Your Heart Will Hunger for "Eat Brains Love"

Eat, Brains, LoveTitle:  Eat Brains Love
Author:  Jeff Hart
Format:  E-galley
Length:  352 pages
Publisher:  Harper TEEN
Date of Publication:  October 1, 2013
Rating:  4 stars

 Two teenage zombies search for brains, love, and answers in this surprisingly romantic and laugh-out-loud funny debut novel with guts.

Jake Stephens was always an average, fly-under-the-radar guy. The kind of guy who would never catch the attention of an insanely popular girl like Amanda Blake-or a psychic teenage government agent like Cass. But one day during lunch, Jake's whole life changed. He and Amanda suddenly locked eyes across the cafeteria, and at the exact same instant, they turned into zombies and devoured half their senior class.

Now Jake definitely has Amanda's attention-as well as Cass's, since she's been sent on a top-secret mission to hunt them down. As Jake and Amanda deal with the existential guilt of eating their best friends, Cass struggles with a growing psychic dilemma of her own-one that will lead the three of them on an epic journey across the country and make them question what it means to truly be alive. Or undead.

Eat, Brains, Love is a heartwarming and bloody blend of romance, deadpan humor, and suspense that fans of Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies will devour. With its irresistibly dry and authentic teen voice, as well as a zombie apocalypse worthy of AMC's The Walking Dead, this irreverent paperback original will leave readers dying for the sequel that's coming in Summer 2014.

My Thoughts
This book reads as two stories that while they intersect from time to time, do not truly come together until the end.

Story one...
The zombification of  Jake and Amanda and there resulting exodus from Ronald Reagen High amid all the carnage that ensues.
Jake and Amanda prove to be very thoughtful and intelligent characters who do a lot of psychological maturing and manage to develop a very healthy friendship under very strange and troublesome circumstances.  
Jake and Amanda's story is full of so much more than blood and gore.  There are quite a few funny moments, those life affirming moment's of "he or she is more like me than I thought", and the beginnings of a friendship/romance.
The story told here is very engaging, fun, fast-paced, and serves as the driving force for the plot.

Story two...
 This is the story of the Necrotic Control Division, a federally funded task force charged with containing the zombie problem and lying to the public.
This is where we meet Cass, a sixteen year-old operative who was recruited due to her amazing psychic abilities.
For the most part, Cass seems a fish out of water.  She is the child in a room full of adults, and for the most part just wants to go home.
Her story is in fact, where things start to get sad.
She sees most of the blood, gore, and carnage.  She also finds herself a pawn in the sick plot of her boss Alastaire, to train a captured "zombie attack force".

Story Pluses
Intelligent zombies
Fleshed out plot
Origanal story elements
Lack of insta-love

 Story Minuses
Separation between Cass' and Jake's stories.

"Her Ladyship's Curse" A Good Start to a Fun Series

Her Ladyship's Curse (Disenchanted & Co., #1) Title:  Her Ladyship's Curse
(Disenchanted & Co. #1)
Author:  Lynn Viehl
Format:  ERC
Length:  200 pages
Publisher:  Pocket Star
Rating:  4 Stars

In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts

In Disenchanted & Co., authoress Lynn Viehl has created a world where steampunk and magic exist side by side and mysteries abound.
This story is a wonderful mix of the old and the new.  Old, in the sense that there are definite nods given to the Historical Romance genre given the overall tone of the novel.  New in that an entirely never before seen world has been created.

Kit Kittredge is for the most part a very likeable protagonist;  although her insistence that all magic is  a farce, flies in the face of her personal experience.  A healthy skepticism is more than understandable, given the fact that her bread and butter is made from the debunking of frauds and charlatans plying their false crafts.  She however, is made increasingly aware throughout the course of the book that not only is there real magic, but that magic may be being used to end her.

Then there is the mystery surrounding the young Mrs. Walsh.  Though this sad case is quickly and unceremoniously solved by Kit,  there is never a fitting resolution for the distraught Mrs.  What comes of this instead are more questions.  A great number of which involve Kit and her parents.
And lastly, there is the romantic loose end that is Lucien Dredmore.  While the fact that Mr. Dredmore wants Kit is indisputable, who and what he is are not quite as clear.  There is an awful lot of cat an mouse going on between these two in the first 80% of this read.  That would be fine, except for the fact that Kit soon confesses that she would very much like to be caught within  the first 20%. 
Knowing that her protestations against the dashing Mr. Dredmore are baseless so early on make their romantic tug of was as fun as watching paint dry.

