Saturday, May 30, 2015

Top Ten Reasons Romance Novel Villains are Better than Heroes with Mariana Gabrielle, Author of La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess

Top Ten reasons romance novel villains are better than heroes—and why they are not.

Why villains are better: They know what they want and go after it, devil take the hindmost.
Why they aren’t: They don’t care who gets hurt.

Why villains are better: You get the shivers when you figure out what they are planning.
Why they aren’t: You have to live with the knowledge that whatever they are planning will fall directly on the heroes and heroines you love. 

Why villains are better: They aren’t constrained by what other people think.
Why they aren’t: They can’t be trusted.

Why villains are better: They provide a challenge for the hero, and make him look good.
Why they aren’t: They almost always force the heroine to need a hero.

Why villains are better: They are sometimes HOT.
Why they aren’t: They aren’t ever hot enough to keep around more than a night or two.

Why villains are better: They are stand-ins for people you know and want to see suffer.
Why they aren’t: They treat people more abominably than the person you are imagining.

Why villains are better: They almost always have some sort of redeeming quality.
Why they aren’t: Their redeeming qualities have almost all been destroyed by whatever horrible events made them into villains.

Why villains are better: Unapologetic immorality leaves all possibilities open.
Why they aren’t: Unapologetic immorality is sad and lonely.

Why villains are better: We love to see them get their final comeuppance.
Why they aren’t: Even when we love them, they never get a happy ending.

Why villains are better: Identifying with a hero or heroine is easy.
Why they aren’t: Identifying with a hero or heroine is easy.


Meet Hamish LaRue, a villain who is—and is not—better than the hero and heroine of La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess.

Kali sat quietly before the battered desk, refusing to shiver in the wind blowing through cracks in the walls of the rundown wooden shack. No longer did she meet Mr. Hamish LaRue in his fine office at 17 Bonhill Street. Now, she was only invited to this rickety hovel near the docks, half-hidden between a public house and a livery, where he conducted business with anyone less important than he believed himself to be.
Before the first time summoned here, she had never minded the smell of whiskey and horses on a man, but now, the combination made her nauseous. When mingled with the cheap cologne LaRue wore to cover his pungent bodily aroma, it was all Kali could do not to add the smell of the bile in her throat to his shoes. She refused to shudder at the lecherous look he always wore in their meetings, refused to acknowledge the evidence of his constant arousal when she was near, nor the way he occasionally palmed his erection, as though to give himself relief he was barred from taking with her.
She felt gooseflesh rise on her arms and assumed her nipples had hardened underneath her green wool dress, because the rodent-on-two-legs couldn’t keep his bulging eyes from her breasts, tongue lapping at his lower lip, nostrils flaring as her cinnamon-and-sandalwood scent reached his nose. The first time she had come here, she’d thought him polite, taking her pelisse and hanging it neatly, but now she knew he only hoped for a good view and to keep her as uncomfortable as he could manage.
She would in no way give him the satisfaction of knowing she was cold, though her lips were probably as blue as the manicured fingernails on her soft hands, kept smooth by regular application of expensive unguents. His eyes followed her frozen mouth, giving her cause to wonder if he were the type of man who might molest a corpse, if provided the opportunity. Surely he would have no scruples about such wickedness, given she had seen no evidence of common decency in the ten years she had known him.

Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Multicultural Romance

Heat Rating
R for sensual content, 3 out of 5 flames


Book Blurb
Sired by a British peer, born of a paramour to Indian royalty, Kali Matai has been destined from birth to enthrall England’s most powerful noblemen—though she hadn’t counted on becoming their pawn. Finding herself under the control of ruthless men, who will not be moved by her legendary allure, she has no choice but to use her beauty toward their malicious and clandestine ends.

When those she holds most dear are placed in peril by backroom political dealings, she enlists some of the most formidable lords in England to thwart her enemies. But even with the help of the prominent gentlemen she has captivated, securing Kali’s freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.

Author Bio
Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym of Mari Christie, a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience. Published in dozens of nonfiction and poetry periodicals since 1989, she began writing mainstream historical fiction in 2009 and Regency romance in 2013. In all genres, she creates deeply scarred characters in uncommon circumstances who overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. She is a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her first Regency romance, Royal Regard, was released in November 2014.


Buy/Review Links

Mariana Social Media 
Facebook Launch Party, June 10, noon - 8 pm EDT: 

Friday, May 15, 2015


Be sure to go forth and enter!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fabled by Vanessa K. Eccles

Ever dreamed of a life that reads more like a book? Rowena did until she stumbled into a fairy tale that wasn't so friendly.

Fabled by Vanessa K. Eccles
Publisher: Bound and Brewed 
Young adult fantasy/fairy tale

Rowena thinks the Grimm’s infamous podcasts are simply another teen fad until she finds herself trapped in a land of nightmarish storybook characters. She tries desperately to flee Mezzanine and return home, but Dresdem, Mezzanine’s wicked monarch, plans to use Rowena’s access to her world to bring dark magic and absolute rule into Georgia and beyond.

But when Rowena’s dear friend Madeline falls into Dresdem’s grasp, her battle with him becomes war, and all hopes of home are temporarily thwarted. With the help of an invisible hero, a beast, and an owl, she sets out to free Madeline from a deadening sleep. But Rowena must become her own hero when she finds herself bound by the kingdom’s darkest family. She must make the ultimate choice – align herself with her enemies or live on the run forever. 


“Heads or tails?” Lil asked as she opened the door and stood in front of me.
“When are you going to learn that heads always wins?” She snickered and rolled her eyes in amazement of my apparent naivety.
“Not always. Besides, tales are more interesting.”
Not understanding my word play, she shrugged and searched her pockets for a coin.
I leaned into the porch swing, coffee and book in hand, and watched as autumn's first leaves sunsetted the deadening grass. I rested the mug on my knee and let the cool breeze sway me back and forth while I waited.
Trying to ignore my little sister's attempts to aggravate me, I looked down at the fantastical book in my hands and realized how beloved, yet unrealistic it seemed. Most of us lead relatively dull lives and are content but never satisfied. The “happily ever afters” they crammed in our minds as children were merely lies, but I couldn’t help but dream of an adventure like the one I was holding. I wanted my life to be epic. Who was I kidding? Only characters in our favorite stories experienced magical lives. Mine had already been planned out for me go to college, land a mediocre job, get married, and have 1.8 perfectly groomed, smiling children. That was it. The end.

Links: Amazon | Smashwords Goodreads
(See author's website for all available outlets.)

Meet the Author: Vanessa K. Eccles graduated Troy University with a degree in English. She currently serves as executive editor of Belle Rêve Literary Journal and is founder of the book blog YA-NASisterhood. When she’s not writing or devouring books, she enjoys the lake life with her Prince Charming and their four dogs.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Adult Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!
Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the TEAM Red–but there is also a red team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number. Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on Team Blue, and then add them up. (Don’t worry, you can use a calculator!)

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 26th, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.



Today, I am hosting Bethany Lopez for the scavenger hunt.

Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She's a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.

Find out more information by checking out her website.


Here's Bethany's exclusive content from 8 Weeks, book 1 in the Time for Love series:

This scene takes place before the book begins, the night that Cal, TJ and Scott are in Vegas for Scott's Bachelor Party.

"I don't know that I can honestly say congratulations, since you are marrying Victoria, but I can say that I wish you all the best," TJ said in what had to be the hundredth toast to our buddy Scott that night. 

"Shut up, man, you don't know her like I do," Scott argued, his words slurring slightly. "You don't know her like I do."

"I hope that's true, brother," I said, tossing back my tequila and swaying slightly.

None of us liked Victoria. She may have been a nice person, but she never gave anyone in our group the time of day, so how the hell would we know. She came from money, and liked Scott because he did too, even though he was nothing like her

Scott had basically spent his childhood in my home, more a member of my family than his own, and it gutted me to think of him marrying that woman. 

I thought about my own wife, Shelly, the girl I'd been in love with since the moment our eyes met when we were sixteen, and I wished that Scott could find a woman like her. Or shit, like Gaby or Sasha. They were Shelly's best friends and a couple of the best women I knew.

"I love her guys," Scott said, his face blurring a bit. "I need you to make more of an effort to get along with her... The tension between you all is tearing me apart."

TJ handed each of us another shot and said, "Bottoms up. This one's to us, may we be there for all the weddings, babies, and hard times, and always make time for each other."

"Amen," Scott said.

"Here, here," was my reply, but when I brought the shot to my lips and the sickeningly sweet smell hit, my stomach began to start a revolt. "I gotta get out of here."

"What?" Scott asked, "You can't bail now!"

"I drank way too much, man, and I'm starting to feel sick."

After a lot of arguing, they finally relented and walked me out to hail a cab.

"I can't believe you're being such a pussy on Scott's last night as a free man," TJ said, getting one last jab in as I lowered myself into the cab.

I faintly registered Scott giving the cab driver directions and cash for the trip, then waved sloppily as we pulled away from my friends, before I fell to the my side and drifted off.

I woke what felt like a few moments later and looked up to see a beautiful blonde. I seemed to have my head in her lap and she was bent over me, with her breasts falling out of her tight dress.

"It's okay..." she cooed, and I realized she was talking about the fact that there was vomit all over her dress.

Shit, did I throw up on her? Was I still in the cab? Who the hell is she?

I couldn't seem to form the words and started to loose focus again. The last thing I heard before I passed out was, "We need to get some food in you."


Is eight weeks enough time to earn back the love of someone you've betrayed...the only one you've ever loved?

Shelly has been in love with Cal since they started dating in eleventh grade. Despite everyone saying that the odds were against them, they got married after graduation and built a life together. Now, six years later, she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. Devastated, her first instinct is to call it quits…

After a drunken binge at his best friends’ bachelor party, Cal betrays the one person who has always been there for him, his wife, Shelly. Terrified and realizing she might divorce him, Cal must come up with a way to prove to her that his love is true…

Cal asks Shelly for eight weeks. Eight weeks to convince her that their marriage is worth the fight. Will Shelly be able to trust him again, or will their marriage end the way many others do when faced with opposition… In divorce?

In honor of the NA Scavenger Hunt, I'm hosting a special giveaway. Be sure to enter.

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To enter the mega prize for the Scavenger hunt, you need to know that my lucky book number is 6. Right now, between my husband and I and our three boys, our family is five, but come November, it's gonna be 6!

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on Team Red and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Mary Frame!