Sunday, October 31, 2010

In my mailbox #3

It’s Sunday again and I am joining another week of In My Mailbox, hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.
Yesterday I saw that the 4th book in the Honeybun series was released earlier in October already (how did I miss that!).  Sam Cheever is an automatic buy author for me, so I punched a few keys on the keyboard and HONEYBUN IN HELL is now on my Kindle and I am a few chapters in. 
Edric Honeybun is in Hell, Indiana on Halloween, doing research for his latest book in a haunted hotel. His brothers and their honeys decide to join him and make an adventure out of it. During this holiday in Hell, Edric fully expects to do some research, enjoy a few laughs over non-existent "ghosts", and debunk local superstitions about the Le Diablo hotel. What he doesn't expect is to bump up against a flesh and blood killer, fall in love with a beautiful witch, and come face to plasma with a surprise in the local cemetery. 
Bella Rawnie is a gypsy whose family has nurtured a special "gift" for centuries. Her ability to speak to spirits makes her a laughing stock in the cozy town of Hell. Bella protects her family's legacy, despite the fact that tragedy has been a constant companion for the Rawnies as long as Bella can remember. But this Halloween, someone with a grudge is trying to kill Bella to end the Rawnie blood lines for good.
Maybe this time, the love of a good man...and his family...will be what the beautiful Wiccan needs to stay alive, ending the Rawnie curse once and for all.
There is a trailer on Sam’s website – click here.
If you have not read the Honeybun series, you are missing out.  It has humour, action, intrigue, action and off course lots of loving :)

Got some awesome swag from Renee Vincent author of Ræliksen: Book One of the Emerald Isle Trilogy.
Isn't it beautiful!

That's it for the past week. What did you get in your mailbox?

Author Interview and Giveaway: Charlie Courtland


Last week, we met Charlie from The Bitsy Bling Book Review but as you learned from the interview, Charlie is also an author.  So lets ask her a few more questions.
Charlie, please tell us a little about yourself, when you started writing and how you got to this point in your writing career.  What was some of the big milestones?
I entered the University of Washington as a psychology major and found myself enrolled in several English literature and history classes.  From there, I ventured into the creative writing department and never left.  I love the academic world of creative writing and miss the workshop atmosphere.  I remain a lifetime student and continue researching and reading.  I began seriously writing while in college.  Believe it or not, I was not a child who ever read books.  Admittedly, I read one book before I graduated from high school, Island of the Blue Dolphins.  My parents never encouraged or gave me books.  When I got to college, I became a sponge.  An entire world exploded and I couldn’t get enough of books.  I had a lot of catching up to do and I listened to every little detail and advice professors handed out.  I began with the beginning writing courses coupled with literature classes and worked my way up over the years.  I worked very hard at both studying classic styles from different cultures and eras, while also finding my own voice. 
What was your inspiration for your latest book?  How did it all start?  Please tell us a little about it.
My favorite genre to read is historical fiction.  I’m interested in history and always browse that section when visiting bookstores.  I came across a book about the most evil women in history.  I was intrigued and bought the book.  I was drawn to Elizabeth Bathory (Hungarian countess) from that moment and started doing research.  Surprisingly, there wasn’t much written about her, which prompted my idea.  I began a timeline of events and connected the dots.
Are your characters based on people you know?
I’m actually very conscious about not basing my characters on any actual people or family members.  However, I do pluck, pillage and steal certain traits, habits and characteristics.  Mostly, I take one habit or quirk and inject it or mingle to create a unique character.  So, there are bits and pieces of everyone and everything I observe in my real life strung through my characters and story, but nothing wholly definable. If I did that, I would find myself utterly alone in the world because I’d likely offend everyone I know!
Are you working on a new book?  Can you give us a little taste of what's to come?
My latest project is called ‘The Secret of A Spicy Jalapeno.’  It’s about a small town in the Pacific Northwest that is experiencing a crime spree and overcrowding of the local jail.  A farmer, a sheriff and a drug dealer’s girlfriend discover a way to solve the problem, organically.  It’s a contemporary horror story that is evolving into a series.  This is near completion.  I’ve also recently begun work on a new historical fiction novel but it is still in the infancy stage of research.
What is your favorite part about being a published author?
Holding the finished print copy in my hands.  Selling books is great because I want others to read my work, but honestly, just knowing I finished what I set out to do is incredibly rewarding. 
Is writing your full time career?  I always find it interesting how writers work writing time into their schedules - please share a typical workday with us. 
Writing is my full time career.  I take it extremely seriously and have a very structured routine.  I am a bit eccentric and reclusive, but I love what I do.  However, I also do book reviews – so, I also spend time reading and reviewing other writer’s work.  I honestly work seven days a week and put in long, sometimes insane hours.  This is my typical day:  I get up when my eyes open.  I refuse to use any kind of alarm, so this time does vary.  I pick up my Mac, which is always next to my bed, my Kindle and any book/research I am reading and head downstairs with my dogs in tow.  I let them out, make my coffee and park myself either in my office, in the living room or in the summer, on my patio.  I read, make notes, highlight information, print important tidbits and research.  I file, sticky note, make time lines ect.  Depending on what I need, I order books or head out to libraries for further info.  Once this is complied, sorted and organized, I get another coffee, let the dogs out again and throw in a load of laundry or dishes.  I sometimes make dinner.  When I’m writing, I work for hours, undisturbed.  This means, no phone, no noise and no interruptions.  I live in the country, so I can be a bit of a recluse.  It is normal for me to live on pita chips and hummus for days while I am typing away.  The only break I take is at 2:30 when I pick my daughter up from the bus stop.  Then it is back to work until roughly 7:30.  I take another break to visit with the family and try to return to the land of the living, briefly.  I resume work after my husband falls asleep around 10 pm and work/read typically to about 2 am.  The Mac goes on the floor by the bed and I get some sleep, repeat.  Sometimes I work more or less depending on the progress of the project and household chores (I do clean:)).  When I get writer’s block I go for walks with my dogs or play catch with them on my 10 acres of wooded property. 
What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
First, study and understand what make other authors classic.  Truly recognizing the reasons will enrich your own writing quality.  Also, be conscious of what you are doing with plot, characters, and symbolism and setting ect.  Secondly, I have a successful friend in the music business that told me the first question he always asks new artists is, “Do you want to be a musician or a rock star?  Because, they are two totally different things.”  I think an inspiring writer needs to ask a similar question. 
Thank you for letting us into your world for a little while, Charlie.  Here is where you can find Charlie online:
Charlie is the author of two books:
Dandelions In The Garden

