Review: Don’t Blackmail the Vampire by Tiffany Allee + Giveaway

dont blackmail the vampire by tiffany alleeFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Sons of Kane #2
Length: 156 pages
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Date Released: April 28, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance

Rachel Davis will do anything to get her sister out of a bad relationship with her fiancé. Even if it involves a few fibs, a little breaking-and-entering, and blackmailing the fiancé’s potential boss, Charles, for his help. So what if the handsome Charles happens to be a vampire?

Charles Wright has found the perfect way to trap the man threatening his brother’s wife: cozy up to him, get invited along on the skiing trip, and then search for incriminating evidence. How much better that audacious but gorgeous Rachel is just as eager to nail the bastard. As far as he’s concerned, there’s nothing wrong with a little blackmail between two consenting adults. Especially when it’s time for Rachel to pay up.

My Review:

Don't Bite the Bridesmaid by Tiffany AlleeDon’t Blackmail the Vampire is the sequel to Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid (reviewed here). As the titles indicate, this series is a fairly lighthearted take on vampires and paranormal romance.

Not that there isn’t some skullduggery involved, but it’s the good old-fashioned human kind. We’re just as capable as vampires of being rotten, with or without sharp fangs.

The fun thing about this series is that the existence of vampires may be a general secret, but it’s not specifically secret–the heroines in both books know perfectly well that vamps exist, because they know someone who nearly married one.

But I said this is a sequel, because the characters in this story were all introduced in the first book, and the story directly follows the last one. Or it appears to.

In Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid, Alice asks her hunky neighbor to be her pity date at her sister’s wedding. He’s taking pity on her because her sister is marrying her ex’ brother, and said ex is a slimy arse who she caught cheating on her with her ex-best friend.

Her neighbor Noah is the vampire in this equation, and the pity date turns out to be true love after all.

But all is not well; someone is threatening Alice by phone and email, and with specific knowledge of vampires. Everyone suspects her ex, because he’s just that slimy.

And that’s where this story comes in, because someone needs to get to the bottom of the death-threats, and Noah’s brother Charles elects himself as the charmer to charm the slime. But Charles isn’t the only one who wants to nail Brant for his sliminess, so he joins forces with Rachel, the sister of Brant’s new girlfriend, who just so happens to be that ex-best friend of Alice’s that he cheated with.

Everything follows from the first story. Except for Charles and Rachel. Rachel knows Brant is sleazy and slimy, but can’t convince her sister. So she “coerces” Charles to help her, by threatening to reveal his vampiric nature. Actually, threatening to reveal his plans to out Brant would have been more of a threat.

Charles goes along because Rachel is the first truly “interesting” woman he’s met in decades. He’s met beautiful, but really interesting and fun to be with have been in much shorter supply. She’s refreshing as well as beautiful.

Rachel, of course, thinks he’s too gorgeous to be remotely in her league, but she needs his help.

And it turns out that he needs hers, more than he thought possible.

Escape Rating B+: This series is tremendously fun. It’s an absolute blast because the people involved are not just easy to empathize with, but also people you’d like to sit down and have a drink with, or be friends with, in real life. (At least the good ones, Brant is definitely a slime ball).

Charles is not your typical dark and brooding vampire. He was a charming people person before he was “turned” and being a vampire has not changed his basic nature. He’s in this initially because he truly wants to help his brother and desperately wants to save his almost-sister-in-law.

So naturally he gets caught up in wanting to help Rachel too.

There’s a bit of the “fake relationship” story in here as well, and it works because it’s turned on it’s head and upside down. Rachel and Charles fake a relationship and then fake him being a selfish ass so that Rachel’s sister can see the same thing happening to her. But the fake relationship turns real, and the fake breakup only proves it to both Charles and Rachel, even though they both think they don’t have a chance long-term.

As Charles reveals more and more vampire secrets, he discovers that they do belong together, and that he needs her to solve the mystery he started with. Rachel just needs to trust in her feelings, and that’s damn hard for her to do. When she finally figures it out, it’s an ending that makes you smile.


Pump Up Your Book
Tiffany is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter on the tour. To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter.

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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 or borrowed from a public library 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.

Review: Vampire Games by Tiffany Allee + Giveaway

vampire games by tiffany alleeFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency #4
Length: 146 pages
Publisher: Entangled Ever After
Date Released: October 28, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance

She’s seen the past…

OWEA Agent Beatrice Davis is haunted by the death visions that help her solve crimes. When Detective Claude Desmairis, her vampire ex-lover, asks for her assistance on a case, she’d rather help him than take the mandated leave to stave off her burn-out.

The truth won’t stay buried…

Pressed to solve a series of crimes before the perpetrator blows the vampire world apart, Claude turns to a woman he thought he’d been able to leave behind. But he was wrong, and his feelings for her will only bring trouble in an investigation this dangerous.

As their passions reignite, they see a possible future together. Until her visions show her the face of the murderer—a man Claude can never betray.

My Review:

lycan unleashed by tiffany alleeIn my review of Lycan Unleashed, the previous entry in the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, I asked for Claude Desmarais’ story. I wanted to know exactly where, or at least why, the vampire kept having to leave his OWEA partner behind while he got dragged off for “vampire business”.

I certainly got my wish fulfilled in Vampire Games. The vampire business that Claude has been messed up in turned out to be not so much vampire business as monkey business, but he hasn’t been the instigator.

While Claude has been investigating a vampire gone wrong, someone else has been protecting that same vamp from the consequences of his evil ways. And it’s been some pretty high level influential protection. Claude knows that someone in the OWEA and in the Chicago Police Department’s Paranormal Unit is keeping his investigation from bearing fruit, so he isn’t sure who he really can trust.

So he goes off the reservation to the one person he knows won’t betray him, at least in an official sense. OWEA Agent Beatrice Davis may be the best psychometrist in the world. She can tell where any object has been and who last handled it. The problem with psychometry is that when you’re investigating murder, you handle a lot of objects that have been to a lot of bad places and been handled by a lot of evil people. It wears you down.

Bea Davis is on leave recovering from her last several cases. Claude shouldn’t be asking her to handle another job. Or another item used for ritual murder. He also shouldn’t be near her after he broke her heart years ago and stomped it into pieces. But he needs her help.

And he’s finally willing to admit that he just plain needs her. That he only let her go so abruptly because he didn’t want all the enemies he’d accumulated in his very long life to start going after her.

The first vision Bea gets from the object he shows her proves it’s much, much too late. His enemies have been screwing up her life long before she ever met him. Now they just need to face them together. But only if Claude can manage to look at all the evidence in front of him, instead of thinking that his old friend can’t possibly be a criminal just because he’s a friend.

That sort of thinking can get someone killed.

banshee charmer by tiffany alleeEscape Rating B : If you like urban fantasy with a heaping helping of paranormal romance, or the other way around, get yourself a copy of the first book in this series, Banshee Charmer (see review for details), and start now. This series has great worldbuilding and while each book has its own self-contained story, it is very cool to see the overall picture put together.

Vampire Games is a “second chance at love” story. Bea and Claude, but especially Bea, have a hell of a lot of damage to overcome from that first try, and the author does an excellent job of making sure that the reader feels just how much pain Claude left her in when he stomped on her heart. She shouldn’t take him back, but we understand why she wants to. At the same time, we get a sense of why he left; loving him made them both vulnerable, and not just emotionally. Distance was both easier and safer.

It just also turned out to be stupid.

Because this is also an urban fantasy, there is a criminal case to be solved as well. Claude has been chasing down Nicolas Chevalier for years, trying to put together a case that will stick. The problem is that Nic is the son of a vampire Magister, and his father won’t accept anything less than an iron-clad case. So even though everyone knows that Nic is a sadistic psychopath, proving it is another matter. Especially since Nic usually strikes whenever his father sends Claude away from town on “vampire business”.

Claude is loyal to Luc, one of his oldest and dearest friends. He refuses to believe that Luc is the one making the evidence against Nic disappear, even as he manages to collect untainted evidence from outside the system. The depth of his loyalty was touching, but also reached the point of straining the imagination a bit. Or the lengths that Luc was willing to go to in order to protect his sociopathic killer of a son.

Somewhere between those two extremes, something was a bit off-kilter for me in the break-neck speed of the investigation.

But I loved the way the relationship teetered and swung and built between Bea and Claude. The way they both quickly and hesitantly reached toward something both new and old was marvelous.

I hope that more Files will be extracted from the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

***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 or borrowed from a public library 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.

