Author Archives: What The Cat Read

Fragile Destiny by Suzanne Lazear: Available for Pre-Order!

Did you hear? Suzanne Lazear’s Fragile Destiny, the newest book in her Aether Chronicles, is available for Pre-order right now! Check out the post below to find out how you can reserve your copy today, murr! =^.^=

FragileDestiny

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Publisher: Flux

Release Date: August 8, 2014

Series: Aether Chronicles #3

Noli and her true love V fear the worst if the Staff of Eris—a potent Otherworld relic—falls into the wrong hands. Broken into pieces and hidden in the mortal realm long ago, the staff bestows vast powers on whoever possesses it. Ciarán, the dark king, is trying to rebuild the staff, intending to use it to install a new queen.

In a desperate effort to keep the Otherworld from falling into darkness, Noli and V plot the daring theft of a jewel Ciarán needs to complete the staff. But Ciarán is not so easily defeated. Through his devious machinations, he has set a plan in motion for a final showdown that will decide who rules the Otherworld once and for all.

Available for Pre-Order Now!!

(Click on the Icon Below to Reserve Your Copy)

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About the Author:

spinningSuzanne Lazear is the author of the Young Adult Steampunk dark fairytale series THE AETHER CHRONICLES. Book 1, INNOCENT DARKNESS and Book 2, CHARMED VENGEANCE, are out now. Book 3, FRAGILE DESTINY, releases 8-8-14. She always plays with swords, is never described as normal, and has been known to run with bustles. Suzanne lives in Los Angeles with her daughter and the hubby,and a hermit crab. Learn more about THE AETHER CHRONICLES at http://www.aetherchronicles.com and her at http://www.suzannelazear.com

Fracture Truth by Rachel McClellan – Promo & Excerpt

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We’d like to thank Dark World Books for letting us participate in this tour event. For a full list of all the blogs involved, please click HERE! And be sure to come back later today for Sara’s review of Fractured Truth. =^.^=

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Date Released: April 8, 2014

Series: Fractured Light #3

Llona is determined to end the fight with the Vykens once and for all. All she needs is to find and destroy the Shadow—the ultimate source of dark power. But when she makes a startling discovery about someone she loves, Llona has to fight the toughest battle yet in this exciting conclusion to the Fractured Light series.

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

“You have four minutes, Llona,” Liam said through a microphone in my ear. His voice, like the ringing of a great bell, pounded my already aching head.
The small plane’s engine shrieked, a high-pitched sound different from the steady hum of the last twenty minutes. Everyone had boarded a while ago. It was a silent crowd, not one likely to converse with each other.
I shifted my weight in the plane’s cramped closet. I could’ve come out as I’d just turned invisible, but I wanted to wait until the speed of the plane increased, covering any sounds the closet door might make when opened.
It was shortly after Cyrus kidnapped my aunt Sophie from Lucent academy that I taught myself to turn invisible. I’d practiced every day, sometimes for hours, until I could do it without the accompanying paralyzing weakness. And although the pain hadn’t gotten any better, I was able to increase the time I could maintain invisibility to several minutes. I’d accomplished all this in just the few short months since Christian’s death.
Just then the plane lurched forward, picking up speed on the runway. I opened the door and peered into the plane’s small kitchen. Empty. Perfect. I quietly slipped out and closed the door behind me.
The front wheels of the plane bounced. The cabin, as I suspected, was full of Vykens sitting in their seats, their backs to me, as if they were regular passengers. Most of them looked like normal humans, which meant they’d fed on Auran blood recently, but a few were in their purest form— facial features deformed and gray with moldy skin peeling back from their faces.
There was only one different from the rest. Jackson. He sat three rows up to the right of the center aisle.
With the Deific’s help, Liam had finally received a tip on Jackson’s whereabouts. It was the closest we’d come to finding out where Cyrus was keeping Sophie. I glanced to my left, to the emergency exit. By the way the plane was vibrating, it was close to taking off.
A Vyken stood and slid into the aisle. I pressed myself against a seat to keep him from bumping into me. I had yet to learn how to let matter pass through me. That may be a trick only my mother knew.
After the Vyken passed by, I went to Jackson. He was looking down at his bloodied knuckles. How did that happen? Jackson used to be a guardian. He (and a bunch of others who had followed him) had joined the Vykens against the Auras months ago. I’d been training harder than ever to stop them all and restore the Auras to their former strength. The strength only a few knew about.
The plane lifted. Still plenty of time to make my move.
I reached down, careful to avoid touching Jackson, and undid his seat belt. He glanced to his lap, brow twisted together. I smacked the back of his head, hard. He turned around and stared at the Vyken behind him.
“What’s your problem?” Jackson asked.
The Vyken ignored him.
Jackson stood and confronted the Vyken again. “Hey, I’m talking to you!”
The Vyken lifted his gaze from the sports magazine in his hand. “I know Cyrus said we can’t kill you, but he didn’t say we couldn’t hurt you. Sit down, guardian.”
Liam’s voice spoke again in my ear. “Hurry up.”
Several Vykens looked around. His voice, this close to so many of them, must have drawn attention.
Time to pay for your crimes, Jackson.
I drew my fist back and punched Jackson in the face. His hand came up to his bloodied nose. “What the . . . ?”
A few Vykens stood up.
I punched him again. He stumbled back toward the exit, arms outstretched as though to steady himself. Blood ran onto his chin.
“What’s going on?” he yelled.
I answered with a swift kick to his chest. It took just a second for him to recover before he started blindly throwing punches. “Someone help me!”
Vykens looked around as if they didn’t know what to do.
I dodged Jackson’s fist and punched him again. He was in position. I took hold of the emergency latch and pulled it as hard as I could. The door flew open, sucking air from the cabin.
Papers and all kinds of debris flew past me. Jackson scrambled backward, his eyes darting around until he was pressed against the wall separating the kitchen from the cabin.
The others stood alert, some in a fight-ready stance. But who were they going to fight? They couldn’t see me. No one could.
Grabbing Jackson, I spun him around until he was facing the open door; his clothes and hair whipped around violently. He stuttered.
His fear excited me, sending a wave of adrenaline through my blood stream.
I was about to reveal myself to him, just so I could see the surprise in his eyes, but Liam’s voice sounded in my ear. “Get out of there—now!”
Jerking into action, I wrapped my arms around Jackson’s chest and jumped from the plane, spiraling into a black abyss.

Chapter Two

I fell through the darkness, slicing through it like a knife in water. Cold air burned my face, and the force of it made it difficult to breathe.
Jackson’s body was torn from my grip, and he was twisting and writhing as if he could somehow climb his way back into the airplane. He was probably screaming too, but I couldn’t hear over the deafening sound of the wind rushing over me.
I glanced around, my eyes wet from the air. What appeared to be streetlights were growing closer. I’d never done this before, jumped from an airplane, but I wasn’t nervous, although I should be. I wasn’t wearing a parachute.
I squinted my eyes to try to see Jackson, but he wasn’t spread eagle like me so was probably falling faster. The tree line of the forest came into view against the night sky. I was really close now. Maybe fifteen seconds before impact. I began to count.
At twelve, my body jerked as if I had been sucked into a tornado, and I had a difficult time controlling which way my body was twisting. It was like no other sensation I’d ever experienced before, and my lungs tightened and pressure built up in my ear- drums until I thought they might burst. But in no time at all, I was on the ground, my legs unsteady from the whirlwind.
Liam appeared next to me, having shifted back to his human form. It still amazed me whenever he did that.
“You okay?” he asked.
I inhaled deeply. “I think so. What a rush.”
“Sorry it took me longer than usual to catch you, but Jackson was fighting against me so I had to knock him out. I hope you weren’t scared.”
Jackson was nearby, lying on the ground, his brown hair drenched in sweat. “I wasn’t worried at all.”
“You weren’t?”
“I knew you would catch me.” I went to Jackson and nudged him. “Let’s get him back before he wakes up.”
When Liam didn’t answer, I looked back at him. He was staring at me, his green eyes illuminated by the moonlight. For just a moment I was reminded of his age, over two centuries old. I often forgot this because on the outside he didn’t look much older than me, but in the right light his eyes would betray him, revealing years of inner torment.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You shouldn’t put so much trust in me.”
“Why? You’ve never let me down.”
He walked over to Jackson, picked him up, and threw him over his shoulder. “Because one day I may not be there for you.”

Other Books in the Series:

(Click on the Covers to Learn More)

Book One

Book One

Book Two

Book Two

About the Author:

Rachel-McClellan-2-199x300Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel’s love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…

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***Giveaway***

GRAND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card and a printed copy of Fractured Truth
Runner-up 1: Printed copy of Fractured Truth
Runner-up 2: Ebook copy of Fractured Truth

To be entered into the giveaway for this event, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0d083518/

 

Cover Reveal: Freed by Stacey Kennedy

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Publisher: Loveswept

Release Date: September 23, 2014

Series: Club Sin

Perfect for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, the Club Sin series continues with Freed, a wicked, wild eBook original novel from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy.

Mary Schmidt knows only too well how thrilling a Master’s touch can be. Her husband, Charles, had been her ultimate fantasy, a seducer in the erotic dance of dominance and submission. She misses the sensual lifestyle they shared, but mourns him so deeply she cannot bear to embrace her submissive needs with another Dom—until a man who exudes temptation reawakens desires she can no longer deny.

Elliott Foster is dazzled by Mary. He instantly knows that she’s the woman he’s been waiting for—a woman who turns games into need. As her Master, he dares to unlock the deepest pleasures of her flesh, releasing her from pain and healing her mind. When Mary’s lithe body comes to life under his, he knows their connection goes beyond sex. Now that he has found the perfect woman, the perfect partner, the perfect submissive, he desires only to give her everything she craves.

Freed is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

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About the Author:

Stacey KennedyUSA Today Bestselling Author, Stacey Kennedy is an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Supernatural, True Blood, Lost Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.

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Cover Reveal: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

BOOK OF IVY high res APRIL2 copy

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Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: November 4, 2014

In a future where girls no longer control their own fates, sixteen-year-old Ivy Westfall has the power to give girls back their choices. If she’s willing to commit murder to do it…

After a brutal nuclear war, followed by famine and disease, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over who would govern the new nation. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. This year, it is Ivy Westfall’s turn to be married. Only her bridegroom is no average boy. He is Bishop Lattimer, the President’s son. And Ivy’s mission is not simply to marry him and bear his children. Her mission, one she’s been preparing for all her life, is to kill him and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer turns out not to be the cruel, heartless boy her family warned her to expect. And as Bishop and Ivy navigate a tentative friendship that evolves into something more, Ivy is torn between loyalty to her family and following her own heart. She is a teenage girl caught in an adult web of manipulation, lies, and the struggle for power. Ultimately, she must decide what sacrifices are worth making for the lives of those she loves.

About the Author:

amy engelAmy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at http://amyengel.net/ or @aengelwrites.

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Guest Interview with M.J. Rose, Author of The Collector of Dying Breaths

Today we are thrilled to have M.J. Rose visiting with us as part of her The Collector of Dying Breaths Blog Tour hosted by the folks at Media Muscle/BookTrib. Be sure to stop by later today for Willow’s review of this wonderful novel! =^.^=

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About the Book:

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Publisher: Atria Books

Date Released: April 8, 2014

Series: Reincarnationist #6

A lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as a perfumer and a mythologist search for the fine line between potion and poison, poison and passion…and past and present.

Florence, Italy—1533: An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fragrances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the potential to reanimate the dead. In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country but the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, Rene doesn’t begin to imagine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.

Paris, France—The Present: A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile, is trying to recover from personal heartache by throwing herself into her work, learns of the 16th century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomes obsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breathes he had collected during his lifetime. Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Florentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection. A woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir… a purpose for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means. This mesmerizing gothic tale of passion and obsession crisscrosses time, zigzagging from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit chateaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.

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Interview:

What attracted you to France and to researching the world and history of French perfumes which are a focus in your new book, “The Collector of Dying Breaths” and also in your novels, “The Book of Lost Fragrances and Seduction?”

When I worked in Mad Men land I had the opportunity to work a new  fragrance from the very first days of naming it through to full up TV commercials we shot in Hong Kong and edited at the Lucas Ranch. It was a 40 million dollar launch that culminated with the spots running on the Oscars. During all that, I became intrigued and besotted with everything about the 8th art, as fragrance is called, and it’s a passion that’s never left. But I didn’t know about the history of fragrance before and found it fascinating. As for France – my great grandmother was French and my heritage has always been important to me. Besides, as Audrey Hepburn says “Paris is always a good idea,” and I completely agree.

Since scent has been called the most powerful memory trigger, how do fragrances tie in to your books?

I am fascinated with how the past influences the present. From a psychological point of view, a historical, and even mystical one. So since the memory center of the brain sits next to the olfactory center of the brain, scent stimulates memories of the past as nothing else can. From there it was just a jump to thinking scent might stimulate even older memories… past life memories.

Jac L’Etoile, your main character takes “trips” into the past that are triggered by scents—which makes sense for her character since she was trained during childhood in formulating perfumes. Did you find accounts of people who had similar olfactory experiences or did your imagination produce this persuasive story telling device?

Throughout history shamans and mystics have burned hallucinogenic incenses as aides to help them visit other realms and experience past life memories.  The blue lotus – which can be found in ancient Egyptian tomb paintings – is just one such essence priests from that time used to enter into trances.

In “The Collector of Dying Breaths,” you explore how fragrance was brought to France in the 16th century. Who was responsible?

Catherine de Medici was a fascinating young Italian woman who came to France at fourteen years of age to marry one of the crown princes. She brought her perfumer and her astrologer with her. René le Florentin was apprenticed at the Officina Profumo–Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the world’s oldest pharmacies which was founded in 1221 in Florence by the Dominican Friars who made herbal remedies and potions. He created scents and creams for the young Catherine de Medici. When the fourteen-year-old duchessina traveled to France to marry the prince, she took René with her. René and Catherine are credited with bringing perfume to their newly adopted country.

Is Catherine de Medici’s use of poison to rid herself of enemies based on historical fact?

Yes, although there are of course questions about how many people she had poisoned. For instance there are rumors she had her daughters’ mother in law poisoned. But we know for sure that Catherine had her perfumer, René Le Florentin create innovative and well disguised poisons for her to use on her enemies.

You write in both “The Collector of Dying Breaths,” “Seduction” and “The Book of Lost Fragrances” about the L’Etoile family of perfumers in France. Were the fictional L’Etoiles based on a real family of French perfumers or did they arise from your imagination?

The Guerlain family, which opened their doors to business in 1826, created many of my favorite perfumes, and so in a way they were a great inspiration, but the L’Etoile family’s loves, tragedies and triumphs are all pure invention.

Was collecting someone’s dying breath something people actually did in the past or was this idea something of your creation as a fiction author?

We don’t know where this concept originated or if anyone in the Renaissance suspected such a thing was possible. But it’s not a far stretch from the well- documented and centuries-old alchemical search for immortality through the breath concept. We do know that in the twentieth century, automotive magnate Henry Ford and the great inventor Thomas Edison, who both believed in reincarnation, supported the idea that in death, the soul leaves the body with its last breath. In fact, Edison’s dying breath, collected by his son, Charles, is in fact on display at the Edison Winter Home in Fort Myers, Florida.

Why have a signature scent made? And do you think more people today are having signature fragrances designed for them?

To be memorable. To have a man lean across a table and say quietly, I love how you smell. To celebrate your uniqueness. To stand out. To revel in your creativity. In a world of sameness to not be the same as anyone else. There are so so many reasons. And yes I do think that the smaller the world gets, the more we tend to look for ways to express our individuality.

Your first Jac L’Etoile novel inspired a perfume, Âmes Soeurs, the Scent of Soul Mates by Joya Studios. How did this partnership come to be?

When I was writing the first Jac  book – to keep in the world of scent – I burned a lot of candles. When I finished writing, I gave a copy of the book to the perfumer who’d created the candles that had inspired me the most. Frederick Bouchardy. (Joya Studios).

After he read the novel he contacted me and we met for tea in the Peninsula Hotel in NYC. He told me he loved the book and wanted to create his version of the fragrance at the heart of the novel. I was so astonished and honored, I actually started to cry.

Bouchardy even named the fragrance after one in the book: Âmes Sœurs the scent of soul mates. It has hints of Frankincense, Myrrh, Orange Blossom and Jasmine. I think it has a smoky uncommon finish that suggests the past and the future, and lost souls reunited.

What scents evoke memories for you?

Shalimar – it was the only perfume my mother wore – so just one whiff and she’s there – all around me. It makes me so happy and so sad at the same time.

Pine – I love to walk in the woods and the scent of pine inspires me. There is something fresh and yet ancient and primeval about it.

Popcorn- Whenever I smell it I remember the first  magical time I ever went to the circus with my dad when I was little.

Chocolate – makes me think of Paris. I don’t think I ever had great chocolate till I went to Paris.

Perfume with Lemon –makes me think of high school. We all wore Jean Nate or Love – both lemon based.

Coffee – when I smell coffee I think of New York – my hometown – the energy is the smell of fresh brewed, really really good coffee.

What are some of  your favorite perfumes and what tones (scents) do they contain?

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain but only vintage – Wood, Iris , Vanilla, Spices, Green notes

Orchidee Vanille Eau de Parfum by Van Cleef & Arpels – Vanilla, almond and chocolate, litchi, Bulgarian rose and violet.

Coromandel by Chanel  – a true oriental with Amber tones.

Galconda by JAR – the perfumer has never revealed what the tones are but I smell cinnamon, jasmine and carnation and heaven.

Besides being an international bestselling author, you are also recognized as a pioneer in the publishing world? What breakthroughs have you made in this area?

Getting published has been an adventure. I self-published “Lip Service” late in 1998 after several traditional publishers turned it down. Editors had loved it, but didn’t know how to position it or market it since it didn’t fit into any one genre. Frustrated, but curious and convinced that there was a way to market it, I set up a web site where readers could download her book for $9.95 and began to seriously market the novel on the Internet. After selling over 2500 copies (in both electronic and trade paper format) “Lip Service” became the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as being the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house. I was also the first person to create the concept of virtual book tours – or blog tours as they are known now – doing one in 1999. As well I was the first author to create a book trailer, in 2000 and the first to have group blog in 2001.

You are a founding board member of International Thriller Writers and are its current co-president with Lee Child. How does the organization and its annual event “Thrillerfest” which is conducted in New York City differ from any other organizations and events?

We have a mantra at ITW – when we imitate we fail, when we innovate we succeed. So our goals have been to keep making our efforts and  events unique. We have the largest “craft fest” where authors can come to learn the craft from masters like David Morrell, Doug Preston, Steve Berry, Joseph Finder, Lisa Gardner, and more. We also have the largest “agent fest” in the world. Over 60 agents come to Thrillerfest to hear pitches from authors. For fans, we offer a $10 gift certificate to get them into the book room buying books and unlike most events every single registered author has his or her books for sale.

About the Author:

MJRose

M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…  Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka.

Rose is a the Co-President and founding member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz. She runs the blog, Museum of Mysteries.

In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek, and New York Magazine.

She has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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