Monday, September 24, 2012

Musing Mondays - Sept. 24, 2012 Edition

This week’s musing –courtesy ofhttp://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com– asks…
Do you have any hobbies outside of reading?
Or do you collect anything?
I do!  I like to play video games, make jewelry and act like I can sew (yes, act...i can't complete a sewing project to save my life).  

I used to collect things - Magic: The Gathering cards, sports cards, etc.  Now I'm into collecting the various buttons you can get at PAX and other conventions.  Those are kinda cool.

What about you?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who doesn't like free books?

Just saw a bunch of posts coming across for free books, so I thought I might as well share them

As posted to the Frugal Girls website (links take you to their website):

Fictionwise has a huge list of free ebooks, some by independent authors.  Check it out here:  http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/freebooks.htm

If you're looking for Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, you can find a bunch here (scroll past the .99 cent books) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?dref=2588&prc=0&size=20&sort=d&startat=31&store=EBOOK&view=grid

Amazon also has a neat reference site where you can download a lot of the classics as well:  http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=2245146011

Happy reading!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Ugly Side of Gaming - When A Troll Goes Too Far

Every so often certain individuals chose to cross a certain line with me that they should never cross.  This past week a certain individual crossed that line.  Unlike him, I refuse to name him by name.  Everyone that is reading this knows who I am talking about.  Why give more undeserved publicity and fame to someone who doesn’t deserve it since he’s been being an uber troll?

I know all about the videos he posted, including the video he posted about me personally, which was inaccurate, defamatory and libelous.  In addition to this he issued threats and demands  via emails and text messages as late as 2 a.m September 9.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t give a damn what he has to say about me – his opinion is just that – opinion.   The fact he took enough time out of his life to make a video trying to bash me on subjects he has limited to no facts about says just how important what I do, or he thinks I say or do, really is in his world.

That being said, I’ve kept quiet for too long and honestly, I’m tired of dealing with his public bashing as well as private bashing via email and in phone conversations where I am constantly told I don’t know what I’m talking about or what I’m doing.

Out of professional respect for the other person involved, I am not including clips of the conversation we had where he speaks – I will only include my clips (even though the conversation has been posted publicly by a third party). The person who has the conversation has it illegally, taken against the will or consent of myself or the other party involved and has posted it publicly.  Let the legal repercussions fall on him for revealing private conversations to the public.  Private conversations are just that – private.   It is illegal to share private conversations without the consent of both parties involved.  Which is why I will only share what I wrote in emails, not what he wrote verbatim.

The only reason I am writing this in defense of myself is because so many people have asked questions.  Instead of answering each person over and over again, this will do and it is in writing which will not be altered.  In addition, the gentleman in question crossed a line he should not have – he contacted my employer in an attempt to get me fired, per his own facebook page “Your professional career ends tomorrow.”  After speaking with two lawyers and several state agencies, I have been informed that I have the right to post what he sent to my employer and defend myself as well as defend myself with what he said against me in his video.
First, I want to talk about the private conversation he posted.  As mentioned, the conversation was with a former staffer of whom I still maintain a professional relationship with.  I have respect for this individual, even if we disagree on a number of factors, and despite what the third party says, I have not been informed of anything going on that says I cannot converse with the person in the private conversation.  This person has had a number of interactions with the third party, similar to what we are dealing with now.

That being said, yes the conversation happened, but the third party twisted it to read what he wanted it to read, not what was really said.

Since he posted the conversation and even mentions it directly in his email to my boss, I include clips of his email, verbatim (minus names removed for their protection and for my professionalism) below, in quotes with my comments between:
SubjectWHAT GRACE SNOKE HAS DONE THE TRUTH

THE REAL GRACE CONTINUES TO BE EXPOSED Back sometime in between the months of June and August Grace Snoke of Twingalaxies and Ryan Sullivan who I almost lost my account for perm reasons of his jealousy and fraudulent cries of help to Walter day about me THREATENING his life, decided to do an on spite operation to INTENTIONALLY take down one of my scores and make a deal under the table to to throw it into the data base and not announce it in any archives or last verified
Somewhat true, somewhat not.  Mr. Sullivan contacted me, asking us that once his score was verified to not announce it (as it is, we do not announce every score that is broken either way, we don't have time, nor space to do so and it would flood our Facebook wall if we did) and to make it fall off the Last 50 verified as quickly as possible because he did not want to have to deal with the repercussions of "that individual" on the score.  Having seen the very public out burst that went on for a few months regarding the speed run score being broken, he could only imagine what would happen if the points run was beaten, the hassles the ref would have to go through, the hassles the rest of TGI would have to go through if it came to  "that individual's"  attention.  He wanted some time and space between the record being verified and the time  "that individual"  found out about it to perhaps help buffer the temper tantrum that was bound to follow.  At the time when Mr. Sullivan submitted his records to the ref, he had submitted around 45 different scores for the ref to verify.  As we were in the crunch of compiling scores to get them to Guinness, his score would have been pushed off the Last 50 either way, it just happened quicker because the score in question was the first on the video of the 45.  The ref who verified it also batch uploads his verifications and as the player requested protection (and according to the police officer, since we were requested to protect a player who has potentially received threats from "that individual" it would be prudent and necessary that we protect him) he put the score in question as the first to be batch processed.

Any player that would have asked to be protected because they are beating a score of an individual that is known to have issues anytime his score is defeated would have been honored with the request.

A deal was not made under the table.  Nor was it just thrown in the database.  On the front page of Twin Galaxies there is an area that shows New Scores - it would have easily been seen in there if someone was to watch it long enough as it goes by date, not by last of any number.  The score has been visible and live in the database since July 25 and would have been easily seen had "that individual" looked at his scores or looked at the game itself.

Despite what he claims, we are not required to notify a player when their score is beat, nor are we required to give them time to beat the score to make sure he regains the title before it was published.  In addition, we simply do not have time to contact every single gamer every time a score is beat.  We have enough issues with getting verifications done in a timely basis, can you imagine how much time it would take to contact every person who has a score beat?
and SENT it directly to Guinness to be in the 2013 book with NOW no chance for me to regain the title before published,
It was verified along with a bunch of other scores that were added to the initial list of Guinness submissions which were due to them by a certain date.  Subsequently, we had a secondary deadline, between which the first deadline and the second deadline, you submitted games for which we verified and added into the list on the secondary deadline since they were not received before the first deadline.  To claim you had no chance to regain the title before the book is published is false. You could have easily seen that your score had been beaten and submitted an attempt for verification.  It is no one's fault but your own that you did not notice your score was beaten and attempt to regain it.
this is a dirt operation for several reasons, ONE a manager is to remain unbiased, second it's bad business and bad faith to personally attack a gamer for the sole purpose of beating their score,
First, I am not a manager. I am a Director of Events and Community Management who handles a lot of the day-to-day operations of the company for which I am doing work for.  I have not personally attacked you in any way, shape or form publicly.  I had a private conversation with an individual over your actions that were causing me a headache and would cause me headaches in the future.  The conversations I have in private with other individuals are just that.  Private conversations.  You have admitted that a "hacker" sent you the conversations and that you have used them publicly without the consent of the parties involved.

Secondly, if a player tells me they're going after someone's scores, I can encourage them to go for it and wish them well.  Just like I can encourage you to go forward and break the score that beat yours in July and wish you good luck.  In fact, as I recall, I encouraged you, strongly, to practice and beat the time score because you had exhausted all the rules regarding the rules challenge and after five or six verifications the score was considered legitimate - but you refused to do so.

Thirdly, I have been as unbiased as possible when it comes to dealing with the emails and messages regarding how we're doing things wrong.   Everyone does have a breaking point.
and last talking to [Redacted] Who is in so called FBI investigation and legal troubles with TGI and Ryan Sullivan about it bragging about it to throw it in my face,
Not sure where he gets his information from, other than private phone conversations, but once again, crossing a line, revealing information he should not have or making it up is not kosher nor is it cool.  Nor did I brag about throwing it in anyone's face.  My comment was "that individual' would be screaming to high hell that we're corrupt because someone broke his score and that we have no plans to do any interviews with him.

Now, let me explain.  He demanded of a referee for stories to be done on the world records he just broke.  The referee in question told him multiple times that is not his department, he doesn't' do writing on that.

Likewise, he came to myself and Pete about it, demanding an article be done as well as a podcast interview, regarding his records set and to promote him.  I explained that we are not in the job of promoting players, that in order to be fair and unbiased, we would not promote individual gamers.  We may do stories on articles that are unique and outstanding, but not on every world record, and not on every gamer.

To which I was told (paraphrased) "You're doing it wrong, you should be promoting every gamer and every world record they set."
after the KOK fraud, my CORRUPTION history with [Redacted] and likely [Redacted] and [Redacted] Scores, with tampering with my scores and the data base and trying to keep me wrongfully banned, you think after ALL the legal I went through and exposing the TRUTH trouble I went through in which I was very capable of bringing down the entire corporation single handed, you think THE new manager would know better not to FUCK with my powers and abilities, however since day one she was trouble and I knew it, I have seen private conversations between Grace and many to date FWD to me from ???? thank GOD and it started with her thinking she knew my history and everything that Pete wanted to do for me,
Please note, the individuals he named above had their names redacted out of professional respect.  I will not have them slandered in my blog, plain and simple.  Several of the individuals he named, however, were instrumental in his return to being able to participate on Twin Galaxies and the Scoreboard itself despite the protest of many players and staff members - at least this is what I have been told as I was not staff until 9/1/11.

Secondly, he revealed nothing with all the legal he went through to expose the truth.  Nothing came out of it years ago.  He was brought back for a second chance, which he has burned the bridges to now.

Third, I have not "fucked" with "that individuals" powers or abilities - whatever the hell they are.  He disliked me from the get go because I would not tolerate him saying that TGI's founder was "a corrupt individual".  I was then, of course told, that it was all fact, not opinion and he got quite upset with me when I explained to him that everything was opinion including the definition of opinion.

Regretfully, I was made his handler within TGI in November and have had non-stop drama since then, this past week being the culmination of it.  He "thought" I knew his history.  Thing is, I do know his history and his history shows that he repeats himself.  Plain and simple.
, she would not only insult me and down play me in emails
I never insulted "that individual" in emails.  I will admit that I talked down to him when he seemed like he did not understand the rules as I was quoting them to him.
but talk to others behind my back and say Rudy will never be referee,
Nope.  A lie.  "That individual" asked me about being a ref. I told him, via email, to his face, that he was not ever considered for a ref as far as I knew nor would he be considered for a ref in the future because of his past behaviors.  I was told (paraphrased) that all the things he did were in the past and we should move on to the present and future.  Wow.  Imagine that.  See the present and future?  Current videos that have been removed, defamation, threats....hmmm...I think I recall mentioning above about learning from the past.
he wont be on a card I do not want him he is trouble,
Never said that either.  In fact, he asked to be on a 2012 card and I said no, that's for new players.  What I didnt' know is Walter has a set of "New Scores in 2012" that "that individual" may be on.  But to be on a 2012 Superstars card was not in the works for the exact reason mentioned.  He was already on the 2011 Superstars card.
she got involved dictating my future
I have never dictated anyone's future at TGI.  I have made suggestions which are sometimes listened to, often times not or often times altered.
Pete promised me a score challenge to go in my favor if the person who beat me did not come along, and Grace got involved with no qualifications and made her own mind up that I lose, they NEVER found him or her to fight my challenge, they never gave an explanation why it was overturned and IT took over two years to get it done, so Grace changed the score challenge RULES to go against me personally,
Now, this statement right here is defamation.  I got involved because I was ordered to get involved and get a resolution to the situation.  A number of rules were repeatedly reviewed and you chose to ignore them and wanted the score reverified again and again on the basis of what you believed was a  year rule.

However, I have been told I can screenshot exactly what was said to "that individual" and share it as factual proof that he was not only given a reason as to why the challenge was overturned as well as to prove that I never changed the score challenge rules to go against him personally.

This first email was where I explained rules he quoted to me on April 17 after he was told his challenge was deemed invalid.


This email listed below is the second in a series of emails he received on 5/23/12.  This is in addition to him being told the ruling was deemed invalid but would be reviewed by the board of directors one last time. (Image may not appear full size, you may need to click on it to view):


Now, as additional proof, I provide a Wayback machine link which shows the same information..  Unfortunately, Wayback Machine doesn't go as far back as I would like, but it does go back to before I was a member of TGI staff:  http://web.archive.org/web/20110705031309/http://forums.twingalaxies.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1952

As well as the TGI forum link where this challenge information came from: http://forums.twingalaxies.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1952

And my official statement (legally binding even) on the matter:  At no time did I alter any of the rules mentioned regarding scores challenges at any time as of 9/15/12.  This means I have not altered any of the messages that were posted in that thread since the time I became able to till now.  Nothing has been changed by me in any way, shape or form.  (just making sure I've made this clear enough).

I read, interpreted and explained them to the individual in question and he eventually begrudgingly agreed that he'd drop it.  But I was also told that this rule was there to hurt him because, and I quote "this PORR decision I want the rules changed because that IDIOT Walter as usual caused this by writng stupid rules".  Just for clarification here, Walter did not write these rules, Robert did and they have been accepted as the challenge rules since 2004.  Eight years.  Get over it.

Moving on to his next part of the email to my employer:
she took me off of posters to put nobody names over my card and left others EVERY event, telling me if I paid or came to event it be different, why should I have to pay for my name and image its f free advertisement
He was removed from one poster, the NW Pinball Poster to put a different individual in his place who was situated at the bottom of the page with three other individuals who were going to be signing in the same area. To space out the people that person's image was enlarged and moved to where "that individuals" image was. A large number of other cards were moved, hidden beneath other cards and others removed to make room for the images of individuals who were supposed to be at that event or might be in attendance.  Ultimately more than 12 people signed said poster.

"That Individual" named a lot of people as nobodies, including current and former staff who verified world records and ran events, etc.

What he was told was that if he was going to be at the event or ordered a poster for himself, we would have made sure his picture was on the poster.  As he was not going to be at the event either way and wasn't going to be on the poster, it was not required for him to be on the poster and individuals who were going to attend or supposed to attend were going to be on there.

Unfortunately, what "that individual" doesn't understand is that the posters are not free advertisement for TGI - we have to pay for the posters to be printed, we have to sell them to make a profit, etc.- there fore it is not free advertisement.  Ultimately, it is free-advertisement for those on the posters - it's paid advertisement for TGI.

"That individual" also told me that he should be on every poster because he's the best gaming star out there (paraphrased) and that his name and picture draws people to it.
she said were not in business to permote gamers but to make money and verify scores
Oh look, twisting words again.  Here's what I said to him verbatim.  I believe that clarifies it to the T.


Now for the more fun and lies.  Yes, lies.  This one is probably the cream of the crop:
she INTENTIONALLY held me back from series a/b/c card sets when ORIG promised by Pete I seen them too I was be in set A or B,
Now, when I read this, I laughed quite hard.  I held him back from series a/b/c card sets?  Really?  Explain to me how the hell I did that when I am not the one who:

  1. designs the cards
  2. made the spelling error on the back of the cards which required a reprint
  3. assemble the card decks
  4. has complete control over the card decks, who's in them, and where
Seeing as I do none of the above and wasn't even able to ship him the cards that he ordered because they were not in my possession, this is an outright lie.  I had no control what so ever over who appears in what decks.  That control belongs to one person and it is not me.  (Name is being with held out of respect, though everyone knows who it is right?)

And now for more lies:
 was promised to be a ref too, and when I confronted Grace on each Item she said your owed no excuse your not a employee and the choices I make are final, she would come with a belittle attitude and etc... so again rules and choices change as they went along
Strange.  He's never confronted me on anything regarding his trading cards, except when were they going to be shipped to him, and he was informed that I had no control over that.

Regarding being a ref, he was told this, once again, screenshot from my emails to him:


I have confirmed this with other individuals higher up in the company.  From what I have been told, he has never been told he would be a ref. Nor did he ever state to me the individual who promised him he would be a ref.  Either way, he claims that I wouldn't give him an excuse, I did.  I answered him on every subject he brought up until I was exhausted with the topic and had to point out if he emailed any more on the specific topic that I had answered repeatedly on it would be considered harassment and ignored.
I was PROMISED by Pete I be a STAR of the upcoming reality show they are working on and of COURSE Brian Cady and Grace and Pete all involved but for them NOT for me and others I was told Im top on the list YET they said they do not make the final Decision, yet they are producers under contract and no info to me at all and promises that change back and forth ONE month six months etc.. ...
My replies on this have not changed.  He has been told the following statement, verbatim (screenshot from an email below):
He was told this in a number of different ways repeatedly and yet I was told that I could tell him and he'd keep his mouth shut.  Yet he blabs about it on YouTube and everywhere else.  If that deal comes to an end, he will ultimately be to blame.

I contacted Grace before I showed her what I knew she responded in UNDER 10 seconds however WHEN she acted like I was crazy I showed the LYING, CROOKED, B the evidence she ignored me and I gave her an opportunity to respond to explain no response to text/call/ or email...... 
I happened to be checking email when his messages came through. I would like to note it was 12:34 p.m. when his first email came through.  I was told because he is threatening things I can share what he emailed me.

This is what the email was.

I replied asking what the hell he was talking about, then went to bed.  Muted my phone because I had a football game to attend the next day and didn't care.  I saw one email come through, read it from my phone, rolled my eyes and felt I was better off not responding as he had a private conversation and a private email supposedly from another individual to Guinness.  Having access to either of those without express consent of the other individual would be considered ill-gotten material and I was going to have no part in it.  I messaged the other individual alerting him to the fact and went to bed.

I came back to a text message from the above person telling me he was going to the media (not even a half hour after he sent the initial email) and a flood of emails.  I had a ton of messages regarding the video, I didn't have time, nor did I care about his lies because I had my son's football game to worry about.

I got done with the game and had a message attacking me for having his video (which I hadn't even watched yet) removed from YouTube.  Amazing powers I have being gone all day and getting a slanderous video removed - couldn't have possibly been removed for content and language could it?  (PS that was likely why it was removed - I had nothing to do with it because I didn't see it till someone sent me a copy they downloaded).

I won't touch the rest of what he posted to my office.  It's just a repeat of the crap he posted on his video.

All of that being said, "that individual" issued one last threat to me before I filed my police report (for the record, LPD police record #82-087454 in case anyone wants to say I'm full of it) being that if we make a public apology and reverse the issue (not sure what issue we're reversing here as there are no issues to reverse) he'd let it all be forgotten.

Okay folks here's my apology.

I'm sorry for everyone who is being subjected to his rants and raves and are being targeted because you support me or you support Twin Galaxies.  I apologize for other sites that are having to deal with him since we will no longer be dealing with him in the future.  I apologize to the refs who are going to have to deal with the backlash from him.  I apologize to the players who are having to remove him from their friends.  I apologize to the various businesses who have had to read his defamatory posts on their walls and remove them repeatedly or ban him.

I don't apologize for anything else.

He told me my actions were cowardly. Tell me this - a coward would have told players who want to protect themselves to go screw themselves, not our job to protect them.  Yet we did, knowing full well we'd eventually suffer a backlash from him.  Doing so, knowing that, doesn't say we're cowards.  That says we have brass balls.

One final statement:   I only posted one email in full (which as it was a threat of sorts I was told it was permissiable to screenshot to show it), and in only one place have I quoted his email, a small section out of  a huge rant about the rules.  Every screenshot here has been a portion of my emails, making certain to edit out his quotes that I replied to or NDA sensitive information that was not supposed to be revealed in the first place.  If he posts any of our email conversations, he does so without my consent at which point I have the right to fully disclose, via screenshots, the accurate versions of every conversation.  I say this because he has threatened to reveal email conversations.  I know full well he can edit those conversations.  I am willing, and able, to defend myself should he try to do so.

In addition, I hope this god knows how many page long discourse will shed a lot of light on the situation at hand and people who are blindly believing him will stop doing so.  It is in our best interests to ignore the individual in question.  He is not worth the time of the collective gaming community nor is his worth the pain and suffering he has caused through out the years.

Ciao,
Grace

Where did August go?

August went by really quickly.  School started Aug. 14 for my son, football practice started Aug. 2.  Cross country started at the end of the month.  Between work for my full-time job, driving my son to practices, school shopping, working the weekends to not burn vacation to go to PAX and a few other things, the month sped by faster than a high-speed train on a Monster Energy Drink.

September started off with me getting back from PAX, exhausted, then dealing with some drama in the gaming related field.  Normally, I try to keep gaming off of this blog, however, this time, I'm going to use the blog as my dissertation on the situation at hand.  Why?  Because it's the easiest spot to do so.

So while I haven't had time to write much on books (I do have a few reviews to go), I am going to get a dissertation done on the events that I have to defend myself from an uncouth male today.

I apologize for the distraction this will cause to the blog, but it will, once and for all, cause the issues to cease - at least I hope it will.

So this is my apology - I'm sorry for the next item being posted not being a book - it might be book length when I'm done, but it will be catarthic and everyone who reads will understand.

Cheers,
Grace

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WWW Wednesdays - July 25, 2012 Edition


Here's the answers to this week meme's from Should Be Reading's blog. Feel free to leave your comments with the answers to these questions and be sure to check out their blog as well for other's answers.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions in the comment section or in your own blog then link it from the comments.

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Instead of breaking these down into sections as I normally do, it will be pretty obvious where I'm going.  Currently I'm re-reading The Belgariad Series


I am currently on the Castle of Wizardry (Book 4).  I've read these books before, back around 1998 or 1999 and wanted to re-read them.  So obviously, I'm going to be moving on to the next book in the series.

If you're looking for great fantasy writing with great characters that are endearing and even funny at times, check these books out, and really all of the books by David and Leigh Eddings.

Has it really been 2 months since I last posted?

I have to say, I'm using the "Road to Hell is paved with good intentions" de-motivational poster more often than expected.  Because really, I do have good intentions, but a lot of things get in my way at times.  It also appears I have several articles in draft format that didn't post the days/weeks I wanted them to post.  Oops. Must rectify that error in the future.

All of that being said, since May a number of things have happened:

  • My son turned 13
  • Summer basketball started which created havoc with night time schedules
  • Had an event to work at (NW Pinball and Gameroom)
  • Had a lot of writing related deadlines at my day job
  • Freelance jobs coming in 
  • As well as work I do for Twin Galaxies
  • and playing some video games for review..which I need to still write the reviews for...go figure.
It took up a lot of time, so while I was reading, I wasn't always writing reviews like I would have liked to been doing.  Writing for a living is a curse - it often kills the creative writing I'd much rather be doing.

Unlike the last post, I'm not going to make any well intention-ed posts of what I plan to do later this week - it's been proven that the minute I declare my plans, the world will conspire against me to destroy them.  So what I will say, instead, is that I will attempt to do better and may open this blog up to other things besides book reviews/book related commentary.  And that may start tonight with a rebuttal to a sensitive topic in my world.

But hey, gotta start somewhere and here might as well be it.  


TLDR Version: I suck at writing blogs, I admit to this. I'm trying to improve.  Honest.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Okay so it has been another month, okay almost a month and a half since my last blog post.  I often thought "I need to write a post" but didn't have time to do it.

So after PAX East I was then rushing to prepare for my next trip two weeks later to Philadelphia for the Non-Sports Trading Card Show where we were going to be featuring the Twin Galaxies Video Game Trading Cards.  Which meant the press release had to go out, had to start accepting orders for the posters we were going to have signed there and everything else.  Combined with work and other stuff going on, I haven't even had a chance (even today) to write the articles for PAX East up yet.

This makes me a sad panda.

However, to rectify this, I'll be posting more regularly this week and may even post links to my articles on EOGamer and elsewhere here as well.

In other good news, I picked up a set of Star Trek Voyager books a month ago and on my trip I read two of those and in the past week read the rest of them.  Good stuff, if you're into Star Trek and Sci-Fi books.  I also finished the first three Dulcie O'Neil books I had picked up at .99 in ebook format for my Nook.  So while I've been busy with other stuff I have been reading in my spare time as well.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Almost a month since last post

I realize, belatedly, that in the last few weeks I have horribly ignored my blog.  I do apologize, but I do have a good reason for it.  I finally managed to purchase all three books of The Hunger Games series and read them back to back, saw the movie, then had to read them all again.  I have to say I was surprised at how good the books are and how well they condensed the first book into the movie.  It was really well done.

Now I'm reading the Dulcie O'Neill novels (you can buy all three electronically for a total of .99 on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and between my flight Thursday night and now, I've read two books.

Now the flight i mentioned is the other reason I didn't post this week at all.  Been busting my behind at my day job because I was heading out to my other indulgence: video gaming and was at Penny Arcade Expo for the weekend (I'm writing this blog during my downtime at the hotel while a video uploads.  I fly back to Lincoln on Monday.

In addition to all this, I've been busy on a few projects which I may have to talk about here.  Later in the weeks, i"ll link to some of the stuff I write for this event as well.

So that's where I've been.  I promise, I'll write more soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Musing Mondays - March 12, 2012 Edition

Today's Musing Monday's question, by Should Be Reading's blog, is "What book do you wish you were reading right now? Where would you take it to, if you could go anywhere to read for a while? "

That's  a hard on to answer as I really want to read two different books right now, though technically they're of the same genre.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin is at the top of my list with the next season of the show about to start on HBO (let's be honest, the only reason I subscribed to HBO was to watch TrueBlood and Game of Thrones).

Then I want to read the second to last book in the Wheel of Time series, but the name of the book eludes me.  Of course, with that one, I was waiting for it to come out in paperback to read it which is why I don't have it yet.

If I could go anywhere to read for a while...hrmmmm.  Hard to say.  Probably a big cushy mamasan chair, a blanket and curling up in front of a fire to read with a cat curled up with me.  I love reading with my cats.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Tidbits - Library Blues

So on Sunday (March 4), my son and I took a trip to the library to check out some books and I decided to see if they allowed e-pub check outs.  The good news: they do.  The bad news: there's waiting lists for most of the books I wanted.  Boo.

One of the books he and I both wanted was The Hunger Games.  Of course, it's checked out and has a waiting list both for e-pub and in the libraries.  Go figure.

I may just have to go buy the books now.  Tired of waiting to acquire it.

However, while I was at the library, I checked out the first three books in The Hallows/Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison as well as the book Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  So I have plenty of new to read for the next two weeks or so.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WWW Wednesdays - March 7, 2012 Edition


Here's the answers to this week meme's from Should Be Reading's blog. Feel free to leave your comments with the answers to these questions and be sure to check out their blog as well for other's answers.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions in the comment section or in your own blog then link it from the comments.

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?
This is a two-for.  On my Nook Simple Touch I have been reading A Game of Thrones to get ready for the April 1 launch of Season 2 of the series.  I really loved season one which spurred me to actually read all of the books that I could purchase in paperback and read them voraciously.  I have the books in paperback as well, but have been enjoying them on epub too when I just don't want a big book to carry around  I read this when I have my Nook with me at appointments, at lunch and other times.  Oh...and my cover is the cover with Ned on the throne, not the picture I've got here.

As I just went to the library I picked up Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison, the first in the Rachel Morgan/Hollows series.  Seeing as I started in the middle of the series and was able to pick up the first three books at the library this weekend, I figured I'd start reading that as well.

What did you recently finish reading?
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison.  Currently the last available book in the Rachel Morgan series, but you can tell there will be more to come.















What do you think you'll read next?
Chances are I'll read A Clash of Kings again next as well as the second book in Kim Harrison's series, The Good, The Bad and The Undead.  Then I have a book to read to review, titled Redemption by Laura Kuehike, as well as a few other books I checked out from the library.

What books are you reading or do you think you'll read next?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pretty Nifty - Review Posted on Book Cover

Okay, so I knew it was going to happen, it's totally different when you actually see it come to life.

As most of you know, if you've been reading for long (and even if you haven't) I did a review for a former colleague and friend who wrote a novel - Oliver Campbell.  He liked the review and asked for my permission to publish a blurb on the back of his book.  Of course I said yes.

I got to see the design of it, liked it and couldn't wait to see it in print.

So the 2nd edition of the book has printed and is available in select stores and for purchase online and on the back of it is my review.  He posted this picture online last night (I stole it, he gets full credit of it) letting me see the back of it.

Now I may just have to go and buy a paperback copy of it.  Ya know?  Just because my name is on the back and it made my night Monday night.
Either way, the image is below.

Check out Oliver's site here: http://between-himandher.com/

His book is available as e-book or paperback through both Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  If you haven't bought it yet, go buy it now!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Musing Mondays - March 5, 2012 Edition


Today's Musing Monday's question, by Should Be Reading's blog, is "When you walk into a bookstore — any bookstore — what’s the first section you head toward (what draws you)?"


Well, if you asked my husband where I go to in a bookstore first, he'd prolly say the romance novel section - which is inaccurate.  I visit that second.  The first area I end up at is normally Sci-Fi/Fantasy sections where I can get my fill of fiction goodness.  This is where, as a young adult, I was introduced to Raymond E. Feist, Piers Anthony, J.R.R. Tolkein, Terry Goodkind among many others.  My love for fantastical-sci-fi worlds started at a young age.  After all, by the end of 8th grade I had read The Hobbit and the complete Lord of the Rings Trilogy and by high school I had started in on the Similarion (sp?).

My husband introduced me to works by other authors, including David and Leigh Eddings, Glen Cook and several others.

And while I do like romance novels because they are generally easy to read, I really do enjoy books set in a world of the authors creation that take you to a different time and place.

How about you?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do You Like Free Books? Of Course You Do


FREE Kids e-Book: Transportation {Discover Series Picture Book}Who doesn't like free books?  Well, I suppose it depends on the books, but the Frugal Girls' blog yesterday posted about a bunch of books which are available for download for a short amount of time for free.  Follow these links to their blog posts about each book available and how to get them for your ebook reader:

Children's Books:


Cookbooks:


Other:


Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Frugal Girls Giveaway: Win a FREE Kindle Fire!!

Everyone wants the newest, hottest item out there...that being the Kindle Fire.  And even though I have a Nook Simple Touch, I wouldn't say no to it so I signed up for a chance to win it. 

If you're interested in trying to win it, check out this link here:  http://thefrugalgirls.com/2012/02/kindle-fire-contest.html

Good luck!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kim Harrison's The Hallows Series

One of my readers asked about the series of books I started reading in the middle.  The following is a list of Kim Harrison's "The Hallows" series in the order in which they should be read.

I do not include short stories found in various anthologies, just the books.  If you're interested in seeing all of the books and stories in order, please visit Kim Harrison's site here.
  • Dead Witch Walking
  • The Good, The Bad, and The Undead
  • Every Which Way But Dead
  • A Fistful of Charms
  • For a Few Demons More
  • The Outlaw Demon Wails
  • White Witch, Black Curse
  • Black Magic Sanction
  • Pale Demon
  • A Perfect Blood
  • Ever After (Coming Spring 2013)
I started the series almost directly in the middle without realizing it when I saw White Witch, Black Curse in the bargain area of Barnes and Noble.  I looked the book over didn't see anything saying it was a part of a series so got it. Then I picked up Black Magic Sanction and Pale Demon, because inside the books those were listed at the top (I didn't realize they were listed in reverse order - oops).  Subsequently, I read Pale Demon before Black Magic Sanction and realized pretty quick I must of read them in the wrong order.  

Either way, it became clear that they were after White Witch, Black Curse and I realize that I now need top pick up all the books before them.  You can start in the middle of the books, but you will miss out on relationships as they go through the books.

Hope this helps those that were wanting a list of her books.

The Road to Hell...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  So are my attempts at blogs.  Lots of good intentions, not a lot of carrying through with my good intentions. However, that being said, I've been quite busy.  Many things not reading book related or reviewing book related, but busy.  Some of that, okay a lot of that, has to do with my day job sucking the life out of writing as well as my volunteer work with Twin Galaxies International.  That being said, I've been doing a lot of writing, none of it related to this blog.

Last weekend I had intended, with being snowed in, to write some blog posts up...until we lost power for four hours.  After that, we played games together and just hung out and went to bed early...and proceeded to go to bed early each night.

This weekend (you know today and tomorrow) I hope to get some books reviewed and queued up to post over the week on the days I don't do the meme's.

Do you have any books to suggest I read?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WWW Wednesdays - Feb. 1, 2012 Edition



Here's the answers to this week meme's from Should Be Reading's blog. Feel free to leave your comments with the answers to these questions and be sure to check out their blog as well for other's answers.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions in the comment section or in your own blog then link it from the comments.

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?  Pale Demon by Kim Harrison.  Currently the last available book in the Rachel Morgan series, but you can tell there will be more to come.



What did you recently finish reading?  Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison. I accidentally read this book after reading Pale Demon as I made a mistake, so now I'm reading this one and will be reading Pale Demon again so it all meshes together.  This series of books I started in the middle of, by accident.  The books didn't have labels saying First in a series or anything like that.  When I picked up this book and Pale Demon at the book store, when I looked at the books listed for the Rachel Morgan series, Pale Demon was listed first, this one second and the book I had at home, White Witch, Black Curse, was third.  Unfortunately the list was backwards in the book, with most recent first, so I have a lot of books to read in this series still.






What do you think you will read next?  Not quite sure yet.  I've got a lot of stuff to read, it just depends on what mood I'm in.

What are your answers?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WWW Wednesdays - Jan. 25, 2012 Edition


Here's the answers to this week meme's from Should Be Reading's blog. Feel free to leave your comments with the answers to these questions and be sure to check out their blog as well for other's answers.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions in the comment section or in your own blog then link it from the comments.

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?  Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison. I accidentally read this book after reading Pale Demon as I made a mistake, so now I'm reading this one and will be reading Pale Demon again so it all meshes together.  This series of books I started in the middle of, by accident.  The books didn't have labels saying First in a series or anything like that.  When I picked up this book and Pale Demon at the book store, when I looked at the books listed for the Rachel Morgan series, Pale Demon was listed first, this one second and the book I had at home, White Witch, Black Curse, was third.  Unfortunately the list was backwards in the book, with most recent first, so I have a lot of books to read in this series still.



What did you recently finish reading?  Grave Dance by Kalayna Price.  The sequel to Grave Witch (reviewed here), this book continues the story of Alex Craft, her ability to communicate with shades of the deceased and her new found genealogy.  A lot of old faces from the previous book and new as well.  It was a great read which I intend to review in the future.












What do you think you will read next?  Pale Demon by Kim Harrison.  Currently the last available book in the Rachel Morgan series, but you can tell there will be more to come.

What are your answers?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recent Site Updates

As you may, or may not have noticed, the design of the blog changed last night/early Monday morning. I was trying to find something that was easier on the eyes contrast wise but also had a nice homey feel to it. I think this is it and it should stay this way for a while.

I also integrated Facebook Comments/Facebook Connect into the site, so you can use Facebook to comment, or other options as well. I do invite people to comment on articles and share their thoughts as well.

Cheers,
Grace

Musing Mondays - Jan. 23, 2012 Edition

Today's Musing Monday's question, by Should Be Reading's blog, is "Why do you think that the Young Adult genre is so popular with even the adult readers? Do you read YA books, yourself?"
I have read a few YA books, including ones written by Sherrilyn Kenyon in her Chronicles of Nick series.

For me, I accidentally picked up the book, not realizing it was a YA book because I was going by author only.  However, unlike her paranormal romances set in the same world, it's tame and rated for teens, so there's no sex, just young teen romance that goes nowhere really.

I think the Young Adult genre is popular with adult readers because they are quick easy reads but still have story and meaning behind them.  Most of them are fun and can be read in a night or two.  They aren't complex, which can hold an appeal to a tired reader who doesn't want to be remembering every detail read before as they go towards the end of the book.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why You Should Buy Rabbit in the Road: AKA Kayhynn's Plea/Rant

This article is separate from the review for a number of reasons, but mainly because it has nothing to do with the review, but more a rant/plea to encourage you to buy the book.

For most of you, $2.99 isn't much.  You can sacrifice a Starbucks Coffee or cheap sandwich at a fast food restaurant.  Could probably even scrape it together from your change collector (if not more than that).  Every sale helps Oliver get a much needed procedure done.

See, American Healthcare simply put, sucks.  If you are uninsured or under insured, no matter the reason, the quality of health care you receive is poor.  If you have bad insurance, you make monthly payments for ever.  If you have no insurance, you either have to have the money up front to pay for it, or agree to monthly payments.

Now, I know how much healthcare sucks, but for Oliver, it's worse, mainly because he has no insurance and because he's an African American male.  For some reason, healthcare is not helping him out at all.  See, he went to the dentist this week and an xray showed he had a tumor in his face. The location of the tumor is such, it could grow into his brain and kill him.  Problem is, he can't afford the procedures needed to help find out what is wrong and how to fix it.

He's not looking for a handout, he's looking for folks to buy his book to help him out.

Read his blog and the video about it here: http://betweenhimandher.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/memento-mori-im-terrified-because-i-might-have-a-tumor-in-my-head/

Give up your latte, your expensive coffee, whatever and buy the ebook to help him out.  Who knows, you could help save his life.

Book Review: Rabbit in the Road

I generally don't preface my reviews with an introduction of any sort, but this time, I am going to.  Why?  Because I know the author.

September or October of 2010, Oliver had told me he was leaving EOGamer to work on a book he was writing.  Oliver was one of our main contributors for video game reviews on our site and I had seen him grow with each review, learning from mistakes as I made edits and soon, most of his stuff didn't require much, if any editing.  I wished him well on his endeavor of writing a fiction book.  Lord knows I would like to find time to sit down and write and have the loving support he has had to do so, yet I haven't found the time or the support to write the many novels I have started and left to the wayside.

Unlike most authors I know, Oliver and Danika did what most writers only dream of doing.  They finished their book, published it on the e-book market and when people started requesting hard copies of the book the looked into it and made it happen.  That's dedication.  That's living the writer's dream and I know it isn't easy.

Which brings me to reviewing the book.  Oliver had told me I was on the list for a free copy.  I told him, at the time, not to send it to me till I was able to read it.  Unfortunately, it was several months before I would have time or an e-book reader to read it.  I finally got a Nook after Christmas and Rabbit in the Road was the first book I read and finished on it. (He doesn't know that till he reads this.)  However, in accordance with the FCC, I do have to disclose that I was given a copy of the book in epub format for reading and review purposes.

The book immediately introduces you to Beverly, a record store clerk with a love of singing, who is enjoying her life and her time with her boyfriend in a small town in the 1960s. Until things go awry.  Enter the antagonist Ray.

In less than a day her world turns upside down.  The people she knew, the people she loved, she had to run away from to keep them safe. She'd move cities, change her name, change her appearance, but Ray catches up.

The book is fast paced with well developed characters full of grit and emotion.  It tells the story in the only way it can be told: from a strong woman's perspective who is doing everything she can to fit in and survive no matter what.  The descriptions put you in the scene and you turn the page eager to know what happens next in each encounter.

And the ending will surprise you (but I won't spoil it).

As the debut novel for Danika Potts and Oliver Campbell, this 192 page novel is a definite must read.  Available in ebook and paperback format, be sure to purchase it...because it won't be their last.  Click the links below to take you to purchase them.

Nook E-book
Amazon E-book
Amazon Paperback

Book Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

I have a bad tendency to pick up books without paying attention to whether or not it's a part of the series or not. I was delighted to discover that I had picked up the first in the the Alex Croft series in Grave Witch.

Written in the first person perspective, Grave Witch introduces us to the main character, Alex Craft, a private investigator, owner of Tongues for the Dead, and consultant for Nekros City Police Department.  Alex can raise shades of the dead to answer questions for her clients, including the police and attorneys.

