Monday, September 30, 2013

Bibliophile's Wish List 9.29.13

Welcome to Bibliophile's Wish List.  

Bibliophile's Wish List is a showcasing of newly released books that have come out, that I eventually will be adding to my shelves in one format or another.  Every other week I will be showcasing anywhere from four to six books from releases that have released  the previous Tuesday.  They can be from any genre. 

I've read the first book in the <strong>Bad Girls Don't Die</strong> series by Kate Alender, and I quite like her writing style (I will be finishing the series somewhat soon), but this is her newest novel and fourth in her career.  Released September 24 in both hardback and kindle format and I am anxious to read this story!  The title first caught my attention, and I had a vague feeling that it would be something along the lines of <strong>Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer</strong>, which I actually enjoyed both the book and the movie, but this is a combination of French History and Jack the Ripper in my best assumption.

Here is a bit of the blurb:
Paris, France: a city of fashion, chocolate croissants, and cute boys. Colette Iselin is thrilled be there for the first time, on her spring break class trip.
But a series of gruesome murders are taking place around the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours the sights, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks like Marie Antoinette.
Colette knows her status-obsessed friends won't believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they discover that the murder victims are all descendants of people who ultimately brought about Marie Antoinette's beheading. The queen's ghost has been awakened, and now she's wreaking her bloodthirsty revenge. 

Kat Falls is an author that I've only recently discovered, had the first book of her <strong>Dark Life</strong> series recommended to me by someone on <a href=""></a> and will be checking it out as soon as I can get my hands on a copy of <strong>Dark Life</strong>, and ultimately I will be looking into her new series, and third career novel, <strong>Inhuman</strong>, which is the first book in the <strong>Fetch</strong> series.  I've always had a weak spot for post-apocalyptic thrillers, and zombies and the like.  This definitely fits the bill.  <strong>Inhuman</strong> released September 24 in hardback and Kindle.

Teasing from the blurb:
In the wake of a devastating biological disaster, the United States east of the Mississippi has been abandoned. Now called the Feral Zone, a reference to the virus that turned millions of people into bloodthirsty savages, the entire area is off-limits. The punishment for violating the border is death.
Lane McEvoy can't imagine why anyone would risk it. She's grown up in the shadow of the great wall separating east from west, and she's curious about what's on the other side - but not that curious. Life in the west is safe and comfortable . . . just how she likes it.

New horror books make me happy! Seriously!  This is by far one of my favorite genres and this is one of two new books in this genre that I will be sharing with you this week.  Zombies! Zombies make me squee like a fangirl - only if they are well written and can effectively scare the crap out of me or make me laugh! So, eventually, I will be checking out <strong>Good Night, Zombie</strong>.

Meet Carter, Esme, and Arnold, three students accidentally locked together inside an almost deserted school. They are not friends. They scarcely know each other. But In the basement, a mysterious night janitor waits. And outside, moving in the mist, dark shapes shuffle closer…

I told you, horror books make me happy.  This is the second one that I am sharing with you from that genre this week.  New Stephen King always, always makes me happy.  The Shining is one of my favorite King novels and ultimately when I heard he was coming out with this book I completely fangirl lost it! It was awesomely tragic, epically glorious!

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Guest Blogger: Sara Ray McPark

So, y'all, I asked the FANTASTIC Kristin Flynn, author of Good Night, Morning to provide me with a very special guest post for you all.  If you've read Good Night, Morning, then you know who Sara Ray McPark is.  If you've not yet read this book by this fantastic author - you really and truly should.  My review will be coming up in the next couple of weeks rest assured.  I challenged Kristin with this post and that makes me smile.  So, without further ado, I provide you with a guest post by Miss Sara Ray McPark.


Most people make fun of southern girls. I frankly, love being one. I grew up with my grandparents in my life, saw them on a constant basis and I think I am a better person because of it. Granted I have a case of thunder thighs because of all the fried chicken and cobler, but I got an early lesson on what a day of hard work is really worth.
Now, love is something my family was never afraid or ashamed of. I still kiss my parents goodbye and goodnight. My grandparents too. I'm just in my second semester of my freshman year in college, and the adjustment has been hard. Have you ever seen that show "How I Met Your Mother?" That describes my childhood perfectly, but it was my grandfather telling me the story about how he met my grandmother. My parent's aren't as open as Grandpa James is, but they do try - bless their hearts.
I'm in a new relationship myself, and my amazing Grandpa wrote the whole story down for me to show me some guidance on how to nurture a new relationship and there's nothing more wise about going about things like that than a good ol' country boy.
Grandpa showed me from a young age how a woman is to be treated and I won't settle for any less than what I deserve. Some of these other girls I see here at school don't understand their worth and that there are amazing guys out there. I have proof, look at Grandpa!
Ladies - please respect yourselves and be with a man who treats you better than you treat yourself. You deserve than and nothing less. If you don't believe me, come back to Cape Holly with me and sit down with Grandpa James. He will teach you a thing or two. Oh, and bring an appetite because Grandma Kate throws it down in the kitchen with some fried chicken and cobler! Let's just visit anyways - I'm getting hungry!
Sara Ray McPark.

What's On My Kindle? New Acquisitions Part 2

Welcome to the twelth installment of What's On My Kindle?
What exactly is What's On My Kindle?  This is my own little thing that I am going to be getting out every Sunday.  Within this post I'll list a few of the books that are currently on my TBR list on my Kindle.  Some are freebies (or were when I bought them), and others I paid for with gift cards, or had a few spare bucks to spend on a book.
All of them, I fully intend on getting to, at some point (and taking a massive chisel to my to-read list and hopefully hack it down to under 1000, again).

The newest book published by Michael Cargill, I have in both e-book format and in physical format.  Cargill is a fantastic author, and his blog is fantastic to read.  This British author is by far one of my favorites and I was lucky to receive a free copy of this book in paperback.  Currently he has the book available for free download on Smashwords.  You can find the coupon code on his current blog post.  I highly recommend this read, as well as anything else on his list that you can find! 

A Kindle freebie that is now waiting patiently on my Kindle to be read.  This will be the first Boshoff that I've read, so there will definitely be a review to follow once I finally get to it, and get it sorted to where it belongs.  

This new young adult dystopian novel by Scott Cramer is one that caught my attention, mainly by the cover.  It was a Kindle Freebie, and I am looking forward to reading it.  YA is one of my favorite genres to read and I am also a sucker for good dystopian novel.  This is also the first book in The Toucan Trilogy, so hopefully it will be a series that I will want to sink my teeth into and not let go. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: My First Historical Romance

Welcome to another edition of Throwback Thursday.  I realize I missed a couple of weeks, but I think you'll forgive me, at least I hope you'll forgive me.  Today is a very special throwback, to the first historical romance that I was given at the age of sixteen.  It was my introduction to the world crafted by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlander series, of which I have now become obsessed with, and am currently only missing like 3 books in to have them all.

When I turned sixteen, I'd gotten a package from my aunt, and it was thick.  I wasn't entirely sure what it was, but I had at least the idea that it was a book.  Little did I know, that the novel she'd sent me would suck me in whole-heartedly and have me addicted to this wonderful romance between Claire Randall and James Fraser and the rich history of Scotland.

It took me a day or two to actually gather the courage to read the book, because it was thicker than most of the books that I'd read up until that point.  Also, I'd not been an avid reader until I'd finally sat down and read this book - which took me all of two and a half days to read.  880 pages was intimidating despite the fact that I was sixteen and should have been reading more than what was required of me in high school.  Do I regret not reading a whole lot when I was in high school - most definitely, however, I have since made up for it now that I am older.

Gabaldon's descriptions are phenomenal and you can't help but get sucked in by the story she has weaved of Brianna's own step into the past to find her mother and the father she's never met.  To be the daughter of an eighteenth-century Scotsman and a twentieth-century woman, has got to be something that makes growing up interesting especially when you discover who your father actually was.

This series is one that I will always have with me, and eventually I will complete it.  This is one that I ultimately prefer to have in physical copy.

Bibliophile Wish List

Alright! Starting a new weekly series that will be a showcase of newly released/soon to be released books that I absolutely positively want to add to my collection in either e-book format or physical format (because I adore both and I love having a bookcase full of spectacular books)!

One of these I actually have in galley form that I  have not gotten a chance to read (because I've been horribly backlogged so technically it -shouldn't- be on the wish list, but I'm putting it on there anyway)!

Maggie Stiefvater has released the second book in the Raven Boys series, and while I have a galley copy of this (which I will be reading very, very soon).  I will own a copy of it for my virtual shelf and possibly for my physical shelf I've not decided yet, and that requires having a book budget (which I am currently lacking at the moment).

This continues where The Raven Boys left off, and the leylines are woken, and things will never be the same for our boys.  Especially with some very sinister people are looking for the same puzzle pieces that Gansey is looking for.  Gonna be an intriguing read.  I will probably ultimately finish it in a couple of days much like I did the first book in this series.

I've been long awaiting Sherry Thomas' The Burning Sky for some time now, and now that it is here I will have it.  I must have it.  Look at that COVER! Seriously?! How could this NOT look good on a book shelf? All firey and epicly awesome! I will have it, and right now, you can get it in physical copy on Kindle for $8.89 US, which is so not in my budget right now - given that my paycheck sucked.  But, hopefully at some point this year I will get more amazon gift cards and I will get some of the books I've been lusting after!

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Origin by Jessica Khoury is a retelling of the age old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.  Released yesterday, this is the second full length novel release by Jessica Khoury.  I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy at some point in the very near future because it is one that I've been waiting for. The cover is phenomenal and I have severe lust for this cover.  I mean really? Isn't it just gorgeous? 

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Freak by Marcella Pixley has been on my wish list for a little while now, and it is finally here.  It will ultimately make its way onto my bookshelf, virtual or otherwise, rest assured.  I intend on getting each and every book on this list at some point in the future (it may take a while but they'll be there).  I love the cover for this book, with the lone purple duck whose reflection is that of a beautiful swan, while all the other black ducks are conforming to the natural order of things.

For Miriam Fisher, a budding poet who reads the Oxford English Dictionary for fun, seventh grade is a year etched in her memory “clear as pain.” That’s the year her older sister, Deborah, once her best buddy and fellow “alien,” bloomed like a beautiful flower and joined the high school in-crowd. That’s the year high school senior Artie Rosenberg, the “hottest guy in the drama club” and, Miriam thinks, her soul mate, comes to live with Miriam’s family. And that’s the year the popular “watermelon girls” turn up the heat in their cruel harassment of Miriam—ripping her life wide open in shocking, unexpected ways. Teased and taunted in school, Miriam is pushed toward breaking, until, in a gripping climax, she finds the inner strength to prove she’s a force to be reckoned with.

What new books are on your wish list? Share them with me!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Finding Sanity by T.R. Stoddard

Title: Finding Sanity
Author: T.R. Stoddard
Format: E-book (Kindle)
Date Read: July 11-15, 2013
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: Yes!

Summary: Waking up in solitary confinement is never fun for anyone, and Randall is no exception. He is subjected to relive crucial moments from his past until he finds himself out on his own, free. Deciphering what is real vs. fantasy is half the fun. He finds new love, but as always an old flame complicates things. His reality and fantasy worlds collide putting him in a very compromising position. Can he make it out with his relationships intact? (Taken from Goodreads page)

Review: I was given the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.

This book was fantastic, if not a little confusing at times. The level of insanity is very much believable, and it will keep you interested as we follow Randall's day to day life. The interactions between Randall and Allison were interesting as well and will keep you wondering if they are both homicidal maniacs. Stoddard's deliverance of this novel was above and beyond fantastic, a wonderful job and well admired.

Was this all just a figment of Randall's imagination or was it real? That is for the reader to determine as they read. Each page has you wondering what will happen next, continually guessing and wondering what new venture will spawn from Randall's insanity. However, Randall isn't the only member of his family that is 'strange,' his mother and brother are strange as well. Was Mr. Snuggiekins all that Randall really had in the end?

Two words that come to mind when reading this story spun by Stoddard, and that is “bloodthirsty psychopaths.” They are there and the action that surrounds them will keep you on the edge of your seat. This ride is not for the weak of heart, not for those who cannot tolerate intensity, and those who do not like a bone chilling tale. If you are eager to share someone else's insanity, then “Finding Sanity” is definitely for you.  

Review: Ripple: A Tale of Hope and Redemption

Title: Ripple: A Tale of Hope and Redemption
Author: E.L. Farris
Format: E-Book (Kindle)
Date Read: August 7-18, 2013
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: Yes

Summary: When high-powered attorney Helen Thompson discovers that her fifteen-year old daughter has been sexually assaulted, she takes drastic measures. Finding herself in trouble, Helen must relinquish control and put her faith in a process she knows to be flawed.
As a team of lawyers, therapists and women from a safe house help Helen and Phoebe find hope and healing, a sociopath lurks, waiting for his moment to strike. (Taken from Goodreads page)

Review: I was given this book for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I adored this book. I am usually not a fan of women's lit, however, this book captivated me from start to finish. The heartache, the struggle, the suffering of these characters is something that will haunt me. The glimpses inside Phoebe's head after she'd been sexually assaulted by someone she trusted, cared for is haunting and moving. The guilt that Helen experiences is mesmerizing in its reality.

Reading stories that deal with this delicate subject are difficult and can often go horribly, horribly wrong. However, this is not the case with this story. Kudos for E.L. Farris' handling this subject fantastically. The fact that it is such a familiar case for Cassandra, and it begins to dredge up her own memories, and not the happy kind either makes it all the more a thrilling story. The ending of this tale of survival was not what I initially expected, and my initial reaction was...WHY IS THERE NO VERDICT?! And the reason it didn't happen was....Nope, gotta read it to find out why because this reviewer is so not telling. Sorry kiddies.

The blurb, the summary does not give this story justice, it cannot do so without giving away important information that decidedly can be classified as spoilers! I would like to thank E.L. Farris for giving me the opportunity to read and review her book. Definitely check this out, you will not regret it.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Into the Confessional: ME!

Into the Confessional is where I show case authors, and the occasional character for a guest post.  However, this is a very special edition of Into the Confessional, here at Confessions of a Bibliophile.  I was actually the one being interviewed.  My dear friend Sue Ward wanted to interview a reviewer, and I was victim number one, an honor to be certain.  So, I present to you the interview that I did for Sue Ward over at Read along with Sue.

How did you come about being a reviewer for books, was it by accident or a conscious decision.

I became a book reviewer because ultimately, I read so much that I wanted to share my opinions about the books that I read. It also actually started when I joined the Goodreads community and started reading a lot more. So, it was a conscious decision to begin starting to review books and things went from there.

How long have you been a reviewer for books?

I have been reviewing books for about a year and a half, so I'm fairly new to writing reviews (at least in my opinion!)

Do you have a blog that we can visit to read you're recommendations?

You can find my reviews here:

What genre's are you interested in?

I tend to be drawn to YA (all aspects of it for the most part), however, I will at least attempt to read anything once. If I don't like it, I won't revisit it – if I love it I will continue reading books in that particular genre.

If you get a book or series that you read and its outstanding, what actions do you take to advertise the book/s?

I write a review on both my blog & goodreads, I share it via my facebook page (personal and my blog fb page), I tweet about the book, I recommend the book to friends that I know who read the same genres as I do, and we all usually enjoy the same series.

If you come across a book that is badly formatted or riddled with errors, what actions do you take? If any.

I have learned my lesson from the last time this has happened – I will, if posting a review that has heavy errors, poor formatting, and the like, contact the author and let them know that my current review will be pointing out these details.

Have you ever given up on reading a story because:
A] you can't get “into” it? Yes, I hate to admit it, and it takes a lot to make me want to give up on a book. If I am 25% into a book and I have no emotional investment in any of the characters I simply cannot bring myself to finish it.
B] Its badly written? Yes. The book that comes to mind is The Macabre Masterpiece: Poems of Horror and Gore, and this book is filled with horror and macabre poetry – but the repetition of it all is maddening and every, single one of the sixty poems in the book RHYMES! Also, there is very little variation on the themes within the poems themselves. Honestly, how many poems do you need titled River of Blood?!
C] You find its not your genre after all? No, actually. I've not had this issue with a book that I've read. I am picky about my genres, but am willing to try something at least once when it comes to my obsession with books.
How do you explain this to the author if they ask you if you have read their book yet?

I do explain to the author that I have had trouble getting into a book, I do tend to explain why I had trouble getting into the book given to my by an author. It will also be reflected in my review – these books usually get 2 stars from me, occasionally I do get blowback for this, but it is stated in my review guidelines why I give out a 2 star review. I also tend to, provide the author with a copy of the review before it is published on any site.

Many books we receive from authors are asking us for an HONEST review. Are you 100% honest at all times?

My reviews are 100% honest. I will not sugar coat my opinions on a book. I will not simply give a book a five star review because that is what the author is looking for. I don't dance around my opinions on things in life – and I take my reading & reviewing seriously. So, you will get blunt honesty from me. Will I be brutal at times? If it is required of me, yes I will. If you cannot deal with an HONEST review, then perhaps you might not want me reading your book.

Do you believe that you can be constructively critical without upsetting the author?

I want to say yes, but history has already proven that some authors will, despite receiving constructive criticism act like children and demand a review get taken down simply because it wasn't the “sunshine and rainbows five star review” that they ACTUALLY wanted from me. I am honest in my reviews, and sometimes that does come back to bite me because I will offend with some of my criticisms. However, I'm trying to be nicer when things require criticism from me in a review.

Is it harder to review a book from an author who you have got to know personally on groups that you are in which you didn't enjoy?

No, because prior to any author giving me their book – asking me for a review they are encouraged to read my review guidelines. They will know ahead of time that my review does not in any way reflect on my opinion of them as a person, change our friendship or anything of that nature. If they have asked of me an honest review, then that is EXACTLY what they will get.

All authors books are their “babies” and they have given time, blood, sweat and tears to their final page, right down to the chosen book cover.
If they get a bad review this upsets many authors, which I can understand fully, however, they have asked for an HONEST review, if your review is going to mention something that you know will upset them, what actions do you take ?

From past experience, I have written a 2 star review, and the author acted very, very unprofessionally. He demanded that the review be removed, he accused me at one point that I'd gone against my own review guidelines when I refused to give him the five star review that he wanted. I understand that this is your 'baby' that you have put blood, sweat and tears into the creation of this story, but you have to remember that not everyone is going to like your work. I have long since stood by the guidelines that I set. I do not deviate from them. They are black and white, and any edits to them take great consideration. The review, for the record, was not removed, nor was the rating changed on Goodreads. From that experience, I will now, discuss the review with the author, but they had ultimately been warned that they did ask for an honest review from me.

There are many “bullying” campaigns around at the moment where many gang up and give full on bad reviews that are simply not bad reviews as opposed to bullying the author, have you seen this and how do you feel about this?

Honestly, this practice disgusts me. To simply give a bad (harassing) review of a book simply to ruin the author's credibilty or bring their self-esteem down is simply wrong. Anyone who has the guts to put their heart and soul out into the public format deserves to be given kudos because THEY were able to actually get published (even if it was self publishing) and should not be bullied simply because someone thinks that it would be a good idea.

Is the cover of the book important to you?

Yes and no. It is not the most important thing to me when I read a book – but chances are it will be a large part the reason that I pick up a book. I like covers that can grab my attention and make me want to get lost in that world. Also, if the blurb catches my attention and makes me want to read the book I will definitely be adding it to my collection.

Has your reading enlarged in genre's and styles since becoming a reviewer?

Yes. I've read more into the horror genres, and I've gotten completely sucked into the YA genre and even explored genres that I hadn't really explored before – such as epic fantasy, high fantasy and such.    

Many thanks to Sue for putting me in the hot seat.  It was an honor!