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Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden & 10 things you didn’t know….

Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 in Books, Guest Posts, Reviews | 6 comments


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About the Book, Review & 10 Things you didn’t know about Christine Amsden!

The Immortality Virus

In the mid-21st century, the human race stopped aging. Those who know why aren’t talking, and the few who are brave enough to ask questions tend to disappear. To an elite few, The Change means long life and health, but to the ever-increasing masses, it means starvation, desperation, and violence.

Four centuries after The Change, Grace Harper, a blacklisted P.I., sets off on a mission to find the man responsible for it all and solicit his help to undo The Change — if he’s still alive. To complicate matters, Grace’s employer is suspected of murdering his father, and when the police learn of their connection, they give her a choice — help them find the evidence they need to convict Matthew Stanton, or die. But if they discover Grace’s true mission, they won’t hesitate to kill her in order to preserve their shot at immortality.

Winner of the Epic Award for Science Fiction, the Global eBook Award for Science Fiction, and a finalist in The Next Gernation Indie Book Awareds.

B&N Nook & Paperback   Kindle   Amazon Paperback

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My Not So Quiet Companion (Wordless Wednesday)

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in Fun, Photos, Wordless Wednesday | 3 comments

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - QUEEN ASRIELLE of Castle Greyskull

 WORDLESS WEDNESDAY – QUEEN ASRIELLE of Castle Greyskull

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The Infection by Crag DiLouie – A Story of the Dead-Living (review)

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in Books, Reviews, Zombies | 3 comments

The Infection a story of the Dead-Living

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PRESSURE POINT by Charles Colyott- (Teaser Tuesdays)

Posted by on Aug 20, 2012 in Authors, Books, Reading, Teaser Tuesdays | 6 comments

 Teaser Tuesdays No. 18

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB Should Be Reading (she also hosts some other great memes) . Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

– Grab your current read

– Open to a random page

– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

– BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

//

 That look says, ‘Hi I’m Randall Lee. I;m suppose to be an acupuncturist, but its amazing that I get anything done because I;m usually to busy tryin’ to make time with my smokin’ hot, ultra sexy girlfriend AND sticking my big American nose into shit that is not even my business…”

Location 144 of 4262 (3%)  Pressure Point – A Randall Lee Mystery – ARC

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Bloggers, authors, reviewers and readers – What do you look for in a review?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Books, Musing Mondays, Reviews | 14 comments

review

What do you look for in a review?

 

To answer this, I have to ask myself the same question? What Do I look for in a review? What do I think are important aspects to be included in a review? What is more important, how many stars it was given or the actual review itself? What should be included? These are more are questions we all ask ourselves at one time or another after becoming part of this reading community. Whether we are authors, readers, bloggers or reviewers.

I have a hard time with book reviews, reading and writing them. Before being exposed to the world of book blogging, I read reviews on Amazon and as of August 2011, on Goodreads. I read so much, all I was doing was giving them ratings and not reviews. I see now that I was not really doing much for the book than giving it a boost in its average rating, so I tried my hand at reviewing.

I approached reviewing much like any assignment from college I was unsure of. I researched, which meant I started reading reviews in depth. I starting doing searches and discovered some really cool book blogs I followed because they were reviewing my secret urban/paranormal mystery book fetish! I I was so interested in how some folks seemed to be making it like I do scrapbooking! It was journaled and had pretty graphics, and witty sayings. It wasn’t a book report like I wrote in the 8th grade, smoke being blown up the authors ass!

I look for honesty and personality in a review. I want a small experience, even if it is inly 300 words. I do not want it to be all shine, and yes I have written some complete shine on reviews, and I have no excuse other than I was not sure where I was going to go from “OMG IT WAS SO AWESOME! YOU HAVE TO READ IT!!! etc…” (Which friends and family do all the time with self/indie authors thinking it helps but it doesn’t at all! It not only gives the potential reader a false review, but it gives the author an unrealistic idea about how their book really is. UNLESS it is ass-blow worthy! THEN by all means make that ass shine!!)

I want to see the cover, and I want the cover at least 250 pixels high. Covers draw me in and being a cover whore lover at times this sells me right away. I want the genre, a synopsis and at least an idea of what the main protagonist is about. I want a general recommendation. I do not care so much about a rating, it is a secondary factor of interest for me, unless it is a tour stop. It seems that tour stops tend to have folks be a bit to political and touchy if someone needs to be critical of the work. (I know, again, I can be even if I am being fair and honest). I look for a buy link and love it if there is an “add to Goodreads” button!

Most importantly a review needs to be just that, nothing more. I avoid writing and reading spoilers, I do not see the point in posting them. They ruin it, especially for those of us that buy a lot of thriller/mystery/suspense novels. I want to know if they liked it, why they liked it, why I should read it and also what the reviewer likes to read so I know I am listening to a peer report in the same genre sect I enjoy. Those are the reviews I listen too. I want it to be well written, minimal typos and spelling errors. Sure, we all make them, again.. I certainly do! Especially if you are going to complain about an authors inability to have a book properly edited, perhaps you need to make sure your post/review is too!

Reviews are meant to put another light onto the book, whether good or bad. Have a sense of duty and professionalism when you write them. Show me your having fun and drive me to buy that book! That is how I write my reviews. I respect those that do the same for the books they review. I guess I cannot get to far away from the golden rule of do onto others… So shine on my book blogging banshees! Tell me why I should read the book! And thank you for asking me to be part of this wonderful hop to share what I look for in a review. I am so glad to be part of this, our online community.

What do you look for in reviews? Let me know, because every thing you tell me I can add to my toolbox to make my reviews better.

Please take the time to hop to each blog to see what other participants in this mornings hop look for in a book review!

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My Snoopy Dance – Happiness Shared- Celebrate Community (#CCEID)

Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Alaska Living, Authors, Books, Cabin Commentary, Fun, Writing | 2 comments

CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

Celebrating Community at the end of Ramadan concluding with Pavarti Tyler's Blog event for Eid al-Fitr

How Do I Share Happiness

I mentioned earlier I am a Maven. If anyone has read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point you will understand a maven is the person who is drawn and pushed into sharing information. They approach the sharing of information by applying the idea of “social epidemics“. What does this have to do with happiness shared? It is everything, it has how I always have approached life, with exuberance and passion and with the dire need to share information with everyone. Many people come to me for information and I gladly share it! I even hijack questions meant for someone else and answer them! I am sure I can come across as a busy body but truthfully I cannot help myself, I just want to help. When I am really confident I feel a bit like Snoopy! I just want to spread the joy!  Even when I am not feeling very “up” I try being happy, I tend to stress to the point where I am giggling hysterically, so hey! I am definitely being a source of happiness, even if it is the focus of being  pointed and laughed at. *GRIN*

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Day 19 “Fireworks” (#BlogFlash2012 #Haiku No.10)

Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Alaska Living, Photos, Poetry and Pros, Writing | 2 comments

Alaskan New Year

Sparklers clutched tight in thick gloves

Colors in winter

Cold Colorful Haiku- Fireworks 

 

When I hear or read the word Fireworks, part of me goes back to my youth where I would have all the glorious pyromaniac moments on the beach building rocket launchers with aluminum siding and risking a finger or two with the cherry bombs from the reservations. But as much as I am nostalgic I also feel the creeping of winter in my bones. With 21 hours of daylight around the 4th of July there is just not enough night to bother using them. 

New Years eve is our big fireworks show. Where people drive in from miles away to watch the show at UAF. It is usually a huge event with folks coming in from the bush and throughout the Tundra. With a state twice the size of Texas you can image the traffic jams. Thankfully we locals know to X-Country in from our cabins and watch from the ridge. January 1st is not the coldest time of year, usually around -20F, so it is usually tolerable. This last year it was -41F so it made our evening more challenging. Sparkler play even harder. This image is actually for our Sparktacular Event to celebrate 50 years of statehood in 2009.  It was only around -18F that night and the University hosts the fireworks we have no matter what the celebration is. 

I missed a week and though I had to take a break due to health reasons, I still want to post all the haiku’s I had written later this week for Day 12-18. Thanks for coming by! 

What comes to mind when you hear Fireworks?

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My Favorite Photos & Story Behind them- Celebrate Community (#CCEID)

Posted by on Aug 18, 2012 in Alaska Living, Authors, Books, Cabin Commentary, Fun, Giveaways & Contests, Humor, Photos, Writing | 2 comments

CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

One of my Favorite Photos from a Community  Event.

