Posts Tagged ‘guest post’

Friday Fun! (Blogger and Writer News, Ahoy!)

October 12, 2012 2 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

Just a couple of quick blogger and writer related updates for you all this week.

First off in very exciting blogger news, you all may remember me telling you about the new initiative called Bookstore Book Blogger Connection, which is all about connecting online reviewers and reviews with brick and mortar bookstores.  Welp. I popped on over there to check in on how things are going and lo and behold there were some photos from a bookstore showing off their new displays with book blogger quotes, and my recommendation for Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner was one of the two shown off!

Pile of books with a recommendation placard.

Not that this isn’t cool enough already, but what moved it up a level in the squee factor is that this is from a bookstore in the Netherlands! The American Book Center to be exact.  And they look pretty damn cool.  There’s something that’s just extra-exciting about being part of a bookstore that isn’t even in my country.  So thanks, guys, for sending the shots to the Bookstore Book Blogger Connection website. You gave this blogger warm glowy feelings, and I do hope the display helped introduce more readers to the awesomeness that is John Brunner’s writing.

In writerly news, I got to participate in Ang’s blogoversary over on Eastern Sunset Reads.  She gave Waiting For Daybreak her top rating of four paws (out of a possible four), saying, “I was expecting Waiting for Daybreak to be a book mostly about zombies and fighting them, but what I found was more a journey into a survivor’s psyche. I don’t know what was scarier, the zombies or being in Frieda’s mind.”

I also was able to contribute a guest post to her blogoversary where I talked about her theme for the month on where a love of reading came from for me.  My guest post is quite personal, and I really enjoyed writing it.  Big thanks to Ang for inviting me to be part of her special month!

Although my blog tour is not still going on, book bloggers are always welcome to request review copies of both my novel and my novella.  I appreciate any and all signal boosts. 🙂

That’s it for the news for this week!  I hope you all have completely awesome weekends. *waves*

Friday Fun! (New Book Blogger/Bookstore Opportunity and Blog Tour Updates)

August 10, 2012 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

This was honestly a very long week for me.  Work has been very busy, and I had a couple of stressful personal situations come up.  No worries though. All is well now. 🙂

*knock on wood*

I’m glad I planned ahead and took a vacation day this week.  I went for a very long walk along the Charles just taking in nature and the sounds of summer around me.  Then I went home and baked muffins. By wisely taking downtime moments like this throughout the week, my stress levels weren’t quite so bad.

In any case, today I just want to let my fellow book bloggers know of a new opportunity.  Little Red Reviewer and her friend Darkcargo have taken it upon themselves to start an awesome project entitled Bookstore Bookblogger Connection.  This is entirely a labor of love in which they are attempting to match up book blogger reviews (currently of just scifi and fantasy) to bookstores to be add to their displays.  It’s good publicity for the book bloggers, and a neat new way for bookstores to find books to recommend.  See Little Red Reviewer’s announcement post here, and the official Bookstore Bookblogger Connection website here.

Finally the weekly update for the Waiting For Daybreak blog tour!  This week was slightly busier.

Ellie Hall graciously hosted a guest post in which I explain how the tagline for the tour, “What is normal?” relates to the book.

Eva’s Sanctuary interviewed me. Among other things, you can hear many more details about my busy medical librarian job.

Eva’s Sanctuary also offered a review, stating, “This is a unique zombie tale, but well worth the read. I think you will be quite surprised.”

Last but not least, today Lily Element posted a review, suggesting it to readers, “if you want something different and enjoy zombie books.”

That’s it for this week. Happy weekends all!

Friday Fun! (Into the Woods, Blog Tour Updates)

August 4, 2012 3 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

No, I have not lost my mind. I know today is Saturday.  Yesterday was just too busy to get a Friday Fun post up!

Right after work, I went to MIT where I was meeting a long-time friend (and her new significant other) for dinner followed by a local production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.  I’d seen the recorded Broadway version, but never seen it live.  I was quite excited.

We had Mexican food for dinner (chips and guac ftw) then settled in for the play.  The local folks did quite a good job, showing lots of enthusiasm.  In particular, the women playing the Baker’s Wife and the Witch had superb singing abilities.  The set design was also creative and highly functional.  Most of the set changes from homes to the woods didn’t take long at all.  I also, as always, enjoyed “Hello Little Girl.”  Yes, I know it’s deliciously creepy, that’s the point, eh?

It was so nice to get out to see a show!  I hadn’t in a long time.  I also hadn’t seen my friend in forever, so it was great to catch up.

This was a quieter week in the Waiting For Daybreak blog tour, but still plenty of fun!

Gizmo’s Book Reviews interviewed me.  Check that out to see what celebrity I’d be most distracted by if s/he walked into a restaurant I was in.

Cynthia Shepp hosted a guest post in which I talked about why I chose Boston as a setting.  She also hosted a giveaway, which is now closed. Congrats to the winner!

That’s it!  As I said, a quieter week, but still containing lots of variety.  Both of these ladies were also an entire pleasure to work with.

In other writing/publishing news, I had a short story accepted this week!  It will be out in September.  Check out my publications page for more details.

Happy weekends!

Guest Book Review: The Works of Jeff Shaara

Welcome to the second entry in the guest reviews series I’m hosting.  Please give your warmest attention to my guest, Jim Peterson!

Meet the Guest:
My name is Jim Peterson, and I’m the Technology Coordinator for the Goodnight Memorial Library in Franklin, KY. I wear two big hats here – both Technical Services Librarian & IT department. I manage the library’s website, fix, build, break (sometimes) and maintain all the computers, servers & network devices. I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen most days. In my down time, I like to do vegetable gardening, landscaping, camp, hunt, fish – you know, all those good ole boy activities – as well as do customization work on my vehicles.

Battle scene on a book cover.Summary:
The works of Jeff Shaara are of historical fiction. What is unique about his books is that they are a chronological account of important periods in American history, as seen through the eyes of those who lived them. Characters are developed from much research, using personal letters, letters from loved ones, diary entries and written records from the periods. The Shaara works give you a true sense of what this country’s forefathers were thinking and feeling, absorbing you into the story as though you were standing right beside them. You hear the cracks of the rifles, the blasts of the canons, and the fiery, passionate rhetoric.

I am going to write about the works of Jeff Shaara, son of Michael Shaara. I feel that I can’t do the author justice without giving a little background on his father, who only published one book that was widely recognized. Michael’s book, The Killer Angels, was rejected by the first 15 publishers who saw the manuscript. It was eventually published in 1973 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975. Michael suffered a fatal heart attack in 1988 and never saw the legacy of his work come full circle. Some 19 years after it was published, the film Gettysburg (1993) was based on Killer Angels, and propelled the book to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List. Son Jeff rediscovered the manuscript of a baseball story, For Love of the Game, which was released in 1999 as a major motion picture starring Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston.

Jeff Shaara picked up the mantle of his father, Michael Shaara, in turning out great historical fiction after his father passed away in 1988. Jeff continued the story of the Civil War in writing Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure, both of which were well-received with Gods and Generals winning the 1996 ALA William Young Boyd Award and being used as the basis for the motion picture Gods and Generals.

Jeff has also gone back in time, starting with the American Revolution and chronicling the travels and events surrounding Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, John Hancock, and all the founding fathers of our country. In Rise to Rebellion and The Glorious Cause, you feel the suffering of the men at Valley Forge, and the frustration of George Washington as he tries to assemble and lead an army. You learn that Benjamin Franklin was quite eccentric, even by today’s standards. You feel the arrogance of the British through the eyes of Generals Gage and Cornwallis, as well as the weight of the defeats on both sides.

Jeff Shaara has also remembered to re-educate us on the wars that our own history books touch on only slightly. In Gone for Soldiers, we learn of the dominance of Winfield Scott and the rise of soldiers Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Jackson. We feel the Mexican heat as the soldiers battle it out against the best that the dictator Santa Anna has.

In all, Jeff Shaara has written nine New York Times Bestsellers. He has written To The Last Man, a novel of the First World war centering around John Pershing, the Red Baron and the Lafayette Escadrille, the wing of American fighter pilots who rebel against the President’s order to stay out of the war and help France fight off the Germans. This was another ALA Boyd Award winner as well.

So far, Shaara has written three novels on the Second World War, following Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton, Erwin Rommel, Omar Bradley and several others. They are just as detailed, just as engrossing, and just as not-put-down-able as the first one, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

If you love historical fiction and American history, these books should definitely be on your must-read list.

5 out of 5 stars, every one!

Jeff Shaara’s website and The Goodnight Memorial Library

Check out
Jim on Twitter, Facebook, and his blog!

Thanks to Jim for participating!  If you’re a librarian and would like to take part, please send me an email at opinionsofawolf (at) gmail (dot) com.

Guest Book Review: Chalice by Robin McKinley

March 29, 2010 4 comments

Please give a warm welcome to my first guest book review participant, Chellie!

Meet the Guest!
My name is Michelle Oleson, and I’m currently the Web/Digital Services Librarian at an academic library.  During a normal day, I coax printers into working properly, manage the library’s website content, help students find articles/books/staplers, and read a lot of blogs/tweetage.  Outside work, I travel near and far, and enjoy keeping up my mediocre skills at playing flute, Latin, and online gaming.

Robin McKinley’s short novel Chalice follows McKinley’s other novels on the Beauty and the Beast theme.  Mirasol, a solitary twenty-something, bee-keeping enthusiast, finds herself out her depth as the newly appointed Chalice of her demesne (feudal styled village).  The previous Master and Chalice both died under tragic and mysterious circumstances leaving the Willowlands demesne in both political and spiritual chaos.  Mirasol must find a balance in her old and new life, in addition to solving the mystery of the Old Master and Chalice’s demise if she’s to successfully serve the new Master: an enigma in and of himself.

Much of this short novel is devoted to describing an overly complex feudal system with a Druid-esque relationship to land.  The story itself could have been concluded inside of 30 pages.

Mirasol leads the narration and all of the movement within the story.  While she represents a strong female character (like any Belle), she also lets herself be caught up in forces deemed beyond her control.  Fans of Hermione Granger will love her proclivity to spend most days holed away in the library trying to teach herself all the laws and mysticism of being the Chalice.

Mirasol spends most of her internal dialogue puzzling over the new Master.  Like any good feudal system, the old Master died leaving an elder son and a younger son.  The elder son, being a spoiled brat drunk with power, sends his brother off never to be heard from again.  Lucky for the demesne, the older brother manages to get himself killed before completely destroying his people.  The leaders of the village have a tough choice to make: bring in an outsider to rule or try to restore the younger brother.

The younger brother has been living his life as a monk in service to Fire Elementals.  He returns to lead his people as something of a Fire Element himself.  His first act as Master is to burn Chalice/Mirasol to the bone by barely touching her.

Then nothing happens for a long time while Mirasol goes to the library, thinks about how awesome her bees and honey are, how neat being a Chalice is, and wouldn’t the new Master be just dreamy if he was anything at all resembling human.  She has two or three conversations with the Master concerning how the land is holding up under all the strain of political upheaval.  Neither of them thinks they’re doing a very good job, but hey, at least we’re not getting drunk and dying horribly in a fire…

At some point the higher ups of the realm decide having a Fire Elemental as Master of a demesne is a Bad Plan.  These interlopers are only Bad Guys for the sake of moving the story forward.  Mirasol, however, comes up with a pretty spectacular plan.  The interlopers want to put their own guy on the throne and remove the current Master so he can go back to being a Fire Elemental.  Mirasol is already showing signs of being completely smitten with the new Master and feels that the land/people couldn’t survive another change.

McKinley takes Mirasol on a tour of the village blessing every inch and corner of Willowlands with her cup o’ honey.  Having successfully done this, she returns to watch the Fire Elemental Master duel it out with swords with the would-be Master.  The new guy is obviously a puppet, and wouldn’t even be a threat if the current Master was more corporeal.  Cue Fairy Tale Ending: Mirasol has her awesome bees attack the interloper in the middle of the duel.  Somehow this is not seen as cheating. All of her bees die; it’s very sad.  But from the bodies of thousands of bees, arises the Master returned in the flesh of his enemy.  The fallen man lies on the ground burnt to a crisp.

Quick resolution: Mirasol and the Master wed, as it’s obviously the only sensical thing to do.

I loved the fairy tale elements of this story.  I think the world could have been more simply explained, but maybe it’s just McKinley’s style to announce something significant, spend pages explicating the history of these circumstances, to return to the conversation once you’re ready to scream Get On With the Story Already.

I’m looking forward to reading McKinley’s Sunshine book, as I’ve heard it’s highly recommended.  I would recommend Chalice to fans of overly complex high fantasy, such as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s books.

3 out of 5 stars

This book was a gift.

Check out
Chellie on twitter and her blog!