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I am Blogging @ Book Lovers Inc., again

October 15, 2010


My New Book Lovers Inc Signature: Yes, I am an Intern. Disappearing for months will cause you to have to start over from the bottom. Lesson learned. LOL!!!

Just wanted to let you know that aside from picking Book Obsessed back up I I have also rejoined the Book Lovers Inc team. I will be doing occasional discussion posts and will appear regularly as a book reviewer.

Book Obsessed Girl on Book Lovers Inc.:

(10/13/10) I made my re-debut yesterday with a post titled The Accidental YA Reader which is about exactly what it sounds like: how I accidentally read my first YA book(s) in 22 years.  There is also a Giveaway with this post – leave a comment over at BLI on my post either helping me choose my next YA book to read or just share your thoughts and you’ll be entered to win a book of your choice from Book Depository (up to $10) – OPEN TO ANYWHERE BOOK DEPO SHIPS.

(10/14/10) Today I reviewed one of my new Favorite books, The Light of Asteria by Elizabeth Isaacs – an absolutely beautiful fantasy romance novel. And to answer the question those of you who have read the book  have on the tip of your tongue – NO The Light of Asteria is not the book(s) I wrote about yesterday. In fact I didn’t know it was considered YA until today when I saw it mentioned on another blog – causing me to jump over to the author’s website to confirm and sure enough there is was right in the header “YA Fantasy Author”! Unbelievable! Truth is I still don’t see it as YA but that’s how it’s being classified so what’s a BookObsessedGrl to do??? Anyway…go check out my review & then add The Light of Asteria to your TBR list. Believe me you will thank me later. It’s a keeper. Available in both trade paperback & e-book: links to each are  included in my review.

I will be posting reviews very soon – I have 6 months worth to catch up on so you’ll have lots of reviews to read.

24-Hour Read-a-Thon: October 9, 2010

I also, hope to do a close-out post or two tomorrow from the read-thon – just to give everyone closure & am explanation for why there were only 3 posts during the whole event.

That’s it for now!

Open Roads & Good Reads,


Read-a-Thon Update #3 & Mini-Challenges

October 10, 2010

Quick Update & Mini-Challenges!

I have read 170 pages so far today – and done all the Mommy things too. 🙂 Page count would be higher without the Mommy things, but…the Mommy things are fun too. 😀

You can't see the reader in my hand but this is me intently reading.

Shake your Pom-Poms Mini Challenge:

I think I am too late in posting this one, but I took so much time writing it I am going to share it anyway!

Reading Cheer/Poem:

To Read to Read
A Joy Indeed
To Read that First Line
And Travel thru Time

To Read to Read
A Joy Indeed
To Laugh
To Cry
To Finally know why

To Read to Read
A Joy Indeed
To Read that Last Line
To Close the Book with a Sigh

A Dreamy Look in Your Eye
And Wander to the TBR Shelf
To Read to Read


Two-Part Pet Challenge:

Part 1: Picture of my pet. I have 3 cats, but don’t have access to pictures of all of them right now. On the previous update there is a picture of Kashmir with Interview with the Vampire. Below is Mooska, we usually call him Mooshie. He’s a talker and her really does love hanging around my books. We have tons of pictures of him & my books!

Mooshka Begging me to let him read Moon Called by Patrica Briggs. He Luvs Smexy, Butt Kicking Werewolves!

Part Two:

My favorite book with animals is “Good-bye Pink Pig” . He doesn’t really have a name -so Pink Pig is what I have to work with to make the sentence.

Pink Pig paraded past Patricia proudly.


Be back soon….more reading to do before dinner. Maybe next post I’ll show you my snake pile? Hummm….

24 Hour Read-a-Thon Update #2 & Mini-Challenges

October 10, 2010

Well let’s see, what have I done in the past few hours?

I’ve read another 62 pages of An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. I know that’s not much but, I’ve had some interruptions like:

#1- Phone calls from other children’s parents asking when the SAT testing is over & if I am going to pick up the kids. Answer to that is ‘I don’t know’ and’ Yes, I’ll pick them up, when they call’.

#2- Husband who’s not thrilled with the 24hr Read-a-Thon, because I was such a mess afterwards last year. I told him I was taking it easy this year & him seemed somewhat appeased.

Kashmir fell asleep reading Interview with the Vampire.

#3- Kashmir, our female cat has an injured paw and that is a distraction all its own. She’s my girl – follows me around like a little shadow. Now she’s limping (much like me) & refuses to stay in one place, everytime I get up she jumps off her pillow to follow me. Then whines because it hurts. 😦

#4 – I entered the {Indie}Pendent Books Challenge to show pictures of and/or tell them about  the Indie or Small Press books we’ve read or are reading for the read-a-thon. I posted twice with 2 different pictures, if you want to see my smiling face go click on the link above & scroll through the comments. 😀

Here's Mooshka with the stack of books I pulled out for the Read-a-Thon.

#5 – Above is my entry for the “Show Me the Books” mini-challenges on the My Reading Room blog. Mooshie luvs books, his favorite place to relax is wherever I have a stack of books, so naturally he had to jump into the picture. I used this pic instead of the pic without him because seriously doesn’t adding a cat to any picture make it better? I think it does. 🙂

That’s all the news fit to print right now. Off to pick-up the teenage academics and provide full taxi services. (Maybe I’ll read at red lights? Just don’t tell my Hubby – he’ll freak – cuz I’m driving his new car.)

Talk to you soon.  ~BookObsessedGrl

Welcome Back & The 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Begins!

October 9, 2010
24-Hour Read-a-Thon: October 9, 2010

Hello? Hello? Is anybody here? Hello…uh, it’s me…do you remember me? I know it’s been awhile…okay, okay… I know it’s been more than “awhile”…but I am like the Cheshire Cat of the blog-o-sphere…slowly fading away with a wicked smile on my face, leaving you to wonder where I will pop up next…and when? I promise to explain my long disappearance and sudden reappearance this coming week. I assure you that BookObsessedGrl is back & I will be blogging like crazy…Starting Right Now!

I hope you’ll forgive my disappearing act & join me today for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon! 😀 It’s gonna be fun!

I figured there was no better way to celebrate my return from outer-space than by participating in the Read-a-Thon & inviting you all to follow along.

I signed up last week, but then forgot it was today until someone mentioned it yesterday, so I am doing this on the fly. I have no plans other than read, do mini-challenges and have fun! I didn’t pick out books in advance, so I am going to start by reading some of the E-books I have on my TBR list, all of the books I will be reading today I purchased myself. I won’t be reading any ‘review copies’. When I got up this morning I also grabbed a bunch of “real” books off my TBR shelf so I can hop from e-book to paperback to hardcover & back. One thing I learned from last year’s read-a-thon is that what I think I will feel like reading yesterday, is not necessarily what I’ll feel like reading today. With that in mind I am going to choose books & short stories over the next 24 hours based upon my mood at the time.  😀

Because I had to take my daughter to do her SAT this morning and knew I’d be late getting back I started reading at 6 AM and my first book is:



An Artificial Night (October Daye Book #3) by Seanan McGuire


My first official update is that I am on page 88 of An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire! Read 25 pages while waiting for my daughter to get ready. I had started this book a couple of weeks ago, but set it aside to finish another book, that is the reason for the page count discrepancy.

Here’s a sample of a few of the other books I may read today:


Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh


Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan



Angel of Death by J. Robert King


Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate #3) by Gail Carriger



Moon Called by Patricia Briggs


Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps by Lara Rios



Ghost Interrupted by Sonia Singh



Unbound (Anthology) Short Stories by Multiple Authors



Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa by Tracy McArdle

Notice they are not all Urban Fantasy? I am broadening my reading horizons again. Let’s see how it goes….Keep checking back for updates & mini-challenges over the next 24-hours.

Thanks for stopping by!

Now back to reading…see ya soon!




