Monday, January 28, 2013

Through the Ever Night.

Title/Author: Through the Ever Night.

Genre: YA/Post Apocalpytic/Dystopian.

Publisher: Harper.

Source: Oblong Books.

Favorite character: Aria and Perry.

Synopsis:  It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

My Thoughts:  I usually don't get excited over sequels.  Even if I intend to read them, I'll usually wait a long time.  With Through the Ever Night however, I was looking forward to finding out how Aria and Perry would continue their journey and I was not disappointed.  Many times, sequels or sophomore books in a series are lacking, are just filler or full of plot devices.  I did not feel that way at all with this book.  It felt as fresh and exciting as the first installment with new surprises and twists. 

Both Aria and Perry have even more responsibility in this part of their journey.  They make mistakes while they get used to newfound situations, but they persevere, learn and are dedicated to the duties they've taken on.  I feel there is a lot of character insight within the drama that unfolds with the both of them and with the other characters as well. 

The romance between them is sweet and right.  No eye rolls!  However, there are rocky moments and tests and I was nervous that certain events would keep them apart.  I really appreciated that the romance wasn't the main aspect of the story.  I also loved the friendship between Roar and Aria.  I know several others who want to see those two together as opposed to Aria and Perry, but I don't.  I love that particular friendship and I love that there is no awkwardness in that department. 

I thought the world building was well done without being overworked.  I could picture where the Tides lived and their compound as well as where Aria and Roar travelled. 

I also like the way it ended. Aria and Perry come to a decision that feels right.  It wouldn't have worked at the start or even the middle of the book, but I think by the end, the story unfolds and the characters grow in a way that their decision made sense. 

All in all:  The writing is strong and not overworked, the plot exciting and the characters interesting.  This is a thoughtful book and I was never bored.  I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

Other editions:

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Title/Author: Threshold by Caitlin R. Kiernan.

Genre: Horror/Dark Fiction.

Publisher: Roc.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character:  Chance.

Cool quote: "And the girl smiled for her like a polar night sky where every star had died."

All in all: Dark and surreal.

Synopsis: Chance Matthews has suffered enough tragedies. The latest—her grandfather’s death—has left her shaken, convinced that she will always be alone. What she needs now is time—time to recover, time to determine what her future will be. What she doesn’t need is a strange girl with alabaster skin who knows things about Chance she can’t possibly know.

This girl speaks of being charged by an angel to battle monsters and claims she cannot do it alone. She says she needs Chance’s help.

Chance doesn’t believe in angels. Or monsters. But among the artifacts left by her geologist grandparents, there lies a fossil of a creature that couldn’t possibly have ever existed.

But it did.

And still does…
My Thoughts:
"You weren't made for this world." the mans says. "But there are roads I could show you, night roads that wind forever between milk white trees, and the starlight would kiss your skin like ice. There are roads where nothing ever burns and the sun is only a fiary tale to frighten pale children to bed."

The above quote summizes the nature of Threshold.  It's a book about secrets and a truth that kills.  It's about an unseen world with unseen creatures that exist but aren't supposed to.  It's about enlightenment, but at a cost.

The characters in this book discover that truth.  With a warning from a young teen who believes she is sent by a higher power, Chance, Deacon and Sadie enter a world and situations that they are ill equipped to deal with.  The story is one you have to pay attention to.  This is not a light read.  I feel this is due to the plot itself which uses existential concepts and Kiernan's unique writing style. 

Kiernan is an incredible writer.  She weaves words together and they come from a place that inspiration is inspired by.  Her style is unique and if at times it's hard to read, I think it's because she writes outsides the lines.  Her unique use of vocabulary and the choices she made with her prose lent itself to the reading experience. 

Her detail in anthropology is specific and thorough.  The reader is right next to Chance as she researches fossils and makes discoveries.  It gives credence to the scientific illuminations, the timeline of the earth and what existed as shown by the fossil record.  There is also a rather large glossary at the end that defines many of the terms used if one is curious.  Although I didn't really understand all the science, I appreciated the meticulous details used to back up the concept.  Points also for the Beowulf references.

The book was strange and surreal and while the ending worked for me, I can see some readers being very dissatisfied with it.  As I said, it wasn't the easiest book to read, but it was strange and chilling and very dark.  Right up my alley.

Other editions:


Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions - Calling it Quits on Blogging (Monday, January 21, 2013)

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that allows book bloggers to discuss issues unique to what we encounter in the blogging world. Every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month we will post a question and invite you to answer, comment and discuss opinions and different views.

Please keep the dialogue courteous. No bashing!

If you would like to participate in this meme sign up below and please feel free to to grab the button to include in your post with a link to For What It's Worth Reviews or here at Midnyte Reader.

Question: We've discussed blogging slumps before but have you ever seriously considered throwing in the towel and quitting blogging?  If so, what changed your mind?  Did you discuss it with other bloggers?

Answer:  I have never wanted to quit blogging, but there are times when I've felt like I should quit, if that makes sense.  Sometimes it's because of time restraints but mostly it's because at times I get intimidated by the "right" way to blog.  That I should be reading and reviewing quicker.  That I should have more followers.  That I should have more unique features.  But then I remember that I started this blog for me and because I love books.  That hasn't changed.  I've definitely been in reading slumps, but they've never lasted more than a few weeks, so I'm lucky in that respect.  I really enjoy blogging and the blogging community and mostly, the people I've met.  

I used to do a huge Halloween event at my house.  I absolutely loved it and I spent a lot of time building and decorating.  I thought I would do it forever and never saw myself stopping, only growing. But one year, I decided I didn't want to do it anymore.  It got to be too much work and the payoff wasn't as satisfying.  Plus, I wanted to do other things in October.  So, I stopped.  I thought it would be difficult, but it really wasn't.  It was definitely the right decision.  Right now, I don't see myself not blogging in the near or even distant future and part of me kind of hopes that day never comes.  If it ever does, I will definitely talk it over with my blogger friends to explore whether it is the right decision for me or not.  

How about you guys?  Ever want to just throw in the towel?  Why or why not?  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death and Life in New Orleans.

Title/Author:  Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum.

Genre: Non Fiction.

Publisher: Spiegel and Grau.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character:

All in all: Amazing!

Synopsis: Nines Lives is a multivoiced biography of a dazzling, surreal, and imperiled city, told through the lives of nine unforgettable characters and bracketed by two epic storms: Hurricane Betsy, which transformed New Orleans in the 1960s, and Hurricane Katrina, which nearly destroyed it. Dan Baum brings this kaleidoscopic portrait to life, showing us what was lost in the storm and what remains to be saved

My Thoughts:  The truth is, there is no way I can do this book justice or describe how much it delighted me, educated me and touched me.  Although I mostly read fiction, this book is about New Orleans...and I'm all about anything that has to do with New Orleans.  I even have a NOLA Reading Challenge (see button on sidebar).  Plus, it reads like fiction.  There is nothing stodgy or text-like about it.  And although no supernatural events take place between the pages, the mystery and magic as stated in the title, embody this book.  The uniqueness of the area, the love the people have for it.  It isn't just a glimpse into the lives of 9 people, it is a close and personal visit.

Nine Lives is called a "love letter" to New Orleans, and I couldn't agree more.  I became even more enchanted with the city while reading it.  The book serves as a magical trek through 40 years and as a reader I felt as if I was walking along next to characters, as they went to barbeques, band practice, making arrests or fighting with family.  Baum features nine people from varying socioeconomic classes, professions and temperments and gives a fascinating look into the inner workings of government, politics, education and street life through their eyes.

The writing is easy to follow as are each character's journey through as they deal with love and loss, frustration and celebration.  The people divulge their stories, their hopes and fears and their prejudice while Baum lovingly takes care of them in his words.  Sometimes it is a little difficult to keep up with all the characters, but Baum states in the beginning not to worry about just read and enjoy, which I did.

Katrina and the aftermath take up the last third of the book and I did feel as if all the people in the book were being prepared in a way, for this event.  And the event is not just the storm.  It's what happens after the storm.  The way the City and its citizens became refugees in other locations, the way swindlers preyed upon victims, the way the government could not help and in some cases hindered.  The way, that people were swept aside literally and figuratively.  I finished reading this right after Superstorm Sandy hit my own area so it was kind of odd to be reading about one storm and experiencing and watching the aftermath of another.  Please note though, I would never compare the two.  Although Sandy impacted a larger area, Katrina had more impact and more lives lost.

Despite the heartache in Nine Lives, I loved it.  I loved recognizing and being familiar with mentioned locations.  Restaurants, streets, buildings.  I loved viewing the inner workings of Mardi Gras, local politics, economics and tradition.  I loved these characters.  Through Baum's lens, I feel I know them and because of that, I feel I know the City I love just a little more intimately.


Thursday, January 10, 2013


Title/Author: Breed by Chase Novak.

Genre: Horror/Dark Fiction.

Publisher: Mulholland Books.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character: Michael Medoff.

All in all: Twisted!

Synopsis: Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.
My Thoughts: This book is F'ed up, yo.  That's what I stated when I described it to my friends.  It's just F'ed up.  I picked it up one, because of the synopsis and two, because it has a blurb from Stephen King on the front.  Well, I had to get it.  If Mr. King liked it, I'm sure I would too.

The voice is clear and easy to read.  Written in 3rd person omniscient (which in my opinion isn't done a lot nowadays, or maybe I just haven't read a lot of books written in this narrative lately) let me as a reader watch the characters as if I had a telescope and delve into their backgrounds and thoughts as if I were a part time psychic.  The author weaves in a tight picture of the socio economic status of the characters and I felt the insights into their minds and nuances of their lives were clear. 

On page 50, my eyes bugged out of my head in surprise.  And that set the tone for the rest of the book.  Breed is unlike anything I've read before.  It's dark, chilling, at times even kooky.  Not in a humorous way, but in a way that makes you shake your head like you can't even believe this is happening.  It all fits and works, but I think with a less skilled writer it wouldn't.  Just a side note, Chase Novak is actually a moniker for Scott Spencer who wrote bestselling book Endless Love.  (Which I didn't read.)

What was also cool was that since the majority of the story takes place in New York City it was easy for me to picture the events, scenes and action because I am so familiar with the setting.  From the kids running around in Central Park, to trying to escape in the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the streets of the city. 

All the characters are very believable, but I especially loved Michael, the teacher who Adam turns to for help.  As the book states, Michael is just an incredibly nice man with no agenda except to protect his student.  His involvement and observations of his situation, being a gay male teacher harboring a runaway are not lost on him.  His job is in jeopardy and his story within this saga is just as compelling as the whole.

I also loved that not everything is explained.  The story just plays out and as a reader I am shown what happens and soon the pieces come together and become more clear and more horrific as the story moves on.

The ending, perhaps the last 4th of the book or so was a bit sketchy to me.  I wasn't really satisfied with the conclusion, although I loved the experience as a whole. 

This book is not for the faint of heart but if you like horror, even a kind of dark humor, you may like this.  I for one, could not put it down. 

Afterthoughts:  After reading a few reviews on Goodreads, I see there are quite a few people who didn't agree with my stellar approval of Breed.  Please check them out before deciding.

Other editions:


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guest Post - Blood Vine

A Winemaker’s Perspective on Prohibition
By Marcia Phelan,
Community Interest Staff Reporter, San Francisco Daily Journal
September 18, 1926

Since the Eighteenth Amendment passed seven years ago, the winemakers of California have faired poorly. My aching bones faired just as poorly after sixty miles of rough Sonoma County road brought me to my first stop on a tour of some of California’s now defunct wineries. The scenic Kaštel Estate Winery, and its winemaker Andre Maras, have weathered prohibition by producing sacramental wine and table grapes.

I was led to Maras’s office, deep in the recesses of the wine cellar.

“A lady reporter?” he asked, upon seeing me.

“I’ve been called worse.” For some reason, I had expected him to be older, but he was rather strapping and I was awfully glad he noticed my sex. I offered him my hand. “Marcia Phelan. We lady reporters get assigned all the biggest stories.”

He chuckled, shook my hand, and showed me to a stiff looking chair. Ledgers and papers littered his desk. From the cluttered and cozy appearance of the office, I would venture he rarely leaves the place. And yet, Maras is a veritable bear of a man whose stature testifies to many hours spent in the vineyards. If only a few more of San Francisco’s bachelors were so well built.

He settled himself in the chair opposite me, his posture imposing, his distinctly Mediterranean features stern. “Mr. Maras, how long has the Kaštel Estate been producing wine?”

“My family purchased the land in the mid-nineteenth century.”

“While most California wines are considered inferior, before Prohibition yours were said to match European quality. To what do you attribute this?”

“My family has a very long tradition of winemaking in Croatia. Without belittling my neighbors, it is fair to say they are amateurs compared to the Maras lineage.”

Though his words were prideful, he said them so neutrally I believe he had no intention of insulting his fellows. Rather, I gathered, he is the type of man who is perpetually self-assured.

“And what of the locale? Is it possible for this region to one day compete with France or Italy as a producer of fine wine?”

“Marcia, that is a question regarding fashion, and I avoid those on principle.”

“Then please let me rephrase it. Given what you know of European wines, is there any reason California’s wines could not rival theirs?”

Impatience flickered on his face, but then he very nearly smiled. “A fair question. In addition to the skill of its maker, the quality of a wine rests on climate, and vines, and soil. Yes, California possesses these resources as abundantly as the winemaking regions of Europe. And, in particular the soil of the Kaštel Estate is remarkable.”

“Did your forbearers choose this location for the soil, then?”

“Indeed. The soil was the primary factor in the purchase of all our lands.”

“Your ancestors are from Croatia?”

“My family originated there, yes. It is a truly magical place.”

“So I did not merely imagine your exotic accent? Did you apprentice there to learn the old country’s traditions?”

“In a manner of speaking.” He flashed a smile surely meant to disguise the evasion.

It worked, and I confess I did not plan the path of inquiry my lips forged next. “Is there a Mrs. Maras?”

His smile vanished. “No. And the subject of this interview is the Eighteenth Amendment.”

“Yes, of course. I do hope you will be frank with me. How worried are you about the financial effects of prohibition on your enterprise?”

“Not at all.” He brushed his hand across his desk dismissively.

“Truly? Surely your profits are down. Many wineries have already folded.”

“Mrs. Phelan—”

“Miss. And Marcia, please.”

“Fine. Marcia, I have very little to say, other than this. I take the long view. Since before mankind domesticated grain, he has been fermenting alcohol. The pleasure of a drink is a basic human necessity. I am absolutely certain this nonsense will end soon.”

I found his equanimity stunning, and, apparently, he had nothing more to say. He made stilted chitchat, while serving a plate of fruit and cheese, but of course, no accompanying glass of wine. I expect to find his fellow winemakers far less stoic. You can discover if my prediction is correct in the next installment of this series, to be printed next Tuesday.

 Add to Goodreads:

Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.

With a B.A. in comparative religion and an M.A. in theology, Amber is a Christian minister and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to Amber. She believes the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that desire.

Amber is addicted to vampire stories, but loves to read all kinds of romance and literature. Her favorite books examine history and cultural origins, like Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, or Salmon Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. And, yes, she was named after that Amber, of the classic romance novel Forever Amber.

From the wine country of Sonoma County to the foggy neighborhoods of San Francisco, all of Amber’s fiction is set in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Author Links:

Blood Vine is now available for puchase at Amazon!

Two winners will be chosen.  The prizes are:
~One (1) e-book copy of Blood Vine by Amber Belldene - International. 

~One pair Blood Vine wine glasses - U.S. & Canada residents only.

~Leave your name and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form.
~Tell me which prize you would prefer in order.
~Please remember the wine glasses are for U.S. and Canada residents only.  
~Extra entries are optional.
~If you are choosing to do extra entries, please read the questions/instructions CAREFULLY! If you do not follow the instructions, I reserve the right to disqualify that entry. (For example, if I ask you to leave a comment and you do not, or you don't answer the question, that entry will be removed.)

~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~Contest ends on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Title/Author: Breathe by Sarah Crossan.

Genre: YA.  Dystopian.  Post-Apocalyptic.

Publisher:  Greenwillow.

Source: Received at BEA

Favorite character: Bea.

Favorite quote: It has nothing to do with what I've been taught. It has to do with how I feel. ~Bea.

All in all:  Very enjoyable!

Synopsis: Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . . The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed Breathe.  Told in three first person viewpoints, I sometimes had to check who was speaking, but ultimately, all the narratives worked well. 

Alina who works for The Resistance, starts out hard and cold and I love how she progressed to having sympathy, empathy because of the example set for her by Bea.  Quinn is a "Premium."  An upper class citizen who resents that everything is handed to him and he can't achieve anything on his own.  However, he is still sheltered and a bit selfish until he has to face real danger and real problems.  I like how he emerges stronger and more defiant.  Bea seems to be the glue between the characters of Alina and Quinn.  She is a lowerclass citizen who has a more difficult life and therefore seems to have more integrity.  Her kindness and sense of right and wrong are an example to Alina and an inspiration to Quinn.

The romance in this book was darling.  It starts out as a love triangle or rather a J. Geils Band song (You love her but she loves him.  And he loves somebody else).  The heartache is very touching and through the course of the book it grows in a realistic way which I don't want to give away. 

The story may be familiar but I still couldn't predict what would happen.  The writing is clear, simple and strong and the plot flows.  There is not a lot of other threads to bog down the story, yet other events that are presented are done with purpose.  The world that Crossan created is easy to envision yet not overly worked.  The pod that everyone lives in is laid out and I love recognizing landmarks outside the pod. 

It is open ended and clearly has a sequel.  This usually bothers me but for some reason it did not with Breathe.  Maybe because as I was getting to the end of the book, I knew that it couldn't be wrapped up quickly or maybe because I just enjoyed it so much. 

I thought this was a very thoughtful book.  I think if you liked Hunger Games and Under the Never Sky you will enjoy Breathe

Other editions:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bout of Books Challenge: Scientific Discovery

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

The first challenge in this Bout of Books is brought to you by The Book Barbies.  

You have made a scientific discovery (who knew you were so good at science?!) on how to bring fictional characters to life. The problem? The method still isn't *perfect,* so you can only bring two people to life, and they must return to the land of fiction in 30 days. Who will you choose as your bestie and your love interest for that one splendid month? (Feel free to add pictures if you like, but they are not required.)
For best friend, this was a difficult choice.  I saw one blog today that chose Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice which I think is the best answer ever, but I don't want to steal it, so I think I'll say Jilly Coppercorn from many of the Charles de Lint books.  Now if you don't know Jilly, you should.  She is a wonderful person who went through a horrific childhood to turn her life around to help others.  She is an artist and has been known to access the Otherworld.  We could work on artsy projects and talk about her experiences with the Fey and magic.  

For love interest.  Sirius Black, especially if he takes the form of Gary Oldman.  I love his character because he is damaged and tortured and honorable and loyal.  For that month we could go on long walks in the moonlight and he could teach me some magic.   If I was a teenager it would be Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood because he is dreamy and cool and clever.  We would probably do some ghost hunting.  

How about you?  Who did you conjure up?

Bout of Books 6.0

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
I'm jumping in pretty last minute, but I decided to participate in Bout of Books 6.0.  I read so slow so I'm hoping this will force me to use my time more conducively to catching up on some books.

Here are my goals.
1. To finish Threshold by Caitlin Kiernan.
2. To finish Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.
3. To start Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff.
4 To meet new bloggers and discover a few new book blogs.
45 Participate in a Twitter chat.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 6.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 6.0 team

What I've read today:  12 pages
Book: Threshold by Caitlin Kiernan.
Thoughts: This book has small print and is not geared for a fast read.  I think without BoB I may not have even read that much. 
What I've listened to: A few minutes
Audio book: The Wolfe Gift by Anne Rice.
Thoughts: I haven't read an Anne Rice book in years.  I'm curious to see how my feelings about her writing has changed. 

What I've read today: Nothing.
Thoughts: I couldn't keep my eyes open last night!
What I've listened to: About an hour (To/From work).
Audio book: The Wolfe Gift by Anne Rice.
Thoughts: Kind of a lot of telling, but it is still holding my interest.

What I've read today: Didn't count, but I finished Threshold.
Book: Threshold. 
What I've read today: 54 pages.
Book: Under the Never Sky.
Thoughts: Threshold was a mind trip.  UTNS is enjoyable so far.
What I've listened to: About an hour (To/From work).
Audio book: The Wolfe Gift.
Thoughts: Not as great as I remembered Anne Rice to be. 

What I've read today: p. 55-136.
Book: Under the Never Sky.
Thoughts: Loving it!
What I've listened to: About an hour (To/From work).
Audio book: The Wolfe Gift.
Thoughts: Some parts have made me lol, because it is striking me as silly.

Book Blogger Confessions - (Monday, January 7, 2012)

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that allows book bloggers to discuss issues unique to what we encounter in the blogging world. Every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month we will post a question and invite you to answer, comment and discuss opinions and different views.

Please keep the dialogue courteous. No bashing!

If you would like to participate in this meme sign up below and please feel free to to grab the button to include in your post with a link to For What It's Worth Reviews or here at Midnyte Reader.

Question: Happy 2013! What are your blogging goals for the new year? Are you making any changes or testing out new ideas for reviews or organization? Have you joined any challenges?

What are the trends you noticed in blogging from 2012 and what do you hope to see for the blogging community in 2013?

Answer:  Oh boy.  Goals huh?  We're supposed to have goals?  I'd be happy just to be able to continue, lol.  Seriously though, I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants blogger.  I'm pretty laid back and the thought of the tight schedules that other bloggers adhere to make me hyperventilate.  I wish I could be uber organized, but I doubt that will happen with blogging. 

However, I would like to get around to some of the features I've been planning and to resurrect some of the ones I haven't done in a while like Childhood Thrills and Midnyte Finds.  

I also think that I want to read what I want to read at my own pace.  I don't take review requests as it is, but I often think that I get so involved in other people's recommendations that I've neglected a lot of books that I might have otherwise read.  I also don't want to feel pressured to read fast just because I want to or feel the need to provide a review on my blog.  I want to relax and enjoy reading more!

To see the Challenges I've joined just look on my sidebar or click HERE

Trends I saw: It seems to me I saw a lot of book tours in 2012.  I don't usually pay too much attention to them because once I read one or two reviews, I'm pretty much aware of the book.  But they do serve their purpose and I participate in a book tour once in a while as well.  In 2013 I would just like to see more professionalism and respect towards everyone in the book community.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let's Talk - 1/4/2013.

Let’s Talk is a meme hosted by Smash Attack Reads and A Book Obsession.  

Let's Talk is a a great place to get personal and learn more about one another!  

Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

Today's Question:  Do reviews often influence your book choices, or are you someone who doesn’t read reviews until after reading the book?

Answer: Reviews will definitely influence my reading choices.  There are a few blogs that I always go to and trust what they have to say, whether it's something that will appeal to me or not.  For the most part though, reviews will bring the book or author to my attention and then I'll look into it a bit more.  As an example, there are so many Urban Fantasy books out there, you know the ones, with the bad-ass chicks on the cover...that I usually go to Amazon and see what is being said.  I usually read the negative reviews more carefully to determine if it's something that I would like.  If they gave it a negative review because there was no romance, well then that is something that appeals to me more.  If they say it's too violent, I'm there! If they say there is no character development and the plot is cliche, then that wil hold me off more.  

If I own a book that I know I'm going to read, I won't read a review on it.  In fact, I'll avoid reviews because I don't want any spoilers.  As Smash said, I too, also won't read reviews before I write a post because I don't want to be infuenced.  I do like reading them afterward though.  It's funny to see all the different opinions.  And that's what I love about discussing books!

2013 Horror Reading Challenge

Are you scared? 

You will be. 

That is, if you join this challenge and start reading some spine tingling, flesh crawling, gore ridden books. 

•This challenge will run from January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013.
•Books must be read and reviewed in 2013.
•You can choose fiction or non-fiction.
•Audio books are fine.
•Short stories are fine as long as you leave a thoughtful review.
•Books can cross with other challenges.
•You can join at anytime during the year.  Any books you have read in 2013 can be added.
•Anyone can participate (not just book bloggers). If you don't have a blog: You can link to Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, etc. The easiest way may be to make a seperate shelf for this Challenge or a post. Links back to the Challenge are appreciated and will help others if they would like more information.
•If you are using Facebook for this challenge, please write a post (you can just use a few sentences) about the Challenge. Links back to the Challenge are appreciated and will help others if they would like more information. When you review a book or short story, please do not write a sentence or two. Please write a full review, even if it is just a few few paragraphs.
•Yes!  Prizes will be given!

Horror is described on the Bing Dictionary site as:
"...Literature grotesque and terrifying: describes a genre of motion picture or literature intended to thrill viewers or readers by provoking fear or revulsion through the portrayal of grotesque, violent, or supernatural events."

Horror can be subjective. The events of one experience may be horrific to one person and not to another.   But for the purposes of this Challenge let's be a little selective.  Think terror, dread, and fear.  I would really love this Challenge to be a meaningful exploration into the Horror genre.  Just because a vampire could be scary does not mean that every book that includes one is right for this challenge.  We don't necessarily have to go for the gore, but let's go for the throat and get our scare on!

If you are hard pressed to find some unique Horror books, check out Wag The Fox, Darkeva's Dark Delights (I call them the Horror Gurus) and the Horror Writers Association for recommendations.  You can also visit The Undead Rat.  Although the blog has not been active for a while there is still a lot of information to be found.  Also, check out this great list of YA Horror from Kelly at Stacked along with a few other Horror links.
If anyone has any suggestions for this challenge or would like to host a mini-challenge let me know!

•Write a post about this challenge with a link back to this post.
•If you want to make a list of books you wish to read you can, but it's not mandatory.
•Your list is not set in stone. You can change, add or subtract books
•Sign up on the designated Mr. Linky below.
•The page to link your reviews is HERE.

Here is my stack of books I plan to read in 2013.

Grab the Button!


Sign up on the linky below.  Please put the link in for your post not directly to your blog. Otherwise it will be removed.

Image credit: petrafler / 123RF Stock Photo

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Title/Author: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning.

Genre: UF/PNR.

Publisher: Dell.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character: none.

All in all: A few frustrations but mostly fun.

Synopsis:  MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands.

My Thoughts: Okay, so...I felt like I was missing out for not reading these books.  People would refer to main male protagonist Jericho Barrons in conversations as if he is a figure everyone should know and I would get yelled at on Twitter for not reading these books.  I can't say I am absolutely in love with it like everyone else seems to be but it was a fun and enjoyable read. 

I did like the premise of the story and it included mythology that I enjoyed and mysteries that were intriguing.   Told in main female protagonist Mackayla Lane's viewpoint, the urgency of her mission to find her sister's killer is clear.  I like her spunk and her guts.  However, I didn't like her at first or rather I didn't like the way every outfit was described down to matching accessories.  Perhaps this is Mac's armor...her fashion and her clothes and dressing up helps her feel better and stronger.  However, toward the end she seems to truly get tougher and grow up a little.  What I also really enjoyed was the foreshadowing.  Mackayla would tell you things in had she known then what she knew now, she wouldn't have done the following...then the scene would play out.  These hints made me pay attention more closely and they served to create more tension. 

Unfortunately, the ending left me frustrated.  I closed the book feeling kind of confused.  Perhaps this is my fault and I was expecting something different.  I know I should keep reading, but it is also my belief that a book, whether it's the first or the third or the tenth in a series, should wrap up the main story.  Sure a few cliffhangers and dangling of fruit is fine, but I closed the book feeling "Huh?  That's it?" We found out who the killer is, (and I guess that is the main thing along with several other plot points,) but we don't really know who he is.  If that makes any sense.

I also think I have to trust in the fact that I should probably not read books from the Paranormal Romance section.  Or, I just need to adjust my thinking when doing so. While there is no romance in this per reads like one.  Mackayla has to dress like a sex bomb to infiltrate Dublin's exclusive locations with Jericho.  Not my thing.  The way he controlled her from her hairstayle to her not leaving the country did not make me swoon.  I know he is trying to protect her and that a lot of his motives are hidden but he annoyed me.   But again to play devil's advocate, he also annoyed Mac.  So his character is well written.

Will I continue the series?  Probably.  I do kind of want to find out what happens so that is a testament to the story right there.  

Other editions:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 New Orleans Reading Challenge.


I absolutely love New Orleans!   The magic, the music, the mayhem and the quiet moments.  I try to visit as often as I can.   I've heard people say it's an entirely different world, separate from the rest of the country with it's own unique history and culture.

I love reading and learning about New Orleans and many times I choose to read a book based only on the fact that it takes place there, or the main character grew up there or the author stopped by there once...okay, maybe not that last one, but I just wanted to illustrate my obsession adoration for The Big Easy.  Because I love reading about New Orleans, I thought I'd give myself more of an excuse to do so by hosting the 2013 New Orleans Reading Challenge.

  • This challenge will run from January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013.
  • Books must be read and reviewed in 2013.
  • You can choose fiction or non-fiction.
  • You do not need a blog to participate.
  • Audio books are fine. 
  • Books can cross with other challenges.
  • You can join at anytime during the year.
  • You can choose any genre (Romance, UF, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Non Fiction) as long as it has some connection to New Orleans.  (Even if the story or book takes place near New Orleans, such as a Louisiana plantation or the Bayou, it can be used.)
If anyone has any suggestions for this challenge let me know!

  • Write a post about this challenge with a link back to this post.
  • If you want to make a list of books you wish to read you can, but it's not mandatory.
  • Your list is not set in stone.  You can change, add or subtract books
  • Sign up on the designated Mr. Linky below.
  • Choose a level: 
    • Gator: Read 1-4 books. 
    • Jazz Musician: Read 5-8 books. 
    • Mardi Gras King: Read 9-12 books. 
    • Voodoo Queen: Read 13-16 books.

To post a review:
  • Link to the designated Mr. Linky below.
  • Please leave a comment after linking!
I'm going to try for the Gator Level. 

Grab the button!


This is the SIGN UP Mr. Linky!  (Use only to sign up for the challenge). Please sign up to your Challenge Post, not just your blog.

This is the REVIEW Mr. Linky.  (Use only to link up your New Orleans Reading Challenge reviews.)

Image credit: flippo / 123RF Stock Photo

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