Monday, October 31, 2011

Musing Monday

This week’s musing asks…

Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less? Why?

I would probably say maybe a bit less because I think the older you get, the less available free time you have. I remember as a kid flying through book series like The Saddle Club and Sweet Valley Twins.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop“What is your favorite Halloween costume? Even if you don’t celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?”

I loved when my little cousin went as Yoda from Star Wars.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Booking Through Thursday


What’s the hardest/most challenging book you’ve ever read? Was it worth the effort? Did you read it by choice or was it an assignment/obligation?

Without a doubt, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I had to read this for three separate college classes in one semester during a snowy, dark and cold month. I usually can find some redeeming qualities about most books I read, but this one I really didn't like. It was more depressing than the weather.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
by Mindy Kaling
Publication Date: November 1

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

"As he rounded the corner, he saw the children sitting in rockers at either end of the porch, glaring and intemperate like pickets guarding the flanks. Stubblefield thinking, If they had muskets they'd shoot me down."

- p. 105, Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

Monday, October 24, 2011

Leslie Soule - Fallenwood - Author Interview

My thanks to Leslie Soule for stopping by The Character Connection for an author interview during the blog tour for her book, Fallenwood.

Author Interview

1. Who is your favorite character?
From my own stories, my favorite character is Greymalkin – he’s a talking cat.

2. Why is he/she your favorite?
Ever since I read Brian Jacques books as a child, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of talking animals who act like humans.

3. How did you come to create him/her?
Well, I went with a friend to a local PetSmart on adoption day for cats, and I was thinking about writing Greymalkin’s character, but didn’t know what I wanted him to look like – then I saw this cat who fit the bill perfectly – a very cute grey cat with white paws and big, expressive yellow eyes. He was playful and intelligent, and made me wonder what he was thinking.

4. When did he/she first enter your mind?
Well, I borrowed the name “Greymalkin” from Old English – it’s an old word for “grey cat." However, Greymalkin shows up in a single line of Macbeth – the witches say, “Come, Greymalkin,” and I thought Greymalkin deserved more of a story than that.

5. Where was he/she given life in the creative process?
That is a great, but difficult question. Greymalkin was given “life” when I gave him a history, I believe. I have noticed that many people nowadays seem to have an antipathy for their own histories or for history in general, or the things of the past. Also, in America, there is the tragic notion that once someone is dead, we forget about them. I don’t know how these ideas came about, or why, because denying one’s individual past is to dishonor the journey that they have taken in life.

6. What do like the most about him/her and what do you dislike the most about him/her?
I like that Greymalkin represents a kind of playful mischievousness. What I dislike about him is that this same mischievousness makes it hard for me to write serious scenes for him. Also, it’s hard keeping in mind that a cat character is interacting with humans and physically interacts differently.

About the Book

Book Details:
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Published: March 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Format: ebook
Price: $5.99
Buy Links: Kindle, Smashwords

Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 16-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood’s power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal—the catalyst for all the land’s magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.

Tears blinded her. She couldn’t stop and even the rough winds couldn’t scatter the wild thoughts that swirled in her mind—memories of her stepfather, words that people had said at his service, images of her mother and that stupid grin she wore—all she could do was run. Ashley was deeply wounded but was powerless to heal this kind of pain. She’d looked into the face of evil. Her feet hit the gravel, and the wind whipped at her face as she tried to outrun her anguish. She closed her eyes for a split second, and the wind stilled, and she stopped. Ashley looked around her. It had suddenly become night, and she was now in an unfamiliar part of the woods.


The dragon’s eyes glowed, for a flickering moment, with white light.

“Ash,” the dragon continued, “Welcome to Terra Illumina…or as it is more commonly known, Fallenwood.” Then a fierce roaring laugh erupted from the stone, as though the dragon thought the new name a joke. “A dark, difficult, dangerous path lies before you, Ash Kensington.”

Ash’s heart grew heavy. In truth, she knew that she was destined to some terrible, dark fate. For so long, her life was filled with sadness and doubt, and one horrible thing after another. What else can I hope for?

“But Ash, you must not lose hope. Our world needs you..."

About the Author
Leslie Soule

Leslie Soule lives in Sacramento, California. Fallenwood is her first fantasy novel. She has received her B.A. in English from Sacramento State University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in English at National University.

Connect With Leslie:
Web Site

eBook copies of her paranormal story, "The Devil's Bidding," one at every tour stop to randomly drawn commenters during the tour -- follow the tour dates below and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Fallenwood is the October "Read for the Cure" book from Decadent Publishing. All publisher profits from the sale of Fallenwood in October will be donated to Relay For Life in the company’s efforts to help with the battle against cancer.

Tour Participants:

October 24:

October 25:

October 26:

October 27:

October 28:

Musing Monday

This week’s musing asks…

Do you listen to audiobooks? Why, or why not?

I had such a bad experience listening to over 10 hours of Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters on a road trip and still not making it to the ending that I don't think I'll be listening to another audio book any time soon. Too much of a time commitment is required.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jeff Horton - The Dark Age - Guest Post

My thanks to Jeff Horton for stopping by The Character Connection and sharing a guest post during the blog tour for his book, The Dark Age.

Guest Post

Have you watched, as I have, the many post-apocalyptic movies that have come out of Hollywood over the past several decades? During the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century, apocalyptic stories became increasingly popular, particularly at the box office. Movies like Mad Max, The Day After, Independence Day, Armageddon, Deep Impact, and 2012, just to name a few, have captured and held our imagination. I know that I've always been fascinated by apocalyptic thrillers, and I suppose many other people have as well. Apocalyptic stories in which the world is threatened and the unlikely hero finds himself in the right place at the right time to make a difference, and post-apocalyptic thrillers in which the protagonist is in a position to change the world for the better, have always inspired me, and helped me to realize how so very small many of my everyday concerns in life really are.

There have been a number of programs on television over the last few years, which examine possible outcomes should a specific global, catastrophic event occur, and how humanity might recover. There have also been experiments where people attempt to live as prehistoric man did, without the benefit of modern conveniences. While it certainly would be difficult to thrive or even survive under such conditions, one of the experiments I saw offered hope that humanity would be able to survive.

I didn't necessarily set out to write a post-apocalyptic thriller when I started writing The Dark Age, but it soon turned into one. As I did research for my first novel, The Great Collapse, and my second novel, The Dark Age, I was astonished to learn how vulnerable our national infrastructure and our civilization itself are to powerful electromagnetic pulses and solar flares. In 2008 a report requested by Congress and was completed by the EMP Commission. It confirmed that the threat of a single nuclear warhead detonated high in the atmosphere somewhere around Kansas was real, and that it could potentially take out the United States' national power grid.

In The Great Collapse, it is an EMP attack and a solar flare knock out power worldwide, causing civilization to collapse within months. Unlike an EMP generated by a nuclear detonation, however, the EMP attack and the solar flare renders it impossible for anyone anywhere on the planet to rebuild the technology so vital to our society. With most of humanity no longer possessing the know-how to safely live off of the land, it is a struggle just to survive. Now fast forward five-hundred years and you'll find yourself in The Dark Age, which is set in a world where humanity survives by the sword, the bow, and the arrow, while secretly hoping that a legend about the Great Oracle is true and that civilization will one day return to the Earth. The Dark Age is a story about self-discovery, perseverance, and self-sacrifice, all in an effort to save the world from a fate worse than death.

Hopefully, you will find as I did that The Dark Age paints a stark, yet intriguing and hopeful vision of the future, where heroes must work together in order to offer mankind a brighter tomorrow.

About the Book
The Dark Age

Book Details:
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Published: June 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Format: paperback & ebook
Price: $12.99 paperback, $5.49-$5.99 ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle, Nook

Suppose you learned that an ancient prophecy about an artifact, said to be powerful enough to dramatically change the world, was true. Would you risk everything to find it? It has been five-hundred years since the Pulse caused the Great Collapse, ending the Golden Age, and civilization on planet Earth. Humanity has waited ever since for a long-anticipated sign from God, which has finally appeared in the night sky. The time has come for Ferrell Young, the Warrior Clan, and the Church to risk everything in an effort to restore civilization, and bring hope to a world full of despair. Alex Montgomery is an archaeologist who has spent many years looking for a mysterious book on behalf of the Holy Christian Church. The book is said to contain the location of the Great Oracle which, according to legend, can endow the one who finds it with great power and wealth. Of much greater importance to the Clan and the Church however, is the fact that it may also enable the world to emerge from five centuries of darkness and suffering. When a powerful, intelligent, but sadistic barbarian leader named Kraken learns of the Oracle, he plans to destroy the Warrior Clan and the Church, take the Oracle for himself, and enslave the rest of humanity. Join Ferrell and his companions as they set out on a desperate journey to find the Great Oracle, and rescue humanity from The Dark Age.

About the Author
Jeff Horton

Jeff Horton was born in North Dakota, the youngest son of a career Air Force master sergeant, where he spent the first four years of his life before moving to North Carolina. A somewhat voracious reader growing up, he read everything from comic books to The Bible, including stories by many popular authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Jeff Horton's novel,
The Great Collapse, a story about the coming of the pulse and the end of civilization, was published in 2010. He is a member of the North Carolina Writers Network.

When he's not penning his next novel, he enjoys reading, going to church, and spending time with his family.

Connect With Jeff:
Web Site


About the Tour

The Experience Tours

Tour Participants:

Oct. 9: Guest Post & Book Excerpt @ Beauty Brite and Giveaway @Bee's Knees Reviews
Oct. 10: Guest Post & Giveaway @ Letters Inside Out
Oct. 11: Giveaway & Guest Post @ Books & Other Creative Adventures
Oct. 12: Guest Post @ Mad Moose Mama
Oct. 13: Guest Post @ The Fairytale Nerd
Oct. 14: Review @ A Casual Reader's Blog
Oct. 15: Guest Post & Giveaway @ After the Book
Oct. 16: Guest Post @ YA Books Beyond the Cover
Oct. 17: Giveaway @ Mind Reader
Oct. 18: Giveaway @ Books Ahoy
Oct. 19: Giveaway, Author Interview, & Guest Post @ BookSpark
Oct. 20: Guest Post @ I'm A Book Shark
Oct. 21: Guest Post @ The Character Connection
Oct. 22: Giveaway @ Reviews By Molly

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop"What is your favorite type of candy?"

Nestle's Crunch

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Booking Through Thursday


I’m on vacation this week. I didn’t go anywhere exciting or exotic, I’m just not at work. Spending time puttering around the house, playing with the dog and … oh yeah. Reading. A lot.

Do your reading habits change when you’re on vacation? Do you read more? Do you indulge in lighter, fluffier books than you usually read? Do you save up special books so you’ll be able to spend real vacation time with them? Or do you just read the same old stuff, vacation or not?

I haven't had a real vacation - 5 days or more in a getaway location - for almost 8 years. Unfortunately, the most free time I have is a lazy Sunday afternoon here and there. When I do have free time to read, I like to sit and concentrate on a book without any interruptions. And when I really want to relax and escape, I read something light and entertaining like a Sookie Stackhouse novel by Charlaine Harris.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: March 6

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.

Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

"But Nellie asked, 'Where are your dolls?'

Laura said: 'I don't play with dolls. I play in the creek.'"

- p. 171, On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, October 17, 2011

Musing Monday

This week’s musing asks…

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I do, but I've been burned several times. Often, the cover is more interesting than the story itself or the tone portrayed on the cover doesn't mesh with the vibe of the book. But I admit, it is harder for me to take a gamble on a book if I do not like the cover.

Type of cover I like:

Type of cover I don't like:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop“What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?”

Nancy Drew's The Clue of the Dancing Puppet by Carolyn Keene

There's something about this story that just creeps me out. Humans should never impersonate puppets. Too much of a weird factor.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Booking Through Thursday


If you could get a sequel for any book, what would it be?

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown because I would like to check in on Rose, Bean and Cordy a few years down the road to see if they're still holding things together and how the new directions they took for their lives are progressing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Ally Condie
Publication Date: November 1

The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

"This morning I felt like even more of an impostor as I faced my young and innocent students, who looked like little angels, dressed in their crisp white pinafores with fluffy sleeves gathered at the shoulders. What would they think if they had seen me just hours before struggling beneath my attacker?"

- p. 15, Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

Monday, October 10, 2011

Musing Monday

This week’s musing asks…

What types of nonfiction do you read? Can do multiple choices.

- e-books
- Mythology/Folklore
- Travel/Locations
- Humor
- History
- Art, including art history
- Science including forensics
- Gardening/Nature
- Political
- Financial/Economical
- Religious
- Self-help
- How-to books
- Books on writing
- Audio books
- Biography
- Autobiography
- Sports
- Architecture
- Fitness/Exercise/Nutrition/Beauty
- Other
- None of the Above

I like History, Religious and Biography/Autobiography.

Here are some examples:

by Alan Sweeney

by Ellen Chaksil

by Gary R. Ryman

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop“It’s time to spread some love beyond the borders of the Book Blogger Hop! This week, we aren’t answering a question. We are spotlighting our fellow bloggers. Find your favorite(s) author interview(s), guest post(s), book review(s), or bookish article(s) that ANOTHER BOOK BLOGGER featured on their site recently and tell us why you love it/them! As an additional challenge, find your favorite one of EACH of the categories above and spotlight all 4 (interview, guest post, review, article).”

1) Author Interview
interview with author, Kelly Simmons
I liked the honesty of how tough it is for an author to get her book purchased by a local store or library.

2) Guest Post
guest post with author, Kathleen Gerard
I liked hearing about an author's favorite movies and how they related to the characters in her novel.

3) Book Review
book review of Stanley Seagull
I liked this review because Danielle combined her thoughts with those of her young son about this children's picture book.

4) Bookish Article
bookish article "The Marketing Experiment: To eBook or not to eBook"
I liked this article because it is the first in a continuing series about a published author who decided to release her eBook on her own without the help of a major publisher.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Booking Through Thursday


What’s the oddest book you’ve ever read? Did you like it? Hate it? Did it make you think?

The oddest book I ever read was Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. The main character's supposed transformation into an insect is something I'll never forget.