Guest Author Marla Martenson + Giveaway!

Please welcome my guest author for this week, Marla Martenson! Marla is the author of two self help books titled Excuse Me, Your Soul Mate is Waiting and Good Date, Bad Date. Her newest book is a memoir about her life as a matchmaker in Beverly Hills and it’s titled appropriately, Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker.

In this book which I recently reviewed, Marla dishes about the celebrities she has run into while working and what life is really like working in the town that was made famous in Pretty Woman. Please welcome, Marla Martenson!

Hi Marla! Thank you so much for being here today to talk to my readers! I loved your book and I have so many questions for you!

1. What made you decide to write a book about your job as a matchmaker?

Since I had written two self -help books already about dating, I really had nothing left to say on the subject as far as giving advice, so I was thinking about what I could write next. I really enjoy reading Jen Lancaster’s memoirs and I am a big fan of the chick lit genre, so I decided to write a memoir about my experience as a matchmaker, which is a very unusual job. It turned out so well and was so much fun to do, that I am now writing the sequel to Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker.

2.  Please tell me about your worst client experience and your best experience.

I guess the worst client experience was the story in the book about Frank Stein, a lawyer who was screaming at me over the phone, threatening to sue me because I tried to match him up with a 48 year old woman. “I don’t date 48 year old women, they don’t look good!” He barked at me before he threatened to sue me.

The best experience I had was when I was invited to the wedding of a couple I matched up (that story is in the book as well) I felt like I really made a difference in someone’s life.

3.  Do you still work as a matchmaker?

I do still work as a matchmaker, however I now have my own boutique company called Cupid For Hire, visit me at http://www.cupidforhire.com/

4.  How many of your clients have ended up married as a result of you matching them together?

I have been a matchmaker for almost nine years now, so there have been countless couples that have gone on to get married, I have no idea how many.

5.  Do you have any plans to write a fiction novel?

Funny you should ask, because I have a novel that is halfway finished. I started it about five years ago and I got stuck in the middle and busy with my other books. I was just thinking about it today though and how I really need to get back to it because it is very funny. It is about a single waitress in Chicago and all of her dating disasters and adventures.

6.  What are you currently working on?

I am currently trying to finish up the sequel to Dairy of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker. It will be published in spring of 2011. There are more outrageous stories and funny situations that I deal with so stay tuned.

7.  If you could match any two celebrities up, who would it be?

I would love to be able to find Jennifer Aniston a good guy since she is always going for the bad boys. And if Rod Stewart was single and I was single, I would like to match the two of us up together. J

8.  How do you stay so positive even when things are going wrong in life?

That is a good question. It’s not easy these days with the economy so bad and hearing about the oil spill, and day –to- day stresses that we all deal with. I tend to be a very cheery and upbeat person in general, but I find myself getting down sometimes like everyone else. I am usually able to pull myself out of it pretty quickly by thinking about all that is good in my life, starting with my health and having a place to live. I really do recite affirmations and pray and am grateful for what I do have instead of focusing on what I don’t have, and it helps me keep a positive attitude.

9.  What is your #1 piece of advice for couples?

My # 1 piece of advice would be to have a short memory. My husband and I get into squabbles and become aggravated with each other, but luckily we let it go and forget about it very quickly. Don’t bring up something your other half did last week, month or last year, its over and done with, move on and be happy.

10.  If your book was a movie, who would you have play yourself and your husband?

My book is actually being shopped as a film or TV series and there are several fabulous actresses that I could picture playing me, such as, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Sara Jessica Parker, Sandra Bullock or Kristin Davis. I only have one man in mind to play Adolfo, and that is Antonio Banderas!

11. What authors do you enjoy reading?

I read a lot and there are so many amazing authors out there. As far as chick lit goes, I love Jane Green, Jen Lancaster and Caprice Crane, I like to read anything by David Sedaris and Laurie Notaro, they are incredibly witty and brilliant. I also adore Rohinton Mistry, Khaled Hosseini and Elizabeth Gilbert. And as far as self help goes, I enjoy Wayne Dyer, Dan Miller, Deepak Chopra and Eckart Tolle to name a few.

12. What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading several books on marketing, since I am in the middle of promoting Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker and need all the advice I can get.

13. How long does it take you to write a book?

I have been putting out a book per year. It generally takes me anywhere from six to nine months to write a book, but that is not sitting down everyday all day like a full time job, since the first three books were all written while I was working full time at the matchmaking company. If I could just write, I imagine I could finish a book in three months.

