Sidhe Vicious Reviews

Spoiler Free Reviews & More Book-ish Goings On :)

Winners


I used random.org to pick the winners from both the Sonya Bateman giveaway and from Mary Hughes giveaway, so here they are!

A signed copy of Sonya Bateman’s Master of None: #81 – Christine H

An e-book copy of Biting Me Softly: #19 – Yesenia

Your choice of an e-book of Biting Nixie, The Bite Of Silence or Bite My Fire: #37 –  Stella (Ex Libris)

Congratulations Ladies!! 🙂 Please contact me at sidhevicious(at)shaw(dot)ca. If I haven’t heard back from the winners in 7 days, new names will be drawn from the eligable entrants.

Congratulations!

 A huge thanks goes out to Sonya Bateman & Mary Hughes! It was a pleasure to have you ladies here at SVR. 🙂

I’d also like to thank everyone who left comments to be entered. I really enjoyed reading your answers and hope to see more of you all here at SVR.

If you didn’t win, I still have a giveaway to win a signed copy of Jess Haines’ debut urban fantasy, Hunted By The Others HERE, and a chance to win a copy of Ardeur: 14 Writers On The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series HERE.

Happy Reading everyone. 🙂

This gorgeous fae graphic is “Beauty_with_wings_by_Dezzan”

 

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April 29, 2010 Posted by | Contest, Contests, Uncategorized, Winners | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Hughes – Interview & Giveaway


Happy Monday! 😀 Ok, I know, I can just hear you all grumbling back at me, “what’s so happy about Mondays?” For one, I have Mary Hughes here to talk about her Biting Love Series! She’s here to celebrate the release of the fourth book in the series, Biting Me Softly, along with a giveaway for not one, but two e-books. There, see, your Monday just got a little bit better didn’t it?

I first discovered Mary Hughes when I saw an add for Biting Nixie in RT Magazine. The blurb hooked me, I ordered a copy for myself and I’ve since bought all of her books because, yes, she’s that good! So without futher delay, on to the interview. The giveaway details will be after the interview.

Sidhe Vicious welcomes paranormal romance author Mary Hughes! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and all about your latest novel Biting Me Softly.

Thanks for having me here today! I’m excited to get started but I was wondering if I could ask you a question first? Is there significance to the name? (Since sidhe is also a word for home of the fae…)

Hmm.. I’m going to be giving away some confidential trade secrets here, but… here goes! LOL I’ve always been fascinated by Fae and it’s my understanding that “Sidhe” is actually another word for Fae, Faerie, Fairie, Wee Ones, Tuatha de Dannan, etc. I”ve also been into punk, goth and industrial techno for years, so anyone who knows some of the history of those genres of music, knows who Sid Vicious or Sid and Nancy are. I was trying to think of a cool name for my blog and came up with the play on Sid Vicious by using Sidhe instead of Sid.

Also, anyone who knows about the Sidhe knows that there are Seely and Unseely Sidhe, meaning the “Light” and “Dark” fae, so seeing as how a lot of people, myself included, are intrigued by the “dark side”, I decided that Sidhe Vicious would or could also be an homage to darker side of the Fae, some of which can be quite vicious. And there you have it! 🙂

Biting Me Softly will be released on April 20th by Samhain Publishing. Can you tell us about it and a bit about the main characters Liese and Logan?

Sure! Liese is the girl next door, blonde, blue-eyed and a little overweight from her hometown diet of bratwurst and beer—oh, and she’s a computer geek. She has what my husband calls ISSSSues, the biggest being her ex-fiancé. He stole her work, stole her job, and married her replacement (yeah, ISSSSues). Enter movie-star gorgeous Logan Steel, blond hair, hazel eyes glinting gold, exuding mystery and magic and raw sex appeal. Well, until he opens his mouth and talks ☺. Logan’s smart, decisive, and falls for Liese pretty much right away but she can’t believe someone like him could love someone like her.

Nothing tells about the story like the blurb:

Blood, sex, violence. Blood, okay, but computer geek Liese Schmetterling had enough S&V when her cheating ex fired her. Now security expert—and lip-smacking gorgeous—Logan Steel saunters into her Blood Center, setting fire to her libido. And threatening her job.

Visions of pink slips dancing in her head, Liese tries to push Logan away without touching his jutting pecs…or ridged abs. Or petting the Vesuvius in his jeans. He’s hiding something, but it doesn’t seem to matter when his smiles stun her, his kisses crank her to broiling and his bites rocket her to heaven. Fangy bites which, if she weren’t grounded in science, would make her think ampire-Vay.

