Monday, December 31, 2012

This Space Under Construction!!!

Greetings wonderful readers and followers,

I know things have been quiet around my little confessional, but worry not I have not forgotten you or stopped reading. The new year is fast upon us and it will be an exciting year for me in my little slice of literary heaven.

Get ready for a new look, updated review policy, updated rating system, lots of nifty features, giveaways, interviews, guest posts and reviews if course.

Things will be revealed on January 5th! Are you as excited as I am, are you ready for things to kick off and get rocking for 2013, I know I am.

I will also be featuring my top ten books of 2012 and my top ten least favorite books of 2012. What else do I have in store for you, you will just have to wait and see.

Love, kisses and great reads,

Martha aka Caedy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hello to New and Old Faces! Some Important Information Ahead

To all the new followers, thank you, thank you and thank you a hundred times over and I am quite pleased that you've found my slice of literary heaven.  Some things in the works, I will be revamping my review policy, as well as further detailing a few things to stream line the process.  I will be attempting to get back into posting a blog schedule, and now that I am once more the proud owner of a Kindle (THANK THE GODS) I will have lots more books to read and review (including some from the 1300 in the archives of my amazon account that I've not yet touched). 

I will also be perhaps sharing with you some of my writing, though that might go to a separate blog in and of itself.  Beyond that, I've also got computer access again at home (for more than a handful of hours early in the morning on weekends) so I can post things more regularly. 

Also, if you like my reviews, and the content that I provide, I would highly recommend sharing me with your friends, finding me on Goodreads and ultimately following my reviews and things here.  I do post my reviews on goodreads as well, and I will be once more refreshing my smashwords account and posting things there (mainly because I have books that I need to grab there and redownload on my Kindle). 

If you are an author and following me here on my little piece of heaven, and would like me to review your book I am more than willing.  Digital copies are accepted (mobi/kindle format preferred above all others) and print copies as well.  If you send me a copy of your book (digitally or otherwise) allow me minimum of three (3) weeks to have time to read and formulate an opinion on your book to provide you with a proper review and not allow you to feel slighted. 

I will in the coming weeks be catching up on my backlog of reviews (and trust me when I say that there is a backlog!).  Those ultimately come first, and then I will be moving on to some of the newer material that I have received.  But, worry not, I will not allow your book to be lost in the shuffle like some have in the past.  I do apologize if you happen to be one of those authors (it was so very not intentional). 

Also, if you aren't an author, but you have an awesome book that you want to recommend to me, and it is available for lending via Kindle, you can of course always lend it to me and I will have it read and reviewed within the two (2) week grace period that is allowed for Kindle lending. 

Any other comments, questions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me and let me know.  Also, if you are looking for Beta readers, decidedly more than willing!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review: Year of the Cat by Carroll Bryant

Title: Year of the Cat
Author: Carroll Bryant
Format: e-book (Kindle edition)
Read: Dec 9 - DNF
Rating: 1/5
Recommend: No

Summary: Lancaster Parks, an American Detective is sent to a tourist city in Mexico.  What exactly he's investigating is a string of deaths of male tourists over the past years.  The case he's on currently has 16 unsolved murders, all the victims American males and murdered between Spring Break and Memorial Day Weekend (the city's two biggest tourist times).  Oh, and there is this mysterious woman too.

Review: I am so usually not one to give into hype, drama or let other people's reviews color my opinion of a book.  So, up on receiving this book as a gift (which I usually do not turn down, but in this case I probably should have).

I could not even finish it, I have no desire to finish it.  Nor do I think any amount of money could make me finish this book. This author reminds me of Vizzini in <i>The Princess Bride</i> with his use of words improperly.

The on that made me giggle, seriously, was apparently the main character was going to spend "the next ions" of his life in the city he was transferred to in Mexico.  Dear Author, you are aware that the word that you should have used in that sentence was EONS.

Ions do not measure time.  Ions are an electrically charged atom, and is a term used in physics or chemistry.

Eons measure time.  They measure an indefinite amount of time.

So, your character would not be spending electrically charged atoms in a place, instead he would be spending eons (an indefinite amount of time) in the city in Mexico.

Then, there is this mystery woman.  I don't get entirely where she comes from (maybe I would if I finished the book) but to have her simply show up in this one mini flash back toward the beginning of the book is kind of disjointed and really doesn't make things flow nice and neatly in my opinion.

Anyway, that is my two cents and I bid you all a good day and happy reading.  Please do not bring your hate, drama and various other trivial things to my page.  I've now read the drama and the whirlwind of a shit storm that this book and the author has produced.  I do not want any part of it, and you will not hesitate to find yourself blocked, banned, or reported for bringing the drama here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazaer

Title: Innocent Darkness
Author: Suzanne Lazear
Format: E-book - Galley
Read: May 13-14 2012
Rating: 3.5/5
Recommend: Maybe.

Summary: This book has a unique premise: Steampunk faerie tale.  Magnolia has been sent to a school for troublesome girls, but ultimately she is broken out of the school with the aid of a Faerie.  She is slated to be the sacrificial lamb to save Otherworld.

Review:  I was given this book as an ARC/Galley copy from Netgalley, and the prospect of Steampunk mixed with faerie did seem intriguing especially since it raises so many questions about how the two would intermingle especially with Fae being known for having a strong allergic reaction to all things iron and frowning on the inclusion of too much mortal world technology.
There were things that I liked in this book and things that irritated me with this book.  Multiple names for each character tended to get confusing, especially since each character had a nickname and their actual name but went by one or another name throughout the entirety of the book.  That was one of the things that rubbed me the wrong way, and I also disliked the sudden drop off of the steampunk part of the story.  The devices that were used at the beginning of the story were among my favorite and it upset me that once things shifted there was little to no more steampunk influence on the story.
Okay, so Noli is a hoyden, but there was no closure given to the harsh and unacceptable treatment she'd received at the school.  It kinda irked me that there were no lasting, lingering effects (as their should have been from such treatment) and everything was suddenly overshadowed by the fact that she had to be sacrificed to save Otherworld, and ultimately the romance took over as well.  While, I do like a good romance, it to me is not something that should have taken center stage when there were more pressing issues that needed to be dealt with.
Will I continue to read this series? I am on the fence about picking up the second book simply because there was a lot that had left me wanting with this one.  We will see, I may pick it up just to see what twists are in it and if there is further inclusion of the steampunk or if it has merely turned into another faerie story.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quick update..

