Poisonous blood + birthday balloons = CONTEST!!

***Winner of the signed copy of NIGHTSHADE is "Barbara E." Congrats! Please contact me at michelle@michellerowen.com to claim your prize. Thanks everyone for all the great comments!***

Yeah, so it's my birthday today. I cannot tell you how much this fills me with glee. If glee means angst and pain. No, no, it's fine. Really. I love birthdays. This one, though... Ugh. It's a tough one. It ends in a zero. And it doesn't start with a two or a three. Whatever. WHATEVER!! *sadface*

All it means is I need to cheer my sorry, aging self up. A LOT. I want to give away a book! Yes, a book! Books make me happy! HAPPY HAPPY!!

My latest release is NIGHTSHADE and it's the first book in my new urban fantasy romance series. It's about a woman named Jillian Conrad who is injected with a serum that turns her blood both poisonous and irresistible to vampires and the dhampyr assassin who wants her to use that blood to kill a vampire king. It's a bit of a darker tone for me and I'm thrilled that readers are reacting very favorably to it so far. The mini-sequel is already out, a novella in the PRIMAL anthology with Lora Leigh, Jory Strong, and Ava Gray (which, FYI, hit the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list at #17 - Hooray!). BLOODLUST, the official second book in the series is out in July.

Anyway, I want to give away a signed copy of NIGHTSHADE to a randomly selected commenter. International entries welcome. And no, I don't want anyone to sing happy birthday to me or blow up some balloons or send me any gifts or money. Wait, maybe I should rethink that last one.

What I really want is for you to type the first line of whatever your current read is along with the title and author. I'm curious what people are reading and what the first lines are. So there you go. Enter to win!

I'll pick a winner Sunday, February 20th at 10:00 p.m. EST. Good luck!

In the meantime, I'll just be over here in the corner. Aging rapidly.

Michelle xoxo



Tez Miller said…
My father died saving my life when I was seven years old. From Karen Mahoney's THE IRON WITCH.
Book Nerds said…

"You could call The Hunger Games a series that is--like its heroine--on fire."

The Girl Who Was On Fire, edited by Leah Wilson.

TweetyB99 at aol dot com
Sharon S. said…
Hey, I know how you feel! It's just a number, my ass . Hope it is a happy one any way!

"Despite the chaos of war around her, she couldn't help but hum Queen's "We Are the Champions" in her head."
Ascension (ARC) Sable Grace
Unknown said…
"If I knew Marjorie Klinker was going to get murdered, I might have been nicer to her" from Tomb with a View by Casey Daniels.
Happy Birthday! I've been trying to find this new book in the local bookstores but no luck so far. Will keep looking!
Anonymous said…
"Dying isn't as painful as you might think." Cheat the Grave by Vicki Pettersson.

Have an awesome day!
Skitty.jann said…
Happy Birthday! Hope this milestone is a happy occasion!

I am reading "A Virgin River Christmas" by Robyn Carr even though it is neither Christmas not am I a virgin. But I needed a HEA as a palate cleanse betweeen UFs.

First line: Marcie stood beside her lime green Volkswagen, shivering in the November chill, the morning sun barely over the horizon.

And then a giant grasshopper lept out of the brush and ate her! No, that's not the second line. HEA, remember?
Chelle said…
I also hit that birthday ending in 0 that doesn't start with a 2 or 3 this year! So I know exactly what you are going through. Uhg Happy Birthday anyway! Make it a good day, you deserve it!!!

"They ran right over me, and my head came off."
Unleashed by Katie MacAlister, part of the Cupid Cats Anthology
Pimpin' Reads said…
Hark! Here this tale, the legend of Aidan the Fierce and Reginlit the Radiant One, a pair of lovers both bound and cursed by fate.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Kresley Cole
Millionmph said…
Happy Birthday!

"Whenever you have a sorcerer betwixt you thighs, your powers tend to disappear," Sabine told her sister as she scanned the faces of the frenzied, caged humans.

From Kresley Cole's Kiss of a Demon King
Anonymous said…
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
imnverted said…
Have a wonderful Birthday!

"Celia, everything's going to be fine"

From Siren Song by Cat Adams
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday!! :)
"I was being followed. It was kind of ironic, considering the way I'd been following others for the last few weeks."
'Blood Peomis' By: Richelle Mead
Karen said…
Riley Blackthorne rolled her eyes.
"Libraries and demons," she muttered. "What is the attraction?"
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Happy Birthday! And while my birthday isn't until October, I'm already freaking out because it ends in 9 and doesn't start with 2 or 3.
Sakura said…
Happy B-Day!

Hark! Here this tale, the legend of Aidan the Fierce and Reginlit the Radiant One, a pair of lovers both bound and cursed by fate.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Kresley Cole
Teril said…
Happy Birthday. Sorry no hordes of money attached.
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper.

"There is no wolf. This was all just a dream." he said in a deep, resonant, Obi-Wan Kenobi voice, and waved his hand in front of my face as if to project his Jedi mind trick. My eyes narrowed at him.
cegluna said…
"Irial watched the girl stroll up the street: she was a bundle of terror and fury." - Ink Exchange, Melissa Marr

I'm doing a re-read of the Wicked Lovely series in prep for the finale which is out next week.

btw, forties are rather liberating and hence fabulous imo :)
Bethany C. said…
'The bastard was fast.' (how's that for short, sweet, and to the point?)-Jocelynn Drake's Pray for Dawn
(Happy Birthday!)
Zombie Joe said…
Well this one is from my audiobook I started on my drive in this morning, not my print book...

Of course I am second guessing it. The book is Changes by Jim Butcher. Book 12 in the Dresden Files. The opening line is huge and is also a huge spoiler. Not sure I want to post it willy-nilly... ;)
Denise said…
having past that 0 birthday that doesn't start with a 2 or a 3 I am very sympathetic to you! Hope friends/family make the day happy for you!
"No matter how carefully I patted the chopped apples into place, the top crust of my apple pie always looked like I'd tried to bury a dismembered body under it." Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
What you hold in your hands is a zombie memoir, the toughing postlife story of a walking corpse and his journey toward self acceptance and knowledge, told honestly and in the first person, straight from his skeletal hand to your plump one. Brains: A zombie memoir by Robin Becker
Zombie Joe said…
Also, don't sweat turning "that zero-ending age" that "doesn't start with a 2 or a 3." If I can survive turning that one, anyone can. And last week I survived that plus 1!

I would send you special cupcakes, but I don't think I am allowed to export to other countries. ;)
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday! And the premise for Nightshade sounds awesome.

My father died saving my life when I was seven years old. From Karen Mahoney's THE IRON WITCH.

Looks like I'm not the only one reading this right now. :-)
tetewa said…
It was oaky to be a little obsessive, Lucy Rossano told herself, trying to breathe. A Twist in Time by Susan Squires Have a great Birthday! tWarner419@aol.com
elaing8 said…
Happy Birthday!!

When you're a cop,you learn fast that any attempt at a nice evening out can and will be spoiled by a dead body-Daemon's Mark by Caitlin Kittredge
Louise Roys said…
Have a Very Happy Birthday!. We Aquarius are happy, twisted individuals. We are creative, but not in the traditional manner. We don;t march to a different drum. We make our own instruments and head the other way. My birthday was Feb. 16th
evening-green said…
"I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first." Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Happy Birthday^^
Mandarina said…
"The Book was icy beneath my hands,but the flames in the rubies warmed my soul.
I was touching the Sinsar Dubh.
Shadowfever, Karen Marie Moning

I hope I win the book! this sunday is my birthday too :)
DRickard said…
"Plush dolls of Pinky and the Brain overhung Charlie's monitor, their bottoms fixed in place with Velcro tabs, toes dangling over the video screen."
Walter Jon Williams, This Is Not a Game.
Anonymous said…
"Princess Danielle Whiteshore of Lorindar clung to the rail at the front of the ship, staring out at the waves." The Mermaid's Madness, Jim C. Hines
Anonymous said…
Elizabeth laughed aloud, the sound carrying well into the enormously vaulted ceilings of the ballroom in spite of her obvious breathless state.
Damien by Jacquelyn Frank
Martha Lawson said…
On the night the world ended, Blair Tanner had told her husband to go to hell. From Ride the Fire by Jo Davis.

BTW, today is my birthday also!! Mine is double nickels. Hope you have a good one.

follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmaail dot com
A. J. Larrieu said…
"Had the man in front of her not already been dead, Chess probably would have tried to kill him."
from Stacia Kane's UNHOLY GHOSTS, which I can't believe it's taken me this long to discover. Great stuff.

