Saturday, 31 March 2012

Review & Giveaway: Generation by William Knight (VOTE FOR ME!)

PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO VOTE FOR MY BLOG HERE!

Original Title: Generation
Author: William Knight
Publisher: Standing Hare
Publication Date: October 22nd 2011
Genre: Horror, Crime


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Journalist Hendrix ‘Aitch’ Harrison links bodies stolen from a renowned forensic research enclosure to an influential drug company specialising in genetic modification.

Assisted by Sarah Wallace, a determined and beguiling forensic entomologist, he delves into a grisly world of clinical trials and a viral treatment beyond imagination.

But Aitch must battle more than his fear of technology to expose the macabre fate of the drugged bodies donated to scientific research.

REVIEW

"G"ripping!  Well, this is one of those first times for me, with the crime and horror novel combination.  And it pretty much had thrown me out of my shell.  From the start to the end, this novel had my undivided attention..and to that, both the writing and plot are the main reasons.  It's not only scary, but also a information mine.

"E"ngaging plot!  Hendrix Harrison (like his name! :)) is a journalist working for "Strange Phenomena", who is searching for some new article.  He stumbles upon ghost sightings in some places and tries to get more information on that.  But, what he doesn't know is that he was in danger of exposing an influential drug company of its invention gone wrong..wrong, in the sense, so so badly.  Sarah Wallace, a young and sexy forensic entomologist, finds that one of her dead bodies, donated to science, is missing.  Police is involved. Her forensic research on the body was so wrong..she gets aware of the fact that this is no normal test.

"N"o-nonsense hero and heroine!  Both Hendrix and Sarah's characters are portrayed in a great way, although in different fields.  They are both brave and great in their own jobs.  Hendrix relationship with his friends were as good as Sarah's relationship with her students.  Its both two different fields - journalism and science.  But, when Sarah stood up to solve the case against her management's decision, it showed her confidence (of course, she got thrown out from her job after that, but that's beside the point, right? :)) in her area of expertise.  And Hendrix was hunted for murder, thrown out of job and threatened, and still he tries to solve the mystery.  There is a reason these characters will be adored by the readers.

"E"ffective new area - Forensic science!  I am not interested in medicine, but I have seen National Geographic Channel, and I was so much interested in seeing what these people do.  So, when Sarah Wallace started saying about some of the facts and suspicions, it was so entertaining that I felt like I am seeing the channel.  Its a difficult area, what with knowing about multiple fields with excellence in all of them. The readers can definitely know much about their life here.

"R"iveting Research!  One thing I thought was amazing, so amazing, is the research done by the author for this book.  Journalism, Drugs, Medicine, Entomology, Technology - so many fields covered with great care and it worked out.  As the author himself is a journalist, I am not surprised by how well he brought out the character of Hendrix.  But, other fields - its just amazing that the author has done such a detailed research and presented in a gripping way to the readers.

"A"ction-packed!  Towards the middle of this book, this book gets filled with action.  Chasing the bad guys, finding the mystery and solving it, with policemen pointing their guns at their heads, is well more than what I wanted for action.

"T"hriller at its maximum!  You have got to trust me on this, because I was up until 1 o'clock last night to finish this book, and I was not the least bit tired until I had completed this book..it was that good.  I was clutching my Kindle so close, like if I get a closer look, I would find the mystery myself and may save many of them. :)

"I"nteresting and engrossing to the end!  I have made that point very clear, I suppose.

"O"pposite poles attract!  Hendrix is not good with technology, one who doesn't even know to tweet from his mobile.  Sarah is, you know, a geek.  When these two are attracted, we know what will happen - sparks fly.  I am not surprised by this..actually, it was comic when I thought how this will work out in the future for this couple.

"N"ot a zombie, its worse!  Yes, exactly my point..this book shows creatures worse than zombie.  I don't feel sorry for zombies..at least they can take care of themselves.  But, these creatures are like coma patients..dead, but alive.  I think enough of all the spoilers, you will have to read it to find out more.  Although one more thing - you see the cover?  I was sympathetic towards them, until I saw the cover again..well, its a horror novel, what do you expect?

"GENERATION": This is a perfect 5-star novel, that will amaze the readers at all ages.  But, as some adult scenes are involved, ages above 16 would find this novel to be great!


G + E + N + E + R + A + T + I + O + N = GENERATION
where each variables in this equation are explained above.




Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes: Get Generation on Amazon or Barnes & Noble – you know you want to! And please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour.


The blogger with the most votes wins a $50 Amazon gift card. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Generation blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

 Be sure to enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of Generation : ENTER HERE.


William Knight is a British born journalist and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He's chased a varying career starting in acting, progressing to music, enjoyed a brief flirtation with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology where he's been since 1989. In 2003 he published his first feature in Computing magazine and has since written about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. He continues to maintain a lively IT consultancy. Connect with William on his website, blog, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #4

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday, a Saturday meme, hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.


This is where I feature a favorite cover and its artist, which does not have to come from a new release or something that I received in my mailbox.  Any cover that I discover and love will fit the bill.  

My pick this week is Poseidon's Children (The Legacy of the Gods #1) by Michael West.


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Man no longer worships the old gods; forgotten and forsaken, they have become nothing more than myth and legend. But all that is about to change.

After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current—high-priced yachts and leaking fishing boats, all ransacked, splattered in blood, their crews missing and presumed dead.

And that’s just the beginning.

Vacationing artist Larry Neuhaus has just witnessed a gruesome shark attack, a young couple torn apart right before his eyes….at least, he thinks it was a shark. And when one of these victims turns out to be the only son of Roger Hays, the most powerful man in the country, things go from bad to worse.

Now, to stop the carnage, Larry and his new-found friends must work together to unravel a mystery as old as time, and face an enemy as dark as the ocean depths.

ILLUSTRATOR PRAISE

The new urban fantasy series is Michael's second with Seventh Star Press, following the extremely successful release of Cinema of Shadows, his latest Harmony Indiana novel, in 2011.  The Legacy of the Gods series is set to build rapidly upon Michael's horror readership, introducing his well-crafted storytelling to urban fantasy audiences everywhere.

The illustrations for Poseidon's Children were created by highly acclaimed fantasy/horror artist Matthew Perry, who also does the artwork for Michael's Harmony Indiana Novels with Seventh Star Press.  The Poseidon's Children project also reunited Michael with his Cinema of Shadows editor, Amanda DeBord.

So, do you like this new cover?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Feature & Follow #8

RULES
  • To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee and Alison Can Read}
  • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  • Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
If you’re new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Question:

Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

Answer:

One book at a time.  Although I sometimes switch between the books, if I have audio book in hand.  Audio book - while travelling, and hardcopy/Kindle - while at home.  

So, what is your answer to this question?

Follow me and comment below, so that I can follow you back!  Thanks for stopping by and happy weekend to everyone!

Review & Giveaway: Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims


Title: Candlewax
Author: C. Bailey Sims
About The Book: 384 pages
Expected publication: April 3rd 2012
Published by: Terabyte Press



A medieval masterpiece of adventure, romance and horror, younger readers of Paolini and Cashore will gobble up this award-winning debut.

About The Book

An Ancient Prophecy. A Powerful Relic. An Insatiable Evil. When all three converge, the fate of every living thing will be in peril. All her life Catherine had hoped to see a fairrier cat. No book, no scroll provided to her by her tutors had ever mentioned this legend, much to her frustration, and now-at the worse possible time-she was getting her wish. Only, in her wish the cat wasn't about to kill her. A 732-year-old fairrier cat the size of a horse has killed his fair share of hunters. Driven to the brink of extinction for the supernatural powers of his coat, is he indeed the last of his kind? Sheltered, 16-year-old Catherine is about to find out. Unwitting heir to the Ancient Onyxes, she flees an arranged marriage only to stumble upon the cat's secrets, the force of the ancient relic she wears, and the dangerous mission they must undertake. Hidden under a desert that was once a fertile land, millions of predators are waiting to feast again. Catherine must discover the secret of the Ancient Onyxes and stop the creatures known as trodliks before they consume everything in their path. A whispered prophecy becomes her only guide and a rejected suitor just might be the one warrior she desperately needs.


Join The Hollow Tours for a MONTH LONG TOUR! On April 3th The Hollow Tours will be doing a REVEAL of the art on the BACK COVER of Candlewax which no one has seen unless they have a trade paperback of the ARC. 

REVIEW

*** I received this book from the author for review purposes. ***

This is one of those books, I would like to buy and keep it at home..such an engaging and enthralling plot!

Princess Catherine of Crystallia runs out of her kingdom, to escape from a forced arranged marriage to the King of Candlewax.  She meets Pokos, the last fairrier cat (a huge cat, which can talk) in their land, whom she learns is in search of her.  Catherine and the fairrier cat starts on a dangerous adventure to fulfill the prophecy that will save their lands from Trodliks (flesh eating monsters, which were considered to be a myth).  Soon, they were joined by Bessie, who helps Catherine escape Crystallia, Cyril, the King of Candlewax and his counselor.  The five of them take on an interesting (to us!) adventure to other lands to bring other fairrier cats.

This book was one of the highly satisfactory books, where you can get fantasy, adventure, romance, courage and humor in equal parts.  The characters are so well-developed and so, no complaints in those areas.  Also, being the first book in the series, the author clearly knows how important world-building is.  She has done a great justice to the job.  The romance between Catherine and Cyril was awesome, that you crave for more.  The loyalty and courage of the Candlewax soldiers were so adorable.  Great read!

This is the first book in the series and I will definitely be going out for more.  Highly recommended for fantasy lovers!


About The Author
Photo Credit to Shannon Hicks
C. Bailey Sims was born in CA. and as a teenager moved to the Colorado Rockies where she attended a very small high school, learned how to ski race, ride a horse, mountain climb, and target shoot at tin cans.  She now lives with her family in the much tamer but equally beautiful hills of Connecticut in a very creative household of artists and musicians.  This book is a book that I had to write because Spelopokos wouldn't leave me alone. 


You can see the author via these links
If you are not a member of the Hollow Tours  You can join by clicking here



March 
See the OTHER Stops on the tour! 
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
13
14
19
30
April
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
9
10
Giveaway is for those who are NOT apart of the tour!  All winners will be notified via email and their name will be posted here on this page.   8 Lucky winners will win Secret Prizes of Crystals from the book.   PICTURES COMING SOON SO INTICE YOU!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Review: Immersed in Pleasure by Tiffany Reisz

Original Title: Immersed in Pleasure
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: Harlequin
Published Date: February 28th 2012
Genre: Erotica, Short



BOOK DESCRIPTION

The Manhattan Mermaids: Believed to be the most beautiful women in the city, they entertain wealthy, powerful men in an exclusive club called Fathoms....and are all virgins. Derek Prince doesn't believe they really exist, until he meets the stunningly sensual Xenia. She drives him wild with desire, but giving in to temptation means losing her position at Fathoms. Derek is incredibly turned on by the thought of being Xenia's first...but will he be willing to wait for her?

REVIEW

*** Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin for providing this ARC for review purposes. ***

Well, so short, so sweet, so much fun and so very hot!

Derek Prince meets two of his friends in a bar and decides to tell them about his encounter with the mermaid, Xenia.  Derek first meets Xenia at the same bar and after some initial uneventful moments, Derek sees that she is different and tries to follow her.  But the man who accompanied her, stops him, and says that she works for him and if he wishes to see, he can meet her at Fathoms, a very exclusive club.  So, Derek goes there and finds out that she is a virgin mermaid and there are so many other similar mermaids in that club.

Derek falls for Xenia, slow and steady.  But, for Xenia, to choose Derek over Fathoms, will not only mean losing virginity, but also to lose her status as a mermaid and such luxurious life at Fathoms.

This is a short story from Harlequin where the author makes it straight to the point.  No sidetracking from the main plot and no unnecessary entertaining business.  They start clean and clear, and end sweet and satisfactory.

Another success novel from Harlequin!

BUY @ AMAZON




Tuesday, 27 March 2012

ARC Bonanza: Wanna a super free book? (INT'L)

Title: Talisman of El
Series: Talisman of El #1
Author: Alecia Stone
Publisher: Centrinian Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: 20 May 2012



Hey readers!  Here is a free book, that if you like, you can get it.  Below is the excerpt from the ARC and trailer..enjoy it!  If you want more, request for the book and the publisher will mail you the book. (Courtesy: Centrinian Publishing)

SYNOPSIS


WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human … 7 billion.

Others … unknown.When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He’s afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him … because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.
Char­lie doesn’t know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.


EXCERPT


PROLOGUE
Manhattan, New York
January 25, 2013, 11:15 P.M.

DERKEIN ODESSA SAUNTERED INTO a study lined with bookshelves and a high ceiling of gold leaf and bas-relief sculptures. He stopped when he saw his father standing behind the large mahogany desk at the back of the room, rifling through the wall safe. A muscle in his jaw ticked. ‘You’re alive then,’ he said.
‘Not now, Derkein.’ His father closed the safe, covering it with a portrait of his wife.
Folding his arms across his chest, Derkein advanced on
him, his footsteps echoing off the hardwood floor. ‘Not now.’
He chuckled without humour. ‘Well, why don’t you give me your card, and I’ll book an appointment.’
‘I’m sorry I didn’t call, but I can’t talk right now. I have a
flight to catch.’
When his father turned round, Derkein stopped, his eyes widening. A blood-soaked plaster covered the right side of his father’s neck, red stains on the collar of his white shirt. Derkein hurried over to him. ‘What happened?’ he asked.
‘I’m fine. It’s just a scratch.’
‘You don’t look fine. Where have you been …?’ Derkein
paused, the strong smell of tobacco assailing his nose. He scrutinised his father – the purple bags under his eyes, scratch marks on his chin. ‘You’re still searching for it, aren’t you?’ He sighed, raking a hand through his shoulder-length black hair as he lifted his head back. ‘You gave me your word.’
‘I know you disagree with my decision, but you have to understand –’
‘Understand what? Dad, this is not normal.’ Derkein grabbed the bag at his father’s feet, lifted it onto the desk, and tipped it onto its side, scattering the surface with a collection of daggers and guns. He picked up a black leather sheath and pulled out a knife, its broad, stainless blade honed until the cutting edge was almost invisible. He dropped the knife and sheath among the other weapons. ‘You have to stop this.’
‘Luther’s dead.’
Derkein’s heart skipped a beat. ‘What … What happened?’
‘Natural causes. Apparently, his heart gave out.’
‘What do you mean "apparently"?’
With a hesitant glance at Derkein, his father opened the front pocket of the bag and pulled out a talisman, burnished in copper with an engraved steel band and a circular dip in the
centre. ‘Luther and I dug this up in the Roncador Mountains in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The earthquake that hit South America two months ago ... We caused it when we removed this from the earth.’ He looked down at the talisman then back at Derkein, distress clouding his features. ‘The moment the earthquake struck, we passed out. Two hours later, we woke up on Manhattan Bridge.’
‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’
‘We didn’t fly to New York.’
‘Then how did you get here?’
His father started packing the weapons back inside the bag. ‘I don’t know. Three weeks ago, Luther called me and told me that someone was following him. I think whoever was after
him wanted the talisman, and when they didn’t find it, they killed him. Now they’re after me.’
‘So give it to them. Dad, this isn’t worth your life.’
‘I can’t. This is my only connection to Arcadia.’
‘Where are you going?’
‘England,’ his father replied. ‘Thomas might be able to help me. If what he told me about these beings is true, I can’t be around you. They got to Luther. I won’t lose you, too.’ He turned round and stared at the portrait covering the safe.
‘I miss mum, too, but it’s been five years. Give up before
you end up killing yourself. Arcadia doesn’t exist.’
His father looked at him. ‘It’s out there. I’m going to find
it. I will bring her back.’
‘Mum’s dead,’ Derkein snapped. ‘When are you going to get that?’
‘I have to go,’ his father said in a calm voice. ‘I’ll call you when I get there.’
‘Dad –’
‘I’ll be fine. I always am.’
‘Dad, please –’
An ear-piercing scream ripped through the building. Derkein
froze, his eyes the only things that moved. His gaze fixed on his father, who was rummaging through his bag. He took out a black pistol and turned to Derkein, a tortured expression on his face as he placed the weapon in his son’s trembling hand.
‘Shoot anything that moves,’ his father instructed. He placed the talisman around Derkein’s neck, tucking it inside his shirt. ‘Don’t let it out of your sight.’ Cupping Derkein’s face in his hands, he made him meet his gaze. ‘I’m so sorry I got you involved in this.’ He grabbed another gun from the bag.
‘What exactly have you got yourself into, Dad?’
His father looked at him with a solemn expression. ‘If
anything happens to me, you find Thomas. Tell him … Tell him he was right.’ He headed towards the door.
‘Dad, wait.’ Derkein went after him. ‘Dad –’
The double doors burst open with a bang.
His father opened fire. ‘Derkein, shoot!’ he yelled.
Derkein glanced around the room in panic and confusion. He saw no one but his father. Then he felt a sharp pain in his arm, heard his shirt tear, and cried out. Something warm dribbled down his arm. When he placed his hand on it and drew it back, he saw blood. His father screamed, and he
looked up and saw him flying across the room, crashing into a bookshelf that collapsed under him.
‘Dad!’ Derkein sprinted towards him but felt a powerful blow across his chest that sent him flying backwards, and he landed hard on the floor, his gun falling out of his hand.
Staggering to his feet, he glanced around for whatever had attacked him but saw nothing. His gaze landed on his father, who was groaning … and then he was gone. There were no bright lights or loud noise. He had just vanished.As Derkein stared wide-eyed at the spot where his father had been lying only moments before, something like a blast of electricity stunned him, and he felt an intense burning inside his chest. He let out a cry as his body lifted off the groundand hung in midair. Seconds later, he came crashing down …



BOOK TRAILER

video


ARC BONANZA


Review, Guest Post & $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: Doodling by Jonathan Gould

Original Title: Doodling
Author: Jonathan Gould
Published Date:  January 24th 2011
Genre:  Fantasy, Children's, Humor


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Neville Lansdowne fell off the world.

Actually he did not so much fall off as let go. The world had been moving so quickly lately and Neville was finding it almost impossible to keep up.

Doodling is an engaging comic fantasy which relates the events that befall Neville after he finds himself abandoned by the world and adrift in the middle of an asteroid field. Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll (with just a touch of Gulliver's Travels) as Neville wanders through his new home, meeting a variety of eccentric characters and experiencing some most unexpected adventures.

REVIEW

Some books cannot be made sense logically, but you still want to read them and the surprise is, in addition to you liking them, you will recommend it to everyone you see! (Of course, when I recommend it to non-readers, they look at me, as though I am mad. :) )   So, one such novel is Flidderbugs!  And when I know that the author has written another book, usually the expectation would be great..so, I picked up "Doodling" with that expectation.

As soon as I saw the word 'doodling', I searched the word meaning in WordWeb, you know the Ctrl + Alt + W stuff (well, most programmers and testers live on it for proper documentation)..according to WordWeb,

doodling => "make a doodle; draw aimlessly"
doodle => "An aimless drawing"

So, I wondered what this is all about.  And I did the only thing I could do - started reading the book.

Neville was running so fast to keep up with this Earth.  But, however fast he runs, the Earth moves faster. At last he can't keep up, and he let go..  He is thrown off into the asteroid field and wanders around looking for a new home.  He meets new people (some mad!), interesting asteroids and learns new things.  As he more and more people, he learns that the world is going more faster than before and its soon going to crash on other asteroids (where the fallen ones live) and create a massive destruction.  Will Neville be able to stop the Earth from crashing on them, with the help of so many mad people?  You have to read it!

Although this book didn't disappoint, it is still not as good as Flidderbugs.  And the reason is, at some point, even though I understand this is children's book, I can't help questioning certain things like Boring asteroid, Toaster asteroid (seriously??), etc.   That's the only disadvantage with these books - NOT suitable for adults.  But, still you can provide it to your kids - HIGHLY recommended to kids!

So, the star rating is strictly based on the recommendation that this book is for kids!



GUEST POST BY JONATHAN GOULD

Jonathan Gould is a Melbourne-based writer and doodler.

He calls his stories "dag-lit" because they're the sort of stories that don't easily fit into the standard genres. Some might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.

Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).

Here is a guest post by the author, that I am discussing about it for the past few days with everyone I know or chat! :)


10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ME


I’d like to start off by thanking Vidya for having me here at Books are Magic for the second time. I have to say, what a great title for a blog.  Books definitely are magic.  I know because mine seem to disappear all the time – and magically reappear in my kids’ rooms.

So here are 10 things you might not know about me:

1.  I’m not six feet tall. I always wanted to be six feet tall. It was one of my ambitions when I was a kid. I ended up being five foot eleven. That probably explains a lot about the person I am. Maybe it sounds a bit cooler in the metric system where I’m exactly 180 centimetres but I so did want to be 6 feet tall.

2.  I’m a left brain dominant person (I know – I got tested) who writes with his left hand. That’s not the usual way it works. Most people write with the opposite hand to their dominant brain side. You can tell the people writing with their “wrong” hand because they hook it around (apparently). It probably explains why my writing is so terrible (note – when I say writing, I’m referring to handwriting, not story writing. I like to think my story writing is a bit better than that).

3.  Actually, when it comes to “handedness” I’m totally mixed up. There are a lot of things I do with my left hand but also lots I do with my right hand – especially when it comes to sports. Most bat and racquet sports I do right-handed, but I shoot a bow-and-arrow left-handed and I bowl (as in cricket) with my left-hand. I kick a football with my left foot. I like to call myself semi-ambidextrous. Mind you, I suck at most sports so go figure.

4.  I never throw out my clothes. My closet is just getting fuller and fuller. Luckily, I hardly ever go shopping so it’s not as bad as it could be. I reckon I’ve got clothes in there dating back 20 years. And the saddest thing is – I still wear some of them.

5.  If I had a choice, I’d rather be a musician than a writer. I think music is the highest form of art. It’s the form we all respond to most viscerally. But if you ever heard me sing or play an instrument, you’d be happy that I chose writing. And I suppose as art forms go, writing is really not too bad.

6.  The very first things I wrote, when I decided I wanted to be a writer, were comedy sketches. The very first sketch I wrote was about a man walking into an employment office and claiming he was the Cat in the Hat. Amazingly it turned out to be quite good. One of these days, I plan to put it, and some of the other ones, onto YouTube.

7.  I’m forgetful. I completely forgot what I was going to write for this item. Oh well. I guess it can’t have been that important.

8.  I’m allergic to Elastoplast bandages. I discovered it years ago when I was a kid. I’d cut my finger on a tin of cat food and asked the doctor to make a really elaborate bandage so I could impress the other kids at school. Big mistake. A week later, my hand had blown up to three times its normal size.

9.  My favourite hobby, after writing, is sleeping. And, like writing, I just never seem to be able to do as much as I’d like to.

10.  I’m still deciding what I think about social media, especially Twitter. Sometimes I feel like I’d like to set up an anti-Twitter. You start off following everybody and then you gradually unfollow until you’ve found a nice, quiet little spot.

11.  I don’t count so well. How many of these was I meant to be doing?

$25 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY

Jonathan will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour and the host with the most comments (excluding Jonathan's and the host's) will receive a $20 Amazon GC.


ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS COMMENT ON THIS POST TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD!  GIVEAWAY OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!

This post is a part of the tour for "Goddess Fish Promotions"


Other ongoing Goddess Fish giveaways:
 
Soul Seduction - $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commentor
Flidderbugs - $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commentor

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Giveaway of 3 Books: Award-winning novel, IN LEAH'S WAKE

Original Title: In Leah's Wake
Author: Terri Giuliano Long
Publisher: Createspace
Published Date:  October 1st, 2010



BOOK DESCRIPTION

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly “together” kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until everything goes wrong. Can this family survive in Leah’s wake?

Margot Livesey, award-winning author of Banishing Verona, calls In Leah's Wake "a beautifully written and absorbing novel."

When happens when love just isn't enough?

AWARDS
  • Recipient of the CTRR Award for excellence 
  • 2011 Book Bundlz Book Pick 
  • Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place

BUY @ AMAZON




GIVEAWAY

3 of you can win the copy of this amazing book.
To win this award-winning novel, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
Giveaway open INTERNATIONALLY!  Open until April 14th, 2012!

This giveaway is a part of the Orangeberry Book Tours.  Thanks for stopping by!


Book Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Dark Angel's Ward (Angel Warden Series #1))

Original Title:  Dark Angel's Ward
Series:  Angel Warden Series #1
Author: Nia Shay
Publisher:  Self (Moonwild Press)
Genre:  Contemporary, M/F, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


BLURB


Two years ago, Jandra Maxwell walked away from the secret Fairlight Society and started a new life in a quiet Texas town. When her former Ward, the dark angel Zeph, seeks her out and begs for her help, Jandra faces an impossible choice. She knows he can only offer her heartache, but she can’t turn her back on the only man she’s ever loved.
Zeph teeters on the brink of madness, pummeled by emotions his angelic blood once rendered him incapable of feeling. Driven to protect Jandra from a threat he can only glimpse in nightmares, he refuses to leave her side. As they explore the mystery of his recurring dreams, they discover the Fairlight Society has been keeping a terrible secret – one they’ll kill to protect.
Fighting for her life isn’t so easy when Jandra’s also fighting her heart. Her inexorable attraction to Zeph may save them...or may damn them both.

EXCERPT

“Sound and fury,” I murmured aloud.
“Pardon?”
I didn’t repeat it; he probably wouldn’t have understood even if I had. Ever since I’d read that phrase in Macbeth I’d always associated it with this feeling. It was one thing to be selectively psychic – at least the only thoughts I usually heard were Zeph’s. But when he and I were truly joined, not just in body or in mind but in the very essence of our beings, I got a taste of what it was really like to be half angel. And I hated it. I couldn’t fathom how to cope with hearing the thoughts and prayers of half the damn city. Except maybe by dissociating large portions of my personality, like he had. Zeph’s mind could be a scary place.
“Jandra? Are you sure you’re all right?”
I dragged my attention back to the matter at hand. “I told you, yes.”
That seemed to satisfy him. At least he didn’t argue with me anymore. His fingertips brushed the side of my face. “Thank you.”
“Whatever.” I raised bleary eyes just in time to see his mouth descending on mine.
Our lips met before I could stop him, and once I felt his warmth I couldn’t quite bring myself to complain. I ended up moaning into his mouth instead of pulling away. Encouraged, he brushed his tongue across my lower lip, his hands stroking upward over my belly.
My body remembered this – his embrace, his touch. As I arched my back in unbidden reaction, he cupped my breasts, his long fingers splayed and caressing. I gasped, feeling his surge of fierce enjoyment as the pleasure he wrought in my body echoed through his own.
Which was just the reminder I needed. I wrenched away from him, hissing, “You are not allowed to touch me that way!”
“I can’t help it.” Zeph’s eyes were violet fire. “When you feel me and I feel you … how am I to resist?”
“Here’s a suggestion: how about going away and leaving me alone for the rest of my life? Wasn’t that the plan?”
He sighed, his gaze going distant. “I released you because you begged it of me, Jandra. Not because I desired it. Your pain was crushing us, and you couldn’t seem to heal while you were with me. But now you have healed. You are whole again, and strong.”
“So you’ve come to break me all over again?” I accused.
“I’ve no intention of hurting you.” He reached for me, but I evaded him. Instead, he pinned me with his gaze as he spoke his greatest lie. “I love you, Jandra.”
“No you don’t!” I shrieked, balling up a fist and darting forward to punch him in the chest. “You do not love anyone or anything. You are not capable of it!”
“Perhaps that’s true,” he said calmly, enfolding my fist in one large hand. “Or perhaps your love has changed me.”
The tears came as hot and fast as the resonance of his soul had, and they burned just as deeply. “I never loved you.”
He said nothing, merely released me and retreated to the doorway while I wept. As my sobs faded into racking gasps, he cast me a long look and muttered, “Yet I am the one reviled as a thief of souls.”

BUY LINKS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nia Shay is a reclusive weirdo who lives in a tiny concrete box in the middle of the Arizona desert. (No, seriously.)  In between dealing with mild OCD and an epic caffeine addiction, she finds time to mold the voices in her head into cohesive sarcastic remarks, and sometimes even a story or two. She has been penning such tales, almost all of them with a decidedly paranormal flavor, since the second grade. Now that paranormal fiction is the "in thing," Nia has decided to overcome her extreme distaste for trends and jump on the ol' bandwagon. Join her on her harrowing journey through the twisted corridors of her own mind—that is…if you dare.



GUEST POST BY NIA SHAY - MY STRANGE ADDICTION


I've been "on topic" for this entire blog tour, so for my last stop I thought I'd do something fun. Well, I don't know if fun is the right word here. I actually have a confession to make. I might even need an intervention. Okay, here goes. My name is Nia, and I have an addiction…to competitive cooking shows.

I'm honestly not much of a TV watcher—if it wasn't for the man and child, I'd happily dump the cable service—but when it comes to the reality cooking genre, I'm hooked. Iron Chef, Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen, Chopped…you name it, I've surely watched it at least once, if not every episode last season. 

The funny thing is, I'm a meat-and-potatoes, soul food kind of girl. I probably wouldn't eat most of the things these super-fancy chefs whip up. It dismays me that I even know what a geoduck is, let alone how to pronounce it. And I generally want to retch anytime an Iron Chef competitor reaches for the ice cream machine. Seriously, have y'all SEEN some of the stuff they make into ICE CREAM on that show? Gahhh...

But despite it all, I still love to watch. Even when the storylines get predictable—don't give me "reality TV" when there's at least one ambulance called during every season of HK, at about the same point in the season. Even knowing which contestants are kept around more for ratings fodder than their cooking abilities. Yep. I tune in whenever I can, and I have On Demand or online replays for when I can't.

Maybe this is where the phrase "suspend your disbelief" comes from. If a show, book, or movie is entertaining enough, not even a hint of implausibility can ruin the intrigue. It must be true, if not even my writer's mind or my basic cynical nature are put off by it. (Oops, I guess I've circled back around to "on topic" again.) Besides, I'd love to invite Gordon Ramsey and Tom Collichio over for dinner and serve 'em my nasty, greasy macaroni and cheese. How much fun would that be?


GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away one e-book copy of this paranormal novel.  
Enter using Rafflecopter below.  
Open INTERNATIONALLY!

Review: Celtic Storms (Celtic Steel #1) by Delaney Rhodes

Original Title: Celtic Storms
Series: Celtic Steel #1
Author: Delaney Rhodes
Publisher: Delaney Rhodes Publishing
Published Date: February 4th 2012
Genre: Fantasy


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Darina O'Malley watched the sun set in the bay from the great tower in O'Malley castle. She said a silent prayer for her cousin, Kyra, hoping the message that was delivered to the MacCahan's did not spell sudden doom for her and her people. If what her Uncle Ruarc had told her was true, she was to be married to a stranger in nearly a fort night, and her world would turn upside down.

The realization that her clan held secrets which could destroy them forever - chilled her blood. Who was this son of a Laird that she was betrothed to and how would he react when he learned the truth?

REVIEW

Patrick is the eldest son of the MacCahan clan.  Because that he is the next leader of the clan, when Patrick's right arm was crushed and became not as usable as before, Patrick lost his confidence in himself.  Also, after seeing his mother's death, he started stuttering.  Even with these faults, he was trained to be a good warrior (with his left hand) and a great blacksmith.

Darina was the eldest daughter of the O'Malley clan.  She has 4 other sisters.  When her parents died, Darina, along with her uncle, Ruarc, was leading the clan.  But, as the clan needs a proper leader, Ruarc approaches the MacCahan clan and asks Patrick to marry Darina.

There are secrets, curses and magic (oh, yeah, bad magic!) at work in the O'Malley clan, that Patrick is not aware of and also, some secrets were hidden from Darina too.  What will the couple do, when the secrets were out?  Will they be able to defend themselves and their clan from the bad people?

The novel came as a surprise, with excellent writing, strong characters and very descriptive world building.  Even the minor characters were well-formed. The bad characters were described as really really bad, like you want to throw them out, from the top of a thirty floor building.  The series started with a great start and I hope the left out bits of this book were answered in the next ones.

There is little romance in the air and at last when it finally started, the book ended.

Another new series to look forward to, in the fantasy genre.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Review Copy Cleanup: Mysterious Meet-up



In the Mysterious Meetup Challenge you can have that conversation with your favourite book character of all times. Who would you want to meet? What questions would you ask him or her? Share your Mysterious Meetup with us!

That's a bit easy - atleast half of it.  I would like to meet my favorite heroines of all time - Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy.  Well, the other half is a bit tough.  I don't know what I will ask her..I just want to see her..she was always a heroine whom I adored, so I want to know whether she really is so adorable and brave and such a kick-ass heroine when I finally meet her face to face.  Maybe I would ask her to have a cup of coffee with me! :-)

Who would you want to meet?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #3

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday, a Saturday meme, hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.


This is where I feature a favorite cover and its artist, which does not have to come from a new release or something that I received in my mailbox.  Any cover that I discover and love will fit the bill.  

My pick this week is Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowen.


BOOK DESCRIPTION


I don't do DANGEROUS. 


Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha—that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing—and I don’t know if I can get it back. 


Then there’s Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... 


Nightwatchers: When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...


MY THOUGHTS

Actually I thought of picking this cover for Shelf Candy Saturday today.  See the similarities?


Black wings, a sexy man..yeah, but then I saw a fellow blogger saying that Dark Kiss is available in NetGalley and then what? I thought it is sort of cool cover, so here it is.  Its released on May 22nd by Harlequin.  I requested it first thing after seeing the cover.  And waiting now! :)

So, what do you think of the cover?

Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: The Day of First Sun by Sheryl Steines

Original Title: The Day of First Sun
Author: Sheryl Steines
Publisher:  Createspace
Published Date:  February 23rd 2012
Genre:  Fantasy


BOOK DESCRIPTION

When Princess Amelie of Amborix is murdered by magical means, Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard are called in by the FBI. Their job is to help solve the crime while keeping the non-magical world from discovering the existence of the Wizard Council.

During their investigation, Annie and Cham discover that Princess Amelie’s death is connected to a series of other crimes in the Chicago area. A larger plot involving, a vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soul-less zombies is revealed, but can Annie and Cham discover who is responsible before The Day of First Sun?


REVIEW

Perfect blende of fantasy and romance.  If you are a lover of fantasy novels, you will get everything here - wizards, vampires, curses, brooms, ... you name it!

STAR 1:
The plot!  Amazing and well thought-out plot.  Annie and Cham are friends for a very very long time like started their school together, same college and then got to the same job - in the Wizard Guard, yeah, you read that right.  Wizard Guard is like FBI for the magical world.  When a non-magical princess is murdered by magical means, Annie takes over this case, with her team, Cham, Gibbs and Spencer.  They find various clues and suspects to the murder.  Soon, they are on trail for a vampire and an irresponsible wizard.  All the paranormal elements are satisfactorily explained and they are completely enjoyable.  So, star 1 added!

STAR 2:
Kick-ass heroine!  Annie is one of those heroines, who walks around the world with a confidence and bravery.  One thing I always fall for in a book, is a confident heroine.  Annie shows courage, patience and kindness, whenever needed or necessary.  I actually adored her, when she tortured the vampire, who was killing most of them in their country.

STAR 3:
Well narrated!  There are no sub-plots, only one main plot.  But, the author has done a good job of delivering it to the readers, without boring them.  The friendship between Annie's team is great.  And Gibbs' character was both bad-ass, smart and adorable.  Sometimes, we need such members in a team.  And it was a long time now that I have read a book, where vampires are villains (you must see me swooning over JRWard's heroes, LOL!). 

STAR 4:
The start of the novel!  Totally my taste..children racing around in broomsticks, nanny's are fairies who take care of the children, and childhood friendship starting with action and adventure.  Deserves this star with sparks around it!

STAR KNOCK-OFF 1:
Two reasons.  First one being there are some information missing in the novel, and it seems like there will no sequel, so I felt like knocking off one star.  For example, the reason for the murder behind Annie's father is not explained well.  And what is it with the school teams - they start investigating like its a clue, but I have no idea what they are talking about.  I just imagined maybe that's a team name in their school.  Second reason is in most of the places, I didn't enjoy the romance between Annie and Cham.  Its like looking into bad actor in the stage.  But, as romance is not the key aspect of this book,  it's not much to expect to!


"Fairy-tale Detectives" + "Harry Potter" + (spiced up for adults) = "The Day of First Sun"



GUEST POST FROM THE AUTHOR


Please enjoy this guest post by Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.   

The Strong Female

I am always amazed to hear that, in the year 2012, women are still talking about strong female characters. It’s funny that we’re always surprised when one comes along. Even in Hollywood, actresses still can’t find roles to sink their teeth into. As a reader, I look for characters that I can relate to in some way; a character who is more than a damsel in distress but less than an unfeeling, mean, witch. I’m putting it gently, but I’m looking for someone, who when facing a problem, doesn’t necessarily need a man to bail her out--a woman who can take care of herself in spite of her vulnerabilities. Because in reality, women are multi-layered and complex. We don’t fall to one end of an extreme or the other.

When I was younger, I started reading Danielle Steele, but I couldn't read her for long. Her female characters were far too needy and always put themselves in a position of requiring a savior. Even as a child, I couldn't help but wonder why these characters always needed a man to improve their lives. Why couldn’t they simply take care of themselves? It seemed as though female characters fell into two camps, and only two. They were either villains, witches, someone to be hated and despised, or they were weak, pathetic, your classic damsels in distress. Why is fiction lacking real women, women who can simply be human and celebrate all that they are?

As I got older, I found myself drawn to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I saw in Buffy a strong character. Yes, she could kick ass, kill the vampires and fight the demons. She also had a brain, could plan, and could save the world each week. But she wasn't uni-dimensional. She also has a side that liked clothes, shoes and boys, a side that was feminine, a little vulnerable; a side that, okay, sometimes needed to be saved. She was a complex female character, real and human, a character with whom I could definitely relate.

The strong female character isn’t a caricature or stereotype. She’s not a total wimp like Snow White, and she’s not a total monster like the evil queen. She falls somewhere in the middle. She’s reactive, emotional, human, sexual, confident and sometimes unsure of herself.

When I originally wrote my character Annie Pearce in The Day of First Sun, I wrote her as a no-nonsense person, strong and smart, the girl who could survive on her own. But she didn’t feel genuine. As the story unfolded and changed, I rewrote her, gave her friends and family with whom she could interact. I gave her feelings, gave her stress. I let the other characters take charge once in awhile and offer some support. I melded two halves into one woman--a strong woman, who can take care of herself and ask for help when necessary. We’re not perfect, so why should our characters be? Instead, why can’t we make them simply authentic?

Charlize Theron made a really compelling comment regarding her character in the movie Young Adult. She said, "Women are usually either really good prostitutes or really good mothers. Maybe women are finally getting the chance to play more honest characters," Theron said. "We usually don't get to play bad hookers or bad mothers -- or anything in between."

Maybe it’s time to be a little more real and a little more honest.


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win! To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
Help my blog win: The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME. 

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon. About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.
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