The Obscured Vixen

Book addict, blogger and designer living in a paranormal world.

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Archive for July, 2012

Giveaway: BDSM Blog Hop

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on July 30, 2012

BDSM Blog Hop
hosted by Scorching Book Reviews

My favorite kind of genre!

Scorching Book Reviews is hosting a BDSM appreciation event. We love the genre and now seems to be the perfect time to get the names of some of the authors on other peoples radars!

For this giveaway, I will be providing the winner a copy of Best Sex Writing 2012, by Rachel Kramer Bussel, Susie Bright, Joan Price, Rachel Rabbit White, Lynn Harris, Radley Balko, Tim Elhajj, Camille Dodero, Roxane Gay, Thomas S. Roche, Tracy Quan, Amanda Marcotte, Abby Tallmer, Adrian Colesberry, Ellen Friedrichs, Lidia Yuknavitch, Kevin Sampsell, Marty Klein, Tracy Clark-Flory, Katherine Spillar, Chris Sweeney, Greta Christina, Amber Dawn, Hugo Schwyzer: In Best Sex Writing 2012, editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and judge Susie Bright collected the year’s most challenging and provocative nonfiction articles on this endlessly evocative subject. The essays here comprise a detailed, direct survey of the contemporary American sexual landscape, a landscape Major commentators examine the many roles sex plays in our lives in these literate and lively essays.

Giveaway Details

  • This giveaway will end August 20, 2012 at midnight EST
  • United States entries only
  • Click here for full giveaway terms and conditions

This giveaway has ended.

Posted in Giveaway | Tagged: | 14 Comments »

Life Getting in the Way

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on July 19, 2012

There is this silly thing called ‘real life’ that is constantly getting in my way. I wish I could just be The Obscured Vixen and not have to worry about anything else.

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, and will definitely pick them up again next week. I am going away on vacation tomorrow and will have limited connection to the outside world. I’m hoping this causes my ‘real life’ to get back on track, and things will go back to normal.

Everyone have a good week! Talk to you all soon.

Posted in Generic | 6 Comments »

Author Interview & Book Review: Shift by MR Merrick

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on July 10, 2012

Author Interview & Book Review: Shift by MR Merrick

The Protector Series: Book #2

Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.

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Shift begins right where Exiled left off. And I must admit I LOVE when authors do that.

Caution: Spoilers ahead!

Riley is hungry as ever and still coming after Chase. Chase meets the two Dark Brothers, that have now sided with Riley. Riley and Darius are invading Chase’s dreams and cause him pain that hurts him in the real world when he wakes up. Riley is just about ready to do anything to take his son down.

We finally find out who Rayna’s father is! Her father is Jonathan, a hunter and panther shifter.

I can honestly admit that it is not who I expected it to be. I guess I expected someone… tougher? Jonathan has been trying to find Rayna and get in touch with her for years, but her mother went into hiding. He only found out where she was and that she was even alive when Rayna’s mother was killed.

In Shift our eyes are opened to the world of shifters. The last time Rayna tried to shift in the condo, she passed out and really wasn’t doing well. There is a feline clan that offers to help Rayna shift complete the shift safely. Marcus and Chase know they can’t help her anymore and that there is a chance she could die without help. Rayna agrees to have the clan help her shift.

Willy has been bitten by a shifter and after a while he isn’t healing. He calls grams and she confirms that none of them thought was possible: a demon can become a shifter. Grams gets the local wolf pack and sends Willy with them so he can learn how to shift safely.

Everyone and their mother wants Chase’s ring, but he won’t give it up. Chase wants to destroy the ring, but the only way to do that is stab it with Itheral’s dagger. Chase learns that the dagger is hidden in a dangerous dimension.

Chase, being the stubborn ass that he is, goes after the dagger anyway. This causes Marcus, Rayna, Tiki and Willy to follow him. They almost get themselves killed because of it. You’ll have to read this amazing story to find out the on-the-edge-of-your-seat details.

I like that Merrick does not change his characters and keeps them true to themselves. Chase has been a stubborn pain in the ass since day one, and that has never changed.

When everyone returns safely from the dimension with Itheral’s dagger, Chase and Marcus have a heart-to-heart. We find out Marcus has been in love with Chase’s mom for years. Chase isn’t sure what to say, and finally sees Marcus as a man that lost the love of his life.

Chase now has all four elements and it’s implied that he will be given a lightning power that no hunter has had for centuries. They think that’s what the mark is on Chase’s back.

This story moves very quickly, which I personally enjoy. There were no dull moments or unnecessary details. I highly recommend this story to anyone who is interested in fantasy and suspense. It is truly a great read!

Best part of this book? Rayna and Chase finally make out! Woot woot! Ohh c’mon, I wasn’t the only one who was super excited for this ; )

One of my favorite parts about being a blogger is that I get to meet amazing authors. And I must admit that MR Merrick is humble, down to earth, and an all around badass.He was awesome enough to agree to an interview for my blog. Enjoy! : )

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Obscured Vixen: In this book you talk about meditation and concentrating to step outside yourself in real life and to protect yourself in your dreams. I found this extremely interesting. Where did this concept come from?
MR Merrick:
It’s actually an idea that was implanted in me nearly ten years ago. I was celebrating New Year’s Eve away from parties, and at a house with a few people I knew. There was a lady there that lived on an Indian Reserve about an hour out of town, and we got into talking about spirituality.Native history is ripe with stories, legends, and beliefs, and somehow, in the middle of our discussion, we got on the topic of out of body experiences. Now in some cultures, it’s believed that you can essentially “step outside yourself” onto a higher level. A level that exists just a few inches above ours, but it’s also believed that this is dangerous. When you’re having an out of body experience, it leaves your physical body exposed and open to negativity. In this case, she was talking to me about evil spirits entering your body. That’s where most of my inspiration for that came from. And to this day, it still both fascinates, and frightens me.

OV: Is there going to be a throw down with Rayna and Karissa?
MRM:
A lot of readers give me a hard time with how slowly some relationships develop in this series, but it wasn’t done unintentionally. The Protector Series isn’t primarily a love story, so although many people are expecting a love triangle to be coming into play, that is not the case. While I cannot confirm or deny there may be jealousy between the two, I also cannot say whether or not you can expect a chick fight. That’ll be for you to find out in the upcoming installments.

OV: Just throwing this out there: is Darius Chase’s uncle?
MRM:
Normally I won’t answer questions like these, but I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say…. no.

OV: Is there a reason you wrote this book as YA instead of adult? It seems like it would make an awesome adult book.
MRM:
I think you’re right; this series would work really well as an adult series… and a movie. Just saying Hollywood, I’m open to talk.

I did contemplate back and forth who I was writing this book for a while. At times, it seemed like it wasn’t suitable for younger audiences, but in the end, I chose the YA market because of reach.

I had a vision for this series that won’t fully be exposed until the series is complete, but I wanted it to be enjoyed by everyone. Although you can’t please everyone, and there are some people who just don’t enjoy it at all, I’m hoping that long term, I can take people of all ages on an adventure. I wanted this story to appeal to the broadest audience possible, and since I’m an adult, and I love reading YA, I knew there were countless others out there that enjoyed it too. Writing in this market has allowed me to reach both the young adults, and the older audience as well. If I can bring you inside a different world, and help you escape reality, if only for a moment, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. I didn’t want any limitations to whose imagination I could steal away.

That being said, when writing in the YA genre, you have boundaries. Boundaries that as I writer, I am hoping to break free of and explore once this series is complete.

OV: After Rayna’s shift we don’t see Jonathan again. Will we see him again in future books?
MRM:
I had a hard time with this when I was writing Shift. In the earlier drafts, I had more content afterward with Jonathan, but I just didn’t feel like it fit. I know some were confused by it, but it just didn’t jive with the story. It threw off the pacing, and Rayna’s voice kept screaming in my head that she just wasn’t ready for that. There will be more Jonathan in the next book and you’ll get to see how the relationship with him and Rayna is and evolving. Whether or not those changes are positive or negative, that remains to be seen… for you anyways. I know what’s going on.

OV: When is the next book in the series being released?
MRM:
I try not to be too specific with release dates when it’s this early in the process, because I don’t like to push them back, but I am aiming for a December 2012 release. Of course, that is subject to change depending on how this story goes. I’m just about 25% done with the first draft, so I have a long way to go, but I am hoping before the end of the year to have book 3 available.

OV: How many books will be in the series?
MRM:
I have struggled with this for a while now. Originally it was going to be a trilogy, then inspiration struck and if I followed certain story arcs, it would fill a five or six book series. I was unsure about that because although the new ideas excited me, I didn’t want to run the risk of going “too long” with the series.

In the end, I settled on middle ground. I’m currently working on the third book, but there is so much to cover I’m almost positive it will run four. I don’t want to have a giant third book to close it off, so I’m confident I will be able to tie everything up nicely in a four book series.

OV: Have you ever wrote something, reread it and thought, “Wow! That was awesome!”
MRM:
Although I play the slightly over-confident card on Twitter for entertainment purposes, such is not the case in real life. I’m extremely critical of myself, and my work, so I find myself doubting my abilities more often than not.

When I’m writing, I question everything, but every once in a while, I do write a scene and then I stop and think “Where did that come from? That was great!” Then I doubt myself and nervously wait while my wife reads it and tells me what she thinks. She’s my sound board so everything gets her approval.

OV: How long have you been writing?
MRM:
I’ve only been writing for a few years. Exiled is actually the first book, or story of any kind, that I’ve ever tried to write. I know you’re never supposed to take your first book to publication, because you haven’t perfected the craft, but I had to follow through on it. It had a life of its own that pulsed inside my imagination, and I just couldn’t’ let it go.

I’ve come a long way since Exiled, and I think that’s noticeable, so I’m interested to see how far things have come when I start the new project I’ve been brainstorming, but that won’t happen until this series is complete.

OV: Which of your works are you most proud of?
MRM:
Right now, I’d have to say it’s the third book in the series. That might seem silly because it’s only a quarter done and in first draft form, but I’m actually so proud of it so far. I know where the book is going, I’m thrilled with how it’s getting there, and I think it’s all because of depth.

Exiled is very intense and full of action. Chase is young, angry, and he responds to everything with a closed fist and a bull in a china shop attitude. Given his life so far, I think that is fitting for him.

In Shift, you see a new side of Chase. He’s still the headstrong kid you know, but he’s not fighting against everything and everyone quite as hard. He still loses his temper, he is ruled by his emotions, and the repercussions of that are clear. You see Willy in a whole new light, and we experience so much more alongside Rayna, and I really loved that.

As I write the third book however, the depth of Shift progresses. You learn so much more about the characters you’ve fallen in love with, and you’re seeing not only major growth from them, but you’re getting to see how that growth is achieved, especially on Chase’s part. Because this story is told from his perspective, you see his thought process and how he breaks things down. Although action does not take a backseat, it’s a refreshing change to see him developing and maturing from an angry, unruly boy to a man on the verge of self-control.

Other Author Interviews

Posted in Book Reviews, Interview | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Giveaway: Cocked & Loaded, Shootin’ Stars, & Blasting Giveaway Hop

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on July 5, 2012

Cocked & Loaded, Shootin’ Stars, & Blasting Giveaway Hop

Hello Everyone! Did you have an awesome time celebrating Independence Day? I sure did! And so did Nikki and Ronda of Queentutter’s World of Escapism. They’re hosting a giveaway blog hop with awesome chances to win great prizes.

The winner of this giveaway will have a choice to win one of the following books:

– Turn of Mind, Alice LaPlante
– Audrey and the Maverick, Elaine Levine
– Shaedes of Gray, Amanda Bonilla
– Shadow’s Lure, Jon Sprunk
– Marked, PC & Kristen Cast
– Dead Reckoning, Charlaine Harris
– Another Broken Wizard, Colin Dodd
– Winter House, Carol O’Connell
– End of Days, Robert Gleason
– The Fox Inheritance, Mary E Pearson
– The Time in Between, Maria Duenas
– Dracula in Love, Karen Essex

Giveaway Details

  • This giveaway will end July 11, 2012 at midnight EST
  • United States entries only
  • Click here for full giveaway terms and conditions

Posted in Giveaway | Tagged: | 29 Comments »

Best Blog Search Ever

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on July 3, 2012

Best Blog Search Ever

So just like every other blogger I keep track of page views, comments, tweets, etc. The one thing I love looking at is the search results.

99% of the time I know why someone searched for something and landed on my blog. It’s that other 1% that make me laugh and wonder how the hell that search landed on my blog.

For those of you that don’t blog and know what it looks like, here is a screenshot from last week. A lot of these search results were from my Hump & Hump #26 – Magic Mike Edition.

That one highlighted in blue: “sex kittens batman?” Where the fuck did that come from, and how did you land on my blog?!

It never ceases to amaze me…

Posted in Generic | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Author Etiquette: How you react can make or break you

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on July 2, 2012

Author Etiquette:
How you react to your fans can make or break you

Disclaimer: I usually don’t blog about my personal opinions, but I felt this was necessary to voice my opinion on. And I’m sure there are other fans out there that will agree with me. All author names have been left out of this blog post to protect the innocent.

I’ve met dozens of authors over the years, and author reactions have a very huge impact on me. It’s amazing how meeting an author can change my opinion of them and their work.

If I meet an author that is genuine and down right awesome, it makes me want to read their books more. Same thing goes for authors I’ve met but never heard of before. I will tell everyone that will listen how badass a great author is. That authors reaction can make or break potential fans.

Opposite side of that same topic, if I meet an author that is very cold and standoffish, it is such a turn off and makes me not want to read their books anymore. I understand at signings and events authors are extremely busy, but if you’re not going to take the time to talk to your fans, don’t even bother doing the event. The way your fans perceive you directly effects your book sales and reputation.

We are your fans, and we LOVE your work. Taking thirty seconds to say thank you at an event or simple replying with a short tweet or like on Facebook can mean the world to us.

Have you ever met authors and feel the same way I do? To view a list of authors I’ve met, click here.

Posted in Generic | 2 Comments »

 
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