October 31, 2011

Interview and Giveaway: Dawn McCullough-White author of Cameo and the Vampire (Trilogy of Shadows Book 3)


Today we have Dawn stopping by to give us a chance to find out a little bit more about her and her book,

1. Is this the last in the series or will there be more?
This is the last book in this trilogy yes, although I am currently working on a second trilogy that takes place in the same world, fifteen years after “The Trilogy of Shadows” ends. With some of the favorite characters from this series making appearances.

2. How did you come up with the concept for “Cameo and the Vampire”?
Really, the way it tends to work for me, and for several other authors I know, is, a novel or a series is like a big puzzle and I get these visions of characters having conversations, or feelings about what happened in a character's life that helped shape him or her, and then all the pieces fall together after a while. So, ideas I had about the story may have been there at the very beginning and as the tale unfolds I have these “aha” moments where I realize “oh my gosh, this story is going to end up using that offhanded idea I had years ago when I first thought this whole thing up!” It's very strange how it works. I use a very loose set of notes.

3. How did you come up with the names for the characters?
I think of a character, and start mulling over the idea of who the person is. This can go on a long time. Part of the process is naming them. In a very spiritual way it's sort of like pulling someone out of the void. I will usually just write down a few names on a paper that are like the sound of who I think the character is. Another thing I do is, when I travel and see names of streets or towns that I like I make a note and keep them for future name ideas for novels. The name “Haffef”, the evil vampire in the series, comes directly from a time I was using an Ouija board when I was a teenager. The original spelling was more like Hafefefefefefefef until the planchette fell off the board. It was such a creepy session I kept that name in mind for the creepy character.

4. How much are you and the characters alike?
Well, I'm the narrator's voice, so reading my novels are a bit like reading my diary. I'd say that I'm the most like Cameo and Black Opal on some level. I have some of Opal's endearingly annoying characteristics, and his optimism. Cameo, cold and hard as she can be, has a lot of empathy for others too and I'd love to think that is me, someone who cannot bear to kill an insect because I hate the way it feels. If you combined these two characters and added in Kyrian's spiritually you would get me more or less... minus the bloodshed.

5. Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?-
I'm a binge reader. I won't read for months and then I'll get into a series or something and devour it. I'm currently reading “Jamaica Inn” by Daphne du Maurier.

6. What made you decide to go vampires?
 I've been into vampires since I was 6 yrs old (1976) and watching the reruns of Dark Shadows at my aunt's house. My Aunt Ruth is really to blame for my interest in vampires, she started me young. It was only natural that vampires would play some part of my novels, although it was never an intentional plan really. It grew organically. I did not sit down and think to myself, “I'm going to write a book with vampire characters”. It just happens to be the way I express myself- with vampires, antiheroes and cutthroats...

7. How did the cover come about?
I asked the cover artist, Kurt Hanss, if he could give me a close up of Haffef's face, and make him look really evil, something with his mouth wide open and weird (I had to check my email to see what I said exactly).

8. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
The next thing I have coming out is a short story, featuring one of the characters from the Trilogy of Shadows, coming out in an anthology in February 2012. It's called: The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair. I'm currently writing the first book for a second, yet to be named, trilogy.

9. Do you have a day job or are you a full time writer?
I have a day job. I am a stay at home mom to my 4yr old son. I make time to write from 10pm to Midnight or so, most nights.

10. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
I wrote my first novel when I was fourteen. How did I get into it? Well, a TV show I used to really enjoy, at the time, went off the air but I wanted more episodes so I started making up more ideas for the show. Essentially what I wrote was a full length fan-fiction novel, at the time I had no idea what that was though. I was just enjoying myself.
Yes, I was worried about reactions to my stories about Cameo. I wrote several other novels about Cameo before settling on the one I ultimately published. In the other novels she had no redeeming qualities which I didn't feel would work for a protagonist, but I didn't want to change who the character was, so I made her more mysterious instead. That way, you know she did some terrible things, but I didn't center the story on that.

11. One last thing, do you collect anything personally?
Lately I've been collecting every film Robert Newton ever appeared in. I'm completely fascinated by him, not sure why.

Thanks to Dawn for stopping by and visiting with us today. Dawn is giving a way a SET of her Ebooks.
Check out below for your chance to enter.
Rafflecopter below

October 28, 2011

Review: Blood Ties (A Blood Coven Vampire Novel) by Mari Mancusi

"Dark, delicious and full of surprises, the Blood Coven series is like vampire candy." -New York Times bestselling author Heather Brewer.

Officially back in the arms of her vampire boyfriend Magnus, Sunny finds she still can't forget the gentle mortal Jayden who once saved her life. When darkness threatens to steal his humanity, Sunny must make a choice: stay true to her love, or defy him in a desperate attempt to save Jayden's soul.
Meanwhile, the Blood Coven is gearing up for a showdown with a splinter group of Slayer Inc. It's Vampires vs. Slayers in a showdown that could cost Sunny not only her heart...but also her life

This book is a fun read. It doesn't live up to my expectations that i thought would or should be in this storyline. But maybe those will work themselves out in the next book. This book CAN be a stand alone book. The first few pages catches you up on the story.
Each book is told from a different main characters ( Sunny or Rayn)  point of view. This one is from Sunnys. I got lucky when the publisher sent it to me for review as I really do love this series.
The main Characters Sunny and Rayne are neat and likable teenagers. Rayne is always into mischief and that can get a little tiresome but all in all I like them. The situation in this book leaves Sunny scared for Rayne and you can really feel the sisterly love. I really do hope that Sunny gets the normal life that she is hoping for eventually.
The secondary characters are likable also, with Magnus being the guy you LOVE to HATE. They really are great backup characters.
The cliffhanger in this book is a doozy and it makes me wish the next book would come out sooner.
All in all it was a good book with a continuing storyline.  This series makes me laugh out loud at certain times and I love that, I do recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy and adventure. It has a few unbelievable things but its fantasy and fiction. You'll have that....
I really do love this series and I would recommend it to any YA vampire lover,
It would make a great Christmas gift for any teenager.

Book Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by~Lora

~Thank you to Vida at Kensington Publishing for the donation of this book to Read for your future in exchange for an honest review!~

Review: A Question of Manhood by Robin Reardon

November 1972. The Vietnam War is rumored to be drawing to a close, and for sixteen-year-old Paul Landon, the end can't come soon enough. The end will mean his older brother Chris, the family's golden child, returning home from the Army for good. But while home on leave, Chris entrusts Paul with a secret: He's gay. And when Chris is killed in action, Paul is beset by grief and guilt, haunted by knowledge he can't share.

That summer, Paul is forced to work at his family's pet supply store. Worse, he must train a new employee, JJ O'Neil, a gay college freshman. But though Paul initially dislikes JJ for being everything he's not—self-confident, capable, ambitious—he finds himself learning from him. Not just about how to handle the anxious, aggressive dogs JJ so effortlessly calms and trains, but how to stand up for himself—even when it means standing against his father, his friends, and his own fears. Through JJ, Paul finally begins to glimpse who his brother really was—and a way toward becoming the man he wants to be...

I think this book is really awesome. It is a book I would recommend to anyone. Especially teenage boys who are trying to figure things out. This book made me cry a few times. It is pretty awesome! I have already recommended this book to a few people and i hope they enjoy the book as much as I did.

Book Rating: 5 STARS!
Reviewed by~Sierra Wells (Student at Franklin High School)

Thank you to the author and the publisher for the donation of this book to Read for your future!~

Review: Laney (the Brookehaven Vampires #1) by Joann I. Martin Sowles

In a small college town in Northern California, Laney Alexander leads a regular, uneventful life-that is, until the charming and alluring Oliver Knight enters her world. Who is this gorgeous and mysterious stranger? Or, rather, what is he? As Laney's sophomore year of college begins, so does an unbelievable adventure-including a love she didn't know she longed for. She soon learns that Oliver is not ordinary, nor is the rest of his family, including a sister who openly hates her and a brother who will stop at nothing for revenge. As she fights for her life, and Oliver's love, Laney discovers that the fictional world of vampires isn't so fictional after all. Nobody is safe, especially Laney, Oliver's most important priority, and he will stop at nothing to protect her. With her mortality at risk, and a commitment revealed that she, without a doubt, knows she wants, Laney's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn...

This book is a great vampire love story. It has all the things i love like Love and Vampires. The love story is written as a realistic story. It is not rushed by no means and it seems to be a love that lasts over time like in several books :)

This book has a stable and strong story line. The main characters (Oliver and Laney)seem realistic and not so deep that you cant associate with them. The secondary characters are well defined and described to in realistic detail.
The story had twists and turns that i didn't see coming and to me that makes it a good story. This book is definitely mantle worthy. If you love vampires and are in a twilight rut check out this book!

Publisher-Brookehaven Publishing
Review Rating: 5 STARS!
Reviewed by~Lora
~Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to Read for your future!~

COMING SOON: Cameo and the Vampire by Dawn McCullough-White

Coming on Halloween: Cameo and the Vampire- Book 3 in the Trilogy of Shadows

 A vampire's bite tormenting Cameo, she pushes forth on a journey that will find her descending into darkness and at Kyrian's request she is forced into the confrontation she has been avoiding for over fifty years with the undead that made her...
About the Author Dawn McCullough-White

Author bio:
Dawn McCullough-White writes mainly dark fantasy and horror. Her novels tend to favor the use of anti-authority anti-heroes as the main characters, most commonly with a strong, female protagonist.

Dawn was born in 1969, in Rochester, NY, and began writing prose at age 14. Ms. McCullough-White is married and has a young son. She is fascinated by history and social psychology. She is a vegetarian and animal lover. Her favorite drink is Gew├╝rztraminer. She's fan of Alice in Chains, U2, and Stabbing Westward, her favorite books include The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson.

You can see Dawns other books in the series here:

Cameo the Assassion Book 1 (.99 cents on Amazon for Kindle)
Cameo and the Highwayman Book 2 (2.99$ on Amazon for Kindle)

You can find out more information about Cameo and the vampire here:
Barnes and Noble
Facebook Page
Dawns website


October 27, 2011

Audio book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Jim Dale (Narrator)

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

This audiobook totally AWED me. The descriptive writing and the narrative reading made this book like a dreamy adventure for me. The first part of it I kind of got lost a little bit but once i caught up it was a magical and dreamy romance that i became engrossed in. The romance in this is a romance that every little girl dreams of. Marco is just a dreamy and swoony guy who could take my breath away. I truely felt as though he was romancing ME. Celia is a strong character who stands up for herself against her father for the love that she desires with all her heart. I am truely an admirer of that. The story is set in a time when things were simple and magic was known as trickery. It makes for a great story.
The love story between Marco and Celia is magical and true. They would sacrifice everything about themselves to save the other and that is the type of stories we dream about as children.  I felt as I was the one falling in love!
The scenes are told with such vivid description that i felt as though i was actually there. I felt like i was in a dream.
I LOVED this book. I'm not sure i would have loved it so much without the narrator Jim Dale. He reads it with such in depth tones that i was swooped away with his voice. I became so comfortable with his voice that once i settled down into the story that i didn't want to turn it off. I even fell asleep listening to it last night and i haven't done that with any other audio book. He has that kind of soothing voice. Well done Jim SO WELL DONE! I'm not sure someone else could have pulled this book off. He was the perfect choice for this book!
Erin Morgenstern is an author to watch. Her story telling is phenomenal. It is so appropriately told for that time era. The dialogue is breathtaking as are the dreams that the story unfolds. I will be watching for other books by her and hope that her magic continues in other books. I hope to someday revisit Marco,Celia. Widget and Poppins and all the other characters of the circus. If the next book that revisits this circus, I would stand in the rain to get it. Bravo to Ms.Morgenstern BRAVO!!!!!

Publisher-Random House Audio Publishing Group
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by~Lora

October 25, 2011

Monster Mash & Bash Giveaway

Happy Halloween. For the Monster Mash & Bash I am giving away an Audiobook of Goliath (Leviathan #3) by Scott Westerfield

Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.

October 24, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

WOW! I LOVE this book. This is my new favorite ghost story. It was unpredictable and a bit dark but irresistible. I couldn't stay away from it. I stayed up late night after night reading this book.
The characters Cas and Anna are a couple that i just found myself rooting for all the way through till the end. Cas is brave and strong and definitely a hero in my book. He thinks and says the same things I was thinking and would have said. The writing is witty and at times funny.
Such as paragraph that reads: Ive been in the attic, eating cats. I look closer at the black snake he's been weaving though his fingers. It's Tybalt's tail
"You f*ck--You ate my cat!" I yell and thank you, Tybalt, for one last favor, that pissed-off rush of adrenaline.
The writing is awesome.
There is some foul language but very few. And its in the appropriate places. The dialogue is phenomenal.
Cas is an awesome main character. And Anna is a great secondary character. She isn't afraid to sacrifice herself for love.
This author is talented and smart and witty and I am now her number one fan!
This is a must have for your book self. It is amazing writing and an amazing ride. I LOVED IT! and you will too! I hope Im on the ARC list for book two!

Publisher-Tor Teen
Review Rating:5 STARS!! ( I would give more if i could)
Reviewed by~Lora

~Thank you to TOR TEEN and the author for the donation of this book to Read for your future~

Audiobook Review: The Unwanteds (Unwanteds #1) by Lisa McMann

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.

Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

The story follows a boy named Alex who is considered an Unwanted by even his own family and sent to meet his death. He ends up in a magical place called Artime where he is wanted and accepted.
This book is one Magical adventure! And  this magical adventure is full of things like a talking winged cheetah statue, a talking wolf Gunnar and even Clive Alex's talking board just to name a few. There are many other colorful and magical characters along the way.  It is a journey to self acceptance. It is a great adventure for middle age children and even High school age. The characters are easy to associate with and very likable. The storyline is solid and magical. The narrator is Simon Jones who does a remarkable job taking you through this magical world. His accent gives it just the twist it needs to make it actually seem real. This is a story that would make a great Christmas present for the age when your awkward age that your not quite sure what to get . Its great for adults too!

Publisher- Simon & Schuster audio
Review Rating: 5 STARS!
Reviewed by~Lora
~Thank you to Lauren Pires of Simon & Schuster audio for the donation of this audio book to Read for your future~

October 22, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Its time for the spooktacular giveaway. This year I am giving away an AUDIOBOOK of SILENCE by Becca Fitzpatrick. Here is our Review of it.
Just fill out the rafflecopter below!

Audiobook Review: Silence (Hush, Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick (Goodreads Author), Caitlin Greer (Narrator)

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

The author has done it again. She has created a story that just sweeps you in and keeps you there. There wasn't as much Patch as i would have liked in this one but it is really good. The storyline is solid and full of twists and turns that are exciting to read about. The narrator is Caitlin Greer who also did Hush Hush and Crescendo. She makes a great Nora. She reads to you with heart and feeling. She also has a soothing voice. I would not mind checking out other books that she has done.
The characters are easily likable and the dialogue is witty and well written to sound as if a teenager is really doing the talking. ALSO You would have had to read the other two books to get the story of this book. It is NOT a stand alone book. All in all the story was good, the characters are awesome and the narrator is perfect!

Publisher-Simon & Schuster Audio
Review score-4 Stars
Reviewed by~Lora
~Thank you to Lauren Pires of Simon & Schuster audio for the donation of this audio book!~