Friday, May 31, 2013

Freebies and Deals, on Nook too (56)

Barnes & Nobles Freebie Friday Thread.

99C for weekend!
Finders Keepers by Russ Colchamiro
Amazon ~ Kindle
Goodreads Synopsis:
Caught in the netherworld between college and a career, novice backpacker Jason Medley and adventuresome Theo Barnes stumble through this novel filled with European hash bars and hangovers, religious zealots and stalkers, saucy girls and overnight trains—all under the looming specter of adult responsibility. But when a jar of the universe’s DNA accidentally drops to Earth from eternity, these new friends find their loyalties put to the test, unaware that a motley crew from another realm is feverishly chasing them across the globe with the fate of the Milky Way hanging in the balance. Traversing Europe, New Zealand, and the backbone of eternity, this hilarious buddy story not only tackles friendship, sex, love, and desire, but also God, reincarnation, and what really happened to the dinosaurs.

Right now this one is up for 99c, BUT! Will be free over the weekend.  So, if you want it, keep looking!
First (Wrong) Impressions by Krista D. Ball
Amazon ~ Kindle
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lizzy Bennet’s fundraising mission is to keep her homeless centre’s clients well-fed through a cold prairie winter. She meets the snobby and pompous William Darcy of Fitz & William Enterprises. While she'd never dare ask him for help, she can't stop bumping into him -- sometimes, quite literally.

But when Lizzy's campaign is cut short by the disappearance of her sixteen year old sister, William and his younger sister step in to help the woman they want to make part of their family.

Inspired by Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice, First (Wrong) Impressions is Lizzy's quest for happiness, security, and love in the 21st century.

Hunter's Blood Special Edition (Cursed by Blood Saga) by Marianne Morea
Amazon ~ Kindle   /   Barnes & Noble ~ Nook
Goodreads Synopsis:
This fast paced short story sets the beginning of the Cursed by Blood Saga. The novella also includes the first four chapters of book two... Enjoy!'s a way of life for psychic, Lily Saburi. Haunted since the brutal murder of her best friend and partner, she's obsessed with retribution-a vigilante bent on striking a blow for humanity against the shadowed world of the supernatural. Prey turned predator she aims to even the score-one bullet at a time starting with the beast that changed her life forever. Prepared for Armageddon she's in for the fight of her life. But when mortally wounded by a diseased and insane Were, Lily is rescued by a most unlikely savior-Were-hunter, Sean Leighton. Sexy and powerful, Leighton is charged with destroying anything infected with the deadly pathogen threatening the survival of his pack, and that includes Lily. But their immediate attraction leaves them both breathless and confused. As Lily grapples with truth about herself, Leighton is faced with the looming reality that he will most likely have to kill the woman he's falling in love with. Only time will tell if they are destined to be together or if they'll fall victim to the Hunter's Blood.

Spirit Caller by Krista D. Ball
Amazon ~ Kindle
Goodreads Synopsis:
Rachel Mills has one wish in life: for the spirit world to shut up and leave her alone. She thought her move to a remote fishing village in Northern Newfoundland would help.

Population: Twenty. What could go wrong?

Instead of peace, however, she relocates to a land of superstitution, the air alive with the presence of others.

When a local teenager accidentally summons the spirits of the area, including those from a thousand-year-old Viking settlement, all supernatural breaks loose. As the spirits stalk her and each other, Rachel finds herself in over her head. With the help of Mrs. Saunders, her 93-year-old neighbour, Rachel has to put aside her own prejudices long enough to send the spirits back to rest, or risk being caught in the midst of a spirit war.

Alright, I *think* that is all I have.  Do you have any to share with us this week? Thank you!

Looking Forward To...(122)

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.)

It's been a while since I've done one of these Friday Looking Forward posts.  And I miss doing them.

Next Book Is...

Psalms of Isaak  #4
By:  Ken Scholes
Due Out:  June 18, 2013

Ooooo, now this series.  Oh yes.  I've been loving these books since day one.  So much to the world.  Every word is valuable.  Dang this is goooood stuff.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Ken Scholes’s debut novel, Lamentation, was an event in fantasy. Heralded as a “mesmerizing debut novel” by Publishers Weekly, and a “vividly imagined SF-fantasy hybrid set in a distant, postapocalyptic future” by Booklist, the series gained many fans. It was followed by Canticle and Antiphon. Now comes the fourth book in The Psalms of Isaak, Requiem.

Who is the Crimson Empress, and what does her conquest of the Named Lands really mean? Who holds the keys to the Moon Wizard’s Tower?

The plots within plots are expanding as the characters seek their way out of the maze of intrigue. The world is expanding as they discover lands beyond their previous carefully controlled knowledge. Hidden truths reveal even deeper truths, and nothing is as it seemed to be.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review: Maven


By:  S.A. Huchton

Publish Date:  June 3, 2013

Format:  eARC, 225pgs

Genre:  Science Fiction Romance

Series:  1st in Endure series

Recommendation:  Oh YES!  Lovely romance in a underwater station, where Lydia's predecessors trash bin leads to a mystery of danger for Lydia and Daniel, and maybe others of the world too.

Book Synopsis:
How far would you go for love?

Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on teh Deep Water Research Command Endure.  Now 21, she's about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be.  Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren't enough, she's about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.

Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs...Or he may make everything worse.

Has she finally found a puzzle she can't solve?

Purchase At:
Amazon   /   Barnes & Nobles   /   Book Depository   /   CreateSpace  June 3, 2013

First Sentence:
Ten minutes out.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Lydia has reached her goal, set six years ago with several reasons, a position at Deep Water Research Command Endure.  But, things she had dreamed of here may not be as she thought.  Lydia is left abandoned upon her arrival as her sponsor forgets to meet and escort her to her lab.  Then gets a sight of her predecessor's rather organization and mess, which will take Lydia weeks to sort through.

Trying to make up for his lack of first impression, and looking the computer genius lackey with a reputation of being a ladies man of the Endure, Daniel realizes the beautiful Lydia is all work.  What Daniel doesn't know, Lydia has known of him for years and had hoped to find a kindred soul in him, being brilliant and young like her.  To show he can be focused and taking a new direction to win her eye, he sends her unknown sample files he found from her predecessors computer trash bin.  When Lydia finally looks at them, in Daniel's presence, she's curious about the specific bacteria and why sampled and tested on this facility.  Something is off, Lydia's never heard of projects centering around these, putting her and Daniel on the alert.  What Lydia learns is deadly, to her and to the world.

Lydia might find the man she was hoping for.  Daniel might learn to find what he was missing in life.  Lydia and Daniel will learn, with knowledge could come danger. These two hold more knowledge than the whole of the Endure, and can or have connected the dots... Will they find a level ground to work on to find a cure in time?

First, this book was what I was needing in a time I was struggling through many great reads.  I sat down with it Saturday evening, stayed up late, then woke up Sunday morning to pick it up and not set it down until I was done.  I just fell in love with Lydia and Daniel.  And the creation of Deep Water Research Command Endure.  I couldn't stop reading this one!  Adorable romance.

We are in year 2050, in an under water research station.  I felt I was experiencing Lydia's first experiences on the Endure with her.  Excited, and let down when the welcoming sponsor wasn't there.  But excited.  I love ocean research, I wanted to get into it when I was younger, so I'm thrilled to arrive with Lydia.

We get two point of views, Lydia's and Daniel's.

Meeting Lydia right off, I liked her.  Smart and sharp minded.  She made me smile at her words to Daniel as he saw her for a beautiful lady to hit on.  My kind of girl.  Love Lydia and her spunk.  Not only is she a genius but quick.  Lydia knows Daniel's reputation, and will not jeopardize her dream job for him.  I love how she puts him in place, subtle but done and he knows it.  It drives him NUTS!! lol.

Daniel!! Ooooo, boy that man is something, and the exponential growth of his character throughout the book.  WOW!  He is full of potential.  But when Daniel finds the left over files in the trash from Lydia's predecessor...things will take off, in all directions.

I was drawn to learn more of what Lydia and Daniel found and how they would get more information, worried they would get caught by the people creating this danger.  And there is their relationship.  Would it take off?  Would Daniel come to his full potential?  Will Lydia see Daniel for who he is?  Oh!  There are sparks between these two, and they fly.  Oh, the computer hacking.  The suspense as to if all would work.  The mystery of finding more details and suspense surrounding a few characters had me flipping to know more.  The corruption gets deeper and deeper as we go.  So good.  I had to see how it ended.

The romance was sweet and took it's time to build.  But when it built, aah... These two are young, twenty-two and twenty-one, but still young at heart.  They both grew up struggling with being far more advanced than others.

This story is a science fiction romance.  Yes, there is some science to it, but the romance is forefront.  The technical and science part, done so I understand but in no way deters from the genius of the characters.  The science is easy to understand and works in balance with the romance to create the story.

Refreshing drop of water with this story.  I love the aquatic take and the sparking romance.  Wonderful romance with a solid story and suspenseful mystery.  I love when the two come together so perfectly!

**I requested a copy of this for review from the author.

S.A. Huchton also has a few snippets up on her sight:

Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Hop, Winner!

Thank you all for hoping through and learning more about the Ministry Kickstarter.

If you haven't sponsored the kickstarter yet, you still can.  Time is narrowing in on the end of days.  We have 16 left as of May 30th.  There are many options you can select to sponsor and many valuable prizes for each step you choose.

This Kickstarter is for TWO items, An Anthology read or/and a Role-playing game.
  -- Only want the Anthology?  You can do that!  $5.00 backer will get you the eformat
  -- Only want the Ministry Initiative Role-playing game?  You can do that too!  $10.00 backer will get you PDF format
  -- Want BOTH! Anthology AND Role-playing game?  Yep, $15.00 backer is for you! (I did this one)
  -- Want more works?  All sorts of stories and prizes are added with each increased step of backing.

Do you want it now?  Okay, easy to do.  Kickstarter uses Amazon's paying system when ONLY WHEN the kickstarter is done and reached their goal.  If they don't reach the goal by the end, no money will be taken from your account.

Okay, to Kickstarter you can go...

Okay, now that I feel better with explaining it a bit, I can get to the winner!

The winner of one Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences book...

Becky Tetrault

Congrats, and I do hope you turn your airship to visit again!

**Becky has been emailed and has 72 hours from May 30, 2013 from 10:00am EST to respond before another winner will be picked.

Throwback Thursday (116)

I found this picture of Trinity College Library, and thought it would work for this meme with a little play with lighting and adding the words.

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:

Sorry this post is late today, I've been a bit out of sorts with days and time this week.  Holidays...

This one was in a sale box at the store when I walked in one day.  Sounded good, and the price...well, couldn't pass it up.  Now it's waiting for me, still. *sigh*

Goodreads Synopsis:
This first novel in the Noble Warriors sequence begins when sixteen-year-old Seeker's older brother is publicly humiliated and--with no explanation--exiled from the Nomana, a revered order of warrior monks. Seeker refuses to believe that his beloved older brother is capable of committing a betryal that would warrant such severe consequences, so he sets off alone on a journey to rescue his brother and find out at last what really happened.

Along the way he meets two other young people who are on quests of their own, and in a shocking turn of events, the three are soon caught up in a harrowing and bloody race to save the Nomana--and themselves--from destruction.

An epic coming-of-age story about courage, friendship, desire, and faith,Seeker marks the beginning of a riveting new series.

I've heard back from a few bloggers that they would like to join in this meme post, so I'm adding a Linky for you to join in.  Grab the picture above, and join in.  All I ask, is if you can acknowledge my blog in the post so others know where to come back to 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cover Reveal & Book Description: Dawn's Early Light

I've been in love with this series, and turned many on to it (or so I hear).  I'm not going to spend your precious time talking about it as the cover can speak for itself.


So many of us have been waiting for this fabulous day!  So, here it is!!!

Dawn's Early Light
Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #3
By:  Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Due Out:  November 2013
Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…

After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

Tee and Pip are running a Kickstarter for 2 items!
  > Brand New Anthology
  > A Roleplaying Game set in world of Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

Check it out: 

About the Authors:
Philippa (Pip) Ballantine
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have been short listed for the Parsec Awards, and won a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist and Spectyr and Wrayth out now, and Harbinger to follow. She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. She also has the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox out now.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband, Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of three cats.

Tee Morris
Tee Morris began his writing career with his 2002 historical epic fantasy, MOREVI The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana. In 2005 Tee took MOREVI into the then-unknown podosphere, making his novel the first book podcast in its entirety.

That experience led to the founding of and collaborating with Evo Terra and Chuck Tomasi on Podcasting for Dummies and its follow-up, Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies.

He won acclaim and accolades for his cross-genre fantasy-detective Billibub Baddings Mysteries, the podcast of The Case of the Singing Swordwinning him the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Audio Drama. Along with those titles, Tee has written articles and short stories for BenBella Books’s Farscape Forever: Sex, Drugs, and Killer Muppets, the podcast anthology VOICES: New Media Fiction, BenBella Books’ So Say We All: Collected Thoughts and Opinions of Battlestar Galactica, and Dragon Moon Press’ Podthology: The Pod Complex.

Tee bought all these skills to the award-winning Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series which he wrote with his wife, Pip Ballantine. When he is not writing, Tee enjoys life in Virginia alongside Philippa Ballantine, his daughter, and three cats.

Who? What? Where? (116)

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.

his 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 )

This Week:

I'm Beta reading!! I can't share where I am. :( Bummer. But I can say I'm loving this read. :) I'll be able to share more on this little Romance in a few months.

Even though I'm beta reading, you can still link up!

Others have shown interest in joining in this post, and linking up.  So I've created a linky for that.
My only requests; copy the picture to use, and link back to My words and pages.
Please visit any joining in.
Thank you!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thoughts On: The Dreamer's Thread, Ep 21, 22, 23, & 24

The Dreamer's Thread

By:  Starla Huchton

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Ep 21 ~  21:18 mins

Chapters:  38

Book Synopsis:
Everyone Dreams.  But what would you do if you suddenly found out that you were one of the few who creates dreams for the whole world?  Would you use your power to harness the light and weave it into beautiful tapestries of magic and wonder, or would you fall prey to the seductive siren song of darkness and nightmares?  For artist Aura Mayville, this becomes a reality as she is ripped from her life.

This Episode:
Aura receives a timeline, a letter, and a lie...

My Thoughts and Summary:
Aura's inner self shows through as she gives a firework light display trying to lighten the mood of worry.  A time line has come, we know how many days to come.  But things change...

The battle starts.


Format:  Podcast, Ep 22 ~  40:45 mins

Chapters:  39 & 40

This Episode:
The enemy arrives as Aura squares off against Rose...

My Thoughts and Summary:
The fight is on!  Aura is drained for a bit from a connection she needed to make for the region.  After she's recovered she gives an encouraging speech.  And feels the presence of Rose.

Will Aura find a weakness in the strong darkness of Rose?


Format:  Podcast, Ep 23 ~  23:35 mins

Chapters:  41

This Episode:
Plans progress for the coming battle as Aura's friends make a discover about her...

My Thoughts and Summary:
After Aura's fight... fixing herself and helping Ina with her condition.

Oh wait now.  A secret love? Or crush maybe.  Ooo, I like this.  Then off to battle the arm goes.  Aura gets there, and the odds look... not in their favor.  But, they might have a one-up over the Nightmare creatures.  Just maybe...


Format:  Podcast, Ep 24 ~  44:00 mins

Chapters:  42 & 43

This Episode:
Plans progress for the coming battle as Aura's friends make a discover about her...

My Thoughts and Summary:
I love the use of youthful movies and Disney in this story.  And a bit of a twist to what Aura does at the end.

What?  You thought I'd tell you exactly what happened?  Nope, you have to listen, or read it. :)

I'll share my overall thoughts of the story soon. :)

You can learn more about Starla Huchton's works at her site:

You can listen to The Dreamer's Thread by Starla Huchton for free at:
(the whole book is available for listen now)

Or you can purchase the book to read in print or ebook at:

Teaser Tuesday (164)

Teaser Tuesday
is a weekly event

Here's how it works:

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

This Week:

Crushing pain pressed against my senses.  I shivered, as the spirits around me turned their attention to me.  Beings of spirit recognize spirit callers and many feel drawn to those whispers like moths to a flame.

Spirits Rising
By:  Krista D. Ball

At this moment (of me creating the post) the book is free for download on Amazon!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mythical Monday (12)

It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

This week we have:
Fantasy author Rachel Neumeier
Talking of the Griffins.

Zoological Museum, Copenhagen

So, why griffins?

Griffins were actually an obvious choice for me.  I’m not saying griffins are my favorite mythological creature.  I sure don’t have anything against dragons, for example.  In fact, dragons appear in two of my own books (The Floating Islands and House of Shadows), though the dragons in each book are certainly very different.

But I’ve always had a soft spot for griffins. 

Not because of any particular symbolism associated with griffins, though.  I mean, I know that griffins have had all kinds of associations, in all kinds of cultures.  Take, for example, the Pisa Griffin.  (It’s the same Pisa as the one with the Leaning Tower.)  This huge bronze statue may be in Pisa, but it was made by an Islamic sculptor in the 11th Century.  Around its chest and body, there’s an Arabic inscription saying:  “Perfect benediction, complete wellbeing, perfect joy, eternal peace and perfect health, and happiness and good fortune for the owner."  That’s quite a load for one statue to carry, even if it is the largest bronze statue known from that era.

The Pisa Griffin

And in European heraldry, griffins are supposed to symbolize strength and valor and nobility.  This makes sense, because after all a griffin combines in one creature both the “king of beasts” and the “king of the air.”  In his book System of Heraldry (1722), Alexander Nisbet described griffins thus:  "The griffin represents wisdom joined to fortitude, but wisdom should lead, and fortitude follow."   And – here’s an interesting tidbit – the griffins shown in heraldry are almost all female!  Because in European heraldry, only female griffins have wings.  Male griffins are instead shown with bursts of spikes, which are supposed to represent the rays of the sun.

But did I know any of this when I wrote The Griffin Mage trilogy?  Actually, no.  I learned most of it just now, when looking up stuff about mythological creatures for this very post.

When I decided to include griffins in a story of my own, I actually wasn’t of thinking of griffins from a historical or symbolic or heraldic perspective.  I was thinking of the griffins I have loved in other people’s stories.  The griffins in Diana Wynne Jones’ Year of the Griffin, for example.  I love Kit and Callette and Elda and the other griffins in that story!

Or how about O’Donohoe’s wonderful griffin, Asturiel, from The Magic and the Healing trilogy?  Has anybody else read this excellent trilogy?  If you haven’t, you’re missing out.  Asturiel isn’t the main character, but he’s certainly memorable.  He’s a bit rigid and more than a little ruthless – in fact, he reminds me more than a little of Inspector Javert from Les Miserables.  But then, I always did sympathize with Inspector Javert.  I actually had O’Donohoe’s griffin in mind when I first thought of including griffins in a book of my own, which only goes to show, because of course my griffins are absolutely nothing like Asturiel.

What happened was, I wrote the first couple of paragraphs of Lord of the Changing Winds, and those paragraphs came out more or less this way:

                The griffins came to Feierabiand with the early summer warmth, riding the wind out of the heights down to the tender pastures of the foothills.  The wind they brought with them was a hard hot wind, with nothing of the gentle Feierabiand summer about it.  It tasted of red dust and hot brass.
                Kes . . . saw them come:  great bronze wings shining in the sun, tawny pelts like molten gold, sunlight striking harshly off beaks and talons.  One was a hard shining white, one red as the coals at the heart of a fire.  The griffins rode their wind like soaring eagles, wings outstretched and still.  The sky took on a fierce metallic tone as they passed.  They turned around the shoulder of the mountain and disappeared, one and then another and another, until they had all passed out of sight.  Behind them, the sky softened slowly to its accustomed gentle blue.

And this was completely unexpected.  I’m serious.  I honestly had no idea I was going to make griffins into creatures of fire until, check it out, there they are bringing a desert with them into the ordinary countryside.  Who knew?

But I liked the idea at once.  I didn’t just keep it, I ran with it.  Right away it was obvious that if griffins were going to be creatures of fire, this could set them up as different from ordinary human people, who I immediately decided were creatures of earth.  And if griffins were going to be different from humans, I decided I’d make them different – different not only physically and in the magic they use, but also psychologically.  Though I hope readers will enjoy my griffins, and sympathize with them, and more or less kind of understand them, my griffins aren’t human – and from that difference arises the underlying conflict that drives the whole griffin trilogy.

Could I have used dragons instead of griffins?  Of course .  But everybody who reads fantasy has already got a favorite dragon, isn’t that right?  Or at the very least a clear picture of what a proper dragon ought to be like, whether a dangerous monster, or basically a regular person, or a wonderful plot device.  We already know plenty about dragons.  But griffins don’t come with such firmly attached images or associations.  I had fun taking a less well-known mythological creature off in a direction even I couldn’t predict.  And I hope my readers have fun with that, too!

You can find Rachel Neumeier:
Blog:  Rachel Neumeier
Twitter:  @RachelNeumeier

You can now find the complete The Griffin Mage Trilogy in one neat book:

Or you can purchase each book separately:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Post #13

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


It's Sunday, and I've started this post Thursday night...See, I just returned home from Balticon.  I do plan on having a big Balticon post.  I've been taking notes and pictures. :)  But, I'm late in this post as I was busy having to much fun.  And now it's time to return to real life. *sigh*

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
I don't have anything at the moment. I'm busy having fun!

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
I'm not listening to anything either. Still having fun! :D

Finished Last Week:
Rough Magic by Kenny Soward


Last Week on the Blog:

Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)
Urban Fantasy

Thoughts on: The Dreamer's Thread Episodes 18, 19, & 20 by Starla Huchton

The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow  (review)

The Jessica McClain Ultimate Swag Giveaway!

The Ministry Kickstarter Blog Hop...And Giveaway! (I'm offering one of the three Ministry books to 1 person)

Weekly Posts:

***NEW*** Mythical Monday ~ Talking of the Legend of Fionn Mac Cumhaill
Teaser Tuesday
Who? What? Where? Wend.
Throwback Thursday
Freebies and Deals, on Nook too
Looking Forward To...


This Week to Come on the Blog:

The Weekly Posts.
A Cover Reveal with Description... One that MANY will be excited to see!
As for Reviews...I'm not sure. *sigh* I'm at Balticon!  So, look for a fun post about it to come this week, or maybe next week.  We'll see how fast I recover. ;)

Received Last Week:

Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger
Goodreads Synopsis:
Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity...but what happens when danger collides with desire?

Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face to face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.

Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind--or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both…

This goes both ways.  I won the bidding for this and donated money to the school when I won.  The first part of my winnings is this shawl.  I'm excited to have it!  It'll come in handy as I'm working at the computer.

Purchased or Got at Balticonh:
I will share these next week.  I might have got a bit purchase happy... er, yep. I did. 

Reviews in the Works:

The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan
Maven by S.A. Huchton
Rough Magic by Kenny Soward

Friday, May 24, 2013

Looking Forward To...(121)

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.)

It's been a while since I've done one of these Friday Looking Forward posts.  And I miss doing them.

Next Book Is...

By:  many fantasy authors
Due Out:  June, 2013

This is an anthology to help Shawn Speakman with his diagnoses of Hogdkin's lymphoma.  The many amazing fantasy authors in this are ones I've enjoyed, and want to read ever more, and it goes to helping someone when they need it.

Goodreads Synopsis:
You define life or it defines you.

In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both.

Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story Shawn could sell toward alleviating those bills—and suggested Shawn ask the same of his other friends.

Unfettered is the result, an anthology built to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.

