Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{Blog Tour} Ever Shade by Alexia Purdy


Ever Shade
A Dark Faerie Tale
By Alexia Purdy

Blurb:

A dark twist on faeries. For Shade, a chance meeting with a powerful Teleen faery warrior who wields electrical currents and blue fires along his skin- has her , joining him on a treacherous mission for the good Seelie Faerie Court across the land of Faerie. Magic and malice abound and nothing is what it really seems to be.

The evil Unseelie Queen and her treacherous allies are round every corner... as Shade makes her way across the breathtaking landscapes of the world of Faerie, which exists alongside the mundane human world. Shade discovers her own uncharted magic and meets some of the most powerful warriors in Faerie while battling evil dryads, conniving Teleen guards and challenges on her life with every step in a world where nothing can be taken for granted.

Excerpt

“Shade.”

The blue fire glowed around her, crackling and popping all around. The walls seemed to be so close to her,enveloping her like a cocoon. She stood up from the ground where she had woken.

Is this real? A dream? She did not know.

She felt the walls around her. Nothing but hard, cool stone and the sound of her own breath echoed around her. The fire came from the other side of the room. It stood like a pillar, the size of a man. In fact, as she stared longer into the flowing flames, the image of a man surfaced on the fire. She gasped. The man’s eyes were closed and his hands laid crossed over each other on the hilt of a gleaming sword. The blade glowed with blue fire too. Its hilt was made of red dark rubies that bled a deep red fire. It glowed down his middle, red, like blood flowing from his hands down the blade of the sword. 

Shade walked towards him, asking who he was. He didn’t respond to her inquiries, no matter how much she pleaded with him. She kept walking towards him slowly, her feet were bare but they did not feel cold on the stones like she thought they should. Her heart pounded in her throat as she reached towards the man. Help me, she whispered to him, her voice faint and weak. Her fingers were almost about to touch the blue flame engulfing his body. She felt afraid, not knowing if the flames would burn or scald her hand. She needed to wake him, to make him help her out of this place, this tomb. Her fingers were just a bit away now.

His eyes flew open, bright white light poured out of them and his mouth as he opened it.

A sound quite like loud ethereal music filled her ears to the point she had to cover them. The music seemed to scream into her. The words came now and were almost booming with the deafening music.

"AWAKEN NOW AND RUN SHADE!"

Shade screamed



About Alexia Purdy


Alexia currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada- Sin City! She love's to spend every free moment writing, or playing with her four rambunctious kids. Writing has always been her dream and she has been writing ever since she can remember. She love's creating paranormal fantasy and poetry and loves to read and devour books daily. Alexia also enjoys watching movies, dancing, singing loudly in the car and Italian food. Currently working on launching her debut dark parnormal fantasy Ever Shade- A Dark Faerie Tale series with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

Twitter: @AlexiaPurdy



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

{Giveaway} Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop





It's Leap Day!!!

Let's join Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Jinky is Reading for another wonderful blog hop.

This time, I'm doing things a little different. My girls over at Starbooks and I have been discussing a couple of really great series, so I am going to let you choose a book from one of these series. The giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository delivers to you.









Shade of Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready














Everneath by Brodi Ashton

or

Fracture by Miranda Megan












Divergent by Veronica Roth

or

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel




a Rafflecopter giveaway


For a complete list of participating blogs...click on READ MORE below...


{Excerpt} Blood Bound by Áine P Massie


Gosh guys, I reviewed Blood Bound back in October and I loved it. It's official release is February 29, 2012. The author, Áine P Massie, contacted me, asking if I would do a release promo for her and I said absolutely. I encourage you to run on over to one of the sales points below and grab a copy...you won't be sorry.

She's done a complete overhaul on the cover, I love it so much. It's absolutely stunning. Anywhoo...here's a little about this amazing series.

Amazon | Smashwords | All Romance
Synopsis:

How many ways can a hearts true love be shared? After poisoning, near death attacks, consummated passions, and possible insanity visit Anya, Nicholas, and Declán they embark on their future. Or at least they try to. Jealousy can be a pain, in more ways than one.

Can Anya protect her lovers, find peace within herself, and lead the House Millar? With her loves and guards, Nicholas and Declán, she sets out to do just that. If only life, eternal life, were that easy.


Come take a walk with our loving family and witness the strange turns and twists as life, love, and passions collide with greed, politics, and evil.

My Reviews and Interviews of the House Millar Series:


Excerpt

Stopping, he spun around looking at me with a strange, hungry glint. The look in his eyes set me ablaze in that moment. I struggled to maintain my control. I’m even more dangerous to him now than I ever have been before . . .

“Declán, a ghrá, what’s gotten into you?”

He didn’t speak. He reached out, grabbing my wrists, and started pushing me back into the tree that was just behind us. Pressing me into it, he covered my mouth with his, kissing me as he let out a whimpering moan. His mouth was hungry, and his body eager. My skin felt like it was burning everywhere he touched.

His attack knocked me off centre, and I lost more than a bit of my restraint. His heat, his intoxicating and maddening scent pushing me further . . . The craving for him was so exquisite, so painful. His sapphire eyes blazed as his body arched towards me, crushing me. Lifting me, he greedily devoured my kisses, clutching me tighter. My legs wrapped around him automatically. His fingers twisted in my hair pulling me tight against his lips. Letting out a rapturous moan, he pulled his face back arching his neck to me. I pressed my lips to the moist skin of his throat, feeling the pulsing, the dance of life beckoning to me – enchanted and tormented by the sweet fragrances that encompassed his being. I allowed my teeth to graze his skin.

No, no, no. This is too dangerous. I have to stop. I pulled away from his luscious throat but he used the grip on my hair to stop me. I watched with a surreal fascination as he pressed some strange metal object – it looked vaguely like a curved, sharpened thimble – into the flesh of his own neck and pulled me back to his neck.

What the hell . . . Oh Gods.

With a sudden gasp, I lost control. The moment his blood touched my tongue that strange ecstasy filled me again. This elixir, intoxicating and luscious, drove me into a frenzied euphoria, my body singing in delight. It was pure rapture as all of me delighted in the gift of his existence.

It was over so soon, almost too soon, as I was able to still keep my mind restrained, thankfully. I started to pull away, nicking my tongue and teasing lightly over the wounds with my blood – no need for him to hold the wounds.

“Why did you–” 

A Bit about Áine

Áine P Massie is originally from Florida, she now lives in Wisconsin where she works on her House Millar series full time while raising four children (the term herding cats comes to mind). Her major in College was Childhood Education (0-5) with a minor study in Deaf Culture/ASL. She is also a Wiccan priestess dedicated to the gods, family, and love.

A lifelong reader, Áine has always had a particular fascination with vampires, mythology, and the unusual. When she can escape from her children and books, she enjoys . . . oh yes, reading, playing, ritual, a good cappuccino, and working with her healing stones.

Her first published work came in high school where she was part of a writing and drama group. But, she’s been reading the likes of Shakespeare and Poe since late elementary school and enjoys most forms of fiction. Blood’s Voice has been a long time in coming and with its publication (June 2011) Áine embarked on a new chapter in her life.





BLOOD BOUND
Áine P Massie
Geas Publishing
Paranormal Romance / Fiction
eBook – $5.99
Paperback – $15.99
ISBN-13: 978-1463593025
ISBN-10: 1463593023
ASIN: B007CJ64WA
BN ID: 

Monday, February 27, 2012

{ARC Review} Masters of the Veil - Daniel Cohen


Title: Masters of the Veil
Series: The Veil Trilogy #1
Author: Daniel Cohen
Publisher: Spencer Hills Press
Release Date: March 1, 2012

FacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazonBarnes and Nobles

Synsopsis:

Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer.Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot.As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown. but all humankind.


I absolutely adored Masters of the Veil. It is a unique and creative read in today's sometimes overwhelming YA market. Daniel is taking JK Rowling's lead and putting a whole new twist on fantasy. I love that this book starts in Texas...being a Texas girl myself. When you combine Texas and Football...well, you can't go wrong. Then you throw in a heaping spoonful of magic and POW...you have the makings for an extraordinary novel. Congrats Daniel...you brought your A game. Ok...enough fan-girling. Let me tell you a little about this book.

Sam, the All-American hero - popular, talented, and a bit cocky - finds himself in a whole new world after a disastrous football game. Somehow he managed to freeze time and that, my friend, has consequences. Not to mention, from that point forward, things just continue to get weirder for Sam. He finds himself kidnapped and shuffled off for the Atlas Crown. Here he is expected to learn about his magic and how to control his powers. Hopefully Sam can return to his normal life...sooner, rather than later. At least this is what Sam believes he wants.

Sam is a very real character. He faces doubts, temptations, mistakes, and eventually success. He does so in a very teenagerish way - impulsive, angry, and with the finesse of a...well, football player in a china shop - so to speak. He's not happy with what seems to be his destiny...he wants to return to his hometown, play some football and possibly go pro. He wants to flirt, date, and worry about everything else later. He finds magic difficult and doesn't really have the temperament to work through it patiently. This will be his ultimate downfall. What teenager doesn't get frustrated and temperamental from time-to-time.

Daniel's writing is creative in ways I can only dream about. He invents foods that I'm dying to taste, animals that shouldn't exist (but I love that they do), and characters who make you feel. Daniel did a guest post about a character, Glissandro Thicket, who could only speak by playing his horn. I loved Glissandro. Born without the ability to speak, he was lucky enough to be a part of the magical realm. He acquired a horn...which you can read about HERE...and through sorcery, the horn now speaks for him. He is a strong but shy character who you can't help but fall for. Even the girls have a hard time keeping their hands off him.

Now...for those of you looking for heaps of romance...this isn't one of those books. There is flirtation and hints of relationships to come. Some girls are vying for Sam's attention, others are not so impressed with his cavalier and sometimes downright hostile attitude. With all this said, I highly recommend picking up Masters of the Veil...especially if you are looking for something off the beaten path. I doubt you will be disappointed.

The only problem I had was interpreting the different terminology. This is a high-fantasy book with many author-created terms. Other than that...a perfect diversion from my everyday life.

Masters of the Veil is an action-packed and thrilling ride through a magical land. The twists and turns will hold your attention and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.




Other Masters of the Veil related posts:
     ~Guest Post: Glissandro Thicket
     ~Interview with Daniel Cohen

*Thank you to Kate Kaynak, Daniel Cohen, and Spencer Hill Press for providing me with a free uncorrected ARC in exchange for my honest review. You guys are wonderful!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

{Review} Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Title: Shadows: A Lux Novella
Series: Lux #0.5
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Entangled Publishing
February 21, 2012

Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter ǀ Goodreads ǀ Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:


The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

I absolutely could not get my hands on this book soon enough. Like many people, I had already read Obsidian and loved it. I did have some idea as to what was coming in Shadows but I was still enthralled. I was jonesing for more Daemon and even though Shadows is Dawson's and Bethany's story, Daemon still got plenty of screen time - so to speak. Maybe enough to hold me over until Onyx...but I just don't know. Actually, I lie...I reread Obsidian, again. LOL.

Dawson thought the world stopped spinning when he first saw Bethany walk through the door of his English class. She was new and beautiful...but human. Off limits. Dangerous. Intriguing. Worth the risk? Totally. She won his heart within minutes. Truly love at first sight and, in Shadows, it completely works.

Unfortunately for Dawson, at least sometimes, he is a triplet. His slightly older brother, Daemon, is sort of a pain in the....well you know. And if you've read Obsidian...you really know. Daemon is against his brother's infatuation with Bethany...he doesn't see any way for their relationship to end well. Also, relationships with humans just don't make sense...but Dawson doesn't care about that. He just knows Bethany is the girl for him and he's not going to play by the stupid Luxen rules.

Dawson and Daemon may share looks but their personalities couldn't be different. Daemon feels protective over his brother and sister. He knows the Arum lurk in the shadows and want his powers. Bringing humans into the mix adds to the danger as Dawson will soon find out, proving Daemon right. Dawson is caring, funny, charismatic, and kind. He's his sister's best friend. He's...well, not Daemon.

And their sister...Dee, well she has some of the funniest lines in the entire book. I really do feel sorry for her if she ever falls for a human. Daemon is feisty crazy now, just try to imagine if 'lil sis' falls for a human. OMG...the thought scares the bejesus out of me. All of Petersburg, WV will be glowing.

Like everyone else, I want to speculate on what is actually going on with Dawson and Bethany but will refrain so not to spoil anything for anyone that hasn't read Shadows or Obsidian...but I definitely have a theory. We'll all just have to wait and see what happens together.

Okay...I've seen both praises and "just didn't likes" about the writing style of Shadows. Personally, I loved Jennifer's third-person writing style that lets you see into Daemon, Dawson, and Bethany. Obsidian is written in first person from Katy's POV and as funny and interesting that is, I love reading some of the scenes from Daemon's POV. I think seeing multiple POV's is so much fun and gives you a broader understanding of the events that shape and mold the book.

So now, I'll have to wait until August for Onyx...I just can't wait. If you haven't read Shadows or Obsidian...READ THEM NOW.

My Other Lux Series Reviews:
     ~Obsidian
     ~Shadows

Other Jennifer L. Armentrout Reviews:
     ~Half-Blood
     ~Pure - Coming March 23, 2012 (Pure Blog Tour)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

{Author Interview} Daniel Cohen - Masters of the Veil


I'd like to welcome Daniel Cohen, author or Masters of the Veil, to Better Read Than Dead for a quick and fun interview. His novel releases March 1, 2012 and is published by Spencer Hill Press. Be sure to pick up a copy. Also, check back here for my review soon.


About the Author:

Daniel A. Cohen was just your average business student. Microeconomics, finance, marketing… you name it, he had to do a PowerPoint presentation on it. One dark and stormy night, he was bitten by the radioactive realization that memorizing business jargon could possibly be the most boring activity known to man.

After gaining eagle-eye vision, abs that could grate cheese, and a talent for imagining things (including his cheese-grating abs), he wrote his first novel and began his epic battle against the formidable business jargon. He continues to fight the good fight by playing saxophone and writing YA fantasy, forever hoping his Veil trilogy will help inspire others to join his cause.




Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes and Nobles


Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer.Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot.As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown. but all humankind.

Here's what Daniel has to say about Masters of the Veil and other things.

~Kristin:  Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live?
Daniel:  I just moved to Austin to pursue my love of playing rock and r&b sax, which I’ve been doing for about 15 years now. Austin is the live music capital of the world and I can’t even begin to tell you how much music there is here (although it’s quite a competitive scene). 
***I love Austin…in fact, I plan to live there someday. My sister lives there now and her significant other is in a band. I wish you the best of luck in your musical and writing endeavors.***

~Kristin:  What is the name of the book you are currently promoting?
Daniel:  “Masters of the Veil.” The first book in the Veil trilogy.

~Kristin:  Where did you come up for the idea for your book?
Daniel:  I actually remember the moment the idea hit me. I was pondering how much I love and respect the Harry Potter series when I thought to myself, “What would a fantasy book be like if the main character was a popular, sociable character instead of an unloved outcast? And what would it be like if he/she was taken from his/her awesome, comfortable life in our world and thrown into a magical world?

The idea took off from there.

~Kristin:  Tell us a little about your main character(s).
Daniel:  Sam Lock is (or was) the king of Stanton High School. He’s good-looking, very popular, and has a bright future as a football player. He’s brash and comes off as arrogant, but he actually has a good heart. 
***I loved Sam, even with his arrogance. LOL***

~Kristin:  Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Daniel:  My favorite character is a young sorcerer named Glissandro Thicket. I know I talked about him in my guest post, but I want to talk about him all the time. He’s a lanky, curly-haired sorcerer on the brink of adulthood. He was born without the ability to talk, but he somehow found a way to speak through playing music on his horn.

He’s based on a type of person that I feel like happens all too often. He’s talented, has a kind heart, plenty of wisdom, but because of certain life circumstances, he’s shy and lacks the self-esteem to shine as bright as he could.

~Kristin:  Do you feel like you put parts of yourself in your characters?
Daniel:  Absolutely.

~Kristin:  Will there be a sequel or do you have another project in the works?
Daniel:  I’m actually working on the sequel right now. It’s called, “Children of the Veil,” and I’m on the tail end of the first draft. I don’t mean to sound pompous (like a certain football player), but this book is so awesome! It dives further into the magical world and reveals some pretty crazy stuff about the Veil and the characters.  
***I doubt seriously that you sound pompous. I have read Masters of the Veil and you have reason to sound confident. J***

~Kristin:  How long did the entire process from writing your current work to getting it published take?
Daniel:  About three and a half years. From the plants and animals, to the magic, I wanted my world to be completely unique. Since I had to come up with everything from scratch, it took a long time, but it was 100% worth it. 
***You created some of the coolest and yummiest sounding plants and animals. I wouldn’t mind a taste of the Dreckler cotton.”

~Kristin:  Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Daniel:  I read a ton, which definitely helps drum up some creativity. Patrick Rothfuss is my current literary hero. Everyone should do themselves a favor and pick up, “The Name of the Wind.” (After “Masters of the Veil” of course) 
***”Masters of the Veil” first guys…remember that.”

~Kristin:  Do you have any “rituals” when you write?
Daniel:  Besides staining every shirt I own with coffee? No, not really.

~Kristin:  If you couldn’t be an author, but anything else…what would you be?
Daniel:  The saxophone player for the Dave Matthews Band. 
***LOVE the Dave Matthews Band***

~Kristin:  Independently published or commercially published?
Daniel:  Independently. Spencer Hill Press is PHENOMINAL! I advise any YA paranormal/ fantasy author (agented or otherwise) to submit to them.  
***I’ve heard this about them and I have to say that I have enjoyed working with them from the blogging end of life also. I know a lot of my readers are familiar with The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Half Blood and Pure). Same publisher.***

~Kristin:  Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Daniel:  Keep pushing. All it takes is one ‘Yes’ to change your life. 
 ***Wise, wise words.***

