Image Map

Star Wars Psychology Edited by Travis Langley {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Star Wars Psychology is a book outside of my normal reading selections, but once in a while I like to try something different ;-). I of course grew up a Star Wars fan given how nerdy my parents are and am loving the new wave of Star Wars fandom. I also really enjoy pop science non-fiction from time to time, so I thought this one could be fun. It didn’t quite work for me, but fans who want to also learn a bit about psychology will probably enjoy it!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Star Wars Psychology from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Star Wars Psychology Edited by Travis Langley {Just Hatched}

Star Wars Psychology by Travis Langley
Published by Sterling on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Non-fiction, Sci-fi
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

This essay collection offers a fascinating psychological analysis of the compelling and complex universe of George Lucas's richly rendered Star Wars series. A group of expert contributors examines such topics as family ties, Jedi qualities, masculinity, girl power, and the values embodied in both the "dark" and "light" sides of this psychologically spellbinding world.

2 Stars

[Read more…]

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

Sci-fi And Fantasy Fridays

Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways!

I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres!

Congrats to Suzanne for winning last week, enjoy the giftcard :D. This week I’m adding a few new reads and an older one:

Into the Dim The Harp and the Ravenvine 

Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that link will get $5 at Amazon or two ARCs from my SFFF-Books shelf!

Here are the more stringent rules concerning links for the giveaway:

[Read more…]

Dragon Hunters Quosters by Marc Turner + Giveaway! (US/CAN/UK)

Sword2Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner

Today I’m very excited to welcome Marc Turner to the blog. Last year he published When the Heavens Fall, which I devoured in a single day despite its hefty page count. Now he’s back with a loose sequel, Dragon Hunters, coming Feb. 9th! I loved it and it has dragons, do you need to know anything else??

Dragon Hunters – Quote, Unquote 

Nine months ago, when my first book When the Heavens Fall came out, I did a post on the Tor/Forge Blog about how difficult it was for a new author to stand out from the crowd. Game of Thrones may have brought epic fantasy to a whole new set of readers, but how do you get those readers to choose your book over the others available? One idea I had was to produce a video trailer for WtHF – you can see it here. As the publication date for my second book approached, I thought about doing a trailer for Dragon Hunters too.

Then I saw an old blog post by an author called Mark Lawrence in which he held a competition for his readers to make a “quoster”. Quosters combine a quote from a novel with an appropriate image to create something that (hopefully) entices people to read the book. It seemed like fun, so I decided to have a go at making some. After all, they’d be easier to produce than a video, right? Well, yes. But only in the same way that swimming the Atlantic is easier than swimming the Pacific.

The first stage was to pick a suitably dramatic, intriguing or humorous quote from Dragon Hunters. Simple, I thought. I mean, my books are just crammed with lines like that (ahem). Having spent half a day flicking through Dragon Hunters, though, I realised that most of my favourite quotes were unsuitable. Why? Because they were either too long, or too “spoilery”, or because you needed to know the context of the line in order to understand it. Eventually, however, I settled on a handful of possibles.

The second stage was to trawl through the stock photo websites for images that matched the quotes. I thought the sea dragons in Dragon Hunters were likely to be a draw for a lot of readers, so I picked some quotes in which dragons featured. I quickly learned, though, not to be too specific. Put “sea dragon snatching screaming woman from air” into a search box, and – unsurprisingly – you’re not going to be overwhelmed with options. Even if you limit it to “sea dragon,” you won’t fare much better. Unless, of course, you are looking for a cartoon picture of the Loch Ness monster wearing a tartan cap, in which case you are on to a winner.

The third stage was perhaps the most difficult: making the quosters look like they were professionally produced. I was concerned that if I put out something that appeared amateurish, people might wonder if it reflected the quality of the writing in Dragon Hunters. The key word for me here was continuity. I gave the quosters a common logo, and used the same font, the same layout and the same border for each one. 

As for the final results, well, I’ll let you judge for yourselves! I’ve set out four quosters below. If you’d like to see more, feel free to head over to my Twitter page (@MarcJTurner) where I’ll be putting up the rest in the next few days.

Sword2 BloodyKnife

Breaths Web

Giveaway

Marc has been wonderful and offered a copy of Dragon Hunters for one lucky winner! We can send the book to addresses in the US, Canada and the UK. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email and I’ll be checking entries so please follow the directions carefully.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines ARC {5 Stars}

I absolutely love the Magic Ex Libris series!!!  As a life-long book lover, I find it easy to believe that books are magic portals and that lucky, gifted people would be able to use books to draw out science-fiction devices, healing cordials, and magic beans.  Jim Hines has taken that premise, added very realistic and likable main characters, and created a wonderful reading experience.  If you haven’t started this series, give the first book (Libriomancer) a try.  I suspect you’ll be quickly hooked.

Revisionary is book four of the series and heads into the action quickly.  If you haven’t read any of this series, you might find yourself lost.  If you haven’t read book three in a while, don’t worry.  Hines reminds us of what has gone before and gives quick updates on relationships without slowing down the action, but if you haven’t been introduced to these characters in prior books, much will seem strange. However, I’m careful to avoid spoilers below (except the blurb!) if you want an idea if this series would appeal to you.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Revisionary from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines ARC {5 Stars}

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines (Magic Ex Libris #4)
Published by DAW on February 2, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Isaac Vainio helped to reveal magic to the world, he dreamed of a new millennium of magical prosperity. One year later, things aren’t going quite as he’d hoped. A newly-formed magical organization wants open war with the mundane world. Isaac’s own government is incarcerating “potential supernatural enemies” in prisons and internment camps.

Surrounded by betrayal and political intrigue, Isaac and a ragtag group of allies must evade pursuit both magical and mundane, expose a conspiracy by some of the most powerful people in the world, and find a path to a better future. But the key to victory may lie with Isaac himself, as he struggles to incorporate everything he’s learned into a new, more powerful form of libriomancy.

5 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter is a fantastic start to what promises to be a very fun new middle grade series. I suspect parents who loved Animorphs back in their day are going to be especially thrilled to have a new series that combines fantasy with changing into animals for a great adventure. Definitely a great choice for young readers who love animals as much as I do :D.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimée Carter (Simon Thorn #1)
Published by Bloomsbury on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 420 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.

Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

4 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks ARC {4 Stars}

AWWT_blogtour (1)

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks is the second in an adorable middle grade series about the world writers escape to for inspiration for their books and a young girl just learning how to be a writer. I adored Finding Serendipity, and am happy to report this sequel goes back to the fun parts of the first book while greatly adding to the world and plot. This is definitely a must-read series for middle grade fantasy fans!

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Week Without Tuesday from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks ARC {4 Stars}

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks, Stevie Lewis (Tuesday McGillycuddy #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding—putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener—the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they'll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn't know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?

4 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Updates from the Lair 01/31/16

Updates from the Lair

Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!). 

What a weird week! Hubby hurt his back last Saturday so the beginning of the week was mostly nurse-mode, and then it was his birthday on Wednesday (and we saw The 5th Wave movie!) and then he had to go out of town Thursday and is coming back today. So literally not one normal day D:. I’ve also got some major deadlines coming up for work, so I’ve been working on all that and reading to keep myself sane, ha.

My Week

Fridays with the Wizards

I read Fridays with the Wizards basically as soon as it arrived since I love this series. What is not to love about a sentient castle that provides rooms as needed and expresses its opinion about someone with how nice their room is?? Also griffins.

Burning MidnightBurning Midnight was my treadmill read this week and it’s fast pacing meant that exercise went by quickly :D. The logic was lacking a bit at the end, but the concept is intriguing and I was never bored!

Grave DanceI just finished Grave Dance before writing up this post! Urban fantasy is always a fun thing to binge, so I was happy to pick up this one and get a little closer to being caught up on the series before book four comes out, ha.

WinterI started the audiobook of Winter this week! Thank you so much Pabkins for gifting it to me so I didn’t have to break my book-buying ban ;-). I’m enjoying the audio quite a lot and I think this will be a good way to finish up this series.

Dr. Critchlore's School for MinionsI can never be without a treadmill book, so I started Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions and it so so cute! There are lots of puns and nice illustrations and jokes about training minions for evil overlords. This is an overdue eARC from last year, so go me for getting caught up a bit? :D

[Read more…]

Rosemary and Rue Read Along {Week 4}

rosemary_and_rue_read_along

Week 4

Hey everyone! It’s finally here! The grand finale :D. Now we can all delight in knowing how things ended and pick up the broken pieces of our hearts :-P. All the spoilers below!

[Read more…]

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

Sci-fi And Fantasy Fridays

Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways!

I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres!

Congrats to Angel for winning last week, I hope you enjoy whatever you choose! This week I’m adding a few new titles that I’m quite excited about :D.

The Girl From Everywhere Kingdom of Ashes The Cold Between

Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that link will get $5 at Amazon or two ARCs from my SFFF-Books shelf!

Here are the more stringent rules concerning links for the giveaway:

[Read more…]

Death Wave by Ben Bova {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Death Wave by Ben Bova is definitely a dark book.  The setting is the near future Earth, where climate change has rewritten the map of the planet’s shorelines, causing waves of refugees to seek shelter inland, while improvements in robotics have eliminated countless jobs.  The good news is that humanity has united and begun to establish colonies within our own solar system and has managed to send explorers to a planet in a nearby system ….. where they have encountered a New Earth, created by alien machines and somehow populated with humans … or so they would like us to think.  But since the aliens are providing humans with new technologies and seem friendly, much of our population is willing to look the other way and profit by our apparent good fortune.

The crisis of the book is that a wave of gamma radiation is hurtling through space toward Earth, scheduled to arrive in two thousand years.  Naturally, human rulers are not too quick to take action, even when they find out that other intelligent species are closer to the edge of the titular death wave.  Leaving our intrepid main characters to make the difficult decision about what to do with their knowledge …. and compassion.

Death Wave by Ben Bova {Just Hatched}

Death Wave by Ben Bova (Star Quest #2)
Published by Tor Books on November 17, 2015
Genres: Sci-fi
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Six-time Hugo Award winner Ben Bova chronicles the saga of humankind’s expansion beyond the solar system

In Ben Bova’s previous novel New Earth, Jordan Kell led the first human mission beyond the solar system. They discovered the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. But one alien AI survived, and it revealed to Jordan Kell that an explosion in the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy has created a wave of deadly radiation, expanding out from the core toward Earth. Unless the human race acts to save itself, all life on Earth will be wiped out.

When Kell and his team return to Earth, many years after their departure, they find that their world has changed almost beyond recognition. Not only has a second wave of greenhouse flooding caused sea levels to rise, but society has been changed by the consequences of the climate shift. Few people want to face Jordan Kell’s news. He must convince Earth’s new rulers that the human race is in danger of extinction unless it acts to forestall the death wave coming from the galaxy’s heart.

2 Stars

[Read more…]