Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday's Beginnings (140) Vlog Style (24)

And it's Monday... *crickets*
video

Current Read:
Tranquility's Blaze by Krista D. Ball
Devil's Punch by Ann Aguirre

Finished Last Week:
Dormitory of the Dead by Kelly Lougheed

Reviews to Come:
Corrupts Absolutely - an anthology
Dormitory of the Dead by Kelly Lougheed
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
My Sanctuary by Sarah-Jane Lehoux
Dead Drop: A Lawson Vampire Bonus Story by Jon F. Merz
Love, Death, and Loneliness by Douglas Brown
Short Stories, Curran POV 3 & 4 by Gordon Andrews

Book Reviews Posted:
A Mere Formality by Ilona Andrews
Alexander Outland: Space Pirate by G.J. Koch
Gimme Shelter Edited by J.R. Blackwell
Shaman Healer Heretic by M. Terry Green
Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella by Amanda Carlson

Movie Review Posted:
Captain America: The First Avenger

Podcast Reviews Posted:
The Gearheart: Artifice Ep 27, 28, & 29
The Gearheart: Artifice Ep 30, 31, & 32

PC Game Review Posted:
Tiger Eye: The Sacrifice

Books & Covers Shared:
Outland Cover & Short story Endurance link, by Ann Aguirre

Special Posts:
Just for Fun...movies & books
Character Interview & GIVEAWAY from Alexander Outland: Space Pirate
11 Question Meme
Book Chat, stop 1 for Devil's Punch
I guest posted, talking about little dogs
Interview with Amanda Carlson
Freebie & Deals, and on Nook too (11)

I did not do a Flash Fiction Friday last week.  Sorry.  I got caught up with running for the kid for his birthday on Saturday, which is when I wanted to do it. *sigh* We'll see about this week.

My WANT List...Surprise!  I've only added 2 books.  Wow.  I've been adding so many lately I can't believe I only added 2 book.  Huh.

Received Last Week:
Winnings:
I won a copy of this book from Kristi at The Book Faery!  Thank you dear!! :)
Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Goodreads synopsis:
Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.


Purchased:
Must Love Hellhounds
Goodreads Synopsis:
From New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris and Nalini Singh and national bestselling authors Ilona Andrews and Meljean Brook, tales of man’s worst friend...

In these hound-eat-hound worlds, anything goes… and everything bites.

Follow paranormal bodyguards Clovache and Batanya into Lucifer’s realm, where they encounter his fearsome four-legged pets, in Charlaine Harris’s The Britlingens Go to Hell. Seek out a traitor in the midst of a guild of non-lethal vampire trackers, one that intends to eradicate the entire species of bloodsuckers, in Nalini Singh’s Angels’ Judgment. Find out why the giant three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades has left the underworld for the real world—and whose scent he’s following—in Ilona Andrews’s Magic Mourns. Embark on a perilous search for the kidnapped niece of a powerful vampire alongside her blind—and damn sexy—companion and a hellhound in Meljean Brook’s Blind Spot.

These four novellas by today’s hottest paranormal authors will have hellhound lovers everywhere howling.


Free:
Endurance by Ann Aguirre
Synopsis:
When rebellion destroys the underground world in which  Thimble and Stone have grown up, they take Stone’s son and try to escape the chaos. Along the way, they must evade the Freaks, beings who on human flesh.  Leaving behind the roles of Builder and Breeder which they were assigned at birth, they wander the underground tunnels, looking for safety, yet afraid to go “topside” where legend has it that the light and water will burn their skin from their bones.

Their journey takes them upward to an unimagined world of tinned food, comfortable furniture, and books.  Away from their regimented society for the first time, and still surrounded by imminent danger, Thimble and Stone acknowledge the forbidden attraction which both have denied for years.


For Review:
Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica
Goodreads Synopsis:
Indigo Springs is a sleepy town where things seem pretty normal . . . until Astrid's father dies and she moves into his house. She discovers that for many years her father had been accessing the magic that flowed, literally, in a blue stream beneath the earth, leaking into his house. When she starts to use the liquid "vitagua" to enchant everyday items, the results seem innocent enough: a "'chanted" watch becomes a charm that means you're always in the right place at the right time; a "'chanted" pendant enables the wearer to convince anyone of anything . . .

But as events in Indigo Springs unfold and the true potential of vitagua is revealed, Astrid and her friends unwittingly embark on a journey fraught with power, change, and a future too devastating to contemplate. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends as Astrid discovers secrets from her shrouded childhood that will lead her to a destiny stranger than she could have imagined . . .


Blue Magic by A.M. Dellamonica
Goodreads Synopsis:
This powerful sequel to the A.M. Dellamonica's Sunburst Award–winning contemporary fantasy Indigo Springs starts in the small town in Oregon where Astrid Lethewood discovered an underground river of blue liquid—Vitagua—that is pure magic. Everything it touches is changed. The secret is out—and the world will never be the same. Astrid’s best friend, Sahara, has been corrupted by the blue magic, and now leads a cult that seeks to rule the world. Astrid, on the other hand, tries to heal the world.

Conflicting ambitions, star-crossed lovers, and those who fear and hate magic combine in a terrible conflagration, pitting friend against friend, magic against magic, and the power of nations against a small band of zealots, with the fate of the world at stake. 

Blue Magic is a powerful story of private lives changed by earthshaking events that will ensnare readers in its poignant tale of a world touched by magic and plagued by its consequences.


Light in a Dark World by Dina James
Goodreads Synopsis:
Kyle abhors the word "vampire." He prefers the more accurate term "lost soul," for that is how true vampires are made – through a damning bargain with the Devil. Kyle is unique among what could loosely be called his kind, for he not only wants the return of what was, he feels, stolen, but because he was once the demon lord Kailkiril'ron, servant of Lucifer. Known as The Betrayer, Kyle is a powerful force to be reckoned with by any standard, both feared and shunned by every single vampire clan in existence, including the renegade Destrati. Why he would choose to assist one of their members – the very member sent to bring Kyle to justice – is his own affair. The better question is why anyone, let alone a Destrati, would accept the Betrayer's help.

The Destrati differ from other vampire clans in that the whole of its members have turned away from the Darkness they once dealt with. Destrati feel that the parasitical cost of their cursed existence is too high, and have sworn to redeem the souls they bargained away for their immortality. They make it a fierce point to keep others from being coerced into trading their souls. This is seen as interference by the other vampire clans, and while most clans are at perpetual war with one another over such differences in philosophy, Clan Destrati members are among the most hated, for they, like Kyle, are seen as betrayers.

Among Ethereals, Clan Destrati's reputation and exploits are as renowned as the associates it boasts. Within these pages are but a few of their legends.


Eyes of Magic by S.A. Archer & S. Ravynheart
Goodreads Synopsis:
He's defective. Damaged. Malcolm knows he is. How could he not be, after a year of torture in the belly of a goblins' nest? The only magic he can do is the Touch, a perverted magic he despises and learned at the end of a whip. Everyone else in the Glamour Club has loads of magic, but not him. He doesn't fit it. But if he can't find his magic, and his place among the Sidhe, then where could he go? And what if those that enslaved him before came after him again?

Lots of stuff going on. :) I'm hoping to have a great week in books by finishing the two I've got going and starting into a new one.

How was your week and how does this week look for you?

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Freebies and Deals, and on Nook too (11)

Again, not to many for this week.  I feel like I'm slacking on you all. ;D

You are invited to check out the free book, books, listed on the Free Friday at Barnes & Nobles.  I do hope you find something for your reader. :)

This book is part of a series I've been reading.  The stories are in novella length style.
This fey story is free on Amazon for only 3 days, April 26, 27, & 28.  So, if you want it, go get it. :)
Eyes of Magic by S.A. Archer & S. Ravyenheart ~ Amazon Only.
Description:
He's defective. Damaged. Malcolm knows he is. How could he not be, after a year of torture in the belly of a goblins' nest? The only magic he can do is the Touch, a perverted magic he despises and learned at the end of a whip. Every one else in the Glamour Club has loads of magic, but not him. He doesn't fit it. But if he can't find his magic, and his place among the Sidhe, then where could he go? And what if those that enslaved him before came after him again?


Interview with Author Amanda Carlson

I'm so thrilled to have a new author with us today, Amanda Carlson.  Amanda is making quite a start with her series with the amazing Novella, Blooded.  (I loved this, and if you are curious about it, please check out my review!)

Please give a warm welcome for Amanda...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
M:  Welcome to the blog Amanda!


So glad you can join us today.  Congratulations on your new novella! You have to be excited to be making your debut into the booking world.


You are going to start us off with a Novella, to get to meet your main character, Jessica, and the world she lives in, then a Novel coming out in September. I think this is a wonderful idea to start us out with a novella then to the novels. Was this your plan for the series?

AC:  Originally no! I sold FULL BLOODED, along with the next two books in the series, to Orbit last summer, without thinking about a novella. But very quickly, especially as a debut author, I felt it was necessary to get a sample of my voice out there. My books are coming out in trade size, so giving readers a glimpse into my world, in a short story format, was an excellent way to get that without a big monetary commitment upfront. It was an absolute blast to write!! I’m so glad I did it. It really helped me flesh out Jessica’s past and get a deeper glimpse of where she came from. I’m so hoping readers connect with her and her story. It became a big, fun, juicy prologue to the series! So when the novel begins, it starts off with a BANG. (BTW, with the novella, you also get the first chapter of the novel included, so you get a sneak peak!)

M:  Can you tell us a little about the novella. I’ll have to have you back when your novel comes out, in September, to chat on it.

AC:  Sure! The novella starts out seven years prior to the books, in the only way it can—with Jessica fighting for her life. Jessica McClain is born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is, she’s not born a wolf. My wolves are a superstitious in the extreme, and issues begin to emerge immediately after her birth. A myth names Jessica something evil and generates years of fear and unease, making her a target her entire life. Once she turns eighteen, the wolves decide she is finally fair game. The scrapping gets dirty, so she’s forced to challenge her first wolf in a very public way. By making it a challenge, she defies her father and ultimately forces him to make a decision. She has decided she wants a life of her own off Compound—or no life at all.

M:  Jessica has to be one tough chick to live with all those men this long. Is there one thing Jessica enjoys doing?

AC:  Jessica enjoys surviving! Other than that, we don’t see much of her hobbies in this snippet of her life. But life on Compound has made her funny, sarcastic and someone who doesn’t take everything too seriously. I love that about her. Things start to move quickly in the beginning of FULL BLOODED, but what happens to her isn’t automatic. She’s as rattled as you would be and the reader gets to take the trip with her, experience it as she does. It’s a fun, action-packed ride.

M:  Okay, Some fun questions for you Amanda…

One question I ask all visitors… If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

AC:  Oooo, that’s a great question! I love traveling more than anything. My husband and I have a huge bucket list with places we want to visit all over the world. One place for sure: Bora Bora. Seriously, if I don’t get to stay in one of those rooms above the crystal clear water, I don’t think it will count this as a full life! But, honestly, I can only hope I’ll be so lucky someday. In addition, for all you travelers out there, one of my favorite destinations in the entire world is La Ropa Beach in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. It’s a slice of heaven. If you can get there, you won’t be sorry.

M:  Tea or Coffee?

AC:  Coffee! Three cups in the morning (because that’s what’s left after hubby leaves), with a little bit of sweet and little bit of cream. I don’t do tea, except for an occasional Chai. I do love Chai, but maybe because it resembles flavored coffee?

M:  Favorite Color?

AC:  That’s a tough one. That’s also something my son is always asking. He is the king of “What’s your favorite…(fill in the blank)?” I think I’d have to say green. But not any green—a cool sagey kind of green. Kelly green is too shocking and lime green is just irritating, but there’s definitely something about green that always puts me in a good mood.

M:  Favorite Childhood Fictional Creature?

AC:  Not sure if you mean literary fictional creatures or just in general? There are so many! When I was young I loved Judy Blume & Paula Danziger, but graduated to Anne Rice pretty quickly. I loved Lestat and his tortured soul, so early on it was vampires. Anne Rice was my first hook into the genre, like many of you, and I couldn’t get enough. My earliest memories of enjoying fictional creatures, not in a book, was Saturday morning cartoons. I’m going to date myself here and give a shout out to the Krofft Supershow! Land of the Lost and the Sleezstaks were awesome. I have a shout to the Sleezstaks in another project I’m working on. They gave me a visceral reaction as a young child. Nothing better.

M:  Now as an adult what’s your Favorite Fictional Creature?

AC:  I’d have to say in general my favorite “creature” would be werewolves, which explains why I write about them. The ability to shift into something else—to become something else is exhilarating to me. Plus, they’re strong, hot blooded and attractive! That’s a perfect trifecta to me.

M:  Favorite word? (any word at all)

AC:  Kickass. A totally made up word by all accounts, but it’s in my style sheet as an official word, and every time I type it I smile. Can’t beat that.

M:  Amanda, thank you kindly for stopping by the blog. We really need to get together again when your novel is making its appearance in the world as well.

AC:  I look forward to stopping back by in September! And I hope you all enjoy the novella.

Thank you Amanda for joining us today!  I do wish you all the best with the Short Story, and your Novel to come.  (I CAN'T WAIT! for the novel after reading the Novella).  Here's wishing you all the best in words and pages!

And if you are curious as to how much I loved this novella, you can catch my review as well.

Would you like to purchase a copy of the Novella?  Is is available for the small price of $2.99, and so worth every penny and more.  You can find any format you need at Orbit Short Fiction.

Do make sure to check into Amanda, and say hello to her on different venues:

   Website: http://www.amandacarlson.com/
   Twitter: @amandaCCarlson
   Facebook: www.facebook.com/authoramandacarlson
   Goodreads:  Amanda Carlson

Book Review: Jessica McClain: Blooded

Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella

By:  Amanda Carlson

Publisher:  Orbit Short Stories

Publish Date:  April 11, 2012

Format:  Arc, eNovella

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  Prequel to Jessica McClain series

Recommendation:  Oh YES!  You like kick butt, strong characters?  They can't come any stronger than Jessica!  Great werewolf world created, with action and complete with story.

Synopsis:
Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race.  The only problem is - she's no wolf.  Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decided to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can - in the ring.

When she's brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer...

First Sentence:
I hit the ropes hard, my body bouncing back into the ring like a shot.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Jessica is tormented and taunted and now it's escalating to more and physical, since her eighteenth birthday.  Now she wants to prove herself, challenging a fight against Pack rules, with Mitch - Alpha-born wolf, but not the strongest.  Problem, she's the Alpha leaders daughter, and along with being female, she's human.  After the bloody battle, Jessica is attacked on the Compound, almost killed by a stronger Alpha-born wolf.  Will her father finally agree to her years of pleas to leave Compound?  Or will he hid her away from all supernaturals with him, there on the Compound?

Wow.  This was only a novella!?!  I can't wait to see what Amanda has in store for us in a full length novel.  This novella was well written and well rounded!  No sway to world building or character building, it is all here.  And Full On Fighting start!  This Novella sets the stage for Jessica's life; past and to come.

Jessica is a strong mouthed and brave woman.  I would say she definitely has Alpha wolf personality.  Shame she's not a wolf.  And I have to say she has some serious strength to take beatings like this, and dish out what she did.

I really liked this start!  Sets the world Jessica tries to survive in and other characters around her.  We get a great amount of the wolf culture and rules here.  We are told there are other supernaturals in this world, ones that Jessica's dad worries about coming after her.  This makes me curious as to what is out there, and what Amanda has in store for us, yet to come.  I REALLY look forward to the future installments!


Want a copy?  You can find any format you need at Orbit Short Fiction.

Want to meet Amanda? You can find her at:



I received a copy of this from the publisher for an honest review.
This review is of my personal opinions and likes.

What about the Little Dogs? I Guest Post

I have a guest post today at Bastard Books, where I talk about the little dogs.  Yes, dogs, but not really dogs.  It was an analogy that came to me, and I used it.

Really, I'm sharing with you three Small Press books I LOOOVED, and feel are must reads for everyone.  Yes, my loved little gems that shine so brightly.

Do I have you royally confused yet?  Maybe curious?  LOL!  I do hope you stop by and say hi.

~~ What about the Little Dogs?  Small Press Urban Fantasy

Movie Review: Captain America

Captain America: The First Avenger

Released:  2011

Rated:  PG-13

Genre:  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Length:  124mins = 2hrs 4mins

Recommendation:  If you enjoy watching the Beginnings of Marvel heroes, yes watch it, but it seemed a little slower moving than others.  Not bad, just slower paced.

Synopsis:
It is 1942, America has entered World War II, and sickly but determined Steve Rogers is frustrated at being rejected yet again for military service.  Everything changes when Dr. Erksine recruits him for the secret Project Rebirth.  Proving his extraordinary courage, wits and conscience, Rogers undergoes the experiment and his weak body is suddenly enhanced into the maximum human potential.  When Dr. Erksine is then immediately assassinated by an agent of Nazi Germany's head of its secret HYDRA research department, Johann Schmidt aka the Red Skull, Rogers is left as a unique man who is initially misused as a propaganda mascot.  However, when his comrades need him, Rogers goes on a successful adventure that truly makes him Captain America and his war against Schmidt begins.

My Thoughts & Summary:
We start at present time, where a strange craft is found, frozen and an amazing discovery frozen inside it.  Then we jump to 1942, and America is in World War II.  Steve Rogers, a scroonie yet determined young man wants to fight for his country.  Dr. Erksine sees the determination and loyalty in Steve, offering him a chance of a lifetime.  Rogers agrees, if he can help his friends and country.  Dr. Erksine is assassinated, and Rogers goes on tour as a spokes person for the war, in costume and all.  When his tour takes him over seas to the soldiers, he learns he's not as accepted by them.  Until his closest friend and platoon are lost to the Nazi's.  Rogers knows he's stronger and faster than given credit for, so takes on a mission of his own to save his friend and any men held hostage.  In doing so, Steve gains respect and seen in a new light... Captain America is truly born.

I wasn't sure what I was going to see with this movie.  I was a little surprised it takes place in 1940's.  I should have looked into it more, maybe. ;) but I forgot about it and decided I wanted to see it before The Avengers came out.  This movie is about the birth of a strong comic character.  How Captain America came to be, his beginnings.  I did like the way they portrayed the character.  They really built Steve Rogers as a caring character, and perfect to be Captain America.

It was a little on the slower side for us.  We enjoyed it, and know it's a build-up to more Marvel movies to come, even in the end it left me with a feel more movies are to come.

We all liked watching it.  My son enjoyed the ending, hoping for more movies to come.  My husband liked the story and growth of Captain America, and the action of when he came into his being, but felt it was slower paced than other superhero movies we've seen.

Over all, good hero movie to watch with the family.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review: Shaman Healer Heretic

Shaman Healer Heretic

By:  M. Terry Green

Publisher:  Self published

Publish Date:  January 19, 2011

Format:  Paperback 328pgs, Trade size 5"x8"

Genre:  Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st book in An Olivia Lawson, Techno-Shaman Novel series

Recommendation:  Yes, for people who enjoy American Indian beliefs with gods and spirit healers, with a journey to fix things gone wrong.

Book Synopsis:
Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn't exactly part of the drill.  When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics.  A Hopi god visiting the real world isn't just wrong - it's impossible.

Or is it?

Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries.  As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one.

Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions.  As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost.

First Sentence:
Livvy forced herself to exhale slowly but didn't dare open her eyes.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Livvy wakes in her small apartment in Los Angeles, to a kachina beside her, which is impossible.  Livvy is of the new ways in shaman healing, a techno-shaman as it's called.  Being of the "new" ways, if a kachina were to appear to anyone, they would be drawn to where they are comfortable and to the old ways.  She's young, but a talented one with a one-of-a-kind spirit helper, one that only appears once a generation.  Moving away from the kachina, Livvy's cell phone rings.  It's SK calling for her help a woman no other has been able to help.  The healing Livvy does includes going to the underworld through the middleworld to find a lost soul and return it to the world, but this cases isn't the easiest and things in the underworld are off.  Livvy stumbles across other troubles and has to visit the underworld and middleworld, but notices with each visit things are not right, actually getting worse.  Until she meets up with a terrifying creatures that could kill a shaman, then all are afraid to return.  Are all that Livvy has occurring to her related?  Could she help make a difference with things she learns and sees?

I found I really really enjoyed this book!  I was surprised.  Yes, it sounded like something I would enjoy, but at the same time I was nervous going in.  And I was so pleasantly happy with what I found.

I started off with lots of questions on the world and characters.  Truth be told, I wasn't 100% sure what a kachina was.  I thought I knew as my grandma has them all over her house, and after Goggling I found I was right.  But I wasn't sure how all this played together in this world.  As I read it all became clear, and quickly.

I loved the use of Native American beliefs and gods to crate the middleworld, underworld, and spirit guides.  Even the use of the kachina.

There was always something interesting happening, keeping Livvy going.  We got to see the way of the shaman as we also see what was not right to.  The picture was drawn with not normal, but telling us was normal was at the same time.  Nicely drawn to give us two views at once.  This kept me curious to what I would learn next and what Livvy would be drawn into next as she unknowingly got drawn into help with shamans getting trapped and dying.

I didn't suspect any of the characters until close to the end.  There were things I thought might be against what I thought they should 'believe' in.  And in that, I got surprised as the author hide the guilty party.  Oh, I loved that the character wasn't stupid and left suspicion around them self.  In books I notice the "bad guy" leaves clues that they are the guilty one, now if they really wanted to get away with what they did they wouldn't.  This is done wonderfully to surprise me in the end.  Well done!


I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
Do remember this review is of my own thoughts and opinion.

The Gearheart: Artifice Ep 30, 31 & 32


Nicholas & Astrid


The Gearheart

By:  Alex White


Format:  Podcast; 33 minutes

Genre:  Fantasy

Episode:  30 of 37

Synopsis:
The Hangman teaches Astrid a powerful lesson, and an old ally finds himself in a dire situation.

My Thoughts & Summary:
The Hangman gets a message from his formerly employed assassins.  Since their job is complete, they have taken on new clients, and most likely will be heading his way, so sent that message as a warning.  Astrid is working away, for Nicholas, to complete all he wants done, but finds there is a way for him to survive to see the new world he plans on creating; with the death of all man kind.  Nicholas tells Astrid what his end result plans are.

Nicholas shares his planned results, and I kind of had a feeling this was going to be it when Astrid offered to find a way for him to live and see.  He plans to... to remove all likes of magic from the world, including the magic man possesses.

Surprise! Surprise!  This was a very nice little treat here.  I didn't expect to see this man back.  I was very bummed to think he had died.  And after the last several episodes he was in, I grew fond of him.  So I loved that he is here, although not in this place.  It's not one I would wish on anyone.  But, he has a voice projected into his cell; Greta, leaving a thought in his mind about powerful magi who could cast spells with their toes... Hmmm, this man could very well be strong enough to pull this off, and get out.


##########
Cog

Format:  Podcast; 35 minutes

Episode:  31 of 37

Synopsis:
The party of survivors discuss their future, and Cog makes a breakthrough in her search for Jonathan.  Meanwhile, Astrid makes a breakthrough of her own... What could it be?

My Thoughts & Summary:
Cog is feeling as she has taken on a leadership position in a group she doesn't want to be a part of, but now she is keeping together - the Seekers.  She worries about Jonathan.  Her, Augustus, and Maeve are five days from Circeville battle, and close to Keldenorn.  Astrid has made a discovery with what she can do with the revolutionary soldiers that get to close to the manor, and her and The Hangman plan on a trial run of the generator soon.

Augustus is struggling.  He wants to leave the Seekers, and just work on the ship he knows needs help.  Cog has an honest talk with Augustus, and he stays with her.  Astrid has fallen into the ways of Nicholas'.  The soul-sucking ways with the soldiers, and using them kind of like batteries.  Wow.  She has fallen into this persona.

We learn more about Maeve and her magic touch.  She has a connection that doesn't break when she is done with them, and she can 'feel' where they are.  Things have come back around with Maeve.  We see her connection here, her connection with Leland (who meet with Isabelle back in the beginning).  She is the one to help Cog find Nicholas.

I liked the way this with Maeve has connected and turned around with the characters.  Very neat!  All characters are important in their own ways.

##########
Audun/Jonathan

Format:  Podcast; 25 minutes

Episode:  32 of 37

Synopsis:
Jonathan learns a powerful secret, and Cog, Augustus and Maeve prepare to make landfall in Keldenorn. What will they find?

My Thoughts & Summary:
We see though Jonathan's view, which is now in the back of his mind as Audun has taken over and growing stronger.  Jonathan needs to find a weakness in Audun so he can try to take control of his body once again.  There is a secret he stumbles upon, one that might help him.  The Captain of the ship Cog, Augustus and Maeve are on does not want to be at Keldenorn, and won't go closer.  With ships showing as heading their way, he agrees to let them take the dingy to shore.

I really like the views we get here.  It's opposite what we've been getting as Jonathan is locked in the recesses of his mind, with Audun in the drivers seat.

This is a neat view through Jonathan's eyes, in his mind, which would have been a view like what Audun has lived with for centuries.  And that he gets a secreted message too!  Neat!  The secret Jonathan sees, is how Audun knew what the future was.  This could help him, find a way to get through to Audun.

We also get a view of Keldenorn through Audun's eyes.  As the place is now, and what it was like so long ago when Audun was alive, in his own body.  The place is in such trouble.



Are you curious about The Gearheart yet?  Well, you can go listen, and look through the amazing pictures of characters at http://www.thegearheart.com/ or you can download on your iPod to listen as well.  Do hope you enjoy as well!


I'm listening to this Podcast for my own enjoyment.

Book Blog Chat (26) 1st Stop

We have come to the half-way point of our read, Devil's Punch by Ann Aguirre, and it's time to chat about it.

Today Robyn, at The Bookoholic Zone, is hosting the chat.  Do join us there and share your thoughts thus far.

We do have a few questions each to get us started, but we will chat anything you can think of and mention in the comments. (about the book, obviously.) lol

NOTE:  If you have not read the book yet, and plan to, there WILL BE SPOILERS in the comments, and potentially in the questions.

Alright!  Time to Chat!  Jump over and join in.

Throwback Thursday (63)


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:

Aaaah, yes.  I read the Immortal Instruments series and enjoyed the world and magic type created by Cassandra.  So I picked up this first book of her other series set with the same style magic.  I really do want to get to this one of these days.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cover Release: Outpost & A Short Story: Endurance

Have you seen the cover for Outpost by Ann Aguirre?  It's available over at Heroes and Heartbreakers.com along with the novella short story Endurance.  So, go read Endurance (you do have to log on, but it's free to join their site).  Endurance is a story with Thimble and Stone, friends of Duece's in the Enclave.


{UPDATED June 18, 2012} It seems Endurance was free for only a promotional period, and not any longer. Do look for the ebook coming.

Freaky new cover, right!?!  I love it! The hand just makes it all the creepier.  I can't wait to get this one, my son and I enjoyed reading Enclave together, and reviewed it together.  (In case you would like to hear his thoughts, keep in mind he was 12 years old.)  And I think this will be so fun to read this one with him as well.

Outpost
By:  Ann Aguirre
Due Out:  September 4, 2012

Blurb from Ann Aguirre's Site:
SALVATION ISN’T AS SAFE AS IT SEEMS.
Deuce’s whole world has changed. Now living topside in a community called Salvation, she has a whole new set of problems. Down below, she was considered an adult, and she contributed to the whole. Now, topside, the people of Salvation think she’s a brat in need of training. She hates school, and she doesn’t fit in with the other girls. They’ve spent their lives learning to cook and sew–suitable woman’s work. Deuce only knows how to fight. To make matters worse, Fade keeps her at a distance, and the band of four has broken into fragments.
Stalker presses for a closer relationship, but Deuce sees him as a training partner, and she’s busy trying to find her place in Salvation. She refuses to accept that she’s wrong for being who she is, but tensions rise as she struggles against the status quo. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.
Once she’s free from school for the year, Deuce pursues a chance to serve in the summer patrols–those responsible for making sure the growers and planters can work the fields without danger of Freak attack. It should have been routine, little fighting, but things have been changing on surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks are smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it will take a girl like Deuce to turn the tide.

11 Question Meme

I'm late with this one.  Sorry, I've been answering these questions over time, as I come up with answers.  These are harder questions than originally thought!

Michelle of Oh! For the Love of Books tagged me in this meme.  I thought it sounded like fun, so thought I'd answer the questions she possed...

1. What was your favorite book you read in high school?
Seeing as I was NOT a book reader in high school, cough there were other things to...occupy? my mind. ;) I will say I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare in English class. It's stuck with me over the years.

