Friday, September 28, 2012

2nd Annual Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop hosted by  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by Jen @ I Read Banned Books.  Oh and Happy Banned Book week too, minions.  This is one of my favorite hops because it's hard to believe some of the new and classic books that make the list year after year.  Have you check out the list recently?  You should.  In fact, here are the ALA's "Frequently challenged books of the 21st century."

I did so much research to determine a giveaway, but then decided to let the winner choose.  My Free Sh** Fairy hooked me up with a free $10 Amazon Gift Card for one (1) lucky winner.  Thanks, Free Sh** Fairy!  And with that loot, our winner can choose their preferred banned or challenged book.  Cool, huh?

Let me clarify: One (1) lucky winner can win a $10 Gift Card from Amazon! Check out the details on how to enter.  See below and tell your friends!

To enter

You MUST be a GFC follower of my blog & MUST fill the form.

Extra entries
+1 Subscribe via email to my blog
+1 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Retweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

Again, the giveaway starts at 12:01 AM EST on Friday, September 28th and runs October 6th midnight. Contest is open to International participants.

Want to see who else is participating? Click here and hop on by.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tagged Twice! The Next Big Thing

I've been tagged twice recently.  WOW!  Isn't that nice?  One was by one of my fav and talented author friends, Donna Galanti.  The other was from dear author friend who has a great blog and name, Mina Lobo.    Thanks you guys!  If you get a chance, minions, please stop by and check out these fantabulous authors!  
In The Next Big Thing, I'll be featuring one of my works in progress, Mystic Deeds.  Below are the questions so...

What is the working title of your book?
Mystic Deeds, but I'll probably end up changing it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It started with this idea of two siblings (brother and sister) that were incredibly close--but not weird-close, who were powerful/magical, immortal beings.  I wanted a different take on magical paranormal romance.  I get so tired of the books like feature magic or sorcery one way only. Anyway, here's a synopsis:

     The City of Vard on the planet Merth was a place where Svenians lived immortal lives, able to freely practice sorcery. It was a city of peace and prosperity until the Black Barons unleashed a plot to bind all Svenian powers, forcing innocent lives into a world of servitude. Only five escaped, finding their way to Earth to bide their time until the Oracle’s predicted “day of reckoning.”

     Arriving in the 1920’s in Long Beach, California, Vincent Webb, an efficient sorcerer and expert traveler, led the escapees to safety. Under Vincent’s guidance, the five lived covertly idle, hiding strategically around the globe. Using magic can be deadly and the five can do nothing but wait a lifetime.

     Living present day, Abigail Scott is a young, beautiful and successful partner with a prestigious New York commercial real estate law firm. However successful her career, Abigail’s brilliant mind and incredible work ethic has led her down a lonely, loveless path. As an only child, her life is altered drastically when her mother, Elaina dies, bequeathing her house and all its contents to Abigail. Devastated by grief, Abigail soon discovers her mother befriended a young man and real estate developer, Vince Webb. He’s handsome and cocky and according to her mother’s will, he’s managed to nudge his way into the Scott’s home and life.

     Both Abigail and Vincent want something from each other. Abigail wants Vince gone and Vince wants her house. Once their true motives collide, they’ll have to learn to trust one another, forcing them into unwanted intimacy. When things heat up between these two, the sparks fly and then the real magic begins.

What genre does your book fall under?
Paranormal Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven't the faintest. Sorry...

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Good sentence? Okay, here goes...

Of the five powerful Svenian beings living on Earth, only Vince has what it takes to claim Abigail's heart and gain a critical ally to fight for his enslaved race.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm not sure. Nowadays the burden is on the author to do everything, write, self-edit, market etc... and repeat. At the end of the day, what matters most is that I connect with readers. For now, I'm readying myself to go into any direction I choose. To be continued...

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?I've been working off and on since 2009. And I'm still not done. Almost there, but then I'm sure I'll be forever editing it. Damn my OCD tendencies!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?I have no idea. I read waaay too much. It's embarrassing to admit really. I honestly haven't read anything like this. I have no doubt there are elements that are similar with other authors works, but beyond that, I have no one to compare.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I used to live on an old house in Long Beach, CA when I was a kid. I loved that spooky house and the memories of it still haunts me. The house was a huge inspiration for this book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Mystic Deeds explores the scenario of what if we all had our own special powers. I mean I believe in one's ability to manifest things, but what if it was simpler than that, like breathing or the blood pumping through your veins? If you could manifest your own power, what would it be invisibility? Perhaps the Midas touch? Or what about time or dimension travel?
Rules of The Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Danielle B.
Geek Banter
Melanie Schulz YA Writer
Judy Ann Davis
Cynthia/Read is the New Black

Have a great day!
Mina B.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Review: Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

Are you a Lisa Kleypas fan?  If not, you should be.  I initially found out about her when she did a Q&A on GoodReads.  Since I have an uncontrollable need to read historical romance novels, I immediately picked up one of Lisa's novels and have been a fan since.  I believe I've read almost all of her historical romance books.  I probably should seek therapy, but the truth is, they are ridiculously good.  Anyway, fast-forward to the summer and I found Rainshadow Road—Lisa Kleypas Friday Harbor series—while trolling on Amazon.  Here's the back cover:  

Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington. She is stunned and blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal: her fiancé Kevin has left her. His new lover is Lucy's own sister. Lucy's bitterness over being dumped is multiplied by the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life. Facing the severe disapproval of Lucy's parents, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to "romance" Lucy and hopefully loosen her up and get her over her anger. Complications ensue when Sam and Lucy begin to fall in love, Kevin has second thoughts, and Lucy discovers that the new relationship in her life began under false pretenses. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings are explored as Lucy learns that some things in life--even after being broken--can be made into something new and beautiful.

My thoughts:
I read this over the summer and instantly adored the series.  It's a modern-day romance spiced with the perfect amount of family drama and to my surprise, elemental magic.  The book opened up to Luci getting crushed by her ex-boyfriend and sister.  Wow, Kleypas cut straight to the heart with that one.  What I loved best about Luci was her resilience.  Yes, her life sucked, but that didn't stop her from moving on.  I loved the way Luci stood up for herself, despite be railroaded by her conniving sister, her worthless ex and her annoying parents.  Thankfully, she met Sam, the unlikely love interest, Sam.  Their relationship began slowly at first which I thought made it more believable.  Sam owned a vineyard and struggled over the years to cultivate it into his life-long dream.  He obviously couldn't predict the whimsical touch that local glass artist like Luci would wield.  Rainshadow Road is more of a contemporary romance than paranormal, so if you're in the mood to little your paranormal reading, give this one a try.   

Have you read Lisa Kleypas’ steamy historical romance novels?  Suddenly You is one of my all-time favorites.  What about the Friday Harbor series?

Mina B.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ninja Captain Alex's Genre Favorites Blogfest

It's time for Ninja Captain Alex's Genre Favorites Blogfest.  Thanks Alex for creating such a cool blogfest.  It's hard to narrow down our favorites, huh?  I'll do my best, minions. 

One blogfest, four favorites!  List your favorite genre of:

A Guilty Pleasure.

Movie:  Video Game Movies /Fantasy

Although this isn't a clear-cut genre category, it sure as hell should be.  These are games I've played, of course, and when the movies released, I couldn't get enough of them.  And today they still have to be some of my favorites.

Resident Evil: Retribution - Go Alice!

Tomb Raider

Music:  Alternative
I like all types of music, but presently, I'm dig'n alternative bands like No Doubt, Black Keys and GroupLove.
No Doubt: Settle Down
GroupLove: Tongue Tied
Books: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Um...duh.  Isn't that obvious?  If you want to know which books, check out my reviews section on my blog or visit me on GoodReads

Guilty Pleasure Genre:  Historical Romance Novels, especially men in kilts.

