Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday's Beginnings (40)

Here we are again... another Monday.

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

Reading has been a little on the slow side this past week.  I finished Dante's Journey by JC Marino last week and got the review up.  And I started The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett.  I don't know what I have been doing that I have been behind in reading this week.  But, my dad got married on Saturday and yesterday stoped over to my friends for a little bit - to swim.  Today, well... I am under the weather with another cold.

I was hoping to get The Warded Man done today, but with not feeling well it hasn't happened.  I am hoping to feel better soon here.  I am tired of not feeling well.  This has been the worst for colds for me lately.

As for my Wishlist... I have added 5 more books to this growing list.

Books I received this week...

I have heard so many great thingds on this book, I just had to get it.  I am looking forward to reading it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mind Games follows the adventures of Justine Jones, a hopeless hypochondriac who longs to be normal. Instead, she is recruited to join a psychological hit squad in a city terrorized by criminals with strange powers…only to fall for her most dangerous target!

I purchased Wolf Hall for a book discussion, #tuesbooktalk on Twitter.  We read a short section and discuss it at 10:30 - 11:30 pm est.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.
So, now to you... How are you faring this week so far?  Does it look like a good reading week for you?

Here is to hoping you have a great week in words and pages.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Book Review: Dante's Journey

Dante's Journey

By:  JC Marino

Publisher:  Star Publish LLC

Publish Date:  February 2010

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 366 pages - 6"x9" size

Series:  Stand-alone novel

Recommendation:  If you would like in interesting trip through Hell with a little bit of a lesson to think on.

Book Synopsis:
A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through.  No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world - Hell itself.

Joe was in hot pursuit of his family's killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn't about to let a little thing like deth slow him down.

So, with a healthy dose of New England stubbornness and the help of a mysterious guide, Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante's Inferno in hopes of finding jusctice for his wife and children.

However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water... VERY hot.

First Sentence:
Why is it that my love for God, my family, and my job couldn't keep me from wanting to fit Filippo Argenti with a one-size-fits-all toe tag?

My Review and Summary:
Joe Dante is a Boston PD who is hot on the trail of a drug dealer, Filippo Argenti, whom Joe feels is responsible for the death of his daughters and wife.  But, finds himself in Hell, or is told so by a man named Virgil.  Virgil tells Joe he is there to help Joe through Hell and hints that he does not belong here.  But Joe thinks Virgil must be a little crazy for thinking they are in Hell, as he is hot on the trail of Argenti.  Joe goes to the ends of Hell, seeing different sins and the torment of the sins and even helps a few people along the way while trying to find his family's killer.  While on his journey for vengeance, Joe helps a few people learn of and how to help themselves. On this journey Joe starts to think on the sins he sees and in talking with the ones he helps, starts to see or learn...

Dante's Journey is based off of the classic, Divine Comedy.  I thought, at first, some of the sins where not really sins to justify what the people had to live with for eternity.  Then I reminded myself how this story is in a different time, 1960's, and the sins where different then.  Boy have things changed.  I also realized as Joe talked to these people and went through his journey, that it wasn't necessarily what they did as it was how they felt about it and not admitting to the guilt that placed them where they were.  And even though Joe is from 1960's he is told repeatedly that time moves differently in Hell.  You start to see that time is moving faster in the "real world" as opposed to Joe's time in Hell because the author uses many major events in American history - both distant and closer past times - to bring the story to us.

You get the current story of Joe going through Hell and learning many things.  But you also learn of the past, what ended Joe here in Hell, through memories and flashbacks.  As the journey in Hell moves forward from where Joe starts in Hell, you also get the story of Joe and his family before he died through to where he dies.  It is almost like two stories that meet in the end.

The journey is a straight forward one that I enjoyed, I didn't have to keep notes and I enjoyed that.  This read is not a lot of action but more a journey to find one's true self and even beliefs and faith.  I have to say I Loved the irony in all the torments in Hell with the relation to the crimes.  At times I thought Joe was a little narrow minded or childish-like, BUT I do understand he had one thing on his mind, and well if the same person kept showing up as being the one the fingers pointed to as the killer of my whole family. Well, I would probably track him down in Hell as well with nothing but sweet revenge on my mind.

In the end, it was a fun read and I do have to say I liked how the journey made me think on what we do to others and ourselves.  And Virgil... I was suspicious of him through the book.  Why was he to help Joe through Hell?  I just wasn't to sure about him, but in the end I enjoyed the way his character played out. There was usage of religious thoughts along with some sensitive issues of the past years.  I think there is more to the book than just a quick read and be done with it.  This is also a read that is different from my other fantasy reads.  It's not a story with magic, good and evil.  This is a different angle through Hell.

I received a copy of this book from the author, as per a request I sent to him.  Thank you.

This book qualifies for my Speculative Fiction Challenge @ Book Chick City.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Looking Forward to... (4)

This is becoming a regular meme for me to do lately.  There are so many amazing new books coming to the shelves at all times and I have started this year really getting into the new reads.  Of course the books on the shelves already are on my lists as well, and I am picking them up too.

This week is a new book by Jon Sprunk, Shadow's Son:

This is a Fantasy read and from what Goodreads has listed, is to be released June 22, 2010.  I am always looking for new writer and stories, and this one sounds to fall in that category for me.

Here is the synopsis from Jon's Site:
In the holy city of Othir, treachery and corruption lurk at the end of every street, just the place for a freelance assassin with no loyalties and few scruples.

Caim makes his living on the edge of a blade, but when a routine job goes south, he is thrust into the middle of an insidious plot. Pitted against crooked lawmen, rival killers, and darkest sorcery, his only allies are the socialite daughter of his last target and a guardian spirit no one else can see. But in this fight for his life, Caim only trusts his knives and his insticts, but they won't be enough when his quest for justice leads him from Othir's hazardous back alleys to its shining corridors of power. To unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the empire, he must claim his birthright as the Shadow's Son...
If you would like to visit Jon's official Web Site, Click here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (28)

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.

List the book and author so other participants can get their hand on it if they choose to read it as well.

This Week:

After an eternity, a hint of red tinged the horizon, followed by orange, yellow, and then a glorious white. The other corelings slipped back down to the Core before the yellow touched the sky, but the giant waited until the last, its rows of teeth bared as it hissed at him.

The Warded Man
By Petter V. Brett
page 68

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday's Beginnings (39)

Here we are again... another Monday.

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

Reading have been on the slow side for me this past week.  Last weekend I was sick so not much reading done.  This week past was just kind of yuckie for my reading.  It just seemed that we had some sort of running or something going on.  Thursday was school picnic day, whole day spent at the amusement park.  Friday was a day of cleaning because Saturday was a cousins wedding (who lives about an hour away).  But, with all that running I did get Before They Are Hanged By Joe Abercrombie done and the review up, click here.  And I did get the review for the graphic novel/ comic of Hopeless up as well, click here.  Sunday, well Sunday I ended up sleeping in a little bit and at the doctors.  I have another sinus infection and my son has passed me his pink eye he got from his friend at school.  But the doctors have said with this virus for the cold it too has settled to cause pink eye for some people.  

So, today I have stayed home and rested.  I did finish Dante's Journey By JC Marino today.  So I am hoping to do the review for it here very soon.  I am hoping to get started into The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett here this evening.  I am really looking forward to this book.

As for my Wishlist... I think I had a light week on myself.  I added 4 books.  I am loving it all these books I am adding, now I just have to find time to read them all.  And I think the authors would be pleased with you all too.

Books I received this week...

I won a signed copy of Hunted By Others By Jess Haines at Abigail's blog All Things Urban Fantasy.  Thank you! I am looking forward to this one.

Book Synopsis:
They are the Others - the vampires, mages, and werewolves once thought to exist only in our imaginations. Now they're stepping out of the shadows, and nothing in our world will ever be the same again...

In a town like this, being a P.I. can be murder

Shiarra Waynest's detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm - if it doesn't kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York's most powerful vampires.

As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knos her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend - a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing - and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren't always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil - whether she likes it or not...

Another cool win for me was Empire In Black and Gold By Adrian Tchaikovsky. This sounds like a cool Fantasy read.

Book Synopsis:
The city-states of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity, and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade, and a belief in the reasonable nature of the neighbors.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, its killing Art... And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the aging Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer, and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its path.

But first he must stop himself from becoming the Empire's latest victim.

This is another great sounding book, Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells, I won at Fantasy Literature.

Book Synopsis:
In a world where being of mixed blood is a major liability, Sabina doesn't really fit in. And being an assassin - the only profession fit for an outcast - doesn't help matters. But she's never brought her work home. Until now.

Her latest mission is uncomfortably complex, and threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races. As Sabina scrambles to figure out which side she's on, she uncovers a tangled political web, some nasty facts about her family and some unexpected new talents. Any of these things could be worryingly life-changing, but together, they could be fatal...

So, do you think that is enough books for one week?  No! Okay, I have one more to add to the list.

So, I had $5 towards my next book at Borders.  So, since it expired today I had to stop yesterday when I went to the doctors and spend it.  I was surprised to see this book on the shelves as it isn't due to be out until June 1st.  So I picked it up to add to the stack here for June.  I did enjoy the first book in this series and was curious to see where book 2 goes.  Would you like to read my review of Lord of the Changing Winds, click here.  Would you like to enter the GIVEAWAY for Lord of the Changing Winds? It ends May 31st, click here.

Book Synopsis:
The epic adventure of griffins and mortals continues...

Gereint Enseichen of Casmantium knows little and cares less about the recent war in which his king tried to use griffins and fire to wrest territory from the neighboring country of Feierabiand. Now, his kingdom's unexpected defeat offers him a chance to escape from his own servitude.

But now that the griffins find themselves in a position of strength, they are not inclined to forgive and the entire kingdom finds itself in deadly peril. Willing or not, Gereint is caught up in a desperate struggle between the griffins and the last remaining mage...

So, these are a lot of books for me in one week but all ones I really wanted.  I am going to have to go through my shelf and reorganize here soon.

So, now to you... How are you faring this week so far?  Does it look like a good reading week for you?

Here is to hoping you have a great week in words and pages.


Who are is that? Where are they? What are they doing?

Why not Showcase Characters in Wondrous lands and the amazing things they do?

Do you have times when you say "Why did they do that?" whether good or bad.
OR even "Wow!" or "What did they do?"
The what could be a question or something surprising or even shocking.
Then we have the times where the characters have done something you like or even don't like.

This can help me show case these few times or even to share something different (in the world I'm in) to share a strength of a character.

Tonya Tiresias, or TT for short - she is one person Joe Dante meets in his journey through the different levels of Hell, and travels with him for a short time.

She is to be residing with others of the same sin, tending to their duties on one of the many circle levels of Hell, hers is the 8th Circle in the 4th bolgia.  But this is not where Joe meets her the first time.

There is something different about TT, almost backwards.  Well, she is backwards... Her head is turned so she is seeing from her back.  This is one of the punishments for her sin.  So TT walks backwards, with grace, for all eternity in Hell.  So, what was her sin... you will just have to try the book.

I found the punishment for the sins interesting and ironic in this book so far.  TT's was an ironic one, that just stuck with me.

Dante's Journey
By: JC Marino

Friday, May 21, 2010

Looking Forward to... (3)

Well, many of you have noticed I am on a fantasy kick lately.  I have really been enjoying by fantasy reads and anthologies as well.  So, I am going to add to the list another one I am looking forward to.

You may notice my Desired list on the right side bar.  I am going to start going down through these books, one a week.  Just to give you a little glimps at what I am looking forward to this summer into winter.

The first book on the list is to be out June 22.  It is an anthology in fantasy worlds.

This Anthology has a great list of amazing authors. 

Here is the list:

Introduction: Check Your Dark Lord at the Door by Lou Anders & Jonathan Strahan
Goats of Glory by Steven Erikson
Tides Elba: A Tale of the Black Company by Glen Cook
Bloodsport by Gene Wolfe
The Singing Spear by James Enge
A Wizard of Wiscezan by C.J. Cherryh
A Rich Full Week by K. J. Parker
A Suitable Present for a Sorcerous Puppet by Garth Nix
Red Pearls: An Elric Story by Michael Moorcock
The Deification of Dal Bamore by Tim Lebbon
Dark Times at the Midnight Market by Robert Silverberg
The Undefiled by Greg Keyes
Hew the Tint Master by Michael Shea
In the Stacks by Scott Lynch
Two Lions, A Witch, and the War-Robe by Tanith Lee
The Sea Troll's Daughter by Caitlin R Kiernan
Thieves of Daring by Bill Willingham
The Fool Jobs by Joe Abercrombie

I look forward to blending my two favorite into one book, Anthology and Fantasy.

Book Review: Before They Are Hanged

Before They Are Hanged

By:  Joe Abercrombie

Publisher:  Pyr

Publish Date:  2008

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 539 pages - 6"x9"

Series:  2nd book in The First Law series, To read the review of Book 1 - The Blade Iteself, Click here.

Recommendation:  If you like lots of action and not to squimish of blood, and a magical journey... I would start with The Blade Itself and dive right into this read.

Book Synopsis:
Superior Glokta has a problem.  How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors when your allies can by no meands be trusted and your predecessor vanished without a trace?  It's enough to make a torturer want to run - if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country.  Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory.  There is only one problem - he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past.  The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one.  They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters.  If they didn't hate each other quite so much.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered.  Bloody battles will be won and lost.  Bitter enemies will be forgiven - but not before they are hanged.

First Sentence:
Damn mist.  It gets in your eyes, so you can't see no more than a few strides ahead.

My Review and Summary:
Before They Are Hanged picks up right where The Blade Itself left off.  Bayaz - the First Mage, Quai his apprentice, the Navigator, Logen or Bloody Nine as he's known, Ferro, and Jezel are all on their journey to the edge of the world to get the seed to save everyone.  Glokta and his practicals are in the Southern city Dagoskan, to save a doomed city from the Gurkish.  Colonel West is up North fighting with, or for, the Prince against the savage Northmen.  It all sounds simple where the characters are and what they are doing.  But, the journey with these characters always seems to go by quickly for me with the wonderous things, good and bad, that happen.

I enjoyed The Blade Itself, but I think I enjoyed Before They Are Hanged even more.  Joe Abercrombie has a wonderful way of telling the story full of action and wonder.  I enjoyed reading of all the happenings with these characters in the different ends of the world, to see there is a great deal going on around the world and needing help in fixing. 

I don't know which set of characters I enjoy reading about more.  They are all have different happenings and characteristics that pull me into their stories.  Glokta is always a pleasure to read with his suspicious negative thoughts are always interesting in how he comes to his conclusions of people and happenings.  And he is usually right in his suspicions.  Bayaz and the crew have the magic with them and the great journey.  Magic and wonder always interest me.  Colonel West has the Northern Men coming to him and the crazy chaos.

The characters have all gone through great hardships of their own kind.  They are all grew greatly by the end of this book.  The Blade Itself defined who they where at the start, and now they are changing.  I got to learn more about the Eaters in the south and Shanka (or Flatheads) in the north.  Also, some history leading up to the reason Khaluh is doing what he is doing.

You start to see the inside workings of the history to why they are where they are and the world as it is.  I love how the history ties everyone together.  Even why Bayaz picked the crew, and yet wonder the purpose of a few of them.

There was one thing I would have liked to have, a map.  BUT I really liked how Joe Abercrombie drew a map of the world with his words and I didn't need a physical map to help visualize the world.

I have The Last Arguement of Kings on the shelf here, and will be looking forward to the time I can squeeze it into the schedule to see what all happens to everyone.


This book qualifies for my Speculated Fiction Challenge @ Book Chick City.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Comic/Graphic Novel Review: Hopeless

Before I get into this review I just want to mention I am new to the graphic novel/comic experience.  Well... yes, new.  I've had some touches of it as my brother collected graphic novels, or as I call them comic books, all through childhood and into adulthood.  He actually even drew some of his own (very good ones if I might add), but living in an area where there is no publishers for it, didn't get his break into drawing for a company. (Real shame as he has a talented hand and mind.)

So, I hope I have done well in this review for you and not gave to much away.

By:  Tom Brown and Bryn Colvin

Published:  Not yet in print, BUT is available online for you to read and follow

 Format:  Online read

 Recommendation:  Yes, if you enjoy dark and magical found in the way of graphic novel.

 Synopsis from Site:
Demons  is more like a conventional comic in terms of structure and layout. It begins with the witch Annamarie Nightshade visiting a gothic house, and finding an abandoned child. Annamarie takes the girl home with her, but Salamandra’s display of wild magic convinces her they won’t be living together. Instead, Salamandra is sent to the Pallid Rock Orphanage, where she does not fit in and is not happy. Rather than accept her circumstances, she runs away. Meeting an odd, beribbonned girl, Sal sees her new friend’s hideout, and then visits her own home. There, she has a run in with a demon. The girls attempt to leave the island, and fail. Salamandra is found by Frampton Jones, and returned to the orphanage, where she learns that her sneaking out may have contributed to the death of Miss Calder.

