Gambit by C.L. Denault Release Day Blitz

Hi everyone! I'm excited to be participating in the release day blitz of Gambit by C.L. Denault from REUTS Publications! The book sounds really amazing, the cover is stunning and the release day trailer I'm sharing below is so cool, makes me want to get it RIGHT NOW. Please take a look!

About Gambit:

In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.
Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.
Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?
Release Day Trailer:

   

Buy Today | Add on Goodreads


About the Author:

C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.
Writing stories and posting on The INFJ Café are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.
Her debut novel, Gambit, is the first in a Young Adult dystopian series.
Social Media Links


The Week's Entrée #57

Hi! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

Week one of school break is over, but I still have two more weeks of reading! Sadly, I haven't been reading that much because K-DRAMAS happened to me.

If someone would have told me two months ago that I would fall in love with k-dramas, I would have probably rolled my eyes.  But guys, I ADORE them. My sister is obsessed with them. They are so incredibly cute and now I'm seconds away of jumping into a plane and heading straight to Seoul (if I were rich and knew a few Korean words).

My favorite up until now? Fated to Love You. Made me laugh, made me cry like if I'd lost a limb, and I swooooned. Agh, it's amazing. If you love feels and a great love story, you must watch it. Lee Gun ♥♥♥♥

 Here's a sort-of trailer with the most beautiful song ever:





Too many feeeeeeeeels.

*Clears throat* Anyway, I hope everyone has a happy week of reading! :D

*****
Book reviews in other sites:

I reviewed Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

I had really high expectations for this book, but it didn't turn out to be as great as I thought it would be. Still, I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to read the next book!

The book's summary:

n the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

Books I Got Last Week:
{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, etc.


Thanks to Entangled Teen for the review copy of Dragons are People, Too. I'm curious about this book. Also, I was sent the new revised edition of What Remains by Helene Dunbar for the blog tour. New cover is so pretty!

To Read This Week:
  
 

I'm still reading Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep (it's cool) and next up is Crowded by Shaina Cilimberg.  

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you reading this week? :)

Book Review: Writing in the Kitchen by David A. Davis and Tara Powell


Title: Writing in the Kitchen: Essays on Southern Literature and Foodways
Author: David A. Davis and Tara Powell 
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi 
Published: August 4, 2014
Page count: 224
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Summary:

Scarlett O'Hara munched on a radish and vowed never to go hungry again. Vardaman Bundren ate bananas in Faulkner's Jefferson, and the Invisible Man dined on a sweet potato in Harlem. Although food and stories may be two of the most prominent cultural products associated with the South, the connections between them have not been thoroughly explored until now.

Southern food has become the subject of increasingly self-conscious intellectual consideration. The Southern Foodways Alliance, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, food-themed issues of "Oxford American" and "Southern Cultures," and a spate of new scholarly and popular books demonstrate this interest. "Writing in the Kitchen" explores the relationship between food and literature and makes a major contribution to the study of both southern literature and of southern foodways and culture more widely.

This collection examines food writing in a range of literary expressions, including cookbooks, agricultural journals, novels, stories, and poems. Contributors interpret how authors use food to explore the changing South, considering the ways race, ethnicity, class, gender, and region affect how and what people eat. They describe foods from specific southern places such as New Orleans and Appalachia, engage both the historical and contemporary South, and study the food traditions of ethnicities as they manifest through the written word.


 *The Chef's Review*

     My rating: 3/5 stars

     When I first started reading this book, I thought I was about to experience a read where I would find the warm and comforting thoughts that come up when you think of the southern ways. This book did not do that for me, it goes more to the side of facts. However, I did find it very useful.

     I am a recent culinary graduate in Mexico. Mexico is very rich in traditions, so it is very common for us to have a lot of background and stories in our dishes. That's what first drew me to this book. I wanted to find history and culture in the USA's dishes, and I think that starting in its southern cuisine is a good start. I believe what caught most my attention in Writing in the Kitchen was the story in the Appalachian Mountains. First of all, I didn't know that they existed! When you think of the USA all I used to see is LA, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Texas, etc.  I was happy to read, search and even watch videos of this place and I'm proud to say that I'm a little less ignorant. I loved them! Apalachian Mountains is an all natural wonderful side of the USA, full of wild life untainted with technology and modernism. Many culinary adventurers roam through that land in search for an experience and to open their mind a little on their culture and foodways ...  Aaaahhh, I sure would love that.

