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Guest Post by Linda Lael Miller | Small Town Romance

9781460332962#1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller takes a look at finding love where you might not expect it—in the most familiar place of all. Your hometown. The heroines of her Brides of Bliss County series discover the men of their hearts in Mustang Creek, Wyoming.

The heroines of my Brides of Bliss County series—Hadleigh Stevens in The Marriage Pact, Melody Nolan in The Marriage Charm and Becca “Bex” Stuart in The Marriage Season—are looking for husbands, not only for themselves, but for each other. Not just any old husband will do! These are smart, strong, successful women, and they’re not going to settle. It’s Mr. Right or nobody.

So they pledge to make the magic happen.

Eventually, both Hadleigh and Melody fall in love with sexy cowboys they’ve known basically all their lives, men from right there in their hometown of Mustang Creek, Wyoming. Bex’s hero might qualify as a newcomer, but he’s definitely planning on putting down roots and raising his two young sons in the country. He loves the life, loves the wide open spaces and the spectacular mountains and the endless arch of the sky.

I’m sure all three of these young and attractive women expected to find love elsewhere, which 9781460349755only complicated matters, since they all love Mustang Creek, too, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Not long-term, anyhow.

So why hadn’t they noticed their Mr. Already Rights? 

It’s a curious thing about human nature. We tend to take familiar faces for granted, I think. Sometimes, we think of possible love interests as “just good friends”—just good friends?

Isn’t a solid friendship pretty much the ideal basis for a long-lasting relationship?

Especially when the other person hails from the same neck of the woods and thus shares many of the same memories?

Someone who attended the same schools, the same churches? Someone who lived next door or just down the street or on one of the farms or ranches outside of town? Someone who danced at the same weddings? Mourned at the same funerals?

9781460381809Well, you can see where I’m going with this. The new, the unique, the exciting—all those qualities are appealing, no denying that. But sometimes, there’s nothing like the familiar.

For Hadleigh, Melody and Bex, there truly is no place like home.

And sometimes love and home come as a package deal.

Love, as we all know, plays by its own rules. It happens when and where it will, and with whomever it decides. It can lie fallow for weeks, months or years and suddenly blossom into something true and lasting.

Love plays hide and seek—and very often, it’s hiding right there in plain sight.

Crime Fiction | From Britain with Love

Why do Americans have such an ongoing love affair with British crime friction?  We asked our editors what they thought,  and they all agreed that much of it rests in the country’s rich history—years of war, intrigue, politics, weapons, romance, and epic settings to escape into, British crime fiction offers something for every reader to enjoy. 

To find out more about historical British crime we recently traveled to London and sat down with a few authors.  They told us about their books (in 15 seconds) and described the historical settings of their books.  Check out the videos to learn more:

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive Excerpt: "What Lies Behind"

WhatLiesBehindNew York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison shares an excerpt from the latest book in the Dr. Samantha Owens series, What Lies Behind. Available now on Kindle and in paperback.

Download WHAT LIES BEHIND Excerpt

Katie McGarry's Cool Picks for Hot Summer Reads

Katie McGarry, author of Nowhere but Here, tells us the summer reads she’s most excited about.

NowherebuthereSummer! I love summer because summer means warm sun, lazy days and great books! Here are some new releases I’m excited about.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller: With knockout books like Something Like Normal and Where the Stars Still Shine, Trish is one of my favorite authors. She has a knack for writing strong, emotional characters I can relate to and she always has a hero that can make me swoon. Plus The Devil You Know is full of suspense. This will be my “stuck inside on a rainy day” read!

Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally: Miranda made me cry with Breathe, Annie, Breathe and that’s not an easy task for an author to do as I don’t cry easily. So how does she follow it up? With Jesse’s Girl—a book that gave me butterflies and tingles and makes me want to read this story over and over again! I can see myself sitting on my front porch swing and reading this book multiple times.

Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements series) by Jennifer L. Armentrout: This is a “drop everything the moment the book arrives and read it next to the mailbox” read. Who will Layla choose—Zayne or Roth? I have to admit, I’m a huge Roth fan. I loved White Hot Kiss and Stone Cold Touch and I’m desperate to know how this series ends!

