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text 2018-04-26 21:17
New release: Author Interview with Dianna Hardy & "Blood Shadow" Giveaway

 

Dianna Hardy is the author of ten novels, of which the newest one, Blood Shadow, will be released on April 27! Read our BookLikes interview and get to know the author, who tells us all about her writing!

 

Dianna has been very generous to BookLikes readers and offered three SIGNED paperback copies of her new book - enter our giveaway contest to win!

 

BLOOD SHADOW GIVEAWAY

Apr. 27 - May 11, 2018

Win a signed copy

Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies) - Dianna HardyFive years after her life changed forever, Jennifer Warren has put her past firmly behind her - at least, she's tried. A few sweaty nightmares here and there are a small price to pay for the freedom she won. No longer a werewolf, but human, she works as an office manager for a health and beauty spa in York, and keeps herself to herself. It's barely enough to pay the bills, but it's quiet and safe, and the clique of the staff means she's left well enough alone - no one asks her questions; no one wants to get to know her better. But Jennifer's just received another note - one of those that her mysterious, anonymous 'friend' likes to leave her every now and then; warnings of things to come, people not to trust... Her elusive friend has saved her more than once the past five years.


Only this note has left her breathless; her chest tight. A Supermoon is coming - the first in thirty years - and with it, a total lunar eclipse.

 

Jennifer's disowned her past, but it hasn't disowned her. As the earth shadows the full moon, her own shadows threaten to turn on her. Can you ever escape what you truly are? Blood never lies.

 

REQUEST YOUR FREE COPY

 

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.

 

Thanks so much for having me here. It feels more for me, in some ways, that I didn't decide to become a writer - it just sort of happened. I was an early reader, with a mother who loved fiction books and a grandmother who was an English teacher (her first language - and mine at the time - being Portuguese), so they both thrust me into the world of books. Luckily, I loved books, too, so never felt overwhelmed by them. They'd read me story after story - books in English as well as Portuguese, and I was reading words back to them by the age of three. As soon as I could, I was reading independently and I couldn't get enough of books! When I was six years old, I read A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I was entranced by it. It made me laugh, cry, and feel like anything was possible. It was the first book I remember feeling emotional about to that extent, and that was the moment I knew I wanted to write something that would make others feel as much; that would make others laugh, cry, and feel like anything was possible.

 

But while I wrote a lot (for fun) throughout my childhood and my teens, I wouldn't become a "writer" until I had some time on my hands after giving birth to my daughter in 2009. I didn't know what to do with the tedious long nights of little sleep and constant feeding, so I began to research self-publishing on the internet, and discovered you could do it yourself online for very little outlay. Gone were the days I'd have to pay £2000 for 50 books and try to sell them door-to-door. So, one day, I sat down and compiled all the poems I'd ever written, and printed a paperback anthology of them. Then, I created an collection of brand new poems - vampire poetry - all about the theme of dark obsession and possession through the vampire myth. That was A Silver Kiss (Vampire Poetry) published in December, 2010. I tried my hand at erotica after that, partly to better understand the eBook market, which is when I wrote Happy Anniversary (an erotic short story about a marriage rekindled), but finally - after writing and publishing The Witching Pen in June 2011 - I understood that writing fantasy and romance (albeit often explicitly) was more my forte. I've always loved both genres anyway.

 

A Silver Kiss (Vampire Poetry) - Dianna HardyHappy Anniversary - Dianna HardyThe Witching Pen - Dianna Hardy

 

And suddenly, I realised I was a writer. I was doing it.

 

I currently live in the south coast of the UK with my fiance, our daughter, and our two black cats, Green and Indigo.

 

 

You call yourself a writer of "cross-genre fiction" - please tell us why, and what this is.

 

I've never been able to stick to writing one genre within any story, although I have tried. I'm not very good at writing 'formula'. For the most part, I let the characters do what they want, and the stories become this meld of fantasy, horror, and romance - perhaps with a hint of god punk or sci-fi - often told explicitly because I've always been drawn to the intimacy of sexual and violent expression in film and literature. The film Crash, by David Cronenberg is one of my favourites.

 

I also have a series which is cross-genre romance, magical realism and women's fiction, which is sort of the "light" to my other dark fantasy books.

 

Cross-genre fiction is really just that: fiction that mixes two or more genres, to create something different and hopefully exciting, that will in turn stimulate debate and conversation, or simply offer a thrilling new read that can't be pigeonholed into any one category.

 

 

When did you start writing and how many books have you written so far?

 

If we don't count Little Miss Rainbow which I wrote when I was eight, and the very few poems I got published by small press magazines in my teens, I began writing to self-publish in September 2010. I've so far written (not including out-of-print titles) ten novels, five novellas, one novelette, two short stories and one poetry compilation.

 

 

Your new book is due to be released very soon (April 27) - what are the emotions associated with a book launch when it is not your first title, once you are an experienced writer? Does it get "boring" with time?

 

Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies) - Dianna HardyNo - never boring at all! Reaching the words "the end" once you've hit that last full stop remains a natural high, and at every new release I'm still very nervous of how readers will react to the book. Every book is different to write, so the feelings surrounding each launch are always a little different, too. With Blood Shadow (out on 27th April), I'm taking readers in a slightly new direction with my writing, with the book acting as both a companion novel to a completed series, and a prequel to a new series. I have no idea how it will be received, although feedback from early readers have so far been positive.

 

 

 

REQUEST YOUR COPY

 

 

Your website lists a publishing plan where you list two books a year in 2018, 2019 and 2020! How impressive!  Why did you build this "schedule" for yourself and what do you do to stick to it?

 

Thank you! I honestly don't know how impressive it is, LOL. My aim is to write at least 1000 words a day, which is how I stick to the schedule. That basically means I can write a 90,000 word novel in 3 months, which leaves two months to edit and format, and one month between each book to prepare for the next (and rest for a bit if I get the chance!). I found this was how I write best and most efficiently, so the schedule was really borne out of that. A lot of writers write faster than me, but I suffered burnout a few years ago which in turn took over a year to get over - I'll never let myself fall into that nightmare again, so I take care of myself better now and try not to get too stressed with word count and deadlines.

 

 

Please tell us about your day and your writing habits. Do you write every day, and for how long? Do you have a "day job", or is writing what you do for a living?

 

Yes, I write for a living, not that that's always easy - most of the time it's not, and the reward can't always be considered monetary. My work day usually starts at 9 a.m. I'll write at least 1000 words and edit what I've already written until about 1 p.m., then have lunch; then I'll get in about half an hour of marketing online before I stop. Sometimes, I do a bit more marketing / promo from about 4-5 p.m. Or I'll fit it in between 10 p.m. and midnight, or write even more between those last two hours. If I can let the day go, I'll be in bed by 1 a.m. latest. If the last scene I wrote is still in my head, I've been known to carry on writing until about three in the morning. I'll also be good to myself, though, and take a day off here and there to spend with my fiance, or go to the beach. All of that sounds very organised, doesn't it? LOL. In practice, it's really not! :)

 

Follow Dianna Hardy on BookLikes

 

 

 

Dianna Hardy's books on BookLikes

The Witching Pen - Dianna HardyWilted - Dianna HardyHeart Of The Wolf - Dianna HardyReleasing The Wolf - Dianna HardyThe Sands Of Time - Dianna HardyBroken Lights - Dianna HardyHappy Anniversary - Dianna Hardy'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid) - Dianna HardyThe Last Dragon - Dianna Hardy

and more on the author page

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review 2018-04-26 15:27
Audio Review: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou #1) by Molly Harper (Narrators: Amanda Ronconi & Jonathan Davis)
How to Date Your Dragon - Audible Studios,Amanda Ronconi,Molly Harper,Jonathan Davis
How to Date Your Dragon

(Mystic Bayou #1
Molly Harper (Narrators: Amanda Ronconi & Jonathan Davis)
Paranormal Romance
Audible Studios
January 23, 2018
Audiobook
6 hours and 33 minutes
Audible Romance Package

 

The first book in Molly Harper's uproariously funny, sinfully sexy new Mystic Bayou series!

 

Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay's career has taken a turn south.

 

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.

 

Jillian's first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can't get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she's seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon's breath, which Bael just might turn out to be....

 

Goodreads

Amazon

 

 

This book is an Audible Original. The print copy has yet to be releases, but I encourage you to listen to the audiobook.

 

Audio: This was my first time having two narrators. They did a wonderful job. It took some getting use too having a female and male narrator, but I did enjoy the different voices. I liked how it changes in each chapter; between the two narrators. It was different, but enjoyable. I will say I liked Amanda Ronoconi’s Cajun accent. Jonathan Davis did a good job too, but I did prefer the female narrator.

 

Our lead characters: Jillian is smart and kind, but can also be a firecracker. Bael is gruff, but he cares about the residence of Mystic Bayou, unlike the other dragons in town, which makes him an outcast in the family.

 

The romance: It was a little to fast for me, but still satisfying. I would have liked them to have spent more time together developing the romance. We kinda skip the dating steps. Bael jumps headfirst into his feelings for Jillian. She’s a bit more reluctant, but in the end they where a nice couple.

 

I had so much fun with How to Date Your Dragon. Their where several funny moments that had me laughing out loud. I got a kick out of why Jillian ended up going to Mystic Bayou instead of the man that was picked out for the job. I adored the town, Mystic Bayou, and the characters. The story was short and will probably be novella length when it is printed. The plot packed a punch. We get Jillian’s introduction to the town, a little mystery when towns people start dying, and a suspenseful plot. The story moved at a nice pace and kept me captivated. Their are a few twists that where intriguing. I loved several of the secondary characters we met; especially Babel’s friend the town’s Mayor, Zed, who’s a bear shifter.

