October 30, 2012

Zed by Stephen Herfst ~ #Review

Zed (Zed, #1)
Title: Zed
Author: Stephen Herfst
Published: February 18, 2012
Pages: 152
Genre: Zombies, Humor, Apocalypse
My copy: Kindle Edition from Smashwords
Average Rating: 4.13 / 5
My Rating: 4 / 5

Synopsis from Goodreads :

The story revolves around a teenage girl's promise to save Zed from the human hordes.

Zed is not your typical zombie. He is cursed with the affliction of thought ... although he tries to make the best of a bad situation. The goals for his unrest are simple: to improve his stride, to taste a lightly-seared pork loin once again and avoid Activists at all costs.

His life was predictable, controlled and good until chaos crashed the party. In just one day his world is destroyed and his ability to survive is tested. Would he be able to get through this in one piece? And would he somehow be able to survive the unstoppable force that goes by the name of Chase?

My Review:

I signed up through the ARR program on Goodreads to receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the interesting twist on the zombie genre this story presented and haven't laughed so hard about a zombie apocalypse since the movie Shaun of the Dead. On an interesting side note, Shaun of the Dead was on TV yesterday, and one of the characters called a zombie a "zed." I immediately thought of this book and loved it! I do want to point out that though I thought of this book, it's completely different from the movie and any other zombie book I've read--it takes place from the zombie's point of view. I'm only comparing the two because both have comical moments.

The changes in Zed's behavior and thinking once he met up with Chase were so cool! I loved their partnership--it was the two of them against the world...the world who wanted to kill off every zombie out there. Zed was a zombie I found myself rooting for, and Chase was the perfect partner to team up with him. She is a force of nature and definitely smart in her survival mode, which is one of the things about her that Zed admires and I did as well.

There aren't just awesome characters either. Plenty of action kept my interest, and I was so nervous and on the edge of my seat every time they found themselves in a situation with obstacles to overcome. I never thought I'd be on a zombie's side until I read this book! I couldn't get over how kick ass Chase is and how unafraid and matter-of-fact she was in teaming up with a zombie and fighting for their survival right alongside him. I can't wait to see where the next book takes me!

Find the Author:

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Buy the Book:

Amazon  Smashwords  Barnes & Noble

October 29, 2012

sunday trivia #8

Hey everyone! I'm taking part in Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay's new Sunday Trivia meme over at b00k r3vi3ws Click on the link so you can get involved, too! Every Sunday all of the participating bloggers will ask trivia questions that are related to books, authors, characters, and movies based on books. The answers along with new questions will be posted the following Sunday. Try it without Googling, lol. ;)

Questions & answers from last week:
Q: What's the bestselling nonfiction book of all time?
A: The Bible
Q: What is Dr. Seuss's real full name?
A: Theodor Seuss Geisel

Q: Which author has sold more children's books than any other author? *Hint: the answer will surprise you :)
A: R.L. Stine  I was really surprised with this one! I thought it would be J.K. Rowling or even Dr. Seuss, lol.

This week in honor of Halloween, I'm asking Halloween themed questions in multiple choice form. Have fun! :D
1. In Mary Shelley's book of the same name, Frankenstein is:
a. violent and terrifying monster
b. a mad scientist who created a monster
c. a village in the Alps

2. A poltergeist is a ghost that:
a. haunts cemeteries
b. possesses people
c. makes noise

3. In Haiti and West Africa, a corpse brought back to life is called a:
a. zombie
b. vampire
c. monster

4. When do banshees wail?
a. when someone is born
b. when someone is about to die
c. when someone watches a scary movie

5. What is the difference between demons and ghosts? (Essay question! Just kidding! :D)

Please don't forget to stop by b00k r3vi3ws and answer her questions, too. The link is above. :D

October 27, 2012

evie's epic bookshelf cleaning giveaway @ bookish!

Evie over at Bookish is cleaning out her bookshelves, and YOU get a chance to be one of four winners to receive a BOX of books!