The Hotter You Burn (Original Heartbreakers) by Gena Showalter: Gena writes amazing romances and this is the type of book I can’t wait to read when I’m at the pool relaxing during vacation! Beck is a character I became curious about in The Closer You Come and I’m excited he’s receiving his own story. 

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Sean Chercover: My Book in 15 Second

Sean Chercover, best-selling author of The Game Trilogy shares an overview of his books "The Trinity Game" and "The Devil's Game" in two 15 second videos. 
 

 

 

 

See Sean Chercover author of the Devil's Game on tour with John Rector author of Rutherless.

MILWAUKEE

Mystery One Bookstore

Monday, June 22, 2015 7 p.m.

2109 N. Prospect Ave, Milwaukee WI

 

CHICAGO

Open Book Store

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 6 p.m.

651 W. Lake, Chicago IL

Marvel Single Issues Are Now Available For Kindle

Big news for fans of Marvel Comics:  beginning today, Kindle readers can download new single issues every week in the Kindle Comics store. Readers can also browse more than 12,000 back issues, covering the entire Marvel digital comics catalog.

BN-IZ354_antman_DV_20150618082128The new offerings are part of an exclusive agreement between Marvel, comiXology and Amazon that was announced on Thursday morning.  This newly expanded relationship will continue Marvel’s single issue digital comic books exclusive on comiXology’s worldwide platform and also expand the exclusive deal to the vast universe of the Amazon Kindle readers for the first time in history.

“Amazon, comiXology and Marvel share a passion for expanding the audience for comic books and graphic novels worldwide,” said David Naggar, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “With the ever-increasing number of devices in consumers’ hands and the growing popularity of Marvel’s extensive catalogue of familiar Super Heroes we see this as the perfect time to create a whole new generation of comic book readers.”

Under the new agreement, comiXology will continue to distribute Marvel’s English language single issue, trades and graphic novels via the comiXology apps on Fire tablets, iPhone, iPad, Android devices and the web at comixology.com.  ComiXology will also continue to power the Marvel Comics app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices as well as the Marvel Digital Comic Shop.

What’s new for fans and readers is that over 12,000 single issue digital comic books will now be available on the Amazon Kindle platform around the world.  This will allow Kindle readers a new opportunity to keep up with Marvel's new releases on a weekly basis, or to dig deep into the history of their favorite Marvel characters.

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My Book in 15 Seconds: Authors From Around the World

Can international authors Alice Quinn, Jutta Profijt and Martin Jensen get you hooked on their books in 15 seconds or less? Watch now to find out!

 

 

Learn more about the titles featured.

Guest Blog Post by Stephen Hunter, Author of "I, Ripper"

51-4VYaQP9L[1]New York Times bestselling author Stephen Hunter sets the stage for a different kind of killer in I, Ripper.

Despite all of the “American sniper” obsession which has been the core of my career, there's always been a strain of Anglophilia in my books, of which I, Ripper is the ultimate and final expression.

For more than 20 years, I've made a pretty good living chronicling the adventures of an American alpha family in the arroyos, back canyons, scrub hilltops, and dry gulch alleys of a place called gun country where it was always high noon, and whichever Swagger was in play found himself outnumbered and outgunned, but never out fought.

I have neither complaints nor regrets. But at the same time, there was another man inside, squirming to get out. I was never 100 percent gunman. A certain part of me, long suppressed in the years of the Swagger odyssey was of a different sort. Where the Swaggers were stoic, this man talked too much, in a tone of high irony, and found it all amusing. His mots were not only bon but stinging. His mind naturally offered riposte, repartee, quips and puns. He was as English as I am—and any Swagger has been—American.

I’ve finally given him center stage in I, Ripper, set in high empire times, 1888, London, and specifically its seedy fleshpot called Whitechapel. This phantasmagoria of lust, crime, want, deceit and odd nobility I fill with English voices, manners and madnesses—Jack's among them. I'm crazy about this stuff. I squeeze in a nice custard of Englishness to bring it to life, the smells, the sights, the hats (God, what hats!), and most particularly the beautiful clothes.

For me, it begins with the magical stuff called tweed. The Scots of the New Hebrides islands originally wove this stout wool as a way of keeping the dampness and the thorns out of their highlander’s duty day. But their invention shed its practicality to become pure design, and soon the fabric acquired amazing fusions of color and texture and offered complexity more intricate than anything the Enigma engine dreamed up. Fortunately it was a code that didn’t need to be solved, merely displayed. Thus a style was born. So part of my Brit thing was pure tweed love—the sports coats and suits in the rough texture of the fall, all lit from within by glints of ochre and umber and twilight with random slubs of sunlight in the murk of green or brown. Where Swagger favors denim and chambray, I myself am a tweed man, through and through.

And that tweed speaks a different language than the American hero’s, and thus demands a different actor. Our fellows proclaim their crudeness of expression and lust for action by adapting poses that seem like the coil of a panther about to spring. On the contrary, a certain kind of Brit, caped in tweed, cosseted in chilled irony, finds a languor that is pure feline for comfort.

He’s almost effeminate, with his legs crossed thigh to calf instead of ankle to knee, the delicate way he holds his English Oval pinched between fingers, the alabaster nobility of his porcelain temples, the vaguely amused look on his face as he sends out little viper-strikes of dry humor that devastate whatever bloated target lies dead ahead. God, what style. God what self-possession, what self-confidence, what self-belief! He fears nothing except the vulgar. 

But then, I suppose these English chaps of my imagination—cool as a Pimm’s cup—have never truly existed, any more than any Swagger. They're rhapsodies in tweed.

And that is why I had to write them.

If You Like This You Should Try This

Authors compare their newest books to other titles and television shows.  

 

 

Learn more about the titles featured.

 

Q&A with "Gotham Academy" creators Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl

"Gotham Academy" rounds out the so-called "Young Gotham" group of DC Comics titles.  The series has received praise for its unique style and storytelling. Writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and artist Karl Kerschl discuss what they see of themselves in the characters, as well as upcoming plans for the series.

When you were in school, were you a Goody Two-shoes, a bit of rebel or did you fall somewhere in between?

BECKY CLOONAN: I fell squarely in between the two. I still do! It's a good place to be. You don't want to be too good! Be just bad enough to keep people on their toes, but you don't want to burn bridges either. It's a tricky balancing act!

GothamAcademyTBPBRENDEN FLETCHER: I thought I was a Goody Two-shoes, but always managed to raise the ire of those in charge. Seems I didn't really take well to figures of authority. Go figure.

KARL KERSCHL: Super Goody Two-shoes until grade eleven, and then I got seriously into comics and developed a problem with authority.

What’s it like writing such young characters? Did you have to do any all-ages research to get in the mindsets of the students at Gotham Academy?

BECKY: A lot of Maps and Olive's relationship is based on me and my best friend growing up! Memories and friendships and people I knew, all this informs Gotham Academy. A lot of the characters and relationships come from real places, even if in the end they don't resemble any one particular person. I try not to make the book too topical either, so that in ten years it still reads like it was written yesterday.

BRENDEN: My niece was seven when Becky, Karl and I began imagining the world and characters of GOTHAM ACADEMY. Between spending time with my niece and investigating my own interests (aka "regressing back to my childhood") the characters emerged naturally. Writing Maps is positively the most fun one can possibly have working in comics. I highly recommend it to any writer who can pry the character from my hands!

Will we be getting any looks into the backgrounds of fan-favorite characters like Pomeline Fritch, Colton Rivera and the Mizoguchi siblings in the future?

BECKY: Yes! Fans of Maps will be happy to know she is teaming up with the one and only Damian Wayne for Gotham Academy issue 7! And fans of Kyle will really enjoy issue 8—we get to know these characters a lot more in this next series. I can't wait for people to read these issues!

BRENDEN: We're so excited to dig into the backgrounds of all the characters of GOTHAM ACADEMY but at only 20 pages a month in which to tell our story we're barely able to cram in all the mystery and action the book requires! Maybe if we're lucky Maps will get her own miniseries one day!

KARL: We have backstories for all of the characters, and issue 8 is pretty much ALL Mizoguchi. I would draw a whole series about the Mizoguchi family! They’re the best.

Karl, You have such a beautiful and unique art style—what’s inspired and informed it?

KARL: Thank you! I try to draw differently depending on the story I’m drawing. Gotham Academy is inspired by a lifelong interest in animation—I’m trying to approximate the feeling of traditional cel animation over painted backgrounds, which would be impossible without the fantastic team of colorists on our book. Stylistically, my sense of design owes a lot to Studio Ghibli, Macross and Street Fighter.

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