Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And The Winner Is (3)...

Ooh...thank you to everyone who has made the concept of actually leaving my home for things other than hunting through the used bookstore and my local Border's a mere step away to reality!

And, with no further delay (at least, I hope...you never know with me and technology lately!)..

The winner is...



Friday, August 27, 2010

Adventures at Wizard World Chicago...Giveaway!

Is there anything better to a fangirl than Stormtroopers, Slave Princess Leia, Batman, or even Harley Quinn rubbing elbows with you as you search for the first issue of Danger Girl? Yep. When its in Chicago!

Every year, the awesome man I married and I take a road trip to Wizard World Chicago in Rosemont. Crazy as we are, we actually drive to Chicago just for the day (5 1/2 hours there, and the same back) to get our fix on all that is comic greatness. Sometimes, its epic. (Take the year we snuck into a Joss Whedon Panel to hear the most deliciously Joss tale of Buffy, her new shiny boots, and Willow...priceless!) Seeing the entire Top Cow Universe and the amazingingly talented artists who bring it to life (and the first time I saw Michael Turner in person...), making my friend get Amber Benson to sign my Buffy card because I knew it woul dmake him blush.

There is nothing like getting to Chicago, parking in that parking garage (most of garages scare me, but not this one...its a portal to that which awaits!) and walking in to see Marvel, DC, Top Cow, Aspen Comics, Zenescope, Dark Horse....I could go on and on.

Except for this year. Sadly, there seem to be no major companies coming to hype up theirw new releases penned by the hottest artists, all in a row. More like a ghost town than a comic convention. Just a little disappointed in this department.

Instead, this year was an invasion. By the final five cylons (Hey, there, Hot Unccle Cooper), Buffy-ness (SPIKE! Glory! Xander!), the Captains Kirk and Picard, Adam West (da da da da da BATMAN), Terminator royalty, and wrestlers old and new. Although, the Slave Princess Leia was none other than Adrianne Curry. Wow...I only had to wonder how many fan boys had a fab day thanks to her hotness. Go Fangirls!

No Captain Tightpants. Sadness...

Alas, although I begged to take both Sam the Cylon (cough, cough, Michael Trucco) and the bloody awesomeness that is James Marsters home as souveniers to share with y'all, the husband wasn't having any of it. And so, I instead share this with you:

Imagine my supreme fangirl giddiness that transpired in the middle of the convention floor as I squealed and gushed over these lovelies. And let me tell ya why...the covers of both are by one of my favorite artists, J. Scott Campbell. (All the single ladies, if you want to get in to a conversation with a cute tatted up hunky fanboy, get yourself JSC's 2011 Calendar. Picking up will ensue!)

To celebrate all that was this comic con trip, I've decided to give away the first issue seen above (not only to give you some vampy-ness, but to suck you into the world of comics *evil laughter*!) and another goody from Chicago to two lucky winners! To enter, please just leave comment below, include email address (or if you're shy, send me an email with it) and tell me who you would dress up as at comic con. Open to U.S. and Canada...

Contest ends September 10th...

New Review...Night Myst By Yasmine Galenorn

From Amazon.com:

Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the Dark Fae in order to harness their magic, only to create a demonic enemy more powerful than they imagined. Now Myst, the Vampiric Fae Queen of the Indigo Court, has enough power to begin a long prophesied supernatural war. And Cicely Waters, a witch who can control the wind, may be the only one who can stop her-and save her beloved Fae prince from the Queen's enslavement.

Once, when I was a little girl, I dreamed of Fairies. Not the Tinkerbell Disney kind, either. Oh, sure, there may have been one or two flitting about in the background, but most of the fair folk I dreamed off were, well, lets just say my mother would have been a little worried about me. (As in, scary...and I wasn't really scared.) These weren't nightmares...

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I have a few of Yasmine Galenorn's books that I've gathered (in an attempt to actually read in order...I know, I'm learning!). Serious face here, I actually made a silly kinda squeaking sort of noise when I found a NEW series. Luckily, there were no other people around to witness my moment of silliness (except for you, now!).

A rare event occurred. Ever pick up a book, get so involved...suddenly find yourself a mere chapter or two from the end - then, for some reason, want to stop? Not because you are bored or lost interest in the characters, but because you find yourself not wanting it to end? Yep. That's what happened to me. I almost pouted.

Cisely grew up mostly jumping from place to place with her mother, who ran away from not only who she was, but who her daughter is and would be. A wind witch who taught herself most of what she knows (with just a bit more than a little street smarts) who only knows little more than what a childhood companion, who grew into more, taught her, Cisely now finds herself going back to the home her mother tried to keep her from. And to all the sudden strangeness she has inherited.

People are suddenly disappearing from town, and no one seems to want to do anything about it. Members of the Society and magic-born gone without a trace. Even the vampires of the Crimson Court seem to have no real grasp on the situation. (Which, as Vampires, naturally does not sit well, so scheming ensues.) There are whispers in the air of a new threat, and the woods outside her cousins home may not be the same place she explored when she was young. In fact, there are things out there that do really go bump in the night.

Once, the Fae Grieve and Chatter were childhood playmates to Cisely and her cousin Rhiannon. As they grew up, Grieve became so much more to her. But, now, it seems Grieve may not be the same fey she fell for and left all those years ago. Her prince may have gone through a few changes himself. The court of Rivers and Rush has had a few changes...in the form of the Indigo Court and its Vampiric Fae Queen.

World building is a crucial component in any story. In this case, while there is a bit that the author assumes the reader already has the gist of, the reveals that are crucial aren't dumbed down. Thanks for not treating your readers like they are reading a Fey For Dummies Book, Yasmine Galenorn. (But, just to warn you, there are a few times when some info is repeated...but more in the way you would go over facts in your own mind.) I enjoyed the small details here and there that added a richness and layering to my reading.

Oh, and if you are interested in some smoldering hotness (I mean, HELLO, Vampire and Fairy?) I think this may give you what you're looking for. Tension, smolder (love smolder!), and just enough of all the rest.

The only con, here...I have to wait far too long to see what happens next.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Review....Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge (and Giveaway!)

From Publishers Weekly (via Amazon.com)

The first in the Black London series, this dark tale takes Kittredge's supernatural shadows to the next level. At 16, Pete Caldecott witnessed the apparent death of punk rocker Jack Winter after he raised an ancient spirit. Twelve years later, Det. Insp. Caldecott has followed in her dead father's footsteps at Scotland Yard. She follows a tip about a missing child and finds Jack, now a heroin junkie claiming intimate knowledge of a parallel realm called the Black. As Jack detoxes and more children disappear, he joins Pete's quest to find them, teaching her to use hexes and spells as well as her physical abilities in the fight against a rising dark power. Kittredge (the Nocturne City series) knows how to create a believable world, and her fans will enjoy the mix of magic and city grit. (June) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

A girl named Pete? I have to throw this out there first. Mostly because my husband kept asking me this utterly inane question periodically. To which I responded, "Yep. Didn't name her babe." Then the look. You know the one. The one which telegraphs the "I'm reading. I will stare at you until you comprehend this fact and cease the interruptions though I find you amazing charming so are you finished" sentence directly into their brain. At least until they get up to finish off the ice cream you'll no doubtfully search for....but enough of my issues...

Caitlin Kittredge first came into my estimation when perusing one of my fave blogs, Whedon alumni Felicia Day. Oddly enough, I'd hit a rut in my reading, mostly because I had been let down recently by my purchases. I needed help. As it turns out, fan girl extraordinaire is a fan girl herself of a few things, and authors, that I...cough, cough...drool over, too.

A match made in heaven.

To be honest, can't remember how much she said, it just stuck in head. Nocturne City (it may have been one of her strong female character lines, I think) quickly devoured. Enter the steampunkish-ness reference.

As you may or may not know, I have a little love for Steampunk (and its influences in my creative side)...so, I thought, HECK YA! Bring it!

Enter Pete...and Jack. (Did you see that cover...drool drool drool. I know most authors have no say over covers, but, thanks anyway.)

We start our journey with a younger, more innocent Pete...with her sister's boyfriend Jack (Gonna throw this out...I always channeled Spike from Buffy. But, with a lil more hair.) Doing suspiciously suspicious doings in a cemetery. Then, chaos ensues.

Flash forward, Pete thinks jack is dead. She's a cop (in London) and her investigations involve missing children and their mysterious circumstances.

For me, this was a Love/Hate relationship.

The author obviously researched and put a ton and a half of effort into her new series. I mean this as a good thing. However, the language (even in narration) was so involved in vernacular that I really had to concentrate through the first half of the book. HARD. I pushed myself, mostly because there was something about Pete and her relationship with Jack (no matter how much of a bugger he was being at the time) that I needed to discover.

Then, a little over halfway through, I actually called an inanimate object a bloody wanker. No flippin kidding, folks. It all clicked. I still heard Spike, but now, he was Jack channeling Spike.

