January 5

Musing Mondays: 01/05/15 Edition

musing-mondaysMusing Mondays, a weekly blog meme hosted by Should be Reading, asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

  • Describe one of your reading habits.
  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
  • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
  • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

So I’m going to take the third prompt for today – what book am I currently desperate to get my hands on.

That’s easy – only because it’s not written yet and I wanted it to be out last Christmas and it’s not due out till next Christmas.  What book is that?  Every Game of Throne’s (aka A Song of Ice and Fire) fan will be nodding their head already as they probably already guessed it by just me saying the first sentence of this paragraph.  However, let me state it plainly.

I am desperate to get my hands on Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin.  But the book was slated to be out by Christmas 2015 and rumor has it it will be delayed until February 2016.  I could, I suppose, re-read through all the previously written books in preparation – but that would only take me a couple months to read through and I’d still be impatiently waiting for the next installment.

How impatient?  I waited to start the books until the fifth book had been released.  When I got to the end of the fifth book I was frantic to know when book six was coming out because I had to know what had happened to several characters – don’t worry, I’m being vague so I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the books yet.

So yes…this is one of the books I’m desperate to get my hands on.  How bout you?

January 5

The Fine Art of Procrastination – AKA How I Get Other Things Done INSTEAD of Writing

1429208_25583604Every night last week I sat down to write – whether it was on my blogs, on my novels or for SciTechNerds or Video Game Scoreboard – and found I didn’t have a muse to even start because I had so many other things on my mind that I should do or needed to be done.  Like organizing my desk. Consolidating things since the move.  Or making lists.

Long story short, I’ve perfected the art of procrastination to get things done that I’ve procrastinated doing a long time just to procrastinate writing.

That’s right.  I did other things I had procrastinated on just so I had a reason not to write.

Some days I’m just brilliant.  Not.

That being said, instead of writing anything during the week nights last week, I, instead, accomplished the following:

  • Server clean-up: I decided it was time to track down all these databases and files and delete anything I wasn’t using anymore – including clients who hadn’t paid for services, etc.  I also decided it was a good time to remove some domain names that I wasn’t using and uninstall projects that were going no where. This then lead to….
  • Creating lists on Google Keep.
    My husband introduced me to Google Keep which has a great way of creating task lists.  As I run a number of sites on WordPress, both personally and professionally, I figured it was time to create a list of both personal sites to check and update each time things are updated as well as a professional list of sites I can check off each month I update them.

    This lead to me creating a third list where I decided it might be a good idea to create a document that told me exactly which database was for which site.  This seems like it would be easy to know which is which.  And it is when I don’t use Fantastico to create a site for me because I name the database something I would recognize.  But for those that Fantastico created, I had to figure it out.  Good thing I know how to read Database tables in mySQL to figure it out.

  • And once those were completed, I naturally had to go to all the sites and do those updates.
  • Then I remembered I had to check on my missions in World of Warcraft – great way to not get anything else done at that point any night!
  • Then I remembered I needed to do some research for articles to write.  And…you guessed it.  Instead of writing anything, I did all the research on it then sent the links to myself for writing in the future.
  • Fast forward to this weekend.  Where instead of writing one night, I decided to read the novel I needed to review.  On the plus side, I did get it read and I have written up the review and posted it on Amazon and other places as well as scheduled it to post here.

So when did I start getting writing done?

Saturday night.  And Sunday night.

They were long nights.  I just really need to learn not to procrastinate.  The good news, however, is I now have a bunch of posts scheduled over the plethora of sites I write for or own.  So Friday I will resume my self-promotion post with a list of all the articles I’ve posted through out the previous week.

December 23

Review: Dragonswan

dragonswan-dark-hunter-1.5_This review was originally posted on Romancing the Page in Sept. 2010.  The site is no more, so it is being reprinted in full here.

I originally stumbled across Sherrilyn Kenyon’s writing on accident.  I saw a small novella titled Dragonswan when I was looking through books at the grocery store.  The artwork is what drew me first (I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover), and honestly, the artwork with the celtic knots and the really handsome guy, is what made me pick up the tiny book.  I was looking for something new and figured if there was a small novella to read, I could judge if I would continue reading books by that author.

That novella sold me. After I got home, and started reading, I couldn’t put it down.  At 86 pages, it was incredibly short compared to the size of novels I usually read.  However, it was very well written and told the story, generating my interest me in one of her many worlds.

Dragonswan is a great mini-introduction into the world of Dark Hunters, and is loosely based off of Greek Mythology and the story of Lycaon.  The story features an unintentional heroine, Channon MacRae, a scholar, and her soon to be Were-Dragon mate, Sebastian.  Channon gets whisked through time to the time period she was studying as a historian by Sebastian, who she doesn’t know the Fates have picked as her mate.  She eventually faces a choice: save Sebastian or return to her time period without him.

The author deftly mixed romance, action and history in this short story.  Like many romance novels, you have your struggles, internal conflicts and conscience rearing it’s head in both of the characters.  Unlike most romance novels, you have the supernatural elements of time travel, magical abilities and, of course, the fact there are people who like humans that can shift into other specific forms, like a Dragon.

I really enjoyed reading the book.  It was a quick read, well-written and definitely different than what I had been reading.

If you’re looking for a book to read to see if you’d like reading supernatural romances, I highly suggest this book.  It will get you hooked.

For more information on her books, please visit: http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/

December 23

Give Your Heart a Break by Helen Peterson

I will be reviewing this book, as I received an ARC, right after Christmas – at least that’s my current plan since I plan to read it over Christmas and review it the day after – if things go according to plan. Until then, check out the information on this book released by Marching Ink today.

Give Your Heart a Break
Helen Peterson
Chick Lit
Release Date: December 23

About the Book

Gorgeous? Check.

Wealthy? Check.

Sweet? Double check.

When Rachel Thomas meets Mason Conner, it seems she has found a man who is everything she’s ever wanted. After years of the single girl life in New York City, she’s due for some luck in the romance department. But with her less than stellar track record, Rachel can’t seem to let go of her past failures to fall too hard.

That is until Mason’s ex-fiancé reappears, determined to steal him back. With more than winning Mr. Perfect’s heart on the line, is Rachel finally ready to give her heart a break?

Participating Blogs (besides mine)

Chick Lit Goddess
Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Polished and Bubbly
Samantha March
The Little Reading Cabin
Chick Lit Plus

helen-petersonAuthor Bio

Helen is a native of Toronto, Canada, who went to college to pursue marketing . She currently works at a bank as an administrative assistant but her love of writing and telling stories that others can relate to has helped her complete her first manuscript Give Your Heart a Break. Helen has always loved telling a story especially through song, staring in all her high school musical theatre productions like Oliver! and Anything Goes. Helen currently resides in Markham, Ontario.

Connect with Helen!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHelenPeterson
Twitter: @HelenPeterson37

Find the Book!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1zpFU5V
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23764139-give-your-heart-a-break
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/give-your-heart-a-break-helen-peterson/1120935368?ean=2940150199583
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/give-your-heart-a-break-4

You can enter to win a copy of the book here:Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

December 18

Review: Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke

stormlord-risingThis review is for the second book in the Watergiver series, titled Stormlord Rising, and is the book that contains more action and meat and potatoes of the story than the first book.

By the end of the first book, the Quartern is at war, the surviving Breccia rainlords are either enslaved or on the run, Terelle is headed with her grandfather to Khromantis and the dune tribes are planning raids and attacks in their attempt to rid the world of water sensitives and return to a time of “random rain”.

137 pages into the book and I hit a segment that really stood out to me – that really defines the character Laisa and how underhanded and manipulative she is.

…he asked, “Laisa, if you wanted to gain ascendancy over an enemy too strong to be defeated in battle, how would you do it?”

She turned her head to look at him.  So cat-like, he thought.  Bruised but sated. 

“That’s easy,” she said.  “Take hostage what he loves most in the world: his lover, his child, his land his wealth, his power, whatever.  The trick is to find out what he values most.  Then you will have your enemy in the palm of your hand.”

A slow smile lifted his lips as her words seeded the beginnings of an idea.  “of course.  Why didn’t I think of that.”

That segment means a lot to the rest of the book and the series and tells a lot about not only Laisa, but Taquar as well.  They will stoop as low as they have to to get exactly what they want from a person.  It should have also told Taquar that Laisa wasn’t to be trusted, and I think he knew that on some level, but didn’t take it to heart.

Jasper (Shale Flint) is full grown and back in the hands of Taquar in this book.  Terelle has escaped and not been able to be tracked by Taquar.  Jasper pines after her, but does his duty as the existing stormlord and with the help of Taquar, continues to bring water to the Quartern.

Similar to the first book, the story jumps back and forth between those in Scarcleft, to Terelle and Russet making their way to Khromantis, to Vera Redmane in the dunes tribes, and to Garnet/Ryka, Kaneth, Elmar and Ravard – who is actually Shale’s brother Mica who he thinks is deceased.

The story flows smoother and there are more definitive cut off points – logical places where the story shifts to another part of the story and it makes the transitions smoother than the transitions in the first book.

As I try not to spoil too much of the story (which I may have spoiled a bit above), the war within the Quartern is brought to a partial end by the end of the book, Shale and Mica know each other are alive but are going down very different paths, Ryka has her baby and many other things are discovered and the book has an ending that closes that part of the story and segues into the next book smoothly.

Even though there are plenty of unfinished stories left, the book ends in a good way to make you want to find out how things end in the third book.

This book receives 4 out of 5 stars.  I feel the writing is much improved in this book and the story flows smoother – perhaps due to the fact that all the world building and character defining happened in the first book and didn’t have to happen in this book.

If you struggled through reading the first book, I strongly encourage you to read this one as it will give you a better understanding into the first book and why it is the way it is.

You can learn more about Glenda Larke here:
On twitter @glendalarke
On facebook as Glenda Larke
and blogging at http://glendalarke.blogspot.com

 

December 16

Review: Rabbit in the Road

rabbit-in-the-roadI generally don’t preface my reviews with an introduction of any sort, but this time, I am going to.  Why?  Because I know the author.

September or October of 2010, Oliver had told me he was leaving EOGamer to work on a book he was writing.  Oliver was one of our main contributors for video game reviews on our site and I had seen him grow with each review, learning from mistakes as I made edits and soon, most of his stuff didn’t require much, if any editing.  I wished him well on his endeavor of writing a fiction book.  Lord knows I would like to find time to sit down and write and have the loving support he has had to do so, yet I haven’t found the time or the support to write the many novels I have started and left to the wayside.

Unlike most authors I know, Oliver and Danika did what most writers only dream of doing.  They finished their book, published it on the e-book market and when people started requesting hard copies of the book the looked into it and made it happen.  That’s dedication.  That’s living the writer’s dream and I know it isn’t easy.

Which brings me to reviewing the book.  Oliver had told me I was on the list for a free copy.  I told him, at the time, not to send it to me till I was able to read it.  Unfortunately, it was several months before I would have time or an e-book reader to read it.  I finally got a Nook after Christmas and Rabbit in the Road was the first book I read and finished on it. (He doesn’t know that till he reads this.)  However, in accordance with the FCC, I do have to disclose that I was given a copy of the book in epub format for reading and review purposes.

The book immediately introduces you to Beverly, a record store clerk with a love of singing, who is enjoying her life and her time with her boyfriend in a small town in the 1960s. Until things go awry.  Enter the antagonist Ray.

In less than a day her world turns upside down.  The people she knew, the people she loved, she had to run away from to keep them safe. She’d move cities, change her name, change her appearance, but Ray catches up.

The book is fast paced with well developed characters full of grit and emotion.  It tells the story in the only way it can be told: from a strong woman’s perspective who is doing everything she can to fit in and survive no matter what.  The descriptions put you in the scene and you turn the page eager to know what happens next in each encounter.

And the ending will surprise you (but I won’t spoil it).

As the debut novel for Danika Potts and Oliver Campbell, this 192 page novel is a definite must read.  Available in ebook and paperback format, be sure to purchase it…because it won’t be their last.  Click the links below to take you to purchase them.

Nook E-book
Amazon E-book
Amazon Paperback

December 12

Comedy of Errors Part 2: NanoWriMo

writers-dreamThis article references back to mid October when I posted the Comedy of Errors – My #SYTYCW14 Contest Entry  where I basically explain how every time I plan to do something, things go horribly wrong and my plans don’t go as planned.  This is a continuation of that post.

As many of you know, NanoWriMo is a time when authors dare to try to set time aside to write 50,000 words in one month – or the equivalent of a novel.  My novel was already 10k words in, but I need another 75k or so to meet the minimum requirements for the publisher I plan to submit it to.  I figured that it would work out well and that, despite all the things I knew were coming up in November, I could still tackle it.  It might be difficult, but it would still be doable.

Once again, life laughed at my well-intentioned plans and said “Yeah.  Right.  Keep thinking that chump.”

Life is such a fickle bitch.

I knew, going into November that we were going to be signing for our first house, if everything went as planned, Nov. 14.  Everything went as planned.  We got the house.  At which point we went into the flurry of pack pack pack pack pack, buy what you need for the new place, clean the new place before the movers come Nov. 23 etc.  So from Nov. 1 to Nov. 14 I wrote around 6,000 words on the novel.  Between the move date and end of November I wrote an additional 200-ish words or so.  So my word count sits at a little more than 18,000 words.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on that novel or the other ones I’m working on, it just means that having a potential publishing contract by end of 2014 won’t happen nor will having something self-published happen this year.  But it does mean I have time to unpack, write as I go and put out a quality piece of work that I can be proud of that I can then, hopefully, sell to a publisher.

If you want to see either of the current works in progress, including The Wolf Siren which is the one I’m trying to finish, check out the links at the top right side of the page.

 

December 11

Review: The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke

last-stormlordI want to start this book review off with a little bit of an intro into it.  I picked up the last book in the series first and read it and immediately wished I had realized it was a series and picked up the first two at the same time.  Unfortunately, I think when I grabbed it, I didn’t pay close enough attention that it was the third in the series.

That being said, book three can, sort of, stand by itself.  You miss the back stories of the characters, but things flow smoothly if you read it first like I did.  I ended up getting the first and second book on the Nook and am now reading through them a second time, which is why I’ve decided to go ahead and review them – in order – since I have all three.

The Last Stormlord is book #1 in the Watergivers series and is perhaps the hardest of the three books to read.  You are thrown into a fantasy, desert world where life-giving/saving water is distributed to the land by an old and dying “Stormlord.”

The world is populated, sparsely, with individuals who can detect or move water.  The lesser of these are reeves and they monitor the water in cisterns and distribution within a city.  Then there are rainlords who can sense water around them to varying degrees and move it.  Then stormlords.

Unfortunately, the last stormlord is dying and the plot of the story focuses on a search for water sensitive youths.

The story jumps between three different areas – the city of Breccia where the dying Stormlord and a number of rainlords live, the city of Scarcleft (sp?) and the Gibber Quarter where the future stormlord and main character of the three books is found.

The book jumps not only between stories of sets of characters and locations, but also in chunks of time.  Several times in the stories months and years jump past, which you may not catch right away if you aren’t paying attention to the headers of the story and the locations.

Ultimately, the first book in this series is a lot of world building, introducing us to multiple protagonists and antagonists, telling the back story and launching into the start of the ultimate stories.  It can be a bit hard to get into and to understand if you aren’t expecting a thought provoking read.  And this would be why I give this book out of the series a 3 out of 5 star rating.  While world building is important, the way things jump around, the length of time it takes to build the world and the way it’s built are not ideal.

That being said, if you are looking for a book that has both strong female and male protagonists and interesting antagonists along with a harsh world, I strongly suggest reading it because the books get better after you get through the first book and things will make more sense.

You can learn more about Glenda Larke here:
On twitter @glendalarke
On facebook as Glenda Larke
and blogging at http://glendalarke.blogspot.com

December 10

What’s On Your Christmas Wish List, Book Wise?

I am horrible about creating my Christmas Wish list each year.  My husband and family can easily attest to this fact – mainly because if I want something and I have the money for it, I just buy it for myself.   This post, however, is an attempt to create a list once again as I was reminded of creating this list when I posted it a few years back on my previous book review blog Kayhynn Turns the Page.  Seeing that topic, I decided I might as well revisit the topic this year and talk about books I want this year.

Besides, subtle hints don’t work, but books listed with links works well.

The following books are on my current want-in-paperback-form list:

The above is just a sampling of the books I want and what I have been devouring lately.  Almost anything by Gena Showalter, Kim Harrison and Sherrilyn Kenyon is on my list, but those I can have in Ebook format. All of these authors have way too many books to list!

Other books I wouldn’t mind having in ebook format include:

What books are on your Christmas Wish List?

Please note:  All books are linked to my Amazon affiliate account and give me a tiny bit of revenue. If you’re wanting to purchase one of the books, please help a poor writer out and purchase through my links.  I have not been asked to promote any of these books, I am just doing so because these are the books I like and want to read and want to provide easy access to finding them for others.

December 9

Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

GraveWitchI have a bad tendency to pick up books without paying attention to whether or not it’s a part of the series or not. I was delighted to discover that I had picked up the first in the the Alex Croft series in Grave Witch.

Written in the first person perspective, Grave Witch introduces us to the main character, Alex Craft, a private investigator, owner of Tongues for the Dead, and consultant for Nekros City Police Department.  Alex can raise shades of the dead to answer questions for her clients, including the police and attorneys.

The story starts off quick, drawing you into a myriad of events that end up flowing together.  Part mystery novel, the writer draws you along as the tension heats up along with the romantic tension between the protagonist and the antagonist (who ends up not being such a bad guy).  Just when you think things are going to slow down, it doesn’t.  I definitely didn’t want to put the book down when I first read it, trying to figure out all the questions that were in my head.  Who killed the governor?  Why?  And who is the mysterious FIB assigned to the case?  All of which are answered by the end of the book, along with a few surprises.

Like most paranormal books coming out lately, the modern day world has been “awakened” to the fact that there are other beings in the world: fae, magic, etc.  And like most of the books, there is a definite tension found between the old and the new ways, which Alex sees more and more as she discovers who killed the governor and what was being hidden from others.

This book, unlike some of the others I will review, was purchased with my own money from a book store and was chosen to review on my own decision, not at the request of the author or anyone else.

At 325 pages, Grave Witch is a delightful read if you are into paranormal mysteries with a hint of romance.  Romance is rated 13 as it doesn’t go into detail at all – unlike some steamy romance novels – and the book is definitely more of a paranormal action/mystery than romance.

A second book in the series, Grave Dancer, was recently released and I picked up on my last visit to Barnes and Noble.

You can read an excerpt of the book here on the official site.

It is available as a Nook e-book here

Amazon e-book: Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel

Amazon paperback: Grave Witch (Alex Craft, Book 1)


Grave Witch

Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 0451463803

Original review was posted here: http://kayhynnturnsthepage.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-review-grave-witch-by-kalayna.html