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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays- Waterfall Read-Along Chapters 1-6

Waterfall Wednesdays is a read-along of the book Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren hosted by Tina's Book Reviews, Edgy Inspirational Romance, Irresistible Reads, Supernatural Snark & The Unread Reader. There still time to join us and enter a drawing to win all three books in the series just by participating, link up at Tina's Book Reviews.

Discussion Questions for Chapters 1-6

1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, shes depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?
A. I cannot relate, I just understand. Gabi is acting like I think any teen would, she has just lost her father and is trying to allow her mother space and time to cope as well. I know the mom is going through a hard time too but it does not seem like she is in tune with her girls. At first I thought the book was starting out slow, but it is picking up now and I'm having a hard time putting it down.

2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there anytime in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could? 
A. Oh, I don't know........ I have always been fascinated by the medieval times, I love the castles, clans, their dresses and dances. I don't think I would survive, I'm too much of a modern bred girl.

3. Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if shes a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of mens mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?
A. In the right circles, men definitely seemed more gentlemanly and respectful of women. I think it is just because of the way things were. Society had set rules of what they thought should be a women's place and what was acceptable. I don't think that made men simple-minded, I bet a lot were very smart because they had to think for themselves without the help of all our modern technology. If anything, women were viewed as being simple-minded and it opened their eyes to see if allowed what a woman could do.

4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?
A. No, it is not fair. Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves before being judged. I have had go to a new school, new job, new church and at each of those there have been groups of  friends already established. Women can be mean! If you don't have the right clothes, house or job you're not welcome. What happen to getting to know people and looking on the inside? 

5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?
A. I would love to run a castle and have someone else to cook and clean for me, where all women have to worry about are social calls and dances. But I would probably end up being the one to change the chamber pots. The worst? Arranged marriages, cruel men, no indoor plumping, meds, and other modern tech wonders. Society viewing women as just a purpose to have a son in order to carry on the family name.

A few lines that stuck out at me:
Marcello gave me a small smile and handed me a leather band. "At least bind your hair behind you," he said lowly. "It won't do for the women of the castello to see you riding through the gates, hair loose as a maid's on her wedding day. You'll never find a moment's peace. Nor shall I." 
I looked up into his warm eyes, searching for a glimpse of judgment. There was none. Only warning. And a tinge of...admiration. 

Gabi's thought- I finally meet a guy who's interesting, and who seems to have a half-interest in me, and it is TOTALLY the wrong time and place. I glanced up to the sky. If You're out there, God, this is COMPLETELY unfair.

There is a scene in next weeks chapters that I felt kinda goes with some of these questions. I did not know how it would go over putting it in this week so I'll just wait and point it out in the next post. :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Signing

How many books can you take to a book signing before it is considered rude?

I'm hoping to attend a book signing of Jeaniene Frost (I'm still working out the details), I will have all of her books by then and I was also hoping to get her new book signed for a giveaway. I have never been to a book signing but I feel like it would be rude of me to bring all the books for her to sign. What do you think?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: The Kate Daniel Series by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels series, Book #1)
Author: Ilona Andrews, author website
My Rating: 2 1/2 stars
Format: Ebook, 205 pages
Genre: Urban Fantacy
Source: Library
Published: Ace Books, 2007
Buy It: From Amazon

From author's website: Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…

Title: Magic Burns (Kate Daniels series, Book #2)
Author: Ilona Andrews
My Rating: 3 stars
Format: Ebook, 270 pages
Source: Library
Published: Ace Books, 2008
Buy It: From Amazon

From author's website: Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one. When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Title: Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels series, Book #3)
Author: Ilona Andrews
My Rating: 4 stars
Format: Ebook, 268 pages
Source: Library
Published: Ace Books, 2009
Buy It: From Amazon

From author's website:
Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot. But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games – an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament – she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…
 My Review:
Since starting a book blog, I have seen these book around and read some good things about this series, so I thought I would give them a try.

Kate Daniels is a magic-touting mercenary that lives in Atlanta, in a world that fluctuates between magic and technology. This world is a hard one to explain, it took me well into book two to get an understanding of how things work or don't work.  When in a magic wave all the modern technology stops working, everything from the phones to cars. If you don't own a magic fueled vehicle you ride a horse or walk, and you better know how to use a sword because the guns don't fire either. Most everyone in this world uses some kind of magic, and when the magic is high it puts more power behind whatever is done. This is when the paranormal happens. If you like to read about vampires, I will warn you that they are very different in this world. Here they are seen as good fighters but ugly mindless creatures that only have a lust for blood. They lose their human features with age and they are controlled/piloted by another person.           
Each book consists of a different job Kate is working on for either the Mercenary Guild or the Order. With each case she finds herself having to work with Curran, the Beast Lord of all the Shapshifters in Atlanta. They both annoy each other and there is humor in their back and forth banter. Each time Kate and Curran meet there are always threats and Kate wonders at times if she could really beat him in a fight.  With each book their relationship develops and new people start to enter Kate's life. I will say that I expected more romance, I understand that in a series  you have to keep your readers coming back and these authors give you just enough. I would have like to have seen more in each book.

I really like Kate, she is one tough chick. She is a good fighter and uses magic but bleeds and gets hurt like anyone else. I like it that even through she is one of the best out there, she still gets hurt and it does not make her seem weak just more real. The authors do a good job at developing her character, and with each book you learn more about who she is. She's had a rough past and she's the only one left in her family, that she cares to claim anyway. She hides the secret of who she really is and the magic that she is capable of. Kate is easily becoming one of my favorite female characters.

Magic Bites, book #1 starts out slow, I was well into 80 pages before I started really getting into it. They spend so much time building the fantasy world, I found myself skimming at times. Each book gets better and better and of the three, Magic Strikes is my favorite. The authors give you enough in each book that you might be able to start anywhere in the series, but each book builds on the other and refers back to her previous cases. If you want to follow Kate and Curran's relationship and see how she meets the other characters, you will want to start at the beginning with Magic Bites. If you are an urban fantasy fan then give this series a try.

   Contains adult language

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays- A Read-Along Event!

Tina at Tina's Book Reviews, Missie at The Unread Reader, Joy &Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance, Nic at Irresistible Reads and Jenny from Supernatural Snark will be hosting a read-along of Lisa T.Bergrens YA novel Waterfall. For the month of September they will be breaking down the chapters and having a weekly discussion over what we have read.

If want you to join us, sign up with the Linky at Tina's Book Reviews, linking up your post announcing the read-along, acquire your copy of Waterfall and read chapters 1-6. The first five questions will be posted and discussed on August 31, 2011, where you can link up your answers and get info about the next weeks discussion questions. If you want to use a button (created by the very talented Missie from The Unread Reader) for your sidebar please feel free and link back to the original sign up post. You can also use the buttons for any of the discussion posts and original posts you do. And for everyone who links up and joins the read-along, Lisa Bergren herself has offered a trilogy set of her series to one winner. Yup- that means Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent, all for you!!  Signing up and participating automatically enters you into the drawing and if the winner is from the US- Lisa will sign them as well.

The Discussion Schedule:

August 31- Chapters 1-6 Hosted by Tina at Tinasbookreviews
Sept 7- Chapters 7-11 Hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader
Sept 14- Chapters 12-17 Hosted by Joy&Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance
Sept 21- Chapters 18-23 Hosted by Jenny at Supernatural Snark
Sept 28- Chapters 24-28 and Wrap Up Hosted by Nic at Irresistible Reads

I hope you will join in on this read-along!

Review: It Happened One Bite By Lydia Dare

Title: It Happened One Bite
Author: Lydia Dare
Format: paperback, 385 pages
Genre: paranormal romance
Source: personal self
Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2011
Buy It:Form Amazon

 From Back of book:
He's lost, trapped, doomed for all eternity...
Rich, titled, and undead, gentleman vampyre James Maitland, Lord Kettering, fears himself doomed to a cold and lonely existence-trapped for decades in an abandoned castle. Then, beautiful Scottish witch Blaire Lindsay arrives, and things begin to heat up considerably...
Unless he can persuade her to set him free...
Feisty Blaire Lindsay laughs off the local gossip surrounding her mother's ancestral home-stories of haunting cannot scare off this battle-born witch. But when she discovers the handsome prisoner in the bowels of the castle, Blaire has no idea that she has unleashed anything more than a man who sets her heart on fire...

Before the current Coig of witches there were their mothers. They are five coven sisters, each having different magic, but all together become very powerful. This book starts off with a scene from the mother lives. Based on a vision from Fiona Macleod, Caitrin's mom, the Coig decides take action in order to preserve the safety of Alpina Lindsay's bairn, soon to be Blaire. They find vampyre James Maitland, Lord Kettering and cast a spell that puts him into a dormant sleep and hide him at Briarcraig Castle.

This book is Blaire Lindsay's story, the battle-born witch that throws fireballs, and how she meets Lord Kettering. Upon the death of their father, Aiden, Blaires's older brother inherits Briarcraig Castle. After they arrive at the castle we see the mysteries start unfolding.  Blaire starts to realize there are things her mother never told her about. Why would she never mention her ancestral home? Most importantly, who is Lord Kettering and why would the Coig lock him in the castle and never tell anyone, especially when he appears to be the perfect gentleman?

James Maitland is furious when he wakes to find he has been trapped for decades in an abandoned castle. He wants to find the witches and make them pay for what they did to him for no reason at all. First he must find something that was taken from him and find out what it is about Blaire that draws him to her, besides her blood.

This is the second book I have read by Lydia Dare and she has become one of my favorite authors. I lost lots of sleep because I just wanted to keep reading a little more to see what happens next. I really liked all the characters and enjoyed getting to know Blaire. She is defiantly someone I would want to have as a friend. I liked how this book fit in and connected well with the others. Although this book can be read anytime, you might enjoy it more by reading the previous ones first, especially the one right before called The Taming of the Wolf. You will not be disappointed with this book or with Lydia Dare! 
I give this book 5 stars!

Contains mild language and sexual content

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

REVIEW: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Title: Guilty Pleasures 
(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Format: ebook, 285 pages
Genre: paranormal fiction
Source: library
Published: 2002 (first published 1993) by Penguin Group USA/Jove
Buy From:Amazon

From Book: “My name is Anita Blake. Vampires call me “The Executioner”. What I call them isn’t repeatable.
Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I’ve seen their victims. I carry the scars…
But now a serial killer is murdering vampires—and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer… “
“In a world where vampires, zombies and werewolves have been declared legal citizens of the United States, Anita Blake is an “animator” – a profession that involves raising the dead for mourning relatives. But Anita is also known as a fearsome hunter of criminal vampires, and she’s often employed to investigate cases that are far too much for conventional police. But as Anita gains the attention of the vampire masters of her hometown of St Louis, she also risks revealing an intriguing secret about herself – the source of her unusual strength and power.”

I went into this book not knowing what to expect, I saw it was about vampires and thought I would give it a try. I was introduced new creatures that I have never read about such as, zombies, wererats (can I say yuk?!) and ghouls.

Jean Claude, a master vampire (who also owns Guilty Pleasures, a vampire strip club) has recommended Anita to Nikolaos, the city's most powerful vampire, to help find out who is committing the murders. After Anita rejects their first request, she finds herself blackmailed into helping them. One turn after another Anita runs into someone trying to kill her. The action kept coming and you never knew what the master vampire would do next. Although Anita is brave and faces her fears, I felt she appeared weak at times I wondered how is she able to kill a vampire. Another time she runs straight into trouble without anything to protect herself, and I had to ask what are you thinking?! I suppose by seeing these things it shows she's human.

While reading the book, I was a little confused as to why the powerful vampires needed a human's help and are not able to do the job themselves. The only reason I could come up with besides Anita being tougher and dealing with "other" creatures, is she could be their eyes during daylight hours. There is something "special" about Anita, but I'm not sure how it helps?

My biggest disappointment with the book is the lack of romance! I am thinking that since this is the first book in the series, it is more of a setup for future relationships. At first there were flirtations between Jean Claude and Anita so I thought maybe something would become of it later. Jean Claude was my favorite character, I wanted to see what would happen between him and Anita. I kept turning the pages, hoping to see more of him. When I started seeing less of Jean Claude I just wanted Anita to show an interest in someone, at one point I was even thinking Edward, another vampire slayer, would do!

Overall, due to the lack of romance I ended up just liking the book. But I am interested enough in Jean Claude and Anita to continue on to the next book.
So I give this book 3 stars!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Giveaway: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Marla at Starting the Next Chapter is giving away a ARC of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater! Her giveaway this month is for US followers and will end on Aug 30th. So head on over and to follower her blog and sign up for this giveaway!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mondays Bite! Twilight Re-Read Along Chapters 21-24 & Epilogue

Discussion questions for chapters 21-24 & Epilogue link-up at GReads

    1. In chapter 21 James calls Bella telling her he has her mother and the only way he won't kill her is if Bella comes alone. What would you do in that situation? Come alone or tell Alice and Jasper? 
    I would sooo tell Alice and Jasper! They are smart, I'm sure they would come up with a better plan than I ever could! 
    2. Was everyone else as shocked as I was when I first found out about the Alice/James situation? Do you think this adds to the story line or was it not needed? Why do you think they choose not to include these details in the movie?
    Yes, defiantly shocked! I do think it adds to the story because it tells us Alice's background! Uh, the movie could not include everything and since it did not focus on the Cullens as much as in the book, I felt this being left out did not hinder the movie.
    3. Edward had to do something extremely difficult in order to save Bella from becoming a vampire. Have you ever had a similar situation in your life where you had to push your will power to its limits?
    I can not think of a particular time, no life or death situations for sure.  I know there been times when what I have wanted was not necessarily the best for me or those around me so I've had to let things go, testing my will power. That's when I put my faith in God to bring the best outcome! 
    4. Bella and Edward get into the "to change Bella or not to change Bella" argument in the hospital. If you were Bella, would you want to become a vampire? Why or why not?
    If I had Edward, yes I would. Mostly for the same reasons as Bella, I would want to be with him forever and stay the same age, being the same as him. Specially if I believed as Carlisle, you don't lose your soul because your heart stops beating. Your soul is who you are, you still have a choice in how to live.  
    Chapter 24 is another one of my favorites, love Bella's line "I'm betting on Alice"
    5. Twilight ends with everyone going to the prom. Did you go to your prom? Was your experience similar to Bella's? Feel free to include pictures!! 
    Nope, never went to prom because I did not have one. The closest thing I had was a friends banquet, no dancing, just a bunch of friends dressing up for a nice dinner.
    Oh I almost forgot, in the epilogue I had no clue Edward was taking Bella to prom. (until Tyler's call) I thought she was getting dressed up for Emmett and Rosalie's again wedding. At least that is what I would have told Edward! :) 
    EXTRA: So, it's over...Final thoughts?
    This was so fun! It was nice to have questions and see everyone's answers.  It challenged me to look at Twilight from different angles. Thank you to all who made it possible. I enjoyed checking out the other blogs involved as well. I have already read New Moon again and plan to continue reading the rest of the series & watching the movies in preparation for Breaking Dawn Part 1 in Nov.
    I would love to this with another book, maybe one I have not read before! Anyone else game?! ;)