Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Post #51

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

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Happy Easter to those that honor the holiday. Hope you have a lovely time with your family and friends.

Last week....went well for reading, I think. I'm getting through beta reads here and I have one more to go. I will read the first 3k words of my work again, add a few things more (I've already brought it up to 4800+ words). But I need to move on. I can't be stuck in this part of the story. And...I've started notes for another story, standalone of course.

This week to come I'll get through the one beta I have left and on to some books for authors I'll see at Balticon. Eep! BALTICON!!! It's Memorial Weekend and it's getting closer!

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
This week was focused on a few beta reads. I have a bit more to do as well.

AND have been reading as chapters come up:
Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron (2 chapters a week for free on her site!)

Current Podcast Book Listen:
I'm re-listening to The Coffee Legacy by Katharina Bordet in excitement of Danube Waves coming our way.


Finished Last Weeks:
...


Finished Podcast Book Listen:

....

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Last Week on the Blog:



Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Posts:


Around the Internet...



Reviews:
GIVEAWAYS:



Weekly Posts:

***NEW*** Mythical Monday Kait Ballenger on Pixies.

Throwback Thursday


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This Week to Come on the Blog:


Mythical Monday Will be Kimberley Long-Ewing - Tracking the Elusive Gianes. (Mon)

Book Review Grimm Consequences by Kate SeRine along with Guest Post by Kate. (Wed)

Book Review Full Share by Nathan Lowell (Thurs)


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Received Last Weeks:

Looks like I didn't even pick up a freebie this week. Huh.

Review:


Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:



Free Ebooks:



Free Audio Books/Stories:


...

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Reviews to Come:

Full Share by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Double Share by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Captain's Share by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Owners Share by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow
Marco and The Red Granny by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
Hell by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
Earth by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
Wasteland by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
War by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
Tales of the Children by P.G. Holyfield (in audiobook while at work) An Anthology collection in the setting of Land of Caern.
The Secret World Chronicle: Invasion by Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey (in audiobook while at work)
The Secret World Chronicle: The Hunt by Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey (in audiobook while at work)
Rusted Veins by Jaye Wells
Haunted by Amanda Bonilla
Grimm Consequences by Kate SeRine
The Secret World Chronicle: World Well Lost by Mercees Lackey,Steve Libby, Cody Martin, & Dennis Lee
Morevi by Tee Morris & Lisa Lee
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #1 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #2 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #3 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Flash in a Can by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Crossing Lines by John Mierau
Marked Man by John Mierau
Harlan's Wake by John Mierau
The List by John Mierau

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: Half Share

Half Share

By:  Nathan Lowell

Publisher:  Podiobooks.com

Publish Date:  2007

Format:  Audio, Podiobook

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  2nd in Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series, 1st Book ~ Quarter Share

Recommendation:  Yes, it feel a little short of the first book, but still an amazing creation in the deep space setting.

Synopsis:
SIX MONTHS IN THE DEEP DARK.  FOUR VERY DIFFERENT WOMEN.  ONE MAN DISCOVERS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SPACER.

It's a time of change on the Lois McKendrick.  Sarah Krugg joins the mess deck and Ishmael Wang moves to the environmental section.  Just after getting accustomed to life aboard a solar clipper, Ishmael must learn a whole new set of skills, face his own fears and doubts, and try to balance love and loss in the depths of space.

Both Ish and Sarah must learn to live by the mantra, "Trust Lois."  For Sarah, there is the hope of escaping a horrifying past.  For Ish, he must discover what type of man he wants to become and learn the consequences of his choices.

Return with the crew of the SC Lois McKendrick, as you set sail in the next installment of the Trader Tales of the Solar Clipper Series.  All your favorites return: Ish, Pip, Cookie, Brill, Diane, and Big Bad Bev.  You might even discover some new friends as you travel among the stars.

First Sentence:
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The classic good news, bad news scenario if ever there was one.

Purchase At:
Amazon   /   Barnes & Nobles   /   Book Depository

**I listened to this podcast book for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
The beginning makes you nervous with Ish, for what might be the reason the Captain wants to see him.  Then when he walks into the meeting to see all the senior staff there!  You are pulled in wondering what has gone wrong.

We start right where Quarter Share ended.  It seems the series will follow right through with Ish each step of the way with his life, as he quickly grows with the crew.

Our boys move up the ladder, well, mostly.  Pip is still in the mess hall, but he has acquired a status for his trading.  Ish has moved to Environmental, with an increase in his pay share and mass.

Once again Ish's personality - calm and helping - has earned him trust from the new member taking his spot in the mess hall, Sarah.  Sarah is broken and has had a rough life before here.  Sarah has really grown on me as a new character, and grew as a character, and I really like her.  Ish's personality helps influence her and others around him, bringing them up emotionally as well.  The crew seems to be a tight family and growing closer as the days pass.  Such a nice crew to be with!

With the change in Ish's position on the ship comes change.  We leave one bunk birth for another, which is kind of like moving houses.  We still see those we spent so much time with in Quarter Share, but also spend more time with others we'd meet in the crew.  We get to know the crew and their area of expertise which also bringing learning about deep space and planets into a closer view for us.

That is one thing I enjoy about these books, getting to learn the world(s) Nathan has created in his books through the characters.  What they specialize in and how it relates to the job they perform in this specialized world.  The trade is how we learn of the different planets.  Well related with character centered story.

Ish is growing as a character, and ready to get new clothes for when they are at dock on planets.  He's not sure who he is though, and the clothes make the man.  Ish has some thinking to do of who he is and who he wants to be.  When they come to the next planet, Ish has his introduction to an amazing tailor all the women are in awe of.  While here, trying on clothes, something happens.  Ish learns more of himself.  And with the three amazing women with him, there is a new connection created.  They are crew and crew don't fraternize, so there is a new bond that connects them all.

We learn more of Ish's past, something we really don't know much about.  He's not as innocent as we thought from Quarter Share.  Not bad by a long stretch, but not as innocent.  I know Ish has known people, not friend-friends, and has a literature reading background from his mother, but he seems rather suave with the women for his innocent background and age.

Now, after mentioning that, I have to mention the one thing that kind of felt over done to me...Ish's relationships are growing.  Ish is flirting with the ladies.  He's hanging with the girls and they are acting as they have to protect him.  He even "performs" for them with is walk and trying on clothes.  No, no sex, but he models and flirts steamy with them all.  He gets a bit of a swollen head over the new jeans he buys. He seems to have gone a bit overboard with the Lady Wooing.  It's fun, and a few good chuckles over it, but it was growing old for me. He was *too* perfect with his comments and lady wooing.

Oh there are fun parts with the flirting, don't get me wrong. Some make me chuckle.  We get a look at a Spacers life and the types of relationships they maintain on and off the ship.  On the Lois, there might be a lack of a love life, but it is strong with love of a family life feel.  Ish sets the relationships to where they need to be, and starts to grow a new one on the outside of the ship as well.

This one feel a little short of the first book for me, but nothing that would stop me from listening to the next book.  I actually look forward to carrying through with Ish on his deep space life as a Spacer.

Throwback Thursday (150)

I found this picture of Trinity College Library, and thought it would work for this meme with a little play with lighting and adding the words.


Let's talk about those books already on the shelves, yours or the stores.

I have a post for books I'm looking forward to coming out;
Looking Forward To...
But what about all those wonderful books that are ALREADY on the shelves.

Whether it be on your shelf waiting to be read or on the shelves in the stores waiting for you to give it a good home.

So, I thought I would share a book a week that is just waiting for me to travel through it's world.

Now... where do I start? Lets go by Published Date on the books...

This Week:

This is one I picked up for free. I have forgotten about it, and this is why I love doing this meme.

Goodreads Synopsis:
They've been coming here for thousands of years, using Earth as a sanctuary to escape threats from their own kind. Mankind knows them as angels, and one of them left a child upon her death to be raised as a human.

Raea is now a high school senior, and her life as a human is about to end. The crystal shard she bears is not a pretty pendant; it's a collective of powerful entities who chose her as their Keeper, a protector of one of the four shards that power a machine capable of destroying whole worlds. Those who desire the Starfire's power have sent an agent to find her, but she's too busy evading a nosy reporter ready to exploit her secret and dating a hot new foreign student to notice. Nevermind learning what she really is.

Only one person on Earth can help her, the last person she ever expected. But he's not from Earth. Life as a human would be so much easier.


I've heard back from a few bloggers that they would like to join in this meme post, so I'm adding a Linky for you to join in.  Grab the picture above, and join in.  All I ask, is if you can acknowledge my blog in the post so others know where to come back to.

Cover Reveal: Beginning A Beginning, Rugosa Coven, and That One Minute


A few more covers for you! Three different authors and series. Have a look at these three and we'll chat afterward.

Beginning A Beginning
Laurian Pentology #5
By:  Danny Brit
Due Out:  May 2014
Description:
The reopening of Pentagram, the ancient nation of mages, was bound to attract attention.

Now the greatest forces in the world are gathering, preparing for battle -- humans and elves, dwarves and vampires, gods and demigods, assassins and healers, mages split between both sides -- none of whom will hold back, for the result of their battle will be no less than the ultimate fate of their world.

And at the heart of it all is Alaris, the single person with personal ties to all parties, the ultimate puppet master now forced to play tug-of-war with his puppets. 

...What's that?  You thought Alaris was dead? 

Well, when has he ever let that stop him?

Tales from Rugosa Coven
By:  Sarah Avery
Out:  NOW
Description:
Let a Little Magic into Your Life

In Tales from Rugosa Coven, catch a glimpse of a New Jersey even weirder than the one you think you know, as a covenful of very modern Wiccans wrestle challenges both supernatural and mundane—and, occasionally, each other.

The personal injury attorney who chose kitchen-witchery over his family’s five-generation lineage of old school ceremonial magic would like to miss his dead parents, only now that they’re dead they won’t leave him alone. The professional fortuneteller stands out at forty paces, with her profusion of silver amulets glittering over her Goth wardrobe, but nobody has guessed her secret sorrow, especially not the covenmates who see her as their wacky comic relief. And the resident skeptic, a reluctant Pagan if ever there was one, will have to eat her words if her coven sister’s new boyfriend really does turn out to be from Atlantis.

The Jersey Shore’s half-hidden community of Witches, Druids, and latter-day Vikings must circle together against all challenges. It’s a good thing they’re as resilient as the wild rugosa roses that hold together the dunes.

That One Minute
By:  Regina Glei
Due Out:  NOW
Description:
All it Takes is That One Minute…

You think you know what’s wrong with the world…but which one? The one you're in? Or the one that mirrors ours, only one more minute closer to heaven or hell, where "angelics" and "demonics" constantly fight for dominance over our souls?

Ask Chris Burns, struggling in a job he hates and dealing with his wife’s betrayal when she chooses an Italian restaurant owner over a loser like him. What is there left to care about? But when Chris is offered a divine mission to cross that one minute and to save both worlds, he gets a shot at eternal glory.

Can a down-on-his-luck loser prevent a "demonic" uprising? Will he make a difference when faced with battling demons and power-hungry Undersecretaries from the almighty “Ministry of Spirits,” all with his know-it-all doppelganger in tow, constantly trying to undermine his efforts…

... at that shot at eternal glory


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I'm taken with these and the descriptions.

Beginning A Beginning is new to me, and it figures it's the fifth book of the series (always seems to happen for me this way). I'm going to have to look at these as it sounds interesting to me. I love the fantasy sound here and sounds like my kind of read.

Tales from Rugosa Coven... now this sounds like a fun UF witchy read. I'm curious to see what New Jersey has on the Wiccan side, blended with mundane life. Druids and all, yes, I'm curious. It's a collection of three novella's and a start to a new series! Stunning image.

That One Minute. The color variation catches me, the two doorways in the ground. But what really has my eye...the hands in the mist. Dragging you down, down, down... This is a stand-alone novella classified as fantasy horror comedy. We don't get many stand-alone novels anymore, and I do like when we see them. This sounds like one that could be one to pick up.

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Add the books on Goodreads:
   Beginning A Beginning
   Tales from Rugosa Coven
   That One Moment

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: What Kings Ate And Wizards Drank

What Kings Ate And Wizards Drank

By:  Krista D. Ball

Publish Date:  January 15, 2013

Publisher:  Tyche Books Ltd

Format:  eBook, 252pg

Genre:  Non-Fiction

Series:  1st book in Fantasy Lovers Guide series

Recommendation:  WOW! The things I learned. The thoughts it all sparked...

Synopsis:
A Fantasy Lover's Food Guide Equal parts writer's guide, comedy, and historical cookbook, fantasy author Krista D. Ball takes readers on a journey into the depths of epic fantasy's obsession with rabbit stew and teaches them how to catch the blasted creatures, how to move armies across enemy territories without anyone starving to death, and what a medieval pantry should look like when your heroine is seducing the hero.

Learn how long to cook a salted cow tongue, how best to serve salt fish, what a "brewis" is (hint: it isn't beer), how an airship captain would make breakfast, how to preserve just about anything, and why those dairy maids all have ample hips.

What Kings Ate will give writers of historical and fantastical genres the tools to create new conflicts in their stories, as well as add authenticity to their worlds, all the while giving food history lovers a taste of the past with original recipes and historical notes.

First Sentence:
It was early 2011 and I was neck-deep in writing the second ook of my epic fantasy series when Tina Moreau called me up.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

**I read this book for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
An insider look to foods and drinks in fantasy worlds to help make the story feel more authentic to the time. The types of food available can also help draw a darker or enlightened picture of a world. How long does it take to make rabbit stew? And catching the rabbit? How about dressing a deer? Spices and breads and so much more to look into!

We love food. So why not make learning about it fun too? Krista does that here.

For those writing, Krista gets you thinking more in depth of what you are creating. For those loving history, this shares in fun foods at different centuries along with recipes.

This book opened my eyes to how food can reflect and create a world. Food is touched on in different aspects of living. From the poor to the rich. On the move or city living. Even sailors/pirates out at sea. So many aspects and all live very differently. This book of information helped me thinking on the foods in stories, even worlds I've created. Krista tells you how things work and suggestions for the heroes on the run in the woods. How to survive with or without food. Some references are given to help match the food in your land, culture, stature in society, and along with taxes.

Even specific diets. Some of us can think out the diets from what we know of history, but this pins it down for us. There are reasons why there may not be many children born in a time frame. The woman may have been missing certain items from their diet that could result in miscarriages.

Krista presented this book in a fashion that reading about food and history felt like sitting down and talking with an old friend. This book was NOT like reading a history book. Krista made the topic fun. She shares recipes and her experiences. Yes, she's tried making some of the foods and drinks and shares how it was to make it or even taste it. Some good, some not so good. lol. There are myths that surround foods and the times, Krista talks about that and if they are true, false, or a touch of both and why.

But the neat thing with food, it touches different aspects of world and people. Krista talked about health in the middle ages and further back. There are herbs for all things from health to sick to in foods and drinks. Then on to who healers are, even a few thoughts to get you thinking as to a history to your healer choice.

This book was fun to read and learn. I will be using it as a reference guide to help me along. It can be used for anyone wanting to write fantasy, historical, steampunk or Victorian era.

Cover Reveal: It's Elemental and Transcendence


Aaaah, now these are sweet little finds. Awesome new covers to ogle at. I'm going to have to keep an eye out and get these.

Both of these are anthologies, but with different authors and stories.

It's Elemental
Bad-Ass Faeries #4
Edited By:  Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Due Out:  May 23, 2014

Description:
The Bad-Ass Faeries are back and they are in their Elements!

Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit…It’s time to get down to basics, for the fae answer to a natural order.

In L. Jagi Lamplighter’s On Rocky Ground, Mab, Mephisto, and Erasmus go to the mountain to pay a debt, but can they pacify the earth before the mountain comes down around their ears?

In James Chambers’ The Flying Rock, Daniel seeks to give his son and daughter a taste of childhood magic before they grow too old to embrace such things, but the winds blow as they will and he soon wonders will his children even see another day.

In James Daniel Ross’s The Legend of Buck Cooper and the Child of Fire it only takes a spark to start a fire, but what will it take to stop one? Buck Cooper and the brigade must stave off the flames of a war most don’t even realize is being waged.

In N.R. Brown’s Melia’s Best Wave an oceanid decides she’s ready for bigger things, like tackling the deadliest stretch of coastline anywhere. Will she conquer the Mavericks or wipe out for all time?

In Jody Lynn Nye’s Fifteen Percent Marcel Dorner learns it’s best to get into the spirit of things when your literary agent is a filandiere, or more than just your career might not survive…


Joined by Kimberley Long-Ewing, Judi Fleming, Danny Birt, Peter Prellwitz, DL Thurston, James R. Stratton, Patrick Thomas, Bethany Herron, Keith R.A. DeCandido and Lee C. Hillman, these authors make it clear why one doesn’t mess with Mother Nature…or Bad-Ass Faeries.


Transcendence
By:  Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Due Out:  October 2014

Description:
What Will You Discover Between the Darkness and the Light?

When the mortal coil wears thin and the great unknown draws nigh you might spy the narrow gap between the mystical and the mundane. You might even notice they’re looking back.

Transcendence takes a hard look at humanity in nine tales of difficult choices, great rewards, and journeys beyond expectation.

  • In Skippy, Don does not like what he sees in the mirror…but will he survive it?
  • A Fury finds form—and retribution—in The Kindly One.
  • If I Had the Chance takes do-overs to a new level.
  • Aisa has a death-ly choice to make in The Misses Moirai.
  • Ruby Red sweeps you away in a dance on the edge of madness.
  • Purgatory is when you think you’re damned…hell is when you are right…
  • Fredrich tries to drown his sorrows in Stoli and Solitude.
  • For Camirel finding purpose means total transformation in Emberling.
  • Transcendence…where you look into the heart of a star and find yourself.


The extraordinary awaits… will you step beyond the bounds of commonplace existence?



I read one Bad-Ass Faeries anthology and loved it. I picked up a second one and need to get time to dig in. Now, I want this one too! And the sounds of Transcendence, very interesting. Sounds like one to think on. That eye really draws my eyes!

You can add Transcendence on Goodreads now too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cover Reveal: Trouble on the Waters: Stories of Sailors, Pirates, and Gambling Men


As you all know, I'm a sucker for anthologies. I love all sorts - fantasy, steampunk, swashbuckling, urban fantasy, paranormal romance... You name it, it catches my eye. And Danielle Ackley-McPhail is an author and editor of many of a great looking anthologies.

I happen to have a cover for the next she's edited and has a story in. Another one looking like a great adventure. An adventure of the high seas.

The cover....

Trouble on the Waters: Stories of Sailors, Pirates, and Gambling Men
Edited By:  Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Authors:
Phoebe Wray, David Sherman, Jeffrey Lyman, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Due Out:  May 2014


Description:
A life on the water is a constant gamble. Whether a sailor pits himself against the forces of nature or finds himself at the mercy of man, odds are even how the encounter will turn out, depending whose side the luck rolls up on.
In Phoebe Wray’s Sailor of Kannar, Darcy must take her chances in courts of intrigue to preserve her people’s way of life among the marshes.
In Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Trouble on the Water Rishima Blaque clings to faith and a rock in the middle of the sea in the hopes her husband will find her before the pirates do.
In David Sherman’s Vest of the Pecos, Kitty Belle and Cheyenne Walker join forces once again to pit their wiles against the denizens of a paddleboat gaming salon, only to find themselves facing a gamble of another sort.
In Jeffrey Lyman’s Unsinkable Princess Cordolya bows to her father’s dictates, setting sail for an alliance with a country across the sea, only to find herself beset by pirates, leviathans, and a mage-borne storm. Will luck be with the lady or will she make her own?
No Matter What, Trouble’s Coming for Someone…


Sounds like a whale of a time! Okay, sorry for the weak joke and no whales. Or that I know of. ;) But sounds like great adventures at see.

Add it to your Want List on Goodreads today.