Giveaways


Coming soon...

January 31, 2013

Gush and Gripe #13


You Get What You Give

Hello Supies! I hope the New Year has been kind to you so far if not then I hope things get better for you soon. Before I vent my gripes, here are three of my favorite reads this month.

SERIES NAMES: Transplanted Tales 2 | Daughter of Smoke & Bone 2 | Three Stages of Love 
My Gush & Gripe for this month is about setting the right expectations as far as books are concerned. This will be a little subjective and this post is solely my opinion in relation to my reading picks and habits. Some of you may agree, others may not. Just the same please bear with me. 

Like some of you, I have my phases and moods where I prefer a certain genre over the other. Currently I'm in a PNR-Romance kick and I am steering clear YA & fantasy with very few exceptions (I can't pass up Days of Blood & Starlight). My cravings, for lack of a better word, determines my reading list for the week and the tours I sign up for. I feel it's a disservice not only to myself but the author who worked hard to publish his/her book when my rating is already predetermined because I'm not in the best state of mind to appreciate their work. 

Setting the right expectations determines the mood and mind-set of the readers. It sets the tone of our emotions and how we respond to the story similar to how we pick which clothes and shoes to wear for the day. And I hate it when the blurb or marketing blasts would say the book is one thing and I end up with something else completely. This skews my objectivity and there's only a handful of books that could get away with surprises like this as far as I'm concerned. I also think this is one of the reasons why some people rate books lower than what it deserves not because the book sucked but because their expectations weren't met.

One recent example is Deep Connections by Rebecca Graf. When you look at the blurb it doesn't hint at anything supernatural so before I signed up for the tour I specifically asked if it was romantic suspense because I was on an RS bender at that time. Well it IS romantic suspense but it was also a PNR sort of thing. Aside from other issues I had with the book, I felt duped because if I had known it had supernatural elements, I wouldn't have signed up for the tour or bothered to read the book at that time. 

Another example would be The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron and Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear. These books marketed themselves as Steampunk but tell-tale characteristics we look for and crave associated with this genre were meager. So readers were waiting for kick ass automatons, blimps, clockwork gadgets and other cool stuff only to be left wanting. If you look at some of the 3 star ratings and below for these books, you'll see that their expectations in reading Steampunk were not met.

To close this Gripe, there's being suspenseful and there's downright duping. Every writer and publisher wants the best possible rating for their book that's why they juice up their presentations through cover arts, book tours, and other marketing plans. But not every book is for everyone and the first step in getting fantastic ratings, is targeting the right audience and tricking us won't help you with that cause.

So have you ever been duped by a book? 









January 30, 2013

Review: Nice Girl by Kate Baum

Series: Girl Series 1
Format: PDF
Release Date: December 5, 2012

Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Graduate student Grace Locke moves from the Midwest to New York City to complete her Masters degree in Criminology. She longs to one day be a college professor. It is a field that is dominated by men. She is worried about succeeding in such an atmosphere. Past sexual relationships have caused her to feel intimidated. Her experiences with college men have left her jaded and unsatisfied. She gives herself a challenge. Time to toughen up or she won’t make it in a career she yearns for. She decides to surround herself with alpha males so that she can practice becoming what she sees as a strong confident woman. She finds power and defiance in her new attitude…until Vinnie.

When Grace takes a part time secretarial job at a private investigator office, she assumes it will be interesting to watch how the cases unfold. It is close to her campus apartment and gives her the extra cash she needs as a struggling college student. Even more perfect is that the office is surrounded by street wise hardened males. Now, she can get the needed practice at increasing her confidence among men. She wasn’t prepared for Vinnie Lewis. A former hit man who decides to go straight, he is the ultimate “bad boy”. After growing up with a prostitute mother on the streets of New York City, he has no patience for nice girls like Grace. He is difficult to work with. She finds him just plain scary with his six foot four frame, bulging biceps, and a scar from a former knife fight that goes across his right ear to his chin. She shakes in his presence but then…is shocked when she can’t stop thinking of him.

NICE GIRL is your usual feel good contemporary romance novel, it's filled with sexual and romantic tension between a nice girl and a bad boy. It has the expected rom-com elements like funny supporting characters, quirky side stories and a little drama to spice it up and keep it interesting. What the blurb doesn't tells us is Grace Locke and her three bestfriends made a pact that they will have their first orgasm come what may. They have been frustrated with their sexual experiences in the past and they want to experience the full gratification the act can give them and NICE GIRL is Grace's quest for that coveted first orgasm. 
I've been called a nice girl my entire life. I've had it with that label.
NICE GIRL to  me is like a "second coming-of-age" story, a little formula but if it ain't broke right? Anyway, Grace essentially is all about finding her inner sexy. She had a New-York-Minute wherein she went through and initiated a lot of changes in her life starting from moving to a new city, meeting new people, starting a new graduate program, a new job down to a personal makeover, shedding not only pounds but her nice girl persona and just embracing herself, flaws and all. Seeing Grace's metamorphosis is engaging and very relatable for me to read. I just wish I could be as dedicated to weight loss as she is, I could lose 15lbs myself LOL. 

Her eventual love affair with Vinnie was slow burning, there's a lot of flirting and close run-ins and man cave over protectiveness that went on before they finally hooked up. He has that bad-boy-tortured-soul going on for him being an ex-mobster with a prostitute drug addict for a mother complete with a 6'4 frame, shaved head and a nasty facial scar. I probably won't date someone like Vinnie in real life even if he's rich but he is so attractive on paper. I get why Grace's thongs are in a constant bunch when he's around. 

The secondary characters are great and provided the comedic breaks rounding up NICE GIRL's rom-com pitch. Jamie, Grace's gay co-worker is my favorite plying Grace with office gossip and playing matchmaker for her and Vinnie. Grace's girlfriends, and upcoming Girl feature heroines, are a rowdy bunch too. They have a Sex in the City vibe going on for them with their personalities loosely similar to Carrie Bradshaw and Co. Grace would be the meek and girly Charlotte York. 
Grace, baby, don't you know that it is you I want to keep me out of trouble.
You, Grace, remind me of where I want to go.
NICE GIRL is a good debut for someone trying to break in the romance genre. As a librarian who turned to her naughty side, KBaum paid attention as a reader and penned and delivered a fun and sexy story. There are some things that I wish were more fleshed out like Vinnie reconciling with his traumatic past and how Grace became his vehicle for redemption. I would've wanted that element in the story to have been in-depth instead of Vinnie's cousin, Anthony, doing the soul baring on his behalf. 

Still I had fun reading NICE GIRL, it's character driven and the dialogue smooth and upbeat. The mini-collisions and the main conflict were light but had enough emotion to keep me attentive and entertained. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Brave Girl (Spring 2013), with the tough and feisty Eve as the heroine.



Kate Baum is a librarian who resides in the Hudson Valley area of New York. She lives with her husband of 23 years and 5 children. Their busy household also includes a dog and a cat adopted by the local rescue shelter. When she isn't working, cooking, doing laundry or taking care of the kids, she loves to write down her fantasies!


Visit Kate
Website | Goodreads | Email: katebaumbooks@aol.com




January 29, 2013

Review+Giveaway: Shadowguard by Michelle Zink


Series: Shadowguard 1
Format: ARC
Release Date: 
December 3, 2012
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Source: Swoon Romance
Genre: PNR
Purchase: Amazon
When Rowen Black is assigned to the elite unit of angelic assassins known as the Shadowguard, he thinks his biggest challenge will be overcoming his less-than-stellar reputation. But that’s before he meets his match in Scarlet Montgomery.

Beautiful, strong, and with a temper to match Rowen’s own, Scarlet is focused on the Shadowguard and her possible future as its leader. She’s become an expert at keeping her personal life separate from the Guard, all too aware that as the boss’s daughter, fellow warriors see her not as someone to be respected, but as someone to be protected.

Avoiding entanglements gets a lot harder when Rowen saunters into the room. Rowen puts the bad in "bad boy." Their connection is hot, visceral, and instantaneous.

When the pair are assigned to a joint investigation, they come face-to-face with their undeniable attraction, forcing Scarlet to consider that the connection is not only physical, but a destiny written in the halls of time.

TEMPTATION'S HEAT, is the first novella from Michelle Zink's brand new PNR series, Shadowguards. Incidentally, the reported trilogy is also MZink's debut writing for the adult audience. I say she made the transition seamlessly and I look forward to reading more adult romance novels from the beloved YA Author. 

TEMPTATION'S HEAT is a great introduction to the Shadowguard world. Here we learn the myth behind these angelic descendants and the war they are waging against the wraiths and Legion's Blackguards to preserve the Alliance and protect humans. Aside from the well imagined world, the characters are fleshed out and intense. MZink picked the right pair of people to launch her series in Rowen and Scarlet (I think the names have a great hook too). 

Rowen Black is arrogant, handsome, protective and brooding. He is the perfect match for the equally stubborn and eager, Scarlet Montgomery. Their story is well formed despite the short novella length. Scarlet is desperately trying to prove herself to her ailing father, the head of the Shadowguards, and the group, that she's a worthy soldier despite being one of the very few women who are part of the elite group. Getting involved with Rowen might be a complication and their push and pull was very tense but it was inevitable given how much they are attracted to each other. 

TEMPTATION'S HEAT is high in action and romance and the steam factor is to the nth level. MZink did great in not only launching her new series with this volume but to mark her place in the PNR genre as well.
She turned and headed up the walkway, leaving him on the pavement, the only item in his life he'd stood with his heart in his hands.

Walking away from him was the exact opposite f what she wanted to do, which was to stand on tiptoe, wrap her arms around his neck, press her body against his, and kiss him in full view of anyone who happened to pass by.



Series: Shadowguard 2
Format: ARC
Release Date: December 3, 2012
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Source: Swoon Romance
Genre: PNR
Purchase: Amazon
Lily Montgomery is perfectly happy taking care of everyone else. That is, until her friendship with Shadowguard warrior, Kane Dawson, begins to blossom into something more.

But Lily has a secret. One that will keep her from ever making her feelings known to Kane.
One of the Shadowguard’s fiercest warriors, Kane has a soft spot for Lily. A long-standing member of the Shadowguard, he can’t figure out when his feelings for Ambrose Montgomery’s youngest daughter morphed from brotherly affection into desire and an unfamiliar longing that feels a lot like love.

Kane holds himself in check knowing that Lily deserves better. A man in a suit, dinner at six every night, rosy-cheeked children who won’t have to worry that their father might be killed by one of the Legion’s wraiths.
But when the pair are thrown together by a set of circumstances beyond their control, they are forced to confront their growing passion and decide if love is worth the risk of baring it all.


TEMPTATION'S KISS is my favorite of the two. It's as romantic as its predecessor albeit slow burning and more on the sweeter side. Kane Dawson is a Shadowguard and have been secretly admiring Lily Montgomery, Scarlet's younger sister, from afar. Lily is the opposite of Scarlet, she's very homey, content in the confines of their kitchen cooking for her family and the group. She's very girly splurging on La Perla and other sexy lingerie and its her seemingly delicate and hearth goddess charm that got to Kane. But despite this very put-together outward appearance, Lily has a secret that have her hesitating from being involved with a man.

TEMPTATION'S KISS is light on the action and heavy on the romance. Actually the term courtship is more applicable because Kane sort of wooed Lily and seeing this big, hunky and tattooed guy get all mushy over the blonde, petite and ethereal looking girl is swoon worthy. The rough-soft contrast these two have is very engaging. Like Scarlet, there are times where I was giving Kane a mental push to go ahead and make the moves on Lily! Their HEA is feel-good and your standard romance story.

TEMPTATION'S HEAT and TEMPTATION'S KISS are both great, steamy short reads. The only complaint I have is the stories are too short I wanted more! The third and last (press release says this series is only a trilogy) novella is scheduled for release on February 5 and I can't wait to read it! The third installment is the last Montgomery sibling's HEA, Ivan, and in the first two novellas he's portrayed as a pain-in-the-ass kind of guy. I'm a fan of taming bad boys and I am looking forward to how shrewd reporter, Maggie O'Reilly, is going to domesticate this beast.
"What else haven't you told me, Lily?...Tell me."
"I...I can't."
"You can, Lily. And if you still think you can't, it just means I've done a shitty job telling you what you mean to me. Telling you how much I want you. not just in my bed. By my side, every day and every night."
Finally, Michelle Zink, if you're reading this, please write more adult books! As a fellow Moning Maniac and romance novel fan, you so get what makes us hopeless romantics tick. We want more!





Digital copies of Temptation's Heat and Temptation's Kiss up for grabs courtesy of Swoon Romance

Good luck!




Shadowguard Series by Michelle Zink

 
 
Temptation's Heat
Shadowguard 1
Michelle Zink
Swoon Romance
December 3, 2012
When Rowen Black is assigned to the elite unit of angelic assassins known as the Shadowguard, he thinks his biggest challenge will be overcoming his less-than-stellar reputation. But that’s before he meets his match in Scarlet Montgomery.

Beautiful, strong, and with a temper to match Rowen’s own, Scarlet is focused on the Shadowguard and her possible future as its leader. She’s become an expert at keeping her personal life separate from the Guard, all too aware that as the boss’s daughter, fellow warriors see her not as someone to be respected, but as someone to be protected.

Avoiding entanglements gets a lot harder when Rowen saunters into the room. Rowen puts the bad in "bad boy." Their connection is hot, visceral, and instantaneous.

When the pair are assigned to a joint investigation, they come face-to-face with their undeniable attraction, forcing Scarlet to consider that the connection is not only physical, but a destiny written in the halls of time.

Purchase for $2.99
Temptation's Kiss
Shadowguard 2
Michelle Zink
Swoon Romance
December 3, 2012
Lily Montgomery is perfectly happy taking care of everyone else. That is, until her friendship with Shadowguard warrior, Kane Dawson, begins to blossom into something more.

But Lily has a secret. One that will keep her from ever making her feelings known to Kane.

One of the Shadowguard’s fiercest warriors, Kane has a soft spot for Lily. A long-standing member of the Shadowguard, he can’t figure out when his feelings for Ambrose Montgomery’s youngest daughter morphed from brotherly affection into desire and an unfamiliar longing that feels a lot like love.


Kane holds himself in check knowing that Lily deserves better. A man in a suit, dinner at six every night, rosy-cheeked children who won’t have to worry that their father might be killed by one of the Legion’s wraiths.


But when the pair are thrown together by a set of circumstances beyond their control, they are forced to confront their growing passion and decide if love is worth the risk of baring it all.

Purchase for $2.99
Temptation's Fire
Shadowguard 3
Michelle Zink
Swoon Romance
February , 2013
Maggie O’ Reilly has her hands full. It’s all she can do to hold down her job at small-town newspaper and pay the nursing home bills for her deteriorating father. But a lead on a story from Ivan Montgomery might be just the thing to win her the promotion -- and raise -- she needs to secure her father’s care.

Ivan Montgomery isn’t exactly Mr. Popular. As the son of Ambrose Montgomery, head of the Shadowguard, Ivan has a reputation for being surly and confrontational. But somehow Maggie’s spirit and vulnerability make him want to be a better man.

Too bad a future between them is impossible.

As an outsider, Maggie can never know that Shadowguard Security is a front for the Alliance, a group of angelic descendants who keep mankind balanced between the forces of light and dark. And that means she can never know who -- and what -- Ivan really is.

But as the pair come closer to solving the mystery of who is framing the Shadowguard for murder, their attraction becomes impossible to deny. When a confrontation with a deadly foe forces them to face their feelings -- and their passion-- they will have to answer the question; can true love survive the ultimate secret?

Michelle Zink lives in New York with her four children. Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books for Young Readers. It has also been listed on the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.


Fan Girls & Boys Welcome

Book blast tour hosted by Swoon Romance
Twitter | Facebook

January 28, 2013

Girl Crush Mondays: Lavender Seelie



Lavender enters the coffee shop a little warily, taking in her surroundings in a glance, but she offers me a warm smile when she sees me waiting in the cozy area by the cafĂ©’s fireplace. I chose this location specifically because it reminded me of the description of the interior of Seth’s cabin, and I wanted to make sure she felt as comfortable as possible. It seems to work. She appears much more at ease as she takes the seat across from me—the one facing the door.

Braine: Hi Lavender, you have no idea how excited I am to be interviewing you today.

Lavender: My pleasure. Sorry I’m a little late. Seth and I— (She blushes a little as she attempts to smooth out a visible wrinkle in the front of her asymmetrical gray skirt, but she can’t help grinning.) Well, you know…full moon and all that.

(Now it’s my turn to blush. Having heard about the effects the full moon can have on the sexual prowess of a mated werewolf, I quickly get on with the interview.)

Braine: So, first of all, I just want to say you're my favorite Tale Person or Transplant... you know what I mean... and your crazy antics are just hilarious! Thank you for picking us for your tell-all!
Lavender: You’ve been such a good friend to the Tales, and to me especially, it’s the least I could do.

Braine: Thank you! I'm glad you think so. So I guess my first question is why are you outing James and Cindy? I know it's been a long time coming but why now when you're also trying to get your shiz together?

Lavender: (Sighing) You know, everything pretty much went to hell for me after the relocation, and I had a hard time dealing with the guilt from the part I played in all us Tales being transplanted here. I started drinking. A lot. (She shifts a little in her chair, obviously uncomfortable talking about her battle with sobriety.) Anyway, I wasn’t making the best choices during that time, and I was letting James and Cindy walk all over me. Then Tess [Red Little] gave me the kick in the ass I needed to get my life together and finally write my own story. And that rewrite had to start with cutting ties with the Charmings. James in particular held it over my head that he took me in when no one else would and made me feel like I owed him. Can you believe that? Owed him? (She scoffs.) I owed him something all right. I guess we all get what’s coming to us in the end, don’t we?

Braine: Newton's Third Law of Motion...Speaking of getting what’s coming, shrinking James' weenie is genius! It's poetic justice really and I don't think your wand and magic went haywire as far as that's concerned, I think it's supposed to do those things.

Lavender: (Grimacing) Not one of my prouder moments. I definitely won’t make the mistake of calling someone a “little dick” again when my magic’s acting up! But I guess it could’ve been worse… I could’ve called him a shithead.

Braine: ROFL! You should have! That would be one for the Hall of Fame! Now I'm worried because the Charmings sound like a power couple, are you afraid of the backlash this will cause you?

Lavender: (She shrugs.) I was for a while when I first left Chicago, but thanks to my testimony and the FMA’s on-going investigations into James’s business dealings, I think getting revenge on me is the least of his concerns. And Cindy’s influence was directly linked to James, so I’m not worried about her. I have a feeling she’s going to just stay out of the limelight for a while and wait for things to blow-over.

Braine: I have to be honest, I never really liked Cinderella and most of the Princess tales really, except for Swan Lake, so I can't say I felt sorry for her. But as her guardian and having known her before she became a Princess, have you ever had one of those "intervention" talks with Cindy back when you still cared about her? You know with the hopes of steering her back in the right direction.

Lavender: Loads! Unfortunately, she had to learn for herself that her husband was an arrogant ass who only cared about himself. (Her face twists in disgust.) It makes me sick when I think about the magic I used to get those two together. I’d hoped maybe this last talk I had with Cindy would finally snap her out of it. But that effort totally backfired on me. I hope she’ll get back on the right track eventually.

Braine: It's obvious you despise the Charmings. Aside from granting their whims and instigating that fight with the genie, what was the next most obnoxious thing they've done to you, especially Cindy?

Lavender: That’s a tough one! I think the fact that they took it for granted that I’d always grovel and lick their boots in gratitude and never want to have a life—a future—of my own ranks pretty high up there. That was especially hurtful from Cindy. She treated me more like an annoying pet she tolerated than a friend who cared about her.

Braine: Ouch! Do you feel guilty or a little bit sad about how you parted ways with the Charmings? A couple hundred years is still something even if it's not all rosy.

Lavender: Oh, sure. (She shrugs, but her sadness is written all over her face.) I mean, Cindy’s still my ward, regardless of how things turned out. I guess it’s a fairy godmother thing. I still instinctively want to help her, but I can’t do anything for someone who doesn’t want to be helped, you know?

Braine: True that! Do you think you guys will ever make amends at one point?

Lavender: That’s not entirely up to me, but I hope so.

Braine: So aside from the article, your story is coming out soon! How do you feel about it overall?

Lavender: (Her mood visibly brightens at the question and she actually begins to glow with happiness.) I’m thrilled to be able to tell my story and to set the record straight. And I’m so happy to share with everyone what a gentle, loving man Seth truly is. He’s been so maligned all these years, it’s great to be able to give readers a glimpse of how remarkable he is and to tell our love story.

Braine: I agree. He is a great catch! Can I talk and ask you about Seth a little more?

Lavender: Absolutely!

Braine: So you're super friends with Tess "Red" Little who was Little Red Riding Hood to Seth’s Big Bad Wolf back in Make Believe, but you only knew Seth by reputation prior to moving to The Refuge. Had you ever thought that he'd be someone special in your life at one point?

Lavender: I never imagined I’d cross paths with Seth, let alone fall head-over-heels in love with him. Honestly, when I went to The Refuge, I was just trying to figure out who I was now and find my way again. I hadn’t planned on falling in love at all. Lucky for me, things don’t always go as planned.

Braine: Seth says you smell like "lavender & sunshine". If you can bottle Seth's natural scent, what would it smell like? Please don't say wet dog! LOL

Lavender: (She gathers the collar of her black cashmere sweater and brings it to her nose, closing her eyes as she inhales deeply. She’s smiling when she finally answers in a rather dreamy voice.) Evergreen trees in autumn and morning dew.

Braine: *SQUEE* sorry but that's just so sweet, romantic and definitely sexy! Do you cook for him? What dish Seth makes is your favorite?

Lavender: (Laughing) I try! Seth bravely eats everything I make, but I don’t think either of us would argue over who has more skill in the kitchen! He says he likes my chocolate chip pancakes, but I think he’s just trying to make me feel better about my lack of culinary talent.

Braine: Wise man that, Seth. Hollywood is doing a lot of fairy tale films. Tess was portrayed by Amanda Seyfried (I always wonder what she thought about that casting choice), Julia Roberts played Snow's evil stepmom and now Angelina Jolie is playing Maleficent and Hansel and Gretel's tale is showing in theaters last weekend. What are your thoughts about these adaptations? Do you feel they're doing justice to the stories or is it all rubbish?

Lavender: I can tell you, Red would rather not talk about her origin story, let alone watch an adaptation on film. She’s never been a fan of how the storytellers twisted events around—that’s why she finally decided to tell her own story a few months back and really encouraged me to do the same. As for how I feel about all the adaptations? Well, the way I see it, the more people tell our stories, the less likely we are to be forgotten. The worst possible way for a Tale to die is to just fade away…

Braine: At this rate I won't be surprised if Cindy's story is next. In Disney you're portrayed as something motherly or sometimes *gasp* matronly. Let's rectify that and set the record straight, who do you want to play you?

Lavender: I know, right? (She shudders in horror.) Can you see me in a puffy blue taffeta dress? (She taps the heel of her lug sole biker boot, considering the question.) I’m not sure who I’d want to play me… Maybe Natalie Portman?

Braine: Right now, with how things are in your community and personal life, if you could undo sending the characters of Make Believe to the land of Here and Now, would you?
Lavender: (A wistful look comes into her eyes) You know, if you’d asked me that question once upon a time, I would’ve said, “In a heartbeat.” But now… (She shakes her head slowly.) No. I’ve finally forgiven myself for what happened and I’m working with the Tales in The Refuge to help them find their purpose in the Here and Now. For the first time in my life, I actually know who I am and what I’m truly capable of. And I have the love of the most amazing man I’ve ever met. Who could ask for more than that?

Her face suddenly lights up and I turn around in my chair to see the cause of her happiness. To my astonishment, Seth is standing in the doorway, his ice-green eyes trained on Lavender. He offers her an adoring smile as he saunters over and pulls her to her feet, pressing a tender kiss to her forehead.

Seth: Mind if I steal this beautiful woman away from you, Braine?

Braine: Oh, no. Not at all. [What? Like I was going to say no to the Big Bad Wolf?] Thanks again for the interview, Lav!

Lavender: Anytime. (She gives me a big hug then takes me by the shoulders.) And remember, fairy godmothers aren’t just for Tales.

When I gape at Lavender, wondering if she means what I think she means, she just gives me a wink, then heads toward the door, hand-in-hand with Seth. As I watch them pause outside the window for a quick kiss, I can’t help smiling. These two are a “Happily Ever After” if I ever saw one!



Fall in love with Lavender and Seth 
on February 7, 2013


Purchase The Better To See You


Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) faithfully watched weekend monster movie marathons while growing up, each week hoping that maybe this time the creature du jour would get the girl. But every week she was disappointed. So when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed that her characters would always have a happily ever after. And, thus, her love for paranormal romance was born. 

Kate is a member of Romance Writers of America and of Indiana RWA and has been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest (2010), the Finally a Bride Contest (2010), and The Emily (2012). She is represented by Nicole Resciniti with the Seymour Agency. 
Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project.


Fan Girls & Boys Welcome





Suped Up: The Better To See You by Kate SeRine

Series: Transplanted Tales 2
Format: eGalley
Release Date: February 7, 2013

Publisher: eKensington
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Purchase: Barnes & Noble

Once upon a time, a spell went awry and Make Believe characters were cast into the ordinary world. And the results aren’t always happily ever after.

Everyone thinks fairy godmothers can do no wrong. But if not for a certain spell mis-cast by Lavender Seelie, Cinderella’s former fairy godmother, the Tales would not be stuck in the Here and Now. Fortunately for Lavender, she’s about to get a second chance at a happy ending. 

The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, seems like the perfect place for Lavender to start a new life—especially when she discovers an unexpected ally in Seth, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. But when humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender wonders if Seth’s deep sensuality has blinded her to the truth. And that distraction could put innocent lives in danger. Including her own.
from Tumblr [princeofprocrastination]
This is my story. I'm the fairy whose sucktacular judgment and giant ego got all us Tales into this freaking mess.
I have been eagerly anticipating this particular Transplanted Tale, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU, because it's the story of my girl, Lavender Seelie, and her long awaited and much deserved HEA. All the hype I imposed on myself was justified because Kate Serine NAILED IT! The way the story turned out is everything I expected it to be from the romance down to Lavender's epic redemption. There's so much to share I am brimming with giddyness over this book!

The story opens in a very hilarious situation where Lavender burned down James and Cinderella Charming's house after shrinking the former's penis. I nearly busted my seams from laughing too much over this scene, it's tragic but I can't find any sympathy in me for the Charmings. However not everyone is happy about the situation so Tess Little advised Lav to go on the DL and spend some time in The Refuge until things blow over. On her way there Lav ran across Tess' old flame and resident badwolf, Seth, and despite their bickering these two found love in each other. Aside from finally finding her one true mate, Lav also helped uncover and stop a brewing attack planned by some Tales against humans, redeeming herself and restoring her magic and rightful place in the Seelie Kingdom along the way.

When I first met Lav in Red I never imagined her to be this precocious little minx. I thought she'd be all vulnerable and broken but I'm glad I was wrong because I won't have her any other way! I always pictured fairy godmothers as matronly and Lavender is anything but. This chick is hilarious, naughty and a formidable bad girl. I'll take KSerine's version any day over the Disney version. Lav's backstory is one of a mighty Queen Bee's fall from grace. Aside from the consequences of her sucktacular judgment Lav's past romantic life is similar to Seth's. She too fell in love with a very good man unfortunately she wasn't a very good woman at that time. Her ex, Gideon, one of her father's guards, made an appearance in the story and it was a very poignant scene.
There was something in the way he'd looked at me while we made love that made me want to show him just how beautiful he was too.
Now I wasn't sold on her pairing with Seth when I found out: a fairy who's a recovering alcoholic and a notorious werewolf? Curious but I'm not sure if the pieces fit. Well KSerine banished whatever doubts I have about their romantic liaison because I won't have it any other way. Like Lav, when I met Seth in Red he looked so broken and distraught and as we dig deeper into Seth's past it seems Tess Little wasn't his first heartbreak. Their commonality lies on their resilience and their desire to make something good out of their personal tragedies. Their story is very romantic I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time. Seth is so dreamy and gorgeous plus the man can cook! I love guys who knows their way around the kitchen so that made Seth one very edible hero for me.

As Transplanted Tales is based on several folk tales and myths, expect to meet a lot of familiar faces. I like how KSerine put a twist on every one of them, making them the complete anti-thesis of their fairytale counterparts. A couple of them broke my heart a little bit because they can't adjust to the land of Here and Now and several of them were certainly amusing.

THE BETTER TO SEE YOU is a wonderful sequel to Red, it's so inspired no detail was spared. No plot holes, every character is distinct despite the large cast and since they're familiar it's quite easy to remember them all. I also love how KSerine portrayed James and Cindy Charming as a pair of a-holes, I'm not a big fan of their story to begin with but to turn them into something short of being villains is golden! KSerine has a wonderful imagination, her world is vivid without overwhelmingly detailed. Her uptakes on beloved classics are risky but it paid off really well. I've read a lot of reboots but Transplanted Tales is my favorite and whether or not you're into fairy tales, I'm sure you will LOVE this series, KSerine's brand of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance is very appealing and universal.







Writer Wrangler: Kate SeRine



Braine: Hi Kate! Thanks for stopping by, Talk Supe, to talk to our our Supies what Transplanted Tales is all about?

Kate Serine: Thanks for having me here today! I'm delighted to stop by and chat about my Transplanted Tales. :)

Around two hundred years ago, a magical duel between Lavender Seelie (Cinderella's fairy godmother) and Aladdin's genie went awry, transplanting hundreds of fairytale characters from the world of Make Believe into the human world of the Here and Now. Since then, others have come over at random, including characters from nursery rhymes, folklore, mythology, and literature. Suddenly granted the freedom to write their own stories and choose their own destinies, some of the Tales have made the most of their circumstances, but others have had a tough time adjusting. The Fairytale Management Authority (FMA) is the law enforcement bureau that attempts to keep everyone in line.

RED (Transplanted Tales #1) is the story of Tess "Red" Little (aka Little Red Riding Hood), a kick-ass Enforcer for the FMA who has spent the past two centuries trying to shake her past, particularly her scandalous love affair with Seth “Big Bad” Wolf. Red’s all about living life on the edge and not getting too close to anyone, but when she’s assigned to investigate a series of grisly murders, Red’s emotional duck and cover routine is put to the test by her new partner, Nate Grimm—the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper.

THE BETTER TO SEE YOU (Transplanted Tales #2), which comes out February 7th, is the story of Lavender Seelie. After hitting rock bottom in RED, Lavender tries to start over by moving to The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, and is surprised to find an ally in Seth Wolf, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. But when humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender finds herself in a whole new kind of trouble.

ALONG CAME A SPIDER (Transplanted Tales #3) is the story of Trish "Little Miss" Muffet and Nicky "Little Boy" Blue. It's schedule for release in August 2013.

Braine: I truly enjoyed both RED and THE BETTER TO SEE YOU and I'm looking forward to Trish Muffet's story. Now a lot people tried to do fairy tale reboots and not everybody was successful in pulling it off. I would've thought it would be easy compared to basing stories out of Ancient myths from Greek, Roman, etc. What is it about fairytale that's challenging to adapt?

Kate Serine: Little Red Riding Hood has been the heroine in many fairytale reboots, so one challenge for me was to come up with a fresh approach, which included taking the characters out of their usual idiom (Make Believe) and trying to determine how they would think and behave in an unfamiliar world with unfamiliar realities. What would they do for a living? Who would their friends be? What kind of baggage would they bring over to the Here and Now? I also decided to include characters from literature, mythology, folklore, etc., as opposed to just sticking with fairytales, which has allowed me to create what I hope is a rich society complete with the challenges and foibles of any other culture.

Another challenge is making the world I've created believable and the characters relatable. You could plunk down fairytale characters into any scenario, really, but if it comes off as inauthentic and contrived the readers are going to move along to something else. I spent a surprising amount of time researching the history of these fairytales, rhymes, etc., to get a little backstory that I could then incorporate into the characters I created -- or at least let that information inform the decisions I made in fleshing them out.

If anything, the literary characters were the hardest to write because they had fully fleshed out stories that I couldn't ignore. Dracula was probably the toughest one in that regard because there's the character of Dracula as written by Bram Stoker and the character of Dracula as popular culture has come to think of him. I ended up embracing those contradictions and weaving them into his story in RED and ALONG CAME A SPIDER.

Braine: Very well put and great advice, other writers should take note of this. Now Red was Little Red Riding Hood. Amongst all the princesses and other folk tales, why make Red Riding Hood your opening act, do you have a personal attachment to her story?

Kate Serine: The idea for RED actually came to me in 2009 during a conversation with my son (who was 8 or 9 years old at the time). We like to have what we call “What if” conversations where he’ll ask me a question that’s totally out there and then we chat about it. The question that day: “What if fairytale characters were living next door to us?”

We went on to discuss who it would be, what that Tale would do for a living, and so on. And as we chatted, I started to get a very clear picture in my head of a tough, hard-hitting version of Little Red Riding Hood who was all grown up and ready to knock some heads.

Braine: Nate Grimm. Will we see more of him?

Kate Serine: Nate was my nod to the brothers Grimm as an inspiration. :) His last name actually refers to the fact that he's a grim reaper. And he's a grim reaper with a very dark history. As he tells Red, he was chosen to be a reaper because he "fit a certain profile". In ALONG CAME A SPIDER you'll finally discover Nate's real name.

Braine: Let's talk about the latest book, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU. This is about Lavender, and thank you for telling us about her HEA next, you know she's the one who stood out the most to me, Cinderella's fairy godmother. Your character choices are really intriguing and the obvious question would be why her and not Cinderella?

Kate Serine: Great question!! I had a lot of fun turning the story of Cinderella on its head. ;) When I thought about where she'd be if she ended up living in the Here and Now, I pictured her more as a trophy wife who'd kind of lost her luster than a kick-ass heroine. It just fit better with the tone of my series to use her as a foil to my gals.

I honestly hadn't considered doing much with Lavender when I initially planned out the series, but when I wrote her scene with Tess in RED, she broke my heart! I realized she had a very compelling story to tell and desperately needed a happy ending. And as the Tale partly responsible for bringing everyone over to the Here and Now, she had some explaining to do.

Braine: Yes! That scene with Tess was INSPIRED. One little scene that spoke volumes! Bird's eye view, Lavender and Seth is a curious pairing. What makes these two click and what is your favorite thing about them?

Kate Serine: I think what makes them click is the fact that they are both lost souls in search of a new beginning. They both have a past they're trying to live down and a reputation that's largely undeserved. That being said, they've both made a lot of mistakes and need to learn to forgive themselves in order to move on. When they find each other, they finally discover the means to heal themselves and one another. I really enjoyed writing their journey to love and Happily Ever After. I'd say my favorite thing about Seth and Lavender is the way the sexual tension immediately sizzles between them in spite of their wariness of one another.

Braine: Are Tess and Nate going to make an appearance in book two? Of course I've read it but I'd rather have you give spoilers first before I do on my review later :D

Kate Serine: Definitely! In fact, they have some rather exciting news to share... ;)

Braine: They have indeed! But I will stay mum about that. Going back to the series, how many books are you planning to write for Transplanted Tales?

Kate Serine: At the moment, I'm contracted for three books for the series, but I've left the door open for more at the end of ALONG CAME A SPIDER. We'll just have to see how things go. I'm certainly open to writing more books if the demand is there.

Braine: Buy the books people! We demand, she writes! Are you working on something else aside from Transplanted Tales?

Kate Serine: Yes, indeed. My agent and I have been hard at work polishing some other projects that I hope to share with readers someday. One of the projects in development is a dark paranormal romance series that’s very different from my Transplanted Tales. But it’s a novel I’m extremely proud of and probably the most emotionally intense thing I’ve ever written. The other project in development is a lighter paranormal romance series that’s full of danger, humor, and snark, and is similar in tone to my Transplanted Tales series.

Braine: Great news and I am looking forward to reading those projects of yours. If THE BETTER TO SEE YOU is on tomorrow's New York Times front page, what would the headline say?

Kate Serine: Wow, that's a tough one! Considering I have at least one more book in the series, I'd love to see something like, 

The Better To See You will make you howl with laughter and leave you begging for more!


Currently reading: In Rides Trouble (Black Knights Inc #2) by Julie Ann Walker

Book every person should read: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Book that should be made into a movie: Not sure about a movie, but I think SEALED WITH A CURSE by Cecy Robson would make a really fun TV series.

Fellow author you're dying to meet: Lara Adrian

Thing you're looking forward to this year: Attending the RT Booklovers Convention in May. I can't wait to hang out with readers and the other authors who will be attending!




Purchase Transplanted Tales

Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) faithfully watched weekend monster movie marathons while growing up, each week hoping that maybe this time the creature du jour would get the girl. But every week she was disappointed. So when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed that her characters would always have a happily ever after. And, thus, her love for paranormal romance was born. 

Kate is a member of Romance Writers of America and of Indiana RWA and has been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest (2010), the Finally a Bride Contest (2010), and The Emily (2012). She is represented by Nicole Resciniti with the Seymour Agency. 

Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project.


Fan Girls & Boys Welcome





Cover Reveal: Unbeautifully Loved by Emma Grayson

Unbeautifully Loved
Unbeautiful Life
Emma Grayson
Self-Published
Coming in April 2013


On the run from her dark and painful past, Lexie Todd is finally forced by her best friend Mollie into settling into a new place for the first time in months. Having been hurt in more ways than one in the past, the last thing Lexie is expecting or wanting is to meet someone as persistent and annoying but incredibly gorgeous as Lukas Gunn.

When an incident leaves Lexie banged up and rattled, Lukas knows there’s more to her than meets the eye as something is haunting her to the core making him nothing but determined to make her his and protect her from whatever it is that casts the dark painful shadow behind her eyes.

But when her past shows up and pulls Lexie back into the nightmare she already once escaped while leaving her closest loved ones in danger it’s up to Lukas to save her from her darkest nightmare relived.

Will Lukas be able to save Lexie? Or will Lexie succumb only having known what it’s like to be Unbeautifully Loved?





Cover reveal hosted by
Author's Angels