Thursday, January 30, 2014

Midnyte Snack - Apple Strudel - Daughter of Smoke.

Welcome to Midnyte Snack, the feature that combines books and food!  
What could be better?
Book: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Snack: Apple Strudel.
I'm not a huge fan of strudel.  However, while reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, I wanted to be in the that little cafe where Karou and Zuzana frequented and I craved apple strudel and tea.

Okay, so I should have read this recipe carefully.  It said "1/4 brown sugar."  1/4 cup?  1/4 tsp?  I mean, I'm fairly intelligent so I knew it was 1/4 Cup, but still.  Also, if you'll notice the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon cinnamon and then 1/2 teaspoon cinammon.  Huh?  I used the 1 teaspoon in the apple mixture and then the 1/2 teaspoon in the topping. 

Apple Strudel

6 layers philo dough
1/4 brown suger
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stack layers of dough, brushing each layer with butter before topping with next layer.  Brushe top layer with butter.  In a bowl combine, apples raisings, sugar and cinnamon.  Spoon filling down the left long side of phyllo rectangle.  Fold top edge down and bottom edge up by about 2" to cover filling.  Roll dough up along side to enclose filling.  Brush log with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and puffed.

It may not have been the best presentation, but it still tasted great!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Guest Post by J.M. McDermott - On Labyrinths.

Remember the scene in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth when the two doors stand side-by-side, one leads to the castle and the other to *dum dum dum* certain dooooom! and the guards are two entities. One lies, and one tells the truth.

All right, there's a couple things I want to point out. First, one of them lies, the other tells the truth? But, they both tell the truth before the whole riddle begins. Also, there's four of them, not two. If the one on the bottom is lying about the ones on top, than he knows which one it is, and it sort of alludes to that when the one on top gives the answer by consulting with the one on bottom.

In other words, this is not a stable matrix. The walls shift and the stones move and the creatures that appear to be a simple puzzle prove to be as unstable as the walls around them. This is one of those moments where Sarah tries to outwit madness itself, possibly her own delirious imagination filling the air with unstable structures. (You cannot outwit insanity. This is Freud's great failure, and Jennifer Connoly's.)

I do like the symbols of the scene, though. The Janus-like guards, each with one head on top and one on bottom, also contradict each other. I suspect the riddle is also cubed. One lies, and one tells the truth. However, aren't we talking about four goblins, not two?

What do you do in the labyrinth with these monstrous walls and doors?

If you can only ask one question in this situation, the puzzle becomes even more complex, between the four liars and truthtellers. Now, you cannot solve the logic puzzle with the information in front of you -- you only think you can. Thus, the question must defy logic. By attempting to solve the puzzle with logic, Sarah fell into the trap of her own self-confidence in reason.

The true door, I suspect, is an internal one symbolized by the doubts of the arguing Janus goblins. Sarah's intellect lies to her. For the duration of her stay in the labyrinth, her rational intellect throws her deeper and deeper into the pit of the labyrinth. Only be reaching out with her heart, and befriending elements within the illogical order of the magical labyrinth, can she overcome the devilry inside of the twisting paths.

Responding to the Goblin King's many torments with reason only empowered the master of the clock. By responding with her heart, Sarah was able to overthrow the Goblin King.

In essence, instead of attempting to outsmart the Janus guards, (walking through the door of the "lie" of reason) she should have trusted her instinct on the matter, or even made friends with one of them. I'd suggest, if you are in a similar situation, asking a question like "Would you like this cookie?" The one who tells the truth will want the cookie. The liar will not want it. Win them both over with friendship. This is, after all, a children's film.

My Maze is not a children's book. There is only doom behind either door.

I suspect in Henson's Labyrinth, both doors lead to the center of the maze. Either way, Sarah would have survived, and the only certain doom at hand was the doom of time, itself, drowning all great films in a flood of sound and colors, signifying nothing to the archivists of time, some far day from now, when no films are watched again.

Doom comes for all. Everyone dies. Our children and our works and the spirit we push out into the world is our only hope.

Behind both doors in the maze, all the five doors where survivors stumble into the rocks and occasional tree, there is a doom. There is an eternity inside the tessaracts there, as well.

I have seen the Labyrinth too much. I wrote a book inspired by watching it too much. The book is called Maze. I hope you enjoy it.

Maze is available now from Apex Publications.

