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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Website Love: I Dream Books

Check it out HERE!

Idreambooks formerly known as Dreamonus, is bringing you a new book website that tells you how it is. It is a site that caters to book critic reviews. Not only does the site feature professional reviews of many books from many different genres, but it also features giveaways, ratings and new releases. Think of Rotten Tomatoes, but just for books! Here is a little look:



So make sure to sign up if you were not a member of Dreamonus. You might need an access code. It is: discover_books  

Thank you Vish!

Married With Zombies Scavenger Hunt Read-a-Long Week #5 - Chapters 21-26



Scavenger Hunt Schedule:
Week1: Chapters 1-5 (June 1st) - Jen @ In the Closet With a Bibliophile
Week2: Chapters 6-10 (June 8th) - Ashley @ The Bookish Brunette
Week3: Chapters 11-15 (June 15th) - Loretta @ Between the Pages
Week4: Chapters 16-20 (June 22nd) - Tina @ Tina's Book Reviews
Week5: Chapters 21-26 (June 29th) - Missie @ The Unread Reader
 
 
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Chapters 21-26

1. In Chapter 21, David and Sarah venture into a grocery store to try to find some essentials. Show us a picture of the top three items you consider your essentials when you go shopping. 

Here are three things I absolutely love and have to have in the house. I love my coffee creamers for my coffee. Doesn't even matter what the flavor is, I will have it. Archers' Farms products. That is one of many cereals they make. They have bunches of other stuff. My favorite is the Tiramisu gelato (which I devoured, hence why there isn't a picture). It is soooooo good. And of course, Magnum ice cream. That one is the double chocolate with caramel. Belgium chocolate, HELL YES! 

Sorry for the dark pic :(
 
2. Sarah and David travel quite a distance to “visit” a family member. Show us a picture of your most recent family vacation. Who did you visit and where did you go? 

The last vacation I was on was in Orlando two years ago. It was my mom, grandmother, sister, me and our puppy Chowder. We had a blast, but unfortunately no pics since I had to use a disposable camera because I forgot the digital one (photos still would have been crappy though LOL!) 


3. Sarah refers to David’s sister as the Martha Stewart type because she likes to make things from scratch. Show us a picture a hobby or home project you get enthusiastic about making/doing.

Unfortunately, I don't really craft anything. I use to write lyrics, but it has been so long. My hobbies always had something to do with music, but again, it has been a while since I took it up. I hate that. I really should get back to that. I do have a guitar I use to practice on. Here you go:

That is our dog Chowder sniffing the guitar. He is always curious :)


4. David and Sarah decide to start up their own Zombie exterminators business, and even come up with a name and slogan for it, “S and D Zombie Extermination. We take care of your undead issues.” If you opened up your own zombie killing business, what would you call it, and what would your slogan be? 

ZombieWhackers
Zombies popping up like weeds? Call us and we'll whack them away. We will keep your house and lawn free of brains, limbs and weeds. Guaranteed!


5. What were your favorite/least favorite parts of Married with Zombies? Aside from David and Sarah, who was your favorite/least favorite character? 

Favorite parts were, of course, all the headlines. I also love when we first get a look at their home life and living next door to Amanda and Jack. Least favorite? Not sure I have one. Well maybe when they met Lisa. I liked the scene, just wish it ended definitely. I felt so bad for her. Favorite character? I loved Conrad. May be a little rough around the edges, but he made me smile. I also liked Amanda. She may have had her flaws, but she was helpful and her heart was always in the right place. Least favorite was definitely the Jim Jones nut jobs at the casino specifically the leader, William. Just no, hell no! 
 
6. What do you think is coming up next for David and Sarah? Which do you think has a better chance of survival, their marriage or their humanity? Will you continue reading this series, and if so, what do you hope to see happen in the next book? 

