Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My books of 2013

As 2013 comes to a close I wanted to take a chance to look back at the best (and some of the worst) of what I have read this year. Yes, there is a lot of overlap among the genres of the books, but that is just so that I can say more than one or two!

I actually read quite a few classics this year. Some of them were for school, but I am also trying to read classics on my own too. Partly because I want to understand the allusions to these books made in conversation and popular culture, and also because I love the style of writing. You can almost feel your vocabulary expanding while you read the classics, and, because I am a nerd, I like that. My two favorites from this year are Jane Eyre and Sherlock Holmes - by Sherlock Holmes I mean an anthology of all of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

In all honesty, I loved all the classics I read this year with the exception of The Scarlet Letter and the second part of Jane Austen’s last novel, Sanditon. (But seeing as Sanditon was unfinished at Austen’s death and the novel was completed years later by a scholar, I cannot count that one since the part written by Austen herself was wonderful).
I really didn't like The Scarlet Letter. This one was required for school and while I can appreciate that Hawthorne’s use of figurative language was novel for his time, just in general it isn’t my type of book. It is labeled as a romance, and I’m not exactly sure what I’d call it, but it is most definitely not a romance. Not in my case anyhow. And as fate would have it I had to write a research paper on it. *fingers crossed for a good grade*

Young Adult:
The majority of what I read falls under the YA category, so picking the crème de la crème is difficult. When it comes down to it though, I have to say Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. When it comes to the world of shadow hunters I am a major fangirl, so I can’t say that I am without bias in choosing this title. If you want justification I will say this: I can count on one hand the amount of books that have made me cry outright at the end and this is one of them. The ending was sublime!

My biggest disappointment in the YA department this year was Doon, which I couldn’t even bring myself to finish. Nobody But Us came in at a close second. You can read my reviews here and here, respectively. If I had to pick a third I would say Dark Companion which was just not my cup of tea at all.

Fiction: One of my favorite books of this year is Jewelweed. There is so much I love this book that I love that it if I wrote them all down this post would be far to long. You can read my review here.

Romance: My top two romances of the year are Murder of Crows and Suddenly Royal. Murder of Crows was epic, and unfortunately I now have to wait for a sequel with no release date in sight. Suddenly Royal was mostly fluff, but delicious fluff. Cotton candy fluff. The author of Suddenly Royal, Nichole Chase, has written several of my favorite romances of the year and has sequels for most of her novels. Sadly, they seem to follow the popular trend of New Adult authors these days where the sequels are set in the same “world” but revolve around different couples, which I don’t like as much since I get attached to my characters, but I try to keep an open mind.

Fantasy: This year I have embarked on a journey of Ice and Fire and have gotten through the first two of George R R Martins epic fantasy series. I was a fan of the TV show first and decided to read the books. I have never read a work by an author who had more mastery with world building. And while his attention to detail at times makes me squirm and want to cover my eyes, I have to admit that I really feel I understand the land of Westeros and its people.

GLBT: Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of my favorite books of the year and definitely tops my GLBT book list. This book just made me happy. A lot of times when I read books I love the story but am a bit let down by the ending, but in this case I was in love with the story and could not have asked for a better ending. If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend it!

What were your favorite books that you read this past year?

Happy New Year from The Howling Turtle!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Guest Post: JF Jenkins

When I create a story, I like to day dream about my ideal cast sometimes. With "Displaced" I had a lot of fun coming up with a lot of unique and fun characters, and then even more fun trying to see if I could find people who matched my vision.

Here's what I came up with:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Chevelle - Jennifer Lawrence.

This casting choice is not based on the "Hunger Games" hype, I assure you. Outside of her being a great actress, she really embodies who this character is. Chevelle isn't the teenie-tiny perfect stick skinny body that girls are shown to have in the movies. She's a normal, every day, girl, with a normal, healthy, body image.

Timber - Zac Efron

Timber is the kind of guy who looks like he has it all. The perfect look, the perfect life, the perfect everything. Under the surface, he's just as normal, insecure, and full of struggle as the rest of the world.

Wicken - Kendall Schmidt

When I think of Wicken, I think of the guy you don't always look at and immediately think he's drop dead gorgeous. He's good looking, but if you passed him on the street you probably wouldn't do a double take. The more you get to know him, the more you see just how beautiful he is.

Naturally, there are a lot of side characters I could take the time to cast as well. For the sake of simplicity, we'll just stick with the main three.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Author Survey

Hey everyone! I am running a survey about authors and their books! If you are an author I would love to hear what you have to say!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Deadly to Promise Release Day Blitz

Deadly to Promise (Elemental Killers #2)

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy


A broken promise is all it takes.

Becoming an E.K isn’t a choice for Serena – it’s a necessity to survive. To destroy the Elementals she has to leave her old life behind. She has to train and follow a strict regime. But with time against her, she has only a few weeks to master the skills Kai spent his whole life perfecting.

The knowledge passed down from her ancestors is crucial to the Elementals demise and the success of their mission. However, the path they must follow is lined with riddles, each more confusing than the next. It doesn’t matter how close to succeeding they get, it’s never enough. The Elementals are one step ahead at every revelation and that can only mean one thing – the E.Ks have a traitor among them.

For one week only, both Deadly to Love and Deadly to Promise are 99c / 77p!

Buy Now: Amazon


“Have you ever
been swimming here?” I asked moving my head to watch his reaction as I brought
my feet up out of the water and folded them beside me.

“Yeah, most
summers when I came here. We all used to use it as a way to cool off or just
have some fun in between training.”

“How about
skinny dipping?” I asked my grin growing due to the thoughts running through my

“Why? You want
to try it?” he challenged.

“Only if you go
first,” I laughed but stopped instantly when he removed his shirt and tossed it
behind us. My eyes widened in surprise and I started to regret my words.
“You’re not being serious are you?” I stuttered as he pulled off his shoes,
throwing them over to where his shirt was crumpled.

“You can’t chicken
out now Rea. It was your idea,” he said smiling as he removed each sock,
teasing me as they ended up with the rest of his discarded garments.

I just stared at
him, my lips moving but not making a sound as I tried to find an excuse.

He laughed at
me. “Relax Rea, I’m just teasing you. Well unless you’ve changed your mind. In
that case I’m being deadly serious.” He had a cheeky grin on his face as he
spoke and I pushed him hard, toppling him into the water below.

There was a lot
of splashing but Kai surfaced finally, taking a deep breath as he flicked the
hair out of his eyes. I was clutching my stomach in fits of laughter as I bent
over. The shock on his face was priceless.

“Oh you are so
dead Rea, so, so dead,” he said, his voice ragged as the cold water and shock
affected his half naked body. I just continued to laugh as he floated in front
of me, his head bobbing up and down in a comical way.

Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9


The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

Buy Now: Amazon
(Kindle) | Amazon
(Paperback) | Lulu


“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

“I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

“In the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.



    Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deadly to Love by Mia Hoddell

          Deadly to Love

          by Mia Hoddell

Giveaway ends December 06, 2013.
            at Goodreads.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Guest Post: Amalia Dillin

Why I Love My Heroes: Garrit DeLeon

In the FATE OF THE GODS series, a lot of the characters are larger than life. Thor, the god of thunder; Adam, the First Man, who dreams of reclaiming the world; Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war; Ra, the Egyptian Sun god, with his falcon eyes, and creator of the Covenant which binds the rest of the gods into a peaceful co-existence. And then there’s Garrit DeLeon.

Garrit isn’t exactly normal, even if he is purely human, without an ounce of divine power of his own. After all, his family has a very strange, very different understanding of the world. They believe, and rightly, that they are descended from Eve, the first woman, and her first husband at the dawn of Creation, named Reu. They believe that Adam is a villain, a tyrant, waiting for his chance for world domination – and their myths make it clear he isn’t any kind of benevolent as a leader. And lastly, his family has benefitted from a very long and very close association with a thunder god.

In FORGED BY FATE, it’s clear that Garrit didn’t believe the stories he’d been told, growing up. But when he realizes that the woman he’s engaged to is Eve herself, reborn and returned to her family, he knows his life will never be the same again. Myth blossoms into reality, and suddenly, the weight of Eve’s thousands of lives, thousands of husbands, comes crashing down on his head.

To say that it’s an adjustment is an understatement, and Garrit is human, after all. Human enough to struggle with the knowledge, and his duty, to say nothing of his love for Eve, who has loved so many men before him. But when he realizes that Eve is in danger, that Adam has come for her and it’s time for the House of Lions to stand in her defense, he doesn’t hesitate. Eve’s safety and Eve’s happiness take center stage in his life, and Garrit pushes everything else aside out of more than just duty – but love.

But the thing I love most about Garrit (and a trait, it seems, he’s inherited from his forefathers), is best demonstrated in FATE FORGOTTEN. Because in book two, Garrit doesn’t just have to worry about facing off against Adam. He squares off against the gods, as well.

Garrit DeLeon is just a man, but he never lets that stop him when it comes to the protection of the people he loves.

Book 1
After Adam fell, God made Eve to protect the world. — Adam has pursued Eve since the dawn of creation, intent on using her power to create a new world and make himself its God. Throughout history, Eve has thwarted him, determined to protect the world and all of creation. Unknown to her, the Norse god Thor has been sent by the Council of Gods to keep her from Adam's influence, and more, to protect the interests of the gods themselves. But this time, Adam is after something more than just Eve's power—he desires her too, body and soul, even if it means the destruction of the world. Eve cannot allow it, but as one generation melds into the next, she begins to wonder if Adam might be a man she could love.After Adam fell, God made Eve to protect the world. — Adam has pursued Eve since the dawn of creation, intent on using her power to create a new world and make himself its God. Throughout history, Eve has thwarted him, determined to protect the world and all of creation. Unknown to her, the Norse god Thor has been sent by the Council of Gods to keep her from Adam's influence, and more, to protect the interests of the gods themselves. But this time, Adam is after something more than just Eve's power—he desires her too, body and soul, even if it means the destruction of the world. Eve cannot allow it, but as one generation melds into the next, she begins to wonder if Adam might be a man she could love.

To win the world, Adam will defy the gods, but his fate rests in Eve's hands. — Since the gods returned Adam’s memory six hundred years ago, Thor has been a scourge on his lives. But when Adam learns that Thor has been haunting his steps out of love for Eve, he is determined to banish the thunder god once and for all. Adam is no fool: Eve still loves the man she knew as Thorgrim, and if she ever learned he still lived, that he still loved her, Adam would lose any chance of winning Eve to his side, never mind liberating the world. But after everything Thor has done to protect Eve, everything he’s sacrificed, the thunder god won’t go without a fight. Not as long as Eve might love him again. 

Which means Adam has to find a new ally. The enemy of his enemy, complete with burning sword and righteous resentment of the gods. But in order to attract the Archangel Michael’s attention, he needs Eve — an unmarried Eve, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

It shouldn’t be too difficult to find her in the future. Not now that he knows how to look.