Guest Post by Author Carol Van Atta + Giveaway

My guest today is Carol Van Atta, the author of a fun (see my review) new paranormal romance I Kissed a Dog. Her heroine just might be able to fill that upcoming Sookie-sized hole in your reading schedule.

Addicted to Love, Romance, and Relationships?
Remember Reality!
Carol Van Atta

I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van AttaLike most authors of paranormal romance, I like the idea of love and romance with a paranormal twist or two that spices things up for the couple. I’m also a fan of love that is intense, at times irrational, and often impulsive. It makes for great reading. However, because of the hot topics we write and/or read about, we might want to consider adding a warning label to our special brand of sexy, supernatural shenanigans.

Warning: Hot and Heavy Romance leading to heated hormones and hellacious heartbreak may result from attempting replicate the relationships in this book.

What I’m saying … we need to keep our feelings for steamy supernatural romances that have the potential to shred our hearts and maybe even our hope, in check.

So, let me ask you, have your friends ever pointed out your relationship failures? Ever heard the word co-dependent and cringed? Do you excuse and tolerate behaviors that are unacceptable and hurtful in your mate? For example: He makes me bleed because he can’t help himself. He is, after all, a vampire. Or … he only bosses me around when the moon is full; remember he’s a werewolf.

If you can answer “yes” to any of the above questions, you just might be in an unhealthy relationship and possibly addicted to love, romance, or the idea of participating in a relationship despite the painful consequences and high emotional price tag.

I know the scenario all too well. It’s easy to fall for those alpha males we inhale like a breath of fresh air while devouring our favorite romances, paranormal or otherwise. The stories make dysfunctional and dare I say, at times, borderline abusive men appear so tantalizing. They also tempt us with the notion that can’t live without a specific relationship/person … think Bella sitting in that darn chair following Edward’s departure in the Breaking Dawn, The Movie.

Why am I bringing up this depressing topic?

Because it’s important to remember the books we read, featuring men who ultimately bring danger and even disaster to our lives aren’t good for us in the real world. We don’t have super powers, (unless you’re hiding something) to combat the villains and vicious characters that seem to cling to these men like a pair of poured on leather pants. Nor are we equipped to handle all the chaos that accompanies them, roaring down the main street of our heart.

But the main reason, friends, is because I care. I know what it’s like to search for love in the darkness hoping it would light up my life. Unfortunately, I ended up with a blood thirsty vampire latched onto my neck unwilling to release his relentless and painful hold. What seemed so enticing and intoxicating in the beginning became poison to my heart and life. When a vampire is attached to your throat, it’s hard to live life, let alone experience love.

This special post is just a reminder for us to enjoy the lethal love in the books we read, without allowing our desire for love and romance to overpower our commonsense.

On the lighter side, this is what makes reading paranormal romances the safe and better option. I took this from my website.

Why write a series of books about wolfy-men, who according to legend, howl at the moon, shed fur, and shred their victims with their big teeth – oh my?

I think the explanation can’t ignore the psychology of women. Do I speak for all women? Of course, not! But I do know (right or wrong) a wide range of women (myself included) are, or have been at some point in the past, drawn to “bad boys,” men who for whatever reason live daringly adventurous lives, doing things that often cause them to stand apart from other less intense guys, the type of guys we might refer to as uber reliable or b-o-r-i-n-g. Bad boys are so refreshingly far from boring, they’re not even on the same map. They’re typically easy on the eyes, usually in a non-traditional way, and have strong, possibly overbearing personalities; they are decidedly masculine in every sense of the word. Dare we say they’re predatory? They take control, go after what they want, and are nowhere near tame. Feral. Wild. Sexy. Dangerous. Yep. They’re beastly. And what’s more beastly than a werewolf? See my point?

If you want tame, werewolves are not for you. Danger isn’t for everyone. Yet, I challenge you to take a long look at the desires of your heart. Do you crave adventure? Excitement? Passion? If you’re breathing, I suspect you’ve wished for those very things a time or two … or three hundred. Don’t worry. And don’t be ashamed. You’re so not alone.

Men with supernatural tendencies tend to live outside the box we call normal. Excitement, danger, and passion cling to them like peanut butter to jelly. Yummy! And we just can’t help but want a taste. Granted, we may live our safe, predictable lives, but opening a book that rockets us into a world of romance, intrigue, and danger, along with a good dose of humor, allows us to experience those bad boys without the not-always-positive side effects. In other words, we can safely enjoy danger and desire without breaking a nail or nursing a broken heart.

Biting Back by Claudia CunninghamThat final sentence says it all. We can enjoy our wolfy guys from the safety of our favorite arm chair, without putting ourselves in harm’s way.

However, if you’ve found yourself dealing with an unwanted and toxic relationship, I’d like to recommend a resource you might want to check out. The book Biting Back by Claudia Cunningham, is a no-nonsense, no garlic guide to facing the personal vampires in your life.

Be safe. Love. Live. And read.

About Carol Van AttaCarol Van AttaLike most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she’s an ex-80’s chick.

Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.

She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.

To learn more about Carol, look for her on her website, on Facebook, and her blog.


Carol Van Atta, author of I Kissed a Dog, invites you to enter to win Ebooks and Promo Posters from her publisher.

