Monday, January 26, 2015

Interview with Anna Richland

Hi Anna! Welcome back to Anna's Book Blog. To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself? The stereotypes of people who live in Seattle are all true. I drink a lot of coffee, wear mom-fleece, drive a Subaru and never use an umbrella. My life is a Pacific Northwest clichĂ©, although I try not to write like that! I call Mr. Richland my “quietly funny Canadian,” but our two children are not at all quiet, except when doing Lego. And there is a lot of Lego in my life.

The Second Lie is your latest release, can you tells us a little about it?
THE SECOND LIE is a paranormal romantic suspense, part of my Immortal Vikings series inspired by Beowulf, classic television like Remington Steele, and my love of unusual underground places. The hero Stig is an immortal Viking thief and conman who has lived most of his 1500 years as an Englishman. Christina is from California. Although it’s part of a series, I think it can stand alone if a reader hasn’t read FIRST TO BURN. You agree?

I don’t usually talk about ‘theme’ in my books, I just try to write an exciting story that readers connect to, but if the theme of FIRST TO BURN was “family” and the theme of my novella HIS ROAD HOME was “you’re more than the label people put on you,” then the theme of THE SECOND LIE is “identity”. Who gets to define a person? Can you say who you are, or is your identity always dependent on others? What makes a person who he or she is? That’s something Stig and Christina, both of whom are living with various lies, have to work out even while they’re on the run from a heck of a lot of bad dudes.

What books are you looking forward to in 2015? Now that I’m a published author, I’m a judge for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest for the first time ever. My packet of books has a lot of great surprises in it, but I’m not allowed to say what, although I’ll admit to freaking out over how to score the books and how many I have to read. What else, let’s see … this week I bought The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville, which I’m saving as a treat for when I finish all my RITA judging. No other reading and no playing 2048 until I finish the RITA books. I’m also looking forward to reading Courtney Milan’s new release, Trade Me, and I think Sharon Lynn Fisher (author of Ghost Planet) has a new book this year.

Not books, but I really NEED Castle and Sherlock to start up again.

Your heroine Christina, runs a wine collection service. What was your research like for that part of the background? Many years ago Mr. Richland and I spent a long weekend in Napa, and we enjoyed a place called The Bounty Hunter, which has both a cafĂ© and sends monthly or quarterly selections of wine to subscribers. For research, I studied their catalog and thought about how a woman business owner might develop a similar but smaller niche where personal connections would be really valuable, thus I built Christina’s business in my mind. The trickiest part was coming up with names for imaginary wineries that hadn’t already been used! I crowd-sourced that on Facebook, and friends gave me names of obscure birds (“Pluvialis”), obscure words for red (“Incarnadine”), etc.

Was Stig easier or harder to right than Wulf? Neither of them was particularly hard, because I heard distinctly different voices for each of them in my head. The whole time I was writing Stig, he “talked” to me in a really terrible British accent that even came out when I read his dialog out loud, something I do for all my books. I have military experience that helped make Wulf and his military team sound realistic, and my family went on a vacation to London and Belgium right before I began work on THE SECOND LIE, so I had what I think of as a good sense of both heroes. The problem is actually the hero of my current work in progress, an Immortal Viking named Bjorn, because he keeps slipping into Stig’s British accent! Bjorn is supposed to sound American but I can’t get Stig OUT of my head.

What do you love most about writing these Immortal Vikings? I really enjoy writing the Vikings’ flashbacks to events from Beowulf and their past 1,500 years. I try to find a different scene from the epic itself to retell from each character’s point of view, like Stig’s flashback to the dragon’s hoard, and I also try to include something from their life since - Stig on the Titanic, for instance. Those are really fun to write.

If you could cast any actor Stig, who would it be?
Probably Daniel Craig. He’s Stig when he puts on a tuxedo.

Even though he's a bit of a jerk I really like Ivar. Will we be seeing more
of him?
Absolutely! Ivar’s in every book. I plan for his story to be the last of the series. The Immortal Viking book I’m currently writing occurs at the same story-time as THE SECOND LIE, so when Ivar leaves Belgium he goes off in his jet straight to where the other story is taking place, because Bjorn calls in a debt. Although Wulf and Theresa from FIRST TO BURN show up to help in THE SECOND LIE, I don’t think they’ll be in the third book - just Ivar and possibly Theresa’s step-father, backing up Ivar. I have to figure out if there’s an Italian word for your son-in-law’s brother, but Theresa’s stepdad would totally think of Ivar as “family.” If I had all the time in the world (HA!) I would write a short story about Theresa fixing Ivar up on a blind date, but I have to actually write the book I’m working on right now.

These were great questions - I’m glad you liked THE SECOND LIE and wanted to have me back on your blog. Thank you!

The Second Lie
Immortal Vikings #2
By Anna Richland

Out today!
A businesswoman desperate to achieve her dream.

Wineseller Christina Alvarez Mancini told one little lie—to reassure wealthy clients, she invented a suave British boss. With her ultimate dream, a winery of her own, close to becoming reality, she can't allow irregularities at a high-end wine auction to jeopardize her reputation.

A conman in love with a good plan.

Stig needs money, fast. An immortal Viking thief who discovered the perfect role as a fictional wine merchant, he's days away from the big payoff. Even if the California woman who created his character realizes a real person is conducting business in London, he'll disappear. That's what he does best.

Secrets that turn deadly.

Stig has success in his sights when Christina walks into his auction preview, ready to ruin his plan. Experience tells Stig to cut and run; a thousand years of boredom compel him to flirt. And when deadly Vikings from Stig's past crash the party, Christina and Stig are forced to cooperate in order to escape. Yet everywhere they flee, it's these two rivals' own lies that set the greatest traps…


Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

To sign up for Anna's newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at www.annarichland.com.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | GoodReads

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I'm Reading 1|21|15

What I'm currently reading:

What I just finished:

What I plan to read next:


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Historical Fiction Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday features a different topic and you post your top ten list related to the topic.

This weeks topic is a freebie, I'm going with
Top Ten Favorite Historical Fiction Books.

1. At the King's Pleasure by Kate Emerson

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

3. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

4. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

5. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

6. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

7. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

8. Receive Me Falling by Erika Robuck

9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Monday, January 19, 2015

[ARC Review]: The Second Lie by Anna Richland

Title: The Second Lie
Author: Anna Richland
Series: The Immortal Vikings
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 26, 2015

I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:  A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

Thoughts: Christina Alvarez Macini runs a wine collection service along with a pretend boss. At a London wine auction she is shocked to find a stranger (Stig) claiming to be her boss.  The night at an auction turns into a dangerous adventure. If they are to survive, these two strangers need to trust one another.

The first Immortal Vikings, First to Burn was one of my favorite books in 2014.  I was so excited to read number two. While it has a different setting, the story and characters were just has good. Stig & Christina are different, but also very much alike in some ways. I loved that their attraction burned fast and hard. The Second Lie is an excellent addition the the series, I loved it.  Sexy, exciting and filled with non-stop adventure. A must read.

Score: 4 Stars

Author Website: http://www.annarichland.com/

The Immortal Vikings:
First to Burn
The Second Lie

Related Books:
His Road Home

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Haul [111]

What did you get this week? Leave your links in the comments to your Book Hauls, IMM, Stacking the Shelves etc... and I'll check them out. Happy Reading!

Here is what I got this last week:



Paperback Swap:
Party Games- R.L. Stine

Library:
Blue Lily, Lily Blue- Maggie Stiefvater

Bought:
The Last American Vampire- Seth Grahame-Smith



 Funko Pop Haul
 Sheldon (The Big Bang Theory), Crowley (Supernatural), Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly),
Jack Skellington (Disney), Professor X (Marvel), Colossus (Marvel), Harley Quinn (DC)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

[Audio Review]: ARV-3 by Cameo Renae

Title: ARV - 3
Author: Cameo Renae
Narrator: Erin Moon
Series: The After Light Saga
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: December 23, 2014

I received this audiobook from Audible, in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:  The beginning of the end. The Apocalypse.

A nuclear fallout wiped out every living thing on the planet, except for a few thousand of us who took shelter in underground bunkers across the globe. Now, after thirteen long years, we were finally able to return to the topside to begin to rebuild.
We thought we were alone. We were never more wrong.

Before the fallout, scientists had worked on creating an anti-radiation vaccine (ARV). The first two attempts failed, but despite the incomplete tests and results, the government approved and distributed the third serum to the masses in an effort to aid those who had no shelter.

It worked, keeping those who remained on the topside alive, but it also altered and mutated them. This new and infectious threat had completely outnumbered us. Now, we not only had to rebuild our planet. We would have to fight for it.

My name is Abigail Park. I’m seventeen, and this is my story.

Thoughts: I hadn't heard of ARV-3 or the author Cameo Renae before, but the description definitely caught my eye.  Abigail Park is a 17 year old who grew up in an apocalypse living in a underground bunker for 13 years with several other people. I can't even imagine being underground for an hour. Abi is smart and strong and very likable. Her relationship with Finn is very sweet.  ARV-3 is a good read. It's filled with lots of action, danger and a bit of romance.  If you love reading books with an apocalypse setting, I highly recommend this one.

ARV-3 is narrated by Erin Moon.  She did a good job. A pleasant voice, that captured Abigail wonderfully.

Score: 3 Stars

Author Website: http://www.cameorenae.com/

The After Light Saga:
ARV-3
Sanctum

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday features a different topic and you post your top ten list related to the topic.

This weeks topic is Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To.

Rule Breaker by Lora Leigh

Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young

Rules for a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley

The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

Fireborn by Keri Arthur

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes

Four by Veronica Roth

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

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