Tag Archives: books

Book Review: The Ruby Blade

It’s time! You can now pick up your very own copy of The Ruby Blade!

The Blurb

Raj once swore he’d pay any price to recover the sword he’d first carried over a thousand years ago, but that was before he knew it might cost him Eleanor’s love. 

Eleanor continues to battle the enemies who would see the gateways closed forever, but no treacherous elves or double-dealing shifters are quite as dangerous as the seductive vampire Raj.

The chill that threatens to send her dragon half into hibernation does nothing to bank the fires of her desire for Raj—but Florence’s cryptic warning is keeping her from succumbing to his charms. Raj is not what he seems and he is hiding something far darker than Eleanor ever imagined.

When the truth is revealed will she be able to forgive him or will it kill her first?

The Cover

The Review

Ummm – this is the best book Amy Cissell has ever written. Well, except for the next one. That one’s better, but you have to wait to get your paws on that!

I’m really pleased with how this book turned out, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Bonus(es)

The Cardinal Gate and The Waning Moon are on sale for $0.99 through Friday, so if you haven’t already, you can grab your copies now!

Psssttt….

The Broken World, book 4 in the Eleanor Morgan series, will be released in early spring 2018. Sign up for my newsletter for sneak peeks, cover reveals, and the Raj novella being published in serial. (Link in the sidebar!)

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Book Review: Chapter Book with the Bean

Over the weekend, Alvie Bean declared that he was a big boy and wanted to have his fancy bed flipped over so he could sleep on the top bunk. One of the things we did after flipping the bed is move all the books from the shelf above his bed and fill the shelf with his books. (For the time being, he doesn’t need access to the manga and beer books that had previously filled those shelves.)

I swear the book next to “The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex” is “The Art of the Cocktail.”

After we filled the shelves with Bean’s books – both the ones we read regularly and the ones that have been waiting for him to be old enough/responsible enough, etc. – he started asking questions about some of the books he’d not seen before.

And that’s how, when Sunday night bedtime story came around, we ended up reading “The Little House in the Big Woods.”

I have such fond memories of this series. I devoured it in 2nd & 3rd grade. I was pretty sure that our reading of this book (“It’s a chapter book, Mothah.” [He has taken to calling me “Mother” with a wildly affected accent…]) would be over almost before I got anywhere. There’s a lot of words and not very many pictures.

(I was also a little worried about what I was going to have to censor while reading. I don’t mind reading about butchering and killing bears and using a pig’s bladder as a balloon, but there are some distinctly racist things in The Little House on the Prairie, and I don’t remember if there’s anything like that in LHitBW.)

We read half of Chapter 1 Sunday evening – until it was past Mr. Bean’s bedtime. We finished the chapter last night – because that’s what he decided on again. We’ll see what happens (after tonight, he’s at his dad’s for six nights, so he might forget by then), but he’s into it.

We do a lot of segues to explain hunting, and butchering, and what a bear trap is and why people don’t really use them anymore, and he’s enjoying the story and asking really good questions.

 

We talked about headcheese and pate and how sausage was made, and he’s expressed a desire to have some headcheese at the next available opportunity. I was thrilled (he’s already a connoisseur of paté and fancy cheeses…), especially since I just had headcheese for the first time a couple weeks ago! (His diet is still more limited than I’d like, but so much better than it was a year ago. He’ll eat pasta now, and mashed potatoes, and will usually try just about any vegetable, declare he loves it, and then not eat any more of it.)

Ever since he was born, I’ve looked forward to the day that I could start sharing my favorite books with him. For as much as I don’t want him to grow up too quickly, I also can’t wait for him to experience The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time. And to be there when he reads A Wrinkle in Time or The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Prydain or…

I’m not sure yet if this book will stand up to the test of time (other than the forthcoming racist bits that I’ve not yet decided how to handle), but I do know that this is an amazing experience.

Every parent thinks their kid is something special. And of course, all children are something special. It’s weird, though, looking at someone that I created (with an assist, obviously) and listening to his questions. His vocabulary astounds me sometimes, and he always wants to learn more, more, more. His “whys” are no longer purposeless (I’m sure that toddler whys have purpose…I’m equally sure that purpose is to annoy the fuck out of their parents), but instead looking for actual answers.

If I succeed at one thing while parenting, I hope that one thing is instilling my love of reading in Alvie Bean.

 

Happy 2017!

Yay! 2016 is over! I already feel better!

It’s the beginning of the new year. The year I’ve been looking forward to starting for approximately 367 days.

Celebrating my New Year

I am totally a New Year’s Resolutions type of person. I love the idea of a blank slate, and I usually do pretty well with the annual goals I set for myself.

So what? I’m a Buffy nerd…(let me know if you get it!)

So, without further ado, here are my

2017 Resolutions – aka The Year of Me take Two

  1. Publish two novels
  2. Write two novels
  3. Complete two races
  4. Take two just for fun trips
  5. Volunteer two times
  6. Try two new things
  7. Read two times as many books as I read in 2016 (2017 goal: 185) – one of the ways I’m planning on doing this is taking my PSM’s 2017 Be Better Book Challenge (please note that one of her resolutions is to come visit me, which would, not incidentally, fulfill one of my #40before40 goals!11!!!!!)
  8. Log twice as many exercise hours/month as I logged on average in 2016 (3.5 hours/week OR 182 hours)
  9. Take two minutes each day to be grateful for what I have (it’s #365happydays v2.0)
  10. Brush/floss/moisturize 2x/day (most days) (it’s really the moisturizing I need to work on…and flossing more)

I probably should’ve included “procrastinate half as much,” but I didn’t want to set myself up for failure right off the bat! (Please note that my New Year’s resolution post is going out on the evening of 1/3/17…)

I feel so positive going into this year. I’m going to turn 40, publish a couple books, move in with my boyfriend, hang out with my PSM, get a new job, and get healthier…

Life is pretty fucking good right about now.

 

Cover Reveal: Elizabeth Hunter’s “The Staff and the Blade”

This will come as a shock to no one, but I’m pretty excited about Elizabeth Hunter’s next release.

“The Staff and the Blade” is the newest in her Irin Chronicles, and it steps away from Malachi and Ava and concentrates on Damien and Sari. I’ve been following the development of this story as Elizabeth’s been posting about it on social media, and you guys! I am already buying stock in Kleenex in preparation. I think Ms. Hunter is going to rip my heart out and stomp on it a little.

*sigh*

SB Facebook banner

Synopsis

Warriors. Lovers. Enemies. Legends.

The Staff and the Blade

Damien and Sari. Their union became pivotal in Irin history. But to understand their ending, you must go back to the beginning. A young singer and a hardened warrior meet and mate, but their life is torn apart by violence, betrayal, and grief.

Yet no matter how much pain and anger stain their lives, bonds in the Irin race cannot be abandoned. Damien and Sari will never truly leave each other, because those who are destined cannot be ignored.

The Staff and the Blade is a novel in four parts. It is the fourth book in the Irin Chronicles.

“She hates me as she loves me. Wholly and completely. Sari never does anything by halves.”

Wattpad readers: Read the first novella in The Staff and the Blade: DREAMS in serial format. A brand new chapter will post every Thursday until the final book releases. Please visit: https://www.wattpad.com/user/ElizabethHunter for more information.

Excerpt:

“You’re calling me naive?”

“Yes.” She leaned forward. “You may be older than me, but you’re still the noble Irin warrior of ages past. This world is not black and white. It never has been.”

“You think I don’t know that?”

“You think every scribe has a conscience and a code of honor because you do.”

He looked away from her.

“Not every scribe is noble. Not every Irin wants the Irina back. Not every one of your brothers would sacrifice himself to protect me or any of my sisters.”

“I know I’m no saint. None of us are.”

“No, you’re honorable. And decent. And good.”

“Sari—”

“And I love that about you,” she continued, even as her throat started to close. “I love your honor. I love your decency. But Damien, the world is not like that. It’s a hard, cruel place with countless shades of grey. People are selfish and weak. We do things…” She choked. “We do horrible things because we think it’s the only way to survive.”

Damien turned back to her. “There is nothing you can do that would make me love you less, Sari.”

She gave him a bitter smile. “That’s because you don’t know what I’ve done.”
~
Copyright 2016, Elizabeth Hunter
All rights reserved.

 

See what I mean? ONE EXCERPT AND I’M ALL EMOTIONAL AND CAPSLOCKY!!!!

Dammit.

Anyway. You’re really here for the cover and that thumbnail up there didn’t do it for you, did it. Let’s get on with it. It is so gorgeous. Those shoulders. Those forearms. The tattoos. I am totally judging this book by the cover.

The Staff and the Blade - Ebook Small

 

You know you want it almost as much as I do, don’t you? Well here you go.

Pre-Order Links

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/StBKindle

iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/SBiBooks

B&N: http://tinyurl.com/SBNook

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/SBKobo

SW: http://tinyurl.com/SBSmWords

GR: http://tinyurl.com/SBGoodreads

Wattpad: http://tinyurl.com/EHWattpad

SB_ Facebook Cover graphic-2

40 Before 40 – Update the Second

The first couple months of my fortieth year have been a little on the rough side. I was sick in March, and then I herniated a disc earlier this month, which has really cut into the activities I was planning – the hot hatha, pole dancing, and barre classes.

Because life is constantly in flux, I may do some switching around. I’ve been cleared for pilates but not yoga; walking but not running; and swimming but not pole dancing. (To be fair, I didn’t ask about pole dancing. It just seems like maybe that’s not something this gazelle wants to try while rehabbing a back.)

So I’ll try a pilates class instead of the hot hatha class I was going to do. I’ll walk a 5K in May instead of run one. It’s all about compromise.

I’m sure by now you’re wondering if I got anything done in the last month.

I most certainly did!

I ate a cheese. That’s right – I go for the hard stuff. (heh.)

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

I’m 2/2 in cheeses/month!

I also finished my first award winning book (and then reviewed it!): Evernight.

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I’m very nearly finished with my second, so I should be back on track with that by the end of the week.

One of the more exciting things I got to check off the list in April was meeting friend in the computer Elizabeth Hunter. You may remember Elizabeth from my frequent reviews of her books. We got to meet and hang out a lot while we were both in Vegas for the 2016 RT Booklovers convention. She is just as wonderful IRL as she is via the internets.

2016-04-13 16.45.27

 

The next month will have more books and more cheese and more pie! I also need to make my hard cheese so it can sit in the cheese cave and age gracefully. I’m signed up for my Habitat for Humanity build, but am contemplating pushing that back (ha!) because of my disc problem. I’m going to get my hairs done all purty-like to check that off the list. And it’s possible that going to a concerty show thingie counts for an item on the lists since I almost never go to those types of things. Possibly.

The #40before40 project

Update the first – March 2016

 

BONUS CONTENT!

How am I doing with my 2016 goals, you (almost certainly did not) ask:

Well, the big ones:

 

  1. More sleep – after the four days of no sleep at all in March (you guys! I started hallucinating!), things seem great in comparison. Still not as good as I’d like, but better than they have been.
  2. More writing – Yeah….I need to get my ass in gear here. I have things to do and people to impress.
  3. More movement – stupid sick and messed up back!
  4. More job satisfaction – no comment. 🙂

Mini-goals:

  1. More water – YES! I am a hydrated water monster! (Or something)
  2. More gin – I’ve been doing well here, too. I love the taste of success.
  3. More love – I think this is doing quite well.
  4. More laughter – There have been some decent laughs. I have the best friends, y’all!
  5. More time outdoors with the Bean – We’re two blocks from a park now! And we planted a garden! And my back yard is fenced in (although not kid proof – he loves to leave the back yard and come through the house to freak me out)
  6. More unicorns – I am wearing these RIGHT NOW!  13043390_10154218257939410_1189946415125501668_n
  7. More letting shit go – Still a work in progress
  8. More reading – Not more, per se, but I still read a fair amount.
  9. More cheese – YES! my #40before40 is helping immensely with this
  10. More beer & cribbage nights – I need to work harder on this. I think there’s only been one cribbage night this year so far…slackers!