Friday, November 30, 2012

BLOG TOUR: The Warlock's Curse by M.K. Hobson - Guest Post + CONTEST!


Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when the weather outside is frightful (-ly COLD!) and a warm fire plus a good read sounds immensely delightful.


Today, we're playing host once again (hey, it's the holidays....EVERYONE wants to stop by online the same as in person! ^_^) to a blog tour making it's way through the world wide web from Candace's Book Blog & CBB Promotions. (Hi, Candace!)  So far this week it's made appearances at Words Escape Me, Readingand Rising With the Sun, and Read My Breath Away; to check out the posts, just click on the links!  Rounding out the week is a stop on my little old blog and boy are you in for a treat.

Now, it's not the usual review type post because although it sounds REALLY good, by the time I caught wind of it, my reading schedule was booked solid.  BUT...there are other goodies to feast your eyes on and since I know how much you all LOVE suspense, I will keep rambling on and on and on and on and...what's that?  Oh, you don't REALLY like THAT much suspense?  Fine.  Be that way.  I'll just get right to it then.  (^_^)  Allow me to introduce formally, today's blog tour guest and book of choice...




Veneficas Americana, Book 3:
by


THE YEAR IS 1910. Eighteen-year-old Will Edwards has landed a prestigious apprenticeship at Detroit’s Tesla Industries, the most advanced scientific research center in the United States. It’s a plum prize for a young man who dreams of a career in the new science of Otherwhere Engineering.


But his father doesn’t want him to go. And he won’t tell him why.


Determined to get there by any means necessary, Will finds unexpected support along the way. His old friend Jenny Hansen—daughter of a San Francisco timber baron—is eager to help him for reasons of her own. And so is his estranged brother Ben, who he hasn’t seen in over ten years.


But running away turns out to be the easy part. On the first full moon after his eighteenth birthday, Will is stricken by a powerful magic—a devastating curse laid upon his ancestors by the malevolent sangrimancer Aebedel Cowdray. Will must find a way to control the magic that possesses him—or the vengeful warlock’s spirit will destroy everything and everyone he loves.



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If you're a fan of her previous work (The Native Star or The Hidden Goddess), you may have a moment of deja vu as this book takes place in the same world as the others, just several odd years in the future, BUT the characters are all brand spanking new so newcomers (such as myself) will feel right at home.  In light of that information, even though it is a series (book 3 in fact), I've been told it can be read quite well as a stand alone title...hmm, we shall see as I'll be embarking on this adventure this coming Spring 2013.  In the mean time though, how's about we find out a little more about the author?  I think it sounds like a swell idea, let's do it.




It's always funny when you agree to a guest post because you never quite know what you'll get.  Sometimes suggestions for topics are asked for and other times it's by the seat of their pants; what you can count on however is a piece of interest that holds untold of surprises.  Take today's for example.  I’m a total opposite from her when it comes to what I read…BUT…that doesn’t mean there’s not something to glean from her words; in fact, I may be adding a book she mentioned to my wish list as we speak (Sister Carrie sounds interesting).  It’s the colorful world of reading we live in and I for one LOVE the variety out there and the “spice” each of us brings to the table.  So, without further ado, please join me in welcoming author M.K. Hobson….


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Historical fiction that's actually—historical!
by M.K. Hobson         

I have a shocking confession to make. I read hardly any contemporary fiction. A quick count reveals that, of the forty or so novels I read this past year, only about five were published in this decade. The rest were written in the early part of the 20th century, generally in the half decade between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War II.

I always feel weird about admitting this, because at best it sounds merely snobby (like the insufferable hipster who complains Radiohead started to suck after 1995) and at worst, disloyal to my fellow writers. Shouldn't I be supporting the authors of today, instead of ones who have been dead a hundred years or more?

I guess my preference from older works of fiction springs from the fact that I don't just read books for the story. I am just as interested in reading them to get an understanding of the lifestyles and attitudes of the era. Moreover, I am absolutely in love with the writing style in these books. On every page one encounters words, idioms, figures of speech and sentence constructions that have long since passed out of modern fiction. I collect and admire these exquisite little turns of phrase, and use them in my own writing when I can—which probably explains why the language in my books sometimes seems out-of-date to modern readers.

Here are four of my "old favorites." I hope you'll consider one of them next time you're loading up your Kindle or Nook!

  • Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie. Sister Carrie is the age-old story of a country girl who tries to make it in the big city. She ultimately achieves success as a famous actress—but not without "compromising her virtue" along the way. At the time this book was published, it was denounced by critics of the time as being immoral, because it was generally accepted that only heroines of spotless moral character were allowed to have a happy ending. 

  • Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt. I love just about all of Sinclair Lewis' books, but Babbitt is one of my all-time favorites. It's a frequently hilarious satire of American culture, society, and behavior as it existed in 1922, but when you read it you'll be amazed at how little has changed between then and now.

