Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review & Tour Giveaway for LLDR by Safari Spell!

Long Live Dead Reckless

by Safari Spell

(Long Live Dead Reckless #1)

Publication date: July 19th 2016

Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Talor Gardin may be a princess, but her life is no fairy tale.

A year ago, her mother died and her father burned down their house. Now with a father in and out of a mental ward, she’s working a minimum wage job to finish her last semester of college. To make matters worse, she gets itchy every time a guy makes a move on her. The itch could be anything, really: a desire to escape her haunted hometown, a financial windfall, the name of some vampire…or all the above. Whatever the reason, she thinks the answers are written in the freckle constellations of her cute new coworker, Sage Talis.

Sage is the quiet, polite type with plenty of secrets – like fangs and a price on his head – and Talor can’t figure out what makes him so irresistible until she hears him sing. But when cryptic letters appear on her wrist, Talor is thrust into a world where fantastic creatures lurk just below the skin, strangers keep calling her a princess, and everything she’s been through is nothing compared to what’s coming.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Review

3 of 5 Stars

Long Live Dead Reckless is one of the most original genre novels I've read. Shows like True Blood and Vampire Diaries have shaped our opinion of vampires in the last decade for better or worse. But our expectations of a familiar trope also allow new authors like Safari Spell to easily throw us for a loop. The characters all felt fresh and fully fleshed out and the paranormal elements were unique and intriguing. Unfortunately the book ended just as it was becoming interesting. 

Personally I had a hard time deciding which guy to root for, much like Talor. And once we started to get to know Sage and his bandmates I had mixed feelings. However, this is largely an origin story, with much room for future character development. Possibly the thing I was most excited about was the reveal of Big Bad. We finally learn why Talor is a princess and what Sage and his fellow Vamps actually are. I'm a huge fan of bad guys and antiheroes, which is probably why I'm an Eric Northman/Klaus Mikaelson kind of gal. So I have a feeling I would really love Big Bad and the sequel to LLDR.

The imagination and creative way this author circumvents familiar tropes, alongside engaging characters make this a worthy read. Fun for fans of paranormal romance and plot twists, Long Live Dead Reckless is a fresh and campy take on the power of immortal love.

Author Bio


Safari Spell is a native of Albany, Georgia. She has a BA in Journalism from Valdosta State University. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband, hilarious daughter, and a backyard jungle harboring all the dinosaurs everyone thinks are extinct. Her dreams include chasing autumn around the globe, owning a wallaby, and riding a camel for at least nine seconds.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Updates! March #TakeControlTBR

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone! Today, I'm decked out in my Irish socks, my Irish Princess crown and after eating a very Irish supper with my Irish family, plan to round out the night with some Irish coffee. ;) 

In other news, I struggled earlier this month to get through The Flame and the Arrow, but am happy to say my slow-reading streak is over! Here are three reviews from my latest three reads. Hope y'all enjoy!


by Meagan Spooner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A beautiful, haunting retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In this rare case, I have no words to describe how deeply this novel touched my heart and inspired my imagination to see through to the heart. Proof that fairy tales are truly timeless and once in a while, retellings can achieve perfection.

Rise of the Sea Witch

by Stacey Rourke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rise of the Sea Witch

Rise of the Sea Witch is the cheekier and fabulous alternative to The Little Mermaid. I've always been a fan of villain origin stories and Stacey Rourke weaves Ursula's tale with the perfect blend of comic tragedy and Disney nostalgia. I haven't had so much fun reading a book since the Throne of Glass series.

Princess? ...I Think Not!: A Princess Series Novel

by Ashley Brooke Robbins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Princess? ...I Think Not!: A Princess Series Novel

Not Your Average Princess

How can I begin to sum up this book in a few sentences? While events didn't pick up right away, and it took some time to grow used to the MC's "voice," I am glad I kept reading.

Baily King is not your classic ideal princess. She swears like a sailor, speaks with brutal honesty and loves all things dark and dreary. Her best friends are also unique, marching to their own drum. Which is what truly drew me in deeper to this story. No one, not even our favorite Goth princess is two-dimensional. Like real people, these character are richly layered and complicated. Each time I expected the author to take them a direction or react in a predictable way, they were delightfully unpredictable.

