Posts Categorized: Book Tour

Book Review: Indiscretion by Charles Dubow

February 7, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2013, TLC Book Tours 4 Comments

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Indiscretion by Charles DubowIndiscretion by Charles Dubow
Published by William Morrow on February 5th 2013
Pages: 400
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

We’ve all been around a couple who can engulf the attention of an entire room merely by occupying it. Harry and Madeleine Winslow are that set; the natural ease between them is palpable and their chemistry is almost tangible. He is a recent National Book Award winner with a promising career ahead of him, and she is blessed with family money, but radiates beauty, elegance, and humility. Whether they are abroad in Italy after he receives the Rome Prize, in their ambrosial East Hampton home, or in gritty Manhattan, they are always surrounded by close friends and those who wish to penetrate their inner circle. During a summer spent at the beach, they meet 26 year-old Claire and, as the summer blazes on, she is slowly inducted into their world. Claire can’t help but fall in love with Harry and Maddy and at the end of the summer, it is no longer enough to just be one of their hangers-on. Told through the omniscient eyes of Maddy’s childhood friend Walter, Indiscretion is a juicy, page turning novel with writing that is sophisticated and lyrical. Deeply textured, full of light and darkness, and overwhelmingly sensual, this book will be the sexiest, most intimate story you read all year.

Indiscretion
in·dis·cre·tion [in-di-skresh-uhn]
noun
1. The quality or state of being indiscreet; want of discretion; imprudence; rashness.
2. An indiscreet or imprudent act; indiscreet behavior.
3. A brief sexual liaison.

‘His betrayal was as natural as a disease, as a cancer that builds up quietly inside the body and then erupts unbidden when there is nothing else to keep it in check. And when it happened, it consumed him.’

Indiscretion tells the story of the excitingly attractive couple Harry and Madeleine, and the seemingly innocent girl who came in to their lives only to destroy it completely. Claire became wholly absorbed in the lives of Harry and Madeleine equally, however, her love for Harry became much more prominent and as the story goes with many indiscretions, there was a moment of weakness which ended up spiraling out of control.

‘…he has discovered that there is something more, something he had never known about before, an extra dimension where time and space exist on a different plane. Like an explorer who has discovered an earthly paradise, he has lost his taste for the world beyond and all he can think of is crossing the snow bridge back to Shangri-la.’

As Claire and Harry’s fling continued it became clear that there was no turning back now and lives had already been irrevocably changed. But even if either of them could take back their actions, they had both become so intertwined in one another that life before the indiscretion became a blur, a life forgotten.

‘Why am I the narrator of this story? I am because it is the story of my life – and of the people I love most. I have tried to be as scrupulous as possible in my telling of it. I wasn’t a participant in everything that happened, but after I knew the ending, I had to fill in the missing pieces through glimpses that meant nothing to me at the time, memories that flash back with new significance, old legal pads, sentences jotted down in notebooks and on the backs of aging photographs.’

The narrator choice seemed quite unsuitable as Walter wasn’t exactly one of the main characters but more like an onlooker reporting his findings. That’s not particularly an issue in itself, but what was odd was the fact that many sections of the story never even involved him which left the question how he was able to remain a reliable narrator. Oftentimes there would be a random mentioning of ‘Why do I know what happened? Well, Harry wrote it down. He’s a writer and that’s what he does and I read it and that’s how I know’ or something to that effect, It was a strange explanation and one that I didn’t wholly accept. It seems the choice of narrator should be something that is flawlessly accepted which requires no specific explanation.

The author is a self-professed fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald and it is clear it has influenced his style of writing greatly. I would also compare the style of writing to Diana Tartt’s ‘The Secret History’ and also the story itself slightly as it tells the story of wealthy individuals and their downfall. The key with this type of storyline is to draw the readers in and not only keep them interested and invested in the characters themselves but still manage to draw a certain amount of compassion for them. I don’t believe Dubow succeeded as well as he had intended as the characters failed to derive any sort of sympathy from me. The writing still managed to be stunning as a whole and kept me enrapt while the pages flew. Indiscretion is Charles Dubow’s debut novel and an impressive one at that.

*All quotes taken are from an uncorrected proof*

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This post was a part of the Indiscretion blog tour.
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Book Tour Review – Vanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love by Megan Caldwell

January 15, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2012, TLC Book Tours 7 Comments

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review – Vanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love by Megan CaldwellVanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love by Megan Caldwell
Published by William Morrow on December 26th 2012
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

A charming novel about a 40-year-old Brooklyn mother, recently divorced, who starts writing copy for a bakery, discovers a knack for food-related literary puns, and becomes entangled in a love triangle.

Molly Hagan is overwhelmed.

Her husband left her for a younger, blonder woman, her six year-old son is questioning her authority, and now, so is she. In order to pay her Brooklyn rent and keep her son supplied with Pokemon and Legos-not to mention food and clothing-she has to get a job. Fast.

So when an old friend offers Molly a copywriting position at a new bakery, finding romance is just about the last thing on her mind. But the sexy British pastry chef who's heading up the bakery has other thoughts. And so does Molly when she meets the chef's intimidating business partner-who also happens to have a secret that might prevent Molly from getting her own Happily Ever After.

Molly thought she had hit rock bottom when her husband of 10 years left her and their six year-old son for a younger woman. That wasn’t rock bottom though. Rock bottom came when she finds out her soon to be ex-husband has also lost his job (and his ability to pay her child support) and also depleted their savings leaving Molly with nothing to pay the bills. She ends up being hired as a copywriter for a new up and coming bakery. But on top of finding a job she may have also found a new romance. Or two.

Anyone who knows my typical book preferences would likely find it laughable that I decided to read a book regardless of the fact that it stated in the summary that there was a love triangle. Typically? I’d be running for the hills but the concept of this story was too cute to pass up.

I am total sucker for foodie type books in general but I completely fell in love with the concept for this book. I also made full scale plans of starting my own bakery just to be able to do something like this. Molly is hired to come up with a ‘hook’ for potential customers and it needed to be closely related to the library (which the bakery is across the street from) and/or literature in general. She comes up with the idea to use double entendres to name menu items and the store itself (Vanity Fare). A few of my favorites? The Bun Also Rises. A Room of Ones Scone. Of Mousse and Men. Much Ado About Muffins. And the best? Tart of Darkness. There are even real recipes included at the back of the book for several of these (including Tart of Darkness which I will so be trying, it sounds delicious!)

The romance(s) played a huge part of the story (and possible more than I would have preferred) which I suppose should have been expected as this can definitely be considered a chick-lit novel. But I have a total soft spot for chick-lit and these romances were quite entertaining. The main character, Molly, truly made this book though. She was witty, had a wonderful dry sense of humor, and was such a realistic character just struggling to not give in and let life beat her down. I found the story (and Molly) to be quite inspiring.

A four star rating (and possibly more) was totally in the bag but alas, I found the ending with Nick’s big “secret” to not be worth all the build up that led up to the reveal. Overall though this is a fun and delightful chick-lit novel that manages to be charming while still full of laughs.

dvd-pearl

This post was a part of the Vanity Fare blog tour.
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Early Review – Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2) by R.J. Anderson

December 25, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Book Tour, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2) by R.J. AndersonQuicksilver by R.J. Anderson
Series: Ultraviolet #2
Published by Carolrhoda Lab on March 1st 2013
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Sci-fi
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Ultraviolet

four-stars

Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.

Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual... talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.

She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.

Ultraviolet series

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet #1) by R.J. Anderson {PurchaseMy Review}

Ultraviolet was an incredibly original sci-fi novel that I enjoyed immensely last year. I was thrilled to find out that Quicksilver was coming out as a companion novel and was so pleased that it was quite possibly better than its predecessor.

Tori knows that its only a matter of time before her past catches up with her and everyone in her life is going to be put at risk because of what she is. Sebastian Faraday shows back up and confirms that she does have more to fear but that he has a plan to hopefully save them all from Mathis. But it’s going to take strength and perseverance in order for this to pay off, and even then the likelihood of success is slim.

Quicksilver’s story line was an intense thrill ride that never let up. The writing was amazing and all the tiny intricate mechanical details and outer space facts made each word come alive. My main issue with sci-fi tends to be that it’s so completely unbelievable, but R.J. Anderson makes this science fiction word so completely real. As much as I loved Allison’s story and her incredible gift in Ultraviolet, I loved the story being told from the point of view of Tori. Tori was nothing like the blond, blue eyed, popular girl she showed the world. She was a tough, machine-building chick that had the strength to do whatever it took to keep herself and the ones she loved safe from harm.

Quicksilver was extremely well done and I love how well wrapped-up each book manages to be. Ultraviolet’s ending was an explosion of text with revelations that blew your mind, but I had no idea that I could expect more of the story. The ending of Quicksilver didn’t have a cliffhanger, but definitely left the possibility for a future story. And boy do I hope that happens. Highly recommended for sci-fi lovers looking for highly original characters with an elaborate story line.

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Book Tour Review – Married Love: And Other Stories by Tessa Hadley

November 27, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2012, Short Stories, TLC Book Tours 0 Comments

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review – Married Love: And Other Stories by Tessa HadleyMarried Love and Other Stories by Tessa Hadley
Published by Harper Perennial on November 20th 2012
Pages: 240
Genres: Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

A girl haunts the edges of her parents' party; a film director drops dead, leaving his film unfinished and releasing his wife to a new life; an eighteen-year-old insists on marrying her music professor, then finds herself shut out from his secrets; three friends who were intimate as teenagers meet up again after the death of the women who brought them together. Ranging widely across generations and classes, and evoking a world that expands beyond the pages, these are the stories of Tessa Hadley's astonishing new collection.

On full display are the qualities for which Tessa Hadley has long been praised: her unflinching examination of family relationships; her humor, warmth and psychological acuity; her powerful, precise and emotionally dense prose. In this collection there are domestic dramas, generational sagas, wrenching love affairs and epiphanies-captured and distilled to remarkable effect. Married Love is a collection to treasure, a masterful new work from one of today's most accomplished storytellers.

‘He knew how passionately she succumbed to the roles she dreamed up for herself. She won’t be able to get out of this one, he thought. She can’t stop now.’

Married Love: And Other Stories is a collection of short fictional contemporary stories. Married Love is not all about domestic bliss. It’s about the every day struggles that the characters encounter. Each story is a showcasing of a brief moment that manages to convey an entire life without leaving one feeling incomplete by the shortness of it.

‘For a moment, however, she could imagine the sensation of chewing politely and sufferingly on a mouthful of broken crystal, tasting salty blood.’

Reviewing a collection of short stories is always difficult. Do you review each one individually? Do you rate them as a whole? All in all, the characters within her stories are strongly written and despite the fact that I certainly preferred a few more than others they all managed to shine in their own way. Her writing was stately and succinct and quite enjoyable. My interest has definitely been piqued and I would love to read more from this author.

‘I couldn’t help being swept along by the idea of someone changing who she was: I knew I wasn’t capable of this; I was just helplessly forever me.’

dvd-pearl
This post was a part of the Married Love blog tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.
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Review + Giveaway! The Round House by Louise Erdrich

November 7, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2012, TLC Book Tours 1 Comment

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + Giveaway! The Round House by Louise ErdrichThe Round House by Louise Erdrich
Published by HarperCollins on October 2nd 2012
Pages: 321
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Future Home of the Living God

three-half-stars

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

‘The sun fell onto the kitchen floor in golden pools, but it was an ominous radiance, like the piercing light behind a western cloud.’

In 1988, thirteen year old Joe is forever changed when he and his father come home to find his mother covered in blood. She had been attacked, but she managed to get away to safety. Joe is unable to understand the difficulty behind getting a conviction even though his mother knows exactly who attacked her. The root of the problem lies in not knowing exactly where she was attacked. The approximate location is an area that happens to be so divided that tribal, federal, and state all claim ownership to various pieces. Since the exact location is unknown her attacker can’t be prosecuted if its unclear as to what laws would apply.

