Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Harvest by NW Harris Review

Hey readers! Happy Thursday! I know it's late but i have a last minute April review to post for you guys! And I mean last minute. This month ends like like... 79 minutes! Good news, this one will be short and sweet because I have absolutely nothing but amazing things to say! What am I raving about? The Harvest by NW Harris! Here's a bit about the novel and our author before we get to my thoughts:

Shane Tucker and his friends thought they managed to save the world from the destructive machine that killed off most of its adult population. Unfortunately, a war nobody was prepared for has only just begun. Now they find themselves joining ranks with a secret organization that will train them to fight for the right to survive. Taking refuge alongside other teenage survivors in a hidden base set deep within the mountains, they will learn how to repel an imminent attack by an ancient race of aliens.

Determined to safeguard the children under their charge, Shane and his friends compete for the ultimate prize—a suicide mission against the flagship of the alien fleet. While Shane's feelings for Kelly deepen, along with his need to protect her, he finds emotions clouding his judgment. He’ll gladly die for her. But he refuses to die with her. No amount of training can prepare them for what is to come. Everything the brave teenagers have endured thus far will be eclipsed, with the freedom of humanity hanging in the balance.

The Harvest is the heart-pumping sequel to The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris.



N.W. Harris
Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, his imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books.

In addition to writing, he has been a submarine sailor, nurse, and business owner. His studies have included biology, anthropology, and medicine at UCSB and SUNY Buffalo. He is an active member of SCBWI and lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children. He writes like he reads, constantly.

Find N.W. Harris




*****
My Thoughts:

Anyone who was around earlier this month may remember that I finally took the plunge and read The Last Orphans. I didn't know what to expect from the series and the synopsis really didn't tell me much. I didn't go in with the highest expectations, but by the time I closed the cover I knew I had read from one of my new favorite series. Holy smokes. A storyline beyond unique with equal parts sci-fi and horror, enough to make any reader interested. I was blown away. I was really excited to see where Harris went with book two, I immediately got my hands on a copy and wow was I impressed.

I'll go ahead and say that this book isn't really like the first one. In some aspects it was so different, it was though I was reading an entirely different series. While other haven't shared my opinions, I thought The Last Orphans was definitely a member of the horror subgenre (among others) so I was really shocked to see that The Harvest didn't carry over that horror-vibe. Instead, it went in a new direction, sci-fi, and knocked it out of the park. Whereas book one was a lot of flash and gore and shock (adding to the horror), book two was a lot of thoughts, technology, and paranoia (sci-fi at its' finest). This is definitely not a negative critique by any means, but merely my way of showing the contrast between the two novels. I am curious as to what vibe we may find in book three, but if I had to guess, I'd say more sci-fi than horror.

The Harvest focuses on our same cast of main characters for the most part, but we really see them grow as a team. While book one was all about survival, book two is really all about restoral. The survivors are on a mission to stop the Anunnaki and the youth they are controlling. The characters are written to perfection and were everything I was looking for. I was really pleased to see how our main characters Shane and Kelly continue to mature in such a short period of time. They truly are remarkable characters.

In an effort to avoid any major spoilers I will refrain from saying too much about the plot line of the end-game of any characters, but I can tell you that this one ends on a huge cliffhanger that I honestly didn't see coming. In retrospect, I probably should have guessed it, but I really didn't. I love when a story can surprise me and this one did, for sure! It isn't often I can say that about a novel and I embrace it when I can!

One of the coolest things I like about about this series is how Harris takes existing lore and history and turns it into an incredible story. Legends about the Anunnaki race have been passed down for years and remain some of the most interesting I have read. Rather than take and rewrite those legends, Harris has taken the groundworkings of history and molded them into a legend all his own. It's an incredible testament to his talent to see such an interpretation take hold and resonate with readers. Huge kudos to Harris for that.

The setting for The Harvest is all over the place. From Georgia to a mountain base in Appalachia to international destinations across the globe, our characters and their colleagues are on the move to take back their planet. Will they make it in time? I really enjoyed the vast differences in surroundings and how the authors was able to describe such settings with such vividness that I actually felt the sands of the Sinai Desert blowing in my face through my minds eye. How incredible, right?

I cannot wait to see what Harris has in store for this series next. Honestly with the cliffhanger ending we were given, the characters direction is clear, but I cannot wait to see how they get there. So many possible stories to be told here and I can't wait to see what direction Harris picks!

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am granting The Harvest by NW Harris a near perfect 5-star review. This read was everything I was looking for, and more. I can honestly say I cannot think of a single thing I would have like to have seen changes. This series is among the most original and well-written that I have come across and I have found it a great honor to read and review them. As a male blogger, connecting with male authors is important to me and not something I get the opportunity to do often. Harris is definitely doing his part to show the world that male authors in this genre can make an impact. Huge kudos all around to NW Harris for this absolutely incredible series.

This series is perfect for readers of horror, sci-fi, dystopian, or fantasy. Ages young and old can appreciate the intricate web that Harris has weaved, but to be on the safe side, I'd advise this series to mature YA audiences.
*****

Check out my review of The Last Orphans (book one) by clicking the cover below!


Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of The Harvest by NW Harris. What do you think? Sound like the series for you? I can't say enough great things about this series, it's incredible! Plus Harris is part of the Clean Teen Publishing family that I LOVE being involved with. Everything with their name on it is golden. I am so proud to be a supporter of them and their authors! Be sure to add this one to your TBR and let me know your thoughts in the comments! Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan

Darkest Reaches (Spiritual Discord, #3) by Brandy Nacole Release Day Blitz


Welcome to the DARKEST REACHES release event!


Darkest Reaches (Spiritual Discord, #3)
Release Date: April 30th, 2015


Synopsis:

Kayson and the other fallen angels have risked their lives to keep Sabrina safe as she recovered from a Hell hound’s bite. Just when she began to improve, Hell was unleashed as the hounds attacked, and kidnapped Sabrina. 

Now, only days after the fight between the fallen and the hounds, Kayson is determined to find Sabrina and bring her back from Hell. The only thing standing in his way is a dangerous fallen angel named Iraja. Iraja has the means to find Sabrina, but he doesn’t do favors without a price. 

Sabrina is now facing the nightmare she’s been running from since being turned into a vampire a century ago: her eternal condemnation to Hell. Knowing her only chance of survival may rest by playing nice and turning Hell hound Falon against Lucifer, Sabrina gives into the bitter darkness and now has to fight to remember the good soul she truly is. But when she discovers the role her and the innocent human Emma are forced to play, will her fear get the better of her, and will she be lost forever? 

In the third installment of the Spiritual Discord series, the will to survive is tested, worst fears become a reality, and for one, betrayal becomes the only option.










Brandy Nacole resides in Arkansas where her imagination runs wild. Her obsession is reading but her passion is writing. She put her dream of becoming a writer on the back burner and went to college to become a psychologist. Three years after endless classes in a field she only felt half satisfied with, Brandy picked up her pen once again and wrote the outline to Uniquely Unwelcome. She finished out her degree in psychology, but traded her dream of writing for the degree and put psychology on the back burner. 

Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching , and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs. 

Blitz Giveaway (INT):

Win (1) of (3) Spiritual Discord series swag bag, a $10 Amazon GC, and a ecopy of Broken Faith




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Amusement (Carnival #2) by KB Nelson Review

Hey readers! Happy Wednesday! Got a great post ready for ya'll tonight. A review of one of my most anticipated books of 2015! What am I raving about? Amusement by KB Nelson! Here's a bit about the novel and our author before we get to my thoughts:

Love isn’t easy.

Charlie Scott is homesick and tired. She misses the town and the people she left behind. Living a life on the run hasn’t been easy for her, and she’s ready to face the consequences, even if it means leaving the love of her life, Blue, behind.

Home is where the heart is.

Eight months after returning home, Charlie’s life is finally in order. She has a job she loves and her relationship with her father has never been better. But underneath the image of her perfect life, trouble bubbles to the surface.

You can’t escape your past.

Torn between a normal life and the life she left behind, Charlie remains steadfast in her resolve to create a better tomorrow for herself and for her friends. But life has a way of throwing curveballs, and this next one hits her right in the face—Blue returns to Lakeview a changed man.

Second chances are rare..

There are two things Charlie knows for certain; she loves Blue, and he’s not good for her. Charlie must come to terms with her past and her present. She must determine if she could possibly have a future with the man she threw her life away for. She has a second chance at love, but is it worth the risk when her future could hang in the balance?

Don’t miss the exciting, heartfelt final chapter in the epic love story between two lost souls fumbling their way through life and love. Not suitable for those under the age of 18.

     

 K.B. Nelson



I grew up on a farm in Ohio, but that's not very interesting, is it? When I'm not writing you can find me doing one of two things; getting lost on highways or getting lost in the lives of fictional characters. If my heart had two feet, one foot would be in romance and the other solidly in geekdom. I hope you'll all follow me on my journey through this carnival they call life. I promise there will be a happy ending. 




 

Find K.B. Nelson




*****

"It's not too late to rewrite your stories. You don't have to spend the rest of your life with this shadow over you."     -Blue

"It's like the big fucking bang. It was inevitable that something was going to explode. And out of the ashes were born consequences. But I never thought that falling in love would hurt so fucking bad., like every atom in my bones is being ripped apart when you tell me that 'love isn't enough'."     -Blue

I feel like I start my reviews out with this statement so often these days that the phrase has lost all meaning, but here I go again. I don't generally like romance. There. I changed it to generally. And that's because, honestly, I just don't. Sappy love and girly whatnot is not my favorite thing to read. Sorry, it just isn't. I know that lots of my readers probably roll their eyes at me saying this because in the past year, I've reviewed a lot of romance. This isn't necessarily because I've wanted too, but more because New Adult romance is a huge trend in the literary world right now so... it's made its' way onto the blog.

That being said, however, I do definitely have some favorite within the genre. While each novel I read and review speaks to me in a different way, some really dig in and touch me in a way other books hadn't. Last summer, out of the 'Blue', I came across one of those stories: Carnival. While, admittedly, I only picked it up because it had to do with a carnival setting, I fell in love with it for so many more reasons. Primarily, it was real. The author, KB Nelson, didn't hold anything back. Carnival was dark, gritty, and strangely erotic, but I loved every second of it. This wasn't the perfect romance. This isn't the kind of love you go looking for. It's real love. Real emotion. Real life. That's why I was drawn in and why this series has become one of my favorites of all time.

Now I'm not here to tell you that falling in love with a carnie and becoming one is necessarily the lifestyle of choice (but if it is, good for you, shine on sir or ma'am!), but that this story is much more relatable than other I have read in the genre. Being a new adult is all about making tough choices and mistakes to really learn who you are. KB Nelson has hit that nail on the head so much better than some of the bestselling-award winning authors in the genre. Carnival blew me away and Carnival Nights reminded me of why I fell for this series, but I was nervous to see what Amusement would hold.

Recently KB Nelson announced that this novel would mark the 'end' of the series. The end of Charlie and Blue's story, that is. While the idea of novellas and spin-offs hasn't bee tossed aside, Amusement is meant to be the end of these characters stories. And boy, what an ending it was! 

In true One Guy's Guide to Good Reads fashion, let me get my critiques out of the way first.

The only truly negative thing I have to say about this novel was the length. Clocking in at just short of 150 pages, this was a one sitting read. While I was disappointed in the length of the novel, I was more than impressed with the amount of story Nelson was able to give us in such a short span of pages.

On to more positive notes.

Amusement really is an interesting read in the sense that it picks up with the same tone that we are left with the other two stories. While Carnival and Carnival Nights really were more of the night full of partying, Amusements hits us hard right in the very beginning, like a rough hangover from hell you just can't shake. Nelson did an incredible job approaching this novel as a juxtaposition of the others. Charlie and Blue have lived a life of outrageousness and it's finally starting to catch up with them. Charlie finds herself asking if love really is enough to keep them together?

In an effort to find herself, Charlie heads back to Laketown to face the music for everything that's happened. The plotline really ends up coming full circle and by the final pages, we really see how much the lives of our characters have been effected by the course of the novels events. 

I won't spoil it for anyone, but it's truly a testament to the authors works to see how scenes from both novels were rewritten and offered up as parallels in Amusement to show how differently scenes can play out, leaving the reader to ponder the question of 'is love really enough?'. By the end of the story, I think everyone will have their own answers, but I do not think that anyone will be disappointed.

All of the awesome characters are present and ready for another fun filled adventure. In Amusement, we really get to get inside the heads of some of the secondary characters I loved in book one. Summer, Tyson, Joey, the crazy weatherman, etc, Amusement was a swan song for the fans. An incredible conclusion to a groundbreaking series. 

Nelson really hits on some hard themes with Amusement: love, life, maturity, responsibility, family, etc that will really leave you searching your heart for emotions to fill in all the gaps. This book will wreck you them put you back together slowly, but surely, never forgetting the most important parts.

I was very nervous about the ending to this novel. Between Charlie and Blue, I have become extremely attached to these characters over the past year and was not ready to say goodbye. I was terrified that as a reader, I would be left disappointed by their outcomes. I have to say that not only was I impressed with the ending to this novel, I actually applauded when I finished. The ending was beautifully written and left me not only proud to have read it, but also excited to see what else KB Nelson has in store!

I hate ending this review because it means that for the time being, I must say goodbye to one of my favorite NA series of all time. At least I can end knowing that the storyline was written to perfection at the hands of an incredible talent. Huge kudos to you KB Nelson, in my eyes, you've written a literary masterpiece! Anyone who hasn't checked out this series it really missing out!

All-in-all it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that I am granting Amusement by KB Nelson a near-person 5-star review. I loved each page and couldn't have asked for a better ending to an awesome series. This series is perfect for fans of New Adult romance who are looking for something a little different from their normal read!
*****

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Amusement by KB Nelson. I sincerely hope that you guys take a chance on this series and add it to your TBRs! I think you'll all be impressed that KB Nelson isn't a household name. This series is definitely a hidden treasure you do not want to miss out on! Special thanks to the author for supplying me with an ARC of this novel. Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan

A Castle for Dragons by Julie Wetzel Cover Reveal

COVER REVEAL: A Castle For Dragons by Julie Wetzel

Crimson Tree Publishing has a new cover reveal for the DRAGONS OF ETERNITY Series by Julie Wetzel. This exciting Romantic Fantasy series has its first novel— ON THE WINGS OF ACCIDENTAL DRAGONS— releasing in June 2015. Below is the cover reveal for the second book to release in the series called A CASTLE FOR DRAGONS. This is a first archive—or prequel— for the DRAGONS OF ETERNITY Series.

Ebook - Castle for Dragons  
 
Release Date: August 11, 2015

With a dragon ravaging the countryside, the Prince of Dragons sends out his best man, Patrick Mylan. His orders—secure an abandoned castle and stop the foul beast from stealing more maidens. This shouldn't be an issue for an Elite of Eternity
But there is more going on than there seems. When other dragons are sighted in the area, the town sends their maidens to their new lord for protection. Patrick's life just became a lot more complicated. With the dragon he's hunting acting odd and a castle filled with women distracting him, how is he supposed to do the job he was sent for? And what are the ladies going to do when they find out he's the other dragon in the area?
A Castle for Dragons is a prequel novel to On the Wings of Accidental Dragons by Julie Wetzel.

PRE-ORDER BOOK #1 TODAY:

Ebook-2B-2BDragons-2B2  

AVAILABLE JUNE 9, 2015

When Michael Duncan is sent to investigate the disappearance of several dragon subjects, he finds himself in a bind. Locked in a dungeon, his only hope lies wrapped in a bundle of cloth tossed at his feet. One kiss and his life is changed forever. Hunted by his own people for crimes he didn't commit, Michael has to learn a whole new life at the hands of a beautiful woman. Can she help him clear his name, or will just being in her presence get him sentenced to death?
Carissa Markel doesn't know who this man chained to the wall is, but he's her only chance for escape. She has power, but, born without a voice, she lacks the means to wield it. One choice, made in desperation, sends them running for his life. Does she have the strength to help him clear his name? And what will her brother, the King of Dragons, do if he finds out what she's done? That's immaterial, the real question is… can she keep her hands off him long enough to find out?


Waiting on Wednesday {29}



Hey everyone and welcome to my weekly Waiting on Wednesday meme post! This is just a once a week deal where each Wednesday I post about one book I am looking forward to reading and then link it up to the host blog, 
Breaking the Spine, where I can be connected to over 200 other readers and bloggers who are looking for a new read! My friend Kim from kimberlyfayereads participates in this meme each week and it has always looked like a great time. Below you will find the book cover, synopsis, Goodreads link and my reasons for waiting on this read! Enjoy!

This week's WOW is... Amusement by KB Nelson!


Title: Amusement (Carnival #2)
Author: KB Nelson
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Release Date: April 30, 2015


Love isn’t easy.

Charlie Scott is homesick and tired. She misses the town and the people she left behind. Living a life on the run hasn’t been easy for her, and she’s ready to face the consequences, even if it means leaving the love of her life, Blue, behind.

Home is where the heart is.

Eight months after returning home, Charlie’s life is finally in order. She has a job she loves and her relationship with her father has never been better. But underneath the image of her perfect life, trouble bubbles to the surface.

You can’t escape your past.

Torn between a normal life and the life she left behind, Charlie remains steadfast in her resolve to create a better tomorrow for herself and for her friends. But life has a way of throwing curveballs, and this next one hits her right in the face—Blue returns to Lakeview a changed man.

Second chances are rare..

There are two things Charlie knows for certain; she loves Blue, and he’s not good for her. Charlie must come to terms with her past and her present. She must determine if she could possibly have a future with the man she threw her life away for. She has a second chance at love, but is it worth the risk when her future could hang in the balance?

Don’t miss the exciting, heartfelt final chapter in the epic love story between two lost souls fumbling their way through life and love. Not suitable for those under the age of 18.


*********************************************************************************
Why am I waiting?

Wow guys. Just wow. Last summer, I came across Carnival, book one in this series, after a friend reviewed and loved it. I'm usually not one for the romance, but I have an unhealthy attraction to anything that has to do with circuses or carnivals. As soon as I read the blurb, I was hooked. I read Carnival in one sitting, then became one of this series' biggest fans. I won't lie to you, this series isn't for everyone. Anyone who has read from KB Nelson can tell you that her works aren't your average romance story. They're raw, gritty, full of emotion. The situations are more intense than you've ever read. It's like taking any other NA romance read you've ever read and upping the ante by ten percent. Seriously. By the time you finish book one your heart will be racing and you really will feel like you just got off a roller coaster! Nelson kept that same energy going with Carnival Nights, the 'second' novel in this series which serves as the novella, bridging the gaps between books one and two. As a member of Nelson's street team, I was lucky enough to grab an ARC of Amusement this past weekend and ended up also devouring it in one sitting as well. I won't spoil anything for you, but I promise, if you enjoyed Carnival, you will be more than pleased with this 'final' chapter in the duology! I'm saving my 5-star review for release day tomorrow, but do yourself a favor and go ahead and add this one to your TBR in the mean time! I promise you won't be disappointed!
*********************************************************************************

What are YOU waiting on this week?




Thanks for stopping by, Happy Reading! 


-Ethan

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Thought Monday #2 (Attending An Author Con/Event)


Hey readers! Welcome to another thrilling installment of My Thought Monday. A weekly post where I get to rant and/or rave about happenings in the book world. I got a lot of positive feedback from my mega post last week where I laid out my thoughts on "Young Adult vs. New Adult: What's The REAL Deal?" so I knew I needed to follow it up with another interesting topic today. Today's topic is one that has been on my mind for a while now: general reader/fan etiquette while attending an author convention/event. This is a major topic of importance for me so I'm excited to get down to business.

I'd like to offer up my thoughts for discussion among authors, bloggers, readers, and all members of the literary community. I understand that my views may be in the minority on some fronts and would love to hear your thoughts. Please note that while I would love to hear your thoughts, I will not tolerate this as a place of hate and negativity. If you so choose to put forward your thoughts via comment, Twitter, Facebook, email, etc, please do so professionally. I am fully aware that sometimes the bookish world is the last place you want to put your personal thoughts, but I, for one, am tired of being quiet. It's time for me to take a stand on issues that are important to me in this community. It is my belief that, only as a community, can we pull together and make real change in this bookish world we all know and love.

Here we go:

Attending an Author Con/Event: What YOU Should Know

So you've found out that fifteen (or fifty) of your favorite authors are signing at an event next weekend and you're able to attend. The rush of excitement of meeting some of your favorite authors and bookish friends leaves you positively giddy. Maybe this is your first event signing, or maybe you're a seasoned vet in the field, either way the feeling of excitement never dies. That is, until you get to the event and see some of the behaviors that will turn you from flailing fangirl to Hulk-smashing angry.

What do you do? How do you handle said situations? Today's post is written from not only my own experiences, but also the experiences of a handful of bloggers and authors who frequent cons! This post is directed towards readers and authors. Rather than include these tips in paragraph form, I'll be doing the in list form for easy reading!

DO: Remember that authors are people too. While everyone likes to be in the spotlight for a moment, don't overdo it. The biggest complaint I've heard from authors is that some fans are overbearing to the point of being scary. It's totally okay to freak out and flail when you meet an author (trust me, there have been times when I've been SHAKING from excitement), but remember to keep it to a dull roar. 

DON'T: Push yourself onto an author. Regardless of the pedestal we place them on sometimes, authors are human beings as well. They face the same issues as we normal mortals do: social awkwardness, anxiety, etc. If an author isn't standing up to hug and take a picture with you, don't be offended. Maybe they don't feel comfortable being touched. If an author isn't really seeming to connect with you, don't chalk it up to them being an 'author behaving badly', recognize that maybe they aren't comfortable in the situation. Put yourself in their shoes. I see this a lot on social media: "____ was such a bitch because she wouldn't hardly talk to me/take a picture with me." Don't be that fan.

DO: Introduce yourself to everyone you can. Is an unknown-to-you author sharing a table with your favorite? Be sure to take a minute to say hello to them also. Author events/cons are all about meeting new people and introducing yourselves as readers and fans to other members of the literary community. Sometimes it's a great feeling to get to know the person before you meet the author. I have had great luck with this personally. In fact, some of my closest author connections have come from me meeting the author in person before ever actually reading their books. Once I know they're an awesome person in real life, I can definitely love their books with no questions. I've, admittedly, been involved in a lot of awkward conversations with authors on this front, but I wouldn't change them for anything. Maybe you're seeing a sci-fi author, but the author sharing their table writes hardcore erotic romance? Nobody said you have to buy their book and sign up for their mailing list, but even just a simple "Hey, I'm _____, nice to meet you" will make an authors day, and give you a connection. 

DO: Take advantage of any one on one time you may get with the author. My favorite author events have been the ones with fewer fans. The ones where the setting was much more intimate and I could actually have a conversation with the author of my choosing. Seek out smaller events, local signings, etc to ensure you can really make a connection with your favorite author. There is a don't associated with this that I'll get to later. 

DON'T: Assume that the author will remember you. I hear a lot of whining from fans about how they can meet an author five different times and the author doesn't run up and embrace them when they meet again. Some authors have MILLIONS of fans, do you really expect them to recognize them all? No. Absolutely not. This one is a huge pain point for me. Just be glad you can be in their presence. Do you honestly remember the names and faces of every person you ever met for 5 minutes in your life? Now if you are lucky enough to have an author recognize you from a past signing, take it as a small blessing and go on with it. Authors will often say things such as 'oh I recognize you!' or 'oh you were at my signing in _____' if they do recognize you, but don't assume anything. It makes an ass out of you and me both. Also, don't push them to remember you, that gets awkward.

DO: Limit yourself. Maybe the event sponsors haven't placed an official limit on the number of books you can bring for each author, but that doesn't mean you should bring them all. I get rather angry when events place strict limits on the number of books you can bring to an event. Let's take a specific event into consideration. One of the largest book events in the country has a 'three book per author limit'. While I can agree that this is reasonable, it really sucks when you have an author present who has over 30 books in their arsenal. How do you choose? Also, how bad would it suck to stand in line for an hour only to have three books in a five book series signed? Thankfully, most events I've been to have been fairly lax on these rules and only ask this as a request. There are events that aren't so lax and will count your books when you arrive. Have more than the required number? Get your three signed and then get back in line. Sorry folks, it's the rules. Whether I agree with them or not, I definitely see where they're coming from. I once went to meet an author who had over twenty books in publication as of that date. The woman two people in front of me had a wagon full of books. A freaking wagon people. She had every book the author had ever published. And, while the authors eyes got as big around as basketballs when she saw all the books, she never said a words and still signed them all, because she was awesome like that. Now while this fans day had been made, I was absolutely livid to have to stand behind her and wait. As were the fifty some-odd people behind me grumbling. My point here people is to be considerate of other fans who are attending the event. If you have an offensive number of books to have signed, wait until the very end. The authors, event organizers, and your fellow fans will be appreciative, plus you get to spend more one-on-one time with the author. Make it count!

DON'T: Act like you and the author share a deep personal bond of friendship. If you share a personal relationship with your favorite author, it's one of the greatest feeling in the world, but don't ever assume the author feels the same way. Story: I once had a blogger friend ask me to get a book signed by their favorite author. This friend told me that the author knew I was coming and played it off as though they were the closest of friends. Insisting that they talked every day as old chums. Upon meeting the author in person, I brought this up and the author, very kindly, informed me that she had absolutely no idea who I was talking about, then signed the book just as she would for any normal fan. Don't make yourself sound more special than you are when it comes to author relationships. All it does is build up jealousy and animosity about you from other readers. This plays a big role at signings. 

DO: Dress comfortable. I hear this debate a lot. "What should I wear?" I like to keep two things in mind when dressing for an event. 1) What's going to look good in pictures? and 2) What is going to be the most comfortable? Author events aren't all hanging out with your favorite authors. In fact, most of it isn't. 80% of your time at a large author event will be spent waiting in a line of some sort. I was recently present at an author event with nearly fifty authors and nearly two thousand fans. I sat in like for hours at this event. Of the four hours I was there, at least 3 were spent in some form of line. You come to expect this from events, it's an unfortunate downside, but it happens. Just think about what is going to be comfortable when you're sitting/standing in line waiting for your 30 seconds with the author. If you have a fun crazy T-shirt, wear it! Authors love when fans dress like that! Don't worry about dressing to the nines for an event though, trust me, more people will criticize than compliment you. I went to an event once where there were two guys in front of me in line wearing suits and ties and my only thought was "wow they look stupid" as we stood in line for an hour. Same with you ladies, why wear heals and a cocktail dress to stand in line for hours on end?

DOMark your books. Post-it notes are your best friend when it comes to an author signing. There are fewer things more frustrating than getting home to see that an author has misspelled your name. Honest mistakes happen, but they can be easily avoided by simply placing a post-it note with the name you'd like inscribed on the title page of the novel. It's quick and easy, and it makes the singing process much streamline and effective for authors. It also minimizes mistakes. Don't, however, write personal notes on for the authors on those post-its, as the author will sometimes be so in the zone that they write your whole message in the books. True story, I've had this happen a handful of times!

DON'T: "Stalk" out your favorite author. I've only recently seen this trend and it's sketchy as hell. These authors are traveling across the country to make it to these signings. In some cases the author has been on multiple planes, trains, and automobiles to make it to the hotel. The last thing someone who just traveled twelve hours to get somewhere wants to do is be hounded as soon as they walk into the doors of their hotel. Seriously fans, keep it professional. Seriously. Don't be a creeper. That's a real quick way to earn yourself a bad name in the literary community.

Do: Bring a backpack, book cart, duffle bag, SOMETHING! One of the very best parts of a book event is that you're always going to leave with more things than you came with. Whenever I go to events, I pack myself full of so many books I can hardly move. While I always enjoy myself, carting around those books can be a huge hassle. A hassle that has caused me to miss out on some of the more important aspects of a signing. Rather than try to carry all of your books in a small bag (or purse for you ladies), think big. Bring a backpack, purchase a rolling cart (I got mine at Staple's for less than $20 and it's a life saver), grab an extra suitcase on wheels. Trust me, it may seem crazy, but your back will thank you later. Books get heavy. Also, this way you can rest easy knowing that ll of your books are secure in one place!

DON'T: Be afraid to ask for a picture with the authors. Unless there is a strict 'no photos' rule, most authors will love to take a picture with their fans. Remember to be considerate to those behind you in line. It's always a great idea to have a friend with you to take pictures. If not, this is a perfect opportunity to perfect the 'selfie', as it gets old having to ask people to take pictures for you. As a fan, it's great to have a photo as a memento, but also as an author, it's exciting to see those pictures pop up on social media! Be sure to tag the authors fan page when you post online! *Note: a fun tip is to make sure you have your security pass code on your phone turned off if you intend to use your cellular device to take pictures. It's a real time saver when passing your device to friends, assistants, or fans to take your picture* 

DO: Meet fellow readers and bloggers. Funny enough, some of my greatest experiences at book events have come from all the friends I have made in line to meet the authors. Some of them have become some of my very best friends. Make good use of the time you'll be sitting and waiting. Remember, you're all there for a reason, so you already have at least one thing in common! Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation, just don't be that guy who won't shut up.

DON'T: Criticize an authors' works to them in person. Author cons/events are not Facebook,Goodreads, or Amazon. Keep your reviews there. nothing will frustrate an author more than you telling them how you feel their stories should have been written. They are the guests of honor, not you.  You wouldn't tell a chef how to prepare his special dish, or an artist how to paint, don't tell an author how to write. Just don't. Keep your negativity at home, this isn't the place for it. I've seriously seen fans stand in line just to tell an author they hated their works. Seriously? Get the hell out of here. You people are disgusting.

DOIf you're getting something signed or meeting the author, DO tell them your favorite scene, favorite character, or something you loved about their books. Authors love positive feedback just as much as we all do. Let them know what you loved!

DON'T (Authors only):  Pitch your book to another author ever. Especially at a signing. Keep it professional. It's fine to ask for advice, but don't make it uncomfortable.

DON'T : Assume you're presence is more coveted because you traveled far to attend the event. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. People, I'll be blunt. Nobody cares if you traveled across the street or across the nation to attend an author event. Do not just assume that since you traveled quite a ways to be there that you are going to receive any form of special treatment. I have traveled ten minutes for an author event, I've also traveled ten hours through tornadoes and blizzards to author events. You're all fans and nobody made you come. Don't try to act like you're something special. I was recently at a signing where a group of readers tried to act high and mighty because they'd traveled a whole 4 hours to be there. I had traveled ten hours and a friend of mine traveled 2300 miles to be there. We just laughed. Those girls sure looked stupid when it was announced that some fans had traveled internationally to attend the event. Just be glad you got the opportunity to come. And remember, you may be tired, jet lagged, etc, but you're not the one sitting behind a table signing until your wrist sounds like a cement mixer, after traveling cross country. Food for thought.

DO: Take time into consideration. Be sure to hit up your favorite authors first to make sure you get to meet them. Author events can get real out of control, real fast. Make sure you have a game plan, complete with maps and a course of action to ensure you get the most out of your time there. While some authors will stay later to sign things, others simply won't or just can't. A signing I attended once just had to shut its' doors, as the facility was closing. Keeping a schedule will help avoid any unnecessary frustration.

DO: Give feedback to event organizers. Did you love an event? Did you absolutely hate it? The only way to make sure things change for a future event is to let the organizers know in a professional manner. Writing a simple email or dropping off a comment card will greatly help event sponsors plan future events. Is there an author you'd like to see invited, a new venue you think would work better? Don't complain, help make the next one better! Event organizers and sponsors are always looking for tips and feedback to improve future events, let your opinions be heard! Remember to keep it professional though, not doing so is a quick way to find yourself banned from future events!

And above all...

DO: Have fun! Be yourself! Make the best memories you can! Remember that these events are special and that you have the power to make them be as great as you want them to be. I can promise that if you adhere to some of the steps above, you'll have a much more memorable and enjoyable experience!

*****
So as you can read, a lot of planning goes into creating the perfect author event/con experience for both the author and the reader. I have attended more events than I can count and can say without hesitation that they are my favorite part about being involved in the literary community. The connections that you make are priceless. By following these dos/don'ts, you can ensure that you have the best event experience possible! If you're interested in seeing more information about some of the events I have been to, head over to my Hall of Fame page to learn more! 

Got some more hints/tips for readers and authors? Add them in the comments below and I'll add them to the list!

I'd like to also reiterate that all thoughts expressed above are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of any authors, bloggers, publicity/publishing, companies that I may work alongside. If your thoughts are different, please sound off in the comments or via Facebook, Twitter, or email. All of my contact links can be found above. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gifted (Donovan Circus #1) by Liz Long Audiobook Available Now!

Hey everyone! Just a quick promo post here to let you guys know that one of my all time favorite reads is now available in audiobook format!

What book is that? Gifted (Donovan Circus #1) by the incredible Liz Long. Here's a bit about Gifted and Liz as well as the buy links!



Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.

Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be: new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.

When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.






     

 About the Author:

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media editor includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.

Her first book, Gifted, is the first book in the Donovan Circus series. Burned is the second adventure. Her second book Witch Hearts, a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers, is available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.


Find Liz Long




Any of my normal readers will tell you that this is one of my ALL time favorite series and I am so excited to hear it's available in audiobook for the very first time. Any of you Audible users out there really need to check it out, I promise you won't be disappointed!

While you're out there searching Donovan Circus related things, head over and give Liz Long a shout out, tell her Ethan sent ya!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan

Friday, April 24, 2015

Eternal Sacrifice (Mortal Enchantment #3) by Stacey O'Neale Cover Reveal + Giveaway

Hello readers! Happy Friday! Welcome to an exciting post that is sure to start your weekend out on a high note. As any of you guys may remember, last year I was introduced to a debut author with an incredible YA series. It didn't take long for me to become attached and I soon fell in love with this series and everything about it. Today I am honored to share with you all the cover for the final novel in this amazing series. Definitely a bittersweet moment. What series am I talking about? Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O'Neale. I now present to you the cover to Eternal Sacrifice, the final novel in the Mortal Enchantment trilogy!

Drumroll...



**BLURB TO COME**


Stacey O'Neale

Stacey O'Neale 

Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter. Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing. Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

If you're new to the series, this is the BEST TIME to check it out!!!

THE SHADOW PRINCE & MORTAL ENCHANTMENT are currently available for FREE on Amazon from April 24th through April 28th. This the ONE AND ONLY TIME Stacey will do this, so pick up your copies NOW!!!

          


As promised, here is an awesome giveaway from Stacey!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What do you guys think? I don't know about ya'll but I can't stop my feels, this is definitely a bittersweet bookish moment for me. I cannot wait to see what Stacey has in store for our final trip to Avalon! What are you thoughts? Love the cover? Read the series? Sound off in the comments! Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan