family, Free Books, Giveaway, Grave Mercy, Horse Camp, Julie Kagawa, Madeline Miller, Micol Ostow, Nate LeBoutillier, Nick James, Nicole Helget, Rebecca Wade, Robin LaFevers, Skyship Academy, The Iron Queen, The Song of Achilles, The Whispering House
I am so excited to type this post out. Seriously, one of my favorite things to do EVER is to give people things! So…with that being said, I felt like celebrating the 500 follower milestone by doing just that.
What am I giving away you ask?? Why, a box of books of course!! This box will contain 7, SEVEN, lovely books. Some are ARCs, and they are a mix of different genres. Here is the line-up for the Box of Books:
1. Skyship Academy (The Pearl Wars) by Nick James [ARC]
2. Horse Camp by Nicole Helget & Nate LeBoutillier [ARC]
3. Family by Micol Ostow
4. The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade [ARC]
5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
6. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
7. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers [ARC]-This has been one of my favorite books of 2012 so far. Be warned…You will NOT be able to put this down!
Want to know how to enter? Comment below what your favorite book of 2011 was. That’s it! If you want more chances to win, follow me on twitter @kpsimmon and tweet about it. Just post the tweet address in the comments below. 3 ways to enter! This contest will end Friday, April 20th, at midnight CST.
So, that’s it! And as they say in Hunger Games…Good luck! And may the odds be Ev-ah in your favor!
WARNING!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
Next stop for The Husband will be a podcast with all of The Girls from http://thetigerseries.com. No kidding. He might be hooked on this whole book blogging thing. We shall see… Read on for his take on the rest of Tiger’s Curse!
To start things off today, I need to apologize. I’m a couple of days late with this blog post. Between work, little league, and my son’s birthday my normal blog postdate came and went without even realizing it. So…”I’m sorry.”
As busy as my life has been, it is interesting to note that I still found time to keep reading. I left you at about page 170 and I just finished the book. In fact, I haven’t been able to put it down most of the day.
If you remember, I wasn’t too thrilled with the book in the beginning. I was interested in the story, but not in love with it. I really didn’t like Kelsey, and felt like the story line was lacking in action and other necessities for this male reader. That was my general feeling for the first 150 pages or so. I liked it, but could have walked away from it with relative ease.
So much happens in the last 250 pages that I won’t spend much time today recounting the storyline. Instead, I want to share how my feelings have changed.
Much to my great relief, Kelsey has turned into a character that I like (for the most part). She shows great courage in facing the challenges that are presented to her in the quest to break the curse. The inner monologue about how dreamy Ren can be a bit tiresome for me, but I guess I get it. She’s a teenage girl in love. I was surprised when her feelings became conflicted between her feelings for Ren and her fear of getting hurt. It was nice to get to know more of her than just the girl with the tiger. I felt like it gave her some more depth, which, in my opinion, was desperately needed. She felt so shallow and unrealistic for the longest time.
I have really enjoyed Ren’s character for the majority of this book. He is strong and bold while also gentle and protective. I like that guy. I have to admit that I like the good guy getting the girl. I am interested to see how the love story plays out now that Kelsey has run back to Oregon to try to get some space from him. I wonder how he’ll respond. Towards the end of the book, there was some definite foreshadowing of the battle royale that is sure to come between Kishan and Ren. I’m sure that eventually there will be some sort of love triangle thing going on. Also by the end of the book, it doesn’t appear that the choice will be quite so cut and dry for Kelsey. She clearly has feelings for Ren, but Kishan seems to be a guy that she enjoys being around as well. As much as Ren has a head start, I don’t think he’s got this one in the bag. Is it just me, or did anyone else think that Ren’s cockiness with Kelsey near the end made him look like a bit of a tool? I bet The Wife will disagree on that one.
The story did become really exciting about half way through. I was totally engrossed in the hunt for Kishkindha, and the perils that Ren and Kelsey encountered there. Nice job, Colleen. It was really fun to read and full of imagery that was vivid and exciting. I can tell that Colleen did her research. This book is full of very specific Indian references that add some really interesting color and detail to the story. Overall, I liked it. What started as a begrudging read on my part, has turned into some genuine excitement to see what happens in the next couple of books.
On to Tiger’s Quest…
I’m so excited that I get to announce to you a Blog Tour that I am setting up for the amazing author, Amanda Havard! Amanda wrote the first book in THE SURVIVOR SERIES and released it a year ago. The Survivors is a beautiful and suspenseful story about a girl, Sadie, and her dreams, hopes, powers, and desires.
Now…It is time for the second book in THE SURVIVOR SERIES to be released this summer!
The Survivors: Point of Origin takes where the first book left off and RUNS through more twists, turns, and unexpected leaps than a person can imagine! To say I think it is wonderful would be an understatement. So, it is with a joyful heart, and me doing a bit of a happy dance, that I announce the Point of Origin Blog Tour coming up!
If you are a Book Blogger that loves YA and Paranormal, this Blog Tour could be tailor-made just for you! Want some more information? Go to http://www.InkSlingerPR.com and click the form under InkSlinging Blogs! Fill out the form, and I will be in touch with you ASAP! OR…You can just click HERE and go straight to the form! Filling out that form will also keep you informed when my next Blog Tour approaches. Can you believe there are more to come??
I love this!
When last you heard from me, I was fully interested in the story that Colleen Houck is telling. Even though I had some serious issues with Kelsey, the main character, I was still feeling that Tiger’s Curse was turning into a book that I could truly enjoy.
So…it’s been a very busy week here and, to be honest, I barely had time to read throughout the week. Feeling the pressure to meet my blogging deadline, I finally sat down this evening and got to reading. I have to tell you that sitting here right now I am quite frustrated. “Why?” you ask. I am frustrated because the story has finally become really, really interesting. All I want to do is put down this laptop and pick up my book. But…duty calls…so here we go.
I haven’t had any problem telling you about how much I didn’t really care for Kelsey up to this point. She was too girly…too dreamy eyed…frankly too shallow of a character me to care about. So it’s only fair for me to disclose that I may be changing my mind. After following Kelsey and Ren into the cave of Kanheri with all of its traps and dangers, I am starting to feel differently about Kelsey. She handled nearly drowning and the poison spikes with courage and strength and very little of that teenage girlyness (I know…that’s not a real word) that I disliked so much for the first nine chapters. I suppose there’s something about near death experiences that endear her to me a bit.
Anyway…so Kelsey and Ren make it through the cave and discover that their journey toward breaking the curse is far from over. Durga’s prophecy sounds foreboding – which makes me keep reading. This book has definitely taken a turn toward action and excitement – a must have for this male reader.
On a final note…I am also starting not to be so annoyed with the relationship between Kelsey and Ren. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
That’s it…that’s all I can handle…I’m signing off so I can go back to reading.
See you next week.
Well, The Husband is back! And this week, he is FULL of opinions when it comes to Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck! Be forewarned friends…He has quite a few spoilers throughout while giving his opinion! Enjoy!
Ok…so it’s time for a little confession. I was not looking forward to picking this book back up – at all. I dragged my feet as long as I could because as interesting as the developments in chapter four were, it still wasn’t enough to make me eager to pick it up. In fact, the more I thought about the first four chapters, the more I realized that I wasn’t really getting Kelsey. I mean, seriously, what kind of girl agrees to go across the globe with a man that she just met? By the way…what kind of parental figures allow a teenage girl to go across the globe with a man they just met? I mean…I know this is a work of fiction, but at the end of chapter four I was bothered by it. Couple that with a main character that I don’t love, and you have some serious feet dragging.
That being said…I picked up Tiger’s Curse again last night and very quickly found myself burning through five more chapters. The story finally picked up for me right about the time that Kelsey finds herself abandoned in a small village in India with just her backpack and a tiger that, incidentally, isn’t caged or restrained in any way. Kelsey decides to follow the tiger, Ren, into an unknown jungle.
I have to say, that I have read several books with pretty out there story lines. Everything from girl falls in love with vampire and then realizes that best friend is a werewolf, to a girl who can kill through simple contact with her skin, but for some reason it was easier for me to feel invested in these stories more quickly. To be honest, I think that it has everything to do with how I feel about Kelsey at this point in the story. As a 30 something guy, I’m not really enjoying this dreamy eyed affection and connection to a tiger. However, I was completely sucked into the story as a whole.
Eventually, Ren leads Kelsey to a small hut deep in the jungles of India. There he proceeds to turn into a human and introduce himself to Kelsey. Here again, I was disappointed in Kelsey’s response to Ren. I don’t know about you, but if I were walking through the jungle with a tiger and that tiger suddenly turned into a human, I might be a little more than confused. She accepts his story with relative ease and then is more upset by the fact that she wasn’t told up front that “Ren the tiger” was actually “Ren the Indian prince”. Now…to be fair she seems to be more than a little distracted by the fact that she thinks he’s extremely good looking. Ren offers a very basic explanation of his predicament. I will say that I did especially like the fact that Ren is only human for 24 minutes a day. I just thought that was a cool twist. Anyway…Ren needs Kelsey to break a centuries old curse. Apparently, there is something really special about Kelsey that will undo Ren’s curse. There are hints that Kelsey possesses some inner strength or there is some greater plan at work that makes me hopeful that I will someday soon become more invested in Kelsey. Because, believe it or not, I do want to like her.
Listen…I know that I’ve been kind of hard on our main character. I’m not crazy about her yet. But…today I found myself actually looking forward to reading more – wondering if I was going to have some time to pick it up. I am definitely no longer dragging my feet with this book. I’m totally interested, and honestly I’ve started to truly enjoy reading it. So…don’t let my qualms about Kelsey deter you from reading on. I’m not.
See you next week!
For the past year, I have been telling you how much I love books, authors, and the craft of promoting both. Since I was a young girl, I have been a reader. Most people who know me will tell you I am a natural born seller and promoter. When I entered the book blogging and reviewing world, I knew within an instant that I was exactly on the path I was suppose to take. This past year has been a whirlwind of great joy and some growing pains. One of the things I learned about myself in an even deeper way was that I am meant to help authors get their words out to the world. As much as I have my own words and stories to tell, and I do want to tell them someday, one of my favorite things to do is help other authors.
Lately, I have been having more and more opportunities to do just this and it has been amazing! Being a part of the blogging community has opened up a myriad of experiences that have blown me away on more than one occasion. With that in mind, I have come to a somewhat scary (in a good way) and thrilling decision. One that could ultimately change my life and place me deeper into the world wherein my passion lies. I promise you I never imagined that I would be in a place to write this blog entry! I have dreamed it, but don’t we all have those dreams we never think will actually happen?? Whether it be because you’re so scared to take that next step, or you never think it could actually happen, you chalk it up to just a dream, right? Well, I have decided that I will not take either of those reasons for an excuse that my dream does not come true. It is with great pleasure that I announce my new endeavor and business…
Helping Authors Get The Word Out
I cannot express to you my joy, excitement, and out-and-out bliss in getting to take this step! InkSlinger PR will be focused on helping authors promote their books and build their brands and platforms. Using digital media, blog tours, press releases, signings, and appearances, I will work tirelessly to publicize for them. A new website is being built as we speak, and I cannot wait to let it go out into the world. I am not taking this step lightly and without careful planning.
After talking about it, sweating over it, and praying it through, I am taking the actual steps to chase this dream down! Can you believe it??
Already, InkSlinger PR is working with a wonderful author, Amanda Havard and The Survivor Series published by Chafie Press! Of course, I am over the moon about this! You can check her and her books out at Http://AmandaHavard.com. You definitely won’t regret giving these books a read. And I’m looking for blogs to take part in an upcoming Blog Tour early this summer!
If you are a blogger that would like to join my Blog Tour database and be contacted as Blog Tours arise, please feel free to contact me at kpsimmon(at)gmail(dot)com. I would love for you to join the InkSlinger PR team! If you are an author who would like to inquire about what I can do to help you, before the website is finished, please contact me at the same address. I will of course let you know when the new website is finished (SOON!!). I know what it’s like to chase a dream, and I can’t wait to help you chase your own dream and get the word out about it.
And there you have it…InkSlinger PR…THIS is really happening…Wow. I’m so overwhelmed, grateful, and blessed. Now…Get out there and chase your dream! Need some help? Call me.
It’s Thursday!! I promised you The Husband, and so here he is with his Very First Blog Post! Please make him feel welcome and loved. Especially since I talked him into trying this out…Enjoy his first take, and then come back every Thursday to hear his latest opinions and thoughts, given to you…
In His Own Words…
So what I suppose is the first thing that you need to understand about me is that I am fairly new to the whole “reading for entertainment” game. Until about 6 months or so ago, the only books I read for entertainment were the Harry Potter books – and that wasn’t too often. If I was in the mood to read, I would pick one up and re-read it. This habit was the source of much consternation to The Wife who is VERY immersed in the book world. She’d say things like, “You know…there’s a whole world of books out there that you would probably really like if you would just give them a try.” Finally…after many months (and when I say months what I really mean is years) of her encouragement, I picked up another book-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-and loved it. Confession time…I liked it so much I’ve read the entire series three times. What can I say…old habits die hard. However, I have also begun to branch out and read several other books and series. A few of those are Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I think it’s safe to say that I have become “a reader.”
So…recently The Wife started suggesting to me this group of books called The Tiger Series by Colleen Houck. I have to say I have been none too excited about picking these up. I’ve heard The Wife and all of her friends chatting it up over these books and none of it sounded all that appealing. She’s suggested them to me several times, and my response has always been a very polite “No thanks.”
Now…The Wife can be very persistent and persuasive (as wives can be). So imagine my surprise when I heard myself agree to not only read this series but also to blog about it as I go. Let’s be clear – I have never blogged before so I’m not entirely sure what I’ve gotten myself in to. That being said…here we go…
The first book in the series is called Tiger’s Curse.
My intention when starting this process was to take the book about three chapters at a time and give you my thoughts. However, at the end of the first three chapters I had nothing to say. Nothing had really happened yet. To be truthful…if it had not been for the intriguing prologue and my commitment to read the whole book, I don’t know if I would have continued reading. The first three chapters started a little slow for me. Kelsey seems likeable enough. I’m not feeling any kind of instant connection to her, but I’m only a few chapters in so I’m hoping that will change soon. I pushed into chapter four hoping that the story would pick up, and I’m glad that I did. A stranger has appeared and he is full of mystery. I’m not sure how to take this guy, Mr. Kadam. He seems nice enough, but there’s obviously a lot that he’s not telling us. So when he offers Kelsey the chance to accompany the white tiger, Ren, to India, I am naturally cynical about the nature of this trip. And…I’m sure that was the point. I am all the more interested in finding out how this trip goes because I know there is more than meets the eye. So…Colleen Houck your little trick worked. I want to read more. I am interested to see what becomes of Kelsey and this white tiger that she has developed such affection for.
Questions I have going forward:
What’s the real story of Mr. Kadam, the guy who bought Ren so that he would bring him back to India? Why does he feel responsible his capture? What’s up with this tiger who behaves so strangely?
I guess I’ll just have to keep reading…
The Husband has decided to join me, for just a little while, in this blogging stint!
While I regularly write for 4 literary websites, The Husband stays as far away as he can. He does, however, regularly read many of the books I have on our shelves. And, he definitely has his own opinions about these books. I have been wanting him to read a series that I have fallen in love with, and he has always smiled (patronizingly) at me and said NO. But…after enough asking…bugging, wheedling, whining…The Husband has FINALLY said YES!! Not only is he going to read the books that are out so far…but he’s going to BLOG his opinions! Right here! On this very blog!!
Quick! Look Up! Do you see pigs flying??? 😉
So what is this wonderful series of books he is going to read?
The Tiger Series by Colleen Houck.
One of the websites I write for is http://thetigerseries.com so this is a series near and dear to my heart. Am I a bit nervous about what he will think? A bit. But I also believe in Colleen’s story and so I know he will get caught up in it too. I do promise you, though, that he will be completely honest as to his opinions-even if I really don’t want him to be at times. He’s not going to hold anything back.
I hope you will join him here on the blog as he reads the books and writes about it in his blog posts,
“In His Own Words”!
He will be sitting down every Thursday night to put his fingers to the keyboard. Maybe…if you’re lucky…he’ll do a podcast here and there. But, probably don’t hold your breath for that. We’ll just be surprised together if he takes it that far. 🙂
And thanks in advance for putting up with our silliness. I’m really excited about The Husband’s entrance into “my world”! Make him feel welcome friends! Maybe another miracle will happen, if all goes well, and he’ll agree to do it again. Seriously, don’t hold your breath for this right now. LOL!
I have a feeling that this post might step on some toes. I’m hoping it doesn’t, but I can’t promise anything. Go into this post knowing that it is not my intent to do so. However, I have something I feel like I need to say and in a big way.
Dear Author(s): YOU are MY Celebrity.
Yes, You. The one who spent years wholed up in an office, or sitting on your bed, or in a Starbucks tapping on keys and pouring your heart out onto a page. You who have slashed scenes, killed off characters you adore, love and cherish. You who have learned about Social Media and platforms, workshops and conferences, queries and rejections. You are MY celebrity. I watch movies only when I really, REALLY want to see it, or if I loved the book it is based off of, so I could take or leave those movie actors. Most of the TV I watch is reality, and I’m so embarrassed for some of those “stars” that I truly could care less about meeting them. But YOU…the authors who write the worlds I love to live in and escape to for just a few hours on a regular basis. YOU are who I care to meet. YOU are MY celebrity. While I know this is a bit fan-girly of me to say out loud, I say it because I want you to know how much you are appreciated. How important you are to more than just me.
So, I say this with that in mind…Please realize that you are so much more than just a writer to your readers. I know that many authors do not feel comfortable in the spotlight. I’ve read many say that speaking engagements and public appearances are hard for them. I know that there are those who would rather just write and write and then write again in their favorite quiet and secluded writing world. But in this day and age, you can’t do that. This is the age of people connecting on 800 levels all at the same time at the tap of a finger on their phone. This world wants community and has shown we will find it one way or another. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Formspring, LinkedIn, etc., etc. We could keep writing that list for the entire blogpost I think, but why? We all know them, and most of us are members. If you’re a writer, a blogger, a publisher, or an agent, you spend a particular part of your day working on all of the many Social Media outlets you are a member of. Why? Because you have started to understand the importance of connecting with the people in your industry as well as your readers. Which brings me back to the point of this blog post.
Most of the authors I follow on Twitter and other social media outlets are extremely witty and warm. Their tweets keep me in stitches or make me feel like I’ve known them for years. Yes, I know I haven’t known most of them at all. So, when I go to an event, a book signing, a convention, or do an interview, and I finally get to meet them up close, I want to meet my celebrity. Because authors are my celebrities. I want to meet the person in the publicity picture used on their website, blog, or social media profile. The one where you look fancy and put on make-up and are not wearing your “Mom” jeans. You know the picture…the one you put a necklace and earrings on for…I’m expecting to meet that person. And I totally get that your style and my style will probably NOT be the same. I don’t expect it to and I don’t want it to be that way. I love that it is not that way. Truly, you probably wouldn’t want my style anyway. I’m quirky and change my fashion style every day and often enough that it could give someone else whiplash. But that’s me. I’m not going to change it for anyone, and I don’t want you to change who you are for anyone.
I do want authors out there to realize that, while you are doing something creative in the writing business, it is still a business. And while you don’t like to think of it like that, it doesn’t change the fact that it is a business. You play a role in that business-many roles to be frank. You have to write the book, get it exactly where you want it to be, and then hope that people love it and buy it. But it doesn’t stop there. You have to build your platform and connect with people, keep them interested in your books, and ultimately, in you as a writer. But it doesn’t stop there! You have to make appearances and talk about your books and you in front of people and still keep them interested in your books and YOU! While I don’t mean for those public events to sound like a business interview, in a sense that is exactly what it is. We, your readers, are your clients. Like any other business, we have the option to go somewhere else, to someone else’s books.
Maybe it’s not right. Maybe it gets you upset that it matters. I’m sorry about that, but the reality is…I get just a little fancier for you if I know I’m going to be meeting you, even if there is the CHANCE of a meeting. I want to feel like you did the same thing. Because I’m a business woman as well as a reader and reviewer. I’m probably not going to stop reading your books just because you decided to wear your “Mom” jeans or forgot to brush your hair…BUT I can promise you that I will talk and talk and talk about you and your books more if I feel like you put the same effort into meeting me.
Please know this is not a superficial thing. THIS is a business thing. You are an author, and you are the only person that is going to sell your books, and yourself (that sounds SOOO bad I know…), in the way you want to be remembered. So, before you head out to your next event, book signing, panel, convention (BEA is looming…)…remember that YOU are MY celebrity, and a million other readers as well.