Monday, September 30, 2013

0 Q&A with Ned Hayes

1) Please tell our readers about your journey into Sinful Folk.
One morning, during my long commute, I remembered a bit of history from the 14th century. Children died in a tragic house fire in a distant village. The families were in such agony that they took their dead children across England to the King’s throne to demand justice. 

I could imagine their pain. The torture of losing your child. Their angry search for answers.

On that morning, I picked up an old page I had that showed the house fire from the perspective of the villain: and I re-wrote the story from the perspective of the victim. This time, the story changed, as one woman forced her perspective to the forefront.

It is the first time I felt the truth of Alice Walker's idea that she is writing down the story of "ghosts" -- of real people who want their stories told in the present. I felt like I was hearing her in my own head: reading her own personal journal.

I heard Mear's voice so clearly and her story was so real to me, I needed to tell it.

SINFUL FOLK ultimately became her story -- a story of loss and tragedy that becomes Mear's very personal narrative of redemption and personal triumph.

2) Why do you prefer writing historical fiction?

All fiction is historical fiction in some manner, as you have to establish the history, back-story and grounded realities of your character's situation. When you're writing a fantasy novel, the challenge is actually harder, because you need to invent the complete world, and ensure it is a real-feeling construct and internally consistent.

I love historical fiction set in the real world, because I get to learn new and exciting bits of history. It was very interesting to me to learn a lot about the medieval era in writing this novel.

Here are a few small examples -- in the 14th century, the game Chess didn't exist as we know it today! And the idea of a toilet -- even an outhouse -- was a relatively new invention for English peasants. And finally, many women masqueraded as men for much of their lives. There was even a pope who was a disguised woman -- Pope Joan -- and this fact about womens' history gave me much inspiration for my novel.

3) What is your biggest challenge when writing historical fiction?

The hardest part of writing SINFUL FOLK is the fact that it is the story of a mute woman from the 14th century -- told from her perspective. However, I am a quite talkative 21st century man.

So for me, it took a great deal of work to ensure that I was being honest to Mear's perspective, her concerns, her sense of herself, her body and her time. I found it was quite challenging to find my way into her voice and her reality. 

4) What inspired you to write Sinful Folk?

Originally, I was inspired by the mystery of the fire that killed the children. But as I wrote, the story rapidly became about one woman’s story. One mother loving her child. One tragedy. And her own relentless urge to find answers. I found the character of Mear, and her ability to be strong and courageous -- even in a very weak and subservient position -- to be very inspirational.

When I partnered with the wonderful NY Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure to put together the novel, her art inspired my revisions further -- her handcut black paper work inspired me to make the novel even stronger. You can find more about Nikki at

5) Who was your favorite character?

I wrote SINFUL FOLK because I wanted to think deeply about children, mothers, families, and loyalty. How far would a mother go to protect her child’s memory?

The character of Mear showed me what strength is hidden in the most unlikely heroines. She showed me how strong a mother can be. What power can be concealed in silence. She showed me what really matters.

6) What are you working on now?

GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHT is my new work-in-progress. This is a historical novel set back in the Pacific Northwest... however, I have an idea that my main character in this novel may begin to learn about the Middle Ages, so I think I'll be writing some of the book from the perspective of a character in the 1400s. I am really drawn to that time period, and I keep finding ways to return to that era in my writing.

7) What is the last book you read?

I just finished Helene Wecker's marvelous new novel THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI ( In her book, I like the way magical realism paints the real emotional reality of a situation, but keeps the characters grounded in historical reality. This technique is devilishly hard to pull off, but is quite rewarding when it works.

8) What is the most challenging thing about being a writer?

It is hard to keep writing each and every day: it is easier to just let it go and do something else that isn't as challenging or as mind-bending. Yet in his early book on the writing craft, Danse Macabre, Stephen King says that if you write just one page a day -- 300 words or so -- at the end of one year you'll have a novel.

And that has really helped to keep me going -- just add another 300 words today, and soon, you'll have a complete novel.

9) Which character gave you the most trouble?

