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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Stacking The Shelves - June 30, 2013


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"



I received these audiobooks for review from the publisher:


 Joyland by Stephen King
Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter (Alien Huntress, Book #1)

Thanks again, Simon Audio!



SYNC is back!! Yippee! I downloaded these free audiobooks:
 

 Rotters by Daniel Kraus
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Thanks again to SYNC and Listening Library for this week's free selections!



What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in this meme, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

 If anyone has read any of these books, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

The Moon Dwellers Birthday Bash: Book Freebie for Everyone!


Today, The Moon Dwellers by David Estes turns 1 year old! It was 1 year ago today (June 30th) that David Estes first published the first book in his first ever YA dystopian series, The Dwellers Saga, and changed his life forever. Since then, The Moon Dwellers has outsold and drawn more hype than any other of his 13 published books, and has risen to the top 10 of many YA dystopian lists on Listopia, finding a place amongst bestselling books such as The Hunger Games, Delirium and Divergent. The birth of The Moon Dwellers also changed David’s life forever. As he’s gone from struggling Indie author to fulltime writer, he’s watched in amazement as his Goodreads fan group has swelled from 300 members to over 1,300. Since writing The Moon Dwellers, David has gone on to write and publish two sequels, The Star Dwellers and The Sun Dwellers, as well as three books in a sister series, The Country Saga (Fire Country, Ice Country, and Water & Storm Country). He plans to release the 7th and final book, The Earth Dwellers, in the combined series on September 5th later this year.

So what did David Estes want to do to celebrate The Moon Dwellers book birthday? His answer: “Give away as many free ebooks of The Moon Dwellers as possible!” So if you’re like so many others who are obsessed with YA dystopian novels like The Hunger Games, Delirium, and Divergent, and haven’t yet read the growing phenomenon that is The Moon Dwellers, now’s your chance to do so FOR FREE.

You can grab your free ebook of The Moon Dwellers from Smashwords.com using the coupon code below. And please feel free to share with your family and friends and pets, the more ebooks are given away the happier David will be. The only thing David asks for in return is that if you enjoy the read and continue on with the series, to please leave a positive review on Amazon.com for each of his books that you read.


Where you can find The Moon Dwellers: SMASHWORDS

Coupon Code: AQ92E

Please note, this code expires on July 31, 2013


a Rafflecopter giveaway
And for those of you planning on reading The Dwellers and/or The Country Saga, here’s a special note from the author, David Estes:

The Earth Dwellers will cap off an eighteen month journey that has taken me from unknown Indie author to still-mostly-unknown fulltime Indie author. The change is a subtle one for most people, but for me it’s a dream come true. To the hundreds (and now maybe even thousands!) of readers who have come along for the ride with me, either by reading the Dwellers Saga, the Country Saga, or both, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now down to business. There may be some of you who have only read the three books in the Country Saga or only the three books in the Dwellers Saga, and are now thinking you’ll read The Earth Dwellers, which is supposedly the 4th book in BOTH the Country Saga and the Dwellers Saga. Well, that’s awesome! However, I must highly recommend that before reading The Earth Dwellers that you read the three books in BOTH series. Trust me, doing so will greatly enhance your experience, as The Earth Dwellers will be taking significant characters from both series and crashing them together (yes, like a water country wave) into an action-packed tale of struggle and loss and hope and friendship…and maybe a little love, too.
Anyway, that’s my advice, it’s up to you what to do with it. In any case, thanks for being a part of my own adventure, I’m a better person for having written stories for you!

Recommended Reading prior to The Earth Dwellers

Other YA Books by David Estes!
The Evolution Trilogy:

Children’s Books by David Estes
The Nikki Powergloves Adventures:
Nikki Powergloves vs. the Power Outlaws (Coming soon!)
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years.

A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 13 novels, 11 of which have been published.  In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with his wife while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.

David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! Recently he’s been inspired by some of his favorite authors, like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Maggie Stiefvater.

David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.  He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.

Where you can find David Estes hanging out: 
David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with David Estes, author of The Moon Dwellers

Hi, everyone!


Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by David Estes.



David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years.

A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 13 novels, 11 of which have been published.  In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with his wife while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.

David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! Recently he’s been inspired by some of his favorite authors, like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Maggie Stiefvater.

David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.  He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.

Where you can find David Estes hanging out: 
David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite
 


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, David!

David has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!

My Favorite Worst Review
by David Estes

As an author, you’ve got to have pretty thick skin. The moment you click on that “Publish Now” button on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, or any one of a number of popular publishing sites, all your hard work, long days and nights, frustrations and triumphs are available for anyone and everyone to critique. So you hold your breath, close your eyes, and click the button, praying that you’ve caught all the typos, developed your characters, added the right twists, the perfect touch of romance, etc etc.

Then you wait.

When that first review comes in, you once again hold your breath as you click on it, looking for lots of bright, shining stars. Sometimes you get what you hoped for—a gushing fan who you kept up late into the wee hours of the night with your suspenseful plotlines—and other times not. Sometimes it’s a scathing review from someone who got 10% in and was bored out of their mind and just couldn’t finish your novel, providing a laundry list of reasons why your book sucked and was unfinishable.

That’s the life of an author, for better or worse. Personally, I crave reviews. The good ones because they motivate me and make me smile and justify all the hard work. And the bad ones when they’re constructive and make me a better writer in the future. Three of my team of twelve beta readers wrote not-so-glowing reviews of my earlier books, but their reviews were so well-written and honest that I formed a relationship with them and they agreed to help critique my future manuscripts, and now they’re my lifelong readers and friends. These were definitely some of my favorite worst reviews, because they gave me a greater chance of success with my future novels. All I had to do was learn from my mistakes and not get offended because of someone else’s opinion (who might actually be right!).

With the explosion of self-publishing, these days I keep seeing controversies about writers who stalk negative reviewers all over the internet, demanding their reviews be removed or edited to reflect “the truth.” But what is the truth? For each of us it’s different, which is what makes books so awesome. We each have the chance to interpret for ourselves. That’s the fun of reading and discussing books and one of the reasons I love Goodreads so much.

So, although some of my worst reviews resulted in friendships and additions to my beta reading team, my favorite worst review was actually something very short and simple and I don’t think the writer of it will ever touch another of my books. But it did make me laugh, and that’s a rare thing in a 1-star review. It said simply “I should have saved my money and bought a bag of crisps.” Hey, I can’t fault this person’s honesty! And clearly they’re not my target audience, which is OK. Not everyone who picks up one of my books will be.

The important thing for both readers and writers to remember is that there’s a person on the other side of the review, so be honest but not cruel. It’s all about readers reading and writers writing and each loving what they do. I know I do! And even though my newer books are getting much higher ratings than my older books, I love all 15 books I’ve written the same, because they’re all part of my journey to becoming to a better writer, living my dreams. I thank each and every one of you who has supported me along the way, I couldn’t do what I love without you!
Thanks so much for joining us today, David!


About the Book:


SERIES: The Dwellers, Book #1
AUTHOR: David Estes
PUBLISHER: David Estes
PUBLICATION DATE: June 30, 2012
FORMAT: E-book, 369 pages
GENRE: Science Fiction/Dystopia
ASIN: B008FJV8SQ 

 


In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.

After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents' crimes of treason.

Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.

At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.

When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.

In their world, someone must die.

Buy Links:




Tomorrow, The Moon Dwellers by David Estes turns 1 year old! To celebrate, he is giving away free copies of his e-books to everyone!

I will be posting the official birthday announcement tomorrow, so please return so that you can grab the coupon code to download The Moon Dwellers from Smashwords.

We are Made of Stardust Book Blitz: Author Interview and Giveaway with Mimi Strong

Hi, everyone!



I am pleased to participate in the Book Blitz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours for Mimi Strong's We are Made of Stardust.


About Mimi:


Mimi Strong writes chick-lit, erotic romance, sex comedy, and new adult contemporary romance. Most of her characters have a strong sense of humor.

Here's what she has to say:

I've always had a lot of sides. Sometimes I'm vulnerable, and sometimes I go after what I want without a single doubt.

My favorite person is my husband. If I can crack him up and see his eyes crinkle at the corners, my day is made. In fact, I love making everyone around me laugh.

I've always enjoyed empowering stories about kick-butt women who don't hold back and the awesome men who are smart enough to love them. Now that I'm writing these stories, I couldn't be happier. I hope you enjoy them too!
 


CONNECT ONLINE WITH MIMI: 


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Mimi! Why do you self-publish?

I started self-publishing in 2011 when I couldn't find a publisher for my first novel, Charlie. (Written under my YA pen name, Dalya Moon.) That's when I first discovered the amazing indie community, with book bloggers and other fun authors such as the folks who hang out in the Kboards' Writers' Cafe. From then, there was no stopping me! Stardust is book #15 for me, and I'm having a lot of fun. Oh, it's stressful at times, and there are low moments, but those times are when you find out what you're made of. I think what keeps me grounded are the great friends I've made, and giving back to the indie community.


How long does it take you to write a novel?

I wish I was one of those speedy authors who can write a full-length novel in one week, but it takes me about 5 weeks to complete a first draft of something as long and involved as We are Made of Stardust. Then I still have to do research and editing. I think the second novel in the series will go faster, as I know the characters better. I'm always working hard so my readers don't have to wait long.


What kind of music do you listen to when you write?

The band that lives below me. But! Not anymore, because I've just moved. Me, Mr. Strong, and our two handsome kitties are now in a quieter neighborhood. Actually, We are Made of Stardust is the reason we moved. All that writing about quaint, quiet small town life in Beaverdale gave me a ferocious craving to move. So, in the middle of writing the book, we gave notice and started looking for a new place! I uploaded the book to Amazon about 8 hours before the movers showed up.


Where did the idea for We are Made of Stardust come from?

My favorite romantic movie is Notting Hill, and I think any of us who've worked a retail job have fantasized about our favorite actor walking through the door! I think this story has been in my head for years. Most people would get so nervous, they wouldn't even speak to the actor, so I needed a girl who could hold her own and then some. Along came Peaches. She doesn't see herself as a fun girl, but oh boy is she fun.


Is the Peaches Monroe series going to be long? Is it a love triangle? Will every book end on a brutal cliffhanger?

I've never written a long, multi-book series. I hope that you readers will guide me. Please post reviews and talk about the book. Tell me what you'd like to see happen. I have some big, big plans, but nothing is locked in until it's published.


Is sexy, smooth Dalton Deangelo based on a certain real actor who plays a vampire on TV?

Yes and no. It's based on the mile-high girlie crush one of my friends has on the actor Ian Somerhalder, and the hypnotic hold he seems to have on this grown, married woman, much to my amusement! She blushes when she talks about him.


When people find out you write erotic romance, do they treat you like a freak?

Yes, but the cool people treat you like the right kind of freak. People already think I'm weird that I self-publish. Actually, most random acquaintances find the topic quite dull until I mention I write “dirty billionaire stuff,” which is why I usually keep it under my hat. It's hard for me to really cut loose if I'm thinking about people reading the books.


Thong or granny panties?

I like a little coverage, but not so much that it sticks out above the waistband of my jeans.


Thanks so much for joining us today, Mimi! It was a lot of fun getting to know you better!

 

There are two giveaways, and you can enter either one or both!

Two lucky winners will win a digital copy of Mimi's NA Contemporary Romance, We are Made of Stardust!

There is also a Grand Prize Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
SERIES: Peaches Monroe, Book #1
AUTHOR: Mimi Strong
PUBLICATION DATE: June 28, 2013
FORMAT: E-book, 288 pages
GENRE: NA Contemporary Romance
ASIN: B00DKCPR3K

Peaches Monroe, age 22, is the sassy, plus-sized manager of a bookstore in the small town of Beaverdale, Washington.

One Saturday afternoon, she's balancing precariously on a chair, in a bridesmaid dress, when a handsome dark-haired man comes running into the bookstore. He knocks Peaches over, she lands in his muscular arms. They lock gazes, and ...

She recognizes him.

As the sexy vampire heartthrob she watches on TV every week.

Peaches and Dalton Deangelo are completely wrong for each other. He's only in town temporarily, working on an indie movie. She should stay away. He should stay away, too.

But they're drawn to each other. Dalton claims it's because they're made from the same stardust.
Buy Links:


Book Excerpt:



To enter the giveaways, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry forms below. 

This first giveaway is open worldwide until 12:00 AM CST on July 6, 2013. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Grand Prize Giveaway:

This second giveaway is open worldwide until July 9, 2013.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara

TITLE: Snakes and Earrings 
AUTHOR: Hitomi Kanehara 
TRANSLATOR: David James Karashima
PUBLISHER: Dutton Adult
PUBLICATION DATE: May 19, 2005
FORMAT: Hardcover, 120 pages
GENRE: Fiction, Japanese Literature
ISBN: 9780525948896
An underground world.

A murder.

An international phenomenon.

Snakes and Earrings...

Enchanted by the snakelike tongue of a stranger called Ama, nineteen-year-old Lui takes a walk into another side of life. On the Tokyo streets, she finds a world where pain bleeds into pleasure. Where day fades into night. And where right turns into wrong.

MY REVIEW:

This book was originally published in Japanese as Hebi ni piasu. Hitomi Kanehara is one of the youngest authors to have ever won the Akutagawa Prize, which she received in 2003 for Snakes and Earrings, her debut novel. 

Lui Nakazawa is a 19 year-old young woman who has a fascination with body modification, specifically “stretching” which involves inserting larger and larger gauge earrings in her earlobes to stretch the holes bigger and bigger. She meets an 18 year-old boy named Ama, whose snake-like forked tongue piques her curiosity. He explains the process by which he achieved the forked result: Getting his tongue pierced and then stretching the hole with studs that increase in thickness until you reach “00” gauge, at which point you can slice through the remaining tip with a scalpel. The two hook-up, and Lui decides that she wants a tongue just like Ama’s.

Ama takes Lui to a piercing/tattoo shop named Desire, which is owned by Kizuki “Shiba-san” Shibata. He pierces Lui’s tongue, and she mentions that she also wants to get a tattoo. While Ama is browsing the goods in the shop, Shiba-san and Lui chat and each reveals a predilection for S&M. Lui returns to Desire unaccompanied by Ama, and Shiba-san and Lui start a warped kind of relationship. Ama knows nothing of Lui’s penchant for sadism, and Shiba-san is the type of masochist that can satisfy her.

This book was a really quick read. It is dark, gritty, twisted, disturbing…and I couldn’t put it down. I enjoy flawed characters, and these ones are seriously messed up. I am a fan of Japanese literature, and I plan to read more of Kanehara’s work.

Although I really enjoyed this book, I would add a warning that this is the type of book that is unsettling and certainly not intended for everyone.

MY RATING:

View all my reviews
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