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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013



Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013


Greetings from my back garden.  England is finally getting a summer or at least a few days of it.  I know it has been sweltering in the States and I have been watching the news about that huge forest fire in Arizona. Here in the UK it has been overcast and rather tepid. In fact, I thought I was going to need a sweater one day last week.  But here I am....sunnies on, sunblock on, and enjoying the sunshine.  Hurrah!


Enough of my weather forecast this is what I have been reading this week.  I finally finished The Devil's Looking Glass by Mark Chadbourn. I will be reviewing it soon so don't want to give too much away.


Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013
I also discovered a new Thea Harrison novella, Wicked was out so I bought and downloaded it.  It is one in the series of the Elder Races series.  It was OK.  Seemed a bit short even for a short story and I am never sure I am convinced by Wyr who transform into smallish birds and reptiles. The story featured Khalil and Grace from Oracle's Moon and I couldn't remember how the main character in this novella came into contact with these two so I went back and read it. That got me on a trip down Elder Races memory lane and I am currently reading Storm's Heart. I am sure you are wondering why I am reading something so obviously PNR when I have said before I don't normally read it.  Well that is one my reading quirks. I will start a series, not necessarily like it that much but feel compelled to finish it.  So here I am ...several books and short stories in.  I usually skim the bits where man-hoods are bulging and breasts are heaving and get to the story.  In some cases that doesn't leave much to actually read but in Harrison's case I can tell she is building a slow, long but interesting story arc. Overall, I don't mind this series and looking forward to the next book to be released in November.


Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013
I also started Three by Joe Posey.  Regular readers will remember that Posey did a guest blog on Monday and is part of DAC 2013.  It has started out quite interesting.  I can't say I completely know what is going on but sometimes that is a good thing.


I am not certain what next reading has in store for me.  I think I am going to be playing it by ear....or is that by eye? I hope you have a productive week of reading ahead and until next time Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - 19 May 2012


Melanie's Week in Review  - 19 May 2012



So this was a rather 'middling' week for me on the reading front. I read a few, bought a few. I didn't really feel like I accomplished that much....until of course, I started to write this post. On reflection I didn't do too bad after all.

I actually got back to reading The Scrivener's Tale by Fiona McIntosh. I haven't finished it as I wanted to but I have made good progress. Fingers crossed for next week.

Melanie's Week in Review  - 19 May 2012I did finish The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton. It was Ok. It was 'quaint' and very young YA. I don't regret reading it but don't think I will continue on with the series. It was just a bit too predictable and the heroine a bit too perfect for a poor orphan girl living on the streets of London.

Once I finished this book I went back to those handy Kindle recommendations. I downloaded Double Blood by Connie Suttle. I had read her Blood Destiny series and thought by book 11 that I had read too many. I read the first book of the High Demon series and thought it was too much of a re-hash of the original series. Drawn by the low price and the fact that my Kindle recommendations have been pretty spot on recently I decided to download it. I was very disappointed as this new book was very similar to the others. In fact almost virtually the same plot.

Melanie's Week in Review  - 19 May 2012 Another disappointment in my reading week was Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison. I have read some of her other books and although there was quite a bit of action in this one I still found it a bit dull. I don't think I really gelled with the lead characters. Another series I don't think I will continue.

One book I did really enjoy was The Sword Edge Blond by Alex Bledsoe. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book, especially as the cover was a bit 1970's looking. Eddie LaCrosse, the hero of this series is a great one....hero that is. Damaged by a tragedy in his teens has shaped his life as a sword for hire. He is gruff and rough and totally heroic. I think Eddie is going to end up on my top ten fictional
Melanie's Week in Review  - 19 May 2012
boyfriend list soon. The added bonus was that it was so quick to read that I finished it by the time I got home from work. I liked it so much that I immediately bought Burn Me Deadly which I am partway through now. Eddie is even better in book two so far. If you like a medieval/fantasy murder mystery than I suggest you start this fantastic series.

I am ashamed to say I haven't had a chance to read any of my new books from the last two weeks and must get them reading them and stop buying new books! My job for next week I suppose. Until then Happy Reading!


Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012

and the winners are....


One copy of the US version Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) by Myke Cole to one winner and one copy of the UK version of Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) to another winner - Ended November 17, 2012 - Read the post about Covers here.

Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012

Question:  Which cover or covers is/are more appealing to you? Do any of them make you think "fantasy" or "science fiction" or something else??

US Version:

Jen B. who said...

I like the US versions because there is more "movement" and "life" in them. My instinct tells me military, international, spy, action, and supernatural. I got the supernatural from the guy in the back that appears to be controlling lightening.


UK Version:

Tim who said...

Though I live in the US, I like the UK version of both books. Maybe it's the flames and the smoke and the chunks of earth, but the UK of Fortress Frontier makes me think fantasy more than any of them.



Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012



Winners choice of one: Dragon Bound (The Elder Races 1), Storm's Heart (The Elder Races 2), Serpent's Kiss (The Elder Races 3) or Oracle's Moon (The Elder Races 4) by Thea Harrison - Ended November 16, 2012 - Read the Interview here. US ONLY

Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012

Question:  Who is your favorite character from the Elder Races series?

Krista who said...

Definitely Dragos! Gotta love those alpha males!
...

Thanks for the giveaway and the interview!
~Krista



Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012




Untamed (The Amoveo Legend 3) by Sara Humphreys - Ended November 13, 2012 - Read the interview here.US and Canada ONLY

Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012

Question:  You are a shapeshifter. What do you become when you shift?

Mary Kirkland who said...

I would be a Bear shifter. I think being able to shift into something really big and mean with big teeth could have its advantages when needed.

Hi Sara, I love this series as you already know. Am really looking forward to reading this book.



Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012



Her Sky Cowboy (The Glorious Victorious Darcys 1) by Beth Ciotta  - Ended November 12, 2012 - Read the Interview here. US ONLY

Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012

Question: Steampunk or Steampunk Romance?

flchen1 who said...

Both! Just like I enjoy scifi AND scifi romance, I like both steampunk AND steampunk romance! Wooot!!!! And can't wait for Ms. Ciotta's!! Yea!!!



Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012



Winners will be notified and will have until 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Sunday, November 25, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012

Please welcome Thea Harrison to The Qwillery. Thea is the author of The Elder Races series and the upcoming Game of Shadows duology. Lord's Fall (The Elder Races 5) was published earlier this week on November 6th.


Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012



TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery!

Thea:  Thank you for having me today! I’m delighted to get the chance to visit with you.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Thea:  I am probably the most boring writer in the world. :-)  I don’t actually have very many quirks. Sometimes I write with music on, and sometimes I write in silence. My dogs are always in the office area with me.

The most quirky thing I can think of is actually how I like to take long distance car trips. I have a CD player in my car, and of course a radio, and I always take a collection of CDs to listen to. But for the last half a dozen long trips I’ve taken – two or three days of driving in the car—I’ve ended up driving in total silence and used the time to think about stories and plots.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Thea:  I’m both a plotter and a pantser! How does that work, you ask? I create proposals for each project, or book, and those proposals have 5-10 page outlines that give my editor a clear idea of where I envision the book will go. After that, however, I go where the writing takes me, which means sometimes I need to rework my thinking from the original outline.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Thea:  One of the most challenging things for me is the wait. I find it difficult to pour months of effort and time into a project, hit SEND and then wait for feedback and acceptance. After that, there’s more waiting—months of it—between the stages of development a book goes through before it finally hits the bookshelves at a store or online vendor. After that, there is more waiting, to see how readers respond, and to receive royalty checks after all the accounting.

The very best way to counteract all of this waiting is to invest in another project. It helps tremendously to become involved in another book or novella, which facilitates disengaging from the project I just completed. Since I want to keep writing, this works out very well for both the reader and I!


TQ:  What inspired you to write The Elder Races series?

Thea:  Years and years of reading and enjoying science fiction, fantasy and paranormal books.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create your world and mythology?

Thea:  I would have to say, again, that it was a combination that involved years and years of independent reading, hobby interests, and college courses (such as philosophy and mythology). I had a lot of material to draw on by the time the Elder Races was created.


TQ:  Describe Lord's Fall (The Elder Races 5) in 140 characters or less.

I’m borrowing this from something a blogger wrote (I can’t remember which one, sorry!):

LORD'S FALL is what happens to Pia and Dragos after their happy ever after.


TQ:  Tell us something about Lord's Fall that is not in the book description.

Thea:  A lot of questions and issues that have built up over the previous four books are addressed, and more questions and issues arise. I guess it’s kind of like reality: we never really live totally resolved lives.


TQ:  In Lord's Fall, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Thea:  Dragos and Pia were the easiest characters to write. Putting them on again to tell the story was like revisiting friends. As for who was the most difficult? Hmmm. I think perhaps the antagonist. I had to give his character a lot of thought.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Lord's Fall?

Thea:  I loved the interactions between Pia and a new-to-the-reader character, Eva. They cracked me up several times when I was writing them!


TQ:  And now for a really easy question! The Elder Races series presently consists of 5 novels and 4 novellas. Who is your favorite character from the series?

Thea:  I have said this before, and it’s actually quite true: my favorite characters happen to be the ones I’m writing at the time. Right now, though, I am between Elder Races projects…. So right now I would have to say that Dragos is my favorite.


TQ:  What's next?

Thea:  I’m quite excited that the first of my Game of Shadows duology, RISING DARKNESS, has a release date of April 2, 2013. (The second book will be entitled FALLEN LIGHT.) I’m about to begin the final edits for that project, and I’ve seen the draft of the cover art, which is spectacular! I can’t wait to share the final version with readers! You can read the official cover blurb for RISING DARKNESS here. There’s also a teaser chapter at the end of LORD’S FALL.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Thea:  Thank you for having me! I appreciate the chance to visit with you.

For readers: who is your favorite character from the Elder Races series?





The Elder Races

Lord's Fall
The Elder Races 5
Berkley, November 6, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012
In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, two mates find themselves on different paths, torn between their duty to the Wyr and the passion that binds them…

Before she met Dragos, half-human/half-Wyr Pia Giovanni was alone and on the run. Now she’s mated, pregnant and heading south to repair the Wyrs’ frayed relationship with the Elves. Being separated from Dragos is painful, but for the good of the Wyr demesne they need to figure out how to be partners—in more places than just the bedroom.

In New York to preside over the Sentinel Games, Dragos is worried about his mate, but knows that finding two replacement sentinels is essential to show the rest of the Elder Races just how strong and brutal the Wyr demesne can be. But as the Games heat up, Pia’s negotiations with the Elves take a turn for the dangerous, straining her bond with Dragos and threatening everything they hold dear…




Oracle's Moon
The Elder Races 4
Berkley, March 6, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012
When Grace Andreas's sister, Petra, and her husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister's two young children--neither of which she is prepared for. Then Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn Prince of House Marid, decides to make himself a part of the household both as guardian and counterpoint to Grace's impudence towards the Elder Races.




Serpent's Kiss
The Elder Races 3
Berkley, October 4, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012
Recently, Vampire Queen Carling's power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee. Wyr sentinel Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help find a cure for the serpent's kiss-the vampyric disease that's killing her. With their desire for each other escalating they will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent's kiss...



Storm's Heart
The Elder Races 2
Berkley, August 2, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012
Able to wield thunder and lightning, wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the wyr's best weapons. And he's the one sent to protect Tricks, heir to the Dark Fae throne, when she's almost assassinated in Chicago. Soon Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them-a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.




Dragon Bound
The Elder Races 1
Berkley, May 3, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.




Stories of The Elder Races
Available from Samhain Publishing
Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012





About Thea

Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison is the pen name for Teddy Harrison. Thea has traveled extensively, having lived in England and explored Europe for several years. Now she resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter.

She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. She experienced waitressing as a teenager, has worked as an activist for a non-profit consumer rights organization, has been a receptionist, an office manager, a penniless graduate student, a director of development and research, and a single mom. Her graduate degrees are in Philanthropic Studies and Library Information Science, but her first love has always been writing fiction.

Her paranormal Elder Races series began May 3, 2011 with Dragon Bound, which won RT Book Review’s Book of the Year Award, and the Romance Writer’s of America RITA in the paranormal romance category.

All five of her full length novels in the Elder Races series have won Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Book two, Storm’s Heart and book four, Oracle’s Moon, hit the USA Today bestseller’s list, while book three, Serpent’s Kiss, hit the New York Times extended bestseller list.

She adores animals and currently resides with two small dogs that have very large personalities.

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads




THE GIVEAWAY

What:  One commenter will win her/his choice of a Mass Market Paperback copy of Dragon Bound, Storm's Heart, Serpent's Kiss, or Oracle's Moon from Berkley. US  ONLY

How:   Answer Thea's question: 

Who is your favorite character from the Elder Races series?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, November 16, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*





Melanie's Week in Review - July 7, 2013Melanie's Week in Review  - 19 May 2012Winners x 5 - November 18, 2012Interview with Thea Harrison and Giveaway - November 9, 2012

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