Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Zoe E. Whitten

Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Horror

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I get to gush about my favorite horror authors! I’ll let you know why I love them and why I think anyone who hasn’t experienced the horror genre would too. Let’s get into it!

Attic Clowns 1. Stephen King – Really this could be almost anything he wrote, but my personal favorite is Cell. Cell is apocalyptic horror, via a method that is incredibly believable because it is so obvious. Yet there are things from other genres present that new readers could latch on to. Love, fear, desperation, hope, Cell has it all. It’s one of my favorite books regardless of genre.

 2. Attic Clowns by Jeremy C. Shipp – With a mix of horror, bizarro, and comedy, Shipp is at his finest (in my mind) when he writes his short stories, and Attic Clowns is the best of the bunch. New horror readers would enjoy the humor, the multitude of ways that Attic Clowns makes you consider reality, and the cast of wonderful characters that Jeremy C. Shipp created, especially Globcow.

 3. Lessons (and Other Morbid Drabbles) by Michael Crane – A less philosophical and more straightforward, but equally hilarious version of Shipp’s work are Crane’s short story collections of Morbid Drabbles. For new horror readers I think that this would give them a quick and concise way of finding out if they’d be interested in the dark humor that pervades this style of horror.

The Infects 4. Pressure by Jeff Strand – Pressure takes the reader on a journey of discovery. It shows how quickly the human mind can turn into a dark and haunting place, and how that can take its toll on someone’s life. The book is about friends becoming enemies, psychological horror, with a touch of physical violence thrown in for good measure. It’s a great book to start with.

 5. The Infects by Sean Beaudoin – If you couldn’t tell already, I’m big into comedic horror, dark humor is right up my twisted alley. So, for me at least, The Infects was absolutely perfect. It’s got amazing banter, creepy zombies, and a hilarious backstory. The Infects is one of my favorite books in any genre, but for someone easing into horror this is perfect. I can’t recommend it enough!

 6. Touched by Zoe E. Whitten – Touched is a short piece, 69 pages in length, and is a quick and enjoyable read for prospective horror readers. It’s got a lot of fantasy elements for those that are more inclined to read that genre, and enough humor for comedy fans to be satiated. However, for horror junkies it’s got the gore you want, the gripping action you crave, and the fear you need.

 7. Here Be Monsters – This is another short story collection, an anthology this time by a bunch of different authors, including my favorite Jeremy C. Shipp. I read this during 2012’s Fraterfest (a Halloween/horror themed readathon) and really enjoyed it. There is a mixture of philosophical, physical, and comedic horror and it blends really well together. A quick and easy horror read.

 8. Insomnia by J.R. Johansson – All about mental breakdowns, psychosis, and nightmares/dreams, Insomnia covers a lot of my favorite elements of horror. It’s creepy, not necessarily because of what the characters are going through, but because it makes you think about what it would be like if it happened to you. There is romance in this one, so that’s a draw for some new horror readers.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer 9. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – Some might classify this as paranormal, I’d say it is a mixture of that and horror, so I’m going to include it. The book is amazing, as is the second book Girl of Nightmares, and with its sweet romance, beautiful writing, and excellent characters it is a great read for anyone. For new horror readers Anna would be a nice way of easing into darker books.

 10. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride – Another really funny book, often utilizing sarcasm to make light of the situation, as well as being like Anna, where paranormal meets horror. Necromancers aren’t written about nearly enough, and McBride does an amazing job with this book and its sequel Necromancing the Stone. Think Twilight but badass… and well written.

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There are so many great horror books out there, and I really need to read more of them myself. If you haven’t read much, or any horror before, I highly recommend you check out the ones on this list. They are excellent. Have you read any of them? What is your chosen “Never Read ___”? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

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Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I get to gush about my favorite authors since those are the ones I own the most books from. I’ll let you know why I love them and give a mix of physical and ebook collections. Let’s get into it!

The Lightning Thief 1. Leigh Wilder – 31 – Wilder is a writer of naughty tales, a constant presence on my Frodo’s Frisky Friday feature, and one of my favorite authors. The collection I have from her is mostly in eBook form, since they are novella length and she doesn’t really do physical copies yet. I’ve read almost all of them, including ones from her alter egos, and the level of writing is always impressive.

 2. Zoe E. Whitten – 34 – Whitten writes books with mature content, though not necessarily the naughty variety, and like Wilder has an exceptionally strong level of prose. My collection for her is completely made up of eBooks, many of which I have yet to get to, but she’s awesome and I know they’ll be great when I do get around to them. I recommend checking out her more mainstream title, Nobody Special, which I wrote about here.

 3. Rick Riordan – 12 – You all know of Rick Riordan even if you haven’t read his books. I’ve only read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so far, but I own the Kane Chronicles and the four released Heroes of Olympus books too. Oh, and all are physical copies. ^.^

 4. Jeremy C. Shipp – 15 – Another frequent author for this blog, Shipp is a horror/bizarro author that I absolutely love. His work is insightful, creepy, hilarious, and thought provoking. I own his Attic Clowns volumes in physical and eBook form (only counted each volume once though), and the rest is split between the two versions. I can’t recommend his work enough!

 5 and 6. – D.J. MacHale (10) and Eoin Colfer (8) – These two authors I put together because all of their books that I own are from one series each. I own both series in physical form, MacHale’s being the Pendragon series and Colfer being Artemis Fowl. I read both of the series when I was a kid and still love them to this day. They are great MG reads if you haven’t checked them out already!

An Abundance of Katherines 7. Kelly Apple – 10 – Another “naughty” writer, Kelly Apple is not only one of my favorite authors, but also a fantastic person, and someone I love talking to on Twitter. Nine of the ten books are from her Monstrous Tales series, which has been a bunch of fun to read, and all of them are eBooks. Take a look at her work if you would like some sexy monsters in your life!

 8. Larry Kollar – 8 – A MG and YA author, Kollar is a bit of a mixed bag. He’s written dystopian and fantasy for YA audiences, and is now four books into a MG fantasy series, but no matter what audience he’s writing for it has been enjoyable for me to read. I own all of his work in eBook format, and if you follow the blog you’ve seen me review most of them already. Give him a look!

 9. Sean Beaudoin – 5 – Beaudoin is an oddball, writing stories that make you question whether it was the content within that was crazy, or if it is really your own mind that developed the delusions. His books are hilarious, they always blow my mind, and are excellent for readers of YA or Adult. I’ll definitely be buying all of his other books as they come out!

 10. John Green – 5 – While many of the authors in this list are ones you probably haven’t heard of (unless you read this blog often) that doesn’t mean I don’t love mainstream authors too. I own every John Green book with the exception of Let It Snow, and that’s really just because I’m not big into holiday stories. The ones I do own and have read are all amazing, as you all probably know, though An Abundance of Katherines is actually my favorite, and is the one that speaks to me the most.

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There are other authors that I could have chosen, possibly even a few that might have more than 5, but those were the ones that immediately came to mind, and are my favorites. Do you have any of these authors in your list? What is your biggest number of owned books by an author? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Nobody Special by Zoe E. Whitten: Frodo’s Review

Nobody Special

Summary From GoodreadsNobodySpecial

Scott Wagner is used to coasting through life as a nobody. His adoptive parents don’t expect anything from him, but they spend more time inebriated than they do being a family. He is invisible at school, and no one talks to him besides his pothead wingman Aaron Marshall. His only other friend Emily Barnes makes up the better half of his gaming club, and he’s not proud of the fact that a girl in junior high can beat him up digitally.

It’s a safe but dull life, a holding pattern of smoking joints and playing video games until a series of chance encounters strips Scott of his invisibility. Forming a band with Emily and some new friends, Scott gains much needed approval from his parents while at the same time coming under scrutiny from Emily’s father, a hard-nosed cop who thinks Scott is a bad influence on his daughter.

Scott’s stumbling path to adulthood is a journey of self-discovery, offering him new friendships, a closer connection to his family, and a taste of young love. But it also brings painful lessons about dealing with prejudices, making sacrifices, and dealing with tragic losses. Between the emotional highs and lows, Scott learns how even a nobody can be special to somebody.

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Nobody Special is an interesting read, especially for those that have read Whitten’s work before. Normally there is some sort of taboo involved, regardless of the book is contemporary or supernatural, and that is what sets it apart and makes it unique. However, Nobody Special is far more of what I dare to call a “mainstream” book, but that does not mean it suffers because of it.

Issues are tackled, from homophobia to racism, age gaps in relationships to control and even suicide. The difference is that Nobody Special does it in such a natural way that you can hardly tell you are dealing with some of the issues until either the characters make it obvious, or you reach the end of the book and realize, “Hey, that sure covered a lot of interesting points.” All of these concerns that are so prevalent in society today are looked at and examined, but while often there isn’t an incredible amount of detail so as not to take the focus away from the story, the book as a whole gets you thinking. I imagine that was Whitten’s goal, and if so she succeeded with flying colors.

As far as the main story goes, there are a few minor issues I had, mostly to do with some info dumps in the beginning, and a few sections that felt repetitive. Despite those small problems, the music aspects were great, the romances sweet as can be, and the entire thing had a feel of innocence and wonder about it. The main character, Scott, learns what it takes to step out of his comfort zone and anxieties and how to find self-worth and confidence. He learns that even minor achievements can be fulfilling and hard work really can get you very far, no matter what you end up pursuing as your goal.

Emily, the best friend (or at least one of them) in this story, is a fabulous character. She’s funny, a bit of a goof at times, and brilliant without being in your face about it. Emily was one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve read about in some time, and incredibly easy to fall in love with. She’s a sweetheart with a backbone of steel, and what better combination is there than that?

Much of Nobody Special is introspective and serious, and certainly there are very grim moments in the story, but they are well balanced with witty dialogue and budding young friendships and romances. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a good contemporary read. I think it would be categorized as YA based on the character’s ages, but adults will enjoy this title as well, I know I did. Thanks as always for reading.

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Frodo’s Frisky Friday: Bran of Greenwood and the Scary Fairy Princess by Zoe E. Whitten

Frodo's Frisky Friday

Bran of Greenwood and the Scary Fairy Princess

Summary From Goodreads:

It’s a simple story about a half-orc barbarian, an elvish thief, a nightmare, a quest, a kidnapping…I’ll start over. It’s a complicated and raunchy romp following the gastronomical and sexual adventures of Lana the light-fingered and Bran of Greenwood in their quest for a certain belt. A 2010 NaNoWriMo “winner,” this is cheesy porn at its finest, best read after The Hunger Games. Yes, really.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

The thing you have to understand when you go to read this story is that the author says in a note to her readers that this is a “lazy doodle” so it isn’t one of her masterpieces. This makes it all the more amazing how great the story turns out to be. I laughed throughout the entire piece, from the nods to Monty Python to the joking references to The Hunger Games, from the “normal” sexual tales to the absolutely bizarre and hilarious, it all works.

The characters are fun and engaging, the story is really strong and would hold up on its own which is quite the feat, and Lana’s plight is actually quite moving. There is a sweet relationship mixed in with the silly sexual exploits that take place and they mesh very well. Simply put, it’s all of Whitten’s fantastic skill mixed in with hilarity and naughty bits. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely recommended for anyone looking for a light naughty story. Thanks for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #142/200

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Penny for Your Debts by Zoe E. Whitten: Frodo’s Review

Penny for Your Debts

Summary From GoodreadsPenny for Your Thoughts

When eight-year-old Penny Sterling becomes the child bride of Nicholas Rumpelstilts, she expects the worst. Instead, she’s free to go to school, to have friends, even to see the mother who gave her to Nicholas before her birth–and her new husband never lays a hand on her. But however pleasant the cage, she’s still a prisoner.

As Penny grows, she learns why Nicholas may want her: she’s a witch. She must hide her abilities or risk the world’s fear and hatred. Penny always thought Nicholas was the monster, but when a real monster leaves her scarred emotionally and physically he is the one who offers safety and comfort in a world where she’s likely to find neither.

When Nicholas disappears in dangerous circumstances, Penny faces a hard choice: take her freedom, or search for a captor she’s come to love.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Penny for Your Debts was an interesting read for me. The book is designed to be thought provoking as it examines issues like Stockholm Syndrome and child brides. In this Penny for Your Debts is a complete success. Is it better for Penny to have a choice over her fate even if the possibilities each have major downsides? If she never found out about her true identity would she have been better off? How real are the effects of Stockholm Syndrome in this case, were Penny’s feelings her own and is Nicholas a monster or not? Penny for Your Debts forces you to answer all of these questions and more and I give major credit to Whitten for being able to pack all of those discussion points into one piece.

As for the story itself it was pretty good. The magical elements were well incorporated and the variety of supernatural creatures made for a rich and intriguing world that I would love to learn more about. There were cool power displays, daring rescues and awesome battles that kept the balance between action and thought provoking story even and the pacing smooth.

My only major complaint was with Penny’s character. It is important to remember that despite seeing her character grow and mature as the story goes on that she does start off as a child of eight. The issue I had was she simply did not think or speak like you would think someone at her age would. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t exceptions to any age group, and perhaps she is just exceptionally bright, but there were many, many parts in the story where the thoughts she had seemed far too advanced. Penny was reading people and understanding the meaning of their feelings and then trying to react in a way that would best appease them and while that may seem natural on the surface it was the level that she appeared to understand them that was just odd. I don’t know how else to explain it except to say that the thought processes she had at eight or nine were often just as advanced as those in her teenage years which doesn’t add up. She is either incredibly bright, insanely perceptive or just flawed in being realistic. I’m favoring the latter as the most likely.

Overall Penny for Your Debts was a pretty solid read. The issue with Penny’s character being believable at times was irritating but the other elements in the book (pun intended) allowed me to overlook those flaws most of the time. The magical and supernatural aspects really worked well and the transition Whitten made and the world she created were wonderful. I loved the ending, I wouldn’t mind a sequel one bit though that seems to be out of the question given this was written in 2011. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a thought provoking read set in a magical world. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #120/200; Mount TBR Challenge #68/150; 2013 TBR Pile #68/50

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Touched by Zoe E. Whitten: Frodo’s Review

Touched

Summary From GoodreadsTouched

Amber McKenzie considers herself a bland, normal student until she feels the touch of something cold and invisible. Scant hours pass before she’s attacked by her best friend. She returns home to find her family slaughtered, forcing her to rely on the dubious protection of a D&D “mage” and a woman who may, or may not be a vampire. Is the threat real, or is Amber just “touched in the head”?

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Touched, a 69 page novella, is a fast paced thrill ride involving all sorts of creatures of the paranormal variety. From a potential vampire to a changeling and even a mutant witch, Whitten offers new and rarely used beings not seen in the mainstream to keep readers on their toes. There are frightening enemies and plenty of dangerous action as well as plenty of gore (I mean that in a good way!) so horror junkies should be pleased. There is an underlying message of the fight for acceptance, particularly among people deemed outcasts by the majority and what it is like in their shoes. Whitten is never afraid to tackle real issues and does so without overwhelming the reader or taking away from the fantastic goings on in the novella.

I really enjoyed meeting Marcus and Vicky who I know reappear in other works by Whitten and I can’t wait to learn more about them and read stories from their perspectives. Marcus is funny and sweet and Vicky is a badass but with a softer personality underneath that I would love to explore. The one issue I had with touch is not quite loving the MC, Amber. She is a bit frustrating at times, callous and completely without tact. While I didn’t think she was poorly written by any means I also didn’t get any motivation to root for her in most cases which would have helped to balance out her flaws. This didn’t stop me from enjoying the plot and Whitten’s beautiful writing. Touched is a fun, freaky read with a good message at its core and I quite enjoyed it. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #122/200; Mount TBR Challenge #70/150; 2013 TBR Pile #70/50

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Haunting Sins by Zoe E. Whitten: Frodo’s Review

Haunting Sins

Summary From GoodreadsHaunting Sins

Desperate for work after months of unemployment, David Sands agrees to become the webmaster for an “adult entertainment” hosting company. The pay is great, the boss seems like a nice guy, and the uber-hot secretary is flirting with David. But the cramped back office is dusty, and David’s sinus pills are making him see things, things that cannot possibly be real…unless David’s office is haunted.

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Haunting Sins, a middle-length story at 89 pages, was a bit…weird. I know going into reading anything by Whitten that I need to be prepared for unexpected things being thrown my way. Think of a small dose of techie jargon, mix it with some paranormal and add in a bunch of discussions on porn videos and you might, maybe…kinda have a gist of the piece.

David is a sarcastic but playful MC that I quite like. He’s not really prepared to work in an “adult entertainment” company and his reactions to some of the material he sees were priceless. David has a pretty good sense of humor and while he puts his foot in his mouth quite a bit (not in the literal sense of course) he actually is smooth with the secretary Nina Cortez, which was a bit of a surprise given he’s a techie. Nina was hilarious, playful and just a fun character to get to know. She’s not ashamed of working in the porn industry and even defends it and the people involved at points in the book. Oh, and the chemistry between the two was fantastic, loved their banter. Nina is the girl you want to be with and if you are lucky enough to get to leaves you wondering how you got so lucky each and every day. I’d read a full length novel featuring her without question, though I have no idea of Whitten has anything like that up her sleeve.

The story itself is a little all over the place. There are a bunch of different elements as I mentioned in my opening paragraph and while it was enjoyable I’m not sure if I could even label it with a genre. There are paranormal aspects but half the time we aren’t sure if they even exist or are just a part of the effects David experiences because of issues in the building. Is it a psychotic breakdown or a paranormal breakthrough into reality? Is it a ghost or a hallucination? For the most part we don’t really know and maybe that’s the intent, if so it worked. There are darker discussions within Haunting Sins, but I’ll leave those for you to discover. They add some depth to the piece which I really appreciated and, as with most of Whitten’s pieces, makes you think and examine the human mind.

Haunting Sins is a quick and fun read that also will make you stop and consider how well you know the people around you. That’s something that few pieces I’ve read can claim and Whitten pulls it off with seeming ease. The hilarity involving the porn industry keeps it light and you’ll breeze right through the book, fall in love with the characters and be left wanting more. The ending will shock you, the prose will delight you and the humor will have you in fits. What more can you ask for? Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #114/200; Mount TBR Challenge #66/150; 2013 TBR Pile #66/50

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Auto-buy Authors: Randomness by Frodo

Auto-buy Authors

Grabby Hands Gif

I saw the always entertaining Gaby at Queen Ella Bee Reads do a Top Ten for authors on her auto-buy list and decided to talk about my own, why I consider them “auto-buys” and a bit about auto-buying authors in general, thanks Gaby!

First a bit about auto-buying books from authors. In a follow up post Gaby took a step back and after really looking at her list realized she didn’t have (at least as many) authors she really auto-bought. Whether this was because of genre changes or jumps from one target age range to another (MG/YA/Adult/etc.) it altered that immediate “Must Buy NOW!” mentality. That’s where I differ. I really do have a bunch of authors where it doesn’t make a difference what they are writing about, what age they target or really any qualifier out there, if they write it I will come.

A lot of that has to do with my reading tendencies. I don’t stick to genres or often even to YA, Adult or what have you, I bounce from one type of book to the next at random and that works for me because it keeps the reading experiences fresh and makes each book stand out more. So the following authors are ones that I either own their entire collection (in print or eBook format) or that when I have the monies to I will and that will continue as long as they write. Here we go!

  • John Green – Most of you know who this is, best seller, Vlogbrother, leader of Nerdfighters, Crash Course teacher, master of the emotional sucker punch as well as all around funny guy, John Green is all of these things and much more. I’ve seen all his videos (and Hank’s too of course) so it is only fitting that I love his books. I’ve never given a book by Green less than 5 Smiling Frodos and that isn’t because of any bias, they are just that good. An Abundance of Katherines remains one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. The only piece by him I don’t own is his collaboration with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (yes I even own one of the prizes he gave as a perk Double On Call and Other Stories) and that is one I’ll likely get when I get paid on Friday. Not sure why I put that off. So ya, I’d recommend his work to anyone.
  • Sarah-Jane Lehoux – Sarah-Jane is pretty much the opposite of John in every way. He’s contemporary she’s fantasy with an edge to it. She’s an indie author. You (sadly) may not have heard of her unless you have been following my blog/Twitter for ages where as Green is like crazy huge in so many communities. Green writes brainy characters and complex relationships, Sarah-Jane creates incredibly detailed and amazing worlds and kick-ass heroines. You get the picture. Something else you may not realize about Sarah-Jane? She’s just as amazing a writer as Green is. I want EVERYONE to know that and to check out her work, but for now her collection will at least reside on my (virtual and real) shelves. I can’t wait for more of her work in the future!
  • Ann Aguirre – Back to an author that needs no introduction. It all started with Enclave which I won in a giveaway and devoured and loved immediately upon arrival. Fast forward to about a month or two ago where Twitter is buzzing over a post Ann wrote, This week in SF, which received both incredible support and infuriating backlash. I made a few comments on Twitter and decided I would do one of the two things I believe are the best ways to support authors in any fashion, I bought her entire collective works. At once. I wish I could say I read them all already, but alas there are seemingly infinite books out there and only so much reading time for this hobbit. (In case you are wondering the other way I feel is best to support authors is to review.) She now has a section all to herself on my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to dive into each book as well as any she writes in the future. She happens to be one heck of a writer (I gave Enclave 5 Smiling Frodos and called it the benchmark for Dystopians). ^.^
  • Leigh Wilder – Every now and then I like to get a bit naughty and that includes my reading. I discovered Wilder completely at random on Twitter and decided to check out her work. I now own every sexy piece she’s written that I could get my hands on, virtually at least since hers are all eBooks. She usually writes either short pieces or novellas and each leaves me craving more. I’d recommend her to any fan of Erotica. I’ve rated three of her works so far and they’ve always been a 4 or 5. That says a lot. Check her out!
  • Rick Riordan – Here is another author you’ve all heard of. I don’t technically own all of his work (yet), but I do own box sets for Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles as well as books 1-3 of The Heroes of Olympus with book 4 on pre-order. Pretty good right? I’ve actually only read The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters by him, but as with Aguirre he has his own section of my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to read more of them when I can. Not much more to say, he’s just really, really talented.
  • Zoe E. Whitten – An author of some of the most controversial books I’ve ever read, Whitten is an author you may never have heard of but definitely should check out. She writes about taboo subjects and refuses to hold back, something I give her major credit for, and if you can handle that I urge you to give her a shot, she deserves it. Her writing level is incredible, some of the best prose I’ve ever seen and the emotions she elicits (at least from me) are the strongest I’ve ever felt while reading a book. Her characters are dynamic, their personalities unique yet relatable and I love them all for different reasons. I won’t gush further but seriously, just go read her stuff and thank me later. Oh, and I own every one of her ~35 pieces, ya she’s that good.
  • Malcolm Gladwell – While the authors I have mentioned so far span a variety of genres this is the first where I am tearing you right out of fiction and thrusting some non fiction goodness onto you. Gladwell is brilliant and makes me use all of my brainpower which, to be honest, I don’t do often enough. Sure some books make me think about a variety of issues, but Gladwell’s books force me to view the entire world in ways I never would have considered. The inner workings of society, how people achieve success, chance and the people that benefit from it and why, so many aspects of life I never would question otherwise I have because of him. Give your brain a workout and check out one of his books. I own them all and have his newest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants on pre-order. ^.^
  • Angela Kulig – If you follow my blog you’ve seen me review her work, talk about her awesomeness and squee over how excited I am to read her upcoming work. Angela is incredibly talented, jumping from the creepy to the hilarious and back again, sometimes in the same piece, with an ease that few can match. I own and have read all her work and look forward to sharing more of it with all of you in the future. Much of her work has a darker side to it and I love that. It isn’t morbid by any means, but it isn’t happy-go-lucky either, and sometimes I think we need that dose of reality. Check her out!
  • Jeremy C. Shipp – I feel like the Adam’s Family song should play here…oh well. Shipp’s books are definitely creepy and spooky, kooky, and yes sometimes downright ooky, and I love them all. His Attic Clowns pieces are the best Horror/Bizarro Fiction I’ve ever read and always leave me laughing and wishing there was more. I don’t own all of the anthologies he has been a part of (because of the sheer volume) but if it’s just him I’ve got it in one format or another. One of my favorite authors and Twitter follows, Shipp is just a great writer plain and simple. Can’t recommend his work enough.
  • Sean Beaudoin – Similar to Shipp but with a lighter side, Beaudoin examines the human condition in every one of his pieces at a different angle. The Infects shows our inner animal, for some prey and for others predator, and brings them to light. Going Nowhere Faster is the vast majority of teenagers personified by Stan, the MC, and his attempt to get out of neutral and at least into first gear with hilarious results (and far less car puns). Fade to Blue is insane in every way and I loved it, examining the world around us and the potential worlds we can create (in our heads and in reality). Beaudoin is talented, creative and always packs his books with more laughs than I thought possible. I own all his books and have his newest, Wise Young Fool, on pre-order. Go take a look!

So those are my auto-buy authors. Somehow I ended up at a nice round ten auto-buys though I assure you the list wasn’t padded or cut down in any way, these are my favorites and I happen to have ten of them. ^.^ There are a bunch more that are borderline for me. I either own almost all of their work and just haven’t gotten to a few, love their work but some of their pieces don’t interest me or I’m just not quite as obsessed with them (yet). Some of those are: John Grisham, Stephen King, D.J. MacHale, Larry Kollar, Jill Archer, Christopher Paolini, Brigid Kemmerer, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, Samantha Durante & Tina Folsom. There are plenty more but I don’t have all day and neither do you I’m sure. Thanks as always for reading and it would mean the world to me if you would at least click on those 10 author links and just check out their work when you have time. They are worth it and then some. ^.^


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

15-Day-Challenge

The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Why do you blog about books?

This is something I touched on in challenge #7 when I spoke about my blogging quirks. Most of my posts are reviews, for a variety of reasons but mostly because I feel (and have been told) that they are the most helpful for authors. Will I do them in conjunction with a blog tour? Absolutely. Regardless of whether the review is part of something or just because I want to share my thoughts about the book the goal is to bring the book to a wider audience. This is true for both positive and negative reviews. If I loved a book I want more people to read it that may not be aware of the book or might be on the fence on if they want to read it. Conversely, if I am not a fan of the book I’d like to explain why so that other people can potentially avoid that one and spend their valuable time reading something else.

This is especially the case with indie authors. They work so hard to garner even a tiny fraction of what the “big boys” get and if I can help share their book to just a few people that wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise then it’s more than worth the time and effort spent. Plus, blogging has allowed me to connect with these authors when I likely wouldn’t have otherwise so I’m reading pieces I wouldn’t otherwise as well. Examples of some fabulous authors I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise and that I reviewed a piece (or a few) for: Zoe E. Whitten, Leigh Wilder, Angela Kulig, Larry Kollar, Starla Huchton, Sarah-Jane Lehoux as well a bunch more.

The community. The book blogging community is just incredible. They’re intelligent, helpful, caring and willing to deal with each other’s obsessiveness, insanity and frequent squees. The joy I see in book bloggers when they are talking about a book they just read that they loved, a book they are super excited to get or really anything book related is like no other group. It’s infectious and uplifting how the community supports its fellow members through seemingly everything. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It’s freaking FUN! I get to talk about books all the time and people actually talk back to me about the ones they loved or their thoughts on whatever, how great is that?! I use it to participate in readathons which are always a blast (marathon reading + twitter chats + giveaways + challenges, heck ya!). Plus I get to record my progress and see how much I’ve read whenever I’d like, and with pretty cover pictures included! Plus it is (hopefully) helping my writing and helping me to understand what I like/dislike in books so that if when I write my own I’ll know what to look out for or what to utilize.

So that’s why I blog about books! Why do you do it? What parts are your favorites? Let me know and thanks for reading! ^.^


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 6

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 6

15-Day-Challenge

The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Describe how you shop for books.

How do I shop for books? I’m not sure that there is necessary an overall method to my madness but I do have some trends when it comes to book buying. While I do have a full time job (albeit a crappy entry level one) I also have bills to pay and I’m saving a bunch as well so I have a finite amount I can spend on whatever every two weeks and that includes books. So how do I decide which pretties to add to my ever growing collection?

  1. Fellow Book Bloggers – In one of the previous challenges I spoke about some of my bloggy BFFs whose opinions I trust completely. If I see they really enjoyed a book I was considering buying I’ll quickly grab it and the reverse is also true, if they hated it (especially if it is a consensus among the group) I will likely avoid it. I do go against them on occasion, but for the most part they’ve led me to some fantastic reads. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that I bought using their advice that has received less than three smiling Frodos, not bad at all.
  2. Favorite Authors – This is pretty obvious and something I’m sure most book buyers do. If you love a book by an author chances are you’ll at least enjoy the rest of their work. This isn’t foolproof, I’m sure there are exceptions where you’ll detest one book and love another, but for the most part it’s a solid method. If you have read my recent reviews you’d know I really enjoyed pieces by Leigh Wilder and Zoe E. Whitten, so much so that I now own almost every piece they’ve ever written. That’s how my money goes poof, if I LOVE your work I want it all and I don’t take no for an answer. Other authors I have done this with: John Green, Sean Beaudoin, Ann Aguirre, Rick Riordan, and Jeremy C. Shipp.
  3. Ooo Pretty! – That’s right, I see or hear about a book and when I go to check out the cover my mouse is already hovering over the one-click purchase button on Amazon. I do check out the synopsis and if I have never read anything by that author before or haven’t seen anything about the book/author on a blog then I might even check out the preview if there is one available. This also happens in physical stores, mainly Target for me simply because that’s the most frequent place I go to for stuff and they do have a (limited) book section. I try not to “judge a book by its cover” but it sure as heck helps to have a cool one to entice me from the beginning.

So those are the main ways that I find books and my “process” for which ones I buy. It’s pretty haphazard to tell the truth, but basically if I love one book by an author most of my book money goes to the rest of their stuff because I HAVE to read more. I also do genre searches if I am feeling the desire to dive into a certain one or want to stock up for an upcoming themed readathon but that is less common. One other big factor is if they are an indie author. Even if I haven’t LOVED their books, if I’ve enjoyed them I am more likely to buy another of their books to support them then I am to do the same for a “big” or “mainstream” author. They rely on support from the bookish community to be able to continue to write and to reach audiences, I’m happy to do it. I don’t even want to get into how long I looked on “recommended for reader’s that enjoyed this book” lists for a book like John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines, stuff like that leads me to random books I’d never find otherwise (ex: Prodigy by Dave Kalstein), oh, and I never did find any like that one. =/

Anyway, what is the method to your madness? Do you have any ways you narrow down which books you buy? Do you go for all print or are eBooks more your thing? (I’m a mix.) Do you go on author binges? Genre ones? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading and look for another review tomorrow as well as Day 7 of this challenge! ^.^


Review: Peter the Wolf by Zoe E. Whitten

Peter the Wolf

Summary From Goodreadspeter the wolf

Peter Holmes is a troubled teen still grieving the death of his sister. A victim of long term abuse, he escaped his parents only to find life as a foster child is another form of torture. Now living with his fourth family after a stint in juvenile detention, his view of his future is bleak until he meets Alice Culpepper and learns about the world of competitive gymnastics. But as Peter trains in the Culpepper gym and tries to get his life on track, his growing friendship with Alice threatens his new life, his foster family, and even his freedom. As if things couldn’t get any worse, his insane mother just escaped from prison…

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Warning: This book is highly controversial and includes detailed descriptions of abuse and child pornography. (However, I DID really enjoy it so please read on if you can handle the content!)

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