14. What is a typical writing day like for you?

I never have a typical writing day, some days I write for a few hours, some an hour and some days not at all. But I write on my MacBook Air at a little desk in the living room, or snuggled up in my bed with a pillow as a desk. Since I have been writing memoirs, sometimes I have to wait until something interesting or exciting happens to me so that I have something to write about. I often will plan to do something different or crazy in the hopes that a good story will come out of it.

15. If you could have one wish, what would it be?

Oh boy… just one? I would wish that Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker makes it to number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

16.  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?

I love and appreciate all of you and I want to encourage you to go for your dreams. I wanted to be a published author since I was about eight years old. I finally got the courage to go for it a few years ago and got published at the age of 45. So, it’s never too late for a dream to come true!


Marla is giving away one copy of Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker to a lucky reader who leaves a comment or question for her on this post. Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Contest will end on July 8th at 7:00 pm EST and is open to US residents only.

Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker Review

Marla Martenson works as a matchmaker in Beverly Hills by day and writes self help books about love by night. Beverly Hills is an extremely superficial place to be with rich, bald, fat men only wanting gorgeous stick thin women with big breasts who are 20 years younger then them.

It is Marla’s job to find true love for two complete strangers and hope that the matches she makes work out. But her clients never make it easy on her. They have crazy demands such as only wanting women with a certain type of breasts (specifically no one with large areolas!), no one older then 35 even if they are 60 years old themselves, dictating exactly what the woman’s past should be, what hobbies she should have, and worst of all, calling anyone over 110 pounds fat and anyone under 5’3 too short.

Marla herself is a beautiful woman but with living in Beverly Hills, she can’t help but to feel fat (at only 120 pounds) or not perfect enough at times. She recites affirmations at the end of every chapter of things she wants to be true because she believes if you speak it out loud you will speak it into existence. Marla’s positive attitude and upbeat personality shine through the pages of this book and you can’t help but read with a smile on your face.

Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker reads like a fiction novel told in first person point of view, but is a memoir. The emails scattered throughout the book from Marla’s clients are a lot of fun to read and always hilarious. Marla’s interactions with her Latin musician husband Adolfo, are so funny that I had to bookmark certain parts. They call each other Lucy and Ricky and you can definitely see why. Marla has red hair but more brains then Lucy and Adolfo is Latin and a musician just like Ricky Ricardo!

My favorite part of this book was the part where Marla would sneakily run to the garbage shoot to throw her husband’s unpaired socks away behind his back so he wouldn’t know about them. I read Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker in two days and couldn’t put this book down for a second.

I felt completely satisfied upon finishing this book since Marla’s great energy can’t help but rub off on you! Overall, I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a humorous memoir that will keep them laughing and entertained. I look forward to reading anything and everything else Marla Martenson writes since I am now hooked on her writing. I would love for her to write a fiction novel since she definitely has the talent to write a great story.

Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker is available for order on Amazon
Visit author Marla Martenson's website


Winner of Enid Wilson Contest!

The winner of an e-book and necklace from Enid Wilson is


Congrats! Please email me through the link in my profile with your name and address and I will forward it on to Enid Wilson to get your prizes out to you! You have two days to contact me and if I don't hear from you, I will pick another winner. Thanks everyone for joining in the fun!

My Soul to Keep Review

When Kaylee discovers that somehow Demon’s Breath has found its way into our world and teenagers are using it to get high, she is horrified. It’s a highly addicting substance and it can lead to insanity or death. Together Nash and Kaylee try to save their friends from taking the drug before they lose their minds. Their secret life as bean sidhes are very close to being exposed if people find out where this drug really comes from.

In the mean time Kaylee is terrified to go to sleep after waking up in the Netherworld in the middle of the night. Somehow, because of her constantly traveling back and forth between the two worlds, her body has become accustomed to going to the Netherworld. The only time she can sleep is when someone is in the room to wake her if she starts singing her song, so Nash is there to protect her from traveling again.

Kaylee and Nash embark on a desperate search for answers to find out what Netherworlder is dealing to the kids at their school. But not everything is what it seems. When Kaylee finds out Nash has been keeping secrets from her, she has no idea how far he’s gone. These secrets could potentially end both of their lives and it is up to Kaylee with the help of Nash’s reaper brother Tod, to save a town of people before it’s too late.

My Soul to Keep is the third book in the Soul Screamers Series featuring bean sidhe/banshee Kaylee. With each new book, I am further impressed and blown away by how wonderful this series is. My Soul to Keep is by far the darkest of all of the books and is scary at times.

The world that Rachel Vincent has created in this YA series is so realistic but horrifying at the same time. Whenever Kaylee travels to the Netherworld, I feel her terror and I’m right there by her side living it all through her. I feel her heartache, her pain, her fears, all of it.

Kaylee is a strong relatable character that doesn’t need someone to save her. She is only sixteen but thinks things through beyond her years and doesn’t fall for the sneaky tricks Netherworlders try to fool her with. There is always a shocking surprise in these books and I love that it’s not predictable.

I read for hours and when I woke up this morning I was still thinking about this book. My Soul to Keep is haunting and it really captured me, mind, body and soul. I am completely in love with The Soul Screamers Series and I will follow Kaylee Cavanaugh wherever she goes, to Hell and back. I am a complete and utter fan girl now of Rachel Vincent’s books and eagerly await the fourth book, My Soul to Steal due out January 1, 2011.

Thank you Net Galley for providing me with this e-book copy for review!


Winner of The Summer of Skinny Dipping....

The winner of a copy of The Summer of Skinny Dipping is.....


Congrats!! I will email you through the address you provided. I hope you enjoy this book. I loved it so much! Thanks everyone for commenting. And if you want to snag your own copy of this book, it is available for order:

Barnes and Noble (free shipping on any order as long as you have a membership card!)
Book Depository (free shipping anywhere. It takes a while to get to you but it's free shipping!)


The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove Review

Jane Garcia is sixteen years old and wants what every young girl wants, love. After growing up in a neglectful group home, Jane receives an opportunity of a lifetime. She’s offered a full scholarship to a private girl’s school where only the prestigious attend. But everything comes at a price.

After a short time at the school, Jane starts to wonder about the headmistress and her family. There are strange occurances at Birch Grove and Jane is determined to find out the truth about this school. The last scholarship student disappeared and was never heard from again. Will Jane become another casualty or will her new life at Birch Grove be a happy one?

The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove is the first Young Adult book by the very talented Marta Acosta, author of the Casa Dracula Series. The story is told in a strong first person narrative that is heart breaking yet up lifting as the reader follows Jane and sympathizes with her struggles. At times, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove is reminiscent of the popular Twilight Series with the similar themes of angst ridden teenage love between two unlikely people.

The writing is absolutely addictive and I could not put this book down for a second. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. The suspense, mystery, romance and paranormal all together make a very exciting book that is sure to impress readers of various genres. Overall, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove is a breath taking, beautiful novel that should not be missed.

Read The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove for free on Scribd at this link
Visit Marta Acosta's


Guest Author Enid Wilson + Necklace & Ebook Giveaway!

Please welcome my guest author for this week, Enid Wilson!  Enid is sharing an excerpt today from her book In Quest of Theta Magic.  Make sure to read to the end to be entered in a very cool giveaway!

Finally, the wedding day came!

When the bride's wedding party arrived on the ceremonial premises, they all gasped out loud. In the center of the busiest plaza in Cosmos, a huge balloon floated in midair. The balloon was in rainbow colors and seemed to be made of semi-transparent material; they could vaguely see people moving around, inside of it. Even with her eagle sight, Elana Bailey could only make out silhouettes of the people in there; she couldn’t make out every movement or shape. Her sister Jana, with her bat hearing, could hear that they were Dean Williams’s servants, making final preparations in the bridal chamber.

Below the balloon, the plaza had been transformed into a carnival-like space. There were marquees for all kinds of activities, including fortune telling, body painting, carousels, and candy stores. It was blocked off at the moment but Elana knew that it would be opened once she and Williams were led aloft to the ceremonial chamber.

After the brief wedding ceremony, the preost pronounced Elana and Dean ready for the first day of celebration. They wouldn’t be pronounced husband and wife until the eighth day. For now, the preost tapped their chairs three times, and they began their ascent to the balloon.

Cheers and music started to ring in the plaza. They could see the marquee area open, and the revelers start to go in.

When their chairs reached the opening of the balloon, Williams signaled for Elana to go in first. Separating her quarters from his was another semi-transparent partition, but it was more see-through than the material that made up the outer wall of the balloon, permitting her to see more of Williams’s shape and movement, especially when the light was on. She could also hear him moving around.

The eight day celebration which included Singing and Dancing Ceremonies were witnessed by people in the plaza. For example, the third day, they held the Provision Ceremony, where Williams made Elana a strong box by hand, to symbolize his ability to provide for her. Elana chose to cook him a delicious meal, which was taken to his quarters by a servant. For the guests below, handicraft and cooking demonstrations were conducted.

During the remaining days, they carried out the Religious, Management, Art, and Grooming Ceremonies. The Religious Ceremony consisted of reciting various tracts of Theta learning. The Management Ceremony included both amusing and more serious games about how to manage teuros. The Art Ceremony was all about body painting. On that day, the diaphanous partition was slid aside, and Williams and Elana were allowed to be together during the day. They painted each other’s hands and legs with love symbols, using henna. Similar activities were also available to the guests at the marquees.

