Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Blog Chat (4) Schedule:

I promised you all a reading schedule for Double Cross by Carolyn Crane.

With the great help of the amazing author herself, Carolyn has been kind enough to send us great stopping points in the book.  And she will be supplying a few thought provoking questions like she did with Mind Games.  Thank you for your help Carolyn!

Okay so we have a schedule now:

October 4 , 2010   Stop 1  Pg   88  (Ch   1- 7)
October 11, 2010  Stop 2  Pg 167  (Ch   8-13)
October 18, 2010  Stop 3  Pg 256  (Ch 14-21)
October 25, 2010  Stop 4  End of book

Hope to see you all there!

I Have A Guest Blog Over At...

I have a guest post over at a great fellow bloggers blog, Drying Ink with Jacob.  Jacob is a great reviewer of Fantasy books, why don't you check out some of his reviews while you are visiting.

Stop by and chat with Jacob and I.  My post is on What Catches Your Eye in Fantasy?  Let us know what you enjoy the most in your books.  Look forward to chatting with you!

You can click the link to Jacob's blog, Drying Ink, or the link on my post title.  Or even HERE.

Book Blog Chat (3)...Stop 1

Time to start Discussing!  Books that is...

Red-Headed Stepchild  by  Jaye Wells

In case you would like to see the schedule again for reading the book here it is with dates and stopping points.

Now for our schedule:
   September 30th - Stop 1 ~ pg 75 (Chapters 1-8)
   October 7th -        Stop 2 ~ pg 154 (Chapters 9-16) 
   October 14th -      Stop 3 ~ pg 248 (Chapters 17-24)
   October 21st -      Stop 4 ~ end of book ~ pg 325.

Now, lets get going on the fun part.  Chatting.

Please remember, there will be spoilers to the book if you have not read it!

Jaye Wells was kind enough to direct us to the place on her blog that has some great questions for us to us in chatting.

Here are Jaye's discussion questions:
1. In this part of the book, did you have any trouble empathizing with Sabina?
2. How would you describe Sabina's relationship with Lavinia?  The Dominae in general?
3. How does Sabina’s interaction with Giguhl affect your opinion of her?
4. The first chapter of RHSC came from a flash fiction piece that gave birth to Sabina’s character. You can find it here.  After you read it, discuss how Sabina’s character changed from that to the first chapter of the book.

Robyn's questions:
1. Who is the mage following her?  Friend or foe?
2. Do we trust her Grandmom?
3. Do you think Sabrina will change sides?

Melissa's questions:
1. Do you think something is up with the Dominae for David to switch sides?  What do you think it is?  And who is Sabina not to trust?
2. Sabina seems to be getting strange vibes and things catch her eye.  Why do you think this is happening?

Do you have questions?  Ask away in the comments, we love to chat.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's Beginnings (57)

How are you faring in reading at the beginning of this week?  Are you starting a new book or finishing one up?

Well, the weekend was tied up with more running and some fun too.  My son spent the night Saturday at a friends house.  So needless to say the reading I was hoping to get done, didn't happen.  We got to go out Saturday night as adults with friends and have a few drinks.  It's one thing we don't get to do very much so we take advantage of it when it's available for us.  We did have fun, and danced some too.

I did get my review up for my surprise book.  Wintertide by Michael J. Sullivan, I have really been loving this fantasy series.  Please stop by and read the review, HERE.

And a great friend, Jacob from Drying Ink, has posted a wonderful post on Original Concepts in Fantasy.  Have you read it yet?  Said hello to Jacob?  Or visited his blog?  Please do so.

What books am I working on?  Well, I started the monster read The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.  This book is 1,000 pages long, so needless to say it will take me some time to get through.  But I want to savor this one as I go anyway, it will be a year until the next one is out and with all the details here.... well, I'm really loving this one at a slower pace.  I am working on a few other books as well.  I have Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells for our Blog Book Chat starting on Thursday, September 30th.  I also am reading The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay for a book chat at Spincracker's blog on Friday October 1st.  Then I plan on picking up Double Cross by Carolyn Crane tomorrow to read for the Blog Book chat starting Monday October 4th.  So, I am planning on being a busy little reader. :)

As for my WANT List... it seems to have not grown this last week. Which is a shocker to me!  I know there are books I want to read out there.  I must have them on the list already as I was reading through the reviews and such.  I know I have been adding many books before they are released to the list lately, so that has to be the answer.

