Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Teaser Tuesday #6

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday #6: Insomnia

"No one - least of all Dr Lichfield - came right out and told Ralph Roberts that his wife was going to die, but there came a time when Ralph understood without needing to be told."

"Those four months were like being dragged drunk through some malign carnival where the people on the rides were really screaming, the people lost in the mirror maze were really lost, and the denizens of Freak Alley looked at you with false smiles on their lips and terror in their eyes."

Both teasers from the first page of the book (so no spoilers). I do hope this book isn't as scary as It (also by Stephen King) was, or I won't be able to sleep at night any more!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Follow Friday #5

 Hosted by Parajunkee

Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

Guest Post by Graham Parke: Giveaway

"No Hope for Gomez!" Birthday Party. Win kindles, iPods, and get free books!

“It's the age-old tale:
     Boy meets girl.
     Boy stalks girl.
     Girl already has a stalker.
     Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”

It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since I handed in the final proofs for my weird little book ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ To celebrate this, and the fact that it just became a finalist in 2010's Best Book Awards, I decided to throw an international party. As I’ve had a debilitating fear of throwing parties and no-one showing up since early childhood, I’d be more than delighted if you’d come!

Of course, with every cool, international party comes a gift bag. Here's just some of the stuff attendants will get:

  • Exclusive short story collection
  • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signed hi-res poster + bookplate

(These are all exclusive items and will not be available again)

Additionally, several lucky attendants will win a Kindle or an iPod!

Oh yeah, you can bring as many friends as you like, just don't bring your crazy uncle who drinks too much and then tries to get me to go to the attic with him to see something wonderful. I've fallen for that before and I don't mind telling you, I came away very disappointed!

Find out how to attend HERE.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

BR: Vampire Protector

Vampire Protector by Amy Corwin
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed for The Romance Reviews, revised for blog

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I expected a lot of romance and a mediocre plot. But Vampire Protector stays clear from the cheesy girl-meets-vampire love story that we have seen so many times before, and turns it into a good urban fantasy with a heroine you will feel for.

Gwen doesn't remember much about what happened to her parents. She does know they were killed by vampires. Ever since, she helps people to protect them against these creatures. Nevertheless, she decides to take her vampire neighbour with her for safety as she returned to her childhood home. This simple decision leads to a series of events that concern master vampires, old family heirlooms and life-threatening situations.

The author created a lot of tension throughout the story by revealing Gwen's past step by step. We learn with her, and we only know what she knows. Therefore you feel more connected to the main character, and it keeps the plot going. Her remembering her childhood was very well done, by not only telling us about it, but also showing it to us through flashbacks.

What I also liked is how well written this book is. After a lot of so-so writing reading other books, it feels good again to have a proper dialogue that flows and clear and with vivid descriptions. The prose was kept simple, yet not annoyingly so. Overall, it was very pleasant to read.

The only thing that kind of lacked here was the romance. We get told about how their love for each other grows, but I just didn't really buy it. It didn't really feel genuine. There is some obvious lust, but this seems to stem more from our heroine's lack of intimate partners than true love. In the end, for me, they seemed more like best friends than true lovers. 

I had the same problem with the relationship between Gwen and her best friend. I kept thinking the whole time that her friend actually was a traitor that would stab Gwen in the back the moment she least expected it. Maybe I have read too many stories where this happens and I’ve become a little bit paranoid, but again I just didn’t see the sincere connection. In the end there was nothing wrong with the friend, but I kept having this feeling she was more of a stranger that randomly came to Gwen’s rescue than someone that has known her for several years.

The plot was well-rounded, no obvious holes there, and the overall story felt like the author put a lot of work into tying every loose end and making sure every little piece of mystery we come across is explained. It did feel slightly overworked at times, but not so much it disturbs the flow of the story.

Vampire Protector is a very well written urban fantasy with plenty action and suspense to keep you hooked throughout the whole book.

Exploring Gwen's deliciously spooky and long abandoned childhood home in the company of her handsome neighbor sounds like a brilliant way to break her dating dry spell and find a few missing memories. Unfortunately, she soon discovers her mistake. John, her date, is a vampire and her house is not exactly empty. Secrets—and the dead—don’t always stay buried, and John’s extraordinary strength and determination may be all that can withstand what awaits them.

Gwen must unlock her memories and survive the devastating company of her Vampire Protector if she hopes to prevent the past from destroying her future.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Teaser Tuesday #5

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday #5: Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

"Dear Diary,
Something awful is going to happen today.
I don't know why I wrote that. It's crazy. There's no reason for me to be upset and every reason for me to be happy but...

But here I am at 5:30 in the morning, awake and scared. I keep telling myself it's just that I'm all messed up from the time difference between France and here. But that doesn't explain why I feel so scared. So lost."

Monday, 22 November 2010

BR: The Vampire Lestat

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
5 out of 5 stars

Even though it took me ages for me to finish this book (fifty-one days, Goodreads tells me), I loved it from beginning to end. I didn't really like Interview with the Vampire, the first part of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, but this was so, so much better. Interview lacked speed, a certain captivating quality, and the main reason for that was probably main character Louis. I thought Louis was way to whiny for a vampire. But in this book we have Lestat, the most vampiry-vampire I have seen in literature.

There is just something about Lestat that is so intriguing. He’s thoughts and feelings are completely different from human ones. In a lot of fiction books vampires are a kind of enhanced human beings, and I think it was very clever of Anne Rice to stay clear of that. She created a whole new race, that is foreign to us, but by explaining where every thought comes from, she makes them believable, and even relatable.

What I also loved about this story is it’s complexity. There are so many layers, all kinds of philosophies, that all collide and became this tale. To truly understand the motives behind the vampires’ actions, one has to really study every little piece of information, and give it the attention it deserves.

That’s probably why it took me so damn long to finally finish this book. I read many passages aloud because they were so beautifully written. For me, the intricate sentences Rice has created came to life in a way that felt like poetry. Maybe there is too much descriptiveness for some readers, but I think this story didn’t deserve any less.

The characters and the writing really made this story for me. There is not a lot of tension or excitement. This is kind of Lestat’s memoir. Therefore, we all know he will survive everything that comes across his path, but still, it is fascinating to see what is going on in his head, after we have seen only the outside in Interview with the Vampire. And especially how misunderstood he was. How Louis’ own prejudices have clouded his vision. This made me love Lestat even more, even by his own blood he is misunderstood and even hated.

And finally a vampire that actually kills people. The current trend is that all “good” vampires must live on animal blood, and resist the temptation of human blood completely. In my humble opinion, vampires should be monsters, true creatures of the night, and what believable creature of the night only nibbles on little rat necks from time to time?

Lestat has the perfect balance between good-hearted qualities and some wickedness, to keep it interesting. Slowly but steadily he grew to be one of my favourite characters of all time. Just like he is in love with humans, I have fallen in love with the vampires. The next part of the series, Queen of the Damned, is impatient for me to read it.

'Ah, the taste and feel of blood when all passion and greed is sharpened in that one desire!' Lestat: a vampire - but very much not the conventional undead, for Lestat is the truly alive. Lestat is vivid, ecstatic, stagestruck, and in his extravagant story he plunges from the lasciviousness of eighteenth-century Paris to the demonic Egypt of prehistory; from fin-de-siecle New Orleans to the frenetic twentieth-century world of rock superstardom - as, pursued by the living and the dead, he searches across time for the secret of his own dark immortality.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

This week I received:

2011 Reading Challenge: Outdo Yourself

My goal for 2010 was to read 50 books. I'm now at 43, so with some luck I might even make it. But I still want to try to read more next year, that's why I'm joining The Book Vixen's 2011 challenge, and will try to read 10 books more next year

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
hosted by The Book Vixen
  • Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 (books read prior to 1/1/11 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. You can sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2011 than you did in 2010. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge but feel free to do so.
  • Post this reading challenge on your blog so you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for this challenge. Please include a link back to this post so readers can join the challenge too.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can keep tabs on books you’ve read for this challenge on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you’d like (maybe make a shelf for “Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge”). If you are not on either of those sites then you can list the books you read for this challenge in the comments on my wrap-up post, which will be up at the end of 2011.

     Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
     Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
     Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
     I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

I will be trying for Breaking a sweat, but I'll probably end up with Out of breath. 

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Magical Never-Empty TBR Pile

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the size of your TBR-pile? Do your shelves bend under the massive weight? Do you keep adding and adding more books, while everyone tells you you really don't need more? If the answer to these questions is yes, then I'm sorry, but you are a true book addict.

And I am happy to be one of them!

Last week I ran out of shelve space. I just can't squish more books in, not even a tiny paperback. So now they are spreading more and more about the house, they're everywhere! They're piling up at my night stand, next to my bed, on the ground...

And the worst thing is, there are dozens or more books that were privileged enough to earn a spot on my nice shelves, that are crying for me to read them! I try to limit myself to having a maximum of 50 unread books. When everything that I have ordered last week comes in, I'll be at 52. And that's just physical books. Don't even get me started on digital ones.

But true addicts can't help themselves! Especially the well-connected ones. There are so many great book blog out there that talk about great books, that host even better giveaways, that keep feeding our addiction.

There just aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with everything that's going on. Just now, I have about five books that are all screaming for my attention, but I can't even choose which one to read first. Usually I end up with trying to read them all at once, but then you never seem to finish one of them.

Is there a cure? Is there a way for us to learn to control ourselves? Will we ever run out of books to read?

Hi everyone, my name is Celine, and I'm a book addict.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Follow Friday #5

 Hosted by Parajunkee
This week's feature: Ginger @ GReads

Weekly Question:
How long have you been book blogging?

I'm still very new to book blogging. I created my blog about four months ago, but I started adding content activly about a month ago.

Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Teaser Tuesday #4

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday #4: Rampant

"Unicorns are man-eating monsters.
They don't have wings, they aren't lavender or sparkly, and you could never catch one to ride without its goring you through the sternum.

And even if it somehow managed to miss you major arteries - and it never misses - you'd still die from the poison in it's horn.
But don't worry. My great-great-great-great-great-aunt Clothilde killed the last one a hundred and fifty years ago."


    O my, it's almost Christmas, and pre-Christmas time always brings so much to do! For some reason it always seems those two last months of the year you have more obligations than those ten other months together. So, I'm behind on my review work *ashamed*, but I also have some very exciting news!

    More reviews coming up for The Romance Reviews, including:

    More YA reviews, including:

    This blog's first guest posts and interviews!

    And last but not least, my very first giveaway!
    It will be international so anyone can join in on the fun.

    So stick around for some more updates in this very busy time!

    Friday, 12 November 2010

    Follow Friday #4

     Hosted by Parajunkee
    This week's feature: Jackie @ Insane Hussein

    Weekly Question:

    What is your usual monthly book budget?

    I always promise myself to buy a maximum of about 2-3 books a month. I usually end up with double that number somehow.

    Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

    Tuesday, 9 November 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #3

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

     Teaser Tuesday #3: Vampire Protector

     "Maybe it would be all right. As long as he looked and didn’t bite."

    "When she shot a quick glance in his direction, his brows were drawn down into a frown as if his thoughts were not entirely pleasant, either. Despite his grim appearance, the attraction she felt toward him stirred, sending a warm buzz through her."

      Saturday, 6 November 2010

      BR: Early to Death, Early to Rise

      Early to Death, Early to Rise by Kim Harrison
      4 out of 5 stars

      I was quite reluctant to pick up the second part in the Madison Avery series after the not-so-great first part, Once Dead, Twice Shy. Luckily, we do see some improvement.

      In this book Madison is the dark timekeeper, and she is struggling with her new position. She does not believe in fate, but in choice, and this collides with her new responsibilities. Together with her two angels, one dark, one that was once light, and not to forget tongue-in-cheek guardian angel Grace, she tries to prevent people from making the wrong decisions in live, so they won't have to be scythed (or in human: killed).

      Kim Harrison does know how to write an amusing story with interesting characters. It probably has a deeper layer, with all that choice vs. fate stuff, but it is well concealed. We don't get enormous monologues about philosophical topics, to teach us a lesson. That, I really liked. Some books you just want to read to take a little break, and have some relax-time. This is a book you can certainly pick up when you're in that kind of mood.

      That doesn't mean this book is flat and brainless. The characters are very well thought out, and overall nicely balanced. You get to know all their little quirks and they live up to the expectations you have of their personality. The plot made sense, and was nicely fast paced overall. There was enough action and tension to keep us busy, and prevent this from being a little bit boring.

      The main reason I liked this book more than Once Dead, Twice Shy, was probably that my expectations weren't that high. I was pleasantly surprised, actually. I read this in two sittings, while I at some points really had to labour through ODTS. I'm not sure if there will be a third part in the Madison Avery series, but if there will be, I will buy it without second thought.

      Seventeen, dead, and in charge of Heaven's dark angels—all itching to kill someone.

      Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.

      Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of Heaven.

      But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead—unless she gets some seriously divine intervention.

      Friday, 5 November 2010

      Follow Friday #3

       Hosted by Parajunkee
      This week's feature: Monica @ The Bibliophilic Book Blog

      Weekly Question:

      Who are your favorite authors?

      There are so many great authors out there so this is a hard one. The ones I like most at the moment are Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Stephen King and Darren Shan. That is a strange combination indeed.

      Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

      Monday, 1 November 2010

      30 Days of Gratitude #2

      This is a weekly post by The Readings of a Busy Mom over at her blog about the little things in life we are grateful for. This does not have to relate to books, but can also be about everyday enjoyments.

      (Sorry for my post being a day late, I have been feeling quite ill the last few days).

      This week I'm grateful for something very cliché:

      My Friends!

      I know, it has been said so many times, but I'm truly grateful for my friends. I wouldn't know what to do without them. They're there when you're bored, to cheer you up when you're down. They protect you from mistakes you are about to make and even though at the time you will probably hate them, afterwards you will love them even more for caring.

      Feel free to share what you are grateful for this week!