Happy Weekend. You survived the week, now it is time for some rest, relaxation and fun! Something Wicked Returns is on day 19. There is just under two weeks of Halloween books and treats. Are you entered in all the giveaways? Catch up here.
Today you can visit these stops:
Here on Rainy Day Ramblings, I have a fun little romantic Urban Fantasy book for you all. The Cat's Meow by Stacey Kennedy features witches and warlocks, perfect for this time of year! Follow Libby and Kale as the race to uncover the culprit behind a sinister plot that just might destroy their magical community. Treat yourself to the smoldering tension between the two that bursts into heated passion. If you are one who loves a little smexy in your UF this is the book for you! I am excited to introduce you all to author Stacey Kennedy:
USA Today Bestselling Author, Stacey Kennedy is an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Supernatural, True Blood,Lost Girl, and Sons of Anarchy. Haunt Stacey on her website, blog, Facebook & Facebook Fanpage, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.
Stacey is here to share with you all a bit of what went on behind the scenes of her book and how she prepared to write it. Here is Stacey:
Huge thank you to Rainy Day Ramblings for letting me stop by today and share my release, The Cat’s Meow!
You know, I fully admit to not enjoying the research end of writing books. Truthfully, I prefer to make up as much as I can. That, for me, is the fun part of writing. Creating stuff, making new worlds with my own rules, and using my own creativity to build a world is my favorite way to write. But I have to tell you, The Cat’s Meow definitely needed the most research I’ve ever done for a story.
The first reason, Libby’s spells. Typically, I would’ve just made up her spells, but I thought it was right to stick true to witchcraft. I gathered the spells from hours upon hours of searching the library, bookstores and also the web. Even if I’m not a huge fan of researching, I had a total blast learning about pagans and witchcraft.
My research didn’t stop there, which brings us to the second reason, Kale’s rune magic. His magic took the longest to research, because it wasn’t simply searching out spells and trying to find the perfect one that fit Libby’s adventures. Rune magic was a little more complicated and I knew nothing about it going into writing the book. I only knew that’s what Kale wanted!
So, yes, I did a lot of research for The Cat’s Meow, considering I usually do very little. But really, researching witchcraft and magic was so neat and fun that I enjoyed it as much as I did writing The Cat’s Meow! And that kind of research just seems so perfect for Halloween!
Thanks, Stacey for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on spells and all things witchy! Now for all of you looking for a treat, Stacey is generously offering a chance to win a copy of The Cat's Meow. Fill out the Rafflecopter and read the Contest Policies to enter... This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
The Cat's Meow(Witches Brew #1) by Stacey Kennedy
When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby, an enchantress, is determined to discover who is behind the odd deaths. But being a witch gifted by the Goddess won’t protect her from the talented warlock the Coven sends to assist her. Kale weaves a spell more powerful than any she’s ever seen--and he's sexy as sin. But why he's even needed for such a simple mission is beyond her.
While having some muscle around can't hurt her investigation, fighting her growing attraction for Kale is worse than a hex, especially considering she knows he—and their Coven—are hiding something from her. When she turns up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, though, the elusive warlock isn't the her only concern. She now has a political rebellion on her hands, too. And when the truth about who she really is begins to surface, the only person Libby can trust is herself.
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 13th 2012 by Entangled Publishing
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Three and a half stars: A smoldering, tension filled romance with an exciting paranormal mystery.
Libby isn't exactly thrilled when she is sent to find the culprit behind the string of cat murders occurring in Charleston. Things get worse when she learns that she is paired with her Coven's newest Warlock, Kale. Libby, thanks to her rocky past, has no patience for warlocks, but she is inexplicably drawn to Kale, despite the fact that he is extremely tight lipped when it comes to revealing anything about himself. The pair soon discover there is something much more sinister afoot in Charleston than a few dead cats. They uncover a plot to take down the very foundations of their magical community. They must put a stop to it, but can Libby learn to work with a Warlock, especially one who seems to be keeping plenty of secrets?
