It’s appropriate for both upper Middle Grade and YA readers and is just good ol‘ clean fun.
The worldbuilding is impressive. And I realize this sounds like an odd thing to say, but one of my favorite parts of the book was the names of the various villages. You’ll see what I mean once you read it. 🙂
You can tell Einspruch put a lot of love and care into writing this adventure, and you’ll fall in love with Princess Eloise, Jerome and her other companions. The action really ramped up in the last quarter of the book, and while there is a cliffhanger, it’s a good one.
They say that villains often see themselves as the heroes of the stories, which is part of what makes them so fascinating.
Today, my fellow paranormal romance authors and I are discussing our absolute favorite villains and what makes us love to hate them (or just plain love them!).
Question:Who is your favorite supernatural villain of all time and why?
Without a doubt, Klaus Mikaelson is my favorite supernatural villain. He had a compelling backstory and he was fiercely protective over the people he cared about.
I don’t want to give anything away for anyone who hasn’t finished watching The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, but I’ll just say that he had an AMAZING character arc and I was crying like a baby during the entire last season of The Originals.
The only thing supernatural about her was that she was cursed to live forever, but I loved Delphine LaLaurie in American Horror Story Coven. She was a wretched, awful person who deserved everything she got in that show, but the writing was so good that I found myself feeling sorry for her at times.
As soon as I reminded myself who she was, I could wipe away any sympathy I felt for her, but she was a great villain.
Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was so witty and sexy without being over-the-top evil and ended up teaming with her by the end of the season. He had feelings and motivations that made sense to me, and of course became a series regular so we got to see a lot more of him, but his villain run in season 2 with Drusilla was just a blast to watch. Those two had some insane chemistry!
Death from Supernatural is definitely my favorite. He’s just an entity trying to do the job handed to him, and he gets a bad rap as the head reaper, when he’s really just the guardian of the natural order. He just wants to find a decent deep dish pizza and to ferry the dead where they belong, but the Winchesters are incessantly messing him up. He’s singularly unimpressed with the antics of the world around him and sees it all as inconsequential in the Grand scheme of things. I’ll spare the spoilers for those who have never seen the show, but while he might not be truly a villain, he’s a dark neutral that I adored more with every word that left his mouth.
My favourite super villain of all time would have to be Thanos from the Marvel Cinemas world. He destroyed half of the universe’s population with essentially just one hand. Like all villains, they believe they are the heroes of their story. Thanos believed he was making the universe a better place to live that didn’t include people not having to starve anymore because now there would be plenty of resources to go around.
But from the Marvel Comics world, he destroys half the universe to impress Death, who he has fallen in love with. So he is also a romantic at heart. Making him quite the complex fellow. Even villains need love.
Yikes! This might be harder than picking a favorite book boyfriend–I do so love me the baddies. I debated picking Loki (because, um, hello), but in the end, I have to go with the great and glorious villain who sparked my lifelong love of the bad guys: Maleficent. Everything about her, from her fierce head-horns (shared with Loki, possibly a theme?) to her raven to her brilliant, badass smile just sucked child-me right in. Here was someone fascinating. More than Prince Charmings or fairy godmothers, I imagined Maleficent’s backstory and I wondered what would have happened if she’d stayed a dragon and found herself a fire-breathing friend. And I love how the later live-action movie dug into that backstory and let Maleficent be the anti-hero I always knew her to be.
I love werewolves but I think I’d have to be a witch. I have a fairly sassy personality so I think it’d be great fun to tease people with my powers. And if I can get the mop to clean the house without me, all the better!
I love my PNR characters. I write about shifters (cat-shifters and wolf-shifters) and vampires. But if I could chose to be anything, I would probably pick witch. I am a huge fan of Charmed (the original), and even though Paige was half whitelighter, I wish I could orb. Oh, the time I would save. Plus, telekinesis would be awesome too.
I’d choose to be one of the vampires in my world. Mortal beings with long lives (think of all the history they get to witness) and the ability to travel miles in seconds via the space between dimensions. Who needs sunlight?
I would love to be something that could fly. I can’t really picture myself as a dragon, but maybe some kind of falcon or hawk shifter would be cool! Having other powers is tempting, too–like the longevity of vampires, and the magical powers of witches. Maybe I could be one of those hybrid species that gets the best of everything. 🙂
The ninjas in my series have nature based magic. One of them is a shapeshifter, who can shift into a creature she has had contact with. I think that’s the kind of power I’d like to have–but I think it would lead to some devious, different sort of thinking! 🙂
Danielle Parker’s life was a dream. Until it became a living nightmare.
Ripped of her memories of how she was kidnapped from her family, Danielle is whisked away to the mystical Crescent Cape—a kingdom ruled by vampires, where she is to live out her human life as a blood slave.
She’s not going down without a fight.
But her plans are thwarted when she’s selected to compete for the prince’s heart.
The winner will be turned into a vampire and taken as his bride. And the losers’ blood will be fed to the princess-to-be to complete her transition.
As much as she’s disgusted by the idea of the competition, and as dangerous as Prince Aiden is, she can’t deny her attraction to him—or to his troubled brother, Julian.
Will she be able to resist the brothers’ charms? Or will she find herself pulled into the dangerous world of the vampires of Crescent Cape?
A romantic and thrilling new series that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and The Selection.
Grab your copy today by clicking here. And don’t forget to grab the free prequel, Blood Heirs, by joining my Readers’ Group at www.ldanvers.com/subscribe.
Unstable powers, a uncertain future, and one overwhelmed girl.
Chaos doesn’t even begin to explain my life. Now that the first two artifacts are a part of me the third haunts my dreams. It calls to me, overwhelming my senses. Between that, the council, the demon, and everthing else, I did the only thing that I could think of, I took off. Hopefully, Charlie can forgive me for leaving without a word.
Disappearing seemed like my best option, until the demon found me, forcing my hand. Needing to save Becca and find the third artifact before him, I’m left with no other choice but to return and finish what I started.
To find the artifact in Hell, I must turn to the council for assistance which reveals even more corrupted their true motives are. Now, I have to determine the right course for not just myself, but the world too.
Click here to grab your copy today. And you can stay up to date on all of Grey’s new releases by joining the newsletter here.
Shift Into Love: Love Changes Everything Valentine’s Anthology (Including a Story by Shai August)
Release Date: January 2019
This anthology releases in January 2019 and will be available exclusively on Amazon!
After making one bad decision after another, fox shifter Erena is back at the Rock Creek Clan with her tail between her legs. Her past mistakes seem to be forgiven, but her position feels tenuous—and more tenuous still, with the arrival of a sexy misfit who gets under her skin.
Matt, a mountain lion shifter, returns home to the RCC with a giant secret only to meet the woman of his dreams. Too bad Erena has a chip on her shoulder. How the hell is he supposed to prove himself to a woman who has trust issues? He’ll have to figure something out, because between his smooth talking and his ulterior motives, he’s in danger of losing his mate before he ever gets a chance with her.
A newborn witch is hunted for her blood. Two smoking-hot brothers teach her how to survive. Can she unravel their dark secrets?
Demons. Magic. Fear.
I never believed in witches until I became one. I thought monsters existed only on television screens. I was wrong. And naïve.
Thom Walker saved me, but I don’t trust him. His brother Liam is one of them. A demon. He almost devoured me.
Desire. Secrets. Forbidden love.
Witchcraft isn’t easy, and my sparring sessions with my two saviors/jailers are distracting as hell. My feelings must be laid on ice before I end up dead. And I need to find out if I can actually lose my soul, or if it’s a weird metaphor.
Liam says I should embrace the darkness. And the darkness is coming…
A love triangle to die for! Heart-pounding suspense, two sexy, mysterious men, and a strong-willed, snarky heroine. Nothing stays black and white in a world full of shadows.
Emilia’s first encounter with Jason is memorable: it’s not every day you see a stranger change into a wolf. Her attraction to him is undeniable, but the secret he shares shakes the foundations of her life.
Jason’s need for Emilia unnerves him. It’s his job to report shifters without proper ID, yet he can’t make himself do it this time. The decision bites him in the tail when he discovers exactly who she is. He must keep his distance—or there will be hell to pay.
Their fates entwine when rogue shifters learn of Emilia’s identity and will stop at nothing to get to her. Emilia and Jason will have to fight together or risk losing everything.
But most of all? Emilia must learn to trust the wolf.
Click here to get your copy of Trust the Wolf today! And be sure to join Ashwood’s newsletter to get a free copy of Bearly Married – just click here.
Queen’s Blood Claim by Nicki Ruth
Release Date: April 2019
The cover for Queen’s Blood Claim is yet to be revealed, but join Nicki Ruth’s newsletter to snag your free copy of A Vampire Loves Forever – and be the first to know when Queen’s Blood Claim is available!
The Queen’s Alliance, Kingdoms of the Ocean Book One by Jessica Gleave
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Her kingdom on the brink of war. His kingdom can give her the army she needs. The price—her hand in marriage. But her sister’s action may cost them.
Evelda has not shown emotion since the death of her parents, only Charisa her younger sister, has seen any of the true Evelda. Forced to become a queen at a young age, Evelda believes she needs to be strong, fearless, and as impassive as stone.
When the threat of war looms, Evelda turns to her neighboring kingdom, to forge a marital alliance with Thaine the Son of the Pacific Ocean. The plan—to marry for the sake of her kingdom. But what if she could marry for love instead.
Charisa hates being a Daughter of the Sea. She would much rather be a normal mermaid, but she does her duty for her kingdom. Charisa will do what’s best even if it means sacrificing her own mermaid’s kiss, but what if that’s not enough.
Kenton Morley and Lawrence Derrickson have hated each other since they were feuding border lords in medieval England and Scotland…seven hundred years ago.
When their bloodlines were cursed, birthing the world’s first vampires.
Their feud has carried through the centuries based on an old argument: Kenton seeks to destroy the Cheld—the only line of humans capable of killing their kind—while Lawrence seeks to save them.
It’s said that men can forget, but never forgive. It’s also said that true love knows no bounds.
When the vampires move to Stone Haven, Pennsylvania, Alessandra Fiore will find out firsthand which of those old adages is true.
It doesn’t matter whether she believes in vampires or not…
Because they believe in her. And she’s on the very cusp of discovering her dormant powers as a Cheld—a potential vampire hunter.
With both of these strangely wealthy newcomers’ storming into her sleepy, peaceful town, warning her to stay away from the other, what is a girl to do? Especially when Kenton—the one that supposedly wants to kill her—has a devilish twinkle in his eyes that she just can’t say no to?
No matter how dangerous she instinctively knows both men to be, strengths and powers of her own are beginning to bubble to the surface, encouraging her that she can take care of herself, thank you very much.
Love and Hate—two sides of the same coin. Literally.
The only thing left to do is flip that coin and hope for the best…to see which old saying is true. And how many innocents bet the wrong way.
Life hasn’t been the same since the injury that ended my football dreams — and could have ended my life. The last glimpse I had of my hometown of Perdition was in my truck’s rear-view mirror years ago. I hadn’t planned to come back at all — even ten years feels too soon — but I came back for Homecoming and the longer I stayed in town, the more I fell under the spell of the Jane Guzmán, the shy, bookish innkeeper who sets my blood boiling.
Now I can’t walk away from the need to claim her. She intrigues me like no other woman—not even the mysterious seductress who has haunted my dreams since the night of my devastating accident.
I work hard to make everyone in Perdition see me as a quiet, shy innkeeper, not the sex demon I really am. It’s better that I keep my urges under wraps — no telling what would happen if I lost control. I spend my days renovating the bed and breakfast my late father left me as his legacy. My nights are another story.
As a result, I’m probably the oldest virgin succubus in North America. Well, maybe the oldest one in Texas. But trust me, it’s better this way. If I keep to myself, I can’t hurt anyone with my out-of-control powers. This worked for the past ten years…until he showed up.
Eric Andrews. Formerly Perdition’s star high school football player. The boy who triggered my first succubus dreams. The boy I used to love. Except he’s not a boy anymore.
Eric Andrews is back in Perdition, and he’s all grown up.
This was a really enjoyable read. I thought the concept of the elemental powers was clever and intertwining that with mythology made for an interesting storyline. I’m planning to read the whole series. 🙂
I loved the second book in this series. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to the characters and elemental powers in the first book, now that the characters are well established the reader is immediately pulled in to a wild adventure. I love Madows‘ writing style. Her books are fast-paced and easy to read — the perfect little escape from reality!
This book was very well written, it just didn’t capture my interest as much as I would have hoped. I don’t fault the author for that, though, as I knew I was trying a new genre. The main characters were original and believable (although I did have a hard time remembering who the more minor characters were). The storyline was unique and very creative. I think readers who enjoy UF books about elves and shifters will find this to be a fun read.
Why did I wait so long to read this?!?! It’s like The Bachelor meets dystopian YA fiction, but in the absolute best way possible. There’s jealousy, competition and friendship among the girls vying for Prince Maxon’s heart. And the blossoming relationship between America and Maxon feels so genuine and sweet. I liked this book WAY more than I thought I would. This is a series I definitely plan on finishing.
I never got into the whole Twilight thing as a teen. But I’m on a The Vampire Diaries kick right now, so I wanted to read a book about vampires. I loved Madow’s Elementals series, so I knew this series would probably be good, too. And it is! The book is written from multiple points of view, and the chapters are relatively short and keep you wanting more (in a good way). It was a really fun read and not too graphic. I think this is a book both teens and adults will enjoy.
I don’t know why I waited so long to read the second book in The Lunar Chronicles. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed Cinder, and Scarlet did not disappoint. Scarlet is definitely a strong female lead and will do anything to save her beloved grandmother, even if that means putting herself in grave danger. Marissa Meyer’s beautiful descriptions and thoughtful character development make this book one you can lose yourself in. I’m looking forward to continuing the series.
I have mixed feelings about the second book in the series. I didn’t love it as much as the first. But every time I thought I might be about to lose interest, a new twist pulled me back in. I’m still enjoying the relationship blossoming between America and Maxon and hope America can use her position for good. I’m still liking this series enough to read the next book. 🙂
I’m (seemingly) one of the few people in the world who didn’t read the Twilight series when it first came out. I think I would have absolutely loved it as a teen. As an adult, I can see the argument for Edward coming across as a bit creepy and controlling. But if I turn off the logical part of my brain and just enjoy this story for what it is, it’s hard to deny that it’s a fascinating premise and keeps your attention. It’s easy to see how this book started a phenomenon.
While A Study in Charlotte is a little outside of the realm of what I normally read, I decided to give it a shot. And I’m so glad that I did. I thought this was an insanely clever idea. The descendents of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson ending up at the same boarding school and teaming up to solve a mystery that they’re being framed for? Um, yes please! I wavered between giving this 4 or 5 stars. The biggest negative aspect of the book, in my opinion, is how casually Holmes’ drug use is treated. I mean, the girl has a SERIOUS drug problem, but it’s treated as if that is perfectly normal and just what teens do. That really rubbed me the wrong way. But the story was entertaining enough that I could look past it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am glad I decided to branch out and try something new.
The Wombanditos is unlike anything I’ve read – in the best way possible. In a novelette, author Andrew Einspruch has managed to create a whimsical yet believeable world inhabited by an OCD princess and her talking chipmunk companion Jerome (who was my favorite character!). Together, they set off on an adventure – and run into trouble along the way. Princess Eloise is kidnapped, and it’s up to her and Jerome to outsmart her captors – the Wombanditos. I actually found myself smiling as I read this story. There have been plenty of books lately that have made me teary-eyed, but I can’t remember the last time I SMILED while reading. It’s one of those books that’s a great little escape. Though this story can stand alone, it is the perfect teaser for the series. While it’s technically a YA book, it can certainly be enjoyed by a younger audience as there is no violence or graphic language. As a parent, it’s always nice to come across a fun story that can be enjoyed by all ages. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
The third book in The Selection series did not disappoint. If you enjoyed The Selection and The Elite, you’ll find The One to be a great conclusion to America and Maxon’s story. While I expected the dystopian element to play a larger part in things, this series is definitely more of a romance than anything else. I thought I had the ending figured out, but while there is an HEA, the way it played out was shocking. The action really ramped up, which made for a page-turning ending. This series is a great little mindless read. It’s fun and entertaining and a fun escape.
I think I just found a new favorite vampire series. I can’t wait to read the rest! The quality of writing was superb and the descriptions were so vivid without being over the top. For a relatively short story, it was full of action and romance. I loved everything about this book! I highly recommend it.
I absolutely LOVED this book. Like most readers, when I see something being compared to The Hunger Games, I’m a bit skeptical. But y’all… after reading it, I’m telling you it’s a totally fair comparison. It’s like The Hunger Games on steroids… with vampires. But in it’s own totally unique way. The whole premise was fascinating, the characters were well developed, the quality of writing is phenomenal. I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re into reading books about vampires, you do NOT want to miss this one.
I realize that I’m in the vast minority hear, but I did not enjoy this book. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I really don’t get the hype. The idea was interesting enough, but I think there was just SO much description that, for me, it got in the way of the story. Before reading it, I remember seeing reviewers complaining about the excessive descriptions of dresses and thinking that was an odd complaint. But seriously. There are so many long-winded descriptions of dresses and colors that it started grating on my nerves. It’s not a terrible book by any means, but I was nearly finished with it when I realized I wasn’t enjoying it at all.
Vampires, totally. They tend to be loner symbols, living centuries without being fully a part of the eras they live through. Also they tend to be aristocratic and I like the trappings of that (elegance, beautiful old-fashioned clothes, castles). It’s kinda funny: my best friend is firmly Team Werewolf. We have an agreement: if I get bitten by a vampire, I’ll ask if she wants to be bitten, but if I get bitten by a werewolf, she *definitely* wants me to bite her, and her biting me is exactly the reverse!
Ironically, the works I currently have available are about werewolves. It could’ve been any paranormal being, but frankly I liked the title I came up with for the first one. I plan to introduce vampires to the series later, and other creatures as well.
I love both! But hey, if a girl has got to choose, I’m team vampire. If I ended up with a vampire boyfriend, I’d rather have one that can go in the sunlight, though. A vampire’s bite is way sexier than being bitten by a wolf. And if I were a vampire, one thing I definitely wouldn’t do is go to high school! I’d travel the world.
I’m team shifter all the way. The idea of an undead lover gives me the creeps. Give me the hot blooded primal male. I follow the shifter lore where they are born that way with the ability to shift whenever they want. It is as normal as breathing to them. I really like the wolves, but the cats have their charms. The bears are pretty cool, too. And lately I’ve discovered honey badgers. Talk about your anti-hero!
Wait, make that three: writing, cooking and eating.
I didn’t grow up in a foodie family. While there are a couple comfort food-type dishes that have been passed down, I don’t have access to a collection of timeless, tried and true family recipes. So I’ve had to search for my own.
For whatever reason, last year I decided that finding the perfect cookie was my number one mission. Why? I don’t know, exactly. It just seemed like a perfect cookie was something a mom should have.
Plus, it was an excuse to make cookies.
So I tested a bunch. Some were fine. Some were downright disgusting. But none were memorable – at least not in a good way.
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Everything changed a week or so ago when I opened up Tiffani Thiessen’s Pull Up A Chair. Yes, she was Kelly on Saved by the Bell. And let me tell you, that lady knows how to cook. I have yet to try a recipe from that book that hasn’t turned out amazing. Her cookbook is honestly the best cookbook I have EVER used. And I am kind of a cookbook hoarder, so that’s saying a lot.
These cookies were made using her recipe for her Sea-Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. Now, I have to confess. I did not have sea salt on hand. Which I realize is kind of in the name. But still, even without it, these were the most perfect cookies I have ever put in my mouth.
First, they were HUGE. Like, one is enough. Second, they were a perfect consistency. They had a slight crunch to them on the outside but were soft on the inside. And, of course, they tasted amazing.
Now that you know about where to find the perfect cookie, I thought I’d share one that I invented while playing around in the kitchen. I actually got the inspiration from Pull Up A Chair’s recipes for whiskey-glazed spice nuts (seriously, it’s worth buying the cookbook just for this recipe) and shortbread cookies.
Ok, so for the cookie that still needs a name, here’s the recipe:
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups butter (cold)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp whiskey
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Using a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugars with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add the vanilla extract, flour and salt and keep mixing until incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Roll the dough into a flat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Roll out the dough and cut out into 3-inch circles. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Have you ever seen anything so adorable? These bookish candles feature custom scents designed to evoke fond memories of your favorite literary tales – from Sherlock Holmes to Jane Eyre. Sixteen bucks for a gift your loved one will rave about? Yes, please!
Know an avid reader who simply wants to snuggle up with a good book and be left alone? Then this blanket is sure to make them smile. (Mental note to self: do not mess with L.G. Castillo when she’s reading.)