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