  • Gore Vidal, Burr. Published in 1973, this is the newest book on my list. Author Gore Vidal built his reputation on being an outspoken, ornery cuss. With Burr, he lived up to that reputation in spades, making Aaron Burr (often regarded by history as a self-serving hothead) the hero of the story. At the same time, he casts Burr's more-lauded contemporaries—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the ill-fated Alexander Hamilton—in an unflattering light. I was so delighted by Gore Vidal's subversive, iconoclastic depiction of the founding fathers—and ultimately, by the rest of his historical fiction—that I gave him a fangirl shout-out in The Warlock's Curse, using his first name for a family of Greek sangrimancers.

  • Gertrude Atherton, Patience Sparhawk and Her Times. Gertrude Atherton also gets a fangirl shout-out in The Warlock's Curse—I gave her last name to the book's secondary love interest. She began writing to support herself and her children after the death of her husband in 1887, and while much of her financial success came from straight-ahead commercial potboilers, she also wrote several works of superior literary value, Patience Sparhawk being one. Like Sister Carrie, the book was considered scandalous in its time because of the sympathetic and pragmatic presentation of prostitution and the overall contempt for the institution of marriage. Just as importantly, it's a ripping good yarn—the last 20 pages had me on the edge of my seat.


Thank you to Gina for having me, and I hope readers will suggest their favorite works of historical historical fiction in the comments below!





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About the author


M.K. Hobson’s debut novel, The Native Star—the first book in her Veneficas Americana series—was nominated for a Nebula award in 2010. She lives in the first city in the United States incorporated west of the Rockies. The Warlock’s Curse is her third novel. You can find out more at her website, www.demimonde.com.



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Having fun so far?
GREAT…and I hope you take the author up on her CHALLENGE!  What books have you read (or hope to read) that fall under the historical historical category?  Perhaps I’ll find something else to add to my ever wobbling wish list.  

Special thanks to Candace of Candace's Book Blog & CBB Book Promotions for the opportunity to bring this tour to you as well as to author M.K. Hobson for her time and efforts on the guest post.  (THANKS ladies!)  For more information on this tour as well as those forthcoming, be sure to check out Candace's official site or follow along on Twitter.  Curious to reveal further secrets on this series?  Pay a visit to the official website.  To discover more about the author, her previous works and those yet to come, she can be found online at her blog, on GoodReads, over at Facebook and of course on Twitter.  This book (as well as the previous two) is available now in both print and ebook so no matter your reading preference you can check out this series in a format friendly to you.  (Yay PRINT BOOKS!  ^_^)




Now that our little party is in FULL swing, are you ready for even MORE fun?
You didn't think it was over did you?
Silly reader...I promised you LOADS of fun and I aim to deliver!


Thanks to the generosity of the promotion team, YOU my friend have the chance to win some VERY cool prizes and because they are such wonderful people, there's something for everyone....which means it's also open to INTERNATIONAL readers, woo-hoo!  Here's the scoop.....


The prize...


US ONLY
Prize package:  *SIGNED* copies of The Native Star, The Hidden Goddess and The Warlock's Curse as well as a swag pack of a Tesla Industries pin, magnets and a sticker


INTERNATIONAL
13 ebooks of The Warlock's Curse






How to enter...
...just fill out the RAFFLECOPTER form below and BAM!  You'll be in to win!  Contest ends December 30th, 2012.





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Until next time…GOOD LUCK....and happy reading!



Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Doll Violinist by Mayra Calvani

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....the place to be when you're in the mood for a GREAT read and you simply need some sage advice.


Okay, so I can't promise mine will be sage, but it will definitely get you started in the right direction and today we're taking a step towards the holidays.  Yes my friends, despite Thanksgiving seeming like only yesterday, the winter holiday season is upon us.  Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa...the list goes on and on.  No matter what holiday you celebrate (or don't celebrate), good tidings and joy seem to somewhat more tangible this time of year; so much so it seems it can be plucked from the air around us like a pear from a tree that happens to be harboring a partridge.  (^_^)  Do you know what I mean?  It's one of those mysteries of life that can never truly be explained but it can be hoped for to last the whole year through...and with steps taken of our own initiative, perhaps one day it will be.  But I digress....

I did not come here to bend your ear and try to turn you to Scrooge's later behaviors but rather to share my thoughts on a remarkable Children's ebook I just read that really warmed my heart.  It's been sitting (okay, buried) in my email awaiting my review for a while now (my apologies to the author and publicist...I can only blame my virtual email goat for hiding it from me - yet another reason I say "yes" to ebooks sparingly) and has chosen a very appropriate time to appear for not only does it take place in the same glorious season (albeit a bit closer to THE DAY) but there's plenty of time for you to grab a copy all your own in either digital or print (yay print!) and sit down for a family (or solo...parties of one rock too!) read.  Without further ado, today's book of choice is...



by
Art by
Amy Moreno


Emma is a young orphan girl whose dreams are not filled with sugar plums dancing but of her one wish for Christmas...a doll.  Now it's not just ANY doll mind you, but a particular doll in the shop window of Madame Dubois' Toy Store.  She's elegant in her gold trimmed emerald dress.  She's beautiful in the way that her hair curls and reminds you of long nights passed with a treasured friend over a hot drink.  But there's more to this little dolly than good looks mind you; it's something that she holds in her delicate little hand that reminds Emma of home....a violin.

You see, though gone now, Emma's mother was a violinist (who remarkably looks like the doll...as does Emma!) and her aspirations for the future see her walking that same path.  The doll would be a gloriously lovely visual reminder of both her past and her future, but how could she ever hope to call her her own?  I mean, she's an orphan child on Christmas just as any other day...

The innocent dreams and wishes of Emma along with her heartfelt connections to her ultimate Christmas gift are a joy to behold in word and illustration.  The story though short is sweet and filled with the emotions of the season (those same emotions that I wish were so readily felt throughout the year...know what I mean?) while the images enhance an already magical "performance".  I love the connections made between not only Emma and her mother's memory but her and Madame Dubois.  How could a shopkeeper that ran an orphan girl off from gazing in her window every day possibly do any good?  Oh, you'll see...and though sadness leaves its mark on them both, it'll put a smile on your face faster than your favorite Christmas carol.

Author Mayra Calvani
In summary, a story perfect for the holiday season (or any season) that reminds us all that the best things in life are free and freely given.  Love shared, a kind word uttered, a helping hand given...all these things and more are in our power to give to another of our own free will whenever a need is seen.  So make jolly your holidays, spend time with family and friends, sing carols round the fireplace and hang lights on the tree...but remember those in less fortunate situations than your own this season and extend a cup of Christmas cheer to warm the soul of another whether they be your next door neighbor or across the miles.  A little love goes a LONG way...

Ebook for review courtesy of Donna McDine (author, publicist and editor-in-chief) and author Mayra Calvani. (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to visit their official website.  To discover more about the author, discover her secret bookcase (aka her official site ^_^) highlighting her literary works for children including not only this title but Frederico, the Mouse Violinist of which I've previously featured on the site (for adult readers there is a separate site), like her on Facebook or follow along on Twitter!  This book was released September 2011 via Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time...happy reading!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Owlet by Emma Michaels - Review, Read Along + CONTEST!


Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


Today, we play host to a stop along an exciting tour brought to you by the fabulous folks over at Tribute Books.  (Hi Nicole!)  It features a Young Adult title that’s set to kick start what thus far reads as a pretty AWESOME series.  Don’t believe me?  Oh ye of little faith.  Have I ever steered you wrong before?  Besides, it’s not merely my opinion of the book you’ll be basing your decision to read upon, oh no.  You are in for a treat my friends, a treat indeed and that treat will include a sample of the book AND a chance to win a copy to call your own!  But before we get too carried away, allow me to introduce the featured title properly…deal?  Good.  Today’s book of choice and blog tour guest is…




Society of Feathers #1:
By

Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.
Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.


KINDLE  |   NOOK   |   iBookstore   |   Smashwords   |   PDF



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Sounds good right?
Oh but it was!
Let me see if I can sum it up for you so that you can move on to the next part of the post.  Yes, yes....I am aware that I am breaking my usual protocol of rambling on and on and well, you get the point but there are TWO more parts to this tour stop and I want to make sure you don't get lost in my subtext.  Anywho...

This book, this book....this wonderfully awesome first book in the SOCIETY OF FEATHERS series (the sequel to which is planned for October 2013....wait 2013?! Egads that's a ways off!) really knows how to get the party started.  Now, don't get the wrong idea, there's no cake and balloons, in fact there's a lot more hiding and secrets and revelations in the making, but it IS a party in the fact that everything comes together so nicely from such a unique idea.  I've honestly never read a novel where a human's soul was part bird.  Sound odd?  Not really...once you get to the explanations and get to them they do, eventually.  Hey, events have to unfold in order for revelations to be made...even those they had no intentions of revealing until a MUCH later date.  It was really interesting to see how they worked together (the two sides of their soul) and the limitations that they each had while together and apart.  Aside from the story lines originality, you also have some incredible characters.  My favorite was actually Iris....and Falcon.  Okay, so I'm cheating, I chose TWO but I could have kept selecting more because they all have something unique, something special to add.  Back to my favorites....I value Falcon for his pure heart despite its tainted beginnings...and Iris, sweet innocent Iris has so much untapped strength within that once unleashed I can't imagine where it might take it.  Might also explain what happens in the little excerpt of Book 2....