Certain aspects of Baily's story I saw coming a mile away, but it was still a journey I enjoyed taking with her.

While this novel isn't without flaws, and honestly there are few debuts free of them, it has a strong core message. Each complex character played a part in spreading the authors entreaty for standing not just for your friends or a belief system but rather yourself.

Fun for fans of The Princess Diaries series and other lovely misfit tales.

View all my reviews

Grand Finale for "The Sweetest Heart" by Catherine Lanigan

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Heart's Desire
By Catherine Lanigan

***Premiering as The Sweetest Heart on the Hallmark Channel March 17th, 9 PM EDT***
(check your local listings for your air time)

Launch - The First Heartwarming novel to become a Hallmark Channel Movie:

To say I’m thrilled about my book being made into a movie is an understatement. I’m blessed and so very appreciative to all the people who have worked for over four long and arduous years to make this happen. In the movies, the heroine (me) would get a phone call and someone (the publisher) would announce that Hallmark just bought my book. That’s the dream scenario. That’s not what happened...

But here is the story within the story. For two plus years I have put one foot in front of the other hoping to make good on my promise to Jed. I have asked the producers to dedicate the film, “In Memory of Jed Nolan”. They’ve said they will do this on the end scroll. Whether it makes it past the cutting room or not, is in God’s hands. But I’ll be fighting for it all the way.

I’m still keeping my promise, Jed. I will never give up.

Please join me on my Prism Book Tour for Heart’s Desire. It will air on Hallmark on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, which is the beginning of their SPRING FLING promotion. There will be lots of ads about our first Heartwarming book made into a film.

— Catherine

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

"Heart’s Desire reminds me all over again why I love Indian Lake and its characters. The small town is welcoming and quaint, with its own personality and atmosphere. At the same time, it’s close enough to Chicago to allow for a nice blending of the big city with the small town life. Through Nate and Maddie’s story, Lanigan explores our hearts’ desires – the way they evolve over time and the way they sometimes take a direction we weren’t anticipating. Every reader will be able to relate on this level to these characters, and in the meantime they are treated to a sweet romance and a not-sure-how-this-is-going-to-turn-out plot. Looking forward to its adaptation on the Hallmark Channel. Congrats, Catherine!"

It's All About the Romance - My Favorite Romance Novels

Obviously, hands down my favorite would have to be ROMANCING THE STONE. Here it is 34 years later and it’s still a classic. The story still holds up and it’s funny. The lines are classic.

And so is the story. Even though the movie has been out of print for three decades, the movie is available on Amazon on DVD. So is JEWEL OF THE NILE.

For those coming to this blog, here’s an interesting tid bit. This past Wednesday, I had my pre-interview with the producer of HALLMARK HOME and FAMILY SHOW. Milena was terrific and we got along like old friends. Can’t ask for more than that. She asked me if there was anything in Romancing the Stone that was mine, since I’d written the book from the screenplay...

"Once again Mrs. Lanigan has transported us back to Indian Lake. Where everything seems real including the characters. This is the second book I have read from this author. This book will keep ya turning the pages to see what is going to happen...

I really enjoyed this book and felt every moment of the story."

Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! - Favorite Romance Books

Truth be told, I’m a diehard Jane Austen fan. I could read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE again. But I don’t have the time and the pages are falling out. What’s worse, I’ve seen the movie, oh, thirty, forty times. What a waste of time, right? I know how it ends.

I read Gone with The Wind so many times, my mother thought there was something wrong with me. I studied The ART of the ROMANCE NOVEL as a course in college. My mother gave me her mother’s favorite romance novel from 1914, BEULAH. I hated the woman’s name, adored the story...

"Heart’s Desire, book #2 in Catherine Lanigan’s Shores of Indian Lake series, is a sweet and enjoyable romance - creative and well written. The small-town Illinois setting of Indian Lake is vividly conveyed, drawing me right in to the community and residents, making it a place I’d love to visit – especially Maddie’s café. Each story in this series stands alone; however, reading in order lets you revisit beloved characters and see how they are doing. But best of, this story premiers as a Hallmark Channel movie entitled Sweetest Heart on March 17! As an avid Hallmark fan, I’m excited to see Maddie and Nate’s story come alive on the screen."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

She’d received beautiful flowers a few days ago, which was a first for her. Alex had even called her last night to make certain they’d arrived.

“Hey, beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow,” he’d said, his voice filled with anticipation. He spoke in a sultry baritone she’d never heard during their office meetings. Their conversations had always been about profits, projected earnings and potentials.

“They’re just gorgeous,” she’d gushed. “So exotic. Especially for this time of year.”

“I like unusual and unexpected things. Were you surprised?”

“Very. I couldn’t figure out who would be sending me flowers.”

“Ah. That’s good,” he said. “I wanted you to have something special while I was away...” His voice trailed off as if there was something else he was going to say before he thought better of it.

“So I don’t forget you? Is that what you were going to say, Alex?

Remembrancy - Review

"Another engaging and warm read from Catherine Lanigan that, thanks to Hallmark, we can soon watch on the small screen. Between Maddie’s friendships, Nate’s family, and the small town, this story is a perfect fit for the channel that focuses on romance."

I Am A Reader - Elements of Making a Memorable Movie

As my Heartwarming book, Heart’s Desire, comes to The Hallmark Channel, (re-titled THE SWEETEST HEART,) honestly, I haven’t had but a few moments to reflect on my favorite movies and what are the things that make my heart go ZING. But as I write these posts for this fabulous tour with Prism Book Tours, I realize that there are common threads for me.

Obviously, strong, emotional writing is everything. My producer, director husband, Jed Nolan, used to tell me that there was no way to repair a bad script. That’s why producers look so hard and long to find THE story that they want to spend a year, two years, ten years of their lives on. (Castaway took Tom Hanks 10 years to get a green light.) This isn’t play time. A producer will risk his money, his house, his reputation, sometimes his relationships, to see his film make it to the screen. That’s pretty daunting when you think about it...

"I loved reading about Maddie's quest to franchise her Cupcakes and Coffee Cafe. The whole process was fascinating—and complicated, as Alex, the investment firm employee helping her secure an investor, had more that business on his mind. Then, just as everything seemed to be going right with Maddie's business (and with Alex), her ex-boyfriend Nate showed up. The scene where Maddie first saw Nate was one of my favorites in the whole book ."

Dark shadows filled Maddie’s eyes as she continued to look at herself. Was it possible that only today, the flutter of a memory of Nate Barzonni, her first love, a high school romance, had haunted her? Even now, as she recalled his blazing Mediterranean-blue eyes and the intoxicating, addictive kisses they’d shared, her emotions were a storm of anger and pain. Nate had abandoned her eleven years ago, and she still felt the heartbreak.

If she ever saw him again, it would be too soon.

But then, there was the very real fact of Alex’s flowers—real and aggressive. He was spinning her dream for her, and though he would be gone for nearly a month, he promised to call and text her often. He’d told her they were close to finding an investor. Alex knew there was nothing more important to her than her business.

"Another wonderful story by Catherine Lanigan. I love the story line and the sweet love story. The characters are awesome. It's always so fun to remember them from another story.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone who loves to read a good romance with lots of extras."

Maddie walked into the main showroom and up to the front window where there was a step-up round riser. She lifted her skirt and heard the swishing of all the underskirts and the peau de soie next to the horsehair net. She stood still and looked at herself in the two cheval mirrors. The gleam of the light from the crystal chandelier overhead pirouetted off the crystals in the dress.

Mrs. Beabots clasped her hands together and brought them to her smiling lips. “You are a vision for my eyes, my dear!”

Sarah was dumbstruck and could barely speak. “It’s you, Maddie. The dress is like the angels made it for you.” 

NATE BARZONNI HAD always been a man of single purpose and clear-minded goals. Never once had he thought his mind was incapable of reasoning out the best course of action for the highest possible good. He was a man of honor and conviction. He was a leader, and little swayed him off his chosen course or derailed him from his beliefs. He’d never been drunk, never used drugs, never lied or cheated. His mind was as sharp as a razor and as tight as a trap.

But that day, Nate was sure he’d lost all his senses and the entirety of his reasoning ability when he’d purposefully gone back to that bridal shop to confirm whether what he’d seen was real or a mirage. The shock of seeing Maddie Strong trying on a wedding gown was enough to rip his insides apart.

“I’m too busy for men.”

“So you say, but I wasn’t the one seeing an apparition of my former sweetheart out that window,” Mrs. Beabots concluded with the kind of sharp clip to the end of her comment that warned others that the Oracle had spoken.

Sarah’s eyes tracked from Mrs. Beabots back to Maddie, who was clearly confused and still a bit shaken by the vision or ghost or whatever it was she saw. “Maybe it was just all the excitement of these gorgeous gowns and dressing up. Maybe…”

Paulette's Papers - The Trouble With Loving Films

If you watch WHEN CALLS THE HEART on The Hallmark Channel, you’ll recognize Andrea Brooks. She plays the nurse to Paul Greene’s character. These are lovely ladies whom it was my privilege to meet. If all goes well, we will be meeting again. I have to write a book for Andrea, but I’ve had her character, Chloe in my head for years!! She’s an actress. Oh, to have that heart broken. Sorry, Andrea. But I told her that on set. She was good with it...

Nate believed that people didn’t change their core personalities as they matured. Even at seventeen, Maddie had been compassionate, kind, bright, fun and deeply loving.

There had been times during his stint in the navy and later in med school when he’d remembered all too well what it was like to be with Maddie. To love her. As much as he wanted back then to return to Indian Lake and sweep her off her feet, he couldn’t do it. It wouldn’t have been true to himself. He’d sacrificed love in order to be the cardiac surgeon he was today.

January, 2018 

As I was sitting on the set, freezing in the unheated vacant old Cupcake café that we were shooting in. Ironically, the owner was in financial straits, which is the crux of the conflict for Maddie Strong…. she’s about to lose her business if she doesn’t get funding and expand —we heard that Hallmark was going to change the title from HEART’S DESIRE to THE SWEETEST HEART.
I could already hear the grumbling from Harlequin and my mind flashed back to an executive meeting I had in Los Angeles in January of 1984...

Among the Reads - Review

"It’s always interesting to find a new author only to discover they have been writing for a long time. Catherine Lanigan has written many books, and I imagine they are all as good as Heart’s Desire.   ...

The author did a great job in conveying deep emotion and creating a realistic love triangle. The story went one direction and then another, yet it still made sense given the history and Maddie’s insecurity. Once you thought everything was going well, a new conflict arose.

Overall, it was a great story and just the right length."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Maddie stared at Nate. She didn’t know if she’d turned to ice or fire. She felt afraid and bold all at the same time. She told herself again that Sarah had been right. She was seeing a ghost.
Somehow, she managed to gather the courage to put one foot in front of the other, and with half the town staring at her, she walked across the dining room.

Streams of sunlight came through the huge windows that overlooked the lake as Maddie made her way around the chairs and tables, never taking her eyes off Nate. She didn’t hesitate as she pushed through the French doors to the Garden Room and came face-to-face with Nate.

Maddie sank into her office chair and ran her fingers through her hair. “Wow. A real investor.” She stared at the phone. Alex.

She felt the blood in her veins turn to ice as she faced the unknown. She balled her fists. “I can do this,” she told herself and glanced at herself in the antique gilt mirror she’d hung on the wall next to her desk so that she could always check her hair and lipstick before greeting customers. “I can do this. I want to do this. I will succeed in doing this.”

Her gleaming green eyes stared back at her. The girl in the mirror seemed genuinely confident. It was not bravado. She believed what she said.

"Heart’s Desire is a delightful read that I thought was worth sitting down for a few hours. It is heartwarming, cute, sweet, clean and romantic. I did not care that it was slightly predictable. Definitely, worth putting on a reader’s must read list. I give it a well-deserved 5 stars and look forward to reading others in the Shores of Indian Lake series, as well as, more by Catherine Lanigan."

Brooke Blogs - Behind the Scenes on a Film Set

My husband used to say that making a film was no less work and no less hands than building a city. Though THE SWEETEST HEART is a television film on The Hallmark Channel, and certainly not TITANIC (which my agent worked on, by the way, for over two years), it’s mind-boggling what goes into the making of a film.

Sure there are folks out there who video some footage, put it together and post on YouTube. That’s not the kind of film I’m talking about.

One of the reasons this film looks so delicious, so lovely is the eye of the director, Steve Monroe. Yes, he was friendly and funny and had a great story about his kids jumping naked on the family trampoline at home in LA, while we were all freezing and wet in Vancouver. But, he was incredibly concentrated on the film. EVERY aspect of the film. I watched while he blocked the actors. As he created the lighting with his team. Along with the Director of Photography, there wasn’t an aspect overlooked...

"Love the story of Maddie and Nate. I am looking forward to seeing the movie of it. . . . Also I lot of other great characters in the book. I loved the name of one."

"Heart's Desire was a captivating story that had me hooked from the bridal shop scene...

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and I'm glad to have read it. I'm excited that this book was made into a Hallmark TV movie and definitely plan to watch it once it airs."

He considered her to be a genius because she’d made something out of nothing. That was the definition of genius to him. An idea was only ether and energy until someone put faith in it and molded, coddled, loved and forced it into existence.

She was a marvel to him and he hadn’t had enough time yet to tell her.

That was something he intended to rectify—soon.

He pulled the lid off his steaming cappuccino and took a sip. He took another sip. Then he whistled with appreciation. “Darn, that’s good. Really good.”

Nate was a coffee lover, and to his recollection, Maddie’s coffee was the best he’d ever tasted. The drink the other night wasn’t just a fluke. Maddie’s blend was exceptional. Was it possible that Maddie had bested the gourmet restaurants in Chicago and New York he’d visited? Was the milk different? Had she found better beans? What other tricks had she discovered in the years they’d been apart?

Becky on Books - Interview

Welcome, Catherine! What 5 things should readers know about you?

Because this tour is a bit different from my other book release tours, in that we are announcing the airing of THE HALLMARK CHANNEL film of my book HEART’S DESIRE, I thought I’d answer these questions with a film slant.

The first thing readers should know is that I have worked on this particular film for over four years. My producers are two of the loveliest ladies I’ve met in the film industry. They have persevered through a great deal to bring the first of my SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE SERIES to television.

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Heart's Desire reissued as
The Sweetest Heart
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Catherine Lanigan
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 191 pages
August 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

His homecoming is bittersweet…for both of them

Café owner Maddie Strong is finally ready to take her burgeoning cupcake business to the next level. With the help of handsome businessman Alex Perkins, her future's all mapped out. Until her first love comes home.

At seventeen, Maddie adored Nate Barzonni with her whole heart and soul. But when he asked her to elope, she'd said no—she couldn't let him throw away his dream of becoming a doctor. Then he vanished from her life for eleven years. Now the cardiac surgeon has returned to Indian Lake asking for a second chance, and Maddie has to choose between her new life…and the man she never stopped loving.

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, TOO CLOSE TO THE FIRE (2018) and MY RACING HEART (2019).

The Hallmark Channel will air HEART’S DESIRE on March 17, 2018.

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for Heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.com. Visit her at www.catherinelanigan.com, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter@cathlanigan.com, Pinterest, Goodreads and Google+.

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends March

Grab Our Button!

Monday, March 12, 2018

These Vengeful Souls Authors Interview! Hosted by Xpresso Book Tours

These Vengeful Souls


Kelly Zekas &Tarun Shanker

See the source image

Published by: Swoon Reads

Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian’s powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he’s also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.

Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he’s done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?

About the Authors

Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.

Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.

Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.

Like what you've seen so far? Keep reading for an exclusive interview with this dynamic duo:

Interview with Kelly & Tarun

SS: First of all, thanks so much for sharing These Vengeful Souls with us. Vengeful Souls is third in your These Viscous Masks series. Could y'all tell us a little about the inspiration behind your series?

K&T: It mainly started as a silly brainstorming game about what the typical book we’d write together would be. So we just combined our favorite genres to read at the time (superheroes for Tarun and Victorian-era for Kelly) and started coming up with a list of fun combinations of tropes and “what if’s.” What if the broody gothic hero literally had the power to kill people he got too close to? What if the “perfect” charming sister actually just had a power that made people fall in love with her? And so forth. Eventually, we realized we actually liked a lot of those ideas and hadn’t really seen a world quite like this one, so we started an actual list and pieced together a story from there!

SS: I love it. So many great stories come about from circumventing tropes and turning them upside down. In your bio, you mention how you both met in a writing class your freshman year in college. What made you guys realize you worked best as a team and how has it impacted your writing?

K&T: We decided to work together because we both had an expertise in these two different genres, but we didn’t really know we’d make a good team until we were deep into writing. Since then, we’ve realized Tarun is more of a plot person, while Kelly thinks of character first. Tarun is heavy on outlining, while Kelly is a panster. And though we have different approaches, we have similar tastes for what makes a story good. So when one of us is having trouble with a certain part, there’s a good chance the other will be able to fix it because they’ll tackle it from another angle.

SS: That sounds like a dream team! Now for the serious question... As authors, what would y'all choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

K&T: If we were to pick our mascots we would probably go with a Red Panda or Fiona the Hippo for Kelly and a turtle for Tarun.

SS: You both mention backgrounds in acting and/or screen-writing. Do either of you feel this unique background has helped your writing?

K&T: We realized that acting and screenwriting are just different ways to tell stories and ultimately, that’s what we care about: telling stories. The backgrounds help, especially when it comes to things like backstory, which Kelly has always had to work on with different characters, or structure and dialogue, which Tarun had to focus on with screenwriting.

SS: Have y'all ever considered writing a screenplay together?

K&T: We are currently doing that at the moment! We don’t want to say too much about it yet, but it is a period piece set in England, so still very much on brand.

SS: That sounds exciting! Can't wait to see what you deliver. Back to These Vicious Masks, did y'all know from the beginning this would be a series or did it the story grow organically?

K&T: We always saw it as a trilogy, and while it has changed some from the original concept, we just had too many ideas on that first brainstorming list that we knew it would take a full three books to tell Evelyn’s story and develop the world.

SS: Are your characters based on people you know, or do they live solely in your imagination?

K&T: There are little bits of people we love (and maybe don’t love!) in the books, but overall the characters are just in our heads. We don’t picture any people we know as the characters and we have to give them such different circumstances and backgrounds, that it would be very hard to insert them.

That said, there is always a little slice of us in most of the main characters. Even if it’s a villain, we think it’s helpful to share a trait (or at the very least, an opinion) with them to be able to write their perspective effectively.

SS: Love the way you guys described sharing traits with your characters. Like method acting for writers. Speaking of other authors, are there any you guys are friends with, and how do they help you become better writers?

K&T: We really didn’t know other writers when we first got published! It was only once we were had a debut year group and found other Swoon Reads authors that we began to connect with writers besides ourselves. They have been a huge source of support and love these past few years. We’ve shared panels and parties with some wonderful authors who are always there to empathize and cheerlead.

SS: This is an aspect of this business I love most. It really does take a village. :) Winding things down now. Besides your Vicious Masks series, are there any upcoming projects on your radar y'all would care to share with us today?

K&T: You nailed it when you asked about the screenplay! That’s what we are working on at this exact moment, but we are excited to try out a contemporary YA soon ...

SS: Cannot wait to see how you turn contemporary YA on its head! Good luck with your current WIP's. Meanwhile, could you offer your fans a little teaser for what Evelyn and company might face in this next installment?

K&T: Well, it takes place immediately after the events of the second book, so there’s still a lot of regret and revenge and recovery in the fallout, but there’s also some big changes happening in London that’s a bit different from anything the group has had to deal with before!

SS: What you described sounds like the best kind of sequel. We can't wait to read and I for one am excited to dive into the world y'all have created. Thank you so much for sharing with us today!

Want to learn more about Tarun & Kelly?

Discover more @ the links below!

Links (Tarun):

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Links (Kelly):

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

The Tour Continues...

Don't miss tomorrow's stops!

March 13th

Bibliobibuli YA >> Guest post
Mes Livres >> Excerpt
Birdie’s Bibliotheca >> Review
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Excerpt

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Review for "The Flame and the Arrow" by Emigh Cannaday #takecontroltbr

The Flame and the Arrow was my first pick to read for Caffeinated Reviewer's Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. So naturally this book took me forever to push through. I had high hopes for this fantasy series and while I was happy about some things, I felt like a lot could have been edited out as well. Also, I'm reading some hopefully-less sprawling novels after this. 

My Review

3 of 5 Stars


Unique Fantasy Romance

The Flame and the Arrow is an epic sprawling fantasy romance like no other. Using elements of Eastern European folklore, I found the mythology and world building refreshing and intriguing. The magic of this book is what kept me coming back, along with Cannady's vivid imagination.

While I enjoyed this novel with it's fun mix of rocker and hodgepodge fairy tale creatures, I also feel much could have been left out. The heart of this story are the characters and family our heroine falls into. But there was a lot of filler that slowed the pacing down and made some parts harder to get through.

Still, this is altogether an excellent binge fantasy perfect for fans of big character casts like Buffy and the Mortal Instruments Series.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Prism Book Tours Showcases Beauty & Her Boss by Jennifer Faye

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Beauty and Her Boss
By Jennifer Faye

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below. And make sure to grab a bookmark or two for FREE:

Launch - Note from the Author

Hi. :-) And welcome to the blog tour for my new Harlequin Romance release, Beauty & Her Boss (Once Upon a Fairytale, book 1). Deacon and Gabrielle’s story is loosely based on one of my favorite stories, Beauty and the Beast...

— Jennifer

A tall police officer with salt-and-pepper hair stepped just inside the room. “We’ve contacted the complainant.”

“And...” Gaby knew this was the time for restraint but there was so much on the line.

The officer shook his head. “He refused to meet with you.”

That was not what she’d wanted to hear. She was hoping to plead with the man and hopefully get him to drop the charges. Her father was not physically well and punishing him would not help anyone, least of all Deacon Santoro. “Surely there has to be some way I can speak with him.”

The officer cleared his throat. “I was about to tell you that he’s on the phone. You may speak with him at my desk.”

"The best romance is the kind which knits together at a slower pace - such as the one starting to bloom between Gabrielle and Deacon. . .

Whilst at the same time, Ms Faye was building a strong narrative about second chances, new beginning and how the heart can mend in the hours where your not focusing on what has caused ou the most pain. She takes a direct approach of showing the humanistic side of the Beast as she hones in on hte legacy of the fairy tale - shifting in and out of the origins and her own visions of how to tell the story. In this way, it's quite the enjoyable read..."

Take care of Gabrielle.

Those words haunted him each night in his short and troubled sleep. Until now, he’d never understood what they meant. He didn’t know anyone named Gabrielle. But suddenly a jagged piece of a memory from the accident came back to him. It wasn’t an image but rather a voice. The woman from the accident had told him to take care of her niece.

And it was his chance to make sure the woman’s final words were fulfilled. The need to help Gabrielle was overwhelming. But how? He needed time to absorb this revelation—to form a viable plan.

Deacon cleared his throat. “I didn’t know she was your aunt. No one told me.”

At this point, Deacon should just hang up, but he couldn’t do it. The father may have stepped over the line, but the daughter hadn’t. And those words kept haunting him—take care of Gabrielle.

“What do you have in mind?” he asked.

“I could go outside and talk to the media. I could explain my father’s actions—”

“Don’t. The less said the better.” All the while, he was considering how best to help this woman, who obviously had too much on her plate.

“So if my father and I agree not to say another word, you will see that the charges are dropped?”

“No. Not only has my name been slandered in the news, but my assistant was coming back from lunch when your father’s protest was at its height. She was verbally assaulted and had things thrown at her. She has quit. And the temp agency doesn’t want to send anyone else.”

“Oh.” Gabrielle paused. “I don’t know what you want me to do to make this right.”

I Am A Reader - Excerpt

The Malibu beach house was a stunning piece of midcentury architecture. Gabrielle slowed the car to a stop to have a better look around. Feeling as though someone was staring at her, she glanced up at the massive white mansion. There was no one standing in any of the windows. But there was a window on the top floor where the sheers moved. Cold fingertips inched down her spine.

Stop it. You’re just being melodramatic. It’s not like this is a haunted mansion.

"This [i]s a delightful, well-written, modern retell of the classic Fairy Tale of Beauty and the Beast.
The character and scenes were depicted in a way which "draws the reader in".
The Book cover and Title are both eye-catching and "fitting"."

Brooke Blogs - Excerpt

A movement in the corner of her eye caught her attention. Her gaze strayed across the outline of a figure in the distance.

“Excuse me,” Gabrielle called out as she rushed forward.

The man’s back was to her.

She called out again.

