Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Forward To... (33)

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:  Rachel Caine
Due Out:  February 1, 2011

I read the first book in the Outcast Series and really enjoyed the writing and the characters.  I like that Cassiel is a Djinn kicked out of home, cast down on earth.  All the 'human' things and emotions she has to learn.  I will admit I have not read the Weather Warden series, although it is definitely on my list to do.  But this series is set in the same world, and I like it!  I have book 2, Unknown, here on the shelf and hope to get to it this year.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
After Cassiel and Warden Luis Rocha rescue an adept child from a maniacal Djinn, they realize two things: the girl is already manifesting an incredible amount of power, and her kidnapping was not an isolated incident.

This Djinn-aided by her devoted followers-is capturing children all over the world, and indoctrinating them so she can use their strength for herself. With no other options, Cassiel infiltrates the Djinn's organization-because if Cassiel cannot stop the Djinn's apocalyptic designs, all of humanity may be destroyed.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday Follow - December 31, 2010

Well, It's been a while since I've been able to participate in Friday Follow.  It's been crazy here at home as we've been building a new home and moving, then the holidays where upon us.  But, I am off work today and around the visiting of a few family members I'll be around for the weekend.  So I thought why not!

If you are wondering what I read more of and blog about:

I enjoy reading Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction... just about anything in these areas, and I will read YA books in these areas as well (I just have been a little short on reading YA lately). I hope you take a look around and enjoy the reviews and meme's I do: Monday's Beginnings (which you can link up to on Mondays and join in with sharing), Teaser Tuesday, Favorite Fictional Character,  and Looking Forward Too... (new one up every Friday - and I'm thinking of adding Mr. Linky to, so if you like it let me know and I will so you can join the fun).

There are also LOADS of many great things going on here.

Have you heard about the New Years Resolutions...Bookish Style?  Well, you can link up on the post HERE if you would like to join in.  Or you can just go visit all the wonderful blogs that are linked up.

There is a giveaway going on currently too!
It's for the audio book of TEMPEST RISING by Nicole Peeler.  Have you been wanting to start this series?  Well, CLICK HERE to enter for the audio book.
And... I have interviews with two of the men from the series.  They are spoiler-free, so you don't have to worry if you haven't read the series yet.  ANYAN and RYU. (just click their names)

Then, Robyn from The Bookoholic Zone and I host Urban Fantasy Blog Book Chat's, and starting January 6th we are starting HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED by Mark Henry.  Do you want to join in with us?  CLICK HERE for the post with the schedule as we break the book into three sections and post thoughts on each section, one per week.

I do hope you enjoy your visit.

Please say comment below and say hello, I will comment back below to you.

Thank you! 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Giveaway Results for Margaret Ronald:

I want to first thank Margaret Ronald for doing the interview with me and for stopping by to respond to your comments.  Thank you!  I really enjoyed Margaret's answers and looking forward to digging into Soul Hunt, released yesterday the 28th.

I need and want to thank everyone for commenting on the interview with Margaret Ronald.  It is great to have followers who like to chat with the authors, whither you are entering for the giveaway or not. :)  Thank you all!

So, I have gone through and verified all entries and numbers.  There was a total of 69 chances to win, but only one number can be picked.  So with the help of I have come up with a winner.

#63 was the winning number and the person that the number falls on is....

Congrats, you are the winner!

Lisa, I will be emailing you shortly for your information.  You will have 48 hours to contact me back before another will be choosen in your place.  Starting at 9:20pm December 29, 2010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (55)

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 lights went dim.  The seats stretched with a groan of rust out into bunks.  Liv closed her journal.  The lights went out.  In the darkness the Linesmen's black boots clanked through the corridors.  So many of them!  And all so much the same.

The Half-Made World
By  Felix Gilman
pg 128

Monday, December 27, 2010

Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge 2011

I have decided to sign up for this Challenge.  No, I'm not really a Horror reader, but I do love my Urban Fantasy books.  So... why not join right!?!

This Challenge is hosted by Book Chick City, which I enjoy visiting and did a challenge hosted by her in 2010.
~~ The time line is from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011
~~ Minimum books is 24 (I think I can do this.)
~~ You don't have to have a link to join as she has a form to fill out if you don't have one.
~~ Don't have to list books ahead of time, which I have loads here that qualify, but also look forward to new reads that qualify too.

Can't wait to get started! :)  Hope you all join in as well, if you would like.

Monday's Beginnings (70)

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

Well, I finally got cable/internet/phone! YEAH! So I'm able to get online quicker now.  But I have loads of catch-up to play.  Sorry if I don't get to comment on all your posts.  I'm going to try and read them all though.

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a wonderful holiday this past weekend.  We did loads of running so I was short on the reading front once again.  I'm thinking now that the holiday has passed an New Years isn't as time consuming that I might be able to get to reading some.  But, husband is off this week along with the kid sooo... well we will just see.  I might have to lock myself in the pantry. ;)  But it is only Monday morning here and the day could go anywhere, along with the week.

I did get finished with Finders Keepers by Russ Colchamiro.  Which I will get the review for up this week. Then picked off the shelf and just started the Half-Made World by Felix Gilman.

There are a LOAD of things happening here this week, so I'm hoping you all will take a look into them all:
1.)  There is a GIVEAWAY of the First 2 books in the Evy Scelan series by Margaret Ronald.  CLICK HERE to enter.  (Go enter as there are great chances to win with not many entries.) This giveaway ends December 28th, so hurry over to enter.

2.)  Some great interviews I just posted last night.  Have you read Nicole Peeler's Jane True series yet?  Well, don't fret if not as you can see #3 on the list here.  But you all can check out the spoiler-free interviews with Anyan & Ryu!  Yep, both of them stopped by! :)  Click ANYAN or RYU to go to the interviews.

3.)  Yep, you might have guessed it... another GIVEAWAY! :) Nicole Peeler was gracious enough to offer to giveaway an audiobook of Tempest Rising.  CLICK HERE to go enter.

4.)  The next read for Blog Book Chat is up, Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry.  If you would like to look at our schedule so you can join in, CLICK HERE.  We will be starting the first section January 6th, so you still have time to get the book and read it. Hope you join in with us.

As for my WANT list... I've only added 3 books this past week.  But with the holiday and all, it is still amazing to add books. :)

Received Last Week:
I won this book as an ARC from the publisher.  And I'm looking forward to reading it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Dan North knows from early childhood that his family is different — and that the differences are secrets that can never be told.  This contemporary Urban Fantasy introduces the North family, a clan of mages in exile in our world, and their enemies who will do anything to keep them locked here.

I got a Borders Gift card from the lovely ladies at work for Christmas.  So I carry it with me at all times as I never know when I will be stopping at the book store.

And behold, I went to the mall yesterday.  Yes, we are crazy and didn't stay long with the insane crowds there.  But I did pop into the bookstore to look around. (and uncontrollable urge)  I was so glad to find this book already on the shelf!  It's not due out until January 3rd but is appearing in the wild at some places.  So I just had to pick it up.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jane True has become proficient in basic magics, confident in herself and her abilities, and happily rooted in Rockabill. Her life is still divided between her supernatural brethren and her human friends and family, but it’s a division she maintains with very little trouble. 

Everything changes, however, when Anyan brings Jane news that will force her to confront her dichotomized existence – supernatural females are being murdered, or have simply disappeared. 

Jane and Anyan must embark on a desperate search to find out who is abducting these women, and how Jane can be protected from them. Aiding them is Jane’s former flame, Ryu. But can his stated motivations be trusted? And who are the mysterious figures dogging Jane’s and Anyan’s footsteps if not minions of Jarl? 

Eventually, the trio stumble upon a secret so huge that it threatens to disrupt the tenuous traditions keeping humanity safe from the supernatural community that has, up until now, been content to lurk in the shadows. 

Will they uncover the truth in time to save Jane’s friends? And just how far will Jarl go to protect his secrets?

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

Here's to wishing you all the best in words and pages.

Don't forget you can link up!  Please do and I will stop.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Audiobook Giveaway! By Nicole Peeler...


Have you not started Nicole Peelers Jane True series?  Oooo what are you waiting for?  It is a great story in each book and so much fun!

Did you meet two of the characters from the books?  Anyan & Ryu.  If not jump over to read the interviews with them.  They are spoiler-free interviews to try to get to know the great characters, click their name here: Anyan,  Ryu.

Did you know the series is on CD now?  Yep, Nicole now has the book out for you to read or listen.  And the actress reading the part sounds perfect!

Do you want to start the book?  I am thrilled to say, Nicole Peeler is gracious enough to give a copy of the audiobook of Tempest Rising away, in MP3 CD formate or Regular CD form - you pick.

So, how do you enter?

Easy pleasey..

~~ Leave a comment here saying you want to win the audiobook!

Yep, just like that. :)

Now, some people like the extra chances to win.  So if you are one of those people we can do a few.

~~ Leave a comment on the interviews with Anyan or Ryu. 
       +1 for commenting on Anyan's
       +1 for commenting on Ryu's.
~~ +2 Be a follower here by way of Google Friend Connect (on the left side bar).
~~ +3 Tweet, Blog, or Link this post on your side bar or any other way.

***Please remember to leave links in the comments to receive the extra entries.
***Please remember to leave me a way to contact you if you win.

When does the giveaway end? 
   Well, with the celebration of Tempest's Legacy official release day of January 3rd, I'll accept entries through January 4, 2011 to 11:59 pm EST.  Then the winner will be announced shortly afterward.

And the Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! :)

Good luck to you all!

Interview, with Anyan! From Jane True series

The treat we have today is a wonderful one, he just might have you salivating over his food abilities. Please, sit pretty and listen up for Anyan...

M:  Hello Anyan. How are you today?

A:  Um, fine? Although I really don't know why you want to talk with me...

M:  Oh Anyan, you may not realize it but you have quietly attracted attention.  And you are such a mystery!

M:  It seems you have been in Rockabill for a while. How long have you been here? It seems as being in Rockabill might be a little on the quite side from the Alfar and company. Is that so? Did you come here to get away from the hum drum of the business or maybe for safety, from your past?

A:  I just like the quiet. And Rockabill is quiet. Yeah, I've lived there a long time.

M:  Work seems very secretive for you. May I ask where you go when you scurry off for lengths of time?

A:  Depends. Sometimes I just go off to get creative. Sometimes I have art-world stuff to deal with. I sometimes visit friends. Sometimes . . . I check into things. Things that need checked into.

M:  Have you ever been to the Borderlands? Or have you been around long enough to have known the people that have taken up residence in the Borderlands?

A:  I've been lots of places, and I know lots of people. Not all of them I can talk about in public.

M:  *nodding head* Oh yes, I understand... best kept on the hush hush.

M:  One last work related question then we'll move on. There seems to be some, um... static between you and Ryu. Did Ryu work under you when you worked with the Alfar? Was there a disagreement between the two of you? In the field, or maybe a lady?

A:  Ryu's a good soldier. That's all I'll say.

M:  Okay, moving on now...

You have a few hidden talents someone may not realize you have. Cooking and artwork. These are a lovely combination. I'm sure the women are trying to snag you as it would be great to have a man to cook for us.

A:  Some women dig it, some don't. I haven't had anyone around for a while, so I can't really say.

M:  *pause* ooo. Anyan, we will have to fix that.  It's always nice to have someone around.

M:  Do you spend much time in the kitchen fiddling around?

A:  I do. I like that you take raw ingredients and then you make something new out of them. And I like feeding people.

M:  Sounds very creative!

M:  What is your favorite dish to eat? What makes it so tasty for you?

A:  Too many to name . . . I do love to eat.

M:  Food is an amazing invention, I have to say. *smiling*  I do love food that makes the taste buds want to burst.

M:  What is your favorite to make? What makes it special for you?

A:  I always really enjoy cooking breakfast. Especially for a lover. There's something very... I dunno, caring about it. Like I'm seeing them off on their day, helping make sure it's a good one. *blushes*

M:  Awww... Okay, enough about food.  I'm starting to get hungry.

M:  Can you share some about your artwork? The style? Is there anything or anyone who inspires your art? love or war...

A:  I've been experimenting for a very long time. There are things that have always interested me, as subjects, but other than that I try to challenge myself with new mediums, new ways of expressing myself.

M:  By chance do you have a scar on you buttocks? After that bite you received a while ago from our little friend Jane. I bet that hurt.

A:  *chuckles* That it did. She's a fierce one, that Jane. She's small, but she's feisty.

M:  So, Anyan, now that we are on the subject of Jane. What about Jane perks up the ears? You seem to have taken to Jane over the years as she has grown into a young woman.

A:  I dunno, really. She's just always so strong, in her own way. And the way she keeps picking herself back up... Also her smarts. Her little brain is always whirling away. I never know what she's going to say, or do... And she takes so much pleasure in things. I just love to watch her enjoy herself... Um. I think that's it.

M:  *smile* That's great Anyan.  You seem to know Jane very well.  She sounds like a great person.

M:  Well, I have a few quick questions for you and we will wrap it up and you can run off to that place you go.

Favorite Color? Blue

Picnic on the Beach or Formal Dinner in the city? Beach

Bath or Shower? Ummmm.... Shower? I guess?

Favorite Holiday? Don't have one.
Really?! Wow.

Rain or Shine? I like both.
I like both too.  Brings out different feelings... sorry. On we go.

Just one hobby? Cooking.

Coffee or Tea? Cardamom tea.

Favorite Book? Umm....There's a lot. Can't pick one.
Ooo, quite the reader, nice. *smile*

Two legs or all fours? I can do both.

Thank you Anyan.  It has been a pleasure talking with you. I do hope you stop by again some time in the future.

I'm going to have to try out that recipe you left me. Maybe you can come by to help me out, as I'm really not that great of a cook. *looking down* But the dish sounds amazing.

Interview, with Ryu! From Jane True series

We have an attraction for you today. He is the type to get your blood pumping. Please welcome today, Ryu the loving vampire with us today.

M:  Hello Ryu. How are you doing today?

R:  I am well, Melissa. And enchanted to meet you. *winks*

M:  Can you tell us a drop about you? Like where your from?

R:  Is that all you want? A drop? *winks again* I am from many places. Most recently from Boston.

M:  What do you like to sink your fangs into?

R:  Besides lovely ladies named Melissa? Oh, lots of things. I like to consider myself a Renaissance man.

M:  *gulp* *eyes wide* thinking: nah, not me...

M:  What brought you to working for the Alfar?

R:  They have their downside, obviously. But they're where the action is. And the money. Plus, I think I can make more of a difference working within the power structure than outside of it.

M:  *nodding head thoughtfully*  That does make very good sense, helping from the inside.
M:  It seems you have a very serious job there. How is work going lately? Are there many cases out there in the world of this stature? Seems like there are a few things to clear up with the elders and such, always a touchy issue there it seems.

R:  It is a serious job, and I take it seriously. But it's always an adventure, and you know I love an adventure, Melissa. *winks* As for the political aspect of my job, it's the biggest adventure of them all.

M: um...
M:  Your team seems like a wonderful and fun crew to have. Were they assigned to you or did you pick them? Seems like you all spend a great deal of time together. Do you?

R:  I handpicked my team. They're people I know, and trust. And yes, we spend a lot of time together. They're good people.

M:  It seems in this line of work you do get to see many different... beings? Would that be the proper term to use? Many of us may not even realize these beings are around. Have you always lived with all these people?

R:  Of course. I was raised entirely amongst my people. Obviously, my parents being purebred baobhan sith, we had to have a lot of contact with humans. But that contact was always . . . for specific reasons. Other than that, I spend all my time with others like me.

M:  Has there ever been that crazy case in which you just couldn't believe what you where seeing?

R:  I am very rarely shocked, at this stage of my life. Would you like to try?

M: *eyebrows go up* thinking: Ha, I'm not crazy!
M:  You seem to be very popular with the ladies. Do you mind if we get a little personal?

R:  *smirks* I would like nothing better...

M:  Do you ever have any troubles among the ladies, oh say with getting jealous or such?

R:  Let's just say there's an art to juggling. I can keep a lot of balls in the air.

M:  Do you think you will ever find the one, or keeper?

R:  *frowns* That's a hard question. There was someone...but it's complicated. *forces a smile* Why, would you like to try?

M:  mmm...
M:  Do you have a particular taste in women? Like personality, hair color, anything?

R:  I find confidence and sensuality more attractive than anything else. The rest falls into place.

M:  So, Ryu, you have been with Jane for a little while now. And it seems you really have a thing for her. What about Jane elongates the fangs?

R:  Well, I wouldn't say we're together. But she's a lovely woman. I think what I like most about her is she doesn't see her own potential... She could do great things, with the right guidance.

M:  What would you plan for a romantic date? Would you cook, go out?

R:  Cook? Really? I'd take you out. How about Friday? *winks*

M:  Just a few quick questions for you Ryu then you can get back to the office.

Favorite Color? Red

Picnic on the Beach or Formal Dinner in the city? Either, as long as the former is catered

Bath or Shower? Either, if it's with you *winks*

Favorite Holiday? Valentine's day, obviously

Rain or Shine? Moonshine
0ooh... moonshine, I like that answer. *smiling*

Just one hobby? I'm not sure you want me to specify, on your blog. *winks*
oh..oh, OH, yes. Thank you. *blushing*

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Favorite Book? Machiavelli's The Prince

Two legs or all fours? Me on two, you on all fours. *winks*

Thank you Ryu. *fanning self* We really do appreciate you stopping by to chat with us today. I hope you get an opportunity to stop by again some time.

Oh Ryu, what time Friday are you stopping by to pick me up?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Looking Forward To... (32)

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 Fallen Blade:
Act One of the Assassini
Vampire Assassin #1
By:  Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Due Out:  January 27, 2011

Okay, so many of you are probably thinking - Not another vampire book.  And yes it has a vampire in it.  But the premises of this book caught my attention.  It has pirates and the high seas along with an assassin.  An assassin who sees a boy with quick reactions that is who he feels could be his apprentice.  I'm interested in seeing what the book has to offer.  It's new and the first of a series.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the depths of night, customs officers board a galley in a harbor and overpower its guards. In the hold they find oil and silver, and a naked boy chained to the bulkhead. Stunningly beautiful but half-starved, the boy has no name. The officers break the boy's chains to rescue him, but he escapes.

Venice is at the height of its power. In theory Duke Marco commands. But Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. They command the seas, tax the colonies, and, like those in power before them, fear assassins better than their own.

In a side chapel, Marco's fifteen-year old cousin prays for deliverance from her forced marriage. It is her bad fortune to be there when Mamluk pirates break in to steal a chalice, but it is the Mamluks' good luck - they kidnap her.

In the gardens beside the chapel, Atilo, the Duke's chief assassin, prepares to kill his latest victim. Having cut the man's throat, he turns back, having heard a noise, and finds a boy crouched over the dying man, drinking blood from the wound. The speed with which the boy dodges a dagger and scales a wall stuns Atilo. And the assassin knows he has to find the boy.

Not to kill him, but because he's finally found what he thought he would never find. Someone fit to be his apprentice.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Now on Facebook

I finally gave in.  I don't know if this is a good thing or not.  Or if I will even use it much.  

But I now have My World set up on Facebook.  

This is my little book connection on the Facebook world.  I've heard many bloggers and authors are out there and thought what the hay.  I'll follow along and see what comes about from it.  So, if you are on face book and would like to follow or friend me... stop by and click the button.

Here's the link (I hope) to my little spot on the big Facebook world:
I'm listed as Melissa My World.

Hope to see you all there too!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Review: Bone Gods

Bone Gods

By:  Caitlin Kittredge

Publisher:  St. Martin's Paperbacks

Publish Date:  November 30, 2010

Format:  Paperback 343pgs, Pocket book size

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  3rd book in Black London Series; 1st~Street Magic, 2nd~Demon Bound

Recommendation:  Yes,  If you love dark banter between characters and magic, check this one out!

Book Synopsis:
Ever since crow-mage Jack Winter was lost in Hell, there's only one woman who can save Black London.  Her name is Pete Caldecott.

Witch hunts are on the rise and supernatural turf wars are reaching a boiling point.  Then, just when it seems life couldn't get any worse for Pete, Jack reappears - but he's no longer the man she's always known.  Hell has changed him forever.  And he's brought back with him a whole world of trouble...

A cabal of necromancers is using ancient, unspeakable magic to turn the tide of war in their favor.  Then, as the city is about to sink into chaos, Pete receives a chilling directive: To end the war, you must kill the crow-mage.  Beset from all sides, Pete finds herself turning to an unholy source for help...even if doing so could destroy Black London - and life as she knows it - once and for all.

First Sentence:
The dead man lay in repose at the feet of Ramses II.

My Review and Summary:
Six months after Jack was taken by the demon, Pete is trying to live without him... and not coming back.  Pete is a wreck with loss, surfacing in different forms.  Ollie, Pete's old partner, has asked her to come and check out a stiff.  As soon as Pete sees the body, she knows there is rather dark magic involved.  And all the spiral carving and scars over the dead mans chest and arms, just adds to the mystery along with something completely unrecognizable to her.  Pete has a touch of talent to work with magic on her own, but doesn't know how to use it.  Can Pete help Ollie?  And who else is involved in this case?  Pete must follow the leads for this case that she may not want to.

I enjoyed this book as it is what I wanted to happen.  Well, not in the sense of the whole book, but I wanted to see Pete grow, become her own character.  And This book delivers on that journey for Pete.  Pete is upset with the loss of her lover Jack and trying to carry on what they had in business and life.  In this Pete has to stand on her own and try to make things work with other characters that worked with Jack.  In making Pete stronger as a character it helps bring some secondary characters to the light a little more.  And even introduces us to a few surprising, new characters.

The story line keeps me guessing and wondering what is going on.  Pete makes her suggestions as we go through the book, but I kept wondering if there was something else - deeper darker.  We keep getting the small details of the rituals and meanings behind what's going on, and just kept waiting to see how deep the story was going.  The more Pete digs, the more we see, and the darker the magic gets.  With unexpected turns and characters.

In this book we learn more of the Black, Weir powers and what the purpose of the weir is.  We even learn some on the work between Morrigan and Jack.  Caitlin isn't afraid to push her characters and break them, I think that is part of what I enjoy most with this series along with the brutally truthful and humorous banter.

If you enjoy dark magic and heavy banter, this is definitely a read for you.  A great fun journey.

I purchased this book for my own reading.

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

Teaser Tuesday (54)

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:

"There are greater powers than the human out here, Doctor.  The earth here is haunted."

the Half-Made World
By Felix Gilman
pg 63

(this is a teaster for me too as this is my next read)

Cover Release

Have you read the first book in the Thomas Cale series by Paul Hoffman, The Left Hand of God?
The second book has a cover and a release date now!

US Version:
The Last Four Things
Due out:  August 4, 2011

UK Version:
Due out:  January 6, 2011

I read the first book in the Thomas Cale series, The Left Hand of God.  The world that was created in the first book has hints of dark and danger hidden in the shadows.  And I am very curious to see where Paul takes his characters next in this world especially Cale as he's an interesting character, and what do the Redeemers have for him to do.  It can't be good...

Synopsis from GoodReads:
Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. These are the Last Four Things. Now there are Five. Meet Thomas Cale. Returning to the Sanctuary of the Redeemers, Thomas Cale is told by the Lord Militant that the destruction of mankind is necessary; the only way to undo God's greatest mistake. Cale seemingly accepts his role in the ending of the world: fate has painted him as the Left Hand of God, the Angel of Death. Absolute power is within his grasp, the terrifying zeal and military might of the Redeemers a weapon for him to handle as simply as he once used a knife. But perhaps not even the grim power that the Redeemers hold over Cale is enough - the boy who turns from love to poisonous hatred in a heartbeat, the boy who switches between kindness and sheer violence in the blink of an eye. The annihilation that the Redeemers seek may well be in Cale's hands - but his soul is far stranger than they could ever know.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Calling all Nicole Peeler fans!

I have a nice surprise for all Nicole Peeler fans, or Jane True fans. 
Well, I guess I should say Ryu and Anyan fans. ;)

I've just gotten through a few fantastic interviews!  Yes sir ree.  I got the opportunity to interview Ryu and Anyan!  I was so excited to be in the same room with these two men, each separately of course.  They are both fantastic!

So, this post is to give you a heads up that the interviews are on the horizon.  All in time for Nicole's new release in January:  Tempest's Legacy.

What I'm going to do is post each interview on its own.  Then I think I saw in the emails about a giveaway... ;D You will have to keep checking back for the interviews and giveaway.  I am hoping to get these finished up and posted on or before Monday December 27th.

Cover Release

Kelly Gay, author of the Charlie Madigan series has released the cover of the third book!

The Hour of Dust and Ashes
Would you like to visit Kelly and read her post on this cover over at her blog?  CLICK HERE

Monday's Beginnings (69)

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

Well, I'm still desperately trying to get internet/cable/phone hooked up at our new home.  This has really turned into a huge fiasco!  I hate the cable company we have!  I know hate is a strong word, but the have just played with me long enough.  And we are stuck with them as no one else is in our area yet, and they know it.  They are just to big for their own britches and their hats are 10 sizes to small for their heads.

Well, now that I have that out of my system... I have got some reading done but not nearly as much as I wanted to.  This holiday season is really putting a cramper on my reading time.  I started reading Finders Keepers by Russ Colchamiro this week and was hoping to be done by now.  Ha!  It's the holidays girl! What was I thinking?  So, I am still working on it.  I need to get my review for Bone Gods by Caitlin Kittredge done and posted yet too.

It looks like I will be starting the first section of Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry at the end of this week for our chat discussion starting January 6th.  If you would like to see the schedule for the read, CLICK HERE.

