A Note:

6/2/13

I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles.

https://twitter.com/Book_Faery

And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3322973-tori-book-faery

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)

xoxo
Tori

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alice's Review: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

Released: 10th April 2012
Paperback: 260 pages
Price: $9.99
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Source: Publisher/author for honest review
Genre: Dystopia
Series: The Lost Souls
1. Chosen Ones
Summary:
What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?
My Rating:
My Opinion:
I liked this book because it's got references to Frankenstein in it, a book which I'm studying for school, so I actually get all the different quotes from Frankenstein! I'm also studying Blade Runner (it's a horrible movie, I hate it!) and this book has elements that remind me of the Replicants in BR. So I was really able to get the depth this book has, which was quite awesome.

Tess is working in this training facility for the chosen ones and she meets James - she's drawn to him because of the scar on his chin and they're not supposed to have scars since they're physically perfect. I found her attraction to him because of this scar really interesting since it seems so different to the normal qualities many heroines in YA novels are attracted to.

This dystopian society is really stupid. They all think women are the bane of existence and force them to cover their bodies and spout how females are evil - basically back to the whole 'Eve ate the apple so all females are evil and have black souls' crap that we see in the pages of history. Pretty crap. But it does fit with the whole theme of the novel, which is how society has kind of fallen apart after a big war and created these super beings - so why do they need females anymore?

I read this a few weeks ago so I'm not sure I really remember Tess's personality, but I did like her. She's a bit cynical and she's really innocent, too, because she grew up in such a different environment and so she doesn't really know how to act around boys - or the chosen ones. The chosen ones are actually really arrogant guys and practically abuse the girls working at the training facility. They think they're superior (which they are...) and so they treat the girls horribly and no one will give a crap. So I wanted to shoot most of the COs.

So the plot isn't very fast moving, but I like that since I don't have to struggle to keep up. It does speed up at the end though, but the ending kind of let me down. I don't think I'll read the sequel to this.

My verdict: I enjoyed this book since it ties really closely with my English studies so I understood its depth better. I liked the heroine and whilst I don't think I'll continue on with this series, it was a good read that took me into a world that seemed completely realistic.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cover Wars: Unspoken VS Die for Me

Cover Wars
(inspired by Kate's Throwdown Thursday at The Neverending Shelf)

Cover Wars is a weekly post occurring every Monday at Book Faery.
Two covers will have a "face off," and it will be up to the readers to
decide who is the victor and who is the loser.  This is a great way for
readers to have their voice be heard, while also promoting new/old books
in the process.



Last time we had a showdown between Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London,  and Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate.

The Winner:
Fallen in Love!



Unspoken VS Die for Me


Vote for your favorite in the comments below!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Jackie Morse Kessler

It’s The End of the World As We Know It
By Jackie Morse Kessler
 

The Apocalypse…what a show! Okay, so maybe that works better with “The Inquisition” and if you’re a Mel Brooks fan. But hey, let’s hear it for books all about the end of the world and other things to do on a Thursday afternoon!

My favorite Apocalyptic book, bar none, is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett. Both authors have done wonders with the character of Death in their individual works (one has her as a chipper goth gal, the other has him as a traditionally hooded/robed skeletal figure with a tendency to speak IN ALL CAPS). And working together, the two of them created what has to be one of the funniest Apocalypse stories ever.

But what Good Omens isn’t is a post-Apocalyptic book—that is, the book is all about preventing the Apocalypse. There are many, many books that come from the starting point of everything having hit the fan and most of the people in the world are dead. The “End of everything” isn’t the ending of the story, but the beginning—the Apocalypse has come and gone, and the books focus on the survivors.

I just read Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. There’s the brutal Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Of course, there’s The Walking Dead comic books (to say nothing of the AMC television show), which shows how easy it is for humans to become monsters—and that’s not even considering all the zombies. I also love Stephen King’s The Stand. Nothing like a massive book of Good versus Evil after a man-made plague has wiped out most of the world’s population. There’s also Robert McCammon’s Swan Song, which begins with the world leveled by nuclear blasts, and from there, survival hijinks ensue.

My Riders of the Apocalypse series takes a different tack from the above. The series, like Good Omens, isn’t about the upcoming End of Everything (which is always right around the corner) but more about how the protagonists, in learning to embrace themselves for who they are, stop hating themselves for who they’re not, and discover their inner strength, are able to prevent their own personal Armageddon. (Plus, there’s Death, who looks, sounds, and sings like Kurt Cobain.)

Hunger, the first book in the series, is about an anorexic teenage girl who becomes Famine, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The second book, Rage, is about a teen girl who self-injures, who becomes the avatar of War. The third book, LOSS, which just hit the shelves, is about a bullied teenage boy who is tricked into becoming Pestilence. And then there’s the fourth book, Breath, which I’m currently writing.

Don’t worry—the Apocalypse is coming. It’s just a question of whether it really is the end of everything…or the start of something new.

What are some of your favorite Apocalyptic or post-Apocalyptic stories?

GIVEAWAY DETAILS (open internationally):

LOSS by Jackie Morse Kessler comes out March 20, 2012!

One lucky commenter below will win a small cover poster of LOSS—and will be entered in the grand prize drawing! The grand prize winner will receive signed copies of HUNGER, RAGE and LOSS—and will get to name a character in BREATH, the fourth book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series. The grand prize winner will be picked on Sunday, April 1, 2012. No foolin’.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tori's Review: Head Rush by Carolyn Crane


Released:
December 6, 2011
Ebook: N/A
Price: $5.50
Publisher: Samhain
Source: Bought (the ebook--AGAIN, GASP!)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Disillusionists Trilogy 
Buy: Amazon




Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


JUSTINE JONES FACES HER ULTIMATE ENEMY: HERSELF!

In an attempt to put her unhappy past behind her, Justine Jones throws herself into nursing school and planning her wedding to Otto Sanchez, the man of her dreams. But something is off. Random details aren’t adding up, and is it her imagination, or are her friends and fiancé keeping secrets from her? And what’s with this strange sense of unease, and her odd new headaches?

Justine tries to stay upbeat as Midcity cowers under martial law, sleepwalking cannibals, and a mysterious rash of paranormal copycat violence, but her search for answers leads her into the most dangerous mindgame yet.

With the help of unlikely allies, including her paranoid dad and best frenemy Simon, Justine fights her ultimate foe…and unravels the most startling mystery of all.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Did you ever have a bad experience with a publisher (probably because of an editor, or because of a couple of authors) that ultimately left you with a rotten taste in your mouth? I'm sure we've all gotten burnt at one point, and likewise, I'm sure there are some publishers and/or authors whom we refuse to support due to that very experience.

I start off with that question because I have been burnt, which is why it was somewhat difficult for me to (initially, like, before I finished MIND GAMES) justify purchasing HEAD RUSH. I don't want drama by stating this, because honestly, it's quite simple for me to refrain from purchasing e-books from this publisher (not that I really buy e-books that often, anyway); however, I wanted to briefly mention my... aversion--if you will--to prove how utterly amazing Carolyn Crane's Disillusionists Trilogy is. I do not buy books, and my frantic rush to not only buy, but to also finish reading DOUBLE CROSS and HEAD RUSH attests to how this series is pretty much the best urban fantasy I've read in a LONG time.

The last book that had my heart pounding and my stomach churning was ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre. HEAD RUSH's final showdown elicited an even stronger reaction.

I felt this huge discomfort while reading, and I found myself spamming Karen with texts as I freaked out about scene after scene. She stated it perfectly well when she said how this book made her squirm. I squirmed. A lot.

There is tension. Oh boy, you could cut the tension with a knife because it got progressively more and more... tense.

Packard is a sexy beast, that is all.

One thing that annoyed me, once again, though not as much as the other two books, was Justine's sense of defending those who are being blamed for something. Sometimes, I wish she would just open her eyes, instead of deluding herself. But hey, if she did that, then there would be less tension!

Secondary characters have all squirmed their way into my heart. I love them all, and wish I knew them.

I can't say much more about this book/trilogy without spoiling some important things, so I will end my review with this: MIND GAMES, DOUBLE CROSS, and HEAD RUSH are all huge mind fucks. Expect the unexpected while reading this UF series, and enjoy every single page while you can... because once you finish, those refreshingly magical surprises that you don't find in any regular UF won't be such a brand-new-slap-in-the-face surprise anymore.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED series. Read it, like, now!


Series Order:
1. Mind Games (Tori's Review)
2. Double Cross (Tori's Review)
3. Head Rush
3.5 Devil's Luck

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tori's Review: Double Cross by Carolyn Crane


Released:
September 28, 2010
Paperback: 336 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Spectra 
Source: Bought (the ebook, GASP!!)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Disillusionists Trilogy 
Buy: Amazon



Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


SOME SECRETS
COME BACK TO HAUNT.
OTHERS COME TO KILL.


Justine Jones lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she was lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard, who gifts her with extraordinary mental powers - dooming her to fight Midcity's shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity's new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men - one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Thought # 1: Oh my god, what a mind fuck.

Thought #2: Read it in one sitting. Woo hoo, a book finally got me pulling an all nighter again!!

Little mini review aside, I think that DOUBLE CROSS had the best cliffhanger ever. It didn't piss me off and it didn't make me feel like Carolyn threw it in there for the sake of doing so because everyone's trying to hook their readers. It fit with the storyline perfectly, and I appreciated it because I wanted to read more, and I wanted to read more fast.

I haven't appreciated a good cliffhanger in a long, long time.

What's there to say about this book? For one, MIND GAMES ended on such a good note that I was salivating for DOUBLE CROSS. I reserved it at my library, and after half a day, I got way too impatient and ordered it for my Kindle.

I do not buy books (unless we're talking about an auto-buy author), and I certainly do not buy e-books. I may have a Kindle, but I get free e-books for it because I think the pricing in general is a bit ridiculous. And guess what? I didn't even CARE that DOUBLE CROSS was the same price as the paperback version; I needed this book ASAP so that I could see what happened next to Justine and Packard and Otto.

When an author has the ability to get me that invested in a book/plot/universe, I do not take that lightly. Nor do I take such stories for granted because they rarely seem to come my way anymore.

Carolyn Crane: I'm kicking myself for not reading your series sooner. You're an auto-buy for me, now.

DOUBLE CROSS, like its predecessor, receives a highly recommended from me. I think I've fallen in love with the Urban Fantasy genre all over again.


Series Order:
1. Mind Games (Tori's Review)
2. Double Cross
3. Head Rush (Tori's Review)
3.5 Devil's Luck

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tori's Review: Mind Games by Carolyn Crane


Released:
March 23, 2010
Paperback: 384 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Spectra 
Source: Karen, For What It's Worth
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Disillusionists Trilogy
Buy: Amazon





Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


JUSTINE KNOWS
SHE'S GOING TO DIE.
ANY SECOND NOW.


Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she's convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine's soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It's a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard's hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity's worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she's always craved. End of problem.

Or is it?

In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine's first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard's help, Justine has freed herself from her madness - only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone's worst fears.

My Rating:

My Opinion: 
I love me some realistic heroines, and I think Justine topped the charts. I've never read a book about a heroine prone to panic attacks (something Karen and anyone who is good friends with me can affirm I suffer from), which made me feel closer to her character on a totally new level. She never annoyed me--okay, maybe once or twice---and she was funny as hell. No heroine has ever thrown a frying pan at someone she's pissed at, and I totally appreciated that sort of twisted humor.

I've been coping with a reading slump due to college work, and it actually took me the entire month of February to get through MIND GAMES. I wish it didn't. I've been waiting two days now for my library to get a copy of book 2, and I'm ready to just buy the ebook version for my Kindle because I'm so impatient to continue this series.

Why am I suddenly so passionate about reading (at least this series) again? Because of the world building. This urban fantasy is not your typical UF; the characters are quirky, the world is refreshingly unique, and the powers each character has makes this fun. No vampires, no werewolves, no typical paranormal creatures. I didn't realize that I was getting so sick of the characters in my favorite genre until Karen sent me her copy of MIND GAMES to check out.

If you're a fan of urban fantasy thirsting for something new, then this series is definitely something you should look into. I cant wait to read the next two books in this series! Highly recommended.

PS: I finally understand the cucumber reference that used to float around Twitter!


Series Order:
1. Mind Games
2. Double Cross (Tori's Review)
3. Head Rush (Tori's Review)
3.5 Devil's Luck

Friday, March 16, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Lia Habel



by Lia Habel
     
Thank you so much for the opportunity to write a guest post! After writing a treatise about part of my book and scrapping it, I’ve decided that what I really ought to talk about is love – because that’s what we’re all going to AAD for, right? Besides, the topic of zombie love never gets old (although it may rot and fall apart).
I’ve been asked many times why I chose to go with zombies for my romantic heroes, and I’ve given many answers – that I just like zombies, that the entire thing started as a joke, that I wanted to tackle a monster that would probably be a challenge to sell to other people. Ultimately I think it’s that final answer that lands closest to the mark. Somewhere in childhood I picked up an aversion to handsome princes and a love for all things ugly, exotic, and “normality challenged.” I wanted to slap Christine Daae for picking Raoul over the Phantom; I wanted the cursed prince to change back into a beast; I demanded a girlfriend for the Gill-man. I think as a little girl I somehow got the impression that the handsome, dashing heroes in my storybooks were fine, and didn’t need my name to pad their already miles-long fan rosters – whereas the lonely monsters, on the other hand, desperately needed at least one person in their corner. This is probably a form of narcissism masquerading as selflessness, but nevertheless, I’ve always sided with the weird. And zombies are no exception.
Zombies are perennially interesting monsters because they’re not monsters at all – they’re fully human, just with slightly different “proclivities” and a whole truckload of additional limitations. A body in a coffin doesn’t stop being human just because it’s gone stiff as a board, after all. Zombies are people too, to put it in bumper sticker language. (http://www.cafepress.com/+zombies_are_people_too_sticker_oval,89872235) This is what makes them both terrifying and tragic, and such great metaphor fodder. When I began writing, though, I knew I didn’t want to approach them from that “tragic” angle – I’d had it up to my ears with brooding paranormal heroes, and I wanted to try a different approach. Therefore I set out to emphasize their humanity, their ordinariness, and their strength.
I have many nicknames for my lead zombie guy, Bram, among them “the undead Marine” and “the white-hatted cowboy.” Because he was the main vehicle through which the reader would hopefully come to sympathize with the undead, I knew the focus had to be less on his physical attractiveness (although he’s not entirely unfortunate in that regard), and more on his personality and heart. Thus I chose to make him A Good Guy, a young man imbued with nobility, honesty, patience, intelligence, and sensitivity. He can kick ass when he has to – and oh, does he kick ass – but he also has a softer side. If he’s showing teeth, it’s usually because he’s smiling. I wanted readers to see that and realize that just because he has a rare and debilitating condition, just because he’s destined to turn into the stuff of nightmares, doesn’t mean he’s evil or inherently unlovable. If nothing else, I wanted readers to have to wait until they had a solid excuse to want to run away from him. In time, they might get it. But not yet.
Some people seem to think that the hardest part of my job as a writer is building my zombies into likable, even crushable characters – but actually, that’s the easiest part! The way to sell zombies as love interests, partners, and friends – the way to sell any type of monster, really – is to address the superficial stuff head on, and then delve deeper. In order to capture the popular imagination, I think monsters need to step up, own how different they are, and then get on with life. Luckily this disarming “take me as I am” attitude is one I find extremely easy to adopt when getting into the heads of my zombies, as after you’ve died, you really have very little to lose. Because what’s the worst that could happen – someone kills you again?
The best part of this entire exercise – and I still consider becoming an author an extremely weird, albeit happy accident – is the fact that I’m able to create characters that essentially have nothing except their wits and their guts to help them gain public attention and acceptance. They’re not beautiful, spectacular, or mystically-powered. They’re just dead bodies that refuse to lie down, dead bodies with amazing stories to tell. I’m so grateful for the chance to share those stories, and to show the world how I’ve viewed monsters since I was a child.


Lia Habel was born in Jamestown, NY, and has lived there the majority of her life. Her first book, Dearly, Departed, is a sweeping tale of zombie-living romance set in a cyber-Victorian/steampunk future. When Dearly, Departed sold, Lia was swimming in debt incurred from her studies and years of un- and underemployment, with only a few dollars to her name. Miss Habel enjoys attending anachronistic and steampunk events, watching zombie movies (she has watched over a hundred of them), commissioning ball gowns, and collecting Victorian and Edwardian books. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunities she has recently been given.

www.liahabel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lia-Habel/163950880328231
@liahabel




Read Tori's review of Dearly, Departed.
Read Amanda's review of Dearly, Departed.





Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Kelly Gay



Hi Tori and Book Faery Readers! 
I’m sitting on my back porch with my laptop enjoying perfect weather and thinking about AAD 2012 and New Orleans. This will be my first AAD, and my first con in a long, long time, so I’m really looking forward to getting out, meeting readers and authors and book lovers.
I’ll be attending AAD as two people: Kelly Gay and Kelly Keaton -- crazy split personality that I am. ;-) Most people probably know me best as Kelly Gay (urban fantasy author of the Charlie Madigan series), but I also write YA as Kelly Keaton. And I’m super excited to bring my YA persona to AAD NOLA because not only do I adore the city of New Orleans, but it’s the setting for my YA novels, DARKNESS BECOMES HER and A BEAUTIFUL EVIL.
I have always wanted to set a story in NOLA, but never felt I had the right combination of character, time, and genres to do it justice until I saw my character, Ari, standing on a dark street in the Garden District, the live oaks behind her with their twisted limbs draped in ghostly Spanish moss, and the mansions lining the street all abandoned and beautiful and rotting away.
Wait. Rotting?
Yep. See, I wanted to take all the Old World feel of the city and build on it, make it darker, creepier, more dangerous and gothic. So I created a future version of the city, a semi-post apocalyptic/southern gothic/mythology-inspired/paranormal romance mash-up (told you I was crazy). In my world, the city was sold off by the government and is now owned and run by the oldest and strangest families in the city. It’s become a haven for the supernatural – both good and evil.
I hope through the books to introduce NOLA to those who’ve never been there or read about it before, or to bring back fond memories of their time there. For me, writing about the city was my way of paying homage to a great, historic, vibrant, resilient city. And the people, the food – don’t get me started. Love!
I cannot wait to be there again in August. The con is going to be a blast, and I’m so looking forward to meeting everyone!
~ Kelly 
Website
Blog
Facebook

@kellyhgay

Sunday, March 11, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Stacey Kennedy



Big thanks for having me by today! Authors After Dark is approaching quickly and am I the only one who is so excited?!

I’m a huge paranormal fan. I guess that’s a given considering I write supernaturals. But I LOVE that AAD has included events like the vampire tour. I have no idea what to expect on a tour such as this, but I can hardly wait to find out! I imagine that some of it might be slightly amusing and I’ll have a good laugh. Maybe I’ll find it somewhat scary since I’m a big wimp, and I imagine that I’ll learn a thing or two. Regardless of that stuff, it’s a great way to see New Orleans too, and since I’ve never been I’m looking forward to it!!

Now I’m pretty big on ghosts too and find it all interesting, so even though it’s not part of AAD, I plan on doing one of the ghost tours. This, I imagine will probably scare me silly, and I’ll be glancing over my shoulder wondering if there’s a ghost there, because yes, I’ll freak myself out! Seeing that the tour goes to places that have documented hauntings that alone has me scared and rethinking my idea of doing a tour like this, but will I go? Yes, I will!!

I find the idea of ghosts just neat, which is exactly why I write about them. To be honest, I’ve never actually been in a place that has had ghosts in it. Sure, I watch television shows, but who knows if those are real. And who knows if any places on this tour actually have ghosts there. But I’ll tell you this, I’m such a chicken that I will no doubt believe it, and will be attached to someone’s arm if we journey into a dark place.

And the best part about both of these tours is they end at bar!! Yes, sounds like a pretty great night to me!!

I’m really looking forward to AAD and I can’t wait to finally meet everyone that I’ve gotten to know through the internet! It’s going to be a great time!!

~*~

In thanks for stopping by and chatting today, I’m offering up one ebook from my backlist (international). Leave your email address with your comment to be entered. Don’t forget to come find me on Facebook and Twitter. I love to chat!!






Ghosts harass and annoy Tess Jennings to save their souls. Sometimes she helps them. Other times she ignores them. But one ghost will give her no choice.

Kipp McGowen, a cop with the Memphis Police Department, will stop at nothing to gain her help, including using his ghostly charms to seduce her.

Tess must help solve the five year old cold case of Hannah Reid, because solving the case will save Kipp. But a bigger problem presents itself. Tess is falling in love with a ghost. Now she must decide. Keep Kipp forever or find the killer…

WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER

BUY LINK

~*~

EXCERPT:

Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

An icy wisp of air swept in behind me, causing my heel to twist as I stumbled. To the other pedestrians striding along the downtown Memphis street, the sensation would be brushed off as a cold breeze.

They were wrong. A spirit lingered here.

“Can you hear me?”

From the intrigue rolling in his voice, he hadn’t expected me to acknowledge him. Shit! I’d already given myself away. A mistake I’d rectify.

Without hesitation, I righted my stance and strode forward with purpose, forcing myself to remain deaf to the voice. If I ignored ghosts long enough, they moved on and searched out someone else who held the same irritating ability, whom I had yet to meet.

Much to my annoyance, the ghost stayed right on my heels and his presence remained strong behind me. The cold air at my back remained a contrast to the warm morning air in front of me. Every hair on my neck stood up and goose bumps pimpled a trail along my skin. If only I could rub them away, but I didn’t dare. Ignoring him would make him go away.

“You can hear me, can’t you?” the ghost asked again.

Spirits were typically harmless, but annoying. I’m dead, what’s going on, why am I a ghost—yada, yada, yada. I quickened my steps and made my way down Peabody Place in hopes he’d leave me alone.

“Wait.”

He sounded desperate, which meant a big headache for me. If I hadn’t worn my damn slingbacks, I would’ve tried to run and hide. But the three-inch Manolos and the tight, tailored gray skirt restrained my movements.

I passed Miss Polly’s Soul Food Café, and the delicious aroma of bacon and eggs drifted along the air. My empty stomach complained. My only thought after I woke had been caffeine. Now I wished I’d grabbed a muffin with my latté at Starbucks. With ten minutes to get to my desk, I couldn’t worry about such things.

My boss, Event Manager Dylan Cobb, would hand me my ass if I stepped into the office a minute late. Sadly, there’d never been a day I didn’t cater to his every need.

I approached Beale Street and sighed in relief, relishing the warmth surrounding me. Not only from the sun above—the spirit’s cold presence at my back had vanished. Pleased my dodge of him had worked, I took a sip of my energy in a cup and smiled. Coffee’s fantastic, the ghost is gone—life is good.

Another block passed under my heels before I reached the historical red-brick building. Randall Marketing, written in black block letters, decorated the striped green-and-white awning.

I opened the door to the office and strode in, greeted by a bubbly voice. “Good morning, Tess.”

“Mornin’.”

“Give me a moment here.” Doris shuffled paperwork around her desk, her auburn curls bouncing on her shoulders. The receptionist had always been messy, yet somehow organized. “There were a few messages on the voicemail for you.” She raised her head and held out the pink slips of paper. “A lovely day today, is it not?”

“Sure is.” So I lied. The ghost hadn’t kicked off my day on a high note. Not as if I’d tell her about my interaction with spirits. My ability to converse with spirits remained on a need-to-know basis, and as far as it concerned me, no one needed to know. I grabbed the messages from her hand. “Did your weekend treat you good?”

“I spent the entire weekend knee-deep in my garden.” Her cocoa-colored eyes lit up. “My best year ever, I’m hoping. You’ll have to come out and have a look-see.”

“I’d love to.” Doris treasured her gardens, so I tried to appear interested, even though my green thumb looked black.

Her smile brightened, but when the phone rang, she waved a goodbye and answered the call. “It’s another beautiful day here at Randall Marketing, how may I direct your call?”

Leaving her behind, I strode down the hall toward my office and sipped my coffee. The warmth slid down my throat and provided an immediate rush to my energy levels. At the third door on the right, I entered my bleak workspace with its pale-blue walls, closed the door behind me and approached the desk. I dropped down into the black leather chair and flipped through the messages. None were urgent enough to worry about now.

I powered up my computer, but a knock at the door had me glancing up. Before I got a word out, the door swished open and I cringed, fully aware of the looming trouble.

Caley, the officer manager and my best friend since the age of four, looked like a typical Barbie. Perfect skin, long flowing blonde hair and a body men drooled over. I might have been jealous of her perfection since I couldn’t pull off her looks even with a makeover—so maybe a little envious—but her appearance had always been a front. She was the devil in disguise.

She scowled, shutting the door behind her with a slam. “Do you mind explaining where you were all weekend?”

“At home.” I batted my lashes. “Why? Did you try to call me?”

She pointed her finger, narrowing her eyes at me. “Don’t you try that shit on me. I called you all weekend and your phone went straight to voicemail.”

“Hmm…” I pretended to ponder. “The battery must have died.” She had enough gall to just come over, but the little hint had been a subtle way of telling Caley to leave me alone.

“Liar.” She plopped down in the seat across from my desk. “Where were you? I wanted to go out.”

“Nowhere. Honestly, I vegged on the couch.”

Caley snorted. “You lead such an exciting life.”

My mouth parted to offer a snappy retort, but a cold wisp of air brushed across my skin, causing my lips to snap shut. Damn! I thought I’d got rid of him.

“Hello.” Caley snapped her fingers in front of my face. “Leave the aliens behind and return to Mother Earth.”

I blinked, trying to force my attention back to her, yet failing. The ghost knelt right beside Caley—not kneeling, of course; more like floating, since ghosts were never able to obtain physical contact with the world around them—and my focus held strong on him, unable to stop myself from ogling. He stared intently, with one crystal-blue eye, while the other was a chocolate color. His strong jaw, the muscles clenching along his cheeks, all spoke of power. But as he ran his hand through his untidy sandy-colored hair, his expression showed playfulness. His black tank top left his arms exposed and muscles upon muscles layered those arms.

“Anyways,” she said, dragging my gaze back to her. “I had to go out with Susanne because you left me high and dry.”

I laughed. Caley’s horny, twenty-year-old stepsister had the body that men chased after. “You did have the option to stay home, you know.”

Her eyes widened. “On a Saturday night?”

“Yeah, you know, get some popcorn, watch a movie and relax.”

She frowned. “If you don’t stop your grandma behavior, your va-jay-jay is going to shrivel up and die.”

The ghost chuckled.

His smooth laugh hit me like a cup of warm cocoa, causing my insides to melt. Nothing amused me. First off, Caley had been so wrong—maybe a little right—but I’d never admit to her accuracy aloud. Second, reacting in such a heated way to a ghost definitely didn’t hit my to-do list today.

“Excuse me.” I spoke not only to Caley, but also to the irritating ghost. “My va-jay-jay is just fine.”

“Well, I’m glad to hear you’ve still got some spunk.” She stood and placed her hands on her hips. “Because we’ve got a double date tonight.”

“A what?” Dear God!

She grinned from ear to ear. “Yes, my dearest Grammy, we’re going out.”

“With who?”

“Two guys I met on Saturday night. You’re coming with me, either willingly or unwillingly, so suck up your hesitations, babe, because saying no isn’t an option.”

“But it’s a Monday night.” Not saying a date didn’t sound like fun. A month had passed since my last attempt at dating—which failed miserably—but a man Caley chose while drunk? No thanks. My sex life might have been as dead as the sexy ghost in front of me, but I’d still search for a way out. “I have to work tomorrow.”

She wagged her finger in classic Caley fashion. “You’re a grandma.”

Most times, I respected her persistent personality. She never backed down, always dreamed big and went for the gold, but her grit hadn’t been all rays of sunshine. Her determination made her annoyingly tenacious. I had to agree or she’d never give up, and getting her out of my office sounded all too good. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”

“Oh, stop looking so pissy. We’ll have fun. Promise. I’ll come to your place at eight.” She opened the door, glanced over her shoulder and winked. “Leave the granny panties at home.”



Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance Ebooks Bestseller lists. If she isn’t plugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got her nose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband.

Be sure to drop her a line at www.staceykennedy.com, she loves to hear from her readers.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tori's Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (Plus giveaway!)


Released:
March 6, 2012
Hardcover: 304 pages
Price: $26.95
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Alpha and Omega
Buy: Amazon



Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...


My Rating:

My Opinion: I love Patricia Briggs. I love her Mercy series, and I sure as hell love her Alpha and Omega series; this woman has a way with words--and a way with depicting werewolf interactions that makes me melt inside and fall back in love with the fuzzy critters all over again.

Alas, the reason I gave FAIR GAME a 4 instead of 5 star review was because the romance seemed to be lacking, and also because those very same werewolf interactions seldom happened. I will explain:

Romance: we know that Charles and Anna have overcome quite a few difficulties in both their lives and in their relationship. Nevertheless, it is quite clear--if the conflict is any indicator--that their issues have not been fully resolved. Meaning there is still plenty of room for romance, without overwhelming readers with countless scenes of fluff that just made a person want to roll his or her eyes when it gets to be overkill. I read this series because I love Briggs, her writing, and the universe, but I also read it because sometimes I want a good old romance that doesn't rely on countless sex scenes, and that truly focuses on the evolution of each character and their relationship. I was disappointed when the romance gave way to the mystery.

Werewolf interactions: this one is a bit vague, for there are plenty of werewolves, just like there are plenty of interactions. If you've read book 2 in the A&O series, then you may remember one of the first scenes with Anna as her wolf as she coaxed Charles into playing with her. It was a warm, moving scene, and truly exemplified the animalistic nature of these characters--and THAT is what made me fall in love with this series. Those sorts of heartwarming scenes.

Maybe it's just me; I don't know. Aside from those two complaints, this is your typical kick ass, mysterious Briggs novel and one that you obviously need to read. Characterization is spot on, as per usual. The mystery, which I loved, don't get me wrong, was equally mysterious. While I wish it did not overshadow the romance at times, there's not much I can do about that, and it was a wonderfully written book, so read it!



Series Order:
0.5 On the Prowl (anthology)
1. Cry Wolf
2. Hunting Ground
3. Fair Game





Do you live in the US?
Would you like to read ON THE PROWL?

One lucky US winner will receive a signed copy courtesy of Penguin. All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 9, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Kelly Meding




Connect with Kelly:
{Website} {Blog} {Twitter} {Facebook} {Goodreads}



When you ask people why they read urban fantasy, one of the reasons that comes up over and over again is "strong female protagonists." Yes, there are lots of other reasons, including awesome male protagonists (hello, Harry Dresden), creative and unique world-building (Downside, anyone?), and magical critters of all sorts. But strong female protagonist is one of my top reasons, and it's something I've been thinking about a lot this week.

Some of you may have noticed the Cage Match 2012 happening over on Suvudu.com (handy link: http://suvudu.com/tag/cage-match-2012). When I found out my Dreg City series heroine, Evangeline Stone, was one of the participants, I was excited. Given the competition (as well as being a lesser-known author), I knew she wouldn't have a snowball's chance of making it past round one, but it sounded like a great way to expose new readers to my books and my awesome, strong heroine.

The thing I didn't expect, however, was the way her match (handy link: http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2012/03/cage-match-2012-round-1-the-fool-versus-evangeline-stone.html) was written. Under disadvantages, she's described as "boobalicious." Her "very feminine curves" are mentioned in paragraph one. She's then written as getting distracted by her "sensitive" side over the way her opponent smells—I mean, she's a girl, right? Obviously a whiff of Cute Guy means she'll forget she's in a death match and start dreaming about "masculine things."

At least she goes on to kick his ass in short order. You'd think she'd won, yes? Except her opponent had a friend outside the ring, waiting to ambush her. A hot friend with a "sexy" broken nose (don't ask, I don't know what's sexy about a broken nose). And then Evy falls victim to the ambusher's love charm, and is assumed to lose the match.

Yes, a love charm.

The Cage Match is all in good fun. It's glorified fanfiction, and it's a huge effort from the folks at Suvudu that's done for the love of SF/F. However, the fact that Evy is portrayed based on the model on THREE DAYS TO DEAD's cover, rather than how she actually acts, is disheartening. And it makes me wonder if people who don't read a lot of Urban Fantasy really think all of our heroines act this way.

I am absolutely not saying that a strong female character can't notice that a guy is hot, or even let her attraction to a man (or vampire, or whomever) drive her. She can and many amazing books have very sexually confident heroines. The great thing about Urban Fantasy is the sheer variety available—you can find just about any type of hero or heroine, in just about any kind of paranormal situation. There is something for everyone in this amazing little genre.

I just wish more people saw that. Despite the way the genre has expanded in the last few years, people still boil it down to "sexy hot chick in leather" and all of the negative stereotypes that go along with that. But UF is so much more (even if you can't always tell from the book covers, but that's all part of branding and a completely different blog post). Our strong female protagonists are more than just the bits that make them female. They are brains and brawn and faith and loyalty and tenaciousness and heart. They have individual personalities, and they don't all react the same way to the men in their lives.

So yes, it irks me to see Evy Stone boiled down to a few out-of-character stereotypes (fans of Dreg City know Evy goes weak-kneed for no one, not even the man who holds her heart). It irks me to see other UF heroines in that Cage Match treated differently than the heroes (and I'm not the only one [handy link: http://www.stellarfour.com/2012/03/are-heroines-getting-shortchanged-on.html] ) when they are just as strong and capable.

Tell me about some of your favorite strong female protagonists in Urban Fantasy? What do you love most about them?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Kris Cook



Hey Tori,

What a privilege to get to spend some time with you at Book Faery!

This is my second Author’s After Dark Con, and I am so excited that this year’s is being held in the amazing city of New Orleans. You may find it hard to believe, since I live in Texas, but I’ve never been to NOLA before. I get to hang out with a bunch of awesome authors and incredible readers in the French Quarter. What fun! Melissa Schroeder and I are once again sponsoring a Happy Hour. Besides the drinks (I’ll be having the traditional hurricane of course) we have some goodies for everyone who comes by. Don’t forget to get your tickets to the event. It’s going to be fun.

Do any of your Faery Followers have suggestions for me to see in NOLA? I would love to hear. I know I want to visit Marie Laveau’s grave, eat some awesome creole food, taste beignets, chow down on a muffuletta, listen to some jazz, and more. Mostly though, I want to get to meet readers, whether they read me or not. You see, I was a reader long before I became a writer, and even longer before I became a full-time writer. Actually, I still am a reader, though it is getting harder and harder to find time to read with deadlines and such always looming. Who do I love to read? Lucky for me some are coming to AAD – Joey Hill, Melissa Schroeder, Shayla Black, Sophie Oak, Eliza Gayle, Cat Johnson, and so many more. Here’s the link of the authors at AAD: http://www.authorsafterdark.org/pages/authors.html

I look forward to meeting you, Tori, and all your Faery Followers who are at AAD.

Okay, what to share with you? Mmm. I have a shifter book coming out March 26th, but it is still getting tweaked. So I guess I’ll give you a sample from my erotic contemporary romance, Mia’s Spanking Diary (18+ only):


There were only fifteen people in attendance. Dr. Vickers passed around a sign-in sheet for the undergrads. Apparently, she was giving them some extra credit for attending. When my nemesis saw me enter, she pointed to the chair in the center of the front row, indicating that was where she expected me to sit. And though it pissed me off, I still complied. I don’t know what it is about me that I respond so easily to authority, even when I despise the person. A firm voice and a dismissive wave of a hand and I find myself unable to resist.

The rest of the attendees sat behind me from the third row to the last row. I sat alone with my hands in my lap like a little schoolgirl. Awkward. Sums up my life. 

Then he walked in.

The speaker instantly had my heart pounding in my chest and my breath hitching in my lungs. He overflowed with confidence and power with each step, like a gladiator coming on the field to defeat anyone foolish enough to challenge him. In his early thirties, the man’s coal black hair was cut razor short, and his face, though not Hollywood handsome, had a ruggedness that made me squirm in the metal chair. His jaw was square, and he sported a five o’clock shadow. His eyes were so piercing blue I found myself unable to look away. In fact, every woman in the place was near drooling over his six-foot-five muscled frame. The speaker’s arrival instantly silenced the chatter among the other males in the room. Their combined testosterone would barely fill a thimble compared to his.


See you at AADNOLA,

Kris
www.kriscook.net
www.facebook.com/kris.cook.author
@Kris_Cook

Buy links for Mia’s Spanking Diary by Kris:
http://www.amazon.com/Mias-Spanking-Diary-Secret-ebook/dp/B007AU6EA8
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mias-spanking-diary-kris-cook/1108813612

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Alice's Review: Existence by Abbie Glines

Released: 13th December 2011
eBook: 194 pages
Price: $4.99
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal
Series: Existence Trilogy
Series Order:
1. Existence
2. Predestined (4th April 2012)
Summary:  
What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realised the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realise is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.
My Rating:
A BIG FAT ZERO
My Opinion:
The blurb of this book sounds awesome and once you get over the name 'Pagan' (really, what cruel mother would name her child Pagan? 'Paige' is way more suitable) it doesn't seem too bad at the beginning. But then everything goes downhill from there.

So Pagan and her (much more appropriately named) best friend Miranda are starting their junior or senior year at high school (I've honestly forgotten!) and they're wooing over a guy called Leif (which I pronounce 'Layf' not 'Leaf' because I read Deltora Quest in class when I was a little girl and Lief was called 'Layf', though now I realise they have different spellings). So Pagan walks into school and sees this hottie soul following her and - gasp - he speaks to her. She's appropriately surprised and tries to avoid him but eventually falls for him because he talks to her (they're very short conversations and there are only about six of them) and seems to care for her. All this time she has hooked up with Leif.

Then Pagan's soul appears at school and he is a kind-of-famous member of a band. His name? Dank Walker. You know, how you describe mouldy, wet places as 'dank'? Yeah... So before his appearance at her school, he prevents Pagan from dying (c'mon guys, we all know that Dank is Death, it's so obvious!) in a car accident and sings her to sleep every night in the hospital. During this time and their very brief and few chats (with him mostly appearing out of nowhere and scaring her) he and Pagan fall in love though Pagan continues stringing Leif on until who knows when because she doesn't break up with him in the end of the book, though she is about to.

So between Dank appearing at her school and the end of the book, Dank disappears because he and Pagan had a fight or something and erases everyone's memories of him (why?!?), Pagan is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is sent to a mental institution for young people when she is clearly SANE. And then she kind of but not really dies and comes back to life. So yeah. I wanted to put this down. A lot. About thirty pages in, when it started going bad. But I wanted to know what would happen in the end. Let me tell you: not worth it!

First off, what the hell is this author thinking? Why would she make Dank (I can't get over his name!) go to Pagan's school for a few months and then suddenly disapepar? What is the point of this? As well as him flirting with the slutty girl in her year? WHY? I don't understand. ._.

And why was Pagan sent to a mental institution? How could the docs not see how sane she was? Why would she string Leif along even when Dank is flirting with and almost kissing her every ten minutes? I just don't understand why most of these things happened. I was WTFing most of the way through.

The only redeemable character in this was Leif and he's revealed to be some supernatural creature at the end and is implied to be evil. I was sad because I like Leif. He was so sweet to Pagan when she was such a stupid brat. This novel has cemented how some characters in YA novels are stupid and useless. This is not a good example of a great YA novel and it makes me weep for all the fantastic ones out there.

My verdict: My dear subscribers/readers, please do not purchase this book because it makes barely any sense. The concepts of this book could have been so much better executed! But they weren't and I ended up wondering what the author was smoking whilst writing this.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Slow it down, baby...

Tori here. Aside from the occasional reviews from Alice, Cover Wars from Amanda, and AAD NOLA Author Spotlights, my (Tori) book review activity on Book Faery is going to be slowing down for the next two months (possibly even more, since this summer is going to be a doozie class-wise for me).

I'm not going to be accepting any extra small press author interviews/guest posts for the blog for the next two months, and I am also not accepting any small press book review requests for the blog until the end of August. If you email me a request, chances are I'm just going to delete it without bothering to respond.

I can hear it now: Tori, you bitch! Call me what you want, but the sheer volume of emails from you SPAs are overwhelming me. Please don't take it personally. I'm avoiding my inbox because I'm sick of rejecting your requests right now. I'd rather just catch up with everything instead of writing the whole "sorry, but too many books already" email I've been writing way too often lately.

I've only now begun to start reading for the enjoyment factor (after a month+ of avoiding books like the plague because of work and this nagging need/duty to feature review books on the blog... which isn't working out very well), and I do not want to ruin that by becoming too bogged down with extra stuff. Even now, after just FINALLY getting back into reading again (thank you Carolyn Crane!) I'm feeling myself getting sick of YA books again--and I haven't even gotten past chapter 2 in the book I'm reading!

So with that said, I am still receiving unsolicited books from publishers, which I will of course get to eventually, but I am going at my own pace, and I am reading on MY terms. No more rushing to read through x-amount of books before a release date. No more feeling obligated to read x, y, and z because I received them for review and should read them before this book I bought 2 years ago and never got a chance to read. Instead of mindlessly hopping around from series to series and never truly appreciating the characters presented to me as I rush through review books, I am going to dedicate my time to reading one series at a time. You'll see the first slew of reviews of this fashion in a few weeks.

Thanks for your understanding, and I sincerely apologize for the pain-in-the-ass slowness/lack of reviews recently.



PS, I have contacted the blogoversary winners via email. Please check your inboxes and get back to me soon :)

More chances to win...

...on the TJ Michaels Author Spotlight!

Leave your reading ritual in a comment on TJ's video guest post, and she will round up the comments and enter you to win yet ANOTHER contest!


Weekly Prize (twenty-two) – Survival Kit Items (eBooks for Kindle or Nook from the ZART authors)
Grand Prize (four) – Premium Survival Kit (includes books, signed books, t-shirts, mugs, and other items)
Super Grand Prize (one) – A fully paid registration for Authors After Dark 2012 in Savannah, GA (hotel and airfare not included)

Rules
Trivia, video, or questions go up on Sunday and close on Monday night. Winner announced every Friday via Facebook, Twitter and right here. There is no limit to the number of times you can play. You may also have your name added to the ZART rollcall, if you wish. If you win, you have ONE WEEK to claim your prize. No exceptions.
Everyone with a correct answer will have their names put into a hat to win the weekly survival kit item (books!) – these are Nook and Kindle titles that will be sent directly to you. New and backlist releases are fair game, up to a $10 value.

Everyone who plays
, whether you win a weekly item or not, will be entered into the drawing for the 4 Grand Prizes and the 1 Super Grand Prize.








Details can be found here, or here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cover Wars: Darkness Before Dawn VS Fallen in Love

Cover Wars
(inspired by Kate's Throwdown Thursday at The Neverending Shelf)

Cover Wars is a weekly post occurring every Monday at Book Faery.
Two covers will have a "face off," and it will be up to the readers to
decide who is the victor and who is the loser.  This is a great way for
readers to have their voice be heard, while also promoting new/old books
in the process.



Last time we had a showdown between Gilt and Cold Kiss.

The Winner:
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey!



Darkness Before Dawn VS Fallen in Love


Sunday, March 4, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: TJ Michaels




We interrupt our regularly scheduled Author Spotlights to bring you a pretty awesome video by the lovely TJ Michaels! Enjoy :)






I think it's safe to say that after the zombie mention, I am now a new and huge fan, TJ. Can't wait to meet you in NOLA!


Giveaway Opportunity:

Watch the video and leave a comment with the following:
  • answer the question TJ asks 
  • include a way to contact you (email is preferable)
  • say where you live: US, Canada, Internationally
Winners will be contacted by March 16th via email.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Samantha Kane



What is your favorite genre to read?
I have two. Paranormal and contemporary m/m. I don't write paranormal, so I can turn off my internal editor and just enjoy. And contemporary m/m I just love. I have written that and hope to do more, but I devour those books. 

Why did you choose to pursue this career path?
I've always been a writer, since I was in grade school. Creative writing classes and clubs, school newspapers, poetry...you name it, I wrote it. I went to a liberal arts college with a History major and an English Lit. minor, went to law school for a year, and then went to graduate school and earned a Master's in History so I did a lot of scholarly writing as well. I began writing my first romance book in graduate school. I didn't really think about writing as a career until I actually finished a book. Then it was my goal. 

When did you decide that you wanted to be a published author?
Hmm, I would say after my first child was born and we moved across country for my husband's new job, all within a month. We got to our new digs and we'd decided I could take a year off of teaching with the new baby and all. A year turned into forever. I finished my first book soon after we moved, then I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and learned about romance publishing, wrote my second book and sold it. And that was it. Within three years of my first book coming out I was making more than I had as a teacher, so it just made sense to make writing my career. 

What has the journey been like?
I'm a little unusual in that the journey to publication was almost ridiculously easy for me. (Please don't hate me other writers who didn't have this experience.) As soon as I joined RWA and took some workshops etc. and learned how the business worked, I wrote a book for a specific publisher in a genre they were looking for, won a contest with it, and got published. That is not what happens for most people. But as I said before, I'd been writing all my life. 

What is the writing process like for you?
A lot of preparation. I do a complete outline, GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) charts for my hero and heroine, figure out word count, write a synopsis, and then I begin writing. The actual writing of a full length single title can take anywhere from 3 to 4 months. I do a lot of self-editing along the way, so that when I finish, I just need to do one read through and then it's ready to send to my editor or agent.

Do you have any pre/post writing rituals?
Rituals? No. I have a very busy home life with three kids, so when I can sit and write I do it. I don't have time to create the perfect atmosphere or wait for the planets to align. I just get it done.

If you could marry any fictional hero, who would it be and why? 
I have to pick just one? I can't have a harem? This is a hard one.  Captain Wentworth, Jane Austen's Persuasion. The older and wiser hero for me, thank you. 

Coffee or tea?

Both. It depends what time of day it is. Morning and afternoon coffee, evening tea. I like my coffee strong and sweet, and my tea flavored, in particular Bigelow's Constant Comment Green tea.

Cookies or cake?

Cookies. I'm not a sweets person. I like a little bit of sweet, which a cookie provides perfectly. I eat two Golden Oreos with my afternoon coffee. They're perfect for dipping. Also, I don't like frosting. I often eat just the cake. It's not a calorie thing, it's just my preference. My kids love that they get the frosting and I'll eat their cake. :-) 

Day or night?
Day, afternoon to be specific. I have a hard time getting my act together before 10 or 11 in the morning. My most productive time is from about 10-2 or 3. That being said, I'm a night owl. No matter how tired I am it's unusual for me to go to sleep before midnight. Which might be related to my non-morning person status. Or as my husband calls it, my morning "sleeping issue." 

Winter or summer?
Summer. Summer, summer, summer. I'm cold-blooded (without official reptile status at this time, however.) So I walk around in three or four layers of sweaters all winter. And that's a Southern winter. No matter how hot it is in the summer, I spend most of the day outside, writing on my covered porch. I love the heat.


Samantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband of fifteen years and three children, two boys and one girl. She spent seven years as a high school history teacher before becoming a full time writer and mom. Ms. Kane has a Master's degree in American History, but she writes Regency historical romance. Her book Prisoner of Love recently won the 2011 CAPA for Historical Romance from The Romance Studio.

Website: http://samanthakane.us
Twitter: http://twitter.com/skanesauthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SamanthaKane.author

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Alice's Review: Embrace by Cherie Colyer

Released: 20th December 2011
Paperback: 207 pages
Price: $14.99
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Source: Publisher for honest review
Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal
Series: --
Summary:
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realises he’s a guy harbouring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.
My Rating:
My Opinion:
I gotta say, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book at the beginning but I did end up enjoying it quite a bit. I would say that this is a light read to take with you to the beach (as I have done) or to read between homework as a small break. It's not that short actually, to fit in for a small break though, don't worry. This is a full length novel.

This starts off with a girl named Madison going to a party with her bestie and meting a guy - Isaac - and being really hot for him. They hook up pretty quickly, too, which disappointed me because I love to read romances where the falling in love part takes time as the leads get to know each other. But of course, this isn't part of a series so the author really doesn't have much time to develop a proper relationship.

Things start getting shifty when Madison receives a necklace from an admirer - which I thought was really stupid of her to do because she'd told him she'd never see him as more than a friend but still accepted the necklace. Umm, okay. I knew something bad was going to happen. What surprised me was that it happened to her best friend and it had me wondering why it was happening to Kaylee instead of Madison. This mysrery is solved and then the paranormal happenings begin!

For those of you who want to know what paranormal element this book has - vampires? werewolves? aliens?! - you'll have to read to find out. Though I myself was surprised! The paranormalcy didn't start till about the middle or so and that was when I started getting sucked in. The ending completely surprised me - like who the bad guy was - and I liked how it wasn't the obvious person!

I want to say that Madison wasn't my favourite character - Josh was. Josh is Kaylee's boyfriend and he's such a great guy. I kept picturing him as one of my friends whose name is also Josh. Josh really cares about Kaylee and turns out to be even awesomer than I thought he was, which was really cool. He and Kaylee played such an important part in this that I have to say that they're the it couple, not Madison and Isaac. 

My verdict: Embrace has a gorgeous cover and a good plot. While I didn't like some bits, I did enjoy reading this because it has good paranormals, some great characters and isn't part of a series - and I haven't read a stand alone book in quite a long time! It was a good break to my usual books.