Here are the prizes (photos from Evie's blog):

Box #1 YA Finished copies

Box #2 Adult ARCs & Finished Copies

Box #3 YA ARCs

Box #4 YA Hardcovers

This is an amazing and generous giveaway, but it ends on October 31st so get over to Evie's blog as fast as you can and enter for a chance to win a box of books! On the right hand side of my blog, click on the Bookshelf Cleaning @ Bookish button to be taken directly to the giveaway. Good luck! :D

October 25, 2012

review ~ jilly-bean

Title: Jilly-Bean (Jilly-Bean #1)
Author: Celia Vogel
Published: April 15, 2012
Pages: 208 pages
Genre: YA
My copy: Kindle edition from Amazon
Average Rating: 3.40 / 5.00
My Rating: 2 / 5

Synopsis from Goodreads :

A mysterious psychic named Madame Zelda.

An eerie séance.

A dead body.

A hunky doctor who bears a striking resemblance to Michelangelo's Statue of David.

A naive girl named Jillian Crossland.

Temperatures are rising and superstition reigns supreme!

Eighteen year old Jillian Crossland, aka Jilly-Bean, has her life planned out. Or so she thinks. A seance one evening with Madame Zelda presiding, sets in motion events that are both comical and tragic.

Jilly-Bean is a story filled with humour, insight, and lovable, quirky characters.

My Review:

I signed up to receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through Goodreads.

I really wanted to like this book, and there were definitely parts I enjoyed reading. I was really freaked out by the seance, but I love to be scared and it was one of my favorite scenes of the entire book.

I never really connected with Jillian's character. She seemed to lose her common sense once she met Matt and became paranoid about whether he was in love with her or not though they hadn't been dating very long. There wasn't any rooting value for their relationship to work, but what he ended up doing to her was really awful of him at the same time, which I could then empathize with her.

Some parts of the plot didn't make sense to me. Descriptions of the scenery went on way too long as well as the ordinary tasks Jillian set out to complete. I had a difficult time reading through those sections with interest.

On the positive side, as I mentioned before, I loved the seance scenes, and overall the book was well written. I think if there had been more focus on the seance and paranormal occurrences, I would have definitely been infatuated with this story.

Find the Author:

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Buy the book:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

October 24, 2012

review ~ contemplations of dinner

Contemplations of Dinner 
Title: Contemplations of Dinner
Author: Gabriel Beyers
Published: December 22, 2011
Pages: 135
Genre: Horror, Short Stories
My copy: Kindle edition from Smashwords
Average Rating: 3.60 / 5.00 
My Rating: 4 / 5

Synopsis from Goodreads :
When death has you for dinner, oh the tales that you will hear.

A secret hidden in a freezer. A lonely woman takes solace in an ancient cat. A boy is trapped in a barn with a gang of killers. An open grave awaits an occupant. A man is encouraged to kill by a long lost love. And more.

Here lie ten short stories from the mind of author Gabriel Beyers.

My Review:
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review from Review Seekers on Facebook.

Contemplations of Dinner is a collection of short stories that will scare the living bejeezus out of you! I've watched what seems like hundreds of horror movies so I'm pretty well desensitized. It takes a lot to scare me, and it's rare when a book gives me the kind of scares that a really really well done horror flick can do. This is one of those rare books.

Some of the scenes in certain stories were ones I had to read twice because I couldn't believe what I had just read! It would be something so deliciously evil that I needed to take a moment and soak it in. Then I began thinking maybe I'm not as desensitized to scares as I thought I was.

