Notice:


As of June 9, 2012 I will no longer be accepting e-books for review. This is due to the overwhelming
demand of reviews, work and night classes taking up a lot of my spare time. It
is taking me several months to read and post reviews therefore until “my to be
reviewed list” is smaller I will no longer accept any more e-books for review.
I am extremely sorry.


November 30, 2013

Review Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater


The Details:

Format: Hardcover
Published: August 1, 2009
Publisher: SCHOLASTIC INC
ISBN - 10: 0545123267
ISBN - 13: 9780545123266
Source: Purchased

The Rating:

3 out of 5


For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

I have been sitting on Shiver for a few years now and this month was Weres month for the Paranormal Reading challenge so it was the perfect excuse to start the series. 

I expected more out of Shiver. I assumed that it was going to be similar to the other paranormal novels that I have read but it was more contemporary. Its not that I have a thing against contemporaries I just don’t go out of my way to read them. Shiver was well written but I wished that there would have been more action to the story. I found the characters to be fairly bland and didn’t find anything special about them just ordinary people. Maybe as the series progresses the characters develop. Overall, I was disappointed in the Shiver but I think that is because I had different expectations of the story.

 

Cassay Sig

November 25, 2013

Now Available! Zane by Joann I Martin Sowles

Now Available!!
Companion to Tainted Blood —
Available Nov. 25th, 2013
Zane Book Cover
Being chosen as one of the Fallen is an honor amongst the angels. Yet, it was an honor Zane had not wished for.
On Laney’s nineteenth birthday, Zane fell with the mission to keep her safe, but he was never given that opportunity...
In this Brookehaven Vampires novella, you will step into the mind of Laney’s guardian angel, get a glimpse of his life before the fall, and see what our world looks like from his point of view.
This story is to be read AFTER Tainted Blood.
All excerpts and book covers are from Joann’s website

Where to buy:




Enjoy!

Cassay

November 13, 2013

Tis the Season!

So with Christmas just around the corner, I am super excited to decorate my own place this year. I am so excited that my decorating skills may make it look like Santa puked in my house. Not because I’m a bad decorator but because there will be so much Christmas decorations!

But Christmas also brings Secret Santa’s! This is probably my favorite part of blogging. Getting to meet a new blogger that I wouldn’t have known before and sending them a special little something this holidays season!

This year I am once again partaking in the 4th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa and I will be partaking in Book Soulmates RAK Secret Santa Style!

Here are the rules from Book Soulmate’s RAK that have been copied and pasted from their website:


RAK is back...Secret Santa style!

In order to allow us time to arrange everything, this special Christmas Edition of RAK is going to run for TWO months instead of the usual one month!

Button was created by Vanmar Designs exclusively for Book Soulmates

NEW RULES
(please read thoroughly)

  • Participation requires that you agree to send your assigned contact (1) Secret Santa gift (selected from the wishlist provided).  In exchange, you will also receive a Secret Santa gift from the person that was assigned your name.
  • We suggest that you put a note on/with your gift stating that it's a "Secret Santa RAK gift" and include your name/blog so that the recipient knows who the gift is from :)
  • The form will ask you for your Top 5 Wishlist Titles as well as a link to the rest of your wishlist (located on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog, etc).
  • The form will accept sign-ups starting November 1 through November 24. 
    Sorry guys, but the form will be closed after November 25th to allow us time to assign & distribute.
  • All participants will be contacted via email on December 1st with the information for their Secret Santa recipient.  It's very important that you check your inbox for this message!
  • You will have from December 1st to December 25th (the sooner the better) to send out your RAK.  After all, it is to be a Christmas present!
  • E-book participation is limited to files being gifted directly to a person from the e-book store. Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and the Kobo store are all set up to allow this.  We do not, ever, encourage people to send pirated books so we urge you to use your discretion if/when accepting PDF files not sent through a retailer.
  • At the end of the month (by Dec 31st), show us your R.A.K by creating a "RAK Wrap-up" post.
  • You may also show off your participation by grabbing our *new* Christmas Edition RAK button!

     

OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Remember that you can order from Book Depository to ship to an international friend!

Sign up for RAK: Secret Santa 2013
(Note: This time, you guys don't get to see who else signed up because it's a seeecret ;)
If you have any questions regarding RAK, please contact us via Twitter or at our email booksoulmates @ gmail . com

Tips:

1. When talking about RAK on Twitter, please use the hashtag: #RAK. It makes it much easier to keep track of the conversations, answer questions and/or tweet back! =)

2. When submitting your wish list, please make sure that it is set to PUBLIC viewing. Some people have had trouble with wish lists that were set to private. We want to be sure that no one is left out of getting great RAKs.

3. Some of you have gotten frustrated because you can't get your links to appear active. This is a very easy fix :) Just make sure that when you enter your link, do NOT hit the Enter key. Instead, hit the TAB key which will send you to the next field on the form. Additional spaces entered after the link will leave the link inactive.  However, if this does happen to you, no worries, we'll fix it for you.


All pictures and rules and everything related to RAK belong to Book Soulmates – Make sure you check out their awesome website here.

 

You can find Broke & Bookish Secret Santa information here.

Here are my wish list in no particular order:

Breath by Jackie Morse Kessler

Tidel by Amanda Hocking (Hardcover)

Elegy by Amanda Hocking (Hardcover)

Abandon by Elana Johnson

Sever by Lauren DeStefano  (paperback)

Fever by Lauren DeStefano  (paperback)

The Evolution o Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (paperback)

Eternal by Kristi Cook (hardcover)

Rise by Andrea Cremer (hardcover)

Shades of Earth Beth Revis (hardcover)

 

Cassay Sig

November 4, 2013

Officially a Brookehaven Vampire Street Team Member!

So awhile ago (way before the wedding) I signed up to become a part of the street team and help promote Joann’s novels which I love. Well I have been a very bad street member and has put off/misplaced packages with wedding stuff etc. The list goes on anyways I was a bad girl but NOW I am being a good girl and I will give all you wonderful followers a information dump on the in going of Brookhaven Vampire Series!

First, there are a limited amount of Street Team Members….if you want to sign up head here.

When Joann sends you an email inviting you to join our wonderful group you will receive this!

photo 1

Yep there is a name tag with my name on it!! Sooo Cool!

I also received some bookmarks for the newest book Curse which comes out this fall!!! EEEE!!!

photo 2

I recently found a bunch of book marks for the first 3 novels as well. So I will be giving away 10 Brookehaven Vampire Swag packs and I will add some other swag I can find in my black hole room as my hubby says I have to much! You can never have to much swag I say.

Last but not least I have an exciting announcement to make about the Series!!!

There is a novella to be released this month!!! Zane!!

Companion to Tainted Blood —

Available Nov. 25th, 2013

Zane Book Cover

Being chosen as one of the Fallen is an honor amongst the angels. Yet, it was an honor Zane had not wished for.

On Laney’s nineteenth birthday, Zane fell with the mission to keep her safe, but he was never given that opportunity...

In this Brookehaven Vampires novella, you will step into the mind of Laney’s guardian angel, get a glimpse of his life before the fall, and see what our world looks like from his point of view.

This story is to be read AFTER Tainted Blood.

All excerpts and book covers are from Joann’s website and all other photos were from my phone taken by me Smile.

So that is my exciting Brookehaven News!

For the giveaway of 10 Swag Packs. I’m making this super easy. The first 10 people to either email me at vampsweresandcassay @ yahoo . ca or fill out the form below will get swag sent to them. OPEN Internationally.

Here is the form to enter to win the swag packs!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SIRaXBNBzxHA4NZj7ll1HQwZVMu1uTFYtG-kr3gaSWk/viewform

Cassay Sig

P.S. I will post wedding photos as soon as I have them Smile

October 21, 2013

18+ Review: Captive by A.D. Robertson “The forbidden side of nightshade”

 

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Details:

Published: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Dutton
Source: NetGalley – review offered from Liza of Dutton. Thank you!

The Rating: 5 out of 5


The first adult novel set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Nightshade series, Captive delivers a steamy, forbidden romance between sworn enemies drawn together by an irrepressible desire.

Twenty-five-year-old Tristan Doran enjoys a life of incredible power and privilege. As a direct descendant of the Keepers—witches who have embraced dark magic—he defers to no one but his overlord, Lord Bosque Mar. For most of his life, Tristan has been kept out of the centuries-old Witches War, his bloodline too valuable to risk in battle.

But when a beautiful, young human Searcher named Sarah is captured and made a prisoner in his Irish castle, Tristan’s infatuation with her flings him headlong into the fray. Captive and captor, unable to contain their longing, embark on a passionate, forbidden romance together—only to learn that their love is at the heart of a prophecy predicting the downfall of the Keepers’ ages-old reign.

Captive explores the darker side of the richly imagined Nightshade universe, a fantasy world of powerful dark witches, shape-shifting wolf warriors, and fascinating history. The first of three erotic novels, Captive delves deeply into the fiery, illicit romance of two young lovers whose very desires invite their doom. Book cover and excerpt from A.D. Robertson website.

 

Captive was the 2nd erotica novel that I have ever read the 1st being 50 Shades…So I really wasn’t 100% sure what to expect because I’ve been told there is much better smut out there than 50 Shades and boy are those people right. Captive was smexy and hot and full of adventure suspense and everything else that I love in a story. It did remind me a bit of Beauty and the Beast but I got over that fact and enjoyed the story as it unfolded. I really liked Tristan’s character he evolved the most for me and I enjoyed his progress. Though his sometimes hot then cold reactions and emotions drove me crazy especially in a certain scene that I won’t spoil for you :P. Sarah’s character wasn’t anything special for me I hope she grows more as the series progresses. I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here. As a fan of the Nightshade series this was a perfect way to graduate from the series and into a more adult setting for an adult like myself. I was trying to determine if any of the characters in Captive were from the Nightshade series but it has been so long since I read them that I couldn’t be 100% sure. Overall, it was a great read and I can’t wait for the next installment.

Cassay Sig

October 3, 2013

Update: Wedding, Expo and All Around Craziness!

I’m taking the time out of the crazy that is October to update everyone on the craziness that is my life at the moment. Currently, we are 8 days away from the wedding. Yep in 8 days I will be a Mrs. instead of a Miss. This is crazy and I can’t believe it is coming soo freaking soon. I seriously don’t feel ready. Among all the stress with the wedding and people annoying me I recently got sick Confused smile.

One good thing has come out of the last few weeks. Last weekend I spent my last “free" weekend as I like to call it at the Edmonton Expo. I got to meet Lori and Tyreese from The Walking Dead. The actress who plays Lori is super nice and the actor that plays Tyreese brought  Hammer for the picture yep a hammer how freaking cool? I also took pictures of Karl Urban, Jon Heder, Robert Englund, Christopher Lloyd and Joe Flannigan who I almost brushed shoulders with when he was walking through the vendor area.

I have a lot of wedding stuff I need to do this coming week. Thankfully I am off of work. I am threatening everyone that I will build a reading fort and put a sign up that says “LEAVE ME ALONE I AM READING”. If I do I will make sure I post a picture.

Here is a sneak peek of the pictures of me with TWD cast:

496825-789V

 

532449-K11G

I will be going offline from Oct 14 – 18, We are heading on a mini honeymoon and I am leaving my phone behind.

But I just wanted to give you all a heads up to not worry about me when you don’t see me on Twitter or Facebook.

September 9, 2013

Review: Tainted Blood by Joann I Martin Sowles


Details:

Published: October 2012
Publisher: Brookehaven Publishing
Source: Trade paperback provided by Joann for an honest review, which does not effect how I reviewed the novel
Series:
Laney
Darkness

The Rating:

5 our of 5


Vampires, Werewolves, and…Angels? Oh, my!

Laney’s life is suddenly tangled by deceit, and as she tries to pull her past, present, and future together, she finds herself and her friends fighting for their lives. Thrown into the midst of a conflict that has been brewing for centuries—a conflict that no mere human should be anywhere near—Laney and her friends will discover that the mythical creatures of lore are not so mythical after all.

As Carter and Kiera’s relationship moves forward, Laney and Oliver’s becomes strained…confusing…dangerous.

Laney would have never thought Oliver was capable of causing such pain, such heartache, such fear. When he becomes a danger to everyone they know, especially her, Laney must make the choice to save herself, or those she loves.

As if this weren’t enough, a visit from Oliver’s brother could bring Laney’s life to a tragic end. Excerpt and cover from Joann’s website.