2. What makes a great hero in a book?
Hmmm, I guess I'll think on some great hero's I enjoy reading... Someone that can add 1 + 1 to get 2.  Not a character that misses all the blatantly obvious facts and stumbles into saving everyone.  I also seem to like a hero that takes action into their own hands.  Fights on.  One that will not quit no matter how bad it is and won't let others stop them.  But there has to be a comic relief, not always the hero thought.

3. True or False - All is fair in love and war?
At first I wanted to say True, but then thinking I say False.  People do things in the name of love, that still shouldn't be done, or withheld from the one you love.

4. What was the best gift you ever got?  Oh this is hard!  Hmmm, it depends on the time and year. lol.  I got so many amazing gifts, and most are from my husband.  But then the little gifts are heartfelt as well.  I don't think I can pinpoint one

5. What's your favorite word to say out loud?
Wipe-ass.  lol.  Everyone says Ass-wipe and I like to reverse it.  Makes me smile when I'm mad at whoever I'm talking about.

6. What is one blogging goal you have for this year?  I wanted to try to get back to series I've started, and veered away from with review books coming in.  I'm not doing so good about that, as I've been starting NEW series! Eep!  I need to get focused again.

7. What is your guilty pleasure?  My guilty pleasure... Fantasy reads.  Well, in the reading end that is. ;) Fantasy books are my pleasure reads, oh yes all books are but fantasy seems to be one I don't read as much these days but so love it.

8. How would you describe the perfect setting for writing or reading?
Peaceful.  A comfy chair, blanket, hot tea, and no one bugging me.  No TV going, but could have music, depending on my mood and what I'm writing/reading on the style of music.

9. What are the top three songs on your playlist?  Don't laugh, well okay you can laugh...
        (Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams ~ This is for my Nano re-read
        Several of Adele's songs have been played a lot.
        2 of Marie Digby's songs are playing ~ Spell & What I've done ~ I just love her voice!


10. What are you scared of?  This question has stumped me, and I'm not sure what I'm scared of.  I keep trying to think of something solid, spiders or something.  But I really don't know.  Sorry.

11. What came first - the chicken or the egg?
Well, the egg of course!  I'm one to believe in evolution, so I think something evolved into the chicken bringing about that species had to have eggs in reproduction... now the question is what came first, that creature or the egg... hee hee, and I'd say the creature then. ;D


I'm to pick people and ask 11 questions... I'm going to leave it open.  It's always neat to learn new things about my friends out here, so if you would like to answer 1 or all 11 in the comments, or on your blog, please do!

1)  Favorite Book in High School?  Did you even read in High School?
2)  Favorite Word to say?
3)  Guilty Pleasure?
4)  Perfect setting for Reading or Writing?
5)  Top Three songs on Playlist?
6)  Which do you look for Romance or Action in a book?
7)  Do you like world or character based books?
8)  Twitter or Facebook?
9)  What are you afraid of?
10) Which came first - the chicken or the egg?
11)  And... I'm at a loss for the last question! LOL!

PC Game Review: Tiger's Eye: The Sacrifice

Tiger's Eye: The Sacrifice

Author:  Marjorie M. Liu

Company:  Passionfruit Games

Released:  April 12, 2012

Series:  2nd in Tiger's Eye series of games; 1st Tiger's Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box

Recommendation:  Oh yes!!  Do you enjoy mind challenging games?  And PNR books?  This is a wonderful game for you!  Even if you don't read books.

Review:
Oh this was a wonderful mind challenging game that also links to the PNR book world.  First, no, you don't have to read the books to play the game.  I haven't *shame on me* I do want to though, after playing these games.  The game easily walks you through the stages with clips of the characters and what you are to do to get to the next phase, so no pre-reading needed.

To start the game, you get to pick the Option of Difficulty; Casual which is with sparkles over areas of interest (which I used) or Advanced which is with out the sparkles and the tutorial is turned off.  Maybe now that I've played the game once and know what I'm to do ahead of time, I could play with the Advanced level to take the challenge up a step for me.
Backstage of the Theater
It is nice to see the clips and scene shots as we go through the game.  To see what it is we are working for.  We find ourselves in Dela's home, the theater, the morgue, and many other places around Dela's home town.  And even trying to save her friend!
To Save Kit
There are different types of mystical puzzles with in this whole process to challenge you.  I will say it is amazing the way ones mind works.  I found a few challenges to be particularly hard for me, and I started to get frustrated.  This however is my personality, I don't like it when I can't get something right quickly.  But I sat back looked at the screen, and did the hand palm thing as I saw exactly what I was missing.  Yeap.  That is what I LOVE about these games.  They really made me think, the whole purpose, as I don't like when I can breeze through games without batting an eyelash.  This game had me working, and I loved it for it.
Magi Ritual Room
There are games with hidden items, connect the pieces to create parts and paths, find parts then complete the puzzles inside.  Puzzles inside puzzles.  You have to do one stage of finding the "pieces" that will then open up another puzzle to solve.  You are not limited to just the one screen you are on either.  Some pieces could be back on another screen.  You have to go find them.

But there are clues!  You can earn extra clues to help you get to the parts you can't find because they are hidden so well.  I did get stumped a few times, and used the journal to track what I was to do, as I had a few puzzles going at one time, and the hints button to get to where I needed to be, when I was off on another screen.

As a whole this game took me a little over 5 hours to complete.  I even got caught up in playing it over the weekend, and lost track of time.  So easy to do.

If you are interested in purchasing either, or both, of the portions of the game ~ Tigers Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box, or Tigers Eye: The Sacrifice, you can find them at PassionfruitGames.com

Tiger Eye 2 Trailer from Rally Marketing Group on Vimeo.



I received this game for review from the creators for review.

Book Review: Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

Edited By:  J.R. Blackwell

Publisher:  Galileo Publishing

Publish Date:  January 2012

Format:  Paperback, 85pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  Stand alone, anthology

Recommendation:  If you like quick views into minds of people during the zombie-apocalypse, this is a quick read for you, and fun too.

Book Synopsis:
The Zombies Are Here!

Gimme Shelter, the anthology of the zombie Apocalypse, is now available!  Gimme Shelter is about zombies, survival, fathers and daughters, teenagers making out, guns, awkward third dates, reality TV gone wrong, and having a sense of humor in the face of impending disaster.  Its a love letter to horror, zombies and the apocalypse.

Gimme Shelter features all-new fiction from Filamena Young, Jared Axelrod, PJ Schnyder, Christiana Ellis, Peter Woodworth, Tee Morris, Mur Lafferty, Rob Wieland, David A. Hill Jr., Phillipa Ballentine, Chuck Wendig, and J.R. Blackwell.

My Thoughts and Summary:
This is a very different type of anthology for me.  The idea was started from a game.  And the stories are all very short, just a few pages.  The stories are all brief moments in a persons mind during the zombie apocalypse.  Brief weighted moments of life or death at a stressful and difficult time.  What choice would you make if you were in their places?

I enjoyed reading these views, as truthfully, I had not thought about what I would think if the zombie apocalypse came about.  These all gave different views and circumstances to think on, and from both human and zombie eyes.  There were two stories that jumped to the top of my favorite list: Lions by Peter Woodworth and Third Date Questions by Mur Lafferty.  Still a fun, quick read.

What follows is just a sentence or two to tell what the story focuses on, or what I could share to not give the quick views away.

Forward by J. R. Blackwell:
We learn the idea for this anthology was spared from a game, Shelter in Place.

Introduction by Dr. John Cmar:
John brings to attention a few things people might thing about when the zombies come, and question how people would react.

Fred by Filamena Young:
Fred watches his wife eat the family dog as he changes to an undead, himself.  The thoughts that run through his mind of his wife and him.

Don't Work So Well by Jared Axelrod:
Why this zombie, who doesn't know he is one, searches for brains to eat.

Remember My Name by PJ Schnyder:
A marine helps hold back zombies with his guns to get one special young girl aboard a ship.  Her safety is important, and he will fight for it.

Zombepreneur by Christiana Ellis:
A group help up in a convenient store and gas station discuss making money or other profits from the gas they have, with the electric out.  Always a profit-or out there somewhere.

Lions by Peter Woodworth:
A touching tale of Cole and Samantha, father and daughter, who have barracked themselves in the house with the dead outside.  There is one survivor running down the road and Cole runs out to bring her into the house.  OH!! This one surprised me!  I REALLY liked this one.

Is Your Love Strong Enough by Tee Morris:
How strong would you be if your daughter and wife were infected?  Would you follow through with your emergency plan?

Third Date Questions by Mur Lafferty:
What question would be on the top of the list on a third date, at time of zombie infections?  LOL! I had to laugh, this is one strong woman.  And I loved what she had to do.

Samuel Colt Made Them Equal by Rob Wieland:
Where this colt had been and who it aimed at.

Interview With The Zombie by David A. Hill Jr.:
An interview with a zombie to get his take on how the zombies would invade.  LOL!  Such a basic mind!

Unexpected Residents by Philippa Ballentine:
Ghost hunters find more than expected when ghost hunting in a big old house.

Second Base by Chuck Wendig:
Young love at the time when zombies are starting to fall apart, years after the first infected.  But can they think to fix themselves?

Love Letter by J.R. Blackwell:
So many views of zombies, all brought together here.  But... They are Coming!!


You can find this little read on Lulu.

I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Who? What? Where? (63)


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'm sitting with Charity in Mr. Smedley's English class room, waiting for Louise to come to class.  It's strange she's not here already, she is one to be early and excited about school.  But Charity is anxious for her arrival to tell her what she found out about the body that was found, and the totally hot boy she saw...on an all girls campus.

Dormitory of the Dead
By:  Kelly Lougheed