Monday, February 28, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #14


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.

The winner of the February 28th drawing is:


The book she won is:

Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran

Congratulations Cat! =)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #13


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.

The winner of the February 27th drawing is:

Elizabeth from Teary Eyed Stars

The book she won is:

Renegade Lady by Kathryn Hockett

Congratulations Elizabeth! =)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BintoM Monthly Giveaway #2


Time for Round #2 of the new BintoM Monthly Giveaway meme began, and hosted, by me! =)  I began this because I know I have a habit of comparing books to movies, and vice versa, when a movie is based on a book.  This meme is not to bring attention to those books that were written AFTER the movie, but before.

Here's how it's going to work:

  • Towards the end of the month, I will post the next month's giveaway. 
  • I will leave it open for 2 to 3 weeks.  At that time, a winner (or winners, if I'm feeling generous) will be chosen and notified. 
  • I will expect the winner to acknowledge the winning email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen in their place. 
  • This is now open internationally
  • You do not need to be a GFC follower to win.  Yes, I would like it if you followed me, but I am not making that a stipulation to participate or to win.

I've added a section to the form below for recommendations for future BintoM Monthly Giveaway prizes.  Let me know what you want to see.  =)


So, for March, we have the Speak book/movie combo as the prize.  This giveaway will end on March 14th.  Here's a little bit about both:


Speak: 10th Anniversary Edition

I have a brand new copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition of Speak written by Laurie Halse Anderson. 

Summary:  An extraordinary and multi-award-winning first novel about a girl who chooses not to speak rather than give voice to the truth, Speak has garnered rapt attention from readers and educators.  This anniversary edition is a tribute to Speak's ability to speak out on the difficult issues, and contains an all-new introduction from the author, an essay about what happens after the book ends, and exploratory guide to inspire further thought and discussion, added resources, and a teaser chapter of Laurie Halse Anderson's newest book, WintergirlsSpeak is a powerful, moving book that should be read and reread.

To go along with the book, I have a brand new copy of Speak the movie:

Speak

Blurb:  How can you speak if you can't find the words? Kristen Stewart (Panic Room, Cold Creek Manor) stars as Melinda, a high school outcast who has been stunned into silence by a traumatic event.  How will she discover the courage to find her voice ... and speak out?

DVD Bonus Features:
- Commentary with Director Jessica Sharzer and Author Laurie Halse Anderson
- Behind the Scenes
- Penguin Books "Study Guide"
- Cast Filmographies

DVD Info:
- Widescreen
- 93 minutes
- Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving teen rape

Main Actors:
Kristen Stewart
Eric Lively
Elizabeth Perkins
D. B. Sweeney
Steve Zahn 

Enter below for your chance to win and good luck!

Review: Serenity and Inner Peace (Revised) by Dale R. Floody, Ph.D.

Serenity and Inner Peace: Simplicity One Day at a Time

ISBN #: 9781450512787
Page Count: 215
Copyright: 2011


Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

The author's search for serenity and inner peace began as a very personal search.  After reviewing and thinking about a variety of literature, and listening to a lot of people, he developed a list of 130 statements that reflected serenity and inner peace.  Following several studies with those statements and more than 200 subjects, the 24-item "Viterbo Serenity Inventory" emerged (a copy of which is included in the book with normative data).


My Review:

Cover:  The picture of the mountains and sky are calming and promote a sense of serenity.  The color green represents hope and is the reason why the title and author's name are printed in that color.  It is also the reason the cover is a lighter shade of green.  Does this mean that, in essence, looking at the cover makes one hope the pages inside will guide them into a permanent state of serenity and inner peace?

Plot: This book identifies and explains the factors and components of serenity.  It also gives you basic guidelines on how to acquire inner peace in conjunction with serenity.

Characters: There are not any characters in this book.

Overall: This book is very informative and is a wonderful reference for those looking for some serenity and inner peace in their lives.

CTL Giveaway Winner #12


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.

The winner of the February 26th drawing is:

Debora from A Book and a Cupcake

The book she won is:

Darkest Dreams by Jennifer St. Giles

Congratulations Debora! =)

Friday, February 25, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #11


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.

The winner of the February 25th drawing is:


The book she won is:

Wife Living Dangerously by Sara Susannah Katz

Congratulations Barb! =)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #10


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.

The winner of the February 24th drawing is:


The book she won is:

Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer

Congratulations Mystica! =)

Review: Immortalis Carpe Noctem by Katie Salidas

ISBN-13: 978-0-9844196-0-9
ISBN-10: 0-9844196-0-8
Page Count: 346
Copyright: 2010


Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition... that's the hard part.

