I recently read one of Mandy M Roth's books as part of the recent PWF launch and I really enjoyed it, so when I came across this one I really couldn't resist. Those of you that took the time to read the blurb are probably wondering if I had suffered from some kind of breakdown by actively CHOOSING to read a book about a shark-shifter and a ghost, and yes I will admit it sounds bizarre, but in my defense I DIDN'T READ THE BLURB - (Those that have been following me for a while know that this is not the first time it has happened to me - I am attracted to awesome covers and will dive right in - often to then learn random things I would have known if I had read the back cover first) - BUT I am really glad I didn't. That blurb would probably have relegated this book to the "probably not in this lifetime pile" and it would have been A MISTAKE!
With a plethora of 80's references, amazing characters, and (minor spoiler) a complete lack of actual shark-shifting, this book was a laugh out loud, very cleverly constructed read, complete with a couple of twists I didn't see coming, and one that I totally did.
Fans of the show Lucifer should pay attention to Luc - he doesn't have a large role in this book but I have already approached Mandy to see if he will be getting his own story, because that I want to read!
A surprising 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5 with a recommendation for those that love a light PNR with a HEA and a good dose of 80's thrown in! (Although it is listed as book 3 in the series this totally reads as a stand alone without losing anything).
Back in January you may remember that I reviewed book 1 in this series, (click here to see that review) and this is the second book in the Hallmark Heart's Landing series. As with book 1 the story is basically what you would expect from a Hallmark Movie, in this case a follow-up. This could definitely be read (or watched if it makes it to the small screen) as a stand-alone, although if you have read the first book it feels like returning to a known holiday resort.
As with book 1 my recommendation remains that if you like romance novels (or Hallmark movies), then you should check this out. Where as the first book focuses on the bakery and the catering side of cakes with weddings, this is all about the town, and in particular the history. I have no idea if this is based on an actual place, but this would definitely be a destination I could imagine many brides lining up to add to their preferred places to host their nuptuals.
This gets a solid 5 stars from me. The writing really is excellent, and I felt transported into the story, and I actually prefer this one to book 1, but I don't think the book is necessarily better, I just think that I enjoyed the journalistic and history story, as opposed to the bakery. Either way they would both be great on screen!
A Cottage Wedding releases on June 2nd but it is available for pre-order pretty much anywhere that sells books. I have included the Amazon link, and that is my preferred purchasing option, plus a link to purchase book 1 which is on sale for just $0.99 right now!
This is not the first book I have read by author Seanan McGuire having thoroughly enjoyed her "Ghost Roads" series, so when the publisher randomly dropped this on my doorstep I thought why not.
It's not clear from the cover, or the synopsis, but this is in fact the first book in the October Daye series. As I was reading I felt the need to clarify this as the reader is certainly dropped in the deep end, and it definitely feels as though some of the rather important "world rules" should already be known.
That being said, the further I got into the book, thus the more of the world I understood, the more I found myself enjoying it. The characters are interesting, and the mystery was cleverly crafted, but the confusing beginning was enough to drop it a complete star rating for me allowing it to come in at 4 stars (but only just).
I have others of this series on my shelf, I am not sure if I will get to them (especially as I feel they might be random editions and not in any particular order), so I leave this with a recommendation to check out her "Ghost Roads" series, which I think is far superior. (See the Ghost Roads series here.)
Please join me in wishing Susan Harris a very happy Release Day! If you haven’t snagged your copy of Chaos Theory yet you can do so at the sites below - and then scroll down for a Musers Exclusive Interview PLUS details on the release party!
As promised here on Melanie’s Muses we are thrilled to have Susan as a special guest today, and I asked her the questions that you wanted to know the answers too … plus a couple of my own.
Exclusive Interview With Author Susan Harris
Melanie (M) Hello Susan! Thank you so much for joining me today from Ireland. How is everything over there? I hope you are staying safe!
Susan (S)Like the rest of the world, Ireland is dealing with Covid 19 as best we possibly can. I find the online community has been so awesome, and even the author community has helped to allow us to escape reality for a couple of chapters by offering discounted or free books.
(M) So before I get to the Muser’s questions, I have to ask, how excited are you to finally be able to share this with the world. I feel like we have been talking about it behind the scenes forever!
(S) I am excited and nervous at the same time. I think this is the most nervous I’ve ever been for a release. You and me have been discussing Ryan and her world for so long, even when it was a concept and Ryan was just this badass who was beautifully broken. These characters have taken over the last year of our lives and I think readers are ready to meet Ryan…and Nicky ?
(M) So true! They have definitely monopolized a LOT of our conversations, but I wouldn't have it any other way! OK let’s get down to some Muser Questions! This one was submitted by Toni Pill - How much of events in your life do you put in your books? Give us an example, please. XOXO
(S)You would be surprised how much of me goes into a character. I take conversations and use them in books. I wrote Shattered Memories as therapy after being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. There is a chapter in Chaos Theory, with something that happens to Ryan that happened to me in real life. I don’t want to spoil anything and Ryan’s experience was different to mine, because Hello, vampire, but it was something traumatic I went through and needed to write about it to get some closure on it.
(M) Ha – and I will add that I know for a fact that LOTS of things that happen in conversations both with me, and things that have happened during live definitely have been known to “pop up” n the pages!
And with that thought in mind it leads nicely to this question submitted by Jaime Cross - Just what would you do with Tom Hardy if you ever got your hands on him? Kidding. I already know. Love you. Love your books. Who has been the hardest, and easiest, characters for you to write?
(S) For question one, see Night of the Hunter, because Donnie is Tom Hardy lol The hardest character to write I think had to be Erika. She wasn’t a planned main character; I had intended to kill her off but she became this larger than life character who demanded centre stage and I was powerless to stop her.
And the easiest, I’d say Ricky or Ryan as they just write themselves; I have no say in what they do or what they say; I am merely she who documents their awesomeness.
(M) I love that about them! Their voices are so strong. I think that’s what I often have so many opinions about what I think they would do. Sometimes I can totally feel in their head….. Which now sounds a bit weird … so moving on we have a question submitted by Holly McMiller - Who is the most fun character to write for and which of your characters can be the hardest to write for?
(S) See Jaime’s question for the hardest. But the most fun, omg there are a few…Ryan has been terribly fun to write because she just has no filter, she says what she wants. I also love the bromance between Donnie and Ricky, which can be very fun to write. I think if they had known each other as teens, then I’d have had a LOT of writing material.
(M) I’m sure that really Melanie is the easiest – I mean she is based on a combination of 2 rather awesome people – One real and One TV Character….. but enough of that. Let’s move on to a question submitted by Ashley Brilinski. If you could pick another author who has done their own take on vampires to cowrite with you who would it be?
(S) OMG Ashley- that’s a hard question to answer. I’d love to see Ryan bump into Cat and Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series…or have her fangirl over Anita Blake from Laurell K Hamilton’s series.
Well I don’t personally think she will be running into Cat and Bones – I mean they are kind of off the grid right now lol but I agree Ryan would definitely be fangirling hard with Anita! And the running commentary as she makes a fool of herself would be hilarious.
(M) Ooooh this is an interesting question from Diana Stamatis Dalton. I know how much work you put into to researching your books so I can’t wait to see your answer to this. Diana says - I love the Ever Chace Chronicles. You have melded the supernatural with the mythical Gods together beautifully. Did you do a lot of research before or as you were writing the series on Greek and/or Roman Gods, myths and supernatural beings?
(S) I have a lot of books in my research library about all aspects of my books, from criminal psychology to vampire encyclopedias. I make sure I know what I’m writing about. With the Norse Gods, I read books and blogs online so I follow the legends as much as possible, but give it my own flair as well. If it doesn’t feel authentic to me, then it will not feel authentic to the reader and the story then loses its trueness…well as much as a story about vampires and werewolves can.
(M) Yup that sounds about right. I think that’s one of the things I love most about your books. The characters do feel so authentic! Which leads nicely to this question by Ashley Brilinkski - Do you get emotionally attached to your characters?
(S) Absolutely. You create these characters and they become part of your daily life. I have no doubt I will cry when I say goodbye to the EC series, even with a spin off planned. When I wrote Night of the Hunter, I spent a lot of time with tears in my eyes because I felt that Caitlyn deserved a happy ever after. I felt so terrible during the Defy series for Toby and what happens to him, that I wanted to change things because I felt I was being to hard on him. But I think it’s my duty to write the hard stories even if it breaks my heart sometimes to do it.
(M) Sometimes I think the hard choices are the most compelling. That being said I have been known to moan about a few, and especially certain characters lol. Following up from the last questions from Ashley – she has another one that is more are your writing process. She asks - When it comes to plots, endings, characters, & settings what do you focus on/outline first?
(S) First, it’s a general story outline from book 1 to book whatever and how I think the story will go. The plot for Arsonist’s Lullaby was planned from day one, the villain and supernatural creature planned from day one. Then I mould my characters. I like to listen to music that the character may listen to, even if it’s not my usual tastes. I find actors or actresses that could play the characters that I see in my head and then use my city as my scene. It’s all a process that I love creating worlds and characters and then letting them loose in my head.
(M) And of course sometimes there is a little voice in the background saying YOU NEED TO WRITE THIS *cough Chaos Theory Cough*. Ashley is obviously a huge fan and has a couple more questions for you. She says that Defy the Stars was hands down the BEST version of Romeo & Juliet ever (which I have to agree with!) . Any plans to put your own spin on other Shakespearean works in the future?
(S) I would love to do another Shakespeare retelling! Macbeth is my favourite play of Shakespeare’s and I would love to continue in the Defy world, with the children. Or maybe I can use one of the bards plays when I write a Mercy and Toby book…exclusive news there … and if you have any suggestions on what plays you’d like me to retell, let me know!
(M) WOO HOOO Got to love an extra exclusive! You heard it here first! I would totally be down for both a Mercy and Toby book – and a Macbeth reimagined. Macbeth is one of my favourites as well. I mean who can resist something that is so cursed you have to call it “The Scottish Play? Final question from Ashley - If you were invited to write an episode of any tv show which show would you want it to be & what would happen?
(S) I love this question! I would love to write an episode of The Blacklist and have a blacklister called The Leprechaun. ? I think it would be very tongue in cheek, with The Leprechaun being a dealer of luck, not at all stereotypical, with Jaime Dornan or Colin O’Donoghue as the blacklister, with like a gambling ring and people who lose their luck end up dead. I can just imagine Raymond Reddington sitting down with The Leprechaun with his usual suave, as the team chance their luck …I haven’t thought of this at all as you can tell.
(M) Oh yes I can see that you have put zero thought into that AT ALL!! Quite obviously that just all popped into your head spontaneously.
(S) No comment (laughs)
(M) Well Susan, it is always a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer these fan questions, and give us a little more insight into you and your fabulous writing world. Is there anything else you would like to say before we go?
(S) I really want to thank Melanie's Muses and ALL of the Musers for the love and support you have shown for me and my books. You guys are an amazing group of people and I'm so happy to be a part of everything. Especially on Sundays! Go raibh míle maith agat go léir (Thank you all so much)
Make sure you leave a comment letting Susan know what you think of her answers and congratulaing her on her new release! Then make sure you are signed up for the special Facebook Live being held on the Melanie's Muses Facebook Page on Saturday May 23rd at 1pm ET. Click the prize picture below to get ALL the details!
Hope to see you all there! And don't forget you can already pre-order Book 2 - Butterfly Effect which I assure you will be required reading if you read book 1!
In case you missed it - Susan Harris releases Chaos Theory (Sanguine Crown Book 1) May 20th 2020!
She has kindly agreed to an exclusive Interview here on Melanie's Muses and YOU get to ask the questions.
Leave your question in the comments and Susan will answer some of them in an interview that will be posted on release day! Don't be basic! Ask something interesting!
Plus you still have time to enter the Chaos Theory Pre-Order Giveaway - Just click for details!
It's 2020 - and whilst most of it is feeling like something out of a YA Dystopian Novel, which I still will be in general avoiding because those are just not my thing .... Publishing news indicates that the YA Vampire sensation will be rising once more!
Meme from https://knowyourmeme.com/
I have been calling for the circle back to YA Vamps to happen and it finally has because honestly nothing has really grabbed me in the genre since Vampire Academy!
Well the time is now! Stephanie Meyer announced that Midnight Sun (the Highly anticipated - we are talking 14 years waiting), is finally going to be available. After several false starts, a leaked blog, another author basically doing the same idea with another chatacter (Grey), and Stephanie generally saying she will never return to it - WE HAVE A RELEASE DATE! The book is coming on August 4th - Read the full article posted on USA Today here. Midnight Sun will is a retelling of the first Twilight story but from Edward's perspective (not to be confused with the gender swap Life and Death version released in the Anniversary edition), and the timing couldn't be better. I am not sure what the final reasoning was behind the change of heart, but I have said all along NOT publishing it was a huge mistake. So I am taking this one as a win!
In case anyone is new here - I LOVE it when I'm right! I have been saying this would be the year of the vamp ever since Susan Harris announced her upcoming new series - The Sanguine Crown, and I got to read an ARC - I KNEW this was the book fans had been waiting for. She even has that quote ON her page! (See the end of this article for information on a pre-order giveaway). Even better there is less of a wait for this one with the eRelease happening in just 3 weeks! While you wait for your Twilight Fix I highly suggest checking out this new series. Book 1 has a pre-order sale AND a giveaway - so bonus features all around. Add to that this is the book I said YA Vampire fans have been waiting for and you just can't lose!
And there you have it! Let me know what you think about the upcoming releases of Midnight Sun and Chaos Theory! Will you be checking them both out? Can't wait to hear what you think!
Giveaway From Susan Harris
Random Musings About The Entertainment World - From Books to TV and Anything Else That Comes To Mind!