December 28, 2010

Colorful people and one-color people

I often see myself "categorizing" people. Pink people, gray people. I see the person and I can imagine what color they are.

Pink people are girly girls, with lots of make up, make up talk and not enough brains. Gray people are work-a-holics, that have no fun or that just gave up. Green people are eco-boring people, who can't have a conversation with you without trying to make you go vegetarian, and so on.

But there are some people who are not one color. The are a rainbow. The have their pink moments and their gray moments, they can be green for the length of a conversation and then go all red by night.

And that's how it is for books. Pink is for chick lit, red is for erotica. White for Chistian Fiction, black for horror, brown for mistery/suspense (for me anyways, don't ask me why)...

But how many books are just the color of the rainbow? They can go from comedy to drama in a few pages, be all horror, but have that little romance in it that makes it a pink-ish-black.

We always hurry to classify things and people, that's our nature - mine anyways - but we can't hurry. I don't like terror in general, but it doesn't mean I won't like ANY terror book. Maybe with the right touch, I'll like it - I like Dracula, I don't like books that are brainless terror, I leave that for the movies.

I don't like chick lit or anything that tells me women need their own literature and books, because they (we) are "special". That special, means different and that different means we need special care and sheltering and ... yeah no thanks. But it doesn't stop me from reading chick lit, hoping I will see a strong man character that doesn't sit and sigh for guys to protect and love her, but goes and gets whatever she wants. A pink-ish red book is cool. A gray-ish pink too.

What do I want to say with ALLLL this? Don't be so quick when judging a book as "too girly" or "too boy-ish" or "ew drama". Books surprise people, more than people surprise people. And that's a lot.

Don't forget the 10 e-book giveaway I have up! 
(click the image to go to the giveaway post)

December 20, 2010

Review: The Last Will of Moira Leahy - Therese Walsh

Oh Moira, oh Maeve! So much love, so much hate, such a deep connection...
This review will be a bit off of my normal way, I'm sorry, but I really loved this book. And not just "wha an amazing book" but a strong feeling of caring and loving the characters and what they've achieved, how much they advanced, grown and changed.
I can't think of negative parts or possible issues, so forgive me! Forgive me if you read the book and find the issues that I, so in love, ignored, but my eys didn'r see them, the ugly is beautiful on the eyes of those in love with it.
The Last Will of Moira Leahy” is the first novel by Therese Walsh, american and a sweetheart.
I met Therese on a Facebook giveaway, named "let's make these books bestsellers" along with 50 oher writers, each donated 2 copies of their books and I ended up winning two copies of another author's book (Receive me Falling, read the review here), but I kept in touch with Therese, who ended up sending me two copies of her book.
I was a bit nervous before starting to read it, since drama isn't REALLY my favorite gender. Historical romances, Sci fi, fantasy, so much that I love, but drama... But  Last Will really caught me (wow really? Could barely notice it). The book tells the story of Moira and Maeve Leahy, redheaded twins, so alike and so different, in two moments, one through their childhood and early teen years and anoher following Maeve, after she lost Moira.
After a while, actually, way after half of the book, we find out what happened to Moira, although from the first page the impact it has on Maeve is obvious, she dyes her hair and does't look in the mirror, so she doesn't see Moira, she does't play the sax anymore (and she used to play it very well, and was recording a demo tape to send to recording companis) and doesn't listen to music, so she doesn't have to remember Moira (or at last that's the clearest explanation, but there are others).
When they were young, Moira was more shy and Maeve was more daring, more sensitive (could feel when bad things were going to happen), while the "After Maeve" as she categorizes herself, has no friends, is retracted, only works and works, having some sort of relationship only to Noel, who is the grandson of the owner of an antiques shop, but is "only a buddy" according to her, despite being clear that she does have feelings for him.
The story begins with Maeve finding, in an auction, a dagger, a Keris, that is just like the one she lost when she was a child, playing pirate, and she buys it, almost hipnotized. Noel is in Europe, looking for his mother and she can't ask him for advice, but strange things start to happen, like notes and books that show up  nailed to her office door and she starting to dream and remember things she doesn't want to remmber. And then she goes to Rome. I won't tell how or why, I think that's part of the fun, or what happens there, as it would be major spoiling.
Do I have to repeat that I loved the story? Moira and Maeve have such a beautiful relationship and so different from After Maeve that you wonder what happened and under which circunstances she lost Moira or why her mom acts very irrationally and never goes to isit her, for example.
When we meet Noel and see his interaction wth Maeve, we pity them both, because they are both so troubled only because they can't let go, they can't move on... For wanting so bad but being afraid of wanting, because wanting hurts...
Well,  don't want to talk about the plot anymore, I don't want to spoil it, but I can tell you rthat it managed to suprise me, I imagined something and something else happened, which doesn't happen often,  can usually, at least, have an idea of what's happening....
But I really wanted you to feel this emotion, the characters are so real, so plausible, you can touch them, feel them, imagine them daily, you can see characteristics of people around you in them, or even parts of your own personality.
Each moment, each discovery of each of he sisters is lived closely, as ifyou were feeling the same thing. And here,  think I must say, that the part where they are young is narrated by Moira and the "After Maeve" is narrated by herself or by an external narrator, some parts are not very clear, meaning you have everyone's point of view.
I'll stop here, because this review is huge, but I'll leave the invitation, as Therese has left before.... Let's make this book a bestseller! Because it deserves it.

You can buy The Last Will of Moira Leahy on the Book Depository (here)** or Amazon (here)

** using the Book Depository link to buy, I get a small comission that will be used directly to fund giveaways.

Don't forget the 10 e-book giveaway I have up! 
(click the image to go to the giveaway post)

December 18, 2010

Book Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop
It's been a while since I took part in the Blog Hop, so I figured I should get started again!

"What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?"

Both, I think. But I doubt that any good plot will sound real good if the characters are weak. They have to be real, well developed, or the plot itself will look weak and full of plot holes.

And how about you?

December 16, 2010

10 books giveaway!

Hello hello everyone!
How are you doing? I have AMAZING news for you! Amazing author Jessica Barksdale Inclan has agreed to give 10 of her indie books (digital copies) away! And it's up to you to choose! \o/
She has published 7 already, and you can find them at Smashwords (clicking HERE and scrolling down where it says BOOKS).

Your choices are:

Annabelle Cousins loves being a wedding photographer. But around the time of her own engagement, she starts to see the future of the couples through the lens. With the help from her Tarot card reading mother and her best friend, she seeks out the truth behind what she sees. After meeting the couple Robert and Nadine she discovers that the life she has might not be the one she wants after all.

In a post-apocalyptic world, ravaged by war, Talaith and Kaherdin meet–at opposite sides of the battlefield. Her people possess the magic that could save his people's lives. And his shapeshifter pack is not afraid to kill for the elixir which has been withheld for so long. As their world erupts in battle they must find a way to bring unite their people before both sides are destroyed. 

Gareth and Steve go to the same high school, live in the same town, and couldn't be more different. They've grown up in different families with different values and religions. But one night, they find themselves attracted to each other—and let go of everything they've been taught about love. Readers witness the story unfold for both these families as the boys grapple with life and love.

Thanksgiving: A time for thanks. A time for joy. A time for laughter. But not at the Flynn table. There's a sibling rivalry, disappointment and heartbreak, and the love that brings the family together year after year. Told from the perspective of those invited, this novel follows two families who gather round a table and fake the thanks.  

Not ready to choose between divorce or returning to married life, a forty-something college English teacher finds herself on a ridiculous, and potentially dangerous quest for self-discovery. Roya's only companions are the different aspects of her personality. Determined to rescue her father's ashes, she revisits the people who led her to where she is now to find who she is meant to be.  

 Born and bred with magic in their blood, two sisters struggle with love, loss, and betrayal. Only by pulling everything apart do they find that they are truly free, truly happy, truly living the lives they want. And when magic gets thrown into the fray…all involved learn to believe in the impossible.
Becca Muchmore opens her own bakery catering to a busy office's sugar cravings. Not only is she finally exploring her passion, but she's meeting people who give her a fresh taste of life: Jennifer, the bitter queen bee lawyer. Jeff, the delicious office hunk. And her sweet, always-willing-to-lend-a-hand neighbor, Sal. Suddenly, she gets more than she bargained for-and just what she needs. 

You can visit for more information on Jessica and her books (including her e-books and mass market books).
And, by the way, have you read her amazing post on why she went Indie? No? HERE, go now.

Now, to the giveaway, right?

It will run from December 16th, 2010 until January 12th, 2011 (because I'm going away soon, and won' be back until fist week o january and things will be chaotic and such things)
You get extra points for following the blog (left side "Google Friend Connect" followers), for following me on Twitter (@may_livros) or for following Jessica on Twitter (@JessicaInclan).

You also get extra points for tweeting about the giveaway! Try this:

#Giveaway You can win one of 10 @JessicaInclan books at @may_livros blog! Check it out:

You can tweet several times, but tweeting once or several times will count as the same amount of "tweeting points". But several tweets will be loved <3

Please fill in the form and GOOD LUCK!

December 14, 2010

Why I went Indie - Guest post by Jessica Barksdale Inclan

   Let's welcome Jessica Inclan on a lovely guest post about why she decided to go Indie with her books.

Why I went Indie

     When we set out to publish, most of us writers intend to go mainstream, traditional, hard copy, hardback New York publishers all the way. We want to be able to walk by the corner bookstore (should it exist) or the nearest Borders (should that exist) and see our book in the window display. I can tell you from personal experience that this sight truly is a massage to the ego, a balm to the harried writer’s soul. It is amazing to see something tangible and concrete come out of a whole lot of arduous work.
     But the book business is a business, bottom line. What sells is what is of value. Yes, there are the artistic books, the literary books, poetry and exquisitely drawn novels that are truly published based on merit and beauty. Yet many books are sold based on platform and idea. Do you have vampires, a dystopian world, a love story, a triple murder/suicide? Horror festival of epic proportions? Send it on over. Of course, a well written vampire/werewolf tale is better than something hacked out, but agents and editors are looking for that hook, that angle, and it is a hard game to play when—as with most writers—we simply have a story to tell. We have the impulse to write, and we wish that were enough.
     Back in 2001, my first novel Her Daughter’s Eyes was published by NAL to enough acclaim and showed a good sales record. My then editor purchased two more, novels I really loved. The Matter of Grace, the first of that duo, was published in 2002 to the same acclaim and more sales, but just as that novel was being copyedited, my editor quit and moved to Florida. Gone! Later, my new editor brought me into her office and told me that despite my first editor’s love of what was to be novel three, she hated it. She thought it was too damn much. Well written, but she was appalled that someone had a heart attack in it.

“So,” said I. “You aren’t going to publish it?”
“No,” she said.
“Even though it was already purchased and edited?”
“Yes,” she said.

     So rather than give back my advance—spent as it was—I wrote another novel, a sad novel in and of itself, but no one had a heart attack in it. There was a gay character that she had me “un-gay” (give that writing task a go sometime!) but other than that, she loved it, it was published, and life chugged on.
     But after my writing career took some weird twists (my second agent turned me toward romance novels because he wanted me to “sell big”) my current editor passed away, and my second agent fired me, I found myself thinking back to that long ago purchased and then rejected novel, the one with the heart attack: The Tables of Joy. I loved that novel. My first editor loved that novel. It was a good story with a cast of characters I enjoyed. And because I happen to love my Kindle and admired what digital publishing can do, I began to form a plan with other novels that met similar fates such as that would-be second novel: I was going to published them digitally.
     My traditional career has continued during this process (I have had romances come out 2006-2010), but I am really very excited about publishing myself. I found a woman who would create the covers for me. And I have to say that my created covers are much more representative of the books’ plots than my traditionally published books. After proofreading and editing once more (all of my books have gone through many drafts, my writing group, and an editor), I struggled but managed to format the book for Kindle and Smashwords. I wrote copy for various sites and then asked my publicist to do what she did for my traditionally published books: send out the word.
     Now you ask: Have I made a lot of money? No, I have not. I’ve made some, enough to go out to dinner with my husband at a nice restaurant once a month. But here’s what feels good: novels that I’ve loved and love are being read. People can read work that slipped through the publishing cracks, but it is work that I believe in and stand by, work that “my” readers would recognize and love. Maybe New York doesn’t want them, but enough people do that I will continue to publish myself as the situation presents itself. Fellow writers have warned me that I’m diluting my “brand,” but I’m sick of that idea. I started to write because I wanted to tell stories that people wanted to read. And they are reading my stories, even if they are indie books, even if they aren’t traditional. Even if there is a heart attack, right there, on the page.

About Jessica Barksdale Inclan:
Jessica's debut novel Her Daughter's Eyes was a final nominee for the YALSA Award, and many of her novels have been published in several languages. A recipient of the CAC Artist’s Fellowship in Literature, Jessica teaches literature, creative writing and mythology at colleges, universities, seminars and workshops throughout the U.S. A full-time writer, she lives in Oakland, California. For more information on Jessica, please visit

December 05, 2010

Review: A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin

The Chronicles of Ice and Fire is a series written by George R. R. Martin and released in the USA around 1996 and it's not over yet, with 7 books predicted.
The series was compared with The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien as “the largest and best fantasy series since Bilbo found the ring" and, with a mixed feeling of love, hate and hope, I must say yes, this book is as amazing (or boring, that's up to you) as LotR.
A Game of Thrones (as well as the rest of the series, as far as I know) tells the story of a medieval land, very much like our own medieval story, but with a difference: summer and winter don't have estabilished periods of time (3 months) but are random.
Right at the beggining of the book we're told that the summer has been going on for around 10 years, many children never saw winter, but "The Winter is coming" as the Stark's words say, who are the main family in the book, and each winter lasts as long as the summer that was right before it (despite that where the Stark's live they have "summer snow").
The Stark, Eddard (Ned) and Catelyn Tully's family, composed by three sons and two daugthers, besides a bastard son, rule the Northern lands for centuries, from before the southern kings arrive.  
The story is told alternating chapters, by all of Ned's children: Rob (oldest son), Bran, Arya (a girl that's not very well adapted to lady's chores and only in the family that looks like their father), Sansa (a “perfect Lady” that right at the beggining of the book is promised to marry the Prince of the 7 kingdoms) and Jon (Ned's bastard son, that ends up "wearing black" and making a sort of monastic oath, not to have a wife or family and to defend the Northern Wall until death).
We also have some chapters narrated by Catelyn and Eddard. Each of Ned's children has a giant pet wolf (when grown they're around the size of a horse), that were found next to the mother wolf, that died, and Jon's wolf is albino and makes absolutelly no sound.
While the Stark family's history rolls, we also have chapters telling the story of Daenerys (Dany) and Vyseris Targarien, last descendents of the old Royal Family, that was dethroned and slaughtered by Robert Baratheon and his supporters (Eddard Stark included).
Dany marries a "Lord of the Horses" called Drogo, he's a king (Khal) and promises Vyseris lots of warriors to get his land back, despite that Vyseris is very cruel to Dany. Also, we have some chapters told by Tyrion Lannister, Queen Cersei's brother (Cersei is Robert's wife), he's a midget and, in my opinion, one of the smartest and most interesting characters.
I admit the story is MUCH more complex than this. It is very hard to explain in few paragraphs, so I'll leave it around that, before I start to spoil the story for others.
I loved A Game of Thrones. It's a catchy, complex story. One of the things I liked a lot was the alternating chapters, because we could see what each character was thinking and their reasons to act the way they did... Besides understanding more about the characters that don't narrate their own stories.
Dany and Arya are, no doubt, my favorite characters... Arya even more than Dany, despite Dany being a major promise for next books, she does something SO stupid, that you could sooo obviously see it wasn't going to be cool, but she was so desperate and didn't notice it. Arya, on the other hand, learns, she is a child, but she learns and grows a lot along the book.
Family, honor and duty, those are the Stark's motivations. Riches and power are the Lannister's motivations. In the end, these two forces move the mountains of the kingdoms and all of them are forced to choose their party.
I loved the fact that there are two maps in the book, or I would never know where the characters are. The writing is small and the book is long, my edition anyways, but there is so much story to tell, and still I'm afraid the next books may be a bit dragged.
The story keeps the same, with the same characters until the fifth book and probably until the seventh. Some people say it has a "mild inspiration" in the War of the Roses, from England, so maybe they do have story for all that, but I'm really ansious to read it all quick, because I heard the author promised to released book #5 in 2008 and now it's postponed to 2011, which is very worrying.
The supernatural factor is also in A Game of Thrones, since the beggining with Jon and in the end, with Dany. I imagine it will be very important until the end of the series, but until now they were just... a few happening, basically. As the magic in Lord of The Rings. It is a part of the world, part of history, but without being a main part, without removing the human aspect of the story. This is a book about people, relationships, love, loyalty and decisions.
It's a long, complex, full of family trees, battles, places and descriptions that will last several pages. If you read  Bernard Cornwell and/or Tolkien and really liked it, I'm sure you'll love A Game of Thrones.

Originally published at Sobre Livros

November 28, 2010

"No Hope for Gomez!" Birthday Party. Win kindles, iPods, and get free books!

This is a guest post of Graham Parke, author of No hope for Gomez. I promised him I'd post this a bit earlier, but better late than never, right? And, here it goes:

“It's the age-old tale:
     Boy meets girl.
     Boy stalks girl.
     Girl already has a stalker.
     Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”

It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since I handed in the final proofs for my weird little book ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ To celebrate this, and the fact that it just became a finalist in 2010's Best Book Awards, I decided to throw an international party. As I’ve had a debilitating fear of throwing parties and no-one showing up since early childhood, I’d be more than delighted if you’d come!

Of course, with every cool, international party comes a gift bag. Here's just some of the stuff attendants will get:

  • ‘Unspent Time’ exclusive short story collection
  • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signed hi-res poster + bookplate

(These are all exclusive items and will not be available again.)

Additionally, several lucky attendants will win a Kindle or an iPod!

Oh yeah, you can bring as many friends as you like, just don't bring your crazy uncle who drinks too much and then tries to get me to go to the attic with him to see something wonderful. I've fallen for that before and I don't mind telling you, I came away very disappointed!

Find out how to attend HERE.

Review: The Cinderella Society – Kay Cassidy

I'm here today to talk about a wonderful, pink and full of Girl Power book called The Cinderella Society. If you have issues with things too pink or too feminist, well, maybe this isn't the place for you, but I promise, I am a person that's totally against "girl stuff" and I loved the book, so I think it's worth at least to read the review, right? ;)
The Cinderella Society tells the story of Jess, who's a person that's constantly moving, because of her father's job, but when her mother gets pregnant of twins, the whole family goes back to her mom's original city, where they plan to stay, for the first time in Jess's life.
Despite the fact that she's a cheerleader, she's not popular at all and very lonely. When she arrives, she joins the Cheerleading Squad and she ends up "stealing" (deserving it, actually) the spot of a popular girl who is particularly mean, called Lexy.
That alone would get us a story, but soon at the begging of the book we're introduced to a Secret Society called The Cinderella Society that puts together the best, most beautiful, brightest and most charitable women of the world, split into local "pieces" that, each, is responsible for protecting the "reggies" or regular people from the "wickeds" or mean people, like, of course, Lexy
Jess spends the whole book thinking she's not worth it. It's a bit annoying, sometimes. And, of course, everything is more complicated, because she is comepltelly in love with Ryan, Lexy's brother (of course, it couldn't be easy, right?), who is REALLY popular and, according to Jess herself, never noticed her.
She goes through a major makeover, not changing who she is, but showing how she, as she is, is beautiful. Actually, that is the big "lesson" the books wants to show - sort of like the Ugly Duckling, you know? That she is beautiful, as she is, and that she's always faithful to whoever she is, not try to be someone else and trust herself - specially trust - and fight for what she believes in, other people will see that in you. But it requires a lot of work and willpower. And a lot of support.
Of course Jess ends up being much more important than the other Cindys, because, afterall, she is the main character! hehe But, you know when you're there, waiting for the story to really start to pick up and when the main character finally starts picking up the "girl power" idea and starts accepting herself and stop pushing herself down, when stuff starts to happen... And the book ends? Yeah.
Anyways, it is a really cute book, super fun and ful of girl power (did I repeat that too much? It's my Spice Girls cover past y'know) ;)  But it leaves you with a sad taste, and makes us want more... 

Hopefully, Cindy on a Mission will be published soon, so I can keep on with the story ;)
Originally published at Sobre Livros

November 18, 2010

In My Mailbox

Hello there kids!

This has been a busy busy week, several events last weekend, lots of freebies (oh my gee bookmarks!!) and several books from last and this week :D
Check it out:

 I got Radiance from a giveaway... It went to one of my friends in the USA, then he sent me, but it took a nice while between us, so it's something I won back in August... And I can't find the exact link from where I got it, so I'll have to leave it link-less...
Radiance is a lovely book, I've almost finished it in two days, it's a middle-grade, tween book, light, nice and fun, I love Riley. :)

 Fall of Giants, the Brazilian edition. First impression: oh my. 900 pages. It's huge. But past the initial shock, it's Ken Follett, which I've been wanting to read for a while and it's historical fiction, which I love and I also love large books, so I'm feeling pretty good, really :)

 Where the river ends (free translation).. I admit I didn't look much into it yet, I got it as a gift from a friend, but it seems to be a drama or romance of some sort... Has anyone read it? Heard of it?
 The last Lady of the Fire (free translation) is a book by brazilian author Marcelo Paschoalin, who is a nice friend of mine and I happen to blog on his rpg-related blog Dark Fate RPG.
He also sent me a handful of signed bookmarkers <3

 Halo. I'm almost scared of reading this one.. The nice people at Ediouro Publisher sent it to me and I was really excited and then I read some bad reviews saying it was too soft or disconected... And kind of pushed me down... Now, is it good? I guess I'll find out!

Also, Therese Walsh sent me two copies of her The Last Will of Moira Leahy. The cover is just SO beautiful I just want to keep both to me haha... But fear not, I'll be good and give one away ;) I'll let you guys know :)

November 09, 2010

In My Mailbox

Hi guys! I know, I'm such a bad bad blogger, but here is my IMM for the past 2 weeks, I put them all together, so they look better... hehe

I got Soulless from Book Lovers Inc. It was a US$ 10 credit at the Book Depository and I couldn't have chosen a best book, look, it is BEAUTIFUL!

Ken Follett's A Place Called Freedom that I found at a used book's store. It's not in perfect condition, but's decent and, well, you don't see many books in English here in Brazil so it's a major find (for like US$ 2,00).
The Three Musketeers  by Alexandre Dumas. A classic, of course. Hopefully it's not an edited, altered version but the original story, since I found at the used book's store I couldn't really ask anyone if they knew...
Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" is another classic that I managed to find at the used book's store... Hopefully not an edited version.
This is a Goodreads Firstreads win, my first one actually, it's part of the Nebador Series, it's book one, called The Test. Sounds like a good sci fi, been a while since I last read one of those :)

November 05, 2010

Review: The Genesis Secret - Tom Knox

I'll be reviewing today The Genesis Secret by Tom Knox, written by british writer Sean Thomas under the name Tom Knox. Sean was born in Devon, in 1963, he wrote 2 books under Tom Knox and has another one coming in 2011.

The Genesis Secret is perfect for Dan Brown lovers who wish he had written his stories just a little bit different one of the other... The pace of the story is incredibly similar and the story has that polemic "thing", even though he exaggerates a LOT on the secret's repercussion.

The story is divided in two parts, that alternate chapters until a certain part where, of course, they gather as one story. One of the stories is about Rob Lutrell, a war reporter, stuck in Middle West and sort of traumatized because of a terrorist attack that he witnessed in Bagdad. 
The other story is about a series of highly brutal murders (with lots of cruelty and some traces of human sacrifices) that takes place in England and are investigated by a Scotland Yard detective.

Rob is writing a story about Gobekli Tepe, on Curdistan, a monument with some resemblance to Stonehendge but thousands of years older than that, when theoretically human kind couldn't build something of that magnitude.

The whole story is pretty slow at first (around page 200), which really bothered me. But after that it catches the pace and goes on, full of action and suspense... It's impossible not to compare with The Da Vinci Code, that has a slow story at first with many explanations and descriptions that, sure, are necessary, but not so much, and suddenly starts rushing with the story and all the action bits happen all at once.

I also can't stop mentioning that I thought the consequences of the "secret" extremelly overreacting. Ok, cool, it really is something different and, if it was revealed, it'd give place to many debates and arguments... But not so much.
I don't think that it would happen as they predict, actually, I don't think many people would care if something like that came up, for both the reason and the evidence, which are quite weak and also for the reason that, really, doesn't make much of a difference.

Positive points now? Gobekli Tepe is wonderful. Sure Tom Knox exaggerates and places several unrealistic facts there, but... Around 9.000 bC?! 11 THOUSAND years ago or more than that? When human couldn't do pottery, weren't even farmers? It's amazing they could build something that huge - and pretty mcuh no one knew about it. besides, after building the whole thing, around one thousand years later, they bury it. Really, I mean that. And no one knows why. Just for presenting that wonder to mankind, he gets brownie points, in my opinion.

After the slow start, when the story picks up the pace, it's great! The sacrifices are cruel, bloody, frighteningly real and well written: whoever has a weak stomach should definitly skip these paragraphs. Really! Most characters is deep and well written, with a few exceptions like, for example, Rob's ex wife. Dumb and badly written, is what she is.

It's a heavy book, meaning it has a lot of history, archeology, politics, culture... But very light on the Dan Brown style: it manages to approach such subjects on a "for dummies" style and in the end, takes like 3 pages to explain exactly what he was trying to figure out during the whole book, just in case you didn't get it, which actually helps, since they don't share with you what they're thinking all the time, leaving you to guess.

If you hated Dan Brown, stay away from this book. To everyone else, I recommend you to read it, it's nice, it's cool and you may learn something about history and archeology, which is pretty cool too!

October 25, 2010

Review: Receive me Falling - Erika Robuck

"Every slave story is a ghost story"
What I have in hands is not an easy task, since I'm here to tell you about this wonderful book called Receive me Falling which was sent to me by the author Erika Robuck. The book was published in the USA, in 2009.

First off: do NOT read the summary on the back cover. The first paragraph, ok, but after that, you get MAJOR spoilers. They don't ruin the story, but's kind of a bummer to have things told that way.

Let's move on. It's a historical fiction, with alternating chapters, one story is set on the Caribbean island of Nevis, during the 1800's and another during the current time.

The contemporary story is Meghan's, a rich girl, that works with politicians and is about to get married. At the day of her engagement party, her parents die and, a little after, she finds out they own a property in Nevis, a plantation house, a very large piece of land, that used to be a sugar cane plantation so she decides to call off the wedding and go there, still in shock over her parents' death.

The other story is about Catherine Dall's life, who used to live on that same plantation over the 1800's (early 1800's) with her dad, Cecil Dall and many slaves (up to 202 slaves). One day, a man and his son get to the island, two abolitionists, to investigate the life of slaves there, but they hid the true purpose of their trip saying they intended to start a sugar cane farm on a nearby island.

It's a troubled period in time, where USA and England already started banning slavery on their main lands, but not on the "Great Empire", with older people refusing to accept, but the younger ones already see that that kind of work won't last long, in addition to some, like Catherine, who also see how cruel that is.

I don't want to tell you much about it, since I keep feeling I'm spoiling the story - it's a historical romance, if I tell you the storyline, there isn't much left. But I can tell you Catherine is passionate and captivating. She really tries and does whatever is possible within her position to try to help and please everyone, several times ignoring herself, even if that's not enough.

Meghan is a "right" girl, from a rich family, loved, pollitically correct, does her charity works and works for a politician because, despite having the family's money and don't really need to work, she wants to help the world. But when her parents die, she gets into a shock, goes to Nevis and gets obsessed with the property Eden and it's misteries, the story that seems to be lost and some weird things that happen in the house.

What really bothered me was the ending. I was sad, a lot actually, even though I know happy endings aren't ordinary in Historical Fiction. You know you feel it's going to end bad and you feel like screaming to the character "It has to be NOW, go NOW"? Yeah, that feeling. I mentioned that to the author, who, by the way, is a sweetheart and she mentioned she does want to write a sequel for the book, but just didn't do it yet - so I wait ansiously for it, I'm dying to read more of Catherine (ok, I admit it, I'm a sucker for the historical part and didn't REALLY like Meghan that much).

October 21, 2010

Brazilian Thursday - Wishlist

So, since I feel like I owe you guys, I decided to make a wishlist of brazilian books I want to read but haven't, yet.

Binno Oxz e o Clã de Prata - Fábio Henckel (Binno Oxz and the Silver Clan)

It's set in a world where almost everything was covered in water. Has a language common to videogames and the web, talking about artificial inteligence taking over the world and a computer virus doing much more than sending spam.

It's the first in a trilogy.

Kaori - perfume de vampira - Giulia Moon (Kaori, scent of a vampire)

2 stories, one is set on Japan, during the XV century, where Kaori, a beautiful girl with the scent of seduction works her way across the society. Second story is on the 21st century, in São Paulo, where a guy has a very unusual job: to watch vampires for a misterious research institute. But he suddenly realizes his job is more dangerous than he thought, when he saves a boy from the vampires.
Just the Japan part already had me. Totally looking forward to read this one.

Dragões de Ether - Raphael Draccon (Dragons of Ether)

My fellow blogger Laila already talked about those here, but I didn't read them yet and am DYING to. I mean, really, have you READ what she said? It's like, totally "OMG I WANNA READ IT" matterial. It's so cool, she was quoted on the back of the book, how cool is that? ;)

October 15, 2010

Brazilian Thursday (on a Friday) - Interview w/ Eduardo Spohr

Sorry, my thursday was chaotic, so I'm posting on Friday. I present you, an interview with Eduardo Spohr, author of "The Battle of The Apocalypse" (A Batalha do Apocalipse)

May – First of all, seeing recent news  (at the time of the interview of course), I wanted to know how do you feel having your book among the top sellers of one of the most considered brazilian indexes?
Eduardo Spohr: It's a complete surprise. I never thought such a thing would happen. All I hope is that this opens space for new fantasy authors.
May –  We'd like to know something about your childhood. You always wanted to be a writer? Did your family incentive you? You used to read, when younger?
Eduardo Spohr: Not exactly a writer. I always wanted to tell stories. I wrote my first comic when I was 6. I wanted to express myself through drawings, but I was always bad at it, so I ended up shifting to another way - literature. I'm no poet, just a storyteller who uses books to tell them.
I didn't use to read when I was a child. Back then, everything got to me by the movies and TV. I started liking literature around my teen years, because of RPG.

May – I read that it took you around 2 years to finish "The Battle of the Apocalypse", but did the idea of it started developing previously, befor you started writing, or was it something of the moment, you started writing and it started flowing?
Eduardo Spohr: I had many of those ideas since the late 90's, but it was only when I stopped and wrote it down that I managed to, finally, build a structure.
May – Are you updated with the national and worldwide literature scenary? What do you think about today's bestsellers compared to a few years back (the pre-Harry Potter and pre-YA books era)?
Eduardo Spohr: I think each time has it's tendencies. Today we have an explosion of fantastic literature and personally I think this comes from the movies that, with the special effects, are managing, more than ever, to show and give life to these fantasy "worlds".
May – Some authors can only write by hand, some require total silence and some like music while they write. Do you have any kind of environment or "ritual" that helps you release your creativity?
Eduardo Spohr: I write on the computer, no music, withas much focus as possible. I think the only "ritual" that I have is to write during the day. I have an ordinary work routine, 8 hours a day, and it helps me with discipline. I would never be able to work by night, sleepy, fueled with coffee and tobbacco. I need to be rested to actually work.
May – To sell the first thousands of copies, you had help from your friends and a major portal/blog on the web. What do you think it's the hardest part to a writer that chooses a more web-linked strategy (also, a cheaper strategy)?
Eduardo Spohr: I think the web must be seen as an entry door to publishers. We must take the web's visibility to push a start on the work,  communicate with the audience and create a "buzz" to catch a publishers' eye. I don't see any hard parts in that. But, as I said, it must be seen as a path.

May – Is any character a portrait of someone you know or have known or do all characters bare some characteristics of people you have known?
Eduardo Spohr: Almost all characters were based off of real peoeple, with a few changes, of course. I see artists in general as observers of the world and human beings. People are their raw matterials.
May – Have you had any problem with extreme religious peope complaining about the book/the story?
Eduardo Spohr: Only those that didn't read it. All religious people that read it through to the end, understood the proposal of the romance, that's to be a fantasy, fiction work.
May – Have you ever considered to give up? Why didn't you?                   
Eduardo Spohr: I never considered giving up, but it's interesting that many people ask me about it. I guess it's an ordinary thing. I see many talented people around there, but talent's not enough. You need to be determined to finish what you start.
May – Do you have other books, with other themes, planned? Can you tell us what it is about? (let's not talk about sequels or not, no spoilers, right?)
Eduardo Spohr: My next book is already ready. There's nothing to do with The Battle of the Apocalypse, but a third, that I'm writing right now, is set within the angels' universe. We're still talking release dates, but it shouldn't hapen in 2010.
May –  Any messages to our readers out there, nerds and non-nerds around, and for the aspiring readers who are excited and got their hopes up with your success?
Eduardo Spohr: I think a good tip is what I said before: using the power of the web to advertise your work and make it happen. ;)

Quick questions

A favorite book: 1984 (George Orwell)
A singer/band: The Beatles
A place you'd like to visit: The Holy Land
A book you still didn't read: All of Asimov's work which I didn't read yet.
A twitter you like: @jovemnerd
TV series you like watching: Battlestar Galactica

Interview originally published on Sobre Livros