Saturday, August 22, 2009

John Ottinger's SF/F/H Book Reviewer Linkup Meme, Second Edition

John Ottinger of Grasping for the Wind blog has compiled the Sci Fi/Fantasy/Horror Book Reviewer Master List (2nd Edition)

Spanning 6 languages, this second edition of the Master List is a feat! If you review SF/F/H, make sure that you're on the list. To learn more about the list, visit Grasping for the Wind at

Here's a copy of the second edition of the SF/F/H Master List:


Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German


7 Foot Shelves

The Accidental Bard

A Boy Goes on a Journey

A Dribble Of Ink

Adventures in Reading

A Fantasy Reader

The Agony Column

A Hoyden's Look at Literature

All Booked Up

Alexia's Books and Such...

Andromeda Spaceways

The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Ask Daphne

ask nicola

Audiobook DJ


Australia Specfic In Focus

Author 2 Author



Barbara Martin

Babbling about Books

Bees (and Books) on the Knob

Best SF

Bewildering Stories

Bibliophile Stalker


Big Dumb Object

The Billion Light-Year Bookshelf

Bitten by Books

The Black Library Blog

Blog, Jvstin Style

Blood of the Muse

The Book Bind



Booksies Blog


The Book Smugglers


The Book Swede

Book View Cafe [Authors Group Blog]

Breeni Books


Cheaper Ironies [pro columnist]

Charlotte's Library

Circlet 2.0

Cheryl's Musings

Club Jade

Cranking Plot

Critical Mass

The Crotchety Old Fan


Daily Dose - Fantasy and Romance

Damien G. Walter

Danger Gal

It's Dark in the Dark

Dark Parables

Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews

Darque Reviews

Dave Brendon's Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog

Dead Book Darling

Dear Author

The Deckled Edge

The Doctor is In...

Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

Drey's Library

The Discriminating Fangirl

Dusk Before the Dawn


Enter the Octopus

Errant Dreams Reviews

Eve's Alexandria


Falcata Times

Fan News Denmark [in English]

Fantastic Reviews

Fantastic Reviews Blog

Fantasy Book Banner

Fantasy Book Critic

Fantasy Book Reviews and News

Fantasy Cafe

Fantasy Debut

Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings


Fantasy Magazine

Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin' News and Reviews

Feminist SF - The Blog!


Fiction is so Overrated

The Fix

The Foghorn Review

Follow that Raven

Forbidden Planet

Frances Writes

Free SF Reader

From a Sci-Fi Standpoint

From the Heart of Europe

Fruitless Recursion

Fundamentally Alien

The Future Fire


The Galaxy Express


Game Couch

The Gamer Rat

Garbled Signals

Genre Reviews


Got Schephs

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review

Grasping for the Wind

The Green Man Review

Gripping Books



Hero Complex

Highlander's Book Reviews


The Hub Magazine

Hyperpat's Hyper Day


I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away The Ending

Ink and Keys

Ink and Paper

The Internet Review of Science Fiction



Jenn's Bookshelf

Jumpdrives and Cantrips


Keeping the Door

King of the Nerds


Lair of the Undead Rat

Largehearted Boy

Layers of Thought

League of Reluctant Adults

The Lensman's Children

Library Dad

Libri Touches

Literary Escapism

Literaturely Speaking

ludis inventio

Lundblog: Beautiful


Mad Hatter's Bookshelf and Book Review

Mari's Midnight Garden

Mark Freeman's Journal

Marooned: Science Fiction Books on Mars


Michele Lee's Book Love

Missions Unknown [Author and Artist Blog Devoted to SF/F/H in San Antonio]

The Mistress of Ancient Revelry

MIT Science Fiction Society

Monster Librarian

More Words, Deeper Hole

Mostly Harmless Books

Multi-Genre Fan

Musings from the Weirdside

My Favourite Books


Neth Space

The New Book Review


Not Free SF Reader



OF Blog of the Fallen

The Old Bat's Belfry

Only The Best SciFi/Fantasy

The Ostentatious Ogre

Outside of a Dog



Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

Patricia's Vampire Notes

The Persistence of Vision

Piaw's Blog

Pizza's Book Discussion


Post-Weird Thoughts

Publisher's Weekly



Random Acts of Mediocrity

Ray Gun Revival

Realms of Speculative Fiction

Reading the Leaves

Review From Here

Reviewer X

Revolution SF

The Road Not Taken

Rob's Blog o' Stuff

Robots and Vamps


Sandstorm Reviews

Satisfying the Need to Read

Science Fiction and Fantasy Ethics

Science Fiction Times


Sci-Fi Blog


Sci-Fi Fan Letter

The Sci-Fi Gene

Sci-Fi Songs [Musical Reviews]

SciFi Squad

Scifi UK Reviews

Sci Fi Wire

Self-Publishing Review

The Sequential Rat

Severian's Fantastic Worlds

SF Diplomat



SF Gospel


SF Revu

SF Safari

SF Signal

SF Site

SFF World's Book Reviews

Silver Reviews

Simply Vamptastic

Slice of SciFi

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Solar Flare

Speculative Fiction

Speculative Fiction Junkie

Speculative Horizons

The Specusphere


Spiral Galaxy Reviews

Spontaneous Derivation

Sporadic Book Reviews

Stainless Steel Droppings

Starting Fresh

Stella Matutina

Stuff as Dreams are Made on...

The Sudden Curve

The Sword Review


Tangent Online

Tehani Wessely

Temple Library Reviews

Tez Says

things mean a lot [also a publisher]

True Science Fiction


Ubiquitous Absence



Urban Fantasy Land


Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic

Variety SF


Walker of Worlds

Wands and Worlds


The Wertzone

With Intent to Commit Horror

The Wizard of Duke Street

WJ Fantasy Reviews

The Word Nest


The World in a Satin Bag




Young Adult Science Fiction



Cititor SF [with English Translation]




Foundation of Krantas

The SF Commonwealth Office in Taiwan [with some English essays]

Yenchin's Lair






Fernando Trevisan

Human 2.0

Life and Times of a Talkative Bookworm

Ponto De Convergencia




Fantasy Seiten

Fantasy Buch

Fantasy/SciFi Blog


Welt der fantasy

Bibliotheka Phantastika

SF Basar

Phantastick News



Phantastick Couch


Fantasy News

Fantasy Faszination

Fantasy Guide

Zwergen Reich

Fiction Fantasy


Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday 56: Week 13

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends at
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Here's mine:

"I can take care of myself," Alwyn said. He could feel the color coming to his cheeks. This was nothing he wanted to talk about.

"Now, now, leave the lad alone. He's young, he's foolish, and he's got a magical tree for a leg," Yimt said. "I think it's just a matter of the wood wanting to get ashore so it can plant itself and start sprouting some leaves."

- The Light of Burning Shadows: Book Two of the Iron Elves by Chris Evans

How It Ends Blog Tour

I'm excited to be part of the Blog Tour for Laura Wiess's How It Ends.

How It Ends

Synopsis, courtesy of author's website:

All Hanna's wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She's gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him - but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks perfect love should be. Bewildered by Seth's treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school's community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without even realizing it, the story begins to change her.


The book holds two strong stories with Hanna at the center. First, the teenage love story of Hanna and Seth. Equally important is the close friendship that Hanna has with her older neighbor, Helen.

The first time we meet Hanna, she's a young child spending time with her neighbor while her parents go through a difficult patch. As far as Hanna and Helen are concerned,their longtime friendship has made them family. Although Hanna spends less time with Granna Helen as she gets older, their friendship means as much to them as it did when they had spent every afternoon together. But Helen is sick and wants to tell Hanna the truth about her life, to clear away all of the fairy tales that she'd woven for the young child Hanna had been.

