What I'm Currently Reading...

Interview With the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles, #1)Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
I started reading these books when I was a kid but never really got into them. Time to give them another shot!

Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan, #2)Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kushiel's Mercy by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Mercy (Kushiel's Legacy, #6)Kushiel's Mercy by Jacqueline Carey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another amazing tale following Imriel nó Montrève de la Courcel as he seeks out his mother and hunts for a way to save not only his love but also his country from a spreading magic-induced madness...

Carey drags you into her world and forces you to fall in love with her characters. Her writing style flows like a beautiful song, every word reaching out to the reader and tearing at the beating heart within. It's difficult not to want more of Terre d'Ange, after picking up the first novel that introduces the world.

I've read and reread each and every book in the series. Each time, I find myself falling in love with the characters again. The trials and tribulations that the main characters go through is enough to break anyone, even the strongest of them. They pull through to learn and grow from the experiences.

I would recommend this series (and do) to every adult that I know. Carey's words will move even the toughest heart.

As Blessed Elua said, "Love as thou wilt..."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Cat Proof Your Computer

I'm sure that's exactly what they look like when I sleep...
Lately I've been having a lot of issues with my kitties sneaking up on my desk in the middle of the night and playing games while I sleep. I think they are messing around with my manuscript and deleting things, making it shorter. This must be the main reason why I'm nowhere near done yet...

I decided to search for ways to deter them from doing this and I came across this 'How To'...

Find out How to Cat Proof Your Computer...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ARC of Touch by Alexi Zentner

I got home from work today to a great surprise! I opened up the mailbox to find an advance Read Copy of Touch by Alexi Zentner. It doesn't get released until next month. It came directly from the publisher and I am excited to start reading it. Of course, I have 3+ books in front of it so it goes on the shelf and has to wait about a month...

Find out more here...

Socks for Japan - UPDATE

I know this is supposed to be a review blog and I'll get back to my reviews shortly.
As have mentioned a couple of times in the past week or so about gathering socks to donate to a local organization in Japan. My company is helping me in this endeavor as well. I'm happy to make note that over the last two days, I've collected over 90 pairs of socks and the number is growing each day. I hope to gather several hundred pairs by the 8th which is when I am shipping them out.

Collection so far...
Japan and its entire culture is in dire need of any help that they can get at this moment. As soon as it seems their situation will begin to improve, something else happens and it continues to spiral downhill. Show your support in any way that you can, be it with a kind word or a donation.

Please visit the site, Socks for Japan, and show your support as well! It's much needed and greatly appreciated!

Ebook sale!

In honor of my live radio interview next Wednesday, I'm putting my novel (ebook) on sale for only $.99 to help drive sales! Tell all your friends and get your copy today!
Get The Blood Moon of Winter at Smashwords or Amazon.

Radio Interview with ParaYourNormal Internet Radio at 3:30 PST on 4/6/11

Help give your support and let's build me a name!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Socks for Japan

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was attempting to get others to donate socks for the folks of Japan.

Since that time, I was able to convince my boss at work to allow me to see if any of my coworkers wanted to participate with me in sending a collection as well. Many have agreed and I'm excited about sending them out soon.

Just yesterday, the GM brought in a big package and let me know that the company has agreed to pay for the shipping so that I didn't have to do it out of my own pocket. This was a huge relief because it was going to be expensive but I didn't mind at all.

After I received that bit of news, my coworker informed me that because of me, she got her entire girlscout troup to participate as well. Each of her 34 girls are getting their parents to go to their works and collect more for the donation pot as well.

Today, another coworker informed me that he found a big box of slipper socks (48 pairs) that he's going to bring in on top of what he already donated.

This show of support really touches my heart and makes me so happy. It's one thing to give money. It's another thing to give a bit of love and kindness...

Please visit the site, Socks for Japan, and show your support as well! It's much needed and greatly appreciated!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Work in Progress

As my readers know, I'm supposed to be working on the sequel to The Blood Moon of Winter. I did start it and and get a decent chunk of it done too. But today, I got sidetracked...

I opened it up to start writing and my fingers changed course. All of a sudden, I was writing a completely different story, one that had nothing to do with Lilyana or Makayra. After filling 2 pages, I have decided to keep with it for a bit and see where it goes.

As always, I write by the seat of my pants. I have no idea what it is about, who the characters are, or even what genre it is. So far it is a pretty good beginning though! I don't know how long it will be. It could be a short story or it might turn into a full length novel. I won't know until further into it. I have to go with my gut on this one though.