I began writing the book from the perspective of my main villain -- I won't tell you his name, because that would give away a major plot point. But as I wrote the rest of the book, I found Mear pushing herself to the foreground, and I found it more and more difficult to find the voice and motivations of my main villain.

So I found it hard to justify the murders, and found it hard to write a realistic and believable villain. You can read the book, and determine if I succeeded ;-)

10) What is your favorite movie?

My partner Jill says I'm an honorary "girl," and I guess I show this through my movie choices. I love "Becoming Jane" (about Jane Austen's life) and I also love the movie "Chocolat" (based on the remarkable book by Joanne Harris) -- I really enjoy historical fiction that takes a (very slight) flight of fancy into magical realism. One of the movies that I find strikes this balance precisely is Terry Gilliam's very bizarre and interesting roller-coaster of a story -- "Brazil" -- which is another of my favorite movies.
11) Where can readers find out more about your work? 

SINFUL FOLK has a website -- -- and a book trailer: and a lot of fans on Facebook at I regularly post updates and excerpts from the novel on the Facebook page.

You can also follow join about 20,000 people and follow me on Twitter at, or Booklikes A fan-generated set of photos based on the novel already exists on Pinterest... you can contribute at


SINFUL FOLK is the forthcoming new novel from author Ned Hayes (appearing from Campanile Press in Jan 2014). His first historical novel, COEUR D'ALENE WATERS, was nominated for the Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award. More about SINFUL FOLK and Ned Hayes can be found at

Saturday, September 28, 2013

0 Doctor Who Rewatch Season 1, Episodes 12 and 13

We're re-watching Doctor Who this fall to prepare for the big anniversary special. I know that Doctor Who has been around for 50 years, but for time sake we're going to start with series 1 of 2005. If you've not watched it, but have wanted to. Here's your chance. We're watching via Netflix, so join us if you can. This is week we're discussing Season 1, episodes 12 and 13.

Season 1, episode 12 
Title: Bad Wolf
Original Air Date: June 11, 2005
Directed by: Euros Lyn
Written by: Russel T. Davies

Summary: So all season long we've been hit by the phrase "Bad Wolf." It's been in every episode, whether you've noticed or not. Since this is the second time around for me, I've paid more attention to it and have noticed it a lot more than I did the first time around. Up to this point we still have no idea who or what bad wolf is.
In this episode it starts out with the Doctor, Rose, and Jack all waking up on game shows. The Doctor is in a Big Brother house. Rose is in The Weakest Link. Jack is in Extreme Makeover.

At ease, Captain! 

It turns out they're back on satellite 5. Only it's into the future. There are like hundreds of these game shows running all the time. You get picked randomly, too. Like one day you're just sitting there drinking your coffee and then, BAM!, you're competing for your life. That's right your life! The losers get disintegrated. And the winners get to live. The Doctor figures somebody wants him there or else they could have killed him already. He breaks out to investigate and along the way he meets up with Jack, who also escaped. The Doctor also brings along Lynda, who was with him on BB.

They go in search of Rose. There's so many shows, they realize that it's going to take some time to find her. They finally find her during the last round of The Weakest Link. Rose loses her question just as the Doctor comes through the door. She runs to him and then . . . she's disintegrated. Right in front of him! The Doctor, Jack, and Lynda are arrested and get taken to a holding cell. They escape and go to the level, 500.
Also the Doctor learns all this may be his fault. They go up to the control room to find this:

She looks like something out of The Matrix. At first, she's unresponsive, but then they pass by a solar flare, and she begins to speak directly to the Doctor. She is being controlled by someone whom she calls her masters. She warns the Doctor and tells him that they are coming for him. Jack finds the Tardis and figures out that the losers are not killed but transported off the satellite. Huzzah! Rose is alive. They find and cancel the signal that's transmitting this to find out it's the-wait for it-Daleks! And there is like a million of those little tin cans just waiting for him. The Doctor vows to stop the Daleks and to rescue Rose. I totally think it's hot when the Doctor tells Rose he's coming for her.

Life Lessons: Game shows suck! They look like fun, but in the end what does it really cost you? Also, the Daleks are like cockroaches. They don't die, they multiply! 

Season 1, episode 13 
Title: The Parting Of The Ways
Original Air Date: June 18, 2005
Directed by: Euros Lyn
Written by: Russel T. Davies

Summary: "The Parting of the Ways" is the second part to "Bad Wolf". You can already tell by the title of this episode that you might need tissues close by. So after the cliff hanger in the last episode, where the Daleks are about to invade, we pick right back up. The Doctor transports the Tardis right in the middle of the Dalek ship. They are protected by the Tardis,
so the Daleks can't harm them. That's where they meet the Supreme Dalek. Which to me, sounds like something you'd order at a restaurant.  I'll have a dalek supreme, with a side a fries, and a coke. Anyway the Dalek reveals to the Doctor how the Dalek race has survived. In fact the Dalek has gone a little cray-cray. He's declared himself a god. And pretty much demands for the Doctor to worship him.  The Doctor all but laughs in his face and leaves. They go back to Satellite 5 where they prepare for invasion. They have small chance of hope and pretty much declare this a suicide mission. The Doctor never loses hope, but he knows his chances are slim. In a desperate act, he sends Rose and the Tardis back to her home. He leaves a holographic message for Rose telling her he needs to keep her safe, and she should go on and have a happy life. Rose is devastated. She tries and tries to get the Tardis working but with no luck. Mickey and Jackie tell her maybe the Doctor is right; maybe she should get on with her life. 

But Rose isn't having it! So they all pull together to open the Tardis so that she can rescue the Doctor. And apparently Jackie has been up to something because she got this huge truck from some dude named Rodrigo, who owed her a favor. What have you been up to you naughty girl?
It finally works, and the Tardis is opened up. The Tardis is hurtling through space to get back to save the Doctor. When it lands, the Daleks have already killed off everyone except the Doctor, and they've also invaded Earth doing the same thing. Then Rose walks out and she looks like this:

She's all shiny and glowy. This is a Rose you don't want to mess with. Finally we find out what the phrase 'Bad Wolf' is and Rose kicks some serious Dalek ass. All that's left is Rose and the Doctor. She finally gets a glimpse of what it means to be him. But here's the down side. Rose wasn't meant to have all that energy running through her veins. So he kisses her:

He absorbs all the energy into himself and breaths it into the Tardis. In the meantime Rose passes out. When she wakes up, she doesn't remember what happened. The Doctor knows that his time is nigh and begins to say goodbye, in his way.

And thus the 9th Doctor leaves us and the 10th takes his place. I'll give you a minute to stop crying. Are you okay? Do you need a hug? Yeah, me too. 

The 9th Doctor is my favorite Doctor. I know everyone has their favorite Doctor and for different reasons, but here's mine: He was my first Doctor. He was there when I fell in love with this show. After I watched the first episode, I started to tell everyone I know about it. To my surprise, a lot of people are huge fans of this show. I'm so glad I watched this show on a whim. And I love that my entire family likes to watch it too. So join me next week as we venture into season 2 and meet the 10th Doctor.

Friday, September 27, 2013

0 Deadly to Love Book Blitz and Giveaway

Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell
Release Date: February 2013

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy


ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9


The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.

Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.
She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.
His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.
What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

Available from:
Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu

and only 99c / 77p on Kindle for September!

“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last
night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.”
Brianna (Book Blogger)

I loved how the author took a different
approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present.
I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing.
Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

I will admit I scoffed at the way it
started but in the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely
untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern.
This story had
such a good plot and the story structure was sound.
Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.


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Happy with the amount of photos I had collected I started to head back out of the forest, still flicking through my shots. As well as close ups, I had taken a few landscapes and as I was almost at the edge of the forest I noticed something in one of the photographs that made me stop.
In the left hand corner was a figure that looked mostly human, but was blurred as if they were moving on the spot.
A cold shudder shot through me.
Looking over my shoulder I became slightly panicked and felt as if someone was following me.
My eyes flicked and searched the shadows. Even though there was no sign that anything had ever been behind me, the forest looked different now - dark and threatening.
Instinctively I broke away and ran, still clutching the camera that was displaying the freaky image. Surrounded by trees I didn’t stop until I was free of the forest and back in the open light and sight of my house.
Throwing open my door, I slumped against the inside of it, regaining my breath from the short sprint. Once I had recovered I looked down at the photo once more, just to make sure that I hadn’t been seeing things. The old saying “the camera never lies,” came into my mind and for the first time I wished it not to be true. Sure enough though, as I looked down at the screen, the figure was still there and this time I noticed a red and orange glow around where its feet should have been. The image almost looked like the person was on fire but I thought I would have surely noticed if there had been a burning man in front of me.


Mia Hoddell is giving away an Amazon gift card this month only there is a slight twist: the more entries she receives the more money she will put on the gift card to giveaway! For example:

No matter what = $5
100 entries = $10
150 entries = $15
200 entries = $20
and so forth...
So if she gets 1000 entries she will give away $100, there’s no limit!

To enter all you have to do is buy or have bought Deadly to Love. It's only $0.99 or £0.79 on Amazon for the duration of the giveaway! This will also unlock extra entries for you so you can earn more points by sharing the giveaway. Remember the more entries she gets the bigger the prize for you so share!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

1 Q&A with Timothy Burns

1. Tell our readers about your novel, Ghosts of the Void.
"Ghosts of the Void" begins in the relatively-near future, painting a picture of an inhabited Mars and the attitudes and feelings of a population that has to depend on one another for survival in their domed cities. When things start going horribly wrong for no apparent reason, it is up to a small group of friends to discover what is causing the problems and then do what they must to set things right, even if this spells the end for an entire civilization.

2. Do you consider yourself a hard-core science fiction lover? If so, what is it about this genre that pulls you in?
Very hard core. I am interested in anything high-tech, to the point where I spend way too much time every day reading articles about state-of-the-art developments in science and technology. At the same time, I can't help but imagine how these technologies will affect our development as a race and what we can look forward to in the future.

3. What was the first science fiction book that hooked you?
I would have to credit that to Asimov's "I, Robot" and his whole robot series. I absolutely fell in love with his style of combining science with fiction.

4. Tell us a bit about your main character, Jared Miller.
Jared Miller is, like myself, a born and bred Southerner. He isn't willing to let anything stand in his way. If something needs doing he is ready to do it himself rather that waiting for someone else to step up. He is also a kind and compassionate person, very honorable and always wanting to help others. His main flaw is that, because he has such formidable psionic powers, he sometimes jumps the gun and acts too rashly, not giving others a chance to solve problems in their own way.

5. There are mysterious ghosts in this novel that make electronics go haywire. Do you believe in ghosts?
Actually I do. I didn't always, and being a very rational person I like to know the explanation for everything, but after having a personal encounter with what I can only conclude was a real ghost I have come to believe that sometimes the spirit of a person can remain and interact with the living. Now the ghosts in my story are not of this type, they are actually the projections or manifestations of beings who are composed of dark matter.

6. You've stated that you like to "impart accuracy and plausibility" into your work. How hard is that when dealing with fantasy and science fiction?
If I am reading a story (or watching a movie for that matter) and I come across a concept that is way too far beyond what I might consider at least remotely possible, I just can't get into the story nearly as much as when there is some possibility that what is happening could really be done at some point. I guess this is why I try to give some sort of explanation for how things work. And yes, it is sometimes hard to work within this constraint, but I believe that a reader can only suspend disbelief so much.

7. Aliens . . . Do you think they exist?
In all the vast expanse of time and space that surrounds us it would surprise me more to learn that aliens do not exist. However, it would also shock me to find out that another intelligent species developed close enough to us (in both space and time) to make contact.

8. What are you reading now?
I have an admission to make: I ain't reading anything at the moment. I alternate between reading and watching TV, and right now I am in the middle of re-watching Star Trek Enterprise, by far the best series of that franchise.

9. Name three unusual things that you have on your desk?
A small plastic dinosaur that has watched me write and work for several years now, a 28 oz. can of anchovies in oil (which are part of my regular nightly snack, along with crackers), and, until I made him move, my cat Pokey. Now this last is not supposed to be on my desk, but as I am the property of a very insistent feline I often find myself allowing his certain privileges.

10. What are you working on next?
My writing time right now alternates between finishing up a story I began several years ago and laying the groundwork for a new story I was inspired with just a few days ago. At this moment I couldn't say which will be completed first. Readers will have to watch my Facebook page to see.

About the book: When the solar system passes through a vast cloud of dark matter, strange things start to happen. Electronics go haywire, unbreakable materials suddenly break, and enigmatic, ghostly creatures are sighted. To the inhabitants of Earth this is bad enough, but on Mars, where properly-functioning technology means the difference between life and death, this spells disaster on an unimaginable scale.
Jared Miller, a psionically talented problem solver, barely survives his journey to the Red Planet on his mission to discover just what these mysterious ghosts of the void are and what they want. There, he meets Bo Greene, a prospector who scours the barren wasteland in his six-legged walker in search of mroom, the only life native to Mars. Along with Bo's ex-wife Anissa, Anna the witch and several others, Jared and Bo find themselves transported to the distant future where Mars is green and vibrant but the inhabitants are under the domination of alien overlords and their sadistic psionic henchmen.
Survival becomes their primary goal as they seek to save two worlds, but in the end they face the terrible dilemma of having to choose which to save and which to condemn to non-existence. 

Click here to find out more about Timothy Burns and his books.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

0 Q&A with Carla Neggers

1. Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have a certain place that inspires you most?

I do most of my writing in my office at our house on our hilltop in Vermont. I look out at a huge old maple tree on the edge of the woods. Great view when I need to think! But I don’t stay in my office. I migrate to other parts of the house, local cafes…and Ireland. Ireland is an incredible place to write.

2. How did your own trip to Ireland inspire this book? What inspired you most?

When I started thinking about DECLAN’S CROSS, I knew that Emma and Colin were taking a break in Ireland. What could go wrong? I had no idea but I knew that something would! Then my husband and I visited Ardmore, a lovely village in the heart of Saint Declan country on the south Irish coast…and I got to thinking what if Emma’s grandfather, a renowned art detective, had investigated an unsolved Irish art theft, and what if an American with no apparent connection to the theft disappeared? Throw in Julianne Maroney, the hotheaded marine biologist with an on/off relationship with Colin’s lobsterman brother, Andy, and DECLAN’S CROSS started taking shape.


· Dark, Brown or White Chocolate


· Smoothies or Milk shakes


· Bitchy or Nerdy


About the book:
An escape to an idyllic Irish seaside village is about to turn deadly in this riveting new novel by master of romantic suspense Carla Neggers.

For marine biologist Julianne Maroney, two weeks in tiny Declan's Cross on the south Irish coast is a chance to heal her broken heart. She doesn't expect to attract the attention of FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan—especially since a Donovan is the reason for her broken heart.

Emma and Colin are in Ireland for their own personal retreat. Colin knows he's a reminder of everything Julianne wants to escape, but something about her trip raises his suspicion. Emma, an art crimes expert, is also on edge. Of all the Irish villages Julianne could choose…why Declan's Cross? 

Ten years ago, a thief slipped into a mansion in Declan's Cross. Emma's grandfather, a renowned art detective, investigated, but the art stolen that night has never been recovered and the elusive thief never caught.

From the moment Julianne sets foot on Irish soil, everything goes wrong. The well-connected American diver who invited her to Ireland has disappeared. And now Emma and Colin are in Declan's Cross asking questions.

As a dark conspiracy unfolds amid the breathtaking scenery of Declan's Cross, the race is on to stop a ruthless killer…and the stakes have never been more personal for Emma and Colin.

BookTrib is hosting a Live Chat with Carla Neggers next week on September 27 at 3 p.m. ET!

During the Chat you can:
·         Ask Carla questions directly
·         Win a free copy of Declan’s Cross

2 Your Darkness Cover Reveal and Giveaway

'Your Darkness' is a collection of poetry that will tug at the heart and then empower. It is filled with poems that take you on a journey through heart ache and pain then lead into finding one's own strength within.

An author's view:
"The measure of poetry is its ability to evoke emotion. Herein is a roller coaster ride. It jerks you back and forth through dark, twisting tunnels of entrapment. It drags you to dizzying heights of hope and then sends you plunging pell-mell into depths of despair before slowing along the gentler ups and downs of uncertainty and self-doubt that eventually lead back into the light. Those who have never suffered through the darkness of such a relationship will ponder. Those who have been there will relive it and understand. Thank you, M.K. Hensley, for sharing the ride." ~Author John Hundley

Note from the author:
I never knew writing these would help me let go and truly move forward. Had I known, I would have written them long before now. I have learned that keeping things locked inside only hurts you. Let it out. Tell someone. If not, nothing will change. I also learned that you have to let people in, even when you are scared. You might just end up surprised. I hope my words can help someone else find their strength to get thru their own struggles.

Connect with the Author:

Two ways to win! 1) Leave a comment. Once lucky winner per blog stop will win a signed bookmark. 2) Fill out the rafflecopter form by "liking" some awesome people on facebook and you could win an E-Book copy of 'Your Darkness' and a signed bookmark.
Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

0 Review: Waking the Witch

Title: Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld #11)
Author: Kelly Armstrong
Publisher: Plume
Published: April 5, 2011
Paperback, 404 pages
ISBN: 978-0-452-29722-7
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:
At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she's having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult. She's working as the research assistant at the detective agency they founded, and when they take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge, Savannah finds herself itching for a case to call her own. (She's also itching for Adam, her longtime friend and colleague, to see her as more than just a little girl, but that's another matter.)

Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she's been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman's dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.

My thoughts:
I'm am late to this party. Like really late. This is my first Kelly Armstrong book, and it's the eleventh in the series. I've heard some pretty good things about this author, so I thought I'd take a chance and jump right in. First I like to say that even though I jumped in late to the series, I followed the story line pretty well. Armstrong gives you just enough back story to understand what's going on in the current story. So if you're late like me, then don't worry about starting at the first book. Unless, of course, you want to.
I do admit that it took me quite a few chapters to warm up to this series. It wasn't that I didn't like it; I just didn't love it. After I got a 'feel' for Savannah Levine things started to pick up. I like her character, but at times I forgot that she's only twenty-one. She's mature beyond her years. I'm not sure if that's because of her unconventional childhood or if it's just the magical community altogether. Savannah is a spunky, motorcycle-riding, go-getter. She desperately wants to prove herself to her guardians. 
The story line is interesting and had me guessing who the culprit was most of the time. I like Armstrong's writing style and definitely look forward to reading more by this author. I'm going to continue with the next book in this series, Spell Bound.

My Rating:

Monday, September 23, 2013

0 Audio Book Review: What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare

Title: What Really Happened in Peru (The Bane Chronicles Part 1)
Author: Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Narrated by: Jesse Williams
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: April 16, 2013
Length: 1 hour 13 minutes
ISBN 13: 9781442365070
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Bought 

Goodreads Summary:
There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

My thoughts on the audio:
Jesse Williams is known for his role on Grey's Anatomy. So how does this heart throb do with as the narrator? I thought he did well. He gives each character their own distinct voice. Though at time Jesse's voice was a bit 'quiet' at times. I enjoyed his reading and hopes he'll do more audio books in the future.

My thoughts on the story line:
I really liked the story. I've read The Mortal Instruments thought I'm not quite caught up with The Infernal Devices yet. I found that this short story was easy to follow along with. I didn't really feel lost, so I think these books can be considered stand alone. This book focus on Magnus Bane ( of course since his name is in the title) and his jaunts through Peru. It doesn't focus on one particular time though. Bane visits Peru many times throughout his life. This book tells of each and every adventure. I do like Bane's character a lot. He's got a lot of great lines. I especially like his interaction with the other characters. Here's one of my favorite  quotes:

“Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate."

"I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!"

"Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke."

"So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would have never worked between me and the plate anyway.” 

If you're a fan of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices then this is a must read! If you've not read the books yet, this would be a great introduction to the characters. At approximately a hour long, it's definitely worth your time.

My rating:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

0 Doctor Who Rewatch Season 1, Episodes 10 and 11

We're re-watching Doctor Who this fall to prepare for the big anniversary special. I know that Doctor Who has been around for 50 years, but for time sake we're going to start with series 1 of 2005. If you've not watched it, but have wanted to. Here's your chance. We're watching via Netflix, so join us if you can. This is week we're discussing Season 1, episodes 10 and 11.

Season 1, episode 10 
Title: The Doctor Dances
Original Air Date: May 28, 2005
Directed by: James Hawes
Written by: Steven Moffat

Summary: When we left off last week the Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack were in a pickle. They were being surrounding by a bunch of zombie-like people wearing gas masks. Because the Doctor is beyond clever he responds by telling them, in a very firm parental voice, that they need to go to their room. And you know what? It works! 

They all return to their beds. So then the Doctor, Rose, and Jack go investigating the hospital where they find a locked room that they need to get into, but they pause so that the Doctor and Jack can have a 'my sonic thingy is bigger than your sonic thingy' discussion. They proceed to break into the room and discover that its inhabitant is that of a child's. They put two and two together and realize the child that's going around terrorizing everyone is the same child that's suppose to be in this room. Then they realize they are in the room that the Doctor told the child to go to. Cue suspenseful music! They turn around and *gasp* the child is right behind them! They make a quick escape to find that the zombie-like people are all around. The run into a storage closet where they lock themselves in, but know they can't get out. During all this time they figure out that Jack is a con artist who was just trying to pull one over on the Doctor. The ship he was trying to get them to buy is just an empty ambulance. But before I continue, let's just take a minute to appreciate the Captain:

You're welcome! Do what you will with this picture. Anyway did you happen to notice what's written on the side? Wolf as in Bad Wolf. Yep. Another reference to the the mysterious bad wolf phrase.
Okay so meanwhile Nancy figures to protect the children she must go face the 'monster' head on. So she goes to the site where the bomb fell (It's where this whole mess started in the first place) and promptly gets taken into custody by the military forces that is guarding it. She notices that the person in charge of watching her is beginning to change into a gas mask creature. At this time the Doctor, Rose, and Jack escape the room thanks to Jack's quick thinking and are on their way to the bomb site as well. Jack decides to use his 'charm' and sneak them in only to find the guard too is turning into a gas mask creature. Then the guard promptly falls asleep. And everyone is like, "what just happened?". That's when they hear singing. They follow the voice and it leads them to Nancy. She's singing a lullaby to her guard turned gas mask monster. They all congregate by the bomb site and that's when they realize that the gas mask monsters are all coming toward them. It's nail biting time! 

Then the Doctor realizes what's happening. Why it's  happened, and how to fix it. He pleads with the universe to let it work. For just once. And it does! 

Except for one thing. There is a bomb headed straight for them. They don't have time to even run away. That's when Jack decides to be selfless and take care of the bomb. To his demise. However the Doctor being the Doctor teleports Jack just in the nick of time! 

Rose and the Doctor do a little dancing around the tardis, and all is right with the world. 

Life lesson: If you're ever corned by a monster, try scolding it and sending it to its room. Also sometimes the universe is a bitch, and sometimes it gives you exactly what you ask for.

Season 1, episode 11 
Title: Boomtown
Original Air Date: June 4, 2005
Directed by: Joe Ahearne
Written by: Russell T Davies

Summary: So the Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack land in Cardiff to recharge the tardis. Rose invites Mickey to come along, and they all decide to make a sort of holiday out of the event.  So they're sitting around in a restaurant laughing and sharing stories about their travels when the Doctor looks over and sees a familiar face on the front of the newspaper.

