Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Novel Glimpses (6)--The Book Thief, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ordeal By Innocence


Novel Glimpses is my feature for mini-reviews...really just a fancy name for them! The only difference than with my traditional mini-reviews is that I will include my Goodreads rating, something I do not do with my regular reviews. Feel free to participate...just credit me and link back if you do. (want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon).

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list


The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak
My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  I loved this book! As with any book that gets a lot of thumbs up and hype, I am always a bit skeptical that it is really as good as everyone says.  Well, in this case, the hype was totally right.  Not a typical novel surrounding Nazi Germany, the story is both inspiring and heartbreaking.  Experiencing the joy of a young girl's discovery of the written word is especially poignant.  It becomes her anchor in a world that is uncertain every day.  Zusak uses a clever narrator...Death.  An appropriate choice considering the amount of lives lost during World War II.  As usual, the Nazis' treatment of the Jewish people is shocking and sickening.  I could go a million years without having to visualize those acts in my mind.  As usual, when a book effects me in such a way that it makes me cry, it is an automatic five star book.  But do not let the sadness dissuade you from reading this book.  It is also a story of hope and, ultimately, personal triumph.

Reading Challenges
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Historical Fiction Challenge
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge
Historical Tour De Genre
Outdo Yourself

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said?  I actually saw the Swedish film first and absolutely loved it.  I adore the character of Lisbeth Salander.  She is the anti-hero that everyone loves to cheer for.  I was worried that I wouldn't like her as much in the book, but I should have known.  The book is always better and it's obvious that the screenplay writer for the film and the actress who played her stayed true to the book.  I found myself scratching my head at points in the book, thinking that I really do not normally like this type of book.  The world of high finance and journalistic intrigue might normally be boring, but not in this book.  Larsson's skill as a writer makes everything come across as exciting.  The incorporation of a murder mystery...the Agatha Christie style 'locked room'...brings the story full circle and everything interconnects beautifully.  I have seen the sequels on film too, but I can't wait to finish reading the books in the series.  It really is a shame that Larsson passed away.  I can imagine that his future offerings would have been just as spectacular.

Reading Challenges
Alphabet Challenge--COMPLETED!
What an Animal Reading Challenge IV
Monthly Mix-up Mania
A - Z Mystery Author Challenge
Outdo Yourself

Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  First of all, I have to admit that this is only the second AC book I’ve read. Shocking, I know! I’ve been meaning to read more of her and I do own several of her books, but the ever looming TBR pile is so demanding. It’s so hard to choose what to read next!

I liked this book immediately. I knew I did because it seemed like I was getting through it so fast. Granted it took me all day to read it (approx. 12 hours or so), but actually that’s pretty fast for me! It immediately grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go.  I’m not familiar with AC’s other books, so I’m not up on her usual structure, but I have to say, I liked this structure. It made me feel like I was part of solving the crime, but I was the clueless person on the CSI team who has no idea who to suspect.  The only other AC book I have read was Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence). I felt this book had a much higher level of suspense than the stories in that book, especially toward the end. It kept getting more and more suspenseful–more and more people seemed to be figuring it out and/or knew more than they were telling. I loved it!

I have to say that Agatha is the master! I am usually really good at figuring out the identity of the killer, but in this one, I was stumped almost to the very end. Only when Tina was stabbed and gave her cryptic clues after regaining consciousness did I finally know who was the murderer.  AC was excellent in what she did with her mysteries and I also really liked in this book that she raised questions of a psychological nature, such as nature vs. nurture and the art of parenting and the connection between a mother and her biological children. I do have to say that the very end (the exchange between Hester and Calgary) was a little corny, but I won’t fault Agatha for that little bit of lightness in this relatively dark mystery.

Reading Challenges
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Outdo Yourself
Agatha Christie Reading Challenge


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway Reminder

My blogoversary giveaway ends tomorrow, August 31 at 11:59 pm CST so be sure to get your entry in, if you haven't already! Go HERE to enter and good luck!

Monday, August 29, 2011

TTBA Weekly News and Mailbox Monday

This feature was inspired by It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and by The Sunday Salon.


