Review + Giveaway: Blade Singer

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I’m excited to announce my blog stop for Blade Singer, a middle grade fantasy by Aaron de Orive and Martha Wells.  The tour runs September 29th – October 10th with reviews, author interviews, guest posts and more. To see all the tour goodiness, visit the tour schedule page.

Title: Blade Singercbbtourhost
Author: Aaron de Orive & Martha Wells
Publisher: Cloak & Dagger Studios
Release Date: July 2014
Length: 202 pages
Series?: no?
Genre: MG, fantasy
Source: CBB Book Promotions

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon 

*****Synopsis*****

Manuel “Manny” Boreaux, a troubled adolescent from Texas, is magically transported into the body of a goblin pickpocket in an alternate world inhabited by faerie creatures. Manny must quickly adapt to the danger all around him and try to find a way to get back home, a feat complicated by the pickpocket’s association with a notorious gang of thieves. But when Manny uncovers a plot to assassinate a young king, he must enlist the aid of an elf cavalier and a cat burglar to thwart a Sidhe witch’s scheme to ignite a civil war between humans and the Fae.

*****Review*****

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Manny hails from the capital of Texas: Austin! I had an instant connection with him. He’s been taken in by his aunt and he’s a bit of a handful. She’s not very happy with his doings and troublemaking.

One day Manny gets transported to an alternate world after riffling through some books at the local, independent bookstore. He finds this book that is very old, and a coin inside. The coin is like a portkey to the other world.

When Manny arrives, he has no idea what is going on. Things are so different and strange. There are all kind of creatures, and he comes to learn he has inhabited the body of a young goblin pickpocket. All Manny wants to do is get back home. He can’t help but wonder what his aunt is thinking – is he unconscious in his world? Does his aunt think him dead?

Little does Manny know that the body he now has ownership of – belonging to one Remy – belongs to a gang of thieves. A wanted gang of thieves. It kind of reminded me of the gypsies in The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and how they have taken up a hiding residence within the city. Like in his world, Manny is also in a bit of hot water and has to get himself out of some scrapes.

With a shake of his head, Etienne started away down the side street. 

“Dad, wait!” Manny called after him. “You have to tell me -“

Etienne waved a hand without looking back. “I have no time, boy.” 

He doesn’t recognize me? Manny started after him. 

Manny stumbles upon an elf guard who has a striking resemblance to his father. The guard just thinks he’s crazy. He also stumbles upon fellow thief Adrianna, who also bears striking resemblance to his mother. Adrianna is like a mother to Remy, so she kind of takes him under her wing. She doesn’t know what happened to Remy, but she doesn’t want anything happening to his body.

The figure leaned close to whisper. “Don’t panic,” it said, adn the voice was familiar. “It feeds on that. You can hide from it, trick it. It can’t catch you if you use your head. Trust your instincts.”

But Adrianna and Remy (or as the table turns, Manny) are indebted to one hag witch: Morrigan. And a powerful witch she is. Through happenstance, Adrianna and Remy uncover a sordid plot for revenge and power – and the real identity of Morrigan.

Manny and Adrianna do their best to gather all the help they can – starting with the elf who so resembles his father, but someone has other plans for Manny.

This book was full of action and fast-paced. I did go through a couple of lulls when there was so much action and no dialogue, but I would recommend this book. It is interesting and yes, it does play off of some Arthurian legend, with Morgan le Fay and Merlin both appearing in the book, as well as a sword that is basically Excalibur (but called Amechanteur).

“But only when wielded by a swordsman whose cause is just and whose heart is true. The spirit of the blade bonds with the soul of that swordsman and he becomes a Blade Singer, a champion without equal.”

*****About the Authors*****

Aaron De Orive

A graduate of the University of Texas’ film program, Aaron de Orive began his professional writing career in the video game industry, serving as a lead or senior writer on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption,Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, Tabula Rasa, Anarchy Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. He is also the creator of the fantasy role-playing game SHARD: World of the False DawnBlade Singer is his first novel. Aaron lives in Austin with his wife, daughter, and two very spoiled terriers.

Find the author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Martha Wells

Martha Wells is the author of a number of fantasy novels, including The Cloud Roads, The Siren DepthsThe Wizard HuntersWheel of the Infinite, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, was published by Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry in April 2013, and the sequel, Emilie and the Sky World, was released in March 2014. Two collections of Books of the Raksura novellas will be published in September 2014 and Fall 2015. She has had short stories in Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Stargate Magazine, and Lightspeed Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, The Year’s Best Fantasy #7,Tales of the Emerald Serpent and The Other Half of the Sky.  She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape ForeverMapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. She has also written media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and a Star Wars novel, Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge.

Find the author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There are TWO $25 Amazon or B&N gift card up for grabs! Open internationally.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Next Month: October Outrage!

As you guys know (if you’ve been keeping up for the last month), this month I started a monthly feature where I am reviewing only one genre all month long. As a companion to those reviews I am also featuring authors who have input about the featured genre or write within that genre.

This entire month-long feature came about earlier this year after I participated in a couple of March clean-your-reader/spring cleaning challenges. I went cold turkey on downloading free books. The rate at which I was downloading free books each week was higher than most people’s reading goals for the year!

I needed a rehaul. The blog needed work, I needed work, my processes needed work. But I was still getting flooded with books. So I took the plunge that some book bloggers have (which I thought didn’t work very well) and stopped accepting books for review. Since May, I have stalemated all review requests. It has helped tremendously!

I wasn’t sure how well this month-long feature would go over, but I surprised myself. September was the first month I started, and I feel like a lot was accomplished. True, I didn’t get much cleaned out of my Kindle, but it’s a start!

In September I featured these September Sizzlers:

 

October will be a month of Outrage!

Scary. Dangerous. Mysterious. Criminal. Murder. 

18759482A while back – before summer started – I read this GREAT crime novel, Enough Rope by P.L. Doss, that solidified my decision to do these month-long review features. I was thirsting for more crime and mystery novels! I knew October would be the perfect time to share these, even though I wanted to get started right that minute and read everything crime/mystery/suspense that I owned.

Here are a few of the titles I am planning on featuring:

19561924   19058665   21863863   11512394   19040024   20586931   21850762   

 

September Monthly Chit Chat

September News

September went by in a flash! This is the last week in the first six weeks of the school year, and as the year has gotten underway I have become exhausted.

Daniel got rear-ended this month AND messed up his knee at work. His truck had minimal damage (even though it was $1600!) and was paid by the insurance of the guy who hit the lady who then hit Daniel. I’d hate to see that guy’s insurance costs now! Daniel was cleared to go back to work with no further need for therapy, but I am nervous that he might have another mishap. I know part of it is me just being paranoid, but he works HARD everyday delivering in the downtown Austin area. He goes up and down more stairs now than we did at Texas State going up the stairs in front of the Alkek Library.

fcc1a76b998893b11e5adee850b2e319   Steps1-1

Thoughts on Thursdays ~ Discussion Post

I feel that I stepped up my discussion posts this month. Well, except for my confessions one. Go check out the discussions and chime in!

Tours & Blasts

I really parred down my commitments this month. Here’s a quick recap of September tour reviews, blasts and giveaways:

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Challenges

Oh, September.

In September I participated in the Tackle Your TBR Challenge. My goal was six books. You can check out my challenge post here, and my wrap up post here.

September 30 also brings the Summer Bookish Bingo to an end. Check out my original post here, and my wrap up post here.

In September I completed…

As you can see, I am getting making a little headway for some of my goals. I really need to work on my NetGalley/Edelweiss Challenge and my Non-Fiction Challenge. I think I have a few books I will review in November that will boost me closer to these two goals.

Next month I am taking part in the So Behind! Review-A-Thon hosted by Krystal at Books Are My Thing. The Review-A-Thon will run from October 10-12.

Fall Months of Reviews by Genre

Folks, it’s here!! Yep, we are fast approaching fall, and with that I will be featuring one genre each month. This idea came upon me in the spring as a means to clean out my ever growing TBR pile on my Kindle. September will be sizzling with romances!

October will be dedicated to reviews of all crimes and mysteries.

November will be dedicated to reviews of diverse reads.

December will be dedicated to reviews of all things Christmas and winter.

Reading Updates

Read in September:

Bluegrass Undercover  Bluegrass State of Mind  Brazilian Job  17255938  Scornfully Yours  396000

On My Plate for October:

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Review: Scornfully Yours

Scornfully YoursTitle: Scornfully Yours
Author: Pamela Ann
Release Date: January 2013
Length: 362 pages
Series?: Torn #1
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

NOTE: Contains adult language and situations intended for readers 18 and above.

When Emma realized that she fell in love with the notorious womanizer, Carter Mason–the badass soccer athlete—she bailed and jumped ship, knowing quite well how this will turn out if Carter ever finds out about how she felt about him.

Newly single, Emma parties in Hollywood amongst her friends—determined to enjoy her new status.

Enter Hollywood’s sexy heartthrob and sought out actor, Bass Cole.
Bass was clearly smitten when his eyes captured the raving beauty that is Emma Anderson. Without ado, he pursues her.

Being with Bass opened a lot of doors for Emma. But as much as she was attracted to Bass Cole, could she simply put her feelings towards Carter Mason aside?

*****Review*****

Umm, well then! This book is a step above “romance” and straight down the line to erotica. In fact, there was little romance at all, but the situations presented in Scornfully Yours are very true of relationships and feelings today.

Emma is a contradiction of a young woman. The focus of the book is on her and her relationships. She’s a college student, but none of her true college life (the academic side) is presented in the novel, so for me it was hard to value the book without this authentic piece. It seemed as the book went on that Emma never went to class because that’s how little focus there was on college.

The college life that was presented was the party scene, in which Carter Mason and several of Emma’s friends are embroiled in. In fact, Emma’s best friend Lindsey is Carter’s sister! Despite the blood bond, Lindsey knows when Carter’s being an ass, and she doesn’t let that get in the way of her friendship with Emma. She is 100% supportive of Emma and her decisions, and I appreciated that aspect of their friendship.

Carter is a womanizer. Everyone knows it. He also doesn’t “do love.” He will run and turn tail at the merest hint of FEELINGS. Emma has discovered she really does have feelings for this bipolar asshat, and tries to keep it under wraps. When it becomes too much to bear, she walks out.

Enjoying the single life and seeing the interactions of Emma with Lindsey and Lindsey’s (and by extension Emma’s) friends was also interesting. There’s a lot of back story about a few of them, and some of them seemed very flat and stereotypical. They’re an odd mix, and after some revealing information comes to light throughout the book about several of them, I was very mystified as to why Emma remained friends with them.

One of these nights, none other than celebrity hottie Bass Cole sidles up and consumes Emma in a dance. After that moment, she is his – in his eyes. They begin spending inordinate amounts of time together, staying up all night and bonding, but never anything more. Bass realizes Emma has unresolved baggage, and one night comes face to face with Carter.

Bass Cole is not your typical Hollywood blockbuster star. Yes, he is sexy. Yes, he has a bazillion dollars and it shows in what he owns. Yes, he has a million people who are in his backpocket. But he doesn’t act like it, at all. He is a very down-to-earth and sweet guy. He doesn’t use his fame and success to impress, and he wants to get to know Emma on a personal level. He opens doors for her and helps her realize what she really wants to do with her life. Because of Bass, Emma takes a major plunge for her future.

The whole time Emma was debating about Bass and Carter, I couldn’t help but scream. Hello? Soul mate or ass hat? Make your choice. But Bass Cole is a womanizer, too. He never gets dumped, like Carter Mason. Emma Anderson surprises both of them.

I could understand Emma’s dilemma about Carter, who is very persistent in the “I miss yous” and “I can’t live without yous” and all that non-commitment crap. I know exactly how Emma felt, because three years ago I was with a Carter Mason. But like Emma, I fell in love with a womanizer (and a user, to boot!). And he kept breaking my heart for a year and pulling the same kind of stunts that Carter does in Scornfully Yours. I knew exactly how Emma felt, the power that Carter had over her, and how easy it is to give in to him because you keep hoping. Unfortunately, like Emma, it took something monumental to see the true Carter Mason.

And then Emma has to face Bass for the new direction her life is taking. It is heartbreaking the way Bass treats Emma, but I get it. Who wouldn’t be hurt that they were led on when there was really no contest?

This book was very graphic and erotic. More so than what I am used to, and there were some parts that I think it was just taken way too overboard, but others that done perfectly. I hurried through the parts I didn’t like, but I will say I was ready to put the book down and go get Daniel! 😉

*****About the Author*****

d8b9a09af995d4f4a302641c9b5399a1Pamela Ann is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Lily’s Mistake Series, Chasing Series, Torn Series, British Billionaires Series, Pieces: The Duet.

An avid reader of steamy angst-filled romance and history-based novels, Pamela currently lives in Los Angeles with her son and three devoted dogs. She studied Fashion Marketing in United Kingdom and has a degree in Business. She has a penchant for pastries, renaissance paintings, and traveling.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday Post (September 28)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whew! One more week until the end of the grading period. Hello, everyone’s late work! 😉

Last week was a fantastic week on the blog. I feel like comments were up, and I was getting more meaningful comments from new people. Hello, new people! Thank you. 🙂

Even though this is the end of September and I didn’t read all of my September Sizzlers, I’ll get to them. Maybe I’ll schedule them for next September!

We have had a lot of rain in the Austin and Central Texas area, and it has been great. We needed it very much, and I’m hoping it’s not over. Thanks to the rain, I haven’t had to water my plants for an entire week!

~ Last Week on G1000W ~

~ This Week on G1000W ~

  • September Sizzlers Review: Scornfully Yours (Pamela Anne)
  • Next Month: October Outrage!
  • September Monthly Chit Chat
  • Review + Giveaway: Blade Singer (Aaron de Orive & Martha Wells)
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Blast + Giveaway: Roxy Rogers (Emily Siskin-Toy)
  • Top 10 + Giveaway: Into the Arms of Morpheus (Jessica Nicholls)
  • October Outrage!: Seven Deadly Sins
  • Feature Follow Friday

~ Other Open Giveaways on G1000W ~

~ New Arrivals to Land of 1000 Wonders ~

I received a children’s book series to review. I actually had to go pick up the package at the post office! The last time that happened (right before summer) they LOST my mail! I don’t know what it was or who it was from. Needless to say, I hate our post office.

~ Around Town in the Spotlight ~

FYI: The YA Scavenger Hunt will be Oct 2-5. That’s this week! Here are the teams!

Review + Giveaway: Neurotica

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Welcome to my tour stop for Neurotica by Eliza Gordon. This is an adult romantic comedy and the tour runs Sept. 22-Oct. 3 with mostly reviews and a few interviews, guest posts and excerpts thrown in. To check out all the tour stops, visit the tour page.

cbbtourhostTitle: Neurotica
Author: Eliza Gordon
Publisher: West 26th Street Press
Release Date: August 2014
Length: 312 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Source: CBB Book Promotions

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon 

*****Synopsis*****

If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.
After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposuretherapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck LukePiewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.

*****Review*****

I loved this book. It was hilarious, and all of the characters fit together really well in their specific roles in relation to the main character, Jayne.

“Sex smells funny.”

Dr. McCoy chokes on her coffee. “I’d say ‘come again,’ but I’m afraid to.” She dabs at sputtered drops before they soak her blouse. “How would you know, Jayne?”

Jayne is…odd. She sees a therapist, Dr. McCoy, about her neurosis about sex. She admits there’s no reason for her hold up – she wasn’t abused or anything. She blames it on the church ladies from her childhood and how they fire-and-brimstoned the talk about “the birds and the bees.” Jayne’s sister, Margaret (known as Maggot) and brother Frankie (known as Farting Frankie) don’t have issues, but Jayne is working through it.

Awesome. I can now say “boobs” out loud without begging forgiveness from a bearded, robed man living in a posh, pillowy cloud house. Money well spent.

Jayne also has a thing about ducks. She helped rescue some ducks in the local park, and works at a shelter every weekend taking care of them. She even collects rubber ducks. Throughout the novel, she gets a few unique rubber ducks from various characters.

Jayne’s family knows about her fear, and so does her best friend, Gretchen. Gretchen comes from a wealthy family and only works to pass off to her family that she’s productive (even though they pay the bills). She works with Jayne at a newspaper office under Mr. Clark, where Jayne writes the ads and obits and Gretchen has a feature about fashion. After the paper’s food critic quit, newbie Holden is set out in the world with no idea of what he’s walking in to.

The friendship that Jayne and Gretchen have is so incredibly odd. They are opposites in almost every sense, but they compliment each other so well. Gretchen is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Jayne in terms of sex. Gretchen is daring and bold and outgoing, and Jayne is homebody-ish and likes the regular, like going to Luke’s.

What is it with guys and long eyelashes? I spend six minutes per eyeball every morning just to get my nine eyelashes to look double that number.

Luke is a local food trailer entrepreneur…who has a sister named Leia. And they are twins. Their parents are Star Wars fans, just like Luke and Jayne. Luke and Jayne get along really well, even though Jayne is having to keep herself in check. It seems that Jayne and Gretchen eat at Luke’s for breakfast and lunch almost every day, and eventually Holden joins in. Luke’s food is legendary in the book – he’s won many foodie awards and been featured all over, and even invited as a vendor for Comic Con.

Gretchen opens the paper sack and shoves her patrician nose inside to suck in the chocolatey fumes. “Oh God, these are going to be good.” 

“Don’t get boogers on the brownies.” 

“Booger brownies are my favorite,” she says.

Unbeknownst to all, Jayne has actually taken to writing sci-fi fan fiction on the internet under the name Jaina Jacen, and she’s pretty popular. There are chapters in the book of Jaina’s new work, Eider, which Jayne later actually gives to someone.

She’s also started writing sci-fi romances with some super steamy scenes. After bad foodie reviews at the newspaper, a restauranteer has taken to sabotaging the building…and when things blow up, Jayne’s left with few options.

But thanks to one deranged chef with a knack for pipe bombs – it’s amazing how nuts a man can become when your paper writes the review that allegedly sinks his restaurant – Surly Brian is now a necessity.

So she does something crazy, and Gretchen helps Jayne keep her cover. It is going brilliantly, and Gretchen is full-on dedicated to helping Jayne, who is supposed to be taking up her author’s pen again, all while on the sly.

As her friendship with Luke progresses, Jayne is hoping he’ll never find out her secret…that no one will ever find out her secret. She gets a hard lesson from Dr. McCoy and Luke about being true to herself, which I would have liked to have seen a little more development of, but it was still given appropriate life in the book.

The funny thing about happiness – it sometimes sneaks up, taps you on the shoulder, and then tiptoes away, leaving only shadowy footprints behind.

Two things that I felt made this book were Jayne’s narration and inner dialogue, and the easy banter between characters – especially Jayne, Luke, and Gretchen. Their characters and relationships are captured so well in the novel, it’s almost effortless in how they interact.

“It’s January. We don’t have to shave in the winter. Or didn’t you get the memo?” 

She helps herself to my supply of feminine hygiene. “The only memo I’m concerned with is the one where Operation Get Jayne Laid is a go for launch.”

“It’s speed dating, not speed copulating.” 

“What do you think speed dating leads to?” 

“Dinner. A movie. Two years of holding hands before we going our separate ways.”

“You’re a terrible Jedi.”

“I’m still in training.”

 ****About the Author*****

Eliza-Gordon-208x300A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

*****Giveaway*****

There is a $25 Amazon gift card up for grabs in this giveaway.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Feature Follow Friday (September 26)

Alison Can Read Feature & FollowIt is the Friday Feature Follow!

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (links above) and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
email
bloglovin

The Question:

Book character(s) you’d like to see with their own Twitter page?

My Answer: 

I would really like to see Twitter pages from these characters…

  • Claire from Outlander – I’m sure she’d have a lot to say about the stupidity of men and outrage over the unhygienic practices
  • Jackie from Bloody Jack – pictures of exotic places, damage to her ship, her amazing crew and so much more
  • The Rose sisters from Kathleen Brooks’ Bluegrass Series and Bluegrass Brothers series – there would be no need for a rumor mill phone tree
  • Hermione from Harry Potter – just to see the things she would tweet about
  • Pudge from Looking for Alaska – I wonder if he would still post philosophical things, like famous last words and The Great Perhaps

Which characters would you like to see having their own Twitter pages? Leave me a comment with your response and your Friday Follow.