Thursday, April 26, 2012

MASQUERADE Read-a-Long Chapters 24-31 Week 4

Hi guys!  Today is week three of the read- along for Masquerade by Cambria Hebert. 


Masquerade Read Along ; April 1-April 28

Read Along Schedule

April 5th – Chapters 1-8 – hosted by Stephanie at Five Alarm book Reviews
April 12th – Chapters 8-16 – hosted by Candace at Candace’s Book Blog
April 19th- Chapters 16-24 –hosted by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings
April 26th Chapters 24-31 – hosted by Veronica at Mostly Reviews
May 3rd – Announcement of Giveaway Winners – hosted by the author – http://www.cambriahebert.com

Chapters 24-31
Final discussion questions
1. Heven develops a new “supernatural power”. She remarks that it isn’t that exciting of a power. Is this a power you would like to have, if not what kind of supernatural power would you like to have?
In all honesty, I have no idea what power I'd like to have. I had to think about this one day on our last read-a-long (i think). I do think it would be awesome to have Evie from Out of This World's powers. I'd love to be able to slow time and rewind and fast forward it. I'd also love to be able to travel to destinations.

As for the real question, I think seeing auras would be pretty kick ass. Heven is always so quick to whine. Sorry Hev, but sometimes things aren't glamorous. Sometimes they are small and in their own way totally made of awesome and WIN.

2. Which character do you think makes the biggest internal change throughout the course of this book?  Is there a situation in your life that you can reflect back on as an experience that changed your life for the better?

I would indeed say Heven. I think because she realizes everything about her life and what is actually important. I'd like to say the others made some kind of growing, but looking back, the only one who seemed to grow was Heven. She realized that she didn't have to be pretty to fit in and that in the end, it's not actually important.

I would say that living through depression and heartache taught me a huge lesson. It taught me that I was wonderful all on my own. I didn't need anyone to make me that way. It taught me that I'm strong enough to take care of myself. It taught me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I think that's a huge lesson to learn. I think too many girls think they need a man (or woman?) to complete them. I complete myself and Hubs and my kiddos are just added in for nutritional value. LOL! ;) (I love my kids to death, fyi)
 3. Who is your favorite character and why?
I have 2. One of my favorite characters is Gran. She just has this way of knowing things and knowing what Heven needs to hear. My sisters are that for me and sometimes you just need to hear that everything is going to be okay, even if it isn't. It's the line that helps us through the mire of crap we have to wade to in order to find the freaking fun. Or whatever. LOL!

My second fav is Cole. Yeah, he does a stupid thing in the beginning, but he really is sweet and you can tell he cares for those around him. He is generally worried about taking care of people and making sure they are okay.

As I sidenote, I don't date stalkers, but I'd jump Sam any day. He's hot.

4. When the book ends the reader has an idea of what the next book will involve. Do you think the book ended in the appropriate place?
I'm not sure. In all honesty, who am I to decide? I am glad that it wasn't some dastardly cliff hanger. I'm glad that I kind of know where all my characters left off. Then again, sometimes I like a little more of an open ending when reading middle books or YA. In this instance, I do think it worked the way it was. I like that I know we get to go international. Although, I kinda already knew because Cambria told me. LOL!
5. Do you have any predictions for the next book in the series, Charade?
I actually don't have a one. I have a small feeling that Kimber is going to make some really stupid decisions. I also have a feeling that Heven is going to do the same thing while trying to protect Sam and it's going to force her into a really bad situation. But, I think Cambria does a good job at keeping me guessing about the plot line.
6. Did you enjoy participating in this read along?  Will you join in future read alongs?
 Oh, you know me! I'm a read-a-long addict! Our next read-a-long happens in June and it's going to be pretty epic. You know that Jen - that'd be me - and the rest of the chicks are kinda nuts and the Zombie Queen herself is participating in this event of awesomeness! So, you better all be back. Hopefully by June my participation will be more on the dot. A girl can hope! :)



But, just to let you know, I did enjoy this read-a-long and I ended up really liking the book. Stalking aside. ;) I do hope to see more development of our side characters in future books though! Maybe Kimber will nice up.
                                                                                                                                  

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

MASQUERADE Read-a-Long Chapters 17-23 Week 3

Hi guys!  Today is week three of the read- along for Masquerade by Cambria Hebert. 


Masquerade Read Along ; April 1-April 28

Read Along Schedule

April 5th – Chapters 1-8 – hosted by Stephanie at Five Alarm book Reviews
April 12th – Chapters 8-16 – hosted by Candace at Candace’s Book Blog
April 19th- Chapters 16-24 –hosted by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings
April 26th Chapters 24-31 – hosted by Veronica at Mostly Reviews
May 3rd – Announcement of Giveaway Winners – hosted by the author – http://www.cambriahebert.com

1. Heven’s mother has definite ideas about Heven and her scars – what they mean – and their relationship is strained. Do you think their relationship can be saved?
In all honesty, I don't see how. Anyone who would ever think that about their daughter, I don't see her changing her mind. Thinking your daughter is marked by evil because she is a sinner...THAT'S FREAKING INSANE. Really, I don't see their relationship being saved. Mostly because Heven's mom thinks she is totally right. She loves her daughter, but she really thinks she needs to be "saved". That's not something that ever just disappears.
2. Sam tells Heven about how he came to be living on his own, how his parents kicked him out after he became what he is. He doesn’t seem angry though, he seems to accept it. Would you be angry? Do you think he should be?
Come on my lovely readers! You know I'd be HELLA MAD!  Seriously. You should all know by now that I'm an angry person by nature. No, seriously, if I could pick the personality trait about myself that I most dislike, it would be my anger. I have a hard time forgiving and I remember things FOR-EV-AH! I know this is a horrible trait. I really do. I'm currently very angry at my father and unless things change, I will be mad at him until the day I die. Again, I'm not saying this is a good thing. But, it answers the question, that yes, I'd be angry. I think Sam should feel however he wants. He's a better person than I!
3. During these chapters, Heven and Sam visit the Inbetween and meet Airis (aka The Hope). Were you surprised by this series of events? Do you think a place like the InBetween really exists?
I was not surprised by the series of events. Personally, I don't see how you could honestly kill off the main character in the middle of a book. It almost never happens. And, I don't necessarily believe in the InBetween, but I believe in something a little different and not so bare and white. LOL!
4. When Heven’s scars are no longer a part of her and she says “she no longer recognizes herself” – do you think that the absence of her scar will change her once more?
Not really. I think she realized a lot of stuff before her scars were removed. Then again, every thing we go through in our lives, every event, every hurt and every happiness, it shapes our lives. How it shapes them, I have no idea, but I know it does. It changes the way we see things, it helps our perspectives develop - hopefully - into one that is broader and a bit more colorful. 
5. Gran is very accepting of Heven and of Sam. Do you think that she understands more – knows more than she lets on about Heven’s life or do you think her love is just unconditional?
  I think that it's kind of both. I get this feeling that besides her love definitely being unconditional, she just knows Heven so well and she's not stupid. I guess I look at my own kids and when they grow up, they won't know all the things I've done in my life, but those things will help me look at them and see between the lines. I think that every child needs to grow on their own. The parent/grandparent is there to lead and guide them, but in the end, the child makes their choices. I think Heven's grandma gets that.
                                                                                                                                  

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

MASQUERADE Read-a-Long Chapters 8-16 Week 2

Hi guys!  Today is week two of the read- along for Masquerade by Cambria Hebert. 


Masquerade Read Along ; April 1-April 28

Read Along Schedule

April 5th – Chapters 1-8 – hosted by Stephanie at Five Alarm book Reviews
April 12th – Chapters 8-16 – hosted by Candace at Candace’s Book Blog

 April 19th- Chapters 16-24 –hosted by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings
April 26th Chapters 24-31 – hosted by Veronica at Mostly Reviews
May 3rd – Announcement of Giveaway Winners – hosted by the author – http://www.cambriahebert.com

Chapters 8-16 

1. Sam is admittedly drawn to Heven before they even meet. Why do think this is?


 I guess because she's hot....??? Okay, maybe not that, but in all honesty, I don't know. I never really understood why he was so transfixed with her. My only guess would be that destiny brought them together. The only problem is I don't believe in destiny and fate and me have never been friends. So, yet again, I'm at a loss.

But, to be fair here are my only real feelings on the matter. Sometimes you just are. Sometimes people radiate personality, emotion and energy and certain people are drawn to others in that way. I imagine that's what it was for Sam.

2. In an earlier chapter The Hope states that Sam must prove himself. During these chapters Sam does some things – bad things – (covering up murder, fighting, hiding a body, etc.) all to protect Heven and his true identity. Do you think he was right to do these things?

Let's be honest here, I function under a totally different life event than Sam has. Not that my life has been cake, but he has been emancipated from his parents for a while now. That doesn't just happen without some bad crap going down. He's alone. He's sad. He just wants to keep Heven safe. He really and truly cares for her in his own way. I'd say according to my moral code that except for the hiding a body thing  (because as a parent I'd want to know my daughter was dead and not a runaway!!!) I think the fighting is something he did right.

But, you all should remember from last week that I'm a fighter by nature. I'm all about the protecting and arguing and yes...the revenge. So, I think that Sam's moral compass points him east, between good and bad. ;)

3. In chapter twelve Kimber says some thing’s to Heven that make the reader wonder about their friendship. Do you think there is any truth to Kimber’s drunken confessions? If so where do you think Heven and Kimber’s friendship goes from here?

Doooood!! I think Kimber meant EXACTLY what she said. I really liked Kimber up until that point. Some people are a little exuberant, vain and selfish in their thinking. I should know, I'm one of them. I could relate to Kimber up until that point.

My best friend in high school was always more popular than me. But you know what, I NEVER wished anything bad on her. She was an amazing friend and sometimes life is just the way it is. Kimber was a bitch to say the things she did and I wish Heven wouldn't have been so forgiving. I think their relationship will go exactly as it is now. With Sam taking up more and more of Heven's time and Kimber being in Heven's life to the extent that Sam isn't.  

4. Heven is changing, becoming more confident. Do you think that after something like this (her accident and disfigurement) happens to someone that she can ever go back to the person she was before? Do you think she will want to?

No, she will NEVER be the person she was before. That's the point of trials. To test you and make you better. Who would want to go back to being what they were before a hardship? Oh the things I know now at 28 that I didn't know in high school. I would never trade the pain back to be the person I was in high school. Sometimes life's a bitch, but we become better people out of it. I think Heven learns that lesson eventually and she wouldn't want to be the person she was Before.  

5. Toward the end of these set of chapters, Heven finds out Sam’s secret, who he really is. She has a strong reaction. Do you think you would react the same way? Why or why not? 

From Ghost Theory
So......I've been telling people about this part because I thought Heven SO OVERREACTED!  I mean, she gets over the stalking thing really fast, but she can't get over the hellhound thing. Yah, he's kind of scary at first, but after he explains it, I just don't see what the big deal was. I mean, sometimes secrets are secrets for a reason. You can't go around telling everyone. And then sometimes, in your head, those secrets become so huge you don't want to tell anyone. He was always a hellhound, but he is also STILL SAM. I think it took her too damn long to realize that. I would have been more upset about the stalking thing. It's creepy how much he used to watch her before he had to protect her from China. Seriously Sam, I love you hunny, but stalking IS NOT OKAY. Just saying.

I would be a bit scared at first over the giant toothed hound that was just my BF, but after I realized that I was living in a paranormal world, I'd don my leather and learn to kick some ass. Sometimes, I think Heven whines too much about her predicament. So many people want to be different and really special and Heven just complains about it. I'd think it was cool. I'm kind of a nerd though.

                                                                                                                                  

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane

Title: Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts No. 4)
Author: Stacia Kane
Pages:416
Published: March 27th, 2012
Summary: When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice (From Goodreads.com)
My thoughts:

Gritty and rough, the world of Downside isn't one many people would want to step into. It's a world torn a part by ghosts, drugs and greed. The Church is the ruling base behind everything and it is also the only thing that stands between the murdering ghosts and the public at large.

Chess, a debunker for the Church, slangly called a church witch is one of the people in the Church's employ. With magical tattoos that help to protect and warn her of the ghosts that could come out and kill at any moment, Chess's main goal in life is to rid the world of the souls plaguing her city and send them to their place of rest - a place she hopes to never go.

I don't know about you, but I know I've been waiting on bended knee for this fourth book in the series. After the gripping ending of City of Ghosts, I was extremely happy with the course of the series, but with Chess as the heroine, you are never sure if you're going to end up happy or in the gutter wasted off your ass on the latest bump. I think this above all makes the story so amazingly fun. I may be a masochist, but I find it highly intriguing that I never know where the plot is going to take me due to Chess's addictions.

Not only is Chess a highly entertaining character, but she is her own worst enemy. Yeah, we'd like to believe it's actually the ghosts she's trying to send to the Holy City, but let's be honest, Chess is a screwed up soul. She's hopelessly addicted to any kind of drug, Cepts, Pandas, speed, you name it, Chess will take it. I'm sure a doped-up heroine isn't everyone's candy bag, but for me, Chess represents something truly inventive and real.

Up to this point, Downside Ghosts has been a thrill ride. Stacia Kane knows how to knock us down and pick us up and I must say, she doesn't disappoint us in Sacrificial Magic. With Chess's ability to piss of everyone, including those she cares for the most, and her ability to rationalize herself into situations, she has decidedly taken the cake on self deprecation.  She tries, oh she tries, but it never ceases to keep my heart pounding and my body jumping. With all the terror and fear she must push herself through on a daily basis, sometimes it's a wonder she's made it as far as she has.

With Sacrificial Magic, we see a new terror, a new kind of pain. The latest crimes have spurred a series of murders, people offed all around the city. Revenge or random? We never really know because lurking around every bend and every alley is death and ruin and we can only hope that Chess can find her way through the slime. With are rock solid Terrible in tow, Chess will suffer through a myriad of emotions and in the end, possibly lose herself to it all.

This death defying novel of addiction, murder, imbalance and what really is important in a world gone to shit, Stacia Kane hits home with Sacrifical Magic. She never ceases to twist our hearts, step on them, scare the hell out of us and the turn around and grin. It's this that keeps us on our toes and makes us love her as much as we want to curse her. I give Sacrificial Magic 4.5/5 stars and recommend it to fans of the series and those who enjoy Adult fiction, ghosts and horror.

This book is for mature audiences as it contains mature themes and voices.


                                                                                                                           
 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kevin Hearne Author of HOUNDED - Guest Post/Q&A and Winners


To wrap up our awesome read-a-long of HOUNDED we are amazingly excited to have a fabulous Q&A with author Kevin Hearne! We hope you enjoy them and get a little taste for what you can find in The Iron Druid Chronicles!
                                                                                                                                      


 

Will you be writing more Atticus stories (what I'm hoping for is a lot)? They're so much fun - so hopefully you aren't planning to stop after 5 or 6?
Absolutely. Though I'm currently under contract for six, I'd like to write nine, in addition to a couple of novellas and some short stories along the way.

If the Iron Druid Chronicles series could be adapted to a graphic novel (which would be awesome) or TV series/movie (which would be epic), would you consider it?
Heck yes to both! Iron Druid Chronicles (IDC) was originally conceived as a comic, so I'd love to see that happen. The project needs the right artist who can handle the tattoos. 

Is Atticus going to have a love interest?
Doesn't he already have one? :) Heh! His love story will definitely become clearer in books 4-6.

What kind of research did you do on Druids? Where did you look for it?
The problem with Druids is that they never wrote anything down. Ever. So what we have are accounts written by people who weren't Druids and probably didn't like Druids (such as Julius Caesar). Less than reliable, I'd say. Keeping that in mind, I tried to assign Atticus the powers that multiple sources said Druids had--some shapeshifting abilities, weather control, herbal talents, divination, and even teleportation. These came primarily from written accounts by Herodotus, Caesar, and the Annals of the Four Masters, as well as old legends about the Tuatha De Danann.

After book 3, will we see more of Laksha?
Provided that the series continues past book six, yes. The only way series continue is if people keep buying them, so let's hope folks continue to like it. I'm really grateful to you all for spreading the word, by the way. Thank you. 

It has to be asked, is Atticus ever going to travel to Las Vegas in future books? Are we going to see more of the sex demons?
If you're asking about the Bacchants, thralls of the god Bacchus, then yes, you will see them again in book five, TRAPPED. If you're wondering if TRAPPED contains any bow-chicka-bow-wow, well, yes, it does. There'es a whole chapter of it! Get the cold shower ready!

Is there any actor or person you picture as Atticus when you write him? If so, who?
Not really...I'm not that up-to-date on my actors. I haven't had television in my house for a year now, and I have to admit that I don't miss it. I see Atticus as a comic book hero, since that's the way I originally envisioned him.

Atticus is a tree hugger, is that a reflection of you?
Yeah, it is. I do my recycling and contribute to nature charities and all that stuff. Eat granola. Wear sandals. I do bathe more often than the average hippie, though , so you don't have to fear me.



Atticus: do you stay in touch with any of your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grand kids?
I actually spend some effort trying not to interact with them at all. It would cause me no little embarrassment and they'd never believe that I was their ancestor anyway. I have a genealogist in Brussels keeping track of the family for me.

Leif: What is your favorite thing about being a vampire?
I know everyone says the long undeath and the screams of fear, but I quite rather enjoy the power and defending my territory.

Oberon: What is your biggest human peeve?
Without a doubt, their mating habits. They're ridiculously complex. Dogs know how to get things done--especially French poodles.  Especially WITH French poodles. Yeah...Sorry, but can I just hump your leg for a minute and call you Fifi? 

Oberon: What is your favorite story from bath time?
Atticus told me a great story one time about Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago, but that turned out to be a fictional character and something of a disappointment. Still, I dream of becoming a Sausage King someday. Stranger things have happened. Napoleon Dynamite, for example.

Granuaile: Your name is pretty unique. Do you know why your parents picked it and what it means?
They wanted to give me an Irish girl's name that wasn't Siobhan or Katie. I think it was a s simple as that.

Mrs. MacDonagh: What is the best advice you could give a lass looking to find her own perfect Irishman?
Less is more, me dears, until the bedroom door is closed, and then more is more, if ye take my meanin'. Be the sort of woman in public whose honor is never in question, but the sort of woman in private he'll be havin' daydreams about. And a drop or two of whiskey never hurt, either.
                                                                                                                                      

What did everyone think of the read-a-long? I hope everyone had as much fun as we did! If you have any thing that you thought we could have done differently, please let us know in the comment section? We're going to be doing more in the future and I always love input. 

Thanks!!! *HUGS*
                                                                                                                                      

Okay everyone, don't forget that TRICKED is released APRIL 24TH! If you're as excited as me, you can PRE-ORDER TRICKED HERE

 Winners of the Read-a-Long

Dianne at Sweet Tea and Book Reviews (Tote bag)
Lynn at Lynn's Book Blog (Book)
Christy at Love of Books (Beer Glass) 

(all winners have been notified and confirmed)

Thanks everyone who participated. We hope to see you around for our future events!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

MASQUERADE Read-a-Long Chapters 1-8


Welcome everyone to the first week of the Masquerade Read-Along.  For those who are seeing this read-along for the first time, read the announcement post.

This Weeks Discussion Questions

Week 1/ Chapters 1-8

1. If you were disfigured like Heven (by some sort of accident) do you think you would have reacted the same way as her? (loss of self-confidence, hiding yourself, etc)
I wish I could say I'd be all about the self-confidence, but most likely....I wouldn't. In America in today, people notice everything. Even being overweight makes me lose some of my self-confidence. Weird thing is, when I had my first baby, I ended up with so many stretch marks I totally thought I was ugly. Doesn't matter what common sense would say, I FELT UGLY. Took me awhile to get over it. I still have issues and it's been 5 years. I couldn't even imagine having scars all over my face. I'd probably act similar to Heven.
2. Do you think that Kimber’s plan for revenge against Cole (for kissing another girl) is a good idea?
Again, I'd like to say no because I'm all grown up and I can see the ridiculousness of it, but that kind of thing hurts. I'd be all over payback. Then again, I am kind of like satan. I'm kinda evil.
3. In the beginning chapters, Heven is very drawn to Sam but won’t admit it due to her own insecurities. Kimber begins to “date” Sam… do you think that Heven should have spoken up? Do you think Kimber should have seen Heven’s real feelings?
I don't know if Heven should have spoken up. I probably wouldn't have said anything. I'm a total cynic though, so I don't know if I can look at this with anything other than cynicism. I don't do the whole love at first site and I feel that there really is something drawing Heven to Sam, but I couldn't figure out her obsession with him. I can see why she likes him more by chapter 8, though. I don't think Kimber should have noticed more than she did. I wouldn't have.
4. Masquerade is broken in four separate POV’s: Heven, Sam, The Hate and The Hope. Do you think having multiple POV’s adds depth to the story? Why or why not?
I think it depends on the story and how well those POV's are written. It's very difficult to write multiple POV's for the shear fact that each character needs to seem like their own person without headers. I mean, you have to include the headers, but if you get confused who you're reading about because they all seem the same, then what's the point of the multiple POV's? It would be dumb. However, in Masquerade, the 3 narrators I've read so far seem good. I haven't read any of Sam's POV yet, so that may change my mind.  But, as of right now it was interesting to read the parts with The Hate and The Hope. Although, sometimes I like the added confusion of having to figure things out slower. Sometimes I think that's why I prefer 1st person over 3rd.
5. A great source of strength for Heven is her grandmother. Who do you think yours is/would be?
Emily
Shauni
My sisters. I come from this huge family. I have ten siblings and my parents are recently divorced. My father is insane and my mom....well, she tries, but sometimes....(hopefully she never reads this). But my sisters, they're my rocks. I have five of them. My sister Emily (30) and my baby sister Shauni (19) they're who I call. They're the ones who help me through the crap. Not that all of them aren't amazing. They'd all be there as much as they could be. They'd listen to me whine and they'd pump me full of ice cream on a whim. I love them.

Get Ready for Next Week

April 12, hosted by Candace at Candace’s Book Blog
Chapters 8-16 Discussion Questions

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