Monday, February 28, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway from Author Rob Tobin: God Wars: Living With Angels Book 1

Hi, my name is Rob Tobin. I'm a Canadian novelist, screenwriter, non-fiction book author, and speaker, living and writing full-time in Huntington Beach, southern California with my wife Leslie and goofy-but-loveable dog Shackobe. I want to thank Kris and all her wonderful blog readers for giving me the distinct privilege of doing a guest blog here today.

Doing these kind of guest blogs is always a bit of a tightrope walking act, because the reason I'm here is that I'm on a blog tour to promote my upcoming e-novel, "God Wars: Living with Angels," book one of the "God Wars" trilogy, an urban fantasy, available on March 1 from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Omnilit.com. There, you see, just in explaining why I'm here I've become a crass pitchman, lol. I feel as if I should be hawking Shamwows -- which actually sell better than most books do anyway.

Kris very kindly gave me what she called "creative freedom" to blog about whatever I wanted to here today, and what I'd like to chat about is the genre of urban fantasy, and the process of writing a book in this genre. First, let's define that genre: it's fantasy that takes place in a modern setting, whereas traditionally fantasy has been set in alternate worlds or in the past.

Reading fiction of any kind involves putting oneself into the hero's shoes, whether a tragedy (where the hero succumbs) or a non-tragic story (where the hero overcomes and triumphs), but none so much as urban fantasy. Fantasy in general represents the ultimate wish fulfillment, the reader living vicariously through the hero in ways that are impossible in the normal physical universe, and of course today there is no genre as hot as fantasy, especially YA fantasies such as "Twilight" and "Harry Potter," which have sold hundreds of millions of copies. Urban fantasy goes even further than "regular" fantasy, because it brings the impossibility and limitlessness and wish fulfillment of fantasy into our every day lives, into OUR world, not just some parallel sword and sorcery world or into some past setting. This is not our father's fantasy story, it's OURS.

That, you see is the key to the genre: it gives us the ability to fulfill dreams that life itself might not give us -- that are, in fact, so amazingly wonderful that they go beyond the realities of life, of physics, of facts and figures and hard truths. And, it does so in our world, in a way we can identify with even more closely than when watching this kind of magic take place in castles and societies of the past, or in alien or alternate worlds. The authors are not just bringing us into a world of magic, they are bringing magic into our world. You can't get much more enjoyable than that, and that is why the genre is so amazingly successful.

This is also why I wrote "God Wars: Living with Angels," which is about a young woman in today's world, who is drawn into witchcraft by a sinister figure posing as one of her law professors, and she develops magical powers that allow her to avenge herself against the "bad people" of the world around her, including the gangbanger who paralyzed her, putting her into a wheelchair and killing her parents. This is one of the ultimate wish fulfillment scenarios, especially because it is set in our world, so that the "bad people" are people we recognize and even have to deal with occasionally in our lives. And how often do these people get their comeuppance? Not often enough. Sometimes never. But in fantasy, urban fantasy especially, we get to emerge triumphant vicariously through the hero's triumphs, and in a setting and against opponents so deliciously familiar to us.

Urban fantasy, then, is a bit like country music -- it's not Bach, but it's fun, it's ours, and it tells stories we can identify with far more than most of us can identify with, say, opera or huge, inaccessible and brilliantly complex classical music. In the end, then, fantasy and urban fantasy is a guilty pleasure and the really nice thing about it is that it contains absolutely no calories, cholesterol, transfats or carcinogenic substances!

Enjoy your fantasies, then, and don't worry, you don't have to work it off on the stair master afterward! And don't worry -- unlike those "other" fantasies, you don't really have to feel guilty about them, lol.

Thanks Kris, and to you blog readers, for letting me discuss the urban fantasy genre, and I hope to come back here sometime to see you all again.

Best,
Rob Tobin"God Wars: Living with Angels," available on Amazon.com on March 1.

Giveaway:

Rob is offering one lucky winner a copy of his ebook. If you would like to enter please leave a comment or question for Rob!
-ends March 10th

Friday, February 25, 2011

Quickie Review: The Time Pirate by Ted Bell

Loved this action packed MG/YA book. It was a great follow up to the first and defenitely a good pick for those reluctant boy readers. It's action packed and fun!
About The Book:
(From Goodreads)
A thrilling sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Nick of Time in which the young time traveler Nick McIver must prove his courage once more, on two fronts: in World War II era England, where Nazis have invaded his homeland, and in America during the Revolution, where Nick stands shoulder to shoulder with General George Washington. It’s 1940 and the Nazis are invading Nick’s beloved home, the British Channel Islands. So Nick takes to the skies in an old World War I fighter plane he discovers in an abandoned barn. Determined to learn to fly, he is soon risking life and limb to photograph armed German mine layers and patrol boats, and executing incredibly perilous bombing raids over Nazi airfields by night. Meanwhile, the evil pirate, Captain Billy Blood, still desperate to acquire Nick’s time machine, returns to Greybeard Island. He kidnaps Nick’s sister, Kate, and transports her back to Port Royal, Jamaica, in the year 1781, leaving Nick a message that if he wants to see her alive again, he must come to Jamaica and make an even swap: Kate’s life for Nick’s wondrous time machine. Traveling back in time, Nick discovers a plot that threatens to change the outcome of the American Revolution. Disguised as an eighteenth-century cabin boy, he travels to the Caribbean and confronts his old enemy, who has assembled the world’s largest pirate armada. From the battlefields of the New World to the brutal German occupation of English soil in World War Two, The Time Pirate has Nick McIver fighting once again to defend his country, the outcome of two wars resting on his young shoulders.
Review copy: Mine

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Love Of A Stonemason by Christa Polkinhorn

This was a tale of loss, love, and life told beautifully by Christa. The characters are a touching blend of imperfect and real.

The author's attention to detail is impecable and makes you feel as if you are traveling along with Karla and Andreas. It's one of those books to take you away.

I loved Christa's smooth writing style and ability to make me feel emotional throughout the story.

If you are looking for a tale that has a realistic representation of life and love then you may want to check his one out.

About The Book:

The young painter, Karla Bocelli, is no stranger to loss. When she was five years old, her mother died in a car crash in the south of Switzerland. Her Peruvian father lives at the other end of the world, and a year ago, her aunt and guardian passed away. Now, at age twenty-four, Karla almost gets hit by a speeding car. As if this wasn't fateful enough, Andreas, the driver, turns out to be a sculptor and carver of tombstones. In spite of his profession, Andreas is anything but morbid. Quick-tempered and intense, he exudes a rough-and-tumble energy. After a tumultuous start of their relationship, Karla comes to see in Andreas the "rock in her life," the perfect antidote to her fears of abandonment and bouts of depression. Andreas, however, wrestles with his own ghosts: an alcoholic father who abused him as a child and his own fits of anger. Together, the two artists must confront the demons that haunt them. Love of a Stonemason is a story about the struggle of two artists with their past, their family, their creativity, and their love for each other. Told from the point of view of Karla, it depicts the world through her painter's sensibility. It takes the reader on a journey full of sights, smells, tastes, and sounds from the south of Switzerland to Italy and the Peruvian Andes.

Review copy provided by author. All opinions are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dual Review: Cara Mia and The Twilight Of The Gods by Denise Verrico




If you're looking for something different in your vampire books then this is a good place to start. Denise Verrico spins an original tale on vampires...something unexpected and exciting!

She has attention to detail and creates interesting multi-dimensional characters in her stories. Both Mia and Kurt are wonderful characters who make you want to root for them as they find their way through the many tials they have to face.

There are twists and turns, love, and unexpected events that keep you on your toes and keep you entertained. I enjoyed it!

About Cara Mia:
(from Goodreads)

Vampires Mia and Kurt become involved in a deadly mission to harness the power of immortality. Mia Disantini is a vampire whose greatest desire is to walk in the sun again. She is enslaved by her charismatic master, Ethan, and plunged into an ancient, unenlightened Immortyl culture. As Mia struggles for the freedom to live as she chooses, she is trained as Ethan's Bird of Prey. Soon she becomes the pawn of their powerful, enigmatic elder, Brovik, in his deadly games of deception and intrigue against his rival, Gaius, concerning their forbidden science experiments. When Mia is cast out by Ethan she joins forces with Kurt, and together the lovers steal fire from the gods and deliver it to Genpath Laboratories. The company CEO Lee Brooks deceives and imprisons the pair. While held captive, Mia calls upon the aid of Dr. Joe Ansari. The couple is hunted for their crime and time is running out. Will Mia and Kurt escape with their lives and succeed in their mission before their Immortyl enemies harness the power of immortality for evil purposes?

About Twilight Of The Gods:
(From Goodreads)

Vampire lovers Mia and Kurt are on the run from their Forbidden Science rival Gaius Lupus.
After narrowly escaping the implosion of Genpath Laboratories, Immortyls Mia Disantini and Kurt Eisen go into hiding in a place they think is safe. All too soon they are discovered, and Kurt is captured by Gaius.When he's rescued with the aid of feral child and teen vampires known as sewer rats, Mia witnesses first-hand the charismatic spell her lover casts over these would-be revolutionaries, who vow to join Kurt in his mission to bring down the house of Gaius.Meeting obstacles to government funding to support the research that will one day allow them to walk in the sun, Kurt builds his forces. Mia navigates the minefield of rat politics, where she is distressed to be shunted into the background; viewed merely as an overly ambitious concubine who stands between the beloved "Loki" and his followers. One in particular-the oddly timid but beautiful Arturo, who threatens to sever the deep bond between Mia and Kurt.Will Kurt and Mia defeat Gaius's brutal attacks and realize their dream of a cure for their condition? Will the new order they establish survive betrayal from within? And...will their love adapt to the challenge of a third partner?

Review copy provided by publisher. All opinions are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: In Dreams Begin by Skyler White

At first I was expecting one thing and then was totally surprised by what actually came to be.

This is not your average paranormal, fit into a mold book. It has extreme depth and emotion that will leave you entwined in the story and not wanting to put it down.

Skyler has written a thought provoking piece of work that will leave you asking deep questions about love, life, and how far that love can go.

It's not a book that you can speed read...you have to soak it in and take your time. You'll get caught up in these characters before you know it.

I loved it!


About The Book:
(from Goodreads)

n a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry, and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power-but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist, instead. When Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne, Laura falls in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats. Their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats' poetry- until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces between Laura's time and her own. With Laura's Irish past threatening her orderly present, she and Yeats must find a way to make their love last over time, in changing bodies...or lose each other forever.

About The Author:
(from Goodreads)

Skyler White crafts challenging fiction for a changing world. Populated with angels and rock stars, scientists, demons and revolutionaries, her dark stories explore the secret places where myth and modernity collide.

Review copy provided by publisher. All opinions are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feature: teen YA author Paige Agnew!




About The Author:

Paige wrote her first book, Starless Sky at age 15 and published it in January of 2010. Starless Sky was birthed during the time of grief and loss while Paige was in the 8th grade.

Paige loves to know that she can speak words of life through writing that brings entertainment, escape, or healing to readers. She can write words that make readers cry, laugh, exclaim with excitement, or stay up all night wondering what happens in the end. Her sense of humor and from the heart personality shines through her writing.

She was born in Michigan. Her compassion and sense of humor is in all of her writings. When Paige is not writing, she enjoys sports, dancing, singing, playing the piano, reading and attending her brother's college football games. In addition, spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Tigger are important to her. She is also actively involved in her church and community.

Visit Paige Agnew's website http://paigeagnew.com

About The Book:

Life is funny sometimes. Little kids drop ice cream cones, people in general often run in to screen doors, there's even the occasional moment when one might trip going up the stairs. Kahlen could expect those things, deal with them even. But what she didn't expect, not even in her wildest, horrific nightmares, that just as something so terrible could happen, something so wonderful could follow after it.

When Kahlen Thomas has a difficult time dealing with the lost of her best and only friend, she has hopes that the new boy at school, Kennley Morgan, will be the perfect distraction from her pain. She slowly realizes that Kennley doesn't as much distract her from her problems as much as he adds to them because of his own interesting past.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: Wanted Undead Or Alive by Jonathan Maberry and Janice Bashman


If you are like me and love all things creepy and scary that go bump in the night then you must add this one to the TBR pile! It's educational...yes people I said educational; but in that morbid curiosity way.
Want to know about pulp fiction, the Lizzie Borden rhyme, or maybe RPG's? This book has got it all and can tell you about nearly every horror realated thing or the origin of it.
It's a seriously enjoyable read that I think you should check out if you want to find something far away from romance and fluffy bunnies...oh and it has some cool pictures!
About The Book:
(from Amazon)
These days you can-t swing an undead lycanthrope without hitting a Minion of Evil. They-re everywhere-TV, film, the basement-right behind you! It-s never been more important to know what you can do to keep them at bay. Garlic? silver bullets? holy water? torch-wielding mob?

From today-s foremost experts on nightmares-come-to-life, this indispensible guide identifies and describes mankind-s enemies-supernatural beasts, ghosts, vampires, serial killers, etc.-and unearths effective time-proven responses to each horrific threat.

Separate fact from fiction, the deadly from the merely creepy.

Learn when to stand your ground and when to run screaming for your life.

Determine which monster-specific heroes to call and their likelihood of success.

Consider your own potential as a Champion for Good, Conqueror of the Damned.

Whether we-re talking ancient vampire hunters or modern-day FBI profilers, it-s good to know someone-s got your back in the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. And this book, with over fifty illustrations, as well as commentary from luminaries like filmmaker John Carpenter, author Peter Straub, and the legendary Stan Lee, provides all the information and reassurance you need to sleep soundly at night. Just not too soundly.

With 8 pages of color art
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Citadel (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0806528214
ISBN-13: 978-0806528212
Review Copy: Author
**I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner....

Ok so it's not chicken dinner but you have won a book! If you see your name here please email me @ ksg_amg(at)yahoo.com with your mailing addy so your prizes can go on their way!

Books With Love Hop!
Linda Kish
Bloody Valentine
SophTheWriter
An Unexpected Evening and Swag Pack
Danielle Gorman
Darklands
Print copy- Ek0O724
Ebook- BJ (I already have your email)

Review and Blog Tour: Dreams Of A Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole


Seriously people...Kresley Cole is just an awesome writer. Her books always make me swoon. This story of the "star crossed lovers" was a total winner for me.
The Immortals After Dark Series has always rocked my world so I had been looking forward to this one. Sometimes I worry when I get excited that I'll end up being dissapointed. Not the case!
The plot twist is great and these characters are just spectacular. I love Regin and well; Aidan/Declan...gotta love the bad boys. We always want to straighten them out. *shrug*
If you're a fan of this series (or even if you've never read it) defenitely check this one out!
About The Book:
(From Amazon)
HE VOWED HE’D COME FOR HER . . .

Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.

SHE AWAITS HIS RETURN . . .

When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.

TO SATE A DESIRE MORE POWERFUL THAN DEATH . . .

Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?
Book Info:
Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Pocket (February 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439136807
ISBN-13: 978-1439136805
Review Copy: Publisher
About Kresley Cole:
(from Amazon)
KRESLEY COLE is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the vastly popular Immortals After Dark paranormal series. Two IAD novels—A Hunger Like No Other and Kiss of a Demon King —won the RITA Award for Best Paranormal Romance, and Kiss of a Demon King topped the New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. Kresley Cole has also written five award-winning historical romances.

A master’s grad in English and former competitive athlete, Kresley lives in Florida with her husband and far too many pets.

Visit her website at www.kresleycole.com
**Review copy provided by publisher. I received no monetary comp. for this post. All opinons are my own.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review and Blog Tour: The Kensei by Jon F. Merz


This book really has it all! Vampires, paranormal elements, ninjas, humor, and gusto! I REALLY enjoyed it and found it to be a fast paced read with the right amount of action, drama, and of course some kick butt martial arts.
This is one that the man or woman in your life can read and find enjoyable. It has a great balance for all. You'll be pulled into this one and flipping pages to find out what happens next.
This is book 5 in a series but I'll say that it can certainly stand alone. I haven't read the first four but I think I'll be searching for them soon.
I'll say that I think Lawson is awesome! (I rhymed!)
About The Book:
Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and part commando -- James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a battle-weary Lawson heads to Japan for a little rest and some advanced ninja training. But he no sooner steps off the plane than lands in the midst of a Yakuza turf war orchestrated by a shadowy figure known as the Kensei. With the help of Talya, a former KGB-assassin, Lawson must put a stop to the Kensei’s organ trafficking networks, prevent the creation of an army of vampire-human hybrids, and save his own skin in the process.
About The Author:
Jon F. Merz is a writer with over a dozen published novels, a producer for New Ronin Entertainment and a trained black belt ninja. He has taught defensive tactics to civilian crime watch groups, police, military units, and agencies like the US Department of State, the Department of Justice, and the Bureau of Prisons. In his past, Jon served with the United States Air Force, worked for the US government, and handled executive protection for Fortune 500 clients. He lives with his wife and two sons in suburban Boston. Visit his Web site at www.jonfmerz.net.
Book Info:
St. Martin's Griffin, January 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-66223-3,
ISBN10: 0-312-66223-8,
Review Copy: Publisher
** I received NO monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feature and Giveaway from Author David H Burton <---awesome guy!

I must tell you that I adore David! He is among one of the first authors to give me a chance when I started blogging and since I love his stuff I'm more than happy to tell all of you about him! Stay tuned after all the blurbage (I know...not a word) for a very AWESOME giveaway!

About Scourge:
(I love that cover!)
Two dads, five siblings, and goggles!
Grim Doyle has always known his life was not exactly "normal", and thingsget even more curious when he discovers a set of stones that sweep him andhis family to the fantasy, steampunk world of Verne - a place they hadescaped from years ago. Now that they've returned, Grim and his siblingshide from the evil Lord Victor and his minions. And while learning aboutJinns, Mystics, and the power of absinth they try to discover who is trying to kill them with the deadly Scourge.
****************************************
As for what I'm working on:
I have another children's novel that I'm posting live at my blog as I write it called Billy Bones: Beyond the Grave that I hope to release this summer.
********************************************
I'm also releasing a paranormal romance novel in the spring titled Broken.
(A note from me...the blogger: Go check out the blurb on this one! It sounds really good! Curses and Fey!)
*******************************************
I have a dark fantasy novel I released last year called The Second Coming which you so very kindly reviewed, to which I'm hoping to have the next book in the series out by the end of the year. I'm also trying to work in the next of the Grim Doyle series as well.

(Note from me again: Creepy book but oh so good!)
Now for the awesome giveaway!
FIVE people have the opportunity to win an electronic version (ebook) of Scourge with a dedication page, addressed tothe winner, that is autographed by me.
Here is the awesome part!!
Davidwill substitute the name of one of the minor characters in the book with the name of the winner. It makes for a unique version of the book for those that want it.
So if you want to enter please leave a way to contact you.
+1 for old or new followers
+1 if you spread the word in any way

Monday, February 14, 2011

Books With Love Hop!

Hi everyone and welcome to the blog! Today is the start of the Valentine's Day Books With Love Hop put on by Once Upon A Twilight and Good Choice Reading!

For my giveaway I'll have one lucky US reader who will receive a copy of In Dreams Begin by Skyler White! It's an awesome book and my review will be coming up on it in about a week so watch for it.
Rules:
If you would like to enter please leave a comment along with a way for me to contact you. (I would use a form but I can never figure those things out! LOL!)
+1 entry if you are a follower-old or new (not needed to enter but I'd love for you to visit again!)
+1 entry if you tweet about it and add @KrisLovesBooks in your tweet
Remember that this is US only. Sorry all, but postage is expensive.
Other Stops:


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Call to authors, publishers, and bloggers! We're talking animals!

(photo copyright The Cajun Book Lady)

Hey Friends! I'm going to be doing a month long special later this year. I'm making a call out now to prepare for 31 days of dogs and cats on the blog. I'm looking for non-fiction and fiction with a strong animal presence. I'll consider other animal stories also!

Examples of what I've read: Stay by Allie Larkin, Oogy, Sparkle The Cat, Advice from Stanley the Cat, The Chimp Who Loved Me...

I'm looking for guest posts also! So if you want to write about your favorite animal based book, favorite animal character from a book, your animal, etc. or your an author who would like to share pics and stories of your furry/feathered/scaled pets etc. Send me an email @ ksg_amg(at)yahoo.com

P.S. If you're wondering who the cute doggie is....that's our Biscuit!

The pups wanted to say an early Happy Valentine's Day!



I won't be online tommorrow and Monday is the Valentine's blog hop so Woofie, Biscuit, and myself would like to wish you all an early wonderful Valentine's day!



Thursday, February 10, 2011

author fail....or not?

Now you may be wondering why in the world I'm going there. Let me explain...it's another case of an author behaving badly. Normally I do NOT involve myself or my opinions in these things but I just can't help it this time. Read this post here if you want the back story. Be warned though...there are a lot of comments.

Now have you read it? Well let me tell you what I think. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter if it is right or wrong. BUT, I think the number one lesson that should be taught to authors right off the back...don't take a review personally and certainly don't bash a whole community based on a review that was less than favorable. Majority of authors know this "rule" and generally live by it.

In my OPINION, this post managed to tee off a lot of people in the book blogging community. In that lies the problem. Book bloggers have big mouths and we say what we think. That post has now spread over the book blogging world and grown to great proportions. We all have thoughts on it because it was offensive.

To say that "Oftentimes, the people who set up these kinds of blogs have never written a thing in their lives, except maybe a grocery list." is offensive to the entire blogging world. Big, epic, Fail! For a fact, I don't even write a grocery list! I just throw things in the cart willy nilly and hope I can make a meal out of it.

Sure, I should probably keep my opinions to myself but I was pained by this authors clumping of bloggers (who have a right to their opinions just as the author does) and I feel sorry for authors in general who tend to shoot themselves in the foot.

Bloggers are not bad people. We don't get paid to do this and if someone wants to approach us to review their book then they should expect ANYTHING! Just because we are given a free book, that doesn't mean a glowing review is given.

On my blog....because it's MY blog and I do what I want with it...If I hate a book I won't blog about it. Simple as that. I'll let the author know that I'm not writing a review of it. But isn't that dishonest, you ask? Well no, I just don't want the negativity directed at me because of things like this. I will post a review if I even semi-liked a book. Just because I didn't LOVE it doesn't mean you won't LOVE it. See what I mean? If you truly can not handle criticism then don't ask for a review. Nobody beats down the doors on Kirkus, NY Times, etc when they get a bad review.

My point is this...do not bash the book blogging community. It will come back to haunt you. It is spread like a virus over the net and now there is a good chance that thousands of bloggers have seen it, commented on it, posted on their blog about it, and their thousands of readers have read about it.

So now that I've said all that I'm done. I would LOVE to get some opinions from my readers and some of the authors that I know follow this blog. What are your general thoughts on these situations?

Disclaimer: I am not a professional as you can see. I'm sure I have a ton of punctuation and grammatical errors but that is OK!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

YA Review and Giveaway: Starless Sky by Paige Agnew

This was a good one. It was a touching book that dealt with a difficult subject. It was interesting for me to read this one because I was fascinated by the fact that a teen wrote it. I liked seeing how a YA story was written from a YA perspective.

Paige does seem to be a descriptive writer who wants you to really know what's going on in the story. For a contemporary YA I thought it was a good and I can't wait to see this author grow over time.

About The Book:

(From Goodreads)

Life is funny sometimes. Little kids drop ice cream cones, people in general often run in to screen doors, there's even the occasional moment when one might trip going up the stairs. Kahlen could expect those things, deal with them even. But what she didn't expect, not even in her wildest, horrific nightmares, that just as something so terrible could happen, something so wonderful could follow after it.


When Kahlen Thomas has a difficult time dealing with the lost of her best and only friend, she has hopes that the new boy at school, Kennley Morgan, will be the perfect distraction from her pain. She slowly realizes that Kennley doesn't as much distract her from her problems as much as he adds to them because of his own interesting past.

About The Author:
(from The YP Publishing)


Paige wrote her first book, Starless Sky at age 15 and published it in January of 2010. Starless Sky was birthed during the time of grief and loss while Paige was in the 8th grade.


Paige loves to know that she can speak words of life through writing that brings entertainment, escape, or healing to readers. She can write words that make readers cry, laugh, exclaim with excitement, or stay up all night wondering what happens in the end. Her sense of humor and from the heart personality shines through her writing.


She was born in Michigan. Her compassion and sense of humor is in all of her writings. When Paige is not writing, she enjoys sports, dancing, singing, playing the piano, reading and attending her brother's college football games. In addition, spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Tigger are important to her. She is also actively involved in her church and community.


Visit Paige Agnew's website http://paigeagnew.com



Now for the giveaway:


-One lucky winner (in the US or Canada) will receive one copy of Paige's book!
- To enter leave a comment or question for the author along with an email that I can reach you at.
-+1 if you tweet this giveaway (please include @KrisLovesBooks in the tweet) or leave a link if you prefer
-+1 if you are a follower of the blog (old or new it doesn't matter just let me know )
-Giveaway ends on February 21st--> The day that Paige rejoins us for an interview!


**Review copy provided by author. All opinions are my own. I received NO monetary compensation for this post.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guest post from Author Sarwat Chadda!

After you read the guest post don't forget to look in the sidebar to enter the giveaway for Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess!

Girls Who Kick Ass

Since this is the genre (feminist paranormal ass-kickers) I write it I thought I’d take this opportunity to discuss Billi SanGreal’s ancestors.

Let’s deal with the obvious question first, why is a middle-aged English bloke writing about a teenage girl? Well, why not? But apart from that it’s because I have two daughters, both already ass kickers in their own right.

Billi SanGreal is the first female to be recruited into the Knights Templar. Her job is to fight the Unholy, the supernatural evil that preys on humanity. In Devil’s Kiss she faced the Angel of Death, in Dark Goddess she fights a twenty thousand year old witch and her followers, a pack of all female werewolves. There is swordfighting. There is horror. There is tragic romance. The best things in life, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I’ve picked three female ass-kickers, one modern, one historical and one mythical. They’re the three biggest influences in creating Billi SanGreal.

1. Buffy Summers. I came to Buffy later than most.

I’d seen the movie back in the day but hadn’t watched the series until I was into my third or fourth draft of Devil’s Kiss. But Buffy casts a long shadow so I had to mention her.

I love Buffy. I love her world and Giles and Spike and the rest of the Scoobie Gang. ‘Once More with Feeling’ remains one of the best bits of tv ever. Buffy’s got the moves, the humanity, the humour. The series moved seamlessly from light comedy, to belly-laughing (spank-monkey indeed) to raw pathos. Seven series of sublime brilliance. I couldn’t compete on the humour so I thing (subconsciously at least) the tone of my books went darker to distance myself from the Buffy-verse. Buffy has plenty of dark moments, but they’re highlights against a fairly bright and hopeful world. I went bleak where the humour is the faint flicker in an otherwise grim world. That said the Holy Grail joke still makes me laugh.

2. Athene. The Greek goddess of war and wisdom.

The ultimate Daddy’s girl. Sprung from the head of Zeus armed and armoured, ready to rumble. Now that’s an entrance.

War is when we need wisdom most. A warrior has the power of life and death over the defenceless and that’s when things go wrong. Life’s a fragile thing. But such wisdom comes only with questioning, with doubt. Who’s the good guy? No-one really knows. When I wrote Dark Goddess I wanted my ‘villain’ to have an agenda that was just as pure, just as noble as Billi’s. Maybe even more so. The witch, the dark goddess, wants to save the world. Can’t get more noble than that. But to save it she needs to get rid of the thing that’s infecting it. Mankind.
To stop her Billi must kill an innocent child. Someone who’s done nothing wrong but be born at the wrong time at the wrong place. But the fate of the world turns on the smallest of lives.

3.. Boudicca. Queen of the Iceni tribes she fought the Romans and destroyed London. She’s just one of the coolest characters in British history.

Billi’s got that raw rage and passion of Boudicca. That capacity for total war. You cross her and she will unleash hell. Dark Goddess introduces us to a harsher Billi, one who’s suffered and will not be open to pain again. It’s made her tougher, but at what cost? I think the book’s as much about her making impossible choices as it is about her opening her heart again to love. Boudicca made war until she was destroyed. Her rage burned her out and all those who served alongside. I like the idea of Billi having that temptation, that capacity for self-destruction. It makes her the hero she is. I think we all have that capacity, to allow ourselves to fall into the downward spiral. It’s exciting, its powerful, but ultimately destructive and leaves nothing but ash and legends.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Guest Post from Author Staci Greason!


The Last Great American Housewife by Staci Greason

Out on a Limb

One of the things I like the best about writing is digging deep to the roots of a story to uncover the strange, extraordinary and true in the life of the ordinary. To grow a book this way requires patience, diligence and the willingness to go on a journey.

When I started writing The Last Great American Housewife it wasn’t about a housewife on the verge of forty whose mother dies. It was a story about the end of the world, a group of young eco-terrorists, and one lone redwood. The first draft of the book was around four hundred pages. I gave it to my mentor, the wonderful and generous writer, Jim Krusoe. “The only character I like is the housewife,” he said. “That’s the story. Try leaving out the whole end of the world thing, too.” And so Kate, the housewife, claimed her spot as the hero. She stalked elderly women in grocery stores, skated around an affair with a college student and eventually climbed a tree by the mall to save it from destruction. The eco-terrorists were softened into college environmentalists, playing minor roles in Kate's story.

Over the course of the next six years through various day jobs, boyfriends loved and lost, moves to Colorado and back to California, I continued to peck away. At times I cried and closed the laptop only to return (of course) because what else is there to do but continue? I researched trees, drove around the San Fernando Valley and tended to Kate’s story.

When it was over, I felt depleted, happy and satisfied with the work. The next part (I mistakenly thought) was up to my agent. For a year she tried to sell the book. Finally one day she sent an email, “You’ve written the perfect book that no one wants.” She suggested that I publish an electronic version to get a little attention. Suggesting self-publishing to a novelist is like asking a gourmet chef to open a hot dog stand in his front yard. I fired her immediately. Writer friends warned, “Don’t do it,” while artist friends asked, “Why not? Musicians make their own cds. Filmmakers make their own films.”

Over the course of the next few months, I took a good hard look at myself. Was my goal to be published by New York or to share my story? I had to let go of my attachment and ego and need to be validated as a writer. That’s when I realized - Kate’s journey is about bravery.

To create anything of lasting value artists must possess a pioneering spirit. It isn’t about what anyone else says. I wasn’t ready to give up on the book. I had to do the one thing I didn’t want to – climb out on a limb.

Recently my novel The Last Great American Housewife was released as an e-book on Amazon. It’s getting good reviews, but more importantly readers are really enjoying the book. I hope Kate’s inner transformation from grief into real happiness encourages people to tend to the strange, extraordinary and true within their own ordinary lives.

Here are a few links to find out more info on Staci and her book:

http://amzn.com/B004FPZ4QG
http://staciagreason.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/stacigreason
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Staci-Greason-Fan-Page/245554189548

Thanks for joining us today!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guest Post from Author Melissa De La Cruz!

Hey guys! Help me welcome Melissa De La Cruz! After reading her guest post, check on my side bar for a link to enter the giveaway for My Bloody Valentine.

Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of becoming such a big name in the YA community?

I am finding this a difficult question to answer, since the most rewarding aspect of becoming a "big name" (and like Sue Sylvester, I accept this with great false modesty J) are the usual rewards of any kind of popularity. Suddenly so many people want to be my friend, they laugh at my jokes, they invite me to parties, they think I'm really, really cool. (Which translates as, I get invited to more book fairs and conferences than ever before, and now I get sent on book tours and have a seat at the fancy publisher dinners I was never privy to in the past.)

Having been unpopular in high school, and noticing how people act around the "popular people" – the lucky few who have something everyone else wants: beauty (shiny hair, perfect teeth), or money (the BMW on the 16th birthday) or an inner self-confidence remarkable for a teenager (which usually comes from having these things), it's very strange to suddenly find myself in the "beauty bubble" since I'm still the same person, the same writer, before all the hoopla and the bestseller lists.

Being a "big name" or having sold a lot of books is rewarding as it brings a lot of validation, it says to the world: TOLD YA! I ROCK! SUCK IT UP! I used to call it "shut up" money. As in, I'm a success, so everyone can shut up now. Heh.

But to say that it is rewarding? I'm not sure. It's nice being in the bubble, certainly. There's champagne there, and god knows I love champagne. But here's a thing about bubbles—they pop. My motto has always been "Don’t Get Used To It." So for me, the most rewarding aspect of being a "big name" in the YA community is the same as when I was a nobody. The most rewarding aspect is the ability to be part of a young person's life. When I was a teen, books were the most important part of my life, I didn't have a boyfriend, but I was in love with Aragorn and Legolas, and my ideas of love were shaped by the relationships of Anne and Gilbert, Jo and the Professor, Lestat and Louis. J I wanted to move to New York because of Bright Lights, Big City and I'll Take Manhattan. Books allow you to dream, and to aspire to a different life than you are living. Books are everything. I didn't have a lot of friends, but I had a lot of books.

So when I hear from my readers, when they send emails and messages through Twitter, and create fan art, and come to my readings and tell me they want to be writers too, or that my books helped them through a hard part of school, or that my books were an escape from a difficult situation they were facing (parents' divorce, dad lost his job), it's incredibly soul-changing, and spirit-fortifying. It's certainly very rewarding to be able to reach a lot more people than I used to, as opposed to when my books would stay on the shelves for a few months and then disappear forever.

During my latest tour, a lot of the kids who came to the events weren't kids anymore. They were college kids who had started reading Blue Bloods in high school, or they were out of college and at their first jobs, some were newlyweds or first-time moms, and it's so corny—but it was so rewarding to see "my" kids grow up. Blue Bloods came out in 2006, and to know that my characters have been part of their lives for so long, that they're still invested in the story, and want to know what happens next, is just so very gratifying. I'm just unrolling a big spool of yarn here, and it just tickles me that I have an audience for all my spinning.

Review: Flip this Zombie (Living with the Dead #2) by Jesse Petersen

People...If you have yet to check out Jesse Peterson then you need to get a move on. I reviewed Book 1 when it first came out and loved it. I equally LOVED Book 2. Jesse manages to bring some dark humor to the post apocolyptic world. She is a witty writer who certainly entertains her audience. If your looking for some funny zombie snark; check this series out!

About The Book:
(from Goodreads)

The Zombie Apocalypse has been good to Sarah and David. Their marriage is better than ever. They communicate well, share responsibilities, and now, they're starting a business. ZombieBusters-for all your zombie extermination needs.

There are lots of zombies and that means lots of customers...Except one of them doesn't want the zombies dead, he wants them alive and ready for experimentation. Mad scientists make for difficult clients and this time, Sarah and David might have bitten off more than they can chew.

**Review copy provided by me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Interview and Giveaway: An Unexpected Evening by Roxanne Rhoads

Joining us today is the awesome Roxanne Rhoads! I had a few questions for her so let's see what she had to say! Stay tuned to the end to find out more info about the giveaway.

1. What made you decide to write in the paranormal genre instead of (let's say) chick-lit?

Paranormal is what I read. These days almost exclusively. I've always loved books that contained paranormal elements or even the possibility of paranormal elements like the old Gothic romances set in spooky old castles and mansions.

So it was natural when I started writing fiction that I began writing in the same genres I love to read.

2. As a paranormal writer what are your feelings on the explosion of the genre and do you think it will be something that is around for a long time.

Vampire fiction has endured throughout the past three centuries starting with Carmilla and Dracula in the 19th century, moving on to Anne Rice and all the other fabulous vampire fiction of the Twentieth century, and now to the explosion of both good and bad vampire fiction of the twenty first century.

I am sure some readers will get sick of fang filled books but diehard vampire fans (like myself) will always be willing to read a new vampire book. Vampires are immortal and enduring, so seems to be our fascination with them.

3. When creating your stories....where is your favorite place to write and why?

My little writing nook is a corner of my bedroom where my computer and desk are set up facing out the window into a wooded back yard where I can stop and enjoy the scenery and watch the wildlife that frequents the area.

I often watch the birds flutter around and laugh at the neighbors cats who sometimes climb the trees trying to chase them, with no luck. If you've never seen a cat try to back down a tree, it's something not to be missed if you enjoy laughing.

Squirrels are another one of my backyard visitors that I love to watch play. Some of my feathered and furred friends have even made it into a some scenes of one of my novels I'm working on.

It's nice to have a writing area where I can have a quiet place to write while still feeling connected to the world. Writing can sometimes be a lonely profession.

4. If you had to pick a book boyfriend,from any book you've ever read or written, who would it be?

I am currently book crushing on Bryn Lyons, a sexy wizard from Kimberly Frost's Southern Witch series and Anyan Barghest from Nicole Peeler's Jane True Series.

Bryn is everything I would want in a guy- sexy, smart, gorgeous with black hair and blue eyes (my kryptonite), he's loving, supportive, and wealthy. He's the perfect guy.

Anyan is the exact opposite of Bryn in some ways. Where Bryn is sleek and putogether Anyan is rough around the edges, and he's quiet so you never know exactly what's going on with him, and he's a big muscular guy (my other kryptonite) plus there is just something so endearing about him. My only fear is that since he's a shapeshifter, he shifts into a hellhound type of dog, I would be allergic to him since I'm allergic to dogs.

Wouldn't that just be my luck? Find the perfect guy and end up allergic to him because once in awhile he turns furry.

So I guess I'll stick with Bryn- who wouldn't be something bad to be stuck to at all.



About The Author:

Story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl...these are all words that can describe freelance writer and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads.

When not fulfilling one the many roles being a wife and mother of three require, Roxanne's world revolves around words...reading them, writing them, editing them, and talking about them.





About The Book:

Samuel is a centuries-old vampire who prefers to be a recluse. He is always afraid of losing control and becoming the monster he once was. Falling in love with a young witch has pushed his boundaries and pulled him out of his comfort zone.Katerina always encourages Samuel to be more open, to let loose, and to really "live" instead of only existing in the shadows.One night, he finally grants her wish . . . in ways she never imagined.











Giveaway from Roxanne:

Today I would like to offer one lucky reader a free pdf of my newest release An Unexpected Evening and an author swag pack which includes magnets, bookmarks, stickers, postcards, a button and more from me and other authors too.

Open to US Shipping only please.
-Ends Feb 14th

(And I'll add +1 entry if you spread the word in any way)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Donna Burgess: Darklands

On her Bewitching Book Tour stop today is Donna Burgess! I had a few questions for her....and certainly agreed with some of her answers!


1.What made you decide to write in the paranormal genre instead of (let's say) chick-lit?

I’ve always been a fan of anything strange. I also love horror, so I suppose it was only nature. I appreciate some chick-lit, but I can’t seem to write with a sense of humor (although I do have a good sense of humor when I’m not on paper or monitor).

2. As a paranormal writer what are your feelings on the explosion of the genre and do you think it will be something that is around for a long time.

I think paranormal writing has always been around. It was just called other things—gothic, horror, fantasy. Think about it—Poe wrote paranormal stories. When I first started writing vampire stories, it was still lumped into the “horror” category. Now it’s either paranormal or urban fantasy, and horror is the hardcore, blood ‘n guts stuff!

3. When creating your stories....where is your favorite place to write and why?

I have a great office in our bonus room, but it has become more of an exercise area. I usually write at the kitchen table, so I can be around my kids. Otherwise, I would be running downstairs every fifteen minutes. For privacy, I plug my earphones into my ears. Then all is good.

4. If you had to to pick a book boyfriend,from any book you've ever read or written, who would it be?

I thought Michael from my book, Darklands, was a nice enough guy, but a bit too normal for my taste. If I could pick a boyfriend from any book I’ve read, I’ll go with Eric Northman!


About Donna:



Donna Burgess is an author of dark fiction and poetry who enjoys surfing, painting and has a deep affection for all things Monty Python and low-budget horror flicks. Over the past fifteen years, her fiction and poetry has appeared in genre publications such as Weird Tales, Dark Wisdom, Sybil’s Garage and others. She has been married for twenty years and has two children. Her newest releases include Darklands: a vampire’s tale (the first book in the Darklands Vampires series) and Breaths in Winter, a short story collection. Both are available in print and e-book. When she is not conjuring, she can be found surfing.


About The Book:

Halloween night, twenty years ago, college student Susan Archer watched as her beloved twin brother was brutally murdered at the hands of a stranger she invited into their home. Still haunted by the guilt of that night, Susan is now a tough but bitter cop in a nowhere town, trying as best she can to lead a normal life. When she is nearly killed during a wild shoot-out, she realizes she is not as strong as she first thought.

Fearing a breakdown, she flees the confines of her safe boyfriend and familiar surroundings to find salvation in the arms of “Deathwalker” Devin McCree—the very man who killed her brother.

But things aren’t always what they seem and she quickly realizes Devin was not the monster she originally thought, but a kind of guardian angel instead.

On the run from a crazed Nazi vampire-hunter named Kasper, she and Devin must find a way to endure the dreary urban landscape of a dying metropolis and escape Kasper’s wrath.“Darklands: a vampire’s tale” is a sexy and violent tale of survival, bloodlust and two people grasping to the edge of immortality while trying to hang on the last shreds of their humanity.

“Darklands: a vampire’s tale” is the first volume in the Darklands Vampire series.


Giveaway:

1 print copy open to US Shipping and 1 ebook copy open international

Please leave a comment with a way to contact you.
+1 to new or olf followers
+1 if you spread the word in anyway
ends 2/20

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Early Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Hmmmm....what should I say about this one? I enjoyed it. I liked the characters, the setting, and the storyline. It was all enjoyable. I did have one "issue" with the book though. I'm not a "clean" reader so to speak. I can handle "rough" language and curse words. Heck, I can even curse in french....but I found that for the target age group there may have been more strong language used than necessary.
I think it's fine for the OLDER YA readers and adults like myself who like YA. I also think it fit in with the story because let's face it...this is not a "girly" fix my makeup at a sleepover type book. I'm just pointing it out for those readers that don't like strong language.
Otherwise, I liked it and enjoyed reading about places I know and have been to. I'm interested to see what happens to these characters in the future. Ari is an interesting girl with some interesting issues so I imagine that there may be more twists and turns to this story before it's all over with.
About The Book:
Ari can't help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can't be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it's impossible to protect herself when she doesn't know what she's running from or why she is being pursued.
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.
Ari won't stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
Simon Pulse, February 2011
Hardcover, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 144240924X
ISBN-13: 9781442409248
Grades: 9 and up
Review Copy: Publisher

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Giveaway: Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess

Are you all familiar with this series? Well if not check it out because I have an awesome giveaway for you all!

Devil's Kiss
(from Goodreads)

As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy. Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart. But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years -- a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.



Dark Goddess
(From Goodreads)

New enemies, new romance, and new horrors, Billi's back, and it seems like the Unholy just can't take a hint. Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi's thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil's seen before. They call themselves the Polenitsy - Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they're out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child -- an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone -- precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good. The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular. Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.

About The Author:

http://www.sarwatchadda.com/

Giveaway!

Thanks to the awesome people at Puffin and Authors On The Web I'm able to offer one lucky person a copy of Book 1 and Book 2!

-open to US addy's only
-ends Feb 14th
-Please leave a comment along with a way to contact you.
- +1 if you are a follower or become a follower (not necessary to enter)
- +1 if you help to spread the word in any way (just leave a link)