Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ten Things You Can Do To Support Your Favorite Author [Take Action]

I was over at Today's Adventure, reading her Cream of the Crop feature, and stumbled on a link to Lisa Shearin's site to a blog post (2/24) on how to support your favorite authors. Lisa had reposted the article with permission from Diana Pharaoh Francis. It's an amazing article. I recommend you go read it.

In the meantime, here are ten things that the article says you can do to support your favorite author:
  1. Buy NEW books every time you can for yourself, and for gifts.
  2. Tell your friends.
  3. Post your reviews everywhere you can.
  4. Recommend the author's work to your book group.
  5. Email the author to tell them what you think.
  6. Ask for the books you're looking for in the bookstore.
  7. Recommend your favorite authors when you see others perusing the shelves.
  8. Face your favorites so that the whole cover shows, (be careful not to cover other authors)
  9. Link to your favorite authors' sites on your website.
  10. Go to book signings!
I feel like I can do a better job of 3, 5, 6, and 9, so look for more of that around here for my favorites.

I just want to reiterate that this list is not from my brain, but that of Diana Pharaoh Francis... I don't even pretend to take credit for it, but thought it warranted sharing here. This is a paraphrased version of her article that is much, much better than my little list!

[Via Today's Adventure via Lisa Shearin via Diana Pharaoh Francis]

Saturday, February 27, 2010

MONSTER Birthday Party [Blog Event]

We are celebrating our birthday all month long in March with a giveaway present for you each day! Make sure you stop by each day in March to unwrap your giveaway present and enter to win the prize. Since not everyone will want every book, please enter to win each prize that you're interested in.  All giveaways are open Internationally until 4/15, exceptions noted. Click the links below to enter to win!

March 1st: Win a signed copy of SCARRED by Julia Hoban (UK Version of WILLOW)
March 2nd: Win a signed hardcover of GONE by Lisa McMann
March 3rd: Win a new hardcover of BLEEDING VIOLET by Dia Reeves
March 5th: Win a signed copy of HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick
March 6th: Win a copy of MERLIN'S HARP by Anne Eliot Crompton* US Only
March 7th: Win a copy of BEAUTIFUL DEAD: JONAS by Eden Maguire* US Only
March 8th: Win a signed copy of THE LIFE OF GLASS by Jillian Cantor
March 9th: Win a signed copy of ACROSS THE POND by Storyheart
March 10th: Win a signed copy of SILVER PHOENIX by Cindy Pon
March 11th: Win a signed copy of THE BETRAYAL OF NATALIE HARGROVE by Lauren Kate
March 12: Win a pre-order of SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce
March 15: Win a hardcover copy of INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher
March 16: Win a signed hardcover or signed audiobook of PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS by Michelle Zink + a preorder of GUARDIAN OF THE GATE
March 17: Win a piece of your choice from LuSHAE JEWELRY
March 18: Win one of five copies of HOW TO NEVER LOOK FAT AGAIN by Charla Krupp *US & CANADA only
March 19: Win the FIRST IN A SERIES SIX PACK
March 20: Win one of three ABBEY'S HOLLOW SAMPLER PACKS
March 21: Win one of 12 prizes in our THEY SAY IT'S OUR BIRTHDAY SWAGGERIFIC GIVEAWAY
March 22: Win a copy of THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting and some awesome swag to go with it.
March 23: Win one of three copies of the graphic novel LENORE: WEDGIES by Roman Dirge
March 24: Win a copy of LOCKED INSIDE by Nancy Werlin
March 25: Win a signed copy of HOT AND IRRESISTIBLE by Dianne Castell
March 26: Win a copy of BEASTLY by Alex Flinn
March 27: Win a copy of THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa
March 28: Win a preorder of PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White
March 29: Win a VAMPIRE THREE PACK
March 30: Win a signed ARC of KISS OF DEATH by Rachel Caine
March 31: Win a preorder of CRESCENDO by Becca Fitzpatrick
All giveaways are open Internationally until 4/15, exceptions noted.

All giveaways have the same format for entry via webform and will be scored on the same system:
+1 for entering your info
+2 for subscribers (email, RSS, or Google Followers; old or new)
+1 for posting event badge on your sidebar or in a blog post (must be posted by 4/10)
+1 for linking to an individual giveaway on your blog or Facebook (this link must be for a single day's giveaway, and is seperate from above) (must be posted by 4/12)
+1 for Facebook fans (old or new)
+1 for referrals who reference you as the person who told the entrant about the contest. (no limit)
So, if you're a subscriber, a Facebook fan, and you put the event badge on your website, you'll automatically have 5 entries to win each prize. Also, keep your eyes peeled throughout the site for easter eggs filled with fun little bonus entries for you!

All giveaways are open worldwide and will end on April 15, 2010 unless otherwise noted. Check this page often to make sure you don't miss a giveaway you want to enter!

Get a jump on your entries! Subcribe to I Heart Monster, Become a Fan on Facebook, and/or put the badge on your site:

Small31 Days of Giveaways at I Heart Monster
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Friday, February 26, 2010

The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake [Audiobook Inspection]

Size: 628 MB (Audible.com)
Length: 43hours, 48 minutes (no that's not a typo. 44 hours)
Author: Mervyn Peake
Narrator: Robert Whitfield

Plot Sketch: What plot? There really wasn't a lot of story. There was an immense amount of time dedicated to world building and developing unimportant characters, but the entire story could have been written and covered in four hours. If I tell you more than that, it's a spoiler, so I'm caught in a 22 here. Basically, Titus is born, Steerpike is furthering himself by any means possible in hopes of gaining power, Titus's dad goes nuts, Titus grows up, leaves home, has identity crisis.

Plot Verdict: No Love. This was a waste of my time. I wasted almost two whole days of my life listening to this trilogy. I kept listening in hopes that something would happen, but alas, there is no plot. The characters are overdeveloped and pointless to the tiny bit of plot there is, foreshadowed events that never happen, and the first two books don't even apply to the third. The first two were a waste of time. The most exciting part of the story happens at the end of the second book, where things should have just ended. The only good thing I have to say is that the author has an incredible vocabulary and is very talented at formulating wonderfully creative sentences. Too bad those sentences never turn into a story. This is the only book I've ever sworn at. I actually beat the steering wheel while listening to it.

Narration Verdict: I Heart It. The narrator did a good job. Because of the varied assortment of words used, a lot of people would have had a hard time getting through some parts of the story. (I use the term story loosely for lack of a better term) There were so many characters introduced that eventually he had a hard time coming up with a different voice for all of them and some ended up sounding the same, but that's hardly his fault.

People Who Might Like This: people who really just want a well-developed world, people who enjoy robust vocabularies, people who are trying to go to sleep.
People Who Probably Won't Like This: 99.8% of humans, people who like plot, people who don't like details

Karen Healey of GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD [Debut Interview]

Name: Karen Healey
Book Title: Guardian of the Dead
Hometown: Oamaru, a small coastal town in New Zealand's South Island. One summer a bunch of sea tulips washing up on the beach and rotted. That was awesome.
Astrological Sign: Leo, born in the year of the Rooster.
Favorite Author: Margaret Mahy.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Vacations? I've heard of those!
Favorite Animal: I love cats, but I'm horrifically allergic. What I need is one of those skinny, ugly hypoallergenic cats to cuddle and adore.
Favorite Movie: A toss-up between Intolerable Cruelty and Mean Girls.
Favorite Musical Artist or Group: TRICKY. I love Ani DiFranco, Bic Runga, and Crowded House.
Favorite Painter: Leonardo Da Vinci, although I actually like his sketches better than his painting.
Place She Desperately Wants To Travel: I want to go to Shanghai SO BAD.
Place Most Likely To Inspire: The library. So many other worlds and experiences just waiting for me.
A Little About Her Book In Her Own Words:

ELLIE: I am a teenage girl who thinks she's ordinary. Also, I can break boards with my feet.
MARK: I am a mysterious loner who knows you're not ordinary. Also, I am painfully beautiful.
ELLIE: Are you going to fall desperately in love with me?
MARK: I am going to lie to you many times and enchant you so hard you get a migraine that makes you puke!
ELLIE: ...possibly you are not my ideal boyfriend.
MARK: Sorry about that. Anyway, will you help me save your best friend and millions of lives that are threatened by an ancient species you thought existed only in Maori mythology?
ELLIE: I suppose. BUT THERE HAD BETTER BE MAKE-OUTS.
MARK: Can do.

GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD will be in stores April 1, 2010.

Check out Karen's website.
Preorder GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD at Amazon, Book Depository, or Changing Hands

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass [Blog Tour]

Author: Seressia Glass
Publisher: Pocket, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 1439156794
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 344 pages

Description:
For Kira Solomon, normal was never an option.

Kira’s day job as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she’s got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside-down in search of a four-millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira’s hands.

Then there’s Khefar, the dagger’s true owner-a near-immortal 4000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit. looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow force, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever. . . .

My 2 Cents: Plot is solid, but the writing feels a little on the rudimentary side to me. I love the world that Glass creates, and the subtleties that she pays attention to in order to round out that world. I just wish there was a little more fluidity and cohesion to her structure.

Wait! There's More:
Read Chapter One at Simon & Schuster.
Read the first 249 pages via Google Books (hosted with Simon & Schuster's permission)
Learn more about Shadowchasers.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Are Vampires Damned? [You're The Expert]

I've been thinking a lot about vampires lately and the various different lores that accompany them. You know, there are vamps that sparkle, vamps that can walk in daylight, vamps that only drink from animals, vamps that kill entire Alaskan towns in the winter... I could go on.

The thing that most of these legends seem to have in common is that the soul of the human turned into a vampire is lost forever, and that person/soul is damned for all eternity. What I can't wrap my head around is why. Why would someone who was turned into a vampire against their will be damned?

I know that as a Christian, and with my particular theology, your eternal progression is determined by what you do with your agency during your time on earth. Since there is no way that an unwilling neophyte vamp could have prevented him or herself from being turned, wouldn't their damnation be determined by how they conduct themselves during their period of bloodsucking? Wouldn't it be determined by their conscious actions rather than physical reactions? Sure, I could see the girl who wants to become a vampire to obtain eternal life so that she can hang with her hottie being damned - she made a choice. I can see why the "vegetarian" vampires make sense if they weren't damned... in that sense, striving to maintain their humanity would just be a trial on their way toward heaven if they got it right.

I've learned about the other big religions, but am by no means an expert. Is there a theology out there that believes in punishment for you for things that happen to you, or that others determine your fate? (I'm literally asking here, not being cheeky)

Of course, I realize that vampires are not real. At least I hope they're not. But I have to wonder about this flaw I perceive in their lore. If you have any insight for me, please help enlighten me, because the research I've been doing about the subject is just making it worse.

L-O-G-O-M-A-C-H-Y, LOGAMACHY, L-O-G-O-M-A-C-H-Y [Our Terms]

logomachy \loh-GAH-muh-kee\ noun
1 : a dispute over or about words
*2 : a controversy marked by verbiage

Example Sentence:
The surprising election results have opened the floodgates of logomachy in the political media outlets.

Did you know?
It doesn't take much to start people arguing about words, but there's no quarrel about the origin of "logomachy." It comes from the Greek roots "logos," meaning "word" or "speech," and "machesthai," meaning "to fight," and it entered English in the mid-1500s. If you're a word enthusiast, you probably know that "logos" is the root of many English words ("monologue," "neologism," "logic," and most words ending in "-logy," for example), but what about other derivatives of "machesthai"? Actually, this is a tough one even for word whizzes. Only a few very rare English words come from "machesthai." Here are two of them: "heresimach" ("an active opponent of heresy and heretics") and "naumachia" ("an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle").

Jane was so frustrated with the logomachy between herself and Sam that she threw the dictionary and the thesaurus at his head, then stomped out of the room. True story.

Your turn! Try out your new vocab buffness in the comments section with your very own sentence!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WILLOW is out in Paperback TODAY! [News]

Our #1 book of 2009 is out today in paperback. It's the perfect opportunity for you guys who have put off reading WILLOW to pick up a copy and accompany Willow on her journey of healing. From our Top Picks of 2009 post:
When I ask people if they've read this one, most of the time they say, "No, what's it about?" Then I have to rack my brain and say, "Cutting." because I can't think of anything else to say... I mean, that's what it IS about. But really, when you get down to it, WILLOW is about healing. It's a journey through the whole process of why Willow started cutting and how she starts healing. I put off reading this for a while because I was scared of how it would make me feel. But, when I did, I read it in an afternoon. I loved it and couldn't put it down. I left the book feeling better about humanity, feeling better about myself, feeling uplifted in ways I cannot truly explain with words. It is rare that a book sticks with you like this one did with me. If you haven't read it, go get it, right now. Forget your worries that you'll slip into a deep dark depression because of it (you won't, I promise) and just read it. Seriously.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Help Us Plan Our Birthday Party [Poll]

Ladies & Gents:

We've been putting a lot of effort into putting together an awesome birthday party for I Heart Monster. Starting March 1st, we're going to be hosting a giveaway each day to help celebrate our birthday. But before we can round out the 31 days, we need your help! Vote below for the book we could walk into the bookstore and buy this week, and for the preorder that you want to win. These books will be given away in two seperate giveaways, so make sure you vote!
And while you're here, make sure that you've subscribed and that you're a fan of ours on Facebook so that you're ready to enter on March 1st with your maximum amount of entries.

We're looking forward to a rockin' awesome birthday party and hope you'll stop in and help us celebrate!

Hearts,

I Heart Monster & Monster

Inferno [You're The Expert]


Obviously a classic, Dante's Inferno has inspired an Electronic Arts video game, Inferno. Interestingly enough, the newest release of the paperback has the same artwork as the video game. The game does not possess the same storyline as the epic poem, rather a more Zelda-ish storyline. Save Beatrice:
But players may find that this version of that pitiless (if strangely satisfying) part of “The Divine Comedy” doesn’t necessarily correspond to their memories from comparative literature classes of yore. In the video game Dante is no longer a reedy, introspective poet but a knight who returns home from the Crusades to find that his beloved Beatrice has been brutally murdered. Her innocent soul has been taken captive by Lucifer, and Dante must chase the archfiend into hell, fending off wave after wave of advancing demons with a mighty scythe.

“It’s a highbrow/lowbrow project by design,” Mr. Knight said. “If you know the poem, the game has a lot to offer. If you just want to mash buttons and kill demons, that’s all it has to be for you.”
That's straight from a New York Times article on the game.

I tend to think that art-sharing between the video game and the cover of a classic isn't a bad thing. It may enlighten some people who hadn't thought of reading this classic before, spark interest into a new (dare I say ignorant?) generation of potential readers, and expand the reach of Dante's work. I was never required to read Inferno in school, but my curiosity got the best of me one summer and I read it on my own accord. But I can't help but wonder if I hadn't read it before if I would want to pick it up now because of the corresponding video game. (even though I've never played the game)

So what I want to know from you are these things:
  • Have you ever been prompted to read a classic because a new interpretation of the work has been introduced in a newer, perhaps fresher or more readily available format?
  • What is your reaction when you see movies or games as covers on books?
  • Do you approve of the cross-promotion between products and their inspirations like shown above?
  • Would this particular art-sharing project tempt you to either read the book or play the video game?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Demon's Bane by David Douglas [Book Inspection]

Plot Sketch: It has been fifteen years since the fall of Islingin and the people of Kartus now live a as clans ready to run at any moment. Senn Morel is a teenager living in one of these small clans. After his clan is destroyed, and his mother possessed by a demon, Senn is forced to run with a small group that escaped the attack. Then, after finding out that his father is responsible for the release of the demons, Senn vows to use his newly developing magic to attempt to seal the tear between worlds and send the demons back where they belong.

Verdict: I Heart It. David Douglas's debut novel is a well-thought-out and original story. It was refreshing that this novel contained something different because so many fantasy novels end up be so similar to each other that it's like reading the same story with different names and places. This is not a copy cat fantasy novel. Douglas did a good job with the writing. The text was void of glaring grammatical errors, except for the ones that were intended, which only added to the depth of the world and character development. I thought the story was good enough that it could have been made into a trilogy if he would have wanted to develop it. There are parts that move swiftly that I wished he would have explored more, but I still enjoyed the story the way it is written. I also very greatly appreciated his approach to magic because it was different from anything I had ever read before. The only criticism I have is that I would have liked to have seen more relationship development between the characters because there are certain things that happen and take you off-guard because of that lack of development.

The Gauntlet:

Location: Kartus, a fictional continent
Main Character: Senn Morel. I liked him. He was developed enough for me to become invested in the story and for it to keep my attention, but not overdeveloped so that I knew what he was thinking before he was.
Favorite Character: Xiuhcoatl. He's my co-favorite with Senn, but definitely worth mentioning here as his character was the best developed and the most interesting to me.
Time to Finish: If I had the time, I would have read this straight through. But, because of work, I had to read it in 30 minute increments.
Got Stuck On: I didn't get stuck at all.
Would Change: Just a little relationship development as I mentioned above.
Favorite Line: "They talked about everything under the sun, held each other close at night, and made love as if there were no tomorrow. Which might be true - depending on the way events played out, their days could very definitely be numbered." --page 223.
Good for I Heart Monster? Absolutely not. This type of fantasy is not for her.
People Who Will Like This: people who like high fantasy, people who enjoy horny main characters, people who like their stories to move, people who wish they had a magical powers.
People Who Won't Like This: prudes (it can be a bit descriptive especially for the YA genre), people who hate Lord of the Rings, people who need other races in their novels and by races we mean elves, dwarves, trolls, etc.
Chapters: 22
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: One Five One Press
Publish Date: December 1, 2009
ISBN-10: 0984254706

Acquire It:


Review by Monster!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

THE LIFE OF GLASS by Jillian Cantor [Book Signing Alert]


A week from today, September 27, 4PM at Changing Hands, Jillian Cantor will be signing her newest novel, THE LIFE OF GLASS. For you Arizona peeps, it's a great opportunity to see a YA author face to face, and pick up a potentially great book and get it signed. I haven't read THE LIFE OF GLASS yet, but check out a couple of reviews that have made me excited to read it: Katie's Book Blog and Bookworming in the 21st Century. Special bonus, THE LIFE OF GLASS is set in the Arizona desert. Should be a fun read for us desert rats!
Check out Jillian's entire Event Schedule.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Lightning Thief: Two Perspectives [Movies]

Monster and I went to see Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief on Wednesday. Monster has read the series, but I have not. We went to My Big Fat Greek Restaurant for lunch afterward and discussed the movie, which seemed the appropriate place to discuss Zeus, Percy, Annabeth, and Poseidon. We both really enjoyed this film, so we thought we'd give you a little review from both perspectives: mine having not read the books and his having read them.

Plot Sketch: It's the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson's Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they're not happy: Zeus' lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy's mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy's mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves. Written by 20th Century Fox posted from IMDB.

The Bookless Perspective
by I Heart Monster

I went into the movie with only one person (@faeriexflash) having given me any feedback at all about the quality of the flick and it was positive. I didn't know anything about the story, even though Monster has read all five of the books. I hadn't even seen a movie trailer.
In my opinion, it starts out kind of slowly. I guess they needed to lay out some background for motivations later on in the movie, but there was a point at about seven minutes in that I was like, "Okay already."
The bulk of the plot is pretty coherent, but there were a few points that made me go, "Huh?" I'll share those below for those of you who don't want spoilers. Honestly, there were only two, and they didn't detract from the storyline at all. Having not read the book, I was still able to grasp the story and enjoy it.
The special effects are amazing. Ah. Maz. Ing. I think that this aspect, more than the screenplay or the acting is what made the movie so incredible to me. I didn't catch myself wondering how the effects were done or pondering the plausibility of their existence. Since this is a fantasy of sorts, that's saying something for me. I usually enjoy my epic fantasies if I watch them, but not if I read them. At the same time, I'm quick to point out realistic flaws in the renderings, which usually fall on the special effects crew. It wasn't so with this movie!
Having owned these books for years, I kind of feel ashamed that I haven't read them yet when they've been so close to me. I underestimated the potency and appeal of the story. There were several times during the movie that I thought, "Wow. I really need to read these books!" Even though I know that the movie and the books will not line up, I know that the books will be better than the movie. Since I loved the movie, I'm bound to love the books, right?

The Reader's Perspective
by Monster

I was looking forward to seeing the movie because I knew the story certainly had potential to make a good movie. I was really hoping it wouldn't be drastically changed and underdone like Eragon was. I was interested in seeing how they would depict the gods and if they would be anywhere near what they are in the book.
Overall, the story was similar to the book, but obviously not identical. There were some pretty major changes made between the two stories. I thought the story in the movie flowed pretty well. They did a pretty good job of keeping things clear. Obviously, I had more understanding about what was going on than a person who hadn't read the book, but I don't think they left too many mysteries for those who haven't read the book. They did a pretty good job of staying true to the spirit of the books and everything ended up where it was supposed to be.
I thought the special effects definitely made the movie. They could have been pretty cheap and see-through, but it is clear that they put time and thought into the process and development. That effort made things work out really well and more believable on screen. You know when you see bad special effects and you're just like, "That's a bunch of crap. That's so fake."? This movie was not like that.
There were a couple of story line changes that I was disappointed to see. I understand that they changed them for theatricality's sake, but I was nonetheless sad to see major portions of the story changed. It's been a few years since I read The Lightning Thief, so my recollection is not perfect, but I do know that there were a few large changes made in the movie. As long as you go into the movie expecting it to be different from the novel, you will not be disappointed.

For questions that may contain spoilers,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Amy Brecount White of Forget-Her-Nots [Debut Interview]

Name: Amy Brecount White
Book Title: Forget-Her-Nots
Hometown: Mostly Dayton, Ohio, but we moved a ton when I was little.
Astrological Sign: Pisces, and I do love the water.
Favorite Author: Jane Austen and Kristin Cashore
Favorite Vacation Spot: anywhere with a coral reef I can snorkle
Favorite Animal: my golden doodle, Jessie
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite Musical Artist or Group: Sting & the Police (My husband and I listened to them all the time while dating. ;-)
Favorite Painter: Cezanne, hands down and so excited you asked this question. He's going to be in one of my novels some day....
Place You Desperately Want To Travel: New Zealand
Place Most Likely To Inspire: The woods and stream behind my house. I walk Jessie and unwind and think there.
A Little About Her Book In Her Own Words: Forget-Her-Nots is about losing and finding, first love and friendship, with fragrant and magical flowers scattered throughout.

FORGET-HER-NOTS will be in stores March 2, 2010.


Spider's Bite [Blog Tour]

Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Pocket, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 1439147973
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Buy It: Amazon Book Depository Changing Hands Simon & Schuster

Description:
My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way -- good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

My 2 Cents: I haven't finished reading this one yet, but so far, so good! I like Estep's writing style and story structure. I like the characters. I like the feeling of empowerment that I get when I read it. Based on what I have read so far, I'd say that if you like urban fantasy, this is a book for you!

Wait! There's More:
  • Spider's Bargain is a prequel short story that you can read for free.
  • Read the first 204 pages via Google Books (hosted with Simon & Schuster's permission)
  • The second book of the five book series, Web of Lies, is scheduled to release in May.
  • Check out Jennifer's website.
Other Tour Stops:
Pam’s Private Reflections The Cajun Book Lady Book, Books EverywhereBook Junkie
My Life In Not So Many Words Carol’s Notebook My Guilty Pleasures The Neverending Shelf
Steph the BookwormMy Friend AmyThe Bibliophilic Book BlogChaotic Book Obsession
Ramblings of a Teenage BookwormDrey’s LibraryJeanne's RamblingsBooks Gardens & Dogs
See Michelle Read Book Series ReviewsThe Wayfaring WriterWhat Book Is That?
So Many Books, So Little TimeJen’s Book TalkPick of the LiterateMy Overstuffed Bookshelf
Temple Library ReviewsDan’s JournalI Heart Book GossipGeek Girl Reviews
All Things Sizzle Find the Time to ReadPoisoned RationalityReading with Tequila
Mindful MusingsVision Quest FailWendy’s Minding SpotMichelle & Leslie's Book Picks
Red Headed Book ChildReadaholicEclectic Book LoverParajunkee’s View
You Wanna Know What I Think?Patricia's Vampire Notes

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

EVANESCENT, E-V-A-N-E-S-C-EN-T, EVANESCENT [Our Terms]

evanescent • \ev-uh-NESS-unt\ • adjective
tending to vanish like vapor

Example Sentence:
"Dance is the most evanescent of the arts, evaporating into memory the instant it's completed." (Jordan Levin, The Miami Herald, November 13, 2008)

Did you know?
The fragile, airy quality of things evanescent reflects the etymology of the word "evanescent" itself. It derives from a form of the Latin verb "evanescere," which means "to evaporate" or "to vanish." Given the similarity in spelling between the two words, you might expect "evaporate" to come from the same Latin root, but it actually grew out of another steamy Latin root, "evaporare."

I love the group Evanescence, but didn't realize what evanescent meant. So, here's my usage for you:

That stupid, ignorant, evanescent ghost! How am I ever going to trap her?

Your turn! Use evanescent in a sentence in the comments section!

Borders 2.17.10 [Bookstore Trip]

Today we made a trip to Borders books in Mesa, Arizona at Superstition Springs Mall. I purchased one book, but saw many that I wanted and many that are already on my shelves.
These books were on endcaps and piqued my interest:
dracula graphic novelvampire storiesnightlight
the walking deadthe ninja handbook
But, guess what? I didn't end up buying a single one of them! I waded through the YA section, which in my opinion is very poorly organized. In fact, I can't figure out their organization system. Check out some pics I snapped while I was there:
new stuff 1borders 3

bookshelves 2bookshelf 2
And then there were was the sex display that made me laugh:sex displayAnd the fact that the Plants of Arizona books were nestled cozily between the Cannabible and Marijuana Growers Insider's Guide made me giggle a little too:
pot 1pot display 2
But, after all of that crazy browsing and fun, I ended up purchasing only one book:
the iron king
Hope you enjoyed my bookstore trip report!
How did your last trip to the bookstore go?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Veronica Mars Started As A YA Novel [Poll]

veronica mars castThose of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I've been on a huge Veronica Mars kick lately. I'm in the middle of watching Season 2, again. Thing is, I love vmars@aol.com and can NOT get enough of her. I watched the originals on UPN, have watched my DVDs at least twice each, and now I'm on the third go round. I was so bummed when the CW cancelled the show.

So, I was doing a little research on Miss Mars and found out that the show started out as a YA novel that Rob Thomas wrote for Simon and Schuster. Did you guys know that? The protagonist was originally a guy. Because television scripts pay more than novels, and Rob Thomas can write them faster, he ended up turning his "Untitled Rob Thomas Teen Detective Novel" into what we all know and love... Veronica Mars, the television show.

I've been wanting Veronica Mars books for like, ever now, so I headed over to Rob Thomas's website and found the FAQ section where he said this:

will there ever be v mars books?So, I think we need a push for some publishers, what do you think? We need to show some publishers that there is a demand for Veronica Mars in print!

For those of you unfamiliar with Veronica, or those of you who just want to relive her a little, take a look at some of my favorite clips:

Thanks is due to @wastepaperprose for the link to the last video, I wouldn't have found it without help! So, finally, vote in the poll to the left. I want Veronica Mars books, do you? Tell us if you would read a Veronica Mars book! And, tell us in the comments section about your favorite Veronica Mars, be it a favorite line, couple, clip, etc. I'm curious! Oh and for those of you who are fans, check out Rob Thomas' SlaveRats.com where a ton of fun downloads can be found!

[Source: SlaveRats.com and YouTube]

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Biggest Literary Crush? [You're The Expert]

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I have a few questions for you to first consider, then share your expertise on today:

1) Who is your biggest literary crush right now? I know we all have a crush on Mr. Darcy. How can you be a well-read woman and not, right? But who are you crushing on from a recent read? Oh and guys, please please please participate. We definitely want to know what you guys are thinking.

2) You've identified your literary crush. Now, tell us WHY you're crushing on him or her.

3) This one's for those who are in comitted relationships: How does your significant other feel about the whole literary crush thing?

So. Remember, you're the expert on you, and that's what we want to know. So, c'mon. Tell us. We want to hear it.

Don't forget it's Care to Comment season and every comment sends a nickel to worlded.org!

hush hushFor those who are wondering, my current literary crush is Patch from Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. You guys know I have a thing for the badboy, and Patch is the epitome of badboy. The picture of Patch that I have in my head is about five times hotter than that of Edward Cullen. I kind of want to read Hush, Hush again right now because I want to spend more time with him. Would that be cheating on Monster? Oh, and if you're wondering what the answer to #3 is for us, it's that I get laughed at and told I'm silly. And that's okay!