Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday's Beginnings (114) Vlog Style

It's Monday....

video
And I missed, forgot to grab, two books off the shelf! So, a second video!

video
Reviews Posted:
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Flame of Destiny by Colleen Helme

Special Posts:
Book Whore for November
NaNoWriMo Anyone?

As for my WANT List... I've only added 4 books.  Sorry, I feel I'm failing you.  But I'm really narrowing down since I wont be adding books to the stack much.
Books Received:
For Review:
Goodreads Synopsis:
The first half of the worst week of Peter's life happened when he was a young boy. Being cursed by a witch was bad enough, but what do you do when you don't even know what the curse is, or when it is supposed to go off? Twenty years later, in a part of London shrouded in myths and urban legends, it does.


Peter might have found his one true love, but there's a problem. His friend might be able to remove the curse, but there's a catch. There's a monster hunting people in London, but no one believes it. A secret government branch is investigating, but they're incompetent. And the woman Peter loves is doomed to die, but it's not the first time.

The second half of the worst week of Peter's life is about to begin.
 
Purchased:
Goodreads Synopsis:
JUSTINE JONES FACES HER ULTIMATE ENEMY: HERSELF!

In an attempt to put her unhappy past behind her, Justine Jones throws herself into nursing school and planning her wedding to Otto Sanchez, the man of her dreams. But something is off. Random details aren’t adding up…and is it her imagination, or are her friends and fiancĂ© keeping secrets from her? And what’s with this strange sense of unease, and her odd new headaches?

Justine tries to stay upbeat as Midcity cowers under martial law, sleepwalking cannibals, and a mysterious rash of paranormal copycat violence, but her search for answers leads her into the most dangerous mind game yet.

With the help of unlikely allies, including her paranoid dad and best frenemy Simon, Justine fights her ultimate foe…and unravels the most startling mystery of all.

Goodreads Synopsis:
My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.


I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.

My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…
 
Free Download:
Goodreads Synopsis:
For seventeen year old Mina Singer, falling in love with an Arthurian Knight on a white horse was never part of the plan - especially being that she's an ordinary college girl living in the twenty first century.

As Mina finds herself catapulted into a land she believed only existed in the bedtime stories of her childhood, she soon discovers that Fairyland is not quite as innocent as she imagined.

The question is...who will come out alive?

Haunting, beautiful and sexy, The Forest of Adventures, is a dark romantic quest into the land of true and forbidden love.

Winnings:
Thank you Bastard Books.
Goodreads Synopsis:
Armageddon averted, the world returns to business as usual. Unfortunately for Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg, business as usual sucks.

His night out interrupted by a horde of kidnapping zombies, what could possibly be worse? The resurrection of the Anti-Christ, that's what. Caught in the middle of a supernatural pissing match between the Devil's wife, a legion of undead, and an overachieving necromancer, Frank must survive long enough to stop Hell from being unleashed upon humanity; Again.
 
Thank you StephanieD @ Misfit Salon
Goodreads Synopsis:
From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.

Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium.

Bram Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even have imagined.

~~Hope you all have a wonderful week in words and pages!  Let me know whats in store for you.

In celebration for Halloween today I figured I'd share a Halloween song.  This one has so many amazing classics in it.  Do hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blog Book Chat (20) Schedule

Robyn and I couldn't wait for the print version of this book to come out, so we both picked up the audio version.

Head Rush
#3 Disillusionist Series
By:  Carolyn Crane

Goodreads Synopsis:
JUSTINE JONES FACES HER ULTIMATE ENEMY: HERSELF!

In an attempt to put her unhappy past behind her, Justine Jones throws herself into nursing school and planning her wedding to Otto Sanchez, the man of her dreams. But something is off. Random details aren’t adding up…and is it her imagination, or are her friends and fiancĂ© keeping secrets from her? And what’s with this strange sense of unease, and her odd new headaches?

Justine tries to stay upbeat as Midcity cowers under martial law, sleepwalking cannibals, and a mysterious rash of paranormal copycat violence, but her search for answers leads her into the most dangerous mind game yet.

With the help of unlikely allies, including her paranoid dad and best frenemy Simon, Justine fights her ultimate foe…and unravels the most startling mystery of all.
 
Schedule:
Stop 1 ~ November 3, 2011 ~ End of first audio download, End Ch. 9
Stop 2 ~ November 10, 2011 ~ End of book

Book Review: Flame of Destiny

Flame of Destiny

By:  Colleen Helme

Publisher:  Mundania Press

Publish Date:  January 2011

Format:  Paperback 249pgs, Trade Size

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st book of The Flame series

Recommendation:  Oh Yes!  Highly recommended fantasy read, full of action and a magical world.

