Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Feature: Interview with author Karilyn Bentley

Today I'm chatting with author Karilyn Bentley, who has a new book out this month!

Hi, Karilyn! Give a brief bio and tell us what kind of books you like to read and write.

At my day job, I help run cancer trial protocols. I have a husband, two dogs and a handful of colorful salt water fish that live in a reef tank. I love to read historical, paranormal and fantasy romance, along with mysteries and the occasional thriller. I write fantasy and paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

What's your favorite part of being an author?

Chatting with the voices in my head.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a new author? 

Norah Roberts gave the best advice. I'm paraphrasing, but she said something along the lines of, put your butt in the chair and write. I also think some sci-fi movies have lines that can apply: never give up, never surrender (Galaxy Quest); Do not try, do (Star Wars).

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I'd love to be able to turn into a fly and eavesdrop. I'm nosey. Or be given a magic wand to wave and have the house clean itself. I hate housework!
I'm totally with you on the housework! Now, tell us about your new release! 

I'm so excited! The first book in my urban fantasy series is out now. Demon Lore is the story of Gin Crawford, a nurse and empath, who discovers a bracelet that turns her into a demon and minion killer. Here's the blurb:

Gin Crawford has enough problems dealing with her empath abilities. Finding out she's the world's newest demon-slayer is the last thing she needs. Unfortunately, when she slips on a mysterious bracelet she is given no other choice. On the plus side, her new gig comes with Tall, Dark and Handsome, a mage who may or may not have her best interests at heart. Thrust into a power-play between good and evil, Gin must choose a side before she becomes the next victim in the ongoing battle.
Wow! Sounds like a cool start for a new series! Okay, you’re casting the movie version of your novel – who would you choose for the main characters? We’re talking dream cast.

Oh, gosh, I have no idea. I'm one of those weird authors who don't imagine actors in the role of their characters. That said, whoever the model is on the cover looks a lot like how I imagined Gin.

Where can readers find your book and where can they find you online?

Demon Lore is available on Amazon, B&N, The Wild Rose Press and Apple.
Here are some quick buy links:
Stalk Find Karilyn online in the following hotspots...

Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Karilyn! Best of luck with this new book and series!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Writing Wednesday: What's Your Favorite Christmas Novel?

Every year, fun new Christmas novels and novellas are released, some filled with the warm blush of first romance, some with mystery and wonder, and some with tales of second chances. My publisher The Wild Rose Press even has a Christmas series out this year, 12 Brides for Christmas with 12 tales of varying genres to tickle your Christmas fancy. You can check out these fun new novels HERE at the publishers website.

There are tons of fun Christmas stories, as well as heartfelt and pull-at-the-heartstrings novels. I like mine a little lighter this time of year (there's enough stress in my real life, I need a bit of an escape!)

One of my favorite Christmas romance series in recent years is by Penny Watson, with her magical series about the eccentric (and hunky) sons of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Sexy and sweet and fun to read!

The first book in the series is SWEET INSPIRATION, which I read and reviewed when it first came out and have reread each Christmas season since. The author re-released it as a self-pubbed book, as well as books 2 and 3 in the series. You can get all 3 books for Kindle for the special price of 99 cents for the month of December - thanks, Ms. Watson!

Another of my Christmas favs is 2009's Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews. It's kind of a mystery, kind of a chic lit romance, and quite a lot of fun. Andrews books are set around Savannah, and have a light, breezy voice that's just plain fun to read. (Hissy Fit is still one of my fav books of all time!) She put out a new Christmas story last year which I haven't read yet - but you bet it's going on my Kindle TBR list right now! You can find all Andrew's books on Amazon too.

I would love to find some good YA Christmas reads - any suggestions?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Book Review: STORM, The Elemental Series, by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm * The Elemental Series, by Brigid Kemmerer
Published 2012 by Kensington Publishing Corp.

About the Book (from Goodreads):
Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.
My Take:

First let me gush a little. Wow! I got swept away into this book and loved the characters and plot line! I had things to do which sat ignored until I reached The End because I just couldn't put it down.

That said, there were parts of the writing that made me cringe a bit, but as the first in a series, I'm sure the author was still working out the kinks. Seven more books are now available, and I'm more than eager to plunge back into this world, and happy to share it with others!

This paranormal romance gives us a new magical race to discover, the Elementals. Although the origins aren't fully explained in this first book, Elementals look human - at one point they say they are human, like you and me - but each contains varying amounts of magical force, linked directly to the earthly elements of Wind, Fire, Earth and Water. Like the Bruce Willis movie, there is a "fifth element" that enhances them all. These people live among us and no one can tell the difference, unless they channel their forces. There are also "Guides" (drawn from those who are "fifths") who keep these magical beings in check, making sure to eliminate anyone who becomes too powerful or causes a disruption to their world.

The book starts quickly when Becca  Chandler encounters two guys beating the crap out of Chris Merrick in the parking lot behind the high school. She intervenes and saves him, taking him home and inserting herself into the world of the Merrick brothers, four pure Elementals who are also the hot hunks on the cover of the book.

But Becca doesn't know anything about their world, only that Chris is a junior like herself, and his twin brothers are hot seniors who are friends with her lying jerk of an ex boyfriend. The jerk that spread evil "Easy A" type rumors about her and ruined her reputation. Chris doesn't seem to know or care about the rumors, and a  budding romance between them blooms in fits and starts.

Magical abilities, evil bad guys, high school romance, love triangle, misunderstandings, and a showdown at the Homecoming dance... Some of this might sound formulaic, but I can honestly say I loved every minute of it!

I can't say too much more without giving away plot points, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story so so much and totally recommend for a solid YA paranormal read.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Feature: Holiday Cookie Time!

Have you started baking Christmas cookies yet? 

When the kids were younger, it was always fun to let them invite a friend over to bake gingerbread men or sugar cookies. I decided to revive the tradition this year and invited a few moms and their kids over for wine and baking. Wine for moms, cider and cookie baking for the high schoolers.
Two hours. Several batches of cookies. More than a few glasses of wine. Lots of laughter. 

And a kickline.

If you haven't baked all your cookies yet, I totally recommend the group therapy approach.