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Author Interview: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

March 3rd, 2015 @ 12:05 am
Posted by Kristie under Interview Tags: Alpha and Omega series, Dead Heat, Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy

Patricia BriggsToday is the release day for Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs and we are super excited to have her here to talk about her new release! Dead Heat is the fourth novel in the wonderfully awesome Alpha and Omega urban fantasy series. Read Steph’s review of Dead Heat here.

About Patricia:

Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. In Fall 2010, Patricia made another foray into traditional fantasy, when Ace published a revised version of her very first book, Masques (2010), and its never-before-published sequel, Wolfsbane (2010), both of which debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list for Mass Market Fiction.

In 2006, Ace Books published Moon Called, the first book in her #1 New York Times bestselling—and signature series—about Mercy Thompson. The non-stop adventure left readers wanting more and word of this exciting new urban fantasy series about a shape-shifting mechanic spread quickly. Blood Bound (2007), the second book in the series, debuted at #12 on the New York Times bestsellers list. After the incredible success of Iron Kissed (2008), which landed at #1 on the New York Times list, the Mercy Thompson saga continued to win the hearts of readers and grew in popularity with the release of each book.Bone Crossed (2009), the fourth book in the series and first to be published in hardcover, debuted at #3 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list, where it stayed for four weeks. The most recent hardcover, Silver Borne (2010), debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list and stayed on the printed list for a total of three weeks!

Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series. The subsequent books were Cry Wolf (2008) and Hunting Ground (2009), both New York Times bestsellers. The third book of the Alpha and Omega series is Fair Game (2012) and debuted at #4 on the New York Times bestsellers list.

You can visit Patricia around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Patricia Briggs?

Moon Called Alpha & Omega On the Prowl Cry Wolf Hunting Ground Blood Bound Iron KissedMasques Steal the Dragon When Demons Walk WolfsbaneDragon Bones Dragon BloodRaven's Shadow Raven's StrikeMercy Thompson:  Homecoming Mercy Thompson: Moon Called... Mercy Thompson: Moon Called... Mercy Thompson: Homecoming Mercy Thompson: Homecoming Mercy Thompson: Homecoming Mercy Thompson: HomecomingAlpha and Omega: Cry Wolf  ... Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf V...

_________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome Patricia!

DFT: What’s up next for Charles and Anna in Dead Heat?

Patricia: Charles and Anna travel to Scottsdale to say goodbye to an old friend and find themselves in the middle of a hunt for a fae who preys upon children, an immortal serial killer who must be stopped.

DFT: How long after the events of Fair Game does Dead Heat take place?

Patricia: A few months.  Fair Game ends in the fall and Dead Heat takes place in February of the following year—which actually puts it just before the events in Night Broken (Mercy Thompson).

DFT: In a related question, where do the events of Dead Heat take place in the context of the Mercy Thompson timeline?

Patricia: See above  :-)

DFT: Will we see any Mercy Thompson characters pop up in Dead Heat?

Patricia: Not this time, even Bran has only a minor role.

DFT: At this point, has Charles dealt with his ghosts permanently, or will that continue to be an issue that pops up?

Patricia: Charles has dealt with that issue—but it has changed him permanently.  I’m not planning on bringing it up again, except as an aspect of Charles’s motivations.

DFT: In Fair Game, there’s a brief scene where Anna contemplates the idea of trying to have or adopt a child. Is that an idea we’ll see come back?

Patricia: Yes.  It is part of Dead Heat, which deals with themes of life, death, and family.

DFT: I really liked the character of Isaac in Fair Game. Will we see him again at some point?

Patricia: I like him, too.  I certainly hope he reappears.  If not in the books than I might have to give him a short story :D

DFT: Do you have a favorite character in either the Alpha & Omega or Mercy Thompson series?

Patricia: I don’t.  I love them all (even Bran’s wife Leah).  If I don’t enjoy a character, then I take him or her out of the story entirely and find someone else to write about. <Grin>

DFT: Do you have a preference between writing in the 1st person of Mercy Thompson or the 3rd person of Alpha and Omega?