Alyssa was having the worst day of her life: she just lost her job, her friend ditched her, and while walking home, she was brutally mugged.  Beaten, bloody, and moments from death, she thought her life was over, but this was only the beginning. 

Rescued by the most unlikely hero, Lysander, a two thousand year old vampire, Alyssa is initiated into a frightening, eternally dark world she never knew existed.

Stricken with cravings of blood, and forced leave behind all she knew, Alyssa is struggling with the change. And Lysander, her sexy but aloof sire, is the only one who can help guide her.

There's no turning back now. It's either, Carpe Noctem, or final death.


My Review:

Cover: I'm digging the cover.  I like the purple sky with the darkness of the night with the cityscape in the background ... it's interesting to look at.  Makes me wish I was there.

Plot: *WARNING: SLIGHT SPOILER* I loved the fact that Alyssa (main character) was turned into a vampire within the first chapter.  It gave the author time to explore the character's vampiric newness throughout the remainder of the novel.  Many of the books I've read seem to drag out the turning of the human into a vampire and then rush through the rest of the plot ... Not Katie.  This was definitely an adult version of a somewhat standardized vampire tale (i.e. vampire sees human in life-threatening situation, human almost dies, vampire turns human out of kindness, old vampire and new vampire fall in love).

Characters:  Alyssa, the new vampire, has a stubborn streak a mile wide that tends to get her into some shady situations.  She is strong-willed and slightly petulant.

Lysander is the vampire that turned Alyssa.  He is introverted, thoughtful, stubborn and overbearing.  He is artistic with an attention to detail.  He has strived to maintain his independence from living in a coven and would like to keep it that way.

Kallisto used to be Lysander's mate ... until he began ignoring her, at which time she found Edmond.  Kallisto is the Mistress over a very powerful and large coven.  Even though Lysander and she have been apart for centuries, Kallisto has a hard time letting him go and ends up finding him wherever he's living ... which can cause some unwanted tension between Lysander and Alyssa.

Overall: This was a very entertaining book.  It started off well and proceeded to get better as the pages turned.  I would recommend this for adult reading only as there are some sexual situations depicted within the story.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #9


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 25th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 23rd drawing is:

Emily from Emmie's Ramblings

The book she won is:

Diamond Dreams by Sandra Heath

Congratulations Emily! =)

Blog Tour: The Betrayal by Sheila Hendrix

I was contacted by Tracee from Pump Up Your Book about hosting a blog tour date for Sheila Hendrix's The Betrayal.  My review will be coming soon.

Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Matt has a dream that sends the brothers on a hunt for a cave.  He doesn't know why they have to go there; he just knows they have to go.  When they arrive, Matt finds out that the vision turns out to be a trap.  A Darkness like no other wants to control Matt and kill Zack.  When a demon asked Zack a question, "How far will you go to save your brother?" Zack replies, "As far as I have to."

Now, something like they've never faced before, is on a deadly mission to destroy everything the brothers hold dear and if the McCannons are not careful this time, neither of them will be able to escape.


About the Author:
(Taken from back cover)

Sheila Hendrix is a native of Alabama and resides there with her husband of fifteen years.  She has no children except for her six dogs.  She is the author of the Young Adult series, The Dark Circle.  She also does reviews for two magazines.  Writing has always been a dream and a passion of hers.  She is currently working on other books in the McCannon brothers series.


Sneak Peek:

He roamed through the night listening to the sounds of the cave around him.  Taking in the scenery, he thought about his reason for being back.  Pacing, he closed his eyes.  He'd walked that cave a million times for a million reasons.  It was his domain - where he drew his strength - also his weakness at times, for the cave was alive.

The walls carried echoes of the blood of the many people he brought there, slaughtered there.  Some were necessary, some were for fun, but all, the catlyst for the ultimate reason for his return - Zachariah and Matthew McCannon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #8


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 25th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 22nd drawing is:

Erin from Sharpsburg, GA

The book she won is:

Immortal Sins by Amanda Ashley

Congratulations Erin! =)

Teaser Tuesday #12


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading.  To participate, you need to:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser

This week's teaser comes from:


The Shakespeare Manuscript-The Original Hamlet Discovered

How could she ever have been so stupid to let something as valuable as that manuscript out of her hands?  The answer to that question was simple, of course.


