Saturday, October 30, 2010

In my Mailbox

In My Mailbox
Before getting to serious business, I would like to thank The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week =)


Mooched:

For a Few demons More by Kim Harrison

 

For Review:

Night’s Cold Kiss by Tracey O’Hara

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon

 

Bought:

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Make-up: Orglamix

Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn

kittywashington

 

The country’s only celebrity werewolf, late-night radio host Kitty Norville prefers to be heard,not seen. But when she's invited to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of supernaturals, her face gets plastered on national TV. Kitty’s been in hot water before, but jumping into the D.C. underworld brings a new set of problems. And a new set of friends, and enemies, including the vampire mistress of the city; an über-hot Brazilian were-jaguar; and a paranoid, Bible-thumping senator who wants to expose kitty as a monster. Kitty quickly learns that in this city of dirty politicians and backstabbing pundits, everyone's itching for a fight.

 

Kitty is now a nomad werewolf stalking the States and running her radio show in a different city, hell, a different State every week, after being chased out of her territory by her former Alpha. Loneliness has its advantages, but the weight of being a stray wolf is weighting down on her and the full moon nights are much scarier without a pack. She will be dragged back into power games though when the Senate will invite her to testify at an hearing about Paranormal Biology. She will then find herself knee-deep in TV broadcasts, politics, and paranormal struggling.

This second installment in the Kitty Norville series will answer some question from the first book and raise brand new ones. Mysteries around Elijah Smith will be uncovered in a rather original fashion, a new sexy male will make an apparition in Kitty’s life and vampire business will wreck havoc. Like this wasn’t already enough, Kitty will also make her official TV debut, something you don’t wanna miss!

We’ve seen a bit of Cormac once again, but I really wished he was more present. I really like the guy and I can’t wait for him to shine bright as a star *winks*. We’ve learnt a lot more about Ben, Cormac' & Kitty’s lawyer and I have to say he is a fascinating character. Nerd on the outside, awesome on the inside, he is trustworthy, resourceful and surprising.  We also get to meet Jeffery Miles, “professional psychic and channeler”, I have to say I came to like him and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him in the following books =)

The Kitty Norville series is an original Urban Fantasy series that will appeal to many. I love the importance medias takes in this series as it sets an unique playfield for its actors. Kitty is passionate, wild and heartfelt. She will fight for the right cause until the end, which will set her in trouble more then once.

If you’re looking for a good werewolf series in a modern set-up, you found what you’re looking for!

Read an excerpt

 

Kitty Norville Series:

Kitty and The Midnight Hour

Kitty Goes to Washington

Kitty Takes a Holiday

Kitty and the Silver Bullet

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand

Kitty Raises Hell

Kitty's House of Horrors

Kitty Goes to War

Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Printing edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English The Book Depository
  • ISBN-10: 0446616427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446616423

     

    Book Source: Personal Shelf

  • Friday, October 29, 2010

    Daughter of Darkness Winners!

    I had 5 copies to giveaway thanks to S&S and without further delay here are the winners!

    Lexie from Booklover-Book Chicks

    Stephanie who’s email starts with Skk25@…

    Chantel who’s email starts with cwilliams127@…

    Angela L who’s email starts with aploughery@…

    and

    Emilie Dumas (Emiii8) who’s email starts with i-love_horse@….

    Congrats ladies! You have 72 hours to email me your mailing info at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com =)

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Night Huntress News!!!!

    Here’s an excerpt from Jeaniene’s Newsletter:

    Last but definitely not least, I am thrilled to announce that I will be writing two more novels for the Night Huntress series, ending Cat and Bones's storyline now at book nine instead of seven. In addition to that, I am also contracted to write the first two books in a new series featuring Vlad as the hero and a new character named Leila as the heroine.

    I am SO excited about the opportunity to extend Cat and Bones's storyline into nine books so I can implement the plans I have for them, instead of cutting things out to squeeze everything into seven books. Plus, anyone who's spoken to me for longer than five minutes knows I've been itching to showcase Vlad in his own books, and I've got just the heroine to give Mr. Hot Hands a run for his money that he'll never be expecting. Right now the tentative plan is for the first Vlad and Leila novel to release in 2012. 2011 will see the releases of the fifth Cat and Bones novel titled This Side of the Grave, Cat and Bones 6 (untitled as of now), and the holiday-themed anthology I'll be in with Lynsay Sands that will also feature and Cat and Bones story (untitled as of now). My publisher and I are not sure if Vlad's new stories will be called Night Huntress World, or something else since it's the start of a new recurring-character series. More data on that once I have it.

    My reaction is: OMFG!!!!! *SQUEEE*

    Not only will there be two more Cat&Bones books but Vlad will have his own series! I’m so ecstatic right now! I am sure it’s gonna be AWESOME!

    *Happy Dance*

    Crescendo Winner!

    It’s finally time to announce the winner of the Crescendo giveaway! The winner will win a finished Crescendo copy and a pretty necklace!

    CrescendoCoverWingPendant

    Out of 182 entrants, the winner is…

    Marlene Breakfield from Book Lover and Procrastinator

    Congratulations!

    You have 72 hours to email me your mailing info at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com or I will draw another winner.

    If you weren’t lucky this time you can always purchase Crescendo here:

    The Book Depository

     

    And don’t forget my 2 active giveaways!


    Ends Oct. 28th                     Ends Dec. 8th

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Beautiful Covers!

    I have some beautiful covers to show you, some you might have seen already and one you probably haven’t yet, since it was release like 45 mins ago? lol So I’ll start with that one!

    Awakened by P.C. & Kristin Cast (Jan 2011)

    Awakened-Oct19 At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey - or her relationship with her super-hot Warrior, Stark - ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet - who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality - and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?

    Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (March 2011)

    demonglass

    Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.
    That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.
    Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.
    But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

     The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver (Feb 2011)

    demontrapper

     

    Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she's already following in his footsteps as one of the best. But it's tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated: Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he's God's gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her ass. One thing's for sure - if she doesn't keep her wits about her there'll be hell to pay...

     

    Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel (march 2011)

    stolennights 

    Unfortunately there isn’t a product description available for that one just yet. I haven’t read the first book, but heard so many great comments, I need to get my hands on it!

    No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

    No-Rest-For-The-Wicked-kresley-cole-7628549-600-966

    A Vampire weary of life . . .

    Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire -- a nightmare in his mind -- against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

    A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him . . .

    When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow -- accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings -- particularly lust -- emerge multiplied. For the first time, she's unable to complete a kill.

    Competitors in a legendary hunt.

    The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity -- as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world -- to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she's falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

    No Rest for the Wicked is the second book in the Immortals After Dark series, and while I loved the first book more, I had a great time this time around as well! This time, we get to know Kaderin (half-Valkyrie, half-Furie) a lot better, and we discover Sebastian, a self-loathing Vampire. The whole shebang begins when Kaderin is sent by a bunch of scared Russian villagers, to kill a vampire haunting the castle up the hill. It appears that said vampire gladly welcomed death which startled The Cold Hearted (Kaderin’s nickname). This encounter will then lead to a lot of questions, reflections and surprising changes for both parties. Both powerful and stubborn, they will crash together, resulting passion and fireworks!

    The whole book is a mega power struggle between the two main characters. Sebastian is attracted to Kaderin, but don’t love her. He has these urges to protect and own her, yet she is so frustrating and rejecting. He is dark, sexy and smart and the games he’ll play will surprise you. The Vampire comes out as arrogant, yet his self-esteem is so low. He is a contradiction in himself, and Kaderin isn’t much better. She’s been centuries not feeling a thing, a “gift” she received when she was broken-hearted and grieving, but faith is playing games with her. Her feelings are coming back and playing tricks to her mind. Sebastian is an enemy, she killed thousands of vampires, yet she can’t kill that one. Worst, she’s attracted to him. But she can’t. I really appreciated the complexity of their relation!

    Of course, this novel also has it’s share of passionate, sexy, erotic and tasteful moments. I’ll have to admit having funky ideas while reading *winks* and if your easily blushing, you might wanna read in private lol.

    I think the main reason I liked the first book more was probably because I felt a better connection with those main characters. It’s not that Kaderin & Bastien aren’t great, because they are, but they didn’t get to me the same way, so I guess it’s very personal. Kresley dropped a killer bomb 50 pages or so before the end, and I never saw that one coming. I loved how the events unfolded at the end. I think everything was perfect and the end hinted that we might see more of Bowen (a werewolf) in the next book, which would be awesome. I love this broken-hearted fierce furball!

    If you haven’t picked up this series by Kresley Cole, please don’t wait as long as I did and give it a try.  Romantic, powerful and sensual, this series will sweep you off your feet for a paranormal ride, mature eyes only!

    Read an excerpt

     

    Immortals After Dark Series:

    Playing Easy to Get (Anthology)
    A Hunger Like no Other
    No Rest for the Wicked Wicked
    Deed’s on a Winter’s Night
    Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
    Dark Desires after Dusk
    Kiss of a Demon King
    Deep Kiss of Winter
    Pleasure of a Dark Prince (duology)
    Demon from the Dark

    The Book Depository

    Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; 1 edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416509887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416509882

     

    Book Source: Personal Shelf

  • Monday, October 25, 2010

    When I’m not writing… with Erica Hayes + Giveaway

    poison kissed cover

     

    Erica contacted me not long ago for the promotion of her last release Poison Kissed and I had to say yes right away! This Australian author started not so long ago with a rather original series called Shadowfae Chronicles where you can find a mystical world full of passion and treason. My review of her first book, Shadowfea is available here. Erica happily played the When I’m not writing game with me, and I was really surprised by what I learnt!