Elana and Williams found that the proximity of their bodies during the delicate painting process proved to heighten their longing for each other. The next day, the Grooming Ceremony involved them helping with the other’s hair and bathing. Williams enjoyed combing and plaiting Elana’s hair in different styles, while she massaged his head as she washed his hair. The bathing was extremely stimulating and frustrating; they undressed each other, shared the bath, and lathered each other clean. However, they were not allowed to take their pleasure yet; there was no kissing or stroking of the places where they most wanted to be touched. This truly tested their control, and raised their anticipation for the consummation of the marriage to a fever pitch.

Well, how do you like the wedding ceremony in this Theta World? The above is an excerpt from my sexy fantasy novel,  In Quest of Theta Magic which is available in paperback and as an ebook.
To celebrate the release of the book in Kindle format, I am delighted to give away a beautiful necklace with a kangaroo design to one of Rachael’s lovely readers. Also I will be giving away a PDF e-book of one of my books.

To be entered:
 1. Tweet about In Quest of Theta Magic on Twitter 
2. Or post about my website on Facebook or on your blog
3. But make sure to also comment below about an exotic wedding you’ve heard of.
4.Contest is open to Rachael’s followers only, so if you haven’t followed her, do it now!
5. This is open WORLDWIDE so everyone is elgible to enter!
6. Contest closes on June 24th at 7:00 pm EST.


The Summer of Skinny Dipping GIVEAWAY!

I absolutely loved this book and I am so happy to announce that Carrie from Sourcebooks Fire is providing a copy to be given away to one lucky reader! You can read my review for The Summer of Skinny Dipping at this link.

Book  Summary from publisher:

Sixteen year-old Mia has sworn off romance for good in the wake of her breakup with a cheating boyfriend. She is hoping that a summer on the Long Island shore with her glamorous cousins will take her mind off her troubles and allow her to relive idyllic childhood memories. But when she arrives in Southampton, her cousins are distant, moody, and caught up with a bad crowd…and Mia soon finds herself lonelier than ever.

That's when she meets her next-door neighbor, Simon Ross. Simon isn't like the snobby party boys her cousins are obsessed with. He is funny, artistic, and utterly adventurous. And from the very first time he encourages Mia to go skinny dipping, she's caught up in a current impossible to resist.

Contest Rules and Details:
US Only
Must include an email address in your post
Contest will end Tuesday June 22nd at 8:00 pm EST.

To be entered, post in the comments section your response to the following question:
If you could have the most romantic summer ever, who would it be with, where would you go, and what would you do?

For extra entries:
+1  Leave a meaningful comment on my review post
+1  Tweet or blog about this book and contest
+1 for being a google follower or becoming a new follower of my blog

Please make sure to include in one post what you did for the extra entries.  If you tweeted or blogged about the contest please include a link.  Have fun!


Winner of Nancy's Theory of Style

The winner of Nancy's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith is....


Congrats! I will email you through the address you provided and forward it on to Marta/Grace to get your book right out to you!

Thank you so much Marta/Grace for guest blogging this week and for answering my questions!


Lord of Misrule Review

Morganville is being destroyed. There’s death and destruction everywhere you look and it’s thanks to Mr. Bishop, the founder Amelie’s father. He has started an all out war with his daughter and he won’t stop until everyone is dead. Houses are being burned down, there’s looting, vampires are running amok, and it’s just the end of everything.

Claire Danvers is terrified and doesn’t know what to do since she has lost contact with her Protector Amelie. There is a war to be fought and vampires are trying to work alongside the humans but it’s not working out too well. Claire’s friend Myrnin warned her of the sickness that will consume every vampire in Morganville and it is happening now.

With a tornado coming and nowhere safe to hide, Bishop is at his most powerful and one by one vampires are dropping dead. Will Claire and her friends make it out alive? When it comes time to take sides, which side will they take? Will having vampire friends hurt her or help her in the end? Will the town of Morganville cease to exist once Bishop is done?

Lord of Misrule is the fifth book in The Morganville Vampires Series and by far the best book to date. All of the other books were exciting but they were just a build up to get to this point. If you thought Morganville was scary before, it is nothing compared to this latest installment. There is nowhere safe to go, no one who can truly be trusted, and everything is coming to an end. Lord of Misrule is absolutely thrilling and terrifying with a horrible war that won’t stop until everyone is killed.

I was absolutely blown away with this book and I am beyond hooked now with this series. The action is relentless, the villains are evil to the core, and just the overall story is so nicely fleshed out that it makes Morganville feel all too real to me. The world that Rachel Caine has created in this series is so unique and one of the best series that I’ve ever read.

I am very thankful that I bought books six and seven early on so I can pick up the next book right away. Lord of Misrule ends with a killer cliff hanger so make sure to have the next book, Carpe Corpus right on hand to continue. Overall, Lord of Misrule is chilling, intense, scary, and a roller coaster thrill ride of excitement from the first page to the last and I am very happy to have read it.

Reviewed for Night Owl Romance

REMINDER: Don't forget to enter my contest with Marta Acosta for your chance to win a copy of her new book under her pen name Grace Coopersmith, titled Nancy's Theory of Style! Contest will run until June 14th at 7:00 pm EST.


The Dark Hunters Volume 2 Review

After fooling around with his girlfriend Amanda, Dark-Hunter Kyrian is shocked to discover he has lost his powers. The more he is intimate with her, the more his powers deplete. Now he is on a mission to regain his soul but with Desiderius after him, this is going to one tough battle to beat.

 Amanda uses her psychic abilities to help when Kyrian goes missing and along with his squire Nick, the two of them try to save Kyrian before it’s too late. Will Kyrian regain his soul and find true happiness or will Desiderius win this battle and put an end to the once immortal Dark Hunter?

The Dark Hunters Volume 2 is the second graphic novel in The Dark Hunters Series based off of the novels by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’ve never read her books so my knowledge of the series is minimal. I enjoyed reading the first graphic novel and was very excited when the second one showed up at my door.

There are plenty of laugh out loud scenes and thrilling suspense that made this graphic novel extremely enjoyable. I started and finished this book within 3 hours and couldn’t put it down for a second. I haven’t read many graphic novels but this one is just so good and I was shocked that it had me so hooked!

There is a good amount of story (versus mangas with less story and more pictures) and the artist really captured the feelings and the humor of the characters so well. I laughed hysterically over a couple expressions on the character’s faces and even the scary scenes were well drawn out too! Overall, I am a huge fan of The Dark Hunters graphic novels and I can not wait for Volume 3 to find out what happens next with Kyrian and Amanda!!

REMINDER: Don't forget to enter my contest with Marta Acosta for your chance to win a copy of her new book under her pen name Grace Coopersmith, titled Nancy's Theory of Style!  Contest will run until June 14th at 7:00 pm EST.


Hunted by the Others Review

Shiarra Waynest runs a detective agency along with her friend Sara in New York. After September 11th, paranormal beings came out to the public. Shiarra makes it a policy of hers to not take paranormal cases, after all she dated a werewolf and didn’t even know he was one until he went full wolfy on her. But when money problems cause her to have to take on a paranormal case, she sucks up her pride and goes for it.

An organization called The Circle wants to hire Shiarra to recover a magical artifact called a focus from a vampire named Alec Royce. The focus makes it so the owner can control werewolves or vampires with it and this is a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands. Shiarra has no magical abilities to protect herself, being a mere human herself. But The Circle thinks this will work to their advantage since a powerful vampire like Alec Royce would never suspect a simple human girl to be the one to go after him.

Unfortunately this case is way over Shiarra’s head and things turn sour rather quickly. This case has become very dangerous and she is messing with the wrong vampire. Will Shiarra be able to safely recover the focus or will her true identity be discovered by the bad guys?

Hunted by the Others is the debut urban fantasy novel by new author Jess Haines. I adore first person point of view novels and quickly found myself completely absorbed in this story. Shiarra is rather unconventional since she isn’t a strong kick ass heroine. She’s kind of clumsy and makes mistakes, but she’s only human so that’s ok! The fight scenes were action packed and I loved reading this unique story. Overall, Hunted by the Others is a fun read with lots of entertainment to keep readers intrigued until the exciting conclusion. I look forward to more books by Jess Haines!

Midnight Alley Review

Ever since coming to live in Morganville, the town of vampires, Claire Danvers has been fighting to survive. Everywhere she turns people are always trying to kill her and if she actually makes it through college there it will be a miracle.

So when the Founder of Morganville, Amelie, offers Claire protection by having her sign a contract to pledge herself to her, Claire says yes. The gold bracelet is permanently attached to her wrist and now Claire is supposed to be protected but not everyone is respectful of the laws.

When young girls start turning up dead all around Claire, she starts to really worry. It doesn’t help that her roommate, newly turned vamp, Michael Glass is hard to trust lately. Claire and her other two roommates suspect he has something to do with the girls turning up dead but that is just speculation.

