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.


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:

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.