So, I know I still owe half a dozen and then some reviews.  I know I am not in good standing with a lot of people for reviews and I will try and remedy that situation.  I have a dozen or so that need to go up on smashwords as well as on goodreads and here.  I will be getting to those soon I swear it.  I've finished all the books, I just have to find the extra time to sit down and write them (though most of them I do have at least outlined).

My review outline, as you may have seen in one of my last reviews has changed.  I've added a bit more information about the books that I've been reading, including format.  I will also be adding series, and things of that nature as well.  As always I will be including a book cover image. 

Currently on my plate are:

Innocent Darkness
The Paladin Prophecy
Love and Other Perishable Items
Wylde's Army
Fix By Force
The Sky Inside You
Breath of Air
Jaguar Sun

Those I intend on trying to at least get up before Thanksgiving (though with NaNo and my word count all over the place, I will see what I can get to).

After these I will be getting up the following:
Rose Blossoms at Midnight and Other Dark Tales
Silver Knight
The Moon Dwellers
Francesca of Lost Nation
Call of the Herald
Inherited Danger

Current new books that I've gotten and need reviews as well:
Mental Damnation: Reality

Current books from the library that will be getting reviews:
Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

With the exception of Legend, that should, and I do say SHOULD take care of everything that I have a back log in.  Eventually, I will tackle everything that I have backloged for my Library/Personal/Kindle shelf.  Then it is time to start in on what I am currently reading.  Seriously,  I need to start writing the reviews as soon as I finish the book or while I am reading the book and it will help eliminate this backlog that is creating a bottleneck.

Love you all, and hopefully I will have some reviews flooding your inboxes soon.

Lots of love

OH and I just got a treasure trove of books from the library and have two more on delivery.  I love having a working library card again.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blog Tour Stop #1: Falling Immortality by Robert Downs - MANfiction Length - Guest Post

As a stop on the current Making Connections Blog Tour, I'm allowing Robert Downs to take over my blog with a guest post! I've also got a special one that will be going up the day before the blog tour starts, a special little treat for all you lovely people, and it fits perfectly with the blog tour starting up on the 1st of November.  Without further adieu, I turn this blog post over to Mr. Downs and his topic of choice, MANfiction Length.

When it comes to MANfiction, size really does matter. You don’t want a long-winded tale, filled with flowery descriptions and language, and a novel that feels like it will never end. Instead, what you want is a tale told in approximately 75,000 words or less, and that is filled with action,
concise dialogue told in the most efficient manner possible, and strong characters with even stronger motivation.

If you look at the pulp fiction stories of old, they followed this formula effectively, and they used it to their advantage with characters that practically erupted from the pages themselves. It’s important to feel these characters through action and violence, much more so than the words that
might erupt from their lips. Men are notorious for our short attention spans, and shorter novels will serve you well as you cater to the hard-boiled audiences of old. Shorter novels also allow the action scenes dispersed throughout the tale to stand out even louder and prouder.

If you follow this formula men will appreciate your conciseness, and many women will as well, as your books stand out on the shelves from the rest of the novels that in many cases will exceed the length of your tale. And when you work hard at some creative endeavor, isn’t that what you’re really looking for anyway? A way to stand out from the crowd and to be heard above the dull roar in the background. Your readers will thank you and so will the MANfiction
heavyweights of old: Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett to name just a few. Let’s bring back the noir of old, since it was a perfect marketing concept executed fairly flawlessly when it was done correctly.

Robert Downs is the author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator. A sample
chapter of his MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the
author, or his main character, can be located at his website.

Blog Tour Stop #1: Falling Immortality by Robert Downs - Interview

Welcome to a very special edition of Into the Confessional, Robert Downs author of Falling Immortality has stepped into the confessional as part of his blog tour, hosted by Making Connections on Goodreads.  Enjoy your time on this first stop of the Falling Immortality Blog Tour.   Without further adieu, here is the transcript of Robert's visit to the confessional.

1. What made you want to become a writer?

Like many authors, I’ve always been a voracious reader. And once I realized being a garbage
man probably wasn’t the right career path for me, I set my aspirations in an entirely different
direction. As I grew older, I dabbled in song lyrics, or what I refer to as really bad poetry, but
I was testing out the writing waters, without really even knowing what I was doing. And after
watching Finding Forrester, I decided to become a little more ambitious with my water dabbling
by deciding to tackle a novel. I had to wrestle it to the ground like a bull, and it popped back up
with horns at the ready, as I waved my white flag. But several manuscripts stuffed in file drawers
later, here we are, and I can honestly say that I love it as much now as I did then. I just hope I’m
a bit smarter about the whole process.

2. From who or what do you get your inspiration and was there one individual that got you
started in writing?

It wasn’t a specific individual that kick started the writing gene (see my answer to question 1).
As far as where I get my inspiration, the short answer is everywhere. If I don’t get at least one
or two ideas a month, then it’s probably been a bad month. Will I use all my ideas? Probably
not. But it’s nice to know I have a wealth of ideas, and I can always seem to manufacture more.
Now, I know ideas don’t just explode in my head, but it sometimes feels like they do. Anything
can trigger an idea from reading to observing to two random thoughts popping together like
firecrackers to movies to a conversational phrase that won’t go away.

3. Every writer has their own unique process and each process has its own quirks. What are
some of yours if any?

I don’t know if I have specific quirks, but you’re right I do have an approach to my writing
process. It probably wouldn’t work for everybody, but it works just fine for me. When I write,
I pound the keys with as much force as I can possibly muster, and I keep going until I run out
of steam, or life gets in the way. When I was younger, I’d write for what felt like an entire
weekend. Even though I don’t write quite that much now, I still try to devote as much time to
the writing process as I can. Since I have a day job, I write during the evenings when I’m not
previously indisposed, or as much as I can on the weekends. Oh, I should probably add that I
have the same desk (slightly modified) and chair, since I was in the fourth or fifth grade. I don’t
consider it a quirk, but my wife probably would. And, yes, one day I do plan to upgrade my desk.

4. Where did your inspiration for Casey Holden come from? Someone you know personally?

Not really. He’s a rather unique individual, so I can’t say he grew out of one specific person. I
hadn’t read many hard-boiled or noir novels, so I had no idea how much I loved the genre. But
I do. I really, really do. The closest I probably came to hard-boiled was Robert B. Parker, and I
devoured his novels like a tray of cupcakes. I wanted a strong, unique voice, so naturally I came
up with the strongest male voice I could possibly muster. He’s me without the moral compass,
filter, and way too much money and time on his hands. These are all problems I don’t currently
have to worry about, so I have a lot of fun exploring the world through his eyes. As my dad
would say, he’s my alter-ego.

5. Do you have anything special in the works? If so when can we expect it to hit shelves?

Oh, I like to think all of novels are special, because let’s face it, if you’re going to devote several
years to the process from conception to manuscript completion to final product to marketing,
you’d better have a damn good reason for doing it. But I can tell you my publisher and I are
working on editing the second Casey Holden mystery titled Graceful Immortality, so we’re just
a bit beyond step 2 of my timeline. As for when it will be available to readers, your guess is as
good mine, since many aspects of publishing remind me of a weather forecaster trying to predict
the next rainstorm. But I hope we can have it available for purchase in a year and a half or so, if
not sooner.

6. If you had the chance to spend one month anywhere in the world, what one place would you

Well, Hawaii comes to mind. It’s been on my places to visit list for a while now, and I’ve never
been before. Short of being on the West Coast, the flight time is about as short as it will ever be
for me, since I live in New Mexico. In a few years, though, I’m liable to give you an entirely
different answer.

7. If you could visit any fictional world for one day where would you go?

Again, I’ll give you the first answer that comes to mind Sherlock Holmes. Sure, he’s not the
first detective to have ever walked the Earth, but he’s certainly one of the most famous and most
beloved. I’d love to see 221b Baker Street and London through his eyes. I know it could only
help my own writing.

8. If you had to choose four fictional characters to have a meal with who would they be and what
one question would you ask of each of them?

Four characters that come to mind are Jack Reacher, Elvis Cole, Archie McNally, and Sherlock
Holmes. Honestly, I’d probably sit around with my mouth open, and it’d take me fifteen or
twenty minutes to summon enough courage to ask them a question. I’d probably ask them about
their detective skills, since all four of them have a different approach and they each bring unique
capabilities to the table.

9. What are the top three books on your to read list right now?

The top three in my pile of books to read. Sorry, I don’t mean to be a smartass, but every book
on my shelf and in my Kindle is important to me; otherwise, why would I spend the money,
or more importantly, take time away from other activities to read? Now, that’s not to say I
don’t love reading, because I do, so I can’t even fathom a world without books. When I read, I
completely immerse myself in every book.

When I look at reading, just as I do with writing, I focus on what book I want to read, or write,
right now. So the short answer to your question is The Corpse Wore Pasties, Moneyshot, and
Capital. If you ask me in a few weeks, I’ll have an entirely different answer for you, since I’ll
have three completely different books at the top of my pile to read right now.

10. What one question would you ask to any historical figure if you had the chance?

The first historical figure that pops into my head is Martin Luther King, Jr. Since he was such a
great leader, I’d probably ask him what I could do to become a better leader.

11. One final question and this is actually for Mister Casey Holden, what is your ideal date that
does not include sex.

Here’s what he would say: Whatever the girl wants to do. Because when he takes a woman out,
it’s not about him: it’s about her. It doesn’t matter if it’s the movies, dinner, a picnic lunch, a
day at the beach, flying to Paris, driving toward the Appalachian Mountains, or walking through
MacArthur Center Mall, dating is about showing an interest in her and making her feel special.
So he would do whatever it takes to knock her out of her high heels, even if it’s just for a
moment. Because if he’s successful, he knows she’ll come back for more.

Website: Robert Downs
Facebook Page: Robert Downs Books

Blog Tour Stop #1: Falling Immortality by Robert Downs - Review

Title: Falling Immortality
Author: Robert Downs
Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Summary: Casey Holden is a Heineken drinking, smart-assed, womanizing, viper driving ex-cop turned private investigator.  He isn't afraid to speak his mind and often gets into more trouble than he like, but he is good at what he does (and if not he has his trust fund to fall back on).  this time he was asked by a widow, Felicity Ferran, to investigate her husband's murder.  The case is 2-years old, cold and dead, and turn out to be much, much more than Casey bargained for.

Review:  I'd received this book from the Author to get the feel of his writing before creating interview questions for him.  This review is unbiased and honest, as are all my reviews.  Thank you Mr. Downs for the opportunity to get to know Casey Holden, and you a bit better.

This story is easily one of my favorites, and Casey Holden is definitely on my Top 10 favorite characters of all time.  He is a smart-ass and that is something that makes him all the more likeable to me (the fire engine red Dodge Viper doesn't hurt either).

The story flows well from start to finish, an has plenty of action to keep you occupied throughout the book.  Between the action there is sex, which is a very big part of Casey's life, but it isn't the focus of the book and the scenes are glossed over with only references left to them  and that is something that works perfectly well for this book.   Casey's mouth gets him in more trouble than he really wants, and though he tries to control it, it just usually has a mind of its own.

I honestly could not find anything that I did not like about this book and I will definitely be looking for more from Robert Downs in the future, especially if it is another Casey Holden, P.I. book.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Treat: Blog Take Over: Casey Holden - Picking Up Women

In honor of the Falling Immortality Blog Tour starting tomorrow, November 1st, and the first stop being here at Confessions of a Bibliophile, I am sharing with you the second guest post that I'd requested from Robert Downs.  Robert won't be taking over the blog until tomorrow, but today's treat for you is from my new favorite P.I, Casey Holden.

So, here is Casey's advice to picking up women...

Picking up women isn’t as hard as women, or the tabloids would have you believe. I stopped reading the rags years ago after an individual, whom I’m not willing to name, was belittled for what must have been the twentieth time. Since women always seem to have the upper hand, I decided to assert some authority over these beautiful, exotic creatures by turning them to Play-
Doh with the right smile or wink. In order to do it successfully, it has to be about them, not you.

Listening isn’t just some mysterious, three-syllable word that has made its way into our vernacular through sheer will. No, it must be permanently ingrained in the male psyche for you to have a chance on the field of battle. And believe me, it will be a battle. I’ve stuck my head in the trenches, I’ve fired my guns at the enemy, and I’ve covered miles and miles of the blood-
soaked earth with no more than my smile and wits to save me. I’ll say this again because it’s worth repeating: it can’t be about you, it has to be about them. Women can smell the scent of a weak man a half-mile away, and your strength becomes your true power over them. This goes back to the days of the caveman, and it hasn’t changed over the course of thousands of years.

It’s not about being a nice guy, or a jerk, a good man, or a prick, or tall, or short, or any of the countless other adjectives used to describe men from the moment we exit the womb: it’s about your ability to retain and project power. Any woman who would say she prefers some drooling, slobbering weakling over a man is either a liar, or simply not worth pursuing. I’ve met women
who prefer puppets, and I’ve run as hard and as fast as I could in the opposite direction, because in the end, it doesn’t do either of you any good. It’s simply a disruption of the universe, and Darwin needs to strike before it’s too late.

Casey Holden is the main character of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator.
The first in a series of mysteries that compile some of his more interesting cases and endeavors.
Robert Downs is the author of said novel, and while he and Casey have an interesting, yet
complicated relationship, it’s a relationship both of them treasure. A sample chapter of his
MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the author, or his main
character, can be located at his website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October is Nearly Over

I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone, nor can I believe that Halloween is only six days away.  Scary thought.  As you all know, I've several things planned for the next few days, including a stop on the Falling Immortality Blog Tour that starts here on November 1st.  Yes, I've some exciting things going up for you that day.  However, between now and then I've got three awesome books to review, one of which I've re-read, the other two are brand spanking new and I truly enjoyed them.

The books that I've recently read are:

Trinity I won in a giveaway, Wicked I own and adore, Slopjar was provided to me free from the Author and  Lioness Publishing.  I highly recommend all of them, and my reviews will be coming this weekend rest assured. 

Also, I've currently started rereading Memoirs of a Geisha, love that book and the movie is fantastic as well. I've several other books that I will be re-reading throughout the next couple of weeks (though my time in November will be focused on other things).  

Yes, with the close of October, I am gearing up for National Novel Writing Month and getting things ready for that and HOPEFULLY I will actually finish this year.  Will be doing it via google docs as I will be using other people's computers (unless one magically falls in my lap) and writing freehand (will be buying stock in a spiral notebook company after this).  

I will be attempting to redo the first book in the series I have planned, as I've lost the entirety of it when my desktop crashed.  Book 2 I have, but will need to be reworked because since I've sat down and started doing some planning, has taken a different turn and become more of a YA Fantasty/Steampunk novel.  So, it shall be a challenge, and I will still try and keep all you wonderful people updated with things and try and get a review or three up throughout the month as part of my down time! 


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Randomness is random

So I am seriously bored out of my mind and not sure what I want to do at the moment other than putter about on the interwebs but I can't since the netbook died and my roommate woke up and got on the comp. Meh! I will figure something out I usually do. Also, gonna be interesting writing reviews on a smartphone until I get a computer that works or just post them on the weekends or days off if I am up before everyone else and can use a comp.
Already have a plan in the works for NaNo when that rolls around in November and then I will be working on a novel....yes I am going to attempt NaNo again and maybe this time something good will come out of it. Will definitely be looking for someone to help with editing or may do it myself and self-publish with or something. We will sew when the time comes.

Alright for now I have domestic duties to attend to and shall be around later.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mobile Bibliophile

Okay, have posted to goodreads, and Facebook and twitter, that I have no computer right now. My netbook is dead and my desktop has been dead for a while now.  So until things can get worked out I will be updating a bit through my roommate's android phone and the blogger app.

Right now I am reading Trinity by Clare Davidson and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

Anyway! Time for me to get going. Raining and thundering here, and gonna play a game on the Wii I think...or take a nap.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Welcome to October!

As you can see, things have taken on the Halloween spirit around here. I love October, I love the fall and hopefully through the coming days I will be able to get more content to you.  I know I've a lot of things in the wings, and a lot of things planned.  I know you are all expecting a review for some of the books I've read recently, especially Falling Immortality by Robert Downs, but you'll have to wait until November 1st for that to happen because I've got the first day of that blog tour! There will be a review, an interview, and a guest post going up for that!

However, for October, I've got lots of things planned for all you wonderful kiddies out there! Some Bibliophile Eats will have some Halloween featured goodies, as well as the introduction of some of my fall favorites throughout the rest of the season.

Also, I plan on getting to some of those long awaited reviews (my pending review list just keeps growing and growing and I need to make a dent in it).  I've also got a new book on my shelves that I won from a giveaway over on Natasha McNeely's blog not too long ago.  I need to get to that (I've started reading my signed copy of Trinity by Clare Davidson), and I've also been re-reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.  I also need to rewrite a couple of reviews and repost them to Goodreads because apparently I'm not allowed to use similar wording to other reviewers in my reviews without someone reporting them and having them removed.

I've also got another guest post to put up from Voluspa Co-Author Ray, and it's gonna be a fun one.  Beyond that, I've got a few reviews that I need to get finished and tossed up to the blog, so I will definitely be stepping things up here because I've been lazy lately.

Also, I've been working on a blog that focuses on my spiritual journey, and you can find it here: Sanctuary for My Soul and I'm working on that as I work on this.  Just starting it, so there is still a lot to work with.

That's just an update and some of the things you can look forward to in the coming days this month in October.

Bibliophile Eats: Cheesy Pigs in a Blanket

Good morning! So, it's been a while since I've shared with you some of my fantastic culinary additions.  I thought I'd kick things off with a dinner we had recently, and this one is great for letting the kids help.  Cheesy Pigs in a Blanket.

For those of you that don't know what these are, they are hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls and baked. They are very, very tasty especially if you add a little cheese to the inside.  You can serve them with ketchup, bbq sauce, mustard, or whatever your favorite dipping sauce is for finger foods :) Common side dishes for this are: potato chips (any variety), french fries (my preference is seasoned wedges or the frozen checkers fries), tater tots, or whatever happens to strike your fancy.

What you are going to need:

  • One package of hot dogs (whatever your preference)
  • One roll refrigerated crescent dough 
  • Shredded cheese of preference 

Okay, so ya got your hot dogs all rolled into the crescents with cheese. Baking them for the time on the  packaging for the crescent rolls.  

Finished product! Tasty, tasty little piggies :) Mine are cooked up with fries with season salt and ketchup :) 


Monday, October 1, 2012

Into the Confessional: Voluspa Author: Ray

This is an interview with the Author of the YA Novel Voluspa.  Review is soon to come.  Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! 

1. How old were you when you got hooked on reading and what book started it all?  

I used to pester my parents to read to me all the time before I learnt how to read. After that as far as I can remember, when I was six or seven I could finally read on my own and I have been hooked ever since. I think some of the first books I read were by Enid Blyton.

2. How did you know you wanted to be a writer and who do you draw the most support from? 

I have always wanted to write. All through childhood and teenage years, I wrote for neighborhood periodicals, journals and so on. It’s only recently due to my husband’s urging, I decided to write a novel.

3. Each writer has their own process when writing, and each process has its own little quirks.  That said, what are some of your little quirks? 

Even though I use my laptop to write the book, I create flash cards to aid in my writing. For instance, I make up cards listing pertinent information about a particular character or some place in book.

4. Have you always enjoyed or favored fantasy over other genres in both reading and writing? 

I personally think imaginative literature has immense scope and it can entertain all age groups so yes, I have always had a penchant for the fantasy genre.

5. What can we expect in the next part of the Voluspa story? I do hope it includes lots more Amy and Drake (not that I'm biased or anything!). 

Absolutely; the next book picks up from where the first one ended. Amy and Drake’s journey continues.

6. If you could spend a full twenty four hours (midnight to midnight) in any city in the world where would you go and what would you do? 

It’s a cliché but I would definitely choose Paris. I would spend hours in the Louvre and the rest, walking along the streets of Paris.

7. If you were to be buried (entombed) like an Egyptian Pharohwhat would you want to fill your tomb? 

Books, books and more books and perhaps my laptop.

8. If you were a citizen of Voluspa, what clan would you belong to? If Morphous, what would be your animal form?  

I think I would love to belong to the Empath clan. Being able to connect to another person  using just my mind sounds fascinating.

9. If you could have two hours with any fictional character what would you ask them? 

It would be Peter Pan. I would ask him to take me to Neverland; ask his fairy friend to sprinkle some magic dust on me so I could go flying with him. Eschew all practicality and just loose myself in one rip roaring adventure after another.

10. In the great debate about e-readers and physical books: are you a lover of e-book portability, physical book feel/smell or both? 

I have grudgingly accepted the whole e – book trend but I love holding an actual book. The smell of old bound leather or crisp new pages is incomparable.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blog Takeover: Michael Cargill: Ebook Piracy Should be Embraced

Ebook piracy, and why authors should embrace it, rather than fight it

Literature is something of a latecomer to the digital revolution.  In some ways, this is quite surprising, as it predates other forms of entertainment like computer games, film, and TV by several thousand years.  Mind you, the older generations are often the slowest to get to grips with anything new.  After all, when was the last time you heard your granddad talk about getting an Xbox?
Some of the growing pains for ebooks, have been the same ones that other forms of digital media have gone through, and still are going through.  Piracy is one such pain.

The mere mention of the word ‘piracy’ generates quite an angry response from many people, whether they are a writer, or a reader.

To those people, I say you should perhaps step back, and rethink things a bit.  I’m an indie author, and I know for a fact that my work is available to download from torrent/pirate websites.  I know this to be a fact, as it was me who put them there in the first place.

Before I go any further, I’ll just mention a few things, to provide some context.  Firstly, you won’t see me on any bestseller lists anywhere, not unless that list is based on an otherwise empty shelf.  Yes, woe is me, get out the violin and all that.

Secondly, years ago, I used to be something of a profligate pirate myself.  My hard drive was chock full of computer games, applications, films, and TV shows.  I knew lots of other people who did the same thing as well.

Lastly, I have no formal legal education, or training.  This puts me at around about the same level as that bloke in the pub, who insists that it’s perfectly legal to shoot a Welshman with a crossbow, so long as you do it outside the city walls, on a Wednesday afternoon.

Just to be clear, I have no intention of getting involved with the tedious, semantic differences between copyright infringement, and theft.  I’m also mainly talking about the financial impact of piracy, rather than the copyright side of things.

So then: why did I upload my own work to some torrent sites?  Well, “Why not?”, is my response.  At the moment, practically no-one knows about me.  My ability to market myself is largely limited to blogs, Twitter, and pinning posters up on the trees along my road.  Now that my work is available by torrents, I have added one more avenue for readers to find me.  I created threads on the torrent site forums, informing them all of what I did.  I got a few replies from people thanking me, and wishing me luck.  In the few days following on from this, I had an increase in the number of hits to my blog, from people searching for terms like “Michael Cargill author” on Google.  Prior to doing this, that had never happened before.

Of course, the usual retort to this is “You don’t get money from pirates!”, to which I say is a load of poppycock.

As I mentioned earlier, I was once a profligate pirate myself.  Yet, despite the fact that my hard drives were heaving with illegally downloaded material, my shelves were also teeming with legally purchased material as well.

And the same goes for many people who pirate things.  There are numerous studies that show that the people who illegally download the most music, are also some of the biggest purchasers of music.  This won’t be true for all of them, of course, but it is a fact that cannot be ignored.

It’s also important to recognise that just because someone illegally downloads a book, or a film, or a song, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the copyright owner has lost a sale.  For a start, pirates will often download stuff that they have no intention of ever using.  They’ll often do it, just because they can.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to download the latest version of AutoCAD if the opportunity is there...?

A quick search on a torrent site reveals that I can download the entire works of Stephen King, in about fifteen minutes.  That’s everything that he has ever published, about sixty five books in total, right there on the Internet.  Ebooks are small in size, so they take no time at all to pirate.  However, to say that anyone who downloads them all has denied Mr King of sixty five books worth of royalty fees, is wrong.

First of all, very few people will ever go out and purchase that many books at once.  Secondly, that pirate simply isn’t going to read all sixty five of those books either.  He or she may read one of them, and enjoy it.  However, they aren’t that likely to immediately read another Stephen King book.  They are more likely to read something from someone else, whether it’s pirated, or legally bought.

The reading habits of a pirate are exactly the same as those of a ‘normal’ reader.  They will talk about it to their friends, and family.  They will join in with the discussions about it on Goodreads.  They leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and their blog.  After illegally sampling an author’s work, they may go on and purchase legitimate copies of their work.  This is something I did when I was a pirate.  It’s what I witnessed other people who pirated media do, as well.  It’s what some of the studies into piracy have shown, as well.

Of course, you don’t have to just take this indie’s word for it.  Bestselling author Neil Garman has taken a similar stance to ebook piracy.  He even made a video on YouTube about it, that is still available to watch, though he is someone who made his name (and fortune) long before ebooks ever existed.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you can’t actually fight piracy, either.  For every anti-piracy method that is put in place, it is easily defeated.  Companies can spend thousands implementing an anti-piracy scheme, only to see it cracked within hours of its release.

An author could spend a huge amount of time, scouring all corners of the Internet, trying to hunt down those elusive illegal links to their work.  Yet, all that time is wasted.  It took me less than five minutes for me to put my own work up on a torrent site, but it might take days for a furious copyright owner to get something removed from a website.

Many people will say “if everyone pirated books, then authors would starve!”  Now, whilst that might be true, it’s also true that if everyone flushed their toilets at once, the sewer system would collapse.  The fact is, that not everyone will pirate books.  At least part of this is down to the fact that it requires a certain level of technical knowledge to pirate, that many people struggle to get over.  Some Kindle owners simply don’t know how to manually copy ebooks onto their device.

To be honest, I probably have more sympathy for the readers, than I do the authors.  They can be understandably annoyed when they see someone stealing books, and getting them for free, rather than paying for them.

In writing this short article, I’m not expecting to drastically change anyone’s mind.  However, the piracy debate has been raging for a long time now, and it really needs a more level-headed approach.  None of the heavy-handed antics employed so far have put so much as a dent in it.

I think we should embrace it, rather than hate it.

Study: Piracy Does Not Deter the Production of Music, Films, Books -

Study Shows That BitTorrent Piracy Doesn’t Affect U.S. Box Office Profits -

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Quick update

Hey. It's me, and I apologize for my sudden silence. My modem died. I am currently waiting its replacement that should be here on Monday. If it is NOT here by then I will not be happy and have to call AT&T again and find out what is going on. I WANT NY INTERNET BACK!!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blog Take Over: Natasha McNeely - Villainous Fun

Today, CoaB, has been taken over by Natasha McNeely, and she talks about Villainous Fun! Enjoy!

Villainous Fun: Dissecting Our Favorite Villains, written by Natasha McNeely.

Villains. They’re a lot of fun to read about and a lot of fun to write about. Trust me, if there’s any kind of character I love writing about, it’s the villain. The bad guys are always present and always have a goal in mind. But, a specific trait that labels them as villains is this:

They get in the protagonist’s way.

Somehow, the protagonist ends up in a fight with the antagonist. A fight for the world, his/her family, the fate of everyone on earth, the universe, and so on and so forth. So, how do they even meet?

At some point in the hero’s life, he/she might have done something to upset the villain. Another option is that the hero is the hero of legend and is destined to save the world, therefore the villain must destroy him/her before he/she thwarts the villains plans.

Sounds valid enough.

Of course, these are only some commonly used set-ups. There are many more and they range from the obvious, ”I see what’s going to happen.” scenarios to, ”Wait, that guy was a villain?” scenarios.

Another thing to keep in mind is that no two villains are the same. Don’t believe me? Look away from the diabolical things they’re doing now and instead focus on what pushed them to that point.

What was their childhood like? Their relationships with others? Friends, family? For all we know, something devastating happened in the villain’s childhood that permanently scarred him or her and turned them into the evil person they are today.

Maybe the bad guy can be saved, can be taken away from the darkness that dictates his actions. Perhaps the person we thought was a devious villain is actually a puppet, used by the true terror in the story to do his bidding while he becomes stronger and gains more influence over other people.

Villains are often the most controversial and unique characters in books, movies and shows. In the end, how we perceive them at the end of the book depends on the author, director and producer.

If the villain’s background is weaved intricately into the story, then by the end of the book, movie or show, the readers/viewers’ opinions may change. Suddenly, the villain won’t seem all that bad anymore.

If portrayed well and the hero’s understanding of his/her enemy changes, then viewers/readers’ opinions are sure to follow.


Many thanks to the lovely Martha for letting me write a guest post for her amazing blog. It’s an honor that she let me ramble about discuss one of my favorite topics in both reading and writing.

Who’s your favorite villain and why? I’d love to hear about them! If you’d like to discuss your favorite villains and more, feel free to contact me through social media:

Additionally, A Glimpse of The Dark, a collection of dark flash fiction, is available for only $1.49 on Amazon! You can also add it to your shelf on Goodreads.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hello World...

Hi! I'm Cae, Martha, or Bibliophile (truth is I answer to just about anything - just ask David Estes - the only person on the planet I've EVER allowed to call me M-Dizzle - feel special Snickers XD).  Things have been kinda hectic for me lately and on top of that taking public transportation home has ensured that it takes me a small (or large depending on the day) portion of FOREVER to get home.

Here is a typical outline of my weekday activity:

  • I wake up at around 3am
  • I leave the house between 330 and 345 am (415 at the latest if I'm feeling lazy)
  • I walk just over two miles between my house and the bus stop so I can catch the first bus to work.
  • I catch the bus at 512 (or a touch later depending on the driver)
  • I catch my second bus at 538 and I get off that bus at about ten minutes to 6.
  • I walk the block and a half to work. 
  • I've left the house in "normal people" clothes and have to change into my uniform. 
  • I clock in between five and ten minutes late. 
  • Work 6-8 hrs
  • Leave work at or around 2pm (210 at the absolute LATEST)
  • Change back into "normal people" clothes because BLACK POLYESTER in Florida is just a heat stroke waiting to happen.
  • Catch my first bus at about 230 (or later since school is back in session and the bus runs a little late)
  • I catch my second bus at about 254 (or later if it is running late or just simply DOES NOT SHOW UP) - 324 is the absolute latest bus I can be on if I want to make the third bus and be home in less than 3 hrs of leaving work.
  • Make any grocery stops that I need to make either before bus one or between bus number 2 and 3. 
  • Get to the stop for bus number 3.  Wait about 30-45 minutes for it to show up.
  • Get on bus number 3, and get home at just before 5pm. 
That is a typical day for me, and it usually leaves me absolutely wiped out because of the heat and humidity, the initial walk and ultimately standing on my feet in crappy shoes has me miserable (and lately I've gotten soaked coming home thank you Florida weather). 

So, that is why things have slowed down here, but I have some fantastic things in the works for all of you! I've some guest posts coming up and some interviews in the works as well.  I've also got some giveaways coming and some reviews of some of the books that I've currently read (I know I've got a review backlog, don't lynch me!).  

Reviews you can look forward to:
  • Falling Immortality by Robert Downs
  • Voulspa by Sam D. & Ray East
  • Francesca of Lost Nation by Lucinda Sue Crosby
  • Jaguar Sun by Martha Bourke
  • $ell More eBook$ - How to increase sales and Amazon rankings using Kindle Direct Publishing by Lucinda Sue Crosby
  • Don't Ask, Don't Tell by T.R. Stoddard

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bibliophile Eats: Homemade Focaccia Bread

So, the roommate and I have been browsing and were looking for bread recipes that don't require a bread machine because we are lacking one.  We'd come across a couple of them, and tried some of them out, tonight we made this one, Focaccia Bread, to go with dinner.  It turned out absolutely FANTASTIC!  This was decidedly one of the best things ever.  We even have left overs to go with dinner tomorrow night here at Casa Bibliophile.  You can find the recipe if you click on the link above, it is super simple and it takes about an hour or so, and you can cook it with your meal if you are making something in the oven, or if you want to make it early you can use it for sandwiches or whatever (will be using two pieces on Monday to make a sandwich at work, and subsequently making my coworkers jealous!).

This was after the ingredients were mixed, and the dough was kneaded and set to rise for twenty minutes in the bowl that was brushed with olive oil.  It smells absolutely stellar at this point in time and all you can really smell is the herbs and the olive oil and I also just love that fresh bread smell.

Spread out to about half an inch thick all around on the cookie sheet which has been greased or oiled (we opted for olive oil) and then sprinkled with mozzarella and parmesean cheeses.  Though, I think next time the cheese will go on about half way through baking. Either way, it turned out fantastic, and it was paired tonight with steak and onions, beef rice-a-roni with corn.  It was deliciously tasty.

Finished product.  Fresh, homemade focaccica bread, all sorts of herbs and cheese and delicious steak and rice.  That was dinner tonight.  Enjoy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shelving Choices: Do Not Read & Did Not Finish

Books come in all shapes and sizes. Good stories, bad stories, and in between stories. We’ve read them on our own, we’ve had to read them for school or various other reasons. Some we will read again, others we will never come near again unless we are desperate for something to read (and even then we may consider other sources before touching these books). I’ve noticed a trend of some people starting what is essentially called a Do-Not-Read list, and I was currently browsing a shelf with this particular title on a goodread user’s profile and several of the books on this shelf are on my to-read shelf and I’ve no intention of removing them from my to-read shelf (and I will read them eventually).

Beyond that, I do not understand why some of these books are on there. They are good books, they are best sellers and look very, very interesting. I have actually seen an author’s entire collection of stories on this shelf and it disturbs me to think that someone would slight an entire author for whatever reason. There is some drama with a NYT bestselling author over her husband calling a reviewer a psycho on an review, and the various atomic bomb size fall out and drama that came with that, but other authors I don’t understand. Someone explain to me why you would blacklist all of an author’s work without any reason that I can think of?

Difference in opinion aside, what would make you shelve a book “Do Not Read” or “Did Not Finish”, or would you simply not do such a thing? I’ve one book that I’ve shelved “did not finish” or “abandoned” simply because I couldn’t get past some of the issues with it and my review reflected that. Beyond that, I’ve finished everything else I’ve been given to read, and ultimately I will not shelf a book “do not read” or “did not finish” unless there is a lot of problematic errors and issues with the writing style that I simply cannot get past. If your book drives me crazy (and not in an “OMG I LOVE THIS” type of way) it will be made known in my review, and ultimately in various shelving choices when I choose my options on goodreads.

Do you have books like this? Are they all in a specific genre or by a specific author? Inquiring blogger wants to know!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Dark Passage by Griffin Hayes

This is the second work I've read by Griffin Hayes and I fall in love with the twisted thrillers all the more.  This story, about a man named Tyson Barrett, who is tortured by nightmares of his traumatic childhood, receives a miracle cure for his insomnia.  However, as we've learned, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is.  That is the case with this so called "miracle cure" that Tyson hopes will not only solve his medical problems but his personal ones as well (considering he has become estranged from his wife and young son) and his business is on the verge of collapse.

However, this miracle cure is not without its dark side.  Tyson still dreams, however, when he wakes, something returns with him.  Something spawned from the deepest, darkest depths of his psyche, however there is something bigger, something more evil than what has already come through.  However, this evil isn't after Tyson - it wants his son.

This book is a fantastic lesson that not all dreams were meant to come true.  This book had me on the edge of my seat most of the time, and more often than not I would only read it during day light hours because I've read Stephen King before bed, and Griffin Hayes has managed to have a Stephen King like effect on me with his thrillers.  My dreams are not a safe place when I read his thrillers, so I highly recommend not reading this before a nap, before bed...broad daylight, outside, where you stand no chance of falling asleep is definitely good!

Vividly descriptive characters weave a web of horror and mystery that will keep you intrigued until the very end.  It will keep you on the edge of your seat and ultimately is one that I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of horror or if you occasionally like to indulge in the "darker" type of this one!  The pace is perfect and the story won't feel rushed at all.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.  Thank you Griffin Hayes for the opportunity to read yet another one of your fantastic thrillers. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Into the Confessional: Natasha McNeely

Today's trip into the Confessional we have author Natasha McNeely, who is an epic author and a friend of mine! I adore her and was so glad that she sat down to answer some questions for me and take a trip inside the Confessional here at CoaB :)  Also, look out for her guest post coming soon, along with a give away of her book.

1.       You’ve lived in the Netherlands and Germany, have these places had an influence on your writing?
They have had an influence on my writing, but not directly. Living in different countries spurred my love for culture and languages, so I’ve focused on studying both of those more, in and outside of my education. Because of that, culture and different languages often find their way into my writing, so my cast of characters is often diverse and from all over the world.
2.       Making the jump from the USA to the Netherlands at such an early age, what sort of impact did this have on your life? Was it more like an adventure since you were only seven?
To be fair, I don’t remember much about what I thought about it at the time. I do remember that when we moved to the Netherlands, I knew only two words in Dutch. No and grandma; nee and oma, respectively.
Once we were there, I immediately started at a Dutch school without any help of extra courses to improve my language skills. Six months later, I spoke it fluently and aced more Dutch tests than my Dutch classmates! In that respect, moving at such a young age was less of an adventure and more a way to learn things I never would before.
3.       Your first self-published book, A Glimpse of the Dark, is a collection of short stories. Why did you choose to go with this collection as a first publication piece?
I felt that it would be a good way for readers to see a broader variety of the stories I write in a compact and easy-to-read form. I could have started with a full-length novel, but as I am also working on being published traditionally, I want to save any major novels for that.
“Worst” case scenario, they’ll be joining my self-published collection.
4.       From your blog, I see that you have two works currently in progress, can you give us a glimpse into how you get your writing done?
I tend to focus on one project at a time, even if my blog states multiple projects. The Forbidden Series is a series that consists of four novels. The first is finished. Werewolf’s Lair is the first book in The Hunted Trilogy and is currently underway. It is my main project and, once the first book is completed, depending on where my inspiration takes me, I will work on book two of one of the two series.
More on that when I finish Werewolf’s Lair; its deadline is set for August 31st.
5.       Do you have any quirks that somehow find their way into your writing?
Oddly enough, I’ve never considered this question before. Quirks. I tend to run my hand through my hair, or tuck strands of hair behind my ears a lot. Now that I think about it, I’ve been struggling to limit the amount of my characters who do that. It’s a habit of sorts for me. Having long hair just calls for it to happen, especially since I always wear my hair down.
That aside, I have a habit of making my main characters fond of books. I should change that, even if it is a habit that everyone should have.
6.       What are some sources you draw inspiration from for your writing?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Books, music, television shows, movies – even things as simple as snippets of conversations that I catch when I’m walking down the street, or getting groceries.
Music is wonderful as inspiration. The melody and the lyrics paint a picture and we all know that a picture’s worth a thousand words. Video game soundtracks in particular are my favorite songs to listen to while writing. No lyrics. Just the music to guide me through whatever scene I’m writing.
Books talk for themselves. Not only are they a great source of inspiration, but reading also shows writers different ways to write – different perspectives, tenses, and so many other things. The more you read, the more you can write.
7.       Now, for a fun question, if you could meet one historical figure who would it be and what one question would you ask them?
My choice is a bit peculiar, but I would choose to use my question for Amenhotep IV, also known as Akhenaten, former pharaoh of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Ancient Egyptian mythology is easily my favorite mythology that I have studied so far, with so many gods and goddesses, each representing a different aspect of nature and of life. I would ask him: Why did you, in vain, turn Egypt’s religion into monotheism?

I love the old Egyptian religion with all its gods and all its myths. He changed it so there was only one god: Aten. When the pharaoh died, Tutankhaten, his son, changed his name to one we are all more familiar with: Tutankhamun.
This was an act of defiance against the monotheistic religion, rejecting the god Aten and instead restoring power to the old god, Amun, and all other gods. He returned the polytheistic religion to Egypt.

In the end, I want to know what Akhenaten’s thoughts were and what the reasoning behind his decision was.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A day off

Today I had a day off and it is being spent running errands. A Dr appointment for Shawn, then a trip to walmart for some groceries then home. I have an interview with Natasha McNeely to share with you when I get home. Also I am working on another interview with Robert Downs the author of Falling Immortality, which is an awesome book.

My current reading list is:
Francesca of Lost Nation
The Moon Dwellers
The Legacy of the Wolf - Cheysuli omnibus 2

Beyond that I have quite a few reviews to get done for you all.

Alright, more when I get home.

Lots of love,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Making Connections Blog Stop: The End Begins: The Nine By Jeffrey Zewig II

Kinda fell off on this one (then again had some issues that kept me otherwise occupied :( so this is late - forgive me Tana!!)

Excerpt of The End Begins: The Nine: