Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Canada Day Blog Hop: Stop 25

Welcome to my stop on the Canada Day Blog Hop! I'm pretty excited to participate in this one, with it being my first ever blog hop as well as my countdown to Canada's birthday (and the long weekend that accompanies it!)

Organized by  KnitPurlStitch and Snowdrop Dreams of Books , we are celebrating our nation by offering giveaways! I'm offering a choice of either of the titles listed below

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with Kevin Hearne

I've recently read and reviewed, Hounded by Kevin Hearne (click here to read my review) and loved it so much that I broke out of my shell and actually asked the author for my first (solicited) interview ever! With the second book in the series, Hexed, just released and the third, Hammered, less than two weeks away, we get to peak into the author's world here. Please give a warm welcome to Kevin Hearne:

Jackie: The second book in The Iron Druid trilogy released June 7, 2011. Please tell us a bit about what we'll find in the pages of Hexed?

Kevin: Atticus has to repel the invasion of some witches bent on claiming Tempe for their own, and in the meantime he also has to deal with the remaining mess from Hounded, as well as the continued machinations of Brighid and the Morrigan. And, of course, there's plenty more from Oberon and the widow MacDonagh.

J: Because your first novel, Hounded, was only released in May, is it too soon to ask if movie rights have been inquired about? How do you think a movie would play out, especially with the Atticus/Oberon conversations?

K: There are people working on it, I'm told, but I won't get excited about it until somebody shows me the money. People like to talk a lot in Hollywood, but it's all fluff and noise until somebody puts a contract in front of you. If I do ever get an offer, you can be sure I will stress that Oberon cannot be cut out of the movie and he cannot be made to move his mouth with little CGI effects. That's actually what worries me most.

J: Oberon is a pretty cool dog, with lots of one liners and quick retorts. Why, then, do you think he's so fascinated with the higher maintenance French Poodles?

Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Click here to read the book description.

Available at Amazon, Book Depository, Chapters Indigo

Thanks to Caroline from The Secret HEA Society (and also one of my co-horts at Book Lovers Inc.), Kevin Hearne's book Hounded was put on my radar. I am now fast becoming one of Kevin's biggest fans!

Based on Caroline's recommendation, I borrowed the audio book from the library to start me off. This is a truly fantastic audio book! Read by Luke Daniels, the characters really come alive, especially Oberon, who is my personal fave (though Atticus is definitely no slouch either!) But more than how it was read, it's the what that was being read that made this book one of my faves in a long time.  After starting it, I ran right out and bought my very own print copy, along with Hexed, in preparation.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Switch by Tish Cohen

Click here for the book description.

Available from Chapter Indigo, Amazon, Book Depository (note: Switch is available in Canada now, but releases elsewhere in August 2011)

Likened to the movie Freaky Friday, Switch has two girls switching lives based on a wish (with an imaginative conduit, I might add). Having seen both versions of the movie, I had a good idea what I was in for.

Immediately, I felt that Tish Cohen seemed on the money, giving the main character, Andrea, the right type of "voice" for a teenage girl. The vernacular was not too old for someone in high school, nor was it too young. What irked me though was her (Andrea's) constant wallowing in self pity. But this actually turned out to be an important factor in why I ended up really liking the book.

I think we can all appreciate the desire to live life in someone else's shoes; we've probably made a passing wish ourselves at some point in our lives. Of course, fiction always comes around to prove that the grass is indeed greener on the other side. It was the real life situations that initially made Andrea make her wish, but it's the other girl, Joules', reality that really opens her eyes. Joules was also the biggest mystery for me; what were her motivations, how would her part of the story end?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guest Post: D J McIntosh, author of The Witch of Babylon

Today being my stop on The Witch of Babylon blog tour, I'm very happy to share a few words from the author, D J McIntosh. Here, Ms. McIntosh gives us a sneak peak at how her main character developed and what he means in her life. So, please give a warm welcome to my special guest and read on!:

My Leading Man

I’ve developed a steady relationship with a certain guy over the last couple of years and we just seem to grow closer as time goes on. He’s exceptionally good looking, comes from an exotic background, is smart though no snooty intellectual, has great social skills, oh….and, did I mention he’s thirty-three years younger than me?

He does have his failings. A tendency to skim the edges of legality if the money is good enough, a proclivity that stands him in good stead in his profession as an art and antiquities dealer. He has a strong sense of self-doubt that he covers up with bravado and occasional flashes of quick temper. But, hey, no one’s perfect. And he loves rock/blues guitar just as much as I do. That pretty much restores the balance for me.

I speak, of course, about my leading man – John Madison – the central character in The Witch of Babylon and the next two books in the Babylon Trilogy to come.

Review: The Witch of Babylon by D J McIntosh

Click here to read the book description.

Available at Amazon, Chapters, Penguin

I received The Witch of Babylon from Bronwyn at Penguin Canada, and was very excited to get started reading it. I was most curious to read about the history of Mesopotamia and the related areas that were described in the book description.

True to its word, it was chock full of interesting tidbits that I had no idea about. What also impressed me were the ties that these cultures had or are asserted by the author in this novel. References to books in the Bible and Greek mythological people are only two elements that made the history more understandable to me, through the associations and quotes provided.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

Available to purchase from: Amazon, Book Depository, Book Depository UK

Thanks to Melanie at Hachette Book Group Canada, I was able to review The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. So, when it arrived in the mail, my first thought was "Holy smokes! That's one heavy little book!" This is due in large part to the lovely paper used in the book, of encyclopaedic quality. It is a well produced book that appealed to me and my daughter (who was more into it for asthetics only).

This Guide has a Q&A with Stephenie Meyer, a chapter by chapter summary of all the books including a timeline starting at 1400 BC, character pages, family trees and so much more. There is even a section with fan art, which I thought was a fantastic tribute to Meyer's fans, displaying her attempt at connecting with them despite the difficulty she must have doing this now.

It's a stunning book on its own, as the book that ties everything together in a concise manner. But, really looking at it, you can see its potential for future writers as a resource, highlighting the kinds of elements that went into the novel writing process. From the locations, character sheets, types of vehicles, etc., you can see just how much background is needed to write a complete novel. It appears Meyer spent a lot of time getting things just right, which obviously paid off overall.

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide could quite as easily been referred to as 'The Twilight Encyclopaedia'. I'm very happy to have it sitting on my shelf, next to the four books that started the Twi craze. I also look forward to having something my daughter will enjoy more when she is just a little older. It's a true collector's piece.

Review: The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker

The last thing Renee Gilmore remembers is being rescued by a pair of unknown arms after her drug-dealer boyfriend attempts to murder her. She wakes up in a beautiful glass house surrounded by doctors and the man that saved her life, Lamont Myers. Lamont offers her protection, if she abides by his rules. Among these; she must not leave the house, making her the bird in his gilded cage.

Danny Hansen is a Bosnian immigrant who came to America to escape the bloodshed of his country and the memories of his own involvement. cont'd

I've heard great things around the blogging/reviewing community about Ted Dekker and considering his connection with Canada, I was curious if I, too, would like his writing. From the get-go, The Priest's Graveyard is exciting. A priest that, in essence, acts (violently) as a conscience for the greater good of human kind? Interesting concept to say the least.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane


For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.
Having listened to Unholy Ghosts on audio and loving it, I figured I would continue with the same format for the rest of the Chess Putnam books.  In Unholy Magic, the story continues shortly after the first book left and poor Chess has barely had time ro recuperate.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Looking for great e-books at a great price (as in free)?

Sourcebooks has done it again! To prepare for new releases by select authors, they are offering previous books from said authors at a fantastic price! Check out these titles:

New York Times Bestselling Author, Grace Burrowes has the next book in her delightful regency romance series in stores this month: The Soldier. During this exciting time: The Soldier will be  $2.99 for 2 weeks (06/07/2011 – 06/20/2011) and The Heir at $0.99 for 5 weeks (05/02/2011 – 06/06/2011)—so get them both while you can!
Amazon, Sourcebooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble
(Ok, this one isn't completely free, but still a steal of a deal! Keep reading...)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Foreman

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

Available to purchase from: Amazon, Book Depository, Book Depository UK

Not having read If I Stay, I wasn't sure how this story would play out for me. I quickly found out that it really didn't matter that I hadn't read the first book; the way this story was presented had me (and kept me) completely engrossed. If it hadn't been for a darned power outage on the day I started reading Where She Went, I would have had this book consumed in one sitting (and seriously, it wasn't for my lack of trying with candles, a book light, and a flash light...but it was just too dark :-p)

The best part of this story, for me, was Adam's introspection. He knows what sets him off, he realizes he needs to do something about it, but can't quite grasp the ability to fix all that has happened to him emotionally/mentally

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On Location with Robert Munsch

My On Location feature today is sadly not one that I was in attendance for but thanks to Nikole at Scholastic, we all get to share in this incredible author's outting! If you have kids or have ever been one yourself, then you know Robert Munsch is a big deal, especially in my neck of the woods. I  have attended a signing before and it is amazing to see the number of kids and adults that show up to hear him read and have their favourite books signed by Munsch himself.

So, how much cooler would it be if it was you and your family featured in one of his books? Beyond awesome, I would think. Case in point, take a look at what happened when Robert Munsch was reunited with the inspiration for his latest (his 30th with Scholastic!) book:
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