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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Into Reading 2011

Hi, everyone!


The cooler temperatures and the yellow and red foliage are definite signs that summer is gone! I can't complain because we had a very hot and dry summer, and I am actually pleased about the cooler temperatures (although it was still 25 degrees Celsius yesterday!). I love this time of year!!

Callapidder Days is hosting the Fall Into Reading 2011 Challenge, a new one that I have signed-up for!

If you want to join the challenge as well, here are the details:
  • Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this fall. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like.
  • Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to this post at Callapidder Days' blog.
  • Get reading! The challenge goes from September 23rd through December 21st.
  • Check out other participants’ lists and add to your own to-read-someday pile, if you wish!
  • Write a post about your challenge experience in December, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how Fall Into Reading went for you. But remember: this is a low-pressure challenge that should be fun. As long as you do some reading this fall (and enjoy it!), that’s good enough for me.
For more information about Fall Into Reading 2010, check out these previous posts:
Note: There is NO limit to when people can sign up to participate in Fall Into Reading 2011. You’re welcome to join in any time between now and December! The “deadlines” mentioned in the prize/giveaways post are only for prize eligibility.

If you want to join me in the challenge, click the Fall Into Reading 2011 Challenge button at the beginning of this post!

I have a ton of books for review to get through, and I hope to also get some books in that are "just for me" as well! The books that I hope to read this Fall include:
  1. Ushers, Inc. by Rusty Fischer
  2. Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward (Book #7 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
  3. Blood's Voice by Áine P. Massie (Book #1 of the House Millar Series)
  4. The Santa Club by Kelly Moss
  5. Lover Mine by J.R. Ward (Book #8 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
  6. Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward (Book #9 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
  7. Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe (Book #2 of the Royal House of Shadows Series)
  8. Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen (Book #3 of the Royal House of Shadows Series)
  9. The Black Witch by Michael Rivers
  10. Forbidden Temptation of a Vampire: Sidhi Summer Camp Series by Jodie B. Cooper
  11. Loose Gravel by David Holmes
  12. Candy and Cigarettes by CS DeWildt
  13. The Witches Lottery by Krystal McLaughlin
  14. A Dragon Forsaken by Krystal McLaughlin
  15. Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  16. Fangs For Nothing by Adrianne Ambrose
  17. In My Dreams by Cameo Renae
  18. Progeny by R.T. Kaelin
  19. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask by Darlene Foster
  20. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
  21. The Siesta And The Midnight Sun by Jessa Gamble
  22. Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
  23. The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz
  24. Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story by J.R. Ward
  25. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  26. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  27. Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
  28. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  29. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  30. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Book #1 of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Series)
  31. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (Book #2 of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Series)
  32. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Book #3 of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Series)
  33. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  34. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  35. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Author interview with Stuart Gustafson, author of Missing in Mexico

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Stuart Gustafson's Missing In Mexico Virtual Book Tour sponsored by Partners in Crime Tours.

About Stuart:

Stuart Gustafson began writing in earnest after taking early retirement from the corporate world in 2007. His professional life involved travel and so it was natural for him to want to continue traveling once he didn't have to travel as a job. Now when he travels, it's for fun; it's for pleasure; it's to see new places in the world. The way he has chosen to combine his love of travel and writing is to write mystery novels set in exciting locations around the world where he likes to go.

His debut mystery novel Missing in Mexico is set in San Jose del Cabo at the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, a charming location where he has spent 2-6 weeks each year for the past eight years. This is how Stuart researches his books, by immersing himself into the culture of the area, and getting to know the people and their charm. The best compliment Stuart has received was at a local event in San Jose del Cabo and some of the residents told him that Missing in Mexico was indeed about their town and would he please consider writing another book about San Jose or at least about Cabo.

His second mystery novel, set in Sydney, NSW, Australia, is already underway, and Stuart took five trips to Sydney in 2010 to conduct research of the area to once again ensure that the book, even though it's a fictional mystery novel, would still contain authentic details. Publication date for that book is set for early 2012.

Stuart has been married for thirty-seven years to Darlene and they have one daughter and one son. Stuart and Darlene live in Boise, Idaho.

Connect With Stuart:
Website 
Facebook
Twitter


Author Interview:

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Stuart!

How did you pick the genre you write in?

I’ve always loved to travel; we traveled as a family, and I did a lot of it when I was in the corporate environment.  I knew that I still wanted to travel when I retired a few years back and I also wanted to write. So the idea of writing fictional mysteries set in wonderful places where we like to travel to just seemed like a natural way for me to combine writing and travel.


Was there something else besides travel that drew you to the subject of Missing in Mexico? 

Yes; we’ve been vacationing in Los Cabos, Mexico, for 8 years, and the people there have always made us feel so welcome.  Once I knew I was going to write a mystery novel, I knew it had to incorporate the charm, the culture, and the warmth of the marvelous people of that area. The book also had to pull the reader into the town of San José del Cabo and let him or her get the feel of the town, to be able to walk around in it.


I see a common thread of travel; tell me more about it. 

I’ve flown over 1,000,000 miles to 30 different countries, and I do have the US Registered Trademark of America’s International Travel Expert®. So, yes, I love to travel. I also enjoy sharing any travel information that I know with other people. They just have to ask.  Writing the mystery novels set in exciting locations is one of the ways I have found to share my love of travel.


Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

The quick summary is that I first plot it out and then I let it flow from there. Here is how it goes:

  • The true genesis of the book is that I decide where I want to spend a lot of time researching. I want the reader to feel as if the book’s setting is authentic and so I do spend a lot of time in the area. We’d already been going to Los Cabos each year since 2003, spending an average of six weeks per year there. I know the area quite well, and I talked with a lot people, gathered a lot of materials, and felt that I had enough research.
  • After I have the location for the primary setting, I write out the story plot chapter by chapter. Each chapter synopsis can be one sentence or it can be a long paragraph – just enough so I know how the story progresses through that chapter.
  • Once I start writing, I start at chapter one with its synopsis and I start writing at the computer; here is where it becomes “by the seat of my pants.” I don’t know how a given chapter is going to progress when I start it, which means that I don’t have any pre-conceived notion what the next chapter will actually be – just its synopsis.
  • I just keep doing this, chapter by chapter, until the book is completed. This process invariably leads to many changes along the way as my brain develops new twists and turns that add to the mystery.

Are you working on a next book and, if so, what can you tell us about it? 

Yes, I am working a next mystery novel set in Sydney, Australia. In keeping with my pledge to make the story and its settings as authentic as possible, I visited Sydney five times last year to conduct research. It is an exciting city, and I think I discovered something about the Sydney Harbour Bridge that not many people know about – and it’s something that they certainly don’t publicize. Hmmm, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what that is.


You’ve made us curious now – when will that book be out? And is there another after that in the works? 

I’m not committing to a release date for the Sydney book right yet, but it’s probably early 2012. I’m thinking that the book after that needs to be set in Florence, Italy, a place loved by the Renaissance painters.


I see more research trips in the future for you. How can readers keep up with you, your travels, and your books? 

Jumping on the airplanes alongside my wife and me might be a little inconvenient, so the next best thing would be to sign up for my no-charge e-newsletter that’s on the book’s website at www.MissingInMexico.com.

Stuart, if you ever need someone to help you do "research", you know where to reach me! I will clear my calendar to help you do research in Sydney and Florence, anytime! :)


If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

Once they pick up a mystery and start to read it, what does it have to have for them to keep reading it to the very last page, to the very last word? 

Interesting question, Stuart! For me, I need to be able to connect with the characters. They do not have to be infallible - actually, the characters are more believable if we do see their flaws. I like to see layers in their personality, the more complex the better - what makes them tick, their Achilles' heel, that sort of thing. Even if the storyline is lacking, I will keep reading the book if I find the character interesting. 


Which authors today do you like to read, and why? 

I like to read the young authors, and by that I mean the ones like me who are writing their first or second or third novels and who are really open to feedback from readers, bloggers, and reviewers. I don’t think I can learn anything from reading one more novel by Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Barbara Kingsolver, or Stephen King. Sure, they’re wildly successful, but it’s not a success that you can imitate or copy. So I prefer to read the online reviews and blogs of the newer authors, and then read some of their books to see how they advance their plots and storylines.


What do you think are your strengths in terms of your writing?

I know the area very well, and so I’m confident that readers could almost use the book as a guidebook when they visit the area. Now that’s not the purpose of the book, but it was critical that the descriptions of locations be accurate, although some of the places are fictitious.

After all it is a fictional story, even though some people have tried to tell me, “Oh, isn’t that hotel supposed to be the such-and-such Hotel?”


What has been your favorite compliment about the book?

I’ll hope you’ll let me give you three compliments that I’ve received:

  • I’ve heard from many Los Cabos locals (from the former mayor, gallery owners, and residents) who’ve said that the book describes “their town” so well – that was part of what I wanted to do in this book.
  • Jess Todtfeld, Former Producer for ABC, NBC, and FOX said, “The story’s so real I felt like I was right there!”
  • Jimmy DeMesa, M.D. and author said, “Stuart brings ‘Cabo’ to life with his intimate knowledge of the area and his skill in writing. Even if you’re not familiar with Los Cabos, Mexico, Missing in Mexico is a must read if you’re into travel, suspense, and real-life drama – since this riveting story has it all. I couldn’t put it down and I’m sure you’ll be happy you read it!”

Where’s one place that you haven’t visited that you’d like to go to?

Africa is on my list of places to visit (with a notebook and a couple of cameras). I’ve heard so many intriguing stories about the beautiful scenery and the wonderful people there. It might become a book setting, or perhaps it just might be a great month or so of travel. In either case, it sounds like a wonderful place that I must see.


What did you enjoy most about writing Missing in Mexico? 

Seeing the places in my mind as I first wrote the book gave me so much enjoyment. The story line is fictional, but yet the setting is real and so now every time I re-read the book or even certain parts of it, it’s like transporting myself down to San José del Cabo. For example, Chapter 16 is about the Art District, and going through that chapter is like strolling through the Art District during the weekly Art Walk on Thursday Nights.


Your book’s been described as ‘Mystery Tourism’; please describe that for me.

The book is primarily a fictional mystery novel, and I could probably have stopped there. Given that I’ve made the primary setting as authentic as possible while still making it fictional, there is the tourism factor thrown in, such as the Art District chapter that I mentioned earlier. So the combination of those two items makes it a Mystery Tourism novel.


Is the book just an e-book, and where can readers get a copy?

Missing in Mexico is available in soft cover as well as an e-book on the book’s website at www.MissingInMexico.com. I personally autograph each of the print copies before they are mailed out from Boise, Idaho.


Fun Facts: 

Favorite Color? Blue, especially the color of the sky as the day fades to evening.

Dogs or Cats? My wife is allergic to cats, so they’re out. We recently adopted a rescue dog from the humane society, and she’s fitting in quite well into our busy lifestyle.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream? Vanilla, of course! I used to own a Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlour, and I made the ice cream five days a week. A good vanilla is the true test of good ice cream; anything else can just mask the real flavor.

Beer or wine? Wine, or a nice single-malt Scotch.

City or Country? I’m more of a city person; I like access to a variety of ethnic restaurants, art, music, and, of course, airports.

An ideal all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world would be to… board the ms Amsterdam on January 5, 2013, in Fort Lauderdale for its 115-day Grand World Voyage as we settle into our Deluxe Verandah Suite.


Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your tour, Stuart! It was a lot of fun getting to know you better!

To read my review of Missing in Mexico, click HERE.

About Missing in Mexico:
 
 
Title: Missing in Mexico
Author: Stuart Gustafson
Publisher: AITE Publishing
Published: May 2011
Genre: Mystery Tourism 

Synopsis:

Sarah Johnson is a 19-year college freshman who, along with her roommate Mary, spent an extra week in Los Cabos, Mexico after a family vacation over the Christmas break. Unexpectedly, Sarah's not on the plane back to Seattle, and her parents hire Stan, a seasoned Private Investigator, to locate her. Even with local help and some promising leads in the town of San Jose del Cabo, he's unable to find her, and he returns to Seattle to inform the parents. Months later he receives a mysterious letter from someone who says she can help him locate Sarah, and he jumps on the next plane to Los Cabos. Will this be the lucky break he needs to find her? Or will she remain missing -- Missing in Mexico? 

Excerpt:




Chapter One/Uno

Flight # 1476 from Los Cabos to Seattle

Saturday, January 5th

     The voice over the intercom system announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we trust you had a good time in Los Cabos, but it’s now time for us to take you back to the States. The cabin doors have been closed, and Alaska Airlines flight 1476 with nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma is ready for departure.”
     “Hey, wait. Sarah’s not here; we can’t leave without her,” the girl in seat 14A yelled in a frightened voice. Mary reached up and pushed the flight attendant call button even as the flight attendant was already headed toward her seat. “We can’t leave yet; Sarah’s still down there,” Mary continued, now reaching the point of hysteria.
     “Please calm down, miss. Everyone’s already onboard. You can look for yourself,” the flight attendant said in a calm voice as she pointed to the window.
     “What do you mean everyone’s onboard? Sarah’s not here; she should be sitting right here!” Mary pulled her tearing eyes away from the empty seat and looked out and saw that the boarding ramps had been pulled away from the airplane, but what she didn’t see scared her. How come Sarah’s not out there, running in a panic toward the plane? “Where’s Sarah? She was just there with me. Where is she? Don’t leave; Sarah’s missing!” Mary cried out as tears began flowing down her cheeks.
     The annoyed passengers felt a jolt as the plane was being pushed back. They were ready for their flight home from Los Cabos. But Sarah wasn’t on board; she’s missing – Missing in Mexico.

familia (fă·mĭl’·ē·ă) – family. Hay cuatro personas en mi familia. There are four persons in my family.


Tour Participants:

August 1-Review@Tammy's Book Parlor
August 4-Review@A Good Day To Read
August 5-Spotlight@Suspense By Anne
August 8-Guest Post@Tribute Books Reviews
August 11-Interview@Chris Redding, Author
August 15-Interview@Blog Talk Radio's G-Zone (11am)
August 16-Guest Post@Words By Webb
August 17-Review@Oodles of Books
August 18-Review@Words by Webb
August 19-Guest Post&Review@The Book Shelf
August 22-Interview, Guest Post&Review@Joel M. Andre, Author
August 23-Review@Coffee and a Keyboard
August 24-Review@Let's Book It
August 25-Review@Reviews By Molly
August 26-Review@From The TBR Pile
August 29-Review@Stuff&Nonsense
August 30-Interview@Beyond The Books
August 31-Review@Cami Checketts
September 1-Review@The Musings Of A Book Addict
September 2-Review@Gelati's Scoop 
September 5-Review@Kritters Ramblings 
September 6-Review@Romancing The Book (Valerie)
September 7-Guest Post@The Top Shelf
September 8-Review@Rhode's Review
September 9-Interview@Stuff@Nonsense
September 12-Review@Lady Lit Reviews
September 13-Review@The Top Shelf
September 14-Review@The World According to Dave
September 15-Review&Guest Post@ Legacy of a Writer
 September 16-Interview@Coffee and a Keyboard
September 19-Review@Reading, Reading, & Life
September 20-Review@Sweeping Me
September 21-Interview@Book Marketing Buzz
September 21-Review@GenreWench
September 22-Review@Terri Forehand
September 23-Guest Post@The Book Faery Reviews
September 26-Interview@Rhodes Review
September 27-Interview@CelticLady's Reviews
September 28-Review@CelticLady's Reviews
September 29-Review&Interview@Darlene's Book Nook
September 30-Review@Books, Products & More


BOOK REVIEW: Missing in Mexico by Stuart Gustafson


TITLE: Missing in Mexico
AUTHOR: Stuart Gustafson
PUBLISHER: AITE Publishing
DATE OF PUBLICATION: May 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 271 pages
GENRE: Mystery Tourism
ISBN: 978-0977172726

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:

"Missing in Mexico" is Stuart Gustafson's debut mystery tourism novel. Private Investigator Stan W. is hired to find a college freshman who’s missing after a family vacation in Los Cabos, Mexico. Even with local help and some promising leads, he’s unable to find her and returns home to inform the hurting parents. Months later he receives a mysterious letter and jumps on the next plane to Los Cabos. Will this be the break that he needs to find her? Or will she remain missing – Missing in Mexico?

As America’s International Travel Expert™, Stuart Gustafson has flown over 1,000,000 miles to 27 different countries. Come travel with him and learn some of the language as he takes you to the most southern point on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula – Los Cabos. Be careful, though, as you might get hooked on the travel, the intriguing story, and the charm of the places where he takes you! And if you like it there, you might want to book your next vacation in Los Cabos – where he spends several weeks each year.

“You express your feelings with great initiative and very truthful statements. It gives us a chance to let our future tourists know what and how they will enjoy their vacation. Not only will they learn how beautiful San José del Cabo is, but how the people will help them during their stay.”
Réne Nuñez Cosio,
Mayor of Los Cabos

“The story’s so real I felt like I was right there!”
Jess Todtfeld,
Former Producer for ABC, NBC, and FOX

MY REVIEW:

I received this book for review from the author as part of his virtual book tour. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

Sarah Johnson, a 19 year-old college freshman, is vacationing with her parents and best friend (Mary) in Los Cabos, Mexico. Her parents return to the United States, but Sarah and Mary stay behind for another week to enjoy some time alone before they return to college. Sarah and Mary are getting ready to board the plane to return, but Sarah turns back and tells Mary that has to go back into one of the stores to get something for her parents. Sarah never does return to the plane, and the flight returns to America without her.

Stan Walkorski is a Private Investigator, who is hired by Robert and Tina Johnson (Sarah's parents) to find Sarah. He is a pretty likeable character, and it is evident that he cares about the cases he works on. He flies to Los Cabos to try to pick up Sarah's trail.

Gustafson does a fantastic job describing Los Cabos in vivid detail. As I was reading, I could picture each scene in my mind. There were times, however, that I felt that there was too much time spent on extraneous details not integral to the story. For example, there was a lot of time spent on describing the Art District, and I felt like I was reading a Fodor's Travel Guide!

Overall, I did enjoy the story but I felt the pace of the story was a little bit slow. There were also a few things that I didn't find believable. Firstly, what kind of a best friend is Mary to leave Los Cabos without Sarah? If I had been on that plane, I would have either ensured that the plane did not take off or I would have gotten off to remain in Los Cabos to look for my friend. There also was a point in the story when Sarah's parents were getting ready to head out for dinner and the phone rang, and Robert told Tina not to pick it up. My first question was also Tina's: What if it is Sarah calling? Robert's response was that Sarah wouldn't be calling on a Friday night because she knows that is the night they go out for dinner. I'm a mom, and I have a hard time buying that a mother wouldn't be frantic with worry over her missing child and not rush to answer the phone every time it rang! And Robert's response did not make any sense to me. If your child is missing and in trouble, he or she may not care or even realize that it is the night her parents go out to dinner!! Towards the end of the book, Stan tries to reach the Johnson residence by phone and there is no answer. If my child was missing and I had a PI on the case, I would have the land line transferred to my cell phone so that I was always reachable 24/7! Lastly, I was quite surprised that Stan not only charmed one lady but two! It seemed unrealistic to me that he was holding hands, hugging, and kissing not just Carmelita but also Sara (not the missing girl - this is a different one) so soon after meeting them. 

My favourite character of all was Carmelita, and I was disappointed that things did not turn out differently for her and Stan. Their relationship seemed to end rather abruptly, and Stan had developed supposedly strong feelings for her but then seemed to move right along to Sara!

I thought that Gustafson did a great job for a debut novel, and I have a feeling that his next novel will be even better!

MY RATING: 3 stars! It was good! I enjoyed it!!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - SILENCE, the third book in Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series

Hi, everyone!

"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" selection is:


TITLE: Silence
SERIES: Hush, Hush - Book #3
AUTHOR: Becca Fitzpatrick
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: October 4, 2011
FORMAT: Hardcover, 438 pages
ISBN: 978-1442426641

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

I actually have not yet had an opportunity to read this paranormal series, although I am very intrigued because it features an angel. It is on my TBR list, and I hope to have a chance to read it soon! 

Whether you are a new or die-hard fan of this series, Simon & Schuster Canada is having an awesome giveaway:


Click on the giveaway image above to enter the sweepstakes at Simon & Schuster Canada.

If you want to have some fun while you are waiting for Silence to be released, go to the "Patch and You" Facebook app

How do Patch & I look?


What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the blog section. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Monday, September 26, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite


TITLE: Lost Souls
AUTHOR: Poppy Z. Brite
NARRATOR: Chris Patton
PUBLISHER: Crossroad Press
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 7, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged - 12 hours, 30 minutes
GENRE: Horror
ASIN:
B004IY3UVU 

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS: 

The novel that defined a generation of young goths and took vampires to a wholly new place...that brought you Chartreuse and Absinthe in ways they had previously never been experienced...brought to life by the amazing voice of Mr. Chris Patton - a self-described child of that very era - and a fan of the novel himself.

Three stylish vampires arrive in New Orleans just in time for Mardi Gras, and then disappear again. While in the city, the group's leader, Zillah, meets and impregnates an adolescent girl. Fifteen years later, the child of that pairing, a boy who calls himself simply "Nothing" is living with adoptive parents in the suburbs, where he – like so many other teens – feels isolated and out of place. The answer is, his father is a vampire, leaving Nothing hovering precariously between worlds. When Nothing runs away from home he meets up with none other than Zillah and his small troupe, Molochai and Twig. Together they go on a quest to seek out Nothing's favorite band, Lost Souls. Nothing is aided along the way by a psychic named Ghost, and their relationship leads to the ultimate inner battle where Nothing must choose between his wild, vampiric heritage, or preserving his humanity to save the life of another. 

MY REVIEW:
I received this audiobook for review from Crossroad Press through Audiobook Jukebox's Solid Gold Reviewer Program. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.
 
I love vampires, and I love audiobooks – so I jumped at the chance to review a vampire audiobook! It was not at all what I expected. 

Lost Souls is about three androgynous bisexual (although mostly homosexual) vampires: Zillah (the leader) and his two sidekicks (Molochai and Twig). They come to New Orleans to party during Mardi Gras and they come across a bar that is owned by a vampire named Christian. There is an underage human girl (Jessy) at the bar, and she winds up having sex with Zillah while Christian has sex with Molochai and Twig. Jessy discovers that she is pregnant long after Zillah and his cronies have left New Orleans. Knowing that human females tend to not survive vampire childbirths, Christian takes Jessy in and has a sexual relationship with her throughout her pregnancy. She does indeed die during childbirth and has a boy whom Christian names “Nothing.” Hoping to spare him of his destiny, Christian leaves Nothing on a doorstep and hopes the couple will love him as their own and that Nothing will never know of his true identity.

The book then jumps ahead 15 years when Nothing is a teenager, and he feels that he is totally misunderstood. He decides to run away and find the singers of a band whom he idolizes, and he hitches rides to the town where they live. He turns some tricks here and there, and then is picked up by Zillah, Molochai, and Twig. The vampire trio first intended to drain him, but instead have sex with him. Yes, that’s right...Zillah has sex with his son, unbeknownst to him.

From here, the book continues on a downward spiral. This was not so much a vampire story, but more a story of getting high, getting drunk, and getting laid. I am a pretty open-minded person, and I wasn’t so much bothered by the M/M and M/M/M and even M/M/M/M action – different strokes for different folks and all that. I am not one to judge, and it takes a lot to shock me. But it did really bother me when Zillah and Nothing hooked up. But wait, it gets worse: They do eventually discover that Zillah is Nothing’s father, but they still continue having a sexual relationship! And Christian even tries to justify it saying that there are so few of their race left and that, if they can make each other happy, why not? Ok, this is disturbing. Christian also eventually has sex with Nothing, which brings on a whole new level of “ewwwwww” since he had sex with Nothing’s mother and is now having sex with her son.

Let's recap: This book contains teenage prostitution, incest, sex with minors (statutory rape), and there was even an incident of rape. There was also another occurrence of incest, this time father/daughter, that I won’t even go into because it was just too offensive.

I did not find this book entertaining. I found it dark and disturbing. It was not at all what I expected, and I will be steering clear of this author in the future!

The narrator, Chris Patton, did a fine job with the book. His voice was clear and expressive, and he was probably what kept me listening despite the book’s content. 

MY RATING: 1 star. I did not enjoy it at all. This was not for me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox - September 25, 2011


I am participating in this weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we share what books we received this week.

I won all 3 e-books in the Haanta Series in a giveaway hosted by Crystal at Reading Between the Wines:
 

Thanks again, Crystal & Michelle! 

I won this e-book in a giveaway hosted by Heather at Earth's Book Nook:

(Finding Anna, Book #1)
by Sherri Hayes
Thanks again, Heather & Sherri!



I won this e-book in a giveaway hosted by Molly at Reviews by Molly: 

Credo's Hope
by Alison Naomi Holt

Thanks again, Molly & Alison!





I won this e-book in a giveaway hosted by Jeanz at JeanzBookReadNReview:

by Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Thanks again, Jeanz & Carol & Tom!





I won these 2 e-books in a giveaway hosted by Heather at Earth's Book Nook:
Thanks again, Heather & Greta!
 I won this e-book in a giveaway hosted by Beckie at Bittersweet Enchantment:

by Ron D. Voigts

Thanks again, Beckie & Ron!





I received this paperback in my "real" mailbox, which I won in a giveaway hosted by Teddy at So Many Books, So Little Time: 

A Catered Affair
by Sue Margolis

Thanks again, Teddy!





I received this paperback in my "real" mailbox, which I won in a giveaway hosted by Kathy at I'm a Reader, Not A Writer:

by Artie Van Why

Thanks again, Kathy & Artie!



I received this paperback in my "real" mailbox, which I won in a giveaway hosted by Maggie at My Little Review Corner: 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark, and Kat Heckenbach

Thanks again, Maggie!




I received this ARC paperback in my "real" mailbox this week, which I won in a giveaway hosted by Stephanie at Libraries and Young Adults: 

Goliath
(Leviathan Trilogy, Book #3)
by Scott Westerfeld

Thanks again, Stephanie!




I received this paperback in my "real" mailbox this week, which I won in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway:

(The Spiritwalker Trilogy, Book #1)
by Kate Elliott

Thank you, Goodreads & Orbit Books (an imprint of Hachette Book Group)!



I received this hardcover in my "real" mailbox this week, which I won in a giveaway hosted by Erika at Badass Book Reviews: 

Fallen
(Fallen, Book #1)
by Lauren Kate

Thanks again, Erika!




And because I simply don't have enough books (evil grin), I couldn't resist these at Costco (I didn't buy these all this week - I actually bought them over the past few weeks). I am totally loving these Omnibus editions because I can buy up the whole series in just three or four volumes:

Forever (#3 of The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series) by Maggie Stiefvater 

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

If you are also participating in the In My Mailbox meme, please leave me the link to your post so that I can drool over all your goodies!

If anyone has read any of these books yet, I would love to hear your thoughts!
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