I never had a true appreciation for men in kilts until I read Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie series.  These best-selling historical romance novels involve dangerous Scottish brothers, dressed scantily in traditional family garb and not giving a damn what the ton thinks about it.  Oooh Jennifer Ashley is a godsend when it comes to historical/regency romance novels.  And there's no way I feel guilty about that.

Those are my favorites.  What about yours? Have you seen Resident Evil: Retribution?  What's your favorite music genre?  What about books?  What novel are you reading?  And by all means, tell me your guilty pleasure.

Mina B.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: Richelle Mead's The Golden Lilly

Book 2 in Richelle Mead’s best-selling Bloodlines series is The Golden Lily. If you haven’t read Book 1, Bloodlines, check out my review here. Bloodlines is the spin off of Mead's international best-selling Vampire Academy series, featuring Sydney the Alchemist— a young member of a secret group of humans sworn to protect humans from the unearthly creatures like Moroi, Strigoi or anything mystically unnatural.

The Golden Lily starts off revealing part of the mystery behind the alchemist world. It gave me the creeps
which I loved!   Mead's a master at world-building in the urban fantasy genre. Her take alone on the Strigoi vampires is chilling indeed. Sydney is a brilliant young alchemist who has spent her whole-life learning that unnatural beings are mostly evil. Getting too close can reap heinous consequences. Now that she's deep in the Moroi, Dhampir and Strigoi world, is she strong enough to fight the allure of what the Alchemist's deem the dark side?

The Golden Lily was a wicked read.  Sydney was pushed to uncomfortable limits, including dating and her first kiss.  I loved that her potential romance was equally intelligent as her—which led to some hilarious situations and dialogue.  In the beginning, Sydney is reminded what it means to be an Alchemist and the horrific consequences that are at stake if she screws up.  Since being on assignment as a political ally to the Royal Moroi and Dhampirs, she’s tested all sorts of boundaries, including magic, friendship and love.  I remember in the Vampire Academy series thinking Sydney was such a nerd. And as I’m reading on in the spin-off Bloodlines series, I realize she’s still a nerd, and extremely cautious, but also incredibly loyal.  Ironically, that loyalty extends not to just her Alchemy roots, but to her new friends—the ones she’s been taught her whole life to fear.

This book was an excellent addition to the series and a 4.5.  And the way it ended with Adrian (swoon) all I can say is I can’t wait to read Book 3, The Indigo Spell.   For those interested, Mead recently posted Chapter 1.  Check it out below.
THE INDIGO SPELL by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines 3) - First Chapter

Have you read the Vampire Academy?  What about Bloodlines or The Golden Lily?  What are your favorites?

Mina B.

Monday, September 10, 2012

SyFy's Haven - Season 3 starts Sept. 21

Have you seen SyFy's series, Haven?  If you're obsessed with all things paranormal, then SyFy's Haven is the show for you.  In it's third season now, Haven has steadily increased its following and many of fans are beyond hooked.  For those not familiar, Haven is "based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King."  It's amazing how many of his tales become movies and television series, huh?  Have you read it?  I didn't catch this series until Season 2, so I didn't see all the episodes.  And until recently, I only watched part of season 1 & 2.  I'm trying to hurry up before season 3 begins.

From SyFy's website:

"The series follows the shrewd and confident FBI agent Audrey Parker (Rose) who has a lost past, and arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine on a routine case. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people that are affected by a range of supernatural afflictions.

As the townspeople's dormant abilities begin to express themselves, Audrey helps keep these forces at bay while discovering the many secrets of Haven — including one surrounding her own surprising connections to this extraordinary place." 

Here's a clip for season 3.  Again, the series starts Sept 21st.  

Are there other shows you're watching besides Haven?  I know The Vampire Diaries: Season 4 kicks off on Thursday, October 11 at 8/7c on The CW channel.  What are you watching this Fall?

Mina B.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

BTB Hop Winner & Aurora Rose's Comic Update

Wow! What a spectacular turnout for this hop. Thanks so much to everyone who participated. As you can see with this gif, I'm super excited to announce the lucky winner.  Congrats to Maureen C.!  As mentioned, the winner will be allowed to choose one of the following killer books: Endlessly by Kiersten White (synopsis on Goodreads) or Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard, (synopsis on Goodreads) The winner will be notified via email and will have no more than 72 hours to respond before another winner is drawn. The contest winner was selected by the reputable

Aurora Rose's Comic Update

Last June, I posted the cool YA comic about Aurora Rose, the teenage babysitter babe who protects her wards from nefarious monsters.  Well, since Aurora Rose's debut, the publisher, Arch Enemy Entertainment added several pages to Issue 1 & also Issue 2.  I've been following the comic and wanted to post the latest!  These Issues are sure to get you giddy as my gif.  Take the time to read, share and tweet this uber cool comic series, minions.
Aurora Rose Issue 1

Update! Aurora Rose Issue 2 Enjoy! Mina B

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group: Editing Hell

Thank God Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group is here.  Hopefully with this post, I'll vanquish some of my writer demons.  This past month I had so much to be insecure about, I don't know where to start.  Between work and family obligations, I had little time to write.  And then there's the blogging part, which, frankly, I'm incredibly burnt out.  It's all about maintaining balance in our everyday lives and sometimes when I have hoards of to-dos on your list that I attempt too much and accomplish little.  In the case of my writing, I've spent a good portion of my time--when I had it--writing a little, but mostly...editing.  

I know editing is a crucial part of writing, but truthfully I struggle with it.  Does it ever end?  Sometimes I obsess over words, sentences, scenes, chapters, and plots so much I want to... 

And then just when I finish editing/revising a chapter, act or even a novel, a sort of peace and tranquility burgeons within.  Everything is right in my universe, and I am calm and ready to forge ahead. 

Of course, less than 24 hours later, I'm back at square one--stuck in editing hell, double-checking my edits, doubting my revisions and creating new ideas to add to the plot.  WTF?  Can someone prescribe me some good drugs for my sick inclination towards OCD writing, cuz right now....I think I'm going nucking futs!  

I feel better now.  Do any of you suffer from this type of relentless editing like it's never-ending.  Do you have any advice?  Tricks?  After you edit, do you have another person reedit your work or do you rely solely on your critique partner.  Does it ever end?

Mina B.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

2012 Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Happy Labor Day Weekend, minions.  The Back to the Books Giveaway Hop is here!  Forget about Christmas, back to school is the most wonderful time of the year for me.  With the kids back in school, I can now get down to some serious writing.  Thank the Lords!
There are over 200 blogs participating and I'm # 132.  This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by  Buried in Books runs from Sept. 1- 7th.  Wahoooo!  Okay, FREE Sh** Fairy...tell us what you have in store for this giveaway.

My Free Sh** Fairy couldn't decide.  Damn her!  But what can you expect when you rely on a fairy AND when the sh** is free!  Anyway, I decided to offer one lucky winner a choice of one (1) the following hot YA paranormal titles:

- Endlessly by Kiersten White (synopsis on Goodreads)
-  Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard, (synopsis on Goodreads)

Let me clarify: One (1) lucky winner can choose between either Endlessly or Something Strange & Deadly.   Sound cool? Great.  That's what we were shooting for.  Want to know how to enter? See below and tell your friends!

To enter

MUST be a GFC follower of my blog & MUST fill the form.

Extra entries
+2 Subscribe via email to my blog
+2 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Retweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

Again, the giveaway starts at 12:01 AM EST on Saturday, September 1 and runs through September 7th midnight. Contest is open to International participants.

Want to see who else is participating? Click here and hop on by.

a Rafflecopter giveaway