We're back at the start of another week and first I'm going to share with you my wrap-up from the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon, which was hosted by On a Book Bender.  I ended up reading 3.5 books...a first for me in any read-a-thon! Woot!

Final stats:

  • Total Books Read: 3.5
  • Total Pages Read: 1181
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 2
  • Pages Read since last update: 301
  • Total time read: 51 hours
  • What I read: Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie, 1/2 of Captivity by Deborah Noyes, The Egyptian by Layton Green, and The Summoner by Layton Green

The BBAW long lists came out today and I made it for Best Historical Fiction blog. Once again, I have to thank those who were kind enough to nominate me. I'm truly honored!

EVENTS


My new horror blog, Castle Macabre, is taking off nicely and I've decided to host a launch/kick-off event and giveaway for all of September. So far, I will be participating in September Zombies, hosted by vvb32 Reads and a tour with awesome novelist Scott Nicholson. I have some other irons in the fire. There may be another tour participation and I'm going to be reviewing some great horror fiction and, of course, I will host a giveaway myself. Also, Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings is kicking off the R.I.P. VI challenge, which starts September 1st, and I will be participating in the challenge from Castle Macabre (and my challenge blog). Be watching for my event announcement on Thursday HERE. Oh, and I created a new blog button over there (see above). You can pick one up in the left sidebar. It's very spooky!


My friends Kate and Ashley at Back of the Book Reviews kick off their month long read-a-thon and Extravaganza this Thursday! It all will run from September 1-30.  The Extravaganza is in celebration of their awesome first six months of blogging and will have daily interviews, guest posts and giveaways, and a grand prize competition and the read-a-thon is just for fun. Wow! A month long read-a-thon...I'm totally up for that. =O) For all the details and to sign-up for the read-a-thon, visit their blog HERE. Extravaganza schedule HERE.

WHAT I'M READING

A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich...catching up on a read-a-long
Captivity by Deborah Noyes...reading third section for TuesBookTalk
Vlad: The Last Confession by C.C. Humphreys
Dante's Journey by JC Marino...I'm FINALLY going to finish this one!


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is currently on tour.  This month's host is Staci at Life in the Thumb  (want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon)

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list


WON:
How to Improve Your Life (signed) by Raymond H. Scudder...from Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Boyfriend from Hell (signed) by E. Van Lowe...from Donna at Book Lover's Hideaway

A tiny mailbox for me this week! I hope you all have a wonderful reading week. =O)

Sticky post: Read-a-Thon Updates

This is a sticky post for Bout of Books Read-a-Thon updates.  Please scroll down for new content.  Thank you!

Update for Monday, 8/22:

  • Total Books Read: 1
  • Total Pages Read: 269
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 1
  • Pages Read since last update: 269
  • Total time read: 12 hours
  • What I'm currently reading: Captivity by Deborah Noyes
Update for Tuesday, 8/23:
I read 186 pages of Captivity by Deborah Noyes for TuesBookTalk
  • Total Books Read: 1.5
  • Total Pages Read: 455
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 1.5
  • Pages Read since last update: 455
  • Total time read: 24 hours
  • What I'm currently reading: The Summoner by Layton Green
8/24
Challenge:  Pick it up, then pile it up from Actin' Up with Books--show her your TBR pile.
Here is an ever-so shabby pic of a small portion of TBRs from my 3000+ home library! That's right, folks...I still have not unpacked and organized my books from my move in April.  It's called procrastination and it's ugly...very ugly!


Update for Wednesday, 8/24:
Not a great day for reading.  Yeah, that's right...nothing. =O(

  • Total Books Read: 1.5
  • Total Pages Read: 455
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 1.5
  • Pages Read since last update: 455
  • Total time read: 24 hours
  • What I'm currently reading: The Summoner by Layton Green
Update for Thursday, 8/25:
Another less than stellar reading day.
  • Total Books Read: 1.5
  • Total Pages Read: 555
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 1.5
  • Pages Read since last update: 100
  • Total time read: 29 hours
  • What I'm currently reading: I'm just now really starting to read today.  Starting off with 76 pages of A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, then will finish The Summoner (200 pages to go) and must read (and finish) The Egyptian, both by Layton Green, for a book tour review post tomorrow.  I'm going to need some self-discipline...oh dear!
Update for Friday, 8/26
  • Total Books Read: 2.5
  • Total Pages Read: 880
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 1
  • Pages Read since last update: 325
  • Total time read: 41 hours
  • What I'm currently reading: Finishing The Summoner (200 pages to go) and still catching up on The Midwife's Tale for read-a-long.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Release Day and Review for The Egyptian by Layton Green

My thoughts:
One of the oldest quests in history...the quest for the secret of eternal life.  This is the root of The Egyptian.  This is a first-rate thriller with elements of history, martial arts, and just the right amount of spy games and conspiracy theories.  Think The DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons without all the religious symbolism.  All of this is enough in itself, but what I really like about it is that the writing is terrific and the characters are interesting and engaging.  Dominic Grey would be a great movie character and I couldn't help wondering who would play him in a film adaptation.  Speaking of which, this book would make an excellent film.  I see it translating well to the screen, much in the way Tom Clancy's Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger did. Dominic Grey could be the next Jack Ryan...well, sans the family anyway.  If you're looking for a book that grabs you from the start and keeps you interested throughout, then this is the book for you.  Oh, and there is a nice homage to a certain horror film that adds a measure of creepiness to the story.  Looking forward to Mr. Green's future offerings.

Book description (from Goodreads):

At a mausoleum in Cairo’s most notorious cemetery, a mercenary receives a package containing a silver test tube suspended in hydraulic stasis.

An investigative reporter tracking rogue biomedical companies is terrified by the appearance of a mummified man outside her Manhattan apartment.

A Bulgarian scientist who dabbles in the occult makes a startling discovery in his underground laboratory.

These seemingly separate events collide when Dominic Grey and Viktor Radek, private investigators of cults, are hired by the CEO of an Egyptian biomedical firm to locate stolen research integral to the company’s new life extension product. However, after witnessing the slaughter of a team of scientists by the remnants of a dangerous cult thought long abandoned, Grey and Viktor turn from pursuers to pursued.

From the gleaming corridors of visionary laboratories to the cobblestone alleys of Eastern Europe to a lost oasis in the Sahara, Grey and Viktor must sift through science and myth to uncover the truth behind the Egyptian and his sinister biotech – before that truth kills them.


For this release weekend only, The Egyptian and the first book in the Dominic Grey series, The Summoner, are available for 99 cents each at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Note:  I am halfway through The Summoner.  Look for my review in a couple of days.

Reading Challenges
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Valley of the Kings Reading Challenge
Outdo Yourself

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cat Thursday


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)


Another gratuitous Doctor Who Cat Thursday (courtesy of Lolcats)...All 11 "Doctor Who" doctors illustrated as cats.  Love it! Doctor Who is back this weekend...can't wait! 


(click the image to see a larger version)




Here's the linky:



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blogbuster Tour: Excerpt from The Wild Hunt (and Giveaway)


