May 31, 2012

Review: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Sookie Stackhouse #12. Yes, #12. I've come to have a love/hate relationship with the Southern Vampire novels. I can't not read the endless series, but at the same time I think they've gone on for far too long.

Deadlocked felt much like #11, Dead Reckoning. Sookie finds herself in trouble from every angle whether it be fighting for her life or struggling with heartbreak. Someone is always out to get her, and as a telepath constantly absorbed in the supernatural world, she can't help but discover everyone's dirty little secrets.

I liked the increasing complexity of her relationship with Eric and how she remains independent despite her love for him. She knows what's best for her, and most of the time, Sookie follows her instincts. I'm curious to see what transpires between them in the next and final novel. Of course, Sookie has a lineup to choose from when it comes to love interests, and if she does end up making a choice, I couldn't say who I think it will be.

Relationship status aside, Sookie has a whole other mess to deal with when it comes to her fae family, and I have to say, I didn't really see that coming. I really enjoyed how all things supernatural tied together in the end, bringing together the different types of supes in a whole new web of betrayal.

What I didn't like:

There are so many pages filled with the mundane aspects of Sookie's life with her wishing the entire time for a 'normal day.' With paragraphs filled with stopping by the library or post office, cooking sweet potato pie, getting dressed, watching tv, or eating this and that, I felt as if Sookie had a whole lot of normal going on. It seemed as if Charlaine came up with irrelevant 'fillers' just to add page numbers to her book because the whole mysterious chaos could be summed up in a few chapters. I know as a book reviewer I should be objective and only base my opinion on what the author wrote, not on what I wish he or she would write, but I couldn't help but hope for more drama in Sookie's love life or new characters or just something more.

Anyway, if you're an avid fan of Sookie Stackhouse, I know you know what I mean when I say I just can't stop reading them no matter how redundant they become. It's just one of those things...

If you haven't started this series, don't let the reviews of the last few novels turn you off of them. The first ones are AWESOME! and definitely worth reading :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday's question asks:

If you could write a book, what would it be about and why? 

One of my goals in life is to finish a novel. Whether it gets published or not is a different story, but the writing itself is fulfilling enough. I'm slowly chipping away at my first novel, and although I may not take it further than the four walls of my little office, it's probably one of the most rewarding things I'm doing these days.

My story about a women who loses the world she knows and the person she loves and how she finds the strength and the ability to survive her guilt. She becomes a completely different person, almost to the core of her being, except for those precious little moments she allows herself to remember. It isn't until she stumbles upon and watches from a distance a world similar to what she used to know ~ filled with trust, love, and companionship ~ that she even considers the fact that her life doesn't have to continue to be the way she's allowed it to become. Maybe she can be human again...forgive herself and love again...but at what cost?

As to why I would write about this, I don't know that I really have a solid answer. I suppose the essence of humanity is important to me, and all the silly stuff that we worry about makes me laugh sometimes. So, I wanted to write a story in which a person is stripped of everything, and I was curious about the struggles and triumphs she would experience in finding her way back to the reasons for being human.

Writing is both easier and harder than I expected it to be... just depends on the day, I guess. 

Happy Reading (and Writing) Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly tradition hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we shed some light on books we are anxiously anticipating.. 

This week, I can't get my mind off...

Rebel Heart (Dustlands #2) by Moira Young 
(Sequel to Blood Red Road)

Saba has rescued her kidnapped brother and defeated the fanatical Tonton. But the price to be paid for her violent victory is terrible. Jack has disappeared--and can no longer be trusted. A new and formidable enemy is on the rise in the dustlands. No one is safe. And Saba must confront the terrible secret hidden in the darkest depths of her soul.

To be released September 25, 2012


Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

 Is death the end . . . or only the beginning? 

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves. 

 Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect. 

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.

To be released October 23, 2012

What are you waiting for??

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

And the Winner is ...

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk. 

**(So, I've had to pick a new winner for this contest... That means everyone got another chance to win!)**

First of all, I want to thank everyone who entered my first giveaway :) If you lived outside of the U.S., I'm so sorry you weren't able to participate, but hopefully I'll be hosting more giveaways in which I can include you :)

As you may know, the prize this go round was a hardcover copy of Kathleen Peacock's Hemlock. (You can spot my review here, if you'd like.) This book was incredible, and I'm so excited to be sharing it with....

***Cathy De Los Santos***

Again, a huge thank-you to all who participated! I was a little nervous about my first giveaway, but y'all made it a piece of cake :) (Results were powered by Random.org.) 

Until the next contest...

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

I woke up to the crack of thunder and the flicker of lightening, so the fact that the nice, long weekend is over doesn't seem so bad. Perfect day for a good reading marathon... :) I'll be thinking of that while I'm at work...

This week's teaser comes from E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey.. yup.. I did it.. I joined the phenomenon and now, there's no going back..

" 'Until we meet again, Miss Steele.' And it sounds like a challenge, or a threat, I'm not sure which. I frown. When will we ever meet again? I shake his hand once more, astounded that that odd current between us is still there. It must be nerves."

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

(P.S. Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for a copy of Kathleen Peacock's Hemlock :) Click on the cover in the right column for a chance to win!)

May 26, 2012

**The Writer in You** Saturday Blog Hop

Been wicked busy with Memorial Day Weekend festivities, so I'll make this quick :)

The Writer in You Saturday Blog Hop is hosted by The Fiction Diaries .. It's a great way for writers to connect and get to know each other a little better..

This week's question asks:

When and where do you do most of your writing??

I write when I can, usually when I'm the only one home. Sometimes that's in the morning, sometimes it's in the evening. I fit it in when I have peace in my house. I usually coop myself upstairs in my little office with dark purple walls, a big bookshelf, and a huge window overlooking the woods in my back yard. My pretty little sanctuary. Other times, when the weather's too nice to be hunkered down inside, I carry my journal or a notebook and go sit by the lake or outside on my porch.

Happy Writing Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 24, 2012

Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

First off I'm just gunna say ~ Kristin Cashore is amazing! All the little details and events spanning across miles and miles of mapped land... It all seems impossible for one writer to keep up with.. but she does it, and she does it with flair.

Fire is the companion novel to Graceling. Only one character from Cashore's first novel is present, and although you can read Fire without reading Graceling, I think reading it as a second novel is a good idea ~ it can be independent, but it ties together so well with Graceling.

I can't say Fire, the heroine, reminds me of Katsa, but she does possess that complexity I loved so much about Katsa. She's brave and scared, soft and tough, determined and defeated. She tries to fight who she is throughout the entire novel, believing herself to be, literally, a monster. It's only when she accepts her abilities and the fact that she is her own person, not a replica of those who came before her that she finds peace, love, and friendship. She's flawed, even in her exquisite beauty, wallowing in her grief, guilt, or self-pity at some points in the novel, frustrating me, but she was always snapped out of her daze by the tough love of stern words.

Her relationships with the other characters varied. She began almost as an outcast, with one good friend, Archer, and his father. She seems to push everyone else away. People fear her because of her real father in addition to her abilities, and she holds a secret about him that could either induce more fear or cause praise. It is because of this that she blocks out her powers, refusing to really acknowledge them, drowning them in the music she loves to play. It's only when the king wants to use her strengths for 'spying' purposes in the midst of an upcoming war that she stretches her mind and allows people to see her for who she really is, even if she can't see it herself.

So many.. so many unbelievable things happen in this book. Some make you cringe.. some make you cry... others make you hold your breathe... I couldn't possibly go in to them without spoiling the book.. I'll just say Cashore knows how to take her reader by surprise..

I loved this book and the imagination and work it must have taken to live this story. It feels so real from the day-to-day events to the major thrills. Cashore creates a textured world that's dangerous and always evolving but, at the same time, filled with love and compassion. The story revolves around Fire, but the details of everything else ~ mutinous plots, war strategies, the tie-in from Graceling ~ all are finely crafted to create this brilliant story of complex and dynamic characters in a changing kingdom.

I feel like I'm rambling, but that's what Cashore does ~ she leaves you speechless, scrambling for all the things you want to say about her book.

Definitely a must-read :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Booking Through Thursday

It's my Friday! Super stoked about this four day weekend coming up, and it's usually unheard of, but my honey managed the time off too. Mini vacation for us :) 

(Don't forget to check out the giveaway to the right. Just click the cover and it'll swing you over to the entry form. :-D)

This week's question(s) ask:

Do you have any pet that has a name inspired by your readings?
If not, what would you pick if you DID?
Do any of your friends have book-based names for their pets? (Or their children?)

The answer here would be no. My girls ~ a 6 lb Pomeranian and an abnormally large Siberian Husky ~ are named Dakota and Anouk respectively. I picked names from the north because I unwillingly lived in the south. However, my parents had a puppy I named Lyra ~ like the little girl in the Golden Compass. I just loved the name. I also have a cat named Tobias, like in Divergent, but that's merely a coincidence.

If I got another puppy today ~ uh oh, now the thought's in my head ~ the names that pop into my head are Katsa or Po, from Graceling. Tough, strong, resilient, but kind and gentle at the same time. :)

None of my friends have book-based names for their pets or children.

What about y'all?

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 23, 2012

WWW Wednesday

Another hump day :) Today is technically my Thursday, so I'm even more stoked that we are coming upon Wednesday already... A long memorial day weekend coming up, a mini vacation, time to forget about work and enjoy a little bit of living.. :) Here are my updates for the week plus there's a link to my very first giveaway! :-D (goofy, open-mouthed, super ecstatic, slightly creepy, smile)...

What are you currently reading? I've got a few pages left in Fire by Kristin Cashore and I'm in the middle of the new Sookie Stackhouse series, Deadlocked.

What did you recently finish reading? Just finished Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. Fabulous story! My review can be found here, and guess what!? I'm giving away a copy :) *You can enter here*

What do you think you'll read next? I've got so many books glaring at my from my bookshelf.. I'm starting to feel the pressure. I have Insurgent by Veronica Roth... The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa... Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James... and Intangible by J. Meyers... Decisions, decisions...

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 22, 2012

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

In this world, werewolves have become a real "threat," the outcome of LS, or Lupine Syndrome. The government announced the reality of what was only seen in horror flicks, and as a result, a subtle war began. People who are infected are no longer seen for the life they've led, but exiled to atrocious prisons that sound like they could rival Nazi concentration camps ~ unlivable.

The hate against werewolves accelerates as a string of messy murders, clearly the work of tooth and nail, put the town of Hemlock on high alert and within radar of the Trackers, an anti-werewolf group.

Peacock works some magic in creating a believable world in which werewolves exist. The fear that any one you know could be infected is tangible, and instead of favoring werewolves like many other YA novels, you tend to have a bad taste in your mouth at first and instead of being in awe, you cringe at werewolves' capabilities.

That prejudice changes and transforms into a love/hate relationship through the eyes of Mac as she tries to unravel the mystery behind her friend's death. Mac discovers truths she could have never imagined, which is saying something because finding out werewolves existed must have been the shock of a lifetime. She tears away the safety of her illusions, losing her old life but finding something much more real and valuable in the process.

I smell a love triangle forming, and so far I'm a big fan of Kyle. He's complicated but steady, and though he makes mistakes, his sincerity and strength melt away any resentments. Jason's a little snot, in my opinion, who barely redeems himself in the end. I get he's the tortured, broody, sexy, ripped guy constantly adorning a leather jacket, which is usually my type, but Jason deserves a double slap in the face and possibly a low-blow to the groin. However, he did his job perfectly in regard to his role in the story, and I'm curious to see what road he and Mac take in the following book.

Amy, Mac's brutally murdered friend, is one of the most interesting characters in the book. Although she's gone, the story wouldn't accelerate without her as her 'ghost' becomes an extension of every other character. In a way, everything evolves and results because of her.

As is customary in a series, the ending left us with a few unanswered questions, but this cliffhanger wasn't too much to handle, thank goodness. I loathe gaping cliffhangers, but this one left just enough closure and satisfaction, allowing room for curiosity.

I loved this book. Kathleen's writing style and character development is grasping, and as an aspiring writer, I found myself taking notes. They mystery, hints of romance, betrayal, and life-threatening situations makes this a page-turner and a must-read.

***I'm giving away a copy of this marvelous novel! Enter here!***

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is plucked from Charlaine Harris's new Sookie Stackhouse novel, Deadlocked:

"After a pause he answered me, his own voice just as hushed. 'Maybe I shoulda gotten a job with some freakin' goblins. Or joined the pack and let Alcide boss me around. That would have been better than this. If I was you, I'd get my ass back in the car and go home. If Eric wasn't paying me so good, that's what I'd do." 

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 19, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award :)

Thank you to The Fiction Diaries for presenting me with the Kreativ Blogger Award!

Rules: Answer 10 questions and leave a list of 10 random facts I'm sure you all are dying to know ;)

1. What is your favorite song? Yeah, that's like asking what my favorite book is... I guess I'll go with So Cold by Breaking Benjamin... I could listen to it over and over and over and over....

2. What is your favorite desert? Chocolate chip cookies right from the oven...

3. What ticks you off? Most of the time, it's the ignorance of people...

4. When you're upset, what do you do? I tend to get really quiet and go looking for solitude.. If I can't find a place to be by myself, I lash out...

5. What is your favorite pet? I have two dogs who should more aptly be called my children. My Pomeranian, Dakota, is my side kick/snuggle buddy and my Siberian Husky, Anouk, is my running partner/cuddlebug.

6. Which do you prefer, black or white? Black, although I will take shades of grey :)

7. What is your biggest fear? Losing the people I love and failing...

8. What is your attitude? I'd say I'm a little moody but very happy :) If that makes sense...

9.  What is perfection? There's no such thing.. we all have a little good and bad in us... accepting that, I think, gets you as close to perfection as anyone can get..

10. What is your guilty pleasure? Hmmm... I don't know if I could feel guilty about something that brings me pleasure, but I'd say either Disney movies or singing in the shower... there's something about the echo in a bathroom that just makes your voice sound so much better than it really is...

10 Random Facts
1. My favorite color is dark purple
2. I love horror flicks
3. I hate sleeping in
4. Winter is my favorite season
5. I have a degree in Art History that I'll probably never use
6. I live in the woods ~  the level of creepiness at night would do Stephen King proud
7. Two hour bubble baths help me unwind
8. I make mean chicken enchiladas
9. I'm an unorganized neat freak
10. I like bold red wine and dark beer

Passing on this award to:

1. The Book Slayer
2. A Great Read
3. Books with Bite
4. Midnight Bloom Reads
5. Book Me
6. My Soul Belongs to Books
7. Amy's Book Den

Happy Reading Everyone :)

Thanks again to The Fiction Diaries!!!

~ Keely ~

Writing Playlist

An enormous part of my inspiration aside from the books I read comes from music.. I've always loved music, but I haven't become a freak about it until I recently discovered that it gets my creative juices flowing, unlike the silence I used to think I needed in order to write...

Over the past few weeks, I've been collecting a playlist of music and it's sorta become the 'soundtrack' to my WIP... The lyrics apply well to what my characters are experiencing both internally and externally...

Definitely nothing like rockin' out while you write.... :)

Happy Reading & Writing Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

The Writer in You Blog Hop

Week Two! for this 'word warrior' blog hop hosted by The Fiction Diaries :) If you haven't checked out her site yet, you should definitely stop by.. For you aspiring writers, check out the Facebook group, Word Wars, where you can get your competitive side riled up :) It's a great incentive to just sit down and write....

This week's question asks, 

What about y'all???

Happy Reading and Writing Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 18, 2012

Feature & Follow

Week two of participating in weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. I love finding new blogs and 'meeting' fellow book bloggers, and this is a fabulous way to do it :)

This week's question asks:

Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading and relax?

Well, I live in the state that has been rightly dubbed *Vacationland*, so I couldn't think of a better place than where I'm at now. I came to Maine on vacation two years ago, and ended up moving here four months later. Something about the beauty of it just gets under your skin, and you can't leave!

A five minute walk down a beautiful trail, and this is what I see. I've done it before: packed an ice chest of goodies and a blanket and stretched out on the edge of the lake. Peaceful, quiet, gorgeous. Maybe next time I'll set up a hammock...

What about y'all?

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 17, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question is a tough one:

If you had to choose to live within a novel, which would it be? 

Probably the most difficult question I've had to answer next to choosing a favorite book. I'm sitting here at my computer, glancing over at my bookshelves... I'd say it would be between two series of novels. Either Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices or Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series. Two very different scenarios, I know, but I love them both!

Clare builds a world set in a time when men were (mostly) gentlemen and women were (mostly) ladies, a time I wish I could go back and witness for myself. As if that weren't enough, this world is also filled with impossibilities and a dark but magical world that coexists with the 'mundanes.' Of course, I wouldn't want to be a mundane. More like a Shadowhunter or a Downworlder like Tess. That would be awesome.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind being sucked into the pages of Charlaine Harris's novels. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think it would be cool to live in a world where the legends we all thought were myths turned out to be real. Yeah, Sookie is put through the ringer a few times and had her life at risk by hanging out with everything and everyone that goes bump in the night, but she's not exactly human to the core either. Besides, if you had Eric Northman, would you really care about a little danger now and then?  ;)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 16, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get out hands on!

This month has been crazy for me in regards to books I've been waiting an *entire* year for.. All released in May! There's one more to go...

Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini

Can true love be forgotten?
As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

I fell in love with this series from day one. They mythology is rich and the setting ~ Nantucket ~ is amazing and familiar. Can't wait to turn the first page!

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~ 

May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
In much better spirits today. There's something about Monday's that just throws me off, and it takes Tuesday to nudge me back into balance. My teaser this week hails from Kathleen Peacock's Hemlock (I'll be giving away a copy of this fabulous novel in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!). Captivating, wonderful, suspenseful, horrific.. I'm diggin' this one :)

"Behind me, Jimmy swore and the wolf growled - not the displeased, impatient growl it had given me but a low, dangerous sound that raised the hair on the back of my arms and neck. Something flew past my head and shattered on the wall. A chunk of glass bounced off the bring and sliced my forehead. A beer bottle. Snarling erupted. Behind me, someone screamed."

Enjoy the week!

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 14, 2012

Musing Monday

Going on four hours of sleep, but I'm still here! That's the thing about blogging... I would rather get myself out of bed (even after a horrible night's sleep) to visit the book blog world for an hour rather than sleep for that extra time.. same could be said for reading into the night... Anyway,

This week's musing asks:

Do you tend to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

Guess it depends. If I feel I need to stop reading to get a few things done, I'll check to see how far I am to the end of the chapter. If it's a few pages, I'll finish the chapter; if it's something like ten pages, I'll stop there. In the first scenario, I think I read til the end as an excuse to read for a minute longer. 'I'm almost done, so why not finish it?,' kinda thing.. 

Sometimes if I get really frustrated with a character or angry with how the characters in a relationship are reacting toward one another, I'll literally slam the cover shut, force myself to stop, and pace around my house 'doing chores.' Hehe :) 

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~ 

May 13, 2012

Sunday Soul Baring (A Tradition in the Making)

It's no secret that I'm chipping away, slowly but surely, at my own novel. It's the most difficult, infuriating, and frustrating thing in the world, but it's also the most rewarding as I read and edit each week, amazed that I'm actually, finally, doing this. You know how life gets in the way ~ most welcomed ~ sometimes. Family, friends, pets, house, bills, job... I've stopped trying to plan when I'm going to sit down and write. Now, I just sit back, go one with my daily life and wait until the inspiration hits. It's always unexpected, that little jolt of creativity that whispers messages in my ear. Suddenly, I have a thought in my head that I have to write down or risk being driven to insanity.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm not a little crazy with all these imaginary characters running around inside my mind, doing what they will, living a story that I'm compelled to put into words. But you know what? It doesn't really matter, because I wouldn't have it any other way...

So where am I going with all this? I'm sure you've noticed the title of this post mentions 'soul baring,' and in a sense, that's what I'm going to be doing. I plan on posting excerpts, maybe a couple paragraphs, nothing too revealing, just to, hopefully, get some feedback, good or bad or whatever!

I hope this will be a weekly thing for me, and please, if you're a writer and want to help me start a tradition, a meme, whatever you want to call it.. create your own Sunday Soul Baring post. If you do, I hope you'll post a comment with a link :)

Here's a little piece of my passion:

I clenched my jaw in a feeble attempt at maintaining my fortitude. The incessant pounding of my heart betrayed my mind. I was fighting a losing battle within myself as he stood on the other side of the room, watching me intently, waiting for me to make the move that could change our lives forever. I glared at the floor, determined…to what? I didn’t even know why I was fighting him, fighting myself, anymore. I attempted to swallow the lump that was forming in my throat. How had it come to this? No matter what I did, I couldn’t outrun him.

After what felt like an eternity, I met his patient, darkening eyes. The look on my face must have resembled defeat, desire, desperation. He reacted instantly and before I could break our connection, he was standing in front of me, a complex combination of emotions flitting across his face. His brows drew together, and with a pained expression, he took my hands in his, concentrating on that touch rather than looking me in the eye. Suddenly, I was confused, almost amused, rather than conflicted. This arrogant man, this man with all the confidence in the world, was unsure of himself, afraid of rejection. What was happening to us?

Thanks for visiting! 

Happy Reading (and Writing) Everyone :)

~ Keely ~ 

May 12, 2012

**The Writer in You** Blog Hop

I'm a reader, and as you can often find me with my nose in a book, there's no way I could ever deny it. However, I'm also a writer at heart. I'm a lover of words and, although I'm not a published writer (yet), I feel something stir within me every time I sit down at my computer or with my journal, a blank page in front of me just waiting to be filled. So how excited was I when I came across The Fiction Diaries blog hop for aspiring writers?  It's fabulous!! Most book bloggers I've come across are not only book addicts but hopeful writers, and I think this is a great way for those who love to write to connect and learn from one another.

The Writer in You Blog Hop!
Each week there will be a question relevant to all things *writing*.

Q. Which author has been your greatest inspiration??

Holy moly, that's a tough one. I'm going to go with the first thought that popped into my head, because that's usually the correct answer. Alice Hoffman is an absolute favorite of mine. My shelves overflow with many of her books, and nearly every time I've picked one up, it's been read in one sitting. Her writing style is so unique and the way she weaves her story together with a hint of magic mixed in with the humanity takes my breath away every time. It's her words and her stories that first inspired me to write, and writing has become a loving staple in my life ever since.

How about y'all?

Happy Reading (and Writing) Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 11, 2012

Follow Friday!

So I'm new to the Feature & Follow hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, and I'm pretty excited to be participating this Friday! Each week, there's a question to answer ~ a fabulous way to initiate conversation ~ and it's a great way to find and connect with other bloggers :).

Q. This Sunday in the U.S. is Mother's Day, in celebration, what are some of your favorite books with strong mother/child relationships?

One that comes to mind is Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Caster Chronicles. Ethan's mother passed away while he is in high school, but the connection they had and still have even after her passing is undeniable. Even in death, she reaches out to her son to help him in any way she can against the evils he comes up against. Their relationship isn't typical, but the reader can feel the love and strength between them.

What about y'all???

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 10, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Another rainy day here in Maine. I don't dread the rain; in fact, I embrace it. Mainers seem to think that complaining about the weather will change it, so they do a lot of moaning and sighing over it. I always tell them it can't be sunny every day :)


This week's question asks:

Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert?

I am definitely, without a single doubt, an introvert. I need to be in the company of silence in order to recharge, and social situations wear me out. Most people say I'm too quiet or ask why I'm so shy, but the truth is that I'm not meek or shy at all ~ silence isn't awkward for me, and I just prefer not to fill every quiet moment with endless chatter. In a world created for extroverts, a lot of people I've met have a difficult time grasping the concept that there are other kinds of individuals besides the loud and outgoing who have a place in this world. I love extroverted people and the fact that everyone is different ~ the world would eventually be made of zombies if we were all the same.

Not really a book question, but I tend to find that those who are more introverted are those who enjoy reading the most. I guess that's a question for another day...

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely

May 9, 2012

Review: Requiem by Jamie McGuire

“Jared paced, brooded, and once in a while, when his thoughts were particularly tormented, he winced. The color had long left his face as he played back the different scenarios in his mind. Back and forth he paced, so many times that I watched the floor, wondering when he would wear a trail. His inner turmoil could have set the room on fire. It was unbearable to watch, but I couldn't leave him; not when he was planning my death.”

Dreaming of the dead might mean a restless night for anyone, but for Nina Grey it was a warning. 

Still healing from her last run-in with Hell, Nina struggles with not only her life as a Brown University student, but also as an intern at Titan Shipping, her father's company. Recurring nightmares about her father's violent death have become a nightly event, but being overwhelmed with guilt from Ryan's unexpected departure to the Armed Forces, and heart ache over Claire being across the ocean to protect him, Nina believes her sleepless nights are the least of her problems—but she's wrong.

Worried about Nina's declining health, Jared must steal back Shax's book for answers. Fighting new enemies, and with the help of new friends, Jared's worst fear comes to fruition. Desperate, he is faced with a choice: Fight Hell alone, or start a war with Heaven.

This is when it gets thick ~ helluva sequel. I loved Providence, but as I said in my review, I wished there would be more background, history, something. I got more than enough in Requiem. With a surprise on every page, Requiem went at a racing pace, bringing Nina deeper into the depths of Heaven and Hell, allowing her to make the discovery that she's not as displaced in Jared's world as she once thought. 

So much happens in this sequel, my head is spinning trying to figure out what to write first. My favorite element was the history provided, the little details that caused Nina's world to head in a downward spiral.When you're reading Providence, you start to believe that this is going to be a simple love story, and Jared and Nina will always have to fight fate to be together. As if that obstacle wasn't difficult enough, Requiem makes their problems in the first novel seem like sweet indulgences. I didn't expect freakish, practically fulfilled prophecies and full on battles with Hell, but that's what I got, and I gladly accepted. 

I had to look up the meaning of Requiem. A requiem is a "mass for the dead." I don't know why they can't simply say 'funeral,' so I'm assuming it's much more complex than that. The dead reach out to Nina in her sleep, sending her messages in hopes to help her and Jared with this overwhelming prophecy she's a part of that will supposedly alter the balance between Heaven and Hell. That, and Nina and Jared's destiny isn't exactly full of life, so I suppose the title is also in relation to that. (I'm trying to be vague here; don't want to spoil too much for ya.)

As for Nina and Jared's relationship, it's reached that peak where there love holds fast and nothing can keep them apart. It's the other characters that are focused on here such as Claire, Ryan, and even Kim. I love that McGuire expands on these other lovable characters and brings them closer to Nina and the shadows she faces. As if the demonic and historic storyline weren't enough in this book, the growth of all these characters gives the story even more ground to stand on. 

Definitely a must read. This book blew my mind, and as soon as I turned the last page, my thumbs hastily brought up the Kindle store to purchase the third and final installment, Eden. Worth your time, I promise.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~  

May 8, 2012

Upcoming Giveaway!

In the next couple of weeks, I am happy to announce that I will be hosting my first giveaway! Very excited and a tad bit nervous here, but I'm stoked to be offering up this highly recommended and much anticipated book.

Released today, Kathleen Peacock's Hemlock draws us into a world where being a werewolf isn't a paranormal myth, but a known 'virus' making it's way through the country. After her best friend is murdered by a white werewolf, Mackenzie can't help but do some digging, discovering much more than she anticipated.

The giveaway starts Monday, May 28th and will end the 1st of June. More details to come!

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
 Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, I have two teasers! Double the fun :)

First, a few intriguing lines from Jamie McGuire's Eden (Providence #3):

"The priest brought in an extra chair, and he and Jared opened the book. Immediately the room turned cold, and I wrapped my arms around my middle. The Others knew we were here, and that we had the book."

And the other comes from Fire by Kristin Cashore:

"She watched him, crestfallen. He was so physical in his arguments. He loomed and gestured, his face went dark or burned with light. His eyes blazed. And he was just as physical with his love and his joy, and this was why they all fell in love with him, for in a world that was dismal he was alive and passionate, and his attentions, while they lasted, were intoxicating." 


Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 7, 2012

Musing Mondays

This week's musing asks...

If you were going to write a book, what would you write about? Would it be fiction or nonfiction?

I've actually already begun writing a fiction novel, and I'm finding it to be the most difficult yet most rewarding project I've ever undertaken.

It's about a women who loses the world she knows and the person she loves and how she finds the strength and the ability to survive her guilt. She becomes a completely different person, almost to the core of her being, except for those precious little moments she allows herself to remember. It isn't until she stumbles upon and watches from a distance a world similar to what she used to know ~ filled with trust, love, and companionship ~ that she even considers the fact that her life doesn't have to continue to be the way she's allowed it to become. Maybe she can be human again...but at what cost?

I love losing myself in this world of certainty and uncertainty and what it means to be human... I never really know where it's going to take me next, and although I'm not even close to being finished, I'm having the time of my life :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 4, 2012

Review ~ World War Z by Max Brooks

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time.World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War. 

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”


Who isn't on a zombie kick these days? I'm one of those obsessional thinkers who can't get enough and am secretly planning her course of action just in case moaning zombies take over the earth.

World War Z was recommended to me by my awesome cousin, so I just had to give it a shot. I'd never heard of it before, but An Oral History of the Zombie War? I was all over it.

This book was different from those I normally read. In the format of interviewer-interviewee, the book holds accounts of the zombie war and the efforts to "clean up" from several points of view. It feels real when you're reading it, and you're tempted to refer back to your history books just to make sure your teachers weren't holding out on you.

Brooks did his homework, combining real people and events with fiction. The jargon was pretty heavy (thank goodness for endnotes), but that's what made the content more tangible. Military guys aren't going to talk in way so us mundane civilians can understand ~ they're going to speak in the language they live everyday, and Brooks used this reality to create an image of history so distinct that it feels as if it really happened.

I won't say this is an easy read. You have to pay attention and focus on the chronology of events as Brooks jumps from one interview to another. It's interesting to see the horror unfold from the points of view of so many different people, civilian and military alike, from all over the world. There isn't one main character, and it's more of a historical documentary than a fictional novel, but the storyline is there among the broken souls and wretched emotions of those involved in the beginning of the zombie war to the eventual "end" and clean up.

Kobo Highlights

I don't know if great times make great men, but I know they can kill them.

The monsters that rose from the dead, they are nothing compared to the ones we carry in our hearts.

The more work you do, the more money you make, the more peons you hire to free you up to make more money. That's the way the world works. But one day it doesn't.

Freedom isn't just something you have for the sake of having, you have to want something else first and then want the freedom to fight for it.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

May 3, 2012

Excited About May!

So we began the inevitable month of May a few days ago, and although I usually wrinkle my nose at the knowledge that summer's not too far away, I'm pretty pumped about this month. Here are some new releases I and many other obsessional readers have been waiting for with stretched patience for about a year::

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Released: May 1st

Released: May 1st

Released: May 29th

Released: May 29th

Released: May 8th

Released: May 1st

I hope you find a new series from this list! These are all fabulous stories from extremely talented writers :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~