Celebrating Community at the end of Ramadan concluding with Pavarti Tyler's Blog event for Eid al-Fitr

I have many collections of photographs which is why this post was a bit had for me to put together. On one hand I could post a big collection of images from Beltaine 2002 event in AZ (page 1 and page 2) that shows one of my favorite family an religious community events. Willow (my now 13 year old) officially became potty trained when she was faced with having to use an outhouse to go potty. Her response was one of wonderment and awe, one of an adventure instead of terror which was what we expected. Gotta hand it to my Willow-Pillow!

Or the best New Years ever in Bisbee, AZ where we celebrated all day, celebrated like we were in New Orleans and danced in the streets with the best of the artistic community in the hills of Arizona. But I decided I would share a couple of my recent community and family events! Starting with a weekend of insanity with some of my newest friends when starting college again here in Alaska back in 2005. What makes this a great event is I was accepted as is. Non-Traditional Students are the majority at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. I was so worried I would not fit in, and within two weeks I found several people who I already did know and met so many wonderful people who will always be my friends. College at WAZZU back in the 80’s did the same thing, before I settled for an MRS degree. Some of my best friends are from those years, and some of the people below will be part of the group also.

It all started with a bar fight….

That never bodes well huh? Well the man in the viking helm decided to take on another man (well an asshat) who was belittling one of the maidens of our fair clan by saying she was a “dirty smelly hippy who wouldn’t know bar of soap if it bit her”. Well our fair maiden Emily mayhaps be a hippie girl, but she bathed regularly! In fact earlier that week I did a photo shoot with her and another friend and I know for a fact she just had taken a shower, as you can see!

Sisters in Community Nannette Pierson and Emily Zgoda ©2005 Kriss Morton

Sisters in Community ©2005 Kriss Morton

 

Anyway, My dear Viking Brother had been partaking in… particulates and beer and decided to be defend her hippie girl honor! He threw a punch and called him some names I think may not even be cool here at the Cabin. The guy head butted him, but not before dear Warren the Viking was able to cause some major damage to the guys face. When the friendly pub master, Chris, started dragging him off he gave us his famous smile, however he was missing his front tooth. Now this would have been cute with a nine year old but with a guy in his late 20’s it was a bit… off. So we, as his clan, his community and his friends did what only we could do…

We threw a Kegger and charged people for their cups…

Being part of a community means we accept everyone in it as they are. Our group consisted of biologist, journalist, anthropoligist, political scientists, communication specialist, pychisicist, geologists, quantimn phycisists, writers, poets, musicians, mathameticians.. We celebrated holidays, including our special Festivus gathering every year), joined each other in different religious activies and made sure everyone was fed, had water, got rides if their cars were not working, studied with each other, and had beer for the weekend.

Warren is an incredible poet and after that night he had the money to get his smile fixed. The cops not only did not bust us, but as soon as they were off for the night, they joined us, though we had to escort one home … It was a fun evening, oh and the pancakes and brownies ROCKED, especially after everyone learned the trick to preparing the butter… *wink*

There are more photos, more events which are probably more appropriate but.. wait who is to say what is appropriate. It is not always a serious moment, and even though every time Warren smiled it hurt, we all not only had a good time, but we were there for each other, even the drunk cop. So, enjoy and never pass up being part of a community!

TOMORROW – August 19How do I share happiness? This will be a fun post to construct and share. Tomorrow I also am doing a cover reveal for a friend. Fate is weaving a tight and beautifully wrought tapestry this week! I am sharing her happiness with you, and in turn making myself happy! It is a great thing!

Did you take a photo that captured the feeling of community? Share the link and short story on it!

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Clean, Fun Middle School Mystery for Kids… and You! (review)

Posted by on Aug 18, 2012 in Authors, Books, Novel Publicity, Reading, Reviews | 1 comment

Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar a middle school mystery thats breath of fresh air in a quagmire of books being targeted to our young readers. 

Do you remember the days when you would gather your friends up in main club house in the neighborhood, start handing out paper bags, notebooks, pencils magnifying glasses and give everyone the 411 on Mrs. Salendeski’s missing cat? No? Seriously? You never had a great mystery you had to solve? I think I feel sorry for you! If you did, well go grab this series for you, for your kids, for your grandkids, for your local library!

Growing up I was constantly looking, perhaps even inventing just to have a mystery to investigate and solve.  Constantly engrossed in one book or another there is one series that sticks out in my mind,  Nancy Drew and of course the  Hardy Boys. I am really lucky to have the full set of Nancy Drew my mother read as a girl and kept collecting to be able to pass on to her me. My Hardy Boys I liberated from my uncle’s boyhood book collection.

(Later I moved on to be more concerned with reading the next Tiger Beat magazine than the next mystery. But you have to admit Shaun made things so much fun, and I never would smoke as a teen because of Shaun, so … OH ya, we need to talk about Cora and solving mysteries! SORRY! I got distracted looking at Shaun…)

*clearing my throat*

Cora Flash is a bright, highly intelligent, polite and mature 11 year old. Her adventure starts the minute she boards the train on her way to see her Uncle. She has a cell phone,  bag full of candy and an old fashion sense of adventure!

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What Community Means to Me- Celebrate Community (#CCEID)

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Alaska Living, Authors, Books, Cabin Commentary, Giveaways & Contests, Writing | 6 comments

CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

What does Community Mean To Me?

Celebrating Community at the end of Ramadan concluding with Pavarti Tyler's Blog event for Eid al-Fitr

What does community mean to me. Let’s look at this from the base definition and move from there.

com·mu·ni·ty

   [kuh-myoo-ni-tee]

noun, plural com·mu·ni·ties.

  1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
  2. a locality inhabited by such a group.
  3. a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the): the business community; the community of scholars.
  4. a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.
  5. Ecclesiastical . a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.

I was going to just paste the 1st definition but then I realized, wow, I can apply all of these to different communities I have been a part of in my life. So I am just going to go from there and let it flow.. oh yes, not much different than the usual, eh?

Living in the Alaskan Tundra, my communities are all-inclusive family, blood or not.

Growing up, community meant my family and our circle of friends, the soccer team on Thursdays and their families, my best friends and their moms from school, my swim team, my ski team, my neighborhood friends. I had many communities among them, whether I was Kriss or Kristine, playing it slightly different with each, and I had a role. I learned from the best, my mother is a maven and even at the wee age of eight I became a mini-maven swirling around in the background of the older groups, reigning loud and proud, dishing out info and help at the edge of the hop-scotch courts. No matter what, I always felt like I was part of something. Even when I was having a hard time in the third grade, being teased because of my Dorthy Hamill haircut(what can I say, they were not hip!). I was still a part of a community I valued.

Members of communities support one another. Each person finds their own place, they gather sustenance and supplies, and prepare it for their fellow members. They make sure everyone is doing OK on a day-to-day basis, and if they are not then they organize and gather help for their troubled friend. They organize and share information about each event with all the members and do follow ups… who is going to bring a main dish, and who is going to bring dessert? They gather and organize their thoughts so they can speak to all and lead them through a ritual, or a sermon, or a simple meeting on what kind of main course they will be serving in the basement that Sunday afternoon. I have taken part in all the roles throughout the years, and because of this I have learned the value of each.

I have never been without community. My mother gave me the best piece of advice I have ever received, find a church to join. When I reminded my mother that I was a pagan priestess and did not go to church, she would say “Yes but I do not know what you call it. Find a community of faith, for they will be the core center of all the others.”  I never forgot this, and never got tired of her telling me this each time I moved.

Even today, hidden in the woods, I have community both in faith and in interest. My friends and those whom I consider family I have met online. The people that have put up with my insanity and helped me shine. To you guys, thank you. You have been there to support me when I have been sick so much this year, you have sat through my complete loss of my mind while trying to get my blog fixed on the old host, you have been awake in the middle of the night and allowed me to lose my mind even after I had you kidnapped by mutant bunnies. I could list all of you guys but the fact is there are too many in my community and I wanted to keep this short. You all know who you are, my incredible community of bloggers, authors, artists, marketers and ninjas. Thank you all for being part of my communities throughout the years.

TOMMOROW – August 18Sharing my favorite community or family photo and the story behind it. This is going to be a tough one. I may have to share my first HUGE college party after starting school again back in 2005. No one knew how old I was, they all thought I was around 28 and so I was still cool. Let’s just say it was a blast. I have many wonderful stories of community and only some photos due to the epic black MacBook death of 2010, so we will see!

What does Community Mean To You?

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