   
     He reached into his pocket and brought out the white chip he’d discovered inside the magnetic megalith.
     “Do you know what this is?” Erik held it flat on his palm.
     The old man looked at the object with a hint of recognition. Ivan rubbed his cheek with a rough hand. “I’ve never seen it before.”
     “It’s fine if you don’t wanna explain. Don’t lie to me though.”
     “That oughta be returned to where you found it. It doesn’t belong to you.”
     “Sorry, can’t. I’d be arrested for trespassing.”
     “Then give it to me.”
     “I don’t think so,” Erik said.
     The old man reached out with a swiftness that belied his advanced age. He tried to snatch the shell from Erik’s hand, but the young man was quicker and slipped it back in his pocket.
     Ivan lunged for the object at the same moment the bathroom door opened and Allie appeared. The old man immediately straightened, the pair of them grinning innocently at her.
     “What’s going on?” she asked.
     “Nothing,” Erik said. “Just having a discussion.”
     “Your bathtub’s beautiful,” Allie told the old man. “I want Erik to install a claw-footed tub in our master bathroom just like yours.”
     “I’m partial to it myself,” Ivan said.
     His demeanor had transformed in an instant. No longer was he the menacing figure he’d been seconds before. Now he played the jovial grandfather, pleasant and accommodating. The rapidity with which he switched those roles frightened Erik. He wondered which mask was the true visage of Ivan Hertz.
     “We should be going,” Erik said. He now regretted accepting the old man’s invitation to dinner. If Ivan treated others the way he’d shown tonight, it didn’t surprise Erik that the old man hadn’t any friends or loved ones.
     “If you must,” Ivan said. He retrieved their winter jackets from the coatrack, handed the red one to Erik while he held the blue one open for Allie.
     The clock over the fireplace mantel chimed once . . . twice . . . thrice . . .
     “Midnight,” the old man said in a sober tone. “December twenty-fifth.”
     “Happy Christmas,” Allie told him as she zipped up.
     The musical peals continued: four — five — six.
     Ivan offered a weak smile, his face as white as his mustache.
     Seven — eight — nine.
     He went to the front window and peered into shrouded darkness.
     “Thank you for the meal,” Allie said. “You can throw away the pie tin. I don’t need it for — ”
     “Quiet.” Ivan turned on the porch light to better see the woods.
     Ten — eleven — twelve.
     The twelve strokes of midnight.
     “Should we let ourselves out?” Erik asked. The Hernes were unnerved by the old man’s sudden erratic behavior.
     Then they all heard it, low at first as it built to a thunderous crescendo that echoed throughout the whole of Holly Wood. It sounded like a powerful blast from some sort of instrument. Erik pictured a Swiss Alpine horn while Allie imagined a Jewish shofar being blown.
     “Is that coming from town?” she asked. It seemed nearer than that. Wodanfield was four miles to the west; this came from somewhere much closer.
     The old man grabbed the door handle and fumbled with the multiple locks. “I appreciate your visit,” he said and ushered them onto the porch. “Come anytime for a chat.” The words were as empty as his house.
     “If you ever need help, we’re just a phone call away.” Allie amended her offer. “Well, you know what I mean.”
     The woods were quiet after the apparent explosion. The snow had a natural muting effect; at present there was nothing to muffle, just absolute silence.
     The old man’s gaze probed the perimeter surrounding his cabin. He went to close the door when he offered one final bit of advice to the newlyweds before locking them out. “Go straight home,” he said. “And get there quick if you hope to have a merry Christmas.”
--------------------------------------
Jared Sandman’s Blogbuster Tour 2011 runs from July 1st through August 31st.  His novels include Leviathan, The Wild Hunt and Dreamland, all of which are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.  His latest book, The Shadow Wolves, has just been released.  Follow him on Twitter (@JaredSandman) and be entered to win one of several $25 Amazon gift cards.  See rules at www.jaredsandman.com for eligibility.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

TTBA Weekly News and Mailbox Monday (late edition)

This feature was inspired by It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and The Sunday Salon.


Another week has passed.  Where does the time go?! Honestly, I just don't know.  As usual, I had a busy week last week.  First week of school for the boys is always hectic and then me with my trying to cram too much into my already busy life.  I'm sure I'll never learn. ;O)


First, I have to announce that I made the long list in two niche categories for Book Bloggers Appreciation Week...Best Eclectic blog and Best Historical Fiction blog! To anyone/everyone who nominated me, thank you so much! It really means a lot.  I've decided to submit my five blog post links for the Historical Fiction category since that is the primary focus of this blog now.  I hope I am able to choose my best.  Even if it goes no further than the long list, I am truly honored to have made it this far.


I launched my new horror blog last week, Castle Macabre.  If you haven't already, stop on by and visit.  I'm hoping to showcase some great horror authors over there (and some films) and I was invited by Velvet at vvb32 Reads to take part in her September Zombies 2011 event.  How cool is that?!

EVENTS


Stephen King's IT Read-a-Long is going on right now, from August through December.  It's being hosted by Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit and Anna at Diary of an Eccentric.  I'm participating in this via my horror blog, although I'm a bit behind...nothing new! If you would like more details and/or to sign up, go HERE.


My friends Kate and Ashley at Back of the Book Reviews are hosting a month long read-a-thon and Extravaganza in September! It all will run from September 1-30.  The Extravaganza is in celebration of their awesome first six months of blogging and will have daily interviews, guest posts and giveaways, and a grand prize competition and the read-a-thon is just for fun. Wow! A month long read-a-thon...I'm totally up for that. =O) For all the details and to sign-up for the read-a-thon, visit their blog HERE. Extravaganza schedule HERE.

WHAT I'M READING


This week, I'm participating in the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon, hosted by Amanda at On A Book Bender. It runs from 8/22 - 8/28

Yesterday I read ONE ENTIRE BOOK! Major accomplishment for me during a read-a-thon. It was Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie and I enjoyed it immensely. 

Today I'll be reading about 1 1/2 sections of Captivity by Deborah Noyes for TuesBookTalk.

Next will be The Summoner and The Egyptian by Layton Green.


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is currently on tour.  This month's host is Staci at Life in the Thumb  (want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon)

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

WON:
Red-Robed Priestess (The Maeve Chronicles) by Elizabeth Cunningham...from Wendy at caribousmom
The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff...Tina at Tutu's Two Cents

BOOKMOOCH:
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

LIBRARY SALE:
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Against a Crimson Sky by James Conroyd Martin
The Innocent by Posie Graeme-Evans
The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins
Silence by Shusako Endo
Grace by Shelley Shepard Gray
Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris
The Gate of Angels by Penelope Fitzgerald
Living Dead Girl by Tod Goldberg
Passing Strange by Sally MacLeod
Uppity Women of Ancient Times by Vicki Leon

Monday, August 22, 2011

Challenge Yourself! Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up

The Challenge Yourself! Read-a-Thon, hosted by Kai at Fiction State of Mind, has ended.  Unfortunately, I ended up having a busy weekend and did not read as much as I wanted.  I've decided that weekday read-a-thons are better for me, especially when the kids are back in school.  Hopefully, I'll do better this week with the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon.

Anyway, all I managed to accomplish was to catch up on A Midwife's Tale for a read-a-long.  At least I did that, I guess!

Thanks again to Kai for hosting. =O)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Time for some Read-a-Thons!

Yeah, yeah...we know I'm a sucker for read-a-thons! A long established fact. =O)


I had no idea that Kai at Fiction State of Mind was hosting her first read-a-thon.  She announced it the day I left for vacation so I totally missed it.  I was going through my reader, trying to catch up on blog reading, and I saw it on Orchid's blog.  It actually started yesterday, but I'm going to jump in.  Not sure how much I'll read, but I do have some books I need to get read.  Here are the details:


Challenge Yourself! Read-a-Thon

You can challenge yourself to a certain amount of books, a certain genre,to reread a favorite series or to focus on books from one of the 2011 challenges you signed up for.  There are prizes and mini-challenges too.  It runs from 8/18 - 8/21.  For exact times, prize details, and to sign-up, go HERE.


The other read-a-thon I'm doing is the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon, hosted by Amanda at On A Book Bender.  It runs from 8/22 - 8/28.  Here are some details:


--Read as much as you can whenever you can between 12:00am 8/22 and 11:59pm 8/28 (your time zone).
--There is no pressure!  Participate even if you can only spare a day or two, a few hours, or even just a few minutes.  Use it an excuse to read.  Whatever works for you.  If you plan to read at all between 8/22 and 8/28, sign up!
--I believe read-a-thons are a great way to network with fellow bloggers.  Bout of Books is as much about networking as it is about reading.  Get to know your fellow Bout of Books participants.
--There will be challenges and giveaways.  If you want to host one, let me know!  (fill out the 2nd form below)


For more details and to get listed on Amanda's master list, go HERE.


Again, not sure how much time I'm going to have, but I will squeeze reading into any nook and cranny I can! I have a work at home gig now and I have homework nights for the boys three days a week, plus if I can get my husband to help me, we are going to (finally) get this place in order and get all my books unpacked.  I really wanted to have it done by the end of August, but you can't always get what you want! Here's what I aim to read:


--Right now, finishing up the second section for the A Midwive's Tale read-a-long (see left sidebar)--about 40 pages to go.
--Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie--for read-a-long discussion at Devourer of Books on Monday.
--The Summoner and The Egyptian by Layton Green--Egyptian review is due the 27th.  Going to review both that day.
--if I can find my copy of IT, going to try to catch up on the read-a-long hosted by Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit.
--read section of Captivity by Deborah Noyes for TuesBookTalk
--I have some other books I'm working on as well so will try to get to them, if possible.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cat Thursday


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)


Love these Historical LOLs...especially when they feature kitties!




And for those of you who are embarking on a journey, whether it be a physical trip or just a trip to a dangerous place in a book, this is for you....


LOL!


Here's the linky:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black Cat Appreciation Day!

I usually save these posts for Cat Thursday, but since I happen to own a black cat, I had to share with you that today is Black Cat Appreciation Day.  They have an event going on and you can attend on Facebook.  Time to spoil Alice all day! Oh, who am I kidding...she's spoiled every day anyway! On a more serious note, black cats are still considered to be bad luck by many people and there are many myths surrounding them.  This leads to an abundance of black cats/kittens that need good homes.  If you've been thinking about getting a cat, why not consider a black one?  I can honestly say that my Alice has one of the best personalities out of all the cats I've owned over the years.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Night Walker by Lisa Kessler



My thoughts:


When I was given the opportunity to participate in Lisa Kessler's virtual book tour, I jumped at the chance.  You see, I have known Lisa for several years now (oddly enough, we met on MySpace) and I have followed her writing career, reading her stories and her updates regarding the novels she was working on and offering encouragement along the way.  Night Walker was one of the novels she was working on during that time and I am pleased as punch for her and also so proud of her accomplishment.

Now I'm not a big reader of paranormal romance.  In fact, I'm not much for romance novels at all.  However, I had been reading Lisa's stories over the years and I really liked her style of writing.  I am pleased to say that Night Walker just works on so many levels.  First of all, anyone who knows me, knows I love the idea of reincarnation and this is an almost immediate premise in the book.  Yes! And adding a love story along with reincarnation just makes it even better.  But also, there are a moral implications at the base of the story that give it even more depth.  I was pleased that the characters were likable and I developed an easy connection with them, with the exception of one very unlikable character, Jose, who is about as vile as they come.  Don't worry...you're not supposed to like him.  This really isn't a typical "vampire" novel, although many may try to pigeonhole it that way.  As I said, it's more of a love story with a conscience.  The moral issues were subtle, but recognizable.  The displacement of Native Americans by the Spanish and the betrayal of the confessional by a monk (which leads to a despicable act) are the issues interlaced in the plot and I thought their presence added greatly to the depth of the novel.

I feel I must touch on the love scenes which are one of the reasons I tend to steer clear of the PR genre.  I'm not fond of the explicit or overly erotic scenes.  I have to send kudos Lisa's way.  She really made the scenes sensual and classy (with the exception of Jose's scenes, but his aren't supposed to be).  Would that other writers in this genre would take Lisa's lead and I just might become a convert!

Finally, the epilogue gives us an intriguing glimpse of what's to come as the Night series continues and I have to say...I can't wait! Well done, Lisa, on this wonderful first novel.

Read more about Night Walker in Lisa's Guest Post from earlier today.


Reading Challenges
Alphabet Challenge
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Horror and Urban Fantasy
Outdo Yourself



FTC Disclosure:  I received an eCopy of this book for review.  This honest opinion is mine alone and I received no monetary compensation for sharing it.

Guest post with Lisa Kessler, author of Night Walker


Please join me today in welcoming author, Lisa Kessler.  Her book, Night Walker, was recently published and I'm happy to say that I've been along for the journey, offering encouragement whenever I could.  Watch for my review of Night Walker later today.


