Friday, April 29, 2011

WINNERS of "Beloved of the Fallen" by Savannah Kline!

I'm here to announce the lucky winners of my "Beloved of the Fallen" giveaway! Savannah kindly offered up two copies, and out of twelve entries, the winners are....


I'll be sending your contact info to the author. =)
I want to give a big thanks to everyone that entered, and of course, Savannah!
If you would like to purchase your own copy of "Beloved of the Fallen" head on over to! And check out Savannah's website for great content, and more purchase links.

Until next time, Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Blog Hops, Tag Alongs, and Follows oh my!

It's FRIDAY! That usually means great things.. like weekends! And time off! Not for me, unfortunately, since this is my work weekend, alas. Currently, I'm sitting here, watching coverage of the royal wedding. I didn't plan that (unlike my aunt and one of my coworkers), but I figured I might as well watch it since there's nothing else on anyways. And.. well, it kind of makes me want to read some historical romances, and then go visit England again.

It also makes me want to be a princess. =)

Anyways! Hello to any new friends - my name is Amanda, I'm 23 and I work in a library. I'm a big reader and have been since second grade, and while I will read almost anything.. I prefer Paranormal Romance, Young Adult (Romance, paranormal, etc), Romance in general, and Urban Fantasy.

If you're so inclined, you can find Novel Addiction on twitter, and you can friend me on Goodreads - find those links in the left hand sidebar! And be sure to check out my "Contests/Upcoming excitements" in the righthand sidebar for upcoming contests, guest posts, etc.  Now, onto the hops!

If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only have space for 10?: ONLY TEN?! What! Well, first off, I'd definitely take my ebook reader for sure, which can hold about 3000 books. But as for physical books, hm... "Bite Me If You Can" and "Vampire, Interrupted" by Lynsay Sands, "Acheron," "Sins of the Night," and "Born in Sin" by Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley MacGregor, "Sex, Lies, and Vampires," and "In the Company of Vampires" by Katie MacAlister, "Destined for an Early Grave" by Jeaniene Frost, "Rough, Raw, and Ready" by Lorelei James, and "Wicked Appetite" by Janet Evanovich. But I am SO MAD that I had to exclude some more of my favorites. *Cries*

Book Blogger Hop
Summer is coming quickly, what 2011 summer release are you most looking forward to most? I haven't even thought about it yet, eek! "One Grave at a Time" by Jeaniene Frost for sure, and there are others.. but I haven't compiled my list yet. May seems to be a big month, but I don't consider that summer.. still Spring.

Do you have another hobby besides reading? I do! Several. I enjoy doing theatre - evidenced by the fact that I'm in a show now and it's TAKING OVER MY LIFE. I also like to play video games on occasion, and I love love love watching movies and TV shows. But I prefer watching them on DVD, so I can watch them whenever I have free time, instead of being glued to the TV for specific hours of the week. That said, I do watch Bones every Thursday night, no matter what. And writing, of course. =)

I can't wait to hop through tonight and tomorrow! Have a wonderful weekend!
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

GUEST POST: James Hutchings talks short stories!

Please help me welcome James Hutchings, author of the short-story collection "Two-Fisted Tweets." Thirty stories, all less than 140 characters. Sounds like a blast! Without further ado... James!

Two-Fisted Tweets is a collection of thirty short stories. Each is less than 140 characters (the length of a Twitter tweet).

I've always been more interested in short stories than in novels, both writing and reading. However, if I hadn't discovered the Nanoism and PicFic websites, who publish tweet-length writing, I don't think I ever would've written anything that short.

I've been surprised how much you can get into a tiny number of words. This is especially true in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where there are common plots that you can suggest by mentioning one or two elements.

I think I'm partly reacting against the tendency towards huge 'doorstop' novels, where every story has to be 1000 pages long and part of a series. It seems to be especially severe in fantasy, I guess because of the long shadow of Lord of the Rings.

I don't want to write a blurb that's longer than the book, so I'll stop there. If you're interested, the homepage for the book is is here, and my blog is here.
Thanks for joining us, James! Be sure to follow the links above to find James and buy the book. And my apologies for the late posting of this guest post - blogger did not post it as scheduled, sigh.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whatcha Got Wednesday #26

It's time for Whatcha Got Wednesday! My own little weekly meme where I talk about what I received in the past week. I mostly do this to talk about books I either can't review here (since I review them for Romance Reviews Today) or won't get to for a while. So without further ado... bookies!

"Chosen by Blood" by Virna DePaul - I've been wanting this for AGES! Yay!
"Beg for Mercy" by Jami Alden - Not heard a lot about this yet, but it has me interested.

"Embraced by Blood" by Laurie London (sorry about the glare). I haven't even read book one yet and I get book two, eek! Also, I've received manuscripts before, but never one bound like that..
"Blood Law"  by Karin Tabke - Woo! What a cover.

Also.. did anyone else sense a blood theme? RRT has caught onto my willingness (read: LOVE) to read paranormal books. Haha.

General Updateyness:
The show I'm in is going well, and as much as I love it.. I'm to the point where I'm ready for it to be over. I want my life (or more specifically, my evenings) back. I'm so behind on reviews because I wasn't prepared for just how much time rehearsals would take up. I've been in shows before, but I'm usually not in this many numbers! But at least when the show starts running, I'll be able to hide in the back and read between my scenes.

I recently finished "The Restorer" by Amanda Stevens (my review will be posted on Romance Reviews Today with the May 1st update) and I LOVED it! So good, I cannot wait for the next book. I was so into the book I didn't even realize that I hadn't moved from the couch in over three hours  - talk about stiff when I finally tried to stand, eek. Fingers crossed that I get to review the next book in the series when it comes out!
I also finished "Hard Bitten" by Chloe Neill. This was the first book in the Chicagoland vampires series that I've read.. but I was interested enough to try the previous novels in the series.. when I finally get my TBR pile down, ugh. Anyways, I thought it was pretty good, but that ending about killed me! I wasn't prepared for that shock, dangit!

You have until tomorrow (thursday) night at 11:59 PM to enter my contest to win a copy of "Beloved of the Fallen" by Savannah Kline. Click here to enter!
And check out the guest post by author Mindy MacKay! She dropped by to talk about crossing genre lines, which I am all for. Everyone needs a little something different now and again!

Until tomorrow...

Happy reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Monday, April 25, 2011

GUEST POST: Author Mindy MacKay talks about crossing genre lines!

Please help me welcome author Mindy MacKay as she visits Novel Addiction as part of her Book Lovin' Bitches blog tour. Without further ado - Mindy!

Howdy everyone! Well, first off I'd like to thank Amanda for hosting me on her smashing blog! <3 Now, I suppose you'll want to know who 'me' is. Well, I'm Mindy MacKay, author of sci-fi, tragedy, satire, and for a short while, romance. Today, here, my featured novel is Fallen from Disgrace, a romantic suspense and the product of that "short while" I just mentioned. Fallen was an interesting project for be because it had me in realms of writing I'd never explored before. For one, I didn't kill off any member of the romantic unit. Also, I created a more fully developed strategy war between characters than I'd ever done before. Finally, there is no speculative element in this book whatsoever--from a sci-fi junkie's perspective, it was quite a chore making everything conform to our laws of physics!

Trying new things was a joyride while writing this book, and these days, I'm trying newer things still. If you've been following me around on other blogs, you'll know my romance career is on an indefinite hiatus. You may be wondering, if not romance, what am I up to now?

A few things.

For one thing, I'm back into tragedy.

I've been elbows deep into it since late last summer and I don't plan on leaving again anytime soon. It's just too much fun an archetype. But that's not all I'm occupying myself with. I'm also becoming reacquainted with my good buddy, poetry. For weeks now, I've been meeting with fellow poets in a coffee shop to share poetry, chat it up, and have coffee.

It may come as a shock to some. Historically, I've written with an emphasis on intricate plots and twists, so how can I condense my ideas into something as concise and abstract as poetry?

Well, poetry isn't actually all as abstract as some might think. At least half of us at each meeting bring poetry that develops characters and introduces a plot. Before I got back into poetry, a hobby I haven't pursued for years, I hadn't put much thought into how much one can say in verse, but now that I've made poetry a part of my weekly existence, it's turning out to be a great writing exercise. In fact, I may yet write a novel or short story based around one of the poems I've brought to poetry club.

In conclusion, the point of this post is to never be afraid to try new things, and the second point is don't get a computer virus that takes your computer out of commission for several days so you have to write up last-minute blog posts.

Epic thanks to Amanda once again, and until we meet again, excelsior!
Thank you so much for visiting, Mindy! Mindy is the author of Fallen from Disgrace, and it looks a-mazing. Be sure to check out Mindy's webpage, and go here for links to purchase "Fallen from Disgrace" and her other works! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Invasion of the body snatchers! REVIEW of "Skin Thief" by Sonnet O'Dell

Skin ThiefWhy this book?: Author asked for a review, and I really enjoyed the previous book in this series, "Lost Innocents" (click the title to find my review). This is the third book in the Cassandra Fairbanks series. You can purchase this "Skin Thief" here.

Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Type: Series, Paranormal Investigator, Witches, Police Investigation, Paranormal Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Book Description: Deciding to put her recently discovered magical powers to use, Cassandra Farbanks has started her own Paranormal Investigation business, and now she’s handling her first official case.

A prison inmate has used a magic amulet to escape his incarceration and seek a bloody revenge on his enemies. But what is his true purpose, and what’s the connection between the victims? It's up to Cassandra to find out. Cassandra is desperate to track and stop him whilst trying to juggle a deteriorating relationship with her boyfriend, the half elf Magnus, and her bond to the vampire Aram.

Even as she finds her way to closing her first real case, Cassandra’s troubles aren't over. As she discovers, the magic of an amulet is too tempting for some—and it could ruin everything for Cassandra.
My Review: As with the previous novel in this series, I was reading along, mildly interested, and then suddenly the author hooks me, and the ending shocks me with its cleverness. There is a lot of interesting character interaction, and each character is given their own little quirks - things that make them seem genuine and real. The way characters act and are described while together is part of the fun of a novel, and you get that in "Skin Thief." For example, while eating dinner together, Cassandra and Magnus play with each other, and make faces at one again - cute little things that just add to the story.

I will say that there are a lot of side characters to keep track of, and if you're new to the series, it's difficult to keep up with all the names. However, this issue is easily solved by reading the series in order, starting with book one. There are some series that allow readers to pop in and out whenever, but for the full effect of Cassandra, her powers, and her posse - be sure to read the whole thing. You won't regret it.

I find "Skin Thief" to be an interesting case - a mobster that gets ahold of a magical amulet, and uses it to pass from body to body. This makes the killer that much more elusive and harder to find, and the mystery that much deeper. This book also contained some great quotes and possibly one of my favorite descriptions of relationships and the people involved to date. I'm including it because I enjoyed it so much (and no worries, no spoilers!).
"Magnus was like earth, wholesome and natural - it came from the elf blood in his veins. It was dark elf blood, so sometimes I worried about him being more like oil, and with me being fire I was more often afraid I would burn him up. I had set him on fire once, but it hadn't been my plan to do so; sometimes when things get a little hot between us, they literally get a little hot.
Aram, on the other hand, was like air, which was bad and good in equal amounts. If I were only a small flame, like a candle on a birthday cake, a simple breath would be enough to put me out. If I was a smoldering flame, he could feed me, help me grow stronger, become more than I am. But he too ran the rick of the inferno, of being consumed by me." (pg 67)

As mentioned earlier, the ending caught me by surprise. I expected the case ending to be the end of the story, but Cassandra's journey certainly wasn't over, and the final climax of the book was emotionally painful and artfully done. I eagerly anticipate another book to see how Cassandra deals with the turmoil that happened between her and another character - you'll just have to read it yourself and find out what happens.

Recommendation: Fans of the early Anita Blake novels will really enjoy the Cassandra Fairbanks series. Really good urban fantasy that will keep you guessing. I strongly recommend reading the previous novels first.

Final Rating: FOUR POINT FIVE out of FIVE (4.5/5). Good urban fantasy with an ending I didn't expect.

Have you read "Skin Thief" or another novel by Sonnet O'Dell? Share your thoughts in the comments! Would you like to pick up a copy? Get it from the link at the top of the review, or at (available in print and ebook, I believe)!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~