Monday, October 31, 2011

0 Flash excerpt from Tracy Falbe's newest fantasy novel Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II.




From Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II by Tracy Falbe

Dacian and Onja entered the tower with the rushing crowd of rys. They mounted the marble platform and entered the levitation shaft. They went first to the Nebakarz library and secured it with spells and then they checked all the private chambers of the priests and collected their journals and warding crystals. With these potentially important things in their possession, Dacian and Onja allowed the other rys to loot the tower and glut themselves on righteous destruction. It suited the new King and Queen to let their willing subjects strip the tower of furnishings and smash Nufalese décor. Dacian and Onja would remake their new stronghold to suit themselves.

From the observatory, they watched the rys rushing through the tower in an ecstasy of possession.

Looking down the center of the tower that sang with insurrection, Onja said, “The tabre will never take back this place. Never.”

Dacian wholly agreed but warned, “Yet we shall surely have to defend our new kingdom.”

“After this night many of our rys will volunteer for such service, and we shall train them to fight,” Onja said.

Visions of war paraded in Dacian’s mind. With Onja and rys warriors at his side, he would cross the frontlines of history and Nufal would shudder within its shell of civilization.

About the novel:

Filled with righteous rage, Dacian and Onja spread violent chaos across two realms. In the tribal kingdoms of the west Onja sees a whole civilization that she must harness if the rys are ever to destroy the hated tabre of Nufal. No longer hobbled by dreams of rys and tabre unity, Dacian crafts enchanted weapons and trains the rys to fight. Onja commands Amar to raise an army. She ambitiously decides to abolish the religions of the western tribes and to install herself as their new Goddess. Aided by her magic, Amar daringly overthrows monarchies and celebrates with his outlaws in the palaces of the vanquished. The servants of the rys revel in Onja’s grandiose vision, but the Nufalese humans and their tabre masters have barely begun to realize their danger. When Onja enthralls the savage Chatapaka people of the remote north and unleashes their brutal hordes upon vulnerable Nufalese settlements, the militia is overwhelmed. Cruce Chenomet and his comrades struggle to save the fleeing settlers. Cruce quickly loses hope but keeps his courage as he confronts the savage storm.

Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II is an ebook available worldwide at:

1 Mr. Darcy's Bite

Title: Mr. Darcy's Bite
Author: Mary Lydon Simonsen
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: October 1 , 2011
paperback(arc), 322 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4022-5077-4
Genre: Paranormal
available @ Amazon| B&N  


Summary:
In the tradition of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange (35,000 copies sold) this fresh, original paranormal Jane Austen sequel by bestselling author Mary Lydon Simonson explores Mr. Darcy as the leader of a secret world of werewolves threatened with extinction.
Elizabeth comes to realize that she loves him in both his incarnations, and all his servants protect his secret. But then Elizabeth must confront a shocking danger to her beloved with every full moon, when Darcy is alone and exposed to those who hate wolves...



My thoughts:
Mr. Darcy's Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen is a continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In this novel, Jane and Mr. Bingley are already married and Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are courting. Every time Mr. Darcy comes to visit, Elizabeth is convinced that he's going to pop the question. However he never does. Mr. Darcy struggles with a dark secret, he is a werewolf.  If Mr. Darcy confides in Elizabeth he is sure he will lose her forever. Although Mr. Darcy being a werewolf is certainly a problem in this novel, it's not the only one. A certain Lady has her sights set on Mr. Darcy and will not relent until he is hers. 
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are two of the most beloved Austen characters. Mr. Darcy has an air of mystery about him that really works with this story line. The reason he is so standoffish around people is not because he is proud but because he wants to protect his secret. 
I thought the story line in this novel is good. It was intriguing with a little mystery built in. Mr. Darcy makes a superb werewolf. I only wish that the story could be a bit darker. Mary Lydon Simonsen brought back many of the original characters from Pride and Prejudice. I was happy that she included Anne, Lady Catherine's daughter, in the story. I really like how protective the women in Mr. Darcy's life are of him. I enjoyed this story from start to finish. The ending was really touching and the perfect way to end this novel.
Overall this was a fun read. I love the supernatural element that the author brought to the classic story of Pride and Prejudice. This is a great book to read for Halloween or really anytime of the year.


My rating:


Find out more about the author by visiting:

Other books I've read by this author:

*I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. This in no way influenced my opinion. 


Sunday, October 30, 2011

0 Cover Reveal: Betrayed by Ednah Walters

Spencer Hill Press is re-releasing Betrayed by Ednah Walters. To celebrate they've given Betrayed a new cover: I've not read this series yet but it sounds good. 

Title: Betrayed
Series: Guardian Legacy
Author: Ednah Walters
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press, www.SpencerHillPress.com
ISBN: 978-1-937053-18-5 (Trade Paper), 978-1-937053-19-2 (e-book)
Release Date: June, 2012

Summary:

Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.


So what do you think? Have you read this series? Are you going to add it to your TBR list? 



Friday, October 28, 2011

1 Sabine A. Reed Guest Post: Story Writing Why Less is More


Story Writing – Why less is More?

A writer’s job is to make a story as interesting and dramatic as possible. The characters should leap off the pages, be alive and engage the readers in their lives. The reader needs to care for the hero’s motivation, to cry and laugh along with the main characters and to feel their pain. It isn’t easy to make a fictional world seem real, but here are few tips to make your story as fascinating as possible. 

Make each scene count 
Too many times I’ve read books by new writers who are trying to paint a minutely detailed picture. Fine, you need a setting that’s plausible and real, but do I really need to know every single aspect of the room the hero’s standing in? Instead, give me an action sequence, a dialogue and just brush lightly over the details. A golden rule is that for every paragraph of description, there should be at least four paragraphs of action/dialogue. 

Action speaks louder than thoughts.
If your character enters a scene, sits in a chair and broods over how he needs to save the love of his life or even the world…well, there’s something wrong with that scene. In fact, delete that scene. You don’t need it in the story. Instead show the hero doing something; be it a battle, or a conversation. No one wants to read four pages full of character’s thoughts and wanderings. A good writer can make the character motivations clear in two lines. 
Never start the story with the main character sitting and reminiscing about his life - even if he gets beaten every day, is being raised by trolls who are planning to sell him to a community of giants as a slave or just lost his entire family in a fire. Instead, show him getting a beating or standing on a podium being sold or trying to save his family in the fire that eventually kills them all.

Make the journey troublesome
I love fantasy quests that require the hero to make a long journey. In fact I did the same in my novella The Black Orb, but while my heroine was traveling to find the magical talisman that will save the world, and her brother, she fought to save her life, almost got raped, met dryads, saved a child’s life and lost her only friend. It was a journey she would never forget, and neither would a reader. If you are showing the journey in order to give poetic descriptions of your fictional world, the reader will end up turning the pages quickly to find some real action…and maybe even put the book down.

Don’t get hanged up on the word count
So many writers try to reach that magic number of 80,000 that classifies a story as a novel. Don’t stretch a story more than its organic reach. Would you rather see a seventy minutes long movie that keeps you glued to the seat or a hundred minutes long movie that puts you to sleep? Same way, I would prefer to read a fascinating 30,000 words novella than a boring 80,000 epic fantasy. Your short story or novella is just as likely to find an audience as a long novel, thanks to self-publishing that will allow you to publish any kind of story. 

Author Byline: Sabine A. Reed is the author of fantasy e-novella The Black Orb. She has her own Writing and Publishing Blog where she gives tips to new writers. You can find her at twitter SabineAReed also. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

8 Grimm and Once Upon A Time

I love fairy tales! That is why I was so excited to hear about two new television series premiering this fall, Grimm and Once Upon A Time.  Once Upon a Time aired last Sunday on ABC. I really like the first episode and I can't wait to see the direction they take the show. Also I'm a huge fan of Ginnifer Goodwin. Once Upon A Time is written by the same people as Lost. I hope they have a plan for this show and it doesn't get all crazy in the middle like Lost did.




Grimm looks much darker. If you've read any of the Grimm fairy tales you know that they don't guarantee a happy ending. However I'm really excited to watch it. Look for it Friday on NBC.





So what do you think? Are you going to watch? Do you think these shows will live up to expectations?

2 Destined Giveaway

Thanks to Zietghost Media I'm giving away a copy of the latest House of Night Book, Destined by P.C Cast & Kristen Cast. To enter, please fill out the form below. This giveaway is open to US/Canada  addresses only. Giveaway ends November 3, 2011. If you have trouble viewing the form, click here. Good Luck!



"..Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…"




Check out the latest news on this series plus a lot of extras by visiting http://houseofnightseries.com/ 





 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2 Humpday Giveaway October 26, 2011

Every Wednesday I'm going to be giving away a gently used copy of one the books listed below. I'll be adding to the lists periodically so be sure to check back every week. This giveaway is for US and Canadian addresses only. Please fill out the form below. Giveaway will end on every Tuesday @ 9 pm central. If you have trouble viewing the form, click here.




Congrats to last week's winner:
Michelle @ Book Briefs

YA

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
The Ancillary's Mark by Daniel A. Cohen
Logic of Demons: The Quest For Nadine's Soul by H.A. Goodman (Hardcover)
Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson (arc)
Karma by Cathy Ostlere (arc)
The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen (arc)
A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco (autographed)
Lure by Deborah Kerbel
Shadowland (Hardcover) by Alyson Noel
The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz (hardcover)
Hunted by P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast (hardcover)
Tempted by P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast (hardcover)
After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel (arc)
Eyes in the Mirror by Julia Mayer
The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
The Vampire Diaries Vol. 2 The Return: Shadow Souls by L. J. Smith (hardcover)

Paranormal
Schloss Valkuriz by Felicia N. Cheung
Blood of a Werewolf by T. Lynne Tolles (autographed)
A Rose For My Mother by Nancy Lee Canfield (autographed)
Blood Moon by T. Lynne Tolles (autographed)
Always the Vampire by Nancy Haddock
Wizards by John Booth
Dracula In Love (Hardcover) by Karen Essex
Love Sucks by Lauren Hammond
Dracula, My Love by Syrie James
*Playing Easy To Get by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jaid Black, Kresley Cole
*Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter (hardcover)
*Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian
*Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian
* The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter (autographed)
*Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
*Lover Avenged J.R. Ward


Everything else (Chick-Lit, HF, Romance)

Dining With Joy by Rachel Hauck
A Wife for Mr. Darcy by Mary Lydon Simonsen
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Conner McNees
Nerdy Thirty by Wendy Townley
The Time for Keeps by Jenna Mills
Calling the Shots by Ellen Hartman
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed
Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Angel Song by Sheila Walsh & Kathryn Cushman
Theodora by Stella Duffy
The Little Bride by Anna Solomon
The Doctor’s Forever Family by Marie Ferrarella
The Comeback Cowboy by Cathy McDavid
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Lover Avenged J.R. Ward

All books are gently used. 
If the title has a * by it. You must be at least 17 years old. All books are paperback unless stated otherwise.




*I use random.org to select the winners. I will contact winners by email. If your name is selected please make sure to check your spam. If you don't respond within 48 hours, you forfeit your prize.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

4 Teaser Tuesday October 25, 2011



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory by Rebecca Johns.

 "I wondered at her words, if this indeed was the philosophy of love by which she had ensnared not only one but three husbands, and I began to feel a measure of pity for my poor father, whose mind and body had been in thrall to the fierce charms of this woman, my mother." ~pg. 45


That's my teaser for this week, what's yours? 







Monday, October 24, 2011

0 The Scorpio Races

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
paperback(arc), 407 pages
ISBN: 978-0-545-22490-1
Genre: YA


Summary:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. 
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. 
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.



My thoughts:
Maggie Stiefvater is a brilliant wordsmith. She had delighted me with some of her past novels such as, Shiver and Ballad.  I stayed up all night to finish Shiver, it was that good. So when I found out she was writing a new book about water horses, I was all for it. 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is a book about endurance, trust, magic  and love. The story centers around two main characters, Puck or Kate and Sean Kendrick.  Sean Kendrick is a horse whisper of sorts. He has the ability to understand horses, capiall uisce, in a way that no one else has. His opinion is sought after especially since he's won the Scorpio Race in the past.  He's a celebrity of sorts on this island. However he tends to keep to himself. Puck Connolly marches to the beat of her own drum. She registers in the Scorpio Races and it shakes everything up. She's the first girl to ever enter the races and that's met with adversity. Although Puck and Sean are the main characters of this novel, the water horses play a very significant part. The capiall uisce are beautiful, intelligent, and also deadly. Both Puck and Sean have been on the receiving end of the damage these horses can cause and they both have their own reasons for wanting to win this race.
The story line took me a few chapters to get into but once I did I was hooked. There is an excitement surrounding the races and the days leading up to it that really pulls you into the story. The Scorpio Races  has a different vibe than some of Maggie Stiefvaters past novels but don't let that scare you away.
This  book is an adventure that you're not going to want to miss. It's a heartbreaking, heartwarming, edge of your seat kinda book. The ending of the book blew me away also. If this book is not in your To Be Read pile, it should be. 
My rating:

Find out more about this author by visiting

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my opinion.


Friday, October 21, 2011

2 Caroline Bingley

Title: Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Bride and Prejudice
Author: Jennifer Becton
Publisher: Whiteley Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
format: ebook
ISBN: 0013352342 (ISBN13: 2940013352346)
Genre: Regency
Available @ Amazon|B&N 


Summary:
When Charles Bingley and Mr. Darcy made proposals of marriage to the Bennet sisters at the end of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Caroline Bingley was both distressed by her brother’s choice of bride and humiliated by Mr. Darcy’s rejection of her. And she made her objections known.
Now banished from her brother’s household, Caroline must return to her mother’s home in the north of England until she can make amends with both Bennet sisters. Desperate though Caroline may be to return to polite company, she absolutely refuses to apologize to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and instead, she seeks an alternative route back into society in the form of Mr. William Charlton, heir to a barony.
Through her connections with Mr. Charlton’s sister Lavinia, Caroline begins to infiltrate the household in the hopes of securing the gentleman and his title for herself. However, she must also contend with her vexing emotions regarding Mr. Patrick Rushton, a once-wealthy landowner, and the meddlesome opinions of Mrs. Rosemary Pickersgill, the companion sent by her brother.
When all that Caroline has ever dreamed of attaining—an ancient family name, a title, and a home of her own—is finally within her reach, will she grasp for it even if it means disregarding the workings of her own heart? Or will she cast off the trappings of society and give herself to true love?


Last year I read Jennifer Becton's debut novel, Charlotte Collins and I fell in-love. This was one of my favorite books last year. Then Becton released the short story, Maria Lucas and once again I enjoyed it thoroughly. So when Jennifer Becton announced she was writing a novel about Caroline Bingley I was thrilled. For those who are not familiar with Caroline Bingley, she is the sister of Mr. Bingley who spends most of Pride and Prejudice pining for Jane Bennett, Elizabeth Bennett's older sister. Caroline does everything in her power to separate Mr. Bingley and Jane, not to mention trash Elizabeth at every opportunity and snag Mr. Darcy for herself. Caroline Bingley is a social climber, a spoiled brat, and at times a witch with a capital B.
So why on earth would someone want to read a novel devoted to such a 'loveable' character? For me it's because I wanted to see what Jennifer Becton could do with this character that is a huge handful. Does Caroline get her comeuppance? Does she have another side to her that we've never seen? Will she ever find someone that will love her?  All these questions and more are answered. The story starts off with Mr. Bingley sending Caroline away for her behavior. Caroline is forced to go into the country to visit her mother, Elthea Knowles Bingley Newton, with a companion she doesn't like, Rosemary Pickersgill. However Caroline plans to make the best of her situation. She intends to renew her friendship with her childhood friend Lavina and marry Lavina's younger brother Mr. Charlton, and get everything she's ever wanted. A few obstacles and people stand in her way. Mr. Patrick Rushton has had his share of problems and Caroline doesn't want anything to do with him but he keeps getting in her way. Rosemary is intelligent and kind. She also has a mysterious past. She tries her best to offer Caroline good advice but Caroline being Caroline thwarts every attempt. Soon Caroline finds herself way over her head with problems.
One of the things I like most about this novel is that Jennifer Becton didn't change Caroline's overall personality. She stayed true to Jane Austen's vision. The only difference is this story is told from Caroline's point of view so we get to see the motivation and reasoning in the decisions that she makes. I think the author did a fantastic job of portraying the hardships for women in regency times. I also like the new characters that the author introduces. I love Caroline's mother, Elthea. She's more like Mr. Bingley personality wise and was a joy to read about. Mr. Rushton is swoon worthy. He's not afraid to stand up to Caroline. Mr. Charlton is also swoon worthy but he's a bit of a cad. Which personally, I like.
This is another fantastic book by Jennifer Becton. I love how Becton takes the supporting characters from Pride and Prejudice and gives them their own story. She filled this novel with humor, wit, and retribution. Caroline Bingley is a feisty character that is fun to read about. Jennifer Becton didn't really change Caroline Bingley but she did change the way I feel about her.
My rating:

To find out more about this author check out:

Other novels by Jennifer Becton
Maria Lucas 
Absolute Liability(A Southern Fraud Thriller)
Personages of Pride and Prejudice Collection

*I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my opinion. 


Thursday, October 20, 2011

2 The Unwanteds Audio Book Review

Title: The Unwanteds
Author: Lisa McMann
Read by: Simon Jones
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Publication Date: Sept. 20, 2011
ISBN: 978-1+4423-4491-4
Running Time: Approx 7.5 hours
Available @ Amazon  

Summary:
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.



My Thoughts:


The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is narrated by Simon Jones. Simon Jones has a very full resume that spans from t.v to stage to the big screen.  After reading that he starred in films such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life I had high hopes of being entertained. I was not disappointed. Simon Jones did a great job. He really made this book come to life. His reading was flawless and he really gave each character their own voice. I was highly entertained by this audio book. 




One of the reasons why I wanted to read this novel is because it's described as 'The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter'. I'm a fan of both series so it definitely peaked my interest.  After reading the book I can see why The Unwanteds was compared to those books.


The Unwanteds begins in the town of Quill. Think of the most boring, most bland, most beige place you can think of and you've mostly pictured Quill. The town of Quill discourages any form of originality. There's no art, no music, no being creative in any way. The citizens of Quill are split into three categories when they turn 13 years old: The Wanteds, the Necessaries and The Unwanteds. The Unwanteds are sent to their death. However what the people of Quill don't know is that The Unwanteds don't actually die. Instead they enter the hidden world of Artime. Artime is completely different from the world that the children have known. In this new world their creative talents are celebrated and cultivated. It's full of color, magic and mystery. 


Alex and Arron Stowe are twins. Alex is an Unwanted and sent to his 'death' while Arron is a Wanted and sent to the University. Alex can't really relax in his new life without his twin.  He would do anything to see Arron again and try to convince him to come to Artime. However this is a great risk. If anyone were to find out about Artime, it could be disastrous. 
I really like Alex's character. He has a devotion to his brother that's heartwarming. I also like his curious nature. His journey through this book is not an easy one and he has to overcome many obstacles.


The story line to this book was good. It has mystery, intrigue and action. Was it as good as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?  For me, it's not. However it does possess some of the magical and dystopian elements of those books. It is a good story especially for the recommended ages 8-12. I think Lisa McMann did a wonderful job creating the magical world of Artime. There are a few action/battle scenes that are violent but it's not over top. 
The Unwanteds is a magical adventure that kids of all ages will enjoy.


My Rating:

Find out more about the author by visiting:

*I received an audio book for review from the publisher. This in no way influenced my opinion.



 

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