Monday, October 27, 2014

Candace Havens Books

As part of my interview with Candace Havens, this page showcases her books. 
For the Interview, Go Here
First on the list, Candy's favorite book.

Take it Like a Vamp (Entangled Covet) by Candace Havens. 

Vampire Nick Christos might’ve been born in the Middle Ages, but the good old days seem tame compared to the last eight years he’s spent ruling the Supernatural Council. His only respite is with his cute neighbor Casey Meyers, a woman he wants more than any undead man should. 

Sure, he's forced to take a cold shower after every encounter, but there’s no way he’ll test his own strength by getting too close to a human, and he’s not willing to risk her life--not with bloodthirsty family on the prowl out to ruin Nick’s life. 

When said Nick’s kin shows up, the innocent Casey is caught in the middle of a centuries old fight, and Nick’s biggest fear is realized. Now, instead of keeping his hands off his neighbor, he’ll risk everything to save the human he’s come to love.

Model Marineby Candace Havens. (Again, yes most of the Candace Havens books are by Candace Havens). 

Subject: Captain Will Hughes, U.S. Marine Corps Current 
Status: On assignment in NYC—suddenly recruited to shed the uniform!
Mission: Serve as model, muse and man-toy without running afoul of the general. 
Obstacle: Hannah Harrington, fashion world It girl. 

 Hannah narrowly escapes Fashion Week disaster by hijacking gorgeous Will for her runway show—after all, rock-hard abs are the ultimate accessory. His good deed nearly lands him in the brig, but he'll risk anything to get back into her bed…. Hannah can't figure out how this model marine got under her skin—they're complete opposites! But sexy Will not only ignites her senses, he fuels her creativity: an irresistible combination, even if it can't last. Can two steamy weeks together satisfy their lust…or will they have to extend this mission?

A Riveting Affair (Entangled Ever After) Anthology (yep) by Candace Havens. And Lily Lang and Patricia Eimer. 
Demon Express Professor Maisy Clark, professional demon hunter, is on the trail of an evil scientist responsible for the deaths of hundreds. Julian is worse than the monsters he creates, but he's also obsessed with Maisy and willing to kill anyone who gets too close to her. Just when she thinks she has Julian cornered, the sexy marshall Jake Calloway insists the investigation is his, and everything goes to hell. 

Maisy came to Texas to corner the scientist whose macabre experiments have taken so many lives, and Calloway is just another distraction she doesn’t need. Julian is her responsibility, one she’s not about to share. Even if Calloway can help, Julian will know Maisy is falling for the marshall, and she's not willing to risk his life. 

I met Candy before this book was released. She had just done a book signing for her biography of Joss Whedon (below). I like the way she made the book seem like a diary and how many spells she had done that day. This technique was original compared to other paranormal romances being published at the time. And I can say Ms. Havens is a BALL OF FIRE, just like the fireballs thrown  Bronwyn in her Charmed books.
Charmed & DeadlyBY Candace Havens.

Bronwyn is a witch who uses her powers for good. She casts spell, reads minds and is an undercover agent for the British Prime Minister. And she is from Texas.

See more books and reviews from Candace Havens and Shannon Leigh go HERE AND HERE. A review of Shannon's work can be found HERE.

My review (and the only Amazon review posted) of Dreams & Desires: A Collection of Romance Tales, Vol. 2 focused on Shannon's first published work of fiction.

Under The Tupelo by Shannon Canard is compelling. Rowan Summerall, a treasure hunter seeking to save her family legacy, unearths something unexpected. What will Rowan do with what she finds buried Under The Tupelo? Canard has a strong voice and a surprise gift for readers. I want more.

The NON-fiction. 

Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy 

From Booklist: Writers, actors, and fans often call Joss Whedon a genius. It’s easy to see why. Whedon, who got his start writing for Roseanne, dreamed of writing movie screenplays. He got his shot when he sold his script for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the movie fell far short of his hopes for it. 

After a few years of working as a script doctor, Whedon got the chance to doBuffy again, this time as a TV show. Few expected it to succeed, but Whedon’s humor and intelligence shone through in the scripts, and viewers quickly became attached to the engaging, witty characters. 

Buffy kept getting better: each season of the show featured a complex story arc possessed of a real sense of danger and further developed the characters. The last few years have brought the Buffy spin-off Angel, the lamentably canceled Firefly (a space western), and the comic book Fray. Engaging and filled with fun quotes, this is a must-read for Whedon’s many fans.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Recommended New Releases Week of 10/27

I know I am a bit late so pre-orders may just be orders, but I've been reading and busy moving (again). So are here are this weeks recommendations. And hooray for Halloween
this week. 

Beautiful Eyes: A Father Transformedby Paul Austin. Hardcover available October 27, 2014. Kindle edition available now. 

Through parenting a child with a disability, a father discovers patience, acceptance, and unconditional love. In 1987, Paul Austin and his wife Sally were newlyweds, excited about their future together and happily anticipating the birth of their first child. He was a medical student and she was a nurse. Everything changed the moment the doctor rushed their infant daughter from the room just after her birth, knowing instantly that something was wrong. Sarah had almond-shaped eyes, a single crease across her palm instead of three, and low-set ears—all of which suggested that the baby had Down syndrome. 

Beginning on the day Sarah is born and ending when she is a young adult living in a group home, Beautiful Eyes is the story of a father's journey toward acceptance of a child who is different. In a voice that is unflinchingly honest and unerringly compassionate, Austin chronicles his life with his daughter: watching her learn to walk and talk and form her own opinions, making decisions about her future, and navigating cultural assumptions and prejudices—all the while confronting, with poignancy and moving candor, his own limitations as her father. It is Sarah herself, who, in her own coming of age and her own reconciling with her difference, teaches her father to understand her. 

Time and again, she surprises him: performing Lady Gaga’s "Poker Face" at a talent show; explaining how the word "retarded" is hurtful; reacting to the events of her life with a mixture of love, pain, and humor; and insisting on her own humanity in a world that questions it. As Sarah begins to blossom into herself, her father learns to look past his daughter’s disability and see her as the spirited, warmhearted, and uniquely wise person she is.

Timmy Failure: We Meet Againby Stephen Pastis. Available October 28, 2014. Ages 8 – 12. 

His name is Failure. Timmy Failure. And his detective agency is on the verge of global domination. Global riches. Global fame. And yet the gods keep throwing him curveballs: for starters, academic probation. The coveted Miracle Report is the key to everything, including a good grade. 

It’s dirty business. It’s best you know nothing. But one thing is for sure: Timmy Failure will be triumphant again! here are several moments where Timmy is unironically sweet. Anyone familiar with the previous books in the series may be surprised at the genuine sentiment in a few scenes. There are actual hugs, and there's a deeply touching conversation with a very unlikely person. ... Timmy Failure is a classic antihero: Some readers will be drawn to the book because of him; others will be drawn to it in spite of him. —Kirkus Reviews. Don’t forget other Timmy Failure books. They are for kids and kids at heart!

Color Me Happy: 100 Coloring Templates That Will Make You Smile (A Zen Coloring Book) Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation (A Zen Coloring Book) Both books by Lucy Mucklow and Angela Porter. Available October 28, 2014. 

Already back ordered in some online outlets. Why? Because coloring is fun and therapeutic. I have some beautiful coloring books from Dover and I like to use (and suggest) watercolor pencils. Trust me.

I haven’t finished this but I think it is worth a look-see. Hiding in Plain Sight: A Novelby Nuruddin Farah. Available October 30, 2014. 

From an acclaimed African writer, a novel about family, freedom, and loyalty. When Bella learns of the murder of her beloved half brother by political extremists in Mogadiscio, she’s in Rome. The two had different fathers but shared a Somali mother, from whom Bella’s inherited her freewheeling ways. An internationally known fashion photographer, dazzling but aloof, she comes and goes as she pleases, juggling three lovers. 

But with her teenage niece and nephew effectively orphaned – their mother abandoned them years ago—she feels an unfamiliar surge of protective feeling. Putting her life on hold, she journeys to Nairobi, where the two are in boarding school, uncertain whether she can—or must—come to their rescue. When their mother resurfaces, reasserting her maternal rights and bringing with her a gale of chaos and confusion that mirror the deepening political instability in the region, Bella has to decide how far she will go to obey the call of sisterly responsibility. 

A new departure in theme and setting for “the most important African novelist to emerge in the past twenty-five years” (The New York Review of Books) Hiding in Plain Sight, is a profound exploration of the tensions between freedom and obligation, the ways gender and sexual preference define us, and the unexpected paths by which the political disrupts the personal.

Not New but recommended. Published in 1967 but re-released in paperback with a new forward, an important and meaningful book. Man's Search for Meaningby Victor E. Frankl, forward by Howard Kushner.

Have a wonderful Halloween!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview: Author Candace Havens

Readers, Writers and Friends, I have a special treat!  An almost Halloween treat, yummy like a rice krispy treat. 

An interview with Candace Havens: Author, Editor, Journalist.  

She has written for Harlequin, Berkley and Entangled Publishing. Candy has written biographies, paranormal romance, romance and anthologies. She is an Editor with Entangled Publishing. In addition, she is an Entertainment Journalist, reviews on radio and conducts workshops for aspiring writers.

Candy, how many books have you written and had published?

First, thanks for letting me hang out. And about 20 books so far.

Do you have a favorite?

That question is like asking someone if they have a favorite child. I’m working on the second book in the Take it Like a Vamp series, and I really love that world, so maybe.

If you’re more into straight contemporary romances, Model Marine is my favorite Harlequin Blaze I’ve written. 

I’m especially fond of the character Maisy in my steam punk series. I really want to write more of those.

With multiple jobs, including entertainment journalist and mom, how do you juggle all the responsibilities?

Honestly, some days I’m better at it than others. My children are grown, so that helps. But I work a lot of hours. There’s no other way to get it all done.

Have you had a favorite interview in your role as entertainment journalist?

I’ve been writing about television and film for a long, long time. Tom Hanks is a favorite. He never changes. He’s funny, charming and kind. You don’t always find that in Hollywood. And his wife Rita Wilson is an amazing human being. But I’ve talked to a lot of great folks through the years.

I know you write very quickly. How does that happen? Do you have a fully fleshed idea? Have you outlined the story? Or do you just sit down and write until your fingers fall off?

I just sit down and write until my fingers fall off. Once I get in the zone, sometimes I can’t type fast enough. I took two full years off from writing fiction to focus on editing. It’s been hard to get back in it, but last weekend I “accidentally” wrote 40 pages. I sometimes have a synopsis, a necessity to sell on proposal, but I’m definitely a pantser. I like to just sit down and write.

You give workshops and seminars, are often a guest speaker and share your knowledge with other writers and readers.  What is the best piece of advice you can give to an aspiring author? What writing techniques and skills do recommend and teach?

Sit your butt in the chair and write. And then take as many classes as you can. Hone your craft. I’ve been writing fiction for 10 years now, and I still take classes. I learn new things all the time. I would hope that I get better with every book. Write and learn. It’s pretty simple.

Please tell me more about your workshops.

The online workshops are free and paid. (Some workshops you have to pay a fee, some are free.) The free one is The Write Workshop. I have more than 2000 students. And I bring in all kinds of instructors, authors, editors, agents to teach.

Then I also do paid classes. I teach Fast Draft/Revision Hell a great deal. That’s where I teach you to write a book in two weeks and polish it in two weeks. 

But I also teach a comprehensive class, that I’m going to do again next February. It’s six weeks of intense, crafting a story. From concept to revision.

Do you have a favorite author? A favorite book?

I have about 30 favorite authors Nora Roberts, Jodi Thomas, Jasper Fforde, Stephen King, Kim Harrison, J.K. Rowling and the list goes on and on and on. This will be posted and I’ll be like, “Dang, why didn’t I mention so and so?”

I love to read everything. Fiction and non-fiction, adult, YA, steam punk you name it. That’s also why I write in so many genres.

You have written some short stories with Shannon Leigh.  How does writing with another person differ from being the sole author? What does Shannon bring to the story?

She’s an amazing writer and I like the way she sees the world. She’s technician, but she’s also great with emotion. And for me, it’s just fun seeing how someone else views the story. I can’t work with just anyone. We’ve known each other a long time, so that helps. I write some, she writes some and then we edit each other. It’s kind of magic.

What is your next book and when can we expect the release?

I’m working on Linc’s book from the Take It Like a Vamp series. We don’t have a title yet. If someone thinks of one, let me know. I also have a new Lovestruck series from Entangled and a Brazen I’m working on. Hopefully those will be out in 2015.

Tell me about Entangled Publishing and your role.
I’m an Editorial Director there. I bounce around a bit, and help where I’m needed. Right now I’m running our Covet (category paranormal romance) and Embrace (new adult) lines and helping out with Select Otherworld (single title paranormal romance).

So I have this extreme need to help people. It’s one of the reasons I started my free online writing workshop. With Entangled, I get to help make authors’ dreams come true every friggin’ day. It’s exhausting work, but it’s the most fun I’ve had in a really long time. I like the editing side of things. I can’t believe I’m saying that, because I hate doing revisions on my books.

But I can see the potential in books and I’ll do whatever it takes to help the author get it where it needs to be. Like with Shannon’s books, here’s an amazing author who had all but given up on the business. It took a bit of coercion and twisting of arms, for me to get her back into this. And the world would have missed out on some truly amazing stories. That would have been a terrible waste.

The worst part of the job for me, is having to reject stories. I know how hard it is to craft a story, so telling someone it isn’t quite right is tough for me. But I hope they take that information and make it even better, or find a home with an editor who loves them just the way they are. (Smile)

Is there anything else you would like to share?

To authors everywhere, be kind to one another. Our business is changing faster than any of us could have imagined. Lift each other up, help each other out. It may sound PollyAnna-ish, but my life has been filled great mentors and friends, people who have been there every step of the way and helped my career along. So do that for others, please. Be there for your friends. Encourage their success. Be kind.

See more books and reviews from Candace Havens and Shannon Leigh go HERE and HERE AND HERE. A review of Shannon's work can be found HERE.

My review (and the only Amazon review posted) of Dreams & Desires: A Collection of Romance Tales, Vol. 2 focused on Shannon's first published work of fiction.

Under The Tupelo by Shannon Canard is compelling. Rowan Summerall, a treasure hunter seeking to save her family legacy, unearths something unexpected. What will Rowan do with what she finds buried Under The Tupelo? Canard has a strong voice and a surprise gift for readers. I want more.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Books Recommended Available Week of 10/20/14

YIPPEE! YIPPEE! A new Charley Davidson book by Darynda Jones.  If you have not read her series, start now. 

What a great week ahead with spectacular releases. In addition to Darynda Jones, a new Jennifer L. Armentrout release, a marvelous biography and something inspirational. Enjoy!

Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson Series) by Darynda Jones. Available October 21, 2014. 

Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. 

So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancĂ© who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life. But all of that combined barely scratches the surface of her problems. 

Recent developments—and a few distressing prophesies—have forced her to become a responsible adult. Exactly the kind of adult she’s never aspired to be. To conquer such a monumental task, she’s decided to start small. Really small. She gets a pet. But how can she save the world against the forces of evil when she can’t even keep a goldfish alive? 

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it. We’re doomed. 

Read them all! Charley Davidson First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson Book 1). Sexy funny and original. Charley Davidson is the grim reaper. Her dream man is the son of the devil. The fun begins. And we only have to wait until May 19, 2015 for Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson Series)

 It should come as No Surprise that I am an Animal Advocate, a vegetarian as part of my cruelty free lifestyle and I Love Dogs! I love books about dogs and photos of dogs, and dogs!

DogFace by Barbara O’Brien. Available October 21, 2014.

Adorable four-color candid doggie mug shots. 

Photographer and animal trainer Barbara O’Brien has spent years photographing aspiring canine actors, from prancing puppies to stately hounds and tenacious terriers. At first, she discarded the photos if her subject was barking, sniffing, or otherwise looking less than perfect—until she realized that those outtakes best revealed the true personality of the pup. 

O’Brien is a skilled and seasoned photographer, and this winsome collection shows the care she took to reveal each dog’s essential character. The goofiness of the boisterous Border Collie, the decorum of the genteel Great Dane, and the curiosity of the regal Corgi—all of them are captured here in gorgeous four-color photography.

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements Book 2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Available October 21, 2014. 

Every touch has its price Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who's pretty sure things can't get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss.

The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could. But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla's powers begin to evolve, and she's offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. 

Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She's finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay. 

I like non-fiction. Here is a book that brings a new perspective to Queen Victoria. This is a hefty book, 624 pages, but then Victoria ruled for 64 years. Pick up this excellent read, learn, enjoy and build muscles. 

Victoria: A Life by A.N.Wilson. Available October 23, 2014. 

When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly sixty-four years. She was a mother of nine and grandmother of forty-two and the matriarch of royal Europe through her children’s marriages. To many, Queen Victoria is a ruler shrouded in myth and mystique, an aging, stiff widow paraded as the figurehead to an all-male imperial enterprise. 

But in truth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived, and the story of her life continues to fascinate. 

A. N. Wilson’s exhaustively researched and definitive biography includes a wealth of new material from previously unseen sources to show us Queen Victoria as she’s never been seen before. Wilson explores the curious set of circumstances that led to Victoria’s coronation, her strange and isolated childhood, her passionate marriage to Prince Albert and his pivotal influence even after death and her widowhood and subsequent intimate friendship with her Highland servant John Brown, all set against the backdrop of this momentous epoch in Britain’s history—and the world’s. 

Born at the very moment of the expansion of British political and commercial power across the globe, Victoria went on to chart a unique course for her country even as she became the matriarch of nearly every great dynasty of Europe. Her destiny was thus interwoven with those of millions of people—not just in Europe but in the ever-expanding empire that Britain was becoming throughout the nineteenth century. The famed queen had a face that adorned postage stamps, banners, statues and busts all over the known world. Wilson’s Victoria is a towering achievement, a masterpiece of biography by a writer at the height of his powers.

The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell YOU by Mike Dooley. Available October 21, 2014. 

From the afterlife—a new perspective on your life. “I know this may come as a shock, and you know I’m not fond of using stale one-liners, but—‘reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.’ I’m as alive now as I was on the day we met, except, maybe, more so.” 

If the dead could speak, don’t you wonder what they would say to those of us they’ve left behind? What would they tell us to soothe our sorrow for their loss, calm our fears of what happens when we die, and fire us up to live the best possible lives we can right now? 

In pages filled with wisdom, humor, and, yes, joy, New York Times best-selling author Mike Dooley explores our most pressing and profound questions about the afterlife—and this life—from the fresh perspective of those who have made the transition to the next phase.

Among the revelations and insights they share: 
We were ready; you are not. There’s no such thing as a devil or hell. 
We’re sorry for any pain we may have caused. 
Your pets are just as crazy, brilliant, and loving here as they were there. 
Nothing we say can prepare you for the beauty of the moment you arrive. 

You’ll learn that our loved ones are not lost to us; that our time on earth is both a school and an adventure; that, all appearances to the contrary, life truly is fair; and that we have it in us to reshape our own fortunes, starting today.


And now for a little Halloween.

by Natasha Wing (Author), Cynthia Fisher (Illustrator). "'Twas the night before Halloween, and all through the house, All the creatures were stirring, except for the mouse. The monsters had gathered to plan and prepare, For the trick-or-treaters who soon would be there?." Little monsters and goofy goblins take center stage in this silly, spooky spin on Clement C. Moore's beloved poem. But what will happen on Halloween when the monsters come face to face with human trick-or-treaters in this fun-filled book by the author of The Night Before Easter?