Blood Games:The Blog Tour

Welcome to the next stop on the Blood Games blog tour written by Chloe Neill. I was beyond excited when I received a copy of the 10th book in the CLV series! I read it in two days, I could not put it down. I am so proud and honored to be a part of this tour! Continue reading

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Through The Stones: Sassenach

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JESUS H ROOSEVELT CHRIST! The kilt dropped last night for almost all the world to see when the first episode Sassenach was released on a variety of platforms! I thought, surely we were going to break the internet! Before I get on with the goodness that was the first episode, I would like to thank Kathi and Monica for introducing me to the book series for without them, I might not be witnessing such greatness!

I would also like to thank HERSELF for writing this amazing series,for without her, this show would not be a reality.

I would like to thank Ron D Moore, Starz and everyone involved for bringing one of my favorite book series and it’s scenes out of my mind and onto a TV screen. It was truly magical and I had tears in my eyes as it was utterly beautiful. THANK YOU! Continue reading

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The Book Of Life: A Perfect Tenth Knot

YOU'VE GOT MAIL!

YOU’VE GOT MAIL!

“And it all started with A Discovery of Witches” as well as a little manuscript entitled ‘Ashmole 782’ that a reluctant witch called forth from the depths of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to receive this book in the mail. I know I won’t be laughed at when I tell you that the first thing I did was smell the book. I love the smell of a book, especially a freshly printed book. I was reminded of Rory smelling a book in the middle of the library at Yale.

But I digress! This review won’t be full of spoilers as I want you, the fans of Ms.Harkness and this wonderful trilogy to be just as surprised and delighted as I by what they read. I really could go on forever about it, enjoy, my friends!

Continue reading

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Q&A With Deborah Harkness Plus TBOL Package Giveaway

I cannot begin to tell you, readers just how excited I am for the final book in the All Souls Trilogy. The Book Of Life will be released July 15th and fans of the series are looking forward to see how it all ends.

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I have a treat for you today in the form of a Q&A with the author of this great trilogy, Deborah Harkness. Let me tell you, it is great and provides more insight into TBOL and the trilogy as a whole.

A CONVERSATION WITH DEBORAH HARKNESS

Q: In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the University of Southern California and have focused on alchemy in your research. What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading THE BOOK OF LIFE? There’s quite a bit more lab work in this book!

A. There is. Welcome back to the present! What I hope readers come to appreciate is that science—past or present—is nothing more than a method for asking and answering questions about the world and our place in it. Once, some of those questions were answered alchemically. Today, they might be answered biochemically and genetically. In the future? Who knows. But Matthew is right in suggesting that there are really remarkably few scientific questions and we have been posing them for a very long time. Two of them are: who am I? why am I here?

Q: Much of the conflict in the book seems to mirror issues of race and sexuality in our society, and there seems to be a definite moral conclusion to THE BOOK OF LIFE. Could you discuss this? Do you find that a strength of fantasy novels is their ability to not only to allow readers to escape, but to also challenge them to fact important moral issues?

A. Human beings like to sort and categorize. We have done this since the beginnings of recorded history, and probably well back beyond that point. One of the most common ways to do that is to group things that are “alike” and things that are “different.” Often, we fear what is not like us. Many of the world’s ills have stemmed from someone (or a group of someones) deciding what is different is also dangerous. Witches, women, people of color, people of different faiths, people of different sexual orientations—all have been targets of this process of singling others out and labeling them different and therefore undesirable. Like my interest in exploring what a family is, the issue of difference and respect for difference (rather than fear) informed every page of the All Souls Trilogy. And yes, I do think that dealing with fantastic creatures like daemons, vampires, and witches rather than confronting issues of race or sexuality directly can enable readers to think through these issues in a useful way and perhaps come to different conclusions about members of their own families and communities. As I often say when people ask me why supernatural creatures are so popular these days: witches and vampires are monsters to think with.

Q: From the moment Matthew and a pregnant Diana arrive back at Sept-Tours and reinstate themselves back into a sprawling family of witches and vampires, it becomes clear that the meaning of family will be an important idea for THE BOOK OF LIFE. How does this unify the whole series? Did you draw on your own life?

A. Since time immemorial the family has been an important way for people to organize themselves in the world. In the past, the “traditional” family was a sprawling and blended unit that embraced immediate relatives, in-laws and their immediate families, servants, orphaned children, the children your partner might bring into a family from a previous relationship, and other dependents. Marriage was an equally flexible and elastic concept in many places and times. Given how old my vampires are, and the fact that witches are the keepers of tradition, I wanted to explore from the very first page of the series the truly traditional basis of family: unqualified love and mutual responsibility. That is certainly the meaning of family that my parents taught me.

Q: While there are entire genres devoted to stories of witches, vampires, and ghosts, the idea of a weaver – a witch who weaves original spells – feels very unique to THE BOOK OF LIFE. What resources helped you gain inspiration for Diana’s uniqueness?

A. Believe it or not, my inspiration for weaving came from a branch of mathematics called topology. I became intrigued by mathematical theories of mutability to go along with my alchemical theories of mutability and change. Topology is a mathematical study of shapes and spaces that theorizes how far something can be stretched or twisted without breaking. You could say it’s a mathematical theory of connectivity and continuity (two familiar themes to any reader of the All Souls Trilogy). I wondered if I could come up with a theory of magic that could be comfortably contained within mathematics, one in which magic could be seen to shape and twist reality without breaking it. I used fabric as a metaphor for this worldview with threads and colors shaping human perceptions. Weavers became the witches who were talented at seeing and manipulating the underlying fabric. In topology, mathematicians study knots—unbreakable knots with their ends fused together that can be twisted and shaped. Soon the mathematics and mechanics of Diana’s magic came into focus.

Q: A Discovery of Witches debuted at # 2 on the New York Times bestseller list and Shadow of Night debuted at #1. What has been your reaction to the outpouring of love for the All Souls Trilogy? Was it surprising how taken fans were with Diana and Matthew’s story?

A. It has been amazing—and a bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how quickly readers embraced two central characters who have a considerable number of quirks and challenge our typical notion of what a heroine or hero should be. And I continue to be amazed whenever a new reader pops up, whether one in the US or somewhere like Finland or Japan—to tell me how much they enjoyed being caught up in the world of the Bishops and de Clemonts. Sometimes when I meet readers they ask me how their friends are doing—meaning Diana, or Matthew, or Miriam. That’s an extraordinary experience for a writer.

Q: Diana and Matthew, once again, move around to quite a number of locations in THE BOOK OF LIFE, including New Haven, New Orleans, and a few of our favorite old haunts like Oxford, Madison, and Sept-Tours. What inspired you to place your characters in these locations? Have you visited them yourself?

A. As a writer, I really need to experience the places I write about in my books. I want to know what it smells like, how the air feels when it changes direction, the way the sunlight strikes the windowsill in the morning, the sound of birds and insects. Not every writer may require this, but I do. So I spent time not only in New Haven but undertaking research at the Beinecke Library so that I could understand the rhythms of Diana’s day there. I visited New Orleans several times to imagine my vampires into them. All of the locations I pick are steeped in history and stories about past inhabitants—perfect fuel for any writer’s creative fire.

Q: Did you know back when you wrote A Discovery of Witches how the story would conclude in THE BOOK OF LIFE? Did the direction change once you began the writing process?

A. I knew how the trilogy would end, but I didn’t know exactly how we would get there. The story was well thought out through the beginning of what became The Book of Life, but the chunk between that beginning and the ending (which is as I envisioned it) did change. In part that was because what I had sketched out was too ambitious and complicated—the perils of being not only a first-time trilogy writer but also a first time author. It was very important to me that I resolve and tie up all the threads already in the story so readers had a satisfying conclusion. Early in the writing of The Book of Life it became clear that this wasn’t going to give me much time to introduce new characters or plot twists. I now understand why so many trilogies have four, five, six—or more—books in them. Finishing the trilogy as a trilogy required a lot of determination and a very thick pair of blinders as I left behind characters and story lines that would take me too far from the central story of Diana, Matthew, and the Book of Life.

Q: A Discovery of Witches begins with Diana Bishop stumbling across a lost, enchanted manuscript called Ashmole 782 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and the secrets contained in the manuscript are at long last revealed in THE BOOK OF LIFE. You had a similar experience while you were completing your dissertation. What was the story behind your discovery? And how did it inspire the creation of these novels?

A. I did discover a manuscript—not an enchanted one, alas—in the Bodleian Library. It was a manuscript owned by Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, the mathematician and alchemist John Dee. In the 1570s and 1580s he became interested in using a crystal ball to talk to angels. The angels gave him all kinds of instructions on how to manage his life at home, his work—they even told him to pack up his family and belongings and go to far-away Poland and Prague. In the conversations, Dee asked the angels about a mysterious book in his library called “the Book of Soyga” or “Aldaraia.” No one had ever been able to find it, even though many of Dee’s other books survive in libraries throughout the world. In the summer of 1994 I was spending time in Oxford between finishing my doctorate and starting my first job. It was a wonderfully creative time, since I had no deadlines to worry about and my dissertation on Dee’s angel conversations was complete. As with most discoveries, this discovery of a “lost” manuscript was entirely accidental. I was looking for something else in the Bodleian’s catalogue and in the upper corner of the page was a reference to a book called “Aldaraia.” I knew it couldn’t be Dee’s book, but I called it up anyway. And it turned out it WAS the book (or at least a copy of it). With the help of the Bodleian’s Keeper of Rare Books, I located another copy in the British Library.

Q: Are there other lost books like this in the world?

A. Absolutely! Entire books have been written about famous lost volumes—including works by Plato, Aristotle, and Shakespeare to name just a few. Libraries are full of such treasures, some of them unrecognized and others simply misfiled or mislabeled. And we find lost books outside of libraries, too. In January 2006, a completely unknown manuscript belonging to one of the 17th century’s most prominent scientists, Robert Hooke, was discovered when someone was having the contents of their house valued for auction. The manuscript included minutes of early Royal Society meetings that we presumed were lost forever.

Q: Shadow of Night and A Discovery of Witches have often been compared to young adult fantasy like Twilight, with the caveat that this series is for adults interested in history, science, and academics. Unlike Bella and Edward, Matthew and Diana are card-carrying members of academia who meet in the library of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Are these characters based on something you found missing in the fantasy genre?

A. There are a lot of adults reading young adult books, and for good reason. Authors who specialize in the young adult market are writing original, compelling stories that can make even the most cynical grownups believe in magic. In writing A Discovery of Witches, I wanted to give adult readers a world no less magical, no less surprising and delightful, but one that included grown-up concerns and activities. These are not your children’s vampires and witches.

PRAISE FOR TEH BOOK OF LIFE

“Harkness proves to be quite the alchemist as she combines elements of magic, history, romance, and science, transforming them into a compelling journey through time, space, and geography. By bridging the gaps between Harry Potter, Twilight, and Outlander fans, Harkness artfully appeals to a broad range of fantasy lovers…The conclusion of this paranormal adventure is guaranteed to fly off the shelves.”

—Booklist

“There is no shortage of action in this sprawling sequel, and nearly every chapter brings a wrinkle to the tale. The storytelling is lively and energetic, and Diana remains an appealing heroine even as her life becomes ever more extraordinary. A delightful wrap-up to the trilogy.”

—Publishers Weekly

“In the resolution of the All Souls trilogy…as in the previous two installments, there are healthy doses of action, colorful magic, angst-y romance and emotional epiphany, plus mansion-hopping across the globe, historical tidbits and name-dropping of famous artworks and manuscripts.”

—Kirkus Reviews

Title: The Book of Life
Series: All Souls Trilogy #3
Author: Deborah Harkness
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Historical Fiction
Publication Date: July 15th 2014
Publisher: Viking Adult | Penguin
ISBN: 978-0670025596
Available Formats: Hardcover, E-book, Audio
Find it:GoodReads
Pre-order it: Amazon | BN| The Book Depository

GIVEAWAY
For those who missed out on the last giveaway I held, never fear, here is your second chance. This time the pot has been sweetened a bit because not only will you win Diana’s Commonplace book and a holographic button, you will also be winning a copy of The Book Of Life!

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Are you excited?! I know you are! All you have to do is click on the link below and you will be taken to the giveaway. Follow the directions on the widget and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Exclusive: The Book of Life Excerpt and Commonplace Giveaway

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness is one of the highly anticipated books of the summer and the final novel in the ALL SOULS TRILOGY. The release date for this book will be July 15th and those who have fallen in love with Matthew and Diana, cannot wait to see how their story will unfold, and just what is in Ashmole 782?! What secrets does it hold? Why does every magical being want to get their hot little hands on it? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Today is World Outlander Day

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Today marks the day that the Outlander series was brought to us by Diana Gabaldon with the publication of the first book simply titled ‘Outlander’.

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I honestly cannot put into words just how much I love this series. I have talked endlessly with my friends (who introduced me to these books THANK YOU)and it all comes down to one thing. It is a love story that truly stands the test of time and quite literally, I might add.

Only in a book, can you walk through a set of standing stones and find the one person you were meant to be with.

I instantly fell in love with the main characters in this story and have endured everything they have through. I know I am in for more as I am only on ‘The Fiery Cross’.

I am new to this series and have been having a mad reading marathon. I am trying anyhow, so many books and only one little ole me.

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I would like to thank Ms. Diana Gabaldon for bringing readers this amazing, unforgettable series as they not only brought so much joy, they brought people together through their love of the series.

Thanks to a fans love of the series, we get to see your story, Jamie and Claire’s story, come to life in early August. Thank you!

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The Bookie In Me

I am a major bookie, which would make me a book purist by nature. I am fine with changes within the movie adaptation of one of my favorite books or book series if ‘the spirit of the material’ is adhered to for the most part. I understand some changes as long as they don’t take away from the character’s arc.

Needless to say, when I read that one of my favorite new books/series, ‘A Discovery of Witches’, written brilliantly by Deborah Harkness, was to be adapted into a movie courtesy of Warner Brothers, I was a little nervous and apprehensive about the idea. The reason for this is that I have been burned before and deeply disappointed with some of these adaptations. And I am not even the author!

I posed this question to the author on her Facebook Page “How much input are you going to have with the Warner Brothers adaptation of A Discovery of Witches?” and she kindly responded.

Here is her response: “I’m sort of like the Queen of England: I am allowed to advise, counsel, and warn. But I have no veto power, or creative control–nor should I. I’m a novelist, not a film maker and I would like to finish book #3 for you!”

I loved her answer, especially the “I’m sort of like the Queen of England’ bit and it is comforting to know that she will be a part of the movie adaptation in some capacity so I am looking forward to seeing this on the big screen. Deborah has such a strong sense of her character’s and their motivations that I know she will ‘advise and counsel’ well. Who else is looking forward to seeing ADOW on the big screen? Now, the next big question is who will play Matthew? I’ve got some ideas! What are yours? Who will play Diana? Sound off below!

Special thanks to Deborah Harkness for answering a bookie’s question!🙂

*top image from roberson.edublog

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Gilmore Girls: Where You Lead I Will Follow

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am dying to hear that theme song again when the Gilmore Girls revival hits Netflix in November. I am excited to see what images will be used to accompany that theme song, if in fact we get the same theme song. Our Gilmore Girls are older, and that could mean a whole new theme song. It could be as Lauren Graham stated “I always assumed that it was ‘You’ve Got a Friend:’ Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall,” (Source) also sung by Carole King. I would not mind hearing that song for the revival, or a stripped down version of “If You Lead”

I plan on watching all four episodes at once as soon as it see that it is available. Thanksgiving is the day before, and I don’t plan on cooking a bunch of food that entails a ton of clean up. I will treat the revival as I do my favorite book series that are downloaded to my Kindle at midnight! Hopefully, that means I will be pulling an all nighter!

I do not want to be spoiled about any of it, so I will avoid all my social media platforms until I have watched every single episode of the Gilmore Girls goodness! I will be tucked into my favorite pajamas, and will have my Kindle charged so that I can watch Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall back to back to back to back.

THE SEASON THAT CANNOT BE NAMED

I have pretended that season 7 never really happened, because you could tell there was a major difference in the feel of the episodes. I prefer to think of it as an alternate universe, in which my favorite characters were not quite themselves. I don’t think I am alone in feeling that Lorelai and Rory were a bit out of character.

The writers of the seventh season did try to replicate the caliber of writing that Team Palladino produced for 6 years, but they never quite made it to that level of awesomeness. I don’t blame Amy for not wanting to watch the final season, as it was not up to her standards. The show just ended all wrong for me, and on so many levels.

LORELAI CHRISTOPHER LUKE

I loved the character of Christopher, and I would not have minded if Lorelai and Christopher had been the end game. I also loved Luke and would have been happy if they were the end game as well, but we were left with a “did they or didn’t they”? Season seven was just so wrong, and the marriage of Chris and Lorelai was done for all the wrong reasons.

I can’t speak for Amy and Dan really, but I can’t see those two writing a marriage between them in that manner. Lorelai has always been impulsive, and sleeping with Christopher after Luke broke her heart was no surprise, but marrying him was. It felt like she didn’t have any character growth, it felt like something a younger Lorelai would have done. The whole situation was not fair to Chris, Lorelai, or Luke, and I felt that it was all a hot mess. Of course, that is only my opinion.

I hated that all we got a Luke Lorelai kiss in the finale, and were left to imagine that they got married, and maybe had a child or two! Or maybe they just lived happily ever after with no children! I know this show is more about the relationship between Lorelai and Rory, and their journey through life, but their relationships are a central part of that journey. It just could have been handled much better.

LOGAN AND RORY

If I thought the situation above was a hot mess, then Logan and Rory were a volcano that erupted, and burned all the previous moments away. I am not saying there were not any good moments between them in season seven, but it was so off to me. While the rocket ship was a sweet sentiment, it did not really feel like Logan’s style at all. I think it would have felt like his style if viewers had been privy to the episode of The Twilight Zone they had watched together.

I know we were supposed to be just as clueless as Rory, but you would think she would remember such a sweet comment that Logan made to her. She sure recalled every other moment they had, good or bad. Then when she received the rocket ship from him, she would have instantly known what it meant. As a result of her not remembering what it symbolized, the whole gesture fell flat, and was not romantic at all. If the audience had been privy to that moment, we would have collectively shed a tear with Rory.

I loved that Logan wanted to marry Rory, but the proposal felt rushed to me. I felt that Logan would not have proposed at that moment in time, he would have waited until they were both in a better place. He wasn’t under his dad’s thumb anymore, he was working on his own goals, and would have wanted Rory to do the same thing. There was no law that said they had to get married right out of college. It was not something I expected to see happen until later in their lives and careers.

He knew her, and what she wanted to do with her life, and they would have worked something out. Logan and Rory’s three-year relationship ended so fast, and it felt like unfinished business. It was their first real serious adult relationship, and it did not get a fair resolution at all. I feel as if it is the only relationship of Rory’s that didn’t have any closure, it just ended. Those kinds of feelings just don’t go away without a resolution, or a happy ending.

I absolutely hated that it was an all or nothing proposal. I would love to see a proposal from Logan in the revival, and one that is fitting of their relationship, and who they are now. Of course, it would not be Logan and Rory if it did not have some semblance of their college days. Life and Death Brigade style proposal anyone….minus the base jumping?!

I know what I want most out of the revival (besides what I already mentioned) and one of them is to hear those four little words. The other is for me to get the same feels the first six seasons gave me, and what was lacking in the final season we were given. I am looking forward to watching the REAL FINAL SEASON as told by the original creators! I will follow where you lead!

What do you want to see happen in Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life? Sound off in the comments section below! I am obviously #TeamLogan so you just might see another post regarding my favorite Logan and Rory moments!

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The Sight Blog Tour By Chloe Neill

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Welcome to the next stop on The Sight Blog Tour. This is the second novel in Chloe Neill’s Devil’s Isle series. I am a huge fan of Chloe and her amazing talent, and this book lived up to my expectations. I am beyond honored to be a part of her blog tours, and to help spread the word!

THE SIGHT SYNOPSIS

The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over.  But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .

Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…

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CHLOE’S GIVEAWAY (AND IT’S A BIGGIE)

The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter Chloe’s Grand Prize Giveaway, which will run August 8 through August 19 on Chloe’s web site.

What’s included in the Grand Prize Giveaway?

If you have not yet ordered The Sight for yourself yet, you can do so at Amazon

MY SWAG GIVEAWAY

In addition to Chloe’s huge giveaway at her site, she has given us bloggers some swag to giveaway to our readers. This giveaway is US ONLY and you must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Winner will be selected at random and will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will also be randomly selected. Please allow up to thirty (30 days) for delivery.

The swag up for grabs include the following

  • Devil’s Isle tote bag, pen, and sticker sheet
  • Royal Mercantile Koozie and bookplate
  • The Veil screen wipe
  • Chicagoland Vampires and Devil’s Isle bookmarks

You can enter my giveaway here at The Sight Giveaway

Would you like more chances to win some awesome SWAG, then check out the other spots on The Sight Blog Tour! Seeing as this is the last day of the tour, keep in mind that a few of these giveaways might be over.

THE SIGHT BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 8 – Paranormaly Yours
Tuesday, August 9 – TSK, TSK What To Read?
Wednesday, August 10 – Redd’s Reads | The Book Crumb Trail
Thursday, August 11- Dandelionn Wine  | Vicarious Bookworm
Friday, August 12 – NovelKnight | Urban Fantasy Investigations

Monday, August 15 – Parajunkee | Book-Marks The Spot
Tuesday, August 16 (Release Day) – YA Reads | The Saucy Wenches | Bad Ass Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 17 – Goldilocks & The Three Weres
Thursday, August 18 – The Book Nympho | Angel’s Guilty Pleasures
Friday, August 19 – The Book Swarm | TruBookiesReview | Lake’s Book Reviews | | Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust

I would like to thank Chloe Neill for the awesome opportunity to be a part of her blog tours. Watch this space for my review of The Sight! Good Luck!

 

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Chloe Neill Drops Two Special Announcements

As all fans of Chloe Neill and the Chicagoland Vampires Series are aware, Blade Bound will be the last Methan novel.  The CLV has been a fan favorite, and we fans are sad that the end is almost upon us! BUT….never fear…….because

WE WILL GET A METHAN NOVELLA!

I normally don’t like the word but, though I will make an exception in this case. The reason being is that we will get one more Methan story before Blade Bound is released in April 2017!  The year 2017 is going to start out great!

If that news doesn’t make you get up and dance a gig in your office, then Chloe has even more news for fans of the CLV!

WE WILL GET A SPINOFF OF THE CLV!

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Of course, you know I am already speculating what the spin-off will be, and I have a few guesses! I could get behind a spin off of Gabriel and his wolf-pack, or Jonah and the Red Guard, or Catcher and Molly and everything witchy!  I would be happy with either one of these choices, as these characters make for great storytelling, especially in Chloe’s capable hands!  There would also be the potential for hearing some news of the Methan variety in the spin-off series! We will find out August 1st, until then speculate away!!

What are your thoughts on these special announcements? What do you hope the new spin-off series will include, character and story wise? Sound off in the comments section below!

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ARC Review: Midnight Marked By Chloe Neill

Midnight Marked, the 12th novel in one of my favorite book series entitled the Chicagoland Vampire Series was published today, and I imagine many fans were waiting for their copy at midnight. How apropos. I believe that every fan of this author, genre, and series will always be waiting for the clock to strike midnight!

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Chloe Neill Hosting Midnight Marked ARC Giveaway

It won’t be long now before Midnight Marked (CLV 12) will be downloaded onto our Kindle’s and Nook’s, or a hard copy is bought at your local B & N. What if you could get your hands on an Advanced Reader’s Copy and read it before anyone else? I got your attention now, don’t I?

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First Chapter of Midnight Marked

If you are a huge fan of Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire Series, then you are in for a treat!  All week long, Chloe has been having a giveaway leading up to the release of this chapter sneak peek!

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I stood at the corner of Clark and Addison in jeans and a Cubs T-shirt, my long hair pulled into a ponytail through a vintage Cubs cap.

At a quick glance, I probably didn’t look much different from the thousands of humans around me. But I was a vampire, and I’d caught the devil’s eye. So there was a House medal around my neck, a Master vampire beside me, and a dagger tucked into one of my boots.

I stared up at the building, excited as a kid at her first baseball game. The famous red marquee glowed over the hologram of Harry Caray smiling behind thick black glasses that was projected onto the sidewalk.

I’d been a vampire for three hundred and eighty-four days. This was going to be one of the best of those, because I was home.

For the first time since becoming a vampire, I was at Wrigley Field.

“Do you need to take a moment, Sentinel?”

I ignored the teasing tone of the man who stood beside me, the four-hundred-year-old Master vampire who ruled Chicago’s Cadogan House and the parts of my heart that weren’t devoted to great books and good pizza.

I turned to give him a pithy look, expecting to see sarcasm on his face. But there was something softer in those deep-set green eyes. Love tinged with amusement. His hair, thick and gold like summer silk, was tied at the nape of his neck, showing off knife’s-edge cheekbones and a square chin. And although he wasn’t much of a baseball fan, and even though we lived on Chicago’s South Side, he wore a vintage Cubbies shirt that fit his lean body like a very fortunate glove. Ethan Sullivan didn’t wear casual clothes very often, but he wore them as well as he did his bespoke, thousand-dollar suits.

“I am taking a moment,” I said with a grin. “Quit distracting me.-CLV12 Midnight Marked”

You can read the rest of the chapter HERE and enter for a chance to win some really cool swag!!  You can pre-order your copy of Midnight Marked at Amazon and have it for your very own!

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My Mad Binge Watch Of….

Yes, Jane The Virgin has become my latest addiction, and I am well aware that I am extremely late to the party. I can’t even begin to tell you why I was not watching this show as there is no proper excuse for it. It’s not like I wasnt curious since the idea behind the show intrigued me. I just wasn’t sure the show could hold my interest enough to ensure I could invest in it.

It turns out that the show could do just that because it seemed to be different from other shows out there. It was fun, quirky, and doesn’t take itself too seriously, it is what it is.  I have never seen a telenovela in my life, quite simply because I can’t speak the language, and it is just another soap opera, after all.

When Jane ended up accidentally pregnant, I knew hilarity would ensue. I thought it was fate when it turned out that the man, whose sperm she was artificially inseminated with, was someone she had shared an awesome first kiss with.  Now, being the person that I am, would have taken that as a sign, and a huge one, at that.

At first I felt bad for Michael, Jane’s fiance, but that quickly turned into mistrust. He is a cop, and cops should uphold the law. They don’t twist or bend it to suit their own selfish needs.  I am not saying Michael is a class A jerk but he leaves a lot to be desired.

He knew Petra could have been involved in a murder, (for all he knew she was the murderer) but he still withheld evidence. This was all because he didn’t want Jane to become closer to Rafael. If he was a man that felt secure in his relationship to begin with, he would not have went to the extremes that he did.

I like strong female characters, who know their heart and their mind, and who fight hard (in a honest way) for what they want and need out of life. I love Jane because she has all of those qualities in a character, although she does have some flaws, but who doesn’t? She is still a very strong woman. She gets that from the women/role models in her life, despite that they are flawed as well. I love the relationship Jane has with her mother and her Abuela.

Jane has dealt with a lot in such a short time, finding out she’s pregnant when she’s a virgin, learning the father is a man she first crushed on, having to tell her fiance, and then learning that her father is not an Army man. He is a very famous international telenovela star. I should really find Rogelio annoying, with his overblown ego, but I can only laugh at his antics.

I have this love/hate thing going on with Petra, but most of the time it is a very strong dislike. As I said, I love really strong female characters, and Petra falls very short of that. There have only been a few times when I have felt good about her character. I understand she has had a rough way to go in life, and she has been mistreated in lots of ways, but lies and manipulation will only get you so far in life.

She hasn’t had to really work hard at anything she currently has in her life right now. Her crazy ex-lover bought part of the hotel for her, and she has money from Rafael from the divorce. All the same, I admired her determination and desire to get what she wants out of life, as long as she came by it honestly. She is smart and business saavy and can compete in what some consider, a man’s world.  I was really disappointed when she decided to steal Rafael’s sperm and inseminate herself to make sure she stays in his life.

I know Rafael is not perfect, that he has his flaws and he manipulates with the best of them, but he doesn’t deserve this from Petra, or from anyone.  I think for Petra to do this to him is a low blow on her part, and it makes her a weak character in my book, having to stoop to such lows. I feel I can’t ever buy her as a strong character again, or even admire her in the slightest.

Speaking of Rafael, I find myself liking him more and more. It was what I definitely call, a slow burn. As I said before, I believe Rafael and Jane were fated to be together, and therefore I am rooting for them. I truly hope she picks him but that they take time to get to know each other the way they are now, before jumping into bed and marriage.

Now, for the ONE thing I cannot stand in ANY television show, and that is, SHIPPER wars. I am not a fan of HASHTAG Team/insert character or cute shipper name here. As a matter of fact, I strongly detest shipping as part of a love triangle. I believe it is an old, outdated tool used to keep viewers invested.

Love triangles could and should be a thing of the past. There are plenty of things that could keep a couple apart from each other. I wish show runners would not always fall back on this overused cliche to keep up the drama and suspense. They are talented enough to come up with something else.

However, since  the HASHTAG Team/insert character or cute shipper name here has already been set in motion on Jane The Virgin, I can do nothing to stop it. For the record, I only like the TEAM stuff when it does not involve a love triangle, or  a quad in this case.  I am all about my ships, and the whole will they or won’t they, but I detest ‘shipping’ wars.

I have hopped aboard many shipper trains, from Captain Swan, to Snowing, Team Fraser, and many more. I am firmly on board the #TeamRafael train, but not as part of a love triangle or a shipping war. I am not placing bets on my ship, but I will go down with it.  I just hope the writer’s will NOT let it become a constant juggling between the two very different men, because I might just have to jump off the ‘Jane The Virgin’ train. I think that would be a low down dirty shame as I am liking the ride so far.

If not for the ‘Petra stealing sperm and using a turkey baster to impregnate herself’ and the whole ‘which man do I want to be with’ thing I would give the show a 10, hands down.  For those reasons, I give it an 8. I can handle the love triangle a tad bit better than the ‘I stole your sperm’ bit!

My opinion is my own and will not waiver, but I do like hearing the opinions of others.

Do you like love triangles in any TV show or do you think they are overused?  Are you enjoying this second season? Sound off below!

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After You: An ARC Review

Jojo Moyes did not plan on writing a sequel to her popular best selling book, Me Before You. The book chronicled the relationship between Lou, a caregiver, and Will Traynor, a quadriplegic, who had already planned on dying in six months. Me Before You, took on the controversial topic of assisted suicide. I remember crying like a baby for all involved, when Will stuck with his decision to end his life.

 AfterYou

While I did wonder what became of those Will left behind, the people who loved him the most, I didn’t need a sequel. I didn’t believe it was really a necessity. When I found out that Jojo Moyes was writing a sequel, I was not sure I wanted to read it. I am a caregiver myself, taking care of my mother, and I can’t (or don’t want to) think about the ‘after’.

I never thought about assisted suicide before, but it hurts to see someone in pain all the time, and watching them look at others with envy, because they are doing things they only wish they could do.  I was thankful that my mother was still able to walk, albeit with a walker, but still walking nevertheless.

However, you do have to think about the ‘After’ part and how one’s death effects everyone in their life. Life has to go on after a loved one dies, and it’s hard no matter how it comes about.  I think a natural death is an easier pill to swallow.  I found I really wanted to read After You, to find out how Will’s planned death effected those who loved him.

After You picks up 18 months after the events of Me Before You left off.  Everyone handles grief in their own way and this fact was very evident in the sequel. The book is told from Lou’s point of view, who is still grieving over the loss of the man she loved. She is also dealing with the guilt of having helped him end his own life.

She is not really living up to Will’s request that she ‘live life well’ because of the guilt and grief she still feels. She works in an airport lounge/bar and drinks heavily. She traveled but didn’t really enjoy where she went or what she did. She was walking and talking, but not really living. When Lou accidentally fell off the roof, and couldn’t feel her legs at first, I was horrified to think that she could now be paralyzed.

While I loved the idea of a sequel, this book fell a bit short in some areas. I didn’t really care for the character of Lilly and I wanted to love her, because she was Will’s daughter but she made that very hard. It was hard for me to believe that the Will we came to know would be such a jerk before the accident. Granted, we didn’t know much about him before he became a quadriplegic.

Lilly was my main area of disappointment, along with her mother as I felt nothing really genuine from either character. She didn’t seem to be grateful for anything.  Lilly just came off as a spoiled brat and nothing was good enough for her. Lou being who she is, put someone else ahead of her own needs. I would have loved to see more of her relationship with Sam develop. There is so much more that could have happened there, falling in love again would have been good for Lou.

While I loved the book and would recommend it to fans of Will and Lou, I wish that there wasn’t so much going on at once. I felt that too much time was spent on Lilly rather than Lou herself. I know the purpose of Lilly was to help Lou heal but I myself didn’t get that impression.

I was fine with where Me Before You ended and didn’t feel the need for closure. Lou and the Traynor’s, while devastated and heartbroken, accepted Will’s decision and agreed to his choice to end his life in a dignified manner and to not be a burden. Isn’t that what we all want for our loved ones?  It was still nice to revisit the characters, to see how they are fairing but I was hoping for something a bit different.

With that being said, I still give the book four stars because JoJo Moyes listened to the majority of her fans and let them back in Lou’s little corner of the world. I just think it would have been much better if Moyes had originally planned a sequel in the first place. However, that us just my opinion. What did you think of After You? 

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The Veil Blog Tour, Interview and Giveaway

I am very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Chloe Neill’s new book entitled’The Veil’! It is book one in her new series entiled ‘The Devil’s Isle’. I have read this book a total of three times since receiving the ARC!

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ARC Review: The Veil By Chloe Neill

Veil

As a huge fan of Chloe Neill, I was very excited to learn that she was writing a new series.The premise behind the new series sounded very promising and I was intrigued. I love the world she created in the CLV so much that I figured she can’t go wrong with this brand new series! She has never let me down before so surely she wouldn’t start now! I was so excited when I received the ARC that I started reading it that very night.

Was my loyalty or confidence misplaced? Did I have that same loyalty and confidence after I finished reading? Did I love the first book in Ms.Neill’s new Devils Isle Series? Join me after the jump and I will tell you all my (spoiler free) thoughts!

Chloe Neill is a master weaver at world building and this is evident with every detail she wrote in The Veil. The book is set in New Orleans but not the NOLA we have come to know through personal experience or via the world wide web. The way New Orleans was described in this book reminded of the devastation that Hurricane Katrina brought to the region.

I love when an author writes a book that is mirrored in some reality and this was done perfectly. I was glad that the time was taken to vividly describe the new war torn city that it’s citizen’s have adjusted to, the city they still love and take pride in.

The characters draw a reader in fast, even if it seems the pace at the beginning is slow, that’s just more of that world building coming into play. Soon, that world and the fantastic characters collide into something fantastic and you are hooked.

Claire is a very smart,strong,beautiful character who the reader can relate to on so many levels. She has vulnerabilities and a fear of the unknown that only make her stronger, and her loyalty knows no bounds.

Liam is a sexy bounty hunter who quickly becomes Claire’s savior,in keeping her from becoming a permanent part of another section of the world that she has only heard horror stories of, Devil’s Isle. He is super confident in his ability to get things done, no matter how tough the situation. There is a major difference between being cocky and being arrogant. Liam is the right kind of cocky,and not of the I-want-to-slap-that-arrogance-right-out-of-a-person-variety.

There was something else I felt that the author got right, and that is the lesson of never judging a book by it’s cover,for in both the real and fictional world’s, things are never quite what they seem.

Cross through The Veil on August 4th to meet Claire, Liam and some truly wonderful supporting characters that will leave you wanting more at the end of this all new series. My tweet to Chloe after having finished the book read ‘100% done and 100% hooked’! I think you will be as well.

The blog tour for The Veil continues Monday and I am one of the lucky bloggers that got a spot on that tour so check back here on Monday for more of The Veil goodness!

My rating: 5 well earned stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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