Sunday, October 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme to share what we bought, checked out, swapped, or won. IMM is hosted by The Story Siren.

This is In My Mailbox 
The Halloween edition!


Thanks so much to Jen from YA Romantics and Britta from I Like These Books!!!

 A.K.A.  Fracture

I received these copies for review from Book Divas. I already read Fracture, and I LOVED it! My review won't be up for a little while though since it's a January release. 


A super special thanks this week to Rex Robot Reviews!!! She wins the award for nicest blogger of the month for sure. She kindly sent me this signed ARC of A Beautiful Dark and asked for nothing in return. A great example of why my favorite part of being a blogger is meeting so many other wonderful book lovers!


Also thanks so much to C.J. Duggan for sending me Daughter of Smoke and Bones for R.A.K.! The best part? She sent the UK version (on the left). I actually prefer the US cover (on the right), but I think its so cool to have the UK cover!!! And its a paperback!

Here's the goods:
Okay, I showed you mine. Now show me yours! What did you get this week?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

(Synopsis from Goodreads)
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

"Everything I want to talk about I can't say to them. It feels so separate, like I've touched something that's taken the color out of me. Or maybe I'm in color now and they're in black and white...We're in on the secret, aren't we Cas? And it's taking us out of the world." (Carmel speaking to Cas)

I put this quote at the top of my review because I feel like, even though its another character who is speaking, it perfectly describes the way Cas feels about his life. Cas is one of the best lead characters I have ever read in a YA book, and certainly my favorite male narrator (not that I've read that many). Blake wrote him as a believable teenage boy who has been spending most of his teen years moving from place to place, avoiding connections and relationships, and...oh yeah...killing ghosts. He is smart, sarcastic, and good at what he does. And he does it alone. So when this particular 'job' gets complicated and tangles Cas up in a group of local teenagers he finds himself at a total loss. Friends? Those just get in the way.

And what job is it that has caused Cas these complications? Anna. Cas travels to a small town in Canada to track down a ghost called Anna Dressed in Blood. What he finds is the terrifying ghost of a girl who is trapped in her house and who kills anyone who enters. Cas finds himself drawn to Anna for unexplainable reasons. Blake does not half-ass Anna in any way. She is scary and strong and violent. I loved that Blake let us see so many sides of Anna. I loved her to pieces, even though her opening scene in the book involves words like 'screaming', 'twisting', 'bleeding', 'tearing', and 'corpse'. Isn't that crazy? How does Kendare Blake make us love Anna so much?

I loved everything about this book, including all the secondary characters, the surprises, and the relationships. I'm so excited that there is more Cas and Anna to come in book two!

"It's your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story..."

The Veil by Cory Putnam Oakes

The VeilThe Veil by Cory Putman Oakes

(Synopsis from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Addison Russell is in for a shock when she discovers that she can see the invisible world of the Annorasi. Suddenly, nothing is as it appears to be the house she lives in, the woman who raised her, even the most beautiful boy in town all turn out to be more than what they seem. And when this strange new world forces Addy to answer for a crime that was committed long ago, by parents she has never known, she has no choice but to trust Luc, the mysterious Annorasi who has been sent to protect her. Or so he says . . .

Oakes' The Veil has real potential as a first novel, despite some bumps (and bruises) here and there.

Let's talk about what I loved first. I liked Addy's "voice" first and foremost. I immediately took to her character and enjoyed reading the story from her point of view. Her crush on Luc is written well and Addy, in general, is very believable. I also liked the relationship that Addy and Luc have in the story, They must pretend to be dating so that Luc has an excuse to stay close to Addy and protect her. Its clear to the reader that these two feel the same way about each other, and they are just totally blind to it. I also like the overall fantasy element of The Veil. The Annorasi are very similar to the Fae, in my opinion. That made the idea easy to identify with, but...

The Annorasi and their world are not well-described at all in the book. I was left feeling a bit confused about the idea that their world 'overlaps' ours. There was not very much explanation and the Annorasi characters were lacking depth. I wasn't really on board with why the "bad guys" were doing what they were doing. The quality of this story would have rocketed up if their had been stronger world building.

I will read the sequel to this one to find out more about the Annorasi world, with the hope that the next one will build that alternate world a little better.

Zompacolypse 2011 Giveaway Hop!

Paranormal Wastelands

Welcome to my little piece of the Zompacolypse 2011! Check out my giveaways (US only) and enter on the Rafflecoptor from below. Then check out the linky for all the other blogs participating!

My Zombie-riffic giveaways:

#1 - Anna Dressed in Blood:

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)

#2 - Apocalypse of the Dead:

Apocalypse of the Dead (Dead City, #2)

I will pick TWO WINNERS. The first winner will get their choice of the two books, and the other winner will get the other book. Enter below and then check out the other giveaways!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to my stop in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm.

I am giving away a copy of Dead on the Delta, SIGNED by author Stacey Jay! 
This was one of my favorite reads of this past year! It's a dark urban fantasy with a great mystery plot. And the main character is all kinds of screwed up, which you know I love. Stacey graciously offered to do an interview as well, so read on and then enter to win!

Dead on the Delta (Annabelle Lee, #1)Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement— and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.

But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six year- old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . . .

Welcome author Stacey Jay to the 'pack'!
(Giveaway and Linky at the bottom)

*Goldilox: In Dead on the Delta, Annabelle has some issues with alcohol and pills. What inspired you to create a protagonist with a substance addiction? And how challenging is it to make such a flawed character still likable for the readers? 

*Stacey: When I first decided to write a mystery series, I read a lot of old school mysteries, written mostly by men with male protagonists. These hard boiled detectives were usually troubled, and at least seventy-five percent had an intimate relationship with the bottle. This made me think…

What would it be like to write a woman struggling with similar problems? An alienated, borderline alcoholic with intimacy issues? Would readers be as accepting of that in a woman as they are in a man? Turns out the answer is “no.” But I expected that. I’m a feminist, but I’m also a realist.  :)

But honestly, the majority of reader feedback has been positive. Most readers can see that Annabelle’s got a good heart, and that covers an abundance of sins in fiction (as it does in life).

There’s also a personal angle here for me. It’s no secret to those who read my blog that I’ve struggled with insomnia for about eight years, and had a nasty time getting off prescription sleeping pills that my doctor swore were “non addictive.” That wasn’t the case for me. The fight to “get clean” while still getting enough sleep to be productive at work, and at home with my children, was brutal. (Sleep is necessary to life. It’s not something you can just go without.)

The experience made me think about addiction in a way I hadn’t before. It enhanced my empathy, which I believe is a good thing. Empathy makes for a kinder world.

*GoldiloxCan you share if Tucker plays a larger role in the next book? 

*Stacey: Oh yes, I can… And oh yes, he does. That is all I can share at the moment.  :)

*Goldilox: Where did you come up with the idea for the mutated fairies? It’s such a unique concept in a genre inundated with vampires, shifters, zombies, the fae, etc.

*Stacey: I lived in the south (or deep south) for most of my life, and dealt with the accompanying mosquitoes every time I stepped outside. It really wasn’t that big a stretch to go from the West Nile Virus scare to something even scarier. I chose the Fae as my winged menaces because the folk tales about fairies have always fascinated me.

*Goldilox: Will there be more Annabelle Lee books after Blood on the Bayou?

*Stacey: I certainly hope so. I’m very attached to these characters. They are dear friends, and I want to see what happens next for all of them! As for now, however, I’m not sure. Sales of the first two books will be a strong determining factor for my publisher.

*Goldilox: In the acknowledgements of Dead on the Delta it says thank you to Stacia Kane, who is another of my favorite authors. Chess from Kane’s Downside Ghosts series and Annabelle have a lot in common. What would you think about a possible friendship between these two?

*Stacey: This is a funny question to me, as I don’t personally think Chess and Annabelle have that much in common aside from drug/alcohol abuse. I think Annabelle is a lighter character in many ways, and she’ s certainly not as successful or badass as Chess (who is a kick butt witch with great control over her power).

But yes, I think that Annabelle and Chess could be friends. They’re both fairly easy going at their cores. They would likely be pleasant acquaintances, however, not dear friends the way Stacia and I are (we were baby writers together long before either of us were published). I think you have to be willing to be vulnerable in order to have a close friendship, or relationship of any kind.

*Goldilox: You dedicated the book to your father that passed away ten years ago while he was writing Dead On The Delta. Is this the direction he was planning to take the book in ten years ago?

*Stacey: Not at all. My dad’s book was an old school mystery written in third person from three points of view. At first I tried to edit the ten chapters he finished and then move on from there, but I couldn’t. He was a sixty-five year old man raised in the Depression, I was a twenty-eight year old woman who was a teen during the grunge movement. Our voices weren’t compatible. But the heart of the story is similar—a jaded person finding healing by helping solve the murder of a little girl.

*Goldilox: I just finished reading Juliet Immortal, your newest YA book. I was wondering what inspired you to do such a unique retelling of Romeo and Juliet?

*Stacey: It came to me in one of those “bursts of mental lightening” moments. “What if Juliet didn’t die? What if she and Romeo lived on to become immortal enemies?” I dropped what I was doing and wrote an outline right away. (I’d like my brain to give me another one of those bursts. Now would be nice. I have a partial due in a month.)

*Goldilox: I know that you are currently working on the sequel to Juliet Immortal. Can you tell us a little bit about it and if there will be more books in this series?

*Stacey: The sequel, ROMEO REDEEMED, will release in Fall 2012. It’s primarily Romeo’s story, though Juliet does make an appearance. It’s also a love story, one I’m very proud of. I can’t say more than that, but I can answer the last question: No. There will not be more books. These two stories were designed to be companion books from the beginning. After that, I’m exploring new ideas.

*Goldilox: When you’re not writing, what else are you doing? What are some TV shows you are engrossed in, movies you’ve loved lately, hobbies you indulge, etc.?

*Stacey: I have two small children so I’m often at the playground, driving to cub scout meetings, helping with homework, trying to potty train (which I am ready to be DONE with, I tell you!), giving baths, etc, etc. I also have an amazing husband. I’d say he’s my hobby. Spending time with him—date nights when we can get them, hikes with the kids, watching Parks and Recreation on the couch—is my favorite thing to do. (Though I also enjoy cooking and do so almost every night. Life is too short not to eat good, homemade food. Preferably with cheese on it.)

Here are some of Stacey's books, both adult and YA, if you are interested (and you should be!):
Dead on the Delta (Annabelle Lee, #1) Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee, #2)  Juliet Immortal You Are So Undead to Me (Megan Berry, #1) The Locket


And now, time to try and win a little goodie!!! Enter below on the Rafflecoptor form to win a signed copy of Dead on the Delta. Stacey Jay will be signing and shipping the book to the winner.  :) 
You must live in the US and be 13 or older to enter. Best of luck my little weres!
After you enter, check out the linky with the GAZILLION other blogs participating and offering awesome giveaways!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme to share what we bought, checked out, swapped, or won. IMM is hosted by The Story Siren.

This was another great week for me! I keep thinking the 'book hoarding' will slow down...but it doesn't!  :)

New for me this week:

Received (Fall Exchange):

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) Alpha (Shifters, #6)

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
Alpha (Shifters #6) by Rachel Vincent

These were gifts from my "Santa" in the Fall Book Exchange (hosted by Ruby's Reads)! Thank you SO much to Jen @ Book Nympho!  <3

Received (fabulous blogger friends):

Everneath (Everneath, #1) Carrier of the Mark

Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton (from Mariya @ Mystifying Paranormal Reviews!)
Carrier of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy #1) by Leigh Fallon (from Krystal @ Live to Read!)


Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1)

Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1) by Leanna Renee Hieber


Home Improvement: Undead Edition

Home Improvement: Undead Edition by Charlaine Harris, Melissa Marr, Patricia Briggs, Stacia Kane, etc.

Okay, I showed you mine. Now show me yours! What did you get this week?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Follow Friday (10)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

Here is this week's question:

What superhero is your alter-ego?

Um...duh...Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls!!! I absolutely adore her and she has all the BEST superpowers! She can understand all foreign languages and talk to animals - with a specialty in squirrel - and sometimes she has a sonic scream and can spit fire! We also have a lot in common...both blonde, with our favorite color being blue, and we both hate cockroaches! And the episode wear Bubbles got glasses? I knew we were soul mates. (Cause I wear case you were wondering...)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (9) - Biting Cold

Waiting on Wednesday is a feature hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that shares the upcoming releases we bloggers are on the edge of our seats about!