The story was told from the point-of-view of Joe, a teenager, and one having a hard time coming to terms with the changes his life is currently undergoing. He begins drinking and smoking with his friends more often and being a generally rebellious teen. Joe’s mother wasn’t the only one forever transformed from the attack, his transformation was just less obvious to others.

‘We read with a concentrated intensity. My father had become convinced that somewhere within his bench briefs, memos, summaries, and decisions lay the identity of the man whose act had nearly severed my mother’s spirit from her body. With all that we did, we were trying to coax the soul back into her. But I could feel it tug away from us like a kite on a string. I was afraid that string would break and she’d careen off, vanish into the dark.’

Joe’s father is a local tribal judge and shortly after the attack he begins bringing case documents home for research purposes and enlists Joe’s help. He becomes dismayed to find that his father didn’t handle cases of great importance but rather small and petty cases that seemed more like a waste of time. His father explains to him:

“We are trying to build a solid base here for our sovereignty. We try to press against the boundaries of what we are allowed, walk a step past the edge. Our records will be scrutinized by Congress one day and decisions on whether to enlarge our jurisdiction will be made. Some day. We want the right to prosecute criminals of all races on all lands within our original boundaries. Which is why I try to run a tight courtroom, Joe. What I am doing now is for the future, though it may seem small, or trivial, or boring, to you.”

I’ve seen it done before (and I have no idea why) where quotation marks are left out entirely. I would often read a passage and think it’s internal dialogue when in fact it’s an actual conversation so I would have to go back and re-read the entire passage to be in the right frame of mind. I’m really not clear as to what purpose it serves by leaving them out, other than confusion. My only other issue was after finishing I was left with the feeling that the book was unnecessarily long (despite it only being 317 pages long). It just felt as if there was too much information that in the end was simply irrelevant. Interesting, but ultimately irrelevant.

I enjoyed the obvious amount of research the author conducted in regards to Native American laws and culture. It made the story feel solid, sound, and very much believable. The Round House is an interesting story with a powerful message about how regardless of the centuries of change and advancement, the laws of today still have their flaws.

My personal ARC of The Round House is up for grabs.

Open to U.S. addresses only.

Ends November 14th, 2012

To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

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This post was a part of The Round House blog tour.

Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.

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Gravity by Melissa West – Tour Stop + Giveaway!

October 29, 2012 Bonnie Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

Gravity (The Taking #1)
by Melissa West
Expected publication: October 30th 2012 by Entangled Publishing, LLC


In the future, only one rule will matter:


Don’t. Ever. Peek.


Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.


Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
About the Author: Melissa West
Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads

Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L’Engle.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.


Giveaway

Melissa is giving away a signed copy of Gravity and Swag to one lucky reader!
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Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater

July 3, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2012 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon FraterThe Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel by Rhiannon Frater
Published by Self-Published on June 8th 2012
Pages: 283
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Zombies
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege

four-half-stars

The Bastion was humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. A fortified city with a high wall, surrounded by lush land rich with all the resources needed to survive, protected by high mountain summits, and a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion became the last stronghold of the living on earth. But one fateful day, the gate failed and the Inferi Scourge destroyed the human settlements outside the walls and trapped the survivors inside the city. Now decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city as resources and hope dwindle.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her whole life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of her lover, Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.

After thoroughly enjoying the author’s ‘As the World Dies’ trilogy which was full of super awesome and terribly gruesome zombies, I was all on board for more. The Last Bastion of the Living completely knocked it out of the park for me. Set in a future completely changed and desolate, the zombies have destroyed any chance of survival for the last known group of people on Earth. Grasping at straws, the government makes one last desperate attempt to reclaim the surrounding lands and to solidify the livelihood of all.

Much like her ‘As the World Dies’ trilogy, Rhiannon never lacks for vivid and highly likable characters and an exciting storyline to boot. The main character, Maria, is an extremely strong and independent woman and she can kick some serious ass too. The story also switches up point-of-view with Maria’s boyfriend Dwayne who was also a well written character. One thing that I have to make note of is the relationship between Maria and Dwayne: an incredibly realistic relationship; something that I think is highly lacking in fiction novels these days. The strength of their bond was palpable in addition to how much they loved each other. It was a fabulous addition to the story but didn’t overpower the actual storyline in any way.

And speaking of the storyline… I cannot remember the last time I was reading a book and it created such vivid imagery in my mind to the point where it was as if I was watching a movie reel playing in my head. And what a badass movie it was! The writing didn’t have the feel of a screenplay thankfully, but I nonetheless could definitely see a movie being made from this story.

Only disappointment was the realization that this was a stand-alone novel so the story was over! I could definitely see potential paths that future installments could go with to make it a series but then again there was something satisfying about reading the story in its entirety and being done with it without having to wait for future installments. Stand-alone novels seem to be quite rare these days and I read far too many series so this was a nice change.

With a surprisingly original and refreshing take on the normal zombie tale this was a highly enjoyable thrill ride. Zombie lovers need not miss out on this gem.

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The Interview

How did you come up with the title?
Like the story, it came to me in a dream. I believe one of the characters called the city the last bastion of the living during the course of a conversation. When I woke up, I instantly thought, “I want to write that!” The story, the characters, and the title all showed up in a dream. It was a great jump start on the book, that’s for sure.

Personally, by the time I was finished with the prologue I was totally imagining The Last Bastion of the Living being one seriously awesome movie. Did you envision this as you were writing the book or did that come later?
The huge battle in the prologue was always a part of the story, but the dream started with the first chapter. When I began to write, I started at the same point as the dream did. As time went on I felt something important was missing. There was a lack of urgency in the narrative. Though the characters speak of the final push against the undead, I realized that the reader didn’t really understand how devastating it had been. I had been trying to incorporate flashbacks, but those weren’t working. I kept excising them.

I got very, very sick with the flu and had to stop writing on the book altogether. While I was feverish, I kept dreaming about the great battle where Dwayne and Maria had almost lost their lives. When I was well, I sat down and read what I had written so far. It was during that read-through that I recognized the need for the reader to see the final push against the Inferi Scourge.

So I just rewound the movie in my brain to an earlier point in time and wrote what I saw. I don’t know how it works for other writers, but I always feel I am watching a movie inside my own head and describing what I see to the best of my ability.

What is your favorite part in ‘The Last Bastion of the Living’?/What was your favorite part to write? (If different) 🙂
Well, it’s a bit of a tossup between two scenes as to which is my favorite. I love the ending completely, but I also like the opening of Chapter 1. There is such sweetness and sadness in that opening scene with Dwayne and Maria.
My favorite scene to write was toward the end of the book. There is this massive action sequence that was such a blast to watch in my mind’s eye theater, but was a total bitch to wrestle onto paper.

Do any of your characters names have a special meaning?
Well, Dwayne is named after Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Aliens. Maria is a bit of a Ripley, so why not? Maria’s name just came to me, so that was organic. I did name Lindsey after Lindsey Wagner, the Bionic Woman. I snagged Denman’s name from a former co-worker, and I re-named one solider Cormier after Giselle of Xpresso Reads. She was a test reader and I did it as a tribute to her nitpicking and making the book so much better.

Is this really going to remain as a stand-alone novel?
I have no plans to continue. I don’t want to saddle myself with another series. I have three that are going right now and it’s exhausting. It’s also a bit of a trap. I have a lot of other novel ideas in my head, but I’m obligated to my readers to finish up those series as quickly as I can. For a time, writers could take years to put out the next installment in a series and that was okay. Not anymore. Readers expect a book a year in a series, so I’m avoiding trapping myself with a new series for the time being.
That was the big allure of writing THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING. It was a standalone.

I’m flattered, but a little overwhelmed with how much demand there is for a sequel. I have no ideas for a sequel. My time in that world pretty much ended with the final scene. Plus, I love where this novel ended. It was such a perfect ending. I have no desire to muck it up.

Would you ever think about revisiting the world you created and simply change the point of view?
Nope. The heart of the story is Dwayne and Maria. I wouldn’t continue on without them. It would feel empty and bland. Those two characters are why I wrote the novel. The world around them was dynamic, but the second those two are out of the equation I lose all interest.

Could you tell us anything about your next big project?
PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is coming out in the near future. I’m working very hard to get that novel done. Also, I have a paranormal YA coming out with co-author Kody Boye. It’s called THE MIDNIGHT SPELL and I love it so much. It’s a blast. There will be one more AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES volume released this year that wraps up that series. And I have a short story collection that will be coming out later as well called CTHUHLU’S DAUGHTER AND OTHER HORROR TALES. There might be a Last Bastion short story in that one. Maybe. We’ll see.

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The Giveaway!

Rhiannon has been kind enough to offer an ebook copy of The Last Bastion of the Living for giveaway! Open Internationally. Giveaway ends July 17th, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy and the author of several other books: the vampire novels PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES and THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. The first two books in her zombie trilogy, THE FIRST DAYS and FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, are available now in bookstores. SIEGE will be in bookstores on April 24, 2012.

Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/astheworlddies
Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater
Blog: rhianonfrater.blogspot.com

 

 

Thanks for visiting! Let me know what you think about the new cover!

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Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! Amanda Havard’s Point of Origin

June 15, 2012 Bonnie Book Tour, Giveaways 0 Comments


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Amanda’s new book ‘Point of Origin’, the second book in ‘The Survivors’ series. A big thank you to Amanda Havard for allowing me the opportunity to read her stories and for taking the time to let me interview her! Be sure and check out the full post for your opportunity to win your own copy (signed!)


Point Of Origin (The Survivors #2)
by Amanda Havard
Publication Date: June 12, 2012

The winter is upon us. The Survivors are in chaos. The war is coming.

One year ago, Sadie Matthau was living among humans, existing as one of them. But now she wakes each morning in a house in the Survivors’ City, listening to the invocations and insults of her family members as they cope with their new future. A war. Rogue abandoners turned monsters. Sadie and the icy Winters living in their midst, bringing the outside world in.

The Survivors: Point of Origin is Sadie’s quest to save her family. But can she find what she is looking for when she can barely stomach the Winters’ wintry demeanor and finds herself distracted by Cole Hardwick’s warm heart? Will she be able to uncover her family’s history even as the elders’ grip tightens around her throat? In an action packed ride full of magic and misery, terror and triumph, Sadie Matthau seeks the Survivors’ beginning just in time to face her end.

My Review

After finishing The Survivors, you’re definitely left with a ton of questions (at least I was). Luckily, a vast majority of these are answered in Point of Origin, yet of course more questions are introduced as well. Point of Origin definitely continued the story nicely with the introduction of new characters, more secrets and more suspense. 

I had a harder time understanding Sadie’s actions this time around though. I also didn’t understand why she continued to stay with Everett (maybe because I totally think she should be with Cole :D) but they didn’t have a happy relationship it seemed. Sadie came across as a fairly strong and independent character in book 1 and it’s almost as if she morphed into a completely different character once they got together. I’d like the strong independent Sadie back for book 3 please. 

My favorite aspect of Point of Origin was the detail given regarding the Salem Witch trials (which I remember thinking when reading The Survivors that I wish more information was given regarding that)  and all of the additional paranormal information obtained through Sadie’s research within the story. The suspense and twists and turns throughout the story were incredibly well done and kept me guessing.

It’ll be very interesting to see how everything plays out in the next book (especially with that ending from book 2!)

So… intrigued? Haven’t read the first book though? That’s okay! Here’s your opportunity to win autographed copies of both books! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! (US and Canada only)

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The Interview

1. When did you first start writing?
I probably started writing about first grade. Somewhere in my house there’s a story on those old school pages with space to illustrate on top half and lines on the bottom half. It was a story about three witches who were sisters. Interesting to have come full circle.

2. What was your inspiration for this series?
Everything I’ve seen, touched, read, heard, or felt in the last three years has greatly inspired this series. Survivors is a very multifaceted world, so I can be touched by anything from an academic text on the politics of Puritanical colonies to a Proenza Schouler runway show. I’ve been lucky to pour it all in in one way or another. I’ve been lucky to find the inspiration so easily. 

3. Besides being a writer, you’re also a musician and songwriter. Do you enjoy doing one more than the other?
My gut response is to say the author part is my favorite, but I love music in a very real way. It’s a part of me. In the end, it’s the storytelling I’m addicted to, whether that’s in song form or book form.

4. Is there a special message that you want your readers to grasp?
It doesn’t really work that way for me. I’m sure there are things that I think readers will get — or could, if they’d like to — but I don’t write with an agenda or anything. I put my characters on journeys that will take them down paths that you could learn something from or have them act in a way that might get you thinking. And that’s great. I hope you think. I hope you start wondering about the way they act, why they do what they do, and what happens to them based on all that. But there is no specific message I’m trying to throw out there. Actually, I take that back. There’s one:
At the end of the day, you’re responsible for your own actions.
Get back to me at the end of the series and see if you think that fit.

5. What books/authors have influenced your writing most?
I honestly think that every book I’ve ever read has been a major influence on my writing and the way I build stories. At the end of the day, I think I’ll pick some favorites (J.K. Rowling, Curtis Sittenfeld, Janet Fitch, and so on), but realistically every time I read a new great book, I think really hard about what positives I could take from that story and apply to my own. So in that way, they all do.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m sure there will always be things I’ll think of, but right now I’m very happy with it.

7. What’s one fun fact about you that you’d like people to know?
I’m sort of obsessed with style. I think people often take that to mean that I just like clothes or buying stuff, but in reality, it’s so much more than that. I like fashion, sure, but style is a way of life. It’s a way to carry yourself, to communicate to the world around you, to take control of your life. You can style yourself into the person you want to be, and then become that person. It’s incredibly empowering. Getting into style has changed my whole outlook on my life, and it’s given me the ability to put forward the persona I’d like to at any given moment. It doesn’t matter where the clothes come from, how much they cost, or who made them. It matters that they portray what you want to portray to the world.

Does that mean my love of all things couture, runway looks, or expensive shoes is any less? Of course not. But it does mean that you shouldn’t sell personal style short by thinking it’s about being shallow or caring about what designer people are wearing. It’s about inspiration and independence. It’s about asserting control of the life you want to live. Believe me.

8. What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m really into fashion, so I love to shop or keep up with style blogs and all that jazz. I love music, so I spend a lot of time searching for new music, and I recently (finally) got into vinyl. I also love to cook (I’m into sourcing my food locally and organically! What what.), I love to do Pilates. I dig travel and wish I did it more for pleasure instead of work. And I love to daydream. 

9. What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. I’ve been on a literary adult lit kick lately, though I’m about to finally start Graceling (long overdue, I know). I read a very wide assortment of things.

About the Author

Amanda Havard has been telling stories since before she could write. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, where her first book was published in her elementary school library at age 7. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Vanderbilt University. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her baby grand piano and more story ideas than she could tell in one lifetime.

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Blog Tour Stop + Author Guest Post! Siege (As the World Dies #3) by Rhiannon Frater

April 26, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Guest Post, Read in 2012 13 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Stop + Author Guest Post! Siege (As the World Dies #3) by Rhiannon FraterSiege by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #3
Published by Tor on April 24, 2012
Pages: 365
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel

four-stars

Siege is the conclusion to Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy, which should appeal to fans of The Walking Dead. Both The First Days and Fighting to Survive won the Dead Letter Award from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner.

The zombie illness has shattered civilization. The survivors who have found tenuous safety in Texas defend their fort against the walking dead and living bandits.

Katie has made peace with the death of her wife and is pregnant and married to Travis, who has been elected Mayor. Jenni, her stepson, Jason; and Juan—Travis’s righthand man—are a happy family, though Jenni suffers from PTSD. Both women are deadly zombie killers.
In Siege, the people of Ashley Oaks are stunned to discover that the vice president of the United States is alive and commanding the remnants of the US military. What’s left of the US government has plans for this group of determined survivors.

Today is my official day on the Siege Blog Tour and I’m super excited to have Rhiannon stop by with a guest post on her favorite zombie stuff today! How fun right?? But first… check out my review for Siege.

That was damn awesome. 🙂 Siege was hands down my favorite from this entire series. I loved how everything was concluded because it was far from perfect and typical of what one might expect from a world with zombies: nothing ever goes right and NO ONE is safe!! In Siege, fighting the zombies has become the least of their worries. After a member of their community betrays them it causes everyone to realize that the zombies are not the only things that people need to fear.

The thing I loved most about this small community of survivors was how strong, independent and extremely resilient they all were. (Almost) everyone was ready and willing to work hard and do their part in the community but of course there were the individuals that still thought themselves better in various ways and wouldn’t be ‘reduced’ to menial labor. Those particular characters cracked me up because I know for a fact there will always be those people in the world, especially the women still wearing high heels and makeup while the world is going to shit.

This one had me on the edge of my seat for almost the entire story. It was exciting, nerve-racking, emotional and incredibly realistic… a real nail biter. A well written story of survival and doing anything and everything to secure it. Siege didn’t lose any of its original snarky humor but still managed to be one highly emotional thrill ride. If you’re any kind of zombie fan, do not deny yourself this series!

And now let’s see what Rhiannon’s favorite zombie items are!
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Guest Post

Ever since I started writing about zombies, I have been given a ton of cute zombie merchandise by family, friends, and fans.  I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite zombie stuff that is available for purchase. Some of the items I already own, some I don’t.

Enjoy!

10.  Brain Cupcakes

How cute are these? I totally want them! Perfect for when the nieces and nephews are over and playing zombie video games or watching zombie movies.
Available at Amazon.

9.  Dismember-Me Plush Zombie

This was a gift from a friend and I love him!  He’s so much fun to pull apart when a book is frustrating me. Right now he’s in pieces on my desk!Available at Think Geek.

8.  Ghoulia Yelps from Monster High

My niece LOVES Monster High. And I admit, so do I. My husband bought me Ghoulia Yelps, the daughter of the Zombies, as a gift. I love her. She’s so adorable despite being dead. In the cartoon on the Monster High website she’s the smartest of all the kids, though she can only talk in moans.
Available at stores everywhere!

7.  The Zombie of Montclaire Moors Statue

I saw this guy on the table of another author while at an event in Los Angeles. I WANT HIM!  Of course, the neighbors would have a fit.  Oh, well, I guess that is what back yards are for.
You can get him at Toscano.

6.  My Zombie Ate Your Honor Student Bumper Sticker

Yes, I have this on my car. yes, I love it. And yes, I’m sick of all those honor student bumper stickers on the SUV’s careening around Austin. *evil grin*
Available here.

5. Zombie Head Cookie Jar

Need, want, will kill to have it!  I love this cookie jar so much.  It makes me giggle whenever I look at it.  Since I love making cookies, this is a must have item on my next birthday.
Also at Think Geek.

4. Zombiewood Wench Dress

I admit I would have to hit the treadmill a lot more often to fit into this dress, but I think it’s so adorable. I love it.
Available here.

3. Zombie Necklace

I would definitely wear this and with pride. I love the old school font and the sparkles. ACK…does this count as a sparkling zombie?
Available here.

2. Iron Fist Zombie Shoes

I own these!  I wanted them so much I ordered them from the UK long before they became available in the US. I like to wear them at book signings and at conventions. I’ve busted the heels TWICE, but always get them repaired. Love them!
Available here.

1.  Iron Fist Zombie Purse

When to purses, I’m a Betsey Johnson girl, but when I saw this purse, I squealed. WANT IT! WILL HAVE IT
Available here.
What is some of your favorite zombie stuff?
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Thanks so much for stopping by Rhiannon, your top ten list is awesome (and I totally want that bumper sticker!!!) Be sure and check out the rest of her As The World Dies: Zombie Trilogy below on Goodreads.
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