my monthly books recap: december 10 + GOODBYE 2010!

Written by Darlyn At Friday, December 31, 2010 12 bookish peeps...
It's New Year's Eve and I'm doing my last minute post to wrap up everything after being procrastinating doing it for quite a while. Nevertheless, I am quite amaze with myself actually to come this far and still standing administrating this very blog! This blog "Darlyn & Books" really my proud shrine, a little place that I really have for myself, separated from my chaotic, miserable and demanding life.

Without dragging and being mushy, this is my book list I've read for December. Quite an achievement and unbelievable that I managed to read 14 books this month (plus 1 for November). But not really feel good since I've been busy with school and stuff which limiting my time to write the reviews. I do wrote some though; with quite amount of short reviews.

1) A Winter Solstice Celebration by DiDi Lemay
2) The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
3) The Lake House by James Patterson
4) Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks
5) The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
6) The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
7) Witch and Cursed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
8) Thinks and Things by Crystal Johnson
9) The Falling Away by T.L. Hines
10) The End of Marking Time by C.J. West
11) Scrawl by Mark Shulman
12) I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk
13) Out of the Blue by Belinda Jones

With the books listed, I managed to read 101 books in 2010!!! YEAY! I totally can't believe that and you can see all the books read in 2010 HERE. I'm grateful that my target to read 100 books (and plus 1) is achieved. I plan to read at least as much as this year or more for 2011. God willing.

I think of how many times to write the last post for this year. I've gained sweet memories, knowledge on books related and I am very grateful to have many fellow bloggers who have given words of enthusiasm, never ending supports and invaluable assistance no matter how big or small. You all really means so much for me and very much appreciated. Although I have to say without you guys, I'm not here where I'm standing now even though I'm standing nowhere (or maybe there's a little spot LOL) in this book blogosphere or at least in your heart.

I am very happy to say goodbye to the year of 2010. Love you guys!

There's no regrets, only sweet memories.

Goodbye 2010!

book release: my sould to steal by rachel vincent

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, December 30, 2010 3 bookish peeps...
Title: My Soul to Steal
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers Series (Book #4)
Category: YA, Paranormal, Urban fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 0373210272 (ISBN13: 9780373210275)
Release Date: January 1, 2011

Soul Screamers is a young adult urban fantasy series narrated by teenage bean sidhe (banshee) Kaylee Cavanaugh. Join Kaylee as she tries to balance a normal high school experience with the threat of the Netherworld, a terrifying, hidden world full of reapers, hellions, and countless other mythical monsters out to possess her, body and soul.

Official Book Trailer


Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can’t just pretend nothing happened. But “complicated” doesn’t even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn’t just an ordinary girl. She’s a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people’s fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn’t above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.


giveaway flash: books giveaway

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, December 29, 2010 0 bookish peeps...
1. Interview with Author J. Steve Miller

Book Give-Away December 27 – January 7: For those interested in Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It, leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. U.S. and Canada. Click HERE to enter.

"Had I read this book in my 20’s, I’d be financially independent today. It’s a remarkable blend of fabulous research with clear and lively writing. You’d pay an expert quite a sum for this caliber of counsel. That’s why I say that the best investment you make this year just might be this book. Your second best investment will be the copies you buy for your children." -Dr. Dwight "Ike" Reighard

2. Interview with Historical Fiction Author Laurie C. Lewis

Book Give-Away December 30 – January 6: To win Free Men and Dreamers, leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail. Even though this is a series, Laurie’s books were written as a stand-alone read, as well. U.S. and Canada. Click HERE to enter.

This volume, Oh, Say Can You See, takes readers right in the middle of the incredible events that surrounded the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, the battle Francis Scott Key witnessed, and on the flag itself.

Triller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 - FINISHED!

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, December 29, 2010 6 bookish peeps...

I signed up with another challenge since I've read a few thriller/suspense books. This challenge is hosted by Carolyn over at Book Chic City. We have to read at least 12 books in 2010 (1/1 - 12/31).

Nonetheless I finally finished the last challenge for 2010. I already signed up for next year. Yeay!

1) 24 Hours by Greg Iles
2) The Eleventh Commandment by Jeffrey Archer
3) Mary, Mary by James Patterson
4) A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
5) Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young
6) Chill Factor by Sandra Brown
7) Memories of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
8) The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
9) First Impressions by Jude Deveraux
10) The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans
11) The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
12) Damaged by Pamela Callow
13) French fried by Chris Dolley
14) The Red Church by Scott Nicholson

i heart new york by lindsey kelk

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2 bookish peeps...
Title: I Heart New York
Author: Lindsey Kelk
Pages: 305
Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Borrowed from Poo

Summary (Goodreads):

When Angela catches her boyfriend with another woman at her best friend's wedding, she's heartbroken and desperate to run away. With little more than a crumpled bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins, and her passport in hand, Angela decides to jump on a plane for - NYC! Settling into a cute hotel and quickly bonding with benevolent concierge Jenny—a chatterbox Oprah wannabe with room for a new best friend—Angela heads out for a New York makeover, some serious retail therapy, and a whirlwind tour of the city. Before she knows it, she's dating two sexy guys and blogging about her Big Apple escapades for a real fashion magazine. But while it's one thing telling readers about your romantic dilemmas, it's another working them out for yourself. Angela has fallen head over heels for the city that never sleeps, but does she heart New York more than home?

My Say:

I never read chic lit much, but sometimes, I do corner my direction of reading to something lighter and quick. Reading I Heart New York is a very great choice when you want something light, quick and funny. Let us meet Angela, a naive, sweet and indecisive woman. What happened to her could happen to anyone on earth nevertheless it sounds quite unreal when she started her journey to New York. Maybe I think it's illogical, but proves me wrong if; 1) I runaway as far as to another continent (not a country!), 2) I get a best friend who is very a stranger to you that would do anything to cheer you up in a whim in less than 24 hours, 3) I can date two hot guys at a time! For me, it sounds like that is NOT what a normal/wise people would do. But who knows, maybe there's actually someone did that when they've been cheated by their boyfriend.

All in all, I'm not saying that I dislike it, I do like it because it brings out the impossibilities that I've reasoned. I wish I can be like her; not to get dumped of course but to have all the fun she experienced. And all those shoes! It's actually a good book to enjoy and I think I will her other two books in the series as well, but not so soon.

the notebook by nicholas sparks

Written by Darlyn At Sunday, December 26, 2010 8 bookish peeps...
Title: The Notebook
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Pages: 224
Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Borrowed

Summary (Shelfari):

Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories, until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape.

My Thought:

I just can't ignore that I like the book even though it's quite predictable and yes, cheesy. It has a very simple plot line which we can easily find it in most romance novels. However, what I like most is character's passion of devoting his love to someone he loves dearly. Noah and Allie are great character, their relation holds the chemistry and I'm easily connected to them. I've read the book after I watched the movie, and normally, I always love books better than movies. However, this one doesn't work that way. The movie was absolutely growing on me and everything was portrayed better compared to the book. I was hoping the book would be that great like the movie. Although, there's some moments that are very thoughtful and quite sad which both of the book and movie share together. Whenever I think of Noah and Allie, I think of how tight their chemistry bonds, even it reached the worst part when Allie was diagnosed with Alzheimer. It's heart-torturing and feel so sad to know that Noah never give up to read her a story of them. I can't imagine how that feel. Overall, it was good story. But, just a little warning, it is better if you read the book first then watch the movie. Or maybe, only watch the movie. So far, I think everyone have watched the movie!

merry christmas and happy holiday everyone!

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, December 25, 2010 20 bookish peeps...

Merry Christmas!!! Ho ho ho! Hope each and everyone of you have a great time with your loved ones, family, friends, kids, and boyfriend-girlfriends! Eat a lot of delicious cookies, cakes, and anything on the table and have fun! I wish all the best to all of you. And may this Christmas brings you lots of happiness, love and anything that you wished for! Merry Christmas!

I see presents up there!

Oh, how I love Christmas tree!

p/s: Hope Santa Claus gives you a lot of presents too!

giveaway flash: storywings' blogoversary + Xmas giveaway!

Written by Darlyn At Friday, December 24, 2010 2 bookish peeps...

Story Wings is hosting a great giveaway to all her followers! It's for her blogoversary and Christmas giveaway this time and a lot winners can choose book(s) of their choice!Yeay!

So head over to her blog now and enter. Don't forget to congratulate her guys!

Click HERE to enter. Open internationally!

giveaway flash: holiday giveaway!

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, December 23, 2010 1 bookish peeps...

Flippin' Fabulous A Reader's Record is hosting a Holiday Giveaway!
Open internationally and ends 12/23. Hurry up and enter!

The prizes???

Prize Pack One:
$25 of books from the book depository (if they deliver to your area) or gift certificate to B&N

Prize Pack Two:
$15 of books from the book depository (if they deliver to your area) or gift certificate to B&N

Click HERE to enter.

giveaway flash: 3rd blogoversary and Xmas giveaway!

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, December 23, 2010 0 bookish peeps...

Head over Larissa's Blog at Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life to read all the giveaway details. She's having a massive giveaway with a lot of prizes to be won! Here's the prize's snippet;

1st Prize:
20$ Amazon Gift Card + 3 of the 9 books above!

2nd Prize:
15$ Amazon Gift Card + 3 of the 9 books above!

3rd Prize:
10$ Amazon Gift Card + 3 of the 9 books above!

4th Prize:
1 of The 9 Books above!

A New Winner will be added for each 50 New Followers she gets and each New Winner will get 1 of the 9 books above!


I can't believe she's having a 3rd year celebration! I don't even reach 1 yet. LOL.

Click HERE for more information.

hush, hush by becca fitzpatrick

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10 bookish peeps...
Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Pages: 391
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Won

Summary (Goodreads):

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her, until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My Thought:

I think I have not read anything about the fallen for so many years or maybe in my entire life? That's one of the point, but maybe I was immensely absorbed with the epilogue which sounds really mystery to me. Any books that starts with anything mystery, I'm in it, hooked and digested. This kind of plot will easily attract my attention. That's what Hush, Hush did to me as well as wondering whether is Patch is someone I think he is, or is Elliot also one of the dark angel here, everything was very exciting for me to find out. Patch character is great, totally! He's strong, very cool, and calm, and I suppose he's very handsome too? (Look at the gorgeous cover there!). Nora did tremendously good as the heroin character. She's like any other normal girl, not that hot or perfect either (typical heroin character nowadays?) and her character is okay when some other heroins could be annoying, needy, and nonindependent. There's a time she thinks first before taking any actions. And, lets not forget about Vee. She is funny, open-minded and very annoying most of the time. But I think that's for the best since Nora is quite dull sometime. (like most of the heroins).

Although there is a complaint actually, I hate to read any possibilities of similarity with other novels; like there's a part of 'google'ing and reading stuff to know about legends, history or anything. I know it's good source there we have but a different approach doesn't hurt. However, I totally love the book. It has what a good book would be; a great plot, a few kisses that gives you sparks, a mystery of fallen angels and human relations and finally a good ending with a brilliant twist. Absolutely adores the book and Crescendo is on top of my list for next year's read!

the lake house by james patterson

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8 bookish peeps...
Title: The Lake House
Author: James Patterson
Pages: 350
Rating: 4/5
Source: Owned

Summary (Goodreads):

Six extraordinary children are trying to lead normal lives in the Rocky Mountain countryside. They live in different homes, with different families, but there is something powerful that connects them. Something that puts them in terrible danger. The only time they've ever felt safe was when they were together in the waterfront cabin they call the Lake House. And the only people they've ever trusted are Frannie and Kit, the couple who rescued them from unimaginable evil once before. When that evil resurfaces, the kids reconnect with Frannie and Kit and set off on an astonishing adventure. They flee to the Lake House, but even that haven may no longer be safe. Dr. Ethan Kane is chief of surgery at Liberty General Hospital, one of the most esteemed hospitals in the nation. It is here that terrible secrets lie, secrets that will change the world for all of us.

My Say:

I never know the book was actually the sequel of When the Wind Blows and a prequel of Maximum Ride Series until I read about it somewhere early this year. I love the series so much and gave a little effort hunting this book in a used bookshop, hoping that I will know a little bit more on the series of how it started. It was a very quick read, plus it's a page turner with short chapters. Although with quite a lot of characters, I don't easily lost track because each character have their own individual character. I really adore these extraordinary kids especially Max. Her leadership brings them safety and she really did her best to protect others. Talking about how science can be that evil and makes human lost the humanity to manipulate others, especially kids! There's a lot of actions and I think it's very cool when it involved flying kids doing it. The story developed really fast from the start and sometimes it's kind of little confusing, but I can assured you that you might enjoy it once you finished reading it.

2011 Book Reading Challenges

Written by Darlyn At Monday, December 20, 2010 6 bookish peeps...
A) 2011 Fantasy Reading Challenge

Time line: January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Rules:To read Fantasy novels base on 4 level (I pick 'Obsessed').
Host, challenge info and sign-up: Darlyn & Books
  1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  2. Matched by Ally Condie
  3. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens
  4. Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage
  5. Save Magic City by Rocsanne Shield
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B) Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Time line: January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Rules: To read historical fictions base on 5 levels (I picked Level 4)
Host, challenge info and sign-up: Historical Tapestry

C) 2011 Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge

Time line: January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Rules:To read 12 Mystery and Suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum)
Host, challenge info and sign-up: Book Chick City
  1. Crime Beat by Scott Nicholson
  2. Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey
  3. The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry
  4. The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
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D) Speculative Fiction Challenge 2011

Time line: January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Rules:To read 12 Speculative Fiction novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum)
Host, challenge info and sign-up: Floor to Ceiling Books

  1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  2. Matched by Ally Condie
  3. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens
  4. Save Magic City by Rocsanne Shield
  5. Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage
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E) YA Series Challenge

Time line:
January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
To read MG or YA books series based on 6 levels ( I pick Level 2).
Host, challenge info and sign-up: Stalking The Bookshelves / I Eat Words
  1. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
  2. Matched by Ally Condie (Mathced #1)
  3. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens (Heavenly #1)
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F) What's in A Name 4

Time line: January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Rules:To read a book for each categories
Host, challenge info and sign-up: Beth Fish Read

  1. A book with a number in the title:
  2. A book with jewelry or a gem in the title:
  3. A book with a size in the title:
  4. A book with travel or movement in the title:
  5. A book with evil in the title: Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey
  6. A book with a life stage in the title:
G) 2011 Non-Fiction Challenge

Time line:
January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Read non-fiction books on different topic (Level 1)
Host, challenge info and sign-up: The Broke and The Bookish
  1. Culture: Muslim Woman Reformers: Aspiring Voices Against Oppression by Ida Lichter
  2. Memoir:
  3. Science/Nature:
H) Manga Reading Challenge

Time line:
January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Read at least 6 mangas throughout the year
Host, challenge info and sign-up: Rhinoa's Ramblings
  1. Backstage Prince vol. 1 & 2 by Kanoko Sakurakoji
  2. Beast Master vol. 1 & 2 by Motomi Kyousuke
  3. Black Bird vol. 1,2 & 3 by Kanoko Sakurakoji
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I) 2011 100+ Reading Challenge

Time line:
January 1st ~ December 31st, 2011
Read any types of at least 100 books
Host, challenge info and sign-up: My Overstuffed Bookshelf
  1. Crime Beat by Scott Nicholson
  2. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  3. Backstage Prince vol. 1 & 2 by Kanoko Sakurakoji
  4. Beast Master by Motomi Kyousuke
  5. Starless Sky by Paige Agnew
  6. Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey
  7. Black Bird vol. 1,2 & 3 by Kanoko Sakurakoji
  8. Matched by Ally Condie
  9. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens
  10. The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
  11. The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry
  12. The Lion's Deceit by Mpho Otukile
  13. Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage
  14. Contract Bride by Ayn Amorelli*
  15. Once A Princess by Johanny Lindsey
  16. The Healing by Oana
  17. Save Magic City by Rocsanne Shield
  18. Polyxena: A Story of Troy by H. Allenger
  19. Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  20. Dead of Wynter by Spencer Seidel
  21. The Survivor by Sean Slater
  22. Muslim Woman Reformers: Aspiring Voices Against Oppression by Ida Lichter
  23. You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin
  24. Initiate by Tara Maya
  25. The Summoner by Layton Green
  26. The Imperfect Enjoyment by Dewan W. Gibson
  27. Godonism by Theo Von Cezar
  28. A Modern Witch by Debora Geary
  29. Jessica Z. by Shawn Klomparens
  30. The Pinnacle Seven by Jackie Richards
  31. Here Be Dragons by June Harris
  32. Hearts Blood by Carolyn McCray
  33. Three Sisters by Helen Smith
  34. The Eighth Scroll by Dr. Laurence B. Brown
  35. Slate by Brian Rowe
  36. Looking For Ward by Laurel Osterkamp
  37. Too Near The Edge by Laurel Osterkamp
  38. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  39. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
  40. Anasazi Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke
  41. Mayan Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke
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message in a bottle by nicholas sparks

Written by Darlyn At Sunday, December 19, 2010 6 bookish peeps...
Title: Message in A Bottle
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Pages: 368
Rating: 4/5
Source: Borrowed from Syiamala

Summary (Goodreads):

Message in a Bottle launches a remarkable woman on a mysterious voyage of self-discovery and renewal when she finds a deeply-felt love letter hidden in a bottle, a letter that reawakens her belief that star-crossed lovers will find each other across time and space.
Thrown to the waves and to fate, the bottle could have ended up anywhere. But it found its way to Theresa Osborne, divorced and the mother of a twelve-year-old son. The letter inside is signed "Garrett", and is an expression of his love for a woman he has lost. Challenged by the mystery, Theresa searches for Garrett, and takes the reader along on a hunt about love.

My Say:

Another remarkable story from Nicholas Sparks. I wont drag too long to tell you how story goes because if you are familiar with his writing style the I guess you already now what to expect from him. Even though with the same style of writing and expectations, I love it as much as I hate the ending. Sigh. Although I really think that it is actually the best to the readers to know that every how hard the outcome ends, it means for a new great beginning. So that we learn how to overcome such a hard situation or experience in real life.

However, the plot line of the story is another gem. I felt very intrigued with the messages in bottles. It's a mystery and I wonder if I ever have the courage to solve the mystery as well as become a part of it. It's very sensational story, heart-gripping and of course a tearjerker. I wish it will end differently but it is almost impossible in any of Sparks' books. Nevertheless, I will never get tired of his books and I've read another book of his too in a week!

the dark divine by bree despain

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, December 18, 2010 9 bookish peeps...
Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Pages: 372
Rating: 4/5
Source: Won

Summary (Goodreads):

A Prodigal Son. A Dangerous Love. A Deadly Secret.

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood. Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother. As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

My Say:

I always loved reading about vampire since I was a kid and werewolf is not an exception. The story was greatly told even though it started with a mystery. I was quite patient to read all details of the mystery before the truth finally came out, maybe because I really want to know the story after for so long reading other reviews. Not until in the middle of the story, the truth is finally discovered. The plot is good and I get the whole picture of the story right from the start and it amazed me of how well it is developed. Daniel character as well as Grace are great and I think they have a very good chemistry of how well their relation blends in every situation involving the two of them. It seems so real. Other character plays their very good even though sometimes I could detect some gradual changes in one or two characters like Grace's brother and her best friend. Just for the record, April is such not a very good best friend. She supposed to be more tolerable between Grace and her brother, and maybe be a little fair instead of leaving Grace facing her problem alone. However, the element of surprise when I found out who's the real culprit in the story, is really unbelievable yet very intelligent. I almost didn't see it coming! But there's a bit disappointment when Daniel finally get cured and Grace bears the cursed. Hope it will change in the sequel but if it's not, it still doesn't hurt because I will love it nonetheless.

I can't wait to read the sequel; The Lost Saint very very very soon!

Speculative Fiction Challenge 2010 - FINISHED!

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, December 15, 2010 2 bookish peeps...
I managed to finish this! Yeay!

1) The Magician Nephew by C. S. Lewis
2) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
3) The Host by Stephanie Meyer
4) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
5) Frostbite by Richelle Mead
6) Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
7) Thirst No.1 by Christopher Pike
8) Thirst No.2 by Christopher Pike
9) Evermore by Alyson Noel
10) Bluemoon by Alyson Noel
11) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
12) Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
13) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
14) Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
15) Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi
16) Vampire Kisses: The Beginning by Ellen Schreiber
17) Stake That by Mari Mancusi
18) Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
19) The Island by Sarah Singleton
20) The Dark Divine by Becca Fitzpatrick
21) Witch and Wizard by James Patterson
22) The Red Church by Scott Nicholson
23) The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan
24) Vampire A Go Go by Victor Gischler

Wish I'd Read That Challenge 2010 - FINISHED!

Written by Darlyn At Sunday, December 12, 2010 2 bookish peeps...

Glad to finish this one. I choose to read only 6 books, so it's not that hard. =)

1) The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
2) Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
3) Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
4) A Painted House by John Grisham
5) Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
6) Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge - FINISHED!

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, December 11, 2010 2 bookish peeps...
The challenges is hosted by Ready When You Are, C.B.

I chose the 3rd level; Saturday Movie Marathon: four books/movies

1) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
2) Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
3) 24 Hours by Greg Iles
4) The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

I think I barely finished this one. But it's fun to choose and pick up books adapted to movies =)

What's in a name 3 challenge - FINISHED!

Written by Darlyn At Friday, December 10, 2010 4 bookish peeps...

What's in a Name 3 Challenge hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
  1. A food in the title: French Fried by Chris Dolley
  2. A body of water in the title: The Lake House by James Patterson
  3. A title in the title: Prince of Twilight by Maggie Shayne
  4. A plant in the title: Marrow by Tiffanie Darke
  5. A place name in the title: Sunset in St. Tropez by Danielle Steel
  6. A music term in the title: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
Yeay! Finished this one too and I might sign up for 2011 =)

2011 Fantasy Reading Challenge

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, December 09, 2010 62 bookish peeps...
Hi! I know that I probably said that I won't be around much but I can't help myself to host this challenge! I think I can manage this one all year long. Plus, I want to make it more exciting with a little incentive!

I love reading fantasy and this is actually a big opportunity for me to make myself read all fantasy books I've collected from buying and won from some giveaways.The Fantasy Reading Challenge was actually hosted at Royal Reviews and then at Queen of Happy Endings. When Alaine offered up bloggers for a new host blog for 2011, I'm so happy to volunteer.

**This Is Totally An Update of The Challenge!**

Hi guys!

Due to some linky tools upgrading and new policies of subscribing, I decided to change the sign-up system of 2011 Fantasy Reading Challenge. I still have all the links of all the participants and have already exported them to the new site. So, no worries! Please visit the site to sign-up, post your reviews and wrap-up post at;

If you already leave the sign up link on this post before, I will enter it for you at the new site. For new participants, please visit the new site for this challenge for sing-up, guidelines and etc.

I'm terribly sorry for inconvenience technical problems and hope this will be a great solution.

Thanks and good luck!


i'm back and hibernating...

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, December 08, 2010 15 bookish peeps...
Hi everyone! I'm so excited to get back around the blogsphere! I know it's been a lot while since I'm on holiday and I kind of miss it to be around. My sister's wedding went very well and we had a great time. Although it's kind of tiring and energy-draining and mentally-challenged to know my younger sister getting married first before me (LOL!), it was a beautiful holy matrimony and I only pray the best and a blessing marriage to the newly-wed.

Isn't she lovely? At least she is to me *wink*

Waiting for akad

Ziehan and hubby

Smile of happiness

Me, Ziehan, Khairul and my fiancee

So this is the not-very-cool part. I think I will be absent a lot from the blogosphere and feel very sad about it. But as much as I want to be around and read other friend's review, I have to sacrifice this for a while to finish all what I've started; my master degree. A lot of attention and focus has to put on the line and I really hope that I will pass my master degree's viva and succeed with flying colors. I will be around but the post will be once in a while maybe once or twice a week and weekend will be the only time for me to visit and read reviews. The activity (visiting, reading and commenting) mostly will be slow and I think I have to endure this for a long while. Wish me luck and hope everything goes well. Really thanks for all your supports and I really really really appreciate it.

But first, off to pay visits!

giveaway flash: the sharp edge of a knife by nichole giles

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, November 23, 2010 3 bookish peeps...
Book Give-Away November 22 - 29: for those interested in The Sharp Edge of a Knife, leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail at U.S. only.

About the book

When Mel Petersen leaves for work, he has no idea what awaits him. A few miles from his house, Mel picks up a pair of young men who appear to be college students, hoping to prevent them from having to walk in the cold. What Mel doesn’t know is that the men are actually convicts on the run from the law who are desperate to get away by any means necessary.

interview: Author DiDi LeMay

Written by Darlyn At Monday, November 22, 2010 5 bookish peeps...
Hi guys! I so excited today to have DiDi Lemay, the author of The Winter's Solstice Celebration to Darlyn & Books today. My mom and I love the book so much and she even reads it a few times to my little cousins at home. You can read my review here. So, without wasting the time, here's my interview with her. Say hi and welcome her too!

D: Hi DiDi! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

DL: I’ve been writing for a very long time. I started when I was about 10 years old. Writing is an outlet for me to communicate and that is something I love to do. One of the ways I communicate is that I’m a teacher. I on occasion teach English as a Second Language to students of all ages.
I’m a very outgoing and happy person who loves life and sees the best in things. I love meeting new people and have adventures. The experiences in my life and the people whom I meet often inspire me to tell a story. I am very happily married. We have a cat named Harley and a dog named Rosie. My husband and I love to go for long walks with our young puppy- a golden doodle. She has lots of energy and it is fun to go hiking in the woods with her. I have an adventure everyday.

D: What is your routine of writing? Where and when do you find the time to write?

DL: There are times where I have a strict schedule of writing or researching everyday. That is usually once I have developed the story and feel that it has to be put on paper – so I don’t forget what my characters are about or what they have to say or how the story unfolds.

When I’m working on character or story development, I just let my imagination flow and percolate. I have a journal with me when I’m out so that when I have an idea I write it down. When I’m at home, I will drop what I’m doing and start to write. I then write until that train of thought is on paper. That can sometimes be within a few sentences or at times hours of writing. It has happened that I’m so immersed in writing that when my husband comes home things are strewn all about. He knows what is going on and then just waits until I stop. He doesn’t want to distract me. When this happens, my husband says I’m “in the book”.

D: Did you always know that you are going to be writer? And children story writer even more?

DL: I knew I had to communicate my stories to a lot of people and I did feel a pull towards books and writing. I loved reading as a child and when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say a teacher and writer. I am both.

When I was about 10 years old, I wrote a story as homework for the English teacher and she failed me. I had given a very detailed disruption on how the curtains in the bedroom window had fallen open and that the beam of light coming from the streetlight had illuminated the alarm clock(before digital) and that is how my character could see the time. The teacher told me that she did not believe that I had written this and that she therefore failed me. I was not insulted at all. I felt very confident in my writing.

I can only say, that children’s story are the ones that seem to flow from my imagination. I believe it is because I’m still a child at heart. I also feel that writing stories for the younger generation I hope to instill values and meaning to their lives. I hope to be a positive inspiration in their lives.

D: Winter Solstice's Celebration is really a good book. My mom and I love it so much! How did you get such a great idea to write the book?

DL: I became very interested in the environment, when years ago, I noticed the small river I had to cross on a daily basis on the way to school. Everyday, it had different coloured foam. When I asked about what it was, people very callously dismissed it and told me not to worry about it. I found out that it was run-off from the factory up stream. I think the callousness of people worried me as much as what was happening to the river. I started thinking about the animals and how we did things to their environment. That’s how I started to think about their story. It became very important to me to tell the story of the environment through their eyes, so that we humans can learn what the consequences of our actions are doing to nature.

D: I know it's not easy to write a story with a focus on quite a heavy issue concerning on environment to the children. It may sounds easy, but is there any research when you write the book?

DL: When I get an idea for a book that addresses issues like what I write about in “A Winter Solstice Celebration” I look at how I can put it into words and characters that the children can relate to. With “A Winter Solstice Celebration” I then did a lot of research on environmental issues that were concerns and then I put myself in their “shoes” - the animals- and imagined what they would have to say to us about the environment. That is how this story came about. The environment is a very important topic and I wanted to give the younger generation something to think about while they grow up. I’m hoping that the children that read “A Winter Solstice Celebration” get inspired by the characters and take some positive actions to help the environment.

D: Do you plan to write about other addresses issues for children books too in future? Maybe you're working on something now that you would like to share with us?

DL: My second book “Freddy’s French Fries Fiasco” which is also published, addresses childhood obesity. I felt it was important to get the message out to the children in a way that they could relate to. Children deserve to be healthy and active.

I’m also working on the second part of “A winter Solstice Celebration” This is “A Summer Solstice Celebration” where I will address the issues and pollution of our oceans. I’m doing a lot of research and have already developed story line and characters.

I’m also working on a series of books for younger readers. The character is “The Big Blue Bed Monster” who helps the children learn about important things in life. He helps them get over the fear of the dark and also goes to the dentist with them.

D: Every author has their own mission in any of their books. What's yours?

DL: My mission is to address issues in my books to inform and educate the children in a fun and interactive way. I also hope to inspire my young readers to become responsible and respectful adults.

D: Tell us 3 things that we might be surprised to know about you.

DL: I speak Dutch and German, I don’t have children, but I have lots of nieces and nephews. I enjoy new technology, but when I get something new, it takes a while to learn how to use it.

D: Any last words before we wrap up?
DL: One of the things that I want to instill in my young readers the importance of growing up to be a well balanced, responsible individual with respect and empathy towards their fellow human beings and their surroundings.

A Winter Solstice Celebration is an excellent book for Adults who want to teach their children the importance of caring for animals and the environment they live in. My book makes great Christmas Reading. You can purchase my book at and Amazon.

About the Author

DiDi LeMay is the author of “A Winter Solstice Celebration” and “Freddy’s French Fries Fiasco”. DiDi enjoys busy life writing, teaching English as a Second Language, and helping her students find their career paths. DiDi was involved with children’s entertainment for numerous years. While living in Europe she founded a Children’s Theatre Group, teaching children the ins and outs of acting, dancing, stage management, and writing.

Find DiDi LeMay’s at Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Thanks DiDi for your time at Darlyn & Books!

a winter solstice celebration by didi lemay

Written by Darlyn At Sunday, November 21, 2010 4 bookish peeps...
Title: A Winter Solstice Celebration
Author: DiDi LeMay
Pages: 56
Rating: 4.5/5
Recommended Age: 7-12

Summary (Goodreads):

What adventures are waiting for Miya as she walks to the forest to feed the animals?

An angry squirrel, a gentle crow, and an intimidating owl are just some of the interesting characters Miya meets in the forest. The animals are concerned about the environmental impact the humans have on their forest. It's up to Miya to deliver this message to the villagers.

But can she be convincing enough?

While reading this beautifully illustrated story, children will be silently rooting for Miya as she tries to support her new animal friends. They will be so captivated by Miya's adventures, young readers will not realize they are learning lessons in helping others, standing up for their beliefs, conquering their fears, and caring for the environment.

My Thought:

First of all, when I've been contacted to review a children book, I was a little hesitating because of what if I'm not capable of reviewing or giving an opinion of a children book. But then I thought, I was once a kid myself, so I think I would know what a good book I will enjoy when I read when I was a kid.

Reading at the synopsis of the book, I was intrigued. Environmental impact is quite a big issue and I don't think I can explain very well to any kids or even little cousins that I have. Miya, the main character of the book, is very anxious and sensitive little girl. She cared about the animals and always try to help them by bringing food near at forest for every winter. However, once, when she met a squirrel, being angry at her and demanded her to leave. She wondered why she's not unwelcome to the forest anymore and once she found out with the help of an owl, she felt like she had to help them. She don't want to be a bad person and being disliked by the animals that she loves. A gentle crow encouraged her to be brave and being confident, as she wanted to change the perspective of the animals towards the human and likewise. Through her adventure, Miya got an idea how she could bring peace by bringing the village community and the forest dwellers. A new celebration of winter solstice as a new a tradition among the villagers.

I want to be like Miya. She believes in herself and try to make a change even if it is just a single and simple act of kindness. She will make children believes that with a little help and good action to help others, it will give a good impact through one's heart.

All in all, A Winter Solstice Celebration is a very informative, helps us to understand the environmental impact issues, how human and animals need each other and how environment are important to all the creatures in the world. Respect the mother nature too. Other than that, it teaches children how to be tolerable, be brave and confident of themselves, make peace and respect each other.

The story is very interesting, it has the ability to capture little kid's attention with colorful pictures and it's easy to understand the whole story. The ending also satisfying and I believe the children will satisfy how Miya and the animals like each other again.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Author DiDi Lemay for an exchange of fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.

Note: The review also take part in Cym Lowell Book Review Party

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge - Finished!

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, November 20, 2010 3 bookish peeps...

Young Adult Reading Challenge hosted by J.Kaye's Book Blog. Even though I been very seldom visiting the blog now after it was taken over by someone else, I'm very grateful that I managed to finish the challenge. Thank God!

I picked to read 12 books, and it's kind of very fun to do this.

1) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
2) Thirst no.1 by Christopher Pike
3) Vampire Academy by Richelle Caine
4) Frostbite by Richelle Caine
5) Shadow Kiss by Richelle Caine
6) Boy That Bites by Mari Mancusi
7) Stake That by Mari Mancusi
8) Thirst vol 1 by Christopher Pike
9) Thirst vol 2 by Christopher Pike
10) The Morganville Vampires Vol 1 by Rachel Caine
11) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
12) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

giveaway flash: little shepherd by cheryl malandrinos

Written by Darlyn At Friday, November 12, 2010 2 bookish peeps...
Interview with Author Cheryl Malandrinos and Book Give-Away November 8 - 15: The new book giveaway this week is a Christmas book for children. It's an awesome book. The info is below. For those interested in Little Shepherd, leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail at International.

Little Shepherd is the story of Obed, a young shepherd boy in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. After the angels appear, Obed is hesitant to follow the others to see the newborn King. He’s afraid something might happen to his flock while he’s away. His father convinces him to go, but Obed spends much of the time anxious over his sheep. After a visit with the Holy Family and some surprises upon his return to the field, Obed discovers it is a night of miracles. This book is geared toward readers ages 4 to 8.

excuses, excuses...!

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, November 11, 2010 7 bookish peeps...
I don't know if some of you realized this, but I'm slacking at blogging this past few weeks. Blame me for that because I kinda having a lot off stuff and things to do. Everything is totally hectic and I'm losing my what I called the plan. Right now I'm at my uncles and on 11/13 will be going back to my hometown in Terengganu to celebrate Eidul Adha on 11/17. Three days later will be MY Younger Sister's Wedding (totally hope it is MINE! LOL)! Apart from that I have an important paper to be submitted for a conference in Brunei on 12/12 and gosh I haven't do it yet!

I'm on a leave for like 3 weeks and I can't promise I will blog and I don't think I'll read at very least. Wedding is a big event and we're going to be so busy with so many things. It's like I can't wait for it as well as I can't wait for it to over. But I promise to upload a lot of pictures at the wedding! I bet you never see a Malay wedding and it makes me really excited to show you all the pictures soon! But first let me introduce you all to my sister and her fiancee;

My sis, Ziehan and Khairul

Although this post is really my attempt to give lists of excuses, I'm still hoping you're still around and please don't forget about me! Because even though I'm full of the laziness inside me, I still and will miss you guys. I plan to pay visits around blogosphere tomorrow before I left for awhile. Oh, I already scheduled some posts while I'm gone hoping that my blog won't be left with spider-webs and dust. LOL. I'll be back!

<-- please don't forget this lazy girl =)

Happy early thanksgiving and Eidul Adha Mubarak!

xoxo Darlyn xoxo

giveaway winner: the life o'reilly by brian cohen

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, November 10, 2010 4 bookish peeps...

Hi guys! The has spoken! Now I would love to announce the winner of a signed copy The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen. And she is who said;

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the very first step - Carol
(I love what she said <3)

Congratulations! I'll send you an email now and please reply me back in 48 hours before I chose another new winner.

Thank you so much to all the participants and I love reading the the quotes! I'm looking forward to my next big giveaway for my blogoversary very soon! Stay tune =)

interview: Author Scott Nicholson + kindle giveaway!

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, November 02, 2010 121 bookish peeps...
Hi everyone! We have Scott Nicholson, paranormal thriller author at Darlyn & Books today as a part of his Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour. It's really exciting to have him again here. If you all remember, he wrote for a guest post at Darlyn & Books entitled "The New Era of Reading" a couple of month ago and I also had his book reviewed; The Red Church. There's the giveaway details at the end of the interview. Enjoy!

D: It’s been two months since your Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour began. How do you feel?

SN: I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve made some new friends and led people to new book blogs, and only a couple of times have I had those “Where am I today?” moments. It has taken away from my writing time, but in the new publishing era, book bloggers are the center of the action.

D: I think you did a great jump start on the phenomenon of Kindle/E-readers and e-books. Everyone’s talking/discussing/twitting about Scott Nicholson Kindle Giveaway around blogosphere. How do you take it? It’s a good thing right? (And not because the readers only want a free Kindle *wink*)

SN: We all dig free stuff, and one of the tricky things is some people on the tour don’t buy e-books yet because they don’t have a kindle. But I think many of the people who don’t win will probably buy one by Christmas. I actually got a bit of a late start because I’ve only been doing this 10 months, but I immediately saw all the benefits of the new era—the most important being the immediate connection with readers.

D: It’s amazing how you setting up the 90 Days Blog Tour and it’s nonstop. WOW. I’ve been around reading your posts on other blogs as well and every day is a new thing we get from you, very refreshing. If I were you, it’s hard to keep it real and organized but you did really great. How you did you do it? Got any extra hands?

SN: The only hard part was personally contacting probably 250 bloggers to set up dates. I didn’t have a list or a plan, I just started prowling the Internet. This whole idea was born in mid-July and originally I was going to give away one paper book per stop, then I realized that wasn’t my audience now. Sane writers generally do one-week blog tours, or one month at the most, but I wasn’t going to promote just one book, I was going to talk about the entire Scott Nicholson universe, which had never been revealed in all its strange, kaleidoscopic splendor. Plus I figured at some point I’d fail spectacularly and at least provide some entertainment.

D: Okay, let’s talk about your amazing books. I’ve read The Red Church and it’s brilliant and planning to read Drummer Boy for Halloween. At first I thought it’s just horror and scary but it has thrills at the same time. All your books have the same elements and keep me wondering if you write what scares you or assume that it will scare your readers when you wrote them? Do you plot the mystery, characters and everything too?

SN: Well, I don’t really plot, and I borrow a lot from local legends, and my core work is definitely paranormal and supernatural thrillers, but the new era and publishing my own work has allowed me to branch out in ways that would be nearly impossible in conventional publishing. I can do anything I want and all I have to do is convince you to give it a try. But the reader is the ultimate boss, and readers will tell me what sorts of things I should be writing and which things I should quit instantly.

D: Just want to hear out your opinion. Yes, we know E-books are a new era. But what about the price? They are expensive as the printed books and not everyone can afford to have e-readers. How can we reduce the entire e-books price and make them cheaper and affordable? (I’m not being pessimist but it’s a fuss among readers. We can’t wait for free stuff forever).

SN: Well, e-reader prices are already dropping, and so are e-book prices, but it’s not something you’d noticed unless you really track the trends and data. The evolution is accelerating faster than all the pundits predicted, but the pundits have been wrong about practically everything. The iPad was supposed to be the publisher’s savior and compete with Kindle, but it actually secured the Kindle app as the default reader of choice and spurred sales of Kindle books. Not many people are using the iBookstore. It was just another in a series of mistakes by publishers, but they have it tough and I can understand why they seek to protect what they know, because change is very threatening to anything that has a “tradition.”

The writers, readers, and publishers who are adapting the fastest have no investment in the old system, whether it’s the nostalgia of paper books or the dubious “legitimacy” of being accepted by New York. What’s really cool to me is that right now a reader can buy basically everything I’ve ever written for about the price of one hardcover book.

D: So what’s next? The tour will end at the end of the month. Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about? Any new book in progress?

SN: I launched four or five books while I’ve been on tour, and I haven’t really had time to promote them much or get out review copies. I just released the crime thriller Disintegration yesterday as a 99 cent special for a limited time. The next book is Cursed!, a fun paranormal romance co-authored with Kindle bestseller J.R. Rain that should be out this month. Then I have a few short-story bundles for winter as I finish the next book in the October Girls series.

D: So, are we going to know you as a paranormal thriller writer forever? Any plan to change writing style or genre?

SN: Well, I just remembered I have two new graphic novels out, Grave Conditions and Dirt. Grave Conditions features J.A. Konrath, Brian Keene, Stephen Susco, Jonathan Maberry and more, and Dirt has my adapted short stories. I should have my first children’s book out very soon—“If I Were Your Monster,” with art by Lee Davis. We’re working on another one now. And I’ve already started a sequel to As I Die Lying but it will probably be spring before it’s done.

D: Okay, last but not least. What is your normal day as when you are not writing? Or are you writing every day?

SN: Well, I’m a full-time newspaper reporter and I love my job but of course I’d rather be doing my own thing. But I was thinking about this just the other day, how right now I don’t have time to be successful. If I were a huge bestseller, it would put a lot of demands on me and I want to have some more books out and do my own thing for a while longer before there are “expectations.” One thing’s for sure, this indie game is a lot better business model for a writer than the old way, where you were shooting craps and had little chance at a future. Sure, there are a handful of millionaire bestsellers, but the story of most writers is that they died sick and broke, long forgotten by their publishers. Independent e-books are as close as a writer can get to a real pension fund.

D: Last one. Promise. What you love most about Halloween? Is there any spectacular activity or any traditions in your family on Halloween?

SN: Well, I like Halloween but Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. Halloween is 365 for me. I never have a problem putting on a mask, and it’s even more fun when it’s not the one socially acceptable time to do it.

D: Any last word before we wrap it up?

SN: Tater tots. But that’s two words. Thanks for hosting, Darlyn, and good luck with the Kindle giveaways, everyone. I wish I had a hundred to give you.

Thanks so much Scott for spending some time here!

About the Author

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow, and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX
, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at Blog Tour Site.


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