Moving on....the only part I found difficult was connecting the dots on who's who throughout the story as additional characters were added from Iris' past; lotsa names, lotsa history. The cool part though is that you get reintroduced to them all (thanks to a tragedy that occurs...the not so cool part and OH SO SAD!) while learning exactly why they were valued as friends and family from someone who knew them well.  I can't say much more without spoiling it for you but suffice it to say that the mysteries will keep you guessing, the characters will keep you connected emotionally and the story line will have you flying high (pun totally intended).  It's a breath of fresh air and a change of pace from the norm in YA right now; definitely a book I'll be recommending to YA readers of all ages.

Now, let's move on to the next part of the post, shall we?  How’s about that excerpt I mentioned earlier to tempt your reading taste buds even further?  ^_^  Your wish is my command.  Ready, set….READ!



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**SPECIAL READ ALONG EXCERPT**


When they made it to the house, Falcon felt like he was going to drop in the doorway but he kept moving toward the stairs. Slowly, one step at a time, he made it to the top. When he finally got Iris to a bed, he nearly fell onto it and Diana had to stop Iris from rolling off his back in the wrong direction.
“Go change out of your clothes and find something old of Roger’s. I will take care of her. If we let either of you get too cold I won’t be able to save you,” Diana said, looking from Falcon to Iris.
“Why would you save me?” Falcon was now willing to speak since Iris was safely laying on the bed in Diana’s care. He ignored the fact that his words sounded so strange from all the shivering. He knew she would save and protect Iris, even if she hadn’t known who he had been to her family, but she could have had Joseph be the one to help her. She could have just left Falcon to his own devices.
“You love her whether you are her mate or not. I should have learned more before telling her about who you were. I didn’t even think about that. Well, you’re here now. Roger wouldn’t have let you be here unless he had known you. Unless she had too. You know she doesn’t remember, don’t you? We thought she did but...she just doesn’t. I just...I panicked. We have been waiting for Caleb to discover the secret and send an assassin or a vulture and I was terrified that day had come.”
“I know,” Falcon said quietly; he was fading fast. Crawling to his feet, he searched for clothes while Diana started hooking Iris up to the machinery for her asthma. Falcon had almost forgotten it would be harder for her because of her affliction. Her body wouldn’t know what side of the soul to listen to while she was healing. The Stryx inside of her would be subjected to her bad health and have to feel it on its own, while the normal half of her soul came back to life. It would be unnatural since asthma was never a part of the Stryx soul’s form...whatever that form might be.




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Oh buddy, what an excerpt for me to have drawn from the virtual bag!  (Thanks again, Nicole!)  This scene happens right after a fairly major (yet not ENTIRELY true) revelation about Falcon and Iris’ connection to each is made by someone dear to her.  It’s heart stopping and confusing and…..SO not the full story but as often happens in fiction (well, heck…even in REAL life) someone flies off the handle (Ha! Unintentional pun…love it….) and possibly winds up dead.  Hey, you didn’t think I was going to ruin the outcome of this revved up scene now did you?  No siree.  You’ll have to keep following the blog tour to discover more as you read along its virtual route….or of course you can always pick up a copy of the book yourself and squash all that suspense you’re dying of.  ^_^  Oh and speaking of getting a copy to call your own, it’s….

….CONTEST TIME!




Prizes up for grabs include...

...38 "Owlet" swag packs...
...35 Kindle versions of the "Owlet" ebook...
...4 original sketches from the author herself...
...(2) $10 Amazon GCs...
...an original "Owlet" painting by the author...
...custom designed "Owlet" necklace...
...owl bracelet and owl keychain...


...need I say more?

The variety of prizes available make this contest open to one and all (some prizes are US only but that’s all sorted out on the entry form).  Entries are being accepted as we speak all the way through the end of December 2012; but you can’t win if you don’t enter!  Get your hat in the proverbial ring by filling out the rafflecopter form below….




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Ebook for review received courtesy of Nicole at Tribute Books as well as the opportunity to bring this blog tour to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to visit them online, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about the world of author Emma Michaels, seek her out online at her website, on GoodReads, at Facebook, or on Twitter.  To stay up to date on this blog tour, be sure to follow the official hashtag on Twitter (#Owlet).  Looking to catch up on the read along?  Not to worry!  Just follow your mouse to the sites below and become further enchanted by Iris’ Never-Never….












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Until next time…good luck….and happy reading!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taste Testing Tuesdays




Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 

On the menu this week...one book that I just finished (in the nick of time...whew!) and another that I'm making great strides with (fast moving for certain!).  Ready for a double tease?  Here we go!


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Owlet
by
Emma Michaels

"Why didn't I tell you?  I am never told anything.  I am always in the dark and I try to be happy as much as I can because when I am not THIS happens."  Iris demonstrated by exhaling fully, a loud whistle escaping with her breath.  "Because I wasn't made to be able to feel!  Or at least that is what I thought.  I thought I had killed her and was paying the price!  How long was she alive?  How many years of my life did I have a mother?"
-- location 569 of 2490



A very dramatic point where Iris (and readers) are just starting to uncover her past.  Can you believe she's been lied to her whole life?  Her Dad and this Diana character have A LOT of explaining to do.  Curious to see how everything pans out?  Tune in tomorrow as the blog tour stops by for a review!