What I Liked:
- The driving force behind this story is the romance. It is one of those romances that takes the entire book to show its true colors, so it moves nice and slow for all of you who detest insta love. However when Libby and Kale first meet, there is an undeniable attraction between the two. Libby, time and time again, tells herself that she will not get involved with a warlock so she attempts to push him away. Her antagonistic behavior back fires and it ends up attracting Kale even more. This is a romance with lots of chemistry and a smoldering attraction underneath all the tension. It builds and builds until it finally explodes into fiery passion. I think all of you who love a hot romance in your urban fantasy will be delighted with the way this one plays out.
- I enjoyed Kale and Libby. Libby is a fiery witch who is on the brink of getting kicked out of her coven for rebellious behavior. She is a girl after my own heart as she refuses to follow rules or to be pushed around. I loved watching her take a stand even when confronted by seemingly dire circumstances. Libby doesn't take kindly to strong males telling her what to do either, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her take on the big boys. Aside from her fireball nature, Libby is also a talented witch who cares deeply for those who are close to her. She is willing to do whatever it takes to protect those she loves. I thought Libby was a great character. Kale is very mysterious and a bit difficult as he refuses to tell Libby anything about himself. Even though there is strong sexual tension between them, Libby refuses to trust him. I wavered back and forth throughout regarding his true intentions, and in the end he does not disappoint. Kale is a total bad ass as well and I loved watching him in action. The two of them together are sizzling, and I cannot wait to watch them work together in the next book.
- I enjoyed the mystery and the suspense. In the beginning, in seems that Libby is out to solve a simple case. As Libby puts together the pieces, she finds that there is something evil lurking. The tension continues to mount as you wonder who is behind the diabolical plot and what Kale is hiding. I was certainly surprised when everything was revealed especially when it comes to Kale. I really liked the twists and surprises.
- I was pleased that most of the story lines resolve at the end and there is not a cliffhanger. There are some interesting plots upcoming in book two that I am anxious to continue, and I can't wait for the story to move to New Orleans.
And The Not So Much:
- The world building was shaky. I actually went back and checked to make sure I was reading the first book because I honestly felt a bit lost. I was thrust into this magical world of witches and warlocks with little background information. I have not read too many witch books so a lot of the ideas and terms were confusing to me, and there was not enough explanation. For instance, who is the Goddess that the witches all serve? What is the sabbat and Battat? What is the Alchemy and what does it do? The same goes for the Coven? If the author would take the time to provide a bit more explanation and detail, and flesh out her story this book would really shine.
- Libby has a close friend, Peyton, whom she insists on shielding and protecting. Peyton seems to be a sensitive soul who has been traumatized by some dramatic events in her past. I was frustrated with this relationship because I didn't feel that Peyton's character was developed enough, and I didn't have a clear understanding as to why she was so fragile. There is a brief mention of something that happened in her past that involved the death of a teenager but the whole story isn't revealed. Also there is bit of discussion on the murder of Peyton's murder, but I still wanted more details. I also didn't feel like the friendship was fully defined. Why was Libby so close to Peyton?
- I was excited to find that the story was set in Charleston, I was looking forward to traversing the city with Libby and Kale and learning more about this famous city. Unfortunately, the author does not take advantage of the background, and there is practically nothing in regards to the city. I love when authors take the time to make the city a part of the story, and that did not happen here. I am hopeful that in the next installment, Ms. Kennedy will bring New Orleans to us with all its mystery and uniqueness.
The Cat's Meow was an entertaining and sexy start to a fun Urban Fantasy series. It has a wonderful romance that takes its sweet time to develop. I enjoyed learning more about witches and warlocks and their abilities. Overall, I liked this book and I look forward to continuing the series. I am hopeful in the next book that the world building will further develop to make this an outstanding series.
"Sure, but the need to eat and actually being able to cook are two different things,"
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.