Books I Received Last Week:

I have to share this winning first! Because I LOVE it!  I won this book cover at Lovin & Livin Life Reviews.  I love it! I always carry my pocket size books in my purse and they start to get dinged up.  But this cover is just amazing! I covers and protects by books AND it has a pocket for me to put my sticky notes or notes in.  And see the handle there too!  It is great! Thank you Chasity!  Stop by and check out Chasity's blog, Lovin & Livin Life Reviews.

I won this book on Twitter from @Pocket_Books.  This is a new release anthology that looks amazing.

Synopsis from GoodReads:
From the Horror Writers Association comes a brand-new collection of darkly humorous tales! The Big Questions of Life (and Death) 

Can a killer’s basement blood-feast be a tax write-off (under Entertainment)? Not if Vlad the IRS agent nails him first in Heather Graham’s "Death and Taxes." 

What does a pack of hungry she-wolves do to solve their man troubles? Ladies Night Out takes a wicked turn in "Dog Tired (of the Drama!)" by L. A. Banks. 

How far will an elite call girl go to beat a murder rap? Stuck with a dead client in a luxury L.A. hotel room, she might strike a costly bargain with a woman of unearthly powers in Allison Brennan’s "Her Lucky Day." 

Who actually writes those tabloid stories about Bigfoot? Meet a journalist of the unexplained (she’s 50 percent demon) and her boyfriend (he’s 100 percent thief), as they heat up a museum exhibition that’s also a soul-snatching battleground in "Lucifer’s Daughter" by Kelley Armstrong. 

Plus tales from: 

I won this book from the GoodReads giveaway.  It sounds like a great read and I am looking forward to reading and reviewing this one soon as well.

Synopsis from GoodReads:
A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism 

The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they’re just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope. 

To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how. 

My last set of winnings here I am going to keep together.  I won all three books in The Makers Song by Adrian Phoenix at Literary Escapism.  I have been wanting these books and am so happy to have them... signed as well!

Synopsis of the First book in the series from GoodReads:

Dark. Talented. Beautiful. Star of the rock band Inferno. Rumored owner of the hot New Orleans nightspot Club Hell. Born of the Blood, then broken by an evil beyond imagination.


F.B.I. Special Agent Heather Wallace has been tracking a sadistic serial murderer known as the Cross Country Killer, and the trail has led her to New Orleans, Club Hell, and Dante. But the dangerously attractive musician not only resists her investigation, he claims to be "nightkind": in other words, a vampire. Digging into his past for answers reveals little. A juvenile record a mile long. No social security number. No known birth date. In and out of foster homes for most of his life before being taken in by a man named Lucien DeNoir, who appears to guard mysteries of his own.


What Heather does know about Dante is that something links him to the killer -- and she's pretty sure that link makes him the CCK's next target. Heather must unravel the truth about this sensual, complicated, vulnerable young man -- who, she begins to believe, may indeed be a vampire -- in order to finally bring a killer to justice. But Dante's past holds a shocking, dangerous secret, and once it is revealed not even Heather will be able to protect him from his destiny....

So, how are you faring this week?  Does it look like a good reading week?

Here's to you having a great week in words and pages.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Guest Blog: Original Concepts In Fantasy

I'm excited to introduce a fellow blogger I follow and read some wonderful reviews and great thoughtful posts:  Jacob from Drying Ink.  Jacob has shared a great post with us here today.  Leave a comment to say hello and chat with Jacob, and please take a visit to his site and read some wonderful fantasy reviews, here.  Please, a warm welcome to Jacob...

Original Concepts In Fantasy

It's often said that science fiction is the medium for ideas, but fantasy is an even freer sandbox. - fantasy can explore anything, and often does. Equally, however, a lot of fantasy is pretty generic, so in this post, I'm going to take a quick look at just a few really great concepts in fantasy.

First is the example I always give - but it's no less appropriate! Mirror Dreams, by Catherine Webb, eschew geography in favour of a multiverse of dreams. It's an original setting: a network of kingdoms suspected over the "Void" by roads as thin as you can imagine, and it's used to great effect: the interactions between Earth and Dream - each affects the other - drives the plot. As characters sleep, they dream of Earth - and vice-versa for those on earth. It drives an excellent YA fantasy novel, and it's very original in practice.

Second is alternate history. I've always loved historical cameos in a novel, and fantasy is no exception. I reviewed Naomi Novik's Tongues of Serpents just a few days ago, and the series really is excellent. Set in the Napoleonic Wars - with the small additions of dragons! - Naomi Novik really succeeds in combining historical feeling (Laurence's speech is particularly good) with the fantasy element - dragons - in a way that really delights, especially Temeraire's draconic observations of human society's follies.

Third is an original - and rule based - magic system. Although there are many to choose from, I'm picking Steven Erikson as my example here, with the proviso that that holds so long as it's tied up in The Crippled God, released 2011. It's incredibly complicated - and confusing - but there seems to be a structure, tying together the realm-sealing Houses of the Azath, the Eleint (dragons), Ascendants (proto-gods), and the Warrens - the realms where sorcery originated - in a way that is sure to amaze, if Erikson succeeds. What we can see so far is equally fun. I'd strongly recommend picking up Gardens of the Moon.

Fourth, and finally, is a modern setting: integrated in a believable way. To turn this all the way to the extreme, pick up Simon R. Green's Nightside series: dark urban fantasies set in the hidden heart of London, where everything is for sale - it's unbelievable because of its sheer scale. For one slightly more believable, try Jim Butcher's Dresden Files - detective urban fantasies combining brevity (thank goodness!), humour and excitement in a modern-day Chicago setting. Both series are detective novels - in part, at least - but I'd recommend Butcher, as the Dresden Files have far more continuity.

To finish, there are far more original ideas in fantasy, but these are my picks of those I've read recently. I can always fall for an original setting, era, or magic system - and the last especially! Of course, none are any good except when combined with good writing, a plot, and believable, sympathetic characters - but a concept is a start, and an important one in my opinion. I'd recommend any of the books above just for that.

Jacob @ Drying Ink

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Review: Wintertide


By:  Michael J. Sullivan

Publisher:  Ridan Publishing

Publish Date:  October 2010

Format: ARC

Series:  5th book in Riyria Revelation; The Crown Conspiracy, Avempartha, Nyphron Rising, Emerald Storm

Recommendation:  YES! This is a great fast paced fantasy read with great characters and underlining thread of conspiracy through the books.

Book Synopsis:

The New Empire intends to celebrate its victory over the Nationalists with a day that will never be forgotten. On the high holiday of Wintertide the empress will be married. Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar will be publicly executed. Then the empress will suffer a fatal accident leaving the empire in the hands of the new emperor. It will be a perfect day. There is only one problem-Royce and Hadrian have finally found the lost heir.
First Sentence:
Some people are skilled, and some are lucky, but at that moment Mince realized he was neither.

My Review and Summary:
Royce and Hadrian ride in to Aquesta ragged and cold from the journey.  Many people are coming to Aquesta for the upcoming Wintertide Celebration, one month away.  The news has spread that Modina is to be married and the Nationalist leader Degan Gaunt will be executed, all as part of the celebrations.  Melengar has fallen to the Imperial Empire.  With this many worries come to mind... How's Gwen? Arista? Alric?  So much to happen and worry about and questions to answer.

Not only do we meet new characters, but all the old ones are back in this installment.  I got a chuckle at the beginning of this book with the small group of young thieves we meet.  But, by now we are all well acquainted with the characters and ready for Michael to bring them back to life for us, seeing as its been six months since I was diverse into Emerald Storm Michael does a wonderful job of quick, detailed and eventful reintroductions to refresh our memories and draw us into their dilemmas again.  I was excited to be back into this world ~ its comfortable to me and I want to see where we are going with the situations the characters were left in, in Emerald Storm.  As it turned out I was through this book within three days.  As soon as I started, I couldn't put it down.  I just had to know what would happen to these characters left in a little bit of a tight spot.

Michael did a great job of setting up for this book with the previous ones and using what he had available in all aspects of the world.  There is nothing new pulled out of thin air or make you wonder 'where did that come from', everything we need and know have been laid out for us, but now tied together to answer questions for us.  Many of the smaller unknowns and lose ends are tied up here.  All this done within a captivating story in which Michael brings all the characters together and to a demise, good or bad.  As we get answers to some of the questions left open we are prepared with some thoughts and cues we may have forgotten or set aside in our minds, to be ready to dive into the conclusion of the series.

Would you like to visit Michael Sullivan's site?  CLICK HERE.

I received a copy from the author.
This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge, hosted by Book Chick City.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Looking Forward To... (21)

There are so many amazing books already on the shelves and new ones coming out.

For a list of books yet to be released I'm looking to get, you can also look on my right Sidebar at the ever growing list titled Desired Reads - just scroll down.  Of course there are tones of other new books to come out that are amazing as well, but these ones are part of series I have already started or for one reason or another caught my eye (and haven't seen much on other blogs yet). But I will highlight one here each week.