And, I'm going to leave it at that ... happy reading! =)

Monday, February 21, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #7


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 25th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 21st drawing is:

Natasha from Johor, Malaysia
The book she won is:

Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler

Congratulations Natasha! =)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn

ISBN #: 9780393339178 (sc)
ISBN #: 9780393068566 (hc)
Page Count: 352 (sc); 348 (hc)
Copyright: 2/14/11 (sc); 2/22/10 (hc)


Summary:
(Taken from the blog tour website)

The story begins in the snow. It’s 1848, and Emily is a student at Mount Holyoke, with its mournful headmistress and strict, strict rules. She sees the seminary’s blond handyman rescue a baby deer from a mountain of snow, in a lyrical act of liberation that will remain with her for the rest of her life. The novel revivifies such historical figures as Emily’s brother, Austin, with his crown of red hair; her sister-in-law, Sue; a rival and very best friend, Emily’s little sister, Lavinia, with her vicious army of cats; and especially her father, Edward Dickinson, a controlling congressman.


My Review:

Cover: Despite the simplistic cover, I still enjoy looking at it.  Showing the silhouette of a lady beneath her dress and petticoats makes one wonder if the outer formality of a lady is somehow hiding an inner rebellious  and free spirit.  It initiates thoughts of what the story within could be like.

Plot: This novel fictionally covers the life of Ms. Emily Dickinson, from her time at Holyoke until her death.  She is depicted as somewhat of a free spirit who tends to go where she wants despite the rules of society.  She falls in love with ease and often with the most questionable gentlemen.  Emily, as depicted in this novel, even sometimes wishes she were a man so she could woo a couple ladies that she is undeniably drawn and attracted to.

Characters: The main character is, of course, Emily Dickinson.  She is a wonderfully unique and eccentric person.  I would have loved to have lived when she did and gotten to know her.

Austin, Emily's brother, is very protective of Emily.  They often cover for and conspire with each other.  Austin ends up in a loveless and unhappy marriage which drives him to have "relationships" outside of his marriage.

Lavinia, Austin and Emily's sister, is content to be a cat lady.  She has numerous cats and is happy to have them as companions while living as a spinster in her family's home.  She is Emily's confidant and often helps her secretly send letters to the men Emily has fallen "in love" with.

Squire Dickinson, the patriarch of the family, keeps up a hard exterior.  He rarely shows any joy or happiness, probably believing that to do so would diminish the aura of leadership over his family.

Overall: This is an excellent and entertaining fictional look into what could have been the life of Emily Dickinson.  The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson would be a wonderful addition to any classic lover's bookshelf.

CTL Giveaway Winner #6


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 25th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 20th drawing is:

Lacey from Reading On The Run

The book she won is:

Emily's Secret by Jill Jones

Congratulations Lacey! =)


As a side note, ya'll should go check out Lacey and her blog.  She is a new blogger with an obsession for books.  She is so new, tomorrow is her blog's 1 week anniversary.  So go support her and show her the love we book bloggers have for one another!

Happy Reading! =)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #5


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 25th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 19th drawing is:

Diana from Athens, Greece

The book she won is:

Love Without Blood by Raz Steel

Congratulations Diana! =)

Blog Tour: The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn

I am happy to be hosting one of the stops on Jerome Charyn's The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson blog tour.  This book has reached #52 on BookReporter.com's Top Books of 2010.

Brief Summary:  The story begins in the snow. It’s 1848, and Emily is a student at Mount Holyoke, with its mournful headmistress and strict, strict rules. She sees the seminary’s blond handyman rescue a baby deer from a mountain of snow, in a lyrical act of liberation that will remain with her for the rest of her life. The novel revivifies such historical figures as Emily’s brother, Austin, with his crown of red hair; her sister-in-law, Sue; a rival and very best friend, Emily’s little sister, Lavinia, with her vicious army of cats; and especially her father, Edward Dickinson, a controlling congressman.

To read the first chapter of The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, you can click here.  My review will be coming soon.

This book is available for puchase on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

You can click here to view The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson's Facebook page and here to follow The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson on Twitter.


About the Author:

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since the 1964 release of Charyn’s first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009.

In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn’s book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, "The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong."

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

You can click here to visit Jerome Charyn's website, here to view his Facebook page and here to follow him on Twitter.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Author Interview: Kate Hegarty

Kate is the author of a recently published teen fantasy novel, Mieradome (click title to view book trailer). 



Mieradome, as stated by the author, is like a twisted Alice in Wonderland with a zing of dragons, leprechauns, faeries and doppelgangers!