Biting Cold
(Chicagoland Vampires #6)
by Chloe Neill
Release date: August 2012

(Synopsis from Goodreads -
Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.

Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.

I just finished reading an early copy of Drink Deep, and of course now I CAN'T WAIT for the next one to come out! (You can read my review of Drink Deep - no spoilers!- HERE)
I know what most of this synopsis is referring to, however I can imagine how vague it must sound to everyone else! I am SO excited for Biting Cold...but it doesn't come out till next August. AUGUST -gasp!!!!

What is YOUR WoW pick?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Tour - My Blood Runs Blue by Stacy Eaton


I’m still a cop, and my blood runs blue.”

Officer Kristin Greene has always felt that something was missing from her life. Although her job with the Fawn Hollow Township Police Department keeps her busy, she still feels like there is something else out there for her. She soon finds herself investigating a homicide where a young woman has had her throat ripped out. As she begins to dig for the answers, she finds herself thrown into a world she didn’t know ever existed. When the two strong and silent men walk into her life, she finds herself being pulled into a love triangle that has been going on longer than she has been alive. Who are they and why do they keep calling her Calista? Join Kristin as she fights to learn the truth about the recent murder, the two seductive men who have entered into her life and the real truth about herself.

My Blood Runs Blue is book one of the series. Blue Blood for Life... is the second book and was released on September 30, 2011.

My Blood Runs Blue is an adult Action/Romance Series and is intended for mature audiences.


Mr. Taylor’s nostrils flared and his mouth slacked open slightly as he looked into my eyes. “Dead, she’s dead?”

I stared at him, damn, did I forget to wipe the sign off my face that says, ‘hey man, sorry, but your daughter’s dead.’ How’d he know that? Had someone from the scene called him already?

I turned back to Mrs. Taylor and found her staring at her husband eyes wide, mouth open as if she would speak.

Wait, this was not going how it should. I cleared my head and looked back at them, Mr. Taylor had moved over to stand beside his wife and they were both looking at me now, waiting.

“Mr. & Mrs. Taylor, I am very sorry to say that your daughter Dawn is dead.” I HATED saying that sentence, but it was a sentence that was drilled into you from the moment you entered the academy. You do not say, I’m sorry your daughter was in an accident, or your daughter did not make it. Not in the first sentence. You can elaborate later, but that first sentence, has to be the one that they remember for the rest of their life. The one that tells them, this is not a sick joke, and they are not just going to wake up tomorrow and find her asleep in her bed. That sentence had to say it was real and it was final.

They both stared back me. I saw Mrs. Taylor’s lips move, and I could have sworn I heard her say, “he found us”, but I thought it was more in my imagination until I looked into Mr. Taylor’s steel grey eyes and saw them widen and look at me quickly to see if I had heard what she said. I managed to keep my face perfectly clear and thought I would mull over that statement later.

Where to buy:

Stacy Eaton's Website
Amazon (Hardback/Paperback/Kindle)
Barnes and Noble (Hardback/Paperback)
Outskirts Press Inc.

Stacy Eaton was kind enough to answer some interview questions for Liz of CBLS Promotions!

When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

Ironically – a year ago this month. I had never thought about being an author before, people joked that I should write down some of my stories, but I never took them seriously until the plot for my first book came to me. Then I sat down, starting writing and I just can’t stop. It is like a virus that runs rampant in my blood now and that’s a good thing!

On average, how long does it take you to write a book? 

My first book took me 9 weeks to write. It just flowed! The second one in the series took 11. It is a bit longer then the first one, but again it just flowed.

Where do you find writing inspiration? 

All of my stories come from thoughts and experiences I have had at work. I’m a police officer, so all my stories revolve around law enforcement in different ways. Incidents that I have responded to or witnessed are brought into my books, not in every detail but the pieces of them.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? 

Last October when I sat down to write my first book, I was 41. I am 42 now and loving my new writing career!

What do you think makes a good story? 

Personally, I want to see depth in a story. I want to see deep characters and deep plots. I want to be able to fall into the story and live in it. If an author can pull me into the story and give me the depth to make me feel like I am one of the characters or the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’ than I think they wrote a great story.

I know from experience it is hard to pull readers in and even harder to keep them there. So keeping your characters interesting and bringing in twists and turns to the plots keeps readers wanting to turn the pages. I try to do that in my writing.

Does your family (and/or close friends) know that you write and are a published author of romance fiction? If so, are they supportive of your efforts? 

Yes, they do. My family has been incredible with support. From my husband who does more around the house to my daughter who actually tells her teachers and friends mom’s about them. My books all have romance in them, but not so much that they weigh the story down for male readers. I have quite a few male readers who also love my stories.

Is there another sub-genre aside from your primary sub-genre that you would like to write for and why?

The first two books I wrote are part of the My Blood Runs Blue series. Both of these books are Paranormal Romance with a suspenseful and mysterious plot. People have talked about them as Crime Novels too and they are correct since both these books are written in the law enforcement world and deal with investigations.

One of the other books I am working on is a contemporary romance, and three others are intense dramas with romance also on the edge.

Is there a main genre besides romance that you would like to write for?

I love writing about my job, so crime and action books will always be part of my future in writing. Authors always say to “write what you know, and know what you write”, and I think that is very true. I think that definitely makes me a better author and I hear it again and again in my reviews that my knowledge shines through in my written words.

Aside from romance, are there any other types of fiction/literature that you enjoy reading? 

I am a big fan of mysteries and crime novels. Books that contain drama and real life situations also capture my attention if they revolve around law enforcement.

How important is reader feedback, good or bad, to you?

I love feedback! I think that an author can only improve on themselves if the readers out there tell the authors what they loved or what they hated about the books. Many authors get disappointed or depressed about bad reviews, but in my honest opinion, I believe that those are some of the most important reviews!

Of course, I personally love the positive kind! Seeing what my readers thought was wonderful in my book humbles me. When a reader tells me that they got sucked in and couldn’t put the book down and now they can’t wait for the next one; I am in awe. Many times I can be found doing a dance in my office when I read that another reader loved my books. My daughter usually joins me for the dances too!

I have had a few readers who had some negative comments and I appreciate them. I take to heart what they say so that in my next book I can improve on my writing skills. I think all authors need to do this.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

If I am not looking through the world through my characters, I might be looking at the world through a viewfinder. I love photography! I have been doing photography since I was in high school and I used to have my own dark room. These days I don’t have as much time, and everything is digital, but I am never far from my camera.

I also love to read, and my kindle is always with me. I love to play games with my family and just chill out with friends enjoying a beer or a chocolate martini.

What advice, if any, do you have for aspiring authors? 

Accept the good with the bad. You don’t become a known author overnight. It takes time. It takes patience and it takes a thick skin. Learn to accept what people say good and bad about your stories. Use them to help you grow! Understand that what you write will never appeal to everyone, but eventually you will find your niche in the writing world and go after your dreams from there!  

About the Author: 

 Currently I work full time as a Police Officer for a small township is Southeastern Pennsylvania. While my current position is that of a patrol officer, I spend a lot of my time doing investigations and crime scene processing. Forensics is something I love and I take my job seriously.

I am also a wife to a Police Officer and with our constant schedules life can get very hectic in our home. I have been blessed with two children, a son who is currently in the United States Navy and I am very proud of him for what he is doing and for putting serving his Country. My daughter is a priceless princess who loves to help me market my books to teachers and other parents while she is at school and church.

When I am not working the job that currently pays all the bills I work on my business. Yes, I have my own business too.

I have two Shiloh Shepherd dogs, Garda and Callie. They are a bit different than the standard German Shepherds most people are use to. They are larger and less aggressive and they have more fur! Man do they have fur!!! Garda has a face that resembles a wolf, which makes me love him even more. (You can see by my photo that I wear a wolf pendant). Garda actually means "The Guardian" in Irish. It is also the name of the Irish Police. Rather fitting for our family of officers don't you think?

In my spare time...I write.

Visit my Blog:

Next stop on the tour:
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