~Kristin:  When did reading and writing become important you?
Daniel:  My father instilled the importance of reading in me from a very young age, although I didn’t inherit his superhuman reading speed (More than 100 pages an hour!). I didn’t start writing until I was a little older. 
***Wow. 100 pages an hour. Crazy.***

Fun Stuff

~Kristin: What 5 things are within your reach right now? No cheating?
Daniel: Haha, dang. Ok, well I’m at a coffee shop so… a cup of coffee, a copy of my book (give me a break! I just got the advance copies!) Scrabble, a copy of Fahrenheit 451, and Candlyland (It’s on the other table. I SWEAR!)
***Oh, I have a copy of your book in my reach also. I love Fahrenheit 451 – awesome read.***

~Kristin:  Favorite Food?
Daniel:  Chicken wings.

~Kristin:  Favorite TV show?
Daniel:  Entourage.

~Kristin:  Favorite Song?
Daniel:  New York State of Mind, by Billy Joel. The sax solo is what made me become serious about my instrument.


~Kristin:  Favorite singer or band?
Daniel:  The Dave Matthews Band.

~Kristin:  One food you would never try?
Daniel:  How about a food that I WISH I never tried. That would be the vegan turkey jerky that my brother was eating at Thanksgiving. He gave up meat and he’s been trying to convert me… let’s just say that the vegan jerky was not the best argument.
***I cannot imagine vegan turkey jerky. I can’t see it being a good argument for anything positive – just saying. LOL***

~Kristin:  Health nut or junk food junkie?
Daniel:  Both if you believe it. It depends on how often I make it to the gym, and if I can keep my momentum going.

~Kristin:  Two books you think everyone should read. (Yes, you can and should include yours.)
Daniel:  “The Name of the Wind,” by Patrick Rothfuss.
               “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho.

~Kristin:  Places my readers can stalk you?
               The Veil Trilogy Blog
               The Veil Trilogy Facebook Page

TBR Intervention - Hereafter and Beautiful Chaos

TBR Intervention is a weekly challenge hosted by 
and April@Books4Juliet


The goal of this challenge is to help each other (fellow readers and bloggers) manage our enormous and constantly growing TBR (To-Be-Read) List. The rules are simple and everyone is encouraged to participate. It does not force you to commit to more than what you can manage to read in a week or so, but participants are encouraged to read at least one book within a week. You are free to choose the book you want to read and commit to this challenge. You may post your entry every Saturday, at the frequency of your choice--EVERY WEEK or EVERY TWO WEEKS. However, we will sponsor this event regularly every Saturday.

Starting again...again! LOL!
Nope, haven't finished Hereafter or Beautiful Chaos yet. It's not that I haven't been reading...I have. I just have been reading review books and doing my beta-reading thing and working on my project. At any given time, I am actually reading 5 different books and that can get to be a little much. But...I am going to finish Hereafter and Beautiful Chaos this week. I am...I promise!


 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I've Been Tagged Times Four

Howdy all!!! I've been blessed to have made so many super blogging friends...many of whom have tagged me in the last couple of weeks. I HEART you all. And...since so many wonderful people have been kind enough to show me some love...I'm returning the favor to each and every one of you!

I am breaking the rules here...I answered all the questions, but because it seems that I run in the same circle of bloggers as everyone else...I'm not going to pick any other bloggers. You've all posted answers to questions and I don't want anybody to feel pressured to do another post! But...if you would like to comment and answer questions...here are the 11 things I want to know about you.

1. Do you blog? If so...what's your blog address?
2. What genre of books is your favorite?
3. What is your favorite quote?
4. If you could spend 24 hours as any one character, who would it be?
5. Do you read classics? If so, what's your favorite?
6. What makes you feel like you've read a truly amazing book - yep, I stole this one, just wanna know.
7. Do you read self-published authors? If so, name one or two of your favorites.
8. How long, on average, does it take you to read a 300 page book?
9. Where's the one place you've always wanted to go but never have been?
10. What's your favorite movie or television show?
11. Best book you've read in the last 6 months?

First to my great friend and Starbooks buddy...Lis at the Reader Lines...who tagged me first, here are your answers...LOL.



1. Do you read for fun or to learn... Well, I have this quote that I love... "You should never read just for 'enjoyment.' Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends' insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick 'hard books.' Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god's sake, don't let me ever hear you say, 'I can't read fiction. I only have time for the truth.' Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of 'literature'? That means fiction, too, stupid." ~ John Waters in Role Models

Anywhoo...the reason I love this quote is because it is so true. I honestly read to escape, but I think reading is one of the most important things anyone can do. I know with every book I read...I learn something I didn't know. Sometimes it's about myself, sometimes it's about someone else. So...the answer to the question is...I read for fun, but if you read, you learn.

2. Who's your favorite author? Oh gosh...this changes from day-to-day. Of course there's Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices), Karen Marie Moning (Fever Series - Adult Urban Fantasy), and Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Lux, The Covenant Series, and more to come.)

3. Which is my most hated book? I don't hate any book...ever. Authors put months and sometimes years worth of blood, sweat, and tears into their work. I have the utmost respect for all authors. Now...that said, there are definitely books I don't enjoy or think the writing could have been better...but all writing is artwork and all people have different likes and dislikes.

4. Which book do I love the most? This depends on the day. Overall...I have to say that my favorite series is probably The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. My favorite book that I have read recently is Divergent by Veronica Roth. LOVED IT! Oh, and I must chose an adult type book also...The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning.

5. Have I cried over a book lately? Gosh...I don't think I have cried over a book in the last month or two, which is very unusual. I'm sure I'll find something to cry over soon. I did watch Charlie St. Cloud and The Vow recently. Cried at both of those movies...maybe that's why I haven't cried over any books...Hmmm?

Wait...I lied. The Statistical Probability of Love at Sight. Yeah...I cried.

6. What book would you like to be a part of? Oh, I want to be part of Divergent. I know...scary, right? But I love politics and I love the premise of this story. Peace by separating people by personality...it'll never work, but the thought is intriguing. Yes...definitely Divergent.

7. If fictional boys were real, who would I like to meet? Not fair...there are entirely too many. I would start with Jace from The Mortal Instruments (Come on...who wouldn't), then probably Four from Divergent, and definitely Daemon from Obsidan. Oh crap...then there's Aiden and Shay from The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. And well...I'd really like to meet Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments...pure curiosity there. LOL.

8. Reality books or fantasy? Fantasy all the way.

9. Do you judge a book by it's cover? Hmmm...well, yes, sometimes I do. I just can't help it. Show me a pretty cover and I'm getting me a book. I've been both disappointed by pretty covers and surprised with pleasure by not so beautiful covers.

10. What book would you like to see become a movie? I don't know. I mean, there are a lot of books that have had movie rights purchased but I never read a book and think, wow, I'd love to see this book made into a movie. Although, I am looking forward to The Hunger Games..

11. Have you been disappointed by some book? Yes, I have. Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer was a huge let down for me...but hey, life is full of disappointments, right?

Next, I was tagged by author, blogger, and friend Aine P. Massie.


1. First book I reviewed? Demon Kissed by HM Ward. Loved that book and still attempting to finish the series. Looking back...my review skills have definitely improved...thank goodness.

2. Best book I've ever read? I'll refer you to question 4 above.

3. Favorite genre? Definitely YA Paranormal Romance or YA Urban Fantasy. No question about it.

4. Paperback, Hardback, Ebook, or Audiobook? In this order...Hardback, Paperback, Ebook, then Audiobook.

5. Favorite place to read? Winter - Curled up under the covers with some good music and hot chocolate. Summer - nothing better than a little poolside reading or, when I get a chance, the beach.

6. What drew me to blogging? Too much time on my hands. Yeah...really. I became a stay at home mom and needed something to do...already read...why not blog?

7. How much time do you spend working on your blog? Too much. LOL. The month of February has been a light month as far as blogging goes. I've been beta-reading and working on my own WIP. Maybe someday, I'll tell ya about it. LOL.

8. Books that I am most excited to see released? Well, there are just so many. The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare tops my list. Then well, there's Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (which won't release until 2013...but I'm looking forward to it.) Until I Die by Amy Plum. Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent. Insurgent by Veronica Roth...Okay...well, you get the point. Too many to count.

9. If I could meet any book character, who would it be? I'll refer you to question 7 above.

10. Team Dimitri or Team Adrian? Adrian, of course.


Next...one of the best friends a girl can have, April from Books 4 Juliet and Starbooks.


The rules to this one are simple enough...10 things about myself.

1. I said I would never have kids...I lied. I have two beautiful girls who are my world and lost a son who is now my guardian angel.
2. I am one of the clumsiest people I know...I think that's the reason I can connect with Bella.
3. I'm actually a bit agoraphobic. (I get anxious when I'm forced to mix with people I don't know.)
4. I'm highly scared of spiders...ask anyone. Nothing with eight legs should be able to jump...it's just wrong.
5. I was a nurse in another life...okay, in this one...it's just been a while.
6. I hate, hate, hate the cold weather. I don't like snow...I don't think it's pretty. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's just plain evil.
7. I love Edgar Allen Poe.
8. My favorite color is purple...
9. I have 2 tattoos and I want more...I also have my tongue pierced and want my nose pierced.
10. My life revolves around this simple rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's all anyone really needs. Keep it simple.

Shanan from The Book Addict was kind enough to bestow me with the One Lovely Blog Award and I wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! You rock Shanan!



And last, but not least...Niina from For the Love of Reading.


1. What makes you feel like you’re reading or have read a truly amazing book? When I get pulled so deep into a book that I have no idea what time it is or what's happening around me...I know I've found an amazing book. When I finish reading and fall asleep thinking about the book...amazing. When I dream about the book... phenomenal. When I'm still thinking about a book two weeks after I've read it...sensational.

2. If you could only read 3 books of your favorite genre for the rest of your life what would they be, and why? Oh my...only 3 books ever? Well...The City of Lost Souls, of course. Insurgent by Veronica Roth...and then see, we're stuck. Because both of those books are the next to last book in their respective series...so I would have to read the next books. Only 3 books...nope, can't do it.

3. What makes a hero sexy? So many things make a hero sexy. I like my heroes broken...the more pieces, the better. Confidence combined with a touch of arrogance gets me hot. Snarky and charming. Tall, dark, and sublimely gorgeous doesn't hurt. But most of all...they care about their heroine above all else.

4.What’s the biggest turn on in a guy, fictional or real life? This is going to make me seem weak, like all those heroines we get so annoyed with...but I want someone whose whole life will revolve around mine. I want someone to take care of me and complete me. So, yeah...we're talking fictional. LOL.

5. What’s the best compliment you’ve received on your writing? And who complimented you? Jamie Magee, author of the Insight Series, once said..."I wish I had another book published for you to read - you make me smile." And another author once said... "Your review made me want to read my own book." I looked for which book that was...but I can't find it and don't remember. Anyway...these things made me happy...but...I'll hold that thought because I'm working on my own book and I don't want to jinx anything.

6. Would you rather meet real vampires or werewolves? Oh, come on...a vampire of course.

7. Who is your current book boyfriend? Today...well, it's Daemon from Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout. I read Shadows last night and it forced me to reread Obsidian. I swear...it held a gun to my head. LOL?

8. Do you like your men Alpha-male or submissive? Alpha-male baby!!!

9. What is your favorite guilty treat? Tiramisu and a Grande Vanilla Latte with Whipped Cream and extra vanilla.

10. M&Ms best With or Without Peanuts? With Peanuts...definitely!

11. Which one would you choose Bad boys or Good guys? I do love me some bad boys. A little risk for a lot of fun!

{Giveaway & Blog Tour} On the Rim of Love by Marie Astor



Hey everyone! I would like to welcome Marie Astor, author of On the Rim of Love, to Better Read Than Dead. She has been kind enough to provide us with a great guest post on developing story lines as well as a Fantastic Contest! The Big Prize - A Kindle Touch...not to mention a Kindle 3G Skin. I want to thank Kismet Tours for allowing me to take part in this completely awesome tour! Shout outs to Heather and Danny!

About Marie Astor - websiteFacebookTwitterGoodreads

Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre.

Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels, On the Rim of Love, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.

In addition to being a writer, Marie is an avid hiker, an excellent swimmer, a good skier, and a capable badminton player.

Currently, Marie is working on her next novel – stay tuned for details! If you would like to receive updates about book releases and events, please visit Marie’s website or visit Marie at her Facebook page.



How do you develop your story lines?

I often get asked how I develop the storylines in my novels. I am always thinking of new plots for romance novels, and I have to say that the storyline development process varies for each novel: some plots are driven by characters, while others are inspired by locations.

When I started writing my contemporary romance, Lucky Charm, I knew that wanted to write a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship. As I started to think about the friendship between the heroine, Annabel, and her best friend, Lilly, the characters of Annabel and Lilly started to crystallize in my mind. The two women could not be more different: Annabel is quiet and cautious, while Lilly is boisterous and easygoing – I enjoyed writing about their friendship, as I did about the different approaches to relationships that Annabel and Lilly took. And then, of course, it would not be a contemporary romance without the male leads – Annabel’s and Lilly’s beaus: Etienne and Simon who are the perfect counterparts to their ladies.

For my contemporary romance, On the Rim of Love, which takes place in British Columbia, the setting was the inspiration for the plot. I visited Banff, British Columbia two winters ago and I was instantly smitten by its beauty – the vast open spaces, the towering mountain cliffs and the white, sparkling snow that seemed to stretch endlessly. I have always thought that there is something very special about the atmosphere of ski towns, and I was charmed by Banff’s quaint streets and the wonderful people who walked them. An idea for a contemporary romance became to form in my mind: big city girl meets a big-mountain skier who is rooted in his small hometown. By the end of my ten-day stay at Banff, I had jotted down an outline and notes on the main characters: Maggie and Taylor, as well as Taylor’s best friends: Shawn and Hannah. The hardest part was over: all that remained for me to do was to sit down and write Maggie’s and Taylor’s story. I hope that you’ll join Maggie and Taylor on their journey!




About On The Rim Of Love - Goodreads, Amazon

Twenty-two-year-old Maggie Robin has been dating the irresistibly good-looking Jeffrey Preston for a year. But when Jeffrey proposes marriage to her a week after her college graduation, Maggie finds herself wondering if she wants to spend the rest of her life married to a workaholic TV show producer.

Her doubts culminate when during a ski trip to British Columbia she meets Taylor Denton, a handsome, free-spirited big mountain skier.

Maggie’s attraction to Taylor is undeniable, but she is engaged to marry Jeffrey. Will Maggie have the courage to follow her heart?


Now that you know a little about On the Rim of Love...enter to win a beautiful Kindle 3G Skin...


How? Just complete this Rafflecopter...that's it! Easy-Peasy.
Open US/Canada. See full contest rules here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Complete list of all the tour stops...be sure to drop by!

Monday, February 13th - Riverina Romantics 
Tuesday, February 14th - Snowdrop Dreams of Books 
Wednesday, February 15th - My Reading Room 
Thursday, February 16th - Books Like Breathing 
Friday, February 17th - Obsession with Books 


Monday, February 20th - Reviews By Molly 
Tuesday, February 21st - Sweeping Me 
Wednesday, February 22nd - A Casual Reader's Blog 
Thursday, February 23rd - Better Read Than Dead 
Friday, February 24th - I'm Just Sitting Here and Read 


Monday, February 27th - Hesperia Loves Books 
Tuesday, February 28th - A Tale of Many Reviews 
Wednesday, February 29th - Library Mosaic 
Thursday, March 1st - The Magic Attic 
Friday, March 2nd - Ce-Ce's Garden Reviews

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WoW - Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

Title: Bitterblue
Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Companion to Graceling and Fire

Synopsis:

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

I loved Graceling and Fire and I am anxiously awaiting Bitterblue. Little did I know...there's a lot of controversy surrounding this book on Goodreads. WTH? Just makes me more anxious to read it.

What book are you anxiously awaiting?

{ARC Review} The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal

Title: The Lifeguard
Author: Deborah Blumenthal
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Source: NetGalley

Website ǀ Twitter ǀ Goodreads ǀ Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with Pilot, the lifeguard with shamanic skills. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.



The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal is unique within the YA Genre. It had a touch of philosophy written into a semi-paranormal romance...which is why I hoped I would love it. I do love anything philosophical, but love this novel, I didn't and I am deeply saddened. I felt like this book had a lot of potential...it just didn't quite get there. It fell short in the world-building department for me. The story never swept me off my feet like I hoped it would.

Sirena's parents are getting a divorce so they ship her off to Rhode Island to stay with her aunt for the summer. She spends most of her time on the beach...sometimes drawing and painting, sometimes enjoying the view of the on duty lifeguard but always thinking about her parents. Now...while some will say that Sirena's and Pilot's relationship was insta-love...and maybe on Sirena's part it was...but honestly, I thought it moved a little slow on Pilot's part. 

Pilot was a tad bit annoying. Usually when I feel a character is annoying, I can overlook it because I feel like they have a reason to keep secrets or try to dissuade the significant other from falling for them. I do believe these were Pilot's intentions, but in the end, it didn't seem like he had all that much to hide. And his relationship with his ex-girlfriend turned sister-like-friend bothered me. For something that was supposed to be completely platonic (at this stage), they were often caught in seemingly compromising situations.

I loved Antonio...the mysterious friend of Sirena's aunt who turned out to be much more. He is the gatekeeper, so to speak. He is the fountain of knowledge...the one Sirena can ask about the ghosts residing in her aunt's attic. Antonio is also the answer to Sirena's questions about Pilot and his uncanny sense of timing. 

It takes a tragic event for Sirena to realize that her parents' divorce will not be the end of the world. Once this happens, the story speeds up and becomes more interesting...only to lead to an unsatisfying end...at least in my opinion.

I truly had high hopes for this book. I mean, who doesn't want to love a book with a hot guy on a beach for the cover. And I loved the name Pilot...how hot is that? Don't get me wrong...there were definitely good points in this book...but overall...it was simply average.

*I was provided a free and uncorrected e-copy of The Lifeguard  by NetGalley and Albert Whitman in return for my honest review.

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