When Amelie orders Claire to attend nightly classes with a genius but ailing vampire, she has no idea what she’s getting into. This vampire is quickly losing his mind and Amelie wants whatever knowledge he possesses to be transferred to Claire, but there’s not enough time and it’s a huge task to undertake.

With girls turning up dead constantly, Claire worries for her life every time she walks down the alley to visit her friend late at night for their sessions. Will Claire become the killer’s next victim or is the killer someone closer to Claire than she thought? Will Claire succeed in Amelie’s mission or will one mistake cause catastrophic consequences?

Midnight Alley is the third book in The Morganville Vampires Series which is a YA series but can easily be enjoyed by adults as well. There is plenty of suspense, excitement and mystery in this series to keep readers completely fascinated and entertained.

It’s been quite a while since I read books one and two but I was easily able to slip back into the world of Morganville without any trouble. This is a series that MUST be read in order for full reading enjoyment. I originally started this series with reading book four, which although I enjoyed it, it would have been better read in order.

I would recommend this series to older teens since it is a bit scary at times with adult situations such as kidnappings, near deaths, murders, etc. There is a small amount of cursing and although there is kissing, there aren’t any real sexual scenes to make this inappropriate for teens.

I think adults will find a lot to their liking in this series since I absolutely adored this book. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire story and found it extremely difficult to put it down for a second. Overall, Midnight Alley was fantastic and I highly recommend it.

Reviewed for Night Owl Romance


Guest Author Grace Coopersmith/Marta Acosta + Giveaway!

Please welcome my guest for this week, author of the Casa Dracula series, Marta Acosta! Marta has ventured out into the contemporary romance genre with the recent publication of her newest novel, Nancy’s Theory of Style written under the pen name Grace Coopersmith.

Fans of her Casa Dracula Series will remember Nancy as the main character Milagro’s good friend. Nancy has always had a lot to say, so it was about time for her to have her own book!

Marta also has a wonderful YA novel that is available online to read for free in its entirety. I had the pleasure of reading it and adored it. The title is The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove and you can read it at this link.

In October, the final book in the Casa Dracula series will be released, titled Haunted Honeymoon. Fans of Marta’s books will find three books this year to read, and I am beyond thrilled about that!

So without further ado please welcome Marta’s alter ego, the fabulous Grace Coopersmith!

1. Please tell us about your new novel Nancy’s Theory of Style?

Nancy Carrington-Chambers is the girl you love to hate. She’s richer than you, prettier than you, went to better schools than you, and is invited to better parties than you. When her successful husband turns her dream house into a tacky McMansion, she escapes to the apartment she keeps in a family-owned building in posh Pacific Heights. Nancy decides to focus on her event planning business, Froth, and hires the perfect assistant, a gorgeous, stylish, gay man, Derek.

Nancy and Derek are hired to reinvent the city’s most important (and dreariest) fundraiser and everything’s going fabulously when her life-in-the-fast lane cousin abandons her four-year-old daughter with Nancy. Nevertheless, the three manage to form a sort of team, and Nancy finds herself growing very fond of her sexy and unattainable assistant and increasingly attached to the child. But when Nancy reverts to her old snobby behavior, her actions send her world crashing down. Will she risk everything she’s lived for to save those she’s come to love?

There’s a loony, affectionate, wonderful side to Nancy’s personality that comes out during the story.

2. How did you come up with the pen name Grace Coopersmith? What made you decide to write under a different name for Nancy’s book?

Coopersmith has long been one of my favorite names. I have a whole list of them. I liked it because it was simple, yet memorable, and would be shelved at a good place in bookstores. (Lots of good C’s! ) My editor and I thought it would be good to distinguish this novel from my Casa Dracula vampire series.

3. Will there be more books with Nancy? Is this going to be another series?

Actually, I don’t think in terms of series books. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula was supposed to be a standalone, but my editor kept asking me for more. I’m very happy to stay with my favorite characters, so if anyone wanted another Nancy book, I’d write one.

4. What is a typical writing day like for you?

My days are tragically dull. I start off by taking my dogs to the bayside off-leash park. They run crazy in the fields and I stroll around and enjoy the view to San Francisco. I come home and write my Vampire Wire blog, which takes way too much time. Then I have coffee, answer emails, and, finally, I get a chance to work on my fiction. I go outside and yank weeds and garden as breaks from the computer.

5. What are you currently working on?

I’ve got two projects. One is a young adult gothic set on a small island off the California coast. It involves a great crime that happened a century before. I’m also writing a contemporary novel about a pair of best friends who make a decision to radically improve their miserable lives.

6. What are you currently reading?

I’m reading a series of funny essays, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley.

7. Who are some of your favorite authors?

I always name the same dead authors of classics, so I’ll name some living ones. Scott Spencer, Julia Spencer-Fleming, pretty much anyone with Spencer in their name. For humor, and I love to read humor, I think Katy Munger is one of the funniest writers around, but she doesn’t seem to be writing any more Casey Jones novels.

8. If you could write one book about any subject you wanted, and this book would sell no matter what, what would you write about?

I’d like to write a gritty, dirty, violent historical. There would be a lot of whoring, murdering, and nasty business by seriously bad characters.

9. If you were on a deserted island and could have only one book for the rest of your life, what book would you take and why that book?

I’ve been asked this so I already have an answer! The collected works (I’m sure there’s a collection somewhere) of Henry James. That would keep me occupied for a very long time.

10. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

I hope they’ll pick up a copy of Nancy’s Theory of Style for a sunny day’s read! Readers can find out more at my Grace Coopersmith website, http://www.gracecoopersmith.com./

I’m really excited about Haunted Honeymoon, which will be released in October. I think fans of the series will be really thrilled (or, as Nancy would say, thrillified) with how it ties together the entire series. You can find out about my Casa Dracula series at http://www.martaacosta.com./

I blog daily at http://www.vampirewire.blogspot.com/, and I have free reads at Scribd. In fact, I just uploaded the first draft of my second Casa Dracula novel, Monster Motel, there. Those with OCD are welcome to count the typos.

Thanks so much, Rachael, for having me here at Enchanted by Books!


Marta is kindly giving away one copy of Nancy’s Theory of Style to a lucky commenter. US ONLY. Please post your comments or questions to her about her books or writing in the comments section. This contest will run until June 14th at 7:00 pm EST.  Please include your email address in your post so I can contact you if you win.


Winner of Mind Games!

 The winner of Mind Games by Carolyn Crane is....

 Dot S.! Congrats Dot! I will email you through the address that you provided and will forward it on to Carolyn to get your prize right out to you.

Thank you Carolyn for a great guest post and thanks to everyone for the huge turnout!

Stick around because author Marta Acosta/Grace Coopersmith will be here tomorrow talking about her new novel Nancy's Theory of Style! There will also be a giveaway of the book, so make sure to stop by!


The Summer of Skinny Dipping Review

Mia Gordon is sixteen years old and dealing with the heartache of her first boyfriend breaking up with her. She’s on her way to her aunt and uncle’s summer house in the Hamptons with her family for the summer, hoping that hanging out with her cousin Corinne will help take her mind off her troubles.

But when Mia arrives Corinne has other plans. She’s become very stuck up and plans to spend her summer with her best friend rather then her cousin. This leaves Mia all alone feeling like a third wheel and eventually leads to her meeting a boy named Simon. Simon doesn’t make Mia’s heart skip, give her sweaty palms or give her that he’s the one feeling. But he’s a nice guy and she enjoys spending time with him, besides she doesn’t want another boyfriend, that’s the last thing she wants.

Simon tries his best to win Mia’s attention and this leads to a romance that is so sweet and heartfelt that it becomes a summer that Mia will never forget.

The Summer of Skinny Dipping is new author Amanda Howells' debut YA novel. From the moment I saw the book cover, I had a feeling this was going to be a great book. I love stories about teenage romance and having the story set at the beach only made it even more romantic. The writing is so beautiful that I had to reread many passages out loud because I loved it so much. The prologue to the story gives you a taste of what I mean. Tell me this doesn’t take your breath away!

There are summers you’ll always remember and summers you’ve forgotten even before they’re through. It’s never an in –between season. Whole months can slip by, and you don’t know what you did or where you were. June, July, August, they’re all the same
This is the other kind.
Long after that summer ended, I stayed stuck inside it, reliving that night, over and over, and everything that led up to it. Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish.
I know I am different, and yet also, in a way, I’m still the same, only more myself now, because that’s what happens when your life changes so completely. It takes pieces of you that you kept deeply hidden, even from yourself, and forces them to the surface like splinters working their way out of your skin.
But I’m jumping ahead, and to tell the story right, I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.
My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything.

Upon finishing this book I ran to the bookstore hoping that Amanda Howell was just a pen name and that I could find more books by this author. Unfortunately, there aren’t anymore books yet, but if there were I would have bought them all immediately.

The Summer of Skinny Dipping is the perfect book to read on the beach this summer. The characters were vibrant and realistic, the romance was so touching, and overall this book was a solid A+ and I can not wait for more books by Howell!

Find The Summer of Skinny Dipping on Amazon.com or at Barnes and Noble at the attached links.


