Thursday, 28 February 2013

Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge March 2013

The lovely Kimba over at Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer has made this wonderful challenge for the month of March - I think just for me!  This challenge is just what I need to get myself reading some of those dusty books I really, really want to read but just haven't made time for yet.


Introducing the Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge!  You can find the complete list of rules HERE, but to recap, beginning March 1st, 2013 and ending March 31, 2013 at midnight read books from your TBR pile.  ALL books must have been published before March 2013.
 
I will also be joining the Take Control of Your TBR Pile Read-A-Thon running from March 15 - 18.  Find out more HERE.
 
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Here are the books I read for this challenge:
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
3. To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning
4. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
6. Shadowland by Alyson Noel
7. The Bite Before Christmas by Lynsay Sands
8. Free Four by Veronica Roth
9. At the End by John Hennessy
10. Fire by William Esmont
11. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
12. Special Offers by M.L. Ryan
13. Mobster's Vendetta by Amy Rachiele
14. The Coven: Fire and Ice by Verdell Walker
15. Heartless by Gail Carriger
16.  Twelve Nights by Carole Remy
17. Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
18. In Gods' Hands by Jessa Callavar
19. Love Lines by Diana Nixon
20. Skin Games by Adam Pepper
21. One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

Here is a list of all my books read
 
 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Shattered Edge by A.M. Hargrove

Shattered EdgeShattered Edge by A.M. Hargrove
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shattered Edge is the story of Terri and Justin. We met the two of them first in Edge of Disaster, though you do not have to read that book first in order to get this one (but I would suggest it, just because it's awesome and you'd be missing out). The two are stand-alone novels with repeating characters.

Terri is recovering from a car accident that left her seriously injured and scarred. She is an incredibly strong character who pushes on, though she cannot seem to let her infatuation with Justin go. Justin is pretty much your typical playboy. Women like him, and he knows it. Except now he cannot seem to get Terri out of his head, or the guilt that has been plaguing him since the car accident. The two had gone on a couple of dates before the accident, but things had dulled down with them afterwards.

When the two of them decide to give a try at a relationship, things get seriously hot! The chemistry between Terri and Justin is incredibly potent and they cannot stay away from each other. They are seemingly perfect for each other; Terri strong and independent, and Justin sweet and romantic. Life goes on, though, and often gets in the way. Terri goes through a series of mishaps in her personal life, one of which might just bring the end to their relationship. It takes everything they have to overcome the obstacles in their path, but it seems that sometimes love is just not enough.


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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had put off reading this book for a while, I think just because it seemed like your typical young adult romance story. Turns out, it was so much more and so much better. The story is told through the eyes of Ethan, your typical small town teenage boy. He plays sports, has a group of friends he hangs out with, and tries to figure out teenage girls. He is pretty much an all-American boy. Except he dreams of this girl. All the time. And then she shows up at school. And she's been dreaming of him, too. Through each page in the story we get a little more insight into Ethan's character, and really, he's just a great guy. He's smart, most definitely lovable, loyal, and determined. Lena is quite intriguing. She is dark and mysterious and tries to keep Ethan out of her life for reasons Ethan cannot understand. It turns out, though, that Lena is not the only one with secrets. In fact, everyone in the small town Ethan has lived in his whole life is keeping them.

I loved the writing in the book. It was so descriptive and beautifully done in a way that you were able to put yourself right in the story. I am interested to find out more about Lena's background and family.

I listened to the audio of this one. The narration was done very well. I really liked the voice of Kevin Collins for Ethan. I also really enjoyed that we got music with the songs, though it was a bit creepy. That's something you could not get from reading the book.

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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautiful Darkness picked up right where Beautiful Creatures left off. Ethan finds Lena pulling away from him and he cannot figure out why. Ethan definitely has a stubborn streak, though, because he does not give up until he finds out what is going on with her.

I really love Ethan and Lena, though we do not really get too much of Lena in this book. We do, however, get a whole lot more of Link, who I absolutely adore. Everyone needs a friend like Link. He's just awesome. We also get to know many of the characters we were briefly introduced to in Beautiful Creatures and also have a couple of new people in this book. Once again, I loved the writing style and descriptiveness the author uses. It was detail oriented and beautifully written.

I listened to the audio of this one. The narration was done very well. I really liked the voice of Kevin Collins for Ethan. I also really enjoyed that we got music with the songs, though it was a bit creepy. That's something you could not get from reading the book.


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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dissolution: Volume One Kickstarter

I'm excited to introduce to you Dissolution:  Volume One
 
 

KICKSTARTER PROJECT LIVE LINK:


 
 

Information from the Dissolution: Volume One project page:

Summary:  Exploring the questions of life after death, the realm of the supernatural, and how characters' lives unexpectedly interweave.

What is Dissolution? 
What if there is another world, just beyond our own? It's there, it's footfalls are in sync with ours, but just slight enough that we fail to notice - and if we do, it's a barely-perceptible scratching noise that makes our hair stand on end. A shadowy movement out of the corner of our eye. The smell of roses where there is no reason for them to exist. A heartbeat whose source cannot be traced by our human ears. A world we fail to notice - but most definitely notices us. Now, imagine the veil being lifted and that world
revealed at last - would you cling to your sanity or feel it slip between your fingers?

2012 saw a creative flowering of several projects in which I was involved as an illustrator. I decided that I needed to make time for Dissolution, which I first wrote as a 300+ page novel in 2005. I wanted to see it in color, in images, give the characters faces to go with their names, and above all, SHARE the story so that others could see it too. I established a website in September of 2012 where I could share comic pages (and random thoughts/recipes) weekly.

Can I see any samples of your work?
Samples? Heck, you can go see exactly what you'll be getting! Well, the first half of it or so. Visit Dissolution, I update weekly with a new page! The printed version you are backing encompasses the first 48 pages of the story, far more than the website currently displays, but it's all set and ready to go and you hopefully will be able to tell from what's already available if it's a story that piques your interest! There are also several pages shown below, at the bottom of this write-up. Warning: There IS some mature content (language, violence, nudity) in this story!

What is the money going to be used for?
I will print a run of at least 200 copies of Volume One - the first 48 pages of
Dissolution. If I get more backers, I will print more copies! That may seem like a small amount, but I am excited to even start with that. In addition, funds will cover merchandise included in tier level rewards - t-shirts, stickers, mini-buttons, and art prints. If there is a little left over, it will be funneled into purchasing an artist's booth at one of our local (or close-to-local) conventions (Shooting for one of the following: April 6-7, 2013 - Planet Comicon (in Kansas City); June 21-23, 2013 - Trek Expo; or July ?? 2013 - Tokyo in Tulsa).

Why should I pay for it when it's free online?
This is a savvy question, and one that I struggled with in creating this Kickstarter. It's true, Dissolution is free and viewable online - there aren't even any ads on the website. However, I can think of three reasons why you might choose to back this project in spite of that!

Dissolution: Volume One will cover the first 48 pages of the story.
You will notice that there are nowhere near 48 pages on the site yet. This is because I've been building a backlog in preparation for this printing, and yet have kept my online updating to once-weekly. Backers will be WAY ahead of online readers when it comes to knowing what happens and where the story is going!!
 
By supporting this project, you are also supporting the continuation of the story in all its forms
Being able to print and market Dissolution is a dream come true - and it means that the website will be going strong for a long time in the future! A successful project here tells me that enough people are interested in the story and art that it is vital to continue.

You are an amazing person who likes to support authors and illustrators by purchasing their work.
This can't be overstated.  People who choose to back art and literature in spite of it being available online are among my favorite people (along with Jacques Cousteau, Michio Kaku, Georgio Tsoukalos and Neil deGrasse Tyson - what a list to join!). Seriously though, it's a big deal - your decision to back my project humbles me, and I thank you.  "But wait," you may say. "I WILL be ahead of the story - but then I'll have to wait SOOOOO long for the website to catch up!" Ah, but I've got you covered! If this Kickstarter is successful, I'm considering moving to faster updates - updates aiming for the reveal of the end of Volume One online (page 48) to correspond to the offer of Volume Two in the future. Backing this project will mean faster reveal of the storyline in TOTAL, for those online and in print. EVERYBODY wins! But especially you. Because you get to hang out with Kaku, deGrasse Tyson, Tsoukalos and Cousteau in my head.

Who are you?
Hi! My name is Indi Martin. I write, I illustrate, I don't sleep as much as I should. I've been drawing and writing all of my life - I actually have several completed novels, but am generally too much of a perfectionist to be happy enough with them to shop them around. Though I've done a lot of illustrating for projects, I still consider myself amateur simply because I have never been paid - or paid much - to complete them. My largest and longest dream has always been to someday make a living - even a super-meager one - through my creative endeavors! I love to Geocache in my spare time (I'm "Starbuck2011" in the Tulsa Area Geocachers group!) and really bliss out when I find high terrain-high difficulty caches first! I don't consider myself an "avid" hiker, but I'd love to be. I took some time out from life to hike the Appalachian Trail a few years ago and completed about 1000 miles of it - considering I had never actually camped out more than one night at a time prior to that, I'm glad the risk paid off and I grew to love it!

Do you have any of those nifty Stretch Goals?
I DO!!!!

$4,000: ALL BACKERS (no limit!) will receive a PDF File of the Novel-So-Far - see how the graphic novel differs from the actual written version, and read everything that didn't make it in.

$5,000: Character cards! All backers above $15 will also receive trading cards of the characters that have been revealed so far - their profile and description, their connections and potential motives.

$6,000: TO BE REVEALED if we break $5k!

Explain these tier level rewards, would you?
I'd love to!

PDF Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - All backers at all levels receive this, and you don't have to wait for everything else. I'll send this to all backers' emails as soon as funding is successful. This is a high-resolution digital copy of the first 48 pages of the story - and I'm so excited to share it with you!

Printed Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - This will be a 48 page full-color perfect-bound comic book printed on 60# high-bright pages with a 80# glossy full-color cover. I will cry tears of joy when I first hold one in my hand, no lie. But I promise I won't send you the tear-stained copy. Unless maybe you want it. Weirdo.
 
Signed Print Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - Exactly what it sounds like!

Sketch-Cover Variant Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - These are limited (only 25 available), and have a slightly longer fulfillment date. This is because I will hand-draw and hand-ink each cover myself. You will have a one-of-a-kind (not even one of 25, because every one will be different!) item, and I will work tirelessly to fulfill these on time. As I mentioned, I don't sleep as much as I should.
^_~

Mini-Buttons - 1.5 inch buttons with a cool Dissolution splatter-logo

Stickers - 4.5 x 3 inch tri-color vinyl stickers so you can sport your Dissolution swag anywhere that you can stick a sticker!

T-Shirts - 100% pre-shrunk cotton men's style tees

Art Prints - 9x12 inch matte print of the Dissolution cover

Custom Art Prints - Whatever you want, I will pencil, ink, and color, then send to you in a lovely 9x12 inch matte print!

Tier Level Rewards:
Pledge $1 or more
Pay what YOU think it's worth! Backers at this tier receive a PDF copy of all 48 pages in Volume One! You've backed my project and I am eternally grateful!
Estimated delivery: Mar 2013

Pledge $6 or more
PDF copy + sweet Dissolution sticker! Swag on!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $3 to ship outside the US

Pledge $12 or more
Enjoy a PDF + print copy of Volume One! I will also send you a personal thank-you email and list you as a backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $5 to ship outside the US

Pledge $18 or more
PDF copy + print copy of Volume One + awesome mini-button + sticker! Show off your Dissolution swag! I will also send you a personal thank-you email and list you as a backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $6 to ship outside the US

Pledge $25 or more
PDF copy + SIGNED copy of Volume One + mini-button + sticker, and a personal thank-you email! You'll be listed as a SILVER backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $6 to ship outside the US

Pledge $50 or more
PDF copy + a SIGNED copy of Volume One + awesome T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + a personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a GOLD backer on my website! WHEW!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $10 to ship outside the US

Pledge $75 or more
PDF copy + a SIGNED copy of Volume One + awesome T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + 9x12 matte art print + a personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a GOLD backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $10 to ship outside the US

Pledge $125 or more
Limited
PDF copy + SKETCH COVER VARIANT of Volume One + standard print copy + sweet T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + 9x12 matte art print + personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a PLATINUM backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Add $10 to ship outside the US

Pledge $250 or more
Limited
PDF copy + signed print copy of Volume One + sweet T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + CUSTOM REQUEST 9x12 FULL COLOR matte print of whatever you request! + a personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a SUPER DOUBLE UNOBTANIUM backer on my website! (Fulfillment on all pieces except the custom art will be completed separately in May 2013).
Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Add $12 to ship outside the US


Sample Comic Images (all images will be higher resolution through KS link, and links to
original image on the Dissolution site are included):
 
 


 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, ChelseaAre You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chelsea Handler's uninhibited storytelling and vulgar sense of humor make for a fun read. She has a gift for storytelling that will keep you laughing through each unbelievable and sometimes embarrassing real-life journey. This book is full of good, inappropriate fun. If you offend easily, you probably should not read it. Otherwise, have a good laugh!

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Taming Her Wolf by Eve Langlais

Taming Her WolfTaming Her Wolf by Eve Langlais
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Taming Her Wolf is a fun, sexy story of forbidden love.

Gareth is a down on his luck werewolf who wakes up from a night of drinking chained to a wall in a cell. Though have may have been captured by vampires, Gareth is not going down without a fight. Helen is an age-old vampire looking for a new blood slave. Upon meeting the wolf, she decides she wants him, if for nothing else than to put him in his place. Bored with life, she sees a challenge in him and is looking forward to breaking him.

I like the characters in the story. While Gareth is your typical Alpha male, Helen is a bit of a surprise. You won't find any helpless females waiting around for their big, strong men to save them in this book. Instead, Helen is an incredibly powerful vampire, much stronger than the wolf. She had a hard past and now is just barely living. That is, until she gets the wolf into her home and cannot seem to stay away from him.


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When Smiles Fade by Paige Dearth

When Smiles FadeWhen Smiles Fade by Paige Dearth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paige Dearth has a way of writing about tough subjects that most people either gloss over or simply skip altogether. She does not pretty it up; she just writes what needs to be said. And although the books she writes are fiction, I have no doubt that there are girls and women out in the world who can relate to what she is not afraid to write about.

When Smiles Fade is the story of Emma, a young girl growing up in an unloving, abusive family. Her father blamed her for his own mistakes; her mother lived in a fantasy world. The only love she receives is from her little sister, Grace, who she tries to protect from the worst of the abuse. Years of abuse leave Emma untrusting and wary, and her choices in the years to come reflect those feelings. While Emma does not always make the right choices, she makes the ones she can live with and she feels are the best for her and those she loves.

Once again, Paige Dearth's characters come alive in this book. The emotion she is able to elicit from her characters and pass on through her words is incredible. I love how the characters' lives in this story intertwined with the characters from her previous story, Believe Like a Child. While the two books are completely stand alone, the story lines overlap, and it was fun to see the interaction between the two.

While this book is not for the faint of heart, I am once again glad that I had the chance to read it. A story like this sticks with you long after the last page and makes you grateful for the life you have.


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Monday, 11 February 2013

300 Follower Giveaway!

Check it out!


300 Followers!


Which means I feel like a giveaway!


In honor of Valentines Day I have picked a three of my favorite romances.


3 books - 3 winners!
 

International
 

2013 Sequel Challenge



Welcome to my 2013 Sequel Challenge hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads!
The goal: To read as many sequels as you can. 

I had decided on my own that this year I was going to finish every series I had started previously, so when I found this challenge, I thought it was perfect!
 
I don't have a number goal, I'm just going to read as many as I can.
 
Here are the sequels I am planning on finishing this year:
 
1. Amanda Hocking - Trylle Trilogy #2, 3
2. Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files #6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
3. Lara Adrian - Midnight Breed #4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
4. Jennifer Ashley - Immortals #5, 6, 7, 8
5. Rachel Vincent - Unbound #2, 3
6. Jeaniene Frost - Night Huntress - #1.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, 6, 7
7. Jeaniene Frost - Night Huntress World - #2
8. Nancy Straight - Destiny #2, 3
9. Gail Carriger - Parasol Protectorate #2, 3, 4, 5
10. Maria V Snyder - Study #2, 3
11. Sylvia Day - Reflected #2, 3
12. Colleen Hoover - Slammed #2, 3
13. M. Leighton - The Bad Boys #2
14. Aimee Carter - Goddess Test #2, 3
15. Kami Garcia - Caster Chronicles #2, 3, 4
16. J.R. Ward - Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
17. J.R. Ward - The Fallen Angels #4
18. Larissa Ione - Lords of Deliverance #2, 3, 4, 5
19. Tiffany Reisz - The Original Sinners #2, 3, 4

That's it for now!  I will probably add more later in the year!

Read It & Reap #119

The Melancholy Princess

 
4.0 of 5 stars4.00 Goodreads Rating
 
 
Princess Anne is unhappy at Court, and spurns all suitors. She is about to become a nun, when a midnight encounter proves to have unexpected consequences.

This is the first story in "Nine Princesses: Tales of Love and Romance." The book is most likely to appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Shakespeare's romantic comedies, and/or the enneagram typology of personality. Each of the princesses represents an enneagram type.