Not to worry though...
Our lady Kit and her dark Mr. Dredmore do redeem their squandered opportunities in a surprising cliff hanger by book's end.

In short, this is a good book in so much as it sets the stage for book 2.  There are some books that would do well as standalone reads.  This would not be one of those.  If you are going to take time to read this book; you had better be prepared to buy book 2.

Partners In Crime Book Tours Presents: Birthdays of a Princess


Birthdays of a Princess by Helga Zeiner on Tour June 1st - July 31st 2013

Book Details:

Genre:  Psychological Thriller Published by: POW WOW Books Publication Date: May/June 2013 Number of Pages: 290 ISBN: 978-0-9868798-7-6 Purchase Links: Coming Soon


To be famous and be admired by total strangers can be very dangerous.
Her little girl has always been her princess. In fact, she was so lovely, Melissa entered her toddler into child beauty pageants, making her a star from an early age. But her dreams and hopes are shattered one October morning, when Melissa watches a breaking news story on television. A young girl has been filmed by bystanders, committing a brutal assault in broad daylight in a downtown Vancouver Starbucks…and it looks like the girl is her daughter.
From this moment on, a story unfolds, so shocking, that it will hold you captive and you will find yourself reading faster and faster into the night.
An Excerpt:

She wakes up earlier than usual. It’s not even eight yet. The apartment feels empty, but that doesn’t surprise her, because it is empty most mornings. To make sure, she gets out of bed, opens the curtains, waddles down the narrow hallway, stops at the second bedroom and listens briefly. Not a sound. Of course not. She would have heard the flat door open, no matter how late. She is a light sleeper.
The kitchen greets her with familiar comfort. Welcome, my lonely friend. Make yourself a cup of tea. Sit down by the window. Look out, check the weather, think about what to wear for work. Stop listening. Nobody is home but you.
Just another day in the big city.
Vancouver is still sleepy. Yawning and slowly stretching like a lazy lion, rubbing its exhausted eyes, waiting for the helpers to brush the filthy remains of last night’s excitement from the concrete floor of its den.
The water kettle switches itself off and she pours the boiling water over the tea bag and waits one minute, standing in front of the kitchen counter. It has to be exactly one minute, no point in doing anything else but stare at the twirling surface inside her cup. Sixty seconds later–the second dial on her kitchen clock is within her periphery—she discards the bag, heaps three generous spoonfuls of sugar into the cup, followed by so much cream that the tea instantly cools to drinking temperature, and sits down at the kitchen table.
Still thinking it’s just another day.
A gentle traffic hum outside, no sound inside her kitchen. Correction: no sound inside her flat, this two bedroom, one bathroom borderline apartment. Borderline because its location touches a good neighborhood and the Eastside. The street she lives on stops the filthy guts of downtown spilling over into suburbia. Her kitchen window points toward the high-rise monuments of downtown Vancouver. Very pretty at night, not so attractive at daytime when the not-so-high and not-so-modern buildings that envelope the skyscrapers become visible. She doesn’t want to look at the decaying grey buildings any longer that provide a battle ground between city planners who want to sell it to developers and Eastsiders who have occupied them.
Just another day. And it is so quiet.
Melissa turns on the TV, not realizing that it is exactly eight o’clock now. The channel is set on CTV and there is a ‘Breaking News’ banner flashing in bright orange below the female morning anchor. She increases the volume. The excited voice of the lady anchor fills her kitchen. She takes a sip of her sweet, sweet tea and leans back a little.
“We have a developing story of a brutal attack on a customer at Starbucks coffee shop on Robson Street. Apparently a young woman has stabbed another woman inside Starbucks. Our reporter Emily Jackson is on location. Emily, what can you tell us…?”
The upper body of a reporter, holding a microphone in one hand and fighting her wind-swept hair with the other, comes into the picture. Melissa hadn’t noticed that it is quite windy outside. Well, it’s October, at least it’s not raining. Behind the reporter a yellow band is restricting access to the crime scene. She sounds overly excited. “From what we have learned, a young woman has suddenly attacked a woman inside the coffee shop you see right behind me. We don’t know yet if the customer was already seated or still standing in line to place her order. We also don’t know the identity of the attacker or of the victim yet or have any information about the motive. Apparently the attacker suddenly produced a knife and threw herself at the woman, yelling obscenities on top of her voice. As you can see behind me, police have cordoned off the area and are processing the scene.”
The anchor interrupts her. “Do we have any information about the condition of the victim? Is she badly hurt? Or…”
An autumn gust blows hair over the reporter’s face. She nearly loses her microphone, trying to control the strands with both hands, but fumbles it back into position when she realizes that the camera is focused on her again. One side of her pretty face is completely covered with hair. It looks ridiculous and Melissa catches herself thinking the reporter would look a lot prettier if she had a different hairstyle.
“The ambulance has transported the victim to the emergency ward of St Paul’s…”
The reporter’s voice travels along Melissa’s attention span and loses its grip. Background noise quality. She likes that. And God, her tea is good.
Another developing story news-flash banner demands her attention again. The anchor sounds triumphant: “We have just received a video-clip from one of our viewers. We would like to warn you that some viewers may find the content of this video-clip offensive in nature…”
The clip starts. The picture is shaky, the filmmaker hassling for a good position between other coffee-shop customers who have jumped up to look what is going on in the middle of the room. The back of shoulders and heads pop in and out, screams of horror and confusion can be heard. Their unedited sound quality provides an unnerving authenticity to the unfolding drama.
An arm rises up in the air and down again, in kind of a wood chopping motion. Up and down, in one swift move, no hesitation whatsoever. In fact, the chopping goes on. Up and down, up and down—accompanied by ‘Oh my God’s’ and ‘Oh no, oh no’s’. The filmmaker edges closer, seems to get up on a chair, because he is above the scene now, holding his iPhone or whatever device he’s got, high above the center of the customer-circle that inched away from the dangerous situation. The victim of the attack is on the floor now, mercifully blurred by the rapid movements of the inexperienced cameraman, or maybe by CTV’s editing. The attacker, the young woman, wearing a black hoodie, is over her and chops into her with such vengeance that Melissa can feel the force of her hatred, furious and powerful. The victim is trying to protect her face and chest with crossed hands. The mad attacker continues to stab her wherever she can—face, arms, torso, it is impossible to make out exactly in the shaky clip where her knife slices into.
Bodies pop in and out of the picture and mercifully block most of what is going on. Several of them finally muster enough courage to intervene. The picture goes even more shaky and blurry. Then the anchor speaks again.
“We have word from the police that the victim you have just seen being attacked inside Starbucks on Robson about an hour ago is in critical condition. The young woman has been overpowered by three heroic young men…”
and now it happens, it’s not ‘just another day’ any longer
“they were performing a citizen’s arrest and held her captive until the police arrived…”
the anchor’s voice fades, just like the reporter’s before, because all of Melissa’s focus concentrates on what she sees on the screen. Meanwhile the filmmaker has managed to muscle himself closer to the group of guys who have pulled the young women off her victim and have now pinned her to the ground. Her face appears. The filmmaker zooms in. She smiles victoriously straight into his camera, as if she has achieved a very special feat.
Melissa is standing now, holding on to her cup of tea, frowning with the exhausting task of connecting what she sees on the screen with the reality of her life. It can not be. It can not be. But it is.
The tea cup slips from her weak hands, falls to the floor, spills its content on the cheap vinyl kitchen floor before rolling under the table.
It is.
It is. It is…her daughter.

My Thoughts:

Birthdays of a Princess is a heart wrenching and frighteningly realistic look at what can happen when the evils of child exploitation and parental neglect are allowed to go unchecked.
Though it is quite clear that young Tia is the villain in the opening pages of this saga; it is not until much later that readers learn the true extent of her victimization.

If not for the great care taken by the author in slowly and methodically taking readers into the heart of the dysfunction which in essence serves to create Tia; it would be very easy to close one's mind to her plight, write her off, and close this book.
Because readers take the journey of discovery with her however, we are allowed the peeks behind the closed doors, under the beds, and in the closets.
We can see the monsters of abuse and manipulation and hear her unanswered cries for help.
This is a very difficult story to read, but very much worth the time.
At it's heart, this is a cautionary tale.  A warning for adults and society as a whole that childhood is precious.  A time to be safeguarded by adults and enjoyed by children.  If this doesn't happen, society as a whole pays a grave and exorbitant price.

Author Bio: 

Born and educated in Germany, Helga left her home country when she was 18 to travel the world and experience the magic of life she was passionately reading about. She spent the next 15 years in exotic places like India, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, where she worked her way up into excellent managerial positions in large international companies. To achieve this she had to further her education and enrolled at night classes at the 'Chinese University of Hong Kong' for her Diploma in Management Studies. Love eluded her for many years. She was nearly 40 when she finally met her dream man and settled in Canada, where she now lives, neatly tucked away in the wilderness. She has previously written several suspense novels which have been published in Germany. Her first novel written and published in English is called. ‘Section 132”. A thrilling fact-based page-turner about a young girl forced into a polygamous marriage that has received countless 5-star reviews. Birthdays of a Princess’ is her second novel and will be published in June 2013.

Catch Up With Ms. Zeiner:

Audiobook Awesomeness: City of Bones

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Title:  City of Bones
(The Immortal Instruments #1)
Author:  Cassandra Claire
Format:  Audiobook
Length:  14hrs. 11min.
Source:  Audible Purchase
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . .Goodreads

Friday Reads #11

It's Friday...What Are Your
Here is mine!

Club Monstrosity (Monstrosity, #1)
Title:  Club Monstrosity
(Monstrosity #1)
Author:  Jesse Peterson
Format:  ERC
Length:  224 pages
Publisher:  Pocket Star

Natalie’s one of Frankenstein’s creations and works in a New York City morgue. So of course she needs therapy. She and her friends—er, fellow monsters—have formed the world’s most exclusive, most dysfunctional support group. What could go wrong?

Undetected in the modern world and under pressure to stay that way, Natalie Grey, Dracula, Bob the Blob, and others (including the fetching wolfman Alec) meet regularly to talk about the pressures of being infamous in the Big Apple. Topics include how long it’s been since their last sighting, how their “story” creates stereotypes they can’t fulfill, and—gasp—sometimes even their feelings. But when their pervy Invisible Man, Ellis, is killed in a manner reminiscent of the H.G. Wells novel, it’s clear someone’s discovered their existence and is down for some monster busting.

Led by Natalie—and definitely not helped by Hyde’s bloodthirsty tendencies—the members of Monstofelldosis Anonymous band together for security and a little sleuthing. And maybe—maybe—if they don’t end up dead, they’ll end up friends somewhere along the way.  -Goodreads

"White Trash Beautiful"... A Gorgeous Read!

White Trash Beautiful (White Trash, #1) Title:  White Trash Beautiful
(White Trash Beautiful #1)
Author:  Teresa Mummert
Format:  Print
Length:  240 pages
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Rating:  5 Stars

A word-of-mouth bestseller that’s captivating readers with its honesty, grit, and headstrong heroine, White Trash Beautiful is a story for anyone who has ever felt trapped in life, cheated by love—and longed for something more . . .

Cass Daniels isn’t waiting for her knight in shining armor. She knows that girls like her don’t get a happily ever after. Not if you live in a trailer with your mom, work at a greasy spoon diner, and get leered at by old men. Maybe that’s why she puts up with Jackson—her poor excuse for a boyfriend, who treats her like dirt. Cass has learned to accept her lot in life. That is, until he walks into her diner. . . .

His name is Tucker White, and he’s different from any man Cass has ever known. Tall, tattooed, and bad-ass gorgeous, he’s the lead singer of the rock band Damaged. From the moment they meet, Tucker sees something in Cass he just can’t shake. Something beautiful. Something haunted. Something special. And he’s determined to find out what it is—if only he can get her to open up and let him in. . . .  -Goodreads

 My Thoughts
"White Trash Beautiful" is a book that many have tried to write.
The perfect blend of heartache, romance, tension, grief, and triumph.  This wonderful story grips both the heart and mind of readers from it's opening sentence and doesn't let go until the last word.

Cass is strong, beautiful, battered, and just trying to survive with her sanity and her heart in tact.  But given the fact that she has to fight for every scrap of happiness and normalcy, that fight is not one that she is sure that can win.


Tucker, a white knight on shiny motorcycle.  Of all the diners in all the world, he had to walk into hers.  In Tucker she finds laughter, love, and choices.  Choices that come with a price, and Cass must than decide if that price is too high, that star too high, and if she is truly worth it.  

This book does not read like the first in a series.  Though it is a scant 240 pages, the writing is very polished, the characters are very well defined and extremely likable, and the story flows and transitions seamlessly.
This book also manages to skirt the pitfall of predictability that can kill a novel like this.
There  are plenty of secrets and wtf  moments
coming from both the Cass and Tucker camps.
Big kudos to the authoress in making her book a true romance.  Instead of making things between Cass and Tucker all about the sex; she made their love affair all about the heart.  The passion between these two grew from the seeds of respect and tenderness that is a joy to watch bloom as the pages turn.
This is a great read and this reviewer can't wait for book 2!

BookSparks PR Presents: All My Restless Life to Live

All My Restless Life to LiveTitle:  All My Restless Life To Live
Author:  Dee DeTarsio
Length:  306 pages

Fans of Marian Keyes and Jennifer Weiner will delight in Dee DeTarsio’s sparkling prose and lively dialogue as she takes readers into the heart of women’s lives.

Life is a soap opera, especially for Elle Miller, who writes for one. (Ellen dropped the “n” in her name in hopes of finding a better ending for herself.) When her laptop crashes, she borrows her recently deceased dad’s computer and gets way more than she bargained for.

Elle unravels mysterious communications from his computer, while her mom decides to give Internet dating a try. As Elle tries to save her career at I’d Rather Be Loved with a storyline featuring a trip through Atlantis, she takes a trip to the Emmys, and finds herself in the middle of a romance between a real doctor and a hunk who just plays one on TV.

Friends, family, and clues from “the other side” all help Elle figure out the difference between living the good life and living a good life.

Filled with friendship, love, loss, betrayal, and challenges that force her characters to find their place in the universe, Dee’s novels give us that hopefully-ever-after we're searching for.

Dee DeTarsio is a Winner of The 2013 San Diego Book Awards, Romance category, for Haole Wood, as well as a 2013 Next Generation Indie Awards Finalist.  -Goodreads

Dee DeTarsio   

DEE DeTARSIO is a TV writer living in southern California. After growing up in Ennui, Ohio, and graduating from The Ohio State University she vowed never to be cold again (in a tantrum more worthy of Suellen than Scarlett) and ended up in Tucson, Arizona, producing the news for the CBS affiliate, oddly enough called KOLD-TV. She moved to San Diego where she worked in the SeaWorld entertainment department as a producer/writer. (Penguins are mean!) She then became a producer/writer for the NBC affiliate.

Dee is the author of hopefully-ever-after novels: THE SCENT OF JADE, THE KITCHEN SHRINK (both finalists in the prestigious San Diego Book and Writing Awards),  'TIL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, ROS, and HAOLE WOOD.

Though her mother never beat her (that hard) and her father is not a celebrity, she suspects one of her four sisters is a vampire.

Dee DeTarsio is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in southern California with her family. (She only goes back to visit Ohio for two days in early October because she is equally scared of tornadoes and getting trapped in a snowstorm.) 


"Scythe Does Matter"...A Big Story In A Tiny Package

Scythe Does Matter Title:  Scythe Does Matter
(The Reluctant Reaper #2)
Author:  Gina X. Grant
Format:  ERC
Length:  200 pages
Publisher:  Pocket Star
Rating: 4.00

Kirsty’s afterlife gets even more Hellish in this second installment of The Reluctant Reaper series when her soul-stealing ex-boss targets her beloved aunt. Her only chance to stop him? Becoming a Reaper herself. Fortunately, her hunky new boyfriend, Italian-poet-turned-Reaper Dante Alighieri, is there to help.Still trapped in the bureaucratic inferno known as Hell, Kirsty d’Arc redoubles her efforts to escape back to the Mortal Coil when she learns Conrad is after the soul of her beloved aunt. To save Aunt Carey, Kirsty must enroll at the Reaper Academy and earn a scythe of her own. Studying topics like Exor-scything 101, Riding the Death Cycle, and Reincarnation for Dummies is strange. But then, so are her classmates: a fallen angel, the Death Valley girls, and Kali—the ancient god of death, destruction, and those little earring backs that always go missing.

