Friday, April 29, 2016

Unwrapping a Promo/Review of BLOOD CURSE, book 5 in the Dragon Heat series by Ella J. Phoenix

Book Five in the Dragon Heat series
by Ella J. Phoenix

Available now:

Descendant of a Cherokee shaman, Dyam is one of the vampire king’s personal guards and closest advisers. He has seen the worst of mankind and has vowed to stay away from personal entanglements and focus on serving his king.

However, his resolve is shaken when Naiah, the water witch, finds her way into the busy vampire castle’s life and straight into his heart. But before he can nurture his feelings for her, she is killed in battle, causing Dyam to return to his self-imposed seclusion for good.

Little does he know that Naiah has been brought back to life by his kind’s most nefarious enemies. She is their ultimate weapon in a final battle that will rupture not only the balance of the supernatural world, but Dyam’s loyalty to his race.

*** Warning: this novel contains hot, steamy, descriptive sexual scenes. Enjoy. ***

On this launch weekend, from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, the latest novel in the Dragon Heat series, BLOOD CURSE, will be FREE on iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, ARE & Smashwords.
To celebrate the release of yet another book in the series, DRAGON HEAT (Book 1) is completely free of charge on iTunes, Kobo, 
Barnes & Noble, ARE & Smashwords, and it’s just 99¢ on Amazon.

My Review:

Dyam was heartbroken by Naiah’s death and can’t seem to keep from thinking about her. When he goes to the mouth of a volcano to investigate a strange blade seemingly created from the ash of a volcano, he even imagines that he sees Naiah there. Convinced, she is a sister witch who looks like Naiah, he accompanies Zoricah and Yara back to the witch village for information regarding the prophecy pertaining to Z’s daughter, but there they discover the Emerald Lake empty and all of the witch inmas flowers destroyed…Naiah’s red blossom is missing.

When Dyam learns the truth, that Naiah has been resurrected as the Phoenix, he knows the sweet Naiah that he loves is still in there. He’s willing to risk his own life to prove it, and to save her…something he failed to do the first time.

BLOOD CURSE by Ella J. Phoenix is the fifth book in the Dragon Heat series and the final chapter…and it does not disappoint. The final book in the series which started with the love between a dragon and a vampire is exciting, edge of the seat, and sexy as only to be expected from Ella J. Phoenix. There were times I didn’t think this could end well but Ella doesn’t disappoint and even leads us into her next series, which has the working title - Sons of Apa S├ómbetei – coming out next year. I’m very excited about it.

Creating a unique world of strange creatures, dangerous enemies, intrigue, and kings, queens, and gods, Ella gives us all of it, and never more so than in BLOOD CURSE. We’re treated to myths and legends, love that can’t even be destroyed by death, and the man who won’t quit until he proves that even the most dangerous of creatures can be good.

I highly recommend reading BLOOD CURSE by Ella J. Phoenix. If you haven’t read this amazing series from the beginning, please do. Even if you’re not into paranormal romance, you might just be surprised at how quickly and almost addictively, you become enamored of the amazing characters you meet within the pages of the Dragon Heat series. This story rocks with an ending that will just make you want more.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Click HERE to read an exciting Excerpt from BLOOD CURSE!


I was just nine years old when I discovered my passion for the paranormal world. That passion led me to a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts where I had my first taste in writing, conjuring children’s plays and re-writing Shakespearean masterpieces to suit the modern times (Yes, he’s still cringing in his grave).

After years traveling around the world, translating other people's novels and devouring paranormal romances, I realized the real world wasn't fun without a touch of magic, and decided to purge my own crazy stories into paper, well, into word doc, to be more precise.

My busy life with a demanding full-time job and a very loving husband (I'm so not complaining!) don't allow me much spare time, but somehow every night I find myself in front of the computer, exorcising the millions of stories stored in my sanity-challenged mind.

My novels are tales of love and passion between strong female leads and hot heroes, bathed in paranormal magic, of course.

I live in Sydney, Australia, the land of koalas (which are not bears), kangaroos (which are not boxing champions), and Vegemite (a black spread that should have never been invented. Seriously, don’t try it).

If you want to know what I’m up to, just find me on

Ten things you didn’t know about Ella J Phoenix:

I really suck at interviews
I love cheese more than I love chocolate
I love wine more than I love cheese... no, actually that’s not true.
I love a good debate
I hate politics
I truly believe in destiny
Mainly because I met my husband is a true destiny-knocking-on-your-door kind of situation
I’m a frustrated actress who found her spotlight in singing
I’m a frustrated singer who found her voice in writing
I’m addicted to awesome paranormal romance as much as you are

One Minute with Ella J. Phoenix:
1.     Where do you do most of your writing?
          In my guest bedroom/home office, away from everything else.
2.    Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, they are so many! Jane Austen, Nahili Singh, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, and all the great indie authors out there!
3.    What's the one genre you absolutely will NOT write about? Why?
I never say never, but “Self Help” books are not my thing.
4.    Do you use people you know as characters? And do you tell them if you do?
Maybe and maybe… but you’ll never know. :)
5.    Have you had any creepy fan experience yet?
No, not creepy, but I’ve had a few fans contacting me on Facebook as they read my novels. It was awesome to experience their journey through the story with them. It’s the best compliment an author can have in my opinion.
6.    Does your family know about ALL the books/stories you've written, or are you keeping a few hidden?
My immediate family are my biggest fans. But unfortunately, sex is still a taboo in many communities, including mine. Not everyone understands how liberating a good erotic romance can be. Maybe one day we’ll be able to share our stories without the fear of retaliation and hypocritical judgement.
7.    Last, but not least, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
I write because I have a million stories and characters in my mind. It’s my therapy, my escape from reality, my happy place. Without you, my fans, I would be just a crazy woman locked in a boring day job or in a mental institution. So, thank you for your support and I hope my novels bring magic into your days as much as they bring to mine.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Avon Books - Celebrating 75 Years of Romance and Avon Impulse - Celebrating 5 Years of Digital Imprint


New York, NY; April 28, 2016 – This is a momentous year for Avon, the iconic romance imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The year marks not only the 75th anniversary of Avon Books, widely acclaimed for popularizing the historical romance category, but also celebrates the fifth year for the Avon Impulse digital-first imprint. Today, Avon is an acclaimed (or illustrious?) publishing powerhouse, renowned for nurturing the careers of the best and brightest authors in the romance industry, in large part due to the success of the Impulse program. Avon Impulse is a thriving brand with a proven aptitude for cultivating future stars of the genre.

For its fifth anniversary, Avon Impulse has much to celebrate:
·         4 million e-books sold
·         12 New York Times bestsellers
·         32 USA Today bestsellers
·         16 award nominations, including the prestigious RWA “RITA” award

Editor Amanda Bergeron, who directs the Impulse line, remarks, “The success of the Impulse program runs deep: we’ve published hundreds of books, with millions of copies sold. Avon Impulse has served as the launch pad for many authors’ careers, developing loyal reader bases and growing author awareness through strategic promotions. And in many cases, Impulse has launched talented authors onto the Avon print list.”

Associate publisher Shawn Nicholls notes that one key component of Avon Impulse’s success is “personalized, direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns which increase awareness about Avon Impulse authors, showcase upcoming releases, support backlist, and highlight retail incentives.”

"Avon Impulse originated HarperCollins’ digital-first publishing platform, which we’ve since expanded with Witness Impulse (mysteries and thrillers) and Voyager Impulse (science fiction/fantasy),” says Senior Vice President and Publisher Liate Stehlik.  “Digital-first is a vital component in strategically growing new authors, and extending the visibility of our existing author base.” She continues, “Readers have also responded strongly to our Impulse offerings – and our authors are so happy with their results that they have become the strongest advocates for the Impulse brand."