(mentioned in order of Release Date then Alphabetical if there are more than one book coming out on the same date.)

The Next Book Is...

By: Michael J. Sullivan
Due Out:  Early October 2010

This is the 5th book of a 6 book The Riyria Revelations series.  If you are a long time follower you probably know I have been hooked on this Fantasy Series for a while now.  I have enjoyed the characters and the underlining thread of conspiracy and corruption.  These have been quick reads for me as I can't seem to put them down when I get started.

Would you like to read reviews of the first four books?  (Click the title here to jump to the review.)
     The Crown Conspiracy
     Nyphron Rising
     Emerald Storm

I have a quick interview with the author if you would like to look in on it...
     Interview with Michael J. Sullivan

I posted a few Favorite Fictional Character posts on a couple of his characters as I went through these books.
     Princess Arista (posted after reading Avempartha)
     Thrace/Modina (posted after reading Emerald Storm)

Synopsis from GoodReads:

The New Empire intends to celebrate its victory over the Nationalists with a day that will never be forgotten. On the high holiday of Wintertide the empress will be married. Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar will be publically executed. Then the empress will suffer a fatal accident leaving the empire in the hands of the new emperor. It will be a perfect day. There is only one problem-Royce and Hadrian have finally found the lost heir. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog Book Chat (4) - 2nd Book in September!

Followers of the Urban Fantasy Blog Book Chat we have added another book for September....

Robyn and I thought we would throw a second book into the mix here in September and discuss TWO books!  Wild or what!?! 

Okay, so the book...  We did the first book as our first discussion book and enjoyed ourselves so much.  Then the second one is coming out September 28th soooo since we really wanted to read this one as well, we decided to dive into this one as well.

What book is it you ask...  Well, the one and only
Double Cross
By Carolyn Crane

Do you want to join us?

We will be doing these discussions on Mondays, that way both books will have their day in the sun.  We don't have the page numbers and chapters yet.  We know is we will be starting the chats on Monday October 4th.

As soon as we get the books and look them over, we will get the schedule posted.

Teaser Tuesday (45)

Teaser Tuesday

is a weekly event
Sponsored by MizB of Should be Reading

Here's how it works:
Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interests

This Week:

The windspren took the form of a white ribbon, then zipped over toward the sick man.  She spun and twisted a few times before landing on the floor, becoming a girl again.

The Way of Kings
By Brandon Sanderson
pg 57

Monday, September 20, 2010

Next Blog Book Read... (3)

Thanks to the votes in the poll Robyn's blog The Bookoholic Zone and I had up a few months ago we have our next book selection for our chat.  When we tallied up the votes from Roby's blog The Bookoholic Zone and here at My words and pages we had a tie for first place.  So, we had to draw out of the hat for the last book and figured the other book we would read next.

So, without further ado The Next Read is...

Red Headed Step Child  by Jaye Wells

Good Reads Synopsis:
In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now. 

This time, it's personal.

I know there are many people out there who has read this book.  It would be great to have you all join us in the discussions.  We do break it into sections to chat about what we read and what we think might happen in the pages to come. 

If you have not read the book yet and would like to read an excerpt, here is Chapter 1 available online for you to sample.  CLICK HERE.

Now for our schedule:
   September 30thStop 1 ~ pg 75 (Chapters 1-8)
   October 7th -        Stop 2 ~ pg 154 (Chapters 9-16) 
   October 14th -      Stop 3 ~ pg 248 (Chapters 17-24)
   October 21st -      Stop 4 ~ end of book ~ pg 325.

Like normal, Robyn and I will come up with a few questions to get us started.  You can throw any questions in the mix as well in the comments.  And as an added bonus Jaye Wells did a discussion on her site and has discussion questions for us to post in the chats as well.  So, we should have lots to talk about with this book.

Come Join Us!

Book Review: Blue Diablo

Blue Diablo

By:  Ann Aguirre

Publisher:  Roc Books/Penguin

Publish Date:  April 2009

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 316 pgs pocket size

Series:  1st book in A Corine Soloman Novel.

Recommendation:  Yes!  You like stories with twists you don't see and lots of action and fighting in an urban fantasy read?  Check this one out.

Book Synopsis:
Right now, I'm a redhead. I've been blond and brunette as the situation requires, though an unscheduled color change usually means I need to relocate in the middle of the night. So far, I'm doing well here. Nobody knows what I'm running from. And I'd like to keep it that way.

Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border and wound up in Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover, and her "gift." Corine, a handler, can touch something and know its history - and sometimes, its future. Using her ability, she can find missing persons - and that's why people never stop trying to find her. People like her ex, Chance.

Chance, whose uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep, needs her help. Someone dear to them both has gone missing in Laredo, Texas, and the only hope of finding her is through Corine's gift. But their search may prove dangerous as the trail leads them into a strange, dark world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies - and black magic...

First Sentence:
Right now, I'm a redhead.

My Review and Summary:
Corine lives above the pawnshop she owns in Mexico city.  She doesn't stay places long, having to stay on the move and knowing she should be on the move again.  But she likes living here and her ability with the nicknack's helps in this business.  She finds it's peaceful here for her and she likes the shop.  Then one day Chance, her ex-boyfriend she left to come to Mexico City, walks in her door.  Chance has tracked her down using his Luck.  Chance needs Corine's help, and asks her to help him find his mother, also close to Corine, who was taken and is hopefully still alive.  Chance is hoping Corine's power of touch and sight mixed with his luck will work together to find his mother.

I found the beginning a little slower for me, but in no time the book picked up and I really enjoyed this book.  I think in the beginning I didn't understand what Corine was holding back from, but as the book unfolded I warmed up to Corine and stated to understand her more and more.  I did love her calm and humor or quick comebacks.  She did make me smile.  And the brief torture moments along with comments to Chance on them not being a couple any more.  Although, I loved Chance from the beginning.  The two characters fight through many rough moments in the investigation and through the history they had together and make it through.  I enjoyed the relationships between all the characters.

The book has a mix of magic and dark magic with witches and warlords, zombies, and some warfare as well.  There is lots of excitement in this book with the action and information.  Once I got done I immediately thought this book would make a great action movie full with some sexual tension, love and attitude to go with it, with great fight scenes and complete with blown up cars.

Great read and looking forward to book two, which I have already purchased.

This was a read for our Urban Fantasy Book Blog Chat, Discussion: 1 here, 2 here, and 3 here.
This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.

Monday's Beginnings (56)

How are you faring in reading at the beginning of this week?  Are you starting a new book or finishing one up?

Things are still fast moving here, but I have been able to slow down some.  So I've gotten some reading done.  We finished with Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre on our Blog Book Chat.  If you would like to join in on the final discussion you can do so HERE.  We will chat with you at anytime.  I will be posting my review shortly.  Since I mentioned the Blog Book Chat, I will be posting the schedule for our next book.  Our next read is Red-Headed Step Child by Jaye Wells.  I hope you will be joining us.

Then I also finished People of the Sword by Neil O'donnell.  If you would like to read the review, it is HERE.  I had one other surprise book I was able to start Thursday night and I finished it up on Saturday.  This one will be reviewed soon enough. :)  It is a series I have been truly enjoying.

So, I am starting a new book here on this Monday.  What book is it you ask.  Well, I am looking to starting The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.  This one is a heavy weight, I think I am going to get my exercise carrying this one around.

Now to my Want List... Yes, I changed the name from Wish to Want.  The books I put on this list are all books I WANT to read, and hope to purchase in my lifetime.  Although, it keeps growing by leaps and bounds.  I have added 10 books to this list.  Wonderful!  You all are going to keep me out of lots of trouble.

Books I Received Last Week:

Over at Christine's blog ~ Reading on the Dark Side ~ I won her 100 Followers Giveaway and was able to select any book from Book Depository.  So what book did I pick...

Synopsis from GoodReads:
'My name is Genny Taylor. I work for It’s a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I’m good at – finding magic and cracking it – and the bonus is it’s run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me. 

Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign – oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool. 

But only if you’re human. 

And I’m not. 

I’m Sidhe fae. 

And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be.’ 

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities . . . and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.

I won these lovely Sticky Notes from @Pocket_Books on Twitter.  Are you following them?  They have published many wonderful books by amazing authors.  And, just to sweeten the deal, they've been doing some wonderful giveaways on Twitter.  Stop by and check them out!

Well, I am hoping to get some serious reading done this week.  (Especially since The Way of Kings is just a little over 1000 pages.)

So, how are you faring this week?  Does it look like a good reading week?

Here's to you having a great week in words and pages.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book Review: People of the Sword

People of the Sword

By:  Neil O'Donnell

Publisher:  Argus Enterprises Publishing

Publish Date:  July 2009

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 6"x9", 291 pgs

Series:  Stand alone, but not sure.

Recommendation:  Ah, nah. But Please don't let me stop you if you like the sounds of the Synopsis.

Book Synopsis:
Knights and Druids, enemies throughout the ages, find that they must put their mutual distrust and hatred aside to face a danger that could exterminate all humanity.  Crarnock finally learns the keys to unlocking magical formulas and his hatred toward the human race frees his evil mind to align itself with the Goblins, mortal enemies of all mankind.. Together they present a danger that only the combined efforts of races, enemy and friend, can hope to survive.  Even so, help from more powerful sources must be found.  A powerful, compelling saga of the classic, never-ending struggle between Good and Evil.  Yet, even in the midst of battle and despite deep-seated biases, love can be found, if the parties are willing.

First Sentence:
"Algren," Mattias said, as she rested on the cot in the large, one room infirmary.

My Review and Summary:
The Druids are attacked by their life enemies, the goblins.  The Druids and Knights are opposing cultures, living on opposite sides of the land and not like each other.  But, one Knight stumbles apon the battle of Druids and goblins, and helps the Druids win, but gets knocked out as the Druids aren't sure what side he is on.  Sir Harrison, the kind hearted knight, recovers in the Druid city becoming their friend and the link creating an alliance between the two cultures.  There is another force at work in the world as well, one that wants all the humans dead - the one wizard.  Will the Druids team up with the Knights and fight together agains the Wizard and his minions, the goblins?

This book is a hard one for me to review, as I had a hard time with the book but in the end it was an okay read.  It took me about 100 pages to start to get into the story.  The first 100 pages seemed to jump around to me and was a little boring.  It was when the background and history were relayed here that the book slowed in pacing for me.  In these pages you get current happenings, and you have sections where the entire history of the King Mage Crarnock came to be the powerful Wizard and his life story, these sections slowed the story momentum for me as well.  Then by page seventy I knew the motives and reasons for his doing, it seemed early to know all the reasons.

But, I pushed through and we came to an unknown mission, where the story starts to pick up.  In the last 120 pages I kind of liked the story because of the main character, Sir Harrison.  Sir Harrison was a likable character in the book as he is calm and open minded to all aspects of the religious beliefs and cultural ways.  There are moments of slowing, but the journey is interesting.  To me the goblins where a little bit of a surprise as well, as they aren't the completely mindless creatures. 

I requested this book from the author as I liked the sounds of it.

This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Looking Forward To... (20)

There are so many amazing books already on the shelves and new ones coming out.

For a list of books yet to be released I'm looking to get, you can also look on my right Sidebar at the ever growing list titled Desired Reads - just scroll down.  Of course there are tones of other new books to come out that are amazing as well, but these ones are part of series I have already started or for one reason or another caught my eye (and haven't seen much on other blogs yet). But I will highlight one here each week.

(mentioned in order of Release Date then Alphabetical if there are more than one book coming out on the same date.)

The Next Book Is...

The Spirit Thief
By:  Rachel Aaron
Due Out:  October 1, 2010

This is the first book of a new series, The Legend of Eli Monpress, starting out.  The synopsis sounds like an interesting fantasy read.  And I seem to have realized lately I have a thing for thieves.  But I like that there is magic in the mix here as well.

Check out Rachel Aaron's site and books HERE.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Eli Monpress is talented. He's charming. And he's a thief.

But not just any thief. He's the greatest thief of the age - and he's also a wizard. And with the help of his partners - a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls - he's going to put his plan into effect.

The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he'll need to steal some big things. But he'll start small for now. He'll just steal something that no one will miss - at least for a while.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blog Book Chat: Blue Diable ~ Final Stop

We have made it to our last and final stop for Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre.


So, I know there are many of you out there that have read this book already and where waiting for this moment of completion to join in on the chat with us.  No holds bar here!  What did you love, hate, love?  All thoughts welcome!

Although, if you have not read the book please keep in mind THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE.  So, please enter with caution.

Now to the discussion ~ This third and final chat is held by Robyn @ The Bookoholic Zone.  So CLICK HERE and join us.

Looking forward to seeing you there and chatting.

Thank you.

Favorite Fictional Character (30)

Meme Sponsored and hosted by the creative mind of Ryan at Wordsmithonia.

I have to pick one character that really has made me laugh while reading her stories.  Jane True by Nicole Peeler.  Our first introduction was made in Tempest Rising, then again in Tracking the Tempest.

Jane is a selkie, or half selkie.  Her mother was found wandering through the city buck naked.  Her father fell in love with her afterward.  Then came Jane.  Jane is a strong swimmer and bears the burden of guilt for her boyfriend from high school (that's all I'll say on that).

Jane is one the home town stares, points, and gossips about due to her past.  But Jane having the strong will she does, pulls through stays in her home and doesn't want to leave it.  She cares for her ill father, making sure he is loved, feed, and takes his pills.  But even though Jane is a strong character to keep going and get through the tough stuff, she has a great sense of humor.  I think this is part in what has helped Jane stay 'sane' per say with all that has happened to her in her life... her mother up and leaving without a trace and with her boyfriend from high school.  I love the quick one liners she comes up with in any situation.  She puts reality into laughter and great jokes, snarky.    Jane has wonderful secondary characters in which her humor and snark play off of nicely.  They are wonderful characters for Jane and her strengths.

Even the crazy experiences she has are fun to read.  There where many times what happened to her or around her made me laugh just as much as her comments.  Then, Jane does get herself into some sticky situations... that end in a joke.

Do you want to learn more about Jane True?  Check out her series by Nicole Peeler.  Nicole's site is HERE.  Two books about Jane's adventures are out and the third will be out January 2011.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Trailer...

Author Carolyn Crane 
Just released her Book Trailer for her
First two Disillusion books!  
Mind Games and Double Cross  

Really a neat trailer.  Check it out!  What do you think?

What's your favorite part?  Do you think it relates to and gives the feel for the books?

I felt it showed the chaos of Midcity.  And I think my favorite part is the chess game where the woman says check and the man starts blinking... Reminds me of Justine doing a zing and the reaction of the man.  I love it!

I like the little question left at the end... What do you think will happen?  Makes me wonder...

Tuesday Teaser (44)

Teaser Tuesday

is a weekly event
Sponsored by MizB of Should be Reading

Here's how it works:
Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interests

This Week:

"You know" - Saldana eyed the wreckage in the parking lot of Cotulla Style Pit Bar-B-Q - "if you wanted my attention, you could've just called."

pg 145
Blue Diablo
By Ann Aguirre

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday's Beginning's (55)

How are you faring in reading at the beginning of this week?  Are you starting a new book or finishing one up?

Things are still on fast forward here.  We spent the weekend cleaning, going through, and boxing up stuff.  I just can't believe how much stuff we have collected over the last six or so years.  Crazy!  And we still have so much more to do.  So... I didn't get much reading done over the weekend.  I am feeling the need to get through the books I have going soon.  I am ready to be on to the next read.  So I am going to push this week to get done with Blue Diable by Ann Aguirre for the Blog Book Chat and People of the Sword by Neill O'Donnell.

I did get one review up over the weekend, From A Far Land by G. David Walker.  If you would like to read the review, CLICK HERE.

Now to the Wishlist... Thanks to all of you I have added 6 books!  All these books sound like amazing reads.  This list is one in which I try to keep as only the books I REALLY want to and plan to read.  All these amazing authors should be so proud and happy of all these amazing books.

Books Received Last Week:

I have been wanting this book since it came out.  But for what ever reason I just never got it.  When I went to the store two weeks ago I was determined to get it.  But they didn't have it on the shelves.  So, they ordered it for me and sent it to my house.  I just got it last week.  And to boot The Spinecracker is doing a chat on this book at the beginning of October. :) So come join us is you would like, here is the link!

GoodReads Synopsis:
Divorced mother of one, Charlie Madigan, lives in a world where the beings of heaven and hell exist among us, and they aren't the things of Sunday school lessons and Hallmark figurines. In the years since the Revelation, they've become our co-workers, neighbors, and fellow citizens.

Charlie works for ITF (Integration Task Force). It's her job to see that the continued integration of our new "friends" goes smoothly and everyone obeys the law, but when a new off-world drug is released in Underground Atlanta, her daughter is targeted, and her ex-husband makes a fateful bargain to win her back, there's nothing in heaven or earth (or hell for that matter) that Charlie won't do to set things right.
So, I am currently reading the first book of this series with the Urban Fantasy Book Blog Chat group here.  (Including Robyn from The Bookoholic Zone and Jessica from The Spinecracker has been chatting with us as well.  You can join in with us at any time!)  But, I have been enjoying the first book so I had to pick up the second book...
GoodReads Synopsis:
As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch any object and know its history. It's too bad she can't seem to forget her own. With her ex-boyfriend Chance in tow-lending his own supernatural brand of luck-Corine journeys back home to Kilmer, Georgia, in order to discover the truth behind her mother's death and the origins of "gift".