I have to mention as well I have a giveaway going on!  Its an interview with Margaret Ronald and she has graciously offered to give away the first two books of her Evy Scelan Series, and maybe - just maybe - if she has them she will throw in the third one thats coming out on December 28th. CLICK HERE to go enter!

As for my WANT list... I've added 10 more books!  Oh... these books are new series and part to series I have already been reading.  I just can't seem to get enough of the books out there. :)  All the authors should be proud of themselves and you all for introducing me to them all.

Received Last Week:
For Review:
I have received these two Young Reader books from the publisher and will be reviewing them in the spring time.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land.

After reading and enjoying Geist, I looked around Philippa Ballantine's blog and site.  I found I wanted a few more of her books, including the new series she is working on with Tee Morris - Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel (CLICK HERE TO SEE COVER AND SUMMARY)
One of the books I did go ahead and purchase, as I was able to order it from the author for she had a whole book of them to sell. It is:
Good Reads Synopsis:
He is born into the human world with a gift; a gift that brings him to the attention of powers both dark and light from the World of the Fey. Sive, the goddess of battle, hopes that he may be able to change the fate of her people.

The Fey are dying, killed by something beyond the boundaries of worlds, and Sive will do anything to save them. So she enlists the help of her trickster cousin Puck to guard the child, and watch him grow into his gift. But a dark power imprisoned by human and Fey, plots to destroy both worlds, and unmake all that they have created.

Can one boy stop the destruction, even if he is William Shakespeare?

I have to mention this gift I received from a very great friend and blogger, Chasity at LovLivLife Reviews.  She is a great person to chat with and always has wonderful reviews and many other posts.

She has made these covers by her own hands.  I have one other one I won on her blog along with this one.  And I love that the protect the outsides of my paperback books so wonderfully!  This one has a book mark attached.  That is a wonderous addition!  So, Thank you Chasity for the beautiful gift. :)  Wishing you all the best!

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

I'm not sure about me.  With Christmas this coming weekend...we have lots to do to prep (like my elvin' duties that I've been laging on) and house work for family and friends to visit.  And its still early in the day for me, although with all that's planned to be done by Friday... I probably wont get much reading done today either.

Here's to wishing you all the best in words and pages!

Don't forget you can join in on Monday's Beginnings now too! Just link up and I'll stop by along with others that have joined in sharing. :)

Interview & Giveaway: Margaret Ronald

****Giveaway Closed****

I'm excited to introduce to you a wonderful Urban Fantasy author of the Evie Scelan seriesMargaret Ronald.  Mystery, Urban Fantasy with Celtic roots, and fun characters.

M:  Welcome Margaret! Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview. :)

MR:  Thank you for having me! I'm very glad to have the chance to appear here.

M:  Soul Hunt is the third book in your Urban Fantasy series of Evie Scelan. Can you tell us a little about Evie and her... doggie... ways?

MR:  Arf!

Well, Evie draws her talent from her ancestor Sceolang, who was one of Fionn MacCumhaill's (Finn Mac Cool's) cousins. Due to an unfortunate incident involving a jealous fairy and Sceolang's mother, he and his sister Bran also spent most of his life as Finn's hunting hounds. I started from the premised that at some point Sceolang returned to human form and had a family, but that some of his canine traits carried through the generations.

What this means for Evie is that she's able to track just about anything by scent. Of course, she has to first get the scent to follow it, and because smell is such an intuitive sense, it's often difficult for her to interpret what her nose tells her.

Evie's put this to good use by advertising her services as a finder of lost objects, people, etc. Between that and her work for Mercury Courier, she ekes out a living -- although this means that she has to balance her "normal" work with her excursions into the magical undercurrent of Boston. And the undercurrent has a way of drawing people in . . .

M:  This Urban Fantasy series has a great mix with Celtic Mythology. Did you do a lot of studying of the Celtic Mythology to write these? Or has it always been a love of yours?

MR:  Yes, and yes. I've always loved Celtic mythology, particularly because it's so fractured -- with only a few sources to draw on, most of which contradict each other, the question of which myth is the true myth becomes irrelevant if not laughable. I draw on certain folklore traditions for Wild Hunt as well, and for similar reasons: the sheer amount of stories out there can lead you to search, endlessly, for the one true story, but at heart they're all true, as much as folklore can be. I also admit I'd gotten a little irked with how certain elements of it had been sanitized and turned into twinkly Hibernia-in-the-mists mush. The Morrigan may be a powerful goddess, but that doesn't necessarily make her someone you'd want to know for any reason, nor is she just a bad-ass chick. I wanted to show some of the more dreadful, numinous aspects of it, and I can only hope that that comes through.

But I did quite a lot of research for each book, depending on the subject material. For Spiral Hunt, I immersed myself in Celtic mythology; for Wild Hunt, I went after certain folklore traditions, and for Soul Hunt, I've drawn on a lot of history of Boston and New England. Half the fun of that early stage is the resarch: afternoons in the library, wandering the city seeking out new places for Evie to discover, learning about mysteries that have almost been in my backyard this whole time.

M:  I really enjoy the mysteries that are in the stories. It seems like a few different things are happening at the beginning then they mesh together at some point through the story. In doing this, do you outline your stories to keep track of the major lines or go with the flow to see where it leads you?