Bio: J.M. McDermott is the author of Last Dragon, Disintegration Visions, The Dogsland Trilogy, and Women and Monsters. He holds an MFA from the Stonecoast Program from the University of Southern Maine. He lives in San Antonio, Texas. On February 1st, around noon, he will be signing books at the Twig Bookstore in San Antonio.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Guest Post by Chris Kullstroem: Travel Research Project "Drawn to the Dark."

Running from September 2013 - September 2015
by Chris Kullstroem 

I am happy to report the progress of the first three months of my current traveling research project: Drawn to the Dark! This endeavor involves researching "dark-themed" events and celebrations around the world for a book I'm currently writing. The book describes creative portrayals of dark-themed characters, venues and celebrations of life and death, and how they actually benefit the people of their communities in various ways. The book and project are entitled Drawn to the Dark: Enhancing Community Health through Dark-Themed Tourism.

In September of 2013, I left my job and apartment in Connecticut to travel for two years on this project. The first month was spent in New Orleans, yet the remainder of the year would involve being outside the United States to focus on events in various cultures. The following year, beginning in the fall of 2014, will involve travelling around the United States and holding presentations about my research abroad.

In September I arrived in New Orleans by train. For the first week I was hosted by two wonderful Couchsurfer hosts, Paul and Ray, who introduced me to New Orleans life and my first New Orleans cemetery: Lafayette Cemetery. For one month, I researched several themed tours run by multiple tourism companies. The tours were based on Voodoo beliefs, vampire myths, local cemeteries and tales of the supernatural. During my stay in the city I was happy to become friends with several tour guides and learn about what life is like in a city of parties, crowds, crime and corruption. I learned that most guides enjoy the opportunity of showing and describing New Orleans life to tourists so that they a more accurate representation than what is commonly portrayed in the media and the movies.

For the remaining three weeks in New Orleans, I was invited to stay with a tour guide named Randy and his roommate Joe, a street performer, who lived in a very poor area of the city. Despite the poverty and remaining destruction from Katrina that people live with on a daily basis, I was happy to see close friendships between these wonderful individuals who allowed me to share their lives for a short time. In addition, two of the tourism companies I was involved with donate a portion of their cemetery tour proceeds to restoration and preservation project of the city's cemeteries. It was inspiring to see these tour owners understand the importance of maintaining these important aspects of the city's culture, lest they become deteriorated beyond repair over time.

The most memorable experience I had during my stay actually took place outside New Orleans. I met a guide, Jennifer, who gives vampire and ghost tours in the city and owned and operated a small haunted attraction in Mississippi called "Nightmare Hollow." During an interview with Jen, I learned that she had a very interesting method for organizing Nightmare Hollow's crew. She invited a group of young people who had chosen to live on the streets of New Orleans to spend the weekend up at the haunt. For two weekends in October, anywhere from 3-6 of these young adults were driven to Lumberton, Mississippi for the weekend. There they worked as actors while also getting to enjoy a weekend of camping, free meals and fun with their friends. For one weekend in October, I worked at Nightmare Hollow with Mad Max, Space Man, Voodoo and Pop Tart. These young adults had been living on the streets of New Orleans from as little as a few weeks to as long as a few years. During my time with them, I witnessed their transformation from unmotivated "gutter puniks" as they were called in New Orleans to professional actors, set designers and builders with the opportunity for using their talents and creativity that Jennifer had given them.

On October 24 I left New Orleans and flew to Oaxaca, Mexico for their Dia de los Muertos
celebrations. I was unable to find a Couchsurfing host in the city, and therefore spent the first week in a boarding house with four retired women from California who had come to Oaxaca to learn Spanish. I also had the pleasure of meeting Janice, an American who had just moved to Oaxaca, and Ruben, a native Oaxacan who had just moved back to the city. Together, Janice, Ruben and I enjoyed many activities for Dia de los Muertos. We witnessed countless pieces of sand art in which artists expressed their personal connections with life and death through skulls, skeletons and coffins, flowers and sunlight in brightly colored sands. The three of us danced well into the night in camparsas: lively parades in which the crowd dances with costumed Katrinas, the Mexican skeletal icon who represents the inevitability and natural process of death. We also visited Oaxaca's cemetery that had come alive for the week-long celebrations. We witnessed families sharing food, drinks and stories by the graves, mariachi bands playing for the dead, stilt walkerrs and other costumed characters walking among the stones. Through the artwork, dancing, creativity and community, Janice, Ruben and I got to experience the celebration of not just the lives of those who have passed, but the celebration of life itself.

After staying in Oaxaca for the next three weeks I flew to Salzburg, Austria in late November. There I had an incredible time researching and experiencing events based on Krampus: the infamous winter demon that, legend has it, accompanies Saint Nicolas on the night of December 5th. Traditionally, Krampus punishes wicked children by beating them or even stealing them while Saint Nicolas rewards the good with treats. However, in Salzburg, hordes of Krampuses take to the streets in "laufs," or runs, in which they parade and playfully attack spectators with cow tails, horse tails or branch bundles. For one month I attended fifteen laufs in Austria and Balvaria, ranging from one to three hours and sometimes dozens of Krampus groups, or "passes." In freezing temperatures I stood with hundreds of other Krampus fans who had come out to enjoy these free events with their friends. During my time in Austria, I was also thrilled to meet Krampus actors and learn that they portrayed the winter demon to bring a fun show to the crowds who anticipated their arrival all year. One of these actors, Christoph, also ran a website ( that lists information on laufs throughout the region. Christoph's motivation for the website was to ensure that anyone who wanted to enjoy a lauf knew where to go and when to be there, believing these free events should be accessible to people of all ages.

During my time in Salzburg, my Couchsurfing host Bertram was kind enough to let stay with him for the entire duration of my time in the city. It was interesting to see my interest in the Krampus inspire  not just Bertram's, but other friends I made in Salzburg. Andy, Max and Gerald were all native Austrians, but some had not attended laufs in years. Before long, we were all driving for up to an hour to enjoy monstrous creatures and run from their antics.

After celebrating the New Year in Salzburg, I took a ride through blablacar ( and went to Urbania, Italy. A month earlier, a friend had sent me information about a festival held there during the first week in January. The festival was based on Befana, an Italian witch who gives candy to children on the night of January 5th. I was happy to find a Couchsurfing host, Nicola, who lived right in Urbania. Nicola and his parents Franca and Paolo hosted me for the duration of the 5-day festival, and Nicola attended the festival with me every day. Together we saw how the Befana festival allowed Urbanian traditions to be kept alive and also spread to different regions through the tourists who came for the show. The Befana festival introduced me traditional dances, foods I had never seen anywhere else, and gave me the opportunity to meet people from all over Italy. Urbania is a small town with only 7,000 residents, yet I was only one of the 50,000 who came for the festival and as a result visited the Cemetery of the Mummies, palace and town theatre, none of which I would have known about were it not for the celebration of Befana that drew me in.

Currently, I'm residing in Florence, Italy for the next few weeks to research the city's Dante's Inferno tours and enjoy time with friends I've made here. The best part of this incredible experience has been meeting people in each area who are eager to share their stories and join me on these fun, "dark" adventures. Additional areas I will be visiting include Kyoto, Japan for Setsubun in early February, and Akita, Japan the following week for Namahage. From there, I will go to China for the Qingming Festival in early April, Sweden in mid-April for BlÄkulla, and Germany in late April for Walpurgis Night. For the remainder of spring and summer I'm hoping to learn about other events based on dark-themed customs and celebrations from Couchsurfers and others I meet along the way. Finally in August, I'll attend the Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore before heading back to the United States in September.

Couchsurfing has been a truly life-changing network that has made every aspect of this project possible. It has done so much more than providing me with places to stay: it has been my base for making friends, sharing experiences, and learning from those who like to be part of the adventures. Couchsurfing has ensured that no matter where I go, I will go there with friends who are happy to share their lives.

If anyone would like to contact me about events or venues for this project, I would always love to hear from them. They can also follow my written blog, "Haunter Education: Monster Heroes through Community Involvement," on my website: I'm also thrilled to be part of the weekly Paranormal Talk radio show from New Orleans for the duration of this project, which can be listened to live or as recorded podcasts on

Thank you for this opportunity to share the story of my travel adventures thus far!

Yours from the dark side,

Chris in CT

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Book Thief.

Title/Author: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Genre:  Historical Fiction.

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf.

Source:  Purchased.