“Publishing with Avon Impulse has been an amazing experience,” says Jennifer Ryan, who was the first Avon Impulse author to hit the New York Times list with her debut, Saved by the Rancher. “Between editorial, marketing and publicity, every detail is well thought out for each and every book, but it’s never about just one book. They think about the overall career of the author and what their readers want and expect.”

For more information about Avon Impulse, including submission guidelines:

About HarperCollins Publishers:
HarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 18 countries. With nearly two hundred years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and can be visited online at

Monday, April 18, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of WORTH IT ALL, a McKinney Brothers novel by Claudia Connor

A friend recommended WORTH IT ALL by Claudia Connor just when NetGalley sent me a suggestion for reading it. It was as if the fates were conspiring that I should read this one, so I did. The fates were right.

***eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unscripted review

Blurb for WORTH IT ALL:

Now the swoon-worthy McKinney Brothers series from this bestselling author continues as JT, the youngest of the trio, discovers that only love can make him whole.

She’s fighting for control. . .Paige Roberts learned to fend for herself growing up. Now she’s doing everything possible to give her daughter, Casey, the stability she never had. But when the vivacious five-year-old decides she’s done wearing her prosthesis, Paige faces her toughest challenge yet: trusting a handsome, brooding stranger who simply wants to help.

He’s struggling to connect. . .JT McKinney lost more than his leg in a car accident that stole his dreams of pro football. Eight years later, he's made a new life for himself far away from his old one. His business is developing cutting-edge prosthetics and he’s more than happy to turn his attention to machines instead of people. Still, he can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing.

Will they take a chance on love? . . . When JT gets the chance to help Paige’s daughter, he takes it. He never planned on the two of them tearing down his walls or teaching him to believe in himself again. Paige might not believe in happily ever afters, but JT wants more than anything to be her prince. They’ll both have to let go of the past if they want a future.

~*~                ~*~               ~*~                ~*~

Since I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, I hadn’t met Jake McKinney before WORTH IT ALL. He’s the youngest of the McKinney boys and had dreams of playing football professionally until an unfortunate car accident stole those dreams, and his leg. Eight years has passed since then, he’s moved to California and started a business developing amazing prosthetics for others like him. Jake gets much satisfaction from helping others and although, his work satisfies him, he’s lonely even while intrigued with the pretty waitress at his favorite diner. But when his life becomes entwined with hers, and another very special lady, his life changes but will it be for the better?

Paige Roberts has dealt with some bad things in her life but loves her little girl, Casey, more than anything in the world. She wants her daughter's life to be very different from her own. She wants her to feel safe, and confident. When her little girl decides she doesn’t want to wear her prosthetic, it’s a handsome, and rather brooding, man who changes her mind. Paige feels herself drawn to Jake but her hesitations, fears, and belief that there is no such as a happily-ever-after has her holding back.

I had a little trouble getting into the story at first. I don’t know if that was because I hadn’t read the other books or because it just wasn’t resonating with me, but once I did I began to fall in love. I have to say that the real star of WORTH IT ALL is little Casey Roberts. She is the most adorable, precocious, and real fictional child in a romance that I’ve ever encountered. Her connection to Jake is one that I would like to have seen more of in terms of Paige’s connection to him, but I enjoyed it all the same.

WORTH IT ALL, book three in the McKinney Brothers series by Claudia Connor is a sweet, heart breaking at times contemporary romance that has me adding the rest of the series to my ever-growing TBR list. I just have to experience the rest of the McKinney brothers after falling somewhat in love with Jake. He’s everything we’d like to see exist in real men but know can’t really. He’s funny, he’s sensitive, he’s sexy as hell, and even when he’s brooding, there’s a caring, inquisitive side to him that makes him special and intelligent. I love the story-line being that there are so many who have lost limbs through tragedy and military action. I love that Claudia gave us a look at the feelings and worries of those who use prosthetics, and those who in turn worry about them. Jake is patient with Casey, as well as with Paige. As if sensing that Paige is fighting her own demons, he gives her similar time and patience with a much different result. He’s such a wonderful romance hero.

