Thursday, January 31, 2013

Silver-White Book Blast and $100 Giveaway

Silver-White by Shawn Underhill

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
~ Robert Frost

*Evie’s family has been holding out on her …

Big time.

On an unexpected visit to her grandparents’ house in New Hampshire’s secluded North Woods, the sixteen-year-old literally runs into the truth of the long-hidden family secrets, and finds herself thrust without warning into the clandestine world of the Great North Pack—a wild and exhilarating world of rugged beauty, heart-pounding adventures, and long nights running under a sea of stars … but as she’s set to discover, a world also fraught with potential dangers lurking in the shadows.

 "Simply put, this book was amazing. I've read more fantasy novels than than I can count, but this one is certainly one of the best. The heroine isn't some wishy-washy pansy that screams at everything, and the focus of the story isn't on some unbelievably beautiful teenage girl who suddenly becomes the biggest, baddest member of her species falling in love with some big, bad, sexy member of her newfound species. It's about a girl becoming something she never knew existed, finding her place within the pack family she values more than ever before, and an age-old feud that threatens everything she loves." ~Morgan

Purchase ~ just .99 cents

Author Shawn Underhill

Shawn is a part-time writer from New Hampshire, where he spends his free time hiking in the mountains, camping, racing dirt bikes, or anything else that keeps him outdoors. Dogs are his very favorite people. He is also the author of the novel All Things Different.

BookBlast $100 Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/13/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Pandora's Key by Nancy Richardson Fischer

         Genre: YA, Mythology, Fantasy 
Pages: 284 
Edition: Kindle 
Source: Author

Evangeline is turning 16. She's just gotten her first kiss, started having strange but eerily realistic dreams and received a birthday present that isn't quite what it seems. When Olivia, Evangeline's mother, is rushed to the hospital and later attacked there, Evangeline starts to learn about the family secret and the present she has been given. The key that can either save or destroy the world. What will she do with it?

Wow. This book was wonderful. I couldn't stop turning pages and before I knew it, I had finished.

There are two major players that we are introduced to and the story bounces back and forth between Evangeline and Malledy until their paths intersect. Evangeline is a typical teenaged girl going through her share of growing pains. I enjoyed her character, though I must admit that at times she seemed incredibly immature (even for a teenager) and I wanted to throttle her. I think that just shows how realistically she was written. Malledy is that character that you love to hate, at least he was for me. He is such a complex and intriguing character. I've got to say that I think Malledy is an awesome villain name. I try not to give spoilers in my reviews, but I mean come on, how can you NOT be a villain with a name like that? The secondary characters are equally well written and interesting and they round out the cast nicely.

The story flowed beautifully and my interest was piqued the entire time. The plot was fresh and creative. I loved the bit of Greek mythology that was thrown in, I kind of wished there was a little bit more! (Maybe in book 2?!?) I have to admit I was not sure I wanted to start another series as I am in the middle of a bunch of them right now. I'm so glad that I did though, the only bad part is having to wait for the second book to be released. I can't wait to find out where the author takes the story next.

* I was given a free copy of this book for review purposes. The review is based solely on my opinion and was not influenced by author or publisher.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: The Dark Side of Night by Amanda Day

Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy 
Pages: 307 
Edition: Kindle 
Source: Author

Oscar is a popular, yet seemingly normal guy who likes to hang out with his buddies and is studying to get into University. Cyan is completely complex and anything but normal. When Oscar stumbles into Cyan's 'world', his life is forever changed. Oscar must find a way to break through Cyan's tough outer shell and convince her to take him under her wing. There are things in this world that Oscar never knew existed and he's determined to learn more about them and how to kill them. After all, what he doesn't know could kill him and everyone else.

Let me start off with the story itself, I thought it was extremely interesting and enjoyable. It took me a little while to get used to the British vocabulary that the author (understandably) used. Once I got my head wrapped around that it was smoother sailing. There were a couple of minor editing errors but nothing that detracted from the story. One thing I did notice was that the author was quite loquacious and some of the scenes felt over written, if that makes sense. It's almost as if too much attention was paid to the smaller details. I did like the flow of the book, with alternating chapters based on the main characters. I think I would have preferred if the ending had stopped with Cyan's point of view instead of continuing on to Oscars,but it still worked.

Cyan is a strong character, she is well defined and I had no problem picturing her in my mind. I also related really well to her. I could absolutely imagine her loneliness and resulting aloofness. Oscar didn't come across as strong and he was a bit fuzzy in my mind. Maybe that's just because I didn't relate to him as well! The development of the relationship/friendship between Cyan and Oscar was engaging, although at times it did seem that Cyan was only interested in Oscar because of his aura and how it made her feel. That made me want to strangle her at times, but really you can't blame the girl for grasping at any good feelings that came her way.

Bonus- I loved how the title worked into the story!

Overall this was a unique read and a promising debut novel. I believe that the author has tremendous potential and I look forward to finding out what else Amanda Day has in store for us.

* I was given a free copy of this book for review purposes. The review is based solely on my opinion and was not influenced by author or publisher.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Getting To Know Author Beck Sherman

Recently I was given the opportunity to read and review 'Revamp' by Beck Sherman. ( If you would like to read or even re-read my review please click here) In addition to providing me with a review copy of 'Revamp', Beck was also gracious enough to grant me an interview!

Beck Sherman was born and raised in Massachusetts. Beck attended Syracuse University undergrad, has a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London, and when not writing, enjoys exploring abandoned insane asylums and photo-documenting the things that go bump in the night, when they’re kind enough to pose. (bio provided by author)

Are you lucky enough to write full time or do you have a day job as well?

My day job is looking after my 19-month-old. I write when she’s sleeping.

When did you start writing?

I started writing in the womb. I wrote an epic novel about love, loss, and redemption over a span of nine months. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take it with me. It was way too big. I didn’t think ahead. After that, I wrote small-scale stories throughout my childhood. I come from a large Irish family - a family of storytellers that can spin tales from a routine trip to the supermarket.

What is the first thing that you ever wrote?

When I was around thirteen, I wrote a short, short story about a girl who goes on vacation with her family and is shown around the rental cottage by a caretaker with glowing red eyes. I think it was called “The Glowing Red Eyes” or something like that. Destined to be a bestseller.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Starting and finishing. Not like I don’t appreciate the middle bits, but when you start a novel it’s like heading out on an adventure, and the end is like coming home.

Do you have any pet peeves?

Mean people. Bad drivers. 

What book is currently on your nightstand?


If you could be any character in any book, who would you be?

Did you ever read “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis? The main character, Patrick Bateman, has one hell of a good time. Just kidding. That’s a funny question for me because I read a lot of horror novels - a lot of victims and killers. Who wants to be a victim? Who wants to be a killer? Probably more appealing than being a victim but too messy, really. Dry cleaning costs would be exorbitant. I’d be the character that makes it to the happy ending. Wins the money. Gets the love.

What is your favorite tv show(s) past or present?

“Breaking Bad” and I do not appreciate this extended hiatus. Just saying. “Dexter,” of course. And “Girls” is a cool new show on HBO - in its second season.

If 'Revamp' was made into a movie who would you want cast?

Since “Revamp” has an extensive character list, here are a few...and I’ll be using my nifty time travel abilities to cast younger versions of a few actors. Okay, we’ll start with Emma. It’s a toss-up between Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve seen them both in interviews and they’ve got that strange, quirky personality, like Revamp’s heroine. Cooper would be played by a younger Jake Gyllenhaal. In homage, Scott St. Martin would be played by Michael Biehn from “Aliens” and the first “Terminator.” One of my favorite actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I think would be perfect as Charlie. A younger Michelle Rodriguez as Seven. Chris Evans as Rudy. Last but not least, Mabon would be played by either a younger Cillian Murphy, or possibly Ryan Gosling.

'Goodbye Nothing' is slated for release this May, can you tell us a little about it?

“Goodbye Nothing” is a new adult horror novel with a supernatural element about a nice guy, Cain Emmerick, who finds the fun in doing evil deeds after he’s the victim of a violent act. That’s about all I’m giving away at the moment. Oh, and there are a couple of unusual scenes in “Goodbye Nothing”...let’s just say I’m interested in seeing how people are going to react to them.

I want to extend a huge thank you to Beck Sherman for taking the time to answer my questions.  To learn even more, check out Beck's website.  If you haven't read 'Revamp' yet, do yourself a favor and get a copy.  And keep your eyes peeled for the release of  'Goodbye Nothing' expected this May.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guest Review: Year Zero by Rob Reid

Guest review courtesy of Jason.

Nick Carter is a low level attorney at the firm Carter, Geller & Marks, working in the entertainment division. Unfortunately he is not related to the Carter the firm is named after, and even more unfortunately, shares an identical name with a Backstreet Boy. However it is being mistaken as a boy band member, which leads two extraterrestrials to his office at closing time asking for his help in a legal matter, and, uh... saving the world.

The universe is teeming with intelligent sophisticated life, and their culture and art forms outstrip most of what humanity can do. They have authors that make Shakespeare's works sound like Beavis and Butthead, architecture that makes the Taj Mahal, look like a beat down outhouse and the Mona Lisa look like monkey feces smeared on a wall.. The one thing we lowly humans have the edge over everyone else in the universe, is our musical ability. The title Year Zero refers to the first initial contact with our superior audio skills. A stray signal of the Welcome Back Kotter theme escaped into space, which caused some alien heads to explode from sheer delight. Literally.

So over the years, they have been recording our transmissions, obsessively listening, cataloging, debating, living and breathing Earth music. Then they took a closer look at our culture, and that's when the problem started. According to the rules of cultural sharing in the universe, an art form must adhere to an original culture's guidelines. For example, the species that created the finest stained glass in the universe, never used the color red, so practitioners of stained glass artwork never use red anymore. So when the rest of the universe delved into the cultural guidelines for Earth's recorded works that they have been gathering, discovering the pitfalls of intellectual property and copyright law:

“...that's when it hit them. They owed us an ungodly amount of money.”

So much money, that some alien factions think it would be better to just blow us up instead of bankrupting the whole universe.

This book was a great goofy romp through a comedic universe. The absurdity of the alien cultures and situations that our hero Nick finds himself in kept me chuckling to myself. The ridiculousness of the factual copyright laws of the music industry sprinkled into the book had me shaking my head in disbelief. It has a wide and wonderfully screwy cast of characters, and has a gleeful time sending up the music industry. A little thought provoking, and a bunch of funny. Pick this up if you get a chance.

Jason's rating: 4 Fame differential brain hemorrhages out of 5.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Win a Kindle Fire HD and support indie authors!

Such a great giveaway and for such a great cause. Show some indie love!  And if you don't win this month, guess what?  They will be another one in February! Good luck everyone!

20 Amazing Authors have joined together to bring you 1 Amazing Giveaway!

The winner will have the option of receiving a Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

This giveaway is sponsored by these Awesome Authors:

The Essence by Kimberly Derting
Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock
Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out by Pandora Poikilos
Uncontrollable by S.R. Johannes
Hunted by Ednah Walters
Cliffhanger by Amy Saunders
I Was Here - Before You Came by Camelia Miron Skiba
Everlost by Brenda Pandos
Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke
Reaper's Novice by Cecilia Robert
Bulletproof by Jeff LaFerney
Lancaster House by Taylor Dean
Two Halves by Marta Szemik
Murder on Potrero Hill by M.L. Hamilton
Bellyache by Crystal Marcos
Kill Shot by Anne Patrick
Skid Out by Ann Marie Frohoff
Between by Mary Ting
Dragon Stones Saga by Kristian Alva
Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (Internaitonal).
Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Movie Trailer: The Great Gatsby

I must have been living under a rock for the last several months.  In the middle of nowhere is more like it!  I just recently learned that The Great Gatsby was made into a movie (for the fifth time).  I absolutely loved this book when I had to read it for high school English class.  It's been a good long time since I've been in high school so I'm thinking that it may be time for a re-read.

The release date was originally set for Christmas Day 2012 but was pushed back and is now slated to be released on May 10, 2013 (U.S. release) .  The trailer is interesting, but definitely seems exaggerated. I was originally very excited to learn of this movie, especially since it was coming out right before my birthday.  After seeing the trailer, I'm not sure if I'll be seeing this movie at the theater or waiting until I can rent or get on Netflix.

Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

I know, I know I haven't figured out how to get the video to fit the parameters of my page.  I'm working on it! :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Over in a Flash: A Day at the Zoo

I hesitate to call this a new feature because I have yet to determine how often they will be posted.  I do know that I have been neglecting short stories in my reading and there are some really good ones out there.  I would like to start integrating more of them into the reading 'schedule'  and giving them well deserved attention on the blog. I don't intend to review, just spotlight the stories. I would like to thank author, Mary C. Moore (click the link to be whisked to her website) for providing me with the short story that jump started Over in a Flash.

Here we go........

(link will take you to story's Goodreads page)

 Extremely fun read! I was given a copy of this short story by the author. She was asking if I would review another book for her and noticed that I was a veterinary technician, she thought I would enjoy her short story. Boy, was she ever right. I could totally relate to the story and I found it both light-hearted and humorous. It is such a great little story that I think even readers that aren't in veterinary or animal related fields will enjoy it as well. My only complaint, I wish it was longer! I compare it to those Dessert Shooters at restaurants like Applebees. They are so yummy, but they are small and you just want there to be more.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Movie Trailer: John Dies at the End

Back in September I posted my first guest review of  'John Dies at the End' by David Wong. If you need a refresher click HERE. Jason, writer of the review, has informed me that the movie has been green lighted for release in the U.S.  All signs point to the release date being January 25, 2013. That's only 3 weeks away!   Anyways, here is the trailer for your viewing pleasure.

What do you think?  Does it look like something you'd be interested in seeing?  I'm interested in hearing any and all thoughts.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Review: Revamp by Beck Sherman

Genre: Horror/Post-Apocalyptic
Pages: 439
Kindle Edition
Source: Author

Emma is on the trip from hell, or maybe it's the trip to hell. She just turned in her final paper and is heading out to the west coast to interview for grad school. People were acting a bit strange before she left, but Emma has no idea what's in store for her once her plane lands. She wakes up on an empty plane and the airport is empty, or is it? There doesn't appear to be anyone on the streets and when she finally does come across someone, there is something way off kilter about them. Thankfully she meets someone who resembles normal, but can she trust him? He seems to be making some outrageous claims. Little does Emma know, this is only the beginning. 

This was a tremendous read! The characters are extremely well written and are both believable and easy to relate to. Emma is a fantastic female lead. She can be unsure of herself at times but she transforms into a take charge, not backing down kind of girl. I completely enjoyed the fact that she wasn't a helpless, clueless twit. Character development comes in the form of descriptive back stories for most of the major players. I only wish that Charlie had gotten a back story. The relationship between Emma and Cooper is handled perfectly, had it gone any differently it would have detracted from the story. The villain is fascinating and after getting into their history, I found myself sympathizing with them. Their actions are still vile and reprehensible but understandably so, if that makes any sense!

The plot is engaging and my interest was continually peaked throughout the tale. The account is mainly from Emma's point of view but there are some POV (and time frame) switches during the character back stories, which can in themselves be confusing. Not the way Beck Sherman writes it. It is completely reader friendly and eliminates any confusion. The ending is fantastic, it's a bit vague leaving the possibility for future works, but it provides enough closure for this to be a stand alone. There is also a fun cream-filled surprise!

I had heard some good buzz about this book before reading it and I have to say it was even better than I was expecting. Beck Sherman definitely does not disappoint, I cannot wait to read more!

*I was given a free copy of this book for review purposes. The review is based solely on my opinion and was not influenced by author or publisher.

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars