Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (19)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply 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!

While Pet Sematary was an epic fail for me (I didn't finish it), I did find a teaser that I wanted tro share.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King.
Cats were the gangsters of the animal world, living outside the law and often dying there. There were a great many of them who never grew old by the fire. page 50

Monday, November 29, 2010

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country (Zan-Gah, 2) by Allan Richard Shickman, 2009.

The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land.
While I really enjoyed reading Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, I absolutely loved Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country. This book was just amazing, from the development of the characters, to the writing, and the story just completely drew me in from the first page.
   I think the reason I liked this one more was because there was even more tension between Zan and his brother Dael.
  I’m quite surprised to say that Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country might just be one of my favorite books that I have read this year. I liked the writing a lot more in the sequel; it might just be that I was used to the “voice of god” narration, but I thought it flowed a little more than the first book.
   My favorite part of this book would have to be the confrontation between Zan and Pax (his wife); over his feelings for Lissa, it was just so dramatic. Yet, it was done in a way that made you feel for Pax (who loved him, yet who wasn’t about to stand around and let things continue on as they were, leaving her as the Zan’s second choice), but you also felt bad for Zan. It’s complicated, but that’s what it made it so interesting.
    Since it picks up right where the first book left off, I don’t really have any part of the book that I can peg as my least favorite.

Final Verdict on Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country: I think that it’s a great series to give to a reluctant reader because it will (in all likelihood) draw them in as it drew me in.

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (67) + Contest Links

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Bright Young Things (Bright Young things, 1) by Anna Godbersen, 2010.
The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star…

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
A huge thanks goes out to Rummanah of Books in the Spotlight.
I am so excited about winning Bright Young Things. I absolutely loved the first two Luxe books (sadly I haven't finished the series yet) by Anna Godbersen, and I cannot wait to read her latest.

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, 1) by Kristin Cashore, 2008.
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
A huge thanks goes out to Julie of A Tale of Many Reviews.
I absolutely loved Graceling when I read it last year, so I'm super excited about now owning a copy of it. I'll definitely have to re-read it sometime.

Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales, 1) by Holly Black, 2004.
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.
I've actually been meaning to read Tithe for quite sometime, but have just never gotten around to checking it out from the library. Now I can read it... just as soon as I get through some of my older TBR books.

Dreamhunters (Book One of the Dreanhunter Duet) by Elizabeth Knox, 2005.
Laura comes from a world similar to our own except for one difference: It is next to the Place, an unfathomable land that fosters dreams of every kind and is inaccessible to all but a select few, the dreamhunters. These are individuals with the ability to catch larger-than-life dreams and relay them to audiences in the magnificent dream palace. People travel from all around to experience the benefits of the hunters’ unique visions.

Now, fifteen-year-old Laura and her cousin Rose, daughters of dreamhunters, are old enough to find out if they qualify to enter the Place. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to discover. In the midst of a fascinating landscape, Laura’s dreamy childhood is ending, and a nightmare is beginning.
I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that Dreamhunter, was one of the books that had been on my wish list for ages. Can't wait to get round to reading it.

Thanks to Enna Isilee of Squeaky Books for the awesome trades.

I feel so bad for the librarians at my local library, there new system has been so whacked out that they haven't really been checking anything in or out for the last week or so. But the good news is, I think they might have everything sorted out now, so I'll probably have some library finds next week.
Hope y'all had an awesome week in books.

Be sure to check out the interview with author Jess Haines and enter for a chance to win Hunted by the Others. Also Zombie Girrl of Crackin' Spines and Takin' Names is giving away a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on her blog. So go forth and check out both contests.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure (Zan-Gah, 1) by Allan Richard Shickman, 2007; 148 pages.
The hero, Zan-Gah seeks his lost twin in a savage prehistoric world, encountering suffering, captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes: survival, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, nature's wonders and terrors.
Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure was the first time that I had ever read anything set in that time period, so I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed read this book.

At first, I wasn’t too sure of what to make of the MC, Zan, but I soon came to enjoy reading about his trials as he searched for his missing brother. The reason I liked the MC, Zan-Gah, was because he was persistent in going after what he wanted, no matter how foolish the rest of his tribe thought he was. It was also interesting to watch how much Zan matured throughout the book where he went from being treated like a child, to being a well respected voice in his community. I also enjoyed reading about how he brought the different clans together to fight a common enemy, rather than continuing to kill each other in a war in which no one could remember what caused it to start.
  At first I wasn’t too thrilled with the story being told in third person (voice of God) narration, but it quickly became apparent that it was the best way for the book to be told.
  What I liked the most about Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure would have to be how the author brought the story to life. It was just brilliantly done.
My least favorite thing about this book would have to be the first few pages. Why, because I just wasn’t used to the format of the book, so it took me a few pages to get into it.

Final Verdict on Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, it was a fascinating change of pace from what I normally read, the characters and story were beautifully done. I would definitely recommend giving this book a shot.

Zan-Gah: A prehistoric Adventure earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Interview with Author Jess Haines

It is my pleasure to introduce to you, my wonderful followers, Jess Haines, author of the H&W Investigations series.
I was going to publish my ARC review of Taken by the Others along with the interview, but my computer died. Although I would just like to say that I absolutely loved Taken by the Others and can't wait to read the rest of the series.

So without further dithering from me, I give you the lovely Jess Haines.

1.) How long did it take you from coming up with the initial concept of the story to writing the first page (I’ve always been curious)?

For my first book, HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, the story was a long time coming.

The main character, Shiarra Waynest, has been around for quite a while. I’ve had her kicking around in my mind since the late 90’s. However, her story as you know it didn’t fully form in my head until 2008. I was in the middle of writing an epic, oh-so-serious-high-falutin’ fantasy novel—from 2001 until I had an epiphany in late 2007. I wrapped the high fantasy novel up, buried it in a hole, and started writing HUNTED BY THE OTHERS completely off the cuff. It was my cure for taking myself too seriously.

As for the sequel, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS? I wrote the first pages of that book within days of finishing my first draft of HUNTED. Same story with the third book, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS—I’m not happy if I’m not writing something, so it was a natural progression for me to finish one project and move immediately on to the next.

2.) Did you learn any new skills while researching your book?

Absolutely. Did you know that the proper administration of chocolate and coffee in the correct doses cures all ills?

In all seriousness, I’ve learned quite a lot from my adventures in publishing. Writing under deadlines, how to be a more Tactful-and-Politically-Correct-Author-Even-When-I’m-Really-Not, and all kinds of odds and ends about how to get around in the publishing biz.

3.) Is there a particular author who inspired you to write?

Just one? No. It’s a laundry list.

Bill Waterson, Jim Butcher, Anne McCaffrey, Stephen King, Patricia Wrede, Steve Perry, Orson Scott Card, George Orwell, the Brothers Grimm, Scott O’Dell, George R.R... Martin, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, Avi, Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Richard A. Knaak, C.S. Friedman—need I go on?

*Oh my gosh! I too love Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey. Great list of authors*
4.) Any advice for would be writers?

Read. A lot. Write. A lot.

Don’t take rejection personally—learn from it and move on.

Not everyone in this business is out to scam you, and not everyone in this business is out to help you. Sifting through the piles and piles of websites and publications out there that offer advice is time consuming but necessary if you’re serious about being a published author.

If you think that writing a book is your ticket to the fast lane or that every author gets a six figure advance and a movie deal starting out of the gate—think again. The percentage of authors with Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer-level success are infinitesimally small. They didn’t get where they are overnight. No author does. It takes hard work and dedication—but don’t give up! Just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

5.) Any odd writing rituals (I personally can’t write before 10 pm)?

Consume coffee. Contemplate computer screen for a while. Spatter out roughly 200 words. Add coffee. Get interrupted. Handle interruption. Consume more coffee. Rinse, repeat.

6.) What is your all-time favorite book?

Oh, God, I can’t pick just one!
Fantasy: C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy—BLACK SUN RISING, WHEN TRUE NIGHT FALLS, CROWN OF SHADOWS (shhhhhh, they all count as one book to me!)
Urban Fantasy (shush, it’s its own genre, I swear!): I am heartily torn by the FEVER series by Karen Marie Moning and the DRESDEN FILES by Jim Butcher. Please don’t make me choose!
Sci-Fi: BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
Horror: NEEDFUL THINGS by Stephen King

7.) Can you tell us how many books are going to be in the series?

I don’t know exactly. I just turned novel #3, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS, in to my editor—which means I’m no longer on contract for the H&W Series. I’ve been busily chipping away at #4, 5, and 6, but they aren’t technically under contract—yet.

8.) Are you working on any other projects?

Yes, indeed!

I have a novella coming out next year that is set in the same world as, but not with the same characters you’ll find in, HUNTED BY THE OTHERS. Get this—the anthology is called THE REAL WEREWIVES OF VAMPIRE COUNTY. That title is too hilarious—I couldn’t say no!

I don’t know if they’ll ever see the light of day, but I’ve got a paranormal romance I’m co-writing with another author, and that ol’ serious fantasy gathering dust under my bed. Maybe someday they’ll go places!

9.) Could you introduce the main character to us?

Sure thing—Shiarra Waynest is a private investigator in a world that’s changed since 9/11. Supernatural critters—aka, “Others”—have proclaimed their existence to the world and integrated themselves into society—but that doesn’t mean everyone likes it. Shiarra doesn’t give a hoot about the vampire clubs, mage covens, or werewolf cab drivers. She’s a normal human swimming in debt and willing to do almost anything to keep her business afloat. Thanks to what appear to be dire circumstances to her eyes, she goes against her instincts and accepts a job from a mage coven to locate an ancient artifact in the hands of New York’s most high-profile vampire.
Yeah, I never said she was smart.

10.) Can you describe the H&W Investigations series in ten words?

In my own words: Fast-paced, action-packed, fun and funny.

…but I think Mario Acevedo may have said it better: “A sexy, bruising tango of supernatural fun and vampiric mayhem.”


11.) One of my favorite things about Taken by the Others was how the Others were legal citizens and how they couldn’t just turn people because they felt like it; can you tell us why you chose to bring them legally into society?

I have a background in law. I’ve mostly worked in law firms and court reporting agencies since I was a teenager. What can I say? I take my work home with me.

12.) Could you tell us when we can expect Taken by the Others to hit stores?

The official release date is January 4, 2011!

13.) Is there any question you wished I'd asked?

What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladden swallow?

Thanks again for having me!

Thanks Jess for stopping by and taking the time to answer a few questions. Can I just say that your list of authors has made me an even bigger fan.

Check out her website HERE 

Books by Jess Haines:
Hunted by the Others (H&W Investigations, 1)
Taken by the Others (H&W Investigations, 2) *Jan, 2011*
Deceived by the Others (H&W Investigations, 3) *July, 2011*

I would like to extend another big thanks to Jess for graciously donating a few copies of Hunted by the Others for this contest.

There will be between 1 and 5 winners, depending upon on how many entries there are.

Contest Rules:
  • Open to residents of the US
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Following is not required, but is much appreciated.
  • Fill out form to enter.
  • Ends Dec 15th at 11:59 pm
Fill Out This Form to Enter.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (66)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Reckless (Reckless, 1) by Cornelia Funke, 2010.
Beyond the mirror, the darkest fairy tales come alive. . . .

For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed the Mirrorworld’s secrets and treasures.
Not anymore. His younger brother has followed him. Now dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and destroy everything Jacob holds most dear. . . .
Unless he can find a way to stop it.
A huge thanks goes out to Jennifer of Extreme Reader Book Reviews for Reckless.

I very nearly jumped for joy, when I found out that I had won Reckless (loved The Thief Lord). I'm so excited about this book and cannot wait to read it.

Blood Prophecy *signed* by Stefan Petrucha, 2010.
Man and monster are in his blood. . .

His name is Jeremiah Fall. A soldier of fortune, he has been fighting his own war for 150 years--ever since the beast in him was born.

Desperate to restore his lost humanity, Fall crosses the sands of Egypt, discovers a lost city off the coast of France, and finally arrives at the birthplace of all mankind. Shunning daylight and feeding only when he must, he battles the monster who transformed him forever. He can share his deepest secret with no one . . . not even the beautiful woman he starts to love, the only human who grasps the mysteries of an ebony stone as old as creation itself.

Across the world, across time, Fall seeks the stone's secret. But has he found a cure for himself or unleashed a final curse on all mankind? 
I huge thanks goes out to Angela of Dark Faerie Tales for Blood Prophecy.
It sounds like a really interesting story, and quite different from my usual reads. Can't wait to read it.
Speak *signed* by Laurie Halse Anderson, 1999.

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute.
A huge thans goes out to Nikki of Wicked Awesome Books for Speak.

As hard to believe as this might sounds, I have actually never read Speak. Sure I've seen it at the library and in store, but it just never really crossed my mind to read or to even see what it was about. Although most of my friends have read and said it was good. So now that I own a copy I'll be reading it...next year. Since I'm participating in YA of the 80s and 90s, I decided to wait and read it when the challenge starts.

Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, 2) by Tamora Pierce, 2009.
Beka Cooper, the first-person protagonist of Terrier, finally becomes a full-fledged Dog. (For those of you who missed that trilogy starter, "Dogs" are the guards who serve under Lord Provost to keep the peace in Tortall.) In her first important assignment, she must sniff out the culprits in an international counterfeit money scheme. A rookie cop who will win the empathy of any perceptive teenager; the linchpin volume of an exciting fantasy series.
Thanks goes out to the people of Random Buzzers. I won Bloodhound through their Twitter giveaway.

No library books, I know y'all are thinking is something wrong, has she been banned from the library. Well rest assured there has been no such problem as that, my library had been changing out their system and they weren't checking out, checking in, or taking fines for a few days. Which has made me sad, I miss the library.
Hope y'all had a fantastic week in books.

My computer is DEAD! There is no hope for it, so I will be using my dads and trying to rebuild the reviews that were lost. Luckily, most of my files are backed up on an external hard drive, but alas, some things were truly lost.
Now for some happy news. Tune in Monday the 22nd, for an interview with a fabulous author and a giveaway.


Monday, November 15, 2010

YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge 2011

                                                             YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge

Oh my gosh! The Book Vixen is hosting the most fabulous reading challenge for next year (yes, I'm already signing up for it).
YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge 2011 (sounds awesome right?). for more information about the reading challenge or to sign up click HERE.

Since I found so many books that were originally published from 1980-1999, I have decided to start this challenge next year by reading what I have at home before I start at the library. Truth be told, I had no idea that I owned so many books from that time frame. Mainly because I started reading most of these after they had been reprinted many times. So without further blabbering from me, I present my tentative list. 

Books that I Plan to Read:
The Ruby in the Smoke- Philip Pullman (1985)
The Shadow in the North- Philip Pullman (1986)
The Golden Compass- Philip Pullman (1995)
The Subtle Knife- Philip Pullman (1997)
An Acceptable Time- Madeleine L'Engle (1989)
Many Waters- Madeleine L'Engle (1986)
Troubling a Star- Madeleine L'Engle (1994)
A Ring of Endless Light- Madeleine L'Engle (1980)
And Both Were Young- Madeleine L'Engle (1983)
In the Forest of the Night- Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (1999)
Beach House- R.L. Stine (1992)
Rules of the Road- Joan Bauer (1998)
Dark Lord of Derkholm- Diana Wynne Jones (1998)
The Blue Sword- Robin McKinley (1982)
Locked in Time- Lois Duncan (1985)
Beyond the Chocolate Wars- Robert Cormier (1985)
I Am Mordred- Nancy Springer (1998)
Dreadful Sorry- Kathryn Reiss (1993)
Crusader- Edward Bloor (1999)
The China Garden- Liz Berry (1996)
The Awakening- L.J. Smith (1991)
The Struggle- L.J. Smith (1991)
The Fury- L.J. Smith (1992)
Dark reunion- L.J. Smith (1992)
The Secret Country- Pamela Dean (1985)
The Hidden Land- Pamela Dean (1986)
The Whim of the Dragon- Pamela Dean (1989)
Deadly Offer- Caroline B. Cooney (1991)
Evil Returns- Caroline B. Cooney (1992)
Fatal Bargain- Caroline B. Cooney (1993)

Books Read:
Shade's Children- Garth Nix (1997) (Read, review coming soon)
Secret Vampire- L.J. Smith (1996) (Reviewed HERE)
Daughters of Darkness- L.J. Smith (1996) (working on review)
The Stranger- Caroline B. Cooney (1993) (working on review)
Secret, Silent Screams- Joan Lowery Nixon (1988)
Spellbinder- L.J. Smith (1996)
The Face on the Milk Carton- Caroline B. Cooney (1996)

I'll probably add or take away a couple books, but for now this is what I'm going to read.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Computer has CRASHED!!!!

Hey guys, there's going to be a lack of posts for awhile. My computer CRASHED a few days ago and erased all the reviews I had written up (including the ones for both Zan-Gah books and Taken by the Others). So I'll be using my dads computer and trying to rewrite everything that was lost. :(

I'm off to try and locate the missing software discs, so that I can (maybe) restore it to working order. Although, I'm not holding my breath on that working even if I can find it.

I hope to have something new posted for y'all later this week (hopefully).


Monday, November 8, 2010

Pre-Review: Pirates!

Pre-Review Pirates! The True and Remarkable Adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pirates by Celia Rees,

I cannot believe that I put off reading this book for so long, it was phenomenal. I think what drew me into the story, besides the writing, would have to be that it was just as good (maybe even a little better) as the Bloody Jack books (which I love).

I’ll be working on a full review of Pirates! In the upcoming weeks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (65)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Used bookstore:
Peeled by Joan Bauer, 2008.

Hildy Biddle dreams of being a journalist. A reporter for her high school newspaper, The Core, she's just waiting for a chance to prove herself. Not content to just cover school issues, Hildy's drawn to the town's big story— the haunted old Ludlow house. On the surface, Banesville, USA, seems like such a happy place, but lately, eerie happenings and ghostly sightings are making Hildy take a deeper look. And she suspects the editor of The Bee, the town newspaper, is more interested in selling papers than he is in reporting the facts to a frightened public.

Hildy's efforts to find out who is really haunting Banesville isn't making her popular, and she starts wondering if she's cut out to be a journalist, after all. But she refuses to give up, because, hopefully, the truth will set a few ghosts free.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I found another Joan Bauer book in one of my many used bookstore trips last week. I haven’t read this one before, but it sounds like a great read.
Titans of Chaos by John C. Wright, 2007.

The students have been kidnapped, robbed of their powers, and raised in ignorance by super-beings. The five have made incredible discoveries about themselves. Amelia is apparently a fourth-dimensional being; Victor is a synthetic man who can control the molecular arrangement of matter; Vanity can find secret passageways through solid walls; Colin is a psychic; Quentin is a warlock. Each power comes from a different paradigm or view of the universe. They have learned to control their strange abilities and have escaped into our world: now their true battle for survival begins.

I very nearly squealed for joy when I ran across a copy of Titans of Chaos at the used bookstore. I have been looking for this book for three years. I’m so excited to finally be able to know how the series ends; first I’m going to have to re-read the previous two books.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, 2) by Trenton Lee Stewart, 2009.

The fabulous foursome readers embraced as The Mysterious Benedict Society is back with a new mission, significantly closer to home. After reuniting for a celebratory scavenger hunt, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are forced to go on an unexpected search--a search to find Mr. Benedict. It seems that while he was preparing the kids' adventure, he stepped right into a trap orchestrated by his evil twin Mr. Curtain.
I really enjoyed reading The Mysterious Benedict Society, so when I saw the sequel, for only $3, I had to buy it. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Crusade *signed* (Crusade, 1) by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie, 2010.

The ultimate battle. The ultimate love.

For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain's Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.

Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated—and at risk.
Can I just say that this book sounds incredible; so cannot wait to start reading.

A huge thanks goes out to Lisa (A Life Bound By Books) and Jessica (Confessions of a Bookaholic) for Crusade, which I won during their Haunted Halloween Twitter party.

Hearts at Stake (The Drake Chronicles, 1) by Alyxandra Harvey, 2010.

The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas.
So happy to have won Hearts at Stake, I’ve been wanting to read it for quite some time. The girl on the cover kind of looks like, to me, a goth Reba McEntire.

Blood Feud (The Drake Chronicles, 2) by Alyxnanadra Harvey, 2010.

The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge. It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.
Now if I love Hearts at Stake, I don’t have to wait to read the second one.

The Hanging Tree ARC (A Starvation Lake Mystery, 2) by Bryan Gruley, 2010.

WHEN GRACIE McBRIDE, the wild girl who had left town eighteen years earlier, is found dead in an apparent suicide shortly after her homecoming, it sends shock waves through her native Starvation Lake. Gus Carpenter, executive editor of the Pine County Pilot, sets out to solve the mystery with the help of his old flame and now girlfriend, Pine County sheriff deputy Darlene Esper. As Gus and Darlene investigate, they can’t help but question if Gracie’s troubled life really ended in suicide or if the suspicious crime-scene evidence adds up to murder.  
I haven’t read anything by this author before, but The Hanging Tree sounds like an interesting read.

Fade Out (Morganville Vampires, 7) by Rachel Caine, 2009.

Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again...

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger-and way more dangerous-than anyone suspected.
I am trying very hard not to read about this book, I’ve only read two books in the series so far. I really to need to borrow the rest of the series from the library so that I can read this one.

Total Eclipse *signed* (A Weather Warden Novel, 9) by Rachel Caine, 2010.

Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin has defeated her longtime enemy and saved the world—again. But at what cost? Standing at the ground zero for the last attack, Joanne, the Djinn David, and the Earth herself have been poisoned by a substance that is destroying the magic that keeps the world alive.

Joanne and David have already lost their powers, but that's just the beginning. The poison that has seeped into the planet is destablizing the entire balance of power, bestowing magic on those who have never had it and taking it at critical moments from those who need it. It's just a matter of time before the delicate balance of nature explodes into chaos, destroying mankind—and every living thing on Earth—with it.
Looks like I’ve got a new series to start reading.

Dark Road to Darjeeling ARC (A Lady Julia Grey Novel, 4) by Deanna Raybourn, 2010.
After eight idyllic months in the Mediterranean, Lady Julia Grey and her detective husband are ready to put their investigative talents to work once more. At the urging of Julia’s eccentric family, they hurry to India to aid an old friend, the newly-widowed Jane Cavendish. Living on the Cavendish tea plantation with the remnants of her husband’s family, Jane is consumed with the impending birth of her child—and with discovering the truth about her husband’s death. Was he murdered for his estate? And if he was, could Jane and her unborn child be next?

Amid the lush foothills of the Himalayas, dark deeds are buried and malicious thoughts flourish. The Brisbanes uncover secrets and scandal, illicit affairs and twisted legacies. In this remote and exotic place, exploration is perilous and discovery, deadly. The danger is palpable and, if they are not careful, Julia and Nicholas will not live to celebrate their first anniversary.
Sounds like an interesting series; again another one that I have yet to read.

Bullet *signed* (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, 19) by Laurell K. Hamilton, 2010.
The music came back up and the next group of little girls, slightly older, came out. There was a lot of that in the next hour and change. I liked dance, and it was no reflection on the kids, but my will to live began to seep away on about the fifth group of sequined children...

Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life-as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita's past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It's hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here-in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America.

The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can't succeed in taking over Anita's body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: "Run if you can..."
Eek, book nineteen! I guess I have my work cut out for me if I’m ever to read Bullet.

A huge thanks goes out to the lovelies at Paperback Dolls for this awesome prize pack.

Hope y'all had a great week in books too.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Half-Made World

The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Oct. 14, 2010.
A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism
The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared—the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they’re just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.

To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.

My biggest fear about reading The Half-Made World was that it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations, which I admit were pretty high, but it more than lived up to- no it exceeded my expectations.
 I admit the first couple of chapters were slightly confusing. I had a hard time guessing where the story was going because each of the chapters were told from the perspective of three different characters, each of which represented one of the different factions with the story. But as the story and plot progressed, it really helped to keep the book moving.
Do I think the book could’ve been told solely from the perspective of one character, no. If it had been told by one character too much of the story would have been lost.

It was quite interesting how both sides of the war, the Gun and the Line, where both after the same thing (a secret that only one person knew anything about) and how Dr. Alverhuysen was drawn into the story because of her line of work (she also made for an interesting character because she wasn’t tied to either side).

 It was definitely interesting to read a steampunk/dystopian book that was set in the American west, rather than another Victorian or future set book.

  My favorite thing in The Half-Made World would have to be the Felix Gilman’s writing, it was just amazing and made the book hard to put down.
Least favorite thing about the book would have to be that the f-word was thrown around a little too much for my taste, but other than that I have no complaints about the book.

Final verdict on The Half-Made World: A thoroughly engaging read, filled with exciting plot twists, and characters that you will love to hate.
It was also a lot cleaner then I though it was going to be. Seriously, I was afraid that I would end up having to skip a lot of pages, when it turns out I didn’t have to skip a single bit of the story due to content.

The Half-Made World earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
Thanks to Tolly of PR by the Book for the review copy.
All views expressed in this review are those of the reviewer (me).  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (2)

Book Blogger Hop

I had so much fun hopping around last week that I decided to join this week too. Plus I found some wonderful new blogs to follow.

"What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?"

When you first start out it can be a bit hard when you lose followers (especially when you don't have an abundance of them), but after awhile it just doesn't bother you any more because you realize that not everyone is going to love your blog, or what you have to say about any given subject.

Yes, I have stopped following a few blogs. Some because they had been inactive for over six months; others because I wasn't into the books that were prominently featured on their blog.

New Winner

Due to a lack of response (in a timely fashion), Dahlia and I have had to draw a new winner for the Eclectically Haunted prize pack. :(

And the new lucky winner of the Eclectically Haunted prize pack is.....

Lisa from TheBookWorshipper


Winner has been notified and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is picked.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wish List Wednesday (27)

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John, Nov. 11, 2010.
THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.

THE DEAL: If she does it, she'll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.

THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she's deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family's decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star.

Why: Because it has an interesting synopsis and I'd really like to know if Piper will succeed, plus the cover is pretty awesome looking.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (18)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply 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!

This week I'm drwaing my teaser from one of my all-time favorite authors/books, Nightmare- Joan Lowery Nixon. Hope y'all enjoy it.

Shades and shadows slithered over and around her, trailing wisps of damp air, sticky-sweet honeysuckle, and the acrid smell of rotting leaves. Her heart pounded, and she grunted with exertion, struggling to get through the tangle of vines, knowing-even in her sleep-what she would find when she broke free. Page 1

Blogoversary Winners!!!

At long last it it time to announce the blogoversary winners, but first a big thanks to all who entered.

I know, get on with the results. So without further rambling I would like to present the winners:
Number of people that wanted to win the YA prize pack 33, number of entries in the end 215. And now what you've all been waiting for winner of the Eclectically Haunted...

Number of people that were interested in winning a $10 book of their choice from the Book Depository 27, with 210 entries. And now for the winner of the Hauntingly Eclectic...

Darlyn from Darlyn and Books

Again a huge thank you to everyone that made my two blogoversary a success, Dahlia (Dahlia's Eclectic Mind) my blogging partner in crime, Lesley of Young Adult Books Reviewed for an awesome guest post (check it out HERE), and to everyone who entered and helped promote the contests.

Winners have been contacted and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winner of The Half-Made World

I cannot believe that it's already time to announce the winner of The Half-Made World.
Without further ado, the lucky winner is......Erinberry.

Congratulations, Erinberry! *throws confetti*

Winner has already been contacted and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen.

Thanks to all who entered!



With much encouragement, I have decided to take the plunge and participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Since I really would like to win (I’m a very competitive person) my blog is going to be put on the back burner, do not worry, I have written up plenty of posts so that you’ll hardly notice that I am gone.

At the moment I’m calling my story Men in White Coats (working title), as you can probably guess it’s about crazy people (wish me luck *please*). I actually came up with the idea for the book over the summer, but just never got around to actually writing it (just started and am already staring at black page in frustration).

If you are participating NaNo this year feel free to friend me (You can find me there as HauntedOrchid) and we can cheer each other on.

Good luck to all.