Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bookography (5)


Is a fun new way to share the beauty of books with photography. Take a picture with the book being the focus and share the picture(s) you have created for the week.

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Enchanting Ivy

I actually only just just increased the saturation for this photo. I figured I would use the ivy while the weather was still decent, but I might play with it again in the winter. I think the ivy should be green while it is winter.

I'm still looking into photoshop options, I think I might get Lightroom 3 since it is suggested for the photography classes I am taking. Just over a month till I get to start taking my photography classes, I am so excited and I can't wait.

If you would like to participate please do. I will try to post my Bookography post each week on Wednesdays. I would love if you would link back to my blog and share your own link in the comments.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Desert Island Books

Desert Island Books

YA Sisterhood is hosting this fun way to show your favorite book recommendations to other book bloggers.

What are the 10 books you would choose to bring with your if you were to live out your life on a deserted island? You get to bring 5 Adult book and 5 YA books, including the full series. Here is my list of series I would grab to bring with me.

5 Adult Books/Series
Terra D'Ange series by Jacqueline Carey (9 book total, yes I'm cheating)
I love this series, it is my favorite and it is very huge.

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
I love Mercy, she is one of my favorite female characters 

Goddess Summoning series by PC Cast
I really love theses books, romance and sexy Greek gods, what more could you ask for.

MacInnes Werewolves by Kendra Leigh Castle
Another of my favorite trilogies, sexy Scottish werewolves. 

Atlantis series by Gena Showalter
Another favorite romantic fantasy with sexy men.

5 YA Books/Series
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
I can finally be able to finish this series, I still haven't read the last 2 books yet

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Going for a fairy theme

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Who doesn't love Rose and Dimitri

Happy Potter by JK Rowling
I can finally re-read this series

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I could finally read this series, I know I haven't read them yet and I am terrible

Those are the books I would pick 1st, I did have a hard time there are many other books that I would love to bring if the series was finished. So I chose my books based on finished series to help narrow down my choices.

What is your list of books you would grab?

Go check out YA Sisterhood's list
and Fiktshun's list


Saturday, August 27, 2011

In My Mailbox #24

IMM #24

IMM is a meme hosted by The Story Siren, anyone can participate telling about what they bought, received or borrowed for the week.

I got my copy just like everyone else this week

For Review
Contains book 1 Blood Secrets and book 2 Bitter Blood. I got this from Library Things at the Member Giveaway

Jennifer Laurens swag bookmarks set of the Heavenly series, the Heavenly bookmark is signed. I got these from Jennifer's Facebook page, she was telling people that if they wanted some swag to send her a message. Thanks Jennifer

My Giveaway
Don't forgot to enter to win an eBook of Ninemia. It it a wonderful mermaid fairytale. Ends Monday August 29th Midnight (Pacific time) International 

My Reading List
1) So Silver Bright The Name of the Star Hunger
2) Ultraviolet
3) Firelight
4) Vanish
5) Elizabeth Tudor: Vampire Slayer

Bookography (4): Blood Haze at Sunset
For those of you who haven't seen my new feature, go check it out. I take pictures with the books being the focus. I'm doing this for fun and a way to improve my photography skills.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?
Please feel free to leave a link


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bookography (4)


s a fun new way to share the beauty of books with photography. Take a picture with the book being the focus and share the picture(s) you have created for the week.

The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor: Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston

Blood Haze at Sunset

When I was playing with the color, hue, saturation, brightness and contrast I decided I wanted to give it a reddish tint to symbolize the blood that would be spilled by both the slayer and vampire after the sun has set. I wish now I would have had a different setting for the book, but I took the picture while I was camping. I wasn't originally intending to do anything like this, I was just thinking sunset, beach and a book.
(PS I didn't get around to read the book yet)

What do you think? Do you like what I did or should I have just left it in its original state?


If you would like to participate please do. I will try to post my Bookography post each week on Wednesdays. I would love if you would link back to my blog and share your own link in the comments.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #23

A Quick Borders Trip
IMM #23

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren, anyone can participate telling about what they bought, received or borrowed for the week.

I got this envelope of swag from Rachel @ Fiktshun
Contains: A Touch Mortal bookmark <signed>, Angelina's Secret bookmark <signed> and 3 Angelfire bookmarks. I'm so excited to add these to my swag binder, thanks Rachel, I love them so much.

I finally have a finished copy of the book, it is so freaking beautiful
This was one of those random book purchases, I love the cover though
I was so good, I didn't buy anything (I was also camping and hadn't gone into a bookstore), but after dinner we decided to stop into Borders and I had a 25 minute shopping spree since they were almost closed for the evening. This is what I bought. On the bright side I only spend $40 for the 4 books. This might possibly be my last trip into Borders, well I might do one more for the rose blankets I really want, but I'll wait for the price to go down a little bit more.

My Giveaway
& My 1st Interview
Win an eBook of Ninemia
Ends Monday August 29th Midnight

My Reading List
1) So Silver Bright
2) Ultraviolet
3) Firelight
4) Vanish
5) The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor: Vampire Slayer (I didn't read at all while camping)

My Reviews
 Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Nocturne by Christine Johnson

Ninemia by Marilena Mexi

What did you get in your mailbox this week?
Please feel free to leave a link


Ninemia Giveaway & Interview

 Interview & Giveaway

I got the chance to interview Marilena Mexi author of the Antara Saga and host a giveaway

Marilena was born in Athens Greece (so jealous) she has found many inspirations from the history, stories and legends that she grew up hearing as a child. She is an amazing artist and she has been working on illustrations for book publishers, magazines, fantasy board and card games.
Her debut beautifully illustrated book Antara and sequel Ninemia are both very amazing and beautiful. You can find them both to read for any eReader. Also nice quality color paperbacks are available to buy through (these are on my wishlist).

A 2 part question:In the acknowledgements you thank a friend for helping you translate from Greek to English. Why did you choose English? Would you like to translate to any other languages? 
I've chosen the English language obviously because it's the international language. This way, the audience is wider. Of course, I'd love the book to be translated in other languages as well, but I'm going to need the help of a literary agent to make that happen.

I have always been fascinated by name choices. How did you choose and pick the names?
The truth is that I've been searching the character names for at least a week. I wanted them to come from the Greek mythology, which I like so much. Not every one of them are Greek, bot most of them are.

Are any of your characters personality traits influenced by you or any one you personally know?
More or less, all the characters have a lot in common with the people around me. If I had to choose a character who matches closely with mine, that would be Urania.

What made you choose self publishing vs going through a publisher? 
Many people often ask me why I’ve chosen the path of self-publishing. As many of you know, Antara is a book written and illustrated by me. There isn’t any similar style of book in the market. There are children’s picture books and graphic novels, but scarcely someone would come across an illustrated novel. The rarity of this kind of book has prevented me to find a literary agent to represent me. If in the US there are 1000 literary agents, only 30 of them would represent author/illustrators, and the ones I’ve contacted rejected my book because that kind seemed unusual to them. A lot of people say that excuse was unfair, and yes, I believe the same thing as well. But life is unfair many times (so I’m not going to nag about that). In the process, I tried to contact a few publishing houses directly but that turned out to be impossible; No one of the large publishing houses accepts unsolicited submissions.

Therefore, there was but one solution, to self-publish my book, so that Antara wouldn’t wreck. Sometimes I read articles where some are against self-publishing, but they would do the same thing if they were in my position. In no occasion would I let my dream fade. I worked very hard for Antara; the illustrations took me almost 2 years, I wrote the story in Greek and I paid for the Greek-to-English translation myself, and all of this because I didn’t want my effort to be wasted. Ιf I chose the difficult path of self-publishing, I’m still looking for a literary agent or publisher to make my life easier.

I absolutely love having actually copies of books, but the books on Lulu are pretty expensive. Have you thought about trying to find a cheaper why to publish the books to get them in the hands of people who love having physical copies?
I'm not sure exactly where Selina Fenech prints from, but I love the options that she has and I would love if you were to have options like this as well.

Of course I'd like my book to be cheaper, but that's impossible. Selina Fenech's paperback version is black & white, so that reduces the production costs a lot. The paperback version of Antara includes 26 illustrations, and the entire book is printed in full color, and unavoidably in more expensive paper. Even is the book is that expensive, my profit for each sale is about $1. A B/W book wouldn't be an option for me, because it just doesn't do the artwork justice. Print quality is first and foremost for me. Alternatively, someone who doesn't care about quality, could always buy the ebook version.
(Oh how I really do desire copies of the books)

What was your favorite thing about writing Ninemia?
Ninemia is different than Antara. I think that Ninemia puts the readers into thoughts, that maybe mermaids actually existed. And that idea made me excited to write more and feel like I'm one of the heroes of the story.

Did you always know you were going to include illustrations with the book?
Yes, I knew that since the beginning, because I'm an illustrator and I think that my strong point. So I'd like that to get noticed in my book. I wanted to make something different to stand out from the crowd.

I saw in your FAQ on you website that you are working on something new, can you divulge anything yet? Or when might you be able to release more information?
Yes, I'm working on a new novel, and I'll try to make it better than Antara in every way. The only thing I can say for now is that it's going to be a fantasy theme, but not so much of a romance.

 Greece is my #1 of places to visit, how have you liked living in a place with such amazing history and stories? 
Greece is a wonderful country with abundance in natural beauty, nice weather, rich history and mythology, and warm people. Undoubtedly, my country was a source of inspiration for me, and that is clearly visible in my books.

What is your #1 place (or top places) to visit?
I'd like to visit Scotland a lot.

Thank you Marilena for letting me interview you, I really enjoyed getting to know more about your books, your choices and you.

Now for the giveaway. Marilena has donated an eBook of Ninemia for one lucky reader. I definitely suggest you go and get Antara to read as well, since it has my favorite pictures, but Ninemia is my favorite story out of the 2, it reads like a fairytale, and I think you can read Ninemia by itself if you wanted to.

Giveaway Rules
Open international 
Ends Monday August 29th Midnight (Pacific Time)
You do not need to be a follower to enter
To Enter
Comment on my review of Ninemia +1 (bonus for commenting on Antara +1)
Follow Marilena on Facebook, Blog and/or Twitter +1
Spread the word about the giveaway via Twitter, Facebook and/or Blog +1
Total point:4

Winner is Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anoymous
Thanks for entering and I hope everyone will get their own copy of Ninemia and Antera
Don't forget to leave a way to contact you

Good Luck


Ninemia Review


The ‘Antara’ had disappeared… or at least that’s how it seemed, until one night a terrible nightmare will overshadow Asteria’s dreams forever. Some lust for revenge, others hide vital secrets, demonic souls want to corrupt the Aster Island and the merfolk. Where the present unites with the past, where dreams pause to exist, the fight for survival begins. Is love strong enough to face the enemies? The infinite blue of the sea, a sweet song and an angelic soul will be their only hopes to keep their beloved ones alive. After the illustrated novel ‘Antara’, the second and final part of the story follows. A sequel which is going to move you and travel you to heavenly worlds.

What I Loved
A Fairytale
Even though this book is a sequel to Antara you could read it individually, it reads like a fairytale. In chapter 2 Antara's events are retold like a story and than you get to know the events that have unfolded for Asteria. I really loved how this book read, it was a short-long story but it completely felt like I was reading a fairytale. I got easily drawn in to the story and totally lost within the pages. There wasn't a lot of extra unnecessary drawn out drama, but the straight forward facts of this is what happened and how it happened. I would compare this story to the original version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. Some of the names might get a little confusing if you haven't read Antara, but just pay attention to who is the bad guy and who are the good guys and you will be just fine. Beware this is a bit darker than Antara just like the classic fairytales are, bittersweet.
I am at a loss for words on how to describe the haunting beauty this book presents you without ruining your own journey of this new fairytale. Ninemia is my favorite story of the two, because of the very original fairytale-ish telling and feeling it provoked within me. 
Once again the pictures are very beautiful in this book. Marilena has an amazing talent, she can create beautifully with both words and pictures.

To read about what I thought about the mermaids and the characters, please check out my review of Antara.

What I Didn't Like
Once again, I would LOVE to have this book on my shelf. I would rather have an actually book, but the eBook will do just fine for now. I might just have to indulge one day and get a copy of it. 

I do recommend that you read both Antara and Ninemia, but I feel that you could read Ninemia all by itself. A must read for anyone who loves mermaids, fantasy and art. 

Antara Duology

Currently working on a new project.

To get your own copy of the eBook check out Amazon


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nocturne Review


Claire couldn't be happier that her life has finally settled down. She's been fully initiated into her family's pack of female werewolves, her best friend Emily is back in town, and she's finally allowed to be with Matthew, the human love of her life. But when a new girl arrives, everything starts to unravel. Not only is the intruder getting close to Claire's best friend and boyfriend, but she may also know more about Claire than she's letting on. If Claire's secret gets out it breaks all the rules of the pack, and the consequences may be more than Claire can handle....

What I Liked
Wolf Issues
In book 1 it was almost too easy for Claire during her new difficult transformation times, but in book 2 she struggles with a very important ability and I like that about her in this book. Less perfect wolf and more human in her struggles. 
I liked how Claire kept on persisting through her difficult and seemingly impossible task to accomplish. I also loved how she didn't betray her morals and took a brave risk for not violating them.

To see more about what I liked about these Wolves, Claire and Matthew check out my review of book 1 Claire de Lune.

A Little Too Much Drama
The middle contained (in my opinion) a little bit too much drama. Claire is very stressed about her friend situation, her boyfriend situation, her wolf situation and everything in between, but at the same time the drama issues do contain some key components to what happens near the end of the book. I guess I am starting to feel my age, a 25 year old reading high school teenage drama, not the most appealing thing anymore. The book was a quick easy read, I finished it in 3 sittings. It did keep me engaged throughout the entire novel even though it was a little high in the teen drama section.

Read book 1 and than read book 2. A great read for teens who like fantasy, especially girl power werewolves.

1) Claire de Lune (My Review)
2) Nocturne out August 23rd 2011

The Gathering Dark
Unknown if this is an independent novel or a series. Unknown possible publication date.


Claire de Lune Review

Claire de Lune

Torn between two destinies?

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?.

What I Liked
Finally a world that the females are the only one that carry the werewolf gene. In most werewolf books the males are the dominate carriers and very few females exist. The books is very female empowerment and coming of age for our young new werewolf character. Werewolves are also known to exist in the world, but very little is known about them and some are trying to cure the virus, more crazy scared fanatics.
Claire: I was very presently surprised about her character. I was initially assuming she might be this spoiled rotten brat that gets all boohoo poor me I'm a freak now. But she came to terms with it with some resistance, but she took it surprisingly well considering her world was completely turned up side down. She has secrets galore to keep, but the things she is now able to do as werewolf are very cool. 
Matthew: Young budding love in the middle of her confusing new transformations. What a crazy time to try to built a relationship upon lies and deceit, but considering that his father is head of research for curing the werewolf gene things need to be kept from him. Many things are a bit shaky and risky for Claire, but she learns about his polar opposite opinion to his father's obsession.
Rouge Werewolf
I liked how you get to be in the mind of the murdering werewolf.  You get to know her angers and joys of killing innocent people without  knowing her identity. I went through a few different possibilities, but didn't quite grasp who it was till Claire herself figured it out, but I'm not the puzzling type of person.

A Little Ashamed of Myself
I was a bit hesitant when I first started to read the book, I read some very nasty reviews on goodreads so it put me a little off of the book. So yes I will admit I am ashamed of myself for taking others opinions so seriously. Not everyone will like the same books, but what matters the most is if I like it and create my own opinions about why I like it or don't and most importantly let others see why I personly did or didn't like it and let them come to their own opinions. I did enjoy this book thoroughly. I liked all the characters, the issues, the not so great relationship Claire has with her mom, the vulnerability she overcomes and the world these werewolves are in. 

Young adult paranormal romance reader, girl power for the werewolves and people who like coming of age and learning to accept yourself and learn to deal with things as they come your way.

1) Claire de Lune
2) Nocturne out

The Gathering Dark
Unknown if this is an independent novel or a series. Unknown possible publication date.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

In My Mailbox #22

A Few Great Books
IMM #22
IMM is a meme  hosted by The Story Siren, anyone can participate telling about what they bought, received or borrowed.

She will be signing in October at a conference in Seattle
When ever I find a hardback copy of this book I have to buy it. I have bought a total of 4 copies, 1 was a gift, one is mine and 2 I'm not sure what I am going to do with them yet. I will probably gift one to a friend, but I would love to get it signed first, so I will just have a wait a while for that to happen.
Walt Disney's Mary Poppins

The Best Win Ever
 Selina Fenech 3rd place prize pack
Signed paperback copy of Memory's Wake; all the pictures are awesome
Bookmark and bookplate 
An original illustration; this will be framed I absolutely her work and to have an original piece of hers is amazing
A poster of the book cover
I was so very excited when I won this, I worked hard to get as many points as I could when entering in the contest. I was a little angry when it got it because it was thrown around in the mail a lot and the cover of the book got a little ripped and crinkled. But I have it and that is all that matters

Red Hot Santa & The Bodyguard Anthologies featuring Cherry Adair
I got these from the lovely Cherry Adair, she brought a box into work for us to have. These are the two I took and I had her sign them both

A Thank You
I got a thank you card in the mail this week from Laura @ Books Are Precious Gems she won my giveaway, a signed UK version of Evermore and swag. That was just too sweet of her. Thanks for the thank you card Laura, it is sitting right it front of the Evermore series.

Reading List
1) The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor; Vampire Slayer (going camping so I don't want to take a book that I'm scared to ruin)
2) Ultraviolet
3) Firelight
4) Vanish

Previous Posts
Bookography (3): Peachy

Up and Coming
 I'm leaving to go camping on Sunday and I won't be around much, but I do have a few things prepped for when I get back on Wednesday.

1) I will be posting my review of Ninemia by Marilena Mexi and hosting an ebook giveaway for Ninemia and I will also be posting my interview I did with her in conjunction with the giveaway. This should be up by Thursday or Saturday at the latest.

2) I did finish Nocturne by Christine Johnson I will also be posting that review during the week.

What did you get in your mailbox?
Please feel free to leave your link


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bookography (3)


Is a fun new way to share the beauty of books with photography. Take a picture with the book being the focus and share the picture(s) you have created for the week.

Book: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen


This is the final finished photo

I finished the photo in Microsoft Office Picture Manager (that is my only photo editing program) I proceeded the change the Amount, Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Midtones, Highlight and Shadow till I got the desired affect that I wanted. I am pretty happy how this turned out. Each time I seem to be discovering a little more and I am really enjoying it.

 The photo on the Left is the original colors 
The photo on the Right is me playing with the manual settings of the camera.

I did get signed up for 2 photography classes. One is The Secrets to Understanding Digital Photography, in this class it is all about understanding the manual mode and what things mean. The other class is The Art of Photography: It's Not About the Camera, this one is about how to view beauty and capture it. I can't wait for both classes, my October will be a very busy month.

If you would like to participate please do. I will try to post my Bookography post each week on Wednesdays. I would love if you would link back to my blog and share your own link in the comments.

Note: Next week I won't be posting my next bookography till Thursday I am camping this coming weekend till Wednesday


Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Mailbox #21

Lots of Great Books
IMM #21

IMM is a meme hosted by The Story Siren, anyone can participate telling about what they bought, received or borrowed for the week.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (old ARC)
I have been wanting this book forever
I need to get book 1 asap
Rachel also added in an Overprotected Jennifer Laurens magnet
I won these from one of Fiktshun Rambling clearing her shelves giveaway. Thanks Rachel

I won this from Danielle at Overflowing Shelf I won it a while ago on her blog, but it was being sent by the publisher so I would be receiving it till closer to the release date. I didn't expect it to be signed at all, that was an awesome surprise. Thanks Danielle and Disney Hyperion

For Review
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder (ARC
I got this from Library Things monthly review giveaway

I just reviewed book 1 to this duology Antara

Bought From Borders
Poor Borders I will miss you so much
Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy by Collection of Authors
Happily Ever After retold fairy tales told by current authors
This is actually my 2nd copy, my original copy is an ARC I figured this would be the perfect time to get another finished copy. I love this book

Given to Me
My old coworker from Borders gave this to me, she really loved it and said I had to read it.

Previous Posts
Antara by Marilena Mexi

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Bookography (2)

Reading List
1) Ninemia (currently reading)
2) Nocturne
 3) Betrayals (Finish)

What did you get this week?
Please feel free to live your lMM link.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Antara Review


Peace and tranquility on the island of Aster, home to both humans and merfolk’, has long been broken by a devastating phenomenon, recurring every five years. A storm including gusting winds and huge waves mysteriously appeared and eradicated much of the population. The misunderstandings, suspicion and hate born of this disaster have torn the two races apart, and the peace loving merfolk are now in a never-ending struggle to prove their innocence and restore peace to the island. On the human side, things are even worse; under the tyranny of cruel king Orestis, the people suffer and all their king cares for is vengeance against the “fish”, as he spitefully calls them, executing merfolk after merfolk for just being near his lands. Secrets, intense emotions and strange phenomena will upset their lives forever.

What I Liked
High Fantasy World
I was completely drawn into the beauty that is this world. The mermaids are peaceful and gentle creatures that live on both land and in the sea. They are beautiful loving and caring to no end. The beauty that Marilena creates with both the words and the pictures are breath taking and touching. I would love to be a part of this world she has created.
Asteria Queen of the Merfolk (mermaid): A very gentle, kind, sweet and loving ruler of her people. She is willing to risk her life to save her people and the humans that hate merfolk. I love her passion and her desire to not let others walk over her, no matter who she maybe pretending to be.
King Orestis (human): A corrupted ruler that has a good side. I love his type, the bad boy that isn't truly all that bad, he just needs the right woman to show him the light.
I love art, I especially love art when it is fantasy based. These pictures are amazing, even better than I could have imagined. I am loving it when writers are creating their own art to put into the books, it just make the experience of the book even better.

Not My Favorite Part
I wasn't completely in love with the Epilogue. I liked the overall gist of it and I thought it was very cute and touching, but I was disappointed that our main characters didn't make an actually appearance in there. I can't exactly tell you what it is because I don't want to spoil it. But I guess that is what book 2 is for, this isn't the end of the series and more is to come, thankfully.  
I Want
I really would like to get an actually copy of this book, but it is way out of my price range. I would love to see the pictures on the pages of the book. This is probably what I am the most saddened about the book, I want a physical copy and I want it on my shelf it deserves shelf space, but an eBook will do. Maybe one day.

Fantasy, mermaids, romance and YA genre lovers must read this book and people who love art work really should read it. Antara is so beautiful.


You should go check out some of the Concept Art for the book over on her website and make sure you watch the book trailer, so amazing!