I think they will come across even more survivors. I hope they continue up North. The border idea seemed interesting. That is a tough call. I think their marriage will survive, but considering what they are going through, I think choices will become even more difficult. They already seen humanity slipping, I think there is more to come. Absolutely! I really liked this book. It was Zombieland meets the Walking Dead. I was laughing one second, while trying to hold back tears the next. I definitely want to see more of them together. They work for me for sure.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Spectral Book Tour - Indie Book Review + Giveaway: Spectral by Shannon Duffy

Author: Shannon Duffy
Format: PDF
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Pages: 334
Publisher: Tribute Books
Genre:Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/Mystery/Urban Fantasy











 




Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe—the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

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    I have been honored again to review another great book from Tribute Books. I am loving these books, but so far they have all been YA Contemporary Romance books. I loved them all, but you guys know I breathe the paranormal. I have been dying for a paranormal read from this awesome publisher and I finally got it through Spectral. I am head over heels for this book. I mean, the cover alone begs to be read. How gorgeous is that? If you are looking for a YA PNR filled with mystery and action, look no further.

     Our main character Jewel believes her and her family are on the run. She thinks they are in the witness protection program. They don't stay in one location for very long. They end up in a new location and, of course, Jewel (this time's false identity of True) is just tired of the running. She can't make friends or let people know who she really is because people are out to kill her family. Jewel soon realizes through a little accidental eavesdropping, she's a Spectral. A Spectral is a witch that is so powerful, they make their covens more powerful and protect them. Unfortunately, past Spectrals have been so crazy, other clans want to kill them before they turn seventeen; when they gain their powers. And Jewel's 17th birthday is only a couple of weeks away.

     I loved our character Jewel. She is just a teenage girl that wants to live a normal life. I love how well she handles things...well most of the time. She was smart enough not to let her family know she knows they have been lying. She is strong even when she doesn't think she is. I also love the relationship she had with her brother Jayden, they were so adorable together. He was nothing like my brother who acted like a total brat from day 1. Nonetheless, the relationship between them is very strong even though her family has been lying to her. Almost had a tear in my eye at one point when she tries to protect him. Also can't forget Taylor, the girl she quickly becomes friends with her first day of school. They may barely know each other, but they almost felt like sisters to me and that was definitely something Jewel needed.

    There is a love triangle and I was drooling over both guys. Chase is the sexy, blonde jock. Roman is the dark, sexy musician. Oh and Roman just happens to know who and what Jewel really is. I liked their chemistry a lot more though. Duffy did a great job building mystery around him and whether or not he could be trusted. I love my romance to keep me at the edge of my seat. And boy was I.

    The villains in this book are insane. I mean truly nuts. Witches from all around the world wanted Jewel for her power or to just kill her since, as mentioned in the book, she is Armageddon with legs. Again, Duffy had me turning the pages like a mad woman. I had to know the who and the why. The twists will definitely have you reeling. Always know I have a winner when I end up screaming, "Oh my God! No she didn't just do that!" Trust me, you will be doing that a few times with this book.

    I love the story. I just couldn't put this down. Man, I have been finding a lot of addictive books recently. I am on a roll. I love it. It is story full of mystery, lies and deception. This whole book is based on trust and it seems everywhere Jewel turns, someone wants to stab her. Literally. And there are witches! I never get to read as much witch stories as I would like and Duffy has reminded me that I need to change that. I really love the idea of a Spectral and how they come about. Such a unique concept.

    Another highly recommended read. It just has everything I could want in a story. I was so intrigued with this book. Nothing was predictable, I truly didn't know what was going to happen next. It is nice finding a story that will keep you guessing. And when you think you figured it out, it throws you something else you didn't see coming. Seriously people, read this book now. You won't regret it.    


Rating:
 



*This book belongs to the following challenges*


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 About Shannon Duffy:


Shannon Duffy writes MG and YA. She is repped by the amazing Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is a mom of one boy, her angel. She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. My YA Paranormal romance, SPECTRAL is out now, and my upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA, is set to release January 1st/13


Follow Shannon Duffy here:

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

More info at Goodreads

Courtesy of Tribute Books, one lucky winner will get an ebook version of Spectral by Shannon Duffy. All you have to do is leave your name and email address. Please share link on Twitter, Facebook etc. 1 extra entry for each link share. Good luck everyone!


*Must be a Follower to win
*One winner will be chosen by Random.org
*Contest ends July 5th

*Ebook version, so anyone can enter!
*Book provided by Tribute Books

Thursday, June 28, 2012

BookWhore Book Club Week #9: Bella by Steve Piacente

Discussion announcement and info here: BookWhore

The Schedule
May 3rd Preface-3
May 10th 4-8
May 17th 9-12
May 24th 13-16
May 31st 17-21
June 7th 22-25
June 14th 26-29
June 21st 30-33
June 28th 34-37
Review with Linky 29th


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Chapters 34-37
 
1) Now that the book is over were any of your predictions correct?
 
Not really actually. The only one that I got right was of Danny and Isabelle. I knew it wouldn't last. She turned out a bit more vicious than I initially thought. Not sure if I have sympathy for her though. What Danny said was true, apart of her seemed to have died with Hank. But even if that is the case, when the story finally went out, she didn't seem to change. I thought there would be some gratitude on her part, but she was very indifferent. I am glad it is all out there, but why work so hard when you don't seem to care either way? It was strange. She is very strange.
 
2) In the final chapter of the book Mary, Clay's wife, mentions the possibility of a "Patragno comeback". Do you think there's a chance that Danny will be able to reconcile with his wife? Are you for or against them getting back together and why?
 
I love Mary! She was pretty much one of the very rare sane people in this entire book. She definitely has more insight than everyone else. I think there is a chance him and his wife will reconcile. I am actually for this. They have both done a lot of wrong, Ellie has owned up to her mistake. If Danny can own up as well, I think they can fix things. They both were stupid and will definitely need to talk things through and have some therapy. Highly recommend the therapy.
 
3) What are your thoughts on the last few chapters of the book? Do you feel that the author should have given more attention to the aftermath of the Moss investigation or were you satisfied with the brief summary?
 
I did like the last few chapters, but I did want more. I wish we could have an extra chapter to fill in a few gaps. It was flowing with the outbreak with the media one second then it skipped months the next. It was just a tad bit off, but it ended well I think. I got all my answers, there weren't any cliffhangers and no suspicions.
 
4) I want to hear what your favorite and or least favorite moment of the book was?
 
Favorite part were all the rants specifically during the end with Gavin and water guy. I couldn't stop laughing. Gavin is such an ass, he kind of deserved it. Least favorite part was the "love story". Everyone is so messed up. It is weird they are all friends still. Again, why is Mary there? She is too good for them LOL!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Indie Book Review: Uninvited (South Hills Sidekicks #1) by Leah Spiegel & Meg Summers

Authors: Leah Spiegel and Meg Summers
Series: South Hills Sidekicks
Number in Series: 1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: February 11, 2012
Pages: 302
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery











Buy here: (it's only $0.99)


Synopsis from Goodreads

When Alley started her senior year at Upper East High in the South Hills area, it was supposed to be the usual drag of hanging out with people who spent more on one outfit than Alley did on her entire wardrobe. That was until Kirsten, a girl in their clique, suddenly goes missing and the only people who seem to care are her friends. All evidence leads to the new comer Shane, a cocky and self-pretentious person in Alley’s opinion, but the police seem uninterested so she and the rest of the girls start a little investigation of their own. But they are nowhere closer to finding Kirsten than when they started and now they had the police’s attention; just not in the way they expected. The girls have to start over and discover that maybe it wasn’t an outsider who took Kirsten, but someone within their own clique who has something to hide; a secret that just might have gotten Kirsten killed.

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   Big thanks to Leah and Meg for providing me with this book. I had a blast reading this. It was a teenage Nancy Drew in thousand dollar heels and the effect was adventurous, funny, and kind of cute. I do like the cover but I really thought I would have to deal with some grade-A bitchiness, but that wasn't the case. Yes, the girls are rich (with the exception of the main character), they were all extremely likable and a lot of fun.

    Our main character Alley is your typical teenage girl except for her friends and her school. She is surrounded by the rich and the popular. Her best friend Val is one of the most popular girls in school, so Alley is indirectly in the know. One day Alley and the gang have to help a friend named Kirsten with her wardrobe for her huge birthday bash. Problem is, everyone shows up except for Kristen. They soon find out Kristen may be in trouble and the new guy Shane may have something to do with her kidnapping.  So Alley and her friends are out investigating for themselves.

     The main character Alley was great. I related to her the most. She knew who she was and was very mature. Given that her dad is barely in the picture, she pretty much raises herself. Her best friend Val was a favorite. She looks like a supermodel and wears high heels even though she is quite the klutz. When we first meet her, we find out just how uncoordinated she is. But she is a great friend. She was the first to figure out there was something wrong with Kirsten and she didn't stop until she got to the bottom of it. She does have her blonde moments and they will make you laugh, but she was relentless. I liked their other friends Libby and Kayla as well. But out of all of them, Libby worried me the most. She was a bit of a doormat when it came to her near nonexistent boyfriend Nate. She just couldn't see it.

     I really enjoyed this story a lot. I love the mystery built around the new guy Shane. He comes to the school and thinks a bit too highly of himself. The girls notice him arguing with Kirsten the day she disappeared, so the girls are on high alert. I love how they chase him to see if he has Kirsten. But Alley for some reason is crushing on him and soon realizes he may not be the one that took Kirsten, but someone close to them may have.

     Don't really have any complaints. I did put some things together way before they were revealed. But that doesn't take away from the story at all. I had a lot fun following these characters. There really wasn't a dull moment with these girls especially with Val. Like I said, she was relentless.

    This is highly recommended to anyone looking for a fun and adventurous read with laughs. I fell in love with Spiegel's work with Foolish Games (click HERE for my review). And I wasn't let down with this book written with her sister, Summers. This is a duo I am definitely loving and I already started book 2. You will finish this book with a smile on your face wanting more. 


Rating:




*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

ARC Indie Review + Book Trailer: Florence by Ciye Cho

Before I get into my raving review about this book, you guys have to check out this beautiful trailer. So courtesy of Ciye Cho, author of Florence. Florence is set to release next Sunday on July 1st. Check out the trailer and then check out my ARC review. Enjoy!


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Check out the sample chapters here! Preface to Chapter 13!

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Author: Ciye Cho
Format: ePub (eARC)
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: July 1, 2012
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Paranormal Romance











Buy here:



Synopsis from Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul
 
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     I was given the opportunity to review this book by the author himself. I love the idea of a YA paranormal mermaid story because it is very new to me. And now after reading this, I want to find more like it. Everything about this book is just stunning, from the cover to the imagery inside. I am in love. This was an absolute joy.

     Our main character Florence is a shy girl who keeps to herself. Everyone seems to forget about her or overlook her from her peers ro her nonexistent mother (who obviously needs a reality check). One day while on a field trip to the beach to study the ocean life, Florence runs into something that is very much impossible. A merman. And that merman has kidnapped her and carried her to a different world deep in the ocean named Niemela. Florence soon realizes that she isn't having a nightmare. She is in a new and colorful world full of merpeople who all believe that she has no right being amongst them. Florence is slowly learning about the world except for who she should trust and that is the most devastating thing of all.

     What a perfect summer read this was. I ate this book up very quickly. It is quite the page-turner. The world Cho created was just beautiful. So bright, colorful and larger than life. I couldn't help but think about Finding Nemo. This isn't a children's story really, but all those colors and amazing creatures were amazing. My brain had lots of fun imagining this world. Definitely something that will stick with me. Incredible worldbuilding.

     I love all the various characters in the book. Florence is a great lead. I love that after learning that she isn't dreaming and can't escape, she really tries learning about the world and the situation she is in. I love the mermaid Yolee, well Princess Yolee. If not for her, I am not sure what would have happened to Florence. She takes Florence under her wing even though Florence is older (and with permission from the king). I love how they click and how much they learn from each other. They were alike in many ways. They both want to belong somewhere and they look out for each other. The whole problem with Florence in Niemela is that she doesn't seem to fit in their just like she didn't fit on land. And without Yolee, I think they both would have been quite lost.

     Yolee's brothers, however, were the main thing about this book. You have Kiren, who is the younger prince and is set to be king. Florence was kidnapped for his coronation as a human familiar (which is unheard of). And him and Florence immediately hit it off. Then you have the older brother Rolan who pushes Florence away and doesn't seem to want Florence in Niemela. But you soon realize that both brothers aren't what they seem. But the romance isn't the main story. This is a Young Adult book and it is more about discovery more than anything. Florence is confused about her feelings about the brothers, but it isn't a love triangle (thank God) and again, there is more than what meets the eye.

     I absolutely adored this story. I love the idea of the Darkness. Niemela's greatest enemies come from the Darkness. A place below Niemela that is home to the biggest and dangerous creatures in the ocean. And they seem to be making an appearance a little too often. I love the monsters Cho used. This book is full of adventure and amazing monsters. I was really on the edge of my seat throughout this book. It all starts with Kiren and him wanting a human familiar. I love how the plot develops as to why he wants to actually bring a human into his world and it adds a whole other layer to this incredible story. Now there are secrets and lies about but I can't say because it is a spoiler. Just know they pile up high in the book and really add to the mystery of this book. Truly didn't see any of that coming. Now the ending does leave you asking a few questions, but that only makes me anxious for more. There is a lot more to this story and I want to know what it is now. Cho, you are killing me!

    Cho goes into a lot of detail about the world of Niemela and I liked it a lot. It made it easy to imagine and like I said, very beautiful. This will look very nice in my favorites list for sure. It is a fantasy I was very glad to be lost in. I am so enchanted and in love. And again, merpeople is a first for me. So I hope to find other works like this and hope they will be just as spellbinding as this book. I love how this ended and I love that there will be more. Just thinking about it has me jittery. Highly recommended. Don't miss this book! Thank you so much Ciye Cho!


Rating:




*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's Speculative Romance Challenge 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Married With Zombies Scavenger Hunt Read-a-Long Week #4 - Chapters 16-20




 
Scavenger Hunt Schedule:
Week1: Chapters 1-5 (June 1st) - Jen @ In the Closet With a Bibliophile
Week2: Chapters 6-10 (June 8th) - Ashley @ The Bookish Brunette
Week3: Chapters 11-15 (June 15th) - Loretta @ Between the Pages
Week4: Chapters 16-20 (June 22nd) - Tina @ Tina's Book Reviews
Week5: Chapters 21-26 (June 29th) - Missie @ The Unread Reader
 
 
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Chapters 16-20
 
1) In chapter 16 David and Sarah are attacked by freezer zombies in chef attire. Despite its rotten food and disgusting kitchen, lets think about what it could of been before the attack, give me a picture of your dream kitchen or a pic of you cooking your favorite food in your own kitchen... or both.
 
I love this, but I never gave any thought to my dream kitchen before. But I know what I like. I have two that I enjoy. Here you go. I love the first one because of the dark colors and it is very spacious. I love the second one because it is also beautiful, dark and I can write on the walls. It is chalkboard! How cool is that? I love that.
 
Dream Kitchen
 
Homedit
 
 2) In Chapter 16, David winds up killing those freezer zombies with a blank show me your best one....and yes it must be yours.
 
We use to have bigger knives than these, I have no idea what happened to them. It is really annoying. But this one is quite new and it is very sharp. That and it looks awesome.


3) In Chapter 17 David and Sarah find themselves with some cult like people and wind up trapped. How would you escape? Ropes? Blankets....show me your best.
 
I would use blankets for sure. That is the only thing I can think of in the house that would work. But it is hard to imagine how good that would work since I live in a one storied house. And just showing you a picture of blankets seems weird. And my blankets are plain, so yeah, kind of boring :(

4) In Chapter 19 David and Sarah find a surprise in the car they stole...in the midst of crazy its a nice welcome. Now whip me up your favorite one and share......you can include recipes!!
 
I don't drink a lot. I just enjoy my Sam Adams or Mike's Hard Lemonade. I have neither in the house. But one drink I love is the Sharkbite from Joe's Crab Shack. It is good, a little sweet and has rum. Good stuff. And I love the idea, very appropriate for Florida.
Joe's Crab Shack
5) In chapter 20, Sarah gets to kill a zombie with a cash register, bringing back memories of her worst retail job ever....so tell me whats the worst job you've had......if you can include pictures in your uniform I will die laughing.....or a picture of the place you worked.
 
Unfortunately, I am yet to have a job. I just volunteer, which I loved. So no horrible job experience...yet. I am frightened of that day, I know it will be soon for sure. Help me :(

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BookWhore Book Club Week #8: Bella by Steve Piacente

Discussion announcement and info here: BookWhore

The Schedule
May 3rd Preface-3
May 10th 4-8
May 17th 9-12
May 24th 13-16
May 31st 17-21
June 7th 22-25
June 14th 26-29
June 21st 30-33
June 28th 34-37
Review with Linky 29th


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Chapters 30-33

1) In the begging of this weeks reading Danny was giving Clay advice for saving his marriage. I want to hear what everyone thought about this. 
 
I don't even know what to think about this whole situation. Danny giving Clay advice to save his marriage while he wants to crap on his is messed up. And worse, it is to the guy that sleeps with his wife. I hate how much it seems that Danny cares for everyone else's family except his own. Like after he cheated on Ellie, instead of thinking about it as a mistake, he immediately thought about becoming a father to her daughter and divorcing his wife and visiting her and his son. Goodness, he is so frustrating!

2) In this same conversation between Danny and Clay, Danny mentally sticks up for Ellie saying "I didn't like the self-pity, and I sure didn't like him referring to Ellie as a rotten mistake", what went through your head at that moment?
 
My first thought was, "What do you think of your wife?" I like that he is sticking up for her at least. I  just wish he would show it. He hasn't had a lot of loving things to say about her throughout the book. They were more indifferent and sort of vague.  At least Ellie and Clay are sorry for what they did. The more I talk about him, the more I want to wring his neck.

3) Braxton claims that if Danny follows through with printing the story about Hank Moss it will hurt military and national moral. Danny, however, claims that the truth needs to be told. What would you do? Is the truth worth knowing/exposing at the risk of military and national moral, or is it better to leave things alone in order to "protect" the greater good?
 
That is a good question. I am all about knowing the truth honestly. I think it is fair for everyone to know the truth if they are the ones risking their lives. But in Danny's case, I think is ridiculous. He isn't doing this for anyone else but Bella. He is once again showing how selfish he is. 

4) During our Week 2 discussions you were asked to share your thoughts and feelings on Isabel and Danny. Have your impressions regarding these two characters changed any or are they the same from when you first started reading?
 
I still feel the same. No scratch that, it is worse actually. Danny is acting like a lost puppy dog drooling over his new bone. He is not seeing past Bella and has thrown his family completely aside for her. Even when there was that little thing about Paolo, the gay cousin, he didn't really doubt her word. Why does he think so highly of someone he has only known for two weeks instead of the woman he has known since high school? AHHHHHH!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview with Charles O'Keefe, author of The Newfoundland Vampire

Hello again fellow Vagabonds. Please give a big and warm welcome to friend and author Charles O'Keefe. His debut book, The Newfoundland Vampire, just released in April and he has been awesome enough to let me interview him. Join us to learn more about O'Keefe and his great Urban Fantasy.





      OBVB: Hey Charles! Welcome to Offbeat Vagabond. Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

CO: Hey Diana :) Thank for having me! Sure, I can do that. Well I’m 35, married, no kids, two cats, I work a regular 9-5 job and I just published my first book a few months ago called “The Newfoundland Vampire”. I am a strict vegetarian, animal activist and I do what I can to help the environment. I also love to meet new people and I’m always up for a good chat/argument :).


   OBVB: What authors have influenced you to write? Any favorites?

CO: A friend of mind published a book about 6 years ago; Shannon Sullivan and it did influence me a little. Aside from local obviously Bram Stoker, Anne Rice and I think a little bit of Stephen King and Robert Jordan.

- Jordan is a favorite; I quite like Peter David (though I have not read anything by him in a long time), Ernest Hemmingway, J.R.R. Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley and George Orwell.


   OBVB: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

CO: I have always been creative but really, it took years for me to realize that I wanted to be a writer and get my work published. Therefore, I would say it only seriously entered my head about 6 years ago.

   OBVB: I know you love vampires. Do you have an absolute favorite vampire, books or movies?

CO: I loved the early Anne Rice books, up until “Memnoch the Devil” after that, it goes steadily downhill in quality.
In terms of characters, I love Lestat, he is a great character, such a great mixture of good and evil. He gets to display such a wide range of emotions and experiences in the books, much more than was shown in the two movies.
For movies, I would pick “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992). While it is not faithful to the book for much of it the costumes, special effects and general atmosphere created is so good. Plus Gary Oldman is a fantastic Dracula and Anthony Hopkins is excellent as Van Helsing.



 
  OBVB: Now I know it took about a decade to write this book, when did you finally take the dive and start writing The Newfoundland Vampire?

CO: Technically I started in back in 2002 but the serious writing did not begin until March 2010. I was on vacation and had plenty of time to myself, a switch just went off in my mind and I decided I was tired but making excuses and putting it off and was ready to get serious about working on my novel.

OBVB: The Newfoundland Vampire came out back in April; can you tell everyone what it is all about?

CO: Sure I’d be happy to. It’s about a geeky 23 year old university student who desperately wants a girlfriend. When he finally achieves that goal, his life is completely tuned upside down as he discovers his dream woman turned him into a vampire. From then on, he must learn to control and use his new powers and prepare to defend himself from the threats this new world he is thrust upon soon make apparent.
Only $2.99! Purchase links on the left her: Charles' Website
 

OBVB: I love the idea of a nerd becoming the vampire he wanted to be. Besides becoming a vampire, is there any other supernatural creature you have always wanted to be?

CO: Thanks! :) I tried to put an original spin on the vampire myth and I thought this was one way to do it. I’m not sure about always but I also think a lot about being a shape changer, how cool would it be to became any animal, person or even object you want? Just being able to fly would be such an amazing experience I think.

OBVB: I love that all your characters are actually based on you and people you know. But if you can pick anyone to be Cassandra, who would it be and why (actress or not)?

CO: I have never meet anyone who actually acted like Cassandra (she is a fantasy woman after all) so I would pick an actress. Since I know she can be a good vampire I would pick Deborah Ann Woll from “True Blood”. She would need to be a few years older and have slightly longer and more curly hair but overall she would be perfect :)


OBVB: I know you are more up to date with films, are there any movies coming out that you are dying to see?

CO: If you mean I’m a slow reader than yes that’s true. Well I’ve seen Avengers twice now, so that itched is scratched. I am really looking forward to “Batman:  Dark Knight Rises”. Christopher Nolan has done such a wonderful job that I can’t wait to see what his has in store for Batman in this final part of his trilogy. Batman is also my favorite superhero, so it is an easy pick.

Also “The Hobbit” by Peter Jackson is another one I really can’t wait for. I loved all three of the Lord of the Rings movies and the fact that Jackson gets to do not one but two Hobbit movies really gets my geeky nature excited (it’s also one of my favorite books :) )

OBVB: You celebrated your birthday last weekend; can you tell everyone what you how you celebrated?

CO: How nice you to mention it, thanks! :) Sure, I had a busy weekend. Friday night I had people in to an old fishing stage (partially owned by the father-in-law and mentioned in the book) out at the Battery (a narrow street that goes right beside St. John’s harbor) for a party (plus a book signing earlier in the day). Saturday I went to a wedding and Sunday I had a book launch (and reading) at bar in downtown St. John’s, it was a fun and exciting weekend!

OBVB: Besides writing, what else do you like to do? And can you tell the people about Geekfest?

CO: As I mentioned above I like go for hike/walks when it is nice outside. I enjoy reading, TV, movies, a little bit of acting, board games and role-playing games. Ahh Geekfest, one of my better ideas in the last few years ;) That would be one weekend a year when myself and a bunch of friends (this year 7 others) go to my parent’s summer home in Brigus for near non-stop role-playing action. I’m lucky enough to have been playing D&D (among other games) with friends for over 20 years now and we put in a good 12-15 hours total over the course of one weekend playing various RPG games, it’s a lot of fun and something I look forward to every year (this year was the third time).

OBVB: Last but not least, what other projects do you have planned? Any news on the sequel to The Newfoundland Vampire?

CO: I would to someday write a non-fiction book on role-playing games and all the great experiences (both imagined and real) I’ve had from playing almost 25 years but finding a publisher (and the time to write it) could be tricky. Aside from that, I can give you a little info on the sequel. Joseph and Cassandra have to leave Newfoundland with a task they are given and their relationship is tested once more. I’m going to present Joseph with some more difficult choices and he’s going to get to meet another “good” vampire who just happens to be a celebrity, that’s all I’m saying for now!

OBVB: Thank you so much hon for dropping by. Glad to finally have you here.

CO: You’re welcome Diana. Thank you for having me! Excellent questions and also you have a great blog and it’s a pleasure to be here, everyone’s busy I know. Thanks again for the questions and the review! :)
 
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About Charles O'Keefe

Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Esther. He works as an inventory manager and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, acting, and of course fantasizing about vampires.
 
More on Charles O'Keefe:
 
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Check out my review 4 star review:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Indie Book Review: The Newfoundland Vampire (#1) by Charles O'Keefe

Author: Charles O'Keefe
Format: ePub
Release Date: April 12, 2012
Pages: 224
Publisher: Penumbra Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy














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Synopsis from Goodreads

Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O’Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he’s still fantasizing – but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph’s adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night when he goes to a local university pub. Cassandra Snow, literally the woman of his dreams, invites him to her place for an evening of personal pleasure. Of course he’s not going to say no. But when strange things start happening afterward, Joseph quickly learns that not all dreams should come true.

Cassandra has plans for him – forever. And those plans don’t include daytime activities. An animal lover and recent vegetarian, Joseph wrestles with all the weird changes he’s experiencing after his encounter with Cassandra. Eternal youth and amazing power come at a price that is perhaps higher than he can afford. The constant hunger for blood and the secrets Cassandra harbors test his resolve and his mental and physical limits. And then there’s the fact that a two-hundred-year-old vampire is after his head – literally.

Joseph’s night vision improves dramatically, giving him a glimpse of the darker side of the world and the terrible evil of vampires who walk among humans. As he tries to balance his regular life with the new reality of his vampire existence, he is determined to hold onto his personal convictions and what he values most – his humanity.

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    I was asked to review this book a couple of weeks ago by author Charles O'Keefe. I gladly obliged since the book sounded very interesting. I read it and it was better than I thought it would be. The Newfoundland Vampire was a blast to read. O'Keefe created such a unique take on the vampire world with a rare sort of character to play the lead, a nerd. And I enjoyed every second of it.

    I love our lead character Joseph. He was quite adorable. A true geek through and through. He meets the girl of his dreams (well she meets him because he has trouble approaching women) named Cassandra, but he has no idea she is a vampire until it is too late. Joseph however has a knack for the paranormal and as always wanted to be something greater. He is a vegetarian and cares a lot for his friends and his families. One of the greatest things about this book is following Joseph and how he is handling his unexpected transition. Some vampire books have someone become a vampire and they just accept that they are bloodsuckers or we don't really find out how they really feel about it. I love that O'Keefe wrote it the way he did. I love that Joseph questions himself and doesn't just fall into typical vampire behavior. I love that even as a vampire, he still hangs out with his friends (love the role-playing scene) and still talks to his parents and takes care of his cat. Joseph definitely isn't your typical kind of vampire.

    As for Cassandra and O'Keefe knows this, I have a sort of love-hate relationship with Cassandra. On one hand I do love her because she is a very strong woman who goes after what she wants. On the other hand and what Joesph contemplates a bit throughout the book, she manipulates Joesph to get what she wants. I do believe she truly does love him, but I know there is more to what she is letting on. But I guess I understand considering her backstory. Cassandra has fought tooth-and-nail to get to where she is. I won't be too hard on her for bending the rules a bit. But the questions Joseph asks at the end of the book still have me suspicious of her. But she is a great heroine.

    The story was great. Cassandra wants Joseph to help kill her estranged, psychotic husband John Snow (not going to let this ruin my image of Jon Snow from Game of Thrones). John doesn't care about anyone or anything but himself. The whole war he has going on with Cassandra is more over a bruised ego. I wish we got more of his story, but he is a great villain in this book. I just wanted to know a little more of his take on things. I love Cassandra teaching Joseph how to fight (he already knows a thing or two about swords and knows martial arts). And I love that he teaches Cassandra about how you don't have to drink from humans. This leads to some interesting advantages, but I won't spoil it. But I loved it.

    O'Keefe has also left us with plenty of things to ponder about for the next book which will be very fun. We get to know something about Count Dracula (and his stamp in history). We also meet the Countess who definitely has an agenda, but I am not sure what she is up too. Also we get to know some of John's friend Donald. Honestly I am not sure which of the two scare me more. There was also something Snow hinted at that I feel had more meaning than Joseph thought. I am so excited about what more is to come.

     This book surpassed my expectations. It was sexy and lots of fun for geeks and non-geeks alike. Joseph is a character you would love to have around and having Cassandra at your back is just as good. That woman knows her stuff and doesn't take crap from anyone. A very good read for those looking for a different take on the vampire lifestyle. 

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This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's Speculative Romance Challenge 2012