Thursday, October 30, 2014

Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Support the Next Chapter in Innovative Research

Penguin Random House Marks Five-Year Partnership Milestone and $125,000
in Donations to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

What’s black and white and pink all over?  The initiative by Penguin Random House called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

Today the scientific community has left behind the “one-size-fits-all” breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink® initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation® (BCRF), while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

Beatriz Williams (2014 Read Pink® Spokesperson), A Hundred Summers
“Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors.”

Karen White, The Time Between
“Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime.”

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
“To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October.”

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
“I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make a huge difference!”

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes
“This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren't there yet. There's a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate.”

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!”

Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:
Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover
Karen White, The Time Between
Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers
Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero
Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman
Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

 Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October.  Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

For more information about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit

Read Pink® Blog Tour Schedule
Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!

October 1 – 
Exclusive guest post with spokesperson Beatriz Williams on 
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                                                            Pretty Sassy Cool

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                                                            Sincerely Stacie

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                                                            Wit & Sin; Raw Books

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                                                            That's What I'm Talking About

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Great Halloween Horror Movies with Mimi Sebastian

Happy Halloween!! When my six year old finally collapses from his sugar-induced frenzy and falls asleep, I like nothing better than to settle on the couch with a glass or two of wine, and watch a few Halloween scary movies, particularly ones that give me a Halloween thrill and drive me to spasmodically gnaw on mass quantities of Tootsie Rolls: spooky music, creepy shadows, the things you’d want to encounter (or not) in a haunted house, and then some. Narrowing the list down to ten was excruciating. I wanted to include some more contemporary films in with the classics. I know I left out lots of great, creepy movies. Please chime in the comments with some of your favorite Halloween watches!

Scream. Really an appropriate title. Lots of people scream. Drew Barrymore screams. How was that for an unexpected GOTCHA right at the beginning? Surely they won’t kill a famous actor such as Barrymore so soon. Wes Craven must have giggled himself silly when he thought of that one…or he screamed. I screamed. We all screamed for Scream. Another iconic horror director, Wes Craven, revived the slasher genre in a unique, meta way and provided some good scares with a cool twist at the end. (I was torn between including Scream and his other classic, Nightmare on Elm Street.)

Halloween. The granddaddy of them all. Carpenter does an excellent job of setting mood and tone. (I mean whose skin doesn’t crawl when they hear that piano riff?) And Donald Pleasance is creepy even when he’s playing a good guy. There’s a subtle beauty to Carpenter’s stuff (except for maybe The Thing). Carpenter does not show the rending of flesh in Halloween, yet I felt it, and when I think of that movie, I always seem to remember lots of gore. That’s skillful filmmaking.

Fright Night. Chris Sarandon gives one of my favorite vampire performances ever. “You have to have faith for that to work on meeeeeee.” There are so many amazing scenes, moments in this movie that elevate it beyond teen horror camp. Roddy McDowell as the washed up Vincent Price-ish, tv personality, Peter Vincent Vampire Killer. And an often overlooked but great performace by Stephen Geoffreys as Evil Ed. A great character not given justice in the remake. The scene where he visits Peter Vincent after becoming a vampire was chilling.

Evil Dead. Did Sam Raimi know when he filmed his low budget masterpiece, that it’d become one of the iconic movies of its genre, inspiring many more to come? You can’t beat Sam Raimi for campy, no holds bared horror blood fest. And Bruce Campbell is fantastic. Raimi apparently used his own brand of method acting to inspire real fear in the actors. For example, he flung real glass at them during filming. Bruce Campbell sprained his ankle during filming and Raimi would poke at the aching wound to elicit emotional responses. No wonder Campbell went totally nuts.

Evil Dead 2, also great, is streamable on Netflix.

Psycho. So ahead of its time. The birth of the slasher, this movie list alone contains movies with elements inspired by Psycho. Jerky camera work, and super creepy score. And oh how Hitchcock loves to manipulate the audience. That movie unsettled me. And once again, no gore, but talk about messed up mom and son Oedipal horror. I always say Dario Argento and Clive Barker are wonderfully disturbed, but Hitchcock definitely is the godfather.

The Conjuring. I’d been waiting for a great, contemporary Amityville Horror type movie to come along and The Conjuring did a great job providing scares and a rather intense, horrifying final act. I wanted to scream in delight just in the way the film opened. Before the credits stopped rolling, they hit us with that creepy music that harkens back to some of the classics, like Omen and The Exorcist, and slithers into the primal parts of the subconscious. Then Wan gives us Annabelle’s creepy eyeball then more creepy music. Then we meet Ed and Lorraine Warren and get their story typed on the screen in Courier because you know it’s scary if written in Courier. James Wan studied the masters. Oh, he also provides a great horror movie teaching point: take family dog along when house hunting. If dog is afraid, do not buy the house.

Have you seen a picture of the real Annabelle? She’s a big Raggedy Ann doll. Someone gave me a big Raggedy Ann doll as a Christmas gift when I was a kid. She sits in the closet in my old room at my parent’s house. I will never remove her from the closet in my old room at my parent’s house. If my parents ever sell the house, I will tell the new owners to never remove the giant Raggedy Ann doll from the closet.

House of the Devil. I watched a lot of weird, atmospheric horror movies as a kid in the seventies. It’s probably what warped me. Ty West does an excellent job of recreating that same mood in House of the Devil. It’s a slow burner but does it burn and the climactic ending is both horrifying and shocking.

Dracula. Todd Browning’s classic still holds up, in part due to Bela Lugosi’s haunting, wonderful performance as our beloved Count. The opening scenes are still some of the best in any movie. Very atmospheric, macabre, lovely.

The Changeling. A damned good haunted house movie with a tragic, great story and rewarding reveal at the end. George C. Scott gives a great performance as the tortured John Russell, recovering from the death of his wife. Peter Medak, the director, carefully layers on the creepiness leaving us completely unsettled without quite knowing why.

The Others. I figured this one out half way through the movie, but it still didn’t ruin my enjoyment. The overall canvas of this movie was painted in chilling, beautiful images. Just the scene where the weird people approach the house from the outside. Yikes! Wonderful creepy stuff.

And for fun, with the kiddies: Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, and The Adams Family. 

The Necromancer’s Betrayal
The Necromancer Series
Book 2
Mimi Sebastian

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: ImaJinn/Belle Books

ISBN: 978-1611945119

Number of pages: 226

Cover Artist: Debra Dixon

Book Description:

Her powers have been hobbled. Her enemies are growing stronger.

Old loves challenge her. And her worst betrayer may be herself.

Necromancer Ruby Montagne is battling for her life in the realm of demons. Unfairly branded for the death of a fellow necromancer, she’s got to prove her innocence without the full use of her magic. And the real culprit is still on the loose.

While someone is stalking her friends among the witches, Ruby searches for answers inside the dark intrigues of both the demon and necromancer worlds. Ruby must confront this new, sinister threat while reconciling her feelings for her former lover, a demon warrior. Only it’s difficult . . . because a sexy vampire is making it clear that he’d like to be a lot more than just friends.

The competition for Ruby’s trust heats up as the enemy pushes her toward a dark side that could threaten the entire realm. Yet what can Ruby do when she’s not even sure what she is? With the fabric separating the realms at stake, she must decide whom to trust. But will the ultimate betrayal be her own?

Available at Amazon

About the Author:

Mimi Sebastian raised herself on books and the strange and unusual, and an unhealthy dose of comics and movies. When a career as a punk guitarist failed to materialize, she completed her degree in urban planning, spent two years in the Ivory Coast with the Peace Corps, and another three years in Brazil. By day, she debates the merits of transport oriented development, by night she writes about necromancers and pirates. She’s convinced she could live off coffee, ice cream, and comic books, but is sure only one of those is good for her health.

She's a member of Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA. A transplant from the beaches of Florida, Mimi now wanders the desert in Phoenix, AZ, and attempts to balance writing with a day career, fantastic family, and household diva: her Amazon parrot.

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Guest blog and Giveaway In the Dark by Jen Colly

The Cities Below

In the Dark is the first in The Cities Below series. I’m sure you’re wondering… Which cities? Below what?

I see I've got some explaining to do, so let's talk vampires. What if vampires are real? Not were real in the past, but are real today. I certainly haven't seen any. So where are they? Simple. They live out of sight, in underground cities. Several such cities are scattered throughout Europe, but France holds the largest population with two cities in the north, one in Paris, and another farther south. In the Dark brings you to Balinese, the largest vampire city in Europe.

Easy to find, right?

Perhaps. One can easily spot the old chateau sitting on the countryside of northern France. A road passes by a good distance away, clipping the edge of the forest to its south. To the average eye, the chateau seems abandoned, which is just as well. Unless you're a vampire, you'll never get inside. The gate is guarded. Now, should you be a vampire, you're welcome inside. The dank corridors beneath the ground level are further degraded than the chateau above. Crumbling walls, debris covered floors, and low arches stretch on and on. These are the perimeter corridors, designed to deter any unwanted guests.  Ready to turn back yet?


The interior heart of this city? A palace fit for a king. Originally built in the early 16th century, Balinese has grown immensely over the years. The foyer outside of the dining hall, embellished with shining marble floors, the ceiling and doorways trimmed in gold, is a shining example of their intentions to stay in the city they love. Balinese is a fully functioning society, not much different from the humans above. Each vampire city has its own stable government, and laws specific to that city's particular needs. Guardians protect the city, and enforce vampire laws. Should you, as a human, enter one of these cities on your own accord, the last sight you'll see is a Guardian's sword in your chest. 

You've been warned.

In the Dark
The Cities Below
Book 1
Jen Colly

Genre: Romance, Sci Fi &Fantasy

Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press

Date of Publication: November 3, 2014

ISBN: 9781616505196

Number of pages: 190
Word Count: 60,000

Cover Artist: Renee Rocco

Book Description:

Soren and Faith must find a way to survive the evil and darkness.

Faith’s spur of the moment vacation, meant to free her and boost her spirits, has left her lost on the streets of Paris. And apparently, Paris is populated with something more than just humans. Vampires, suave, seductive and oh so sexy, and one such warrior vampire has set his sights on her.

When Soren hears Faith’s terrified screams, he rushes in and saves her life without considering the consequences. Two problems: one, she’s a human and clearly aware of his vampire qualities, and two, the men who attacked her were not men at all, but demons. Their target, his beloved underground city of Balinese. He can never let Faith go home again, but can she learn to love his him?

Available at Amazon


          Faith looked up at the silhouette of a man curled over her, his head barely blocking the raindrops pelting her face. She was moving, her feet were not, and the city was sideways. The foreign world passed by her, the images coming slowly, as if she were seeing everything through someone else’s eyes.
          She was numb, her muscles from cold, her mind from shock. Her memories seemed intact, scrambled and hazy, but intact. She remembered being afraid of flying on the airplane, and the taste of the ginger gum that kept her nausea at bay. She’d been lost in the rain on the way back to her hotel. Then two men had trapped her in an alley.
          Her shoulders and ribs shuddered with chills powerful enough to make her teeth rattle.
She fought through it, lifted her head and looked down at her hands.
          “My purse.” The words didn’t come out right. Her jaw refused to open, and her lips had difficulty forming the simple words. She tried again. “Took my purse.”
          “I have it. You need to be warm and dry right now,” the man said, keeping up his pace, never once looking at her. By the sheer confidence in his husky tones, without a doubt, this was the man who had saved her. That intense look on his face was nearly the same as when he’d pulled the muggers off her, driven them into the wall. It was oddly comforting, at the moment.
          Tall buildings, probably homes, surrounded her, swaying in her field of vision as he strode along. Light peeked through several arched windows, yellow and warm.
          He entered one of the larger buildings as if he owned it and carried her past several numbered doors to the end of the hallway, where he started down a creaking set of stairs. Suddenly she feared falling down those stairs, but her shuddering muscles wouldn’t allow her to hold on tighter. She closed her eyes and trusted him not to drop her.
          After the last step had been left behind, she took a deep breath, opened her eyes, and almost wished she hadn’t. The basement hallway was musty, and each bare light bulb they passed only revealed cracks chasing each other across the ceiling.
          He stopped, pressed her against a green door as he fished for the doorknob with the hand supporting her legs.
          “Put me down,” she said, trying to help, and fully expecting him to drop her to her feet.
          He fought with the knob until it finally gave and carried her inside, then kicked the door shut behind him.

About the Author:

Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.

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