NIGHTSHADE sounds great! It's going on my list.
I'm currently digging into three books - one not listed since someone already quoted from Kresley Cole's latest up top. ;-)

Swathed in the silken shadows of deepest night, New York was the same . . . and altered beyond compare. - Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh.

Happy Birthday, by the way. May it be full of all things nom, nom worthy.

Meal-on-wheels, eighteen-year-old Rose Pascal thought hysterically. - Ever Night by Gena Showalter in On the Hunt anthology.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
"Lisabeth Lewis didn't mean to become Famine." HUNGER by Jackie Kessler.

Happy Birthday to you!

Christine Rains said…
Happy birthday! :)

I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone's Farm Hand Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit.
~ Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Vicki Smallwood said…
Happy "I Kicked Ass and Survived Another Year" Day!

Lisabeth Lewis didn't mean to become Famine.
~Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Unknown said…

I'm reading Bound by Desire by Rosemary Rogers.

"She whirled, the dance taking her-letting it take her. Her body became part of the music and the meaning of the half-sung, half-sobbed flamenco of Spain, and the wildness of the jarabe that was all Mexico."
Unknown said…
Happy Birthday, Michelle!

I'm reading 5 books at the moment, but I won't bore you by listing the self help books. :D

"Come, my beauty, we shall see if we can impress anyone tonight with our skill." ~ Mary Wine's Highland Hellcat

And like Vicki and Cathy, I'm also reading Jackie Morse Kessler's Hunger
"Lisbeth Lewis didn't mean to become Famine."
Michelle C. said…
"You wouldn't believe some of the weird shit people pay me to steal." from Bloodshot by Cherie Priest.

I'll be celebrating a similar birthday next week. Or maybe avoiding celebrating it, I haven't decided yet.
Sara M said…
Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams: "He'd do anything to hear those voices again."

Happy Birthday!
lil_love_heart said…
"you'll be fine once you throw up"
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Barbara E. said…
The crew of the Varagon pursued their prey across a notorious region known as a graveyard to all but the pirates who lived there.
Susan Grant's Sureblood

I know how you feel about birthdays ending in zero, I'll have one this year that's a doozy, and I'm not looking forward to it at all. Hope you enjoy your day anyway Michelle.

Barbed1951 at aol.com
Linda Henderson said…
A very happy birthday to you.

My first line is:

All the air escaped Daisy's lungs in a whoosh when the cowboy collapsed on top of her body.

From I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown.

seriousreader at live dot com
Ruth A. said…
On my extensive list of enemies, the top two spots belonged to Lavinia Kane and time. Jaye Wells Sabina Kane 3 Green Eyed Demon.
Anonymous said…
Happy birthday!

"I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison." - The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Julie said…
My current read:
"'Are you afraid of falling, baby?'
'No, I'm afraid of landing.'"
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Happy Dappy Birthday Michelle!!!
Megan Haskell said…
Happy Birthday! Age is only a number...

I'm currently reading Mercy Blade, by Faith Hunter.

"I rolled over, taking most of the covers with me as I stretched."
donnas said…
Happy Birthday and congrats on the release! Looking forward to reading it.

"The woman had something Neal Etan wanted and he wasn't leaving until he got it."

From Shannon K Butcher's story The Collector in the On The Hunt anthology.
M said…
License to Ensorcell by Katherine Kerr:
"I had just stepped out of the shower when the angel appeared."
Kristina said…
"'It is a truth universally acknowledged,'" Mustardseed said, flying in lazy loops like an intoxicated bumblebee, 'That a fairy in possession of a good appetite much be in want of pie.'"

I'm reading Lisa Mantchev Perchance to Dream currently.

I also have The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel being read (but I needed a break from the detailed huge book so I went the completely opposite to YA)

February Birthday Rock! (feb 25 for me)-I'm doing a contest on my new blog to celebrate my birthday as well :) Yeah for giving away things on your birthday!

Happy Birthday
Rochelle13 said…
'The guillotine waited for them, its blackened wood dark and threatening against the naked cement wall of the Execution Room.'
City of Ghosts - Stacia Kane

Happy Birthday!
Coley said…
Happy Birthday, Michelle!

"Sheherazade, the famed Arabian storyteller, had to come up with a thousand and one nights' worth of tales to save herself."
I Dream of Genies-Judi Fennell
Emmy Landeros said…
"Riley Blackthorn rolled her eyes. 'Libraries and demons,' she muttered. 'hat is the attraction?'"

-A Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver


Unknown said…
The day the music died, Caterina Shaw did as well.

SINS OF THE FLESH - Caridad Pineiro

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com
mariska said…
"After all my years of organizing field trips, fire drills and potty breaks for my three-year-olds at Happy Hands Preschool, you'd think I could get two geriatric biker witches through the Las Vegas airport in under an hour."

from A Tale of Two Demon Slayers by Angie Fox

Happy birthday !

uniquas at ymail dot com
Vickie said…
BOCD in the car: LABYRINTH: Greywalker #5 - Kat Richardson, it's in the car, so can't hear the first line

Bedside book: ARSENIC AND OLD PAINT: Art Lover's Mystery #4 - Hailey Lind, amateur sleuth, it's upstairs and can't get to the first page

Purse book: RED-HEADED STEPCHILD: Sabina Kane #1 - Jaye Wells, "Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal."
Amanda Dix said…
Happy birthday!!! Remember its only a number :)

"I hate it when fairies come into the bar." - A Touch of Dead - Charlaine Harris
Pamk said…
Happy birthday and it's better than the alternative lol.
Farren put the last bottle of shampoo on the shelf, broke down the box, and pushed her cart over the grayish linoleum to the toothpaste aisle.
In the Darkest Night by Pattie O'Shea
Becky LeJeune said…
The absolute last straw was when my mom showed up at my recital drunk. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Unknown said…
The two men tumbled over the muddy ground, trading punches and kicks. Rebel by Zoe Archer
Pikachu said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
Leigh was only a block and a half from home when she noticed the footsteps echoing her
Bite me if you can, Lynsay Sands^^
Morgane said…
late happy birthday !

Mademoiselle Alexia Tarabotti n'appréciait pas sa soirée - Soulless Gail Carriger (very good book!)

Sorry it's in french ^^

PikaChu said…
"J'avais toujours accueilli la guerre à bras ouverts, mais dans le feu de la bataille, la passion surgissait sans prévenir" from Nightshade (funny, isn't it? but) by Andrea Cremer.
Yes, this is French... 'cause I'm French :D Guess what? Even if you win a year (and leave the 3 behind you), you have some fans abroad! And I'm one of them!!
Have a nice day ^^

Unknown said…
Ok wells happy belated birthday and all that hope it was a good one. -let the good times roll- Adrian Pheonix A Rush of Wings. Yea u can totally tell I am a Hell Club member. But but Dante and Lucien or so hottt.well there u go I no it's not as awesome as everyone else but that's what I am reading along with some other book but all there doing is talking about this building or something no fun there.
-jessi was here
Cassay said…
Happy Belated Birthday!

"What the hell do you want"

-Absolution by Jennifer Laurens

cassandra dot crouser at yahoo dot com
Sharon K said…
"I could smell my own fear, bitter and tangy as an overripe orange."

Bring on the Night by Jeri

Nightshade sounds awesome! Thank you for a chance to win a copy!!!
Sharon K
Anonymous said…
I'm still going to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! :)

Right now, I'm reading White Cat by Holly Black. The first line is "I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles."
Sharon K said…
ps, I hope this Birthday turns out to be your best ever! And this year the happiest!
I just had mine Friday and only have one year before I hit an age that ends in zero again. But it doesn't begin with a 4 or 5 and it doesn't bother me that I'll be 60. It's not how many years you have lived, it's how young you feel. :)
evilqueen21 said…
Hope your bday was fantasitic!!!

Here's my first line :)

'Don't confuse fairy queens with fairy princesses.' -Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead
Marie said…
Happy Birthday! It's not always fun to have birthdays as you get older, but there's not really much you can do about it, so I guess it's a good thing to try and enjoy the day anyway. You made it through another year, right? ;-)

Like several people here, I'm also reading several books at once, but the one I'm most active with at the moment, is Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost.

"I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck."

"IS THAT YOUR CAR?" ASKED the girl at the 7-eleven checkout counter. "The shiny black one?"
Alex nodded as he put a Big Gulp coffee down in front of her.

Angel by L.A. Weatherly

Alexutz02 said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexutz02 said…
Happy Birthday!!
I'd love to win this signed copy of Nightshade. Thanks for making it international!

Thanks for the giveaway!

thecozyreader @ gmail.com

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