Monday, October 31, 2016

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Standalone
272 p.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: Nov. 1, 16
Source: From publisher and NetGalley for review
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. 
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night. 
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
First... Happy Halloween! Not a part of the review, but wanted everyone to have a fun and safe time. :)

My thoughts:

I wasn't sure if this was going to have an element of magical realism in it or not and in the beginning of the book I was certain it would be more magical. It, in fact, is not and is more about Shelby and how one moment in time can devastate a person and how we harm ourselves more than what anyone else can do to you. As dark as this is, it is also the story to the road back to oneself and figuring out how to value oneself. It isn't a sappy story at all, but one where a woman finds pieces of her self and slowly puts them together.

All characters in the story have a purpose. Even the mysterious ones who you aren't at first sure aren't magical. However, the magic fades but that is a good thing as real life takes over and Shelby find that it isn't others who save her but she who saves herself even though others had a big part to play in it. I think the secondary characters were mostly there so she wouldn't slip further into the dark but to hold her head up until she could do it herself.

If you are an animal lover and love stories where animals get saved, than this book is for you. One of the things that helps Shelby is taking care of a motley crew of mutts she has saved throughout the tale. In saving them she is saving herself and eventually finds a calling though it all.

My biggest problem with the book would be the romance at the end. I think there is so much more to tell there and we get the barest mentions about this relationship. I would have loved that part to be much longer and it really needed to be longer. There were aspects of the boyfriend which mirrored her own and I think it would have enhanced the story further.

Now I will give this book 4 stars but toyed with the idea of knocking off a star for every time this book made me cry. I hate to cry and I had 3 times toward the end where I was crying and needing a tissue. This both makes me love it and hate the book for it. Okay, so I loved the compassion and love through those scenes so I'll be good and leave the rest of the stars up there for the book. *sigh* I do recommend it to those that love a journey story where a character hits close to bottom but finds away to her own redemption. It is also a story filled with rescue animals and humans as well as a bit of art around the edges. I did enjoy my time in the book despite the tissues I needed to get through it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater


Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Ending book
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Narrator: Will Patton
Unabridged
11 hrs. 53 min.
Source: Hoopla/Library
The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater. 
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
My thoughts:

This one was surprising. All of the books did seem to lead up to this one and the writing followed through beautifully. In one way it felt like stream of consciousness writing where things seem disjointed and pulled together at once, but in a closer look, it fits the story of finding a mythical king in a mythical forest surrounded by his magicians. Did we find the king? No and then yes. Did he grant the wish. No and then yes. All things flowed in this direction gave you the answer you didn't want and then find that it was the only answer you could have gotten. Curious? I hope so.

This is a series that must be read in order. You need that order to get to know all the characters in the book. Not everyone gets an HEA but then there was no way a mythic journey could grant all HEAs in a story. Some sacrifices were made and some were taken. You also find unexpected twists that you didn't know you wanted until it happened. I loved the romantic twists in the end and it just felt right even though it took you (and the characters) by surprise. This is one dream that you weren't sure you wanted it to end even though you know how you wanted it to end.

Will Patton also does an exceptional job voicing all the characters and setting the tone of the story. I really enjoyed listening to him tell this tale. This was a good story on audio.

I give this last installment 4 stars. Despite what I said above I would have liked a bit more coherence in some of the aspects of the story. I did like the dream-like state of the characters world, but they also had to function somewhat in ours and that is where I would have liked it to come together a bit better. However, this really is a small niggle and one series I do think ended well. I highly recommend it to those that enjoy YA stories of mythic proportions.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Arts and Crafts Corner: Halloween Wreath!


Halloween!

I decided to make a wreath for my mom for Halloween. I had a old wreath I didn't like what I did and just adding various things to it. Some of it I had, some of it came from the dollar store (most of it actually), some was machine embroidery (the signs), and the main ribbon on the wreath I did buy at a discount (LOVE sales and coupons). It actually ended up costing very little but then again perhaps it looks that way. :) It is a hodgepodge of various elements although the theme is the same. 

Okay, I know the lighting is bad, but it was the best I could get at the moment. As of writing the post, my mom has yet to put it up. We've had a lot of fires surrounding us which often brings up the weather so she didn't want to get it dirty. Um... it goes outside mom... it's gonna get dirty! LOL

Here are some close ups I did:
I do hope this makes some of it clearer. All signs were machine embroidered and the Trick or Treat sign is done in glow in the dark thread. The Trick or Treat disappears and all you are left with is the spider webs and spiders. I couldn't get a good photo of it. The skeleton hands are salad tongs I got at the dollar store and the cauldron's bubbles are clear beads I glued to it and the potion inside is glow in the dark paint. :) 

Again I'm sorry for the bad fuzzy pics, but I didn't have a chance to get the pics taken when it was outside. :)

So, have you any crafty Halloween things done this year?

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Standalone
272 p.
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Published: 10/25/16
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul. 
No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.
My thoughts:

This one sounded perfect for the season. And it is also from a prospective we rarely get in YA. This one travels from contemporary Japan and 19th c. Japan. This also has the bisexual aspect that factors in a big way here as it becomes Reiko, our main character, primary reason and justification in what she does in the story. I think the cultural aspects and also the bisexual aspect of the story were handled well and with some sensitivity.

As much as I loved the setting and background of our main character, I didn't really like her until the end. Granted you really weren't supposed to but instead of feeling her rage, she felt like a spoiled brat that railed against perceived wrongs done to her. I don't know if she was really justified in her feelings since I couldn't get beyond her idea of vengeance.

The story does involve a spirit trying to take over Reiko in the present trying to wreck havoc on all those surrounding her. She also travels back into this spirit's time period and finds someone not unlike her who ends up trying to relive her bloody vengeance. At one point neither Reiko or the reader knows where one ends and the other begins and this is where she is forced to either complete the spirit's mission or find it within herself to find herself and who she wants to be in life. What I found frustrating with this part is that she knew it was history, talked about going to find out what happened and then never followed through. I so wanted to shake her at times and couldn't wait for her to wise up and figure things out like you already knew she... well... knew!

The ending was a bit too easy and a bit quick for the buildup but it was complete. She even looked at her other relationships and figured out where she fit in the most important ones. We also finally find out what she really did in her relationship that started her on this path.

I give this book 3 stars. I like the worldbuilding and the aspects of the characters. While I had problems with Reiko's character, she did grow and I did like that aspect. Things were too easily wrapped up but were complete. I think this ends up evening out the book and is a good book for the October season.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rendezvous with Yesterday by Dianne Duvall

Series: The Gifted Ones #2
Offshoot series from: Immortal Guardians
406 p.
Published: 10/17/16
Source: From author for review
On sale as of this writing: $4.99 ebook
Modern-day bounty hunter Bethany Bennett helps her brother track two fugitives to a forest outside of Houston, Texas. But what should have been a routine apprehension of two bail skippers spirals out of control and ends in violence. After Beth and her brother are both seriously injured, a mysterious figure suddenly looms over her. And, when the smoke clears, Beth finds herself not only in another place, but in another time. 
As Lord Robert, Earl of Fosterly, attempts to identify and track down the nameless enemy who has been plaguing his lands and people with violence, the most peculiar woman stumbles into his path. Small, vulnerable, yet possessed of a bold, fiery spirit and wicked sense of humor, she persists in dubbing Robert and his men members of something called a medieval reenactment group . . . until she sees his castle and labels herself mad. It seems bounty hunter Bethany Bennett has come to him from the future, bringing with her laughter and chaos, swiftly winning the hearts of his people and inspiring within him a love he thought he would never experience again. But when Robert discovers a way for her to return to her time, will the love they share be enough to keep them together?
My thoughts:

I don't know what it is about time travel, but I usually find those kind of stories enjoyable even if they aren't successful. However, this one is quite successful and had me smiling quite a bit while reading it.

Bethany finds herself thrust backward in time to meet the Earl of Fosterly, Robert who we met in the last book. I really liked Robert so I was happy to get his story. Plus, the man is quite swoony! He is a gentleman to Bethany in every way and also very honest and forthcoming. I really enjoyed his character even more in this book. He is a hero to his people and is also a good leader who cares deeply about everything he does. He strives to keep his lands safe and despite the medieval upbringing he is accommodating to the independent strange lass who comes across his path. Yea, you can safely say I really loved this character. :) Even those who love a bad boy will enjoy this character as he is fierce in protecting those he loves and his people.

Bethany is no shrinking violet, but she is quite innocent in much of life experiences. She has had to endure a few things in life that had made her grow up and she seems fearless. She does get scared quite often but she doesn't let it stop her and there is such strength in forging ahead despite being thrust into a world so foreign to her. Her strength feels real and also feels like someone learning about life in general. She is such a likable character and both feel right together in their romance.

The sexy scenes are quite balanced. In that I mean that they are quite hot but do not overwhelm the story. My favorite parts are actually shocking everyone by Beth hugging Robert and kissing him in public in a time where that wasn't allowed, even with married people. Robert's response to this unusual behavior was perfect and made me swoon a bit more. They were such a good couple together.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I really loved the romance within this one and it also held quite a bit of humor. You will smile, swoon and have a lot of fun with this addition to the series. The time travel was handled quite well and there is a scene that was cut added to the addendum at the end. I suggest you read that and if you didn't already want to read the Immortal Guardians, you will after that excerpt. I understand why it was cut, but it makes such a good case to read the other series. And speaking of which... you do not have to read that series to enjoy this one, but I do highly suggest you do for your own reading enjoyment. :D

Bloggy Note: I was a mention in the book! Whee! This is from my review of the first book, A Sorceress of His Own (review linked) which I did on audio and loved.


ALSO, currently there is a giveaway going on with the release of the book. You can access the blog post below to enter to win various prizes. Do check it out. Excerpts on the page as well. You can also access it from the left sidebar where I keep notices of all giveaways on this blog.

Click on above pic to go to post for excerpt and giveaway!
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Go HERE to go to the release day blast of Rendezvous with Yesterday by Dianne Duvall w/giveaway!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Dispatcher by John Scalzi


Novella
Narrated: Zachary Quinto
2 hrs. 19 min.
Unabridged
Publisher: Audible Studios
Published: 10/4/16
Source: tbr pile (free until Nov. 2, 16)
One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher - a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.

It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late...before not even a Dispatcher can save him.
My thoughts:

This is a quick listen and I was curious since Zachary Quinto narrated it. He did a superb job of voicing the characters and his smooth voice seemed to lend an edge to the telling. It almost felt like a bit of a suspense novel as well.

In this short the world is firmly developed. In fact the world building really seemed to be the main factor in the story. Why are people who are murdered coming back? How? What is the timeline for the reset? Most of these things are answered and others (like why and how) are left to your imagination, but all feels plausible in this world. Plus it makes sense that the first things humans would do with what seems like a miracle... monetize it and make it a job. That is the dispatcher. They make sure people survive in circumstances and are given a second chance to get things right. It also lends itself to exploitation and an underground which has developed within this type of "job".

The characters are interesting but I didn't really connect with them. It is understandable since this, to me, is not a character book but really an exploration of a mystery and the world it inhabits. That part of the story is fully told and I was left satisfied after 2+ hours of this novella. I give this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to those that enjoy a different kind of world and a good sic-fi story.



Bloggy Freebie Note: This audio novella is free until Nov. 2 so get yours free now! A good way to try this one and see if this sci-fi is for you. :) Go HERE to get the audio (that is not an affiliate link).

Monday, October 17, 2016

Release Day Blast with Giveaway: Rendezvous With Yesterday by Dianne Duvall

The much-anticipated sequel to Dianne Duvall's A Sorceress of His Own is here! Get the newest Gifted Ones novel (a prequel to the best-selling Immortal Guardians series) at all major e-retailers today! 

9fd8f-about2bthe2bbook2b252812529
rwy_book_coverRENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY
The Gifted Ones Book 2
By Dianne Duvall
Publishing Date: October 17, 2016
Special Pre-Order Discounted Price—$4.99
Modern-day bounty hunter Bethany Bennett helps her brother track two fugitives to a forest outside of Houston, Texas. But what should have been a routine apprehension of two bail skippers spirals out of control and ends in violence. After Beth and her brother are both seriously injured, a mysterious figure suddenly looms over her. And, when the smoke clears, Beth finds herself not only in another place, but in another time.   As Lord Robert, Earl of Fosterly, attempts to identify and track down the nameless enemy who has been plaguing his lands and people with violence, the most peculiar woman stumbles into his path. Small, vulnerable, yet possessed of a bold, fiery spirit and wicked sense of humor, she persists in dubbing Robert and his men members of something called a medieval reenactment group . . . until she sees his castle and labels herself mad. It seems bounty hunter Bethany Bennett has come to him from the future, bringing with her laughter and chaos, swiftly winning the hearts of his people and inspiring within him a love he thought he would never experience again. But when Robert discovers a way for her to return to her time, will the love they share be enough to keep them together?
 3ba89-add-to-goodreads-button

Now Available!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Review and Giveaway: Edgar Allan Poe Adult Coloring Book by Odessa Begay

Genre: adult coloring book
96 p.
Published: 9/6/16
Publisher: Lark Crafts
Source: From publisher for review
Dive into the macabre, mysterious world of Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling tales with popular coloring book artist Odessa Begay (Little Birds). Inspired by Poe’s beloved stories, Begay has created images that reference settings, motifs, and details that fans will recognize.

Poe Coloring Book



My thoughts:

I have to admit, I've not been a huge fan of the adult coloring books. I don't hate them, but have not really been inspired to color them. I'd rather make my own pictures to color. However, I'm a huge fan of illustrations so it wouldn't be unusual to find me looking through one of these kinds of books.

Halloween approaches and I don't think it is just for the kiddies anymore (or was it ever "just"?). To me, Poe is the perfect poet and author for this season so you know I had to have this one. I also wanted to see how she interpreted the snippets of stories we get authored by Poe. The most famous of his poems and stories: "The Telltale Heart", "The Pit and Pendulum" and "The Raven" is included but also "The Cask of Amontillado", "Ligeia", "The Gold Bug", "The Fall of the House of Usher" and many more. I enjoyed seeing her macabre interpretations of the subject matter and I found her illustrations quite creative and have a sense of dynamic feel to the pictures. It is one you can just sit and look at if you wish.

Here are some examples from the publisher (click to enlarge):


I not sure how to exactly rate this one, but if it is for creativity and execution, I'll give it a 5. I guess the rest would be up to you and how you wish to complete the picture. I think with this subject matter, I'd say color outside the lines. I think Poe did in his own way. :D


The publisher is letting me giveaway one book to a lucky person with a snail mail addy from the US or Canada. Just fill out the form below to enter. Good luck!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

On My Wishlist; The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
464 p.
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published: March 7, 17
From the multi-award-winning author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe comes a gorgeous new story about love, identity, and families lost and found.

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican-American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he? This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph
I know I rarely have contemporary YA on my wishlist, but I could NOT resist that title! Perhaps this is the title of my life. LOL Oh and plus this one is diverse and we need more of that!

So, what is on your wishlist this week... or what is the title of your life? :D

Monday, October 10, 2016

Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway: Rendezvous with Yesterday by Dianne Duvall

We're so excited to share with you the much-anticipated sequel to Dianne Duvall's A Sorceress of His Own! Rendezvous with Yesterday is newest Gifted Ones novel (a prequel to the best-selling Immortal Guardians series) and is available October 17th, 2016 at all major e-retailers! Find out more about this fall must-read below!  

9fd8f-about2bthe2bbook2b252812529
rwy_book_coverRENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY
The Gifted Ones Book 2
By Dianne Duvall
Publishing Date: October 17, 2016
Special Pre-Order Discounted Price—$4.99
Modern-day bounty hunter Bethany Bennett helps her brother track two fugitives to a forest outside of Houston, Texas. But what should have been a routine apprehension of two bail skippers spirals out of control and ends in violence. After Beth and her brother are both seriously injured, a mysterious figure suddenly looms over her. And, when the smoke clears, Beth finds herself not only in another place, but in another time.   
As Lord Robert, Earl of Fosterly, attempts to identify and track down the nameless enemy who has been plaguing his lands and people with violence, the most peculiar woman stumbles into his path. Small, vulnerable, yet possessed of a bold, fiery spirit and wicked sense of humor, she persists in dubbing Robert and his men members of something called a medieval reenactment group . . . until she sees his castle and labels herself mad. It seems bounty hunter Bethany Bennett has come to him from the future, bringing with her laughter and chaos, swiftly winning the hearts of his people and inspiring within him a love he thought he would never experience again. But when Robert discovers a way for her to return to her time, will the love they share be enough to keep them together?
 3ba89-add-to-goodreads-button

Order your copy today!
Kindle Kobo Nook  | Amazon UK Amazon Canada | Audiobook on Amazon

Excerpt


Robert learned something new about her then.  When Bethany decided to place her trust in someone, she gave her full trust.

After placing her twenty-two on the ground a few feet from the water’s edge, she proceeded to disrobe without even asking him to give her his back.  She discarded her boots and odd, thick, ankle-high white hose first.  Then she parted her long-sleeved tunic down the middle and shrugged out of it.

He stepped forward and extended one hand.

A question in her gaze, Bethany handed him the jacket, he thought she called it.

“I thought to wash it for you whilst you bathe.”

Her eyes narrowed.  “Are you sure you’re real?”

“I do not understand.”

Shaking her head, she lowered her hands to the sides of her odd vest.  “You’re too good to be true, Robert.  First you say you would give your life to protect me.”  Rrrrip.  “Then you kneel in icy water and wash my hair.”  Rrrrip.  “And now you’re offering to wash my filthy clothes for me.”  RrrripRrrrip.  She lifted the vest over her head.  “No man is that nice.”  Tossing it aside, she reached for her belt.  A few nimble pulls and it joined her vest at her feet.

Robert stood rooted to the spot, his mouth dry, breath quickening, as she tucked her fingers beneath the hem of her tiny sleeveless tunic, then dragged it up and over her head.  

Heat seared him, racing through his veins and pooling in his groin.

Was that a bra?  Those two tiny scraps of sleek black fabric that cupped her full breasts the way his hands itched to, barely covering the pale pink crests and held in place by the thin black straps whose purpose had eluded him earlier?  More plump, pale flesh than he had anticipated rose above the edges, the shadowed valley between them drawing his hungry gaze.

Despite the fact that almost every inch of her skin was coated with dried blood, Robert found himself consumed with lust the likes of which he had not experienced in years.

“Mayhap I am not as honorable as you think I am,” he admitted hoarsely.

Unconcerned, she handed him the sleeveless tunic, then started unfastening the front of her breeches.

“Mayhap I only offered to wash your garments in hopes of distracting myself from”—his gaze returned to her breasts—“other things.”

Her eyes met his, then slid away.  “Oh.”  He thought her cheeks darkened a bit.  “Well, just pretend we’re at the beach and this is a bathing suit,” she mumbled, tucking her thumbs in the waistband of her breeches.

“You make a habit of walking along the shore garbed so— By the saints!” he practically bellowed.

Bethany jumped.  “What?”  Eyes wide with alarm, she scanned their surroundings.

Try though he might, Robert could not look away.  He knew he should, but he could not. Nor could he pick his jaw up from where it had landed on the ground.  All he could do was stand and stare and go up in flames.

Bethany’s breeches now lay bunched around her ankles, leaving her long, slender legs and almost everything else bare.  The only thing that shielded her… modesty… was a V-shaped piece of shiny black material that formed a triangle at the juncture of her thighs and narrowed to two thin strips that disappeared over her hips.

“Robert?”

For a moment, he thought he would not succeed in dragging his gaze away.  

How those black scraps tempted him, beckoning him to abandon all honor and let his hands and mouth go exploring.

“Robert?  You’re starting to make me a little nervous.”

He imagined so, slavering over her the way he was, like a wolf wishing to dine on a ewe.  

“Not to mention self-conscious,” she added.

At last, he managed to close his mouth.  Clearing his throat, he tried to remember what he had been saying.  “You wander along the shores garbed so sparsely?”

She glanced down and stepped out of the breeches.  “Actually, no.  I sunburn too easily.  But I’ve seen women at the beach who wore less.”

“Less than that?” he asked incredulously.

Her brow crinkled slightly.  “Aye.  Lots of times.  Especially during spring break.”

He didn’t know what spring break was, but surely she jested.

“Are you all right?” she asked, eyeing him dubiously.

All right?  Nay, he was not all right.  He trembled with need.  He was on fire.  He was a breath away from losing both his control and his sanity.  And she seemed completely oblivious to the effect her near nudity had on him.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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And don’t miss the book that started it all!
A Sorceress of His Own (The Gifted Ones, #1) - http://amzn.to/2azImN6

    792d5-about2bthe2bauthor
6ade4-authorpic_dianneduvallDianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series and The Gifted Ones series. Her books have twice been nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and "wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews).   Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she has created in her books.   For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit www.DianneDuvall.com.  You can also find Dianne online . . .  
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsū YouTube Pinterest | Goodreads | Google Plus
Giveaway Details:
1st Prize— $50 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize— $20 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize— Signed copies of A Sorceress of His Own and Shadows Strike + swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pre-Order Giveaway: 

Rendezvous With Yesterday Pre-Order Giveaway for those that will or have already pre-ordered!
To celebrate the upcoming release and to thank readers who pre-order Rendezvous With Yesterday, Dianne is launching a big Pre-Order Giveaway with multiple prizes, including Amazon Gift Cards, tote bags, signed books, coffee mugs, and more. You can learn more on her website — www.DianneDuvall.com — or fill out the form below to enter to win:


Yes, you can enter both if you pre-order! WHEE!!
Brought to you by Author’s Taproom


Friday, October 7, 2016

Craft Corner: Denim Key Fobs


Denim! Key fobs! :) 

First ones that I've made and I thought I'd try it in denim before I moved onto vinyl which most of these are usually stitched. All scrap denim and all of these are done in the hoop on an embroidery machine.


I did both of these for my parents. I'm guessing you can tell which one I made for which. LOL Both these designs are by Designs by Little Bee and the embroidery file can be purchased at her Etsy store (her name is Melissa too... Bees unite! LOL)


I did this one for me from another designer. This is the front and back. I stitched the malamute side first and then tried to match it up to the other side when the final stitch put both sides together. Not quite matched up but not horrible either. :) My pups approve. 

I'm having fun creating these and I do like the denim look. So do you all use key fobs? Do you like the denim?

So, what crafty thing have you been doing lately?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On My Wishlist: Spectacle by Rachel Vincent


Spectacle
by Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #2
Publisher: Mira
Published: May 30, 17
In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind… 
When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.
Loved the first book so I want this one! May 2017???? Ugh. :)

So what is on your wishlist this week?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dysautonomia Awareness Month

I actually debated about talking about this. I actually almost never really talk about this unless I have to talk about it. I have lived with this my whole life and my extended family really has only recently become aware of it (I told you I don't talk about it). It was something that I could easily brush off to being no big deal. It was just something I learned to deal with and really was more of an annoyance rather than something that affected me to the point I had to be hospitalized. Granted it has affected me in a greater way now, but I still feel that I have been very lucky compared to some. 

My reason for talking about it now is that I've talked to people who have the same diagnosis and I saw that a few of them have problems that affect them in a great way. Some have been hospitalized or have had to find ways to accommodate their disability. One of the biggest problems are people around them that don't understand or even doctors who are not aware of these problems. Heard of the woman who was shamed for using a handicapped space where someone sent them a note on their car? At least one of those cases was a dysautonomia patient. So, I thought I'd shed some light on it and if you know someone who has a form of this (or yourself) you can find out how to be more educated. I'm just going over the fine points.

What is dysautonomia?
According to Dysautonomia International it is:
From Dysautonomia International. Click to enlarge.
Dysautonomia is an umbrella term used to describe several different medical conditions that cause a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System. The Autonomic Nervous System controls the "automatic" functions of the body that we do not consciously think about, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, dilation and constriction of the pupils of the eye, kidney function, and temperature control. People living with various forms of dysautonomia have trouble regulating these systems, which can result in lightheadedness, fainting, unstable blood pressure, abnormal heart rates, malnutrition, and in severe cases, death. 
Dysautonomia is not rare. Over 70 million people worldwide live with various forms of dysautonomia. People of any age, gender or race can be impacted. There is no cure for any form of dysautonomia at this time, but Dysautonomia International is funding research to develop better treatments, and hopefully someday a cure for each form of dysautonomia. Despite the high prevalence of dysautonomia, most patients take years to get diagnosed due to a lack of awareness amongst the public and within the medical profession.
My form is called POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). It is (according to Dysautonomia International:
[It is] estimated to impact 1 out of 100 teenagers and, including adult patients, a total of 1,00,000 to 3,000,000 Americans. POTS can cause lightheadness, fainting, tachycardia, chest pains, shortness of breath, GI upset, shaking, exercise intolerance, temperature sensitivity and more. While POTS predominantly impacts young women who look healthy on the outside, researchers compare the disability seen in POTS to the disability seen in conditions like COPD and congestive heart failure. 
I was diagnosed a million years ago before it was referenced as POTS. In fact POTS has only been recently coined and my pediatrician called it something else which I don't remember (it has recently been reaffirmed as POTS so I know it was the same thing by talking to my docs) but I did know it was a form of dysautonomia. I do remember him saying that as long as I don't faint then don't worry about it. He should have been more specific since I didn't realize at the time that near fainting (near syncope) should have also been seen. *giggle snort* I have had a few of those and know how to avoid fainting so far (I recognize the signs early and haven't had an episode in quite a while). Listing few symptoms I get often have been tachycardia, shortness of breath, dizziness, temperature sensitivity, shaking, sudden weakness, blood pressure anomalies and exercise intolerance and I'm sure a few more I forget to mention. 


From The Mighty: 21 People Describe what POTS Feels Like
This is such a good general video on dysautonomia



Here are some more links to find out more:

Dysautonomia International
Dysautonomia International Facebook Page
10 Facts about POTS
Donate to Dysautonomia International (for education, research, and medical training)

I hope this sheds some light on dysautonomia and POTS in general. I just wanted to introduce this syndrome to those that don't know about it at all and gain more knowledge about this disorder. It is one of those problems that isn't easily seen and has a wide variation of how it affects a person. If you know someone who has it, you suspect it, or if you know a doctor who needs educating, the links above are great resources to find out about the various forms of dysautonomia. Thanks for reading!