Synopsis:  It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. ~Goodreads.
Midnyte MusingsThe Book Thief was recommended to me by many people I trust.  And also, practically all of America.  It is a bestseller, won awards and was made into a movie. My expectations were high.  Did the book live up to the hype?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, because the story is beautiful and poignant.  It is well fleshed out, detailed and the characters are human and believable.  During WWII, Liesel Meminger, the main character, is given up by her mother and is fostered to a new family.  She does not always behave herself or act nicely, but I still empathized with her and found her endearing.  At first, I was expecting horrid treatment of her from this newfound family, but was happily surprised that Mama, although gruff loved Liesel and Papa doted on her.  The story continues with her Papa staying up late into the night with her because she can't sleep due to nightmares and subsequently teaches her her to read and write.

"Without words, the Fuhrer was nothing."  Hitler seduced and led a nation with his passionate words and by contrast Liesel, and those around her, find joy in words.   I found this theme to be relevant throughout the book.  It is simplistic, but The Nazi Party and Liesel were fueled by words.  The Nazis propagated hatred and Liesel found solace.

The family hides Max, a Jewish man trying to escape the Nazis.  He and Liesel share a special bond and in many ways are essential to the other's survival.  I also appreciated that many of the Germans in this book do not necessarily approve of the Nazi movement yet have to succumb to the laws and social norms of this time, often times doing a delicate dance for survival. 

I enjoyed the style of The Book Thief, not only for the fact that Death is the narrator, but the chapters titles put me in mind of a play. Then there are "asides" punctuated by asterisks that give facts, and at times drawings. Some of the lines are also puzzle pieces. This tactic was a bit more than foreshadowing as it told what would happen, but then would go on in a different direction.  And, just when you kind of forgot, bam!  There it was.  Well it wasn't like I wasn't warned.  The foreshadowing creates expectation so you want to catch up to these small hints.

"Liesel observed the strangeness of her foster father's eyes.  They were made of kindness, and silver.  Like soft silver, melting.  Liesel, upon seeing those eyes, understood that Hans Humbermann was worth a lot." ~Death.

I've read stories like this, watched stories like this, and was told stories like this.  So the tragedy and events weren't all that new to me and therefore, in a way, didn't bring anything new and spectacular to my table.  However, I am ecstatic that a novel about the plight of WWII is a bestseller even today.  I always wonder if that time in history will be forgotten, or just diminished in importance, which is exactly why Spielberg started The Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive of the United States Holacaust Memorial Museum.  The other issue I had with The Book Thief is that sometimes I felt the story dragged in places.  However  The Book Thief is a strong, tragic, sweet, humorous and uplifting tale.

Constellation of Characters:
Death, the narrator.  I loved this tool of storytelling.  Death was matter of fact yet poetic and mournful at the same time.  He made the act death something beautiful, which is an amazing feat in my eyes.

Liesel Meminger - Steadfast, brave, reckless and empathetic.

Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Mama and Papa) - I adored their dynamic with each other and with Liesel. Mama, brash, course and strong and Papa, beyond kind.

Rudy Steiner - Liesel's best friend and partner in crime.  As endearing as Liesel, but he comes with his own quirks and stories.

Max - The family secret in the basement.  He bonded the family in their mission to keep him safe.  He also brought more words to Liesel and bonded with her regarding their beauty and importance.

Starstruck Over: The strength of The Book Thief for me is the beautiful and prose and the unique style. 

Other editions

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Loon by Michaelbrent Collings now available on Audible.

The Loon, a #1 Amazon Horror bestseller, hit Audible's bestselling horror titles the first week of its release.   You can get your copy of The Loon by visiting Audible. 

The isolated, maximum security prison for the criminally insane that houses some of the nation’s deadliest, most frightening psychopaths.  But when a freak storm cuts off all communications and causes a massive power outage, the prisoners get loose... and find there is nowhere to go.  The blizzard rages outside.  The inmates are now in charge and the staff must band together to survive.
And then they all discover that the inmates aren't the most dangerous thing about The Loon.  Because below the prison is a secret place.  A dark place.  A place where a creature of monstrous appetites has been born.  And it's very, very hungry....

"It's always so nice to find one where hardcore asylum-crazy is done RIGHT! As opposed to, say, the Hollywood version....  THE LOON is, hands down, an excellent book." - The Horror Fiction Review

"Highly recommended for horror and thriller lovers. It's fast-moving, as it has to be, and bloody and violent, but not disgustingly gory. The Loon also includes a fun element of mad science to make this a well-developed 'mad science and medical experimentation gone wrong' story. Collings knows how to write thrillers, and I'm looking forward to reading more from him." - Hellnotes

Check out my interview with Michaelbrent.  
Follow Michaelbrent on Facebook and Twitter.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Guest post by Spencer Blohm - Odd Thomas the film.

            Dean Koontz is one of the best selling authors of all time, and the seventh best selling American author ever with a staggering 450 million copies of his books sold. This puts him in the company of other internationally known American writers such as R. L. Stine, Dr. Seuss, Danielle Steele, Horatio Alger, and Harold Robbins. His work has even been discussed on Midnyte Reader in the past. However, Koontz hasn’t had the same success as his fellow bestsellers when it comes to film adaptations of his work. During his career, Koontz has had 15 authorized film adaptations of his work, the most recent being the trouble-plagued Odd Thomas.

            What sets Odd Thomas apart from the other adaptations of Koontz work is two things: its high expectations and its cataclysmic post production failure. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the troubles surrounding the film, the long story short is that the producers weren’t given the $35 million they were promised by the film's financiers to promote, market, and distribute the film. Because of this, the producers filed a lawsuit against the financiers, and the film’s distribution was stopped dead in its tracks. The film has only recently been released in the U.S. through an exclusive deal with which allows DirecTV subscribers to watch the film on demand or via streaming services (here’s info for DirecTV New York). Unfortunately for those of us without DirecTV, we’ll have to wait until it is released on video in a few months.

            This comes as a disappointment for fans of the Odd Thomas series, as the legal fighting and limited distribution make it likely that the film will be forgotten quickly. The Odd Thomas series is a cornerstone in the work of Koontz and a film adaptation could have likely lead to a series of films covering all six books in the series, ala The Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series. This prospect however, is now only known as what could have been.

The post production issues led to problems with the quality of the film as well. The finely crafted characters and plotline of Odd Thomas are somewhat sold short in their film versions, no doubt due to a rushed and lackluster editing job. The film’s star, Anton Yelchin (of Charlie Bartlett fame) shows promise in his adorably quirky take on the troubled young man. However, director Stephen Sommers falls short when it comes to his interpretation of the paranormal themes in the book. What should come off as eerie and haunting instead becomes too aggressive in its attempt to scare.

Critisisms aside, the film itself does a relatively good job following the plotline of the book, with some storylines cut short due to the time limits of films.  As previously mentioned, Yelchin's Odd is the star of the picture in multiple ways, even aside from his natural on screen charisma.  His character is also the most filled out in the series, while the other main characters like Stormy (Addison Timlin) and Chief Porter (Willem Dafoe) aren't nearly as developed.  The film accomplishes its goal of conveying the story it needs to within its time limits, and gives fans a generally satisfying adaptation.  I'd say for the Odd Thomas fans it's a worthwhile film to catch.  Is it going to make the list of best films of the year?  Likely not, but it's entertaining and offers just enough action to keep viewers interested.  

Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment, culture, and lifestyle blogger. He lives and works in Chicago. When not working he can be found camped out in his apartment watching the latest films and newest television shows.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge - January 14, 2014.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

14. Blogging wish list of 2014.

~I wish for more motivation and energy to write reviews.
~I wish for fantastic ideas to utilize on my blog. (Format, memes, features, designs...anything!)
~I wish to make headway with my TBR pile.
~I wish to have lunch or dinner with Stephen King. 
~I wish safe travel for me and my friends to any bookish events. 
~I wish to get closer to the blogger friends I do have and to make more.

I don't think I'm over reaching, do you?  What is your wish list for this year?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge - January 13, 2014.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

13. Share a blogger horror story.

My blogger horror story is when I tweeted something and the author who I tweeted it to took it the totally wrong way (in a kind of dirty way).  I was so embarrassed I cried.  I think it got cleared up in the following tweets, but I'll really never know.

What about you?  Any horror stories you'd like to share?

Guest post by Anna Sweat - The World of Otherborn: Is Astral Travel Real?

The World of OTHERBORN: Is Astral Travel Real?

When I began writing OTHERBORN, I was fascinated with dream research and theories like astral projection and the collective subconscious. It was the inspiration for what would become my YA debut, a soft sci-fi/dystopian fantasy where dream shamans reincarnate into a group of creative, disillusioned, urban-bred teens. I have always believed that dreams play a much more powerful role in our waking lives than most of us understand in contemporary society, and I wanted to make it the fictional vehicle for saving my fantasy world in OTHERBORN. But of all the aspects of dream research that I’ve come across, perhaps one of the most interesting is that of astral travel.

In an experience of astral travel, or astral projection, a person feels or appears to move out of their body while retaining a certain level of consciousness, where they can either participate in the astral plane, the ethereal world of dream consciousness, or even interact with this world, such as in cases of remote viewing. Closely related to lucid dreaming and even near-death experiences, astral projection suggests that our consciousness can be disembodied and exist separate and apart, if still tethered, to our physical forms. We’re deep in the metaphysical trenches with a subject like this one, and it has long been explored by shamans, yogis, and some martial artists, but it should be remembered that even our own military has allegedly participated in experiments of remote viewing and so on.

It is believed that astral travel can be induced through deep meditation and lucid dreaming practices, whereby you maintain the knowledge that you are dreaming as you proceed through the dream phase. And I myself have heard some very compelling first-hand accounts from people who have reported shocking and unexpected experiences of astral travel. One woman I spoke to even had her bedroom mirror shatter as she re-entered her body!

One of my favorite authors on the subject of dream phenomenon, and one of the most prolific, is Robert Moss. I highly recommend his books, especially The Secret History of Dreaming, for anyone wanting to learn more about supernatural dream experiences such as astral travel or premonitions, and even for those who just want to know more about how to interpret their own dreams and get the most from dreaming in their personal lives. While the scientific community has yet to give us evidential proof of occurrences of astral travel, one thing is certain— dreams and the dreaming mind are still something we don’t fully understand, and their ability to impact our waking consciousness, for better or for worse, is not to be underestimated.

~Anna Silver

Author Bio:
Anna Silver is an author and artist living in the greater Houston area with her family, pets, and overactive imagination. Her art has been featured in the Houston gallery Las Manos Magicas. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. She's freelanced for private clients and small publications like the Hill Country Current. OTHERBORN, her first published novel, has been featured on 2 of Amazon's "Bestsellers" lists. She is represented by Rebecca Podos and Nicole LaBombard of Rees Literary Agency.

Author Links:

Otherborn Synopsis, short:
Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London keeps an impossible secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. Her friends are seeing themselves in “night pictures” too, as beings from another world. Together they uncover the story of their avatars, astral shamans they call Otherborn.
When one Otherborn is murdered and another goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their Otherborn to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them?

Book Links:
Otherborn book trailer on Youtube:

Author Blurbs:

"Anna Silver weaves a dark new world full of taut suspense and characters that leap off the page." –Sophie Jordan, NYT bestselling author of the Firelight trilogy

"Travel to a world where dreaming is a radical act that can save the world… Anna Silver’s post-apocalyptic vision is rich with imagery and metaphysical ideas, grounded by vivid, three-dimensional characters. A truly fresh take on dystopian." –Nina Berry, author of the OTHERKIN series

“Silver built the right amount of conflict and tension to draw readers into her dystopian world, and created characters who are leery, yet determined to embrace New.” –Natasha Hanova, author of Edge of Truth

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge - January 12, 2014.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

12.  How do I plan on getting more followers this year.

I don't!  Well I kind of don't.  I'm not totally into stats and followers.  I mean I loooove followers, and I've made some very sweet friends.  However, the plans I utilize are not very assertive.  I sometimes ask for an optional follow on a contest and I sometimes participate in Parajunkee and Alison Can Read's Friday Follow meme.  I also have found a lot of blogs and followers via Twitter.

I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to contemplate getting more followers and raising stats and exposure.  The time I do have, I have to concentrate on writing reviews!

How about you?  What are your feelings and ideas on followers and getting more of them?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge - January 10, 2014.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

10.  New things I will be doing this year.

Well, I'm only hosting two challenges and not participating in any others (subject to change of course).  Hopefully, this will put less pressure on me.  Speaking of less pressure, I'm going to try not to worry about reviews,  how slow I read and blogging in general.

How about you?  What new things will you be doing this year?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013 Reading Challenge Wrap Ups

I want to thank everyone who joined my 2013 Reading Challenges.  I've calculated the reviews of each participant so everyone can see how they did at a glance.  I won't be hosting a NOLA Reading Challenge for 2014, but if anyone is joining the 2014 Authors After Dark Reading Challenge or the 2014 Horror Reading Challenge you can try to beat your record.

2013 Authors After Dark Savannah Reading Challenge:
 photo ReadingChallenge-3.jpg

Midnyte Reader - 3 Titles. 
1. Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge.
2. Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hiebel.
3. Undead and Unwed by Mary Jane Davidson.

Cat Named Easter - 5 Titles.
1. Something Darker - S.A. Price.
2. Overlord's Chosen - Bronwyn Green.
3. Guardian's Challenge - Bronwyn Green.
4. Trusting Delilah - Diana Castilleja.
5. A Trust Earned - Diana Castilleja. 

Bookswagger - 12 Titles.
1. Temptation Rising - A.C. Arthur.
2. Hell on Wheels - Julia Ann Walker.
3. Savage Hunger - Terry Spear.
4. Rev it Up - Julie Ann Walker.
5. Something Darker - S.A. Price.
6. The Vampire, the Witch and the Werewolf - Louisa Bacio.
7. My Liege of Dark Haven - Cherise Sinclair.
8. Shadow Blade (Shadowchasers 1) - Seressia Glass.
9. Amber Moon - Ann Mayburn.
10. My Wicked Devil - Ann Mayburn.
11. Bidding Wars - Lacey Wolfe.
12. How to Marry a Warlock in 10 Days - Saranna DeWylde.

Booked and Loaded - 27 Titles.
1. Inhale - Kendall Grey.
2. Exhale - Kendall Grey.
3. Stifle - Kendall Grey.
4. Letting Go - Kendall Grey.
5. The Mysterious Madam Morpho - Delilah S. Dawson.
6. Darker Still - Leanna Renee Hieber.
7. Desire by Blood - Melissa Schroeder.
8. A Clockwork Christmas - Nina S. Gooden.
9. Full Blooded - Amanda Carlson.
10. The Cat's Meow - Stacey Kennedy.
11. Just Breathe - Kendall Grey.
12. Earth Witches Aren't Easy - Heather Long.
13. A Howl for a Highlander - Terry Spear.
14. The Hunter - Theresa Meyers.
15. Dirty (Just Breathe Ephemera) - Kendall Grey.
16. Vampire Vacation - C.J. Ellison.
17. Demon Hunting in Dixie - Lexi George.
18. The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance - Delilah S. Dawson.
19. Undead and Unwed - Mary Janice Davidson.
20. Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain #2) - Amanda Carlson.
21. A Highlander Werewolf Wedding - Terry Spear.
22. Wicked as she Wants - Deliliah S. Dawson.
23. Werewolves be Damned - Stacey Kennedy.
24. Jaguar Feber - Terry Spear.
25. Breath of Fire - Liliana Hart.
26. Dark Wolf - Kate Douglas.
27. Claimed - Stacey Kennedy.

If you want to check out any of the reviews above, visit the 2013 Authors After Dark Reading Challenge Reviews page.

2013 Horror Reading Challenge
horror graphic experiment photo GetAttachmentaspx.jpeg - 3 Titles. 
1. Dust and Decay - Jonathan Maberry.
2. Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion.
3. The Passage - Justin Cronin.

Midnyte Reader -  5 Titles. 
1. Breed - Chase Novak. 
2. The Dead and Buried - Kim Harrington.
3. Enter Night - Michael Rowe.
4. Tribesman - Adam Cesare.
5. Beautifu Sorrows - Mercedes Yardley. 

Benito at Betwixt Book Reviews - 5 Titles. 
1. The Summer of Winters - Mark Allen Gunnells.
2. Night Shadows: Queer Horror - ed. Greg Herren & J.M. Redman.
3. Ghosts in the Attic - Mark Allen Gunnells.
4. Ghosts in Gaslight, Monsters in Steam - ed. Evan J. Peterson & Vincent Kovar.
5. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Andrew Wolter.

Darlene's Book Nook - 5 Titles. 
1. Undead - Kirsty McKay.
2. Breed - Chase Novack.
3. Death Comes Home - Rhiannon Frater.
4. The End Games - T. Michael Martin.

Shivers of Horrors - 8 Titles. 
1. Replica: Your Greatest Fear Lives - David Warren.
2. First Date - R.L. Stine.
3. The Date - R.L. Stine.
4. Thicker than Blood: The Complete Andrew Z. Thomas Series - Black Crouch.
5. The Wrong Number - R.L. Stine.
6. Wrong Number 2 - R.L. Stine.
7. Weekend - Christopher Pike.
8. Slumber Party - Christopher Pike.

Fetch Me My Fainting Couch - 9 Titles.
1. Just After Sunset - Stephen King.
2. The Mourning House - Ronald Mafi.
3. Stranglehold - Jack Ketchum.
4. Stalking You Now - Jeff Strand.
5. Hideaway - Dean Koontz.
6. These Lonely Places: A Collection of Bad Dreams - R.K. Kombrick.
7. Joyland - Stephen King.
8. Seed - Ania Ahlborn.
9. That Which Should Not Be - Brett Talley.

If you want to check out any of the reviews above, visit the 2013 Horror Reading Challenge Reviews page.

2013 NOLA Reading Challenge
 photo nolachallenge2013fix.jpg

Darkeva - 4 titles.
1. Why New Orleans Matter - Tom Piazza.
2. Mardis Gras Mambo - Greg Herren.
3. Jackson Square Jazz - Greg Herren.
4. Bourbon Street Blues - Greg Herren.

Midnyte Reader - 1 title.
1. Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Life and Death in New Orleans - Dan Baum.

If you want to check out any of the reviews above, visit the 2013 NOLA Reading Challenge page.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge - January 9, 2014.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

9.  Cons or events you hope to attend.

I'm definitely going to RT in May because, you know, it's in New Orleans. And I'm going to BEA as well.

If there are any signings that catch my eye in the area I'll be going to those too.  Books of Wonder, The Voracious Reader and Oblong Books host some great events.

How about you?  Will I see in 2014?  What events will you be going to?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge - January 8, 2014.

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

Day 8.  Your favorite Book Blogger moment.

How would I even measure that?  There are sooo many to choose from.

I could start with The Night I Got to Ride in a Car with Robert McCammon at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, or talk about getting a hug from Joe Hill and Jonathan Maberry.  I could ramble on for hours about the time I met Charles de Lint, Douglas Clegg, Gillian Flynn and Peter Straub. Yes, Peter Straub.  And I suppose there's always the time I was able to see Stephen King speak.  Twice.

I could go on and on about all the signings I went to at Books of Wonder, Oblong Books and The Voracious Reader.  Including but not limited to Andrea Cremer,  Kim Harrington, Maggie Stiefvater and Neil Gaiman.   Holy crap!  Do I sound spoiled or what?

I could talk about BEA and all the *additional* amazing authors I've met.  Jeri Smith-Ready, Brenna Yovanoff, Holly Black.  Helloooo!  Standing in line and meeting other bloggers, collecting business cards and gleaning great information. 

But really, my favorite book blogger moment(s) would be the friendships I've acquired.  But how do I even begin to talk about one defining moment that counts as my favorite? Maybe it was the time Miki, a follower from Belgium sent me a Christmas package.  Or all the instances that Jennifer from Book Den and I always plot to meet one day.  Oh and we shall.  We shall.  Maybe I should extrapolate on all the times Julie from My Five Monkeys always has a kind word, especially when I'm having a bad day.  How Maria from The Serpentine Library and I never judge each other when we stop at fast food joints on the way home from book events.  I could also tell the story how Karen from For What It's Worth asked me to co-host a meme with her and how I honored I was because she is one of my most revered bloggers.  Then I'll have to explain how our correspondence since has validated me, supported me and made me laugh.  Wait, I know.  I'll relate the time that Karen, Felicia of The Geeky Blogger's Book Blog, Missie from The Unread Reader and a bunch of us dressed up as White Trash Zombie waitresses at Authors After Dark.  (We all miss you Missie!)  I could also delve into all the times Kate from Midnight Book Girl helped me with her amazing ideas, our various adventures and how she always just cracks me up.  Or maybe I should reminisce about the time during one of my trips to New Orleans that I had dinner with our lovely hostess of this meme, the unstoppable Rachel from Parajunkee.  I'm sure I'm leaving someone out, some other magical moment and I apologize.  I didn't mean this to be a "pick my friend," cliquey kind of post.  I swear.  I hesitated even writing this because I would never want to slight anyone.  But hey, look at it this way, it slipped my mind I met Neil Gaiman until I looked back through my posts so that proves I'm reeeeally forgetful.

Does the above count as blogging moments or more friendship moments?  Well, none of them would have happened if I hadn't started blogging so...there ya' go.

I appreciate all the people I've met, and truly, all the connections and friendships I've made are worth more to me than any book on my bookshelf.

I'd love to know some of your favorite blogging moments.  Please share!

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