Centuries old and tragedy-scarred, Logan’s mission is to fortify the Blood Center’s electronic defenses against his nemesis, the leader of a rogue vampire gang. He’s ready for battle but not for Liese, who slips under his skin, laughs at his awful puns, charges beside him into dark, scary places—and tastes like his true love.

No matter how often Logan declares his love, Liese can’t bring herself to trust him. But when his archenemy comes after her, not trusting him may cost her life…

Warning: contains explicit vampire sex involving absurdly large male equipment (hey, they’re monsters), unbelievable stamina (just how long can he stay underwater in a hot tub?), hide-your-eyes violence and horrendously bad puns. And, just when you think it can’t get any worse, a computer geekette trying to play Mata Hari.

I wonder why I have a visual of Brad Pitt in Troy stuck in my head right now? *Grins* 😉 What about vampires inspired you to write about them?

I love alpha males, and vampires are the ultimate alpha. Watered-down versions notwithstanding, vampires are faster, stronger, and more resilient than any human, any other monster, and can hold their own against demigods.

On an introspective note, I discovered recently that vampires represent triumph to me, conquering everything I fear: blood, death and things that go bump in the night.

That’s interesting! Also, I love me some alpha males too! (In case anyone who reads my blog was unclear about that before). Will we be seeing more of Logan and Liese in the future? Do you have more books planned for the Biting Love series of books?

Right now I’m working on a full-length Biting Love story tentatively titled Biting the Rainbow where Liese makes a brief appearance. But I’m sure both Liese and Logan will be around for twin brother Luke’s story!

Ooohh… now Luke, he is a bad boy. I can’t wait to see what vixen you will find to tame his player ways! He he. How did you get your start in writing? What, if anything, lit the “spark” to get you started and keep you motivated?

I’ve told myself stories during downtime since forever (what do you do when you wait in lines or can’t get to sleep?). It was a natural step from there to writing them—or trying to! There’s a lot I had to learn, a lot that goes into a story to make it a book other people would want to read.

The basic spark for my writing is that I’m genuinely excited by love, by a growing relationship between two people. I have to keep coming back to that, because there are a lot of aspects to storytelling that get in the way (little things like plot and theme☺). Those aspects are important but as you said, it’s the “spark” that gets a writer started and keeps her going.

What was the path to publication on this, your fourth PR novel like? Highlights? Pitfalls?

Oh, wow, that’s a loaded question, LOL! Biting Me Softly was actually the first story that caught my publisher’s interest (the awesome Samhain Publishing). Don’t get me wrong, I wrote Elena’s story first (Bite My Fire) and then Nixie’s (Biting Nixie), but when I tried to sell Elena…well, there wasn’t a huge market for funny/paranormal/erotic/romance four years ago. Then Samhain issued a call for just those elements! I was heart-in-throat excited-scared, and immediately dashed off a story about a computer geekette and the blond god of a vampire she falls for. It didn’t sell but it did get passed on to another editor who made recommendations for a resubmit. I asked if I could submit Nixie in the meantime (2nd in the series but I hadn’t made my first sale yet, and I wanted to nail it. I thought and still think Nixie just sings). The editor bought Nixie and then bought the first, Elena’s story (with some rather important rewrites that really jump-started the pace). Then I went back to Liese to expand the short story into a novel. In the meantime, an opportunity came for a New Years novella. Since I’d wanted to give Twyla her own vampire (and since the plotfairy granted me a plot), I wrote The Bite of Silence.

And now, finally, the short story I wrote in 2008 is appearing as Biting Me Softly.

Wow, that’s kinda convoluted, but I actually managed to follow it, lol. I am personally ecstatic that it all came together and you were able to publish all four stories as I LOVED the two that I’ve read and have already purchased Bite My Fire and The Bite Of Silence to devour later. Here’s to many more in the series!

Who or what was your inspiration for the characters of Liese & Logan, if any?

All my characters are based on me, LOL! Which is kind of demented, when you think about it. I’m either the worst schizophrenic in the universe or I have real gender issues.

Okay, not the whole character is me, not by a long shot. I base some personality traits on family members and a few people I know. Some is observed or plain imagination. But having at least a seed of myself inside each helps me write authentic characters. Liese uses my computer knowledge, and her fear of rejection and losing her job is mine. Logan has my husband’s love of puns and his saunter, but my doggedness.

I usually ask myself three things when I come up with a couple. -What is her issue? -What’s his? -How do they help each other heal? If solving her problem helps solve his and vice versa, that’s even better.

Did you find it harder or easier to write subsequent novels in this series because of already having created this world?

Oh, both! There’s a non-answer. Easier because I’ve been living in Meiers Corners so long I have maps and lingo and story arcs already started. Harder because I’m trying to balance old-familiar against new-interesting. I know existing readers of the series want to see some of the friends they’ve already met, find out how they’re doing. But I only have 90,000 words! And someone new to the universe might get lost if they meet everyone in their first book.

The book I’m writing now has the first ever meeting of the V-Wives of Meiers Corners and Surrounds, over half a dozen humans at one table. While I’m finding it a hoot to write, the challenge is to make sure new readers are quickly but completely comfortable with who’s who.

Another challenge is coming up with new ways to say things. Not actually thinking up fresh phrases, that’s just hard-but-satisfying work. But knowing if I’ve already phrased an important concept that way, if I’ve made that joke. The more stories I write the more I get slowed down just back-checking against what I’ve already written.

I don’t know how writers of series keep it all straight even with a “bible” of the characters and worlds in which they live. My hat’s off to you all. Do you have any funny writing quirks or habits that you do when you’re in the “zone” writing?

Like people who snore when they sleep, I really don’t know!

What supernatural power or creature would you most like to have or be?

A wizard! I’d love to blow things up with magic. When I’m not earning a living or watching TV/movies with my family I play PC RPGs. Right now it’s Titan’s Quest, but my favourite is Baldur’s Gate II. The game itself is superb, but voice-over talent is the best in the business.

I’ve never played an RPG game, though there is some guy out there using the name sidhe vicious on RPG.net, but I am completely ignorant about which ones are good and what not. I’m a sucker for puzzle games myself.

Who is your favourite paranormal or urban fantasy fictional character and why? (Not counting your own of course)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Or Polgara the Sorceress in David Eddings’ Pawn of Prophecy and subsequent books. Women who can lead or follow, who can level the enemy or make tea, women who may be domestic or not, but if they are it’s because they choose it. Multifaceted, talented women for whom saving the world is all in a day’s work.

I saw in your interview on Book-lover that you read Nancy Drew. She’s not paranormal but wouldn’t it be great to have that little roadster, eat luncheons and solve mysteries?

LOL, yep! The Nancy Drew days were a zillion years ago for me. I’ve since “fallen” for characters more in line with Buffy or Selene from Underworld. Who knew that Nancy could lead us young and impressionable girls to kick a$$ paranormal heroines?

Who’s your favourite author? TV show? Movie?

I have so many! Most of my friends have one they really resonate with (you know, the fave your friend not only wants you to see/read but she sits you down, brings out her Special Edition copy, and watches/reads it with you?). I’ve done that with Dorothy Dunnett’s book Checkmate, BBC show Blackadder III, and movie The Princess Bride.

Then there are the comfort reads (reread until they’re falling apart). A few of mine are Sunshine by Robin McKinley, The Black Jewels Trilogy of Anne Bishop, Glen Cook’s Garrett, P.I. novels and the second Black Dagger Brotherhood of JR Ward. And Bambi, heaven help me. We have all 7 seasons of Buffy on DVD. I have tons more but your column’s only so long!

Interestingly, the book that had the biggest impact on me, I’ll never read again. My then middle-school son recommended Bridge to Terabithia. Wanting to be a good mom (he’d never recommended a book to me before) I read it, thinking ah, youthful tale. Well yes. And definitely no. I can’t even write this without choking up.

I know exactly what you mean. How have the books you’ve read influenced the books you write?

I learn something from just about everything I’ve read! Colleen McCullough on handling a large cast of characters; and Dorothy Dunnett for just plain gorgeous writing. Eddings for making word choice count.

What do you do when you’re having writer’s block to “shake” it off?

I’m glad you asked! I recently had some revelations on writer’s block. Here they are, my pearls of wisdom ☺.

I hit Writers Slowdown—because of course we always can write, it just gets incredibly hard sometimes—two ways. Not enough structure, or too much work.

Not enough structure is easy to remedy. Just smack me with a deadline! Nothing like the old red-circled date on the calendar, at least not for increasing quantity and surprisingly, often on quality as well.

Too much work has a two-part solution for me. Take Time to Play. When ideas slow down it’s often because I’m out of juice, because the muse is busy paying bills and cleaning cat boxes. And Throw Away Obstacles. If I’m not playing it’s because my life’s gotten out of control. Issues, clutter, commitments—whatever. Time to simplify. Easy to say, hard to do. But worthwhile.

Here’s the last pearl. If I can’t get started, I Just Write Garbage. LOL! But two lovely things happen out of this. Writing garbage takes off the pressure to be perfect, puts a muzzle on Little Miss Inner Critic. And garbage is easy to edit. There’s so much to improve, I’m bound to find something! That’s a double-boost to the self-esteem. (WARNING: This pearl doesn’t work without the editing step☺)

What can a new reader expect from your book/series?

Alpha male hero vampires. Smart-mouthed heroines. Connection and romance. Hot, explicit sex (but with character development so there’s redeeming value LOL). Dark violence, some silliness. Deep issues but never slopping over into maudlin. There are layers to my stories that you can indulge in or not, depending on how you’re feeling that day. Mostly they’re just fun reads.

My primary aim is to take the reader out of this too-real world for a little while. I want her to be able to read my book in a warm bubble bath or on a train, on a frazzled-schedule day or a beach day, and each time find something of value to her.

Mission accomplished then! With this reader anyways. 🙂 Nevermind the looks I get when I literally laugh out loud while reading one of your books.

You write about vampires, did you do a lot of research or do you prefer to take what you already know and use your imagination for the rest?

I did a lot of research. Not only on various vampire mythologies, but into things like how much blood can a vampire drink before a human dies? How much blood would he need to drink to replenish? I decided early on that blood-as-food wasn’t going to work for me. My vampires drink blood but it goes directly into their veins. There’s a physiological reason for this that I’m trying not to reveal all at once but it’s pretty slick.

Anyway, my stories have to be real to me, so I ground them in what I can find. You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to find info on rooftops in Manhattan for The Bite of Silence. What would they look like, what are they made of…probably no one cares but me LOL. But the short answer is I have an idea first and if it’s not something I know about, I research it.

Trust me, I’ve heard of readers complaining about the minutest details of a book if they aren’t right, the nit-pickers, they are out there! I’m not one of them, thankfully. Are any of your characters particularly fun or easy for you to write? Any that are more difficult?

The most fun was Logan in Biting Me Softly because he’s so multifaceted. He goes from suave guy to burning warrior, from CEO to cute and boyish and more. More difficult are the redshirts. I try to have each face-in-the-crowd somehow identifiable, yet try to avoid stereotypes. One of those hard-but-satisfying-work things.

Do you have any tips for aspiring speculative fiction writers?

Love to make mistakes, and to turn those “mistakes” into something brand-new. Mistakes juxtapose strange things, put together vampires and grannies, people and lions. And while I don’t know any vampire grannies, shapeshifters are huge. Who knows what’s next?

Love to dream. Ask what-if, and then keep going. It’s easy to think, that’ll never work. What’s harder, but more fun and ultimately more rewarding, is finding a way to make your crazy idea not only work but make it believable.

Most importantly, writing isn’t a one-size-fits-all field. Celebrate what works for you!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us at SVR and with your readers?

Just a huge thanks, Judi, for having me here at Sidhe Vicious Reviews today! I look forward to hearing reader comments!  

Thanks so much for spending some time with us Mary!

—————————————————————————————–

     

Giveaway Details:

Mary Hughes has generously offered one winner an e-book copy of Biting Me Softly and to another winner, their choice of an e-book from her back list! Giveaway is open to Everyone. Mary will also be popping by to respond to questions or comments. 

Question:  If you could be a character in one of Mary’s Biting Love books, what would your “dream vampire” to fall for look like? Are you the Vin Diesel type, the Sam Worthington in Terminator: Salvation type, the Edward in Twilight type or the Brad Pitt in Troy type?    

For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question.  (+1 entry) OR a question for Mary (+1 entry)

 For extra entries:  

  • Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
  • If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive two extra entries, but be sure to let me know in the comments if you’re an old follower. (+2 entries)
  • Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to. ( add 1 entry each for  however many links you’ve done)
  • Follow me on Twitter, Add me as a friend on FaceBook, GoodReads, MySpace, Chapters Community or LibraryThing. (add 1 entry each for however many places you followed/friended me)
  •  
  • Contest is open to Everyone  and will run through April 28th until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on April 29th. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! :)

(I should also mention that if you’re leaving me a bunch of links in your comment, do not panic if it doesn’t show up right away. It just automatically gets held for me to moderate, which I will as soon as I’m online. :D )

 

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Contest, Contests, Interview, New Book Releases, New Releases, On My Bookshelf | , , , , , | 50 Comments

Biting Me Softly – Spotlight & Review


Biting Me Softly by Mary Hughes

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1122 KB
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 20, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038AUZ40
  • ISBN: 978-1-60504-974-8
  • Or go to Samhain Publishing to order other versions
  • Book Description:

    “He’s a candy box of sex appeal wrapped with a golden bow. She’s on a diet.