 

I adored listing to How to Date Your Dragon and can’t wait to return to Mystic Bayou.

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Challenge(s) (2018): AudiobookTry Something New ~ Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/04/audio-review-how-to-date-your-dragon-mystic-bayou-1-by-molly-harper-narrators-amanda-ronconi-jonathan-davis
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review 2018-04-26 03:58
I still liked but was kind of annoyed too
Strength of the Pack - Kendall McKenna

A Marine werewolf and his commander bring legends to life while surviving combat deployment in Afghanistan. Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn't know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas' platoon, the Marine Corps' True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant's authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond. During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.

Review.

Dear Kendall MacKenna,

I first read this book shortly after it was published. The characters stayed with me and I have reread some parts of it, but never did a complete reread. I was a little worried that I won’t like the book nearly as much as I did when I first read it since several years passed and I have read a lot of m/m books since then.

For the most part the book hold up for me upon reread, however I certainly saw more problems with its execution than I did originally.

We first meet Lucas when he is training his Marines shortly before their deployment to Afghanistan. The author shows us a young officer who cares deeply about his soldiers and who wants to do his best to ensure they all are trained well and will come back home.

In fact it was clear even to me (a civilian) that the author researched military procedures, military protocols very well. I believe I read somewhere that the author had family in the military (but could not find it now) and couple of book buddies who had military family members also commented upon authentic portrayal of the US Military in her books. Moreover some of the reviews complained that the author went into too much detail in the description of the military protocols and in explaining all the military abbreviations. Please understand that this is not my complaint at all. I enjoyed the well-researched setting very much and thought it helped to show the strength of the main characters.

The book is set in “our” world with the addition of the fact that the werewolves openly serve in the military and there are additional procedures set up to help incorporating werewolves in the military.

When Lucas arrives in Afghanistan he learns that several werewolves will be assigned to his unit and amongst them will be Noah Hammond, True Alpha Werewolf of the Marine Corps. Of course Lucas is confused and worried as to how he would handle Noah, whose rank of the Sergeant and his status of True Alpha set up a conflict of the sort for Lucas because Noah would be enlisted under his command and somebody who would be pretty much in charge of all shifters nearby.

When Noah arrives he very quickly takes charge of the shifters, and does indeed challenges Lucas a little bit, but only a little bit – he does not resist Lucas or anything like that, just checks his worth out I guess.

Very quickly Noah and Lucas realize that they have a connection. Actually, Noah is the only one who recognizes all the possible repercussions of their connection. Lucas did not have much experience with dealing with the werewolves before and his company commander is of no help. He of course realizes the attraction but all he is bothered about is being attracted to somebody who is below in the chain of command.

The fact that their bond is something extraordinary escapes his attention for pretty much the whole book. Noah manages to explain that the fact that he is a True Alpha consented to their bond supersedes chain of commanded, but nothing else was explained to Lucas and this would bring me to my main annoyance with this book.

As much as I loved both Lucas and Noah as honest soldiers and strong leaders, as much as I thought this book had well researched setting, Lucas’ cluelessness as to his connection with Noah eventually got old and pretty fast. Okay fine, he did not have shifters under his command before, but he is living in the world where shifters seem to be treated well, not discriminated at all and he has no clue that his bond with True Alpha just may be something special? The parts I quoted below are early enough in the book, but this idiocy continued through the whole book – with Lucas asking questions and people either promising to explain and explaining nothing, or giving him information in such small doses that it sounded really artificial. This is the main reason why I am lowering the grade the way I did.

 

"Lucas paused, wondering how to answer. It might be easier if he had an answer. “I would if I knew. It’s nothing I can explain. I just know.” Vince glanced at him askance. “Next you’re gonna tell me the two of you know what the other is feeling.” Lucas stared out his window and didn’t answer. “Well I’ll be damned,” Vince muttered. “Does command know about this?” Lucas looked at Vince in confusion. “No. Why would they?” Gunny glanced repeatedly from the road to Lucas and back again.

“The Marine Corps’ True Alpha willingly submits to his human platoon commander; that’s a weapon they’d like to have.” An icy chill swept through Lucas. “Weapon? I don’t understand.” This time Vince shrugged. “I don’t know the ins and outs of it. Have Hammond explain it; it’s werewolf mythology.” They lapsed into silence as Vince negotiated the rough, rutted road. Lucas tried to shake off the dark feeling the conversation had left him with."

 

"“I could feel you start to worry about what was behind you, so I looked.” Noah ran the backs of the fingers of one hand lightly down Lucas’ cheek. “You looked because you felt me sense something behind me?” Lucas fought the urge to lean into Noah’s touch. “That’s how this works, Lucas,” Noah replied, hooking his fingers into the webbing of Lucas’ armor. “I still don’t understand how it works,” Lucas sighed. “But right now, I’m just glad it does.”"

 

"Lucas stared at the captain in confusion. Madison noticed Lucas’ expression. “Christ, Hammond sure is taking his time explaining all this to you. It doesn’t help that Stanley got you absolutely no training on how to handle an Alpha were.” “So explain it to me!” Lucas shouted in frustration."

 

Grade: B-

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review 2018-04-26 01:28
Rock Star Baby (Bad Oak Boys, #1) by Erin M. Leaf Review
Rock Star Baby - Erin M. Leaf

Ryan Oakley, lead singer of Bad Oak and heartthrob extraordinaire, isn’t looking for a girlfriend. He’s definitely not looking for a boyfriend, but after the explosive encounter he has with a guy he meets backstage, he realizes he’s more flexisexual than he’d thought. Of course, suddenly being able to shift into a wolf is an unexpected side effect he didn’t expect and can barely control.

Bardulf Forst is Alpha-Heir to his pack, but he can’t resist his little sister when she begs him to meet Ryan Oakley. When he realizes the sexy singer is his mate, he can’t deny instinct. He claims the famous rock star even though he knows his father won’t approve: heirs are supposed to have children and two males can’t reproduce.

Little do they know that they’re about to experience an ancient shifter biological imperative: when two male Alphas mate, unexpected miracles sometimes happen.

 

Review

 

I keep trying MPREG romance. I have yet to find one that has good enough world building to make me happy.

This one did not and the the couple spent too much time apart for me to be happy.

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text 2018-04-25 16:52
Audio Review: A Taste for a Mate (Redwood Pack, #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (Narrator: Gregory Salinas) (DNF)
A Taste for a Mate - Carrie Ann Ryan
A Taste for a Mate

Redwood Pack, #1
Carrie Ann Ryan (Narrator: Gregory Salinas)
Paranormal Romance
September 5, 2014
Audiobook
7 hours and 24 minutes
Audible Romance Package

 

Jasper Jameson has spent his life caring for others, knowing that one day he might be blessed with his mate. He’s fought alongside his family and Pack for over a century but it isn’t until he meets a human who makes his wolf growl, that he knows that there’s something more than fate worth fighting for.

 

When Jasper walks into Willow Delton’s bakery she knows there’s something different about him. But every time he walks back out again, she doesn’t know what to think. When he finally finds the strength to ask her out, a new enemy in Jasper’s life has other plans.

 

A dangerous Pack is on the prowl and they’ve not only threatened the Redwood Pack but brought a demon into the fold as well. Forced into a new way of life, Jasper and Willow must fight not only for their lives but their weakening mating bond. Trust takes time but the two of them might not have as much as they need.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Kobo

 

 

DNF’d this at Ch. 12 of 29 with 4 hrs and 13 min remaining.

 

A Taste for a Mate is book one in the Redwood Pack series by Carrie Ann Ryan.

 

The prologue is very violent and shocking. The way the wolves change a human is brutal. I don’t know why the fates would give them a human mate, if this is what they have to go through, and their is no guarantee they will survive. And, last their is an overwhelming amount of violence against women in this book, which then provides the men with a lot of anguish. I didn’t care for all the violence.

 

As for the romance. It never felt like any type of romance. This might be classified as an insta-love storyline, but I never felt any type of insta anything. I couldn’t believe that Willow falls in love with Jasper after speaking to him once. It takes humans longer to come around. Also I felt that Willow gave in too easily to everything she was learning and seeing. She accepts it all with out any backward glance. I just couldn’t believe this.

 

I disliked Willows thought process. It was over the top and annoying. At one point she thinks Jasper doesn’t want her. She got this idea in her head and instead of talking or asking him how or what he feels she keeps thinking this. Then we have them sleeping together; before they even go on one date. At this point Willow still has this weird idea in her head that he doesn’t want her, but the author has them sleeping together. This doesn’t work for me.

 

Everything in A Taste for a Mate felt rushed. Things just come at you left and right and their is no time to process. I would have liked things to be drawn out and developed more.

 

Audio: A Taste for a Mate is narrated by Gregory Salinas. This is my first experience with him as a narrator. I unfortunately didn’t care for his narration. The female characters all sounded a little breathy and this wasn’t when they where in the mood, it was all the time. It was exasperating. As for the male voices; Salinas nailed them and I liked the voices for each male introduced.

 

A Taste for a Mate was not the book for me. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Challenge(s) (2018): AudiobookTry Something New ~ Author/Series

 

 


 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/04/audio-review-a-taste-for-a-mate-redwood-pack-1-by-carrie-ann-ryan-narrator-gregory-salinas-dnf
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