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Chloe Neill’s Latest Chicagoland Vampires Novel Delivers

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Chloe Neill is returning to Booktalk Nation to discuss her latest Chicagoland Vampires novel. Blood Games, which releases on August 5, has everything readers love in a Chicagoland Vampire book—including bookworm-turned-vampire Merit and plenty of male eye-candy.

In an excerpt from the first chapter, Neill starts off the novel right with a very tantalizing description of reader favorite, Ethan Sullivan.

“He stood beside me as cameras flashed, a man with a long and lean body, deeply green eyes, and golden hair. He wore shorts, sneakers, and a long-sleeved shirt that snugged against the tight muscles of his torso. His hair, which normally brushed his shoulders, was pulled back in a queue, and around his neck glinted the silver pendant that marked him as a Cadogan vampire.”

Ethan is said to be inspired by soccer hunk, David Beckham. And if that doesn’t do it for you then maybe the adrenaline rush of this excerpt will.

“Shots were fired from the car—two, then three. Humans screamed and dropped out of the way and toward cover; Luc and Lindsey moved Ethan back to Lindsey’s SUV.
I stepped directly between them and the vehicle. If the driver was aiming for Ethan, he’d have to go through me first. Literally and figuratively.
I let my fangs descend, locked my knees to keep them from shaking, and stared back at the car with all the ruthlessness I could muster. That’s not to say I wasn’t afraid—I was staring down a lot of horsepower and a driver with an agenda. But fear, I’d learned long ago, wasn’t an excuse.”

Needless to say, judging from these two excerpts, Blood Games should give fans everything they would expect in a Chicagoland Vampires novel—Ethan, Merit, adrenaline rushes and lots of danger.

Sign up  to join Chloe Neill’s Booktalk Nation phone chat

7 PM ET, Tue. July 29                     

Hosted by: The Mystery Bookstore in Omaha, NE

Chloe will sign and personalize copies of Blood Games ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Anton Strout

Ilona Andrews returns to BTN for Magic Breaks

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Husband and wife writing team, Ilona Andrews, are back with another installment in their Kate Daniels series. In Magic Breaks, which is set in a violent post-apocalyptic Atlanta rife with monsters and supernatural mischief, sword-wielding mercenary Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer of one of the Masters of the Dead. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

What makes Andrews’ novels so popular and addicting amongst their fan base? Library Journal’s says “This is one of the best urban fantasy series around, and while there is a strong romantic element (including a weirdly discordant steamy sex scene), the focus is on the battle and the continued development of Kate, who is conflicted about her own power but determined to protect those close to her.”  However, the Romantic Times says it is the combination of adventure, fantasy and humor. “Magic Breaks is the best kind of adventure fantasy — where the deadly danger will stop your heart as the humor cracks you up. It simply doesn’t get better than this!” Read an excerpt of Magic Breaks to decide what you think – is it the humor, adventure or romance? Or all of the above?

Join Ilona Andrews Booktalk Nation Google Hangout  chat on Tuesday, July 22 with interviewer Faith Hunter. You can ask a question and order a personally inscribed copy of Magic Breaks. Reserve your spot at to

If you missed Ilona Andrews’ last Booktalk Nation chat, check it out here.

Two Parts Gin, One Part Mystery

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Researching a novel is hard work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun at the same time. When researching for The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, Susan Elia MacNeal didn’t go to Google, she went straight to Scotland.

Fans of MacNeal’s bestselling Maggie Hope Mystery series will be thrilled to know that she visited the actual manor house where the SOE (Special Operation Executive) agents trained. It’s now a bed and breakfast called Arisaig House and Macneal was able to tour the buildings, walk the grounds and stay at the inn. “I was the only guest at the inn, so the family who runs it (and their three Golden Labs) pretty much adopted their odd American novelist for the week. I felt like an exchange student. It was fantastic,” MacNeal says on her blog.

And what does one do in Scotland if they don’t drink scotch? Drink gin instead. Susan had such a fantastic time in Scotland researching for The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent that she concocted a gin cocktail in celebration. So grab a glass and mix up this tasty cocktail while you read all about Maggie Hope’s latest mystery. In The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, Maggie settles down in Berlin to teach at her old spy training camp while healing from scars on both her body and heart. But before Maggie can enjoy the quieter pace of life, she is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue.

Susan Elia MacNeal’s The Arisaig Cocktail:

2 parts Scottish gin
2/3 parts freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 part Elderflower liqueur
Mint leaves
Cucumber slices to garnish
Tonic water

Add mint to glass and break with muddler. Add ice. Add other ingredients. Top with tonic and give it a stir. Garnish with cucumber slice.

And don’t forget to sign up to join Susan Elia MacNeal’s Booktalk Nation Google Hangout video chat

7 PM ET, Tue. July 15th

Hosted by: WORD in Brooklyn, NY

Susan will sign and personalize copies of The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Hank Phillippi Ryan

New Keye Street Thriller Takes Detour Into Backwoods Georgia

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Amanda Kyle Williams returns with the third installment in her Keye Street series and this one is down right bone chilling. If you don’t believe us, check out the book trailer on her site.