Review: Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid by Tiffany Allee

Don't Bite the Bridesmaid by Tiffany AlleeFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Sons of Kane #1
Length: 209 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Covet
Date Released: May 27, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Alice Shepard needs one thing: a date for her sister’s wedding. And not just any date. A hunk who will make her fiancé rue the day he left her for her best friend. Her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor fits the bill—even if he is a bit quirky and never comes out during the day—and Alice has downed just enough appletinis to ask him. But she makes it quite clear that there will be no funny business.

Spending a week on a cruise ship full of humans while sleeping close to his sexy next-door neighbor sounds like a helluva bad idea to vampire Noah Thorpe. But his friends need time to get him out of a shotgun wedding—a vampire bonding that will tie his fate to a female vampire he’s never met. And Alice’s offer comes at just the right time.

What could possibly go wrong?

My Review:

Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid was a lot of fun to read, and it also had a couple of surprisingly deep points along with the cute love story (and I’m not just talking about the hero’s fangs, either!)

Of course Alice wants a date to her sister’s wedding. And not just because she doesn’t want to spend a week on a wedding cruise as a pitiful single (yuck!). The groom’s brother is her lying, cheating, scum-sucking ex-fiancé. Pride requires that she rub his face in how much better off she is without him.

Especially since they broke up because she caught him with his pants down, screwing her ex-best friend.

Now that their relationship is dead and gone, Alice is certain she’s better off without him (he had other bad habits) but that doesn’t mean she wants to be alone on that wedding cruise. Six appletinis later, she’s next door asking her hunky neighbor to be her “plus one” for a week on a boat.

Lucky for her Noah Thorpe needs an excuse to get out of town and out of touch. The Vampire Council (yes, you read that right) wants him to bond with some newly fledged vampire to keep whoever-she-is grounded until she learns control and supposedly to keep him from dying of ennui.

But Noah’s nowhere near that jaded yet, unlike his brother Alex, and he needs to disappear for a week so that his other brother Charles can lobby the Council, or their father Kane.

Besides, he likes Alice. Or rather, when she comes back the next morning, chastened and sober, to present her proposition a second time, Charles thinks its a great idea and Noah gets a visit from the green-eyed monster.

Noah thinks it will be easy to hide from the Council, and hide his secret vampiric identity, on a cruise ship with the most tempting woman he’s met in centuries.

He has absolutely no idea what he’s let himself in for. Or that it might be the best worst idea he’s ever had.

Escape Rating B: Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid was so much fun because it takes a bite out of so many tried-and-true romantic themes. Alice doesn’t want to go alone on that cruise, but she absolutely does not want her ex back, and with excellent reasons.

There are always convoluted vampire politics. I swear. That never changes. But the whole vampire bonding to keep both parties out of different kinds of trouble was a new twist. (We never do find out who the would-be bonded mate is. Her identity doesn’t seem to be important for the plot. Or this plot. After meeting Kane, I smell red herring)

Unlike the usual variations on this theme, Alice and some of her family already know about vampires. Her brother almost married one, but his vampire ex-fiancé left him at the altar. (I wish we had that story.)

I like Alice; she’s someone I’d want to meet. Based on Noah’s description of her neighborhood activism, she’s definitely someone I’d like to have in my town! Her family, especially her mom, are lots of fun.

Based on the ending I have hopes that there will be stories about Noah’s two brothers, Alex and Charles. Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid was such a delightful little treat, I’d be happy to read more about the Sons of Kane. I wouldn’t mind reading Kane’s story, either. His Mr. Mysterious thing at Cindy’s wedding was awesome.

***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.

Review: Lycan Unleashed by Tiffany Allee

LycanUnleashed-500-200x300Format Read: ebook received from the publisher
Number of Pages: 115 pages
Release Date: January 13, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Series: From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Formats Available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Author’s Website | Publisher’s Website | Goodreads

Book Blurb:

Detective Astrid Holmes is a sensitive, a human capable of feeling the energy of otherworlders. When she is dispatched to the horrific murder scene of a local vampire, she expects it to be just another day on the job. But when evidence is stolen on her watch, she is removed—not only from the investigation, but from her job as a member of the Chicago police department’s paranormal unit.

Astrid’s only hope of reinstatement lies with her ex co-worker and almost-lover, Lycan Mason Sanderson. But convincing the OWEA agent to let her assist with the investigation isn’t nearly as difficult as staying alive when the murderer realizes that Astrid may hold the key to unlocking his identity.

Fighting to take down a killer could have deadly consequences for Astrid and Mason, but working together puts their already fragile relationship in jeopardy.

My Thoughts:

Now that we’re three books into the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, the “world” it operates in is already established. This is excellent, as this series is made up of novellas rather than full-length novels, and each one ends up being just a bit short. Prior background is good.

The heroine of Lycan Unleashed is Astrid Holmes, and she’s someone we’ve met before. Astrid is the “sensitive” who’s been called on in previous cases. Astrid can, well, “sense” what type of paranormal committed a crime, and what kind of energy surrounds a crime scene.

She’s usually an office worker, because her sense is acute. She senses paranormal energy all the time. From every paranormal or Otherworlder (OW) around her. Every aura they exude. For example, vamps smell like old cigarettes and are surrounded by a miasma of fear. The scene where Astrid describes what it’s like to be her is truly awesome.

But speaking of aromas, lycans smell like the forest. Mason Sanderson particularly. Astrid thought that they might have the possibility of a relationship, but one kiss, one year ago, and after that, he can’t seem to stand to be in the same room with her. Not even when they have to work together on a case for the OWEA.

Still, when Astrid’s current case goes totally pear-shaped, she has nowhere else to turn. Her vampire partner Claude is away for one of his mysterious disappearances. A vampire is killed in a particularly nasty way (even for vamps) just to send a message to the Magister of the City. And then a critical piece of evidence goes missing while she is handling it.

Astrid is taken off the case and put on administrative leave. Of course she is. Cops do what cops do, even when they’re otherworlder cops.

To save her badge, and to redeem her name, Astrid needs to stay on the case. For that, she goes to Mason. And once they are back in each other’s close orbit again, she discovers that his regret over their one kiss last year wasn’t because he was sorry that he kissed her.

It was because he was sorry that he didn’t think it was a good idea to keep right on kissing her, and a whole lot more. Forever.

It’s just too bad that they’re trying to resolve their misunderstanding while people, and others, are trying to kill them.

Verdict: I like the world that Allee has created in this series. The more of it I learn, the more I want to know. In general, the books are too short.

In specific, this one was definitely too short.

Both Mason and Astrid are not on speaking terms with their birth families. Clearly, something terrible happened in both their pasts that is messing with their heads. It’s a factor in why Mason pushed Astrid away the previous year. But we don’t find out nearly enough details about what the heck happened with either of their families. We get some info, but it’s not enough.

The lack of closure or healing left me feeling a bit shortchanged regarding the love story. On the one hand, it wasn’t insta-love. On the other hand, I wasn’t quite sure why Mason finally gave in to his emotions. He didn’t really resolve any of his issues. He just stopped resisting.

There’s a lot in this story that’s about family. The crime that’s being investigated is a family crime. For those details, you need to read the story.

banshee-charmer-500-200x300I enjoyed this particular “File” from the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, but it didn’t quite live up to the previous entries. Banshee Charmer (review here) did a better job with the cop shop aspects of the story and Succubus Lost (review at Reading Reality) hit the high points of the romance higher. But the series as a whole is pure paranormal romance/urban fantasy fun and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

And Astrid’s partner Claude definitely needs his own story. Where does that vamp keep disappearing to?


I give Lycan Unleashed by Tiffany Allee 3 and 1/2 wolfish stars.

***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.

Review: Heels and Heroes by Tiffany Allee + Giveaway!

Format read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Paranormal romance
Length: 79 pages
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Date Released: January 7, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Brenda is a second-rate superhero, normally more concerned with uniform fashion than defeating bad guys. But when a violent, new super villain declares war against her city, she suddenly finds her specialized power to deafen sound in high demand.
As if facing the destructive force of a new enemy isn’t bad enough, she finds herself paired with the powerful, yet emotionally distant, Justice. Forced to work at the side of the only man who gets her heart pounding, Brenda is not only in danger of losing her life in battle, but also her heart to a man who might not be able to love her back.

What if being a superhero was just like having an aptitude for sports, or math?

Some people have it, and some people don’t. Some folks are better at it than others.

It’s just that the “minor” superheroes attend “career day” at the local high school wearing masks. Everyone may know they exist, but they still need to hide their secret identities. because where there are superheroes, there are also super-villains.

And also super-egos, and not just in the Freudian sense.

Brenda has always been kind of the “runt of the litter” when it comes to superpowers. She knows she’s got a second-rate power. Her parents, both retired members of the local Council, have never hesitated to remind her of that fact, every single time they see her.

Neither has her younger brother. He’s the one who got the first-rank talent. He’s the one her parents dote on. She’s just a nobody in their eyes.

And in the eyes of everyone in the Chicago superhero council. She’s good enough to show up at ribbon cuttings and career fairs, but no one asks for her when they need a powerful talent.

Until the Howler comes to town. Because his talent is just what it sounds like. A mind numbing howl of sound that knocks out everyone within reach of his voice. Including superheroes. While everyone is out, the Howler robs banks.

And kidnaps the Mayor of Chicago for ransom. (Too bad it wasn’t one of the Daleys. But enough of the walk down memory lane)

Brenda’s talent is sound blocking. She’s the Silencer, and the only superhero the Howler can’t take down. They all hope.

But she’ll need to work with a team of talents, because she can only block the Howler if she can find him, and that’s not her talent.

Justice can track a superhero. Justice, the hero of all Brenda’s hottest dreams. But she knows that no first-rate talent would ever look at second-rate her for two seconds.

She has no clue that Justice has done nothing but look at her for months. Since the second he moved to Chicago. He’s only keeping away from her because he believes that everyone he loves gets killed. Just like his parents and his sister.

He doesn’t trust his emotions not to be a distraction. And a danger.

Justice has never learned that love is what makes life, even super-powered life, worth living. And Brenda has never had anyone believe in her.

Too bad the Howler is targeting both of them, just when they’ve found each other.

Escape Rating B+: I had such a terrific time reading this story! I really hope there are more stories in this world. What a blast!

Brenda has learned to live with so little validation from her super-powered family that she’s created an entirely separate and very worthwhile life for herself as a mundane. In that world, she has a purpose and authority and she owns her life.

Justice finds her take-charge attitidue in her day-job a real turn-on.

Her diffidence when she’s with her family made this reader want to slap someone upside the head. Justice takes care of that, verbally at least. The family dynamic is sad but real–how many families are there where the very talented child is treated like royalty and the normal child is treated like a doormat?

Justice and Brenda’s relationship develops quickly but naturally. It doesn’t feel like the insta-love you often read in short novellas, because they have known each other for several months, and have been attracted to each other. They’ve just both resisted the pull for reasons that turn out not to matter.

Absolutely super superhero romance.


Win one of three ecopies of Heels and Heroes!

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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? 1-13-13

Does that date look weird to anyone else? I think it’s the 13-13 that threw me for a loop.

Talk about being thrown for a loop…we just moved to Seattle from Atlanta, and, the Seattle Seahawks are playing the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC playoffs, today. As I’m writing this, the Seahawks just pulled ahead by one point, and there’s only 25 seconds left in the game. I’m afraid to watch.

Since everyone at work knows I just moved here from Atlanta, I’ve had way too many conversations at work explaining that I’m NOT rooting for the Falcons. No way. Now if the Cincinnati Bengals were still in it, we might have to talk, but it takes a lot longer than 18 months to get a piece of my heart. Which means I also still root for the Chicago Bears. (I lived in Chicago a long, long time)

And oh crap, the Falcons are in Field Goal range. And they made it. Damn it. I don’t think there’s going to be any joy in Mudville tonight. Mighty Casey just struck out. (Yes, I totally mixed my sports metaphors.)

The Seahawks may have just lost their playoff berth, but there was a winner here at Reading Reality. Tin Ong won the $10 Amazon Gift Card in the New Year’s Blog Hop this week!

Besides the last gasp of that New Year’s Blog Hop, what else happened last week?

B Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
B+ Review: Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion
Interview with Jade Kerrion + Giveaway!
B Review: Immortally Yours by Angie Fox
B+ Review: Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy
C- Review: Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning
Stacking the Shelves (30)

There’s a new week coming up, which means new treats for everyone!

On Monday I’ll be reviewing Tiffany Allee’s new superhero romance, Heels & Heroes. Let’s just say that the “Heels” involved in the title are the fashionable kind, but that the “Heroes” in the title are both super and yummy. As part of the tour for this book, Tiffany is giving away 3 copies.

Tuesday I’ll have a guest post from Blair McDowell, as part of her tour for her latest romance/suspense title, Sonata. I always love seeing Blair’s books come up on tour, because I enjoy her work so much, and Sonata was no except. I’ll have a review on Tuesday, and Blair will also have a giveaway.

Wednesday and Thursday I’m reviewing Olivia Cunning’s Double Time and Elisabeth Staab’s King of Darkness. Completist me, both of those reviews (as well as last week’s Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy) were to get ready to review the latest books in those series. On Thursday at Book Lovers Inc. I’ll be reviewing Elisabeth Staab’s Prince of Power, if you want to “collect the set” for yourself.

Friday’s review is a treat for me. I’m reviewing The Killings at Badger’s Drift. It’s the first in  Caroline Graham’s Chief Inspector Barnaby series. I’ve enjoyed Midsomer Murders so much, that I couldn’t resist reading the books. And sharing them.

Last, but very definitely not least, the Happy Endings Blog Hop starts on Saturday, January 19. It will certainly be a Happy Ending for the winners of all the lovely bookish prizes at the hop participants!

And the week after next will be another busy week! I’ll be hosting tours for Waterfall by Lacy Danes, Nobody’s Angel by Stacy Gail and The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy. With giveaways!

Who said cats and water don’t mix?

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand? 1-6-13

It’s the first Sunday Post of 2013. And away we go!

During this week’s unpacking, we unearthed the box of stuffed animals. I found my Hedgie. Hedgie is a hedgehog. Isn’t she adorable? I got her on a trip to Vancouver a few years ago. She’s been quietly resting a box, along with a bunch of her friends, for several years. Now she’s back on my desk where she belongs.

But the cats didn’t rest much last night. We bought some new inserts for this type of cat scratcher. Basically they’re corrugated cardboard, but, well, anything that saves the furniture is all good. The humans didn’t open the package. The cats went wild during the night. There was a tiny package of catnip wedged between the two scratcher refills. Score!

If you want a more bookish score, there are still a few brief hours left to get in on the New Year’s Blog Hop. The prize here at Reading Reality is a $10 Amazon Gift Card. It might make a dent in your wish list.

What happened last week on the blog? Funny you should ask…

13 for 2013: A Baker’s Dozen of My Most Anticipated Reads
New Year’s Blog Hop
A- Review: The Second Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
B+ Review: Devil in the Making Illustrated Edition by Victoria Vane
B+ Review: Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov, Guest Review by Chryselle
Stacking the Shelves (29)

Now let’s look ahead to this week!

On Tuesday, Jade Kerrion will be here to talk about Double Helix, her science fiction romance series. I’ve already finished book one in the series, Perfection Unleashed, and it’s an absolute thrill ride. So yep, I’ll have a review. And there’s a giveaway as part of the tour.

Rounding out the week I’ll have reviews of Olivia Cunning’s Sinners on Tour series, Angie Fox’s first Monster M*A*S*H, Immortally Yours, and one touch of pure fantasy romance from Kathryne Kennedy’s Enchanting the Lady.

There are two tours on the horizon for the week of January 14: Blair McDowell’s Sonata and Tiffany Allee’s Heels & Heroes. And we’ll end that week with the oh-so-appropriately named Happy Endings Blog Hop.

Stay Tuned!

Interview with Tiffany Allee & Giveaway

I’m so glad to finally be able to welcome Tiffany Allee, the author/extractor of the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, to Reading Reality. Let’s jump right into the interview, shall we?

I’m sure that readers would like to know a little more about the person behind the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, so Tiffany, please tell us a little bit about what you do when you’re not thinking up monsters for the OWEA to fight. Or monsters for the OWEA to run away from…

First of all, thank you so much for having me! What I do when I’m not writing or thinking about writing hrm…good question. Honestly, rarely does my brain go for too long without tossing (or shoving) ideas at me. But other than writing, I enjoy hiking, reading, and watching silly television shows with my husband. I also love to spend time with my family and bother my cats. I also love video games, although I don’t get a chance to play them very often.

Not long ago, I spent the majority of my days in a finance job in Corporate America. But for now I’m taking a break from my cubical to focus on writing.

For readers who are not yet familiar with the series, would you like to give a quick intro to the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency?

The From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency series follows investigators from the OWEA (similar to the FBI, but for paranormal-related investigations) and the officers of the Chicago Police Department’s paranormal unit—or as they’re sometimes called: the freak squad.

The main investigators change with each book, and in each the main characters have something to lose—or have already lost something. And they are all otherworlders. Mac, the main female character in Banshee Charmer is a banshee—albeit an underpowered one. The main character of the second book, Marisol, is a succubus. But beneath both of their otherworlder powers, they are just people who are trying to do the right thing.

Banshees are not usually on the side of the righteous. What inspired you to make your heroine a banshee, even a half-banshee, for the first book in the Files series?

A banshee wasn’t something I’d seen done a lot before, and it sounded like such fun—especially since banshees aren’t usually seen as heroic. And I wanted Mac to be misunderstood, and a little out of place—even among her fellow cops and otherworlders. Making her a banshee seemed to fit the bill.

What inspired you to pick paranormal romance for your writing over another type? Or over another genre altogether?

While I love other genres, I’ve always been drawn to fantasy settings and characters. I also love a happy ending. Paranormal romance allows me to pull in the fantastical elements I enjoy and mix them in with real-world(ish) settings. And the dual stories of mystery and romance give paranormal romance an edge that you can really sink your teeth into. Plus, it gives me a lot of fun elements to juggle.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

Letting the story just flow? Without a plan? *gulps* The idea of pantsing a story gives me a tiny panic attack. I plan everything down to the scene. However, I do change my outline as I go and discover new things about the characters and the plot. I don’t stick to my outlines hard and fast, but if I change them, I do my best to make sure it’s for the better. I have yet to finish a story without a few changes to my original outline.

What book do you recommend everyone should read, and why?

Tough question! Everyone has different tastes, so it’s a difficult thing for me to answer. But the most universal and important book I can think of is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Not always a comfortable book to read, but an important one.

More specifically, besides Banshee Charmer and Succubus Lost, of course, what other paranormal romance/urban fantasy books or series would you recommend to readers who enjoyed Files and needed something to tide them over until the next File opens?

For readers who enjoy darker urban fantasy, I highly recommend Stacia Kane’s Downside series. They’re harsh and real and wonderfully written. And they’ve drawn me in emotionally better than any other books I’ve read. There is also a strong romantic element that grows throughout the series.

If you’re looking for something lighter, I love Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series. Funny and romantic.

Speaking of which, can you tell us a little bit about your plans for the series, or just about your future projects?

The next book in the series is slated for September, and it will follow the sensitive, Astrid, as she struggles to clear her name. Her love interest may be familiar to people who read Banshee Charmer. In that story Mason Sanderson was an Internal Affairs officer in the Chicago Police Department. Between that book and the third in the series, he has moved on to the OWEA.

I also have a novelette coming out in June called Once Prey, Twice Forsaken that is a short, hot read about a newly-made vampire named Blair and the witch, David, who hunts her. And I hope to have news soon about a secret novel-length project too. 😉

Coffee or Tea?

Both, please! Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon. I am powered by caffeine, in case you couldn’t tell, haha.

Tiffany, thank you so much for answering all my questions, and for this peek into the Files. I’ll be looking forward to Astrid’s story. (I was hoping she was next!)

And there’s a more days left to enter the tour-wide giveaway for a copy of Succubus Lost and the beautiful salamander pin. Rafflecopter coming right up!
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Guest Post: Tiffany Allee on Flying Pigs plus Giveaway

I’d like to welcome Tiffany Allee to Reading Reality today. Tiffany is the creator, or perhaps I should say perpetrator, of the new urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, The Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency. She’s here as part of the tour to promote the second story extracted from those Files, Succubus Lost. She’s going to tell us a bit about the process that all writers dread, that process of revising the scintillating and marvelous words that tripping out of our heads and onto our keyboards.

About those flying pigs…read her guest post, and you’ll understand.

Revisathon 2012

When I dreamed of being a writer—long before I ever took the steps to actually write with the goal of publication in mind—I envisioned many things. Words pouring from me that were perfection as soon as they hit the page. Sparkling characters. Movie deals. Stories that would make readers weep. A tweed jacket and a pipe. My name splashed on the headlines—in a good, non-scandalous way, of course.

I didn’t have a clue.

And the biggest thing I was wrong about was the first one. That I would write perfect first drafts. Of course, I don’t have any movie deals or tweed jackets yet, and I haven’t made anyone cry, but these are at least possibilities. Someday. The brilliant first draft on the other hand is as likely as pigs flying.

That’s not to say that some writers aren’t able to do this. But for most of us, it’s unrealistic. How many drafts do I go through to get from my first to the one that is actually published? This isn’t a question I really thought about with books before Succubus Lost. It’s the first story I had contracted before I wrote it, so I had a chance to really look at how much effort it took to get from idea to publishable draft.

I write fairly clean first drafts. Fairly. But they’re short. I tend to skip over details and descriptions. I mark spots with two Xs anytime I need to research something. I go back to those areas and do the research during the second draft, so that my speed isn’t slowed during the first. So I fill out all of these little things during the second draft. Then I read and polish and tinker for a third.

Then I send it to my critique partners, who send it back to me with wonderful advice and far too many jokes. Seriously, I can’t drink liquids while reading their comments. Another draft and round of polishes and it’s usually ready to send on to my editor.

I love my editor. She’s wonderful at what she does. And she works very hard to make sure my readers get the best I am capable of. She isn’t afraid to push me. So we go round and round. More drafts. More polishes. More fixes. And finally rounds of edits with other editors to make sure we’ve made the story sparkle. Then copy edits. Galleys. It’s exhausting.

And fantastic.

I can never again fool myself into thinking that I will ever be able to simply toss a draft out there without revising. But it’s worth every bit of effort to feel like I’ve told the story I set out to tell.

Do you write great first drafts (like some sort of rare unicorn), or do you only find your story a few drafts in?

Tiffany, thanks so much for giving us an insight into your writing process.

And I think I’m with the flying pigs on this one. My first draft is pretty good, but it still needs some work. And an editor. I’m great at editing somebody else’s work, and terrible at editing my own. What about  everyone else? Can you edit your own work, or do you need a different eye to see the flaws?

Now, about that giveaway! There’s still plenty of time to enter the tour-wide giveaway for a copy of Succubus Lost, and  the Salamander pin pictured just before the Rafflecopter.

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Cover Reveal: Succubus Lost by Tiffany Allee plus Giveaway

Uncovering a new file from the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, today I am very, very pleased to be participating in the Cover Reveal for Succubus Lost by Tiffany Allee.

And yes, it is File #2 from that very mysterious Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, following the absolutely excellent first File, Banshee Charmer. Way back in January, when I reviewed Banshee Charmer, I hoped there would be more, and here we are in May, and there’s a second File on the way.

I love having my book wishes answered!

And just to whet all of our appetites, here’s the blurb from Succubus Lost, #2 From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency.

Someone is kidnapping and incinerating otherworlders beyond recognition, and Detective Marisol Whitman, a succubus, races to find the murderer before he claims another victim. But her pursuit is derailed when her responsible younger sister vanishes. Marisol suspects foul play and enlists support from an unlikely source: an agent from the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, Valerio Costa.

When the trail pointing to everyone from vampires to witches dries up, Agent Costa admits to knowing more than he’s shared. Marisol’s sister’s kidnapper harnesses more magic than she can imagine—and they’re running out of time. To find her sister before her powers are drained and twisted beyond recognition, Marisol must connect the dots between cases and put her trust in Costa, a salamander who may burn her before she can solve either case.

About the Author, Tiffany Allee:

Tiffany currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, by way of Chicago and Denver, and is happily married to a secret romantic. She spends her days working in Corporate America while daydreaming about sexy heroes, ass-kicking heroines, and interesting ways to kill people (for her books, of course). Her nights are reserved for writing and bothering her husband and cats (according to them). Her passions include reading, chocolate, travel, wine, and family. You can find Tiffany at

Tiffany will be back at Reading Reality on May 31 for an interview, courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours. And I’ll be reviewing Succubus Lost on June 6.

I’m not sure which I’m looking forward to more–the chance to ask her questions about her writing and the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, or getting my hands on the book!

And you have a chance to get your hands on a copy of Succubus Lost, too. One lucky winner, there’s the rafflecopter, waiting for your entry. One winner tour-wide for a ebook copy of the book and the Salamander pin pictured to the right.
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