P.S. I am soo glad to be back! Oh, and please ignore most of the things on my sidebar…they are out dated, however the book shown there are all highly recommended! My reviews of  Deadtown by Nancy Holzner is available here. I reviewed both Prime Evil by Heather Long and Blood Vice by Keith Melton over at Book Lovers Inc, but for some reason I can’t find them right now. I loved both books & am eagerly awaiting Book #2 in each series. If necessary I will re-post those reviews soon. As for Connect the Dots by Denise Robbins, I LOVED that book! I haven’t done a full review yet, but trust me when I tell you it is an awesome book! The review will be up soon. 😀

Okay now seriously, I’m going to read for the next 15 minutes – because the first mini-challenge is at 10AM – good thing I read some early! LOL 😀

Book Lovers Inc

January 19, 2010

The new book blog, Book Lovers Inc opens its doors tomorrow and I just can’t wait!!!

Here’s some of the information about their opening day, that I snagged from their “Coming Soon” post:

10 Book Lovers + 10 Favorite Books = 10 Winners!
I will definitely be there tomorrow and hope to see everyone else there too!!!

Winners, Cats, Photo-Art, Music & Awards!

January 16, 2010

Sorry that I have been M.I.A. since the New Year began – it has been one thing after another going wrong. Mostly the going wrongs were computer issues, some of it was due to being sick and unable to concentrate while sick! I have barely been able to get online for the past two weeks. In the past few days I finally wiped my entire hard drive and upgraded to a new operating system. The computer seems to be much happier with it’s new Win7 OS verses its previous Windows Vista – so I am happier too. Now that you know where I have been,  grab a cup of coffee, tea or soda – whatever you prefer and settle in for one longggg post! I’ll wait while you get settled…just shout when your ready…    

Lady Kashmir and her consort Mooshka fell asleep while waiting for you to get ready.

humm, hummmm, da, da, da, le, le, la…ta, da, le, he, ha…… (Don’t mind me I am just singing a little ditty to myself while I wait for you to get settled in.)    

Okay, Okay! I’ll stop! You can uncover your ears now. Sorry…I know I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. (I have not idea how the cats slept through my singing.)    


 Oh, your ready? Great! Well, then lets get started!    

Like I said this is going to be one long post. I need to catch-up on a bunch of things and rather than do several different posts I am going to do them all at once here! 🙂 Okay, well that’s not entirely true – I changed my mind…I was going to include all the 2010 Challenges I have joined in this post but I think that deserves its own post, so I’ll do that seperate.    

First, let mean update on the events that were scheduled for last week. Between computer issues, me and half my household being sick and author’s having sick families or being sick themselves things didn’t come together as originally planned. 

 Here’s the new plan:

Carrie Lofty, author of Scoundrel’s Kiss – which hit bookstore shelves on 01/05/10 stopped by yesterday. She wrote a guest blog about the five things that surprised her while writing Scoundrel’s Kiss and is generously giving away a signed copy of the book! To read Carrie’s guest blog click here.




My interview with Keith Melton, author of the Vampire/Mafia novel, Blood Vice will be up later today and he will be giving away an e-book copy of  Blood Vice to one lucky commenter. It is a Big Day on the blog, something for everybody! 




Last but not least, my Hub’s reviews of the three Eric Nylund books in the Halo Series will be posted as a surprise! As soon as he gives them to me they will be posted. In his defense he was sick also and he does have a full-time job that is insane during the months of December and January, so we won’t be too hard on him for not turning them in on time. 😉    




And now it’s time to let the cat out of the bag…    

Hamlet is has been waiting to for me to announce the winners.

Hamlet a.ka. Hammie, has been waiting in that bag since Midnight on January 2 to find out who won their very own e-copy of  Heather Long’s novel, Prime Evil and the Zombilicious, New Year’s Eve Zombie Style Prize Pack  from author, Nancy Holzner which includes a copy of her debut novel, Deadtown! I think  it is way past  time to let this cat out of the bag…    

The winners are…    

Melissa (@MelLHay)  – Winner of Prime Evil by Heather Long    

INCiDeNt (@INCiDeNT_Zinc) – Winner of The Deadtown Prize Pack    

Congratulations to both of you!     

Please either leave an email address in the comments section or contact take me on Twitter – @BookObsessedGrl to give me your information so I can get these prizes out to you!    



But wait that’s not all…    

(remember, you were warned this would be a long post)    


Now it’s awards time!     

* I do not require that anyone participate in this meme or pass these along – I am giving them because I think they are deserved – so don’t feel like you are have to participate out of obligation because there is none. Of course if you want to participate you are quite welcome. 😀 *


I am woefully behind in acknowledging the awards I have won over the past few months and passing those awards along to other bloggers. I am about to remedy that situation…right…NOW…    

* I am going to try not to have duplicates but may not be able to avoid them in some instances. *    


This award was given to me by two bloggers, Larissa of Larissa’s Life and Sagi of Sagi’s Randomness!    

Here are the rules for passing along this award:    

  • Accept this award, add the badge above and post about it on your blog with the name (link) of the person who granted it to you.
  • Name 5 Blogs you think are Kick-Ass and write why. Don’t forget to let them know that you have Awarded them.

 #1  JoJosBookCorner    

Why? Because her blog is just straight up fun! She does Saturday Delights – which are fantastic receipies, she knows how and where to find pictures of hotties and her Vlogs are awesome. She’s adorable, funny and has great taste in books. What’s not Kick-Ass about JoJo’s Blog would be a better question…huh, can’t think of anything that isn’t Kick-Ass there!    

#2  Wicked Little Pixie    

Why? Because her reviews are wicked cool, thoughtful and honest. Her non-review posts often make you think and although I don’t always remember to comment on them, are usually discussion worthy. I love most of the same books she does and I LOVE her header!    

#3  Smexy Books    

Why? Because when you read her blog you can feel the passion she has for reading, for the characters she loves and the ones she hates. She tells it like it is and is always fair and balanced. When she loves a book you can’t help but want to go out an get it as soon as possible, because her excitment is contagious (though I am still not sure I could get into were-snakes – just sayin’). Her posts are thoughtful, funny, a joy to read and of course totally SMEXY. Plus she loves The Killers and I think of her now everytime I hear ANY of their songs. 😉

#4 Book Chick City    

Why? Because she is true to herself. When she decided to announce that she would primarily be focusing on the kind of books she loves instead of accepting any books sent to her I was inspired by her strength and conviction. She has the absolute best Challenges – hands down best on the internet! Her reviews cover all of the important information, with her opinions in an honest and clear way. I just enjoy her blog. Plus she had me as a guest blogger…hehe

#5 Daily Dose     

Why? Because it is Heather Long! Do I really need to say more than that? She is absolutely awesome and so is her blog! Her posts are fun and thoughtful. The header is my absolute favorite and I plan to get some t-shirts from her Cafe-Press store with that header on the front! She’s a great author and a sweet person  – just read her blog and you will see how her personailty and abilities shines through. Plus she has great taste in books, we don’t always agree but she always makes me take a second look at why I feel the way I do about a certain book. 🙂




This award was presented to me by Sagi from Sagi’s Randomness. Previously awarded to me by Collette at A Buckeye Girl Reads and you can read my answers and who I awarded it to before, by entering “awards” into the blog search.  (hope there are no repeats)
Well, the Honest Scrap works like this. I will list 10 true things about myself and then tag 10 more blogs to go through the process. So, let’s get started.
1. I am 33 years old and have two daughters, 17 years old and 13 years old – you do the math. 😉
2.  I have Fibromyalgia and it sucks. Sometimes fighting it takes all the energy I have & sometimes I lose the fight.
3. I made one promise to myself when I became a teen-mother: I would get a college degree regardless of what direction my life took.
4. In my spare time since I study religions. I have been doing so since I was 12 years old.
5. I have 1 year left of school to finish my BA in Sociology and Psychology.
6. I want to be a professor eventually of Sociology or Theology. (Once I have my Masters Degree and potentially PHD.)
7.  The best medicine for me is a trip to a beach. Any beach sooths my soul.
8. I haven’t read any YA books since I was 12 years old, but started Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – will be reading it over the next week.

9.  A book that changed my outlook on life is: I Will Not Die an Unlived Life by Dawna Markova


10. I am only 4 foot, 10 inches tall and by a law inacted in the US about 10 years ago I am “technically” consider a midget (any full grown adult under 5 feet tall – was the new wording they added). 😉 I am called “Midge” by some friends as a nod to my small stature.

This award goes to the following bloggers for being honest with their readers, honest with themselves and for doing it their own way well, while making people stop and think:
#1 – Babbling About Books and More
#2 – Lurv a la Mode 
#3 – The Book Journal
#4 – Book Chick City
#5 –  Satisfaction for Insatiable Reader
#6 – Cafe of Dreams
#7 – Monkeybear Reviews
#8 – Strickly Reviews
#9 – Intense Whisper  
#10 – Lilium’s Realm 






This award was given to me by Collette at  A Buckeye Girl Reads and by Sagi at Sagi’s Randomness. Thank you both so much for this award – it is the best compliment anyone could possibly give me and at a time when I haven’t been feeling well and have had so much stress it really helped to make me feel better – for that I am eternally grateful.


What to do: 
List 10 things that make you happy. 
Try and do at least one of them today.
Tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day.
Link back to the person that tagged you.
My 10 Things:
1. My husband and kids. (That’s true not just an “oh, I should say this” statement.)
2. Reading – especially discovering debut authors & new to me authors
3. My cats –  Kashmir, Moosh (Mooshka) & Hamlet (Hammie) *we have 4 but 1 is my daughter’s & will leave w/her*
4. Music – especially discovering new music – music is a part of my soul & I can’t live without it.
5. Making new friends
6. Learning new things
7. Thai Food
8. Art
9. Writing (though sometimes it makes me quite unhappy to as I pull my hair out over phrasing)
10.  Words – I love words. – I’ve always wanted to paint the walls with quotes & have a cake with words all over it.
The 10 bloggers that brighten my day:
(Sagi & Collette should be on this list, because they definitely brighten my days, but then we’d have a never ending loop – so they aren’t listed.) *Everyone listed below, has listened while I whine, gave me cheer when I couldn’t find my own, always says hello and generally just makes me smile when I talk/tweet with them. Plus one special one even made me a “Book Pimp” badge for my blog (to be unveiled soon)*

 1. Larissa – Larissa’s Life    

2. Jodie –   JoJosBookCorner    

3. Susi – The Geeky Bookworm    

4. Joely –  Joely Sue Burkhart
5. Has –  The Book Pushers  

 6. E – The Book Pushers    

 7. Jackie – My Ever Expanding Library          

8. Mel – He Followed Me Home…Can I Keep Him?
9. Caroline – One Book Away From Heaven  

 10. MelLKay – My World

Rules for Award:    

1. Thank & post URL to the blog that gave the award.
2. Pass the award along to 4 brilliantly Over The Top blogs. Alert them so they know to receive the award!
3. Copy & paste the quiz-Answer with ONE word only.

Thanks to Sagi at Sagi’s Randomness for this terrfic award!    

Your cell phone? I don’t have a cell phone. 😦 I do have an iPod Touch though which is almost as good!
Your hair? Blonde by nature, Red(ish) by Clariol. 🙂 Mostly straight.
Your mother? Lives in North Carolina w/my Dad, Sister & her family
Your father? Lives – as stated above and is a Starbucks Manager
Your favorite food? Thai Food
Your dream last night? I don’t remember.
Your favorite drink?  Tea, but lately I am addicted to Mountain Dew Throwback – But I hate reg Mountain Dew
Your dream/goal? To be successful in all I do and get my degree.
What room are you in? Patio
Your hobby? Reading
Your fear? Not really living.

Where do you want to be in 6 years? On the coast of somewhere beautiful.

Where were you last night? Home 
Something that you aren’t? Static
Muffins? Love them – its like a cupcake for breakfast.

Wish list item? A Mac!

Where did you grow up? Miami
Last thing you did? Talked to Sagi on the phone & watched MonsterQuest on History Channel
What are you wearing? Comfies
Your TV? Flat Screen
Your Pets? 3 Cats
Friends? I collect them. 😉
Your life? Busy
Your mood? Stressed and wondering why I decided to do this long post?!
Missing someone? Sometimes – yup…that’s my answer
Vehicle? Don’t have one of my own.
Something you’re not wearing? A jacket – finally! LOL
Your favorite store? Restoration Hardware, because they have weird, interesting stuff
Your favorite color? Purple
When was the last time you laughed? this morning
Last time you cried? This morning at a news report.
Your best friend? Shel
One place that you go to over and over? Naples, FL
Facebook? Yes
Favorite place to eat? A pizza place physically on Ft. Lauderdale beach. Awesome! – mostly because of environment.  

I pass this award to the following bloggers:

1. My Fluttering Heart

2. Enchanted by Books

3. Smokin’Hot Books

4.  A Buckeye Girl Reads



 Fantasy Made Real:

Robin, over at Intense Whisper made this amazing, whimsical picture of me. She is a very talented artist. She also did pictures of a whole bunch of bloggers and you must go see them! Some of the images she did of Jodie (JoJosBookCorner) are just incredible! (The link will lead you to the first set of pictures of Jodie, then you have to click through the Real Fantasy series to see all of them.)


Last but not least, MUSIC!

 I got an iPod Touch for Christmas from my Hubs and by giving me this gift he gave me back my music. Its not the highest capacity one (but seriously how many people actually have enough music to fill the largest one?), plus it is bigger than my 5 year old one – which amazingly still works, even if it is a bit wonky sometimes. The point is…I finally got to download some new music by some singers/bands I love and I wanted to share a couple that I have been listening to a lot lately. These are songs that have struck a cord with me, they were my companions while I was sick and could barely even read. Each of these songs tell a story just like the books we read, only they are poetry set to music and they are stories I feel blessed to get to hear.

The Music in My Head: A Mixtape

All I Have by Mat Kearny

Fire and Rain by Mat Kearny

New York to California by Mat Kearny

You Found me by The Fray

I love this song, but HAD to include this particular video for it, instead of the regular one, because I can’t wait for LOST to return! Wonderful video for any LOST fan!

Never Say Never by The Fray

Lifeboats by Snow Patrol

No mixtape or playlist made by me would be complete without some Snow Patrol & this is my current favorite by them.

Sunshine (Hidden Track) by All American Rejects

The Wind Blows by All American Rejects

A Dustland Fairytale by The Killers

The one below is for Mandi (SMEXY) and also for Nicole Peeler for mentioning this song in her book Tempest Rising – making me *squeee* like a the little fangirl I really am. It is not a new song, or even new to me, but I love this version and listen to it all the time. There’s just something about it…

Romeo and Juliet by The Killers



Class dismissed! Thanks for hanging in there with me for this marathon post. I promise to keep these to a minimum!!!






Guest Blog: Author, Carrie Lofty

January 16, 2010

In the sequel to WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS, Meg of Keyworth’s troubled sister Ada travels to the Kingdom of Castile.When it comes to temptation…Turning his back on his old life as a rogue, Gavriel de Marqueda has joined a monastic order in Spain and taken a vow of chastity. Before he becomes a monk, he must pass one final test: help a woman who has lost her way. But when he lays eyes on Ada of Keyworth, he is tempted beyond measure by her sultry beauty and dangerous curves…

Rules are meant to be broken…

Far from her home in England, Ada has been battling inner demons for more than a year. When she discovers that her only friend has abandoned her, she has no choice but to grudgingly accept Gavriel’s help. But Ada is not fooled. Though Gavriel wears the robes of a monk, Ada sees that he is a virile man who looks at her with a hunger that matches her own–one that begs to be satisfied again and again….