Now time is running out thanks to a temporal crisis she may have accidentally created. Can she graduate, rescue her aunt, take down Conrad, and save Hell and every other dimension—before the clock stops ticking?

As the saying goes in Hell, “Be careful what you wish for; it just might get you!”  -Goodreads

My Thoughts

"Scythe Does Matter," the second book in the Reluctant Reaper series, is where the book and it's author find their feet.  

The laughs this time around are allowed to occur naturally and never seem forced  or over done.
Kirsty comes into her own and takes an active role in her after-life.  This allows her to become the heroine that she has to be to make the story work.
Dante, on the other hand, plays a more secondary role in this read.  Thankfully without all of the "thee and thou" of the first book.
The setting of the story is also a lot tighter than the first time around.  This means that there are not tons of new characters drifting in and out of scenes, and there are fewer scene changes.  This paring down of details helps to make this a wonderful novella.
This is a great second book and an awesome progression for the author and the series.

Adventure Shines Bright in "Midnight Frost"

Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy, #5)Title:  Midnight Frost
(Mythos Academy # 5)
Author:  Jennifer Estep
Format:  ERC
Length:  400 pages
Publisher:  KTeen
Rating:  5 Stars

Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there …  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Just when it seems that things can't get any worse for Gwen and the gang; the Reapers of Chaos spring.  A thwarted attempt to poison Nike's #1 girl manages instead to leave someone close to her on the brink of death, with the clock ticking for an antidote and Reapers hounding her every step.

The wait for this, the fifth installment of the Mythos Academy series is well worth it.
Readers will love the fact that even though Quinn is still inexplicably MIA, Gwen has no time to sit and mope.
The Reapers of Chaos are still smarting over their failed attempt to kill her and gain access to all the artifacts that they need to return Loki to his former glory, and they will spare no one to accomplish their evil goal.

This book is all about the "field trip".  
The jet's all fired up and the kids are going to Denver!
To the Mythos Academy in Denver to be exact.

What will they be doing in Denver?

Well...let's see...
There are family secrets, new deities, gryphons, and reapers, reapers, reapers.
The stakes for Gwen's success have never been higher and the level of adventure is through the roof.


{FridayReads} #10 @WTFAreYouReadin

It's Friday...What Are Your
 I often Tweet my Friday Reads,
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a post on my blog as well.
 The Marriage Merger (Marriage to a Billionaire, #4)
Title:  The Marriage Merger
Author:  Jennifer Probst
Format:  Print
Length: 390 pages
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Expected Publication Date:  July 30th, 2013

Her sisters have found wedded bliss with their wealthy,
wonderful dream men, but not Julietta Conte. She’s stayed
on terra firma as top executive of the family’s corporation,
La Dolce Famiglia bakery. Work is her passion, and her
trendy Milan apartment her sanctuary . . . until Sawyer
Wells, a masculine masterpiece in a suit, lures her out of
hiding with an irresistible offer: an exclusive partnership
with his international chain of boutique hotels.

Julietta’s been burned before—and trusting her brother-in-
law’s friend, whose powerful gaze alone has her
rethinking the best use of a conference room, is the
riskiest proposition. But with a once-in-a-career chance
to take the bakery global, will she mix stone-cold business
with red-hot seduction?

I often Tweet my Friday Reads
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a list on my blog from here on out.
- See more at:

I often Tweet my Friday Reads
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a list on my blog from here on out.
- See more at:
I often Tweet my Friday Reads
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a list on my blog from here on out.
- See more at:
I often Tweet my Friday Reads
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a list on my blog from here on out.
- See more at:
I often Tweet my Friday Reads
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a list on my blog from here on out.
- See more at:
I often Tweet my Friday Reads
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a list on my blog from here on out.
- See more at:
I often Tweet my Friday Reads
but I have decided to change things up a bit.
There will also be a list on my blog from here on out.
- See more at:

{Interview} The Queen's Vow @CWGortner

The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile No one believed I was destined for greatness.
So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon. 

As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.

From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.  -Goodreads

 WTF Are You Reading? is honored to be able to bring you an interview with C.W. Gortner, author of
The Queen's Vow:  A Novel of Isabella of Castile.

WTF:  Why did you choose to explore the life of Queen Isabella in lue of other, more popular queens?

C.W. Gortner:  I had explored Isabella’s later years in my first novel The Last Queen, about her daughter, Juana; in that book, we see Isabella through Juana’s eyes after the triumph of 1492 and her later struggle to secure Spain, after she suffered tragic loss. That somber, stalwart queen is very different from the younger Isabella, however. The story of how Isabella became queen, and the various challenges she faced on her way to the throne, as well as her passionate love for, and marriage to, Fernando of Aragon, is relatively unknown, which is why I decided to write THE QUEEN’S VOW. We tend to see Isabella in her later incarnation, the iron-willed Catholic monarch who sent Columbus to America and revived the Inquisition, but we forget that she was young once—a princess whom no one expected would ever rule. In a very crowded marketplace, where many of the more popular queens have been the subjects of multiple fictionalized interpretations, I believe the story of Isabella’s youth and how she ended up becoming Spain’s first great queen is both fresh and unique.

WTF:  The tone for this story is very intimate.  What helped you find Isabella's voice?

C.W. Gortner:  It helped that I had written about her before, of course, albeit through another character’s eyes. I was also raised in southern Spain and Isabella has left an indelible mark on Spanish history; I’d visited her tomb in Granada, studied her reign in school. The challenge was to move past the hyperbole and distortions of the mythical Isabella I first learned about and discover the flesh and blood woman underneath her facade, whose desires, fears and hopes were obscured by her deeds. Though she lived in a time that was in many ways different from our own, she was still human. By learning about how she behaved in the circumstances she faced, how she acted, and just as importantly, how she didn’t act, I found valuable clues about the person she may have been. I found it fascinating that of the women I have thus far written about, she was without a doubt the most controversial; she was a very contained person, set on her path even from a young age. She had a strength of character that rarely wavered and uncommon determination that must have made her seem quite serene in public, yet she have struggled also with doubts, as we all do. I found official documents in which she revealed some of these doubts, so to recreate her it was really a matter of silencing my own preconceived notions of who she was, to not judge her for what she did or condemn who she ultimately became, in order to inhabit the young woman she was and reveal the transformation she underwent on her path to power. Her faith became her lodestone but it also hampered her ability to foresee the far-reaching consequences of her decisions. Isabella was both extraordinary for her era and a product of it. So, to find her voice, I had to understand what her era was like and how she saw the world around her.

WTF:  Do you have and writing rituals?

C.W. Gortner:  I tend not to be a ritualistic person, but I do try to write every day. I usually write in the early afternoon and set myself a word-count goal for each day. I can be superstitious in that I worry that if I don’t write, my instrument, as it were, will fail me. I feel that like musicians and other artists, writers must write regularly to keep their craft honed and sharp. Part of my “ritual” is also to read every day. Writers must read. I believe our craft benefits immeasurably by reading other writers.

WTF:  Who is your favorite royal?

C.W. Gortner:  At the moment, the one I’m writing about!

WTF:  If you could live under the rule of any monarch, which would choose?

C.W. Gortner:  While I love to write about monarchy I’m not sure I’d want to live under one, particularly
during the past. The 15th-16th centuries—eras in which all my books are set so far—were quixotic, brutal times, without a concept of civil or animal rights, or antibiotics or dry-cleaning for that matter. Monarchs could be, and often were, despotic and common people suffered greatly under the burden of their taxations and decisions. I guess if I had to choose, I’d live under the reign of Francois I of France simply because he had a more liberal view toward life.

WTF:  What occupation would you choose?

C.W. Gortner:  I’d be a painter at his court, under his patronage—versed in the styles of Florence. Francois I loved painters and often lavished money and protection on them. Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years at Francois’s court. I’d have loved to be apprenticed to Leonardo, whom I consider one of the geniuses of the Renaissance.

Thank you for spending this time with me. I’m honored to be here and I hope your readers enjoy THE QUEEN’S VOW. To find out more about me and my work, please visit my website at: