Guest Blogger: Author Q&A with Stacey Marie Brown!

We have our very first guest blogger, Jessica, who scored an author Q&A with Stacey Marie Brown. Jessica is a member at the MacHalo group at Goodreads and she is awesome. So, without further ado, here we go!

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Stacey Marie Brown is an independent writer of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, but to me she is The Abolisher of Mundane Chores (cause that’s a thing!). She’s the reason I’ve ignored dishes, laundry, and sometimes sleep. Tying three series (Lightness Series, The Collector Series, and Darkness Series) together into an even larger story, she has introduced readers to strong female leads, lovable friends and sidekicks, hot men, magic, and lots of fast paced adventure. Her latest book (that will keep me awake – again) is Fall of the King, She carved out some time to answer a few questions and let me geek out and pick her brain. The fabulously badass ladies of Dust Off Your MacHalo gave me a place to share what I’ve learned. Here’s what Stacey had to say.

Jessica: I’m just going to dive in here and say the release of Fall of the King is right around the corner (like, days away! I’m a little excited for this! Questions. Right.). What are you able to share about this installment? How will it fit into the rest of the series? Will we see some old friends?

Stacey: Oooh, I don’t want to spoil the story, but Lars has finally met his match. And it will be a dual POV. You will see a different side to him…a more vulnerable side. I think some who may have not liked him before are going to see the man underneath. The true Lars.

We will definitely be seeing old friends! With every book in the Lightness Saga, I am tying in the Darkness and Collector series for one final bang! Lars is book 3, the next book is the FINAL one in all three series!!

Jessica: The world you’ve created and woven into 3 different series is vast and layered, with intersecting characters, all affecting each other. Did you know ahead of time which characters would be connected and that they would all be part of a bigger story?

Stacey: No! I was dead set against combining the series at first (why you can read Collector Series or the Darkness Series first), but as the story progressed, they decided for me. And it made sense that their paths would all eventually cross.

Jessica: Once you’ve come up with one of your badass story ideas, what’s your writing process like?

Stacey: I really wish I could say I have one. I get my butt in a chair and write. I do a very basic outline and mostly write as I go, so it takes me longer than some other authors. I have an acting/directing background and they play in my head like a movie. I’m just there to tell their story.

Jessica: There is mythology and lore themes in your books. Do you have to do a lot research? What inspires your mythology?

Stacey: I do enough research for me to understand and know the story, but then put my own twist on it…. or, I make it up completely. That’s what’s so awesome about fantasy. You can play with myths and legends.

The Fall of the King (Lightness Saga #3) is released on October 12, 2017.

It’s a steal of a deal for only $0.99 to pre-order now at Amazon.

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From Goodreads:

Stacey Marie Brown is a lover of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books, travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world.

That’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for more from Jessica.

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Godsgrave ARC and Bookish Goodies Giveaway

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Bear with us as we attempt our very first giveaway! If we do it wrong, hey, we’re on a learning curve. But, it’s a good one!

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The main prize is an ARC of Godsgrave, (the book was released on September 5, just over a month ago, along with a cool engraved HEA stone and “book nerd” pin). Here is our review: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff.

Since we have never done one of these before, we are going to keep it simple! To enter, follow the link below and fill it out!

I’m sure you’ve seen these before, so enough said and get to entering!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bede23821/?

Disclaimers and Legalese Stuff:

* Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 and older and a resident of the United States. The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. The value of the three items is approximately $15 (that is for the bookish baubles; the ARC has no monetary value).

* You must log on to the Rafflecopter widget (at link) in order to enter an email address so we can contact you when you win!

* The giveaway starts midnight Eastern time on Sunday, October 8, 2017 and ends at midnight Eastern time on October 31, 2017 with the winner being announced in a later blog.

** Dust Off Your MacHalo is not responsible for any errors, technical issues, and entry to the sweepstakes waives and releases us from any liability whatsoever. By entering the giveaway, you agree to be bound by the decisions of Dust Off Your MacHalo and these official rules.

Ok, hopefully we covered everything.

The link one more time:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bede23821/?

 

October New Releases!

October 2nd

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The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre

Genre: Suspense

A suspense novel where a writer has 3 months to live and confesses her darkest secrets in her final book.

October 3rd

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Origin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

I can’t resist a new Robert Langdon novel. This type of novel is not my usual go to genre, but these are entertaining and so much better than the movies.

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A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne

Genre: Fantasy

The world is invaded by giants and humans must rely on magical beasts to save them. I liked Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, so I want to check this out.

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The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels #5) by Kerrigan Byrne

Genre: Historical Romance

A woman on the run ends up in Scotland under an assumed name. It’s a case of opposites attract when she meets a lord who is also her adversary. This was not one of my favorite books in the series. You can check out my review on goodreads.

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Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Genre: Romance

Merit is sick of keeping her family’s secrets. When she decides to leave them she has to tell the truth, which may have consequences for her. Somehow all of this involves a guy that she loves.

October 6th

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Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain

Genre: Suspense

Two girls nine years apart have gone missing under the same circumstances. Not sure about this one but I have liked of books of hers. And I love the cover!

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Skorpion (Den of Mercenaries #5) by London Miller

Genre: Darkish Romance

I am behind on this series but want to get caught up on it soon. These are pretty good for books about mercenaries.

October 10th

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All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

A family is capable of performing miracles. Three of them want to change things, but their miracles don’t go as planned.

October 17th

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Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Genre: Historical Romance

Good but not one of the best in the series. I liked Dyemore, but Iris was plain and boring. Iris went from disliking him to loving him practically overnight with no reason for the change. It irritated me. Read my review on goodreads.