MR:  Thank you! I love weaving together different clues, scattering them through the beginning and then pulling them all into one great knot, and I'm glad that you've found those parts successful. But the process is something of a mess. I'll outline the whole novel, noting what pieces of information have to be given when and by whom, how the first parts of the design start to come together, and so on . . . and then, halfway through the first draft, I end up chucking the outline for several chapters. Inevitably, I'll return to the outlined ending -- my endings are usually the one clear thing through the entirety of the writing process -- but that first draft makes a total hash of any outlines. So revision involves, first and foremost, re-weaving the plot so that it makes sense again. Ideally, it gets tighter with every draft, and my writers' group BRAWL has been invaluable in pointing out where my conclusions aren't coming together well.

M:  After reading the second book it seems Evie's abilities are growing or... evolving. Can you give us a little sample or hints as to what is going to happen in Soul Hunt with Evie? I think Evie has a promise she didn't realize she made to uphold here, any hints? Even with her lovely boyfriend, Nate, who seems to have his own family history to adjust to. How will he adjust to his new found... late night runs?

MR:  Evie's taken on a number of responsibilities, some by accident. She's taken up the Harlequin Horn, and so she now has authority over the hounds it commands. But that's not a responsibility that humans are meant to have, and she knows that very well. So her impulse is to return it to its owners . . . who, unfortunately, are not the most reasonable entities. Particularly since she's used that horn once already.

That's on top of the lingering sense that she's given up something important, though she can't put a name to it. The Hounds are telling her that she made a bad bargain, but if she got Nate back, can she really call it a bad bargain?

For Evie, the months drawing in to midwinter are going to be rough.

As for Nate, his late night runs are proving to be a lot of fun for him. But he can't lose sight of the fact that his condition is, at the heart of it, a curse. His father found a way to make his bearshirt legacy work for him, but whether Nate wants to follow that path depends quite a lot on his lingering resentment of his father -- not to mention his own problems with controlling his temper.

M:  I just love Nate's little sister, Katie. *I'm hoping* Will we get to see more of her and how she grows in her ability?

MR:  Oh, yes. She's part of Soul Hunt all the way through. It's important to remember, however, that having a talent like hers is not necessarily the best thing for a little girl growing up, nor does it give her any more common sense. Evie and Sarah have taken her under their wings, so to speak, but Katie's got a mind of her own. So when it comes to, say, using her talents to get back at someone who's been picking on her at school, well, she's going to need a good long talking-to.

M:  I could probably keep going with questions for you on the series, but I will hold off on any others as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is yet to read the books. ;)

MR:  Ha! It's actually kind of difficult to answer these without spilling everything -- I'm really excited by some of the work I've done in Soul Hunt, but to explain why would ruin the surprise. (I'm terrible about searching out spoilers, myself; I have to exercise a lot of self-control to keep from looking up details on the internet.)

M:  Do you have that one line, paragraph, page or section you wish you could go back and redo?

MR:  Good Lord, yes. Some lines read as complete clunkers to me now, some allusions didn't turn out the way I wanted, and a few passages just make me cringe. I think most authors feel the same about some part of their old work, regardless of how good it is.

But if I were actually given the chance to fix it? I don't know. There's a point where I have to be willing to step back and say "all right, I've done a lot with this, I will now let it be." Poking at it after that's done would feel strange

M:  Any particular section or scene in the series you enjoyed the most writing? What scene was the most difficult to write? Why?

MR:  Evie's passage through the catacombs below the Back Bay in Spiral Hunt went through several versions, but I loved it each time. In Wild Hunt, there were so many that were fun to write -- I'd be laughing as I finished up the Storrow Drive passage, no matter which draft I was on, and I kept having an internal soundtrack with an awful lot of electric guitar for the very end. For Soul Hunt, there's a passage involving flute music in the dark that I wrote long before working out the rest of the plot, as well as the very last chapter. That chapter seemed to have crystallized in my head from the moment I finished the first draft of Wild Hunt, and it felt so right to finally have it on the page.

Strangely, I had real trouble writing the second chapter of Wild Hunt, simply because I'd put Katie in danger. That scene felt almost painful to draft, and I'm not really sure why, since I've endangered the poor girl before and since.

There are other scenes that felt like pulling teeth, and a lot of Soul Hunt came together slowly -- probably because I'd gotten a little too deeply into Evie's point of view, and for much of Soul Hunt she is in a very dark place. It felt good to write her out of that, but that darkness still clung now and then.

M:  I believe I saw on your blog that you have short stories out there too. And a story in an Anthology, Steampunk II Steampunk Reloaded. Would you like to tell us a little on your short stories?

MR:  My short stories are often little experimental pieces, dabbling in one genre or another. I've got a couple involving Evie -- "Christmas Apples," the first short story I ever sold, and "Knight of Coins," which is available online at Baen's Universe. Some of them play with fairy tales and folklore in ways similar to what I've done with Evie: "Sparking Anger," for instance, uses the stories of Baba Yaga as a starting point, and "Goosegirl" retells that fairy tale through a more fractured point of view. I'm also still really proud of "The Welsh Squadron," which was my King Arthur story (everyone's allowed at least one) and my apocalypse-with-livestock story "Goat Eschatologies."

I've also had a few steampunk-ish pieces out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the first of which was picked up for Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded. I think they're closer to "industrial fantasy" than strict steampunk, but both "The Guilt Child" and "A Serpent in the Gears" use the elements of steampunk well. A few more will be coming out in BCS in the months to come -- one involving opera and industrial accidents, and one about the transition from fantasy to industrial fantasy.

M:  I believe you are at a couple places on the Internet here. Where all can we find you? Are you on Twitter too?

MR:  I'm finally putting together a Facebook page, after years of dragging my feet. I'm not on Twitter, though; I suspect it would turn into one hell of a timesink for me. I've been trying to update my blog more often, and occasionally I guest post at The Magic District.

If you would like to follow Margaret Ronald on Facebook, CLICK HERE.
M:  Do you have any authors who have influenced you?

MR:  Quite a few: Tim Powers and Neil Gaiman sparked my interest in contemporary or urban fantasy before it was really named so, and since then I've found even more in the genre. I'm also in awe of Connie Willis' plotting, and wish I could pull off the complex patterns of her work. And there's undoubtedly more influences that I don't even realize have affected me.

M:  Any advice to aspiring authors?

MR:  Write. It's very easy to sit back and aspire, very easy to proclaim "well, I ought to write something about that," or "I've got a great idea for a book," but if you're not actually writing, then all you're doing is twiddling your thumbs. Write it, revise it, send it out, and when it comes back send it out again. Individual practices differ, of course, but the basic advice is the easiest to overlook, and it's simply this: write.

M:  Is there anything no one has asked you would like to be asked?

MR:  I'd always wondered if I could make up character details on the spur of the moment -- say, if someone asked me what Evie's favorite color or Nate's least favorite food was, I'd wonder if I could come up with a convincing answer quickly. Of course, I suspect some of that just derives from a desire to show off how well I know these characters.

M:  What was the last book you just finished? What is next on you shelf to read?

MR:  I finally finished Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold last night. (I'd expected to read a few chapters, then go to bed. I should really know better by now.) As for what's next, I'm hoping to pick up N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Kingdoms, or possibly some good YA fiction. Any recommendations?

M:  Just a fun question, If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

MR:  I'd love to wander around Europe with my husband for a few months. He'd get the cathedrals, I'd get the castles, we'd both get the museums . . . bliss. Maybe someday.

M:  Thank you again for the wonderful interview Margaret. And here's wishing you all the best in words and pages.

MR:  Thank you very much, and the best wishes to you and all your readers!

Do you want to read Margaret Ronalds' short stories?
Here are the titles with the link.  Just click the title to jump over and check it out:

The Third Book Being Released
December 28, 2010
Soul Hunt

The hunter has become the hunted . . .

Without even realizing what she was doing, Genevieve Scelan has made a bad bargain. The Red Sox fanatic and supernatural tracker known as "Hound" for her extraordinary power of scent wishes she could leave magic behind now that she’s eradicated the evil cabal that oppressed Boston’s undercurrent for centuries. But now her talent’s fading, the local adepts’ squabbles are turning ugly, and worse, she’s just discovered that she owes a very large debt to someone . . . or something. And in the undercurrent, debts are taken very seriously.

Evie has until midwinter to pay up . . . or else. So when she gets a job that might save her—even if she’s breaking all her own rules to take it—she can’t pass it up. Now, with danger at her back and uncertain allies beside her, she’ll trace the very bones of Boston itself to protect both the city and the people she loves.


Time for a GIVEAWAY!
Margaret is grateful enough to giveaway the First Two books of the series to one lucky follower!
Spiral Hunt & Wild Hunt
And Maybe! Just Maybe! IF Margaret has her copies of Soul Hunt, she MIGHT throw a copy in the package too.

Here are the rules:
~~> The books are coming from Margaret, and International entries are welcome!

~~> Leave a Meaningful comment here and that gets you entered.

~~> Please leave an email address, so when the winner is pulled I will be able to contact you.  If you don't want to leave your email address in the comments, please email it to me with your screen name you commented under.

~~> The Contest will end:  December 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST as celebration for the release of Soul Hunt. Winner to be pulled December 29, 2010 using

~~> Winner will have 48 hours to contact me back with an address to ship to.

Would you like extra entries?
Well, why not.  You do not have to do these but, it will increase your entry numbers if you do.

~~ Margaret asked if there where any recommendations for YA Fiction.  Leave a suggestion for +2.
~~> Be a follower here at My words and pages by Google Friend Connect.
(just click that little Follow button on the left.)
+2 Old Followers (before December 15, 2010)
+1 New Followers

~~> +1 For a meaningful Comment on my review of Spiral Hunt, HERE. And/or Wild Hunt, HERE.
(do remember these reviews where early on in my reviewing days)

+2 Tweet about the contest. Just copy and paste this line with the link for ease - 
GIVEAWAY: First TWO books of Margaret Ronald's Evie Scelan Series @mellhay blog:
(Can tweet several times which is greatly appreciated, BUT only get extra entry one time.)

+2 for Visible Sidebar Link

+4 Blog post

~~ +1 for adding up your points.

~~> Please leave links to be eligible for the extra chances, so I can verify (tweets, sidebar, blog posts, @twitter names, etc.). If I'm not able to verify the links of extra chances, they will be eliminated.