Friday, May 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (June 1, 2013)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books we received over the course of the past week. As always, this is a fun way to share what books are coming out, and in no way should be considered bragging in any shape or form. The books we receive are from publishers and authors (either directly or through intermediaries like NetGalley and Edelweiss). We also may purchase books from bookstores, or Amazon, and B&N, or borrow them directly from our local library which we should all support!

Thank you SO much for visiting my blog and checking out the books I received over the past week!
I hope you find something to add to your ever growing TBR Pile!

Received from Netgalley & Edelweiss
Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra/NetGalley            

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)/NetGalley

Tor Books/NetGalley

Pocket Star/Edelweiss

Won via Fierce Reads Twitter Contest

Borrowed via Amazon Prime or purchased cheaply!

May 31, 2013 - Armchair BEA – Ethics Discussion

Ethics In Blogging, the discussion

We're getting back into discussion mode in a big way today with the topic of "Ethics in Blogging." What guidelines must we follow as bloggers--attribution, disclosure, honesty? Have you had an experience with plagiarism (victim or perpetrator?), and how did you deal with it? Do you have recommendations to new bloggers about how to ensure that credit is given to whom/where it's due? 

These comments are mine and mine alone. If I offend anyone, I truly apologize before hand. 

Bloggers are an extraordinary bunch. We read, we write reviews, we interview authors, we have guest posts and giveaways, we participate in several fabulously popular Meme's like Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting On Friday, and Feature & Follow Friday to name a few. We are also a resilient bunch when it comes to change and what is expected from us. 

FTC's new outlay:

Let's take the current nonsense with the FTC's new disclosure guidelines that has a bunch of us confused and thankful that people like Rachel from Parajunkee was at BEA this week to give us an overview of what is expected from us. The FTC truly wants to know what our relationship is with authors, publishers, and if we are getting paid to participate in blog tours, writing reviews for compensation sake, or are the authors friends of ours. Personally, I think the FTC and the government itself asks for way too much personal information that they don't necessarily need, BUT, I'll go along with the idea of posting a warning saying that MOST of everything I've read has come directly from the publishers through NetGalley or Edelweiss with the rest coming directly via borrowing them from my local library which never asks for compensation, and probably never will. I will honor that agreement by saying that I HAVE NEVER BEEN PAID TO READ OR WRITE REVIEWS. Would I like to in the future? Absolutely!


Unless we've been living under a rock for the past year, or since last years Armchair BEA, there has been a bunch of silly nonsense where bloggers have chosen to steal comments, reviews, and ideas from others. This is just elementary that you JUST don't this EVER! If you can't come up with your ideas, then please don't try to post a stolen review! Plagiarism gives bloggers not only a bad name with the rest of the blogging world, but publishers become wary about working with you again in the future. 

ARC's provided by Publishers SHOULD NEVER BE SOLD!

Dearest, adorable Bloggers, I come to you today, especially the newbies, to say please don't try to sell your ARC's via Ebay or anywhere else. It absolutely gives the community a black eye and it's embarrassing. If you want to give them away to your friends, family, or libraries, or hell, just pass them to another blogger who really wants it since they most likely were DENIED by the publisher, then do so. This should be part and partial of the blogger initiative to inform those who still do sell ARC's to cease and desist before we ALL lose out

Giving Credit where Credit is absolutely due!

This sounds simplistic in nature but you would be absolutely surprised. Give credit to the authors, publishers, graphic creators, place where you "borrowed" the image from for your reviews, and above all don't try to push them off as your own design when you KNOW that you were not paid for putting the image together. Hey, if you were paid to put the image together, you are stellar and amazing! I personally don't get into quoting books when I'm reviewing. If I do, by chance happen to find something that will make the review even better, then I quote page, and whether or not it was an ARC or finished product.

I would encourage everyone to click on the links and take a peek at the rest of the bloggers who have graciously participated in this discussion. There are some awesome ideas this year, and one's that should be considered when posting your reviews, or doing any sort of giveaway.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Early Review: Rise of the Magi by Jocelyn Adams (Lila Gray # 3)

"Who will you choose to be, Lila Grey?"

First, I want to thank J Taylor Publishing for providing me an early access of "Rise of the Magi". I am a huge fan of Jocelyn Adams writing and world building and can't wait to find out what she has up her sleeves next.

Rise of the Magi completely and absolutely wraps up the Lila Gray trilogy without leaving any lingering questions for readers to ponder for months or years to come. The world this story is set in, could be considered Dystopian in nature because humanity has faced severe challenges from the Fae and others and struggles to remain cohesive and viable on a daily basis persist.

The story of the Magi and the machinations they created in order to get to Lila and her awesome abilities that grew exponentially over this trilogy was surprising and revealing to say the least. There were so many different angles, situations, and dangers that all forced Lila into making difficult choices along the way while attempting to unite the Fae, Dark Elves, Witches, Mountain Trolls, Humans, and Selkies to fight for their very survival. There were also many tender moments between Lila and her Fae family and friends that it really choked me up at times.

I absolutely love Lila Gray. I love how determined she was and how she changed from when she was introduced in The Glass Man until now. I loved how she finally allowed herself to be loved and touched by the Fae that have come to follow her to the ends of the earth. If you haven't read this series yet, please feel free to start with The Glass Man and then Shadowborn. You won't be sorry you did. You will see a young woman who lost everything, including her mother, and then went on the run in an effort to survive under brutal conditions when she was all of Thirteen years of age. You will see a person who grows exponentially with determination, strength, and without giving up any of her morals in the process.

I loved Garett! Seriously, Lila and Liam Kane's child is really amazing and powerful in his own right and really shines at the point where things are gloomy and gray. I also loved Cas, Andrew, Brigh, Neve, Parthalan, and especially Gallagher who's Lila's advisor and telepath. There were others as well like James from the Canadian Mounties, and Laerini of the Dark Elves who opened Lila's eyes in Shadowborn and then stood by her side when the Magi became dangerously aggressive to the point of bring an end to the world.

I loved Lila and Liam's romance and the fact that Lila has come a long way in that she actually trusts Liam completely and without hesitation. If you've read this series, you know the couple has had a bumpy road from the point when they first met in The Glass Man to when they became a mated pair in Shadowborn and the creation of the Fae kingdom of Iress. However, with Liam alongside her to give strength, faith, and determination to not let anything happen to those she considers family, Lila becomes a much better queen and the leader of the Fae.

I am happy to say that not once did I feel that I was burdened into reading this trilogy. This trilogy is filled with mystery, suspense, danger, and romance. Definitely consider adding The Lila Grey Trilogy to your TBR pile. You won't be disappointed!

Title - Rise of the Magi (Lila Gray # 3)
Author - Jocelyn Adams
Publisher - J. Taylor Publishing
Releases - June 4, 2013
Genre - Paranormal Romance
Received ARC directly from J. Taylor Publising



Unless otherwise notated, Gizmos Reviews receives books from authors and publishers directly. It also includes third party initiators and which act as the publishers clearinghouse. These books are received in exchange for an honest review of the book. There is absolutely no monetary compensation involved. At other times, I borrow books from my local library which doesn't require anything but enjoyment of the book. My reviews reflect my own personal opinions and has no bearing what others may think or feel.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: Dawn's Early Light by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Dawn's Early Light
Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book Three
Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Release Date: TBD 

Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…

After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

About the Authors:
Philippa (Pip) Ballantine
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.
She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade
Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have been short listed for the Parsec Awards, and won a Sir Julius Vogel award.
Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist and Spectyr and Wrayth out now, and Harbinger to follow. She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. She also has the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox out now.
When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband, Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of three cats.

Tee Morris
Tee Morris began his writing career with his 2002 historical epic fantasy, MOREVI The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana. In 2005 Tee took MOREVI into the then-unknown podosphere, making his novel the first book podcast in its entirety.
That experience led to the founding of and collaborating with Evo Terra and Chuck Tomasi on Podcasting for Dummies and its follow-up, Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies.
He won acclaim and accolades for his cross-genre fantasy-detective Billibub Baddings Mysteries, the podcast of The Case of the Singing Swordwinning him the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Audio Drama. Along with those titles, Tee has written articles and short stories for BenBella Books’s Farscape Forever: Sex, Drugs, and Killer Muppets, the podcast anthology VOICES: New Media Fiction, BenBella Books’ So Say We All: Collected Thoughts and Opinions of Battlestar Galactica, and Dragon Moon Press’ Podthology: The Pod Complex.
Tee bought all these skills to the award-winning Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series which he wrote with his wife, Pip Ballantine. When he is not writing, Tee enjoys life in Virginia alongside Philippa Ballantine, his daughter, and three cats.

Kickstarter Info to Post with Cover Reveal

Right now Pip and Tee are also running a Kickstarter for a brand new anthology and a roleplaying game set in the world of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Check out the project here 

Armchair BEA 2013 - Blogger Development & Genre Fiction

Welcome to Day # 2 of Armchair BEA! Day 1 was, to me, a smashing success!

As a blogger who is still fairly new to the universe as it were, I really need to look towards the future by doing things like participating in more Blog Tours, Meme's, and Giveaways. Giveaways have been one of my most entertaining as well as most the page views. I'm trying hard to figure out a way I can up my pageviews to say, 100 a day or more. That is not currently happening and I'm absolutely confused and bewildered. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or know anyone who is looking to become an associate reviewer, please let me know!  

Wednesdays' topic:
Have you branched out into your community?
No, I can honestly say I'm a hermit. I would, however, love to reach out to independent book stores and do some sort of promotion and giveaway. I know a bunch of Central Florida bloggers who are part of street teams that go around helping authors introduce books to new readers. 

Do you partner with other bloggers?
I have in the past yes. Jenese from Readers Confession and I did a giveaway where (2) winners choice the books of their choice for a certain month. I would absolutely love to work with her, or anyone else soon! I thought it was an excellent way to cross promote blogs.

Have you gone "pro" or begun supplementing your income through your blog?
I did have an Amazon affiliate link on my blog until last year but never received any cash return for my investment. Probably won't bother with the idea again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday 05/29/2013

"Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at “Breaking the Spine”, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This week I am waiting on A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway!
This apparently is the first book in a 3-part trilogy that follows Sherlock Holmes
niece. Since it's steampunk as well, it has caught my attention and fancy!

The other two books in the trilogy along with release dates are shown below!

Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London’s high society. But there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.
In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?
But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.

Expected publication: September 24, 2013 by Del Rey

Expected publication: October 29, 2013 by Del Rey
Expected publication: November 26, 2013 by Del Rey

2013 Armchair BEA - Introductions

Designed by Emily of Emily's Reading Room
Once again, Armchair BEA is upon us. As we did last year, the even kicks off with introductions of those participating. It's a way to get to know each other better as well! We were told to choose 5 questions to answer. These are the questions I choose:

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

Hello everyone! My name is Shelley and I'm a bookaholic! June of this year will mark my 2 year anniversary since my blog was created. I actually got into blogging at the suggestion of some friends on Goodreads who had been following my reviews. I've been posting reviews on GR since 2009. My favorite genre's are Urban Fantasy, PNR, Steampunk, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery, and Thrillers. I do, in fact, enjoy YA as well, and have been reading a steady diet of YA since the start of this year.

2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location:

I currently reside in Jacksonville, Florida where I've lived for the past 13 years. I would say that Jacksonville's claim to fame is that it has an NFL team called the Jacksonville Jaguars and once hosted the Super Bowl between Philadelphia and New England. It's also one of the biggest land mass county/cities in the nation.  Jacksonville is home to the Navy at Mayport. 

3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not participated, what drew you to the event?

I actually participated last year and found it highly entertaining as well as informative. There  were a lot of wonderful bloggers involved and the organizers really seem to have their acts together. 

4. What is your favorite part about the blogging community?

I think we will all agree that bloggers are a tenacious group by nature. We love our books, we love certain authors without hesitation or reservation, and we scream like little kids when a new book comes out from one of our favorite authors. But, above all, I've found MOST bloggers approachable, and respectable of new bloggers trying hard to make it this business. If I have a question to ask, they will without hesitation or reservation help me regardless of the number of followers they have, or how long they've been blogging.

5. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?

As I am posting this introduction, I will have stared The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau as well as Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris. I'll answer the second part as well. My favorite books of 2013 have been Binding the Shadow by Jenn Bennett as well as Written in Red by Anne Bishop. 

Please leave a comment and your link below and I shall return the visit!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and we all share our thoughts on that topic! This week is Top Ten Freebie week!

My topic: 
Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

1. Gin Blanco (Elemental Assassin)

2. Jessica McClain (Jessica McClain series)

3. Merit (Chicagoland Vampires)

4. Jane Yellowrock

5. Katherine "Kitty" Katt

6. Kate Daniels

7. Lieutenant Eve Dallas (In Death Series)

8. Rhiannon (Rhiannon's Law)

9. Arcadia Bell (Arcadia Bell)

10. Nikki Glass (Nikki Glass)