Book Synopsis:
For Callista, joining the Elite Guard will give her the means to find the murderer who killed her family.  With the sword of her ancestors, she enters the Academy and soon discovers latent powers only heard of in legends.  Her uncanny skills do not go unnoticed, and when her first assignment goes terribly wrong, she is saved by a man whose destiny becomes entwined with her own.  Soon, she is forced to re-consider who her enemies really are.  As her power awakens, she is drawn into a web of deceit that will ultimately shake everything she believes in.  With a new sense of her identity, she must confront a dark evil hidden behind an unspeakable secret.  This evil threatens to destroy her and the man she has come to love.  Will she be strong enough to withstand this power, or will she become the very thing she has sworn to destroy?

First Sentence:
The afternoon sunlight glinted off the crystal stone of her sword, sending a prism of color onto her desk.

My Thoughts and Review:
Callista has spent two years at the academy learning to be one of the Elite Guard hoping to be a stepping stone to bring her closer to finding the one responsible for violently killing her loved family, whom she has vowed revenge on.  She survived taking her family sword with her.  The sword linked with each ancestor who owned it, and now her as well.  Things go array on her first assignment in her trial period with the Elite Guard and Callista faces off with a pack of Shadowbeasts.  Suffering a deadly wound, in more ways than one, Captain Justin shows up saving Callista and helps by taking her to his ship to bandage her up.  There is a stir to the inner magical flame of Callista's since the attack, a darkness appears, and in part of the saving there is a connection with Captain Justin realized.  Callista wonders why the legendary Shadowbeasts have returned now when war is breaking in the North.  Is there a connection?  The research that's done to learn of the Shadowbeasts and protection from, Callista will learn a great deal of herself and family history.

This is another of a wonderful reading streak I'm on.  I really really enjoyed this fantasy read.  It had several of my favorite elements; action and magic along with a great story.  This book captivated me from the beginning and had me flipping pages to see if Callista would be okay, if Justin or anyone will make it in time to help her or at least keep her from serious injuries, and what Callista would get herself into next as she is very good at putting herself in harms way, and now that I think of it so is Justin.

I like the steps we take getting into this world.  Nothing is boring or slow but very well laid out to ease you into a new world in this first book of a series.  Pulls you in quickly and builds from page one.

The magic!  I didn't think there would be much magic here.  But I was pleasantly surprised the further I went into the book.  We start with just a flame present in Callista, and it expands to much more meaning.  From warriors, to healers, to wizards.  Very nicely done and expanded on.  I love the inner flame with Callista and what we learn happening through that magical touch inside.  This flame is the essence of life which all have but only few can tap into and use.

I really liked that the characters are smart.  They can add 1+1 to equal 2.  They don't fight the obvious and do see what's there in front of them.  They don't come up with lame excuses to overlook what is obvious.  I like this as it gets us to more story and moves along faster to other more important items.  Although the characters are stubborn, which can be expected in a book I enjoy. 

I like Callista.  She has a burning anger she pulls from.  Yet as she is quick to temper and anger, she learns to hold herself at times.  Then we have Justin.  Oh, he is more than what meets the eye and you learn this early on in the book.  But, the character he is... he just adds to Callista's fire.  They connect early on, thanks to the inner flame, and grow in friendship through the book.  We have a Healer, Madare, which is kind of a magician type as the book goes.  He is smart and quick.  We have the sword master, Torin which helps explain some of the flame on his side and teaches Callista something new, very cool new.  And we have our thief.  Wonderful fantasy mix.

This was definitely a fantasy read I was needing.  And a definite recommendation to pick it up.  The second book is already out, so I WILL be looking for it very,VERY soon.  The story is complete.  No major cliffhangers at the end.  There are only a few items to carry on with in the next books.  And I want to follow Callista, Justin, and the others along in this series.

If you would like to check out Colleen Helme's site, please do.


I read this book for an honest review from the publisher.


This book qualifies for the Speculative Reading Challenge hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I'm a Book Whore! for the month.

Yep, you read that right. ;D hee hee.  I'm the Book Whore for the month of November!  Thank you to Michelle at The True Book Addict, an online friend for a few years now, who has nominated me as Book Whore for the month!  THANK YOU Michelle! :)

And Thank you to a few amazing friends as well who have had wonderful, kind words to share.  You all are amazing!  The kind words really mean a lot to me and I am so happy to know I've made so many wonderful friends here.  I love you all!

The few who got to share a few thoughts are:
    Ziaria of My Life in No So Many Words
    StephanieD of Misfit Salon
    Melissa of Books & Things
    Blodeuedd of Book Girl of Mar-y-Castell
    Ryan of Wordsmithonia
    Michelle of The True Book Addict

Of course there are many wonderful people who have joined in, in the comments!  Thank you all!!

I'm thrilled to see so many enjoy stopping by to visit, and that I enjoy chatting with you here and visiting your blogs as well!

Please visit these wonderful people I've been chatting with for years now. :) And Please stop by the Book Whore post at Ash's blog, Smash Attach Reads.

Friday, October 28, 2011

NaNoWriMo Anyone? And off for a Month...maybe?

I wanted to post to let you all know I'll be scarce around the blogging world for the month of November.  I'm going to attempt to do NaNoWriMo this year.  My first attempt, and truthfully my first time at trying to get a whole novel out of my head.  I always write notes but haven't really put them all together.  Yeah, my trouble's I talk myself out of the book when I just get started.  But, I'm hoping to stick with it to the end this time... no matter how stupid it sounds.  If you are doing NaNoWriMo, you can buddy me (if or when it gets up and running) my name is Melhay.

But back to the post.  I'll have posts scheduled to go like my Throwback Thursday and Looking Forward Too... posts.  But other than that I wont be posting much.  If you are curious about how I'm doing I'll try to post Monday's Beginnings with updates.  And I'll be around on Twitter and Facebook so follow me there and chat with me when ever.  I have Twitter on my cell, so as long as I have service and Twitter isn't overloaded I should be able to jump on the chat. :)

I wanted to let you all know so you don't disappear on me.  I'm not going to be here much or visiting much.  I really want to do this, for once, for myself.  Even though I plan on #failingmiserably.  I know, I shouldn't be so negative.  But I think if I don't expect much out of myself then I wont be let down in the end and maybe excited with what I do get done.

I plan on being back with a vengeance December.  And I have some ideas to start then as well, if I can get them pulled together here. :)

Looking Forward To...(73)

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.)

Next Book Is...
The Curse of Four
Black London Novella
By:  Caitlin Kittredge
Due Out:  October 31, 2011

I have enjoyed this dark and dangerous world of the Black by Caitlin Kittredge thus far.  And Jack is one of my favorite bad boys... who save lives.  hee hee.  This novella sounds like a great read to add with the series!

Goodreads Synopsis:
Subterranean Press is proud to present Caitlin Kittredge's first novella-length foray into her Black London series, with an all-original tale of dark magic and darker shadows.

Jack Winter used to be a bad man, but he left black magic and wickedness behind him for a simpler life exorcising ghosts in London. Then Fiona Hannigan, the girl he abandoned to a life of depraved sorcery, turns up murdered and it's not long before Jack finds himself accused of the crime, along with three other slayings. Someone is hunting London's black magicians--and they've decided Jack is going to pay the price.

Running from the police and pursued by his own ghosts, Jack must go back to the supernatural underworld he left behind to find who wanted Fiona dead, who framed him for the deed and why the spirit of Aleister Crowley is turning up in his living room. Because it's not just Jack's ghosts who are running free in London--older, darker spirits are stirring, and the same person who murdered Fiona has their sight set on performing a binding ritual to gain unimaginable power. Jack's out of options and out of time, and his past may be the only thing that can save him...if he can survive the trip.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blog Book Chat (19) FINAL STOP!

Eeep!  We are finished with The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay! *searching frantically for next book*

And all ready to chat away.  We will have to help sooth each other in waiting for the next book.

So, have you read it?  Well join in with us to chat away on where you think we will go and what we will do next.

**Warning!  If you have not read the book, there WILL BE SPOILERS in the questions and comments.

As usual we have a few questions just to start the chat, but if you have other things you would like to chat on, bring it up in the comments. :)

Robyn's Questions:
1.)  Do you think they'll be able to save Hank?  At what risk?
2.)  Even though we haven't gotten to know Will, I was kind of sad to see him go.  Are you happy with the result?  Knowing we'll have Rex and he'll still be Will's body.
3.)  Thoughts on the Shadow creature anyone?  What danger will Charlie have to face with the shadow?
4.)  Is it me or did it seem to easy with Bryn?  I feel like something else is going to go wrong.

Melissa's Questions:
1.)  What about Emma?  She is going to the school for magic.  Do you think we'll see her much in the future?
2.)  Do you think there will be a long term affect on Charlie and Bryn for the power of the elements which Charlie used to help Bryn?
3.)  What about out lady in waiting?  The First One laying at the bottom of the lake.  What will come from the visions Charlie is having?

Throwback Thursday (39)

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

I have a post for books I'm looking forward to coming out;

Looking Forward To...
But what about all those wonderful books that are ALREADY on the shelves.

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

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

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

This Week:

I won this one a while back.  But I loved the sounds of it in the description and the review of the book.  And it sounds like one that I could really enjoy reading, and full of action!

Goodreads Synopsis:
CLASSIFIED: APPARENT SUPERNATURAL

Subject: Gabriel Bleak. Status: Civilian. Paranormal skills: Powerful. Able to manipulate AS energies and communicate with UBEs (e.g. "ghosts" and other entities). Psychological profile: Extremely independent, potentially dangerous.Caution is urged.... 

As far as Gabriel Bleak is concerned, talking to the dead is just another way of making a living. It gives him the competitive edge to survive as a bounty hunter, or "skip tracer," in the psychic minefield known as New York City. Unfortunately, his gift also makes him a prime target. A top-secret division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the recent emergence of human supernaturals, with Gabriel Bleak being the strongest on record. If they control Gabriel, they'll gain access to the Hidden -- the entity-based energy field that connects all life on Earth. But Gabriel's got other ideas. With a growing underground movement called the Shadow Community -- and an uneasy alliance of spirits, elementals, and other beings -- Gabriel's about to face the greatest demonic uprising since the Dark Ages. But this time, history is not going to repeat itself. This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who? What? Where? (42)

Who are you with? Where are you at? What's happening?

Share with us just a little bit of what is happening in the book you are reading, right where you are now.

Just a tiny taste of what's happening, remember try to not give spoilers of the book.

(This is a new meme I'm going to try and will tweak as I go. And please don't laugh at my lame attempt at drawing. ;D )


I have to watch what I tell this week as it could be spoiler-ish, so here is an un-spoiler version.

I'm with Callista outside the city of Ellesant.  She finally has a moment of calm and safe feeling with the men she is with, before the ugly war-storm starts.  Which is deserved with all the death she's seen and felt in her heart, and fighting she's been doing.  But I know she will have a hard fight ahead of her, which she may not be ready for.


Flame of Destiny
By:  Colleen Helme

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: Enclave

Enclave

By:  Ann Aguirre

Publisher:  Feiwel and Friends, An Imprint of Macmillan

Publish Date:  April 2011

Format:  Hardcover 259pgs

Genre:  YA Dystopian

Series:  1st book in Razorland series

Recommendation:  B (my boy):  Yes,for teens & Young Adults who like books with action and fighting and exploring a destroyed world.  M (me):  Yes!  Keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next with action leading the way and discovering our world so long in the future.

Book Synopsis:
In Deuce's world, an enclave deep underground, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years.  By that point, each unnamed "brat" has trained to join one of three groups - Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms.  Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress her purpose is clear - to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading the ferocious monsters known as Freaks.  She's worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing is going to stop her, not even a brooding Hunter named Fade.  When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce's troubles are just beginning.

Fade doesn't like following orders.  Deuce has never known a boy like him before, someone as likely to touch her gently as use his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce's perception shifts, so does the balance in the battle for survival.  The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat due to their sheer numbers, now show signs of cunning and even strategy... but the elders refuse to heed any warnings.  No matter how hard she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she's ever known.

First Sentence:
I was born during the second holocaust.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Deuce got her name and her three scars, signifying she is a Huntress, in her Enclave.  She is the one to protect and feed them.  The Enclave, a home in the tunnels underground where children don't always make it and no one lives to 40.  The rules are strict and harsh for a reason, to survive.  Deuce is paired with Fade a Hunter slightly older than her, the one found outside the enclave yet taken in as he's strong.  Fade has troubles following the rules.  But when Deuce and Fade notice something different with the Freaks, the flesh eating humanoid monsters hunting people, and adjust to save themselves and others it brings heartache and more with it.  Deuce and Fade find themselves trying to survive in places unknown to them, above ground.

As many of you know I read this book with my son.  So I sat with him and talked about a few things in and of the book.  But do keep in mind he is 12 years old, so the thoughts might be a little rough around the edges, but I was rather proud of his thoughts.  Here are a few of his thoughts as we talked....

This is a dystopian setting...
B – How many people are actually alive? I wouldn’t think many. Because most of the enclaves seem to be dying off because of sickness and the freaks are getting smarter and no way to find ways around them to protect themselves {the people in the Enclaves}. There may not be many people around in the city and area we started in, above and below ground, but how many are actually alive out of the area?

M – Something big happened to break up the population of people and cause everyone to go different ways to survive. I think the separation of the towns people live in along with sickness has limited people and gives us a feel of smaller living towns and not as many people. I’m curious to hear in the future books what had happened in the world to bring these ways of living on. And how many people are really left!

Let’s talk about the Freaks…
M – Where do they come from? This is one question we still are curious about. But they are very dangerous to EVERYONE, above & below ground.

B – They are getting much smarter and I’m surprised they aren’t learning more things humans know. Like weapons.

M – Did you like the Freaks?

B – I didn’t exactly like them but they made the story and without the Freaks there would be no real story. I thought they were like people that where contaminated by something and changed.

M – They really aren't the ones made to be likable that's for sure.  To me they had a “zombie” feel but were not zombies. They grew smarter. Like a rabid animalized person. They are definitely a great way of putting the evil feel out there and the scare of not knowing when we’ll bump into them again.

The Characters…
M – The main characters are a girl, Deuce, and a boy, Fade. What do you think of this book from a boys view being mostly from a girl’s mind?

B – I do think the girls the main character. The book was not girly. It had things a guy could like, like fighting and action. She was a Huntress.

M - I liked Deuce as she was a character that grew from knowing the rules, yet was curious and smart enough to know things weren’t always right and took the steps to do right, no matter what happened to her.

M – What about Fade? What did you think of him?

B – People misunderstand him. He was a nice guy. I don’t think they really wanted to know him because they were scared of him. Because he was a top hunter and no one really talked to him so they didn’t know who he was because he was an outsider.

M – I liked Fade. He was kind of a wild card in actions and what he knew. Did you like him? Was he your favorite?

B – Yeah I liked him. He tied with Deuce.

The feeling while reading…
M - I was always worried in this dangerous would wondering what would show up or where the Freaks were. Worried for Deuce & Fade that they wouldn’t make it.

B - It kept me on my toes. Wondering why things were happening.

M - Did you get your answers?

B - Some of them yes, some no. Just a few things that were barely talked about in the Enclave, that we may not ever find out about.

The End…
M – I felt the story ended, but there was still a feel that there was more to come. Something wasn’t completely finished for me, leaving me wanting another book. Not a cliffhanger, but wanting more stories here. What about you?

B – I felt like the freak attacks were just beginning and I have a feeling if the author does make another book the Freaks will be back stronger and smarter with a larger population.

M – Do you want another book?

B - Yeah, I want another book!


I have to say in the end my son enjoyed this process of reviewing the book and thought it was a good way to prepare for his test.  I was glad to hear that.  And thought moments were a little hard as he wasn't making any sense, it turned out rather well.  He had moments where he kept going on and I just couldn't share those here as they would have been spoilerish, but he really seemed to enjoy this one.  I think he did a wonderful job!


This review qualifies for Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books and YA Reading Challenge.

I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Teaser Tuesday (97)

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 is the next book for me to read. I'll be picking up this weekend.

This Week:

Justin tensed, his sword ready.  Madare had two more stones to touch...then one...but before he could reach it, a shadowbeast lunged into the Circle.

Flame of Destiny
By:  Colleen Helme
90pg

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday's Beginnings (113)

So, it's Monday.  I'm really starting to dread Monday's anymore as I have to go back to work...  So I have a mixed drink here with me and thought I'd try something new, a Vlog.  Yes, I finally ventured out to try this.

Please, I felt a little funny like I was talking to my self and all, so I stumbled a little bit.  And the dogs! Oh my... I just want to say I'm sorry. ;)  And I wanted to keep it short and sweet as I can be winded some times.  But if I do these in the future I'll try to get better at sharing. 
video

Current Reads:  Are on the side bar with links to Goodreads.  Please go check them out if you would like.

Received:  My necklace... Cemetery Cat Designs. Psynde does such wonderful designs!

Reviews Posted:
     In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton
     All Wounds by Dina James

Flash Fiction, if you would like to stop by.

Guest Post by me with a Ghost Story.

Guest Post here by Dina James.  Oh, and there is an international Giveaway there!

Oh, I forgot about my Want List... I only added 3 books this week. Sorry, I've been slacking.  I think it's that I know the holidays are coming and trying to not spend much money. Ha!

So, how does the week look for you?  Hope you have a wonderful week!

And a video for you..... What song do I pick this week?  How about a little Shakira? I Absolutely LOVE this song.  I love it!  I love several lines.  Two of which:
I won't back down becuase lifes already bit me.
Scars remind me...
I won't cry, I'm to young to die...

Winner of Fate of the Fallen

Thank you all for entering!  So glad to see so many liking the sounds of Fallen Angels.  Hope you all get a chance to give the book a try.

We have our winner of an Ecopy of Fate of the Fallen, thanks to Random.org.  That winner is....

Mirjam Bergervoet


Congrats!  Email sent, and you will have 48 hours to respond from October 24, 2011, 11:00 am EST

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just for Thought...

Small Press Anyone?

There are so many amazing publishing companies out there these days.  I was wondering if you stick to the big guns or dabble around with the small press as well.  Or even look at the small press publisher.  And if you don't dabble with Small Press books, can I ask why?

Me, I do both.  Although I enjoy chatting up the big hot selling books as much as the next person, I LOVE finding that new gem no one else has seen yet and screaming from the rooftops about it.  Yes, I've been doing that a lot lately.  I've found a few brilliantly bright-shiny books that others have not heard of yet.  And I enjoy showing them off to everyone.  And sharing the great finds with you as well.

We all have our genre of books we pretty much stick to, and love.  Mine is Urban Fantasy and Fantasy.  (Yes, there are deviations of these that I love too but for general purposes these are the main areas I read.)  And different presses specialize in different genre.  And some do a little of everything.  I've found one small press that fits my book loves wonderfully, and they have mystery reads and other genre as well but I'm hooked on their Fantasy and Urban Fantasy reads.  Amazing writing, story, and the editing is clean.

I like that the books are new and fresh in thinking.  Beyond the norm that the big publishers want us to have.  I like getting different books, new views, and voices.  Nothing wrong with the big publishers as I do love them, but we are talking Small Press here today. :)

But with the Small Press books it seems hard to find them.  First we don't know about the books as they don't get as much air time as the big publishers do.  Nor are they ones to be found on all the local bookstore shelves either.  They seem to be leaning toward ebook formats, but they do have printed books as well (so don't be discouraged!)  Most of the Small Press books are found out here on the web.  And ordering online.  (As you all know, ordering online isn't like it use to be, that dark secret that no one should know about or do because the end of the world will fall upon us.)  So for people who don't do online book searching don't know about these amazing diamonds hiding around the web.

Do you share with off-line friends the books you find by Small Press Publishers?

If you enjoy Small Press books do you have a small press you seem to have attached to?  Let me know who it is.  I'd like to take a look at their books as well, if they are in my genre of reading.

The Small Press that has caught my attention is Mundania Press.  I hope you get a chance to check them out. Really great stuff there.

I've also read a series from Ridan Publishing, and there is an author whom I've listened to a podcast from and enjoy that writes with this publisher, but need to try his books yet.  Ridan Publishing is still rather small, but looks like a good source for Fantasy and Science Fiction.

So, want to share your thoughts? 

Do you read Small Press books?  If not, do you mind mentioning why?  Do you share Small Press books with those not online searching the blogs?  What Small Presses do you gravitate toward?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway with Author Dina James!

****GIVEAWAY CLOSED****

Dina did it! She gave you an excerpt of her book which is one of my MANY favorite parts of the book!  Where Billy compares to a... PIZZA!

Okay, I'm THRILLED to introduce you all to Dina James.  I have read, loved, and reviewed her newly released book, All Wounds.  Please give her a warm blogger welcome. I know you all know how.

And if you stick around to the end, I think there might be a book giveaway along with some goodies... maybe PIZZA!?!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi, Mel! Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog for the All Wounds Blog Tour!


Vampires, hellhounds, werewolves…oh my!

Those things are quite likely familiar to readers of the paranormal genre. In All Wounds, I take it a step further and call paranormal beings "Ethereals."

What's an Ethereal? In the Stranger Things world, it's any creature not from the Mortal realm – a creature of the Otherworlds. The Otherworlds are divided into "realms," kind of like a crystal prism, and exist alongside our own. The crystal taken as a whole is a solid object, but each facet of it separates the light through it differently. These, in my book, are the Otherworlds, and the beings that live in them (and there are so many!) are Ethereals in general.

Just like humans are a species, so are Ethereals. Humans are divided into races and ethnicities. So, too, are Ethereals. Where we have Asians, Africans, Europeans and so on, Ethereals have vampires, hellhounds, werewolves and so on.

Whereas human doctors can heal humans, Rebecca (though human herself) was born with the ability to heal Ethereals. Her ability comes from the unique life-force inside her that she can channel into the energy needed by Ethereal beings. More or less. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Each Ethereal being is different and has its own variety of needs. Some creatures need light, while others need darkness. Some need the nourishing power of Rebecca's blood while others just need their ectoplasm patched up. It depends. No two days are ever alike in the enclave of a Healer.

So what kind of power does Rebecca have? I'll turn this part over to Billy, a werewolf. (Oh, I'm sorry…a "man-wolf." Not a wolf-man.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Excerpt:

“I’ll try to explain in a way you’ll get, but I ain’t no good at stuff like this like Syd is,” Billy replied, sighing a little. “Let me think.”

His eyes went to the pizza still in the box before them. He pointed to the missing slices.

“Say this pizza, when it still had all the pieces, is the power an Ethereal has,” Billy said. “Let’s say...a vamp, like Syd.”

“Syd is a pizza, got it,” Rebecca said with an impish grin.

I am not a pizza, Acolyte.

Syd? Aren’t you supposed to be [redacted for potential spoilers]? Stay out of my brain!

Aren’t you supposed to be working on shielding your thoughts?

Oops.

“Hey, Bit, pay attention,” Billy chastised, though he was smiling. “I’m lessoning you here.”

“Sorry, Billy,” Rebecca said, but without sincerity. She enjoyed the thought of Syd being a pizza too much to really be sorry.

Billy rolled his human eyes at her and continued. “Now, we’ve eaten some of the pizza, and it’s filled us up, right? We’re not hungry anymore.”

“Well I’m not,” Rebecca teased. “Can’t say you’re not, because you’re probably thinking about waffles.”

“Good places, waffle joints, especially the ones that are open all day and night. Sometimes a guy just needs a waffle, no matter what human time it might be. But you’re missing the point. You ain’t hungry no more, are you?”

Rebecca shook her head.

“So Syd gives—let’s say Ryan, who has a hard time keeping hold on his and making his own, or your Nana, since she ain’t got much of her own no more—a slice of pizza...his power...so they ain’t hungry,” said Billy. “He’s sharing his own with them. Get it?”

Rebecca’s brow furrowed. “I think so. It kind of makes sense. So... Nana...can’t remember things because she needs...a slice of pizza?”

Billy nodded. “When she was younger, like you, she had her own pizza to keep her fed. Like you, she could make more pizza to replace what she shared with others, unlike now. She could, and did, share it with those who needed it, like you do with Ryan.”

“I’m a pizza too,” Rebecca said, looking at the boxes.

“Right,” Billy said. “But where Syd is an extra-large supreme pizza with everything on it, you’re just a small cheese pizza. Well, that’s not really true. Nobody’s sure yet exactly what size or kind of pizza you’re going to be, or...or even if a pizza is what you’re going to be.”

That didn’t sound good.

“What do you mean?” Rebecca asked, her heart pounding in an uncomfortable rhythm against her chest.

“You’re still being made,” Billy said. “And since Martha didn’t do nothin’ with your dough when you was growing up—she just let you sit there—you might not come out a pizza like you’re supposed to. Whatever you end up being, you gotta be baked first. But that doesn’t mean that parts of you ain’t okay to eat now. It’s just your dough that isn’t ready to eat.”

“And my birthday is baking day?” Rebecca asked. “The day we find out? And if I’m a good...whatever...or a bad one?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And there you have it.

Doesn't that part there want to make you start singing, "I Am A Pizza?" In celebration of Billy's monstrous appetite (no pun intended), I'll offer a $15 gift card to the pizza place of the winner's choice – Pizza Hut, Domino's, or Papa John's (US Residents only, sorry!). The book giveaway, though, is open to all! E-book or print, whichever they prefer.

BLURB FOR LATEST RELEASE – All Wounds available from Mundania Press
http://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=All+Wounds

It's said that when opportunity knocks on your door, you have only one chance to take it.


No one said what you're supposed to do when it kicks it.


All Rebecca MacDonnell wants to do is get through high school with grades good enough to win a prestigious scholarship so that she can finally leave her miserable life behind. One evening, after a particularly bad day, she finds out that people other than her aging grandmother need her help, and desperately so.


Well, not "people," exactly. Vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, goblins, and other things thought only imaginary all need help sometime, and Rebecca was born with the unique ability to heal ethereal beings. She is about to turn seventeen, the age at which her talent will manifest in its entirety, and become a true Healer…if she lives through the event.


A war between various ethereal factions is brewing, and Healers are a valuable commodity to any side. Those who wish to harness Rebecca’s manifesting healing powers for their own purposes must get to her before her seventeenth birthday.


Only two vampires and a rogue werewolf stand between Rebecca and those determined to make her serve them, and the fact that Rebecca has no clue what she's doing doesn't exactly help matters.


Neither does being seriously attracted to more than one of those just trying to protect her.


For a soon-to-be seventeen-year-old Healer-in-training, that's a lot to handle.


Especially on top of her homework.

WEBSITE: http://www.dinajames.com/
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dina-James-Chronicler-of-the-Paranormal/333654447563
TWITTER: @dinajames

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you Dina!!  I'm so glad you stopped by.  Thank you!

That Billy is one special guy.  I love his explanation!  And that he is always thinking of food. hee hee.  I know that part goes on a little longer and Billy is just amazing at it, but we can't give it all away.  Can we? ;)

Okay, as Dina promised a giveaway! Yeah!
As you saw she is has offered 1 lucky entry:
~ A Copy of All Wounds, your choice of Ebook or Print.
(Internationally)
AND
~ $15 Pizza Gift card to: Pizza Hut, Domino's, or Papa John's
(Sorry, Pizza gift card is US only, but if International winner we will try to sub with other goodies.)

Enter ON this Form:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ghost Stories!

I'm 1 of 7 guest posts on Melissa @ Books & Things blog for Ghost Stories.  Some are scary, some sad, some of every feel.  Due remember these are all TRUE stories!  Yep, something we personally experienced.  Are you curious what my personal ghost experience is?  You can read it at Melissa's blog, Books & Things.  Hope you like it. :)

Flash Fiction Friday (26)

Dottie over at Tink's Place have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday - 350 words, give or take.

I have to thank Blodeuedd at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell for introducing me to this fun meme. I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with every week, but I'll give it a try from time to time.

The Image This Week:

By:  Melissa

Eric trudged through the barren cemetery, passing the tombs and grave markers.  The trees bare and leaves dropped to the ground looking as empty and dead as he felt inside.  Finally he came to the home of his deceased wife, a cement tomb.

The door was heavy, but opening fairly easily on new hinges.  Eric knelt beside the coffin, bowing his head tears slowly seeped from his eyes.  Before he knew it tears were rushing down his cheeks and he sobbed a loud chock.  He took a few deep breaths to try to calm himself before talking to his wife.

He ran his hard callused hand, a hand of a construction worker that only knew brute and force except when he touched her hand, neck, cheeks, or lips, over the edge of the coffin.  Taking a long inhale of the stale air he calmed slightly.

"I'm sorry, my love.  It's been so long since my last visit.  It's been so hard without you.  The kids... the kids, homework, school, the house, work... and everyone is so sad.  Miserable."  Eric paused trying to not get to emotional.  He knew he wasn't making any sense but she would understand him, she always did.  He wasn't one for words, he was the one to build her, her dream home and carry her when she fell.

A tear escaped its prison.  With a whisper he said, "I would do anything to have you alive again."  With that the flood gates opened and he laid his forehead against the coffin edge.

A breeze ruffled Erics' hair.  Turning his head abruptly as the breeze came from the direction of the solid back wall, not the door.  There she was.  Like the spotlight of his world; bright, beautiful, and smiling.  "My love, I have missed you as well.  But anything?  Things cannot be that bad."

Eric sniffed and sighed as he slideto sit on the cold damp hard floor, "Oh yes.  The kids don't know me or I them.  You took care of them and I worked.  Anything to have you alive. Again."

She advanced on him, placing her golden hand firmly on his shoulder.  Something was different this wasn't like her so noble in her presence.  She never had a superior stance to touch with him.  She was always loving and sharing with him, but his love was here.  He didn't care how, just that she was.  "Anything it is then. Or, anyone."

"Whaaa..." was all Eric got out as he sagged to the cement floor.  His breathing slowed and the world drew dark around the edges.  But before the light was gone and the world silent he saw black wings spread behind his love and her face contort to a man's and the man said, "You will do."  with a greasy smile.

Looking Forward To...(72)

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.)

Next Book Is...

Trance
Meta Wars #1
By:  Kelly Meding
Due Out:  October 25, 2011

Ooohhh, do I love the sounds of this one!  I don't get many "superhero" reads and this one sounds right up my alley.  Hee hee.  Actually, I don't think I've really ever read any "superhero" books.  But this one sounds a blend of superhero and urban fantasy magic.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Kelly Meding’s war-ravaged Los Angeles is ground zero for the ultimate Meta human showdown in this sexy, action-packed new series.
Fifteen years ago, Teresa “Trance” West was a skilled telepath and a proud member of the Ranger Corps. But ever since the Rangers were inexplicably rendered powerless at the climax of the devastating Meta War, she’s bounced from one dead-end job to another. Now her powers have reappeared just as mysteriously as they vanished— only they’re completely transformed and more potent than ever. And they’re threatening to destroy her.
Trance heads to Los Angeles to track down the surviving Rangers and discover who restored her powers—and why—but a phantom enemy is determined to kill them before they can reassemble. As they dodge his deadly attacks and come to terms with their new role as heroes, Trance and the rest of the team set out to annihilate the sinister madman . . . only to discover their own powers are his greatest weapons.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: In The Forests of the Night

In The Forests of the Night

By:  Kersten Hamilton

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group

Publish Date:  November 19, 2011

Format:  Arc

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Series:  2nd book in The Goblin Wars series; Book 1 Tyger Tyger

Recommendation:  Oh Yes!  I love the whole goblin set up and the magical world of Mag Mell.  Did you read the first book and fall in love with the Celtic lore and Finn?  Do go get this one as well.

Book Synopsis:
"Something was calling you, Tea."

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive.  But the Dark Man's forces have followed them to Chicago and are beckoning Tea to return.  They claim that she will soon join them, as goblin blood is never passive once awaken.  And in the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or murder her family and friends.

Teagan knows she doesn't have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured or killed.  A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her.  But as long as she can hold on, she's still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting.  The disease that's destroying her - that's destroying them all - has a name:  Fear Doirich.

And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

First Sentence:
Tears were spilling down Teagan Wylltson's cheeks as she went up the stairs.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Teagan is upset with what she learned of her mothers family (in Tyger Tyger) and what it might mean to her and Finn.  When Finn comes to talk to her and reassure her things get crazy quickly in the full house of the Wylltsons'.  Thomas starts sprouting feathers and cat-sidhe appear.  The cat-sidhe want Aiden.  As Fear Doirich wants Aiden.  Mamieo doesn't like Thomas because he's a highborn, Roisin (Teagan's Aunt) is mad at her love, her father is still trying to get his memories back and straight.  Oh and the social worker is coming around too.  All craziness and then the goblins come back into their lives with threats to Teagan and she starts to change after a lick from Kyle.  A war is on it's way...

We start exactly where Tyger Tyger left off, Teagan's crying on the roof and Finn climbing the drain pipe to talk to her.  Finn captures my heart once again at the get go here.  Finn has turned Teagan's plans around, though she still wants to follow them, they now have a boyfriend attached somewhere in there. 

We see all the same characters again in this book.  I do like the extra background Thomas, the shape-shifter, brings to the family of the goblin world Mag Mell.  It was his home and he is a highborn so he knows a great deal.  We can't forget about Lucy the spirit living in Aidens' hair.  Aiden gets to try a few new things with his special gift of song as well.  Nice to see, and I hope to see more of him in the future.  So many different characters and personalities in one house, it's funny from time to time.

Another wonderful YA book that I would hand over not needing the adults to read first.  But I would say do read it for the fun and wonderful writing it is.  This book went quickly for me as well.  I love the Celtic lore tangled into the story and I get a little feel of a fairy land as well.  That is one of the things that drew me into the first story as well.  I really enjoy this mix.  This book seems a little slower at first, but we need to get the setting set and the characters defined as everyone is growing and changing, which is wonderfully done with keeping us attracted to the book.  Then the action picks up and leaves you desiring the third book of the trilogy.

I strongly suggest giving the Goblin Wars Trilogy a try.  It's a wonderful read and you wont be disappointed.  If you enjoy fairy type books, this goblin based trilogy could very much be for you.


I read this book for an honest review for the author.

This book qualifies for YA Reading Challenge 2011 and Speculated Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Floor to Ceiling books.