    Blood, sex, violence. Blood, okay, but computer geek Liese Schmetterling had enough S&V when her cheating ex fired her. Now security expert—and lip-smacking gorgeous—Logan Steel saunters into her Blood Center, setting fire to her libido. And threatening her job.

    Visions of pink slips dancing in her head, Liese tries to push Logan away without touching his jutting pecs…or ridged abs. Or petting the Vesuvius in his jeans. He’s hiding something, but it doesn’t seem to matter when his smiles stun her, his kisses crank her to broiling and his bites rocket her to heaven. Fangy bites which, if she weren’t grounded in science, would make her think ampire-Vay.

    Centuries old and tragedy-scarred, Logan’s mission is to fortify the Blood Center’s electronic defenses against his nemesis, the leader of a rogue vampire gang. He’s ready for battle but not for Liese, who slips under his skin, laughs at his awful puns, charges beside him into dark, scary places—and tastes like his true love.

    No matter how often Logan declares his love, Liese can’t bring herself to trust him. But when his archenemy comes after her, not trusting him may cost her life…

    Warning: contains explicit vampire sex involving absurdly large male equipment (hey, they’re monsters), unbelievable stamina (just how long can he stay underwater in a hot tub?), hide-your-eyes violence and horrendously bad puns. And, just when you think it can’t get any worse, a computer geekette trying to play Mata Hari.”

    My Thoughts:

    This is the fourth book in Mary Hughes’ Biting Love series, and it was a blast to read! I absolutely love Mary’s sense of humor which comes out in the richness of her characters. Liese and Logan made sparks fly while battling inner struggles as well as a bunch of rogue vampires who are out to get control of the blood center that Liese and then Logan work at.

    A few characters from past books make appearances during the telling of this tale, which I enjoyed. At times, it’s laugh out loud funny and at others, well between all the action, danger, steamy hot hook ups, it’s also a touching renewal of faith in falling in love. Throw Vampires into the mix, both good and bad, and it makes for a roller coaster of a ride! Mary Hughes is most definitely in my “auto buy” author category.

              5/5

    Buy Biting Me Softly at:

    AmazonSamhain Publishing

    Find out more about Mary Hughes at her website.

    April 19, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , | 2 Comments

    Biting Nixie – Spotlight & Review


     Biting Nixie by Mary Hughes

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing (Nov 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605044377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605044378
  • Book Description:

    “Nitro? Meet glycerin…A Biting Love Novel

    Punk musician Nixie Schmeling is a hundred pounds of Attitude who spells authority a-n-c-h-o-r and thinks buying insurance is just one more step toward death. So she really feels played when she’s “volunteered” to run the town’s first annual fundraising festival. Especially when she finds out it’s to pay for a heavy-hitting, suit-wearing lawyer—who’s six-feet-plus of black-haired, blue-eyed sex on a stick.

    Attorney Julian Emerson learned centuries ago that the only way to contain his dangerous nature is to stay buttoned up. He’s come from Boston to defend the town from a shady group of suits…and an even shadier gang of vampires. But his biggest problem is Nixie, who shreds his self-control.

    Nixie doesn’t get why the faphead shyster doesn’t understand her. Julian wishes Nixie would speak a known language…like Sanskrit. Even if they manage to foil the bloodthirsty gang, what future is there for a tiny punk rocker and a blue-blooded skyscraper?

    And that’s before Nixie finds out Julian’s a vampire…

    Product Warnings

    Contains more eye-popping sex, ear-popping language and gut-popping laughs than can possibly be good for you. And vampires. Not sippy-neck wimps, but burning beacons of raw sexuality—this means passionate blood-heating, violent bloodletting, and fangy bloodsucking. Oh, and cheese balls. Those things are just scary.” 

    My Thoughts:

    The cover and back cover blurb initially attracted me to this book and I was not dissapointed. This book delivers exactly what the blurb and product warnings promise! I laughed my head off and totally got caught up in Nixie’s world. I fell for Julian while she did and I loved every second along the way. Nixie is a unique character and I had a blast reading her and Julian’s story. This kind of book is what makes me love paranormal romance so much.

     

    The supporting characters were great, the plot just flew along and I’m hoping that there will be more books forth-coming about the world that Mary Hughes has created. Mary Hughes is new to me and I will definitely be following her website to see what’s next!

     

        
     
    Buy Biting Nixie at:
    Chapters
    Amazon

    January 13, 2010 Posted by | New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , | 6 Comments