Excerpt and Giveaway: High Moon by Jennifer Harlow

I’m not quite finished with this book, so my review will be posted later. I really enjoyed the first book in Jennifer’s other series set in this same universe; What’s a Witch to Do, so this looks like fun. Please enjoy this excerpt from High Moon by Jennifer Harlow to see if you agree.

high moon by jennifer harlow

Chapter One- Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

Watching the man you love suck face with a gorgeous woman is not the best way to start a birthday. Welcome to my world.

He sits at a back booth, lips and every other body part pressed against that succubus, appearing to love every second and caress, the rat bastard. And how can he not be? The evil slut queen of doom has everything I don’t. Long, straight hay-colored hair, big blue eyes, big breasts, long lean legs, tight body all encased in a skintight black dress clinging to her perfect curves that only a plastic surgeon could ever recreate on me. I’ve envied women like her all my life, and now that succubus has my future husband in her enticing clutches. Literally. An actual succubus is clutching his soft brown hair and kissing him as if her life depended on it. Which I guess it does—as she feeds off sexual energy to live—but still. Does he have to frigging enjoy the whole experience so much?

Continue reading “Excerpt and Giveaway: High Moon by Jennifer Harlow”

Interview with Author Jennifer Harlow + Giveaway

jenWhat’s a book blogger to do? Welcome today’s guest, Jennifer Harlow, of course! Jennifer is here to talk about her terrific new paranormal mystery/romance What’s a Witch to Do? (to see just how terrific, take a look at my review)

While you’re putting What’s a Witch to Do? on your to-do list, take a look at what Jennifer has to say about it.

Marlene: Jennifer, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Jennifer: I like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain. Okay, not really. I hate getting wet. Um…I’m the Amazon Bestselling author of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series, I’m single, I live in Northern Virginia, and I spend my days thinking up ways to kill people. Just your typical gal.

Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Jennifer: I wake up, make the long five step trek to my desk, then spend ten minutes staring at the blank page before getting coffee for twenty more minutes of staring. Eventually the muse gets her ass to the office to help me (she’s in an abusive relationship with procrastination right now and really needs an intervention.) Really I have the main characters and the major plot points worked out years before I even pick up a pen, but sometimes those can change, so I’m both a pantser and planner. I think most writers are.

Marlene: All of your books so far are in the paranormal/urban fantasy/things that go bump in the night realm. Let’s face it, on your blog, you often say “welcome to the Darkside…” So what attracts you to that Darkside?

Jennifer: I don’t know where it comes from but I’ve always been drawn to horror and the paranormal. My grandmother was worried I’d go over to the “dark side,” as in become a feature on Deadly Women or something, but the darkness has always fascinated me. I like horror because it’s so dramatic like riding a roller coaster. You get to touch that darkness, that danger, but it can’t touch you back or hurt you. The paranormal is the unexplained, and we fear what we don’t understand. Plus with the paranormal you get to have a little magic in your life, even if it’s only in a book.

Whats a Witch to Do by Jennifer Harlow book coverMarlene: What can we expect of What’s a Witch to Do?

Jennifer: This one follows the most powerful witch in America who, on the busiest week of her life, finds out someone wants to kill her and take over her coven. There’s romance, humor, Southern hospitality, and plenty of suspense. Sales pitch over.

Marlene: In What’s a Witch to Do, Mona seems like a heroine for “the rest of us”. She’s not perfectly gorgeous, she’s not 22, she’s not a size 0, and her life is disorganized by a series of to-do lists that never quite get done. She’s wonderful! Was there a particular inspiration for Mona?

Jennifer: I often get asked if my character Bea from the F.R.E.A.K.S. is based off me. She’s far nicer, sweeter, and braver than me. If a horde of zombies was about to attack people I’d be running the other way, not picking up a machete to join in the fight. But Mona is the most like me. She has my former martyr syndrome, my overreaching grasp when it comes to all I commit to, my control freak tendencies, my intimacy issues, and my self-image problems. I think a lot of people, especially women, have the same quirks in being everything to everyone and weight static. Even my size 0 friends have the same static. I just wanted her to be a normal person in extraordinary circumstances. Even if she is the most powerful witch in America.