     Writing in the Kitchen is also full of movie and book references that you might enjoy. I for one, watched "The Help" movie (it's about housemaids, a certain pie, hard work combined with racism and how women in that time managed it) and dragged my mom and sister to watch it too, we all loved it! I encourage those people that like this kind of facts to read this book, you are sure to be entertained ;)





2015 Audiobook Challenge: First Quarter Update



Welcome to my first update of the 2015 Audiobook Challenge hosted by The Book Nympho & Hot Listens! 


I'm aiming for the second level: 
Weekend Warrior (I'm getting the hang of this) 5-10 Audiobooks.

Apparently, I'm still getting the hang of things because I have only heard ONE audiobook so far *cries a bit*. 

A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest
This is the second book in the A Shade of Vampire series. 
It was a good book, but it dragged, so I guess that's why it took me so long to finish it.

What I'm currently listening to:

Edge by Tiffinie Helmer
I'm barely an hour into it, but I can tell it's going to be a tough yet gripping book.

So, this is my progress bar:

1/10 books


Next quarter I'll do much better! :D

That's What HE Said Thursday #36: Sebastian from The Thorn and the Sinking Stone


That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his girl. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

                     Today's quote is from Sebastian of The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by CJ Dushinski.



                                         Quote:
At first I though it was just the shock of seeing someone you knew as a child now as an adult, and then realizing they were probably the most beautiful girl you'd ever seen. That alone was enough to strike any hormone-filled teenage boy with heart-racing, palm-sweating, stuttering thoughts. But sitting alone on the rooftop, I'd realized it had been more than that--much more. It was as if I'd finally been reunited with someone I'd longed for every day for nine years, thinking I would never see them again. And then, as if painted by the hand of God, there she was...
                     
-Sebastian to Valencia

I know this quote is not exactly one that Sebastian says to Valencia, but I love it because these are his thoughts about her, about seeing her again after a very long time. Although The Thorn and the Sinking Stone wasn't the strong book I was hoping for (check my review here), when it comes to the romance department and of shipping couples, this one is certainly one to look out for. Sebastian is the perfect book boyfriend and he made my heart stutter so many times. Especially in this quote. <3

Author Interview with Jules Hedger + Giveaway!

Hello everyone! Today I have a very special guest here on the blog. Jules Hedger, author of the Reign and Ruin series, agreed to answer a few questions for us and I'm thrilled to share with you her awesomeness. But before of heading off to the interview, check out what her first book, The Wilds, is all about:



The Wilds by Jules Hedger
Reign and Ruin #1
Oct 9th, 2014 by This Thistle Press
Coming home to New York in summer holidays is nothing short of torturous. Maggie's mother is officially the worst widow ever and her wayward uncle can't see past the heroin or the twisted pictures he paints. Lonely is normal and normal is becoming unbearable.

Plagued by nightmares and left behind to pick up the pieces of a fallen king, an opportunity of escape leads Cirrus to take a dangerous gamble; a gamble that snatches Maggie out of her uncle’s apartment and into a dangerous world of shifting sand and treacherous beauty.

Now Maggie must fight for a nation she never knew existed. But who can she trust when everything around her is melting like paint? Even more, the man she's fighting against is at once the captor and her savior, the villain and her friend. They could be each other's salvation or destruction, the choice is up to them . . . 


Hi Jules! Thank you so much for taking time to answer a few questions.

It’s my pleasure! I love your blog and reviews, so it was a real honor that you asked! J

To start it all off, could you please tell as a few random facts about yourself and your books?
  • I’m an avid shipper, my favorite being Johnlock. We’re a passionate bunch and generally get along with other Sherlock fandoms. Can’t say I think much about Sherlolly though (shocker!) Want to start a rumble? HUH?
  • I used to be in theatre and met my husband in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He’s still an actor and I get really jealous all the time. He sends me pictures of him in costumes and I’m like, ‘”Oh yeah, work those pantaloons!”
  • I once met Ian McKellan and he hugged me. He smelled SO GOOD. I also met Alan Rickman and I think he thought I was a tool. So it all evens out.
  • I dreamed up the concept for Reign and Ruin in SAT class (which for everyone who doesn’t take SATs, preps you for the biggest and most useless quiz in the entire American education system). But it was worth it because I was bored enough to start this wonderful journey!
  • The Reign and Ruin series used to be one standalone simply called Palet. It was YA and didn’t contain any romance, any blood or any swearing (basically, all the good bits). But it was even weirder! Lucan was a French skeleton called Maurice, Cassandra was a male British explorer who scouted the edges of the Wilds, Leof was a giant bat, and Maggie found her way back to the real world. I KNOW. WHAT RUBBISH.
  • Maggie is my all-time favorite name – except my husband hates it so my child will never be so lucky.
Whaaat?! The standalone sounded crazy, and that's saying something because, you know, The Wilds is one crazy journey!

Palet is a complicated world, beautiful and with so many rough edges, was it difficult to make this fantastical setting come alive? In what did you struggle most?

Thank you! I love Palet and its secrets and dark corners. It’s imperfect, constantly forming and always dangerous. But it’s also filled with real people who feel and trust and get up in the morning to make eggs. It’s gorgeous to see readers respond to the fantasy element of Palet, but also connect to the very human elements that they can recognize in the real world, too.
For me, the struggle was giving the world some constraints. I think in my head it was all clear, and I couldn’t quite understand why it was so confusing to others. I had had years to develop and world-build, and when I came upon an obstacle my mind simply made up another rule to go around it. It wasn’t until I had my first beta-read that I realized that there so many layers I might have gotten ahead of myself! It’s one thing to make a world of dreams where anything goes, but readers want you to take them on a journey that they can map!
So, I needed a map.
Or really, I needed a world that had mountains and cities and rules. Sure, things can fly but the sky isn’t endless. Yes, dreams can pop in and out of the air but where do they go when they’re not around? So for me, the biggest struggle was keeping this world in control. And giving readers the ability to visualize it on a larger scale.

What about your characters? Were they difficult to transfer from your mind to the books?

My characters came onto the page without much difficulty, I think because they all had very strong elements that I revered/feared/lusted after/wanted to be, etc. Both Cirrus and Lucan have bits of my ideal man. Maggie has the strength I wish I could see in myself, but also the insecurity I most certainly do know I struggle with. Marty is everything I wanted in an uncle. Once I related my characters to myself, it was easier to give them a voice.
One thing I did not think would happen was change. Cirrus, for example, started off sick. And by sick, I mean demented. He was Cillian Murphy as the Sandman, a Mr. Ripley. A villain.  But then his depth reached further than just an obsession and he became relatable. HOW? No idea. I just remember my beta-reader giving me her notes and saying how much she was rooting for Cirrus.
Sometimes, no matter how much you think you know your characters, they morph on their own.

Could you share with us your favorite line or paragraph from The Wilds and tells us why that one? 

And the award for hardest question ever goes to . . . Melissa! J Oh goodness, to pick my favorite line or paragraph is nearly impossible. I’m not a ‘”one-liner” kind of girl, although I wish I was clever enough to be. One moment that stands out for me is Leof’s grand entrance. He is really the definition of dramatic! And he’s also clearly insane.
And another introduction I’ve grown fond of is Lucan’s. Maggie has just freed him from the Wilds and has a completely human moment in the midst of all the utter craziness. I think it’s refreshing, and reminds us that yes, this girl is 22 years old and completely out of her depth.
“It was weird. I am a pretty sensible woman. I've been to college and seen the beefed-up frat boys toting their Jell-O shots on the unwary. And the hipster philosophers who buy you flat-whites and discuss the latest electro-funk and bamboo-crafted glass frames. I have kissed and fucked a few of them. But I have never been one of those girls who drinks a Diet Coke while watching the handsome electrician flex their muscles. I do not get lost in any man's eyes.

            But there was a lost moment when I watched Lucan shake the water from his face. All I could hear for around ten seconds was the white ringing of static as I followed the sparkling drops of moisture slide slowly down his neck and curve around his broad collar bones. His skin was golden tan and the dark hair on his chest spread down his torso and trailed off. It disappeared at the waistband of his toned naval and wide hips. Hips that looked like they could grind a woman to powder. Somewhere in my mind – pushed back very far, mind you – I was hating myself. Because I was in the middle of the desert running from a man who wanted to steal a throne I didn't know I had yesterday. And I had just saved his brother from crucifixion. And despite the utter absurdity of the situation I was ogling a shirtless man like Spring Break.”

And speaking of The Wilds, was there anything that didn’t make it into the final book?

Yeah, I had to change the entire ending for various reasons. I loved it in a self-indulgent way, but there was no world in which it would have worked for the book.
In the original YA version Maggie’s symbol was more than just an object. I wanted it to be her uncle’s soul and Cirrus to be in possession of it. Therefore, the Walk became more of a game of Hide and Seek. Maggie found her way back to the manor and faced off against Cirrus, who basically just gave up (yawn). He allowed her to free her uncle’s soul by burning a candle, and as the sun rose and the candle sputtered out, the entirety of Palet fell apart and her uncle was free.
The problem? Maggie just stands there and lets a candle do all the work for her! Where is her strength? What did Maggie fight for only to have this world she conquered get destroyed because of a piece of wax?

I haven’t read Out of the Bright yet (promise I will do so soon), but I want to know- What can we expect from this sequel? Will there be more romance, more action?

I can’t wait for you to read it! I think it’s incredibly different to The Wilds. Out of the Bright really gives readers a chance to explore the Middle Canvas. It’s more grounded and steady. This also means it’s quieter, but I think all the characters really grow and this sets things up for the third book (which is basically all out war).
In a nutshell, Out of the Bright has more blood, more romance, more running, and more angst. As Maggie becomes darker, so does the story, and the people around her follow suit.

Besides from writing, what other things do you love to do?

I’m an editor, so I love my day job. And I also play the accordion and watch endless box-sets. I’m one episode away from the finale of Dexter (limping along, I know). But then I have Sons of Anarchy to start, and Mad Men. And OMG the fourth season of AHS! AND GAME OF THRONES.
So, I obviously need to get outside more. I should do a sport. Or learn how to knit (oh god, am I the only person on this earth who hates to knit?).

Are you a cat or a dog person?

Cat. Cat cat cat cat cat. Cat.
And whose cat? My cat. Obvs.


What was the last book that you read?

YA is a weakness of mine, so at the moment I’m reading The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill. Simple, splendid storytelling the way it should be. And before that I CONSUMED Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin. It’s a dark mystery and incredibly engaging. I love books with a sharp edge. It’s what I thrive on.

Do you have a playlist for your books? (I’d love to hear it!)

I only mention songs and artists a few times in this book and the next. It’s hard to find a way for Maggie to listen to music in another world!
So while I don’t have a playlist readers can listen along to, I do have my own store of songs and artists that inspire my writing and remind me of Palet (and of the music that Maggie listened to before she crossed over from the real world) . . .
  • Hannah Peel (two songs in particular, Fabricstate and Silk Road)
  • Alt-J (both albums, over and over and over on repeat)
  • Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See
  • Broken Bells (After the Disco album)
  • School of Seven Bells (Disconnect from Desire)
  • The Decemberists (The King is Dead)
  • Black Prairie (A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart)
  • Fredrik - Flora

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?

Be excellent to each other . . .
Thank you so much again, Jules! You are so cool, and I'm very excited to read Out of the Bright. I love it when books turn darker!


About Jules Hedger

Originally from California, Jules Hedger now lives on a houseboat in London with one husband and one cat. She's been a carny, a macaroni and cheese waitress and currently works in genre fiction publishing. The Reign and Ruin series is her debut.




Oh, and happy release day to Out of the Bright! You can now get your copy here.



Or enter to win it in the rafflecopter below! ;)


The Week's Entrée #56

Hi! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

People, I'm on school break!!!




THREE whole weeks of  more reading time, more blogging time and more me time! So, so happy ♥ 

And I promised to be more active, so I've reached out to a few of my favorite authors to bring out new content to the blog. So excited to share (posting soon)! 

*****

Book reviews in other sites:

I reviewed The DUFF by Kody Keplinger at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

The DUFF was an amazing read, you guys! You've probably already read it, but if not, suffice to say that you'll laugh your pants off, so I highly recommend it!

