Monday, April 21, 2014

Fairy Tale Hop Giveaway: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


This hop is in conjunction with the 4th annual Fairy Tale Fortnight.  It’s the Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, The Book Rat, and A Backwards Story. It runs from April 22nd to May 3rd.

Please link on the badge to left to visit our host’s site.

I am giving away one paperback copy of a terrific and award-winning book which I rated a rare 5 stars. It’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I absolutely loved it.

It’s historical fantasy set in England during the Napoleonic Wars and features an incredible fairy that readers will not soon forget called – the man with the thistle down hair. Please read my review for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by linking on this text.

Excitingly the book is also being made into a a seven-part British drama television series to be shown on BBC One and is planned to be released sometime in 2014. I am very excited.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke

Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me ...

The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.

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Giveaway: Omega Days by John L. Campbell

Omega Days - John L. Campbell

We have a giveaway of one copy for a US address of this zombie horror novel. It’s set in the California Bay Area and called Omega Days, by John L. Campbell.

Here’s a bit more about the book via the publisher:

When the end came, it came quickly. No one knew where the Omega Virus started or exactly when, but soon it was everywhere. And when the ones spreading it can’t die, no one stands a chance of surviving.

San Francisco, California. Father Xavier Church has spent his life ministering to unfortunate souls, but he has never witnessed horror like this. After he forsakes his vows in the most heartrending of ways, he watches helplessly as a zombie nun takes a bite out of a fellow priest’s face…

University of California, Berkeley. Skye Dennison is moving into her college dorm for the first time, simultaneously excited to be leaving the nest and terrified to be on her own. When her mother and father are eaten alive in front of her, she realizes the terror has just begun…
Alameda, California. Angie West made millions off of her family’s reality gun show on the History Channel. But after she is cornered by the swarming undead, her knowledge of heavy artillery is called into play like never before…

Within weeks, the world is overrun by the walking dead.

Only the quick and the smart, the strong and the determined will survive—for now.

368 pages | 06 May 2014 | Berkley (Penguin) | 18 - AND UP

Please fill out the Google form to enter this giveaway. Good luck!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Giveaway: Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Mark of the Dragonfly - Jaleigh Johnson

Giveaway for US and/or Canada. We have 3 copies of this children’s fantasy for ages 12 years and older. The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson.

It’s getting some good reviews on Goodread and has some elements of steam punk which should be fun for younger readers.

For more about the book see the publisher’s description below:

Fans of The City of Ember will love The Mark of the Dragonfly, an adventure story set in a magical world that is both exciting and dangerous.

Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.

The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.

The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.

Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.

Delcourt Books for Young Readers (Random House)  | March 25, 2014 |  Hardcover | Pages: 400

To enter this giveaway please fill out the Google form:

Good luck and happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: The Rainbow Man by P. B. Kane

The Rainbow Man - P.B. Kane

Review by Shellie for The Rainbow Man by P. B. Kane

Shellie’s quick take:  An exciting young adult novel that has elements of horror, myth, and the paranormal.

Shellie’s description:  When fifteen year old Daniel finds a seemingly lifeless body on the shore of his island home, he feels that something is not right with the man John Dee (as the locals name him since he does not remember who he is). When the entire town appears to side with this newcomer and Daniel is treated as an acting-out teenager, things get a little sticky. Daniel decides it’s up to him save the town’s folk from this stranger - a man who is not as he appears to be.

With elements of horror and a mythological ending that’s a great surprise, this story will have readers sitting on the edge of their chair until the conclusion.

Shellie’s thoughts:  This is a terrific slowly escalating thriller that readers who love scary books will devour. I know I did. And it’s a perfect read to take in on one sitting. At 162 pages, for some readers it will only take a few hours. It’s a small and thin soft bound book with a cover that I think is exceptional and represents the story very well; which will also increase its appeal to younger readers. I would say that the author knows his craft, creating this “clean” literary thriller that will be just as great for teens as for adults.

It has a great setting that the reader will love – an island somewhere in the UK. It’s a small coastal town that helps create a feeling of being stranded, which is a key element in the story for Daniel as he is the only person to believe that the rainbow man is not who he leads everyone to believe.

Recommended for lovers of horror and books with paranormal or mythological twists. Also recommended to audio book listeners since it’s just as great of a book in its audio version, with its UK accented reader. Highly recommended at 4 stars.

Page count: 162 | Genre: YA/Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Thriller/Supernatural/Adventure | Rocket Ride Books | November 15, 2013

If you’re interested, we have an exciting interview with P. B. Kane.

We are off and traveling to the UK so posting will be at a stand still for a bit under a month. But when we return I have some fun giveaways that I will be sharing with you.

Until then happy reading!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Guest Post: Anne Leonard “When I’m Not Writing”

Anne Leonard credit Judith Love Pietromartire

We have a guest post from Anne Leonard author of Moth and Spark. For more information about the book read Shellie’s review for Moth and Spark - a romantic epic fantasy with dragons and magic.

When I’m Not Writing

Everyone knows what authors do when they’re writing, right? They stare at screen or paper, periodically move their fingers, curse at the phone, snack, get on Twitter, pet their cats, snack, stare at screen or paper . . . For this post, I’m giving you a glimpse at the Secret Life of Writers – what do I do when I’m not writing? Moth and Spark - Anne Leonard

Much of what I do is kind of obvious. I spend a lot of time reading and thinking about writing. I pick my kid up at school and make dinner if it’s my night. I talk to my husband and take walks. Sometimes we go to a movie or a museum. I rarely watch TV (we have neither cable nor reception, so the only TV I see is via Netflix), I’m not athletic, I don’t make a study of obscure languages or collect rocks.  

But when I’m not being a writer or a family member or leading my ordinary life, I travel with my camera. I’ve taken photographs for at least as long as I’ve been a writer, probably longer. My father, his brother, and their father all did photography, and my very first camera was a Brownie that I got when I was 7 or 8, handed down from one of them. I still have some of the pictures I took with that camera – a few of them are nicely composed, but from the vantage of a short person, so they look quite odd to adult eyes. I’ve gone through various cameras since, including a few point-and-shoots for things like parties where I didn’t care much about the actual quality of the photo, and now use a Canon EOS. (For photo geeks: I have two – an older Rebels Xsi and a somewhat newer 60D.)clip_image002

Since I graduated from law school, I’ve gone off for a few days every year for a private retreat, wherein I went out and took pictures during the day and then wrote in the late afternoons and evenings. I’ve gone to Santa Fe, New Mexico; Joshua Tree National Park; Yosemite Valley and the Eastern Sierra; and Annapolis, Maryland. The year prior to that we took a family trip to northern Baja California. This is the first year I haven’t planned an expedition, because of all the business associated with the book release.

I take very few pictures of people. I like landscapes, buildings, and up-close shots of plants and insects. I pay attention to textures and to the play of shadows and light. I play around on Photoshop, but most of the pleasure I get is from the actual act of taking the picture. Photography has been criticized for causing people to worry so much about the picture that they forget about the experience the photo is recording, and I can understand how that’s true at times, but for me the act of framing the picture is an act of seeing what I would not otherwise see. I note the lines, the shapes, the colors. I watch the light. clip_image002[6]

This all plays out in my writing, of course. I use precise details in my descriptions, and this comes from having trained my eye to see the small things: the pollen on the bee’s back, the raindrops in a cobweb, the smear of rust on an old lock. My scenes often have descriptions of the light: the way it falls, the color, the sharpness and brightness, and so on. I can imagine things with photographic detail because I look at the world that way.

It also plays out in specifics at times; the final scenes in the mountains in Moth and Spark were written directly after the Yosemite trip, when I saw the granite, volcano remnants, and cliffs of the Sierra Nevada. Looking at those mountains and photographing them not only helped me describe the details of the mountains scenes but also gave my mind an imaginative jolt that it needed for the last stretch.

In some ways, writing fiction is like taking a picture – there’s all this stuff in my head jostling for attention, and I have to focus on some of it to the exclusion of other things. It has to be framed properly. Rewriting a scene can be like zooming in or out. When I’m done with a draft, there are a lot of superfluous or too-similar shots that need to be excised before being presented to an audience. Writing and taking pictures are by no means identical creative acts, but for me they engage usefully with each other. So in that sense, even when I’m not writing, I am.

Pictures: Top - Sierra Nevada mountains with Tenaya Lake in foreground, view from Olmsted Point, California. Bottom - Frost on a railing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Anne Leonard lives in Northern California. She has degrees from St. John’s College, the University of Pittsburgh, Kent State University, and University of California-Hastings College of Law. MOTH AND SPARK is her first novel.

For more about the author see a Q&A with Anne Leonard courtesy of the publisher.

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