ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.


2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bear with me as I still continue to recover.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today in books, or another surprise envelope from HarperCollins!

I went to get the mail today, and lo and behold! a surprise envelope from HarperCollins was waiting for me. Inside were finished copies of three new books, including Kim Harrison's latest, Pale Demon, which I've been seeing over and over lately and I've been thinking about starting this series, so here is an excellent reason! I also received The Bone Yard by Jefferson Bass, an author and series neither of which I've heard of before, but the book sounds great. Lastly was the "Author's Cut Special Edition" of Christine Feehan's Dark Prince, the first book in her Dark Prince series and the first time it's been released in hardcover and also including over 100 pages of new material that wasn't in the first release.

So, many thanks to HarperCollins! I've got some great reading to be looking forward to.

Happy reading!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Salon 20 II 11 - A week of less reading, no reviewing - in other words, a reading slump





Good morning, fellow Salon Members! We've had a couple of lovely days, some almost in the 50s, here but a winter storm warning is on the horizon... Winter has not left us yet!

The reading slump. We've all been there, when you just can't find the right book to fit the day or mood, where nothing seems to be holding your interest. I sit here, looking at my poor neglected bookshelves and my poor neglected blog and my poor neglected Mt. TBR and I yearn to read, yet nothing calls to me. I'm heading on vacation in early March, and while that is going to do nothing more than put even that much farther behind, I'm anxiously waiting to get my batteries recharged. I need a break from life, and while books usually do that for me in small quantities, I think I need a larger recharge dose right now.

What I've read and still haven't reviewed yet:
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (This is steampunkalicious!)
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (This is faerylicious!)
The Complete Bloom County Library, Volume 2: 1982-1984 by Berkeley Breathed (This is lol-licious!)
The Quest for the Spark, Book 1 by Jeff Smith & Tom Sniegoski (I don't know what kind of -licious this is, but I love it!)

So yeah... I'm behind. And so early in the year, too! I'm going to have to do some serious reading in the coming months to help me catch up to my goal for the year.

Do any of you ever suffer from the reading slump? What do you do to break it? Read an old tried and true favorite? Read brain candy? Take a break? Stop by and leave us your reading slump remedies!

So, until next Sunday, stay warm and happy reading!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Event Recap: Courtney Allison Moulton and the launch party for her debut novel, Angelfire

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So, today I had the pleasure of finally meeting, in person, the fabulous Courtney Allison Moulton, author of Angelfire. We had been Twitter-introduced by my friend Gail (we missed you today, Gail!!) and have been chatting for a couple of months now. I was able to download her debut novel, Angelfire via NetGalley and really liked it.

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Courtney reading from Angelfire

The launch party for Angelfire was hosted at my local Schuler Books and as usual they did a fantastic job. Given that Courtney is a local author, she had quite a following there between friends and family and the good news is the store sold out of their stock of books! They had cookies and root beer floats for everybody and Courtney brought swag bags to give out. Overall, I think everybody had a really great time out supporting Courtney!

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Courtney and me!

If you want to read more about Courtney and Angelfire, visit her website at www.courtneyallisonmoulton.com.

Congrats, Courtney!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Clarity by Kim Harington

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

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Clarity by Kim Harrington

Product Description:
When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Clarity will be released on March 1, 2011 from Point, an imprint of Scholastic.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Release Day! Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

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Courtney Allison Moulton's Angelfire is released today!! Be sure to pick up this great debut book today.

Or better yet, stop in to Schuler Books at 2820 Towne Center Blvd, Lansing (off Lake Lansing Rd), this Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 2pm and meet Courtney in person and get your book signed!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

#91 in 2010

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Title: Angelfire
Series: Anglefire, Book 1
Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062002327
Publisher: Harper Collins
Author Website: www.courtneyallisonmoulton.com/
Twitter: @CAMoulton, @harperteen
Format: ebook through NetGalley
Available: 2-15-11
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 11-21-10

From Amazon:
First there are nightmares.

Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.

When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.

Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Courtney Allison Moulton's debut, Angelfire, is a fast-paced, action-packed thrill ride of a book, with a little side of romance thrown in for good measure. Ellie, who is just about to turn seventeen, has been experiencing nightmares of creatures who are hunting and killing her, nightmares so realistic they almost seem to verge on memory. But, they're just nightmares, right? No harm can from them, right? She keeps thinking that, until she meets one of the creatures while she's awake. And the mysterious boy, Will, who comes to her rescue that night may just hold the key to her memories and who and what she is, because Ellie is actually more than she knows. The creatures hunting Ellie are reapers, and they've actually been hunting Ellie for centuries, and Will has been her guardian for centuries. In turn, Ellie has been hunting and killing reapers for centuries, as well. How and why Ellie has been around for centuries, and why she can't remember these centuries, is all part of the mystery of who she truly is.

Courtney Moulton has created a heroine in Ellie who may seem a little too frail and unsure of herself at the beginning, but who grows into her own as a strong and forthright protagonist. At the beginning of the book, I just assumed that this was going to be your typical YA paranormal romance with your mystical being du jour (in this case, angels). I have to be honest, I enjoyed the opening of the book, but slowly grew to dislike Ellie as a whole. She seemed a little too whiny for my liking. However, I started to really think about it. Ellie just turned seventeen. She's still in high school, and she just discovered that she's a centuries old killing machine. But right now, she's still just seventeen (How is she centuries old and just turning seventeen at the same time you ask? Read the book and find out!) She's still just figuring out who she really is as a person, not just this killing machine. So of course, she's confused and is a little against the whole idea of having to be this thing that she doesn't want to be, and just wants to be a normal teenager. Once I came around to her understanding of who she is versus who she wants to be, her behavior seemed so much more in line with her teenage self. Add in the possible attentions of two different boys, and you have yourself a girl with a lot on her plate, all at once!

There is plenty of adventure in this book. There are several fight sequences between Ellie and the reapers, and they are very detailed and highly choreographed. In fact, there seems to be almost no let up on Ellie with the fighting, and you begin to wonder if the poor girl is ever going to have a chance to catch her breath!

The mythology that Moulton is creating with Ellie and the reapers and angels is quite unique and I really love how she is working in so many time periods into Ellie's past. For a debut book, Moulton is certainly packing quite a bit of research and information into her book and making for a really interesting read.

So, long story short, Moulton completely won me over with her writing and her characters. This is a strong debut from an author that I am anxious to see more of in the future.

Recommended!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednedsay: The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

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The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

Product Description:
Meg Waite Clayton’s national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters was a word-of-mouth sensation and book club favorite. Now the beloved author is back with a page-turning novel that explores the secrets we keep, even from those closest to us, and celebrates the enduring power of friendship.

Mia, Laney, Betts, and Ginger, best friends since law school, have reunited for a long weekend as Betts awaits Senate confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court. Nicknamed “the Ms. Bradwells” during their first class at the University of Michigan Law School in 1979 — when only three women had ever served full Senate terms and none had been appointed to the Court — the four have supported one another through life’s challenges: marriages and divorces, births and deaths, career setbacks and triumphs large and small. Betts was, and still is, the Funny One. Ginger, the Rebel. Laney, the Good Girl. And Mia, the Savant.

But when the Senate hearings uncover a deeply buried skeleton in the friends’ collective closet, the Ms. Bradwells retreat to a summer house on the Chesapeake Bay, where they find themselves reliving a much darker period in their past — one that stirs up secrets they’ve kept for, and from, one another, and could change their lives forever.

Once again, Meg Waite Clayton writes inspiringly about the complex circumstances facing women and the heartfelt friendships that hold them together. Insightful and affecting, The Four Ms. Bradwells is also a captivating tale of how far people will go to protect the ones they love.

The Four Ms. Bradwells will be released on March 22, 2011 from Ballantine Books. You can also read more about The Four Ms. Bradwells here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Redwall author Brian Jacques passes away

Redwall author Brian Jacques passes away

Dr. Grordbort Presents: Victory by Greg Broadmore

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Title: Dr. Grordbort Presents: Victory
Author: Greg Broadmore
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 64
ISBN: 9781595824639
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Author Website: gregbroadmore.blogspot.com
Twitter: @DarkHorseComics
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 1-22-11

From Amazon:
Doctor Grordbort Presents: Victory - Scientific Adventure Violence for Young Men and Literate Women is the year's foremost journal of progressive armaments and weaponry! Behold the latest line of defense captured in action! Filled to the brim with firsthand tales of exploration and progress from the great heroes of our time, picture strips of unimaginable escapades on the frontier, never-seen-before portraits of dazzling damsels and monstrous villains, and laudable accounts of man and robot pitted against our greatest enemy (the uncivilized world), Victory is an onslaught of action-packed scientific adventure in full-spectrum color - containing facts that every boy and literate girl should know.

What mysteries and marvels will he uncover? Golly, it's so exciting thinking about it that I've just peed myself a little. Read on!
Dr. Grordbort Presents: Victory - Scientific Adventure Violence for Young Men and Literate Women reads like a scientific journal of a time long passed that hasn't happened yet. In this retro-futuristic world, we have traveled to Mars, Venus & the Moon and have discovered the varied and sometimes dangerous inhabitants of these planets. The hero of our tale, Lord Cockswain, basically blunders his way through one adventure after another, always seeming the hero even though it is the circumstances surrounding him and his ignorance that proves otherwise.

The entire thing is entirely told tongue-in-cheek. There are advertisements for Dr. Grordbort's latest ray guns, advertisements for the latest military weapons, advertisements to encourage young men to join the military and explore the solar system, tales of the adventures of Lord Cockswain. I found myself laughing several times throughout the book.

In direct contrast to the over the top writing is Greg Broadmore's gorgeous art. Broadmore works at the Weta Workshop (you know, the people behind the Lord of the Rings films) and has worked on such films as District 9, King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. His artwork throughout ranges from the slightly silly to downright engaging. It's this contrast of such striking art and comical writing that makes Dr. Grordbort Presents: Victory such a fun book to read.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Salon 6 II 11 - January, a month in review


Good morning, fellow Salon Members! It's another cold day here, so a perfect opportunity to hunker down with a cuppa and a good book!

My reading goal for this year is 120 books - 10 a month. I missed my goal in January by 1 book, and I've just finished my first book for February, so I need to get reading or I'm going to be so far behind in only the second month of the year that I'll never get caught up!

What I read in January:
Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee by Jim Lee & Bill Baker
The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Mahendra Singh
Skellig by David Almond
Pibgorn: The Girl in the Coffee Cup by Brooke McEldowney
Pibgorn and the Poltergeist in the Piano by Brooke McEldowney
Pibgorn and the Borgia Cantus by Brooke McEldowney
Grandville by Bryan Talbot
Dr. Grordbort Presents: Victory by Greg Broadmore
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Cherie Priest's Boneshaker topped out my month as my favorite book, by far. It's just so Steampunkilicious!

I've got a nice selection of books to get me through February, including Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, the follow up to Bonshaker titled Dreadnought, a couple of my LibraryThing SantaThing gifts The Giver and The Tower, The Zoo and The Tortoise. From there, I'll just peruse my shelves until something strikes my fancy to read.

So, until next Sunday, stay warm and happy reading!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Grandville by Bryan Talbot

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Title: Grandville
Series: A Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard Scientific-Romance Thriller
Author: Bryan Talbot
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 108
ISBN: 9781595823977
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Author Website: www.bryan-talbot.com
Twitter: @DarkHorseComics, @Bryan_Talbot
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 1-18-11

From Amazon:
Two hundred years ago, Britain lost the Napoleonic War and fell under the thumb of French domination. Gaining independence after decades of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings, the Socialist Republic of Britain is now a small, unimportant backwater connected by a railway bridge, steam-powered dirigible, and mutual suspicion to France. When a British diplomat is murdered to look like suicide, ferocious Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard stalks a ruthless murder squad through the heart of a Belle Epoque Paris, the center of the greatest empire in a world of steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons, and flying machines. LeBrock's relentless quest can lead only to death, truth... or war.

In a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals and where France wins the Napoleonic War, Britain falls under French rule until after decades of civil unrest, Britain frees itself from France and becomes the Socialist Republic of Britain. After the murder of a British diplomat that is made to look like a suicide, Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard and his assistant Detective Ratzi go on a mission to discover the real culprit and uncover a conspiracy that lies far deeper in the French government than anyone could believe.

Detective-Inspector LeBrock (a badger) is quite clearly modeled at least partially after Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Ratzi (a rat) after Watson. In this alternate history, the world is not only inhabited by animals (and a very few humans, referred to as "doughfaces") but steam technology has progressed to an advanced degree, clearly making this graphic novel Steampunk inspired.

Bryan Talbot's art is dark and gritty and his writing is at turns clever and witty. There has been a second volume released featuring DI LeBrock and I think I would like to check that out at some point. While this is a graphic novel, it can be very violent and adult in nature, so I wouldn't recommend it to a younger audience, but for adults who enjoy a good mystery and aren't turned off by too much violence, I'd say give this a chance.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Awesome contest for Kim Harrington's Clarity!!

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Want to enter an awesome contest and win a one of a kind book? Of course you do! Just stop over to Kim Harrington's blog to find out all the details!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pibgorn: the Girl in the Coffee Cup, Pibgorn and the Poltergeist in the Piano & Pibgorn and the Borgia Cantus by Brooke McEldowney

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Title: Pibgorn: the Girl in the Coffee Cup, Pibgorn and the Poltergeist in the Piano & Pibgorn and the Borgia Cantus
Series: Pibgorn
Author: Brooke McEldowney
Copyright: 2006, 2009
Pages: 58, 94, 72
ISBN: 0978831500, 9780978831523, 9780978831530
Publisher: Pib Press
Author Website: officialpibgorn.livejournal.com
Twitter: @9chickweedlane
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 1-10-11, 1-11-11

Brooke McEldowney may be one of the funniest cartoonists out there. His razor-sharp wit and his character's equally razor-sharp dialogue combined with his fluid, organic art style makes for one the freshest, most clever, most visually appealing reading experiences one can have with a daily comic strip. His stories can be at turns touching, laugh out loud funny and cuttingly sarcastic. In so few words, I love it.

I originally discovered McEldowney's work through his strip, 9 Chickweed Lane. What caught my eye immediately was the art. I don't even know how to describe it except that it seems to literally flow. I've seen his rough sketches and it's like one continuous swirl that comes to life and creates his characters for him. I lost track of his strip for a couple of years, but thanks to the wonder that is the internet, I re-discovered not only 9 Chickweed Lane, but found that he had started another online strip called Pibgorn. Pibgorn is a fairy who is in love with a human and whose best friend is a homicidal succubus. I found my way into the Pibgorn world a little late, so was already behind-the-times when I started reading but quickly got caught up in the story and was loving every minute of it. You can imagine my pleasure when I also discovered that the Pibgorn strips were going to be reprinted as collected editions!

It's been fun watching the characters grow and take shape and come into themselves. The Girl in the Coffee Cup introduces us to our three main characters, Pibgorn, Drusilla and Geoff and sets up their relationships with each other. The Poltergeist in the Piano sends Pib and Dru on a time traveling murder mystery involving a vampire. In The Borgia Cantus, Dru has been keeping the demons that she's been vanquishing hidden, that is until Pib unknowingly unleashes their forces on NYC. The characters aren't entirely themselves yet, but you can definitely see the potential of these characters. I'm really hoping that further editions of Pib and Co's adventures are released.

For more information on these and potential future Pibgorn editions, visit Pib Press.