Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Author's Favorite Quotes Young Adult, Collin Earl

I wanted to include authors of books I've loved.  And what better way of including them then having quotes from the books?  A great way to introduce you to the books and share a bit from them.

One of my Young Adult top picks is The House of Grey by Collin Earl.  I've read the first three volumes and can't wait to get to the remaining ones.  This is one creative world with a bit of everything in it.  I think there are many who would enjoy this story, even ones who enjoy the Harry Potter series.

Collin has shared a snippet for us:

"Well, that’s just silly,” said Monson amusedly.

“Don’t try and stop me, Grey,” said Casey dramatically. “I have no intention—”


“Of allowing their artistic repression—”


“To dampen my poetic spirit—”


Casey abruptly stopped talking. “What?”

"I don’t plan on stopping you.”


“I said, I don’t plan on stopping you.”

Casey looked baffled at this. “What do you mean, you don’t plan on stopping me?” Monson sighed. “If you want to throw yourself from the top of Mt. Rainer, I don’t plan on stopping you. I was just going to say that any of the buildings here would suffice for a venture of that type. You only need a couple of stories to fall from, especially if you go headfirst. Going all the way to Mt. Rainer would be a waste of gas; you should be more worried about global warming."


“I maintain that life would be a great deal more interesting if people broke out in random song and dance, supported by a laugh track.”


You sure are pissy today. Do you need a hug?”
“From you? I think I’ll pass.”
“Your loss. I give great hugs"

Do remember the first book of House of Grey if free in all ebook formats!  (even Volume 2 is free on Amazon!)

Author's Favorite Quotes Fantasy, Resa Nelson

I wanted to include authors of books I've loved.  And what better way of including them then having quotes from the books?  A great way to introduce you to the books and share a bit from them.

This author got to share from two books from the Top 5 Fantasy list.  Resa Nelson has two of her books to share from.  Resa shared 5 different lines from the book that she really loved.  I have to agree, these lines are powerful!  Amazing picks Resa!

From The Dragonslayer's Sword:

Astrid knew she was a monster, and she didn't know what the world outside her isolated home would do to monsters.
Unwittingly, her breath began to match the rhythm of the dragon's panting.
So she threw a hammer at his face, as hard as she could.
"Blossom was the prettiest, sweetest horse I ever stole."
But her opinion of others still carried the power to change them, whether Astrid desired it or not.

From The Iron Maiden:

When she looked down and saw the mass of her long, dark hair on the ground, surrounding her like seaweed that had washed up on the beach, someone might as well have stolen her dagger and driven it through her heart.
"But there is more to life than being safe."
She had every faith that he understood the intention of a sharp blade, even when it belonged to the lowly head of an ax.
A woman made of strands of white and gray smoke turned to look at Vinchi.
He stood for several more seconds before he realized that if he didn't wipe the tears welling in his eyes, they might turn to ice before he could rejoin the men walking away from this ghastly place.

Top 5 Fantasy Reads!!

For my Blogoversary I enjoy sharing the Top 5 reads of different genre for the last year, June 1, 2012 through July 1, 2013.  These are the memorable reads with high recommendations from me.  Well worth looking into.

I can only bring myself to do the last year, as trying to figure out the best of all time...yea, no.  I love to many books on all different levels to try and figure that out.

Also, part of what makes this such an amazing thing, is my fellow bloggers.  I love sharing books with fellow bloggers and learning what they have loved to share with me as well.  This is a huge thing with me in the booking community.  I have with me a book lover of Fantasy books.  Sharing their Top 5 reads for the last year as well.

Top 5 of Fantasy!

My Picks, in no particular order:
The Relic by Colleen Helme (Amazon Link)
 I enjoyed reading this duo-logy (this is the second book).  Colleen blended a few interesting concepts into her world, and I enjoyed the characters along with the story of the flame.

The Dragonslayer's Sword by Resa Nelson (Amazon Link)
 I really enjoyed the tale of Dragons and adventures in life and love.

Iron Maiden by Resa Nelson (Amazon Link)
 Astrid learns more of herself, we see and learn more of dragons in this world, and pieces start to slide together with the connections of it all.

Tranquility's Grief by Krista D. Ball (Amazon Link)
 Wow, this story NEVER stopped for me.  Fast action and drew me into the situation at hand.  Loved the whole book and world.

Unlikely by Frances Pauli (Amazon Link)
 A magical story filled with fascinating magic that's layered with a current story and hints of the old Kingdoms lost.  Even finding a place one belongs and the love that blooms.

I've invited Ria of Bibliotropic to share her top reads for the last year.
Bibliotopic's picks:
So, top 5 books I've read between July 2012 and the end of June 2013 (plus some commentary on why I think they're awesome), in no particular order!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making, by Catherynne M Valente. (Amazon link) If you combine the timelss nature of the Narnia books with the fantastical whimsy of Alice in Wonderland, then you'll come close to Valente's Fairyland books. This was my introduction to an awesome world, and I think I'll be reading any Fairyland book that Valente writes from now on.

The Tainted City, by Courtney Schafer (Amazon link) The sequel to her incredible debut, The Whitefire Crossing, this book had me hooked from beginning to end. Then it hooked my roommate. And seems to have thus far hooked everyone I've recommended it to. I'm desperately awaiting the release date of the third and final book of the trilogy. If you want some exciting traditional fantasy with a creative world-building and endlessly intriguing characters, then this is the series to reach for.

The Warded Man, by Peter V Brett (Amazon link) The first in the Demon Cycle series, this book saw me through my first hospitalization, and it was a welcome treat to have at hand. Brett's combination of darker fantasy and diverse characters was exactly what I needed, and I'm really looking forward to continuing the series.

Quintessence, by David Walton (Amazon link) This book is historical fantasy rather than pure fantasy, so it takes place in our world, during the Age of Exploration. Between philosophical debates, attempting to explain magic with the scientific methods of the time, and the interesting world the characters discover and must survive in, this book is one that I think even fans of traditional fantasy would still really enjoy (after all, that's what happened to me).

And finally, Theft of Swords, by Michael J Sullivan (Amazon link). Technically two books in one, Theft of Swords is the first part of the Riyria Revelations, a series that was originally self-published before being taken on by Orbit. I admit, I wasn't too keen on this when I started it. The first book moved slowly, felt ponderous at times, and while the writing was okay, I'd seen better. Then I kept reading. And reading. And by the end, I didn't want to put the book down. The problems I started with faded by the end, and I was amazed at just how much my opinion had changed. Definitely worth reading, if you remember to be a little patient with it at first.

So that's my selection. It was actually hard to narrow things down to just 5 fantasy novels, though it helped by noticing that I'd read way more sci-fi and speculative stuff this past year than I first thought I had. I eliminated over a third of my books right there!

Thank you Ria for joining in with these amazing reads!  I've read two of them, and need to get the other three. :D


One winner will get to pick their choice of my top 5.
Open Internationally.
I'll order through Book Depository or Amazon, which ever delivers to you.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Winner of the Lilith Saintcrow Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to check out my first guest review here and for entering the giveaway. A random winner was selected and that person is...


Congratulations! An email has been sent with further instructions to claim your prize.

If the winner does not respond within the time frame specified in the email, another will be chosen.

Author's Favorite Quotes Young Adult, Dina James

I wanted to include authors of books I've loved.  And what better way of including them then having quotes from the books?  A great way to introduce you to the books and share a bit from them.

One of my Young Adult top picks is Time Heals by Dina James.  She share's a quick scene from the book that just makes me laugh as I read it, and I can read it over and over again as it's so much fun and brings back such great and relaxing memories of the characters I fell in love with.

She stood and followed the hellhound to a pile of bodies. One of the severed heads hissed at her approach. She sighed. “Oh, I hate this part...”

She found a spear and smacked the head like a golf ball, sending it rolling down the dark tunnel. Noth’s eyes brightened and he bounded after it. Rebecca stared after him, her mouth dropping open in shock as Nothlet retrieved the head and dropped it at her feet. His entire behind wiggled as he stretched out low before her, his tail wagging.


Nothlet, *sigh* I just love that hellhound.  And this was just one of those scenes I could visualize the thrill in him with Rebecca. *chuckle* So much love.

Authors Favorite Quotes Urban Fantasy, Philippa Ballantine

I wanted to include authors of books I've loved.  And what better way of including them then having quotes from the books?  A great way to introduce you to the books and share a bit from them.

One of my Urban Fantasy top picks was Wrayth by Philippa Ballantine.  And she's shared two sets of lines that bring back such memories of the story for me.  The first one brings back the memory of who she finds in the company of her brother.  Oooo, that one!  You have to watch him.  Oh the second one!  Merrick...great power there. :)

Grand Duchess Zofiya did not like the company her brother was keeping. Not one little bit. She stood with her eye pressed to the peephole and observed the dark corridor with the intensity of an owl waiting for a mouse. Except, she was positive this man was far more dangerous than a mouse. The width of his shoulders leaned toward brawler rather than dandy, while his long strides spoke of a man on a mission. Zofiya felt something else about him— something that she was very well acquainted with. Danger.


Merrick, scrambling to hold all the straining powers of the Conclave together, saw their rifles come up, and called again for Aydien. The blue fire ran widdershins around the Conclave, dancing off flesh and lancing out. Bullets zinged around them, even as the power of the rune pushed back against the guards, sending them flying like chaff in all directions.

Find Philippa Ballantine:
Site:  The Worlds of Philippa Ballantine
Twitter:  @PhilippaJane

Top 5 Urban Fantasy Reads!!

For my Blogoversary I enjoy sharing the Top 5 reads of different genre for the last year, June 1, 2012 through July 1, 2013.  These are the memorable reads with high recommendations from me.  Well worth looking into.

I can only bring myself to do the last year, as trying to figure out the best of all time...yea, no.  I love to many books on all different levels to try and figure that out.

Also, part of what makes this such an amazing thing, is my fellow bloggers.  I love sharing books with fellow bloggers and learning what they have loved to share with me as well.  This is a huge thing with me in the booking community.  I have with me a book lover of Urban Fantasy books.  Sharing their Top 5 reads for the last year as well.

Top 5 of Urban Fantasy!

My Picks, in no particular order:

Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane #5) by Jaye Wells (Amazon Link)

EVERYONE makes an appearance in this novel.  All we meet over the series. I was happy, mad, and cried with these characters.  The pieces fit together perfectly, from the first book, Red-Headed Stepchild.  All in the close of the series.

Goodreads Summary
The epic conclusion to the amazing Sabina Kane urban fantasy series. 

Sabina Kane is on the hunt. Her prey: Cain, the father of the vampire race and the one who murdered her family and her friends. Unfortunately, Cain is hunting Sabina, too. The one man who holds the key to defeating Cain is, of course, Abel. A mage with secrets to spare and, hopefully, the power to match it. Unfortunately, for Sabina, he's in Rome and may not want to be found. 

Sabina sets out for Italy with her friends, Giguhl and Adam Lazarus, to track down the only man who can get her the revenge she hungers for. But will he help her or oppose her? And just who is Abel, really? Worst of all, when Sabina figures out the goddess Lilith has a plan for her-she realizes this trip is getting deadlier by the minute. 

As they say: when in Rome-SURVIVE.

Full Blooded (Jessica McClain #1) by Amanda Carlson  (Amazon Link)

Oooooh! Amazing layout of a werewolf and supe world.  Full of action and pounding.  Amanda has definitely figured out the right combination of information and action to keep a story fast forward and the reader drawn to flipping pages.

Goodreads Summary
Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.

After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can't control her like he can the rest of his wolves.

When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there's no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.

Shadows Before the Sun  (Charlie Madigan #4) by Kelly Gay  (Amazon Link)

Dark comes to mind first.  Kelly has taken us on a dark path through the beautiful world.  I LOVE it!  The treatment in this one is pure torturous to the characters.  I love seeing Elysia and the Sirens.  Elysia looks like heaven on the outside, but to Charlie, the inside is another but.

Goodreads Summary
The electrifying sequel to the acclaimed urban fantasies The Better Part of DarknessThe Darkest Edge of Dawn, and The Hour of Dust and Ashes!

After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that jinn crime boss, Grigori Tennin, has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep. And when Vengeance rises, Atlanta will never be the same.

Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain #2) by Amanda Carlson  (Amazon Link)

Wow!  Jessica will traipse through hell for any and all she loves.  And most definitely Rourke.  Constant heart-racing read, keeping the heart pounding with fevered worry and anticipation as Jessica fights for her love, friends, and her life.

Goodreads Summary
It hasn't been the best week for Jessica McClain.

Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge --- but Jessica is playing for keeps.

Because she's the only female werewolf in comes with its own set of rules...and powers.

Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.

All in a day's work for a girl.

The second novel in the Jessica McClain series is a full on action adventure featuring one angry Goddess and plenty of monsters, demons, and a few newly risen beasties...

Wrayth (Book of the Order #3) by Philipps Ballantine  (Amazon Link)

All the pieces we've stumbled across with Sorcha and Merrick (and Raed) are coming together in this gripping adventure with broken bonds of old and new.

Goodreads Summary
In the Empire of Arkaym, the Order of Deacons protects and shelters the citizens from the attacks of the unliving. All are sworn to fight the evil forces of the geists—and to keep the world safe from the power of the Otherside… 

Although she is one of the most powerful Deacons in the Order, Sorcha Faris is still unable to move or speak after her last battle. Even her partner, Merrick Chambers, cannot reach her through their shared Bond. Yet there are those who still fear Sorcha and the mystery of her hidden past. 

Meanwhile, Merrick has been asked to investigate a new member of the Emperor’s Court. But when Sorcha is abducted by men seeking Raed Rossin, the shapeshifting rival to the throne, Merrick must choose where his loyalties lie.

I've invited Jaclyn of JC's Book Haven to share her top reads for the last year.
J.C.'s picks:

My Top 5 Urban Fantasies of the Year

Ever After (The Hollows #11) by Kim Harrison  (Amazon Link)

The Hollows is on my list of favorite series ever. As I read through each book, the series just got stronger, and my love for the characters grew deeper. Ever After has been the best so far, and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) after reading this one!

Publisher: January 22, 2013 Harper Voyager
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Goodreads Summary
The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It's up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing... for the worse.

While saving the world is important, it isn't Rachel's only motivation. There's also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It's also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He's already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn't give herself up soon, they'll die.

But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn't going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She's also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she's going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones... and prevent an apocalypse before it's too late. Or, at least that's the plan...

I gave this one 5 1/2 stars - my review.

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews  (Amazon Link)

Melissa and Jennifer Bielman actually turned me onto this series. I started it just this year. It's quickly taking over as one of my favorite Urban Fantasies. Kate and Curran are absolutely fantastic characters and I immediately grew attached to them. Magic Bleeds was my favorite of the series so far, but I am looking forward to reading Magic Slays.

Publisher: May 25, 2010 Penguin
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Goodreads Summary
Kate Daniels keeps the peace in Atlanta for the Order, humans caught between the vampire controlling People led by her biological father and best kept secret, Roland, and the shape-shifter Pack, led by her mate-to-be Curran, the Lord of the Beasts. But her look-alike aunt Erra, Babylon's god of chaos and terror, has come to town controlling seven naked warriors: Deluge (flood water), Tremor (earth quake), Gale (hurricane wind), Torch (fire inferno), Venom (disease poison), Beast (animal monster), and Darkness (overpowering dread).

I gave this one 6 starts - my review.

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs  (Amazon Link)

Not only is Mercy such a fantastic character, but all the side characters in this series are easy to fall in love with. Between the wolves, fae, vampires, and witches, there is plenty in this series to keep readers busy and entertained. I simply adore this one!

Published: March 5, 2013 Ace Hardcover
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Goodreads Summary 

Mercy Thompson returns in the seventh novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more?

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

I gave this one 5 stars - my review.

Clutch (I am Just Junco #1) by J.A. Huss  (Amazon Link)

I know this one says Science Fiction and Dystopia for the genre, but Junco has a distinct Urban Fantasy feel to me. She's a hard-core heroine, and I feel she deserves the title. I adore Huss' writing and the second in the series was great as well. I will be finishing this series, and reading more of Huss' books that I find too.

Publisher: September 16th, 2012 Science Future Press
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia

Goodreads Summary
How long can you lie to yourself before it all comes apart?

In 2152 the avian race is on Earth looking for something stolen from them decades ago – their genetics. At the center of the search lies the Rural Republic; a small backwards farming country with high hopes of military domination and a penchant for illegal bioengineering.

19 year old Junco Coot is the daughter of the Rural Republic’s ranking commander. She’s the most foul-mouthed, wildly unpredictable and ruthless sniper the Rural Republic has ever trained. But when her father’s death sparks a trip into forbidden places, she triggers events that will change everything she knows to be true.

As an elite avian military officer, Tier’s mission is to destroy the bioengineering projects, kill Commander Coot’s daughter, and return home immediately. There’s just one problem. Junco isn’t who she claims to be.

With no one to trust, not even herself, Junco must confront the secrets of her past and accept her place in the future, or risk losing herself completely.

CONTENT WARNING - The I Am Just Junco series is NOT young adult and contains A LOT of bad language and violence, so know that before you buy or download during a freebie promotion.

I gave this one 4 1/2 stars - my review.

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion  (Amazon Link)

This is another one that doesn't list Urban Fantasy in the genre, but UF lovers should enjoy it because it does fit. If you haven't read this one yet, I really hope you try it out.

Published: April 2011 Atria Books
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Dystopian

Goodreads Summary

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

I gave this one 5 stars - my review.

Thank you so much for including me in your 4th blog birthday celebration, Melissa! I love visiting your blog. You are such a joy to talk to and your posts are so much fun :D

Thank you Jaclyn for joining in today!

Giveaway Time!

I'm giving you the pick of my list of top 5.
Open Internationally.
I'll be ordering through Book Depository, or Amazon, which ever delivers to you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Author's Favorite Quotes Steam/Clockworks and Science Fiction Fantasy, Philippa Ballantine

I wanted to include authors of books I've loved.  And what better way of including them then having quotes from the books?  A great way to introduce you to the books and share a bit from them.

Now this comes from a new category I started this year.  They really aren't fantasy of what fantasy some thing, and not really in any genre specific.  They fall into, Steam/Clockworks and Science Fiction Fantasy.  This is a field I'm growing to love more and more with each read.

One of the books that will be on my Top 5 list, The Janus Affair by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris.  They have shared a few clips of their favorite quotes...Oh Alice, she is one special woman.  That is for sure.  I do enjoy her as a secondary character.  And Eliza, who doesn't love that woman's spunk?  I do!

“Alice,” Wellington shouted as he spun around. “Be—“

He could see the shadows stir and then abruptly stop when the maid stepped into sight; the shattered window frames painting dark, angry streaks across her body. She was still, but pistons continued to pop and hiss angrily while cogs and gears spun so fast they screamed a high-pitched whine that made Wellington grind his teeth. He wanted to believe what he was witness to was a trick of shadow, but he—and no doubt, the intruders opposite of Alice—knew it was no illusion. It all flashed by in a moment: a moment for Alice’s left thigh to burst open, a moment of hesitation on the intruders’ part, the briefest moment for Alice’s right leg to step back; and in the same moment for Alice to pull from her open prosthetic the forearm-sized firearm. Alice’s first shot thundered through the apartments, lifting one of the assailants off the ground while sending the other two scattering into the darkness. Another shot exploded from the shotgun’s second barrel, but Wellington doubted if it hit anyone.

“Careful as mice,” Alice shouted back as she fell back into cover.


“Right then,” Campbell began, his tone so civil it was offensive. “May I have your name for the record, Miss...?”

“Eliza Braun,” Eliza sneered. “Here, I’ll spell it for you—B-U-G-G-E-R-O-F-F.”

Bruce nodded. “That is a beautiful name, Miss.” He looked up from his notepad. “Very exotic.”

Find Philippa Ballantine:
Site:  The Worlds of Philippa Ballantine
Twitter:  @PhilippaJane

Find Tee Morris:
Twitter:  @TeeMonster

Author's Favorite Quotes Young Adult, Chloe Jacobs

I wanted to include authors of books I've loved.  And what better way of including them then having quotes from the books?  A great way to introduce you to the books and share a bit from them.

Please welcome Chloe to the blog as she shares some of her favorite scenes and why.  Oh I do love these.  The memories with these characters.  Oooo, I can't wait for Chloe to come out with the next book. Eeep! And Parties too! :D

Welcome Chloe!!!

Chloe: When Mel asked me to help her celebrate her blog’s birthday I was so excited!! I love parties! Break out the bubbly! Put on your dancing shoes! Where’s the cake??!!

*turns on music* *waving arms* *boogie DOWN*

Mel: *tap on shoulder* Uh, don’t get too crazy over here, I don’t need to see you dancing on my tables.

Chloe: *adjusting skirt* *clearing throat* Oh, of course. You can count on me to behave. I’m really very respectable. *cough *

So, in order to properly celebrate with Mel today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite lines from , book 1 in the Mylena Chronicles.

When she’d set out to track the foul beast hunkered down in the cavern ahead, Greta hadn’t counted on gale force winds and an ice storm engulfing three goblin territories descending like a bitter, frozen plague to torture her.

She should have. A blinding blizzard was nothing less than typical Mylean weather, and after spending four years stranded here, she definitely should have expected it. The cold had long ago penetrated her thick coat and the layers of wool and soft cotton, until it seemed more like days than hours since she’d felt the welcome of a roaring fire in the hearth, but her comfort would have to wait a while longer. A young goblin boy had gone missing from his home in the village. She refused to believe he was dead already.

With a weary sigh, she squinted through a break in the canopy of gloomy evergreens, gauging the amount of fury left in the turbulent sky.

These are the very first lines of the book, and the reason I love them so much is because every time I read these 6 sentences I’m reminded of who Greta is. She’s a tough girl who pretends to be cold at heart, but the weather is the only thing that’s actually cold in this scene. Hopefully, the reader sees that Greta is more than she seems. She’s a girl who will track down a monster and fight a frigid blizzard in order to save a child—even though she knows very well that every person in Mylena would hate her if they knew that she was human. They wouldn’t be fighting to save her life, they’d try to end it.

At the sound of a booted foot at the door, Greta swung around with a snarl, hand going to her sword. She released a harsh sob when she saw who it was.

“Oh, thank God.” She didn’t even bother trying to hide her relief. “Help us. Lucius…he…I need help,” she said. “Please…Isaac, he’s hurt. And I…I don’t know what to do.”

He took in the scene and was at her side in less than a heartbeat. Thankfully, he was thinking more clearly than she was, reaching for the cotton sheet from the bed and dragging it down to press it to Luke’s chest. He held it in place while he carefully assessed the rest of the damage.

“His wounds are extensive. He’s lost a lot of blood.”

The finality in his voice was unmistakable. Everything in her railed against it. “I know, but it’s going to be okay,” she insisted, even as darkness clawed its way into her heart. “He’ll be fine. We just…we need to get him outside and into the ground. He’ll heal better there.”

Isaac looked into her eyes. Just when she thought he was going to tell her it was too late, he nodded.

In this scene, Greta has returned to the only place in Mylena where she feels safe. Lucius took her in when she found herself stuck in this world he’s the only person who knows who she really is. Instead of turning her over to be hanged when he found her in the snow four years ago, he hid her and taught her how to survive. But safety isn’t what she finds when she comes home this time.

When someone enters the room, she’s so fiercely protective I want to cry for her, but when she sees it’s Isaac she breaks down just a little bit and actually asks for help. This was a really big deal for her because Greta doesn’t trust easily, and she doesn’t ask for help from anyone. The fact that she can turn to Isaac in this very difficult time is an indication that part of her does instinctively trust him, and that he’s already getting under her skin, even if she doesn’t want to consciously admit it.

It’s also a great scene for Isaac too because we get to see beyond the autocratic goblin king, to a side of him that isn’t about his secrets and hidden agendas. It’s about being supportive and strong…and man, that makes me want to swoon.

Her sword fell into the snow just as she leaped forward to close the distance between them. He made a grab for it but she was there, holding her third blade to his throat.

“You didn’t really think that was my only weapon, did you?”

With a sigh, he put his hands up in surrender and she shoved him upright to look into his face. What she saw surprised her. He had a thin, scruffy face. Brownish hair. Deep brown eyes.

Human eyes.

Her mouth fell open. She glanced over at the clean slice she’d put in his jacket. She had drawn a thin line of bright red blood.

Could it be that she had drawn human blood?

His gaze flicked upward over her shoulder and then he smiled. A broad, dazzling smile full of mischief that stopped her breath.

“You didn’t really think I was alone, did you?”

Ah, Wyatt. Wyatt is one of those characters that can seriously steal the show if you let him. He surprised me with his wit and humor. As a human in Mylena, I had expected him to be dire and quiet and careful but that’s just not the way he came across. Sure, he recognizes the weight of the responsibility he carries as the one who all the young boys look up to, but he also has a really great sense of humor and he doesn’t take their situation too seriously. He knows how to make the best of every situation, and how to see the good in people. I really can’t wait for readers to find out more about him.

His focused gaze was like a rushing tide over all of her senses. “No matter who you are or where you come from, we’re the same. We were meant to be together.” He said it with such certainty and finality. “It has been decreed in the stars, and in our blood.”

She spun away and clenched her eyes shut, disregarding the answering sigh of her soul to his words. “Tell me something real,” she whispered. “Something that isn’t a bunch of insane, poetic crap.”

“Then how about because you challenge me?” he said. “You provoke me, excite me. Make me think about things I shouldn’t think about, want things I thought would be impossible once I became the king.”

She glanced back up at him. The low ache in her belly sharpened and twisted. “And how is that a good thing?”

This is the part of the book where both Greta and Isaac are EQUALLY vulnerable to each other. Both of them still don’t know how much they can trust the other, but the trust is coming. Slowly and sometimes painfully, but that’s the only way it’ll work and be real because that’s the kind of people they are. If it was easy, then they wouldn’t be true to their characters.

Stunned, she blinked and shook her head. “But why? Why would you do something like that for me?”

She drew in a sharp breath as his fingers caressed her cheek, his thumb grazing her bottom lip. He leaned in and her heart pounded hard against the wall of her chest. “Isn’t it obvious?”

Her eyes fluttered shut as his mouth covered hers in a gentle whisper of touch. Warm and softer than she would have imagined. She didn’t even have time to adjust to the feel of it before it was over, and her whole body swayed forward as he straightened away from her.

And well, I don’t think I have to explain what I love about this one.

So… now can we throw the music back on??

Lets get this party started Chloe!! :D  Thank you!

You can find Chloe:
Twitter:  @Jacobs_Chloe
Facebook:  Chloe Jacobs

Mythical Monday (20)

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 a little deviation to the Creatures.
For the Blog Birthday this came across my email, and I had to share it at Mythical Monday this week:
Urban Fantasy author Skyla Dawn Cameron
Talking of Saber-Tooth Cat.

Why My Heroine Has a Pet Saber-Tooth Cat

Yes. It’s true. By the end of my last full-length novel, Exhumed (2012), my heroine—the super snarky, narcissistic vampire Zara Lain—had her very own pet Smilodon populator, aka a saber-tooth cat (not tiger; they are not anywhere near related to tigers, actually).

Named Sir Rodney Ballsgalore.

Okay, back up. Let me explain.

For those who have read Bloodlines (2008-2011), you’ll probably recall a humorous mention of Zara being a member of VETA or Vampires for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (no relation to PETA, because seriously, those guys are f’ing nuts) and that vampires have their own branch of Greenpeace. In my novel Lineage (2012), the second sequel to Bloodlines, there’s a scene in which Zara explains why she’s an environmentalist. In a nutshell, she feels that, since vampires are basically immortal and must feed on humans, they would want the environment protected and for humans to live well. That way they have healthy blood to feed on for a long time.

Granted, not everyone is into free range chicken or organically fed cattle for their meat, but a whole lot of people are—what they put into their bodies matters to them. And that is the case with many vampires.

My editor made a comment (I think it was around that passage, but could’ve been elsewhere) wondering why Zara, who does seem to have some consideration for animals, doesn’t have a pet.

I love animals. I am a proud Crazy Cat Lady. I am a vegan. If anyone should be giving their characters pets, it’s me. But if you go over my body of work, you can start to piece together my reason why my characters never have pets: I blow up their homes, maim and kill them, and it is really hard to be trying to stay alive while also worrying about your pet’s safety. I have six cats, a dog, and a rabbit, and let’s face it: despite all my disaster preparedness, if there’s a fire, you will find me dead of smoke inhalation under the bed trying to coax my cats out because I won’t leave without them.

If Zara gets blown up while she’s trying to grab her cat under the bed, it’ll make for a very short novel since she’s the narrator.

This question, however, got me thinking. While we were working on edits for Lineage, I’d also finished the first draft of Exhumed, and I was still working out what the final product would look like.

There was yet another piece to the puzzle that came into my life on February 14, 2012 (one week before Lineage released, for those following the timeline): the addition of a sixth cat to my home.

A cat named...yep, you guessed it: Rodney Ballsgalore (later renamed Rodney Ballsnomore after he was snipped...I mean, dude, seriously: tiny little malnourished cat with HUGE FREAKIN’ BALLS. Even the vet commented).

My Rodney was found at the farm where my mum’s horse is boarded. He “randomly showed up”—this is a rural area, so what actually happens is that people dump cats out in the country, because People Are Assholes—staving and dehydrated with a terrible cold. There was already a cat at the farm who was displeased with his presence and it was the dead of winter. The poor little guy was freezing, and despite being extremely affectionate, had clearly been through some trauma as his front teeth were knocked out (as a result, his tongue tends to slip out all the time without him realizing).

Long story short *mumble mumble I have too many cats I have no idea how this happened*, I ended up with him. Rodney is...not terribly bright. I mean, he sits by himself in the bathtub like he somehow got lost, and despite my Evil Queen Cat spitting and growling every time she sees him, he still rolls around in front of her purring as if to say “HI NEW FRIEND!” Yeah, that kind of not bright. But his name continually makes me giggle.

So, here I am pondering Zara and the possibility of a pet, when it occurs to me...why does she need a “regular” cat? This is urban fantasy, my heroine’s a badass vampire. The pieces slid in my head and I rewrote the ending to Exhumed, giving her a badass, believed to be extinct, massive saber-tooth cat companion. Named Sir Rodney Ballsgalore.

Because, really, if my little cat had HUGE FREAKIN’ BALLS, can you imagine the pair that would be on a damn Smilodon populator?

(Not pictured: all soft tissues, such as enormous testicles)


Author Bio:
Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever. Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She lives in Southern Ontario where she dabbles in art, is an avid gamer, helps the helpless (as long as they’re four-legged and furry), and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grown-up, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator. Currently she’s being held hostage by a houseful of cats.

Send tuna before they eat her alive.

You can visit her on the web at

Find Skyla:
Twitter:  @SkylaDawn

**Photo credit for Smilodon Populator skeleton to Foter: