Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (Oct. 31st)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication can't-wait-to-read selection is:

Days of Blood and Starlight
by Laini Taylor
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of the most beautifully written books that I read last year. So I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I am totally anxious to get my hands on its sequel. I must know what happens!!! 

So, what are you looking forward to this week? Leave a link in the comments and I'll come check it out. :) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Oct 24th - 31st, 2012)

Welcome! This was so much fun last year that I thought I'd do it again. The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop 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.

This year I'm offering a chance for one (1) lucky winner to pick one (1) book of their choice from one (1) of the following series. These are all either series I love and am caught up on, or they are series that I love and need to read more of. Either way, they're something I think is really good and I hope I've offered enough choice to keep this interesting. 

How To Enter:

For a chance to win, simply leave your name and e-mail in the comments.

Bonus Entries:

+1: The FREE entry for name & e-mail. (So I can contact the winner. This is the entry discussed above. I put it here to make the math look more organized.)

+1: Follow via GFC / RSS / E-mail

+1: Follow Katallina on Twitter

+1: Like Kathy Ann Coleman on FaceBook. (Click here. This will open a new window.) 

+2: Check out the cover for Sealer's Promise and leave a comment about your thoughts on the cover. (Click here. This will open a new window.) 

For a total of six (6) entries. 


-- Open to anyone who lives where the book depository ships.

-- Please don't enter until October 24th, 2012. 

Check out the rest of the giveaways being offered for this hop!

Thanks so much for checking out my post. Good luck! :D 

Waiting on Wednesday (Oct. 24th)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication can't-wait-to-read selections are:

Touching the Surface
Kimberly Sabatini
Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

"Experience the afterlife..." huh? We shall see. I am always a sucker for books that have this type of premise, but much like my love of books referencing Greek myth, they tend to be a love it or hate it situation. Which will Touching the Surface be? Only time will tell. But for now, I am looking forward to finding out. :) 

by Fiona Paul
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

Okay, first: Oh my God look at that cover! I'm usually not a fan of close up face covers, but that mask is like a magnet drawing me in, or a flame that has somehow turned me into a moth ready to catch on fire and burn. Next up, this is definitely a departure for me. I usually don't read historical stuff unless it's fantasy, and even then it's rare. But something about this story--the fact that it takes place in Venice, perhaps, since I'm modeling a city after that in Sealer's Quest--has grabbed my attention. It is yet to be seen whether I'll roll the dice and add this to my bookshelf, but I can at least say that I'm tempted.

So, what are you looking forward to this week? Leave a link and I'll drop by and check it out! :) 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sealer's Promise Cover + Trailer + Prologue Reveal!

The day has finally arrived!!

Yes, I know I am ridiculously excited here. I can't help it. This is a huge step for Sealer's Promise and I am thrilled to get to share it with all of you.

As some of you may know, the journey to reach this point--having a cover-- has been long and perilous. But I hope that you will agree with me that it has been worth the wait.

So, let's quit stalling and get to the good stuff, hm?






I still kinda zone out when I look at this. I have a little trouble believing it is real. :)

The cover was designed by Robin Ludwig Design Inc. and I think that Robin did a totally fantastic job. I'm certain we will be working together again and I highly recommend her to any fellow authors looking for a talented artist capable of doing absolutely stunning cover design.


Some promises are meant to be broken.

Sarena Lengton knows what it's like to die -- two years ago her soul journeyed to the Underworld. Zakariah, the Lord of Judgement, has offered to spare her life in return for a promise. Sarena must convince his younger brother, Kesyl, to use his powers as a Sealer to open a portal to the Underworld. Then Zakariah can absorb Kesyl's soul and experience life on Earth.

Now seventeen, Sarena has managed to avoid completing Zakariah's task. But when she witnesses a murder at Sterling High where nothing but a skeleton is left behind, Sarena knows she will need Kesyl's help to catch the killer. As they work together, she finds herself falling for the boy she promised to help destroy.

Sarena doesn't want to know what Zakariah will do to her if she defies him. But if she keeps her end of the bargain, Kesyl will lose his soul. Can Sarena keep her life and her love? Or will both be torn from her forever?

Sealer's Promise Official Book Trailer: 

But that's not all I've got for you today. :) I have been sitting on my hands for months, trying to keep the next thing I'm going to show you secret. I'm certainly not a video design guru, but I'm thrilled to share the trailer I made for my book. I designed this back in July and couldn't touch it because I needed my cover for the end credits. Please check this out. :)

Sealer's Promise Prologue Reveal: 

If you would like to read the prologue, click here to find it--and some totally great custom art from some talented members of DeviantArt--on my author blog.

But I wanted to go a little further. I wanted to pay homage to how and where I learnt to write. I didn't end up going after an MFA in creative writing, Those weren't common here in 2001. But I *did* take a totally insane intensive study course in Oral Narrative during my second year at Trent. I don't think anything else (aside from possibly Book in a Month by Victoria Schmidt) has had such a huge impact on my work.

In honour of all I learned during that time, I decided to record a reading of the prologue.

Part 1:

*I kinda messed up at the start and didn't catch it. That should have been 'the Heart's waiting hall." Oops!

Part 2:

Thanks so much for listening! :)

I wanted to make sure that this reveal was as fun as I could make it. So I figured hey, everybody likes a chance to win a great prize, right?

Well, Sealer's Promise is not ready for me to give away ARCs yet, but I am a book blogger, as well as an author. So I see it as a great opportunity to support fellow authors by providing an opportunity for somebody to win a free book of their choice. :)

The Actual Details:
One (1) lucky winner is going to receive a book of his or her choice, valued up to $12 USD, from The Book Depository. All you have to do for a chance to win is fill out the Rafflecopter! Simple, right? :D This giveaway is open to anyone who lives where The Book Depository ships. It will run from Midnight October 19th, 2012 - Midnight November 1st 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Where To Find Me:

Darkfallen & Greta @ Paranormal Wastelands

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (Oct. 17th)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication can't-wait-to-read selection is:

The Lost Prince
by Julie Kagawa
Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

The Iron Fey. Another series that I am totally guilty of starting, loving and never going back to finish. And here I am promoting the spin off / sequel / whatever you'd like to call it. *Tsk!* Still... It definitely sounds intriguing and no doubt I'll be grabbing it at launch and adding it to my shelves. (Gee, with the pause between books I might even have time to read it. :P ) I'm fairly certain this is going to be fabulous.

So, what are you looking forward to this week? Leave a link and I'll drop by and check it out. :) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

A horror novel. You've got to be kidding me, right?

Those were my first thoughts when many of my friends started telling me that I absolutely had to read Anna Dressed In Blood. When I think of horror, I think of two things: those old RL Stine books people use to read when I was a kid, and Stephen King. Nothing against either of these guys, but they aren't really on my radar as a reader. They write good enough, I'm sure, but I am not (nor was I ever) part of the audience who would be breaking down a bookshop door to get their latest or greatest.

So I really took my sweet time getting this book, and even after I got it--super cheap at WalMart, I might add--I was in absolutely no rush to read it. Dear God, why did I wait?

I love it when a book surpasses my expectations. It makes up for the ones that miss the mark or never end up firing an arrow to begin with. Read on and I'll tell you all kinds of great reasons that if Anna Dressed In Blood hasn't hit your must read list, it really should.

The Plot: (Summary from GoodReads)
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

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

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

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

There is some absolute brilliance here. I think that's an adequate way to start.

Kendare's writing is everything it needs to be, at every time it needs to be 'what it needs to be'. She can be funny. She can scare you witless. She can keep you turning pages. And she can suck you into the world she has created until you feel like you are standing right there with the rest of the characters in the story. I'm not sure if it's reading more, writing more, stress or 'what' that has kept me from feeling this way more often recently. I do know I felt that here, and for me the feeling that I'm there--that the book has taken me out of my chair and dropped me into the adventure--is one of the key things I look for as a reader.

There are a lot of things that are turned upside down in this tale, my favorite being the way that Anna and Cas' "relationship" was formed, and the fact that it is an inversion of the typical situation like this where it's the male character who goes from 'bad' to 'good' with a heroine 'saving' him.

I am equally impressed with how vivid and real that all of the magic systems and superstitions that were used felt. It tells me that either someone (Kendare in this case) has a fabulous imagination or has really done their homework. Probably a combination of the two. I found it very easy to buy into what was happening in the book and I was very interested in it. The details regarding this were possible to follow, but I never felt that they were dumbed down. They felt like they had roots. Like if someone asked Kendare about something, such as why Gideon got so upset at Cas as a little boy, there is a deeper answer there. (I think that's the one huge question I have, other the obvious one presented at the end.

The whole thing just seemed to have a perfect sense of flow and pace. At a time when some books feel like they are written in code and all the letters are swirling because I can't focus, Anna Dressed In Blood was beautiful, clear and vivid. It's the kind of book which, now that I'm finished, has left me sitting here going, "Well what do I do now?"

The Characters: 

Cas has one of the most fun, readable and refreshing voices I've come across this year. He sounds real. Like someone I would actually want to sit down and have a conversation with. Like one of my gaming buddies, or my brothers or any of the many great guys I've known. His humor, courage insight, compassion and (yet again) realness allowed him to draw me in like a magnet. There is something extremely refreshing and honest about reading a story from Cas point of view and I think that this, the genre change (for me) and the humor were all huge factors in how much I love the book.

Anna was just plain cool, and brilliantly complex at the same time. I loved her evolution as a character and the fact that we have a female character doing what is usually the male character's role (going from darkness to light) was awesome. Anna never totally loses her edge, and she faces a lot of issues throughout the book, but it's really hard not to feel for her. Which is no small feat, because Anna can kick some serious ass and has no qualms about doing so.

All of the supporting characters were unique in their own way. I loved Thomas and Carmel and the way that they grew throughout the book. Cas' mother was also great and I loved the relationship the two seemed to have. It was unique and interesting. Plus, how can we forget Gideon? That guy just leaves so many questions hanging in the air!

The Romance: 

I think that Kendare got so many things right here. She balanced the action / fear / intensity of her main plot, while letting TWO romantic relationships form. She did not stoop to insta-love. The pacing for both pairings in this book was natural and real and watching what happened felt very real. I also think that she did a great job at making sure that Cas didn't suddenly get all girly on us when he was thinking about relationships or feelings. (Nor did he get stupidly "Girls have cooties!" either, thank God.)

I don't want to say a ton about the romances, because I don't want to spell everything out. I'm going to just say that this aspect of the book is just as epic as the rest, without taking over entirely, and leave it at that.

In General: 

It takes a lot to grab my interest these days, and I can tell you right now that Anna Dressed In Blood hooked me from page one and absolutely refused to let go. I am in deep mad crazy reader love with this book and if you have been holding off on it like I was, then seriously: let go, take the plunge and dive into its wild and crazy depths.I absolutely cannot recommend this enough, which is why it receives...

Why Did I Love It?

1. A distinct and memorable voice: Cas made me laugh, made me curious, made me cry and made me care. He's the kinda guy I'd love to know in real life, because he felt very honest and real to me. <3!

2. I haven't had such an "I'm gonna prove you wrong" experience since The Hunger Games. I went into this book figuring it wasn't going to do anything to me and came out of it singing its praises. It's moments like this that remind me why I love reading, and why I love blogging.

3. Couldn't put it down: It's not very often, between reading and my grandma and writing and everything else that a book gets to put its hooks into me and not let go. Anna Dressed In Blood did this, despite what I just said in my second point. That's an actual first for me and I was totally blown away.

4. It's set in Canada. :D How can I not praise an already fabulous book when it has the added bonus of being set in my home country? (Heck, home province if we're getting technical.) I've been through Thunder Bay a few times, most recently when I went for a Canadian Idol tryouts session in Manitoba.

5. This book got me to revisit a genre that I had, in many ways, written off. That's no small feat for a writer and always a good thing for a reader. You'd think I'd know better then to be that stubborn, but we all have our guirks.

Cover Lover Month: Interview with Greta Mahoney

Today on the blog I am joined by my friend Greta from Paranormal Wastelands. She's here to share some of her thoughts about book covers as part of Cover Lover Month. It's taken me long enough to get things sorted out and get this going, so let's hop right to it. :)

1. Have you ever chosen to read a book because of its cover? How did that go?

Oh heck yeah!! Almost every broody nom nom book has been picked strictly because the beefcake is a hotsy totsy.... and I don't recommend doing that because while the outside is delicious... the inside can taste like worms. Skim skim skim!! I learned my lesson ;)

2. How big of an influence do you feel cover art is in your reading choices? Do you have any reasons for feeling this way?

It's usually a big big influence on me. I'm not afraid to say that my first impression of a book is it's cover. If the cover doesn't speak to me then I probably won't read it unless someone tells me otherwise. I was one of those kids back in school who wouldn't read a book that didn't have a dustjacket. Remember those plain books? BLAH!!

3. What are your favorite things to see on the cover of a book? Are there any types of images or overall moods / themes that will instantly compel you to click on a book or lift it off a bookstore shelf?

My favorite thing to see are super cute things. I totally love the way they draw comfy mystery novel covers. They are just too dang cute! I love all the detail that goes into one of those. That always makes me want to pick it up and start reading.

4. Are there any design choices on covers that discourage you from taking a closer look? Any particular reasons for your preference or is it just something that "is what it is"?

I probably won't read a book that has a dude covered in modern weaponry and that's because I won't see a movie like that. I judge a book by it's cover just like I judge a movie by it's poster.

5. Does it bother you when the cover does not directly relate to what is in the book? For instance, if the cover has a girl in a blue dress then there'd better be a girl in a blue dress at some point?

No, something that simple wouldn't bother me but it would bother me if there was a tiger on the book and never a tiger mentioned.

6. These are a few of my favorite things: ONE that you love that's from a book you've read, ONE that's on the front of a book you're dying to read but haven't gotten your hands on yet and ONE that doesn't have a cover that does it justice, yet you feel more people need to read it. (You are free to cheat and list more if you must, just don't go too crazy.)

Laura Weiss's books do not have the pretties of covers. They're pretty simple. I have a feeling that people probably snub them because of that.

6. What drew you to the book with the less thrilling cover? If you could describe a new cover for this book, what would it be? 

I read her book Leftovers (which had a very unflattering cover) by Laura Weiss because my friend Leila sent it to me. I didn't think I was going to like it because it looked so lame. Boy was I wrong! If I was to make a new cover for it, it would be a best friends necklace. YOu know.. the kind that is split apart in the middle. And behind one side I would have a good part of town. And on the other I would have the bad part of town.

Thanks so much for joining me today, Greta! It is so often said that covers play a huge role in the books that we read and hearing your insights on the topic is very interesting. :)

Cover Lover Question of the Day: 

Have you ever been compelled to buy a book based on it's cover? Did it end up being a book you love?

Keep checking back for more interviews, guestposts and giveaways in the coming weeks. Thanks for dropping by! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shopaholic Sunday (Oct. 14th)

Shopholic Sunday is a feature here at I Write, I Read, I Review where I get to share the fabulous things I've bought, borrowed or received. It's also a place where I sometimes share books coming out that I'm dying to read or tell you about events that have been here or that are coming which I think you might be interested in. Thanks for visiting!

I've got so much to show you guys today! I haven't done a Shopaholic Sunday post in a while, and since I have a ton of books to share I decided I'd go ahead and do a video, too. :) 

I'm still looking for people who would like to help with the Sealer's Promise cover reveal on October 19th, so if you are interested please hop over to my post here and leave a comment or send me an e-mail. Thanks! 

Stacking the Shelves is a meme created by Tynga's Book Reviews where we get to share the fabulous things we bought, borrowed or received during the week.

For Review: 


A huge thank you to Michelle Madow and Strange Chemistry for these books! :) 

I Bought: 


So, what did you get this week? Leave a link and I'll drop by and take a look. Have a great day! 

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