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Ruthless King (Mount Trilogy #1) by Meghan March

Genre: Romance

Lachlan loans money to Keira’s family in their time of need. Now she’s in his debt. I read a series of hers that were extremely angsty, but I couldn’t put ’em down.

October 24th

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The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

Nina was having her debut into society. She was an outcast because of her magic. Hector also had magic. Their relationship was complicated. I got an ARC. It was good but very aggravating sometimes. It had two different love triangles. Read my review on goodreads.

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Soulbound (Dark Arts #3) by Bec McMaster

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Sebastian is a sorcerer trying to save his father. He was forced to marry Cleo who has the ability to see into the future. They will either destroy each other or save each other. Sounds really good!

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Switchback (Nightshades #2) by Melissa F. Olson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

I read the first book in the series because it’s about vampires although they call them nightshades. It did follow the standard vampire lore. It wasn’t great but I still want to read this one.

October 31st

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Cold Spectrum (Harmony Black #4) by Craig Schaefer

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Harmony and Jessie were framed for a serious crime, and they have to prove their innocence. I only read the first book in this series. I’ll probably never read more because I don’t like Harmony. Other people I know love this series, and his other series Daniel Faust of which this is a spinoff is amazing!

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The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson #12) by Darynda Jones

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Reyes has gone evil and Charley has to save the day. I gave up on this series after book 8. The main reason I read it was for Reyes, but he changed after a while. Charley became unbearable. It’s laughable that she is supposed to be some great being. Plenty of people still like this series, so I added it to the list.

 

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September New Releases!

Lots of books to look forward to this month! It’s a good month for new urban fantasy.

September 5: The Brightest Fell (Toby Daye #11) by Seanan McGuire

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This is my favorite series ever! I was lucky enough to get an ARC for this. You can read my review here. It’s spoiler free. It wasn’t the best book in the series, but it was pivotal in setting up the endgame. If you are a fan of the series you will be thrilled to know that Amandine finally makes an appearance!

September 5: Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

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This is a standalone mystery. I’ve read several books by this author and really liked them. They usually have a dark edge.

September 12: Volatile Bonds (Prospero’s War #4) by Jaye Wells

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I only read the first book in the series. It was really good. I got sidetracked at the time and never continued the series. It is something I’ll get back to at some point.

September 12: The Outskirts (The Outskirts Duet #1) by T.M. Frazier

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T.M. Frazier’s books are hit or miss with me. I’ve really enjoyed some of them so I’ll probably give this a whirl.

September 13: Edge of Forever (Soul Eater #6) Pippa DaCosta

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This series is amazing! I can’t wait to see how it ends. It’s rare to find to find urban fantasies that are original with fascinating characters.

September 19: The Queen (Masterpiece Duet #2) by Skye Warren

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I haven’t read the first book in the duet. Her books tend to be dark. Some are better than others but they’re always good.

September 19: Born, Darkly (Darkly, Madly Duet #1) by Trisha Wolfe

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I’ve never read anything by this author, but it sounds interesting. I’m always down for a good dark romantic suspense novel.

September 26: Archangel’s Viper (Guild Hunter #10) by Nalini Singh

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I love this series! The books from Elena’s POV are usually better, but I am excited to learn more about Viper.

September 26: The Hunt (Devil’s Isle #3) by Chloe Neill

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I’ve been hesitant to read this series because of the Chicagoland Vampires series. That series went downhill quickly. I’m afraid this will be the same. One of these days I will check it out.

September 26: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

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I’m not a big fan of young adult novels, but this is about fairies. I love books about fairies because they can be extremely manipulative. Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.

 

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Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Book two in The Nevernight Chronicles continues to follow Mia Corvere, darkin assassin, hell bent on revenging her family’s death by order of corrupt tyrannical politicians. While much of Nevernight took place at the Red Church, where Mia competed to become one of the Dark Mother’s blades, this one has a completely new setting and plot. Say bye-bye to the church for a while and hello to this:

Without giving too much away, let’s just say Mia finds herself amongst the gladiatii, slaves who fight in arenas as entertainment for blood thirsty audiences.

Mia’s fellow gladiatii are a wonderful rag-tag crew. We have the brother and sister duo, who fight as a team by chariot. Bladesinger, the bad-ass seven foot tall female who knows how to use her sword. Sidonius is the buddy comedy relief (if there is such a thing in a Jay Kristoff book). Maggot is the young slave who serves as doctor for the group (you don’t want to know why she’s called that). Executus is the ex-gladiatii who leads and trains them (grumpy dude, this guy). Furian is the champion and Mia might have more in common with him than either of them wants. And Dona Leona is their master, the daughter of the leader of the most famous collegium in the Republic, the Lions of Leonides.

This book is a roller coaster, but I expected no less. Kristoff does not do “beach read” books. He doesn’t do romantic or light and fluffy. No one is safe. Just like the Lotus Wars trilogy and Nevernight, the world-building is complex. Whereas Lotus Wars had a sort of reimagined Japanese steampunk vibe, this has an Italian/Roman vibe.

So many things happen that I can’t wait to see what those of you who loved Nevernight think. There are (obviously) a few scenes that stand out, and without spoiling, I’ll just say:

That scene with the retchwyrm.
That scene with Ishkah, the silkling.
That ending.

Holy cow, ‘byss and blood. This changes everything.

Godsgrave is released on September 5, 2017.

A special thanks to St. Martin’s press who mailed me this ARC. I adore it, I loved the book, and am a huge fan of Kristoff’s writing (and twisted sense of humor) and of St. Martin’s for publishing awesome books!

I loved it so much I still have a first-edition signed copy pre-ordered from Amazon.

My review of Godsgrave at Goodreads. FIVE STARS!

My review of Nevernight at Goodreads. FIVE STARS!

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Edit to add: Here is my beautiful first-edition signed copy I bought.

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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.

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