The story starts off quick, drawing you into a myriad of events that end up flowing together.  Part mystery novel, the writer draws you along as the tension heats up along with the romantic tension between the protagonist and the antagonist (who ends up not being such a bad guy).  Just when you think things are going to slow down, it doesn't.  I definitely didn't want to put the book down when I first read it, trying to figure out all the questions that were in my head.  Who killed the governor?  Why?  And who is the mysterious FIB assigned to the case?  All of which are answered by the end of the book, along with a few surprises.

Like most paranormal books coming out lately, the modern day world has been "awakened" to the fact that there are other beings in the world: fae, magic, etc.  And like most of the books, there is a definite tension found between the old and the new ways, which Alex sees more and more as she discovers who killed the governor and what was being hidden from others.

This book, unlike some of the others I will review, was purchased with my own money from a book store and was chosen to review on my own decision, not at the request of the author or anyone else.

At 325 pages, Grave Witch is a delightful read if you are into paranormal mysteries with a hint of romance.  Romance is rated 13 as it doesn't go into detail at all - unlike some steamy romance novels - and the book is definitely more of a paranormal action/mystery than romance.

A second book in the series, Grave Dancer, was recently released and I picked up on my last visit to Barnes and Noble.

You can read an excerpt of the book here on the official site.

It is available as a Nook e-book here
Amazon e-book: Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel
Amazon paperback: Grave Witch (Alex Craft, Book 1)

Grave Witch 
Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 0451463803

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Purchases of Books

For Christmas, I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble.  Last week, I was at Barnes and Noble biding time and posting on here about the Nook I had purchased.  While there, I went ahead and purchased some books.  Yes, I know, I could have gotten them in e-book format, but I might as well pay that price for paperback books.

So while there, I picked up the following books:

  • Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
  • Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
  • Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
With being sick the last week, I was glad to have the paperback books to curl up and read.  I will be including these books in my future reviews.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Road To Hell is Paved with MY Good Intentions

A week ago today, I wrote a post about the books I was planning to write reviews on as well as how I was a proud owner of a Nook.

Well good intentions were foiled.  Saturday, we had two basketball games for my son and I started feeling like I was coming down with something.  By Saturday night I was coughing and running a fever.  Missed his last game on Sunday due to being sick and just got sicker.  Monday I finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed as having caught the bug going around and bronchitis.  A two-fer.

Needless to say, I had little time to write much because I was coughing so bad and doing work from home in the interim.

The good news, I read more while laying down so I have more books read to review.  The bad news...gotta find time to write them.

All in all though, I'm feeling better and hope to have some reviews up soonish.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Proud Owner of a Nook

So for a while I had been debating what system I wanted to get for my e-reader.  I broke it down to wanting something that was definitely e-ink and no backlighting which made the decision much easier.  On Thursday, Jan. 5, I became the proud owner of a Nook Simple Touch.  The picture, to the left, was taken because Oliver said, in true gamer fashion "Pics or it didn't happen."  So pics happened.

It took me a while to figure out how it all worked (no, I didn't read the instruction manual.  It's still in the box sheesh).  But by the time we left for Lexington, Neb., for a weekend of basketball tournaments, I had the thing all figured out and books loaded on it, including Rabbit in the Road, which I did finish reading this weekend.

That being said, once you get past the setup, if your tech savvy, the Nook is easy to figure out and upload epub books to as well as PDF files.  It has some nice social features, including linking your book to Twitter and Facebook so you can share where you are in the book or share quotes/segments from the book with others. The other cool thing is that it came with a 32 gig SD card that contained 300 classic books.  Pretty sweet deal that just made the purchase better.

I do have to say that I was, originally, skeptical about how good books would appear on the e-reader.  That was quickly alleviated when I started playing around with font size, fonts, and everything else.  The reader is easily adjustable no matter what font size your tired, or not so tired, eyes need.

There is no glare from the screen either, which makes it great for reading in the car, on a plane or outside.

I haven't tried the purchasing options yet.  I'm not too keen about tying credit cards into a device like this.  I plan to just order ebooks through the main B&N site through my computer and sync from there.  Makes it a lot easier.

As I get more ebooks to read, I look forward to reading them on my Nook.  At least I no longer have to turn away books to review because they only give e-copies.

It's been a few days...

Unfortunately, between being sick, swamped at work and at the part-time gig and basketball tournaments the past weekend, this weekend and next weekend, I haven't had a lot of time to post to the blog as wanted.  However, that's going to change with this weekend.  I'm dedicating the next couple days (when not at tournaments) to lining up reviews to be posted.

So I've decided to tease the books I'm going to review, not in the order that I'm going to review them, but in alphabetical order (I'm crazy like that, alphabetizing books).

That being said, the following books have been read and are on my shelf to be reviewed as you read this:
  • Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Crusader Gold by David Gibbins
  • Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
  • No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar
  • Rabbit in the Road by Oliver Campbell and Danika Potts
  • Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh
  • Second Earth by Eunice and Ed Vought
  • The Guardian by Sherrilyn Kenyon 
There are more, but these are the ones at the top of my list that will be posted first.  Please note, my reviews will clearly state how I acquired the books, whether I purchased them on my own from a book store, or if it was given to me as a review copy by the author or publisher in accordance with FCC standards.

Each book listed above will turn into a link as I get a review posted.

Happy reading!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Musing Mondays: Jan. 2, 2012 Edition

Today's Musing Monday's, produced by Should Be Reading, is:

What is/are the first book(s) you’re reading for the new year?


That's a question I haven't really considered the answer to.  I really want to pick up a couple more of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books I haven't read yet.  Defiinitely top on my list of books to read is A Dance with Dragons and Rabbit in the Road (because I owe Oliver and promised I'd read it).

Beyond that, hard to say.  Maybe something will catch my eye in the book store.

Cheers!