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Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Books With Love Blog Hop

Welcome to my blog for this Valentine's Day Blog Hop Event. I have an awesome treat for everyone. Last August the ladies from L.A.M.B. (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Fan Forum me included got to spend 4 incredible days together one of which we actually got to spend with the lady herself Lara Adrian author of the super AWESOME Midnight Breed Series. It was beyond anything I could hope for. Lara is so nice via Twitter and Facebook but no one knows for sure how someone is going to act in person but let me tell you she is just as nice and sweet in person as she is on those social media sites. She encouraged us before the event to bring any and every Midnight Breed book we had and she would sign them all. True to her word she did just that which kept her busy til almost midnight. In between all that she gave us some insight into the future of the series and answered (to the best of her ability without giving away too much) all of our questions. It truly was a remarkable night. That was also the night Lara agreed to do an interview for my blog. All I had to do was get in touch with her assistant Heather and it would all be set up. Which is what this blog hop stop is all about. I will not only be bringing you that very interview but Heather was also AWESOME enough to include a signed copy of Lara's latest book Taken By Midnight. I know right how fantastic is that. But as a bonus I have another copy generously donated to me (unsigned) so I will have two books to give away. The First Prize Winner gets the signed copy and the Second Place Winner gets the unsigned copy. This giveaway is for US/Canada Only (sorry I can't afford to ship over seas). This giveaway runs from February 14-16 at 11:59 P.M. You must be 18+ or older to enter. Must be a GFC follower. Form is at the bottom of the interview highlighted in pink. Now without further ado I give to you my awesome interview with Lara Adrian author of the Midnight Breed Series.

*Picture of Lara and Her Husband John courtesy of Kimberly Rocha

1) How did The Midnight Breed Series come about?

In the summer of 2005, I had an opportunity to take my writing career in a totally new direction from the medieval romances I'd been writing for several years under the name Tina St. John. Having always been fascinated by vampires, it seemed only natural to me that if I was going to write a dark paranormal romance, there would definitely be blood and fangs involved. *G*

But I knew there were certain things about traditional vampire mythology that I didn't want to include as part of my Midnight Breed world. As I was crafting the story universe and building a history for my vampires, known as the Breed, I kept coming back to the problem of their origin. They weren't undead, so what were they? My husband jokingly suggested that maybe they were aliens. While he laughed, I grabbed a pen and started jotting down the sudden flood of inspiration that eventually became the "otherworldly" start of an alien race that infiltrated humankind thousands of years ago and formed the hidden vampire society of the Breed.

I brought some of my love of medieval codes of honor and knights in not-so-shiny armor to the Midnight Breed series as well. The series is told through a group of Breed warriors, called the Order, who are currently based in Boston and have been keeping humankind (and their own) safe since the Middle Ages. The Order's mission--and enemies--has expanded since the start of the series, but at its core, each novel is the journey of one warrior who must confront his past or personal demons in order to find his place of belonging and prove himself worthy of the one woman he is destined to share his life with.

2) If you were to throw a dinner party for anyone living or dead who would you invite and why?

I love this question because it changes depending on my state of mind. Today, for some reason, I'm feeling nostalgic, so I would say I'd invite all of my grandparents, since they're all gone now and none of them were ever really part of my life growing up.

My mom's father died when she was 2 years old in Germany, and my dad's mother died when I was a teenager, but she'd been estranged from most of his family from the time my dad was a kid. I'd only met my mom's mother once, when we visited her in Germany when I was 7 years old. Obviously, I don't have a lot of memories of her. As for my dad's father, he lived in Massachusetts (I grew up in Michigan), so we only saw him a handful of times when we vacationed at his cottage in the summer. After I was an adult, I visited him a couple more times and really enjoyed his company. However, just as we were finally getting to know each other, he had a heart attack and died alone in his apartment on the kitchen floor while making his morning coffee. It saddens me that he didn't live long enough to see me get published, because during our few conversations, he really encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a novelist.

3) If you were stranded on a deserted island what five must have things would you have with you?

My husband (too bad for him, but I wouldn't want to go it alone!). A knife. A flint for making fire. My glasses, since I'm blind as a bat otherwise (and they'd come in handy for making fire). And finally, I suppose it would be handy to have a pot for cooking and boiling water. Hey, I haven't watched 20 seasons of SURVIVOR for nothing!

4) What are your thoughts about hardcover/paperback verses ebooks/ereaders?

Purely from a reading standpoint? My absolute favorite format is mass market paperback. I love the feel of a book in my hand, but my wrists tire out if I have to hold a heavy hardcover for too long. What I don't like about paper, however, is that the pages dry out my fingertips! Yes, I read a LOT. =^) As for e-books, I have several readers (Kindle being my favorite, Sony, iPad) but I find they're all too heavy after a while, and it's simply not the same experience for me reading on an electronic device. It just doesn't feel like a book to me, but I know this is the way things are progressing and I also appreciate the fact that e-books are more environmentally friendly than paper.

From an author standpoint, when you get right down to it, the delivery format of my novels makes no difference to me. I'm interested to see how the big publishers are going to keep up with the changing landscape of publishing, and the same goes for booksellers. The industry as a whole will need to adapt, no doubt, but I personally feel that as long as there are authors coming up with great new stories and people eager to read them, then the delivery format shouldn't really matter (so long as copyrights are respected and enforced). I'm thrilled that my books are finding an audience, and I'm glad there are a multitude of options open to them in terms of the finished product. The way I see it, if people are reading--not only my books, but books in general, and in any delivery format--that's a good thing.

5) Can you tell us a little bit about The Midnight Breed Series and your latest release Taken By Midnight?

TAKEN BY MIDNIGHT is the 8th book in the series, and it features Brock, a Breed warrior who's one of the more recently recruited members of the Order. Readers met him for the first time briefly in MIDNIGHT AWAKENING (Book 3). Brock is an easy-going, gentle giant on the outside, but inside he's been carrying a huge emotional burden that's made him avoid anything but the most casual relationships. When he's asked to look after Jenna Darrow, a former Alaska state trooper who survived a vampire attack in SHADES OF MIDNIGHT (Book 7), Brock finds that the no-strings physical arrangement he shares with her quickly intensifies into something much stronger. And there are a couple more problems that Brock and Jenna have to face: she's human, also dealing with some strange after-effects of her ordeal in Alaska, and as if that weren't complicated enough, a secret from Brock's past arises, challenging their forbidden bond.

6) What does the future hold for you book wise? Also what does it hold for The Midnight Breed Series?

I've recently completed DEEPER THAN MIDNIGHT (Book 9) which is Hunter's story. Hunter is a unique hero, in that he was born and bred as an assassin for the Order's chief adversary, the vampire Dragos. In addition to being trained to kill and raised devoid of all comfort or emotional bonds, Hunter is also Gen One, the direct offspring of one of the original alien fathers of the Breed. I had a great time drawing him out of the neglect of his past and giving him a kindred spirit heroine--and a future--I think he's deserving of.

Right now, the Midnight Breed series consists of ten volumes, concluding with Sterling Chase's (aka Harvard) story in DARKER AFTER MIDNIGHT. However, even though the main story arc will resolve with Book 10, I'm not ready to leave the characters or the world of the Midnight Breed. I plan to continue the series, and I've already sketched out the next couple of books, which I can't wait to begin. As soon as I have more information on them--including publishing details--I'll post the news on my website (www.LaraAdrian.com) and on the official series fan page on Facebook (http://bit.ly/LAMBfans).

Thanks for inviting me to visit your blog today! I appreciate all the interest and support for my books.



I want to thank Lara for stopping by my blog and being just the fabulous author that she is. If you haven't read any of Lara's Books you really should pick them up and discover why some many of us simply LOVE HER. Comments are very welcome but not necessary to enter. To enter the giveaway simply fill out this FORM.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Review Of Don't Sweat The Small Stuff By Don Bruns

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff By Don Bruns

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing (December 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Mystery/Crime/Comedy*
  • ISBN-10: 1933515791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933515793
  • Source: Amazon.Com (link to purchase HERE)
  • Purchase: Barnes And Noble (link to purchase HERE)

  • *I added that because that was what the book consisted of.


    Roommates Skip Moore and James Lessor of More or Less Investigations receive PI licenses from the Florida Department of Agriculture ("Don't ask why.... This is Florida. They just do things a little differently here") in Bruns's diverting if predictable fourth mystery to feature the bumbling sleuths (after 2009's Stuff to Spy For). When Moe Bradley, owner of the Moe Show carnival, hires James to be his new marketing director, he also asks them to find out who's been sabotaging the rides. A faulty safety bar on one ride has resulted in a 32-year-old woman being thrown to her death. After Kevin Cross, who knows too much about the carny for his own good, turns up shot to death in his trailer, the action, leavened with plenty of laid-back dialogue, picks up steam and concludes on a cool cliffhanger. Skip's girlfriend, Emily, and their PI pal, Jody Stacy, who supplies the pair with spy toys, add to the fun.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I found out (after the fact, and no I didn't see the blurb before I read this book....lol) that this book is part of a series of books featuring Skip Moore and James Lessor. After reading this book I am so going out and buying the rest of this series. Skip and James were too funny of a duo. They both have their own way of doing things which makes for hilarious hijinks's. This bumbling duo find themselves in way over their heads when James drags Skip into another one of his great hair brained schemes. This time they need to visit a traveling carnival called the Moe Show so James can learn the ins and outs of the business and what not as their new marketing director. Having just gotten their PI licenses they are rather shocked to be approached shortly after arriving at the Moe Show by Moe Bradley himself with a proposition. Moe needs James and Skip to investigate the recent troubles his traveling carnival has been having but he also needs them to keep it on the down low so as not to cause a panic among the other carnies. How James and Skip go about it is truly a work of comedic art. One thing after another thing happens to these two which takes this book to a whole new level of the blind leading the blind. Their investigation style is so inept that a monkey could do it better but that is the pure gem of this book. Their total lack of knowledge and stupidity keeps you coming back for even more. I so can not forget to mention Jody Stacy the PI pro who helped get Skip and James their licenses. He is too funny because he sells surveillance equipment to this dynamic duo time and again and he can't seem to give them a price for it. His famous lines are usually something like "I'll send you the bill" or "if you don't like it you can always return it" which to me is priceless (pun intended....lol). How they fall for this time and again is any ones guess but it makes for some funny situations. I am afraid to say any more because I don't want to give away any of the suspects or spy gadgets. If I did that it might spoil this awesome story for some people and I wouldn't want to do that. On a scale of 1-10 I give this book a 10 even though it is part of a series I read it without any problems keeping up. Any reference to other situations they were in seemed just like regular back story stuff and didn't hinder my reading (although now I know it is referencing other books in the series). If you like a quirky duos, crime novels, mysteries, or just a great story all together I urge you to pick up a copy of Don't Sweat The Small Stuff it truly is a great book and well worth the read.


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