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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Giveaway: Comics 101 with Vyse and Page Turner

Some of our comic collection
I have been deemed the "comic book lady" of the group. I know comic books are not everyone's cup of tea. However, I know some people may be curious. I decided to write a post with my boyfriend,Vyse, called Comics 101 to share some terminology used in the comic book world. I very recently came into the comic book world, while Vyse has been part of it longer than I have. As he grew to love comics more and more, I decided, "What the heck! I'm in the comic shop at least once a week, why not try something new?" As you can see I now enjoy them just as much as Vyse! - Page Turner

Our entire comic collection.


Comics 101

Some of the main comic book publishers:

Marvel- X Men, Spiderman, Hulk, The Avengers, etc.

DC Comics-  Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, Green Lantern, Batwoman, etc.

Vertigo (who is a part of DC)- The Sandman, Fables, Transmetropolitan,V for Vendetta, etc.

Dark Horse- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alabaster Wolves, Orchid, Mind MGMT, etc. They also publish manga.

IDW- True Blood, Doctor Who, The Transformers,etc

Image-  Spawn, Hack/Slash, The Maxx, Morning Glories, etc

Zenescope-  Grimm Fairy Tales, Wonderland, Charmed, etc. (Side Note: They tend to over accentuate  the figures of women in the comics. I know most comics do, but this publisher is more in your face about it)

There are independent publishers, but we have not read anything by them.

General Comic Book Shop Lingo

HB or Hardback- a compilation of a story arc with a hard cover.

TP, TPB, Trade, or Trade Paperback- a compilation of a story arc with a soft cover.

Graphic Novel-  usually a trade paper back or hardback. The terms are interchangeable.

Singles - are a single part of the story arc, typically 10-15 pages long. Singles also make up a trade, hardback, graphic novel.
Left to right: a paperback trade, a hardback trade, and a single issue

A side view of the previous paperback trade, hardback trade, and single issue

Back Issues- previously released single issues.

One Shot- An entire story set in one comic issue, usually thicker than a single.

Cross Over- When characters cross over into another character's storyline. (i.e., X-Men and Avengers, Batman and Superman, Batman and Batwoman)

Ongoing- A comic series that is still being published

Manga- Japanese comics. Commonly printed in black and white and published in paperback sized books, usually half an inch thick.

Left to Right: A copy of Stardust and a volume of Cromartie High School, which is a manga. Both books have their spine to the left hand side. As you can see you can see the cover of Stardust and the back cover of Cromartie High School.

Now both spine are on the right hand side. As you can see, the back cover of Stardust and the front cover of Cromartie High School.

My lovely hand. Also, on the left hand side is Stardust and right hand side is Cromartie High School. This is to compare the thickness of a book to a single volume of manga.

Interested in Reading Comics? But Don't Know Where to Start? Let us help!:

DC's The New 52- A reboot of most of the DC Universe and a GREAT place to start if you would like to start reading DC Comics. Most everything has been restarted to the beginning.

Marvel's Ultimate Universe- Not necessarily a reboot but alternate universe in which everything started from the beginning. Similar to DC's the New 52, but Marvel did not reboot its entire franchise. (Side Note: What the movies are based around, i.e. The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man)

Vertigo- You can start with the beginning of any trade and read through it. The comics Vertigo tends to publish are more thought provoking, literature based, beautiful artwork, and very rarely have super hero characters.

So next time your in your library or out shopping for books, be a bit adventurous and try a comic book.



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Happy Reading,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast

Author: P.C. Cast
Title: Goddess of the Sea
Publication: October 7th, 2003
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: Romance
Rating: 4 out 5

Source: Library
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:  On the night of her twenty-fifth birthday, alone in her apartment, Air Force Sergeant Christine Canady wished for one thing: a little magic in her life. After drinking way too much champagne, she performed, of all crazy things, a goddess-summoning ritual, hoping that it would somehow make her life a little less ordinary...but she never believed the spell would actually work!
When her military plane crashes into the ocean, CC's mission overseas takes an unexpected turn. She awakens to find herself in a legendary time and place where magic rules the land--occupying the body of the mythic mermaid Undine. But there is danger in the waters and the goddess Gaea turns this modern, military gal into a beautiful damsel so that she can seek shelter on land.
CC is soon rescued (literally) by a knight in shining armor. She should be falling in love with this dream-come-true, but instead she aches for the sea and Dylan, the sexy merman who has stolen her heart.

Thoughts: This is the first book of the Goddess Summoning series. I reviewed the other books: Goddess of Spring (Persephone and Hades), Warrior Rising (Trojan War), and Goddess of the Rose (Beauty and the Beast). Every story in the series is separate and the characters don't mingle, so you can pick up whichever one you want and not be confused.

Goddess of the Sea is the beginning of it all. It's very different from the rest since it's not based on an actual fairy tale. Instead, it just includes mermaids. The characters are likable and you can easily cheer, sympathize, and relate with them. To me, that's the most important aspect of a book. If I don't like the characters, I don't like the book. Even if the plot is amazing... if one of the people annoys me, I'm out. Christine -- CC for short -- is flinged into a mermaids body, and has to cope with her new life. She takes challenges head on and tries her hardest to play the roll. Every third night CC must turn into a mermaid, and Dylan -- the hottest merman ever -- shows her the ropes of life under the sea. Both CC and Dylan are made for each other! Both of them have passion and love that you'll be jealous of. The sex scenes are interesting... Cast describes normal sex, then one that's between merman and human, then both as merfolk. It might sound weird, but it's actually kind of erotic.

The only con I found was how slow the plotline moved. It was set in a single location and nothing really happened except for her teaching women inner beauty and ditching guards so she could be with Dylan, which is fine except it happened 3/4th of the pages.

I don't think Goddess of the Sea is as good as Goddess of Spring, so if you want to start out with P.C. Casts adult novels I would head over to that one first.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Night Sins by Tami Hoag

Title: Night Sins (Deer Lake, #1)
Author: Tami Hoag
Publication: December 1, 1995
Publisher: Bantam
Source: Purchased
Genre: Mystery, Romantic Thriller
Audience: 18 and up
Rating: 5 of 5 


Goodreads Synopsis: A sensational New York Times bestseller and subject of a CBS-TV miniseries, Night Sins has confirmed Tami Hoag's reputation as the new modern master of suspense.

This gripping tale unfolds in a peaceful Minnesota town, where crime is something that just doesn't happen. But when a young boy disappears, it marks the beginning of a unspeakable nightmare. There are no witnesses, no clues, only a note, cleverly taunting, casually cruel. Has a cold-blooded kidnapper struck? Or is this the reawakening of a long-quiet serial killer? Now, a tough-minded investigator on her first, make-or-breakcase, and a local cop who fears that big city evils have invaded his small town, are hunting for a madman. Together, they must outsmart a killer who knows no bounds...and protect a town that may never feel safe again.

My Thoughts: This is a fast paced, white knuckled mystery that had me on the edge of my seat. Meagan O'Malley is out to prove that she is a good cop and the best person for the job. Not just good for a woman. Her first day on the job proves to be a doosie. Between difficulties with her housing, being late for appointments, and then add to that a kidnapping. Meagan does not come across well to this small town where no one trust the new resident. Meagan must learn to trust her instincts and the town's police chief in order to solve this case. 

Meagan O'Malley is a feisty, headstrong woman. She has worked many years in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension only to be passed up my less qualified men. She may have had to pull some underhanded cards to get her position in Deer Lake but she is the right person for the job. 

Mitch Holt is the Deer Lake Chief of Police. He is a single dad with a little baggage. He also happens to be very sexy. Mitch has worked in big cities before so working with a woman is no issue for him. He wants Meagan to listen to him as he knows this town the best. 

This was my first Tami Hoag book. It will not be my last. I absolutely loved this story. I could not put it down. I savored the thrill of the ride this story took me on. I never saw the kidnapper coming and was left catching flies when the kidnapper was revealed. The romance in the story was right target and just enough to keep the story flowing. If you like Romantic Thriller's this is a great book for you. My review of Guilty as Sin (Deer Lake, #2) to come soon. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Settling by Shelley Workinger

Title: Settling (Solid #2)
Author: Shelley Workinger
Publication: July 4, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Source: Author (won in a Giveaway)
Genre: Young Adult
Audience: 13 and up

Solid Series Website|Amazon |Shelley's Blog|Goodreads

At the beginning of the summer, Clio Kaid was one of a hundred teens brought to a secret Army installation. But it was no ordinary camp and they weren't ordinary kids... 

Soon after learning they were the products of a rogue genetic experiment, the teens began developing super-abilities ranging from bounding lightness to blocking heaviness; blinding brilliance and the ability to vanish. These same gifts made them targets of a psychopath in officer's clothing, and they found themselves fighting for their lives. 

Picking up where "Solid" left off, Clio and her friends realize that they aren't ready to go home; they're determined to stay on campus and continue their journey of self- discovery. But someone doesn't feel the same way and will do anything to drive them away - even kill. 

Friendships will be tested, abilities will evolve, and more secrets will come out as the teens race to stop the killer before he sets his sights on one of them...

My Thoughts: This series is a must read. I can easily see this being adapted into a movie. I was curious to see where Settling was headed and what twists and turns were in store. I was not disappointed by this installment. Clio and her friends don't feel quite ready to leave the campus. I completely understand, who would want to leave after some crazed woman has just tried to kill you. The whole world now knows about C9x and many are not happy about it. The kids are also in need of information about what C9x has done to them. Clearly, the superpowers are one result but are the other more harmful side effects out there?

Settling is told from Clio's point of view. The group interactions continue to be the best. They make me smile and remind me of my high school lunchtime chats. The banter between the characters shows true friendship and trustfulness. The kids have gotten "internships" and remain busy, not allowing for as much time as a group. That does not keep the excitement from coming to them.  

Strange things are happening to on campus especially to Clio. Many times I was wondering if Clio was loosing her mind. She seemed on edge for most of the book, sometimes it was understandable other times not so much. As a result of everything going on Clio spends a lot of time alone reflecting and trying to figure out who is causing all the chaos. The individual attacking people at the camp remains a mystery until the last moments. I enjoy it when I don't see things coming. It keeps me on my toes. In the end Clio learns more about herself and the strength of her friendships. 

Be sure to check back in on October 4 for my review of Sound, the conclusion to the Solid trilogy. This will surely be a special event. 

Please look at the Giveaway tab for the rules. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Opal Cover Reveal

Here is the official cover to Opal, the third book of the Obsidian series!! More information below.

I reviewed the first book [here] and the second -- Onyx -- [here]

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Guest Post: The Chosen of Gaia by M.Mariz

Author Biography
M. Mariz is an actress, lawyer and writer with more than 20 plays produced. Her debut novel The Chosen of Gaia (Sept. 28, 2012) was inspired by her own Revelation dream.
Born in Rio de Janeiro and currently living in Southern California, Mariz writes screenplays and novels in both Portuguese and English. The artist has more than 15 years of acting experience, encompassing works in theater, television and movies. She has multiple plays and sketches featured in theaters, including a teenager play that was performed by young Brazilian celebrities all over the country, and has written many other plays for different Brazilian companies to present work-related themes in a funny, entertaining way.
She lives with her husband in Orange, California, where she is constantly developing ideas for new stories to tell.
Website| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Trash-Test
“She’ll probably just trash it! Maybe not... but probably yes…” that’s what my screenwriting agent said when she was about to submit my script – which I had worked hard on for a month of full days and sleepless nights– to a “very important executive” from a major studio. 
Okay, okay… I’m going to be honest with you. This person wasn’t a screenwriting agent per se, but a hairstylist that had a salon in Beverly Hills and who’d decided to help me land my first gig in Hollywood. And it wasn’t a regular submission either, but an audacious plan: she would place my script close to the mirror in front of this executive (whom, for privacy purposes, I’m going to refer to as Mrs. Fulana – a word that in Portuguese we use when we don’t remember a person’s name or we just can’t say it) a few minutes before she started styling her hair in hopes that she’d pick it up and read it. 
“Mrs. Fulana usually comes in with a few scripts; she merely flips through the pages and then she tosses them out,” continued my friend/hairstylist/agent, killing all expectations I had left. “But you’re such a good writer… maybe she’ll like it! But it’s unlikely to happen, unfortunately….” she continued. “Do you mind if your script ends up in the trash? Do you want me to hold off on the plan?” she asked. 
Well, what did I have to lose? That script was my first writing work since I had moved from Brazil and I didn’t know absolutely anyone in the movie industry… I needed to give it a try, so I asked her to proceed. 
A couple weeks later I got a call from my co-conspirator. Surprisingly, my screenplay had grabbed Mrs. Fulana’s attention and had also passed the “trash-test”. In fact, Mrs. Fulana was with her at that moment asking for my permission to take my script with her. 
Mrs. Fulana’s studio was economically in bad shape at that moment and striving to overcome a huge crisis, producing just a few projects. So I wasn’t bummed out when I got an email from her saying that they couldn’t take my project on at that time. I actually felt honored that an extremely busy executive had found some time to not only give me an update (something rare in this business) but also to say some very good things about my script. My story had passed the “trash-test” and gotten an amazing review from a much respected executive. That was something! 
Instead of submitting my script to other studios, I decided to work more on my story. As the idea of the story had come to me years ago from a dream, I realized that it was missing the most important element of the main character of the story – the confused but deep thoughts of a teenage boy.  It was something impossible to show on the screen, but that could be perfectly described in a book. 
On that day, I started to write my first YA novel titled “The Chosen of Gaia”, based on my original script but now told through a much more human perspective. 
Check out my book on Amazon and let me know what you think. I hope it passes your “trash-test” too, (and if you do happen to be a very important movie executive, the script is around here somewhere).

Fantasy YA, ages 12 +
230 pages
Sept. 28,2012
Fifteen-year-old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few.
Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he'll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities.
A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation.
Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a “normal”
family striving for their place in a “perfect” world.

Audio Review: Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey

Author: Meg Howrey
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Title: The Cranes Dance
Publisher: Black Stone Audio INC
Publication: May 15, 2012
Genre: Fiction
Length: 11hrs:41mins
Format: Unabridged Audio
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3 out 5


Amazon Synopsis: "I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake last night."

So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company who is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world. At every turn she is haunted by her close relationship with her younger sister, Gwen, a fellow company dancer whose career quickly surpassed Kate’s, but who has recently suffered a breakdown and returned home. 

Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she may have played in her sister’s collapse.  As we follow her on an insider tour of rehearsals, performances, and partners onstage and off, she confronts the tangle of love, jealousy, pride, and obsession that are beginning to fracture her own sanity. Funny, dark, intimate, and unflinchingly honest, The Cranes Dance is a book that pulls back the curtains to reveal the private lives of dancers and explores the complicated bond between sisters.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed the story. It is about Kate Crane and her relationship to ballet and her sister. The story is told from Kate's perspective. She spends a lot of time complaining, especially about her sister, which gets old. Even though Kate is the oldest and all throughout childhood has gotten what she wanted, it is Gwen who really has everything. At times it felt like Kate was her "sister's keeper" although she gave herself that role and she seems to resent every minute of it.

I loved the descriptions of the ballets. Getting to know each person's role in a ballet and everything that it takes to put on a ballet was great. Those were things I never thought about. Knowing the dancers practice and realizing how intense it is, that's to different things. I also found the discussion on the top pay for ballet interesting. I don't know why I thought it would be more. It would have been great to hear the music usually played during each particular ballet when it was discussed. 

This is a single voiced performance by Justine Eyre. The performance was "OK" for me. Eyre's reading was without emotion and give me the feeling that she couldn't be bothered. Her tone during the entire audio was lackluster. I'm not sure if that was intended by the producers or not. I found that it was difficult to keep my attention. Eyre's pacing was perfect for the story. There is slight differentiation in Eyre's tone when speaking in the voice of other characters. Eyre does a great job with accents, however. The sound volume was perfect. I listened to this on my kindle with headphones.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Author: Simone Elkeles
Title: Chain Reaction
Publication: August 16th, 2011
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Purchased
Website | Goodreads | Amazon | BN

Synopsis: Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

Thoughts:  This book is the third and final installment of the Perfect Chemistry series. (I reviewed the first here) Luis is a bad boy just like his two brothers, but he's academically smarter than they were. He's on the swim team, gets A's in all his classes, and makes all the ladies swoon... all ladies but Nikki. No matter what Luis does, Nikki won't take a second glance. This isn't because she's a prude, it's because of what guys have done to her in the past. Will Luis be able to show her he's different?

What's nice about Chain Reaction is knowing what happens to all of the characters in the past two books. You'll get to see Brittany being pregnant, Carlos in the army, and other fun situations that will hold the first two books together. Luis is truly different than his brothers. He has his eye on being an astronaut and has to grades to prove it. There's one thing that I don't understand and believe is a cop out situation. Luis learns about a huge secret that changes his views on life. So much in fact, that he randomly throws out logic that was shown within the first half of the book. He does some stupid things based on this one secret, and the plot sort of falls apart. Don't fret! After this little bump in the road, everything turns out fine. The end is definitely sweet and keeps the readers satisfied. It's a to-read book if you're into the Perfect Chemistry series!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wicked Business (Audiobook)

Author: Janet Evanovich
Title: Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel
Publication:June 19, 2012
Publisher: Bantam
Genre: Adult, Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy
Pages: 320
Length: 6 hours
Audience: 16 and up
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Public Library

Lizzy and Diesel are  back! This time a Harvard English professor, Gilbert Reedy is found dead. His mysterious death reveals that Reedy was searching for one of the SILGIA stones, the Luxuria Stone, the stone for lust. The quest is not without difficulty as Diesel's sketchy cousin, Gerwulf Grimoire, and his evil minion Hatchet also has their eyes set on the Luxuria stone. That is not all! Now there is a new person going after the Luxuria stone, someone who goes by the name, Anarchy. The race for the Luxuria stone, but who will get to it first?

My thoughts:

Like, I mentioned before. Ms. Evanovich sticks to her traditional plot line. Cute, smart, sassy main lady, likes sexy forbidden guy, is nice to the "bad" guy who isn't always bad, stands up to  the crazy minion guy, is best friends with a ditzy lady, and  there is a a monkey in the mix. I listened to this book as well. I want to correct something I had said in my review of the first audiobook. Loreli King does not give the character's a southern accent. I'm not sure why I thought she did. However, she has a wonderful voice and does the voices for everyone perfectly. I wish I could hire her to read bedtime stories to me. I'm kidding, but her voice is nice. I was a bit disappointed in this book. I thought Wicked Business would focus on the greed stone, but it was the lust stone. I also thought the book would follow the format of Wicked Appetite. I felt Lizzy and Diesel did more interviews in the first one and in this one they visited more landmarks. I'm not sure why that disappointed me, but it kind of did. The story was by no means boring, there were ton of hilarious shenanigans that ALL the characters got into. I recommend this if you would like to try to new, adult, romantic-comedy series. I also recommend this book if you are going on a trip or commute it is a cute book to listen to.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September New Release Giveaway Hop

Welcome to our stop on the September New Release Giveaway Hop. Thank you to Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews for hosting this hop. You can enter to win a book that is released in September. Pick any genre you like. Please keep it under $15 US. We have compiled some ideas from our favorite genres. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL as long as the Book Depository ships to you.