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2016 reading challenge

13 Jul

2016 reading challenge

I set my goal at 50 books – kinda pushing myself this year. It’s not easy with two little humans fighting for my time and working full time, planning school, dinners, working out, etc. But, I’m happy to say I’m not that far behind, maybe 2 books and I’ll be caught up. 🙂 Yay to small victories.

How is everyone doing this year with their reading challenge?

Any particularly great books that I should add to my ‘to read’ list?

Yoga – meditation – shrink session – therapy – whatever you call it, that’s reading for me.

According to Dr. Seuss: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Read on…

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Kill Of The Night: Supernatural Craze

2 Jul

Supernatural books are my thing now but in all honesty they’ve been my thing since I first read the Goosebumps books back in elementary school. I haven’t stopped reading them since and my fascination for the genre has just grown exponentially since those days. Right now that’s all the fad, too. Everywhere you look there’s either a book or movie or TV series that has supernatural beings. This craze for all things that go bump in the night just feeds my enthrallment.

Lately, thanks to my handy ereader, I can purchase most supernatural books for free or fairly cheap so I can read more for less; which is a great thing because I read several books a month. I sometimes put off buying the regular books, from known bestsellers, because for the same price I can buy two or three of the cheaper ones. Let me clarify what I mean by “regular”: when I pay full ereader price for books, which in many cases is the same or just a little less than buying the physical book. I recently purchased A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah E Harkness (I’ll post a review when I’m done with it). That one, for example, was a full priced ereader purchase I had put off because I could buy similar books, like First Bitten, by Samantha Towle, for far less.

From the less known authors, it all starts with the first book in the series offered at a very low price. Now I know this is a fantastic scheme to get me hooked because the author always make these supernatural books a series. Most supernatural characters live forever or have very long lives. So of course I understand why authors make trilogies and series and so forth. If (and when) I write a supernatural book, I’ll leave a nice cliffhanger ending setup for some potential follow-up stories too. If my characters can live forever or close to it, believe me I’d have them all returning for more adventures. In no way am I blaming the authors for having more than one book. I’m grateful actually, because there’s so much material out there these days that my reading queue is always full.

One downside to all these new stories popping up in the vamp/were/Fae/shifter/witches/zombies, etc. genre (there are so many, did I miss any breed?) is that after the first three or four books, the stories just aren’t the same. One example of this is the Charlaine Harries books, the Southern Vampire Series with Sookie Stackhouse. These are the books that started the True Blood phenomenon on HBO. The stories are still good but after a while they became detached from the original story lines and are more like standalone books. Sort of like what has happened with the TV series versus the book series. Which is fine, I get that after several books the authors have to change things up to keep the audience interested. Either way, at that point I’m too invested to give up on the series so I keep on reading. I’m a masochist for my book cravings and I read on even after knowing the material is not the same. The really great part about supernatural beings in literature is that they can be or do whatever your imagination wants them to; there are no limits.

One very positive gain: through this clever scheme of the authors and their low-priced books, I’ve come to learn of some fantastic (and new) paranormal authors that I would have not picked up otherwise. Some of these writers are very talented, although not widely known, and I’m grateful they have self published their books and made them available for my reading delight. Many props to them, their never-ending imaginations and great writing skills; please keep them coming.

Here is a small list of books/series I’ve read recently in this genre and enjoyed.

  1. First Bitten & Original Sin (The Alexandra Jones Series) by Samantha Towle
  2. The Alexa O’Brien Series by Trina M. Lee
  3. Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack) and Here Be Sexist Vampires by Suzanne Wright
  4. Shifters Series (Faythe Sanders) by Rachel Vincent
  5. The Accidentals Series by Dakota Cassidy

Fun music link for your listening pleasure: Gin Wigmore – Kill Of The Night – YouTube. This is my favorite song right now.  ❤ Thank you to Teen Wolf for putting me on to this singer. When I hear Gin Wigmore, I’m reminded that there’s so much new talent out there and my ears have some fun exploring to do. I like to have a few good songs on my playlist to listen to while I search my ereader, trying to decide what book to read next.

Anyone have any new/up-and-coming authors of paranormal books they want to recommend? I’m always looking for fun/new material to add to my reading queue. I prefer the more romance oriented stories but any good paranormal story has my attention.

‘The Secret Circle’: Chris Zylka On ‘Prom,’ Nick’s Return & His Dream ‘Vampire Diaries’ Crossover Episode

8 May

As a die hard fan of both book series and now TV shows, I would absolutely love a crossover show. My supernatural loving heart would blow up with LOVE. Then I’d be resurrected by one of my fav witches (or vamp or were), of course. Sigh! A girl can dream, right? Maybe my dream is very close to becoming reality. I just got up from my chair and did a quick happy dance around my computer desk! How much fun would it be to have a 2 hour event with a mix of both shows?!

My version of the crossover: I can already see Stefan and Damon trying to save Elena from some crazy dark magic  Cassie accidentally taps into – while trying to stop her evil father – that endangers the doppelganger. This unites the Circle with Bonnie and together they find some old, forgotten spell, to save Elena and make it all right again in the vamp/were/witch world.

How you ask? Here goes: One of Elena’s ancestors is linked to Chance Harbor, back before they moved to Mystic Falls, they lived in the Harbor. Katherine was working on a doppelganger many years ago (before Damon and Stefan were turned) when the circle of Chance Harbor found out what she’s up to and they cast a spell on Elena’s ancestor that made them move (to Mystic Falls) and at the same time cloaked Chance Harbor from vamps/weres to ensure the doppelganger stayed away. The Chance Harbor circle of those times wanted to keep the doppelganger, and especially Katherine, out of their town because they feared the doppelganger would bring vamps/weres to their witchy town…this would ultimately be trouble for the witches as they wished to live alone (them being the only supernatural beings around) and in peace.

The spell needs to be lifted for Elena to go to Chance Harbor to help the circle get rid of John Blackwell. The circle finds a spell to strip Blackwell of his power but only Elena’s doppelganger blood can be used. The Circles tracks Elena to Mystic Falls, they go there and talk Elena into returning with them to help, and of course Damon and Stefan go with Elena to protect her from the unknown dangers of Chance Harbor. But once at Chance Harbor, the spell is too strong for the Circle alone to break so Elena helps by recruiting Bonnie (who seeks help from her mom or Klaus’ mom). Blackwell finds out what the Circle is up to and tries to kidnap Elena. Her men in shinning white armor rescue her before Blackwell is successful.

Meanwhile Caroline and Tyler join Jeremy and Bonnie on a drive to Chance Harbor. The friends remind Bonnie to be a ‘good witch’ and not be tempted by dark magic – she’s been edgy yet is later tempted by Cassie’s dark magic (especially after having a taste of dark magic herself when she brought Jeremy back from the dead!!), the witches bond over their love/hate of dark magic, together they make Blackwell leave town (for now), and they start trouble for the Circle and for Mystic Falls  by bringing dark magic over the two towns, linking the two places. All a necessity so that Blackwell cannot enter either town (for now). This leaves the doors open for more crossover stories in the future.

All in one short afternoon dream! If only…..now I’m even more excited for some sort of crossover!! 🙂

‘The Secret Circle’: Chris Zylka On ‘Prom,’ Nick’s Return & His Dream ‘Vampire Diaries’ Crossover Episode.

Cassia Leo

NY Times Bestselling Author

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