In Don’t Talk to Strangers FBI private investigator Keye Street is searching for a sociopath who is stalking, abducting and killing young girls in backwoods Georgia. Unlike the first two books in the series, this story takes place away from the familiarity of Atlanta and the cast of characters from the earlier Keye Street books. Williams says in a Words of Barrett interview “I wanted to shake it up a little in this book and step away from the formula. I didn’t want to rely on that cast of characters I’ve developed for Keye to bounce off of. I didn’t want to depend on Atlanta, which is an important character in the series. I wanted to take my protagonist away from the city, her lover, her family and coworkers, all the characters we’ve gotten to know in books 1 and 2. I wanted to pull the safety net out from under us both. I wanted to see if Keye was strong enough to carry a private eye novel without the props I set up in the first two novels. And I wanted to surprise readers. The book was a confidence builder for me. I don’t mean a pound-on-my-chest, I’m-so-great kind of confidence. I mean confidence in the writing process. I know now that I can write the story, whatever it is, if I just sit down, get still, shut off the noise in my head and start, one word at a time.”

Sign up to join Amanda Kyle Williams’ Booktalk Nation Google Hangout video chat

7 PM ET, Tue. July 8th                 

Hosted by: Eagle Eye Books in Atlanta, Georgia

Jenny will sign and personalize copies of Don’t Talk to Strangers ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Doug Robinson

A Parent’s Worst Nightmare in Ruin Falls

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It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. Imagine waking up one morning to find your children missing without a trace. This is a fear that author Jenny Milchman says crossed her mind one night as she tucked her kids into bed in a hotel suite they were staying in. “It occurred to me that sequestering the adults away from the hall was an architectural move replete with frightening potential. The best way for me to cope with envisioning that thin gray line–you know the one I mean; we all fear crossing it–is to write a novel, and thus was Ruin Falls born.”

In Milchman’s latest suspense novel Liz Daniels’ children go missing without a trace during a family road trip. The police are called in and an Amber Alert is issued but in a gut-wrenching realization, Liz finds out it was no stranger who kidnapped her children. As the story twists and turns, Liz discovers that the person who betrayed her was someone she trusted.

Join Jenny Milchman’s live phone chat on July 1st to chat with her about writing Ruin Falls and order a signed and personalized copy of the book.

Sign up to join Jenny Milchman’s Booktalk Nation phone chat

7 PM ET, Tue. July 1st                 

Hosted by: Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA

Jenny will sign and personalize copies of Ruin Falls ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: John Clement

Sheana Ochoa Shares the Story of an American Theatre Icon

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If you are an actor, you probably know all about Stella Adler. If not, a new biography by Sheana Ochoa will tell you all you need to know about the woman who is considered one of the pioneers of twentieth-century American theater.

Stella! Mother of Modern Acting chronicles Stella Adler’s life from her beginnings at the Yiddish Theatre in Manhattan to starring on Broadway, and her influence on American Theatre.

“What Stella brought to the American style of acting was a depth of naturalism that had not been seen up until then. It was naturalism mixed with a deep reverence for the actor as an artist and the writer as a teacher of mankind. For me she is still a bright light in a particularly dark time for the culture of actors. Sheana Ochoa has captured a life lived well and large, always striving for more.”—Mark Ruffalo, Actor

Join Sheana Ochoa for a live phone chat on Booktalk Nation on June 30th at 7pm ET to learn more about the extraordinary life of Stella Adler. Sheana will answer your questions and sign and personalize copies of Stella! Mother of Modern Acting.

Sign up to join Sheana Ochoa’s Booktalk Nation phone chat

7 PM ET, Mon. June 30th                    

Hosted by: Skylight Books in Los Angeles, CA

Sheana will sign and personalize copies of Stella! Mother of Modern Acting ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Steve Julian

Crownover and McAdams on Bad Boys & Complicated Relationships

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New Adult readers looking for that next great book filled with angst, bad boys and complicated relationships are in luck— two of NA’s hottest authors, Jay Crownover and Molly McAdams have new books releasing this month.

Crownover and McAdams are leaders in the New Adult genre. For those who don’t know, what exactly is New Adult? Author Sylvia Day explains the genre in a recent Bookish article as “your love was insane—you can’t stop thinking about them, you’re calling each other all the time… All of that—that whole overblown sense of drama—is what’s in New Adult.”

It’s not just about love; it’s about coming into your own and finding your way in life. It’s a bridge between Young Adult and Adult. Author Courtney Cole says New Adult allows authors to “write about relatable storylines—issues that 20-somethings really have to face—and we can do it without toeing that YA line of propriety. We can get as gritty as the story takes us.”

And gritty is exactly what you will get with Crownover’s Better When He’s Bad and McAdams’s Sharing You.

Jay’s latest, Better When He’s Bad, introduces readers to The Point and to gorgeous, dark and dangerous bad boy, Bax. If you think the guys in her Marked Men series couldn’t get any sexier or badass, think again. A recent review on the Smokin’ Hot Blog says that, “Bax certainly makes Rule, Jet, Rome and others run for their money.”

Molly’s main character Kamryn finds herself in the middle of a love triangle when she falls for a married man named Brody. Gut-wrenching emotion, passion and heartbreak follow as Kamryn and Brody try to resist temptation.

Join Booktalk Nation for a live video chat on June 26th with Jay Crownover and Molly McAdams as they discuss the bad boys and complicated relationships from their latest books Better When He’s Bad and Sharing You.

Sign up to join Jay Crownover & Molly McAdams’s Booktalk Nation Google Hangout video chat

7 PM ET, Thu. June 26th             

Hosted by: Old Firehouse Books & Katy Budget Books

Jay will sign and personalize copies of Better When He’s Bad and Molly will sign and personalize Sharing You ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Monica Murphy

The Glass Kitchen is the Perfect Summer Read

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The perfect summer read is here.  Linda Francis Lee’s The Glass Kitchen is that book you need for your days at the beach or the pool. It’s filled with love, romance, heartbreak, redemption, second chances and forgiveness. It’s a story about the courage it takes to be yourself and follow your heart.

After a string of betrayals, Portia Cuthcart leaves Texas to start a new life in Manhattan with her sisters. She’s given up on her dream of cooking, but then, a new relationship with a twelve-year-old girl and her widowed father make her rethink her dream of being in the kitchen. Author Elin Hilderbrand says The Glass Kitchen is “A sumptuous feast of family secrets, love affairs and cravings of the human heart . . .an irresistible read.”

Join Linda Francis Lee as she chats with Lisa Kleypas in a Booktalk Nation video chat about The Glass Kitchen, love, life lessons and more. Linda will be signing and personalizing copies of The Glass Kitchen, which released this week.

Sign up to join Linda Francis Lee’s Booktalk Nation Google Hangout video chat

7 PM ET, Tue. June 24th                          

Hosted by: Posman Books in New York City

Linda will sign and personalize copies of The Glass Kitchen ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Lisa Kleypas

Jill Shalvis’ Inspiration For Her Sexy Leading Men

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Jill Shalvis is an expert on gorgeous men. They’ve been filling the pages of her books for years.  Just take a look at her Pinterest boards for a glimpse at all the steamy guys who serve as an inspiration for her leading men.

And her latest novel is no exception. On her Then Came You Pinterest board, you can find several pictures depicting what her new character Wyatt might look like. Rugged, shirtless, animal loving and definitely striking.

In Then Came You, Wyatt is the one night stand that Emily finds out also happens to be her boss at her new veterinary clinic internship. Wyatt, the laid-back doctor, might just be tempting enough to steer her away from her carefully laid-out plans.

Check out Jill’s Pinterest boards and tell us who you think makes the best Wyatt and then join us for a live video chat to discuss Then Came You on June 23rd.

Sign up to join Jill Shalvis’ Booktalk Nation Google Hangout video chat

7 PM ET, Mon. June 23rd                       

Hosted by: Sundance Books in Reno, NV.

Jill will sign and personalize copies of Then Came You ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Karen Holt

Kathryn Ma’s True to The Mood Book Club

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Kathryn Ma released her debut novel The Year She Left us in May to great reviews from O Magazine, Salon, Jennifer Egan and more.

SFGate describes The Year She Left Us as a story “using international adoption as a way to explore race, identity and family, the book is told in four strong female voices and begins when the main character, Ari, sets out on a quest for a father figure. “

So what did Kathryn Ma do before she was a writer? In addition to being a lawyer, she’s been a part of a book club for 30 years. Yes, 30 years. Ma and 8 of her friends comprise the True to the Mood Book Club and have been meeting every few months for several decades. This must be quite an impressive list with 30 years of book club meetings, so what books have they read? The partial list includes classics from Dickens and Austen, as well as more recent titles from Junot Diaz and Gillian Flynn. Ma says, “At this point, we’ve read hundreds of books…None of us kept a complete list of the books we read. We never thought our memories would be anything less than perfect.”

According to Ma, her book club has been an integral part of her writing, “It’s been hugely important to me as a writer to have listened to, and learned from, my friends. We have widely varying tastes, which makes the debating fun.”

Learn more about Kathryn’s debut novel, writing and her impressive book club reading list during her Booktalk Nation live phone chat on June 18th.

Sign up to join Kathryn Ma’s Booktalk Nation live phone chat

7 PM ET, Wed., June 18th

 Hosted by: Green Apple Books in San Francisco, CA

 Kathryn will sign and personalize copies of The Year She Left Us ordered via

Ask your own question before or during the interview

Interviewer: Celia McGee

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