Tainted Blood is the 3rd novel in the Brookhaven Vampires series, I won’t lie when I started reading book 3 I had completely forgotten what had happened in the 1st 2 books That fault is completely mine for leaving such a big gap between reading them. But with this said, I love how Joann reminded us by what had happened in the earlier books by showing Carter’s perspective. I really liked the mythology that was introduced in book 3 as well as getting that insight of Carter’s mind. Oliver was a jerk in this book so if you are Team Oliver beware you will be mad for majority of the book. As Carter is one of my favorite characters in the book it was nice to get more of him in book 3, it wasn’t all Laney and Oliver. It was a mixture of all the important characters and I really enjoyed it. Joann totally ended the 3rd book in a cliff hanger and then gave a cruel and mean teaser sneak peak to book 4 which made it even worse! Overall, my love for the series is growing with each passing day. If you recalled I found Laney to be too much like Twilight but as time passed on I started to love it more. I don’t know what this series has on me but the more time that passes after I read each book the more I need to read the next and the more I love the series.

Cassay Sig

August 31, 2013

Review: Just for Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

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Details:
Published: June 20, 2012
Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
Source: Purchased Series:
Forgive My Fins
Fins Are Forever
Just For Fins The Rating: 4.5 out of 5

When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mer kingdom of Thalassinia, she knew she couldn't''t just coast along in the current. But since she's spent the last couple of years on land, Lily's not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom. Even her maddeningly pretentious cousin Dosinia seems to know more about ruling than she does. But Lily has to dive in deep to keep her promise to Tellin, her mer bond in name only, who tells her his kingdom is suffering in the changing ocean climate. Lily knows this is a seven seas-sized problem. They’ll need to create some serious waves to make the mer community aware and get it to join together to make things right. Lily has to lead the way, even if that means facing one of the iciest queens in the mer kingdoms. Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can't get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and her human boyfriend, Quince, after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave! In this third installment in the series that began with Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever, Lily will have to find a way to balance safety and justice for the mer people and for the humans she loves. Excerpt and book over from Chapters.

If you haven’t read a Tera Lynn Childs novel before you must go pick them up. Tera has the skill of writing that no matter what is currently happening in your life her books make you feel cheery and giddy.

Just For Fins is the 3rd book in the Forgive My Fins series. There is love, actions, mean girls, best friends and all around cuteness. TLC’s books always make me feel happy when they end. TLC’s ties up any important loose ends so that when the story has ended there’s no huge cliff hanger. The read is left content with how the book ended. I always feel so happy and that awww feeling every time I finish a Forgive My Fins novels. I really liked how Lily has to deal with both human and mermaid problems and the way that TLC intertwines the two together are perfect. Quince and Lily’s relationship is perfect as always and I love all the scenes that they have together.



 Cassay Sig

August 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Cursed - The Brookehaven Vampires (Book 4)

 

Cursed Book Front Cover 72

*COMING: November 2013*

Leaving it all behind, Laney and Oliver are looking forward to getting away from the troubles of “Treeville,” and finally beginning their forever. Unfortunately, Laney’s guardian angel and Oliver’s twin have other plans in mind.

Even so, after a wonderful, yet also terrifying few days together, Laney and Oliver are off to the capital where they will partake in Levi’s plans of persuading his love to join his world. Although enjoyable, and rather entertaining, Laney and Oliver must soon return home where anything can and will go wrong.

As if a psychotic angel and a crazy twin brother were not enough, Laney and her friends come to find that their previous troubles with witches, werewolves, and the Weslin siblings were nothing compared to what is coming.

With many secrets into her life revealed, Laney must find it within herself to hold it together and make the right choices to help save the ones she loves.

With everyone’s futures hanging in the balance, will Laney and her friends be able to put a stop to a chain of events that could tear their world apart?

YA/NA, Paranormal Romance. 18+ *Mature Content Warning*

I love this cover it looks so freaking cool. Especially when you add the back cover!

Cursed Book Cover TP 72

AUTHOR BIO:

Author Pic

Joann I. Martin Sowles is the self-published author of The Brookehaven Vampires series. She prefers fantasy to reality, and anything purple. She could spend hours talking to anyone who would listen about her favorite books, movies, and TV shows. She loves to read and is a devoted Mickey Mouse fan. When she’s not consumed by her writing, Joann is busy homeschooling her kids or hiding from housework.

To find out more about Joann and the Brookehaven Vampires, visit her website at: www.brookehavenvampires.com

Links:

Website: http://www.brookehavenvampires.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Brookehaven-Vampires/137895539569115

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4191700.Joann_I_Martin_Sowles

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannsowles

Check out my reviews:

Laney

Darkness

Tainted Blood – COMING SOON!

What do you think of the new cover??

 

Cassay Sig

July 18, 2013

Review: Life's A Witch by Brittany Geragotelis

Life's a Witch
Details:

Published: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC From S&S Canada. Thanks to Michelle!

The Rating:

3 out of 5


The book that started it all-with more than 18 million reads on Wattpad-revamped and rebooted!

This witch lives a charmed life.
Hadley’s the envy of every girl-and the desire of every guy. But being at the top of the social pyramid has its drawbacks. Hadley’s always kept her frenemies close and her secrets closer-one big secret in particular. Her key to magically having it all is that she’s an actual witch.
As a descendant of the first woman executed in the Salem Witch Trials, Hadley understands the consequences if her secret gets out. The only ones who know about her powers are members of her coven-other kids and parents who, like Hadley’s own family, have magic in their blood. But there’s no way to cover up an attack that causes every adult in the coven to vanish. All the evidence points to an age-old rival coven as the culprit. Now it’s up to Hadley to lead the young witches against the Parrishables and to rescue their missing parents. At the same time, she’s caught up in her feelings for a mysterious guy named Asher, who has plenty of secrets of his own. With everything at stake, can Hadley trust her magic-and her heart?
Excerpt and book cover from Chapters

Life’s a Witch is a bit better than What the Spell. I would suggest reading LAW before WTS as I found out that WTS is actually the prequel (not to be confused with the 1st book of the series) ruins Asher in LAW for me anyways. Asher seems like 2 completely different people in each of the novels and it confused me. LAW has more paranormal aspects in it over WTS which I liked. I did enjoy it more but it took about 150 pages for me to get really into it. The author really likes the popular girls I don’t really get it but Hadley in this case is the popular and always talks about being in control. I also didn’t get the love story line throughout the story how does seeing each twice and making out make you boyfriend-girlfriend and how does making out twice within a few days mean you love that person?? This was extremely unrealistic. Overall, this series wasn’t my favorite and I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless they enjoy the on goings of a popular girl teen drama. I personally don’t think I will be reading the final book is the series because it sounds like it will be the battle of “Who is the more popular girl that deserves the guy” and I am just too old to get enjoyment out of that sadly.

Cassay Sig

July 17, 2013

Review: What the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis

What the Spell


Details:

Published: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought e-book

The Rating:

3 out of 5


A teenage witch juggles popularity and romance while keeping her powers a secret in this spellbinding debut.

Almost-sixteen-year-old Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch about to come of age-so she’s only a few spells away from making it all happen.
On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s found out, she could be vilified-and lose Asher in the process. Can she make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless? Be careful what you witch for! Excerpt from
Chapters

****MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS****

I gave What the Spell a 3 instead of a 2 because I feel that a 2 would be too harsh for the novel because it wasn’t a book for me but I know that others would like it, for example my sister. The main reason I didn’t care for this book was because I found Brooklyn to be extremely annoying, self-centered and childish. She has this super-hot boyfriend and treats him like crap all because she wants to be in the popular group. They are horrible awful people that make her do things that any good hearted person wouldn’t do. I feel that Brooklyn is good-hearted deep down but her NEED for popularity is a bit much. I found this to be more of a teen drama novel than paranormal. I’m not for teen dramas or the popular kids so I found it to be really annoying but I know my sister would have enjoyed it because she likes novels like that. The writing was well done in the fact that Brittany made me hate Brooklyn though I’m sure that wasn’t her intended purpose but she made me have feelings which is a good thing in my books. I would suggest this novel to teens/adults that like teen drama type books and don’t mind childish behavior.

Cassay Sig

July 15, 2013

3 year Blogoversary!

Holy Cow! I started this blog in 2010! I can’t freaking believe it! I also can’t believe its been 3 years.

I know when I first started I posted a lot more then I do now but that is mostly do to the fact that real life has gotten extremely busy with school, work and an upcoming wedding and sacrifices need to be made.

With the accounting designations merging in Alberta (and Canada I believe) that means I need to finish my schooling by June 2015 so I have been focusing on that and going double time with school. Work seems to always be busy so that’s nothing new. I did go on hiatus for a bit because my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer this past fall. I am happy to say that her treatment officially ended in May/June and she is cancer free!!! Yay! She goes back to work in August. So all is good on that front. I’m sure helping on planning a wedding help keep her strong and fighting.

And then there is this whole wedding business. It is seriously stressing me out! It’s at the point where I feel like all weekends are booked with things to do and when I look at the calendar and its all free.

But next summer I should have some free time to blog and such.

But because its my blogoversary I will do something small.

So thanks to Kaitlyn at Penguin USA I have 1 paperback copy of Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong to giveaway to one lucky US or Canadian Resident!

Thirteen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck to Everyone!

Cassay Sig

July 3, 2013

Review: The Walking Dead: Book One (Issues 1 – 12) by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn

The Walking Dead Book 1


Details:

Published: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: Bought Hardcover

The Rating:

5 out of 5


Book One of The Walking Dead Includes Volume 1: Days Go Bye

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. Excerpt from Goodreads.

And Volume 2: Miles Behind Us

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. This volume follows our band of survivors on their tragic journey in search of shelter. Characters live and die as they brave a treacherous landscape littered with packs of the walking dead. Excerpt from Goodreads.


The Walking Dead was the first graphic novel that I have ever read. It took a bit of time understanding and getting used to how graphic novels are read but once I got use to it I really enjoyed it. So much so that I had to convince the fiancé now to open up book 2 so I could start reading it. I did watch Season 1 and Season 2 before I read the novels. (We will talk about my thoughts on the novel vs. the show later)

I enjoyed the story and the artwork in the first two volumes. I liked that fact that with graphic novels its feels more about the story than the descriptions of looks and landscape because you get to see it! It’s a wonderful concept that I like.

Graphic Novel vs. TV Show (Note: May Contain Spoilers)

It looks to me that Book 1 and Season 1 are roughly the same. There are some changes such as Daryl isn’t in the novels, but that’s okay because who doesn’t love Daryl?? I know I do! I also don’t mind that they kept Shane longer in the TV Series. I found that I liked him better in the TV show over the novel anyways. He was just an overall ass in the book at least in the TV show he was at least nice at the beginning. Andrea pisses me off in the book and in the TV show….can the writers seriously kill her off already? I do wish that the novel would have had the CDA scenes in it. It gave that mystery of suspense on how everyone started to turn into zombies and that everyone was infected. It gave a much bigger shock in the TV Show when Rick says “WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD”. In the novel I just found it kinda random but I do wish that the TV show would have had him yelling it. Overall, I am extremely happy with the adaption the TV show writers are doing.

Pretty much I need more now!

Cassay Sig

June 1, 2013

An Update

I know you all haven’t heard from me since February/March and then only for a tiny bit in April….but I am alive. Just extremely busy with school and wedding planning. Oh and not to mention we moved and we are still unpacking things. Does it ever end???

Anyways so what have I been up to these last three months?

Well in March I was…..I can’t even remember. Oh yes, I was reading the awesome finale of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare! If you haven’t read it you must. This is also the reason I was unable to finish my Faerie book. I got about 3/4 of Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr and then CP came out.

In April, well it was tax season and it was extremely busy especially because I was gone to the Calgary Expo on the 28th. I had a blast spending time with what we realized was 1/3 of the wedding party and fellow book blogger Ambur. It was fun we were all exhausted from standing in lines. Doesn’t help that Darryl from The Walking Dead showed up 1 hour late! So me and Ambur were waiting over 1.5 hrs for pictures. I got my Game of Thrones autographs from Lena Hedley and Peter Dinkledge (also got a picture with him and my MOH). I got to meet Bret “The Hitman” Hart (wrestling star) – he was extremely nice. I met Mark Sheppard (Crowley from Supernatural). He was pretty cool but I was to shy to say anything. I also met Carol from The Walking Dead and I’m embarrassed to say this but keep in mind April is extremely stressful and emotions are high AND that I was excited to be there….But I started talking to her and I started crying. Yep I’m embarrassed but I was just soooo freaking excited to be there and she gave me a hug!

But here is my photo with Darryl, Carol and Glen! Oh yeah. I also wore a super cute outfit but it was freezing out and I was helping a friend carry coffee and I totally spilt it all over me so I had to buy a t-shirt.

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April was demon month and I read With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent….a few may happen this summer but it is definitely late. I also read The Rising by Kelley Armstrong which was fantastic!

May was recovering from April and writing 2 papers for schools. It’s been a stressful month in regards to writing papers. I read Melissa Marr’s and Kelley Armstrong’s Loki’s Wolves which was awesome and I can’t wait for the next one. May was alien month and I was going to reading I Am Number Four but to be honest aliens and sci-fi don’t really interest me so I skipped it. Yes bad me.

So what is happening with the rest of summer? Well I have wedding invitations to make and mail out and planning a lot of the little details which are stressing me out. I feel like every weekend is booked with something yet it isn’t as of yet. I have another 2 papers to write and 4 presentations to do up for these papers.  It will be a busy summer. But I am happy to say that once this summer is over I only have 3 more exams left and I am done school!! woot woot!

June is zombie month and I’ve been sitting on some The Walking Dead reviews (Book 1 and 2) so I think I will be posting those this months (yeah I’m cheating I read this awhile ago and not actually in this month).

I hope everyone has a great summer full of reading and you don’t mind my absence or miss me to much.

I leave you with some engagement photos that my MOH took.

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Our color theme is Canucks colors and we are incorporating books into the decorations. We also left this book at at the school we took these at Sad smile So now I need to order a new copy of City of Glass.

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This is one of my favorite pictures that we took. I feel like I look pretty in this picture.

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This one we were laughing at the inappropriateness of my MOH….

Have a good summer everyone!

Cassay

April 27, 2013

3rd Annual Tax Event: Guest Post: Leanne from Escaping With Books

Today I have Leanne who is the youngest (I believe so anyways) member of the Edmonton Book Bloggers. She is here today to talk about what made her want to start blogging. I hope you enjoy!

 

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Hey! I’m Leanne from Escaping With Books. I really enjoy doing guest posts and I’m thrilled to be here on Cassie’s blog. :)
I thought blogging was lame until I saw how many people did it, and how fun it seemed to be able to share your thoughts with others! Quite honestly, it was through searching for giveaways that I found my way to a blog. And as a I began going through more and more blogs, it made me want to step out of my comfort zone, put myself out there, and start my own blog!
The reasons I decided to start blogging was just to design images for my blog, and also, get some recognition and maybe even interact with authors I looked up too. I first began blogging about a year ago but I wasn’t all too serious about it until around July of 2012. I started my blog knowing only a part of the community, but never imagined it to be quite this large. The first blog I stumbled upon was Book Twirps and I just loved the layout, headers, and all of the design incorporated. Throughout the year, I’ve been to a signing, met up with the lovely bloggers in my city, and even had a chance to review a book for an author. There are so many things that I have learned, and am still learning, for that, I am grateful that I started this blog!

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Thanks Leanne for sharing your story. I can’t remember how I stumbled on blogs but it was defiantly for giveaways just like you :)

Cassay Sig

April 20, 2013

3rd Annual Tax Event: Guest Post – Ambur from Burning x Impossibly x Bright

Today, I have my newest good friend on the blog Ambur from Burning x Impossibly x Bright. Ambur is a fellow Edmonton Book Blogger and we first met at the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, we have become instant friends and I am glad to have Ambur as a friend and have someone to gush over Cassandra Clare’s novels with. Ambur is also joining me on my adventure to the Calgary Expo where we will get to fan girl over Darryl (The Walking Dead), Tyrion (Game of Thrones) and Draco Malfoy!!!

The Walking Dead Character Gallery

http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-character-gallery/daryl.php

So I asked Ambur the following question and this was her answer.

What made you start reading?

twilightI was always a reader as a child, but I didn’t read nearly as often as I do now. I had a bookshelf with a small collection of books, and would read them every once in a while. It wasn’t until senior high school that I went from reading casually to reading prolifically….and you know what? I have Twilight to thank for that. You see, I actually started reading again when a group of us at school started reading the Twilight Saga and we would all talk about it between classes. I devoured the saga in about a week, and reread a couple times in a row. After that, I just kept on reading. I found City of Bones and The Mortal Instruments (back then it was trilogy :P) right after Twilight, and it was definitely one of the series that prompted me to keep finding more books. The main reason I kept on reading was because it offered a mental escape where I didn’t have to think about school and I was able to relax and let myself just enjoy the words on the page. I still read as an escape and to relax…and if I haven’t read for a while, well I can get a little grouchy. :P

 

Thanks Ambur for answering my question. That how much love of reading started as well. It’s like we are book soulmates! hehe

Make sure you visit Ambur. I swear her blog is full of awesome.

 

Cassay Sig

April 13, 2013

3rd Annual Tax Event: Edmonton Author Erika Knudsen Monarchy of Blood Book Launch

Today I am excited to help launch the 3rd book in Erika Knudsen’s Vampire Saga – Monarchy of Blood. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Erika a few times at the local Chapters and she is the nicest down to earth person I have met. This summer I plan on reading the Vampire Saga which I have to say I am super excited to read.

Erika was kind enough to provide an excerpt for your enjoyment and she will be giving away 1 e-book copy of Monarchy of Blood!

 

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Monarchy of Blood book cover

Monarchy Of Blood

© 2013 Erika Knudsen

Prologue

There was a time in my life when I was homeless. When I was barely thirteen, in my naiveté, I made the stupid decision to run away. Between my mother’s love of booze—which was stronger than her love for her son—and my father who barely knew I existed, except when he felt the need to make me his punching bag—I figured anywhere would be better than with them. I had retreated into my damaged and disillusioned world, believing that escape was the only answer.

For five years, I lived on the streets of Montreal in fear. I desperately wanted to go home, but had no home to go to. Even though I knew it would take them a while to discover that I had run away, their reaction to me wanting to come back would be much quicker. I know that my father would be furious, surely beating me within an inch of my life, while my mother would just drink herself into a coma to avoid having to deal with me.

Starving and emaciated, my body ached. I was tired and battled dizziness all the time. I could feel that my eyes and cheeks had hallowed, giving me a frightening gaunt look. At this pivotal low, I made the devastating decision to become a male prostitute. The first John to pick me up was a man in his late forties. I was so scared that, once alone with him, I had thrown up, despite my empty stomach. In his guilt, he handed me ten dollars and let me be. With cash in hand, I walked into the first convenience store I found and bought a bag of chips, two hotdogs and a Slurpee. With change in my pocket and food in my hands, this was the happiest I had been in ages. Never have ketchup chips and hotdogs tasted so scrumptious! My mouth watered profusely as I drenched the hotdogs in ketchup, mustard, onions and the thick gelatinous nacho cheese. Before I even left, I started chomping away on the first dog. Having wolfed it down so fast, I was quickly overcome with pain in my stomach from having too much food, too fast. But it was worth it.

Inevitably, I ran out of money. On the same street, Rue Wolfe, the same John had come by and picked me up again. This time I wasn’t as lucky, and an exchange of services was the only way I’d be eating that night. Knowing that I was green was probably why I was so appealing to him, which made me cringe. I discovered later, over the next few years, that he was one of the easier Johns to deal with, since he usually only wanted a hand-job or to watch me masturbate. It didn’t give me much money, but I was okay with that. As the years went on, the Johns became more demanding and most times I blocked out what I had to do to survive.

It was in the early morning hours, after the clubs had started to close, that I made my way to Rue Plessis. The area was known for bathhouses and nightclubs, which meant plenty of opportunity to make a few dollars. I was picked up by a man in his mid-twenties. He was horny, drunk and even though I sensed that his nature was malicious, I accepted his offer. I hadn’t eaten in a week—I needed food. I also hoped I’d be able to make enough to rent a room, so that I could shower and get a good sleep. But all my simple plans changed in the blink of an eye. Before we even found a private spot the John started making advances. The moment I stopped him, he lost all composure.

I was already weak and much frailer then him, and he took that to his advantage. With a hard right hook, he had me staggering. Unable to right myself, I fell to the ground. Immediately he was on top of me. I tried to protect my face as he repeatedly swung his fists with such power. When he had enough of that, he stood and proceeded to kick me in the ribs. I lay there, curled in the fetal position, trying to protect myself, but with no advantage, his beating was turning me into ground meat. Pausing, he leaned down and whispered into my ear, “Whore!” My whole body shuddered in fear as I heard him unbuckle his belt and unzip his jeans.

After he raped me, he took my last bit of change and ran off, leaving me in the alley to die.

That was when she had come to me. Her green eyes were fierce and her skin like porcelain. She picked me up and wrapped me in her arms. Leaning in to kiss my forehead, her wavy red hair cascaded around me. Breathing in deeply, the mixed scent of flowers and vanilla calmed and aroused me. Her whole being exuded a calmness that washed over me. When her eyes locked with mine, I felt at peace. Closing my eyes, I absorbed the love I felt from her with my whole being.

It wasn’t until pain encircled my neck, like a barbed collar, that I woke from my daze. At first I was confused, not understanding the pain. I then realized that she had bitten my neck. Panicking, I pushed against this immovable living statue, but most of my protest I yelled within my head: I don’t want to die. I felt my life fading away as I became weaker and weaker. That night she meant to end my suffering, but my silent fight for survival altered my fate.

Surprised to be alive, I woke up the next day only to find myself in an unusual and peculiar circumstance: it was early evening and I was lying in a huge bed. The weight of the black and white modern floral designed duvet was thick and soft. If I had known where I was, and certain that I wasn’t going to be murdered by some serial killer, I would have lavished in the luxury of it. But soon enough I wondered how I had gotten there and if I were even still in Quebec.

Pulling back the heavy blanket, the fresh scent of linen brushed past me, which in turn made me catch the soft woodsy floral aroma that perfumed the air. Soon enough, I realized I was naked—and clean. Feeling panicked and unsure of how to handle the fact that someone bathed me while I was unconscious, I immediately began looking around the room for my clothes. It was then that noticed the various perfume bottles, make up and elegant jewelry boxes that scattered dressers tops and side tables. A gentle repetitive ticking came from an ornately carved antique clock that sat atop an armoire giving the room a sense of tranquility. However, I didn’t spot my clothes anywhere.

Unexpectedly, nausea washed over me. I felt dizzy and my vision blurred. I paused and waited for the sensation to dissipate. Shivering, goosebumps formed and I slid back under the warmth of the comforter. Every time I moved, my body ached. My face was hot from the swelling and I was sure the ribs on my left side were bruised, which caused my laboured breathing. Lying there, I tried to remember what had happened for me to get to that place, but to no avail, I was unsuccessful at shaking the cobwebs off my memories.

The door opened and a woman walked in. In a sudden flash, I remembered. I remembered her biting my neck. I sat upright in bed, but I really didn’t know what to do. My pulse raced and I held my breath.

“Ah, mon chéri, you are awake.” Though her voice was soft, she had an air of strength about her. Walking into the room, she appeared as though she glided, despite the fact I could hear her gentle footfall. In her hands she carried folded clothes that I didn’t recognize. “I took the liberty of washing yours but they were so tattered, they practically disintegrated. I found some new clothes for you,” she added and placed them at the end of the bed.

Where am I? Who thought I’d be all right with someone bathing me while I was unconscious? What am I doing here? What do you want from me? ...Why did you save me? My thoughts raced, but no words came forth.

“You are free to stay here if you wish. I offer you sanctuary. However, there are rules that you have to abide by.”

“Who—who are you?” I managed to stammer. “Why are you doing this?”

“Why not? You are a fighter, Stone Rossi. Sometimes I am generous.”

With wide eyes of shock and slight fear, I looked at this breathtakingly beautiful woman. She knew my name! How the hell did she know my name? A smile slowly spread across her face and at first I thought I was seeing things. I blinked to clear my vision, but my eyes weren’t fooling me. She had fangs. As she took another couple of steps closer to me, I scurried back until my back pressed against the headboard.

“Oui, I guess this would be confusing, to say the least.” She sat on the bed and rested her hand on my blanket covered calf. “I will be blunt with you Stone. I will care for your every need, but in return I expect you to live by my rules. I would say that’s fair, nést-ce pas?”

My Adam’s apple bobbed as I swallowed deeply. “What are the rules?”

She smiled widely and again her fangs gleamed even though the room was dimly lit. “Well, mon ami, simply put: don’t tell anyone of our existence. I will probably put you to work around Chantonnay, to do the things I cannot during the day.” She paused for a moment as though pondering whether she should say what had come to her mind. Eventually she did voice her thought. “And just so you know, don’t get in our way when we are... moody.” She winked at me and smiled sweetly. Standing from where she sat at the foot of the bed, she walked closer to me then sat beside me. “I am not like you. I haven’t been human for three-hundred and sixty-eight years.” She reached for my arm and took hold of my wrist. The sheer coldness of her skin made me want to recoil the instant she touched me. I was speechless and dumbfounded. I must be dreaming, I kept telling myself.

“You’re not dreaming, Stone. This is real. I am real.” With my arm still in her gentle grasp, she brought it up to her mouth. Slow and intentionally, she grazed her cool lips along the flesh of my inner wrist. “Do you remember anything from last night? I didn’t mesmerize you nor did I play with your memories. I let you be because I want to care for you, and if I do, you need to know what I am.” I nodded, unable to form words. I did remember and I was horrified. Reading my mind, she smiled a tight-lipped smile and kissed my wrist gingerly before giving back my arm.

“I’m a vampire, Stone,” she paused to make sure I heard her. “Do you understand what I am saying?”

“There is no bloody way...,” I stopped speaking. I knew it was possible, but was I ready to accept it? I reached up and touched my neck where I remembered her biting me. I felt the wound and winced. I looked at this stunning woman in awe. “I believe you. But... are you—what are you going to do to me? Am I going to be like you now?” I asked naively. She laughed at me, not in a mean way, but with gaiety.

“No, you will not be like me. I want you to be you. I want you to live and grow to be an old man,” she responded sincerely. Leaning towards me, she kissed me on the forehead and then rose to her feet. “I will check in on you in a bit. Meanwhile, I’ll get someone to make you something to eat. You must be starving.” And she began walking towards the door.

“Wait! What’s your name?”

She stopped mid pace and turned gracefully to face me. “Mylana,” she responded simply and continued to exit the room.

So at the age of eighteen in the early spring of 1994 I was taken in, cared for and loved by a vampire. I learned quickly when to make my presence known and when to keep myself at a distance. It wasn’t only Mylana who lived in La Maison Chantonnay. There were also those she called her clan: Deirdra, who was her “child,” Brenna who was Deirdra’s “child” and Elijah. There were many others who would come and go, but for the most part, it was mostly those three.

That was seventeen years ago. My whole world changed—for the better, even though I lived in a mansion full of blood-sucking vampires. Mylana was true to her word, even more so. It was one thing for her to take me in and give me a home, but she even let me follow my dream to attend the University of Montreal. She never wanted me to shy away from anything that would better my life. Mylana made sure I experienced life to the fullest, that I remembered to enjoy it, because it could be taken away like the snap of the fingers.

No words are as true as those. Even though I lived with vampires, I was never frightened of them enough to leave. They all had their moments, but for the most part, they had good control over their bloodlust. However, there was one instance, in the summer of ’95, when I was forced to leave for my own safety. Vampires had been burning spontaneously around the world and those at La Maison Chantonnay were not exempt from the chaos. I didn’t want to leave the only home I had come to know. But at Mylana’s insistence, I stayed at the Hôtel Frontenac, per her arrangement. My time away from them was bittersweet. I enjoyed the freedom, but I worried for them. After nearly three weeks of no contact from them, Brenna was the one to come for me and tell me that all was well. That was the first time I heard about the Blood god and the havoc he wreaked. Though they trusted me, I was on the need-to-know basis list. I didn’t need to know everything, which was fine with me. However, in the winter of 1999, I learned more than I ever wanted to know. With the return of the Blood god, who I knew as Adam, my world changed once again—forever. My mortality was taken from me against my will.

Amongst the disorder and turmoil with the vampires, I was used as one of Adam’s pawns. Following Adam’s orders, Brenna and Kristine kidnapped me—it was Brenna who had turned me. I had considered her one of my dearest friends, but I guess ultimately that friendship and love is what saved me. I say that because if she did not do what she had, I would be in the ground, rotting. But on the other hand, if she hadn’t kidnapped me, imprisoned me, drank my blood for weeks on end and beat me to within an inch of my life, I may still have been human. I try not to dwell on it. As time passes, the pure hatred I had for Brenna on that night has waned. I do admit that what I feel for her is a bit messed up. A lot of the time I’m confused and torn between devotion and irritation. I guess this is what Deirdra had meant when she talked about her relationship with Mylana. Now that I am no longer an outsider, many of their idiosyncrasies make sense to me.

When I was first brought across, the chaos that surrounded my embrace kept me in check. Or I should say, kept my thirst in check. I was distracted by my physical change, at first, and then by meeting Brian. He was another saviour in my life. He took me in when I needed it most and helped me to deal with my transformation. I am grateful and will always be grateful for his companionship—then and now. Having to deal with the death and resurrection of Deirdra, I didn’t know how I was going manage. When I think back, I’m surprised I didn’t lose all composure and drain any and all mortals that crossed my path. But I thank Brian for his guidance.

However, once things became more routine and normal—if anything in our world can be called “normal”—that was when the true reality of what I had become hit me hard. I discovered that any control I had been able to maintain was a joke and I was about to learn a new lesson. A lesson about obsession. 

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About Erika:

Nineteen years ago, Erika Knudsen dared to walk in the shadows and never came back. At an early age, she was intrigued and mesmerized by suspense, horror, and drama. The idea of “creatures” coming to life at night was a scary
and thrilling idea. After years of being a fan of horror and the supernatural, she took her fandom of the genre to the next level. Vampires being her number one obsession, she began writing Beyond The Threshold Of Death. It blossomed into something Erika could have never have dreamed of. Monarchy Of Blood is the third book in her vampire saga which will be released March 2013.
Erika Knudsen resides in a quaint hamlet northwest
of Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and dog where the dark country nights add to her nightmarish and twisting plots.

 

 

 

 

Books 1 and 2:

Beyond the Threshold of Death by Erika Knudsen

In a weakened state, fearful for herself and for all vampires, Deirdra is eerily aware that an unknown being has been released. Wishing for simpler times, Deirdra is drawn back into her memories of when she was so young and naive. Remembering clearly her youth in Ireland, 1795, Deirdra recalls how the gift of immortality had been bestowed upon her...
Ailing from an unknown illness, her health deteriorating rapidly, her father fearing for his daughter's health, unknowingly hires a vampire named Mylana to care for her. Instantly, a friendship blossoms between the two women. Seeing the pain Deirdra is in, Mylana offers her immortality, of which she accepts... Now almost two centuries later, Deirdra finds herself in the middle of an unearthly upheaval. Events waged over a millennia beforehand have reawakened the fury of an ancient Blood God, whose objectives involve the complete obliteration of the vampire race.

 

Resurrected by Erika Knudsen

It is only months before a new millennia and Deirdra, after nearly four years away from La Maison de Chantonnay, makes her way home. The nightmares of the past have taken their toll on her weary mind. As she anxiously awaits the reunion with her immortal family she finds herself plagued by a mysterious being who seems set on guiding her unlife in his chosen direction. With characteristic stubbornness, Deirdra ignores this entity's wisdom. Spiralling into a web of alienated self-destruction, her path leads her into the arms of the enemy she had forever sworn to despise. Broken and lost she discovers old gods born anew, wearing away at her humanity, leaving her vulnerable to the evil of her demon within.

 

 

 

Excerpt, book synopsis, book covers, author photo and biography are from Erika’s website.

Thank you Erika for stopping by!

Giveaway Time!

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April 6, 2013

3rd Annual Tax Event: Guest Post by Kristilyn @ Reading in Winter

To kick off the 3rd Annual Break Cassay Out of Tax Jail I have fellow Edmonton Book Blogger and our ring leader Kristilyn from Reading in Winter to talk about Canadian Authors. She also set up her blog post in a way that all I had to do was copy and paste it :) How awesome is that??? Yep, she's awesome.

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Although I have lived in Canada all my life -- I was born here! -- I really haven't completely gotten into a lot of the wonderful Canadian literature that's out there. As I went through my bookshelf just recently, I noticed that I had a lot of unread Canadian books on them, but very few that I had actually read. After this, I went online and searched for some Canadian authors -- there is a great deal of authors on the lists I found that grace my shelves, as well as some authors who I had no idea were Canadian. From my point of view, here are the top Canadian authors I think you should be reading. For some of these authors, I've read plenty of their works, and others I know I need to read more of.

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michael ondaatjeMichael Ondaatje

“She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”

Michael Ondaatje is still such a new author to me, but he's one of those authors who I know I should be reading. Case in point, I've had The English Patient and Coming Through Slaughter on my shelf for a long, long time. Maybe I feel intimidated to crack them open, but they're there for the day when I finally feel like I should sit down and devour them. I did read The Cat's Table last year and while it wasn't my favourite novel, it was still pretty good. Ondaatje has received tons of praise and I can definitely see why. Author of: The English Patient, Coming Through Slaughter, The Cat's Table

Ami McKay

“What do you want? Love. Well, love gets what she wants one way or another.”

Ami McKay is another new author to me. While I have The Birth House on my shelf, I'll admit that I haven't ever cracked it open. It wasn't until I won a copy of The Virgin Cure that I finally decided to read some Ami McKay -- and I was quite impressed! The Virgin Cure was such a unique book and quite the intriguing read. It made me very excited to try out The Birth House one of these days.

Author of: The Birth House, The Virgin Cure

Courtney Summers

“You only get to walk variations of the same lines everyone has already drawn for you.”

Courtney Summers is one of my new favourite authors. I had gotten an eBook of Cracked Up to Be and read it right away -- it was such a good read and very accessible. I was impossibly excited for This is Not a Test because the trailer for it scared the crap out of me. It's nice to know that Canada has some great YA talent -- I know that Courtney Summers is one that I will be keeping a close eye on!

Author of: Cracked Up to Be, Some Girls Are, This is Not a Test

Nick Bantock

“in the caves of my heart, where pain taps out its rhythms and sorrow sets its loss, i am without direction.”

Nick Bantock is one of those authors that I had to include on this list because of how unique his books are. I remember my sister-in-law talking about one of his books, long, long ago. She pulled out a copy of Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence and I immediately knew I had to have a copy of it. This series is one of those series that I love to pull out and flip through because it's just so beautiful. If you're into artsy-type books, this is a series you need to have. It's gorgeous.

Author of: Griffin & Sabine, The Golden Mean, Sabine's Notebook

yann martelYann Martel

“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”

Yann Martel is one of those authors that I have been reading for YEARS. There are very few authors that I can say that about, but I remember reading Life of Pi -- devouring it, actually -- and being completely in love with Martel's style of writing. Shortly after that, I picked up a copy of Self and fell in love, and just recently read Beatrice & Virgil. I think there's only one of his books I haven't read and it's only because it's a non-fiction ABOUT books and I don't want to ruin some of the reads mentioned in it for myself. Yann Martel is one of those authors you MUST have on your shelf. He's pretty awesome.

Author of: Self, Life of Pi, Beatrice & Virgil, What is Stephen Harper Reading?

alberta crowd-01

M. R. Merrick

“Whoever said death couldn't be measured was wrong. Death was a football field. Death was a sprint. Death was measurable distance I wasn't fast enough to reach.”

I am just a brand-new M. R. Merrick fan these past few months. I had no idea that such great Canadian talent rested right here in Alberta! His Protectorate series has received lots of great praise and it's one that I've enjoyed so far. I definitely look forward to reading more by Matt!

Author of: Exiled, Shift, Release

Janet Gurtler

I was lucky enough to find out about Janet Gurtler after receiving an ARC of her book Who I Kissed from Raincoast Books. It wasn't until after I finished it that I realized she was from Calgary, Alberta. Janet has quite the catalogue of books -- one that I'm looking forward to working my way through.

Author of: Who I Kissed, I'm Not Her, If I Tell, How I Lost You

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And that's it! I know there are so many other authors that I should be reading, from Kelley Armstrong, to Todd Babiak, to Joseph Boyden, and there are also others who I've read and loved, from Margaret Atwood, to Lawrence Hill, to Kenneth Oppel. Canada has a great wealth of literary talent and I look forward to finding more of it!

Who are some of your favourite Canadian authors?

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Thanks Kristilyn for stopping by!