Guest Author Carolyn Crane & Giveaway!

I am very excited to welcome debut urban fantasy author Carolyn Crane! Carolyn's first book in The Justine Jones: Disillusionist trilogy is titled Mind Games.

It was released on March 23, 2010 and the second book Double Cross will be out on September 28, 2010. Please welcome Carolyn Crane!!

Hey Rachael! Thanks for having me on your blog today! So, now that all the publishing mayhem is winding down, I was feeling like I wanted to look back on my newbie author experience. Because I’ve learned a lot of interesting things.

Top 6 cool things about being a series author that I never expected

You go from book loner to book collaborator

One thing about being a writer is that it is such a solitary endeavor (aside from CPs, of course). But, when you sell a book, suddenly, all these people you never met—people who have dedicated their careers to books and publishing—are in it with you. It’s so cool! An artist interprets your book into a picture for the front, and an agent, if you have one, is like your ally, and an editor gets in there and wrangles with your text, and somebody is thinking about publicity, etc. Suddenly you’re on a team.

You go from blog loner to blog collaborator

The team thing extends to blogs, too. Doing guest posts is so collaborative. Every one of them involves a bit of emailing back and forth, and sometimes direct creative collaboration, or else, just thinking about a person’s blog and what they’ve created and how to work in. And you get to know people a little through that. Or, in the case of Rachael here, who is one of my oldest and first blog pals, I got underwater with deadlines I was like, can we move the date! And she was gracious. It’s fun to collaborate like that.

Your houseplants suffer

OMG, my poor houseplants. All these domestic projects got mowed under as my book came out. Things are a bit messier. Wait, that’s not a good thing! That’s not a cool thing! My husband’s a writer too, and we used to have this joke where we’d look at our place and go, “oh, well, what can you expect? We’re artists!” But honestly, NOW it’s like, a crazy person’s place. We need a new joke.

Readers are creative partners

Before, when I was a book blogger and not a published author, I’d get excited about various authors and make a big deal about them, or discuss their books, but I didn’t understand how much it means to authors until I was on this side. Readers complete an author in a way. I still think it’s so amazing just that somebody would pay their hard-earned money to buy and read my book. Or check it out of the library and read it. Just that act alone is so huge. Even when people don’t like my book, I still feel that sense of goodwill, because they paid money and/or invested time reading it, gave it a whirl. And then if they wrote a post after, that’s even more time. Also, they brought their own sensibility and taste to it, so that makes them a kind of creative partner. It’s another type of collaboration, with the reader.

You are responsible for secrets

One of the things about writing a series is that you TRY to create questions for people: what will happen to this person? What decision will that person make? And it’s really really bad if you have a big mouth like I do, because you really want to tell. Sometimes, people beg you to tell. I have actually told two people in private some secrets of the series—people who begged, and they needed to know! But now I regret it. I am weak! Also, OMG, there are these big things coming up that I SO want to tell! But I am trying to turn over a new leaf on that and not have such a big mouth.

You learn new things about why you write

It’s easy to get hung up on the numbers. I did this whole post about watching Amazon rankings, because I was getting obsessed with them, worried that if the book doesn’t sell well enough, that the publisher will not buy book #3. And then, the trilogy will not be complete! And then no publisher will work with me! Etc. Writers, or at least this one, can fall into doom and gloom scenarios. Or, a week or so ago, there was this flurry of negative Amazon reviews and I thought, oh, no! (run doom and gloom scenario etc). But all that stuff is really out of my control—the book is in print. It’s out of my hands. It’s made me reach into myself and think about why I’m writing. And it’s a reason that comes from inside, and not outside. It was good to get clear on that after so many years.

Carolyn is giving away one copy of Mind Games to a lucky commenter.  The contest is open WORLDWIDE so everyone is elgible to enter.  Contest will end June 7th at 7:00 pm EST. Please leave a comment or question for Carolyn about her new series to be entered.

Summary of Mind Games from Author's website:
Mind Games heroine Justine Jones isn't your typical kick-ass type - she’s a hopeless hypochondriac whose life is run by fear.

She's lured into a restaurant, Mongolian Delites, by tortured mastermind Sterling Packard, who promises he can teach her to channel her fears. In exchange, she must join his team of disillusionists - vigilantes hired by crime victims to zing their anxieties into criminals, resulting in collapse and transformation.

Justine isn't interested in Packard's troupe until she gets a taste of the peace he can promise. Soon she enters the thrilling world of neurotic crime fighters who battle Midcity’s depraved and paranormal criminals.

Eventually, though, she starts wondering why Packard hasn’t set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant for eight years. And about the true nature of the disillusionists.