Patricia: No.  I do enjoy the switch, though.  It keeps me from feeling like I’ve been writing the same book for ten years!

DFT: Who are some of your favorite authors/books, be it in urban fantasy or another genre?

Patricia: I read a lot—so I’ll winnow it down to books I’ve read in the last few weeks. As of this moment I have just reread Thea Harrison’s paranormal romance Dragon Bound for the umpteenth time. She does a marvelous job of making her dragon feel like he really is an awesome cosmic power who has been alive forever—without taking away from the peril she puts her main characters in.  Just a terrific job of craftsmanship in that book—though I do love all of her books.  I also love Anne Bishop’s work, which is handy since we are going on a book signing tour together (Dead Heat for me, Vision in Silver for her).  I just got to read the manuscript for The Aeronaut’s Windlass, the first novel in Jim Butcher’s new steam punk series—which was, of course, awesome.  Jim can’t do anything but awesome (No, he didn’t pay me to say that.).  I did a binge read of Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniel series last month.  Again.  And I recently discovered a new (to me) series, Pax Arcana, by Elliot James.  There are currently two books, Charming and Daring.  I highly recommend them!

Thank you for inviting me to spend some time with you!

_________________________________________________________________________________

Dead Heat

Available March 3, 2015 from Ace/Penguin

About this Book:

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Review: The Art of Stealing Time by Katie MacAlister

March 3rd, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Steph under Review Tags: Katie MacAlister, Paranormal Romance, Review, The Art of Stealing Time, Time Thief Series

Art of Stealing TimeTitle: The Art of Stealing Time

Author: Katie MacAlister

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Time Thief (Book #2)

Publication Date: September 3, 2013

Format: Paperback, 344 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451417437 (Signet/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0451417435 (Signet/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Experts in the art of stealing time, Travellers live on the edge of both mortal and immortal realms. But a few fight their outlaw instincts…

Gwenhwyfar Byron Owens learned everything she knows about potions and spells from her two Wiccan moms, who are forbidden by Otherworld laws from teaching magic to mortals. But when their latest transgression results in the kidnapping of a mortal woman, Gwen figures the only place to hide them all is in Anwyn, the Welsh afterlife…

But Gregory Faa—a member of the Watch—is hot on their heels. A Traveller who has stolen time, he’s eager to prove himself worthy of the Watch, only he has a past with the dark-eyed Welsh beauty he’s been charged with bringing to justice. He’s tempted to just let Gwen disappear into Anwyn, until he realizes that she’s being pursued by a squad of goons and death’s minions.

Gwen is used to taking care of her moms and herself, so she can’t give in to her heart’s demand to trust Gregory, despite the fact that he’s as handsome as the day is long—and the days in Anwyn can last centuries…

Quick & Dirty: A fun, lighthearted romp that, while a little light on plot, is still extremely entertaining and funny.

Opening Sentence: “Ticket, yes.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Gwen has always had to watch out for her mothers, two very well-meaning, but often misdirected witches. She’s usually able to keep them out of trouble, but this time, they’ve gone too far by kidnapping (in their words, liberating) a woman from her nursing home. On the run from the police, Gwen decides they should escape to Anwyn, one of the realms paranormals can choose to go to when they die, until this whole thing can blow over.

Gregory, a Traveller and member of The Watch, has an obsession, and that obsession’s name is Gwen. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her ever since the night he stole time in order to prevent her from dying. That incident had the unfortunate side effect of ticking off an employee of Death, who is determined to take Gwen no matter what. He follows the Reclamation Agent into Anwyn, where he runs into Gwen. Now, they must navigate their newfound feelings for each other in a realm that’s torn apart by war, all while dodging a very ticked off Reclamation Agent for Death. Will life ever calm down enough for them to be together?

I’ve read some of Katie MacAlister’s Aisling Grey series and enjoyed them, so I was interested in reading this book even though I hadn’t read the first book in the series. Luckily, reading the first book wasn’t strictly necessary, and I was able to slip right into the story without feeling confused at all. As with the other Katie MacAlister books I’ve read, this one was full of humor that left me with a smile on my face much of the time. As great as the humor was though, it couldn’t hide the fact that there really wasn’t much in the way of plot. The Reclamation Agent storyline honestly hardly factors into the plot at all, as much of the story actually revolves around the “war” in Anwyn. The book also alternates between Gwen’s first person narration and Gregory’s third person perspective, which could sometimes mess up the flow of the book.

I liked Gwen and Gregory as the main characters, but as I sit here trying to write this review, I’m having a hard time coming up with reasons why I liked them so much. They definitely have great chemistry and rapport and worked well off of each other. Despite liking them, I had a hard time believing how quickly they fell in love, which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

Looking over this review, it sounds really negative, but I actually did enjoy the story for what it was: a lighthearted and funny romp. It’s just if you sit and think about it too much, you realize that not a whole lot actually happens of any import. If we gave half stars, I would probably rate this 3.5 out of 5, but I’m rounding up because I did enjoy my time with Gwen and Gregory  the issues I have with the plot. So, I guess I’m saying, if you’re in the mood for a fun, light read, this will definitely fit the bill, but if you’re wanting something a little heavier on plot, you’ll want to look somewhere else. I, for one, am looking forward to reading more Katie MacAlister the next time I’m in the mood for some lighthearted fun.

Notable Scene:

“We need to be focusing on how to find the entrance to Anwyn, and no” – I held up my hand with the paper in it – “this isn’t it. The entrance to heaven isn’t in a Krispy Kreme shop.”

“Have you ever had their cocoa?” Mom Two asked. “It’s pretty close to heaven.” With a hurried look over her shoulder at my mother, she added, “If I believed in such a thing, which of course, I don’t.”

“Anwyn is not in a Krispy Kreme,” I said firmly.

“How do you know? Have you been there?” my mother asked.

“No, but -“

“Then I don’t think you have the right to say harsh things to Mrs. Vanilla about her lovely map.”

“Mom, it just doesn’t make sense. She’s either kidding, or…” I made a circular motion with my finger.

“I don’t think she is either. She seems to know where the entrance is. Perhaps she has been there herself.”

Mrs. Vanilla made her peculiar squeaking noises and fretted at the seat belt.

I looked up and over to Mom Two, shaking my head as I said, “This is crazy.”

Mom Two smiled and patted my hand. “I’ve always said that crazy is in the mind of the beholder.”

“Yes, but we can’t indulge in that when so much is at stake.”

“Drive,” my mother ordered, tapping me on the back of my shoulder. “We’ll see when we get there.”

“Oh, for the love of all that’s shiny and sparkly!” I took a deep breath and pulled out onto the road, mentally plotting the fastest route to Mrs. Vanilla’s nursing home. “Fine, we’ll go to Krispy Kreme, although the mall is sure to be closed at this time of night. First, however, we’re going to take Mrs. Vanilla back where she belongs.”

Both mothers opened their respective mouths to protest, but as I stopped at an intersection, waiting to turn onto the road that led to the nursing home, two police cars suddenly zipped across our line of vision.

I swore under my breath and jerked the wheel in the opposite direction, pissing off the car behind me. “Right. Krispy Kreme it is. But when we get there and it’s closed and there’s no entrance to Anwyn, you guys will owe me a great big apology. And a hot chocolate. With extra whipped cream.”

Time Thief Series:

1. Time Thief

1.5 Time Crossed

2. The Art of Stealing Time

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FTC Advisory: Signet/Penguin provided me with a copy of The Art of Stealing Time. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson

March 2nd, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kristie under Review Tags: Amanda Carlson, Cold Blooded, Jessica McClain Series, Review, Urban Fantasy

Cold BloodedTitle: Cold Blooded

Author: Amanda Carlson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Jessica McClain (Book #3)

Publication Date: October 8, 2013

Format: Paperback, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316205222 (Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316205221 (Orbit)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked.

On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early. Arriving on the Vampire Queen’s doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team.

The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn’t realize is just how soon she’ll have to cash it in…

Quick & Dirty: An incredibly action-packed urban fantasy.

Opening Sentence: “Get down!” Tallulah Talbot, the most powerful witch in the country, grabbed on to my arm and hurled us both into the bushes.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I will try to review this novel without giving away too many spoilers from previous novels. The events for this novel were set up at the end of the previous novel, Hot BloodedCold Blooded picks up immediately after the events of Hot Blooded with Jessica realizing that her witch friend Marcy is missing. Amanda Carlson wastes no time getting Jess into action as she and her friends are under attack by sorcerers. Jess goes to the only place that she can think of to get away from the battle, to the witches. The witches offer up a little help but a prophetic vision sends Jess away to the one place she doesn’t want to go, the vampires in New Orleans.

The vampires want Jess for some unknown reason but it seems that every supernatural wants Jess dead or as a pawn. There are so many reasons for Jess not to go to New Orleans but it is the biggest, most powerful reason that makes her take that journey and since Jess has a standing order to meet with the vampires in the near future she decides to go before the scheduled time.

I can’t really talk to much more about the events in this novel because there would be too many spoilers with everything that is going on. This novel is non-stop action with Jess moving from one problem to another without much time to barely stop and take a breath, even if she does get a “down time” she uses it to its fullest. The events of this novel go so quick that I barely even think a few days pass and Jess only gets a few shut eyes in a moving vehicle.

Jessica McClain is one tough cookie. Whenever it appears she has a weakness, it is quickly overcome, but not without an inner battle or a confusing conversation. I really liked Jess in past books but there was just something about her always having to escape a dangerous situation because people don’t like the fact that she is a female werewolf that just annoys me. Nobody can just talk or figure things out. They are just helping make Jess’s prophecy true. I feel like the actual layout of the novel is action, long discussion, action, more discussion and this just keeps going until everyone stops to discuss what is going to happen in the next book after the final fight and revelations of this step in Jessica’s non-stop journey.

Overall, Cold Blooded was a non-stop action-packed urban fantasy. I really enjoyed the action but I did have some annoyance towards Jess’s constant confusing conversations in between everything, whether she was arguing with someone or just arguing with herself or her inner wolf. I don’t mind books wrapping up the events at the end but I’m not really a huge fan of the complete wind down while discussing the plans for what’s going to happen next and then just ending. I always feel a little let down at the end. I do anticipate the next book, Red Blooded, and I hope I’m in a better place mentally to really enjoy it.

Notable Scene:

The Suburban, with Nick at the wheel, rounded the corner, going up on two wheels. There was a loud explosion and an Orb flew over the trees, coming at us like a heat-seeking missile.

Rourke leaned over and threw open my door, yelling, “Go! I’m right behind you.”

I sprang from the car and took off at a dead run. The Orb exploded behind me, taking out the Porsche.

Car doors slammed and Tyler, Danny, and Nick joined us as we ran for the huge stone wall surrounding the mansion.

“Let me go first. If I get through, follow me,” I called over my shoulder, clearing the massive height in one leap. Nothing kicked me back, but a strange pulse of energy whipped through my body as I crossed the boundary line. Thank goodness it wasn’t warded.

I landed easily and kept running. I was up the steps to the front door, happy that nothing exploded behind me, before I took my next breath. I slid to a stop just short of kicking in the door, which would be considered bad manners for a visiting guest. I turned and glanced back for the first time and realized no one was behind me.

I watched as each of them tried to clear the wall again and was repelled backward.

Damn.

It was warded. I just hadn’t been affected by it.

Jessica McClain Series:

0.5 Blooded

1. Full Blooded

2. Hot Blooded

3. Cold Blooded

4. Red Blooded

5. Pure Blooded (June 16, 2015)

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FTC Advisory: Orbit provided me with a copy of Cold Blooded. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Contest Winner: Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker

March 1st, 2015 @ 10:14 pm
Posted by Kristie under Contest Winner Tags: Becoming Rain, K.A. Tucker

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Contest Winner: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

March 1st, 2015 @ 10:13 pm
Posted by Kristie under Contest Winner Tags: Ellie Cahill, Liz Czukas, When Joss Met Matt

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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