Every story in this volume is new and, like the title suggests, the writers were free to write whatever they wished. Authors contributing are 
-The Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks (a Shannara tale)
-Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks (a precursor to the Word/Void trilogy)
-How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss (a Four Corners tale)
-River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (a Wheel of Time tale)
-The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
-Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey (a precursor to the Kushiel series)
-Dogs by Daniel Abraham
-Mudboy by Peter V. Brett (a Demon Cycle tale)
-Nocturne by Robert V. S. Redick
-The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian (a Vault of Heaven tale)
-Untitled by Geno & R.A. Salvatore
-Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood (a Summer Dragon tale)
-Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
-The Lasting Doubts of Joaquin Lopez by Blake Charlton
-The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid tale)
-Select Mode by Mark Lawrence (a Broken Empire tale)
-All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
-Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth (a Struck epilogue tale)
-Unbowed by Eldon Thompson (a Legend of Asahiel tale)
-Untitled by Naomi Novik (a Temeraire tale)
-The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan (a Riyria Chronicles tale)
-The Duel by Lev Grossman (a Magicians tale)
-The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman (an Annwn Cycle tale)
and artist Todd Lockwood, who donated artwork as well as a story.

With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right but it’s a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community—proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises.

After all, isn’t that the driving narrative in fantasy literature?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: The Iron Wyrm Affair

The Iron Wyrm Affair

By:  Lilith Saintcrow

Publisher:  Orbit Books

Publish Date:  August 7, 2012

Format:  Paperback, 5"x8" 308pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Fantasy

Series:  1st in Bannon and Clare series

Recommendation:  Oh yes!  London in a new light, full of magic and clockworks all with a strong murder mystery to solve! To save lives, and the country.

Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath.  His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable.  It doesn't help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon's Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself.  Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.

In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

The game is afoot...

First Sentence:
When the young dark-haired woman stepped into his parlour, Archibald Clare was only mildly intrigued.

Purchase At:

My Thoughts and Summary:
Emma Bannon might have been a late to save one unregistered mentath, but she was in time to save Archibald Clare.  Though they will have to fight sorcery to keep him safe, that's where Emma comes in - a Prime Sorceress.  The Queen relies on sorcerers and mentath's to help her run the country.  Someone has been killing registered mentath's of the Queens, and now moved on to unregistered ones.  Clare does not feel he was fully the focus after the first attack in the presence of Emma.  Maybe the focus on sorcery too?

A story with an alternate Victorian Era of elegance, full of crafted magic, touch of steampunk style mystery, and a cunning of Sherlock Holmes creating a memorable and stunning partnership of Emma Bannon and Archibald Clare.  I am a magic lover.  I also truly enjoy the Victorian Era feel with steam accents.  Blend them together and I'm sold!  Lilith blows you away with the combination and an intriguing murder mystery.

Each paragraph is compacted with details of every angle. The world grows, the characters grow.  The case reveals.  Every word is needed to feel the creation here.

I enjoyed the Prelude.  Clare and Bannon first meeting as Clare is called to the Queen by Bannon's visit.  Ooooo, makes me curious of Clare and his history along with the strong-ness present in Bannon.  When danger is afoot for Clare.  We learn quick as the story takes off and doesn't slow with the information or action.

I was taken with the term mentath.  See, Clare is a mentath.  Mentath's are like walking talking calculators and logic analysts.  He reads everything from reactions of people to encyclopedias and deduces logical answers.  And he's right!  But magic throws a wrench in the gears of his thinking process.  For any mentath actually.  Clare handles the "logic" of magic rather well...but does find an aspect that doesn't compute for him.  When this happens, a mentath can be lost in their minds.  Emma finds Clare is unexpectedly digesting magic easier than any mentath has, and could use his logic and calculating to find the murderer.

Now we have the magical side of things.  Oh, I don't know where to start to describe this best.  Emma is a special brand and branch of magic.  It is so COOL! to see her at her best (or worst she might thing).  The wave of magic that flows through the city each morning.  The powers present.  Wow.  The Queen and the country...WOW!  Emma is strong and a protector.  yet, she still wonders about her Shield, her protector that fights to protect her as she is one of many valued sorcerers, with his history.

We get to see the thinking and reasoning from both Emma Bannon and Archibald Clare, Sorceress and Mentath.  Two completely different takes on things and the world.  Magic and Calculating.  We get a chapter from both point of views, moving the story and mystery forward at a solid pace.

This book is worth picking up.  It's heavy with amazing building and story.

**I read this book for my own enjoyment.