Helen's point of view struck me as the clearest and most interesting in the novel, whether when grappling with how to disclose the truth to her friend Hanna or facing her own mortality.

The book is wonderfully written, with carefully crafted characters and an unusual plot. I recommend it highly.

Publisher: MTV (August 4, 2009), 368 pages.
Courtesy of the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of Laura Weiss's website:

A native Jersey girl, Laura Battyanyi Wiess grew up on the outskirts of a peaceful little borough named Milltown, and next to the crazed, congested New Jersey Turnpike.

These warring influences left their mark, as Laura walks fast and talks faster, but can also sit completely still for long periods of time, reading, writing and watching wildlife.

She claims she inherited her patience, imagination and love of books from her mother, and her impatience, determination and passion for land from her father. Her stubbornness, however, she blames on the combined mega-whammy of genetics, birth order and astrological sign, as that pretty much lets her off the hook for the whole deal.

Visit Laura Weiss's website at to learn more.

Participating Blogs

How It Ends Blog Tour

My Book Views:
Book Soulmates:
A Journey of Books:
Just Jennifer Reading:
Debbie’s World of Books:
All About {n}:
Chick with Books:
Bookin’ with Bingo:
Starting Fresh:
Booksie’s Blog:
Blog Business World:
Books and Needlepoint:
Bella’s Novella:
Frugal Plus:
Eclectic Book Lover:
My Own Little Corner of the World:
Chick Loves Lit:
Poisoned Rationality:
So Many Books, So Little Time:
Beth’s Book Review Blog:
Park Avenue Princess:
Half Deserted Streets:
Power in the Blog:
Crazy for Books:

Thanks so much to Sarah and Pocket Books for this opportunity!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Contest closed

Thanks so much for participating! I've emailed the winners of the quick book contest.

Quick book giveaway

There are a few unclaimed book prizes. If you're interested in any of the available books, shoot me an email at gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com with your mailing address and the particular book that you'd like. I'll give those who reply first preference as well as those that haven't won any prizes lately. I'll email the winners. If you don't hear from me, that means that the book has been claimed. Here are the available items:
  • The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell
  • Making Babies: A Proven 3 month Program for Maximum Fertility by Sami S. David, M.D. and Jill Blakeway, LAc
  • Light Up Your Child's Mind by Joseph Renzulli, Sally Reis, and Andrea Thompson
  • The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser
  • The Blue Star by Tony Earley
  • Tamed by A Laird by Amanda Scott

Good luck! Limited to U.S. and Canada - no P.O. boxes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

As promised - the guest post from Holly Denham/Bill Hutton-Surie of Holly's Inbox

Holly’s InboxI'm very excited to have a guest post from Bill Hutton-Surie/Holly Denham, author of Holly's Inbox.

Without further ado, here it is!

Gaby was expecting something from me a couple of weeks ago for her wonderful blog ‘starting fresh’– and so I actually began this lengthy excuse for my tardiness and then decided this could be my blog post instead.

My sister recently decided to take over a restaurant during the Feria week, in a beautiful little
town, hidden within the Spanish mountainside. The opening night was broken up with the sounds of firecrackers exploding above, which was meant to remind everyone it was a night of celebration but actually giving you the distinct impression you were eating on a battle field.
Having come to Spain to see if I could write something new and funny, and found nothing new or funny was forthcoming, I became more involved in this restaurant, hence why I could now be in trouble with Gaby.

An exciting business it is to be sure, I contemplated, staring off into the distance, a beautiful
lake cutting through the landscape to my left.
“Excuse me, I’m still waiting for my steak!”
I think the main difference between writing and running a restaurant, is that you have a lot more
time to prepare your next line, than you do say a starter or main course.
“Do any of you have any kind of restaurant experience at all??”
I turned back, behind her head I saw my worried sister come out of the kitchen with two plates, she swayed from table to table offering various people a glimpse of some food they hadn’t ordered before heading back, the plates still in her grasp.

The mayor was trying to get my attention, his table still without their starter. I could see
through the bamboo slats our chef crying into his handkerchief. It was at this point I decided
maybe distracting the mayor with the good news that he was in the presence of a relatively obscure writer of chic lit, might be a good thing. I’m not sure why, I just thought it might buy us some more time.

“Hello my name is Bill Hutton,” I said in my terrible Spanish, then I winked and said “but I’m
really Holly Denham”.
A firecracker exploded and a skitty waiter showered someone with Chardonnay. The mayor was
studying me fearfully, so I tried to explain further, by showing him a copy of my book. “It’s my
little secret,” I pretended to look carefully over one shoulder, “shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but
I’m really a woman” . He asked me to go away.

About this point my sister who does speak perfect Spanish took me away from his table carefully, and asked me to continue my PR offensive at home.

So here I am writing once again, doing something I feel much safer about. Thank you Gaby for
reviewing my book, I’m so grateful that you took the time out to read and review it, and do pop in for a meal if you’re ever in Spain!!!

To end, here are pictures of Bill having fun with his beautiful daughter.

Thank you so much, Bill! This is hilarious. I'm so looking forward to your next book. Stop by anytime!

In case you haven't read Holly's Inbox, you can learn more through my review

Or order a copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Book Depository (free shipping worldwide).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book Blog Tour of John Shirley's Bleak History

Bleak History
I'm excited to participate in the Blog Tour of John Shirley's Bleak History. Even before I read Bleak History, I was a fan of John Shirley's work. I especially loved the film The Crow with Brandon Lee.

Review of Bleak History by John Shirley


Set in some parallel dimension of New York City, Bleak History describes a world where a subset of the population have special powers. A top secret division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the growing emergence of human supernaturals. Capturing and co-opting them for military purposes, the CCA has seemingly limitless power. At the start of Bleak History, CCA has set agents to capture Gabriel Bleak, one of the strongest of the supernaturals. CCA believes that Gabriel Bleak is the key to accessing the Hidden, an entity based energy field that connects all life on Earth.

Gabriel Bleak stands out because of his level of control and the strength of his power. Even as a child, Gabriel could communicate with the dead, pull energy from the Hidden and force energy to take shape. Aside from his supernatural abilities, Gabriel has the skills learned from military service to help him to keep this power hidden and stay under the radar as a bounty hunter or "skip tracer". CCA's aggressive campaign forces Gabriel Bleak into an alliance with a growing underground movement known as the Shadow Community.

CCA agent Loriane Sarikosca is a key player in the campaign to capture Gabriel Bleak. New to the agency, Agent Sarikosca is troubled by her superiors' willingness to sacrifice civil liberties and their callous treatment of captured supernatural. As she dives into her assignment, Agent Sarikosca keeps recalling Gabriel Bleak's question: "Way it is now, anybody can be detained. So I guess I won't ask what authority you have. But what excuse do you have?"


Fast paced and action packed, Bleak History read like a movie. John Shirley carefully built up the alternate reality and the references to New York locations added to the books appeal. While the villians of the piece weren't complex, Gabriel Bleak and Agent Sarikosca were strong, sympathetic characters. Gabriel Bleak's strong sense of humanity is one of the best parts of the novel.

I enjoy these types of fantasy novels. Bleak History reminded me at times of the TV series Heroes and of the movie The Matrix. I'd recommend Bleak History to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

Publisher: Pocket (August 18, 2009), 384 pages.
Courtesy of the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of his website:

John Shirley is the author of more than 30 novels including Bleak History (forthcoming, 2009, Smon & Schuster) Demons, Crawlers, Wetbones, and In Darkness Waiting. His novel City Come-A-Walkin' and theA Song Called Youth trilogy -- Eclipse, Eclipse Corona, and Eclipse Penumbra are considered landmarks of cyberpunk science fiction. His short stories have been collected in half-a-dozen collections. He is the recipient of the Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award for his collection Black Butterflies (Mark V. Ziesing). Shirley's fronted punk bands and written lyrics for his own music, as well as for Blue Öyster Cult and other bands. A principal screenwriter for The Crow, Shirley now devotes most of his time to writing for television and film. The URL for the official John Shirley Web site is is

Bleak History Blog Tour

I Heart Monster:
Debbie’s World of Books:
Sci-Fi Guy:
A Journey of Books:
Simply Vamptastic:
Starting Fresh:
Booksie’s Blog:
Falling Off The Shelf:
Patricia’s Vampire Notes:
My Friend Amy:
Reading With Monie:
Cheryl’s Book Nook:
Morbid Romantic:
Drey’s Library:
Temple Library Reviews:
Jeanne’s Ramblings:
Never Not Reading:
My Guilty Pleasures:
Fantasy Freak:

Thanks so much to Sarah and Pocket Books for this opportunity!

Blog Tour of Julia London's Summer of Two Wishes


Review of Summer of Two Wishes by Julia London


When she heard that her husband Finn was killed in the line of duty overseas, Mary Lockhart felt like she'd died. Mary struggled to keep his Texas Ranch, but with cattle disease, her inexperience, and bad luck, she had to sell much of Finn's assets. Three years later, she'd picked herself up and created a new life. Mary still loved and missed Finn deeply, but she found stability and happiness with her new husband Wyatt Clark.

Stability and happiness that shatter when Mary receives news that Finn is alive - and coming home. Mary is ecstatic that Finn is alive and can't wait to see him. But under Texas law, she must choose which marriage to keep and which to nullify. Faced with an impossible choice, what does Mary do?


Macy's in an impossible situation. If you thought that the man that you loved more than anything in the world somehow was gone and you suddenly had a second chance, would you go back to him even if it means hurting the man who helped you find yourself again?

Julia London is careful to fully flesh out each of the three characters so that you can sympathize with each of them. She creates subplots that move the story along to its satisfying conclusion. The book raises issues of loyalty and being true to oneself as well as the unique strain that military families are under. The description of the difficulties that military families face both during deployment and when obtaining their benefits gave the book an additional dimension. Despite the difficult decision that Macy faces, I found the book is an enjoyable and satisfying read.

Publisher: Pocket Star (August 18, 2009), 432 pages.
Courtesy of the publisher.

The author's "unofficial bio" from her website (much more interesting than the usual press release):

Okay, here is the real scoop on Julia London: the official bio looks nothing like who I think is the real me. The unofficial truth is that I was born and raised in rural west Texas. I was a fat baby and typical little girl with Barbies, bikes, and an overactive imagination. I know that I loved to make up stories from a time I can scarcely remember (because my mom has a story I wrote in the first grade, which featured me in an episode of Wagon Train), and I know that Ialways loved books.

I remember going to the library. It was in an old house and it was very cool inside and smelled like old books and all the children’s books were on lower shelves for easy access by little hands. I read all the usual stuff: Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women… Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Sex but Were Afraid to Ask (by then I was fifteen or sixteen and was afraid to ask).

In my early teens, I began to dream of great adventure and hunky guys and filled notebooks with stories of a girl who looked and talked like me and was constantly caught up in adventure and peril. She always landed in the arms of hunky guys who happened to resemble a few of my favorite TV stars. Hey, I’m not ashamed to admit it: Starsky and Hutch, Alias Smith and Jones, and yes, even Keith Partridge.

I went to college, I got a job, and when I got a little older, I began to live the real adventures of my life. I t raveled to far-flung places and tried things I never thought I’d try. I had good jobs with the federal government and eventually ended up working in the White House, and then later, I came back to Tex as and worked as a public administrator until I could take politics no more.

That’s when I decided to turn my penchant for making up stories into books, and I’ll be damned if an agent and a publisher didn’t want to publish my daydreams. I have been a lucky, lucky girl.

I look back at my life and mark the passage of time by standard measures: bad hair and bad style sense. Or, I can pinpoint where I was and what I was doing in my life by the sports I tried. Not all of them took, but I discovered I was best at tennis (back in the day), golf (except when it’s too hot, and its always too hot in Texas) and wogging (sort of a half-walk, half-jog. Extremely ugly in appearance, but gets the job done), which I do only moderately well.

Along the way I fell in love with a few good dogs and a few good men, and found the ones I want to keep forever.

 Sure, there have been those few occasions I might have drank too much and did some things I wish I hadn’t, but overall, I have no regrets. I’ve never wanted for anything except the perfect purse (the search continues). I have been a lucky, lucky girl.

The unofficial truth is that I’ve had two successful careers. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and I’ve been lucky in love and work and play. I love my life, I love what I do. I love the people and animals that surround me and I am eager to see what the next half of my life brings.

Now that is a bio that looks like me.

Read more on Julia London's website at Sign up for Julia London's contest at

Summer of Two Wishes Blog Tour

My Book Views:
Book Soulmates:
A Journey of Books:
Just Jennifer Reading:
All About {n}:
My Guilty Pleasures:
Bookin’ with Bingo:
Starting Fresh:
Booksie’s Blog:
The Tome Traveller:
Cheryl’s Book Nook:
Bella’s Novella:
Frugal Plus:
Eclectic Book Lover:
One Person’s Journey Through A World Of Books:
Foreign Circus Library:
My Own Little Corner of the World:
Alpha Heroes:
Pudgy Penguin Perusals:
Seductive Musings:
Bibliophiles ‘R Us:
Park Avenue Princess:
Power in the Blog:
Books and Needlepoint:

Thank you so much to Julia London, Sarah and Pocket Books for this wonderful opportunity!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Winners of The Blue Star by Tony Earley


The Blue Star by Tony Earley

roxxyroller - confirmed
zenrei57 - confirmed
s.mickelson - confirmed
chinook92 - confirmed

Congratulations! Please send me your mailing addresses by 6 pm on Wednesday. Thanks for participating in the contest.

Thank you so much for this giveaway, Valerie and Hatchette Books Group!

Winners of The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser


The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser

  1. melacan dorian - confirmed
  2. mj.coward - confirmed
  3. wadesherry - confirmed
  4. catss99 - confirmed
  5. BethsBookReviewBlog - confirmed

Congratulations! Please send me your mailing addresses by 6 pm on Wednesday. Thanks for participating!

Thanks so much to Valerie and Hatchette Books Group for sponsoring this giveaway!

Winners of Light Up Your Child's Mind by Joseph Renzulli, Sally Reis, and Andrea Thompson.


Light Up Your Child's Mind by Joseph Renzulli, Sally Reis, and Andrea Thompson.

  1. believedreamcourage
  2. debdesk9 - confirmed
  3. elaing8 - confirmed
  4. derekannette - confirmed
  5. mdl - confirmed
Congratulations! Please send your mailing addresses by 6 pm on Wednesday.

Thanks so much to Anna and Hatchette Books Group for sponsoring another generous giveaway!

Winners of Making Babies by Sami S. David, M.D. and Jill Blakeway

Making Babies by Sami S. David, M.D. and Jill Blakeway

  1. daphne - confirmed
  2. freebiegoddess03 - confirmed
  3. 13rubberducks - confirmed
  4. moet1973
  5. jacquecurl1 - confirmed

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing addresses by 6 pm on Wednesday. Thanks for participating.

Thanks so much to Anna and Hatchette Books Group for sponsoring this giveaway!

Winners of Year of the Cock: The Remarkable True Account of a Married Man Who Left His Wife and Paid the Price by Allan Wieder

Year of the Cock: The Remarkable True Account of a Married Man Who Left His Wife
and Paid the Price by Allan Wieder

  1. Dutchlvr1 - confirmed
  2. chocolateandcroissants - confirmed
  3. layersofthought - confirmed
  4. mishiareads - confirmed
  5. pksanddancer - confirmed

Congratulations! Please send me your mailing addresses by 6 pm on Wednesday.
Thanks so much to Valerie and Hatchette Books Group for sponsoring this giveaway!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Winner: Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Gary Morgenstein


Take Me Out To The Ballgame by Gary Morgenstein - Jason

Congratulations! Thanks for participating, everyone!

Thanks so much to Gary Morgenstein for sponsoring this giveaway!

Book Blog Tour: Light of Burning Shadows: Book Two of the Iron Elves by Chris Evans

Review of The Light of Burning Shadows: Book Two of the Iron Elves by Chris Evans

The blurb:

"They might be doomed, damned and buggered for all eternity, but that didn't mean they couldn't sparkle like a diamond in the sun and grin like a skull in the moonlight on their way to oblivion."

Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in the second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves' perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency.

The Iron Elves, shunned by their own people for bearing the mark of the Shadow Monarch, and desperately wanting to forever erase this shame, became legendary for their prowess on the battlefield as the Calahrian Imperial Army's elite shock troops. But when their commanding officer, Konowa Swift Dragon, murdered the Viceroy of Elfkyna, he was exiled, and these brave elves were banished to a remote desert outpost, doomed and leaderless, their honor in tatters.

Recalled to duty to reform his regiment from the dregs of the Imperial Army, Konowa thwarted the plans of the Shadow Monarch at the Battle of Luuguth Jor - ensuring that the fabled Red Star, a source of great natural energy, did not fall into Her hands. Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in the desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose very loyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally-and fearsome enemy-in a growing conflict that threatens all?


The Light of Burning Shadows continues the story of the Iron Elves a few months after the end of the Battle of Luuguth Jor depicted in A Darkness Forged in Fire. The Iron Elves have won a reputation as fearsome fighters with unwavering loyalty to the Calharian Empire. Their reward for success and beating suicidal odds? More impossible assignments.

Traveling to remote islands and the deserts of the Calharian Empire, the Iron Elves encounter a new supernatural enemy. As they make sense of their new enemy's powers, the Elves discover powers of their own that derive from their oath.

This time around, some things have changed. The Iron Elves see the advantages in the Crown Prince's leadership and the Crown Prince has become protective of his troops. The interaction between the Crown Prince and the commanding officer Konowa reflects their growing respect for one another. I thoroughly enjoyed the increased emphasis on Sergeant Yimt Arkhorn in The Light of Burning Shadows. One of the most interesting characters that I've encountered lately, Yimt has the street smarts and the familiarity that comes with spending much of his life as an enlist man. He guides the younger troops through sticky situations, keeps up their spirits, and acts as the glue that keeps the troops together. The sole dwarf in the Iron Elves, more than anyone else he understands what it means to be an outsider.

A complex, carefully crafted fantasy and military adventure, The Light of Burning Shadows is a wonderful escape.

Publisher: Pocket (July 28, 2009), 384 pages.
Courtesy of Pocket Books.

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:

Chris Evans was born in Canada and now lives in New York City. As a military historian he has conducted battlefield tours of Europe, and was the historical consultant on a television documentary on the First World War. He's earned degrees in English, Political Science, and a Masters in History. This is his second novel.

Listen to an interview of the author at

Visit Chris Evan's website and blog to read more about him, the Iron Elves series, and his other books at

Participating sites in the blog tour:

The Epic Rat:
Drey’s Library:
Must Read Faster:
Carol’s Notebook:
The Crotchety Old Fan:
A Journey of Books:
Book Soulmates:
A Book Bloggers Diary:
Horror and Fantasy Book Review:
Booksie’s Blog:
Temple Library Reviews:
Fantasy Freak:
Starting Fresh:
The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Review:
Pick of the Literate:
Books Joseph Reads:
Morbid Romantic:
Poisoned Rationality:

Thank you so much, Sarah and Pocket Books for this opportunity!
Photos courtesy of the author's website.