     

    Most of the time, I'm writing. Or thinking about writing. Or thinking about what I should be writing. Or doing other stuff that goes with being a published writer. I could list that stuff, but it'd bore you to death :)

    I read a lot, for research and for fun. But my second love is music. I've always been a band geek. When I was a kid, I learned the cello at school. Mostly because my big sister learned the violin, and I wanted to be like her but bettah. But the instrument that stuck with me was the oboe. I started learning when I was about nine. It's a hard instrument for a little kid. You make a really bad noise for a very long time before you get any good, and I bless my parents for putting up with my horrid squawking!

    I didn't play for a long while after high school. But once I gave up on the foolish idea of Getting A Real Job (in my mid-twenties, I know, a slow learner) I went back to uni to study music. I practiced a couple hours a day, and I got pretty good. I have the most beautiful French oboe that cost me a fortune, and I even learned to make my own reeds, sort of. It's fun – you get to cut up little bits of cane and tie them to the little tube with string, and then scrape each side with a special knife until it makes the sound you want.

    These days, I play the saxophone as well, and I love to play for music theatre shows. I don't do it so much since I got published, because I don't have the time to practice. But I still know a few people in the local scene, and sometimes I play for theatre shows and operas and a bit of music hall stuff. There's a local group that produce Mozart operas in English, and that's loads of fun.

    orch Here's a pic of me in an orchestra pit rehearsal. It's trimmed to protect the innocent :) but as you can see, it's chaos. There's no room – most times you really are in a dark and tiny pit below the stage – and I'm sitting right in front of the drummer, so I can't hear a thing. Sometimes you just have to watch the conductor, play the notes on the page and hope everything's okay.

    My favourite music theatre show to play is Les Miserables. Now that's a BIG show. It was the first one I ever played for, when I was still in first year at the conservatorium, and I turned up to rehearsal without knowing anyone, with no clue what I was doing or even where to sit. What no one had explained to me was that a) the orchestra was amplified, so everyone would hear every single sound I made; and b) in Les Miserables, the oboe has the biggest, most prominent solo part in the entire orchestra. Ha ha! Nothing like learning on the job. But I had an awesome time, and I've been addicted to music theatre ever since.

    Like I said, these days I don't have much time for my oboe. It's a shame. I miss it. Playing is a lot like writing – it's difficult, frustrating, elusive and deeply rewarding when you get it right. But it's also far scarier than writing. Music is a performance art – there's no editing or re-writing. So it helps put my writing troubles in perspective! Also, it's social, and writing is solitary. I spend a lot of time alone in my office. So for me, orchestra time fills in the social void. It's a bunch of people like me, and we make things together.

    ----------------------------

    Thank so so much Erica for sharing this aspect of your life with us!

    Do you guys play any instruments?

    Here’s a bit more about her books:

    You can read the prequel HELLCURSED here for free!

    SG_cover

    poison kissed cover

    Beyond the veil of magic, a fairy otherworld pulses with glamour and dark beauty... It's a place where passions run deep and dark — and death is just one kiss away...
    Mina is a banshee whose greatest power lies in her siren song. She's beholden to her boss Joey, a snake-shifter who once saved her life and now employs her as a gang enforcer. She refuses to upset the fragile balance between them by admitting that she longs for him, that his embrace is the only thing she craves more than revenge for her mother's death...
    When Mina learns that Joey may have been involved in her mother's murder, fury threatens to spill out of her, note by vicious note. She and Joey have always trusted each other to stay alive, but now she's not sure what to believe. The evidence stacked against him — or the one man who haunts her dreams and burns in her blood...

    --------------------------

    Erica generously offered 2 readers a book of their choice from her Shadowfae Chronicles series!

    Open to US & Canada

    All you have to do is FILL THE FORM

    Feel free to leave a comment for Erica!

    Ends Nov 8th, 2010.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    In My Mailbox

    In My Mailbox
    Before getting to serious business, I would like to thank The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week =)
     
    This week I only got two books so I decided not to do a Vlog. Here are the books I got!
     

    Bought:

    Hardcover copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (My review here)

    Won:

    Another One Bites the Dust by Jennifer Rardin (Thank you Judi)

    I was really shocked last month when I heard Jennifer passed away, and I won this book in a tribute giveaway. My condolences to Jennifer’s loved ones.

     

    While you are here, don’t forget to enter both my active giveaways!


    Ends Oct. 26th            Ends Oct. 28th

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost

    first-drop-of-crimson-xl-174x300 The night is not safe for mortals.

    Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows – her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield – and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family’s dark past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness – and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who craves a taste of her.

    He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human –  even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the demon nightmare together…

    Because once the first drop of crimson falls, they will both be lost.

    Denise, Cat’s best friend has been grieving and keeping to herself since the death of her husband at last year’s New Year party. He was killed by some kind of freak zombies and Denise refused to have anything to do with the Paranormal world anymore, she doesn’t even respond to Cat’s calls. The Paranormal has other plans for her though. Her relatives started to die one after the other, her aunt then her cousin and finally another cousin in front of her very eyes. But this is all a mess, something is wrong and the police won’t hear her. She needs Cat’s help to solve that one, yet she’s no where to be found. In a desperate attempt, she finally decides to call Spade. He must know how to reach her right?

    Awww how much I love Jeaniene’s books. Full length novel or short story, I always feel right at home when reading her books. Her world, her characters, and the sincerity with which it’s delivered makes for an amazing read.

    Denise (human) and Spade/Charles (Vampire)  are the main characters of this Night Huntress spin off book and I loved to discover more about them! Denise ended up being a strong woman fighting hard against her grief and PTSD to protect her family and do the right thing. Her path won’t be an easy one but she will prove her worth with every decision she takes. We already knew a bit more of Spade because we saw him more often in the Cat & Bones books, but he was a delightful surprise anyway. He is such a gentleman and I loved to discover more about his past. He lived a very tragic story and it was nice to see how it still affects him today. He is a very multilayered character and I loved every aspect of him.

    Here’s a  quote I found particularly yummy:

    I wanted you to watch, so I stomped around the room to wake you before I got into the shower. Didn’t you wonder why the light was on? It wasn’t for me, I can see in the dark. And then I kept the water cold so the glass wouldn’t fog.”

    “With your body, that should count as entrapment,” Denise muttered feeling her face heat.

    Everything about this book was amazing, the psychology, the action, the sexual tension, the mystery, all you need for a fabulous book! I especially appreciated how we were always a step –or four- behind Spade’s plans. He is once smart dude and it proved very helpful and entertaining. The rhythm was face paced, it only took me a few hours to rush through it  and I was sad when it ended. The end was rather surprising and I keep thinking about it.

    --------------Spoilers Zone---------------

    For those of you who read the book please let me know what you think. I would’ve thought killing the demon would bring Denise back to human because technically her branding is a part of the demon’s essence. So it would make sense for the essence to disappear when the demon died, no? And since she is still a shapeshifter. It means her blood will always be addictive. Spade will never be able to drink from her, and Web’s employees who got away knows she’s a Red Dragon source. Won’t they keep coming after her?

    ------------END of Spoilers Zone----------

    In conclusion, if you haven’t read Jeaniene Frost’s books, do yourself a favor and go buy them ASAP. They are one of my favorite series out there, and every single book is a special treat. You could start with First Drop of Crimson, but I would strongly suggest reading them all in release date order, starting with Halfway to the Grave. The Night Huntress world is mysterious, mesmerizing, sensual, action-packed and let’s be honest, Freak-ing-awesome.

    Read the first 20%



    Night Hunter Series/World:

    Halfway to the Grave

    One foot in the Grave

    At Grave's end

    Destined for an Early Grave

    First Drop of Crimson

    Eternal Kiss of Darkness

    This Side of the Grave (Feb 2011)

    Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English The Book Depository
  • ISBN-10: 0061583227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061583223

    Book Source: Signed copy won in a giveaway (Thank you Jeaniene!)

  • Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Nightshade Winner!

    That’s right, it’s time to reveal who, out of 235 entrants, is the lucky winner of a signed (I’m jealous) copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer!

    Nightshade1

    Winner was picked with random.org and is….

    Beleth from Book Eater

    I’m about to email you and you will have 72 hours to reply with your mailing address, also please let me know what name you’d like your copy signed to.

    Wasn’t your lucky day? You can always purchase a copy, trust me it’s worth every cent!

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    When I’m not writing… with Stacia Kane

    bluewig4best

     

    This week I have to honor to meet with Stacia Kane, author of the Downside series which is “a cross between Ghostbusters and Escape From New York, with witchcraft, drugs, human sacrifice, punk rock, and a black '69 Chevelle." I’ll tell you more about this original series, but first, let’s learn more about miss Kane! BTW, she is wearing a wig in this picture, it’s not her natural coloring *winks*

     

    What do I do when I’m not writing?

    That’s kind of a contradiction in terms. I’m never not writing. I’m never not thinking about writing. It’s like being a parent; not in the sense that books are like children, of course—I wouldn’t throw myself in front of a train to save a manuscript—but in the way they never fully leave your head. You know what I mean? There’s always a little part of your mind focused on them, thinking of them, worrying about them, planning things for them. (I read a quote somewhere once that said something like, “When you become a parent you grow a little extra piece on your heart, and that piece is always crying.” Which, yeah, pretty much. Writing is like that too, except that little piece is always poking you, distracting you, trying to grab your attention,  waking you up in the middle of the night…kind of like a husband, actually, except husbands don’t normally spend all of their time telling you that you’re just not good enough and you shouldn’t think you are, and that nobody likes you. At least they shouldn’t. Far be it from me to butt in, but if your husband does that you should maybe look for a new one. But writing can be pretty cruel sometimes, frankly.)

    Anyway. This isn’t about what I think of writing, it’s about what I do when I’m not writing. I could actually dispose of that topic in a few words: eating, sleeping, cooking…*cough*grown-up things*cough*…lazing about.

    But there are a few things, I suppose. I love to cook. I cook a lot. Funnily enough, I find the urge to get involved in large, elaborate cooking projects strengthens as my deadlines get closer. Odd, that. But very true. My family generally knows that when I announce I’m going to bake a chocolate-orange chiffon cake with freshly whipped cream, chocolate ganache, and orange glaze, it means I’m avoiding work and they need to give me a Stern Look. Of course that doesn’t stop them from eating it.

    It doesn’t stop at poncy desserts, either, oh no. When I’m avoiding writing I tend to pull out the Big Guns. This is when I start making things that require brining bags and roux-based sauces and reductions. This is when the jars of demiglace in my fridge become noticeably lighter, and my cast iron Dutch ovens are called into constant use (I do love those. A few years ago the men in my husband’s office had a fit when he told them he was buying me cookware for Christmas. They all insisted he’d be punished for that and no woman wanted kitchen stuff for Christmas. They were, of course, wrong. I’m happy every time I pull out a piece of le Creuset that we saved up for. I’ve only got a couple of pieces at the moment, but I’m adding to the collection whenever possible). This is when my long-suffering husband can’t find room in the fridge because of all the covered bowls of leftovers and bags of meat soaking in various wine-based concoctions and half-empty tubs of exotic ingredients.

    But it’s relaxing, and I find it very difficult to relax. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m terribly lazy. And I honestly like nothing more than to stay home all day on my couch, working or playing with my laptop or reading or watching movies or whatever. Sometimes I even, you know, do stuff with my children.

    But like I said, it’s hard to relax. I’m always caught up in something, focusing on something. Worrying about something; that’s a big one. There’s never a moment where I’m not freaking out about this or that or stressed about something, to be honest. It generally even takes me a few hours to get to sleep every night. I’m a night owl and an insomniac, and it’s not unusual for me to slip into bed half an hour before my husband and the girls get up.

    Cooking is different. Cooking is, to borrow a phrase which feels annoyingly trendy in a self-conscious, meta sort of way, very zen. It’s soothing. It’s something creative to do that produces almost instant results; tangible results. You can write fifty thousand words of a book and feel accomplished, but you still only have fifty thousand words, not a whole book. Whereas with cooking…a few hours, maybe and you have a real thing. Something you can share, and something with results you can experience immediately.  That can be a surprisingly important boost, especially when you’re stuck, or if you (like me) spend pretty much the entire time you’re writing convinced you’re just churning out garbage and no one will ever want to read this shit and why do you even bother. So that little kick is really nice to have.

    I don’t just cook when I want to avoid writing. I cook when I want to write, when I’m not sure what happens next but I know it has to be something good. It gives me something else to focus on. Something to do with my hands while I let my mind wander. I do some of my best plotting while cooking. Well, I do my best plotting in three places: in the shower, while driving, and while cooking. It clears my head. Cooking is essentially being forced to ignore distractions; you can’t just hop over to check your email when your hands are covered in flour.

    Of course, I still consider it writing in some way, because that’s what I’m thinking about. But it’s not physically writing, and it’s not sitting on the couch with my laptop. That alone makes it quite a change for me!

    Thanks so much for inviting me here, Tynga! This was really fun to do. And thanks everyone for reading!

    ----------------------------

    Stacey I hear you about the insomnia! I, also, often slip into bed just before my fiancé wake sup for work and I often inspiration in the shower or while brushing my teeth, I guess our Muse likes to hang out in the bathroom haha. It was such a pleasure to have you on board thank you very much!

    -----------------------------

    More about Stacia’s books!

    (click to purchase)

    unholyghosts_uk_sm unholymagic_uk_sm cityofghosts_uk_sm

    City of Ghosts:

    IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD.

    Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

    Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

    Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.

    You will be very happy to learn that the tentative date on the fourth book is next fall, as far as I know there isn’t an official title yet, but I bet it will be awesome ^^

    -------------------------------------

    Enjoyed this post? There will be more “When I’m not writing…” posts in the future!

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    Authors, you would like to visit and share with us?

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    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Knight Angels: Book of Revenge by Abra Ebner

    revenge

     

    New characters, New world, but old enemies. Emily struggles to ignore a new friend with emotions that temp her, Wes delves deeper into his past and family while finding friendship isn't reserved for the human race alone, Jane finds out her dear Max isn't what he seems, Gregs friendships cost him more than he expected, and Max forgets that the truth is best. But then again, someone always has to be the liar...
    Emotional baggage, begrudged enemies, and the bitterness that comes when the honeymoon of their friendship fades...
    Will the love survive, or as it all just a game?

    I was happy to meet again with this not-so-merry gang of teenagers for a second round. The events at the end of Book of Love changed them but they are far from being at the of the road, many more surprises awaits them along the way. This time, Max’s past is coming back to hunt them and the threat won’t stop until death comes.

    I didn’t feel the same connection I felt with Jane (seoul, she can predict people’s deaths)  in the first book but this encounter wasn’t any less good. The characters we already know will learn more about themselves, their abilities and their past. I think Emily (Mind reader) was my favorite one, she changed so much and all for the best. Max (guardian angel) was the character that really got to me though, the things he will go through this time around are plain crazy and could break down anyone.

    Abra also introduced 2 new characters  to the story, Avery, a pixie from Max’s past and Jake, a vampire. You’ll find that the former’s goals are rather bold, but the latter’s are very shadowy.

    The plot kept a steady pace, I would’ve loved a bit more action, but the main focus is the character’s psychology and the end totally made up for it. Abra built up a crescendo of emotions and you find yourself seeking ways to reach a different ending.

    Two weeks ago, Max stopped by for an interview and his answer “(Frowns) I can't believe I didn't see it coming, that's all.” means a lot more now that I’ve read Book of Revenge. The end will stun you and I’m sure that like me, you’ll want to know right away what happens next. I really can’t wait to see how this bunch of teenagers will bounce back. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait for a while, because the third book isn’t written yet!

    Knight Angels series:

    Book of Love

    Book of Revenge

    Books Stats:

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Crimson Oak Publishing (October 1, 2010) The Book Depository
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982950527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982950524

    Book Source: Review copy sent by Abra Ebner

  • Saturday, October 16, 2010

    In My Mailbox - Vlog

    In My Mailbox
    Before getting to serious business, I would like to thank The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week =)
     


    Mentioned in the vlog:

    Deadline Dames

     

    Books won:

    Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur

    Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur

    Tempting Evil by Keri Arthur (Thank you very much Keri ^^)

     

    Books for review:

    Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

    Heaven’s Spite by Lilith Saintcrow

    Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Daughter of Darkness by V.C. Andrews + Giveaway

    V.C. Andrews stepped into the dark side with her upcoming release Daughter of Darkness (10/26/10)!

    Here’s a bit more about the book…

    When I was a little girl, Daddy told me never to fear the dark. "We exist because of the darkness," he told me. "All of you are daughters of darkness."
    Beloved bestselling author V.C. Andrews's passion for vampires comes to spellbinding life in a long-awaited novel of dark desires as all-consuming—and forbidden—as in Flowers in the Attic. One night, with the sound of a young man's scream, high school senior Lorelei discovers that her stern but loving father, who adopted Lorelei and her sisters as infants, is no ordinary man. He has raised his beautiful girls for one purpose: to lure young men into their world of shadows. Like her sisters, Lorelei has been trained in the art of seduction and warned never to fall in love. But when she meets a handsome and charming classmate, she boldly defies her family and follows her heart—even if love is a poison. . . .

    Sounds pretty mysterious right? What if you were adopted by a vampire?

    **Update**

    Simon&Schuster contacted me and are offering 5 copies to giveaway! Yay =)

    It’s Open to US & Canada (no PO boxes)

    All you have to do is FILL THE FORM

    Giveaway ends October 28th, 2010.

     

    For more chances to win, you can visit:

    Bitten by Books open CAN/US Ends Oct 15th.

    Fangtastic Books open to US Ends Oct 20th.

    Parajunkee’s view open to Can/US Ends Oct 31st.

    Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

    276-1

    Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station - and she also happens to be a werewolf. One night, sick of the usual lame song requests, she accidentally starts 'The Midnight Hour', a late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. Almost immediately she's deluged by calls from desperate vampires, werewolves and witches from all across the country, wanting to share their woes and ask her advice.
    Kitty's new show is a raging success, but it's Kitty herself who could use some help, not least because her monthly change is a deep and dark secret to all but a very special few.
    And when she finds one very sexy werewolf-hunter on her tail, not to mention a few homicidal undead, she realises she may just may have bitten off more than she can chew...

    Kitty Norville, werewolf and late night DJ is the main character of this original series. Her life changed three years ago when the worst night of her life ended by a werewolf’s attack. She’s always been the cub of her Pack, happy to lay low and mind her own business but her life will take a surprising twist when her KNOB show turns into a Paranormal talk show.

    I really enjoyed the first book in the Kitty series and I particularly liked the whole “Midnight Hour” concept (Kitty’s show). I thought this open-line drama was plenty original and refreshing and Kitty often surprised me with instinctive and smart answers. She is such an amazing character, her human half clashing fabulously with her wolf for an entertaining result. I appreciated how every decision were considered by both sides of her personality and that she would sometimes side with one and then the other. On first degree she’s like the girl next door, nice and simple, but her life is so much more complicated than that. And I liked every layers.

    TJ, a pack mate and best friend, was amazing. I loved his wild cowboy feel and the way he cared for her. Cormac was also quite a show. His relation with Kitty started with fireworks and I enjoyed watching its evolution. I really hope we’ll see more of him in the next books.

    The vampire and werewolf lore are rather classic in this book but I think it’s the character’s voice that makes this story unique, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. The end wrapped-up nicely even though I wished it ended differently, what can I say, I’m a new-age romantic. The door is are wide open for new adventures and I’m anxious to discover them!

    Overall, Carrie’s traditional lore paired up with action and suspense to deliver a book that will keep you on your toes the whole time!

    Read an excerpt

     

    Kitty Norville series:

    Kitty and The Midnight Hour

    Kitty Goes to Washington

    Kitty Takes a Holiday

    Kitty and the Silver Bullet

    Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand

    Kitty Raises Hell

    Kitty's House of Horrors

    Kitty Goes to War

    Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages The Book Depository
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446616419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446616416

     

    Book Source: Personal Shelf

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Bring on the Night winner!

    It’s now time to announce the winner of a copy of Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready!

    The lucky person is…

    justpeachy36 from Debbie’s Book Bag!

    I sent you an email, you have 72 hours to answer me with your mailing address.

    Congrats!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Fan Art: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

    Hello my darlings!
    Once more I am joining Katie from Sophistikatied Reviews, to feature Fan Art!

     

    This week’s fan art is an entry to The Book Vixen’s contest. I hope you like it!

    Nightshade

    (visit my DeviantArt account for credits)

    Please let me know what you think ^^

    Crescendo Giveaway!

    Yes baby that’s what I’m talking about lol

    Because Crescendo is AWESOME (see review here), because you are awesome and because Big Honcho Media & Simon & Schuster are also awesome, I have a fabulous prize for you guys. But before I give you the details let’s talk about the books a bit!

    Hush, Hush the first book in the series debuted as a New York Times bestseller and of course it was a blast (my review here)

    HushHushCover A sacred oath, a fallen angel, a forbidden love.
    Nora Grey has had a rough year. Her father was murdered and as a result, her mother had thrown herself into work, leaving Nora alone most of the time in their secluded farmhouse. Despite this, she manages to be a very good girl, never missing school, never even driving without permission.
    But when the transfer student, Patch, gets assigned as her lab partner in biology, from the moment the two are together, there's an inescapable magnetism that draws Nora deeper and deeper into his dark world. When she discovers the enormous V-shaped scars on his back, she discovers that there is a battle going on between the fallen and the immortal. And she's the object.
    The magnetism she feels is now more inescapable than ever.

    And then came Crescendo (Available October 19), I was really lucky to get an early copy and I don’t know how I’m going to wait for the third book, I WANT IT NOW PLEASE!!! I’m sure it’s going to sky rocket the New York Times bestseller list as well, I already pre-ordered my finished copy!


    CrescendoCover Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.
    The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?



    And because I love trailers, here the official Crescendo trailer

     
    Also feel free to visit the brand new website!
     
    Now onto the giveaway!

    A lucky reader will win a handmade gold angel wing and labradorite lariat and a finished copy of Crescendo!

    WingPendant

    All you have to do is FILL THE FORM

    Open to US & Canada

    Giveaway ends October 26th, 2010.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    When I’m not writing… with Carolyn Crane!

     

     

     

    I discovered Carolyn not so long ago with her novel Mind Games (review here) and I’m glad I did! Her story is so unique, her characters so special, her series is definitely a must have! I haven’t had the chance to read her latest release, Double Cross, just yet, but I’m sure it’s gonna be great! I’m very honored to introduce you to Carolyn Crane, but beware she disillusion you! *winks*

     

     

    Vignettes from my total slob life

    When Tynga approached me with this “When I’m not Writing” idea (totally fun - I love reading all the posts!) I tried to think of stuff I’m into, but honestly, I’m hardly ever not writing! I write advertising for a living (I’m a freelancer, and way more Peggy than Dick Draper.) And of course, I fit novel writing in around that. Get a run in, dinner, and I’m done!

    There are some things I’m vaguely into and don’t have time for anymore, but it didn’t feel real to talk about those things. The most real thing I can talk about with my life is my struggles with being a messy person. OMG I’m already like, am I going to regret this? But it’s the hugest thing right now for me, because I’m really trying to change. My husband Mark, luckily, is really messy too. We are both trying to change, but we are both busy writers, so it is really hard!

    desk

    I have been a total slob all my life. My earliest memory of being a slob was in grade school, when I would dig up worms at recess and keep them in my desk as little pets, and being the conscientious child, I would of course put dirt in there for them to live in. Naturally, the worms would die, or I’d put them back outside, just leaving dirt, and the teacher would write home like, there’s dirt and rocks in Carolyn’s desk! Things have not exactly gone uphill from there.

    We are like, the biggest slobs, actually. Sometimes when people invite us over, they apologize for being messy, we just laugh in their faces, like, dude, you aren’t even in the same ballpark. You aren’t in the same universe.

    I always think there is some day coming where I won’t have jobs or deadlines, and I’ll get my office clean, and put up nice curtains and clean and make the place look totally beautiful, and I really want that, but that day never seems to come.

    laundry

    I mean, we’re not messy enough to be on a TV show, or even at the messy level you see on COPS, but it is a thing. We think it’s really funny, and we have lots of jokes about it. Like, when the place is really outrageously messy, and we’re stressing about it, sometimes one of us will do this English Oliver Twist accent, we’ll say, “We may have a humble home, but it’s a proud home, and by god, we keep it clean!” Or else we say to each other, “oh well, we’re artists.” I don’t know why I think that is so funny.

    Sometimes, when guests come over, we clean forever, it seems like. Most of the time, we don’t get a chance to properly clean, so we’ll be cleaning really fast, we have this whole joke like, let’s just get the place out of the mental imbalance zone and into the slob zone. And then when the people arrive, we’ll be like, OMG, we didn’t have time to clean! But really, we’ve been cleaning. LOL.

    Not to blame things on the cat, but it totally doesn’t help that we have Oblio. He loves to dig in plants and knock stuff off tables. Even books and water glasses—heavy stuff! As writers, we generate lots of paper, and we put it in bags for recycling. Oblio’s favorite thing in the

    world is to dig in the bags of paper and other recycling and scatter stuff around. He does it in all the recycling. Especially the kitchen recycling, with its bags of bottles and cans.

    obliorecyclingtynga

    What is totally funny is that our landlords live below us and they are TOTAL CRAZY clean freaks, and whenever they have to come in unexpectedly, it’s always when our home is at its worst, and right after Oblio has destroyed the recycling. One time they made this comment like, we throw trash on the kitchen floor, and we were like, what? Because we’re not quite that bad, but then we realized they’d seen the recycling corner after Oblio dug in it and assumed we just lob trash over there. Our landlords don’t recycle, so they totally don’t get the concept of a recycling corner. Naturally, we thought that was completely hilarious that they thought that.

    One of the funniest things is that, when Mark and I were about 22 we were saving up money to go to Thailand and we decided we would make extra cash as housecleaners, so we put out fliers (with the slogan: We clean like you’ve never seen! ) but we had no real notion of how to clean properly—we would’ve had better success in jobs as nuclear physicists. We got some jobs with our brilliant slogan (which was of course true but not the in way people hoped), and we would just shine stuff up and think it looked clean. We thought we were doing a pretty good job. Needless to say, we didn’t have any repeat customers, except a French couple, who were as big of slobs as us.

    I used to be in this book club of really wild girls, and we would meet at different houses, and drink lots of cocktails and not talk about the books and there was one time when this girl, we’ll call her Lou, hosted it and beforehand, my friend in the club warned me I might not want to eat any of the food Lou prepares, because her place is so gross. And I had this horrible idea that, what if people say that about our place? It gave me this whole complex, but then we went to her house, and her place really was gross! I was so relieved. She was way messier than I ever was!

    Foyer

    Still, I don’t want to be like this. My mom used to say, a messy room is a messy mind. That is sort of extreme, but I do think a messy place adds to your baseline of stress. So I have been trying to add more cleaning to my routine. For example, every morning when I wash the dishes from the day before (that’s normal, I DO wash the dishes regularly) but lately, I have been choosing one extra thing to clean. Today, I cleaned the front of the refrigerator. Mark noticed right away. His new thing is to keep the foyer clean, and that has been really nice, and I have joined in on that project. I am thinking we can expand that program.

    I think, something sort of has to give when you’re a writer with a day job, because there are only so many hours in a day, but I’m really serious about turning over this new leaf. I’m excited to have a clean house!

    So, Tynga, to answer your question, what do I do when I’m not writing? Well, apparently I don’t clean, but it’s a big thing in my life that I’m trying to change.

    ---------------------------

    Know what Carolyn? I’m glad I’m not the only one out there cleaning and then apologizing for the mess lol! And your kitteh is SO CUTE! It was such a pleasure to have you around Carolyn, thank you very much for stopping by and sharing a bit of your life with us!

    Here’s a bit more about Carolyn’s books

    mindgames JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.
    Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.
    Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

    SOME SECRETS COME BACK TO HAUNT.
    OTHERS COME TO KILL...

    Justine Jones has lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she's lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard. He gifts her with extraordinary mental powers-dooming her to fight Midcity's shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

    But now, serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard - and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity's new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

    As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men . . . one on a journey of redemption, and the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.



    -------------------------------------

    Enjoyed this post? There will be more “When I’m not writing…” posts in the future!

    Please visit This Page to find out who my future guests are, and a chance to suggest authors you would like to see featured!

    Authors, you would like to visit and share with us?

    Please email me at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com