Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (April 22nd)


In My Mailbox is a weekly feature created by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers get together to share the lovely books we received, bought or borrowed. Curious what I've been up to? Scroll down for a peek at some of the lovely things I've had arrive.

This week's stuff came mostly from the trip I took today with my brother Mikey, his fiancee Terrie and my niece Merissa. We went to the Oshawa Centre and I got to go to Build-a-Bear and Chapters. So yes, there are going to be some books *and* some bears here tonight. :D

For Review:

Rotters
by Daniel Klaus
Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters makeRotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.

This was sent to me by Random House as part of Bookurius' Blog It Forward! program. Thank you.

I'm not going to lie to anyone, this book may be a challenge for me. The diversity of what we read for Blog It Forward! is part of what I love about it, though, so I'll do my best to tell you what I think. :) It definitely looks interesting. 

I Bought: (Physical Copies)

Beastly
by Alex Flinn
I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Anyone else have an obsession with Beauty and the Beast? I absolutely adore fairytale retellings to begin with, but Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite fairytale of all time and it has a very special place in my heart. I have meant to read Beastly for a very long time. It was actually on my list of books I wanted to buy when I did my first purchase batch for I Write, I Read, I Review last summer. But as I often seem to do, I chickened out because I know when a book is on a subject or theme I love it's a danger it's going to go one of two ways: sky high, or rock bottom. 

Then I saw this at the Oshawa Centre Chapters and I couldn't say no. The deluxe edition has Beastly as well as Lindy's diary, and I paid $12 for it. I figure I got a good deal and I am really excited to start reading. (If I can find the time amidst all my edits for Moon Dance!)

Graceling
by Kristin Cashore
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

This book was recommended to me by my friend Bonnie over at A Backwards Story. It sounds really interesting and I've been meaning to check it out for a while now. Today seemed like a good time to pick it up. For someone who genuinely enjoys fantasy fiction, I don't read nearly enough of it. Urban fantasy, paranormal, dystopian and contemporary eat up a lot of my reading time. It will be nice to visit somewhere a little different here. 

The Immortal Rules
by Julie Kagawa
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

This seemed like a complete 'no thinking required' decision when I saw it at Chapters. While I haven't gotten around to the rest of Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series (they're staring at me from my bookself...) how could I possibly pass this up? Vampires + dystopian = win. It's really simple premise 'math' there for me. I've seen it done before, and done very well, and I am extremely curious to see how Julie will handle it. 

I Bought: (for my Kindle)

Even the Dead Dance To Live
by Rob Lopez
Callisto. Jupiter's second largest moon. Cold enough to suck the heat out of any pressure suit, and scoured by lethal levels of radiation every sixteen days as it orbits through Jupiter's magnetotail. Nobody in their right mind would want to live there. Work there, maybe. But live there?

But people do live there. Humanity built its first space city there. And for a while it looked like a good prospect. Mankind's stepping stone to the stars.

It's all gone wrong though. Civilization is crumbling. And the cycle of life and death is whirling faster than was ever intended. Survival is a delicate balancing act that requires soft and careful steps.

Enter Shakespeare Cruz, a man on the run from his own dark past. He doesn't do soft. And he's anything but delicate. He's got a price on his head, enemies on his tail and an ever tightening noose around his neck. He's got a warlord who wants him to keep his appointment with death and a ghost who wants him to fulfil an impossible obligation. It's not clear that either of them has picked the right man for the job.

The time has come for him to make his choice however, and he's got to make it fast. At stake is the soul of a city, the memory of a woman, and the life of one little girl.

Only one thing is certain - it's going to get ugly.

I heard about this book over on Absolute Write, where I was doing research about self publishing for Moon Dance. I've started to make a habit of seeing what others are releasing, and reading / reviewing stuff that appeals to me. The description for Even the Dead Dance To Live (love the title, by the way) immediately caught my attention, and so far the book has been fantastic. I must tell you all, this is not a typical selection for I Write, I Read, I Review. This is adult fiction (science fiction, specifically), so if you decide to check it out please keep that in mind. 

Belated Birthday Goodies: 

Okay, guys. This stuff is totally not book related -- directly, at least -- but I can't resist sharing it anyway. :)





I can't speak for any other writer out there, but for me, sound is essential when I am developing a story. It is one of the most vital tools that I have to really get to know my characters and get a feel for what their story is going to be like. Moon Dance's sound was a strange blend of country, current rock and hip hop, and Josh Groban. If I hadn't heard Josh Groban's music back in November of 2010 I am not sure if the book would be where it is now. For me, music is kind of like a set of cue cards for emotions and scenes -- I can use it to trigger things when I write, and that makes it really powerful.

The above CDs were purchased from iTunes as I turn my non-revising / blogging time (I hear you asking yourself, "What time is that?!" *laughs*) to figuring out the outline to my Merfolk story, Riptide. From upper left down, we have: Live by Natalie MacMaster, Endless Seasons by The Rankin Family, North Country by The Rankin Family, and 40 Days by The Wailin' Jennys. 

"Cuz every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man..." -- ZZ Top

Well guys, here he is! I made Kyden as a build-a-bear! Moon Dance might (in the current version I'm using) have Sara and Kess on the cover, but Kyden is definitely the most spoiled of all my characters and I had an absolute riot making him today. I'm probably going to make all of them eventually, but I needed to start with someone, right? :D 

Let me tell you ... Making him was not cheap. I kinda went crazy doing this bear, actually. He has a Beating Heart (you squeeze him and you can feel / softly hear his heartbeat), he has a quote from "In these arms" by Bon Jovi in his left hand, he got a nice outfit, I paid $20 for his boots (I did not realize this until I got to the car. So glad I didn't look -- they were expensive but he wouldn't be the same without them) and yes ... I even bought him sunglasses. 

Mao (to Kyden:) "Unlike my guys -- I like 'em tall with money." -- Tata Young
Uh-oh... I think she just dissed you, Kyden! 

Not to be outdone, Mao the Shimmer Kitty I made last year got a new dress. Even though I made Kyden today, when I saw this dress my immediate thought was "Oh my God, it's the Moonbeam!" (the dress Kess buys Sara in Moon Dance) and I just couldn't leave it behind. Mao's too tall to be Kyden's girlfriend, but since we weren't able to get Terrie's passport today, we're going to split on gas sometime in the next few weeks and get that and go to Build-a-Bear and Chapters AGAIN ... So we shall see what happens then. 

Once again, a tremendous thanks to Mike, Terrie & Merissa for taking me. Today was totally awesome and I had a great time! 

Well, that's my week! How was yours? I'd love to see what you got, so feel free to leave a link and I'll come and check it out. Have a great day! 

25 comments:

  1. Ahhh THE IMMORTAL RULES was TOO GOOD! I loved it! Enjoy all your books :)
    ------
    Giselle from booknerd.ca
    In My Mailbox

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  2. Great haul this week... Rotters sounds creepy and yet very interesting!! Enjoy

    Here is my IMM

    Happy Reading!
    Lindsay @ Turning the Pages

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  3. I've had Graceling for a while and have been meaning to read it even longer but I've just never started it for some reason. Enjoy!

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  4. I hadn't heard of Rotters before reading this summary here and... it actually sounds really good haha :) Really different too! And I love different :D I think I need to add Beastly to my TBR list as well! Graceling I wasn't a *huge* fan of but I know tons of people who loved it so I hope you do to!

    You can stop on over to see my IMM video and post this week at the link below-- Happy Reading!! :)

    Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland

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  5. Graceling and The Immortal Rules are two familiar titles to me, the rest I haven't heard of yet, thanks for introducing them to me. Belated happy birthday as well, those bears look really adorable. :)
    Here's mine over at GatheringBooks:
    http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/in-my-mailbox/

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  6. The Immortal Rules was simply amazing! I was part of the Bookurious Blog-it-forward programm, but I never got BZRK, even though I had posted my review of The Taming in time. Hoep you enjoy Rotters. I'm really curious about it.
    Happy Reading!
    Em
    My IMM

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    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry to hear that. :( BZRK is absolutely out of this world amazing and probably my favorite thing I've read so far this year. Which is always awesome when I get to say that about a book I never expected it from. (Really makes me want to go and get Michael's other books, but I'm holding off or I know I won't get anything else done...)

      As for Rotters, I need to get moving on that. I'm a bit nervous, as I said up there. But then, that's part of what I enjoy about Blog it forward.

      Thanks for dropping by!

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  7. Looks like a full Mailbox! Have fun reading them all!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Dani
    My IMM - http://paulettespapers.com/?p=1975

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  8. There's the Immortal Rules again :) LOVE it's cover and must must must get it! Lots of great reading material you have there :) Happy Reading & Stop By My IMM Post

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  9. Beastly is really good! Enjoy these awesome reads:)
    Check out my giveaway here: http://chantel-law.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/first-ever-giveaway.html

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  10. I read and reviewed THE IMMORTAL RULES and loved it!! Hope you do as well:)

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  11. I've never heard of Beastly it sounds like something I may get

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  12. Eeeee GRACELING!! I've read all three of Kristin Cashore's books and can't say enough good things about them. I plan on re-reading them, I loved them that much.

    Enjoy your reads!

    Jenny at Books to the Sky

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  13. These look amazing!!

    Can't wait to read these books :)

    Check mine out?

    http://wordsbeyondthepage.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/in-my-mailbox-3/

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  14. Rotters looks great! Immortal Rules is amazing. Did you hear its going to be a movie? My IMM is here.

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  15. I do like the Alex Flinn repackaging going on atm! I ADORE B&B, yes! Have you read HEART'S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier? It's my favorite B&B novel! I'm so excited for you to read GRACELING!! *bounces on toes* Oh, how is MOON DANCE cominG? We haven't talked in a while, have we? ATM, I've been contemplating letting go of what I've been writing, and I'm trying so hard not to b/c I'm so close to the end! Enjoy everything! We'll have to chat soon :)

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  16. I also got Beastly this week! I can't wait to dig into it, a few of my friends have been raving about Beastly and a few of Alex Flinns other books! I hope you enjoy!

    Lisa
    In My Mailbox:
    http://turningpages94.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-my-mailbox_22.html
    Current Giveaway:
    http://turningpages94.blogspot.com/2012/04/just-for-heck-of-it-giveaway-cinder-by.html

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  17. Graceling is a GREAT book! I hope you like it! I can't wait to read The Imortal Rules! And Beastly is pretty good!

    Happy Reading!

    My IMM :

    http://foreverlostinbooks.blogspot.ca/2012/04/in-my-mailbox-or-on-my-shelf-the-one.html

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  18. Awesome books this week :D Hope you enjoy reading them!

    Here is my IMM Post :)

    -Maxine @ Teenage Fiction

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