The Expeditioners
and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon
by
S.S. Taylor
Illustrated by
Katherine Roy
(ARC)


..."This is very interesting.  Very interesting indeed.  May I ask where you found it?"
I tried to keep my voice even.  "Uh...Around.  With some of Dad's things."
He smiled, making a little tent of his fingers in front of his face and studying each of our faces in turn.  When he came to me, I felt the power of those protruding eyes; he seemed to stare right down into me and I didn't like it at all.
-- pg 74



This has steampunk elements that will attract the YA crowd plus enough adventure and mystery that fans of Indiana Jones will want to seek it out like the precious stone that belonged to that village on the hill (you know the one, with the showgirl and Short Round?  ^_^).  Definitely can't wait to see where this one takes us and if some characters are REALLY gone for good.  (Dun dun dunnnnnn......)  This book is scheduled for release December 11th from McSweeney's McMullens.




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Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


*Grab your current read 

*Open to a random page 

*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 

*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 







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Until next time....happy reading!



Monday, November 26, 2012

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Cyber Monday Deal (& Beyond) for Book Lovers!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when the need to read comes a knockin and you are ready with a big plate of "YES PLEASE!".  ^_^

Today as many of you know is CYBER MONDAY.  For those not up on the lingo, it means today is the day between now and Christmas that you can get uber great deals online...sorta like Black Friday but without the freezing your booty off outside bit.  Anywho, today felt extremely appropriate to shine a light on a FANTASTIC deal that was sent my way for a bookish treasure you or perhaps those you know would enjoy under their tree this year.  It's a book I sampled way back when and while it seems out of my usual box at first glance, trust me when I say IT'S REALLY GOOD.  I've yet to have the chance to pick up a copy of my own to finish my reading adventure, but this special holiday offer may be changing my tune very soon.

So, are you ready to READ ALL ABOUT IT?
Here we go!

First things first....let's take a look at the book....


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Nikolas & Company, Episode 1:
The Merman and the Moon Forgotten
by
Kevin McGill
Illustrations by
Carlyle McCullough


"A long time ago in a world not so far away..."
Senior stagecoach driver Yeri Willrow thought he was performing a simple drive and drop for his mysterious passengers, until they are attacked by foul-breath red-eyed creatures. He soon learns that his passengers are a family of automaton-legged merfolk, and he is their only hope. Yeri suddenly finds himself tasked with saving the merfolk or they will fall to the peril of the creature most foul.
Sometime in the near future...
Fourteen-year-old Nick lives in a time when one can zip from country to country in mach-speed hovercars, extend their life indefinitely through cerebral downloads, and have every whim taken care of by their ever faithful nannydrone.
Nick hates it.
Aside from the refugee camps, overpopulation, and unchecked consumerism filling every city across the globe, Nick just doesnt belong. That is when he hears the voice of a woman:
"The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all."
Shortly after, his slightly crazed grandfather reveals to him:
"All you've ever heard about Moon is a lie, my dear Nikolas. He was not always a mere satellite, a ghost wandering the stars. In an age before our own, Moon was our twin, and in him bore the whole of magical life. The cradle of this magical civilization was a fantastic metropolis filled with fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you could smell it. We called this metropolis Huron, and you, Nikolas, are her steward."





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Sound good?
You bet your best bookmark it is.
It's high on adventure, unique when it comes to story line, and will keep you turning pages until you reach the end.  If you need more info before deciding, just click HERE to be whisked away to the official series site.  Oh and by the way...the end is not really the end because there is already another installment in the series!  So no worries if you thought you'd be left high and dry....

Now, on the the EXTRA SPECIAL part of today's post....
...THE DEAL.



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SPECIAL HOLIDAY SALE!
NOW through ??,
YOU can pick up a
SIGNED copy of... 

Nikolas & Company, Episode 1:
The Merman and the Moon Forgotten

...for only $3.99
with FREE SHIPPING!


Click HERE to grab this special offer while it lasts!





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How's that for an easy way to check someone off your holiday shopping list and perhaps even score a new read for yourself?  I think it's rather FABULOUS if I do say so myself  and quite generous of the author and publisher.  (THANKS guys!)

So whether you pick this deal up for yourself, your neighbor, a friend, or a friend of a friend, do me a favor....SPREAD THE WORD!  After all, it is the season of giving...and if you happen to score a little savings along the way, well I know my wallet would be a bit merrier and bright.

Until next time...happy reading!




Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pansy at the Palace by Cynthia Bardes

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that's been a bit preoccupied with the holidays of late, but can't stay away from the books for long.  Honestly, can you?

Today, we're taking a look at a Children's Story Book featuring a furry friend and of all things...a mystery.  Who'd have thought?! It's a tale good for kids of all ages (that's right, even Grandma and Grandpa) that will capture your heart.  Don't believe me? Then see for yourself as we dive right into today's book of choice...

PANSY AT THE PALACE
A BEVERLY HILLS MYSTERY
by
Cynthia Bardes
Illustrations by
Kim Weissenborn

This is the story of one little puppy's start in life, so sad yet so true, that turned into a possible dream come true.

Why possible? Oh for many reasons.  First of all, adorable loving pups of all shapes and sizes are adopted each and every year, including a few of my own. They say there is no love like the love of a shelter dog and I think that comes from giving them a second chance of having a happy home. What a gift to bestow; what a power to hold. Avery's young heart is captured by the mass of  brown curls and waggles soon to be named Pansy...and thanks to her agreeable Mom, the two shan't have to part ways for nary a moment. 

The second reason for its possible happy ending is her new digs...and I don't mean holes in the yard.  This mother daughter combo lives in the glorious Palace hotel with tea rooms and jewelers and breakfast by the pool, who could ask for more! How about a cast of characters that will leave you smiling? We have Mr. Bijoux, the flamboyant French gentleman that owns the jewelry boutique; Roberto, the valet and door greeter welcoming one and all with a friendly smile and a kind word; let us not forget Monsieur DuMal and his cat Desiree, a curious pair that I'd keep my eye on if I were you.  They each bring something special to the story and to Pansy's new home, adding another sparkle to her shiny new life.  Aww, about that shine....here comes the reason for "possible" being added to the happily ever after.

As mentioned in the title, there is a mystery afoot and if not solved, Pansy's grand new home may have to close its doors! It seems there is a thief in their midst that has sticky pa...I mean hands when it comes to bright shiny expensive objects and with no leads, the police are baffled as to how to put everyone's mind at ease.  Leave it to one lucky puppy with a nose for trouble (solving it that is), good intentions, and a new owner that trusts her little fuzzy inexplicably and things are sure to set themselves right.

It's a short but sweet tale that believe it or not has its roots in both fiction AND reality! It seems there really IS a Pansy (as can be seen in the book jacket photo of her and her owner, author Cynthia Bardes) and there really was an extended stay at a Beverly Hills hotel (one of many, although this one came after an accident...no worries everyone is okay now), but the robbery was pure imagination.  Guess you really never know where the next idea for a story will come from.  Now being that this is a story book, I honestly can't close things out without a nod to the illustrator, Kim Weissenborn. Her work makes the story come to life and really makes Pansy's personality (as well as Desiree and the others) shine.  The fun is in the details like the little crown on Pansy's head when they're at play or her name in script on her doggie bed, even the stores her and Avery pass on their daily stroll hold surprises (Bark Boutique anyone?). Each page holds the obvious story but always something more to enhance the experience; a great balance between content and visuals.

All in all, a sweet story for dog lovers of all ages that will entertain and charm you from page one.  Enter the world of the privilaged but not spoiled where dreams really can come true; even when all you really desire is a place and person to call your own.  This book was released just this year from Octobre Press and should be available on a bookstore shelf near you.

Review copy received courtesy of Anastasia at Andrew E. Freedman Public Relations (http://www.aefpr.com). (THANKS!) For more information on Pansy and author Cynthia Bardes, be sure to visit their official website (http://www.pansyatthepalace.com). Will there be more adventures featuring Avery and Pansy? Only time will tell but I'll definitely keep a spot open on my reading list.

Until next time...happy reading!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Making seasons bright with Scholastic, Toys for Tots, and the UPS Store!

Hi guys!
Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and Black Friday (or "Power Week" is treating you right. When you're out there today grabbing all the deals you can find, don't forget to take a moment to think of those less fortunate and if you're looking for a way you can help, check out this amazing news from Scholastic!
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SCHOLASTIC, THE UPS STORE AND TOYS FOR TOTS GIVE BOOKS TO KIDS IN NEED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, INCLUDING DONATIONS TO THE YOUNGEST VICTIMS OF HURRICANE SANDY

Call to action for families to read books to and with their kids, and Scholastic will donate books to children in need –with a minimum of 50,000 books committed

New York, NY – November 15, 2012 –Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children's publishing, education and media company, The UPS Store and Marine Toys for Tots Foundation are launching a READ EVERY DAY holiday campaign to promote the love of reading and encourage all families to help give books to kids who need them most, including those who lost books due to Hurricane Sandy.  This holiday literacy drive is part of Scholastic's global literacy campaign, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life, an effort to help all children experience the love of reading and owning a book.

Here is how families can help to contribute books to kids in need this holiday season:
1)      Download Storia® (http://www.scholastic.com/storia) Scholastic's new teacher-recommended children's ereading app, and help pass on the reading to kids in need. Upon downloading Storia, families will receive five free children's ebooks to start a home digital library. For every additional ebook purchased on Storia now through Dec. 31, 2012, Scholastic will donate a children's book to a child in need through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program (with a minimum of 50,000 books committed).                                                                                                                                    
2)      Visit a participating The UPS Store location across the U.S. now through Dec. 31, 2012 to purchase a donation card to benefit the Toys for Tots Literacy Program (http://www.toysfortots.org/literacy), a year-round initiative of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Every dollar donated helps provide new books from Scholastic for less fortunate children in local communities throughout the U.S. Customers can also donate online at The UPS Store Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/#%21/theupsstore/app_157863440945809).  As part of the longstanding collaboration with Scholastic Literacy Partners, The UPS Store location that raises the most money during the holidays will receive 500 books to share with families in their local community.                                                
 "Thanks to our partners Scholastic and The UPS Store, Toys for Tots delivers millions of books to less fortunate children every year," said retired Marine Corps LtGen. Pete Osman, President and CEO of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  "By including books with the other toys we'll deliver this Christmas season, Toys for Tots will help deserving children develop a passion for reading and will start them on a pathway to a brighter future."

"Regardless of whether kids read digitally or in print, we want ALL children to have the opportunity to read every day and to read books they love," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. "This holiday, together with The UPS Store and Toys for Tots, we can encourage families and communities to join in giving the gift of reading to their children and to children in need."

Available for FREE download on PC and iPad, and on select Android tablets, the Storia eReading app is designed to captivate kids while helping them become better readers. Storia offers thousands of curated titles for kids from toddlers through teens, of which many are enriched with vocabulary and comprehension activities and video. Storia has been recognized by Warren Buckleitner with the Editor's Choice Award for children's eBook apps in Children's Technology Review, awarded 2012 Best Toy of the Year award by Dr. Toy and received glowing reviews in The New York Times and School Library Journal.

"Education is one of the keys to helping children become successful in life. During the holidays, The UPS Store hopes to make a positive impact by helping children break the cycle of poverty through literacy and education," said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc.

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About Scholastic:
For more information about Scholastic, visit our media room at http://mediaroom.scholastic.com. The online press kit for Storia is available at: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/storia.  To learn more about Scholastic Family and Community Engagement visit www.scholastic.com/face.

About the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation:                                                                   
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 65th year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season.  These gifts offer children hope, recognition, and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the books, games, and sports equipment provided as gifts make a significant contribution to the educational, social and physical development of these children.   In 2011, Marines distributed toys to more than 7.2 million children who might not have otherwise experienced the magic of the Christmas holiday season.
About The UPS Store:                                                                                                                        
With more than 4,700 locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, The UPS Store network comprises the world's largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, printing and business service centers. In the U.S., The UPS Store locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS(NYSE:UPS). In Canada, locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of master licensee MBEC Communications, L.P. Services, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, including information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location, visit www.theupsstore.com.
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Special thanks to Nadia at Scholastic Inc for the heads up on this wonderful project.  You know what to do my friends. Let's help make this season bright for all.
Have a great day...and happy reading!
^_^

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving thanks today and every day...




So today is the day.
Thanksgiving.
A time to reflect on the year that has passed, the family and friends gathered round us in person and in spirit...and for readers like us, the great books we've read and shared.

Guess what?
Authors are thankful too...and this is why today I choose to share a letter of thanks from one author to all of you.  The readers, the thinkers, the browsers, and chatters; anyone and everyone that shares in the joy of reading and claims the world as their own.  This one's for you.

Please welcome author Germaine Shames....


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Author Germaine Shames

Dear Reader,

I may not know you personally, but chances are we have met through our shared love of books. You know me in a way few friends ever will: through my stories and my characters, the themes with which I grapple book after book, and my running “lover’s quarrel” with language and the prose that somehow flows from it. You are the reason I write, the invisible presence that keeps me company as I face the blank computer screen.    I catch glimpses of you in libraries, bookstores and trains. I read over your shoulder.

You accompany me on journeys beyond the page, into the hearts and minds of people we may never meet face-to-face but whose hopes and fears mirror our own. This takes empathy. You suspend judgment long enough to allow me to spin my tale. This takes generosity. You absorb tens of thousands of words to follow a story to its resolution. This takes time and effort that is seldom acknowledged.

Reading is not passive. You fill in what I leave out; you probe, interpret, challenge, feel and forgive. Occasionally, you leave a comment or review so insightful it reminds me why I chose to become a writer, and why I persist despite all.

Thank you for every moment you devote to books. Thank you for your concentration, discernment and selfless tenacity. Thank you for reading.

Love,
Germaine




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Special thanks to Pale Fire Press for sharing this beautiful note with me and in turn allowing it to be shared with all of you.  For more information on their current title listing, feel free to click over to their site.  To discover more of the worlds explored by author Germaine Shames, be sure to visit her official website...and watch for my review of You, Fascinating You right here, early 2013!



