an alliance. However when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.


What did Voodoo bride think of it:
I totally love this book.

I already told you I'm falling more and more in love with this world with each new book I read in this series and that again was true when reading Alliance Forged. I can only hope Griffin will write more books in this series, because I'm slightly addicted to this fantasy world full of demons and half demons.

And the romance!
Varian and Kymora are my favorite couple so far. Varian is such a delicious, tortured hero, and the blind Kymora is a really great heroine as well. She's strong and capable and not afraid to confront Varian when all others are afraid of him. The romance between them was both intense and sweet.

The action storyline is a continuation from the first book, but things are explained enough that you could read this as a standalone. Of course there are some things that might make you wonder, but not annoyingly so I think.

All in all this is an intense and delicious read and I will reread this book and the other two regularly while hoping a fourth book will be released.

Why should you read it:
It's a very satisfying Fantasy Romance


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

An Interview with Kristen Callihan



Today Kristen Callihan is our guest at the Between Dreams & Reality - Pearls Cast Before A McPig Event! Kristen Callihan is the author of the Darkest London series.



Welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig, Kristen.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?


Hmm… well, I am a writer, a reader, a wife, and a mother. Though the order of importance changes depending on the situation. I love to travel and may have a a wee bit of an addiction to coffee.

How would you describe the Darkest London series?

The Darkest London series is set in London during the 1880s. I like to call the books Gaslamp romances, which combine elements of paranormal, horror, mystery and romance.

How many books will there be?

As of now, I am contracted up to seven books. Shadowdance (book 4) releases in December. Then we’ll have Evernight (August 2014), Soulbound (TBA) and book 7, which doesn’t yet have a title. :)

Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

No, I don’t think I could do that to anybody, lol. Besides, it would be too hard to let the character and the plot develop if I had an actual person in my head as I wrote. I have, however, used the names of friends and family on occasion. For instance, Archer’s ship in Firelight is named after my sister Karina. She likes to point out that I sank her in the Atlantic. Lol.

Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?

There are always stories that I’m itching to tell. Finding the time to write them is another story. ;-)


Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

Reading, or hanging out with my family.

What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?

My husband surprised me with a party. It was lovely and my editor even came down from New York to join us.

What is the best thing about being a published author?

People read my books. Because the story really doesn’t live until someone reads it. On the heels of that, I get to entertain people. And meeting other authors is a huge perk. It’s always nice talk to people who do the same thing you do.

What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

Diana Gabaldon was a huge influence on me as an author. She was always answered any questions I had in regards to craft. Her books taught me that, yes, you can write a story that doesn’t stick to any one genre.

Are there zombies or pigs in any of your books or will there be any in future books?

You know, pig zombies might be kind of cool. They could run amok, causing wide-spread panic throughout the populace. Lol. Come to think of it, there are zombies in Winterblaze and I do believe a pig or two slows down London traffic in Firelight … Or maybe it was sheep. I can’t remember anymore.

Thanks for dropping by Kristen, and I'll have to get out my copy of Firelight to check if it were sheep or pigs.


About Firelight (Darkest London #1):

Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.


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Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.

At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Author Spotlight - Katie MacAlister

One of Voodoo Bride's favorite authors is Katie MacAlister.

Voodoo Bride loves Katie's snarky and sexy books about Dark Ones, a sort of vampires.

So today we want to highlight two of those books and there's a swag giveaway as well.


A Girl's Guide to Vampires (Dark Ones #1)

All Joy Randall wants is a little old-fashioned romance, but when she participates in a "Goddess evoking" ceremony with her friend, Roxy, Joy finds out her future true love is a man with the potential to put her immortal soul in danger. At first the ever-practical Joy is ready to dismiss her vision as a product of too much gin and too many vampire romances, but while traveling through the Czech Republic with Roxy, Joy begins to have some second thoughts about her mystery lover because she is suddenly plagued by visions of a lethally handsome stranger. Then, when she and Roxy attend a local GothFaire, Joy meets Raphael Griffin St. John, head of security, and she becomes even more bewildered because the dark and dangerous Raphael seems too close to her dreams for comfort.

Voodoo Bride's thoughts:
If you're looking for a light, funny, romantic and steamy read that also has some mystery going on this is the perfect book to pick up! This book is pure fun. Joy is a cool, quirky lead character and the males (yes: plural! But don't be expecting a menage, merely a triangle or square) aren't half bad either! Macalister's vampires are original and very cool, but luckily they do comply to some universal vampire rules I think every vampire should comply to (meaning no sparkles) so I could really love them. All in all an enjoyable read and after finishing this book I ran out to buy more books in this series.


A Tale of Two Vampires (Dark Ones #10)

Iolanthe Tennyson has had a very bad year—due in part to the very bad men in her life. So, she’s accepted her cousin’s invitation to spend the summer in Austria indulging in her photography hobby. There, rumors of a haunted forest draw Iolanthe into the dark woods—and into the eighteenth century…

Nikola Czerny is a cursed man, forced by his half-brothers to live forever as a Dark One. But his miserable existence takes an intriguing turn when a strange, babbling woman is thrown in his path. Iolanthe claims to know Nikola’s daughter—three hundred years in the future. She also knows what fate—in the form of his murderous half-brothers—has in store for him. If only she knew the consequences of changing the past to save one good, impossibly sexy vampire…

Voodoo Bride's thoughts:
This is a seriously fun book. As with all Dark Ones books I've read so far it's funny, witty and has a delicious romance. I really liked Io, she's a quirky and fun character who speaks her mind. Nikola is a great character as well. I didn't know it was possible to write a nerdish alpha male, but MacAlister pulls it off.

The story was fun from start to finish. There were some inconsistencies, but MacAlister's books are just too much fun to worry about things being consistent. They're all about the romance and the two lead characters overcoming all obstacles that keep them apart.

I did think the romance in this book was less hot than in the other books I read in this series, but it was the sweetest romance I've read from MacAlister so far, so I won't hold the lack of scorching love scenes against it.

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Next to the Dark Ones series Katie MacAlister writes lots more series: There's dragons, guardians, time travellers, steampunk and more. Voodoo Bride hopes to be able to start on one of these other series soon.


We have a small Katie MacAlister swag pack for one commenter.
Tell us if you ever read a book by Katie MacAlister and what you thought of it for a chance to win the Katie MacAlister swag. We'll also include some of my blog bookmarks as well.

A winner will be picked at random on September 10th.
Open internationally to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.

And the winner is: VampedChik


Monday, 19 August 2013

An Interview with Gerry Bartlett + giveaway


The Between Dreams & Reality/Pearl Cast Before A McPig Event continues today with an interview with Gerry Bartlett, author of the Glory St. Clair series.


Welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?

I’m a native Texan and live south of Houston. When I’m not writing, I shop for my antiques business which is on Galveston Island on the historic Strand. I love to write about vampires but wouldn’t want to be one, too addicted to Mexican food. I have one son and a spoiled dog named Jet.

How would you describe the Glory St. Clair series?

Glory was bloating when she was turned in 1604 so she’s always been a little too curvy for today’s fashion trends. Lucky for her, ancient males like a woman with curves. She has a lot of the same problems most women have, a boyfriend who tends to want to take over, money problems and a business that isn’t always thriving. My pal Nina Bangs calls Glory “everywoman with fangs” and that about sums her up.

Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

I get ideas everywhere though I haven’t used a particular person as a character. I think Glory has a little of me in her especially her craving for chocolate. The hot guys in her life are pure fantasy though I have to say when Blade, her longtime lover is being the strong silent type, he is acting like my late husband.

Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?

I’m intrigued by the New Adult genre, writing about women who are struggling to find themselves. I know I was an undertermined major as long as they’d let me when I was in school and took forever to find the man I would finally marry. Those years, the early twenties, are so interesting. Of course I’m thinking it would be fun to throw in a vampire or two when I write it. Sorry, I’m just so addicted to hot vampire men. They can make a great tortured hero.

Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

Shopping! If not for my business, then I’m at the mall trying to find something that makes me look magically skinnier than I am. Yes, Glory and I have that in common. I think “bloating” is a kind way of saying we are too fond of our food.


What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?

That was a long time ago but I remember celebrating many times, with friends and family. Even my Romance Writers of America chapters, I am a member of two local ones, made a big deal out of it. It look a long time—years—for me to sell that first book and them I sold two at once! So we ate, drank and made merry. There was a lot of champagne involved.

What is the best thing about being a published author?

Seeing your book in a bookstore on a shelf. I love that. It’s what authors these days are missing when they self-publish. I may do that for my old backlist, but I still get a rush when I see my books at my local Barnes & Nobles. Of course there’s the excitement too when you get fan mail. I have gotten some great letters from people who got hooked on my books and said it made them want to read again after years of avoiding books. I love that!

What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

I am never too busy to read. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of Young Adult titles. Divergent, Delirium, some of the dystopian books. I really admire the ingenuity found in the Young Adult section. I love a good mystery as well as a lot of action but I have to have romance in my books. I guess I was influenced early on by the great romance authors like Bertrice Small, Iris Johansen, Karen Robards and Laura Kinsale. I had one historical and two romantic suspense published under a pseudonym before I discovered paranormals. Now I’m hooked on those vampires and write under my real name. I love the freedom creating my own world gives me. Jeaniene Frost is an author I love to read, her dialogue slays me.

If you could meet any of the characters in your book, who would it be and why?

Well, I fell in love with the rocker in my books, Israel Caine. He’s hot, he’s a good friend to Glory and I made him into the bad boy all women want to have a fling with at least once. No, he’s not for the long haul, but he would be amazing for a short term sizzle.

Thanks for these great questions. I loved answering them. Don’t forget, I’d love to give a reader a chance to win a copy of the first book in my series, Real Vampires Have Curves. It’s what one fan calls my “gateway drug” into the series. I hope I get someone new hooked.

Gerry Bartlett

Thanks for dropping by and for the great giveaway!


So want a chance to win Real Vampires Have Curves?

giveaway is closed: winner is miki.

Open internationally to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.

-----

Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.
At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.