“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Moonsongs, Books 1 & 2 blog tour & Giveaway: Blood Fugue & Witche's Nocturne

alexia561.blogspot.com

Was pleased to be invited to take part in the Moonsongs tour arranged by CBB Book Promotions. For more stops and another chance to enter the contest, make sure to check out the tour schedule! 

Let's check out the two books:


alexia561.blogspot.com
 Blood Fugue by E.J. Wesley

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn't fit in. Not that she has ever tried. 

Suddenly, instead of burying it with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.



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Witch's Nocturne by E.J. Wesley

After receiving an ancient tribal journal from her grandfather, Jenny is sent on a mission of discovery in an attempt to unravel clues to her family's monster hunting past. The journey becomes more than academic when she is asked to confront a coven of dangerous witches who plan to cast an insidious spell on the plains of West Texas.


My Thoughts

These books are an excellent example of why you should never judge a book by its cover! Don't think I would have picked these up if they didn't come highly recommended by a trusted blogger, as I can be a bit of a cover snob. But then I would have missed out on an interesting story!

These are fast reads as they're short, but they both pack plenty of action!

Jenny makes a fun main character, as she's definitely her own woman! A nearly six feet tall computer geek with a purple mohawk, she doesn't exactly fit in with her small town neighbors. Luckily, she doesn't care!

In the first story, Blood Fugue, Jenny learns about her family history from a grandfather she thought was dead. In Witch's Nocturne, she starts her new life as a monster hunter.

Really enjoyed Jenny and her BFF Marshal, another strong, unique character! The stories are well-paced with decent characters and an interesting plot. My only complaint is that they're too short! Looking forward to seeing what happens next, as I really enjoyed the start of this series!

About the author:

alexia561.blogspot.com
Born and raised in Oklahoma, E.J. grew up in a land of good earth and better people. He holds degrees in psychology and counseling, but prefers to spend his time in the heads of imaginary people to real ones. He writes and lives in South Texas, and loves to chat about movies, books, music, food, and family.

Find the Author: GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog


Giveaway Info:

I'm hosting a giveaway of two copies of each book in any ebook format. Two winners will receive both books. Just leave a comment to enter, and I promise you won't regret it!  Since it's ebooks, it is open worldwide! Contest ends 11:59 EST on March 7th, 2013.

The tour wide giveaway:

Grand Prize:
Signed copy of Soul Screamers Vol. 1 by Rachel Vincent, Signed copy of Capital Hell by Alicia M. Long, signed copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Texas (Little Known Facts about Well Known Places (Package open to US addresses only) by Victor Dorff

2 winners of a $15 GC to amazon or B&N

1 winner of $20 towards The Book Depository (INT ONLY!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blog tour arranged by CBB Book Promotions

alexia561.blogspot.com


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Love those authors!

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic:  

Top Ten Eight Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List 

At first I thought I'd maybe come up with 2-3 authors if lucky, so was a little surprised that there are actually 8 authors on my auto-buy list!


Jennifer Estep is one of those authors who can do no wrong in my eyes. She is an incredibly talented author of not one, not two, but three amazing series:  Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, and Bigtime. Huge fan, and I'll buy anything with her name on it!

Julie Kagawa is another multi-talented author who has two series that I really love:  The Iron Fey and Blood of Eden. Auto-buy #2!

Kevin Hearne is the author of one of my favorite series, The Iron Druid Chronicles, and the creator of my all-time favorite Irish Wolfhound, Oberon

Dean Koontz is one of those authors that I've been reading forever, and I've enjoyed every one of his books. I know that some people look down on him, but I have yet to read one of his books I haven't liked!

Lauren Oliver is one of the nicest authors I've ever met and I'd probably buy anything with her name on it just for that, so am doubly glad that she's an incredibly talented writer as well!

Lee Child is the creator of Jack Reacher, one of my favorite series. Look forward to every new book!

J.D. Robb is the pseudonym Nora Roberts uses for her Eve Dallas In Death series. Really love this series, and have enjoyed watching all of the characters grow. Plus, Roarke is one of the sexiest men around!


Neil Gaiman. Love him. I even did a post about my crush back in 2009. 'nuff said.


Looking forward to seeing other blogger's auto-buy authors!

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Book Haul (16)

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In a reading rut and already overwhelmed with review commitments, I'm pretty sure I must have lost my mind. Why else would I not only accept a new review offer, but actually request books from NetGalley??? Yep, definitely lost my mind....


For Review:

http://alexia561.blogspot.com/
by Tia Nevitt

Prince Richard is cursed. Enslaved to a magic mirror, he must truthfully answer the evil queen when she uses it to call on him. To keep from betraying innocents, Richard wanders the countryside and avoids people. (Goodreads)

***

http://alexia561.blogspot.com/
One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again? Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family - especially her flawed twin sister Caroline who always seemed to hate her? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No one has ever guessed her secret. Will you? (Goodreads)

***

http://alexia561.blogspot.com/
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning - New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally. Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike. (Goodreads)




What did you receive this week?



Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Has blogging changed you or your reading habits?


Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that allows book bloggers to discuss issues unique to what we encounter in the blogging world. Hosted by Karen at For What It's Worth and Pam at Midnyte Reader,  a new question is posted the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month to answer, comment on, and discuss. 


This week's question:

How has blogging and reviewing changed your reading habits? Do you read a genre now that you wouldn't have tried prior? Or have you been turned off by a genre you used to love?


Blogging and reviewing have definitely changed my reading habits! Before discovering the blogosphere, I had a hard time finding recommendations for new authors and it was hit or miss for me when buying new books.

I rarely agreed with the "professionals" on what was a must-read, and book-of-the-month clubs didn't work for me either. But now, thanks to my fellow bloggers, I have mountains of books on my TBR pile and another mountain of titles on my wishlist! Who knew that there were so many awesome writers out there, just waiting for me to discover them?

Thanks to blogging, I've fallen in love with YA (a genre I doubt I would have tried on my own). I've read books and tried genres that I know I wouldn't have touched with a 10 foot pole before blogging, so can truthfully say that it has encouraged me to stretch my horizons.

Don't think I've been turned off by any genres. I do sometimes get in a genre-rut and need to take a break every now and again, but I always come back!

Curious to see if blogging has changed anyone else's reading habits or helped them in any way. Have you discovered an author you wouldn't have found on your own? Got turned on to a genre you'd never heard of before? Inquiring minds want to know!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Book Haul (15)

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In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

Received a surprise book in the mail from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. I love surprises! Not familiar with this one, but it sounds interesting!

Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel

On the last ordinary day of her life, Abby Bennett feels like the luckiest woman alive. But everyone knows that luck doesn't last forever...

***

I enjoyed the first book in the Save the Pearls series, so was happy for the chance to review book two! And I received an autographed copy, which I love! Excited to see what happens next for Eden!


Adapting Eden by Victoria Foyt

In the sequel to the award-winning, dystopian novel, Revealing Eden, Eden Newman must adapt into a hybrid human beast if she hopes to become Ronson Bramford’s mate.

Purchased:

Simply cannot resist blank journals! I may have enough to last me the rest of my life, but I can't seem to help buying more every time I visit a bookstore!

Piccadilly journals


Receive any goodies this week?
Leave me a link and I'll swing by to check them out!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

I've been a bad, bad blogger....


I've been a bad, bad blogger lately. 

Haven't posted anything.

Haven't visited any blogs.

Haven't left any comments.

Haven't even read any books.

My days are full of unpacking boxes and trying to figure out where everything should go. I haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet and spend part of each day gazing longingly at the book boxes stacked in the corner of the garage. Then I'm too tired to do anything at the end of the day but play Farmville or watch TV. *sigh*

Moving is harder than I remember.

But there's light at the end of the tunnel! I did a little blog-hopping today, then picked up my nook and started a short story!

I'm not dead yet!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Book Haul (14)

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In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

I really should know better by now... Every time I visit NetGalley, just to see what's new, I wind up requesting way too many books! But this one sounds like a fast fun read, and I have until April to read it!

My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling

My Ex From Hell is a romantic comedy/Greek mythology smackdown. Romeo and Juliet had it easy. (book blurb)

***


Apparently, I'm not very good at the waiting game. I featured this one in one of my Waiting for Wednesday posts, but thought I would be good and wait until it came out in May. Browsing NetGalley, my mouse accidentally slipped and requested it. Then my nook mysteriously downloaded the review copy, so now I'm obligated to read it. What? That's never happened to you? ;)

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last. (book blurb)


What did you receive this week?
Leave me a link and I'll swing by to take a look! 



Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review: Dualed

Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Reading level: Ages 12+
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 26, 2013

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate - a twin raised by another family - and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage - life. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This was an interesting premise where every citizen has an identical double, but only one is allowed to reach adulthood. Trained from birth, it's kill or be killed once you're activated.

There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind when you and your Alt will be activated, but once activated, there's a 30 day time limit. If you don't manage to kill your Alt by the deadline, you'll both die. This seems a little harsh, but everyone seems to accept it as the status quo.

I had mixed feelings about both the story and West, the main character. Having lost most of her family, West makes several odd decisions that I didn't always agree with. And I didn't fully understand the reasoning behind Alts or why anyone would accept this.

Most of the time, I just go with the flow and accept that that's just the way this world is...but this one bothered me for some reason. Are the Alts clones? Genetically induced identical twins? And why would the population be willing to allow their children to kill each other? No, not allow, but require that their children kill each other.

Despite the mixed feelings, I couldn't put this one down as I really wanted to know what happened next! And I have to say that I was pleased with the ending and think the author did a good job wrapping things up.

Mulling over the story afterwards, I think it was the setting that led to my mixed feelings (I really didn't like this world!). For a story to affect me that much is sort of impressive, so I'm looking forward to seeing what other worlds the author creates!

Have you read this one? Did the whole premise of Alts disturb you at all? Why do you think sanctioned kills were accepted so easily? Would love to know what you thought!


ARC received from the publisher at NYCC

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Misty water-colored memories...

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic:  Top Ten Eight Best Bookish Memories 
As soon as I saw this week's topic, the theme from The Way We Were started playing in my head! I only wanted to list special memories, so my top ten list turned into a top eight list. So cue up the music and I hope you enjoy!
  1. Attending BEA (Book Expo America) for the very first time. It was an unbelievable experience, being surrounded by book lovers and having the opportunity to meet some of my favorite authors!

  2. Discovering the blogosphere. I had no idea such a community existed, but am so glad I found it! So nice that there's a place to discuss my love of reading without the fear of eyes glazing over in boredom!

  3. My first comment! I started posting having no clue what I was doing and never expecting anyone to read my blog, much less comment. Was over the moon when I received my very first comment!

  4. My first follower! Just as exciting as the above, I was so excited when people not only read my posts, but actually decided to follow me! So thankful for each and every reader!

  5. The first book that made me cry. I can still remember sitting on the living room couch, amazed and in awe that a book could touch me enough to bring actual tears to my eyes. It was Little Women and I was twelve years old.

  6. My first job as a bookseller. As a reader, my dream job was to work in a bookstore. Was giddy with excitement that someone was actually going to pay me to hang out in a bookstore all day! It was hard work, but I loved it! I've worked at several bookstores since then, but Little Professor Book Center was my first.

  7. Harry Potter. Until the Harry Potter series, I wasn't a big fan of series or big books. Still a little leery of big books, but Harry convinced me to give them a chance. Plus, it was an amazing series and I stand in awe of the author!

  8. Review request from a favorite author. Major squee-ing and a few happy dances happened the day a favorite author sent me a review request. I couldn't accept fast enough, and may have gotten all fan-girly and gushy in my reply.  :)


    What are some of your favorite bookish memories? Anyone else struck mute when meeting a favorite author face to face? I'm pretty sure Jeri Smith-Ready thought I was crazy when she signed a book for me at BEA, as I think I said mrmph mucklum when she handed me the book. *blush*


Friday, February 1, 2013

Blog Tour: Tim Rowland's Creature Features


Tim Rowland's Creature Features by Tim Rowland

When Tim Rowland's earlier book of his animal essays, All Pets are Off, was published, readers immediately clamored for more. Their preference for animal stories over the political columns Tim's also known for is understandable: animals are way more fun to read about than politicians. Especially now.

So here's a new volume of over 75 warm and funny essays, from the introduction to the farm of bovines Cleopatra and Heifertiti, the Belted Galloway beauties, to the further antics of Hannah the English Bulldog and Juliet the tiny Siamese, along with assorted donkeys, pigs, goats, horses, chickens, geese-and of course, more of the joyful bouvier des Flandres named Opie-that's sure to provide loads of smiles and even outright guffaws. (book blurb)

My Thoughts:

Collections like this are always hit or miss for me, as what might be interesting in a daily or weekly column might not be so interesting when read all at once. For this reason, I like to spread things out and read just a few essays at a time. It takes longer than normal to finish reading, but it's worth it!

Overall, I enjoyed reading about Tim's adventures on the farm with all of his crazy animals. I really liked reading about his dog Opie, who sounds like a crazy, friendly, lovable scamp!

Something else I enjoyed were the fish-out-of-water tales of Tim and his wife learning to take care of and live with farm animals. They started their adventure with almost zero experience, but boy did it sound interesting!  I don't know anyone with alpacas, goats, pigs, or even cows, so I can only imagine how I would react in some of these situations. I know Tim handled the birthing goat better than I would have!

Some of the essays worked for me and some didn't, but that might have been a result of my personal preferences for dogs, angry geese, and an amusing pig over other animals. It's a nice collection and think it would make a nice gift for any animal lovers out there!

About Tim Rowland:


Tim Rowland is an award-winning columnist at Herald-Mail Media in Hagerstown, Maryland. He has written for numerous history and outdoor magazines and news syndicates nationwide. He has also authored several books, most recently Strange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War and including All Pets are Off: A Collection of Hairy Columns, Petrified Fact: Stories of Bizarre Behavior that Really Happened, Mostly, Earth to Hagerstown, High Peaks: A History of Hiking the Adirondacks from Noah to Neoprene and Maryland's Appalachian Highlands: Massacres, Moonshine & Mountaineering

Tim is also keeper and lackey for a wide assortment of mostly non-useful, freeloading critters, aided as always by his trusty (well, mostly trusty) companion Opie.

How to find Tim Rowland online:  WebsiteTwitterFacebook


eBook review copy provided by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours 


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