Friday, December 30, 2011

Natural Selection Release Party!

Elizabeth Sharp just released the second book in her Forces of Nature series, Natural Selection.
Here's a small blurb of what's to come:

"Amelia Hoffman always knew she would be with Nathaniel Peplow forever, but after they bonded everything started to go wrong. Nate treats her like the enemy, her siblings are in danger, and an old threat grows closer. As Nate pulls away and Amelia’s burgeoning friendship with a handsome stranger blossoms, she worries she made the biggest mistake of her life. If sorting out her love life wasn’t enough, a new drug emerges that not only threatens the ones she loves, but seems to be part of something larger than she could ever imagine. Amelia’s new and old friends must work together to not only save themselves, but the whole world."

Oooh sounds good to me! It's now availible on Amazon and Smashwords and very soon will come to Barnes and Noble.

BUT! Elizabeth is throwing a release party to celebrate her new book! So be sure to check out her website to see all the details on how you can win great prizes and even an autographed copy of the book!

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Post: Rachel Thompson

Today, we welcome some honest to goodness heart-warming thoughts from the mind of Rachel Thompson!
1. So, just to clear it out onto the table, I'm a man reading your book about all of the differences between men and women. Does this worry you about the things I'm going to ask?
Okay 1) Mancode question and 2) Not at all. Should it? J Plus, I had over twenty beta-readers and fifteen were men. In addition, my Twitter following is made up of almost 50% men. Bring it, Cory.

2. Having a dear husband at home, does he ever get mad at some of the jabs you make at mancode humor?
Gosh, not at all. One of the reasons I married him was his sense of humor. He’s a smart, funny, secure dude who constantly comes to me with ideas for essays. Or explains to me why men behave in certain ways. He’s my sounding board for much of what I write. Though he did take a pic of me sweeping yesterday. I guess that would be a jab, right?

3. Have you ever found that your best inspiration can come from somewhere outside of your own home? Is there a "guy paradise" where Mancode is on full display?
Actually yes. I write about this in the forward to both of my books. I had several long-term relationships prior to marriage. I have two sisters who are married. My own folks have been together over fifty years. In addition, I worked in very male-dominated industries for over fifteen, well, almost twenty years: retail, commercial sales, and pharmaceutical sales. Almost every manager I’ve ever had was male. 80% of the physicians I called on were male. So I certainly draw from those experiences.

In my world today, I interact daily with hundreds of people, male and female in both a professional and personal capacity. I write of course, but I also cofounded the Indie Book Collective and I have my own social media clients, interestingly 80% of whom are male. As long as they do what I tell them, we all get along fine.  

4. Have you ever had someone react to your writing in a bad way? Someone who gets retaliatory with their responses? Sometimes, people just can't take jokes.
 Yea, constantly. I receive comments on Twitter or Facebook, my blog, or even reviews on Amazon. I look at it this way: I’ve targeted something in them that has created an emotional response, good or bad. That reaction is terrific for me as a writer. They don’t have to like me. They can slam my work. But that reaction makes me happy.

5. Do you think Mancode and Chickspeak will ever become common vernacular? It seems to be the best description I've heard so far.
Thanks so much. Well, Mancode was something I honestly didn’t realize was already out there in various forms: there’s a Christian man’s handbook, there’s a guy from some Bachelor-ish show that wrote a book, and of course if you search the term on Twitter, some bad words I cannot repeat here show up haha. I was just in my own little blog world at the time, doing my thing and that’s what I called it. It just FIT. As I wrote more essays, the term took on a life of its own as people began requesting more Mancode!

Chickspeak is definitely mine. It’s my term for helping out the guys. What “I’m fine” or “I’m tired” really mean.

6. As far as overcoming DNA, is it strictly nature? Or do you think nurture may provide just as much basis? (strictly non-medical opinion, of course).
It’s a combination of both. Here’s why I say that: I have a six-year old son who is a little imp. Does all the typical boy stuff, is fueled by testosterone, and yet still snuggles with me and tells me he wants to marry me one day (I’ll break it to him when he’s a little older J. I watch daily the struggle of nature vs. nuture and I know the beast can be tamed. And trained to change the toilet paper roll.

