Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Are you ready for a fun filled night?

Whether you are dressing up to trick or treat, going to a party, handing out candy to eager little ghosts and ghouls or doing something all your own, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement of Halloween Night. There are so many ways to view Halloween. There are really just as many ways of celebrating as there are people who do celebrate it.

My view on it might be something you haven't heard before, though. Have you ever considered Halloween as a night of transformation?

-- Little and "big" kids alike transform from their ordinary selves into goblins, ghouls, vampires, witches, princesses, pirates and who knows what else.

-- Doors that would normally not be knocked on open to give those standing on the porch candy, rekindling faith in the generosity of one's neighbors.

-- In some faiths Halloween is viewed as the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is at it's thinnest. This can either be seen as a blessing where communication with the dead is possible, or as a danger which is how, in some societies, the origins of Halloween began -- leaving tribute to the dead.

-- Another thing that Halloween can often be seen as a marker for is "the true end of summer and full start of winter." (This is a reference to my favorite Halloween tradition, which is watching The Halloween Tree.)

What Am I Doing For Halloween?

1. Ordering Pizza

Yes, I'm one of the jerks who leads to a few extra cars being on the road on Halloween night. But at least you can count on the fact that I'll be ordering relatively early -- likely before dark hits -- so at least I won't be the one who causes an accident because I happen to want pepperoni, sausage, mushreooms and cheese.

Pizza at Halloween is just as much a tradition for me as turkey is at Christmas. How did that start? My aunt use to throw mini Halloween parties for my brothers and I when we were kids and she was baby sitting us. A lot of the things I do on Halloween night, from music to TV to food, tie into that.

2. Watching The Halloween Tree

This is probably my absolute favorite Halloween tradition. No matter how many times I see The Halloween Tree I still get wrapped up in it. It doesn't matter that I can likely quote the whole thing from start to finish. It's one of the things that is an absolute must for Halloween to feel complete for me.

I'm hoping to add an extra little twist on that this year and get Jay to watch it with me. That should be "interesting". ;) We might also watch some Vampire Diaries if we have time.

I wanted to buy copies of this as my giveaway prizes, but they sadly do not exist. Fear not, though: if you can't get it on TV, it *is* on YouTube. I normally wouldn't encourage this, but since the darn thing can't be bought I make an exception.

3. Playing Dead Island

I just got this the other day, after hunting for it for weeks. (By the way, fellow Canadians: WalMart has it for $40 right now. That's a great buy!)

So far Jay and I are having a total blast with it. It's a mix between a survival horror game and a role playing game and you can play with up to four people total. It definitely has the right feel for a Halloween game since there are lots of zombies to take out.

Definitely recommended for older teens and adults as there is a *lot* of gore here.

4. Starting The Night Circus

I might have to take a pause from reading You Against Me (which I am really enjoying, btw) to start this since it looks like the perfect type of Halloween read for me. My mom got it for me on Saturday and I am looking forward to diving in and seeing what it is all about. I normally don't read multiple books at once, but I am curious.

Yes, that does mean I'm not doing a "pure" contemporary month for November. Even if I pick a slight theme for a month, I don't think I will ever do a 100% genre theme month again any time soon. It's just not my thing. I like being free to read whatever I like.


And while we're still talking about transformations, I must tell you to keep your eyes open tonight. Because I Write, I Read, I Review is going to be getting quite a makeover in the wee hours of the morning and I am really excited to see what people will think of the new design. :)

Have a safe and happy Halloween! I hope you get lots of candy and have lots of fun. :) Feel free to leave a comment and tell me how you are planning to celebrate.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (Oct. 29th)

Well, I hope everyone had a great week. :) I know that I did. I didn't get "as much" this week, but the books I got were still either very much wanted or a nice surprise. Unfortunately Facebook and my DSI do not want to cooperate tonight so there won't be any "live" pictures. Then again, how many times do you guys need to see my leopard print bedspread before it gets old? :p

Let's move on to what you're really here for: the books.

I finally made my first Kindle purchase and I think it was quite appropriate. Some of you may know that P.C. & Kristen Cast's House of Night series is what got me into YA. So I have been counting down the days until the release of Destined.

I won't lie: I dropped everything and read this immediately. And now I'm stuck waiting for the next book. :p As far as full details on how I felt about it, I will likely have my actual review for Destined up sometime next week.

I am still going to buy this in hardcover. I almost went for it tonight but figure it will be in town for a few weeks and I get paid on Monday, so there was no reason to mess up the last of this month's cash when getting the book will be no issue and I have already read it.

Something weird and unique happened to me this week, though. Each of my parents randomly picked up a book for me that they saw and "thought I would like". Considering how much they tend to bemoan too many books in my 10 x 10 bedroom, that's somewhat amusing.

My mother got me The Night Circus. The print in this is kinda tiny and I would have preferred it for Kindle if I was going to buy it. The cover is gorgeous though, with the simple colors and then the rainbow effect when light hits the title lettering.

Not sure what I'll think of this. It was not really on my radar. My mom, apparently, was thinking of Halloween coming up and the fact that I usually stay in and hand out candy (and she brings candy back for me.). Apparently it made her think of Something Wicked This Way Comes. (My favorite is still the animated version of The Halloween Tree, but that's just tradition by this point.)

Anyone know anything about this? I've read that it got a lot of fuss when it released but I was focused on other books at the time.

That's a pretty big pair of shoes for any book to fill, and I certainly don't expect that of this book. (That would not be fair, plus that book already exists.) At any rate, thanks to mom.

And if that wasn't strange enough my dad got me a book, too. Which is really, really strange because my dad is not a reader. (We're working on getting him some audiobooks and he tends to love book to movie adaptations. Some people just don't find reading the same as others, I suppose?) I did not intend to buy The Scorpio Races.

Anyway, my money says my dad was thinking of movies, not of books, when he picked this up. I'm certain he didn't know I read and reviewed Shiver and gave it one heart. He was probably thinking of movies about traveling and exploring, race horses or sled dogs, when he bought this. So I will read it. I will definitely keep an open mind, because the premise does sound fascinating.

But it's definitely not a book I would have bought on my own. Which is probably a good thing ... If it was a book I would have bought on my own, then there is no reason I won't get around to buying it.

The print in this one looks big enough that reading the hardcover should be just fine. Thanks so much to dad for picking it up. (Who am I to gripe about a free book?) Anyone have any thoughts on The Scorpio Races they'd like to share?

So, what did you get this week? Have you ever had loved ones randomly pick out a book for you that made them think of you? I hope the week has treated you all well. :) Happy reading!

Saturday Spotlight #4: Words on Paper

Hello and welcome to the third edition of Saturday Spotlight here at I Write, I Read, I Review. This is the place where I invite fellow book bloggers to chat about all of the awesome things going on within their own slice of the book blogging pie. And do I have a treat for you this week! Please join me in welcoming Tracey from Words On Paper. :)

Kathy: Thanks so much for joining us today. Now let's get right to the good stuff, shall we? So, why did you start blogging?

Tracey: Well, technically Words on Paper isn’t my first blog. I also write about health, fitness, nutrition, and food on my blog, I’m {Not} Superhuman, though I’m on sabbatical. (And by sabbatical I mean an unpaid leave of absence. But sabbatical sounds way more fun, right?)

Anyhow, I started that blog because I’ve been living with chronic pain, which can make you feel kind of alone. So part of the reason was selfish: for me to find other people who could relate. The other reason was that I really wanted to help other people living with chronic pain. Turns out, having online friends in general—whether they were healthy or not—helped me.

So I was all mushy-gushy about the blog friends I’d made, which is why I decided to create Words on Paper when I finished writing my first novel. And, yeah, I was blown so far away by the amazing community of writers and readers that I ended up in Tanzania. (Okay, fine. I gently stretched the truth. But that so would have happened if I lived in a Warner Bros. cartoon.)

Kathy: What do you guys view as your greatest accomplishment as book bloggers?

Tracey: So one of my biggest accomplishments in the writing and reading community really doesn’t have to do with my blog. I’m most proud of helping arrange the Read for Relief auction, which raised over $10,000 for the Red Cross’ relief efforts post-hurricane Irene.

It does have to do with being a blogger, though, since I would never have met the three amazing ladies I worked with on Read for Relief had it not been for my blog. I think that’s what I love most about this community: everyone’s kindness and willingness to help others.

After that, there are a couple posts I most enjoyed. The first came about when I asked my readers to give their best writing advice. I compiled them all into a post (the link:, which is useful for both newbie and longtime writers alike.

Lastly—and I’m picking this one simply because it was fun—my readers and I played a game of what if in the comments. I prompted them: What if there was world peace? And each comment had to add to the last. I went through the comments and created a query letter from the story they created. It was so cool to see that something a bunch of random people had one line of say in could turn out the way it did. Here’s the result:

Kathy: What advice would you give to other bloggers?

Tracey: As someone who reads book blogs, I really appreciate honest reviews. I know that a lot of writers avoid writing harsh reviews because, you know, what if the author’s agent or editor could potentially be yours in the future and, oh, would they find that review? And, besides, that author is your colleague. And I feel the same way. If I really dislike a book, I won’t review it on my blog.

But for those of you who aren’t writers and don’t have to worry about that sort of thing, I think being honest is a great quality in a book blog. I mean, you can only hear so many times that all of the books a person reads are impossibly awesome before you start questioning a) that person’s taste in books or b) whether that person’s telling the truth.

One more tip. This is the part where I wish I were really into HTML or something else mildly useful to you. But I’m not, so you might have to make do with hearing stuff you learned, like, four semesters ago.

I’m going to pretend it didn’t take me an eternity to learn this when I started my health blog. )You should go along with the lie.) Here’s an easy way to add an image to your sidebar—say, a homemade badge or social media icons—and link it to something else.

1. Start a new post.
2. Add an image (or images) to the post.
3. Make the image(s) hyperlink to wherever you want them to go.
4. Copy the HTML.
5. Click over to “design” in Blogger. (See below for Wordpress instructions.)
6. Add a sidebar by clicking “add a gadget” and picking HTML.
7. Paste the HTML into the box and save.
8. Save the design, then check your site for the update.

If you use Wordpress, follow instructions above through step 4. Then:

6. Click over to “widgets.”
7. Look for “text” and then click “add this.”
8. Paste the HTML into the box.
9. Set the position of the link via the pull-down tabs.
10. Save the design then check your site for the update.

Kathy: Care to share some of the blogs you love to visit?

Tracey: I have three, but my most favorite is Phoebe North’s blog (link: Not only does she write detailed critiques of the book, but she loves sci-fi and is as honest as a nun. Basically, she’s got the trifecta of awesome in my book. Before I pick up a new book, I always double check whether Phoebe’s read it or not. Because she won’t just say, “I couldn’t get into this” or “Eh, I wasn’t feeling it.” She’ll explain exactly what’s wrong with the book and usually she’s spot on.

Plus, her reviews are so detailed that I feel like I’m getting a writing lesson (What Not to Do) at the same time. If you don’t already, friend her on Goodreads (link: I love reading her reviews before deciding.

Next up: Forever Young Adult (link: They’re definitely honest—though the reviews are more like something a group of girls or guys might write down while binge drinking. That, of course, makes them absolutely hilarious. Take, for instance, this gem, in which the blogger is talking about SHOUT OUT by Kody Keplinger and, in particular, the main character, Lissa.

“I just don’t particularly like her. We don’t really have anything in common, being that she’s afraid of, well, everything. Plus, I get that she feels like she needs to take care of her brother and father after her mother died in the car accident that left her dad paralyzed, but LORD, Lissa. That doesn’t mean you get to nag your TWENTY SIX year old brother about taking out the trash or phoning home to tell you when he’s going to be late. LET IT GO, CHILD.”

Yeah, pretty awesome even if you don’t agree with the review. I should caution you though, it’s not smart to drink while reading the Forever Young Adult blog. Also, orange juice hurts coming out of your nose.

Finally, I just heard about That Cover Girl (link: a week or two ago—it's very possible you're laughing at the fact that I've never heard of her) but I already love it. The mysterious blogger (she only goes by That Cover Girl) posts YA book covers and dissect them often with humor, interviews authors about how the process their cover went through, and interviews graphic designers about book covers.

Kathy: What fabulous thing(s) are you doing on your blog right now? Got anything awesome planned for the future?

Tracey: Glad you asked. Last month I started the Fall Book Club, which is online. Plus side: Anyone can join, and I’d love to have you. Downside: I’m unable to serve tea and cookies and sandwiches. Sigh.

Right now, we’re still deciding on our October book, so if you’re interested in joining, stop by and vote for what you’d like to read.

Here’s the basic gist of it. Each month I ask readers of my blog to leave a comment with their suggestion for the next book of the month. Once all of the suggestions are in, I create a poll that readers vote on. When I announce the winner, we all start reading. At the end of the month, I host the book club. I write a review on my blog, and everyone leaves a link to their own review. That way we all go blog hopping (sorry, no food provided for this either) and see what everyone else thought of the book.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Kathy: Alright. We've done a lot of talk about blogging. Now let's get to the good stuff. Books! First up: I'm sure you've read lots of books. Is there one you really love? A book you would feel confident in calling an absolute must read? why do you love it? What makes it great?

Tracey: Just one? I’m one of those people who, when a friend asks for a recommendation, lists 15 books and says, “You NEED to read these.” I suppose that could be overwhelming. Not to mention annoying. So if we’re talking YA books and I could only choose one to recommend, I think I’d go with The Hunger Games. Which is actually a three-book series, so even now I didn’t choose just one. I have problems.

I didn’t pick it because I enjoyed the book (which I most certainly did), but because it gets non-readers reading. I can’t tell you the number of times someone has told me they don’t like to read (by the way, every time someone says this, a fairy dies) and I’ve begged that they read the first book. “Just give it a try and if you don’t like it, then that’s that.” I’m sure most of you can guess how that turns out. So I have all of these former reading-haters plowing through books because The Hunger Games let them know that, yes, books can be fun.

Kathy: I definitely agree with you about the broad appeal for The Hunger Games. I got my brother and my boyfriend to both read the entire trilogy. They might be more obsessed with it then I am. (Possibly because I read so many books? Just a guess.)

Tracey: And because I’m already a cheater, I’ll throw out other favorites: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Chime by Franny Billingsley [link to my review:], If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and anything by Sir John Green.

Kathy: Sir John Green, hm? I enjoyed Will Grayson, Will Grayson and I really need to get a book where he did not write with someone else to see how he does on his own. I'm optimistic. :)

Kathy: As book bloggers we are constantly reading new books and finding those that we really enjoy. Has there been a book that you've read recently that you've loved and would recommend? Why do you love it? What makes it great?
Tracey: I recently read Lola and the Boy Next Door. All I have to say about this is sa-woon.

Kathy: I'm reading that next. It's sitting there waiting for me.

Tracey: Okay, I have more to say. If you liked Anna and the French Kiss, you’ll like Lola. Trust me. Stephanie Perkins’ second story’s just as adorable as her debut, and I’m thoroughly convinced she writes the most crush-worthy boys. But really, this book is great for anyone who loves YA romances. It’s perfectly paced, the setting’s vivid, and the characters are no less than awesome. It gave me the same everything-is-right-with-the-world feeling I got while reading Anna.

I’ve also recently read (and totally loved) Sweethearts by Sara Zarr [link to my review:] and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler [link to my review:]. As you can see, I’ve been on both a contemporary kick—and a Sara(h) kick.

Kathy: And then there are all of those books that are coming out in the future. It never really stops. So, what upcoming book are you dying to read? What about it has you excited? And what crazy, zany thing would you do if it meant you could have it *right now*? :D

Tracey: Oh goodness, there are so many I’m dying to get my hands on. There are the big ones that have been hyped up for a while: Legend by Marie Lu, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, all of which sound really good. I’m also excited to read Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, Fracture by Megan Miranda, Catching Jordan by Miranda Kennelly, Wintertown by Stephen Emond, and Fever, Lauren DeStefano’s sequel to Wither.

Kathy: Yes, I am anxiously awaiting Fever, too. I must know what happens next.

Kathy: Okay! Now it's your turn to ask everyone a question. :)

The lesser of two evils. ;) Or I just like unicorns?
Tracey: Kathy, I’m not sure you understands the severity of telling me to “be creative” and “have fun” with this question. However, I take no responsibility in the silliness that ensues in your comments section. My go-to question:

Would you rather have a unicorn horn sticking out of your forehead or two little feet dangling from your chin?

Kathy: Definitely the unicorn horn. Unicorns have the bonuses of being cute and their horns often have magical powers. Plus, wouldn't that make me some kind of anthro creature? If I'm really lucky, I might even have the power to transform into a full fledged unicorn -- which depending on whether you get technical, means I might be able to fly. (Some might argue that this is pegasus exclusive, but I'm neutral on that.)

Kathy: So, was there anything else you'd like to say?

Just say no.
Tracey: Well, what kind of guest would I be if I didn’t thank the hostess? (And I didn’t even bring her a bottle of wine. I’m ashamed at my rudeness.) So, thank you Kathy for inviting me here to chat. And thank you, her lovely, lovely readers for reading.

Also, please leave a comment or I'll feel shunned and probably take to the bottle (of chocolate syrup) and that never ends well.

Kathy: Thanks so much for being my guest here today for Saturday Spotlight. :) I think we had a great talk and I think my poor wishlist just got even bigger. (Psst! That's not suppose to happen!)

So, what's your answer to Tracey's totally off the wall and crazy question? :D Are you looking forward to any of the books she is? And have you signed up for the Fall Book Club? (You really should.) I love comments and I really don't think we want Tracey abusing the chocolate syrup, so make sure to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading. :) 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zompacolypse Halloween Hop! October 28th - 31st 2011

Welcome! This is the third of THREE Halloween Giveaway Hops that I am taking part in here at I Write, I Read, I Review. This post is for the Zompacolypse Halloween Hop, which is being hosted by Paranormal Wastelands. Thanks for dropping by!

So, I bet you are curious just what's up for grabs and how you can win. But first, why don't you do an extra little bit of trick-or-treating here?

Trick or Treat! Click for a chance to win
something sweet. :D

Okay! Now on to my part of the show. :) I'm giving away a book to one lucky winner from the list below. Note that if a book is from a series (Harry Potter, Wolves of Mercy Falls, etc.) you are welcome to pick any book in it. Further, if that series has spin offs (Vampire Academy = Bloodlines, for instance) that is fine, too.

Here's the list:

So, how do you get entries for the giveaway? Follow the steps below. (Note: Only the name you want announced and your e-mail are required. The rest are optional.

+1 Name and E-mail
+1: Did you nominate books for the Bleeding Heart Awards?
+1 Did you vote in the Bleeding Heart Awards?
+1 Become a GFC Follower
+1 Follow me on twitter (@Katallina)
+1 Tweet about the giveaway

Thanks so much for entering. This giveaway is international, provided that the Book Depository delivers to your country. The giveaway runs from tonight until 12:01 a.m. November 1st.

Thanks for entering and Happy Halloween! :)

A list of participating blogs:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

My Rating: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

*Thanks to the lovely people at Random House, who provided me with a copy of Dearly, Departed via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I've had my eye on this book for a while now. It would be hard not to: the cover is gorgeous. But as most of you know, I try to avoid judging my interest in a book based on that. Not only does Dearly, Departed have a totally pretty cover -- it has an awesome premise as well. Kick ass heroine + "new" Victoria + steampunk + zombies ... Yeah. Sign me up.

So I was both shocked and scared when after reading the prologue and first two chapters had me kind of cold. I actually tweeted about it, I was so frustrated. Fortunately, I did decide to keep going with the book and it picked up from pretty much that moment on and totally didn't let go. (To clarify, it was chapter two that bored me -- but I'll get to that.) Dearly, Departed is a fresh idea with memorable characters and a great romance. It's a heavy contender for book of the month.

The Plot: (Summary from GoodReads)

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

There is a lot to take in here, but for the most part Lia Habel does a good job of letting the reader get their bearings as she moves from one part of the plot to the next. I liked how the story, while it did not take place over months or anything, moved in a natural feeling way that let me get to know the various characters and feel that not only was I taking part in their problems alongside them. I was getting to know them, as well. 

The way that social structure, military training, romance, history and more were combined into such a well told story is impressive. There is something here for everyone and this is likely a book that I will be recommending to family and friends. It is fresh and quirky, but it takes great care to let the reader test the waters. 

There are quite a few pov characters in this book and I think that Lia Habel did a fantastic job at making sure we know who's eyes we're looking through. Each character was distinct and had an interesting storyline so there was no one that I was like "Oh, great... It's a (name) chapter." over. This is the first time I've ever seen this many first person povs in a book. I felt that it was gutsy and that it paid off in creating a rich, braided plot that could not have otherwise happened. 

My one big gripe, that I was talking about in the opening, is that Lia has one chapter near the beginning where she has Nora working on a history report. The chapter -- and the report -- serve as an excuse for the author to tell us all about the world she has built. This really didn't work for me. It was flat out exposition and what we generally call an "info dump" in most writing communities. I understand that she felt that the info she was trying to share was important. And there was some that was useful or important. But a better form of execution should have been chosen -- I base how I read off of a book's opening chapters and this book came dangerously close to being a DNF. 

That would have truly been a shame, as my review score indicates.

The Characters: 

I was pretty neutral on Nora at first. This likely has more to do with how I felt about her first couple chapters. As the story went on I did come to like her. I found her ability to handle shocking changes both in her situation and in the concept she must have of "reality" to be admirable. I also found that she handled things with a mix of strength and vulnerability that felt real and honest. Watching her go from being someone who watched battles to someone who participated in them was also interesting. I like the fact that Lia Habel did not magically have Nora become some type of super hero. She is very much 'in training' and there are times when Bram has her stay back for various reasons. I also like the fact that these situations did not become great big bawl fests (I hate that!) and that Nora was smart enough to know when to argue with Bram and when to listen to him.

Generally speaking, Bram was worth listening to. Both for Nora and also for the reader. Bram was far and away my favorite character in the book, and considering how awesome the cast was, that's saying something. He has a great sense of humor, an interesting and unique code of ethics and (as a Zombie) a unique perspective on pretty much everything. I also feel that he cares deeply and genuinely about Nora without ever going into the waters of "creepy, territorial stalker guy" that is so often popular with fantasy and paranormal heroes. In fact, Bram is their polar opposite because he is definitely not a pretty boy. Bram's strength is his personality and that makes him really fun to read and really easy for me to root for. 

I loved the dynamics between the members of company Z (well, all of the zombie characters, really)... The situation with Tom and Chas. The way that Ren was pretty much a futuristic computer and tech geek, the way that things happened with Samadi and Dr. Chase, the zombie priest (can't quite recall his name) who felt that God had not abandoned the zombies because little animals did not fear him. Each supporting character had their own little thing that made them shine, something that is really important if an author is going to have such a large cast.

I must also commend Lia Habel for Pamela's role in the story. Every step of the way something seems to be going wrong for her, and every time that it does Pam rises to the challenge in some notable way. (Spoiler: I think my favorite part was when she pushed Michael into the water at the end. I was like "YES!") Pam deals with some pretty heavy situations throughout the book and I look forward to seeing how they will play out in future stories. (I saw #1 next to this on GoodReads, so I am optimistic.) 

The Romance:

Nora and Bram are one of my favorite couples ever. They have so many interesting things going for them. The whole human / zombie thing. The fact that before they were thrown into their current situations that they were on opposing sides. The fact that Lia Habel actually makes them take time to tolerate, befriend and then fall for each other.

Yes, you read that right. There is no "OMG insta-love" here. But there also isn't a real sense of "I hate you!" or "I'm taking over your life" either. These two characters actually get to know each other, and learn to accept, and then eventually trust and care for each other. It's beautiful, heartwarming and real. (Well, as real as a Zombie romance could be...) As I (think I) said before, Bram is not a pretty boy by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that Lia Habel had me rooting for them to get together and weeping when they were forced apart is commendable. (Do they stay that way? I'm not telling.)

Lia Habel made me fall in love with Bram right alongside Nora. Considering that Bram is a zombie and that this is not something she sugar-coats, I am thoroughly impressed.

In General:

Once it got going, Dearly, Departed was an absolute joy to read. From the start of Chapter 3 on I read the book in two sittings, which is rather impressive since it is 480 pages long. I only stopped because I needed sleep, and I could not wait to continue. The pacing is solid, the braiding of the multiple pov and storylines is well handled. I loved some of the music references that Lia used, especially "Sixteen Tons" which I use to listen to with my grandfather. The music choices put me in mind of Fallout 3 or Bioshock (for any of you gamers out there), which fit extremely well because of the way that the world was built. 

If you haven't read Dearly, Departed yet, what are you waiting for? This book is original, has great characters and will take you on an interesting adventure. The combination of romance, political issues, action and humor (Oh yes, there is humor!) is pitch perfect. This is a book that deserves it's place on the shelf. It's also a book I know I will be reading again. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monster Mash & Bash Hop: Oct. 26th - 31st 2011

Welcome! This is the second of THREE Halloween Giveaway Hops that I am taking part in here at I Write, I Read, I Review. This post is for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, which is being hosted by A Book Lover's Dream. Thanks for dropping by!

Curious to see what is up for grabs today? Well, one lucky winner is going to be able to choose either one of the books below, or any book that is associated with the series that these books come from. (In the cases of Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments winners can also choose Bloodlines or Infernal Devices if they wish.) How does that sound?

But just what are the books? Have a look:

Here is how to enter:

+1 Name you would like announced & e-mail for if you win.
+1 Become a GFC follower
+1 Follow @Katallina on twitter.
+1 Tweet about the giveaway
+1 Leave a comment telling me what book, tv, movie or video character you would love to dress up as if you could be anybody for Halloween?

Assistance: When I try to run more then one rafflecopter form at once it make the others disappear. That's why I'm not using one here.

Happy Halloween & Good luck!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop: Oct. 24 - 31, 2011

Welcome! This is the first of THREE Halloween Giveaway Hops that I am taking part in here at I Write, I Read, I Review. This post is for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, which is being hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm. Thanks for dropping by! But for now, you are early! :) This giveaway will start at 12:00 a.m. on October 24th and end at 12:01 a.m. on November 1st.

Here are the books / series that you can select a title from if you win. (I will be updating this with images eventually.) **To clarify: If one of these books is part of a series, you can request a copy of any book from that series that is currently in print. If that series is connected to other series (examples here being Mortal Instruments & Infernal Devices, or Vampire Academy and Bloodlines) you are free to request from either series.**

Essentially any paranormal or fantasy YA book is up for grabs, but those on the above list were either (a) selected as winners of the Bleeding Hearts Awards, (b) Were close runners up, (c) Are new releases or (d) Are recommendations from me. The goal, of course, is to have "something for everyone". :)

Want a chance to win? Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is *INTERNATIONAL*, provided that The Book Depository ships where you live.

Make sure to check out all the other giveaways, too!

In My Mailbox (Oct. 22rd)

Hey guys!

How's your week been? I hope that the book fairy has been kind to you. ;) :D :P I'm sure I'll find out soon when I drop by to say hello. :)

I thought this week was going to be quiet, but it has ended up anything but. I've had quite a few surprises in the last seven days. Maybe not "I got a new kindle!" level surprises, but still ... Some very awesome books just the same. :)

First up are the two totally awesome books that I got approved for through NetGalley:

This one caught me completely off guard. I woke up on Tuesday morning, 100% intending to order a copy of Dearly, Departed off of Amazon. I decided to check my e-mail first to see if I had any important messages.

Good thing that I did because an e-mail was waiting for me and telling me that I could download it from NetGalley. So now it's sitting on my kindle and waiting not-so-patiently for me to be ready to read it.

Odds are that I will still end up buying a physical copy of this book -- provided that I love it -- since the cover is totally beautiful. But I want to take a moment to give my heartfelt thanks to the lovely people at Random House. This is the second time they have given me the opportunity to read something I've totally been dying to get my hands on. :)

And then a couple days later I get an e-mail that I have been approved to read and review Between the Sea and Sky, which is another book that has really grabbed my interest and that I am totally dying to check out.

It never fails to amaze me when someone says "Yes!" to me about anything with regards to my blog. I always figure the worst someone can tell me is "No", which keeps me from being afraid to ask things, but "Yes!" always feels so awesome. I hope that I never lose sight of that.

But anyway, I'm rambling. And there is more...

I've had this file on my computer for a while now, but I feel it is only appropriate for me to take a moment to thank Michelle Madow for sending me a copy of her lovely book, Remembrance. I am reading it right now and I am really enjoying it.

I am also extremely excited about this because I am going to be part of the Remembrance book tour next month. Michelle will be dropping by my blog on November 14th, so make sure that you mark your calenders. :D I will do my best to ask some interesting questions. And as usual, I will see whether my guest would like to ask us all a question of her own. :)

And here is Mortal Obligation by Nichole Chase. She will also be visiting my blog for a tour next month. Be sure to drop by on November 10th. She is being a great sport and letting me interview her, plus she is offering to let one of my readers win an e-book copy of Mortal Obligation for their own enjoyment.

I'm doing my best to be careful how much I say about this book because my review will not be up until she visits. But I will say this: You don't want to miss out. :D How's the for (probably a bit too blunt? ;) ) foreshadowing?

But now, let me show you what just arrived today. (Okay, it probably arrived yesterday and no one told me! Gah!) I've been waiting on these for a few weeks and I am very excited to finally have them in my hands...

A few weeks ago, Jenny over at The Party Pony had a giveaway for some totally fabulous ARCs and I was picked as the winner. I seem to recall writing a Waiting on Wednesday post about Grave Mercy that night. ;) (By the way, the labeling says this is *not* the final cover design. I know some people had some *thoughts* on the cover. ;) )

I would like to take a moment to thank Jenny for these two lovely new books that I will get to enjoy. And now I will take a moment to squee for a good ten seconds since these are the first physical ARCs I have received. *ahem!* Now that that's done...

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
by Melissa Jensen
Expected Publication: February 16th, 2012.

(Okay, that's totally hilarious. It's releasing on my birthday?)

Summary: (from GoodReads)

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

I love contemporary YA, especially cute contemporary romance stories. So this looks like it should be a great fit for me. Odds are I will be giving my thoughts on this at some point in November since I am taking part in Just Contemporary and this will fit in great there.

Grave Mercy
by R.L. LaFevers
Expected Publication: March 7th, 2012

Summary: (from GoodReads)

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Okay... Do we really need me to go over all of the awesome in this book again? Yes? Okay! Ismae sounds like she is going to be a kick-ass heroine. The premise for this book sounds totally brilliant. And how on earth was I suppose to resist wanting a book where the main character is referred to as the Handmaiden of Death? I absolutely cannot wait to read this. I am very, very excited! 

This Week's Question: I just reached 150 followers, so there is going to be a giveaway starting soon. What would you guys like to win?

While You're Here:

-- Read this week's Saturday Spotlight where I interview Marie from Ramblings of a Daydreamer!
-- Cast your votes for the Bleeding Hearts Awards! (Last Night! Ends tomorrow at noon!)

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog! I hope that this week has been good to you. Have a great day! :) 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Spotlight #3: Ramblings of a Daydreamer

Hello and welcome to the third edition of Saturday Spotlight here at I Write, I Read, I Review. This is the place where I invite fellow book bloggers to chat about all of the awesome things going on within their own slice of the book blogging pie. And do I have a treat for you this week! Please join me in welcoming Marie from Ramblings of a Daydreamer. :)

Kathy: Thanks so much for joining us today. Now let's get right to the good stuff, shall we? So, why did you start blogging?

Marie: I've created several blogs over the years, but never stuck with any of them. When I created Ramblings of a Daydreamer late in 2010, it was going to be a place for me to talk about my life, my thoughts, etc. In April, I started writing book reviews for a site I freelance write for, after seeing a few other people doing the same. Over the next month, I started visiting other blogs and I discovered some of the thousands of book bloggers out there.

I saw how people like me were reading books, sharing their thoughts and feelings, interviewing authors, hosting guest posts and giveaways and cool features, and I knew I wanted to be part of it all. That's when my blog went from being just another random blog to being a book blog. It was one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. I know that may sound strange, but if you're a book blogger, you probably get it. 

I don't have many 'real life' friends who like to read, which means not many people to share my love of books with. The book blogging community is full of book lovers like me, and I get to talk to them on a daily basis. What could be better?

Kathy: What do you guys view as your greatest accomplishment as book bloggers?

Marie: I wouldn't say this is an accomplishment necessarily, but a big moment for me that is a result of book blogging came earlier this year. Seven years ago, I wrote a novel (one of many) and I loved it, was really proud of it, but knew it needed a lot of work. I put it away, brought it out once or twice over the years, but had no idea what to do with it to make it better.

Well, seven years later, with a lot more writing and life experience, and some encouragement from a friend, I brought that book out again and started working on it. I hadn't been blogging long, but I had noticed that the majority of bloggers seem to focus on young adult books. My novel was originally an adult romance, but seeing the number of YA book bloggers out there made me take a huge leap and change my book to a YA romance. It was a lot of work, but it made all the difference, and I was able to finally complete the novel. 

I don't think I would have done that if it weren't for the influence of all the YA readers and reviewers out there, so I feel like I owe a lot to the book blogging community, not only for that, but also for the support I've received since announcing that I would be publishing my novel Blue Sky Days in January 2012.

Kathy: What advice would you give to other bloggers?

Marie: Here are some of the things I've discovered are key to being a successful book blogger:
*Post regularly, but don't post for the sake of posting - make sure you're posting meaningful content. For book bloggers, that could mean anything from reviews to interviews to guest posts to bookish memes.

Network - comment on other people's blogs, but again, make sure it's meaningful. There's nothing I hate more than someone coming to my blog and saying 'nice post, come visit my blog', because you know they didn't really read your post at all, they just want followers. For example, read a review someone's written and tell them how you felt - did it make you want to read the book? Convince you not to read it? Have you read it and felt the exact same way they did? You can get some great discussions going this way, and even make some new friends in the process.

Post your updates on Twitter and Facebook so that people can find your blog. Don't spam these sites, but it is a handy way to let people know you've updated your blog. A tip to avoid seeming spammy is to make sure you talk about other things too - tweet other people, mention what you're reading, what you want to read, what you're doing today, etc.

Make your blog interactive - ask questions, ask for opinions, host giveaways if you're able, create a new meme or participate in some of the many memes out there, have polls, etc.
Those are just some of the things that have helped me become a successful blogger.

Kathy: Care to share some of the blogs you love to visit?

Marie: I have several favorite blogs that I visit regularly. The ones I visit often tend to be blogs where I feel like I've made a connection of some sort with the actual blogger. They've visited me regularly, left nice comments, chatted with me on Twitter or Facebook, things like that. I feel like I've gotten a glimpse at the person behind the blog, and I love that. Plus they've all been supportive of me, my writing and/or my blog in one way or another, so I'm really grateful for them.

I don't want to make anyone feel bad by leaving people out, but there's only so much time and room, so these are the first people I thought of at random:

Mist from Bookaholics Book Club
Melissa from Just One Opinion

Molli from Once Upon a Prologue 

Jessica from Thoughts at One in the Morning 

Lea from LC's Adventures in Libraryland 

Haley from YA-aholic

Kathy: What fabulous thing(s) are you doing on your blog right now? Got anything awesome planned for the future?

Marie: Right now, I'm hosting my first ever reading challenge. I got the idea in September; my favorite holiday is Halloween, I love October, and love paranormal books but haven't read many lately. So I had the thought: why not devote October to paranormal books, make it into a challenge, invite people to join me, and as incentive, give away a book at the end of the month?

So the 2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge was born. There are about 60 people signed up so far, and all you have to do once you've signed up is read a minimum of 3 paranormal books (I'm using the term loosely, basically anything otherworldly will be accepted - vampires, werewolves, shifters, demons, witches, angels, faeries, mermaids, etc), between October 1st and 31st, post your reviews on my site, and for every review you post, you're entered in the giveaway. A lot of people have told me it's a great excuse to get some of the paranormal books read from their TBR lists, and that was my goal, so I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm also hoping to have a few mini giveaways during the month that tie into the challenge.

Kathy: Alright. We've done a lot of talk about blogging. Now let's get to the good stuff. Books! First up: I'm sure you've read lots of books. Is there one you really love? A book you would feel confident in calling an absolute must read? why do you love it? What makes it great?

Marie: That's a good question. I know some people can tell you instantly what their favorite book is, but that's difficult for me. I don't really have an all-time favorite book - I could probably make a top 10 list, but even that would take time, so I'll choose a recent favorite: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.(Click the link to read Marie's review.)

I read this one in September and absolutely loved it. The characters were likable and relatable, the story was great, and there were so many extra fun elements in this book, like the characters' playlists, facts about the states they visited, doodles in the margins, etc. And besides all that great stuff, it reignited my desire to take a cross-country road trip, and now my sister-in-law and I are in the process of making plans for next year! I loved this book so much, I would recommend it to anyone.

Kathy: Hmm... That sounds like my kind of book. I may have to pick that up and read it next month. I use to travel all over Canada and the states with my grandparents when I was little.

Kathy: And then there are all of those books that are coming out in the future. It never really stops. So, what upcoming book are you dying to read? What about it has you excited? And what crazy, zany thing would you do if it meant you could have it *right now*? :D

Marie: I'm really excited for a lot of 2012 debuts...including my own! *Shameless plug moment: Blue Sky Days will be out in January 2012 lol* Now that that's over with...I'm really looking forward to Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Everneath by Brodi Ashton, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, and Above by Leah Bobet, just to name a few from my endless list. They all sound like terrific YA books that a lot of people will really enjoy.

What crazy, zany thing would I do to get my hands on one of these books? Hmmm...I would probably be willing to make a squee-filled, gushing, fan-girly YouTube video. ;-)

Kathy: Okay! Now it's your turn to ask everyone a question. :)

Marie: How have your reading tastes changed over the years? Do you read the same types of books you always have, or have you branched out? Or have you narrowed it down and you just stick with a certain type of book now? Has blogging changed the way you read? I know that's more than one question, but they all tie together! lol

Kathy: Yes, the certainly do. Let me see if I can answer these... (Oh man this ended up long!)

When I first got really into reading I was very into paranormal and urban fantasy. Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter... You get the idea. It was actually the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristen Cast that got me into YA. Because it gave me a solution to a huge problem I was having in my own novel, Moon Dance.

When I realized Moon Dance would fair well as a YA story I started to dig in deeper. I went on from House of Night to also read Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods, Evernight... Lots of vampire stuff in the beginning. I ended up taking a long pause and went back to my normal adult paranormal books for about a year.

My current YA kick, the foundations of my blog and pretty much everything you "see" here is tied to actually completing the rough draft of Moon Dance -- and I was right. It did come out YA. But now I am very stuck in revisions. I figure that if I want to be good enough to fix my story, I have to understand the genre I'm writing in.

That lead me to wanting to fix the romance between Sarena and Kesyl, and debating whether to have a love triangle with Kyden or not. (I know, I know... A lot of people say I can't have two K's. I need a solution. *sigh*) I don't really care for instant love. I don't mind soul mates. I think they can be cute. But regardless of what romantic background you give your characters, the reader needs to be witness to the love gowing between them.

And that is what has lead me to my current obsession with contemporary YA. Books like Anna and the French Kiss (which, for any faults I pointed out about it, got what I'm talking about right.), The Sky Is Everywhere, the Perfect Chemistry books by Simone Eskeles... I could go on and on. (But I won't. I'm not suppose to be the one getting interviewed and this is getting lengthy!)

Lastly, I must give a large emphatic "Yes!" in response to whether blogging has changed how I read. I notice and pay attention to details in books that I might not have grabbed before. Is this plot slowing down? Is that character pulling a total 180 on me? Why did this author set this situation up this way and what does s/he hope to get from readers by doing so? 

It has also effected what I read and in what order. I can't always read whatever I feel like reading. I never take on a book that I am not interested in, but that doesn't always mean that I get to read things in the order I might have chosen to on my own. I think some of the discipline is actually good for me. I don't have a lot I "have" to do in life and making and sticking to committments for something is satisfying when whatever I'm working on is done and I get to see the end result. It's something I hope will carry over as I start to work on Moon Dance revisions. (And you thought you were shamelessly plugging?)

Kathy: Thanks so much for joining me today for Saturday Spotlight. :) It's been really fun interviewing you and I'm sure that our blogs will be taking part in things again in the future.

Marie: This is a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for mentioning it to me, I really appreciate it. :-)

Marie asked some really good questions. Want in on the discussion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon: Day #1 (Friday)

So I completely forgot I signed up for this. Yeah, that was smooth! :p But here I am. It's Friday morning and I am doing my opening post, so I suppose there is no harm done. :)

Why Did I Decide To Take Part?

I've never done a read-a-thon before, so I figured I might as well give it a go. I Write, I Read, I Review is a book blog. And while I don't know if I'm going to do a full blown NaNoWriMo next month or not, this will make a good mental equivalent to doing some stretches before a long run if I do decide to. Besides, with prizes, challenges, other people being involved, etc. this should be really fun. Plus I have some absolutely fabulous books that I hope to read. :)

Hey Kat, What Are You Reading? 

Yes, Mortal Obligation still has priority one. Fortunately, I am about 70% done, so this should be cake. I do need to pause and finalize the questions that I want to ask Nichole Chase and that will eat a bit of my reading time, but I've been thinking about them and jotting them down as I go along, so it shouldn't take too much up. :) This is really important, so I need to make sure it gets done and that I do a good job with the questions.

After that, I will likely move on to Dearly Departed by Lia Habel. Everybody who visits I Write, I Read, I Review surely knows how bad I have wanted to read this and I am really excited to sit down with it and see what I think of it. As it stands I think this book has a fabulous set of ideas and I am extremely curious to see how they will all come together. I am a fan of zombie love stories (Hello, Generation Dead!) so this one should be a lot of fun.

Didn't think it could get any better? I didn't forget that I signed up for this when I went shopping on Chapters. Odds are I ordered this in right after I did that. :) So yes, I am sitting here with a copy of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Daughter. Yes, it's been here for over a week. And yes, I have somehow managed not to devour it. But you can bet I'll be sinking my teeth into it sometime between now and Sunday. :D

And if I end up totally devouring The Iron Daughter, I have The Iron Queen waiting right in the wings so that I can keep going. I would really like to finish these two books, but I might deliberately take a pause between them since I will have to wait a day or two for Amazon to send me The Iron Knight and from what I have heard I will want to read it and The Iron Queen back-to-back.

And just in case I decide that I want to change gears a little, I also have Remembrance by Michelle Madow sitting on my Kindle and waiting not so patiently for me to get to it. :) I've been looking forward to reading this one and it is actually one of the books that made me decide to get a Kindle, so I have high hopes that it will be good. I've heard lots of great things from friends and the plot summary looks great. (Oh, and the cover looks beautiful, but I try not to judge a book on that.) We shall see, but I have a good feeling about Remembrance.

Anyway, that's it for me. At least for right now. If I do need any more books for some totally insane reason, I do have some other awesome reads sitting here and waiting to be dove into. But I would rather not list a ton of books so that I don't get discouraged if I come nowhere close to reading them all.

Anyway, thanks so much for dropping by my opening post. I will be adding updates here throughout the day about my progress, random thoughts on what I'm reading, etc. I should also be active on Twitter. (For anyone who didn't know, the Wonderfully Wicked hashtag is #WWReadathon). I hope that you enjoy what you are reading as much as I hope to enjoy the books that are in store for me!

Day One Updates:

My Entry for the "Creep Me Out" Challenge: "The Mirror's Eyes"

Imagine moving to an old creaky house decorated in antique furniture. In the room where you are going to sleep there is a fancy old dresser with carvings around it that make the top place around the mirror look like it has eyes, a nose and feathered detailing. As you lay in bed that first night, you hear a low humming sound. Glancing around to see what is causing it, you notice an eerie red light coming from where the "eyes" in the mirror frame are.

The next day you go downstairs and talk to your family. No one believes what you are saying. They laugh it off, telling you that you must have ate something weird before bed. You reason with yourself that it had to be a trick of the light and decide to go to sleep again the next night. Yet once again, that low humming sound wakes you. But this time, you are not alone. A specter wearing a mask that looks like the carvings in the mirror frame hovers in the air beside your bed.

With no further warning it grabs you and places the mask on your face. As you look in the mirror behind you, you see that it is now you who has the glowing red eyes. And you see that the specter has taken on your appearance. You feel a sudden pull and your body is pulled toward the mirror. You scream for help. At first, no one listens. Then, someone down the hall tells you to shut up; they're trying to sleep. As you feel your body beginning to slip through the glass as if it is water you cry out in one last desperate plea for aid, but it is too late. You find yourself fully through the glass and you are now looking out through the eyes of the mirror.

As you watch, the door to your room opens and one of your parents walks in. They turn to the specter, which now looks like you, and ask what all of the screaming is for. The specter turns to your parent and smiles reassuringly. "Sorry. Guess I had a bad dream." Your parent leaves and the specter snuggles down beneath the covers of your bed. "Ah! This is the life." It says. And it is the life. Your life. And now it's gone. Neither living nor dead, you are destined to remain trapped inside of the ancient mirror until another unsuspecting victim buys the old rickety house ... And the cycle of terror begins anew... through you.

(Note: I have a very creepy looking mirror in my room that I've had since I was a child. When I was little I would literally get a towel from the bathroom to cover over the mirror and the detailing around it at night because I was afraid there was some kind of monster or evil spirit in there. By this point I'm pretty use to it, but if I look at the thing the wrong way, it can still make me jump every now and then. Strangely enough, I think that's why I keep it.)

What would you do if they were watching you?


My title sentences for the Title Sentence Challenge:

"Once a witch Saw The Iron Queen Captivate Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Beneath a Mountain Moon."

Once a Witch by Carolyn McCullough
Saw by Steve Katz
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Captivate by Carrie Jones
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Beneath a Mountain Moon by Silver Ravenwolf

Or Perhaps...

"Dracula, in love, Prized The Near Witch With A Need So Beautiful; A Hunger Like No Other."

Dracula In Love by Karen Essex
Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
With by Donald Harington
A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole


So, it's finally bed time. What did I complete today?

I finished reading Mortal Obligation by Nichole Chase. While I would love to tell you all what I thought of it, you'll have to bare with me. I'm not suppose to give a review until the tour next month. I will say this, though: I finished it. I don't finish books that I despise and odds are I wouldn't be cruel enough to bring an author here if I hated their book. That's just not me.

I started Remembrance by Michelle Madow and I am roughly 15% of the way through it, according to my Kindle. In comparison to Mortal Obligation, Remembrance is light and fluffy and is more of a "fun" read. (The world is not in jeopardy of being taken over by dark Gods from another world, etc...) It's still too early to give any real impressions yet, but I am having a good time with it.


Haven't signed up for the Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon? Don't despair! Sign-ups are still open over at My Shelf Confessions. :)

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