A historical fiction novel about one of the most infamous female mass murderers in history, the 16th century Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory.
Amara Borbala is certain she is the only living person in the sane world with intimate knowledge concerning the life and exploits of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory. After all, she was Elizabeth’s companion and confidant since her eleventh year. In 1573, after the death of her mother, Amara is sent by her cousin to serve as a lady-in-waiting at the castles of Sarvar, Varanno, and Cachtice.
Now it is years later, 1628, and Amara is aging, alone, and reduced to eavesdropping at her favorite café around the corner from her townhouse in Vienna. Befuddled by gossiping ladies, Amara determines perhaps it is time to finally put a stop to the rumors and once and for all, answer the question, ‘Is it true?’ Did Elizabeth Bathory, a descendant of Vlad Tepes really commit the horrible acts of torture, bathe in the blood of slaughtered virgins, and dabble in the dark magic that she was accused of during her trial?
One thing is certain, Amara knows the truth, but will it be enough to explain the habits of her friend?
Dandelions In The Garden is book one in a two-part series that begins with the journey of Amara, an impressionable girl who follows the Blood Countess through all the horrid events, which lead to her rise and secure her place in history.
The second book is  The Hidden Will of the Dragon
The year is 1628, Vienna, and the aging Lady Amara Borbala has collapsed before fulfilling her promise to Count Drugeth to record the historical truth about the infamous Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory. In her last entry, Amara writes, "It'd been nearly 130 years since Vlad Tepes, known as the Dragon, arranged the secret agreement." Was it truly possible that the kin of his ancient advisor would honor the contract? And if so, how would it change history?
In the sequel to "Dandelions in the Garden," the journey of history's most intriguing noble female murderer continues. Come following Elizabeth and Amara through the canals of Venice and high into the Carpathian Mountains to discover the inevitable. How the story of the Blood Countess really ends!

This giveaway is now closed.
Charlie will be sending one lucky winner both of her books.  I am so jealous!  :)
If you live in the US or Canada, you will receive the paperback copies with some swag (or if you prefer you can request the eBook versions) and if you live anywhere else, she will be giving the eBooks to you. 
All you have to do to be entered, is to follow both Charlie and myself on our blogs and on twitter (if your are a twitterer :)).  Then come back and leave a comment (with your twitter details) below.  Don’t forget to also leave your email address, so that we can contact you if you win.
Good luck everyone – this giveaway ends 12 November 2010.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

And the winner is . . .


And the winner of Wolf Signs: Granite Lake Wolves, Book 1 by Vivian Arend is . . .


I have already sent an email to Kulsuma and the contest administrator.


On my Wishlist #3

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you can list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready on Carolyn’s blog.  This is the book I am wishing for.
This book, I saw on Tammy’s blog – The Book Fairy's Haven.  It looks like so much fun!
Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett

You're dead Scarlett...Previously a poor taste jibe from school frenemies, now a statement of fact.
Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself while trying to get out of a school trip.
Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her. Life as a ghost is pretty dull - if only some of her friends were dead too...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Free Books I found this week #3

Another week is gone . . . thank goodness it’s weekend.  Here is what I have for this weekend:

Assumptions by CE Pietrowiak
Free! at Smashwords w/Coupon Code AF96A
(coupon code from author website)
LIMITED TIME!!  Coupon expires October 31, 2010
What would you do if you were sixteen and had the power of God? William Emerson and Jordyn Quig inhabit opposite ends of the social ladder. Each hardly knows the other exists until the disappearance of an ancient and divine text unites them as unlikely partners in a search that leads them to the brink of self-destruction and the crossroads of redemption and revenge.
EDIT:  Just heard from the author that a November coupon is available on her website here: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LETTING US KNOW, Christine!!

Scary Mary by SA Hunter
Free! at Smashwords

Mary just wants to be left alone, but the cheerleaders, jocks, and ghosts won't stop harrassing her. When new student Cyrus starts school, he tries to befriend her. That's a rare thing for the school freak, but her unusual abilities put a rift in their budding friendship when she has to tell him that his home is haunted and not by Casper, the friendly ghost.
I found the above book on Michelle’s blog Indie Paranormal Books review.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Read my review meme #2

- Find one of your reviews that fits this weeks theme (it can be a new or old review, good or bad). - Leave your link with Mr. Linky at the bottom of the post (just click on the image). "Blog Name (Book Title)"
- Visit some of the other reviews and leave a 'quality' comment (a couple of sentences).
- Grab the button and let people know about Read My Review.
- If you have any suggestions/ideas/requests for a future theme, leave a comment.
This week, the theme is:
The theme stays for a week so you can leave your link any time and don't forget to pop back and check out some more fab reviews.

 I decided to add SERENGETI HEAT.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blogger interview: The Bitsy Bling Book Review


Let’s get right to it - please meet Charlie from The Bitsy Bling Book Review Blog.

Charlie, please tell us a little about your blog and what we can expect from you in the future?
My blog focuses mainly on book reviews, but does feature author interviews, giveaways and special book related events.  I’ve been gearing up to increase my giveaways, primarily for indie or self-published authors.  My giveaways also include a growing variety of ebooks.  So, those who use ereaders can benefit from entering my simple contests. 

Why did you start blogging?  And how long has it been?
I’m an avid reader and author.  I started blogging because I honestly was tired of going to bookstore after bookstore and viewing the same ten authors on the featured shelf.  Unfortunately, I have little interest in the dribble most of these ‘best-sellers’ put out.  I began my search for other options online and as I breezed through the ‘…witty, entertaining, intoxicating and riveting…’ one-liner reviews I saw a marketing trend that was useless in encouraging me to buy a book.  I decided that I wanted a writer’s opinion about what to read.  Light blub!  Of course, I want to be entertained, but I realized I evaluate my reading choices based on my experience and learning from my years at the university.  I don’t buy a book solely on ‘plot’ or popularity of trendy content.  Some might think I’d be more critical of written works, but I’m not a literary snob.  I’m well aware of my own flaws when it comes to writing and have a clear appreciation at how difficult mastering the craft can be.  Instead, I look at various elements of the book.  Nothing is simply good or bad, and all is subjective.

I’ve been blogging about books since September 2009.

How much time and energy do you put into your blog?
Now that I have the template, links and widgets up and running I can post easily.  However, Bitsy Bling Books is actually two sites linked together (which is a lot to manage).  I have connected the wordpress with the eblogger because I didn’t want to give up certain features that each offered.  Now I have the best of both worlds.  The time I spend varies depending on what is happening.  Of course, a great deal of time is spent actually reading.  I have a routine.  I check in the morning to see how it is running and update posts.  Then in the evening I dedicate time to browsing through all the blogs I follow, comment, and read reviews.  Even though I may not visit every site, I do browse what each site has posted in a (24 hr) period.  I don’t simply follow and forget.  I’m truly involved in the book blogging community and love the interaction. 

Do you enjoy doing memes?  Which ones can be found on your blog?
I’m not a big fan of memes yet, but if I do find one that interests me I’m open to joining in.  The only meme type thing that can be found on my site is the Friday blog hop.  I usually post the question and answer each Friday. 

How would you describe your review style and how do you handle reviews when you didn't enjoy the book?
As I mentioned above, my review style comes from a writer’s perspective.  I focus on elements of writing as well as entertainment value.  Typically (but not always) I break up my comments into two groups:  Gems and Flaws.  I approach material like I would if I was sitting in a writing workshop.  What worked, what stood out, what did I like ect.  Then, I think about the other side, what can be improved, what didn’t work, what questions do I have or weren’t resolved.  Also, what bothered me might not be an important quality for another reader.  I never say ‘this is terrible, don’t buy it.’  I try to support my viewpoint.  Hopefully, each reader won’t simply take my word for it, but use my opinion as a guide to determine if the book is truly a read for them or not.

What advise would you give new book bloggers out there?
Never read other reviews before you write your own.  It’s too easy to be influenced.  Also, a review is not the same as a synopsis, over view of the book or recapping of the story line.  It’s an opinion.  Be honest, but be open-minded.  Some book reviewers who rant or rip on a book only tend to embarrass themselves by exposing their lack of insight or actual knowledge about creative writing techniques and style.  Nothing irks me more than a review fixated on punctuation or sentence structure.  I can name numerous of famous works that divert from the conventional.  To these people, I suggest giving up book reviewing and taking up an editing service.

Well, there you have it – a bitsy interview with author and blogger, Charlie Courtland!  Next week, I ask some more questions focusing on Charlie's writing.  And maybe we will have a giveaway . . . maybe . . .

In my Mailbox #2

Here I am, joining another week of In My Mailbox, hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday.
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.
This week, I received a two requests from authors for reviews:
First it is Vampire Vacation (The V V Inn) by CJ Ellisson.
Vivian is a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. They've created the perfect vacation spot—a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where guests explore their wildest fantasies. What will the innkeepers do when a dead body shows up in a locked room?

Second is Forsaken By Shadow (Mirus Novella) by Kait Nolan.

Embry’s father has been kidnapped by military scientists. The only one she can turn to for help is Gage, the great love from her past. Banished from her world years ago, his memory wiped, he’s got a new name and new life as Cade Shepherd, and no knowledge her kind exist. Can he relearn the Shadow Walker skills he learned from her father? If they survive, will Embry be able to walk away again?

I “met” Renee Vincent online and we exchanged a few emails this past week.  I bought her book Ræliksen (The Emerald Isle Trilogy)

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens—murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place—the River Shannon.
Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.
However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil - when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?
And then something totally off topic but I HAVE to share – bought this Friday evening :)  Yay!!!  Technology is a mystery I have never mastered, so this is going to be a challenge!
That is it – why happend in your mailbox?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Free Books I found this week #2


I am sorry that I am a bit late with this feature this week but I had a terrible week.  My job is really driving me to a point that I just don’t know if I am able to go on there for much longer.  AND I almost deleted my blog!  Grrrrrr …… oops :)  But let’s get to the fun stuff before we get depressed!  :)

Here are some more books from Mills and Boon (click on images for link):


Her Vampire Husband

by Michele Hauf

She may resist his bite, but she can’t resist his charms…

Werewolf princess Blu won’t allow her seductive husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed calls out to her darkest desires.

Yet when Blu uncovers her pack’s secret plot to destroy the vampire nation – and Creed – she is forced to confront her growing feelings for him. Will she choose the only life she’s ever known or accept his sensuous bite?

And from Smashwords (click on image for link):


Wake Up! You're Probably Never Going to Look Like That: How to be Happier, Healthier and Imperfectly Fit

Ebook By Michelle Pearl

In the second edition of this well-received book, atypical fitness guru Michelle Pearl has a message for all those who have suffered with ongoing weight problems: “You are not weak, losing weight has nothing to do with willpower, and you really can be happier, healthier and imperfectly fit."

On my Wishlist #2

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you can list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready on Carolyn’s blog.  This is the book I am wishing for.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley  
Rae, nicknamed Sunshine by her stepfather, is the baker at her family’s coffeehouse. She’s happy getting up at 4 am to make cinnamon rolls for the breakfast rush, and dealing with people and food all day. But one evening she needed somewhere she could be alone for a little while, and there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years. She never thought of vampires.   Until they found her.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thank you GREYZ

Thanks to GREYZ from Cladestine Sanctuary I was able to recover a few more posts on my giveaway blog.

Thank you so much GREYZ!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh no!! Blog posts deleted!

A lot of blog posts were deleted from my blog.  I am trying to recover posts but am having a lot of trouble.  If anyone have any suggestions - please contact me!

Read my review meme #1 (recovered)

- Find one of your reviews that fits this weeks theme (it can be a new or old review, good or bad). - Leave your link with Mr. Linky at the bottom of the post here. "Blog Name (Book Title)"
- Visit some of the other reviews and leave a 'quality' comment (a couple of sentences).
- Grab the button and let people know about Read My Review.
- If you have any suggestions/ideas/requests for a future theme, leave a comment.
This week, the theme is:
It doesn't have to be an actual Romance book as long as there's romance as a fairly main part of the story. The theme stays for a week so you can leave your link any time and don't forget to pop back and check out some more fab reviews.

New Cover Revealed (recovered)

The new cover for Kiss of Snow, the 10th book in the Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh has been revealed – isn’t it BE-AU-TI-FUL!
Kiss of Snow - Medium
This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2011.  I have been waiting for Hawke and Sienna’s story for a LONG time!!  I am so excited, can’t wait for July!

In my Mailbox #1 (recovered)

inpoiuydexI have seen this meme around for a bit but since I have never won anything or are not in a position to receive any ARC paperbacks, I have never participated.  But my Inbox is also a mailbox, right?  So here I am joining In My Mailbox, hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday.
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.
Out of time by Monique Martin (received from author for review)
When a mysterious accident sends Professor Simon Cross and his assistant, Elizabeth West, back in time to 1920s New York, they find it's more than a the world of Prohibition and speakeasies. It's a world where the underground is run by the underworld, and where vampires and mobsters vie for power in the seedy underbelly of Jazz Age Manhattan. As a professor of the occult, Simon's life was a ritual of research and stoic solitude until he met Elizabeth West. A gambler's daughter, Elizabeth knows a bluff when she sees one. Behind Simon's icy glares and nearly impenetrable armor beats the heart of a man in desperate need of love. Simon spent his life searching for vampires and now that he's found one, it just might take from him the only woman he's ever loved. Together they fight demons real and imagined, as trials of murder, intrigue and danger push Simon and Elizabeth together and pull them apart. Out of Time is an award-winning story of love and redemption. That is what I received.  What about you?

Blogger Interview: Roof Beam Reader (recovered)

Today, we are chatting with Adam from Roof Beam Reader.  I love Adam’s blog and invite you to visit soon.  You will be amazed (as I often am) by the depth of the reviews. RBR-Adam2
Adam, please tell us a little about your blog and what we can expect from you in the future. is my personal book blogging website.  At the moment, I am the one and only contributor/moderator, except for the occasional guest blog or author interview (I will be incorporating more of these in the future).  I might invite other bloggers, new and experienced, to begin participating in certain aspects of my blog as well - such as themed postings or discussion leaderships.  In the future, you can expect many, many more book reviews (because that's 90% of what I present on my website) as well as other book-related goodies.  I just started a companion blog - which is hosting my "Autumn Adventure" - reading the classic Romantic poets, from October through December 23rd.  A few people have jumped on board with me and will be reading along with the same poetry list (which I am generating for each poet: Blake, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Coleridge, and Wordsworth) and every two weeks we discuss the poet and his works. It should be great fun, and all are welcome to join!
Why did you start blogging?  And how long has it been?
I started blogging about five years ago.  At first, it was like keeping an electronic journal. I wrote about my day-to-day events, feelings, experiences, etc.  I was very interested in creative writing while in college (and I still am), so the blog was a great way for me to get experience expressing ideas and being just generally creative with words and language.  Eventually, as I began to read books on a more regular basis and to study literature, my blog transformed (through many different hosting sites and account names) to what it is today, a place to keep my thoughts on the books I read and on what is happening in the literary world in general.  I always say that I don't have the greatest memory in the world, so keeping a book blog is a great way for me to keep abreast with my reading and to remind myself of why I felt a certain way about such-and-such a book at such-and-such a time.  It is also helpful when I find myself needing to compare authors (or even the same author's different works) or to provide recommendations to others.
How much time and energy do you put into your blog?
Well, I think I put a fair amount of time and energy into it.  I do try to post very thoughtful responses to my reading experiences.  It took some time, but I did create a book review template which I find to be comprehensive and fair, no matter which genre I happen to be reading/reviewing.  I also participate in all different types of events, such as Banned Books Week and Blog Fest, which is time consuming.  I write a weekly feature post on my own blog called "Saturdays, Uncensored!" which is all about censorship and banned books.  Currently, I am hosting my fifth giveaway - this one being in relation to "Saturdays, Uncensored!" and Banned Books Week.  I always try to spin my Giveaways towards meeting a certain of my own criteria (Classics, Literary Fiction, Banned/Challenged Books, etc).  All in all, I would say each week is different, depending on how my "real job" goes that week, as well as the personal life, but I always make an effort to be active at least once or twice per week (usually more) and to respond to all the comments my readers leave for me.
Do you enjoy doing memes?  Which ones can be found on your blog?
Oh, boy!  I answered this one a bit prematurely in the last question.  Yes, I do enjoy some memes.  I participate every once in a while in the "Book Blogger Hop," which is a great meme for finding other book-minded bloggers - introducing oneself and making interesting connections.  I tend to get a few followers with each week I participate, too - and that is always a great thing!  I also sometimes participate in "Top 10 Tuesdays" - each week is a different list of the blogger's "Top 10" of something.  Last week, we talked about our Top 10 Favourite authors, which was a lot of fun!  There are more, like "Mailbox Mondays" and "Teaser Tuesdays" which I participate in rarely, but they are worth mentioning.  Of course, there is also my own meme, "Saturdays, Uncensored!" which isn't so much a meme, seeing as how I host it completely on my blog (though people are welcome to share on their own) - so I tend to call it a "theme." 
How would you describe your review style and how do you handle reviews when you didn't enjoy the book?
I would say my review style is comprehensive and unbiased - or at least that is the goal!  I use a template each and every time a review (again, this template took some time to develop, and I'm always open to adjusting it when I find that something might need to be changed) but the template allows me to weight each book based on what I feel are the most important aspects of fiction (Plot/Summary/Style/Characterization/Additional Elements).  I rate 1-4 in each of these categories, so books that might rate low in Plot could score very high in Characterization, for instance, so the overall review remains as balanced as possible.  I also remain fair with books that I did not enjoy.  I still discuss each point on the review template, and I explain my feelings about why the book lacked in certain areas, how it could have been improved, and where other readers may disagree with me.  I am a proponent of Reader-Response Theory, so I always welcome disagreement or debate about books.  We all read differently!
What advise would you give new book bloggers out there?
It's tough at first, so expect this.  You won't have people jumping up  and down to read your reviews right away, or to comment.  It really does take time.  The best way to approach your blog is, quite honestly, to be yourself.  Instil your own personality into your blog - let your readers know who you are, get to understand where you're coming from, and get comfortable with what they can expect from you and your reviews.  Also, very important points: respond to your readers. Engage them! If you want people to really read your reviews, you need to recognize them when they comment - thank them for stopping by, and respond to their questions or comments.  It's courteous and it's beneficial.  Finally, please, please pay attention to your blog's style.  If it is difficult to navigate and/or read, you're not going to get quality followers. Don't try to lure people with Giveaways (I offer Giveaways once in a while, but they're usually content or subject-specific, and I don't always "require" someone to be a follower in order to win).  Also - get to know other bloggers!  If you build a relationship via Goggle Connect, Twitter, or other networking sites, those bloggers will naturally drive readers your way.  Take an interest in what they're doing, and they'll likely return the favour.

Thank you so much for your time, Adam and also for your great advise for writing reviews.  I am a new reviewer myself and will definitely start using some of your ideas.

Giveaway: Wolf Signs (recovered)

Win a copy of A Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend!
Wolf Signs
Robyn Maxwell doesn’t care that her brother has to cancel out on their backcountry ski trip. She can do it alone. The fact she’s deaf doesn’t make her survival skills any weaker. The chance to get away from it all and relax in the Yukon wilderness is just what she’s been craving.
Meeting wilderness guide Keil at the cabin starts cravings of another kind. Keil’s one hot hunk of ripped, tasty male. Now she has to deal with raging hormones as well as strange questions about wolves and mates and challenges to the death.
Keil was trying for a nice reflective retreat before challenging for the Alpha position of his Alaskan pack. He wasn’t planning on meeting the woman destined to be his mate, or finding out she’s not aware she has the genes of a wolf.
Between dealing with his accident-prone younger brother, a deaf mate with an attitude and an impending duel to the death, his week—and his bed—is suddenly full.
Far from the relaxing getaway any of them had in mind...
Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Wolf Signs!
This giveaway ends 29 October 2010.
This contest is a part of Moira Rogers' & Vivian Arend's Fall Frenzy Event. For your chance to win books, gift certificates, ereaders and more, visit

EDIT:  If you have already entered, don't worry - you are still entered.  I still have all your entries on my email.  It was only the post that was lost.


On my wishlist #1 (recovered)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you can list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready on Carolyn’s blog.  This is the book I am wishing for.
 Dust by Joan Frances Turner
Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.
Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.
Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.
Now, she’s not.
After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.
But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…

Free books I found this week #1 (recovered)

I found a post by Shelleyrae of Book’d out where she lists free downloads that she finds on the web and I thought that its a brilliant idea.  So here I am, with my version.
(Click on the pictures, and it will take you to the downloads.)
From Smashwords:
The Demon Girl by Penelope Fletcher
518bc8c3c62cd193d005a24bbd4f27e834c6dab8-thumbRae Wilder has problems. Plunged into a world of dark magic, fierce creatures and ritual sacrifice, she is charged with a guarding a magical amulet. Rae finds herself beaten up, repeatedly, and forced to make a choice: to live and die human, or embrace her birth-right and wield magics that could turn her into something wicked, a force of nature nothing can control.

I have a “thing” for dystopian books lately and I found this zombie one.
Zombie Nights by Tom Lichtenberg
2946b9114c453220e78a504a68244b10d0a5cc4b-thumbBeing a zombie, not so easy. That could have been Dave Connor's six word memoir. "At first he couldn't remember how he'd ended up in that shallow grave; he just knew it was hell to claw his way out, and that the taste of its dirt would remain in his mouth for the rest of his time on this earth" ... Expect the unexpected in this existential resurrection thriller.

What about Romance?  I found these on Everyone’s Reading
Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress by Ann Lethbridge
Wicked-Rake-316x504Stand and deliver!
When a mysterious woman holds him at gunpoint, Garrick Le Clere, Marquess of Beauworth, knows he’s finally met his match!
Alone, with her home lost to creditors, Lady Eleanor Hadley has taken drastic steps. She’s without hope – until a notorious rake offers a way out of her predicament…
When will Garrick discover that his new mistress is not only a virgin, but also a Lady – with a dangerous secret life? But the pleasure she brings may be just what he needs to soothe the pain from his past…
Then this one, I found on Scribd.
Letters to my Mother by Rebecca Heath

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review: Serengeti Heat: A Sexy shifter story by Vivi Andrews




Title:  Serengeti Heat:  A Sexy shifter story
Series:  Serengeti Shifters#1
Author: Vivi Andrews
Genre: Short Story
Publication date:  23 June 2009



Goodreads blurb:
Ava Minor is done being the good girl. As the smallest and weakest in a pride of shape-shifting lions where size and strength rule, she’s never had any choice but to toe the line. Now, with sexy, nomadic alpha Landon King winning control of the pride, she grabs her one chance to let her inner feline out to play.
Landon would rather focus on reforming the antiquated traditions of his new pride than taking a mate…until the rebellious Ava crosses his path. All his noble intentions go up in flames, incinerated by the heat she exudes—especially when he realizes she’s in heat.
Ava, knowing she isn’t mate material, is determined to revel in one wild night before she’s sent back to her place in the pride pecking order.
Except Landon has no intention of letting his daring, seductive lioness go…
Warning: This book contains sizzling heat, adult language, no-holds-barred cat fights, and hot shifter lovin’ with an alpha male who takes inspired leadership all the way to the bedroom.

My thoughts:
I absolutely loved this little novella.  I have a huge soft spot for the underdog and Ava fits that bill perfectly.  She is the runt of the litter and everyone takes every opportunity to remind her of that fact.  She then decides that she will have to find a human lover as no-one else will come near her.  Unfortunately the Alpha of her pack, Landon, is also in the sleazy bar Ava chooses and soon she is drawing on all her courage to have just one night with the alpha before he takes a mate. And what a night it turns out to be!

This is the first book that I have read by Vivi Andrews and she has gained a new fan.  I loved her easy and relaxed writing style and I will definitely continue with this series. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blogger Interview: Romance Book Junkies

Please meet my blogging buddy, Danielle from Romance Book Junkies.  I love Danielle’s blog as we both love romance and if there is a little paranormal thrown in, all the better – I visit almost every day. 
Danielle, thank you for being such a good sport and answering a few of my questions.  Let’s get right to the nitty-gritty :)
Please tell us a little about your blog and what we can expect from you in the future.
My blog is a romance book blog. I read and review mostly adult novels but I will read the occasional YA novel. Besides reviews I also have author spotlights featuring authors I have read and enjoyed. I will never do a author spotlight or giveaway if I haven't read and enjoyed at least one of their books. For most of my author spotlights I also host a giveaway of one of their books so that you have a chance of reading one of their books for free. I also host Monthly Book Giveaways every month were you could win a new release book coming out that month.
Why did you start blogging?  And how long has it been?
I started blogging because I wanted to help people make good decisions about which books they read. Hopefully my book blogging friends and I can keep you from wasting your money buying bad books. I also wanted to have a place to keep track of all the books I read and my thoughts on them because I have a terrible memory and tend to unknowingly read books over again. Blogging is a labor of love for me and I really enjoy it so I think I would be happy even if no one read any of my reviews. Don't get me wrong I LOVE each and every one of my readers.I started blogging on August 2, 2010.
How much time and energy do you put into your blog?
I put a lot of time into my blog probably at least a couple of hours every day which includes reading other blogs posts. You can even ask my husband. hehe :)
Do you enjoy doing memes?  Which ones can be found on your blog?
I do enjoy some of the memes. I participate in the 18 & Over Book Blogger Tag Along, Teaser Tuesday, Do you judge a Book by the Cover? on Thursday, Follow Friday and The Blog Hop. I think the memes are a great way to meet new book blogging friends.
How would you describe your review style?
I like to give as much information as possible about the book I'm reviewing such as the series, pages, genre and the author's website. I post the Goodreads blurb first so that I can focus on my thoughts about the book instead of giving a summary of the book. In my review I try to touch on all the different elements of the story and recommend who I think would enjoy it. At the end I will give the book a rating and offer a link were you can purchase the book. 
What advise would you give new book bloggers out there?
I would tell all the new book bloggers to get out there and make a lot of friends in the blogosphere. I also think its important to try and post something every day or as much as possible to keep people coming.
Great advise, Danielle.  Thank you once again. 
You can visit Romance Book Junkies by clicking on the blog button at the top of the page.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Giveaway: A Safe Harbor by Moira Rogers

Win a copy of A Safe Harbor by Moira Rogers!
A Safe HarborFind out how it all began...
During the bite of the Great Depression, sole female dominant Joan Fuller struggles against the rise of cruelty among her alpha counterparts. The men tolerate her interference--until she breaks from the pack and allies with a witch and a vampire. Now the Boston alpha intends to bring them all forcibly back into the fold--and teach her a lesson she may not survive.
Seamus Whelan and his werewolf bootleggers intend to retire from smuggling and savor their fortune, but first they must do a favor for an old friend: escort some female wolves to safety. An easy job, if their leader wasn't a prim ex-debutante with enough power to challenge Seamus himself. Chance makes them allies; powerful need makes them lovers.
Together, they have the opportunity to build a sanctuary for their kind, but first they must free themselves from Joan's past, and the powerful man who would see her destroyed.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of A Safe Harbor!
ENDS:  14 October 2010
EDIT:  This giveaway is now closed.
This contest is a part of Moira Rogers' & Vivian Arend's Fall Frenzy Event. For your chance to win books, gift certificates, ereaders and more, visit

Book Review: I had the right to remain silent, but I didn’t have the ability by Ron White




Title:  I had the right to remain silent, but I didn’t have the ability
Author: Ron White
Genre: Stand up comedy
Publication date:  06 June 2006




Goodreads blurb:
Following Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to the page, Ron White (affectionately known as “Tater Salad”) delivers the laughs in his distinctive and beloved down-home style.
Fans of Ron White's “perfectly-phrased everyman gripes and raunchy, grinning asides*” will find much to appreciate here. He riffs on everything from obnoxious designer sunglass salesmen to his wife's wealthy but stingy family, and he revisits some of his most famous characters, such as his troublesome dog Sluggo (“He ran away all day. He was gone for ten hours. So, to punish him, when he came home I took him for a walk.”).

Best of all, White's hilarious material is accompanied here by clever artistic interpretations, courtesy of illustrator Matthew Schulz. BACKCOVER: “Ron White's comedy is about as understated as a chainsaw, and twice as sharp.”

My thoughts:
I have listened to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour on audio and absolutely loved it, so I couldn’t wait to get this book by Ron White.  Unfortunately it is almost word-for-word his sketch from his stand up routine in that show.  If you haven’t seen (it is on DVD too) or heard it, it is a must – hilarious.  Get it now!  But if you have, this is not the book for you.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Follow my Book Blog Friday

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list (the Mr Linky is on Parajunkee's blog)
2. Follow the Featured Bloggers -
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thingie (again on Parajunkee's blog).
4. 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
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can.
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPIN.  (If you click on the logo, you will get to the site with the "Mr Linky")

This week's question comes from Suko who blogs at Suko's Notebook.
What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?

I love coca cola and drink way too much of it with loads of ice and lemon.  There is usually a glass nearby whatever I am doing.  In the middle of winter when it is too cold, I might change to a steaming cup of coffee.  Caffeine is my friend :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: Life as we knew it by Susan Beth Pheffer




Title:  Life as we knew it
Series:  Last Suvivors#1
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: Dystopian YA
Publication date:  01 October 2006



Goodreads blurb:
It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbours stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

My thoughts:
I absolutely LOVED this book.  We read about the events in Miranda and her family’s life through her journal entries. In the beginning just after the meteor hits, Miranda acts like any normal teenager – off course her mom is just overreacting.  They are not really going to need all this food they are stockpiling.  And there is no way she is ever going to wear those long johns!!

But soon the electricity goes out, shops are empty and gas is almost unaffordable.  Natural disasters are happening all over the world and millions are dead.  Life as she knew it, is over for Miranda.

The atmosphere of the book was just so, so real.  It is a dark and brooding story but somehow it left me with a feeling of hope and family.  It also really hit home for me when I was scraping food into the trash in the evenings.  It felt like a sin wasting food . . .

I know there is a sequel already out and I am looking around trying to find it.  I highly recommend this book.