Guest Authors Blogging on Manic Readers!


Interested in guest blogging on Manic Readers? Please contact Ivy.
ivydtruitt at gmail (dot) com.

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UNDER TEXAS BLUE SKIES and GC giveaway with Debra Holt

AC_UnderTexasBlueSkies_453x680J.D. Sterling, country music’s sexy superstar, has come home again. He has achieved his wildest dreams and did what he set out to do when he shook the dirt of the small Texas town from his boot heels a dozen years before. Now, he’s returned for the final piece of the puzzle to completing his life….the girl who holds his heart. Mandy.

Amanda Lawson has grown up. From sheer heartbreak to struggling to survive to becoming a shrewd businesswoman, she has taught herself to never look back. She survived once before the wild, green-eyed cowboy with only a guitar to his name and a pocketful of dreams. He took her heart and so much more when he left her behind with his hollow vows.
Mandy was his muse…J.D. was her dream. Despite tragedy, can they find their way home to each other again?

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J.D. Sterling’s heartbeats were thumping loud as a bass drum at the sight of the red sedan as it pulled into the circular driveway, stopping just behind the other realtor’s Hummer. He had purposely seated himself in a corner of the wide porch, away from the glare of the noonday sun, where climbing vines and shade would enable him to be concealed from the woman’s line of sight. He didn’t want her to know he was there, at least not right away. J.D. needed to see her first, to get his feet under him. At least, that’s the excuse he’d given himself. For someone who always planted his feet solidly in the middle of any situation, this was one time the spotlight was not what he sought. His pulses were racing as he saw the driver’s door swing open, and two slender ankles encased in gray high heels became visible as they touched the ground.
The woman stood up, one hand pushed her sunglasses further up on the bridge of her nose, and then she closed the car door behind her. She slung the straps of her leather bag over her shoulder and moved around the hood of the car, her heels making soft crunching sounds on the pea gravel along the drive. In the early afternoon stillness of the ranch, those sounds seemed to be amplified.
The eyes in the shadows drank in the features of the woman as she moved toward the house. Nowhere in sight was the country girl he had last seen. The vision that approached was confident in her stride, her head up and shoulders resolute. The girl he used to know was just short of being painfully shy and always hesitant to stand out of any crowd. Sunglasses concealed her eyes from view so he couldn’t see if they were still the amazingly vivid blue he remembered and had even immortalized in song once. They had filled his dreams on many a night and gotten him through some really hard times. It was those eyes he would see when he closed his own as he sang across the bright lights into the dark recesses of some huge arena, packed with screaming fans and loud music. He would sing to the girl in his dreams… the one he had left behind but never left out of his heart.
Maybe the girl he had carried in his memory didn’t exist any longer? That thought unnerved him more than he wanted to admit. Had he left things too late? No, it couldn’t be too late. Not for them.
“Hello, Mandy,” he spoke softly from the shadows.
Amanda’s head swung in its direction. Her eyes sought to focus on the tall figure that stepped from darkness into light. She went to take a quick breath but found she couldn’t. In fact, for some reason, the light was receding, and the darkness was swallowing them all up.

20131024-DebbieHolt-197-EditBorn and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and owning a wedding planning business (ah, romance!).
Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs… to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.
The Seymour Agency represents Debra and she is soon to have two contemporary romances published by Spencer Hill/Tulip Romance and Astraea Press. Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at debraholtbooks@gmail.com.

 

Ladies~ Make your mark on JACKSONVILLE~ Neils Williams latest

****Ladies Make Your Mark on Jacksonville!!!******

OK LADIES, NEILS WILLIAMS NEED YOUR HELP WRITING THIS LINE IN HIS NEXT BOOK. DESCRIBE A CLASSY/SOPHISTICATED OUTFIT YOU WOULD PUT TOGETHER FROM OUT OF YOUR CLOSET! DETAIL FROM HEAD TO TOE! AND YOU MAY SEE YOUR OUTFIT FEATURED IN THE UPCOMING NOVEL “JACKSONVILLE”

**RULES**
Outfit is by description only. No pictures need to be submitted. Must be classy and sophisticated. Any description including partial nudity will not be accepted.

Submissions can be made through email at neilswilliams21@gmail.com. Deadline for submissions no later than Aug 1st!

neilsphoto

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author of “The Glass House” Neils Williams was born and raised in St Louis, MO and is the son of an entrepreneur. He has been writing since a very young age creating deep worlds for his readers to jump into. In his free time he enjoys writing poems/music, watching reality tv and entertaining. Neils Williams now live in Las Vegas, NV and loves to hear from his readers. he can be contacted at neilswilliams21@gmail.com

LOTTIE and giveaway with Jeanetta Britt

lottiebanner@wnlbooktours  #LOTTIE

One winner will receive: an autographed copy of all three books in the Lottie series: Pickin’ Ground (The Lottie Series Book 1) In Due Season (The Lottie Series Book 2) Lottie (The Lottie Series Book 3)

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Publication Date: May 31, 2014 Book Title: Lottie Genre: Christian Fiction Print Length: 235 pages Publisher: Twelve Stones Publishing LLC (May 31, 2014) ASIN: B00KP1IJSO

About The Book lottiecover

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Oh, no! Rose is back! If Lottie isn’t having enough trouble being a newlywed and taking on her duties as the first female African American Senator in her native state of Alabama, her sister Rose is trying to make the moves on her husband, Chaney. Rose has had a crush on Chaney since high school, and it looks like she’s not done yet. And in spite of her love for her community and her political pursuits, Lottie has to learn to open her heart and fight for her family. Family, however, is not always what it seems—family is the people who love us. Lottie, the third book in the Lottie Series, follows the murder mystery in Pickin’ Ground, and the story of personal and community redemption in In Due Season. Lottie explores the fulfillment of marital love that overcomes selfish ambition, political corruption, and family pain. “There is no love like married love!”

About The Author

jeanetta

Award-winning author, Jeanetta Britt, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fisk University and Top Ten from The University of Michigan. She completed a successful executive career that spanned over three decades in Dallas, Texas, before returning to her native Alabama. “But,” she says, “my faith in Jesus Christ means more than anything, and it has proven to be the most valuable asset in my life.” She also says, “That’s why I write Christian Fiction novels and Gospel poetry . . . to share the love!”

Grab a copy! amazon barnes

Social Links:

Email: brittbooks@msn.com Website: http://www.jbrittbooks.com/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JBrittBooks

Tour Hosted by: wnlbooktours.com jpg Author Tour Schedule

Book a Tour 

COTTON F.B.I Ep.1 Review and giveaway

The history of Jerry Cotton started in 1954 as a dime novel series and became the most successful crime series in Germany ever with a total of 1 billion copies sold. “Cotton FBI” isa remake of the world famous cult series and adapts the story for a new generation of readers.

Cotton-FBI “Cotton FBI” – Various Authors
$1.99, 14 episodes
Publication: Jan. 31, 2014, bi-weekly installments
Last episode: July 18, 2014

Amazon synopsis

Digital Series. Episode 1:

New York City. A Chinese woman was brutally murdered and Jeremiah Cotton, a young cop with the NYPD, just can’t let go. He suspects that the woman is the victim of a serial killer, but no one believes him and he is taken off the case. While carrying out an unauthorized investigation, Cotton encounters a division of the FBI whose existence no one knows about: the “G-Team.” Stubborn and persistent, Cotton asks uncomfortable questions about the mysterious unit – and runs afoul of Special Agent Philippa “Phil” Decker in the process. When he narrowly escapes an attempt on his life, Cotton realizes that this is no ordinary killer hunt and the hotter the case is getting, the more determined he is to stay involved …
A new legend is born! COTTON FBI is a remake of a world famous cult series with more than one billion copies sold and appears bi-weekly with a self-contained story in each e-book episode.

From the JKS Website

The history of Jerry Cotton started in 1954 as a dime novel series and became the most successful crime series in Germany ever with a total of 1 billion copies sold. “Cotton FBI” is a remake of the world famous cult series and adapts the story for a new generation of readers.

My Thoughts on COTTON

A series from the 1950’s, COTTON has been modernized and begins his new incarnation on 9-11-2001.

Jeremiah Cotton is an Iowa boy visiting his sister in the Big Apple with his parents on 9-11.  The theft of his wallet and subsequent chase of the pickpocket spares Cotton’s life that fateful day but he loses his family.

Coincidences and chance encounters figure largely in Cotton’s (do not call him Jerry) life, enabling him to begin anew in New York City.  The city and fate have taken and given to Cotton, but will they give him what he desires the most?

Beginning with the terrorist attack on the TwinTowers then jumping forward eleven years, COTTON FBI ~ THE BEGINNING is in no way, shape, form, or fashion a cozy.  Cotton is gritty and violent.

Cotton is biding his time on the NYPD.  His true ambition is to join the FBI.  A bit of a hot dog, Cotton often follows his gut instincts rather than procedure.  This leads to some sticky situations and problems with co-workers, as you can imagine.  The situations and action don’t stretch your incredulity while the characters are well fleshed and believable.  Decker was my personal favorite, several kinds of strong and honest, she doesn’t pull any punches.  Quick-paced and action-filled, Ep.1 is tense and goes quickly.

COTTON FBI quickly engages the reader and gets their adrenaline pumping.  The episodic format is a great way for action and adrenaline readers to get their fix in a succinct yet wholly gratifying way while maintaining the continuity and pleasure of a series.

4 STARS

Amazon

Every night, when your thoughts turn back to that day, you wonder whether it wouldn’t have been better if it had stayed dark.  If you had died underneath the rubble.  Buried, crushed, and suffocated beneath thousands of tons of concrete, steel, electronic gadgets, contracts, memos, coffee cups, cleaning utensils, sandwiches, and ID cards, mixed with the body parts of your family.  Re-united with them amongst the rubble.  But what are you driving yourself crazy for?  It so happens that you survived.

At some point there is light again, sunlight flooding the small cavern that has miraculously formed above you and protected you.  Only you.  A dusty face beneath a construction helmet stares at you from above and exclaims, “Shit!  I can’t believe it!  It’s a miracle…there’s someone alive in here…a boy!”

They pull you out:  a dusty ghost with broken legs, half-dead from thirst, blinded by the bright daylight.

One of the firefighters says, “Boy, say something.  Please, say something!”

But your mouth is totally dried out from the dust.  Only after they give you some water to drink can you finally say something.

“What’s your name?”  the firefighter asks you again.  “Tell me your name.”

You answer:  “Cotton…Jeremiah Cotton.”

Thanks to Sami at JKS Communications Manic Readers has a digital copy of COTTON F.B.I  THE BEGINNING (Ep.1) to give away to one (1) lucky commenter.  Do you prefer your heroes to be rule breakers or rule followers?  Share your thoughts and be entered in the giveaway.  Good luck!

Founded in 1953, Bastei Lubbe is one of Germany’s leading trade publishers and home to bestselling authors such as Dan Brown, Jeff Kinney, Ken Follett and many more.

In June 2010, Bastei Lubbe started its own digital department Bastei Entertainment, which aims to encourage innovative product development and create a global digital entertainment experience covering everything from e-books and apps to digitally enhanced products.

Bastei Lübbe is based in Cologne, Germany but will be launching several hundred foreign language titles over the next months through its digital publishing arm Bastei Entertainment. The company is the largest independent trade publisher in the country and a major player in the audio book industry.

Bastei-VBT

Love in the time of Plague and giveaway with Jenna Jaxon

What the heck does the plague have to do with romance novels? Well, the Bubonic Plague or Black Death was a very important part of the medieval period and helped me create excellent conflict in my novella, Beleaguered, the final installment of my serial novel, Time Enough to Love. 

In fact, a History Channel program on the plague gave me the inspiration for this novel.  I wondered how the stress and terror of living in such a pandemic would have affected the courtiers of the royal entourage of Princess Joanna, daughter of King Edward III of England, as she sailed to Spain to marry Prince Pedro.

The Bubonic Plague originated in China in 1330 and spread through trade routes to the west via the fleas that live on rats.  When the rats died, the fleas moved to other hosts, usually human, and infected them.  The first major outbreak of plague in Europe began in Italy in 1347.  By 1348 it had spread to France and England and by 1349 had circled the globe, killing approximately one third of the population of Europe.

There were actually three bacterial strains of the plague infecting people during the 14th century outbreak.  The first and the one usually associated with the outbreak was bubonic plague, an infection of the lymph nodes.  Symptoms onset occurred usually 2-5 days after exposure and included: fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, seizures, and painful swelling of the lymph nodes (called buboes).  Mortality rate was approximately 50%.  Treatments consisted of good diet, rest, and relocating to a non-infected area.  If the swollen buboes burst, the patient often recovered. There were few specific remedies for the disease, although flowers were considered a sovereign remedy and people were encouraged to carry posies near their nose to “ward off the stench and perhaps the evil that afflicted them.”

Fear of the plague made parents forsake their children, husbands abandon their wives.  Finally the only people willing to nurse the sick were the nuns and monks in holy orders.  Their numbers quickly became decimated because they worked intimately with victims of the disease and then became victims themselves.

My heroine is one of the few selfless people who nurses victims despite the risk to herself.  The novel also shows the monasteries as one of the few places where medical knowledge expanded and healing occurred during the time period.

Not the usual stuff of romance novels perhaps, but a great way to infuse your medieval books with conflict and tension.

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Beleaguered3

When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?

Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas return to their roles as courtiers to Princess Joanna. Their passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.

During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance with Geoffrey, her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s love and desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.

Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head, decimating the princess’s retinue and threatening all their lives. Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravening disease but at a dire cost to themselves. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves. But which love will survive?

Visit Jenna

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her debut novel, Only Scandal Will Do, is the first in her House of Pleasure series, set in Georgian London.  Her medieval novel, Time Enough to Love, is a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale, set at the time of the Black Death.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

 

FALLEN ANGEL by Alisa Anderson and Cameron Skye

Fallen Angel
by
Alisa Anderson & Cameron Skye

NikkiPart2psjpeg

When Jess packed up her belongings and fled her small hometown in Kansas, she never looked back. Free from her family’s dark past she was finally able to pursue her lifelong dream as a professional dancer. She never expected to find herself at his door…or at his club.
Nikolas was unlike any other man she had ever met. Sexy…Alluring…Predatory. Dangerous. The kind of man with more secrets than even she had. Every instinct warned Jess against knowing him further, but she always did like playing with fire…
Nikolas Roman took one look at Jess and knew she was trouble from the very start. But something about the defiant twist of her mouth and the wide, haunted eyes of a damaged soul touched him in places he had long ago thought dead. He knew he needed to stay far away from her for his own sanity, but like a moth to a flame he was helpless to resist…
Working at Takers gentleman’s club was the last place Jess thought she would find herself, but she quickly learned how the game was played. See what you want, take what you can get…but at what cost?

“Fallen Angel” by Alisa Anderson and Cameron Skye is a dark, tasty appetizer with echoes of “The Sopranos” only told from the stripper’s point of view. These are damaged people in a harsh world whose relationships are as screwed up as they are. I have the feeling their efforts at love are doomed, but I’m still holding out hope they manage to find one good thing in their lives. Either way I want to read the voyage in all of its glorious, destructive detail.

This is a $.99 bon bon. It’s like picking up a Lindt truffle on your way out of the store. There’s just enough to wake up your taste buds, or in this case, other parts due South.” -Margo’s Red Light District.

