The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Posted in Review at 9:34 am by Amber

Bite Size Book ReviewWhy did I read this book? I saw the book cover, liked it and noticed the book was written by Holly Black.

What did I think of this book? I really liked it! It has female empowerment and is set in an alternate world where fairies and humans co-exist. Being a hero is sometimes scary and that’s okay. It has action, romance, and is a great example of sibling love.

Who should read this book? I actually told my friend her soon to be thirteen-year-old daughter would like it. It has teens living with the consequences of decisions made years before; while it acknowledges some of the trouble kids can get into I don’t recall anything sexually explicit. Recommended for anyone with an interest in adventures.


Kreativ Blogger Award

Posted in Event at 7:55 am by Amber

Note: The below post is from 2010 and I found it while reviewing what was in my draft folder. I decided to share it instead of deleting it as much of it is still quite true. I think it was never posted because I was tasked with awarding it to five people and I didn’t know who would want to do it.


The lovely Lisa Damian of Damian Daily has awarded me with a Kreativ Blogger Award.  Now I must tell you five things you do not know about me.  I can’t guarantee this information will be new to all of you; my husband is one of my regular readers and he knows quite a bit about me.

Kreativ Blogger Award

1 – In college I wrote a senior thesis on nature symbolism in literature on a Brother Word Processor.  At that point it was the longest piece of writing I’d ever done.  And it was before computers were a must have for every college student.  Only the computer science majors had computers in their dorm rooms and no one I knew had a laptop.  The word processor was a life send because I could work on homework anywhere that had an electrical outlet.  I remember I used examples from Native American tales and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce to uphold my thesis.

2 – I am allergic to animal dander.  I grew up with a dog but it wasn’t until middle school that I realized I was allergic to some animals.  The first clue was the angora sweater that made me itch every time I wore it.  I didn’t get tested for allergies until 10 years later.  I had spent several hours in a one bedroom apartment with friends who had a cat and ended up at emergency care at Duke Medical Center several hours later because I was having problems breathing.  That experience made me get allergy tested once I was at home.

3 – I am rarely spontaneous.  This post has been in the works since 2/7/10 with multiple updates.  My husband has been talking about a new refrigerator since mid-2009 and I’ve come around to the idea in the last few months.  For over a week now I’ve been looking into manufacturer rebates, government rebates, different models and pricing.

4 – Last month I went for my first facial and it was nothing like I expected.  I honestly thought it was a facial massage with multiple applications of cleansers placed on the skin.  This was like going to see a massage therapist who uses aromatherapy.  It included a foot rub and several massages – arms, hands, neck and shoulders.

5 – I am lost without an electronic to do list.  Paper lists always get lost or I still forget an item.  I like the sight of the strikethrough font or once my task is completed it disappears.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted in Review at 9:24 am by Amber

Bite Size Book ReviewWhy did I read this book? I kept hearing good things about it without anyone giving anything away other than the title character is an unreliable witness to something.

What did I think of this book? I listened to this during my commute to and from work. The voice actresses were great and didn’t detract from the story one bit. I highly recommend it but with reservations. It has some violence which will turn off some readers.

Who should read this book? Fans of Rear Window or Gillian Flynn. It’s dark. It goes to unexpected places and though it involves more than one character they are all nicely tied together.


All Hallows Read 2015

Posted in Event at 10:30 am by Amber

Guess what time of year it is? It’s time for All Hallows Read! And I’m going to celebrate it in style. This year I belong to a book club where we do bookish things on a monthly basis. Each month has a different hostess and the book choices are varied. I won’t post the picture of the books I picked until after the next book club meeting.

All Hallows Read Bat

The poster above was created by Introverted Wife who has made some great posters for this holiday of book giving. Are you celebrating All Hallows Read this year?


Bite Size Book Reviews

Posted in Review at 8:53 am by Amber

Bite Size Book Review

New this year is the Bite Size Book Review. Much smaller than my normal review it answers the three basic questions: Why did I read it? What did I think of it? Who should read it?

I’m hoping it will help me knock out a bunch of reviews between now and the end of the year. The feedback I get is more immediate from people in my neighborhood and book club but hopefully you will find something that appeals to you. Look for the first Bite Size Book Review later this week.


Mailbox Monday – September 21st

Posted in Event at 8:33 am by Amber

Mailbox Monday

A big thank you to Marcia for originating Mailbox Monday. In this weekly meme you share books which came into your home during the week. I reserved some books at the library this week and heard of some through BookBub.

Here are the books I picked up this week:

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson –

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect that something powerful and ancient will awaken in her and that strange whispers will urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, suddenly there’s a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring, Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly epic coming-of-age.

What Stays in Vegas by Beth Labonte –

Bored administrative assistant, Tessa Golden, is trapped in a life of lousy weather, irritating bosses, and mind-numbing secretarial work. Her dreams of being an artist have rapidly deteriorated into building things out of paperclips while on hold with tech support. To make matters even worse, the love of her life has gone off and married another woman.

So when Tessa is suddenly transferred to the Las Vegas branch of her company – playing wingwoman to her freshly divorced boss, juggling a client-from-hell, and catching the eye of one very eligible coworker – will her life finally be shaken up enough to straighten itself out?

What arrived in your mailbox this week?


Bloggiesta Finish Line

Posted in Event at 9:45 pm by Amber


The Bloggiesta Finish Line!

The Bloggiesta Finish Line!

It’s Sunday night and I’m about ready to cross the Bloggiesta Finish Line. Below is the list of goals I created and the progress I made:

  1. Schedule post about my All Hallows Reads plan. Done! Look for that later this week.
  2. Schedule three mini-bite reviews. Done! I wrote them, scheduled them, and even started on a fourth one.
  3. Blogroll Overhaul mini-challenge. Done! I started off with 10 links on my blogroll. Said goodbye to dead link for Coyote Con, removed an author I no longer really follow and added links for Beth Cato, one of my writing friends, and several writer-friendly sites: NaNoLJers, NaNoWriMo and World Weaver Press. I ended up with a total of 12 sites. Additionally I updated my Biography page which hadn’t been updated since 2009.
  4. Update three of my blog templates. While reviewing my templates, it seems I only have two templates. One is for book reviews and the other is for Mailbox Monday. I didn’t update either one.

I had limited time this weekend but managed to participate in two chats and get some things done on my blog. Overall I’m pretty pleased with the time and effort I put into it. I even had a badge created for a new feature on the blog. I hope you’ll like it!


R.I.P. X Challenge

Posted in Event at 11:25 pm by Amber

RIPX Image Courtesy of Abigail Larson

Over the years I’ve seen calls for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge and I finally decided to participate. The logo by Abigail Larson is pretty awesome, isn’t it?

This challenge or event runs from September 1st through October 31st so it’s a short commitment and I plan on a setting a small goal since I’m starting late. It’s not limited to books. You can read short stories or watch movies that fit the theme. This year it’s hosted by The Estella Society and the gist of it is this:

Without further ado, pick your poison, won’t you? September 1st is here, and we’re ready to begin!

Dark Fantasy.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on, we’ve discovered that simple rules are best:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

The books I’m contemplating reading include:

  • On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Apothecary by Maile Malloy
  • The Scarab Heart by Michael Gallagher
  • The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns

As I mentioned, I’m going to go for a small goal. Peril the Second: Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the R.I.P. categories.

Peril The Second

Bloggiesta Fall 2015 Starting Line

Posted in Event at 9:10 pm by Amber

Starting Line for Bloggiesta

What exactly is Bloggiesta? It’s been around several years and while the timing has changed, the mini-challenges and events have evolved, the focus of Bloggiest hasn’t changed a bit. It’s about giving your blog some love and attention in ways you may not do often. In the past I’ve setup SEO Keywords on old posts, organized/scheduled posts, generated post ideas, learned how to revitalize old content, prepped for author interviews, updated my WP plugins, typed reviews, and so on.

Each Bloggiesta has mini challenges to inform and give you a chance to put this new knowledge to use. I’ve had a hankering to work on the blog as of late and the timing of Bloggiesta couldn’t be any better.

Here are my goals:

  1. Schedule post about my All Hallows Reads plan.
  2. Schedule three mini-bite reviews.
  3. Blogroll Overhaul mini-challenge.
  4. Update three of my blog templates.

Have you heard of Bloggiesta? Are you participating in it this time around?


A Flock of Shiny Stories!

Posted in Event at 12:06 am by Amber

Do you know what happened today? My friend’s latest anthology, CORVIDAE, was released.

Corvidae book cover

Associated with life and death, disease and luck, corvids have long captured mankind’s attention, showing up in mythology as the companions or manifestations of deities, and starring in stories from Aesop to Poe and beyond.


In Corvidae birds are born of blood and pain, trickster ravens live up to their names, magpies take human form, blue jays battle evil forces, and choughs become prisoners of war. These stories will take you to the Great War, research facilities, frozen mountaintops, steam-powered worlds, remote forest homes, and deep into fairy tales. One thing is for certain, after reading this anthology, you’ll never look the same way at the corvid outside your window.


Featuring works by Jane Yolen, Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, M.L.D. Curelas, Tim Deal, Megan Engelhardt, Megan Fennell, Adria Laycraft, Kat Otis, Michael S. Pack, Sara Puls, Michael M. Rader, Mark Rapacz, Angela Slatter, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Leslie Van Zwol

As a fan of birds and Rhonda, I’m looking forward to reading this collection. Blue jays are not an uncommon sight in my neighborhood, though sightings of Rhonda Parrish are rare. In fact, she has yet to come this far South in her travels.

Corvidae is the second book in the Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries Series. I have to share some of the praise this anthology has received. You’ll notice it’s quite the mixture of professions.

“Smart and dark like the corvids themselves, this excellent collection of stories and poems will bring you a murder of chills, a tiding of intrigue, a band of the fantastic, and—most of all—an unkindness of sleepy mornings after you’ve stayed up too late reading it!”

— Karen Dudley, author of Kraken Bake


“Magic and corvids collide in this certain to intrigue anthology.”

— Joshua Klein, hacker and inventor of the crow vending machine


“A creepy, crazy kaleidoscope of corvids, Corvidae is what happens when you bring together ingenious writers and sagacious subjects. It’s nothing short of a thrill ride when this anthology takes flight.”

— Susan G. Friedman, Ph. D., Utah State University; behaviorworks.org.


“As sparkling and varied as a corvid’s hoard of treasures, Corvidae is by turns playful and somber, menacing and mischievous. From fairy tale to steampunk adventure, from field of war to scene of crime, these magical birds will take you to places beyond your wildest imaginings.”

—  Jennifer Crow, poet and corvid-by-marriage


Corvidae evokes the majesty and mischief of corvid mythologies worldwide—and beyond our world—in a collection that is fresh and thoroughly enjoyable.”

— Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger

To learn more about Corvidae visit the official World Weaver Press site.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »