Tuesday, October 30, 2012

COG - Summer 2013

Coming in the Summer of 2013... 
"In a futuristic world where personalities can be downloaded at will, who's a girl to trust?"

COG by K. Ceres Wright - a Cyberpunk SciFi novel

Cover Artist: Bradley Sharp
Publisher: Dog Star Books

Read more about COG and K. Ceres Wright on her website here.  Happy Cover Reveal Day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review Day and Read-a-long: Owlet

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have an excerpt from the book as part of the review - a read-a-long excerpt - and a giveaway!

Title: Owlet
Author: Emma Michael
My Rating: 5 stars

Book Blurb:
Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the fa├žade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Susan Abel Sullivan - How I Got Started As A Writer

Hey guys!  Susan Abel Sullivan is taking over today with a guest post all about how she got started as a writer!  Enjoy!

Where do you get your ideas?  What inspired you to write this book? 

As an author, I’m frequently (and I mean, frequently) asked these questions by non-writers.  The answer is not always simple.  A work as complex as a novel is often inspired by a variety of sources.  Case in point: The Haunted Housewives of Allister, Alabama.

I’ve been writing since I was eighteen, but back in 2004 I hit a period of non-writing and floundering. Not really writer’s block.  More like a lack of direction and no concrete ideas that grabbed me.  I was lamenting all this to my sister, and in her infinite wisdom, she said, “Write what you know.”

Well, at that time, what I knew was: being a housewife, living in the Deep South, baton twirling, historic homes, marching band, and having a sister for my best friend.  My husband and I bought a Victorian home and we discovered a painting in the basement that raised all sorts of interesting questions.  There was also an internet hoax at that time about a haunted painting of a little boy and a bunch of creepy hands.  The little boy was reputed to leave the painting at night. 

So, I wrote a draft of a paranormal mystery about a haunted painting titled The House Detective, utilizing all of these things I knew.  I took the first few chapters to the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2005 and discovered A) haunted painted stories were a dime a dozen and B) I needed to either scrap the whole haunted painting plot altogether or come up with a fresh angle. 

However, one of the elements the writers-in-residence and other workshop attendees did like about the work was a paint-by-number Jesus.  And no, this was not the haunted painted in the book.  One of the writers-in-residence thought I should take that element, add in Holy-Roller antagonists and run with it, that it was my subconscious bubbling up and to trust my subconscious.  But the workshop director disagreed. 

So I put The House Detective aside and spent the next two years writing short stories to learn the craft of writing.  My workshop roomie had introduced me to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels and I ate them up like candy.  I also watched TV shows like Desperate HousewivesFriendsThe X-Files and Sex and the City.  I wanted to try my hand at writing a zany romantic comedy fused with Southern Gothic, paranormal mystery and urban fantasy—a conglomeration of all the things I loved in fiction and TV. 

So, I asked myself, how can I turn the haunted painting motif on its head for comic effect?  And the answer was not a paint-by-number Jesus, but a black velvet painting of Elvis that supposedly sang “Heartbreak Hotel” in the dead of night.  And I took the Holy Roller idea and morphed it into a cult of Elvis fanatics who call themselves The Church of the Blue Suede Shoes.  And all those things I “knew” went into the mix again.  And what came out was The Haunted Housewives of Allister, Alabama.

So . . . everyday life is steeped with inspiration.  If you’re having trouble with ideas, take my sister’s advice and write what you know.  The results may pleasantly surprise you.

~Susan Abel Sullivan~

You can guarantee we will be hearing more from Susan in the future, especially her books.  It was such a pleasure to hear her story.  Check out her book Haunted Housewives on World Weaver Press.  Who else is feeling inspired to go write their *inner novel*?!  Happy Guest Post Day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Hive Five - Book Nerd Style!

Here are five book-ish and nerd-y things I have been loving lately.

Newspaper/Book Print Nails!
What's better than supporting your fav author than wearing their book on your nails?  I love this idea, and think I'll recreate it this weekend.  I might use a different color background though...hm.  This is a really super easy nail design to re-create.  If you're interested, just go to YouTube and look up "newspaper nails".  There are tons of tutorial videos.

River Song's Journal Kindle Case!
I love Doctor Who (the new version), so when I saw this Kindle case I was so excited!  River Song is a big character in the latest Doctor Who for those who don't watch the show.  She goes on tons of adventures with the Doctor and writes it all down in a Tardis shaped, Tardis blue journal.  This Kindle case is the spitting image of the real journal and made my little geeky heart so happy.  It's such a cool case I didn't even think it was a case at first!  They are sold on Etsy for $45.00 (a little expensive, but so worth it).
Outside of the journal case - how awesome is that!?
Inside of the journal case.

Edgar Allen Poe booksi Charging Dock for iPhone and iPod!

I love my iPod and love E.A.P. (if you haven't noticed).  I found these really cool *booksi* charging docks on Etsy   They are charging docks nestled into books!  There are tons of different books you can choose from, but I love EAP and the colors of this book.  They cost about $55.00, super super expensive for a custom charging dock. But so preeettttyyyy...

"I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie" Poster!
You know you sang that title...and liked it.  Admit it.  ;)  I had to include this one because I would need this in my *dream library* some day.  Absolutely hilarious and perfect!  A large sized print of this costs $15.00 from Onered and you get to choose the colors.

Origami Book Print Earrings!
Need I say more?  There earrings, made of book print (or "I love you" script paper) and it's origami and they are cute little cranes!  I love these earrings.  And now I'm addicted to origami word print earrings.  These more-than-adorable earrings are only $15.00 from Beadiologist, a shop on Etsy.  Not too bad for a teeny tiny pair of handmade origami earrings!

What are your favs this week?  Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or Tweet Me using the #HiveFive.  Happy Hive Five!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review Day: Shadow Man

Welcome to the Shadow Man blog tour!  As part of the tour, I decided to write a review of the book.  See where the tour will stop next here.

Title: Shadow Man
Author: Mark Murphy
Rating: 5 stars

Book Blurb:

There is a devil in the night, silent and invisible, moving in the dream realm between life and death. And he's coming for you.

Savannah surgeon Malcolm King had a perfect life—a loving wife, devoted daughter, and a thriving medical practice. But when a random airport parking lot hit-and-run links him to a dead body in a Florida hotel and an acquaintance is found dismembered and stuffed into a garbage bag, Malcolm finds himself on the run as a suspected serial killer. But he's no murderer. 

Or is he?

Who is the mysterious Thin Man who lurks at the edges of his vision? Are the ravens that crowd the skies overhead a warning of impending doom - or do they exist at all?

With the help of Seminole tracker Billy Littlebear, Malcolm tries to untangle the web of clues left behind by a mysterious chameleon-like killer known as the Shadow Man. But will he be too late?

The Shadow Man is a complex, atmospheric thriller in the tradition of Stephen King. Darkly evocative and relentless in its twists and turns, it dares the reader to put it down - even for a minute.

My Review:
A heart-pumping, down-right gut wrenching mystery/thriller/suspense novel that should be sold next to the big names of suspenseful fiction.  My goodness!  I was anxious and nervous for the main character!  I read this long book in about one and a half days, loving every second of it.  This novel is what nightmares are made of..the killer who can't be caught, the main character who does everything to clear his name but can never catch a break, a family torn apart, and brutal murders that even the most *seasoned* of murder investigators couldn't handle.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wolf Sirens

It is my pleasure to introduce another new book!  Today's book is Wolf Sirens by Tina Smith.  I have an new book description, video and author bio just for my followers.  The Wolf Sirens was released on July 20, 2012 and is the first in the series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ANSA: M.X. Kremzen

Welcome everyone to another meeting of ANSA (Authors Not-So Anonymous)!  This week it is my pleasure to introduce M.X. Kremzen into the group.

M.X. Kermzen is a Candian YA and sci-fi/fantasy author who's a true nerd at heart.  "I love science, technology, superheroes, and all that fun stuff! But, for some strange reason, technology hates me. Phones break down, cameras stop working, batteries die out for no reason. A computer I once owned literary exploded. Sparks and smoke were involved.  On a positive note, if Skynet ever takes over or the Matrix turns out to be real, I'll be a good person to have around.  :)"

He started writing three short years ago, fulfilling a his dream. "It was something I really wanted to do ever since I read Harry Potter when I was younger, but I didn't have any good ideas until the concept for The Dark Matter Chronicles series came to me. I didn't know how challenging it would be to write a novel until I was well into the first draft of Dark Rising, and by then, I couldn't stop." During his writing career, he has been inspired by J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Alexandre Dumas, and Frank Herbert, as well as the sci-fi/fantasy community. "But I draw a lot of inspiration from things like scientific articles or great music as well. I'm also addicted to TED videos."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review Day: Worlds Collider (A Shared-World Anthology)

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Title: Worlds Collider: A Shared-World Anthology

Author: Jonathan GreenKelly HaleJames Moran, Aaron RosenbergRichard Wright, Jonathan TemplarSimon Kurt UnsworthTrent ZelaznySteven SavileRichard Salter
My Rating: 5 stars (I wish I could give it more!)

~Anthology means a collection of stories put together in one book, typically written by multiple people.  This collection was written by multiple authors, edited by Richard Salter, and share one world.  I decided to rate this book as a whole, not as individual stories.  If you would like to see individual reviews as well, let me know.~

Book Blurb...
The Collision is the worst disaster in human history. So far…

In the near future, an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider causes an enormous explosion, known as the Collision. The blast flattens a huge chunk of central Europe and punches a massive hole in the Earth’s surface. Over the next decade, unspeakable horrors pour from the rift: vicious creatures with a taste for human flesh, a terrible scream that drives all who hear it insane, a phantom entity that feeds on fear and paranoia, and a nightmare train from the pits of hell, to name but a few. This onslaught of terror causes the collapse of civilization and threatens to wipe humanity from the planet.

World’s Collider is a unique concept in short fiction, where all eighteen original stories are part of a common narrative, recounting the disaster and its aftermath. A true novel by many voices, including Steven Savile, James Moran, Aaron Rosenberg, Trent Zelazny, Jonathan Green, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Kelly Hale, Richard Wright and a host of new talent.

Fifty million people died in the Collision. They were the lucky ones…

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kickstart this! (ended)

Hey everyone!  I have something new for you today.  Please, watch the video first...then I'll explain.

The author and friend of mine talking to you in the video is the talented Scott Roche.  What he's doing is working with several authors (listed below) to put together a western themed anthology.  What's an anthology you ask?  An anthology is a collection of works, typically with a common theme, compiled by one person.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Hive Five!

This week's Hive Five has a mix of books and random fun book-ish things.  So. Many. Amazing. Things!

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen - YA (ages 14+)
One of my favorite books by Sarah Dessen.  I read this multiple times a year and every time, I love it even more.  I also finish it in one night every single time.

Here's the book blurb..
When Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend—the popular and exciting Sophie—she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. but then she meets Owen—a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with owen’s help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?

Death Whispers (death series, book 1) by Tamara Rose Blodgett and Stephanie T. Lot - preteen/YA (over the age of 12)
I just recently finished this book.  It took forever to finish (a long book for being the first one in a series!) because it's about 594 pages!  I loved it though, very good read and I think I'll pick up the others in the series as well.   I'd give it 4/5 stars - let me know if you want a full review!

Book blurb..
Almost fifteen-year-old Caleb Hart is a Cadaver-Manipulator in the year 2025.  When teens receive a government-sanctioned pharmaceutical cocktail during school, paranormal abilities begin manifesting... making the teens more powerful than the adults.

After Caleb discovers he has the rare, Affinity for the Dead, he must do whatever it takes to hide it from a super-secret government agency whose goal is exploitation.  Caleb seeks refuge in his new girlfriend, Jade, until he realizes that she needs as much protection from her family, as he does from the government.

Suddenly, Caleb finds that hiding his ability while protecting Jade and his friends is a full time job; can he escape the government, protect Jade and lose the bullies that are making him miserable?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review Day: Primal

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!

Title: Primal
Author: D.A. Serra
Rating: 3 Stars

Book Blurb:
The most dangerous place on Earth is between a mother and her child…

With everything at stake – what are you capable of? What if the worst happens and you’re not a policeman, a soldier, or a spy with weapons training and an iron heart? What if you’re a schoolteacher – a mom? In this gritty crime thriller a family vacation takes a vicious turn when a fishing camp is invaded by four armed men. With nothing except her brains, her will, and the element of surprise on her side, Alison must learn to kill or watch her family die.

And then, things get worse..

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meet Poe!

Hey guys!  I wrote a guest post over on my friend Jason Scott Sharp's blog all about Edgar Allen Poe!!  It's has a little bit of background, some snippets from two of his pieces, some lore surrounding his death and some more fun facts about Poe.  It would mean the world to me if you go over and check it out, then let him know I sent you over!

Edgar Allen Poe is the epitome of horror, thriller and suspense writers.  He created the basis for many beloved characters and stories with his creepy work and emotional writing.  He was so passionate about his writing it leaps off the pages and causes the reader to feel the same way.  I love reading his work, especially this time of year (Halloween!!).  Happy October everyone - enjoy the guest post!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Kindle Quick Tip: Updates!

Today's Quick Tip is... keep your Kindle up to date!  Updating your Kindle refers to only the software.  If you keep your Kindle up to date, it will run at it's best.  Often the updates are created to fix minor problems or add in something extra, like real page numbers, that make having a Kindle even better.  To see if your device needs to be updated, simply follow these steps...

  1. Turn on your Kindle.
  2. Enable the WiFi or 3G (allow any downloading to finish before continuing to step 3 if you have ebooks to download)
  3. Click "Menu" or open the Menu
  4. Scroll down and click on or click on "settings"
  5. Open the "Menu" again
  6. Scroll down/click on "Update Your Kindle" if the words are black; if the words are gray or not able to be clicked on, you have the latest updates.
See! It's that simple!  Once the update finishes, you will have the latest software on your Kindle.  There's one more way to check to see if you have an update available.  Simply go to this website - http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200529680 - and click on the Kindle that you have.  It will then tell you if there is a new update for that device.  Happy Updating!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Hive Five!

After I finish a book, I have to pick a new book to read.  I always have the "awww... now what!?" feeling the day after I finish a book.  Picking my next book to read is always the hardest part!  I love reading every genre, so I usually just randomly pick a book and read it.  To save you from the same problem, here's a list of book I recommend from many different genres and for several age groups - all off my favs list.

Until Next Time: The Angel Chronicles book 1 by Amy Lignor - YA (ages 15+)
How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?

Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.

When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.

Monday, October 1, 2012

War Stories

Welcome to the War Stories blog tour!  Today's post highlights War Stories, the author and another giveaway!

We all carry our own battle scars.

This is the premise of War Stories, a rich collection of short fiction that draws upon both the literal and figurative meaning of its title.  Through a diverse array of characters, settings, and circumstances, War Stories delivers a series of powerful tales from the home front of war: the stories of parents, siblings, and spouses of those who have fought, as well as those who have returned from battle.

Set against the backdrop of contemporary conflicts, War Stories’ compelling nine narratives tell of a wounded veteran who seeks renewal through an imagined relationship with a neighborhood girl, a grieving father who finds peace and reconciliation at the site of a disastrous bus crash, a young woman who searches for identity and meaning in the wake of her husband’s injury, and an urban teenager engaged in a fateful standoff with local recruiters.  Interspersed with these tales are powerful, non-traditional “war stories” – of youth, unexpected loss, and heartbreaking love.

War Stories’ thoughtful and beautifully crafted tales, which range in style from deceptively simple to rich and complex, tell of people young and old, male and female, who share two things: humanity and resilience.  These diverse and deftly written stories are joined through Elisabeth Doyle’s remarkable style and ease in creating a universe full of despair, hope, and dreams.  At turns tender and harsh, tragic and yearning, these stories will leave you wanting more.

Pick up a copy of War Stories here.

About the author, Elisabeth Doyle

Elisabeth Doyle is a writer and attorney living in Washington, D.C. She studied fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University at Albany, and is completing a Masters of Laws Degree at Georgetown University Law Center.  Ms. Doyle’s short fiction was published in the literary journal Nadir and was awarded the University at Albany’s Lovenheim Prize for best short fiction.  Her first short film, Hard Hearted One, was admitted into the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema and the Street Films Film Festival, and was shown on Public Television and Manhattan Cable.  War Stories is her first collection of short fiction.

Enter the giveaway using the form below.  Click the link if the form does not appear.  The giveaway will end on Oct. 7 at 12am EST.  There will be one person who wins a paperback copy of War Stories.
The winner of the giveaway is Rob Z! Congratulations!!

Follow Elizabeth Doyle and War Stories on the official War Stories blog and Elisabeth's website!  Good luck and Happy Reading!