Monday, May 31, 2010

200 Followers!

photo credit: Incognita Nom de Plume via photo pin cc
Library Girl Reads has just reached 200 followers!!  Thank you to all of you who stop by the blog, follow me, subscribe by email, and spread the word by linking to me.  It means a lot to me.  To say thanks, I'll be drawing two winners tomorrow for the May Giveaway.  Be sure to get your entries in today if you haven't already :-)

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!

Mailbox Monday 5/31/2010



Mailbox Monday is hosted by Simply Stacie, This Mama Loves Her Bargains, and A little of this and a little of that...

To participate:

* Add your blog to the linky
* Subscribe by email to the three hostesses - they will subscribe to your email
* Visit other blogs on the list and subscribe by email to the ones that interest you.  Please leave a comment letting the blogger know that you found their blog through Mailbox Monday.  Don't forget to leave a link to your blog in the comment and to confirm your email subscription.

Everyone is welcome to participate.  There will be a new linky each week so make sure you stop by one of the hostesses blogs to add your link on Mondays.

Your blog must have a way to subscribe by email.  If it doesn't, one of the hostesses will remove your link.

Help spread the word by creating a Mailbox Monday post with the blog hop code.  Have fun finding some new blogs :-)



Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Survey Savvy

Do you like sharing your opinion on products and services?  Do you like taking surveys?  How about getting paid to take surveys?  I've worked with several different survey sites and other product testing companies.  Today I wanted to just take a quick minutes to tell you about Survey Savvy.  Survey Savvy is nice because you know exactly how much you are going to get paid for each survey that you complete.  There are no points to accumulate or keep track of.  I also like that I'm not getting my email filled up with a ton of surveys that I get partway through and then don't qualify to complete.  Sure, there are some of those but it seems like fewer than with some of the other companies.  Granted, you aren't going to earn a whole lot of money by taking surveys but for me it is really nice to have some pocket money of my own.  Signing up with Survey Savvy is easy too so why not get started earning some money for your opinion today?

Disclaimer:  The Survey Savvy links above are referral links and I will earn some incentive when you complete a survey.
 
Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!

Monday, May 24, 2010

By Accident by Susan Kelly

By Accident: A NovelI'm not getting books read and reviewed as fast as I would like to lately which is leaving the blog a bit empty of postings.  So I've decided to try to fill in once in a while with book previews - information about books that are in the pile to be read or that I'm currently working through.  By Accident by Susan Kelley is next up in the reading pile after I finish my current read so look for a review in the next few weeks.

By Accident
Author Susan Kelly

By Accident portrays a year in the life of a woman after the accidental death of her teenage son. Laura Lucas is numbed by the loss, a loss that is paralleled in the spate of upscale construction -- and attendant destruction -- in her starter-home neighborhood. It's about Laura's relationship with a transient young tree surgeon who may be her boy-child replacement, or who may be an object of desire; and her relationship with her husband, whose ambitions have outdistanced Laura's to the point of a secretive betrayal of what Laura loves best. The story debates where solace becomes sex, the role of men and women as unmarried friends, and examines grief in a marriage. It portrays the pain of change and the poignancy of acceptance through Laura's eyes, and occasionally, through the quirky outlook of her ten-year-old daughter, the surviving child. Before the story ends, another brutal, random accident will redefine Laura's life again.

By Accident is a novel concerned with randomness in relationships, in marriage, and in nature. The story poses tough questions: What constitutes betrayal between husband and wife? Can a savior be a lover? Are either ever justified? Even as By Accident portrays a woman’s loss, grief, and recovery, it examines how friendship can dangerously evolve into desire.

Susan S. Kelly, author of By Accident

Susan S. Kelly grew up in western North Carolina in a small town of three thousand called Rutherfordton, which was the basis for the town of Cullen in Even Now. She is the oldest of three sisters, and it was an idyllic childhood of bike-riding and creek-playing and after supper games.

Susan attended St. Catherine’s School, an all girls boarding school in Richmond, Virginia. St. Catherine’s introduced her to serious literature, and she fell in love with William Faulkner and Henry James and F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course, and can still quote from all of them as well as a few Shakespeare soliloquies and the opening lines of The Canterbury Tales in old English. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where majored in English.

Susan searched real estate titles for a Raleigh law firm, then married and moved to Atlanta, where, like Pril in How Close We Come, she summarized depositions for a large firm in downtown Atlanta. She and her husband Sterling returned to North Carolina, to Greensboro, and had two boys and a girl whom they cursed with unisex names. When Susan was forty she decided to pursue her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and received her MFA from The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Currently, her oldest, Sterling, lives and works in Greensboro, NC; middle son Stafford lives and works in Charlotte NC, and daughter Preston is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black

The Poison Eaters: and Other Stories
Title:  The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
Author:  Holly Black
Illustrator:  Theo Black
Publisher:  Big Mouth House
Publication Date:  February 2010
Format:  Hardcover, 224 pages
Age Group:  Young Adult

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories is a collection of short stories by Holly Black. All but two of these stories have been previously published in other anthologies between 2004 and 2009.  Each story contains magic or fantasy creatures including vampires, fairies, and unicorns.  This is only the second book I have read by this author.  The first was the graphic novel Kin which I reviewed in November 2008.

Let me preface this review by saying that I am not generally a huge fan of short story collections.  I enjoy spending a good amount of time reading and I find that short stories are better for small bits of time as I cannot move from one directly into the next as I can with chapters of a novel.  I think good short stories are also incredibly difficult to write as the author must convey enough background information to the reader for the story to make sense while also keeping the narrative short.

With that said, I did enjoy most of the stories in this book.  My favorite by far was Paper Cuts Scissors about a library student who discovers that the characters in the books can come out of them and change their own stories.  My least favorite was actually the very next story, Going Ironside, because it felt like an incomplete writing exercise.  Maybe I just didn't get that one.  Each story in the book is very different from all of the others and Black does show a great range in her writing.  The characters were unique, although some felt a bit underdeveloped.  Unfortunately, nothing about this book really stood out for me positively or negatively and I've found that I've already forgotten the majority of the stories.

I received this book from Small Beer Press by being a Guru of a related item on getglue.com.  There was no expectation of a review and all opinions presented here are my own.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Blogger Hop 5/14/10

Each weekend, Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books hosts the Book Blogger Hop.  The Book Blogger Hop is a great way for book lovers and book bloggers to come together and discover new book blogs.

If you have hopped over from the Mr. Linky, Welcome!  I hope you will stay a bit and look around.  The blog has been a bit inactive in the last few weeks because I was moving but I'm hoping to be back to regular posting soon.  I review a wide range of books including (but not limited to!) urban fantasy, young adult, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, chic lit, cozy mystery, and some non-fiction.  I also have a regular monthly giveaway with the May giveaway having a total of 10 books for the winner to choose from.

I love comments to please don't be shy :-)  Unfortunately I've had to turn on comment moderation for a while because I was getting hit with spam.  I try to get comments approved and posted quickly though.

One great blog that I discovered in the Book Blogger Hop in past weeks is Bookish in a Box.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guest Post - Cynthia Roberts, Romance Author

Today romance author Cynthia Roberts is joining us to talk about her upcoming book, Wind Warrior, and how she got started writing.

Hello everyone. Like all of you, I lived and breathed reading romances … it filled many long, lonely evenings when my husband worked nights in law enforcement and I was raising our children Jason and Alyssa (now 31 and 29). It proved my constant companion later when my “Cinderella” marriage of twenty-five years came to an unexpected end. There is a quote I heard once I can’t remember verbatim but goes somewhat like … “There is no greater loss than a love once known.”

I’m a true believer that when tragedy strikes and you’re standing at the edge of a fathomless abyss and all you see is darkness looking back at you, faith lies in knowing one of two things will happen. You can either let fear consume you, roll up into a ball and waste away or, you can take a leap of faith and learn how to soar like an eagle.

I’ve always had a passion for writing from that very moment a Crayola was placed in my hand and throughout my career in marketing, public relations and sales writing creatively came easy. When my marriage ended at the age of 45, life as I knew it was never the same. It was a time of unrest, uncertainty, losing friends and family and financial ruin because I also found myself jobless which continued nearly two years.

Wind Warrior became my salvation. One evening I sat in front of the computer and decided to write instead of read and figured all I could do was fail. It proved my therapy back then but not quite up to par to win the favor of publishers. I received so many rejections I could have wallpapered a small room in my house and almost gave up on my dream. That is, until I realized it just wasn’t my time. I needed to live through and get beyond the pain in my own life before I could transform that experience into the kind of passion and emotion I wanted my readers to feel personally through my writing.

I chose to write an historical Indian romance because the first fiction I ever read was a novel from Cassie Edward’s Savage series and instantly became hungry to read more. I tracked down every one of those babies; let me tell you, until I read them all. However, every one I read from that point on was based on a Plains tribe. I wanted to focus on a tribe indigenous to my area and decided to write a series based on the tribes that make up the Iroquois League of Nations here on the east coast. Their warriors were the fiercest ever known to strike terror in the hearts of early settlers from Pennsylvania to Canada. They were referred to as "People of the Longhouse" because their families lived together in wooden structures upward of 40 feet long. They were an extremely powerful nation that was sadly torn apart by the American Revolution. I fell in love with the simplistic beauty of their culture and folklore. We could learn so much from our Native American brothers and the reverent love and respect they have for everything that is natural and of this earth. They knew how to live in balance with plants, animals and the natural elements ... never taking more than what was needed to sustain their people and way of life.

Wind Warrior will officially be released on June 15th and available now for purchase through Tate’s website. It is my heartfelt hope readers will find it as enthralling to read as it was for me to research and bring to life. Book #2 Captive Heart is finished and expected to be released the end of this year.

Now that the writer in me has been unleashed … look out world! If I can leave my beautiful five grandchildren any legacy, it will be the strength, conviction and passion put into every story I bring to life. Please stay tuned for future projects which will include a series introducing contemporary shape shifters and two mainstream romance thrillers entitled Pawn For Malice and The Keeper’s Watch.

Wind Warrior
Tate Publishing
ISBN 978-1-61663-162-8

Link to purchase from Tate before June 15 http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61663-162-8

Available at Amazon and all other venues on June 15th

http://www.romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wind Warrior by Cynthia Roberts

Tomorrow romance author Cynthia Roberts will be here with a guest post about her upcoming book, Wind Warrior, and how she got started writing.  I thought it might be helpful to give you a bit of a preview of the book before her visit.  You can find out more about Cynthia and how to purchase her books at http://www.romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com/

Cover Copy:

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again.

Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivates their hearts.

Excerpt:

Leslie Michaels detected the immediate transformation in the stranger’s eyes after she reached out and stroked the tips of her fingers slowly along the strong, angular curves of his chin and jaw. She looked for a change, some kind of reaction that told her he found her to be too bold or forward. However, his calm reserve gave away no emotion at all. She was pleased that he did not draw away from her touch or display any signs of displeasure. More than anything, she wanted to know what was going on in his mind.

Did he find her attractive? Would he want to know her more intimately? She could not believe that those thoughts were even running through her mind. By God, she thought, I’m thinking just like one of those dance hall girls always standing outside the saloon at the settlement.

She certainly was not the kind of woman to just throw herself at a man. She was generally shy and reserved, and it normally took a while before she warmed up to someone, especially a man like the one right there in front of her.

And to think, she sighed, that his lips may just taste sweeter than sugar. She could feel her cheeks flush and patted them with her palms. This man certainly made her feel brazen. She wondered if he found her touch as pleasing as it was for her. When the moments passed with words unspoken between them, Leslie was afraid she truly overstepped her bounds.

There must be someone else in his life, a wife or betrothed, she thought. She searched his eyes to see if disinterest reflected in their depths, but he was too difficult to read. Leslie leaned back slightly and pondered if his lack of response was more out of duty or respect and not wanting to offend her.

I am such a––a fool––a stupid, crazy ninny, she chastised silently and lowered her head to hide her embarrassment. Just because I am drawn to him like a bee to honey does not mean he feels the same about me, she argued with herself. After all, we are from different cultures. Those in my world would never approve of such a union.

Leslie’s heart began to pound rapidly in her chest when he moved slightly and reached out for her. She gasped faintly when he tenderly clasped her chin to raise it and gazed into her eyes. A lump caught in her throat, and she knew she could not swallow even if she tried. Joy filled her heart when she watched as his beautiful, full lips began to slowly curve into a smile.

The pleasure she felt overwhelmed her and she pressed her fingers to her lips and sighed softly. She did not know his name, where he came from, or what kind of person he was. What she did know was that she felt no fear, no apprehension, in his presence. She did not hold back and drew herself up from her squatting position to kneel before him.

His beautiful, amber eyes were captivating, and Leslie knew at that very moment that she could get lost in their depths for an eternity. She wanted nothing else. He clasped a hold of her tiny wrists and placed her right hand upon his shoulder.

She reacted instantly and did not hold back. She needed, wanted, to touch more of him and slowly ran the flat of her palm down the length of his naked chest, feeling the strength of hard muscle beneath his light copper skin. It amazed her how such a masculine man could feel as soft as a rabbit’s pelt. Her eyes drifted again to the fullness of his lips, and she craved to have her own held captive by them.

He was the most handsome man she had ever seen, and even though he was Indian, it did not sway her from wanting to share something more with him. The comfort and safety she felt was far from odd, even knowing it would prove disturbing to others. Leslie dismissed all doubt and worry from her mind. She never was a person to be affected by what others thought. And she was not about to start now.

If he was an admirable man with a kind and compassionate heart, that was all she needed to know. She felt an immediate connection and shivered slightly when he reached forward to tenderly move a tendril of her hair away from her face. It seemed natural and right to rest her cheek against the palm of his hand.

His thumb glided softly against her skin, and she shivered slightly as she tilted her body to nuzzle the side of her face against the warmth of his touch. He reached his other hand to cup her face and draw her nearer.

Leslie could feel his breath caressing her skin, and she knew he was going to kiss her.

“Come. Let us ride the wind together,” he whispered softly in her ear. Slowly his lips brushed across her cheek, barely touching skin, causing her body to tremble in response.

This was the moment she hoped for, and she leaned her body closer and raised her chin to meet the pressure of his lips. His powerful arms were tender as they softly folded about her until their bodies were pressed together in a heated embrace.

The loud, shrilling chatter of gray squirrels playing outside her bedroom loft window jolted Leslie from her sleep as though cold water had just been thrown upon her face, and she bolted upright, into a sitting position.

“No!” she cried softly.

She realized it was just a dream as she ran her palm softly across the spot where she could swear she still felt the warmth of the stranger’s touch. Her eyes scanned every corner of her room, and her heart sank from the disappointing realization that she did indeed dream of the beautiful stranger once again. She turned and watched the humorous antics that continued outside her window.

Shoo––shoo, you two,” she scolded. “Did you have to choose this very moment to wake me?” she continued as she shook her head and stretched her limbs like a contented feline.

For a moment she played back the memory of the dream that had haunted her over and over again for the past two months. When is this going to end? she wondered. What does it all mean?

It was not just this particular incident that bewildered her. For as long as she could remember, Leslie had always been taunted by such riddles. Early in her childhood, she had learned not to question her special ability to see what would happen in the very near future through her dreams.

She never feared them, because they were so very much a part of her life, and she naturally assumed every one had the same experiences in their life. That is, until she was old enough to speak and express what she saw with her parents.

Leslie was nearly seven when she finally began to understand what was happening to her, what she was born with. Her mother, Olivia, had sat her down and carefully told her of the special gift they both shared. It was a guarded secret that had been passed down for five generations by the feminine line on her mother’s side.

Still, the dream she had just experienced was so different and more personal than any she had before. This dream involved her emotions. She knew this particular stranger would play a major role in her future. She just did not know what, or when, or where. Each time he entered her sleep, it became more real, and her attraction for him grew stronger. She was becoming drawn to his long, dark hair and a physique, which looked as though it had been chiseled from stone. He was a mystery for now, and she was certain it was one that would be solved sooner rather than later.


Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post. BookBlips: vote it up!