Jackie Gamber’s Top 5 Dragon-Related Goodies

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I saw that Tomorrow Comes Media were hosting Jackie Gamber’s Reclamation blog tour through Facebook and had to jump in. I still haven’t read this series (go ahead, slap my hand), but I’ve only heard good things and come on – dragons. So in I squeezed at the very last minute to share this wonderful lady and her books with you all.

And now I shall hand you over to Jackie! :)

Top 5 Dragon-Related Goodies

Reclamation_Illustration1PursuitI’ve been a genre girl since before I knew science fiction and fantasy were called “genre” and set aside as something different from other books. I read all books as a kid (and a grown-up), but always, as long as I can remember, I liked monsters and ghosts and aliens and fairies and dragons the best.

Since writing the Leland Dragon series, and most recently, the final installment as “Reclamation”, book three, lots of folks ask me, “Why dragons?”

The quick answer is, “Why not dragons?” The longer version is a complicated mixture of “the characters at the time, my deep love for all things fantasy, and I don’t exactly know.”

What I do know is that the road to the Leland Dragon Series has been paved by dragons that have come before, that have either influenced me a great deal, or enhanced my enjoyment because they are dragon-related. I’ve compiled a list of them, as the top dragon-related goodies I have personally enjoyed over the years.

  1. Book: “My Father’s Dragon” by Ruth Stiles Gannett, Random House Children’s Book.

This is very likely the book that started it all, for me. I have cherished this book since I first laid hands on it as a child. The version still on my bookshelf, worn and loved, is the Weekly Reader Book Club edition, copyright 1948.

  1. Movie: “Pete’s Dragon”, Disney, 1977.

If I could hug a movie, it would be this one. I think it was my first introduction to the concept of a friendly dragon. Call me silly, but I like friendly.

  1. Movie: “Dragonslayer”, 1981.

I’m not against bad guy dragons, however. This film has a bad dragon. Much of what I enjoy is more than just the dragon, though, such as a clever maiden trying to disqualify herself for a dangerous lottery by…no longer being a maiden, if you know what I mean. How is she the first girl to think of this?

  1. Movie: “Dragonheart”, 1996.

Sean Connery as the voice of Draco. A misunderstood dragon who allies with the knight sworn to kill him. It’s worth seeing past the really, really bad redhead wig worn by Dina Meyer. I love this movie so much, I just can’t even. I just can’t.

  1. Video Game: “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”, 2011.

It’s an action role-playing game, open world, where you’re free to roam wide and far, and where your choices (within certain framing) affect outcomes in a ripple. It’s more questing than shoot-‘em-up fast action; for people like me with less-than-lightning fast reflexes. And another fine example of dragons with noble intentions, as well as destructive.

There are more, of course. Many more dragon-related items, stories, docufictions, and the like, many of which I’ve forgotten, but have nevertheless made it into my subconscious where they feed and form my imagination.

What are some of yours?

Jackie Gamber is the award-winning author of many short stories, screenplays, and novels, including “Redheart”, “Sela”, and “Reclamation”, Books one through three of the Leland Dragon Series. For more information about Jackie and her mosaic mind, visit http://www.jackiegamber.com

And meet Jackie elsewhere on the world wide web at: Seventh Star PressAmazonFacebookTwitter - Allotrope Media

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Reclamation is the third and penultimate book in the Leland Dragon series, a young adult fantasy trilogy about a dragon named Kallon Redheart’s friendship with a young woman in the Leland province where tensions between dragons and humans are high. Check the series out on Goodreads for reviews of the books!

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

2/24                A Book Vacation                                            Tour Wide Contest

2/24                Azure Dwarf                                                   Promo/Spotlight

2/24                Come Selahway With Me                             Guest Post

2/24                Jellowquake Productions                             Review

2/25                Creating Estelan                                            Promo/Spotlight

2/25                Workaday Reads                                           Review

2/25                Alexx Momcat’s Gateway Book Blog           Promo Spotlight

2/25                Jorie Loves a Story                                        Character Post

2/25                I Smell Sheep                                                 Character Post

2/26                Kentucky Geek Girl                                        Guest Post

2/26                Deal Sharing Aunt                                         Review

2/26                Book in the Bag                                             Interview

2/27                Sheila Deeth                                                   Character Interview

2/27                John F. Allen Writer                                      Promo/Spotlight

2/28                Jorie Love a Story                                          Review

2/28                Azure Dwarf                                                   Review

2/28                Vampires, Witches, and Me, Oh My                 Guest Post

2/28                MichaelSciFan                                                            Interview

3/1      Elizabeth Delana Rosa ~Book Lover & Creator of Worlds~   Post on Art of Reclamation

3/1                  Coffintree Hill                                                            Guest Post

3/1                  Once Upon a Time                                                    Guest Post

3/2                  Jorie Loves a Story                                        Author Interview/Reader Questions

3/2                  Bee’s Knees Reviews                                      Review

3/2                  Jess Resides Here                                           Guest Post

3/2                  Book and Movie Dimension Blog                 Review

[Review] The Emperor’s Knife by Mazarkis Williams

16155037-194x300Series: Tower and Knife #1
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Size: 388 pages
Availability: 
Paperback, Hardback, Ebook, Audiobook
Received free copy from Jo Fletcher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

A plague is attacking the Cerani Empire: as the geometric patterns cover the skin, so the victims fall under the power of the Pattern Master.

Only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl who once saw a path through the waving grass.

Please bear with me as this is my first written book review in months. Exciting! But also a little scary. I have on the other hand continued blogging in some form or another so I hope that my writerly-side is still intact.

Right, so, The Emperor’s Knife. I’m calling it grimdark in my tags as I found it to be fairly gritty with very little in the way of comic relief. You are, of course, welcome to disagree. The Empire is quite dystopian in nature, particularly with the spread of the Pattern which can strike anybody at any time. It tattoos a person’s body and once complete either kills or enslaves their mind so once discovered, a patterned person is put to death. You’re not even safe if you’re a noble or a royal and it is definitely unclear who has the real power. So it’s not a cheerful place to live which can definitely be quite a slog to read through if you’re in the wrong frame of mind for it, but fortunately I was not at the time I read it.

There is a lack of a clear protagonist. When it began, I was sure it would be a story about a mad Prince emprisoned in a tower who tries to escape, falls in love, and brings down the Empire in the process. It is not quite that simple. We actually experience several viewpoints, which isn’t a new thing in epic fantasy by any margin, but in The Emperor’s Knife it was definitely refreshing. Especially around that midway point which I will get to in a second.

I was initially drawn to The Emperor’s Knife because of its’ Middle Eastern influence. The story is mainly set in the Empire which is very ancient Middle Eastern in nature with its’ constant danger and desert culture. I particularly loved the fact that people ride camels in this series and only very high-ranking men ride horses but even then, riding isn’t easy in the desert sands. On occasion I found the desert setting to grate on me a little. I love it, but at the same time there’s not much going on in a desert, just sand, sand, and more sand with the odd surprise thrown in for good measure. Although I did feel like the story lost some excitement about halfway through. There was a lot of desert and moving forward, but very few bumps in the road that made me sit up and take notice, just a whole lot of sand. I’m not sure if this was down to a low point in me, or the novel, so we shall leave that one on a peg for now, especially considering how it broke through that for the climax which sped off in all sorts of directions I never saw coming.

The Emperor’s Knife is a great read which I felt was masterfully written, for sure. The world feels alive and Mazarkis has perfected the ‘show don’t tell’ side of novel writing, which is a very difficult thing to master. The ending was spot on, I felt, and could have satisfactorily ended here as a standalone. However, I’m glad there will be more in the Tower and Knife series as I enjoyed reading this book immensely and look forward to seeing where the characters take things next and hope that there is less lacking at the midway point.

Purchase: Amazon Paperback – Amazon Kindle – Book Depository

Other reviews of The Emperor’s Knife can be found on Jet Black Ink and The BiblioSanctum.

The Tower and Knife series:

1. The Emperor’s Knife
2. Knife Sworn
3. The Tower Broken

Showcase Sunday: Can’t Stop, In A Hurry!

It’s been a week? Have an incoming post! :)

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I picked up 1st To Die from the library. I’d forgotten I reserved this because I had the urge to read a James Patterson novel. I always hear good things about him so why not start somewhere? It’ll be my first thriller novel too, if I get to it. I also received Little Beach Street Bakery which made me squeal with glee and I think made Jenny Colgan a little jealous as well? (Sorry!) I was having an awful week then this showed up, it’s as though Sphere knew what I needed.

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And a small handful of Kindle books. The Immortal Circus was a Kindle Daily Deal so I nabbed that for 99p. Circus fantasy is win, after all. The other two are actually free today so go get yours! Book covers link to their respective Goodreads pages.

Right, I’m off to work. Happy Sunday, folk!

Operation Panther: Critical Mass

It’s time to initiate Operation Panther – the super secret operation to clear out and tidy my book collection which has most definitely reached critical mass. I can neither confirm nor deny the influence of Operation Cobra from the Once Upon a Time tv show. Also? Please don’t judge the mess!

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The single stacked

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The floor stacked

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The double stacked

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The over-spill

I know you guys won’t judge me for my book hoarding but I’m told elsewhere that it’s a bit much. And honestly, I can’t say I’m all that interested in reading a lot of them. Whether I grabbed them from a charity shop “just incase” when I spied them quite cheap or they were sent over for review unsolicited or maybe something else I can’t currently think of, they do build up and it’s time to fix that. Even if only to make space for future lovelies.

What I’m thinking is to really go through them all. First, sort them into categories:

  • Read
    • Loved
    • Liked
    • Won’t re-read
  • Not read
    • Really want to read
    • Would very much like to read
    • Hmm.. maybe
    • Not too bothered

Then make sure I neatly shelve and arrange those that I’d like to read or re-read at some point. Next, put aside the books that I know I don’t need to keep. Then the tough part. The books that sound interesting but I’m not sure if they could be potentially amazing reads or general hoggers of precious book space. Once I’ve managed to sort them all out in this way I can work out what I can sell (we’re low on cash so this has to be a priority, I’m afraid, for non-ARCs of course), what I can swap, and whatever’s left over can be donated to a local charity shop. I know swapping isn’t a way to solve a space problem, but at the very least replacing an unloved book with a potentially loved one is more worthwhile than ignoring the problem.

As you can see, this is going to be a long and arduous and ultimately messy task! The two shelves nearer the bottom of my set of pictures are both double stacked, the top one single. And there are more elsewhere not pictured as well. So any tips? I need to be ruthless without throwing away something I might want to read in the future and kick myself for getting rid of now, and I need to be efficient, not spending weeks on Operation Panther and littering the bedroom floor for too long in the process.

Do you guys ever go through bookish Spring cleaning or are you more like me and prefer to cover your eyes and pretend that you don’t have a problem? ;)

Cover Lover: A Slightly Steamy Cover Reveal

Yesterday afternoon I received an intriguing email about a cover reveal from the lovely Lucie from Pan Macmillon, in it she details: “…four books by the author Kylie Scott – each book focuses on a different member of a rock band *ears prick up*. Each book focuses on one member of the band and their life, from romantic liaisons to fun filled nights!”

I am mostly focused on fantasy right now but I have a bit of a soft spot for rockstar lifestyle. *pets Dave Grohl* And I know some of my readers over here are interested in romantic liaisons so why not, hey?

Play cover

I must be honest, at first glance I thought the drumsticks were chopsticks and it has more of a boudoir than rockstar feel, but if it is “romantic liaisons” you are looking for.. well.. *fans self* Yum. Drummers are hot. ‘Nuff said.

I see that this is part two in a series of four – though I presume as each is about each individual band member, they can be read as standalones or in any order. I also see that it is a New Adult which isn’t really my thing, but maybe Mal the drummer with the lion tattoo can be the exception to the rule.

Play (Stage Dive #2)

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast – at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. But he didn’t count on exactly how much fun he could have being with the one right girl.

Anne Rollins has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a demented drummer was never going to be a good idea. No matter how hot he is. She’s had her sights set on her male bestie, Reece, for years. And now that she’s supposedly taken, he’s finally paying attention. If only the chemistry between her and her rock star would stop hitting new heights.

Find Kylie Scott: WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Review Copy Cleanup 4.0

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My first act as returning book blogger is to sign up for the beloved community event: Review Copy Cleanup. Why? Because I love me some Vicky and Celine and my TBR pile is pretty much review books so it’s really a win/win situation right there.

I shan’t presume that you know what this particularly blogger event is so here you go:

The Review Copy Cleanup is a month long event in which book bloggers the world over set themselves to the epic task of cleaning up their unwieldy review piles somewhat. Many of us end up with way too many review books and too little time, so Celine and Vicky came up with the Review Copy Cleanup in which we sign up to cheer each other on and have a bit of fun with the task. Not that it’s not fun, we wouldn’t have accepted these books if they weren’t potentially awesome, right?

Guidelines

(From Vicky’s blog)

  • The Review Copy Cleanup 4.0 runs from 1 to 28 February
  • It starts and ends at midnight according to your local timezone to avoid confusion
  • To sign up, just fill in the linky below. Link to your sign up post directly, please! The linky is the same on both of our blogs, so you only have to sign up once
  • The linky will close on the 15th, so make you sign up before then
  • When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thanks! (:
  • Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both e-books and hard copies (even audiobooks for review, if you have those), including all genres and lengths
  • Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join in the Twitter party at http://tweetchat.com/room/RCCleanup and meet lots of awesome bloggers (:
  • At the end of every week we will post our personal updates, and we’ll include a linky for you to add yours!

So I shan’t be setting myself a goal of a particular amount of books to read as I’m still verry slowly getting back into the reading groove and struggling to work the time in around gaming, work, various sleep schedules, tiredness, and so on, but I will leave you a picture of the pile I’ve got sat on my desk purely for the sake of taunting me into reading more.

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Come join in too! Is much fun and no pressure. :)