25-01-12

Guest post Aida Brassington + Giveaway!

Today I welcome Aida Brassington to the blog. She'll give some inside on the role of food in her novel Between Seasons. And let me tell you I for one was craving pancakes while reading Between Seasons. 
Don't forget to look for the giveaway at the end of the post.



Food is our common ground, a universal experience. I didn’t say that – chef and food writer James Beard did. We can all agree it’s true, though, because food is something we all need, like air and water. But what would you miss if you couldn’t eat?

The main character in my paranormal romance novel, Between Seasons, is a ghost named Patrick Boyle, and it’s one of the things about being alive he misses quite a bit – eating. The very act of it and the flavor of it. The moist chocolate cake his mother makes roils around in his brain for the forty years he’s stuck alone, haunting his childhood home. And when Sara Oswald buys his house after all that time, he’s drawn to her, spying on her in the kitchen.

The woman flapped her hand at Sara and pulled out a chair before sliding into it. “No worries. If I’d been thinking I would have brought you some coffee. I’m a bear when I haven’t had a few cups in the morning.”

“Would you like a cookie at least?” Sara took the plastic wrap off the plate and held it out. Patrick hovered over the food, fingers twitching into a chocolate chip as he looked on in longing. It had been forever since he’d had a cookie, and he could just imagine how it would crumble in his mouth, the chocolate like silk on his tongue. He groaned and stepped away, wishing he could grab the plate and run away to gorge himself.

“Nope. You’ll need something fattening and completely terrible for you after getting your house in order.” The neighbor grinned. “I just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood and introduce myself.”

Sara set the plate on the counter and chuckled. “I’m an ass – I haven’t even told you my name. Sara Oswald.” She placed her fingers over her chest, drumming them twice against her prominent clavicle.

Eating is a social event for many of us. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the elderly feel most lonely when they eat alone, and this phenomenon applies to other age groups as well. It’s one of the main reasons why I chose to focus on food as one of the things Patrick misses about his life: being alone for decades is bad enough, but compounding it by really missing food makes it so much worse.

It’s also not uncommon to associate food and eating with emotion. Sara is dealing with heavy emotional turmoil when she buys Patrick’s house, the result of which is she’s not eating as she should. And that cake Patrick misses so much is something he associates with motherly love and comfort. Without the food to nourish them physically, the characters in Between Seasons lack emotional comfort as well. As things change between Patrick and Sara, so do their relationships to food.

If you became a ghost tomorrow, what would you miss most about your life? What foods and flavors would leave you longing?  

Aida Brassington lives in a haunted house in the suburbs of Pennsylvania with her husband of five years and a Great Dane named Patrick. She loves all things related to Halloween and spooky movies, but not because she shares her house with a ghost (and it should be noted her ghost does nothing more than occasionally appear in the second floor hallway and hide her keys) — she just likes being scared. She is a former political junkie with a deep interest in artisan food, reading, and scuba diving.

Find her at Twitter, her Website or Goodreads 

Buy Between Seasons:

Thank you so much Aida for stopping by today! I think I would really miss brownies and I'm a big tea drinker so yeah would probably miss that too.


Giveaway:

Thanks to Aida I will be giving away an ecopy of Between Seasons.

* To win an electronic copy (Kindle, Nook, or PDF) of Between Seasons please leave a comment with your answer to Aida's question

If you became a ghost tomorrow, what would you miss most about your life? What foods and flavors would leave you longing?

* Don't forget to leave an emailadress so I can contact you if you win.
* Giveaway is international.
* This giveaway ends Februari 4th and the winner will be chosen by random.
* Please don't forget to read my giveaway policy

No answer and/or email = no entry

22-01-12

Between Seasons by Aida Brassington

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Green Needle Press
Buy the book: The Book Depository
Source: I received an ecopy from the author

Patrick Boyle dies in the fall of 1970, just days before he's due to report for the Vietnam War draft, which seems like a good thing until he realizes he's stuck in the house with no indication of when he'll be escorted to heaven. And after his parents leave the house, he's trapped without company -- until a mysterious woman who can channel his memories buys the house forty years later. The spring brings with it new life, but falling in love with the new owner may only bring heartbreak to them both.

The story starts of with Patrick's dead and Patrick trying to figure out why he's stuck in the house and not in Heaven like he's supposed to be. The real story starts when Sara comes and live in the house. Without knowing it Sara gives Patrick the feeling he isn't alone anymore and the fact that Sara talks to herself makes for some entertaining conversations between the two and Patrick starts to fall in love with her. 

This is a sweet love story which made me laugh out loud and also made me sad at times. Aida Brassington did a great job with the characters. Patrick is a teenager from the seventies and everything he says/thinks reflex this. He's also a really sweet guy. You can't help but feel for him when he's trying to figure out why he's stuck there and when his parents leave him. Sara had a nasty divorce and moves to escape her past and to try and start over. Being in that house gives them both the feeling they are not alone and that is where this impossible relationship starts to blossom. 

The story takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and is written in a way that makes you flip page after page just to see if Patrick will ever be able to get free from the house. The ending of this story is a big surprise, I did not see this coming and it's a great twist to the story. The sad thing is it ended so abrubly. But there will be a seque so there is more to come.

My rating: 4/5

19-01-12

Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig


Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Disrgarded Heroes series #3
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Buy the book: The Book Depository
Source: I received an ecopy from the publisher via NetGalley

Former Green Beret Captain Canyon Metcalfe is unnerved when Nightshade is sent to a South American jungle that holds an eerie similarity to a dark tragedy from his past. Addicted to painkillers, Canyon struggles to hide his secret. Escorting Danielle Roark, a demolitions expert who knows the location of a secret nuclear weapons silo, proves treacherous when they’re ambushed and captured. Rescued, Canyon is furious to discover Dani was left behind, intentionally—because she’d unearthed blame that lies at the feet of many on the Hill, including her own father. Armed with truth, they must fight their way back to the States and freedom. (Goodreads)


This is the third in the Disgarded Heroes series, but the first I read. And to have missed the first two books in the series isn't a problem to follow this story.

I really enjoyed this book. This book is full of action and even when there is just a family party going on Ronie Kendig knows how to keep your attention. Roarke is a strong female. Even after all she has been through, being held captive by the VFA in Venezuela, she escapes and when she comes home she's being accused of being a traitor. She wants to clear her name and this is where Canyon comes in place. His team will take Roarke back to get the proof she needs to clear her name.

The rivally between the brothers Canyon and Range about Roarke isnt one I love, but that's a personal thing. I just don't like this kind of thing in life or fiction. Other then that this was a really great story which made flip page afte page just to see what would happen next. Also the side story that was told by a dying woman gave the story an extra twist.

This might have been the first in the series I have read, but I will definitely check out the other books in this series.

My rating: 4/5

18-01-12

Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

Genre: Fairy Tales retold
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Buy the book: The Book Depository
Source: I received an ecopy from the publisher via NetGalley

After her father's disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn't long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself. What Ella finds there starts a quest that will change her life and the entire kingdom. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other, and one you'll never forget. (Goodreads)

This is not your average fairy tale and to be honost besides the name it doesn't resemble Cinderella in any way. It's a totally different story, it's a little darker, no handsome prince, no fairy godmother and no happy ending. Well the latter isn't really true but it's not really a happy ending yet, let's keep it to that. No this is a story about a girl named Ella, a girl named Cinder and an evil prince.

To be honost I really love fairy tales, but this goes for the ones I grew up with. Cinderella may be one of them, but this one isn't. Fairy tales that you remember are very different from fairy tales you read now. I never reread the fairy tales I used to I just remember them as they were when I was little. I used to reread them but the more I read the more the whole magic from the story got lost. I'm sorry I'm just not impressed with the character development in fairy tales and that is fine as long as the story is good. besides I still remember them so no need to reread them.

But that is the thing with this story. I really enjoyed the story. And even more because of the darker setting and the lack of the 'and they lived happily ever after' but I just couldn't feel that connection with the characters. They just felt flat and didn't exacly stand out. I did however really love the idea of a life being connected to it's own tree. for a 'good' life, you should take care of your tree. The most enjoyable is the writing style. It's written in the style as I remember the fairy tales as I used to know them. Even though this is a new story the whole fairy tale vibe is there.

My rating: 3/5

15-01-12

Flip this Zombie by Jesse Petersen

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Living with the Dead #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Find the author: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Buy the book: The Book Depository
Source: I received a copy from the publisher

The Zombie Apocalypse has been good to Sarah and David. Their marriage is better than ever. They communicate well, share responsibilities, and now, they're starting a business. ZombieBusters-for all your zombie extermination needs.
There are lots of zombies and that means lots of customers...Except one of them doesn't want the zombies dead, he wants them alive and ready for experimentation. Mad scientists make for difficult clients and this time, Sarah and David might have bitten off more than they can chew.

Sarah and David started their own little zombie killing business. True notes left in camps they get their 'jobs'. And they get one from dr. Kevin Barnes, but he doesn't wannt them to kill the zombies but catch them and bring them back to his lab. But how do you catch a zombie? And what's up with all these 'bionic zombies' everybody keeps talking about?

This is a fun and quick read. Although it isn't as funny as the first in this series Married with Zombies. The story is told from Sarah's point of view. She is still her girly girl zombie ass kicking self. She and David still pick lots of fights and sometimes they got a bit annoying, they seriously fight over everything. On the other hand the zombie killing got way more professional, they went from toiletseats to axes and shotguns. This and the fact that made a business out of killing zombies gave this a more serious and dark tone to the story. This combined with a lot of action and some serious humerous dialogues made me flip page after page.

I did like the story itself better then Married with Zombies. The adding of the mad scientist and the mystery of the 'bionic zombies' definitely gave something extra and made sure there were some creepy zombie moments. The plot wasn't really surprising, you could see it comming from miles away, but non the less still entertaining.

My rating: 4/5

06-01-12

Feature & Follow Friday #1



Ok my first Feature & Follow Friday! Hosted by Parajunkee and  Alison Can Read  This week's featured bloggers are  Book Den and  Pawing Through Books


Question of the Week: Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf. How many?


On my shelf ar about 100 but when I count my ebooks with them I'll come around 200 I'm afraid.These are English and Dutch books. I buy and download books faster then I can read them. But there are just so many books I really really want to read. This year I want to make sure these numbers will go down. 

So how many books do you have on your TBR pile?????

03-01-12

Top Ten Tuesday #1

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Tahleen @ The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks feature:
Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012

This list will contain books which have already been released and I already own and some books that will be released in 2012. But all books I really really want to read this year!

10. Feed by Mira Grant: I bought this one a while back now but haven't read it yet. And I really really want to read it.

9. Deadline by Mira Grant: Yes it's the sequel to Feed and I also really really want to read this one. 

8. Divergent by Veronica Roth: I still have not read this one *hangs head in shame*

7. The Night Stalker by Chris Carter: Really enjoyed the first two books and can't wait to read this one. 

6. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare: I don't think I need to explaine this one!

5. A Million Suns by Beth Revis: I really loved Across the Universe so I need to read this one.

4. The Breach by Patrick Lee: I love dystopian/post apocalyptic books. But I have only read Young Adult so far. So it was time to pick up an adult book in this genre.

3. Ghost Country by Patrick Lee: Yes it's the sequel to The Breach. The Breach works up to the 'apocalypse' and Ghost Country is post apocalypse.

2. Random by Craig Robertson: A story from the point of view from the serial killer. Yeah I love books about serial killers so I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

1. Genesis by Krisi Keley:  I love the On the Soul series and I can't wait to read the last in the series. And the only thing I know is that it will be ready somewhere this year so I'll just have to wait patiently.

01-01-12

Cruisin' thru the cozies Reading Challenge


So, here are the rules...

1. Choose the level you wish to participate:
Level 1 - Snoop - Read at least 6 books
Level 2 - Investigator - Read 7-12 books
Level 3 - Super Sleuth - Read 13 or more books
2. The challenge runs from January 1, 2012 and ends December 31, 2012.
3. You don't have to choose your books in advance. If you do, you can change your list at any time during the year. Books can overlap with other challenges.
4. Books can be in any format - paper, audio, ebooks...it all counts!

Want more info or wat to join? Go HERE

I love reading cozy mysteries! And since I already entered the Mystery and Suspense reading challenge this won't be a problem. I will at least go for level 2 - Investigator, but who knows I might make it to Super Sleuht.
I will choose my books as I go and post them on the Reading Challenges page.

Zombie Challenge 2012


Challenge Details

• Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012
• Rules: There are FOUR (4) LEVELS to choose from:
- One Chomp: Read 6 Zombie books in 2012
- Two Chomps: Read 12 Zombie books in 2012
- Three Chomps: Read 18 Zombie books in 2012
- Four Chomps: Read 24 Zombie books in 2012
• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
• You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.
• At the beginning of Jan 2012, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews.
• Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.
• Only fiction, no non-fiction ;)
• This challenge can crossover to other challenges.

Want more info or want to join? Go HERE

Ok I'm gonna go for one chomp - 6 books. This shoud be doable since I already have enough books and have quite a few on my wishlist so who knows maybe I'll be able to make it two chomps.
I will choose the books as I go and post them on the Reading Challenges page. 

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012


Challenge Details

• Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012
• Rules: There are TWO LEVELS you can choose from:
   - Read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2012 
   - Read TWENTY FOUR (24) mystery & suspense novels in 2012 
• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
• You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.
• At the beginning of Jan 2012, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews.
• Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.
• This challenge can crossover to other challenges.

Want more info or join the challenge go HERE

This is the only challenge I finished last year and since I love to read about every mystery and suspense novels (cozy, romantic suspense, thrillers, mystery, hard boiled, paranormal) this is one challenge I really want to participate in.
I will choose my books as I go and post them on the Reading Challenges page.
I will read at least 12 books but I hope to do 24. We'll see how far I'll get.

Happy 2012! New year so new goals



Happy New Year Everybody!
I hope 2012 will be great a year for you with lots of love, good health, happiness and lots of fun.....ohw and good books offcourse.

So a new year and that means new goals.

So I have a few when it comes to reading/blogging and life.

Reading/Blogging:

  1. I want to read 100 books a year so this year I'm going to do it. In 2011 I read 87 books, but didn't read much the last 3 months. So I do believe I can read 100 books this year.
  2. I am going to do a better job with my reading challenges. I only finished one this year and that was the suspence reading challenge from Book Chick City. I still have to enter reading challenges but I think I will enter 3 this year and finish them all.
  3. I'm going to blog more. More reviews and more bookish things. 
  4. Change the look of my blog. I have been meaning to do this for a while now and I already started it (thanks to the free avatar from Miss Pickles Design Studio) but I want more.
  5. Comment more and reply to comments more.
  6. I do think I should use Twitter more so I shall use Twitter more.


Life:

  1. I quit smoking last wednesday and now I need to make sure it stays that way. And so far it has not been to bad I just need to stay away from people who smoke for now.
  2. I need to work out more. Ok I don't work out so I need to start working out! 
  3. Finish my house. I still need to paint a lot and change the furniture. So this is the year I will do this.
  4. Save. To do the above I need to save.
  5. Organize. I need to get more organized. 
  6. Have fun! The most important one of all!
So these are my goals for 2012. What are your goals when it comes to reading, blogging and/or life???