But while trying to uncover the secrets in her past, Corine and Chance find that something is rotten in the state of Georgia. Inside Kilmer's borders there are signs of a dark curse affecting the town and all its residents-and it can only be satisfied with death...

Well, I am hoping to have a great reading week.  And maybe finish up both of the books I have going.

So, how are you faring this week?  Does it look like a good reading week?

Here's to you having a great week in words and pages.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Review: From a Far Land

From a Far Land
Jaben's Rift, book 1

By:  G. David Walker

Publisher:  Self Published By Author

Publish Date:  July 2010

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 311 pages

Series:  Book 1 in Jaben's Rift series

Recommendation:  Yeah, this would be a great fantasy start for young adults and a nice visit for adults if you enjoy conspiracies with god like beings.

Book Synopsis:
From a far land, Jaben shall come...

One impulsive step plus one ancient prophecy equals one messed up summer vacation.  Jason Bennett never intended to change the world, his own or anyone else's.  Then a family vacation becomes a journey to Teleria, a place where magic works and humans aren't the only intelligent race.

Thought to be Jaben, a powerful figure foretold to hold the fate of Teleria in his hands, Jason gets caught in a dangerous tug of war between Teleria's ruling Circle of Nine and one of his own ancestors who opposes the Circle.  Adding to his dilemma, he finds himself at the center of a conflict between two of the Altered, a small group of godlike beings, one of whom is aiding Jason's ancestor against the Circle.

Unable to return home, Jason must learn to use power he isn't convinced he has, keep from triggering an all out war between the Altered that could devastate Teleria, and survive the plans of some in the Circle who believe his death is the only thing that will save Teleria.  Before he can do anything, he must decide who's telling him the truth, and who only wants to use him.

Not exactly the vacation he had planned.

First Sentence:
The ancient structure crouched in the middle of the Scottish woods.  For centuries, it had waited...

My Review and Summary:
A quick beginning while Jason Bennett is exploring a stone dilapidated building in the Scottish woods steps unknowingly through a rift portal.  But, someone had been waiting for him to find his way.  After seeing a kaleidoscope of colors and visuals crystallize, he is greeted by Reyga Falerian, a Loremaster, to the world of Teleria.  Jason finds it hard to believe he is no longer in Scotland, or even on his world.  Reyga has to restrain Jason and in doing so realizes there is something different in Jason.  Is it good or bad?  Reyga isn't sure.  After speaking to the High One of the Circle, Reyga agrees to bring Jason to the city where the High One and the rest of the Loremasters are to meet him and verify for themselves.  As the High One fears Jason might be the one the prophecy speaks of, which could end good or bad.  In the process Jason meets many interesting characters and gets mixed up in a ploy to overthrow the Circle.

I enjoyed this read.  I was worried after starting the book that this would be another basic story of a young one unknowingly finds and goes through a portal to a fantasy world, thinks they are dreaming, then finds there way home.  As a portion of this is true, not all of it is.  After I started getting into this fantasy world and learning more of it, I found I really enjoyed it.  The history of the world is detailed out for you, with pieces left open, but great areas to grow with in the future books.  Enough is given to understand the world and to build on as the book and future books go.  I found I liked the premises of the way the world came to be how it is now, and it was easy for me to follow and understand.

The books started with a Prologue where there was something in the descriptive words I liked.  The flow is nice and smooth here and the brief exchange caught my eye and made me curious.  There are short sections through most of the book in which you know someone is watching or waiting, but you don't know exactly who.  I wanted to get to see this character.  And I did in the end.

The characters here in this story are unique.  We have a variety and mix of races here along with dimsai, or magical, ability.  And how all these races got to this world.  It is all explained here.  I did have a little bit of a hard time with the main character Jason at times though, but I can explain why he is the way he is too.  He is an eighteen year old young man.  He does have his moments where he rages, but it was the calm moments with complete understanding and trust that caught me off guard.  I thought Jason was to understanding at the times that where big moments with heavy information.  But this is also what makes him likable to the other characters, as he doesn't act as they would have thought he would.  I really found I enjoyed the character Lenai and Crin.  But the ones I liked the set up for and made me curious about are the Altered, the godlike beings.

A great mix of godlike beings, fantasy creatures, fantasy world, and magic.  I would like to read book two to see where Jason and a few other characters go.

If you would like to visit G. David Walker's site to check more out on the book, CLICK HERE.

I received this book from the author for review.

This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City, and the Young Adult Challenge hosted by Home Girl.