You might remember her from a few episodes back. Yep, she's the Slitheen that tried to destroy the Earth. Only the Doctor thought she was dead. So he's all like 'Crap, there goes our vacation!" 

So the foursome go to investigate. Turns out she's the new mayor, and she goes by the name: Margaret Blaine. Margaret tries to escape. Silly alien. Doesn't she know by now you can't escape the Doctor? Margaret's plans are revealed. It turns out once again she wants to destroy the planet so that she might escape to somewhere else. The Doctor offers to take her home, but it turns out Margaret is a felon. On the run! If she goes home, she'll get the death penalty. However the Doctor only has so much mercy, and tells her that as soon as the Tardis is recharged she's going to face the consequences.
Okay, now I have to admit I do feel a little sorry for Margaret. I know she's done wrong. I mean, she's tried to blow up the planet. Twice. But in this episode you do get to see another side of her. A softer side. I think humanity had started rubbing off on her. Or maybe it was because she was lonely that her heart started to change. I'm not sure. Maybe all Margaret needed was a little love, but can someone really change after being 'evil' for so long. Some habits are hard to break. This episode tests this theory. 
Also you get to see the toll that Rose's traveling has on Mickey. He's always left behind waiting on Rose. Mickey can also see into Rose's heart. He can tell that the Doctor will always come first with her. And, yes, jealousy ensues. So all this is going on while Margaret is still trying to get away from the Doctor at all costs. It's quite funny actually. I'm not going to tell you about it, you'll just have to watch.

So of course, everything gets resolved by the end of the show. So what happens to Margaret? She looks into the Tardis and the Tardis looks into her and grants her peace. In the form of an egg! Only Margaret is the egg. The group minus Mickey decides to return Margaret to her home planet where she can be raised by a different family. She'll finally have her second chance at life.

Life lesson: Sometimes you have to give someone a second chance, even when it's hard. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

2 Review: My Own Mr. Darcy and enter to win $25 Amazon GC or Paypal Cash

Title: My Own Mr. Darcy
Author: Karey White
Publisher: Createspace
Published: July 15, 2013
Ebook, 220 pages
ISBN13: 9781490537269
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author

Goodreads Summary:
After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

My thoughts:
Jane Austen is the ruiner of love lives everywhere! How can we settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy? Then hotties like Matthew Macfadyen and Colin Firth play the brooding, proud Darcy, and there's no hope for the rest of us. We're hopelessly smitten. This is exactly what happens to Elizabeth in this book. Her life is turned upside down after she watches Pride and Prejudice starring Mathew Macfadyen. Every man she dates, she compares to Mr. Darcy. Her bff challenges her to go out with the next guy that asks her out at least ten times before making any excuses as to why she doesn't want to date them. Elizabeth reluctantly agrees. That's when she meets Chad. Chad is a great guy, but he isn't Darcy. However Elizabeth is true to her word and agrees to date him. However her world is thrown for a loop when Matt Dawson, who looks almost exactly like Macfadyen and acts like Darcy, walks into her job. She's smitten from the start. Matt asks her out, and she can't refuse. However as she starts to date Matt as well as Chad, she realizes that things are more complicated than she thought they would be. She's torn between having her dream guy and falling for someone who isn't like anything she's dreamed.
This is such a great story. I loved every moment that I read it. The chemistry between the characters was great. The story sucked me in, and I had to keep reading to find out what happened next. Elizabeth struggles with her ideal man and a realistic one. She just has to figure out which one fits the bill. I think this is a subject that a lot of people can relate to. For we've all fallen in love with a literary hero, whether it's Mr. Darcy or not. And while they look fantastic on paper, reality is a different story. I think this book will appeal to Austen lovers as well as romance lovers. The Janites will appreciate the Darcy angle while it's contemporary enough to appeal to a broader audience. This is a great book to cuddle up with over the weekend! 
My rating:

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