Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
Cassia is finally going to find Ky.  After moving from work camp to work camp for months she is Society is moving her and a group of girls out to the Outer Provinces where Ky is…somewhere.  Ky has been in the Out Provinces for months watching young men, if you can call them that, die daily at the hand of the enemy or maybe it’s really at the hand of Society.  The Society is sticking noncitizens in the Outer Provinces to distract the enemy and keep them at bay.  But they’re running out of noncitizens and have resulted to shipping out boys as young as thirteen and now girls.  Which is how Cassia is moved to the Outer Provinces, but it’s too late, Ky has already left the camp.  She has two options, to stay and be killed by the rebels or to risk being caught and killed by society? Crossed is the sequel to the dystopian novel Matched, that will leave you dying for more.

I rate this book a

Something that I really liked about Crossed was that you get to see from Ky’s point of view as well as Cassia’s.  There’s also a slight game changer in the plot at the end of the book that really throws you for a loop and leaves you dying to know what will happen in the third/ final installment of the Matched series.  I didn’t quite enjoy this book as much as the first one.  The plot didn’t quite hold my attention as much as the first book because it didn’t twist and change throughout the entire book.

Ally Condie received a degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University and spent a number of years teaching high school English in Utah and in upstate New York. She lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.   Learn more at matched-books.com
 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekend Roundup (1/23-1/26)

Hello, hello!
Here's what you may have missed this week on The Ink Puddle.

Monday: Review- Matched by Ally CondieBeing Human
Tuesday: Attention: Book Reviewer Wanted
Wednesday: Textbooks on E-Readers?
Thursday: Introducing... Our New Reviewer!

Ask and you shall receive, right? Meg and I didn't expect it to be nearly that easy to find a new reviewer. But we put the post up Tuesday and BAM! Here came Crissy. So everyone please welcome Crissy! If you want to know some more about her, we did an interview with her in our Thursday post, so make sure you check it out. I think you guys will come to find her just as awesome as we are. ;)
On the other side, acknowledging the fact that we did find someone so quickly, if you're someone who is interested but didn't get your notice in, feel free to contact us and we'll work something out. I don't see there being anything wrong with a group hosting this blog. It's much, much easier than one person managing everything, that's for sure!

Thank you for everyone giving me e-reader questions. Between my mini Kindle group I created at work and you guys here, the questions are flooding in. Keep them coming! That's what our Wednesdays are for, to cover your questions and how-tos about e-readers or anything else you might want to know the answer to.

On my last note, have you guys ever played In A Pickle? You can find at Walmart or any basic store for like $10. Basically, it's just awesome. You have cards 5 cards in your hand, 4 cards laid out on the table to play off of and every card you play has to be "in". Such as "There's a nun (card 1) in the haystack (2) in the supermarket (3) in the barn (4)". What?? It's just silly! Especially challenging people: in order for their card to work they have to explain the story in detail and then everyone votes if it can stay or not. So what should you do this weekend? Go play In A Pickle. Because it's awesome and you will laugh sooooo hard.

I hope you guys have a great weekend! We look forward to you guys seeing all of the fun things we have planned for next week.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Introducing... Our New Reviewer!

Wow! Wasn't that fast!
As you guys could see, we posted Tuesday that we were in need of another reviewer. That very morning we got an e-mail from Crissy. Neither Meg or I expected the process to go by nearly that quickly. But man are we happy to have her! Crissy actually went to high school with us and is someone I've been chinwagging endlessly about The Lying Game for the past month or so. So when she said she was interested, it was like it was meant to be!

Today we have put together a little interview so you can get to know a little about your new writer.

If you could be a superhero, which one would you be?
Rogue (X-Men)

What is your favorite book of ALL time? Why?
That's an incredibly hard question for me to answer! I've read so many over the years, it's hard to really pin down a favorite, let alone a favorite of ALL time. I guess, if I had to pick one, it would be The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks because, hopeless romantic that I am, I love any story that involves even the slightest bit of romance. And Sparks' books are always well-written, captivating, and chock full of romance. He's one of the authors that I count on to always have a good love story to read, even if, more often than not, the stories leave me shedding a tear or two at the end, as this one definitely did.

You're in college like the rest of us, what are you going for a degree in?
I'm currently pursuing a degree in Psychology, with a minor in English.

The best thing about reading a good book is__________.
The best thing about reading a good book is being able to step out of your own world and into the endless variety of worlds that fiction can provide.

Kindle or Nook?
Kindle.

Favorite vampire character of all time? (Book, movie, TV show, ect)
Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Angel)

Is there a specific quote you live by? If so, what?
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." -- Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Best restaurant to eat out at?
Olive Garden. Hands down.

What has you most excited about joining The Ink Puddle team?
I'm really looking forward to reading some new books and experiencing some new authors.

So everyone, please give a warm welcome to Crissy! She will be doing her first review next week on The Lightforce Rebellion by Christopher Walker. So be sure to tune in and see what she has to say!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wondering on Wednesday: Textbooks on E-Readers?

As a college student if I can find a way to lighten my book load then that’s great.  This past summer I bought the Nook Color for a few reasons; at the time it was the only eReader that you could get magazines on (which I love), it was greener, and it was better for my wallet.  It has had several updates on it that allow me to have interactive magazines and books and I can now watch Netflix .  But one thing that the Nook, as well as the Kindle, is missing is the ability to load eText books on to them.  As a person with six textbooks and has to walk to most of my classes I find this very annoying.  

So why can’t you get text books on e-readers?  Apparently because the screens are too small to properly display the text.  If I had known this at the time it may have been a deal breaker for the Nook.  Needless to say, I am still hoping for an update that will allow me to purchase my textbooks on my Nook.  Interactive, maybe, to make the pictures take up less room?

Although you can’t get your textbooks on your e-reader, Barnes and Noble does offer Nook Study, which allows you to view your textbooks on your laptop.  While this would eliminate the tons of books that you’d have to pack around, some teachers don’t allow students to bring their laptops into class.  Then there’s the whole possibility of something happening to your computer, which a lot more expensive to get fixed or replaced than a eReader.

What do you guys think?  Is it a deal breaker for you?  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Attention: Book Reviewer Wanted

Hey everyone,
This is something we briefly mentioned on Sunday in our Weekend Roundup post, but I want to elaborate here. Due to school and work, this is becoming quite a heavy semester for Meg and I, which has led us to seek out another reviewer.

We are looking for someone who likes what The Ink Puddle is, someone passionate about reading, someone who enjoys the paranormal genre that we more often than not review, and preferably someone who can read from an e-reader. We were thinking along the lines of, you read and review one of the books we have lined up that we need to do and then you read something you want to read. I know too often, I get bogged down with obligations instead of what I really want to read and blogging isn't as fun. We're up in the air if this will be a temporary thing or permanent (meaning as long as you would be interested in the job). Obviously, pay wouldn't be anything but free books to read, but personally, that alone would drive my appeal.

We're going to open the floor up here first, if you're interested simply contact us with the subject like being "Book Reviewer Wanted". We'll do some small interview, get to know each other stuff, and have you write a review just to see what your writing style is and such.

Maybe you're not interested but you know someone who is? Spread the word, we're serious about this.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mainstream Monday: Being Human


Cory and I started this show yesterday and we love it so far. I wasn't too sure how I would feel about it because it is a Sci-fy show, and those tend to be a little cheesy. But this was freaking EPIC! However, with being the die-hard Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan that I am, I do know a little bit about vampires and some of their mythology isn't matching up, or rather, isn't staying consistent.

For instance, when Bischop goes into the police man's office in episode 3 (I swear I won't give spoilers- I'll be very vague), he has to ask to be invited in *que dramatic music to prove that it's fact*. So established, vampires cannot walk into a house without being invited. Then tell me why, 5 minutes later another vampire just walks right into the house? This REALLY bugged me. I mean, the whole vampires now being able to walk in the sunlight thing I can handle, I mean it would be normal that species would adapt over time. But if you're going to set a point, you need to stick with it. It's like making a rule and breaking it all in the same breath. Not cool. And I hear there are a few more things like this as you go on in the story.

I'm totally digging both characters but why are the werewolves always goofy and the vampires always sexy and brooding?  Don't get me wrong, either one of them you can take one look at and be happy to drool all over, but can't there be goofy vampires and brooding werewolves? Haha. And the ghost!! She is so funny.

I know I'm a bit behind since we're into the second season of the U.S. version and much, much further than that in the U.K. but you tell me, how much do you love this show? What do you think? Cory and I have been looking for a show to latch onto, first Buffy then Veronica Mars, but we've been dry for 6 months on shows we just HAVE to keep watching.... until now. :)

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Cassia has been waiting for this day all of her life.  Today, not only is it her birthday but it is the day of her matched ceremony.  Not only does she get to wear the only beautiful dress she will ever get to wear but she will finally get to meet her match, the person she will eventually be married too, have kids with, and spend the rest of her life with.  On top of it all, her best friend, Xander, will be matched too.  But when her named is called at first nothing happens and she’s left standing without a match, until Xander’s picture comes up on the screen.  It’s a dream come true right?  She’s not only meant to be with her best friend, but a truly great guy as well; they’re perfect for each other.  Or are they?  She thought so until when trying to look at Xander’s information someone else’s picture comes up on the screen.  Ky Markham is also completely unattainable to not only Cassia but to anyone.  If you’re feeling the need for a dystopian fix Matched is your book.  Not only is it dystopian but there’s a love triangle that could give twilight a run for its money.

I Rate This Book

Something I really loved about Matched was that the story really starts from page one.  There’s no lolly gagging around so you don’t have to go through that whole boring introduction that you have to sometimes with other books.  I also really like the way Ally set up the society.  It’s main goals are to keep everyone as healthy as possible to have the most optimal life, a story that I myself haven't come across yet. Matched left me sitting on the edge of my seat, unable to put it down. I read this book in just a matter of days and could not wait to read Crossed.

Ally Condie received a degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University and spent a number of years teaching high school English in Utah and in upstate New York. She lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.   Learn more at matched-books.com
 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Roundup (1/15-1/21)

Hey everyone,
Here's what you may have missed this week on The Ink Puddle!

Sunday: Guest Post- Lawna Mackie
Wednesday: How to Find the Kindle for You, SOPA Blackout
Thursday: Booking Through Thursday
Friday: Review- Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
Saturday: Review- The Bull Years by Phil Stern

There aren't too many announcements. Simply, I want you all to know that if I'm not very active on here, it's because I'm OVERLOADED with homework and reading with my other classes right now. Hopefully I can spend the next week catching up so things can be back to normal here. But school is kicking my butt, especially being new to this whole working full time thing.

I've been contemplating looking for a new reviewer, someone who's interested in the supernatural genre as we usually cover and likes what The Ink Puddle does. While I'm not sure if we're going to take this step or not, if you're interested, go ahead and send let us know through our Contact Us page. We can always go from there. It's just that with school and work, I love this blog with everything inside me, but it's a lot to keep up for Meg and I. This could possibly be a good way to pick up the slack a little.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: The Bull Years by Phil Stern

"I've come to realize we're all two different people. Our younger, innocent self that's inevitably mangled along the highway of life, and our tougher adult persona that evolves from the wreckage. Happiness comes from juxtaposing the two, nurturing the maimed spirit within you, welcoming it into your adult life and giving it the time and understanding you never received as a child, no matter how sane and loving your parents tried to be."

The Bull Years, a novel by Phil Stern, explores the lives of four friends who grew up together, and grew apart alone. The story unfolds from all four points of view, talking about how real life operates, and how everything isn't always quite how you expected it to be.

I feel like I was in an interesting position to read this novel. Primarily, it is about 40-somethings reflecting on their 20's. I'm the guy in his 20's, reading and hoping I'll never have to have these same conversations with myself.

The Bull Years is good. Not because of how it unfolds, or how it is written, but because of what it is. It's an honest, brutal, no holds barred look at the American Dream and the people who live it day in and day out. It's a book that really makes you consider what you've done in the world, or, like me, makes you contemplate what you want to do.

Phil Stern writes with a quick tongue and incredibly sharp wit, which is what makes passages like the one above (highlighted on my kindle now just so I can revisit it) such a joy to read. The book isn't strictly abrasive, as it often finds time to make  comments on our social status, to the point that I'm laughing because I feel like I'm people watching anywhere around my town. And that, I think is what Phil does best. He takes a writing style with so much satirical tone, and brings it to topics and stories and things that are universally relatable. You genuinely feel for these characters, which is vital for the story to matter.

As far as the full story goes, I won't spoil it. It's available everywhere, and I would STRONGLY suggest you pick it up if my review has left you with even an inkling of interest. I'm sure you'll love it. I know I did. Enough to rank it:


(P.S - look for our Phil Stern interview to be posted later!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

Today, we welcome a guest reviewer, my good friend Sara! And maybe, just maybe, if you guys are a huge fan of her review, we can convince her to do more guest posts on The Ink Puddle. :)
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The week before Christmas has always been a hectic week for me. From finishing up finals, to packing up my stuff and heading back home to spend Christmas with my family, I rarely have time to read, let alone finding a new book to read. Which is why I was super surprised to find myself with some extra time on my hands this year. The Wednesday before Christmas I spent doing some Extreme Shopping. I’m talking shoe stores, clothing stores, discount stores, back to the shoe store and finally sitting down in Barnes and Nobles for two hours trying to decide on the perfect book to buy. It didn’t happen. I kept going back and forth between books, never really finding one that I thought was the perfect one. So, I’m ashamed to say, I quit. I gave up on finding the perfect book, and I resigned myself to the fact that I would be reading an old book. When I walked towards the back of T.J. Maxx that day, I was most importantly looking for the bathroom. As I passed the clearance rack, something caught my eye. It was a book, deeply discounted, that looked kind of interesting. I stopped and picked it up, and decided it was fate. This was the book for me. 

Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan is not a traditional fantasy novel. It is a love story, a domestic drama set in a very mythical town. Raised in a sepulchral house where ghosts dwell in mirrors, Meridia grows up lonely and miserable. But at age sixteen, she has a chance at happiness when she falls in love with Daniel-a caring and naive young man. Soon they marry, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her husband's family, unaware that they harbor dark secrets of their own. There is a grave hidden in the garden, there are two sisters groomed from birth to despise each other, and there is Eva-the formidable matriarch and the wickedest mother-in-law imaginable-whose grievances swarm the air in an army of bees. As Meridia struggles to keep her life and marriage together, she discovers long-buried secrets about her own past as well as shocking truths about her new family that inexorably push her love, courage, and sanity to the brink. 

Of Bees and Mist is an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree over a period of thirty years-their galvanic love and passion, their shifting alliances, their superstitions and complex domestic politics-and places them in a mythical town where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, and prophets and clairvoyance are an everyday reality. Erick Setiawan's astonishing debut is a richly atmospheric and tumultuous ride of hope and heartbreak that is altogether touching, truthful, and entirely memorable.

I rate this book a

This book was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down. What started as a book to spend a week reading, turned into a book that I read in a few hours. Every time I got to a point where I could stop, I told myself “one more chapter.” This book took me through all of my emotions. There were points where I found myself crying, mad, happy, excited and then back around to crying. There were moments I was proud of Meridia, upset with Meridia and tired of reading about Meridia. This book is probably one of my favorite books, and I was left wanting a sequel as soon as I turned the last page. Definitely worth the money!

-Sara

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme mostly about books and reading. This weeks question is...
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Do you ever skip ahead in books? If you do, do you ever feel guilty afterwards?

Good question!
Of course I've skipped through books, and depending on what it is, I sometimes feel guilty. But I will NEVER skip through a book that I'm reviewing, no matter how tedious it may feel to dig through, every book deserves an honest rating.  The good and bad parts, so if I skip through, there's no way I can accurately tell what I thought, because I didn't experience the whole thing. And that trickles down into the fact that authors look for these honest reviews, and expect us to tell them what we enjoyed and disliked as a reader so they can grow as a writer and get stronger and write even better in their upcoming novels. You just can't do that when you skip ahead!

As for school assignments, of COURSE I skim through and skip ahead. Which doesn't make me feel guilty, just ends up being me cheating me and my own education. Which sounds awful, but hey, I'm here on this blog to be honest. And I'm sorry, but some of these school books can put you straight to sleep!

What about you guys? Do you skim thorugh books or skip ahead?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Blackout

There are a couple of things I feel the need to say.

The Ink Puddle will never become a place where politics are spoken, not that I have an issue or am ignorant to what is going on, but I don't think a book blog is the place for that. If I wanted to chinwag politics, I'd have a political blog. However, this is something that affects every single one of us here in the United States and something that truly offends our first ammendment right!

What congress is about to vote on is wrong. This could paralizye so many things that we are able to discuss and do online. And while there are a lot of things I feel like we can't do in this world to make things better, there is something small we can do here. If you're not entirely sure what I'm talking about or you want more information on the matter, click here. But if you want to act, click here and sign the petition to stop this ridiculousness. We don't need more of Big Brother.

So yes, while we went ahead and posted as usual, I encourage all of you to go on and sign that petition. Tell congress and all of our representatives that no, passing something such as this isn't right and we're not going to stand for it as Americans. And please, pass the word onto your friends and family.

Thanks guys,

Wondering on Wednesday: Finding the Kindle For You

Choices, choices choices....
I know that with so many Kindles on the market now, it's hard to know which one you're looking for. I've been asked this question many times so my goal is with this post is to give you some of the answers directly that you've been looking for. That way it saves you from searching and digging things out yourself.

Basically, if you're looking for a basic reader, you have 3 options.
1) The 79$ Kindle. The most basic Kindle, no touch, no keyboard.
2) Kindle Touch. $99, $149. Literally, your normal Kindle reader, all touchpad.
3) Kindle Keyboard. $139, $189. Your normal Kindle reader with a keyboard.



Then you have a couple of other options, 3G + WiFi, or only WiFi. I have the Kindle Keyboard with 3G + WiFi, but to be completely honest with you, it's not entirely necessary. WiFi is everywhere you go- your home, your workplace, coffee shops... any of those places you can download books. 3G simply lets you download anywhere you want to go. Period. Obviously to get 3G and WiFi, it's a bit more pricey than simple WiFi.

Another couple of options you have is ads or no ads. The ad supported Kindles run a bit cheaper. These ads are placed in the sleep screen and at the bottom bar (I'd say about an inch big- if that) of your library screen. These ads will NEVER be in the middle of your book. So if you don't mind seeing a few ads here and there, it could be a cheaper option. If it bothers you, it's only like 20-30$ more to go without.

But don't necessarily discount the Fire. I also have it, and I tend to use my Fire more at home while my K3 Keyboard at work, it's still a snazzy little tablet with the ability to not only read but watch movies, play music/ games and run documents on.  To see the my full review of the Fire, click here. To see the (basic) specs, click here. Price runs at $199.

And just because I don't to leave it out, there is a Kindle DX, which is the Kindle 3 Keyboard only like 2-3xs the normal size. Which I personally don't think you need one that big, but it's all preference. (Plus it's like $379...)

Does that answer your questions? I hope I helped. Let me know if there's any other questions I can help with.

 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guest Post: Lawna Mackie

Today, I am very happy to have Lawna Mackie with Bewitching Book Tours join us on The Ink Puddle. Lawn is the author of Enchantment, a new book released just last Friday from MuseItUp Publishing!

"Stumbling into the world of Enchantment brought Meeka everything she’d been searching for. Peace. Magic. A gorgeous knight in shining armor. Kerrigan is torn between his desire for Meeka and his duty as a dragon shifter guard to expel all foreigners.
Can Kerrigan keep Meeka safe as his enemies strive to turn her into a weapon that will destroy all he is bound to protect? Or will their passion override duty?"

And here is Lawna to talk to us a bit about what he book Enchantment is all about!


ENCHANTMENT is my first book and very near and dear to my heart. The heroine, Meeka, starts off as a young woman dealing with the heartaches of parents who have been alcoholics all her life. Her escape is falling into daydreams where she fantasizes fairy tales can be real. After a fall into the water by a magical beaver dam she is transported to the world of Enchantment where she eventually realizes fairy tales do exist…with some big differences.

This world has talking beavers and magic abound, such as an automatic bath brush that looks like a rabbit. While Meeka has always dreamed of a knight in shining armor, she didn’t expect him to end up being a dragon!

Kerrigan has a hard time controlling the beast within him especially where Meeka is concerned. With just a mere touch from her, his eyes change to an eerie reptilian shape and color. His fingernails disappear, replaced by claws.

Of course I couldn’t leave Meeka plain and simple. She is actually a sorceress and her powers grow daily while on Enchantment. With power comes danger and evil. Meeka is the target.
There is another character in this novel that I’m absolutely in love with…well, actually a couple. Threeo, is a Hippo-Dog-Burrowing Owl. In my novel he is called a Hipodogwl. What does that mean?
 
About five years ago I had a bizarre dream. In that dream I somehow managed to create the Hippo-Dog-Burrowing Owl. He is part hippopotamus, part dog, and part burrowing owl…go figure! Chocolate and Milk at bedtime does it to me every time. Here is a photo of Threeo I hope you’ll like him.
 
ENCHANTMENT is due to release any day from Muse It Up Publishing. I hope you’ll enjoy the read, and send me some comments about the critters I’ve invented. Happy reading everyone!
QUINN’S CHRISTMAS WISH – December 1, 2011 available through Amazon and Smashwords. http://amzn.to/AforX1
IMPOSSIBLE TO HOLD – December 19, 2011 released through Liquid Silver Books http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com
ENCHANTMENT – January 13, 2012 released through Muse It Up Publishing http://museituppublishing.com 


A little about myself...
I have always believed in fairy tales and when I got tired of the old ones I made up my own. Each story would have a hero and heroine, but they were anything but typical.

I devoured my first romance novel when I was a teenager. I couldn’t read them fast enough. Years later I stumbled across my first paranormal romance…an injustice would be done if I tried to explain my joy when I found this genre of romance. My passion was finally in print.

Now, with the help of my bizarre dreams and crazy imagination, I have started to write and intend to share my stories with you. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

I am truly blessed. My husband and my animals are my inspiration. We live on a small acreage in Didsbury, Alberta, with our most beloved companions, Dozer, Daisy and Mandarin.

Happy reading everyone, I sure would love to hear from you.
www.lawnamackie.ca
 _______________________________
Thank you so much Lawna for stopping by! It's been a pleasure having you! And once again, I apologize for being a little off the ball with our posting date.
 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend Roundup (1/10-1/13)

Hello everyone!
I hope you're having a great weekend. Here's what you may have missed this week on The Ink Puddle.

Tuesday: Authors I Need More Of
Wednesday: Did You Know? (Kindle Fire Edition)
Friday: Give Me by LK Rigel Review, Guest Post: LK Rigel

And that's pretty much that. I can't say there's too much exciting going on or any updates to give you. But if I think of something I will be sure and let you guys know.

We are trying to think of a good giveaway for Valentines day, so as we're thinking, you guys be ready to participate. :)

But I hope that all of you have a fantastic long weekend and I will chinwag you all tomorrow!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Feature Friday: LK Rigel

Words can not describe how excited I am to have LK Rigel here with us today! A fellow friend from H.P. Mallory Writer's Club and the author of Give Me, she has a post that you guys will love.


Wonderful book that you when you're done reading this guest post you need to go pick up. Like now. :) In fact, it's even on sale right now for $0.99! Down from it's usual $3.00. (So you have no excuse now!)

Without further ado...

Fairy stories are popular right now. They can be as fun to write as to read because with fairies, you just never know! Fairies exist in a range from cute, little, fanciful, playful and full of magical fun to dark, threatening, large, uncontrollable and full of sexual danger. Why wouldn’t we want to read about fairies?

Because fairy powers and weakness vary so widely in different cultures, each fairy story or series can have different “rules” of its own. A few of the many common rules of fae:

Fairies hate iron. Iron can bind a fairy and nullify his or her magic. It also gives fairies horrific headaches. In my Tethers series (beginning with Give Me) the war between the fae and the wyrders starts over iron. When a wyrding woman changes all the iron to make it more malleable, one of the side effects is that it no longer hurts the fae. The fae king Idris wants to know the secret, and he’ll destroy all wyrders to get it. 

Fairies don’t like bread or salt. Haha. I don’t understand where this comes from, but it’s a fun fact. It’s a good idea to keep a holy cake in your pocket when you go abroad at night, especially on Mischief Night (Halloween) when the fairies flood the human world to do … mischief. If you see a fairy, throw crumbs or salt at it – and run!

Fairies hate to be thanked. They feel insulted by thanks. As if a mere word is enough to acknowledge their favors! Related to this, it’s dangerous to accept a favor from a fairy – because your thanks won’t be enough. The fairy will want something in return, and if you’re in a fairy story you know he’ll want the one thing you don’t want to give at the time it’s most inconvenient to give it. Accepting fairy magic generally does not turn out well. If you think about it, in most fairy tales there’s always a problem with the wish a fairy grants.

In fae, time is different. Never, never, never go into the fairy lands unless you have an exit strategy. Time passes so fast there, a hundred years can feel like a day. Be careful! In the Tethers series, the breaking spell that lets a human escape fae is to say “I forgive you” to the one who is keeping you three times. 

Fairies like to steal babies and replace them with changelings. Okay, now personally I don’t get this. Babies require a lot of work, and fairies are more interested in play. If they wanted a human to play with, wouldn’t they steal one that’s at least potty trained? 

The enduring element of fairy tales is the magic. No matter how technologically complex our lives become, the world is still full of mystery, unfairness, cruelty – and boredom. When our all-too-human troubles become overwhelming and unsolvable, it would be fabulous to be able to throw a little fairy dust on our problems and make everything wonderful and exciting. In our imaginations, fairy stories let us do just that.
What are your favorite elements of a fairy story?
 _________________

Thank you sooo much for joining us today LK! It's been a blast having you and I cannot wait to see what's next in this series!

To see my review on Give Me, click here!
  

Review: Give Me by LK Rigel

All she wanted was a vacation - but Dumnos offered a new life.
Lilith Evergreen has always lived in the California desert, but when she receives an antique ring as a gift, she dreams of a magnificent tree at cliff's edge, a castle by the sea, and a mysterious woman who bids Lilith to come to Dumnos, a land of mist and rain.
Cade Bausiney is the future Earl of Dumnos, but at present he just wants to bolster the local economy with a scheme to increase tourism. When Cade and Lilith meet, they're overwhelmed with longing for each other - but their desire might be magically induced.
Long ago a witch's spell ended in disaster that left two souls to haunt Dumnos to this day. Lilith and Cade must find a way to make things right - or be forever possessed by the spirits who've waited a millennium to consummate their love.”

Give Me goes back and forth from Lilith’s point of view to Elyse’s; from the past and the beginning of Elyse’s torment to the current life which Lilith lives that is being spun, much of it, unknowingly for her. With sweet romance, revenge, sibling rivalry and of course, betrayal, this book is everything you need for a wonderful story.
My absolute favorite part of this book was Elyse. Her character goes through so much, it’s understanding to see where she starts and ends up. I found myself sympathizing because it didn’t feel like she had a choice, the classic, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” approach. (And I promise, I’m not giving anything away!) Another favorite of mine was the settings. Taking place in Europe, the scenery Rigel describes makes you want to stop what you’re doing and get on a plane to see the sites she so delicately describes.
While I truly wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading Give Me, LK Rigel has managed to create a faerie tale with great depth and with ancient undertones. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone lost in the world of Once Upon A Time.
My rating for this book:
I chose 4 and not 5 because as much as I loved this book, there were some moments when I felt confused and had to take a minute to remind myself what exactly was going on and who everyone was. But I loved how everyone past and present was connected; everything began and came back around in one huge circle. This is a story that I could see in a children’s storybook as well, one that we tell such as Beauty and the Beast or Snow White to our own children that they grow up on and learn from.
LK Rigel lives in California with her cat, Coleridge. She has been singing waitress, a journalist, a court reporter and a teacher. She’s written songs and stories the whole time. To view her blog, click here.
To see our guest post with LK, click here!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wondering on Wednesday: Did You Know? (Kindle Fire Edition)

Today in this post we are going to discuss little tidbits you may or may not have known that you could do on your KFire.


Did you know....
- You can remove items from your carousal? 
Thanks to Amazon's recent update you can by holding down on your app, and clicking "Remove from Carousal". If you're unsure of what the carousal is, it is where all of your recent apps lie on your homepage.

- You the Amazon app market gives you one free app a day?
You can find this by clicking App -> Store -> and it will be on the front page.

- You can organize your favorites?
I mean the bookshelf that holds your favorite apps, it can extend as far as you want it to go and you can also hold and move things around to the position you want them.

- You can maximize your battery life by turning off applications you're not using?
Just like a cell phone Android device, anything you click and open runs until you shut it down. So to turn off this notifications, go to Settings --> Applications --> click on the app you want and press Force Close.

-You can check how much memory you have left?
If you click Settings --> Device you can see all of the memory you've used up and the battery life you have remaining.

- You can password protect your Kindle?
Don't want your kids getting in and playing with what's yours? Nosy co-workers? Simply go to Settings--> Security--> Lock Screen Password and set the password you want. Just make sure it's something you can remember because everytime you want to get into your Kindle, you'll need this password until you remove it. (To remove the password just go through the same steps.)

-You can create playlists with your music selection?
Simply go to Music--> Playlists--> Create new playlist!

- If you rent a movie from Amazon Video you have 30 days to watch this video?
You can also download directly to your device so that you're not stuck watching the movie only on WiFi? You can also view it from any streaming device such as the Roku. You don't need to have Prime to do this.

- You can bookmark webpages in Amazon Silk's browser?
Click on Web at the top of your Kindle, go to the webpage you want and click the banner at the bottom next to your Menu key.

- You can use it to read books!
With so many other things you can do with your Kindle Fire, its easy to forget the main reason we purchased this wonderful device to begin with!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Authors I Need More Of!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme done by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's list is:
Top ten authors I wish would write another book...
But I think I'm going to change this around a bit to top ten authors that I'm dying to read... (in no specific order!)
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
This is a must read before the movie comes out in the next couple of months. Yes I know, you're probably in incredible disbelief that I haven't gotten on the train already. I am too. :)

Second Nature - Elizabeth Sharp
Like most of you, Elizabeth left me hanging at the end of Natural Selection and I have been waiting for this book to come out for a while! Now that it is, I just have to find time amongst my other blogging/ school responsibilities. But I could definitely use some more Lia in my life.

Dark Fever - Karen Marie Moning
My friend Sara told me about this series months ago, I have the first book Dark Fever on my Kindle but haven't had the chance to get on it yet.

The Future of Us - Jay Asher & Caroline Mackler
It has been WAY too long since Jay has come out with a new book. I know that when I read Thirteen Reasons Why a couple of years ago, it was a read that stayed with me for months. And! There's been talk of Thirteen Reasons Why becoming a movie too....

The Haunted E-Book by J.L. Bryan
I followed his tour when this book first came out, it was absolutely hilarious the different ghost stories he came up with. As a huge fan of the The Paranormals Trilogy, I really need to read this book. I started it and as silly as the title and summary might sound, I'm not so sure it's a book I'll be reading with the lights off...

The Host - Stephanie Meyer
I hate The Twilight Saga. But in this book, just from reading the first couple of chapters I can honestly tell taht Stephanie can not only write, but write really well. I keep hoping there will be a sequel, but I'm not sure sure there will be.

Divergent - Veronica Roth
Meg got to read this one but I haven't gotten around to it yet, so with the second book in the series about to be released, I really need to get with the game!
Matched - Ally Condie
I started this book the other day in a bookstore but for some dumb reason, didn't leave the store with the book. After making it to page 30, I was so hooked I had my nose in the book as I attempted to look through the bookstore for other books. Needless to say, Cory was making fun of me big time.

The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa
I mentioned this book last Thursday, but still, it's legit. I'm in love with Meghan, Ash and the crew and really want to see where this story ends up.

Holly Black - Black Heart
I haven't read anything by Holly since Tithe, Ironside and Valiant, but she has always been an author I adored. I cannot wait to read this!

So that's my list! What's on yours?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weekend Roundup (1/3-1/6)

Hello everyone!
To begin, this is what you may have missed at The Ink Puddle this week.

Tuesday: Top 10 for 2011/2012
Thursday: The Time Will Come (Meme)
Friday: Guest Post: Sally Lunde-Frommer

What do you all think about the new look? We're very excited! Thank you once again Sara at Lady Jane Designs. If any of you are bloggers who are interested in getting a new look, I would definitely recommend her anyday.

So I know things feel a bit slow, but due to the new look, we're going back through all of our reviews/ guest post/ Wondering on Wednesday posts and changing up the format to make it look nicer. Unfortunately this is very time consuming. But I want you all to know that just because we're quiet doesn't mean we aren't around!

Thank you guys, every single one of you this week for your comments, support and constant involvement. This week has been one of those weeks that remind me why I love to blog. You guys are awesome!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, school starts back up next week but we still have a full week planned for you! Meg has a review on Matched by Ally Condie, and we'll even have LK Rigel in for a guest post on Friday along with a review on her book Give Me! So stay tuned.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feature Friday: Sally Lundy-Frommer

I am very happy to welcome Sally, author of Yesterday's Daughter, here with us today! We asked Sally her reason for choosing vampires as your protagonists in her book and also, who her favorite vampires have been throughout time. 


There was no conscious decision to select vampires as the characters in Yesterday’s Daughter, as there was no real choice to write a book.  The decision was made for me in that the characters formed in my dreams and in my imagination as vampires.  Why my subconscious selected these mythical creatures as inspiration, that’s open to speculation.  Since I don’t have access to a psychiatrist or someone who analyses dreams, I’ll take a stab at answering the question of why I chose to write about vampires.
 
The easy answer would be to say that I’m a huge fan of vampire books and movies.  I’ve seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and watched Christopher Lee drain more than a few damsels in distress.  I read Stephen King’s, Salem’s Lot and the first time I saw the movie, I had nightmares for a couple of weeks.  And let’s not forget Octavia Butler’s, Fledgling.  Who can forget Shori who appears to be a child, maybe eleven years old, but is actually 53 years old.  
 
I could say all those books and movies going in my head like quarters in a slot machine were bound to produce like output.  I’m sure that’s part of it.  But, when I search deep, what draws me to vampires is time.  They have time to experience life, experiment, make mistakes, and witness the great and small.  When you compare the lives of vampires you can’t help but be struck by fleeting span of the human life.  The idea of creating characters that may have lived at the time of Mark Anthony, discussed brush strokes with Michelangelo or watched the sky as Sputnik passed over causes my imagination to churn with possibilities of what characters can do when they are not constrained by time.  There is so much opportunity to create an enormous literary canvas when my characters are not married to a specific era.  
 
So what have some of my favorite vampires done with all that time on their hands?  Take the vampire Godric from the Sookie Stackhouse books, he’s like a thousand years old and chooses to meet the sun, to die, because he can’t bear the terrible things he’s done.  He is one of my all-time favorite vampires.  Of course, I hate the evil he’s done.  But I like Godric because he wants to do the right thing.  It’s so easy for vampire characters to be jaded as Lestat is in Interview with a Vampire.  But for all the death and mayhem Godric leaves in his wake, I have compassion for him which isn’t easy, given his bloody history. 
 
There are numerous vampires, that are all my favorites for different reasons; Spike because of his ability to make me laugh and Blade because of his constant struggle to fight the thirst.  I could go on and on, but in closing, no one can deny that all these characters have at least one thing in common, time.  

--------------------

Thank you so much for coming in Sally! I loved your post, especially the Buffy references as I am a true Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanatic (literally). 

Yesterday's Daughter Summary:

"Yesterday’s Daughter is an emotionally laden paranormal vampire romance novel woven with layers of betrayal, love and loss. Grace Stone, who later learns her true identity is Sapphira, is a loner who survives abuse in the foster care system after being abandoned as a child.

A brilliant student, she escapes from her brutal foster parents as a teenager and creates a life for herself. But, her life is little more than existence; plagued with questions about what she really is, a family that she has never known and the never-ending need to keep her differences hidden. She is alone and lonely, believing it will always remain so until Malachi appears in her life.


Malachi, a Guardian of the vampire communities, has searched for his life mate, Sapphira, for decades. He refuses to cease searching for Sapphira even though she is believed dead by all. Conflict arises over the decades between Malachi and his family because of his refusals to accept another mate. But his very soul drives him on to continue his search, knowing that he could not exist if Sapphira were not in the world, somewhere."


To purchase Sally's book on Amazon, click here. For Barnes and Noble, click here.

And of course, Sally's personal bio!
I was born on a farm in the rural South to a family of migrant farm workers. At an early age,my family moved to the urban North-East. Now I live in the suburban North-East with my husband and a large assortment of plants. I hold bachelors and masters degrees in Human Resource Management and currently work in the health care industry. 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Time Will Come

Today along with Books for Company, I'm going to give a book that I've been meaning to finish or start forever, but never can seem to find the time.
Yes, The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa! I've started it and I'm about halfway through but due to other book reading responsibilities with school or book requests from authors, I haven't gotten around to finishing.

Amazon's Summary:
" Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.
Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart."

What about you? What books are on your ever-growing TBR list?