I highly recommend WORTH IT ALL by Claudia Connor to anyone who loves a truly sweet, timely, sensitive, and well-written contemporary romance. I’m so glad this one came across my radar. It was definitely WORTH IT ALL to read.

Happy Reading Everyone!

WORTH IT ALL, a McKinney Brothers novel by Claudia Connor, LoveSwept, releasing April 19, 2016 in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Promo Spot for LAYERS OF HER by Prescott Lane with #Charity Announcement


by Prescott Lane

available now at Amazon


People always say it’s what’s on the inside that matters. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. On the outside, everything looks put together — blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean. By society’s standards, I’d be considered attractive. But f*ck society, I know what I am. I know what I’m made of. The recessive genes that reared their heads and created a decent looking package on the outside don’t make me who I am. What about all the evil lurking inside? What about all the other parts of me that aren’t so easy to see? Some of the most beautiful animals are also the deadliest. Take the polar bear, for example. Cute and cuddly on the outside, but it’s really a predator that will bite your f*cking head off. That’s a dangerous combination.

And that’s exactly like me, exactly who I am. Bad — and once you go bad, you can never go back.

WARNING: This book deals with the harsh reality of rape that could be upsetting for some readers.

Prescott’s Letter to Her Readers:

Rape. Just typing that word makes my gut tie up in knots. And that’s part of the problem. Because it’s so uncomfortable, we don’t want to talk about it. So it gets buried at the bottom of the newsfeed or forgotten altogether, like the backlog of untested rape kits.
Last March, I released Quiet Angel in which the heroine is a survivor of childhood sexual assault. A few weeks later, my husband became gravely ill, and we spent the rest of the year (5 long hospital stays and 4 long surgeries) fighting to regain his health. As I sat in the hospital chair next to his bed night after night, I got messages from women about how my book touched them. Some shared their reasons, and others didn’t.
I came to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How could I not know that? I’d just released a book on the very topic. Yet I didn’t see one post about it on any of my social media accounts.
Early this year, I began writing Layers of Her with the intent to spread awareness and donate all of April's profits to charity. I was nervous when I started, and I still am. I mean, how much will the profits be? Will readers assume I’m a survivor or I know one? Will I do the topic justice? Why am I doing this? It’s a whole lot easier to stay silent. But that’s the whole problem, isn’t it?
I work in a field, in the genre of fiction, that is mostly comprised of women, where sexual assault is one of the most common tropes. And with each passing page, we pull for our broken heroes and heroines to heal, find love, forge a new path. That's all we want for them. We need to do the same for the real life heroes and heroines, those brave souls who fight the real fight every single day. So join me this April in making some noise to raise awareness, not only for the survivors but for those who love them.

                           —Prescott Lane

From Amy: 
There will be a blog tour for LAYERS OF HER the last week in April but I wanted to help Prescott get the word out sooner. I hope you'll all join her in helping to raise awareness. Thank you. xo

About the Author:
Prescott Lane is the author of FIRST POSITION, PERFECTLY BROKEN, QUIET ANGEL, and WRAPPED IN LACE. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and holds a degree in sociology and a MSW from Tulane University. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of ALL CHAINED UP, a Devil's Rock novel by Sophie Jordan

Already a fan of Sophie Jordan’s historical romances so when I heard she was writing a contemporary romance with convict heroes, I was a bit hesitant because of the trope but wow, did she surprise me with ALL CHAINED UP.

***copy purchased for my own personal reading but sharing my honest and unscripted review


There are bad boys and then there are the men of Devil’s Rock . . .

Some men come with a built-in warning label. Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through to Briar Davis’s most secret fantasies. But there’s one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Knox is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too—a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar’s. Paroled at last, he tries to resist her. She’s too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Knox is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss—and a taste . . . until the only crime is denying what feels so right . . .

“When the prison doors are open, the real dragon will fly out.”—Ho Chi Minh

~*~                ~*~                  ~*~                ~*~

Briar Davis is a nurse who has volunteered to assist in the med clinic at the local prison. Her sister warned her that it could be dangerous and she has to admit that feeling nervous is an understatement especially when one particular inmate is brought in after a fight. Knox Callaghan is everything her sister warned her about, and yet Briar can’t keep her eyes off him.

Knox Callaghan just wants to finish out his sentence, keep himself and his brother alive until then, and if it means a few broken ribs and another stint in the hole, so be it. He didn’t expect a sweet innocent nurse who smells of peaches to derail it all. When he finds out that a couple of the inmates are determined to hijack the med clinic and have their go at the sweet new meat as they refer to Briar, he deliberately gets injured to get into the mix before it’s too late. It also wins him his freedom and when he meets up with Nurse Davis on the outside, his libido and hers pulls them together in a magnetic, addicting way that derails both of them.

Knox Callaghan is hot, hot, hot but honestly, there were times I wanted to kick him in the backside and tell him to get his act together. Fortunately, someone does that later so I feel better. Then there’s Briar Davis and well, I wanted to put extra locks on her door and tell her to get a life but in the end, I was happy. Once these two were together, they simply burned up the pages and kept me glued to them.

All of the characters were substantial and well created, although there were times when I found the writing a bit lacking…a lot of he did this, and he did thatshe did this, and she did that…but honestly, the heat melted away my editorial objections. I do like the way that Sophie introduced a teaser for the next book…no, I’m not saying a word. This is one you’ll have to read and experience yourselves. And in saying that…I highly recommend ALL CHAINED UP by Sophie Jordan and don’t say…convicts, no way…try it, you might just like it. There’s something to be said for a rough and tough Alpha Male who has interesting ideas about what to do with ice cream.

Happy Reading Everyone!

ALL CHAINED UP, a Devil’s Rock novel by Sophie Jordan, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of DRACONES: AWAKENING by Sheri-Lynn Marean

I love dragons so DRACONES: AWAKENING by Sheri-Lynn Marean sounded like the ideal paranormal adventure for me to embark upon. As debut novels go, sometimes the writing isn’t up to par but the story is so imaginative that it can be overlooked somewhat.

***ecopy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.


If it lives, it can die...

For a thousand years, the Ilyium druids have hunted the Dracones without mercy.

At seven, in a terrifying moment, Tierney lost her world and fled to Earth, keeping her true nature secret from humans.

But a nightmarish past is not easy to escape.

Now, years later, that truth is abundantly clear every time she looks into the eyes of the man she secretly loves, seeing a torment that draws her to him even as he pushes her away.

Jax battles his desires for Tierney alongside his inner demons, ashamed to speak of a past he cannot forget.

Frustrated by her efforts to connect to Jax, Tierney is unprepared when the Ilyium resurface triggering ancient instincts. Now she and Jax will be tested in ways they never imagined. Will Tierney and Jax overcome the legacy of their past, or will it destroy them?

~*~               ~*~               ~*~                ~*~

There are aliens among us. Dracones, a human-like species who after reaching their Awakening can transform at will into dragons. Tierney is one (although her father is a Fallen Angel), as are her two best friends, Jax and Sami. Together, they all work as investigators helping to locate missing people. Life hasn’t been easy for any of them and they fear every day being tracked and found by their enemies, the Ilyium—the reason they escaped their home planet and came to Earth.

Tierney has been in love with Jax for as long as she can remember. She’s been his rock of support through nightmares born of the past and now, with his Awakening coming up fast, she plans to be there for him again, if he will allow her. She knows she is his soulmate but Jax is rather stubborn about it.
Jax feels he must be everyone’s protector and by keeping himself away from Tierney, physically and emotionally, he is protecting her. Filled with self-hate, doubt about whether he is worthy of a soulmate as wonderful as Tierney, and unable to shake the torture his father heaped upon him as a youth, he pushes her away until he can resist no more—especially when his dragon won’t allow it anymore.

Then with all that's happening, Tierney's father, Zander has gone missing too. 

DRACONES: AWAKENING by Sheri-Lynn Marean is Tierney and Jax’s story – a story about how limitless love can help heal the scars and nightmares of the past. One of the problems that I had with reading this was I kept getting distracted by everyone else’s stories as they were pulled into Tierney and Jax’s. I would like to have seen more concentration on their relationship and the Awakening of Jax’s dragon with Tierney, knowing hers would be coming soon too. There’s fear of the Ilyium, fear of Marcius (Jax and Sami’s father), fear of betrayal by the wolves and other species, and fear of the Awakening. That’s a lot of fear to encounter in one book.

Sheri-Lynn has conjured a mysterious and exotic adventure with the Dracones at the center. We meet many characters besides the immediate family but with so much happening all at once, I felt the relationship between Tierney and Jax got overshadowed. There’s always time to tell the other stories in greater detail in their own books. I do want to know more about the wolves, the other characters, Thaniel, Genna, and Caden, even their enemies. I want Sami to find his dream girl, and the wolves to find Toren but preferably, not all at once.

DRACONES: AWAKENING by Sheri-Lynn Marean is action-packed, mysterious, heart wrenching at times and when treated to the love between Tierney and Jax, passionate. There’s great imagination behind the Dracones, the Ilyium, and the growing cast of characters inhabiting the Dracones series. I’m still interested and very intrigued.

Happy Reading Everyone!

DRACONES: AWAKENING by Sheri-Lynn Marean, a debut indie novel available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Release Blitz for SWEET AGONY, Ex Ops Series Book 3, Sweet Book 1 by Jessie Lane

Ex Ops Series Book 3, Sweet #1
by Jessie Lane

Available Now at

Beware of falling in love with the boy across the street.

Disappearing from their dangerous life in Chicago, Ginny and her mother went from riches to rags by way of a new life in the sleepy, rural suburbs of New York. Under the illusion of safety, Ginny blossomed into a beautiful young woman with hopes and dreams for a future her mother was determined she would have.

Lucas Young, her best friend’s oldest brother, was the dashing hero in all of her dreams. The man she fantasized about sweeping her off her feet and giving her the happily ever after she had only heard about in her mother’s fairytales.

Sometimes, reality wasn’t what we wanted it to be, though.

What would happen when Ginny found out Lucas wasn’t her Prince Charming after all? Instead, he was a rough and tumble soldier in extremely tarnished armor who had a propensity to break her heart.

Maybe happily ever after wasn’t meant for everyone.

Warning: This is the first book (50,000+ word novel) in a three-part serial spin-off from the Ex Ops Series. Each of the three books will feature a piece of Lucas & Ginny's story and leads directly into the next installment. IN OTHER WORDS, THIS STORY ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER. Also, be forewarned their story will make you laugh, cry, and possibly throw your e-reader at the wall. You've been duly warned!

SECRET MANEUVERS (Ex Ops #1) - Available Now
STRIPPING HER DEFENSES (Ex Ops #2) - Available Now
MISSION DELIVERY (Ex Ops #2.5) - Available Now
SWEET RECOVERY (Sweet #2/Ex Ops #4) - COMING SOON (May 2016)!
SWEET ETERNITY (Sweet #3/Ex Ops #5) - COMING SOON (July 2016)!

About the Author:
Jessie Lane is a best-selling author of Paranormal and Contemporary Romance, as well as, Upper YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy.

She lives in Kentucky with her two little Rock Chicks in-the-making and her over protective alpha husband that she’s pretty sure is a latent grizzly bear shifter. She has a passionate love for reading and writing naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them.