I hope that my readers don't get too disappointed. They might like this piece just as much as the last!

AND... Don't worry readers. I absolutely promise that I will get back to Beyond the Known Horizon very shortly. I've officially dedicated time each day to work on it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Moment of Excitement!

So this is news that I've known about for awhile now but finally get to really share! Jacqueline Carey, my favorite female author, has officially accepted an invitation to be the Author Guest of Honor at DarkCon for next January! I'm privy to this information because I helped to write up the invitation letter that was sent to her.

This morning she posted on her Facebook page that she would be attending. This was her first mention of it in a public forum so I guess that makes it even more official than the Con stating it. She will be in the Valley of the Sun for 4 days, I think. What's more, I get to spend that entire time with her! I get to play the role of guest liaison to someone that I admire. This is a big deal to me as I've been a fan since the first Kushiel book came out on the market.

I would recommend her writing to anyone (above the age of 17). Her style is so complex and yet her words flow smoothly. She is an amazing author deserving of much praise. If you haven't heard of her or her books before, you should definitely check them out.

Jacqueline Carey

Get this wallpaper

Monday, March 21, 2011

World Poetry Day

In honor of world poetry day, I thought I'd throw a little something together...

As I glance outside to see the clouds,
I pray for rain to fall.
The wind whips through the trees,
beating branches hit the wall.

All goes quiet,
The calm before the storm.
I glance up again,
As puddles begin to form.

As I stare outside,
The air becomes quite still.
The rain comes down,
Hitting my window sill.

There's nothing more great
On a rainy day,
Than a hot cup of coffee
And an audiobook to play!

Share your poems below!

A Good Bowl of Ramen by Samuel A Mayo

A Good Bowl of RamenA Good Bowl of Ramen by Samuel A Mayo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Find A Good Bowl of Ramen here. (this is a free short)

I came across this short story while searching around on Smashwords for something to read. I'm so glad that I saw this. The name is what drew me to it, forcing me to download it and add it to my collection!

What an interesting piece! This was such an unusual tale told in first person, present tense. This story will draw you in, making you want to know what happens next, by the the strangeness of it all.

It's almost a post-apocalyptic tale, a psuedo-steampunk world set in (what I believe to be) Japan. I found myself engrossed in the way this was written, almost as if I was there watching over the MC's shoulder, since it was told as if everything were happening at that very moment. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that likes a short yet suspenseful distraction from everyday life.

And who doesn't love a good bowl of ramen?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Giveaway Ends...

My thanks goes out to everyone that entered the giveaway for my debut novel. Thanks to the turnout, I decided to randomly choose 2 people to receive a copy of my book, The Blood Moon of Winter.

The winners are:

Laura H. from Finding Bliss


Aimee J. from Coffee Table Press

I hope the both of you enjoy the book greatly and I look forward to seeing reviews! Thanks for playing!!

Coffee Table Press

Finding Bliss

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jump by Jen Wylie

JumpJump by Jen Wylie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Purchase Jump here.

I love how this short opens and closes on the same note. I remember my mother always using the same line, "Would you jump off a bridge..."

This is a fun tale, referencing all the cliches that are typical in your standard horror or fantasy story. It gave me a chuckle, as I made my way through it.

Simply put, reading this short story made for a great way to pass my time and I'm glad that I did.

Socks and Words...

I'm trying to encourage fellow authors to donate a few words or some socks for the victims of the most recent tragedy in Japan. Both words and socks are quite comforting and appreciated in such terrible times.

Firefly「ホタル」: Japan Tsunami Tribute
To add words to the collaboration, please contact me at cc@courtneyconant.com.

To donate socks, follow the link http://jasonkelly.com/helpjapan/ to find all the information necessary.

Thanks for helping!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Forgotten Echo by Jen Wylie

The Forgotten Echo (Immortal Echoes)The Forgotten Echo by Jen Wylie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Purchase The Forgotten Echo here.
This 1st person narrative is fun and fast paced. It took less than an hour for me to work my way through this entriguing tale of lost life and a newly discovered world.

Wylie instantly grabs the readers' attention and leads them down an imaginative path of the death and new life of Cassy. It's definitely set up to be a series of shorts. It will draw you in and leave you excited to read the next installment!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With so many characters, it was a bit more difficult to follow than the first two in the series. There were also many side stories to try and follow and keep straight. However, it didn't matter how many characters or stories there were, the book was great!

As a computer nerd, I found a bit of the information provided to be false. I was able to overlook it though, knowing it was only a tale and that there is such a thing as too much information. That being said, Lisbeth truly is a unique character and a phenomenal hacker. Larsson really did his research quite well.

Larsson tied up almost every loose end in this final piece of the trilogy. The only bit I'm left wondering about is this; where is the twin sister? That is one piece of information that was never answered and I fear we will never know...

Kudos to Stieg Larsson for creating such an amazing series!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2)The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a tale and what a continuation of the first book!

I must say that the start of the book was so confusing. By the time I was almost finished reading, I had completely forgotten about the beginning. It wasn't until I started the 3rd that I realized what the beginning of the 2nd book was referring to. I didn't like that at all but was able to forgive the author because the rest of the book was so great.

Following Salander along another trek of mysterious ordeals, as well as more insight into her past, completely engulfed me as a reader. I was so engrossed in this novel that I forgot to work on my own!

Lisbeth's story is so much more indepth and continues to grow more troublesome throughout this book. I went crazy just waiting to find out what 'all the evil' was and so will you!

Haiku for Japan

Takatsu from Textnovel.com (being of Japanese descent) has put together a collaboration of messages for friends, family and all in Japan. Everyone wants to show their support and and love for a great nation dealing with disaster...

Drop in and read what some have contributed.

Haiku for Japan by Courtney Conant

Earthquakes, Tsunamis
What horrors you bring to light
Japan will survive...

Show your support and love for those in need!

And it's time...

To hijack my own blog for a little shameless self-promotion!

So Goodreads is running a vote for the Best Books of 2011. A friend nominated my novel, The Blood Moon of Winter, for this list. There are no prizes or anything like that. It's just a bit of notoriety that all writers love to have. So drop in and vote, add your favorites to the list, maybe find a new author while your at it!

And don't forget who sent you there!  (hint... hint...)

Goodreads Best Books of 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Dragons Saga: Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J.F. Jenkins

The Dragons Saga: Legend of the Oceina DragonThe Dragons Saga: Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J.F. Jenkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Purchase Legend of the Oceina Dragon here.

I was a bit worried at the start of the book, as I found myself confused right off the bat. Thankfully by the time I hit chapter three (short chapters) everything fell into place and I was off and running.

Jenkins is very creative with building her own view of dragons. The four dragon races that represent the elements have qualities and characteristics that most people could only dream of.

Her characters show great potential for growth which is necessary for a good series. It was a novel worth reading. All in all, it's a series that I look forward to reading more of.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now I'll admit, there was so much hype over this novel (more so because of the movies, I think). I decided to give it a shot, falling for the hype. The book starts out rather slow and continues that pace for quite some time (and recurs off and on throughout the book). For me, that was the only downside to the entire book.

Lisbeth Salander instantly grabs the reader and makes you want to know more. There is so much to her life and even by the end of the book, you are left with a desire to know more about her and to see where her life will lead.

Larsson builds a strong base for his characters and has given them so much personality that they seem almost alive in the ink of the pages. Salander is filled with secrets and a strong disdain for the world in general. Blomkvist shows that not all journalists have lost their integrity, something very hard to come by in the industry today...

Their separate tales mesh together in such a natural way. The writing style is smooth and easy to follow. The mystery behind it all keeps you guessing until the very end. Larsson knew what he was doing when he wrote this book.

Ebook Giveaway

This giveaway ends 3/20...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Indie Author Bumper Stickers

Some might think it strange, but Stephanie (Book Love Blog) and I got to tweeting about just that. It's hard to find love, as an indie author, and we were trying to come up with ways to spread the word. Just because an author is self-published, does not mean they are less worthy of readers.

Read the referenced post at Book Love Blog.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Dance with Dragons - Release Announced!

After YEARS of delay upon delay, it seems that the time has finally come for the release of A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin!!!! I've been a fan of this series for a very long time and have been beating my head on a wall, waiting for the next book.

It's set to be released July 12th of this year, YES that is 2011. That's only a mere 5 years after it was supposed to be released. Of course, his fans are all excited yet skeptical, seeing as how release dates have been announced several times in the past.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the date is a true one so that he can move on the the NEXT book in the series, The Winds of Winter...

Ice and Fire Updates