Thursday, 29 December 2011

Kane Chronicles #2 The Throne of Fire

Took me a little time to start this but I actually finished it in record and its actually getting very interesting. Ladies and Gents, my views of Kane Chronicles #2 The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan.

Here is the summary of the book:

Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians. And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family. To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished. First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly? Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.

So now that the Egyptian Gods of Old have been released into the world trouble seems to be everywhere for our protagonist Carter and Sadie but as descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but treachery and devious gods added to the mix and they haven't had enough time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians now. The other branches of the House of Life are hunting the Kanes down once they left the safety of their branch...why because according to the customs of the House of Life it is an act of treason to host a God in their body (since the Gods need a physical body to be able to live out of the Du'at), the Brooklyn House. 

And now their most threatening enemy yet—the chaos snake Apophis—is rising. If they do not prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. Pretty apocalyptic would so is life for the Kane siblings. As they must go through persuasive Gods, treacherous magicians and battling devious beasts to save the day but most importantly stay alive and figure out a way to prevent the civilization from being destroyed.

The book starts out slow and gains momentum bit by bit. And as the first book this one is also narrated in two point of views, precisely it is a recording transcript that we see here, with the story moving with Carter and Sadie's POVs. Both have their moments of geniuses and moments of idiocy(not going to elaborate that will spoil the fun). Their sense of humor and that ever present sibling rivalry actually adds flavor to the story. As all of you remember in  the first book they were able to defeat Set and saw the real worker of the evil - the serpent of Chaos, Apophis who was breaking free from his cell in the du'at. Well he a few days from escaping that prison and it is upto the Kane siblings to prevent the chaos. On their journey to find the balance between chaos and order(tacky I know but i'm trying the post to be spoiler free), they meet new friends and allies, Bes, Walt, and many more who may have their own secrets but ultimately help save the day.

The one thing that I liked about the way the plot was written was that Mr. Riordan although did not dump the info on us (good on him) but popping them here and there.....which definitely keeps us on the edges.

So what if they won the battle but the war is yet to come and as things get heated up, I am definitely excited for the upcoming and the final book of the Kane Chronicles, the book is unamed yet, but it will contain the final battle against chaos and I am definitely excited for it.

"An adrenaline induced race to maintain the balance between order and chaos"

Genre :      Young Adult, Fantasy

PublisherHyperion Books for Children

Rate:              5/5 (It was Awesome)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #1

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2)
Publication Date: - 10th January, 2012

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.
In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.
Allegiance (Legacy #2)
Publication Date:- 28th February, 2012

Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.

An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return...

Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.

Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
Publication Date:- June 19th, 2012

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series.

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students—children of the wealthy and powerful—carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

Rapture (Fallen #4)
Publication Date:- 12th June, 2012

The sky is dark with wings. . . .

In RAPTURE, the highly anticipated fourth and final novel in the FALLEN series, Luce and Daniel are together . . . but for how long? Can history be rewritten? Or are some punishments eternal?

From the Hardcover edition.

SO, WHAT DO YOU ALL THING, Hit the comment section and don't forget to mention your post links ....would love to know what you all are waiting for.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey

As I have said before I don't honestly review production design books but making an exception when Harry Potter falls into that category. Presenting my views over Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey by Bob McCabe.

Here is the summary of the book:

Harry Potter: Page to Screen opens the doors to Hogwarts castle and the wizarding world of Harry Potter to reveal the complete behind-the-scenes secrets, techniques, and over-the-top artistry that brought J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed novels to cinematic life. Developed in collaboration with the creative team behind the celebrated movie series, this deluxe, 500-plus page compendium features exclusive stories from the cast and crew, hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and concept illustrations sourced from the closed film sets, and rare memorabilia. As the definitive look at the magic that made cinematic history, Page to Screen is the ultimate collectible, perfect for Muggles everywhere.

Nothing much to say about the contents of the book, it should be fairly visible from the title itself. Page to Screen is a complete rundown of the conceiving till end of the decade long phenomenon Harry Potter. How David Heyman first got the idea to bring the Harry Potter stories to the big screen. How all the characters Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and the others were signed up. How the ig creative creature came together to bring gargantuan Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and the mysticality of the magical world be brought to life and seen to the end.

Its all done in three parts. All the eight films are discussed greatly in terms of production, casting, special effects employing, the challenges each film presented and a lot of comments from the actors, creative team and the directors and the producers. We are introduced methodically to every movie and the side note to how some of the big effects were created and made believable also adds points to the whole write-up. After this first half, the next half of the book is more where the encyclopaedia designation comes in. Giant chunks of the book are dedicated to costumes (really, characters), sets, props, and creatures and what went into the design / how they came to life / concept art.
Regarding this book took me ages to finish, it'll be safe to say that every inch and every line of the book shows us the hard work that went into creating these 8 movies. Gives a serious appreciation FOR the amount of work that went into creating them, and it astonished me how often the techniques I assumed were CGI were actually grounded quite heavily in old-fashioned tricks like miniatures and robots. It's a lot to kind of slog through and absorb all at once. Page to screen also helps us see the way every Potter director worked and helped the world grow with their vision. But a major plus to this whole book is the artwork and the pictures. While the first half presented pictures shot during the movies, the second half was abound in concept art and details about how every nook and cranny of the magical world comes to life on the silver screen, every creature, every prop, costumes and sets are presented for the public to see.

That being said i'm sure you'll all remember that another book just like this was released before the final 2 Potter movies realeased...Yes I'm talking about Harry Potter Film Wizardry(Click to see the review), while yes a lot of things presented in this book are also found there and some of you all may find getting Film Wizardry as it is cheaper but Page To Screen makes one hell of a companion to the Potter Saga. It is definitely something I will go back to again in the future.

"A gigantic edition to the Potter Phenomenon"

Genre :      Movie Tie-in, Production design

Publisher: Harper Design

Rate:              5/5 (It was Awesome)

              (a necessary commodity every Potter fan should own)

In My Mailbox #1 (DECEMBER)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox. Let us know what looks good to you and leave us a link so we can check out what you got over the week.

This will be my first IMM post and it will be for the month of December. Click the name of the books to access their goodreads descriptions.

For Review

Simon & Schuester Galley Grab and Pulse It reading circle

From Authors



Giveaway Won

Friday, 23 December 2011

Follow Friday #12

"Follow Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Don’t forget to comment and leave your link so I can return your follows.

Q: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

ANS: No questions asked I want to spent the eternity in the pages of the HARRY POTTER books preferably as a student....simply because I love that magical world and all of its enchantments....and using a magical wand and those big-big tomes of magical knowledge.....oh I definitely want to be a student in Hogwarts and explore that marvelous......and visit the room of requirements and hogmeade.....I can continue on and on and never yes if I find myself stuck in a book for eternity, i'd hope it will be the HARRY POTTER books.
But PERCY JACKSON or the world of THE IRON FEY could also do. Going on quests as demigods and wandering around the nevernever could also be a great way to spend eternity.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Follow Friday #11

"Follow Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Don’t forget to comment and leave your link so I can return your follows.

Q: When you’ve read a book, what do you do with it? (Keep it, give it away, donate it, sell it, swap it..?)

ANS: I usually don't like to part with my when i have read it....its back on the shelf(print book) or back in my external hard-drive (e-book). So yes the term i'm looking for is a....BOOK HOARDER.....I usually only giveaway my ebook and still waiting for the perfect time to giveaway my print books. Also If it is a library book and I loved it so I give it back and get a copy of my own.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Still Waters

Book covers do wonders to a book....and what do you know its a thriller as well. Well read on to find my review of Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne.

Here is the summary of the book:

Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget. But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety. Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

A creepy house, a teenage girl who can't seem to say those words (imagine it all), and a boyfriend who has a dark side...sounds promising don't you think? Well read on....

Both Colin and Hannah have been together for a year and so now Colin expects Hannah to say those three words, but somehow she can't pronounce them and is still waiting for the perfect moment. Collin will be leaving for college soon, so Hannah plans a trip to the lake house Colin went to as a child without telling him. Colin would rather not ever go back to that lake house, although he isn't sure what it is that he doesn't like about it. Some things were a little off once this trip started. The roads to this lake house weren't even on a map. The house appears as if someone has been living there, but nobody has been there since Colin was last there. So something is off about the whole situation. As Collin grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety. Something is definitely wrong here.

As far as the characters are considered they all seems pretty bland as well as the pacing of the story. Hannah is a sweet girl, who is a goody two shoes and seems very responsible. She doesn’t lie, she doesn’t steal, and does everything she can to take care of her little brother and help to support her family. But her boyfriend's leaving town so she breaks all the rules, she steals, lies and leaves her homes for a romantic getaway with her boyfriend in the middle of no where. But she still can't say the "L" word and much of the book is based on this.

Colin is a another one who isn't very well fleshed out. The book indicated that his family is rich and they definitely did not have fond memories of that "Pine House" but even that background is on looked into as well.

The plot also left disconnected, the climax happens towards the end and even that is not don't great. The pacing was very slow, the buildup for the climax is also pretty late. And the first half of the chapters are pretty slow and mundane. Regarding the concept of the story...well that was the only thing I liked about it all and the cover....which i'd say is GORGEOUS. But yes this short book could have used a bit more work regarding the plot, and the characterization to make it work.

"A creepy house in the middle of nowhere...definitely not a romantic getaway"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal

My Copy:      Courtesy of Simon and Schuester PULSE IT reading group

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

TOURZ DE CODEX: IMPORTANT NOTICE - 11 hosts/bloggers needed


About Melissa Studdard:-
Melissa Studdard is the author of the bestselling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, which also won the 2011 Forward National Literature Award for Middle Grade Chapter Books. She is also a professor, a book reviewer at-large for The National Poetry Review, a contributing editor for both Tiferet Journal and The Criterion, and the host of the radio interview program Tiferet Talk. As well, she is a member of many literary organizations, including the National Book Critics Circle and the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators.

She loves anything related to writing and reading, whether it's sitting alone with a book and a cup of hot tea, or attending a large poetry reading or literary festival. She also loves travelling, meditating, going for walks, bicycling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family.

She currently resides in Texas with her wonderful daughter and their four sweet but mischievous cats.

About Six Weeks to Yehidah:-
Move over, C.S. Lewis; Melissa Studdard is here! Annalise of the Verdant Hills is one of the most delightful protagonists to skip through the pages of literature since Dorothy landed in Oz. Join Annalise and her two walking, talking wondersheep as they travel to ever more outlandish places and meet outrageous and enlightening folk on their journey to discover interconnectedness in a seemingly disconnected world. Discover with them how just one person can be the start of the change we all strive for. A book for all ages, for all time: wonderful, wacky, and bursting with truth!

About My Yehidah:-
Bursting at the seams with joy and truth, My Yehidah leads you through one of the most important adventures you can take--the journey to the center of your very own self.

Filled with writing and drawing prompts and beautiful illustrations to color, this book is the perfect jump start for meaningful, creative exploration for people of all ages.

My Yehidah can be done alone or along the novel Six Weeks to Yehidah.


23rd Dec, 2011 – Courtney @Courtney's Book Nook
24th Dec, 2011 -
26th Dec, 2011 -
27th Dec, 2011 -
28th Dec, 2011 -
29th Dec, 2011 -
30th Dec, 2011 - D. S. White @Bookzone
31st Dec, 2011 -
2nd Jan, 2012 -
3rd Jan, 2012 -
4th Jan, 2012 -
5th Jan, 2012 -
6th Jan, 2012 -
8th Jan, 2012 – Nancy @Simple Clockwork
10th Jan, 2012 – Melissa Lemon
11th Jan, 2012 – Aparajita @Le’ Grande Codex
12th Jan, 2012 – Frishawn @WTF are you reading?

Friday, 9 December 2011

Follow Friday #10

"Follow Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Don’t forget to comment and leave your link so I can return your follows.

Q: Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?

ANS: Hmm....lets make the book into plural.....books...

HARRY POTTER BY J K ROWLING (who can forget Harry... we actually owe our childhood and growing up to the whole series)

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS BY RICK RIORDAN (and never forget the ever witty and our favourite demigod)


LEGACY BY CAYLA KLUVER (check review here)

THE IRON FEY BY JULIE KAGAWA (check the reviews here)

AND ETC.........

ALSO SINCE YOU ALL ARE HERE ALREADY, SO DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE "Christmas/New Year: With A Great Load of Gifts Giveaway"(<<click here to enter>>)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Book Sake: Huge 1100 Follower Giveaway!!

Book Sake: Huge 1100 Follower Giveaway!!: It's time for our big follower giveaway. Thanks to all of you we've hit 1100 followers. To show our undying appreciation for you we are gi...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

FicBookReviews: 700 Followers Giveaway! $50 Amazon Gift Card

FicBookReviews: 700 Followers Giveaway! $50 Amazon Gift Card: Wow cant believe I have reached 700 after celebrating my 500 followers last month! Congrats to Felipa Munez and Stacey of Sassybooklovers....

Friday, 2 December 2011

Follow Friday #9

"Follow Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Don’t forget to comment and leave your link so I can return your follows.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don’t like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!

ANS: My pet peeves is definitely thin plots and those huge series where till the penultimate book the story goes one way revealing absolutely next to nothing and then all of a sudden a huge intel is dumped on us in the final books making the story go in a completely different direction all together. 

Next would be poorly written love triangles - okay i'm not actually the best supporter when it comes to love triangles but they help to add a little twist but I definitely get annoyed when it gets totally chauvinistic.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Dazzling Reads: YA Autumn Giveaway!


Dazzling Reads: YA Autumn Giveaway!: Because this Autumn is full of beyond-awesome releases and because Autumn is my favorite season of the year, I announce my amazing giveaway!...

Unraveling Isobel

You are looking to read a light paranormal read-on.....and on that thought I present before you all my views of Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook.

Here is the summary of the book:

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother. But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

A great cover, a great and fitting synopsis that gripped me from the beginning, ghosts, haunted houses, peculiar murders and the best of all hunky step brother...ohhh tingling with excitement. The protagonist Isobel is like every other teenager today. She is also not without her problems, her dad has Schizophrenia, her mom married some guy she just met off the Internet, and she is forced to leave her only home and high school during her senior year. If you are thinking that is horrible...well rather on for what is worst. When she moves in with her step family (step-dad and that hunky step-brother) in a haunted house and starts seeing ghosts of a haunted looking girl she fears she has inherited Schizophrenia from her father. But what is worst.....she seems to have fallen for her hot and hunky step-brother Nathaniel aka Nate, who seems to want to do nothing about it at all. Can the situation get any worse?

All these ghostly sightings has Isobel thinking that there must be something wrong with her step-dad Richard (whom she calls Dick) Wickham's family or himself because well he is a creeper but also due to all the strange deaths that surround the family and that haunted house were they live. Isobel is determined to figure it all out, because she knows something is going on in this house. It doesn't all add up. Isobel's new step-dad is catching on and starts telling her and her mother that she needs help. So Isobel does all she can to solve this mystery as fast as she can before it is too late.

Aptly named 'Unraveling Isobel' - the book does that in a great way by peeling away layer over layer about her character at each step without it all being a hassle. Isobel is a typical teenager and like every other teenager she goes through a phase where she questions herself, typically when she starts seeing those ghosts and tries to deny but she knows in her subconscious mind that denying wont do any good and that those really are ghosts. She is an amazing artists, and she is a fighter.

Her mother on the other hand is an idiot. She goes off and marries a guy she met on the internet after only three months, she moves to some place she doesn't know when she perfectly knows that Isobel is absolutely not willing to move where she is from. There should be some compromise, and it should be something that should be discussed. Then she starts believing her new husband whom she only met three months before over her own daughter who she knows much better than that Dick. Such hypocrisy. Then comes that new husband....what to say about him - he is a Dick, and he is creeper. Also he seems like he can manipulate people to his will (Isobel's mom to be exact) and is a attention seeker. He doesn't care for any other human being but himself and this house (haunted house).

Last but not the least is that hot and hunky step-brother Nate. He is sweet, caring and the perfect boyfriend material. He seems to be the perfect fit for Isobel. Although at first it seems like he hates her and Isobel also tries to deny her feeling for him but gradually they open up to one another and things start to head up between them but they are not blood related so its good enough(conditions and situations apply). Nate is also a good listener and later becomes Isobel's only confident in that haunted house.

As far as the writing is considered - that is very well done, the plot literally flows through the pages and not a break in any of it all. It starts out slow and gradually gains momentum and will make you want to read through till the end in one go. There is humor, reality, paranormality, seriousness, a murder mystery that needs to be solved, a burgeoning romance and an every day teenage high school life expertly woven through these pages.
I am so getting a copy of it when it releases in January next year.

"Thrilling, creepy, sexy and a light read that will make you want to finish it all in one sitting"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal

My Copy:      Courtesy of Simon and Schuester Galley Grab and Shelf Awareness 

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Rate:              5/5 (It was Awesome)

Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas/New Year: With A Great Load of Gifts Giveaway

So, Christmas is around the corner and not just year is in sight as well. So why not celebrate it with an awesome ebook giveaway.

Yup, these are the possible prizes.

Now the rules are pretty simple. Just fill the form below and do as it says. 

The Giveaway ends 31st December, 2011 and the results shall be announced 1st January, 2012. So enter....enter folks and you may be the lucky winner who gets all of them.......wait did I just say that?

Yup I did there will be 3 winners.
1st - will get all these books
2nd - will get 4 of these series
3rd - will get 2 of these series

So a win-win for you all.

And something else too. If by the end of the year, aka 31st December, 2011 you all get me past the 200 follower stage then you shall be getting something cool and something extra to go along with it all.

So what are you all waiting for..........enter and be surprised........You may be in the lucky three........

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Zoe and Zeus #1: The Dig

Mythologies about all the prominent civilization and about their Gods is based on truth but do they tell the truth or not....hmm..... I present before you all my views The Dig by Audrey Hart.

Here is the summary of the book:

Zoe Calder has always been an outsider. Stashed away in boarding schools since her parents died, Zoe buries herself in the study of ancient worlds. Her greatest thrill is spending her summers with her archeologist aunt and uncle on digs around the world. And one day, while investigating a newly unearthed temple in Crete, Zoe discovers a luminous artifact that transports her to ancient Greece. As Zoe quickly learns, the Olympian Gods are real, living people—humans with mysterious powers… Powers that Zoe quickly realizes she has come to possess, as well. However, when the people of ancient Greece mistake Zoe for an Olympian, the Gods must restore the balance of the ancient world… No matter what. Zoe is forced to play a confusing and dangerous game as Hera rallies the gods against her—all except for Zeus, the beautiful, winged young god who risks everything to save her. Out of time and out of her element, teenager Zoe Calder finds herself in ancient Greece, battling against the power of the Olympians and the vengeance of a scorned goddess—all for the strange and mysterious boy she has come to love.

As I mentioned above every mythology is based on a truth (keyword 'truth') but then if you find out that your favourite Gods and Goddesses of case in point Greek Mythology are not personified as old bearded gods but teenagers with a few differences to their orientation......hmmm....difficult decision to make because most importantly it destroys your beliefs....but most importantly you would also like to know this change as well. But lets face the truth Greek Mythology is not new and definitely tampering with said mythology is also not new. We have seen Disney's version of the mythology (Hercules), we have seen Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians, we have also marveled at the remake of Clash of the Titans and the recently released Immortals. So without much further ado lets get to the main things shall we.

The Dig centers around teenager Zoe Calder whose favorite time of the year is going on the architectural haunts with her Uncle and Aunt. Zoe is not your typical teenager. She is introverted and she is definitely realistic. She prefers books to attending dances or social gatherings and is much more interested in said architectural haunts. But on a particular dig in Crete she goes beyond the red taped area and viola, Curiosity killed the cat and now you have yourself a time traveler. Zoe unfortunately washed up in the past....ancient Greece, the time of the Greek Gods to be exact. After a surprising encounter with a nymph and saving her, Zoe that she is not on some movie set or parade but actually in ancient Greece and she has the power of bending the Earth to her will.

So Zoe sets out to meet the Oracle who lived at the base of the Mt. Olympus, home of the Gods and get some answers. Everything changes when Zoe reaches Mt. Olympus. Which is definitely not the paradise as the myths depict and while there Zoe see the truth and has to alter every belief she had about the Greek Gods and gets entangled in their already tangled life. There relationships break, new ones form and Zoe must do a little soul-searching too.... but when the time comes will she want to return to the present? Well now that you readers will have to see.

Our protagonist Zoe is very introverted but she has a level of bravery that makes her the perfect candidate for the heroine. She is also very diplomatic and she is outcast....a loner, who doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. She is what you would call an old head on young shoulders. But then she meets the teenager Zeus and sort of forms a healthy relationship with him. Zeus, well he is not the bearded dude we see in every text but is healthy and young....and hot. Through the whole book the best parts were when Zoe and Zeus were together, whether it was on her journey to Mt. Olympus or at the mountain or afterwards.

But Zeus is a very conflicted character. He has developed what you call a dual characteristics, i.e., he behaves in a different way when outside of Olympus and he is different when he is on Olympus. Although that can be expected because they have eternal youth and have been living together as a tight knit group for many millenia. He has a certain bit of superficiality to him that Zoe vigorously avoids. Although Zoe and Zeus make a perfect couple but they bit and piece of his character and his choices that don't really add up.

But on the whole The Dig is an interesting read, light and funny. And that little twist up the toga - the oriental changes to the Greek Gods was well received (although it was very well strange), the little innuendos about Gossip Girls, Sex and The City, Rihanna's Umbrella and Kim Kardashian added to the flavor. It was also well paced and an easy read and the scenes had a graphic quality about them, like you could actually picture it in your heads....

Oh the ending is making me want to know what is going to happen next.

"An Interesting twist up our togas" 
Genre :      Young Adult, Mythology

My Copy:      Courtesy of author

Publisher: Backlit Fiction

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

CEDAR FORT BOOK TOUR STOP: Marian's Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly

Hey very excited to host my first tour for a regency romance genre. A book that I instantly fell in love with. I would definitely suggest you all read Marian's Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly because its lovable and so surreal. Go for it you all!


Miss Marian Wynswich is a rather unconventional young lady. She plays chess, reads Greek, and is as educated as any young man. And she s certain falling in love is a ridiculous endeavor and vows never to do such a thing. But everything changes when she receives a Christmas visit from someone unexpected--- a young and handsome English lord.


Although Carla Kelly is well known among her readers as a writer of Regency romance, her main interest (and first writing success) is Western American fiction—more specifically, writing about America's Indian Wars. Although she had sold some of her work before, it was not until Carla began work in the National Park Service as a ranger/historian at Fort Laramie National Historic Site did she get serious about her writing career. (Or as she would be the first to admit, as serious as it gets.)

Carla wrote a series of what she now refers to as the "Fort Laramie stories," which are tales of the men, women and children of the Indian Wars era in Western history. Two of her stories, A Season for Heroes and Kathleen Flaherty's Long Winter, earned her Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America. She was the second woman to earn two Spurs from WWA (which, as everyone knows, is all you need to ride a horse). Her entire Indian Wars collection was published in 2003 as Here's to the Ladies: Stories of the Frontier Army. It remains her favorite work.

The mother of five children, Carla has always allowed her kids to earn their keep by appearing in her Regencies, most notably Marian's Christmas Wish, which is peopled by all kinds of relatives. Grown now, the Kelly kids are scattered here and there across the U.S. They continue to provide feedback, furnish fodder for stories and make frantic phone calls home during the holidays for recipes. (Carla Kelly is some cook.)

Carla's husband, Martin, is Director of Theatre at Valley City State University, in Valley City, North Dakota. Carla is currently overworked as a staff writer at the local daily newspaper. She also writes a weekly, award-winning column, "Prairie Lite."

Carla only started writing Regencies because of her interest in the Napoleonic Wars, which figures in many of her Regency novels and short stories. She specializes in writing about warfare at sea, and about the ordinary people of the British Isles who were, let's face it, far more numerous than lords and ladies.

Hobbies? She likes to crochet afghans, and read British crime fiction and history, principally military history. She's never happier than talking about the fur trade or Indian Wars with Park Service cronies. Her most recent gig with the National Park Service was at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site on the Montana/North Dakota border.

Here's another side to this somewhat prosaic woman: She recently edited the fur trade journal of Swiss artist Rudolf F. Kurz (the 1851-1852 portion), and is gratified now and then to be asked to speak on scholarly subjects. She has also worked for the State Historical Society of North Dakota as a contract researcher. This has taken her to glamorous drudgery in several national archives and military history repositories. Gray archives boxes and old documents make her salivate.

Her mantra for writing comes from the subject of her thesis, Robert Utley, that dean of Indian Wars history. He told her the secret to writing is "to put your ass in the chair and keep it there until you're done." He's right, of course.

Her three favorite fictional works have remained constant through the years, although their rankings tend to shift: War and Peace, The Lawrenceville Stories, and A Town Like Alice. Favorite historical works are One Vast Winter Count, On the Border with Mackenzie and Crossing the Line. Favorite crime fiction authors are Michael Connelly, John Harvey and Peter Robinson.

And that's all she can think of that would interest anyone. Carla Kelly is quite ordinary, except when she is sometimes prevailed upon to sing a scurrilous song about lumberjacks, or warble "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in Latin.

Exclusive Interview With Carla Kelly

Q. Tell us something about yourself.
I’m 64 years old, with five children, one husband. I live in Wellington, Utah, a small town in Carbon County, Utah. My husband retired there in 2009 after teaching theatre in a state university in North Dakota. We like the wide-open spaces. I’d rather live back in eastern Wyoming, where Borrowed Light is set, but you can’t have everything. I am a Navy brat, daughter of a naval officer who took us willingly to interesting places in the U.S. and the world. I have a degree in history from BYU, and an MA in the same from University of Louisiana-Monroe. I’ve been variously a PR person at a major hospital, and a hospice; park ranger in the National Park Service; contract researcher for State Historical Society of North Dakota; report and columnist at a daily newspaper; teacher of journalism and history on the college level. All the time I did the above, I was writing novels, too. I keep busy.

Q: It is often said that if you can write a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is and what have you written that either proves or disproves this POV? 
There’s a lot of truth to this, I believe. In many ways, a short story is a novel in miniature, with all the elements of a novel except length. Therefore, every word must be telling and informative. I started out in short stories, and still write them. Short stories require writerly discipline. Once mastered, it’s a valuable skill.

Q: How to you research for a book before you begin the writing process?
Research is almost the most enjoyable part of writing for me. My background and major interest is history. I’ve been a contract researcher for the North Dakota State Historical Society, and works for a number of years as a ranger-historian in the National Park Service. What I have found is that core research pays off in many books, not just one. I’ve written some 26 novels, and two or three historical works (the footnote stuff). The Regency romances center around a 20-year period in the early 19th century. I like to research by reading about the era, and reading in the era. For example, reading the Naval Chronicles can be dry bones, indeed, but it helps me learn how men at war thought. Valuable.

Q: What is the best part of writing for you?
I enjoy the whole, trying process. There’s a certain rhythm that develops, and that comes from consistent writing.

Q: Did you always have in mind to be a writer or it just happened?
I think it just happened. I’ve always been a reader and an observer. A background in history (2 degrees) tends to provide a global outlook, which serves a writer well. I started writing and selling short stories first, and did well (two Spur Awards from Western Writers of America). That kind of modest success builds confidence. I write novels because I can, not because it’s particularly easy. Two Rita Awards for Best Regency of the Year from Romance Writers of America typecast me, to a huge extent.

Q: How would you describe your book in a sentence? 
With great difficulty! It’s a story of family love, and the willingness to include others in that love, whether they think they need it or not.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
The charming, eccentric Wynswiches of Devon are facing their last Christmas together before the family estate is sold to pay off debts accumulated by the late head of the family. The only way to stave off ruin is for one of the two daughters to marry well, and soon. The older daughter is pining for Sam, the poor-as-a-church-mouse vicar. The younger daughter, Marian, has decided that she’s too sensible to ever get married. Enter Gilbert Collinwood, Lord Ingraham, a marquis with diplomacy on his mind. He’d like to change her mind about marriage. Before the novel ends, two of the characters are on the road to maturity. The third will change his life to fit his love.

Q: What were your inspirations behind “Marian’s Christmas Wish”?
I start each book with the idea: “What if this (or that) were to happen? What would it mean?” I wrote several Christmas short stories for Signet, and wanted to try my hand at a Christmas novel. Ever the observer, I saw my three daughters as Ariadne and Marian: wise one moment, childlike another, on the brink of womanhood.

Q: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? ie Do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your idea's develop as you write? 
I outline extensively. First I write what I think will happen, from beginning to end. I describe my characters. I over-outline each chapter, which means I always have material to keep me going to the next chapter and so on. Does the idea change? Of course.

Q: What is your guiltiest pleasure that few know about?
I like popping those little plastic pillowy things that surround delicate objects. I also love cowboy songs; “The Santa Fe Trail” and “Leaving Cheyenne” are two favorites. I always sing “Leaving Cheyenne when I, well, leave Cheyenne. (My Wyoming roots are pretty deep.)

Q: In your opinion, what are the best and worst aspects of writing for a living? 
The pay is uncertain, and not as much as you might think. The market changes. A person can get stuck in one genre. I discovered, to my chagrin, that I’ve been typecast as a Regency romance writer. Thankfully, that is beginning to change. The best aspect is that I am successfully doing something that so many people seem to think they want to do. It’s hard and it’s solitary work, which suits me.

Q: How similar to its principle protagonist and the main cast are you? 
I’m really not much like Marian. However, a fellow writer once told me that she likes my heroines because they’re like me: humorous, practical and usually self-reliant. She was right.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?
My escape reading is really good crime fiction: Michael Connelly, Peter Robinson, Robert Crais and Philip Kerr. I have three favorite novels: War and Peace, A Town Like Alice, and The Lawrenceville Stories.

-Your favourite band/singer?
Michael Martin Murphey and Ian Tyson, cowboy singers

-Twitter or Facebook?
Neither. What a royal waste of time for a writer. I have a facebook page I look at occasionally. I have a blog that I usually write in:

-Favourite place in the world?
It varies. I love southwest England. I love even more that area around Choteau and Augusta, Montana, where the Front Range of the Rockies holds forth in all its majesty. I’m fond of Chama Valley in New Mexico, and am working on a novel set there in 1725.

-Last movie you watched at the cinema? 
Oh, gee. It may have been Contagion. Scared the willies out of me.

-The last book you’ve read?
I’m currently reading Erik Larson’s In the Garden of the Beasts, about the rise of Hitler to the Chancellorship of Germany and America’s general cluelessness. Fiction-wise, I’m reading Maud Hart Lovelace’s lovely Emily of New Moon.

-Have you ever googled yourself?
Of course. I go on for many pages.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?
I’ve done what I wanted to do: university adjunct professor in history, NPS ranger, researcher, newspaper columnist and feature writer, medical writer, editor.

-And last one....print or ebooks? 
Both. The book is a marvelous piece of technology that has held up for centuries and will continue to. Ebook is growing because it is convenient. When I do research, I still want the book, that I can mark in, etc.

Q: The cover of the book is really awesome. Did you have any inputs in it? 
Not too much. The first Marian had brown hair, and that had to be changed, because her hair is black. I think her eyebrows stayed brown, but that mere nitpickery. I have a lot of confidence in the art department at Cedar Fort.

Q: If this book is picked to be turned into a movie (I’m hoping they would) and if you are consulted for casting choices, then who would you cast as Marian, Lady Wynswich, Ariadne, Percy, Alistair, Reverend Beddoe, Lord Ingraham, Lady Ingraham and Sir William? 
I have no idea. Never thought about it. Other readers have told me that they can already cast Borrowed Light. Ahem, wouldn’t I like to write Hugh Jackman and Rupert Sewell into a book!


Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing? 
Well, don’t quit your day job. Don’t waste too much time in critique groups and writer websites. That takes time away from writing. Put your happy a** in that chair and leave it there until you’ve written what you want to for the day. Also, don’t use the word “very.” It’s a stupid word.

You should probably be aware that Marian’s Christmas Wish was first published in 1989 by Signet, a division of Penguin/Putnam. When I left Signet and started writing for Harlequin, I took my book rights with me. Cedar Fort is going to be publishing some of these as ebooks alone, and also softbacks on some. Signet is also going to be republishing some other of those earlier Regencies as ebooks. And I’ve just contracted with a company to publish my first, now-hard-to-find book as ebook. The ebook business is leading to crazy times in the book world.


The plot has an episodic feel to it and the best part as I had already stated are the interactions between Gil and Marian. They recognize an affinity between them immediately, quickly become comfortable allies, and progress to love. Marian, a good heart, though gets into much trouble with her loose tongue and sharp mind. Gil on the other hand is rather secretive himself yet very kind and has a particularly attachment to Marian, despite the 12 year age gap. And although this episodic saga has too many threads and wires weaving through it but at the end it all meets at a comfortable convergence, a perfectly sweet ending to an amazing read.

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