It’s Another Happy Birthday Dearest Jane!

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Happy Birthday to Jane Austen!

I am always reminded as I trim my tree with one special ornament flown in all the way from Bath, England ….It’s that time of year again. Once again it is time to celebrate the birth of my favorite and undoubtedly one of the most influential and talented authors in all of history: Ms. Jane Austen herself. I always love talking about Jane especially with other Janeites who love her just as much as I do…mostly because she seems to cross all barriers and holds such a dear place in my own heart. She is beloved around the world and even non-readers know her name and work through various forms of media that now make her even more immortal. She continues to inspire and create for one simple reason: she is truly timeless. Her work is such an exquisite study of human nature that it can fit in  any time period or place in history in which one might try and place it. Beyond that she continues to inspire writers today in amazingly large numbers whether their work be connected to her characters, herself or her memory. To help commemorate Ms. Austen’s birthday here at Stiletto Storytime I have invited two of my favorite Austen loving authors to share what Jane has meant to them personally. So fellow Janeites enjoy and do light a candle tonight in celebration while your peruse your favorite Austen masterpiece, giggle along with Bridget Jones or dream of Colin Firth….in any case have a fabulous Austen evening!

Happy birthday, dear Jane!  I wish I could give you a gift, for you’ve given me so many over the years, from six of the best novels a girl could ever ask for, to one of the best pieces of writing advice a girl could ever wish for:  

“Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on,” you counseled your niece a long time ago.  I hope you don’t mind that I took your words to heart, too.  They helped steer my Mother-Daughter Book Club series, which I set in my old hometown of Concord, Massachusetts — a village of which you would have heartily approved.  I had such fun writing those stories that I’m diving in all over again with a new book set in another village, the fictional town of Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire.

So thank you, Jane, for blazing a trail for so many of us who have followed you, pen in hand.  We may never measure up to your inimitable genius, but we’ll nevertheless delight in every step of the way.

Respectfully yours,
Heather Vogel Frederick

What Jane Austen Means To Me…

Hmmm…tough question.  What Jane Austen means to me is almost indefinable, perhaps because she is so many things that I simply can’t consolidate.  She is wit, silliness, and romance—lovely, memorable romance—and certainly, she is comfort.  Her own novels bring back a simpler time, even with all the rules and restrictions.  And the fictions written by all of her fans offer another connection to that charming setting that was never truly imaginary: The World of Jane Austen.  She has infused her novels with such substance that they feel real and relevant even centuries later.  That is magic—she is magic, perhaps that’s the best way to describe what she means to me.  Jane has a sparkle that I hope will never dim in the eyes of the world’s readers.

Happy Birthday Jane!  No candles necessary—you’re glowing! ~Alyssa Goodnight

Jane Austen Birthday Celebration Giveaway

What would a birthday be without gifts? And thanks to these two truly fabulous ladies two lucky Stiletto Storytime winners will walk away with a little Austen themed literary goodness to help celebrate the occasion. One lucky winner will receive a copy of Pies & Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick and another lucky winner will receive a copy Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight.

To enter please share below what Jane Austen has meant to you. When did she first come into your world? How did she make her entrance….do you think she’ll ever leave? 

Giveaway will end on December 23, 2012 at midnight EST. This giveaway is open to US/CAN addresses only please. Winners will be chosen by random number generator and notified by e-mail.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway at Stiletto Storytime (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Classic Literature, Events, Heather Vogel Frederick, Jane Austen

Blog Tour: Lunch with Buddha by Roland Merullo

“On the surface, Lunch with Buddha is a story about family.  Otto Ringling and his sister Cecelia could not be more different.   He’s just turned 50, an editor of food books at a prestigious New York publishing house, a man with a nice home in the suburbs, children he adores, and a sense of himself as being a mainstream, upper-middle-class American.  Cecelia is the last thing from mainstream.  For two decades she’s made a living reading palms and performing past-life regressions.  She believes firmly in our ability to communicate with those who have passed on.
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It will turn out, though, that they have more in common than just their North Dakota roots.
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In Lunch with Buddha, when Otto faces what might be the greatest of life’s difficulties, it is Cecelia who knows how to help him.   As she did years earlier in this book’s predecessor, Breakfast with Buddha, she arranges for her brother to travel with Volya Rinpoche, a famous spiritual teacher — who now also happens to be her husband.”

Sometimes a book comes along just when you need it….just what the Doctor ordered as they say. This book turned out to be one such for me. As Otto Ringling searches for meaning after his beloved wife’s death along a spiritual journey he couldn’t have possibly predicted….so have I searched for meaning since my son’s descent into autism. It’s in our very nature to try to find meaning when things happen in our lives that impact us in ways we don’t understand or cannot make sense of. Especially those events that devastate us to the very core of our beings. Some find meaning in religion…others in philosophy or even simple ideas like fate. Otto finds his in the most unlikely of places as he makes a life changing journey with his serene his brother-in-law in a beat up old pick up truck. Within the pages of this book I found more of a spiritual search that perhaps I myself truly needed…not really specific to any religion in my personal opinion but more of a look into the divine in general. It’s both simple and magical at the same time. While I have not read the first novel Breakfast with Buddha, I did not find myself at a loss. This book stands very firmly on it’s own. However I will be reading the first novel as soon as I get a chance. I also look forward to the other works of Roland Merullo in the future.

The thing I have to say that I enjoyed most was how comfortable the writing was, even the book itself just felt peaceful. It’s almost like a warm second skin to slip into during a storm. The writing is straight-forward, not flashy or overly deep and yet it still reaches you in places that only truth can. It was the perfect book for a certain time in my life and I think it would resonate with many on multiple levels.

TLC Book Tours  Book Giveaway

I’m happy to be able to share a copy of this book with one lucky reader at Stiletto Storytime. To enter just comment below and share how you reach a place of peace in hard times. It may be through religion, meditation, a favorite quote?  Giveaway will end midnight EST December, 19 2012 and is available to a US/CAN addresses only. The lucky winner will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of TLC Book Tours on Twitter

Tweet and/or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Christmas Books Giveaway Hop with Author Heather Vogel Frederick

christmas books hopIt’s that time of year again folks! I’m not going to lie…I love Christmas. I always have and having a three year old now who is literally obsessed with Christmas has only made it more special. One of my favorite things about Christmas has also always been that extra reading time and if I am lucky bookstore gift cards coming my way or even that one special book under the tree on Christmas morning. So to celebrate I am participating in the Christmas Book Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer & Laurie Here. This great giveaway hop has over 120 blogs participating and giving away one or more Christmas themed tomes. Make sure to check out the participating blog list here.

This holiday season I decided to team up with the always lovely, talented and extremely generous Heather Vogel Frederick so we could provide some very lucky reader with copies of her fifth installment in the fabulous Mother- Daughter Book Club series:  Home for the Holidays. It’s the perfect read for Mom or Daughter…or even better Mom and Daughter together. It would also make a fantastic Christmas present and I know Heather would be more than happy to sign it to that special someone if you’d like. She’s just that kind of person. A true gem of an author indeed. I have honestly enjoyed every book in this series and each can be read alone or in order so don’t worry if you’re not all caught up!

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To enter to win just comment below and let us know your favorite book to read during this time of year…it doesn’t have to be Holiday related whatsoever. For instance I often re-read my favorite classics this time of year simply because I have the time. This year I am re-reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo in preparation for the release of the movie musical. So…as you sip hot cocoa, sit by the fire and maybe just maybe…watch it snow ( who am I kidding…I live in Georgia)…what book will you have in hand?

Three lucky winners will be chosen here at Stiletto Storytime to win their own copy of Home for the Holidays by Heather Vogel Frederick. This Giveaway Hop will end on December 9, 2012 at midnight EST. This giveaway is open to US/CAN addresses only. Winners will be chosen by random number generator and notified by e-mail.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Check out Heather Vogel Frederick’s Website & Share Something You Learned/Found Interesting

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway at Stiletto Storytime (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Book Blogs, Contests, Girly Books, Heather Vogel Frederick, Middle Grade, New Books, Reading Fun, Young Adult Books

Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange 2012

Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange

Last year I participated in one of my favorite Book Blogger events to date…The Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange. It was such a fun event…I loved getting cards from other book bloggers all over the world and sending out specialized cards for a few bloggers out there. It was so much fun that come early November of this year…I was looking forward to the event again. Imagine my disappointment in seeing that it was not set to take place this year! Well…I simply didn’t want to let this event go. It’s just too great to let pass so since it’s a worldwide event…I asked my favorite international blogger to help me save The Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange. And…

This year, the Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange is organised by Judith at Leeswammes’ Blog and by myself here at Stiletto Storytime. Anastasia of Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog has passed the baton on to us. Anastasia is the originator and ran this very popular event for two years. As we’re a little late announcing this event we’re more or less taking Anastasia’s text from last year, with her permission (thank you so much, Anastasia!).

The Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange is an event in which book bloggers send each other a holiday card around the Christmas period (the end of December). This isn’t just for people that celebrate Christmas, though! Everyone is can join in the fun.

Info

1. Sign up for the exchange by November 30, 2012.

2. Emails with partner info go out December 3, 2012 (please check your spam folder if you didn’t get the email, then contact us).

3. You have until December 13, 2012 to send your card(s).

4. Since it’s a book-lovers card exchange you have to include something book-related in your card. Some ideas:

  • Write about a book you’ve read recently.
  • Give a few book recommendations to your partner.
  • Tell a book-related story.
  • Something else book-related that you think up yourself.

5. Since this is a book blogger holiday card exchange, you need to be a blogger who blogs at least sometimes about books to participate.

6. The swap is open internationally. It’s too cumbersome trying to pair up people who do/do not want to send internationally, so everyone must be willing to send internationally.

7. You can exchange up to five cards. You won’t always get a card from the same people you send your cards to. It will nevertheless be an awesome thing.

Some Things to Remember

1. You HAVE to send a card. A card is something like this. You can make it yourself or buy it at the store. Everything you write must be contained in the card itself. Letters are not cards. The card doesn’t have to be book-themed OR holiday themed (but it might be nice if it was). We suggest you refrain from sending specifically religious-themed cards, because that sort of thing tends to offend people, even if you didn’t mean to offend them.

2. You HAVE to write something book-related in your card (see above). You can’t just say “happy holidays.” You COULD just write a list of books and that’s all, but I don’t think that’d be a lot of fun, do you?

3. You DON’T have to send anything else but the card, but if you want to stick in something else that’d be fine. A bookmark, for instance, would be really nice. Whatever you send: it has to be flat enough to fit in the envelope– no upgrading into package territory, here.

4. The most you should spend is $5. The point of the exchange is that it’s cheap enough for us money-less people to participate in, so everything should cost $5 and under. I don’t know if you can even buy a card that costs more than $5. Can you?

Quickie Privacy Policy

Courtney and Judith are the only ones who will see ALL the information. You partner(s) will be the only ones besides us who will see your address/email/etc. After the exchange is over all the info will be deleted.

Questions/Comments

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here or email us about them!  leeswammes @ gmail dot com 

Also, please do spread around the link for this post! Feel free to take the graphic at the top of the post and post it on your blog, etc. The more people know about the BBHCE the more fun it’ll be!

So doesn’t it sound great? Trust me…this is a fabulous event and it only takes a little bit of thought and work to really enjoy something special this Holiday season from your fellow book bloggers. It’s such fun when you start to receive the cards in the mail! So please sign up here at Leeswammes’ Blog (scroll to the bottom for the entry form).

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Filed under Book Blogs, Events, Reading Fun

Blog Tour & Author Guest Post with Ali McNamara of From Notting Hill with Love…Actually

“Scarlett O’Brien, utterly addicted to romantic films, has found her leading man. She’s convinced Sean is Mr Right, but the day-to-day reality of a relationship isn’t quite like the movies. With Sean constantly away on business, Scarlett and her new best friend Oscar decide to head to New York for the holiday of a lifetime. From one famous landmark to the next, Scarlett and Oscar make many new friends during their adventure – including sailors in town for Fleet Week, a famous film star, and Jamie & Max, a TV reporter and cameraman. Scarlett finds herself strangely drawn to Jamie, they appear to have much in common: a love of films and Jamie’s search for a parent he never knew. But Scarlett has to ask herself why she is reacting like this to another man when she’s so in love with Sean . . “

I know I am not the only lover of British romantic comedies out there and even more so a lover of the books that these films often issue forth from. For instance take one of my absolute favorite films Bridget Jone’s Diary which of course was based upon the novel of the same name written by the fabulously clever Helen Fielding and stars my own personal vision of Mr. Darcy personified: the Colin Firth. It was from Jane Austen herself that Ms. Fielding found her inspiration in the ultimate classic Pride and Prejudice which just may be perhaps the very first and most beloved romantic comedy of all.

As soon as I saw the title to this book I knew I not only wanted to read it and be a part of the blog tour but I also had to know a little bit more about Ms. McNamara’s inspiration. The two films mentioned in the title are two of the most well known and loved contemporary British romantic comedies of modern times in my opinion..but what lay behind the films for this writer personally and ultimately led to the inspiration to put pen to paper? Well, who better to ask than the author herself….so without further ado:

Where did and do  your literary inspirations usually derive from Ms. McNamara?

Guest Post by Author Ali McNamara

“My inspirations come from all over. I got the idea for From Notting Hill with Love…Actually when I was watching one of the music channels on TV one day.  It was a countdown of the Top 50 best movie songs of all time. I just thought wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could feature as many of those movies as possible in one story, and the idea began to develop from there.

The idea for my second novel Breakfast at Darcy’s came when I was on a touring holiday of Ireland. My husband and myself were parked in our car one day overlooking the island of Great Blasket in County Kerry. We began to talk about how you would go about living on an island such as that, and how easy or difficult it would be. My initial spark of an idea began to turn into a plot for a fully formed novel, when we later went over and visited the island.

 My characters usually come from my own imagination, but my latest book, out in the UK in November, has a couple of characters that are based on real people I met when I was in New York doing research. Luckily they both agreed, and are quite happy about me basing two characters on them, I haven’t had to pretend or try to conceal anything!

 But I’m always thinking and never find myself stuck for inspiration, and even thought I’m currently writing my fourth book at the moment, I currently have ideas for at least 2-3 more books after that!”

~ Ali McNamara

 Thanks so much to the very stylish Ali McNamara for stopping by Stiletto Storytime today and sharing her novel that has just recently hopped over the pond to us lucky Americans. If you enjoy a good romantic comedy…especially one of British origins, then From Notting Hill with Love…Actually is perfect for you. And if we’re lucky soon the sequel From Notting Hill to New York…Actually which releases this November in Britain will also make it’s way over as well. Another of Ali’s books Breakfast at Darcy’s can be gotten through UK means as well if you become hooked…and that’s a very real possibility.

So in the spirit of the celebration of romantic comedies of both the film and literary type…what’s your favorite? Personally I will have to admit to being a “You’ve Got Mail” girl all the way. I watch it all the time and especially when I am feeling under the weather. It’s got everything…a cute, quirky heroine, a bookstore, Jane Austen references and the all important bad guy love interest turned Mr. Right. So which one is your favorite and why? I would love know…more to add to both my reading and viewing list. So enjoy and Happy Reading to All.

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Filed under Adult Books, Author Interviews & Posts, Blog Tour, Girly Books, Jane Austen, New Books

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop featuring Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight

Welcome to Stiletto Storytime’s Jane Austen Giveaway Hop stop. So glad to have so many of my dear Janeites swinging by to try and score some great Jane inspired goodies. I am especially excited to be able to offer one lucky winner a Jane Austen inspired novel that is yet to be published. Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight will not be officially published until January 29, 2013 but you can win an ARC now and be one of the first to enjoy this modern day romp into Jane culture. Many of you will remember Alyssa’s novel Austentatious. You can check out my review for that work here. And read below about her latest endeavor into Jane Austen inspired fiction….

Steamy, funky, and thoroughly modern, Austin, Texas isn’t much like the gardened country estates of Jane Austen’s work. But there might be a few similarities in its inhabitants…
Cate Kendall is no stranger to daydreams of brooding men and fancy parties–after all, she teaches one of her beloved Jane Austen novels in her English classes every year. But as for romance or adventure in her own life, the highlight of most weeks is Scrabble with her cute coworker, Ethan, and he draws the line at witty banter. But Cate is ready for a change. When she finds a mysterious journal that seems to have a link to the soul of the great Jane Austen herself, she knows it’s her chance. And she grabs on with both hands…
Before she knows it, Cate has invented an alter ego with an attitude, attended some seriously chic soirees, and gotten tangled up with a delicious mystery man. And she’s uncovered enough unexpected secrets about Ethan that her Scrabble partner has taken to brooding looks and unfathomable silences. It’s a positively Austenite predicament, and Cate is sure she’ll land in hot water and heartbreak–but maybe not with Jane herself to guide her…”

Sounds great right? I know you can’t wait to read it just as much as myself. In fact I will be digging into my ARC soon and posting a review here at Stiletto Storytime in the future. In the meantime let’s get to the giveaway…I’m going to make it as simply as possible for all my Janeites. Simply share your favorite Jane Austen quote. It can be from one of her novels, her personal letters…etc. Just share a moment of Jane that has stuck with you until this day. That comment below will automatically enter you into the giveaway. After all what better way to celebrate dear Jane than to share her immortal words? I can’t wait to see what everyone chooses and hopefully hear some new to me quotes as well. So think…dig deep and try to be as original as possible. I will share my own favorite when I announce the lucky winner.

 Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Giveaway ends midnight EST on October 24th 2012. Giveaway open to US addresses only.

Good Luck to all and Happy Reading! And of course make sure to check 0ut all the blogs in the fabulous The Jane Austen Giveaway Hop. One to make sure you stop by is author Alyssa Goodnight’s Blog where she is giving away a copy of Austentatious.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Author Alyssa Goodnight on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about the Jane Austen Giveaway Hop Stop at Stiletto Storytime (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Classic Literature, Jane Austen, New Books

Blog Tour: Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

  ” I’m sitting on my couch, watching the local news. There’s Chloe’s parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. It’s ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned. You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I’m the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.”

There’s nothing cheerful about the psychologically charged mystery that is Cold Light. In fact there is actually an undeniable coldness to the narrative, a detached almost nonchalant air to the unfolding of events that is at the heart of this novel. The way memory becomes present, past becomes in the moment and it all comes together in pieces to reveal the secrets of one series of events witnessed by many in varying ways. Young teen girls, an older man, an innocent…all pulled into a chain of events that are both chilling and dark.

At the heart of the story is Lola or Laura depending upon the time in which she speaks. An young girl from a dysfunctional family, at a young age she yearns for attention, acceptance and ultimately approval. More the anything she yearns for these things from her best friend Chloe. A kind of Queen Bee who attracts girls like Lola and Emma into her web of confidence and control then makes them compete for her attention and favor. However in this case Chloe also has a controller of her very own in the form of an older man, a man using a young girl for sexual favors while filling her head with ideas of boyfriends and girlfriends and something similar to what a young girl might think love would be like but at the same time horribly wrong and far from it. Disaster is the ending…chilling in its truth but the reader knows that from the very beginning….the only question is how the mystery will unfold and what truth will ultimately be revealed.

A skilled writer who excels at the dissection of relationships and their complex internal struggles and attached obligations, Ashworth has a knack for writing within her character’s minds. She fits easily into the mindset of her teen characters making them real and easily understood in their young mindset, needs, wants and reasoning. Lovers of British fiction will find the novel ultimately that in it’s tone and somewhat detached introspection. It is not uplifting, not happy in any way, shape or form but it is addictive. Making readers keep turning pages to fill the need to know what really happened….to know the truth that is so often just in front of them and then teasingly again and again pages away.

You can check out the book trailer for Cold Light here which is a perfectly chilling depiction of what the novel truly is about. You can also connect with author Jenn Ashworth on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to also check out all the other great blogs participating in this great tour.

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, New Books

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon: October 2012

  

It’s that time of year again readers…if you have followed Stiletto Storytime over the years at all you know this is one of my favorite events that takes place every year in April and October. This is my sixth Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I have worn many hats for this event. I have been a reader, a cheerleader and a co-host long into the night in April. Every experience has been special and this year I am looking forward to being simply a reader again and really focusing on the reading. So what am I reading?

                 

This year I am kind of pushing the boundaries by choosing two very long books and one shorter YA. Often it’s best to choose multiple shorter titles to keep the momentum going but this year I simply had to re-read Justin Cronin’s The Passage so I could dive into The TwelveI also chose Beta  by Rachel Cohn as my go to break book if needed since the first two books are 500-700 pages respectfully. But I am so excited to dig in and hopefully even get some reviewing and blogging done as well.

So won’t you join me? There’s still time sign up and get involved. Join hundreds of readers from all over the world dedicated to reading together for an entire 24 hours. You can sign up here. Enjoy hourly updates, mini-challenges, giveaways and so much more. So come on be a part of literary greatness…join us. I will regularly update my progress on this same post so check back and see how things are going and share your experience. Happy Reading to All!

Read-a-thon Progress 

Current Book: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Books Completed: 0

Pages Read:601

Hours Reading: 8.5

Mini-Challenges Completed: 11

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Atlanta, Georgia in the USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Twelve by Justin Cronin
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  My sea salt bagel chips & chocolate covered almonds. Yum!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am the mother of an amazingly loving and intelligent three year son who just happens to have autism…we are fighting every day and winning!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I have participated in six of these read-a-thons as a reader, cheerleader and co-host…excited this year to lay back and enjoy the ride while focusing on the reading!

Book Puzzle Mini-Challenge from One Librarian’s Book Reviews

                     

Can you guess the book title from the images above?

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Filed under Book Blogs, Challenges, Contests, Events, New Books, Reading Challenge, Reading Fun, Young Adult Books

Blog Tour: Flock by Wendy Delsol

Some series steal your heart and just don’t let go. It can begin with that very first book that you devour like literary candy. The one that starts the craving with an introduction to a new world full of characters that you fall for and a story line that keeps you on your toes. The question or uncertainty of the story and its continuation can almost haunt you until you get that release date for the next installation. And then another book, this one taking you deeper and acting as further invitation. And while some series may have many volumes to mesmerize between beginning and end, others may only have that one to bridge the bittersweet distance. The last book eventually acting as the conclusion of your journey.
And so it was with Wendy Delsol’s Stork series for me. Stork, an introduction. Frost, an invitation. And last but not least Flock a masterfully worthy conclusion. 
When I learned that this trilogy would be wrapping up, I immediately set out to re-read the first two books so I could re-live the entire tale in full glory. And while familial duties and illness delayed me in the last couple of weeks eventually making me have to put off my review date for this blog tour, I stubbornly stuck to my resolve to enjoy all three books back to back. In the effort of saving time I could  have simply read the final book and remembered what I could as I read and review on that level (which I rarely do…I almost always re-read a series before reviewing books that belong within a set as I think it’s important to review with the entire series in mind) but somehow I simply could not. I wanted too badly to return to Katla, Jack and the wonders of Norse Falls and all its Icelandic folkish allure. So while I apologize for this review being late…I don’t apologize for stepping into this story one last time before it’s end and savoring every word because I found only in reading the books back to back in such quick succession did I truly appreciate how well-written, consistent and enchanting they are.
Beyond that how stunning are the covers when all displayed together? I genuinely love this type of thought and consistency in a well-developed series. It’s everything from the writing style, the characters, the humor to the very covers themselves..there must be a flow and yet a kind of sameness at the same time. So is this series for you? If you think it could be don’t read the summary of the last book below. Please start at the beginning fresh. I promise you won’t regret it. If you’ve read the first two books then you no doubt will be dying to continue on to learn more about the final volume in the Stork trilogy.
“After surviving her (shall we say) intense adventure in Iceland, Katla is psyched to be back for a blissfully uneventful senior year of homecoming and fashion explorations. But her hopes of dodging unfinished business are dashed by the arrival of two Icelandic exchange students: Marik, an oddly alluring merman-in-disguise, and Jinky, a tough gypsy girl. It seems Katla not only enraged the Snow Queen by rescuing her boyfriend, Jack, she also was tricked into promising her frail baby sister to the water queen — and Marik has come to collect. What’s worse, Katla doesn’t dare confide in anyone lest she endanger them, so even her soul mate, Jack, is growing suspicious. And now Katla’s stork dreams, her guide for matching babies with mothers, have become strange and menacing as well. Hold on for a thrilling finale as the heroine of Stork and Frost calls on her wits (and her wit) to protect those she loves and face a final mythic disaster.”
Interested? Of course you are. You can also check out my feature of Stork  in 2010  and my “Book Birthday” review of Frost  from 2011. And please make sure to check out the other stops on this tour at The Mod Podge Bookshelf where you can enter a giveaway and possibly win the entire trilogy! Also make sure to enter the giveaway at I’m Am a Reader, Not a Writer where you could win your very own copy of Flock. But hurry both giveaways end after October 14, 2012. And last but certainly not least remember to visit the talented author Wendy Delsol. You can also follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook. Either way…you’ll find her as truly delightful as her books. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

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Filed under Blog Tour, Book Blogs, New Books, Young Adult Books

Feature & Giveaway: Ghost Town by Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson

  “WELCOME TO EXETER, THE “MOST HAUNTED TOWN IN AMERICA,” thanks to a deadly flood that unleashed an army of ghosts decades ago. And when ghost trackers Amber, Drew, and Trevor attend a conference during Exeter’s spookiest week of the year, the ghouls grow restless. First, an innocent bookstore worker is mysteriously killed, setting off a string of strange deaths that point to a shadowy spirit known as the Dark Lady.

With a paranormal revolution ensuing, the team must stop the twisted bloodbath. But a past horror involving the death of a former teammate has them spinning faster than a specter in a storm, especially when they learn that it’s his ghost who awakened the Dark Lady. Now, with their lives on the line and the entire town at stake, the three must decide whether to trust the spirit of their old friend or to finally put a stake through his heart.”

Just in time for some great Halloween related reading comes the release of Ghost Town, the second book from Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who head up TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society—built on Jason and Grant’s interest in getting to the bottom of everyday, paranormal occurrences.  TAPS has developed an impressive reputation for helping people with “unusual domestic problems.”  It has been more than a decade since Jason and Grant first met, and since then TAPS has grown in size and scope to become one of the most respected paranormal-investigation groups in America.  It now has branches across the United States and affiliates in 12 other countries. You may know them best from their hit TV show on SyFy Ghost Hunters.

As many of you know I am always on the look out for books that can strike a little fear especially during the festive Halloween season. However in the past the list of books that have been able to actually scare me to any degree have been few and far between. When approached to be a part of the Ghost Town promotion I was very much excited, not only to have a new book to give a try for that special fear factor but to also very excited be working with the creators of TAPS since I am a big fan of the show. I was especially interested to read the book knowing of the team’s approach to the paranormal in that they are very reserved and take a scientific approach until they simply have no other explanation for what could be paranormal phenomenon. I wondered how that would affect the crafting of a book that is primarily paranormal in nature and most undoubtedly designed to strike fear in the heart of it’s readers?

Ghost Town is definitely a little different from what I would have expected but it did not disappoint in it’s creep factor. The book really is a never-ending ride into all aspects of the paranormal and the things that go creep in the night. While at times I found the books to be a little unbelievable and therefore not really frightening…there were other times where the spook factor was undeniable. I’m not gonna lie. There was a point when I quit reading the book late into the night with the pitch dark surrounding me and only my tiny book light creating a small glow with the surrounding shadows beyond. The crafting of the story is definitely eerie and will leave you a little uneasy as you slip off into sleep at night. It’s perfect for this Halloween season and for any reader wanting a little scare…including those who might be skeptical and thinking a true fright from literature might be impossible. Unafraid? Skeptical? Non-Believer? Give it a try. I dare you.

Ultimate Paranormal Book Pack Giveaway

Now just in time for Halloween  you too can stock up on some great spooky reading to get you in the mood for the upcoming season. Thanks to the generous folks at Gallery Books I am pleased to be able to giveaway two great titles to two very lucky readers here at Stiletto Storytime. Not only will readers receive a copy of Ghost Town by it’s release date on October 9, 2012 but they will also receive a copy of Jason and Grant’s first book Ghost Trackers as well. But you have to act quick!

Giveaway ends at noon EST on  October 4, 2012. US address only please. The winners will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. To enter just comment below. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of (any/all) Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes Grant Wilson on Twitter

“Like” Jason Hawes and/or Ghost Hunters on Facebook

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

Winners

Wow…thanks for all the great response to this very short giveaway! I know everyone is very excited to get a hold of Jason & Grant’s newest book so in the interest of getting it to you as soon as possible- let’s announce our winners! Congrats to Paxton Walker and Margay! You’ve both won a copy of both “Ghost Trackers” and “Ghost Town”. Enjoy and as always enjoy “Ghost Hunters” as well especially now during the festive Halloween season!

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Filed under Adult Books, Books to TV, Contests, New Books, Paranormal