Top Ten Places I Most Want to Travel To, Guest Post by Sarah Mäkelä


Guest Post: Top Ten Places I Most Want to Travel To by Sarah Mäkelä

 I’m probably a little different from most people in my choices. I’m not crazy about beaches or hot weather. I’m entirely fascinated with snow and Scandinavia and Russia. With that out of the way, here we go…

  1. Yellowstone National Park – I went as a child, but I’d love to go again now that I can really enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  2. Transylvania – I’ve been to other parts of Romania, but I’d love to visit Transylvania and see Bran Castle. There’s so much history, and well… Vlad Tepes (aka Dracula).
  3. Germany – My mother was born there. Plus, I really like German food.
  4. Hawaii, USA – I’d love to see some of the sites there. Volcanoes, WWII battleships, and okay… maybe the beaches.
  5. Norway – I’ve had the pleasure of going, but I’d love to go back, especially to Oslo. There’s so much Viking history, and it’s absolutely a beautiful country.
  6. Italy – It’s Italy; what more can I say? I’d love to see Venice and Florence. Also, I really like Italian food, and there’s so much history. Yes, I’m a history buff.
  7. Alaska, USA – I’ve always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise. It’s so pretty with its snow and mountains.
  8. Iceland – I’d love to visit. It’s a Nordic country, and it looks so beautiful and exotic too.
  9. Finland – I’ve been many times, but I absolutely love Finland. If I could live anywhere but the USA, I’d live there.
  10. St. Petersburg, Russia and Moscow, Russia – I’ve always wanted to visit Russia since I’ve had a fascination with it and its history and culture ever since I was young




JungleHeat (2)Title: Jungle Heat

Author: Sarah Mäkelä

Blurb: An Amazon Princess and a weretiger must find love enough to heal their peoples’ painful history. 

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets. One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men. 

Adara Rukan, princess of the Amazons, ventures away from her village to find something waiting for her. Andrei “Rei” Makarov is a weretiger and a biologist on assignment. Can Rei and Adara find love enough to bridge their two separate worlds?

