August New Releases!

Only a few books are noteworthy new releases this month. Oh well it’ll give me time to get caught up on my massive TBR list.

August 1: Ride the Storm (Cassie Palmer #8) by Karen Chance

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I was beginning to lose my faith in this series. Some things were dragging on too long such as Pritkin’s dilemma and the love triangle. I was lucky to receive an ARC. This book redeemed my faith in the series. The first half was was painfully slow and repetitive, but it was worth it to get to the end. I was thrilled and can’t wait to see where things go from here! Check out my review on goodreads.

August 3: Trashy Foreplay (Trashy Affair #1) by Gemma James

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Affairs and cheating aren’t something I usually go for, but Gemma James’ books are entertaining smut. I may give this one a whirl.

August 8: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

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Dee made a deal with a demon and gave him her heart. Can she love without one? This isn’t at the top of my TBR list but I do want to read it eventually.

August 22: Hideaway (Devil’s Night #2) by Penelope Douglas

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I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever for this book to come out. I loved the first one! It was deliciously demented. You can read my review here.

August 28: Fallen Heir (The Royals #4) by Erin Watt

The other 3 books in this series were absolutely addicting and nothing but a guilty pleasure. Be prepared for lots of over the top drama!

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Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews

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The newest book in the Hidden Legacy series has just been released and some of us have already read it, of course. And loved it! Just when you think it can’t get any better, it gets better! Here is our interview-style review of the book and the series overall.

What are your overall thoughts about Wildfire?

Shelly: I thought it was so great, I could fangirl all day and  night. So much happens and its nonstop action and very plot-driven. Sergeant Teddy (the super-intelligent and genetically enhanced grizzly) and Zeus (the lion tentacle creature from the arcane realm) were such cool new “animal” characters. A lot of pieces of the puzzle were resolved, but there is still so much more left to discover!

Kira: I feel like the odd man out because I didn’t love this. It was wicked good but my least favorite in the series so far. The plot was great, and I love the direction the series is going. Victoria Tremaine was full of surprises. There were a couple of things that annoyed me with this. I’ll discuss those later on.

Do you have a favorite character?

Shelly: Well, Rogan of course. But, I really like so many of the supporting characters. Cornelius, and all the Baylors…

Kira: Hands down it’s Rogan. No one else even compares. Grandma Frida is cool too.

If you were a Prime, what ability would you have?

Shelly: If I could be a combination of a Summoner and then have the ability to communicate and control what comes out of that realm (like Cornelius’ House does with regular animals), I’d go for that one. Psionics and aegis are cool too.

Kira: Of all the abilities I’ve seen so far, I want to be able to teleport only as long as I could do it for long distances. It’d be great for getting out of dangerous situations. Traveling would be so much easier. Like they showed in Burn for Me, if thievery is your thing that is easier too. It would also be sweet to be a mnemonic and have nearly perfect memory recall.

If you were stuck on an island, which Baylor would you take with you and why?

Shelly: I think I’m gonna go with Arabella, only because of all the characters, I think she would be able to get me OFF the island. I wouldn’t want to be stuck on an island for ever (maybe just a nice sunny day). Even if we had to swim away, she could protect me from sharks.

Kira: Grandma Frida. She’s funny, witty, caring and protective. The woman is crafty as hell. She’d probably know how to take whatever random materials you’d have on an island and know how to build something from it.

Are there any criticisms or issues you had with Wildfire or the series in general?

Shelly: The ex drama and angst over Nevada and Rogan’s relationship was my one sore spot. Even considering that, it wasn’t heavy-handed and I could deal with it (and I’m allergic to drama).

Kira: The relationship ambivalence with Rogan and Nevada got on my nerves. The two of them clearly love each other, but Rogan is convinced Nevada will regret their relationship if their children aren’t primes someday. Since he planted that seed of doubt in her mind in White Hot, it kept popping up in her thoughts. Neither of them showed interest in other people, but Nevada had another guy expressing interest in her. Rogan’s ex was around for the whole book, creating lots of drama.

Genetics has been spoken about quite a bit in regards to magical abilities. It’s been emphasized that primes are more likely to come from two strong primes, otherwise the power weakens. Certain abilities are much more compatible than others, so two people without similar abilities are likely to produce children with weaker or no abilities. So why the hell is Nevada’s family loaded with people with special talents? Her dad had no abilities. Her mother and grandmother aren’t incredibly powerful. I’m not even sure if they have abilities or not. If they do it must be related to their military type of skills. This is a wild guess, but that magic doesn’t seem like it would be compatible with the magic from Nevada’s father side of the family. Between the father having no abilities and the mother not having considerable power, how did they produce three powerful kids? I know it’s possible the way genetics work. Sometimes things skip a generation, but it doesn’t seem like the most plausible scenario that all 3 kids are powerful with rare abilities. It’s not just them either. Leon has a rare and powerful ability, and Bernard has his own powerful ability. The two of them are cousins. Where did their abilities come from? With everything we’ve been told about how the magic passes genetically, this entire family is an anomaly. I’d like an explanation for this that’s better than genetics are random.

Who should get their own spinoff in this world (character or House)?

Shelly: I am really fascinated with the arcane realm that the Summoners pull these monster-like creatures from. I would love to learn more about Summoning and this strange other world. I think there could be a good trilogy’s-worth of material focusing just on a Summoner House. I would devour read that!

Kira: Catalina Baylor seems like she’d be a good choice for spinoff. I’d love to know what she can really do with her siren powers. Every ability has such depth to it. There must be more than simply luring people to her. It seemed like something was going on behind the scenes with her in Wildfire. It definitely seemed like there was mutual interest with Catalina and Alessandro Sagredo.

Any last thoughts?

Shelly: This series, in my view, shows how much the Andrews have grown as writers and is very indicative of their style. The humor, the action scenes, the world-building, and even the way they make a character come to life the minute they are on the page… it sounds cheesy, but it’s magical. They write amazing villains too. Victoria Tremaine was fantastic in this and stole all her scenes. This is book depression territory, it’s so good!

Kira: I am so happy there will be a fourth book! I love Nevada and Rogan. I’m not ready for their story to be done yet. It would be great to have a book where they can work together as a couple without doubts about whether or not they’re right for each other. This world Ilona Andrews has created is fascinating. Look how crazy everything is, and most of the characters we’ve met are just from one part of Texas.

7ya8izz

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Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

Unruly: disorderly and disruptive and not amenable to discipline or control.

Anne Helen Petersen analyzes several high-profile women who have been provocative and controversial, whether intentionally or simply by refusing to change and/or care what others think. Society and the media has responded in varying degrees, with most seeming to be negative reactions (or at least the ones reported in the media have leaned to the overly-critical and scathing side). You may like or dislike these women and agree with many others that they go overboard. Regardless, I found each chapter to be a fascinating essay on what it means to be a woman and how society still very much likes to put females in nice, little boxes that present a neat and tidy package.

Highlights:

Kim Kardashian: Too pregnant.

I saw the paparazzi photos showing her wearing “unflattering” clothes. This chapter shows how it is acceptable to show your pregnancy off if you have a skinny body and simply look like you swallowed a basketball. If your body rebels, if you dare to gain too much weight and still wear form-fitting clothes, it’s time to bring out the magnifying glass and judge. Cover it up! *sarcasm* I’m not a Kardashian fan, but this chapter really struck a chord with me.

Kim actually had health issues going on and a difficult pregnancy. I judged her at the time and thought she looked horrible. Now, I realize I should have shut my trap and not been so dumb about it.

Melissa McCarthy: Too fat.

Most of us are familiar with the infamous Rex Reed incident where he referred to McCarthy as “tractor-sized” and worse. She is probably best known for playing over the top raunchy comedy roles, but has also played likeable domestic types (see Gilmore Girls and Mike & Molly).

This chapter shows that even someone as famous as McCarthy has to conform or withdraw to a certain extent, to “get away with” being unruly. Anything goes when she is in a movie, but off-screen, the actress is portrayed as glamorous, put-together, well spoken and generally calm.

Nicki Minaj: Too slutty.

I’m not a fan of her music, but I admit to judging her. Not just for her music, but because of the way she dresses and acts. The point is, she can wear whatever she wants. We need to stop judging people for not wearing clothes we approve of.

Rap music has objectified women over and over for years. Minaj has attempted to take that and turn it around, using it for her own means instead of being an object for others to control. I’m not sure how successful she has been at that, but she is smarter than most people give her credit for.

Lena Dunham: Too naked.

This is another public figure I have never been a huge fan of, but I have been guilty of judging her for exactly what this chapter uncovers. The author does not mention other controversies Dunham has been involved in. It only focuses on her choosing to be naked with an imperfect body.

Women are “allowed” to be naked if they are toned, stretch-mark and cellulite-free, etc. When they have bellies and flab and pouches and aren’t proportioned “correctly,” they are supposed to cover it up. Dunham has refused to do that and gotten a boatload of attacks for it.

Madonna: Too old.

Madonna has been called “Skeletor” and been the butt of mean “granny” jokes. She continues to put herself out there. But why is Madonna too old to be sexual, to be confident in her body? Who says she can’t be the equivalent of dozens of her male counterparts?

Society tells us that older women are supposed to be matronly and sexless. When an “older female” remains sexually aggressive and open about displaying her body, it makes us feel uncomfortable because we learn from a young age that women are supposed to remain forever youthful. If you reach that point where you start to look your age, you are supposed to “act” like it, whatever that means.

Other highlights:

Hillary Clinton, too shrill…

Serena Williams, too strong…

Caitlyn Jenner, too queer…

As I read the book, I knew that I actually had no issues with any of these women being so “unruly,” but at some point, I had bought into most of the negative publicity and judgmental opinions towards them.

Final verdict: This is a fascinating book that is perhaps a tad bit more political and “progressive” than my personal views run, but I can absolutely appreciate it and think anyone could have their blinders ripped off a little by reading it. I absolutely think females should be unruly much more often!

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for providing a digital copy to read and review!

July New Releases!

A few highly anticipated books are coming out this month. Several books are coming out on the 4th of July, so if you’re like me and going to be sitting at home doing nothing, reading a new book will be a great way to pass the day.

July 4th:  Ashes (Dark in You #3) by Suzanne Wright

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I’ve only read the first book in this series. It was a fairly standard paranormal romance IMO, but I have been meaning to read more of the series.

July 4th:  Grave Ransom (Alex Craft #5) by Kalayna Price

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This has always been an UF series that I’ve really liked despite the long standing love triangle. The rare thing about this love triangle is that I’m equally rooting for both of the men. One is the sexy fae Falin and the other is Death. The world building is pretty good too.

July 4th:  Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

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Christina Henry wowed me with her retelling of Alice in Wonderland, so I’m really looking forward to this and am wondering if it’ll be as dark as Alice was.

 

July 11th:  Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3) by Rachel Caine

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I’ve got to be honest I’m not really looking forward to this one. I think this is the last in the series. I’ve read the other two, so I might as well finish it. The idea behind the story is great. This series failed to have memorable characters and adequate character development.

July 18th:  The Broken Puppet (The Elite Kings Club #2) by Amo Jones

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I have yet to read the first book in the series, but it sounds like an interesting dark romance. The cover is beautiful. I’m a sucker for a pretty cover.

July 18th:  Spellbinder (Moonshadow #2) by Thea Harrison

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I’ve been looking forward to this despite having mixed feelings about the first one. This is one of those series where each book focuses on different characters. The female MC in the last one drove me nuts. The world building was good though. It involves the fae, and anything with the fae is worth giving a shot.

July 25th:  Blood Gamble (Disrupted Magic #2) by Melissa F. Olson

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The first book in this spinoff series was so good. I received an ARC for this. It was good but disappointing. Some flaws in the MC’s personality came back in full force causing a story arc I didn’t care for. You can read my review here.

July 25th:  Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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The idea for this sounds original: illusions performed at a circus become real. It is YA, so the potential to be bad is there. Circus stories aren’t my favorite either. I may pick this up if the library gets it.

July 25th:  Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews

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Mad Rogan. Need I say more?

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Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

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Aurora/Rora/Roar (she has got a lot of names in this) is a princess with no power. She comes from a line of Stormlings, the elite who protect their kingdoms from violent storms of all types that ravage the world.

Twisters, hurricanes, thunderstorms, fires, any storm you can think of… they seem to be alive and even sentient. They have “hearts” that only Stormlings can take and extinguish, giving them more power and protecting the people.

Only it’s not quite so perfect and things have been kept from Rora. She has lived a sheltered life and discovers there’s a whole new world out there, after she sneaks out and follows her sketchy betrothed Prince Cassius. Stuff happens and Rora takes on a new identity as an apprentice with a rag-tag group of storm-hunters.

So, this started strong for me and somehow just fizzled out by the end. The world-building was fairly interesting, although this kind of magic is not my favorite.

I think my biggest issue was the romance. :/ There is a weird sort of maybe-love triangle, although not really? The main romantic interest was Locke and I just couldn’t get into the lust/hate relationship between him and Roar (as she is known to the hunters). Instead of fun bantering, it felt too angry and argumentative to me. I didn’t really feel any chemistry.

Cassius was the most intriguing, although I find it hard to believe there is a way to redeem him. He did some pretty crappy things in this. But the ambiguous villain is a personal favorite and we are never quite sure if Cassius is full-on bad guy or just warped from the upbringing and being forced to play palace politics.

There were several scenes with Cassius and Nova, who was Roar’s childhood friend and maid servant (whatever you call them). I think I saw somewhere that someone mentioned a ship between her and Cassius, but I don’t see how she could ever forgive him for being such a douche to her in this book. :/

I also felt there were too many “training” scenes, which are never a favorite of mine, and also, I dislike the plot device where the heroine is sick or mysteriously weakened by forces we don’t discover until the end of the book – and that happens to Roar.

I did appreciate how Roar is mostly capable of handling herself and wasn’t a damsel in distress (outside of that mysterious condition she developed around storms). She wasn’t run over by the cute men in her life, although there is a fairly good amount of angst (do I like him or do I hate him, why do we fight so much when all we really want to do is kiss, argh lol).

Overall, a decent fantasy that reads more Young Adult (even though the heroine is 18). It doesn’t quite read as “New Adult” either, and regardless of the genre, I just wasn’t able to push this from “liked” into the “really liked” category. 🙂 Three Stars. Review also found at Goodreads.

7ya8izz

Q & A with Author Pippa DaCosta!

Hey guys, guess what?!? Scorpion Trap released today!!!

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Once upon a time I was a newbie blogger. I had a dream of some day getting the chance to talk to the most amazing authors of our day. I would just get to sit and bask in the glow of their genius. I never thought that I would actually get the chance this soon. Or that it would be with the amazing Pippa DaCosta! It was better than I could have expected. So you should all go buy her book to say “Thank You For Being So Awesome!” I’m only kind of kidding. Scorpion Trap is the fourth book in the series, so you really should buy the first three too.

Okay, I’ll stop rambling now. Here is just a bit of insight into the brilliance that is Pippa DaCosta:

Abby: In See No Evil you blew our minds with your visions of the Duat. What exciting new world building can we expect from Scorpion Trap?

Pippa DaCosta: Scorpion Trap takes Ace and Shu out of their comfort zone and dumps them in Egypt. I absolutely loved writing the location. If I can squeeze any of my personal experience into my books, I jump at the chance. I went to Egypt many years ago and visited some of the sights mentioned in Scorpion Trap. Who would have guessed that over ten years later the taste, the heat, and the smells, would all find their way into Ace’s story. But as for the little nuggets of ‘fantasy’ world building, it’s difficult to say without drifting into spoiler territory. I can say that we learn more about Isis, her past, and how the gods must have lived long ago. One of my favourite aspects of Ace’s world is how he talks to the magic of the old world through ancient buildings. We see a lot more of that in Scorpion Trap too.

 

Abby: Rumor has it that we will get to see more of Curtis Vance. Is this true? Is there a chance The Heartstone Thief will be the start of a new series?

Pippa DaCosta: I love Curtis. I think he’s one of the nicest anti-heroes I’ve written, which is saying something! The Heartstone Thief took a long time to write compared with my other series’. The world building and the story arc are vast but because of the foundation already in place, there is definitely potential to continue the story into more books. I did deliberately leave a few little threads dangling with the hope that I could go back to the series later. I can’t say when a sequel will happen, but I have a new notebook (I buy a new notebook for every new story) and my notes in place, so I do hope that I can return to Curtis Vance sometime this year.

 

Abby: Speaking of things we can expect to see in the future, we have a few hopeful ideas. Will we get to read more Science Fiction from you? What are the chances that there is a delightfully violent vampire series bouncing around in your mind?

Pippa DaCosta: Okay, well, clearly you’re reading my mind as I have a little secret project I’m working on that is a scifi AND fantasy mash-up, and it has vampires (and shifters and fae – because if I’m going to put vampires in space then I might as well throw everything else in there too). It sounds as though that will deliver pretty much everything you want. If you’re after more scifi such as Girl From Above (as are the many, many readers who email me weekly!) then I really can’t make any promises. I would love to continue writing in that world but the characters all went through such a steep character arc that I don’t think any new plot idea could better the existing four books. If a new idea comes along – as it sometimes does with old characters – I’ll jump at the chance to go back to Girl From Above. So yes, new books coming, with vampires and space (whoo hoo!), but probably no new books from any existing scifi series’.

 

Abby: Which of your characters has the most unpublished back story? Can you share any details with us?

Pippa DaCosta: It has to be Shukra – the demon sorceress from the Soul Eater series. Cursed to Ace’s side (kinda like his reluctant sidekick – don’t ever tell her I said that) she has masses of backstory. We know her as the blackest soul Ace has ever hunted in Duat. A soul so black, so evil, that he personally tracked her down. That’s bad, with a capital B. There’s a little mention in Serpent’s Game (book #5 – currently in the first draft stage) where Ace explains his first official job as an investigator for hire. One of Shukra’s demon-pals decides to lord it over medieval London. Shukra tries to warn her old drinking buddy but it doesn’t go well, and ultimately we end up with the Great fire of London (it’s interesting to note that Ace doesn’t come out of that job all squeaky clean either 😉 ). Shukra has been tamed a bit since then, but she has so much backstory that she could almost have her own spin-off series – if villains were allowed to have their stories told. Unfortunately she has a black soul for a reason. I don’t think her backstory would have a happy ending!

 

Abby: It isn’t easy to write morally ambiguous characters that readers will not only find believable, but will champion as well. Yet, I believe that all of your main characters are like this while still being vastly different. What’s your trick to balancing the haunted with the monster?

Pippa DaCosta: I write very close to the ‘acceptable’ line when it comes to anti-heroes, especially for urban fantasy which often centres around a heroic wise-cracking main character. As soon as I began this writing journey, I knew I wanted to do something different with the genre. I wanted to dirty it up, make it real. Muse was the first of my characters to really walk that line between heroic and gritty. Her being half-demon gave me some leeway to play with her darker side. Something as simple as sleeping with two of the male leads in the first book of a series. That just doesn’t happen in urban fantasy. She has since been called the Jessica Jones of urban fantasy, and I think that’s true, especially considering her abusive past. No doubt about it, when we join her in Beyond The Veil #1 Veil Series, she’s about as screwed up as they come. To make a character feel real, as an author, it’s my job to build them up, give them layers. Those layers turn them from cardboard cutouts into real people. If they’re too good or too bad for no apparent reason, then that’s not going to be interesting or entertaining. I need to give the characters reasons, motives, for being as they are. They each need a killer backstory and a weakness. Muse has a lot of power, but she’s crippled by her past. Akil is a fantastic villain, but it’s not until the second book in the series (Devil May Care) when we see him at his lowest, that we really begin to feel for him. Stefan starts out heroic, but it quickly goes wrong. Curtis Vance from the Heartstone Thief isn’t just a thief, he’s had to survive on the streets, later being picked up by a whore-house madam – his past is perhaps the most tragic of all. Every main character has depth to them, a reason why they are who they are, and it’s often brutal because life isn’t all fluffy bunnies and rainbows. By the way, fluffy bunnies and rainbows have no place in urban fantasy unless they’re mutant bunnies and rainbows with rabid leprechauns waiting to chew off the hand attempting to steal the gold.

 

Abby: Now for a critical question. We need you to settle one of our oldest debates. Who is better Team Akil or Team Stefan? Please note that I’m Team Stefan, and I’m greatly outnumbered. I would appreciate all the help I can get. 😉

Pippa DaCosta: Ugh, this is a tough one. Oh my gosh, yah know what, I love Akil. Who wouldn’t, right? BUT, Stefan goes through hell in the Veil series. Literally and figuratively. He fights every single step of the way. He only ever wanted to be the good guy. He never asked for anything, just the chance to prove himself. Besides Muse, he has the most incredible story and for that, I think I’m team Stefan. Still, Akil. Yah know. Akil is what he is. Complicated and yet simple at the same time, devilish, bad… so very bad and yet alarmingly good – or was it all for his own machinations

 

Abby: Possibly the most important question you will ever be asked about your writing. At least in my opinion, because weapons are important. If you lived in one of your worlds, what would be your signature weapon?

Pippa DaCosta: Oh, if I had to pick an existing weapon, it would be Alysdair from the Soul Eater series. That sword is epic. It EATS SOULS. Dude! C’mon. But if it’s my random choice, probably a crossbow. I’ve dabbled in archery (and fencing). Swords are too predictable and all up-in-your-face slashy, plus a gun beats a sword. So I’m going with a crossbow. You don’t have to get too close to use a crossbow. And some throwing knives tucked down the boots. You can never be too careful.

 

Abby: Since you told us anything goes, would you say tequila or vodka is better for inspiration?

Pippa DaCosta: Ah-ha, this is where I prove that I’m the exception to the rule that authors drink copious amounts. I don’t drink alcohol (that one time at London Book Fair shall not be mentioned). Or, perhaps, what I should say is that I’m an impossible lightweight. One whiff of tequila and I’ll be asleep on the table, or the floor, I’m not fussy. So neither would be great for inspiration. At least, not for me. Although I do sometimes get ideas from dreams, so there is that. *Ace says vodka.

 

Abby: Lastly, I feel the need to warn you that I’m mostly asking this just because the other MacHalos didn’t think I would. But it needs to be asked. Would you say that you were born awesome, or were you genetically modified post-birth to mass produce written pieces of glorious scrumptiousness?

Pippa DaCosta: Definitely genetically modified. I blame my genes. I’m part gypsy, part Irish, part Jewish. Lots of parts make a very unusual whole. That sounds so wrong, but you get the idea.

 

A very special thank you to Pippa for agreeing to answer a few questions for us! And to all the MacHalos who contributed to these interesting questions.

 

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OUT NOW $2.99 until Wednesday!

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Q & A with Author Juliette Cross

Warning: Sucky vampire puns ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

I’m a huge fan of the new series, Vampire Blood, by Juliette Cross. When I found out there was a chance to sink my teeth into an ARC,  I couldn’t get my greedy little hands on it fast enough. I loved the first book in the series, The Black Lily, which was loosely-based on the Cinderella fairy tale. The Red Lily is a Little Red Riding Hood re-telling and does not disappoint.

I was ecstatic to find out our blog would be scoring a Q&A with Juliette. Apparently, she and I both have a sanguine outlook on the future of the series and are about neck and neck in our appreciation of vampires in general.

So pull up your coffin – perhaps a Bloody Mary or two – and let’s get down to the bloody Q&A already!

But first, a bit about the book…

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When Red falls for the Big Bad Wolf…

The Black Lily resistance needs a larger army if they are to defeat the vampire monarchy. In order to do so, former lieutenant and traitor to the vampire Crown, Nikolai must seek help from the red-hooded temptress he needs to avoid at all costs. The secret he carries could prove dangerous for her if she gets too close…even though keeping her close—very close—is the only thing on his mind.

Sienna will do anything for the Black Lily, and when Nikolai asks for her assistance to gain the trust of the commonwealth, it’s the last thing she wants to do. The thought of leaving her woods and her wolves behind is terrifying…not to mention the danger being with Nikolai poses.

Shelly: I saw your Top 5 Vampire Movies list for USA Today (well done, by the way!), but how about a favorite vampire book?

Juliette: Oh, wow. Hard to pick just one. I love Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series. Book 1, Kiss of Midnight, is amazing. I also ADORE the vampires in Nalini Singh’s Guildhunter series. I’ve had a crush on Dmitri for like forever. And I’m dying for Viper’s book coming out in September. And to this day, Richelle Mead’s young adult Vampire Academy is still one of my absolute favorite series ever.

Shelly: How long do you see the Tales of the Black Lily series going? Or how many might you have sketched out now? When I re-read book one, I saw several potential stories that I had missed before. Ryker, Marius’s cousin, the vampire who was with Sienna’s grandmother (that could be a really good story) are the ones that stood out the most. Any hints or teasers you can share?

Juliette: This is a fantastic question. 😉 So, I can tell you there will be four books in the series surrounding the Black Lily. Will there be more? Not sure, but I’ve got a million ideas and tons of secondary characters who need a love story. 😉 I can give you a little hint about book 3. The White Lily is scheduled for release on October 23rd. Our hero will be the vampire duke, Friedrich, and if you think about the title, you’ll know which fairytale I’m retelling this time.

Shelly: What book do you think is under-rated or under-appreciated?

Juliette: Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters Trilogy, specifically book 2 Son of Shadows (one of my favorites). Marillier has a large fan base but few people I know have even heard of this series. It’s so beautiful, the writing and the stories.

Shelly: Who/What is your spirit animal or mascot?

Juliette: A cat, perhaps. Quiet and unassuming but always watching. And a bit of an attitude at times. Lol.

Shelly: How do you decide on the names of your characters?

Juliette: For each fantasy world I create, I tend to think of a specific culture that has the tone I want to convey in their race. For example, most of my vampires have a Romanian or Russian name, conveying a cold, dark beauty. And the humans tend to have English names, representing a civilized, proper people. But sometimes, I stray because it’s more about the character specifically than the culture. Like Sienna, which means “red-orange color” like her hair and the name originated in Italy. And Queen Morgrid. She needed a villainous name. I borrowed from the evil Morgana of Arthurian legends and twisted the name to fit her.

Shelly: Is there a particular scene that was harder to write than others? (From this series or others)?

Juliette: Pretty much every sex scene. I try to balance the emotional aspect with the physical, and this isn’t easy to do. Of course, I tend to write very dark scenes as well, borderline horror, I suppose. You might think these would be difficult to write, but it’s rather the opposite. My muse runs wild while writing these. Kind of a cathartic experience.

Shelly: On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Juliette: Well, THE RED LILY is my twelfth published book, and I’ve gotten much faster over time. Now, it takes on average three months to write a full-length book and edit it with beta feedback.

Shelly: What advice would you give your younger writing self?

Juliette: Don’t you ever give up, woman.

 

The Red Lily release date is (this Monday!) June 19, 2017. You can stake your claim to this sizzling romance at the following places:

Amazon

B&N

iBooks

Kobo

Entangled

Goodreads

About Juliette Cross:

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Juliette lives in lush, moss-laden Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona.

Multi-published author of paranormal and urban fantasy romance, she loves reading and writing brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes.

From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

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