Here's the book's summary:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Books I Got Last Week:
{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, etc.


Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy! That is all.

{Freebie}


How I Fall was (is?) free on Amazon! I don't know if it still is, but it doesn't hurt to check it out. 

To Read This Week:
  

Finally! Can't put it off any longer. It was painful having this ARC since last Monday and not being able to read it because of finals. I'm so excited about this book that I feel all sentimental. I reall, really, really hope it doesn't break me too much. Wish me luck!

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you reading this week? :)

Anna and the French Kiss Cupcakes (& Giveaway!)

Hey everyone! My sister and I made Anna and the French Kiss Cupcakes! YES,  I HELPED. She of course made the actual cupcakes but I helped with the design. ;)

We both LOVE (adore, cherish, swoon over) this amazing series by Stephanie Perkins and we always like to make and eat food that remind us of Anna, Lola and Isla. 


So without further ado, here are the cupcakes:





Aren't they cute? My friends loved them and they didn't even realize it was my subliminal message saying: READ THE BOOKS. They will now, I'm sure. ;) 

Oh, and please notice how we tried to match the cupcakes with the beautiful covers:



And because we couldn't resist, we want to give away one of the books to one lucky reader! 

So, enter the rafflecopter below to win a paperback copy of either Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door or Isla and the Happily Ever After!

This is an International giveaway as long as The Book Depository ships free to you. It ends on April 3rd at 11:59 pm EST. Good luck!


Thanks for checking out the cupcakes! Feel free to leave a comment saying which one was your favorite. ;)

Darkness Calling Blog Tour: Character Interview + Giveaway


Hi! Welcome to my stop in the blog tour of Darkness Calling by Laurie Olerich hosted by Dark World Books. Today, I'm thrilled to be sharing with you an amusing character interview between Laurie Olerich and two of her main characters. Also, after you read the interview, check out the amazing tour-wide giveaway going on. It's international!

But first, here are the deets about the book:

Title: Darkness Calling 
Series: Primani #5
Author: Laurie Olerich
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy Romance
Published: March 5th, 2015
Summary:
ad infinitum: endlessly, forever, without limit
Finally freed from a century in purgatory, former-wild child Aisling just wants to raise her son and live as a normal human again. Her taste of freedom is cut short the moment her past comes to claim her. There’s one reason she was exiled, and his name is Cain. With him, there was only darkness, and the angels help her, she liked it that way. Now he’s back, and his commands are simple. Stay away from Sean or else. But when he threatens to take her son, she turns to the one man who can save them both. Sean.
Sean is sick and tired of his baby mama’s hateful attitude. Her mood swings give him whiplash, and he’s seriously thinking of strangling her. But when a brutal old enemy shows up to destroy everyone Sean loves, he discovers Aisling is hiding more than her feelings for him.
Joining forces to protect their son, Sean and Aisling set out on a journey that leads them from the city streets of Manhattan to the elegant hotels of Vienna to the final terrifying showdown in the bowels of Rome.

*Character Interview with the Stars of Darkness Calling*

Here with me today are two of the stars of my newest Primani book, Darkness Calling. Aisling Andersson and Cain--just Cain--but also known as Irku, Slayer of Angels, Bringer of Nightmares, and more titles than probably necessary, have agreed to meet with me to share their dirty secrets with my readers. I invited Sean O’Cahan to share his thoughts, but he flatly refused, pointing out that he’d rather be spit-roasted in Hell (again) than play nice with the demon who keeps trying to rip his heart out. While I can totally understand his attitude, I feel safer when he’s around.  I’m more than a little nervous. This is the first time I’ve interviewed my characters, and these two are explosive together. I hope we can keep the noise down and not blow up the studio so I get my deposit back!
Cain, my wicked, but delicious demon, is radiating his usual raw sexuality and overwhelms the chair he’s sprawled across. He is evil to his core, but that doesn’t keep my skin from tingling as my blood pumps harder in his presence. His compelling green and gold eyes hold mine with way too much knowledge, and he shoots me a tiny smirk so I know he senses my arousal. Mmm. He is yummy in a bad, bad, bad sort of way. I cross my legs just a little tighter.
Aisling is another story. She’s pissed as hell to be here. The last thing she wants is to be anywhere near Cain now that the book is finished. Perched on the edge of her seat, she’s dragged her fingers through her pretty strawberry blond hair until it’s floating like a cloud around her pale face. She’s moved her chair as far from Cain as possible and looks ready to slap me--hard. I really wish Sean was here. He’d have my back. He always does. Well, the clock is ticking as Cain likes to say, so best to dive right in.
“Thank you both for agreeing to be here today. I’m sure my readers are dying to hear from you so let’s make this exciting for them. Cain, why don’t we start with you? How did you two meet?” 
Cain leans back, crosses his ankles and smiles at Aisling’s scowl. Before she can respond, he replies, “I picked her up in a quaint little trattoria in Rome. 1925. I was bored, and she was desperate for a good fucking.” He lifts one strong shoulder in a careless shrug. “After that first time, I couldn’t get her off my dick.”
Aisling gasps, but recovers to snap, “You bloody asshole! I was minding my own business when you showed up and invaded my space. I was in a really dark place. You offered sex. I wanted a one-night stand. You used some demon mojo to get me to stay!”
He chuckles as Aisling walks right into his trap. He loves to make her lose control. Angling into her face, he asks, “Is that how you live with yourself now? I thought we’d agreed to be honest. You were hungry, angel. Admit it. You loved what I did to you.” His voice drops to a purr, “Every. Single. Thing.”
She sure did, and so did I. After all, I wrote it.  My imagination is beginning to roar to life. I clear my throat to get their attention but neither hears me. The tension is palpable, and I’m starting to sweat. Why didn’t I frisk them?
Aisling flushes and rounds on him, teeth ground together. “Fine! I won’t lie. It wasn’t horrible, but I’ve had better!” 
“Liar!”
Glaring daggers, she sneers, “Don’t flatter yourself. You weren’t that good.”
“Really? I’ve still got scars on my ass from your nails. It’s been over 100 years.”
She freezes as his words sink in. Time to change the subject before Aisling does something I’m going to regret. I like Cain. He’s too evil to kill just yet. So I say, “Why don’t we move on to talk about what you’ve been doing since the book ended? Aisling? How are things in Plattsburgh?” 
She ignores me. She only has eyes for the demon who turned her life inside out. After the space of a heartbeat, she hisses, “You were convenient. A distraction from the pain of my life. Nothing more, Cain. Move on. I have.”
“Still lying? You want me now. You’ll always want me.” 
“Are you kidding me? I hate you for what you did to me!”
“What exactly did I do that you didn’t want?” Cain’s voice drops so low that I have to lean closer to make out the words. His hands are steady on his thighs, but one finger twitches with anger. He’s doing his best to stay civil, but he’s got a short temper.
I interject, “You threatened to kill Sean Michael. That wasn’t cool.”
He cocks his head and murmurs, “Ah. But I didn’t. Did I? I left the boy alone. I didn’t cross that line.”
Aisling throws up her hands in exasperation. “You kidnapped me and threw me in a dog crate for two weeks! No food, no water! You put a friggin’ shock collar around my neck, you prick! You tortured me!”
Cain waves away her protests. “You provoked me. I told you to stay away from that Primani. I wasn’t going to interfere until you spent the night fucking his brains out.” He looks at me and arches a brow in question. “You didn’t expect me to let that go, did you? I’ve got a reputation to protect.”
I can’t argue with him. I created him to be the bad guy... and he was a very good bad guy. I use my best apologetic tone. “Sorry, Ais. I have to agree with Cain on this point. He wouldn’t be a legit demon if he let that go. Fucking Sean was a slap in the face.”
Her blue eyes begin to glow with her saol. Uh-oh. “You’re just jealous because you want Sean to be real! You sit at your computer and write these smoking hot sex scenes without caring how they hurt your characters in the end! Why don’t you find your own demon to play with?”
Ouch! “Whoa! That’s not true! I do care what happens to my characters! After a thousand years of loneliness, I gave you mind-blowing sex with two gorgeous studs. I know it didn’t end well, but you enjoyed Cain’s intensity until you found out he was a demon. I’ll admit that was a little cruel of me, but it fit the story perfectly.”
Cain crosses his arms over his chest with a smirk. “Ah, yes. Good times. My favorite was bending you over the statue of Gabriel. Do you think he watched?”
Aisling has calmed down, but she’s clearly unhappy with me. She glares at me one last time before turning to Cain. “You’re a pig.”
That finger begins to twitch again, and his eyes narrow to slits. “Be very careful, cara. You might want to rewrite our history, but you are only lying to yourself. I didn’t love you, but I gave you freedom. Freedom to embrace the darkness inside you. You should be more grateful. You can lie to yourself, but don’t lie to me. I was there.”
She opens her mouth to argue, but then stops. Her eyes dart around the set as if she’s looking for... 
Sean. I feel his body heat before he’s fully rematerialized behind me. As soon as he’s corporeal, he lays his hand over my shoulder and squeezes. 
“Easy, darlin’. I thought you might need me. Mind if I sit in?” He drags a chair to my side and straddles it backwards; his black Oakley’s hide his glorious eyes.
“Um. Yeah. Sure, Sean. Are you armed?”
He picks up my hand, kisses my knuckles, and smiles tightly. “Always.”
I breathe him in, and my nerves calm. Okay. I can do this. They aren’t real, right? They can’t really draw blood? Feeling a lot like Jerry Springer, I say, “Why don’t we move away from the past and talk about something else? Sean, what scene was the most difficult for you as a character?”
Sean’s shielded gaze rests on Cain’s golden eyes; his muscles tense. He’s ready to launch himself at the slightest twitch of the demon’s body. After less than a second of thought, he breathes, “Gina.” 
Oh, damn. I used Gina to rip his heart open and leave him on his knees, utterly destroyed. Cain made that happen with a few clever strokes of his knife. I grope for Sean’s hand and find the cold silver of his Primani blade instead. The haft’s resting in his palm; the blade gleams along his thigh. I swallow hard as his body vibrates with subtle power. “I’m sorry I put you through that, but you handled it very well. I was proud of your self-control. Please use some now. I don’t want any fighting today.”
Without breaking his stare, he says, “I’m biding my time. He’ll get what’s coming to him whether you write it or not.”
Cain unfolds himself and flexes his fingers with a hard grin. Aisling jumps to her feet crying, “Sean, no! Not now!” She splays her palm over her belly. “He’s not worth it!”
Cain snaps his fingers, and his black athame appears in his palm. Sean springs to his feet with blade ready, mouth curled into a snarl. Aisling throws herself between them, cursing them both in Italian.
Oh, for fuck’s sake! Clearly, I’ve lost control over this interview.... “Sean, please! Cain, get back to Hell--NOW!”
Cain rakes his eyes over me, but takes a step away from Sean. “Control is an illusion I let you enjoy. Don’t get comfortable with it.” With that, he’s gone. 
Sean and Aisling share a private thought before she gives me a stiff hug. Sean rolls his eyes at her prickliness before sweeping me into a bear hug that steals my breath. After dropping a kiss on my cheek, he slips off his favorite Oakley’s and sets them on the top of my head. His mesmerizing eyes delve into my soul, and he smiles at what he finds. “Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Call me any time.”
They leave me standing here with the light techs, the sound guy, and a nerdy little producer who thinks he’s Steven Spielberg. I touch my cheek to feel the lingering heat from Sean’s mouth on my skin.

Maybe my demon is right. Control is only an illusion.

About the Author:

Laurie Olerich is the author of the urban fantasy romance series Primani. She loves to create guilty pleasures full of exciting locations, roller coaster action, strong, quirky heroines, and steaming hot heroes who’ll raise the temperature in any room you’re in! Paranormal romance? Check! Urban fantasy? Check! Romantic suspense? Check! Her Primani series combines the best of the three. When not plotting, writing, or fantasizing about her next hero, she’s planning parties, traveling the world, and spending lazy nights with her son, her Dal pals, and friends. Laurie spent most of her life in the Northeastern United States and in Germany. She now lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her son and Dalmatian duo, Domino and Rambo.  Before throwing caution to the wind and diving into a writing career, Laurie dedicated 20 years to a career spent around men with guns and cool toys...this explains her obsession with both!
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