Mieradome has been featured in  Girl's Life Magazine (June/July 2010 issue), Fantasy E-Zine, FaerieWorlds.com and FaerieWorlds 2010 summer event program. I (Kate) have an official website for my novel Mieradome, complete with character illustrations, reading group guide, book trailer, etc. The book is currently available through AuthorHouse and Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Indiebound (among many others).

Now, time for what you visited for ... the interview! =)

LRR: I'd like to, first, get some background on you so my followers can get a sense of who you are.  Where are you originally from?

KH: I’m originally from Valentine, Nebraska. I was born in a very small county hospital where my father worked as a physical therapist.

LRR: What are your fondest memory(ies) about your hometown?

KH: My hometown became Modesto after I was born. My fondest memory is my mother telling me, when we were watching Star Wars movies on television, that the guy who created those films (George Lucas) was born and raised in my hometown. It really put into perspective that even if you come from a small town, you can do great exciting things with your life.

LRR: Do you still live there? 

KH: Yes, I still live in Modesto. I’ve been here since I was 2 and I’m turning 29 in late March.

LRR: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

KH: I realized I wanted to be a writer when, during recess in elementary school, I could captivate that small audience with my stories. It was then that I found the power of words intoxicatingly fun!

LRR: Was there someone in your past who encouraged you to be a writer?

KH: My Dad and my sister. They have always been the champions of my writing, cheering me on.

LRR: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

KH: I alternate between typing on the computer and writing longhand on paper. If ideas aren’t coming when on the computer I switch to paper, and vice versa.

Now, let's discuss your teen fantasy novel, Mieradome, and the future:

LRR: What was your inspiration for writing Mieradome?

KH: I have a great video (click here) that tells all about Mieradome’s creation.

LRR: Did you do any research before/while writing Mieradome? If so, what type of research?

KH: Yes, I did. I went to the San Francisco Zoo and ice skating to be able to try to be as authentic about the movement and textures of landscapes as possible.

LRR: When was Mieradome first released? Has it been well received?

KH: Mieradome was released in November (2010) and it’s doing pretty well. People are really seeming to enjoy it, which makes me smile.

LRR: Can you tell us a little bit about Mieradome and, perhaps, a couple of the main characters?

KH: Sure. Mieradome is about good and evil with a twist. I wanted to play around with that very basic theme in stories and change it up a bit. I wondered what would happen if the parents did something terrible that leaks down into their offspring. How will the offspring (children) do in the world and what if the children become the evil everyone is trying to get rid of. The child in this case, is Amavia, basically the character you get to see most of, but she is more a conduit to tell the whole story, to see everything. Amavia has friends around her that help guide her to find out who she is and finally make her own choices in life, rather than be defined by her parent’s mistakes.

LRR: Do you have real-life people who inspired the characters in your novel?

KH: Yes. My character Tai Ming Kiels is inspired by my very funny paternal grandfather and Shannon Moana Hine, the dog sledder, is based on my sister who actually got to meet Jeff King in Alaska and hold some of his sled dog puppies.

LRR: What is it you want your readers to take with them once they've finished reading Mieradome?

KH: I hope that people take away the idea to create their own stories and learn to imagine big and wonderful things.

LRR: What would you like to tell future writers?

KH: Keep reading, keep writing, edit, love what you do, and always tell yourself you’re a good writer and will make it someday!

LRR: Any final words/thoughts?

KH: Live happy! : )

I want to thank Kate for participating in this interview.  Alice in Wonderland has always been a favorite story of mine and to see someone take that story and put a twist to it definitely intrigues me.  I will be reading and reviewing Mieradome at a later date so stay tuned! =)

CTL Giveaway Winner #4



Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 27th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 18th drawing is:

Aleetha from It's All About Books

The book she won is:

You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs by Laurie Graff

Congratulations Aleetha! =)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #3


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 27th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 17th drawing is:

Jasmine from The Paranormal World and Reviews

The book she won is:

Traitor's Kiss/Lover's Kiss by Mary Blayney

Congratulations Jasmine! =)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #2


Every day, from February 15th until February 28th, a winner will be chosen to win a book.  Those wishing to enter can still do so until February 27th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 16th drawing is:

Andreea from Deea's Journal

The book she won is:

A Darker Dream by Amanda Ashley

Congratulations Andreea! =)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CTL Giveaway Winner #1


Today is the day I pick the first of fourteen winners for this giveaway.  Every day, from now until February 28th, a winner will be chosen.  Those wishing to enter can do so until February 27th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Just click the picture to the right to enter for your chance to win.

The winner of the February 15th drawing was:

Kulsuma from Sunshine and Stardust

The book they won is:

Rogue by Danielle Steel

Congratulations Kulsuma! =)

Teaser Tuesday #11


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading.  To participate, you need to:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser

This week's teaser comes from:

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson: A Novel
The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn


I dare not ask Zilpah about Miss Rebecca's love poem, though my mind is like a massive flint-stone of sparks & syllables on fire.  And while I imagine Rebecca's words, Zilpah starts to read - she's memorized the poem.


I'm loving the language flow in these two sentences.  I am eager to finish this book and post a review of it.  I'm also hosting a blog tour stop for this book this Saturday, February 19th.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: Sex, Drugs & Being An Escort by Ashly Lorenzana

Sex, Drugs & Being an Escort

ASIN: B004C446IC (ebook)
Page Count: 101


Summary:
(As written on Amazon.com)

My name is Ashly and for the past several years I have worked as a female escort. I started out by advertising in the now extinct Craig's List "erotic services" section. Having lived with my grandparents for most of my childhood, moving to Portland from the Oregon Coast gave me a chance to spend some time with my mother.

Like her, I'm a drug addict with a decided preference for crystal meth or "uppers" in general. In an odd and unexpected way, it was our addictions that brought us "together." It always seemed to be a man that ended up forcing us apart again.

Many new experiences were waiting for me in Portland, some of which I would never have imagined. Moving to Portland is where it all started.

This book is a scattered personal journal chronicling the last several years of my very unconventional life.


My Review:

Cover:  The cover looks self-done and is basically just a pic of the author with the title and author's name above and below the author's pic.  From the cover, you gather the book is about the girl in the pic, but if you didn't have the title above it, you'd never know it was about this girl's foray into Sex, Drugs & Being An Escort.

Plot:  There's not really a plot to this book, per say.  It is basically a glimpse into the life of a girl-turned-woman over the span of a few years.  It is an accumulation of blog posts created into a book ... so the emotionalism of this work is in extremes.  One day will be positive and happy and the next could be down and depressing.

There was a little back-and-forth between events as well ... which is really to be expected in this work because this book is, after all, made from a blog.  Who doesn't go back and forth between memories depending on the type of day we're having or how we feel on any given day?

Character(s):  There was really only one main character in this book: Ashly, herself.  To be as seriously messed up as she is, she is surprisingly grounded.  She's aware of the action-reaction process and believes things happen for a reason.

Overall:  This book was an interesting glimpse into the life and psyche of a lady who has ventured into the dangerous and crazy world of Sex, Drugs & Being An Escort.  My intentions were to finish reading this book earlier this month, but it was such a "heavy" read that I had to read it in small doses.  I would definitely recommend this for adult reading due to the language and sexual/drug references.

In My Mailbox (#12)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi, The Story Siren.  This meme was began so we could all share what books we received the previous week ... whether it was in the mail, from the library or what we bought at a store.

Normally, I would put a picture of each book's cover, but since I went book-buying crazy at my local used bookstore this past week (they were going out of business and had a 70% off everything sale going on!) I'll just be putting the titles and authors below.


Received from Authors/Publishers/Publicists for Review:

Semper Cool by Barry Fixler
The Betrayal by Sheila Hendrix
Deed So by Katharine A. Russell
Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell
Karma and Melodies by Katie Salidas
My Superhero Sister by Toni LoTempio
No Rest for the Wicca by Toni LoTempio
The Father's Child by Mark Adair


Bought at the Local Used Bookstore:

Traitor's Kiss/Lover's Kiss by Mary Blayney (2-for-1Book)
Emily's Secret by Jill Jones
Wife Living Dangerously by Sara Susannah Katz
Renegade Lady by Kathryn Hockett
A Darker Dream by Amanda Ashley
You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs by Laurie Graff
Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Love Without Blood by Raz Steel
Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer
Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran
Diamond Dreams by Sandra Heath
Immortal Sins by Amanda Ashley
Darkest Dreams by Jennifer St. Giles
Emma by Jane Austen
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: The Big Show Stopper by Ken Dalton

ISBN #: 9780578054599
Page Count: 285
Copyright: 2010 by Ken Dalton


Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Brady Blackstone, America's richest and favorite concert performer, dies in a tragic accident while Bear and Flo, along with thousands of northern Nevada's music lovers, look on in horror.

However, before Bear can maneuver Flo back to their apartment to complete her birthday celebration, they stumble across a clue that makes them question if Brady's death was an accident.

In The Big Show Stopper, Pinky, a sleazy but successful defense attorney, and Bear, a street-wise ex bartender, mix madness with mayhem as you meet Brady's less than grieving widow - a trigger-happy Carson City cop names Ice Conner - travel in first-class luxury with Pinky as he follows a questionable lead to an exotic location and suffer with Flo in Bear's pick up while they drive to another of America's armpit locations where they discover Brady Blackstone's killer.


My Review:

I was contacted by Tribute Books about reviewing The Big Show Stopper and hosting a blog tour date.  I have posted my blog tour, which you can read by clicking here.

I also wanted to mention that I am changing my review format.  I am breaking it down into four sections and hope it will be more effective.  Here we go ... =)

Cover:  I always look at the cover because, to me, the cover gives you a sense or a preview of what's inside.  This cover on this book is a great photo shot by the author's son (of which the process is told about in the back of the book), but I don't know that it gives you a sense of what's written inside.  It does exemplify that the show has stopped, though, so I guess that's something.

Plot:  This is a little difficult for me to explain, but I'm going to try ... I thought the story moved along in a steady pace and kept the reader interested.  In addition, I thought that the storyline focused more on the lives of the three main characters instead of the murder.  The main characters, and their personalities and interactions with each other, seem to stick in my memory more than the actual murder storyline, even though they were investigating the murder for the entire length of the novel.

Characters:  The three main characters were Pinky, Bear and Flo.  Pinky, or J. Pincus Delmont, is a greedy lawyer who isn't too concerned with what's right as long as he's being paid enough.  He's a slick talker and arrogant.  I didn't care for Pinky.

Bear is proclaimed to be street-wise in the summary.  I couldn't help but think that Bear was written as slow and ignorant.  The way Flo and Pinky spoke to him and treated him confirmed this for me.  When he was questioning potential suspects he could come up with lies in an instant, but put him in a conversation with Flo and/or Pinky and he was very dim-witted.  It was aggravating to see this contradiction as I liked Bear and wanted to see him treated with respect.

Now Flo ... Flo is a different story ... she was a college graduate and smart.  Flo was a bitch though (sorry ya'll, but there's just no other word for her).  She mistrusted Bear every time he turned around.  She threatened to leave him over any little incident.  She was high-maintenance and wrung Bear financially dry every chance she got.  It is safe to say that Flo got on my nerves.  I was ready for Bear to just dump her at her house and leave her there.

Overall:  The story was well-written and had a noir vibe to it.  It kept the reader interested and evoked emotional responses, both positive and negative.  I would recommend that adults read this rather than young adults due to some of the language and sexual references.

Blog Tour & Guest Post: The Big Show Stopper by Ken Dalton



I was asked by Tribute Books to participate in a blog tour for Ken Dalton's new book, The Big Show Stopper.  You can click here to visit this blog tour's website to view the blog tour schedule, read chapter one of The Big Show Stopper and to read reviews of this novel. 






Guest Post by Ken Dalton:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer questions from my readers on your blog.

Your latest novel, The Big Show Stopper, is non-stop fun, but once in a while Pinky, Bear, or Flo will do or say something that bothers me.  Why do you do that?

The actions of Pinky, Bear and Flo should create a positive or a negative emotional response from the reader.  When that happens, I have done my job as a writer.  A character in a novel that doesn't move the reader, one way or another, should end up on the cutting-room floor.

So Pinky, Bear and Flo are sort of crazy on purpose?

The one-word answer is yes.  All three are infused with some positive, but mostly negative traits.

Look at Pinky.  He has a single positive quality - an attorney who may be your only hope if you are waiting trial for murder.  On the negative side, the height-deprived Pinky is greedier than Scrooge and spends more time than he should looking at himself in the mirror.

Bear, on the other hand, is big and tough, so his physical stature concerns some, but he uses his street smarts, rather than brute force, to accomplish his investigative needs.  Bear's main negative traits are his poor language skills and his concentrating on females with well-developed bosoms.

Last, but not least, is Flo.  Without a question this woman is hard to pin down.  At times she's easy to be around, then, as quickly as you can snap your fingers, she becomes a problem to both Bear and Pinky.  Flo's job is to keep the boat rocking, both figuritively and literally.

Will Pinky, Bear and Flo live on in future books?

Yes! The third novel of the series, tentatively titled, The Amethyst Corpse, will be released in the fall of this year and will be available on Amazon in both print and Kindle form.

Please email me at ken@kendalton.com if you have further questions or go online, www.kendalton.com, to post a comment.


About the Author:
(As given to me by Tribute Books)

Ken Dalton was born in 1938. In a turn of bad luck, the dreaded Polio virus found Ken. At the end of World War II, Ken's family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming for a year where he learned how to live through snow blizzards, avoid walking through the large pile of coal in the basement, and how to survive life as an Army Officer's brat on a base called Fort Warren.

By the age of sixteen, after eleven years of operations, therapy, and braces, Ken's luck changed dramatically when he met the girl of his dreams at a party. A few years later they married, produced three wonderful children, and settled into a happy life in Southern California.

In 1966, Ken, who worked as a technician for Pacific Bell, and his family left Southern California for the green hills of Sonoma County where they bought a home in Sebastopol surrounded with apple trees. A few years later, Ken and Arlene built a new home on three and a half acres. They raised cows, pigs, and learned how to build outstanding fences. While their children grew, they hosted two exchange students, Eva Reimers from Sweden, and Tanja Wuttke from Germany, both of whom are still loved members of the Dalton clan. Also during those years, Ken was promoted to management at Pacific Bell. He eventually ended up responsible for all the central offices, sixty-three, in an area that covered five counties.

In 1977, Ken, Arlene, Bob Wiltermood, and his wife Norma, designed, built, and operated a 2000 case winery named Pommeraie Vineyards. They produced award winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. However, after Bob died, the winery was sold. Ken and Arlene moved to a hilltop in Healdsburg.

With the winery gone, and time on their hands, Ken and Arlene started to perform with the Camp Rose Players. Twenty years and forty productions later, both are still acting and singing.

Life was good. All Ken had to do was learn some lines and bow when the audience applauded.

Then, ten years ago, in a moment of madness, Ken started to write. His first article was published in Golf Illustrated in August 1996. More golf articles followed in national and regional magazines including Golf Magazine and Fairways and Greens.

After a two-year stint on the County Grand Jury, Ken felt the need to begin his first novel.

Now, after a decade of struggle to learn the craft of writing, Ken has become the publishing world's latest overnight sensation.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Continuing the Love Giveaway


Hey all! =)  I know there's a giveaway currently in progress that takes place every year where a blog's host shows their followers some love.  Well, I am continuing that love beyond Valentine's Day, because I know the other one ends on the 13th or 14th ... right?  Anywho, here's the nitty gritty ...

  • I went to my local used book store today and bought 14 romance/love stories. 
  • Giveaway is international and contestants can enter for their chance to win starting now.
  • You do not need to be a blogger and/or a GFC follower to participate and/or to win.
  • Once a day, from February 15th until February 28th, I will pick one winner.  That winner will get their choice of book from the list below. 
  • Now, of course, as we get close to the end of the month the winner's selections may no longer be available.  If I see that the books the winner wants aren't available, I will email the winner to tell them which books are still available and they can choose from what's left or forfeit their win*.
  • I will leave the form open, and accept entries, up until February 27th at 11:59 p.m. EST
  • After I choose a winner each day, that person's name will be removed from the entries for the giveaway.  I'm doing this because I'd like to have 14 different winners instead of a couple people winning multiple books.  I like for as many people to win that can. 
* To forfeit your win means that you are not interested in any of the remaining books and will, therefore, be removed from the remainder of the eligible days left in the giveaway.

So ... are you ready to see what's available? =)  Thought you might ... here we go ...

RogueRogue by Danielle Steel: Meet Maxine Williams, a dedicated doctor with three great kids, a challenging career, and the perfect new man in her life.  Her only problem?  Her irresistibly charming, utterly infuriating ex-husband, a.k.a. the rogue ...

Hatteras GirlHatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler: When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, ... she believes God has answered ... her prayers.  But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to wonder if her heart has lead her astray.  Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

Barely a Lady (The Drake's Rakes series)Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer: Olivia Grace has every reason to despise Jack Wyndham, Earl of Gracechurch, who scandalously married and then divorced her, ruining her completely.  Yet when she finds an injured Jack on a battlefield wearing the enemy's uniform, she can't resist saving him.  He might have broken her heart, but can he truly be a traitor?

Love Without BloodLove Without Blood by Raz Steel: The darkness has just begun.  Dr. West's identity, what she wants - all stands in danger of being devoured.  Nothing is ever the same for those inducted into the sinister world of vampires, be they newly turned monsters or the government agents sword to destroy them.  Lara West has tasted both power and passion, and a price must be paid.  Yet she's glimpsed salvation in the night.  Hope still remains for love without blood.

Darkest Dreams (Killdaren Series)Darkest Dreams by Jennifer St. Giles: What Andromeda sees in Alex's wicked mind arouses both fear and attraction.  But there are other dangers lurking in Dragon's Cove.  Women are falling prey to a deadly Druid ritual in which innocents are sacrificed.  With her gifts, Andromeda knows she is bound to be the next victim - and with Alex's reputation, he's a likely suspect.  Can what they feel for each other be strong enough to reveal the truth?  Or will the shadow over Dragon's Cove eclipse their hearts forever?

Immortal SinsImmortal Sins by Amanda Ashley: At first, Jason plans only to enlist Kari's help in navigating this strange new world so he can find and punish the wizard who entrapped him.  But Kari's enticing sensuality and innocence incite a growing need in Jason to touch and taste her, to possess her utterly.  For the gulf between them - and the danger that awaits - is nothing compared to a potent, primal hunger that will last for all eternity.

Diamond Dreams (Signet Regency Romance)Diamond Dreams by Sandra Heath: Athan, Lord Griffin, is so taken by the uncanny resemblance between Ellie and the portrait of a lady hanging in his home, he is compelled to kiss her.  And though Athan is betrothed to another out of obligation, duty plays no role when it comes to fate ... or to love.  But neither he nor Ellie can guess that Athan's impulsive action will lead to an adventure in exotic St. Petersburg that will bring passion - and destiny - to brilliant light.

Written on Your SkinWritten on Your Skin by Meredith Duran: Deception has ruled Mina's life just as it has Phin's.  But as the beauty and the spy match wits in a dangerous dance, their practiced masks begin to slip, revealing a perilous attraction.  And the greatest threat they face may not be traitors or murderous conspiracies, but their own dark desires.

You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs (Red Dress Ink)You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs by Laurie Graff:From the shortest date in Manhattan history, to Mr. FamousHollywoodTelevisionActor who was more bark than bite, these are tales for every woman whether she's found her Prince Charming, or her lips are incredibly chapped from kissing her own share of frogs.

A Darker Dream (Love Spell romance)A Darker Dream by Amanda Ashley: Rhianna's father had sold her to Rayven to put food on the table - so she had no choice but to go with the dark stranger.  To her surprise, he gave her everything she wanted - the finest clothes, education, and the run of the castle - everything, that is, except his touch.  For although she sensed danger beneath his soft-spoken manner, although even Rayven himself warned her away, she was drawn to this creature of the night, and loved him as she would no other.

Renegade LadyRenegade Lady by Kathryn Hockett: With half the folks in Showlow ready to run her out of town, Josie had found an unlikely ally in Dr. Rafe Gardner.  Once, Rafe had ridden with the wildest outlaws in the West.  Now he would turn Josie into one of the sharpest shooters in the Arizona Territory.  But once she'd mastered the skills of the gunfighter's trade, and uncovered Rafe's shocking secret, would Josie be forced to choose between vengeance and a love she'd never imagined could be hers?

Wife Living DangerouslyWife Living Dangerously by Sara Susannah Katz: She went from being the good girl to the good wife and mother.  Married with three kids and living in the "perfect" suburban community, Julia Flanagan plays by the rules and (almost) never lies ... she never dreamed a truth-telling game at her best friend's beach house would reveal that her buddies think she's boring ... Now Julia is stepping out, acting out - and on the verge of making out with a sexy medieval studies professor.  The only question is: Just how far will she dare to go?

Emily's Secret: A Writer...A Love Story...A Curse...A Diary...A Secret...Emily's Secret by Jill Jones:Alex Hightower, an American professor, has always been fascinated by Emily Brontee and her brief, tragic life.  But what were the secrets she took with her to her grave?  The answers will begin in the village of Haworth, where Emily lived and died, as Alex delves into the past to unlock a hundred-and-fifty-year-old mystery.

Traitor's Kiss/Lover's KissTraitor's Kiss by Mary Blayney: When an enigmatic beauty rescues accused traitor Lord Gabriel Pennistan from a French prison cell, it's just the beginning of an adventure in mystery and seduction.

Lover's Kiss by Mary Blayney: Lady Olivia Pennistan never imagined she would be kidnapped.  And retired soldier Michael Garrett never expected to be her rescuer.  The final surprise comes when Garrett is hired to protect Olivia and her family from the insidious threats that persist.  As their simmering attraction ignites, rumors of Olivia's indiscretion surface - rumors she longs to make come true.

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