World building, I believe, is something an author either excels at, does pretty well, or...eh. This, in my opinion, is the former...I love layers being pealed back and not being treated like I may not be smart enough to get it.

And while it may have been slow going in the get go, I am chompin at the bit for Demon's Mark...because I need some more Jack and the world he lives in. Plus, now I know why there's a girl named Pete.

So, to hook you up with my lurve of Caitlin Kittredge and her world, I'm going to give away a copy of Witch Craft, A Nocturne City Novel...

To enter, just leave a comment below! And if you feel like adding a new series that you are excited about, or maybe you almost didn't get through but then loved, please do. I can always add to my TBR Mountain!

And, any British vernacular is appreciated (because then I won't feel so sodding ridiculous, luv!)

Contest ends September 3rd....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review....Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

Warning...the following review of Comfort Food is meant for adult readers only, please.

From Amazon.com:

BOOK DESCRIPTION:Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He's far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Told in the first person from Emily's perspective, Comfort Food explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment.

DISCLAIMER:This is not a story about consensual BDSM. This is a story about “actual” slavery. If reading an erotic story without safewords makes you uncomfortable, this is not the book for you. This is a work of fiction, and the author does not endorse or condone any behavior done to another human being without their consent.

*Author's Note: Several readers have emailed me after reading the book saying that they were nervous about reading it because of the disclaimer. Comfort Food is not "brutal" or particularly "violent". The disclaimer is because I don't want people to assume they are reading "BDSM romance" fiction with safewords. That's not what this is.

The first time I saw Comfort Food, I have to say I passed it off as just another little story from a self published author. Perhaps it was recommended on my Kindle App, or somehow that interesting little world called Twitterland whispered the title into my ear. Either way, after checking it out, I dismissed it, if only because most of what I've sunk my teeth into lately has been primarily on the paranormal side. I wasn't sure, after a sneak peak, it was something I would enjoy. Another thing I really have been considering...is it something I would review here? Not a paranormal or urban fantasy...and so far away from the YA I sometimes enjoy.

Fast forward a month or two...again, Kindle and Amazon sent a gentle nudge my way. And, in all honesty, I enjoyed following Kitty Thomas on Twitter. Just a little thing here and there, but the buzz (if you can call it that because it just sounds...odd to me) continued.

Inevitably, I caved. Call it an experiment, if you will...plus, I liked the idea of supporting an artists work. Commence the download. Sounds easy, right?

Wrong...it took a week for the Kindle App and Amazon to decide to play nice with one another (in which time, I tried three times, whispering sweet nothings to no avail to hit the buy now button. Unsuccessfully, because in their eyes, I already did. Silly, silly.) .

Finally, the day arrived, and the sync happened.

Warning, in advance, that this really is an incredibly explicit book...disturbingly dark and almost uncomfortable at times, yet somehow beautiful. Erotica? Definitely...But, in my eyes, it was so much more. The insanely addicting things for me made me at once realize that I wanted to scream and yell, but somehow cry for the parts that were broken yet fit together. If this had been written in a different time, there is a part of me completely believes I wouldn't have had the urge to do these things. How could this happen, now? Maybe in an old manor in the English country side...cold and isolated, maybe in the eighteen hundreds. But, in the present?

More and more, I saw it as a character study or a psychological documentation of some kind, which I devoured even as I rode the roller coaster of emotions it brought upon me. The methods employed, the rewards, even the mode of communication seemed a calculated line that was precariously walked. (Which as the reader, you feel...trust me.)

Even the point of view that were told mostly through Emily's eyes but then would change during certain situations felt like a piece of the puzzle that fit together and wove together in such a twisted yet precious way. (It seems strange to use some of these words to describe how the story unfolds, but I hope if you've read or will read it, you will agree.)

Would I recommend Comfort Food? Definitely, but not for the faint of heart.

And the winner is (2)

First off, I think I may have set myself up here...I keep on getting new series I have to start from all of your lovely comments! GAH! If only money grew on just one tiny little tree in my back yard. I would share, I promise! Then we could all lounge in hammocks with iced mochas and bowls of yummy cherries (I love summer!) while the ipod mixes the perfect playlist. What do you say?

And now, for the winner...I mean WINNERS! Two is better than one!! (I so want to snicker a tid bit here!)

The winner of the Christine Feehan's Dark Challenge is....


And the winner of J.R. Ward's Lover Revealed is...


Congratulations!! I will be contacting you via email!!!

And thank you everyone, for adding to my addiction. My husband thanks you...