Today, I have author, Carrie Lofty here telling us five things that surprised her while writing, Scoundrel’s Kiss. She has also generously offered to give one lucky person a copy of Scoundrel’s Kiss – if the winner is in the US or Canada it will be a signed copy, if the winner is anywhere else it will come from Book Depo.

And now….Here’s Carrie!

Five Surprising Things


I could talk about the surprising historical facts I learned while writing SCOUNDREL’S KISS, or about how it feels to write under deadline for the first time in my professional career. But instead, I’d like to talk—without resorting to spoilers!—about elements of the plot that took me by surprise.

My method of drafting a novel begins with characters and setting. Once I have those things under control, knowing them inside out, I begin writing. Call me a prepared pantser! What I love about this method is that I don’t feel completely freaked out by blank pages, but I also get to look forward to elements of the story that will take me by surprise. Here are the five that tickled me the most.

1. Every tragedy needs comedy.

This might not come as a surprise to some authors—for example, Shakespeare! But I learned early on that I needed comedic voices to balance the drama of Ada and Gavriel’s rocky courtship. That’s where Fernan Garza (a reluctant monk) and Blanca de Yepes (a young runaway) came in. They were able to leaven the story when the mood became too bleak.

2. Even clowns cry.

Those same comedic figures revealed surprising facets of their personality. I thought they were just hanging around for laughs, but it turns out they had important, rather dramatic backstories. Rather than argue with the inner workings of my brain, I let them run!

3. No one’s perfect.

I also thought that Gavriel had his head sorted out, but oh, I was terribly wrong. Putting him in charge of curing Ada of her opium addiction was, well, perhaps not the best idea…

4. Surprise villains!

I knew that Gavriel’s father was responsible for shaping my troubled hero—and not in an after school special sort of way. Gavriel was hardened and warped by his father, and I fully expected that absent villain to make a return appearance. What I didn’t expect was a second villain to make trouble for my young lovers.

5. Have a little tenderness.

Early on, I imagined Gavriel and Ada would suffer through a contentious courtship, one full of conflict and seduction as they each tried to get their way. What I hadn’t banked on were moments of genuine tenderness. She relents a little, just when her stubborn pride threatens to cut him off completely. And he reveals glimpses of his past that help ease her shame and despair.

Who knew? Certainly not me! And here I thought I was in charge of this crazy ride…


To read an excerpt of Scoundrel’s Kiss and view the book trailer, click here. To purchase a copy of Scoundrel’s Kiss now click here.


To enter the contest all you have to do is leave a comment in here about something that surprised you recently.

Contest ends Friday, January 22, 2oo9.



A Very Zombie New Year by Nancy Holzner

January 1, 2010

Happy Zombie New Year!!!

It is finally here!

The day…ur…night (had to wait until the sun had fully set for the Zombies to come out), we have all been waiting for when we finally get to ring in the new year and party with the Zombies! Or for those of you, ‘Norms’ out there who are to scared to actually party with the Zombies you get a voyeuristic peek at how they celebrate the beginning of a new year in their undead lives.

I am really excited about this guest post, by Nancy Holzner. I was expecting a fairly short post about how the Zombies in Deadtown would party on New Year’s Eve, but what I got far exceeded my wildest expectations. Nancy written a short story, prequel to her debut novel Deadtown, that can be found exclusively here at Book Obsessed!!! (For awhile – I’m not laying a permanent claim or anything.)  How awesome is that? Pretty damned awesome if you ask me!

The story takes place on New Year’s Eve, 1 year prior to the events that take place in the novel. I hope you enjoy the party as much as I did.  (Giveaway information at end of post)

My review of Deadtown can be found by clicking here.



A Very Zombie New Year

by Nancy Holzner

Nobody should be alone on New Year’s Eve. Not a human, not a zombie. Not even a shapeshifter who’s been abandoned by everyone she knows.
Feeling sorry for myself? Yeah, okay, maybe I was a little. Hard not to when I was sitting alone in an empty apartment, holding a mug of cold coffee in one hand and the TV remote in the other, clicking through channel after channel of Nothing That’s Any Damn Good.
My sister Gwen had packed up her family and gone to spend the holidays with Mom in Florida. Juliet, my vampire roommate, was out hunting, looking for norms who were drunk enough that their blood alcohol level would give her a buzz. Champagne, especially. She says it tickles her fangs.
Even tonight’s client had canceled. New Year’s Eve, he said, was the one night he wasn’t going to worry about the personal demons that infested his dreams and tormented him with nightmares. Instead, he was going to party until dawn and drink until he passed out.
Great. Maybe the guy would hook up with Juliet.
And then there was Kane. Well, no, there wasn’t, and that was the problem. He wasn’t sitting here beside me, where I could snuggle against his warm, muscular chest and inhale his scent of moonlit pine forest. Where I could see the smile glow in his gray eyes as we clinked champagne glasses at midnight and kissed under the mistletoe. Well, maybe not mistletoe. Kane was allergic. It was a werewolf thing.
Anyway, it was hard to do those things when he was nearly three hours’ drive away, in western Massachusetts. Kane was a lawyer, and he was working on a landmark paranormal rights case making its way through the appeals courts. He’d had to go to Pittsfield this afternoon to take a deposition. The weather forecast had predicted flurries, but a surprise blizzard blew in and closed the turnpike from West Stockbridge to Ludlow. Which meant Kane was stuck in the Berkshires overnight.
I sighed, wishing I could run my hands through his silver hair, thick and coarse like a wolf’s fur. I wished I could loosen his tie and lean in for a deep, never-ending kiss as the clock struck twelve.
Not tonight. Kane’s work as a civil rights attorney was important. And not only to him, but to all the paranormals who were struggling to gain legal recognition throughout the country, standardizing the state-by-state patchwork of laws that gave us limited rights in some areas and absolutely none in others. Important work. I knew that, and I admired Kane’s passion. It was just that, tonight, it would’ve been nice if he’d reserved some of that passion for me.
Not his fault, I reminded myself. He hadn’t called up a blizzard.
But here I sat, alone on my living room sofa, flipping channels on Juliet’s big-screen TV and trying to decide what to watch: an old black-and-white movie, mediocre pop singers lip-synching to corny songs, or a bunch of norms screaming and whooping and milling around Times Square waiting for the ball to drop.
I lifted the coffee mug to my lips, but the liquid was cold and bitter, and I set it down on the end table. The hell with it. I clicked off the TV and tossed the remote aside. I wasn’t going to sit around the apartment feeling pathetic. I grabbed my jacket and stuffed my arms into the sleeves. Nobody should be alone on New Year’s Eve. I was going to find a party.
And I knew just where to look for one: Creature Comforts, my favorite monster bar in the New Combat Zone. It was only eleven thirty. I could be there in ten minutes.
As I hurried through my building’s lobby, I waved to Clyde, the doorman, who was sharing munchies with a family of zombies from the second floor. A minister before the plague, Clyde was the most prim and proper zombie in all of Deadtown. Tonight, though, he sported a shiny green party hat and twirled a noisemaker in response to my wave. Even Clyde was in the mood for a celebration.
I stepped outside and got a fistful of snow blown into my face. The blizzard that had shut down the Mass Pike to the west was now whiting out Boston, but that didn’t slow things down here. Why should it? Zombies don’t feel the cold, and most of them don’t have cars to slip and slide around icy streets. Since zombies couldn’t leave Deadtown unless accompanied by a permit-carrying norm, there was nowhere for them to drive.
But tonight was different. The Council of Three, the vampire-werewolf-zombie triumvirate that governs Deadtown, had declared New Year’s Eve a holiday and issued an order that residents would not be required to produce a permit to leave the area. All that really meant was that they could pass through the Deadtown checkpoint and wander the New Combat Zone—the block between the checkpoints to Deadtown on one side and human-controlled Boston on the other—without being hassled. But to most zombies, that was unheard-of freedom.
Now, as I hurried toward the Tremont Street checkpoint, my collar turned up against the snow, zombies filled the streets, laughing and shouting. Many were dressed in gowns or tuxedos accessorized with pointed party hats, tiaras, plastic leis, beads. Odd to see black ties and satin cocktail dresses on folks who had gray-green, spongy skin; crimson eyes; and various body parts missing or decaying. Still, the dressed-up zombies gave Deadtown’s streets a festive atmosphere. Some were headed to neighborhood parties, but many were taking the opportunity to go through the checkpoint, maybe just to see what it felt like to be on the other side of those gates. Or else, like me, they planned to celebrate in one of the monster bars that lined the New Combat Zone.
The checkpoint line was long, but with no permits to scrutinize, everyone shuffled through quickly. The zombie guard swiped my ID card, sang out, “Happy New Year,” and pressed a button to raise the gate. Even through the heavy snow, I didn’t have to squint to see the cop car lights strobing away near the checkpoint at the other end of the block. The clear message: No one enters human-controlled Boston without paperwork. I guess the norms weren’t in the mood to party with zombies tonight.
Too bad. Because the zombies were ready for fun. New Year’s Eve was shaping up to be a major holiday for the undead. For one thing, it’s the only holiday that’s celebrated in the middle of the night, which is the middle of the workday in Deadtown. More important, it comes after what everyone else calls “the holidays.” Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—whatever they celebrated before the plague, Deadtown’s zombies pretty much ignored those holidays now. They were family times, and most families didn’t want a zombie sitting by the Christmas tree, chugging eggnog by the gallon, scarfing down handfuls of Christmas cookies, and fumbling with stiff fingers trying to unwrap presents. I mean, what do you even buy a zombie for a present?
That’s how the norms rationalized leaving the zombies out of their get-togethers. And it meant that those holidays were quiet, even somber, in Deadtown. But New Year’s Eve was like a relief valve, letting off all the emotional steam that had built up since Thanksgiving, during the weeks that zombies tried not to think about the families they weren’t hearing from, the families that didn’t want them any more.
Outside Creature Comforts, a hulking figure hunched on a stool by the door, next to a hand-lettered cardboard sign:
No Humans
Private Party
$20 Cover Charge
I pulled out my wallet. “What’s the cover charge for?” I asked the bouncer. “Did Axel book a band?”
He raised his head. In the depths of the hood I could make out small, round, yellowish eyes and a big, hooked nose. A shaggy beard covered the lower half of his face, balancing the bushy eyebrows. He looked like something that chased children through their worst dreams, snapping his teeth as he tried to catch and eat them. This guy had to be related to Axel, the bar’s owner. The two of them looked like a pair of bookends—the kind of bookends you’d use if you didn’t want anyone going anywhere near your books. Ever.
“No band,” he said. “Glass of champagne at midnight. And snacks.”
OK, the snacks made sense. For zombies, there’s not much point in drinking—their metabolism burns off the alcohol before they can catch a buzz—but they do eat. And eat. And then eat some more. With Creature Comforts taken over by zombies, Axel wouldn’t be selling a lot of booze tonight, but he’d have to keep the bowls of bar snacks filled or he’d have a riot on his hands. Axel’s a big, scary guy. No one’s sure what species he is, and even the vampires are a little afraid of him. But a few dozen hungry zombies climbing over the bar and ransacking the storeroom in search of more potato chips might be too much even for Axel to handle.
Still, twenty bucks seemed steep for a shapeshifter. It wasn’t like I’d eat my weight in beer nuts or anything. But there wasn’t anywhere else I wanted to be tonight. I pulled out two tens.
The bouncer demanded to see my ID before he’d take my money. For a second, I felt flattered at getting carded, but then I realized he was checking my species, not my age. A lot of paranormals would love to pass as human, but tonight the message was you don’t look like you belong.
For a minute, I kind of knew how the zombies felt.
The bouncer gave me back my ID card and turned his attention to the zombie couple behind me. I pulled open the bar’s heavy oak door, and warm air puffed out with that unmistakable Creature Comforts scent. I took a deep, happy breath. No other bar in the Zone has quite the same aroma—a combination of spilled beer, smoke, a faint undernote of decay, and the slightest whiff of human blood. Some say that Axel pumps artificial blood scent through the air vents to give Creature Comforts an edgy feel, but I don’t believe it. Not tonight, anyway. Not with all these zombies. Zombies have this little problem called “frenzied blood lust”; the smell of human blood drives them wild with hunger. And with no actual humans around to gnaw on, they’d eat Axel out of business, twenty-dollar cover charge or not.
The place was packed. I spotted a group of werewolves sitting near the back, but otherwise it was wall-to-wall zombies. (No vampires tonight. They’d be wherever the humans were.) I turned left and shouldered my way through the crowd toward the bar. Axel had gone all out to decorate the place—if you call “going all out” taping some tinsel garlands to the wall and tacking up a Happy New Year sign over the bar. Still, since Creature Comforts’ usual ambiance came from forty-watt light bulbs, cracked linoleum, and duct-tape-patched vinyl seats, tinsel garlands were downright festive.
I snagged the last stool at the bar. Axel loomed a few feet away, emptying two giant bags of pretzels, one in each hand, into a bowl the size of a washtub. He looked up, saw me, and nodded. He handed the pretzel tub to some eager zombies, and then walked over to me, wiping his hands on a bar towel. He raised his shaggy eyebrows.
“Club soda, please.” I rarely drink—I don’t like the taste of alcohol. A sip of champagne at midnight would be enough for me. Axel brought over two glasses—my club soda and a plastic flute of pale-gold champagne with bubbles skittering up the side. “Almost midnight,” he said. The clock behind the bar confirmed it; less than fifteen minutes to go before a brand-new year began. At least I wouldn’t be alone. Not with several dozen zombies cramming the room.
Axel put a tray on the counter and filled it with champagne glasses, and then he began pouring. The liquid foamed up quickly in each glass, and he had to go around a second time to fill the glasses more than halfway.
“Where’s Kane?” he asked, keeping his eyes on his pouring.
“Stranded in the Berkshires,” I said. “This blizzard.”
He nodded without looking up.
“So is that bouncer a relative of yours?”
He nodded again. “Cousin. Why?”
“Nothing. There’s just such a strong resemblance.”
He looked up at that, a sudden grin splitting his beard to show square yellow teeth. I couldn’t recall ever seeing Axel smile so widely. Just as well. Those teeth were frightening. “Thanks,” he said. “Everyone says he’s the good-looking one in the family.”
Looking pleased, he set up more glasses on another tray. Axel’s not what you’d call talkative, and I think he’d exhausted his quota of words for the night. The zombies on either side of me were deep in their own conversations. Feeling antsy, I slid off my stool and grabbed the tray of filled champagne glasses. “I’ll go hand these out.”
It’s not easy winding through a tight crowd of partying zombies. Axel doesn’t have a sound system, but over in the corner someone was strumming a guitar. Barely audible over the buzz of voices, the music sounded mellow to me, but all around zombies were managing to dance to it. Some stood and swayed; some clutched each other and turned in slow circles, like couples at a high school dance. One guy in a Celtics jersey and baggy shorts pirouetted like an undead ballet dancer, his eyes closed, wearing a dreamy smile that, on his face, looked more like a death’s-head grimace. But he seemed happy. Maybe he was one zombie who’d been able to pour alcohol down his throat faster than he could burn it off.
I spent the next few minutes making sure everyone in the place had a glass of champagne. One zombie offered me a ten-dollar tip. I was tempted—it would offset that cover charge—but I told him to keep it. “Spend it on something fun in the new year.”
He raised his glass to me, but didn’t sip.
“Here we go!” someone yelled.
All eyes turned to the TV over the bar, which was tuned to the celebration in Times Square. Lights flashed and shimmered as the ball began its descent.
“Ten … nine …  eight!” The crowd chanted in one voice, loud enough that an echo probably reached Times Square. I took the last glass of champagne and stood among them, the empty tray dangling at my side. Zombies leaned forward, intent on the ball’s progress.
“Seven … six … five … four!”
The zombie standing next to me, a woman who’d probably been about thirty when she died, adjusted her tiara and bounced on her toes in anticipation.
“Three … two …  one …” A lonely feeling passed over me, like I might as well have stayed home. Cold coffee, warm champagne—what difference did it make? I was alone in a roomful of strangers. This was the zombies’ party. I shouldn’t have intruded.
The guitar player struck a chord, and everyone launched into Auld Lang Syne:
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot—”
The guitar stopped.
“And never brought to mind?”
The voices faded out, until only two or three ventured into the next line.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot . . .”
The final voice cracked. Cold silence settled over the room like the snow covering the streets outside. Zombie faces looked pensive, some stricken, like they were thinking about all those old acquaintances who’d forgotten them.
“Hell, yeah! Forget ’em!” Someone yelled, echoed a second later by another voice, and then another. A roar went up, growing in strength until it shook the walls. Confetti rained. Horns blew. Noisemakers whirled. The guitarist started again, this time playing something fast and Spanish-sounding.
All around me, zombies were grabbing each other, kissing, thumping each other on the back, kissing some more. Shouts of “Happy new year” ricocheted around the room.
A hand grabbed my arm. I turned fast, bringing up the tray as a shield. Um, no. I was glad the zombies were having fun, but there was no way I was locking lips with one.
But it wasn’t a zombie. It was Kane, gray eyes smiling, melting snowflakes and confetti dotting his silver hair and the shoulders of his coat. He folded me into his arms and I breathed in deeply. Snow. Moonlight. Pine.
The champagne glass slipped from my fingers.
“I thought the turnpike was closed,” I murmured against his coat.
He stroked my hair. “You think a little thing like that could keep me away? I can be very determined, you know.” He pulled back an inch, and I looked up into his eyes. Something sparked in them that set off corresponding fireworks in my chest. “And I was determined to start the new year with a kiss.”
Our lips met, his warm but a little rough from the night air. His tongue darted against my lips—just a touch at first, then more insistently. I opened; our tongues met. Time slowed, and sounds of the room grew distant. Shivers of pleasure rippled through my belly. I pressed closer, wanting more. Going deeper. Tasting him, breathing him in.
A dancing zombie jostled us, and we broke apart. “Oops,” he said, flashing a sheepish zombie grin/grimace. “Sorry ’bout that. Happy new year!” He twirled his dance partner and they spun back into the crowd.
Kane grabbed my hand and twirled me in a similar move. Maybe it’s my natural inability to dance—or maybe I was still a little light-headed from our kiss—but I stumbled in a way that made the zombies look graceful. Or maybe it wasn’t me. Maybe it was the zombies themselves. Something lit them up, an energy coursing through the room. They’d decided not to look back. And if they didn’t have much to look forward to, either, they weren’t letting that bother them now. They were living in the moment. From where I stood, the moment looked like the perfect place to be.
I clutched Kane’s tie and pulled him closer. “Happy new year, Counselor.”
His smile lit up the room. “Happy new year.”
He moved in for another kiss. Yes, the perfect place to be. And no mistletoe required.


Giveaway Info:

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling us your favorite New Year’s Eve Memory.

Open to all!

Ends: January 2, 2009 at Midnight.


Zombie New Year Prize Pack:

1- Signed copy of Deadtown with bookmarks

1- Set of Zombie Champagne Flutes

1- Package of Skull-and-Tombstone Confetti


Plus, some party favors like the ones described in the story.


Review: Deadtown by Nancy Holzner

January 1, 2010

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders — but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Vicky’s demanding job keeping the city safe from all manner of monsters is one reason her relationship with workaholic lawyer (and werewolf) Alexander Kane is in constant limbo. Throw in a foolhardy zombie apprentice, a mysterious demon-plagued client, and a suspicious research facility that’s taken an unwelcome interest in her family, and Vicky’s love life has as much of a pulse as Deadtown’s citizens.

But now Vicky’s got bigger things to worry about. The Hellion who murdered her father ten years ago has somehow broken through Boston’s magical protections. The Hellion is a ruthless force of destruction with a personal grudge against Vicky, and she’s the only one who can stop the demon before it destroys the city and everyone in it.

Deadtown by Nancy Holzner

Deadtown is an excellent debut novel with definite potential to become a great Urban Fantasy Series. The main character, Victory “Vicky” Vaughn has a very strong voice right from the beginning, which was very refreshing to me because it is something that I found to be an issue in many of the books I have read in the past year. I have often found myself reading two or three chapters before the characters ‘voice’ really takes over, so when Vicky’s voice rang out loud and clear from by the end of the second page I was impressed – to the point that I went to the author’s website to verify it was indeed a debut novel!  It does have some of the issues that are often found in a debut novel.

Vicky is a hereditary, shape-shifter and a professional demon-slayer with a teenage Zombie apprentice. She’s strong female character with her own demons real and imagined that need slaying. It makes her a likable and relatable character. The fact that she didn’t have a cell phone drove me up the wall several times. Beyond that her strength and her weaknesses made her more real. Sometimes a character goes too far one way or the other and neither is good – I can’t stand whiny, wishy-washy female characters – or the I can take on the world all by myself, bitchy female characters.

She inhabits a world where all the Supernatural begins are out in the open and attempting to gain full civil rights. In some places they have some rights in others they are shot on sight or have a many rights as say a stray dog does. In Boston, where Vicky lives, the SuperNats have some rights, but are confined to Deadtown. All except the Zombies can travel between the Human Controlled Boston and Deadtown, but all have identification that states they are non-human. Zombies can leave Deadtown, but only with supervision and a permit. It is an interesting commentary on civil rights in general and on how the world has historically handled ‘otherness’.

The Zombies in Deadtown are not your average horror movie Zombies. They are not mindless monsters, they are still very much the same people they where when they were alive. Boston is the only place with Zombies. There are a few thousand of them and they all died the same day from a bizarre virus. Then they all joined the ranks of the undead three days later. They are stiff with spongy, green skin and can’t go out in the daylight, because they can’t regenerate few things about them beyond that are like the horror movie Zombies.  I absolutely loved Vicky’s apprentice, Tina the teenage Zombie. She is just like every other teenager in America, with an attitude and insecurities. Loved her!

There is a bit of romance in the story, even a love tri-angle of sorts. Vicky has a sorta boyfriend, Kane who is a werewolf and the lead “Paranormal Rights” attorney. He is also one of the least likeable love interests I have ever encountered in any book. I just didn’t like him at all. I tried. I wanted to, but I didn’t. I appreciated his civil rights efforts and his commitment to his cause but didn’t like him personally. Her other potential love interest is Daniel, a homicide cop that is a Norm (human). He is sweet, good-looking and overall incredibly likeable. My only real issue was that there wasn’t enough of him in the book. He could have been a stronger male character, but there was enough Alpha-Male with Kane. I also felt like Daniel needed to not be as strong as Vicky because he is human and he shouldn’t completely be able to keep up with the SuperNats. It would have been less realistic to me if he had not been a bit handicapped.

It starts out with a lot of action which is good, but in the middle of the book the action got a bit too sporadic – if it would have kept a better pace I would have been completely head-over-heels in love. I realized while reading this book that I do have a few pet-peeve  – the ones mentioned above about the female characters (which were not a problem in this book) and the other is too much upfront world-building – explanation. By that I mean, I prefer when a book breaks the world-building down throughout the story so that we learn about it when we need to instead of having it handed to us upfront. In Deadtown, there was more upfront than I like to see, but it is a debut novel and a very unique world so I don’t hold that against either the author or the story – in the same way I would if it were a second or third novel. I was able to figure out who the bad guy was so initially that bothered me but there I two things I must say about that – #1 – it is a far rarer occurence that I don’t figure out who the bad guy is before the end – in fact I used to pride myself on that ability and #2 – I spoke to several other people who also read Deadtown and only one other person beside myself  had figured it out – so it is not an obvious – it was just my ability coming back to bite me in the butt. 😉 Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I am really looking forward to the next one. As I said at the beginning it has the potential to become a really great Urban Fantasy Series. Nancy Holzner did a job that far exceeded my expectations for a debut author. I can’t wait to spend more time in Deadtown. I just hope there is a lot more Daniel there when next I visit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FTC Disclaimer: This book is a mass-market paperback provided to me for the purposes of reviewing. Regardless of how a book was obtained my reviews are my true and honest feelings/impressions of the book.

Interview: Nadia Lee, author of A Happily Ever After of Her Own

December 29, 2009

Today, I have Nadia Lee, author of the serialized paranormal romance/fairy tale, A Happily Ever After of Her Own and the contemporary romance novel Devil Falls, published under the pen-name  Angelle Trieste.  With each of my interviews I try to get to know the person behind the stories a little bit better, so some of my questions are a little bit unorthodox. Some of them you will see over and over again, mostly because I am interested in the different answers and I will ask everyone. While others are written especially for the person I am interviewing- I try to keep each interview a bit different from most others you may have seen around the web or even read here at Book Obsessed. I appreciate your willingness Nadia,  to play along and give everyone a chance to get to know you as a person and author.


Welcome to Book Obsessed, Nadia!


BookObsessedGrl: What is your favorite color and what do you think it says about you or how does it represent you?

NL: I love bright blood red.  Red is color of passion, so some think I like it because I write romance.  Hero Material (my fiance) clued me in to the fact that I love eating red things, such as strawberries, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, red-skinned western radishes, red apples, lobsters and crabs, etc. so he hypothesized that I like red because of my dietary preferences.  😉

 BookObsessedGrl: I know you play the violin, how long have you played and how did get started?

NL: I started playing when I was in the eighth grade.  I was in a beginner’s orchestra in junior high school because I needed to do something fun, and my mom thought it would be good to learn a new instrument.  (I already knew how to play the piano by then.)

BookObsessedGrl: What is your favorite type of music?

NL: Ohh…I love all kinds of music.  Some people are horrified that my playlists include both Bach and Three 6 Mafia.  But if I had to choose one, I’d say classical music.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a solo piano or a string quartet or full orchestral or operatic piece.  I just love it.

BookObsessedGrl: Many authors talk about the music they listen to while they write. Do you listen to music while you write?

NL:  Sometimes, if I can find a composition / arrangement that I think suits the tone of the scene / chapter.

BookObsessedGrl: What did you start out listening to when you first started writing A Happily Ever After of Her Own, and how did it differ from what you listened to while writing Devil Falls (if at all)?
NL: A Happily Ever After of Her Own was written mostly in silence, although I listened to some popera and orchestral pieces.  Devil Falls (which I wrote under another pen-name, Angelle Trieste) was written to all kinds of classical music, but I spent most of my writing time with Bach’s Air, Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto in Gm and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.  Devil Falls has a classical cellist as the protagonist, though, so it really helped put me into the right mood.
BookObsessedGrl: Did you create a playlist before hand or just pick what you felt like listening to at the time?

NL: For A Happily Ever After of Her Own, I just picked out what I felt like listening to at the time.  It’s somewhat unusual for me because although there’s some spontaneity to creation, I usually know what kind of music is right for the scene I’m working on (if any).  A Happily Ever After of Her Own was written in less than a month from the initial idea to the final draft, so there was no time to come up with a playlist.  I just started writing.  (I didn’t even outline, and I’m a plotter!)

BookObsessedGrl: Did your music choices evolve throughout the writing process?

NL: They did.  I started out with “Di quella pira” from Verdi’s Il Trovatore (performed by Luciano Pavarotti).  Not that the lyric makes any sense for the story, but I thought the melody and the overall performance fantastic for it.  When Pavarotti was singing alone, I just imagined the Beast was accusing Melinda of kidnapping Beauty, and when the chorus kicked in, I pretended everyone was outraged.  LOL.  (I know, I know, it’s awful how I bastardize Verdi’s masterpiece like that!)

But later I ended up revising to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

BookObsessedGrl: Did the music you were listening to at any given time inspire or affect how certain scenes developed?

NL: Actually it has a huge impact on my mood and the tone I’m striving for.  If I can’t find anything right, I prefer to write in silence than to listen to something that’s going to jerk me out of the story in my head.  So when I have a piece of music that I think is perfect, I listen to it for the entire time I’m working on the scene.  It takes me hours to finish a scene, so I listen to the same piece over and over again (I set it to a infinite loop on my PC) until I’m finished.  I think I listened to nothing but “Di quella pira” for almost two days.

Yes, I have a high tolerance for repetition.

BookObsessedGrl: Can you tell us a few songs you listened to while writing A Happily Ever After of Her Own (HEA)?  What type of scene does each of the songs correspond to?

NL: I already mentioned “Di quella pira” and the blasphemous interpretation of the aria that ran through my head.  *very big grin*

 I also listened to Beethoven Symphony #7, esp. the second movement, while writing the Tudor House scenes.  I wanted to have a gloomy feel about the place, and the second movement (a.k.a. funeral march) is just perfect for it.  Also when revising the final chapter I had to listen to Galop Infernal from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld because it was just too good not to use.  There’s this gleeful madness about the piece, and I thought it worked when everything just crashed down on everyone.  (Or maybe I was just happy that the story came out very well!)

BookObsessedGrl: Did you discover any new music or bands/singers while writing or editing?

 NL: Alas, no.

BookObsessedGrl: I have read that you didn’t always dream of becoming an author, but somehow fell into it. What do you think was the catalyst that made you begin putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard as the case may be?
NL: It’s a bit of an odd thing — how I got started writing that is.  I think I told you via Twitter that I went to primary school in Asia.  There teachers always taught to the top 5% of the class, meaning if you couldn’t keep up with the brightest and quickest kids, you were left behind.  The attitude at the school was that if you weren’t smart enough or studious enough to master the material after each lesson, it wasn’t the teacher’s problem.  So there I barely had time to breathe, much less daydream.  I had to be super alert and pay attention to everything (not to mention the mountain of homework I had to do and extra classes / tutoring sessions I had to attend after school).

When I came to the States as a kid, I went through ESL in eighteen months and was put into an honors program.  But compared to the amount of pressure and crazy pace in Asia, it wasn’t enough to keep me occupied, so I started to get bored, which led to the formation of my secret habit:  writing little stories to amuse myself in classes that just didn’t challenge me enough.

College rid me of the habit because I actually had to pay attention, esp. in corporate finance and accounting.  It wasn’t until my second year in consulting that I started writing little bits here and there to amuse myself again while spending over 10 hours a week flying back and forth between the east and west coasts.

BookObsessedGrl: Melinda Lightfoot, the Heroine of A Happily Ever After of Her Own, is a preschool teacher with a special gift. Can you tell us a bit about her & her gift?

NL: She’s a young woman in her twenties who loves fairy tales.  When she reads one, she can enter the story and experience it.  Fortunately, she can leave the story at will when she wants to go back to her real life…that is, until the Evil Witch messes up everything by kidnapping Beauty (from Beauty and the Beast).
BookObsessedGrl: Even her name Melinda Lightfoot is a fairy tale name, and I not only love it but I love her. Did she start as a fully developed character in your mind, with her name and personality right up front or did she tell you her name in time as her character developed?
NL: Thanks, Heather!  She sprang from my head fully formed with her name, job, personality and everything else.  I was going to name her Melinda Parthenogenesis, but…

BookObsessedGrl: What motivates Melinda the most?

NL: Doing the right thing.  When she’s stuck in the fairy tale jail, she’s worried about her job and her students and all the other things that she’s responsible for.  She feels incredibly guilty about falling for Beast because she feels that it’s wrong to steal another woman’s man, even though Melinda herself has been waiting for her own Mr. Right all these years.

When I was working on the story, I was glad that her motivation was that cut and dried.  As I mentioned before she came to me fully formed, and it would’ve been a near-impossible chore to write a story about a woman who’s not interested in doing the right thing, even if it meant she wasn’t going to get what she wanted.

BookObsessedGrl: What are the similarities (if any) and differences between you and Melinda?

NL: Similarities?  I can’t think of any.  Oh wait, can I say we both try to do the right thing?  *laugh*  We both like fairy tales and love reading.

We’re of course very different at the same time.  I’ve never had any desire to be a preschool teacher — mostly because I don’t think I’ll be very good at it and I’m not the most patient person, and you know young children require a lot of patience.  Also I read the Wall Street Journal for fun, but I don’t see Melinda reading about treasury yields and so on for entertainment, do you?  😉

BookObsessedGrl: What was your favorite Fairy Tale as a child & Why? If it has changed, what is your favorite Fairy Tale now and why?
NL: Oh, tough tough!  But…if I must choose I have to say Cinderella.  As a child, my favorite version of Cinderella was a Korean folktale called Kongji and Patzzi. It’s about a poor virtuous girl who’s abused by her evil step-mom and so on.  What I liked about Kongji and Patzz was that not only was the good girl rewarded but the evil step-mom and -sister are punished by the good girl’s wealthy and powerful aristocrat husband.  I’m a vengeful reader, I’m afraid.  🙂 
BookObsessedGrl: If you could jump into any Fairy Tale which would you choose and why?

NL: Sleeping Beauty.  I want to wake the princess up and tell her to pick her own man instead of waiting for someone to come kiss her!  It’s one of my least favorite stories because the heroine really doesn’t do anything to deserve her happy ending.  Other heroines such as Snow White and Cinderella and Little Mermaid all suffer horrible ordeals but remain positive and proactive to earn their happy ending.  Sleeping Beauty does nothing except sleep and voila, she gets her man!

BookObsessedGrl: What inspired you to write this novella and to release it as part of your newsletter?
NL: I can’t say what inspired me to write the story really because I don’t know.  It just came to me when I was soaking in hot water.  It was the most incredible inspiration.
I decided to release it as a part of my newsletter because I wanted to start it with a bang.  I’d always wanted to start a newsletter, but didn’t know how.  Hero Material said why not give away A Happily Ever After of Her Own to subscribers as a thank-you gift.  So I figured I’d go for it.  🙂  


BookObsessedGrl: The worldbuilding is so strong in HEA that while reading it, I had a feeling like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Did you experience anything similar as you wrote it or did you create that feeling on purpose?


NL: If you’re asking me if I’ve ever fallen into a fairy tale world, the answer is no.  Just kidding.  🙂  Everything in HEA is all just a figment of my imagination, including the fictional Virginia town and Tudor House.  But I think it helped that I used to imagine what it would be like to be in fairy tales as the heroine.

For example, I used to daydream that I was Sleeping Beauty and I threw the spindle at the hag before she could enchant me by forcing me to prick my finger. (Think ninja stars except we have a spindle flying in the air.)  In my version the spindle hits the hag, and I save the day.  When all the princes hear about my uber-valor they come to court me, and I choose the most handsome and deserving prince of the lot.

BookObsessedGrl: What attracts you most to Paranormal Stories or Fairy Tales, as writer and as a reader? (I think HEA could be classified as both or either)

NL: I love the magical / paranormal elements because they were in so many stories I grew up on.  I’m especially fond of romance and fairy tales because good guys win and bad guys lose.  I don’t mind really messed up dark stories like Darkly Dreaming Dexter, but there are times I need the comfort of knowing that justice does triumph and good deeds are rewarded and people can find happiness.

BookObsessedGrl: Tell us about your writing practices or methods. I know you advocate writing for a set number of pages, words or time frame per day. Which do you do & why?

NL: It depends.  I usually go for page and/or word count.  It helps me focus on my production goals.  Also if I do it for a month, it becomes a habit.  It’s very valuable to learn to write consistently, esp. if you’re a new writer.  And it’s critical to maintain the habit.  I fell out of it this summer because I spent two months in America, and it took me months to get back in the groove.  (Though Hero Material says it may be all the wedding planning, etc.)


BookObsessedGrl: What is your work-space like?

NL: Messy!  With mountains of papers — notes and ideas and so on — esp. when I’m revising.  I write at my desk or on the couch, depending on my mood, etc.  I usually have two dictionaries plus a notebook near me when I write.

BookObsessedGrl: How old were you when you started reading?

NL: Uh…before preschool.  I can’t really recall exactly how old though.  I learned to read very fast, and I was a super fast reader even as a small kid.  I could read faster than some of my teachers when I was in Asia.

BookObsessedGrl: What types of book did you read most in your youth/teen years?

NL: Mostly classics.  Alexandre Dumas’s Three Musketeers, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, etc.

BookObsessedGrl: Will you be doing more stories in the Fairy Tale realm or creating a full length novel Fairy Tale of your own? 
NL: Of course!  I’m working on a full-length novel right now.  It’s a bit Cinderella-esque with a missing shoe, mistaken identities, the CIA and Russian mafia.


BookObsessedGrl: Last but not least, what advice would you give to someone who is living their life doing something that is not fulfilling to them – but has a dream they aren’t chasing?

NL: Pursue your dream.  (Although don’t abandon your responsibilities!  If you have kids, you have to feed them and clothe them.  If you have a mortgage, you have to pay that off too…)

Life is short and you only live it once.  You don’t even have to pursue your dream full-time if you can’t for various reasons, but don’t ignore your calling to satisfy the expectations of your spouse or parents or whatever.

When you’re on your deathbed, what are you going to think?

a.  “I have no regrets because I went for my dream.”
b.  “I have no regrets because I lived to fulfill my parents’/wife’s/husband’s/children’s/society’s expectations”

Yeah, me too.  🙂

Contest Info:
Leave a comment or question below for Nadia and you will get an additional entry into both the Heather Long Interview Giveaway , which includes an e-copy of her new book Prime Evil and the New Year’s Eve Zombie Style Bash Giveaway for a Zombie Party Prize Pack (that includes some prizes so perfect & awesome thatit  is sending directly from the author  herself so that I can’t get my grubby paws on them and steal’em) from Nancy Holzner, author of Deadtown which hits stores tomorrow, 12/29/09!
Free Read:
Don’t forget to check out Nadia’s website and sign-up for her newsletter, so that you can read the awesome fairy tale, novella: A Happily Ever After of Her Own! You’ll see the cover on the right hand side-bar with a sign-up form – add your email address & you are all set to start receiving Nadia’s Newsletter & to access all of the chapter’s of HEA. The first two are available on her website as an excerpt.
Books written as, Angelle Trieste:
All he wants is silence. All she wants are answers.
Damien Kirk was once a world-renowned cellist, celebrated across five continents for his musical gift. Now he lives in self-imposed isolation on a small Caribbean island.

Biography writer Victoria Benedict is looking for a story…and she’s not the type to take no for an answer. Her appearance on his doorstep shatters his reclusive existence.

Determined to be rid of her, Damien demands a quid pro quo: a kiss for each answer to her interview questions. Her response is as arousing as it is unexpected. As Damien and Victoria escalate their sensual game of cat and mouse, Victoria discovers the passionate soul underneath Damien’s cold exterior — and a shocking story of secrets and betrayal.

Warning: This title contains the following: sex, scorching kisses, killer breakfasts, a hot tropical island and a happily ever after.

***Click on the cover and it will take you to a page with links to everywhere you can purchase it.***