Giveaway Roundup

Existence by David Brin 

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.”

Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

Shifted Perspective by J. Bridger

 Caleb Byrne’s life seems to be going well after he’s accepted to his dream school for pre-med studies. Going great, sure, until he grows four paws, a tail, and fluffy curls… Now he has to deal with being the world’s lamest shape shifter, an estranged family with furry secrets of their own, a prying girlfriend, and a killer werewolf on the loose, and he thought life had been hard before!

Black City by Elizabeth Richards
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Nightingale by David Farland

Grand Prize Winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, placed first in all genres, all categories.

Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year

Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards.

Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness.  Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was–what her people call a “nightingale.”

But Bron isn’t ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know.  Bron’s secret may be the most dangerous of all.

In his remarkable young adult fantasy debut, David Farland shows why critics have called his work “compelling,” “engrossing,” “powerful,” “profound,” and “ultimately life-changing.”

Skyship Acadmey: Crimson Rising by Nick James

Following their dramatic showdown in Seattle, Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson find their world’s been turned inside out. The faculty at Skyship Academy is keeping Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his influence over Pearls. And Cassius, once a loyal Pearlhound for the Unified Party, has been pushed into hiding, fearful of his government’s retaliation.

When Jesse smuggles a mysterious red Pearl onboard the Academy, he sets loose a destructive chain of events, which lead him to a reunion with Cassius and a confrontation with Theo — a bloodthirsty Pearlhound with a dangerous secret.

But a larger threat looms in the stars. An enemy is gathering, with plans to exterminate the entire human race. And Jesse and Cassius might just be the lynch pins that trigger mankind’s destruction.

 Banned books giveaway at I am a Reader Not a Writer

Choice of ChiZine eBook at Preturnatura

Reader’s Choice at Preturnatura

Hey look it’s…more vampires.

Okay, so I know I said last time that this time (oh boy) I would talk about rereading, but I changed my mind. I will eventually talk about that, but not today.

Today, we shall be talking about trends in literature.

Or rather, Things That Will Make Me Put the Book Down Immediately Unless There Is a Really Good Reason Not To. And they are:

1. Vampires/Werewolves

Unless there is something seriously interesting or different going on with them, I will not read about either. I’m tired of vampire boyfriends. I will read about bloodthirsty vampires, or British vampires (think Gail Carriger). Another example I saw recently was a woman who was the only (and I mean only) female werewolf.

2. Angels/Demons

 I have a naturally low tolerance for this subject matter. I have read very few books dealing with angels/demons that don’t annoy me immensely. Exception: I was recently very pleasantly surprised by Sarah Reese Brennan’s The Demon’s Lexicon. I read her blog and really wanted to enjoy her book, but wasn’t able to make myself pick it up because of the demons for a really long time. I regret that; it was excellent.

3. Distopian

There are just too many, and I don’t have the energy to try to sort the good from the bad. So many seem terribly derivative. I’m not sure if it’s just the jacket copy, but with so many excellent books on my to-read list, I don’t have time to waste gambling on books that may just be the latest Hunger Games rehash.

4. Mermaids

Just never been a fan. Personal preference. I’ve yet to find a mermaid book which will prove me wrong, though I kind of hope Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama, which I found over at Preturnatura, might be the one.

There are more, but I won’t bore you. I have to say, I really hate that I feel this way because it means I’m almost certainly missing out on some really great books.

What on Earth was I reading as a child?

For some reason, today, I had pop into my head the memory of a book I read a long time ago. It was a book I had checked out from the library. I couldn’t remember the title or the author or really much about the plot but I did some google searching and eventually found it!

The point of this anecdote is twofold. One, it really sucks that you can’t search for a book by description. Yes, keywords can sometimes yield results (like they did for me), and yes, there are sites out there with communities of people devoted to helping you figure out what book you’re looking for. But still.

The other thing I drew from this is the conclusion in the title of this post. The book is a paranormal romance. There’s a decent amount of sexytimes in there…and these are the kinds of books I was reading as a little girl. I actually think the first time I learned about sex was reading a book. Always being a responsible child, and I like to think reasonably mature for my age, I was always given a great degree of freedom in what I checked out. I really don’t know where I’m going with this. Clearly I’m out of practice in writing blog posts.

NaNo 2011 Day … 7? Also, more books!

One week, wow.

I broke 10k, but I’m running out of steam! Need some inspiration. Anybody have any brilliant ideas?

In other news, THEY HAD MISTBORN AT BARNES AND NOBLE. This is a Very Big Deal. Here’s the short version of the story:

-Checked the first one out of the library after reading Warbreaker and deciding I kinda liked this Brandon Sanderson guy.
-Adored it.
Became obsessed with the aforementioned Brandon Sanderson guy.
-Requested the second in the series from the library.
-Waited for months.
-Still waiting.

And the last time I was in a Barnes and Noble they didn’t have anything by him. I checked. Multiple times.

So yesterday when I was in Barnes and Noble (for a preview Nutcracker performance) and I was walking by the F/SF section which is conveniently right next to the event space, and saw ALL THREE Mistborn books and OH YEAH A BOX SET I just about died. They also had Warbreaker, and Elantris (which I haven’t read yet but want to) and a whole bunch of other authors and books which I REALLY want and I almost cried because I just can’t spend that much on books and besides, I have nowhere to put them.

And finally, in more superdeduper exciting news I won an All Hallow’s Read contest at Tor! Yay! So I get two copies of The Monster’s Corner, which is a collection of short stories from the monsters’ points of view. Still deciding who gets the extra copy…:)

Why it took me so long to read The Hunger Games

Way back when The Hunger Games first came out, I thought it might be something I would like to read. I picked it up in a bookstore, read the back cover copy, flipped to the first page.

Immediately put it down.

Why? It’s written in present tense.

I really don’t know why, but for some reason it’s very hard for me to get into a book written in present tense. It might just be a matter of getting used to it, but I don’t really think so. Deep down I just have an uncomfortable reaction to present tense in books.

For three years – three years! – people recommended the book to me, or I saw it again in the bookstore, but every time I picked it up with the intention of trying it again I was completely put off by the present tense.

I did, in the end, read The Hunger Games, and I really liked it. But every time I picked it up again after setting it down, it took me a couple of paragraphs to get back into the swing of the story.

I don’t know. I don’t really have a point here, other than that my first, gut reaction to a present tense novel is bleech.

Opinions, anyone?


That, my friends, is a book trailer for the book By the Pale Moonlight, by Jennifer Hendren, who is one of several lovely authors blogging over at All the World’s Our Page.

I haven’t read the book – it hasn’t come out yet – but I have read the excerpt and it looks pretty good!

Now, why am I shameless?

Because Jennifer Hendren is giving away two digital copies and two paperback copies of her book! And you know me, I love books. I always want more books. So I’m entering the giveaway by blogging about the contest and embedding the book trailer, above.

Go enter. Also, read the book when it comes out when it comes out October 18th!

In which I attempt to renew my library card and discover eBooks instead

At some point in my childhood, I accumulated about $4 in fines on my library card. The next time I went to the library, I used my dad’s card and didn’t pay the fines.

Fast forward a few years. I basically haven’t touched my library card in ages. But I’m off to college in a week (a week exactly – yikes!) and I really have to man up and use my library card again.

So I log in to the NYPL website using my account. Lo and behold, all fines gone! Ok, I say to myself, let’s request some books. But when I attempt it, the Library informs me that I am not allowed to place hold requests, and gives me a couple of reasons why that might be the case. Have I exceeded 15 holds on my card? No, I have not. Is my card expired? Well, according to the website, it expires next July. So no. At a loss, I figure maybe because I haven’t used it in a while I need to renew it anyway, and after worrying about the fact that I STILL have no state issued ID (long story) I grab my school ID (will it be a problem that I’ve graduated and don’t have my Columbia ID yet?) and a piece of mail to prove that I do actually live in this city and head to the library.

Of course it transpires that it’s a simple matter of my card being a juvenile card, and therefore not allowed to check anything out from the adult section. I suppose they also had the wrong birthdate or age in the records, because when I handed the guy my card and he swiped it he said in a very confused voice “This is your card? You’re definitely older than that.”

But he fixed it, and I’ve been happily requesting books since then.

About the eBooks. Well, it turns out, as I discovered while trying to place holds on about a million books, that the library has “electronic resources” for some of them. I’m a curious person, so I clicked. What that means is that they either have an audiobook version or an eBook version available for download.

Let me tell you about library eBooks. They’re brilliant. I’ve always maintained that I prefer to have a physical book, and I do, but the advantages to eBooks from the library is NO WAIT. You can check it out from your computer and download it immediately, whereas with a regular hold it could be weeks – or months – before you get the book. The disadvantage is that it operates like a physical copy: if the library has one eBook copy and someone else has downloaded it, you can’t. It’s very sad.

But all in all, a great addition to the library. Provided, of course, they don’t get rid of all the actual books. When I read too many books on a screen I get a headache.