Until next time....wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving....and of course, happy reading.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Author Interview - Joe Abruzzo


Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please come rain, snow, wind or LIFE....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  ^_^

So.  It's the day before Thanksgiving and all is ...well, not well per se but managed at least.  This afternoon we'll have a new refrigerator...yay!  Hopefully that will put the holiday feast back on track and a cold glass of Diet Coke in my hand.  (*yum*)  In the mean time, I plan on feeding your need to read with a little Q&A today....sound like a plan?  I thought so.  Our guest "speaker" comes to us courtesy of Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc and features an author celebrating their recent release, Curious about the book? I thought you might be.  Here's a peek inside the cover...



Dogs Running a Hill
by
Joe Abruzzo

Whether he is bird hunting on the plains of Kansas or conducting search-and-rescue in earthquake-shattered Turkey, there is always a dog at Jay Gerinni’s side. The one constant in his tumultuous life are the dogs that supply him with adventure, companionship, fierce loyalty—and protection. Jay and his beloved Lee Anne are living the American dream in their country home when problems with a psychotic neighbor begin to escalate. Can he protect the very creatures who would give their lives for him?
 
DOGS RUNNING A HILL, based on the screenplay “A Day in Dog Years,” will touch the heart of dog lovers as Jay questions his faith in God and confronts the evil that lives next door. Anyone who shares their life with an animal companion will identify with the unconditional love of Jay’s dogs and how deeply they affect his life. The story weaves its way through Jay’s aging memories as his growing relationship with a series of canines helps him find comfort, direction, and hope. 
 
As Jay faces his own mortality, the secret that he has kept covered for many years threatens to overtake his peace of mind.  Can the canine friends he has devoted his life to now be the answer to his own salvation? DOGS RUNNING A HILL is a unique and inspirational story of love, devotion, and friendship between a man and his dogs. 



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Sounds interesting, right?
There's mystery, danger, a search for self and something bigger than us...and of course, dogs!  ^_^  Sorry, big dog lover here and stories that feature them tend to pull a little harder on my interests at times.  That being said, when the opportunity to participate in this tour came around, I had to decline the read (schedule is too full right now...but perhaps in the future) but said YES to the Q&A; after all, it's always fun to learn more about the mind behind the work.  With that in mind, please join me in welcoming author Joe Abruzzo....



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INTERVIEW:  Author Joe Abruzzo



Q. Please tell us about your current release.

Even after reading the synopsis, you could still actually consider the novel as a triple love story with a lot of twists and turns. An unconditional love between a man and his dogs, an unconditional love between a man and his wife, and a questioning love between a man and his God. This is certainly no "Lassie Come Home Story" and is designed to hit on all cylinders when it comes to emotion and reason. Hopefully the reader will come away thinking about the story days later.




Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I wanted to write about the consequences of vulnerability. If you love something, anything (even dogs) you are at risk. Somebody or something can get to you.




Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

Having been a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild), I was privy to a lot of screenplays, movies, actors, directors etc. I felt that what was missing was a unique story, different than the tired old sequels & boring films that the Hollywood bean counters continued to come up with. So, I wrote an original screenplay that I felt was different, passionate, and lasting. We had the ear of CAA (Creative Artist Agency) and a seasoned Director named William A. Graham. Unfortunately, Director Billy was severely injured forcing the project to be put on hold. To keep the story out there, I converted the screenplay into a novel. Sounds ass backwards, and probably is, but these were the cards we were dealt.




Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the book?

Nothing about the book, but as far as the overall project, I would have considered going digital (relatively new at the time) rather than 35 mm. We could have accomplished this at a lower budget before Director Billy's accident.



Q. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Although fiction, one still needs to pull on his/her own experiences for knowledge and authenticity. In my case, it became very emotional at times. I had lost eleven dogs in the past eleven years including the six on the cover of the book.



Q. Do you have a musical play list you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?

Music is the unsung hero of any inspirational creation. For promotional purposes, we actually created a 30 minute CD that alternated between narrative of the story and snippets of music ranging from classic instrumental to 'twangy' sounding country, and everything in between.



Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Don't think I really have any. But I did carry a small notebook & pen with me where ever I went.




Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

Vulnerability again. Losing your identity (identity theft) but this time it would be a comedy.




Q. Please tell us your latest news.

Nothing really new .... just trying to stir the pot to create a buzz about the story for not only the novel, but the film as well.




Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

One needs to know that there is no wasted word or slug line in a screenplay. This concept was transferred to the the novel; meaning that speed reading would not be recommended.





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Special thanks to Liz at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc for the chance to participate in this blog tour and to author Joe Abruzzo for taking the time to answer our questions.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this tour as well as those upcoming, be sure to visit their official site or stop by BookTrib for more bookish fun.  For more information on the author, stop by his site and say hi!  This book is available now so be on the lookout for it on a store shelf near you.

Until next time...happy reading!



Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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