Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a Christmas full of love and laughter.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Brenda

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview with Author Vivi Andrews

I'd been looking forward to Reawakening Eden by Vivi Andrews for months and devoured it as soon as it was released. Vivi has a way of combining humor, emotion, adventure and romance that makes her readers fall in love with the characters. I knew her post-apocalyptic story would be amazing. I was thrilled when she said she had the time to answer a few questions. Below is our interview, and the post before it has my thoughts on Reawakening Eden and all the details.

Brenda: I finished Reawakening Eden and truly enjoyed the characters and the story. I had a few questions for you on the world and the characters. I promise they won't be too painful:)

Zombies are all the rage right now, as is steampunk, cyberpunk and everything in between. I loved that your story took a more realistic scenario where an epidemic kills off much of the world's population. Your characters aren't fighting zombies, but sadly their fellow humans are almost as dangerous. Did you consider another option, or did you like the human vs. human plot all along?

Vivi: I love a brain-devouring zombie as much as the next girl and I'm sure I'll be tempted to write a feel-good zombie apocalypse book at some point, but for Reawakening Eden the idea was always to play with a realistic speculation on what a post-apocalyptic world could be. What fascinated me about rebuilding the world when most of the population has been wiped out was the way our memory of what society should be would bump up against what our world had become. What happens when the rules are thrown out the window and we're starting from scratch, but still remember how things used to be? In Reawakening Eden, what happened was a dysfunctional commune in what had once been Seattle... and a heroine whose idea of motherhood has been modified to include automatic weapons.

Brenda: I don't want to give any spoilers, but Connor is a no nonsense kind of guy. I loved his response to the bad guys. Did you have an inspiration for him?

Vivi: He's the strong, silent action hero to the core. My editor said she always pictured Chris Hemsworth when she was reading Connor, but I'd mentally cast him as a Sam Worthington. Definitely more likely to grunt than launch into a soliloquy, but the man knows how to get the job done. Who needs words?

Brenda: Will we see any more stories from this world?

Vivi: I don't have immediate plans to write more stories in this particular post-apocalyptic world, but I can't give an absolute no because as soon as I do a honey of an idea will pop into my head and I won't be able to resist a little sequel action.

Brenda: Did you listen to any certain music while you were plotting and writing Reawakening Eden?

Vivi: I don't often pull inspiration from music. I did have multiple sing-alongs to The End of the World as We Know It by REM, but it was more for dancing around the living room breaks than actual plotting or writing time.

Brenda: Was there a certain part of the story you struggled with in some way? What is your favorite part of the story?

Vivi: I struggled a bit with end, actually. Trying not to give anything away, but I worried about my crazy cult leader feeling authentic and not over-playing his part. My favorite part is definitely the relationship between Eden and the kids, Lucas and Hannah Rose. I tend to fall in love with a certain line in each of my books and it echoes around in my head making me smile. For Reawakening Eden it was "Not now, baby. Momma's holding a gun on the nice man." That scene is my hands down favorite. Eden and Connor testing one another out for the first time.

Brenda: I agree because I loved that scene too! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I loved Reawakening Eden and will be reading it again and again, especially now that I can picture Sam Worthington as Connor. *swoon*

To read an except from Reawakening Eden, and find out more visit Vivi's website:


Reawakening Eden: Post-apocalyptic Love

Reawakening Eden
Author: Vivi Andrews
File Size: 219 KB
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Released: November 22, 2011
Available for Kindle

SUMMARY: When life is a struggle, love is the ultimate luxury.

Librarian Eden Fairfax knows exactly where to find books about survival. None of them mentioned how to manage in the aftermath of a worldwide epidemic—with two young orphans in tow.

On a journey south to warmer climes, she finds sanctuary for all three of them among a community of survivors in Seattle. Until she realizes the children are the centerpiece of their bizarre new religion. There’s no choice but to run as far and as fast as her stolen car will go.

Former Army Ranger Connor Reed had planned to live out the end of the world in peace. Yet he can’t stand by and do nothing while a lone woman defends two children from an armed thug. Even if doing something means taking the trio in.

Eden’s not sure if the armed hermit is her salvation or an even more dangerous threat. A blizzard forces her to trust him with their lives, and in Connor’s arms she remembers what it’s like to live.

Just beyond the edge of the storm, though, the cult leader awaits his chance to get his hands on the children—and make Eden his next sexual sacrifice.

Product Warnings: This book contains a strong, silent action-hero, a tough, tenacious heroine, a pair of steal-your-heart kids, and a pony-sized dog named Precious.

MY THOUGHTS: I'd been waiting for Reawakening Eden because I love Vivi Andrews and wanted to see what she would do with a post-apocalyptic setting. I loved it from start to finish. This was a great read for so many reasons. The story is about survival, both physical and emotional, but it's also about trust and a willingness to think beyond one day at a time. I really loved the characters and the world. Fans of paranormal romance will love her story, but so will fans of romance in general. It was a feel good story, as well as a thought provoking one, as the reader is able to put themselves in the heroine's place.

Vivi Andrews packs so much emotion into her stories that she had me rooting for the heroine and her kids in the first few paragraphs. The hero, Connor, is a man of few words, but his actions speak louder than any words ever could. I loved the interaction between the two of them, but also between him and the kids. Reawakening Eden has humor, romance, suspense and action. It's a fast paced read that takes the reader along on a adventure, keeps them on the edge of their seats and has an ending that makes us want to stand up and cheer.

To learn more about Reawakening Eden go to Vivi's website here:

It's available for the Kindle HERE. and from Samhain Publishing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moira Rogers: Addictive Apocalyptic Adventure

I was fortunate and extremely giddy to receive ARC's of the first two stories in the Children of the Undying series. I'm going to admit that I was a bit scared. What if I didn't like the series? This is a new project with no shifters. No. Shifters. So, I started Demon Bait slowly, paying attention to detail, and before I even realized it I didn't miss the shifters. Not one little bit. I was focused on the new world, the new characters and I loved it.

After I finished Demon Bait I contacted the authors about an interview, and they sent me the ARC for Hammerdown to read first. While I loved Demon Bait, Hammerdown blew me away. As soon as I finished it, I sent off a few questions, which are below. After the interview I have my thoughts and more information on the series.

BRENDA: Howdy Bree and Donna! I just finished the ARC's of Demon Bait and Hammer Down. My mind is reeling from thinking about this new world you guys have created. It's fascinating, kick ass and heartbreaking all at the same time.

How long did it take you to get the details of this new world worked out? Did it build slowly, or was it one of those mind explosion type of deals?

BREE: This one certainly built slowly. We actually spent a lot of 2009 slowly planning it. We knew we wanted demons walking the earth and to mix an apocalypse with a high-tech dystopian future, but we spent a lot of time putting all the pieces together and then developing our characters.

BRENDA: This is a darker world where the characters interact virtually as well as skin to skin. Did you have moments of "will the reader get that?" I thought you did a wonderful job making a complex world that was still easy to understand. Was that difficult?

BREE: There are always moments where you have to worry if the readers will get something, especially when writing speculative fiction. World building is a tricky thing, and too much or too little can ruin a book. Of course, how much is the right amount is always in the eye of the reader. As a reader, I’d rather be confused than bored, so I write that way and hope readers will trust that I know what’s going on and will get them there eventually. (And in a series, not always in the first book!)

BRENDA: This world is considered cyberpunk? I've been trying to learn more about the different genre categories and it can get confusing. I'm guessing this would be paranormal romance with a cyberpunk theme?

BREE: Your guess is as good as mine! No, really. Donna and I rarely write books that fit cleanly into genres, and are fortunate enough to have an editor and readers who don’t mind.

As for these books, I’d say they’re apocalyptic romance first. Paranormal, definitely, though with ambiguous magic born of angels and demons, not our usual brand of wizards and shapeshifters. The cyberpunk is also a theme, but a slightly smaller one.

BRENDA: Okay, be honest. Did you guys come to blows over this series? I picture it something like this:

"OMG, enough with the virtual sex. I want skin to skin!!!"

"You know nothing. Virtual is the way to go."

"Don't make me throw this flash drive at you again!"

"Flash drive? I'll throw this fricking hard drive at your head!"

Perhaps this is just how things go in my head, so let's hear what it was really like. *snicker*

DONNA: Actually? There are characters in this universe for whom virtual sex is awesome. Others can take it or leave it (like Marci). And still others, like Devi and Zel, want the sweaty real thing. So it’s like...asking which flavor ice cream is best. LOL

BRENDA: Thanks for taking the time to chat. I loved Demon Bait and Hammer Down, and can't wait to see what comes next.


Author: Moira Rogers
1. Demon Bait 11/29/2011
2 Hammer Down 1/23/2012
Available for the Kindle

Excerpts from both stories are available here:

My thoughts on the series are in the next blog post.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Series Review: Children of the Undying

Demon Bait
Children of the Undying #1
Author: Moira Rogers
File Size: 242 KB
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Released November 29, 2011
Available for the Kindle

SUMMARY: His mark could bind her forever—or finally set her free. Fifty years after a demon apocalypse devastated the world, summoners still bear the bulk of the blame. Marci lives in secret, hiding the gifts that could cost her a secure spot in one of humanity’s underground cities, and access to their virtual world. After all, her chances of avoiding the genetic-testing lotto are better than her chances of surviving topside.

The bastard son of a terrifying incubus, lust heats Gabe’s blood and sex fuels his magic. Innate charm and charisma help him navigate the cultural gap between the outcast town he calls home and the human settlements he infiltrates for trade. His latest mission nets him an unexpected asset—a summoner strong enough to soothe his darkest needs.

Trust a half demon, especially one who uses a lockdown to trap them together? Not in this lifetime. Yet Marci can’t resist Gabe’s offer to see her safely to a selective outcast settlement where she can live without fear. The journey alone is as dangerous as the way Gabe makes her heart race, but it could be her one hope of a real life. If only she could be sure Gabe’s telling her the whole truth…

Warning: Contains a virtual world where humans flee to escape the demon-infested earth, a dangerously seductive half demon with sex magic to burn and a network-hacking summoner brave enough to make herself vulnerable to him.

I will start out by saying I'm a fangirl of Moira Rogers and their shifter stories. I buy them automatically as soon as they come out. Reading about Demon Bait beforehand I was fascinated and a bit apprehensive. Would I love it as much as their other stories? I need not have worried because it was amazing.

How to describe Demon Bait? It's sci fi, post-apocalyptic, paranormal romance. It's about freedom, facing fears, being true to yourself and trust. The world in Demon Bait is complex, but not overwhelming. It's a story that satisfied my inner sci fi geek girl, while giving me steamy romance and amazing sexual tension.

Marci, the heroine, is a techie who hides her inner magic, making herself blend into the woodwork as much as possible in order to stay underground where she's safe from the demons that lurk above ground waiting to kill and control humans. She may be physically safe underground but is she truly living? She can experience life in her society's virtual world where sex is safe and nothing can hurt you, but is that enough?

Gabe, our hero is half demon and he oozes sexuality even when he tries to control it. He immediately latches on to what Marci is hiding, and craves her magic. He holds back, trying to give her choices, but is afraid to trust she will do what he needs her to without manipulation.

The chemistry between Marci and Gabe is explosive, but it's the deeper issues that kept me reading until early morning. It's a story I'll read again and again.

Hammer Down
Children of the Undying, #2
Author: Moira Rogers
File Size: 492 KB
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date:January 3, 2012
Pre order for the Kindle

SUMMARY: When hell reigns on earth, love is a luxury they can't afford. While the tattered remains of humanity huddle underground, hiding in their virtual world, Devi prefers living topside, making dangerous hauls through the demon-infested wasteland earth has become. The wealth that comes from smuggling supplies to those shunned as summoner-born or demon-touched doesn’t hurt, either.

The man she meets to arrange one of those under-the-table hauls is complicated…and handsome as hell. Literally. A glimpse of the predator beneath his silver gaze and she’s tempted to break her cardinal rule: never mix business with pleasure.

Zel’s first look at the wild-haired hauler threatens to distract him from his mission—and reminds him just how long it’s been since he got laid. As the leader of an outcast settlement, he can’t afford to trust too easily. Devi’s got a reputation for running a tight, disciplined crew, but her very willingness to deal with him means she has something to hide. Not to mention a hot, tempting package like her could be the cleverest trap his enemies have ever set.

Warning: Contains demon bars, virtual (and literal) fights to the death, forbidden love, renegade AIs, a badass truck-driving heroine who will do anything to protect her crew and the half-demon warrior who will move heaven and hell to make her his.

Demon Bait was a novella and the first in this series. Hammer Down is the second in the series, and a full length novel. In some ways Demon Bait was the appetizer, still amazing on it's own, but Hammer Down is the mouth watering entree. We learn about those characters we got a peek of in the first story, plus details are revealed about the world and it's people. Twists and turns abound. The story revolves around Zel and Devi, two strong, stubborn, intelligent and self-sacrificing leaders who don't think they need a partner. How much can people give without taking something in return for themselves? How much responsibility is too much? We learn much about this from Zel and Devi. I truly enjoyed the interaction between the couple from beginning to end.

The authors give us emotional, steamy romance mixed with post-Apocalyptic adventure, cyberpunk virtual intrigue, kick ass fight scenes and plot twists.

Hammer Down will be released in January, and it's worth the wait!

Learn more about both stories and the series on the authors' website:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving: I Love You, Man...

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all the people I have met through this blog, and the encouragement you all given me this last two years.

Thank You!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cowboy Crack: Interview with Vivian Arend

Vivian Arend is one of my favorite authors and I was thrilled when asked to review ARCs of the first two Six Pack Ranch books, coming out November 15th and January 10th. Here is the scoop on this addicting series:

The Coleman family has ranched in the Rocky Mountain House area of Alberta for generations. These modern day contemporary cowboy romance stories follow the current family members as they find both their place in the community and happy-ever-afters.

They are amazing, folks. I will be reading them again and again. I emailed a few questions to Viv, who despite her crazy schedule, was kind enough to answer my fangirl questions.

Brenda: I just finished the first and second book in the Six Pack Ranch series, and I have decided they are Cowboy Crack, and you're my dealer.

Viv: Hehehe. Lovely. I need to add that to my bio. :D

Brenda: Seriously, they were sexy, feel good stories that kept me up until 3 a.m. reading. I do have a few questions though that are burning in my brain.

Your cowboys are from Canada, but I notice they do still say "darling" for which I am eternally grateful. What is the difference between a cowboy from the U.S. and one from Canada?

Viv: The weather? I had someone tell em they were surprised-- they didn't think that Canadians talked like that, but it's all in the location. No, people in Toronto don't usually say darling. Neither do the white collar workers in Calgary, Alberta. But when you pop out in the country, you find that there's a certain overlap. Don't know if it's from working the land, or dealing with animals and needing to have that slightly slower pace...but there's a drawl and a sway to the vocal patterns that while the accents aren't as strong, there's a lot of similarities.
Listen to the people on rodeo circuit sometime and you'll notice the things that are different and the same.

Brenda: I know these stories were published a couple of years ago, but some changes were made. Was it more on the editing end, or did you expand them a bit? I know when I reread stuff I wrote a few years ago I want to add WAY too many changes and have to hold myself back.

Viv: They changed a lot. I added 20K words to each book, and I went through and changed every line I wanted to. Rocky Mountain Heat was the third or fourth book I wrote, so you can imagine I've learned a bit since then. Changed sentence structure to make it stronger, added emotions and reasoning where it had been skimpy--and this is why I think a lot of older books you shouldn't try to redo. Book two took less changes, since I wrote it after a year more experience.

And I have to say my editor at Samhain is simply amazing. She helped refine the story a lot as well.

Brenda: Cowboys seem to have quite a bit in common with wolves: the need to protect, that alpha stubbornness, loving a good fight, etc. I'm waiting for someone to write a Cowboy Crack version of a shapeshifter story. (Hint, Hint) Do you find when writing nonparanormal stories that you think "Man, that would be a great moment for him to be able to use wolf senses?"

Viv: Lol! I did have a few times I had to reword to make sure I stayed in the contemporary world. And I can never write the phrase "...he shifted..." without thinking of my paranormals. But overall, when I'm into the groove of writing, I just write what comes next, so it's not too difficult.

Brenda: I know we have a third book in this series coming our way, but will we get to read the other cowboy's stories as well? You let some HUGE details come forth along the way.

Viv: :D You like all the teasers? Again, they were simply a part of what was happening in the characters lives. But yes, all the brothers will have HEA eventually, and I've got plans for some of the cousins as well, if people like them.

Brenda: I'm looking forward to more Cowboy Crack from you, and I'll try to head off the withdrawal symptoms by reading other cowboy stories if I must:)

Viv: So glad you enjoyed them. Just putting the polish on the third book today. :D And December 1, I start writing book 4.

Book 1: Rocky Mountain Heat
Releasing November 15, 2011

Book 2: Rocky Mountain Haven
Releasing January 10th, 2012

Book 3: Rocky Mountain Desire
Releasing March 13, 2012

Viv has said on her website that there will be at least six books in the series.

Visit Viv's website for more information here:

Subscribe to Viv's blog for contests and snippets:


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's National Novel Writing Month O_O

Right up until the last minute I wasn't sure I was going to be able to participate in NaNo this year. Last year I learned so much about the writing process, and kind of flew by the seat of my pants with my WIP. However, I wasn't able to focus on much else during November, and there lies my dilemma. The only way I can write at home is to keep up my freelance non-fiction career and my blogs while I work on my fiction projects.

I made the decision to participate but my goal is not just a simple "write 50,000 words or die". This year I'm working to develop a solid schedule that allows me to keep up my freelance writing AND my fiction projects. If I can truly get a handle on this it will help me pay the bills and still write what I love. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that I figure it out:)

So, what am I working on this year? This idea popped into my head one day as I was driving home from grocery shopping. I was listening to Theory of a Deadman and the song Got It Made. This is part of the lyrics:

There's no time for a suitcase
Just grab a quick change of clothes.
You ask where we're going now, honey.
Well, I'd tell ya but nobody knows.
So sneak out the back door
Cuz you know they'll try to make you stay.
Make sure you got a seatbelt on
Cuz we're heading for the interstate.

It's really an upbeat and fun song that made me picture two people who are almost 30. They've been best friends since college, but never dated. As I thought about the story, replaying the song 2 or 3 times, I could picture this lean, good looking cowboy and a pretty, slim woman who thought she was going to be the next Lois Lane until she figured out the life of a reporter was nothing like she thought it would be. Mix this all up with a feisty grandmother, a man with a plan and a road trip that will change their lives. It might end up as a short story rather than a novella, but I have another story idea semi-outlined that I can work on next if I wrap this one up before the 50,000 words.

If anyone wants to follow my NaNo progress, or become my writing buddy, my page is here:


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ghost Hunters Goodness Galore!

This Halloween Dodge presents Ghost Hunters Halloween Live 2011, a chilling Syfy-exclusive, six-hour event. For one night only. They'll have interactive events set up for the event too! You can get the scoop on all of the scary action on Syfy HERE. It begins at 7 p.m. Central time on Halloween, Monday, October 31st.

After you get your scare on with Syfy you can continue it with two cool books from the Ghost Hunters. The first is Ghost Files: The Collected Cases from Ghost Hunting and Seeking Spirits from Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson.

Ghost Files
The Collected Cases from Ghost Hunting and Seeking Spirits
Trade Paperback, 560 pages
Published by Simon and Schuster
Available on Amazon

"In this hair-raising omnibus, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.), reveal the memorable and spine-tingling cases featured in their smash-hit collections, Ghost Hunting and Seeking Spirits. From their never-seen-on-television adventures as budding paranormal investigators to the behind-the-scenes accounts of heart-pounding supernatural encounters featured on their popular show, these fascinating and frightening real life tales will keep you up at night!"

My Thoughts: This is a cool book written in journal style by the guys, and it includes pictures. Over 500 pages of ghostly goodness. I liked the way it was set up because it was fun to read much like an anthology where I could read a story at a time. Fans of the show will consider it a "must read", but even if you've never watched the show it's a compelling, eery book.

Ghost Trackers
By Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and Tim Waggoner
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Available on Amazon

SUMMARY: For fifteen years, Amber, Drew, and Trevor have barely been able to recall—let alone explain—what happened the terrifying night they decided to explore the old, abandoned Lowry House. According to local legend, the house was cursed by a dark past and inhabited by evil. It burst into flames on the night of their visit, leaving the friends traumatized and nearly dead with only vague memories of the frightening events they had witnessed inside. Now, on the eve of their high school reunion, they have gathered to reopen their investigation and figure out, once and for all, what took place that fateful night . . . before the supernatural entity they escaped threatens to overtake them again.

My Thoughts: After you get into the adventures of Jason and Grant as they hunt ghosts, give yourself a scare by reading their creepy, fast paced novel, Ghost Trackers. It's the perfect companion to Ghost Files even though it's fiction. The story is gripping and eery, which will make it perfect for readers that love horror and suspense. Again, if you haven't seen the show you'll still love it for the plot, characters and scare factor.

Find out more about Jason and Grant on the T.A.P.S. website:

Find out more about the Ghost Hunters on Syfy here:


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Authors4theCure: Entangled Anthology

A Paranormal Anthology
File Size: 537 KB
Publisher: Authors4theCure
Available on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords

Eleven authors have banded together to support breast cancer research with their writing. Authors4theCure, which includes award-winning, USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors, as well as two breast cancer survivors, is donating proceeds from the sale of their paranormal anthology, Entangled, to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

SUMMARY: Ghosts, vampires, demons, and more! Entangled includes ten paranormal short stories from authors Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Edie Ramer, Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, and Michelle Miles, plus a Seven Deadly Sins novella by Allison Brennan. Stacia Kane contributed the foreword.

I bought the Entangled as soon as it was released but I wanted to wait until October when the book tour was over, and perhaps reach a few people who still hadn't heard about this amazing anthology. I loved the stories-all ten are worth buying on their own, so $2.99 is a bargain. Some of the authors were favorites, but others were new to me. That's the joy of an anthology. This one though is special for another reason; proceeds from the sales are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

After each story the author shares why they decided to participate. It's a very special e-book that brings awareness and support for survivors and their families. It's so much more though, because as we all promote and talk about this anthology we are encouraging women we know to take care of themselves by doing self exams and going in for their physicals and mammograms.

A dear friend of mine, Diane, died before my children were born. She had skipped her physicals for two years, thinking it would be okay because she felt fine. She was short on money being a divorced, single mom, with one teenage daughter still at home. When she finally went in to the doctor, they found out she had ovarian cancer and it was too late for the treatments to work. She was at home as long as she could be, and then went to hospice. I still miss her and it's been over 20 years now. She taught me to open myself up to friendship and hugs, instead of holding back. She also taught me that it was okay to take a chance on love again after ending a bad relationship. If not for her, I might not have given my husband the chance he needed to get past my defenses.

I wish Diane and I had discussed our health and been as open about things as I am now with my family and friends. I would have encouraged her to go to the doctor, and paid for it, or at least helped her out with the payment, if I had known. She may have been able to fight the cancer and would have been alive to meet my children, who only know her through my stories. She would have loved them, and I could have told her what a difference she made in my life. I became a better person and opened up to my husband and later my children, because of the lessons she taught me.

Buy Entangled because it's a wonderful 5 star read, but also buy it because the proceeds will benefit others. Discuss the stories, and the authors, with the women in your life. Don't be shy about reminding your friends to take care of their bodies. They won't mind:)

*My Book Addiction and More has some amazing guest posts this month:

*Cynthia Eden has details and an excerpt here:

*Stacia Kane has a wonderful post on Entangled here:

*The Entangled Goodreads page is here:


Monday, October 24, 2011

Interview With Kersten Hamilton

Last year I read an author new to me, Kersten Hamilton, and fell in love with the characters in her book Tyger, Tyger. You can read that review here. I was so excited when she emailed me and asked if I would like to read an ARC of her new book In the Forests of the Night, the second book in the Goblin Wars series. I shot off an email to Kersten when I finished her amazing new story, and she graciously answered my questions.

Brenda: I loved In The Forests of the Night, possibly even more than the first book in the series, which I didn't think would be possible. I have a few questions if you have time to let me pick your brain.

We have to talk about the continuation of the series. You didn't leave us with a huge cliffhanger, which I appreciate SO much, but obviously there's going to be amazing adventures ahead. Is the third one in the works yet? How many books would you love to see in the series?

Kersten: I’m glad it wasn’t too much of a cliffhanger. Each of the books has to have a little bit of a cliffhanger; like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, this is one story arc that spans multiple books. I do like to leave the story at a breathing place though—a place where something big has been resolved, and the reader can catch their breath before plunging straight back into the story. That helps me, too, because the story is very intense, so it takes a great deal of emotional energy to write. I would like to see a four book arc, but it may end up at three. If it does, the third book will be a bit longer than the first two.

Brenda: I love your use of poetry and songs. Authors sometimes do this and it falls a little flat or they go on too long, etc. I found myself waiting to see what you would use next, plus it made me realize that I hadn't read poetry in way too long. How did you decide what to use in the story?

Kersten:I choose my very favorite poems and songs—I am writing for kindred spirits, after all. If the words resonate with me I know others will love them as well. Usually they are very well known, like William Blake’s The Tyger. But a new song, Future of Forestry’s Set Your Sails, features large in book two, In the Forests of the Night. It fit the theme perfectly:

Brenda: Do you have favorite books from your childhood that inspired your imagination?

Kersten: I loved A Wrinkle in Time, The Borrowers, My Side of the Mountain, Where the Red Fern Grow, Owls in the Family, Over Sea Under Stone, Podkayne of Mars, The Star Beast, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Ender’s Game (it came out when I was a little older), The Dragonriders of Pern, The Borribles (which also came out when I was a little older), The Three Musketeers, The Lord of the Rings trilogy … lol lots and lots and lots of books. I was inspired to write about goblins by George MacDonald’s book The Princess and the Goblin.

Brenda: If you could give one message or lesson to your readers through your books what would it be?

Kersten: That creation is deeply good, and the choices we make, even small choices, really do matter.

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Brenda!

In the Forests of the Night
By Kersten Hamilton
The Goblin Wars, Book Two
Available for Kindle and in Hardcover from Amazon

Kersten Hamilton's writing is vivid, descriptive, and captivating. Sometimes her words grab the reader into her world with a jerk- causing surprise, horror or disbelief. Other times her words bring about joy, whimsy or sadness because they convey what the characters are feeling so clearly that we experience their emotions right along with them. I loved In the Forests of the Night, and I cannot wait for the third book in this magical adventure. The hero and heroine, along with their friends and family, continue to learn, grow, fight and love in this second book in the series. If you enjoy Melissa Marr, J.R. Tolkien, The Narnia series or Terry Brooks you'll love Kersten Hamilton.

Find Kersten:
On Goodreads:
Her Website:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Steampunk Goodness!

First, I'm giddy today because the amazing Meljean Brook answered two of my steampunk questions on her blog. It really helped clear up a lot for me as far as if steampunk HAS to be Victorian, plus she gave some great information on cyberpunk, dieselpunk and more. Read her post here:

Also, if my fellow steampunk fans haven't seen this creepy, but amazing video from Panic at the Disco you will love it since it's filled with steampunk coolness:


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Interview With Donna Grant

I've been reading Donna Grant's Druid Glenn series, featuring fae, Highlanders and historical goodness that I have truly enjoyed. She's such a wonderful, prolific author and this older series has given me a great place to start. I was given the opportunity to read and review her new Halloween themed novella, Primal Heat, and jumped at the chance to interview her as well. This story is a bit of a switch for Donna because it her first romance set in contemporary times plus it mixes a bit of sci fi, time travel and a unique take on werewolves. I really enjoyed it, and will be sharing my thoughts plus a giveaway in the next post!

Brenda: Donna, I just finished Primal Heat and loved it. It had a completely different take on werewolves plus it had a little bit of sci fi, time travel and a lot of romance.

Donna: Brenda, I'm so glad you enjoyed PRIMAL HEAT. It is different than anything I've written before, but it was so much fun to write.

Brenda: It must have been hard to pack so much into a novella. Did you have to cut/edit a lot after writing it, or were you able to keep it on track from the beginning? Did you find that hard to do?

Donna: For me, I love writing novellas. When an author writes a full book, we can pack in as many secondary characters, and even a secondary story. We can go on and on about a scene or some inner reflection for a character. But for a novella, an author has to learn to choose her words wisely. We have to learn to condense a story into two main characters only. It's not always easy. Novellas can teach an author a lot, however. It helps an author to learn to build tension quickly as well as to keep a story fast paced. So, when I sit down to write a novella, a pantster like me who doesn't plot out a book, I have to remember the book is just about the two characters I have. In that, I can generally do all right on the word count and not have to cut anything.

Brenda: Do you think you'll visit this world again in another story?

Donna: Actually, I've had several emails from readers asking me to give Stefan his own story. This was just meant to be one novella in for a Halloween project, but it might turn into much more. :)

Brenda: Was it odd writing a contemporary story? You paint such wonderful, vivid pictures for readers in all of your Highland stories-- was it hard to step out of that world?

Donna: I love to push myself and my writing, to see how far I can go. Its how I grow as a writer. So, when I was first asked to write a contemporary Halloween novella about either werewolves or vampires, I hesitated. I'm a historical writer. It's what I'm most known for. But, I figured, what the heck? How will I know if it fails miserably or soars if I don't give it a try. Some author's "voice" only suits one kind of setting, and that's what I always feared mine would do after writing so many historical novels. I guess the answer lies in the readers hands. :D

Brenda: If a reader is completely new to your writing, what book would you suggest they start with?

Donna: Oh...good question. This is always a hard one. I know my writing has changed/grown with every book I write, so I usually tend to say whatever the newest book is. But then again, if its a series, I hate starting a book mid-series. So, I guess in my long way of answering, I'd have to say DANGEROUS HIGHLANDER, the first in my Dark Sword series. I truly love this series and the characters. I really am going to hate when the series ends one day.

Brenda: Thank you so much for your time Donna. I look forward to whatever you choose to write next:)

Donna: It was a pleasure, Brenda! Thank you so much. ;)

Visit Donna's website for more information on Primal Heat and her other books here:

Primal Heat is available for the Kindle HERE,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Primal Heat Review & Giveaway

Primal Heat
By Donna Grant
Kindle Edition
File Size: 79 KB
Released 9/27/2011
Available for the Kindle on Amazon

SUMMARY: Being an American in Britain isn’t easy. For Krista, its downright hard especially when she’s plagued by erotic dreams that increase as Halloween approaches. So when she’s given a dare by her co-workers to pluck a rose from the most haunted house in Cardiff, she agrees never thinking it would be more than a scare tactic.

As a Tracker, all Orrin wants to do is capture the Were’s before they feed off the people of Cardiff, but when he lands on Earth and discovers the woman he’s been sharing dreams with is there, he can’t help but find her. All he plans to do is talk, but the lust that flares between them leaves no room for talking.
But the Were’s have come for more than food. They’ve come for Krista, to claim her as the mate to their leader. To resist their seduction is futile. Unless a Tracker is involved.

I really enjoyed this unique take on werewolves with it's Halloween themed suspense, and steamy romance. Krista disrupts her entire life in search of something she doesn't understand. All she knows is something or someone is pulling her towards Cardiff, but when she gets there she struggles to fit in with her coworkers. They challenge her to steal a rose from a haunted house and the story takes place during the night of Halloween. I found myself relating to Krista since I too had moved to a city years ago and struggled to fit in with coworkers. Orrin is protective, tough, sexy and he kicks werewolf butt in his job as a Tracker. I loved the chemistry between them, and was on the edge of my seat as the night progressed, and events unfolded.

Primal Heat is a fast paced sexy read that's perfect entertainment for a cold, windy day when you can take the time to brew a cup of tea and escape for an afternoon with a steamy romantic adventure.

Read an excerpt and learn more about Primal Heat on Donna's website here:

Donna has graciously offered to give away an e-book to one of our commenters.

The winner may choose from Highland Fires, Highland Magic, Dragonfyre, Mesmerized, or Forever Love. They are all excellant choices.

Please leave a comment answering our question with your email, and I will randomly choose a winner on Monday, October 17th, 2011.

QUESTION: If you had to choose between Highlanders, Werewolves or a sexy, space traveling hunk, which would you choose?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Farewell Sara Douglass

Sara Douglass, Australian author and passionate gardener, passed away in September. She was a talented, passionate author, writing epic tales in the fantasy genre.

I first discovered her after she was recommended to me by an Australian friend many years ago. Her edgy, passionate, adventurous writing brought back my love of fantasy. I read all of her books--devouring each one as quickly as I could. Her words reach out and grab the reader, taking them into her worlds, painting pictures, making us ride a roller coaster of emotions as we get to know her characters. She took chances with her characters and skirted along the edge of themes that were uncomfortable at times, but she was always true to her characters and their world.

I will miss her, but I'm comforted that she gave us so much of herself in her books. I can only hope that she is now free of pain, and thriving in the after life, whatever or where ever that may be.

This article shares much of how Sara felt about dying, and how her family and friends are dealing with her passing. She was truly an amazing person. Read the article here:

Below are my favorite books by Sara Douglass. They should be read in order to truly appreciate the characters and the world. The Darkglass Mountains trilogy takes place much later than the other books, but is the same world, and brings in a character or two from the other stories. If you enjoyed Terry Goodkind or Elizabeth Haydon you'll love Sara's books.

1. Battleaxe (1995)
2. Enchanter (1996)
3. StarMan (1996)

Wayfarer Redemption
1. Sinner (1997)
2. Pilgrim (1998)
3. Crusader (1999)

Darkglass Mountains
1. The Serpent Bride (2007)
2. The Twisted Citadel (2008)
3. The Infinity Gate (2009)



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Release: Alterant, Belador #2

AlterantSeries: Belador #2
Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Released 9/27/2011

SUMMARY: The way Evalle Kincaid sees it, saving mankind from total destruction should have cleared her name. But when words uttered in the heat of combat are twisted against her, she's blamed for the prison break of three dangerous Alterants. She has one chance to clear the cloud of suspicion hanging over her…for good. All she has to do is recapture the escapees. But deals with gods and goddesses are tricky at best, and now the lives of all Beladors, and the safety of innocent humans, rides on Evalle's success. The only person she can ask for help wants to see her dead.

I read and reviewed the first book in the Belador series, Blood Trinity, last year. The review is here if you haven't read it. All of the characters are back in this second story. The relationship between the heroine, Evalle and her fellow warriors, Quinn and Tzader is explored further as Evalle is under attack from different sides in this complex world. Supernatural bigotry rears its ugly head and it's often hard to know who's the good guy and who's the bad guy.

The relationship between Evalle and Storm, a supernatural tracker with a secret Evalle keeps even from her friends, figures in the story prominently. He's a sexy alpha male with feelings that cause him to be uber protective of Evalle. The sexual tension is off the charts between the two of them but sex is not going to happen any time soon, which might put off some readers but I appreciated it. Evalle suffered sexual abuse in the past and it would have been insensitive and unrealistic to have her jump in the sack immediately with Storm, especially since he can tell she's been abused. I love their relationship, and look forward to what happens next.

Readers who love Maria Lima, Chloe Neill, or Ilona Andrews will enjoy the Belador series.

Find out more and read an excerpt from Alterant at Dianna Love's website:

The authors also have a free short story from the Belador world entitled FIRE BOUND:

A dangerous creature is on the loose. Evalle, Tzader and Quinn take a VIPER team just outside of Atlanta for a sting operation that takes a deadly turn. Killing the half-human creature would be possible, but national security is on the line until the team can discover who created the monster, and whether more like it are waiting in the wings to be unleashed on the human world. The op goes bad with Beladors in the middle of it, and nothing turns out as expected, least of all for Evalle.
Read it for free on Pocket After Dark:


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Science Fiction from Ilona Andrews

Silver Shark
Kinsmen Series #2
By Ilona Andrews
Digital Novella
Publisher: NYLA
September 14, 2011
Excerpt HERE

SUMMARY: Claire Shannon is a Kinsman, a woman gifted with enhanced mental capabilities. Her skills and her life were taken over by the military to fight in war that has raged on her home planet for decades. But as the war ends, she is forced to hide her abilities in order to make a new life for herself as a civilian. It’s a new persona, a new planet and new job that has her crossing paths with the powerful and alluring Venturo Escana. Is she strong enough to hide her true nature from her perceptive new boss? And as they grow closer, will she even still want to try?

I won both ebooks in the series from a contest on the authors' blog, though I would have bought both books this Friday. Silver Shark is a science fiction romance that takes place in the same world as Silent Blade (below) which was published in 2009. It can be read as a stand alone with no problem since the characters and plot are not connected. I really enjoyed this novella, and hope the authors continue with the series. It's science fiction with the romance on the side which will please fans of both genres. The characters are well developed, interesting and the plot is compelling, fast paced and suspenseful. I love that most of the story takes place in the Province of Dahlia and dahlias are used in the landscaping. Dahlias are a bright, cheerful flower that I've always loved, and for me it was a cool way to visualize the fashions and personalities of the citizens of Dahlia. (That might just be the gardener in me.)

Fans of the authors' other books should understand that this series is not urban fantasy, nor does it have the sarcastic humor like their other books. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, but it is different. Silver Shark reminds me of a lot of the science fiction I read as a teenager. The story challenges the reader to think of a strange world in a futuristic society, but yet it's not over complicated or deeply cynical as some science fiction can be. There is subtle humor, and the characters are very likable.

Silver Shark pulled me in, made me care about the characters, kept me on the edge of my seat, and made me smile at the end.

Silent Blade
Kinsmen Series #1
Ilona Andrews
Digital Short Story
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Released: June 2, 2009

SUMMARY: On Meli Galdes’ home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport—in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family’s interests. She’s more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask. Kill the man who ruined her life.

Celino Carvanna’s razor-sharp business acumen—and skills with a blade—won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There’s only one thing he can’t seem to control—his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin?

I loved Silent Blade and wish I had read it much sooner, though reading it with Silver Shark was cool because I loved the world the authors have created so it was a double dose of Dahlia goodness. This story emphasizes the romance a bit more than Silver Shark and I'll confess I was a tad weepy by the end. I loved the characters, and the descriptions of their fighting abilities were pretty cool.

This was published by Samhain and they consider it a short story but it was actually longer than Silver Shark. I would consider them both novellas which means they are longer than a short story but not as long as a full length novel.

Fans of Science Fiction Romance will love this story, as well as fans of straight romance. If you haven't read either one, buy them together and enjoy the world Ilona Andrews has created.

Both digital editions are available at Amazon HERE and you can read more about the series on the authors' website here:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Release Goodness: Black Gold

Black Gold
By: Vivian Arend
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date: 09-13-2011
Length: Novel (Ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-60928-525-8
Series: Takhini Wolves #1

SUMMARY: Lone wolf Shaun Steven’s automatic response to the words “happily ever after”? Kill me now. Yet with all his friends settling down he’s begun to think there may actually be something to this love-and-roses crap.

One thing’s for sure: his dream mate will have to out-cuss, out-spit and out-hike him. So he never expected the one to push his forever button would be a blue-blooded Southern debutante with a voice as dark and velvety as her skin.

When Gemmita Jacobs steps off the plane in Whitehorse, Yukon, it’s about more than her research project. It’s her declaration of independence from an overprotected upbringing. Except there’s something in the air she can’t quite define—something that unexpectedly rouses her mating instincts.

Moments after their eyes lock, the deed is done—and done thoroughly. When the pheromone dust settles, though, all the reasons they don’t belong together become painfully clear.

It’s enough to make a wolf learn a whole new set of cuss words…

Warning: Two strong wolves getting exactly what they deserve. Includes wilderness nookie, shifters being naughty in public places, the Midnight Sun as a canopy for seduction and grizzly shifters on the loose. Oh, and don’t forget the sarcasm.

First I must say that the cover is amazing-- geesh, did it help me visualize while I read Black Gold. Probably why I was sweating. I've read every one of Vivian's Granite Lake Wolves stories, and she has this wonderful way of blending action, location, humor and romance together in a perfect combination. I know you've all read stories where the descriptions were lovely but simply too much, and others where it wasn't enough. The same can be said for over the top humor/snark or all sex and no plot. As a reader I was completely satisfied with all of the elements in Black Gold. I loved the characters, and it was cool to not only read about Shaun and Gem, the main characters, but also Evan, the Takhini Pack alpha and Caroline, who kicks butt and surprises the reader and Evan at every turn. If you haven't read Vivian's Granite Lake stories, you can read Black Gold as a stand alone without a problem. Fans of Moira Rogers, Shelly Laurenston, Kelley Armstrong or Lori Handeland should love this series.

One last thing I really enjoyed about Black Gold were the quotes from Robert Service. I didn't know who he was, but I found some cool information on the man that inspired many writers with his poetry. He often wrote of gold prospectors, nature and the Canadian wilderness. There is a scene between Gem and Shaun where they are sitting by a fire and talking about one of his famous poems, The Cremation of Sam McGee. You can find the entire poem and more here:

Black Gold on sale at Samhain right now because it's a new release, so it's the best time to pick it up before it goes to full price!

For more information on Vivian's books visit her here:


Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Remember...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

At Last! Cipher Release Day

By: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 09-06-2011
Length: ebook Novel
ISBN: 978-1-60928-523-4
Series: Southern Arcana

SUMMARY: Fourteen months ago, Kat Gabriel's life changed forever when she used her empathy as a weapon. Now she can't escape the weight of those deaths--or the loss of the easy friendship she and Andrew once shared. Obsessed with her mother's violent past, Kat is determined to learn the truth of her inner-darkness by understanding her legacy.

Since the attack that turned him into a wolf, Andrew Callaghan has done everything possible to make himself stronger. More capable of protecting Kat--both from the supernatural world that forced her to kill, and from their own volatile connection. Pushing her away hurt them both, but he's finally made himself into the protector she needs.

As Kat's quest leads her into the darkest underbelly of the psychic world, Andrew is determined to be at her side. But every step forward reopens old emotional wounds and shakes their control. For a dangerous alpha and a deadly psychic, distraction could be fatal--especially when the greatest threat they pose is to each other.

Product Warnings
This book contains a dangerous shapeshifter who could kill you with his bare hands, an empathic hacker who could kill you with her mind, a psychic cult determined to kill everyone, a lot of violence, a little bit of hope, and a happily-ever-after seven years in the making.

It's on sale at Samhain for a short time, so it's the best time to pick it up before it goes to full price!

I love the Southern Arcana Series, but this is seriously the best book yet. I know fans like myself have been waiting forever for Kat and Andrew's story--which is often hard for authors when the fan's expectations are built up for so long. I wasn't disappointed in ONE single element of their story. It was complex, emotional, sexy and amazing. I felt rewarded as a fan by the interaction between Kat and Andrew, but I was also floored by how many things were blown wide open for the stories to come. I am once again impressed by the imagination and writing abilities of the authors.

I do recommend that readers start at the beginning and read the entire series in order if possible, but you could easily read this as a stand alone because the authors did a great job of setting up Kat and Andrew's background with each other. I guarantee you WILL end up reading the entire series though because it's that good.


#1 Crux
#2 Crossroads:
#2.1 A Peyton Family Christmas
#2.5 Zola's Pride:
#3 Deadlock
#3.5 Two Weddings (and One Near Funeral)
#4 Cipher: Released 9/6/2011
#5 Impulse (September 2012)
#6 Enigma: (date to be announced)

For information on the series, wallpapers and deleted scenes visit here:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10 Years With Kelley Armstong's Otherworld Series

Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong released today and it marks TEN years for her Otherworld Series that started with Bitten.

I loved this continuation of Savannah's story that started in Waking the Witch. It includes the banter I enjoyed so much between Adam and Savannah as they work together plus it was cool to see older characters take part in the action. The blurb below is from the publisher:

Spell Bound is once again told from the point of view of young Savannah Levine as she continues to navigate the world of supernaturals. Savannah is in terrible danger, and for once she’s powerless to help herself. At the conclusion of Waking the Witch, Savannah swore that she would give up her powers if it would help a young girl. Little did she know that someone would take her up on that promise. And now, witch hunting assassins, necromancers, half-demons, and rogue witches all seem to be after her. The threat is not just for Savannah; every member of the Otherworld might be at risk. While most of her fellow supernaturals are circling the wagons at a gathering of the council in Miami, Savannah is caught on the road, isolated from those who can protect her and unable to use her vast spell casting talent, the thing she counts on most. In a story that will change the shape of the Otherworld forever, Spell Bound gathers Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and others, who soon learn that the greatest threat to supernaturals just may come from within.

Last week I read the first book in the series, Bitten, as well as an ARC of Spell Bound. It struck me as I was reading Bitten, what an amazing job she did of getting into the "skin" of a shifter, both emotionally and physically. It's no small acomplishment to do this without losing the reader with too much description or confuse them with a lack of details. She manages to find that balance that makes the story engaging, emotional and suspenseful.

If you haven't read The Otherworld Series it's a great time to start since next year it will wrap up with the third book in Savannah's point of view and the 13th book in the series. Fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance will love Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld stories. They are timeless and will be read and appreciated for many years to come.

Women of the Otherworld Series
1. Bitten (2001)
2. Stolen (2002)
3. Dime Store Magic (2003)
4. Industrial Magic (2004)
5. Haunted (2005)
6. Broken (2006)
7. No Humans Involved (2007)
8. Personal Demon (2008)
9. Living with the Dead (2008)
10. Frost Bitten (2009)
11. Waking the Witch (2010)
12. Spellbound (2011)

Learn more about Kelley and her books on her website:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Feast Winner & Summer Update!

The winner of our contest for the Feast Prize Package is:

#13 which was Renee Rearden! I'm emailing her and Merry right now. Thanks to everyone for commenting:)

Sorry for the delay in choosing a winner. Last week we were getting ready for my 18 year old son's graduation open house. I managed to get a virus, so that sucked, but the open house was cool. We used facebook and connected with one of his all time favorite teachers from elementary. Mr. Noel taught both of my sons in 1st Grade, then he made the change to 4th Grade, and taught them again. He was an amazing teacher, and made learning so cool for all of the kids. He's a principal at a charter school now, and I loved that he not only showed up for Chuck's open house, but he stayed and visited with all of us!

This summer has been a crazy roller coaster of emotions:)


Friday, July 8, 2011

Feast Giveaway & Interview

Feast: Harvest of Dreams
By Merrie Destefano
Paperback: 320 pages
Also available on Kindle
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Released: June 28, 2011

Summary: Madeline MacFaddin ("Mad Mac" to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she's always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn't remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area's terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the harvest . . . the time to feast.

Once again Maddie's dreams—and her soul—are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own . . .

I'd love to see inside Merrie Destefano's head. I imagine it would be brimming with fairies, dark creatures, brave loyal dogs, beautiful flowers, luscious forests, and all of the characters from her books. Feast is dark, yet hopeful. It's about loss, but also about love and acceptance. There are moments of intense courage and moments of profound danger. Reader's will love the imagery, the characters and the author's beautiful style of writing.

Merrie and I became acquainted on Twitter before her first book, Afterlife, was published. She's such a kind and generous author who always takes time for her fans and other writers. I love her style of writing in both books, though it's rather different in each one. Merrie made time to answer a few questions for me, and I wanted to share them with you today.

Brenda: Did you create the world for Feast before you started writing the actual story, or did it develop as you went along?

Merrie: In almost all of my books, I figure out certain elements beforehand, but the bulk of the story is born during the writing. I don’t enjoy writing if I have already created a complicated, blow-by-blow outline. For me, the fun is in the journey. That said, I knew Ash’s story very well—both his back story and his world—but most of this was discovered while writing the first version of the book. I wrote 150 pages of this novel, threw it out and then started over. In that process, I learned a lot about who and what the Darklings were.

Brenda: Your writing is so descriptive and full of emotion...did this come naturally or did you develop it as you went along?

Merrie: Thank you! I honestly think that each book has its own unique voice, based on the characters, the story, and the setting. I wanted Feast to have a lyrical, fairy tale feel, so I tried to give a comparable voice to the book. In Afterlife, I was going for more of a gritty, noir, almost detective-thriller style, so the voice in that book was a bit different. During my final edits, I try to pay close attention to areas that might need more description. For instance, I may need to bulk up a scene if it doesn’t seem to fit the tone in the rest of the book.

Brenda: This book is much different than your first one, Afterlife, so I'm wondering which idea came first and how different was writing Feast?

Merrie: Wow, that’s a tough question. Afterlife must have come first, but it was originally a completely different book. The book progression went approximately like this:

1. White Burn (unsold novel, first version of Afterlife, set on Mars)
2. Once to Die (unsold novel, second version of Afterlife, set on earth)
3. Voices (unsold, unfinished, very scary novel)
4. First 10-20 pages of Feast written while writing Voices.
5. In the Beginning (another unsold novel)
6. Afterlife
7. Feast

Now, for the second part of your question: How different was writing Feast? Quite a bit different. Feast is set in the current day, in a setting near where I live, so I had very little research regarding setting and the world-building wasn’t nearly as complicated as it was in Afterlife.

Brenda: Once you rest up from promoting Feast, what's on schedule? Have you already started a new project, or is a sequel in the works for either of your books yet?

Merrie: As far as writing goes, I’m currently working on an e-book novella that would be a prequel to Feast. It’s titled Cursed and I hope to have it out soon. I also recently finished another book, but I’m still working on the edits. Right now I can’t say very much about it, except that I think it’s an incredible book and I can’t wait for it to get published. And I would love to do a sequel to Feast. I have so many story ideas about the characters involved and I just loved the setting.

Brenda, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I really enjoyed all of your questions.

Merrie is giving away a special package to one of my commenters that includes a signed copy of FEAST, plus some cool swag of bookmarks and buttons. This is a picture of the prize:

To Enter: All you have to do is leave Merrie a comment or question. Be sure to leave your email in the comments (you can put it as such: email at email (DOT) COM if you wish.) I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner on Monday, July 11th. You'll have all weekend to comment.