Alisa Anderson
well…alisa did stuff and is still doing stuff. only now she has two boys crazy enuff to want her as their mommy. hey, at least she tried to warn them, so her job is done. she doesn’t like to capitalize, partially because she likes how lower case letters look visually, but mostly out of laziness. please don’t judge. it could be you. and she would say, hey. you’re alright, buddy. you’re ok in my book. now c’mere for a hug. the hug might be pushing it. air kiss? you are strangers, after all, with only a mutual love of poor grammar.
​she lives for a world full of controllable anatomically correct, android men programmed to meet her specific feminine needs (wink, wink, nudge, nudge with a big waggle of the eyebrows). who look like the rock. and ian somerhalder. and idris elba. and that’s it she promises. variety. gotta have variety, right?
​but alas…apparently that exists only in johanna lindsey’s genius mind. so until then, she enjoys her incredibly warped sense of humor. she reads tons of erotica and romantic, drippy goo that makes her heart go pitter patter. then she thought, hey. what, she said to herself. (softly, of course, so no one finds out she is indeed, 2 nuts short of a fruitcake) maybe you should write this stuff too. maybe someone will like it and maybe buy it. so she said, huh, you think? then she said, well…yeah, i wouldn’t have suggested it…(inserts sarcastic tone) and then she was like lose the attitude, ok? then she was all, would you just shut up and write, already? sheesh! and she did. :)
Cameron Skye
When Cameron is not in the lab working toward a Ph.D., in Neuropsychopharmacology, which in laymen’s terms is basically finding the effects drugs have on mood and behavior, she is writing stories, crating vivid, intense characters you will never forget.
She believes while life can take you down every path but the right one, eventually everyone will find their happily ever after.
Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Nobles | iTunes

Does your mother know what you’re reading?

Alisa’s Website     Cameron’s Website   FB     Twitter
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Part Three coming September 2014

Q&A with Lev Grossman and giveaway of THE MAGICIAN'S LAND

A Conversation with Lev Grossman, author of The Magician’s Land

Q:  People considered The Magicians to be Harry Potter for grown-ups and an homage to writers like C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. But in THE MAGICIAN’S LAND, Quentin is nearly thirty years-old. Can we expect any new allusions to those books? How has the series grown up over the years? 

A:  On some level all the Magicians books are written as a conversation with Lewis and Rowling. It’s a complicated conversation – sometimes it’s affectionate, occasionally it’s rather heated – and it continues in The Magician’s Land. I thought Rowling let Harry off a little easy by never showing him to us at 30. We never really saw him having to deal with his traumatic past – his abusive childhood, his experience of violence and death, his massive world-saving celebrity as a teenager – and struggling to figure out what the rest of his life is about. Those are things Quentin has to do in The Magician’s Land. When you’re a magician, and there’s no ultimate evil to defeat, when you’re not a kid anymore, what is magic for?

As for Lewis, Narnia fans will pick up echoes of The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle, the stories of Narnia’s creation and of its destruction. Lewis made a bit of fetish of childhood and innocence: Narnia was a place for children, and when you grow up and get interested in adult things, you lose that special magic. You see that in Peter Pan too – it’s one of the dominant tropes of 20th century fantasy. In The Magician’s Land I wanted to think not just about what you lose when you grow up, but what you might gain. You lose the magic of innocence and wonder, but do you gain a richer, more complex kind of magic?  

Q: You come from a family of serious academics. What was their reaction when you chose to write genre fiction rather than something more “literary”?  

A: It sounds funny to say it, but writing The Magicians was a serious act of rebellion for me. Coming from the family I do, it was an act of calculated treason. I had to nerve myself up to do it. But I had to – it was the only way I could say what I wanted to say.  I couldn’t do anything else.

I think it’s fair to say that reactions were mixed. My mom was cautiously enthusiastic, and my brother and sister have been hugely helpful with the books. But I don’t think my father ever read any of The Magicians books.   

Q: The Magicians books have stirred up a lot of controversy among readers.  They attack or invert the most sacred conventions of fantasy, and as a result, have divided the fantasy world.  Can you speak a bit about this diverse reader response?   

A:  No question, the Magicians books are polarizing. They’re supposed to be. The same way Neuromancer did with science fiction, and Watchmen did with superhero comics, the Magicians books ask hard questions about fantasy. What kinds of people would really do magic, if it were really, and what would the practice of magic do to them? What would really go on in a school for magic, with a bunch of teenagers in a fairy castle being given supernatural powers? What would happen if you put in all the depression and the violence and the blowjobs and the drinking that Rowling leaves out? What would happen to those kids after they graduated? What would happen if you sent these kids through the looking glass, into a magical land that was in the grip of a civil war?

These aren’t the kinds of questions everybody wants asked, but that’s how genres evolve. Watchmen was a brutal interrogation of the superhero genre – and it was also the greatest superhero story ever written. You couldn’t write a comic book the same way after Watchmen was published.I’m not saying the Magicians books are the greatest fantasy novels ever written, but they’re asking the same kinds of questions.   

Q:  What were your major influences from science fiction or fantasy genres? What about more mainstream, literary works? How do you see these manifesting themselves in THE MAGICIAN’S LAND?   

A:  What got me started writing The Magicians was reading Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in 2004. There were several novels around that time that did things with fantasy that had never been done before, used it to say things that had never been said before. George R.R. Martin’s books were like that, and so were Neil Gaiman’s, especially American Gods. So were Kelly Link’s. When I read those books, I knew that I had to be a part of whatever they were doing.

I also have a bit of an academic background – I spent a few years in graduate school, and I studied the literary canon, particularly the history of the novel, pretty intensely – and that comes out in the Magicians books too. You can find bits of Proust in them, and Fitzgerald, Woolf, Donne, Joyce, Chaucer, T.S. Eliot. You can find a lot of Evelyn Waugh – Brakebills owes a lot to Hogwarts, but it owes a lot more to the Oxford of Brideshead Revisited. I wanted to see what happens when you take techniques and tropes from literary fiction and transport them, illegally, across genre lines.

Q:  As a literary critic, you’ve worked to promote the value and respectability of genre fiction – one year you put George R.R. Martin at the top of Time’s list of books of the year. You did the same with Susanna Clarke and John Green. Does that fit in with what you do as a writer of fiction?  

A:  In my own nerdy way I’m trying to start a revolution, or maybe I’m just trying to join one that got started without me. It’s a literary revolution, but not the usual kind, where people who are writing difficult, avant garde literature figure out a way to make it even more difficult and avant garde. I’m talking about a revolution of pleasure, where the question of a book’s worth is de-coupled from the question of whether or not it’s hard or unpleasant to read.

Q:  If The Magicians, The Magician King, and THE MAGICIAN’S LAND were made into movies or a television series, who would you envision playing Quentin and his friends?   

A:  The challenge with the Magicians characters is to convey a lot of intelligence, and also to not be overly good-looking. They’re a clever lot, and they’re also very real – they look like real people. Ben Whishaw has probably aged out of the Quentin role, but people mention him to me a lot, and that seems right. Sometimes I pictured specific actors while I was writing – Eliot, for example, I imagine as something like Richard E. Grant in Withnail and I. I often imagine Alice as Thora Birch from Ghost World.   

Q: There are a lot of tech references in The Magicians books that would seem more at home in science fiction than fantasy, ie. the origin of magic is described in hacker language.  Why did you choose to juxtapose so much tech with magic? 

A: I’m very committed to the project of making the Magicians books feel real, and to that end I made a deal with myself: everything that’s real in our world would be real in Quentin’s. And that means including contemporary technology, cell phones and the Internet and so on.

But beyond that, I think the same people who are interested in technology in our world would be drawn to magic if it were real, as much as the Wiccan crowd. Magic is interesting and complicated and powerful the same way technology is, and it requires some of the same mental discipline.

Also, I’m a science fiction writer manqué. I like the way SF writers look at the world. I like to think I write about magic the way good SF writers write about technology.

Q: You have a degree in comparative literature from Harvard but dropped out before getting your Ph.D. from Yale. What made you decide not to become an academic yourself?   

A: I can’t even remember what made me decide I wanted to be one in the first place, except that I was unemployed and wanted to read books and talk about them as much as possible. Which I did get to do, and I loved it. But I knew from watching my parents that the life of an academic is not a glamorous one. It is frequently an underpaid and inglorious one, except for the superstars, and it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t going to be one of those. Fortunately I married one instead.

Q:  You have an identical twin brother, Austin Grossman, who is also a Harvard grad and successful fantasy novelist. Why do you think you’ve traveled such similar paths professionally? How do you think growing up as twins shaped your writing, respectively? 

A:  It’s a mystery. I don’t know if twins have much more insight into it than regular people have. Austin was a very successful video game designer in his 20s, whereas I spent most of that decade looking for a career of any kind. But then somehow, for some reason, we re-converged. It happens all the time, not just with our writing. We live on opposite coasts, and only see each other a few times a year, but there’s always some uncanny coincidence in what we’re doing, or wearing, or listening to, or reading.

Though I’m very conscious of the differences in our work too. We’ve read the same things, seen the same movies, and watched the same shows, so our cultural points of reference are all the same. We know all the same words. But he writes only in the first person, and I only write in the third person. We use the same raw materials to construct very different stories.

  1. Over the past decade, fantasy has become more accepted in mainstream and literary circles. What do you think has changed and where do you see the genre going? Does fantasy get the respect it deserves among scholars?  
  1. A lot has changed for fantasy in the last decade or so. The 1990′s were all about science fiction—Star Wars, Star Trek, the Matrix—but something changed around the turn of the millennium. After 2001 the popular imagination became focused on fantasy — Harry Potter and Twilight and The Lord of the Rings. En masse, we turned to fantasy for something we needed and weren’t finding elsewhere. What that is, it’s hard to say, but it’s led to a glorious resurgence of the genre. Fantasy is evolving and maturing. It’s definitely not just for kids anymore. Writers like Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, China Mieville, George RR Martin and Kelly Link are making it more complex and interesting and sophisticated and powerful than it ever was before.

But no, as far as I can tell, it still gets very little respect from the academy.

Q:  What’s your favorite part of writing outside of reality?  

A:  What makes fantasy interesting to me is what it can’t do. Magic doesn’t solve everybody’s problems. You have characters who are capable of drawing energy from invisible sources, making it crackle from their fingers, performing miracles. But when they’re done, they’re still who they are. Life is still life. Magic doesn’t change relationships. It doesn’t fix your neuroses. Those basic problems are still what they were, and they have to be solved the old-fashioned way, just like in any other novel.

640-197x300Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers buried secrets and hidden evils and ultimately the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying.

The Magician’s Land is an intricate and fantastical thriller, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole.

Amazon     B&N signed edition    BAM signed edition  ON SALE AUG.5TH.

Thanks to Catherine, Manic Readers has a copy of THE MAGICIAN’S LAND complemented with postcards and buttons to giveaway to one (1) lucky commenter.  Sorry, U.S. only & book will be shipped on release August 5th.  Scifi or fantasy, which do you prefer?   Fantasy all the way for me.  

Info from Lev Grossman’s site

“An elegantly written third act to Quentin’s bildungsroman. . . . Fans of the trilogy will be pleased.”
Publishers Weekly

“If you haven’t read the first two books in Grossman’s Magicians trilogy, buy them immediately and set aside a weekend to read them straight through before you turn to The Magician’s Land. The series, which follows a group of—you guessed it—magicians through the emotional foibles of young adulthood has been called “Harry Potter for adults.” But it’s way more complex than that. Grossman hones in on the particularly brutal business of being young, and then adds layer upon layer of literary allusion, creating works
that are both homages to fantasy’s past and glimpses at its future.”
The New Republic

“Lev Grossman has conjured a rare creature: a trilogy that simply gets better and better as it goes along. The Magician’s Land is sumptuous and surprising yet deliciously familiar, a glass of rich red wine left out for a hungry ghost. Literary perfection for those of us who grew uptesting the structural integrity of the backs of wardrobes.”
—Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus

“Sink your mobile devices into the nearest wishing well and duct-tape your front door against gnomes, pollsters, and other distractions. The Magician’s Land is beckoning, and demands your full attention. Lev Grossman proves again that the costs and consolations of creation—both of Fillory and of this conclusion to his trilogy–are mighty forces. Quentin Coldwater, Grossman’s Orpheus and his Abraham, his Yahweh and his Puck, enchant as few other magicians can, or dare.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon

“Poignant and messy, fearsome and beautiful — like a good magic spell, the final book in this trilogy is more than the sum of its parts. Also, damn. Just some of the best magic I have read, ever.”
—Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Shiver Trilogy

The Magician’s Land is a triumphant climax to the best fantasy trilogy of the decade.”
—Charles Stross, author of Accelerando and The Rhesus Chart

“In The Magician’s Land, Quentin Coldwater is hitting 30 years old. It’s a bit young to be having a mid-life crisis, but when you’ve been living your dreams as a magician king of a fantasy land and get suddenly deported by the very entities you just saved from destruction, I suppose it’s understandable. But Quentin just can’t seem to stay out of trouble, or out of Fillory, his former magical kingdom. Lev Grossman’s quirky prose, his sense of humor and his great sympathy for his emotionally flawed characters combine to make a wonderful third novel in what has become one of my favorite fantasy trilogies ever.”
—Ken White of Books Inc. Market Street in San Francisco

“An elegantly written third act to Quentin’s bildungsroman. . . . Fans of the trilogy will be pleased.”
Publishers Weekly

LEV GROSSMAN WILL BE TOURING TO:

Burlington, MA Readercon July 10-13

San Diego, CA Comic Con July 24 – 27

Orlando, FL LeakyCon July 30 – Aug 3

Brooklyn, NY St. Joseph’s College / 7pm August 5

Sponsored by Greenlight Bookstore

New York, NY Barnes & Noble (Upper West Side) / 7pm August 6

Boston, MA Brookline Booksmith / 7pm August 7

Minneapolis, MN Club Book, Roseville Library / 7pm August 11

Houston, TX Murder by the Book / 6:30pm August 12

Los Angeles, CA Vroman’s / 7pm August 13

San Francisco, CA Rakestraw / 7pm August 14

San Francisco, CA Kepler’s / 7:30pm August 15

Chapel Hill, NC Flyleaf Books / 7pm August 28

Atlanta, GA Decatur Book Festival August 29 – 31

Dragon Con August 29 – 31

Winston-Salem, NC Bookmarks Festival September 6

www.us.penguingroup.com www.levgrossman.com

Lev Grossman is the book critic and lead technology writer for Time magazine and a widely published cultural critic. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling novels The Magicians and The Magician King. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can learn more about Lev Grossman on his websitewww.levgrossman.com and follow him on Twitter @leverus.

BookGirlTV and Linda Fairstein Interview

BookGirlTV informs, inspires readers with top quality new reads Newest interviews with BEST-SELLING authors Linda Fairstein, Adam Braun

NEW YORK CITY – Tessa Smith McGovern finds the best new books to read for BookGirlTV so you don’t have to and takes you behind the scenes with today’s top authors.

With BookGirlTV, McGovern cuts through the advertising and hype to find what books you should be reading right now. She aims to save people time and money by only highlighting exceptional books that readers will want to finish and to provide readers with an interactive, entertaining and life-enhancing monthly video book club that fits anyone’s schedule. BookGirlTV also works to shine a light on under-recognized female writers, both emerging and best-selling, and can help new authors learn strategies and wisdom from successful authors.

The most recent edition of BookGirlTV’s author interview show, ‘Just Books with Tessa Smith McGovern’ features an interview with Linda Fairstein about her book “Terminal City,” which reveals the “dark side” of New York City’s Grand Central Station. McGovern’s upcoming interviews include Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise and author of The Promise of a Pencil, and author and journalist Anna Quindlen.

BookGirlTV also produces a series called BookGirlBUZZes, 1-2 minute book reviews that tell you what a book’s about (don’t worry, no spoilers here!) and whether those 5 star Amazon ratings are accurate – think of it as the mobile version of your local bookstore clerk.

BookGirlTV airs Thursdays at 4 p.m. on YouTube and BookGirl.TV and after on Facebook, Twitter, BlipTV, Dailymotion, iTunes, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Roku and all connected TVs. The BookGirlBUZZ mobile app for Android and iOS allows people to stay up-to-date and watch BookGirlTV on their favorite mobile device. The email newsletter also keeps people in the know about new episodes of BookGirlTV and offers the chance to win free books, many of them signed.

About the BookGirl: Tessa Smith McGovern, originally from England, published her first short story in 1996 and has continued to publish work while also founding eChook Digital Publishing and hosting and producing BookGirl.TV. McGovern’s linked short story collection, “London Road: Linked Stories,” has earned high praise, including being the Gold Medal Winner in the 2012 eLit Awards. McGovern also teaches at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, NY.

TEN BRIDES FOR TEN HEROES, FREE Cookbook, and 9 book giveaway

Ten Brides for Ten Heroes

 

Ten Brides for Ten Heroes spans the gamut of the ever-popular wedding romance genre—from heartwarming laughter to thrilling adventure, from sweet to steamy. This 10-book bundle features novels by New York Times, USA Today and National bestselling authors. So get ready to toss the bouquet and say, “I do!” as ten brides risk it all to find their happy ever after.

Here Comes the Bride by Theresa Ragan, USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author 
Samantha Johnston, a reporter for the LA Beat, attends the wedding of one of America’s hottest actors in hopes of learning the identity of his mystery bride, and ends up saying, “I do.”
Find Theresa here

Return of the Runaway Bride by Donna Fasano, USA Today Bestselling author
Savanna returns to her hometown to explain why she fled on her wedding day, but she never imagined how her escape all those years ago changed Daniel. Can she make him understand—and forgive?
Find Donna here

Wedding Fever by Patrice Wilton – The romantic comedy series, Serendipity Falls, Award-winning, Bestselling author
Mila O’Reilley owns Wedding Fever, a bridal boutique in Serendipity Falls Mall. She sells more than dresses, she sells dreams along with the belief in happily-ever-after – a sentiment she personally doesn’t share. Can a jaded bridal consultant and a cynical news reporter uncover the true mystery of Serendipity Falls without being swept away in the madness?
Find Patrice here

Destination Wedding, by Rebecca York – The Decorah Security Series, USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author
From the moment Nick Cassidy signed on as one one of Camille Norland’s bodyguards, sexual sparks flew between them. Although determined to keep his emotional distance from her, Nick is forced to admit his real feelings when she’s kidnapped by a ruthless Russian mobster with matrimony in mind. Can Nick rescue her before the wedding night? Can they escape from Victor Zanov’s tropical island death trap? And can they come to terms with their complicated relationship?
Find Rebecca here

The Army Doctor’s Wedding by Helen Scott Taylor – The Army Doctor’s Series – Award-winning, Bestselling author
Major Cameron Knight throws himself into the danger of front-line, battlefield medicine to keep the demons from his past away. When he rescues an injured charity worker who’s saved a tiny newborn baby, he marries her so they can take the orphan back home for surgery. With this brave woman he finally has the chance to redeem himself and find love.
Find Helen here

CoversTenBridesTenHeroes

Single & Searching by Rita Herron, Award-winning, Best-selling author

A woman looking for love… A reporter looking for a story… A mad rush to find a criminal… When the truth comes out and danger strikes, will they succumb to the passion burning between them?

Find Rita here

Wedding Surprise by Mona Risk – The Holiday Babies Series, Award-winning, Bestselling author
Claire and David faced many challenges over the years. Finally, Claire’s dream of a wonderful white wedding to the man she loves is about to come true. Two weeks before the wedding, Adriana, the high-school classmate who’s tried to snatch David several times, makes an announcement that threatens to destroy the couple’s happiness. Is Claire and David’s love for each other strong enough to turn the worst wedding surprise into the best?
Find Mona here

Summer of Love by Annie Jones, Award-winning, Bestselling author
Brides, Beehives and Barbecue! Can mother daughter mayhem be far behind? Bless her heart, it’s 1967 and a determined southern bride isn’t sure love is really all she needs.
Find Annie here

Tomboy Bride by Alicia Street – Dance ‘n’ Luv Series, Award-winning, Bestselling author 
Kendra returns home for her brother’s wedding determined to get her age-old crush to finally see her as more than a tomboy. But will her game of making him jealous with a hot and handsome faux-beau make him fall for her—or backfire and leave her in ashes? 
Find Alicia here

Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour – The “Elvis” Series, Award-winning, Bestselling author
After her year in Texas as an exchange student, Annie leaves pregnant and heartbroken. Nine years later she returns to introduce her eight-year-old son to his American family. And to the man who still haunts her dreams – the handsome, embittered rancher who never knew he’d fathered a son. 
Find Mimi here

BRIDES Links
Amazon     Apple iTunes     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Smashwords  

CookbookTenBrides

There is also have a FREE Ten Brides for Ten Heroes Cookbook with twenty recipes of dishes from the novels. And if you like sharing recipes and chatting about food, you can join a new group that’s started with the authors at –  

FB Groups TenBridesCookbook     

FREE COOKBOOK 

Amazon     Smashwords      Apple iTunes

 

Thanks to their generosity Manic Readers has the following  great books by these wonderful authors to give away.  Nine (9) books to giveaway to nine (9) commenters.   What was the most romantic or embarrassing moment at your wedding or one you attended?   Only entries that answer the question will be counted. Good Luck!

 

Helen Scott Taylor – Army Doctor’s Forever Baby 

Donna Fasano – Nanny and the Professor 

Rebecca York – Dark Moon 

Mona Risk – Her Christmas Cruise  

Mimi Barbour – Surrogate’s Secret 

Patrice Wilton – All Of Me  

Alicia Street – choice of Dance ‘n’ Luv series (other than bride book)

Kiss Me, Dancer     Touch Me and Tango     Stars, Love and Pirouettes  

Theresa Ragan (2)  choice of backlist (other than bride book)

Having My Baby     Taming Mad Max     Finding Kate Huntley (Amazon only)

Return of the Rose     A Knight in Central Park     Abducted (Amazon only)

Dead Weight (Amazon only)     A Dark Mind (Amazon only)

THE GLASS HOUSE Special Edition

glassBookCoverImage
The Glass house special edition is like you’ve never experienced before with new additional chapters the writer wanted you to read and a new original cover

“Those who live in the Glass house shouldn’t throw stones.” With a newly wed wife and a successful architect career, things are looking up for Todd Clemons. But when eccentric millionaire Thomas Glass comes to town, Todd discovers his business is more in demand than he bargained. Dangerously in demand. Forced to work for Mr. Glass against his will, Todd must complete the task at hand save himself and his new family or else this may be the last project of his life.
I was confused to see her there. She still had three days before coming back. “Baby.” I choked. “Sweetheart, I don’t kn—know what’s go—ing on” She sobbed between words. “I was trying to surprise y—you by showing up early. I hope you’re ok. Just please….pl–please do what the man says. He said every time you refuse …they will torture me a—and kill us both” She cried.
“Starting now!” Thomas in the video exclaimed. Just before the video ended he smacked her across the side of her head with the gun.
“You son of a bitch!“ I jumped up ready to rush him again. I had stopped in my tracks when he raised his gun. “Where is she? What did you do to her?!” I yelled.
“Don’t worry she’s in safe hands as long as ya finish.” He answered calmly. I felt helpless. I couldn’t believe my wife was in danger right along with me. She had nothing to do with this. She doesn’t deserve to be taken hostage. I took a few steps back as tears ran down my face. I had no choice. I scanned the room and spotted the pile of tools in the back corner. I walked over to them and knelt down. My tears had landed on the power drill as I picked it up from the pile.
“Ok.” I started. I wiped my face as I stood up. “I’ll finish it.” I said meekly. as I continued to look at the tools. Thomas was already standing.
“Excellent!” he exclaimed. He turned and made his way out the door. “Well I’ll leave ya to it.”  He said as he entered the security key in the door. I sighed in defeat as I picked up a piece of wall panel.
“Don’t worry sweetheart. I’ll get us outta here.” I mumbled as I began drilling.

About Neils
neilsphotoI spent 24 years of my life growing up in St Louis, MO. As a child I had always found solace in creative arts. Whether it was music, drawing or writing, I was doing something creative. In grade school, I would always be caught with a book in my hand and never wanted to put one down. My inspiration for writing drew from reading coming of age novels as a pre-teen. My teacher’s had always commended me for reading books with such great expression and bringing characters to life when ever it was his turn to read out loud in class. When I was presented with the opportunity to write short stories for class projects I took the chance and let my imagination do the running.

As a teenager and a young adult I had moved on to writing songs and poems and had taken a break from writing stories. My short poem “I Hate My Life” a humorous story of the average teen’s everyday troubles, had received recognition from a local poem contest. After focusing on other endeavors, I re-visited his niche as a story writer. Everyday life had suddenly become a world of hidden stories for me. On one of my usual walks I had past by a construction worker who had been working on a new house for days. I would imagine that this worker was working against his will and no one realized it. From there I began to take that imagine to paper and written the novel The Glass House. 

I now live in Las Vegas, NV and continues writing my stories of suspense, drama, and mystery. When I’m not writing, I spend my time entertaining friends and family, watching my favorite reality tv shows and exploring the world for literary inspiration. I love to hear from my readers and can be emailed at neilswilliams21@gmail.com.