Thursday, August 29, 2013

Currently Reading Update (Book Reading Debacle)

Hello my dearlings,

NEWSFLASH: I began my Masters in Library Science earlier this week.

This is my school. Oh lord, it's gorgeous.
Yes, it's true. I've dived right on in, ready or not, to the wonderful world of learning to be a librarian (information specialist). 

I also launched my business online after much fiddling and working to get it up (it's still not completely ready, but I was too excited to wait for the designer to do the layout!)

So, with my MLIS studies, my business, my part-time, and this blog I have been literally camping out at my local coffee houses for internet. Internet at the apartment is STILL a no go. I'm calling the internet provider today to ask for a rush fix up and maybe I'll see internet in the comfort of my own home here in the next week or so!

This blog will NOT be shut down, no matter how busy things get. I've kind of budgeted the blog into my busy schedule and since I have few other things to do with my life but study and work I've demanded of myself that SOME semblance of enjoyment outside of the two remain!

And reading? What better excuse to cloister myself away with a book or two than being a Library Science MA student?

Anyway, let's get this circus into town. 



CURRENTLY
READING

I'm in a pickle again! I'm in one of those moods where I'm reading every chance I get but I can't stick to one book! I've currently got 5 books going at the same time and I alternate between them depending on my mood. The last time this happened was earlier this year and it drove me quite looloo!




City of Dark Magic
Title: City of Dark Magic
Author: Magnus Flyte
Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Pages:
448

Synopsis:

 Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.    

 Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

     City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.


Whiskey Beach

Title: Whiskey Beach
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Romance
Release Date:
April 16, 2014
Pages:
484

Synopsis:  

For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore - and its secrets.

To summer tourists, it's the crown jewel of the town's stunning scenery. To the residents of Whiskey Beach, it's landmark and legend. To Eli Landon, it's home...

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigation after being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife. And though there was never enough evidence to have him arrested, his reputation is in tatters as well as his soul. He need sanctuary. He needs Bluff House.

While Eli's beloved grandmother is in Boston, recuperating from a nasty fall, Abra Walsh has card for Bluff House, among her other jobs as yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist. She is a woman with an open heart and a wide embrace, and no one is safe from her special, some would say over-bearing, brand of nurturing - including Eli.

He begins to count on Abra for far more than her cooking, cleaning, and massage skills, and starts to feel less like a victim - and more like the kind of man who can finally solve the murder of his wife and clear his name. But Bluff House's many mysteries are a siren song to someone intent on destroying Eli and reaping the rewards. He and Abra will become entangled in a centuries-old net of rumors and half-truths that could pull them under the thunderous waters of Whiskey Beach...

Passion and obsession, humor and heart flow together in a novel about two people opening themselves up to the truth - and to each other.
Seven Sorcerers

Title: Seven Sorcerers
Author: Caro King
Genre:
Middlegrade Fantasy
Release Date: 
May 3, 2011
Pages:
352

Synopsis: 
 Nin had never liked Wednesdays, but this one took the biscuit. On this Wednesday she woke up to find that it was raining buckets and that her brother had ceased to exist. Ninevah realises she is the only person to remember Toby because whoever took him is about to make her disappear too. Enter Skerridge the Bogeyman, who steals kids for Mr. Strood. With his spindle, he draws all memories of Nin out of her mother's head.

Nin escapes to the Drift, the world that her new friend Jonas and Mr. Strood inhabit. But the Drift is filled with the fabulous and the dreadful; tombfolk, mudmen, and the spirits of the seven sorcerers who once ruled the land. What is the secret of the Seven Sorcerers, and will Nin and Toby escape their fate at the House of Strood?

Girl of Nightmares




Title: Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre:  YA Horror
Release Date:  August 7, 2012
Pages: 332

Synopsis:

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.


Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.


Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

Abarat: Absolute Midnight


Title: Absolute Midnight
Author: Clive Barker
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Pages:
571

Synopsis: 


Abarat: Absolute Midnight continues the thrilling adventures of Candy Quackenbush in the Abarat, a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day—from The Great Head that sits in the mysterious twilight waters of Eight in the Evening to the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of Gorgossium, the island of Midnight, ruled over by the evil Mater Motley. With villains resurrected and morphed and the Old Mother of darkness herself, Mater Motley, at the heart of a ruthless scheme, Abarat is in danger of being destroyed forever.

Mater Motley plans to create a darkness so complete that it blots out every glimpse of the light and vanquishes the sun, moon, and stars from the Abarat, ending all hope and happiness. Her hour has come—she is prepared to unleash the end of the world. When evil begins rising from the sea, tumbles The Great Head, and sets islands aflame, the Abarat is filled with fear.

Only one person can stop her—Candy Quackenbush from Chickentown, U.S.A., a heroine who has traveled between the Hereafter and the Abarat. She valiantly fights for the sake of her friends and her mother and to speak and act for those who have no voice. Candy and her crew battle on to ultimately defuse Mater Motley and rescue the 7,000 who have survived, with the message that even in the face of this terror and loss, they may find hope. An enthralling ride, with nonstop action, adventure, and suspense, Barker has delivered an epic dystopian battle.





So what in the world are YOU reading right now?

Until Next Blog,

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Blood and Sacrifice" by Jessica Gibson




Title: Blood and Sacrifice
Author: Jessica Gibson
Series: Blood Ties Novella Series (#2)
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: Ebook
Blurb/Synopsis:
Bronwyn left everything behind when she left with Ronan. She became what he needed her to be and forgot the rest. Too bad the past won't stay in the past.
Rider bursts back into her life uninvited, and is not the man she remembers. There is an edge to him that was not there before. Bronwyn is torn by guilt over what he has become and anger at being blamed for it.
When Ronan ended his maker’s life, he inherited a line of vampires and a whole set of problems to go along with it. Bronwyn must decide if their love is worth it, worth the killing, and the constant disruption of their lives.
Is love enough? Can Bronwyn find herself again and strike a balance between who she wants to be and who Ronan needs her to be? Or will she lose herself all over again?


Book Links


Author Information


Jessica Gibson is a recovering bookaholic, she's down from four books a week to a more reasonable one. It was that love of words and creativity that made her dream about writing her first book. That dream was hidden for years, always put on the back burner, filed away in the "someday" section, until her husband Matt gave her the kick in the pants she needed to actually get off her butt and write.
Jessica and Matt live in Southern California and have a serious addiction to reality tv shows like Pawn Stars and American Restoration. They have one son and hope to add to the family in the near future.
Aside from writing, she runs an online event planning business called the Release Day Diva. In addition to novels, Jessica writes and maintains the blog Book on the Bright Side. Keep up with Jessica and her latest releases and events on her blog.

Author Links



Other Books by Jessica

Blood Ties Novella Series


 Boston Witches



Excerpt


Bronwyn stopped in her tracks when she saw someone very familiar leaning against the building across the street, dressed head to toe in leather. “I’m guessing you all decided on a field trip at the same time?” She said sarcastically, as she zipped across the street.
“Well, someone has to clean up after his mess,” Carly scoffed.
Bronwyn’s lips thinned out, “I saw him, earlier. He seems to be out of control.”
“Hmmm, I wonder why that is?” Carly pressed a finger to her lips in mock concentration.
“Look, I don’t need a lecture from you, too. I got enough from Seraph.”
Carly smiled. “You know, I want so bad to stay mad at you. It would be a heck of a lot easier if I did. But, it’s too damn good to see you.”
Bronwyn’s tough exterior melted, “I know. I’ve missed you so much. Is Tuck here, too?”
“He’s looking for Rider; we followed him here. I didn’t even know you were back in the States. Seraph told us, yesterday.” There was a hint of something in Carly’s voice.
“Look, I know this is an f-ed up situation. I had to make a clean break, though. I couldn't live half in and half out with Ronan.”
“You ruined him.” Carly’s voice was harsh.
Bronwyn laughed. “Really? Rider is a big boy; far older than I am. His choices are his own. Did you really come here to make me feel guilty? If so, you may as well leave now.” Bronwyn’s tone was cool.
“Who are you?” Carly took a step back.
“I’m the same person I’ve always been, Carly, I’m just not fighting it anymore.” Bronwyn leaned in and kissed Carly’s cheek before heading off into the night.


Enjoy, dearlings!

Until Next Blog,






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Monday, August 19, 2013

Bout of Books GOAL POST!

Hello my darlings.

It's been ages! Due to the opening of a new business (I'm so excited), the preparation for the beginning of my MLIS program, AND the fact that I no longer have internet service at my apartment (long story, very aggravating, still trying to sort it out) the blog has taken a bit of a back seat. As many of you understand, life happens and no matter HOW MUCH I love books and blogging about them, I have to prioritize.

I'M NOT PLANNING ON CLOSING!  I still read! And I still enjoy sharing the book-world with all of you. But until things can get settled things will be a bit sporadic.

In an attempt to give myself a treat (and since I have glorious uninterrupted internet access for the next week) I'm participating in "THE BOUT OF BOOKS 8.0" Readathon!


BOUT OF BOOKS 8.0


Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team



Auggie's Goals


Because this week is going to be a busy one I'm going to start small. If I meet my small goals, I'll build up! My Goals this week are:



FINISH: 
 One of the Romance Novels I've started (Guess I have a hundred to choose from)


Read: "The Seven Sorcerers"
Title: Seven Sorcerers
Author: Caro King
Genre: Middlegrade Fantasy
Pages: 352
Publication Date: May 3, 2011

Synopsis:

Nin had never liked Wednesdays, but this one took the biscuit. On this Wednesday she woke up to find that it was raining buckets and that her brother had ceased to exist. Ninevah realises she is the only person to remember Toby because whoever took him is about to make her disappear too. Enter Skerridge the Bogeyman, who steals kids for Mr. Strood. With his spindle, he draws all memories of Nin out of her mother's head. Nin escapes to the Drift, the world that her new friend Jonas and Mr. Strood inhabit. But the Drift is filled with the fabulous and the dreadful; tombfolk, mudmen, and the spirits of the seven sorcerers who once ruled the land. What is the secret of the Seven Sorcerers, and will Nin and Toby escape their fate at the House of Strood?



More to come if I can finish these two.

GOING TO CANADA
later this week. I leave on Thursday so I'll have plenty of time to read on the plane and while we're chillin' in the hotel room Thursday night but then it's going to be happy Canada vacation until Sunday.


Will definitely be updating and commenting on the Bout of Books participant blogs (because I love all of you by default).

See you in the bookiverse!


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Saturday, August 3, 2013

"BELLIGERENT" and Guest-Post by B.N. Mauldin


Happy Saturday, peaches!
So many beautiful things in the works now. I'm feeling very blessed and super glad to be doing all these new things and still be able to bring you all wonderful new reads. 
You're all so fantastic! I don't tell you guys that enough!
Enjoy this new write by author B.N. Mauldin, "Belligerent" as well as her GUEST POST, featured after the excerpts. 
Get your reading gear on! 









Title: Belligerent
Author: B.N. Mauldin
Genre: YA Dystopian
In a dystopian future the populace is segregated into castes. Belligerents, the lowest of status, are comprised of criminals and outcasts. Content as a faceless Commoner, Ryan has made a life for himself on the streets as a car thief. While the work isn’t the most noble, he’s known as one of the best despite his young age.

Ryan’s skills catch the eye of a flagrant Owner, bent on winning the virtual competition: Vicara. Newly branded as a Belligerent, Ryan struggles for freedom and acceptance at an academy specialized in training teams for Vicara. Ryan’s place on the team is shaky as he learns the truth and tragedy behind the person he replaces.

Join the Belligerents as we get our first look into the world of Vicara!






Author Bio


=

Writing since she was “old enough to hold a crayon”, B.N. Mauldin resides in Lexington, North Carolina with her two cats. Her parents, Bill, Bobby, Shirley, and Mary have always been great sources of encouragement, as well as her two younger brothers, Matthew and Donovan, whose imaginations inspire her writing.  A vital element of Mauldin’s mentality involves looking at something ordinary while contemplating what else it could be.
A tea addict and “Slytherin” at heart Mauldin also gets a spark of creativity through considerable reading of “some of the greatest works ever written.”
To read more about B.N., follow her blog: http://ofinksandteas.tumblr.com/
Mauldin’s first novel, Belligerent, is now available for pleasurable reading through Fable Press: www.fablepress.com.

Belligerent is available now through Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle versions and wherever books are sold.

Amazon.com (US): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CNSY6B6
Amazon.co.uk (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Belligerent-Vicara-ebook/dp/B00CNSY6B6
Amazon.ca (Canada): http://www.amazon.ca/Belligerent-Vicara-ebook/dp/B00CNSY6B6


Book Excerpt #1 

“Delivery,” the disciplinary squad member announced as if she were a postal worker and Ryan was some package to be delivered.
The man spun around in his chair. “Who do we have here?” he asked with a surprisingly friendly smile.
“Candidate for Shifter's team,” she replied. The man grabbed for a tablet and after glancing at it for a few moments, addressed them again.
“Ryan?”
“Yeah,” he replied with a nod, nerves creeping into overdrive as he noticed all the medical devices placed around the room. Despite his best efforts, sweat formed on his brow.
“I'm Dr. March. Looks like you're here for a first time band.”
Ryan didn't reply. He clasped his right wrist with his left hand to keep his arms from shaking. A band? No. No, no, no.
To his surprise, Dr. March addressed the disciplinary squad member next. “You can leave now.”
The guard stepped out of the room but not before flashing a look of warning. The unspoken threat was as clear as it had been his entire stay: try to run and we will take you down.
“Okay, Ryan, let's get started.”
It wasn't so terrible at first. Ryan was weighed and measured. His eye color and hair color were marked down on a chart. His finger was pricked and a small sample of his blood was taken. Dr. March whistled an unknown tune between each test as he reached for instruments or his tablet. Just as his nerves began to settle, things unraveled when the doctor pulled out a tray of syringes.
“First, we're going to test you for any allergies.”
“I don't have any,” Ryan quickly assured.
“You may have an allergy to something you've never been exposed to before,” the doctor said as he lifted one of the larger syringes filled with a thick substance. “Left arm, please.”
Ryan hesitated, and the doctor's grin faded. “Please don't make me call in reinforcements. It's far easier if you cooperate, son.”
Ryan's eyes flickered to the door then back to the doctor before he slowly held out his arm. “Will it hurt?”
“Just a little,” he replied before injecting the serum. It pinched, but it didn't really hurt. After several long moments, Dr. March placed the shot in a bio-hazard container.
“Now, we wait a few minutes before proceeding.” He resumed his soft whistling.
“How will you know if I'm allergic to anything?” Ryan asked, staring down at the small red dot forming on his skin. The edges of the puncture began to turn an unsettling shade of purple.
“That's how,” the doctor replied taking Ryan's arm in his grasp to study it. “Not too bad. You seem to have a mild lactose intolerance, but otherwise you're not showing any other allergies.”
“You got that from a color?”
“And the size of the ring it formed,” Dr. March replied. “Best medical breakthrough yet, that shot is. Can test for every allergy in mere minutes with only one prick. Saves a lot of time and pain. You know, a Belligerent came up with it.” He reached for the next shot on the tray. “Now for the vaccines.”
“Are those all-in-one too?” Ryan asked hopefully.
Dr. March chuckled. “Don't be silly. Of course they're not! Luckily, you've only got about six of those to endure.” Ryan blanched, but Dr. March placed a wrinkled hand on his shoulder, giving him a reassuring squeeze. “Don't look so scared. You can't be afraid of needles when you'll soon be facing swords!”
The next six shots were painful but not excruciating and left behind sore spots on his skin that made Ryan think he should play connect the dots.
After another part of the whistled tune, the doctor said, “We've got butterflies, polka dots, cupcakes, race cars and jungle animals.”
“What?”
Dr. March held up a pack of bandages. “Those are your choices.”
“You don't have any normal ones?”
“My job is to treat Betas for their academy enrollment,” Dr. March said flatly. “Almost all my patients are ten years old.”
Ryan grunted. “Race cars.”

Book Excerpt #2

Ryan stopped in one last car park. He headed to the top level and was shocked at what he found. 

“Who would be dumb enough to park a Zeus in a Darton car park?” he muttered to himself while stepping closer to the beautiful machine. Deciding not to waste time debating the matter, he quickly set about disabling the car's alarms using equipment he had bought with his last big paycheck. After finishing with the panel and underlying electronics, he and was about to climb into the driver's seat when a firm hand landed on his shoulder.

“That’s quite enough, kid.”

Ryan spun around and swung a right hook at the stranger's face managing to startle the man enough that he lost his grip. Dodging around him, Ryan took off only to be grabbed by another man.
“Not so fast.” 

The first man stepped up and took hold of Ryan's other arm. 

Ryan had never been caught before, but he had heard stories from the others who had. His stomach sank as he realized what might happen to him, and he thrashed to free himself of the men's hold.
“Stop struggling, kid.”

“What's going on here?” a third man asked as he approached them. 

Ryan recognized him as the Owner from the day before. He was dressed in a suit as the other two were, but there was a huge difference between the tailored, sleek, grey suit the man was wearing and the generic, matching suits that the other two had thrown on. 

“We caught him trying to steal your car.”

The Owner stepped forward and looked over the Zeus then down at the equipment that Ryan had dropped in the struggle. 

He let out a loud guffaw, “So my plan succeeded. Some things are so predictable. How's his work?”

“Neat. There's not even a smudge. He would have succeeded if we hadn't shown up.” 

“Does he have a pass?”

Passes kept people from being taken as Belligerents. It was the only thing that kept them safe. A pass was freedom. The men looked at thief, but he kept his gaze on the Owner. Of course, Ryan didn't have a pass. A minor, five year pass cost five hundred thousand credits, and that was more than the average person made in ten years. 

The Owner's face lit up in delight when Ryan didn't produce any proof of freedom. “What's your name, kid? Eva wouldn't tell me.”

“It's Ryan,” he muttered.

“No last name?”

Ryan shook his head. “Not one that matters.”

“Good. That's what I like to hear. Well, Ryan, people call me Shifter.” 

Ryan thought the name suited him. The man did look shifty, especially with his cold, grey eyes and his unnaturally silver hair. 

“It would appear that you're just the person I need at the moment,” Shifter said. “I saw your work yesterday, and I've had some people tracking you today. I'm impressed with what I've seen and I think you'll be a great addition.”

“Addition to what?

“My team.” Shifter gave a grin that made him shudder. “I happen to have a spot open, and I would love for you to fill it.”

“Not a chance,” Ryan said through gritted teeth. One of his worst fears was playing out and his body felt as if it was rejecting every moment. 

“Not your choice,” Shifter replied lightly. 


Guest Post from Author 
B.N. Mauldin

Young adult literature has gained a certain reputation, and that reputation is for presenting teenagers as sometimes confused human beings struggling to handle difficult life decisions instead of overly dramatic children making a big deal out of small issue. I happen to be a huge fan of this kind of reputation.  
I read several articles the other day about how adults disapprove of the mature subjects found in the books their teenagers are reading and believe such novels should no longer be considered "young adult".  There's a definite view that since they do not like to think about teenagers being exposed to certain things then by keeping it out of literature, we keep it from happening in real life. I believe the only thing that will happen if we leave these topics out of literature is that teenagers will have fewer sources to turn to when they need to seek out advice for how to handle the more difficult situations in their lives. 
When I sat down to write Belligerent, which follows a fourteen year old protagonist living in a dystopian future, it never occurred to me to write within a rating or to censor the material to fit within a certain age frame.Despite being fourteen, Ryan is a car thief, and he has been ever since he was tall enough to reach the pedals. He lives in an apartment with a group of other homeless teenagers who have to do whatever it takes to get by. 
  When he gets caught, marked as a Belligerent, and sent to an academy, things don't get any easier for him. He find himself the eighth member of a team of teenagers being trained to be the best in their fields, and he has to not only survive the training but also figure out how to live with seven people who aren't particularly fond of him at the same time. 
Having the pressures of school and a social circle are just the start of Ryan's problems. He also has a limited amount of time to make crucial decisions that will influence his entire future. While most teenagers don't beat each other to a bloody pulp in an arena for the amusement of a large audience in between thinking about life after graduation, most can relate to Ryan's other problems. Violence, sexuality, betrayals, drug use, and the pressure to succeed are issues most teenagers will have to handle well before adulthood, no matter how much we would like to imagine that the most difficult decision a teenager will make is whether their hair looks better parted on the left, right, or center.
Ryan is not a flawless character. He often makes mistakes. He fights with his teammates, and he can be horribly narcissistic at times. However, he means well, and he learns from his mistakes. His teammates are not flawless either, so when Ryan is placed onto the same team as Mackenzie, a stubborn strategist; Eva, a timid fighter; Logan, a spastic hacker; Daylan, a medic with horrible bedside manner; Kenichi, a temperamental thief; Clarisse, a chameleon of a girl who knows too much, and Aria, a perfectionist scientist, tension is inevitable. However, in order to achieve their goals, they have to learn to work together. 
The realities of our world and the trials that teenagers face daily is what inspired me to have my protagonists be teenagers because like the characters in Belligerent, you will never be more pressured to discover who you are than during your young adult years.  There is a also a certain ambitiousness and sense of community displayed by teenagers that often fades the older we grow, and that ambitiousness and sense of community was something I wanted to explore in my writing. 
While I hope that Belligerent appeals to anyone who gives it a chance, I hope that it helps show that teenagers are brilliant and talented and deservant of much more credit than they are given, and that when it comes to writing teenage characters, a person cannot make them fit a mold as just like any other human being, teenagers each have their own experiences and maturity. I also hope that teenagers remember that their worth is not based on a scale of numbers or the expectations that others set on them. 
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