I wondered why this book was titled Contemplations of Dinner, and you'll be shocked once you read it and find out why for yourself. This is a perfect book to pick up and read this time of year when Halloween is quickly approaching, and I highly recommend this collection to any and every horror fan.
Find the Author:
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October 22, 2012

review ~ the second wave: a post-apocalyptic tale

The Second Wave: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale 

Title: The Second Wave: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale
Author: Lisa McCourt Hollar
Published: July 6, 2012
Length: 8457 words (approximately)
Genre: Zombies, Horror
My copy: Kindle edition from Smashwords
Average rating: 5 / 5
My rating: 5 / 5

Synopsis from Goodreads :
A young woman, Fran, seeks refuge from the cold in an Ohio farmhouse. Wanting to forget the past several months and the horror she has witnessed, she convinces herself that she is safe, at least for the moment. Relaxing and enjoying the winter scene, she falls asleep and wakes to a new nightmare. Soon she learns that what happened at the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse wasn't the worst of it. There was more to the virus that created the monsters that now ruled the earth. The infection was mutating and what was coming next may mean the end for all those left alive.

My Review:
I received this eBook for free from the author on Review Seekers on Facebook in exchange for an unbiased review.

I've seen and own so many zombie movies it's crazy. I never in a million years would have thought that I'd read a tale about zombies that was so fresh and different from any movie I've ever seen. This story blew me away! I can't rave about how much I loved reading every word. The author's spin on the zombie genre had me surprised at every turn and was told so vividly, I was freaked out! I live in Ohio, you know, and very close to where the story takes place. You will be shocked by the ending--I know I was! This is an absolute must-read for every zombie fan!

Find the author:
Goodreads  Website  Twitter  Facebook

Buy the book:
Smashwords  Amazon  Barnes & Noble

October 21, 2012

sunday trivia #7

Hey everyone! I'm taking part in Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay's new Sunday Trivia meme over at b00k r3vi3ws Click on the link so you can get involved, too! Every Sunday all of the participating bloggers will ask trivia questions that are related to books, authors, characters, and movies based on books. The answers along with new questions will be posted the following Sunday. Try it without Googling, lol. ;)

Answers from Sunday Trivia #6
1. Name of any book written by Chelsea Handler-- Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.

2. The Sookie Stackhouse novels in order are:
#1 Dead Until Dark
#2 Living Dead in Dallas
#3 Club Dead
#4 Dead to the World
#5 Dead as a Doornail
#6 Definitely Dead
#7 All Together Dead
#8 From Dead to Worse
#9 Dead and Gone
#10 Dead in the Family
#11 Dead Reckoning
#12 Deadlocked
#13 Dead Ever After (coming out in 2013)
P.S. ~ I know this question was really evil, lol. I've read them all (except 12 and 13) and still get the tiles mixed up. :)

3. The author of Before I Go to Sleep is S.J. Watson.

4. The upcoming new novel by Gayle Forman is titled Just One Day and is expected to be published on January 8, 2013.

Questions for this week:
1. What's the bestselling nonfiction book of all time?
2. What is Dr. Seuss's real full name?
3. Which author has sold more children's books than any other author? *Hint: the answer will surprise you :)

Please answer these questions in the comments section below. Don't forget to visit b00k r3vi3ws! :D

October 20, 2012

review pile update #3

Books I've recently reviewed on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or Smashwords:
JillyBean Behind Shields (The Shields Legacy) Contemplations of Dinner Mohawk Moon (Mohawk Series) - Janelle hasn't been home in ten years. All of a sudden, she has to deal with her mothers death, her broken relationship with her sister, and some sexy stranger following her. She doesn't know whether to be scared, or excited.Damien needs to restore his families honor. He needs to use Janelle to do it, there's one problem. There's someone standing in the way. He's vowed that no one will stand in the way or getting what's his. Together they must save what's left of...
Books I'm getting ready to review:
Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir Zed (Zed, #1) The Twenty (Barronlands Trilogy, #1) In the Middle of Nowhere  The Soul's Mark: FOUND (The Soul's Mark, #1)

I'm currently reading and am halfway through each:
Breed of Innocence (The Breed Chronicles, Book 1)    Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1)

Books I'll be reading next:
Star Bright Hotblood (House of Slide, #1) Pearl Lover Delusions (Book Two In The Affinity Series)

Books I have left to read and review:

Whom the Gods Destroy (The Divine Masquerade, #2)  The New Haven Project: Anomaly  Larimar: Gem of the Sea  Fresh Flesh (Fresh, #1)

Turner  Life of the Party  What Kills Me  Flicker

Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a Cutter  Penthouse Man  Cover for 'Jezri's Halloween Nightmares'

I'm happy to be making progress. I've been so lucky, too, because all of the review books I've read have been fantastic! It's so cool discovering new authors!

I'm working on setting up my reviews to be posted here also. I'm just super slow, lol. ;) I've also been soooo lucky and have won an embarrassing amount of books from blog giveaways. I have a pile of books (e-books, paperbacks, and even hardbacks!!) I can't wait to dive into. These rainy fall days are the perfect kind of days to read in my opinion! Love curling up in a warm blanket with a great book while it's cold and rainy outside! :D

October 15, 2012

Name the Book Extravaganza ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hey there! This is the first time I've joined a two part giveaway, and it's a super exciting one!! I have a guest post, info on the first two books of this trilogy, and info on how to enter the giveaways! Tiffany from Escaping...One Book @ a Time is hosting, and as the host, she's the first blog you need to visit in order to participate. So, how do you enter this giveaway?

Here's the deets! In the first part of the giveaway, Ali Cross, the author of Become and Desolate in the Desolation series, is looking for your help to choose what book #3 (the final book) will be named. How cool is that? You get to vote for what you want the book's title to be--either Divine, Chosen, or Destined.

If you haven't read the first two books yet, here are their covers and blurbs:

Book #1 BECOME

Sixteen-year-old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it's cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she's sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.  

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made--that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn't count on is finding a reason to change--something she's never had before--a friend.


Where darkness lives, all becomes desolate . . .  

It’s been two months since sixteen-year-old Desolation Black chose Earth over Hell and her friend Miri over her eternal love, Michael.

Desi goes through the motions of life: school, training, remaining vigilant against the forces of darkness, but her dreams are full of the choices she wishes she could change. When she’s injured by a strange demon, old temptations arise, and the lines between good and evil blur. Desi discovers those choices aren’t so final after all.

And this time, the power of love—for a friend, for a lover—may not be enough to save her from the darkness that lurks within.
You can vote daily for the name of your choice, but you only get 1 name. The people that vote for the winning name will receive all 3 books in e-book form when it releases! Below you'll find the mock up cover made for this event to give you an idea of what the next cover might look like. It isn't the final cover; it's just to give you an idea. Vote for the name you want to see on the cover!
Vote on Book #3's title below:

Guest post by James
She doesn’t know it, but I set the alarm on my phone thirty minutes before our clock radio goes off in the morning.

My phone vibrates and like that I’m awake. We have to be up early—her art teacher insists on painting under a new sun, a soft sun, when they can still paint possibility into their day. So it’s still dark when I silence my phone and roll over.

I get to watch her face while the sun rises, hitting our windows with its morning kiss, promising us all kinds of possibilities.

She doesn’t know it, but for thirty minutes every morning, I watch her. I love her. I memorize her face. I wish for her.

Wish she is happy. Wish she knows she is loved.

Every morning she opens her eyes and the sunlight flashes in their diamond depths.

“Mornin’ bright eyes,” I always say.

And Miri always smiles.
And now for the second part of the giveaway...
Tiffany has an excerpt on her blog that needs to be finished!  One of the words you need is in this blog post, and then you just need to hop from blog to blog to pick up the rest of it. When you are done just put it in the Grand Prize rafflecopter form and get entered to win lot of awesome prizes!!
Well now it's up to you guys to finish it off!! Here is the list of participating

blogs where you will find the rest of the excerpt! Also everyone has their own individual post as well. So as you go there will be guest posts, character bio's and more!!
My word for this hop is: said.

Once you have visited the other blogs and put the rest of the excerpt together
enter it in the rafflecopter form :D DO NOT put it in the comments please!
May the odds be EVER in your favor!!!

The Scavenger Hunt Rafflecopter
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ali's Bio

Ali Cross is the sensei of the Writer's Dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles. 

twitter username: @ali_cross

October 11, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

After a ton of debate, I have decided to get ready and gear myself up for NaNoWriMo this year. Eek! I had never heard of this event until I began following blogs several months ago in January. I'm totally freaking out; this will be the biggest step yet I've taken towards becoming a writer. I'm doing my best to push my negative thoughts away and am saving all blog posts that give advice on writing into a separate folder simply titled "NaNoWriMo." (I know what you're did she come up with that??? lol).

I'm terrified of letting you know this and then not following through with the challenge. My mind went back and forth between whether I would even participate let alone announce it in public. Ultimately, I just decided to suck it up and do both. You know what I wish I had right now? A copy of Stephen King's On Writing. The crazy thing is that I did have one but I think I must've sold it or something some time ago. I'll just have to go pick it up at the library--that is, after I pay my humongous fines.

Are you planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

October 4, 2012

IWSG #5 ~ October 2012

Hey everyone and welcome to my fifth IWSG post! The IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh (I've been waiting for an awesome opportunity to throw "brainchild" into a sentence, lol) where writers can express their highs and lows throughout the process of writing. If you'd like to join, visit Alex's blog at the link above. You'll be so thankful when you do. :)

I'd like to post another paragraph from the rough draft of my memoir. This is still in the beginning of the book:

A little over a year after my maternal grandfather died from brain cancer, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer--the very same type we had just watched Grandpa battle until his death. I had cried at his funeral as though I had never cried before--I couldn't stop and thought surely the tears must run out soon. Eventually, as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, the tears slowed down only to begin anew once we learned of my mom's diagnosis.

Never before had my world felt so out of control. Never before had I felt the pain of moving in a world I didn't understand anymore, where I was stripped of my childhood once and for all. I look back on my journals from that time period, and there are so few references to the events of such magnitude happening all around me that sometimes I have to wonder if I was actually there or am I reading through someone else's memories? My despair was deep. How could my family and I be strong enough to go through watching another of our loved ones fight the very same disease all over again!

The next section is further into the book:

There was nothing I could do when my mom lost the rest of her hair from the radiation treatments, vomited every night after chemotherapy sessions, began having seizures, and lost more and more of her memory. I remember the utter and complete frustration on her face when she could not remember the words she wanted to use to express herself. I wanted to supply them for her so badly, but I didn't know what it was she wanted to tell me.

It's a lot of heavy material, but before I get into the meat of the story, I want to explain what our lives were like before my grandpa and mom were diagnosed with cancer. At this moment in time, I still want the very first paragraph to be the following (I also posted this particular paragraph in last month's  IWSG post):
Lightning struck our house the day my mom died. By that time she was in a coma, lying in a hospital bed in our living room. I had long ago begun sleeping on the couch in there with her, keeping vigil over her at night. The soft swoosh swoosh of the oxygen tank breathing for her should have lulled me to sleep at night, but I was terrified to sleep. My racing pulse and overwhelmed mind would not have allowed it anyway. Most nights I just dozed off and on, awakening from troubled dreams. I just knew that I didn't want her to die alone. I had just turned fourteen.
I'm feeling good with the progress I'm making. Thanks to this group, I can keep myself on track and accountable! :D

I'm also really dying to write fiction, especially this month when every year I soak up all things horror for the entire month! I read horror novels back to back and watch horror movies every weekend (when the kids are asleep, lol). I have several ideas kicking around my head right now, and with the emotional toll writing the memoir can take on me, it'd be nice to work on some fiction and take a break from the heavy stuff.

What do you think about my rough draft so far? Do you like to work on a couple of different projects at a time, or do you prefer to see one through all the way to the end before taking on a new one?

Thank you for hanging out with me and listening to me ramble on, lol! I've gotta hit the hay so I can take my kiddo to school in the morning, but I'll be making my rounds tomorrow and visiting you!