The man straightened from where he was bent over a rosebush. He was wearing jeans, a black long-sleeved shirt and a ball cap. He didn’t turn around. Did he hear her?

“Hey, could you tell me where to go?” Not about to continue screaming across the grounds, she started down to a set of stained concrete steps leading to the garden.

Wishful Endings - Review

"This was a good mix of romance that was partially sweet and some places with a little more heat. There was also humor and heartbreak, making for an overall heartwarming read."

Becky on Books - Excerpt

“Will you be showing me what I need to do?”

The woman shook her head. “Not me, dearie. I wouldn’t have a clue. I’m the housekeeper and cook.”

Gaby was disappointed. Working with Mrs. Kupps would have certainly made her workday interesting. “Do you know who will be showing me what I need to do?”

“I assume that would be Mr. Santoro.”

“Oh, will he be out soon?”

The woman clucked her tongue. “Mr. Santoro does not get out much these days.”

Among the Reads - Review

"Author Jennifer Faye’s retelling of Beauty and the Beast was done quite well. The premise behind Gaby needing to work for Deacon made sense. I appreciated the way the author took elements of the story and made it her own, not feeling like she needed to make every major plot element conform to the events of the fairy tale."

He should have never agreed to bring Gabrielle here.

The decision had been made in haste.

And it was a mistake.

Deacon paced back and forth in his private study. This woman with the honeyed voice was dangerous, as she was poised to be a distraction from the stark reality of his situation. She would make him think about all of the damage that had been done. If only he could remember the accident—remember if he was at fault.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"This book was easy to get into. The characters, the story...I enjoyed it all...

The book had many of the aspects of Beauty and the Beast. Deacon is scarred, both emotionally and physically. Gabby is a person to look past the outward appearance and see the heart of the person in front of her."

“If you would just tell me where to meet you, we can sit down and go over what is expected of me.” Gabrielle’s voice cut through his thoughts.

“That won’t be necessary.”

“Of course it is.”

He could hear the confusion in her voice. She wasn’t the first assistant that had been uncomfortable with his distant style of management, but it was the way it had to be. He didn’t need anyone eyeing him with pity. He didn’t deserve anyone feeling sorry for him. It was best for him to keep to the shadows. The accident had left permanent scars on him both inside and out. His career as an actor was over. And he was now struggling to find a new position for himself in the background of Hollywood.

Simply Kelina - Review

"This was my first book by Jennifer Faye, but it will not be my last. I ended up loving this!

I am a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast, so it was so fun to read this modern day twist on the story."

THIS DEFINITELY WASN’T her best first day on the job.

In fact, it ranked right up there as one of the worst.

And the day wasn’t over yet.

A loud crack of thunder shook the windows at the same time as lightning lit up the sky around the guesthouse. Gabrielle rushed to close the French doors. Somehow the weather seemed rather fitting.

"Beauty and Her Boss by Jennifer Faye is book one in Once Upon a Fairytale series...
This story is sweet and loving. I enjoyed the read."


The first set of doors she came to had frosted-glass inserts. One door stood ajar. She peered inside, wondering if at last she’d come face-to-face with Deacon Santoro, the larger-than-life legend. But the room appeared to be empty—except for all of the books lining the bookshelves.

Her eyes widened as she took in what must be thousands of titles. She stepped farther into the room, finding the bookcases rose up at least two stories. Like a bee to honey, she was drawn to the remarkable library. There was a ladder that glided along a set of rails to reach the top shelves. And a spiral staircase for the second floor of shelves with yet another ladder. It was truly remarkable.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Beauty and Her Boss
(Once Upon a Fairytale #1)
by Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 pages
March 1st 2018 by Harlequin Romance
An innocent beauty, a scarred hero...

Could she be the one to open up his heart?

Handsome but guarded former Hollywood star Deacon Santoro prefers the confines of his mansion since an accident left him scarred both inside and out. But he promised to protect sparky beauty Gabrielle Dupre, his new PA. Can Gabrielle convince Deacon that love will give them the fairy-tale ending they deserve?

About the Author

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card, Lindor Truffles, Beauty & Her Boss mug, Beauty & the Beast Adult Coloring Book, colored pencils, Lindt Chocolate, candle, roses, stickers, pen, book magnet and bookmarks
US only
Ends March 14th