Genre: Shifter Romance

Publisher: Kissa Press LLC

Date of Publication: September 17, 2014


 Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | ARe


Adara raced over the dense forest floor, trying to escape the shadow closing on her heels. Fear pumped adrenaline through her body as she ran toward her village through the darkness. Panic tangled with the sheer need to survive. If only I’d listened. What was I thinking, coming out alone?
She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her foot smacked against a tree root in the moment of distraction, pitching her body forward. The fall came in slow motion.
Cursing under her breath, she rolled onto her back. Dry leaves clung to her blonde hair. The subtle, musty scent of slow rot rose from the rich soil, mixed with something coming from behind her. The dark shadow loomed. Her gaze rose to take in her pursuer, wondering if the beast would be her doom.
The tall, broad-shouldered creature towered over her. Watching. It wasn’t human or animal. The village wise woman had warned her of beings like this, but they’d seemed like fables. How could something so fantastical be real?
Even as she trembled with fear, this creature captivated her. The black and orange stripes covering his shoulders and arms evoked a distant memory, yet the design was uncommon in the Amazon.
His hair hung in straight, black strands like a human’s, but his face had the nose, mouth, and eyes of a feline. His muscular, naked body reflected a splendid combination of both species. Sweat-shiny skin glistened through the inch-long fur that covered him. His white chest intrigued her, all the way to the patch of fur barely covering his groin. Leaves and branches framed his face with a lush green background. He crouched over her. His piercing golden eyes focused solely on her. His stare reminded her of a cat from her village staring at a small rodent before pouncing.
As he leaned down, she grabbed her kris from the garter on her thigh and pushed it against his stomach. She didn’t want today to be the day she died. Her people needed her. She wouldn’t let this beast deny them their princess.
The animal cocked his head at her. He brushed his lips over her throat, whiskers tickling her chin.
Her body stiffened. What is he doing? Bewilderment spread through her as his feline lips touched her neck. Instead of biting her, his canines grazed lightly, gently, from just below her ear down to her shoulder, almost as if exploring her flesh, instead of seeking to rip open her throat.
She tensed. Even with her weapon pressed against the beast’s stomach, she still feared for her life. As an Amazon princess, she wasn’t easily scared. But this feline made her heart pound. If only she had brought Rubia with her. She wouldn’t be in this situation and could’ve stood a better chance against this feline.
Why does he persist in toying with me? Adara swallowed as a low burn started in the pit of her stomach. These feelings confused her.
A soft sniffing sounded in her ear right before his tongue scraped rough caresses on her skin. Other jungle cats marked their territory. Did this animal believe she was his? She didn’t want to find out.
Without waiting for the feline’s next move, Adara drove the kris deep into his stomach, meeting resistance as it plunged through flesh and muscle. She forced it further as his blood flowed onto her hands, making the hilt of the kris slick, weakening her grip.
He roared and leapt back with her kris still embedded in his abdomen.
She scrambled to her feet. His scream so near the side of her face made her ear ring. Bringing up a hand to her ear, Adara felt a trail of his wet blood drip along her cheek.
He straightened his spine and strode back to her, her kris still buried in him. It seemed as if it were nothing more than a minor annoyance to him. She clenched her hands into fists and dropped them to her sides.
The reality of what she saw struck her. She froze. How could he act so unaffected? He shouldn’t have been able to move around so casually. It wasn’t possible. How can I outrun something like that? This can’t be happening. Her mother had always warned her to be careful when traveling through the forest. Why hadn’t she listened? And how could she feel so drawn to this animal when he intimidated her?
“Who are you?” Gritting her teeth, she forced her voice to resonate with the commanding tones of an Amazon huntress, and fervently hoped it didn’t betray the panic racing through her veins. Her people’s beliefs restricted them from showing fear in front of strangers. Not that they saw many. But her tribeswomen were survivors in dangerous times. Their history brimmed with reminders.
The feline bared pointed white teeth. “Call me Rei.” His husky voice reverberated like a deep growl.
He launched into the air and, before she could react, flattened her to the ground. Air whooshed out of her lungs. Her eyes widened and locked onto his.
He pinned her arms next to her head and pressed his feline lips to hers. His tongue scraped across her lower lip, causing nips of pain to cut through the alluring sensation.
She shook her head hard, breaking the kiss. Her breath rushed out short and quick. Never before had she kissed anyone. His mouth on hers created fiery stirrings within her body that felt almost too good. Her racing pulse only spread the warmth throughout her body that much faster.
Twice a year, her tribeswomen associated with Indian men. The younger girls were forced to stay in a hut during those visits, although Adara had snuck out once with Rubia in a fit of rebellion. She’d spotted one of her kin pressing her mouth against an Indian male’s. Could this be what happens?
But men weren’t to be trusted. Her kin had learned that the hard way many, many years ago.
Her mind flashed to the tales she’d heard from the wise woman. Horrible reminders assaulted her, memories of the men from long ago, enslaving her kind, killing them ruthlessly with diseases and swords.
She could imagine the cruelty of the conquering, pillaging men as vividly as if she had been there herself, so strongly had the wise woman spoken. It had taken weeks for her to sleep soundly after listening to that story.
Sudden panic swept away the lust that burned inside her. This creature could do the same. He’s chased me, after all.
“What do you want from me?” Adara asked, trying to sound forceful, but instead her voice came out husky. She cleared her throat and returned his gaze.
Talking with an animal! Rubia would be jealous. Her tribeswomen would never believe this story… if she survived the encounter.
Rei smiled, warmth emanating from him. “You.” His chest rumbled, and he rolled the word off his tongue like an exotic purr.

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About the Author:

NYT & USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy…even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

Instagram: TutuKate

Chat Between Chapters: Who Prefers First? What about Third? and What the Heck is Second…


 When it comes to points of view in books, do you prefer first or third? And what the heck is second person? Have you read a book in second person?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I think it really depends on the type of book for me to like the third or first person perspective. Some books are really well done in first person and you the reader really get a good feel for the main character. I also enjoy first person in POV changes so you get inside the mind of both/each character. Sometimes though when the main character is annoying as hell, that first person perspective makes it even worse. Third person gives you a bit of a distance from the main character and the narrator can keep secrets from us the reader.  Third person narrative can share the thoughts of other characters as often as those of the main character, so we can get a little more information that way. I don’t think I’ve ever read a second person narrative. That would be an interesting experience.

Rose review avatar Rose:

I once recommended a book to my cousin on the basis that she loved one of my favorite novels, The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. I recommended she read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Guess what? She hated Outlander! Can you believe that? I was so surprised. She said the biggest thing about Outlander that she just couldn’t get past is that it was written in first person. The Bronze Horseman is written in third person. I was shocked. I have heard of people having preference, but her prejudice of my favorite book of all time seemed a little out of line. I mean I typically prefer first person point of view. I feel like I get to know the character better if I am reading the story in first person. I think first person feels more authentic and like the narrator is more honest and trustworthy. However, I am not adverse to third person. Sometimes third person is a better choice for a novel and that is okay. Third person allows the reader to perhaps see more what motivates a character than what first person does. Sometimes the reader knows the third person character better that that character knows herself! As for second person… I am always confused by this.  I read Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher and that is about as close to second person as I think I have ever encountered in a novel. What about you? What is your preference?

The TBR Tag

The TBR Tag

I was tagged by Jessica at Strung Out on Books.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Well, I use the Goodreads to-read shelf, but it has mostly become a shelf to show interest in a book since there are just more books there than I can read in a lifetime. I mentioned needing to become immortal, right? I have a separate to-read-soon shelf for books I actually recently purchased and should read soon. But of course there are books I don’t own yet but still really want to read, so I’m not too sure how I track those. It has just become impossible to keep track of it all.

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Both. And Audio. Print are the books already on my shelf. I own a lot of ebooks too, probably more ebooks than print books actually. Plus I have a lot of audiobooks I’ve already purchased, plus many more that I plan to listen to since that is how I do most of my reading these days – while I drive to/from work and around this giant city of ours.

A Book That’s Been On Your TBR List The Longest

I joined Goodreads in 2011 and that is when I started tracking my books. One of the oldest books on my to-read list is All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7) by Charlaine Harris.

A Book You Recently Added To Your TBR

The book I most recently added to my to-read shelf on Goodreads (at the time of writing this post) is Mind Over Monsters (A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #1) by Jennifer Harlow.

A Book In Your TBR Strictly Because Of Its Beautiful Cover

Oh I’m sure there are plenty of books on my TBR just because of their amazing covers, but one that comes to mind is The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff. I mean seriously, what a gorgeous cover!


A Book On Your TBR That You Never Plan on Reading

I probably do not plan on reading The Shack by William P. Young. It sounded like an interesting book at the time I picked it up at a used book sale. But after reading some more reviews about it, it really does not sound like something I would enjoy. I stay away from religious topics in books anyway, so I’ll just steer clear of this one too.

An Unpublished Book On Your TBR That You’re Excited For

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent. I’ve enjoyed or even loved the books I’ve read by her (which is almost all she’s written) so I’m definitely excited for her next work!

A Book On Your TBR That Basically Everyone’s Read But You

It feels like everyone’s read at least some of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books but me.  I’ve had
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward on my to-read for a while. I just need to get a copy and read it.

A Book On Your TBR That Everyone Recommends To You

Everyone has been telling me I need to get on reading Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. I loved the Vampire Academy series, but I haven’t started the spin off yet. But many of my friends are drooling over it, so I need to move that up the pile.

A Book On Your TBR That You’re Dying To Read

I’ve been excited to read Unremembered by Jessica Brody for some time now. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I liked the author when I met her and the book premise sounds really fun. Every time I’m reminded about it, I get excited about it. So I really need to make time for it.

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

These are my TBR shelves:

to-read ‎(7859)

soon-to-read-list ‎(270)

See? Those shelves are awful!!


I tag:

  • Scarlett
  • Jess
  • My co-blogger Rose
  • Whoever else wants to do it. No one I tag is forced to do this either heh.

Preparing for an author event: our guest post at Second Run Reviews

Today we are super excited to be guest posting at Second Run Reviews! Our topic is: Tips on preparing for an author event.


Tips to Prepare for your first Author Event
Preparing for an author event can be a lot of fun, but it can be a bit overwhelming as well. This is especially true if you haven’t attended many events in the past, and even more so if you have to travel to such an event. Some author events are like conferences in themselves!

Let’s use the Houston Teen Book Con as an example. This is an all-day event, local to us, that hosts 20-some authors in one awesome place. The event starts off with book sales, then you attend the opening speech, followed by a bunch of panels. The day is closed out by a closing speech and the book signing portion of the convention. That is one super packed day of author fun! There are tons of people, long lines, and not nearly enough time. Strategic planning is mandatory to get all of your books signed. So where do you start?

Want to read more? Check out the full post at Second Run Reviews.

Sharing the Bookish Love


Sharing the Bookish Love is our newest feature where we share some of our favorite posts we have recently come across on the book blogosphere. If there’s a recent post you want us to share, feel free to let us know.


Thought-provoking Discussions:

Oh, The Books talks about reading being stressful.

Rabid Reads asks, if there was a book about you, what would the title be?

Thoughts and Pens talks about gender and reviewers.

Icy Cold Reads asks about blogger interaction and making blogger friends.

Little Birdie Books talks about half stars.

Writer of Wrongs laments when everyone loves a book but you

Icy Cold Reads asks, how far from reality can books get without going too far?

Snuggly Oranges wants to know, is it okay to change your ratings over time?

Oh The Books discusses what makes a reader.

Guest post on Oh The Books about what the blogger looks for in a book boyfriend

Readers In Wonderland shares 5 signs she has discovered a good book.

Leila Reads talks about why she doesn’t use star ratings in her reviews.

Rinn Reads thinks about the people who say they don’t have time to read.

Deadly Darlings talks about how we readers sometimes contradict ourselves


Recommendations and Tips:

Nose Graze shares How to Block Spam Comments That Get Through Akismet.

Parajunkee has another great post on blogging: Ten Post Ideas That Will Draw Traffic to Your Book Blog.

Icy Cold Reads shares 8 Ways to Read in Class (Without Getting Caught).


Bookish News and other Round-ups:

Parajunkee Book Bloggerista news Sept 8th and Book Bloggerista news Sept15th.

Oh, The Books Weekly Recap Sep 7-13, 2014.

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