Saturday, 30 April 2011

In My Mailbox (#41)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

This week I only received ebooks :-) But here they are:

For review:

Hired
Hired by Lily Harlem
received this book to review it on The Forbidden Shelf, thank you!


Books I have won:

Wayward Soul - Kim Bowman
Wayward Soul by Kim Bowman
Thank you Kim!


Forever Bound (1 Night Stand Series)
Forever Bound by Stacey Kennedy
Thank you Stacey!


Gift:

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, Book 1)
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

I received this as my very first RAK book, thank you so much Thinking Cat! *big hug* :-D


So this is what was in my mailbox this week, and what was in yours?

Friday, 29 April 2011

Winner of the Hoppy Easter Extravaganza Giveaway Hop!


Easter has long gone and work hasn't let me come up for air (I even had to work on Easter Sunday *grumbles*) so sorry for only announcing the winner now.

Congratulations to

#338 Mary Reiss

who won her choice of book!


Congratulations Mary! I will e-mail you soon, please respond within 48 hours or I will have to draw a new winner.


There are still 2 giveaways going strong, you can find them on top of the blog, enter before it's too late!

Everyone have a nice, restful weekend (I for one can't wait to finally get some sleep)!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Release Celebratory Interview with Gini Koch + Giveaway!

For those for who the name Martini means something else than the cocktail April was a month much anticipated. Why? You dare ask why? Well because after months of torturous wait Book #3 in the Kitty Katt series by Gini Koch: Alien in the Family was finally released!

Gini has been on a celebratory rampage ever since and she agreed to stop by and spend some time with us and she was a doll because she brought all her Martini and Christopher clones to entertain us! ;-D

So please give it all up for Gini Koch and let's blow those trumpets for Alien in the Family! :-)


Ex Libris: Which scene was your favourite to write or the favourite to share with the readers? Was there one you were waiting excitedly to hear back from readers what they thought of a specific scene? In Alien in the Family or any of the first two books?

Gini Koch: I like all of the scenes, or they wouldn’t be in the books. In terms of scenes where I hoped for/expected a reaction, in Alien in the Family, there were three -- Kitty’s ‘flashing’ scene, the ‘wedding parade’, and ‘Christopher’s toast’. So far, the reactions have been what I’d hoped for. ;-D


EL: What human custom, tradition, or notion do the ACs find the most weird?

GK: Prejudice based on skin color or sexual orientation. It makes absolutely no sense to any of them.


EL: What kind of stuffed animal was Toby? (my sister’s cute stuffed bunny was called Toby :-p) And Murphy?

GK: Toby was a soft, fluffy, little stuffed dog of indiscriminate breed. Murphy was a soft, fluffy, little ginger-striped cat.


EL: The Poofs were fantastic, there isn’t one reader who has read Alien in the Family and hasn’t fallen for them, so could you please let us know if there is any way we could get ourselves one (besides marrying an AC royalty or current owner of Poofs)?

GK: As with the rest of the cast, if you’d like a Poof Clone, you have but to ask. I’m talking to the publisher about licensing official Poofs, but as yet, my deadlines for ‘Alien Proliferation’ and ‘Alien Diplomacy’ are taking precedence.


EL: If you had your own Poof, what would you call it?

GK: Who says I don’t already have my own Poof? ;-D

EL: Oh yes, sorry, silly me, so what do you call your own Poof?

GK: It's classified. (Heh) Actually, I have a LOT of Poofs. The newest Poof is named Mous-Mous.


EL: Your Martini (and other AC hunks) clone business is thriving, any future plans on expanding into merchandising Martini dolls, or anything else? ;-)

GK: Merchandising is always a possibility, but, as with the Poofs, right now, I have to focus on the writing parts.

EL: DAW Books has bought Book 5 “Alien Diplomacy” and Book 6 “Alien vs. Alien”, congratulations, yay! :-D They are planned to be released in 2012. Can you tell us if Book#5 and #6 are already written? And any idea how long the Kitty Katt series is going to be? (or at least reassure us that you have tons of ideas to still write about! ;-p)

GK: Thanks, I’m very happy the series is continuing! I can tell you that Book 6 isn’t started and I’m about halfway done with Book 5. I’m mapped out through Book 12, and can ‘see’ through Book 16. Per my editor, as long as readers are buying the books, DAW will be happy to publish them. So it’s all on YOU. LOL


Alien TangoEL: You are a very prolific author releasing two books a year; can you give us a glimpse behind the scenes of how these books come to life? Based on your posts and style I’d guess you are more of an instinctive writer than a planner, but please tell us how it really is.

GK: I’m an extreme linear writer. I start with the title, and then the first line, and then I go from there. I have no other process, so to speak, other than the right music MUST be playing or the writing will not be happening.

It’s different for every writer. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. I don’t like to talk about process a lot because, for me, the more I examine it, the less like fun it is and the more like work it becomes. And I hate work.


Alien in the FamilyEL: Do you get ideas for other stories while being immersed in the Alien universe? If yes, what do you do? Can you shut up the voices or do you have to take notes to get some peace? Or when you are immersed in Kitty’s, Martini’s and the other AC’s adventures the other ideas and voices leave you alone?

GK: The voices in my head never shut up; it’s why I’m an author. And, yes, I get story ideas constantly. I take notes when appropriate. Normally if I’m writing, the only voices talking are those in the particular piece. If I’m just thinking, or doing something else, the other voices clamor for their time. Some voices are louder than others, but that’s always the way it is.


EL: If you could spend a day with a character from any novel, who would you like to spend it with and what would you two do?

GK: I take the assumption you mean a character not in one of my novels, btw. And I’m getting this question a lot, though I’m not sure why. LOL So, I’m giving this answer: I’d like to hang with Jameson Rook, who is the character in the Richard Castle novels that’s clearly based on Richard Castle, who is played by Nathan Fillion. Ergo, I’d be hanging with Castle/Nathan all day. Three guesses for what we’d be doing, aside from solving an interesting crime, and the first two don’t count. (Yes, I’ve made it a personal goal to work my addiction to ‘Castle’ into every, single interview I do, what’s your point?)


EL: Are you a big comic book girl, just like Kitty? If you could be or have for best friend a cartoon superhero, who would you choose and why?

GK: Yes, I’m a total comics geek-girl. My best friend choice would be Wolverine. Only we’d be best friends with benefits. And I’d choose him because he’s Wolverine. Wolverine is #1; all others are #2 or lower. (Points for whoever knows what movie that paraphrased line comes from.)


EL: What was the most amazing or crazy thing a fan has done and left you amazed/shocked that “wow, people are really crazy about the Kitty Katt series”?

GK: Um, crazy? Nothing so far. I don’t think I have crazy fans, at least, no crazier than I am. LOL I think all my fans rock, so it’s hard to identify one out of the entire awesome Alien Collective and say ‘that’s the best one’ because I think every one of my fans are fantastic. I can say that I cherish every fan letter/email I receive and I love everyone who comes to see me at cons or book signings.


Touched by an AlienEL: Touched by an Alien was the very first science fiction book I have read. What would you say to those who don’t think your Alien series is for them since they don’t read sci-fi books (not because they don’t like the genre, but because they don’t know it)?

GK: I hear that a lot, actually, and I’m very proud that many folks are finding science fiction through my series. I write soft science fiction. Most of what ‘scares’ people away from SF is the worry that they won’t understand what’s going on. That’s not really a risk with my series. I can and do read hard SF, but I don’t write it. My books are as much romance, humor, and action as they are science fiction, so they’re a good blend, especially for those who are just trying out science fiction. What I’d say to those hesitant to approach science fiction is what I’d say to those hesitant to approach romance, action, or humor in their reads -- try it, you might like it.


EL: What is the appeal of the sci-fi genre, what do you find exciting about it?

GK: I can do whatever I want, put a mirror up to society, poke fun at certain expectations, have fun, gorgeous, scary, etc. aliens, have characters with specialized talents, go all over the universe, as long as I have a legitimate explanation for how it’s all happening. Science fiction allows me to add in all the out of this world elements that I enjoy while also allowing me to tackle any kind of topic I want, including ‘hot button’ topics. And did I mention that I get to have gorgeous aliens in the books? You’re much freer in science fiction and fantasy than you are in a lot of other genres, and I probably like that most of all.


Gini Koch lives in the American Southwest, works her butt off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the beautiful people, while she listens to a lot of rock 'n' roll, particularly Aerosmith, at all times.

Her interests include seeing how often she can ask, "So, have I told you about this plot twist yet?" of her husband before he goes insane, going to rock concerts with her daughter, and training her pets to 'bring it'. Gini started writing to have an excuse to stay up late playing on the computer while listening to music and mooning over pictures of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

Now she's expanded her thinking -- she moons over a wide variety of hunks in order to keep the visual creative juices flowing. So to speak.


You can reach Gini at her website, blog and Twitter.

Oh and until you get yourself a Martini / Christopher / Chuckie / Reader / Poof clone check out the fantastic Alien merchandise here.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Gini generously offered winner's choice of any of the Kitty Katt series: Book #1 Touched by an Alien, Book #2 Alien Tango or Book #3 Alien in the Family:

Touched by an Alien  Alien Tango  Alien in the Family

To be entered all you have to do is:

Answer this question: Gini wants to know: "If you scored a Poof of your own, what would you name it and why?"

Please also leave a way for me to contact you should you win (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)
 
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on Friday 13 May 2011.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

RAK: Random Acts of Kindness

I kept seeing this acronym (= RAK) for the past couple of weeks and finally investigated what it meant. So if you are curious, I'll let you in on the secret too:

RAK (=Random Acts of Kindness) is an initiative organized by the Ladies at the Book Soulmates where everyone posts their whislists and then they realize one (or more) wishes of a person. Meaning that they send some books to the lucky person they picked! Doesn't it sound fabulous?

Here are the official rules:



Book Soulmates


Rules:

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)

• Create a wish list and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!

• Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)


OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.

Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Easy peasy!

If you want to sign up just click on the banner above and you will be taken to the page of the Book Soulmates where you can read the details and join the fun! :-)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Guest post by Gabi Stevens + Giveaway

Today I am very happy to welcome Gabi Stevens to Ex Libris, for whom today is a special day: her second novel in the Time of Transition series, AS YOU WISH releases today! Congratulations Gabi! So not only is Gabi here to celebrate her new release but also talk to you about themes in her novels (and she also has a treat for you at the end, just saying ;-p). 

So please give a warm welcome to

Gabi Stevens!


Theme is an integral part of a novel. Not to take you back to your school days (unless you wish to be reminded of them), but theme is basically the meaning behind a story, the message the author wants you to take from her novel. I have my own opinion about how blatant a theme should be (I hate books that hit me over the head with theme), but I will tell you that my books do have themes. In AS YOU WISH, my latest release, one of the themes is about looking beneath the surface.

Think about it. So many things are different once you peel away the layers. A truffle is an ugly fungus dug up by pigs, yet commands hundreds of dollars in gourmet food shops. The oyster, bumpy, gray and dull on the outside, harbors pearls on the inside (or if you like to eat them as I do, a delicious treat). Rocks contain ore, books have their covers (and you know what they say about books and their covers), and kings are not gods or infallible. We’ve all met someone who was gorgeous on the outside but stupid as sin inside, or ugly to look at, but who becomes beautiful when their spirit is revealed.

No, I didn’t write the book with this theme in mind. I just wrote the story. The theme appeared by itself after I wrote it (I like themes best when they appear organically). But this theme strikes a special chord with me. Appearances can deceive. My heroine, Regina Scott, runs a bakery. Born without magic to a magical family, Reggie believes she will live her life out as a Groundling until the fairy godmothers tell her she’s one of them. And in the course of dealing with new powers, a bad guy, and an outrageous mother, she has to find strength she didn’t know she had. Appearances. This theme runs through most of the characters in this book, both in good ways and bad.


But two characters in particular prove they have more to them than their appearance might let one think. Tommy and Joy are Reggie’s bakers and friends. Many people might dismiss Tommy and Joy as incapable or disabled. See, Tommy has Down syndrome, and Joy is simply Joy. But Reggie sees beyond what they can’t do and lets them shine. Appearances.

I’m doing something special with AS YOU WISH. There is a group that helps people see past the surface. Best Buddies International matches people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with a buddy to form a friendship. That’s it. It’s that simple. Best Buddies™ peels away that outer layer and exposes the person underneath. Not the disability, not the limitations, but the person, the heart, the core. The reason I’m so taken with this group? My own daughter has been a part of Best Buddies™ for two years, and she has blossomed and grown because she now has friends at school.

If you want to find out more about Best Buddies™, please visit their website at http://www.bestbuddies.org./ As for me, I’m pledging ten percent of my royalties from AS YOU WISH to this organization, my own small part in combating those deceptive outer appearances, and my own small way to thank them for all they’ve done for my daughter.

I’d love to hear your stories of finding treasure beneath the surface...or the opposite, finding trash beneath the glamour. Dish, dish.

--Gabi

You can reach Gabi at:

Her website: http://www.gabistevens.com/
Her blog: http://www.gabistevens.blogspot.com/


The Time of Transition series:

The Wish List (Time of Transition Trilogy)
Book #1: THE WISH LIST (May 2010)


As You Wish
Book #2: AS YOU WISH (April 2011)

Book #3: WISHFUL THINKING (March 2012)

GIVEAWAY RULES:

Gabi has generously offered a paperback copy of As You Wish to a lucky commentator!

As You Wish

All you have to do is

1) leave a comment/question to Gabi or answer her question above, and
2) leave a way for me to contact you if you win (e-mail, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends 6 May 2011!

Good luck!

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