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My TBR List For Summer + GIVEAWAY!

Inundated With Books

Untitled-1Are you like me…overwhelmed with piles of hundreds of books I’m dying to read, but not enough time to read them? Since I reinvented myself as an author/blogger/promo queen, the days seem to go by way too quickly. I used to read about five books a week—once I read an Outlander book in a DAY, believe it or not—but now I’m lucky to get through two. Now if I could hire someone to do clean the house and do the yard work, well, maybe I could get in one more. (Uh, maybe not. I’m not the greatest housekeeper. But the house and yard would certainly look better!)

So I thought I’d post a list of books I definitely want to get through this summer—before August 31. Not necessarily in this order:

*The Queen’s Favourites is an older hard copy I happen to have in my collection of Jean Plaidy/Philippa Carr books. I chose this one because it’s about Sarah Churchill and Anne Stuart, and last year I heard about their relationship while touring Blenheim Palace, which was built for the Duke of Marlborough (Sarah’s husband).

Of course, I have a few hundred others on my Kindle and several shelves full of print books, so these won’t even make a dent. And after my trip to Scotland (June 20-July 6), I may be inspired to add a few more Scotland-set books. Or even write one of my own, who knows?

What books are you planning to read this summer? Post your own list in the comment section and be eligible to win a deck of cards featuring covers of Ellora’s Cave books OR a Merry Monarchs card game from England (your choice). Will mail anywhere in the world!

Spotlight on Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Series

My friend Selene Grace Silver recommended this series to me about a year ago, and after reading the first one, I was hooked. Although I do enjoy paranormal romance on occasion, it’s far from my favorite—and these books are quite a bit more violent than I am accustomed to—but somehow, it all seems just right here. Perhaps because I can’t seem to stop laughing at the sassy quips to take the blood and gore seriously?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I LOVE the Valkyrie. They’re gorgeous and smart and immortal and pretty much think romantic relationships are a nuisance. They’ll go off on dangerous missions to save the world, but are superficial enough to be dazzled by sparkling objects, addicted to video games, and shopaholics (although they are rich enough that even Suze Orman would not object).

Their mates have to be really, really determined to win them. And yeah, that’s part of the charm of the series too. Who doesn’t love a sexy guy who recognizes you as the ONE PERSON who can make his immortal life worthwhile?

And I love the vampires and witches and demons and ghosts of the IAD world too! And that sometimes their mates are humans like me!

Untitled-1If you haven’t discovered the Immortals After Dark (IAD) series, you have a treat in store for you!

  1. “THE WARLORD WANTS FOREVER”: Myst and Nikolai (a $1.99 novella)
  2. A HUNGER LIKE NO OTHER: Emmeline and Lachlain
  3. NO REST FOR THE WICKED: Sebastian and Kaderin
  4. WICKED DEEDS ON A WINTER’S NIGHT: Bowen and Mariketa
  5. DARK NEEDS AT NIGHT’S EDGE: Neomi and Conrad
  6. DARK DESIRES AFTER DUSK: Cadeon and Holly
  7. KISS OF A DEMON KING: Rydstrom and Sabrina
  8. “Untouchable” a novel in DEEP KISS OF WINTER (a duology with Gena Showalter): Murdoch and Danii
  9. PLEASURE OF A DARK PRINCE: Lucia and Garreth
  10. DEMON FROM THE DARK: Carrow and Malkom
  11. DREAMS OF A DARK WARRIOR: Regin and Aidan
  12. LOTHAIRE: Lothaire and Ellie
  13. SHADOW’S CLAIM: Trehan and Bettina

When asked how many more IAD books are planned, Cole responds: “After 2012, there will be at least five more full-length novels. There really is no end in sight for the series. I have another dozen plotted out, so I’m ready for more if you are!

kresleycoleAbout the Author

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, as well as five award-winning historical romances.

A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Two of her favorite places to visit include the rain forests of Central America and the Far North Queensland area of Australia (where, by the way, she would not recommend swimming outside of the stinger nets–at night).

Cole’s trademark action, sensuality, and humor are best exemplified in her Immortals After Dark Series, which revolves around the Lore, a secret stratum of hundreds of immortal creatures–ranging from Vampires to Lykae, Furies to Shifters, and Fey to Valkyrie–that each have their strengths, weaknesses, and age old prejudices against the others. Though they secretly live among humans, they constantly war among themselves, which gives her a lot of material.

Her IAD books have been translated into seventeen foreign languages, garnered two RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.

Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.” She spends any free time traveling and enjoys all things related to boats and water. You can learn more about her and her work at www.kresleycole.com.

Vampire or Valkyrie: The Allure of the Paranormal Romance

kresley_coleAnyone who devoured fairy tales as much as I did as a child has to understand the seductive attraction of a world filled with magical creatures with the power to grant wishes and transform hum-drum reality into a fantasy world where anything is possible.

The science fiction genre holds the same appeal for me as fairy tales, which is why I also love futuristic romances. In fact, futuristic romance is a sub-category of the paranormal, which also includes time travel romance. My imagination thrives on the whole concept of visiting a future world with all sorts of miraculous technology and potential for adventure. It’s a world where anything can happen, a place where I can escape when the tedious nature of reality gets me down.

Don’t get me wrong: the paranormal world is not full of sunshine and roses. Vampires drink blood. Werewolves kill people. Even fairies can be evil, like Malificent in Sleeping Beauty. In Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, beserkers have to kill like a thousand people to become immortal, and Valkyries slice the heads off of vampires and goblins without a second thought. And even though they are immortal, immortals can still die, if they are not careful. Danger is everywhere in a paranormal romance.

But there’s just something about the romance between paranormals and/or paranormals and humans that keeps me riveted to my Kindle. Perhaps it’s the whole idea that one’s “perfect mate” is utterly and forever devoted to you that makes me feel that life with a besotted vampire might not be so bad, if a trifle bloody.

What paranormal creature would you like to be if you had the choice? Me, I’d be a Valkyrie. Perhaps they are a bit bloodthirsty and hard-hearted, but once they fall, they fall hard. Not to mention the witty sense of humor and unapologetic materialism, addiction to video games, and fascination for anything that glitters.

Tell me about your favorite paranormal creatures and authors. Do you think Kresley Cole is amazing? Let’s chat!