Friday, May 21, 2010

Transfer

Alright y'all--I'm transferring the posts from here to my regular blog, because I keep forgetting that I even have this blog. I'll go ahead and keep the blog up, but I won't be posting here.

So, to read my reviews, go HERE. <3

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A.W.O.L

Gosh, it's been a while! I'm so sorry I've been lacking over here--I have been reading (kinda) but I'm in the middle of moving from one place to a new place and the new one is...well, let's just say it needs a lot of work.

We've only just gotten the internet hooked up here at this place -- the internet is turned off at my current sleeping place, so reviews of recent reads will be forthcoming some time after the end of next week.

Recently finished (off the top of my head)

Vampire Diaries (The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, The Dark Reunion)
Stardust
The Amaranth Enchantment
The Iron Hunt

I know I finished others (quite a few others) but I can't remember at the moment. I will definitely be back in business before the end of the month, though, so expect me to return!

--Mires


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review: Eden's Hell

Title: Eden's Hell: I: The First
Genre: (Erotic) Romance
Author: Dawne Dominique
Synopsis:

In the beginning... God created man and called him Adam, a fine specimen replicated in his own image. He then created woman to ease Adam's loneliness and named her Lillith. Unfortunately, God realized his mistake too late in giving woman free will, for she would rule her domain-not man. When Lillith left Adam, God created another for his first-born son, and gave her the name Eve and a kingdom called Eden, but by then it was too late, for he'd unleashed Hell into the world of man.

Dawne very sweetly sent me this E-Book a while back, an ARC for review, and I kept forgetting that I had it when I was switching all my files and such over to my new netbook from my monster of a laptop, F.R.E.D.

I finally managed to wedge in enough time to read Eden's Hell, and I did enjoy it.

Warning: This review contains spoilers. I couldn't find a way around it without just leaving it at "I enjoyed it." So read on only if you don't mind knowing the plot/some details!

I liked the overall plot--I particularly liked that she brought Lillith, Adam's first wife, into play. It's rare that she gets any screen time, even as a villain--she's usually a footnote with a cursory "she was disobedient, God replaced her, and now she's evil."

I don't like that Satrina's name didn't have a correlation to Lilith the way Addison/Adam, Eva/Eve did. It felt odd to me. I thought it was a bit strange that Addison took Eva to fancy places when Satrina was so hot to have Eva to herself. I'd have thought that Satrina would be fully capable of treachery, even with the Elders and the Alluminatae's rules, the Vampire Bible as set down by God and Lucifer (which, I did think was pretty darn cool). I also didn't quite understand why Satrina wanted her so much--she didn't know who Eva was, she was just some human morsel as far as Satrina was concerned...why go to so much trouble?

After centuries of living near each other without major conflicts, why pick this single girl to destroy everything?

I liked the fact that Eva didn't immediately fall into Addison's arms--she did fight to keep herself, and she didn't trust him right off the bat. He had to prove himself. It made the story more real to me.

Addison...there was a bit of a cliche with him--brooding older man who is inexplicably drawn to this sweet, (mostly) innocent girl. I did kind of think it was out of character when, nearing the end and he was telling Eva who he really was, who he used to be, he was a bit...preachy in how he spoke of God and his disobedience. And while I know that it's technically accurate, it didn't feel real for the strong character that Addison had been through the rest of the book.

The...three or four sex scenes in the book were a 10 out of 10 on the Oh My God Scale. If there is one thing you cannot say about Dawne Dominique, it's that her sex scenes are timid or lacking in any area. She doesn't flinch from using naughty phrases and giving you the nitty gritty of the down n' dirty.

The ending was a shock--and I admit that I was both disappointed and satisfied, if that makes sense. I liked that they (obviously) ended up together. I didn't like the loose end of Satrina--it could be foreshadowing for later books (I hope so) or it's a plotline that ends there (I hope not.).

Taking everything into account, I'd have to give this book a 3.5 rating. It was a good set-up book, and I enjoyed it, but there were things that kept me from going "Wow!"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On The Shelf (4)

This is my first In My Mailbox meme, which I've titled On The Shelf despite the fact that most of my books are pretty spread around. *wince*

I've actually picked up a few books the past few days, and I can't wait to dive into them once I've caught myself up on reviews and such. (I have been beyond slacking.)


Demon hunter Maxine Kiss wears her armor as tattoos, which unwind from her body to take on forms of their own at night.
They stand between her and her enemies, just as Maxine stands between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils.
It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one momentaand one mana changes everything.


I read the excerpt to this book's sequel a few months back and it caught my attention enough that I remembered it on Thursday and decided to find it. I only had enough to get the first one (since I was getting the rest of the Cal Leandros books), but I'm really excited to get started reading it.


In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named.

Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve that star and bring it back for her.

It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.



This isn't the same edition that I have since the library gave me a hardcover copy. I've seen the movie (I hadn't known it was based on a book until afterward.) and I thought it was pretty good. (Cross dressing Robert DeNiro...it's hard to get better than that, my friends.)

It's time to lock, load, and hit the road...

Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. Now, just as their P.I. business hits a slow patch, the old crone shows up with a job.

She wants them to find a stolen coffin that contains a blight that makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory. But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road. And if they're very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip...

Ahhh, the Leandros boys. I do love this series, and I only started it last month. I picked up Moonshine, Madhouse, and Deathwish as well....but they aren't on my To Be Read pile anymore. I bought them last Thursday, and damned if I didn't devour them within 48 hours. I started Roadkill today, and I make no promises on how long I'll be able to keep from absorbing it, but I can tell you right now: I'll be rereading this series many times. (I also got my dad started on them too. *grin*)


For Grace, one yellow-eyed wolf is a chilling presence in the woods behind her house.

During winter, Sam lives in the frozen woods and the silent company of a fearless girl.

In summer, he lives a few precious months as a human.

Soon, Grace and Sam find themselves risking everything to remain together.



Frankie Diane was doing a giveaway for Linger, the sequel to Shiver, a little while back, and when she found out I had yet to read this, she demanded that I procure it immediately, so I ordered it from the library, and picked it up on Thursday along with Stardust. I've already started reading it, and I'll say it isn't what I had expected, so far.

I also have my very own....Fedora Hat!!!


[Picture+1.jpg]
Me in my Fedora.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shameface

I suck, I know! I was supposed to post the reviews for The Hunger Games books and the 2nd half of Percy Jackson books...and I didn't. *hangs head in shame* This month has been like molasses mixed with ether--slow and sleepy. (Does that even make sense?)

This Thursday, the parentals are taking me to a play that's going on up at Southeastern University calling "Parking Lot Babies." This'll be the third play I've been to (not including the Opera they held) and I can't wait!

I'm hoping to cash the check my grandfather sent for Christmas last year so I can pick up a few books while we're in Hammond. If I do manage it, I'll be picking up the rest of the Cal Leandros series. I've already got book 1, but I'm dying for the rest.

I'm also looking for up-coming book challenges--preferably ones that have yet to start, so I have time to get ready--so if any of y'all find any, let me know!

I have to do more with this place. Gods know I've got plenty of time on my hands! Just need to get off my butt. I'm a fast reader, but a slow writer. *blush*

Coming (at some point) this month:

Review: Percy Jackson & The Olympians Part 2
Review: Eden's Hell (E-Book / Donation) (because I totally forgot that I had it! Sorry Dawne! I am so on this, I promise!)


PS: There's a new meme going around, called Book Blogger Hop, held on Fridays to find new book blogs! Here's the info:

Hey book bloggers! Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on!

Now, I follow a lot of blogs and I haven't seen this feature yet, so if someone else is doing a Book Blog Hop, please let me know!! I don't want to step on any toes or anything!

So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this, sign MckLinky below, and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Drool-Worthy

Tomorrow I'll post the The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and the 2nd half of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians reviews. For now, I figured I'd show you guys a couple of this year's book covers that have me drooling...


Fire 
+
 streams of light 
+
 one bad-ass chick with a gun
=
Awesomeness.

From the line of her jaw, the curve of her spine, 
to the design and font, this cover is made of WIN.

So simple, yet...so hot! Practically sizzles. 

(Note: I'm not a fashion-person, but I adore her dress.) 


Must. Have. Must. Have.
*turns into shaky puppy*
Must. Have. 


What covers have caught your attention lately? 


PS: I'm thinking about putting out a call for guest bloggers. Thoughts? 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Part 1


Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any normal friends. But things don't stay quiet for long.

When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped.And now it's up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared -- a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.

I actually started reading this series a few months ago, after I saw the trailer for the movie (no, I haven't seen it yet.) and I'm really glad I did. I've always liked books that use old mythology like the Gods in new ways, and Riordan brought the Greek Gods and their legends to the modern world in a way that just fit.

I had a couple problems with the character development--Eisley Jacobs said, in her review of the first book that it's far fetched to believe that these kids are so lacking in common sense that they continue to make the choices they make. I actually have the opposite reaction. I felt that Percy seemed a bit too mature for a 12 year old. He came across (to me) as mentally a 15-16 year old in the first 3 books. Their choices could definitely have been better advised, but...I had the feeling that even New York raised kids at 12 wouldn't have been able to handle all of the things that were happening.

Regardless of that, though, these books catch you from the first pages and don't let go until you've finished them. And then you're left going, "I need the next one. Now."

I really do love how integral all of the characters are to the storyline--from the less than pleasant Daughter of Ares (who has always been one my favorite Greek Gods, if only because of Xena. *heehee*) to the drunken lout, Dionysus.

While reading, you forget that these books are for kids and all you can think about is what happens next.


Rating: 4 Stars

Part 2: Coming soon...

Interview with Shiloh Walker

Today is the official release date of Shiloh Walker's newest book, Broken, the sequel to Fragile, and she was awesome enough to put out a call for guest blogs and Q&As on Twitter. Even better, she let me ask her a few questions!
Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter for a private detective agency in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He's drawn to her-but he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.

Sarah McElyea is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She has a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can't risk telling him the secrets she's hiding.

But Quinn must get closer to Sarah when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and both Quinn and Sarah will have to expose their true feelings-as well as their fragile hearts-if their love is to survive.
You can order it at Barnes & Noble.
Now...on to the interview! Thanks so much for dropping by, Shiloh. I really appreciate it. *grin*
On twitter, you’ve mentioned using a program called Dragon to write because you have issues with your hands. Is it strange writing with your voice instead of your fingers?
It's VERY strange, and I'm not always able to get in the right mind-set, so to speak. It's still a learning process. For me, it's always just been a brains-->hands thing, the story just flows from the brain to my hands and now I have to teach it to go from my brain to my mouth, so yes.... it's very strange. I hate it. But at some point, it will likely be an absolute necessity-either that, or I quit writing. So I keep plugging along and trying.
I don't think I could get used to that. Do you have any pre-writing session rituals? Things that you just have to have/do before you can work?
Nope. Other than make myself quit procrastinating.... *G* I'm the worst at that...I work better with music, but it's not a must.
LOL. Procrastination, as fun as it is, is a real b!tch to get away from. Is it hard or fun being a full time writer? How different is it from being full time with a “regular” job?
Both, but more often it's hard than fun. The fun is there, don't get me wrong, but it's ten times harder than I thought it would be and there's so much more work than just writing. One thing about writing is that I'm not 'clocking' in so to speak and staying motivated isn't always easy. Anything can throw me off my groove-anything, whether it's a sick kid, finding a slew of people pirating my work or just being down in a funk. Trying to force the creativity to come when that happens isn't easy, and sometimes, you just can't, so you have to give yourself a few hours, even a few days away and just decompress.
The fun, though, you can't overlook that. Talking books with other writers-those who 'get' the voices in your head, talking books with readers who love and appreciate them as much as you do? It's wonderful. It's a great job, and as hard as it is, I wouldn't trade it. For as long as I'm able to do it, I will.
That's certainly good news for us! If you could be one of your characters (male or female) for a day, who would you choose and why?
Oh, none of them. LOL. Sorry. I love my life...I've got a great husband, three kids I love and I love my life-wouldn't swap it out even for a day. Especially considering some of the crap I put on my characters.
LOL always nice to see someone who loves their life! If you could make people (readers and/or writers) understand a single thing when it comes to publishing, what would it be?
It's not a cakewalk-if you want to make it happen, you have to be prepared to work hard and even when you hard, plenty of people aren't going to appreciate that hard work.
Okay, last question! If you couldn’t write paranormal romance / fantasy, what genre would you write in?
Oh, I write a little bit of everything already anyway...so I'd bounce to romantic suspense and contemporary, and then I'd come back to paranormal. ;o)
Awesome answer! Thanks again, Shiloh, for letting me ask you questions!




About the Author

Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more...ah...serious vampire stories. She loves reading and writing anything paranormal, anything fantasy, and nearly every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest.

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Look, New Book

Whenever I open a new blog (and you would be surprised at how many blogs I've had), I tend to have a few months of searching for just the right template.

It has to be simple enough to adjust for me, and pretty enough to make sure y'all don't run screaming.

I tend to like 3 column templates because it gives me more room for widgets without cramping everything together. I like the ones that have a linkbar even better--heavenly bliss if they have sublinks! *swoon*

My current search item is a template that has a linkbar, and where the posts aren't the full posts--you know, where it has a "Read More" link at the bottom? Ever since I saw Book Lovers, Inc 's layout, I've wanted one so bad.

I'm a bit of a Blog Layout Whore. *grin*

I tried to figure out how to do the "Read More" thing through Blogger settings, but no dice. *sadface* So I'm on the hunt for a layout that has all the things I want...*longing sigh*

Also:

1: I picked up Book 5 (Hunted) of the House of Night Series, and I will be starting to read it in a little while. *Squee* I can't wait. (This is a series that literally had me up for about an hour and a half thinking about after going to bed. That, my dears, is a big thing.)

2: I changed my blog button, so if you had my old one, please replace it with my new one on the sidebar. :)

3: Please don't freak if you come back in an hour and the template has changed. Again. Did I mention I'm a bit obsessive about my templates? Heh heh.

Later lovelies!
*mwah*,
Mires

Monday, February 22, 2010

Review: Fire

Title: Fire
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Kristin Cashore
Synopsis


Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

The concept of "monsters" was confusing at first, probably because preconceived notions of monsters are ugly whereas these are so beautiful they muddle your head--making you easy prey. After a couple of chapters, it grew on me, and I think Ms. Cashore did a really good job with it. I really liked the fact that her interaction with Prince Brigan started off on probably the worst foot it could, and that their relationship slowly grew--it didn't just pop out of nowhere. I didn't start off the story thinking, "Well that relationship is pretty much set. " Particularly since she was already involved with someone, albeit in a more casual way than you'd expect.

This installment of the Seven Kingdoms books is actually set 30 years prior to GRACELING, and has a single crossover character, which anyone who has read the first book will recognize easily.

There were quite a few shocking moments later in the book, and the questions steadily piled up as the story progressed.

It wasn't an amazing book, but I did enjoy this book and I do recommend it, so this rating is...

4 Stars

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Linger & Others

This is just a quick post to point you to a couple of really cool contests going on with book prizes!

The first is being held at A Blurred History by Andrea Cremer, Questioning Cupid, where you comment what couple should have gotten together that didn't (a la Buffy & Spike--which is my personal choice.) and you can win books!

If you're looking to win Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, there are quite a few going on--including on by Maggie Herself!





Linger Cover LargeIn Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric,
Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.


Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th.
Pre-order here.

Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER,
Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog.



Just thought I'd share! *wink*

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Review: Graceling

Title: Graceling
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Kristin Cashore
Synopsis:

In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

Katsa never really had a chance in what she did with her life. I was immediately aware of this, from beginning to end. From the moment her Grace, her ability, manifested, she was doomed to be used as a tool as long as she remained with her uncle, the King of Middluns. It took her years to begin to rebel, by building the Council and going "undercover" in a roundabout way, but she remained the King's "lady killer" to everyone else.

It was only when she met Prince Po of Lienid--and I couldn't help but think of Kung-Fu Panda every time I read his name--that she began to realize how much power she really had.

This was a very enjoyable read. Katsa grew over the course of the story, and each step in the plot made sense. At one point, I was on the verge of tears, and when that area, for lack of a better term, was revisited, I was right back to nearly crying.

I think I would've liked more interaction between Katsa and some of the other minor characters, such as her cousin, Prince Raffin. One thing in the later part of the book that really bothered me was Princess Bitterblue. She was described as very young, but her speech and ability to comprehend seemed far older--closer to Katsa's late teens than a small child.

I liked the fact that this book didn't shy away from the "issue" of pre-marital sex. I thought the author did a very good job of incorporating it into the relationship between Po and Katsa without it becoming a major plot point or something that the story obsessed over. I was oddly glad to see that the author didn't reveal Po's secret to his family--I had half expected there to be a tearful family moment involving it. The ending was surprising but in a good way.

This was about changing circumstances, owning yourself and your actions, adapting to situations. It's a whole new kind of coming of age story, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: 4 Stars


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Honest Scrap!

The lovely Anne Riley awarded me the Honest Scrap award! This is my very first award for this blog--thank you so much, Anne! *mwah*

The rules are that I have to post 10 things about myself and then pass the award on to 5 other blogs...

Well, let's see:

1: The first book I ever read on my own and enjoyed was Anne of Green Gables when I was nine.

2: I had the fourth Harry Potter book before the others and I never did bother to crack it open until I was eleven years old and I had devoured the first 3 books--I was really miffed that my grandfather had given me the fourth book in a series, so I was determined to hate all of the books. *grinning eyeroll*

3: When I was about four years old, I gave my dad a black eye the day after my mother did. They were running around the house, and she whacked him with a broom on accident. He was teaching me how to use a staff and I whacked him with the stick on purpose.

4: I was actually forbidden to read Laurell K. Hamilton's books when I was nine...I snuck them and was caught and forbidden again....and I kept sneaking them. Seriously, don't tell me I can't read a book because I will so not listen! LOL

5: Both of my parents are really good at drawing--I, on the other hand, can't draw a stick figure, although I continually try to draw faces. The best I get is this:

I kind of presume this was supposed to be Goth / Punk Lucifer rebelling.
I think.


6: I should never ever ever draw. Ever. I think his hair is that side-part my mom had going on when she was 16. In the late 80's. O_o

7: Spiders freak me out but I think some of them are pretty.

8: I'm a firm believer that all cute and fuzzy things should be cuddly and not be able to rip your face off. Example:


The Wombat.
Cute. Fuzzy. Totally cuddly-able.
Completely able to take your face off.

9: I think French Fries dipped in Ranch dressing is really good.

10: I can't think of a tenth thing to tell you about me, so I'm just going to...uhm...drift away...


Who I'm passing this on to...

1: Dawne Dominique for making my amazing and beautiful banner.

2: Dawn Embers because she posts really insightful blogs about writing.

3: Harley D. Palmer because she's just getting started in the blogging world, and she needs blog fodder!

4: Tara Fouts because she hasn't updated her blog in a while too!

5: Whoever comments on this first, because I can't think of anyone else--which is saying something because I follow well over 100 blogs. O_O


In other news, I had to go up to the library today! Squee! This means I have books! I picked up Graceling by Kristin Cashore, the book before Fire which I had already picked up. I decided to stop reading Fire and read Graceling first, so that it makes more sense for me.

I also got books 2, 4, and 5 of the Percy Jackson series--but I'm going to wait to read them until I get book 3. And I also got Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, at the insistence of Parker.

I'm actually currently reading Eden's Hell by Dawne Dominique, which she graciously sent me a PDF file of for review. I haven't gotten far because I had an epiphany for my own writing, so I've been focusing on that for the past two days. But once I finish it, which shouldn't be too long, I will be posting my review. (As always, my reviews will be colored by nothing but my own opinion.) I'm also reading Pride & Prejudice, but I don't think I'll be reviewing that. LOL.

Later, lovelies!