Random Musings by Frodosco

Giveaway

Official Blog Tour Review of Exo by Steven Gould + Giveaway!

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I really enjoyed Exo, getting to dive back into science fiction was a blast! A big thank you to Jean Book Nerd Tours, Steven Gould, and Tor for giving me an ARC to enjoy, and for letting me be a part of this fabulous blog tour! My stop on the tour is a review and spotlight of the book, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post for your chance to win a copy of Exo for yourself! ^.^

EXO

Synopsis 

Cent can teleport. So can her parents, but they are the only people in the world who can. This is not as great as you might think it would be — sure, you can go shopping in Japan and then have tea in London, but it’s hard to keep a secret like that. And there are people, dangerous people, who work for governments and have guns, who want to make you do just this one thing for them. And when you’re a teenage girl things get even more complicated. High school. Boys. Global climate change, refugees, and genocide. Orbital mechanics.

But Cent isn’t easily daunted, and neither are Davy and Millie, her parents. She’s going to make some changes in the world.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

STEVEN GOULD is the author of Jumper, Wildside, Helm, Blind Waves, Reflex, and Jumper: Griffin’s Story, as well as many short stories. He is the recipient of the Hal Clement Young Adult Award for Science Fiction and has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. Gould lives in New Mexico with his wife, writer Laura J. Mixon, and their two daughters.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK

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My Review

Exo is the book you give to a true science fiction fan just to see their eyes light up. Much of the science fiction that is out there today, at least from what I have encountered, has dramatically decreased the amount of actual science involved, and this is especially true in young adult. It has almost reached the point where sci-fi has turned into fantasy, scary I know. However, Exo is a throwback to a previous era of science fiction writing, glorifying the science that is involved instead of hiding it.

Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut? It’s a common dream for many young children, although with the deterioration of the space program a bit less so in recent times, but if you want to know just about everything involved in that process then Exo is for you. It doesn’t use the typical launch missions, spacecraft, or the like because of Cent’s powers, but there is more than enough realistic space jargon to excite your inner geek.

What makes Exo so great, though, is that it doesn’t overdo the technical aspects, or focus on just that side of the book. There is something in it for everyone! If you like some teen angst you’ll get a decent helping here, or if you prefer some daring rescues or dangerous escapes you can have your cake and eat it too! Also, if you are looking for some more of those cool teleportation displays from the previous books that’s included and even amplified to new levels!

I’ve come to really enjoy the series, especially with Cent (the main character) leading the way. She’s incredibly smart, quick witted, but not full of herself in the slightest, something that must be incredibly difficult when you can teleport all over the world with ease. Cent is also relatable, from her relationship issues (both with friends and her love life) to her squabbles with her parents for more freedom. She’s caring, but refuses to bend to anyone’s will (and I mean anyone!), and has plenty of badass in her when she needs it. Overall, Cent is just a fabulous MC, and a solid role model for YA readers, or any aged readers for that matter. She’ll inspire you.

There aren’t any real criticisms I have when it comes to Exo. The supporting cast is great and you still get the POV of her parents at times, so don’t worry if you miss the voices from the earlier Jumper books. Travelling to new areas in the world isn’t as much of a focus, mostly because SPACE!, but Gould managed to make it so I didn’t miss it, and that’s pretty difficult to do. I’d recommend Exo to any science fiction fan, regardless of age, but for teens and college-age this would be perfect. Thanks as always for reading, and good luck with the giveaway below!

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Enter the Giveaway!

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Off to Oz Giveaway Hop

Off to Oz Giveaway Hop

off to oz

Hooray, I have another giveaway! This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and for it I will be giving away three Amazon gift cards!

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The Winners

1st: Kesley W. – 20$ Amazon Gift Card

2nd: Michelle G. – 10$ Amazon Gift Card

3rd: Becky P. – 5$ Amazon Gift Card


Summer Road Trip Giveaway Hop

Summer Road Trip Giveaway Hop

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So thrilled to be part of the Summer Road Trip Giveaway Hop hosted by the wonderful Starry-Eyed Revue! I know you just want to get to the giveaway so let’s do this thing. I’m giving away a 25$ Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner, just enter the rafflecopter below!

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The Winner Is!

Jessica @ a GREAT read!


Doin’ It Dirty Giveaway!

The Doin’ It Dirty inspired Leigh Wilder Giveaway!

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I am taking part in the Doin’ It Dirty Readathon and I decided to celebrate I would hold a giveaway associated with the author that I will not only be reading works of during the readathon but that made my short auto-buy author list! Who is this amazing writer? None other than Leigh Wilder! I will be giving away her ENTIRE collective works to one lucky winner, all in Kindle format, sound good? I think so! Click here to check out Wilder’s work on Amazon and see all the awesome you’ll be vying for! Make sure to click on the link below to enter the giveaway, which is only open tonight (during the readathon which ends at midnight CST) and good luck!

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The Winner Is!

Shaunesay E.


Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

Freedom to read 2013

Time for another giveaway hop! As promised I am giving away THREE Amazon gift cards, one for 25$, one for 10$ and one for 5$ as my celebration for hitting 250 blog followers. If you win one you will certainly have the freedom to read a book or two! No? Really bad joke? Oh well. Without further ado, the giveaway!

Just follow me in some way (Email, Networked Blogs, Linky or Twitter) and enter in the Rafflecopter!

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The Winners Are!!!

1st: Catie T. – 25$ Amazon Gift Card

2nd: Beth D. – 10$ Amazon Gift Card

3rd: Ashfa A. – 5$ Amazon Gift Card

I have emailed all of the winners who have 48hrs to claim their prize, if they do not I will randomly select another! Congrats!


Giveaway Madness

Giveaway Madness

giveaway madness

That’s right! I officially hit 250 combined followers (via Email, WordPress, Linky and Networked Blogs) which is pretty freaking amazing! Now this is in large part because of my recent giveaway and being linked up to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer’s giveaway hop and yes the winner of the giveaway will be at the bottom of this post but please do read the rest of the post first! If you follow me on Twitter (@1FantasyFanatic) you already know that when I hit 250 followers I planned to do a giveaway. I’m sticking to my word but I’m making it even better! Instead of one Amazon gift card for 25$ I will be giving away that along with a 10$ Amazon gift card for 2nd and a 5$ Amazon gift card for 3rd! Sound pretty great? I think so!

Now, for all of you new followers, many of whom I am sure did just to see if you could win, this is incentive for you to stay followed! I would LOVE for you to want to stick around because you like my reviews, random posts or readathon updates, but if you are just here for giveaways maybe this will satiate your desire long enough for you to take a liking to the rest of what I do. Regardless I’m thrilled to have you here!

This giveaway will be going live as part of the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop hosted by Bookhounds on July 2nd and will run through the 9th of July as per the Hop rules. It will be in a separate post obviously since this one is more of a celebration post in addition to being a results post for my 10$ giveaway. Still here? Oh you want to know who won the giveaway? Results below!

The Winner Is

Terri M!

Thank you all for entering and I hope you enter my next one which is bigger and better then the last on July 2nd! ^.^


Midsummer’s Eve Giveaway Hop

Midsummer’s Eve Giveaway Hop

midsummer giveaway

Who doesn’t love an impromptu giveaway? Well how about an entire giveaway hop on the fly! I decided I’d join in on the fun and giveaway a 10$ GC to Amazon to buy yourself that pretty new book you have your eyes on! Good luck!

Just follow me in some way (Email, Networked Blogs, Linky or Twitter) and enter!

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The Winner Is

Terri M!


Interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux plus giveaway!

Interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Masquerade Blog Tour

I was lucky enough to get a second post in Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s Masquerade blog tour, this one an interview with her! Fair warning, I wrote the questions and they are kind of random, but I think you’ll enjoy them! Plus, as an extra bonus make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom as we are giving away 3 Sevy Series eBook sets as prizes!

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1. Tell us about the Sevy Series as a whole, what gave you the idea for it and did you ever think it would reach a third book?

Well, I first got the inspiration for Thief from a dream, in which a woman was running to a hut where her lover had just been murdered. I can’t remember much of that dream anymore, but I know there was a lot of fire and the floor of the hut was covered in furs. It was very real to me, and those images stuck in my mind.

Shortly after, I decided to join an RPG thread on a forum that I was a member of. I created a couple of different characters for that thread, including Sevy, whom I based upon that dream. As the thread went on, I fell more and more in love with her.

That RPG thread died out due to lack of interest from other participants, as such threads are wont to do. But I couldn’t let Sevy end there. I decided to write her story. I didn’t intend for it to become a series, let alone a novel, but once I started writing I couldn’t stop.

As soon as I was finished writing Thief, I knew that Sevy’s story was not done. So I began working on Shades of War, and halfway through that, I had decided that I needed five books to take her story to its conclusion.

To me, the Sevy Series is more than the magic and monsters it contains. It’s about a broken woman trying to become whole again. It’s about her trying, against all odds, to let go of past trauma, learn from her mistakes, and grow into a better person. Granted, I don’t make it very easy for her. J It’s also about learning to love yourself so that you can love someone else. And not just romantic love either. The friendships and the familial bonds that develop throughout the course of the series is just as important as the smexy times.

2. What about Masquerade sets it apart from the previous two books in the series? Is there a favorite element you incorporated into it?

FAIRIES!!!!! I’ve waited for a chance to delve deeper into the magic of Sevy’s world, and Masquerade gave me the perfect opportunities. I adore fairies; have since I was a child. I love their absurdities, I love their horror. These aren’t Disney fairies, and I love being able to showcase these creatures as they were originally viewed by our ancestors: not cutesy, doe-eyed innocents, but crafty, vengeful creatures with a completely different set of morals and logic.

3. Each book in the Sevy Series has a different setting. How do you manage to create such beautiful new places, how do they come from dream to reality in such detail?

I honestly don’t know, as I’ve sadly not traveled much in real life. I think it comes from my educational background in anthropology. I learned a lot about different cultures and how they have evolved over the millennia in response to their environment. Once I have a type of environment in mind, I research (gods bless the internet!) similar real world places to get a sense of what sensory words I can plunk in to give it the right feel.

The bulk of the action in Masquerade takes place on a tropical island. But I didn’t want your standard Caribbean paradise, so I mixed Central American islands with a touch of ancient Egypt. The Fingarten villa, for example, was inspired by watching Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.

4. I love a kick-ass heroine as much as the next person, but do you identify most with Sevy or is there another character that you feel a kinship with and why?

There are parts of each of my characters that are similar to my own personality, but I definitely don’t think that Sevy and I would get on well in real life. In fact, the character I most identify with is Lon Destan (and if you’ve read the series, you can see that he and Sevy do not often see eye to eye). He is a good, kind person that sadly has low self-esteem due to abandonment and bullying as a child. This inferiority complex makes him a target for more dominant personalities (such as General Kye in Shades of War) to take advantage of him. I see a lot of myself and my own struggles in him.

5. A type of mind control or influence was used heavily in Masquerade, what was the inspiration for that?

Masquerade was intended to go in a much different direction than it ended up going. A character that turned out to be the antagonist was originally designed to be a good guy, but as I got further and further into the book, I had to stop and rethink things. I found that what I had written seemed stilted and forced, and I realized that it was because I was trying to force the characters into my intended plot.

This actually caused a major writing block for this story, and I ended up putting it on the backburner for a couple of years. When I came back to it, I rewrote the bulk of what I had previously written and just let the characters go.

But I still had SOME control, and in order for the series to progress, I needed a particular event to happen. But how to make it happen when I knew it was out of character for Sevy and co.? This got me stuck again, until one day, I was sitting on the bus, and it hit me! I realized that the magic I was setting up was a perfect conduit for the plot to flow through.

It was one of those perfect, serendipitous moments where all the wild threads of thoughts knit together and form a cohesive pattern. It’s moments like this that make writing worthwhile, imo.

6. From what you have told me there are at least two more upcoming books in the Sevy Series that feature her prominently, what are some things in the upcoming books that we can look forward to and will you ever stop torturing the poor girl?

Oh, I’ll never stop torturing her! She’s too much fun!

Hmmmm, some things to look forward to, huh? Well, let’s just say that someone will fall in love again, someone will find what they once lost, someone will make another cameo, and someone will become more powerful than anyone could imagine. Also, more magic, monsters, and murder. Book Four will have fans screaming for my head on a pike, but I may curry their favour back with Book Five.

Random Quick Hits:

Cats or Dogs? Cats, definitely. Although dogs are cutie-pies, I love the snarky, don’t-give-a-shit attitude of cats. Such big personalities in such tiny bodies. Plus, I’m a lazy person, so cats fit better in my day to day life than a dog would. I mean, a cat’s favourite thing to do is snuggle up somewhere comfy and nap the day away. How much more like me can you get?

Rain or Sunshine? There is nothing quite like the sound of spring rain on the roof. I love it! I love fleeting sprinkles and I love huge, booming thunderstorms. The only downside is that I tend to get head-achy on wet days, but what’s a little pain compared to the romance of rain?

Scary Movie or Funny Movie? Scary. A million times over. I eat up every bit of horror I can get. Growing up in a small Northern Ontario town, there wasn’t much to do but rent movies (unless you liked hockey and fishing!). My best friend and I would rent a couple horror movies every weekend and scare ourselves silly. I think I desensitized myself, because nowadays it takes a true spooky masterpiece to give me the chills, but I still love laughing over fake gore and cheap jump scares. And honestly, funny movies are more likely to make me cringe in embarrassment than laugh.

Favorite Snack? Any sort of chocolate treat. I’m a complete cliché. Chocolate is the wind beneath my wings.

Music while reading/writing or silence? I need music for a couple of reasons. One is that it helps me set the tone of what I’m writing. The second is that I live in a small-ish apartment with a husband who enjoys yelling at his video games. Music is a must to help keep me focused on what I’m working on.

Favorite underused word? Perfidious. It’s a fancy word, and sounds like it should mean something high-faluting. Actually, I changed my mind. High-faluting is my favourite underused word. I’m fickle with words. Ooh, fickle is another good one.

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I hope you enjoyed the interview, make sure to check out her book Masquerade here and enter the giveaway!

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Day 63: Masquerade by Sarah-Jane Lehoux plus a giveaway!

Day 63

Summary From GoodreadsMasquerade

Never Trust a Liar, especially when they’re telling the truth.

Starting over isn’t easy, especially when the world isn’t ready for you to change. Sevy, thief turned assassin turned mercenary, isn’t having any fun adjusting to a normal, law-abiding life. Luckily for her, an old partner in crime arrives with an irresistible proposition: a getaway to a tropical island, an adventure of a lifetime, and an amazing friendship ready to blossom into an even more amazing romance.

Things are looking up for Sevy. That is, until a pack of maniacal fairies with a taste for human flesh arrive on the scene.

Now she must unravel a web of magical intrigue hidden behind the outwardly idyllic atmosphere of the islands of Belakarta. Nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted. Trapped under the spell of a handsome and mysterious stranger, Sevy must fight fairies and tricksters to regain her freedom.

Or spend an eternity as a sorcerer’s plaything.

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Masquerade Blog Tour

That’s right, I’m part of a blog tour, huzzah! Even better is that it is for one of my best bookish/twitter friends Sarah-Jane Lehoux. ^.^ I received an eBook copy of Masquerade in exchange for my honest thoughts on the book, as always this in no way affected the following  review.

I’m pretty sure that it is Sarah-Jane’s mission in life to torture her characters, most especially Sevy. However, that doesn’t prevent Masquerade from being an excellent addition to the series. Sevy has to battle a whole host of new enemies, most of all the seemingly all-powerful Kirydan who quickly manages to get her wrapped around his finger.

The characters in Masquerade are, as is par for the course with the Sevy Series, the greatest strength of the book. Revik, the dark elf, takes on a greater role as he attempts to help Sevy escape from Kirydan. We find out more of Revik’s devotion toward his family and delve deeper into who he is as a person, as well as some hard sacrifices he is willing to make for a friend. While Sevy is still the focal point of Masquerade, she’d have it no other way, she isn’t like herself for the vast majority of the book. Under Kirydan’s spell she acts more and more like his pet/love slave, which is truly hard to watch, or in this case read.

The void of a heroine is taken up by Revik’s daughter, Yy’voura. A new character in the series, Yy’voura is a fun loving young dark elf who seems to want nothing more than to play yet another game with her friends, unfortunately those friends include Kirydan who has messed with her mind in a powerful way. As the book progresses we learn more about who Yy’voura truly is and what lengths she will go to in order to help her family.

Kirydan is an excellent villain. He’s got magical powers (always helps), good looks (doesn’t hurt) and even seems to have control over certain magical creatures as well. While he is definitely contemptible there is a vulnerability and a tortured past that gives the reader, as well as the other characters in Masquerade, just enough pause which is just what he wants. He’s corrupted, twisted and pitiable, and while that might seem slightly cliche it works in this case.

The plot is very heavily focused on the back and forth between attempted freeing of Sevy and company and further conquest by Kirydan. It is a balanced battle and will keep the reader anxious to find out which side will come out victorious, and what price they will have to pay in order to do so. For those of you who like a little naughtiness mixed in with your fantasy, Masquerade delivers just the right amount. With romance, daring attempts at rescue, a freakishly powerful yet seductive villain and plenty of magic Masquerade delivers the perfect combination.

As you can clearly tell, I thoroughly enjoyed Masquerade, just as I have with Thief and Shades of War. While they have all been excellent books in my opinion, the elements in Masquerade work even more perfectly than the previous ones and it has quickly become my favorite. Even though Masquerade was just released I already can’t wait for the next book in the series! Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 64 as well as a special interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux!

Make sure to enter the giveaway for 3 Sevy Series eBook sets here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #63/365

Five Smiling Frodos w Background


Stacking The Shelves #3

Stacking The Shelves

A quick reminder that Stacking The Shelves is a wonderful way that we can share books we’ve won, bought, or been gifted in either printed or eBook form. It is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews that is generally posted on Saturdays.

For Stacking The Shelves this week I have a ton of different books to mention, mostly the eBook variety, but in a bunch of different genres!

The Freebies (eBooks)

A Maid of Kirin by Simon Halliday

Blood Singers by Tamara Rose Blodgett

Conner by Miranda Stork

Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Emanare by Taryn Browning

Flame Moon by K.J. Jackson

Kindred by Erica Stevens

Paradox – Progeny of Innocence by Patti Roberts

Prom Night In Purgatory by Amy Harmon

Rae of Hope by W.J. May

The Fall of the Misanthrope  by Louise Wise

The Toadhouse Trilogy: Book One by Jess Lourey

Wheels by Lorijo Metz

Window by Simon Halliday

Bought (eBook)

Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle

Won In Giveaways (eBooks)

Fatal Distraction by Diane Capri

CIA Fall Guy by Phyllis Zimbler Miller

A Dead Red Oleander by R.P. Dahlke

Demons by Heather Frost

In Exchange For Review (eBooks)

Thief by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

In Exchange For Review (Print)

Space Battles by Flying Pen Press Publishing, Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

As you can see it has been a crazy week for my little blog and book collection! I speak with Sarah-Jane Lehoux fairly regularly on twitter and when I tweeted out that I would do an honest review of a book in exchange for a free copy she generously offered not one but TWO of her amazing books, Thief and Shades of War. If you’ve read my other posts you’d know I already reviewed Thief and thought it was wonderful and Shades of War will, I’m sure, be just as fantastic. I received Space Battles through the same tweeting process from the kind folks at Flying Pen Press who gave me a whole list that I could choose from in exchange for an honest review and this is the first one I chose! I’m currently working on one of the freebies I listed above, Conner by Miranda Stork, but after that I’ll be working on my review of Space Battles.

I participate in a ridiculous amount of giveaways and thanks to some good fortune on my part I won a few this week! I already received 3/4 of the eBooks I won from Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews blog which was participating in the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop. Those were Fatal Distraction, CIA Fall Guy and A Red Dead Oleander which I’ll read and possibly review though I haven’t decided that yet. I also won Demons by Heather Frost thanks to a giveaway by Book Haven Extraordinaire which I may or may not review as well.

If you want to check out any of the books the links are available above. You can also check out the fabulous blogs where I was lucky enough to win books to see their other posts and any current giveaways they have going on. Make sure to check out the other blogs participating in Stacking The Shelves at Tynga’s Reviews and, if you’d like, join in on the fun! Feel free to comment about what you think of any of these books or link to your own STS post, I do read them all. 🙂 Happy Saturday!


Sparkles and Lightning 1000 Followers Giveaway

Sparkles and Lightning 1000 Followers Giveaway!

So last week I found the blog Sparkles and Lightning  via a retweet of a contest they were having. One of the entries was following via GFC and when I did I happened to notice something pretty cool, I was the 1,000th follower! I quickly found the blogger, Annabelle, and informed her of her awesome milestone to which I believe squeals of excitement ensued. Anyway, she is now holding an amazing giveaway celebrating this achievement where TEN people will win the opportunity to choose not one, but TWO books each from The Book Depository! You can (and should) enter here http://sparkles-and-lightning.blogspot.com/2012/09/1000-followers-giveaway.html. Enjoy the giveaway and make sure to read her awesome posts and subscribe to her blog!