Monthly Archives: October 2013

Coming Soon. PreOrder for week 10/21/13

Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy) by Veronica Roth. Available October 22, 2013.
What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Available October 22, 2013.
The author of the classic bestsellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel.
The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

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Teardrop (Teardrop Trilogy) by Lauren Kate. Available October 22, 2013.
The first in a new series by the author of the Fallen series, TEARDROP is an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.

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Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel by Robert Parker with Helen Brann. Available October 22, 2013.
A special treat for the holiday season – a rumination on Christmas, family, and the meaning of home as conceived by Robert B. Parker.

It’s December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he’s confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide. Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost. Slide’s mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street. But it’s not a simple case of intimidation – Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys’ safety and security, but their lives as well.

Unfinished at the time of his death, Silent Night was completed by Parker’s longtime agent, whose decades-long association with Parker’s work gives her unique insight and perspective to his voice and storytelling style. Her contribution also speaks volumes about their enduring friendship.

             


How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain by Gregory Berns. Recommended by me as a Dog Lover.
The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?

After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question—use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.

With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns’s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom.

How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.

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WWW Wednesdays – 10/16/13 What Are You Reading?

 

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

What am I currently reading?

 

 

What Did I recently finish reading?

What Do I Think I will Read Next?

 

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Wacky Word Wednesday

Open_Book-for-dictionary-siteDefinition of NOAH: A sort of Verb meaning: “No, I um, ah, – AH, I don’t remember what I was saying No to.”

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Teaser Tuesdays 10/15/13

f4f66-teasertuesdayTuesday  Teasers!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be  Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab  your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences  from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make  sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT  participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“You may kiss me now,” she stated in a voice devoid of music.  The mirthless bow of her full lips betrayed her intent to me, but I knew the invitation, like my costume was a lie. She was pretending to be human.”

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Review: The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering

The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering by C.S. Johnson.

The Prologue opens with an episode much later in the book. Wingdinger is introduced in an episode fighting a sinister-ling, in this case Daiken. Daiken had a “villainous twinkle in his eye all too reminiscent of his many demon predecessors and his fearless Sinister leaders.”  Wingdinger is a super hero accompanied by Elysian, who is a celestial dragon/changeling. He is unsuccessful in his fight and is upstaged by Starry Knight.

In this world of the Supernatural, God created the Stars as He created People: Each for a different purpose, Each to bring glory to His Name. But Stars can be just as fickle as Mortals. These are their stories: The Starlight Chronicles.

The chapter gives young adults a teaser to excite as the next part of the book introduces the ordinary world of Hamilton Dinger.  Hamilton is a self-absorbed, egotistical sixteen year old. He has charisma, good grades and loves to play video games. He is sure of himself and his place in the world.

Then the earth is hit by a meteor and evil is unleashed and brings an end to Dinger’s world.  Hamilton’s life is changed as he and his friends are attacked my forces they do not understand.  All Hamilton Dinger wants is to play football, participate in the school play and continue life as a normal teenager.

As the reader is introduced to evil forces, changeling dragons and ‘sinisters’ Hamilton learns he is marked and has supernatural powers.  What Hamilton Dinger has a difficult time with is not just believing but accepting his role. Why should forgo his happiness and be a superhero? “Here’s the thing about beliefs – real beliefs. They change you….I didn’t think, even when the meteorite struck the earth, I would ever change, or ever believe in the truth that began to stalk me.”

Johnson has written the first book in a new YA series. Ms. Johnson has a way with words as evidenced in this sentence: “The nails sank in harder, a black steam rising as she released toxins of deceit into Gwen’s blood.” The Starlight Chronicles Slumbering is fantasy with strong spiritual overtones.

Here’s the thing about beliefs – real beliefs. They change you….I didn’t think, even when the meteorite struck the earth, I would ever change, or ever believe in the truth that began to stalk me.

I enjoy some young adult literature.  I like TCS Slumbering. I believe young readers will become fans of the series even though – and fortunately – there is no angsty love triangle.

The story engaged me as a reader. Two small issues bothered me about the book and they are small issues. The first being I am so removed from high school I found the recitation of everyday activities of students bogging me down. I wanted the storyteller to pick up the pace. However, this may be something that will lure and appeal to young readers.

Second, again because I liked reading, I wanted Hamilton to move from continuing denial and self-absorption to acceptance and action.  However this is an important factor in the tale so my complaint is unwarranted.

Johnson has written an excellent book for young adults.  Parents will have virtually no issues with the story or the message. The underlying theme is about belief and choosing to be a part of a greater good. Recommended. Check out an interview with the author C. S. Johnson.

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Author Interview: C. S. Johnson

Author Interview  For the book review go here.

Can you give me a Synopsis of Your Book?

“Slumbering” is the first book in my epic (not just awesome but the literal epic) novel series. It follows the story of Hamilton Dinger, who is a cynical narcissistic but charismatic and talented teenager, who insists he leads a ‘perfect’ life (so he says!) Hamilton finds out after a strange meteorite crashes into his town he has supernatural abilities, which he must use to protect his city from danger. He is reluctant to do so, however, knowing if he does, the control he has on his life will likely vanish. Along with the evil Seven Deadly Sinisters, and their leader, Hamilton finds himself in the company of Starry Knight, a beautiful warrior with a deadly bow and arrow, and Elysian, a changeling dragon who breaths celestial fire. It quickly becomes apparent the self-sufficient Starry Knight views Hamilton as a nuisance, and Elysian is more a hindrance than a help, as he asserts himself into the position of Hamilton’s ‘mentor.’

What is the primary theme of your book?

The main theme is about belief. There are ideas and events in our lives which define us, but we can just as easily define them on our own terms. Hamilton, determined to follow the life he has chosen for himself – which includes finding a girlfriend who is ‘a good fit’ for him and his life, gaining recognition for his athleticism, and graduating at the top of his class and eventually becoming a successful government worker – doesn’t want to believe there is anything better for him than what he has planned out. So when something supernatural does happen to him, he is anything but happy. Much of the book seems to focus on his origins as a ‘superhero,’ but it actually is more concerned with his moral development and his gradual acceptance of truth. He goes from wondering if he is insane, to forced ignorance, to denial, to wondering if he is physically unwell, to being paranoid, irritated, and constantly inconvenienced by the new truth in his life. Needless to say this makes for some very funny scenes and relatable reading, but it is really only funny because it is true of us as well.

What drove you to write this book?

A complicated amount of incidents, really. ‘Wingdinger,’ Hamilton’s superhero name, sparked the character idea; a stirring debate over morality and religion set the stage for his cynicism, and my own self-reflective identification with the character’s simultaneous disdain and yearning for a true surprise lent itself to the plot. High school memories, both pushed away and held close, provided a starting stage. Life inspired the true love despite pride.

What is your writing process?

Fru-fru coffee, write, go back and edit, write some more, wash, rinse, repeat, read it completely, take half of it out, change the tense, change it again, get reluctant husband and/or other victim to read it, try to determine how ‘nice’ the reviewer is being vs. how truthful, go back, read, think “This is great! I can’t believe I wrote this,” submit to whoever or whatever I am writing for, read it again, get depressed, more coffee, lots of hoping and praying and trying not to go crazy, read other books, think, “My book is WAY better than THAT,” then pray to ask God for forgiveness for being so proud because of secret fear I will lose my writing ability if I get too cocky, see the reception of my writing, see all the good, and feel like I just conquered the world within myself, and see the one bad remark and feel like the world just collapsed…talk to my mother and then begin again.

You self-published through Westbow Press. Why did you choose this publication path? Can you share the pros and cons of self-publication?

I actually submitted my manuscript through the 2012 Munce Manuscript competition. I won 2nd place, which won publication though WestBow (I was aiming for the grand prize, which was publication through Thomas Nelson. I am still hoping they call me up and offer 2.4 million for the complete series) I chose the publication here because I didn’t have to pay for it, which is the major con of self-publishing. The pros of self-publishing are just that you can write, design, and market your book your own way; these are things which depend on your purpose and goals for writing. Personally, I see writing as both a necessity and an indulgence. I need it, and I need it to matter. And the WestBow team assured me, out of the 250+ manuscripts, mine was really great.

If you were to re-write your book or edit anything in the published version what would you change?

I don’t think I would really change anything. Some of my reviewers have told me Hamilton is a bit over the top, but I know people (including myself) who act a lot like him. The major difference is you can read his thoughts, and see how proud and cynical and conflicted he is, but you do start championing for him in the end. Others have told me the dialogue sounds a bit forced, but I can only say the teenage years require a lot of that. So does adulthood if you haven’t gotten it all out of your system! There is also a lot of extra curricular events, including sports and drama which people said didn’t seem to be needed quite so much, but I secretly laugh at them. There are very important and intentional reasons I included what I did, and a lot has to do with the series itself as it unfolds. I insist on keeping my writing realistic, even though I am writing fantasy, and ‘real’ life goes on even if the world is ending. Besides, the first time Hamilton meets someone like Starry Knight, do you really think he is going to pay the ‘proper amount’ of attention? No, he will walk right by her several times, maybe looking at her but never truly seeing her.

Do you have more books in the works?

There is a whole series in front of Hamilton and company with “The Starlight Chronicles.” I am hoping to get book 2 finished by the end of next year, though possibly sooner. I have an interim short story for the series coming out in anthology soon, which I call the Christmas episode. I also have my debut adult fiction work, “Soul Descent,” out for judgment on The Next Novelist (via nextnovelist.com) and I have a new trilogy in the works that is much more sci-fi and much less satire than “Slumbering.” I also have a couple of good ideas for stories that I need to research.

Is there any one thing you would like to share with readers?

The books I write are much more than paper and glue splattered with silly ink patterns. They are my brainchildren, the making-real of the worlds I have escaped to when chased by pain, teasing, and heartbreak. To you, $3.99 for the ebook might seem like a lot, but I could never put a true price on these stories. They are a very real part of my life, even if they are not really real. And while I wrote them for God, and for myself, I also wrote them for you.

If it helps, think of the $3.99 as shipping and handling costs and buy it anyway (please.)

For more on the author:

https://www.facebook.com/TheStarlightChroniclesSlumbering

http://www.csjohnsonetc.blogspot.com/

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Saturday Steals: Book Bargains 10/11/13

Welcome and thank you for returning to Saturday Steals. Every week I search for book bargains for readers. This week has many offerings. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the books listed.

I think this book sounds fascinating!
Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria by Rahma Krambo. $4.99 from Smashwords.com STEAL.  

In the wrong hands, some books can be dangerous—and some libraries can be positively deadly. A small town library cat and newly appointed Guardian of an ancient mystical book finds otherworldly creatures roaming through the stacks after hours. The young tabby is ill-prepared for the daunting task of safekeeping the magical book of power—as well as the very heart and soul of the library.

Phantasy  by Marlow SR. FREE on Kindle.  How about a paranormal dark comedy?

Fired from his job, dumped by his girlfriend and shoved around by the world, a young, lazy, day-dreamer takes refuge in his world of dreams and fantasies, and finally decides to become a writer. And what does he want to write about? He wants to write about monsters! He wants to write about fights, action, adventure, etc.! He’s writing a book about: 

‘Two simple minded, happy-go-lucky buddies suddenly find themselves in trouble. when they are attacked by a fireball-belching monster whom nothing seems to be able to defeat. When all the tricks of the local police fail to control the creature, and ordinary bullets and bombs prove useless, the captain figures out that the monster can be gotten rid of using only (un)natural means!’
He has started created a world of his own, a world in which only HE can rule with full authority. But will he be able to finish what he’s started? More importantly, will he be able to taste success in his new venture?

EARLY FREE ALERT! On 10/31 – Halloween,  Blood Stained Lives by Ronald Edward Griffin will be free. Mark your calendar for the haunting!
Namon is a young man with a destiny that has haunted him since his birth. His parents were murdered to protect his existence a secret from those that would cause him harm. His godmother Katrina raises him to the best of her ability. Months before his 18th birthday though events occur that force her to reveal his destiny.     Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

How about a FREE Short Story Curse of Death to introduce you to a new YA Paranormal series? Try out the short then buy the book Touch of Death  by Kelly Hashway.  

In Touch of Death Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know. After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. 

Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

Mystical Maxims by Robert S. Hare. STEAL.  MYSTICAL  MAXIMS is  magical! The 500+ axioms penetrate one’s spirit, releasing pent-up heroic  instincts. Enjoy timeless philosophical Truth and invaluable noble  aphorisms.    HALF-PRICE SALE! Use  coupon EP68Y  .

https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=thewrilifforr-20&l=ur2&o=1

 Need a little Romance in your life? How about a LOT of Romance? Check out these FREE Wild Rose Press books. Free Wild Rose Romance Reads

Interested in a new series? Here is a STEAL at $0.99 for Book 1 Cruel Justice by M. A. Comley. If you like then try Book 2 Impeding Justice.

The headless body of a wealthy widow is discovered  decomposing in Chelling Forest. Then a second victim is found. Detective  Inspector Lorne Simpkins and her partner, DS Pete Childs are assigned the case. 
Before they can discover the identity of the killer they  must make a connection between the two victims.  After a third murder, Lorne receives a grisly surprise.  Clearly, a vicious serial killer is on a rampage…and Lorne has become the  killer’s fixation.

For my Crafting friends.  McCalls, yes the pattern company has all books priced 20% off from 10/11 – 10/24.

Thinking of starting a business? Yes you – crafter, blogger, reader? Here is a STEAL
Fat-Free Marketing by Jeff Kontur. $9.99 from Smashwords.com
An indispensable guide for marketing a small business. This book covers an almost mind-boggling range of promotional ideas, yet remains a quick and easy read.
Link to Smashwords here.

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