Thursday, July 19, 2012

Guest Post: David Estes - For the Love of Reading

Confessions of a Bibliophile has been taken over by one David Estes, Author of The Moon Dwellers and the Evolution Trilogy! 

For the Love of Reading
by David Estes, author of The Moon Dwellers and The Evolution Trilogy
Why I write books (especially YA and children’s books!)

In so many interviews, reader e-mails, and blog comments, I get asked the question about why I started writing. What inspired me to one day pick up a quill and ink well (or perhaps my teeny tiny laptop) and start writing a book? Did someone push me into it (well, yeah, kinda. My wife not-so-subtly encouraged me—a kick in the pants would be a good description!)? Or did I do it on a whim (hmm, that’s sort of right too)? Well, in the end it really came down to one thing: my love of reading.

Ever since I was a tiny tot of a boy (although my mom claims I hit six foot, taller than both her and my dad, by the time I was twelve), I read—no, more than that, devoured—books. I won a reading contest in 4th grade by reading an obscene number of books over a couple of months. I read all kinds of things, from books about talking animals, to EVERY Hardy Boys adventure, to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which I read at least a dozen times, no joke. 

In my early teens I gulped down my dad’s Agatha Christie collection (yum yum, Murder on the Orient Express) and by the time I was in my twenties I was reading some adult books, like Dean Koontz and John Grisham. But I never gave up my love of children’s and young adult books. Out of every ten books I read today, at least eight of them are YA, mostly paranormal, dystopian, or fantasy. 

But it’s not just the reading, I love the discussing, the obsessing, the excitement for the sequels or the movies or the cover reveals! I’ve been called a Goodreads ninja as I spend a significant portion of my life on the best book social networking site in the world! Some people are wary of authors who participate in social networking sites, as they think they’re just trying to promote themselves and their books, but for me that has nothing to do with it. I truly believe that to be a good writer and achieve success, first and foremost you have to have serious passion for reading. 

My wife, Adele, can attest to the fact that I love books more than anything, really. She calls me Brick, after the character from the comedy sitcom The Middle, because, like the child named Brick in the show, I read obsessively. If we’re watching a move or a TV show and we pause it for a bathroom break or to get a snack, when she comes back I’m sneaking in a few paragraphs of whatever my current book is. We catch a bus: I read. We have a few minutes before dinner is ready: I read. We go shopping: I read. No joke, she recently snapped a photo of me sitting in a huge pink chair surrounded by pink furniture in a…Victoria’s Secret, you guessed it…reading City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. Of course she just had to post it on my Facebook author page and the photo got more Likes than any post I’ve done myself!

Anyway, I think you get my point. For me, reading comes first. So when I started writing, I did it because I think books are awesome, because I want to inspire, to entertain, to help carry the writing torch, to amuse, to make people laugh and cry and shriek with excitement and get shivers and experience all those wonderful emotions that I always feel when I read a book. With every book I write I try to get better so my readers get a better experience. I’ve received so many comments from my readers about how my first trilogy got so much better as it went along, and for that, I’m proud. With my newest book, a YA dystopian romance/thriller, called The Moon Dwellers, I finally learned how to pour my own raw emotion—my own heartaches, losses, laughter, profound sadness, and joy—into my words and the feedback has been staggering.

So to all the people out there like me, who love reading more than anything else, keep doing what you’re doing, reading a book every three days (if you’re like me), carrying the spirit of words to your friends, family, co-workers, second-cousins, acquaintances, and random strangers on the street. And to the aspiring and well-founded authors, always remember why you do what you do, why you write: because you love reading.

A special thanks to Martha for giving me (and my overly excited randomness and sarcasm) the chance to come on her blog and talk about my completely obsessive love of books. I hope you all get the chance to read The Moon Dwellers, which is now available everywhere ebooks are sold or in print via (links below). Also, I pledged when I started writing to always respond to my readers, and I love getting comments and questions, so please contact me using one of my favorite social networking sites below. As always, happy reading!!

Where you can find me hanging out:
My blog/website:
My Facebook page/s:
My Goodreads author page:

Where you can buy The Moon Dwellers:
Kindle Ebook:
Amazon Paperback:
B&N Ebook:
Smashwords Ebook:

My Other Books!
The Evolution Trilogy
Book 1- Angel Evolution
Book 2- Demon Evolution
Book 3- Archangel Evolution

Friday, July 6, 2012

Welcome to Friday!!!!

Hey! It is a fantastic day if only because I have it off work. Am currently at Denny's for some noms and then grocery shopping and then home to relax before going to babysit my one year old nephew. I also have some awesomeness planned for you guys this weekend here at Confessions of a Bibliophile. With an interview and a giveaway starting on Sunday.
And I am also working on some other epic things for you!

Anyway time for me to go! More later.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Could Read This Forever...

We all have them, our go to books.  The books that we know by heart but still read over and over again to immerse ourselves in the world created by the author, to struggle and survive along side our favorite characters in these stories.

For me, my go to books are The Witches of Eileanan series by Kate Forsyth.  The world of Eileanan is a rich tapestry of countries filled with fairy creatures and humans alike.  The creatures that fill the worlds in this series is absolutely wonderful and some of them I wish to meet.  It is an epic fantasy series that has some celtic mythology feel to it.  There is prophecy, there is war, there is romance, and there is magic - oh, and there are dragons.  What's not to love.

The order of this series is:
1. The Witches of Eileanan
2. The Pool of Two Moons
3. The Cursed Towers
4. The Forbidden Land
5. The Skull of the World
6. The Fathomless Caves

One of the other series that I absolutely love and could read forever is the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, though I've not read the completion of this series yet.  I intend on reading it as soon as I can get my grubby, book loving hands on it.  This, is by far one of my favorites simply because they mythos behind the Iron Fey is so well thought out and completely believable, and the effect its creation has on the traditional courts of the Fey is believable as well.

The order of this series is:
1. The Iron King
2. The Iron Daughter
3. The Iron Queen
4. The Iron Knight

I could seriously go on and on and on about series that I could fall back on, but there are also some individual books that I can re-read over and over again.

1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
4. Misery by Stephen King
5. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
6. It by Stephen King

The list goes on and on and on really.  These are just some of my absolute favorites.

My addiction to books is the main reason I can't work in a book store - second hand or otherwise.  I would be on the streets because all my money would be spent on books.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Where Do You Get Your Books?

No matter if you've got an e-reader or are one of those determined to not get one and continually purchase physical books, there are so many outlets to purchase literature of all varieties.  Where do you get your books?

One of my main sources of books has been the different book/themed groups that I am part of on, that offer the option for read and review. These read and review programs have provided me with some fantastic stories and some that I've not found among my favorites. It has also introduced me to some fantastic authors that I want to read more of. I've made ever lasting friends on this site as well.

I also on more than one occasion raid the Top 100 free books on, and it is usually met with the comment from my roommate's husband "Which one of you is flooding my email account now?" because the Amazon account is under his name and thus he gets all the purchase alerts. Some of these have been fantastic reads and some of these have been epic failures that I won't read again, and am thankful that I didn't pay a penny for.

Occasionally I do have the extra cash to wander into a store like Barnes and Nobles and purchase a book or two, but I honestly at this point in time can't remember the last time that I had the extra money to do that. Though, thanks to FloridaSNM I will be purchasing a Karen Chance novel and with the goodies she got me, turning that into a signed copy.

When I was going to college in St. Augustine I used to frequent a second hand book store and that was where I got the bulk of the copies of The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, which I was turned on to when I was sixteen and my aunt sent me a copy of book four in the series. I now have currently read all but books number six and seven of this series and am only missing book two in my current collection, but have some how managed to have two copies of book number five (one hardback and one paperback).

So, I've used a variety of outlets to feed my desire for fantastic works of literature and have met some duds along the way. I also use services such as netgalley, which as far as I've used, kindle format and Adobe Digital Editions, to obtain galley copies of different and as of yet unpublished novels, and a site called Smashwords to purchase free books and I've gotten coupon codes from different authors for books to review.

My question is, where do you get your books? Do you have a favorite source that you constantly go to to get your e-books? Have you used different services to get a book? Would you be willing to use a different source aside from your usual source to obtain an e-book? Would you participate in a book trade with your physical library?

Galley Galore 3.0

Welcome to the third installment of Galley Galore here at Confessions of a Bibliophile.  Today's issue includes the reviews of four books that I absolutely adored.  All of which are available for purchase from and other fine retailers.  I received these books from Netgalley from the publishers for an honest and unbiased review.  I truly enjoyed all the books I am about to feature for you and highly recommend them to anyone who loves books with a touch of mystery, romance, and learning just how important one moment in our lives can be.

Now, enough idle chatter, on with the books! 

Book Blurb: Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.

This book made me cry, this book also gave me a more indepth understanding as to what drives people to cut, and how abusers use subtle manipulations to further harm their victims after the abuse has stopped.  This book made me sick at some points and yet I would greatly recommend this to anyone who cuts, anyone who has been a victim of abuse, or anyone who doesn't understand the mentality of a cutter or someone who has been sexually abused as a child.  I highly recommend not reading this without some tissues close at hand and forewarned you will get pissed off by the end of this book, but it will also touch your heart and it is one of those stories that will stick with you long after you've finished reading it.  Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Book Blurb: This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.
Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?
As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?
The latest novel from the author of The Tension of OppositesOne Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

This is another one of those books that will linger with you long after you've stopped reading.  It impresses upon you how important every single moment is, and how in the blink of an eye everything around you can change.  One moment things are going wonderful, everyone is happy and simply enjoying life and the next moment things have gone horribly, horribly wrong and the shroud of death hangs over a once happy gathering.  Friendships are tested, relationships are strained as Maggie tries to piece together those final moments up on the cliff, those final moments before Joey dies and her world is thrown into a spiral that she isn't sure she can get out of. Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride

Book Blurb: Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 
Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

I love reading about different things concerning WWII and this book, though there is fictional elements to it, and the writer confesses to creating different jobs for the female roles in this story there is some level of truth to it.  I adored Elizabeth Wein's writing style and watching Verity struggle for survival in Nazi-occupied France while Maddie did her best to save her and further work for the resistance.  This book shows the development of a friendship through the struggles of War and how that friendship further blossoms as one friend tries to save another.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a fast paced, emotional read that will linger with you long after you've turned the last page. Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The galley for this was originally titled The Bastard

Book Blurb: To some men honor is just a word... 
Jeannette Boucher, a young French beauty from a family left penniless by the revolution, must marry against her will to save them all from ruin. But almost immediately after the vows are spoken, she learns that her old English husband is impotent—and in his desire for an heir, he plans to compromise her in the worst way. Determined to escape such a fate, she stows away on one of His Majesty’s frigates. But a woman alone is in constant danger. 

To Lieutenant Treynor, honor means everything...
Born a bastard to a wayward marquise, Lieutenant Crawford Treynor was given to a poor farmer to raise and was maltreated until he ran away to join the Royal Navy. Treynor is determined to prove he’s as good as any other man and rise to captain his own frigate. But once he finds Jeannette aboard The Tempest he must decide whether to return her to the man he knows would abuse her—or risk everything, even his life, to keep her safe.

So, this is my romance novel of the selections, and I have to say, I did completely enjoy it and it was quite a fun read and I loved the development of the characters.  Jeannette did get on my nerves at times and Treynor was at times annoyingly too masculine (yeah, I went there), but beyond that they are quite a unique couple and the struggles that they face are quite fun, especially when Jeannette stows away on a frigate, pretending to be a does a woman hide so well among a ship full of men? Read this stunning story and find out! Review: Honor Bound by Brenda Novak

Review: Honor Bound by Brenda Novak

Title: Honor Bound (galley title The Bastard)
Author: Brenda Novak
Rating: 5/5

Summary:  Set in 1794, Jeanette the daughter of a family dispossessed French aristocracy has been married off to regain a bit of wealth for her family, however, her husband is impotent and has made plans to compromise her in the most heinous way in his quest for an heir.  Intent on escaping this fate she flees and disguises herself as a boy to stow away on a ship in Her Magesty’s navy. In the same time, Lieutenant Crawford Treynor, the bastard son of a wayward marquise had been raised by a famer and maltreated until he ran away to join the navy.  Now, he seeks to captain his own ship, however the presence of Jeanette has him in a quandary.  What shall he do? Turn her over or risk everything to save her?

Review: Brenda Novak has spun a stirring tale of intrigue, romance and absolute wonder.  The relationship between Jeanette and Treynor is almost entirely typical of all romance novels. However, this story is action packed and absolutely stunning in its imagery. 

Jeanette has been married off out of obligation to her family, and having survived France’s Revolution, her family, a member of the dispossessed aristocracy, she is now in England.  Still bearing their title, but they are impoverished, Jeanette is determined to relieve the hardships plaguing her family in her marriage to Lord St. Ives.  However, there is a hitch in the plan that is over heard by her brother, and causes Jeanette to flee the home of her husband and attempting to get into London where her influential cousin resides. 

Lieutenant Crawford Treynor is the bastard son of Lady Bedford, and was raised by a famer who mistreated him and such mistreatment caused him to run away at the age of fourteen and join the Royal Navy.  He moved quickly through the ranks from cabin boy to lieutenant, his life had not been easy, but he is a man of honor and has earned the respect of his men.  It is while The Tempest is moored in Plymoth that Jeanette learns that it will be sailing for London, she disguises herself as a thirteen-year-old boy and signs on as one of the crew. 

Two days on a ship to London is easier and a quicker way to travel than any other right?

Extensive background of naval sailing ships of the late 18th century and lots of historical detail woven into the story made this a very entertaining historical romance, though not entirely certain as to the accuracy of the events but it reads quite realisitically, and the love story is wonderful.

Comments, Concerns, and Recommendations can be sent to me at
My reviews can be found in the following locations:

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Rating: 5/5

Summary:  A British spy plane has gone down in Nazi-occupied France.  The pilot and passenger were friends, only one of the girls has a chance of survival, the other has perhaps lost the game before it has even begun.  “Verity” has been caught and has been given a choice, reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.  Will trading her secrets be enough to save Verity from the enemy or will things end horribly wrong?

Review: Elizabeth Wein has created a visceral read full of danger, resolve and survival that shows us just how far true friends will go to save each other.  This outstanding novel will linger with you as the last few pages are turned and the tale reaches its climactic ending. 

Two points of view make up this story, the first from Verity’s point of view, and the second from Maddie’s point of view.  Learning the story of each girl provides us with the fantastic insight of the life of a spy during WWII even though most of the positions were fictional.  The elements of this story are so vivid and realistic, and knowing some of what we know of this time period, it is hard to believe that there is a fictional element to it at all as you read it. 

The vivid imagery used by Elizabeth Wein is one that pulls you into the situations of the characters, and you feel like you are suffering with Verity, struggling with Maddie, and trying to survive as a spy during this nightmarish time in history.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves WWII stories as well as stories of everlasting friendship.   

Comments, Concerns, and Recommendations can be sent to me at
My reviews can be found in the following locations:

Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride

Title: One Moment
Author: Kristina McBride
Rating: 4/5

Summary:  It was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life, but it only took one moment to make it the summer that she wanted to forget.  Joey is dead and Maggie can only remember bits and pieces of what happened, why Joey was acting so strange at a party prior to his death, where he went after taking her home that night, and why was Joey keeping secrets from her?

Review:  This book can serve as a poignant reminder that it only takes one moment to alter the path our life is on.  It takes one moment for things to go from good to bad.  The writing in this book is perfectly paced and the frustrations experienced by all of the characters are realistic and familiar to pretty much anyone who has experienced a tramatic event, been in a high school relationship, been cheated on or in truth lost anyone that they care about. 

This novel is the first I’ve read by this author and I find myself wanting to read more of her work to see if I can get the same love for her writing that I found in this particular novel.  This is another that I’ve received from Netgalley, and I am quite glad that I had a chance to read it.

Maggie and her friends are spending memorial day at their favorite spot, and ultimately climbing the cliff to finally make the jump with him that she’d never been able to make.  However, things go horribly, horribly wrong when Joey jumps and Maggie is left cowering on the top of the cliff.  As time goes on Maggie begins to remember bits and pieces of what happened before Joey died.  Attempting to fit the puzzle pieces together, she ultimately has to confront her friends and the truth comes out as to the odd behavior that Joey had the night before, and the hidden relationship that he’d had with one of her best friends.

This is definitely a book whose message will linger with you after you’ve read it and something that will make you think about each and every action you take throughout the course of your day and the effect that one moment can have upon the path our lives are on.
Comments, Concerns, and Recommendations can be sent to me at
My reviews can be found in the following locations:

Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Title: Scars
Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Rating: 5/5
Summary: Fifteen year old Kendra was abused, and has started cutting.  However, someone is following her, leaving her cryptic messages that only she understands.  She can only remember the abuse, but she can’t remember the identity of her abuser. She finds solace in her art and her therapist and a classmate named Meghan who is possibly becoming more than just a friend.

Review: This book made me cry on more than one occasion and it made me sick in others to learn some of the tactics that abusers will go to in ensuring that their identity doesn’t come to the surface after time passes.  The mental games that abusers play with their victims the ‘training’ that was given to Kendra, when she was being abused, was absolutely unimaginable. 

She was trained by her abuser to cut rather than to talk about what had happened to her.  She had started recovering memories, recovering bits and pieces of the abuse she’d received when she was younger and the only piece that was missing was the identity of her abuser.  However, her abuser does not want his identity known, and goes to many different lengths to ensure that Kendra does not talk.  But, like all nefarious plans, things ultimately fall apart and the identity of her abuser is made known and other victims are soon sought because there was a very large chance that Kendra was not the only one that was abused by this man.

This book gives a chilling insight into the mind of the abused, and the things that they have to deal with on a daily basis and what sometimes drives them to begin self-harming.  Self-harm was a way to release the pain and to bring a sense of calm to the world around them.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been abused, who self-harms, and who lives with the scars of a nightmarish past.  There are resources in the back of this book that are beneficial to anyone who has ever considered cutting.  Read it, and it is decidedly one of those stories that will linger with you long after the book has been closed.

Comments, Concerns, and Recommendations can be sent to me at
My reviews can be found in the following locations: