Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Infernal Devices Artwork



One thing I really like about the Infernal Devices series is all the awesome artwork. Here's some of that artwork by Val Freire you can find at Cassandra Clare's website.


The Infernal Devices Artwork

                 

                             
Jem, Will, Tessa, Jessamyn and Charlotte



 Tessa's, Will's and Jem's Costumes



                  




Friday, June 29, 2012

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare Snippet



If you, like me, can't wait for Clockwork Princess to come out, you might want to check this snippet Cassandra posted on her tumblr.

Warning: I don't think the snippet is a spoiler but if you don't want to read anything from or about the book before it comes out please stay away from this post. :)



"Tessa craned her head back to look at Will. “You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.” His blue eyes were dark with understanding — of course Will would understand — and she hurried on. “I feel now as if the same is happening, only not to characters on a page but to my own beloved friends and companions. I do not want to sit by while tragedy comes for us. I would turn it aside, only I struggle to discover how that might be done.”
“You fear for Jem,” Will said.
“Yes,” she said. “And I fear for you, too.”
“No,” Will said, hoarsely. “Don’t waste that on me, Tess.”



You ca find this snippet at : Cassandra Clare Tumblr.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What People Are Saying - The Infernal Devices Seies by Cassandra Clare



In case you haven't come across this series before, here's what a few  book bloggers and reviewers are saying about Cassandra Clare and her The Infernal Devices Series:


The Infernal Devices Series




Praise for Cassandra Clare:

 

"One thing I’ve realized that I absolutely LOVE about Cassandra Clare’s work is that her stories never center solely one just one female lead and one male lead. The universe does not revolve around the girl and the guy, with maybe one or two other periphery characters thrown in for comic relief or antagonism. No, rather, there is always a rich cast of characters that supplement each other; they give each other depth and personality; there is a warm sense of camaraderie and rivalry that permeates the atmosphere and makes me care for them. Clare can write some truly amazing characters, authentic and engaging and unique, ones in which I readily invest myself and my feelings.
      - Amy @ Goodreads



What bloggers and reviewers are saying about the books:
 
 
 
 
 
 
"The plot itself is like a clockwork piece itself: complex and intricate connections of function, motives, and emotions. But unlike the definition of clockwork which is repetitive and predictable, there is nothing predictable in the story."






 "If I had to pick one word to describe Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, that word would be "amazing." From the very first page I was riveted. The characters came to life in such a manner that I could almost put voices to the dialog in my head as I read the book. The prose was very well done and included themes ranging from horror to comedy. In fact, I found myself gasping or laughing out loud on more than one occasion, much to my husband's bafflement
      - Marla @ Starting the Next Chapter

"From the moment I started reading Clockwork Angel I could not put it down, and I never wanted it to end! It is an epic adventure like one I have been longing for"           
     - Missie @ The Unread Reader






"Clockwork Prince is a remarkable story. It will hook you from the very first page, and will keep you in its thrall until its very last...it will also keep you guessing... The characters draw you in even further into their story, and they will tear at your heartstrings.. "       
     - Ambur @ Burning x Impossibly x Bright





"Please know that if you have been waiting FOREVER like I have to read Clockwork Prince, you will not be disappointed. It was SO worth the wait plus some. It’s a highly emotional, intense, swoon-worthy novel that is to die for."       
     - Amanda @ Hippies, Beauty and Books Oh My



Watch out for more posts about the series!

Book Series: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Welcome to the third week of Book Series:


This week the book series I chose to be featured is The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare!
This post is an introduction to the series and the next one will showcase the opinion of serveral book bloggers about the series. 

 


There are three books in this series. Two of them are already published and one will be outin March 2013:



 
Title and Author: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices 01)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: August 31st, 2010
Paperback/Hardcover: 496
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal




Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.





Title and Author: Clockwork Prince(The Infernal Devices 02)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: December 6th, 2011
Paperback/Hardcover: 528
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal



In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.


Upcoming:



Title and Author: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices 03)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 19th, 2013
Paperback/Hardcover: 5
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal




In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it's too late. As Jem's health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves — even if it means never seeing the other one again?



Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide 

You can find Cassandra at

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Book Boyfriend


My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme, hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader. It is a weekly meme where we talk about a literary crush including stats, a picture of what you imagine he looks like and some quotes from him that make you swoon.  If you are interested in participating please check out the My Book Boyfriend Introduction Page over at Missie's blog The Unread Reader.


This week my book boyfriend is:


Matt Bowers from At Last by Jill Shalvis
 


 
 
  
Stats

Status: Matt is a forest ranger. He's laid back and easygoing but determined. He's Amy's love interest.
 
Age: 30-something

Height: Tall
 
Eyes: Light Brown

Hair: Dark

More info: Matt is a total Alpha Man. He´s strong and determined but he can also be quite sweet and caring. 





"He was tall, built and armed and dangerous, though not to her physical well.being. Nope, nothing about the tough, sinewy, gorgeous forest ranger was a threat to her body. Butt Matt Bowers was lethal to her peace of mind.

"He wore dark, wraparound Oakley sunglasses, but she happened to know that his eyes were light brown, sharp and missed nothing. Those eyes were in complete contrast with his smile, which was all laid-back and easygoing and said he was a pussy cat. That smile lied. Nohting about Matt Bowers was sweet and tame."

 
 
“I'm fine, go back to your job doing..." She waved her hand. "Whatever it is that forest rangers do, getting Yogi out of the trash, keeping the squirrels in line, etc..."
"Yogi and the squirrels do take up a lot of my time." he agreed mildly. "But no worries. I can still fit you in."
His voice always seemed to do something funny to her stomach. And lower. "Lucky me." 
"Yeah." He took another leisurely sip of his soda. "You might not know this, but on top of keeping Yogi in line and all the squirrel wrangling I do, rescuing fair maidens is also part of my job description." 

Amy: “The night I fell down the ravine. The night you shared your tent."
 Matt: "Which has been in heavy rotation in my fantasies ever since."
Amy: "You have some sort of rescue fetish, Ranger Hot Buns?"
Matt: "No, I have a pale blue panty fetish."
She let out a low laugh. 
Amy: "It was dark!"
Matt: "I have panty ex-ray vision. God-given talent."

"Im not here to solve your problems. I'm here to support you in your own decisions. I'm not going to walk away, Amy. Not now, not when the going gets tough, not ever. I'm right here at your back."
"For how long?"
"For as long als you'll want me. I love you, Amy."


So, what do you think of Matt?
Who's your book boyfriend this week?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Magic of The Darkening Dream + Giveaway

The Magic of The Darkening Dream

In constructing The Darkening Dream I wanted the meta-story to play off conventional tropes. Broadly, a cabal of ancient supernatural beings has sent one of their number to recover an artifact needed to destroy the world. And surprise, it turns out a group of teens are all that stands between them and Armageddon.
How much more Buffy can you get?
But that's just the high level. I also wanted to ground this preposterous scenario in real history and legend. So as a methodology, in designing my array of supernatural beings and occult practitioners I turned to historic sources. Before our modern science and technology rendered magic quaint, it was the domain of religion and superstition. Of belief.
And each spiritual and magical system has its own framework. Proponents wrote out of certainty, out of faith. I merely dig up their writings and take them at their word.
 

Villains


Osiris as king in the west
What binds a group of ancient evil beings together? Not some grand principle of villainy. Evil is just extreme selfishness. But hatred can go a long way. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. So who from the ancient world has suffered the most?
Might it be the old gods? Or those who worship them? Who offers sacrifice anymore to Osiris? Who fears the shadow of Anubis as they step from this world into the next? Who believes the beetle god Khepri drags the sun across the sky behind him?
No one. And those that remember the glory days are pissed off.
So who's been lurking around since the time of the pharaohs?


                                          
The comte at Versailles
The Comte de St. Germain has, or so he told everyone in the court of Louis XV. Apparently, at the very least, he is party to the secret magics of Osiris, Son of the Earth, King of the Dead. The elixir of Osiris is said to prevent death. And so the comte, which is but one of his many names, has been lurking about for some time. But the old magics are not what they once were. Their power has diminished with their gods. So he whispers in the ears of kings, pulling on what strings he can, seeking allies where he can find them.
And old gods may fade, but as long as a single soul still believes, they never die.
Even the ancient blood gods and their vampire acolytes. Born in ancient forests of the north where men offered midnight blood sacrifice. Of their king, their Ancient Master, raised from the dead a hundred centuries past, nothing remains but pure fury. Hatred for the burning sun, hatred for his mortal prey, hatred for the new world of foul brick and lifeless steel.
But in hatred, perhaps, there is common cause.
 

The Artifact


Observe the all important Ram in the Thicket (lower right)
Clearly, the physical goal of our baddies had to be something really big. Something useful to them in their plots. The fall of antiquity was not about barbarians at the gates of Rome. No. The rising tide of monotheism was what really swept away the old order.
So it is against God that our villains lash out.
And I found the perfect legend in the most unlikely of places. I was passing the time during Yom Kippur services by reading the story of Abraham offering Isaac for sacrifice (Genesis 22). This has always been a passage of particular interest to me, dealing as it does with the nature of the relationship between man and God and the meaning of ritual sacrifice. But it was in the commentary that I noticed something peculiar, a cryptic remark that "the Ram in the Thicket is but one of ten special things created by God on the eve of creation."
How's that for a magic seeker's wet dream.
Back at home I dug into this and discovered that on the eve of the first Sabbath, before the creation of world, God created ten special things (which besides the Ram include the rainbow of Noah, the staff of Moses, and other goodies). These items are eternal, having existed before the universe, they have no temporal beginning or end. God, it seemed, placed the Ram into the trust of the Archangel Gabriel, who kept it in the Garden of Eden until Abraham needed it at Mount Moriah. Afterward, nothing of the Ram was wasted. Gabriel took the horns and brought one to Moses so that he could sound the arrival of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. The other was kept by the archangel, hidden in the Garden, so that at the appointed time it might be brought to Elijah to sound the End of Days.



Gabriel and his trumpet
This notion of a horn blast sounding the end of the world is a highly persistent meme. It's found not just in the Jewish traditions regarding the Messiah, but in the Revelations of John where seven angels (including presumably, Gabriel) sound the end of time and the Last Judgment. And also in diverse mythologies such as the Norse, where the Gjallarhorn shall announce the onset of Ragnarök.
In the world of The Darkening Dream, all beliefs are simultaneously true, as brought forth and conceived by their believers. This means that anything as consistent as the horn legend is doubly true. Archetypal truth made manifest.
And what of Gabriel's Horn? Eternity is a long time and the archangel flits hither and yon. Might not a busy seraph misplace such a thing... if only for a short time?
 

The Myriad Layers of the Esoteric World

How to properly envision a world in which vampires, the Archangel Gabriel, witchcraft, and Egyptian gods all exist? Many might just toss them together arbitrarily, but I wanted to find a framework consistent with traditional mysticism. Having read hundreds of religious and magical texts I have identified numerous consistencies in the thought patterns of the esoteric mind.


The Tree of Life
By way of example, let's place ourselves in the mind of my protagonist Sarah's father Joseph. As a Rabbi, scholar, and mystic Joseph draws his world view from the Zohar and other great texts of the Kabbalah. In this conceptualization, which can be summed up as "hidden and not revealed," the world is a many layered thing, like an onion, with the portion we perceive merely the lowest of ten modalities, all simultaneously overlaid. The pure conceptualization of God pervades everything, and is the highest. Yet the human mind can not fully comprehend this level of divine and celestial purity. In between are various layers that express important truths like "Beauty" and "Wisdom." In Joseph's orthodox world, God is all powerful, so powerful that even the Archangel Gabriel is but a manifestation of His Strength. The angel is not an independent entity, but a protrusion of God's will into these middle layers of reality. Joseph might actually see the angel, but in his mind, this is just his perception of an aspect of God leaking into the mortal layers. The human mind cannot comprehend the divine, so God softens the blow with the angelic form.


Sitting down to the witches Sabbath
As hard as this might be to get your head around, it seemed reasonable to extend this kind of framework to many forms of magic in the book. The villainous Puritan warlock, Pastor John Parris, works a school of traditional witchcraft, yet it too is based on layered perception of reality. For him, the magical realm is twisted into a less spacial form, with objects and people adjacent not just by physical proximity, but by the likeness of their form and nature. So, a person's hair, separated as it might be from their body, provides magical access to the owner. Likewise, his religious conceptualization allows for the layering of hell dimensions, separated by flame. With the help of his succubus lover he is able to step through these fiery gateways and bend the rules of time and space.
While occasionally, as is the case with the Horn, the mythological drives the story, most often the structural needs of my plot demanded esoteric action. I therefore required interoperability between diverse magic systems in order to make the action work. For example, when Joseph wishes to protect his home from the intrusions of the evil Parris and the ancient vampire al-Nasir, he prays to invoke the archangels and align the physical rectangle of his house with the metaphysical form of King Solomon's Temple. For him this is an act of faith drawing on protective aspects of God's divinity.
But Parris too is able to perceive this change in the nature of reality, albeit in his own terms. His plans to gain entry requires the construction of an elaborate ritual analog. Like a voodoo doll for a building. Just as the limbs of the doll can be broken, the metaphysical walls of the temple may be breached.
 

Succubus from the source


Learning from the mouth of devils
For each of my supernatural beings I strove to draw upon classical source materials rather than rely on 20th century pop culture. My warlock, Pastor Parris, is a man of repressed passion based on serial killer profiles. His only emotional connection to the outside world has been through a series of dominating female figures. First his puritanical grandmother, then following her grisly demise, his succubus lover Betty. Like all magic in the world of The Darkening Dream, Betty is a conceptual product of her beholder. So I turned to The Malleus Maleficarum, the rantings of two 15th century clergymen, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. This book, which translates as the The Witch Hammer, was used by the Inquisition as a handbook for identifying and persecuting witches and demons.
Along with a five page essay on the mechanism by which Succubi and Incubi transfer semen, the Maleficarum has this to say about Succubi:
Devils have no lungs or tongue, though they can show the latter, as well as teeth and lips, artificially made according to the condition of their body; therefore they cannot truly and properly speak. But since they have understanding, and when they wish to express their meaning, then, by some disturbance of the air included in their assumed body, not of air breathed in and out as in the case of men, they produce, not voices, but sounds which have some likeness to voices, and send them articulately through the outside air to the ears of the hearer.
From this passage, we know that one of the means of identifying Succubi is that they do not move their lips when speaking, but manipulate the elements of fluid air near their mouths directly. Hence, in my novel, Betty does not open her mouth to speak, but the air in front of her shimmers as she does. In keeping with my fast paced action oriented novel, I never make an issue of this, but like thousands of other details in the book it is informed by the source. Clearly brothers Kramer and Sprenger knew what they were talking about, as they inspired thousands to burn at the stake.



Khepri and Osiris in the good old days

 

The Power of the Word

With each different school of magic I tried to extract the historic flavor and mindset of past occultists. The mysterious Khepri, another of my villains, practices an ancient Egyptian magic entirely different from Parris' devilish thaumaturgy. The spirit of Egyptian magic often derives from the use of secret names and the spoken word — nay command. The sorcerer/priest orders, by way of his secret magic, the very gods and demons to do his bidding. So it is that when Khepri invokes the miniature sun which is his weapon, he cries these words from The Egyptian Book of the Dead:
Re sits in his Abode of Millions of Years. The doors of the sky are opened for me, the doors of the earth are opened for me, the door-bolts of Geb are opened for me, the shutters of the sky-windows are thrown open for me. I know you, I know your names; Release him, loose him!
By sheer force of his sorcerous will he demands the sun yield to him. And so it does.
 

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

By writing a modern fantasy adventure, but by grounding the magic and supernatural in tradition, I wanted to prove that the old adage really is true: Truth is stranger than fiction. The twisted imaginations of our ancestors, devoid of the distractions of the current age, were often far more creative than the half-assed creations of Hollywood and the like.

A Big Giveaway for The Darkening Dream

This week, through June 29th, Author Andy Gavin is running a big giveaway to celebrate his 99 cent promo sale.
Tweet, like, follow, share, blog and grab a copy of his book to enter.

 

About The Darkening Dream

As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back.
An ominous vision and the discovery of a gruesome corpse lead Sarah and her friends into a terrifying encounter with a fledgling vampire in 1913 Salem, Massachusetts. Eager to prove themselves, the young heroes set out to track the evil to its source, never guessing that they will take on a conspiracy involving not only a 900-year vampire but also a demon-loving Puritan warlock, disgruntled Egyptian gods, and an immortal sorcerer, all on a quest to recover the holy trumpet of the Archangel Gabriel. Relying on the wisdom of a Greek vampire hunter, Sarah's rabbi father, and her own disturbing visions, Sarah must fight a millennia-old battle between unspeakable forces, where the ultimate prize might be Sarah herself.

 

The critics love it

"A vampire novel with actual bite." ~The Kirkus Reviews
"A gorgeously creepy, strangely humorous, and sincerely terrifying tale." ~Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Read the first two sample chapters here.

Get your 99 cent copy of The Darkening Dream today on Amazon only.

 

About the Author

Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes. Find out more here.

Review - Thoughtless by Jacqueline Gardner

Title and Author: Thoughtless by Jacqueline Gardner
Publisher: Ebook
Publication Date: February 28th, 2012
Paperback/Hardcover: 341
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal


Summary:
When Bridget finds a dead cheerleader in the janitor’s closet, she becomes the killer’s next target. High school just got worse. It’s bad enough that she can hear the shocking truths that pass through her classmate’s heads. Now she has to worry about staying alive, and all clues point to the one person whose thoughts she can’t read - her boyfriend Terrence. Someone is taunting her, threatening to expose her secret. And when Bridget tries to single out her blackmailer, she’s nearly beaten to death by a mind controlled minion with fiery eyes.
But when Bridget finally comes face-to-face with the killer, suddenly a horde of brainwashed students programmed to destroy her life doesn’t seem so bad.
  
Review:
I’ve received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.
Bridget seems to be a normal girl but she keeps big secret: she can hear the thoughts of other people. Because of this, and in an attempt to remain sane, she does her best to avoid other people.
Only her mother knows about Bridget ability but when Bridget finds the body of a cheerleader and the killer starts targeting her, her friend Rory and her boyfriend Terrance– the only person whose thoughts she can’t hear - her secret might be in danger of being discovered.
Bridget is an interesting main character. She obviously has her issues but she’s also sweet, smart, determined and she’s not afraid to recognize her mistakes.
Rory really is the voice of reason for Bridget and the one she knows she can trust. He’s a good, sweet guy. His banter with Bridget was one of the best things in the book.
I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Terrance but I enjoyed the fact his relationship with Bridget wasn’t completely perfect like in some other stories. Bridget really wants them to work out but she’s also well aware that there are a lot of things they don’t know about each other.
Thoughtless is an interesting, fast-paced story. There were some plot holes as the story developed and the timeline became a little confusing sometimes but I still thought the book was enjoyable and entertaining.
If you like Young Adult, Paranormal books I think you might enjoy this story.

Rating: Readable  (3 Stars)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Series Giveaway: The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine


It's time for another book series giveaway!


You can win the following bookmark with your choice of a quote from The Archers of Avalon Series:





All you have to do to enter is fill in the rafflecopter form below. Let me know if you have any questions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Also, if you go to CreationsbyGC and buy a bookmark send a message to the store owner with the code LibraryMosaic and you will get another bookmark for free. :D