May 29, 2012

Interview with Tiger's Curse Author Colleen Houck

Anyone who loves a good romance will not want to miss Colleen Houck's Tiger's Curse series, especially now that the first book in the series is out in paperback!  What I love about these books is that they have a little bit everything: mystery, romance, folklore, and adventure.  To see my reviews of the first two books in the series that I wrote for Daisy Chain Book Reviews click HERE.

In celebration of the paperback release of Tiger's Curse I am posting an interview with Colleen Houck.  Also, after the interview there is a special treat - the recipe for Ren's favorite cookies!!

Happy Reading - Jen

What makes the paperback release different from the hardcover? 
The paperback release will bring in a whole other group of readers. I have several friends who prefer reading paperbacks over carrying around the heavier hardcovers and they're very excited to get their hands on this new version. There is also the chance to update the book and add bonus material which all my fans know I love to write. 

What are you most excited about with the paperback? 

I'm very excited to share Kelsey's recipes! I'm a foodie as most of you can tell from my books and I can say from experience that there's nothing better than sitting down with a new paperback and a hot batch of Ren's cookies. Light a sandalwood candle too and it's like you're in the story. 

Is there something you can tell us about Tiger’s Curse that no one else knows? 
Yes! Pay close attention to Kelsey's dreams because they are foreshadows of things to come later on in the series. 

Ren or Kishan? 

I honestly love both brothers and want both of them to get their happy endings. I didn't think I'd love Kishan as much as I do but he has solidly wedged himself into my heart. 

 Kelsey can be sassy! Why did you choose to make her character so empowered? 
I wanted a heroine who could do all the cool things I'd like to do. I was a big fan of Wonder Woman. She was beautiful and could do amazing things. That's what I wanted for Kelsey. My hope is that my female readers will see that ordinary girls can do extraordinary things. 

Has your day-to-day changed since becoming a NYT bestselling author?!? What does your husband think about it? 

My day to day just gets busier and more hectic every week that passes. My favorite time is when I can just sit down at my computer and get lost in my story. My husband is proud and amazed. He likes to brag about his author wife to perfect strangers and hands out book marks to everyone he meets. 

Last question—do you plan on visiting India? You’ve already done so much research about it! 
I have no immediate plans but I would LOVE to go. I think it would be amazing to see all the locations I've written about. I made a real effort as I wrote to layer my fantasy world on top of real world places because I like the idea of feeling like you could actually step through a doorway into another world. 

Ren’s Cookies 
2 sticks of butter 
••• cup sugar 
••• cup brown sugar 
2 eggs 
1 ••• tsp vanilla 
••• tsp salt 
••• cup dark coco powder 
2 cups flour 
••• tsp baking powder 
••• tsp baking soda 
1 bag of chocolate chips 
••• cup smooth peanut butter 
••• cup brown sugar 
Cream the butter then add sugars. When it’s light and fluffy, add eggs and vanilla. Sift the next 5 dry ingredients and mix with the wet until thoroughly combined. Add one package of chocolate chips (or as many as you like!) to the dough. Mix together the next 2 ingredients to make the peanut butter filling. Then place a spoonful of the chocolate dough on a baking sheet, top with some peanut butter filling, and cover with some more chocolate dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes depending on cookie size. 

April 16, 2012

Sneak Peek: Taste by Kate Evangelista

At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud. (

Read an excerpt from Taste below and be sure to check out the book trailer too (link after excerpt):

Taste by Kate Evangelista (with possible hidden bonus link :-) )

I mentally stomped on the intimidation their perfection brought into my mind and said, “Excuse me.”
The group froze, startled by my words. The girls had their brows raised and the boys stopped mid-speech, mouths agape. They stared at me with eyes the shade of onyx stones.
I smiled and gave them a little wave.
The boy a step ahead of the rest recovered first. His stunning features went from shocked surprise to intense interest. He reminded me of a hawk eyeing its prey. I gulped.
“A Day Student,” he said, his eyes insolent and excited.
Something about the way he said “Day Student” made my stomach flip. “Excuse me?”
They snickered. The boys looked at each other while the girls continued to stare, muffling their laughter by delicate hands. I seemed to be the butt of some joke. 
“You broke the rule.” The boy’s grin turned predatory.
The students formed a loose semi-circle in front of me. My gaze darted from face to face. Hunger filled their eyes. The image of lions about to chase down a gazelle came to mind. I mentally shook my head. I was in the mountains not the Serengeti for crying out loud.
I took a small step back and cleared my throat. “Can any of you give me a ride back to the dorms?”
The boy wagged his forefinger like a metronome. “Ah, that’s unfortunate for you.”
One of the girls pinched the bridge of her nose. “Eli, you can’t possibly—”
“It’s forbidden, Eli,” another boy interrupted, pronouncing the word “forbidden” like a curse.
The nervous murmur at the pit of my stomach grew louder. Six against one. Not good odds. Instinct told me to cut my losses and run. Bad enough I faced expulsion, now it seemed like weird, beautiful people who’d suddenly appeared on campus wanted to beat me up. No, scratch that. Judging from the way they studied me, beating me up wouldn’t satisfy them. Something more primal prowled behind their looks.
I definitely wasn’t going down without a fight. Years of self-defense and hand-to-hand combat classes had me prepared. While other children from rich and important families got bodyguards, I got defense training. But I think my father meant for my skills to go up against potential kidnappers, not against other students who may or may not be crazy. Oh God! Maybe I stepped into a parallel universe or something when I reentered Barinkoff.
“None of the students are supposed to be on campus,” I said. Then, realizing my mistake, I added, “Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be here either. If one of you gives me a ride back to the dorms, I won’t say anything about all this. Let’s pretend this never happened. I didn’t see you, you didn’t see me.”
“We’re not ordinary students,” Eli answered. “We’re the Night Students.”
He’d said “Night Students” like the words were capitalized. I didn’t know Barinkoff held classes at night. What was going on here?
Eli smiled with just one side of his mouth and said to the group, “She’s right, no one will have to know. We’re the only ones here. And it’s been so long, don’t you agree?”
The rest of them nodded reluctantly.
“What’s been so long?” I challenged. I fisted my hands, ready to put them up if any of them so much as twitched my way.
“Since the taste of real flesh passed through my lips,” Eli said. He came forward and took a whiff of me then laughed when I cringed.
“Flesh.” Yep, parallel universe.
“Yes,” he said. “And yours smells so fresh.”
Someone grabbed my shoulders from behind and yanked me back before I could wrap my mind around the meaning behind Eli’s words. In a blink, I found myself behind someone tall. Someone really tall. And quite broad. And very male.
I realized he wore the same clothes Eli and the other boys did. Not good. He was one of them. Although… I cocked my head, raking my gaze over him. He seemed born to wear the uniform, like he was the pattern everyone else was cut from. My eyes wandered to long, layered, blue-black hair tied at the nape by a silk ribbon. Even in dim light, his hair possessed a sheen akin to mercury.
I looked down. The boy’s long fingers were wrapped around my wrist like a cuff. His fevered touch felt hotter than human standards, hot enough to make me sweat like I was standing beside a radiator but not hot enough to burn.
“I must be mistaken, Eli,” the boy who held my arm said in a monotone. “Correct me. Did I hear you say you wanted to taste the flesh of this girl?”
A hush descended on us. It had the hairs at the back of my neck rising. How was it possible for the atmosphere to switch from threatening to dangerous? Unable to help myself, I peeked around the new guy’s bulk. Eli and his friends bowed. They all had their right hands on their chests.
“Demitri, I’m sure you misheard me,” Eli said.
So the guy standing between me and the person who said he’d wanted to taste me was named Demitri. I like the sound of his name. Demitri. So strong, yet rolls off the tongue. Definite yum factor.
“So, you imply I made a mistake?” Demitri demanded.
“No!” Eli lifted his gaze. “I did no such thing. I simply wanted to show the girl the consequences of breaking curfew.”
“Hey!” I yelled. “Don’t talk about me like I’m not here!”
Demitri ignored my protest and continued to address Eli. “So, you threatened to taste her flesh.” His fingers tightened their grip around my wrist. “In the interest of investigating this matter further, I invoke the Silence.”
All six students gasped, passing surprised glances at one another.
Before I could ask about what was going on, Demitri yanked me down the hall toward the library. But why there? Oh, maybe we were getting my things. No, wait, he couldn’t have known about that. Everything was too confusing now.
Eli and the others didn’t try to stop us when we passed them. Demitri’s cold command must have carried power. Handsome and powerful, never a bad combination on a guy.
We reached the heavy double doors in seconds. He jerked one open effortlessly. I’d needed all my strength just to squeeze through that same door earlier. To him, the thick wood might as well have been cardboard. I raised an eyebrow and mentally listed the benefits of going to gym class.
“Why are we here?” I asked after my curiosity overpowered my worry. I’d almost forgotten how frightened I’d been right before Demitri showed up. I wasn’t above accepting help from strangers. Especially from gorgeous dark-haired strangers with hot hands and wide shoulders.
Demitri kept going, tugging me along, snaking his way deeper into the library. I had to take two steps for every stride his legs made. I tried to stay directly behind him, praying we didn’t slam into anything.
He stopped suddenly and I collided with him. It felt like slamming into a wall.
“Hey,” I said, momentarily stunned. “A little warning would be nice!”
He faced me, and I gasped. His eyes resembled a starless night, deep and endless. Their intensity drilled through me without pity, seeming to expose all my secrets. I felt naked and flustered beneath his gaze.
“You could have died back there,” he warned.
A lump of panic rebuilt itself in my throat.

Want more Taste!?!  Check out the book trailer!!!!! 

Read more about this exciting and new voice in YA paranormal romance:
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author Website:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste:

April 7, 2012

Review: Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Alex lives--and loves--recklessly, until a single decision leads to a heartbreaking revelation. As a mysterious threat closes in and she confronts a Council that wants to see her in servitude, Alex face a choice between love that is fated... and love that is forbidden.(

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Jen

Thanks to Jennifer L. Armentrout I now know what I want to be when I grow up!!  I want to be a sentinel just like Alex, the main character of her awesome Covenant series.  I want to train with hot guys and learn how to kick Daimon butt!!!  To me Alex Andros is the epitome of a strong female protagonist and a character I can admire.  She is smart, sexy, volatile, and lethal. After defeating her daimon mother in Half-Blood, the first book in the Covenant Series, Alex’s life has been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.  Having survived a vicious daimon attack has done nothing to help Alex gain the respect of her pure peers at The Covenant and now that it is known that half’s can be turned into daimons it only makes things worse.  As the sequel Pure begins a pure is attacked in her dorm by what can only be assumed is a daimon half-blood and Alex is under instant suspicion.  As it becomes more obvious that the daimon army Alex’s mother warned her about is forming and the Council continues to ignore the problem Alex knows it is up to her to stop things before it is to late.

From the minute I started reading this series I could not put it down.  From the very first pages the action begins and does not let up until the end.  There is no downtime in these books and that is one of the things I love about them.  The writing is crisp and tight, moving the story along at an accelerated pace.  I also love the snarky comments peppered throughout the books.  There are numerous moments when you will laugh out loud as Alex has a tendency to say whatever it is on her mind.  In Pure the relationship between Alex and Seth becomes more heated, and I mean that in a variety of ways, as their Apollyon connection grows stronger.  The sparring scenes between the two are both intense and hysterical.  Although Alex “hates” Seth as his arrogance drives her insane, you can’t help but love him for the exact same reasons Alex can’t stand him. 
While the scenes between Alex and Seth can be described as almost comical the same cannot be said for her relationship with Aiden, the pure sentinel Alex has the unfortunate luck of falling in love with.  Having almost broken every law of pure society in Half-Blood Alex and Aiden cannot deny that they are attracted to each other.  Unfortunately any action they take in their relationship can lead to dire consequence for both.  The tension between the two is nearly electric throughout Pure and adds immensely to the appeal of the entire series. 
Any reader looking for the “next big thing” needs to read The Covenant Series!!  These books have it all: action, romance, mystery, fantasy, strong characters, witty dialogue, and a plot that makes you unable to stop reading.  It’s going to be a long wait for the next book, Deity, to arrive!

February 14, 2012

Interview with author Jonathan Maberry at Criminal Pages Blog!!!

If you LOVE zombies you won't want to miss my interview with famed author Jonathan Maberry (Rot & Ruin, Dust & Decay) on my Criminal Pages blog.  Click HERE to read it!!!!!