7. Have you ever heard any complaints about Chickspeak tendencies? (And if you haven't, please ask, I could provide a few.)
Are you a fly on my wall? Yes. The vernacular is strong in this house. He can’t understand why I can’t get to the point and I can’t understand why he doesn’t want the backstory. Classic ‘women are from journey, men are from destination’ issue. I discuss this in Mancode with my theory that women speak in circles because we have breasts, and men speaks in points because you have…

And why he doesn’t know to pick up or keep chocolate in the house at all times…after nineteen years? He’s gonna get THE LOOK. I mean, come on. But he still gives me a hard time for giving him a hard time. So that’s classic right there.

See, we know we’re being silly and complicated. We accept that. Why can’t you?

8. How do you handle when the particularly frustrating portions of Mancode rear their ugly heads? I know men aren't always sensible. Do you have a response/contingency plan?
Yes. Vodka. And complicated Dot-to-Dots.

9. What can readers expect from future forays into your mind? Are there more essay collections on the way?
 Yes, I’m writing Chickspeak: Uncovered right now. After that, it’s a toss up between Chickspeak vs. Mancode or something entirely different…a Kidcode collection; or even a more serious set of essays. I added a few more poignant essays to A Walk In The Snark (a #1 Kindle Bestseller )and many people still contact me asking for more of that side of me. So there are a lot of different directions to go.

10. Why is Mancode/Chickspeak a source of such inspiration for you? Is it something you've (unofficially) "studied" all of your life? Or is it something that just kind of happened while you were writing?
I started as a psychology major in college before switching to Communication Studies and Journalism. One of the Comm classes was about male/female communication. So I suppose it started with that field of study – combining the psychology of how both sexes think with how we communicate with each other has always fascinated me. I’m constantly looking for explanations for behaviors, whether they’re male or female; but it’s that interplay between us that is most interesting.

People get frustrated with me for stereotyping (part of why I titled one section in Mancode:Exposed ‘DNA and Stereotypes’ – to discuss it head on), but as a group, we’re not very original in our actions from a communications point of view—male or female. My husband teaches communications skills to sales corporations (his program is based on Harvard studies blah blah) and each of us falls into one of four categories. How we communicate (now I’m not talking behavior here) is not rocket science. We are a fairly predictable species.

Not all men are incapable of changing the toilet paper roll. Not all women love chocolate and get upset when there isn’t any to be found anywhere in the whole house cause she’s PMSing and OMG where is that husband of hers cause she’s gonna wring his neck! Those are behaviors.

So long answer: yes, I’ve studied it but I’m not an expert and in no way make a claim to be. I’m no ologist, as I say in the book. I’m just a girl, asking the world to drink martinis with her. And hopefully laugh.

Thanks Rachel for stopping by The Ink Puddle! That was quite possibly one of my favorite interviews I've ever hosted.
If you're interested in our review in The Mancode: Exposed, click here.

Review: Mancode: Exposed by Rachel Thompson

"I have this theory, based on too many martinis one night,
that women speak in circles and men speak in points."
This line, more than any other, describes the experience of reading Mancode: Exposed, by Rachel Thompson. Blogger by day, essay compilist (word?) by night, Rachel has written a book that captures the real meaning of "men from Mars, women from Venus" and everything in between. This book is more a collection of essays highlighting the often humorous differences between males and females, and not just the physical ones. (Although, if that's what you really want, there's some of that in there too.) 

To be completely honest, I went into this book semi-skeptical. I offered to read and review it simply because I was interested in the source material, hoping to be incredibly offended and capable of lashing back. (What? I'm a male-feminist, or something like that.) But I was very surprised to find that, not only are most of Rachel's insight hilarious to read, most are almost completely true. As my significant other can attest, I shoved more than a few passages under her nose saying "here, read this!" while cackling wildly.  

My sincerest apologies if that was too much information. But I genuinely can't stress enough how wonderful a book like this in our current times. Mancode is a book I can see myself going back to on a crappy day, just for a laugh. Or bringing up in conversation (which I already have done) just to prove a point. As a matter of fact, I proved one of her points for her the other night! (See, it's all truth).

My surprise at the readability of this book was only outdone by my overall sadness at how short it ended up being. See, Mancode is one of those books that you get hooked on as you read, and you don't fully realize it until you turn the last page, and there's no more. It's a lighthearted, fun poke with a stick at what makes men and women tick, and the odd idiosyncrasies that still make us stay together.

Being a man, I can only hope you understand my sincerity when I say this book deserves:

If you'd like to see my super-hilarious interview with Rachel, click here.

Rachel's bio, from a project she co-founded, the Indie Book Collective:
"I usually write about men (The Mancode), marriage, kids, being a mom, living in the OC (ya know--being a pale redhead living in a sea of blondes) and vodka. Not necessarily in that order depending on the day. If you want to learn how to find humor in everyday life, well, I'm really not your girl either. Mostly I just laugh at stuff and make up words (See "Refrigeratoritis and Manesia.") Yet somehow it all seems to work."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

See You in 2012!

Hello everyone,
For the holidays The Ink Puddle will be taking a week hiatus. I should have announced this in our Merry Christmas post on Sunday, but for some reason I forgot to include it on there. We'll have a post or two but not our usual daily chinwag. We will be back for sure next week with all kinds of new things in store!

We hope everyone had a great Christmas, and has a wonderful New Year. Be safe, and we will see you guys in 2012! :)

J, M & C

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

All of us at The Ink Puddle wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
I hope each and every one of you are able to spend this day with your loved ones and just take a second and remember why we have this day at all. Because although the presents are wonderful, there's so much more to this holiday than Santa and Reindeer. :)

Thank you for all of your support each and everyone of you bring to this blog, you're the reason we keep posting.
Joey, Meg and Cory

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weekend Roundup (12/19-12/23)

Good Morning!
Here's what you may have missed at The Ink Puddle this week!

Monday: Review: Chosen by P.C. and Kristen Cast
Tuesday: Guest Post: John Garrett, HarperCollins Sale!
Wednesday: Nook Color Update
Friday: Review: The Last Rising by Rachel Firasek, Interview: Rachel Firasek

Unfortunately, we didn't get one picture in for our Ugly Christmas Sweater contest so, of course, we have no winners. I'm pretty bummed about this but there's always next year!

Something new we're going to begin doing is Amazon Associates. This is a program that Amazon has that if we advertise a book or any item purchasable on Amazon's website, and you decide to go through our blog to buy that item (by clicking on our link), we will recieve a small profit. A VERY small profit, like hardly anything at all but still. What I promise you guys is that any penny I make from that or AdSense, will go right back into this blog. Because although Blogger is free, everything else really isn't such as giveaways for instance. So I encourage you that if you're going to buy a book we've talked about or reviewed, click on our link to purchase it. In the end, it's coming straight back to all of you. I just don't want anyone feeling like we're taking advantage of them because that's not the intention at all.
I will setting this up fully within the next week.

So does anyone have any big Christmas plans? We'd love to hear about them!

Merry Christmas Eve everybody,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Feature Friday: Rachel Firasek


Today, I'm pumped to say that we have Rachel Firasek with us!
Everyone please welcome Rachel...
Hey Rachel! I’m so glad you’re stopping by The Ink Puddle. Can you start off by telling us a little about yourself?

Thank you for having me! About me....hmmm...I'm an author, mother, wife, sister, daughter, shephard, friend, office manager, chameleon, and a master of wearing hats. I live in a busy world of chaos and courtesy. :) It's a fun life!

What’s your writing process for creating a novel? (For instance, do you use an outline or do you just wing it?)

I'm mostly a total pantser---something I've been trying to break. Recently, I've found a plan that works pretty good for keeping me on track. I've began mapping the basic story line and using it as a guide for my pantsing.

What is the premise behind your Curse of the Phoenix series?

Three women with troubled pasts are turned into Phoenixes by Osiris, god of the Underworld. They'll pay penance for past sins until he deems them worthy of the return of their mortality. As part of their penance, they must die for a worthy soul--over and over again.

I love how each of your books covered one specific story and character’s life. Do you have a favorite character from your story?

Sadie, is really special to me--she's the fiery phoenix. She's in the third book: The Last Beginning which will come out in January. Ari was easiest to love. And Ice was my challenge.

When and where do you do your best writing?

I have a small wooden desk that my husband's older brother built at the age of 12. It's old, a little rough around the edges, but sturdy--kind of like me--if you call 34 old. :) The desk is tucked into what used to be my breakfast nook and has the best view in the house.

Now, let’s go for some fun questions…
What’s your favorite part about Christmas time?

Oh, I'm not a big Christmas fan, but their is a tradition that I love. I adore going to look at lights. Since my kids are older and my hubs is not so crazy about the tradition, I usually have to do it on my own after work.

Best TV show of the year?

True Blood of course--even if most of the season was suckish. :) I'm a vampy girl.

If you could go back to your 21 year old self and tell her anything, what would you tell her?

Wow, I'd already done most of the damage. It would probably be: don't wait until your kidlets are older to write. They won't remember the sacrifice and won't care when they're teens. (that's a totally selfish thought. lol.)

Any New Years resolutions?

I set goals not resolutions. So, my goal next year is to write: 2 novels, 3 novellas, 4 shorts and to find a rhythm with my blog.

If you could have any superhero ability in the world, what would you choose to have?

I want to fly. I dream about flying all the time and it's way cool in my dreams. No-not superman flying, I look like a ballerina walking on clouds. (in my dreams)

And of course, what can we be expecting next from you?

I have a contemporary novella that I'd like to revamp and get out. Oh, and I have two YA novels in mind this year. Of course, I'll have to come up with a new PR series. I can't go without my taste of dark wrapped in.

Thank you so much for having me on today!!!

Thank YOU Rachel! I hope you guys enjoyed the interview and I really hope you read these books. And did we mention how gorgeous those covers are? Simply breathtaking! To see our review of The Last Rising, the first book in the Curse of the Phoenix series, click here.

Review: The Last Rising by Rachel Firasek

After paying two millennia’s penance to Osiris, world-weary Phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great…or that she’ll end up back in his life for her next assignment.

Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she’s the one—but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.”

The Last Rising begins on an airplane that leads to a fiery crash where both Ice and Turner are on board. So sick and tired of Osiris’ “game”, Ice is wearing thin and giving up on hope as she takes her last breath (again). When her next mission brings her right back into Turner’s life, she finds herself feeling confused with feelings she forgot were even possible. This story fluctuates from Ice’s point of view back to that of Turner’s, each exploring and revealing every thought, feeling and hesitation they experience.

Every character in this book was memorable, especially Brody, Turner's son. It wasn't hard to fall in love with the little one no matter what he was doing. The phoenix clan worked well together, each with a unique personality that didn't overpower the main storyline, but did make way for their stories in the future books.

Did I mention steamy? There are quite a few scenes where Rachel has you guessing and waiting for the real thing to happen, only to keep you guessing for a bit longer. No need to worry though, she eventually gives us what we want.
While I did enjoy this book there are a couple of things I have to note, without reading the summary first, I honestly didn’t know what Ice was or why she was doing kept having to live and relive her life. And I feel like this could have been better explained in the first chapters. Now as the book goes on and you learn more, it eventually answers your questions, but not until quite a bit later.
Overall, The Last Rising was a very fast-paced, novella that will leave you feeling satisfied.

My Rating for this book:

Rachel Firasek grew up in the South, and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairy tales, before she settled on a blending of the two. Today, you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad Eighties dance moves. She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows…

To see our interview with Rachel, click here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wondering on Wednesday: Nook Color Update

For those of you that have a Nook Color, the 1.4 update has been released.  For those of you that still haven’t received your update you can manually update your Nook [here].  The website walks you through step by step.

So, what are the features to this new update?  You can now stream movies and TV shows through Netflix. There are Nook Comics which features all of the Marvel comic books in top condition.  The Page Perfect Nook Books is meant to make the books still look as great as it does in print form.   There is now over new attachments like being able to read your book in portrait or landscape style.

My favorite update was being able to watch Netflix on my Nook, which was the first thing I tested when I updated it.  The videos stream great, the picture looks good, so far I have no complaints about it.  The one thing I was most disappointed about was that, unlike the Nook Tablet, Hulu Plus did not come with the new update like I thought it was supposed to.  Since I watch more new TV shows than old I may have gotten more use out of this feature.

How many Nook Color users out there have gotten there update yet?  Any fans?  Any haters?  Let’s chat about it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HarperCollins Sale!

Thanks to The Bookish Brunette, I found out that HarperCollins Publishers are having some pretty stellar sales on e-books right now.
The following are $0.99 from now until January 30th, 2012:

(Click on the title of the book to go to the Amazon page
Click on the author to go to B&N)

What will you be picking up? I'm pretty sure I'll buy all of them after Christmas. :)

Guest Post: John Garrett

Today we welcome the hilarious John Garrett to The Ink Puddle with Virtual Book Tours...

Hi everyone, my name is John Garrett and I own and operate a website called On my site I create comics, art and web stuff, but recently I've realized that this sort of thing isn't enough for me anymore. There comes a time in every man's life where he finally has to stand up and be counted for something. For some it's patriotism, for others they choose to stand against inequality, to stand against poverty, racism and sexism...

While these are all admirable, and I suppose someone somewhere might benefit from the pursuit of these goals, the truth is they really don't compare to what I choose to stand for. I stand for nothing less than the right of the common person to not be annoyed to all heck by stupid clowns. Especially some stupid clown who's always flapping his gums and jaw-jacking and yet really doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.
Sheesh! Is it really too much to ask? I say NO! No more. No mas.

To that end I've decided to pool all my knowledge of these insidious bottom-feeders of society into a new e-book...a tome of such awesome power and gravity that the entire stupid clown community will tremble in fear!

The title of this epic guidebook is, of course: How to Deal With Stupid Clowns who don’t know what the Hell they’re talking about! It contains comics, artwork and writings from yours truly.

I used to always joke about changing the world with an e-book, but this time it ain’t no joke!! I’ve written a book that has a real shot at solving one of the fundamental problems of society, and Im making it available to all of humanity!

Er...for a low, low price, of course.

This is really happening, people. We’re doing this thing, so who’s with me?? Check out the Stupid Clowns trailer for more info!

Quickly now! To the stupid clown sales page to learn more and get on the mailing list for updates! Free stuff a’beckons!

Get the e-book here!:
How to Deal with Stupid Clowns who don’t know what the Hell they're talking about!

Make sure to tweet/like/smoke signal/use telepathy or whatever method you choose to alert your friends about this. Thank you!

Thanks for reading, and one of you lucky commenters can win a FREE copy of the book. Good luck!

John Garrett is an artist, writer, web designer and all around capital fellow who prefers his food in sandwich form.

You can find him at his website:

Facebook: John Garrett on Facebook

Twitter: John Garrett on Twitter


Thanks John for stopping by!
Alright guys! You heard him. We have a free copy of Mr. Garrett's book for giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment in the space below with your favorite thing about clowns, or your least favorite if you're like me and aren't so sure how to feel about them! Do that and leave me your e-mail address and we will have a winner selected completely at random!

Good luck!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mainstream Monday: Poll

Hi everyone!
This is our second attempt at this post today. M had the idea to ask you what you would like us to review next, and I had the cool idea of putting it into a poll. Unfortunately, when that poll was created and set up, all it did was make our blog layout go all wacky. So until we are able to find a poll that doesn't interfer, we're going to rely on your comments to lead our way!

What book would you like M to review next Mainstream Monday?

Review: Chosen by P.C. and Kristen Cast

Warning: If you haven’t read the first 2 House of Night books, SPOILERS!

“Bloodlust and dark forces are at work at the House of Night…

Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school are about to take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be her friends are turning out to be enemies. And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends. So begins the gripping third installment of this “highly addictive series” (Romantic Times), in which Zoey’s mettle will be tested like never before. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover about the secretive and sinister power that’s turning dead fledglings into bloodsucking monsters must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night, where trust has become a rare commodity..."

Things are cracking down at the Tulsa House of Night.  After Professor Nolan is killed with a note left that seems to lead to the People of Faith Security is upped, leaving the school filled with Son of Erebus hotties.  Although Zoey is dating Erik, the best catch in school, she is still strongly tied to Heath through imprint due to her unusual bloodlust and although she tries to break things off with him, she always comes back to the same thing.  Then there is Loren Blake, the sexy poetry teacher that seems to have a thing for Zoey as well. But boys are the least of Zoey’s problems. With the higher security, Zoey and Aphrodite have to come up with another way to sneak out of school to help Stevie Rae who seems to be lost beyond hope and with Stevie Rae gone from the school, Zoey has to replace Stevie Rae’s position as Earth for the Dark Daughters ceremony and it seems that Aphrodite is the perfect fit, as awful as she might be.  With all these secrets flying around things are bound to fall out and fall apart.  Chosen is the third installment to the House of Night series and is filled with Love, Friendship, Betrayal, and Magic. 

My Rating for this Book:

I truly enjoy reading this particular series.  For me it’s very much vampires meets Harry Potter with a more mature twist.  I was so into this book that for a while I had to quit reading it because I was too nervous about what I thought was going to happen.   I have read this series a few times through now, normally starting over each time a new book comes out so that I’m not missing anything, and one of the things that I particularly like is that it keeps evolving and therefore, although there are nine books, the story doesn’t get old.

The House of Night Series is written by P.C. and Kristen Cast.  P.C. cast has written several series and she has received several awards for them.  Kristin Cast is P.C.’s daughter and has written a few other series herself.  She currently goes to college in Oklahoma, where they both live.  To learn more visit

Has anyone else read this series?  If so, what do you think?  If not, these books are not only enjoyable, but they’re fast reads and you should totally check them out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekend Roundup (12/12-12/16)

Good morning!
Here is what you may have missed this week....

Monday: The Infernal Devices, Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Tuesday: Kindle Fire Issues?
Wednesday: Finding the Deals
Thursday: Christmas Giveaway Reminder
Friday: 2012 Challenges

It's a full week, yet I find myself behind on book reviews. I'm sorry guys, Christmas is throwing me off my game! But, we must be doing something right because we officially have 51 followers!

Mrs. Sara R., one of our amazing followers had the idea of setting up a place that you guys could come and ask us questions if you had any. So, we now have a Formspring widget on the side in yellow. From there, you can ask us anything and we will respond within a day or so! 

We also have a pretty fantastic makeover happening in the next couple of weeks. I contacted Lady Jane Designs and she is creating a layout just for us! I'm stoked and I can't wait to show you guys.

Where are those photos?!
I'm yet to receive any pictures for our ugly sweater contest! Do I need to remind you how awesome this giveaway is? Winner gets a copy of:

Yes, ALL 3 BOOKS! And then runner up gets their choice of a $10.00 gift card to Amazon or B&N.

But I have to have at least 5 people sign up and send in photos to have this contest... so come on everyone! Let's get them in! You only have until Christmas Day! Click here for more details.

So have a great weekend and be sure to spread the word on this contest, and get those pictures in!

Friday, December 16, 2011

2012 Challenges!

M and I have been searching the book blogging world for the past couple of weeks, trying to find the best challenges to take on in 2012. Finally, we found the perfect ones that fit us, and that we think will fit you guys as well! We're giving you the basics here, but if you click on the picture you can go to the website with all of the details.

Host: Chick Loves Lit
Goal: Read 10 Books that are the 2nd Book in a Series .

Host: IceyBooks and I Like These Books
Goal: Read 15 Standalone Books
(Books not apart of a series)

 Host: The Book Celler
Goal: Read 10 Young Adult Fantasy Novels That Come Out in 2012

Total Blog Goal: Read and Review 100 Books in 2012!

So what goals do you have for the new year? Any cool ones you've heard of? Do you plan on joining in on ours? Let us know!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Giveaway Reminder!

Where are those pictures?

And no, I have no idea who those guys are above (I found the picture here), but they are rocking some ugly sweaters. Which is exactly all you have to do to enter our fantastic ugly sweater contest!

1st Place Winner Receives....

Yes! All 3 of these dystopian themed books! In the format of your choice.
As for 2nd place?

A $10.00 giftcard of your choice to either B&N or Amazon!

So get those sweaters out, take a photo and send it to with your permission to post them on this blog. Be sure you tell your friends and family about this giveaway though because if I don't get at least 5 people sending me photos, there won't be a giveaway! You have until 11:59 PM Christmas day to get them in! Don't wait!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wondering on Wednesday: Finding the Deals

Recently I convinced one of my managers at work to let me create a Kindle e-mail group. Through this group I do many things that I do on the blog, plus I give news on the free/ cheap books for the day. So I thought for today I would tell you guys where I find those deals, that way, you can seek them out yourselves since I don't post things too often on here.

1) Kindle on the Cheap
This is a Facebook group that tells you the deals they have found for the day.

2) Free Kindle Books Plus a Few Other Tips
This is a blog found through Amazon. Michael Gallagher runs it and gives all free books. Occasionally he gives a few tips and things as well. He's great, I love this group so much that even when I got my Fire and I'm not using my Kindle 3 as much, I still stay signed up. It's $0.99/ month.

3) Kindle Books for a Buck (or Less)
Another blog provided through Amazon that Michael Gallagher runs. Does exactly what it says. $0.99/ month.

4) Free Kindle Books and How to Find Them
And yet another awesome blog from Michael Gallagher. It's $2.99/ month.

I've been trying to find more ways to figure out where to find these deals, but I just can't find nearly as many Nook sales as I can Kindle. However I did find this on Nook website. [Click me] So bookmark the page because it changes daily.

Also, follow your favorite authors on Facebook/ Twitter. Especially your indie ones because they'll generally let you know deals that they are doing or their favorites are. I know I find many free books that way.  And right now, if you go to they are having a bunch of books for super cheap prices. :)

So where do you find the deals that you come across? Leave a comment. We'll add it to our list and stick in it the "All Things Helpful" section that way you can always come back and find new places!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kindle Fire Issues?

Sara, one of our awesome followers just sent me this article that I found quite interesting. Read it here at

To sum up the article, some people are having issues with the Kindle Fire. The placement of the power button- that it's too easy to accidentally press, the fact it has no physical volume button, that the touch is slow to respond at times and that Silk, Amazon's web browsing system, is a bit slow.

I have to say that within I guess about a month of having this device, I don't have too many problems with it. Now I miss the old slide on/off key that my Kindle 3 has, and the button can be a bit annoying when I sit my Kindle down to read and it just shuts off. But other than that, not really (and to me that's really minor). Everything else I haven't noticed issues or slowness with. To see my full review on the Kindle Fire, click here.

At least through this, Amazon is stepping up and creating an update to help some of these features. And that's what love about Amazon, the fact that they see something is wrong and their very proactive to fix the problem. One of the things that this update will include will be a better sense of privacy for individuals.

What do you think? Have you guys had any troubles with your Fire? I'd love to hear some feedback.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

“In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her
position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends....”

As I’ve made clear many times since we’ve started this blog, I love Cassandra Clare. I love everything about Shadowhunters and the shadow world in which they live.  Although I had thoroughly enjoyed Clockwork Angel, it didn’t touch The Mortal Instruments for me but Clockwork Prince has definitely put it in the running.

Clockwork Prince picks up where it left off in Clockwork Angel.  Agatha and Thomas are dead.  Nate has betrayed Tessa and escaped with the Magister, pyxis in hand and they are nowhere to be found.  Benedict Lightwood has deemed Charlotte unfit to run the Institute in London and proposes a challenge to the Consul; if Charlotte cannot locate the Magister within two weeks then the institute should be given to him.  If Charlotte no longer runs the institute, then Tessa, along with Will, Jim, Jessamine, and Sophie are without a place to live and with the Magister wanting Tessa for himself she’d likely be handed over to him without the protection of the Shadowhunters she had begun to consider her family.  Besides trying to locate the Magister, Will has his own problems and the only person that can help him is warlock Mangus Bane.  With Will’s ever occurring mood swings, Tessa finds herself growing closer to Jem.  Clockwork Prince is a fabulous steampunk novel filled with action that will keep you turning the page and a love triangle that will leave you with your heart broken in a thousand pieces and ready to explode with happiness at the same time.

My rating for this book:

I love that Cassandra’s books show you different characters points of view, it makes the anticipation, at least for myself, much more intense than it would otherwise.  I’ve never really been one to read one book and that is the entire story.  I feel that you don’t really get to know a character properly, which is why I loved this book and only really like Clockwork Angel.  I love that in this book you really get to know Will.  He’s not just arrogant and sarcastic anymore.  He has a great amount of depth that you only get a glimpse of in the first book. 
Cassandra Clare is the author of the best selling series The Mortal Insturments and Infernal Devices.  She has worked for various magazines that report things like Brittney Spears wardrobe malfunctions. She likes HBOs Game of Thrones, she has two cats, and typically book tours with fellow author, Holly Black.  To learn more about Cassandra, follow her on twitter @cassieclare or go to

How many of you guys have read this book?!? Let’s chat about it!

Mainstream Monday: The Infernal Devices

Happy Mainstream Monday viewers!  

As you all know, last week the second book of the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Prince, came out.  But something you may not have known was that this series is being considered being made into a movie by Unique Features.  Although there has been no work done or even a guarantee that Clockwork Angel will be made into a movie, Cassandra Clare has stated who she would like to see as Will, our very own, Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl, played by Ed Westwick.  Ed has already been involved with both TMI and IF doing the male reading parts in both City of Fallen Angels and Clockwork Prince and the voice over for the Clockwork Prince commercial.  He has also expressed wanting to play Will as well if the movie is developed.

What do you guys think?  Would you like to see the shadow world not only in the present but in Victorian London as well?  Would you rally to have Ed play Will?  Let us know and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any Shadowhunter related news.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekend Roundup (12/5-12/9)

This has been a pretty exciting week here at The Ink Puddle. We've gained quite a few new members and have had record breaking daily views! I have each and every one of you to thank for your amazing support.
Without further ado... here's what we talked about this week!

Monday: Divergent Movie News, Christmas Giveaway/ Contest
Wednesday: Review: Secrets by Liz Schultz, Uploading Files (Kindle)
Friday: Official 2011 Christmas Readers Gift Giving Guide

Giveaway Details:
Just a reminder that our ugly Christmas sweater contest is going on! (Click here for full details.) 1st place winner will win Divergent by Veronica Roth, Matched by Ally Condie AND Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Runner up will recieve a $10.00 gift card to either B&N or Amazon.
Also, if you've already read one of these books, don't let that stop you from entering! If you're our big winner and say you've already read Divergent, we will replace it with another novel. So far M and I have discussed Eve by Anna Carey. But we're also open to suggestions. :)
So send us in these pictures! You only have until Christmas day!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend,

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 Christmas Gift Guide

On the 12th day of Christmas
my true love gave to me…

With Holidays right around the corner, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice or something else we have your reading gifts covered in this 2011 gift guide.
For you big spenders out there, as you all know, the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet were recently launched and an excellent choice for the techy reader in your life.  The Kindle Fire is available at for $199.  The Nook Tablet is available at Barnes and Noble for $249.

For your loved ones with the Nook Tablet or Nook Color the Soho Cover is multifunctional.  Not only does it protect your nook but it has wallet slots for you I.D., cards and checkbook.

With a touch screen that can easily be scratched or damaged, what better accessory for the Nook Color or Tablet than the Anti-Glare Screen protector!  Available at Barnes and Noble stores or for $19.95, this is definitely a must for those with a Nook.

But we can't forget about our Kindle owners!
While screen protectors aren't necessary on those screens with the snazzy e-ink technology, cases are! My personal favorite for my Kindle 3 Keyboard is my M-Edge case. The coolest thing about these cases is that it has a slot for a book light to fit right into the case on the side. This same case (simply different sizes) is also available for the Kindle Touch and Kindle 4. The light you see isn't included, it runs about $20.00 but you can see how it fits into the case. You can actually fold in down so you close it within the case. Protects the light and your Kindle.

Then there is the Fire...  I found this case, which I own and love on Amazon for about $10.00. And you just can't beat the price of that. As you can see, it folds back so you can use it as a stand, and has a magnet that keeps the case closed. It also comes in a variety of colors. The brand is Poetic.

Don't forget about Etsy! They have great homemade cases that are absolutely adorable!

 For those of you with kiddos in elementary school, you can’t lose with Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  I have two cousins, the boy is 8, who has struggled in school, and the girl, 13, who is not much of a reader, and they both LOVE these books.  

For the preteen readers, another good series that is also unisex and the perfect mix of dystopian and magic is the Witch and Wizard series by James Patterson.  And if you typically read the books your kids read, these bestsellers have little things added in reference to things only adults or very cultured 12 year olds would know (NOT inappropriate references).

Teenage books are easy to pick out. All you have to do is look at the up and coming movies and odds are it came from a spectacular book series. Here are some of the Ink Puddles recommendations: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (was a extremely popular at my high school), The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer, and The Guardians of Time Trilogy by Marianne Curley.

You can also get some good book ideas for teen to adult readers from our reviewed books.  So go check some out!
Is there anything else you’re planning to get for your reader?  Maybe hoping Santa will drop you by a new e-reader?  Let us know!

Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday from your friends here at Ink Puddle!