First Sentence:
Who in Hopeless can remember when they last felt the sun's warmth on their skin?
My Review and Summary:
This comic takes place in a town called Hopeless.  Hopeless is an island off the coast of Maine where the sun doesn't shine.  Only fog and dreariness is present in this town that leaves its children parent-less.  Why?  That's what the comic story starts to explain.  There are things... demons in the town of Hopeless.

Salamandra, a young little girl, is found alone in her home by Annamarie.  Annamarie realizes Salamandra can not stay with her, so takes Salamandra to the local orphanage where all the parent-less children are.  Shortly upon settling in at the orphanage Salamandra realizes she is different from the other children, and deciding she would rather be alone... then runs away.  In doing so she meets another little girl.  Who is this little girl wanting to be Sal's friend?  I don't trust her.  I think she is more than what we realize.  Salamandra is a special, magical little girl.  Could she be the one to save Hopeless from the demons and bring the light back to a dark little island?  I have a few questions about Salamandra, and look forward to learning about her.

I enjoyed looking at the images in this comic.  The images are completed as if the comic is printed.  They are black and white, or grey, with just touches of color at the right points to draw your eye.  And the color even gives the eerie feel to the scene - making me wonder what will jump from the shadows.  Every few scenes you do see creatures, or maybe demons, lurking in the shadows.  I have to say my favorite to look at are the eyes of the characters.  I really like how they pop out to me and the look in the expressions of them.

I want to mention this comic is still a work in progress. By this I mean the drawings are complete with the story, but the story is not completely posted yet. There is at least one page of the comic added each week.

If you would like to stop by the site and read along with the comic, click here. Scroll down to categories and click on Chapter one.  Go to the end of the posts and start reading.  The nice thing of this site is you can click on the first picture to enlarge it to screen size.  Then when you are done with that page you can click the next button to get the next page on your screen, full size.  There is also another comic story for you to read as well, The Blind Fisherman.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (27)

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.

List the book and author so other participants can get their hand on it if they choose to read it as well.

This Week:

Three huge hovering crafts rose in the distance, beautiful glowing disks the size of small jet planes, but they moved more like humming birds.  They resembled the ones I'd seen in the desert when I first got here, but these were closer, close enough to hear.

Dante's Journey
By JC Marino

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday's Beginnings (38)

Here we are again... another Monday.

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

Reading is going kind of slow for me currently.  I was hoping to get a lot more done over the last weekend, but I ended up down with a head cold.  I am feeling better but working on getting over it and the kid was sick as well - not fun stuff.  But we are all on the mend and looking forward to a great week.  School picnic week. :)
I am currently working on Dante's Journey by J.C. Marino.  I did get done with Lord of the Changing Winds By Rachel Neumeier and Before They Are Hanged By Joe Abercrombie.  The review for Lord of the Changing Winds is up for review and there is a giveaway for the second copy I have here.  If you would like to read the review, click here.  To go to the giveaway to enter, click here.  I will be working on my review for Before They Are Hanged, and a review for an online graphic novel (or comic) Hopeless.  So I am hoping for a big week in posts.

As for my Wishlist... well, of course it is still growing. :) That is part of the fun of blogging and reading blogs.  I have added 14 books to my want list at Goodreads.  Well, I have really started adding books again.  It seems for a while I wasn't adding as much but now... wow.  I am loving it though.  And I think the authors would be pleased to with you all.

Books I have received...
Dante's Journey By JC Marino.  I read a review of this book at Tyson's blog State of Review and thought it sounded interesting, so I contacted the author for a chance to review it for him.  I just received it in the mail over the weekend and I am currently reading it.

Synopsis from the cover:

A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world - Hell itself.

Joe was in hot pursuit of his family's killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn't about to let a little thing like death slow him down.

So, with a healthy dose of Neew England stubbernness and the help of a mysterious guide Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante's Inferno in hopes of finding justice for his wife and children.

However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water... VERY hot.

Books I have won:
I think pretty much everyone has heard of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.  I am one of the few how have not read this yet.  I won it from Chasity at Lovin' and Livin' Life in the 808.  Thank you!  As I have really been wanting to get this read.  I am thinking I will really enjoy this book.

Do you recognize the hearts with fangs? These are cool little tattoo's from Nicole Peeler, author of Tempest Rising.  They are the same ones as on the cover of Tempest Rising.  I had to have some of these so asked Nicole and she was kind enough to send me some. Thank you!

These are book markers I won from Jackie at Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories.  Thank you! They are beautiful. :)

So, now to you... How are you faring this week so far?  Does it look like a good reading week for you?

Here is to hoping you have a great week in words and pages.


This is a new meme I am hoping to start doing. 

What they are doing? 
 Why not Showcase Characters in Wondrous lands and the amazing things they do?

Do you have times when you say "Why did they do that?" whether good or bad.
OR even "Wow!" or "What did they do?"
The what could be a question or something surprising or even shocking. 
Then we have the times where the characters have done something you like or even don't like.

This can help me show case these few times or even to share something different (in the world I'm in) to share a strength of a character.

Ferro, the only female of the group, from the south where the Gurkish are what she hates.

Currently in the great flat plain as crossing to the Edge of the World, Westward, with a crew of specially picked men for the seed.

She has amazingly accurate aim with the bow and arrow and her cat keen-like eyes.  She can take down a flying bird high in the air straight above her, perfectly... neatly killed in order to be cooked up for dinner.  A shot that even the best could not have done.  The arrow was expected by others to come back down and hit one of them or one of their horses.

There is something different and special about this woman.  She is very interesting and strange with what she can do.

Before They Are Hanged
By: Joe Abercrombie

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

I want to thank everyone for entering into the contest.  I've received a lot of great comments on the blog and helping ideas.  I do appreciate all the great comments, and kind words.  You all are great followers!

I let select the winner.  I had 77 entries! Thank you all!  I gave everyone a number in the order as you entered, 1-77 (any double entries where only counted as one - the first one). 

Using to select the winning persons number who gets a little help with their wishlist...

the winner # 58...

Who was E.J. Stevens!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Balderdash (32)

is a weekly meme hosted by Ryan at Wordsmithonia.

This is very easy to do!
If you comment on blogs you can do this too.
Write down all the word verifictions you get while posting comments on other peoples blogs.
You then play Balderdash with them.

In case you don't know how to play:
You take the made up word and come up with an authentic sounding definition for it.
Do this for a week and then post your best or favorite ones every Thursday.

Here are mine for this week:
(I am a little short on words this week.  I didn't get very many easily used words. Sorry, I will try better next week.)

sisbar - a local restaurant/lounge where sisters, either blood related or women who are close friends - like sisters, to go where they can eat at the buffet bar - with different food special days, or in the evening to have a few fun drinks and laugh for enjoying great friends as company.

chipande - chip and dip try that is curved up on the edges so the chips don't fall off and a separate dip bowl to hold the dip in one place for you to dip away with one hand while holding your book with the other.  The tray fits prefectly beside you on the couch.

My son picked just one word this week from our short list:

frifyi - a type of naucho, french fry, and curly fry mixed together with cheese sauce.

Book Giveaway: Lord of the Changing Winds

Well, I got a TWO copies of this book from the Author, Rachel Neumeier.  So, naturally I thought of all of YOU!  Figured I would have a giveaway here since I really only need one for my shelves.

If you would like to check out my review, click here.

Soooo, would you like to win a copy of the book for yourself?

Here are the rules:
~~> Unfortunately, I am sending the book from me, so I am sorry to mention this is a giveaway only for US and Canada.  Sorry!

~~> Must be a follower by Google Friend Connect

~~> I am going to pull the calculator out for this one.  I am going to give a few extra chances to win this book.
+1 For Commenting on this post

+2 Old Followers (before 5/12/2010)
+1 New Followers

+2 Tweet about the contest - 
Win a book w/GRIFFINS, Lord of the Changing Winds by Rachel Neumeier @mellhay blog:
(Can tweet several times, BUT only get extra entry one time.)

+2 Sidebar

+4 Blog post

~~> Please leave links to be eligible for the extra chances, so I can verify. If I'm not able to verify the links of extra chances, they will be eliminated.

