Thursday, August 28, 2014

Giveaway and Interview with Gini Koch!

      Please help me welcome Gini Koch, one of my favorite authors to A Buckeye Girl Reads. She is here with an interview & an excerpt from Happy Acres Haunted Hotel & a giveaway of one autographed paper book, Touched By An Alien-this is open to US Residents & Internationally. Be sure to check out the other giveaways I have going this week! 

1.      Is there a character or characters that always manages to do what I call steal a scene?
If we mean other than Kitty, LOL, this is a tough one. Though probably not that tough if I think about it. The character who most consistently steals scenes – to the point that when he first appeared in the series in Alien in the Family he was supposed to be in one scene only and ended up in a lot of them, and THEN I loved him so much I brought him back permanently in Alien Diplomacy – would be Pierre. I truly love Pierre. He’s always so fun to write.

Other characters who aspire to Pierre’s level of scene stealing are Malcolm Buchanan and Benjamin Siler, both of whom feel they deserve a whole lot more screen time than they get. And Mephistopheles refuses to go away permanently, and I confess to enjoying it when he reappears. And of course Tim and the Flyboys are always doing their best to scene steal at any and every given opportunity.

I realize most readers would think that the scene stealer is Reader, but Reader doesn’t steal scenes – he owns scenes. ;-D

2.      Who is the most fun secondary character to write about?
Oh, gosh, that’s a toughie, too, because I really like all my characters and I enjoy writing about them. Pretty much every secondary character who showed up in Alien in the Family are characters I love and love to write about. I realize they aren’t all in every book of the series, but I really like them. And which secondary character or characters I’m loving to write varies per book, really. In Alien Diplomacy, I loved having not only Pierre, Len, and Kyle back, but I loved letting readers really get to know Mister Joel Oliver and expand on who he was. In Alien in the House, I loved doing the same with Vance Beaumont. And on and on.

Of course, if truth must be told, I probably have the most fun with any and all of the animal supporting characters. Even Bellie the Parrot.

3.      What is the hardest part about writing a series?
Probably the hardest thing is doing recaps of the former books in the newest book without either saying, “Um, just go read all the previous books first, okay?” or doing a laundry list of characters and events. This was pretty fun and easy to do in Book 2/Alien Tango, but as I’m writing Book 11/Alien Separation right now, it’s not nearly as simple. It’s hard to do this smoothly and both not bore longtime readers and give new readers who might start with Book 9 (yes, this really still does happen to every author writing a series) enough background so they know what’s gone on before and keep the backstory relevant and the characters and situations clear.

I tend to end up writing the first part of each book more slowly than say the middle or the end, because of the crafting it takes to ensure that the characters and situations are introduced in a way that isn’t info dumpy and also is informative without being repetitive. 

Title:  Happy Acres Hotel For Active Seniors
Author: Gini Koch 
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Number of Pages: 61
Publisher: Self Published

 Welcome to Happy Acres (Haunted) Hotel for Active Seniors, the premiere senior living facility in all of Southern California (especially if you’re already dead)!

At Happy Acres we pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of our elder care (and for how many haunts we have -- 789 and counting!) as we surround your loved ones with vibrant, interesting people of their own generation (and many generations prior).

Happy Acres is fully staffed 24/7 by a team of dedicated (and in some cases, spellbound) medical staff, as well as housing one of the state-of-the-art medical inpatient and outpatient facilities in the Southland (just don’t see your doctor after dark), so your loved ones are ensured the best care in their golden years (and long after, as well).

Don’t let the rumors (all true) fool you -- while Happy Acres is indeed the best, its costs won’t race your beloved elders to an early grave (no, others will handle that). So come to Happy Acres, a facility you’ll love so much you’ll never want to leave!


Mrs. Wilson scanned the crowd. With this many witnesses, she was going to have to go for the Full Confession Introduction. She didn’t care for the Full Confession Introduction, but it was my personal favorite. “I’m sorry, Mister Davidson, but you must have misheard me. It’s a hotel now for our active seniors who desire companionship and mental stimulation. It, ah, used to be a hospital.”
“A haunted hospital. And it only used to be a hospital. It’s still haunted, trust me.”
The rest of the gang nodded or murmured. You didn’t live here more than a week before you knew all the ghost stories were true.
She shot the Death Glare at me again. Never worried me. I was Hunkman’s favorite, for a variety of reasons. “Supposedly. However, I can assure you, Mister Davidson, that you’ll find no haunts here.”
“Not in the daylight, no. Our haunts are nocturnal.”
“I’ve never seen them,” Mrs. Wilson snapped. “Ever.”
“For some reason the haunts don’t care for Missus Wilson. Shocking us all.”
“Really, Missus Mattingly, you’re being very rude.” Mrs. Wilson loved to tell me I was rude, as if I wasn’t aware of when I was pointedly being rude or not. She reminded me of my first mother-in-law. I’d hated my first mother-in-law.
“You’re so right!” I trotted over and put my hand out. “I’m pleased to meet Hugh Jackman himself.”
He grinned widely as he took my hand and squeezed it gently. “You have a silver tongue, don’t you? Samuel Davidson, at your service, Missus Mattingly.”
“Oh, call me Mattie. Everyone other than certain people who shall remain nameless because they’re standing right here calls me Mattie.”
“With pleasure. And please call me Samuel.”
“Happy to.” I didn’t share that I’d planned to anyway, permission given or not. I let go of his hand. “You alone or part of a set?”

Title: Touched By An Alien
Author: Gini Koch
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Number of Pages: 389

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn't even begin to cover it when the "man" suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead she sprinted into action to take down the alien.

In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with "the agency," and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his "boss." And that was how Kitty's new life among the aliens began...Touched by an Alien is the thrilling first installment of the Alien novels.

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Author Bio:

Gini Koch lives in Hell’s Orientation Area (aka Phoenix, AZ), works her butt off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the beautiful people. She writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. As G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series. She also writes under a variety of other pen names including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. She speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. She is also the Lead Editor at Raphael’s Village, an online, nonpaying ’zine. Because she wasn’t busy enough, Gini’s added on featured guest columnist, reviewer, and webcaster for Slice of SciFi and It’s Comic Book Day. She can be reached through her website at 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway with Ellis Drake!

Please help me welcome Ellis Drake, one of my favorite mystery writers to A Buckeye Girl Reads! 

 1.  What is the funnest or hardest part of writing mysteries?

The most fun part is being able to make up my own world and characters and tell their stories. The hardest part is making the characters interesting and sympathetic, creating a mystery that's actually mysterious, and pulling it all together into a compelling story. But that's also part of the fun, too!

 2.  What are your favorite type of villains?
I do enjoy a good female villain. Who doesn't? I love it when villains are so deliciously evil you can't help but secretly root for them—like Lady de Winter from The Three Musketeers or Lady Audley from Lady Audley's Secret.

3.  Do you have a favorite among the books you've written?
That's a tough question! I like all of them for different reasons, but at the moment The Lonely Hipster is probably my fave because I had so much fun writing it and I love the main character, Adam.


One e-book copy of The Lonely Hipster! 


Title: The Lonely Hipster 
Author: Ellis Drake 
Genre: Mystery 
Publisher: Ellis Drake
Number of Pages: 64


A mystery where murder meets coffeehouse romance, beards, and flip-flops...

Stantonville is a small town where everyone knows everyone else and they all get along—or do they? Adam McGill, Stantonville’s lone hipster, gets a lot of flack from the other residents for being lazy and suspicious. So when the town’s wealthiest resident, Peter Stanton, is found shot with a note that reads “McGill” in his hand, suspicion immediately falls on Adam. And the police aren’t the only ones he has to worry about—he's also being followed by the people who actually shot Stanton! 

With the help of the cute barrista in Stantonville’s lone coffee shop, Adam needs to find Stanton's shooter—and move out of his mom’s basement—before he winds up in prison. Or worse.  

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Blogversary (Belated) and Birthday Bash!!

I totally missed my blogs 5 year anniversary in May, so I thought I would celebrate it along with my birthday (which is on Friday)this week!! I thought this would be a great time to get my blog going again after a long break. :) Be sure to come back throughout the week to see giveaways from Lauren Clark, Gini Koch and Ellis Drake!

Today I have the wonderful and talented Wendi Zwaduk who also writes as Megan Slayer. She's here to answer a few questions & is giving away a prize pack of a bracelet & earring set.

What is the hardest/easiest part about writing a series? 
The hardest part of writing a series is keeping the characters straight. I know that sounds simple, but it's actually rather hard. I have to make sheets for each character and refer back often to make sure I don't accidentally give someone blonde hair when she's got brown hair or his height over six feet when he's not that tall. 

Another thing that's hard about series is not repeating yourself. You can think you're doing something fresh until you read back and find out...ooops, I did that in book one or something. Again, that's when the sheets and notes come in handy. 

There are some easy parts to writing a series. I get to play with all the characters in the story. Instead of having someone stay in the background all the time, I get to let them come forward and tell me their story. It's fun. Firelit Magic came out of that situation. I wanted to write Cian's story. She stuck with me. I'm considering writing a male witch to round out the series. 

Which are easier to write: Alpha males or Beta? 
Easier for me to write is the beta. I like alpha males, but I hate when authors make them super jerks. I guess it's because I don't like jerks and can't understand why the heroines like them. I like guys who can be tough and have a heart. I like when they show that they have that heart, too. I like to write what I like to read, but if the character takes me in a direction that requires him to be tougher and more of a hard ass, then I'm okay with that. 

What kind of heroines do you like the most? 
I like ones that have a soft side, but are the equals to the hero. I want her to be able to give him a run for his money, but also to want to give in to him when it's time to get between the sheets (or against the wall...wink, wink). 

Book Spotlight: 

Title: Firelit Magic by Wendi Zwaduk
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal  M/F
Length: Novella
Publisher: Totally Bound

Cian's coming into her own with her magic. She's happy rescuing the black cats society doesn't want, but she's lonely. A sexy man to warm her nights would be perfect. Too bad the man in question isn't interested--or is he?

Officer Tommy Barnes noticed Cian and her red hair the first time he stepped into her store, but a witch and a cop should mix--should they? And what's with her interest in black cats? His investigative sense has him stopping back at the store over and over. He can't deny his attraction to her. His sixth sense says she's harmless, but a little investigative work between the sheets never hurt.

Can Tommy withstand the red-hot fire or will this witch get the best of him?

This book follows secondary characters from Candlelit Magic. This book also contains scenes of magic and sex between a witch and her human.

Available here: Totally BoundAllRomance Ebooks | Amazon


©Wendi Zwaduk 2014
“Cian, I need the full story.” And her phone number. Or at least a longer conversation not involving her potential as a thief. He bit his tongue to keep from saying something he’d regret. When she pursed her crimson lips, he wondered what she’d taste like. He shouldn’t be attracted to her. A cop and a witch couldn’t mix...could they? He didn’t believe in spells or sacrifices. He needed logic and order, but he couldn’t deny the attraction.
Tommy shook his head. He needed to stop looking at her as anything other than a sexual human being.
Cian scooped up one of the cats, then sat on the arm chair. Yet again, she rubbed her cheek on the top of the feline’s head. “Heya Joey.” She scratched under the animal’s chin. “You’re a good baby.” She continued to pet the cat, but turned her attention to Tommy. “You said you wanted the full story. What do you want to know?”
“Everything.” He stood opposite her, unsure of how to unseat the cats. Besides, standing made him focus. “Start from the beginning. Why would someone accuse you of killing black cats? How’d you get into the rescue business and what are you doing tonight?”

Author Bio: 
I’ve always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line.  I love playing with words and letting the characters run wild.
NASCAR, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, animals and second chance romance all feature prominently in my books.  I also write under the pen name of Megan Slayer. Come join me for this fantastic journey!  
If you like my work, tell your friends and email me. I love hearing from readers!

Where to find Wendi: Website |  Blog | Wordpressblog | Twitter | Facebook Fanpage | Amazon 


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Deadly Chemistry by Terri Anne Stanley

I can't believe how long it's been since I've written a review. I really don't know what happened to my review mojo. I promise to be better! I think I'll have to do a hit or miss post to catch up on all the reviews I haven't been doing!

Title: Deadly Chemistry
Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Genre: Romantic Supsense
Publisher: Entangled Ignite
Number of Pages: 195
Source: Netgalley
Former undercover cop Mike Gibson has been lying low, working as a maintenance man to put his troubled younger brother through college. But when a beautiful scientist enlists Mike’s help to repair the damage done to her lab by a group of vandals, Mike finds that his, and his brother's pasts, are about to be brought to light. Laura Kane was happy having a secret crush on the hot maintenance man at Tucker University, but when the drug she was studying is stolen, Laura has a chance to get to know Mike in person. The problem is, he seems to know more about what's going on than any maintenance man should. But then the drug turns up in the wrong hands, and Mike and Laura have to decide if their own chemistry will help, or hinder, the race to save innocent lives

I was so excited to read this book because I met the author at Lori Foster's Reader/Author Get Together, and then I found it was a romantic suspense and got super worried because we all know how well romantic suspense and I get along. (We don't.) I have to say, for a debut book, this was really good and I can't wait to read more by this author.

I have to admit I was really surprised at how much I ended up liking this one. The heroine, Laura was normal, strong and independent. She had a lot of chemistry with Mike, and I liked how he was sort of undercover as a janitor and not something more glamorous at the university and how that didn't stop Laura from being attracted to him.

The mystery was a little easy to figure out, mainly because there weren't that many characters, and I didn't want to believe the character who everyone was blaming for was responsible. :) However, despite that I loved watching everyone else figure out who did it, and that also surprised me because I normally hate it when I figure out who did it before the main character does.

This book was also a turning point for me, because after I read it I started reading more contemporary romance and mystery books. If I can read those, then there is hope for me yet with the romantic suspense genre!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Guest Post With Amy Andrews, author of Risky Business

Title: Risky Business
Author: Amy Andrews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Number of Pages: 257

From bestselling author Amy Andrews comes a new single-title romance about putting pleasure before business, and the risks we all need to take when we find someone worth risking everything for. 

Samantha Evans’s life is going to hell. Not only has she rage-quit her beloved, high-powered job, but she is suddenly afflicted by hormones, free time, and an unavoidable, unignorable, undeniably gorgeous irritant in the form of Nick Hawke, her extreme sports star neighbour, who has come home to take over the reins of his grandmother's second-hand bookshop. Sam needs something to keep her from begging for her old job back until she's good and sure her boss understands how wrong he was, and taking a low-risk, low-stress job helping Nick at the bookstore might be just the thing. 

After all, it's not like Nick is the right guy to help her with her hormones. He'll just be fun to look at while she searches for the one. 

Nick has six months to get over an injury before Everest and a big, fat contract beckon. That means no sports, no danger and, above all else, no risks. It means playing it safe. And Nick Hawke doesn’t do safe. So he’s going to need something to stave off the boredom while selling books he doesn't read to people who wouldn't know a carabineer from a crochet hook. What could be safer than hiring a cranky, unemployed accountant to help run the bookstore? Sam is efficient and methodical and messing up her neat, post-it note world could be a fun way to pass the time….

Risky Business mixes the classic romance of Philadelphia Story, the humour and wit of When Harry Met Sally, and a strong, contemporary Australian setting to create a delightful, irresistible, utterly satisfying treat of a novel.

Today I am lucky enough to have Amy Andrews, author of Risky Business here at A Buckeye Girl Reads! She's here today to talk about what inspired the setting of her book which takes place in a second hand bookshop.

The Bliss of a Bookshop
Risky Business is set in one of my favourite places in the whole world – a second-hand romance bookshop. In fact, I think my childhood primed me specifically to write this book!

You see, when I was a kid, one of the things I remember most about school holidays was being allowed to go with my mother to the second-hand bookshop. I loved that place. Thousands of spines staring down at me. Millions and millions of words. Row upon row of treasures sitting on rickety metal shelves. To this day I can still recall the wonderful smell of thousands of books. That magical aroma of ink on vintage paper.  

We kids were there for the comics – Archie and Jughead, Richie Rich and The Phantom were our favourites. But Mum was there for the romance novels. She’d trade in the ones she’d bought the previous week and pick up another dozen. Sometimes the owner had put some aside for her. Mum would then go on to select a bunch of paperback westerns for my father. He called them yippees. I have no idea if that was their correct nickname but that’s what we called them in our house. The first romance novel I read was from this shop. Also my first yippee.

So it was very easy for me to write Birdie’s second-hand romance bookshop in Risky Business. Easy to describe the rows of romance novels. Easy to have Nick incorporate yippees to put his manly stamp on things. Easy to have Sam tease him that westerns were romance novels for blokes just as I used to tease my Dad. Easy too, to create a community that has the shop as it’s central meeting point. Because books are universal. And book people get each other. 

Q: Do you have any good bookshop memories or stories?

Author Bio: 
Amy Andrews is a multi-published, award- winning author of 30+ romance novels across both traditional and digital platforms. She writes for Harlequin Mills and Boon, Entangled, Harper Collins Australia and Momentum Publishing. She's sold in excess of a million books worldwide and has been translated into over a dozen languages. In her spare time she is a PICU nurse and mother of two teenagers. She lives on acerage on the outskirts of Brisbane, Australia but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

Where to Find Amy: 
website |  Facebook page

Where to find Risky Business: 
Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo Books

Tour Stops:
Monday, July 7th: A Buckeye Girl Reads - guest post
Tuesday, July 8th: The Romance Dish - Q&A
Wednesday, July 9th: Cruising Susan Reviews
Thursday, July 10th: Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance - spotlight
Saturday, July 12th: Romancing the Book
Monday, July 14th: Harlie’s Books
Wednesday, July 16th: Babbling About Books, and More! - guest post
Thursday, July 17th: The Reading Date - guest post
Tuesday, July 22nd: Girl meets Books - guest post
Wednesday, July 23rd: Reading in Black & White - review and guest post
Thursday, July 24th: Schmexy Girl Book Blog