Stop worrying…
Thanks so much to Michelle for inviting me to the blog today!!!  We met on MySpace years ago and she's always been in my corner helping me keep my chin up and keep writing…
I've been a book addict all my life.  When I was in elementary school, I remember being so excited when I got a special red library card which meant I had a 10 item limit for check out instead of 3 items! I thought I was such a big deal! LOL 
That love for stories blossomed into writing my own.  I started with short stories and eventually started writing full-length novels.  Getting my novels published has been a really long, winding, sometimes uphill and treacherous journey.  Finding the right publisher for Night Walker was probably one of the toughest goals I have ever accomplished in my entire life.
I got the idea for the book in 2001.  I wrote the first draft version in four months.  I felt like I was obsessed I was so eager to get it all written down.  I started to work toward publication, I even had an agent for the book, but my personal life took a huge unexpected detour, and my publishing dream had to be set aside for a few years.
I'm only sharing this background because I think it might help you to understand why it's all I can do to keep this beast of worry corralled inside of me! LOL
I was in Denver for RomCon two weeks ago.  It was my first time attending a convention as an author instead of as a reader.  Even though I've been to lots of writer's conferences and conventions in the past, this felt different and I worried I might mess something up.
After the paranormal dinner on Saturday night, RomCon hosted “readings”.  They had palm readers, tarot card readers, past life and reiki practitioners, and the room was busy.  I waited for a tarot card reader just for fun.
After shuffling the cards myself and cutting the deck three times, I chose the center stack and she started turning cards.  After about the fourth card she stopped and chuckled, shaking her head.  “You just started down a new path for your life and your cards show the potential for success.”
I've got to confess my pulse quickened.  I've worked hard for years, hoping, praying, and wishing for a tiny morsel of success…
She flipped a few more cards and started shaking her head again before grinning over at me.  “Stop worrying.  These cards are shouting at me that you're worried.  This is your time to enjoy your progress, not be tied up with worry.”
I had to laugh, because since I got the call that Entangled wanted my entire Night Series, I have been a jumble of worry.  I've worried about things from, will I ever finish these edits, to am I promoting enough, too much, did I get the right promo goodies, did I send a card with the romance trading cards?  Will people show up to my book signing?  And the list goes on…
I wish I could turn the worry off.  I'm better at it some days than others.  I'm realizing along this journey that it's easier for me to be bold when I'm “chasing” a dream, but when I'm close enough to touch it, there's a fear that I might bump it and next thing I know my dream will end up on the scratched and dented shelf at the grocery store! LOL
While reviews are still coming in for Night Walker, and people did show up for my book signing (YAY!), I've already moved on to worrying that my editor won't like Night Demon now that I've turned it in…  LOL   Urgh!
So do any of you book addicts out there have any tricks to stop worrying?  Or is this just another long, winding, uphill path to travel for a while?  
Thanks in advance for any advice…  And a huge thanks to Michelle for the years of encouragement!!!  

Lisa

I love to chat with readers online, so feel free to look me up…

http://lisakessler.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/LdyDisney
http://facebook.com/LisaKesslerWriter
http://facebook.com/NightSeries
http://goodreads.com/LisaKessler


I wish I had some advice for Lisa about the worrying.  Unfortunately, the worry is stalling me at the beginning stages of writing my novel so I could use some advice myself.  =O)  All I can say, Lisa, is that worrying is a part of the human condition and maybe after you've grown accustomed to being a "published author" (doesn't that sound great?!), the worries will become less pronounced.  We can hope, right?  Thanks again for guesting today, my friend.  Your story gives me hope for my future as a writer and to countless others, I'm sure.


Now for a little bit about Night Walker... 





Title: Night Walker
Author: Lisa Kessler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-12-1
Mobi ISBN: Coming soon!
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-13-8


Read an excerpt:


http://www.entangledpublishing.com/night-walker/


Ebook review copies available at NetGalley.com


View the book trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OTD8VdDCOc


Book description:



He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…


Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.


She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…


After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.


They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…


Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.



About the Author:

Lisa Kessler is an avid reader and writer of dark fiction. Her short stories have been published in
print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a
Bram Stoker award.

Lisa recently signed a 4 book deal with Entangled Publishing to release her Night Series. The
first book, Night Walker, is scheduled to be released August 5th.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera
as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at
http://Lisa-Kessler.com

Lisa lives in southern California with her incredibly fun husband and two amazing kids.



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