Posted in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Rachel Vincent, Shifters

Alpha Blog Tour! (and Giveaway)

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know just how much I LOVE Rachel Vincent’s Shifter series.

This coming week she will release her final installment to this beloved series with ALPHA.

I’ve already devoured Alpha through the lovely promotion done by NetGalley. You can read my review HERE. While I wasn’t a fan of the ending, because of the fact that it was ENDING, I really enjoyed Alpha.

Alpha Blog Tou Buttonr

Rachel was so kind to add The Cozy Reader as a stop on her Alpha Blog Tour. Below she discusses the lovely and ever increasing in popularity, love triangles.

Rachel Vincent on Love Triangles

Love triangles. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t deny they’re a large presence in romance, as well as in genres which typically have heavy romance subplots, like my Shifters series. Now normally, I’m a path-not-taken kind of girl. So why, Rachel, you might be thinking, did you decide to take the Shifters series down the love-triangle path?

The simple answer is that I didn’t. Not originally.

I come to urban fantasy by way of horror and high fantasy, rather than through romance, so when I started Stray, I had no idea there were genre expectations for the romance subplot. And what little I may have intuited probably came through movie watching. I didn’t know that love triangles were a common “thing.” I didn’t know that romances were supposed to have happy endings. I didn’t know that what I was writing would eventually be shelved in the romance section of your local bookstore (if you’re in the US).

And I didn’t intend for the whole Marc/Jace thing to be a major focus of the books. So imagine my surprise now that “Who is she going to pick?” has become the question I’m asked most often. By far. You guys are really serious about this! 😉

So what did I intend? I intended for Faythe to have options. Choices. If you’ve read the series, you know that freedom and independence are two of the big themes. Faythe is a feminist living in a staunchly patriarchal society, and while her father is one of the more liberal Alphas, most of the others—even his allies—are not so eager to give the few women in their society such extreme freedoms of choice. Because they’re needed to repopulate the entire werecat species.

So it was really important to me for Faythe to know she has options, even if no one else recognizes that fact.

I’ve heard from a lot of people who seem to think that the love triangle aspect is the true fantasy element in my urban fantasy (Evidently the shape shifting doesn’t count!) because no one in real life could possibly have two such wonderful men interested in them. But that, I believe, is not true. I’ve known many people (and have, on occasion been one of them) who had romantic interest from more than one person at a time. How many people from your high school got more than one invitation to prom? How many girls (or guys) were secretly (or not so secretly) crushed on by their sig. other’s best friend? Or some stranger? How many junior high (or college girls) are in love with an entire string of boys they’ve never even spoken to?

Does everyone act on more than one interest at a time? Of course not. But some do. Even in real life. Especially at Faythe’s particular position in life.

By the end of the series, it’s easy to forget that Faythe is only twenty three years old. In the beginning, she’s stubborn and impulsive, fighting for her freedom before she really has the means to defend it. But a couple of books later, we have a better view of the society she grew up in and we come to understand that freedom isn’t just going to be handed to her. She’s going to have to fight for it, and fight she does. She takes on enormous responsibility and makes decisions knowing that someone’s going to die, no matter what she chooses. So it’s easy to forget that most people her age have no idea who they want to spend the rest of their lives with, and of those who have made that decision by twenty-three, more than half (in the US, at least) will later change their minds completely.

So let me pose a question (in good, clean fun) to all the Marc/Faythe/Jace skeptics out there, criticizing Faythe for “dragging” this out: do you think it would be responsible to make a decision of this magnitude—a life-long promise—without thoroughly exploring all of your options? Wouldn’t that be doing a disservice to both men involved? If you were Marc/Jace, would you want Faythe to commit to you without knowing for sure what she wants? Wouldn’t that be worse than taking the time to explore the issue properly?

Okay, that was more than one question, and since you can’t tell my tone from a type-written essay, let me assure you all that I’m smiling as I write this. I love all the discussion and dissenting opinions. 😉

That said, do I mind it if you prefer one guy over the other? No! I love that! I also love that the opinions so far are almost split down the middle. And I’m thoroughly amused by all the people who love one or the other the most because “he’s hotter.” I may be the writer, but you guys have some great imaginations! 😉

Thanks so much for having me Jessica!

Alpha Teaser

"Yeah. And if you try to stop her, she’ll ground you till your thirty." -from Alpha, pg 437

 

Giveaway

If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy of Alpha yet, (why not!?!) then this is your chance to enter to receive a copy!

I’ll be making this an International Giveaway and order from The Book Depository, so please make sure your country is on their shipping list.

This giveaway has ended and the winner was been announced here.

Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour, Giveaway

Blog Tour: Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill (giveaway)

I have an amazing author visiting the blog today: Chloe Neill. Today is her release of the third book in her Chicagoland Vampire series, Twice Bitten. I’ve read the first two books, I’ve reviewed only the first book though, but they were both awesome. I even gave the first book my “Ballsy” award.

Chloe has brought you a cool little interview between herself and her main character Merit. Merit is by far my favorite character of this series. Here’s what I said about Merit from the first book Some Girls Bite.

Merit is awesome. She has one wicked self esteem and her ultimate purpose is to be what and who she wants to be, damned if any one should get in her way. (Vampire master? No problem.) She didn’t take it well that her life was turned up side down in one, well two bites. She handles herself very well. She has balls. And I mean balls. This book is ballsy. – Some Girls Bite review

The In-Between–a Pre-Release Chat with Merit

Chloe: Why don’t you introduce yourself?

Merit: Oh, sure. Hi, everyone. *waves* I’m Merit, Cadogan Sentinel. Wow, it’s weird that I start with that, isn’t it?

Chloe: Why so?

Merit: Well, a few months ago I was Merit, Ph.D. student. Now I’m Merit, vampire and Merit, Novitiate of Cadogan House, and Merit, vampire warrioress or something. Life is strange, isn’t it.

Chloe: *Smiling* Often. How are things in Cadogan House?

Merit: *Shrugs* There’s always something, I guess. We think Celina’s put away, but it turns out she actually isn’t. We think we nailed the only conspirator in the House–Amber–and it turns out that wasn’t true, either.

Chloe: And then there’s Ethan?

Merit: Hmph. There’s always Ethan, the immortal and obsequious Ethan.

Chloe: Nice Scrabble words there.

Merit: I try. I just mean he’s the Master of my House, so he’s not exactly going anywhere.

Chloe: And how are you two hitting it off?

Merit: I’m not sure we’re “hitting it off.” Chemistry between us? Yes. But I’m a relationship kind of girl, and he strikes me as a fling kind of vampire, you know?

Chloe: I could see that. What about Mallory? Last we heard, you two were having–well, I guess you’d call it a low spot?

Merit: *Picking at a loose thread on her jeans* Yeah, that’s a little–I don’t know–off, I guess? I love her, and I know she loves me. But that doesn’t mean everyday is going to be sunshine and roses, you know?

Chloe: Especially if it’s a vampire.

Merit: Especially.

Chloe: And I hear the wolves are coming to town?

Merit: *Sitting up straight* They most definitely are. At least, that’s what Gabriel Keene told us.

Chloe: What’s your first impression of Keene?

Merit: *Frowning as she considers* A little gruff, but businesslike? Clearly seems to love his wife. A warrior with a family mentality. I can admit I’m intrigued. Jeff and Nick are the only other shifters I really know, so I’m interested to find out more about them.

Chloe: *With a small smile* You know, with that knowledge probably comes the potential for drama.

Merit: *Rolling her eyes* Welcome to the life of vampires.

Chloe: *Smiling* Of course. Thanks for chatting with me today, and good luck with the release of TWICE BITTEN.

Merit: You too, sunshine.

—-

How cool is it to sit down and interview your own character?

If you haven’t checked out Chloe’s books you really should. She also has a lovely Young Adult series that blossomed this year.

Chicagoland Vampires

Some Girls Bite: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel by Chloe Neill352 pages, NAL Trade, (2009-04-07)
Friday Night Bites: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel by Chloe Neill368 pages, NAL Trade, (2009-10-06)
Twice Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel by Chloe Neill368 pages, NAL Trade, (2010-07-06)

Dark Elite

Firespell (Dark Elite, Book 1) by Chloe Neill256 pages, Signet, (2010-01-05)

Hexbound: (Dark Elite, Book 2), by Chloe Neill

256 pages, Signet Book, (2011-01-04)

Giveaway

Chloe is offering a swag pack to US/Canada mailing addresses. Fill out the below form or CLICK HERE to open in a new tab/window.

Important Information
  • Ends July 13th, noon EST.
  • Entrant must be 13 years of age or older.
  • Open to US and Canadian mailing addresses only.
  • Winner will have 3 days to respond to my email with shipping information that I will forward to Chloe for shipping.

A winner has been selected and the prize has been collected.

Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour

Kelly Link Blog Tour

I wanted to make a post dedicated to just the links to Kelly’s blog tour. Her story is amazing and should be read by all. It reminds you that authors are people too. They experience good and bad things in their life like everyone else.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link

June 6 – Part One – The Cozy Reader (here)

June 7 – Part Two – Forever Young: A YA Lit Blog

During the five months that we went up to the NICU, every night after dinner to sit beside Ursula’s incubator, I began to feel sure that if I died, I would come back as a ghost that waited beside the door to the NICU, a ghost that stood for long minutes washing its hands, a ghost that sat on a stool beside an incubator. I don’t know that I’ll write that story, but even now, I can imagine that ghost.

June 8 – Part One – Parajunkee’s View

June 9- Reviews by Brooke — lists!
June 10 – Annavivian.blogspot.com
June 11 – Booksbytheircover.blogspot.com
June 14: Fantasy &  SciFi Lovin’ News & Reviews
June 15: Monsterlibrarian.com
June 15: Bookchickcity.com
June 16: Fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com
June 17: Wordforteens.blogspot.com
June 18: Thecompulsivereader.com

I’ll update this post with the actual live link once I have it.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Strangely Beautiful Haunted London Blog Tour day 10!

Contest is closed! Winner announced HERE!

Today I’m hosting the Haunted London Blog Tour Day 10 for the amazing author Leanna Renee Hieber. I read and reviewed her amazing book, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, back in July. You can read it HERE.

strangely beautiful Tale

From the back cover:

What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death….

The Strangely Beautiful Haunted London Blog Tour Day 10!

Thank you, Jess, for allowing the Haunted Tour to roll into your fine blog, you were one of my earliest reviews, and such a glowing one at that, it’s something I’ll never forget.

The Ten Bells – 84 Commercial Street, E1 “Jack the Ripper’s Local”

For those of you just joining us, the purpose of this Haunted tour is to celebrate the release of my Gothic Victorian fantasy debut, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. This Tour will introduce you to some of the real, documented London haunts who “ghost-star” in my book. When Professor Alexi Rychman and his Guard of spectral police make their rounds, it is to any number of London phantasms. Since these characters are familiar to The Guard, I don’t get to tell their full story in the book, here I can give them their due. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of the novel, first in the Strangely Beautiful series!

Today we discuss the haunted Ten Bells, said to be a favourite of Jack the Ripper.

In the early hours of November 9th 1888 Mary Kelly left The Ten Bells pub. Later, across the street from the pub, in Miller’s Court, off Dorset Street, a body nearly unrecognizable as a human female was found, mutilated beyond all recognition. It was thought perhaps the killer followed her from The Ten Bells and into Miller’s Court.

Numerous live-in staff in the upper stories of the Ten Bells told fearsome tales of being awoken by dread in the middle of the night only to find a spectre of an old man dressed in 19th Century clothing lying beside them! Many people saw him, no one was quite sure who he was until in the year 2000, an antique metal box was found hidden in a corner of the cellar. Inside were the effects of George Roberts, along with a press cutting that spoke of his being murdered (with an axe) at a Welsh cinema. A man named George Roberts had kept The Ten Bells in the transition between the 19th and 20th centuries and it was assumed the ghost was the former pub owner.

While Mary Kelly doesn’t get the time and full homage she deserves in my book, as her death comes right near the climax of the novel, her death is mentioned in The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker as such:

The air was sick. A virulent force was tearing through the streets toward a specific destination, ready for a reckoning. It growled and roiled and cut a path like a whirl of ancient blades. Its casualty would be an unspeakable shame. Neither Alexi nor his cohorts had any inkling that there would be another mutilated corpse in the morning, nor that this would be the worst.

There would be nothing, when all was said and done, to ever suggest that this woman, torn utterly to pieces, had once been a human being. The Ripper had struck again, swiping ferocious, merciless, unthinkable paws down Dorset Street, en route to the evening’s festivities.

I’m indebted to Richard Jones, founder of the fabulous Discovery Walks of London and author of the fantastic compendium “Haunted London” and “Walking Haunted London” published by Barnes & Noble Books, a main resource for my research.

Visit him at www.haunted-london.com.

Come visit me at www.leannareneehieber.com to find out more about The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker and follow along on the rest of the Haunted London Blog tour! While you’re at my website, if you have a copy of my book why don’t you enter my CONTEST? I hope you’ll love this book as much as I loved writing it!

Be sure to comment to be entered to win a signed copy!

Blessings!

Leanna Renee Hieber

www.leannareneehieber.com

www.twitter.com/leannarenee

Leanna is an awesome author. If you haven’t picked up a copy of this yet then you must! Start out here by commenting to be entered into the signed copy from Leanne Renee Hieber. One entry per person. You have until 9/2 to enter!

Don’t forget to follow along on the tour! There’ll be more chances to win this amazing book!

Here’s the very cool book trailer too!

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Jess Sig