28 April 2011

Interview + Giveaway: Thea Harrison

Next week one of my favourite books of 2011 is being released. Today we have Thea Harison here with us answering a few questions about Dragon Bound.

What can you tell us about Dragon Bound?

Dragon Bound is the story of what happens when you get two people with opposing philosophies together. Pia, the heroine, ascribes to that old adage from Charles Schultz’s Peanut characters: there is no problem so big you can’t run away from it. On the other hand, Dragos believes there is no problem so small, no theft so minor, that he can’t track it down. It’s sort of their version of the unstoppable force meeting the immoveable object. Through the course of the story Dragos discovers he might enjoy being surprised by Pia, and Pia realizes there are some problems she doesn’t actually want to run away from.

The main characters are Wyr (or at least half Wyr). What exactly is a Wyr? Do they all have similar abilities or does it depend on the type of Wyr they are?

Wyr are, in essence, two-natured creatures, or shape shifters. All Wyr have a few abilities that are similar. They have a human form and some kind of animal or “other” form (such as gargoyles or harpies), the ability to shift between the two, enhanced healing capabilities, and they mate for life. Wyr have plenty of differences as well. There are three main different classifications of Wyr. Immortal Wyr came into being at the Earth’s formation. Normal Wyr can be any kind of animal species with a lifespan of around two hundred years old. Unique Wyr have animal forms that do not appear in mundane species, and they may have lifespans that differ from the usual. Individual difference also occur in the Wyr.

Let’s talk about the Elder Races. How long have they existed? What kind of creatures or societies are considered part of the Elder Races?

The Elder Races are essentially any creature or society that existed before the proliferation of humankind civilization. The Elder Races are often long-lived and magical in nature and they tend to cluster in or near to Other lands. There are the Wyrkind and the Elves, the Light and Dark Fae, the Nightkind, and Demonkind. Like the Wyrkind classification, there are many types of creatures labeled Nightkind and Demonkind. Because they have Power and are not mundane, human witches are also considered part of the Elder Races.

In the continental U.S. there are seven Elder Races demesnes. The seat of the Wyrkind demesne is based in New York City. The seat of Elven demesne is based in Charleston, South Carolina. The Dark Fae’s demesne is centered in Chicago, and the Light Fae demesne is based in Los Angeles. The Nightkind, which includes all forms of Vampyres, controls the San Francisco/Bay area and the Pacific Northwest, while the human witches, considered part of the Elder Races due to their command of magical Power, are based in Louisville, Kentucky. Demonkind, like the Wyr and the Vampyres, consist of several different types that included goblins and Djinn, and their seat is based in Houston.

In the world you’ve created the Elder Races and the humans live openly among each other. Was there some sort of revelation in the past or have humans always known about them? Are there any races that remain secret?

Well, secrets and machinations abound in the Elder Races, so you never know! But mostly in this universe humans have always known about the Elder Races. For example, in ancient Egypt and Greece, people of the Elder Races were often considered gods by humans. At some point I think it would be very interesting do more world-building and write about those alternative histories. For now I content myself with telling those histories in bits and pieces as background for the main stories.

The main villains in the story are the Dark Fae. What started the animosity between them and the Wyr? Is there any other type of Fae that is not dark? What are the differences between them if they exist?

There are two types of Fae, the Light Fae and the Dark Fae. Ireland has two demesnes, a Light Fae and a Dark Fae, where the kingdoms are seated in Other lands. In the United States, the Dark Fae are based in Chicago but they have mostly been sequestered in their Other land named Adriyel. The Light Fae are based in Los Angeles.

Aside from geographical and political differences, the Dark Fae and the Light Fae are also different in coloring and in manifestations of Power. The Light Fae is a blond, charismatic race, with either blue or green eyes, and they have an aversion to iron. The Dark Fae are black-haired, with pale skin and gray eyes, and they often have a gift for metallurgy.

What are you working on right now? Do you plan to write a story that doesn’t have any Wyr as main characters? I find Quentin to be a very interesting character ... any hopes on him getting his own story?

Ah, yes, Quentin. His story might well be coming up soon (hint hint). Right now I am working on book four in the series, currently titled Oracle’s Moon. This is my first foray into main characters that are not Wyr. The story is set in the human witches’ demesne of Louisville, Kentucky. Demonkind are also involved. I’m quite excited! There are so many possibilities to explore in the Elder Races universe. In fact, I’m making early plans for a story about Elves soon!

Thanks so much for being here today, Thea!

Thanks so much for having me! It’s been a pleasure to visit with you, and to share some of the Elder Races universe with readers!

You can find out more about Thea and her books on her site.
You can also check out my review of Dragon Bound here.


I have one copy of Dragon Bound to giveaway.
US/Canada only / Ends May 5th.
All you have to do is fill out the form.

Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Title: Dragon Bound
Author: Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Publisher
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.

This book was an incredible start to a fantastic new series. You have a smart, sassy heroine that doesn't let herself be controlled by anything or anyone; an arrogant, always in charge hero who unexpectedly starts caring for someone other than himself; an amazing world building full of all kinds of creatures; and an intriguing bad guy who won't stop until he gets what he wants, the hero dead.

I loved the relationship between Pia and Dragos, especially that it wasn't love at first sight (more like lust at first dream), instead their love story developed all through the book. While Dragos is the ultimate alpha male, Pia never let him take charge of her life and stood up for herself at all times.

I also liked the other wyr. They are Dragos' closest friends but they are also part of the guard. They are bodyguards, they deal with the most important parts of Dragos' business, they are powerful and they trust each other. In other words, they are family. They were one of the things I liked the most about the book and I really hope they get their own stories.

The world building was fascinating and while in this novel we only got to discover the wyr race in depth I hope we get more information about the other races, especially the Fae, in future books.

Overall, this was an amazing book with great, interesting characters, a very creative world building, plenty of action, but most importantly, an incredible romance between the main characters.

Memorable Lines:

I'm sorry, the message said.
The theft was a violation of privacy. It was an unbelievable act of impudence and disrespect. Not only that, it was—baffling. He was murderous, incandescent with fury. He was older than sin and could not remember when he had last been in such a rage.
He looked at the paper again.
I'm sorry I had to take your penny. Here's another to replace it.

Yep, that's what it said.
One corner of his mouth twitched. He gave himself a deep shock when he burst into an explosive guffaw.

Next Books:
2. Storm's Heart (August 3, 2011)
3. Serpent's Kiss (October 4, 2011)


27 April 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

Title: Magic Slays
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Ace
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn't easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn't bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt.

15 April 2011

Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Title: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Author: Molly Harper
Series: Naked Werewolf #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: February 22, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Publisher

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

I've read and loved Molly Harper's previous paranormal series so I had really high expectations. This series is very different from the other one and I personally think that's a very good thing.

Mo, the main character, practically run away from her parents to find some peace and quiet in Alaska. The town doesn't like her instantly, but after a while she's considered a local. I loved Grundy or more especifically the people. They are funny and care for each other or leave you alone depending on what that person needs.

Cooper is the ultimate loner and a first doesn't have a positive reaction to Mo, meaning that he likes her but doesn't really know how to show it. He's keeping a big secret (that he's a werewolf) and that influences most of things he does.

The first interactions between Mo and Cooper are very funny and it was great seeing them develop a romantic relationship although Cooper does some things toward the end that didn't make me like him much.

There are also some murders that need to be solved that eventually tie up to the werewolves, and while they seemed important it wasn't very interesting.

The thing I was missing the most in the book was Mo's parents. We are told several unusual and interesting things about them all along the book and I would have loved for them to get more page time.

By the way, I loved the chapter titles. They always made me smile.

This was a funny romance book with awesome characters, especially Cooper's pack, Mo's parents and most of the population of Grundy. I can't wait to read the next book, who has Cooper's sister as the main character.

Next Book:
2. The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf


13 April 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

I know I'm a little late but I still wanted to post this week's WoW.

Title: Hard Bitten
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: NAL
Edition: Trade Paperback

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals--and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are ... tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society--a world full of vampires who seem too ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...