~~> 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:  May 31, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST.  Winner to be pulled June 1, 2010 using

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: Lord of the Changing Winds

Lord of the Changing Winds
The Griffin Mage: Book One

By:  Rachel Neumeier

Publisher:  Orbit Books

Publish Date:  May 2010

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 367 pages

Series:  First book of The Griffin Mage Series

Recommendation:  If you would like to read a straight forward fantasy style read, with magic, and the amazing creatures of griffins.

Book Synopsis:
Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand.  For Kes, the course of her life seems set: she'll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted.  And she's content with that path - or she thinks she is.  Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer.  But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human...or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.

First Sentence:
The griffins came to Feierabiand with the early summer warmth, riding the wind out of the heights down to the tender green pastures of the foothills.

My Review and Summary:
Kes is a quiet shy (almost backwards) young girl who lives with her sister Tesme on their horse breeding farm, along with Jos the quiet man who has been with them for six years helping around the farm.  Kes is up in the woods collecting herbs for her stock when she spys the Griffins flying in the distance, and is distracted by their beauty.  After Kes returns home, she goes into the small village with her sister to celebrate the birth of magnificant horse of Tesme's.  While there a man comes looking for Kes, asking for her help.  Kes realizes something different about this man, that he must have a connection to the griffins by what she sees and feels. Kes willingly goes with this man and learns she can heal griffins, without her herbs.

The countries have divided themselves by the people and their abilities.  The setup of these abilities, or different magics, is started in this book as you learn a little about all of them and more of a few special ones.  The abilities are categorized as; Makers, Legists, and Animal Affinity.  These abilities are separated between three countries.  Makers, build things and are the best at their craft - to make the strongest and best walls, bridges, roads and such.  Legists, are amazing with words - making contracts that can not be broke or even with poetry.  Animal Affinity, have a connection with a specific type of animal and will possess control over it.  The Animal Affinity is the ability Kes's country folk possess, for example Tesme has an affinity for horses and Kes has accepted that she will not have an affinity and is talented with her herbs.  But Kes is about to learn a wonderous secret of herself...

Then there are Mages present as well; earth, cool, and fire.  And they all have a strange affect on each other.

I have not read many books of griffins.  So, I couldn't wait to get this book for just that reason.  There are no mysterious turns to the story, this story is a solid fantasy style read. 

I enjoyed reading the beauty drawn through words of the griffins and learning of them as the story went on.  In the first 100 pages I only felt for Bertaud and of his friendship with the King.  I wanted to connect with Kes and the griffins, yet they seemed... standoffish.  But, somewhere between 125 and 200 pages something happened, and I feel for Kes and the griffins and started to understand more of their personalities.  I think part of the connection I didn't feel was because I didn't trust the Griffin Mage.  I didn't like him in the first half of the story, but I came to understand him in the second half, and even start to like him in the end.  I think the author wants you to not trust Kairaithin along with finding it harder to connect with him and the griffins.  I started to realize it may be part of their nature since they are creatures of fire.  But in the end I accepted them for who they are and liked them.

The only thing about the read I had a hard time with were the names of the griffins.  It was hard for me to keep them separate at first as the names were rather long and similar to each other, example: Eskainiane Escaile Sehaikiu.  What did help was the author did usually give a description of the griffin by color with the names to help differentiate them, and after giving them nicknames I started to do well with them.

After reading this book, I am curious to see where the rest of the trilogy goes.  In the end of the story I felt I started to understand what makes all the characters work and would like to read the next book to see where they all go and what falls upon them.

I will be posting a contest tomorrow for the second book I have.  So, stay tuned and stop back around.

This review qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge @ Book Chick City.
I received a copy of this book from the author for review, after stressing my desire to read it.  Thank you.

Looking Forward To...

Orbit Books has announced this First book of a new trilogy at their site.  Click here to read more.

Here is a short blip Orbit published for what the story is about:
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airship technologies and the dawning Industrial Revolution, but magical forces still rule. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood and old feuds, Cat is betrayed by her family and forced to marry a powerful Cold Mage. As she is carried away to live a new life, fresh dangers threaten her every move and secrets form a language she cannot read. At least, not yet.

This sounds like an interesting read.  Orbit mentioned mages and dragons (which always seem to catch my eye) and just a little drop of steampunk added into a Victorian-era feeling story.  Sounds like something I may like.

Cold Magic, the first book in the trilogy, is due out in September 2010.

Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (26)

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.

List the book and author so other participants can get their hand on it if they choose to read it as well.

This Week:

Arlen didn't want to believe it.  There had to be safe places in the world.  But again the image of himself being thrown into the cellar flashed across his mind, and he knew that nowhere was truly safe at night.

The Warded Man
By Peter V. Brett
page 8

This is a teaser for me as well, as I have not started this book yet ~ it is the next read.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday's Beginnings (37)

Here we are again... another Monday.

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

I am currently working on Lord of the Changing Winds By Rachel Neumeier.  I am hoping to finish it up here tonight, and have the review up for you in a day or two.  AND I have an extra copy of Lord of the Changing Winds by Rachel Neumeier here as well, so that means a contest. :)  I need to get back to Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie as well.  I think I am going to have to do that this week as well.

I did get my review of Tiger Eye: The Curse of the Riddle Box by Marjorie M. Liu up.  If you would like to read the review of this PC Game, which I enjoyed, click here.

As for my Wish list... yes, it is still growing by leaps and bounds.  I have added 11 books that I want to Goodreads.  I am sooo in trouble with getting books done. :)  But, I am loving it.  And I think the authors should be happy with you all as well. 

Don't forget I am still having my 100 Followers giveaway!  Entries taken until May 15, 2010.  So, don't delay in entering. Click the blinking 100 on your screen.

Books I received this week:

I won Garden of the Moon by Steven Erikson with this wonderful cover from Fantasy Literature.  Thank you!

Well, I didn't get as much reading done yet today.  But I am hoping to get some reading done here tonight.

So, now to you... How are you faring this week so far?  Does it look like a good reading week for you?

Here is to hoping you have a great week in words and pages.

PC Game Review: Tiger'e Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box

Tiger Eye
Part 1: Curse of the Riddle Box

Released:  April 28, 2010

Author:  Marjorie M. Liu

Creating Company:  PassionFruit Games

My Review:
This game is based on on the Romance Novel by Marjorie M. Liu, Tiger Eye.  Stop! Don't run away at the mention of Romance.  I was concerned at how much romance this game would have.  It is not overly done at all.  I had no reason to worry, and neither do you.  The scenes you get in the game are done in good taste, with a graphic novel feel.  I found I enjoyed the short scenes, as a short show and break from the games.  These scenes made the games all the more fun for me to get through.

If you enjoy brain teasers I think you will enjoy this game.  I love brain teasers, and really enjoyed playing this game.  I loved bending my mind a little to play these games.  It took me about seven hours total to get through the game.  I felt the puzzles where fun and not overly taxing on me to try to figure out.  They where enough to get me to work my brain by not overly hard for me, that I wanted to give up.  Don't worry though, the game gives you directions with what you are to do with each game and if you have difficulty you can get hints or clues to help.  The evenings I sat down to play these games I found I would loose track of time and wanted to keep going into the night.

What kind of games where here to play you asked.  There are many different ones.  There are at each level a scene picture, based in China as the story starts there, with many items you need to find.  While finding these items you will also have three mini-games.  These mini-games could be word puzzles, puzzles with pictures needing rearranged or puzzles to piece together.  You also get bonus rounds at times to earn extra points, these are timed as you find 2 or 3 identical objects on the screen. 

Now, I need to go back through and play this game again.  As I finished the game I realized I didn't save up enough points to get to view the extra scenes and I would love to see them.  I have also added the novel the game is based on to my wishlist of books, Tiger EyeYes, you DO NOT have to read the book to play the game.

This game is the first part of two.  I am looking forward to part two coming out as I am curious to see where the story goes along with more wonderful games to play.

A free trial is available here and you are able to purchase the whole game here as well, click here.

Here is a trailer of what is in the game if you would like to take a look.

I received a copy of this game for review from Passionfruit Games.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Looking Forward to...

Marjorie M. Liu is doing a few bookcasts over at Orbit Books blog site.  If you would like to visit the first one, click here.

AND more wonderful news is Marjorie has posted an excerpt from the first chapter at her blog.  If you would like to jump over there and read it, here is the link.

This book is due out July 2010.

It appears we are going to learn more about Maxine, what she is ment for, and the boys as well.

Thank you for the excerpt Marjorie!   And looking forward to the book.