Moving house

Oaken Bookcase Button

Hello lovely readers!

I’ve decided to take the plunge and move The Oaken Bookcase to self-hosted wordpress. The site will be moving to:

http://www.oakenbookcase.com

Please update your bookmarks, buttons and any links you may have!

The new site does look (almost) the same at the moment, but I’ll be updating the design over the next couple of weeks to take advantage of the new functionality available.

How you can keep following

RSS followers: You don’t need to do anything. If all goes to plan, I’ll update feedburner and you should see no break in transmission.

Email followers: You need to go to oakenbookcase.com and sign up for email subscription there. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Linky followers, facebook followers, twitterites and others – you don’t need to do a thing!

See you on the other side ;)

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Tour: The Day of First Sun, Sheryl Steines: Excerpt and Competition

Welcome to The Day of First Sun Whirlwind Tour!

Please enjoy this excerpt from the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.
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Day of First Sun, Sheryl Steines

Sturtagaard chose not to speak, though it was he who had called for the meeting. They both checked their watches and realized they had been sitting across from him for ten minutes, watching him sniff the air. If he wanted to play this, they would play along at least for a little while longer, though both were tired of the leering. As the vampire sniffed again, Cham finally figured out why.

“You know, you called us. We really don’t have anything to say to you, so if you’re just playing games, we’re happy to leave. I’ve got other, more important things to do than watch you
sniff and leer,” Cham finally said, and stood up.

Sturtagaard smiled as he watched Cham open the door because he much preferred dealing with Annie, but when she stood up, too, he realized he’d overplayed his hand.

“If I talk, my employer will have me staked. I’d like some assurance that you won’t do the same,” he said rather quickly, before they left.

They turned and looked at him, both rolling their eyes.

“I’ll have you staked if you don’t talk,” replied Cham, as he stood by the door.

“You’re out of options if you ever hope to get out of here again,” Annie said calmly, focusing on his face.

Sturtagaard squirmed a little in his seat, as Annie’s expression was somewhat disquieting and unemotional. He looked at Cham, whose face was expressionless, and then back to Annie,
who hadn’t moved a muscle. The vampire sighed.

“You heard right. I was hired to create a zombie army to overthrow the Wizard Council,” Sturtagaard said. His voice remained steady and calm with resignation.

“Who wants to overthrow the Council?” asked Cham, his hand still clutching the door.

“My employer. I’ve told you, I don’t know who he is. I always dealt with his associate. He’d show up, leave notes, or send others with messages. I’ve never contacted him.” He looked from
one to the other, but they both remained stony and detached. “Come on, now. I can’t give you information I don’t have.” Sturtagaard was charming.

Annie rolled her eyes again. “You really don’t have any idea who the employer is?” she asked with sarcasm.

“Really, I don’t,” he said.

“So you’re building an army of the dead. How long did you have to get this done?” Annie took out her phone and pulled out her calendar.

“He wanted it ready for September first.”

Annie looked up with a grimace, and Cham looked surprised. She didn’t need to mark the date on her calendar or research its significance, though neither could figure out why a zombie army had to be created for that day, the Day of First Sun. It was a very powerful and ancient day for good magic.

“So, your employer wants an army of the dead on that day? Why?” Cham asked in a flat, emotionless voice.

“He’s a black wizard. What do you think he wants? He wants to overthrow the Council, take over the world, practice magic in the open. You know, the typical magical fantasy.” Sturtagaard
grinned because he believed that would benefit the entire supernatural world.

“Wipe the smirk off your face, Sturtagaard. Having free reign won’t be as good as you think, with all the angry mobs, torches, and stakes through the heart.”

Annie smirked at Cham, who shook his head and laughed. He waited to compose himself before looking back at the vampire.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes do any (or all!) of these things:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents – Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event – a list of the events can be found on the tour page at Novel Publicity

Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to
VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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In My Mailbox (5)

Welcome to In My Mailbox, hosted each week by The Story Siren. Allow me to squee over the books I received this week!

For Review

Two very interesting-looking ARCs from NetGalley this week:

Plus a copy of Covenant of the Faceless Knights from the author, Gary F. Vanucci. Thanks!

Giveaways

A Random Act of Kindness gift from Cait of Escape Through the Pages:

and I won a giveaway from Anjana at Kindle and Me. Thanks!

Freebies

I have been so self-controlled with freebies this week that I actually didn’t download any! I’m pretty sure the control will be a short-lived.

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Five For Friday: Books to be Read

It’s Friday! That means it’s time for Five Things.

This week:

Five books on my to-read pile that I’m really looking forward to reading.

Books that I actually have a copy of, that I look forward to reading once I get through a few review copies!

1. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay

Eight of the nine provinces of the Peninsula of the Palm, on a world with two moons, have fallen to the warrior sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior. Brandin’s younger son is slain in a battle with the principality of Tigana, which the grief-stricken sorcerer then destroys. Years later, a small band of survivors, led by Alessan, last prince of Tigana’s royal house, wages psychological warfare, planting seeds for the overthrow of the two tyrants.

I received a paper copy of Tigana this week as a Random Act of Kindness from Cait of Escape Through the Pages. Thanks! I’ve heard great things about this book and I can’t wait to read it.

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2. The Iron King, Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

Once again, the reputation of this series precedes it. I only have the first book but I’m willing to get my hands on the others if it lives up to the hype.

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Pyxis, KC Neal3. Pyxis, K. C. Neal

Corinne lives an average teenage life working at her dad’s cafe, hanging out with her best friend, and trying to forget a falling-out with her almost-boyfriend Mason. Things take a strange turn when she uses her late grandmother’s food dyes for a bake sale, and her customers suddenly find her irresistibly alluring.

All the reviews I’ve read say that Pyxis is brilliant. Also, KC Neal is one of the friendliest twitterers you’re likely to meet!

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Everneath, Brodi Ashton4. Everneath, Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

There seems to be a recurring theme here – everyone’s read it, everyone says it’s great! I got this copy as a RAK from Ladystorm last week, thanks!

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Exiled, MR Merrick5. Exiled, M. R. Merrick

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase’s birthday, the bloodline stopped.
Exiled without the Circle’s protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic.

I got Exiled when it was free a couple of weeks ago, and it looks awesome.

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There seems to be a bit of a young-adult theme going on this week – at least the YA books tend to be slightly shorter and lighter going than the high fantasy tomes.

Are there books on your to-be-read pile that are calling out to you?

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Review: Gate to Kandrith, Nicole Luiken

Gate to Kandrith, Nicole LuikenTitle: Gate to Kandrith (Goodreads)

Author:   Nicole Luiken (@NicoleLuiken)

Rating: 

Series: Kandrith 1 of 2(?)

Genre: Adult High Fantasy/Romance

Published: Carina Press, March 26, 2012

My copy: Ebook ARC from NetGalley

Pre-order an E-copy: Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble • Diesel eBooks

Sarathena Remillus, daughter of the newly elected Primus of the Republic of Temboria, has been given a mission: discover the secret of slave magic. Anxious to escape the corruption and treachery of the capital, Sara welcomes the chance to finally prove herself far away in Kandrith, the tiny nation of former slaves.

Accompanying her on the journey is Lance, a Kandrithan to whom Sara owes her life. Lance despises the nobility, and is determined to resist his desire for Sara, despite her attempts to entice him into divulging the secret of his magic. (Goodreads)

Review

Gate to Kandrith drew me in from the very first chapter and didn’t let go. The story moves along at a cracking pace, introducing elements of romance right away and weaving them around an interesting society and world.

The countries of the Republic and Kandrith are very different. The Republic is ruled by a Primus who has seized power, attended by a court of nobles with slaves to serve them. Kandrith was founded by escaped slaves, headed by one chosen by the Goddess of Mercy and protected by magic. Kandrith is rather utopian –  even though they do have a fairly fool-proof justice system in the “Listeners” who cannot hear lies, surely even in a nation of escaped slaves there would be someone ambitious enough to seize power? In any case, it sounds like an idyllic place.

The magic system used by the slaves is based on sacrifice – you must give up something in order to receive power. I like systems like this where balance is preserved more than those where magic is freely available to be used. It seems more realistic to me – as realistic as magic can be, anyway.

When this book is described as “adult fantasy”, it’s not wrong – right from the first chapter we’re introduced to jazoria, a drug that increases desire against the victim’s will. There’s quite a few raunchy and violent scenes throughout the book, and I can’t help feeling that these scenes may prevent the book from reaching as wide an audience as it might otherwise have. Not that I didn’t enjoy the romance – Sara and Lance are rather swoon-worthy!

The characters were, perhaps, a little shallow. That didn’t stop them from being likable though. It was great to see Sara’s journey as she discovered that there were ways to live other than how she had been raised in the Republic. Lance was just a total sweetheart! Absolutely no complaints there, I loved him.

Gate to Kandrith was a brilliant read and was very difficult to put down.  It will be tough to wait for the next book to come out to find out what happens next!

Read this book to your little ‘uns? Absolutely not! Contains some grisly deaths, graphic adult scenes, rape and torture.

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WWW Wednesday (4)

WWW Wednesday is hosted each week at Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

The Book of Lost Fragrances, M. J. Rose

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years.

I’ve only just started this book but already I’m impressed by the detail of the descriptions. I feel this is going to be a sensory experience!

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What did you recently finish reading?

 Gate to Kandrith, Nicole Luiken

Gate to Kandrith, Nicole Luiken

Sarathena Remillus, daughter of the newly elected Primus of the Republic of Temboria, has been given a mission: discover the secret of slave magic. Anxious to escape the corruption and treachery of the capital, Sara welcomes the chance to finally prove herself far away in Kandrith, the tiny nation of former slaves.

It only took me three days to get through this book, because I could barely put it down! Very gripping and with some rather saucy scenes – watch out for my review, coming very soon.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

To The Dark Tower, Victor Kelleher

Awake and asleep, Tom has increasingly different lives. Awake he is a climber, scaling the cliffs by Tower Rock, and asleep, he finds himself in a vivid dream-world where he is the carrier, responsible for a strange and beautiful child, and forever in search of the elusive Sleeper.

I have a paper copy of this book so I’m planning to re-read it this week. I remember loving this book when I read it before – lets see how my perceptions change reading it as an adult.

How about you? Link me your WWW, or tell me what you’re reading!

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In My Mailbox (4)

Welcome to In My Mailbox, hosted each week by The Story Siren. Allow me to squee over the books I received this week! It’s a big one!

For Review

 

Two ARCs and a freebie from NetGalley this week:

Giveaways

I won an amazing giveaway this week – a collection of launch ebooks from Momentum – the new imprint from Pan Macmillan Australia. Thanks!

Two more lovely gifts:

Freebies

I tried to avoid freebies this week, I really did. Sadly, I failed – Smashwords are having a massive promotion for read an ebook week, so check it out!

Aaaand, these were from Amazon:

That’s twenty new books. What on earth am I doing to myself? Who am I kidding, I love it!

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