  1. I Kissed a Dog, book one of Werewolves of the West, Carol Van Atta, with one poster
  2. Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids, Carol Van Atta, with one poster
  3. Black Moon, Jessica McQuay, with one poster
  4. Blood Betrayal, Alison Beightol, with one poster
  5. Morningside, Ashley Madau, with one poster
  6. Drama Queens, Kevin Klher, with one poster
  7. The Dogman Cometh, Jonathan Womack, with one poster
  8. Blood Destiny, Tessa Dawn, with one poster

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Kissed a Dog Button March-april 300 x 225

Review: I Kissed A Dog by Carol Van Atta

I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van AttaFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Werewolves of the West, #1
Length: 446 pages
Publisher: Charles River Press / Cambridge Press US
Date Released: November 21, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Chloe Carpenter isn’t like other women. She can communicate with animals, a gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.

In her otherwise wacky life, she’s finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he’d roar right back out.
Problem: He’s her new coworker and he’s saved her life twice – in the past twenty-four hours.

Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do – figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.

With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected.
Remarkably, she’s the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.
Problem: She despises him.

Together, they’re forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.
Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she’ll do anything to keep him from Chloe.

My Review:

If you are looking for a series to fill the Sookie-sized hole in your reading life, you might want to check out Carol Van Atta’s new Werewolves of the West series. Chloe Carpenter, at least in her first appearance in I Kissed a Dog, bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain telepathic waitress from Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Chloe’s not exactly telepathic, but she’s not exactly not, either. Chloe’s more like a female Doctor Doolittle. That’s right, Chloe talks to the animals, and they talk back. Only telepathically.

Chloe wasn’t born the animal psychic. There was a nearly tragic incident–with a fence, and a doberman, and a swimming pool. Instead of dying, Chloe ended up with this “gift”. Let’s call it a mixed blessing.

She’s great at helping animals. When they’re sick, they really can “tell her where it hurts”. Vets love her. On the other hand, finding out from her ex-boyfriend’s cat that he was a cheating hound was pretty traumatic.

Now she works for a wildlife park as a kind of animal whisperer. Her boss knows about her talent, but it’s somewhat of a mixed blessing for the park, too. Chloe’s not a vet, and they need to call one whenever she finds a sick animal.

That’s where Zane Marshall comes in. He is a vet. He’s also the pack enforcer for the Pacific Pack werewolves. He’s looking for Chloe, because his pack needs her animal telepathy services. He isn’t counting on her ability to read him!

Zane is the first “human” Chloe has ever been able to read, confusing her no end. The revelation that all too many of the mythical creatures she has read about are real knocks her world for a complete loop.

Zane and his friends need Chloe to help them investigate a threat to their pack, but there is also a serial killer on the loose who is murdering men in Chloe’s small town, and the two cases just might be connected.

Oh, and Zane’s intended mate thinks that Chloe is in her way, and plans to eliminate her any way she can. The messier, the better. Ouch!

Escape Rating B: There is definitely a resemblance between the early Sookie and Chloe, particularly if you wanted Sookie to pick Alcide.

Chloe starts out as an innocent. Very innocent, she’s a virgin! Her parents were extremely protective. I’ll say over-protective, and a lot of those lessons stuck. Also, like Sookie, her telepathy causes her some relationship problems. There are other similarities between Sookie and Chloe, but revealing more goes deeply into spoiler territory.

However, Chloe’s ability to talk to animals is not just different, it’s cool. The animals do talk back. And they generally love her for paying attention and taking care of them.

Zane and Chloe’s relationship starts out with a huge misunderstandammit and continues through one right after another. These two never seem to be straight with each other. And there is a giant insta-lust thing going on, although I hesitate to call it insta-love, combined with the werewolf fated-mating-bond trope. The amount that these two kept secrets from each other means that their love story needs some more fleshing out, or more trials and tribulations, before I’ll totally buy into it.

I did get fooled by who the villain was, and I stayed up way too late on a work night to finish the book.

One of Chloe’s biggest secrets leads to a potential love-triangle that caused the book to end on a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. This story absolutely requires a sequel, so it’s a good thing that it is book one of a series. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

I Kissed a Dog Button March-april 300 x 225

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-14-13

Sunday Post

People filing tax forms in 1920
People filing tax forms in 1920

I wonder how many people in the U.S. are spending this weekend frantically doing their taxes? Not a pretty picture, is it? We did ours early this year, but last year we filed an extension, so I’m in the position of one of those people in the glass house not being able to throw stones.

And isn’t e-filing a wonderful thing?

Speaking of wonderful things, the winners of all the giveaways from last weekend are in the process of being notified. I haven’t heard back from everyone yet, so the announcements will be in next Sunday’s Post.

There is still plenty of time to enter Sheila Roberts’ tourwide giveaway of a $25 eHarlequin Giftcard and along with print copies of the latest book in her Icicle Falls series, What She Wants.

Big Boy by Ruthie KnoxThis weeks’ complete recap:

B+ Review: Lucky Like Us by Jennifer Ryan
A Review: Big Boy by Ruthie Knox
B Review: What She Wants by Sheila Roberts
Guest Post by Author Sheila Roberts + Giveaway
B+ Review: The Trouble With Sin by Victoria Vane
C+ Guest Review: Star Trek The Next Generation: The Stuff of Dreams by James Swallow
Stacking the Shelves (41)

What’s coming up this week?

First, I have to kiss a dog.

I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van AttaTomorrow my guest will be Carol Van Atta, the author of I Kissed a Dog, the start of a new paranormal romance/urban fantasy series about werewolves and other creatures. I’ll also have a review of this rather fun start to a series that just might fill the Sookie-sized hole in your reading schedule.

Thursday my guest will be Jenny Davidson, talking about her rather spooky book about immersion in real-life gaming, The Magic Circle. That story was one to read with the lights on.

And the week ends with The Magic Touch Blog Hop. But there’s magic all week long!