Make your Summer Reading SIZZLE with these hot reads from fresh new authors!
This week's featured author is D.R. Perry
D.R. Perry lives in Rhode Island, where all her books are set. Although she's not a native New Englander, once up north she got so inspired she couldn't leave. A wild Northern Muse attacked. D.R. used Typing; it was Super Effective.
D.R. writes all kinds of things. Mostly, they have strange and unusual elements. Not strange isotopes or Strontium or anything like that, but creatures who are people or people who are creatures. Beware of the Attack Poetry and rampant puns. Keep off the grass, or the song parodies may bite.
She lives with her husband, daughter, and dog in the Ocean State, which she loves to remind people is not an island and not Long Island. D.R. is well aware that her home state has both of those things, but isn't defined by them. Maybe she likes it here so much because it reminds her that she's also more than the sum of her parts.
Barely Awake on Amazon
Bobby Tremain’s life used to seem charmed, but since his dad’s crippling accident, he has an avalanche of problems. He’s the first in his family to have a shot at college, also the first to head north of Louisiana. An early snow calls his Bear to hibernate a week before finals, but he needs to pass or he flunks out of Providence Paranormal College.
Lynn Frampton’s loneliness is almost more than she can take. She went to college on the other side of the country to get away from the persistent curse of unpopularity in a small town. Once at college, Lynn’s prickly personality has pushed everyone away yet again. At least she’s at the top of her class.
Bobby needs Lynn’s help to stay awake and pass his exam, and she discovers she needs companionship more than she’d ever imagined. Lynn’s all set to transfer to a school back home, but Bobby thinks she’s his mate. Can he keep awake long enough to pass, and more importantly, convince his love to stay?
“Think fast!” At the sound of Lynn’s voice, I reached out, plucking a thick stack of rubber-banded index cards from the air. A stinging in my pinkie made me wince. The hibernation urge had me off my game. Usually, I could catch just about anything in human form, and most things in bear. That’s another thing I wouldn’t be able to do this weekend. Let my bear out.
“What are these?” I blinked bleary eyes. The top card had one word on it, but the wide band across the middle blocked too much of it to read.
“My Ecology flash cards.” She switched on and moved a wireless mouse, waking her laptop up. Then, she pulled open a drawer to reveal a USB keyboard. She plugged it into a port, then pulled up an audio app. “Shuffle them.”
“Why do we need cards if you’re setting up your computer?” I sat on the bed to use the nightstand as a card shuffling surface.
“Study aids.” Lynn looked over her shoulder and smiled. “I’ve got all kinds. Trust me, I’m a Valedictorian.” She dropped a wink and I laughed.
“Can you get more specific for the sleep-deprived among us?” I pulled the band off the cards carefully so they wouldn’t go flying.
“This music ought to help keep us awake.” I couldn’t help but sigh with relief. Study tunes were like a last-minute pardon from listening to recordings of Watkins’ lectures. With a few sweeps and clicks, a wailing voice backed by heavy metal thunder poured out of her speakers. I recognized it.
“Iron Maiden?” I had to think for a moment before trying to shuffle them. There were so many, I had to split the deck a few times and shuffle the sections. These cards were serious business. Once they’d been thoroughly mixed, I gathered them together and held them out to Lynn.
“When you want to stay awake, there’s nothing quite like music that chases down your eardrums like a hell-hound.” She took the flash cards back from me and smiled. “Let’s do this!”
Fangs for the Memories on Amazon
Memory is a tricky business. No one remembers Maddie May. That’s fine with her; just a side effect of Umbral magic. Unfortunately, she has to take the Magic Theory Lab at Providence Paranormal College. Maddie won’t pass if the Professor can’t remember her.
Henry Baxter’s a psychic vampire who can store total recall for himself and others. He’s been in business since 1986, but new regulations mean he needs a degree to keep operating. Going back to college after sixty years on earth is definitely a drag, especially since society treats vampires as second-class citizens.
The woman everyone forgets and the man who remembers everything seem a natural pair. While Maddie’s all for it, Henry keeps pushing her away. But what if the only way they’ll survive is together?
The heady copper scent of human blood threatened to distract me as I dragged the rubberized nose clip out of my pocket. My Extrahuman sense of smell was always on, but not breathing wasn’t enough to block out the scent of blood. Sometimes it was more like a curse than a special power.
I’d just about gotten myself under control, still following the anguishing and familiar blood scent. I focused on enhancing my hearing just in time to pick up a muffled cuss word. I stopped trying to move like a human and made a leap for the source of the sound. Rough brick walls whizzed past on either side until I landed five feet away from Maddie and the piece of shit who had her pinned against the wall.
“Your wallet’s in here somewhere, freak.” The mugger’s free hand rummaged in her satchel.
“You’re never finding it, bozo.” I could barely believe my ears. Maddie’ sounded more like an angry shifter than a frightened magus. “If I want, I can make it so you’ll never find anything again.”
I had no idea whether she was bluffing or not. My psychic powers had never leaned toward lie-detection. I stepped closer, hissing and baring my fangs.
“You think your vampire pal’s going to scare me?” The thief flipped his hand over, revealing a tattoo in the shape of a crucifix. His middle finger shot straight up in the air as though for good measure.
“Oh, give me a break.” I rolled my eyes. “Really?” I pulled my arm back and curled my hand into a fist, ready to give the attacker a right hook. “After all this time, people still think that works? Fisticuffs never go out of style, pal.”
“Don’t you dare touch him. I won’t be the reason you go to jail.” Maddie’s eyes flashed with deep, dark anger. And then, that deep darkness grew.
Of Wolf and Peace on Amazon
If you don’t own your mistakes they’ll own you.
Wolf shifter Josh Dennison shouldn’t tempt coincidence, or he’ll end up ill-fated, like his missing brother and maimed sister. The wolves pledged neutrality when the Goblin King and Sidhe Queen split up centuries ago. But he’s falling for the one woman he can’t have, a Kelpie whose magic comes straight from the Goblin King’s court.
Nox Phillips has hidden on campus since she undid the Queen’s punishment. When she and Josh work together to resolve the pack conflict, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. But for any favor shown to one Faerie court, a price must be paid to the other and the pair already walk a thin line. But nothing can erase Nox’s guilt or prevent the Sidhe Queen from putting her on trial. How far will Josh go to save her?
A pale sliver of moon came out from behind the clouds. A keening howl rose from the other side of the enormous rock in the middle of the grove. I didn’t step into the light until a twig snapped somewhere in front of me. Nice of Josh to do that instead of sneaking up like he could have. When he walked around the other side of the Megalith, my breath caught in my throat. Barely-there moonlight made his hair look almost silver instead of blond. His eyes glittered with the fading gold of his recent shift out of wolf form. He tugged at the hem of his shirt, which told me he’d just put it on. I wasn’t much surprised to catch a glimpse of firm, defined muscle after sparring with him at the dojo. All the same, it was a nice finish to what had already been a gorgeous view.
“Nice, um—” Josh’s eyes moved up, down, and all around. “I’ve never seen someone wear anything like that before. Is it a dress?”
“Nope,” I grinned. My face felt like I’d been standing next to a fire instead of in a wintry breeze. “Blanket.”
“There’s no way anyone but you could make a blanket look that good.” His teeth flashed white in the darkness. Had I been staring at his mouth?
“Thought you’d make some kind of horse joke or something.” I barely managed a shrug.
“There’s absolutely nothing going on here that’s got me in a joking mood.” He took a step closer.
“Oh.” I found myself unable to move. Well, that’s a lie. I trembled a little. Lame, I know, but that’s what happens when you stand outside without your water magic in the middle of February wearing a blanket and no shoes.
“So, you said you have some explaining to do.” He tilted his head, peering down at me.
“I know. It’s just not the easiest thing to say.” It also wasn’t easy standing there with this incredibly gorgeous man who pushed me away with one hand and dropped compliments like breadcrumbs from the other. “Listen, I don’t like talking around things. I’m going to take a deep breath and just dive into this. This is the kind of stuff I can’t unsay and you can’t unhear. You still game?”
“Perfectly.” He gazed into my eyes. I almost blinked when he used the same word I’d said back at the dojo before agreeing to this meeting. A dig, or coincidence?
Dragon My Heart Around on Amazon
What’s luck got to do with it?
Dragon shifter Blaine Harcourt’s bewildered when he catches a woman robbing his parents’ Newport Mansion. It gets worse when they leave him in charge of her punishment. His step-dad says it’s time to prove he’s worthy of his future inheritance. His mother just blames him for the whole thing. Blaine’s so angry he just can’t even.
Kimiko Ichiro only wanted to replace what she stole from her father. It’s not her fault the only luck charms powerful enough to stop his rapid aging are in the Harcourt hoard. Robbing powerful dragon shifters seemed like the only way. Besides, thievery’s no big deal to a Tanuki.
Blaine’s used to dealing with books and artifacts, not brilliantly dishonest women. Is Kimiko just using her feminine wiles to hoodwink him, or is something else at play here? And how did she get into the Harcourt’s magically sealed vault in the first place? Could Blaine’s part in foiling an evil magus be the reason for his bad luck, and can Kimiko help him turn it around?
“You’re an odd one.” That was the understatement of the decade. This girl was battier than a bat shifter. She’d broken into a dragon hoard, for Tiamat’s sake!
“Back at you, dragon boy.” She smiled, batting her eyes.
“Hey, only my friends are allowed to insult me like that. And none of my friends would ruin my life by trying to break in here.” That made me stop and think, a tough task while recovering from the knock on my noggin. How had she broken in, anyway?
“And if your friends jumped off the Pell Bridge, I wouldn’t.” She flipped her hair over one shoulder, batting her eyelashes. I paid attention in an entirely inappropriate way. She looked younger than Lynn Frampton, but a Tanuki could look nineteen and be fifty with a Luck charm.
“Maybe you’d be better off, jumping from a bridge. Mother doesn’t pull any punches, but I’m her only child. I could put in a good word if you try being a little nicer to me.” I hadn’t just said something that smarmy? Oh yeah, I had. I’d meant it that way, too.
“How about you keep these a secret from your mom.” She held up a pair of Luck-infused cufflinks, then tucked them down the front of her shirt. “That’d give me tons of motivation to be—” She leaned over, her face close to mine. “Nice.”
“Hey!” I wriggled, trying to stop her from sitting on my lap. It was no use. My dragon had woken up and given her his full attention. He liked what he saw even more than I did. That only made things worse. I rolled my eyes. “Why do you need my help? Can’t you just get out the way you came in?”
“No such luck with the wards up.” She shrugged, then gazed into my eyes. Most girls flinched when they were dragonish, but not her. “That’s a striking shade of red, Blaine. You’re very attractive. Why didn’t anyone bother telling me that, I wonder?” She put one arm around my neck.
“Gah!” I pushed with my feet, forcing my weight against the wall I leaned on so I could stand. She fell off my lap with a shrill little shriek. Mother would be back soon, and I couldn’t let her see me with the burglar on my lap. And there was something else, too. “Stop trying to distract me. You got in here. You get yourself out. It’s not like there’s a shortage of Luck charms in here.”
I flexed my arms, hearing the purr of tearing fabric as my hands pulled free of whatever she’d tied me with. Smoke trailed up from my nose, hazing my vision. I always hated that. I focused and turned it into a ring shape instead so I could see what in Tiamat’s name I was doing. Then, I lowered my shoulder and rushed her.
She stepped out of the way at the last possible second. That was a good thing since I had to swerve myself to avoid smashing a vase worth over a million dollars. I turned to face her again, reaching out to grapple her this time. I got her blouse. Instead of trying to get away, she threw herself at me. We went down together, rolling around the marble floor in a tussle, unlike any fair fight I’d had. She grabbed handfuls of my hair, pulling my head every which way. I tried to get a grip without seeming like I was copping a feel. The way she writhed in my grasp made that almost impossible.
I felt the air change before I realized the door had opened. I’d been crawling, trying to get off the floor from on all fours with the Ichiro girl clinging on around my neck and waist with her arms and legs. Her skirt had flipped completely up, giving Mother and my step-dad a show she might have fully intended. She laughed, obliterating any vestige of innocent girlishness left in my opinion of her.
“Blaine Carter Harcourt put that girl down this instant.” Mother’s voice was quiet, which rated Defcon 1 on the Hertha Harcourt warning system.
Author Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
The Summer Splash Book Tour gave me the opportunity to go one on one with D.R. Perry and ask the questions readers want to know the answers to:
Carol Ann: What genre would you say the book falls into?
D.R. Perry: I call it Paranormal Comedy, but they also have romance, action, adventure, and mystery in them.
Carol Ann: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?
D.R. Perry: Nope. I revised Bearly Awake (name changed after update) to fit in with the rest of the series. As such, it has no descriptive love scenes.
Carol Ann: What is your favourite Quote?
D.R. Perry: From Book 4, Dragon My Heart Around: "Occam had a Razor and he knew how to use it."
Carol Ann: What advice do you have for new writers?
D.R. Perry: You might have to start somewhere, but it doesn't much matter where. The very first book I wrote, I started writing at what turned out to be Chapter 3. It's okay not to have a perfect beginning when you start drafting. That comes later when you revise and edit.
Carol Ann: Where do you write?
D.R. Perry: Mostly in my office. It used to be a porch, so I have to bundle up in winter and hydrate in the summer. Sometimes, I go to a Dunkin Donuts nearby when my husband has D&D night.
Carol Ann: Are your characters real to you? Do you speak to them?
D.R. Perry: They feel real, but I don't speak to them. For some of them, it's because I'm too busy listening. For others, I worry they'll spook and stop talking.
Carol Ann: What piece of advice from other authors do you hear the most but choose to ignore?
D.R. Perry: "Write what you know." I mean, seriously? I definitely do not know what it's like to turn into a wolf, a horse, a bear, a big scaly dragon. But I write about those things anyway. I prefer "know what you write." If you want to write about something you don't know, write and get to know it as you go. When you're not sure about something, ask questions, look it up, chat with a friend.
Carol Ann: Which do you prefer Novels or Novellas and why?
D.R. Perry: Goldilocks. The story takes the amount of words it needs to get told. As long as I don't feel like there's too much or too little, it's just right regardless.
Carol Ann: Are there any Easter eggs in your book(s)?
D.R. Perry: Tons. Pop culture references, song lyrics, philosophy, other books, movies, art. It's in there!
Carol Ann: What's your favourite food? Have you ever mentioned it in your book(s)?
D.R. Perry: It's right there in Bearly Awake. Well, it was when I wrote Bearly Awake. The thing is, I mention several foods in there, because like colors, my favorite food is subject to change.
Carol Ann: Do you have a writing Motto?
D.R. Perry: Just keep writing.
Carol Ann: If you could change the date to any year past or future, what date would you change it to and why?
D.R. Perry: I wouldn't change the date. That fig, on the other hand, is another story entirely.
Thank you for joining me this week! Don't forget to join me next week when I interview Leslie Conzatti.
This week I was interviewed by Catherine Banks. Make sure you check out her blog as well.