Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

This past week and for the next week or two my reading line up is all ebook review copies for self-published authors.  Two of them for blog tours set for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and a third for a blog tour set for the first week of March. All three of those are for Premier Virtual Author Book Tours and will feature giveaways. The fourth is open ended and casual but I don't want to keep the author waiting too long for my response so I'm hoping to fit it in between the second and third tour.

I have begun seeking out self-published ebooks for review as part of my research into taking my own stories that route.

The two books slated for blog tours this week are:

For Tuesday (tomorrow)
The Firelight of Maalda by Melissa Douthit  which is the second book in a planned fantasy trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia.   I was given the first book, Raie’Chaelia, and two prequel short stories as well to get me up to speed but the review/giveaway of one ebook copy tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31st, is for this one only.

The Firelight of Maalda: A story that unites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic …
Chalice and her group leave Barenthren to travel to Portalis.  There she and her friends discover the beautiful city, its people, its history, and its secret that has been kept hidden for thousands of years.  During their stay, they learn that Dar’Maalda has the Firestone and that he plans to use it.
What is the Firestone and what does Dar’Maalda plan to do with it?  What are the Naezzi?  What does the title, The Firelight of Maalda, really mean?  And … what is the secret of Portalis, the secret that has been guarded so jealously for so long – so jealously, that many have given their lives to protect it?
In The Firelight of Maalda, the second novel of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, you find out.  It is a tale of intrigue and wonder where two opposite worlds collide in an explosive journey that leads Chalice and her friends to the dark islands lurking just beyond the horizon of Ielieria, where the Firelight of Maalda sits … and waits.
I posted a review of the first book and the two prequels last Tuesday.

I have now finished The Firelight of Maalda and hope to have my review/giveaway up before dawn Pacific Coast time or as soon after midnight as I can manage.

Hot Chocolate by Dawn Ireland, is a mystery novel and I think is what is know as a cozy a mystery which I'm basing on the blurbs like the one below but I could be wrong.  My review/giveaway for one ebook copy is scheduled for next Wedensday, February 1st.

Meet the middle-aged Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks.

Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.
Robert, Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.
The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse.

Arrangements are made for Bernie to be transferred over to Lake Sides Assisted Living Center in the Uptown Galleria area and a severance package is drawn up for Bambi.
Jimmy Ray Chaline, Bambi’s bowling alley husband, is enraged that Bambi was let go. He hires ambulance chaser Mark Slade to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

The suit is thrown out of court further fueling Jimmy Ray’s rage. Bambi had been more than satisfied with her bonus, letters of recommendation and praise from the Alcott clan.
When Jimmy Ray fails to return home from the bowling alley that night, a series of events unfold that shocks the entire Alcott family and their extended members.

I finished this just before midnight last night and hope to have the review/giveaway up between midnight and dawn Pacific Coast time on Wednesday morning.

Both of these novels are more than passingly competent and worth the read so if you like either YA fantasy or cozy mysteries you might like to stop by and enter the drawings.  I'll also be posting the links to the other giveaways on the tour.

The March 7th blog tour review/giveaway is for Finding Katie  by John Smith author of the ebook Delayed Flight which I reviewed for its blog tour last month.

From John's email:
Finding Katie is about a very wealthy and very sheltered Preston Meadows who lives his life protected from even the hint of harm. His world is safe and secure until someone kidnaps his sister, Katie. Against his parents’ wishes, Preston sets out on his own to find her. Preston works hard to blend in with the “regular” people roaming the streets of Dallas – but the real world is zany, insane, full of danger and filled with ruthless criminals. As I mentioned, it is a comedy filled with mystery and romance.

The forth one which has no deadline but which I am very excited to read as I've read and enjoyed several by this author is, Her Frozen Wild by Kim Antieau.  Kim is an author who has gone the self-pub ebook route after being published by the traditional press several times.  Her material is often heavily influenced by folklore and fairytale from many different cultures and emphasizes the female archetypes.  Every one I've read has had a strong female lead.

I started this last night within the hour of finishing Hot Chocolate, thinking I was just setting it up on my Kindle PC to sit on the taskbar in place of  Hot Chocolate which had been sitting there all week which had taken the place of The Fires of Maalda which had taken the place of its previous installments.  Basically I've been keeping an ebook live on my taskbar since mid November when I first downloaded the Kindle for PC and Calibre for reading the free epub found on most of the sites archiving public domain materials.  So for over two months now I've had an ebook sitting open on my taskbar for those moments when the impulse strikes to read for awhile and I was just setting up the next in line.  Or so I thought.  But an hour later I was still reading and I had used up the time I'd set aside for putting up this post.

Now, knowing it is sitting there is like having those books open inside my textbooks or on my lap under my desk when I was supposed to be doing class work.  But I'm both the sneaky 'student' and the 'teacher'  who has the power to confiscate the book.  Except in this case the balance of power tends to favor the 'student' who has little fear of tho at least still some respect for the 'teacher'.

All of which is by way of saying that the story is so gripping that I'm having a very hard time resisting its pull in spite of the commitments I've made to others depending on me which today includes both authors in the blog tours and my sister who needs a bit extra help from me with Mom this week because of various appointments outside the house.  She is depending on me to have dinner made by 6pm today for example.  Which gives me an hour to get this posted and visit a handful of IMWAYR participants.  Then after dinner and its cleanup I must devote several hours to prepping the review/giveaway for tomorrow before I can be allowed to immerse myself in this story again:

Scientists in the Altai in Siberia uncover the 2,500 year old frozen mummy of a tattooed priestess. This mummy has the same genetic material as American archaeologist Ursula Smith whose mother disappeared in Siberia 30 years earlier. Ursula travels from the U.S. to Siberia to unravel the mystery of the “lady” and meets Sergei Ivanovich Polyakov, a Russian doctor who graciously invites her into his home. After they become lovers, she discovers Sergei has the same tattoos on his body as the tattooed lady. He tells a disbelieving Ursula that they have met before and she is destined to save the ancient People, considered as devils by some and shape-changing gods by others. A shaman takes Ursula to one of the sacred timeless caves where Ursula’s mother vanished. When Ursula allows the shaman to tattoo her, she is thrown back in time where she must unlock the mystery of the People and their link to her past in order to save them and Sergei—even if it costs her her life.

1 tell me a story:

Esme 1/30/2012 8:45 PM  

The Night Circus was truly delightful. My husband would do the same thing.

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