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Showing posts from September, 2012

Audio Book Review: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew Shaffer

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Title: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey Author: Andrew Shaffer Narrated by Allison Ryan Publisher: Tantor Media Published: July 10, 2012 Length: 4 hours 30 minutes Genre: parody ISBN 1452658110 (ISBN13: 9781452658117) Source: Edelweiss Goodreads Summary: Young, arrogant tycoon Earl Grey seduces the naïve coed Anna Steal with his overpowering good looks and staggering amounts of money, but will she be able to get past his fifty shames, including shopping at Walmart on Saturdays, bondage with handcuffs, and his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick)? Or will his dark secrets and constant smirking drive her over the edge? My Thoughts: 50 Shames of Earl Grey is a silly book. Andrew Shaffer spoofs the very popular 50 Shades of Grey in this book. He doesn't hold back as he makes fun of both Twilight and 50 Shades. Nothing is off limits. I loved how ludicrous Earl Grey and Anna Steal are. Anna is so ridiculously naive it's a wonder she can walk. Earl Grey is ove

New Review: Entice + Give@way

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Title: Entice Author: Jessica Shirvington Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Published: September 4, 2012 paperback arc, 446 ISBN: 978-1-4022-6843-4 Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Source: Publisher Goodreads Summary: Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengence of exiled angels. Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever. The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed. *Spoiler Alert--Entice is the second book in the series and this review will contain spoilers for the first book, Embrace* My thoughts: Entice is the second book in the Violent Eden Chapters by Jessica Shirvington. This i

Review: The Devil's Legacy by Tom Jackson

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Title: The Devil's Legacy Author: Tom Jackson Publisher: Smashwords Published: October 27, 2011 ISBN: 9781466012820 ebook Source: author Summary: The opening of Pandora’s Box creates pandemonium in the office of the British Prime Minister. A team is assembled to solve a two hundred year old conspiracy in order to prevent the Box’s incredible secrets from being revealed to the world and plunging British society into chaos. Will the search for truth be successful? And will it result in the restoration of a country’s stolen heritage? My thoughts: The British government's decision to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece triggers the opening of Pandora's Box, covertly held 100 years in the vaults of the British Museum.  This reveals the first of many secrets....The Parthenon Marbles are counterfeit. Natalia Sinclair, a lawyer by trade, would head up a team of experts comprised of archaeological experts and secret service agents. The mission, to find the rea

An Interview with Valerie Valerian

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An Interview with Valerie Valerian Valerie arrived for her interview riding her Sound albatross, Pegasus. She looked like a fairy riding a kite with the giant sun swimming in the lagoon-sky behind her. She led me to the stunning Orphanage dining hall. I noticed that dark circles engulfed Valerie’s enormous blue eyes, as if trying to drown them out. And she looked as pale and see-through as the fairies fluttering their icy wings above her, under the watery ceiling of the glittering hall. But Valerie’s wild, cropped hair was more like a fawn’s than a fairy’s. “Tells us who you are?” I began. Valerie smiled and lowered her eyes shyly. “I’m the niece of Victor Valerian. I grew up in the palace. My life was wonderful until four months ago. Then everything changed… If you ask me what my favorite color is, I’ll tell you it is the color of my mother’s ring.” “Why is everyone in the dining hall staring at you?” “Because I adopted a Sound as a pet. Sounds and Echoes aren’t supposed

Guest Post: The Horrors of Confession by J. Stephen Howard

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The Horrors of Confession by J. Stephen Howard      Nothing is more terrifying than facing up to your sins. Our sinful nature is the enemy within from whom we cannot hide, and so we carry guilt around like Quasimodo with his hunchback. If our conscience isn’t cleared, we end up with a dual personality like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and in the realm of horror fiction, this manifestation has enthralled readers for ages.      Being Catholic, the Sacrament of Confession formed the backbone of how I learned to make decisions. Early on, I learned of the strict demarcation dividing right from wrong. I still remember my first confession as a kid. Since I went to a Catholic grade school, our class walked over to church and went before the priest, one by one.      The tiny room, like a broom closet, felt so confining. Then there was the screen made up of wooden latticework. I heard the priest from the other side say, “Confess your sins, son.” As a boy of ten, sinfulness was such an abstra

Guest Post: Reyna Hawk

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Why I picked North Carolina as the setting for the Shattered Visions Haunted Memories When I choose a location for any of my books I have to have some sort of connection with it. Either it is places I’d love to visit or have been.  Cherokee, North Carolina is one of the places I have spent a great amount of time in. I know a great deal about the entire surrounding; Cherokee, Waynesville, Maggie Valley, and Asheville. To me, that region of North Carolina is very mystique and awe inspiring. The beauty of the mountains can bring nearly anyone a sense of peace. Well I guess I would have to go back to the first book on this one. North Carolina becomes a strong focal point of the story when Janie is taken to North Carolina by her husband Rico and the Mob boss Anthony. It is with their intentions to kill her or so she thinks. Anyway, at the time of this “vacation” they are living in New England. I chose this location for numerous reasons. I wanted a place that wasn’t too far in distance

Blog Tour: The Super Spud Trilogy

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EXCERPT: General Bruce had left the Royal Palace early in the morning to recruit some more generals for the camping trip. It was decided that there would be two teams of three: King Martin, Iceman and G-Boa on one team, against General Bruce and two generals of his choice on the other. At the army base, the generals had just finished their daily routine of a 200 metre run, followed by 1,000 press-ups and 5,000 sit-ups. About 100 generals were playing one of their favourite games, called pile-on. The game was simple and brutal: whichever general was sweating the most after the daily exercise routine got piled on by the rest of the generals, an act which often resulted in a broken potato slice, or worse. General Bruce walked into the courtyard to see 100 generals piling on the sweaty victim and after a minute they got up laughing. “Oh man, that was the best pile-on ever,” shouted one general. “Wait a minute, General Crush isn’t moving – he’s dead!” said General Clementine. “Gene

Review: Midnight Promises by Sherrly Woods

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Title: Midnight Promises (The Sweet Magnolias #8) Author: Sherryl Woods Publisher: Harlequin Mira Published: June 26, 2012 paperback, 374 pages ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-1348-9 Genre: Contemporary Romance Source: Publisher Goodreads Summary: When Elliott Cruz first courted struggling single mom Karen Ames, it it was a romance worthy of any Sweet Magnolia fantasy. The sexy personal trainer made it his mission to restore Karen's strength—physical and emotional—and to charm her children.Now, a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear them them apart. Elliott's desire to finance the business opportunity of a lifetime with their hard-earned "baby money" stirs Karen's deep-rooted financial insecurities. It's the discovery that their brother-in-law is cheating on Elliott's sister—and thinks it's justified—that puts their irreconcilable differences into perspective. Wi

Q&A with John Miles

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1. Please tell us a little bit about Assula Well, Assula as an idea can be attributed to too much beer. Well alright perhaps a little more explanation is needed. While watching a Dracula movie one day---the Francis Ford Coppola version---someone made a joke about a vampire that bites butts instead of necks which, perhaps unsurprisingly led to many more jokes along the same line. The next day the idea stayed with me and so I started writing, to explain the unusual proclivity Assula has of biting butts instead of necks I developed the premise that only the evil become vampires when they are attacked, the rest just die. Assula isn’t evil, but because he was bitten by a very powerful vampire, perhaps Dracula himself he becomes what he is, a butt biting vampire. 2. What sets this book apart from other vampire books? Well of course there is the fact that Assula bites butts instead of necks, but aside from that there is the fact that Assula is a rather more sympathetic figure tha

Review: Legend Destiny by Nance Bulow-Morgan

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Title: Legend Destiny Author: Nance Bulow-Morgan Publisher: Outskirts Press Published: August 27, 2010 paperback, 330 pages ISBN: 978-1-4327-6098-4 Genre: Action/Adventure Source: Author Summary: Legend Destiny found an ordinary girl embarking on a journey to control her extraordinary powers. It made her an extraordinary heroine on a mission to retake her city and her people from an oppressive overlord hell bent to destroy them. My thoughts: Legend Destiny is a pretty good read. It follows many of the conventions and formulas of the fantasy genre, but the thing that makes this book better than many are its characters.  The author does a really good job of writing the characters. She is able to make you feel for Diony, the main character. You get to know her and genuinely like her. The story begins in earnest when Diony is attacked and raped by one of the Overlord’s men. She now must run and hide because she is wanted for the death of the guard. She begins meeting a

Q&A with Mitzi Szereto

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photo credit Eric Schneider 1. You've co-authored Normal for Norfolk with Teddy Tedaloo. Was he hard to work with? Mitzi: Teddy can sometimes be hard work, but don’t tell him I said that! He’s demanding and he likes to grumble. A typical male, eh? Mind you, I couldn’t manage without him. I can’t imagine a more creative and talented author to work with. The fact that he’s a bear might be, to some, rather unusual, but I don’t have those kinds of species-ist prejudices. 2. Are any parts of this book based on real-life events? Mitzi: There are many events in the novel that were based on—if not taken directly from—our own experiences while staying in Norfolk, England. We traveled all over the county and soaked up a lot of local color, so there was quite a bit of fodder to choose from. The car wash scene with Thelonious is based on something that happened to my friend, who was en route to pick us up from the railway station when she decided her car needed a wash; like Thelon

Cover Reveal: Griffin's Storm by Darby Karchut

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Title: Griffin’s Storm (Book Three: Water) Series: Griffin series #3 Author: Darby Karchut Publisher: Copper Square Studios, LLC ISBN: 978-0-9741145-5-2 Release date: December 2012 Format: Paper, e-book Griffin’s Storm (Book Three: Water) For centuries, there have been rumors about a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors and their apprentices clandestinely serve as guardians for humans in danger. An old enemy returns. A new alliance is formed. And Griffin finds himself in the eye of the storm when an ancient racial hatred is set loose, jeopardizing the very existence of the Terrae Angeli. Once again, the teen guardian angel is forced to battle his worst nightmare. But this time, Griffin comes back swinging. With a vengeance. After all, an eye for an eye... About the Author: Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, teacher, and a compulsive dawn greeter.

Review: Behind Jane Austen's Door by Jennifer Forest

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Title: Behind Jane Austen's Door Author: Jennifer Forest Published: January 16, 2012 ebook ASIN: B006YITPAS Genre: Non-Fiction Source: Author Summary: Behind Jane Austen's Door takes you on a tour of a Regency house, room by room, to explore these delicate challenges and the beautiful lives of Jane Austen's women. My thoughts: Behind Jane Asuten's Door by Jennifer Forest is a great book for Jane Austen fans to read. It's a really quick read at about 54 pages. Jennifer Frost takes you into a regency style house and explains the importance of the rooms from the decorations to the social standings, a room would convey it all. The author goes from room to room giving you an imaginary tour of the rooms and their uses. I really enjoyed reading this book. It helped me understand more about this time period and the characters that Jane Austen wrote about. I think Forest did a fantastic job. If you love Jane Austen or books set in Regency/Victorian era, this

Q&A with Rebecca Gober and Courtney Nuckels + Give@way

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1. What is the inspiration behind Project ELE? There are several things that inspired us to create Project ELE. I had written a short story for an anthology (Dark Light published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly) called Ghost Reapers and I wanted to expand it with Courtney. After talking it over we decided that we liked the aspect of the short story where it's set in the future and people have unique powers but we really wanted to start the story off with how they got those powers. Courtney had some great ideas with how to do that and after much discussing we came up with the premise for Project ELE. What we loved about writing Project ELE is that we were able to cross many different genres. It's not just apocalyptic or dystopian, it has paranormal, mystery, conspiracy and romance in it too. Also, since there isn't a definitive date in the story, you don't really feel like you are in an unthinkable time period, this could be next year for all we know. 2

Q&A with Katie McGarry and Give@way

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A Q&A With Katie McGarry Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits? A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing overwhelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey. Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name? A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the man- uscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it always felt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek mythology so it made perfect sense that she would name her chil- dren after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the mo- ment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

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Title: Pushing the Limits (Harlequin Teen) Author: Katie McGarry Publisher: Harlequin Teen Published: July 31, 2012 Paperback, arc ISBN-13: 978-0-373-21049-4 Genre: Contemporary, YA Source: Publisher Goodreads Summary: No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. My thoughts: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry grabbed me from the beginning. There is so much emotional drama going on it was

The Vampire Hunter's Daughter Book Tour and Give@way

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Book Description: This special edition of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter contains parts I-VI, the complete collection. Fourteen-year-old Chloe witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of a vampire. Before the vampire can kidnap her, there is an unexpected rescue by a group of vampire hunters. Overwhelmed by the feeling of safety, Chloe passes out and they whisk her away to their small community. When Chloe wakes, she comes face to face with the only other living relative, besides her mother, whom she has ever met: her grandfather. Chloe’s mother kept her hidden from the family; now, Chloe tries to unveil the family secrets. Through her grandfather, she learns her mother was a vampire hunter. In fact, her entire family is descended from the powerful bloodlines of vampire hunters. Chloe agrees to join the family she has never known for one reason only: Chloe vows to kill the vampire responsible for her mother’s murder. With vengeance in her soul, Chloe is even more determined

Guest reviewer: Karen Lee discusses the poem, Thoughts on a Tranquil Night by Li Bai

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Title: Thoughts in a Tranquil Night Author: Li Bai Feature Type: Poem Introduction of Li Bai Li Bai, also known as Li Po, great poet after Chen Zi Ang, brought peotry of the Tang Dynasty to the peak. Li made the first golden period of the Chinese classical poetry and he opened a new climax for romantic poetry tradition of Qu Yuan. His nickname, "the poem god," came from his alleged ability to produce beautiful poetry quickly and effortlessly. More than a thousand of his poems are still around for us to read and enjoy. Introduction of the Poem This poem is about homesickness, written in a quiet night. Poem in Pin Yin jìng yè sī 静 夜 思 lǐ bái 李 白 chuáng qián míng yuè guāng 床 前 明 月 光 yí shì dì shàng shuāng 疑 是 地 上 霜 。 jǔ tóu wàng míng yuè 举 头 望 明 月 dī tóu sī gù xiāng 低 头 思 故 乡 Poem in English Athwart the bed I watch the moonbeams cast a trail So bright, so cold, so frail, That for a space it gleams Like hoar-frost on the m

Review: Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time

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Title: Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time Author: Mignon Fogarty Publisher: St. Martin's Griffith Published: July 3, 2012 ebook ISBN13: 9780312573478 Genre: Non-Fiction Source: NetGalley Summary: How do you know which to use? Grammar Girl to the rescue! This handy reference guide contains the full 411 on 101 words that have given you trouble before—but will never again. Full of clear, straightforward definitions and fun quotations from pop culture icons such as Gregory House and J. K. Rowling, as well as from classical writers such as Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin, this highly-useable guidebook takes the guesswork out of your writing, so you’ll never be at a loss for words again. My thoughts: This is a great book to have at your fingertips. Have you ever asked yourself 'Is it affect or effect' or 'Do you lie on a bed or lay on a bed?' So many times these words are confused. Mignon Fogarty takes on 101 words that c

Q&A with Linda Grimes

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1. Tell us about the main character, Ciel Halligan. Ciel is an aura adaptor—a human chameleon. (Which is kind of like a regular chameleon, only without the freakishly long tongue or the bulging, independently moving eyes.) She's young, struggling for her independence in an over-protective family, and more than a tad stubborn. I think of her as trying to rip off the "training wheels" in life, and of course having her share of falls while she finds her balance. 2. Would you want to be an aura adapter? Why or Why not? Well, it would be a great party trick, that's for sure. Who wouldn't want to spend the occasional day as a fawned-over celebrity? Or maybe your ex's new SO, just to exact a little revenge. But I'll bet it would get old filling in for people the way Ciel does. I mean, what if they want you to go PTA meetings for them, or ask their bosses for raises? Ugh. Not so much fun then. 3. What sort of Starbucks coffee would Ciel order? In the

The Consequences of Technology: Patty Blount Guest Post and Give@way

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The Consequences of Technology  In 2004, my son had a growth spurt. He hit five foot nine, started shaving, endured some vicious acne and all the other curses of puberty and so, became the favorite target of a group of little boys who thought it was great fun to tear down the giant. This torment had gone on for months before I ever learned about it. I didn’t learn about it until my son told me he no longer wanted to live. He was in sixth grade. Today, he’s in college and doing well, but I will tell you he bears deep scars from his ordeal. Let’s skip to 2009: a new executive at my day job directed us to start incorporating social media into our work. I knew nothing about networks like Facebook and Twitter and had a lot of homework to do before I could figure out how to meet his directive. The more work I did, the more grateful I became that none of these networks were around back in 2004. If they had been, I’m sure I would have lost my son. Social networks are great tools. Th