Marlene: Does your new Midnight Magic series tie into your F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series?

Jennifer: It does. Some of the F.R.E.A.K.S. even make cameos. I wanted to expand this world to include people who are different but don’t go looking for trouble, it just finds them. Everyone shows up in everyone else’s books and events from the past play into all the books. I have a timeline above my desk to keep it all straight, like a web. Like Mona I just hope my reach doesn’t exceed my grasp.

Marlene: Will there be more Midnight Magic books? What is next on your schedule?

death takes a holidayJennifer: This year is very, very busy for me. Besides What’s A Witch To Do? I have a short story out in Kindle Single form about FREAK teleporter Nancy, the third F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad book Death Takes A Holiday out in August, and may self publish something else. Then this time next year the next in the Midnight Magic book will be out. Mona and Adam appear but really it’s Alpha Jason’s story about his rise to power. And right now I’m working on the third Magic book whose focus is Anna West, who I introduced in the second F.R.E.A.K.S. book To Catch A Vampire. I’m exhausted just thinking about it all.

Marlene: What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

Jennifer: The commute. Five steps and the boss doesn’t mind if I work in my pjs. I also like controlling people who have no recourse. Bea never calls me bossy when I micromanage her life. Fake people are so much better than real ones.

Marlene: Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn’t know to ask.

Jennifer: I am a huge, massive anglophile. I didn’t leave the house for a week when PBS began their all British all the time channel. I watch more British shows than American.

Marlene: Tell us the title of one book that you’ve faked reading.

Fifty Shades Darker. I kind of liked Fifty Shades of Grey, I read it in like three hours and wouldn’t read it again, but the second one was just soooooo boring and Ana’s passivity began to grate so I stopped after about fifty pages. I totally felt like kicking Christian Grey in the balls during those fifty pages. He’d probably get off on that though.

SoullessMarlene: What’s one book that you’ve bought just because of the cover?

Jennifer: Soulless by Gail Carriger. That is one of my favorite covers ever. It’s like art.

Marlene: And what is the book that you most want to read again for the first time?

Jennifer: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. It was the last book where I had to spend all night reading it because I couldn’t put it down. I’m dying for the show to begin again.

Marlene: Morning person or Night Owl?

Jennifer: I used to be a massive Night Owl, even as a child I wouldn’t fall asleep until after midnight, but then I joined the working world and had to become a morning person. Stupid adulthood.

17517376About Jennifer Harlow

Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

You can find Jennifer at her website, her blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.



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Review: What’s a Witch to Do? by Jennifer Harlow

Whats a Witch to Do by Jennifer Harlow book coverFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Midnight Magic Mystery, #1
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Date Released: March 8, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Mona McGregor’s To Do List

  • Make 20 13 potions/spells/charms
  • Put girls to bed
  • Help with Debbie’s wedding
  • Lose 30 pounds before bachelorette auction
  • Deal with the bleeding werewolf on doorstep
  • Find out who wants me dead
  • Prepare for supernatural summit
  • Have a nervous breakdown
  • Slay a damn demon
  • Fall in love

My Review:

Mona McGregor is a heroine for the rest of us. She’s 35 years old, she’s not exactly gorgeous, and she’s not a size two. What Mona is, however, is responsible as hell.

Mona raised her younger sisters with the help of her grandmother. She owns her own shop. For the past 15 years, she’s been High Priestess of her local coven. Yes, you read that right. Her local coven.

Mona is a witch. Really. But then, so is a significant part of the population of Goodnight, Virginia. And a lot of the rest are werewolves. Some are vamps.

On top of all Mona’s other responsibilities, since her youngest sister abandoned them on her doorstep last year, Mona has been raising her two nieces, Sophie and Cora, ages ten and six.

What Mona has is the world’s longest to-do list and no life of her own. On top of everything else, someone wants to kill her in order to become High Priestess. If it weren’t for the fact that her death was required, Mona might be willing to give them the job just to get a few minutes peace!

About that death threat: she only finds out about it when Adam Blue, beta of the local werewolf pack, drops half dead on her doorstep. Adam is also gorgeous, and Mona would be interested, but Adam hasn’t spoken more than a half a dozen words to her in the twenty years they’ve known each other.

And, the doctor of her dreams has suddenly shown an interest.

There’s suddenly too much going on in Mona’s already overfull life.

The death threat gets backed up by a demon. The werewolf moves in as a bodyguard, and the doctor starts making moves.

What’s a witch to do? Suspect everyone!

Escape Rating B: There are two plots in this story, the death threat and the love story. Both have what mystery stories call a “MacGuffin” and both get resolved by the end.

Although the death threat is real, and is going to be accomplished by magical means, the reasons for it are actually mundane. I don’t mean mundane in the sense of ordinary, I mean mundane in the sense that they are the same as in any police procedural. The questions are “who has a motive?” and the classic “who benefits?” People are still people, even if they can make fire shoot out of their fingers.

The love story had a couple of twists. I think most readers will guess who the intended true love is before the end, and why. But the reasons do fit quite nicely into the world the author has created.

What we don’t find out about, and that I hope is resolved in later books in the series, is the story of Ivy, Mona’s youngest sister, and what the heck she dragged her little girls through. They picked up some stuff they shouldn’t, and some very adult fears and coping skills. There’s a story there.

So, both the mystery and the love story had their predictable elements, but the setting was fun, and I really liked Mona. I’ll be looking for another visit to Goodnight, VA.

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***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? 3-3-13

Sunday PostI still have a conceptual problem with seeing the dates for 2013. I’m not sure why. But writing the date for this post as 3-3-13 just looked weird. Maybe I have a mild case of triskaidekaphobia?

Art of Video Games PublicityIn unrelated geekiness, yesterday we went to the EMP Museum at Seattle Center to see the National Tour of the Smithsonian’s fantastic exhibition on The Art of Video Games. This is a historic journey, a nostalgia trip, and an art exhibition all rolled into one, and it’s awesome. If you ever loved video games in your life, and you’re going to be in one of the cities the exhibit is travelling to, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Of course, as soon as we left the museum, we went out and bought a new game. It was just the right thing to do. Both of us itched to wrap our hands around a controller.

Holding Out for a Hero book coverIt’s not just games that have winners. We had a winner here this week, too. Lisa C. won an ebook copy of Holding Out for a Hero from Entangled Publishing. Come to think of it, the superhero theme also fits pretty well with the games.

You still have plenty of time to get in Theresa Meyers’ fantastic giveaway. First prize is a $50 Amazon gift card! She is also giving away autographed copies of her steampunk romance adventure series, The Legend Chronicles, and autographed copies of the final book in the series, The Chosen. Click here to go to the giveaway.

Here’s the full recap of this week:

Circus of Blood by James R Tuck book coverC+ Review: Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson
B+ Review: The Mysterious Madam Morpho by Delilah S. Dawson
B+ Review: Circus of Blood by James R. Tuck
A- Review: The Chosen by Theresa Meyers
Interview with Author Theresa Meyers + Giveaway!
B- Guest Review: Stung by Bethany Wiggins
Stacking the Shelves (36)

And for the first full week of March, what do we have?

Whats a Witch to Do by Jennifer Harlow book coverJennifer Harlow is on tour with the first book in her new Midnight Magic Mystery series, What’s a Witch to Do? In addition to some of my reviewing magic, Jennifer will stop by for an interview and giveaway on Thursday. We’re part of her “to-do” list, a comment that will make much more sense after you read the review!

I also have reviews of two of my long-standing favorite series, the latest entry In Death from the indefatigable J. D. Robb, and the new novel in the Deaconverse from James R. Tuck. (I did read Circus of Blood last week for an excellent reason. And it was awesome!)

Plus, I have a terrific guest review from my friend Cryselle to round out this very full week.

Lucky in LoveTune in for even more fun the following week. The Lucky in Love Blog Hop is right around the corner!