Archive for August, 2011

A Question For Readers — How Old Is Too Old?

Posted August 13, 2011 By Jennifer

After taking “inventory”, if you will, of all my books TBR on by bookshelves, on my computer, and in my NetGalley account, I have one burning question for you, my lovely readers… How Old Is Too Old?

I understand the draw of reviews that post BEFORE a release… increasing the excitement for a book. I understand the necessity of reviews AT release time, for those who want a “majority opinion” of reviewers before deciding to read a new title. My question comes about books that have been out for 2-3 months or longer. Do people still want to know what I thought of it at this point? I, personally, read reviews for older books because there are just sooooooo many out there that I’ve missed. I’ve found some really great books long after they were released. Am I a minority in this, though? Do you all go trolling blogs for things you missed, or are you primarily looking for the brand new titles?

If you would, please… take my little poll below… I’m curious what YOU all think. (And it will help me schedule all these books on my bookshelf, on my computer, and in my NetGalley account, lol.) Thank you. :-)  If you have additional thoughts, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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Review: The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

Posted August 11, 2011 By bookophile81

Author: Aimee Carter
Others In Series: Goddess Interrupted (March, 2012)
Format: Trade Paperback, ebook
Pages: 304
Original Release Date: April 19, 2011
ISBN#: 978-0373210268
FTC Disclaimer: book was purchased by reviewer

How far would you go to fulfill the dying wish of the person who’s been the center of your world since you were born? That is just the question Kate Winters has to answer in Aimée Carter’s riveting debut novel, The Goddess Test. Kate makes the choice to go with her mother, leaving behind the life she knows, for one filled with the unknown in her mother’s childhood hometown. Once she is there she meets Henry, the brooding and mysterious, yet oh so yummy “guy next door”. He claims to be Hades, God of the Underworld, and he has an offer Kate just can’t refuse.

From page one I was absolutely hooked! I actually finished this book in a day because I couldn’t put it down! Aimée’s writing style has a way of putting the reader right in the middle of the story. I loved that we really got to know Kate, how she felt as she’s dealing with everything that’s being asked of her. Kate is such a strong female character, because she is only eighteen and forced to grow up way before her time. She deals with issues that would break some adults, and she comes through beautifully. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like that about everyone in the story. I wish we could have gotten more information about some of the supporting cast, they could have offered so much more character to the story. Even Henry suffers from having a presence, but not a distinct personality. This makes the budding relationship between he and Kate feel a bit forced. I get the sense that both are trying a little too hard to be together. I’m hoping as their story continues, we’ll learn more about our present day Hades.

That being said, I love the overall plot line. I’m a fan of  “modernized” mythological stories. Aimée does a spectacular job creating a stand-out tale in a genre that is quickly becoming saturated. I can’t wait to see where she goes with Goddess Interrupted, due out in 2012!

*** Check out our Q&A with Aimée, and ask some questions yourself. She’ll be stopping in during the day to read comments and answer YOUR questions about The Goddess Test, Goddess Interrupted, or killer bee costumes!***

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Q&A with Aimée Carter

Posted August 11, 2011 By Jennifer

One of the hottest debuts this spring in YA was Aimée Carter’s The Goddess Test. The story of a girl fighting to fulfill her destiny without losing herself. [You can read our review of The Goddess Test HERE.] Aimée was kind enough to take time away from writing her follow up, Goddess Interrupted, to answer a few questions from us… and will be popping in during the day to read comments and answer questions from YOU!!

1) When you write, do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music? If you like music playing, what is your preferred genre? Do certain characters have their own personal “soundtrack”?

I prefer background noise, actually to drown out anything that’s going on around me. I’ll put a song on repeat and listen to that over and over and over again, until I’m focusing on the writing, not the music. Typically those songs will match the mood I’m trying to match in the story, but I don’t make playlists or soundtracks. I listen to either classical or pop/rock, and some country and random songs as well. I typically tweet what song I’m listening to on repeat each day, so if you’re curious, check out my Twitter feed! (@aimee_carter)

2) Where do you write? In an office, at the dining room table, at a local coffeeshop? Do you prefer to write alone or with a group? If you write with a group, do you also read/critique each other’s work?

I tend to write in bookstores, but I can theoretically write anywhere so long as I don’t have an internet connection. I prefer to be left alone, and I hate having people I know around when I’m writing. It’s a weird quirk. I do have a few friends I exchange work with, and they’re much faster readers than I am and give SUCH terrific feedback. I can’t tell you how helpful they’ve been.

3) How do you prepare for release day? Are you calm and focused, or do you get stressed? Do you like to make promotional appearances or stay at home to watch lists and numbers?

For the release day of The Goddess Test, my father was in the hospital, so it was very atypical. My plans before that happened were simply to go around and check out the bookstores in the area to see if they had the book in stock – no major plans or anything. And I definitely don’t watch lists and numbers. That sort of thing would give me an ulcer. 🙂 I prefer to stay in the dark about numbers. I wasn’t stressed out on the release date, but a few weeks before it, I definitely was.

4) What was your favorite Halloween costume (or other costume party costume)?

My favorite was the time I dressed up as a killer bee – wore a bee costume (more like a dress, must admit) and accessorized with a plastic machine gun. Hence ‘killer bee’. 🙂

5) If you could go anywhere on vacation (and not interfere with your deadlines), where would you go, and what 3 items (besides food and clothes) would you bring with you?

London and Dublin for sure. I loved it in both places, and I’ve never been much of a beach person. I’d definitely bring my laptop – can’t live without it! I’d also bring a book or two. And a friend.

6) What song best describes your life? If you can’t think of one, who would you want to write/perform a song just for you?

Oh man. I’m not sure. I have a lot of songs I love because they relate to stories or they’re just awesome, but none that I say “THAT defines my life!” If I had to pick a band to write and perform a song just for me…let’s go with Train. They’re at the top of my favorites list, and their lyrics are ridiculously creative.

7) If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would be it and what would you do all day?

The character I would pick is actually from Masked, a dystopian book coming out in 2012, but since no one knows that character yet, I’ll go with James. Or Henry. Or James. Or Henry. Can I say both? I don’t know what we’d do. Go somewhere fun. Disney World, maybe. And I’d probably ask a million questions and annoy the heck out of them before lunch.

8 ) What world record would you love to set for the Guinness Book of World Records? (Remember, they take ALL KINDS of interesting talents into account. Some world records include *fastest 100m sprint, barefoot, on ice = 17.35 secs… *fastest pumpkin carving of a face = 24.03 secs… *longest distance pogo stick jumping = 23.11 miles)

Fastest book to hit ten million sales. Is that too obvious? Fluent in the most languages. I would love to retain a language other than English. I’m passable in French and was once decent in German as well, but not so much anymore.

9) If you could have one word removed from the English language, from all dictionaries and out of everyone’s vocabulary, what would it be, and why? If you could ADD one word, what would it be?

“Whatever”. I hate that word with a passion, and it’s one of the biggest turn-offs I have. If I could add a word…I don’t think I’d add a word. I think I’d ask that everyone learn how to smile at strangers. That’s sort of like a word, yeah?

10) What is one thing about you that your friends know and you would love your readers to know as well. Or… if you’re in a giving mood… what is one story that your friends LOVE to talk you into telling that you don’t generally volunteer?

Excellent question. I’m drawing a bit of a blank. I love to talk and listen, and I’m very much an extrovert, but am also socially awkward and deathly afraid of dominating a conversation, so sometimes I’ll keep my mouth shut to make sure the other person’s talking more than me. If we ever meet in person and I’m being weirdly quiet, just tell me to talk. Or ask questions. I love questions, asking and answering them.

As for stories…I’ll talk about nearly anything. There’s very little I hold back, and I’m very much an open book. Ask and you shall receive.

Big thank you, again, to Aimée for joining us today. OK, people… you heard the lady… it’s time for YOUR questions. What would you like to know about her books, mythology, killer bee costumes, lol… anything (I almost said, “whatever”… O_o!!) … ask away 🙂

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Guest Blog with Shiarra Waynest and Jess Haines

Posted August 4, 2011 By Jennifer

Hi everyone!!! I have a FANTASTIC treat for you all today… we have an awesome guest post today! Shiarra Waynest, detective from H&W Investigations joins us for a little chat, via her author, Jess Haines! We’re also giving away a copy of recently released third book in her series, Decieved by the Others (see below for details). For now… some thoughts from Shia…

Shiarra Waynest Talks About Movies

By Jess Haines 

Hello there!  Jess Haines here.  I’m the author of the urban fantasy H&W Investigations series (HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS, and DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS).  I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to some of the cast—Shiarra Waynest, the lead character, Sara, her business partner, Chaz, her on-and-off werewolf boyfriend, Arnold, a mage who lends her a hand, and Alec Royce, a vampire Shiarra meets in the course of her adventures.

Shiarra and her friends are going to tell you a little bit about some of the movies that influenced them as kids.  Over to you, Shia!

____________________

Shiarra:  Um.  I liked Disney movies like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.  Does that count?

Sara:  Everyone likes those.  How about something unusual?

Arnold: Dude.  DarkCrystal and Labyrinth.  All I’m sayin’.

Chaz:  Huh?

Arnold: I am ashamed for your childhood.

Chaz:  Whatever.  I liked stuff like Lone Wolf McQuade, The Delta Force, Invasion U.S.A.—

Royce:  You would be the Chuck Norris fan.

Shiarra:  There’s nothing wrong with that.  He’s pretty hot inWalker: Texas Ranger.

Chaz:  *growl*

Shiarra:  Oh, stop that.  You don’t have any reason to be jealous.  It’s not like I’m going to go hunt him down and jump his bones.

Arnold:  You do not hunt Chuck Norris.  Chuck Norris hunts you.

Sara:  Chuck Norris does not sleep.  He waits.

Arnold:  Chuck Norris once ate a whole cake before his friends could tell him there was a stripper in it.

Sara:  No wonder Shia has a crush on him.  He’s ten feet tall, weighs two tons, breathes fire, and can take a shotgun blast standing.

Shiarra:  …

Chaz:  What the hell are you guys talking about?

Arnold:  We are talking Chuck Norris facts.

Sara:  Duh.

Chaz:  …what.

Arnold:  If you spell “Chuck Norris” in Scrabble, you win.  Forever.

Sara:  I knew there was a reason I loved you.

Royce:  Chuck Norris once shot down a German fighter plane with his finger, by yelling, “Bang!”

Everyone Else:  …

Royce:  What?  O-o-o-oh, I see. The big, bad vampire isn’t allowed to tell jokes.

Shiarra:  Stop having a sense of humor.  It scares me.

Sara:  Huh. Never would’ve taken the vamp to be in touch with pop culture.

Chaz:  Since when do you know who Chuck Norris is?

Royce:  I find it amusing that this human has reached such a cult following, a near-legendary status, without being Other.  I admire humans with such speed, skill, and agility.

Shiarra:  Does that mean you’re into actors like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, too?

Royce:  To some degree, yes.  As you might imagine, I have a greater appreciation for older films than newer ones.

Arnold:  Casablanca over The Transformers, huh?

Royce:  Exactly.

Sara:  That’s understandable.  I was really into some of the cartoons when I was a kid.  The Land Before Time was one of my favorites.

Arnold:  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the win!

Chaz:  How about The Brave Little Toaster?

Shiarra:  That movie was messed up.

Sara:  Sentient appliances creep me out.

Arnold:  Good morning, Dave.

Sara:  Exactly.

Royce:  I prefer Mel Brooks films over science fiction.

Arnold:  Whoa.  You watch Mel Brooks movies?

Royce:  On occasion, yes.

Arnold:  What about Young Frankenstein and Spaceballs?  Eh?  Eh?!  Don’t disrespect the sci-fi, man!  It’s everywhere!

Chaz:  The truth is out there.

Shiarra:  Whatever. Weirdos.

____________________

You can learn more about Shiarra and the rest of her friends in HUNTED BY THE OTHERS.

So, how about you guys?
What movies did you enjoy growing up?
Do you have a favorite Chuck Norris fact?  Share (or ask questions) in the comments!

Visit me on the web:

www.JessHaines.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jess-Haines-HW-Investigations/199575306328?ref=search&sid=100000426805820.1600836246..1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Jess_Haines

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jesshaines

Fan Forum: http://jesshaines.freeforums.org/

Thanks again for having me and the gang over, Jennifer!

**HOW FUN WAS THAT??!!** Thank you thank you thank you to Jess for wrangling her troops and providing such a fun chat!! Now… the lady asked a question… it’s time to talk movies!! Commenters and Questioners will be entered to win (via random drawing) a copy of the newest release in the H&W Investigations series, Decieved by the Others. Please remember to include your first name and email in your comment so I can reach you if you win. I can’t wait to hear all about your movie choices… and remember, if you have questions about Shia, or Jess, or Chuck Norris… ask away… Jess will be checking in during the day to read comments and answer YOUR questions :-). Have fun, and good luck!!

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This Or That with C A (Carol and Adam) Kunz

Posted August 3, 2011 By Jennifer

Hi everyone. I thought we’d try something a little different with our guests today C A (Carol and Adam) Kunz. The mother dauthor author team, of the book The Childe, were kind enough to oblige. They each answered their list of questions alone, so posting them here we can compare their answers for the first time to see how similar, or different they are. Hopefully you’ll get a kick out of their “rapid fire” answers to my little version of This or That.  You can read Shellie’s review of The Childe on MamaKitty Reviews today!

This or That: with Adam Kunz

Random

1) season: winter or summer
Winter

2) snack: chocolate chip cookie or cherry pie
Chocolate chip cookie

3) relaxation: tv or radio
TV

4) timewaster: facebook or twitter
Facebook

5) time of day: sunset or sunrise
Sunset

6) vacation: mountains or beach
Mountains

7) talk: call or text
Call

8 ) big screen: drive-in or theatre
Theatre

9) down time: hit the town or hit the remote
Hit the remote

10) eternal battle: zombies or unicorns
Zombie Unicorns?

Writing

1) outline: plotter or punster
Plotter

2) sounds: music or silence
Music

3) collab: write together or edit together
Write together

4) best villain: chaotic evil or strategic evil
Strategic evil

5) best hero: powerhouse loner or scooby gang member
Powerhouse loner

6) HEA: maybe or necessary
Necessary

7) mythology: based in facts or completely created
Completely created

8) best time to write: night owl or early bird
Night owl

9) writer’s block: take a break or skip scene
Take a break

10) favorite to write: comedy or tragedy
Comedy

This or That: with Carol Kunz

Random

1) season: winter or summer
Winter we live in Florida,no brainer LOL

2) snack: chocolate chip cookie or cherry pie
chocolate chip cookie

3) relaxation: tv or radio
TV

4) timewaster: facebook or twitter
Facebook

5) time of day: sunset or sunrise
Sunset

6) vacation: mountains or beach
Mountains, I’m a redhead, beach is out

7) talk: call or text
Call

8) big screen: drive-in or theatre
Theatre

9) down time: hit the town or hit the remote
Hit remote

10) eternal battle: zombies or unicorns
Unicorn Zombies

Writing

1) outline: plotter or punster
Outline (plotter?)

2) sounds: music or silence
Silence

3) collab: write together or edit together
Edit together

4) best villain: chaotic evil or strategic evil
Strategic evil

5) best hero: powerhouse loner or scooby gang member
Scooby powerhouse gang member

6) HEA: maybe ornecessary
Necessary

7) mythology: based in facts or completely created
Completely created

8) best time to write: night owl or early bird
Late afternoon, early evening

9) writer’s block: take a break or skip scene
Take a break

10) favorite to write: comedy or tragedy
Comedy with a splash of tragedy

So there we have it. Their answers were surprisingly similar!! I suppose that’s what happens when you’re related AND you work together. I also suppose that makes for some fantastic writing session, especially considering how well The Childe came out!!

So… you lovely readers… what else would YOU like to know?? Post your own “This Or That” questions below for Carol and Adam to answer… or you can ask about something they answered above (Unicorn Zombies AND Zombie Unicorns??) I can’t wait to see all the interesting “This or That” questions you come up with!! And thanks again, so much, to Carol and Adam for playing along with us today. Don’t miss their debut novel, The Childe!!

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