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Netgalley month wrap up!

 October was Netgalley month which allowed me to clear out my Netgalley requests. I'm keeping my requests sparse in November because my TBR is getting out of control and I really need to sort it out :)

So which books have I read?

All of them except Touch of Power are reviewed. My review on Maria V.Snyder will be posted sometime in November closer to the release date :)

Not bad isn't it?

Creating a New Halloween Myth: guest post and giveaway with Rob Blackwell!

Happy Halloween, me dears! 
Please welcome Rob Blackwell, the author of  awesome A Soul To Steal which I've reviewed here. I asked Rob to tell us about the fascinating Prince of Sanheim - a myth he uses in his story, and he generously agreed to give away a copy of his book to one lucky commenter :)

Probably the question I’ve received most often about A Soul to Steal is whether its central mythology, a legend called “The Prince of Sanheim,” is based on something real. I’ve had friends admit that they Googled the term after finishing the book, and others who suggested they had heard of it before.

There is very little as gratifying for a writer, since the truth is that I made up the entire story. What makes me happy is that it doesn’t feel fake. A good mythology should seem real or vaguely familiar, the kind of thing you heard once but have since forgotten.

I’m not sure exactly when the idea came to me. 

I know a lot about Halloween, and much of what we think we know is not actually true. Occult fanatics and religious zealots in the 19th century invented a past for All Hallow’s Eve which has very little to do with actual history.

Instead of rejecting that, however, I wanted to embrace it. I wanted a legend that drew from those old myths—real and fictional—and created something new. And I needed something that would go to my central theme: the nature of fear.

What I wanted to know was this: do your fears define you as a person? What would it be like if your worst fear—whatever that is—suddenly took shape? Would you have the strength and courage to face it?

I also wanted something that drew from a dark place. Fear is a powerful thing. We tend to view it negatively, but it’s also a great motivator, among other advantages. Still, it cuts both ways. It can either save you or paralyze you, depending on the person and circumstances. 

So I needed a legend that drew on old Halloween myths, explored the nature of fear, but also was something unique.

Here’s what I came up with. Do you want to hear a new Halloween legend? 

Pull up your chair and I’ll tell you a story: 

Centuries ago, a Celtic tribe was on the verge of annihilation, facing the increasing incursions of a rival. In desperation, they made a deal with Sanheim, the Celtic god of the dead. Despite the fact that most of their young people were killed as a result of the neighboring tribe’s attacks, they agreed to sacrifice one man and one woman to Sanheim. They tied them to a post, bound their wrists together and left them there to die. 

But they didn’t die. A few days later, they returned to the village and the young man—who had seemed like just a boy before—was now a powerful warrior. The woman was his priestess. The town elders were frig;htened, but pleased. The two left the next day to wreak vengeance on the rival tribe. Except when they returned, instead of taking orders from the town elders, they took control.

The two had immense powers—and were intimately bound together. When there was a battle to be fought, the man led the charge. But it was the woman guiding the tribe, making most of the decisions. Apart they were nothing. Together they were what became known as the “Prince of Sanheim.”

But there was a weakness. Their powers waxed and waned with the changing of the seasons. They were strongest at Samhain, the harvest festival we now call Halloween. They were weakest the next day, what Christians call All Soul’s Day. And the power they wielded tended to corrupt them.

Every generation, a man and a woman had the chance to become the Prince of Sanheim, but there was a catch. The man must first face his Cennad—a Celtic word for ambassador—that embodied his worst nightmare. If the man could defeat his Cennad, he and the woman would have access to great powers. The woman, too, would have to face her own test, but of a different nature.

That was the basic legend, but I couldn’t really stop there. I didn’t want to just have an old myth with no echoes through history. So I invented stories for several Princes of Sanheim through the ages. In the original version of the novel, there were flashbacks to many of them so that the reader got a greater sense of their powers and vulnerabilities.

In the end, however, I cut most of that, simply because my novel already has a lot going on. The entire backdrop of the Prince of Sanheim unfolds while on the hunt for a serial killer with his own twisted history and I was wary of throwing too much at the reader.

The story I did tell was that of the most famous Prince of Sanheim: a Romantic-era poet named Robert Crowley. On Halloween night in 1873, he hosted a party at his estate in Scotland. Over 50 men showed up and history does not record the number of women who also attended. What is important, however, is that all but one disappeared. Only a man named Horace Camden survived and he shouted to anyone who would listen that Crowley had found his bride and become the Prince of Sanheim. 

The event was so mysterious it gave birth to a creepy rhyme: 
“Fifty men went up a hill, none of them came down. Fifty men went to see him, but none of them were found.” 
Camden went on to become a priest of the movement, talking about the coming of the next Prince of Sanheim. 

The final step was to set up an environment where this new legend was born again

Quinn O’Brion and Kate Tassel, the main characters of the novel, don’t know anything about the “Prince of Sanheim” when the book starts. Instead, they are more worried about catching the killer named Lord Halloween before he strikes again. But as the novel goes on, they eventually realize that the key to finding the killer may lie in uncovering the mystery of the ancient Celtic myth.

They also have to learn something else: you are what you fear.

-- Rob Blackwell

For more on A Soul to Steal, please “like” the Facebook page
The novel can be bought for Kindle or for Nook.

Until 1st of November Rob runs a giveaway for $10 Amazon Gift Certificate on his Facebook Page. He also promised to give away a Kindle(!) if he sells 100 copies of his book today :)

win an ecopy of A Soul To Steal by Rob Blackwell

Synopsis from Goodreads
You Are What You Fear
Something is stalking the citizens of Loudoun County, Va.
Is it the return of the notorious serial killer known as Lord Halloween? Or is it something worse—a figure that can cloak itself as your worst nightmare?
Kate and Quinn, two community journalists, rush to uncover the truth before a promised bloodbath on Halloween night.

The debut novel from award-winning journalist Rob Blackwell, A Soul to Steal balances suspense, horror, action and humor, building to a gripping and unforgettable conclusion. For readers who enjoy Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher, A Soul to Steal is the perfect autumn novel. 

Mandatory entry: +1  Tell me what is your worst fear and if you ever overcame it? OR/AND add this book to your wishlist on Goodreads or Amazon and leave me your email address

Extra entries: +1 for following through GFC or Networked Blogs, +1 for spreading the word about the giveaway through social media (Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.)

Giveaway is international and ends on 13th of November 2011.

Good luck!

IMM#9 & Halloween madness!

Hey, peeps! It's almost Halloween and I have the cutest pumpkin ever glowing in my window...

...which pretty much sums up the extent of my participation in Halloween ;)

How was your week? I've collected some really good books, failed at attempt to diminish my TBR and almost cleared out my Netgalley list of books as it is Netgalley month.

Here is what I've got...





For review

Can't wait to read these books!


I've gobbled this book up already! An assassin from the future going into the past to prevent the end of the world ;) Right up my alley, can't wait to read the sequel!



This is it.
What's in your mailbox, ladies and gents?

Proceed to complimentary music...

Angelfall by Susan Ee review and giveaway!

Angelfall by Susan Ee (Penryn & the End of Days #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Buy from Amazon 

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel review

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel (Dearly #1)

Egalley thanks to Random House Publishing Group

Synopsis from Goodreads
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Buy from Amazon
Buy from The Book Depository

Mini reviews for 3 novellas

Space Junque (Apocalypto #1) by L.K.Rigel

free from Smashwords

Synopsis from Goodreads
The DOGs want to destroy the world. The gods want to make a new one. The trick is to survive both.

The world is on the brink of ecological cataclysm set off by the Oil Spill of 2010 and the Great Sea Level Rise of 2070. Hydroponics agronomist Char Meadowlark has become a recluse since her fiance was killed by a terrorist bomb and her twin sister Sky went underground to protect a top secret alternative energy project. Warned about an impending eco-terrorist attack, Char tries to get off planet, but the Defenders of Gaia strike while she's at the airport. Shuttle pilot Jake Ardri might offer her only hope.

When the DOGs' onslaught goes global and the material world threatens to implode, the ancient gods reemerge to take control over humanity. Through the ensuing chaos, Char must juggle two men, a world on fire, and a goddess with an agenda for a new world order.
Will there be any room for love in flagrante apocalypto?

Free from Amazon now
Free from Smashwords now

Ashfall by Mike Mullin review

Ashfall by Mike Mullin (Ashfall #1)

Egalley thanks to Tanglewood Press

Synopsis from Goodreads
Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.
Buy from Amazon 
Buy from The Book Depository

Wedding Anniversary giveaway winner!

My dear readers,
thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the most romantic places with me and for your congratulations! I had a fabulous time, and will do it again next year *wink*

The winner of the giveaway is...


Dear chandragay, I've sent you an email already. You have 48 hours to reply, otherwise I will have to choose another winner.

For those of you who haven't won, check my current giveaway and watch out for two more coming before the end of the month!

Good luck and have a fantastic week!

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

I'm so so excited about this giveaway, guys!

For those who know this blog - welcome back me dears :)

For new  visitors - hello there! *grinning foolishly* Hope you browse the blog and stay if we have similar taste in books.

All my giveaways are always international.

So what spooky reads are up for grabs today?

First winner will be able to choose one of these books from The Book Depository

plus will receive an additional ebook generously donated by Rob Blackwell

Second winner will receive an ebook A Soul To Steal from Rob Blackwell.

I've read all of these books and they are amazing and scary! You can check out my reviews for Long Lankin, Misfit, Angel's Fury and A Soul To Steal.

Giveaway Rules
Mandatory entry: You just have to tell me what was your greatest fear when you were a child? and leave your email address
(I can tell you my fear for a start. I was afraid of the dark. Yep, running to a toilet at night was really scary ;)

Extra entries:
+1 follow this blog by GFC or through Networked Blogs
+1 spread the word about the giveaway through social media (Twitter, Facebook, your blog etc.)

Giveaway open to all the countries of shipping by The Book Depository. If you live somewhere else you are only entitled to my own copy of Long Lankin and Rob's ebook.
Giveaway ends 31/10/2011.

Good luck and hop on to the next blog!

A Soul To Steal by Rob Blackwell review

A Soul to Steal by Rob Blackwell

review requested by the author

Synopsis from Goodreads

You Are What You Fear

Something is stalking the citizens of Loudoun County, Va.

Is it the return of the notorious serial killer known as Lord Halloween? Or is it something worse—a figure that can cloak itself as your worst nightmare?

Kate and Quinn, two community journalists, rush to uncover the truth before a promised bloodbath on Halloween night.

The debut novel from award-winning journalist Rob Blackwell, A Soul to Steal balances suspense, horror, action and humor, building to a gripping and unforgettable conclusion. For readers who enjoy Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher, A Soul to Steal is the perfect autumn novel. 

Buy from Amazon


IMM #8 and Sunday Treat Halloween edition

This week has totally flown by, and right now I'm exhausted.
Halloween is not celebrated that much here, so I'm not expecting any kids treat or tricking on our quiet street, but I'm buying my pumpkin damn it! and putting it in the window ;)

Bookwise I had a very good week again, so here is my haul...


Love Leanna Renee Hieber, and the premise sounds fantastic. I'm so glad they approved my request! Also this book is part of my Netgalley Month reading.


I love spies in historicals, so I really couldn't resist this book. However so far it's been a slow read - too much thinking and info dumps and too little action.

For review

Vampires and librarians? This should be interesting :)




I wanted to read these books ages ago, and now they are free :)  Jenny Pox - get yours!

And how was your mailbox, ladies and gents?

* * *
Just a reminder.
Don't forget that today is the last day to enter my giveaway for If Angels Burn/Winter Queen.

Monday I'm participating in Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, and man have I got  a treat for you! Giveaway will be international of course.

Between now and Halloween I have another 2 giveaways planned so keep an eye out :)

* * *
Back to our music...

The video is wacky, but I love that song!
and man candies Vampire edition... 
Lestat (who is by far more interesting in the book than in the movie Queen of The Damned)
Jean Claude from Anita Blake. That there is no actual picture just tells you that no man yet came close to that perfection *grinning*
Spike (do I have to even say where from?)
 Out. For. A. Walk. B*tch
You remember? That was priceless.
So, any vampire to add? I know there are loads :)

My Guilty Pleasure #4 - British comedy

Honest to God, when I was thinking about this post yesterday, I intended to talk about my favorite series which I read and reread countless times over the years and still absolutely adore. But they are French. Although they were huge in France and many Eastern European countries, not many French books or movies made in the 1960s are well known in English-speaking world. I couldn't even find a decent trailer in English. The idea was abandoned.

Instead I will talk about British comedy which I absolutely love and watch when I realy need a good belly laugh. It's inherently different from American comedy, and I prefer it that way. So here are some of my favorite sketches, programs or movies. Enjoy!

1. Blackadder
I can never tire of watching it, it's that good!

2. Monty Python, of course!
There are so many sketches I love but Holy Grail and Life of Brian are my favorite.

3. The Armstrong and Miller Show

Honorary mention goes to
(These go up to eleven!)

So what are your favorite comedy sketches, programs, comedians?

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison review

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Elder Races #1)

won from The Bookaholic Cat

Synopsis from Goodreads
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.
Buy from Amazon 
Buy from The Book Depository

Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee review

Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee (The Book of Mortals #1)

Egalley thanks to Hachette Book Group

Synopsis from Goodreads
New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker teams with Tosca Lee to create this gripping thriller set in a desolate future.
A terrible truth has been revealed to one man: the entire human race has been drained of every emotion except one— fear. To bring life back to the world, Rom must embark on a journey that will end either in his own demise or a reawakening of humanity. But to bring love and passion back into existence will also threaten the powers of the world with the revolution and anarchy that had nearly destroyed them previously.
After happening upon a journal through strange circumstance, Rom's world is shattered. He learns that humanity long ago ceased to "live," that it exists today in a living death of emotions. In a terrible risk, Rom exposes himself to the vial of blood folded into the old leather of the journal. His change is fearful and fraught with mind-bending emotion. A once-pious observer of the Order's passionless statues, he is filled with uncontrollable impulses. He is filled with love.
He is undone, terrified, and alone in the desolate world.
Buy from Amazon
Buy from The Book Depository

Artists behind the covers #3 - Jason Chan and Timothy Lantz

It's that time of the month again, me dears. Today I'm introducing you to two very different but marvelous artists.

First one is Jason Chan.
You're bound to know and admire his work believe me!

Funnily enough most of these books are on my wishlist because of the gorgeous covers.

Second artist, Timothy Lantz, is very different. He reminds me of some pagan artists with his wild, soft and magical illustrations.


So, do you recognise the covers? What do you think of them?

The Armageddon Chord by Jeremy Wagner review

The Armageddon Chord by Jeremy Wagner 

won from Yasmine Galenorn's blog

Synopsis from Goodreads
Deep beneath the Egyptian sands, an ancient and evil song written in hieroglyphics is discovered in the long lost and buried pyramid of the demonic pharaoh, Aknaseth. It is written, that if this song is performed for the world to hear, it will unleash the Apocalypse upon the world of man Satan will reign and grant immortality to the chosen.
With the help of abominable Egyptologist, Helmut Hartkopff, nihilistic multibillionaire, Festus Baustone the Third will do whatever it takes to bring the song to life at any cost- even if his only daughter is to be sacrificed.

Kirk Vaisto, dubbed the "God of Guitar" by his millions of fans, soon finds himself caught between the forces of divine good and monumental evil. Vaisto begins a musical journey that takes him from an unholy chapter in ancient Egyptian history to the very remains of the Holy Cross, to the concert stage, and beyond all this, to the very edge of Hell itself.
Will Kirk give the performance of a lifetime and either deliver our world from evil or will he annihilate us all with the stroke of his hand?

What will happen when Kirk Vaisto strikes The Armageddon Chord?

Buy from Amazon
Buy from The Book Depository

The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley review

The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley

Egalley thanks to Hachette Books Group

Synopsis from Goodreads
The year is 1827. For Adam Quire, an officer of the recently formed City Police, Edinburgh is a terrifying place. It is a city populated by mad alchemists and a criminal underclass prepared to treat with the darkest of powers. But nothing can prepare him for the trail of undead hounds, emptied graves, brutal murders and mob violence that will take him into the darkest corners of the underworld and to the highest reaches of elegant Edinburgh society.
Buy from Amazon
Buy from The Book Depository

IMM #7 and Sunday Treat

Hello, me dears! How have you been? This week was insanely busy for me, I even skipped Friday post because all I wanted was to stay in bed and read (which I did). However, I still managed to gather some awesome books in my mailbox...


So, so excited about this book! I wanted to read it for ages...

This goes without saying... Another two books which I had on my wishlist for ages!

For review
Huge thanks to Marta!
I'm dying to read this book, but I will have to hold off the review until 2012 which is when the book comes out. Also the new font is wonderful. I much prefer it.


And what's in your mailbox, ladies and gents?

As for your Sunday treat. This is not quite complimentary music I had in mind, but I saw this at Smart Bitches,Trashy Books and had to repost.

Personally I think whoever came up with this idea is a genius! 
As to your man candy...
Henry Cavill. Remeber him in The Tudors? He is also in the upcoming The Immortals and Man of Steel. Beautiful!
Happy Sunday!

Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett early review

Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett

Egalley thanks to Cedar Fort

Synopsis from Goodreads
Jen's life of partying and sneaking out has grown stale. So on a whim, Jen makes a bet to turn Trevor, a goody-two-shoes geek, into a "bad boy." As she hangs out with Trevor, however, she finds it's actually kinda fun being a geek. But when Trevor finds out about the bet, Jen must fight for the things she's discovered matter most: friendship, family, and, above all, love.
Published: 08/12/2011.
Buy from Amazon
Buy from The Book Depository

Heartless by Gail Carriger review

Heartless by Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate #4)

won from All The Things Urban Fantasy

Synopsis from Goodreads
Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?
Buy from Amazon
Buy from The Book Depository

Around The World in Book Covers - New Feature!

Alright, peeps! I would like to introduce you to some non-english covers of popular paranormal books and I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I do. Here we go...

I just love German covers of Dark Swan series. They scream urban fantasy to me and the logo of swan is so cleverly done.

On the left there is Russian cover, on the right - Polish cover of Bloody Valentine. Both have beautiful images which don't indicate that this is YA straight away.

Three diffirent titles done in a similar style by a certain Russian publisher. I quite like it. What do you think?

At last
Russian covers for Maggie Stiefvater books. They are my favorite so far. I just think they look gorgeous!

So how was it for you? Do you like this feature? If you have links for other non-english book covers you'd like to share, leave them for me in the comments and I'll add the books to the gallery next time.

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In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
Thank you! Love you all

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